#10: see the yankees play in the new stadium. check.

i love baseball. i love the history of it. the experience of it. i love baseball uniforms and hats. i was raised on a baseball field with a mitt on my left hand. i was raised kicking the dirt with my cleats and taking practice swings in the batter's box. baseball is in me. i understand it. take me out to the ball game--oh please take me out to the ball game. i'd go any day. it's the ideal date. the ideal way to spend a sunday afternoon--any afternoon.

so when my aunt offered me her extra ticket for last thursday night i did everything in my power to finagle my way out of of work. and finagle it did--success! 

so dressed in my blue and white striped t with my yankee cap placed firmly atop my crown (i've been to many a stadium and seen many teams with many fans--but no one dresses for the occasion quite like new yorkers) i headed uptown to see the bronx bombers play in the brand spankin' new stadium.

in many ways the new stadium looks much like the old (phew, relief)--it's just newer. but the really interesting thing is that baseball fields are as influential a player of the game as anyone else involved. each field in each stadium differs: where are the holes, the gaps? how easy is it to hit a home run? well, in this stadium, it would seem that home runs are easier to come by than in others (it will be interesting to see how this comes into play in the years to come).

so on thursday night i sat in my seat way (way, way) behind home plate with its magnificent view, covered in a fleece blanket and cheered and cheered. and i dreamed of the day that husband-to-be and i will have season tickets. and then when mo (perhaps the greatest closer of all time--a closer is a pitcher who comes in to finish the game when his team is ahead) sauntered down from the back of center field we all stood and cheered as he delivered three easy outs. mariano rivera (mo) is a rockstar of baseball if ever there was one. and so with the win the voice of frank sinatra wafted through the stadium--when the yankees win they play sinatra's "new york, new york"--and we all hummed along as the thousands of new yorkers dispersed back to their own personal pockets of the city.

and i went to bed happy. in my pocket. in my bed. on the upper west side. dreaming of the fields of my youth and the games of the future.

dog-eared pages and coffee stains: a book club of sorts

This post led to many a marvelous suggestion about books that I should read. And this list is lighting a fire under my oh-so-lovely-behind to get crackin'...a book club to form and books, books, books to read (25 before the big birthday). So... all this got me thinking. I'm adding this little collage above to my sidebar. One click on it will lead you here to this post (this ever-evolving, constantly in need of edits post). The idea is that this is a place where you (yes, you!) can leave suggestions or book reviews. It's (in a sense) a little online book club. I'll let you know what I'm reading and publish reviews as I check off those 25 books. And I'll pass on my all time favorites. So, here we go...

25 books before
25th Birthday:

1. Happens Every Day by Isabel Gillies
2. The Emporer's Children by Claire Messud
3. Dancing on Thorns by Rebecca Horsfall
4. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
5. The Namesake
6. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
7. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers


The Hero and the Crown
by Robin Mckinley

suggested by Sarah-Lucy

The Heartbreaking Work of a Staggering Genius
by David Eggers

suggested by Red

The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life

suggested by Sarah-Lucy

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
by Betty Smith

suggested by Megan

The Poison Wood Bible
by Barbara Kingslover

suggested by Katie

Suite Francaise
by Irene Nemirovsky

suggested by Katie

Water for Elephants
by Sara Gruen

suggested by Katie and by Red

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
by Haruki Maurakami

suggested by Katie

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
by Junot Diaz

suggested by Katie

The Sex Lives of Cannibals
by Maarten Troust

suggested by Christie (she said it was quite possibly the funniest book she's ever read)

The Unwanted
by Kien Nguyen

suggested by Christie

Observatory Mansions
by Edward Carey

suggested by Christie

The Shadow of the Wind
by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

suggested by Mariah

The Historian
by Elizabeth Lostova

suggested by Mariah 

The Bone Man of Benares 

by Terry Tarnoff

suggested by Tina Tarnoff

The Feast of Love
by Charles Baxter

suggested by Thao

The Time Traveler's Wife   (NOW READING)

by Audrey Niffengger

suggested by Micaela 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
by Mark Haddon

suggested by Krysta

The Dud Avocado 
by Elaine Dundy

suggested by iheartkiwi

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
by Jonathan Safran Foer

suggested by Krysta

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
by Barbara Kingsolver

suggested by MMW

The God of Animals
by Aryn Kyle

suggested by Lauren

The History of Love
by Nicole Krauss

suggested by JulieD

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows

suggested by Tina Tarnoff

On Beauty
by Zadie Smith

suggested by hay

The Blind Assassin
by Margaret Atwood

suggested by Gabby

photo credits (clockwise): 
kate spade ad, yellowbird on flickr, 
(need your help on this one), 

here's to taza

naomi at rockstar diaries has been doing some captivating features, asking people to list ten things that make them happy--and in turn getting us to think about the little things.

she emailed me. and you know how when the president calls, you answer?

that's what it felt like.

find my list here.

but. i'd like to add...

pasta strainers
lint rollers
pumpkin rigatoni 

ps: remember this list? well, im checking one off tonight. but i'm not telling--you'll have to guess!

have you read this too?

So I finally finished The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud. It took me ages and ages because I couldn't quite get into it. Drawn to it at the bookstore because of it's description as, "[a] brilliantly observed novel of fate and fortune--about the intersections in the lives of three friends, now on the cusp of their thirties, making their way--and not--in New York City," the book came with nothing but glowing reviews. It was even selected as A New York Times Book Review Best Book of the Year. All that being said, I didn't like it. Not at all. I was overwhelmed by it's pervading sense of--oh, I'm not even sure--apathy, maybe? Selfishness? A shallowness parading as grandeur? I never felt fully embraced by the book, it was rather as if I watched from afar as partially formed characters lived out tedious events. The last few chapters of the book dealt with September 11 and for a brief, glittering moment I thought the pervading sense I got from the book up until then was perhaps skillfully set up in order to give that event an even greater weight--a greater meaning. But in this I felt let down as well.

Has anyone else read this book? What did you think?

And any suggestions as to what I should read next...

Any ideas for a good first book for my book club? Should I choose one of my all time favorites to share, Beach Music or Lords of Discipline?

PS: my lovely little NYC apartment now has ants.
I hate them. My roommate is not bothered at all.
But they're concentrated in my room (at the front of the apartment).
Are they a product of Spring?
What am I to do--a few I wouldn't mind, but suddenly they seem to 
be everywhere (i feel like such a girl right now).

i keep thinking of things i want to add to my list.

pretty soon my list will be out of control. 

keep nasty comments to myself. have a more positive attitude.
let things roll off my back.
attend church every sunday morning.
stretch first thing in morning. then turn on the radio and dance it out.

now the reason i decided to give up caffeine and soda...at work on tuesday the substitute manager came up to the greeter's stand (i'm a hostess {in case you didn't know} but we call ourselves greeters...don't ask me why, because we sure as heck are doing more than just greeting people) and started to tell us something, but i was distracted by her glaringly white teeth. "what do you use?" i practically shouted at her. she laughed, "well, i don't smoke, i don't drink coffee, and i don't drink soda." no smoking. check (though sometimes i have to admit it looks pretty sexy {but i think kissing someone who smokes tastes like a dry erase board}). but as for coffee and soda. oh boy. long way to go. but if these things also account for her perfect skin and lithe body...well added bonuses, i say! i told my roommate of my plan. he scoffed. so now i'm more determined than ever.

and to make it a bit of fun...i'm drinking out of a pasta sauce jar. it just feels so darn spring-y (even summer-y, if you'll allow). lemonade and ice cubes out of jar. perfection (technically it's crystal light, but hey, it's getting me to down that daily water intake).

this picture doesn't do it justice. 
and yes, that book in the background 
is The Guide to Getting it On.

everyone has given me such good 
advice and suggestions for my list.
i love that you all have your own!
and yes, i put "fall in love" 
last because i know that i have to 
love myself first and this list 
is made up of 25 stepping stones to
help me cross that chasm!

and maybe i will try to publish something...

happy almost half birthday Carlita!

PS...miss rikki came up with her own. check it out and be sure to read her "About Me"--so brilliant!