Monthly Archives: November 2010


here is a very interesting article from today’s NYT about the history of American leftovers:

quick and worth reading. as a fan of leftovers and “re-purposing” foods from one meal for another, and also as someone with an interest in what I’ll call “domestic history” I enjoyed this.



last saturday, E and visited the american natural history museum on the upper west side. it was delightful, as visiting a museum of international renown tends to be. what’s NOT to love about the ANHM? there’s a full-size faux blue whale! dinosaur bones! teddy roosevelt quotes on the walls! meteorites! old school giant nature dioramas! diamonds! taxidermy galore!

we particularly enjoyed the hall of minerals and gems, where the wittelsbach-graff diamond was on display, a 1600s, nearly 36 carat, “deep fancy blue” rare diamond—wow! I particularly liked the labradorites and opals, as well as the various big giant crystals (although I think too many people touch them for them to give off really good energy). I love this section of the museum for it’s 1960s james bond’s lair feel… I even noticed that the display information is not quite up to date, as one gem was sourced in the “USSR.” ha! but, I tend to think little old-school oversights like that are charming. continuing the geology theme, we picked up a “break your own geode” in the gift shop, too, which is exciting!
we also liked the hall of ocean life, which is classic, and the sleeper-hit (and oldest exhibit at the museum) hall of the northwest coast indians (way cool).

the highlight of the day, though, was surely the butterfly conservatory: a greenhouse-like jewelbox full of HUNDREDS of beautiful live butterflies flitting about, eating fruit and nectar, mating, landing on people, and living the life. it was lovely! E took a few photos:

butterfly at one of the feeding dishes

these ones were gorgeous and have creepily gigantic bodies

pretty detail

butterflies gettin’ busy
(but unable to reproduce in the conservatory, apparently, as there are not the proper plants provided for the larvae to feed upon)

it was wonderful!

other weekend highlights included lots of cooking (french onion soup, roast chicken, caramelized roasted brussels sprouts), MORE salted chocolate mousse (I tell you, this stuff is life-altering), ice skating in midtown (where nobody fell on their tush), champagne, “the big lebowski” viewing, and relaxing. not too shabby.

25 before 26: continued

here are the remaining 15 items on my “25 things to do before I turn 26” list.

* take more pictures

* be IN more pictures (I’m always the one taking them, and while it sounds selfish, it would be nice to see a record of myself in my photo chronicles)

* get another tattoo

* go on a hike [the californian in me is hysterically laughing at the former new yorker in me who aspired to go on but ONE hike! how silly. since being back in CA I’ve been on quite a few]

* submit for publication at least once

visit a US city I have never been to [new haven, ct, whatup! home of my best pal, yankees obsessed with bacon pizza, and the heart-stoppingly wonderous and swoon-worthy beinecke rare book library at yale]

* write more cards and letters

* knit something other than a scarf

* spend more time with my sister [we live in the same area code now and are pretty much attached at the hip]

* give meditation another chance

* learn to use my camera’s manual settings

* re-read “King Lear”

* learn to cook something new that can become a “standard” for me (some of my already-standards include: french onion soup, roast chicken, butternut squash soup, pumpkin bread, steak au poivre, quiche, enchiladas…) [fantastic biscuits, no-knead bread {finally}, fierce chocolate cake]

* spend more time outdoors [see “go on a hike” above!]

* learn more about opera

signs you are getting old

I am a bit of an old lady at heart, it’s true.

I present as evidence:

1. I make candy at home
2. I knit and embroider
3. I like to stay home
4. I think “The Golden Girls” is quality television, own a few seasons all seven seasons on DVD, quote it fluently, laugh out loud at it, and watch said DVDs at least one a week
5. I am currently waiting patiently for my homemade vanilla extract to be ready (december 17th!)
6. I own a one-piece bathing suit
7. the following items can usually be found in my handbag: cough drops, a handkerchief, tums, tea bags
8. I have been known to slip an ice cube or two into a glass of white wine or rosé
9. I enjoy going to the opera
10. I generally prefer knee-length or longer skirts

there you have it. scary, huh?

25 before 26

tomorrow is my 25th birthday.

in the spirit of the occasion, I made a list of 25 things to do before I turn 26. they are in no particular order, and some seem much more do-able that others.

here are 10 of them:

* grow something edible [basil, strawberries]

*take a trip out of the country [c0mpleted 12/2011, Mexico… although I *did* know I would be doing this before I made the list… hmm…]

* complete two stories I feel good about

* visit the Guggenheim museum

* get a haircut [chopped an donated a 17″ braid in april!]

* start a retirement account

* Read “The Best American Short Stories of the Century”  (which is 57 stories and 788 pages)

* visit my brother in Maine [made the voyage to maine in january—brrrr!]

* wear fun lipstick more often [a little early to call but so far 2011 is my lipstickiest year yet: there’s no red too bright, nor no pink to hot for me!]

* make a cheesecake from scratch

stay tuned for the remaining 15.

happy birthday to me.

when high profile jobs go to undeserving people

I saw this news item today and was unhappy about it:

now I admittedly know next to nothing about NYC politics. I DO however, know a thing or two about this cathie black character.

mainly, I know that she was my graduation speaker.

and it was—hands down—the WORST speech I have ever seen in my life (and I have actually seen many). the content was weak, self-obsessed, unconvincing, un-motivating, lame, and factually incorrect (more on that in a moment).

it was so bad that several grads were googling her on smart-phones while she was speaking and whispering “who the hell is this b-tch?”

why she is qualified to be the chancellor of NYC schools is beyond me.

my mainest beef with ms. black is this:
I graduated from university in 2008.
she heartily congratulated my class for being “the first class to grauduate from _____ university since hurricane katrina”
(which was in 2005. and a class from said university did indeed graduate in 2006… AND one in 2007)

I don’t even have enough time to tell you what’s wrong with that. that statement was blatantly incorrect, totally rude, and completely disrespectful to the experience of my class, my university, and my city. we’re not talking about the new academic quad or the year the baseball team went to regionals… this is HURRICANE KATRINA we’re talking about! is it too much to ask that our graduation speaker at least get the YEAR right?!

to get a detail that obvious and of that magnitude wrong was an absolute speech-killer. I didn’t want to hear a thing she had to say after that. just stop talking, lady, you’re making it worse. you are officially embarrassing yourself (and perhaps should have stopped at two cocktails).

so, thanks for rubbing it in my face that you didn’t even do you freakin’ homework despite getting paid a fortune to ramble on about yourself at my graduation. oh and thanks for not only bringing up katrina, but for completely misunderstanding the class in question’s relationship to that travesty, jerk.

<end rant>