21 December 2006

you are not the boss of me (when I'm not at work)

Yesterday was MUCH better, hence today is better too, as the funk in which I was is now but a distant memory.

You see, yesterday I stayed home from work. Always a quality plan, but especially this time of year, you just have so many things to do and not being at work (unless one is internet-shopping, of course) lets you get so very much accomplished. For example:
~ laundry
~ cookie baking (once during the day, and once last night)
~ errand-running
~ present-wrapping
~ gift-buying
~ card-printing and addressing (and stamping and sealing - which count as separate tasks, really, when you're doing that many)
~ Presidential speech-watching (not a highlight, especially since he did not say anything remotely intelligent AND prevented me from seeing Mary-Louise Parker on Martha!)

That recounting seems short. Anyway, it sure felt like a lot yesterday, and sure crossed a lot off my list! Whew! Of course when my lovely husband got home and only had to sign his name to the cards (rather than co-assemble, stamp, seal, etc.) he was thrilled. He then accused me of working to make a case for being a Stay At Home Not-Yet-Mom. And to that I say, "HEY!!!!!!! is that an option?"

P.S. Because we're at the stage where everyone asks, or at least wonders, no, no babies. As the lovely husband says, "Give us through '07 and then we'll let you know."

20 December 2006

The City

Sometimes when people who live in New York refer to it as "The City," claiming the proper noun as entirely their own, it is rather annoying. But then you visit, and it all makes sense again.

We went to New York weekend before last and had a fabulous time. Hotels were outrageous (given the season) so we stayed at a bed and breakfast. I'd never thought about doing that in New York before, but it worked very well - highly reccommend it for your next trip!

Knowing we were going to have the chance to catch up with some of our dearest friends, and that, as one of those friends says, "brunch is church for people in Manhattan," I'd done my research. You definitely need to try 202 at the Chelsea Market.

And why, oh, why, can't DC just have ONE H&M that's half as massive, and with half the selection of the H&M on Harold's Square? *sniffle* We discovered several Christmas presents.

Since no trip is complete without cheese, I scouted out this bad boy. Delicious dinner, nice atmosphere, and we sat at a table beside an actor who was very nice, even when I eyed his scrumptuous-looking profiteroles.

19 December 2006

terrible horrible no good very bad

I'm exaggerating.

A little.

I'm just not having a good day!

It's one of those where everything you do turns out catawampus when you need perfection. And when you try to fix it, you just get airbrushed catawampas*.

So I went down to the drugstore to cheer myself up. Bought a new lip gloss. It's fine, maybe a little too bronze and not enough rose, but it's supposed to last FIVE TIMES longer than normal lip gloss. which would be great because that would give me twenty whole minutes between applications. (Or, to be honest, my usual habit is to slap it on the morning and forget about it, so really we're just talking twenty whole minutes of lip gloss a day.)

Also bought a torture device. Ever seen this? My modest hope was that it would turn the attention from my bad hair day toward my twenty-minutes-of-shiny-lips. BUT IT'S HARD! I mean, like, medical residency hard. (Not that I've done that, but I can imagine that it's grueling.) It is obviously made for people whose hair is cut in a blunt line. And let's be honest, if your hair is cut like that, are you really to type that's into updos? No, you're into headkerchiefs, plain and simple.

I work in such a small office (three people, including me) that it's pretty obvious when one person is gone. They must have wondered. I have no idea how long I was in the ladies room, standing at the mirror, alternately cursing my very un-octopus-like possession of only two hands, and laughing hysterically as I got slapped with what they call the "spring end" of the hairagami. (There is no spring "end!" That's like saying an elephant has a "heavy end." The thing lives to snap back together.) Anyway, I finally got it in my hair...though it did require a rubber band to tuck in the stray ends on one side (just the one! Other side looks great!) and two enormous bobby pins to pin back some hair from my face. Oh, and did I mention that now that it's on my head, I feel like it's trying to pull my hair out? A black velvet twisty snappy vice for my head. That's what I bought to cheer myself up today. Solid.

*Even this was a nightmare. I wanted it to be caddywhompus.

13 December 2006

a cry for help

Confession: I am very disorganized.


(No, really. VERY. Not at work. Not with projects. But with general cleaning and things around the house -- disaster.)

Actually, I prefer to phrase it as having a "tendency toward entropy," but I've gotten some feedback (to the tune of "let's be honest, shall we?").

The good news for me, though, is that my sister is super-organized and very talented at helping other people become more so. It's nice that the universe (which itself has a tendency toward entropy, I might add), balanced our family out this way. And it's really nice that my sister's coming to visit soon...

on the phone tonight

Me: I thought I had just found some marshmallows in the closet, but it was balloons.

SmallBean: Were you looking for marshmallows?

Me: No -- I was looking for the hammer!


08 December 2006

herring for everyone!

Last night we attended the House of Sweden's annual St. Lucia dinner and I must say that next to choosing and chopping down the family Christmas tree, there is no better way to ring in the season.

If you're unfamiliar with St. Lucia, see here or here.

If the concept sounds vaguely familiar, you probably saw this movie. Wish I could find stills from it to show you a very peeved Judy Davis wearing the wreath with candles on her head.

I think even though we're not Swedish, we'll institute this tradition when we have kids, especially since it calls for the eldest daughter to bring the parents coffee in bed. And who says that should happen only on December 13th?

06 December 2006

the things that matter

While the wisdom of Messrs Kaufman and Hart is undeniably true, I would argue that having certain things does in fact matter.

A case in point: the orange pan.

Mama has a great big orange roasting pan. Growing up, I saw everything from (a great big batch of) brownies to many Thanksgiving turkeys being cooked in it. It is such a nice size -- huge -- and such a warm color, and everything seemed to look tastier coming out of the oven because of it.

I should add here that in my family, especially on my mother's side, when people pass away, one does not inherit money so much as kitchen tools. This might sound like quite the rip-off, but let me assure you that great comfort and satisfaction are to be gained by baking in Great Aunt Minnie's loaf pan. (As a side note, an aunt once sent me a large kitchen knife along with an eloquent and very humorous letter detailing the fine reasons (learned from her mother, aunts, etc.) that a woman should always own such a knife. And if you are, yourself, Southern, or through some other fortuitous consequence know of unabashedly, gloriously, crazy women, I am sure you realize that not all such reasons involve culinary preparation. Beware ye intruders.)

Keeping in mind our family's bequests, and given my hope that my mother will achieve her dream and live to about 115 and gently drift off while holding hands with my (then 118 year-old) father on the front porch swing, I didn't expect to have a shot at the orange pan anytime soon.

But a few Christmases ago, I was astounded to unwrap a package and find my very own great big orange roasting pan! My ever-resourceful Mama found her pan's long-lost twin and bestowed it upon an extremely grateful moi.

So tonight, I pulled it out in anticipation of Christmas baking. The first step is Chex Mix, and even though I nearly double the recipe, it all fits. And somehow it just tastes better. Actually, it tastes perfect. Just like Mama used to make.