Wednesday, August 30, 2006


This is the latest book that I finished, and I really really enjoyed it. Beth recommended this one - its from her stock (Rodale) and it was the first book in awhile that I couldn't put down.

Karin Muller is thirty-four, unmarried, and seeking the meaning of life. She goes to Japan and moves in with a host family who live about an hour from Tokyo. The book details her travels and adventures, but it is the differences between this eastern and our western culture that are really interesting. Japan is all about tradition - America - in many ways is not. Fascinating - Japanese women can work, but their working is really supposed to be a way to meet a prospective husband. They earn a salary but their fathers still pay for their expenses, and every penny of what their earn is theirs to spend. Their jobs fire them when they are thirty because they are supposed to be married by then, and if a woman marries before then, she can say good-bye to her job anyway.

This book is amusing, interesting, sad and thought-provoking all at once - and I really enjoyed following Muller around in her travels.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Borgata

So last Friday (which was my last summer Friday off from work) Kelly, Michelle, Rebekah and I headed south on the Garden State. Destination: Atlantic City for a night at the Borgata, to celebrate Kelly's birthday.

The Borgata is pretty much the swankiest hotel in Atlantic City, and can feel a lot more like a Vegas hotel and casino than an Atlantic City one. Vegas hotels/casinos are massive, decorated like palaces, and have casinos you could get lost in. The Borgata isn't as big at the MGM Grand or anything, but it gives the Taj Mahal a big run for it's money. Anyway. Things I like about the Borgata include:

*The statues they have in the lobby. There is always a huge check in line (think Space Mountain at Disney World) so while people are waiting they sometimes lean against a white marble statue of some ancient roman man or woman dressed in the white robes and wearing a crown of leaves. But surprise! The statue isn't really a statue. It's a person, dressed in white and painted white. They show up, get up on the pedestal, and stand still for a really long time. They wait until the crowd changes, until people who didn't see him arrive stand around in the lobby and lean against the post. Then they lean down and tap the person on the shoulder and it freaks them out. Very entertaining for those of us on line.

*The fact that they have Ocean's Eleven playing in the elevator. This is one of my favorite movies, and I like seeing George Clooney and Brad Pitt wandering around in the Bellagio when I'm three floors from a casino myself.

*The shower and shampoo. This sounds silly, but at the Borgata you get one of those huge showers with a glass door and a bench inside. The shampoo is rosemary mint and it's refreshing as hell. Go ahead laugh. Take a shower in there and I guarantee it will be one of the better traveling showers you've taken.

*The Do Not Disturb sign. Instead of saying "Do Not Disturb" and "Service Please" It says "Tidy Up" for service and "Tied Up" for Do Not Disturb. Nice.

So from here I think I'll skip right to the highlights and funny comments:

All weekend we made fun of the high security at the Borgata. When you check in, they take not only the cardholder's ID, but the ID of everyone staying in the room. Then they put all of our addresses in the computer. "What if I didn't want anyone to know I was here?" Rebekah said. They also have a sercuity guard stationed at the elevators, which are behind glass windows and past a sitting area called the living room. Every person in the room has to show a key to get upstairs. "What if I wanted to bring a guy back here from the club?" Kelly asked, half joking, half serious. So a slew of comments followed all weekend, like:

"Are you planning on thinking about your friend Bob while you're here? Cause we're gonna need his ID."

"Your brother is 16? Oh, he might come here someday. We're gonna need his ID."

So throughout the weekend, I was playing craps, and winning a lot of money doing so. Funny moment at the table. I was leaning over, as people tend to do, while playing craps, and let's just say I wasn't wearing the most modest shirt in the whole world, and my chest was partially exposed. The guy across the table from me rolled ,and both dice smacked my chest, and one fell to the table and the other into the wooden row where the chips stay. Oy. He was pretty mortified, but I thought it was funny.

Kelly's rendition of "Freefalling." "LOVES HOOOOOOOORRRRSSSSESSS..."

Celebrity sighting! While sitting at breakfast on Saturday, we saw Artie Lange, of Howard Stern and lots of other movies. I am in serious trouble with Drapo and Chris for not getting an autograph, but I'm hoping if I bring them lots of liquor the next time I go up to Boston, they'll forgive me. (Or at least forget about it). :-)

Cheesequake rest stop! Inside joke.

That's all for this one folks. I'm gonna be running around quite a bit for the next month, so expect a lot more updates. :-)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Project Runway

Summer is coming to an end and soon it will be September which means - all my shows will be back with new episodes! But I thought today I'd talk a little bit about my new favorite show that has kept me amused all summer while everything else was in reruns.

Project Runway is on Bravo, and it's a reality competition show - just like the Apprentice, but with fashion designers. And it's pretty cool - every week the designers are giving a new assignment, given thirty minutes to sketch out ideas, 30 minutes to purchase fabric, and a day or two to create an outfit. It's fun to see what they come up with, and how the judges react to what they come up with. There's almost no middle ground where these outfits are concerned, they tend to be either completely gorgeous or completely hideous.

Heidi Klum is the host and she's awesome. First of all, she's so damn pretty, and she's always got a cool outfit on, you just want to look at her. Second, she's a badass. She's not afraid to tell the designers when something sucks, nor is she afraid to say "I want that dress in every color" when its awesome. Tim Gunn is awesome too - he's the advisor for the designers (and the director of the fashion program at the New school), and his mannerisms are so amusing that KIm laughs out loud anytime he says anything at all, even "Time's up designers".

Thanks Beth for getting me into this show!

Friday, August 18, 2006

It's Official. I'll Never Own Real Estate in New York...

I read this article in AM New York ( a freebie paper they give out on the street) about the soaring prices of real estate in Manhattan, and all of New York City for that matter - and I thought this tidbit was interesting:

"Wondering whether you can afford to buy a Manhattan apartment? Here's how to find out: Convert all the money you're willing to spend into crisp $100 bills, then put those bills in a bag. Lug that to the apartment in question. and dump the money on the floor. Now spread the cash around the apartment, bathroom and all. Look around. Can you see the floor? If the answer is yes, collect your money and move on. You can't afford this apartment. This is not hyberbole. An average Manhattan apartment costs $1083 per square foot, according to the latest market reports. Ten $100 bills, when spread out flat, occupy about a square foot."

Even more depressing, check this out: The average Manhattan apartment costs 1.3 million. Here's what you can get for that much $$$ in other cities:

Seattle, WA: 5 bedrooms, 4 baths, a fireplace, 3570 square feet and water views
Boise, ID: 6 bedrooms, 6 baths, 4 car garage, landscaped grounds and pool, 6438 square feet
Phoenix, AZ: 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2853 square feet
Austin, TX: 5 bedrooms, 5 baths, 2 half baths, 2 car garage, pool, 4605 square feet
Peachtree City, GA: 6 bedrooms, 4 baths, 2 half baths, pool, 8000 square feet
Portland, ME: 3 level condo penthouse with harbor views. 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 3099 square feet.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Modern Love

Do you guys ever read the Modern Love column in the Sunday New York Times? Sure, it's in the Fashion and Style section - right before the godamn wedding section, but it's still a source of really interesting, well written and occassionaly poignant essays about love and the way things are today between people.

This week's essay I found particularly moving - excerpted from a book I'm interested to read: Twenty-something essays by Twentysomething writers. It didn't seem like the usual kind of story that would spring from that kind of situation, and I just really liked it. Hope you will too:

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

If You're Afraid, Then the Terrorists Win...

That's my philosophy - so I just happily booked a flight to Florida to visit my friend Abbey on Labor Day weekend. I'm also headed for Europe in mid-September. All this bullshit that's going on now with heightened security doesn't bother me enough not to fly. But I gotta say - if the terrorists are waging a war to rob us of every convenience associated with air travel that we know and love - they are slowly and painfully winning that war.

Maybe I'm being too liberal - but it drives me crazy the way everything gets banned because of one incident. No more water, eyedrops, lip gloss on planes? It drove me crazy that the "shoe bomber guy" ruined security for the rest of us with his idiotic plan. Now it's liquids. Sigh. I'm all for being careful and heightened security but the first thought in my mind is - "They're just going to find another way" and it's true. And in the meantime, our carry ons are getting lighter and lighter. If there is ever a day when there are no carry ons at all allowed on planes...oy. Hope it doesn't come to that.

A note to Al-Queda: Please please please find something else to do with your time. The next time you get on a plane, instead of trying to blow it up, see where it lands. Wherever it ends up, I guarantee that they will have cocktails, chicks and fun on the other end.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sorry I've Been Away for So Long...

I just realized I haven't posted in awhile, so I figured I'd show you guys what was keeping me away. Catalog season! This is one of the biggest projects I do at work - putting together our annual catalogs for our LEE & LOW and Bebop titles. The LEE & LOW is new and very different this year - with more art and color and it looks awesome. The cover is on the right - isn't it cool?

I promise I'll post some more soon, but for now, sit back, smile a proud smile and say, "Boy that Jenn, she's a heck of a multitasker."