In DC with Sal, drinking a green drink on the holiday, watching him get fully sucked-into Safeway Monopoly while we watch a sweet baby on YouTube explain how it works.
You know these tiny pieces of paper everywhere are making me crazy.
I made another smoothie (beets) to drink.while we watched Bad Moms. Sal made some curried chicken. It seemed really ambitious for a bachelor.
I'm thinking of not going to Orlando bc there are so many things I want to do here -- the Kusama exhibit at Hirshhorn, the Exec Order 7066 exhibit at the American History, NGA is fully-open again and anyway. I have a couple of days to decide. See you xox
I am pledged to stop carrying a big-ass bag in 2017. I haven't hurt myself recently carrying all these giant bags, full of everything anyone could ever need, but I could.
Look at this pretty vintage Coach bag! It fits in with my general look book, obvsly, since it is a petite version of my beloved Patricia I carry everywhere.
Jesus F. Christ, I am going to be immediately & magically 15 years younger the day my son moves out. No shit. Can't wait! Love you miss you, unless I don't actually care about you! Ahahaha, have a great weekend whomever you are xoxox
Clean is good this year.
I know they came from California or Chile or wherever, but these Comice pears were outstanding.
I am bound & determined to do the post-Clean-program reintroducing so that I can get to the bottom of yogurt. It would be so convenient to be able to eat plain, full-fat yogurt bc it's easy to find and easy to carry, both. I always have food with me, always, which I hadn't really realized was part of my echt presentation until another mom said it to me during The Nutcracker Times last year.
Like, I'm still explaining it to my oldest friends!
Thank God Sal hadn't eaten bc we did go to the sports bar & o, glory, the thriller of that penultimate Packers game; how to start a vacation off right!
During one of the last, late-running Nutcracker rehearsals, a chorus of women were harmonizing on the melody of their immense hunger & then the leader turned to me, You brought your dinner, didn't you? with everyone else in the group kind of backup-singing her soulfully & silently. I admitted that I had but then was too self-conscious to unpack it & dive in.
Usually this winter, most often what I pull out of my bag is pre-pack turkey burgers from the delivery deli and Gotham Greens bibb lettuce to fold around them. (I had to knick the mustard from the train station's pretzel bakery for January's Amtrak ride but there is a jar of Maille in our glove box rn.)
But anyhow, 1. Clean, 2. pears-ginger smoothie with a chunk of lemon 3. yogurt examinations 4. infinite picnic.
I went to Mass last night & so much went on, Geronimo! First of all, I was buttonholed before Mass by a sister who wanted to talk to me about Lenten readiness, which is fine. (Oh, I'm flipping ready.) In the midst of this chat, she asked after Mari & I told her what he said to me before I left home ("Why are you going to Mass?"), and anyway, confessional, yk, I went on to tell her the priest who married us told me not to marry him. Did you know? He certainly did, saying Never does a practicing Catholic marry a non-practicing Catholic & Church get two Catholics from the union. Ahahahaha! But like, forever? It's not like I forgot how!
Then Sr Helen said, "I'm glad you married him." Oh, lolol, I am, too! Now she wants him to come to some Living the Eucharist Lenten Faith Sharing, idk, neither of us are going to that wow. You would have an easier time getting us to a drum circle.
The rest is just too-too boring to list, but because neither Mari nor I had conceived of a vigil Mass which could run so long (+50 minutes!), when he came to meet up with me "after", he actually just stumbled in before the collection (ok, a long-running vigil Mass should be over at the 38-minute mark, in our experiences) & because of Sr Helen, I made a tiny hand gesture not unlike the one Ashley Judd showed to Val Kilmer's character in Heat so he just pretended not to know me while he sat in a faraway pew.
But because of all that, the timing, the separation, what happened is all the rest was something interesting we'd seen that we could hold in our hands & pass back and forth, so my sassy rejoinder about going to Mass turned into date night & omglol, that was what they were telling us all that time in sacramental preparations. I remain the luckiest girl in the world! See you, be good xoxoxox
Hey-hey, ho-ho. Bc this is what we do with our weekends now. Drive, march, drive, sleep.
& right here, Fille was like, "Omigosh! It's a Century 21!" (No. Shhhh.)
I dunno, I mean all things considered, this new administration is going pretty well. The U.S. will probably wind up exactly like North Korea, but I'm tough! I can do pushups! I mean, seriously: if people are really determined to be afraid, let's look at the worst outcome which it is actually reasonable to fear & that is the U.S. ostracizing all allies until we are basically N Korea or South Africa in the 80s and if that is a thing anyone is determined to fret over then knuckle down & get good at calisthenics + also constructing shelter of alternate building materials. But the thumbsucking & bellyaching? It is particularly useless. Also, kind of un-American (not to mention kind of disrespectful of N Koreans & apartheid-era S Africans. God, didn't anyone see Searching for Sugarman? Ahahaha!) bc the weave + weft of our republic is stronger than what is happening right now. (Maybe get wise abt the fabric of our republic.)
One nice thing about a first floor in the 50s (besides preparing one for living in a prison camp) is that cut flowers last forever. This bouquet is from the last Friday in January.
There was no central heating in the house where I stayed in Mexico City (I guess this is a thing all over Mexico) so while my hosts were fussing over me so indulgently, I was basically like, "I've trained my whole life for this! You can't spell bring it without brrrr!" Ahahaha! But seriously, I didn't say that, bc you can spell bring it without brrrr in Spanish, yk. (Ahahaha!)
I mean, it was only in the 50s, and only in the mornings.
It was in Mexico City while I was getting ready one morning, ruminating as I tend to do, when I realized all of a sudden demasiado basically translates to made of muchness. I would just like to challenge* everyone who claps their hand to their forehead over my English expression (you know who you are).
One thing that happened in Mexico City was that I kept meeting every single houseplant I've killed and/or struggled to keep alive growing out of the ground taller than me and wider than anything -- rubber trees, ficus trees, jade plants, poinsettias. So now that I am home with my jade plant, for example, it just seems so stupid, like if I read about someone growing a beech tree on the windowsill in their 3rd-floor walkup.
I am trying not to give my jade plant a complex. I do want it to grow bigger. Cut flowers like it refrigerator-cold, but not houseplants. Maybe I will take it upstairs (duh).
Ok, well, ly ly cu xoxox
*Super-challenge! Don't laugh first, you'll lose x
I can not get enough beets this winter, wow.
I was buttonholed by a B-mom Monday night, who asked to verify what she had heard from the teen queen grapevine, that I had traveled in December with none of my people.
Well, first what happened was that I pleaded ignorance to something that happened while I was just away in San Juan. Then she said, "Oh, but weren't you just away in December?"
So we established that I had indeed traveled to Mexico City alone in December because I had a free trip to L.A. but wasn't feeling the week in SoCal, etc. She asked a couple of procedural questions, like how I decided what to do or where to stay, yk, like I invented Mexico City from scratch, just like God did Adam. (I swear.) I answered her questions and explained to her most of the linear narrative in the trip's genesis + the arc where I realized I was about to get a wish I had never thought to think.
She then asked a few questions in the vein of [subtext] But aren't you afraid of Mexicans? I deflected the subtext pleasantly & dealt with them as presented.
Honestly! See the fuck how I can so get along with people? Jesus Christ!
That was all a lot for her to take in, lol. But then the conversation got weird!
Well, how did your family feel about you leaving?
I don't know. It was three days before I left they finally realized how long on the calendar I was leaving for so it didn't seem like a big deal.
Well, what did they do while you were gone?
I don't know. I wasn't there.
Did you ask?
Did the kids miss you?
I don't know. I wasn't there.
I mean, it reads kind of surly, but my tone was light about answering her, like, I mean, I wasn't there! That's what happens when you are gone! You get left out! These are basically three adults I left at home & like as far as I can tell, they didn't do anything, least of all run the vacuum or clean the fridge! So they probably did the same thing they always do, but I don't know because I wasn't there!
Here's where, for me, shit hit the weird limit. Her follow-up question to Did the kids miss you?
Did you ask them?
WTF kind of bizarre set-up question from the Book of Joan Crawford is that? I mean, I laughed & answered her ("No! Ahahaha!") before I asked her that very aforestated question in response, without the profanity & the Judgy McPants adjective, and she said, "Oh, I don't know ..." & thankfully rested the family-counseling line of interrogation.
Then she asked me some more travelogue questions & voila, it was the end of our time. Crazy! But I am well-insulated against crazy because yoga like the end times here, the on and off-the-mat kind! Mantras, mudras, kriyas, asanas, let's go! Huff-puff, hare Krishna!
Speaking of hare Krishna, the Hare Krishnas! They came to Parque Centenario on Christmas Day! I was sitting on a park bench on the phone with Mari & they just showed up! (Mari: What's all that racket?)
I loved them! (but I didn't get close.) Hey-hey, ho-ho, behave xoxoxo
I'd love to dig in & dish, but all these thrice-daily hot meals don't make themselves.
Also, I am super-behind on correspondence, not least because we (I) didn't arrange to send holiday cards this year.
San Juan was fun & seems like a super-long time ago, but this is the fourth or fifth trip Sal & I have made, so we know what is going to happen before we even get there.
Every trip is different, day by day (this year: super-inconvenienced by San Se), but all of the above is unwavering. This was the trip where I looked at my CVS receipt & said, "Holy shit, sales tax is 10%." & then for six days we were like, "Omg, was it always?" but we didn't think to ask anyone.
I got back just in time for Mari to head out for a week-long work trip to beautiful Omaha, Nebraska. I mostly just vacuumed, did laundry, re-stocked our larder, & stayed super-distracted by the endless news updates. Not a productive week, but a pretty soft landing.
Fille & I went to the airport protest demonstration bc it was a no-brainer happening on a Sunday afternoon when Mari's return flight landed that evening. It was kind of amazing bc our family has demonstrated before but normally it's the four of us out there with, like, 28 others. Not this time. Forward.
Lunar New Year is not so celebrated as in our recent past but the house is cleaned-up, our markers are in place. The Chinese astrology I've read predicting the year is all v confusing but I am not Chinese, so guess what: it doesn't matter ahahaha xox
I haven't had time to check but I think this is the same San Juan construction site that, when last photographed, had 9-11 allegations upon it.
I got a haircut in December which has surprised everyone these past few weeks when finally it is unraveled it from its (way smaller) updo. It was funny bc I had wanted a shorter haircut so much (cut my hair/so I could rock/back & forth/without thinking of you) but didn't dare say it bc you know how that is -- you ask to go shorter & walk out like Mia Farrow when you were thinking, like, a lob. Plus, it's difficult to find a stylist who can cut up curly hair without creating pure chaos & then blaming you for it, and that's always awful.
Anyhow, I thought I was getting a trim from my actual pile of hair, so much hair that one day between Rosh Hashanah and St Lucia's, Fille asked if my bun was made all of my hair or augmented with a net donut (the former), but when I came out from under the dryer, it was everything I wanted but hadn't asked for.
That is, if you are keeping track, another proof of how I am the luckiest girl in the world. I am, yk, and have always been, so usually I feel like Omg come on & get warm around my light! but ppl are so, so cold rn & if I had a tauntaun I'd slit it open but I don't & omg even I just made a science fiction allusion, look, a light hop from Sermon on the Mount to Star Wars wtf see how the world is now? See you wow more later xx
Here is an adorable thing I photographed while in Mexico City, in the Museo Frida Kahlo gift store.
The fact is, during one month of packing for a week at spring/fall temps + being home for two weeks of "winter" + packing for a week of island vacation + everything too big 2= capsule wardrobe ahoy.
Let's think about that for February. Oh, well, yes February, although Feb should be busy with Lillo visiting & a trip to Florida.
Here is another cute thing from Mexico City.
I always am drawn into a nativity scene, but look, look more closely, you guys, they are marzipan!
So I took a bunch of photos for a hilarious pâtissier of my acquaintance bc omg what a riot.
Ok, see you, wait: speaking of devastatingly handsome gentlemen in my ken (I just was), I have a pretty right-on page-turner for sitting by the pool. I mean, I thought I was going to have to re-read Battle Cry of Freedom, ahahaha (seriously!) See you! xoxo
It's all lounging around & sewing new pointe shoes.
I told Fille I would take her with me to live in Mexico this summer, for a month or maybe two. Like, I'm done living with Garçon once he turns 18 so if he can't get out guess what? Plus, she needs to learn Spanish bc look what a bind her brother is in, wanting to travel but hamstrung by English-only.
"What about b-school?"
They have b-schools in Mexico.
[laughing, nervous] "I don't speak Spanish."
Ok, I've seen ballet classes, lovey-love, they are in French.
Ahahaha, but really. I mean, the libretto of a pedagogical ballet class is in her body, she already knows anything which could be said during a class so when it is said in a new language, she will feel it -- this is how you learn a language. The experience would force growth, for sure, but to give her something, not take anything away. But, yk, she is going to be 16 so she totally knows everything. It must be said, nevertheless, that in a refreshingly pleasurable departure from much of 16, she wavers a little when it seems like her father & I might be actually serious about totally knowing more.
Anyhow, I am taking her back to Mexico with me to enroll her in a curso & force her to go around, speaking Spanish to everyone & listening besides. But I think we will leave b-school for here at home bc she is hot for her home-studio's instruction. I think that Puebla is more our speed for a month-long trip, though, not D.F (crowded!) even as the roosters and church bells of Chiapas have got me by the cojones. On the other hand, we are two city-bred girls. (Roosters? Fresh air? Horsemanship?)
This is totally my way of increasing the balance of Spanish speakers in our family bc I am going to move there & I would like them to feel more comfortable about the idea of joining me, ahahaha. But seriously.
I mean, Garçon is moving out & for God's sake, he barely speaks English anyway. Sloane has to work & in English, so who cares if he speaks Spanish, I mean, yk? Spanish-speaking can just be another infrastructural thing that he isn't really part of maintaining day-to-day, like the rest of the mysteries of living. Like while I was away & they went to buy groceries & he tried to buy salted butter.
"We eat unsalted butter," is what Garçon told him. "No, Mom never buys the salted butter."
In the story I heard, Fille was an silent, soulful backup to this correction -- v soberly removing the pound of salted butter from the cart & replacing it with the "regular" butter.
This was absolutely news to my man. Una noticia en vivo (eyeroll). At the same time, look: one thing my kids have observed about our nice life!
Speaking of a nice life: leaving Sunday for all the days in San Juan. Speaking of turning lemonade into a paleta, which I just was last month: Sal has to telework Tuesday and Wednesday, so I get those days to myself, to stay by the pool or go all around & talk or not talk (and either way without any translating) just as I please. Sláinte!
It is snowy, so let us just keep it festive.
Yk, in September, I went to Mari & asked him how many cords of firewood I should order. He said, "I don't think we need any."
Ok, wrong. So I resisted a little & came at it from a different angle, looking for a different answer. He insisted we would not burn up more than the wood we already had in the season.
I told him, after a day or so, that I flat-out disagreed. He maintained. So do you know what I did? I let him have it his way. I said, to myself, to him, to the children while swearing them in as my witnesses, I said, Well, I am going to do what you want & if it is February and we have burnt up every stick of firewood, well, we have a natural-gas furnace and we'll see.
What could go wrong? I mean, seriously. I don't care, I'm all back-to-back vaca and Pema Chodron besides. I just listened to Coming Closer to Ourselves & a useful thing she was basically saying through the whole series of lectures compiled in the audio collection was shut up, no one cares, least of all the whole universe. Ahahahaha! (Ssssssssseriously!) Ok, sure thing, see you!
You know it's like this every day.
One of the things abt the Clean Program group cleanses is they get really excited with the recipe missives and it breaks up my routine of same-old. Like right now, I feel kind of inspired to make a matcha thingy, I think? (Idk.)
Joe Pilates famously asserted, in one of his hysterical, ranting, Dr-Bronnersy books, that in 30 sessions of his matwork, you would have a new body. A New Body! He meant 30 consecutive sessions of his basic 10-15 reconstructive/rehabilitative exercises, done in a period of 30-40 days, not a weekly drop-in.
For a long time, I was just a weekly dropper, you know? Pilates Chick might give me homework & I would do it. What I was doing felt stretchy & therapeutic but not proactive, so much. Then Fille & I just dove in when B-school started back this year. We had a couple of flame-outs, yk, when I went away to DC is September, and at the beginning of Nutcracker, when we were working so hard to keep our appearances on-time. I was always doing 4 days each week, anyway, the point is that I've had a good, solid groove since Thanksgiving of 6 days/week and I have fulfilled my 30 sessions.
What I think Pilates meant, though, is not so much new-looking as invincible. I mean, I went on this trip by myself, carrying all my own luggage on no wheels, and I am covered in bruises (idk) but nary a twinge. Before I left, I put my foot down on a catalog and skidded across the room without falling (which is worse, really: just fall) and I heard this dreadful noise inside me, like a sick crunching, but that was two weeks ago & nothing has manifested.
At the same time, I mean, my butt is kind of a stranger. Then I saw that a lot more of myself was not where I thought I'd left it when I caught a glimpse over & over in the mirrors at the layover K-spa, but get those mirrors away from me, like I learned nothing from Maleficent, and that may be less Pilates matwork than all the assiduous ascetism and also (they say this is huge) all the slumber in 2016. But I don't know. When I saw myself in the spa mirrors, though, my first take was like, "Oh, my gosh, I see why people have been wanting to talk about my body so much."
I just tell them I'm finally sleeping 50+ hours a week, both because it's true & it's really the biggest change. Also, they won't get mad at me bc they "could never do that." (eyeroll) I may bite the bullet & get rid of a lot of drapey clothes, though.
On the other cheek, however (AHAHAHA!), so does Fille's butt look different, all of a sudden, and it isn't just puberty bc that's, yk, established and she is her father's up-all-night, vampire child. Anyhow, all of those nouns & verbs to say that this is the boringest clean-slate, new year (!) ever, with all the Pilates already well-habituated (e.g. a thing I do without thinking) & the eating so fully-regimented without rest bc I didn't want to feel bad getting ready to go to Mexico & once there, I didn't want to feel bad while there or when I got back.
San Juan might find me pouring wine into myself but who can say? I have been feeling so good for so many days in a row that I can not imagine suddenly going crazy although there was a little post-red-eye transcon botanical utility in DC where it is totally-legit & I would say that it is better than I remember, but I honestly can't remember, ahahaha! I thought about getting a real two-piece for this year's tropical island vacation until I remembered that meant I would have to get a waxer all in my business & this is a non-romantic travel experience so never mind. Or, as Fille texts, "nvm." My sensible, what-is-she-hiding swimdress is fine for the hot tub.
There was a gluten-free, sugar-free bakery in Coyoacán, I'll dish about it soon. Mostly I can't wait for the grapefruit halves on all the different hotel breakfast buffets for six days in a row. Soon!
I'm notoriously afraid of heights, so the proof of me having climbed a bunch of stairs to scramble around high on the roof of a 400yo building like Peter Parker is basically just like Eat, Pray, Love.
Now I'm home and it's no surprise the bathroom is dirty, lol. But bc I leave again in two weeks for five nights in San Juan it's completamente no problemo.
Happy new year!
I took the subway to Zócalo station to visit Templo Mayor and was arrested by the incredible Nochebuena mayhem, it was so busy & so mexicano & like breathing oxygen.
In the photo, there is some kind of free dinner & a live show happening on a stage far out in front of me & on the jumbotrons but mira mira at how clean the streets are. Like Chicago! (Which is not as clean as say, Milwaukee.) I usually give NYC a pass bc so many people but as it turns out: population density is no excuse.
When ppl ask me where I'm from, I tell them Chicago bc I'm not from NYC and no one here cares where any other faraway northern American city might be. What's funny is either this resolves the question entirely as to my fluency or creates one maddening loose end for my interrogator -- ¿Cómo habla usted con este accento? -- and then I just bat my lashes & throw a glittery smoke bomb to vanish. ¡Sigue misteriosa!
On Christmas Day, at el mercado here in Coyoacán, I was looking among the pendants & wanted to know if the vendor had a rainbow moonstone in his inventory. La piedra de luna, sí, pero I could not remember the word for rainbow so I told a pretty sentence abt how what I sought was piedra de luna pero the kind that was named for the colors in the sky sometimes after a rain, all seven of them, and we both said "arco iris" at the same time.
That's how it's going for me way down here at 7300 feet above sea level. Love you xx
Omg, chia pudding, rainy, whatever.
I already wrote pretty much the sum of what I intend to write, micro-blog style, but if you want your funeral to be a downer rave, get dragged to death by the truck which hit you as you strode in the crosswalk living your natural course of attending what is right and true. Everyone ever known by just about anyone in your family will feel duty-bound to present themselves in a solemn brigade of condolence, allowing themselves to be gripped & tightly clutched & sobbed upon in a submission to all the naked mournfulness and sorrow.
It was pretty intense, like I wasn't hiding already, and even now I still feel pretty rubbed raw, plus looking ahead nervously to the time when next I encounter this family, because the deceased was not the forward-face to this relationship & we will go on, the rest of us.
I know, it's not all about me, that's why I am nervous!
Here is what is all about me: In two weeks I am going with Sal & his Companion Pass to Los Angeles. Sal is then continuing on a cruise with Roderick & I was supposed to hang around Santa Monica for 8 days doing ... yeah, I couldn't get excited about it, yk? I mean, Santa Monica is fine & I could have done yoga every day at the venerable Golden Bridge and gone to the beach and whatever, but I wasn't feeling it.
Every day I would go back & forth again -- Ugggghhhh, do I go? Do I not go? Bahhhhh! Then goop had a LA By Neighborhood "Insider" feature which was super-not-useful, boooooo!
When I got to Nov 22 (the last date I could bail on my HomeAway rental without losing any more than us$25) I rolled up my sleeves and sat in front of my laptop, even as Thanksgiving + Nutcracker loomed. I found some pretty cheap fares to Mexico City from LAX and hemmed & hawed for a few minutes until I remembered The Blue House is there! Is it? Omigosh, yes! Yes!
I mean, ¡Sí! You guys! Mexico! Let's see Frida Kahlo's Museum! In Mexico!
There was an interstitial part -- during the hemming & hawing, which actually took me an overnight to make it from canceling St Monica to booking DF -- when I was nervously clicking around trying to find a good place to stay in Coyoacán and the great-sounding reviews for a place that looked really great & then I read words like, "The hosts speak hardly any English, though ..."
Omigod! You guys! I speak Spanish! I'm going to Mexico! I'm going to travel light with a backpack! Like Dora!
So, yeah, just like that. One minute I'm tediously attending an unbeatable free trip; the next minute I'm turning lemonade into a paleta! Mexico! I'm going to see Casa Azul! You guys! So many things happened there!
Sal was a little taken aback, "Omigosh! You did?!? Mexico?! You're just going to go?" (Yes!) Mari was also a little surprised. I dunno, I am a little freaked out at intervals, but in the first place, like, I am from a big city full of Mexicans! I'll just pretend I'm in Pilsen! Also, I am (as usual) on the most sedate vacation, like if I were going to DC & were going to stay in Chevy Chase to visit the Clara Barton House.
"Miss, will you visit the Washington Monument?"
"What about the Air & Space Museum?"
"The White House? The Capitol Building? Crowds anywhere all over?"
No, I've seen so many postcards, they're probably good; just like being there! I'm just going to stay at this B&B in Chevy Chase. Clara Barton lived right near there! She invented the Red Cross! There's a park with a carousel there, too! Yes!
Ahahaha! But seriously, I plan to settle down & suck the marrow from Coyoacán. If anything else happens, well, vamos a ver.
When I come back to LAX -- omg! I'm flying on Aeromexico, which glamorous airline is going to feed me lunch! What? I have not been served a meal on an airplane as part of my economy-class ticket since I was a child! -- I am going to go to the Korean sauna of my choosing to get freshened up all night long & take a snooze in the nap room before heading back in the a.m. for our afternoon's return flight to DCA.
So, that. Should be fun or at least satisfying or at the very least: quiet, a good place to keep on hiding. Mostly I'm worried about getting a disease, idk. Like, peel everything? Don't drink the water? Are those myths? I don't know, but I'll do it, don't leave anything else out! I hope I don't get sealed-up across the border! I hope I can figure out money-changing!
Mari said to me (rather accusing, I thought), "If I died, you would just bury me. You wouldn't even have a funeral!"
Hell, no bc it's nobody's business how I feel!
This is why no one actually envies that guy! Ahahaha xoxox
You know how I hate to leave my calendar sidebar guy on the last month but so busy + also hiding, at once.
I think when I look back at 2016, it will mostly seem like a weird filter was in use. Or that the glasses that made things seem true all along finally fell away, who can say? (We'll have to wait for Hindsight & the way she doesn't need +1.00 readers to read ingredient labels at the supermarket!) xoxoxo
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