Thursday, October 30, 2008

At last...

I finally have a copy of the new Barefoot Contessa book in my furry little hands. When I cracked the spine of my copy today it's as if the angels sang sweetly and a bright light burst forth from between the pages.

I'm exaggerating, I know, but this is big for me....aaand for those certain friends of mine who get to stand in as guinea pigs during the bout of trial and error that's about to ensue in the coming weeks. Lucky bastards.

So, thank you, Nabua for the incredible birthday gift. You always know just what I need. Next up is the new Jamie Oliver book. Those angels better stay on standby...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I snagged the idea for this post from this lovely little blog. I love the ABC layout, and frankly, I'm out of post ideas of my own. Wanna play?

A - Age: Thirty-two
B - Band listening to right now: There are lots, but today it's rainy and cold and therefore I gotta have me some Jose Gonzales.
C - Career future: A hopefully thriving business. Or a sold business so we can take the money and pursue our collaborative dream of opening a pub.
D - Dad’s name: William Frances Robinson
E - Easiest person to talk to: Ben or's a tie.
F - Favorite type of shoe: My new Doc Martens.
G – Grapes or Grapefruit: I'd bathe in grapefruit juice if I could smell like it all day, but if we're talking food preferences, I'd go with grapes.
H – Hometown: Cohoes, NY
I – Instrumental talent: I used to play the piano but I've since forgotten everything I once knew
J – Juice of choice: Naked (the green algae looking one)
K – Koala Bear or Panda Bear: Polar
L - Longest car ride ever: A very long 16 hour (one way) drive to Atlanta with Kim to see Bachmann
M – Middle name: I don't have one. I'm a CarrieKate.
N - Number of jobs you’ve had: Five
O- OCD traits: I can't think of any. I'm sure I have many, though.
P - Phobia[s]: Oh god. Dentists and vomit. In that order.
Q - Quote: "Her beauty was like silence in a cup of water."
R - Reason[s] to smile: Autumn, Lola dancing, new friends, old friends, good music, hot tea
S - Song you sang last: Swan Swan H, by R.E.M.
T - Time you wake up: Ugh, I don't want to think about it.
U - Unknown fact about me: I once killed a man in Reno. Just kidding.
V - Vegetable you hate: Eggplant.
W - Worst habit: Losing patience...quickly.
X - X-rays you’ve had: Mouth (I needed stitches after getting smacked in the face with a metal baseball bat) and teeth.
Y - Yummiest food my belly likes: Nachos
Z - Zodiac sign: Libra

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I'm workin' on it

I'm working on the expression...

But change the headband to white instead of red, add makeup and costume and, well, it's all I've got. I can't wait for Friday.

And yes, I did scare the dog.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Must. Get. There.

I've been putting off a trip to North Adams, Mass. for quite a while now and it's getting down to crunch time. The Jenny Holzer exhibit is about to be yanked out of MassMoCA and I must see it before it's gone! Anyone wanna go? I'm the kind of person who can make a trip to the Berkshires last a whole day, much to the dismay of those who generally come with me (GARY!).

Anyway, in addition to the finale of the Holzer piece, they're also finishing up the run on the Anselm Kiefer exhibit which I understand is a must see. Plus, after a heated discussion with friends about Joseph Beuys (and those individuals who are just dying to be Beuys) I feel the need to see that installation again, too.

You know you want to come along. We start off in Troy, take the scenic route up through Grafton, stop at the Peace Pagoda (it's a must for me on this trip) for a quick attitude adjustment, make a pit-stop at the overlook for some last chance foliage shots, stop for lunch and a bit of shopping in Williamstown, maybe pop in at the Clark (depending on what's there), and then head on over to MassMoCA for the rest. And if you're hungry for dinner on the way home, Ben and I found this little Mexican restaurant, Coyote Flaco, that will knock your socks off.

I'm thinking of heading out soon. Let me know if you want to join me!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bring Your Kids!

Troy Night Out just so happens to fall on Halloween this month and everyone is planning on making a big deal out of it. The streets will be open for kids in costumes to go trick-or-treating safely. Some places are having costume contests, and from what I understand there will be several haunted houses in the downtown area for kids and adults to enjoy. So, in the spirit of the holiday, I've stocked up on some nasty little creations to give away to the kids (and adults with a sweet tooth) when they come in that night.

Bloody gumballs that ooze fake blood when you bite into them

Plastic spiders that jump when you flick the lever on the back

Gummy organs...mmm, love the intestines

Gummy frogs that ooze green slime when you bite them

The standard chocolate haul

Witch gum that starts foaming when you put it in your mouth

I also bought some sticky eyeballs, but I don't have a picture of those...sorry. Everything here was purchased at Oriental Trading, and I have to say that the prices were amazing for what I bought. If you tend to have a lot of trick-or-treaters, consider getting your candy there.

My Mommie Dearest costume is coming along nicely, but I'm stuck with finding the perfect wig. I know it doesn't matter, really, but I'm being picky. I promise to have pictures for you after Halloween. Sandy makes a lovely Christina...wait till you see!

Sheep and other stuffs

So, I survived the Sheep and Wool festival on Sunday. I can't believe I made it, but I did.

So. Many. People.
This thing was huge! There were tons (and I mean hundreds) of vendors from all over the country selling everything from yarn to roving to buttons to apparel to antiques to sheep shearing supplies and on and on. So many beautiful things to look at! I can see now why people spring for the two-day pass and go all weekend. I know we missed a lot because we were still looking around when the vendors were starting to pack up and go home. Ahh well. I was out of money anyway. And I feel as if the day was successful because I managed to find some new vendors for the shop. What really amazes me, though, is that I still can't find anyone who carves knitting needles and crochet hooks by hand. Do you know of anyone I can contact?

The day was beautiful. The sun was shining brightly, the air was chilly but not too cold. It was nice to see everyone walking around wearing the things they made, all bundled up like snowmen and buzzing around to keep warm. Very nice indeed. Plus, my mom and I stopped at a few interesting little farm stands and antique stores on the way home. Good times.

I took a ton of photos. I'll post some here and the rest will be over at good old flickr. If you went to the festival, I'd love to see what you bought and the pictures you took.

plant dyed wool

Monday, October 20, 2008

It's official...

...Lola's now walking full time.

Look out world! She's a busy girl. I watched her for about two hours today while Carly tended to a client and I'm pooped. Big props for you parents out there who do this on a constant basis.

The Evil

After reading about the Sour Cream Apple Pie here first, and then again here, I realized that I absolutely had to make one for myself. Very important.

At this time of year I like to bake like there's no tomorrow and I'm really into apples these, I gave it a shot. I tweaked the recipe a touch and added additional brown sugar in between the apples and the crumble topping, and then I added a packet of Quaker instant maple and brown sugar flavored oatmeal and an additional tablespoon of melted butter to the topping for a little extra crunch.

Guys, as if these other two sites didn't recommend it enough, I have to let you know that this pie is the shit. Give it a go. Something about the tartness of the apples (Granny Smith) and the sweetness of the sour cream custard, combined with the flakiness of the crust and the crunchy chew of the crumble, well, that's magic for you.

And as if this pie wasn't enough, I'm currently working on a country pie, apple again, only this time I'm filling it with homemade caramel and thin slices of cheddar cheese. Man, it's heaven.

Friday, October 17, 2008

for Sandy

I was on my way to visit my parents last night and stopped dead in the road when I noticed the moon. Did you see it? Unfortunately, it wasn't full (waning Gibbous), but it sure was pretty. So, I hopped out of the cab of my truck and climbed up into the bed in the freezing cold to take as many decent shots as I could. I had you in mind, Sandy, because I'm well aware of your love affair with the moon and after our botched attempt many weeks ago to take moon shots on the roof of your car, well, I felt like I owed you something. Hopefully these shots are acceptable. They were taken about a half-hour apart.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Do you live in upstate NY?

If so, are you interested in helping a person in need?
We're collecting canned goods and non-perishable food items here at The Paper Sparrow to donate to the Hudson Valley Food Pantry. I spoke with a representative from the pantry today and they're in desperate need of some help this year. Any items you can donate would be greatly appreciated. Please drop your donation off at the shop (288 River Street, Troy), and if you can't make it here please contact me at and I can arrange to get them from you. All donations must be received no later than October 31st (we're open until 10:00pm that night).

Thanks so much in advance!

Quack, quack!

A perfect example of why ignorance is bliss:

I think I might have thrown up in my mouth a little.


I would just like to add that I'm voting for neither Obama nor McCain, so this is in no way meant to be an endorsement.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Oh my god. She did it!

The final countdown

::queue the cheesy Europe anthem here::

She better win.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A forest

Oy! I've been through two weddings (one of which I was actually in) and a birthday all in the last three days. I need a vacation. Seriously, I've been in a dress, pantyhose and shoes with heels twice in one weekend and there's something very wrong with that whole concept. Hence, I'm spending the day wandering around the house in my jammies.

Carly was the first to get married (on Friday) this weekend, and I still can't believe that my baby sister is hitched. Very strange but I couldn't be happier about it. Sadly I have no pictures to share. I'll have some eventually, I'm sure. Once the photographer sends the proofs Carly's way, I'll try to snag a few for myself. First off, the dress we discussed a few months ago worked out very well and I had so many compliments on it I couldn't believe it. If you're looking for a really cool dress for your next formal function, I highly recommend it, but ditch the flower pin. I know that was a topic of conversation for a bit, and I decided to get rid of it. A little too much for my taste. Anyway, my camera's batteries died right at the very beginning of the night, so there you go. I won't get into specific details out of respect for Carly and Jeremie, but it was one of the more beautiful ceremonies I've witnessed, and that's all that really matters. For those of you who were there and wondering where they're at, the two of them are frolicking around on their honeymoon as I write this so it's safe to say that everything is fine. Oh, as an added bonus, I managed to escape what I thought would be the inevitable run-in with my ex at the wedding (never a good thing), so I guess you could say that the evening was pretty darn great.

I celebrated my birthday with family this year. Oh man, another year older. My aunt and uncle were heading home to Florida on Sunday morning, so we had a combo birthday/farewell party with the entire family. It was relaxing, although not quite quiet, but it was great to be with them all (our family is huge and it's hard to get everyone together) and I scored some really amazing gifts. My parents gave me a gorgeous urn from The Broken urn, I must tell you, that I'd been drooling over in the window for quite some time. I was so upset when I noticed that it was gone and my mom was the sneaky little bee who snatched it up for me. Thanks, mom and dad! Ben gave me a really cool antique ottoman. I've been searching for just the right piece for our living room and this one is equal parts charming and masculine at the same time. I plan to reupholster it and give it a breath of new life. Aside from that, I was given several other wonderful things, including my trip to see Crooked Fingers last week courtesy of my lovely aunt Sandy. You guys rock!

Dave and Kate's wedding was so beautiful and I'm honored to have been a guest. Dave and I chatted outside during the reception about how long we've known each other and we came to the conclusion that it has to be going on 18 years now, maybe longer. Time has a way of sneaking up on you, you know? Wow. Kate is such an incredible person and I'm so glad I've had the chance to get to know her. She's a true friend. Anyway, Kate was a beautiful bride and the ceremony and reception were so sweet. Their wedding was held at the Arkell Museum in Canajoharie. We didn't get there in time to see the art, unfortunately, but I'd love to go back and see the collection as soon as possible. I think we've already moved through the peak of the foliage, so the ride won't be as pretty as it was this time around...we got lucky. But, the little town is so quaint and perfect and I'd love to wander around, getting lost in the shops. I won't be including pictures of myself here because my dress was a bit, uh, shall I say "indecent" now that I see the shots taken that night. Let's just say that my girls, well, they fought their way to make an appearance at the wedding too.

So, that's that. The madness is officially over and I can go back to my daily routine. I'm overwhelmed and exhausted by how busy these past two weeks have been and I welcome the normalcy of a weekday with open arms. I'm spending today at home, catching up on some movies and trying desperately to finish the book I've been making my way through. It seems as though every time I sit down to read I fall fast asleep. Perhaps a nap is in order. What are you crazy kids up to?


More shots of Dave and Kate's wedding here.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

it came and went too fast

Bachmann last night.

Ahh, yes. Good times.

I shook off the obnoxious fangirl jitters and had the opportunity to chat with him again...shared a laugh over a botched attempt at giving him my "over 21" wristband so he could buy a drink. Unfortunately, we managed to get snagged during the old switcheroo by club security, who, ironically enough, looked to be well under 21 themselves. Go figure.

Anyway, the sound sucked in the club and they not only drowned out Bachmann's voice but they even managed to make Okkervil River sound kind of assy. I was on cloud nine, though, so I didn't care then and I still don't really care now. No cameras allowed this time around so I'm using an old (and I mean OLD) shot for this post. God, I look awful and mildly psychotic, too!

I'm actually trying to figure out how many times I've seen him play live, whether with the Loaf, Crooked Fingers, or on his own. If you know me well, I've probably dragged you along to a show or two, and I even dragged a few of you over several hundred/thousand miles to see him. Can you help me figure this out? Pretty please?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

2 days

Whew! Still going strong.

I'm working today and tomorrow and then the rest of the week, well, I'm gone! As excited as I am for my sister and my amazing friends, Kate and Dave, I'll be happy when things go back to normal. Eek! I'm sure they'd agree with me. Everyone's world has been turned upside down, or so it seems.

I'm enjoying the time spent with my family from out of town, and while my husband thinks I've abandoned him (I haven't been home for more than a few hours at a clip in over a week), I have to squeeze in as much time with the out-of-towners as I possibly can...especially seeing as how it'll be at least another year before I get to see them again.

So, yeah. For now, I'll share with you a few pictures of the blushing bride. Isn't she lovely?

My mom, aunt, grandmother and I took a trip to Fo'Castle Farms, one of my most favorite places in this area. It's the perfect little day trip for lunch, shopping and just relaxing. Fall and Christmas time are the two best times to visit. At this time of year, they're loaded with pumpkins and mums, apple cider donuts and apples, scarecrows and gourds. The foliage is fantastic (we're not quite at peak time yet, though) and that smell in the air is so incredibly refreshing, I feel like I don't deserve something THAT good, you know? We had a nice time, and I can't think of better people to have shared the day with.
And one more shot for good measure, just because, well, I couldn't resist: