Sunday, April 29, 2007


Well, we're pretty much moved in. There are still wardrobe boxes in our bedroom (we haven't bought wardrobes yet and there are no closets), but other than that, all the boxes are unpacked and stuff is put away.

Our bed (finally) arrived yesterday - it's really beautiful and looks great in the bedroom. We did an Ikea run today and got some storage for the bathrooms and a picture for the front hall. We almost bought another bookshelf for the study, but it didn't quite fit in the car. Since Ikea now deliver (!) to the work postcode, we'll just order it online and have it delivered to the office. Then we can borrow the big van and we'll be all set.

We also saw some couches that we liked a lot - they're definitely a 'someday' purchase, though.

Our car has been somewhat exciting lately - it's a Citroen and it has moments where it reminds us that it is French and we are not and it's going to make sure it knows who's in charge. There's a short in the drivers' side window control panel, which means that the right hand rear window will spontaneously roll down. It's always a surprise when it happens, especially if we're on the highway. It happened on Friday night on the way home from work, and the only way to roll it back up again is to reach in to the back seat and roll it up at the window. If you're reading this, C5, it's ok, you're in charge. We understand.

I've been kind of a blog slacker lately - work is really draining (but engaging), and my workspace at home in the study isn't quite set up yet, so I've been avoiding spending a lot of time with the mac.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Computer Geek-In-Training

John's been tinkering with Ubuntu Linux on his computer for a few weeks now (he's having a blast...), and keeps threatening to install it on my mac. Not a chance.

I'm helping out in another department at work, in addition to some of the stuff I was doing in my other job. Part of what I'm doing involves using a different interface to access the same data that I used before - I'd been told by the IT geeks that it was much faster but I hadn't given it a shot until last week. And they're right, it IS faster, although I had one problem.

I'm addicted to the keyboard shortcuts for copy and paste (if you don't use them, you're missing out), and the interface that I was using didn't seem to support them - it would error whenever I pressed CTRL C or CTRL V. BAH. So I asked the programmers if there were any hacks or workarounds, and they said no.

John said that he thought it could be done, although he didn't know exactly how to do it. So this morning after using my mouse to paste something in for the umpty-leventh time, I started digging around under the hood of the interface. And found the keyboard remapping section. And remapped my keyboard (and my colleague's) so that we can use our keyboard shortcuts. And then marched triumphantly into the programmers' office to tell them that not only was it possible, but I'd done it. By myself.

I was more excited than I should have been...but it was one of those little nuisances that was making a really good interface annoying. FIXED!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Remember when I acquired a stepson?

James is cracking me up lately - we were out at dinner (curry, as usual) last night, and he had lamb tikka. Yum. The lamb was v. tender, and he announced that it was as good as the steak that he'd had when he was in New York. Apparently he's over his 'meat well done' phase, which is good.

John and I split a bottle of wine (we walked to the restaurant - it's a little further than walking from our old flat, but it's do-able), and I offered James a sip of wine. I warned him that it might taste funny, since it's alcohol.

He took a small sip, thought about it for a moment, then announced, "it tastes different to other red wine." Um, yeah...he's 9. John and I cracked up.

John and I had seen lots of kids playing in the neighborhood but James hadn't gotten plugged in with them yet- it's tricky when he's only here every other weekend. So tonight after I'd started dinner, he and I went out with the frisbee and threw it around on the main green for a few minutes. By the time I left him, 10 minutes later, he was playing frisbee and kicking a soccer ball with 15 other neighborhood kids who had appeared out of nowhere. He was out with them until I brought him in for dinner an hour (!) later. They now know where he lives and that he's here every other weekend...I think we've seen the last of him sitting on the couch whining that he's bored and has nobody to play with.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Unpacking the NY trip

Lizzie and Greg's wedding was great - everyone looked fabulous, the weather was perfect, nothing was too stressful, and it was lots of fun. Somehow, I only took five pictures, and they were all from the day BEFORE the wedding. I'm a bad bridesmaid, I guess. :)

So here's Lizzie and Allie getting pedicures:

And here I am with JJ (Lizzie's new sister-in-law):

I had an uneventful flight back on Monday - after all the crazy stormy weather in New Rochelle, somehow my flight was on time. It was, however, filled with screaming children. Damn that day flight. I set a new world record for getting out of Heathrow airport: sitting on the plane to sitting in the car (having gone through immigration AND collected my baggage) in 18 minutes. I'm so cool.

I was upgraded (FREE) by Virgin to Premium Economy (you don't ask, you don't get!) on the way to NY, and so sitting in a middle seat in American Airlines' coach was a bit of a struggle. Virgin has such better entertainment (TV, movies, etc, all on your own schedule), and the food is better. I may have to start springing for them even when it's a few bucks more.

One small thing on the Virginia Tech shootings, as my heart goes out to all the families affected. I truly can't believe that the gun lobby is using this as a case for MORE guns, so people can defend themselves. It doesn't seem like a wise choice.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

New York, by the numbers

Cosi lunches with Andrea: 1
Bags of tea purchased (from Sympathy For The Kettle): 6

Pastrami Sandwiches (Katz's, natch) consumed with Emily: 1/2 (each)

Knishes consumed with Emily: 1/2 (each)

Pickles: 2 (each)
Whole foods grocery bags purchased: 1
Subway trips: 3
Metro North trips: 2
Sitting on the wrong Metro-North train-s (Stamford was NOT where I was headed): 1

Wedding programs folded: 190
Bows tied: 75

We're gearing up for Lizzie and Greg's wedding on Saturday - it's going to be SO beautiful. I'm picking up my dress tomorrow morning, then things are pretty much kicking in to high gear.

Oh, and I downloaded a new plug-in for my iTunes - it searches through all the artists in my playlist and compiles a calendar of who's going to be near us. I set it to a 200 mile radius around London. AND.....TORI is going to be in London on July 3 and 4. WOOHOO! The last time I saw her was in Portland, ME, with my college roomie, Liz. John is a closet Tori fan - we'll definitely go.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bunny Cake

It's been a pretty crazy few days so far - I saw Andrea and Kim on Saturday and then went to the 10 year CT '97 Lochearn reunion. I spent 6 summers at Lochearn Camp in Vermont, and loved (almost) every second of it. There were so many great women that I met there, and it was amazing to see a few of them on Saturday night.

Sunday was Easter, so I went to Redeemer and then came back to New Ro for a family easter and the famous Bunny Cake. My mom's been making this cake since before I can bunnies were harmed.

John's busily unpacking - for those of you who need a house fix, here's the view out of the kitchen towards the back yard.

I wanna go back to Stowmarket

Have been having a whirlwind time in NY - it's going to calm down a little this week. Looks like the New Ro police had fun last night...

Chaos in New Rochelle: Train rider saw 'yelling and screaming'

(Original publication: April 9, 2007)
NEW ROCHELLE - More details are expected on last night's downtown pandemonium when the city and owners of New Roc City hold a press conference at 1:30 p.m. today at the entertainment center.

More than 1,000 unruly teenagers, ordered to leave New Roc City, faced off with police in riot gear last night, leading to at least one stabbing, two robberies and six arrests, police said.

"It started out as one large, unruly crowd and then dispersed into several smaller crowds," Capt. Kevin Kealy said. "We just had too many people here at once."

A countywide red alert was issued, with state, Westchester County and more than a dozen local police departments rushing to the scene in riot gear. Witnesses said they heard shots fired, and the New Rochelle police found two discarded handguns in the area, but no related injuries were reported.

"Nobody showed up in any emergency room (with gunshot wounds)," said New Rochelle police Sgt. David Lonergan said today. Six ambulances from nearby jurisduictions were brought in to cover the city, Fire Chief Ray Kiernan said.

A 15-year-old Bronx youth was stabbed in the chest near North and Lockwood avenues and suffered a superficial wound, police said.

James O'Toole, the landlord of a North Avenue apartment building a block from New Roc City said he got calls from frightened tenants while he was working at a bar nearby. He returned to find chaos that forced him to park more than two blocks away.

"It was crazy," said O'Toole, 41. "In my life, I've never seen anything like this, and I hope I never do again....On North and Main streets there were cops all over the place, kids in the street, people yelling, screaming, just a mass humanity, of people."

The wild night struck in the heart of the area where the city is trying to spark a renaissance with several towers under construction or planned. That change in the city's direction began with the opening of New Roc City in 1999. It was built by Louis Cappelli, the developer building the Trump Plaza tower a half block away and a full-block development across the street with two towers that may soar more than 500 feet high.

City boosters today said the weekend's problems will not stall the city's rebirth.

"I think that New Rochelle's renaissance is bigger and broader than a single one-time incident involving a unique circumstance that should not repeat itself," said City Councilman Barry Fertel, an attorney whose office is about two blocks from New Roc City.

Lonergan said the city's fire department alerted police to overcrowding in the arcade section of the entertainment complex.

Fire officials did not ask people to leave, but did prevent anyone else from entering New Roc City, Kiernan said,

Police arrived shortly before 6:30 p.m. and ordered the crowd to leave the outdoor courtyard area at New Roc City at LeCount Place and Anderson Street. When the crowd refused, police armed with nightsticks pushed through the courtyard, sending hundreds of people streaming out in all directions.

Unruly mobs of teens taunted and cursed at officers, then moved out onto North Avenue, overturning trash cans and menacing shop owners. As backup police units from nearly every municipality in the county joined state, county and Metro-North agencies, the crowd converged on the train station, where at least one man was assaulted.

The unconscious man was taken away by ambulance as police wrangled as many people as they could onto a southbound train that arrived shortly before 10:30 p.m.

The disturbance peaked between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., Kiernan said. "All of a sudden New Rochelle got picked to receive large groups of kids," he said, noting that they were not from New Rochelle.

"It was the largest mobilization of police resources I have ever seen in New Rochelle," Kiernan said.

At the train station, an 18-year-old young man from the Bronx was ticketed for disorderly conduct, Metropolitan Transportation Authorty Police spokeswoman Mercedes Padilla said. It was the only summons or arrest by the MTA police, she said.

Jordan George, a Manhattan resident who was taking the southbound train from Mamaroneck after visiting a relative for the Easter holiday, said he and fellow passengers were terrified when the train pulled into New Rochelle and riot police and teenagers streamed into the car.

"Picture this from my point of view: I've been riding this train for 12 years without any kind of incident, and all of a sudden we pull into a station and hundreds of kids and police in riot gear come flooding in," George said today.

"They was a lot of yelling and screaming going on, and thank God nobody got hurt, but it was right on the edge, I was genuinely frightened for my safety and my girlfriend's safety."

George said that he got off the train at the Fordham stop, where about 50 New York City Police Department officers were on the platform awaiting the crowd. George and his girlfriend made their way to the street and took a cab to his home in Gramercy Park.

New Rochelle police are continuing the investigation, Lonergan said.

"This was unusual for us. We're not exactly sure what happened," he said. "There were a lot of people apparently coming in from the Bronx. I don't know what the problem was, or why they were all up here."

Several witnesses in the crowd said the teens had come to New Rochelle from New York City after being denied admission to the New York International Automobile Show at the Jacob Javits Center, although a Javits Center spokesman could not confirm that today.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Boxes, boxes, boxes, and more boxes

We're IN! The house is FULL of boxes, but it's ours. We don't have internet access yet (gasp!), so posting has been a bit thin on the ground lately. I'll post more once I'm in New York next week.