Monday, December 29, 2008


So Morimoto was crazy. The entrance to the restaurant looks like this:

Inside, it's like a giant old warehouse or something - kind of like a very modern and clean Iron Chef set, except you see at least a dozen sushi chefs working at the bar when you go in.

We had this waiter "host" us all night throughout our 10 or so different courses. He gave Poker Chick some sake, which she liked so much she actually wanted more sake instead of dessert. If you know Poker Chick and her love of all things dessert, that must have been some damn good sake.

He also had to explain the menu, particularly some of the weirder items like "blowfish: prepared three ways" (minus the killer poison), etc. And though she steered clear of that one, after a lengthy conversation as to whether or not they have fins and scales or not, she had a go at some Barracuda sashimi, fully expecting to wince and think it was weird. Shockingly, it was good.

Actually, everything was amazing. This was the first appetizer:
In case you missed it, that's tuna tartare with seven different toppings you "roll" it into. Tasty and fun! We would have taken more pictures, but we didn't want to be labeled as "hey!" "look at those cheesy tourists over there! never been to a celebrity/chef restaurant before!" Nuh-uh, we don't think so. Poker Chick likes to play it cool.

To top off a royally bizarre eating experience, Poker Chick was driven home by this guy, who proceeded to tell her the day she was born, followed by a joke, in Hebrew.

The oddest part of the day? We got a reservation the same day at this place. And another New York tradition bites the recession dust.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

And Today's Secret Ingredient Is.........

A while ago, we wrote about how Poker Chick would make a crappy judge on Iron Chef. Well, tonight's as close as it gets. She's taking the husband to dinner at Morimoto's NYC restaurant.

Let's see if this guy can really cook or what. More tomorrow.

Rare Moments of Domestic Inspiration

For anyone who knows Poker Chick in real life, these pictures are necessary or else we know you won't believe it. What everyone will believe, no doubt, is that the pictures have been taken eons ago and just recently uploaded. Also, she clearly has a bit more learning to do on how to design a blog post with images.

Eggless "Challah". At least it tasted good.

Pink egg and nut-free cupcakes ( a little sad, yes, but 100% homemade)

Lemon Blueberry Cake. Mistaken for store-bought.

Closet. And before you judge, know that Poker Chick keeps summer and winter items all together. So it's not as many clothes as it looks like.

The pics above are the results of events so rare they are noteworthy. Who knew? Somewhere in there is a teency domestic gene after all. It just takes giant feats of strength to smoke it out. Thanks for letting a girl share. No one else will appreciate this.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Joy of Giving is Enough

It was great to hear the mini's squeal "YAY!" when she opened her new dolly last night. Of course, that was immediately followed by "hey! Do her clothes come off?" as she rips off the pants, and later, a whole leg.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What You're Not Watching

Tonight kicks off the annual 24-hours of "A Christmas Story" on TBS, a Poker Chick family tradition. If you haven't seen it, you must. It is hilarious, even for members of the tribe. When you're done with that, you can check out "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels", a movie that never stops being funny. It's on some cable channel tonight.

This is the "ad"-y party where we say something legal like "check your local station for listings".

Happy Christmas.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

On the Other Hand....

There are peeps out there we love. It's Chanukah, and instead of the usual food stress surrounding holidays, Poker Chick is most grateful to those who have helped make a happy holiday even more special. In particular, a friend who not only checked in advance before inviting mini to a party, but re-configured the entire menu around the kid. We're talking making latkes and donuts with that "egg relacer" powder stuff, swapping ingredients in brisket sauce, and nixing the jelly beans her kid wanted. Every thing at this party will be safe for mini to eat.

Oh, and did she mention they are scrubbing and cleaning the whole kitchen before preparing any of this food?

It's so great to have friends like this. As long as mini keeps getting two of these experiences for every one miserable party, the balance will be on her side. So thanks, A. And thanks to all the friends reading this who Poker Chick knows would do the same. We couldn't do it without you.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Why Poker Chick Hates Your Kids' Birthday Parties

"You're lucky you're not here. You'd be livid".

This is what Poker husband said while he called Poker Chick from his first solo birthday party. She heard her kid screaming in the background, and, after all the conversations that had happened, was floored.

So now we're asking you all: is it too much to ask for a parent to at least consider food allergies when planning a birthday party for their kid? *

At the very least, tell Poker Chick if "make your own cupcake" is an integral part of the event. Perhaps before she has called the place twice to verify the safety of the "make your own pizza" and emailed with you about it as well?

Is it too much to ask you to let her know that even though the "make your own pizza" is safe, and everyone assumes the kids will eat it, you've decided not to cook it and to serve "real" pizza for food instead, which is not. And is it too much to ask that if you do let her know this, you might want to let her know before the event, so that you are not calling the pizza place on the fly with a patient and sensitive child eagerly waiting the "it's ok!" and then watching her explode into tears when she can't have the food everyone else is having and there is no backup because you called the place ahead of time to check what food would be there and determined it was going to be okay to eat?

Seriously, any feedback would be appreciated here. Maybe asking for consideration is too much. If a kid makes a kid cry that's life. But if a grownup makes a kid cry, it's maddening.

So while mini does ABCs, Poker Chick is learning some lessons of her own in school: parenting a food-allergic child is hard. Because the real challenge isn't keeping them safe. It's making sure they don't feel "different" so it doesn't affect social development either. This is the greatest challenge by far. It's made infinitely easier with a supportive school and teachers, and many parents are thoughtful and considerate and concerned and Poker Chick is beyond grateful to them.

Sadly, others are simply not. Others are full-on resentful of the annoyance her child has added to their lunchbox-making. Shocking and sad but true. Unfortunately, it's these people that create the unnecessary social consequences that the kid has to face on top of an already overwhelming condition.

So whether you think it's too much or not, hear this: Your insensitivity can do major damage. So please act like a grownup here. ONE minute of thoughtfulness on your part can help a kid feel like a normal kid. So think about that. And pass it on, will ya?

*It's a rhetorical question, peeps. The answer is "no".

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's Better Than Chocolate

What event sells out in two hours and is the talk of New York?

Worry Free Dinners, of course! Check it out. A meal at a real restaurant where mini can safely eat anything she wants. Anything. In a restaurant. Did we mention it was a safe meal in a restaurant? Did we mention it's an asian restaurant, and she's never been able to eat at an asian restaurant before. Do you have any idea how big this is?

If that's not enough, this weekend Poker Chick discovered her heroes at Cherrybrook Kitchen now make frosting in a tub.
The dream of a normal food life is in reach....getting closer one day at a time.

Decisions, decisions

Poker Chick is debating whether or not to eat the white-chocolate chunk chocolate brownie in the fridge, or go to sleep.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Breaking News!!!!

Poker Chick invites readers to "pay it forward".

Paying it Forward

Since so many of you are online, PC is guessing you're doing some shopping online too. So if you are engaging in some unavoidable holiday consumerism, please to consider using this link.

This is a portal her friend Miranda set up. Well, she didn't create the site, but you get the point.
You go to a vendor you were going to anyway, get a few points towards your next purchase on a participating site, and she builds her network too, which then enables her to give goodies to her extra special clients....

You see where this is going. Check it out, peeps.

Breaking News: A real world sample

A sample of the top stories from today's news alone:

1. Cars are not selling well this holiday season. Duh.
2. Lebanon could be in the Guinness book of World records of a giant potato. Well, that's one way to get there.
3. The Irish have bad pork. Mental note: no more traif.
4. "Man vs. Wild" host injured in Antarctica. Great. Thanks for the 2009 season spoiler, news people!
5. Laid-off workers seek pay. No kidding.
6. Amy Poehler is back doing news at SNL after just a few weeks. Really?

What happened to, like, real news?

Breaking News!!!!

Poker chick has officially had writer's block for over a week now.

Writer's Block

Poker Chick has nothing to write about.

She's suffering from an attack of inspiration, energy, confidence, whatever. Everything she considers writing about lately seems pitiful and she's left with no ideas.

She could write about the "breaking news alert" she received that we've been in a recession since 2007. She could do a whole blog about how f*cked up it is that the authorities couldn't figure that one out before we'd already passed the mark for longest one on record since who knows when - and pontificate about what consititutes "Breaking news".

She could talk about the plight of the working mom, and ask for help deciding between a business trip and parent-teacher conferences, not to mention how to deal with snarky and judgemental stay-at-home moms who make things unnecessarily harder (not all of them, just a select precious bunch).

She could talk about complete exhaustion, the kind that happens when you're running a fever, your husband's been out of town for four days, and the mini is up coughing at night so much so that you and the pediatrician decide you must give her an inhaler for the first time.

She could lament about what to do with two weeks off in December, stay at home, go to Vegas, go to LA, do something else, etc, etc. The problems of a New York Ad Girl, indeed.

She could b*tch about the ridiculous expense, chaos and politics that is planning a winter birthday party in New York.

She could whine about the realization that despite many years and good medicine, farm animals still render her nose, eyes and mouth useless in an instant.

She could vent about the food thing, and how exhausting it is to always decline cake, call for pizza ingredients, say no to birthday parties with make your own food, want to scream when the mini is left out of social ocassions/food just because a parent didn't take a minute to be more inclusive. She could tell you about the mini's sad plea at a birthday party ("now can I have my cupcake"?) that is so loud it stops everyone in the room in their tracks and you have to endure horrible looks of pity.

She could talk about the fact that it was a "good" weekend when we only had two time-outs each day and how especially proud she was of mini who not only did a mitzvah by helping her sort and organize books at the synagogue, but also called to her classmate when she came in "Hi, E! Come and play with me and my new friends" (code: kids she just met). The same week, mini had asked Poker Chick to actually stop giving her so much mac and cheese so that there would be enough left to share with her friends. Today she also petted an iguana (technically some kind of "dragon" species) a second time to show a scared classmate that it was friendly and gentle. She could look at these moments and begin to think that maybe she is actually doing something right after all.

Yes, Poker Chick could tell you all this. But none of this will be interesting to you peeps.

So for now, we'll just whine. Being sick sucks, it's freezing outside, and PC is exhausted. Yes, we know. Call a f*cking "waambulance". Will do. In the meantime, can you peeps think of what the hell else you might actually want to read?

Friday, November 28, 2008

"Black Friday" Not So Dark After All

No matter how far down the toilet the economy goes, the American people will get up at 5am to find it.

Left: Black Friday at the King of Prussia Mall

Those of us with jobs, stocks, savings or investment accounts (this just about covers everyone) will be waiting with baited breath until 9:01am when the stock market opens on Monday. If this picture is any indication, we can relax.

As she has over the past several years, Poker Chick went to the second-largest mall in the United States to check out the state of American consumerism and report back to her readers. If a picture can tell a thousand words, this one could be an article all on its own. However, that would be a boring post, so Poker Chick will elaborate. Yay for you.

Just to give you an idea of how important this is, last year Black Friday represented 10.1% of all holiday sales. Indeed Poker Chick has observed this phenomenon at the same mall on the same day at the same time. And she can honestly say she's never seen it this crowded.

This was surprising. We expected fewer shoppers this year. Several stores resorted to the desperate measure of declaring "early" Black Friday this year. So theoretically those shoppers had already bought their gifts. Also, the news was reporting as much as 19% declines in pre-holiday sales. And of course, most of us have been assuming people would spend less this year, spend less time shopping, or just avoid the stores entirely. After all, the day after Thanksgiving shouldn't have to revolve around spending money to be enjoyable or productive. Right?

Wrong. Seems Americans are a wee bit reluctant to give up one of their favorite pastimes. And just for a little credibility here, Poker Chick is not the only one who noticed. CNN reported a "robust start" to Black Friday today. Media outlets in Illinois, Michigan, New Hampshire, and other states were reporting huge crowds. In Valley Stream, NY, shoppers turned Black Friday into a contact sport, stampeding a local Wal-Mart and and killing an employee in the process. And finally, many of us forgot that unpredictable variable: the non-native shopper. Foreigners were out in droves taking advantage of the sales. Some flew all the way from Australia (No, not the movie, stupid).

Maybe the great bargains succeeded in getting people to shop after all. Many stores apparently decided the standby phrase "ONE DAY BLOWOUT SALE!" wasn't persuasive enough, and put out the most exaggerated descriptors they could think of to attract customers.

Right: Old Navy screams savings, in case you missed it.

So, let's say it worked. Will the volume of shoppers make up for the revenue loss from all this discounting? Who knows. We'll all find out when we read the news tomorrow. In the meantime, PC predicts the hemmorhaging of the market will slow down. Well, at least temporarily. This will buy us some time to review our purchases and think up as many synonyms as we can for "inflation".

Poker Chick is a writer, mother, and avid shopper from New York.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving, Chapter 2: More Road Rage

It was the same routine for 10 years. Drive one hour to a farm in the middle of nowhere, have a huge Thanksgiving feast, drive back when it was dark.

Today was no different except when backing out of the long, wet, manure-filled driveway, the passenger-side door suddenly swung open. We swear Poker Chick had slammed it shut when she got in. But there it was, open all the way without warning. Poker husband tried to slam on the brakes but it took a second or two and in those moments he kept backing up. Ordinarily, this would have been fine, except the now open door was stuck in a pile of mud on the side of the driveway. So when the car moved back, the door moved forward.

We hope Poker Chick does not need to tell you this is not a good situation to be in. Only Poker Chick could get into a car accident without even getting on the road.

Half an hour later PC was transferring a screaming mini with her car seat and ton of stuff to a relative's car while Poker husband waited several hours for a tow truck and a giant bill.

Speaking of giant bills, tomorrow is Black Friday. We can't wait to see what that day will bring. Intelligent readers will note the sarcasm.

Thanksgiving, Chapter 1: Road Rage

It started off the same way as the holiday does for any typical New Yorker:

1 1/2 hours of gridlock. And then she got out of the city.

The irony was that the moment that PC had decided to give up and go home and leave Thursday morning instead, she found herself stuck in a tunnel-only lane and ended up in New Jersey. She took one look at the same 1 1/2 hour of gridlock going into the city and knew she was committed to heading south.

Some 4 hours later, with a hungry and cranky mini and her even crankier mother, they decided to pull off and get some dinner. Of course, peeps with kids who can eat anything (grr, jealous much?), could have just pulled off at any kid-friendly restaurant and been fine. But PC couldn't. She needed a place she knew was safe. And in the middle of nowhere the answer to that is a chain restaurant you've eaten at safely. No other place will do, because the last thing you want to do with a cranky group is try and talk to a busy maitre d's about food allergies. Everyone loses patience and that's too risky. So she found herself on the blackberry with google maps trying to find a Bertucci's in the dark. 57 wrong turns later she finally found it and everyone cheered.

Thus, 5 hours and 21 minutes after leaving New york, they finally made it to their destination 100 miles away. Turns out they won't be returning in the same rental car, but that's tomorrow's chapter....

Fashion and Function

This is a really interesting article on fashion accessories that have arisen to help kids and parents carry their epipens with less embarrassment.

Interesting. For what it's worth, Poker Chick used to use a ziploc, but now uses a "black patent" mini bag. It came inside this bag she started using as her "diaper bag that doesn't look like a diaper bag" on weekends. Fits snacks, clothes and mommy things. But the best part is the tiny bag inside the bag which is about the size of a wristlet. It's big enough to hold an epipen and benadryl and small enough to hold nothing else.

So that little "bag within a bag" gets moved from "diaper bag" to "purse" to "Poker husband's pocket". You always know where the epipen is.

Now, we know you were just dying to know all that, weren't you?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Follies...a.k.a. What You Really Need To Know To Survive

Poker Chick would like to wish all her readers a Happy Thanksgiving and invites everyone to share their own "Thanksgiving Follies".

Continued from previous post....

The ill-fated haircut was part of a necessary annual "get ready for Thanksgiving" prep. A few whirlwind days filled with in-laws, friends of in-laws, meeting new people, and trying to remember a whole heck of a lot of names unsuccessfully. Well-meaning and nice as everyone may be, it still results in overwhelming noise, claustrophobia, and whole lot of name-forgetting embarrassments ("nice to see you"). And we won't even begin to describe the great feats of gymnastics that are required for a clumsy person to navigate a giant buffet table in a small room. And we're talking about the good china, peeps.

This year has added complications where a big engagement party was added to the festivities. A practical and nice idea, no doubt. But we've just upped the ante significantly by adding introductions to a whole slew of people Poker Chick has never met their fancy clothes. So now Miss Manners is thrown into the three-day chaos, someone Poker Chick is not exactly "intimate" with.

Finally, let's not forget the mini. Put an overtired, overstimulated three-year old into a loud room with no other kids and thirty adults she doesn't remember who want to pinch her cheeks and kiss her and you exhausted mother*. On top of that there's the issue of how to keep your kid safe in what is traditionally a pecan, walnut, and egg-infested meal.

So, peeps. Are we stressed yet?

If you can relate to any part of this, you probably realize that in situations like these a person needs to come equipped with some mojo. An advantage to tip the scales. And who among us couldn't use some of that?

Thus, we bring you the Poker Chick three-step-strategy:

  1. Carry a lifeline (i.e. cellphone) at all times.

  2. Know your weaknesses and use your assets to compensate. (For example, a great memory for names is not one of Poker Chick's core competencies. However, bribing someone with baked goods is a great strategy for diverting attention away from this!)

  3. Look your best. Even if you don't feel your best, hey, no one will know! (We must caveat: stay within your comfort zone. "Look your best" can mean haircuts and shoppers for some. It can also mean a two-second swipe of lipstick for others. For others it just means wash your hair that day. You know who you are.)

Of course the three-step strategy isn't foolproof. For example, PC would need the discipline not to consume food or drink at said party in order to maintain the illusion of grace. But that's another post entirely.....


*ok, and father.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Toto, what happened to my brain!?

Tomorrow, we will slowly move on from discussing hair, makeup, jeans and boys (otherwise known as Poker Chick: the shallow phase) and attempt to resume discussions on semi-intelligent matters.

Stay tuned....

It's in the Jeans, Man

Poker Chick is a fan of fashion but likes to think she's not a slave to it. There's a time to splurge, a time to buy knock-offs, and a time to just say nooo. Thus, when new trends come out, she doesn't rush to follow them just because they're "cool". But sometimes, a chick gets sucked in.

Cue skinny jeans.

For years, PC has spoken out against them. They should be banned. The laws of physics mean they can't possibly look good on anyone who's not a tall thin supermodel. Skinny jeans are totally unflattering to 99.9% of the population. Sure, you can "hide" them with fake names such as "pencil" "cigarette" and "slim" but they're all just variations of the traditional skinny jean.

Why, you ask? Let's go over the anatomy of a woman, starting at the waist: the narrowest part of the torso. Go down to the hips and you have to move wider. With good jeans, the silhouette goes straight down or even flared from the hips, making the woman seem narrower. With skinny jeans, the ankles are narrow, accentuating a woman's middle. Pear-shape, muffin top, love handles, whatever your problem it's all hanging out there for the world to see. Do we really want our clothes to yell" "Hey, world! Look at me! Check out the mom hips!"

No. We don't. So not hot. Hence our aversion to "mom jeans". Which is why Poker Chick can not comprehend why this skinny jean trend is still in fashion.

Of course, with skinny jeans come boots. And this girl just got a cute pair that she can't smoosh her favorite jeans into and still zip up. And really, what's the point of the cute boots if no one can see them?

Thus, at the end of a bitterly cold Wednesday, Poker Chick found herself in a NYC boutique forking over a credit card in exchange for a pair of the latest "must have" skinny jeans.

Look away, peeps. We are so very ashamed.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Sliding Scale of Pretentious

Friday Poker Chick made an appointment to get her hair cut and arranged a time to meet with her personal shopper to find work and cocktail party attire.

Saturday, sitting in the stylist's chair, sipping the herbal tea they brought her, she felt a sudden need to protest that this is not nearly as pretentious as it sounds.

The universe must have disagreed because as soon as she began walking home the heavens opened up and she found her newly cut and blown out hair caught in a massive downpour. Said blowout - ruined.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Coffee Talk

Poker Chick taking a screenwriting class is an outrageous idea. Discuss!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

And Now, For a Video Break....

The peeps at Alltop show us just how cool their site is. And we're not just saying that because we're on it!

Who loves James Bond? We do!

We're posting a link to this post on MamaPop about Daniel Craig as James bond. Because he is one hot mother-f-ing bad-ass. And need we remind you he plays a mean game of poker?

And while we're at it, Don Draper (who this article also mentions) is pretty droolworthy as well. Both are on this chick's "list". Who's on yours?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Just When You Were About To Write Off Your Day As Terrible

The conversation went like this:

(whispering in the dark, drifting off to sleep)
Yes? (lying down on the floor next to mini as she drifts off to sleep)
What are you going to dream about? (Note: mini never talks about dreams)
That's an excellent question. What are you going to dream about?
I'm going to dream about you!
That's a wonderful idea. Well then I'll dream about you too! What will we be doing in our dream?
Playing....(big smile, voice fades out, her eyes close...)

Yup. This totally makes up for the twenty-seven time outs we endured together this weekend.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Clumsiness runs in the family


Welcome to a special guest blog by....Poker Chick Brother!

So...clumsiness runs in the family. If you are an avid reader of Poker Chick's blog, then you are no stranger to her follies. Although, I am much more athletic (and smooth) than Poker Chick, I too have my bouts with clumsiness - yes me! For those of you who know this anonymous writer it may be hard to believe, but let me dazzle you with short anecdote.


8:27 am - I fumbled through my pocket to take out my wallet (to retrieve my subway ticket) and said wallet fell in a f-ing puddle!

8:28 am - As I bent down to extract my Italian leather wallet from the muddy belt broke - I mean really broke, the buckle flew off and my pants began to sag...

8:29 am - While fumbling through the station in order to catch the departing subway I sneaked in at the last moment but unfortunately someone forgot to tell the door as it slammed with all its might against my manly (albeit rattled) physique

8:31 am - The combination of PC Brother being shaken up, a crowded subway and sudden braking caused me to fall flat on my face!

This succession of events proves, that despite popular belief, Poker Chick Brother is clumsy too...

I guess it must run in the family!

PS - Stay tuned for PC Brother's blog - BTW, in case you were wondering this guest entry is a ruse to steal away PC's readers - kinda of like a Dr. Phil / Oprah situation.....:-)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Parenting Just Got Harder

The email came around 3pm today. Lice. We must inspect the mini. Can anyone tell Poker Chick what to look for and how to deal with this delightful new phase in parenting? In the meantime, Poker Chick is scratching her head.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vegas calls Obama! You heard it here first!

In case y'all were wondering, Vegas odds on Obama/McCain are 11-to-2. It seems people have shifted to bet on the longshot - no, not McCain - but Obama getting 370+ electoral votes. That's the "in" bet these days. However, it should be noted that Vegas has a historically poor record of predicting the outcome of Presidential elections.

Therefore, Poker Chick has just told you nothing of value.

Your Civic Duty

I voted on my way to work this morning. I was bummed not to get a pin or sticker. Being too selfish to settle for the "self-satisfaction of participating in the democratic process" I treated myself to a nice hot chocolate.

GO VOTE!!!! And be sure to check out the results below. OK, or on any "real" news network.

I won't tell you how to vote or who to vote for. Just do it, peeps.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Can These Guys Fix The Economy? The Solution to Sluggish Holiday Sales is Here!

On October 30th, Poker Chick went to buy some Halloween stickers. Sure, she knew it was last-minute, but she still expected the drugstore to be stocked for the holiday.

Apparently, it had already moved on.

Right there, above the picked-over remains of whatever Halloween cards were left, was a Santa hat. A Santa hat, peeps. Did we mention this was October 30th?

She filed away this disturbing observation and it was all-but-forgotten until she read this article in Advertising Age.

K-Mart has announced that it is moving "Black Friday" to November 2nd. That's right, two days after Halloween.

Now it was one thing when retailers could barely wait for turkey to digest before displaying their flashiest new toys. But right after Halloween? Aside from being just wrong, it reeks of desperation. I mean, this is K-Mart, for chrissakes! One of the countries largest retailers! Millions of Americans shop there. It's not like they'd ever be in danger of having to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy or anything...

Oh. Right. Well then.

But still. C'mon, peeps. Buying Santa hats right after Halloween is not going to help. Trust us on this one.

Halloween For Neurotics

This one is for all you parents who were guilty of "going there" at any point in your head tonight.

Ah, Halloween. Candy, and smiles. Costumes and trick-o-treaters. But - uh oh. With candy comes evil ingredients and recalls. With costumes come disguises and thiefs.

Hmmm. It's all good until you start thinking too much:

In a friend's lobby:
Oh look! How cute - it's SpongeBob! Someone's parent went all out. Wait a minute, there's no kid with him....he's just walking around by himself taking pictures with all the kids in the lobby....can someone say "Pedophile"! Walk away, slowly, slowly....

While walking around the neighborhood:
Hey, that building is having a party in the lobby for the little kids! How cute! They even have a clown making balloon animals. Our building should do that next year. Maybe I'll organize it.....Oh, wait. Clowns are creepy. Hmmm.

And now, we refer you back to the SpongeBob sentiment.

While Trick-or-treating in our building:

Ok - Nestle crunch, ok to put in bucket, yellow M&Ms - no. "Take the blue one", "Take the red one..", yikes all I want to do is make sure mini is not putting something overtly peanut (i.e. Reeses, Snickers) into her bucket. Even though she's not eating anything in her bucket. I know, I know....but who knew a little orange square could be so scary?

In truth, we had a great Halloween. Mini understood the concept for the first time ever and had a blast. We trick-or-treated, hung out with our neighbors and brought treats to friends. The best part of not being able to eat your candy? Giving it away at the end of the night. Fun, plus a bonus good deed. Not such a bad lot.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Science is Beautiful. And You Can Be, Too.

Behold, the anti-frump:
Who else here has been living life thinking that the weekend frump was unavoidable. Blotchy, greasy skin is just part of the mommy weekend uniform, no? Turns out, no!

Don'tcha always look at those few moms that always look so put together? Wonder where they had the time to wash their hair? How they got that perfectly dewy skin? You know you secretly hate them for looking so damn good. How do they look so friggin' perfect at 9am on a Saturday morning.

Well, Poker Chick has discovered a secret weapon for you. And it's totally do-able, in about three seconds-flat. Natural beauty, my ass!

Thanks to the brother who watched the mini during a nap, Poker Chick was actually able to set foot in Sephora for more than five minutes (pause for gasp). That store just keeps getting and better. And the "play with me" concept never gets old. Poker Chick came out with softer cheeks, perfume, fun eyecolors - and a bottle of this Smashbox miracle in a bottle. Enough time has passed that she's been able to test this for a while, as an under-makeup primer and even just by itself over moisturizer. Amazing. Redness - gone. Blotches - gone. Shininess - gone. Even with no makeup.

Thanks to this discovery, she'll never have to endure crappy skin again. And neither do you.

Now here's a bonus for readers that are still with us on this post. Ever wonder how other women always look freshly showered, even the ones who claim not to wash their hair every day? Check this out:A swipe. A spray. A shake. It's like magic in a minute. Who knew such lovely products existed?

Yay, science!

*This post was inspired by our friends at We Covet. And, of course, by Sephora. (Who has no prior knowledge of this post but is welcome to bribe PC with free product nonetheless).

Did Anyone Else Have a Bad Day Today?

7:30am. Poker Chick got on a bus, realizing her mistake of leather boots and jacket in 45-degree windy rain with no umbrella. No biggie, she could just hail a cab! Oh, wait, not with $2 in her wallet. Doh! Bus it was. As she watched a cockroach scramble on the seat in front of her, she already knew it was going to be one of those days.

[Insert middle, blah blah blah].

Long story short, the day ended with two pairs of dry socks, sweatpants, a sweatshirt with hood pulled way over her head, a blanket, and a cup of hot tea - and it still took over two hours to defrost Poker Chick and stop her from shivering all over.

How 'bout others? Poker Chick is working a theory that Oct. 28th a bad day for New Yorkers in general. Anyone else find themselves staring at their Marc Jacobs praying those water spots are not permanent while they wait for their extremities to thaw?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Lose the Hat or Forego the Milk Duds

"Trick or treat"! What does that mean, exactly? Do a search on the web and you'll come up with many different definitions. Though it depends on the country you live in, for American peeps it means the following:

Trick or Treat, also known as Guising, is an activity for children on Hallowe'en, in which they are dressed up in costumes, often of supposedly malevolent supernatural beings such as ghosts, demons, or witches, and proceed from house to house, asking for sweets with the phrase "trick-or-treat?" with the implied threat that, if their demands for confectionery are not met, they will perform some "trickery".*

Now, what's not to like about Halloween? Dressing up. Candy. Parties. It's all good. But there's one aspect of Halloween that's always bothered us: parents who dress up.

We're not talking about adults going to parties, parades or celebrations where other adults are in costume. This is acceptable with grownups- only when alcohol is served.

We're talking about the parents who go around trick-or-treating with their kids in full costume. I mean really, how, in anyone's mind, is this a good idea? It's great to go with your kids. Be there with them and enjoy the night. That's all you need to do. Now, maybe your kids liked your costumes when they were little. But at some point the kids get old enough to look around and realize that Bernie there, down the street, his mom never dresses up. And in school, Lily's mom never dresses up. And the dad next door has never dressed up...

At what point do they realize it's just kids in costume and look at you in confusion? And if your rationale is trying to make memories, does anyone's fondest Halloween memories ever really involve their mom's rendition of Bunnicula?

Now, in Poker Chick's house, the response to this embarrassing sight is withholding candy. You see, when we opened a door expecting children in costume and also got a grownup in full witches' attire and a painted white face with blood streaks, we'd already been tricked. And horrifically so, might we add. So the "trick or treat" decision was already made. No treat for the grownup. Just a mean trick they played on us. Despite what these people thought, it crossed the line from cool to creepy.

This is of course one opinion. Some grownups clearly support the action of dressing up with your kids, or this would not be the national epidemic that it has become. But something tells us that if you've read this blog before and actually enjoy it, you're not one of those people.

So this Halloween, help us get out this plea to our fellow parental peeps. Please no costumes. If you feel you must, stick the bunny ears in your pocket and put them on only to answer the door.

Or, at the very least, bring a flask with you.

*Quote from the explanation guide here, which according to Poker Chick explains it best

Monday, October 20, 2008

Rotten Eggs

The mini did not pass the cooked egg challenge. Rats. Which is a nicer word for what Poker Chick really wanted to say.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Reason Number 57 Not To Frump It Up

Despite her high-fashion fancies, Poker Chick is a dress-down kind of chick. Jeans are the operating word here. And she still wears cutoffs and tees in the summer. You might call her style "sloppy chic", as UK likes to say.

As such, she often has to fight the urge to get lazy. Actually put makeup on for work. Wear the occasional skirt. And dress up the ripped jeans as she did yesterday with a jacket and accessories. And boy is she glad she did.

A lunch meeting turned up a random person she had gone to high school with. Now, this wasn't someone she knew well. Didn't even remember the name. But still. Could you imagine? Would you want this person going back to their friends (who might be people she once knew) and say things like "hey! Remember that girl Poker Chick? I saw her after many years. And guess what? Woof - woof!"

We don't think so, peeps.

So when she can, she'll make the extra effort not to be a slob. You just never know.

We're just saying.

Making Food Allergies Suck Less

Poker Chick has a hard time finding resources online for living with a food-allergic child. Or at least, how to live a semi-normal existence. Info is fragmented and a pain in the @ss to find. So she's thinking others are probably having a similar experience. Which had her wondering whether or not others would find it helpful for her to collate the most useful bits of info she's been able to figure out thus far.

So this post is a kind of experiment. If you're interested in more like this, let a Chick know.

Websites we like:
FAAN - TONS of info, resources, even label and ingredient updates
Keep Kids Healthy - good resource and also good basic information for friends and family
Allergic Girl - great resource for where and how to eat in NYC with food allergies
Kids With Food Allergies Blog - fellow mom blogger who lives with this too

Foods that make life easier:

Egg-free Challah - it's a recipe but if you cheat with a breadmaker it's not so hard
Soy nut butter - a little salt, and it's almost as good as the real thing!
Cherrybrook Kitchen- cake, pancake and other great mixes
Divvies - great cookies, cupcakes, and other party treats shipped to your home
Egg Replacer - the best and easiest way to bake normal recipes that call for eggs. It works really well in cookie recipes, like this one below...

1/2 pound margarine or butter, softened (obviously does not work with dairy allergies)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs (use 3 tsp. Egg replacer plus 4 tbsp. of water)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups Quaker Oats
1 cup mini chocolate chips (you can use raisins, but trust Poker Chick this is better)

More been there done that advice available if anyone's interested. Meanwhile, Poker Chick is giving the mini a cooked egg challenge tomorrow. We'll keep you posted.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thoughts from the Sanctuary, Part II*

a.k.a. "They flocked like sheep..."

You're supposed to confess on Yom Kippur, holiest day of the year for us members of the tribe. You're supposed to lay it all out on the table, evil thoughts and whatnot, and forgive others so you can move forward in peace and all that blah blah.

Yeah, yeah. Poker chick was guilty of cynicism last year. She'll work on this. Really, she will.

But in the meantime, she's betting that many of you reading this shared similarly sacreligious thoughts. C'mon, 'fess up! You know you'll feel better. Then read this, so you can relax knowing others are even more deranged than you are.

Kol Nidre. It's the service that starts the holiday. Even the once-a-year Jews are there, meaning the temple is more packed during this one service than it will be any other time during the year.

Now as with many other things, the experience is uniquely intensified in New York. If you want to attend a Kol Nidre service, here's what you have to do:

1) Line up with hundreds of other people in suits in the special tents that take over any sidewalk space touching the temple. Walk slowly around the red velvet dividers as if you're waiting to ride Space Mountain. Watch laypeople stare at this sight with amusement. Make growly faces at them.

2) Go through the first set of NYPD officers. Pass.

3) Get to temple volunteers. Show tickets for everyone. Pass.

4) Go through the next round of security. Private security guards with those cool secret service earthingies. Open your pockets, bags, diaper bags for full inspection. Pass.

5) Get your seat. Fidget endlesslessly as there is less legroom than even economy class seats.

Eventually, the service begins - and somehow on time. This is when you're supposed to pay attention. This is also when your mind starts wandering.

"Wow, I wonder how many people are in this room! It's gotta be a thousand or more!"

"What's with the cello? I thought the cantor was supposed to sing this portion?"

(counting heads)
: "One, two, three, four......"

"I can't believe I didn't make the cake yet. 15 people coming for Break the Fast tomorrow and I'm going to have to cook while fasting. Again. Hey G-D, can you help me to plan in advance next year? Hey! That's one thing I can work on! Look at that, I'm already paying attention!"

"Eighteen, Nineteen, Twenty....."

Tire of cantor's repitition and flip through the pages to see how much longer is left for tonight.

"Three hundred seventy-eight, three hundred seventy-nine, three hundred eighty...."

"I'm so thirsty. How am I not going to drink until tomorrow night? How did I do this before? How does everyone else look so calm? Aren't they thirsty?"

"Seriously. What's with the cello? What happened to not being allowed to not play this stuff on the Sabbath?"

"My head hurts. Oh cr*p, what if it becomes a bad headache? Do I take tylenol? How much water can I sip with tylenol before feeling guilty? What do the books say on that?"

"What the heck does Superman have to do with Yom Kippur?" (sermon reference)

"What are those people doing? They keep moving around. You're supposed to be paying attention, peeps!"

Pause to note irony of criticizing others in your head while struggling to pay attention yourself. Make mental note to atone for this tomorrow.

"Nine hundred one, Nine hundred two, Nine hundred three"

"Cr*p. I lost count. One, two, three...."

Finally, it's time to go home. As you wade through the NYPD officers blockading the building once more, you try to decide whether this massive police presence is comforting or creepy. After all, NYC is full of Jews. Is this really necessary?

Then you do the math:

1,000 Jews in one room + NYC location = Bin Laden's wet dream.

Guess we'll go with comforting after all. Thanks, NYPD. Keep up the good Jew-herding work!

*Click here to read Part I.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Chag Sameach

Poker Chick would like to wish fellow members of the tribe (and their families) a Shana Tova. If this applies to you, you'll know what it means.

Health, joy, and love to you all. And may you never burn the potatoes.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Things That Make a Poker Chick Happy

September is National Food Safety Awareness Month. Well, it's loads of other things, and Poker Chick is thinking about all the things it could be, like National hug-a-monkey month. Hug-a-monkey! That would be funny. Anyway. Poker Chick digresses.

The cool thing about the food thing is that this year's theme is "take action to prevent an allergic reaction". Seriously. For all you parents and teachers and chefs out there, you should know the best way to make this Chick happy is to be respectful and understanding of the food thing. That alone helps more than you can ever know.

Thanks, Allergic Girl, for bringing this to our attention. Check it out.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Is Parenting This Tiring For Everyone?

Poker Chick just realized that she literally did not sit down once between 1pm and 6:30pm today. And most of that time was walking errands too. Now, in NYC, "errands" or "shopping" means walking 4 miles (total, over the course of the day) while holding a 34 lb. child and pushing a stroller, often at the same time, and somehow balancing this with purchases made on said errands. Now imagine this kind of day on the Sunday after you had your special Saturday two-hour nonstop pilates marathon.

Ow. Cannot....move. Ow.

Interestingly enough, while getting a pedicure from 9:30-10:30am this morning (her only free time today), Poker Chick read that 75 minutes of pilates burns 500 calories.

So...120 minutes of pilates + 4 miles of walking, plus carrying bags + carrying a 34-lb. child and/or 11-lb. stroller = how many calories? Who knows. This chick is waaaay too sore to do math right now.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Happy "International Talk Like a Pirate Day"

Ahoy! The wee lass has declared she is once again going to be a pirate on Halloween. We ain't lyin', she did it all on her own. Out of the blue. Poker Chick is most pleased.

But now for the real story, lads and lasses. T'reporrrrrrt on her other post, Poker Chick is happy to tell ya that it would appear the booty was intended to be so free. She received several follow up emails. One, a notification of shipment ho! Another, a notification of a few back-ordered items with a sincere apology. Then two more. One, a giant coupon off future loot. And another, a jolly celebration of "International Talk Like a Pirate Day," (no, really, it's real), claiming a lucky few ordering today will have their order comped. So they really do this stuff, do they? Randomly comp orders?

Shiver me timbers!! Methinks me conscience is now clear.

Well, we'll still drop off 5 giant bags of clothes and shoes to Goodwill this weekend. You know, karma and all. That's karrrrrrma to you.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cupcakes For Everyone

Now that school's in again, Poker Chick is getting a lot of questions of how to deal with food allergies at birthday parties. It's easy. Thanks to these guys, you can have your cake and eat it too. And p.s. the pancakes rock.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thanking Her Peeps

We can't thank our readers enough! 5,000 visitors is an amazing milestone. We're both honored and flattered. Keep reading, will ya?

The $744 Shopping Spree

Ever enter contests, daydreaming about spending like crazy in any store? Ever wonder what it must feel like to buy anything you want without even thinking twice about how much it costs?

Last night Poker Chick got the chance to experience what we'll call shopping euphoria. Here's the story:

Unlike most parents, who purchase back-to-school items before the start of the school year, Poker Chick likes to wait until school's started and scramble at the last minute. That's just the kind of forward-thinking parent she is. On this particular occasion, while purchasing a few basics, she decided to get it all at once and order the winter coat. Last year it took a few weeks to arrive so she gave herself points for not leaving everything until the last minute.

In a rare moment of hyper-responsibility, she went through Upromise (4%!) and even found a strange but valid-looking coupon online. Buy 3 items, get the 4th for $1. Cool. So of course this gave her license to add some things to the order. A cute sweater dress the mini "needs" for all those birthday parties she'll be going to. 4 pairs of tights because she couldn't decide which went with it best. A nightie. And so on until she had spent a couple of hundred dollars or so.

And then a funny thing happened. It looked like she was getting more items for $1 than she should. She experimented, adding a few things to the order to see what happened, removing others. Finally, she figured out that she was getting any item $28 or less for $1. That was some coupon. She stopped trying to figure it out and pressed on. This was the stuff shopping dreams were made of.

So she added. And added. And added.

Seriously, she couldn't believe it. She'd chosen every long-sleeved t-shirt on the site, and they were all $1. That's long-sleeve, peeps. She got more colors. Still, the order just increased by a few dollars. It was unbelieveable. Each time she clicked on the "add" button, she froze in fear, waiting for the "total" to jump to some kind of excessive amount. Each time it increased by only $1.

At this point she had to get creative. She couldn't buy more expensive items, but she could buy every shirt already in her cart in the next size up. After all, the mini will need clothes for next year too.

So she added again. And again. And again.

When she'd added every shirt she moved on to accessories. Socks. Tights. Footless tights. Underwear. Undershirts. Wellies. The order continued to go up by just $1 each click.

When it was time to hit "submit" on the credit card, Poker Chick's heart was pounding. She wasn't sure exactly how many items were on her list, she had stopped counting at 30. The total hadn't changed but she was afraid, very afraid. She clenched her fists and squeezed her eyes shut and clicked.

And then came the order confirmation via email. A couple hundred dollars of big-ticket items and $744 of free stuff. Confirmed. On its way. She could hardly breathe.

Who's gonna be the best-dressed kid in pre-school this year? That's right!

Thanks, magic internet genie! And the free shipping? Nice touch, dude.


Stay tuned to see if we actually get the order. An interesting experiment indeed.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Thank you, Tina!

I was right! How often do you get to say that?

So much so, turns out, that NBC pounced on the likeness Poker Chick called over a week ago. The resemblance is so uncanny that even as she types this, Poker husband is still challenging, claiming that it really is Sarah Palin on SNL's season premiere opening. Let's all re-watch Dave and do some scenario planning, shall we?

How many of you think McCain would win hands-down if Tina Fey was his actual running mate?

Hell, yeah.

Friday, September 12, 2008

America, The Stupid - Part II

Part II: Uh-oh, Poker Chick is getting political...

Indulge her a moment while she gets on her political soapbox, will you? Don't worry, it won't happen often. But something's gone horribly awry with this election. Read Emily's post today for a brilliant but sad commentary on this year's political circus they call "campaigning".

So start paying attention, peeps. Make sure you're registered and then read up. And no, People doesn't count.* Then, make your informed choice and exercise your right to vote this November. Whether it's McCain, Obama, or Nader (pause for shudder), never forget that your vote counts just as much as any of theirs.

This concludes today's installment of Deep Thoughts from Poker Chick.

If you've got a few minutes, watch this hilarious monologue. PC couldn't have said it better herself.

*No offense meant against you, People Magazine. We're big fans!! It's just not intended to be a sole provider of political news. But we still love it! In fact, just to show there's no hard feelings, if you peeps at People want to send Poker Chick some free issues, that'd be great!

America, The Stupid

Part I: What the hell happened to television?

Combine this nation's love of idiotic shows with a writer's strike, and what do you get?

Oh, world. We are truly embarrassed.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

This Isn't Facebook But...

Poker Chick is wondering whether or not chocolate cheesecake really can cure all that ails you.

The Frog and the Crab

One hot summer day, a certain woman we know went to a quiet swimming pool to cool off. A city dweller herself, she had spent a long summer cooped up in a humid, concrete island. Not that the weather mattered. With her work hours she spent more time on airplanes or under fluorescent lights than in the beautiful sun anyway.

This pool was her reward. And there it was. After days of gray nearly ruining her vacation she finally got her one perfect day, the one she had been waiting for all summer. 85 degrees and sunny, not a cloud in the sky, nothing to hear but birds and crickets, and the pool was all hers.

Except it wasn't.

This guy had gotten there first:

Did we mention she was a city dweller? Not exactly the kind to rave about living in harmony with "nature's gifts". More likely, in fact, to squeak. Or squeal. Something like that. We have a vague memory of something that sounded like an "eek, get it out!", but we're not quite sure.

So after a couple of minutes with a pool net thingie (apparently they're called "skimmers") Poker husband removed said frog from the pool. She prepared herself to get over the drama and go for a calm swim while everyone else in the house was still sleeping.

No sooner had she put her toe in the water long enough to feel how warm and lovely the pool was, she saw this guy:

See how creepy he looks?

He was about to attack her foot but she got out just in time. Again, Poker husband came down with the net thing ("skimmer"? really?). But unlike the poor frog who was DOA (apparently he was not aware he was biologically unprepared for chlorine), the crab was very much alive. So every time he got caught he quickly jumped back into the pool. It took much longer to get him out and back on sand.

We don't really need to tell you that she didn't feel much like swimming after that, do we?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

That Which Is Less Sweet

Is it just Poker Chick or have these cupcakes gotten substantially smaller in cirumference?

Games for 8-year Old Boys

Poker Chick is wondering aloud if Bubbly ever beat the Indiana Jones game on Wii.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Who's Paying Attention?

Please tell me someone got the reference to "duck hunt" in a previous post. C'mon. Anyone?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Excuse Me, Did You Just Pour Salt On Your Fudge?

And the answer to that is yes. Yes, Poker Chick did. How did this happen? Well, it goes back to the mini having food allergies.

A trip to all local fudgeries resulted in only two flavors without nuts. Chocolate and Vanilla. Very exciting, huh? Notice the sarcasm. Unfortunately, the most delicious-looking flavor was the peanut butter but sadly it was not to be.

So we improvised. Once the kids were asleep Poker Chick had the idea to take a spoonful of Soy Nut Butter and put it on her chocolate fudge. Only this stuff isn't as salty as peanut butter so it usually needs some to taste like it. One bite and she realized it had potential, just needed salt. But the idea of pouring salt on fudge? Gross!

She was dared to do it and it was good! And that is how she found herself, pouring salt over a fudge/soy nut butter "schmear" that she made up.

Damn, it was goooood. Don't knock it until you try it, peeps.

Ouch, my head hurts!

Vacation is eerily reminiscent of summer camp days. First you put sheets on the mattress, which is not much more than a box spring anyway. Then, there's the moldy smell of the wood in humidity. The chill in the air. The bugs.

Perhaps she is alone, but Poker Chick always remembers being miserable the first few days of summer camp. The bugs kept her awake at night. The bathroom smelled funny. And everything seemed dirty. But by the third day she was always over it and everything felt normal.

So those memories came flooding back while she winced putting her lacey underwear in old (and possibly rotting) wooden drawers. And every creak of the "bed" brought the same nostalgia with it.

That aside, the real problem in this house has been herself. Two days ago, she was foraging for snacks in the refrigerator (she's not used to one that big) and jumped up without realizing her head was still slightly in. This resulted in a fast and hard bump on the head. She saw stars. She got immediately dizzy. Tears just started flowing. This was a serious bump on the head.

After a day of ice and some tequila (to "constrict the blood vessels", that was the reason, uh yea....) it felt mildly better. But Poker Chick couldn't leave it at that. No sooner had the throbbing subsided, that she jumped up after kissing the mini goodnight in her bunk bed (who's done bunk beds since summer camp?!) and whacked her head on the top bunk. A major whack. In the same spot.

Ow. Ow, ow ow. Ow, ow. OMG, ow.

Well, maybe she can console herself with the weather report giving her some good news. The group has to leave by 10am tomorrow. The sun was supposed to show today but it's still cloudy outside. Guess when the weatherman says the sun is coming out again? And will stay for the full ten day forecast? Did you guess 10:30 am tomorrow?

It was kind of obvious she was going there, huh?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Channeling the Domestic Goddess Within

Apparently a week in a house with two kids to feed will bring out the domestic side of anyone, no matter how latent. Last week we posted about feats of Jell-O and pancakes. Lest anyone think these are exaggerated, there's more; proof that anything is possible.

  1. Shucking corn. There's a word that sounds funnier the more times you say it.
  2. Homemade Guacamole. So good, it was requested the next night in larger quantities. She even did the throw the ginzu knife in the avocado pit thing to twist and take it out. Impressive, yes. Smart, not so much. At least not if you're as klutzy as this girl.
  3. A giant pot of rice. We didn't want you to think it was all glamorous. She can do the basics too. And it didn't even burn.
We know you don't believe us, so there are photos. Y'all will just have to wait two more days until she's back in civilization and can get that little cord thing that uploads them to the computer.

Monday, August 25, 2008

F*cked by the F-Girl, Again!

Her name was Florence. She was hot and heavy. But also dark and stormy. So stormy, in fact, she shut down and airport and left 120 people (Poker Chick included) stranded in Bermuda. Not that it's a bad place to be stranded. But if you're going to spend the money to go to Bermuda (and it is a lot), you want to be able to see that pink sand. So a hurricane kinda puts a damper on that. But Poker Chick figured Florence was a once-in-a-lifetime kinda thing.

Fast forward two years later. (It can't be one year, because the F-name is male the year in between). Turns out Faye's got it in for Poker Chick, too. We figured we were safe because Faye was done and far west of the Atlantic. But of course then Poker Chick tried to plan a beach vacation. So against all odds, Faye gathered all "remnants" and moved herself back east to visit. And thus another beach vacation is rained out. To illustrate, behold the OBX weather patterns below:

Weather for most of the week
The "nice" day this week
Weather other people get here

Poker Chick is thinking perhaps she should only plan beach vacations in odd-numbered years.

Thanks a lot, bitches.

Corolla is not just a Toyota

Corolla is also a remote place on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. So remote, in fact, that it does not get blackberry service. In case you were wondering, Corolla is here:
<-That's Corolla. Waaay out in the middle of nowhere.
To give you some scale, the bridge to OBX is in Kitty Hawk, so we had to go another 20-30 miles to get away from civilization. The closest "big" town to us is to the south, called Duck. There are several advantages to this:

1) It's easy to remember if you get lost. "The one above the duck!"
2) Everything sounds funnier when added to "duck". "Duck donuts". "Duck fudge". "Duck Smoothies". It's hilarious! Especially when "duck donuts" are "made to order".

Now, some of you must be wondering how our city girl is faring in these parts. Well, the snob within is truly slumming it, peeps. Let her paint you a picture:
  • She's living in a house. Not the Four Seasons, not a resort house with maid service and a restaurant, but a regular not-so-fancy teal-green house.
  • For the most part, it feels like a cross between the Jersey shore and the Hamptons. So far, the only big advantage she's been able to identify is warmer water. Just like the NY/NJ beaches, there's kitchsy stores and farmers markets and fudge and mini-golf. And the plethora of bbq (pigs in pits) is...hmmm...maybe a little
  • Speaking of country, there's wild horses running around these parts.
  • And beer "drive-thrus". That's right, beer. Drive-through. They're called "Brew-Thrus".
Now, lest you think she's complaining, she must add that the house has a pool and hot tub. And having a stocked fridge is.. (gasp)...not so bad. She didn't cook or anything but she did make a turkey sandwich. With sides of grapes and carrot sticks. It may be more fruit and veggies than she's eaten in weeks. Also, the beach and sun are gorgeous. As a result, after just one day, she is brown and luscious. And the kids had fun too. This is good because apparently Hurricane Faye left behind some remnants that are headed back east and will ruin the rest of the stay with rain and clouds all the time. Lovely.

Tomorrow we'll post about amusing signs way. There are some you peeps will not believe. Meanwhile, good trip or not good trip? We'll leave readers to their own opinions for now. Feel free to share.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Help a Girl Eat, Will Ya?

To follow up on yesterday's post, this morning's breakfast involved Poker Chick making blueberry pancakes for the California family. Now, Poker Chick knows how to cook. She just does it so rarely it's a major event when she does. The repeated "PC cooked!?" reactions had her thinking: she's leaving CA tonight for a week in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Never mind the fact she's never been there and rented a house sight unseen (is she really doing this?). But she's realizing that "remote" and "beach" mean cooking every night. And let's face it, cooking every night is not much of a vacation.

And there's the rub. Remember the mini has food allergies? So, if anyone knows any restaurants in OBX that are allergy-friendly please help a Chick out. There's a special souvenir in it for you!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hidden Talents

We all have them. Things we didn't know we could do. "They"* say that it's important to put yourself in different environments once in a while. It challenges your brain and helps you achieve personal growth.

Some people don't listen to this, some take it to the extreme (we're talking about you Mt. Fuji-climbing type peeps here). But most of us aren't climbing mountains. We're just living our daily lives and doing ordinary things. Occasionally, we try a "new" ordinary thing and those days become extraordinary to us. Even though they're far from exciting to most people.

So, allow Poker Chick to demonstrate her not-so-hidden talent for dramaticizing would-be boring moments:

The Scenario: our die-hard New Yorker finds herself in sunny California. What new skills has she discovered in two days? The natural ability to hit a golf ball (who knew?). And unsurpassed Jell-O making talent. We're talking the whole thing gone in minutes. People swooning, exclaiming "wow! I've never had Jell-O like this before! So delicious!"
Ok, ok so there was no swooning. But exclamations were made. And all agreed that if there were an international culinary medal for Jell-O making, she'd be sporting it right now. (Ha! "Sporting"! See what we did there? We worked in the golf reference. That's so awesome).

Makes one wonder what new and exciting events will be uncovered tomorrow, doesn't it?

*Who are "they"? Good question. If you know, please tell Poker Chick as she's been looking for them forever. "They" are the same people that tell you too many sweets are bad for you, that you should exercise and eat your vegetables, that smoking is bad, and basically that anything else fun you do should be making you feel guilty. "They" have been hiding for years. If people actually found out who "they" are, all the mystery and power of their decrees would be gone.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Happy Hour, Indeed

For the time being, Delta is back in favor with Poker Chick. First, they restored her elite status for another year. Next, she was able to use miles for a last minute transcontinental flight and even get an upgrade. No, she’s not here to gloat. It’s just that the extra miles were SO worth it she thought she should share for future reference.

First of all, you cannot underestimate basic perks such as a clean bathroom, quiet place to sit and basic food/drink. Now add to that shorter lines in a redonculously crowded terminal and you have the nirvana that is luxury travel.

Skip two hours from leaving home and we find Poker Chick eating deviled eggs with caviar, drinking a surprisingly good Bloody Mary, and typing on her computer (which is charging along with her cell phone and blackberry). Did we mention the comfortable chair?

Repeat after Poker Chick: “’Tis good to be a snob. ‘Tis good to be a snob.”

Now you must excuse Poker Chick. She’s up and running to the nearest table faster than you can say “dessert bar.”

Saturday, August 16, 2008

And the Gold for "Best Olympic Flub" goes to.....

There ere are so many laughable things coming out of this year's games it's almost no fun because it's too easy. Nevertheless, here you are, selects of Olympic ridicule. These can also be filed under the headline, "oh no they di'int!"

American runner, Tyson Gay. This may be old news to some but it's still relevant and Poker Chick had to make peeps aware of this one. OneNewsNow, a division of the American Family Association apparently took offense to the name of Tyson Gay, the fastest man on the US track team. See if you can spot the flub below:Did you catch the headline? Horror of horrors, there seems to be a homosexual ruining the games! Oh wait, that is Tyson Gay. Confused yet? Apparently they have software that does a mass find and replace on the word "gay". Somehow "homosexual" is a less offensive term to these peeps. (We can't quite figure that one out. Maybe they're appalled that the word "gay" is also associated with hapiness, and g-d forbid "gay" people should be happy? Who knows). Regardless, the software obviously caused a highly embarrassing boo-boo for them. But at the same time, Poker Chick would like to thank them, as they have contributed much-needed belly laughs for us all.

Poker Chick's going to assume all you peeps have already read about the lip-synching debacle during the opening ceremonies in Beijing. This article is a great summary. The whole situation left Poker Chick struggling with two questions:
  1. Did they really think no one was going to notice?
  2. What could possibly be considered wrong with a 7 year old who has crooked or missing teeth. Isn't that an inherent part of being 7? The only way to describe the reaction here is: W-T-F Chinese Olympic Production peeps?!
Chinese gymnastics team member He Kexin is really 13. Oh wait, China corrected that. She's 16! (yes, He is a she. Get over it). Obviously no one knows how old she (rather, He) really is, but we're ready and excited for the news to come because Poker Chick is convinced this one's not over until the fat lady sings. Oh, wait........ fat ladies probably can't sing in China either.

In the meantime, allow Poker Chick to suggest a new Olympic activity for spectators. It's called "guess the age of the Chinese gymnasts".

Poker Chick will start posting more often later this week, she swears. She's been caught up in new business. Much to her disappointment, the product was not "best Olympic respiratory mask".