Curiosity Killed the Cate

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

a controversal Christmas tree November 30, 2006

Filed under: Manhattan Life — catherineeliza @ 4:28 pm

When I walk through the city, I now pass a Christmas tree stand every few blocks. It smells nice, and I still enjoy being reminded it’s Christmas (later, I will get sick of half the sidewalk being taken up with trees, but not yet). Still, as much as a fresh evergreen is, I am firmly in the camp for artificial trees. I think many of you will disagree with me, but here are a few of my reasons:

  • Cost.  While a nice looking artificial tree may be more expensive to buy, it will earn it’s keep within a few years, and will care, will last a great many.
  • Convenience.  I don’t like stepping on or continuously picking up pine needles.  I also don’t like dealing with stringing Christmas lights, and now they make these delightful, pre-lighted trees.  Assemble, plug in, and go to town with your decorations.  I love it.
  • Peace of mind.  One year, when I was a child, I was allergic to our Christmas tree.  I have no idea exactly what kind of tree it was, but when I was near it for any period of time, I got all wheezy, and couldn’t breathe.  Thus, my mother banned me from the room with the Christmas tree until December 25th, when I had to sit in the back corner of the room, as far from it as possible.  I tell you, I’m still getting over this trauma.  Never again!

So, you all may keep your natural trees, I’ll even enjoy seeing them when I visit.  As for me and my house, we will have a clean and easy artificial tree, possibly with a few pine blocks hidden in it’s branches so I can still enjoy that Christmas smell.


me no likey the magicians

Filed under: Movies — catherineeliza @ 12:40 pm

I have yet to hear a single negative thing about The Prestige, so I figured I should do my part. I did not like this movie. I’m not going to give anything away, never fear, because I’m sure you want to see it if you haven’t already, and I’m sure you’ll disagree with me, but I repeat, I did not like this movie, it is dead to me.
Here’s what I’m willing to admit: the story is interesting and the actors are good.
Here’s my gripe: I think they told the story in an unnecessarily complex way to keep the audience off balance (which I found manipulative and didn’t think it should be necessary if the story is really good) AND one of the secrets at the end, uh-uh. I am not buying it. Contact me privately for more details.
So, the next time you hear people talking about how EVERYONE loves this movie, you can say, “I know one person who doesn’t.”


Return of the Giant Tonsils November 29, 2006

Filed under: Manhattan Life — catherineeliza @ 4:49 pm

I went to an ear, nose, and throat doctor this morning because for the last couple of months, I’ve felt that something was not right with my throat.  I felt like something was there, that shouldn’t be, and it didn’t go away.  I had called my mom (she was a nurse, so I go to her about everything first) and asked if it was possible for my tonsils to have grown back, and she said usually no, but she wouldn’t be surprised with me (I have a history of tonsil problems which is why I had them removed in the first place)  I finally went to my doctor who said she didn’t see anything abnormal, but if I really felt there was something wrong, I should see a specialist.  Well, it had taken me a long time to go to the doctor in the first place because I know very well that I’m a hypochondriac, and I combat it by never going to the doctor at all.  I certainly didn’t want to see a specialist and have them tell me too that there wasn’t anything wrong with me, I was just a looney!  But I knew there was something off, so I went.

The first thing the doctor said this morning when she looked down my throat was, “You have the biggest tonsils I’ve ever seen!”  For a second I thought I’d gone back in time, because this is what everyone used to say before I had my tonsils removed.  I assured her that I used to have giant tonsils, but they’d been removed.  She said yes, “but I’m looking at your lingual tonsils, and they are very, very big.”  Apparently we all have two sets of tonsils (I didn’t believe it either until I googled it.  Click on “lingual tonsils for a link), and the lingual tonsils are pretty much ignored because they don’t generally cause any problems.  In my case, however, they’ve swollen to an unhealthy size.  Lucky me.  In fact, she said they were so large, she couldn’t really see anything, so she decided she was just going to stick a little camera through my nose, to look at my throat.  No biggie.  Excuse me!

“This will just be a little uncomfortable.  Relax, and breathe normally.  [she attempts to stick the camera tube up my left nostril]  Oh, you nose is all messed up.  [thanks a lot and I know!] It’s crooked.  Let me try the other nostril. [camera tube goes up my nose, and down my throat.  I feel like gagging, throwing up, swallowing, coughing, and dying, all at once]  Okay, could you just sing a few different notes for me? [pitiful sounds come out of my throat as I’m trying to remember how to breathe]  Okay, now swallow. [I now begin gulping and hyperventilating] Great!”

She pulls the camera back out of my nose which is now running, my eyes are watering, and I’m coughing.  She seemed surprised, and asked if I was ok.  I thought it was a pretty normal reaction to having a camera up your nose, and assured her I’d be fine.

So, long story long, she thinks my allergies may have caused my lingual tonsils to swell, and they are having trouble recovering, so I’m taking allergy medicine for two weeks, and returning for a check-up (the medicine is all free samples, which is the best part of the story).  Worst case scenario, however, is that I’ll have to have surgery to have my tonsils partially removed. 

Two tonsillectomies in one lifetime?  That is so not fair.

*PS my mother does not approve of this title (when I called to tell her I have giant tonsils again, she said “please don’t make that the title of your blog entry.”  But really, how could I resist?  It’d make a great horror movie, don’t you think? 


The Coast of Utopia: Voyage November 28, 2006

Filed under: Theatre — catherineeliza @ 4:44 pm

I believe Tom Stoppard to be a genius. That’s really the most important thing for you to know. I would go to see any play he wrote on any subject.  This play is the first in a trilogy about three decades of Russian history.  This first play focuses on an upper class family who embrace liberal ideas, and yet maintain 500 serfs on their estate.  The first act takes place at this estate, and the family’s revolutionary friends come to visit, telling them of what is happening in Moscow.  The second act is the same period of time, but in Moscow, and the family members appear periodically as visitors.

I have every faith that this play is brilliant, but I confess, I know very little about Russian history.  Therefore, I did not know which of the characters were real historical figures (but I know that some were), and which were fiction.  I didn’t let it concern me too much.  I listened to all they said, and tried to understand as much as possible.  Hopefully I will get a clearer picture as the trilogy continues.

Of course I loved my usual favorites, Billy Crudup (who, if you ask me, should do stage the rest of his life and never make another movie – they just don’t do him justice), Jennifer Ehle, Brian O’Byrne.  And no more or less of a surprise, I could have done without Ethan Hawke, although he did grow on me a bit.

*Forgot the most important part of the review!  The dementors were the serfs, so they were usually visible in the background through most of the first act – in the beginning, all of the actors ran out from among them.  They were creepy, and there were 50 of them (I counted).  I wonder if they’ll be in the other plays too.  I kind of hope so.


life changes

Filed under: Food — catherineeliza @ 4:34 pm

So, I’ve started drinking soy milk. Why? No big reason, besides finally trying it and realizing it wasn’t so bad, and having a vague idea that it’s good for you. I do know that it has more protein than milk, which I’m trying to have a lot of right now, so it seemed like a good idea.
Just in case you were wondering if I drink soy milk, I do.


nice stalkin’ to ya November 21, 2006

Filed under: Manhattan Life — catherineeliza @ 5:53 pm

Last week I had to go to the Donnell Children’s Room to read a book for my materials for children class.  It’s a somewhat controversial book, and there’s a copy in the non-circulating reference part of the main children’s room.  I admit, on the bus ride over it did occur to me that I might see the librarian that writes Fuse #8, a blog I read almost daily.  I tried not to get too excited because I tried to find her the last time I was at that branch to get my annual flu shot with no luck, but still, I thought, it was possible, I just might see her.

I do have an obsessive tendency, as you all know, but let me explain that this young woman and I are meant to be friends.  Not only do I enjoy her blog, and agree with a lot of what she says, I actually started reading her Amazon reviews last year, and realized they were written by the same person as this blog only a few months after I started following it.  She’s a children’s librarian in the most important children’s room in the world!  So yes, I am a stalker, but a friendly one. 

Anyhoo, back to my story, I got to Donnell and went up to the research area of the children’s room, planning on getting the book and reading it as quickly as possible and dashing back to work because I was trying to do all of this on my lunch hour.  I had looked up the call number ahead of time, so it should have been simple, right?  Wrong.  It wasn’t there.  I thought it possible the book was pulled for some sort of autumnal, Thanksgiving display since it’s about, what are we supposed to say now, Native Americans?  So I was forced to do what I never want to do, ask someone.  I had to read that book! 

I approached the reference desk with slight trepidation, and a little excitement.  “It could be her, what if it’s her?”  (I don’t know exactly what Fuse 8 looks like do to her wise decision to only partially reveal her face in her blog photo)  How would I know for sure?  Would she recognize me?  (she once visited and even commented on my humble blog!)  No, that’s silly.  I asked my question, offered my post-it with my call number scrawled upon it, and held my breathe.  The librarian stood up and said, “ah yes, this book may be on an alternate shelf due to it’s size,” and then led me back to the reference section, and in two shakes the needed book was in my hand.  I smiled, thanked her, and slunk over to the nearest table to get down to business.  But first, a little reflection.  She had short hair like Fuse #8, she was smart like Fuse #8, but her voice was lower than I had imagined; I hadn’t been able to glimpse at the employee tag, so how could I know for sure?

I read my book, replaced it (making doubly sure to shelf it correctly-didn’t want to embarrass myself), and went to wait for the elevator.  While I waited, I listened to the reference librarian help someone find age appropriate books for her daughter.  I was 97% sure it was her.

Back at my home library, I pondered on the question further.  I thought I had talked to THE Fuse #8, and it was quite a thrill, but I needed to know for sure.  Inspiration struck!  I remembered that there was an NPR interview link on her website that I had yet to listen to.  I could voice verify!  I went to the blog, clicked the link, and there it was, the same voice that had helped me an hour before! 

Now, you may ask why I did not simply ask the librarian if she was Fuse #8, tell her I enjoyed her blog, bond over both being NYPL employees, try to chat her up about kids lit, etc.  To that I say, ha!  You know me not at all.  I don’t speak to celebrities, I merely stalk, stare, and blog about them.

And if, by some fluke Fuse #8 revisits this blog and sees this extremely embarrassing post about my stalking her, I say to her, “I’m harmless, really!  And I really like your blog.”


stars and me

Filed under: Manhattan Life — catherineeliza @ 1:41 pm

Last night the long awaited for Theatre Collection exhibition, Stars and Treasures, finally opened.  The library has been abuzz with this exhibition for months and months, and it was a relief to have it open.  Many, many celebrities were invited, and I was assured of at least seeing Angela Lansbury.  I invited my friend, and fellow theatre buff, Sally.  We made a little dinner of the appetizers, and looked around the exhibit (which is very nice, and I highly recommend).  We didn’t see any stars until the speeches, when lo and behold, my eye fell on Jim Dale.  Oh, Jim Dale.  My beloved Jim Dale.  He was looking very well, and his wife was nowhere to be seen.  I really should have made my move last night.  Instead, Sally and I went back into the exhibition hall to finish looking around, and that’s how we missed Angela entirely (I’m told she made an appearence directly after the speeches, people took pictures of her, and then she left).  Oh well.