Wednesday, September 30, 2009

With My Body...

This weekend will see a wedding extravaganza of the kind that I've not experienced in Britain. So, rehearsal dinner, brunch with Granny, speeches, skits, more brunch... My clothing choices get increasingly forgiving and able to expand as we move from Thursday to Sunday.

As always, I will carouse, dance, toast, and weep with abandon. And more than a few of those tears will be for Janice Langbehn and Lisa Marie Pond, who couldn't get married to each other because they're both women, and so spent all but a few minutes of the last 18 hours of Lisa's life apart. That shouldn't happen to anyone. So I will rejoice in my friends' happiness and keep hold of how unbelievably lucky they are, in many ways.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Softly, Slowly

I'm slowly getting accustomed to being on my own during the week while Dr. TOH is off teaching the youngsters at The College. I'm sat comfortably with some document review, one of my cats curled up next to me, with mindless tv on. It's not ideal; it's not what I really want to be doing right now, given that I'd much rather be gently drifting off to sleep while curled up in Dr. TOH's arms; but it'll do.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Domestic Bliss

On Friday was the first dinner party in the new apartment. It was amazing - basil and baby tomatoes from the garden, barbecue in the garden, and organic steak from the co-op. Yum. And today, I made sorrel soup from the stuff in the garden.

Things I've learned about the place:
  • There is simply NO END TO CAT HAIR
  • This is not the best time of year for sorrel - earlier, when it's less bitter, is undoubtedly better. Or with more bacon. Always more bacon.
  • Along the bacon lines, there are few soups that aren't improved by sour cream.
  • This is an amazing recipe for steak.
  • I like gardening, but there are STILL biting things and I got feasted on, yet again, by those biting things. Sods.


Today I started the 100 Press Ups Challenge. Ulp. I am a rubbish press-upper: I don't dip enough, I find it hard to keep my back in the correct form, and I don't position my arms to get the optimal entire arm workout. Nonetheless, I am now able to do more of the rubbish press ups than I could before, and my aim is to a) get a little better and b) do more of the less rubish versions.

I also felt a little abashed reading Zuzu's post today, because while she has trucked on with the new rules of lifting for women and is on the penultimate stage, I have failed to keep up with my lifting, despite seriously enjoying it and also seeing some great results in terms of strength gains.

So, despite work entering a whole other "oh sweet zeus" stage this week, I'm going to try to go at lunchtime. Even if I don't get time to shower and have to start buying pot pourri / air freshener for my office. Thank goodness for having my own little space in which I can stink myself out and no one else.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Change of Focus

For the last couple of years I've kept track of my NYE resolutions on this blog. But I've decided to do things a little differently. Rather than read myself the riot act for not being healthy/cultured/whatever enough, I'm slowly but surely resolving to do things right as I go along - that is, find things that make my life better and continue to do them. The corollary to that is to identify and remove things from my life that make them worse. And, also, engage in a little bit of teaspooning here and there.

So, I'm making small resolutions, such as unsubscribing from bliss emails. I have also decided to stop buying "women's" magazines that don't explicitly have a positive mental health bent. I am using the quotation marks because I think that they often do more harm than good. They push self-loathing, which is never an attractive trait. I always thought that it didn't matter because I like the rest of it, and, for all my public neuroses, I'm actually pretty secure (too secure, probably - i.e. obnoxious). Nonetheless, I don't think I should be supporting this kind of article, which is, frankly, horrid. And I don't want to support photoshopping to this level, especially when it is so unrepentant and captures you "at your best" because, god forbid, your best cannot possibly be 15 pounds heavier.

So there you go.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Something Always Takes the Place

These are things I don't think I've blogged about, but that I will miss most about 5E:
  • The ride up the Westside Highway at night. "Highway" is a bit of a misnomer below 59th street - there are traffic lights every five blocks or so. But once you hit the ramp after the 57th street turnoff, then you suddenly hit a stretch of non-stop road. And, more importantly, you hit a blaze of tall buildings - residential, office, all glowering in the dark at you. It's best when you hit that time where there's a mixture of lights on and off, and they loom up at you like some smaller version of Akira or, as Dr. TOH and I have named it, Bladerunner. It's amazing, and if you've never been uptown - and I mean really uptown - then you've never had reason to suspect it exists. But it's beautiful, and such a gorgeous way to see the city. And then you have the buildings on the other side of the Hudson, which suggest the album cover for Original Pirate Material, and you get to see all the nighttime activity on the river - boats chugging here and there, as the city keeps working while you head home.
  • The orange wall. It took Dr. TOH and I four years to paint, but paint we did. Inspired by a glorious rug I bought in Mozambique, we decided to paint the wall buttered yam. Not with buttered yam, but that colour. It's glorious. One of the amazing things about the new place is how lovely the decor is, but I will miss the buttered yam wall. We're taking the paint. Just in case.
  • Watching the large tree in the middle of our courtyard change as the seasons roll around. It turns a very pretty red in late September, early October. Then, the leaves slowly shrivel and fall off. By January, it becomes laden with snow. It is bare in March but suddenly, at some point in early April, I'd notice the first shoots and glimpses of green. Sudden, blossom would emerge, and it would feel hopeful and sunny in the courtyard. I won't have any real indicator in the same way.
What is strange is how quickly we've adapted. I've not once tried to get the 1 home. I've not once directed a taxi uptown (although that makes it sound like I've caught millions of them, which I have not). But it's just not home anymore, and it happens that quickly. But I imagine that when the leaves start changing, I'll get a pang for the courtyard.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

I Take It Back...

... sort of.

I am still wrangling with the genius feature of the pod. My past annoyances with it have lessened since previous rants, but some irritation remains. For example, it has a habit of instead of using remixes rather than the original you want to use - it does this for Music Sounds Better with You by Stardust. Don't tell me you can use genius for a song if you can't, you annoying thing.

Nonetheless, yesterday it came up with the best selection of 25 tunes. Not that each one was a total favourite, but I loved the variety and sheer weirdness of the tunes it came up with - the juxtapositions were just bizarre, but ace. It gives me hope that genius is learning about me and so, in turn, coming up with record selections more along my lines. So, having not made a list for yonks, I thought I'd reproduce it for you here... lucky you.
  1. Paris by Friendly Fires (starting song)
  2. The Eraser - Thom Yorke
  3. Just Like Honey - The Jesus & Mary Chain (am definitely getting into them, that will be my next retro discovery)
  4. Spooky - Dusty Springfield
  5. I Turn My Camera on - Spoon
  6. Long Hot Summer - The Style Council
  7. Fight Test - The Flaming Lips (I do not listen to this enough)
  8. Whole Lotta Love - Led Zeppelin
  9. The Hurting - Tears for Fears
  10. Baby Boy - Beyonce feat. Sean Paul
  11. Balloons - Foals
  12. Lovesick - Friendly Fires
  13. Eat Yourself - Goldfrapp
  14. Sea Within a Sea - The Horrors (best album of the year pour moi thus far)
  15. Don Gon Do It - The Rapture
  16. No One Does It Like You - Department of Eagles
  17. Turn It on - Franz Ferdinand
  18. Golden Phone - Micachu
  19. Naive - The Kooks
  20. Cheap and Cheerful - The Kills
  21. Strict Machine - Goldfrapp
  22. I'm Sticking With You - Velvet Underground
  23. Kids with Guns - Gorillaz
  24. Lovin' You - Minnie Riperton (no, I'm not joking!)
  25. On Board - Friendly Fires