Thursday, April 17, 2008
Many of the prisoners are there for life, and it had me thinking about what the hell that would be like. Angola is set on 18,000 acres of what sounds like beautiful land, but that can hardly make up for forty or fifty years living behind bars with other people with histories as unfortunate as your own. Can you even imagine that? Continuing to try to live your life knowing there is no chance you will ever be free again? How thoroughly bizarre to realize that THIS is your life; that there is no reason ever to have dreams of where your life might lead you, because it’s not leading you anywhere, ever.
So that’s pretty uplifting.
Since I am still a free woman, I can travel, and as you know (since it’s pretty much all I talk about), R. and I are going to Paris and London in a month. With the crummy dollar, we’re not staying anywhere too exciting, but I am unable to stay anywhere too budget without crying and generally being a royal pain in the ass so we’re not in total dumps, either. We are staying at The Parkcity in London, which gets good reviews on Tripadvisor. I’m a little concerned that it’s going to be one of those weird, battered-around-the-edges places you see when you’re coming in from Heathrow onto Cromwell Road, but hopefully not. As for Paris, I’m still looking because even though our hotel looks pretty cute, it’s in Montparnasse. That’s not an area I’ve ever been particularly drawn to, although it is easy walking to the shops of the rue de Grenelle, Le Bon Marché, and then over to St. Germain, and there are plenty of good restaurants nearby. And it’s 135 euros a night, including VAT, so that’s pretty reasonable. I think my problem is, as usual, I’m a five-star kind of girl with a three-star salary.
I really need to start making some reservations for dinners in Paris; does anyone have any favorites they’d like to suggest? I’ve already booked a place called Le Timbre, which is newish and popular, and I figure we’ll go to a brasserie one night to ensure I get an adequate dose of foie gras, but I wouldn’t mind branching out a bit otherwise from my same old standards. So… any suggestions welcome.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
1. She doesn’t find long toenails to be disgusting, which is just bizarre, and
2. The rest of her is probably pretty tacky, too.
Because I can almost guarantee those toenails will be peeking out of a pair of high-heeled sandals or wedges purchased from DSW or some other low-end, warehouse-type retailer, and dollars to doughnuts there will be a toe ring involved as well. And where the shoes don’t merit enough attention to even come from Nordstrom, the rest of the outfit will follow suit.
Lest you think I am a complete bitch, which, of course, I am, I will say that certainly a girl can pick up a perfectly charming little spring outfit at an inexpensive chain store. Yesterday I wore what I thought was a perfectly cute, reasonably tailored pair of “railroad stripe” trousers to work that I had picked up at Old Navy. However, I paired them with a pair of A.P.C. wedges that kept me from looking like I’d just given up. And the toes that were visible in MY wedges were a perky shade of spring pink. Maybe not everyone’s taste, but also not designed to rip someone else’s ankle to shreds if I stand too close.
And of course, maybe I am wrong; perhaps the beaches and restaurants of St. Tropez are alive with the tanned, white-tipped feet of the lithe and fashion-forward jet set. It is a “French” pedicure, after all. But I’m guessing that if you see a girl with such a pedicure in France, it’s more likely she shops at the Parisian equivalent of TJ Maxx than on the Faubourg St. Honoré.
Friday, April 11, 2008
So last night we had a friend over to dinner, and I made macaroni and cheese. I know; that doesn’t sound particularly thrilling, and in fact R. tells me that in one photo I took of the finished product, it looked like vomit. You be the judge:
It may look weird, but I’ll tell you what: it tastes fabulous, it’s perfectly appropriate for a mid-week, casual dinner with friends, and there is nothing easier to make. This is important when you have one of these to deal with as well:
Here’s the recipe.
Macaroni and Cheese
16 oz. rigatoni
16 oz. cottage cheese (I use 1%)
12 oz. sour cream (non- or low-fat)
16 oz. shredded cheese (cheddar or a mix)
1 egg, beaten
Cook rigatoni according to package directions. Cool. Combine all ingredients, reserving a little cheese to sprinkle on the top. Spread in a 9 x 13 casserole dish, sprinkle with cheese, and bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes.
As you can see, Thomas also enjoys a little get-together, as evidenced by this picture of him reclining on the table after dinner.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
I am an
Huh? I found this quiz on Cindy's blog, and apparently this is me in a nutshell:
"You are a health conscious person, both your health and the health of others. You know all about the health benefits and dangers of the world around you."
Um, that is simply not true. I'm a lawyer, not a volunteer for Medecins Sans Frontiers. Now, apparently I was a shaman in a former life, according to the psychic who predicted my whirlwind romance and wedding (to a big, blond beefy football player-type), so maybe it's rooted somewhere deep within, but otherwise I'd say it's flat out wrong.
Couldn't I have been something a little more lovely; like, say, a lilac?
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Over the years I have collected a pretty amazing amount of stuff; from Hazel Atlas bowls to Manhattan glass to a Fire King breakfast set to Bauer pottery to… you name it. Here are pictures of some containers out on my counter and of a cabinet of glasses.
The containers are from the 30s and 40s, and the glasses are a mix. The hobnail glasses on the top shelf are from the 1910’s, and the tall glasses next to them are from the 50’s. The Ring wine glasses on the second shelf are from the 30’s (gorgeous, and a gift from my aunt for graduation from law school), although the ones next to them are 1990’s Target. The bottom shelf has green Manhattan glass tumblers and a bunch of Swanky Swig juice glasses from the 50’s (I think). Anyway, I get loads of pleasure from using all my dishes, and I can set a pretty fabulous table. I also have a large collection of mismatched plates from the 19th and 20th centuries, each having some element of green as their common feature. When I set a table with those, I often use my toile silverware, the site for which I linked to yesterday and more pieces of which I add when I go to France.
That company has all sorts of cute stuff, though, and I think I might add something new this time. I really like this Liberty pattern in “lime”, which I think will go nicely with some Cath Kidston coffee mugs I already have in green…
Now I’m all keyed up for some serious shopping.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Fortunately, in six weeks we will be spending our tax return on profiteroles, patterned flatware and Prêt-à-Manger duck wraps instead of sticking it in some sort of savings vehicle. That should go a long way toward easing my mind. I guess when I’m trying to think of another way to stretch boiled cabbage into another delicious dish, I can think back on the halcyon days when I thought nothing of starting every Parisian dinner with a slice of foie gras, or of gaily loading another frivolous treat from La Maison du Chocolat into my basket…. Paris itself will be a distant memory, too, but I’m sure if I look hard enough at the cracks in the cheap plaster of our one bedroom tenement apartment, I can imagine it’s a map of Paris’ arrondissements, the Seine flowing agelessly through.
Or, we can just retire there and I can look at the cracks of our Parisian tenement walls instead.
Friday, April 4, 2008
But when one door closes another opens: now he has pink eye. Yes, pink eye. Not having been around a bunch of children, I haven’t seen a case of pink eye since my own 30 years ago, and it’s no more pleasant now. I called his school to tell them I was taking him to the doctor to confirm, and the director asked me to call if it was true so they could post a notice. Refusing to take responsibility for infecting the rest of the kids, when he obviously picked it up there himself, I said, “I’m pretty sure he got it there since it’s the only place he goes.” The director replied that no other children have it, so I lied and said I was pretty sure one other kid in Eeyore’s class had had it recently. In fact, there is this one boy who is always a hot mess of gooey snot and flame-red cheeks and nose, so chances are his eyeballs are red behind all the other rheumy trappings of babyhood. Whatever; I’m not above throwing some other hapless child under the bus to avoid looking like the gross family that nobody wants around.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
1. I don’t think I am ever going to be really thin again. I have a particularly doughy case of muffin top that is tiring me out, and not enough willpower to get rid of it. I go to the gym regularly and eat sort of reasonably (for a high school football player), but I can’t bring myself to stop eating and last I checked that’s the only real way to lose weight. Serious, boring, shitty deprivation. No chocolate, no wine, NO FUN and so no dice. I’ve never understood the women who claim to be satisfied by “just a square or two of really good dark chocolate;” because if it’s that good, I want even more.
2. I don’t think I am ever going to sleep again. We had two or three precious weeks where Eeyore was sleeping from 7:30 at night until 6:30 in the morning, and I quickly became accustomed to sleeping almost like a human again. However, he started teething recently, and the last few nights in our house have been total hell; like freshly home from the hospital bad. Since babies keep getting teeth until they’re about 2, it’s easy to imagine that this could continue until that time. No sleep = very difficult to remain upbeat about almost anything.
3. Paris. I think about it constantly now, and when I have a spare moment I’m scouring the internet for new restaurant recommendations. I’m pissed that my excitement is tempered every time I think of not being able to see Eeyore every day. It makes me kind of sick. Shit, I’m almost in tears every day when I have to go back to work after visiting him at lunch; how can this be anything but a hundred times worse? I miss him right now.
At this rate, I won’t have anything interesting to say here until I get back from France.