Monday, October 30, 2006

two weddings. six days. three thousand miles.

Your mother will notice immediately that you've darkened your hair. Which is why she's your mother, and why you love her.

You will have to wait an hour for luggage from a plane parked so close to the baggage claim that you could walk to it and unload your bags yourself.

You will love your mother's haircut and Audrey Hepburn-esque skinny pants.

Your father will almost instantaneously locate two high-end electronics stores in a mall he could never previously find his way around without help.

You will do that thing where you read signs aloud while your parents drive around ("You asked for got it...Toyotaaa...").

You will do so because everything in your hometown has changed and you're nonplussed by it. (Scary in more ways than one.)

You will be somewhat reassured, though, when you realize at your oldest friend in the world's wedding that some people look exactly the way they did as children.

Your husband will never again make the comment "Gosh, we're making such good time!" on a road trip.

You will decide that nobody should ever have to spend two hours in traffic in Delaware.

Your best friend and her boyfriend will be waiting for you at one of your favorite restaurants, and you will be so excited to see them after ten hours in the car that you will talk like you're on speed and gesture like you're a Borscht-belt comedian.

You will call your parents from a hotel bar when the St. Louis Cardinals win the World Series, and later they will ask, "Just how much had you been drinking?" -- since the last time you cared that much about baseball was probably the last time the Cards won the World Series. (You were three then.)

Your best friend will contemplate borrowing your favorite earrings, prompting you to whip out your box o' jewelry, because if you're anything, it's prepared for a jewelry emergency.

You will feel as though you've known your best friend's fantastic boyfriend for as long as you've known her, and only worry after the fact that joking around with him as though he's familiar with your nerdtastic sense of humor might not have made the right impression. (Cf. "Do you really covet the blueberry French toast??" Hi, I'm a dork!)

You will be asked by the manicurist if you and your best friend are sisters.

You will not quite know how to answer that question, since it's kind of "No but..." situation.

You will run out of witty answers to "So what do you do up there in Maine?"

Your sweater's hook closures will attach themselves to your lace dress and you will cause unintentional hilarity when you are forced to announce to your tablemates, "Don't mind my husband; he's just attempting to detach me from my sweater."

You will hate, hate, hate having to say goodbye to your parents one weekend and then your best friend the next and return to your home hundreds of miles away.

You will remember just how very much you love your husband, and be glad you have him at your side to share all of this.
Especially Delaware.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

whatever happend to blocks and marbles?

Given my current state of post-travel fatigue, I would think I hallucinated this and chalk it up to exhaustion, except my husband saw it too. We were both somewhat horrified.

I'm having a massive internal debate right now, because I don't know what's worse: that this toy even exists, or that it is marketed in conjunction with this one.

Sometimes, I fear for the future.

Particularly the future of the kid who stars in the ad for the Superman muscle suit, because given the prevalence of video preserved on the internet these days? His post-pubescent life is ruined.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

big brother goes shopping


Seriously the most dangerous thing to happen to my bank account since, um, ever.

Clearly it's not enough for the leviathan company that is Gap, Inc. for there to be days on end when I leave the house and realize every item of clothing, including underwear, comes from some outpost of their empire.

No, they need more, more, more! Now they have to go making it easy for me to browse and order designer shoes? I might as well just sell my soul, or tattoo their NYSE call letters on my body.

Somebody hide my Luxe card.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


I asked Desiree yesterday to save all of Nina's baby clothes for me. Ostensibly this was all in good save-the-Earth recycling faith, but in reality, it was entirely so that, in the (not imminent so don't freak out Mom and Dad!) future, I can dress my child in this t-shirt.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

i have an odd description of the word "fun"

Today's project: Purchase and hang a spice rack.

Tomorrow: Prepare an elaborate fall dinner for Laura, Jim and me.

Best weekend ever. And yes, I know I'm weird.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

dream a little dream of squee

Occasionally I start to put together a list of things I want to find in my next place of residence.

I don't mean restaurants or school districts. I don't even really care if there are decent gyms or a Whole Foods in the region. (Update: Whole Foods is coming to Portland in February. Yay! Only 32 months after I came here.)

No, I'm not looking at the big picture so much; I'm talking about my individual site of habitation, often known to others as a "home."

Unfortunately, I fear that the requirements vastly outpace my own purchasing power. For example, items that routinely show up in my daydreams include the following:

My dream kitchen, complete with stainless-steel appliances, a silent yet capacious dishwasher, impeccable lighting (hey, I am a theatre geek at heart) and wine refrigerator;

My own washer and dryer, preferably Energy Star-rated but still capable of doing a massive load of color all in one go;

A Roomba.

OK. I kind of don't so much care about the Roomba, but I had to throw something remotely afforable in there, so as not to seem entirely out of touch with reality.

Sigh. I think it's abundantly clear that I both want and do not want to be a real adult. A Roomba? Seriously.

But I would give my left pinky finger for a washer-dryer. There are some things on which one just cannot compromise.

Monday, October 09, 2006

this is why i support public radio

The weekend before last, Jim and I were coming in from some errands and we ran into the Green-Independent candidate for the one of the city's seats in the State House of Representatives.

I've never actually met a politican going door-to-door before; it seems somewhat quaint and old-fashioned, but then a) this is Maine and b) the dude was wearing Birkenstocks, so it wasn't really all that surprising.

What was a shock was that my name was not on his list of registered voters.

I registered in Maine when we moved here and I got my driver's license converted from Massachusetts. I voted in the Presidential election in 2004 -- I got the little sticker that said "I Voted!" and everything. Yes, I know I should have voted in any number of smaller municipal races since then, but I didn't, and besides, I was fairly sure that failure to do so would not result in being purged from the voter registration rolls.

Then, driving home from a proctoring event this afternoon, NPR taught me that, indeed, it just might.

Disappeared. Gone. Poof! No record of me, either in married or unmarried nomenclative form.

To be fair, it's not so much my lack of voting as the fact that, in trying to do the logical thing and consolidate the numerous lists of voters in the country, the various and sundry state offices didn't quite get it right. Maine probably never told Massachusetts to take me off their rolls, and so when duplicate registrations were eliminated, both of mine fell into the gaping maw of the Secretary of State's office.

Still. Bureaucratic idiocy notwithstanding, I'm pretty sure I still exist, and I'd like the state to reassure me of that prior to November 7th. I'd better get right on that.

And, hey, on the bright side -- now I'm voting under an entirely new name. No one will know where I've come from! I'll be the mysterious registered Independent. Isn't that always the best kind?

Sunday, October 08, 2006

piping-bag dreams

Yesterday, since it was an absolutely perfect fall day just about at the height of leaf season, Jim and I decided to go apple-picking.

There are a zillion and one pick-your-own (or not) orchards in Maine -- many of which are members of the American Pomological Society (which: hee) -- and they grow just about any type of apple you could want. However, we had it on good authority from the culinarily omniscient Mr. Freed that the Macoun apple is well-nigh unmatched for all apple-y services rendered. Therefore, we set out on a search for the mighty Macoun.

Luckily, the orchard, which we chose almost entirely at random, not only seems to specialize in Macouns, but also seems to have planted them so that they were at the height of ripeness yesterday. We filled two half-bushel bags, and while we did diversify a little bit so as not to be unfair to the McIntoshes and Golden Deliciouses looking longingly at us from their own branches, we definitely brought home quite a haul of Macouns.

We also picked up a half-gallon of fresh sweet cider and a few bite-sized steaming hot cider doughnuts to bring home. The cider made it; two of the doughtnuts, though, did not last long in their happy paper bag. However, it was much needed sustenance for the next phase of the day, which involved a prolonged and exciting stop at Williams-Sonoma on the way home.

Through some crafty gift-card-swapping, I wound up with a couple of hundred dollars in Sonoma gift cards. It's not as though there was anything there I really, oh, needed, per se; but I did want many things. Some new mixing bowls, for example, and fancy dipping oil and balsamic vinegar. Jim actually needed a new meat thermometer. And -- since the backseat of the car was filled with apples -- the pièces de resistance: new pie pans, of course.

I did almost -- almost! -- throw frugality to the wind and run off with a roasting pan and rack, which item I do not have. However, I didn't feel like exhausting all of my gift cards on one item, and so I refrained. (But damn they were pretty.)

Today dawned also crisp and clear, and my mission, as I chose to accept it, was to bake a Macoun apple pie from scratch and then make an enormous batch of five-alarm turkey chili to share with friends in the evening.

Looking around right now while my pie is in the oven, I can see that the mission included a hidden directive as well, which goes as follows: Dirty every utensil and item of cookware/bakeware in the kitchen, some more than once, before the day is out. This message will self-destruct when the dishwasher cycle is complete.

In any case -- who cares about dishes! -- the pie smells fantastic. I've never been overly fond of double-crust apple pie, so mine has a single shell and an oat-walnut-streusel topping. Once it's out of the oven and cooling, I will start the chili, so that by the time Laura and Don come over, everyone will be able to dive right in. I hope the pie is enough for them tonight. Next on the list (probably tomorrow) I think I shall make an apple crostata, or perhaps a modified tarte Tatin. We have so many apples! What an excuse to bake!

I'm starting to think that even Donna Reed would find my concept of the perfect day frightening. I actually considered buying the mechanized pastry bag at Sonoma, although I couldn't for the life of me figure out why one would need such a thing. Instead, I filled out an application for part-time and seasonal sales associate.

Because, dude. I would so kick ass in that little green apron.

Monday, October 02, 2006


I started feeling somewhat less than healthy yesterday evening, and today I woke feeling pretty awful. It's about the right time of year for that: Between the third and fifth weeks of school, fully 90% of my SAT students bring germs to class, and different germs at that. Even the hardiest immune system would take a beating.

Mine? I believe it has learned to cry uncle without even putting up a fight.

My husband indulged my desire for Greek food, did the laundry I'd meant to start before I realized that carrying it down the stairs had sapped all my daily energy allotment, and then went to buy me juice.

He called me on his way home.

"I just wanted to tell you to expect a surprise," he said.

"A...surprise?" I asked.

"You'll see," he replied.

Given my general inability to muster anything even vaguely resembling patience whatsoever, it was a good thing that the store is a mere five minutes from home. Nothing is better than a surprise when the most excitement one has had all day is discovering one has awakened from a nap just in time for DS9.

Jim arrived, and in the bag with the yummy juice (it tastes like liquid raspberry Jell-O!) I found one of my all-time favorite movies.

By Jove, I am not covetous for gold -- just for widescreen versions of films seemingly released to DVD in miniscule numbers and all but disappeared from mainstream shelves (stupid profit margins). I'm thinking that the feast of Crispin Crispian may come a little early this year.