lawnrrd: (kitty)
Hello, LiveJournal! It's been a while. The only way that I was able even to start this post was to give up on the idea that I could catch up, so I won’t even try. The highlights, though, are:

  • I’m still not dead. I’m actually reasonably healthy and quite happy.

  • K and I are still engaged. We still plan to marry in March 2014. Now you know roughly as much about our wedding plans as we do.

  • The boy is doing well. He is nine years old and in fourth grade. He does fourth-grader stuff.


Last weekend, I think I set a personal record, in that, for three nights in a row, I attended parties with cocktails and passed hors d'oeuvres. I am a sucker for cocktails and passed hors d'oeuvres, so I consider that a big win.

Thursday night was a cocktail reception for the opening of AMNH’s Poison! exhibition. The evening began with a slide presentation that I arrived in the middle of—the second half, at least, was interesting and entertaining. We then walked through the exhibit itself, but it was hard to see anything: the space was filled with the sort of people who would go to the opening of an exhibit in a science museum, which meant that we had to wait a long time to get close enough to any individual exhibit to see or read anything. K and I agreed that the best strategy would be to come back later when it would be filled with normal people, who wouldn’t get in our way.

The cocktail reception afterwards was moderately fun, as the museum’s exhibitions tend to be. We sort-of dodged the couple that always gloms on to us at these things. We first met another couple, who seemed to be trying too hard. After that, we chatted pleasantly with a third couple, which included a man who seemed to want me to put him through school.

Friday was quiet at work because Friday night was my firm’s annual holiday dinner dance. They like their parties at my firm, and it shows. The party was at an old private club near our office, in a beautiful old room that no one could afford to build any more. The evening is also a chance to catch up with my partners’ partners, and K came. We drank moderately, danced to the live band, and went home before we got too drunk.

Saturday itself was a busy day, during which I baked six pies for a school fundraiser. While they baked, K and I played Just Dance 4. As for Saturday night, well, that’s another post.
lawnrrd: (Default)
I made dinner last night. I made sautéed medallions of pork tenderloin in a lemon-rosemary sauce, roasted potatoes, and simmered Swiss chard.1 I also baked a really spectacular boule of bread.2

I've been meaning to post about the connection between alchemy, breadmaking, and getting laid, but writing it up has required more time and focus than I've been able to muster. It'll be meaningful, insightful, and possibly heartwarming if I ever finish it. Trust me.

In the meantime, though, I wish all of you the happiest 2007 possible.3



1We had houseguests this weekend. They're Buddhists. They brought us chard.

2With apologies, of course, to [livejournal.com profile] rm.

3Except for those of you who are slow-walking tourists in New York City. To you, I continue to wish polyps. Lots of polyps.
lawnrrd: (Default)
Lucy the Elephant For the past week, and for a little while longer, Leo, Lauren, and I have been staying at Lauren's family's house in Margate City, New Jersey. (Everyone just calls it "Margate".) Margate is along the coast in southern New Jersey, near Atlantic City. Perhaps tragically, the city's best claim to fame is that it is the home of Lucy the Elephant, a six-story building shaped like an elephant, which was built in 1881.

In recent generations, Margate has also been where Jews from the Philadelphia area get their beach houses. As Lauren and I are both Jews from the Philadelphia area, we both came here a lot while growing up. I have an aunt and uncle who retired to their beach house here, and their daughter married a local man and has raised two now-teenaged daughters here.

Lauren's stepmother's family has owned a house here for more than fifty years, and that's where Leo, Lauren, and I have been staying. We actually have had the house to ourselves for most of the week because the stepmother's mother, who owns the place, actually lives in her condo in Atlantic City. The house is comfortable and cozy without being cramped. Perhaps most important, it has central air conditioning.

The weather has been mostly sunny this week, except for one washout of a day. It's been hot—for the last two or three days, extremely hot—and humid, but the beach is a little cooler, and the water is comfortable, and the house has central air conditioning.

Leo loves the beach. He has no fear of the water, charging on all fours into the oncoming waves. He also thinks that beach sand is delicious.

The vacation has not been especially relaxing for me or Lauren, but it's been better than nothing. Leo takes a couple of long naps every day that let us recharge a little. At this moment, in fact, Leo is napping upstairs while I babysit, and Lauren has returned to the beach for a second session. In a little while, it will be time for Leo's dinner, and Lauren and I will shower and start arranging for our own meals.

Margate vacations tend to be all about food. Last Saturday, I grilled steaks for the whole family, including in-laws who had come in for the weekend. That meal was started with home-made gazpacho that I garnished with basil and lump crabmeat. I had also made a dip from roasted eggplant, using a recipe from the electronic edition of Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything. Sunday night we ordered in Italian food, which was adequate, and then Monday night, I grilled lamb chops.

Tuesday night, Lauren and I went out to a new restaurant serving what was called "coastal cuisine." The menu was mostly a shortened version of a typical seaside restaurant serving fish and steaks, but everything had miso or hoisin or wasabi, which I suppose was supposed to make it "fusion" cuisine. On the whole, the food was good and the decor was pretty, but not enough to keep me from being a snotty New Yorker.

Wednesday night, I made an amazing meat loaf on the grill, using a recipe from a magazine that Lauren found somewhere in the house. Yesterday, my father and stepmother drove in from Philadelphia and spent the day with us on the beach, and that night we went to a stereotypical lobster restaurant that you find at the shore. The restaurant had no pretensions, and I had a two-pound lobster.

Tonight, I'm cooking pork chops. Tomorrow, we will have dinner with friends at Red Square, a new Russian-themed restaurant at the Tropicana.

(I admit we eat a lot of meat. In large part it's because Lauren is Atkinsing again.)

In some ways I'm enjoying myself more than I usually do in Margate. I usually feel bored and isolated here. I'm not much of a beach person, and I've never really found a place that felt comfortable to me. I very much enjoy the casinos, especially the new Borgata (which has tied Atlantic City down and shoved a bare minimum of class and elegance down its throat), but I don't have much money to risk at the tables these days, and I can't hang out late at a cocktail lounge and then get up early the next morning with Teefus McGreefus McSneefus. For that matter, I can't hang out late at a cocktail lounge and then drive home, either.

But this week has been different. Maybe it's because we've been down here for a week, allowing me to settle in. Maybe it's that the beach houses empty out on weekends, so we're not on top of each other, and weird people don't drop in at random occasions and demand that I be social. And when I haven't been stopping Leo from licking electric sockets, I've been napping and cooking, two of my favorite pastimes.

My mental and emotional states remain improved, and those are good things too.

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