Friday, February 27, 2009

Week in Review and some nostalgia

As previously mentioned, I spent all of last Saturday wallowing on my couch with a cold feeling sorry for myself. And ordering milkshakes too soothe my sore throat. And finishing season one of Mad Men. If you aren't watching this series, you should. I recommend getting the dvds and starting from the beginning because it is very character driven. A&E is replaying season 2 starting on March 8th so I am setting my dvr.

Worked. All day. 945 am to 7 pm. Then watched the Oscars with a friend at my house while eating delicious beans and rice and fried plaintains and catching up with my friend.

Court. I leaft work on the early side around 730 I think but since I had been in court all day my mind felt like mush so I ate leftover beans and rice and crashed on my couch to watch The Dutchess.

As mentioned previously, I met a small cadre of people from my university to discuss alumni involvement. Then I had a relatively slow day and went home at 630 to make pancakes for Fat Tuesday. I decided to experiment with German Pancakes by substituting wheat flour. As I was putting it in the oven I realize this was probably a mistake since wheat flour is so much heavier than white and I hadn't made any measuring adjustments. But then I had an urgent email from work that I had to attend to so by the time the pancake was done - all flat with a couple of odd cones in the middle - I didn't care about their failure. I doused them in syrup and ate up. Although I learned a lesson: never mess with a good thing. Then I fired up my laptop and worked until 11 or so. At least I was working in my pjs on my couch.

The emergency project that came in the night before kept me nonstop busy which means I worked late and ordered dinner at my desk. I decided I deserved a treat so I ordered a black and white cookie with my otherwise healthy meal. After I collected my food from the delivery guy in the lobby and was standing in the elevator, I noticed a bag of pretzels at the top of the bag. Strange, I did not order pretzels. When I returned to my office and was able to thoroughly inspect the contents of the bag, I realized they didn't give me my cookie. I called the restuarant with the intent of just asking them to adjust the amount they charged me. I started the call by telling the man something was missing from my order and before I could continue he asked what was left out. I felt sheepish and confessed "a cookie" like a child (I felt). The guy was so nice and so apologetic that I didn't get a chance to explain that I didn't need a new one. He asked what kind and started yelling (in a nice way) at people in the background and when he returned to the phone he said someone was on their way with the cookie. On my elevator ride down to meet the delivery guy in the lobby I chatted with a couple of co-workers and as we exited the elevator I realized how ridiculous this was going to be. Was the guy going to just hand me a cookie? How silly will I look? Should I explain? The one time I order dessert at work and it turns into a big to-do. Before I reached the security exit thing the delivery man recognized me and walked up to pass me my cookie - in a brown paper bag. I was relieved. We both kind of laughed and I said thank you as my co-workers gave me odd looks and I scurried back to my office. Sometimes a girl just needs a cookie.

I left work around 1030 and although I was tired and I still did not feel 100%, I did not go straight home. Instead, I stopped by the bar where a farewell party was being held for a work friend. The party started at 7:30 so I wasn't sure whether anyone would still be around but I needed to say goodbye so I hoped to catch them. At the back of the bar was a cluster of a few co-workers who were still lingering and I was greeted with a hug by the guest of honor. I intended to stay for only 30 minutes to an hour max. But, I ended up staying much longer than intended as: a) I was enjoying myself because as it turns out, it is nice to step out of the office and socialize once in a while; and b) the guest of honor clutched my arm and begged me not to leave when I first hinted at going and then begged me to dance with her in the very nearly empty bar save our small cadre. So I stayed. Until 1230 or later knowing full well I needed to be at work extra early the next morning. To make matters worse I returned a call from my sister on the cab ride home and she was in one of her hilariously entertaining moods and I couldn't put the phone down so we talked until something close to 3 am.

Because of my late night antics from the night before I felt terrible. And I had lots of work to do with an end of the day deadline. Luckily that deadline landed right around 8 pm which left me free and open to attend an 830 birthday dinner. It was a large crowd which initially made me wary (will I get stuck sitting next to someone lame? or worse, on the very end where I can't participate in conversations? will people all contribute their fair share to the bill?). But I ended up really enjoying myself. A lot. I don't know why I was so surprised. And the food was delicious.

Except for the cake. A word to NYC visitors. Do not listen to people who insist you have to visit Magnolia Bakery. It is not good. Not at all. Seriously, Costco makes a better cake. The cake was dry, dry, dry and crumbled into a million pieces before your fork even made contact. And the frosting was layered on about an inch thick and consisted mostly of shortening and loads of sugar. Gross. I took one bite. Only one bite! And I love baked goods. Love them. Even medicore ones are generally worth eating. I do not understand the fascination and fanaticism that surrounds this blah bakery.

The first time I visited Magnolia Bakery was during my first summer in New York way back during the high rolling times of dot com revolution in 2000. I had been in the city a few short weeks when a friend's daughter was turning one and a co-worker of ours suggested we pick up cupcakes from Magnolia - the original one on Bleeker. NY was experiencing a terrible heat wave that May with temps hovering around 100 humid degrees all month. We took the 1 or possibly the no-longer-in-existence-9 train to Christopher Street and I stepped into a new world. It was my first time in the Village. Luckily our co-worker knew her way around and led us directly to the bakery. There was a bit of a line or wait but nothing worth noting and I probably would not have remembered this particular trip if it weren't for the sticky heat which heat unbelievably intolerable levels once inside the bakery. While waiting for my friend to select a dozen cupcakes, I could not help but stare at the woman doing the baking. The only thing she was wearing was a slip. A very sheer slip with a limp apron hanging loosely over top. She had nothing else on. Nothing. And she was glistening with sweat and her hair was matted to her head. Maybe that is the image that prevents me from wanting to open my own bakery, I don't know. I thought the cupcakes were fine but nothing too get worked up over or to even remember. And in the first two years I lived in New York, while I often visited the Village, I never went back to Magnolia but always thought of the sweaty girl in the slip anytime it was mentioned.

Maybe I should challenge Magnolia to a bake off. . . .


Tiffany said...

The cookie story cracks me up. And I agree, the Magnolia cupcakes are bleh. You'd kill in a bake-off!

critts said...

Now I don't feel so badly that I never visited Magnolia Bakery.

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