Friday, August 29, 2008

I've had a splitting headache for the better part of the past two days. I went head to head with someone on one of our work projects on Wednesday and ever since then have had a headache. Can I blame it on verbal jousting or absorbing really misogynistic comments? I'd really love to, but I'm afraid it just has to do with the weather, which though lovely, has been a bit changeable recently. The dust up at work really threw me for a loop and unleashed a torrent of tears the likes of which haven't streamed down my face in ages. I was alone so I shut the door and just sobbed it out. I've had problems with this guy before and though we'd sort of kissed and made up, I knew his apologies were hollow but I just decided to keep things sweet for the sake of workplace harmony. I'll be professionally cool with him but that is all. I'm cocky enough to say out loud that I am well liked and fairly reasonable. His loss.

Have been crazy busy socially since Tara left last week. The weekend was a blur - in every possible way. Friday night was spent celebrating both of my sisters' birthdays - loads of cocktails, Saturday was two parties - Jason's birthday in the afternoon with lots of booze as usual, and poker at night with lots of beer and Sunday was a friend's dad's 70th and we went but kept it relatively real. This week has been all about paying penance for last weekend's excesses.
But never fear, I'm sure we'll be off on a spree this three day weekend...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

It's been quite a week here at work. We are adding some new accounting software to ease our tax preparations and the brunt of this has fallen on me, which is fine, but it's been a challenge. All sorts of stuff has gone wrong and I have had to stop and fix things along the way. But I am just about ready to get up to speed so am happy about that.

Really interested in all the Obama vice president drama and am curious to see who he finally chooses. I'd be happy with Joe Biden. I would have probably been happy with him as president actually. ABM. Anybody but McCain.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

An old family friend Tara is in town to visit. Aside from when I saw her in Munich for a few days, we haven't seen her in thirty years. She lives in Phoenix and came east with her friend Karen and her daughter Chelsea to see Chelsea off to college in Switzerland.

Every time we talked or emailed, she woudl wax poetic about hoagies so we had a bunch of them last night. What a fun night it was too. Lisa and the girls came and they brought the hoagies and we all sat in the yard on a beautiful summer evening eating and drinking beer and laughing and crying. Seven women and Chris, bless him!

Today we're headed to Gina's for a barbecue and pool party. Really should be fun.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Twenty Five Random Songs I Really Love In No Particular Order (beware: I plan to be adding more lists…)

1. The Whole of the Moon – The Waterboys
2. Waterloo Sunset – The Kinks
3. Falling Slowly – Glenn Hansard & Marketa Irglova
4. 2Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten – Lucinda Williams
5. Polyester Bride – Liz Phair
6. Sandy – Bruce Springsteen
7. Tangled Up in Blue – Bob Dylan
8. California Stars - Billy Bragg and Wilco
9. Romeo and Juliet – Dire Straits
10. Don’t Go Back to Rockville – R.E.M.
11. To Sir With Love – Lulu
12. Walking Down Madison – Kirsty MacColl
13. Fairytale of New York – The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl
14. In My Life- The Beatles
15. Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones
16. Thunder Road – Bruce Springsteen
17. Into the Mystic – Van Morrison
18. Pump It Up – Elvis Costello
19. One – U2
20. Suspicious Minds – Elvis Presley
21. Jolene – Dolly Parton
22. Sexual Healing – Marvin Gaye
23. Like A Prayer – Madonna
24. Maggie May – Rod Stewart
25. Knowing Me, Knowing you - Abba

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It's only 7 p.m. amd the weather is still perfect here so I thought I would take advantage of it by taking Rooney out for a nice walk. He LOVES getting out for walks and goes absolutely berserk when he sees the poop bags or his leash come out. It's cute.

Our normal Pilates instructor is on vacation so we had a fill-in who just about kicked my ass up and down the street, but she was awesome. I absolutely enjoyed it because it was new and a real challenge. I was able to hang through most of it and that made me very happy.

I am doing loads of work at Buckingham this week which is good too. Bob and Lynn are both away so I really have a chance to attend to some long dormant stuff. I miss them though - it's dead quiet.

Righty-o, off for that walk.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The weather is still spectacular, absolutely beautiful with not a trace of humidity. I know this won't last so I am enjoying every minute of it.

I've been gathering estimates for having the exterior of our house painted and I have one word: Ouch! But it needs to be done and we're not painting three stories by ourselves like Lisa and Mike. We're also talking to Johnny B about putting in a patio and I am totally excited about that. He does great work and really gets my aesthetic. So it's all go go go here on Colonial Avenue.

Chris has a few weeks of vacation time left so we are looking at the Russian River Valley or Sonoma in California in October. We're trying to drag along some friends to make it a party!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Yippee - it's Friday. The weather has broken and the entire town seems to have decamped to the beach for the month of August so it's quite nice here at the moment.

Lots on this weekend. Dinner at Stephen Starr's new place Parc tonight with Cat and Jeb, grilled pizza here tomorrow night with Craig, Maria and Andy and the beach on Sunday with Jo, Tom and John.

Digging this whole grilled pizza thing. Am using a recipe from Al Forno in Providence, where I had the best pizza outside of Naples. It's a really fun night out in the yard with friends, wine and beer.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

I'm reading Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon--And the Journey of a Generation by Sheila Weller and am devouring it in record time. It's really interesting and full of insider gossip and a lot of background on the songs. Of the three, all of whom I enjoy, Joni Mitchell is, has been and always will be an idol of mine and I've been listening to her music all week. I have just about everything she's ever recorded but my two favorite records by her are Blue and Court and Spark because they really informed my teenage years. Not to leave Carole King or Carly Simon in the dust. I think I must have worn my copy of Tapestry out and the same is true of Anticipation and No Secrets. But it's always been Joni for me. In the book, she comes off as cool, complicated, intense and difficult but with real integrity which hardly came as a surprise. The book's also neat because the entire music community seemed to be sleeping with one another and I eat that sort of salacious gossip up like nobody's business!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Chris is off again and I am having a very quiet day alone. Worked for a few hours, hit the gym, Shop Rite, did some gardening and am now going to forage for dinner and knit. Really wish I were sharing this night with Chris though.

Tomorrow Jo and I are sneaking off to the beach. We have a whole routine which basically revolves around parking near a really good pizza spot where we can grab lunch. Funny. I am looking forward to it - love spending quality time alone with Jo. It doesn't happen that often anymore but it's something which means a lot to me (and her too I am hoping!).

Sunday, August 03, 2008

It's a perfect day here - not too much humidity and a bit of a breeze. We took our coffee and the papers out back and watching Rooney with a rabbit who lives in our yard. They have become totally socialized and stand as close as six inches apart which is amazing. Rooney is fascinated with him and the rabbit tooks no notice. It's sweet as can be. Also, Rooney has to begun to point at him - and he's a lovely pointer. I guess the breed is coming out in him as he becomes more and more secure. We've had him two years and he has come such a long way from the cowering, sad dog we adopted. We adore him.

Off to see Les Miserables with my family and some friends at the Walnut Street Theatre this afternoon. Looking forward to it.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Continuing with the theme of hot, I wanted to talk about Pilates, which I’ve been doing for a few months once or twice a week. It’s held in the basement of the Haddonfield First Presbyterian Church and it’s as cheap as chips (Britspeak from Chris and Catherine).The instructor is amazing – in her fifties, fit as anything and so encouraging. I absolutely love the entire experience and am signing him for the fall session as well – for Wednesday and Friday mornings. I go with my pals Lisa and Lynn but I might as well be alone because I totally get into my own zone.

The only bad part is that this summer, the basement’s been blazing hot. We leave there drenched and Lisa was feeling very woozy the other day. We’re all looking forward to some cooler weather!

P.S. The Haddonfield Presbyterian Church has some lovely authentic Tiffany windows which are worth a look!

Friday, August 01, 2008

August's NaBloPoMo's theme is HOT, which is perfect in every way. Last night after the absolutely sweetest parade evr, one which actually caused me to well up with emotion, I whipped up my penne arrabiatta for Chris. I still remember in vivid color the first time I had it, outside on a piazza in Rome, in March of 1994, with John Joyce. It was absolutely sublime in its simplicity and as soon as I came home I learned how to make it.

1 28 oz. San Marzano tomatoes - spend on the good DOP kind - worth every penny.
6 garlic cloves minced
5 T extra virgin olive oil
2 t red pepper flakes or more if you like things spiced up
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 c grated pecorino or parmigiano reggiano or both and more to grate
chopped fresh flat parsley - NEVER USE CURLY!!!
1 lb DeCecco Penne - again, use the good stuff.

Heat the minced garlic with the oil and saute until golden. Do not burn. If you do, toss it out and start again. Then add the red pepper flakes, swirl pan and cook for a minute longer. Then add the tomatoes which I like to break up with my hands as my mother taught us. Simmer for twenty minutes adding a touch of salt and pepper to taste. Meanwhile cook the penne in rolling boiling salted water until al dente. Drain. Add to sauce and cook a minute or two more to absorb all the flavor. Put in a serving bowl with cheese and toss with parsley. Serve with extra cheese and pepper flakes.

Anyway, it's now one of my staples and people love it. And it never fails to remind me of my first trip to Italy with John, one of my more memorable trips because Italy was everything I thought it would be and because with his artist's eye, John illuminated it in the most unique and beautiful way.