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
The date, I thought, when I looked at it. Like 6=5+1=6 No?
It's the short season for the high-powered smell of elderflower. Another year of me thinking I would dry them for use (you make tea for the sick & they are a diaphoretic), but as I have said before, the flowers are cheap to buy from any bulk herb supplier & I love the smell.
You know, one thing I have thought about, besides My Own Math, is how the Liturgical Sign of Peace has got it all over the weak, self-conscious-y, dishwaterworks group om at the beginning of almost any yoga class. Seriously. And they are so cute in NYC, they way they don't want to touch & then you reach for them two-handed & it's all "Oh, ok," and then because 7am Mass only has, like, a scattering of people spread out all over the sanctuary, it is a two-part operation, with the actual clasping (if you can get it out of people, which ok naturally I did) and then everyone kind of oscillates to beam & wave at everyone else at the service. It's super-restorative, forget about yoga for a sec.
Mari asked if I would be continuing my observant ways here at home & I was like, "No way. What if I run into someone I don't want to talk to?" Ahahaha but seriously! Honestly, you have no idea. These barbarians? Pope Francis already told me what to do about them & I'm just going to do it from over here. You do it, too xoxoxox
May finished off strong with 8 days all alone on my favorite island.
I did not have a plan except to (not listen to any talking) hang out in the deep, deep bathtub (regular + delicious, none of those gnarly jets) in the hotel room & quarantine myself from sugar's long looks. I had not packed anything except an eyeliner, one lipstick, a bottle of sunscreen (natch), mani/pedi tools, sheet masks, and hair pins. Then I was double-crossed by the weather forecast, leaving me with nothing to wear of the few things I brought to wear except a cap-sleeved rayon jersey dress, over-the-knee socks, and boots.
I went to the 7a.m. Mass at St Patrick's every single day, except Saturday, when Mass was at 8 but I just skulked around, piously, for an hour, waiting. The hour was not so much due to my crepuscular devotion as the looming high temperature however I did discover how 7a.m. Mass is same as 5a.m. gym. So I was able to reconnect with my people in our same machine of devout rigor. Love.
The other upside was there is nothing in the whole world quite as restful as early-morning Manhattan bc you know what it looks like the rest of the time. Every morning there would be hardly anyone within 20 feet of me, except the guy hosing down his sidewalk segment. Good mornings were exchanged. I worked on my sashay. I blame our recent screening of How to Marry a Millionaire, bc seriously, walk langorously. Why not? It's just me, this whole block! And it's a tad too warm for these knee-high boots!
If you need to know: all over the island, girls are just killing it in the nude-shoe trend. Crushing it, honestly.
At the hour of 7a.m., many, many gentlemen are getting ready to fire up this machine or that at about a million construction sites. If I had a quarter for every foreman I saw changing out of the trunk of his Chrysler, I would have the cost to light two votive candles on the St Jude's altar. Also: that is four dollars I would frame to remember forever the sly aurora's ogling from behind my Oakleys.
St Patrick's edifice is under a great constructive effort. I think it was Tuesday, I was leaving the cathedral, a guy who was obviously one of the crew, oncoming to me, greeted me civilly, formally.
I returned his greeting & he said, never stopping, "You look beautiful today."
It all happened so fast, everyone walking on from each other, that I had to call out the, "Thank you, sir," over my shoulder. When I got to the stoplight, at Madison Ave, I stopped to think of how that was different. It seemed so in-the-moment, like You look beautiful right now. It was just a totally different flavor of compliment from a stranger. Normally, it's more Hey, beautiful, etc, more permanently affixing me to some judgment but that was more appreciating of my effort, like a good grade.
(You knew I was this fucked-up so just hush)
I thought, still waiting for the light, of how Fish recently told me she would receive compliments in her 20s by saying, "I'm mostly water!" And it made me laugh & laugh, glad to know her, happy to have her with me even when we are apart. But I would never say such a thing. For me, it's just my fifth decade of smiling & waving graciously from the parade float I have ridden before I could walk, lol.
If you don't know me (get a life & stop reading LOLOL), know this: false modesty is a sin, so don't hate me bc I'm beautiful. I talk abt the entitlements & privileges received for looking like I (we, when Fifille & I are out there together) do. It's inevitable, in a true rendering of our daily lives, that I would have to admit to being a beneficiary of the world's lookism. Look at it, hold it up to the light, look away. I do, mostly, at least until I'm out with everyone & we watch how all the people, everywhere, do whatever we want, ahahaha!
After mass, I went back to my room, every day, put the do not disturb me tag on the door, and ate a breakfast of stewed rhubarb with plain coconut yogurt (my new jam). I read this book, then took a hot bath.
One day, instead of reading, I flitted out to get on the 6 (like J.Lo) at turn up at the Housing Works Thrift on 77th. It was worth the trip -- BCBG sleeveless rayon jersey dress + stupidly vanity-sized Donna Karan silk skirt: $35
After my bath, I reheated the dal left from the previous night's dinner, then took a nap.
Day after day, I woke up from my nap to do yoga podcasts in my room. Then I would make + eat a stupidly early-bird dinner of dal.
What if this were all the kitchen I ever needed?
Monday and Tuesday/Thursday, after dinner, I went back to the cathedral at 6 to pray a novena and the rosary, respectively. No one talked to me in either direction in the evening.
It was like one of those vow-of-silence retreats, except all the good-morninging & graciousness of the mornings. Only child, running wild. I had some idea of how quiet I wanted it to be, but once it was quiet, oh, man. Never let it end. I didn't even get my eyebrows done!
I was in kind of a mood & it showed, even out in the crepuscular midtown. There will always be the guys who see me peeking through my fingers so I can stay invisible. One morning, I was walking away from the cathedral, completely lost in thought about Mk 10, when a different guy oncoming to me -- different but the same -- asked, "Miss, are you going to be ok?"
"What? Oh, yes! Good morning." Then in each our own forward motion, we departed from one another, endlessly, like Lawrence wrote about.
I didn't tell anyone I was coming to NYC & only exchanged texts with the Israeli once there, mainly to say, "You'll find out I was here, but I don't want to do anything, unless you're going to be a baby."
Well, who could say yes to that?! Ahahaha!
I spent a lot of time on the return trip thinking about the congregational history of St Patrick's.
It is gorgeous, beyond beautiful, everything all over (say) Holy Name, and I wondered what it was like as a parish church. Before it was completely full of rubberneckers, usually, like I am sure the lady slurping & licking the host from her sweaty palm before she sat down in the pew to record some video on her phone at Saturday's Mass, during the liturgy (!) was not officially cleared to receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist, but ok omg, Pope Francis says we should all just pray.
Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night, I lay on the bed or the sofa to read my book and looked at the television until I was convinced there was nothing to watch and/or got the schedule for the evening's possibly-watchable teevee.
Nights I had determined there was watchable television, I turned it on after the day's second bath. I watched a lot of Pitch Perfect 2, most of The Fast & The Furious 8, a little bit of one of the late Harry Potter movies, and some reality/competition television show I didn't pay attention to at all.
Speaking of not paying attention: one day, I listened to part of the Hamilton soundtrack, like maybe 40% of it? I turned it off eventually bc Jesus that's a lot of singing.
I went to bed every night by 10, if not before, mostly feeling like a genius for having my Fresh Direct grocery order include my bath salts & baking soda.
why is this closet so deep?
Every day, I had a back & forth -- Do I ride a Citibike? Do I not? -- yk, just to try it. Then, also every day, after a one-way trip's observance of the nitwit pedestrians not looking & the cabs in the bike lane, I took a pass. It seemed dangerous or at least annoying. But every day was new, the openness to consideration. I mean, it would have interfered with my slow-walking, Sicilian widow presentation, at a minimum.
Speaking of annoying, which I just was, I stopped into the Juice Press on 3rd Ave for a looky-loo. It bothered me, how they were shameless and proud to have a whole menu of smoothies none of which had a base cost of less than $10. Ok, I have a stupid crush on the Equinox Juice Bar's turmeric smoothie, but I only drank it once in October and once in January, and also it's yk, a health-club smoothie & there are five of them or whatever, but one of those 2 dozen Juice Press smoothies is $15! Fifteen!
I did have a sample-sized, half-full Dixie cup of their "Cold Brew Almond Latte." It was yummy but if I had it in the 9-oz size, I would never be able to sleep again and be out $11 plus a tip.
However! I nicked the paper menu & now I can make my own smoothies from their ingredient lists. Yes. Good ideas.
There was a day, I forget which one, when after Mass, I stopped to browse the farmers' market at Dag Hammerskjold Plaza, and then went to the 8a.m. service at Holy Family Church, right there. A liturgical double-header!
Mari texted me, in reply to this alert, "Are you going to become a nun?"
Well I don't have to become one! Look how I can live just like one! Mass, simple food, bathing! Like my own convent in my own spa! And yoga! I could get one of those Buddhist-nun masks so I don't inhale bugs & that would cut down on useless chatter! People would probably still want to talk about my hair, though, but in that case, I would totally call out (muffled bc mask), "It's mostly protein!"
Hahaha. I'm super-relaxed by now like the girl in the book I was reading ("Whaa-aat?"). Only three more days of B-school till summer (& the month until summer B-school, yk). I finished that Tana French mystery & feel like some Frank O'Hara, no surprise. Be good, xoxox
I love tapioca pudding. I make it with coconut milk & leave out the sugar -- coconut milk, condensed by the cooking, becomes rather sweet. (I mean, "sweet" but yk.) Sometimes I stir in some melted baking chocolate. Ghiradelli makes a nice 100% bar which isn't too blocky & weird so you can break off two squares if you want. Also: the kids don't eat it behind my back, so that is a plus.
Fille also loves tapioca pudding. I let her know that many people hate it, so she wouldn't be surprised. I was, at her age. I don't even know how tapioca first got on my radar but ever have I loved it.
In the time of this wide-open window of the big, blank space I just blogged about, after the Ballet Thing and before Our Next Thing, I received a well-timed email from the Hogwarts of Special Snowflakes reminding me of an outstanding financial obligation, with some mostly-appropriate documentation attached .pdf-style to the message. The girl who used to do the Hogwarts accounting turned blinkery around the same time we let them go. We had not received any billing paperwork because we were not ongoing clients when this new girl started. So the invoices started off late but also hysterical in a PAST DUE way & you owe us for so long!
I called the girl once last year & left a message explaining that, using nice + decorous words. I let her know that I was waiting for an invoice which showed the dates of each service and the associated fee and then once I got that, it would take some time for me to investigate the new health-care year & its strictures, but I would get to it when I got to it, please get me my stuff. She never did. Since, & for whatever reason, she would peripatetically email Mari, who is not in charge of Health Care Invoices, and he would forward her emails to me & I would roll my eyes bc wtf is she emailing him for?
Like, fuck that. I don't work for them & the dreary personnel problems of any outfit are not mine. Get in the line of things I need to do. And then wait.
It wasn't that I was trying to be delinquent, it is just that she dropped the ball and I don't work for her. Shit happens & that's fine. Thursday, one of the girl's whiny-baby emails came to me at the right time ever since the first time for me to engage.
Maybe you know how it is, when a thing on yr endless to-do list bursts forth like a shooting star & you can catch it and say Hell, yes, and mark that shit done. It was like that.
Almost. The documentation, because of the change in staff, remained inexact in terms of what I required. It let me get started, but I put it back to the admin girl to get it right. It was a mostly pleasant email, not entirely, along the lines of, Almost there! Good job emailing the correct spouse! Now if you could just one more ... in its tone.
She sent a reply along with a different attachment, attended by a little homily about the timing and some kind of moralizing about deadlines. I emailed her back a curt reply. "Stow it."
This amused Mari, my love, and while I was sitting across from him working on paperwork, we discussed the value of stow it and other charm-school ways of clearly stating shut the fuck up. (The Happy Days colloquialism sit on it!) Also, the giving of your chin to exasperating people, how everyone knows it is a signal akin to the middle finger but sometimes, if you know your ethnicities, you can give your chin to someone and have it hit the chin-giving bullseye, bc it is actually worse than the middle finger, when it is right on.
Late in the evening on Thursday, I opened the attachment, ready to file, claim forms filled out, and found in a close review that the documentation attending the girl's nonsense message was more faulty that ever. I sent her a longer reply, asking her what kind of a half-wit offering this was, and then telling her, "So you know how to do your job, I am attaching [a thing exactly like what I needed, sent from the facility by the girl in her job before]."
I added, in order to convey my seriousness and also my regrettable intimacy with the quotidian tedium of her workplace (um, customer? I'm the one who is right!) -- since I have never met her --I wrote, "Make sure you get this right, because the window for my availability is small and what do you think will happen to you if [Dolores Umbridge] finds out you dropped the ball on this again? LOLOL but seriously, do your job, hurry."
I mean, it's been almost 20 years since I've had a W-2, but if I were sitting on that missive, in the days when I was an employee, my takeaway would be that a. I should do what this woman asked since she obviously wasn't cowed by my attempts at telling her how I wanted it, plus b. it was my job to deliver what she asked & also c. it seemed like there existed a pretty essential knowledge of the situation with me working for an ogre.
Also, yk, I wrote "LOLOL." I mean, god! I was trying to keep it light! Dumbass.
But later still, there were too many discrepancies -- in health care invoicing, to file claims, one needs the dates, procedure codes, the fees, the facility number and diagnosis code need to be on the document, that was what I needed -- and then even later still Thursday evening, I found out that January dates for one ledger did not even match up with January dates from a different ledger so which is what? Are there records?
I decided then to drive over there to Hogwarts next morning & get what I needed. Whatever.
Friday, around teatime in the parking lot at Hogwarts, I took out my phone before I got out of the car, just to check in like we all do now. There was an email from this nitwit that started, "Due to the level of inappropriateness in your responses" and had no flipping attachments.
Omg, ahahahaha! Like she was going to report me to HR! I love it! And didn't do what I wanted! Let me destroy her bc it will feel so good! Amazing!
So with a light heart, I entered the Hogwarts office. Dolores Umbridge was in the hallway, leaning on a wall, talking to a vendor of some kind and with a woman I did not recognize across from her. Like, yk, I'm not at work ever, so I don't care.
Dolores Umbridge crowed at the sight of me, like I was a sister she hadn't seen since rush. I was demure & eyelash batting in receipt of her welcome (meanwhile, she & I hate each other, truly, but I'm into the veneer of let's do what we need to do, for real), and then was warm to her, conspiratorial in my delivery.
"You know, Dolores Umbridge, wouldn't it just figure that I finally get a window to take care of your ourstanding invoices and the person you have taking care of it is incompetent?"
Dolores Umbridge gestured to the girl standing across from her, "This is her, right here."
Perfect! I felt like Prince! Are you ready, Paris? Soul clap!!
Dolores Umbridge turned to the other guy, the vendor, to finish her closing & goodbyes with him, while I assessed the girl, and said, in a normal conversational discovery tone, "You don't look like a half-wit."
Half-wit was frozen, Dolores Umbridge was done with the guy & had pivoted 45 degrees back to us, and I said, archly, "Well! I drove a long way to take care of this today, so let's see if we can work it out."
Half-wit said to Dolores Umbridge, tightly, "May I speak to you, privately?"
"Oh," I said, feeling like a cross between Curly, Laverne DeFazio, and Ramona. "A tattletale!" Then I laughed & laughed bc honestly, there is nothing in the world anyone there can do to me.
Let's review what happened there:
They went to the accounting office & I waited around a few minutes in the reception-y area but after five minutes, I went back & knocked on the teensy-bit-ajar door. Dolores Umbridge said "Come in," which told me she had no idea it was me at the door, ahahaha!
I pushed the door an arm's length & peeked in.
"Dolores Umbridge, I don't have a lot of time to be here today, but I came here so we can just sit down & work out how I can get what I need. If we could get on it, that would be great."
Then I looked across at Halfwit. "If you're going to quit today, or get fired, just make my thing the last thing you do."
Color Dolores Umbridge unsurprised while she said, "Ok. Just give us a couple minutes, we'll be right out."
I was cheerful & consenting and then heard her shut the door behind me, ahahaha!
Anyhow, it was yr basic psychological annihilation from there on out. My platform was reasonable: I do not have the documentation I need, I have never had it, I require it, and here I am, all this way, on a Friday, driving my car, coming to you, so I can secure what I need, to get you what you want, what we all want you to have. Look at the lengths I am going to to so this girl will finally do her job. How does it look from there?
I think, at one point, I said something which seemed conciliatory until it wasn't, like, "So here I am, the one driving all this way, with a stack of papers like a file clerk or bike messenger or something, when in fact I'm not."
Sayeth Dolores Umbridge, reviewing the documents while Half-wit sat in her chair, tensed, "Yeah, I know, no, you're not, I get it."
I mean, I did not let up on this girl. Even right at the end, Dolores Umbridge said, to her, "Ok, so do you understand now, what needs to be printed on the statement for her?"
Half-wit said, "Yes."
I said, "Are you sure? Do you really understand?" It was a cutting & cruel delivery, but here is the thing: let's review 1-4 on the above list, over and over. She tried to pull rank on me without outranking me bc the thing is the customer is always right.
Or to put it another way: Of the three of us in that office, only one of us was actually not at work right then. She should have never been in this position when I made it so easy for her to go another way. So easy! "LOLOL" and casting her horrible boss as her real problem down the road & everything!
& I just, you know ... if I had showed up there to come face to face with a young thing, like a millennial who was just a dumb dumb dumbass at her first job, it would have been sandbagging to go on so long, but this broad was not that girl. She knows better now.
Anyhow, so that was a fun, old-timey outing which made a fun story to tell in a (much richer than here) detail to Mari, who already knew the dynamic & how it would go down.
We went out for a great dinner last night with friends at one of my favorite places & the reason I am so boring all the time, eating-wise, is so I can have a sensible glass of Bordeaux at dinner on my birthday weekend.
I am the same age as Susan Sarandon cast as the iconic Louise Sawyer and the real-life amazing icon Dolores Huerta as photographed here at the zenith of her power.
So foxy. Who among us is enough to get away with that tunic? Too much, plus mother to eleven children.
Let's live forever (or at least longer than Prince) and look just as good doing it. Let's face it, after all this time, that is really all I know how to do: stay alive and look good. I'm going away tomorrow, hopefully I won't be killed bc ISIS. Gros bisous, je vous adore pour toujours et à jamais xoxoxox
Mari & Fille came home last night from her late-nite pointe class & talking, talking, talking, omg so much talking! Like shhh, we're eating dinner now!
"I had so much fun playing Scrabble with you two last night." (True!)
They concurred & spoke in loud voices of their fun had in the exciting Scrabble game, too.
I said, "Now let's play The Quiet Game." (Oh, tricky! Yes.)
It is usually a draw who will drop out first because we just can't stop talking, me or Fille, but last night I was done talking, really. After dinner, Fifille was out, but I was still in, locked head-to-head with Mari, who has never lost The Quiet Game. I saw a sweet promotional tweet from Misti Copeland reminding me about her Mattel iteration and silently went upstairs to order it.
After, I came down to pantomime to Fille how I had ordered the Misti Copeland Barbie online. It went pretty well, the part about buying something online, thought first she was distracted, thinking I had bought something for Neko Atsume, by Neko and Neko merch, Neko dolls, etc.
I kept pantomiming dressing an invisible doll, choosing her invisible outfit, jamming it on her, standing her up, smoothing her hair, and she kept getting static on the line because Neko Atsume, thinking I bought plushies.
Then I stood up with permanent, high-heel feet, so that now I was Barbie, and I did third port de bras, but that did not work out. When I look at Barbie & see her permanent high-heel feet, Fifille thinks of her being permanently in demi-pointe. So, ok. But she knew I bought something ballet-related. Was it for her? Was it for me? Was it for Pilates? Finally, I went to the highest-shelf near the back stairs, above the cookbooks, and got down my Time for Bed Skipper, propped up there in her PJs, to remind me to go to bed, anyway.
Omigod, you bought the Misti Copeland Barbie?!? Omigod, that is so excellent!
I had not expected her to be so excited, but she was. I mean, I bought the doll for me, because Barbie. But I guess, yk, ballet. This is an important doll for our family to own! It is exciting, I guess.
Thanks, for talking that through with me, blog!
It was Fille who -- a month or so ago -- put her finger on the real downer thing about the new Fat Barbie and the Short Barbie and the Flat-Shoe Barbie -- it means Barbie is no longer a fashion plate doll. If you have an array of Body-Type Barbies, they will not all wear the same clothes and shoes. You will have to keep them separate, which seems like a giant pain in the ass, but maybe everyone just keeps things in random, uncategorized piles anyway, people who are not anxious, lol. I have always played Barbie as a dress-up doll, like a paper doll, but with clothes that stayed on better than those stupid foldover tabs. Just as I play Neko Atsume like a dollhouse, putting the things I want where I like them to go, and if cats come, sure, but I just like the way my yard looks inside my phone.
I do love the chola Barbie they just made, but her clothes are awful. I know that the First Lady wears ill-fitting garbage from Target all over in the 21st century but come on, Mattel, make some pretend mohair sweaters. Boots!
Nothing else is happening here but roses, roses, every day. Honestly, with the big, blank space in our life where rehearsal rehearsal rehearsal used to be ... I am super-relaxed.
I went to see the physiatrist last week & while he was also a little alarmed to hear of my kamikaze-yet-Zen trust in gravity, he was happy to tell me that it seemed like all that happened was my ribs were all crumpled up on top of each other. He set me straight with a minimum of hassle and I have felt great ever since. Probably until the next time I try to bring my conjugal A-game without an age-appropriate warmup. See you xo
There was a radical departure from the usual, well-worn, spring ballet preceded by silent auction & followed by drinks & snacks & the glad-handed mingling of existing and potential donors, and ok wow everyone is glad that is over. Sunday morning, I was ruminating about everything put behind us all and Mari said, "You must be exhausted."
I roused myself enough to complain. "We are all exhausted! You know, the girls are 25-40 years younger than us, but the moms weren't dancing all the damn ballet all that time!"
Ahahaha, I'm the only one who birthed one of those girls while still in her 20s.
But seriously, we are tired. And you know what hasn't stopped? Ballet classes. Not for a minute. Every class scheduled on the pedagogy plus rehearsals and this week, the girls are back in the studio like they never danced an exhibition triumph. Because that is how ballet is. This is the thing that I read in the Misty Copeland memoir that shocked me, this, like, it's just class and rehearsals and shows and rehearsals and class and dress rehearsals and class and class and unrelenting dancing all the time. But, ok, that's ok because what Suzanne Farrell wrote was A ballerina has to love to dance, every day. So they don't care!
I have something happening with a pile of turnips today.
If I can last through the process. One of the things that happened at the theater was that I fell down the stairs. The wide, flat, rounded-edge, carpeted risers in the theater, not a long concrete stairwell, but I was looking behind me, talking, (holding the rail), and put my foot down onto nothing. Mystifying everyone in the retelling, I let go of the railing when I realized I would fall, but if I had held on, my shoulder would be fucked-up. I fall enough (yoga practice) that I have it hardwired: just fall. Give yourself to gravity & trust God.
I was lying on the riser where I landed, taking stock for a few minutes, when the person I was talking to, who had looked away, realized I was lying on the floor, not that I had just vanished in going on at super-speed to the next thing.
I told Lillo, "No one knew I fell! They said it was because I didn't call out! I was like a ninja! I was wearing black!"
Sayeth Lillo, "The ninja that fell." So Mari & I are laughing about that forever.
Anyhow, I felt fine, through the rest of the dress rehearsal & the last-minute marking & the performance + evening's reception + eventual strike, mostly I was loopy on adrenaline, but since Sunday at about 2a.m., I realize that my ribcage hurts a lot while I lie down. Since then, it's steadily become more of a compressive and restrictive drag, similar to (but different from) the time I dislocated three ribs doing It. So sitting by now isn't great and standing up after sitting makes me wish I had warmed up before sitting.
I see our physiatrist tomorrow so he will (again) put me right. I can't wait to tell him, when he asks what happened, I can say, "Ballet!" But seriously, I don't think he has a patient who hurts herself more doing things that normally have zero risk.
Anyhow, those girls are heroes, for real. That's why the guys are always lifting them up in the air! Ballet jokes! Love you, see you, unless we die xooxo
I would not have this terrible-tasting matcha tea if not for my friend Charlie being so wrung out over needing dairy-free creamer & me being so pledged to help her.
I mean, idk how the creamer is working for her but a sugar-free, dairy-free creamer was an idea whose time had come, egads. The creamer tastes fine, but matcha tastes terrible to me. Is it really that good for me? Bc yk how I am with the if it's good for me, down the hatch! routine.
Speaking of routines: clearly no one told me there were 700 calories in a can of coconut milk because you had no idea. Otherwise, you would have, right? All the crying and whining and handwringing I do about never eating enough calories & always dreaming of bacon & candy & nut butter ... ok, well, that's over bc one can of coconut milk goes in every morning's (previously 280-calorie) smoothie and now I'm real good. Ok, not that good, I could eat a better lunch in that case, but pretty good. Good enough. Way more good than before.
Annually, I feel a teensy bit defensive (for no reason; it must be bc of Pope Francis) bc Fifille & I send a lavish floral arrangement for Mothers' Day to Mari's great aunt and never my mother-in-law, but look -- when I needed Great-Aunt's address to put into the order interface, I put out my hand and was able to rest it upon the last card she sent, for our wedding anniversary. In a little bit, Fifille (helping, "Oh, we picked & now there is buying of delivery") sallied through the door clutching her last letter from Great-Aunt, which was a separate piece of correspondence from her recently-received birthday card. Seriously. How do we find ourselves on any list? Oh, just lolling around waiting for an entitlement to a lavish floral arrangement? Please. Work more hard.
Anyhow, I used this new, heavily-promoting-of-itself The Bouqs outfit. I was pleased with the process. We will see about the flowers. I mean, I wish that floral people would give an approximate weight for the arrangements bc I don't like the idea of sending an old lady who lives alone a thing she can't lift, but it's not a thing they do. Maybe one day.
Hey, have a great weekend. Spring ballet & tea with the auction & the blahblahblah happening Saturday, like ok there isn't enough yoga in the world love you xoxo
I usually wrap up the Easters into one decorative sugar-bazaar, but this year Orthodox Easter was so far away, and with Pesach overlaid. I know there is something to the lunar scheduling, but who has time to unravel it all? Have you? Sit by me and tell me all about it. I guess I missed an opportunity to have someone tell it to me in a bedtime story before I was awakened by one million tiny kisses, but at the same time -- I think that is one which would require visual aids, like The Terminator.
I wondered how I stood in front of that mirror to put chocolates & take photographs & not notice it is crooked? Was there an earthquake? But, no it's just the angle of me.
Solid chocolate crosses are de rigueur bc, in my experience, Orthodox Easter is way more about Jesus than bunnies & eggs.
You guys, I am pretty a lot bummed out about the untimely death of Prince, if you need to know. I mean, I was ok with the fact of his body being gone, ok. Ok, there is no future with this man or his music. Ok! I mean, not ok, but death is swift and death is sure. So done is done.
Unlike Bowie, Prince did not leave us a candycake condolence card of one last concept album (Theme: I've Died), and that has to be ok. (Although, as an attentive aficionada, I have to say I do hope there is one song entitled "In Case of My Untimely Death.") It isn't a surprise because that is the difference between You have [x(unit of time)] to live and Gosh, you just dropped dead. Sure. Ok, I mean, that is how death works and I am ok with that. The last time was the last time, who knows when that will be? Act accordingly.
I know, you know. Should I marry the vampire or the werewolf? Ok, dark-hearted pajama party is over, but listen, what is making me sad is all the endless trickling reports!
It is terrible to hear this story that is starting to take shape from people close to Prince of how much pain he was living with, gobbling opiates like candy. So in that way, his death is a mercy. Pope Francis tells us to just pray, pray, pray. That guy, with that one answer for everything, come on. Anyhow.
The second thing that is dreadful is this situation where Prince has left no will & his estate is not secured according to any vision one would think he might have had, but it is anyone's guess, since he left no directions nor testament & so maybe Monsanto will buy "Starfish & Coffee" and use it to sell us Roundup-flavored toothpaste, who cares since nothing matters. That is where I am at & sad about it.
Also, making me sad, the remembrances of legendary people, much older than Prince, who worked with him in all this time, to say nothing of the sad Midwesterners in his community. He was not some weird recluse, like Michael Jackson. He was part of their lives for a long time in his life and now he is gone. It makes me sad for them. But, I don't know, old people are accustomed to disappointment and bereavement and Midwesterners are stoic, so gosh, you know. But it is a real shame.
Mari -- whose favorite Prince song is "Joy in Repetition," from (what I have always thought is the underrated) Graffiti Bridge -- says we have to believe it is in God's hands. Ok. So he's playing Pope Francis's broken record.
Fille, sweet Fifille, who from the backseat last week at the first church-organ strains of "If I Was Your Girlfriend," said, "Omigod, I love this song."
Really? I hit pause to hear her out about this. Like her, I was 15 when I heard that song the first time & my leading thought was that I did not get something about it. Like, I just knew there was more going on to the song I did not get, which ... at 15, I could not visualize a relationship with a guy where he would have to beg & plead to tend to you & see you naked & have you eat his breakfast.
Ironically, that would actually happen over & over later, particularly the breakfast thing. But that was bc honestly, like, relax + pancakes are so gross.
But let us return to that because the point right now is that Fifille, Mistress of Human Interaction, already at 15 was able to competently articulate that the whole song turns on the line, Maybe you think I'm being a little self-centered, but I want to be all the things you are to me. So I'm done with that job, I guess. High-fives to me. Meet me out for drinks, I'll let you polish my halo (omg, that girl!)
I mean, when I was 15, I could not see how ... I just knew there was something I did not get. There was a kind of prissy refusal ascribed to the Her of the song & as a girl, I never bought into that particular brand of girly propriety he sang against. I was feral, you know, lol jk but srsly, I was. Like the Lost Boys of Peter Pan, but just me. I mean if a guy was in, he was all in, as far as he could go, across the board. Until I decided he wasn't, ahaha. When I was 15, there was not much of anywhere to go, lol, but this is why I could not see.
By the time I was 21, I got it because of some reverse engineering since then I well knew the corollary to that line is I am not trying to be any of those things to you, for God's sake don't you have a mom, stop how you are always pushing me. So basically, any guy who thought he was all in when he was just all in my pants and let me get a fruit cocktail bc I'm not too hungry, maybe you should have left your pants on.
You know who you are. But Whoever's calling can't be as cute as you is just another way to say Love the one you're with, and you know right there is where I live. What I learned is the Lost Boys of Peter Pan girls were mostly just in drag, playing away the time waiting for a boy to take them. Not me. I was mostly like those sirens unless I wasn't but mostly and for a lot of guys, it was like, yk, "Oh, smashed up yr ride on my rocks? Hey, is that a lion in yr pocket?"
Or, as competently expressed by Bradley Cooper's character in The A-Team:
You knew I was a player. You said you wanted to play.
When I was a little girl, Prince was out there -- with an album titled Dirty Mind, with songs called "Soft & Wet" and "Head" and "Sexy Dancer," there was a song from Controversy called "Do Me, Baby," which was only out-dirtied on the late-nite radio by Sexually Speaking with Dr Ruth Westheimer, also the kind of disturbing "Lady Cab Driver," and "Erotic City," where he wanted to make babies, or it was If we cannot make babies.
What an if, you know? "Let's Pretend We're Married!" Prince sang more songs about getting married & having babies & cunnilingus than anyone in rock & roll since the Everly Bros, seriously, and even then, not that last. So it was a thing, clearly. His sexy bona fides were solid. But I was a good girl, a Catholic girl. Sex is holy is what the nuns taught us, this is why you have to take a sacrament before you can do it. Ok. Obviously.
Once I had Sign of the Times in my hands, I don't know, it was different, the record was epic in the first place, but also ... somewhere in its four sides, I took away from it an idea that sex could be sacramental by itself. Then I went back to listen to all the songs which came before & if I listen even now, all of it is the same -- so many songs about the Church of Doing It, or the Ballpark of Doing It, the Full Court of Doing It, the Great Lakes of Doing It, the 10,000 Doing It Lakes of Minnesota, like omg The Mississippi River of Doing It, from here in Minneapolis all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, we can get it on, or leave your pants on if you're kind of going with someone, whichever, whatever, whatever is important to you, well, Doing It is tops all the way, be reverent. But also, still out there from Parade, freeing me up forever, or maybe just a couple of years, Women, not girls, rule my world. Ok, so let's table this until I am, yk, grownup which was my plan anyway bc nuns, yk?
But the takeaway through those formative years, I decided, yk, it changed everything I thought I knew: It's probably ok to Do It. Or maybe just take a bath. Leave yr pants on if you are not sure. And maybe let's not get bogged down in some relationship canon, to let every time with any one stand alone, like how John the Baptist was out there with people all the time, but not at all like Jesus on his endless, dreary expedition shackled to 12 backbiting, bickering, infighting sorgenmeisters to the end. Until you actually get married, then it's just until death do you part (choose wisely! you'll have to do it all night!). Plus, babies. Pure romance, no pretending! Let me just spend one summer before college with this guy who has been assiduously courting me for years and meet one future favorite + best and then I have this code to run, whatever happens.
I know, you always suspected I was just exactly this fucked-up. Because with only one exception, that is how it always was! But this is a rule-set mostly working out for Mari, you may have noticed.
Now you know everything you have ever known but were pretending not to see. And anyhow, look how good Fifille is, so think of the future and don't stay mad.
When Mari & I saw Prince in 2004, touring bc Musicology ... he performed an acoustic set. I want to go back in time, or leave him a message from the future like 12 Monkeys, yk, You don't have to jump around in those high-heeled boots to be a riveting performer. You can sit on a stool like Joni Mitchell and we will be spellbound. Then you won't be in so much pain. (What a shame.)
Anyhow, it was that night I realized "Little Red Corvette" is a love song, you guys! He is super in-love with her. When I was a little girl, I thought it was a song about a car. And then naturally I realized it was about the girl & maybe she had a car (?) but the entireity of the song caught up with me when I was a grownup, but after that, I was all the way grown-up, married with two kids, when I realized, watching him sing it in a different arrangement -- this song is completely in love with that girl. That's why he is so worried about her being too fast! Wow, you guys.
& she was probably all like, Why do you have to push? We did it in the Church of Doing It, it was holy, so just cover yrself with resin & let me drive super-fast back to my mountain & my bed of nails, anyway, no I don't eat pancakes bc I'm on a fast, I'm an ascetic, boo! Ahahaha! Ok, don't be mad, but seriously, come on! Think of the 101 secrets Pillow-Talk Elle holds for so many, like a prelate and a vault, at once, all your sticky things fixed fast in my amber forever. A woman like me comes from somewhere, there it is.
That Musicology tour was where Maceo Parker was in the band. I wrote to a friend then, a girl who didn't know why that would be an exciting thing I was excited about, let alone her disdain for Prince's personal growth anyway:
Maceo Parker was James Brown's saxophonist, his sax and his style was the cornerstone of that funk sound that James Brown created. Later, he played with Funkadelic, Parliament, Bootsy Collins, all the funk bands of the 70s, all of whom spun out from James Brown's pioneering, all of whom influenced Prince more than a little. Parker played with every single power player of the genre at the height of their success and now he is on tour with Prince. This means that tonight, I could hear Prince say Maceo blow your horn, which was what James Brown used to say on the stage back in the day. I get goosebumps on the man's behalf. Amazing! As if we didn't know he has arrived!! I am thrilled! It's not healthy! There is something wrong with my limbic system! How can you care if he's a Jehovah's Witness? He is a musical genius; maybe the second-hardest working man in show business! It's fascinating and glorious and just-right and I am going to say it one more time -- thrilling! Goody!!
Mari says that maybe if he had gone Kabbalah, like Madonna, instead of JW, he would still be alive. Evidently, well, it is said anyhow, which doesn't make it evidence, anyway, he could not just have joint replacement surgery bc of the blood transfusion prohibition. Sure. But Prince had a lot of Jesus in his work, like a lot so how would that be? Madonna went Kabbalah bc that is exactly what a bad-girl, Catholic girl would do. Who can know? God knows and it's over now.
That night of the show we saw, bc we were in Philadelphia, Patti LaBelle was in the audience. Prince cajoled her up on stage to jam with him & Mari & I were both like, "How is this a thing happening in front of us? What?" During his acoustic set, wearing his fringed white silk shirt, sitting on his swiveling stool, holding his purple, steel-stringed guitar, he covered "If Only You Knew." He played for only minutes shy of 3 hours, having promised in his intro that since it was his last night on that leg that we were going to tear the place down. He was a generous showman -- he played the crowd, he was really responsive to cue the audience, cueing the audience to cue the band -- and he seemed to be genuinely having so much fun. Oh, and Morris Day & The Time (?!) opened that night, which I think I remember finding out did not happen any other show on that tour so thanks to God.
I know, pray, pray, pray, well that is Pope Francis's answer for everything, but this guy, this Pope? He is everything Prince wrote about in that great song about wanting to be the pontiff.
In other music news, now Radiohead has erased their entire presence on the internet, just disappeared like How to Disappear Completely, but they did not remove this cover of "Creep" from Prince, possibly because he predisappeared them way more completely. Except for how the Koch Bros are probably going to use Around the World in a Day's "America" at the Republican National Convention in June. But who cares? Nothing matters! I don't know if I feel better or worse for having typed all these words. If you made it all the way to here, I salute you!
I will squeeze you plus then sit right by you, maybe if we stay alive. Maybe I am the one who is going to die bc this is a theme with me, especially in 2016. But parties weren't meant to last. Except my marriage, which only lasts until death, well anyhow, in its 21st year it's starting off running strong xoxoxo
The elephant in the room, obvs.
Hey, minutes before the midday d.j. breaking the sad news that Prince was found dead in his home last Thursday, I had laid this mustard tablecloth and was going to blog it to death. Then, Saturday, I was thinking of wondering about blogging something and Mme Alfred Carrière was in the yard to greet me.
I bought my first flower frog and this is its maiden arrangement. Ok see you if we stay alive xoxo
When crazy people say crazy things, I have to make a beeline to the Israeli bc he will help me process it without making me live with it, if that makes sense. (The only thing to do is simply continue/is that simple/yes, it is simple because it is the only thing to do) I can just tell him what happened & he already knows how it landed on me & where it left the bruises. Mari wants to do an interview (shhh!) & then go forward with the incident as we live, but bc the Israeli is from a different time, he knows we just continue to be ourselves (everything/continues to be possible).
Bam, right there is yr National Poetry Month. Stop whining, you know who you are.
Anyhow, once things are tidied up, it is either a. way more manageable to present to Mari as a static event or b. means less than nothing to me so is no longer worth mentioning. One of those.
My headache is fine. I had strained my lat on the left side & then somehow my trap was involved & the whole thing was ratcheting me tighter every day with all the compensations & compressions, but it took our guy a half-hour to fix me up. The relief was great, wow.
Anyway, the reason I wanted to blog was to dish about this Simply Nigella recipe: Slow-cooker Black Beans.
As you may know, already, I use my 215-235F oven overnight as a slow-cooker, with a Staub 5-qt cocette. I usually just put beans in, maybe a halved onion, some cumin, a little kombu. My aim is to make something like canned beans from dried while I am asleep. In the morning, I work with them or not at all -- my kids will eat plain beans with salt & olive oil, Fifille throws a fried egg or two, eventually & especially in the winter I make a soup.
I combine the soaking & the cooking by putting the beans together at 8 or 9 and then having the oven come on (robot timer-oven) 6 hours hence, so in the middle of the night & then by the time I get down to breakfast, I can pull them & assemble lunch.
What I rarely do anymore is make a pot of beans, nancing around with sofrito and that. Whenever I do, the kids are so happy bc there it is, the proof that I love them, ahahaha. But it's a whole thing. Well, stop crying now bc now (now!), thanks, Nigella, I can make a pretty-close approximation in my sleep!
I didn't believe it would work, so I threw it together expecting nothing & then it did work & I wanted to blog because over the day and one-half it took us to finish the pot, I kept thinking EVERYONE NEEDS THIS INFORMATION.
You can't find the recipe at the Nigella site anymore, and in a deference to her copyright, I won't reproduce the recipe here, but Simply Nigella was at the library, go there. It's probably at the Pinterest. Or lmk & I'll email it to you! (not strangers.)
Additionally, I did not follow the recipe except in the broadest sense (well, for starters, did not use a slow cooker lolol). I added 2 tbsp of oregano & increased everything again by half, plus also used a third Roman beans instead of just black beans. Last, I poured out a random volume of the frozen bell peppers from Trader Joe's. But it worked. Also, an aside: I don't know where that Staub cocette came from, how it came to be in my home bc sticker shock all the times I see it & I did not shell out that kind of money for it.
But I love that thing, man.
Anyhow, beans! In the morning, I was dismayed bc the whole endeavor seemed a little dry, but not too much & once I added a splash each of white vinegar and olive oil, they were perfectly perfect, just-right crusty + amazing. I mean, were they amazing? For something I made in my sleep, hell yes.
Ok, brb, cat game + Dance Mom Meeting xoxoxox
I thought about buying the Marimekko napkins & dishtowels Sunday morning at Target online but got distracted, as is often the case with online shopping. Amazon is really onto something with that one-click, seriously.
The usual course of Monday's events took me by a Target, where I was able to peruse all of the color schemes & buy what I wanted. We did need new napkins, and what is interesting to me is these aren't identical, which is how cloth napkins should be -- non-identical -- so that everyone knows which is for whom. I mean, napkin rings, but what if yr kid is a prick & smashed those in a fit of pique?
The dishtowels ... usually when I buy dishtowels I was admiring, I do not want them used in the service of drying dishes. I want to keep them in a drawer in the sideboard & take them out to pet & admire them before putting them back.
You already knew I was exactly this crazy and/or will never actually envy Mari.
Anyhow, these are ok to put to work, plus seem weirdly made of sailcloth? I'm sure they will be fine after a trip through the laundry. Seems like sizing.
While online Sunday morning, I did want the scarf, until I didn't because I did not actually want to be dressed out of the Target catalog. Although, I once was, in the Missoni for Target chemise, which Fifille & I bought in our respective sizes on clearance way back then & I wore it out. It was a perfect Charlie Brown nightgown -- zigzag! Stripey!
Oh, here is another thing I brought home from Target a couple of weeks ago. A Pyrex "Vintage" Bowl, which I realized once it was home (and I read the fine print) is not fit for stovetop or oven use, so basically anything you use your Pyrex for, ok, whatever. I rather daringly use it in the porridge-making, bain-marie slow-cooker. It is probably fine for that use, but wtf Corning, did you run out of borosilicate? Balls.
Ok, I still have a headache. Oh, don't worry, I see the physiatrist tomorrow. He is going to set me right.
I have a ridiculous headache & lo, were there medical marijuana, honestly.
I mean, there is, but all the forms! Jesus! & who has time to smoke pot any more? Oh, one of you. Shhh.
Speaking of medical whatever, this! Omigod! What on earth? If I had not backed out of there ("Um, I cut my leg while I was shaving & now my shoe is filling up with blood"), I would be one of these maltreated patients! & here is the thing: I know. That is why I walked out of there. Dr Juicebox phoned for months, bewildered by my steely resolve. (I finally told her, "Yk, I was raised Christian Scientist, anyway." Ahahaha, but I did!)
You guys! Fucking for real, what on earth?!
The thyroid was unknown to the medicine 100 years ago! & what, they think they found it & it's no good? Wow, amazing; no, thanks. See you.
I made this for dinner -- this is the fantastic Ancient Harvest Lentil & Quinoa pasta! I have never taken in an analogue pasta (bc gross!) but my son begged me for this when he saw it at the supermarket & ok, $3, 8-oz box of penne. Hey, it's pretty good! (But you see how I make it go super-far.) Anyhow, I looked into the pot & said, "This needs sausage."
Yah, maybe so does my headache iykwim LOLOL
Sorry if you wanted me to take toxic chemicals, but after the 90s, yk? I mean, I am still alive! Death is certain, but not right this second. Unless maybe I give away a master gland & take a bunch of toxic chemicals, yeesh. Ok, I wrote all this after giving myself a scalp massage with Tiger Balm, so even if sausage might help this headache no way lolol ahahaha xoxoxox
This ginger I got from Hmart last week is bananas. Ok, not bananas, lol, but both of my guys thought I had fingerling potatoes in the bag.
It's beautiful, so plump & thin-skinned!
I buy a lot of ginger whenever it looks so good (even pretty good is good enough). I slice it up & freeze it & then use it in my smoothies.
Stock photo, lol. That pretty ginger in the photo up top had no strings. It was like an apple.
In other applications -- soups, dals, baking, whatnot -- I use ginger root tea I bought in bulk from the tea store. It is a noticeable improvement over both ginger powder and the heavily-amended ginger paste in the jar from (for example) Patel Bros.
Frozen ginger would work for that, too, but I don't know if you can make it smaller after freezing. Like, I am not sure if it thaws & goes to mush or what bc I just throw it in the blender.
I do the same with turmeric root, only fresh in smoothies (& the powdered root in everything else bc let's live forever). Come on, WFM sells turmeric root for $12/lb, but Hmart will let you have it for $2/lb anyway.
Ok, enough kitchen tips, I know what you like: L'oreal Brown Stylist Prep & Shape Pro Kit. I am glad I am eyebrowy enough to know better than to follow their shitty instructions for using it, but the product within is nice & actually an improvement over the Tarte stuff I was loving last year. As with every drugstore-compact cosmetics product, get yourself some real tools & don't fool around with the dollhouse tampons inside the capsule bc useless.
Brb, endless feeding & driving to late rehearsals + cat game. You should update yr blog! You should eat a lot of cake & watch yr mails. You ... well, you can give me the silent treatment but part of you pours out of me, so many of the times. You all know who you are, get to work! Love to you all & everyone xoxox
Goodbye, Merle Haggard. Thank you for everything. May God keep you.
Spring show was well under weigh when I had to bring the tulips in Monday night bc frost overnight, whatever.
Even after giving half of the cut flowers to neighbors, here we are, all over the house, but it's fine bc tulip birthday.
I am still complaining about my shitty smartphone camera every time I see any of its shitty photos so I got my real camera to once and for all decide.
I mean, right?
Like, ok, it's good for screenshots.
Of course I know it's National Poetry Month but in review:
Hey, did you know 25 years is (evidently) how long a torch will burn? Thank God & so good no one (especially me) was hurt by that thing, so heavy & hot.
Like, death is certain, behave, yk? Come on! Gifts await! See you. Or not. Maybe last time was the last time, you know? Grow up xoxoxox
I think I grew ranunculus one year, but maybe it was in my cat garden? Between the 2-tier cat tree & the Butterfly Swarm robotic toy?
Ahahaha. Sorry if you aren't in on the cat jokes. Get into it!
We're great. Mari was away in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for a week & it was fine, although, yk, he has been living here so fully in the v recent past such that he has put things [who knows where] & that created some "Where the heck is [x]?" phoning & consternation.
This is a thing that happened Friday, after a whole day of super-id resisting going to class.
Burst into tears doing the second half-moon & fell asleep on my mat in child's pose after locust & bow until Finalasana. Srsly! #yogatweets— Elle O. Ell (@lafemmefollette) April 1, 2016
Well, as Oliver Wendell Holmes competently instructed us, I'll have my will but Baby Elle will have her way. Seriously, though, it was ridiculous & hilarious, lying on my mat all through the last series of standing postures & then all the wheels -- I woke up during one of the last wheels. "Jesus, is class almost over? Have I been sleeping?!?" -- until I roused myself to do Fish pose & then lay back in savasana bc obviously I needed a rest, ahahaha!
Kids are fine, yk, weak, whiny, typical Wild Wild East nonsense. Seriously. I mean, even with us taking Calvin Trillin's sage counsel & making it The Midwest inside our house + with all our interfacing, etc. Nope, still.
I bought some cool stuff Saturday, so I will show it to you this month. Like Neko Atsume in real life. (Kind of.) But after my meetup with our accountant (so late!) xoxoxox
You guys, seriously, Sign 'O' the Times is 29 years old? It does not seem like a long time ago. I remember the first time I listened to it, edge to edge to edge to edge. My boyfriend loaned me his copy to listen to bc as I recall, it cost kind of a mint, and naturally, he had it first. I had it, and then one day after school I had time to listen to it in an empty house, finally. I listened to it so many times and when I got it back to him, I was at my father's house & he came by to get it, but before he left, we listened to it again, all of it.
Like can you remember that? When we used to put vinyl albums on a centrally-located household electric appliance & listen to music, sitting on the furniture together, like in the same room? The speakers as tall as a 6-year-old child? That is the part that seems like a long time ago.
Not long ago, Mari asked me to name my favorite Prince song, and at first, I thought, "What?" But as he is my actual husband, I thought about it, really.
It didn't take too-too long for me to say it: The Ballad of Dorothy Parker. & if you know me, and you listen to it, even right now, you know, omg, it hit me straight-on, that song, so rich with this equivocation in its tone, this context of just taking a pause. & when I unpacked it, a few years later, a grownup girl who just needed a lot of peace & quiet (LET ME GET A FRUIT COCKTAIL I AIN'T TOO HUNGRY), you know how it went on.
For so long, I lived right there with some great guys, yk, somewhere right between You're kinda cute. Wanna take a bath? and Cool, but I'm leaving my pants on (bc I'm kinda going with someone), all the parts in me at once. & in a lot of ways, to everyone's chagrin (except my actual husband's), right there I remain.
Anyhow, speaking of chagrin, I knitted some socks, you know.
These are a basic 1x1 cuff -- they are the same Eesti Trail socks I have knitted all along at this time of year, but this time in the right gauge, which makes the whole affair less bulky, by which I mean to say I used worsted weight yarn (Cascade Eco Highland Duo) on a size 6 dpn, not the size 2 the pattern calls for.
This, of course, calls for a little reverse-engineering to get the gauge right (even after swatching). It isn't a big deal, bc after three (four?) pair, I know how big the finished project should be, in every direction, but I have to work out the building of it. This is during which thing Mari says, watching me count & chew my lip, "That's differential calculus you're doing in yr head right now, you know." & I'm all like, Shh, pretend that you are blind. An affliction brought on by a witch's curse.
But seriously, what else? I can't remember how to detail an FO post. Oh, I did make a change to the toe -- I grafted it again (which from the first pair of socks, was not in the pattern) but before I decided to graft, I had looked up how to do the regular seam but not across the top of the foot. Remember, I finished a third pair of socks that way & it bothered me to know they were out there like that. At the end, I decided to do Kitchener stitch along the side of the toe.
Well, in the actual end, I folded them Kondo-style & popped them in the mail. Really. Ok, I'm just saying, yk, Karina would be right now, chapter & verse on the regulations of Finished Object Documenting except she is not. That is no fooling, either.
Whoever's at the yoga studio can't be as cute as you, but nevertheless, alors. xoxoxox
I upgraded my phone finally, to the well-received (in Japan) Xperia Z2 from Sony. Fine bc it is not from Samsung, which as you might already know, I hated when I had one and threw it down a flight of stairs, ha-ha, oops. Then for most of the last year, I rolled with the SonyEricsson X2, which was a feature-rich downgrade, in my opinion. Truly great (and small!) but a little fiddly (maybe too small!) so I dropped it a million times until by Valentine's Day, it was basically good for nothing, about as good for texting as a cat.
You can't use a cat to text. It just won't work. That was just like my phone. One minute it was fully charged and the next it was telling me it had to shut down bc no battery. (sulky! balky! feline!) Often it would not have connectivity or even when it did, it would forget to refresh/reload. It wasn't a huge deal to me bc it's just a cell phone. Part of it is that I have not had a job in 17 years, so I am actually not conditioned to care immediately about anything; tell me tomorrow. But the rest is like, "Omigod, I have a landline and a desktop. What do you have that can't wait until later anyway!"
Sal (naturally) was the one most incredibly aggrieved by my peripatetic availability on the SMS wire, and he demanded I upgrade my phone during our spring break R&R. I have had the Xperia in my possession for well over a month, but just no time to do the move. I decided to take it with me to appear compliant, at least, and once there realized I was unlikely to be interrupted one thousand times every day. It looked like it could work out, especially bc the weather was not nice in the start of my sortie & what a great time to stay inside & stare into a screen.
As it would happen, that weekend Fifille had an ophthalmic urgent care situation and Mari was calling texting calling with updates (which of course I did not get bc, yk, don't tell a cat you have an emergency message, she won't care), so he was calling texting calling Sal, & my punishment was that I had to talk using Sal's iPhone, like WTF why can't we use these landlines? Sal & I weren't going to live at the spa, you know? Leave a message, we'll get back to you after dinner.
Anyhow, in the face of all this chaos, I went ahead and initiated the new phone, which is fully in the 21st century in terms of speed & imaging, usefulness.
Once I made it through all the tedious work of Phone Orientation, I installed The Cat Game. Now this phone is still a cat.
Ahahaha! It still doesn't have an email guy loaded (bc shhh I don't care). And I probably won't get your phone call bc I have the sounds muted & it is in my purse. Also, I truly no longer care about all this HOURLY INTERFACING. Shhhh. I'm playing my cat game.
I mean, happily, virtual cats like the same things as dirt-world cats: Hot-water bottle, yarn, Cat Dancer, goldfish, scratching post with decks attached, which ok, I've never seen an actual cat sit on after anyone shelled out for the huge, half-sisal monstrosity, so virtual cats are better!
These virtual cats are so lifelike! No scooping, either! They also play with a rubber ball, which is weird, for dogs, but ok! I have to keep things nice with the six things I have bc I'm saving up for a bigger yard.
Lillo & I have discussed this matter of in-app purchases thoroughly. We came up with a. No and b. That's how they get you. I mean, on the one hand, expanding my cat garden would cost US$2.50 but seriously, that's how they get you.
If my birthday comes & I still have not been able to expand my game from the game currency accrued by just playing the game then I will buy myself an expansion. But, aside from that, I mean, it's a matter of principle. An app like Cat Game is free until it isn't & who will we be? (Well, patient & iron-willed is who I am, usually.)
I do watch the little brochures (ads), though. That is how I got my Audible app installed on the new phone.
I love this cat game! I realized, describing it to Selene, that it is just like blogging! The same! I have some nice things I picked out & I'm going to decorate & take photos & then I am going to shop more and rearrange & take photos, and put them together in an album.
Then I will remember the food.
Then I will just see what happens. Which cats are going to come by? Shhh, turn the sounds off, no meowing. (Also, that music was too much, shhh.) Oh, that cat hasn't ever played with that toy in that spot! I can take a photo & put it in her album! Let's pick the best one for her Catbook Profile Photo! Oh, who is Fred, anyway? Hey, look what the cats left! Fish, fish, fish. Oh, time to put out more food, now take another picture! No one cares but me and ppl I love a lot who ask, patiently, "So, what's new on yr Cat Game?" No coyotes, no cars! Not bobcats, just housecats! Feeding! Photography! Decorating! Shopping! Cats! Blogging! Phones! No scooping!
I mean, remember when I had a real cat show in 2010 & did NaBloPoMo & no one noticed bc it flowed so naturally, blogging with cats? Yes!
I love it. So that's pretty much what I am up to. Cat Game, yoga, surly acupuncturist & her cups. Oh, and Alice Munro's Runaway I loaded on the audible-phone. You know everything. See you, love you xoxoxoxox
The problem with the BlendTec is the lid.
See how it is flat and there is a rim, like a gutter, but things will run off before they run into. It is pretty annoying. I can not believe more people do not gripe about it. I mean, seriously. You know, in this world, you can pretty much rest assured that if there is even one thing shitty about any product, you will know all about it if you skim the Amazon reviews.
Well, no one complained about it. Unless they did. Actually, I had it in my house, this blender already, before I shopped it. It is not the first time I have post-purchase shopped. What happened was that I was kind of in the market for a blender ever since my VitaMix threw a rod (R.I.P.) and I was using my vintage Oster I'd dug out from the basement, which has the same hp as any of these fancy new blenders plus built like a tank but it was starting to seem like I finally wore out the male part of the gearing apparatus (know it or don't, let's go go go). The new blade assembly I'd bought was still slippy and then this BlendTec was in front of me at TJ Maxx on Snowstorm Eve for $120.
I bought it & read up on it ... no one was angry about it, not even at full price, so after a few days of reading about it, I opened it up. It is red, so I like that. But the lid is stupidly annoying. I mean, I've grown accustomed, so I'm sure to survive.
Complain, complain, complain.
Yk, we were watching The Americans last year. We didn't binge watch it or anything bc I saw that I only had two seasons to amuse myself with & I made it my Second Pointe Class viewing. At the time, Pointe Class Two was on Thursday, which tended to be the same day Mari came home from DC. I would vacuum the house, get things sorted for his four-day sortie (or restore things after my three-day sortie, lol), watch The Americans, and then get super-cute before I went to pick him up from the train station.
Sometimes, the list of revival & restoration was longer than other times (prob bc of the other kid, the one not at ballet) and I would say, "Well! Phew! My God, honey, now that you're here, let's stay up all night watching teevee on the internet!"
I mean, you know. Friday starts early, usually, so we weren't going to do It. Unless we were & then we sometimes got to The Americans Friday or Saturday night. Or not. The thing is: as with The Sopranos, you can't watch it when the kids are up because one minute it's fine & then someone is getting a slobbery, full-frontal, gibbering hummer.
Anyhow, the point is that I had portioned out the episodes & then we finished watching them maybe last summer? Idk. In time for The Good Wife, which should be on Lifetime, ahahaha, and then I think it was Season 6 by then but I didn't believe in this nonsense of her running for [anything], so I quit the show.
Now Season 3 of The Americans is back & I don't care. Twenty-five years after the Cold War, it just seems comical. I think from the first episode of Season 1, I was so taken by Keri Russell's maturation to be able to portray this character that it buoyed me along for the rest of that season & then Season Two came queued-up right after but now it's too boring for me, like, most of all Noah Emmerich. Also, I can not remember a thing that already happened before. Mari had to explain to me, all over again, how the one guy died bc the other guy was killed bc accidental Martha? Plus someone else in a warehouse, too? What? the Israelis, you mean? Another guy? Who? Airstrikes? Idk.
I mean, obvsly I remember the Mossad, but why were they even there? This show is about Russians. What?
Mari took a spot on a new contract which is him 95% in the home office since January. It's going fine, mostly because all the bleating and handwringing on our behalf (he's ... away ... so much!) can stop. That is very satisfying. Like the time our nosy old neighbor was (bleating on) during the Snowstorm Days and I said to her, "Well, he works from home now, so you can retire that saw."
She said, "Ohhh! I had no idea!" and what I did not say was That is because it's none of yr damn business, so I'll just imagine your applause.
Honestly, work at work for three days was an amazing set-up. I guess people had working in the town we live in confused with independent wealth? Seriously. Mari doesn't work at his level working lightweight hours of 9:30-5, sometimes leaving early bc [xyz living].
That is why he married a girl like me.
Additionally, work inside the Beltway has a lot of bleed. Like bc no one else has anything else to do. By physically removing him to three states away for 40% of the work week, this ensured that no one would hold him or phone him for the usual pontificating, bloviating, preening, time-consuming, show-ponying, inside-the-Beltway nonsense. I mean, it was not a fail-safe maneuver, but it forced superiors & colleagues to barge in and/or hold him over for cause, only.
A funny thing is how everyone except our v v closest friends supposes, "Oh, well you've each been dividing your labor so strictly for all this time, it will be interesting for him to come back." Those people have it backwards. It isn't the result of his being away three days of the week for the last 12 years which has secured each of us in the charges of our own obligations. Our commitment to not jacking the other's swagger is in the foundation of this marriage, and is, in fact, the actual reason he was able to work away three days of every week for 12 years.
Months & months before this all started, last summer, I was on the phone with Kowalski, talking about how I had commenced my 20th married year. He asked what the plan was & I said, "Wellllll, for my third decade of marriage, I guess it might be ok if my husband were to live in the same house with me all the time."
Sayeth Kowalski, chiding, surprised, just leveled, "You are not still like this!"
Well, ahahaha, you mean the girl who covers her eyes so you can't see her? That is who I have ever been? Mari knows it, he always has, how could he not? Anyone has to know I'm hiding, bc that is when I'm not there. Ahahaha! Mari has been waiting to outlast me for all these years, et voila. Patience is a young man's game. My decision to marry that guy sparkles in the light, every day. I was the cleverest girl in the world.
But when things worked themselves out & the switch came true, the two of us held the final decision (so! heavy! in my sylph's hands) & I said two things:
Like seriously, bc my stuff was everywhere like his stuff (is, still) pretty much everywhere in our DC house.
Enter Marie Kondo & ok! Honey, put your stuff anywhere you want! (Don't you touch my stuff, though!)
The stuff-touching was kind of a big re-entry adjustment. I live in a house where people are always & ever moving my things and taking my things and just the general disregard for possession amazes me, every day, but then my husband came home & was doing it to me, too! Every single day! It all reached its zenith on the day that I was making dinner at breakfast-time, like I do, and when I went back to the cutting board to get the two rectangles of ginger I'd set aside for my blender smoothie while dicing the ginger for the curry, well -- they weren't there. Omigod do you know where they had gone? Omigod, Mari, "helping," had sidled into the space where I was still working & "helpfully" thrown them away. OMGWTF?
So I burst into real tears & sobbing & that was the actual end of those kinds of shenanigans, for real. The penultimate occurrence was how he "helpfully" took the press pot in which I make a liter of green tea 3 times every day and not only had he dismantled it to clean it and then put it away still in pieces somewhere it has never been stored and I couldn't find it anywhere, anywhere, I looked everywhere, all over the whole house except this bleeping cabinet it had never seen before, but he had done this in the middle of a day where the tea leaves inside the pot still had two more pulls on them. Tea leaves that cost a flipping fortune (bc you pay extra for the porny name!) just got rinsed down the food disposer still with 66% of their capacity. Not ok!
The home office story -- how a guy had to go from having a space for a couple of conference calls every week to a full-time job, oh, well, it means his wife will be filing the FSA reimbursement claims from the front porch, or maybe the gym -- is for another time.
The upside is that both kids are gone pretty much every afternoon so why would anyone ever have to stay up all night to get it on anymore.
Last night I was lying in the bathtub thinking about Marie Kondo and the truth of how I have all these books in the house but the only one I ever still read is Love in the Time of Cholera. One cup, one plate, one book. One blender. One home office. That's how it is here. You should come by! (Not you, you're from the 90s & you scare my kids so stay there.) À bientôt, j'espère!
Super-busy, like everyone. As if our lives weren't crazy enough, some tomfoolery from the orthodontist has made it so Fille can not bring her teeth together inside her face, for the time being, so who's working the Blender For Ballet Student show? (yeah, but for me, first.)
Plus, xx-soft scrambled eggs.
I feel good. Thank God for yoga bc the other day I saw that Fifille wrote -- as part of a trenchant answer to a pre-screening questionnaire -- "Our house is not run like a democracy. I don't have a leadership role."
I went a little blinkery, but even so (thanks, yoga for how you work on the inside, I don't know how you do it! mysteries!) was able to mostly-calmly explain to her that she surely the hell did have a leadership role & guess what? She always takes a pass on it! When it's 8:45 and I have to turn up to her room & say, "Honey, it's way past time to wake up," well, that was the least she can do & she didn't and the day goes on, helpless from there.
As to the rest, well who knows what kind of leadership role she might have & find truly satisfying because we can't have the blind out there, leading anyone else, now can we? But it got me thinking about how all around us, the kids are so entitled and useless -- both at the same time! -- is it because no one ever explained to them, "Oh, you're so successful at school, but stop living a double life, do your own laundry, do your own chores, as long as you are fundamentally helpless, you are living a lie."
& then people always, whenever anyone comments upon the disparity, get all harumphy & spluttery & excuse-makey, like, "Well, but, the thing is, you know, they are only kids!"
Yah, I know they are kids! They don't even have a high-school diploma for God's sake! Why are you treating them like Anwar Sadat?!
Ahahaha! (But seriously.) Oh, well tschüss and ciao, you know. I am 100% in love with this song (so many excellent breakup songs the past few months!) but prob not as much as I love you (hmmm, ok, maybe even you) xoxoxo
GP had a whole segment a couple of weeks ago (in the issue mailed out with the header "stay fly") about fermented foods. Sure, why not? When I read through the piece I saw the butternut-squash-pickle dip recipe & omigod. As I tweeted, it is like yogurt and squash, at the same time, what? Dayenu come on!
Let's dip beets in there when we're all done!
Speaking of staying fly, and cultured vegetables, still at the same time, look, I went to a yoga class this morning, puro hippie-style. The whole nine yards, yk: flags and singing bowls and hands-on adjustments (hey, now!); creaky and skew-wiff hardwood flooring, cheery dry-erase boards, a fair lot of Bernie! collateral, a lot of seating & La Leche League signage, hanging plants, the distinct smell of fermentation of something, somewhere; so many hand-written, laminated signs issuing welcomes and warmnesses of any & all kinds.
It was fine, mostly. This is where I sent Fifille for her first series of introductory yoga poses, in a very cool 16-week Iyengar workshop for girls her age. It was such a thorough grounding & she & I both felt good about her time there. I had also been to this very class at this very studio before, but it was a while ago, ages in yoga years, when yoga consumerism was maybe not at such a fast pace, well, you know where I am. Especially because I have super-been on the vanity yoga circuit these past few years -- I do not even own a pair of sweats & a tank top to wear to yoga, and yes, my mat bag is Manduka. Plus my headband, and so would be my mat if Manduka didn't use natural rubber.
Omigod & I am having mat issues and (I can still smell the Nag Champa incense in my hair from the studio by the way) and I was shopping for a mat, kind of letting it wear away at me that I was going to have to spend some real money on a mat, like, beauty-duty-level ducats (stay fly!), and in the haze of consumer researching, I nearly clicked & clicked to order Manduka's legendary mat. Like, no! I mean, it might be ok, except lying on it, rolling around on it, going to a Baptiste class & getting all heated up with my pores open & then pressing my cheek against it. Can you imagine? I can't believe I almost did that!
Also, related! Two weeks ago or whenever, I was at the Lush store over at the highway's mall, it was to be a brisk visit for our purpose of buying a birthday gift for Fifille's friend bc Fille had, in fact, pre-shopped using the internet (I was pleased, you know? Look how she pays attention to her environment!), so I was browsing the Fresh Mask selection. I don't know why Brazened Honey (turmeric, I love you!) was suddenly not good enough for me but whatever, there was a little shoppy time.
There is a mask called, uh, something, "Ayesha" maybe? I had never seen it before, so I asked about it, and the salesgirl told me no, it was part of their original line, blahblahblah, ok. Sure. It smelled really amazing to me, so good! I had never smelled that smell before & like everyone else, I don't forget a smell. So I thought (maybe the girl was a liar) it was weird, but ok. I tried a smear on the back of my left hand & then put a daub of Rosy Cheeks on my right.
Lalalala, oh, sell me the weird face bar with roses & mushrooms, let's go! While the pretty girl was talking about the mushroom bar, my hand started to sting, my left hand. I went to rinse it in the rinsing bowl & it was all red! I turned to her, "My hand's all -- ohhhhh! You said there was kiwi, I remember now!"
I am allergic to kiwi! That is why I did not remember the mask, because surely long ago, in the Herald Square Lush, someone showed me the array of masks & when they said, "Kiwi," Ayesha was dead to me. Closed! Talk to the hand! And lo, so she did. Ow! It was so funny to me, though bc if you show me a kiwi, I disdain it bc yuk + ow, but anyway. I'm so bored of allergies. The hospital is not, though, no. It was the hospital which stamped all over me & my permanent record that I am not to be exposed to latex (bc of my banana troubles, which ok but yuk + a little itchy) & if you ever want to have personalized care in a hospital -- tell them you have a latex allergy & watch how you re-route everything. It was pretty wild!
Anyway. The whole banana thing is a harbinger of anaphylactic doom with repeat exposure, so that Manduka mat in rubber would someday ruin everyone else's yoga class way more than me quietly abjuring the mudra attending pranayama and wearing designer, performance-fabric yoga togs. But seriously lol, and then, well, anyway. At least now I know for sure where I can get a yoga class in if my pedi is not in top condition.
But, yk, grooming + outfit-- and I had a long time to think about this while I was lying on my mat, waiting for class to start -- need to be at a higher caliber when there is the sweating out of a puddle around the mat. Not like Bikram bc Bikram is just jumped-in-the-pool soggy, but like Spinning class. BabyCat Elle can't trundle home all wet like that. Also, bc Fille just did a Baptiste class last weekend for the first time and this was her reported experience -- yr comfy, fleecy clothes stick to you and bind you, during the class, cotton is the worst! Then, just from vanity's perspective, if my hair is stuck with sweat to my all-red face, I want a cute outfit & I want my toes to be pretty, anyway bc that is all I can see in downward dog, you guys!
But not in this class, in this studio, which is the other thing I found out today -- being in the 90-degree heat of a Baptiste and/or My Girlfriends and I Love Lululemon class wears down my earthly resistance so that I am opened; it isn't just about the flexibility afforded by the physiological expansion, it really occupies my mind & forces me to focus.
Now, maybe that is cheating, ok, sure. But I spent a lot of time on the mat today resisting. Baby Elle was there inside my head for every chaturanga, like never has she been for some time! Sucking her thumb, throwing herself down, "I not!" I had to step around her, giving her a mean little shove with my foot, every time! She hates chaturanga so much! More than spinach! Oh, man.
The instructor was all-aces, though her cuing was not a good match to me. Plus, as I just wrote, also the heat's benefit is multitasking: it took me almost five vinyasa flows before I could even really extend meaningfully through warrior 2, so it was hard to groove. Thank God it wasn't one of these chintzy 75-minute classes. Let's go for an hour plus a half!
For the gritty breakout section we did all these twists -- every freaking twist asana in the Yoga Sutras, I swear! And I was so angry! Twists make me so angry! (Better than backbending, which, Sob City.) I was so angry at the mat, at the floor that was crooked so I could not line up my mat to make sure it was in a straight line, at yoga, I was so mad at yoga! So angry with Pattabhi K Jois! Show yrself! We have unfinished business! Bitch, you don't have a future! And lying there, trying to relax my shoulder girdle & arms with my torso so crumpled-up & corkscrewed into my own self, yk, filled with rage, I thought, "Why are you so angry? There is nothing to be so angry about. There is never anything to be angry about."
And then! Right then! I almost got into cryasana, but I told myself v firmly, srsly, Not here, this group will spontaneously drum-circle all over you for a healing. & typing this right now I feel like, yk, now you know everything bc that's it, right there, that is why the times I always pretended not to see are the times I will never forget and at the same time where almost anyone could feel the most-rejected. I feel the same as you & I feel it a lot, oh, no, you stay over there. Please.
You knew all along I was this crazy, but maybe you did not have words, ahahaha, hope that helps, love you xoxoxox
Healthful broth turned out fine.
I reached the point where of the 16 hours, what I had left was all-night-long on simmer -- I put that ish in the oven. Just the pot, right on the 205F oven floor, good night! What is all the fussy makework in the world?! Shut the door to the oven & again to the bedroom, ahahaha, but srsly!
After I strained it, the kitchen looked like a graveyard & then we bundled all that up for the trash. It was still quite cool on Friday, so I was able to use Mother Nature as my walk-in, which is a thing we are taught as children, back home. Good enough.
As with last time, I cannot really bring a mug of the stuff to my lips to sip. It's way too Westminster Kennel Club concession stand!
There are numerous times in all the living when I have to grapple with my squeamishness & this is one. I did whip it up in the BlendTec (we'll get to it) on the "hot" setting, with a couple of spoonsful of tahini & some fresh turmeric root & it was good enough. But I am in a love affair with turmeric right now.
Turmeric and Iggy Pop's new song (so dirty!), plus the new song from The Lumineers, "Ophelia," which I love more every time I hear it. Plus you; everything I pretended wasn't happening equal all the things I won't ever forget, you know, don't be mad xoxoxox
Look at these pretty bones, you guys!
Makework alert! From the Marco Canora broth recipe in Vogue: 2. Remove all fat from the bones.
Ok, sure. Wait, no. Sounds labor-intensive and keep reading (2.), anyway.
Arrange them in a single layer on rimmed baking sheets and roast until well browned.
Oh, so until the fat melts from the bones. Wow.
I mean, that is the kind of busywork that makes me crazy. Save that slavish perfection for the bedroom. I will see about all this skimming when its time comes. I mean, I have to go out for a couple of hours so, yk? It will bubble alone, the many quarts of stock.
More fat for papadams, though! Except after a nourishing smoothie, for sure. I mean, come on, what am I, made of saturated fat & urad dal? The other day, I read a thing Alejandro Junger wrote, where he said, "Clean is not about deprivation & restriction; it is about flooding your body with high-density nutrition." I think it was the word flooding which made me sit up straighter. Behave. Get busy, ahahaha! xoxoxox
The lamb guy & I are tight, let's start there. I mean, the Italians are tops, too, really, but their meat comes from the Southern Hemisphere. Come on, jet fuel!But anyhow, even in all my toe-in-the-door, making-a-clean-getaway, over the years we have come to discovering we have three mutual friends from two different concerns.
Plus, local food as a value. I mean, it is, and ok. (But it is.)
Last week, he was telling me that people want him to carry an array of cuts from other animals. I was listening, but not-engaged bc I was perusing his case. He finished talking before I stopped shopping & when I was satisfied, I stopped to look at him.
"So, what are you going to do about it?" I asked.
"Oh, I was waiting to see if you would jump in with other meats you would like to see me carry."
"Oh. No. I'm good. I like lamb."
Then we had to play a back-&-forth where he dug deep into this statement. I like lamb. I'll eat turkey. Mari likes beef, but you don't see him cooking it, do you?
Upon request, Lamb Guy will assemble a lamb roll-up, idk what to call it, it's a lamb tenderloin rolled in a sheet of lamb belly with fennel and it is truly amazing. You know that never have I ever stood back from anything as too rich, but that is the thing where I met my match. It is puro Enrique the Ocho, no fooling.
Anyhow, I was there Friday to (receive his focus-group query, evidently) pick up 5lbs of bones, a pound of ground, and a teensy 8-12oz roll-up I had called to order the day before. Mari & I ate half of it for dinner on Sunday. It was great. The kids ate ... idk something vegetarian I forgot abt making already, who cares. (Oh, it was roasted cauliflower with lentils, right.)
Ok, so don't be mad, but the point is that I saved the lamb-belly runoff from the roast & have used it all week to fry papadams. (No, I don't know where they came from! Patel Bros! Ahahaha!)
I know, right?! And then I don't have to share them with the vegetarians! So delish!
Eve & I met at the gym yesterday & the whole Arc Trainer Hill Interval workout just flew, yk? Yap yap yap. Then she left me in the sauna to go back to work & it was good. Yoga tonight, I guess.
I mean, part of the thing with yoga is ok, I am at least 15 years older than everyone in the studio, but then on the other hand, I have been doing yoga at least twice as long as any of them & that puts me so far ahead from the start. Like, ask Dara Torres, you know?
Just right this minute, I was thinking to type It's cold & then I realized, it's still February. Wow. So much living. I haven't told anyone half of it. Mysterious! Like always, love you xoxox
O, had I but seen this photo from our October Big Apple weekend before this morning! I was so grouchy about holiday card-making (as reflected in the actual card you held in your hand), but this would have been the one, you know it.
Bc like, how many great photos have I taken of my family, from the back, while sulkily lagging, ahahaha! But this one is among the best.
Here is a thing which happened, not unrelated. I heard about it from Fille:
B-school dropout flashed by B-school like it was homecoming week or something, sure, with her jointly-custodial dad in tow. The pre-existing context, about which I already knew, was that Ballerina Rizzo was cut off from her close B-school pal at the close of her ballet education last summer. Mother Rizzo swept in & shut down the social media connections, the phone access, blockety block block. Sure, whatever, who knows? I don't care.
However, Ballerina Non Grata evidently cared very much. She (rather brashly, I thought) went to J-C Dad & confronted him.
"I didn't see it," is what Fifille told me, cracking herself up a little, "but I felt so nosy about it so I was listening, yanno. She said, I don't understand any of this. Rizzo was my friend and how could you just [blahblah teen indignance about injustice, tell it to Joe Paterno]."
According to Fifille, then J-C Dad said to Ballerina Non Grata, when she finished her spiel, "Because your mother is crazy."
Oh. My goodness. Can you imagine saying that to a child? I mean, look, I'm not a candy-coater, but I would have stayed in the room I was in. Something like, "Your ego is unchecked, little girl." Or, "Silence! Fool!" But aside from that! Say what? What happened? Why is the mother "crazy?" I feel nosy, too!
But without any answers, I had to say, wrapping up with Fille, interactions like this are why I am like The Shadow. At school, the playground, all over the neighborhood, all around the town. I mean, look, just the other day, I got to talking with a sweet woman I have known for five years, politely asking (what were to me) the next logical questions about her v successful endeavor, of which I am a fan and longtime customer, and she asked me if I wanted to maybe help her out being the press person she has recently realized she needs. Oh, you're a doll, but I'm sure you'll be fi -- hey, look over there! ::poof::
Omg, people, seriously. More quietly.
Quiet like my catlike jumpthrough. You know, it feels outstanding to be able to keep up with a vinyasa studio full of people who might be as old as 20 years younger than me on their next birthday. In a mid-morning class when I feel fresh & full of vigor in the 90-degree room, I hang in & walk out so clear & alive, but omg then spend one afternoon in the house that Jack London built & hey, ow, those knees came from the 70s!
However, that is why we invented saunas. Plus that rubby turmeric salve I told you about! I am going to be amazing, all year. My expectations for you are pretty low, so you can not disappoint! Please refer back to your New Year's greeting! Hold it in your hand. xoxoxox
We had this amazing dal for lunch Thursday. It was stupefying & delicious! (& obvsly, if I made it, dead easy.)
Maybe this is just because we have been eating sprouted adzuki beans on an endless menu of lal chori dal so we were grateful for the change, but who can say?
I am one Carrom championship medal away from being yr grandmother, I know.
Hey, the sun is out! My Lenten action to sacrifice the vanity in people counting on me to always make things happen and/or put them right is going great! Fuck all y'all! Do it yourself for a change! Lalalala, you know where to find me & ask for help if you need it! Right on! Oh, I'm still devoted, but from over here, don't talk so much xoxoxox
Hey, adzuki bean porridge is pretty nice for breakfast, topped with cacao nibs and their burnt-up bitterness + a spoonful of hemp seeds.
It uses one cup of soaked & drained-then-parboiled adzuki beans, finished in a can of coconut milk. The recipe I had, naturally, wanted me to pour a bunch of sugar on it. You know, it doesn't matter if it is called honey or agave nectar or maple syrup or coconut palm sugar, it's all fucking sugar. It's just methadone, but sugar! Stand for something bigger! This means you, GP! Put down those dates, too!
The beans are also nice, one-half cup thrown into the blender with a cup of almond milk + cocoa powder + chia or ginger or whatever I'm throwing in that day. It is a smoothie, but without all the damn fruit, which is just more damn sugar, get over it & eat a slice of cake already. Adzuki beans are drying, so says Chinese medicine. Fine.
I do not have time to explain my BlendTec, but I will tell you that the Dawn-infused paper towels are soapy without being sudsy. Mostly, I use them to put a lick & a promise on shower walls & tub every morning & then I can rinse. Like, what else would I use them for? They are all dishsoapy! Whatever they come onto needs rinsing!
You know, speaking of throwing things into the blender: don't be mad but I was going to order some pearl powder & schisandra berry powder from Moon Juice until I balked at the $15 shipping. Like I know that's crazy, but there is the line where I stay on my side.
I am going to make bone broth again. These recipes seem more directive than the last one I tried, thanks for nothing, NYT. Vogue gives us so much. You, too!
Hey, see you, xoxox
We all already know that I am destined to be an old lady of the sort that credits her lasting preservation & physical health to swims, does yoga, but to be perfectly frank, the idea of flipping turns for an hour in a freezing-cold lap pool makes me wish I were dead already. I went to the pool last week & sat on the deck while all the endless chattering of earlybird lap pool reverberated off of the tiles & then I was so tired, I just went to the sauna.
According to my shouty administrix of acupuncture, that freezing-cold pool probably would kill me.
You are cold. You are too damp.
I love how blaming she makes it come out, lol. Then she starts in on me with the burning moxa and having her suction-cup lady come on. Frankly, I think that is all which is keeping me alive. I mean, I keep looking (not very how) in the TCM books I have at my disposal & I can not find this pathology of coldness & dampness together. I am probably already dead. My hands & feet are like vampires! (I should look more hard.)
So, mostly, I stay at the does yoga. It's super-fun, as usual. I am in for hot yoga, though not Bikram. I go to my same old Ashtanga yogi, where I always present myself whenever I am feeling needful, for more than this last decade, I guess. He only ever does one speakeasy-style, secret-knock Mysore session now, which is sad for the rest of the world, but good for me to be in the know & always welcome. There are two Baptiste-style studios along my regular route & then another "hot yoga" studio in B-town, which is not really any pedagogy, it's just My Girlfriends and I Want to Wear Lululemons.
That's fine. I'm the one always going around (since the Resolving Times ended at the gym and/or yoga studios) presenting in one of my cute Prana Quinn dresses with a soon-to-be-condemned cashmere cardigan over top & my Lole or Lucy or Lulu supplex pants underneath. Stirrup leg warmers & a haramaki I skin out of before class.
I am so in love with this core warmer. It has changed my whole life, for now. When the acupuncturist disdains me as too cold, she is not just whistling Dixie.
So basically I'm like one chi gong class away from being your grandmother, you know.
I was chugging & puffing a lot of big, constricted ujjayi breaths this morning, trying not to fall out of parivitta parsvakonasana, and the instructor (a sweet, great girl) was saying, "As we think about the foundations of this upcoming holiday weekend ..." and I wondered, where is she going with this? Founding fathers? What?
She was talking about Valentine's Day. So I cracked up & naturally, I fell right over.
Oh, I am a lifestyle blogger now, I remember. So, you need to know this.
I bought it when Fifille & I were in NYC, at the Whole Foods Market. I was never clear on whether I had an affliction or if I was just congested with the phlegm-of-detoxing+Clean-cleansing (bc that 8-day stretch of letting it out for the holidays was completely off the chain, good God & the drinking anyway), but I woke up early Sunday morning & knew I needed some kind of herbal attention put all over me not least bc Israeli gets out of control with fussing & broodiness + I can't stand for anyone to fuss/brood, yk. I had four hours to get things under control, breathingly.
I got two boxes of Breathe Deep tea (which I know Algren came to love at our house many years ago, but to me, it's awful, like drinking out of the koala's dish -- Mari loves it, too, yuk) and then went up to the Whole Body section, where the sweetest woman with the prettiest hair proffered a jar of this to me when I asked for something like VapoRub, but not filled with petrochemicals.
It is amazing. I wish I could eat it, really, bc turmeric is my favorite inside and out & somehow tones down the eucalyptus. I keep it in my yoga bag & put on a smidge for the ride home or to pick up Fifille or whatever, I love it a lot.
I only wear my full-length, zip-down parka to & from yoga, but for that reason, you need to know: if you see me wearing it, do not come in for a hug. You're welcome.
Have a great weekend! More if I ever made you feel like you might need to write a check for $100,000 to the Milk Fund xoxoxox
I made some yogurt the other day & it (as usual) didn't come out right. The flavor is delicious & the viscosity is just right, but the texture is so grainy!
Can you see that? I mean, idk, Fifille is fine having it in smoothies, where it comes through like normal. I have read about this graininess, but never mine. Mine is usually too liquidy, which, I mean, the goat people warn you about it, ok already.
(I bought a currently manufactured high-powered blender, a BlendTec. More later. Also: Dawn-infused Bounty.)
Naturally, this means I have to be in a death match with yogurt until I get it right. Yogurt! Youuuuuu! But making yogurt is so time-consuming, heating it up, cooling it down, the vigilance. Then the dehydrator humming all night long, like a ghost microwave. It is half the price of boughten yogurt, though. I mean, my time is valuable, anyway.
Oh, which brings us neatly to this year's Lenten privation: Me first. Right up there with your sainted mother & the time I sacrificed myself by going to bed early. I go first. Not only, but first. Sh*t is about to get extremely real, ahahaha! xoxox
Any time the guys in the house say "Hello" to me or Fifille, or each of us to the other, 90% of the time the response is a husky, sly, "It's me ... I've been wondering if after, etc."
Then we laugh & laugh & let you get on with it. LOADS OF LAFFS.
Loads of love for this soup, thanks to GP.
Speaking of which: if you're still reeling from the time my Lenten promise was to go to bed on time, hang on to your hat. This means you, Pope Francis.
I went to acupuncture again on Saturday & halfway-through jamming me with pins, she was like, "Cupping!" & then I swear she clapped her hands & the cupping administratrix appeared. Oh, Chinatown. I love yr rustling-paper proficiency. Also, you make me hungry for sprouted mung bean saute with garlic & ginger, so I'm gardening!
If I were not still cleansing, Junger-style, I would surely be stirring an egg to bear aloft those little beauties. Like an order of egg foo young, but not gross!
Mostly, all weekend, I thought about what a candid girlfriend used to say -- Before I had kids I could never believe anyone would abuse a child. After I had kids, I could not believe more people don't.
Word up. Good night. Lent begins next week. Get ready to behave. xoxox
Fifille ran away & joined the circus, so that's a relief. Ha-ha.
No, not really.
2016 is starting off strong. I saw my oldest friend & come on, I've said it before, I will see you, there is nothing better in this digital age. Since, and perhaps due to, I have advanced from hiding all over the house behind different locked doors to leaving the house many times a week for things like acupuncture treatments, spinning, and vinyasa classes. Oh, grocery shopping & a skosh dance-chauffeuring, too. Plus holding strong at visiting the sick.
Man, visiting the sick has almost killed the Betazoid part of me. I didn't have the training in protection they get. (Remember, when it was Dewar's on the rocks, my strength & shield?) But seriously, it's why all the acupuncture & yoga. Me me me me. Complain, complain, complain.
There is so much going on in every visit, so many different people, the barbarism, the sadness, the freaking illness in the first place -- a bunch of working in mercy! One corporal! Nearly all the spiritual! And I'm just, yk, I'm here to hold her hand & rub her feet and then plait her hair. & whatever else she wants. When I leave here, if still I am alive, I am going to hide out in the supermarket, not talking to anyone, until my husband calls to ask where I am. Could be hours! Tomorrow morning, it's 8-24 sun salutations before I can stand the sound of anyone's voice! Fuck all of you all!
I felt very Brooklyn Anchorage about feeling all of this feeling until the Israeli took a few of the things I had unpacked all around us to hold them up against a few things from his pockets. He showed me this is who I have ever been.
Omigod, the crying all over the supermarket & the super-deluxe TJ Maxx week in, week out. Fifille just plays her guitar & then heads on to ballet class, aware-yet-untroubled. She gets it from her father, you know.
When I am hiding in the bathtub, I'm reading Pope Francis's most-recent book in an only-ok translation and listening to Hinds. Leave Me Alone, like it's right in the name, come on. It was Los Lobos until Mari started complaining. See you, silently, xoxoxox
For us, GP has rarely gone wrong with her recipes.
Sweet potatoes with black bean & kale (skillet?) was an instant favorite here, an easy fallback for lunch -- with two eggs for Fille, maybe on quinoa for Garcon, could be straight up, whichever. Easy.
(Where is my camera bc this phone!)
You know, the thing which always struck me about David Bowie -- and the fact is, yk, it's too bad he never had a lifestyle pop-up shoppe so I could feel I really knew him -- is how aware he was of other musicians and the entire historical landscape of popular music. He was always lavish whenever he spoke of his admiration for any other artist & there were so many people.
Anyhow. What a life. We were lucky to have that guy. Adieu, David Bowie, que Dieu vous garde.
Here's a thing about a cultural breakthrough I had with these people.
Let's get in the wayback machine to when Fifille was 8 & hated ballet classes. She never refused to go, she just felt grumpy about it when she wasn't there & at a time when wasn't getting ready & also wasn't riding in the car en route. So, basically, on the days she didn't have class, she would talk about how she didn't want to do ballet class any more.
It just didn't seem like a thing, the way she only on alternate days would say she did not want to go anymore. I mean, she was 8 years old, she knew how to tell time & use a calendar. After a while, there was enough of a drift of grumpiness piled up that I went to her instructress & enquired, after which check-in Mari & I decided to let it run its course just as it was. It turned out to be a phase, and three or four years later, she was elated and spinning all over the house, very often expressing a lot of spontaneous gratitude for our support in granting her wishes to take class all those many years before.
In this ballet intercession we just had during the holidays, there was a little more parent-interfacing than I thought necessary, but anyhow, this story came up. After this historical event was explained in a round-robin by me & Mila Egorova at once, we nattered on smoothly to leap ahead to the reason we were reminded of this time.
(Now is a good moment for me to remind: Mila is Russian)
In the middle of the current-events narrative she was building, one of the dads interjected, apologizing for his lack of attention.
"Wait," he said to us, turning to me. "But what did you do when she was 8? To make her keep going?"
His wife was quick & warm to him so we could move along. "Nothing, they ignored her."
Oh, my God! No, we did not ignore her! I went to her instructor, the adult to whom I had trusted this part of her development, with her loads of studio-teaching experience, and we discussed it! We had a parent-teacher conference! That is the opposite of ignoring! WTF how could she say that?
But I said nothing.
Later, Mila asked me the same thing. "How can she say that you ignore? We talk about it and she always come to class, every class, she is good and works hard! Complain at home, but come to class! And now!" Mila cut off her tirade with a sharp wave of her hand and tossing her head, blowing a little.
It was funny bc I know, right?!
Anyhow, eventually the evening ended and driving home, I thought, Omigod, to these people that looks exactly like ignoring! I did not engage the whim of a child give ground to it, soulfully opening her heart and hewing to her truthful spirit in honor of her self to let her do whatever she wanted! Jesus Christ, she was 8 years old! She never refused to go to class! She nittered & nattered in her downtime while I pretended to read that week's New Yorker! Then I put a macaron in the next day's post-dance lunch pack and was sweet + tender while I fixed her bun! And then it went away!
I mean, it was such a revelation to me! Do you remember when Almanzo Wilder fell through the ice & almost died and his father was of the menacing & confrontational opinion that the saved child should be whipped? Well, indeed a lot of things have changed since for the parenting of the well-to-do in the East. No wonder these kids are so weak and bratty! Holy cannolis! Good thing, though bc my other kid, ahahaha! (But omg seriously!)
Then yesterday there was an exhibition & every girl fumbled her presentation and I, honestly, felt sad for any child who worked hard & rehearsed, paying right there in sweat, but then to every onlooker just seemed slack. I mean ... if it doesn't matter when you are doing it, when does it matter? Why did you practice? To be so-so? But all the rewarding & preening was out in full. Oh, but they tried. Ok, sure, whatever at least my son blends in around here, thank God they are everywhere to make excuses for him!
See you je reviens but first omg my camera xoxo
The holiday season was so full of high-octane stuff I never eat. I felt like Henry VIII, honestly. It was not as off the rails as it feels, I guess. I mean, Thanksgiving was super-low-key, without any dessert even. This was bc we had just had dessert for Mari's birthday & what am I, made of cake? Plus, I knew I was going to MoMA with Minty and I had my eye on making out with flourless chocolate cake in our taxi.
Then Hanukkah was super-boring. I wish I had a photo of the look on Fifille's little face when I put fried turnips down on the dinner table the first night. I don't eat potatoes any more, apologies!
Apple latkes of various iterations & Hanukkah was over. Christmas Eve came with wine, and so did Christmas and Boxing Day. There were chocolates and flourless cakes, amaretti, pignoli, more wine, a ton of liver spreads, a million plates of charcuterie. Duck, so much of it -- its liver, its legs, its salamis! -- every time we went out & then the Garrotxa & Ossau Iraty started sneaking up to me, bleating.
But I was out almost every of these events. At home it was so boring with lamb shoulders & lentils & chestnuts & still two pomegranates every day.
I felt like I successfully walked the fine line between expanding my dietary rubric in deference to the season vs letting parties be an excuse to do whatever I wanted bc everyone else was, too. Anyhow, it was a great relief to close the door on all of that gaiety. Mostly bc I could not keep eating and drinking like that, my god.
So I'm back to the usual boring & insufferable privation + visiting the sick + what seems like an unending regimen of having my brows threaded & roots colored.
I might get back to knitting, but television-watching is going to be slow going this year. We have been successful in watching teevee and keeping up to our other standards but I am in a romance with sleeping & you know how it goes -- an hour spent watching teevee is an hour we are not getting it on. Plus, the last episode of Teen Wolf we watched made me think it was too stupid to go on. I would watch Nurse Jackie if it had monsters. Happy 2016 xoxo
I am 100 percent in love with this crèche Norma put together at her shop.
Why the Baby is in it already, who knows, look at the calendar, but ok. I think back to when I was a girl, how everyone ever commented on how I loved all the nativity sets, anyone's, every one, & I wish I had known then what I know now bc then I could have just said, I love dolls.
In Anthropologie, in NYC with Minty, I saw an assortment of facial scrubs & "polishes" which were appealing, but I had my general settings set to No Spending, plus the long line at Christmastime Anthropologie down the way from Radio City Music Hall and Rockefeller Center rink, tree, etc. Since I have returned home, I have managed to make my own.
It is just brown rice, pounded with rose petals (pantry item, from the witch store) and lavender flowers (same). I thought of adding a small piece of soap nut hull -- bc scrubs are scrubby but I don't rub long enough for them to be washy -- but did not. I sprinkled it on a dab of Cerave to bind it. It isn't as fine as a commercial scrub would be, but I just hit it & split with mechanical exfoliants anyway so good enough. I am sure a commercial exfoliant uses a mill, not a mortar and pestle.
It has been a long time since I have made anything to use -- not a meal, not a tincture -- so that was satisfying. Also: pink.
More Adele on the radio today, the song about When We Were Young, and I realized, this time while I was making the bed, that what I hear, what I project into the song, is Before We Die. I get a little Baby Elle about it, so I go nakedly (metaphorically!) to one guy & and the man I married bc also for them this is the most obvious logical projection (and progression), anyhow, so we're ready. But then it's just like, yk, for everyone else -- omg, here we are, don't be a baby, roll hard.
(Related: I Could Drink a Case of You)
Not exactly related, but still music, the Benjamin Clementine album. "Nemesis" was suddenly on the radio six times a day after he won the Mercury Prize, and Fifille & I could not get enough of it, never enough.
Fifille & I adore that Ben Clementine song so much; turning it up (!) isn't enough anymore & now we dance around like Baz Luhrman extras.— Emmanuelle (@lafemmefollette) December 3, 2015
I have since bought the (entire, thoroughly-enjoyable) CD, but while I politely listen to it edge to edge, I do not pretend that "Nemesis" is not my favorite & my best. You guys! The other day in the car, driving -- so without all the clapping & waltzing, turning, sashaying -- a line dropped in which I had missed all the times before, the one where he sings, Now I guess you are doing the same old/same thing to me now.
Oh my God, it's a breakup song! I love it on a grander scale now! I can not even tell you how huge this loving is because I was unprepared! I thought I knew how much I loved it and then I really got close enough to see everything and now I have to recalculate the weight of every thing which came before.
Omg, laughing, laughing, totally still exactly related to everything I wrote before that, from the top. I can only be who I am, all the time, votre tout dévoué . xoxox
Omigosh, remember when I closed last week, wondering, Wow, what is that smell? Smells good not bad idk.
Right, that is the smell of too many things piled up on the table in the entryway while people rush rush rush around. I shopped at the Sabon outlet in the Bryant Park Christmas Village, with Minty. I bought a bar of soap for me, a bar for Fille, hand cream for us to share. (It is more of a hand butter, challenging to use in a 63-degree house, but ok, later.) I love Sabon, a lot. All those smells!
Anyhow, that. It all smells incredible, even from under the giant messenger bag I schlepped to NYC with the MoMA-shop Christmas present for Fille. I mean, the piling up of the stuff on a weekly basis, and we don't have room for all of that nonsense, even if it is just from Tuesday-Friday, mainly (before we start again).
While Mari is away, I was hoping our house could go Kondo, if you see what I mean. I purged from the bookshelves last month, which was easy. I found a far-flung Goodwill which still takes books as donations and also: I really don't care about keeping every book I ever read in the house like some kind of a damn trophy. It was more about making the time to take them out than any kind of hoarding constitution. It was like when FlyLady sends the one "mission" email about getting rid of the lids without dishes & the dishes without lids. It is my favorite, whenever it comes bc why do we have these lids!
This week it is time for the clothes. I can have them spread out all over the floor in Mari's unusual absence. I have a lot of clothes & I was nervous because I do love a lot of my clothes & also clothes in the abstract, but the truth is, I can't find a bunch of the clothes I want to wear because there are too many. Also, lately a bunch of them I'm too small for and even if I love the piece, what am I going to do? Hang it on the wall? Wear suspenders? And do I need them all? Do they spark joy?
More than me answering the question "Does this spark joy?" many times as I pick [whatever] up, "OMG I'VE BEEN LOOKING EVERYWHERE FOR YOU!" floods my consciousness. Then I don't thank anything before I throw it on the giveaway pile, bc it's like, "Did you hear about how you were crowding out & distracting me from the thing I've been looking all over for? Just leave now, before I talk about how I hate you!" Oh, ok, I did say it to one thing -- a zip-up fleece with thumbholes, I think I only wore it once bc the welting was too round -- but only bc I felt sorry for it.
You can see nothing about me has changed in 25 years.
The purse-emptying thing I was feeling agnostic about. I get the Japanesey energetic of blessing & thanking & resting, but blahblahlah. This morning, I spotted my last-carried handbag just sitting in the entryway, emptied & half-full of [whatever uselessness] bc my now-carried handbag has all the goods in it. At that moment, I understood what she meant, at least, although actually emptying the actual purse every day just to carry it again tomorrow might be a bit precious for my purposes. But in the closet, almost every bag I am not carrying has stuff in it I once carried. How else would we find cash in a pinch? But ahahaha, I should address that bc I do see the wisdom in it.
Speaking of clothes, luggage, and also cash: Sal wants to go to this year's Serie del Caribe in Santo Domingo & I don't think so. Ok, first of all, I know from last year I would have to have a suite of prom dresses & a wind machine to be appropriately-dressed at the stadium. Ok, that's not an insurmountable obstacle (well, a little bit bc it's winter here, but internet whatever). Then, there is the language/culture issue: It's cute when Sal blunders all around in Condado, wearing short pants & drinking too much, amazed by bacalaitos & using the F-word, but in the case of trouble in the DR, we would have to find an Embassy & no. We agree, bc we have talked this much about it: we would have to have some unbreakable ground rules to make that trip.
Sal wants to make the trip, and he acknowledged that he can't make the trip without me bc he doesn't speak Spanish, but here's the other important thing we both know: I can tell someone what we want, and 95% of the time, the guy I am talking to says I don't really want that and ok, bc how would I know? I'm with a lout in short pants who can't hold his liquor! Ahahaha!
But seriously, I don't know. I think I don't feel like going. Our hotel would not be on the beach -- I don't think any of them are -- I'm not sure we can work out how to fly in + out together, everything I've seen of the Caribbean is dirty & the rest broken anyway. Plus! Does anyone know the recent history of any of these countries? In the case of the DR, current events? Blech!
On the other hand, we're probably totally safe from ISIS down there.
Marie Kondo says to throw away all yr papers. All of them! I am in love with that! Let's start a fire in the woodstove, you guys!
I was working on lunch, Fille on the après-ballet snackpacking grind behind me while Garçon cleaned up from breakfast. From somewhere in our house Adele was moaning on about how she was young and I admit to thinking, a little irritably, Why doesn't Adele know she is young right now? 27!
Sumac is so pretty on eggs + feta & as I finished this photo, before I plated, I thought a thought -- it was like grit under my nails -- & realized we were so young.
Someone should let Adele know. Also, that love means never having to say you are sorry. I was 40 before I realized, but it was true all along. You could phone a million times about something from a decade ago, but if you loved, were loved -- maybe taken & kept, definitely had & held -- he would say, Ok, yeah, I know. Hey, did you see this recipe for squash cake? It is written into us, like the hubris and plain arrogance, six-pack abs, a willingness to be wounded, the first quiet time, when to look away, where to plunge the knife, how to maintain a beatific silence. Here we remain, always.
My Jehovah's Witnesses came today. I forget how Celeste blundered into a tone-deaf affront, but my timed-detonation response was to quietly suggest that while I respected her zealous conversion, ever have I been steadfast in the Lord. That should be splattered all around her just about right now as things quiet down for bedtime. Bam.
You would not have me any other way, I know. Je demeure, votre tout dévoué xoxox