Monday, June 30, 2008

This is what I mean.

Sarah: have you checked bwe today?
Sent at 2:56 PM on Monday
me: no
Sarah: omg
me: ?
i am lookign at it now
Sarah: animals

Memo to David Plouffe & Barack Obama

Dude. I love you. I have donated. A lot, actually, considering my economic situation at the moment (somehow spent away my yearly bonus, my stimulus check and my tax refund within the span of like two months). I believe in the whole grass-rootsiness of your campaign, even to the point where I've forgiven you for backing out of public financing despite your embrace of it in principle. I'm finding it hard to forgive you for never mailing me my T-shirt that I bought back in January, even though at the time I wrote it off as just another $40 worth of a donation... or for having a really crappy customer service phone line. I am also pretty skeptical that you will ever mail me my "limited edition" DVD of your "More Perfect Union" speech, even though I donated before your "deadline" (read: end of the month, for reporting purposes, obvi) for that and before my friend Peattie did, and he got his DVD two weeks ago. Plus, I'm pretty pissed that you decided that the death penalty is ok, even if you only think it's ok in extreme cases, and I'm also pissed that you backed out of the fight on the FISA bill. So now I'm especially pissed that you keep sending me, every day, e-mails urging me to donate now! in order to get another "limited edition" T-shirt. So. Stop. Thank you.

We read blogs.

Sarah wrote her own post about Friday night here. It's much more coherent (and, arguably, more honest) than mine was, due in part to her lack of a blogger hiatus and also to the fact that I mostly just wanted to talk about Jason Segel.

It is highly entertaining, and awesome, that I have a friend here in the city who is just as plugged in to ridiculous interwebby incestuousness as I am. Someday we'll break through.

Word Overload

Well I watched a lot of TV this weekend. It was all actually a result of what happen Friday night, which was essentially accidental drunkenness. Sarah and I went to Zeitgeist right after work on Friday, split a pitcher, and then rolled up to Zoe's house where she cooked us a fabulous meal -- Parma ham and melon, caprese, and polenta cakes with a sort of veggie-mess-of-delicious-onion-and-mushroom-and-garlic-saute on top. A brief dance party at her place (where Sarah and I spent most of our time trying to perfect the Peattie dance) led to a trek to our favorite ground zero of non-divey dive bars, the Lone Palm, which is conveniently yet occasionally unfortunately located exactly halfway between Zoe's house and my own. We adjourned to my place for drunk munchies (although, since I have been watching what I eat, the available snacks consisted of a salami stolen from Dan, rice cakes, Laughing Cow cheese, and graham crackers. Seriously) and Arrested Development and all fell asleep on the futon. Morning started with each of us wondering exactly how we had ended up in such a state, and then Zoe and Ace and I went to Bar Tartine for brunch. Ace and I promptly returned home and back to the futon, where we watched a full disc of Undeclared and then adjourned for naps -- and then after that we started the next disc, which I finished on my own. At 9pm I faced the world briefly, renting the third disc and purchasing a very strange assortment of food at the bodega -- a Cup-O-Noodle, pickles, chocolate milk, and sour apple rings. I should clarify that I have not eaten Cup-O-Noodle since college, and damn, was it salty and delicious. I also ate it with a salad! Go me. Anyway, I finished Undeclared, which was only alright, but had enough cute moments to carry me through, and also led me to develop a weird crush on Seth Rogen with glasses. Yeah, I know. It's ok though, since Jason Segel continues to be number one. There is one episode where Lizzie, the main girl in the show, has sex with Adam Sandler, and is all worried to tell her boyfriend Eric (hrm, Jason Segel) about it. When she does, he's super thrilled for her, and my comment to Ace was that Adam Sandler was on her "list" -- i.e. the list of five celebrities that you are allowed to sleep with (given the chance) even if you are in a relationship. This may be some freakish invention of my generation but I know a lot of people who have lists. I am stating now that Jason Segel is on my list, although I don't know if I can really have a list if I'm not dating anyone, but perhaps it's more of a disclaimer: "Be prepared to share second-degree cooties with someone who wrote himself a movie role where he is fully, frontally nude, and also is obsessed with muppets." Um, ok, stopping now given the utter improbability of all of this.

Anyway, as it happens the Adam Sandler appearance in "Undeclared" inspired me to rent and watch "50 First Dates," which is actually very cute although totally ridiculous and unfortunately still riddled with awful Adam Sandler movie gags (you know, Rob Schneider's entire being, a walrus puke joke in the first ten minutes, an ambiguously female/male person making sexual comments). I subjected Ace to this movie just two days after subjecting her to "Definitely, Maybe," which is cuter and has less ick factor, and I have a girl crush on Isla Fisher. Then! We watched an episode of "How I Met Your Mother" on one of those illegal movie and TV episode aggregator websites.

(Perhaps you may be detecting a trend, which is that I've watched a LOT of TV lately.)

I'll wrap this up now since I'm sure it's boring, but the last thing I wanted to say is that yesterday morning Ace and I (Ace was sick this weekend, and I was first hungover and then lazy, so we were partners in laze crime) watched "The Bourne Ultimatum." I'd seen the first two movies and while I liked the first one a lot, the second one was kind of a blur to me and I didn't remember it at all. The third movie, however, was really good. Like, really good. I know they always say it's non-stop action, blah blah, but it really is, and it's super tense and only slightly hard to follow. Plus, Joan Allen kind of kicks ass, and this movie brings Bourne and Nicky (Julia Stiles) closer to getting it on, which I have been rooting for all along since I love Julia Stiles. In fact, for that reason alone I hope they make a fourth movie.

Related anecdote: When I was a kid, I remember my mom giving me "Sweet Thursday" to read and telling me that I would like it because there's "a little bit of romance in it." It was my introduction to Steinbeck -- I read that before "Cannery Row" -- and I love that my mom pulled that sneaky middle-school teacher trick to get me to read real literature instead of a Laura Ingalls Wilder book for the twentieth time. When you're a kid, you really don't want your parents to use "there's romance in it" as a persuasive tactic, because, ew, they are your parents, and for some reason we're all raised to pretend that we aren't interested in sex when we're little, but the truth is we're totally fascinated by it. And the funny thing is, I still think I'm like that with books and movies, hence half the tension in "Bourne Ultimatum" for me stemming from this chase scene where Nicky and Bourne are separated and being pursued by an assassin, and I was terrified that the killer would get to Nicky before Bourne could, and then they could never get it on. Seriously, I said this aloud. I am such a damn girl.

Alright. Enough for now. I miss blogging. Sorry for the logorrhea.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I hope and I pray for Hester to get just one more A

I spent half of last week trying to finish "The Music Man" on DVD -- yes, I own it on DVD -- and as a result I had the Music Man on the brain. I had a serious moment where I serenaded Ace with "Sadder but Wiser" and realized how totally effing bizarre that song is. Sort of scandalous or maybe sexist except that the whole movie is a satire, at least parts of it are, and so I take all that in stride. I happen to think that it's one of the best musicals ever, although I admit I'm not a huge fan of musicals in general, but apparently it won the Tony over "West Side Story" back in the day. It's highly cheesy but I love it to pieces, I suspect because it feels somehow familial. My grandparents taped it off of channel 13 when I was a kid (channel 13 became, and maybe was at the time, UPN, imagine that), and one of the kids in the movie (the little blond boy who dances and pushes the library cart around) apparently lived down the street from my parents. Plus, my grandpa was from Iowa, so somehow I imagined that this gave me some kind of personal stake in the movie. Either way, I had a grand old time watching it the other day and was just struck, not surprisingly, with the urge to watch "Sadder but Wiser" again on YouTube, an urge primarily stemming from my wondering whether it was actually on YouTube, which it is, and which in retrospect is not surprising. Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

This made me miss being an English major.

“Direct treatment of the ‘thing’ ” was the formula of the movement that Pound invented, in 1912: Imagism. In the Imagist model, the writer is a sculptor. Technique consists of chipping away everything superfluous in order to reveal the essential form within. “It took you ninety-seven words to do it,” Pound is reported to have remarked to a young literary aspirant who had handed him a new poem. “I find it could have been managed in fifty-six.” He claimed that his best-known short poem, “In a Station of the Metro,” took a year and a half to write, and that he had cut it down from thirty lines:

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

The form “made new” here is, of course, the haiku: two images juxtaposed to evoke a sensation—in this case, according to Pound, the sensation of beauty. It’s important to recognize, though, that the subject of the poem is not “these faces”; the subject is “the apparition.” (Otherwise, the first three words would be superfluous, subject to the Imagist razor.) The faces are not what matters. What matters is the impression they make in the mind of a poet. That is where the work of association takes place. This is what poets do: they connect an everyday x with an unexpected y.

(from The New Yorker, June 9. Also, further proof that you should always read all of The New Yorker, even if you think an article will bore you, as I thought with Pound because, come on, Pound.)

On freckles in literature

Forgive me this indulgence as a freckled person, but I'm re-reading "Middlesex" now and I forgot how damn good the whole part with the Obscure Object is, partly (for me) because of this description of the first time Callie sees her, which is the best description I think I've read of a freckled person. It doesn't make me feel vain and it's not really flattering even, and considering the entire drama of Callie's relationship with the Obscure Object I really don't know if I should be so in love with this passage, but dammit if Eugenides isn't a really captivating writer for me sometime, perhaps especially as he describes people of my kind:

Part of my interest was scientific, zoological. I'd never seen a creature with so many freckles before. A Big Bang had occurred, originating at the bridge of her nose, and the force of this explosion had sent galaxies of freckles hurtling and drifting to every end of her curved, warm-blooded universe. There were clusters of freckles on her forearms and wrists, an entire Milky Way spreading across her forehead, even a few sputtering quasars flung into the wormholes of her ears.

Since we're in English class, let me quote a poem. Gerard Manley Hopkin's "Pied Beauty," which begins, "Glory be to God for dappled things." When I think back about my immediate reaction to that redheaded girl, it seems to spring from an appreciation of natural beauty. I mean the heart pleasure you get from looking at speckled leaves or the palimpsested bark of plane trees in Provence. There was something richly appealing in her color combination, the ginger snaps floating int he milk-white skin, the gold highlights int he strawberry hair. It was like autumn, looking at her. It was like driving up north to see the colors.

This is ultimate vanity, actually, but not the kind that stems from me thinking that the Obscure Object and I have something in common here. It's the kind where I sit around and feel vaguely envious of a fictional creature for having tons of freckles but not so many that they blend together the way mine do. Stopping now, and focusing on how I just really like this part and, in fact, have felt the entire last third of this book lift itself from "it's alright" to "it's captivating." I started re-reading this because my book club was reading it, and the first time I read it I was only mildly appreciative. I thought maybe on second read it would be different, and the first third of the book is indeed fantastic. It slows a bit in the middle, I think, but at least so far the end is defying my memory of the first time around. I'll report back later when I'm finished.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Project Jigsandioffonado

I'm running around a bit this morning but last weekend deserves a mention. Peattie and I drove down to my parents' house in Whittier Friday night for a whirlwind weekend at home for me. Saturday, we went to (the new) Father's Office in LA with Casey and her boyfriend Bob, where we ate the best burgers ever and I had an Alesmith ESB and a Rogue Nut Brown. Then after a brief time lounging around my house, we drove with my parents down to San Diego to visit the new Toronado that opened down there a few weeks ago. There we had even more awesome beer and a lot of great conversation, including a debate about whether to turn my room at home into a library and proof that your parents can always surprise you. Peattie noted that we got some great quote candidates for "Best Quotes of 200gr8". I'll write this for JJ's benefit and say that I had a Port Brewing "Ruby Black" porter, part of a Carnegie 2006 porter (my dad's favorite beer), a Port "Hop 15," and then a Russian River Damnation. Peattie had a lot more than that, but three and a half beers was plenty for me and we all fell asleep in the car except for my mom, who stoically drove the entire way back from SD. Sunday was a nice brunch of baked apples and Belgian waffles, and a long slog through the Sunday crossword puzzle, before it was off north again for a long, but beautifully sunsetted, drive. For a harrowing hour or so, we listened to Game 5 of the Lakers-Celtics, which (thankfully) ended well for me. The radio station we found (after a long search and Peattie saying "fuck baseball" no less than three times, to my actual shock) was from Fresno, so when we cut over to the 152 heading west, it started to get verrrry fuzzy and we almost didn't get to hear the last two minutes of the game. That panic only contributed, as you can imagine, to the panic related to the Lakers' slim four-point lead.

So, as usual, a nice trip home reminded me of several things I want or need in my life. (We were talking at one point about our companies' mission statements and I referred to Google's "Ten Things Google Knows to be True." It's kind of like that.) I forget how much I love warm weather. It was hot as hell Sunday and on the drive back, but completely lovely. I remembered how good it feels to spend Sunday morning lounging around a sunny house, doing a crossword puzzle and reading (if only our living room got some sunshine). And as lame as it seems, doing crosswords with people is so much better than doing them alone. A good plain cup of coffee can make your morning.

I think it's almost time for a Summer Manifesto.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Oh yes. While I'm MIA blogwise, please feel free to check out my shared items. All my non-work related thoughts at work have gone into these, which are the most I can do extracurricularly this week but also the least I can do to maintain my sanity. I think you can see some of the state of my brain by the one-word comments I've sunk to.

Hello for now.

Oh man, what a week. I don't know when the next time is I'll manage to catch a breath. I hate being a shitty blogger, especially so soon after I promised to start a new blog, but with work the way it is this week, and, frankly, with my mind the way it is this week, I just can't focus enough to write much. Work has suddenly gotten a little frantic, partly due to a couple of days offsite and partly due to my boss being on vacation and partly due to God knows what usual magic goes into the insanity of this place. I've forgotten a couple of things lately which I really hate doing. Outside of work I've been busy as usual, although moderately so. I made a vow to myself and my nutritionist to stop drinking on weeknights (exception: very special occasions, so I'm really aiming for not drinking 3 nights a week, which sounds like not very hard except that I'm used to having at least one beer or something nearly every day, embarrassingly), so that's toned down the outside-of-work shenanigans (in the two days since I made said vow). That said, I've been slightly busier of late thanks to the NBA finals which I'm actually following, in a complete bandwagon leap to Lakers fandom. (Disclaimer: Having grown up in LA, and with a Lakers fan father, I think my leap is justified.) I've actually watched every game so far.

This is more of a check-in and a promise to write more when things have calmed down -- I am driving down to LA and San Diego this weekend with Peattie, but I have planted "DO NOT PLAN" nights on my calendar next week for some down time, so the calm is in sight, albeit not soon enough -- and also just a complete random plug for my participation in the San Francisco crafty scene. Elizabeth and I went to the Lotta Jansdotter printing party at the Craft Gym last Saturday, and while we were printing our linen swatches, we got our photo snapped, apparently by an Apartment Therapy blogger. So here we are on their site. (She is the one with the little pink tank peeking out from underneath a brown shirt.)

The plan for calmness also includes plans for more crafting.

Monday, June 09, 2008

A sample conversation (from my work chat!)

Kim's new status message - going just a little bit crazy 1:09 PM
me: i am going a lot crazy
i think maybe i should have all hormones removed surgically from my body. do you think there is some kind of medical procedure for that??

After I sent that message I had this moment where I was worried suddenly I had IM'd the wrong person. Thank God it was Kim, one of at least a dozen people at whom I spew dramatic ridiculousness every day.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Out of sight, Offsite

You may have noticed my blog lacks post this week. I have an "offsite" for work today (well, I had one today) and tomorrow, so I am not glued to my computer as usual. That, and tomorrow night I'm helping host a Belizean dinner party, and tonight I am going to watch (on TiVo) the Lakers versus the Celtics, and the rest of this week I've been pretty insanely busy, as usual. Not to mention, I've even been busy at work thanks to the shortened work week. Shocking, I know. So this is merely an apology for the lack of entertaining and self-referential posts. It's rather disappointing that I've been so busy during the week that Obama finally won the nomination, since I have a lot of thoughts on the matter and no time to write about them. So consider this a promise to be back in full force later on, next week or this weekend, once I've had a chance to catch my breath (and I'm not counting the workshop on meditation I had in my conference today).

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


Awesome graphic on the New York Times front page right now of how different demographic groups in different states voted for Clinton or Obama. Go! Now!

The mundanity of your own life...

I was particularly struck by this quote from this video about a couple (journalists) who spent a day less than 15 feet away:

"The hardest part, I think, is the recognition of the mundanity of your own life. It's all very well to have a mundane life when you're just living it yourself. You know, the fact that you wanna go get up and Xerox something the fact that you, you know, wanna go grab another cup of coffee. And that's fine when you're doing it in your own mind, but when someone else is observing you doing it, you realize, what a waste."

It reminded me of Friday, when Pablo hung out with me while I worked from home. Even when I wasn't explicitly working, he had to sit there and watch me check e-mail, flip back and forth between chat windows, browse my Google Reader, buy a concert ticket online, etc. It made me feel foolish, for lack of a better word. I felt silly when he had to wait a bit longer for me to put sugar in my coffee. All these things aren't actually big deals, but they are sort of strange little mundane parts of everyday life that you don't think about unless someone else is around, reminding you.

Monday, June 02, 2008

I couldn't help but wonder...

Well, I know you were waiting for it... the inevitable "I am a girl, I have a blog, therefore I have an opinion on the SATC movie" moment. I would resist, except I can't. Obviously GIANT SPOILER ALERT, in case you care.

I had the option to see the movie on Friday night, but instead chose to go with a bunch of my girlfriends (like every other woman in the country) on Saturday. After a pretty quick, though delicious, brunch of huevos rancheros at Laurel's house, Laurel and I rushed to the Century Cinemas to meet six other ladies for the insanity. We walked in and beelined to the only available set of 8 seats in the theatre that weren't in the very front row -- the 8 seats on the side in the second row. Yeah, not only did I see this movie, but I saw it REALLY CLOSE UP (things I observed: Steve has some kind of mole on his ass, Carrie had a stain on her dress in the scene where she told Samantha she was engaged, and Big has gray chest hair). I was armed with a Screwdriver and three cans of Sofia champagne. I knew that the movie was two and a half hours long and I was not sure I could take it.

Before I get into my actual criticism of the movie, let me just comment on one irrelevant thing. PREVIEW FOR SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS SEQUEL! It looks like they decided to skip books 2 and 3 and go straight for book 4, probably because America Ferrara or Blake Lively decided that they could/would only commit to one sequel given their new TV fame. Nevertheless, I am pretty damn jazzed.

Anyway, so then the movie itself. Aside from the gross product placement and totally gratuitous, unnecessary scenes (fashion week? Christie's auction?).... aside from the way that things seemed pretty damn abrupt most of the time, in order to cram into a movie the kind of things that normally would happen in a season... Did it strike anyone else as totally unfeminist? Or, if not unfeminist, then, didn't it just seem to you that it was ridiculous that after all that, Carrie still took Big back? That all the girls insisted that Miranda was wrong to leave Steve? I admitted yesterday to my friends that, had the latter event happened in a season, I could have accepted it. I've always loved Steve, and I can accept that one transgression need not be the end of one's marriage. But in the movie, Carrie and Charlotte couldn't seem to blame Steve for cheating, and it almost seemed like you could read into it that Miranda was to blame, for not recognizing the problem in her sex life, for loving her job to the point of distraction/destruction of her relationship. Then, to even act as though Miranda's angry outburst at the rehearsal dinner was remotely responsible for Big's entirely inexcusable freakout! Can we talk about blaming the victims here? Really?

I don't quite share Dodai's rage over Samantha in this movie. I felt as though she was the only person who really took charge. She managed Carrie's broken marriage/wedding. She held them together when it seemed like they would all fall apart. Her compassion was high, and it's irrational to hate her for breaking things off with Smith because she "loves herself more" -- the truth is that he had become the center of her life, and not just her personal life but her job, too, and who wants that? I will say again that the relative shortness of the movie (to an entire season of episodes) probably gave this plot short shrift as well. How did Samantha ever let Smith become the center, plastered photos of him all over her wall? And did she, like Steve, have to leave her relationship because Smith, like Miranda, was devoted to his job (I'm making a comparison for rhetorical purposes, not necessarily agreeing with this argument). Was Smith actually distant? Was he actually in any way aware that he was making her feel dependent on him when he bought her the brooch, and if he wasn't, does it matter?

Charlotte was the only one whose life was drama free in this movie. Ace, my roommate, wondered if that was some kind of message -- you will only be happy once you've settled down, and not just settled down, but settled -- for a man who is less attractive, but rich and giving and blah blah? I'm not entirely sure about that, but it's still worth wondering.

Another beef I had with the movie was the moment when Samantha has gained weight and the girls are absolutely horrified to see her little baby pooch. Seriously? Please kill me now. I believe it was that moment when I turned to Laurel and said "I can't believe that millions of women, including us, are paying for this." It's like being charged for the loss of your dignity.

I hate to hate on things I used to like, but I reserve the right to have a split opinion. In some ways, I was satisfied with the movie, mostly just because it had some funny moments, and it was kind of fun to see the ladies a little further on in their lives. I kind of liked to see Carrie confronted with the fact that she was forty, seeing Brady and Lily (Charlotte's adopted daughter) grown up, seeing all of the women living at least a slightly different lifestyle than they did in the show. But in other ways I felt like it was shoddily made, far, far too capitalistic, and frankly it did not give me, as an American woman, the endings or lessons (or whatever you want to call them) that I feel like I deserve. These women are, and always have been, not exactly archetypes so much as a representation of the split personalities that so many of us have in us. There is a bit of each of the women in each of us, at least there is in me (although I don't want to sell myself short by saying that that is all I am, shudder). How could the producers, the writers, whoever, let them down like that and let them lose themselves, when the entire goodness of the old show was the idea that above all it was yourself and your friends to whom you should be true?

One final note. I read Dodai's rant about the movie with interest. It has always been obvious to me that the SATC girls are incredibly flawed. Materialistic, obviously. Self-absorbed? Obviously. Incredibly privileged and whitewashed? Yes. Yes. Yes. (The moment where Charlotte said she wouldn't eat anything because she was in Mexico was perfectly in character and I didn't take offense because of course Charlotte would say shit like that. Miranda's "Look! A white guy with a baby" I was more iffy about, just because I'd hope Miranda would be more wise than that, but it's not hard for me to accept that she isn't. Louise from St. Louis was really hard for me to take, since she was all of a sudden the only non-white -- or adopted, sweet, dressed in pink Asian four year old -- character in the movie and represented some terrible kind of sweet, down-home innocence that I couldn't help [ACK] but take in a bad way. Oh, those clueless black folks from the middle of the country.) It's one of those cases where I was not at all disillusioned by those aspects of their characters, because they have been there all along. Instead, the question is: do the writers/producers know that about the characters, and more importantly, do the millions of women paying to see this shit in the theatres know that? And do the masses that watched this movie this weekend realize that in many ways, their heroes in Blahniks let them down and are leading them on the wrong path? Are those viewers going to fight back, or continue to be misled? I hate to start judging media (it reeks of Tipper Gore to me), or suggesting that producers have some kind of moral right to tell a properly empowering story, but I am also pretty damn convinced that this stuff is poisonous to women.

Grr. All I know is, I yelled a lot at the screen on Saturday. So much so that I got shushed. I don't really regret it, either. Now I'm just trying to forget all this hoopla and find something else to think about.

I like that my friends support me for my typos and neologisms.

10:49 AM Zoe: favorite saturday moment=you coining the term "neuroticism"
10:52 AM i really want to go to more movies, buy slurpees, and dump a half a bottle of vodka into them
=best idea ever
10:55 AM me: hahahaha
let's do it. whats the next ridiculous moies we want to see
moies = movies
thats about as real of a word as neuroticisms
10:58 AM Zoe: moies about neuroticism

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Paella Party

"We are so a Stuff White People Like post right now."

I don't know if I'd put it that way (even though I did). What we were was more of a New York Times Style article that Stuff White People Like would have posted about. Yesterday, after a day in the sun at the park (so what else is new), a group of my friends and I made paella for dinner. I know this all sounds really awfully pretentious, and by "this all" I mean arguing for your inclusion in a Times trend piece, but seriously. Let me paint the picture, since none of us remembered our cameras.

Justin just recently moved into a new place, this goofily-floorplanned place with a relatively small, though airy, kitchen, blessed with an awesomely retro stove and a dishwasher, thankfully. It's tucked in between a narrow hallway and a big, high-ceilinged "breakfast nook" type sun room with giant windows that yesterday were letting in golden light and cold breezes. There's plenty of room to cook while others stand around with wine glasses and listen to music, which is what we did. Hot Chip and Spanish wine, here we come.

Paella itself, it turns out, is really easy to cook. Wine glasses in hand, we stirred up two giant skillets, loaded with sausage, lamb, mussels, shrimp and baby scallops. While we were waiting for the rice to simmer, Dan suggested we ad-lib the game of Apples to Apples. He started with the adjective "gregarious," which I won with "bees," and then I threw out "sour," which got me some choice political nouns, and then Ace moved to "vestigial," which I unfortunately did not win with "pennies." (Peattie won with "liver.")

The conversation was also peppered, pun slightly intended, with Ace's question of the weekend: if you had to gender salt and pepper, which would be which? I don't want to taint your answer, so I won't give my opinion, but I will admit that salt is a frontrunner for female. (I pointed out that women like salt more than men, something evidenced by me, Laurel, and the giant pickle I'd eaten as a hangover-appetizer for dinner, which had more than 120% of my daily recommended sodium.) Somewhere in the middle of the cooking time, there was also a brief, though intensely yuppie, conversation about the difference between paella, jambalaya, and bouillabaisse (and just thinking about this is making me hungry.)

That moment was the moment when Pablo, who was visiting this weekend from Edinburgh, and who had already expounded on Dan's and my yuppie lifestyles (which we argue is much more bobo than yuppie, as evidenced by, among other things, the shitty state of our tiny old apartment), looked meaningfully at me across the room and I yelled out "Yuppie!" for him. Then I said we belonged in a Times style piece. Which we do. I love my friends. We are bohemian and bourgeois, techy and fuzzy, political, active, outdoorsy, cultured, mainstream, indie, all that. And nights like yesterday sort of epitomize that. So maybe we don't belong in a Times trend piece so much, we just belong in our lives. And the glory of documentation lies in the recognition and savoring and saving (and remembering) of the variety and, er, spice (saffron?) of life.

Next up: Dirty Apron Kitchen Club does summer picnic. I can't wait to learn how to make me some fried chicken.