Monday, December 15, 2008

Some stuff

The Alexander Calder jewelry at the Met is pretty nifty.

Also good: McCartney II

This recipe

The 1954 Christmas mobile we have hanging

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I took this picture of a really fuzzy quince a few weeks ago. I remember when I first got really depressed when I was 21 I became fixated on finding a quince and I couldn't find one anywhere - I'd read a description of one in some book that made an impression on me. Since I started taking meds I've been okay but this past few days I've had as bad a spell as I can remember - awfully scary as I can't attribute it to troubles with love or work or life and it's terrible to really feel at the mercy of your faulty genes. Thank goodness, this strain - which also includes migraines and (not in my case)math aptitude - has skipped Charlie. My grandfather, his mom, her father and grandfather all suffered from melancholia badly - which is to say, they all committed suicide. Probably others too but I don't know that far back. Most of them spent a lot of time in "the bin." Thank goodness for drugs!

Anyway! I'm feeling better. Sunday Slim had to get me out of the house, take me to look at the puppies in the window on 6th Avenue, feed me a croissant at Patisserie Claude (Claude has retired; various regulars were vying for supremacy with the sous-chef who's take it over) and sit me down at a showing of Amarcord. He is too good to me; I made a batch of Millionaire's Shortbread for him when I felt better.

I just got this note from my mom:
"I took a quick glance at one of your Jezebel columns yesterday (bad gifts) -- didn't Charlie give you the first two (picture and dinner invitation)? I recognize the Nips, too, but can't remember who gave them. Alas, I have a VERY strong premonition Santa may be bringing sox ....

Can I help with your phone repair? Let me know. Papa and I are having lunch with Chaim today and then I'm getting my hair cut (Daniela) and THEN it's off to the Writer's Guild Xmas party, where the invitation assures us much networking will ensue. Papa and I may be the only grayheads there, but you never know. These functions (I'm thinking the strike lines, here) tend to attract real losers and blowhards living on their past glories. We went to an auction in Larchmont last night and I got the oil painting I went for (pretty cheap, of course). I think you'll really like it, too. It needs a repair job, but that will have to wait for the Bad Times to recede. They were giving away furniture at the auction -- some of it beautiful.

All for now.


She mustn't know I've been "sick" again.

Friday, December 5, 2008

I just have to share my excitement about something tiny. This morning I found I was OUT OF COFFEE. I'm not a caffeine junkie as such, but we start early, so it's a definite necessity. We DID have some whole beans which a friend of Slim's (who has a free-trade coffee initiative starting up in Ethiopia, trying to get their coffee market up and running) brought us almost a year ago. I've never remembered to get a cheap grinder, so I tried a mortar and pestle but it wasn't working very well. Then I remembered that, like you do, I have a 19th century German coffee grinder on top of the fridge. (I took this when my folks were cleaning out their attic. It's an ancient porcelain wall-mounted contraption, and since it felt a bit Country Store to just have it up decoratively, I've never hung it.) Well, it worked just fine! A workout, sure, but I see no reason not to hang this and put it into use. May fall apart - and you can't actually wash the grinding chamber, which means the risk of rancid grinds is high, but this was a good cup of joe!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Speaking of food: as you know I'd been cooking somewhat obsessively, and such decided to take a break. But! It seems when I don't cook, there's nothing to eat. I've been reduced on three separate occasions to lunching on what Buckingham's nephew calls "peanut butter spoon."

So tonight I thought I'd make a quiche. The idea was to try to just cook one thing, just what I needed: moderation, you see. Well, I failed: I couldn't resist whipping up a batch of bran muffins while I was at it. Maybe that I could have justified, but probably not the batch of shortbread, half of which I made into jam thumbprint cookies.

On the Town

We had the BEST dinner last night: Marie had us over and made a recipe of her great-grandmother's for the first time: a chicken flambeed in cognac! She served it over a piece of toast rubbed with a bit of liver pate; it was delicious. We also had roasted potatoes and haricots verts, and a perfect tarte tatin.

Luckily, given the work-related stuff, this has been a week full of friends; Monday Sylvia and I went to see a Carole Lombard triple-feature (although we only made it through two.) The first (cockamamie but enjoyable) was about a family of dizzy rich folks in which the son falls for a showgirl (Carole Lombard) and the daughter for a mechanic. Hilarity, mistaken identities, stiff British stock characters and various ruses later, all is resolved to everyone's satisfaction. The second was merely cockamamie: a soap king pays his secretary (Carole Lombard) to get his son to fall in love with her so he'll get some ambition. Slapstick, con artists, farce and absurdity ensues. As regards the Film Forum, I've never thought the card by concessions saying "'I love this banana bread!'-Jacques Derrida" was a very convincing testimonial. Many things he may have known, but banana bread? "Well, maybe he'd never had it before," reasoned kind Sylvia. (In fairness, it's pretty decent - maybe a 5.5/6? Did I tell you'd I'd maybe found my own keeper recipe?It's made with vegetable oil! Shocking!)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I was told that the media blog had a little item on Jez cutting some eds' hours, with pictures! I finally figured out that mine must have come off of my Chowhound profile; it features Mr. Met and a random guy. As to the cuts, well, I'm just down a day (touch wood) which I can live with, but it's a pretty rough thing for the editor to have to go through, and I know full well this sort of creative restructuring is a kind alternative to another lay-off (and the one we have suffered is grievous indeed.) It's shocking when one knows first-hand how very talented and hard-working a lot of these folks are.

Now I have NO excuse for not finishing my children's novel!