Friday, December 17, 2010

Pensive, peaceful

December whirlwind. Behind on everything but on the verge of catching up. Tuesday is my last day at my job, after five and a half years. Rollercoaster of emotions: bittersweet, excited, nervous, ready. I start a new job the first Monday in the new year. Learning, growing. Much to do.

I'm looking forward to a holiday filled with family; little children waking up early on Christmas morning. People are what make the world go round.

Merry merry merry!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Turret book of the month club

Well, I had this long post written that devolved into a discussion of the book jackets, and I decided to delete it in case the author has a Google alert set up, because I don't want to hurt her feelings after I enjoyed her books so much. The jackets aren't her fault. They're very beautiful jackets, aesthetically speaking, I just think they're not very teen-friendly. What was I talking about? Oh, right. Let me come in again.

So I've been on this castle kick lately. One of my favorite books of all time is I Capture the Castle. I recently enjoyed the Australian imports A Brief History of Montmaray and its sequel, The FitzOsbornes in Exile (it isn't out in the US yet, I read an advance copy). And now the book that's at the top of my Christmas wishlist is this one:

"Starred Review. A letter posted in 1941 finally reaches its destination in 1992 with powerful repercussions for Edie Burchill, a London book editor, in this enthralling romantic thriller from Australian author Morton (The Forgotten Garden). At crumbling Milderhurst Castle live elderly twins Persephone and Seraphina and their younger half-sister, Juniper, the three eccentric spinster daughters of the late Raymond Blythe, author of The True History of the Mud Man, a children's classic Edie adores. Juniper addressed the letter to Meredith, Edie's mother, then a young teen evacuated to Milderhurst during the Blitz. Edie, who's later invited to write an introduction to a reprint of Raymond's masterpiece, visits the seedily alluring castle in search of answers. Why was her mother so shattered by the contents of a letter sent 51 years earlier? And what happened to soldier Thomas Cavill, Juniper's long-missing fiancé and Meredith's former teacher? Despite the many competing narratives, the answers will stun readers."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Congrats, Prince William

I hiked around the West Village last night in my gray heeled Oxfords that were my Parisian souvenir. I always get lots of compliments when I wear them. But I had to come to the reluctant conclusion that now that I am approaching the upper upper end of my twenties, I'm not allowed to buy shoes that aren't comfortable. I feel hobbled today. Like, I'm daydreaming about my Danskos.

In other news, I'm really excited for the holidays...Thanksgiving, three weeks of holiday sociable events, and then a week off for Christmas. Things around me may feel up in the air, but as long as you've got family, that's all that matters.

P.S. I'm sure soon-to-be Princess Kate doesn't need help with her wedding planning, but for my friends who are navigating the checklists, may I recommend East Side Bride? She tells it like it is.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I find myself wanting to re-read Brideshead Revisited. That seems like such a nice November book to read. And also maybe A Bear Called Paddington. Wouldn't that be a cozy weekend?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

World's best breakfast

We were at Oriole 9 in Woodstock two years ago on New Year's Day where I had an eggs benedict that changed my world. This time, Chris ordered the same dish that he got last time--corned beef hash with eggs over medium--and I had a forest mushroom and gruyere omelette that REALLY changed my world. Holy heavenly, Batman! And then we also had their amazing coffee and I lucked out and got a free chai latte because the waitress had made it for someone who had failed to specify that she wanted it vegan.

If you live in the city and have a car, this place is worth the hour and a half drive. SO worth it.

Friday, October 29, 2010

October lullaby

Our apartment lease expired the end of the summer and simultaneously one of my friends sent a mass email saying that her mom needed a housesitter for two months, upon which Chris and I looked at each other and said, "Hmmm." So since September we've been staying in a beautiful three story brownstone in Park Slope, complete with a deck, back yard, laundry room, and dishwasher. It's been simply heavenly to take lots of baths and lounge on the velvet couches in the evenings, but, alas, all good things must come to an end. This weekend we are moving out and into a sublet while we look for our next spot.

To make the transition more painless, we're taking some time to ourselves and spending the weekend in upstate New York. We found a great deal on Priceline (I'm a big fan of Name Your Own Price), and I'm looking forward to watching the second episode of Sherlock in a comfy king-sized bed and brunch at Oriole 9 in Woodstock on Monday.

That means that today is basically my Halloween (my assistant at work twisted my arm into dressing up. She's Hermione and I'm a ballerina. And I need to visit the marketing department because we sure are the only two in Editorial that I've seen in a costume). I'm loving the fall temps, the orange trees I saw from the train this morning, and the anticipation of a three day weekend with my sweetie.

Happy autumn!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Best of New Jersey

On one of our frequent trips through New Jersey, Chris, Shelby and I got off the clogged turnpike and found ourselves speeding (comparatively) up 295 and thence onto Rt. 1. It was around dinnertime on a Sunday evening. We missed the turnoff for Five Guys, happily as it turned out, because when the Skylark Diner in Edison showed up in the windshield we made a screeching right turn.

What followed was one of our top 20 meals of all time. Chris and Shelby had the prime rib burger but my burger au poivre won the day, with its creamy dark pepper sauce and its oodles of mushrooms piling up all around. The malt vinegar french fries and the huge glass of red wine were similarly delicious. 

And that concludes my best of New Jersey.

Ha ha, just kidding. The hospital in Red Bank where I was born is also worth noting.

(I really am just kidding, Jersey readers!)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Best of Brooklyn

Chris and I have spent our last few years eating our way through Brooklyn. Now, I feel compelled to share our faves here.

Best Coffee
--Though I'm partial to the iced variety at Le Petit on Court Street, I'd have to concur with Chris that the best coffee is hands down Gorilla, on 5th Ave in the Slope. If you have time to wait, they'll also painstakingly make you the best latte you've ever had.

Best Muffin
--Blue Sky Bakery on 5th Avenue. Pumpkin-apple-walnut ... zucchini-chocolate-raspberry ... anything you get there will be the best muffin of your life.

Best Bagel
--Bergen Bagel. Oh, man. The bagels are absolutely perfect and they are complimented by the world's most dizzying array of flavored cream cheeses. Today, for instance, I had a plain bagel toasted with basil cream cheese and sliced tomato. This deliriousness was, in fact, what inspired me to write this post.

Best Egg Sandwich
--Frank's by the subway stop at Smith Street and 2nd Place. Chris just told me that the reason it's so good is because they cook their bacon in the deep fryer.

Best Burger
--Totally up for debate, but I think my heart belongs to the burger at Dram Shoppe on 9th Street. Imagine a Big Mac--made with foodie quality ingredients. The fries with ranch dressing are also particularly covetable. (So is the bourbon.)

Best Slice
--um, I've never had a bad slice of pizza in Brooklyn, so ... this one is wide open. I'm partial to Vinny's at Court and 4th and to that place next to the Bedford L in Williamsburg that I've only been to late at night so I can never remember its name. Most people swear by Lucali's; I thought it was overrated but I'm willing to try it again and be proven wrong. It's pricey, though. We got a mushroom pie there once and it was $27.

Best Barbecue
--Fette Sau. No debate. Get there early.

Best Middle Eastern
--We really love Zaytoons, with locations in Carroll Gardens, Clinton Hill, and Prospect Heights.

Best Thai
--Joya on Court Street (and its sister restaurant Song in Park Slope), but mostly for takeout, as it's so loud to sit and eat there. We also like the massaman curry and chicken spice at Nine-D.

Best Asian Fusion
--Chance on Smith Street. The Chance Chicken with its savory orange crunchiness is to die for, and their dim sum is amazing.

Best Lunch Special
--Chance, above, runs a close second to Kyoto Sushi at Smith and Atlantic, where for like $8 you get free edamame, miso soup, and salad with your delicious and large rolls.

Best Overall Sandwich
--Bierkraft at 5th Avenue near Union, especially the salami with pecorino.

Best Vietnamese Sandwich
--Hanco's on Bergen Street. Love their Vietnamese iced coffee, too.

Best Hard to Describe Sandwich
--The Turkey Leg Sandwich at Henry Public. Think Thanksgiving meets pulled pork. It's, like, shredded turkey mixed with gravy slathered onto thick slices of bread ... I mean, you kind of want to take a nap when you're done, but it's sodiumrrific.

Best Grilled Cheese
--The "Adult Cheese" sandwich at the Commodore in Williamsburg. Spicy poblano melting all over your face. Yum.

Best Mexican
--We're partial to the burritos and quesadillas at Calexico on Union Street; we also love El Pollito Mexicano for more of a sit-down experience.

Best Taco
--Los Hermanos at Starr and Jefferson

Best Wings
--Wingbar on Smith Street. They might win cheapest pitcher, too.

Best Sushi
--We love the funky sauces at J-Pan on 5th Avenue in Park Slope. Try the Fantastic Roll, it's ... fantastic.

Best Cobb Salad
--For some reason I love the one at PJ Hanley's, the sports bar on Court and 4th. It's got the perfect amount of everything, and the bacon is always piping hot.

Best Mozzarella Sticks
--Abilene, our former corner bar. Even though most of the food wasn't that great (with the exception of their pretty good Southern style brunch), I loved going there with Chris on a rainy night and sitting drinking cider and sharing mozzarella sticks with him.

Best Appetizer
--The polenta with wild mushrooms at Fragole.

Best Slider
--The corned beef and cabbage slider at ... this bar that is a block away but that I can't find the name of on Google maps. Um, yeah. It's the one with the red door at 5th and St. Marks.

Best Italian
--We don't feel like we've tested all the options yet! But Frankie's 457, Fragole (love their rigatoni with eggplant), and Boca Lupo are all worth writing home about and using lots of exclamation points.

Best Fish and Chips
--Sheep Station, the Australian pub on 4th Avenue.

Best German
--Cafe Steinhof on 7th Avenue. Love the goulash and the sauerbraten.

Best Brunch
--Brunching is big business in Brooklyn, which is probably why I'm not super into the trendy crowded spots like Buttermilk Channel. Instead: split a pain au chocolat with your dining partner, then order the ham and cheese crepe with salad, and finish with their milky hot chocolate, at Provence en Boite on Smith. (The best brunch, period, has to go to Oriole 9 in Woodstock. More on that another time.)

Best Atmosphere
--This has got to go to the funky/vintage/cool back yard at Robin des Bois.

Best Cocktail
--The Improved Whiskey Cocktail at Clover Club on Smith. Lots and lots of runners up. I like the bourbon one with the black cherry in it at Brooklyn Social Club (whatever it's called) and Henry Public also has an impressive list.

Best Silly Drinks
--The super strong and super slushy umbrella drinks at Zombie Hut.

Best Glass of Wine
--I love getting the Montepulciano, served in a stemless wine glass, at Boca Lupo on Henry Street.

Best Cupcake
--Baked in Red Hook.

Actually, Best Dessert*
--Baked in Red Hook. Get anything. I mean anything.
(I also swooned over the pecan pie and vanilla ice cream sundae served in a tall glass at Buttermilk Channel but, I mean, anyone could make that.)

Overall Best Coffee Shop Experience
--Baked in Red Hook.

Best Baking Cookbook
--Wait for it ... Baked. From the bakers at Baked in Red Hook.

*Except for Best Ice Cream
--The peanut butter cookie dough at Louie G's! For one summer Chris and I had a tiny satellite Louie G's all to ourselves over near the Smith-9th stop. No one knew about it, which is probably why it closed down. But it's worth walking to the larger locations for any of their dozens and dozens of flavors, not to mention their ices (I love the mint chocolate chip).

Best Movie Theatre Popcorn
--The BAM. Gotta love their fill-a-bag-with-candy option, too. Swedish fish!

Best Bar Popcorn
--Angry Wade's at Smith and Butler

Best Hot Chocolate
--The Chocolate Room (locations in Carroll Gardens and Park Slope). I'm not haughty, though. The salted caramel hot chocolate at any Starbucks is also tilt your head back and drain the last drop good.

Best Healthyish Lunch
--The smoked turkey half sandwich on whole grain bread paired with the Skinny Delight smoothie at BeQu on Smith

Best Diner Omelette
--The ham and cheese at St. Clair's, Smith and Atlantic

Still Hunting:
Best French, Best Chinese, Best Pie (I mean, aside from Baked), Best Fried Chicken, Best FroYo, Best Crock of Chili, Best

I'm sorry, I've got to stop. I've made myself hungry.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Splish splash I was taking a bath...

...and the world's biggest cockroach nuzzled its way along the bathroom rug and into my heap of clothes.
So I screamed my head off for my husband who came running up two flights of stairs to dispose of it for me.

He really is the best.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Today I left the office at noon and took the subway to the west village and met my husband for lunch. I had a tuna burger and he had salmon and rice. For dessert we got lemon ginger cookies and coffee. It's a beautiful sunny fall day. I love him so much!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Oui et merci

Why yes, I would like to return to the scene of my honeymoon.

Friday, October 1, 2010


I think I've posted about this ceramic artist before, but she just keeps getting better and better. Someday when Chris and I buy a house, I'm splurging on one of her pieces as a housewarming present. They're so gorgeous.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Chris's grandmother passed away this weekend, an event that is deserving of far more eloquent words than I seem to have right now. We are going back to Maine tonight for the services. Perhaps when we return I'll have the ability to write what a great lady she was. Until then I'll just say how grateful I am for the good time we got with her only last month, when she was in such good health.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Rat race

I'm not sure if this morning is the most annoying morning at work of all time, or if it's just because I had yesterday off that I think so. But frankly, I'm leaning towards the former. To people who make phone calls at 9:15 a.m. the morning after Labor Day, please, go jump in the lake, and I mean that very sincerely.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mockingjay review

Mockingjay came out on Tuesday, and my coworker was going to the bookstore at lunch, so I gave her cash and asked her to pick up one for me. Then I read it in one big gulp from 5:30 to 11 that night.

My review is going typed in white, so highlight it if you want to read, 'cause it contains LOTS of spoilers.

So, I'm going to read it again in a few weeks, maybe after I re-read Catching Fire. I raced through Mockingjay...there was a lot that was satisfying about it...I never got bored ....


When I closed it, I didn't feel dissatisfied, but I didn't feel satisfied either. In fact, I didn't know how to think. And the parts that stuck with me, the parts I kept thinking about, are the parts that didn't rest well with me. Like how Peeta, the best character in the books, is barely in this book...and the Peeta that's there is so literally brain-damaged that he's not the same. And he'll never be the same. (I understand that Suzanne Collins didn't want to make it too easy, but couldn't she have fixed him in the end? Like, maybe the District 13 doctors can't repair the highjacking, but when Katniss is on trial at the end in the Capitol, couldn't the Capitol doctors have fixed Peeta?) And how because he'll never be the same, even though Katniss and Peeta wind up together in the end, there's no big culminating moment where they get back together that the reader has been craving. And Gale, who finally gets his moment to shine in much of the book--we finally get to know him, in other words, and it turns out he's not that great! I know that Katniss saying, essentially, "He's probably off kissing other girls in District 2" is just her projection to make herself forget entirely about him, but it doesn't seem fair after all his devotion to Katniss for that to be the last mention of him. It feels like it's selling him short.

Of all the deaths in the novel the one that bothered me most wasn't Prim's, which oddly enough left me only slightly moved. It was Finnick's! I understand that he had to die (though honestly I kept expecting Gale to die), but it was in such a disgusting way. In fact, though I've never criticized the violence in the Hunger Games books, in the final third of Mockingjay, I really thought she went too far.

Here's what bugged me the second most: Finnick and all the soldiers with him on that final gruesome mission died so that Katniss could assassinate President Snow. And then at the end, when she's finally given her chance, she doesn't kill him. She kills President Coin instead. Because she thinks Coin is responsible for her sister's death. Yes, it's terrible that Prim and all those other children died. But Snow's the one who's made generations of tributes die in the Hunger Games. I'm the one who just plaintively asked for Collins to "conveniently" let Peeta be cured, but hypocritically I thought it was pretty damn convenient that Snow dies of laughing after Katniss kills Coin. Way to have your cake and eat it too. But leave the reader without any cake. Because the only reason we accepted Finnick's horrible death was because Katniss was going to murder Snow. And then she doesn't.

Here's what bugged me the most: I can't believe Katniss voted in favor of having a final Hunger Games for the Capitol children.

I can't believe it.

When she first said "I vote yes," I thought it was a red herring, some plot point that would come full circle and show that Katniss was on our side all along. But if that's how it was, it was written way too subtly--I never caught on to it.

Katniss's driving motivation throughout so much of the first two books was that "There can't be any more Hunger Games." She saw innocent children die alongside her sister. And then she votes for more to die? In revenge for Prim's death? Prim would never have wanted that. Is this supposed to be some gesture toward the idea that Katniss has changed so irrevocably because of what's happened to her? Well, if so, it sucks.

And I can't believe that Peeta could still love Katniss after she voted yes.

The end.

So, I enjoyed the book, I didn't hate it, and it succeeded on many levels; and I'll read it again and post an update if I have any other/differing thoughts. But today, two days later, this is where I am.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Eye candy

Chris's cousin Sarah got married last month in a really pretty, classy wedding on Long Island. Pictures are up on the photographer's blog...Sarah was one of the most gorgeous brides I've ever seen, very Grace Kelly. Check out her cute butterfly jeweled shoes.

It was on a Friday afternoon and traffic was really bad; we thought we were going to miss the ceremony. We made it in the nick of time.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I'm so tired. This job is wearing me out. I mean, not like those of you chasing rugrats. Well, actually, maybe, because my job never hugs me or says it wuvs me. Ha, ha. Quite the contrary. It says, "Think you made it through another day? Mwahaha! Just watch what I'm about to throw at you! Don't even think about ducking!" And then, splat. Mud pie. With gravel mixed in.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I'm sorry. I hope I'm not offending anyone with this. And you can go ahead and tell me I'm crazy for thinking chartreuse and pink look cute together. But if there is one color combination that makes me want to ralph, it's pale blue and dark brown.

Having typed this, I realize that my living room utilizes those colors...which may be part of why I detest our beige couch so much. Must go home and figure out what kind of sofa pillow covers I can sew.

I'll take one please

Monday, July 19, 2010


Ten months ago tonight I danced with my grandpa at my wedding. And today he turns 85. Happy birthday, Poppa!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I'm working on this book that I lovelovelove. Yesterday I finally got to meet the author for the first time. She came to visit from the state she lives in.

In Chapter 1 the heroine drinks fizzy pink French lemonade. So I bought a couple of bottles to have at the meet and greet.

It's such a lovely summer beverage.


P.S. When the book is ready I'll tell you all about it ... I think you Twilight fans especially will love it.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Massively dynamic

For my birthday, Chris was so sweet and got me, among other things, a pair of shoes I didn't know he knew I wanted and season 1 of Fringe. Every night this week we let ourselves watch one episode. I'm so addicted! Though I still have to turn away for the gross parts.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Peanut butter pie

I'm back! Bet you didn't know I was gone. Well, aside from gone from blogging, seemingly. Anyway, I flew to Washington state for a few days to visit Kathy and Erin, in honor of Erin's golden birthday, which was yesterday. We had a fantastic time of cooking, baking, eating, bocce-playing, garage sale-ing, and camping. I got the first five Harry Potter DVDs for $10, a Marc Jacobs sundress for $7.50, and a cute teacup and saucer, among many other finds. Erin scored most: she got a free puppy.

Now I am back at work after some epic traveling. Let's just say Continental can kiss my butt. As can the one United "customer service" rep who was a total jerkface. Otherwise, though, United redeemed itself, as did Delta despite a four-hour delay that got me home and to bed around 4:30 a.m. on Monday. And if you're wondering why one trip involved three airlines, well, so am I. Orbitz? Care to answer?

Today is my birthday, and Chris got up early and made me pancakes and coffee. I love him so much!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Run, don't walk

to see Toy Story 3. It was so amazing. I can't wait to see it again!

Monday, June 7, 2010

The answer: distraction.

I'm back.

Upside: I didn't have any voicemails waiting for me. I get to move into a nicer cubicle by a window.

Downside: I'm back.

However, I'm making some changes. I'm quitting Twitter. I'm going to try to drink green tea in the morning instead of coffee...and cut out sugar, or at least cut back (we'll see how THAT goes). I'm going to organize my closet and clean up my bedroom. And I'm going to leave on time every day. Also, if I lose 8 pounds by July 15 I'm going to buy a new dress for Chris's cousin's wedding. So you guys should send me your links.

Monday, May 31, 2010


Just a few quick moments to blog before I head to eBay to look for cognac-colored Oxford brogues: we had so much fun at the pool with the kids today. Taylor clung onto me in the water yesterday, but today she was alarmingly fearless, insisting on swimming by herself over and over again (don't have a heart attack, Liz: Chris or I was always right there with her, and she had her ladybug floaties on. She's a little mermaid, though, she did NOT want to leave. "I do it," she kept insisting, pushing our hands away so she could float and kick by herself). Austin's friends Bella and Addie showed up and with them he jumped from the side of the pool into the water over and over again. The kids are so sun-exhausted tonight that they're actually going to bed on time, although Taylor is still singing to herself in her crib on the baby monitor as I type. There's a Pixar CD that plays in the car and Chris does a funny Randy Newman imitation, singing "I'm a bug. Just a bug" from the A Bug's Life soundtrack in a voice that gets the kids (and me, I confess) giggling hysterically. Last night we were watching Toy Story and we heard Taylor on the baby monitor singing "I'm a bug...just a bug..." to herself. Dude, I really don't know how I'm going to go back to the rat race.

So that's what's up with me. Hope you're all having (or had, I suppose) a smashing Memorial Day weekend.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Superman Schmuperman

I came down the stairs a few minutes ago and lay down dramatically on the floor with my hand at my forehead. "Pick your poison," Chris said, and mixed me a Bloody Mary. Let's just say that I may have enjoyed an evening beverage after a long day at the office, but that's nothing compared to how I have enjoyed my evening beverage after three days as the caretakers for two kids under the age of four.

Now, don't get me wrong. This is still my favorite vacation. We're staying in a beautiful townhouse in a hugely comfy king size bed and there's a dishwasher and a laundry room and a back deck and a grill and a yard and one of those double-door stainless steel refrigerators and a dog who snuggles up next to you. Plus, my two favorite kids in the whole world. The first day I sneezed, and Taylor looked at me and said, "Bwess you, Wawa" and my heart melted into a puddle that hasn't congealed yet. I'm having an amazing time, and I'm not kidding. I'm so relaxed--I feel like the work world exists on a different planet entirely.

That being said, the next time we're all "Oh, let's take the kids out to dinner and then to Target!" someone really needs to clonk me on the head. I hope Liz doesn't have Internet access in Hawaii or she'll be so mortified at me. Oh well.

So at dinner, I'm sitting there waiting for the entree to arrive and I realize that my entire lap is slowly soaking. The front, the middle (my underwear), and the back (my butt). I don't know how and I don't know why. All three of Taylor's beverages were on the table as far as I could see. She had been sitting on my lap (one of the most gratifying things is that when you change someone's diapers sixteen times a day and rock them to sleep they really latch on to you, and when she comes running to me with her arms out I feel like I could burst, it makes me so happy), and I began to have a worried suspicion that maybe her diaper wasn't on quite right. But then the food came, and I was shoveling my salad into my mouth at an unchartable rate, trying frantically to finish so we could leave before a certain missy started hurling French fries at the elderly couple behind us, and couldn't quite check. We paid the bill and headed a few buildings over to Target to get Austin a Lego reward--he had his last day of school yesterday.

So we're in Target, and I'm mildly eyeing the Zac Posen line that's still there, because nothing ever sells out in Maryland, and Austin and Zach (my brother, a Lego expert) are heading off to the toy aisle, and I realize that I can't read the signs because I don't have my glasses on so Chris is helping me search in my purse but not only are the glasses not in the pocket I'd put them in, they're not in the purse AT ALL when I hear what I can only describe as a tinkling noise

and I look down and Taylor is gazing at her feet as a very clear puddle forms around them. (This girl drinks a lot of water.) "Oh my God," I say, and everything is in slow motion, like an action movie, and I pick her up and run for the restroom

where thank heaven the changing table is open because I sure have no idea how to maneuver them but guess what? It's right next to the hand drying machine. And apparently Target has no paper towel dispensers. You know what, it's great to be green. But YOUR HAND DRYING MACHINES ARE TERRIFYING MY SWEET LITTLE GODDAUGHTER.

So I'm trying to lay her down and she's screaming and screaming in fear, clutching at me, clenching her legs, and this nice lady looks at me apologetically and just as the machine shuts off, she hits the on button again.


Somehow I get Taylor to lie down long enough for me to rip the wet diaper off her and throw it, unraveled and all, into the garbage. I pull another diaper out of my bag and get her into it and desperately pull it shut and

the tab rips.

Well, I am Auntie Superhero and I packed TWO diapers. So I pull out the other one and by now someone else is drying their hands like OH, DID YOU NOT KNOW THAT IT JUST BLOWS UP DIRTY AIR FROM THE GROUND? WIPE YOUR HANDS ON YOUR JEANS YOU'D BE BETTER OFF and Taylor's crying hysterically and begging me to pick her up and my heart is breaking and I get her into the second diaper and then I realize that it's backwards but WHO CARES and I tape it on her and we run out

and go to look at shoes but my glasses are lost and I can't read the shoe sizes even though I really want to get her a new pair of sandals because I think her jellies are too tight on her chubby little feet. So we go looking through all the clothes and she pulls a pair of shorts, hot pink with polka dots, from the rack, then a matching tshirt, then a pj set then another pj set and she's running through the store and I'm just following her, grateful she's forgotten her ordeal in the restroom and thinking to myself, at least her pee was clear. Whatever hapless employee has to clean it up won't even know. Then we found a Hello Kitty compact and she discarded all the clothes (which weren't her size) (because she loves kitties "meow," especially Hello Kitty kitties, more than anything, I forgot to say at the beginning) and Chris bought it and a Lego Star Wars set for Austin and now Austin and Zach are upstairs making it and I gave Taylor her tubby and she went to bed without a fuss except for the part where I put her onesie on her--she hates that, but once she's in it she goes to bed pretty easily. Okay. It's ... Saturday? I'm getting the hang of this. I'm having FUN, I love this so much--as I'm typing this I'm striving for ways to say how relaxed, tired, happy, exhausted, delighted I feel, but don't get me wrong:

I cannot believe Liz does this every day all by herself. I'm so happy she's in Hawaii. She deserves a royal vacation every year, I'm so serious. She's my new superhero. Actually so is my mom because by the time my sister was Taylor's age my mom also had Zach and I just ... my mind boggles. It boggles. Moms: you deserve more than just a day in May. 

Update: I lied, she was still squawking on the monitor an hour later, so I took her up another bottle and offered to rock her but she just laid down, she didn't want to get out of her crib. I said, "I love you, Taylor," and around the bottle she said, "Wuv you toooo." I said "na-night" and "go to sleep, okay?" Then I said "okay?" again. "Otayy," she said.

I'm worse than those people who show you their wallet photos and I know it.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The morning after

I'm happy for all those of you who liked last night's Lost finale, I really am. I'm not being snarky. I wish I could have felt the same way. I was enjoying it for about the first half. I did cry when Sun and Jin saw their baby on the monitor. And also at the end, although those may have been tears of rage.

As much as I would have preferred having all the answers presented, I'm okay without them (you know, what was the statue? why did the Others kidnap people on lists that Ben gave them in season 1? why was Walt special? why did Widmore have rules too? etc. I can deal) save one:

I can't believe they never really explained what the island was supposed to be.

Well, there're a lot of things I can't believe, actually, but I'm just going to go with "It was a great show a lot of the time and maybe some day I'll watch seasons 1 and 2 again."

Friday, May 21, 2010

I almost signed this "Love, Laura"

May is almost over. How did that happen?

Highlights from the month include baking scones with my mom on Mother's Day, watching the wrap ups of Lost (disappointing) and Fringe (amazing) with my sweetie, and getting my ass kicked at Power Yoga a couple of times.

On Thursday I'm heading to Maryland with Chris to babysit A. and T. for 8 days. I'm looking forward to it! If I make it through the three work days / eleven days worth of work before then. And then it will be summer. So weird. Is time flying extra fast this year, or was it just that I felt like my wedding Would Never Come this time last year?

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

And that's just the subplot

One of my friends emails a snippet from the Twilight wiki every day. We've made our way through the plots of Books 1, 2, and 3, and are now enmired in the over-the-top world of Breaking Dawn.

I've really enjoyed chuckling over these books, because (sorry fans) they're so ridiculous. But today's entry made me pause, and is the reason why I'm breaking my cheerful "If you like them that's totally cool!" silence:

"It is unknown what would happen if the imprintee were to reject their shape-shifter, but it's implied that the shape-shifter could go into an irrational rage and hurt and scar their imprintee very badly, as it seemed to have happened to Emily with Sam.

She has three long scars on the right side of her face, and one long scar reaching down to her arm, which were inflicted by Sam when he lost his temper and changed into a wolf while standing right next to Emily. Everyone was led to believe that the scars are from a bear attack. Emily has black hair and is said to have been beautiful before getting the scars.

After becoming a shape-shifter, Sam imprinted on Emily. She was furious at first, but she was meant to be with Sam, and fell in love with him. One night, Sam lost control of his anger and accidentally hurt Emily, leaving her horribly scarred on the right side of her face and all the way down her right arm, reaching to her hand. Despite that, Sam loves her unconditionally, but has never forgiven himself for being so careless.
Emily Young is Sam Uley's fianceé."

Women really don't have any kind of choice or control over their destinies in Stephenie Meyer's world, do they? It's not funny to me anymore. An entire generation of teen girls have taken these books so deeply to heart. Ugh.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Can't handle it!

Between seeing the preview for Babies on Sunday, getting to see Taylor and Austin this coming weekend, chatting with one of the pregnant designers at work who's due in July, and this picture of my cousin's baby Luci, I am going to EXPLODE with the unbearable cuteness in the world.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Heaven forbid!

So, there might be a doorman strike.

You mean rich people might have to actually take out their own trash?

I am so totally unmoved. Strike, doormen; strike away!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A N T Meh

Last night I realized that I am not enjoying this season of America's Next Top Model the way I usually do. What is up with the girls in the house? Not only do they appear to be the most busted-looking set of all time (no easy feat after certain cycles), but they suck. I hate how the show's editors are orchestrating a house conflict that unfortunately seems to be drawn along, if not racial, at least economic lines. And I don't want to side with the snotty white girls, but Alasia is SO DUMB. And Angelea is SO HORRIBLE. I can't stand to look at her. SURELY COVER GIRL MAKES UNDEREYE CONCEALER? Like, how can the judges (more on them in a minute) call Jessica out on her perfectly fine shoes while failing to notice that Angelea resembles nothing so much as THE WALKING DEAD?

Spoilers below.

I think Krista is so gorgeous, but she can't model for beans! I couldn't believe no one called her out on her dead eyes in her photo last night. Thank heavens they finally sent that whiny baby Brenda home after allowing her to stick around for far too long. (Also counting blessings: that we weren't left with Ren for longer than we were.) So who remains (in the running towards becoming America's. Next. Top. Model)?

Sourpuss Anslee
Glazed Eyes Krista
Wicked Witch of the West Angelea
Certified Moron Alasia
Surface-Sugar-Sweet-But-I-Suspect-Secret-Mean-Girl Jessica
Denise Richards Raina, who should probably win, and will, judging by the way that they're downplaying her currently, since it's only the middle of the season.
I had to think for sixty seconds before I remembered "Plus Size" Alexandra, who's probably the prettiest of all the girls but lacks confidence and consequently personality so severely that they aren't even giving her air time at this point.

The worst of all are the judges. I was hoping Andre Leon Talley would bring a much needed dose of high fashion to the show, but he's not only ridiculously off base most of the time, he's not even amusing. Sure, he's less condescending than I expected him to be, but his French vocab lessons make me want to puke. And I could not believe that they picked on Jessica's, as I said, perfectly acceptable shoes (and then put her in the bottom three because she said "You're kidding me, right?", mirroring the audience's thoughts), when Tyra week after week shows up in a ridiculous jumpsuit aimed at kissing Andre's ass. I mean, my heavens, I never in my life thought that NIGEL--yes, sleazy smarmy Nigel--would by default become my favorite--or, least unfavorite?--judge.

Don't even get me started on Lost.

To end on a positive note, though, Fringe is rocking.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Things I learned while totally unable to sleep last night

If you visit the Galapagos islands, you can get really close to the animals, but you must stick to the trails and be accompanied by a guide at all times.

The Steve Martin-Beyonce Pink Panther remake is a truly terrible movie.

There is a section of water (in South America, I think?) where the jellyfish are so protected and safe that they no longer have the ability to sting. You can dive amongst them and touch them.

The ending of Rebecca the book is a bit different than Rebecca the movie. Also, if I was casting a remake, I'd pick Romola Garai for the second Mrs. de Winter, Helen Mirren for Mrs. Danvers, and, hmm...Colin Firth? for Maxim. Still thinking on that last one.

Flooding has hit New Jersey, Westchester, and Connecticut due to yesterday and Monday's heavy rains.

Summer food idea: grilled tuna London broil with a wasabi sauce, paired with grilled pineapple. Sounds delish, right? I got up and ate a handful of dry frosted shredded wheat at that point. Unfortunately, Barbecue U is an otherwise boring cooking show.

The Thirteenth Amendment was passed because some worried that Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation was more a symbol, a piece of rhetoric, and that southern states would find a way around it.

It's really weird going back to work having not slept since the time you left yesterday. On the one hand you feel like you were just here and on the other hand you feel like you've been through a year in the meantime. Jury's still out.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Yes, I do want to see that movie. Why, don't you??

Thirty more minutes till I take off for Brooklyn at a trot, ready to hop in the car and head down to Maryland for Liz's birthday and some time with the kiddos...I'm sorry I won't get to see my family on this trip, but until someone really does invent a Hot Tub Time (or Travel) Machine, there's just never enough time...

Have a great weekend!

This is not how to dissent.

You know WWJDefinitelyNotD? Threaten people's lives, send hate mail (sometimes with powder enclosed), shout racist names, cut people's propane tanks...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Up close and personal.

I cringe from political debate among my friends and family members. Chris will tell you about the gymnastics I do to avoid hot button topics at family gatherings (because it makes me uncomfortable to be around arguments AND because I get so disheartened realizing that people I love have views that I am, in some cases, sickened by). So I wasn't going to post anything on my blog 'cause I didn't want to ruffle any feathers.

But then I thought, literally thought, "WWJD?" and decided I really can't hide the light under a bushel.

I am so happy that we passed health care reform, and so proud of President Obama and the of those of any political persuasion who have entered into an open and logical debate with a willingness to look at the facts rather than relying on rhetoric and lies and a kneejerk partisan "no."

Do I think the bill is perfect? No. (But it's a great start.) Will I, in fact, eventually be a tiny bit worse off, if I go by this snippet from a NYTimes editorial?

"The legislation will impose an excise tax in 2018 designed to drive employers and their workers away from the highest-cost insurance policies, which typically provide generous benefits at little out-of-pocket cost to the workers. Health economists consider the excise tax a very strong cost-control measure, because if workers have to pay more of the cost themselves, they and their doctors are apt to think more carefully about whether a test or procedure is really needed."

Yep! I've got fabulous health care through my job right now. From the sounds of this I'll have to pay more in the future. But you know what?

Not everyone in America has great health care. Or any health care. We're something like the worst-off nation for our economic level in terms of the health care our citizens receive.

And a lot of people in this country, people I know, people I love, live in fear of a layoff because due to their preexisting condition, they will not be able to obtain health care otherwise. This is not political schma-schma-schma. This is personal f*&$ing experience.

Well, now they will.

So I am 100% willing to take that tradeoff. And if I am ever fortunate enough to be in the above-$250k ranks, I will continue to feel that the benefits to all are more than worth any personal inconvenience.

I don't talk about it a lot, but I consider myself a Christian. And though the WWJD movement of my teens was corny, sure, it can come in useful when you're looking ahead at two paths and trying to choose one. Looking at the health care debate, there was never any question WWJD.

This is a great, great thing. Thank you,  Mr. President, for refusing to let this one die.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I got tagged!

Oops. A month ago, Katie tagged me, and I ... didn't notice until now! I'm a bum. Okay, this is going to be very boring, but here you go, KC:

I usually shower at night so that I can sleep for 20 extra minutes in the morning. I have a facewash that's orange with some beads in it...I can't remember the brand. In the mornings, when I get up, I use Aveeno Moisturizing Lotion, which I don't know if it's supposed to go on your face but I put it there anyway because it feels nice and it doesn't seem to be packed with chemicals.

Then I use Bare Escentuals face powder, a gift for my birthday from Liz. I have to mix two shades together because they didn't have one that matched my face. I use Nars blush, kohl eyeliner on the top lids (my stub of liner is too worn down to read the brand and unfortunately I think Sephora has discontinued it), and Maybelline mascara. That's usually it. If I'm feeling fancy I'll use some peachy Bare Escentuals eyeshadow or some gold Cover Girl eyeshadow that I stole Erika left at my mom's house after the wedding. If I'm feeling low maintenance I'll skip the eyeliner and rub shimmery lotion on my cheeks instead in a bid for "fresh faced."

Ta da!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Long pent-up.

So all that insomnia I had last spring and summer that went away after the wedding? Is back in the past few weeks. I had up until 2009 always been a person who fell asleep at the drop of a hat, so I don't really know how to deal with it. I tried Tylenol PM Sun and Mon night and it made me sleep but uneasily--waking up unrested. Last night--let's not even talk about it. (How can it feel like "last" night when you sort of feel like it's been going on uninterrupted for eight hours?) And though I know it's not technically her fault, it's making me detest the woman who lives in the apartment above us.

For one thing she doesn't maintain a consistent schedule. In fact I wonder if she's got a spy cam installed in my apartment because no matter how I try to shake my own pattern up--going to bed at 10, going to bed at 11:30, going to bed at 1--it's just as soon as I'm finally drifting off that she decides to clomp around her own bedroom, which wakes me up with a start and gets my heart pounding in a way that I can't calm down. If I crawl into the living room, hoping to escape her foot-clods, she decides she needs a snack from the kitchen. If I watch two hours of TV (what do they call it: late late night? early morning? the witching hour?*) and finally doze off around 3:30 or 4 on our angular couch, she gets up to pee, waking me up again with a clomp and a start! It's not like she sleeps late, either (even on weekends, which are her vacuum day--good to know she's so on top of her dust situation but IT SURE DOESN'T SOUND TO US like she has rugs, so maybe a nice quiet SWEEPING would do?): some mornings she gets up at FIVE. The bedroom clock is next to my head. So I know.

Now, this is her right. She pays rent here too. But you know what? My ballet teacher taught me to walk like a cat. And this woman walks like an elephant. Sometimes I swear she sits up, stretches, yawns, swings her legs over the side of the bed, and slides her feet into nice comfy morning WOODEN CLOGS. But in point of fact I'm listening to her march back and forth above the dining room as I type this and I can tell that she's barefoot. Leaden, but unshod.

Yesterday evening Chris and I were walking down our block and he hissed, "That woman we just passed is the one upstairs." He's met her--I haven't. And luckily for her, I wasn't looking this time either--my glimpse was only enough to tell me that, surprisingly, she was slender and not the size of the water buffalo she sounds like. "Luckily for her" because if I ever recognize her in the stairwell, I really don't know what I might do. Chase her down the sidewalk with my own vacuum cleaner, maybe.

*Here's what's on TV at that time of night: Tyler Perry sitcoms. Fashion show recaps (from these I observed sleepily and approvingly that Zac Posen is one of the few designers to employ a racially diverse runway cast). Cool In Your Code. Home shopping channels--this can be nice for dropping off to sleep if you turn the volume down low, because they talk in a fairly steady and uninterrupted way and the lighting doesn't flicker too much since they're just showing jewelry. What I think I need as a sleep aid is football, so maybe I will order Chris the Saints Super Bowl DVD just so I can throw it on next time Clompy McClomperson takes her rage out on her floorboards.--That's the thing, though. Everyone gets mad and needs to stomp now and then, I understand that. This woman isn't mad. She's just either unbelievably oblivious, or passive aggressively trying to drive us out. I know it gets loud on the Wednesdays I have my friends over for ANTM. But the show is over at TEN. Scale it the F back, lady!

Lord, there she goes again. I wish I was taping this just to give you guys a taste. Those of you in houses (or on the top floor)--please sleep uninterruptedly for me tonight.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I'm still alive

I posted a Liberty for Target review over on the other blog.

Hi, how are you guys? Sorry I've been missing. Work's been crazy. But we've had spring temps this week, which has done wonders for my mood!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Flower frame of mind

I was looking through our wedding photos this morning and feeling a pang of nostalgia for wedding planning (and no, I never thought those words would come out of my mouth). One of the things I was most nervous for, because it had to be left to the day before the wedding, was the centerpieces.

I ordered a LOT of roses from Costco, in addition to one bunch of baby's breath and one bunch of red freesia, just because I was on the phone and couldn't think of what else they would stock. The woman I dealt with didn't speak great English and it was at times hard to get hold of her. Driving to Costco with my mom and grandmother the day before the wedding, my heart was in my throat. But everything was there! And we wound up exchanging 24 golden roses for 24 peach ones, which I think was a great decision to break up all the yellow.

Meanwhile, my Nanny, an avid gardener, drove up a car packed to the gills with flowers from her garden. It makes me so happy that all the wildflowers you see, most prominently the splenderous zinnias, came from her garden, as did the filler greenery.

Not everything was left till the last minute. In the year leading up to the wedding I collected vintage floral tins from eBay, as well as vintage milk glass and assorted glass- and crystalware. My sister and I made the table numbers using the font from the invitations, and Shelby created the wire table number holders by hand. We tied them on with the same ribbon we used for the favors (Virginia peanuts in cellophane baggies).

Candles and votive holders were from Michael's and Ikea. I also bought up a bunch of cheapo picture clip frames from Ikea because our trial run with the tins indicated they would leak and leave rust stains on the rental cloths. Wedding magazines never show that stuff, but I'm so relieved that I found glass panes for an insanely cheap price.

La la la. Someone else needs to get married now so I can "help."

Friday, February 19, 2010

I finally figured out my dream job

I've been really good about not buying things lately, but the Liberty of London for Target collection is coming up in March and I am painfully excited. I LOVE Liberty of London. I wrote on my other blog about how I couldn't resist snagging a Liberty of London for Pottery Barn Kids duvet cover (even though it's for a twin bed. Hey, it'll come in handy SOMEDAY). On March 14 I do not know how I will restrain myself from buying every single thing. I definitely want the teapot...and maybe some of the clothes...and it looks like they have about if I don't get any pillows? Chris will kill me if I bring another throw pillow into our apartment. It's like Anne of the Island's boarding house in there. And how about if I don't get any dishes that are made of plastic? (But they'd be so cute for a little girl's tea table. What if I got them for Taylor? Is that a good excuse?) My floral print obsession is going to be the end of me.

How can I get hired by Liberty?? Aside from not living in England nor being trained in textile design, clearly I am meant for it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Get your fingers out of your ears

All the snow in the Washington area is not proof that global warming is a myth, okay? In fact, it is further evidence that climate change is happening, as is the rain in Vancouver and the drought in Australia. Thomas Friedman calls it "global weirding," and I recommend reading his column--especially the last paragraph, conservatives.

Find it here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The facts are these

What a fun weekend! Arcade games at a bar with my sister, Valentine's dinner out with my sweetie, a (finally) clean apartment and Pushing Daisies in my Valentine's box. Hope you all had similarly nice President's Day weekends.

Monday, February 8, 2010



We'll make it through this winter yet

The news headlines continue to alarm me, but so far my 2010 has been pretty nice. We've been having people over / over to people's places for dinner several times, I went to a baby shower and also to a super-fun and funny Twilight-themed birthday party, and last night the Saints won the Super Bowl, which was a good thing or you might have seen a room full of grown men cry. Oh, and I finally got a haircut and a mint-green manicure.

And now Valentine's Day is almost upon us! Which, I don't care, I love. How can you not love a holiday that's all about pink, red, flowers, and chocolate?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What is my obsession with English florals?

Must be all those Victoria magazines my mom had lying around when I was a kid.
Vintage bowls from here.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Spoilers ahead

Oh, on another note. We Netflixed 500 Days of Summer. Loved the outfits. And Summer's wallpaper. Here's my review:

This is a movie about a total bitch.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Summer was upfront with Tom about not wanting a boyfriend. Summer didn't know she would meet someone else she did want to commit to. Tom just wasn't the one for Summer and that wasn't Summer's fault. Etc. Etc.

That's all very well and true, but when Summer ran into Tom at the wedding, she should never have led him on like that--especially if she was dating someone who was going to propose in just a few days. She should not have led him on at that wedding, and she should not have invited him to her party on Friday. And once he showed up at her party she should have taken him aside and told him she had gotten engaged. She knew how he felt about her. It was bad enough that she led him on for the whole movie, hiding behind "I told you I didn't want a boyfriend." (I'm not saying she wasn't honest. But wasn't it obvious to her that he wasn't being honest about not wanting to be serious?) I felt like it was just MEAN the way she kept giving him hope. If anyone other than Zooey Deschanel played Summer, the whole world would agree with me.

Despite all that, I was pretty neutral about the whole thing--didn't love it, didn't hate it--until the end when Tom meets a new girl (thank goodness. MOVE ON, TOM). But her name? Good grief. Say it with me, folks:


500 Days of Summer, could you POSSIBLY get any more twee?

Queen takes knight?

The latest battle on the publishing warfront. Over the weekend Amazon stopped selling all books published by Macmillan due to the ongoing e-book pricing disagreements. They capitulated later****, but the damage had been done to some books' Amazon rankings. Amazon is taking the stance that they think $12.99 and $14.99--the prices publishers want to set for e-books--is "needlessly high." I really recommend clicking those links; the articles aren't long and they present a clear overview of the situation that's more and more going to affect how the books you read are published:

Last Thursday, Mr. Sargent flew to Seattle to explain the pricing and new sales model to Amazon. He said Amazon could continue to buy e-books on the same terms it does now — allowing the retailer to set consumer prices — but that the publisher would delay the release of all digital editions by several months after the hardcover publication.

Amazon buys and resells e-books in the same way it handles printed books, by paying publishers a wholesale price that is generally equivalent to half the list price of a print edition. Because Amazon has discounted the price of most new and popular e-books on its Kindle e-reader to $9.99, it loses money on most of those sales.

Amazon’s goal has been strategic: it aims to establish a low price for e-books that will have the ancillary benefit of helping it sell more Kindle devices.

Amazon’s decision is also a victory for Apple’s chief executive, Steven P. Jobs, who first pitched the idea of selling e-books under the agency model to book publishers earlier this year. Now Apple, whose iPad tablet is due in March, can compete on fairly equal footing with Amazon.

(bold emphasis mine)

What do you guys think? If you had a Kindle, would you resist paying $12.99 or $14.99 for an e-book? Keep in mind that this content is exactly the same as a $26.99 hardcover. Same text, same editing, same copyediting, same page design.

****Update: Note that Amazon announced they would cede, but the "buy" buttons on Macmillan book pages have still not been activated.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Beginning of the end (or the new beginning, whatever)

This NYTimes article about the James Patterson juggernaut is interesting, but what I wanted to share from it is this succinct summary of how publishing began to freefall:

"The story of the blockbuster’s explosion is, paradoxically, bound up with that of publishing’s recent troubles. They each began with the wave of consolidation that swept through the industry in the 1980s. Unsatisfied with publishing’s small margins, the new conglomerates that now owned the various publishing houses pressed for bigger best sellers and larger profits. Mass-market fiction had historically been a paperback business, but publishers now put more energy and resources into selling these same books as hardcovers, with their vastly more favorable profit margins. At the same time, large stores like Barnes & Noble and Borders were elbowing out independent booksellers. Their growing dominance of the market gave them the leverage to demand wholesale discounts and charge hefty sums for favorable store placement, forcing publishers to sell still more books. Big-box stores like Costco accelerated the trend by stocking large quantities of books by a small group of authors and offering steep discounts on them. Under pressure from both their parent companies and booksellers, publishers became less and less willing to gamble on undiscovered talent and more inclined to hoard their resources for their most bankable authors. The effect was self-fulfilling. The few books that publishers invested heavily in sold; most of the rest didn’t. And the blockbuster became even bigger."

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Walk like an Egyptian

In the colds of January, as manuscript pages pile up around my ears (I am almost being literal; you should see the floor by my bed), where do I turn when I need a comfort read? I'll tell you. Elizabeth Peters.

I don't know why I love her books so much--wait, yes I do. They combine mystery, adventure, romance, and often an historical aspect or setting with very feisty feminist protagonists and lots of intelligent humor. I am equally devoted to her Amelia Peabody series and her Vicky Bliss series, though I also adore her standalones, her Jacqueline Kirby mini series, and her pseudonymous Barbara Michaels paranormals.

This past week I have been redevouring the Vicky books, in which our art historian heroine takes off from her Munich museum job at a moment's notice (her boss doesn't mind because he usually joins her as a Watsonian sidekick) for sundry international locations and the antiquities capers they contain. I think my favorite is the penultimate, Night Train to Memphis (that's Egypt, not Tennessee). I've read it so many times that the ink is smudged. Chris said, "I need to get you some new books." No way! You can have your Jonathan Lethems and Jonathan Safran Foers. Give me Elizabeth Peters any day.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My king hung on quite valiantly

Super busy at work. And all I want to do is read chess tips, now that Chris has taught me how to play!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Upon re-reading this post, I sound quite sci-fi.

It's a new week.

And I had the nicest weekend. We slept in both days, and on Saturday went to see Avatar in 3D; Shelby came over and Chris made jambalaya and we watched the special features on our Star Trek Bluray (!) disc. On Sunday I painted my nails and tidied the place and did laundry and knitted and we took down the tree.

Consequently, I avow to be a more cheerful bird this week.

What about you? What are you up to this week? I need to go shopping for a baby shower this weekend (one that is ending at the same time that a certain football game starts. My poor Saints-cheering husband is deciding whether he's going to drive me to the shower as he had previously blithely agreed to or let me brave my uninsured self behind the wheel...)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

It's funny b/c it's true

Okay, okay, okay. Lucky to have a job/lucky to have a cool job/truly, I know, and am grateful. Just let me have my mopey midwinter week, all right?

"'Editors are just like us.' No, we’re not. You don’t have a neverending stream of bad writing coming at you day in, day out. You get to read for pleasure, selecting material that has been through at least one filter. Whereas you turn on the tap and get a stream of nice drinkable water, we put our mouths to a sewer pipe and hope to get at least one swallow that won’t give us raging diarrhea."


C'mon! I'm laughing! I'm not being negative! Laughing is positive!

From here.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cold snap until February

Becoming obsessed with stay-at-home mom blogs is probably not the wisest thing to do when you're unhappy at work. And when you got to talk to a 20-month-old on the phone last night who mostly jibber-jabbered but also said "I wuv you!"

Monday, January 4, 2010


More on the e-book topic (I really recommend clicking through to read the column--it's quite short and will also support the NYTimes):

"The author’s heirs hold the copyright to his work. But should another company be able to issue e-book versions of Random House’s editions without its involvement? An e-book version of Mr. Styron’s “The Confessions of Nat Turner” will contain more than the author’s original words. It will also comprise Mr. Loomis’s editing, as well as all the labor of copy editing, designing and producing, not to mention marketing and sales, that went into making it a desirable candidate for e-book distribution. Mr. Styron’s books took the form they have, are what they are today, not only because of his remarkable genius but also, as he himself acknowledged, because of the dedicated work of those at Random House. ...
"An e-book distributor is not a publisher, but rather a purveyor of work that has already been created. In this way, e-books are no different from large-print or paperback or audio versions."