Friday, June 15, 2007


Our company summer outing was yesterday, and I was pretty excited to go when I heard it was going to be this. Kykuit is the Rockefeller estate, which is one of several you can go up to Sleepy Hollow and tour. You can also go up to Washington Irving's house, the Vanderbilt estate, etc. Anyway, yesterday was a bit overcast but cool, and I thought a really nice day to be on this tour.

A shuttle takes you up to the estate, and when you pull in, there's a huge fountain and lawn to greet you. The name "Kykuit" (rhymes with high cut) is Dutch for high place or overlook. This is appropriate since the house is built on a hill that looks down over acres and acres of greenery below. The tour was pretty cool - you go through various rooms and see the art, furniture and hear stories of the Rockefellers and the entertaining they did at Kykuit. You wander through garden after garden after garden. Fountains, flowers, even a nine hole golf course right outside the estate. In the basement there's a pretty decent art collecction the highlight of which is a bunch of Picassos, some sketches some tapestries. Then last they took us to the stables/garage where you saw their collection of horse drawn carriages, the stables, and then the garage where many classic cars that belonged to the family are kept. Very cool experience, so if you live in NY and have a Saturday to kill, head on up!

The first rejection

A few posts ago I told you guys that I was submitting my short story to a couple of literary magazines, and I told you I'd keep you updated on the results. Well, I got my first rejection the other day. You can tell as soon as you open the mailbox - big manila envelope, your address in your own handwriting - the dreaded SASE. You know how in college thin envelopes mean rejections and fat ones mean you got in because they are full of registration materials? Well for writers its the opposite. Big manila envelopes means your manuscript is coming back to you. I am pretty good about taking rejections in stride though. I do like to see if they send any personal messages, or sometimes they encourage you to send other stuff even though this particular piece wasn't right. But this letter was short and sweet, nothing special. Oh well. We'll see if the other journal has anything better to say.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Well that sucked...

I know I'm a day late on this, but yesterday was kind of nuts, and I can't not post about the series finale of "The Sopranos". This has definitely been one of the most talked about series finales ever...but part of that comes from the fact that is probably the only series to ever simultaneously convince thousands of people that their cable had gone out during the most important minutes of the show.

Now. There are people out there saying this finale was brilliant. That Tony was destined to spend his life steeped in tension, always looking over his shoulder, always wondering if the creepy looking guy sitting ten feet away has been sent to take him out. And the way the show ended exemplified that, how we lived that tension as well, and we'd never know if the end was coming or not. But I have to say I'm in the camp with the other 95% - that is no way to end a series finale. Finales are about resolution one way or another, and even though no ending would have been easy for the Sopranos, I think the ambiguous ending was taking things too far. I saw a newspaper headline that said Tony & Chase (meaning David) whack fans, and that felt about right. For all our years of viewing, for all our patience during two and three year hiatuses, and this is what you leave us with? The people who made this happen should take a lesson from the people who worked on Six Feet Under. Now THAT was a series finale.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

My co-worker gave me this book recently and I finished it a couple of days ago. This is a book for anyone who enjoyed "The Joy Luck Club" or "Memoirs of a Geisha", it's very much along the same lines...Asian women learning and observing traditions, trying to improve their station in life, etc. What's inteesting about books like these is how they make you think about certain traditions, and how they came about. For example, footbinding plays a huge role in this book - the more perfect a girl's feet are, the better chance she has of marrying well. And this makes me wonder - who the heck thought this up? What do feet have to do with anything else a wife provides? Anyway, it's a good read, though I don't think any of the male readers of this blog will touch it since it has a super girly title and cover.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend

I've been meaning to do a post about last weekend for days now...but it's been a helluva week. God what I loser I am. But anyway, we went down to Atlantic City (where else?) and had a great freaking time. What was nice about this weekend was we had three days to fill with Atlantic City activity. Normally if we go down for one night all we really find time for is dinner and gambling. But this time, we squeezed in the new upscale Pier mall, walks on the boardwalk, a half a day at the beach, relaxing in the jacuzzi, massages, a tarot card reading, a walk on the Steel Pier and of course, dinner and gambling. Gambling was pretty crazy this weekend, I was way down but then took quite a bit of it back. In the interest of keeping this post fun, I'll get right to the funny comments:

This coffee is really good. Everything is good at the Borgata, Jenn. EVERYTHING.

Hey, I'm winning! I'm going to up my bet. (Pat puts an extra chip out on the Texas Hold Em bonus ante.) No I'm not. I'm a pussy. (And grabs the chip back).

Hello. We have come a great distance seeking Spice Road....

Silencio! Cut the malarkey!

Damn, you're chasing those rivers like a fucking kamikaze pilot.

You know the rules are the same for every hand, right?

Wait, you let a man rub your butt?

This town ain't bit enough for the two of us! And Pat signing "I got spurs..."

That soup looks very...beefy.

I bring nothing to the table. Meaning, I contribute...nothing.

Last funny moment, Michelle almost getting herself a job at Scandals from the dressing room in Guess! It was my fault for bringing the wrong (oh so wrong) top.