Curiosity Killed the Cate

Not yet, of course, but I’m sure someday it will…

Overbooked February 28, 2006

Filed under: Manhattan Life — catherineeliza @ 7:28 pm

I decided this semester that I would only go out twice a week (plus the temple on Fridays, which makes thrice) because school needs to come first and stuff like that. So how did I end up with tickets to three different shows this week? Because I am completely incapable of saying no when offered free tickets. Here’s what should have happened:

“Catherine, would you like tickets to a show this week?”
“That’s really nice of you to offer, but I still have a lot of reading to do on search engines and a website to create, so I’ll have to pass this time. Thanks anyway!”

Here’s what happened:

“Catherine, would you like tickets to a show this week?”
“Always. Just tell me when and where.”

Will I ever learn? Not likely.


Violent Study Club

Filed under: Books,Manhattan Life — catherineeliza @ 12:34 pm

In November, I was looking for an out of print book about one of my favorite series, The Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace, and I came across a Betsy-Tacy Society. I never would have imagined such a thing existed, but I was of course, greatly intrigued. I found that they have a New York chapter which meets bi-monthly for book club meetings in Manhattan. You know where this is going. I marked my calendar immediately for their next meeting (February 27th) at Coliseum Books where they’d be discussing the final book in the series, Betsy’s Wedding. As the date approached, I got a little skittish about putting myself in such an unexplored social situation, but I told myself that they had to be nice if they liked Betsy-Tacy, and besides, it was being held in a public place, so I would be able to bail even at the last second if I felt the need.
Last night, I headed out into the bitter cold night towards Coliseum Books. I got there just when the meeting was supposed to start, and I figured they would be easy to spot, a large group of women gathered around a speaker, and hopefully I could just stand in the back, unnoticed. Well, they were easy to spot, because it was six women gathered around a few pushed together tables in the coffee shop, all of them clutching their well worn copies of Betsy’s Wedding. Friends, my courage almost failed me. Not only would I have to initiate contact, but I hadn’t brought my copy of the book (I was embarrassed that I’d had to check it out from the library, but that’s just because my Betsy-Tacy books are at my parent’s house). But I did it. I just dived in before I had a chance to change my mind.
They were, of course, very nice. They warmly welcomed me, and were excited that I had seen their website. Shortly after I sat down, a librarian from my library sat down, looked at me, and exclaimed, “you read Betsy-Tacy!” Everyone introduced themselves, and I was shamed to find that I was the only one who hadn’t read Betsy-Tacy as a child. I told them how I discovered the books (I worked at Zany Brainy when the books were republished, so I read each one as it came out for the second time). I guess it wasn’t too shameful, I was the youngest person there, but a couple of them didn’t seem too much older than me and I briefly wondered what was wrong with me that I hadn’t found the books earlier.

Anyway, we spent about an hour discussing the book, comparing Betsy to Maud (the books are very autobiographical), etc. We ended by reading the last chapter of the book together (someone shared their copy with me). And you know what? I had fun! They asked me if I would come again, and I said I would. It turns out that not only was I the only new person there last night, but the only new person in several years. Next time we’ll be discussing a Beverly Cleary book (they alternate Betsy and non-Betsy books).
Thus, my little adventure has a happy ending. Oh, and in case you were wondering, they call their book club “violent study club” because that’s what Betsy and her friends call their study group. If you want to know why, start with Betsy-Tacy and keep reading until you get to Betsy’s Wedding. You won’t regret it.


Bleak House report February 27, 2006

Filed under: TV — catherineeliza @ 12:29 pm

Last night was the extremely exciting conclusion of Bleak House. It has been great fun to look forward to it each Sunday night, so I’m sorry it’s over, but nothing lasts forever. And I’m glad to report to you that I feel very confident in my endorsement of it. I know many of you are waiting to watch it on DVD (in all it’s 8 hours of glory), so I won’t go into too much detail, but here are a few thoughts:

  • I never got used to the cinematography; in fact, I just don’t think it was appropriate. I think they were trying to make everything very exciting and dramatic, but I think Dickens does a fine job of that on his own. I also think that most people who watch BBC/Masterpiece Theatre mini-series are of my, old-fashioned though it may be, frame of mind.
  • My favorite characters were Miss Flite, Charlie, Guppy, Guppy’s mother (she only has two scenes, but they are memorable), and of course Esther.
  • This movie ended just the way I like them to, with a wedding (won’t tell you whose).

The next Masterpiece Theatre mini-series starts March 26th. He Knew He Was Right by Anthony Trollope. Doesn’t look as good as Bleak House, but then, not many things could. Don’t worry, I’ll still be watching!


Birthday festivities February 26, 2006

Filed under: Manhattan Life — catherineeliza @ 11:22 pm

Well, this will be the birthday that never ends. Yesterday Erin and I went to brunch (something we’ve been meaning to do for a while) with some friends and had a lovely time. Today I received cards and calls which were all very welcome; thank you. And Erin made me this magnificent cake! It was delicious as well as eye-catching. Tomorrow I’ll go out for a bit with Roundabout friends, and Wednesday Erin and I are going to see Doubt. By that time, perhaps even I will be ready for my birthday to be over.P.S. I know that my side bar says “Last play I saw” and I haven’t seen Doubt yet, but I’m seeing another play the day after we see Doubt, and I didn’t think it nice to only leave it up for one day, so I’m putting it up early.

P.P.S. I try not to be stodgy and mopey about getting older (although I will admit to feeling that adulthood has yet to hold a candle to being a kid. Third grade was my best year-definitely), but I do like to feel as though I’d accomplished something with each passing year. I suppose for this last one I can count a trip to Brazil and starting grad school (need I mention starting a blog?), but for this one just starting, I have nothing extraordinary planned. Any ideas?


lost love February 24, 2006

Filed under: Manhattan Life — catherineeliza @ 3:55 pm

I was just thinking the other day how I hadn’t had a crush on a real person in a really long time (I’m talking years). Usually I reserve those feelings for movie stars and literary characters. But today I got a little reminder of how soon we forget. You see, I answered my boss’ phone, sounding very sophisticated and professional (it’s my story), and then the voice on the line said, “This is Ralph Howard.” The rest of the call probably lasted about a minute (boss was unavailable-I had to take a message), but I assure you I sounded like a complete idiot the entire time. That is because I have a huge crush on Ralph Howard, and how I forgot about him so soon, I don’t know.
Who is Ralph Howard, you ask? He’s a retired radio interviewer who used to volunteer at the library once a week. He left shortly before Christmas to take a job working with Howard Stern at Sirius Radio. He’s old enough to be my grandfather, or pretty close. Normally that’s not a turn on for me, but I will say that Ralph Howard is a very good looking older man. What is more, he is very funny and personable, knows a lot about theatre and is heterosexual (the last two qualities are difficult to find in tandem).
His personality and dapper good looks alone would be enough for an infatuation, but I wasn’t smitten until the day he brought in his cousin’s address for me to look at. You see, the week before he’d asked me where my family lived, and upon hearing Rochester he told me his cousin lived there too, and wouldn’t that be funny if they knew each other. Typical small talk that doesn’t really mean anything. But the next week he brought in the address to show me, asking me if I knew where it was (I did), and how close was that to my parents (pretty close), and a little more along that line; again, small talk. But the fact that he had thought of me during the week, remembered to find his cousin’s address and bring it in, and initiated another conversation with me when he didn’t need to – these things put little hearts in my eyes, and music in my ears, and I was never able to speak to him normally again.
I was really sad when I heard he was leaving (I had always looked forward to seeing him, if not speaking to him, on Thursdays), but it was probably for the best. He is, after all, happily married to a successful (still working) Broadway actress. There was never any hope for me and Ralph. But I won’t give up. You never know what the next library volunteer will bring.


One of my favorite things… February 23, 2006

Filed under: Manhattan Life — catherineeliza @ 10:51 pm

I like riding the bus better than the train; better views. What makes a bus ride even better is when I get my favorite seat. Oh yes, I have a favorite. Let me set the scene, for those of you who don’t frequent NYC public transportation. When you get on the bus (and I’m talking about the basic bus. There are a couple of other styles, but we won’t get into them here) to your right is a row of single seats, and to the left, a row of doubles. Towards the back of the bus the seats change from facing front to being sideways benches, with a long bench along the back. But on the left side of the bus there is a rear door, which leaves just one single solitary sideways seat right behind the row of doubles, rather than a whole bench, and that, my friends, is my very favorite place to sit on any bus ride. It’s easy; there’s minimal to no interaction with other passengers, and you’re right by the door to get off. Other people don’t seem as attracted to that seat as me, but that’s just fine. More rides in the best seat on the bus, all for me.


Carpets and candy February 22, 2006

Filed under: Food,Manhattan Life — catherineeliza @ 11:38 pm

Tonight I went to a most peculiar place; a carpet store that has its own chocolatier. Well, to call it a carpet store is simplifying it a bit, but that’s what it’s called. ABC Carpet. We went specifically for hot chocolate (and it was well worth the trip, believe you me), but I’ll have to go back and do some quality window shopping (well, and I’ll have some more hot chocolate too, but that goes without saying). It was a treasure trove of knick-knacks, furniture, jewelry, pictures, dishes, drapes, and of course, carpets. It also has two restaurants, and said chocolatier. We had chocolate fondue, hot chocolate, and a few bonbons for good measure. It was delightful. Put this on your to do list next time you’re in Manhattan.