Tuesday, July 25, 2006

It occured to me today while talking with my manager that people that most Republicans I have met are pessimists while Democrats have been optimists. Both have very different approaches to life, love and war.

Sisters - ugh.

My two older sisters are 7 & 8 years older than I am and have always fought like cats and dogs. You cannot be around them for more than 15 minutes before the complete opposites jealousy and bickering rears its ugly head. They fight over everything from how one sister wears her hair, talks to men (the younger of the two has been a lesbian for 10 years so she now thinks she has a better understanding of male/female relationships), I could go on and on. So, they are now in their 40s and still see each other 'for their sons' on a semi-regular basis. They have caused the family so much grief over the years and still have this messed up attitude that "we're family so we have to help each other out". The thing is, I physically left long ago and once I did that, I was able to figure out who I am and what I'm about without the harsh judgements of family. I really wish they could do that - they're stuck in this co-dependant spiral that is so unhealthy for both of them.

The reason I'm bringing this up is because I'm headed back to Seattle for a family visit (I don't dare call this a vacation) and it seems that the family is preparing for my visit by fighting - all around. My friend I mentioned several months back is having financial problems again and is still in denial, my sisters have betrayed each others trust again so they're pissed off... I'm taking a 5 hour flight for this? Really, I would just as soon hop on a plane to London and hang out with friends overseas.

Is there ever an end to family bickering? Is there hope?

I'm almost looking forward to my return flight home to Connecticut.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Simple salad

I love Southern European cuisine, especially Italian because it is based on only a small amount of ingredients - off the top of my head: basil, tomatoes, capers, garlic, sardines, arugula, Parmesan and mozzarella cheese, prosciutto ham, olives and its oils, sardines and of course the endless pastas and hearty breads. Just throw a few of them together or add an egg or slice of fish and you've got a meal.

Tonight in Ridgefield, Connecticut, it is a gorgeous evening at a perfect 72-degrees outside. My husband and I sat on the patio and grilled Italian sausages and had it along with a simple salad - all from the local organic delivery company.

2 handfuls ripped arugula
1 handful cherry tomatoes sliced diagonally (on the bias, if you will)
small amount of Parmesan cheese, finely grated
small amount virgin olive oil
sprinkle of fleur de sal

The arugula and tomatoes came from Hudson Valley farms, the others, Italy. I've found that because of tighter controls on food production in Europe, it is easy to find the equivalent of USDA organic. To Europeans, food production seems to be more about keeping the integrity and quality of the product high and that means keeping the chemicals and bioengineered foods off the shelves. It's about quality not quantity. Ultimately, you are satisfied with less.

In good health.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

My mellow weekend

I'm still getting over this cold that hit me last Saturday in New York. I haven't been running or doing any other exercise but I have found the energy to get some more painting done in the kitchen. There is so much moulding in such a small space! 3 doors, 2 windows and 2 doorways, with moulding all the way around. Painting the trim is a reminder of why I love modern design - so straight-forward, clean and pure. Design should be true to its roots and not try to look like anything it isn't. A beautiful wood grain is stunning with a simple beeswax coating and a piece of stone or leather are beautiful when polished. Our home is not that. It is a simple Cape Cod built in the 40s and is pretty typical of that era. The cherry wallpaper matched the check curtains which match the linolium floor and 'shabby chic' chandelier in the dining area. Slowly we are updating our home so that we are comfortable here but it is an ongoing project.

The one area of the house that I really appreciate from the previous owners work is the garden. This being our first year here, I'm letting everything grow, weeds and all so that I can see what is a weed and what isn't. The beautiful thing is that pretty much everything I've let grow, has blossomed into incredible color, week after week. While pulling weeds this afternoon scents from the plants were intoxicating. Anise and stargazer lilies and mint mixed with the warm summer air and put me in a place where I was completely present. The weeds are an uphill battle but its one I don't mind fighting.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Modern without pretension

Saturday night my husband and I met up with our friend that lives downtown. I love the MoMA so we decided to start at the MoMA bar, The Modern. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is a beautiful space and was staffed by knowledgeable and very friendly people. There was absolutely no sense of people wanting to be seen or seeing anyone despite the fact that there probably are quite a few regular 'successful' people that dine there. Thee interior is great with modern furnishings throughout. Each of the kumquat mojitos I enjoyed were perfectly muddled and not too sweet and the small plate of scallops with lobster consomme were excellent. The food is leaning toward Alsatian with lots of seafood choices but there's a little bit of everything to choose from and it is all beautifully presented.

I learned afterward that this is actually a Danny Meyer restaurant - it is very different than his other places (Union Square Grill, Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke and one of my favorites - Tabla). The energy is much more sleek and well, modern than his other restaurants which tend to feel like nice but kind of corporate neighborhood restaurants. The Modern is a place you can go to get consistently good food and the staff would know your name by your 2nd or 3rd visit. I suppose that is what makes it a Danny Meyer restaurant. Cheers.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

It's a Nuclear War on the Dance Floor at the Gay Bar!

Wee hoo. As soon as 5:00 hits, I'm picking up the dog and my husband and we're heading to Manhattan for a long weekend. Tonight we'll be in Brooklyn to see the one and only Electric Six. A great mix of disco, rock and punk. It will be a damn fine way to start the weekend. I'll head over to the DaDa exhibit tomorrow followed by lounging in a cafe outside somewhere and then back to Brooklyn for William's birthday bash at his bar Magnetic Fields. The rest of the weekend? Probably some walks on the Lower East side and Central Park with the dog. Rock on kids!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Trophy wife says trophy words

My husband and I were driving in Westport over the weekend and we stopped into Mitchell's clothing store. I've seen the ads and have been curious about it, thinking it might be like Mario's in Seattle: Boutique, fun well made, designer clothing with great sales. Anyhow, we pulled into the parking lot filled with no less than Ferrari's, Mercedes, BMWs and hmm, I think an Audi (no joke, at least 20 cars of these makes). We pull our little VW in and go inside. Everyone that worked there was great and very welcoming but we were the youngest customers with everyone else in their upper 40s and dressed in non-descript clothing despite the Hermes, Armani Collectione and Missoni departments in the store. There was a sale happening so I walked over to the section of my size looking for anything interesting. Just behind me I hear a woman laugh and look over to see a sales girl listening to a blonde 50ish 5'4" size 4 woman with too much make-up and her 60ish husband that is wearing Tommy Bahama or something similar. The woman's laughter burst out and she said "oh GOD, I would NEVER buy anything on sale!". I really wish I had a camera. The woman captured the epitome of 'new money' that moves to Connecticut. So, I figure that she basically has given enough bjs in her time that she has earned the right to not wear anything that was purchased on sale. Granted, I don't know this couple but I imagine they are little more than boring.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Monday, July 03, 2006

Dipping your toes in organic

If you don't eat organic or not sure what it means or where to start, the attached Consumer Reports information might be helpful to you.