Thursday, January 31, 2008

Here’s a huge difference between Europe and America. Everyday, I ride my bike with a wicker basket full of stuff up and down Kings Highway to and from work in my black coat, red scarf and red beret. Nothing special, right? Not so quick. People come up to me all the time and say “Are you the woman in the red hat who rides the bike with the wicker basket?” and when I reply yes, they are absolutely poetic about a) how cool my bike is (it is, I must say), b) how “European” I look, and c) how great it is that I ride around to work and doing errands everyday. In Europe, everyone does this year round. I am a huge object of curiosity in this tiny town and that amazes me. Our town is small and parking is a nightmare. Driving takes longer than walking or cycling. Get with the program people and hop on those fancy bikes I know are sitting unused in your garages!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I am totally pissed because I just noticed the dress which I bought from Garnet Hill and have worn one time (and posted a picture of it a week ago) has a gash in it that I did not notice. I wasn't cheap and it's going back.

Thinsg are moving along with Chris' immigration which is good. We had a conference call yesterday with the lawyers to prep us about our official meeting next Monday and they were positive about all aspects of his case so fingers and toes crossed.

Swinging wildly between Hillary and Obama. On one hand, really want to pull that lever for a woman, and I do admire Hillary, but on the other have been succumbing to Barack Obama's charisma and message for change. Our Super Tuesday primary is next week and I think I'm pulling for Hillary. Right now. All subject to change.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

It's late Sunday afternoon and I am totally wiped after much merry making all weekend. A good friend from Munich was on business here in the States and planned his trip through Philly so he could spend a few days with us, which has been fun, but exhausting. Friday night we had a long one in town which culminated in cheesesteaks at 2:30 a.m. and yesterday we had some of Chris' football pals in for chili and homebrew and no one left till 2 a.m. Mick's going back to Munich on tonight's US Air flight with which we are very familiar and Lisa, Mike and dogs are coming over to have leftovers.

Time for a quick nap.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Heath Ledger. Sad no matter what happened. His portrayal of Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain was haunting and it's sad to see such a talented person's life get cut short.

Still cold here but not as bitter thank heaven.

I have the cutest dress on which I bought from Garnet Hill, my new favorite source for clothes.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Our house is old by American standards - somewhere between 115 and 120 years old, poorly insulated and in need of new windows so when it is extremely cold outside, it simply does not warm up properly. Our bedroom is on the third floor and we have electric baseboard heat up there so we've been camping out up there. Last night, we had a pizza on our bed. It's cozy, nice and sort of fun. I'll be ready for a change though.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

It's like a frozen tundra outside and I have no plans other than staying in, cooking, watching a movie or two and having our friends come by for some pulled pork, which I am slowly roasting right now. The whole house smells incredible and I think it just feels more cozy when something is cooking. Chris is going to brew some Munich style helles and I am going to make a loaf of French bread. We sound frighteningly domesticated, but I've always been a nester. I'm thrilled that I have absolutely no reason to go out of the house. Friends with their dogs are coming to us, a lot of wine will be drunk and we'll have some laughs. A perfect day.

We had a great day yesterday as well - went to the Delaware Art Museum with Joanna to see the amazing permanent collection of Pre-Raphaelites, supposely the biggest and best outside of Britain, as well as the temporary John Sloan exhibit, which ends today and which I absolutely loved, being a huge fan of The Ashcan School and The Eight. The paintings all centered on New York in the first third on the 20th century and I loved every single one of them. Afterwards, we drove into South Philly and had some pizza and a few beers, came home for a few hours and then went out around 9:30 to see John's band with a bunch of people - really fun. John's totally enjoying playing with these guys and it's a huge relief from his pressure cooker career. It makes me feel good to see him so loose and happy.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Another blue day. It's got to be January. I've not much to be unhappy about, but I am just feeling so low and listless.

We had a lot of fun last night. We're headed out for dinner with another group tonight to meet our good friend's new boyfriend, with whom she is head over heels in love. She's a fantastic person and deserves some real happiness. Am pulling for her. I'm thinking my mood will perk up when I see everyone.

It didn't help that Chris and I got into a silly spat this morning, which was just plain dumb and we've sorted it out. We never let things go on without a chat and a resolution. It's something we have done since our relationship began and I think it's healthy.

Right. Upstairs for a quick nap.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

It's snowing heavily outside our window and it looks absolutely beautiful. Here's the view from our second floor.

I love it!

We're going to walk downtown tonight to have sushi with Lisa and Mike at Fuji accompanied by a bunch of wine, sake, and home brewed beer. It's always a terrific night as the sushi there is absolutely incredible and the four of us have a great time together talking, arguing about politics and laughing at everything. They are one of our closest couple friends here in the States, right up there with Tom and John, who we adore too.

Snow, ya gotta love it!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Yesterday was so long and so dark and I really reacted to it. Today is much better. Got up to a sunny but cold day, cycled over to Starbucks where I spent an hour with the gang and that really helped. I definitely feel more blue when it is overcast and/or dark and I have to remind myself of that.

Planty sent a sweet and encouraging e-mail. Thanks mate, as he would say, it really helped!

Lots to do here at work. The project which we are working on locally has been recognized by the Delaware Valley Smart Growth Alliance and it is a real honor and particularly gratifying because we killed ourselves on it. We're working on another Smart Growth application for another organization and are hoping it's going to be easier - fingers and toes crossed.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I'm miserable and lonely today and trying really hard not to convey it to Chris in New York. It's cold and it gets dark early and I hate hate hate eating alone, but there's nothing to be done. Thank heaven for the dog. Lisa and Mike stopped by last night which helped break up the night. Right now I am looking at another long night alone and feeling sorry for myself. I had been hoping Chris would skip out of New York to be home for dinner tomorrow night, but that's not to be as he has plans with a former colleague. Shit. Guess I'll see him Thursday night.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Back. Again. Let's see how long I make it this time.

So what's happening here? A lot of home brewing by Chris, for one thing. His IPA is amazing, really polished and nice, The first go was not the best but he's been improving and now is really getting up to speed. I mentioned him teaching me, but he's afraid that I'll go all competitive on him, a legitimate worry if ever there were one.

Very quiet in the house today as Chris is in New York again. During the holiday season, I had gotten quite used to having him around and I do miss having him here. We're going on five years and it's been wonderful. We still are in synch. He just gets me and I get him. His absence is felt.

Watched the new adaptation of Jane Austen's Persuasion last night and hated it, which surprised me as I usually love that stuff. I had just re-read it and really knew the ins and outs of the book and was not thrilled with some of the liberties the producers seemed to take with it, especially the ending which had Anne Eliot running allover Bath chasing Captain Wentworth. Shudder. It was awful. But I do look forward to the rest of the Jane Austen stuff they will be presenting, with perhaps the exception of Northanger Abbey, Jane's nod to the Gothic fiction which was so pervasive during that time. They are running the BBC's version of Pride & Prejudice, with Colin Firth diving into the pond at Pemberley, be still my heart. It really is the definitive P & P, IMHO. There's a version of Emma with Kate Beckinsale which I have not seen before, but am looking quite forward to as I never bought Gwyneth Paltrow in the role. There's Sense and Sensibility, but it's going to have to go a long way to beat Ang Lee's film with Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet, which I loved. There's also a new version of Mansfield Park. My Sunday evenings from now till the beginning of April are booked solid!