Friday, December 31, 2010

What's It All About?

At the end of the year, several things happen to me.

  1. I feel bad about all the writing projects I didn't finish, start or work on in the year that is coming rapidly to a close, like a slamming door. 
  2. I vow to scale back on my ambitions for the coming year.
  3. I think about what really has stuck with me from the past year. 
  4. I do some crazy, unplanned cleaning projects that make me feel like I've accomplished something, however small.
  5. I do some last minute writing, as if writing 500 words can make a difference in the unfinished novel/article/nonfiction book that I haven't been working on.
  6. I make some crazy plans to do stuff on New Year's Eve/New Year's Day that I think will set a good precedent for the coming year. To whit:
    • not drink too much
    • go to bed early, in order to get a good night's sleep
    • get up early and write
    • spend the day doing something that is indicative of the coming year. In this case, I'll be attending and judging at a Crossfit competition
Unlike many of my friends, I resolve to eschew resolutions. I will not be giving up my much needed morning coffee with half-and-half. But here are some things I'm going to think about, because they seem like things I can do:
  1. Swear more
  2. Eat a lot of meat
  3. Drink a lot of coffee
  4. Write, just a little bit?
  5. Do a lot of Crossfit
  6. Help at least one person become more fit in 2011
Oh yes, that title. What's it all about, people? It's about people. It's about quality of life. It's about community. That's why, each year when I regard my writing accomplishments with dismay, I like to remind myself that I worked out a lot, that I hung out with my peeps and drank coffee, that I hugged some people, that I had some awesome wine with my Wine Club, that I had some great tea & conversation with my Book Club, that I played a lot of games with my Family, and that, if I died tomorrow, I wouldn't die feeling like the people I love don't know how much I love them. And that, my friends, is what it's all about.
Here's to more wine, tea, coffee and conversation in 2011!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Some Favorites of the Year

  • Cocktail: The Old Fashioned. Between my lovely, lovely trip to Appleton, Wisconsin & MB's new cocktail book (and let's not forget expensive cherries), this has got to be the best discovery of 2010
  • Wine: sparkling. Love all things sparkly & bubbly. Yeah! 
  • Thing to eat: Sea Salt chocolate
  • Trilogy: The Hunger Games. Gave me some small faith in YA fiction and female protagonists.
  • Mystery: Hypothermia. I may never get over my love affair with Arnaldur Indridason. 
  • Novel: The Anthologist. This was a tough choice. I think I had to choose this one because it was such a nice, quiet book. Not over written, not announcing its greatness, but great nonetheless. 
  • Non-fiction book: Heft on Wheels. Inspiring book about how a man gets obsessive about biking and loses a lot of weight. 
  • Newly Discovered TV Show: Bored to Death. Jason Schwartzman and Zach Galafianakis. Need I say more?
  • Most disappointing new season of show I loved: Californication, Season 3. I mean, I still love DD, but they weren't sure what to do with the story line this season....sad. 
  • Movie watched on Netflix: I've Loved You So Long. I loved this movie, mostly because it was so beautiful and slow and it conveyed so much by letting silence just stand, which most American movies don't do. Plus I think I have a long-standing crush on Kristin Scott Thomas (dating back to "The English Patient"). 
  • 2010 Movie: The Kids are Alright. It's the duo of Mark Ruffalo &  Julianne Moore that put this movie over the top for me. Everyone is good in this. 
  • Best Documentary: Man on Wire
  • Favorite TV Show (that I actually watch on TV): tie between "Glee" and "Modern Family"
  • Favorite new activity: teaching the body-weight exercise class at Studio Azul. I make them suffer & they like me. What else does a woman need?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

What We Drank

  • Christmas Caipirinhas (lime, ginger, rum, ginger ale)
  • Spanish Red 
  • Gruet Sparkling Wine
  • Claret
  • Ridge Zinfandel
  • Cote du Rhone
  • Old Fashioned: blood orange, lemon, expensive maraschino cherries, Maker's Mark
  • Shot in the Dark: lemon juice, simple syrup, rum (shake!), ginger ale, dark rum floated on top, raw sugar around the rim of the glass (soooooooooooooooooo delicious)
Obviously this was not all in one night, but over the last few days. Last night we did have quite a few cocktails (Old Fashioneds & Shots in the Dark, multiples).
Also, the best thing ever is projecting movies on to the white wall of our living room. We've watched "The Sting" and "Paper Moon." I'm hoping we can watch something else tonight. It's like an in-house movie theater and it rocks. The only drawback is that we have to move our couch to enjoy it. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Weekend Consumption Log


  • Sushi at Yellowfin, with a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
  • Fancy vodka drink & a glass of red wine, pommes frite & some chicken pot pie at The Metropolitan
  • Ice cream at the Jazz game
  • Tea with whiskey at home
  • Butternut Squash Soup with Cinnamon Crema (oh! my! god!) and Spicy Beef Salad at Chow Truck
  • Cava at the Monaco wine tasting, Prosseco in E & K's room after
  • Tapas & Sangria at Martine: trout with lentils, duck!, Spanish tortilla, something with chorizo, lamb; then a glass of Rioja; chocolate decadence & grilled gringerbread & porto
  • A drink in The Vault at Bambara: Old Fashioned & some calamari & shrimp
  • The rest of the Prosseco in E & K's room
  • Free coffee in the lobby of the Monaco
  • Brunch at Bambara: tomato & roasted pepper omelette, fresh orange juice, complimentary fruit plate
  • Curry Chicken Soup (I made): chicken, coconut milk, ginger, sweet potatoes, carrots, rice noodles
  • Pear-Apple-Berry Crisp (I made): delicious! Turns out pears are a delicious addition to any crisp!
It's always gratifying to return home after a long stint of good eating out and to remind oneself that one can, when pressed, make a good soup based loosely on a recipe and top it off with a crisp made from the over ripe fruit at hand. All in all, a successful culinary weekend. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Beauty of Getting Older that you appreciate things so much more.
Such as:

  • my amazing husband (who else would have married me?)
  • friends you have known for a long time
  • friends with whom you have many things in common
  • the laughter of Son (and his sense of humor in general)
  • delicious drinks, like Jack Frost, The Metropolitan, and White Sangria
  • the amazing shoulders of Dwight Howard, seriously, check this dude out
  • friends who will take your crazy son for the night so you can, briefly, pretend to be an Adult
  • being so much stronger this year than last
  • being able to afford to go out for fancy drinks & a fancy dinner (at least a few times a year)
  • wine
  • mountains
  • my very expensive Victoria's Secret bra (I saw a dude checking me out at the game last night. It's so the bra!)

Sunday, December 05, 2010

She Will Discuss Bacon with No Man

Back when I was young, in my twenties, I had a mild flirtation going on with my best friend from junior high's brother. At the time, I was involved in a relationship with a guy who was way more into me than I was into him and I wasn't super attracted to him, so BF Brother represented a younger, hipper, sexier alternative. He was In A Band and he lived kind of Day to Day, whereas the other guy was Responsible and Had a Career.
Anyway, I wrote the BF Brother these mildly suggestive letters, which were about how I wasn't into relationships (this was a great part of my attraction to older men & younger men during this time of my life), and how everyone else was a version of The Man.
One letter described in detail my trip to a grocery store and how I was so very disdainful of a conversation I overheard. A couple earnestly fought over what kind of bacon to buy as they stood in front of the meat counter. Her hair was perfectly coiffed and I'm quite sure that he was wearing loafers. This, to me, represented the very depth of the Ridiculous Domestic, that which I aspired never to be. I told this boy that I would never do this. No! I would discuss bacon with no man. What was the point? Choose a bacon and move on!
Well, friends, I can testify that now, nearly 42, I am all that and more.
But today, after Middlebrow & I raked & shoveled leaves from our driveway and lawn (yes, chores which normal home owners did in October), I walked to the store. I was all aglow with the domestic my friends. Yes, reveling in the fact that I, the woman who once proclaimed she would discuss bacon with no man, felt gratified by the morning's domestic chores and was, in fact, looking forward to even more domestic chores: making homemade mac and cheese for a friend's kids, making turkey curry, cleaning the living room, doing laundry (okay, I really didn't look forward to that!), totally ensconcing myself in the domestic tableau. Me! Once foe to The Domestic.
Oh how the mighty have fallen!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

More Disgusting Trials I Will Not Mention

If one were to make a brochure or a pamphlet or even, God forbid!, a short book called, perhaps, The Truth about Parenting, no one, I submit, NO ONE would actually ever become a parent. Because, by God, one is called upon to do disgusting things that no amount of money could induce you to do but you do it now, for FREE!, because and for no other reason: you are a Parent.
I will not trouble you with the gag inducing details of said activity, but suffice it to say I need a very, very large drink, preferably made by someone else.
Okay, yes, I will admit here that small children are cute, but they can also be vicious (they have sharp teeth! ouch!), and yes, their little hands are adorable when they pat you on the back or when they grasp yours. Cute! Cute!
But really.
I will say no more, for fear of betraying the disgusting which I promised not to divulge.
Except I will remind you that one time I had to put my hands out to catch the vomit (vomit!) of my son. And this, THIS, was even more disgusting than that.
Where is my drink?