With the whole trick-or-treat deal, I picked treat because:

1.  I’m close to finishing the first draft of book three, which means my brain requires lots of treats.

2.  My cupcake obsession has reached its zenith with the recent discovery of Crumbs, the ultimate cupcake baker.

Crumbs Devil Dog cupcake

Today I selected the Devil Dog flavor, which contains whipped vanilla buttercream filling.  I’ll have to set up a rating scale soon to identify my top Crumbs choices.  Oh, and the other thing?  Is that they have cookies, too.  And cake.

Yeah.  Picking treat is more complicated than it sounds.

vintage jared leto lights my fire

My So-Called Life was even better than Dawson’s Creek. I will never ever understand why it was only on for one season. That was a freaking travesty.  I miss it so bad my heart hurts.

Not that I saw it when it was on.  In 1994-95, I was in college.  With no TV, like now.  Except unlike now, I didn’t have a sexy iBook and a Netflix queue.  So I’m watching the eps for the first time, after wanting to see them for so long.  So what I miss in my heart are the seasons that were never created.  I miss the story that never was, but absolutely should have been.

Here’s the thing.  The dialogue is perfect.  The acting is perfect.  Even the narration is so awesome you want to kick yourself that you didn’t write it.  Like how perfectly this captures what I like to call the Sunday Night Dread:

There’s something about Sunday night that really makes you want to kill yourself.  Especially if you’ve just been totally made a fool of by the only person you’ll ever love and you have a geometry midterm on Monday which you still haven’t studied for, but you can’t because Brian Krakow has your textbook and you’re too embarrassed to even deal with it.  And your little sister’s completely finished with her homework, which is just, like, so simple and mindless a child could do it.  And that creepy 60 Minutes watch that sounds like your whole life ticking away.


Here’s some Jordan Catalano action for the fans.  He looks so much like Tobey from When It Happens it makes me wonder…how could I have imagined a fictional character who was already imagined?

speak about crumbs

I’m declaring this an official celebration.  Cupcakes for everybody!  I think I’ll have a Snickers cupcake from my favorite new cupcake discovery, Crumbs.

Not like it’s easy to select which one I’m having.  Talk about a celebration – have you seen these things?  The flavors are amazing and the size doesn’t play around.  And we’re talking buttercream icing and filling.

Crumbs cupcakes

I’m in love.

john lennon’s birthday jam

John Lennon’s birthday was October 9, which means celebration time here in New York City. Some of us head over to Strawberry Fields in Central Park every year to remember John and sing and cry and just let it all out.

My friend David Ippolito is known as That Guitar Man from Central Park. He plays the most amazing music on Saturdays when it’s warm enough to chill outside. All the best folk stuff: James Taylor, Paul Simon, Cat Stevens, like that. He went to Strawberry Fields and filmed John’s birthday party. If you want to feel what it was like, take a look:

You might say I’m a dreamer
but I’m not the only one.

I hope one day you will join us
and the world will live as one.

Thanks for inspiring peace, John. We remember.

montreal makes a nice light snack

Some people have this thing where they don’t know from a good bagel.  It’s an affliction, really.  So when SP started ranting about how awesome Montreal bagels are when he’s never even tried an H&H, I was skeptical at best.  This is a hot debate argued by many lovers on both sides of the border.  And I am a fiercely loyal lover of the H&H bagel.  But like I’m going to turn down an opportunity to try another good bagel.  So when we were in Montreal last weekend, I sampled one plain and one whole wheat.

Here’s the breakdown:

1.  Montreal bagels have larger holes than New York bagels, so there’s actually less bagel per bagel.

2.  Montreal bagels have a sweeter taste than New York bagels.

3.  Montreal bagels are way chewier than New York bagels.

The contenders are the Montreal bagel (from St-Viateur):

Montreal bagel


and the New York bagel (from H&H, duh):

H&H Bagels


The winner?  New York bagels, of course!  As if anywhere else could come close to recreating perfection!

But one thing Montreal has that New York doesn’t is the Coffee Crisp.  Which is a shocking fact, considering that it’s made by Nestle and New York has everything else.  This is a delicious snack bar (not really heavy enough to be classified as a candy bar) which comes in four sizes:  regular, king size (my personal preference), singles, and fun size (spotted in bag form at the airport for $11).  Coffee Crisps have layers of wafers and light coffee-flavored cream and some chocolate fluffiness floating about.  It’s heaven on a stick.

Something else Montreal has that New York doesn’t is the Bell Center, where we watched the first Canadiens (but everyone calls them the Habs for obvious reasons) home game of the season.  This is what real hockey’s all about, straight up.  It’s a super overwhelming experience to be there like that.  I even got all teary when the team first came out.  And my fave player, Chris Higgins, scored the first goal of the night, just like I knew he would.  Too bad they didn’t score more goals than that and totally lost in an extremely humiliating way because the refs didn’t even call this mad conspicuous attack on a Hab where we could all see it completely clearly and…well, hey.  Suckiness happens.  Let’s try to keep it positive.

Like how I scored a giant rainbow Whirly Pop for the plane ride home.  And how when you fly into New York at night, you can see the whole city glittering below you, a million gold lights as far as you can see.  Way better than a king size Coffee Crisp.

everything is connected

As today is Blog Action Day, every blogger is supposed to come together and blog about the environment.  The idea is that if everyone raises awareness about an important issue, then maybe people will pay attention and think about how they’re wrecking the Earth.  Of course, when the Earth no longer exists because we’ve completely destroyed it with our selfish, toxic ways, then people might notice.  If they’re not too busy killing each other in stupid wars.

So my idea is this:  Everything is connected.  If you know me, you know that I say this a lot.  Because it is so true.  But today I’m just talking about how this relates to the environment.  Everything you do affects the planet in some way.  It may not be a way you can see or measure or even know about, but everything is connected.  Every action you take has a reaction.  Actions have consequences.  Big wheel of karma and all.

When I was in my early twenties and still trying to figure out who I am and how I fit in with the rest of the world, sometimes I’d say things that I would never say now.  Example.  I get so flaming ticked off when someone throws garbage on the ground.  Like this one time?  A woman on the subway threw her gum wrapper on the floor, with her kid sitting next to her watching the whole thing like it was acceptable behavior.  So I picked up the wrapper and held it out to her and said, “I think you dropped this.”  And I guess she thought I was so crazy for even talking to her, forget about picking up her garbage and trying to give it back to her, that she just took it and went, “Uh…thanks.”

I mean, seriously.  Who does that person think they are?  Where does that person think the garbage is going to go?  Will it magically disintegrate into nothingness?  Most likely, that person thinks it doesn’t matter.  That the street sweeper will get it or eventually it will just find its way into the rest of the trash and it’s not a big deal.

But it does matter.  Everything matters.  Even everyday common things, like these:

  1. Running the water the whole time while you wash dishes/brush your teeth/clean the bathroom.
  2. Turning the air conditioner on when you can just open a window.
  3. Getting a bag/utensils/colossal wad of napkins at a store when you don’t need them.
  4. Leaving your lights/TV/computer on when you’re not home.
  5. Not recycling paper/plastic/aluminum/glass.

You know how you are what you eat?  You are also what you breathe, what you hear, what you feel, and what you see.  When you remember that everything is connected, you will respect the Earth by respecting yourself.


children left behind

Some things are very depressing.  Like when you hear how Prez Bush vetoed a child health-insurance extension to provide 900 million dollars in aid to NYC kids.  See how depressing that is?

But some people suffer from depression all the time.  It’s especially common in teens.  Which is why today is National Depression Screening Day.  Get informed about symptoms and treatment.

So many kids are sleeping way less than they should be, which impairs their brain development.  As the brain is still developing until age 21, this is not a good thing.  A survey by the National Sleep Foundation found that half of all teens get less than seven hours of sleep on weeknights.  Only 5% of high school seniors get an average of eight hours of sleep a night.  Not getting enough sleep can impair a child’s IQ.

When you are healthy, the quality of everything in your life improves.  I wish people who have the power to make decisions that can improve so many kids’ lives realized that basic fact.

eric carle = genius

When I heard on NPR that Eric Carle is retiring, I could not believe my stereo.  There’s just no way that can possibly be true.  How can the most genius children’s book illustrator just…stop?  And he’s almost 80 years old?  When did that happen?

Of course, I’m not being fair.  Eric deserves to be happy.  Just think about how happy he’s made all of us with The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Grouchy Ladybug.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle


You can see how Eric creates his special collages here at his website.  There are links to slide shows where you can watch Eric paint his tissue papers and design his friendly creatures.

Thank you, Eric.  And good luck with that fifth shade of yellow.