Thursday, December 2, 2010

Here's a little bit of Chalupa to keep away the withdrawal

Kt Tunstall Tiger Suit

Just saw KT Tunstall on her last night of the American tour for Tiger Suit and she rocked the house. I love KT, and got to see her once at a small free gig at the Apple Store in Soho. But seeing her with a full band and in full tour mode was something special. She obviously loves making music and her energy is infectious. If they release a bootleg of last nights concert at Terminal 5 I highly recommend it. One of the highlights of the night was the cover of Erasure's Little Respect. But in the mean time pick up Tiger Suit, and if you don't have her other albums (Eye to the Telescope and Drastic Fantasic) add them to your gift wish list this season and maybe Santa will be good to you. I have to say I liked the album when I listened to it, but I LOVE it now that I've heard the songs live. This music is meant to be performed, so go see her next time she's touring in the U S of A or hop over the pond to see her play in England in the next few months.

KT became famous when her Big Black Horse and a Cherry tree was featured on American Idol a few years back. Give her a listen, I think you'll like it. :) Bonus, the Hurricane Bells opened for her and they had a great eclectic sound, I particularly liked the drummer. He rocked out to several songs. Happy listening.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Just call me Terrell Suggs

So I joined a co-ed flag football team this fall we played for 7 weeks. Tonight was our last night and it was play offs. I know I take these things a little too seriously, we started off the season with complete domination we had a star quarterback and a star receiver who were both recruited for college ball. But that abruptly ended in our fourth week, when due to illness our quarterback didn't show and for who know what reason our star receiver didn't show either. We got spanked. It sucked. Not only did we lose, but lost horribly. We did nothing right, it was exactly how it was in the Bad News Bears movie, where anything that can go wrong does. (And I'm talking about the 70s Bad News Bears not that crap with Billy Bob.) We were all shaken because we had no leadership on the field.

I wrote what I thought was a kick ass email telling our teammates to get off their butts so we could do something about it. My friend Jen and I were the only ones available for practice that Saturday. But we did practice. The next game only 6 players showed up, we played one man down and did a valiant effort. For flag football we play 7 on 7, and two girls have to be on the field at all times. The other team out played us mainly because they had extra players to sub in and out. But we moved the ball (slowly) down the field and despite the fact we still lost, I was proud of how we played. We were a team. We made completions, and scored touchdowns. The sixth week almost the entire team showed up, we had several players to spare and since the team we were supposed to play was a no show we ended up playing a scrimmage match and ended up winning. Yes we had our one great receiver back for the game, but it was more of a team effort.

Tonight was our last night and it kind of sucked. When one player is really good, but doesn't bring everyone up but rather brings everyone down it sucks. I was ready to play my heart out, leave it all out on the field, and I tried to. But our team dynamic was off, it's not just that we were losing, we were playing badly, unnecessary penalties and we just couldn't complete the plays. From the beginning I kept pushing our team to rush the quarterback, yes it's flag football and you have to count to 5 mississppi(s) before you can charge. But once you do that you CAN charge. And I swear once we started doing that the other teams had much less of a chance to complete passes.

What was funny was that it came full circle my team finally came around to my way of thinking to rush the quarterback, but then decided I wasn't doing a good job of it or something. So, when it was a guy guarding and he was standing doing nothing in the previous games...that was ok? But when I do it and count to 5 mississippi then rush it's not? I grabbed flags, I waved my arms, I swear I messed up their passes. But whatever, I felt a little under appreciated and worse it's how the game started. When they asked who would be guarding the QB, I said I would, but they said a guy should do it. I'm sorry I think that's some kind of shit, that it was my idea to rush the QB and I actually had to convince my teammates of this, and then when I finally start getting results I'm not good enough to do it??? I'm the perfect person to do it, I'm too short to guard most of the other players, but I can rush and put pressure on the QB. I don't mean to be a sore loser, and I know that's part of it. But I felt completely unappreciated and almost attacked by my fellow girl team mates who frankly haven't done a whole hell of a lot. Now, I know it probably wasn't the girls that wanted a guy to guard the QB, it was probably a guy that wanted the change. What sucks is that I felt as though they were conspiring or talking about it behind my back. And when I tried to explain my rationale of being too short to guard for passing, because they can usually pass over my head, the teammate who opposed me didn't think I needed to tell her. Not to mention, when our one star player decided he would guard the QB he got us about 3 or 4 penalties because he didn't know the 5 second rule. (!)

Whatever, I try my damndest every fucking time I'm on the field. I don't ever give up. And I for one would have loved a little credit for that.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sigmund Pretzelshop, 29 Ave B bet 2nd and 3rd

Dreaming of cheddar and jalapenjo pretzels. Every fall Madison square park hosts a market. Most of the booths are filled with crafts and specialty goods for the early Xmas shopper. But the handful of food booths always steal the show. Last year the gingerbread cookies were a big favorite. And as soon as the weather starting getting brisk I couldn't wait for the Madison Square market to come around again so I could partake in a cookie or three. But this year the pretzels and waffles were the upset. Sigmund Pretzelshop had a cozy little booth with usually about three different flavors of small pretzel and then their jumbo plain salted pretzels, your choice for $3. Three Bucks for one of the most delicious pretzels ever made? I'm talking jalapeno and cheddar, scallion and bacon, paprika and Gruyere, truffle oil and ooh...was it another cheese. I can't remember all of them. The jalapeno and cheddar is pictured in the foreground, along with an olive and something that John ordered with another jalapeno and cheddar.

But you simply must go to Sigmunds and eat a chewy delicious soft pretzel, I recommend the hot apple cider ($2) to wash it down with.

Sigmund Pretzelshop. Highly recommended. 646-410-0333. 29 Avenue B, between 2nd and 3rd Street.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Hello to you who are out there. Hello to probably just my husband John who may still check in on this every now and then. It's been far too long, and again I don't have a real reason. Many things have happened, John has been dieting using Medifast and has lost about 40 pounds! I too have lost a few pounds, we are trying to be healthier.

Unfortunately the catalyst of this was the fact that so many in John's family have had serious health problems of late. Early in the year it was John's Father, with oral cancer, and John's stepmom with a detached retina. They were able to operate on the oral cancer and everything seems to have stabilized. Sharon, his step mom, has pretty blurry vision in one eye where the retina was completely detached, but they were able to catch the other eye and she gets checked regularly to ensure nothing happens to her good eye.

Then a few months later, the week John's mom was to go in to get her left hip replaced because she had necrosis of the bone, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She has since had a lumpectomy (there was not enough time for recovery from a full masectemy), her hip replacement surgery as well as an operation to remove a cyst on her ovaries. But she too seems to have stabilized, she is undergoing chemo right now and will also need radiation.

Then this past week John's Aunt had a brain aneurysm. It was all of a sudden and thankfully it was/is very small and they were able to operate and clip it shut. Despite the fact that it was an extremely high risk operation, she survived and is able to speak, move, and function. Her one eye is swollen shut, they had to touch the optic nerve but they are hopeful that that will heal with time.

I'm just exhausted, I am grateful that for the most part everyone seems to chugging along. But I can only hope and pray that our loved ones have the sense to listen to their doctors and take the time they need to recuperate.

And as much as I'm advocate for good, yummy, tasty things. It should also be said that you do have to take care of yourself. Moderation is the key, right? So we are just entering the holiday season, and I want to be the first to wish you a joyous celebration with you family and friends. Life is precious and fleeting, so take care of yourself. Chalupa has approved this message.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Dancing Chalupa

Meade's Bar

We decided to take advantage of the nice weather and head down to our old stomping ground at the South Street Seaport. We took a quick cab ride down and walked around amid the tourists and headed for the smaller, cozier restaurants just off the main strip of shopping and larger restaurants. Meade's Bar is an unassuming place, it's clean and pretty and the historic building gives it a lot of character. So it looked like a nice but perhaps a little plain place to grab a light brunch. I ordered the Tater pie, which on the printed menu did not have a description. I thought it would be the tater tots in a small casserole, with the extra fried egg I ordered on top. What I got was a hearty surprise, from the bottom there was a layer of tater tots, then chili, then cheese, with the fried egg as the crowning glory. This was delicious, and I completely understand now, why they had a little "great cure for hangovers" next to its listing on the menu. It was absolutely delicious, maybe it's my love of tater tots...but the whole thing together was hearty, flavorful and filling. I highly recommend it, and alcoholic drinks for brunch were $12 but bottomless. John got the egg, cheese and sausage on focaccia and a tropical fruit salad. I had the fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice. Check it out it you are in the neighborhood, Meade is located at 22 Peck St, on the corner of Water St.

***Bonus Chalupa loves visiting the Seaport since most of the restaurants have outdoor seating, they have recently even installed permanent round picnic table/chair combos, so you could just grab some grub and find your own place to sit outside. Outdoor seating is a definite plus for people with dogs. They love the nice weather too.

District 9

So, it took us a while but we finally netflixed District 9, this is a movie that for some reason seemed to come and go in the theatres without much fanfare. I think it had to do with the trailers. They didn't really make me want to see it, I was mildly interested. But I don't think the powers that be cast the trailers in the right light. I mainly put it on our queue because a friend was raving about it and John really wanted to see it.

Let me tell you, it was a great movie. Suspenseful, well-edited, great creatures, and a satisfying resolution. The alien creatures themselves were very bug like and I thought about them a lot last night (we watched it yesterday) and overall I was on the edge of my seat. Yes, some scenes were just drawn out a bit, but overall it's a pretty tight story. With plenty of references to modern day evils like military business, merciless mafia kingpins, and apathetic worker bees. Not to mention the ignorance and scorn of the populace. The story is really about what happens when one poor, hapless chap gets put in charge (by his father-in-law) of the eviction of the aliens to a camp much further away from the rest of civilization. You follow his story, and he embodies the every man, which is what makes the story so real and interesting.

I don't want to give away any more of the plot. I just recommend the movie and I'm surprised there wasn't more buzz about this movie when it was out. It's a great rental.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

new pics from the new camera

B + H Photo store

So for any local New Yorkers this isn't news, but I just have to give props to B+H camera (video, photography) store. It's a crazy place filled with knowledgeable and friendly staff, it's got a conveyor belt that travels through the various levels of the store that carry your goods from their respective departments down to the cash registers and pick up area. It is quite a spectacle, and I enjoy going here. It can be a little overwhelming especially on a day like today (the will be closed for 10 days for the holiday). But anyone that loves cameras, tvs, videos, etc can find any gadget and many gadget geeks to commiserate with. It's pretty fun. Stop by and check it out, it's at 34th and 9th Avenue.

We bought a Nikon D90, this DSLR camera will be able to use two old film lenses I already own, plus it came highly recommended by our sales guy Pierre. And from what I can tell it's a pretty sweet camera. So sample pictures are to come soon. :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

El Museo De Barrio

So yesterday we met up with our good friends Paul and Karin to celebrate a low key Valentine's Day but going to El Museo De Barrio, the Neighborhood Museum. We are always up for visiting a museum, and one dedicated "to present and preserve the art and culture of Puerto Ricans and all Latin Americans in the United States" sounded particularly gratifying. Although many consider Filipinos only asian, there is a very heavy Spanish influence, and we have many similiarities with Latin American cutures. The exhibit was pretty nice, with great works by Frida Kahlo and the like. But what should have been an inspiring visit to a newly renovated museum was ruined by what I can only describe as Gestapo like security guards. The one security guard stationed in the lobby was very nice and welcoming, as were the two ladies that manned the front desk. But as soon as we entered the exhibit area we were met with a overly anxious security guard that had to make sure we had paid our "suggested" donation fee*. By looking over each one of us carefully to ensure we were wearing our admission pins properly. Then we made the mistake of wandering into the exhibit the "wrong" way and were told by another guard, again in a very dictatorial manner that we were supposed to enter the exhibit through the other door. Moments after we re-grouped and headed into the "right" direction, I was excited to find an art work that was about Culebra (where friends of ours have a little piece of property). Now this artwork was part of a very large exhibition mounted on the wall and the whole thing was encased in glass. I was not touching the glass, but vaguely pointing at the artwork with my brochure...again not touching the glass..and I was reprimanded by the very same security guard that accosted us when we first entered the exhibit.

This was the main theme throughout the exhibit with each room I visited, I took careful note, not to make any sudden moves and watched as countless other visitors got corrected. John pointed out that most of the artists and art works were about fleeing oppression and about freedom of speech and rising up against the man, and it could not have been more ironic that these pieces of artwork are "guarded" with Gestapo like brutality. I suffered through the rest of the exhibit, but the treatment that I experienced first hand and the treatment that I watched others experience left a very sour taste on my tongue. Art work in general is usually about celebrating creative freedom, and artwork by minorities specifically exploit these opportunities for self expression. But the way almost every single visitor was treated today by these guards was at the very least offensive if not oppressive. It's a shame that these guards don't seem to understand that you don't need to hostile to be effective. And as far as I could tell all the guards were minorities themselves, and perhaps they should take a moment to look at and understand the voices of the artworks that they are overseeing.

We also recently visited the Rubin museum and the Museum of Art and Design, which overall were much better experiences. Security guards there did have to reign in visitors, but did so in a respectful and non abusive manner.

*This along with other museums (The Met, for example) do not have a set fee for admission. Meaning that they are well endowed, and that visitors can choose to pay what ever they want to enter the museum. Which means basically I could have paid $1 to enter. Which only makes this security guards actions against us even more absurd.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

another Chalupa in the laundry pic

Spoon and Tablespoon

So, our good friend Christine, has turned us on to a great little place for Brunch and lunch on weekdays (they aren't open for dinner). Spoon is the catering side of the company and Table Spoon is the restaurant side. It's homey and unassuming, and I liked the looks of it right away. It's kind of diner-ish but in a chic and friendly way. The chrysanthemums on the tables in the glass jars are a nice touch. I ordered the pancakes (which I had offered to share with Christine in exchange for half of her skillet) and John ordered the granola. As soon as my beautiful pile of pancakes was placed before me, I immediately regretted the sharing arrangement. But I shared, and her skillet was very flavorful and savory, but I'm not into runny eggs, and the skillet wasn't quite hot enough to cook the eggs on top. But I dutifully cut my pancake order in half and heaped them on her plate. My pancakes were fluffy bites of syrup coated heaven. And I don't even like syrup all that much, but it was blueberry syrup and a little bit of real blueberries sprinkled around the plate. It definitely hit the spot. If you are in the flat iron district (20th street between 5th and 6th) I definitely recommend coming in for a nice brunch. Or stopping by during the week for their "boxed" lunch. I haven't tried the lunch yet, but I suspect that it will just as good as brunch. Everyone was very happy at our table. Highly recommended.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Three Cups of Tea

So, I got this book for Christmas last year and I never got around to reading it until now, when I was searching for a different book entirely. Don't get me wrong, I was always interested in reading it, I looked at the cover and it seemed to be an inspiring story about some dude building a school.

The book is about Greg Mortenson, co-authored by writer/reporter David Oliver Relin. And it is a story about a dude making schools, but it's so much more interesting and timely. Since the book was a present I didn't know much about it until I started reading it. Mortenson is a mountain climber, and for personal reasons he tries to summit a huge mountain peak called K2 located in Pakistan. The book follows Mortenson from 1993 to 2003, and it's a good read. It starts off a little slow, but it's definitely worth it. Mortenson becomes an insider in the remote mountain villages of Pakistan and out of respect for the small village that was so kind to him when he lost his way coming down from the mountain, he promised to build the children a school. This is where the real story begins.

I think everyone in America should read this, I feel like I have a much better understanding of the peoples of this area. It drives homes sentiments that I've read in one sentence news synopsis, that I might not have completely believed to be true or have understood. For instance their hatred of the Taliban and Osama bin Laden, and exactly how ignorance is used to oppress and hatred is used to control the mainly poor inhabitants of this area. But the best thing about this book is that gives a person like me hope, that one person can truly make a difference. I know that may sound trite in our cynical world, but just read it and see what you think. It's not at all preachy, although a little alarm went off in my head when Mortenson's childhood is explained. And the reader finds out his parents were Missionaries. But Mortenson himself is not interested in converting anyone to a certain religion, his goal is provide a balanced education to all the needy children. Children who voluntarily gather in fields of dirt scratching with sticks for their make shift schools (with no teacher present). Mortenson just cares about these kids and his work and his heart have opened the minds and hearts of the people who live in an area where so much volatile and Anti-American sentiment runs rampant.

If you purchase a the book from their website 7 percent of your book purchase will go to helping build girls schools. Highly recommended.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year! and DO NOT go see the gazillion bubble show

I know it's been a long time since I've posted, and again I'm just being a slacker, but the posters for the Gazillion Bubble show are compelling me to write a new post. Last year, I think for Valentine's Day, I heard about the Gazillion Bubble show on Oprah, and thought it would be a fun night out. The tickets were about $75 for this "Off-Broadway" show, and I was sorely disappointed. First of all the dude on Oprah was a no show, instead his wife who was/is still learning to speak English took over. The "real" guy was off to Vegas for more shows. So why they thought that his wife could stand in, I don't know. It was just lame, I LOVE bubbles, but we pretty much paid $75 bucks a person to watch someone do "bubble tricks" that I think I could do with about an hour of practice. Also the secret is that their bubbles have some other chemical in them that makes them stronger than mere soap bubbles, leaving white residue on anything that bubbles touched, which would mean you, and your clothes, and your hair. The highlight of the show was when she selected kids from the audience and she went through the line and asked each kid how old they were and where they were from, various kids answered I'm 8 and I'm from Connecticut, I'm 9 and I'm from Brooklyn, and then one little girl answered, "I'm 7 and I'm from America."

Stay clear of the Gazillion Bubble show, it sucked big time and it was expensive! The whole show was pretty much an effort to sell their Gazillion bubble stuff, so pretty much you pay to get tickets for a live infomercial. Definitely NOT recommended. Oh and Happy New Year!