Friday, September 28, 2012

I made a really awesome dinner, from Vegetarian Planet. I changed the recipe a little bit. Here it is:

1. Boil water for pasta and cook the penne till just tender. Drain.

2. Melt 4 T butter (I used Vermont cultured butter, really good). Add 1 tsp minced garlic and 1 heaping tsp minced ginger. Saute for 1 min. Add 1/2 t dried sage, 3/4 c red lentils (don't use brown), and 3/4 c water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover and cook for 15 min or until lentils are done. Add 2 or 3 big handfuls of fresh spinach and 1 tsp salt. Cook until spinach is wilted. Add pepper to taste and drained pasta.

Plus, Z likes it.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I have a cookbook that's coming apart at the seams - the binding is broken, and the 400+ age-spotted and crumb-specked pages are separated into little packets. It's Vegetarian Planet by Didi Emmons. (The funny thing is, my mother has a copy in virgin condition.) Do you have any cookbooks like that? They are probably the best ones.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Today a friend came in from Brooklyn with her daughter, and we went to a park I hadn't tried before. E loved it. He kept saying, "I don't want to leave, this park is so beautiful." Then we sat by a little pond and he threw bits of bagels with cream cheese for the ducks.


Life in Manhattan can be so crazy, sometimes it is nice to just sit on a low stone wall and give some bagels to some ducks.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The middle-aged brain

A book came out a couple of years ago about the middle-aged brain. I didn't read it, but a friend of ours did, and filled us in. He explained that the "young brain" can assimilate new information more quickly, such as foreign languages, but the middle-aged brain has better judgment.

I used to think that middle age began at 40. I had a writing teacher some years ago who was 36 at the time, and referred to himself as middle-aged. Now I know what he means. At 36 or 37, I forget which (I'm 37 now), I started to feel middle-aged. I didn't love this at first. But now I can feel the better judgment of that "middle-aged brain."

The beginnings of wisdom...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I just noticed that, in my iTunes library, "Upside Down" by Diana Ross and "Walk on By" by Dionne Warwick are right next to each other. They're kind of thematically related. Playboy/heartbreaker.

In other news, about three or five of our bowls disappeared. Just vanished into the night. I will post here if they reappear.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

I got some more time to myself today than usual because Z is starting to enjoy D's company more. So I got to take a shower, shave my legs, paint my toenails (shade: Ate Berries in the Canaries), do an extra yoga routine (a relaxation sequence from a Tara Stiles book), and sew some squares in my grownup quilt. It felt really good to get a break.

I also read a bit of Triburbia by Karl Taro Greenfield. This started out promisingly with the story of a father in an upscale neighborhood in Manhattan, who looked like the suspect on a child molester poster. Then the next story was about a handicapped boy with a sister who looked like a model and was popular, and he wasn't, blah blah yawn. So then I tried Every Day by David Levithan, about a sixteen-year-old boy who wakes up in the body of someone different each day. This one is holding my attention.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

So D took E to visit the in-laws at their summer house these past two days. I stayed behind, thinking it would be a nice break to only take care of one kid. I learned a couple things: it really isn't significantly easier to take care of one kid, especially without the other parent; and despite things often being chaotic and busy when everyone is here, I missed them, and missed E's little voice which is almost always chatting from the time he gets up.

Just finished Penelope by Rebecca Harrington (and discovered via Facebook that the author is my second cousin's niece, I guess through marriage, because her brother's children are both small). I really liked it though some of it was too close for comfort. It's about a socially awkward but funny and smart girl and her first year at college. Some of it verged on satire, but a lot of it rang true. If you've ever missed social cues or inadvertently pissed people off, it will probably resonate with you. Also, it was just funny.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

I finished watching 2 Days in New York this morning. It's a Julie Delpy movie, also starring Chris Rock, and a guy who is always in Chris Rock movies (I used to see him at my old gym's pool, and also pushing someone in a wheelchair in my neighborhood). The movie also had a scene in my neighborhood. It was fun, light, enjoyable. A couple of scenes fell flat, but overall I like her neurotic/female/French version of Woody Allen.

I have started the kindergarten admission process (and then hopefully we won't have to do this again for a very, very long time. All these schools seem to give preference to siblings so that will hopefully make things easier when it is Z's turn). E is currently in preschool but his school doesn't go up to kindergarten. So I am wading through applications, with open houses, parent interviews, and playdates in our future. Some of these schools even have "early decision," like college. New York is insane in some ways. At least they have eliminated the "call on Labor Day for an application" craziness where you have to keep calling until you get hold of someone; I read about that in a Jill Kargman book. Now all the applications are online.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

The Whitney

Z and I went to the Whitney today (we have already been to the Met, the Guggenheim and the MOMA). I was in a bad mood after waiting an hour in line and having a woman with brass cajones try to cut in front of me. (I foiled her.) So we got a brownie in the cafe and shared it, which improved things slightly, and then we took in the Yayoi Kusama exhibit. One floor of it was shut down for the day, but we still got to see the other, and amazingly it was basically worth the hour wait. Very striking art. We weren't supposed to take photos, so I didn't take any with my iPhone, although it's probably an exception.

My favorite pieces were: a painting from 1975 with a large dark-blue eye (the color of a night sky) filled with stars; and a bunch of octopus legs in buckets, all white (very memorable and I REALLY wanted to take a picture of it). I recommend it, though you might want to go on a weekday.