Friday, February 26, 2010

Champagne with your bloody WWII revenge epic, madame?


Last Labor Day weekend I had the great fortune to go to Sonoma, where I met the coolest sommelier on the planet, Chris Sawyer. Today my interview with him is posted at and


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Sunday, February 21, 2010

On the 7th Day She Rocks

I've carved out Sundays for my own. Most people know that I'm not up for plans (unless, perhaps, they've come from out of town or if it's a VERY special occasion). Not even the boyfriend gets time on Sundays, and that's saying a lot.

The routine goes like this, generally: wake up, flip through the paper, hit the farmer's market, ThriftScore, yoga, and then back home to do some kind of creative thing, like freelance or sew or make jewelry or try and make some kind of sense of my desk. Or paint. Or rearrange furnture. You get the picture. Sunday's always a solo day, with the major conversations happening in my head.

Today, though, I realized that I was surrounded by like-minded kindred souls. Two of my favorite girlfriends were at yoga. And I went fabric shopping for hours in the fashion district, pawing through hundreds of bolts of home decorating material, with a friend from work who is the only guy I know besides my Dad who can rock a sewing machine.

All the people I was with were on their own path. But the paths joined and we walked them together for a while. Kind of like being alone, with company, which was nice.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Nesting Frenzy

Here's what the equasion seems to be:

Informed about better-than-expected tax refund + news about great trip to Japan for 10 days + anticipating a child in the home + madly in love with boyfriend = INTENSE NESTING FRENZY

On my way to yoga tonight, I thought I'd buy Steve a sweater for Valentine's Day to introduce the prospect of possibly, maybe, providing a companion garment to the one he wears. All. The. Time.

But of course I had to make a detour into Anthropologie, because I have been invited on a trip to Japan for 10 days to taste sake and miso, and it is cold there, and clearly none of my current wardrobe will do. This is a store that switches my brain into French Bohemian mode and gives me all kinds of lifestyle fantasies, such as serving mint juleps to my guests in pink-washed glasses from Czechoslovakia, or having books on obscure cultural subjects on my coffee table, or hanging embroidered dish towels on fanciful ceramic knobs in the kitchen, or paying $238 for a sweater.

But tonight I found the happiest shower curtain ever on sale. And a couple knobs. And then I went on the hunt for coordinating towels and floor mat. And another curtain for the shower window because for the past five years, anyone who happens to walk by can get a pretty good idea through the frosted glass if it's a man or woman taking a shower. And a pot scrubber that looks like a flower. I don't know why that was so appealing.

And I will paint my bathroom this weekend and make it a cozy and scrumptious nest, which will perhaps give all who use it lifestyle fantasies.

I never made it to yoga. And maybe Steve doesn't even want a new sweater.

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

"A Hellish Toast to the Demons"

Every now and then I stumble on something or someone who is even crazier than the people in my family, and who goes beyond the borders of my wide-but-shallow imagination. Ladies and gentlemen, for your amusement only, I give you The Landover Baptist Church, which feels that the Pixar film "Up" is a nasty piece of work.

"Some churches, like Landover Baptist are pro-active about educating children about the dangers of seeing the movie, Up.  "We've spent millions of dollars to put together seminars for innocent little Christian children who have been psychologically damaged by not being allowed to see the movie, Up," says Pastor Deacon Fred. "We could fill the Lake of Fire with tears from all the Baptist children who have pleaded with their unwavering parents to see this film!  Disney has dealt a new card from the Devil's deck its time to force their hand!" he continued.  "I don't want them to keep putting these images into my anointed head! Do you? This latest movie, Up has me thinking about wrinkled old man sex!  It's just WRONG!  And all the while them Jewish producers and their fat cartoon artists sit and giggle - drinking a hellish toast to the demons who helped them create this nonsense."
I am certainly not anti-Baptist, or, really, anti-any religion. But please. People. Get a grip. Also, how do they know they won't like wrinkled old man sex until they've tried it?

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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Getting Closer

We're done. We're done with all the classes we need for adopting kids from the foster system. Today was a marathon -- first session on transracial / transcultural adopotions, and the second with parents who adopted from the system. Without exception, none of them got what they thought they wanted. Those who wanted one got three kids. Those who wanted two got four. And the parents who wanted a sibling set got a single little girl with some medical fragility that they were able to take on. The woman with her head set on an infant got two tween girls. All of the parents we met have attached with their kids as family, and can't imagine life any other way.

The good-hearted folks who work at our agency have intuitive superpowers. They are mystics who can see more clearly than a well-thought out plan. They are matchmakers. They are saving everyone's lives. We have a mountain of paperwork to complete. And then figuring out some logistics. With each passing day we get closer to our kid.

It doesn't feel like waiting. We have tasks. We relish our James Bond film festivals and little but important rituals together. When the time is right, Our Family will Be So.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Archaeology of a Life


My friends recently had to move their 90-year-old relative into a home. A new home, with people who can help him live right. Not the one he'd been in with his mother for many years until she died, and then alone for the next few decades until he could no longer manage.

This man, whom I'd never met and likely never will, was a saver. I know this because I went up to help clean out the house. He saved paystubs from the 1950s -- he'd worked as a mortician for 60 years, and each one of his pay stubs was placed neatly in a shoebox. He saved tiny parts to model planes and cars and boats that he'd assembled over the years. A museum's worth of electric shavers, still in their boxes with instructions. Sewing machines from the 1920s through the 1960s. He even kept dozens of identical white shirts and countless pairs of navy slacks. Every tie he'd ever owned, in every width that had gone in and out of style.

He'd never had a girlfriend or boyfriend. But I could tell what he loved by going through the house: the clocks he built, all which keep different time and bong without reason, on the :12 or the :37 or what have you; his 1950's mint condition Roadmaster and the 1983 El Camino that he ultimately drove into the garage wall, which signaled the end of his driving days; his mother's china, free of chips and cracks and stains (I later learned that he'd subsisted for 25 years on TV dinners after his mother had died). He loved his family, too. All their letters, Christmas and birthday cards, pictures and postcards, were bound and in boxes high in the closet.

All this digging, sorting, folding and chucking I've done over the past 48 hours makes me wonder about my personal archaeology now that I am 40licious. The diaries that date back to second grade will only confuse and alarm readers, as they were usually written in times of great upheaval. I don't know what I hope to leave behind. Hopefully a couple good ideas.

What's your legacy?

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