Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I am incapable of really enjoying my own parties, I think. I guess that's makes some sense - I'm busy, there's stuff to do, I'm always sure that no one is having nearly as good a time as I want them to - but I just keep throwing parties anyway. And I like hosting. I just don't enjoy it.

To backtrack a bit: Friday I had a stuffed-up head and a serious urge to take to my bed, but instead we went to a Giants game. It was Korean heritage night, our friend brought us Korean flags to wave, and the weather was even warm....ish.
I only made it to the seventh inning before begging Mike to take me home to rest, but it was our good fortune to get picked up by a stretch limo after searching fruitlessly for a free cab. It was a super 80's limo, dented and dinged, with upholstery that I tried to touch as little as possible. For the price of a cab ride we got a circuitous tour of the city, and when I got out to pay, the driver had a tiny fluffy white dog sitting on his lap. So that was good.

We had our housewarming on Saturday. It was an interesting crowd - lots of good friends showed up, but many couldn't make it because it was Pride weekend. In their stead came a whole lot of people I didn't really know. And it was fun! Well, I mean, through my frenzy and chugging of red wine, it looked like everyone else was having fun. One guy wrote us afterward to say it was the best housewarming he'd ever been to! So that was gratifying.

Also, I made some kickass food (a spicy slaw and a cool slaw, potato salad, my mom's cucumber salad) and the lady and gent on meatstuffs duty served me an absolutely stellar burger.
My red wine-sparkling lemonade cocktail (called Tinto de Verano) was an unlikely hit - or maybe I just drank it all myself - and, of course, we finished the keg of homebrew amber ale. We got the firepit going when the fog rolled in, and I even fought through my headcold to make it out to another party later in the evening.
Sunday we did a ton of work in our garden - a gardenwarming of sorts. Mike got bit by a rose bush,
but it was worth it. For me, at least. It turns out I love weeding. It's so satisfying to clear an area of little grasses and evil snails, and then - soon - we put in all our veggies and flowers. And then, oh man, THEN I will throw parties where I relax, because I will refuse to leave my garden. You will see me waving goodbye to my guests from my tent staked near the rose bushes, grabbing fistfuls of herbs to smell them and refusing to head to my bed, even though it is only 100 feet away.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Boston. And polenta.

Last night I made a big batch of tomato sauce from scratch. We ate it with polenta (from Napa's old mill, previously blogged about) and spinach sauteed with garlic. This meal makes me feel like I am in charge of the planet, because I can make something so delicious and pretty and filling. See?
It is also nesting food, and I have been nesting since our trip to Boston over the weekend. We stayed with wonderful friends who we miss terribly and saw so many of our buddies. I ate lobster rolls and we played Fingers and drank way too much and danced.
Then on Saturday we woke up and did it all over again, except this time with my family at my cousin's wedding. Here my family looks super happy, except for Mike, who looks very un.
It was a beautiful ceremony. There was a little rain halfway through, but it passed in a minute and cooled the evening down agreeably.
At the reception we posed for a photo booth and I laughed my ass off. My uncle looks very good in a floppy hat.
And then, inevitably, we did Vase Races, a tradition that Mike started at my cousin's wedding a few years ago. We line up (usually boys v girls) and drink beer out of the centerpieces. It looks like this.
Amanda here is an expert because the tradition kicked off at her wedding (also she played rugby in college), and she got in trouble for it. At her wedding my aunts also played double dutch with tied-together napkins, and another aunt did the Worm on the dance floor.

We spent Sunday hanging out with my parents on Newbury Street, eating tapas and drinking sangria in perfect weather. It all made for a very very good time, but also made me want to lay down on my couch when I got home and not get up for a while. Neeesting. Hence the polenta. Which, yes, I did eat on the couch.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bull True

Have you seen the Gwyneth Paltrow movie Country Strong? If so, two things: 1) my condolences, and 2) you need to read this Go Fug Yourself post on it. They tear. it. apart. Hilariously, and justifiably.
It's really awful. I watched about a third of it on a flight, and I tried to forget about it as soon as possible. GFY gets it right: Too Terrible for Lifetime.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


If you haven't read it before (actually, even if you have) I recommend checking out David Foster Wallace's 2005 commencement address at Kenyon College. It's brilliant.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Welcome to Pyongyang

These photos of Pyongyang are amazing. Check out this train station.

Friday, June 10, 2011


It's a beautiful day! And I'm working from my porch! I am, it is true, wearing a blanket because my porch is covered and therefore not super warm, but its shadiness is what enables me to use my computer while sitting on it, so I am not going to complain.

I just posted photos from my family's vacation to Vegas in April on Facebook. It took me this long to go through all the photos, both because I took way too many desert pictures, and because it's been so busy. A quick sampling:
This weekend will involve finally finishing the assembly of my ENORMOUS and BEAUTIFUL custom wardrobe/closet thing, heading up north to some hot springs for a bachelorette party, and planning our garden. I've got big plans, folks, big plans.

Monday, June 6, 2011


This weekend was all about recovery from the last few weeks. I got to putter around the house and the neighborhood, catch up with friends, and eat some good food. Sunday I went a little overboard at the farmer's market, and, faced with several baskets of strawberries, made Smitten Kitchen's Strawberry Summer Cake. Highly recommended.
On a walk around the neighborhood I saw this, which is now going to be the name of my future band.
Or what I will call my first novel when I start writing dirty fiction.

Last night Mike had a show at the Rickshaw Stop, which had a fancy light show. Look how fancy.
And their vinyl is now out! How rad looking is it? It also comes in regular black vinyl.
You should buy it.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Nibbling summer

For the past few weeks I have been in New York, for work and for pleasure. I visited my parents' house in Pennsylvania, where we ate on the deck and relaxed and visited with my dad's bees.
And in the city I climbed a ladder to the new Google cafeteria,
And ate hot dogs at publishing parties,
And helped throw a pretty good publishing party myself.
Then I went to Mike's cousin's wedding, which was over the top (fireworks!) and very fun. It was real summer - sweat and lovely warm nights and so many mosquitoes - and I really enjoyed it. More photos to come, when I get a chance to go through them all.

Return to home cookin'

Last night was the first time that I cooked in the new apartment. Over the past few weeks snacks were thrown together, fruit was consumed, but a real meal had not been born here. So, voila.
A totally chaotic cornucopia of veggies. Roasted brussels sprouts, cabbage (redundant? yes. delicious? most definitely), asparagus and fennel, with pinto beans and black lentils and quinoa, topped with diced cucumber and bell pepper and parsley and a vinaigrette. In case you were wondering, no, I don't ever have any idea what I'm doing when I'm cooking.

Tonight the beans, pepper, quinoa and parsley got some more loving, piled on slightly stale tortillas (waste not...) with sliced eggplant, pickled jalapenos, tomato sauce, and cheese.
(not yet cooked)
Does the new apartment feel 100% like home yet? Not quite. But a few more crazypants meals like these and it will.