Thursday, December 30, 2010

How I spent my afternoon

I wasted five hours of my life on Sunday when my mobile WiFi stick developed a problem. Of course, I got two really dumb tech people, and finally a smart supervisor who told me that everything I had been told to do wouldn't have helped and why and so I had to take my computer and the stick into a Sprint store.

That was Sunday, the night of the blizzard, and I just couldn't get it together enough until today to make the trek. I decided to have an attitude adjustment on myself prior to going and decided I was going to start off cheerful.

That lasted for the first 3 seconds until I was told I was in the wrong Sprint store. Luckily the right Sprint store was across the street. So instead of walking to the corner like a sane person, I was going to save time and cross in the middle ... on my side of the street was a bus stop so I could get on the street, and I saw an opening on the other side which seemed passable.

It really wasn't, and I lost my balance trying to navigate from the street up the curb to the sidewalk, and when I put my hand down on the snow pile, it was so mild today that my hand went straight down into the snow. I really almost did a face plant right in the (dirty) snow.

I was able to right myself and I noticed this man had stopped walking and was watching me -- I was about 5 seconds away from his coming to the aid of this little old lady, but I was good. Later as I sat in the Sprint store, I was watching people way younger and way lither than myself having the same difficulty.

So here was my Sprint Store view if I looked one way:

And here's out the window where I crossed the snowbank Alps:

I was told that I'd have to wait an hour (it was really more like 15 minutes), but while I waited I noticed people who came in with broken devices are really sort of twitchy -- like addicts who need to find their dealer FAST. There's a breathlessness about their need to GET. IT. FIXED. NOW.

So I got a new stick, chatted with the two young clerks as I downloaded it on my laptop. No way was I leaving without seeing that it worked. I was feeling proud of myself because I wasn't being twitchy and then realized it was because everything was going my way and I would soon be out the door.

Which I was. Onward to my Thursday lunch place which turned out to be having a private party for Syracuse University alums. Of course, I get upset when my routines get changed with no notice, and with the slush fest in the streets, and lugging my computer, I didn't want to go far, so I went to this place called Choux Factory.

When it first opened, all they sold were choux (little cream puffs) and coffee. That's it. That wasn't working for them, clearly, so they kept adding items, even sandwiches. Then there was a fire and it was closed for a few months, but now it's open again.

I ordered a Philly Cheese Steak, and imagine that sandwich made in an Asian style. It's Japanese owned and run, and this sandwich was beautiful. And tasted good too. Then they had these fantastic macaroons -- they are made like meringue cookies where they are dry and crusty on the outside, but moist on the inside. Got one almond and one coconut along with my iced coffee:

So I read magazines, watched the people walking by and then it was getting to be 4 oclock so I thought I should head home. Terrible slippery slush so I was doing the old lady shuffle. In addition to the slush, garbage is a problem. No pick ups since before Christmas and none expected until sometime next week. Here's my block:

On My To Read List

I ordered this book today, and it sounds fascinating. I'd never heard of this woman. Here's the first paragraph from a review:

The 19th-century eccentric Ida C. Craddock was by turns a secular freethinker, a religious visionary, a civil-liberties advocate and a sexual radical. Arrested and tried repeatedly on obscenity charges, she was deemed a danger to public morality. By the end of her life, Craddock had become a favorite of free-speech defenders and women’s rights activists. In Heaven’s Bride, historian Leigh Eric Schmidt offers a rich biography of this forgotten mystic, who occupied the seemingly incongruous roles of yoga priestess, suppressed sexologist and suspected madwoman.

Bon Voyage Rosie!

I had no idea that a real woman was the inspiration for this poster, which seems as inspirational today as it was during World War II. However, news reports today say that Geraldine Hoff Doyle, the inspiration behind the now-iconic Rosie the Riveter WWII poster, has died at age 86 in Michigan.

The New York Daily News says:

The poster of a young woman in a factory uniform and red polka dot head kerchief, her arm flexed to show off her muscle with a speech balloon stating boldly, "We can do it!" was designed to encourage young women to volunteer for the war effort while men were serving overseas.

Eventually 6 million women would heed the call and enter the workforce during the war years.

Accompanying the news article online is a poll asking, "Rosie the Riveter: Do you think she was an inspiration to women after WWII?"

At the time I answered (yes! of course), 80% of respondents had voted yes, she is still an inspiration.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Another First for Women

You'd think that at the end of the first decade of the 21st century, there wouldn't be many "firsts" left for women. I came upon this one today in an article in USA Today. This is Inger Klein Olsen who is the first female captain in Cunard's 170-year history. She will captain the 2,000+ passenger ship Queen Victoria.

She's not the first captain of a major cruise ship, but rather the third. The first, however, was in 2007 (according to the Cunard news release).

So hat's off to Captain Olsen! I'm not sure what they say at sea, but smooth sailing to her!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

PS on Povitica

Even though I had written a formal thank you note (patting myself on my back), I wrote my client an email about how much I love the povitica. Here's what she wrote back:

Is it not the most rich, delightful piece of bread you have ever tasted? (Yes, alas, it is full of fat, sugar and calories—but what the heck! It’s the holidays, after all!) I eat it like you did: warmed for a few seconds in the microwave with butter on top.

You are correct on the pronunciation—I was pronouncing it exactly like you at first, until I heard a Croatian woman handing out samples at a local store several years ago pronounce it correctly. This bread is well known throughout Kansas City and actually comes from a local region/section of Kansas City called “Strawberry Hill.” That section of the city is made-up of Italians, Croatians, etc. And, boy, do they know how to cook!

Monday, December 27, 2010


I thought, by my age, I had discovered every fattening thing that exists, but now I have found a new one, thanks to a holiday gift from a client. This is Povitica, which is a Croatian sweet cake.

It comes in a loaf pan, the size of a pound cake. Mine was labeled "English walnut" and it's lots of little layers of moist doughy cake with the walnut paste. It's wonderful.

This client is in Kansas City, and when I googled Povitica, it turns out to be mostly popular there. Just to add insult to injury, I buttered the piece I ate. Heaven!

PS about pronunciation: I was saying it wrong... I thought it was
po-VIT-i-cah but it is po-vee-TEET-sah which sounds much more romantic.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Back to the Bakery

I returned to Kramer's Bakery today and the line was nearly to the door, but I waited -- wanted to get some white lace cookies, and as I waited, these gingerbread muffins caught my eye, so I bought one.

That's not a bite out of it, just the normal weird shape that non-factory baked pastries take on. I'm sure it would be rejected in the factory.

Anyway, this had a sugary crust on top that was crunchy and the interior was velvety soft. Gingery but not overly so. Made a cup of coffee to go with it -- delicious!

Speaking of the lines, my typical strategy when I arrive in a store, as long as I'm there, is to wait in the line. I noticed a few people turning away because it was too crowded. Think it will be less crowded on Christmas Eve? No way.

The bakery had three people working and the line moved quickly. However "urban rules" were in effect. To me, that means you are alert as to when it is your turn, you have your order organized in your head and ready to speak. No niceties, just tell the woman what you want clearly and succinctly.

The other "urban rule" is that you are cognizant of asking for special favors. For example, the man in front of me wanted one pound of cookies, and he asked rather sheepishly if she would be willing to divide them between two boxes. Yes, she was -- I figured she would do that, unlike the place where I buy bagels where they won't toast them.

I'm not sure if that's a culinary decision or a too-much-work decision. I have heard people countless times asking for their bagels to be toasted and I cringe -- it's like the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld... no soup for you, no toasted bagel either. They actually get angry and act as if you've asked for something totally unreasonable.

What's odd, and I've never asked for this, but you can ask for a bagel "scooped" which means they take a spoon and scoop out the bready interior... so you'd ask, for example, for a "scooped sesame with white fish salad." It seems strange my buddies at Tal Bagels would be willing to scoop, but not toast.

As long as I'm rambling, there's another New York thing which is "regular coffee" which means coffee with milk and sugar in it. I've always drunk coffee black, and I remember when I first moved here, I'd ask for coffee and the deli guy would say "regular?" and I'd say "yes," thinking I want normal, plain coffee and then I'd be surprised when it had milk and sugar in it. Took me a while to figure that one out.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Drunk Octopus

BJ sent me this, and it fascinates me. I don't know if my eyes would have seen this hook as a "drunk octopus," but it's really perfect. His drunk eyes, and even his "dukes up" for a fight. It makes me wonder what else we miss.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fran's Lunar Eclipse

Farewell to Fran's Old Friend

This is a 100-year old tree which has reached the end of its life and it's going to be taken down. I am sure that will be painful to watch. Fran writes:

This tree, about 100 years old, is one of my very favorite DC tree friends and seeing it go breaks my heart and the hearts of many neighbors. Although I must remember that it has died of old age and disease -- and that its felling is not the work of an individual who doesn't want tree sap falling on his car! Imagine all it has seen.

You know I'm a nutty tree toucher and it was one that I would reach out and pat it on the way to and from home. Its incredible energy was so reassuring, protective so calming (yeah, I have it a big hug goodbye yesterday). Another favorite friend, a 100 + year old oak near the Saratoga apartment building was taken down earlier this year - also due to decay.

You'll notice there's a paper attached to the tree, and an anonymous admirer posted this poem on the tree:

Worry Not for Your Old Friend

To those who may mourn my departure
worry not for where or why I must go,
as I will rejoin the forest of my fathers
away from the cold, wind and snow
peacefully awaiting my time to return
as sapling, child, or other as I've earned.

For decades upon decades I have stood
here in this place we both call home,
and I've been the best tree I could
as I've watched you all come and go,
But the world has just changed so much,
I don't know how you can live as such.
So busy, so loud, so fast, so chaotic.

Just pause for a moment here under me
and simply enjoy nature, so harmonic.
It's easy to think that the world you see
Is all that exists with nothing beyond,
but I can tell you surely you're wrong.
So save your thoughts of foul felling.

My time has come, and thus I depart
without tears, complaints or yelling,
for I've lived a good life with a clear heart,
and my advice for you is to do the same.
Be kind, stand tall, and live up to your name.

In all of you, such greatness can there be
Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance is the key.

4707 Connecticut Ave Tree

Fran concludes: Onward. Welcome saplings.

Here are other friends. Fran calls these the Sister Trees:

Monday, December 20, 2010


I can set the blog to as strict or loose as I want about comments. I have made it as loose as possible -- anybody, anytime, anywhere. Yet some friends have noted that they can't leave a comment.

Tonight Fran told me, and I went to check it out and found out there's a spam filter on comments, and her comment about the moon photos was somehow labeled spam... have no idea why! Her comment doesn't use spammy type words. Now it's posted along with some others that got trapped.

Anyway, I hope you will comment and now I know I need to check the spam filter. Hope that does the trick. I also filled out a feedback form so maybe I'll get some tips on preventing problems with comments.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Photos from Fran

The photographer has named this: Full moon over Connecticut Avenue, Sunday night. A little shaky, taken w/phone.
Fran says: Here's one, also phone shot, from last night's ride 'round the monuments.

and Fran moons us one more time:

Mary and I both thought the above moon photo was reminiscent of Van Gogh's Starry Night... ok, so I remembered the name Starry Night, knew it was a French painter, but couldn't say whom. This is why we love the Internet!

Return to Viet Nam

My friend Ken served as a helicopter pilot in Viet Nam circa 1966. He is one of the founders of an organization called Viet Nam Helicopter Pilots Association, which is non-political and is a social and educational gathering point for pilots from that era.

Recently, he returned to Viet Nam for the first time and I asked him to share some of his experiences. For the non-aviation minded among us, a Huey is a helicopter.

Ken writes:

One of the most interesting places we visited was General Giap's offices from 1972-1975 as he waged war aginst the S. Vietnamese gov't. He called it a "liberation of the people" and "unification of Vietnam", not a war. He was and still is considered to be a masterful war tactician and strategist, so it was intersting to see his offices just as they were when he was liberating the south.

The maps of his advancing army and the strategies they employed was just like what we would have done against a real army vs what we were forced to do battling Giap's guerilla tactics. I always respected (not admired) Giap's approach, but I never liked it - too much oppression of the people he was liberating and too much almost casual loss of life without any notion of death and the toll it was taking on the population.

We visited the museum at Khe Sanh, where one of the most famous seiges took place in 1968. The director of the musem was happy to see us there and he was very pleased that we were open to his questions. I sketched a Huey for him and showed him how it was supposed to be painted - his example was painted with "US Air Force" in large white letters along with a USAF star and bar insignia. It had been painted with those incorrect markings and other incorrect markings by someone on the museum staff.

The Huey had been captured from a So. Vietnamese Air Force unit, so it should have had VNAF painted on it with the proper S VN flag, and all lettering should have been in black, etc. He vowed to get that corrected soon. Interestingly, we saw Hueys in museums in Saigon and Hanoi painted like the one at Khe Sanh, and all of the museum staff and directors welcomed us similarly and all vowed to correct the paint jobs. I have emailed photos of VNAF Hueys to all of them to verify what I told them and all have replied in what can be described as cheerful terms.

caption for above photo:
Truc, our former VC anti-aircraft gunner in front of his gun at the Hanoi war museum doing an interview for VOV - Voice of Vietnam. He and Jack and I were all on that radio show as well as a separate VOV TV show that should be on YouTube soon, if not by now.

Ken continues:

Our side trip for 4 days to Angkor Wat was worth the time and effort. The Cambodian countryside is cleaner (less road side trash) and the construction hasn't crept up to the very edge of the road like it has in too much of VN. As a result, one can see from the bus all of the beautiful rice paddies, the water buffalo and the fish nets and shrimp operations. The weather was nicer there, too, so the crystal clear blue skies without any smog really are impressive. Saigon and Hanoi are terrible with smog and smaze and felt downright unhealthy most of the time we were there.

Ken is also a diver, who has shared with me his expertise when I have had to write an article where I was over my head (no pun intended) with diving!

I took time to go scuba diving at Nha Trang and enjoyed all 3 dives very much. The instructor I dove with was fun and a good diver. The dive shop there is pretty unique - it's a full service bar and restaurant with sidewalk cafe so one cann go diving, return to the shop on their small bus and have a drink on the sidewalk for the post dive chatter. Cool!! Check it out:

Here's something to watch for in the world press:

Read all you want about the Mekong River and watch it on TV, but you will never get the full impact of how large and powerful and influential the Mekong is over SE Asia until you cross it a dozen times in different places and at least two countries. There is some talk of a dam on the Mekong and I will give money to the effort to stop it. It would be immediately ruinous to tens of millions of people and millions of acres of land.

If you want to read about the entire trip, you can check this blog for more of Jack's (his fellow traveler's) journal of the trip.

caption for above photo: The cyclo driver and the rig he rode me around on in Saigon one afternoon. EXCITING!!!

DC by Night Tour

Fran and Mary took a tour of the monuments and Christmas decorations last night. This is the Capitol Building and our National Christmas Tree which Mary took with her phone camera, but she says Fran took a "good one" so maybe that will arrive in my inbox today. I kind of like the weirdness of this one!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Brunch at Belga

Mary, Phil and Barb had brunch today at a place called Belga. Here's a description from its web site.

Belga Café is the original Belgian restaurant in Washington DC and a great place for authentic Belgian food and Belgian Beers. Combining an intriguing atmosphere with excellent, light & healthy interesting food.

I don't know if I've ever had Belgian food. Do Belgian waffles count? I'll have to find out from Mary what Belgian food is like.

Here's our friend, Phil, to whom I must give a shout out in that when I first started this blog, I did a few posts, and then stopped, and Phil wrote me to urge me onward as he was one of my readers. So thanks, Phil!

Update from Mary: I was not far off with the waffles. Here's the rundown:

I had the regular Brussels waffle with berries and syrup - it was so good, and you didn't need any butter on it. Last time I had the Liege waffle with carmelized apples and cinnamon. Barb had waffles with duck confit which she said was great, and Phil had a hangar steak which also looked good, but since it was brunch, I wanted waffles. Many of the savory dishes, including Barb's and Phil's, came with an egg cooked sunny side up or over easy.

Friday, December 17, 2010

What I'm Reading

I belong to two Book Clubs -- Book of the Month and History Book Club, and I'm pretty good at responding to the offers, especially since I can do it on line, rather than the old days where you had to return a postcard.

But just like a bill that occasionally goes astray, I must have missed one and so this book arrived, unasked for and not really wanted. But it didn't seem worth the effort to return it.

I'd heard of John le Carre, but hadn't read any of his books. I knew he'd been around for a long time -- in fact, he's published novels since 1961 including The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.

So, of course, like all things that I protest, I started reading this and am really enjoying it, even though I don't like espionage novels. I like this one! I was just reading about him in Wikipedia, and he is a very important author.

And speaking of things I thought I wouldn't like, I loved, not liked, but loved Foyle's War. There were four episodes, and I couldn't say which is my favorite. They were all good, all "smart" mysteries, so evocative of the time (South Coast of England during WW II) and I will definitely continue and rent the remaining four seasons from Netflix.

My Christmas Lunch -- with Celebrity

I met Barbara at a place called Nona on the Upper West Side for our December lunch cum Christmas party for two. I got there first and was admiring the Christmas decorations in this little restaurant. I wanted to photograph the interior for my blog and went ahead, trying to not include two guys who were in the restaurant.

I took this photo:

and about 45 seconds later heard another guest whispering to her waitress if the other guest was who she thinks it is -- I overheard and realized it was a celebrity. The waitress replied, "Yes, it's Matt Dillon" and I looked at him again and realized it was. I am really bad at recognizing celebrities. I had even looked at these guys, and I was slightly embarrassed hoping that Matt Dillon didn't think I was trying to photograph him.

I haven't seen a celebrity in a while, but the ones I can remember seeing are: Goldie Hawn Christmas shopping in the Gap; Shelly Winters (now dead) in a bookstore; Patricia Neal in a coffee shop; JFK, Jr. in the subway; Lauren Hutton, sitting next to me in an airplane; Jay Leno at LAX, next to me at a payphone bank(yeah, a long time ago when people still had to use payphones!); Donald Trump getting out of a limousine on Fifth Avenue; Kathryn Hepburn coming out of the stage door when she was in Woman of the Year (although that one was different as I waited for her); Barry Goldwater in an airport; Mike Wallace at Grand Central Station (where I helped him and his wife work the self-service ticket machine); Tony Randall in an elevator; Bill Murray on the street; David Letterman in a restaurant -- those are the ones who come to mind.

So we had a really lovely lunch, exchanged presents. Barbara gave me Brooklyn-themed gifts: this little bag with a vintage photo of the Brooklyn Bridge on it along with four pieces of chocolate covered caramels with salt on top that is from a new Brooklyn chocolatier. We broke them out for dessert and each had one. The mix of sweet and salt is an interesting one -- and a delicious one.

In case Matt Dillon isn't familiar to you, here's what he looks like:

Monday, December 13, 2010

Back to Ghana

Here are some more shots from Meredith. This first one Meredith has labeled as "traditional fishing boats in Accra."

[below] Meredith writes: Fish smokers. Smoked fish is very popular here, in part because many people don't have refrigerators.

[below] Meredith writes: Setting off on a bike ride that I thought would be a leisurely ride through botanical gardens, but actually was almost entirely on narrow, rocky paths. I had to get off and walk parts of it, but at least I didn't fall in a ditch, flip over my handle bars, or suffer from heat exhaustion - as some other riders did.

[below] Meredith writes: Visit to a traditional kente cloth weaving village.

[below] Meredith writes: Some of the finished kente cloth.

More to follow in the days ahead...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Home Again

We had really a wonderful weekend in DC, and despite the news media trying to terrorize us about impending winter weather, it was an easy drive home -- in fact, in the mid-50s most of the way, including New York City.

We had a wonderful Christmas dinner on Saturday with meat loaf, mashed potatoes, corn pudding, salad, and mushrooms.

My contribution was making the mushrooms which are a culinary invention of Cristina. You take a pound of mushrooms, clean them off with no water, then put them in a colander and put a few tablespoons of flour and shake them around so they get coated.

Next put the mushrooms in a sautee/frying pan with olive oil and butter on Med/High heat until they get a bit golden brown. Then add heavy cream, a tablespoon or so of soy sauce and salt and pepper to taste. They are so easy to make, and so delicious. Then you just sautee them for a while. You can eat them as a side dish or really it could be a sauce for meatloaf or potatoes.

Then we exchanged presents, had coconut custard pie that Fran made for dessert and basically sat and gabbed for the rest of the evening.

And finally, Milo the Cat is all partied out, along with his wrapping paper, he fell asleep under the Christmas tree.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Back in DC

Had an uneventful drive down to DC. This afternoon, Mary baked her Christmas cookies for tomorrow's festivities. She had a few setbacks, like dropping her bottle of molasses in the supermarket parking lot, then realizing she didn't have the spices she needed, then realizing she screwed up the recipe (but fixed it) and I held my tongue for fear of suggesting to her that the way I "bake" (i.e. go to bakery) is so much easier.

But here she is, sanctimoniously showing off the finished product:

And up close, these are Mary's "Sugar Coated Gingerbread Chewies." Ok, I admit it. We sampled one and it really was good -- like a cake-y ginger snap, covered in sugar.

Milo, the cat, was acting up tonight. This is in Mary's dining room where Milo takes a giant leap from her sideboard about three feet over and three feet up, and he sits up there for a few minutes and then jumps down.

I have new appreciation for cat people photographing their animals, as I realize how difficult it is to get a good one, but here's Milo up close:

Thursday, December 9, 2010

My Christmas "Baking"

I started a tradition among my friends that we would have a homebaked cookie exchange at Christmas. We got fairly competitive in a light-hearted way about it with rules and regulations about what sort of cookies, what amounts, packaging, etc. I participated and often would be put in the position to referee these questions, although some might say I put myself in that position to the point that my friends were calling me the Cookie Empress.

Well, one year, as I was about to bake my cookies, I just plain didn't feel like it, and had to admit I'm not a huge fan of baking. I decided to buy my cookies. I wasn't going to try to pass them off as home-made, but I knew I had to break this to my friends in just the right way.

So I went to my local bakery which is a wonderful place that has been in the same spot for more than 100 years. The interior has not been upgraded, I don't think, in those 100 years either. There are still wooden display cases and that tiny white tile floors. I felt very efficient "baking" my cookies in the two minutes it took me to buy them.

When I got to Mary's, I finally confessed, believing she would think it was amusing that the Cookie Empress bought her cookies.


It is one of the few times (really) that Mary was angry at me. Over the 40-plus years we've been friends, I've told her a number of things that I wasn't proud of myself for having done, but I always got a "Everyone makes mistakes" or "You're only human" or "That's not so bad" response from Mary.

Eventually, she has forgiven, but not forgotten. In fact, last night she made a snide comment about my non-baking of cookies. My saving grace is that my store bought cookies are so good that they can't complain that much.

I usually buy "white lace" cookies which are two burned sugar/thin toffee wafers held together with drizzles of white chocolate. This is the closest image I could find, but imagine the chocolate as white, not brown:

So it wasn't like I was showing up with a baq of Oreos.

Today was cookie "baking" time as I go to DC tomorrow. I went to Glaser's which is on First Avenue and the window is decorated for Christmas as if it is 1956:

and here's the interior. You can see the built-in wooden display cases and the white tile floor, complete with the bakery's name.

And here's the woman who helped me "bake" -- they still have balls of string hanging from the ceiling to tie up boxes.

Today the white lace cookies were being baked when I went in there and weren't ready. So I got two different kinds: Bavarian Almond and Cinnamon Swirl. Hmmmm-mmmm... just like Grandma used to make. And here they are, all finished baking and ready to bring with me.

Although I tried to defend my buying of cookies by saying that I was supporting local business, stores like this are what we love about cities, all the interesting independently owned stores and restaurants. In my neighborhood, so many of them are gone, replaced by Starbucks, Victoria's Secret, Sprint stores, CVS drugstores etc.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Send Good Thoughts

Light a candle, say a prayer, send light or whatever your particular spiritual belief is on behalf of Stephanie who is having major surgery tomorrow, Thursday, December 9. The doctors can do it an easier way or a hard way, but they won't know until the surgery starts.

I spoke with her tonight and she's doing the fasting and drinking a half-gallon of whatever it is they want you to drink. A while back, in the face of the impending surgery, we made a plan to be at Maz Mescal on Sunday, January 2, 2011 to ring in the New Year. Tonight we even decided what we are going to order so please imagine us sitting there toasting with our frozen margaritas.

12/9 Update: All is well. The bad part is that her surgery was scheduled for 12:20 and they didn't get to her until 3:45. The surgeon was able to do it the "easier" way which means she thinks she will be going home in two days as opposed to having to stay a week or more.