Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Candies made: Fleur de sal caramels dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with salt, Guinness truffles dipped in dark chocolate and topped with a bit of white, to give the effect of a lovely pint and bourbon balls, adapted to suit my father’s request of “no nuts” but no nuts just means there is more room for bourbon. For the first time in the many years I have made these candies, everything went swimmingly. So swimmingly that I now believe that I want to be a chocolatier…which is like a mousketeer but with better hats. Maybe if I open a little chocolate shop I will find Alfred Molina asleep in the window one morning (They’ve been showing that movie on cable a lot lately, you know…Spiderman 2. No, wait…Doc Ock never fell asleep in a chocolate shop window…did he?)

Baked goods made: 3 half sheets of brownies, two with chocolate chips, one with peppermint chips. All taken as potlucks or given as gifts.

Types of guacamole made: Two, spicy and not so spicy.

Baked goods not made: the dough for almond scented sugar cookies remains in the fridge. It’s going to have to be frozen and baked when I get back.

Gifts exchanged: Many and it’s not even Christmas yet. (Personalized sharpies and a cookbook by Robert Irvine (who is, by the way, built like…like…something godly) feature among my booty).

Holiday Specials watched: How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which I marvel at and learn from every year. The colors! The rhyme scheme! The mimicry of Clement Clark Moore! BRILLIANT. Also, Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire, a classic in these here parts.

Holiday Parties attended: Three. Office luncheon, Friend’s open house. Eggnog Party.

Packages Mailed: many. Check your mailboxes!

CDs made: see above. Many. Many.

Gifts wrapped: None yet. Well, no, I wrapped all the gifts for our California Christmas but all the New Jersey gifts are waiting for me to arrive.

Suitcases packed: None. Gotta fix that! Must remember warm socks and gloves!

Peppermint Soy Mochas consumed: only a few. But that could change after the jet lag hits.

Plans made to see movies: Sweeney Todd on the 21st. Oh yes. Please. Johnny who? It’s all about the Rickman, baby. Futurama: Bender’s Big Score in the new year. I’ve seen it once but I can certainly see it again.

Mp3 players loaded: One, mine. With mellow music. Papa M, Mogawi, Iron and Wine and a little Kaiser Chiefs for good measure. Throw in some New York Dolls, Jarvis Cocker, Thom Yorke, Radiohead and Lemon Jelly, add a little M83, some Boards of Canada, a dash of Thievery Corp, maybe some Snow Patrol, a few Premiere Opera podcasts and the audio books of The Hitchiker’s Guide and Anansi Boys and that should cover a very long flight.

Books chosen for trip: About 14. But I am trying to tell myself to only take two , Cakes and Ale by W. Somerset Maugham and The Fourth Bear by Jasper Fforde (Brenda, have you read Jasper Fforde? I have a feeling you might like him.) But I can pretty much guarantee that there will be more.

And just because…my current desktop:

Have a happy whatever you celebrate!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Oh I thought I was good. I thought I was ahead of it all. I lorded it over my friends and got cocky. And now it’s biting me in the butt. I did my Christmas shopping early, oh yes. And I was very proud of myself. And we all know what pride comes before don’t we? Well, in my dictionary, it comes before “prideless” but now I am thinking that pride comes before you realize that all those presents still have to be wrapped, and they are all on the other side of the continent. Pride also comes right before the realization that you still have all that candy to make, oh and those brownies that your father, who has been ill and is frail and elderly (heh…yeah, he’s been ill but “frail”? that’s kind of an exaggeration), asked for specially. Pride also comes before packing a suitcase that will, inevitably, get lost in transit, and a plane flight that will be bumpy, crowded and either way too hot or ridiculously cold but either way, not comfortable. Pride will generally also come before that one last present that doesn’t seem to have shipped yet, and it always comes before you try on those sweaters that you haven’t worn since last year only to discover that they are a) too small b) too ratty or c) packed away somewhere that you couldn’t possibly get to before your flight…somewhere like…Guam.

I think the holiday stress is kicking in…how about you?


The history of my hair is pretty much the history of hair in the 70’s. The Pixie, the Pageboy, the Little Orphan Annie (dude, that was a bad idea), the Shag, the Pixie again, the Bob, the Girl Mullet, the Body Wave, the Wings, the Faux Farrah…I tried them all. And none of them really worked. I never had shiny ringlets or Cindy Brady pigtails. I pretty much always had a tangled mess, or at least, a not-stylish mess.

When I was old enough to take care of my hair myself, it turned into a litany of 80’s styles, the French Braids, the French Braids with headband, the ring of curling iron curls around the face (Do you know that one? It was deeply unattractive.) There was the asymmetric New Romantic Cut, the Rat Tail, the long curly perm that one hoped would turn into gentle waves, the spiral perm, the Pixie (again-it made a comeback!)- as did the Bob.

Then there were the colors. The brassy “Sun-In” orange, the burgundy, the crayon red, the red streaks that sat in the sun too long and turned pink, (just in time for freshman year in college), the blonde, the blonde streaks, the strawberry blonde, back to red, then eggplant, then back to red, red with blonde, red with purple, brown, brown with pink and the one time only, never to be done again, brown with blue which quickly faded to green, thus causing east-coasters to ask if I was a “really big Eagles fan”.

My hair has always been the bane of my existence. And my mother’s, for that matter. It was never long or glossy or luxurious. It was never where it was supposed to be and it never did what it was supposed to do. It frustrated me and made me cry and I can’t imagine that it ever looked…nice.

It’s very straight. Very. And very fine. And thin. I don’t know the actual circumferece of a shaft of my hair but I have to believe it’s about half of yours. Because a ton of my hair is still a lot less then a ton of most other peoples. Not an actual TON. A ton is a ton. A figurative ton. A lot. A bunch. Like the bunch of hair that was lopped off my head last night. All in one shot. About 12 or 14 inches. It’s hard to say because it was lopped off in one big braid.

This is something I have been planning on for a while. Actually, more than a while. It’s been…more than two years. Not just the stylish haircut but also the donation of the hair left behind. I don’t know why I decided this would be something to do, but I did. And I did it. And now it’s done. In a way, I feel bad for someone who ends up with my hair now that I have confessed that it has given me trouble my whole life. But I also think that if I had lost my own hair due to some force other than choice, I would like to have the opportunity to…cover up sometimes.

I now have a stylish bob. Think Victoria Beckham (minus the really high heel and really fake implants). My husband called it “chic” (I didn’t even know he knew that word!). A co-worker deemed it a “10 out of 10”. And my morning routine is now about 15 minutes shorter. I don’t really know that I feel like I have done a “good thing”. I feel like I have done..a thing. But it’s done. I hope it maybe makes someone’s life just a little bit easier.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Things I am currently wondering:

Why the air conditioner is running in this office. It’s COLD!! I am wearing two sweaters and a scarf.

Why my headache won’t go away. (A: Change in barometric pressure, perhaps?)

Why can’t I type more than one word without making a mistake.

What’s for dinner? (I’m thinking miso soup and cheap sushi)

Is it stupid to go to Target tonight? I really do need toilet paper…

How did my 12 year-old self manage to time travel and tag the billboard in front of this building with the greatest graffiti ever?

In big hot pink letters it reads “I (PINK PUFFY HEART (actual heart, which is pink and puffy)) HORSES.” I don’t know who did it but it is the best graffiti I have ever seen. And in my imagination she is 12 and has her hair in a side ponytail and she is wearing rainbow leg warmers and overalls and possibly one of those headbands that goes across your forehead. But my imagination does tend to run wild.

Go, graffiti girl, whoever you are! And please don’t ever tell me that you are just some dude with pink spray paint. That would spoil everything.