Thursday, June 26, 2008

what other presents?

By the way, I'm still doing the present a day thing for Col's birthday. Tuesday, I gave him a subscription to Dwell magazine. Yesterday, some DVDs. Today, I did him a favor. Not quite sure what's in store for tomorrow. We're driving down to New York after work. Maybe I'll give him this: a good attitude for the entire 6 hours in the car :-)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

a present a day

It's Colin's birthday week. He turns 32 on Friday. We've got lots of activities planned for the weekend: NYC, friend time, surfing on Long Island, karaoke in the city...

This year, I had a really hard time figuring out what to get him. So I got him a bunch of little things and decided to give him one a day till Friday. Here's the first:

2 red-eye robot mugs made by a Burlington artist, Dan Siegel. (Found him at the Burlington Farmers' Market.)

Oh, and what did Colin buy for himself? Two tickets for the both of us to see Sigur Ros in Montreal in September. YES!!!


Sunday, June 22, 2008

where I've been

All of a sudden, it's Sunday afternoon and I have not written a word in two weeks. How is this possible? I certainly have lots to write about. It's all a blur.

Last Saturday, we had a bridal shower for our good friend Mindy. It was in Morristown at her friend Kelly's house. That's where we saw the luna moth and peonies. Kelly has a culinary degree from the Cordon Bleu in Paris. And the shower was an elegant dinner with the gorgeous cocktails accompanying each course. You know the rose champagne cocktails they serve at Smokejacks? We had those. So good!

Kelly made these yummy mini lobster rolls for an appetizer:

And the cake was a Vermont strawberries and cream from Mirabelles:

On the drive home, it was raining so hard, Em and I had to pull off on the side of the interstate to let it pass. It took us over an hour to get back to Burlington, but I was home in time to take a quick cat nap and pick Col up from the airport at around 1:00 a.m. He was just getting in from Hong Kong. He didn't bring me any more tights (thank goodness!) but he did bring me a gorgeous striped jersey cardigan from Muji, our favorite Japanese store that we first discovered in Paris.

On Tuesday, we went and looked at a place that we were thinking of buying together. It's an apartment in a beautiful old Victorian building that's been converted to condos. We both loved the place and decided to put in an offer. Since then, it's been quite a whirlwhind, signing papers, making phone calls, feeling nervous... we finally came to an agreement on Thursday night and finalized the contract yesterday. Holy crap!

We still have to go through inspection, financing and closing, but it's hard not to start thinking about all the things we want to get at Ikea to decorate. This is a huge deal for us. It's our first home. It's our first home together. And it's so us. We feel so grown up. Without giving too much away, here's a glimpse of one of the windows:



Sunday, June 08, 2008


My friend Jewel came over to visit today. I apologized for the mess in my apartment. The stuffy humid air. The cats were strewn about like lions in the hot Sahara.

It didn't really matter. We went out onto the porch where there was a slight whisper of a breeze off the lake. We opened a bottle of chilled white wine. It was a lovely Vermont wine Emi & I just discovered at the Farmers' Market—Montcalm Lacresent. A perfect wine for a hot summer afternoon on the porch. The nice gentleman at the market (I think he looks like Don Quixote might've looked) said the Lacrescent grape is similar to muscat, I told her.

"My father loved muscat," Jewel mused. "So this is perfect. White wine balances the vata."

"What's vata? I asked.

"It's ayurvedic. It's an Indian belief that the body is made of three elements called doshas. Vata is the airy, spacey one."

I love Jewel for these colorful bits of conversation. I said, "It kind of sounds like the French word for void or empty, vide." I wondered if there was a connection. If so, I thought, then what she was saying was somewhat true. I'd been in up in my thoughts all weekend. Some of that is good, but too much can be debilitating. You need a balance. The wine, the company, the conversation was all very nourishing–it brought me down to ground level.

We started talking about Jewel's dad. She showed me the eulogy her brother had written for the funeral. She talked about her father's last words and how they made her want to go to start going to Temple again.

I wanted to say, "I'll go with you next time, if you want." But I don't know if that's allowed. I'm not Jewish. And I really don't know how I feel about Temple or vata or death.

I started thinking about Mama Sonia, my grandmother. I wish she wasn't so far away... I hope when we go to visit in a month... I hope, I hope...

Jewel helped me deadhead my petunias and thin out some potted herbs that were suffocating each other (her green thumb balances out my brown, albeit well-intentioned one). She complimented my window boxes—and I was proud. That means a lot coming from her!

We made plans to get together soon. And then it was time for her to go. It was bittersweet. I was sad for Jewel. I was sad, because then I thought of Mama Sonia and how much I miss her and how I wish I was a better granddaughter and called her every week like my sisters and cousins do.

But despite it all, at that moment, I felt serene. I felt glad for friendship and silly conversations. I felt glad for my petunias and basil. I felt glad about Vermont wine (if you can believe it!). I felt glad that there is so much to feel.

So much to feel, right now.


Friday, June 06, 2008

friday night, on my couch, and I don't care

I had kimchi for dinner again tonight. Before that I had three bowlfuls of Barbara's Shredded Spoonfuls with 2% milk.

Colin's in Hong Kong again, and I guess that's what becomes of me when I'm on my own. I eat crap. I sit on my couch and watch back to back episodes of What Not to Wear on TLC.

To be fair, I'm exhausted and just off. It was a crazy week at work. I've slept terribly the last few nights. I did attempt to walk into town when I got home, but I forgot that it's Jazz Fest and Church Street was so crowded people kept bumping into me. And it was muggy and my armpits were sweating. I kept having these horrible visions that I was going to trip on the uneven sidewalk and fall and everyone dining at Sweetwaters was going to laugh at me.

Sometimes I like people watching. But I don't like people watching me back.

Any-who, I booked it to the bookstore, bought Persepolis for bookclub (I'm very excited to read this one!) and came straight home. But not before I ran into my co-worker and breathed my cabbage kimchi breath all over her (mortifying!).

Now I'm on my couch with Au Lait curled up next to me. I think I'll take to the bed now, with my brand new issue of Bon Appetit and my feline foot warmers and a glass of wine.



Monday, June 02, 2008

garage sale today!

Cheese Trader's annual garage sale, that is. If you already know what I'm talking about, then you don't need to read any more, just get there before Saturday! (And if you can't make it, then I'm very, very sorry.)

If you don't know what I'm talking about, then you should. This is a once a year event when the store marks down hundreds of bottles of wine (for as little as $2.99 a bottle), cheese, crackers and other fun nibbles so that bargain hunters like you and me can go in and have their hey day.

Em, Kev and I made the trip today after work and really went a little nuts. Still, I'm tempted to go back later in the week when they put out more (different) stock. It's addicting!

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