Monday, September 28, 2009

I Love This Picture.

I rescued her from an old French book on Vaudeville

and tacked her to the wall in front of my desk.

I also gave her a plume of black feathers.

She tickles my fancies

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Tale of Two Twins: One Mom's Fantasy

For our 8th wedding anniversary, my husband surprised me with the ultimate fantasy.

He tells me to get ready for a big surprise. So, at 6:30 pm I'm sitting in our apartment, wine glass in hand, looking all primped, plucked and pretty in my pink Italian sateen rocker pants, baby doll cami and black patent leather T-straps wedges. (You’ll have to trust me. It was cute.)

Then in walks my surprise -- two very tall, very handsome twenty-something twin brothers.

“Hi. We’re here.”

My husband got me twins!

“Come to Momma …”

… I say to my son. The Twins are the sitters and I am going out with my husband for a lobster and oyster dinner! Pinch me! (Just a figure of speech. There are children present.)

My 4-year-old is also in heaven. The Twins are his Big Boy Friends. In fact, on his 3rd birthday he didn’t want to invite any children – just his Big Boy Friends. So for him, this isn’t babysitting. This is a play date.

He shows The Twins his treasure boxes and his monster truck collection. He tells them the rules of the house.

“This is my mom’s printer. Don’t press print. These are the plants. Here’s my tree. I pruned it myself.”

He plays with their Blackberries and takes pictures with their laptop. In return The Twins get to watch SpongeBob SquarePants and Cars.

When my husband and I return home, our son is lying in a nest The Twins have made for him on the floor with all his Lighting McQueen blankets. He's smiling, trying hard to stay awake, asking about his doggie bag from the restaurant.

Now I understand why so many men fantasize about twins. Oh, what could happen with twins ... “Oh yeah, you do the laundry. Press there. Ooo, that’s good. And you'll do dinner? Good. A little lower … lower. There. That’s it. That’s where the pots are.”

I am so there.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Julia & Me

Long before the movie Julia & Julie came out, I fell in love with Julia Child.

No. I didn’t get the title wrong.

Julie & Julia makes no sense. Julia Child takes second billing to no one.

I blame my husband for my crush on Julia. In 2004 he gave me
Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child. Before I turned the last page, I started reading it again. Then again.

You see. The similarities between us are striking. I will bullet them for you.
  • Julia is really tall with curly, reddish-brown hair. I’m really tall with curly, reddish-brown hair.
  • Julia performed in community theater. I performed in community theater and dinner theater. (I can’t over italicize the kismet-quality of that one.)
But it doesn’t stop with physical attributes and a willingness to embarrass oneself.
  • Julia lived in New York City after graduating from college, worked a job she didn’t like and partied a lot. I lived in New York City after graduating from college, worked a job I didn’t like and partied a lot.
Okay. Many people did that. But what about …
  • Julia lived in China as a young woman looking for adventure. I lived in China as a young woman looking for adventure.
And …
  • Julia met and fell in love with a guy in China who turned out to be her future husband. I met and fell in love with a guy in China who turned out to be someone else’s husband.
Now it's getting weird.

Wanting to spend more time with Julia, I became a regular at her Smithsonian kitchen, watched her old cooking shows and sat transfixed when PBS paid tribute to her in their American Masters series. I taped it and pop it in my VCR every couple of months. So we can hang. I even bought Mastering the Art of French Cooking without the slightest intention of ever using it. (Our uncanny similarities end in the kitchen.)

Oh sure. Now she’s on the tips of everyone’s beef tongues. But trust me. If you gushed about Julia Child at a cocktail party a scant couple of years ago, people didn’t clamor to be an arc in your conversational orb.

A Bored Person: “Really? Julia Child? No, I can't say I've really thought of her.”

A Gushing Me: “Oh, well, let me tell you when it all started. Back in …”
  • Julia worked for the Office of Strategic Services during wartime in a China-related capacity. I worked for the Department of Defense during wartime in a China-related capacity.
Julia and I are thick as thieves.
  • Julia didn’t have a career plan and stumbled upon her lot comparably late in life. I don’t have a career plan and stumble upon things a lot especially late at night.
We late bloomers love stories like Julia's.

And I did love the movie. Well, half of it. The Julia half.

Truth be told, I didn't like the Julie Powell character, the woman who took on the daunting task of cooking her way through Julia's tome. I don’t care how much you’re fighting with a non-congealing aspic, you
do not call Julia Child a bitch.

But I would pay full ticket price again just to hear Meryl Streep’s Julia say “stiff cock.” “Bon Appetit!”

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What I Know About Alice

This wasn't going to be my first post. I had something else in mind. Pickling. Because I've heard that pickling is supposed to be the new knitting.

But when I pushed my son’s stroller through a busy intersection in Washington, D.C.’s trendy Dupont Circle where Connecticut Avenue meets Florida Avenue, I saw half a dozen bicycles painted stark white and strapped to poles on sidewalks and traffic islands.

It stopped me. So odd-looking.

Some bicycles have bouquets of flowers tied to them or single blooms stuck in the spokes. Others have notes attached to them. There are dozens of missives on the sidewalk written in colorful chalk.

“Happy Birthday, Alice.”

“I miss your smile.”

“She was always supposed to be older than me.”

The chalk messages also told me that this is where Alice died in a bike accident on July 8, 2008. Her birthday was on September 15. She would’ve been 25 years old.

That's what I know about Alice.