Saturday, December 31, 2016

Eric is a cooking maniac - he made vanilla ice cream from scratch (I put up a photo on Facebook). Now Zoe has decided she wants to watch cooking videos too. The funny part is, Eric likes watching a British cook (Cupcake Jemma) so he got a special scale to convert grams to cups, and we always have to convert the cooking temperature to Fahrenheit. For these cupcakes, it's 335 degrees.

Friday, December 30, 2016

I think Anne Lamont is the spiritual heir of C.S. Lewis, making it all a little more palatable and easier to understand.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2016's latest loss...Carrie Fisher. A Facebook friend wrote a heartfelt tribute - she grew up imagining she was Carrie Fisher during boring math classes, lulls during vacation, stressful moments at camp. I never imagined I was Carrie Fisher, but I read her books, enjoying her wry sense of humor. There's a popular tweet that says, "Honor Carrie Fisher: normalize mental illness and its treatment, take life a little less seriously, destroy a fascist regime."
This is our last day at the DoubleTree Hilton in Danvers. It used to be called the Sheraton Ferncroft; I had my senior prom here. Now it's all renovated. We spent all morning in the pool and hot tub. And the king-size beds are big and soft.

Monday, December 26, 2016

We're in Massachusetts and Eric is making some super-complicated chocolate chip cookies that require moscavado sugar, which he made from white sugar and molasses. Now I've got sugar on my toes, which sounds like a super-tactile Maya Angelou poem.

Sugar on my toes
And don't I know
It's never sweet enough

Friday, December 23, 2016

We're staying at a hotel in Danvers...it's amazing! It got renovated since the last time I stayed here, about 6 years ago. And the hot tub is working again. (We often use the swimming pool and hot tub even when we're not staying at the hotel.) Zoe and I went swimming in the hot tub and pool - I preferred the hot tub, she preferred the pool. Now we're watching TV, which is always a huge novelty for the kids because we don't have one at home. We got rid of it after Eric was born in 2008 because we weren't really watching it. I remember before he was born, we were watching "Big Love," but after he was born, we just couldn't keep up with the convoluted plot lines. I think it's off the air now.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

I'm reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Amazing writer. She also wrote a great article about Trump in the New Yorker.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Thoughts for how we can resist the Trump presidency...

We should focus on winning small battles. Keep the heat on him for four years in every way. Andrea Boccelli decided not to sing at his inauguration because of pressure from us. It will kill him not to have any big names performing at his inauguration. Also turning off the TV on Inauguration Day. Wearing a resist T-shirt on Inauguration Day. Showing him in ways large and small that we will never accept him. The steady drip drip of Chinese water torture.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Listening to America. They have some good songs besides "A Horse With No Name."

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

I'm a little under the weather and I had a baked sweet potato for dinner. It was delicious -  45-60 minutes at 425. It caramelized a bit. Might be good with some marshmallows mixed in.

I was at H&M earlier. There's a weird divide at that store - stuff I love and wear all the time, and stuff I wouldn't be caught dead in. I found a jacket in the former category. Only $49.99 with a nice, roomy, faux fur-trimmed hood.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Another good one from Marian Keyes. She has a section in her book called "Saying Goodbye" and how she hates it. She says her social battery is drained by the end of a party so it's hard for her to "give good goodbye." The whole thing reminded me of one of MIL's jokes: "The British leave without saying goodbye; the Yiddish say goodbye without leaving." There's a lot of truth to it, and in this respect I am definitely British!

Marian also wrote, "According to a personality quiz, I'm an extreme introvert, which means I can only handle other people in small bursts of time."

I think those quizzes only need one question:
Would you rather --
1) go out?
2) stay in with a book?

Friday, December 09, 2016

I'm reading Making It Up As I Go Along by Marian Keyes. It wasn't available on the Kindle or in the U.S. at all (I ordered it from a third-party seller on Amazon who turned out to be in the U.K.). Sometimes when a book isn't easily available, there's a reason - it's not very good. This one, however, is funny. In one section, she talks about her trip to Laos and how she put her "anti-mad tablets" on the "bedside yoke" so she could have them in the morning. When she woke up, however, she discovered they had all been eaten by bugs or "small beasts unknown" who were in "top form" all day. That tickled me.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

So Ivanka will be taking over First Lady duties, environmental policy, childcare policy, and run Trump's business. She will move to DC while Melania stays behind. Meanwhile, Trump will continue to be an executive producer for Celebrity Apprentice, which means that NBC will pay him *and* report on him. D pointed out that it would be worse if Trump were paying NBC and they were reporting on him. Still, it seems awfully muddled. I read that the conflicts of interest are simply too many to untangle and eliminate.
Trump appointed a fast food CEO as labor secretary. He seems hellbent on appointing the least suitable person for each position.

I'm trying not to give him a lot of mental space...while still reading the news and resisting.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

I saw the new Bridget Jones movie last night. I was worried it wouldn't be good because Hugh Grant left the project. But it was very funny and cute. There were a couple of dud jokes, but more "on" moments. And it was one of those movies where the previews don't do it justice.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Someone on Twitter put up a link to a Moby song, and it made me remember another Moby song I used to play during savasana when I taught yoga. Eventually I found it on Amazon Prime. 35 Minutes. Probably the most relaxing song ever.

Root vegetable soup

I'm making a root vegetable soup from the Times. 6 tbsp butter, onion, celery...saute...then add 3 branches of rosemary, 3 cloves garlic, 2 bay leaves, 3 1/2 cups root vegetables cut in 1-inch chunks, 2 tsp salt, pepper and 7-8 cups of water. For the root vegetables, you can use any combination of sweet potato, potato, parsnips, carrots, turnips and/or rutabaga. I ended up using sweet potato, parsnips and carrots. You bring to a boil, simmer for 30-40 minutes, take out the rosemary branches and puree with an immersion blender. Then you can add the juice from half a lemon and a little more salt if you want.


Now I'm wondering whether to puree it or not. I'll leave it for now.

Update: I pureed it but left chunks. One of the best soups I've made.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Salad

You can download software on your laptop that will replace Donald's face on the news with images of salad. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Trump seems to be dragging his feet appointing a secretary of state. I think Romney would be great. But some Trumpers are mad at him for criticizing Trump. (But so did Nikki Haley, who still got a cabinet position.) And as my mom put it, "He's not crazy enough." Hopefully Trump will appoint him anyway.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Remember...

When presidents had a little dignity? Trump has assaulted women, failed to pay his contractors, embezzled from his foundation, has massive conflicts of interest, settled a fraud lawsuit for $25 million (obvious admission of guilt, even though he won't say it), destroyed emails in lawsuits, lied like crazy...yet he has a Teflon effect like I've never seen. Moreover, he won't move to the White House! It costs NYC $1 million a day to protect him. (Actually, that's the one thing I can relate to him about. I like to sleep in my own bed too.)

Today

I spent 3 and a half hours with Zoe's kindergarten class. It was fun, and they were cute, but it was exhausting! I don't know how the teacher does it. Granted, a music teacher & a dance teacher came, so the teacher got to be "off" for 2 hours. But still. My mother in law was a first grade teacher for 5 years before becoming a guidance counselor, and she said it was very tiring. 
So Trump refused to meet with the New York Times initially, saying they were "nasty" and accusing NBC of giving him "too many chins." Today he gave in and met with them, and said some things that made him seem more sane/empathetic. He said he is not going to prosecute HRC, "she has suffered greatly." He said he doesn't really like the electoral college and would have preferred to win the popular vote. I agree with him on the electoral college - I saw some math on Facebook - a Wyoming citizen's vote is worth 362% of a Californian's vote. He went on to say that he has "an open mind" about the Paris climate change accord. He disavowed and condemned the alt-right movement, though he wouldn't admit that Steve Bannon was a part of it. So that was disappointing. But it would be amazing if he doesn't mess up the climate.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

It's funny, I saw Hamilton a year and 2 months ago. No one had heard of it, and D had to talk me into it. "A play about Alexander Hamilton? All rap?" I wasn't sure it would work. It was very good (and also a little sad; both Hamilton and his son died in duels, which were held in New Jersey, because "everything is legal in New Jersey). There was a haunting scene where Hamilton and Burr got into a boat and pretended to row across the river to duel.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Another good soup

I made another good slow cooker soup.

1 cup dried white beans (I used Great Northern)
1 can diced tomatoes
Chopped onion, carrot & celery
2 bay leaves
1 sprig rosemary
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Water
Chopped zucchini (add near the end)
Parmesan rind
Salt
3-4 cloves chopped garlic 

Another good antidote to election stress - James Taylor. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Chickpea vegetable soup

I threw together a slow cooker chickpea soup which came out really well, so I'll write it down here. My jumping-off point was a non-slow cooker recipe in the Times.

1 cup dried chickpeas (no need to soak them)
Parmesan rind
1 can diced tomatoes (14 oz)
2 bay leaves
1-2 sprigs rosemary
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
Water (you can decide how much to use)
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Put everything in the slow cooker and cook on low for about 5 hours. Alternatively, you could give the chickpeas and water a head start for an hour or so before adding everything else. The vegetables were completely tender but the chickpeas were slightly crunchy (but still very good).

Knit

I can't help reading the news, but I'm making a point of setting it aside each day and knitting. It helps. I'm making a red sweater for Zoe. 

DAPL

A neighbor/family friend was arrested at the Dakota Pipeline protest in New York yesterday. She sent me a video of the "paddy wagon." 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Resistance

When Hillary lost, I felt helpless. What I didn't realize was that opportunities would come up every day. Call Nancy Pelosi to ask her to investigate voter suppression in WI, FL, NC. Call your local rep & ask that s/he refuse to work with the Trump transition team until Steve Bannon is removed. Sign a petition asking the electors to vote for Hillary, in deference to the popular vote. (4 million signatures and counting). Help Foster Campbell get elected to the Louisiana Senate (resulting in 51-49 Senate, instead of 52-48). Donate to environmental groups, gun control groups, the ACLU. Donate to Chris Murphy, the senator who vigorously opposes gun control. As Rep. John Lewis would say, #goodtrouble. 
I came up with a slow cooker recipe, and it came out well, so I'll write it down here.

Olive oil
1 sliced onion
2 sliced carrots
2-3 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp each dried basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme
Salt
About 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth; added a little water
1 can tomato paste
1 chopped zucchini
A few handfuls of swiss chard
1 cup dried red kidney beans
About 1 cup dried Great Northern beans
1/3 cup soup shells

Saute the onion in olive oil until lightly browned. Combine the onions and everything else in the slow cooker (except for the soup shells, swiss chard and zucchini). Cook the soup shells in boiling water for 5 minutes. Set aside the soup shells, swiss chard and zucchini. Cook everything else in the slow cooker for 4-5 hours on low (or until beans are reasonably tender). Add soup shells, swiss chard and zucchini and cook for 20 minutes more.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Ugh

I've never felt this bad about election results. I feel actual fear that we will become a fascist nation. But there was a call with Hillary for her supporters. She said that we should get involved with defending the causes that Trump is a threat to, the causes that are important to us. So I donated to an environmental group and a gun control group. It did make me feel better. 

Friday, November 11, 2016

Coexist

I guess we're going to have to coexist with people who voted for Trump. But I feel for Obama too. I saw a closeup of his face as he was shaking Trump's hand, and it was bleak. This was not what he wanted. His staff looked like someone had died. I guess something did - the American dream. At least for four years. Whoever runs in 2020, I'll campaign hard for them, and if he wins again, I'll go ballistic. 
Some of my male cousins voted for Trump. One of the same cousins is crusading to end the pipeline. Um, Trump's personal investments ride on the completion of the pipeline. http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/11/10/what-trump-victory-means-standing-rock
Did my cousin really think Trump was going to be a friend to the environment? Only comfort is, my male cousins all live in Massachusetts, so their votes for Trump meant diddly-squat.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

This election is pissing me off! She won the popular vote. A coalition of working-class whites elected Trump. Why do they think he will help them? He refused to negotiate with his Vegas hotel union. He is NOT a friend of unions or the working class. It's abundantly clear that Trump is not interested in anyone but himself. He is a textbook narcissist.

What are these working-class whites rebelling against? 8 years of prosperity and 30 million jobs added? Why don't they thank Obama for the auto bailout?

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

I hear Toronto is the warmest Canadian city.


Tuesday, November 08, 2016

I tried a recipe from the New York Times tonight. (You can find it here.) Based on this dish, I have concluded that Swiss chard has more personality and texture than spinach, but less than kale.



A few more calls

I made 20 more calls today so far. One woman said, "Of course!" when I asked if she was voting for Hillary.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Stamina

Hillary's schedule today:
Noon - Pittsburgh
4:00 - Michigan
7:30 - Philly with Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Chelsea Clinton, Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen
Midnight - North Carolina with Bill Clinton, Lady Gaga, Bon Jovi

Wow!

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Cleared

So relieved that Comey cleared Hillary! 

Roasted cauliflower goat cheese cakes


Eric made these, and they are awesome!

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Pantsuit Nation

I was invited to join a secret group on Facebook - Pantsuit Nation. It's a collection of posts, stories from mostly women and some men, about voting for Hillary and the excitement of voting for our first woman president (I hope). Some people waited for 3-4 hours to vote early. One woman's Clinton yard sign was stolen, so she mowed an H into her lawn. One woman's mother told her, shortly before dying, "If you don't vote for Hillary, I'm going to come back and haunt you." One guy wrote, "I'm a guy who voted for Hillary because Trump is evil, and by the way, I'm single" - followed by a winking smiley. Overall, the page is just so positive and life-affirming, in the midst of great anxiety. 

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Salman Rushdie sums it up. Trump is going to court on December 16 on charges of child rape. The "liberal" media won't cover it, but they love to talk about email. If the election is rigged, it's rigged against Hillary.


200 calls now. And it was a great day for it. Everyone I spoke to was a Hillary supporter, and many had already voted. I always call Ohio, they're very polite...and an important swing state.

There was a New York Times article where you could play with outcomes. I figured out that if Hillary wins Florida and Pennsylvania, she's basically safe. If she wins Florida and Pennsylvania, plus one other swing state (like Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, etc.), she's 100% safe. So I looked at the list of phone banks to see if there were any in Florida or Pennsylvania, but I didn't see any. So I will stick to Ohio for now.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Up to 150 calls now and I've maxed out my campaign donation. An individual can't give more than $5400 (that's the total for the primary & general election). I'll keep making calls though. One of D's high school classmates went to PA and knocked on tons of doors.
I've been sublimating election anxiety by making calls for Hillary. I'm up to 75 calls now.

This sums it all up

(from the New Yorker)

Monday, October 31, 2016

Fingers crossed

Just made some more calls for Hillary - apparently I have made 37 calls now. Keeping my fingers crossed for next Tuesday. (I got a Blogger app that is compatible with iOS 10, but it makes me title every post.)

Friday, October 28, 2016

Comey

I'm so annoyed with James Comey right now. His timing couldn't be worse. 11 days from the election, he makes this announcement. And it will probably be nothing.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Zoe just got a bunch of early birthday presents from my mother and sister. She was thrilled. "I love all my presents!" she said. 'They wanted to give me presents before my birthday. That's nice!" It made me kind of nostalgic for childhood, when presents make you ecstatic. Most adults are kind of "eh" about presents.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

I don't like the iOS 10 update on my phone. It requires an extra step to unlock your phone and it's not compatible with the Blogger app. So I'll have to blog from my laptop like a Cro-Magnon; much easier to include photos when I'm blogging from my phone. Now I have to email them to myself, download them, and attach them. (First world problems.)

I went on a field trip to Governor's Island with Zoe's class today. They have the longest slide in NYC; also good views of the Statue of Liberty.



I also made white bean soup in the slow cooker today. Very simple, but tasty. You use 2 cups dried Great Northern beans (no need to soak them), a bay leaf, a chopped onion, 6 cloves of garlic and 6-7 cups of water. Then you cook it on low until the beans are tender, and you can use an immersion blender to puree it, and add a little extra virgin olive oil and salt. I added about a teaspoon of salt and a drizzle of oil. I also left some chunks in when I pureed it, because I like texture.

Monday, October 24, 2016

I'm making calls for Hillary in Ohio today. I was getting mostly answering machines and then I talked to a live person who said, "Our whole family is voting for her." It was nice to hear. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Last night I saw Alexander McCall Smith at Barnes & Noble. He spoke for over an hour to an appreciative audience. I've read most of his books and the others seemed to as well. It was a nice community. Finally he said, "I'm getting concerned looks from management," and started to sign books. He wore a kilt and bowed at the end of the reading.



Autumn minestrone from Pinterest. I made it in my new Dutch oven. For the first time, I added Parmesan cheese rind. It does seem to add dimension. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Pinterest is the best for slow cooker recipes. I'm currently cooking this white bean vegetable soup. This kale soup and veggie pot pie are on deck. (I learned that expression from my old ob/gyn when Zoe was about 37 weeks. I asked, "How much longer?" and my ob/gyn said, "She's on deck." The ob/gyn also did stand-up, hopefully not mentioning any of her patients).

The veggie pot pie in particular is intriguing. I've tried several iterations of it, all of which involve making your own dough, and this version looks good and not labor-intensive.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

I just watched Michelle Obama speaking in Phoenix on Facebook Live. She always makes me feel better. A great antidote to Donald Trump. I hope she runs for president one day. 
I watched the third debate. For me, the most disturbing things about it were:

1) how is Trump even a contender? I know I've said it many times, but it beggars belief.

2) his refusal to concede if Hillary wins.

He just seems like a malignant growth on the face of humanity.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Eric has been reading the Anne of Green Gables series. He's on the fifth book in the series. I'm relieved that he's reading them, and enjoying them, because it was one of my favorite series as a child. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Eric made pumpkin soup. I'd never had it before, and I wasn't sure if it would be good. It was :)

Saturday, October 15, 2016

We went to the zoo again today.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

It just struck me that when I started this blog in 2005, I had no idea I'd eventually be writing most of my blog posts on my phone. And I think my first entry was about Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes!

I made Tuscan white bean soup from Pinterest today. It was a kitchen-sink soup with tomatoes, celery, carrots, onion, zucchini, summer squash, cannellini beans, kale, broth, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, red pepper flakes, sugar, salt, pepper, and white wine vinegar. I liked it. 
I like using the crockpot to cook steel-cut oats overnight, but they do tend to catch on the sides of the pot. That's what happens cooking on low. So last night I decided to cook them on warm (the lowest setting). It worked perfectly. They cooked, and have a nice nutty flavor, but they didn't catch. (I put in 1 cup of steel-cut oats, 4 cups of soy milk, and 3 Tbsp brown sugar.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

I have a very simple crockpot recipe, but it's so good. 1 1/2 cups lentils, 4 cups water or broth, 3-4 sliced carrots, 1 chopped onion, 3 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper. You're supposed to cook it for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high, but it always takes less time than that.
Just finished Bridget Jones's Baby. Such a nice, happy book. And funny too. Now I don't need to see the movie (though I probably will when it comes out on DVD). Too bad Hugh Grant dropped out of the project.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

I went to a farm with Zoe's class today. These pigs look peaceful but they try to eat your feet. Zoe also milked a cow.

There was a bonanza on my Kindle this morning. New books by Alexander McCall Smith, Jennifer Weiner, Jodi Picoult, Margaret Atwood, and Helen Fielding. Of course I am reading the Bridget Jones book first :)

Monday, October 10, 2016

I stayed up way too late watching the debate last night. We all did. Eric said he didn't want to miss a minute. The boys stayed up later, watching the post-debate commentary. Even after Zoe was asleep, though, I had trouble falling asleep because of all the adrenaline from the debate. It was riveting TV, but Trump is a huge a--hole.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Just read an article in the Times, very disturbing, about the horrible torture of detainees in secret CIA prisons post-9/11. Many of them were held without explanation, and one out of four were wrongly detained. Trump wants to bring back "waterboarding and worse." Another reason not to vote for him...as if you needed one! 

Thursday, October 06, 2016

The soup was good. Next time I make it, I would use less water (1-2 cups less). I would also purée less of it - though I got to use the immersion blender, and that was fun. It's actually pink (the blender, not the soup). I cut the potatoes in smaller pieces than the recipe required, and I'm glad I did that. Not tiny pieces, though. 
Making this. It smells really good.


Wednesday, October 05, 2016

I just finished Winter Storms by Elin Hilderbrand. It was the third book in the Quinn family trilogy, set on Nantucket (like all of her novels). She is one of my favorites. A couple of fun things from the book: a local band called Four Easy Payments; and a scene where a character "sabers" champagne (slicing off the top of the bottle with a saber). Don't try this at home...

Sunday, October 02, 2016

More crockpot hijinks--frozen tortellini, diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, spinach, some Neufchâtel, oregano, cumin, thyme, garlic pepper, salt and pepper. I'll see how it turns out. 
I'm finishing up Christmas Caramel Murder by Joanne Fluke. I love this series. It keeps getting better as it goes along. And the characters are always baking something or thinking of baking it. 
I like Pinterest. The people there have cute names like The Suburban Soapbox and The Recipe Rebel.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Breaking news in the NYT: Trump has paid no federal income tax for 18 years. Anyone who votes for this racist, misogynist, unethical creep needs their head examined. 

Friday, September 30, 2016

Last night I made apple oatmeal: 1 cup steel cut oats, 2 sliced apples, 3 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 4 cups of soy milk. I also oiled the sides of the slow cooker first. It took 8 hours on low. The original recipe called for 1/3 cup of brown sugar, but that seemed a bit excessive. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Eric got home from school and made guacamole and hot chocolate from scratch.

Guacamole: ripe avocado, chopped red onion, chopped tomato, salt.

Hot chocolate: 1/3 cup hot water, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 cup sugar - bring to a boil. Boil for one minute, stirring. Lower heat and add 3 1/2 to 4 cups milk - heat through, but don't boil. Remove from heat and add 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

I've been using the slow cooker again now that autumn is here. Broccoli cheddar soup yesterday. Tonight (overnight) I'm going to try this apple oatmeal. I'll use less brown sugar; 3/4 cup seems a bit much.

On second thought, this looks even better.
We all stayed up too late watching the debate last night - the kids got into it too. Trump interrupted Hillary 29 times (NYT counted) and once Zoe looked at me and asked, "When is Hillary gonna talk again?" I thought she was masterful. Calm, focused, determined, a leader. And not shrill - many have criticized her voice - something they would never do to a male candidate. She has to do everything a male candidate does 20 times better. And she certainly did in this case! Trump is a joke and the scope of his lies is unmatched (LA Times).

My favorite part was when she called him out on his chauvinism near the end - he tried to deny that he called women pigs, slobs and dogs; that he said pregnancy was an inconvenience to an employer; that he said women should only get equal pay if they work harder  - and Bloomberg TV was fact-checking the whole thing live.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

I wonder if Cinnabon's still exists...there was one at the mall when I was in high school.
For anyone who still thinks *Hillary* is the liar:




Friday, September 23, 2016

We went to a fancy restaurant for D's birthday. It was all vegetarian and very delicious. Zoe and I had the Yukon potato fry bread (thin, crisp bread with potato filling and cheese and sour cream and radish. Very delicious but not low carb. I have a date with the exercise bike when we get back.) We also shared crudités with hummus. Eric had gnocchi and D had cauliflower tempura.
I just got Zoe's class list and I've been thinking about where to have her birthday party. She wants to have it at a kids' chain that has several locations in the city. I also just got an email from this chain offering me $115 off anything I do there (including a birthday party). So that is good. The question is, which location? I'm planning to invite her old class (they all live on the Upper West Side), a few neighborhood friends, and her new class. The new class is scattered through the city, but the most popular zip code (the class list gives zip codes but not full addresses) is the east side, 27th to 41st Street.

The chain has a location near the old class (Upper West Side) AND a location near that popular zip code. I don't know which one to pick. The old class is a small group (9), but it's nice to see them; one of them had a birthday party earlier in the month. The new class is a larger group (24), but I don't know them too well yet. The rest of the new class that is not in the popular zip code is either 1) elsewhere on the East Side or 2) far downtown, like Tribeca and the financial district. None of them are on the Upper West Side (only the old class is). So it's kind of a pickle.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

It's Christmas on Pinterest already. These are very cute though.

The Hill says that Hillary regained her 5-point lead over Trump nationwide. Democrats are nervous because it's so close. But we don't need a big lead, necessarily. JFK beat Nixon by one half of one percent in 1960 - about 300,000 votes. And Gary Johnson is revealing himself to be an idiot (no idea where Aleppo is and wants to abolish the Department of Homeland Security), so hopefully he won't divert too many votes from Hillary. And Jill Stein only cares about legalizing marijuana.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Eric likes to look up recipes online and cook them. Today he found a recipe for a baked potato where the potato was sliced, but not all the way to the bottom. I wasn't sure how it would come out. It was delicious! Cooked just right and slightly salty. He is a talented chef. 
 http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/9/18/1570349/-Hillary-Clinton-s-biggest-problem-isn-t-lack-of-trust-and-transparency-it-is-misogyny

Sunday, September 18, 2016

A friend just posted a photo on Instagram of her vintage Corningware coffee percolator, saying that her electric coffee maker had broken. As a tea drinker, I don't really know the difference. Does a percolator drip? I think it drips. I like the blue flowers on the side of it.
 
I'm going to try not to stress about the election before...I'll just donate to Hillary's campaign and hope for the best.

Have I mentioned that the desserts on Pinterest are awesome-looking? Some of the cooking recipes look good, too. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

So now Trump has suggested that Hillary's bodyguards disarm themselves and "see what happens to her." Why is this chump still in the race? Actually, I'm beginning to think he's something more dangerous than that - a full-fledged sociopath. And definitely a textbook narcissist, with inflated self-worth and no empathy. Is America so deeply sexist that we can't see what's wrong with him and what's right with her?
I watched Michelle Obama's speech in Virginia. It's an important swing state, and the crowd was enthusiastic. She urged them all to vote, reminding them that swing states are important and can sway the outcome. It made me feel a bit better. But I'm still annoyed that anyone would vote for Trump. 
Trump has asked gun owners to kill Hillary, continues to deny that Obama was born in the US, has questionable business dealings overseas that would put US national security at risk, wants to deport Mexicans and break up families in the process, urged Russia to look for Hillary's missing emails, stolen thousands of dollars (possibly millions) from thousands of people through the Trump University scam (including a couple who had to short-sell their home to avoid foreclosure), won't release his tax returns, calls women "pigs," says that women would get paid the same as men if they worked harder, accepted the endorsement of KKK leader David Duke, has read Mein Kampf and adopted many of Hitler's principles, etc.

WHY IS THERE EVEN A CONTEST?

Some people think that Hillary "lies," but saying that bullets were being shot near your plane (when they weren't) is a bush-league lie compared to the massive-scale fraud perpetrated by Trump University. Thousands of people lost their life savings because Trump said the "teachers" were "hand-picked experts." Later, under oath, Trump admitted that he had never met them. The only area where they had expertise was ripping people off. And Trump is an expert in that area as well. He is probably the biggest liar who ever existed. Anyone who votes for Trump over Hillary needs his head examined. (And I say "his" deliberately, because I don't think any sane woman would vote for him.)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Zoe's teacher sent her this postcard :) Her reputation precedes her (in a positive way) and it does seem like it's going to be a good fit. There are two field trips already and I have signed up for both. Her teacher also signed up for an app that shows you little moments (see below).

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Eric just loves cooking (along with origami). Maybe he will go to the Cordon Bleu one day :)

Monday, September 12, 2016

As one of Hillary's "strongest supporters," I was invited to take part in a conference call featuring...Bill Clinton! It was surreal to hear his voice coming out of my phone. His Southern accent is strong and the connection was weak, but he said things like, "It would be easy to choose anger over answers, but it would be a mistake. It would be easy to choose resentment over empowerment, but it would be a mistake." He also talked a bit about voter suppression. Feeling starstruck right now...
I took Zoe to the Central Park Zoo with a neighborhood friend and her kids today. Sadly, the polar bear I saw with Eric in 2009 is no longer there. He died 4 years ago, at age 30. I have a photo of Eric pressing his hand against the bear's paw through the glass. 

We did get to feed the alpacas and pose with a seal...
And some bunny rabbits...

Sunday, September 11, 2016

I just finished reading Life with Miss G by Mearene Jordan. It was nonfiction, written by Ava Gardner's maid (though it was more of a friendship). It was very interesting and colorful. 
I just took Zoe to a birthday party hosted by one of her preschool classmates. It felt like a reunion. It was run by a Lego master, who had elaborate Spiderman and Batman sculptures. 
Hillary's app just reminded me that there are 58 days until the election. I really hope this turns out the right way. 
I can't help but be annoyed at people who have their birthday parties at the same restaurant every year (for 10-20 years). I know two people like this. And isn't 40+ too old for a birthday party, anyway?

Saturday, September 10, 2016

I went on Pinterest tonight for the first time in a while. It was the usual mix of tantalizing desserts and savory recipes that sound like a bad idea (one-pot lasagna soup). I sent a reindeer cookie pin to one of my cousins. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Zoe and I went to the Vesuvio Playground outdoor pool today...


Then we shared a pineapple Italian ice. There were roses growing near the pool...

Saturday, August 27, 2016

I just finished The Couple Next Door. It reminded me a bit of Gone Girl, since it had so many twists and turns, but I actually liked it better. (I thought both Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train were overrated.)

Friday, August 26, 2016

I just saw an email that said, "New York Greenwich Village Preschool Registration Now Open," and I thought, "That's cute." Then I remembered my kids are too old for preschool. We found out who Zoe's kindergarten teacher will be. I had heard about the intense, neurotic teacher and the nice, nurturing teacher. She got the nice, nurturing one. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

I'm having a lot of fun with the Hillary app. One of the features is a virtual headquarters. For no apparent reason, they just gave me a dog named Winnie, and I can tap her bowl to give her food. I love it!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

I'm pleased to see that Daisy Goodwin has a new book coming out, called Victoria. Goodwin is a really good historical author and I always like learning more about Queen Victoria. Apparently she was a "party-loving teenager" when she inherited the throne. 
It's funny how kids can surprise you. Before Eric was born, I had a mental list of books I would get for him, books that I really liked when I was a kid, and hoped he might enjoy also. He has liked a number of them (Anastasia Krupnik, Laura Ingalls Wilder), but Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, and Anne of Green Gables didn't grab him as much (though he's read some of them). A lot of stuff he reads, I've never read - Pippi Longstocking, the Boxcar Children, the Wizard of Oz series.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

I'm a weekly leader in New York on the Hillary app...


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

I just took a bike ride but it's disgustingly hot and sticky out there. I'll be glad when it cools down. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

I'm reading The Book That Matters Most by Ann Hood. It's set in Providence and starts with a yarn bombing. What more could you ask for?

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

My college roommate, Tricia, came to the city today. We had a great time, including a visit to the Museum of Math (which is more fun than it sounds). We capped it off with a visit to the ice cream truck. I think Tricia enjoyed asking for "two Tweeties and a Spiderman."

Friday, August 05, 2016

I can feel myself calming down about the election now that things seem to be going Hillary's way (KNOCK ON WOOD LOUDLY). Seriously, though, he seems to be the biggest disaster that ever ran for president. I can't remember this much negative coverage on any presidential candidate. I remember the Dogs Against Romney, when Romney put his dog on the roof of his car for 650 miles or something like that. But that's the most damning thing I can remember. Also, George W. Bush saying "nucular" instead of "nuclear." He was a disaster too, of course. But somehow no one comes close to Trump. The former head of the CIA is endorsing Hillary, warning that Trump could be a threat to national security.

This morning, I finished Heroes of the Frontier by Dave Eggers. He wrote about a single mother and two children gallivanting around Alaska. I got the sense that Alaska was the literal frontier in the book, but parenting was the symbolic frontier. He wasn't too heavy-handed about it, though. I would say he has a unique mind and style.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

It's one of those obvious truths that you'll get something done faster if you don't have a million competing projects. But it really is true. I got through my knitting backlog and now I'm just working on one handbag. And it goes so much faster.

"The butchers seemed content, the cheese people seemed content, but everyone else was murderous."

-Dave Eggers, description of a grocery store, "Heroes of the Frontier"

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Even better...

Monday, August 01, 2016

Hillary's doing great after the DNC...

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Thrilled that Hillary was nominated tonight! First female nominee from a major party in the United States. I hope she makes it all the way to the White House. #NeverTrump 

Monday, July 25, 2016

You don't need the X-rays

I just read a New York Times article about bite wing X-rays at the dentist's office. The article said that dentists tend to overuse them. According to the American Dental Association, you only need them every 2-3 years unless you are unusually susceptible to cavities or gum disease. My dentist does them every 6 months! I turned them down when I was pregnant. The level of radiation in a bite wing x-ray is relatively low, but the effects of radiation are cumulative, so each x-ray is an unnecessary risk, increasing the chances of cancer down the road. Brain tumors are more prevalent in those who have frequent bite wing x-rays. This was all very interesting to me because my mother always asked for fewer x-rays for me. My Massachusetts dentist said, "You would get more radiation walking through Danvers Square." Turns out he was wrong...what matters is the cumulative effect, not the level of the individual dose. My mom was right.
I re-followed The New Yorker & The New York Times...I don't want to be uninformed...but it really is a lot of bad news. The first thing I saw was an article about the nightclub shooting in Fort Myers, Florida. It's really high time for meaningful federal gun control. Hawaii is the hardest state in which to get a gun, with strict background checks and a registry of gun owners. Of course, it helps that Hawaii is very isolated and they can control their borders. But I believe the nation as a whole should follow its lead.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

So now I've unfollowed the New Yorker (still following the cartoon page) and Hillary's page (though I'm still voting for her, of course). Hopefully that will cool everything down for me. I just can't believe Trump has gone this far...
I unfollowed the New York Times on Facebook. The less I hear about Trump, the better. I'm still following The New Yorker. They tend to have a lighter touch. We'll see how that goes. 
I'm trying not to obsess about politics too much...but I find it outrageous that David Duke, former KKK leader, enthusiastically endorses Trump and praised his speech at the convention, claiming "it said it all." Why is anyone voting for this man????

And don't get me started on the third party candidates, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. If you vote for them, they are not going to win (they have a tiny share of the overall vote). So if you vote for them, you are voting for Trump. Even if you don't love Hillary, you have to acknowledge that Trump is a nut and a fascist, and keeping him out of office should take precedence over everything else. So vote for Hillary!!!! She's the only one who can keep him out of office.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

I made this puffy pancake this morning. It was very good with a bit of jam. I got the recipe from the New York Times (Dutch baby).

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

I grew up in Danvers but never really learned my way around Boston. I knew the basic T stops. But my niece, who goes on long jaunts with my brother, is already comfortable parallel parking on Newbury Street (for ice cream). I was impressed! I never really learned to parallel park. It's on the New York driver's test, but not the Massachusetts one. We just had to do a three-point turn.

Monday, July 18, 2016

I just made the chilaquiles from the Moosewood Lowfat Cookbook. Now I wish I had made them before. I made some changes (less cheese, skip the second layer of salsa), but they're really good. (I also used pinto beans because I like them better than black beans.) I've had that cookbook since 1998 or so, and I never tried that particular recipe. I wish those recipes were flagged somehow..."psst, don't flip past us."

Saturday, July 16, 2016

In the morning, D is like, "Hi! I love everybody!" and I'm like:


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I just finished Siracusa by Delia Ephron. Some people compared it to Rashomon because of the shifting viewpoints. It reminded me more of The Bad Seed (an old, campy, yet chilling movie about an evil child) or a Hitchcock movie (To Catch a Thief comes to mind...set in France, not Italy, but had a similar feel).
I always develop an aversion to cooking in the summer. 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

She was wearing sandals!!

So D's friend J had a low-key bachelor party tonight (something called Escape the Room, where a team has to follow clues to escape a room, then a meal at a restaurant where we used to go a lot, but haven't in a while, so the waiter was asking D where he had been). Anyway, J had been married once before, but it ended badly. When we went to his first wedding, I apparently wore a dress and sandals, and his wife privately flipped out, saying to J, "She was wearing sandals!" I can't even remember what sandals they were. Maybe Birkenstocks. That seems like the only kind of sandal worth flipping out over. And I used to wear them all the time until they started hurting my feet. I'm wearing sandals to the 2nd wedding, too, though they are black and a little fancier.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

We saw The Secret Life of Pets today. It was so good!

Thursday, July 07, 2016

I finished First Women by Kate Anderson Brower. It was so interesting. I learned so much about the presidents and First Ladies from 1960 onward. She also has another book, The Residence, that I'm going to check out. 

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

I'm reading First Women, about First Ladies in the White House. Lots of interesting details. LBJ proposed to Lady Bird the day after they met, but she wasn't sure. (She was smart and shy...she purposely answered questions wrong on tests at school so she wouldn't have to be valedictorian or salutatorian and make a speech.) So he kept writing her letters and finally showed up on her doorstep with a $2.50 ring from Sears Roebuck. I guess that did it. Then he was a jerk for a while, criticizing her appearance and telling her not to wear "saddlebag" clothes. He changed his tune after she nursed him back to health after a heart attack, and she also became more assertive (handing him notes that said "That's enough" during a long speech, and when that didn't work, tugging on his lapel to make him sit down.)

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

A bird pooped on my shoulder! I was sitting on a bench near some trees and I felt some warm gloop fall on me. Somebody gave me napkins.
Well, I just watched FBI Director James Comey's statement about Hillary's email. I was quite worried especially because of Bill's ill-advised meeting with Loretta Lynch and the fact that Comey is a Republican. Fortunately, he seemed tough but fair. He said that Hillary and the DOJ as a whole were careless about classified emails, and some of her emails were top secret, but there is no evidence that "hostile actors" got a hold of it (though they may have without our knowledge) and there is no evidence of intentional misconduct, and therefore no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.

I was immensely relieved. I really do think Hillary would be good...she's the only candidate with a strong, consistent gun control record. Bernie voted in favor of the Charleston loophole, which enables you to purchase a gun after 3 days regardless of whether your background check was completed, and his vote helped make the Charleston church shooting possible. He also voted in favor of letting people bring guns on Amtrak. I realize he lives in rural Vermont where people like guns, but after Sandy Hook, we're responsible as a nation to do something about this. 30,000 people die of gun violence every year and many of them are children. I also think she's very intelligent and has a knack for policy. The New York Times says she is one of the most qualified candidates in years (Senator, Secretary of State, First Lady). I agree. And to anyone who doesn't like her...Trump is not a sensible option.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

When I get home I want to cook aloo gobi. I had an amazing version of it from Masala Times but now they won't deliver anymore. I'll have to get yellow mustard seeds. There's always that one exotic ingredient you don't have when you're cooking Indian. 
Well, that helped me relax. The Poconos aren't glamorous or exciting like Miami, but there are a lot of tall shady pine trees and winding streets that are good for biking. It helped me forget the whole possibility of a Hillary indictment (based on Bill's bad judgment). Maybe I should just not read the news. We went to the pool today and will probably go there again tomorrow. And then we'll take a train back around 5pm.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

It's not bad here and the pond out back is pretty. The Chinese food is better than I remembered. And it is helpful having 3 other adults around. They went out for a bit and I stayed behind to relax but I miss the kids already :-(

Friday, July 01, 2016

This article makes me feel better.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2016/04/11/republicans-know-hillary-clinton-is-not-going-to-be-indicted-they-just-cant-say-so/
Just saw an article saying that the attorney general will accept the FBI's recommendation re: whether to press charges against Hillary for the email. The FBI is seen as stricter than the DOJ. I wish everyone would shut up about the email. Don't they realize the alternative would be President Trump, the biggest disaster the country has ever seen? (Second only to W.)

Thursday, June 30, 2016

I'm going to the Poconos tomorrow. My in-laws have a house there. It's in the middle of nowhere. But the kids love it. Or at least Eric does. It will be Zoe's first time. She's looking forward to scooping her own ice cream. I haven't been there in 7 years. It's a little isolated for my taste, and there's always the chance that a Shining situation could develop. (Kidding. Mostly.) But D bought a bike which I can ride (his father drove it over there today). And I have the option of coming back early. I'll try to take some pictures.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I just finished They May Not Mean To But They Do by Cathleen Schine. The title is a reference to Philip Larkin. Anyway, it was a book about an 86-year-old woman living in New York City, and her family. I really liked it. It struck me I haven't read many books about getting older. And there was this gentle humor throughout.
I took a quiz, "How old are you based on which colors you see? Our perception of color changes with age" and it said I was 25. Nothing like a little flattery from Facebook in the morning :)

Monday, June 27, 2016

We went to my brother's house yesterday for my nephew's graduation party. It was fun (we all went in the pool) but Zoe got 3 splinters in her foot from the deck. One of them was sticking out so I was able to pull it out easily. The other two were embedded. I googled "remove splinter" and found out that you can make a paste with baking soda and water and put it on a band-aid. It's supposed to make the skin swell and the splinter pops out.  

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Just read a short story that I really liked. A bunch of quilters were discussing the possibility of a ghost. One of them got scared and left. One of the remaining quilters admitted that it was she who picked her sister's stitches out at night after everyone went to bed - not a ghost. Then one of the other quilters revealed that the stitches came undone each night after the former stitch-picker moved out. She was unbothered, saying that if any spirits haunted the house, she was sure they were benevolent ones.
George Michael is 53...where did the time go?
I'm at my mom's house (my nephew is having a high school graduation party tomorrow). The kids wanted to make a watermelon smoothie, so they put watermelon, strawberries and lemon juice in the blender (simple recipe from the Internet). It came out well, despite the seeds.

Friday, June 24, 2016

The world feels a bit topsy-turvy this morning with Brexit. Some people are saying it will help propel Trump to power. (And Boris Johnson does look a bit like him, at least the hair.) But Bernie has got behind Hillary at last, saying he will vote for her.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

I'm reading Anne Tyler's newest book, Vinegar Girl. It's based on The Taming of the Shrew, but set in modern times. At first I was skeptical...a lot of these re-workings don't seem to work...but I like it so far. And it's set in Baltimore, of course.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Just finished Here's to Us by Elin Hilderbrand. Great book. She might be my favorite author :)
I'm discouraged that 56 Senators voted against gun violence prevention last night. But Chuck and Kirsten voted the right way (yay, New York!) And Everytown (gun control advocacy group) is talking about regaining control of Congress in November (entirely possible) and putting gun control on the ballot (as a referendum, taking Congress out of the equation entirely).

And I love that Trump has what the New York Times calls a "crippling money deficit" - $1.3 million to Hillary's $42 million. Before he realized how much campaigning costs, he bragged about how he was self-funding and doesn't need help - not the best approach to campaign finance.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Just saw Finding Dory with the clan. It was really cute. A nice feel-good movie with a happy ending. I liked it better than Zootopia.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Cygnets

A Scottish woman likes to post pictures of cygnets on Twitter. It was hard for me to download her pictures, so I found one on Google.


Aren't they adorable? It looks like they're saying, "Fancy a cuppa?" or something like that.

Today I'm going to see Love & Friendship, a Jane Austen adaptation based on Lady Susan, with my friend T from college. It's supposed to be excellent - 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Brady campaign tweeted a link today...if you click on it, you're connected to a senator's office and you can ask them to vote yes to close the terror gap and vote yes on Senate Bill 551. Worth doing! I went through and spoke to a live person.
I checked the news this morning and was so relieved that Chris Murphy's filibuster was successful...they are going to vote on universal background checks and closing the terror gap...congratulations to him for standing up to the GOP.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Hillary now has a double-digit lead over Trump. I am relieved :)
I just agreed to chaperone a Brooklyn Bridge field trip...tons of walking...followed by a picnic at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Hopefully I won't regret this :)

Friday, June 10, 2016

I cut Zoe's hair and then I got worried that I gave her a mullet. "Business in the front, party in the back." I was trying to layer the sides but it didn't quite work. Then I trimmed a few more pieces and things seemed to improve. The takeaway: it's easier to cut boy hair! Eric's hair is both short and curly enough to cover mistakes. Zoe's hair still looks cute though.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

I finished One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid tonight. I always like her books, and the titles are always written in a fun retro font. Anyway, this one was about a woman who was engaged, and then her previous husband (thought to be dead) shows up. It ended the way I thought it should. And then I read a little bit of the acknowledgments (at the end) and put it aside. That brought back a memory...when I was a kid, reading books, I didn't feel I'd truly read them unless I read the foreword, copyright page, everything. That kind of tickles me.

Monday, June 06, 2016

This morning, I got an email from Eric's teacher, saying that they were going on a field trip to the High Line today (near our house) and they only had one chaperone. So of course I went over, and suddenly there were six chaperones (including two grandparents). Eric was very happy to see me, and it was fun to be with the class, though it was hot at times and a little long (two hours total, most of which was spent walking).


Sunday, June 05, 2016

We just had a party for Eric on a boat! I was worried it would be a dismal failure, because it was pouring rain in the morning and we got a couple of panicked cancellations. But it was a smashing success! Zoe yelled, "We're gonna die!" when we went to the top deck of the boat. (I don't know why, it wasn't particularly turbulent or anything.) But everyone just laughed. A lot of the grownups said it was the best birthday party they had been to. Eric's friend Bella said, "Great party!" There was music, entertainment, balloon animals, the Statue of Liberty, and karaoke.


Thursday, June 02, 2016

Zoe graduated from preschool today. I was a little sad. The school was kind of far away (though not as far away as the private school Eric once attended, which is now closing). Anyway, I feel like she will never get this much attention again (9 students, 3 teachers). She did get into Eric's gifted and talented program across the street (no more commute after this summer - her camp is uptown). It's funny the things you feel nostalgic about. A few minutes ago, I actually thought, "I'll never send a class parent email again."

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

I'm getting a little annoyed at Bernie Sanders for dragging it out. A Times article says that he is planning to stay in the race *after* California. (He also feels confident he will win California, though Nate Silver feels differently.) Anyway, he's planning to campaign until the Democratic convention, hoping to woo superdelegates away from Hillary. *Eye roll*

I can't help wondering if she's getting all this resistance because she's a woman. Supposedly Bernie and Hillary have a bigger gap between them (in terms of delegate count) than Hillary and Obama ever did in 2008. So in ordinary circumstances, Bernie would have dropped out. But I guess it could also be because he has an agenda he wants to push.
Both my kids have classmates with lice now, but neither of my kids got it! I'm probably tempting fate by writing this :)

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

I just got an email from my daughter's school saying that someone at her school (in a different class) came in with lice today. So they are going to check every kid in the entire school. I remember being checked for it in fourth or fifth grade, and the school nurse huffing, "This is a waste of time." I never had lice in elementary school, but then I got it unexpectedly in tenth grade (at age fifteen). I never found out who I got it from, but I was in a school play (Camelot) where we all shared hats. I remember my mother driving me to CVS, and then I insisted that we go to a different one in a neighboring town, because I knew the girl at the cash register. (You can't buy lice treatment from someone you know, especially not in high school). When my mother had lice as a child, her oldest sister's husband plucked them off her scalp and dropped them in a frying pan. I remember my mother combing out the nits when I was fifteen. It was a long process, especially since my hair was long and very thick at the time. So anyway, I hope my daughter doesn't have lice. Although someone in my old building told me they have lice removal services in the city (Lice Fairies or something like that). Only in New York!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Yesterday we went to Coney Island. At one point, a woman suddenly sat near me on the sand and hid a couple of mangos there. (True story.) Nearby, a young kid, maybe sixteen, was being handcuffed by a couple of cops. He didn't resist, but it was still shocking. A small crowd gathered. Then the woman sprang up and said, "That's my baby!" I couldn't hear most of it, but D was closer to them. It turned out selling anything on the beach is illegal. However, they gave him a summons instead of arresting him, because it was his first time selling mangos. You can't make this stuff up.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Getting annoyed with the focus on Hillary's emails. She is still a better candidate than Trump in every way, shape and form.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

I just watched Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. It starts a little before the regular Pride and Prejudice, which begins when Bingley moves into Netherfield Hall. In the movie, the Featherstone family lives in Netherfield Hall, but they turn into zombies, leaving the hall vacant for Bingley. Darcy is a zombie hunter, and all five Bennet sisters have Shaolin training to fight zombies. Lady Catherine de Bourgh is the fiercest swordswoman in Britain, and wears an eyepatch. Mr. Collins is as unctuous as ever.

Monday, May 16, 2016

I was walking down the hall from my apartment to the garbage chute, and I smelled something that was familiar from a long time ago. The neighbors' cooking smells often drift into the hallway. Then I realized it was bacon. I've been a vegetarian since 1997.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Sometimes I am allergic to change. I'm feeling a bit nostalgic for Zoe's school, which hasn't yet ended. I tend to get nostalgic in advance, then take the change in stride when it arrives. For one thing, the commute will be much shorter (to her new school). 

Monday, May 09, 2016

New word: pentimento. A visible trace of earlier painting beneath a layer or layers of paint on a canvas.
I walked behind Trevor Noah (Jon Stewart's replacement) for a few blocks this morning. The most noticeable thing about him was his ballerina posture - very tall and upright. He had a nice suit, too. He used a side entrance to get into the studio, but he took a selfie first. I'm not sure why.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

I have a list of Kindle pre-orders on my computer and I was excited to see that I have a good one coming out on May 10! It's the newest book by Katie Finn. She writes YA - a series about two girls who started out as friends, but one wronged the other, and then they seek revenge on each other in ingenious ways. Very gossipy and fun. The last one ended with the girls (frenemies) finding out that their parents are getting married (one girl's mother is marrying the other girl's father). So now the frenemies will be in the same house (presumably). They are definitely fun books if you are looking for a lively, light read.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

I just saw in the New York Times that Hillary Clinton is widening her lead over Trump. Good :)
I've noticed a weird phenomenon where my niece and her friends (college age) pose with their stomachs pressed together on Instagram. We never did that.   
I was a little stunned when John Kasich dropped out of the race today. It means that Trump is the only Republican candidate for President. But I have confidence in Hillary, and I hope that most people will have the sense to vote for her over Trump. 

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

I just got Something New by Lucy Knisley in the mail. She's my favorite graphic novelist. Coincidentally, Zoe's preschool teacher said she should be a graphic novelist...because she always draws pictures with elaborate stories to accompany them.

Monday, May 02, 2016

There are a lot of musicians (and dogs) in our new apartment building. One of them is playing a saxophone right now. We have a pianist too. I ran into one of my neighbors from the old building. She had hip replacement surgery and was using her umbrella as a cane, but seemed in good spirits. She was telling me how handsome her son is, "a cleft in his chin and dimples", and people say he looks like Tom Cruise, but she's met Tom Cruise and claims her son is better looking, though Tom was "very nice." I've read Leah Remini's Scientology memoir, including the segments on Tom, but I just smiled and nodded. P.S. Now the piano is kicking in! I prefer it to the saxophone.
I found this link on Pinterest...it tells you the most popular baby names from 1915 to the present. The name Mary was in the top three from 1915 to 1966. Then Jennifer took over. The top names were Jennifer, Amy and Heather the year that I was born.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Sitting by the ocean right now. I like it best in the morning.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Knitting to Billie Holiday is pretty relaxing. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

There was a New York Times article today about a 2-year-old shooting his mother. Sadly, it's not the first article like that I have read. And because the gun manufacturers have immunity (thanks to senators like Bernie Sanders who voted for that), they have no incentive to make "smart" guns that can only be used by their owners. The technology is there, but the political will isn't (yet). Hopefully Hillary will change all this...or at least try. It's definitely part of her platform. (Unlike Donald Trump, who wants "open carry" everywhere.)
Zoe just asked me to "unzip the light later" so she can get used to it. I think she's talking about the hotel curtains. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

There is a fountain outside our hotel, so I gave Zoe a penny and told her to make a wish. She wished for pizza. Easily achieved :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

So excited that Clinton won 3 states tonight (including Pennsylvania, the big prize). Can't wait for our first female President.   

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

On Facebook, a college friend (now living about three hours away) was talking about a cat she's about to get. But I thought she recently got a new cat, named Dexter. So I asked, "What happened to Dexter?"

She wrote, "Ohh, Dexter. He had to go back to his foster home because he hated us. Seriously! I'll tell the story when I get the chance."

I love this. I love cats, and wish I wasn't allergic. I feel like I might have been one in a past life.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

There's a spot on our couch that the kids think is too bright (not all the time, but when the sun is setting, for example). Anyway, I was sitting in that sun puddle, knitting, and I put my sunglasses on. I feel a bit like a cat. Not that they wear sunglasses, but they like sun puddles. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

I like the idea of reincarnation, but what if you came back as something horrible? 
Worsted weight yarn is my favorite. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Season 2 of Catastrophe is out. I always say I'm going to watch one episode and then I watch them all. But I'm going to lunch now...so Episode 6 later :)

Friday, April 08, 2016

Zoe promised Eric a while back that she wouldn't make us go to Baskin Robbins anymore. Now she says her stuffed turtle wants to go and it's not her fault. Hmmm...

Thursday, April 07, 2016

A relaxed fit cardi/jacket. Sleeves up next. 

Monday, April 04, 2016

More book recommendations...both of Mindy Kaling's books are good. One essay in the second one was possibly the funniest thing I've ever read (an alternate, parallel existence where Mindy Kaling is a Latin teacher at Dalton instead of working in Hollywood...told entirely in emails and texts. Another writer who's good at that is Lauren Myracle.) She's supposed to be writing a third book, with her former Office co-star and erstwhile boyfriend, B.J. Novak.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

I suspect I have mild OCD. I suppressed it since my mother got nervous when I was little and she saw me lining up stacks of magazines on the coffee table. It is definitely the kind of thing you can overcome. It did pop up again later when I would find myself turning off the oven dials at night, all the way, one by one. I made myself stop doing it.

The funny thing was, at a fundraiser, this woman whom I would NEVER have suspected of having OCD told me that she did, and when I told her about the oven dials, she said, "YES!" with genuine, unfeigned recognition. It's funny how you can have unexpected things in common with someone.

A guy on Twitter even has it, tweeting photos of his immaculate home and saying he cleaned it because he has OCD. Unfortunately, I don't have that kind of OCD. I try to sweep if there is food on the floor, but it's only because I don't want bugs.


Monday, March 28, 2016

Zoe is running around saying "Poop" over and over. It's driving Eric crazy. 

In other news, I'm reading Bossypants by Tina Fey. I really like it. She's a good writer and I'm learning a lot about Saturday Night Live. Including the fact that some male comedians pee in cups...and leave them around.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

What did the duck say when he bought lipstick?
Put it on my bill! 
(I love bad jokes.)
I knitted and stuffed this cute kitty :) He likes the couch. 
I'm waiting for a 70s revival to happen...for example, I'm going to a gala/fundraiser for E's school...basically an auction with nibbles and wine in a loft near the river. I'm sure everyone will be wearing black and listening to trendy music. The whole thing could be improved with avocado green and disco.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

I just watched Blue Jasmine, one of Woody Allen's more acclaimed films in recent years. I really liked it. The ending was a bit of a downer but it's worth watching. And hopefully it was one of those Scarlett O'Hara endings when you know she will get back on her feet.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Going through a phase where I'm listening to lots of Steely Dan...can't complain :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Hillary seems to be winning everywhere except possibly Illinois, which hasn't released any results yet. Unfortunately, Trump won a bunch of delegates as well...but I read that if Kasich wins Ohio (which he is expected to do), Trump will have trouble getting enough delegates to secure the nomination. 
I just pre-ordered Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (the digital version, to watch on Amazon). Looks like fun.
Usually I'm a yarn snob (natural fibers only) but today I'm knitting something with acrylic. It's kind of fun. Of course I still have several wool projects on the needles.

Monday, March 14, 2016

I really felt the transition to Daylight Savings Time this year. Maybe it gets worse as you get older. I saw this cute article about it. A guy bought a dinosaur filled with dinoflagellates (microorganisms, basically) that light up at night. However, the dinosaur came from San Diego, and it needed to adjust to East Coast time. So at first, it didn't light up the way it should. He was drawing an analogy between Daylight Savings Time and jet lag - they both disrupt your circadian rhythms.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

I rode my bike by the river today. 70 degrees!


Sunday, March 06, 2016

Today we saw Zootopia, a children's movie where every character was an animal. The main character was Judy Hopps, an enterprising bunny who became Zootopia's first rabbit police officer. The funniest part was a visit to the DMV, where every character was a sloth. By the time they emerged, it was night. 

Thursday, March 03, 2016

I saw an Easter card yesterday that made me smile. A dark chocolate bunny was saying to a milk chocolate bunny, "Come to the dark side. You know you want to."

Saturday, February 27, 2016

I just made some calls for Hillary in South Carolina. I was all, "I'm gonna make a change!" Of course, everyone either hung up or wasn't home. But I tried :)

Friday, February 26, 2016

Today Eric was carrying some seltzer back from the grocery store. I warned him not to shake it, so of course he shook it vigorously. Then I opened it over the sink. I think the explosion was the highlight of his week!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The packers are here...

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

I have this bleary allergies/cold thing...probably as a result of going from 79 degrees to 39 (and it's supposed to snow at 2:00). But I did get to meet Rachel's new cat. She was shy around me at first, but then she seemed to trust me more.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sad to leave Miami. I love this place. 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

I just finished a book called Yolo. Yes, I can't believe I read a book called Yolo. But it was really good. It was about three girls, going to different colleges, who have been friends for a long time. (In fact, they were three earlier books about them, which I read about 10 years ago.) And the author unexpectedly wrote this sequel. Anyway, it was good, and I hope she writes another one.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Yesterday a crow took a crouton from my salad and flew away.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Just finished the latest Alexander McCall Smith book and now I don't know what to read. His books are cozy and intellectual at the same time, and they're all series, so you really get to know the characters. This book introduced a new one, who will be coming back.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

We are going to Miami on Saturday. I was dreading packing. I pack for myself and the two kids, a few days in advance. D packs for himself, typically half an hour before we have to leave. Anyway, Zoe said, "I love packing! I want to help!" With a little guidance from me, she helped me pack almost everything (except last-minute items like makeup, toothbrushes and electronics). It was a big weight off my shoulders. I'm really happy she helped.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Here's a cardigan I'm making for my sister in law's baby. A bit of a departure for me, as I don't usually knit in green. 
I'm addicted to this lentil minestrone from one of Deborah Madison's cookbooks. Lentils, soup shells, carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, thyme sprigs, salt and spinach. So good. 

Monday, February 08, 2016

Bill Clinton took over Hillary's Instagram account today (with her permission). He wrote:

What does making a great muffin have in common with making a great president? Timing, preparation, and experience are all key. -WJC

I love the analogy and the Oxford comma!
Zoe wearing the sweater I knit for her

Sunday, February 07, 2016

I've been playing chess with Zoe. I think a lot of young children like chess...they like to make up stories about the pieces. I remember writing a story when I was 7 or so, about an evil queen from a chess set. I was fascinated by how the queen had all the power. Zoe likes to call the knights "ponies"; when you capture each other, you are "eating" the other piece; and if one pawn captures another, it's a "pawn breakfast."

Friday, February 05, 2016

I just discovered a charming new blog...hudsonandseine.com. It's written by a woman who lives in New York, is married to a Frenchman, and lived in France herself for many years. It also features an easy crepe recipe. What more could you ask for?

Thursday, February 04, 2016

I've always liked Everything but the Girl, since Missing came out in 1995. But they have so many better songs than that. Today I strayed beyond their greatest hits fare...I wish I did that before. The lead singer would sound good singing the phone book. 
Here's a sweater I am knitting for Zoe. I finished the hem. Sleeves and collar are next. 

Monday, February 01, 2016

Today is the caucus in Iowa. I really hope Hillary wins. I think she is our best bet against Trump. Trump is already calling Bernie a communist. 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

A friend on Facebook put this up...it's true that the presidency ages people so much. I think Hillary would just emerge spitting out nails...she's pretty tough at this point.