Sunday, May 27, 2012

What I did on Memorial Day weekend.

So D and I took E and Z to Coney Island yesterday. This was our first trip "in season." It was a lot of fun. We didn't go on any rides--the terrified screams from the roller coaster passengers were kind of a deterrent. (Later, we found out they have kid-friendly rides also, including Disney-esque teacups.) We kept it simple--beach, waves, big slices of Brooklyn pizza. E enjoyed standing in the water and frolicking around a bit in it. Z munched on her pizza crust. She seems bored with purees already; she'd rather grab whatever I'm eating and gum it. 

This morning we were walking to a sandwich shop and a fellow saw E and offered to let him walk his dog. (It was a dappled Dachshund that he was actually watching as a favor to a friend.) E loved walking Chestnut. It must be said that New Yorkers are often nicer than their reputation implies. On Saturday, Z and I got caught in a rainstorm and a woman walking into her brownstone insisted on giving me her umbrella. The kindness of strangers...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sweet potato veggie burger

So today I made a sweet potato veggie burger, with a little avocado sliced on top.

You can find the recipe here.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Princess party

So today I went to a princess party. I know a lot of people are opposed to the whole Disney princess franchise; they think it gives girls unrealistic expectations of life, etc. There is some truth to that. But I think my attitude toward the whole princess thing can be summed up by what D said in Disney World: "It's fun if you don't think about it too much."

Outside the front door of the party, there were a group of Barbie dolls of all different styles, sort of like silent sentinels welcoming you. After all the children arrived, an actual, yes, princess arrived wearing a pink dress and a long blond wig (she took it off later and her hair was short underneath). Her main function seemed to be singing and dancing with the children. And it was fun. They danced to Mambo No. 9 and Macarena (songs I could actually recognize. I'm a little out of touch with current pop culture). Then the princess made balloons for them.

The funny thing is, I texted my friend B saying, "I am at a princess party," and sending a photo. She texted back saying that two years ago, she almost took a job as a party princess. I wasn't aware that they existed until today.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

So today I brought E to school for the first time. (Usually D does dropoff and I do pickup.) They have a little ritual every morning that is really cute. First they put their backpacks in their cubbies and wash their hands. Then they find the fish with their name and put it in the fishbowl (for attendance). Then they put their name under either a happy, frustrated, sad or mad face. I asked the teacher if anyone ever picks "sad," and she said yes, usually if they are sick, or if their nanny is picking them up instead of their mommy. Then they put their name under a picture indicating how they got to school. We live about forty blocks away from the school, so we took the subway. One child takes a scooter to school every day.

Still reading and enjoying John Irving's new book. It makes me sad that some people are not reading it because they were disappointed by his recent work. It's true, the book about logging was a disappointment, but this is really a return to form. If you usually like him, you would like this.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Just a little plug for John Irving's new book...In One Person. I love it. His last book, about logging, was a disappointment. This one is fun and riotous and full of story, and maybe better than Garp. I recommend it :)

Also, for the knitters...this is a really cute pair of patterns.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

So E started school yesterday. It's in a beautiful location, right near Central Park. And there is no "iron curtain" like at the old school. I can go right in the classroom to drop him off or pick him up. The teachers seem to love him already (all these preschools have multiple teachers, which I don't remember from my youth. I had a terrifying nun at my Catholic preschool, then a sweet teacher at Living & Learning, but I don't remember either of them having assistants).

I'm still a bit of an outsider as the "new kid," which I have no experience with (I was never a new kid until college, and everybody else was too, so it really didn't count). However, they are all very nice. We have been invited to two birthday parties already, and a "pajama morning" at the school.

Z is getting plumper. She has dimples at the base of each knuckle. On the subway last night, we met a man named Nilesh from Mumbai. He let Z play with his luggage tag and asked how to get to 1st and 42nd. We all gave him the same answer (the subway can be pretty social during rush hour), but he seemed a little doubtful. Hopefully he got there.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

So E starts his new school tomorrow. They gave us a photo of the kids in his class and they look sweet and friendly. We also have a list of their names. The school has a very nice location, too - near Central Park and the subway. I will miss walking home with R and W, but fortunately they live very close by, so we will still see them after school. And who knows, maybe we will write another novel together! (The agent is still reading ours. Patience.)

I'm working on my relationship with change. Starting to see it as more of an adventure, rather than approaching it with nebulous fears that dissolve when I examine them more closely.

Thursday, May 03, 2012


Still reading Making Piece and it is making me want to bake pies! Someday, when I have more time, I will do it. There is a banana cream pie from Vegetarian Planet that I used to make, and also a sweet potato pie from the same cookbook. It was the first time I'd ever had sweet potato pie, and it was delicious. The banana cream pie is also fantastic. You can add a thin layer of melted chocolate under the custard, on top of the crust, but I found you never needed it.

This is an apple pie I've been intending to make for a while.

I'm getting increasingly mixed feelings about Facebook. It's a good way for me to stay in touch with people who are far-flung geographically, but it does seem like a lot of people brag on there (and it's not necessarily a realistic representation of their lives). I get fed up with things that are fake. Yet, I'm not ready to deactivate my account. Maybe I will just use it primarily to put up pictures and not spend too much time on there.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

So I don't usually do this, but I am reading two books - both nonfiction, go figure. This one is called Mrs. Kennedy and Me. I really like it so far. It's written by the Secret Service agent who was assigned to Mrs. Kennedy in 1960. At first he was disappointed not to be assigned to JFK's detail, but then he formed a close bond with the First Lady. About 20 pages in, I have already learned a number of interesting tidbits about her - she was 5'7" (the same height as me) and had a "soft, breathy voice" (rather like Marilyn Monroe, I imagine). He also says that she was "more intuitive and in control than her public image suggested."

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

I finished The Gilly Salt Sisters. Kind of similar to Sarah Addison Allen, but set on the Cape instead of in the South. Lots of magical realism and too many hard-to-believe secrets at times, but still good. Started reading Making Piece, a memoir written by a woman who lives in the house memorialized in American Gothic, and sells pies there. Chapter 1 grabs your attention: "I killed my husband." Remember, it's nonfiction. But of course she doesn't mean it literally. And there are plenty of succulent pie descriptions. Reminds me of Waitress in that way.

Feeling better about E's school change. He is visiting the new school on Wednesday to get to know the kids better, before he makes the switch for good on Monday. He will be in the "orange room." Next year he will be in the purple room. And this little girl who I think of as his other girlfriend - they, too, hold hands whenever they see each other - invited him to her birthday party. So that will be fun.