Thanksgiving was great. Two different sweet potato dishes & no dessert.
One of them was a weird, first-time, casserole with eggs in it and nuts (?). Like a pie, but fluffy. I don't know. There were actual sweet potatoes in use, not yams -- generally I don't make a distinction, but this year I did bc I made a sweet-potato skordalia (so, three sweet potato dishes, I guess, but sit tight) and the Greek cookery directives were v v clear, "Make sure you do not use yams; they won't work." Ok, Yiayia!
The point is, the weird casserole may not have been so fluffy if yams were in use. I did not eat of our usual, heirloom dish bc preparing, I left the sugar as grandmothers intended so, that.
The turkey came out great. It was so appealing Fille asked for a bite, wtf, ahahaha.
I don't do a turkey every year, but these last two or maybe three, I have. I was kind of grudging & resentful abt actually going to a farm source for some neighbor-raised bird, but I'm over it now bc two years of delicious meat (maybe three? I dunno.) I followed Nigella Lawson's instructions from Feast, which meant our 12lb turkey took 2.5 hours.
(Fille reports she did not care for the texture of her mouthful of turkey. I get it. I don't eat oranges!)
This pretty pony is the only thing in our house that doesn't have a single speck of glitter on it, lol.
I mean, I try to keep the glitter out of the kitchen, but it is absolutely all over me. Plus, I came home from the costume shop Friday night burnt-up by the hot-glue gun.
(Those are my favorite, kicking-around lulus)
Look, it's good to be busy in difficult times. Also, not to have to talk nor hear about the election when I am there, pitching in. I mean, I feel truly sorry for everyone I know who is deeply-sheltered in their blue, blue bubble, for whom the outcome of the election was a complete surprise, but I never thought the polls were right in the least, to even hint at this clear landslide for Clinton because I am in Ballet Town 2 or more days every week. I saw their deplorable signs, which surprised me at first -- not because I didn't think FancyLand voters were too classy to vote for him, but I did think they were too refined to let on. So, if they had out their signs ... these same neighborhoods where they put down Bernie signs on their lawns months before, well ...
I mean, yk. I feel v strongly it is time for the finger-pointing to end, but it's like someone said, "Oh, let's just do it! I mean, much of America has hated her for lots of different reasons for 25 years, but what's the worst that could happen?" Well now we know. Oh, hindsight! You don't need a magnifying glass to read the tiny letters used to write the ingredients lists on conditioner bottles at Target, do you?
Determined (and covered in glitter) as usual, I have made this unthinkable state of affairs part of our parenting rule-set.
Oh, well, like Dr Houseman, when we're wrong we say we're wrong, so all these years & years of lecturing we have laid upon you? We're wrong! Don't follow the rules! Lying, what about it? You're right, you don't have to treat people well, & don't attend to your obligations! Your father & I fully admit we're so wrong! Do all the bad behavior and skate away! Attack the people who request redress! You can have all the worst behavior and still be the leader of the free world! You're well on the way! Live your best life! Aspire!
You will find a silver lining in everything if you stare it all down long enough. I can't stay up all night with all this typing, typing, typing. Love to you xoxoxox
It's like, how much soup can you eat? So, I switched to stew, lol.
This one is red lentils & pumpkin. Nutcracker, come on.
I'm loving it this year, though. It was last year during the exhibition that I revealed myself to not actually be completely useless. I mean, that's hyperbole; I've long been the backstage mother with the extra bobby pins & disposable makeup wedges & steady hands. Club soda + peroxide, bandaids, cotton balls, more hairspray, extra snacks, a big-sister's Lorelai Ghoulmore vibe, and calm in the face of whatever.
But it was only in the spring they found out I can sew. I can't construct anything, but if you need finishing details or hardware invisibly attached, any alterations -- yr basic tucking and tacking -- I can take care of it. The big reveal went like this, "That [new costume] could just get a rolled hem." --> Gaping + gawping in the makeshift costume shop. I mean, what was the harm in letting on? AHAHAHAHA!
However, it is known that keeping busy in difficult times is important so here I am, grounded by piles of tulle, sewing on hooks & bars, hemming invisibly, tacking with the chain stitch because next year, it will fit a different child again. I'm pretty grateful to have a purposeful distraction. Mari is a little mystified + like, first of all, Who Knew You Could Sew Like Mary Ingalls plus obvsly, yk, How Long Will This Show Interfere With Doing It? Show wraps on 6 Dec, hand me those pins, shhh.
Basically, the outcome of last week's B-Mom skirmish (you remember), is I have gaslighted her into the grave. After I sidestepped her ridiculous message about how she was annoyed bc I was disrespectful and inappropriate, she sent another damn email the next morning which started with "Did you even read my email?" and went on in the vein of You'd better take it back! Omg, wtf, is she serious?
So I sidestepped again & I'm not going to lie, I hated her for it, but I knew I would prevail. The task in my manipulative reply was to address her strong feelings but not validate them at all. Fifille helped me tone it down so it ended up along the lines of a cheerful reassurance (which I knew she would interpret as an insulting refusal): You seem so disappointed you didn't get to help! Don't worry, there are so many chances for us all to pitch in coming through the lockstep rigor of the show! It will be a long month but so worth it. See you!
It's like, please accept this redirection, ok? No, but the next email was fully-insane in its determination to fight with me. Like, who is she? Donald Trump?
You misunderstand. My disappointment stems not from my inability to help but because you denigrated my professional qualifications to other people, and then refused to acknowledge it. This is all I am going to say on the matter. I think I have been clear.
My response was to type out, "LOLOL, omg, get over yrself, this isn't that Dance Moms show. We don't act like this in this school, get a life. Maybe join ISIS ahahaha."
Which, ok, telling someone you don't like to join a religious extremist terror group is, strictly speaking, a kind of bad behavior, but omg come on. Then I forwarded the whole chain of emails & replies to the school's foundress + directress with a leader which said, "I am not trying to be a gossip nor a tattletale, but I have heard you mention that you can't figure out where this broad is coming from, so you can put this in your hopper, whatever."
Well, yk how I am, right? Like, her behavior bothered me bc it seemed ridiculous but I didn't take it seriously directed at me while I responded. But what happened when people with normal limbic systems read it is they saw her putting these words on me, of all the people, & now she's, yk, no one.
& to be accurate, I am not the only person to have had a dustup with her, I guess (I really don't gossip there), but I am the only one who got her bad behavior preserved in amber, which is what I was aiming to do, at some level -- Show yourself, come on, come & get me. Too bad she couldn't disappoint. Typical.
& in turn, as we assemble in greater numbers around the backstage rigor, everyone is so sweet to me about the confrontation (I wasn't gossiping but good God, was everyone else), what I had to endure & stories and pledges abound concerning how everyone has my back. Another time we can talk about the dreadful task this woman has been given for her show volunteer role, but I don't know if she could have expected anything better anyway because what is said is that she can't even sew. LOLOL xoxoxox
That Hamilton Lighthauser & Rostam song talks abt "the tenth of November, the year's almost over." I love that song a lot. Fille & I are always hollering it out, like Carpool Karaoke but Kitchen.
Shit is extremely real here & I didn't really realize till this morning bc (um bc I make it look easy) look at that solid-food breakfast. I'm so hungry! Let's catch up soon xoxoxxx
Honestly, we would be out of time if not for the sweet potatoes with black beans + kale skillet GP gave to us.
But, honestly, never let all my sweet la madre homekeeping confuse you. I'm the very same as I have ever been. Listen, I said I would do some sweet, sexless, home-ec thing for B-school -- I mean, I volunteered. In fact, the thing was there was a conversation happening about [a thing] and listening to the whole discussion about the confusion and [the thing], I said, from where I was sitting, pretending to mind my business, "Well, the solution to [this thing] is [x]."
Everyone stopped & looked at me, gaping, maybe like I'd told them how to turn lead into gold. I was not prepared to have been so groundbreaking. (Let's stick with lead into gold as a metaphor.)
"I mean, lead into gold. It's alchemy. I've done it. I guess I can do it if no one knows how."
More gaping. At least 70% of the gaping is bc I have never said so many words on one day to 3/4 of the group.
I shrugged & went back to my cat game but then everyone snapped out of their stupor & clamored & it was fine, with me, "Yes," I said. "I will turn this lead into gold."
Then, I had a period of interactions & exchanges where B-moms I have long known were reaching out like, Do you need help? & no. Plus, they knew that a. I don't want help with a thing I volunteered for & b. they don't really want to help, they just wanted to offer to help in case I surprised them & said, "Welllll ..." bc I needed help. It was nice. Nerve-wracking for me, but nice.
Then, a new-to-the-school B-mom came to me through a third person offering to help. Now, the third person was the Directress's son-in-law -- she had overheard me talking to him about how I needed to build a particle accelerator. "Well," she told him, after I was gone, "I don't mean to pry, but I would love to help. I'm a physicist!"
So, Dmitri emailed me & let me know, so I got back to her. When we finally got around to meeting, Monday, she was basically like, "Well, oh, so you're going to get atomic weights from the periodic table? I am just going to look at Wikiphysicist! Wow, both of these are going to be heavy, so heavy."
But, um, ok. Sure. Then there were a couple of other things she faceplanted on, but ok, bc really, I just need her to hold my ladder, so there is no reason to go toe-to-toe & call her out. It was fine.
See, I can get along with people, ok? God! I mean!
I let it go. I let her take my plans for the particle accelerator I was going to build and, yk, I was waiting for her to figure out the total weight & get back to me. I let a couple of days go by & having heard nothing from her, I called back to the school to say, "Can you give her a nudge & find out when she'll be done with her part? Because ... well, I'd rather not do it."
OMGWTF Dmitri said, "Well, this is funny you don't want to because she was just here earlier & said she is waiting to get the information about the weight from wherever, since you didn't give it to her."
No. So I said that, I said "No." I was seething.
Dmitri said, "Oh, I know. She tried to tell my mother-in-law and we're not getting involved in this. We see how she is."
OMGWTF and I said, "You know, I don't mean to be a gossip, and I am not trying to be a tattletale, but [entire story of not-everything but all that related to me & this project & how she is a dirty, grandstanding, backbiting liar]."
Dmitri stayed cool as ice. "Yeah. We've been in this business a long time. We just observed how she is, even before this. Don't worry about her."
So I said I would take care of it. Words like, "Cut this dead weight & move forward with this project" came out of my mouth.
You know, I like to play -- I like to swat + gaslight + blink my lashes & pretend not to know what is bedeviling you or why -- your basic sadism + death by 1,000,000 papercuts. It is what I do to not-nice people in the East. Listen, not this time. I got a knife & I plunged it. I sent an email to her & also the school which said:
Just to bring everyone up to date -- [B-mom] had some apprehension about [science], so I decided to work on the project using someone with more experience. Actually, it's all done, and we'll get [those gold bars stacked up] by the middle of next week. It's such a relief to have it done & it's going to look great. All's well that ends well, good night!
She sent a hilarious reply, and not Replying to All, just a reply to me:
I am not sure if you meant to be disrespectful or not but I am very annoyed that you would suggest that I am inexperienced or unable to do this project. You have no idea what my background or experience is and to send an email to the studio suggesting this was inappropriate.
Omfg, how would she know it is inappropriate to communicate to the studio that yr group-project partner isn't doing the work? Omg, wtf? Oh, wow, disrespectful! You guys, she's annoyed! LOLOL & I can put LOLOL here bc by then, the minute I read to the end of this reply, I was fully LOLOL, but before that, oh, man, I was pissed. Inappropriate, ahahaha, so report me to HR, what? F.U.
So now, basically, I'm up to my old tricks. I sent her a reply:
Oh, so good, I'm relieved you got the email bc I wouldn't want you to waste any more of your time on this. It feels really great to have it all done! Thanks again for meeting up with me; see you!
Like, are these people fucking crazy? I mean, and B-school is a corps of Russians -- I could throw acid on this girl & they maybe wouldn't care. Like, omg, what does Charlie say about Don't start none, whatever, omg. I don't even have time to love you! Not even you! No!
It was a sunny afternoon on Oct 31, 2010 when I said goodbye to my fine, fat, spooky girlfriend Iris.
I still miss her more than I ever could have thought. The entire family's friend Lillo was here for a short stay Sunday-into-Monday & that was a fine salve -- he and Iris were certainly chums. It was just like this, times a million, Mari relentlessly teasing & sly about me running into & tripping over everything ("Are you going blind?"), omg, m'aidez + mmmphrrrgl.
Thanks to Nutcracker, I have met some actually-crazy people. Please. Je reviens xoxoxxx
The weekend started off strong, but by the time I found my way home Saturday morning, early, Fifille reported she felt ill, with a puffed-up nose & scratchy throat. What?!? This is not acceptable immune system accountability during la période de Casse-noisette!
Immediately, I subjected her to the vile potion we as mothers-of-unrelenting-preschoolers would put back when they were small, can you recall? I have not been desperate enough to put it back in many years (vile!), but for her, in this case, I did make the ginger broth with crushed garlic and also cayenne and told her, "Down the hatch." She got it down & then grimly handed over the empty cup with a puckered face & I said. "Very good. Here is one more."
I felt bad bc she has not my chug-a-lug past from which to draw, but it isn't hemlock & she will totally be the stronger for it.
Stronger! Luckily, her dances were not in rehearsal this weekend. Mari is in San Diego until next week. I've got to go bc waiting on her hand & foot is just going up (and down) 32 steps every half-hour or 45 minutes, which I have made into a super-challenge by wearing slides LOLOL xoxoxox
Fifille lost her water bottle, which is like, it's like me losing the car.
She spends so much time with it, she drew its portrait!
"Wellll, I've had it in the last two weeks. Maybe it was when I forgot where I parked it at the mall? I know I didn't have it to go to the grocery store, because I didn't need it ... ummmmm. Maybe, oh! It's possible, yk, that I parked it and then maybe it was towed? So, I should call ... someone?"
Seriously! It's like that! How many days in a row does someone at a dance class and/or rehearsal every single day -- some of the days twice! -- not have their water bottle before they sound the alarm? What kind of an animal lets it slide for two weeks before they let the news slip as a result of direct interrogation? WTF, whatever, this is how she is teaching herself to be without thinking, ahahaha.
Oh, and all the people, "She's just a kid!" Yes! I know! This is why we don't let her make decisions and why she will never get the keys to our car! Whatever, omg!
It is not unusual for us to get a cat every year in spring. Maybe an owner left them behind, maybe the cat escaped in a move & moving, no one could mount a cat-recovery mission. Remember Hobo Cat?
In May, when I returned from NYC, there was the prettiest cat who appeared on our porch. Friendly, too. He hung out for a while, we saw him now & then, but he was kind of a mystery. (Cats are.)
By July, however, he was a permanent fixture on our street. No one is letting cats in, every one is full of cats & the weather is still clement, so all doors remained closed.
We fed & watered him when we remembered (not our pet), our neighbors put out kibble, another neighbor cleaned his grotty ears. No one let him into their home, although he never stopped trying. By Labor Day, I had borrowed a carrier from a yet-unmentioned household of good Catmaritans so I could take him to see if he had a microchip.
At the end of last week, Mari still away, things aligned so I was able to hie him over to the cat clinic. Eventually, I talked to the owners -- he was gone, yes, on a "walkabout" in May and then around Fourth of July, he vanished. This cat's actual home is 75 yards from our house -- so obviously he must be intellectually disabled bc I can not believe the living in the elements week after week is so good over here.
At the same time, my Beautiful Neighbors have a cat -- a gorgeous Russian Blue -- and I should say had because he stole right out of their home one day to never return, although he still lives in everyone's backyard & garden. He has not gone anywhere, but he will not go back to their house. He sits on everyone's porch but theirs. But he is not going up to the people, demanding to be petted or maybe desultorily groomed with a plastic fork. (Shh.)
Anyway, he is home (for now, who knows?). Catmaritans, ahahaha!
I had the weirdest craving for crab cakes. Weird because
Anyhow, first I had to find a recipe, then I had to find the crab. I actually didn't know where to buy it or what to look for or anything & then, there it was in the way of something else right at Trader Joe's. (Naturally.) You guys! Even at Trader Joe's it was $12! But there were hardly any other ingredients (I mean, not that I don't have as pantry staples) and the finished product was just right.
I might do it again. But, yk, idk bc so fried!
Al's beef, dipped. Come on. I want to be more distracted about it but the fact remains: I don't like beef. Also, let us speak of the sandwich I have had brought forth by Garden State Italians, the one with roast pork, rapini, onions, not as far as dipped but definitely wet. & all these words but I'm only thinking about what I really want: the giardiniera packed in oil, not brine. Not a lot thinking about meat on bread. Conceptually.
Plus, eating crab cakes. This is who I am now. Also a person who doesn't want to make the giardiniera; I want to buy it. You hardly know me!
Process-in-parenting colloquy happening with the Israeli, so not here. Too bad, blog, ahahaha.
Saturday I made this green gazpacho from a recipe in the August Vogue, mostly bc a watermelon Mari & Fille deemed too underwhelming to enjoy.
Idk, I liked it fine but pureed food is my jam; everyone else was so-so about it.
Mari told me he likes to think of our house becoming a kind of final exam for Jehovah's Witnesses in the Kingdom Hall evangelizing our region.
When you knock on the door there, and say Have you ever thought about what the Bible says about X,? the woman who lives there is going to say Yes! Just the other day, I was thinking about [chapter and verse and X]! You are going to have to be fast on your feet and go off-script and dive in wherever she is. Be ready. Go!
Celeste knows how it is when she comes to my door bc it's like I was in here minding my business. She is the one who rang my door bell & wanted to visit, talking about the word of God, so let's go, yk? It's like Fast & the Furious, but Bible-talk. Ride or die. Other unauthorized evangelists come over here & they get on my nerves, trying to control me. This is my house! And then they want to read me the most entry-level scripture about their theme, like had they ever read the whole thing? & often I get so irritated, when they announce so pompously what they will read, "These words are from [chapter and verse]," I just cut them off, like, "Yeah, yeah, saffron plain, hyacinth valley [or whatever]. Whatever, have a nice day!"
Where is my halo?
Mari is in the Golden State this week. People here are back in school and so I am alone in the house for a lot of hours every day and it is so quiet & noisy at the same time, Wilco Schmilco on so loud in the hi-fi, but before that, I have to body-roll with a little girl before lunch. Be good! xoxoxox
Fille was sulking & shifting foot to foot, assessing herself in a way that a girl who wants to dress goth & vanish into the shadows does when she is trying on something too. People might notice her! She would fail to blend! She could lose her strategic advantage!
The tolerant and nervous smile is while I am telling her that this is the definition of the generation gap.
I don't think I know a woman who, as a girl -- faced with this badass, strapless, denim, culotte jumpsuit and a mother who said, "Cute, do you want to get it?"-- would not immediately have had it wrapped-up, no, no, have worn it out of the store to get hot on the phone to our body-shop mechanic girlfriend, yk the one who wears the fake mustache & rides a chopper, all Let's get out of here & start a band, man! But all of those women were born between 1968 and 1976.
Then she giggled for a long time before she caught sight of herself in the 3-way mirror & started fussing & folding herself up again. I feel like teenaged girls, broadly, come in two flavors: Want to Dress like an Amish and Want to Dress like a Streetwalker. She longs for the former lookbook, though less farmy. The first thing the Israeli said to her in July, before "hello," was a comment upon the modern Orthodoxy of her lines. Exactly. Sleek from tip to toe but covered from elbow to ankle; clavicles yes, breastbone never.
She comes by it honestly, nature or nurture, many is the day we leave here & out on the streets realize we're dressed the same again. Stretch jersey, we love you! (But skinny jeans, you bore me.)
I feel sad for her bc in as little as three years, she might remember this afternoon in the Nordstrom Rack & say Oh, my God, that was the very definition of chola-granola! I know this because by the time I was old enough to drink legally, there were a number of fashion finds I regretted having been too teenaged-shy to buy and there was some wistfulness. I tried to tell her! My job was done!
All day, not drunk, no classes, so I tried this granola again.
Even though I had all the ingredients, I still fooled around -- leaving in the rose petals, I still added cardamom to the cinnamon, threw in some apple-juice sweetened cranberries (I don't know why we have to sweeten the delicious + tart cranberry but ok, apple juice) and a dried-apple snack food I see around here & there called schnitz (?), and subbed vanilla extract for the scraped bean.
Making it this time seemed way less whirly (!) but it came out great! Do it my way and hers, together, you'll love it!
Mostly, I'm thinking about how a. the directress of B-school said to me something like ... it was basically down to her saying: It is interesting to watch [Fille] work when I also know how [Mari & I] have created this environment where she can not quit B-school.
Right. Is she the one who married into a Moscovite family? You don't just quit something when there is still work to do. Ask Bobby Fischer.
I mean, she wasn't critical in her observation, but it was her marveling tone and ... idk.
Another thing (b.) is that I am living right here with Fille this week, this month, this summer -- It takes the same energy to auto-pilot a bad habit as a good habit, which is to say: once the behavior is habituated, you don't even think about it. How will you teach yourself to be without thinking?
My friend Minty wrote about something today I wanted to feel more than I felt it but it isn't me who needs to read the memo about any time being the time we find we have run out of time. No. That is what the Lakota mean when they say Now is a good time to die -- either your living reflects who you want to be, or it does not, so who will you be when you are caught by the end? (Which is what I was just talking about pressing upon my daughter, in fact.)
That said, I already exchanged a pile of trenchant emails with the Israeli today so your loss, ahahaha. Speaking generally, I am mostly only available to sit in the metaphorical lap of my oldest & best friend and also do It actually like crazy with my man. Plus, granola & sullenly attending other invisible work. I am like the part of the song where she sings abt sleeping with a clear conscience but also where he sings for the fifth time about how oh, it's the last time & all the words to end that song plus all of the Ode to Willem de Kooning. But, yk, if you get dangerously sunburnt, come on over.
Fox did wind up staying down & respecting the laws of bedrest, is what I was told. Friday, he missed a bachelor party & Saturday, a rehearsal dinner & then by Sunday, without a trace of a burn, not even peeling (!), he was having a difficult time conveying to his coterie the reason for his absence -- "Bad burn." "You look fine!"
Fox's sweet girlfriend vouched for him & still it was suspect until (they tell me) in the swearing & reporting & testimony, the groom overheard my name. One time, a few years ago while at Fox's, Groom got hurt & I fussed over him for a sec before putting a wad of plantain on him & sending him home with a Ziploc sandwich bag of unmarked goo (which was probably a plantain salve). It was a miraculous recovery I had long forgotten prob bc it hadn't happened to me.
"But, by Saturday night," Fox told me on Tuesday, "I felt better, then Sunday there was a little bit bothering me and since then I haven't thought of it at all."
So, I felt pretty good! Like some kind of Aztec healer, amazing! Talk about a good grade bc that guy only really had his heart set on some aloe vera gel!
By the time he came by the next night, a little predictably, to bring figs he pulled down from the tree I can't reach, I had remembered + revisited a lot that cold winter night with Fox & his ingenuity.
"You know what?" I asked him, happy to see him, emerging from my house super-on-top-of-the-world. "I was thinking of yr sunburn and so pleased with myself & then I remembered the night you saved me! We each have a story of the one time the other had our back in a huge way! You and I are stronger because of the other, neighbor!"
He was quiet for a long time, at the bottom of our stairs, giving me the slyest look & then he said, "Did you just call me tu?"
I had, in fact, because everything else I said, but look how that guy doesn't know a thing about me. You do, so you know how it went from there (Ramona the Sylph). Honestly, I mean come on! Why do people want so much from me not silently?!? xoxoxox
If you are going to put onions on the salad, you need to give them a bath in saltwater, as long as you have time for, then rinse & spin dry.
That is what I was gauging when I got the news from Fox that he sunburned himself, like a lobster, incredibly, sickeningly, & wanted to see if I had any witch magic, which I did, naturally.
Bad burn -- he had texted me those words but when he showed up, his torso the color of something forgotten on the grill from his clavicles down across the whole ventral landscape, back around & up all the way to his hairline at the nape of his neck, it turned my stomach a little. The kids instantly switched on their Little Mommy scripts, talking abut hydration, getting glasses of water, offering cold packs. I am not kidding & seriously, ahahaha. You can work on yr roof without yr shirt on, but thank God he left on his pants.
I thought about using Redmond clay, but I would have had to mix it up & how thickly to apply & I have never used it on a burn & did I want Fox drying as I went and leaving little flecks of dried mud all over my pretty house as they cracked off? (Answer: no.) We are newly in-receipt of a brand-new big jar of Spring Wind Burn Crème. I well know how to use that on a sunburn. It is why we have a brand-new jar -- because people, not me, keep needing it. It had taken us more than five years to use the last half-full small jar I was given by my acupuncturist, so I'd thought that by buying the large-sized jar last month we would have it for eternity, but God knows, so here we were to be neighborly, if a bit more nursely than most neighbors, but not at all so healer-y as Jesus.
Anyway, I got all that spread across his dorsal surface to be primly + Nurse Ratchedy, doling out dabs for him to spread himself on a grid I was directing across his front. Once-pronounced evenly-salved. he stayed for dinner where we pushed fluids on him & fed him a huge green salad. I texted to follow up this morning & he reports how he is just wiped-out, which is no surprise to me. I mean, he looked like he had escaped a funeral pyre, like the girl in Jitterbug Perfume! But bedrest is something hardly anyone respects, unless they are zonked, which he is, and I encouraged him to stay down, but now I've done all I can, he has been discharged from our facility, ahahaha. I am the best non-credentialed nurse around!
Today, it seems Fifille needs a new dance bag, which WTF didn't she say anything before this weekend before school starts? She has been going to a studio all this time this summer! All the days we spent on the island of Manhattan, with all of its professional porters & all its shopping, & she didn't mention?! Come on!
The dance bag is a chimerical thing -- the infrastructure of a tackle box, the lining of a mink stroller, the zippers of a moto jacket, the handles of a Coach satchel, the organization of a wedding planner, the ventilation of the board short -- and it is fucking elusive! Because we can't just go to the Capezio store and get a "dance bag" because because because here is what I am here to tell you -- those cute dance bags are the provenance of a pampered princess who has a valet of a mother following behind her with a rolling suitcase, or a girl who gets to & from class in her mama's SUV, wearing her leo & tights both ways. Those bags aren't even big enough to hold Fille's après-ballet snack.
Then the other thng -- and this is always a thing, but it's a thing every time: she likes nice things & who can blame her, I sure don't, but she loves utility equally. (Uh-oh.) So, I'm sure Lulu makes some gorgeous-on-the-outside thing that isn't technically up to specs so it's e-z to skip and Adidas maybe makes something not-too-too-baller/racquety that she can make do with, but some Jansport/Lands' End/Vera Bradley thing one compartment with zippery outside pockets or a Marmot bag with a Transformer's backpack edge (!), forget it.
It only occurs to me right now that I can find out what she is carrying these last three years & look online for a straight replacement. Hey, thanks for talking that out with me, blog! xoxoxox
There are about five minutes left in the blueberry season so we are down to stretching them out in a distracting construction of granola parfait.
Here at home we have this confounding, ever-rotating regimen of extra-curriculars to shore up the ballet conditioning, what since about two years ago it became obvious that dancing ballet would no longer be appropriate to keep in shape for learning ballet, let alone avoiding repetitive strain injuries. & then, yk, she's just a little girl, so somehow I am always roped in & held fast to whatever, game & ever-ready to strengthen or lift or strap or tax or whatever.
We hold fast to a daily duet of a basic Pilates matwork routine, which ... I mean 20 minutes of everyday Pilates isn't going to make you big or huge or super-strong like Dwayne The Rock Johnson. Pilates is basically structural, like, you have muscles to hold you up, so use them instead of being lazy and all that damn slouching. Because of that, the thing about Pilates is that it digs into where you are weak and full of laziness and either you commit or you quit, who are you going to be?
As Baron Baptiste says on one of his class podcasts, How you do one thing is how you do everything.
The rest of the workouts are Kristina Nekyia's inspirational stretching videos, laps in the pool, a drop-in yoga class, walking lunges up & down the street, hula-hooping, studio-cycling, whatever. The point is: last week, we started Yamuna's Body Rolling, Fille & I, and she feels really good and I feel amazing, like Tilda Swinton's vampire in the Jarmusch movie. It makes me feel guilty to listen to all of Yamuna's high-minded chatter about alignment and structural integrity when one of us is going to use the work as heatproofing to go in and dance with her whole body weight supported only by two toes on each foot.
The reason I feel invulnerable & Fille feels "really good" is probably because I am not tearing myself down with 2-3 hours every day in the dance studio. God Almighty, the thought of it makes me want a massage!
Ok, so really, school starts Tuesday & I am not ready for the cooking & the packing & the eating, let alone how we have not yet bought new pointe shoes. Thank God our heat wave has ended. I mean, it was so hot we had turned on the central air. It had been five years since we had done that.
I gave in to the lure of the Bullet Journal. I am a to-do-lister, planner-er, listmaker, calendar-keeper since ever, so a lot of the raves and oohing & ahhhing seemed to me to be a. millennials who had never written a thing on paper before or b. those motherfucking whore perfectionist makeworkers who can not possibly have a whit of polishing & preening left over for the bedroom after this kind of nonsense. (God Almighty!)
The thing was, I saw the "creator's" video & ok, but it is just making a planner. I am familiar with a planner. I bought an ok-for-me, right-sized planner from Orange Circle Studio, & got on with the first week in August & was fussing in the forecasting & squishing four people into the grids & it was two weeks on two pages, but the monthly grid for each month immediately prefaced the pages for the week's layout ... but I felt like I really need two pages for one week. I saw another planner, also from Orange Circle Studio, in the line from which came a pretty sensible-to-me wall calendar we used to use -- it had room for 4 discrete "schedules" weekly, on two pages, but the month-layout pages were all together in the v beginning and I was biting my lip a lot & then I realized: I can lay out a "bullet journal" the way I want it to be. Like how do I miss my Filofax, come on!
More than that -- how do I miss having a life which fit into the Filofax (Week on Two Pages Diary)? Believe it, I swear. But now I have notes & dates & lists & forecasts & so many people that I am still ultimately responsible for & (are you sitting down?) delegating a task is no guarantee of completion. Not even if I have delegated it for more than 10 years! Wowee!
Anyhow, yes, it is very spare and full of texts and headers. I find the artwork of any boughten planner is a distraction so I would never spend time making my own artwork. Good Christ. I dug out some old Lotta Jansdorfer A5-sized bound book with an elastic & got to it. (Omg, no binder rings jamming me in my hand!) I mean, yk, the thing is, it has to stay simple bc I can't read my own penmanship 15% of the time. I do like the heart signifier on things I want to remember. And otherwise, the elimination of scratching things down on tiny pieces of post-its or trying to cram [whatever] into a pre-made space around some old fonts or artworks should free me from that jail bc I can use the whole page.
Look at this first-draft of a love note I eked out on a Post-It earlier this year.
Look at how that clearly says Even at a peak of health, you have bad popsicle fat, in my opinion.
I found it cleaning my desk & shredding a load of correspondence & re-allocating other conditional gifts for which the contract has dissolved. After I puzzled over it for an actual day, I passed the note around to all the people who live in this house. No one has a better idea than the ludicrous non-sayism bad popsicle fat.
Maybe that is what I wrote. There were a million complaints about my perceived insensitivity. Guess what, I don't care xoxoxox
This ginger chia pudding from the newest GP tome is ugly, but tops delicious. ("Pretty good," sayeth Fille in a proof of her bilingualism.)
Peaches are pretty fine this season, which is more than I can say for the crape myrtle bloom.
Did I jinx myself the other day by speaking of controlling psychological warfare? Omg, ahahaha! Will those ppl ever recover from their ideas of themselves? Let us clasp one another's hands to bow our heads, solemnly & silently moving our mouths along with John McCrea's scathing rendition of "I Will Survive."
I'm not that stupid little person still in love, you know. Let's be glad & distort the bridge with our ace F.U. guitar solo.
Have a good wkend xoxoxxx!
These cherries have the most intense, perfumey flavor. They are "Oxheart" cherries from the Finger Lakes orchards of the Red Jacket outfit. Local produce, winning all over the world.
You guys! You know how I am about any old thing which says it will get me in good shape to live longer & with more ease & still so pretty, so the latest thing is a weird vodka/baking soda body scrub. I love it so much! It's weird, indeed, but I can't wait to do it forever. I wish I could shampoo with it because it has been so hot & I just feel grimy! But way less grimy since a few consecutive days of scrubbing myself with this potion! I just pile it on my little Italy towel & scrub it in circles & then move on! No ajumma required!
Other things, yk, B-school is about to start-up again on the pedagogical calendar & honestly, come on, Fille, get it together, grow up. She's doing great, I would describe her as well along the runway. When she takes off, she is going to blow our minds.
I have to go! xoxoxox
This purse, my god.
I don't know if you can see in the photo how the lilac color of the purse reflects in the hardware so it presents as rose gold but I was so weak in the knees for this purse I had to have a time out.
Time out, crossbody-strap saddlebag. Let's take this photo to remember you by. Hike yr skirt up a little in the back, come on. God Almighty, it was nubuck. I am not made of stone!
But I guess I am flinty enough because I left that purse right there. Man! I wore it around the store for a while & everything and I was in love, but you know how I am anyway.
I tried on a dress last month at the TJ Maxx just to rule it out and leave it there, yk, but it was unexpectedly amazing & I took it right home.
That lilac handbag was $30 and if the hardware had been nickel-tone, it would be right here on my desk. Omigosh, wow. I had better never, never see that purse again or else I'm going to get its phone number & ring it in the night to confess all my prurient fantasies like guys used to do to me while I was avoiding them in the 90s. (Omg it was always TMI, no fooling, like, ahahahaha, you don't want to know).
Speaking of relationships, I decided that I want more from my indoor gardening than I haven't killed them yet. I am talking about those orchids! xoxoxox
This salad just keeps on coming all summer long.
I mean, yk, after the beans come in. Who knows where the fennel comes from (Fresh Direct grocery delivery, lol). Thanks, David Tanis.
Reentry is fine. Let's +/-
- way too much driving around in this life
+ none of the endless stupid noise of all-night television
- hardly any sauna-ing
+++ way less dragging shit around in a messenger bag all day long.
I mean, I know, complain, complain, complain, but we were way downtown almost all of the days so the entire day went into a pack on someone's back. To ride the M15, mostly, but then hauling it around!
We had fun, Fifille & I, so much. It was a great time. We had the two warm-up weeks & then before we even boarded the NYC-bound train that penultimate hot Sunday in July, the whole week was locked-up. The Israeli does not dither around when it comes time to seeing people, or maybe it is just with me & mine, but either way he is who he has ever been & whom else would I be?
We had not exactly planned to visit The Whitney two times but a. we could not, in fact, sort out how we felt about the new edifice and b. omg the Danny Lyon retrospective was stupidly provocative and we could not stop talking afterward & thought the reasonable response was to go another time.
Come look, pussycat, there's a guy in here made from a huge candle.
Urs Fischer. Standing Julian, 2015. A sculpture of the venerable Julian Schnabel, which is also a candle lit each morning & extinguished every evening. Wax, pigment, steel, and wicks.
The combined gallery of work up on the 8th floor was not to everyone's taste, but Fifille & I are in love with Maggie Lee, seriously. We are going to screen her movie later this week because, I mean, what we saw excerpted from it was not enough. I mean, July was good, so good, for exposure, between Danny Lyon and Bruce Connor, Degas monotyping, tons of the MoMA permanent collection three times, just in a few short weeks, so much!
Lyon's work is there forever to make us remember a time when to be an activist, or to stand for something, well, you had to leave your house to get involved and do something. It was like life. Let us say nothing of the gorgeousness of film photography, its grain, the light, wow.
We are led naturally to The Essential Feminist Reader, which I saw at the library & snapped up for Fifile's edification, instantly, because motherfucker if she isn't always going around like she invented gender theorizing with her friends on Mumblr. Fuck that, honestly. I happen to know, part of the grownup discussion on the terrace overlooking the Hudson about gender and transgender and the invention and expression of what are now outdated signposts of gay culture, digressions into bathrooms, bathhouses, et cetera, gabbling without end, well it blew her mind what all she did not begin to know so read up.
I mean, I know kids today don't think they have to read up on anything because they can find it when they need it on the internet, but really? The definition of the generation gap is how your parents make you do things you think are pointless but they are not, they keep you from participating in the complete collapse of society where you can see.
Speaking of which, we are screening Children of Men with the kids tonight bc all this Zika, and I can not stop thinking about that movie. It's like the line from (Nothing but) Flowers -- and as things fell apart, nobody paid much attention. I mean, someone was, but then everyone always behaves like they learned nothing from reading Our Town. Oh, I know, the reading, how I can't shut up about it. Eff you anyway, see you xoxoxox
All the assiduous watering hath led to one cucumber.
It is good to be home again, I guess. A little laundry-y, but the sex is amazing!
We finished the second season of True Detective last night. I thought, as we watched, that it ended rather abruptly but as I've considered it this morning, I guess there was no reason to drag it on and on. I did admire the Amazonian sorority coda.
I am in situ for a good, long time. Thirteen of July's nights in NYC made it on the edge of besting the Winter of 2015 in San Juan. I mean, yk, boo-hoo, lol xoxox
Standing here, the axiomatic-yet-lyrical expression I sought revealed itself, clear and strong. Part of a song everyone but one guy heard me crooning lo, these 25 years.
Funny how that guy loved boats, but I never loved that guy.
I mean, you know. Evidently.
Today, Fifille & I went to women's-only hours at the legendary Russian & Turkish Baths. I loved every minute of it. I could not believe how stupefyingly hot the main sauna was. It is said that it is kept at over 200F.
I can't know the exact temperature. What I can say is that sitting there, I kept feeling the reflex of wanting to snatch back from the hot thing burning me but what was searing my flesh was just the air all around me. Honestly, a world with no need for cutting is what that is. If we lived here, I would be there every single week. I can not believe I'd never been! The time I could have saved in anguish!
Also, in my usual bathhouse round-robin of sauna/shower/rest/steam room/cold pool/rest (but way more hot than usual), I realized it was time to stop for the day when I noticed for the first time the sign inscribed above the plunge pool which read NO DIVING but in that moment I thought it read NO DYING. Ahahaha! Time to clean up & head out!
That guy could be focused on 21 years of his low water bill is what, I can tell you.
I felt so effing fantastic when we left. Just rebuilt, reborn, gleaming. Runaround time with my favorite & best like no one has seen since we were teenagers isn't hurting the reconstruction. More later, like normal, a page-turner! xoxoxxx
It is not raining so on the one hand, watering container annuals is a drag, but on the other, get the cacti out there, yk? Grow, come on!
So much container gardening of houseplants outdoors.
I finally took the plunge and repotted the jade plant. Why not, let's be outside & get dirt all over!
I think I filled the pot too high, but it seems to be doing well.
This little aloe was in a tiny plastic pot forever, totally low-maintenance & dying to grow, evidently, because now it is greened-up all over, bigger every day.
I did not gin up that pretty pot & stones. Those are leftover from an aloe vera I killed, lol.
This pothos used to be normal and then it just turned into one long strand of plant, like a houseplant mullet.
I doubled it back on itself and buried the stem to get more strands out of it. It is rooting in and soon I can cut it into three stems. I am not sure if it will start to grow & leaf in every direction after I do that. I thought the summer & outside would be an optimal time to find out because the days are long and warm and the plant must be feeling sexy, right? Anyhow, it dawned on me during our photo shoot that I can put the long stem (which is endlessly growing & leafing) into another pot again and then have two 4-inch plants to put together into one larger pot.
Like, that is a long game, you know? Egads. But houseplants outside where their dirt belongs is my favorite time of year!
I move these beauties out there every evening & bring them in every day before 2 so they are a. getting fresh air & b. never in direct sun. I had to repot them, even since the ant massacre, because they needed new medium. The bark chips they came with did not hold any moisture so I picked a new mixzzzzZzzzzzz
Anyhow, remember how I bought that first stripey orchid because I wanted a project? Yes now they are. They are almost like pets, going outside & coming in, but look! They each have new leaves coming from the center!
Proof of life!
Omg, let's dish about how I thought I was pregnant! Ahahaha, omigosh, seriously! I mean, logically, I knew I was not because where is the menopause baby story which features the 15-year-old vasectomy? I mean, I have never heard that story out there, but at the same time, it would be just our luck what bc if you look at the calendar our one child turns 18 & out in almost exactly 40 weeks. LOLOL
Thank God. Also, omg, the significant upgrades in the home pregnancy test in the 21stc! You girls living the dream! The diagram of the legend is on the stick now, right next to the window! I could have saved an hour of my life two times, not looking back & forth between the instructional pamphlet and the stick! Progress!
Anyhow, is what I have now are plants.
This is a little sampler-pack I bonded with in The Home Depot while we were buying light bulbs or something. $12! It was supposed to be for our office, but dirt & I walked it back (outside!)
This is the pretty pony who gets moved around on our desk.
It is one of these "air plants," which are everywhere. The name is a little misleading bc if you ask, you find out pretty quickly how you are supposed to mist them daily & all. It was a setback, at first, but then I realized it isn't the tending of plants that bothers me (obvsly, look outside), it is the dirty mess when you water. Mud! Ack!
I went back and talked to the plant gal deeply about the care of this specimen & she allowed that if I soaked it in distilled water once every week, I could skip all the nancy misting. So this is perfect! All the plants outside getting the outside dirty and this one dry plant inside which lives on cleanliness.
But the endless watering of the rest of the garden & windowboxes ... ugh. Let's rain, summer! See you maybe soon, have a great week! xox
Got a text this morning from a faraway friend which told me that she read my tweets from Thursday & if next she read a recipe post on my blog, well, she had no words.
I was actually going to tell you about quinoa porridge from Clean Eats, anyway bc blueberries.
Ok, Thursday morning, I was in the bygone-era's glamorous shopping & services district over by the river. Basically, this is a story of why we all use the internet & startups & knowingly put these 100-year-old family businesses in the grave. Sorry.
Parking is hard over in that area bc of high-density residences, one plant/distribution center, gentrifiers have recently "discovered" it (who the eff knows why?) and I don't know why else. I have not subjected it to a thorough analysis bc it just is. Anyhow, I got a parking space and was parked, in my car. Because I was by the river & the bridges & what all, I was under a viaduct, which in my hometown is bad news (foreshadowing), but here, not a lot.
It was hazy, hot, and humid yesterday, but I had to know some things from the Israeli, exactly, before I took my shopping trip into the store and the whole damn day got away from me, so I phoned him. We started, as is often the case, gabbling endlessly.
Almost an hour had gone by, and we were just at our wrap-up of news events, you know? We were getting well into the latest parenting stories and suddenly, I interrupted myself to inhale sharply.
"Oh, no, omigod!"
"What is it, cookie?"
"I ... um ... well [stammering]."
"Are you ok?"
"Ummm ... I mean, yes, but ummmm ..."
There was a guy standing on the sidewalk, about four cars behind me, facing the parking lane. Middle-aged, he wore a flat cap, a maroon t-shirt & khaki shorts. I knew he was back there, which tells me he must have walked right past me, and for all the time I had noticed him back there from where I was sitting in the driver's seat, I just thought he was waiting for someone. Like, the driver, or he was the driver & he was waiting for the guy with the toolbox or whatever, maybe it was a drug deal, I didn't know. There was a residential masonry project happening on a house about 50 feet in front of me, so further up the block, and I was firmly locked in my car with the windows rolled-up.
Sweating like the Korean sauna, but that was just the weather forecast. Aside from flirting with heatstroke, I was safe as houses (and cars!). Until omigod.
I was sort of panicky & murmuring to my favorite & my best the story of what was happening. How I knew the guy was back there on the landscape, I thought he was a contractor, he had to have walked right by me and he was equally aware of me being up ahead. I had also noticed in my side mirror that was that he had his belt unfastened, you know, like when you have to tear out to answer the phone & you forget to put yrself back together & that's fine plus it's hot & suddenly after a while how long who knows, I realized Omigod that isn't his belt buckle hanging down there.
The Israeli interrupted.
"I just saw a guy on the street with his dick out the other night!"
I died laughing, in it somewhere like O-Ren Ishii, "You lie!"
"No, the other night I was out walking Kelev and" zzzzZzzzzzZzzzz
But it is true. It happened to both of us within days of each other bc God knows, I guess.
But what was I to do? On the one hand, I could drive away. On the other hand, I would still need to find a parking space, I would be circling, Flasherman would still be around ... I needed to bloom where I was planted.
The Israeli & I were working out my options. At the same time, I was having to respond to his real-time interjections about the actions I could see. I mean, on the one hand, it was kind of hard to take dude seriously with his limp dick all hanging out in front. And the scrotum. Yuk.
On the other hand, why me oh, God, why? I mean, was this just the beginning? Was he dangerous? Was this a sex crime or was this a long run-up to public urination? Maybe he had a swollen prostate!
All of a sudden, I saw a redheaded kid, prob 25, not 30, across the street from me, on the sidewalk, zipped-up. As his people often are, he was clutching a phone in his hand and not walking with any sort of a purpose.
"Ok, there's a guy, hang on, no, I'll call you back, gotta move."
"Call me back."
I burst out of the car all at once, talking to the redhead. "Oh, you're here! I have been waiting for, like, ever!"
I had, in fact, been lolling in the car. This was part of the pickle I was in, why I couldn't just drive away. Why I couldn't suddenly be in a hurry to get out of the car, etc. You can't give flashermen any attention!
Redhead was confused, a little negating, but less certain as I wore on.
"You know, and they said you might be late plus I'm always a little early, what time is it, anyway? Oh, gosh I've been rattling on my phone the whole time, my grandma, you know."
I locked the door to my car and was coming around, into the street. Redhead said, "You're with Vince?"
"Yes, of course, I'm with Vince! Who else? Wow, it is hot."
By now I was close enough to Redhead & said, low, "I'm not with Vince, I need your help, shake my hand."
He did, and I told him I would clap him on the shoulder with my other hand and I did. Then, to fake enthusiastic jokiness + camaraderie, I said, "It's fucking amazing!" to the sky & I laughed.
Poor, sweet Redhead. God bless. He'll forgive me when he gets his sweet Golden Globe.
I told him what was happening, that I was in the car, talking before I went to the store & then Flasherman.
"Is he gone?" I asked. "The guy in the maroon t-shirt?"
"Yeah, he's walking down the street."
"I'll bet. Wow, thanks to you."
Then he asked a few more questions about it, yk, gossip, newsflash, whatever. We chatted and in the end, I told him, "When a girl is calling & beckoning you like that, like she might have mistaken identity? She might need your help, is all. I did. Thanks again."
It was great because once Flasherman was totally out of sight, I could leave my car parked there. After all, I was parked because I awaited Redhead, and I was gone because he came along. If Flasherman came back, well, he wouldn't bc I might be with Redhead, who knows?
Man. All of that over upholstery fabric. Whatever. Then later, I was just unstrung, rebuffing admirers, like, I'm all done with strangers and interfacing. It was not as bad as jury duty + rescuing the drowning bc it was not the least bit as intense, but man, it was way out of my comfort zone for social exchange.
Plus, seriously, flashermen, the 70s called, they want you back.
Anyhow. Blueberry quinoa porridge! Bluets are in season for another couple of weeks. Enjoy! xoxox
I regret having not taken the time to blanch this kale before I made this salad for dinner.
Also, Jesus, if ever a meal needed a lamb sausage.
But I was hyper-focused on getting dinner on the table so we could have an early-start screening of Enter the Dragon with the kids, finally, on the occasion of Bruce Lee's untimely death.
I can not tell you how many times I watched many, many pieces of that movie on WGN, lo, so many weekend afternoons. I do not believe I had ever watched it beginning to end at one time, which is probably why I was so hysterical about getting it started early. As far as I knew, that movie was 11 hours long, like Sleep or Little Dorrit! Ahahahaha! Also, the cut those topless-y scenes out from network teevee airings! I was surprised to see those breasts!
The plot of the movie was confoundingly too complicated for either of our kids to follow, in different ways, omg, what? Ahahaha! But when you see the fan fiction for the origin story of Mr Han's many hands, well, that is all Fifille. She slays us, every day. Omigosh, this conference call is giving me a headache! Earplugs in! xoxoxo
You guys, that cucumber-cutting pictorial tutorial was really something lasting!
The second season of True Detective is more socially acceptable than the first. Less dark, more scary!
It's been nice, all the blogging, but Sal just tonight got his Southwest Companion Pass! Pack, pack, packing! xoxox
Sarah Britton's blueberry cardamom-chia pudding.
It is odd that Fille smashed her finger between the car door and a light post to put a big gash in it. Odd only because two nights ago, while I was sweatily washing up a few dishes & getting ready for bed, I actually thought, Wow, I'm glad I'm not burning up the night in the ER right now.
I mean, that is a thought only people with accident-prone kids could think. Anyhow, it was home for the usual first-aid -- cold compress on the head, ice pack on the finger with pressure & elevation, a yarrow-leaf poultice -- and then assessment in the big bed. She is fine. Well, she will be, by morning. You look great, too xoxox
My cucumber is in flower, so that is progress. Obviously.
How are we adjusting to Mari being home all the time? It is good. Except he is still gdmf moving my stuff around all the time! I had deigned to read a fictional narrative along with our daughter -- the new Murakami book; I liked the cover art, lol, but srsly -- so we each had a copy. I left mine in the conjugal bathroom because I planned to linger that night & also the next day we were going to NYC & I wanted to scoop it up with my makeup bag, etc.
But the next day, it wasn't there. I couldn't find it, I retraced my steps, everything, no. Maybe I was losing my mind, but I was leaving so goodbye.
Weeks later, I spotted it on Mari's side of the bed, in his stack of books. OMG WTF? Who does that? He just picked it up from where I put it and walked off with it without a word! Never returned it! Didn't think a thing I placed had a right to be there. Do we need a placement committee for every incidental? OMG stop touching my stuff!
I was talking about this with Lillo, and he was talking about touching stuff in a family, but I reminded him that as an only child, I have zero experience with people touching my stuff except when it is related to some kind of controlling psychological warfare, ahahaha!
Otherwise, I wear earplugs almost 24/7 bc all the talking & speakerphone conference calling plus if he doesn't get outside for at least 20 minutes every day he gets cranky so I have added "Walk Mari" to my long list of things to do. Yes.
All in all, it's pretty good. Mari & the Israeli were pleased to hear what I described to them identically in their own time as "& yes, that was me & [Mrs Israeli] sitting on the Exxon Building's plaza, sexy-cat preening & grooming each other for our good taste in men two decades ago." Each guy let the praise wash over him & gloried for just longer than an instant before humbly shutting it down with a retiring and modest comment. That's why their wives are out there congratulating themselves with each other! You know.
À la prochaine!
I made ice cream.
The Golden Milk ice cream from ... oh! Minimalist Baker. Ok, look it up yrself.
It is hot, plus the 4 quarts my ice-cream machine can put together is way more than enough for the three of us. It was kind of an impulsive effort bc today is the last day of the grueling week of summer B-school we're fitting into hot July & + I was a little bit super-inflexible to her yesterday about her wanting to go to a girl's house but whatever, those people were complete strangers to me & the girl is new at B-school entirely and it all should have been people behaving better.
The [playdate] wound up not happening bc the story I got late was that the girl's mother was "mad at her" and because the girl "is usually more rude to when friends come over she probably didn't want visitors." What now? Let's just eat ice cream.
Thinking about Karina, so I did want to make halo-halo paletas, but there was not that kind of time.
I did not follow the part of the recipe that called for boiling the base (time + makework, anyway, probably). Instead, I blended everything in the BlendTec and poured it in. Sayeth Mari, "When did you get the ice-cream maker with the compressor?" Omg, like four years ago, total husband mode. See you x
I wonder if Blythe Danner would be able to give us a window into her silver fox lifestyle to hint for us as to what her daughter will be gooping about in her dotage. Meanwhile, I solemnly swear that never have I tried a recipe from GP which was not resoundingly received by the people who eat here.
Pretend fried rice with kimchi? Great! Six thumbs up! I have seen people criticize her recipes, like, They are so easy, I could come up with that. Yes, but it's her book, nitwit. Good for her. I mean, I'm not afraid to admit how it never occurred to me how far I could go treating the cauliflower rice as rice. When I saw it in the new book, I mean, I had all the ingredients in the house already. Set it up, let's go!
So, I did forget to mark the conclusion of my tenth year of blogging, which people have said is good because how I meant to mark it was by closing things up. It would have been a perfect dismount, you know. I mean, 10 years is a long time & lately, more than anything else, what I think when I blog is Oh, look, it's July again bc berry picking + eating or Oh, spring birthdays or May is for elderflowers or All the winter holidays or whatever & the predictable minutiae was boring me.
Also, the fact is that I more or less started keeping this little scrapbook where my husband could see because he was away so much at a time when the children were just starting to go out a lot, so I wanted to put that where he could see it. Now he is home all the time. Other early readers and/or fellow bloggers are dead, dead to me, or giving me the silent treatment until death. Ok then! Plus, yk, the usual If you're reading & I don't already know about it, for God's sake, don't tell me. So, that sort of My Issues thing.
A recurring theme on Ms Minty's blog this year has been Remember Blogging? and yes, I do. I particularly remember when people wrote things down because they were rigorous documentarians and/or liked to write. I like to write. It is valuable as an exercise to work things out, because I can't cook dinner with the Israeli each & every week.
I was telling him, the day before dinner (on our MoMA outing, actually), about how it isn't the abrupt alienation after all these years so much as I just feel ridiculous for not having seen plainly what was happening, what was real to someone else, and what was ascribed to me without my consent. The word I used was jumbled-up.
"Well, I don't have all of the origin story," he started.
"No, you don't." (ahahaha! srsly, why? be half the world away, I'll manage.)
"But, it seems like the dynamic was always just that way."
"You don't know the half of it. But yes, I see that now." More than twenty years of me not being heard and not being a mind-reader, at once. Wow. I didn't see it the same because I am, in many ways, different.
Well, anyway. Quieter, by a lot, anyway, as it is when there is nothing left to say.
Broadly, I still have things to say, I guess, lol. I will write them all down. Je demeure. Yes.
I went out for happy hour last night with Eve, and in a sharp contrast to any drinking done before 1995, the evening ended after two cocktails while the sun was still up. Still the same as 90s nights out, I came home thinking the world was full of possibility & wanting to finish a project (the relief of anxiety is a tremendous thing), plus I woke up not knowing where any of my clothes were, wondering while I lay there, What on Earth was I thinking last night?
There was a time when I began every night of drinking with one more drink (kamikaze shot, tequila shot, beer chaser) than I had all night last night. It was a golden age & I regret almost nothing. On one hand it seems incredible that two sidecars got me into such a state. On the other, Grand Marnier is no wheatgrass juice.
The project I turned to once home was to make a batch of Sarah Britton's Apple Cinnamon Buckwheat Crispies from her book, My New Roots. For The Eating, you know. But I did not have applesauce. Hm.
I decided an equal amount of prune puree would be a fine replacement. After I put the KitchenAid on that, I started following the recipe as written besides, until I decided to mix in a couple of tablespoons of ground vanilla and vanilla extract (instead of her scraped vanilla bean), and use cardamom instead of cinnamon. Then I dumped in a bunch of rose petals.
But otherwise, the recipe was the same. You know.
I feel fine, it's time for my usual liquid breakfast. (Not like that.) See you xoxox
The Israeli wanted to know how I was gripping a smoothie in my Sistema vessel at our early-morning MoMA meetup. "You didn't bring a blender to NYC ... did you?"
You guys, I use baby food!
I know I already talked about how sad I am thinking about all the poor little babies made to eat quinoa when they don't even know any better. It is sad, but at least it keeps this one pouch from just being pure fructose.
I hope your week starts out strong. We're here, three of us, our fourth on a kayaking or whatever expedition, everyone else drawn into execution and support of this one week of all-day-long summer B-school. Horror movie abt B-girls called The Eating xoxoxo
Fille & I are just home lolling in the berries' patches before another midweek-into-weekend sortie to NYC.
Earlier, I mentioned a plan the Israeli & I had to get up to a repetition of events with the whole family there plus the girl I've got along.
"Jesus Christ," Mari said. "Is that all you are to him?!“
I can't think of another thing that would be funnier for my husband to say about another man. That guy!
We showed The Talented Mr Ripley to the kids last night. I hadn't remembered it being quite so grim. Hey, go to a picnic & have some fun, USA!
Last year I was slow to get into it but this year I am ready!
Already a trip to the berry patch! Squeezed in between orthodontist and packing for The Rockettes Trip! Yes! The raspberry crop is stupidly voluminous this year, probably all the rain. So many berries! Easy picking! Fille & I harvested three quarts is just under an hour & those are, um, well there is about a pint left for Mari. It is at the top of this weekend's list, returning to the farm, I promise.
More later. Hey, if I don't get back here, well, don't blow yr hand right off, America xoxoxox
I know everyone is mad at Gwyneth Paltrow bc she beat them for the Oscar and stole everyone's rock-band husband and lives in England and also LA, plus maybe somewhere on The Sound, part of the time, and she is using up all of our money and buying all of our real estate! Ahahaha!
I don't care about any of that. Plus I love cauliflower rice.
I am not a fan of cauliflower masquerading as mashed potatoes, with one exception, but oh, man, this pretend rice, yk? I like the utility of it. I can't eat rice, yk. I usually just make a stir-fry. Today was in coconut oil with shredded garlic scapes and cashews.
It is raining, which is good for the garden. I wish it would rain on my girl so she will grow more strongly. I mean, I'm sure we all remember what it was like, when our moms said, "Ok, I'll be yr workout buddy, let's go!" & we were all like, "Omg, we're so tired!"
Actually, that is a thing that happened to me, except not exactly. It was my needy (s)mother needing some kind of validation & dragging me out behind her to run. To run. Jesus, God, ahahaha! But anyhow, I'm just like, "Excuse me, ballerina child, I'm pretty sure you have a conditioning regimen & I am willing to come on out with you dragging a TheraBand or whatever behind us come on I know you're on break but July is coming fast & we'll have to set goals for the break come August so don't be so lazy."
I mean, srsly, come on. I can take it & it should be easy for her. And for him, dragging me along to Spinning classes. They are well-nourished teenagers! I am not Dara Torres! So they are up in the balance and this laziness should not be theirs! Thank God it is blueberry season; otherwise I would be starving!
Three more sleeps until The Rockettes! It has mixed reviews! I am sure we might not care! xoxox
Basically, devastating this ant farm of ants living in my orchid was the worst thing to happen all weekend.
It was pretty bad. Look at all those ant babies! The ones floating in the water, but also the bodies they are collecting & sheltering in the center of the frame there.
The mayhem can not be conveyed. I had to do some houseplant intensive care, which I hate, so I rather impulsively brought in the orchid & plunged its pot into my Jadeite batter bowl, filled with water.
It was sitting on our kitchen counter and then the whole pot practically exploded with ants seeking high ground. I took it outside.
The whole massacre was paralyzing, in terms of decision-making. Then they were carrying the babies out, ugh. I know, ants, there is no shortage of them worldwide, but still I felt bad. I mean, part of me. The other part of me was typically like, Who said you should live in there? Ahahaha.
The orchid project went fine after that, I think. I put in a little neem-leaf tablet in the new pot so hopefully this won't happen again! Anyhow, the orchid was in really poor shape (dehydrated, according to Dr Google! What? I'm always watering!), but it looks on the mend. This sweaty-Betty weather can't hurt. Now you know most of the things xoxoxox
Garçon was out charming the masses, like he hypnotizes every of the persons who really don't know anything about him (comes by it hard and honestly), and a neighbor gave him a bunch of water hyacinths with instructions that we should plant them. Um. What? Sure.
So if you know my kid, you know that he came home, personally pledged to see this project to the end. I mean, not on his own or anything. So he came home personally pledged to make demands of others of us who live here and harangue us like the King of Siam until his water-hyacinth bidding was fulfilled.
I am only exaggerating by a tad. More Johnny Appleseed, zero Paul Bunyan.
Anyhow, I was involved, obvsly.
The point is, I needed to come up with a vessel for this new project and I was standing at the kitchen sink, finishing the things I was already doing, thinking about my next move, trying to think of where I would find the wooden bucket in which to plant this aquatic dish garden. Now ... where did I put that? Where is it? Where last did I see it?
Yah, that's in my phone, that thing I was trying to place. Do you see it, on the bridge? It's perfect for a pop-up aquatic garden!
It isn't as if I looked all over the house for it, but still the error feels a little like I must be losing my mind. I mean, it feels a lot like I am a little bit, which is why I am on the gingko biloba, srsly. Anyhow, now you have ample warning. Yk, "ample." Plan accordingly! Get ready to trick me into signing off on a lot of things! Ahahahaha! xoxoxox
Sunflowers from the farm (with strawberries & rhubarb!), roses & yarrow from the yard. It is finally summer!
I am glad it is raining today because finally! I didn't plant those windowbox plants so that I could be bound to their watering grave, Lord.
Yk, I was bored out of my mind as a stay-at-home mom for the first time, before I got pregnant anyway, and I have no shame telling anyone I relived the downtime of my almost-equally-mind-numbing youth (spent with a pile of sweet chola-granola cousins at our nanita's house) by memorizing all the choreography in this Aaliyah video. So this Jack Garratt song (which I already love anyway) is often on the radio, giving me another chance to show it off.
Mari always says, "You are going to hurt yourself one day, you know." Yah, but that day is not this one, is it?
Actually, it was literally today while I was up to all that when he said, "It's like Pitch Perfect." Yah, but only me.
Ages ago, I told Lillo I watched Pitch Perfect 2 in NYC. He said, "Anna Kendrick!" I mean, I was disappointed and told him so bc ok, yes, she is sure cute, but omigooooood, foxxxxy-ass Katey Sagal, are you kidding me, rewrite that lineup or I guess he didn't get the memo from Prince about Women, not Girls. Holy mackerel.
Ok, I'm going to the gym so I can keep ruling the world, act yr age, not yr shoe size! Now you know xoxoxoxoxoxox
Fifille & I are actually doing almost nothing but eating garbage salads or stewed rhubarb with cashew yogurt while lying in front of the teevee & driving all over attending rock concerts.
Well, watering our cucumber seedlings & portulaca besides.
I mean, I'm doing all the world's yoga (none for you!) and she is final-stages packing for a camping expedition or whatever, the same one her brother was on last year. I demur, a little, bc hell I'm not going to sleep in the dirt for 10 days but obviously since she is going this year I am an expert on the ins and outs of it, unlike last year, ahahaha.
But that doesn't matter, since she has herself all ready to go to the airport & then it is really only a story if it is the backstory to ... and that's how she died. You know everything about how she is. Fingers crossed, love you xoxoxox
Seriously, I don't even know how it was that Wednesday I came to be caught up in the garden roadside pop-up, resisting a flat of 12 six-inch zinnia plants for $20, but I was.
I only bought six teensy portaluacas for window boxes. (Wellll, and three cucumber plants bc yk, sometimes in the summer you need a cucumber! Now!)
Thursday afternoon, I realized, Oh, I have to plant them. Oh. Hm. When I was buying in the sunny, sun, thinking of how pretty flowers would be in the pots and all, I was not thinking about the dirtiness and watering. Ahahaha.
I am too lazy even to plant the nasturtium seeds I picked up! Lazy! Seeds! Like, there is nothing more easy than planting a seed.
Oh, well. This is what happens when B-school in on break & weather is gorgeous & you are counting the days until The Rockettes. Yes. See you x