Monday, June 22, 2009

Ich bin ein Berliner. For a week, anyway.

WARNING: Incredibly schmoopy post ahead.

Well, m'dears, I'm off to Berlin for a week of archive-exploring, museum-visiting, cafe-sitting, schnitzel-eating fun. Of course, if you were to guess what I was about to do based on the tearful, slightly hysterical parting that n.o.c. and I just had, you'd probably think that I was off to Iran for an experimental, highly toxic cancer treatment. Seriously, tears are running down my chest and my lower lip is having quivering spasms - we've never been apart for longer than five days. It's just silly; I mean, I'll be back in one week, and yet I'm still crying so profusely that I can barely see my screen. I do hope n.o.c. is having better luck behind the wheel, because if I'm reduced to a puddle by the prospect of an n.o.c.-free week, I'd be utterly ruined by an n.o.c.-free life.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Truffles, etc.

When I was very small, I had a book that followed a boy (let's call him Fabian) through a truly terrible day and chronicled his adventures using the following model: Unfortunately, Fabian fell into a well filled with man-eating sharks. Fortunately, Fabian had an underwater machine gun. Unfortunately, the gun was out of bullets. Fortunately, Fabian was a hoss and beat the sh*t out of the pansyass sharks.

Kind of fun, no?

Anyway, I'm feeling kind of wishy-washy and not very creative, so I thought I'd give this model a try. Here goes.

Unfortunately, it's raining balls outside, and I need to take the train to DC.
Fortunately, I no longer have any actual obligations, so I can go whenever the f*ck I feel like it.

Unfortunately, our Lindt supply was severely depleted after a visit from Our Favorite New Englanders.
Fortunately, there is a Lindt store nearby.
Unfortunately, that Lindt store is closing, which is an inconvenience and an ominous economic sign, since people are supposed to be spending money on small luxuries like chocolate truffles instead of on big ones like houses.
Fortunately, I took full advantage of Lindt's hard times. We are ready for another visit.

Unfortunately, I baked two loaves of honey-wheat sandwich bread yesterday that just laid in their pans like flaccid, wheaty slugs and did not rise one bit.
Fortunately, though they have the heft of bricks, the loaves are still pretty tasty.

Unfortunately, I've become a lazy sh*t.
Fortunately, I went to a spinning class yesterday.
Unfortunately, I thought I was going to have a heart attack.
Fortunately, I didn't.

Unfortunately, this blog entry kind of sucks.
Fortunately, I'm done.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Technical Difficulties and Ballparks

There are many things I like about our occasional internet-free periods. I read more. I resist the siren songs of online shopping and celebrity gossip. I say things like, "I didn't see your email/comment/status update!" or, "I wasn't able to contact Verizon!" with honesty.

But there are things I do not like. Such as composing lengthy, undoubtedly brilliant blog posts and then losing them because our pirated internet from the hospital down the street has farted out again. I know, I know, this is something I should take care of, but I can't get in touch with Verizon, because all of our information is online, and we don't have internet. So there.

Last Friday, we went to a baseball game. We can actually walk to the park from our apartment, which is fab.

My favorite parts of the evening included the excellent weather:
This gentleman, who knew everything about the history of the team:

(He told us that the O's used to be the "hottest ticket in town." As indicated by the large number of empty seats, this is no longer the case, which is unfortunate. It really is a great way to spend an evening.)

This youth's dangerous struggle with nausea:

Our lofty view:

And this woman's unflagging enthusiasm:

Less enjoyable was the mold on the ketchup dispenser:

I would like to tell you that I did not use this dispenser to procure ketchup for our dessicated hotdogs, but I try not to lie to you. Hey, some molds are beneficial.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Day One

Since I've been crazed for the last month, I decided to spend my first obligation-free day in any old lazy way I pleased. Let's see how I did:

6am: Make breakfast and pack a lunch for n.o.c. Linger over two cups of coffee and read the entire Times and all blog subscriptions. In my bathrobe. While others travel to places of employ. Eventually transition into sweatpants.

9am - 12pm: Read Perfume, taking frequent nappish pauses and drinking an entire pitcher of green tea. Decide that the book may have been better read in small doses, since by the end I am far more bothered by the feasibility of Grenouille's distillation techniques than by his callous slaughter of twenty-five virgins.

12pm: Deem the day too unpleasant to venture outside. Beat down feelings of smug superiority.

12pm - 1pm: Eat Italian tuna with kalamata olives, followed by a large bowl of cherries. Cruise internet in search of perfect graduate program to end PhD hiatus. Disappointing. Mostly impressed by the wide variety of bio photos - blurry cocktail-holding snapshots, meditative beach scenes, uncomfortably casual poses with too much chest hair, mugshots, etc.

1pm - 3pm: Begin to reread The Practice of Everyday Life. Feel disturbed by the extensive marginalia in my handwriting, since I remember nothing about the book.

3pm - 4pm: Vacuum and mop entire apartment, an unnecessary, though pleasurable, activity. Worry about becoming a sick person in the manner of my mother, the only woman I know who was thrilled by the receipt of her own personal carpet shampooer.

4pm - 5pm: Decide to shower. Remember, randomly, that a sweet woman named Mary once fixed me a heaping plate of saltines that had been pan-fried in butter. Imagine circumstances that would allow me to serve pan-fried crackers. Immediately plan to hold a New South party, replete with sausage balls, cheese straws, and aforementioned saltines.

6pm: Actually shower.

Tomorrow, I may try to leave the house. Or not.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

And the livin' is easy

I have endured the most tedious, repetitive, interminable close-of-school in the history of the universe, and today is finally the first official day of summer vacation. But mine is not to gripe; mine is to plan. What should I do with the next 82 days of freedom? I have a few ideas:

1) Shower infrequently, a la grade school summers. Sadly bereft of my parents' pool, I won't be able to offer n.o.c. airtight excuses like, "But there was chlorine! I'm bleached!" n.o.c. does not like to go without bathing; it makes him grumpy and lethargic. Not me - I feel my best when I'm so dirty that I'm almost clean again. My hair starts to look interestingly tousled and piece-y, and I can grow seeds in my bellybutton. You're really living when you achieve that state. You're fecund, awake, aware. You're basically Thoreau.

2) Work on my posture. I look like a char woman.

3) Make things with dough, then give them to others so as not to resemble said dough - you are what you eat. Speaking of (loosely), the folks who sell eggs at our farmers market look exactly like chickens. Little heads, fluffy rears, stick legs - the whole shebang. n.o.c. thinks they may actually be chickens in human guises, selling their own produce to an unsuspecting public. Inneresting.

4) Write. Blog. Read. Repeat.

5) Reupholster this chair:

Am I delusional?

6) Have callous-free feet. This effort will be helped along, no doubt, by the accumulation of natural body oils that infrequent showering allows.

7) Make macarons. These are very different from macaroons. Do not be confused.

8) Go places. More on that to come.

9) Make weekly batches of salsa. And gazpacho. An all-tomato diet should nicely counteract my dough and macaron efforts.

10) Get rid of even more stuff. Enough with stuff! (You can use that catchy phrase, if you'd like. I'm generous with my genius.)

11) Other suggestions?

In other news, my lovely Grammy stayed with us last night, and she and I played seven games of scrabble. The record is unimportant. You needn't know that I only won two games, or that her cumulative score was several hundred points higher than mine, or that she now knows all the three-letter words in addition to all the two-letter words. That sort of information would be totally superfluous.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Long time, no see.

We went from this:

To this:

And on the seventh day, we partied.