Friday, October 31, 2008

I'm not a Mama, but I'm for Obama

...and liberty, and justice, for all, Amen.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hang on little tomato

Silly little tomato doesn't realize it's October. It's the size of a golf ball and hard as a rock, and with 48-degree days and another frost predicted for this weekend, the tomato and the last vestiges of parsley and basil on my little balcony garden are doomed.

Go listen to the song that inspired the title of this post. It's a Pink Martini kind of afternoon.

Chicago is my kind of town

This was the view from my hotel room (28th floor) every night. Too bad I was too busy with work to enjoy much of it. Maybe when I go back in December for our next conference....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Que syrah shiraz

{flights of wine and cheese at Bin36 in Chicago}

I'm in Chicago this week for one of my company's conferences and last night took the fab assistant Kelly and our VP of sales to one of my favorite restaurants, Bin 36. They have a great wine selection and offer it by the flight, glass or bottle, as well as in their retail shop (unlike CT, where our blue laws prohibit retail sales and consumption sales under the same roof). They also have an amazing cheese bar that makes me so glad I'm not lactose intolerant. The wine flights all have clever, pun-y names and the restaurant's Wine 101 & 102 classes have converted hundreds of wine neophytes into oenophiles. The decor is very urban loft contemporary and the menu is eclectic and planned with wine pairings in mind. If you are ever in Chicago I urge you to make time to visit.
On a related note, the owner of my favorite wine shop in CT doesn't know my name and always refers to me by the name of a wine I asked him about when I first visited his shop last year. "Hi Carmenere!". I guess there are worse things than being mistaken for a delicious Chilean red.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Don't sit. Don't sit. Don't sit so close to me.

{photo by Steve Lakatos in the Hartford Courant}

This photo was on the front of the real estate section of Friday's paper. It's a model home, which means it was staged, which means you'd think someone would know better.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Lights on, no one home

{IMG_0714, originally uploaded by mohitontherocks}

For a week now, I've been getting up before the crack of dawn and going for a brisk nearly-one-hour walk with my neighbor, the lovely Meghan of Ladies In Waiting. Her sweet teddy of a goldendoodle, Boddington (aka The Bods) accompanies us and, ahem, "protects" us from any unsavory characters. I should preface this by saying that Meghan is a morning person of the highest caliber. The Bods and I are not (Meghan's partner Mo is not either. She's the smart one, home in bed, sleeping). But once we get to walkin' and talkin' (and boy, can we talk!), I'm fully awake and before you know it we have circumnavigated Downtown Hartford and are home-again, home-again.

It's mighty dark at 6:00 am, and will be until daylight savings starts/ends (I can never remember which it is) in two weeks. In between our incessant talking we've noticed that the city has quite a life of its own at that hour. As the sky (very) slowly lightens, a steady stream of traffic starts coming over the bridges from suburbia, and we've remarked on how ungodly early some people head in to their office jobs. It took only three days for us to become "regulars" on our route, greeted amiably by dog-walkers at the new apartments on Temple St., the corporate cafeteria cooks out for a smoke behind one of the insurance companies, and the construction workers headed for the soon-to-be-finished science museum.

One thing about these walks that really, really bothers us is that in some of the office towers, all the lights are on. All the lights. On. All night. I can see it from my apartment before I go to bed, if I get up in the middle of the night, and when I wake up at 5:45. No matter the hour, every light in these buildings is a-blazing. Yeah, yeah, they're fluorescents and CFLs, so what. Why are they on? No one is there. Even the cleaning people are long gone. How much money are they spending on electricity? Sure, it looks pretty, in a "the city never sleeps" kind of way, but in this day and age, is this really the best use of their money and our resources? Make that our money -- Hartford is an insurance and finance town, and some of these companies were recently bailed out by Our Tax Dollars, so technically that's my money and your money that they are wasting.

I'm tempted to call them up and tell them to turn the lights off. How do you think that would go over?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Vodka and Chex Mix. It's what's for dinner

Martini, originally uploaded by Sgt. Gooch.

It was that kind of day today.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Swapimus Autumnus

Sherri over at The Claw held a little Fall Swap and here are the goodies that came to me from the shores of Maine via Erin at Only A Movie:

In addition to a lovely book by Anna Quindlen and fantastic mix-CD (Brandi Carlisle! Paolo Nutini! Glen Hansard!), she included two "Maine" products: French clay soap from Beane's of Gorham and a wonderful terrycloth cosmetics case (lined with gorgeous vintage floral fabric) by PixieGenne. Thanks Erin! I love it all!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Faster Pussycat, Vote, Vote

Simon and Zoe would like to remind you to exercise your right to vote. They came thisclose to being shelter kitties (incredible moment of stupidity by somebody else, not me, but we don't talk about him anymore). And not the good kind of shelter either, but the Hotel California kind (you know, where you can check in any time you want, but you can never leave). As self-elected sovereign rulers of The Lounging Party, they are putting their catnip where their mouths are by voting daily so other kitties (and dogs too, like our new neighbor Tully) can have a better life. The Animal Rescue Site and are having a $100,000 shelter challenge. All you have to do is vote daily (or when you remember) for your local shelter and in American Idol fashion, grants ranging from $25K to $1K will be awarded to the shelters with the most votes. If you have no idea what shelter to vote for, please consider voting for Our Companions, a no-kill shelter in the Hartford, CT area. Many thanks to She Knits By The Seashore for bringing this to The Lounging Party's attention.

Think of this as a warm-up for voting on November 4. And if you are not yet registered to vote in the election that will make a difference for humans (although no cash will be given away), you'd better hurry up, as the last day to register in many states is TODAY October 6.