'Bass Ackwards and Belly Up' and 'Footfree and Fancyloose' tell the story of four best friends who commit the ultimate suburban sin: putting off college to pursue their dreams.
Publisher's Weekly said: "Full of romance and adventure, laughter and tears, the story is a reminder that veering from the straight and narrow road doesn't always lead to a dead end."
I'm determined to get back to regular blogging now that I'm (knock on wood) getting something of a handle on this motherhood thing... but tonight I watched the President's speech. So in lieu of writing a whole post, I'll give you something better.
Every now and then I take pictures with my iPhone of whatever's in front of me. There's something very immediate about the pictures, something unexpectedly revealing. For some reason, they always end up feeling like self-portraits. I can't really explain it without sounding all pretentious and annoying, and c'mon, it's an iPhone photo, so I'll just put it this way: I kinda like them.
The one below is one of my favorites. It's of my desk at work. My water bottle features prominently, but I also love the lemons that one of my colleagues brings from home, and the stack of scripts in the background, and, of course, the pens. Always, the pens.
Nothing makes a single person feel more alone than a wedding.
Not putting a check in the "single" box on, oh, pretty much EVERY QUESTIONNAIRE THAT EXISTS. Not never getting invited to couple dinners and couple vacations and couple whatever-the-fuck-else-couples-do. Not even baby showers, 'cause, hey, turns out you don't need a man to have a baby. At least, not one who's actually a part of your life.
But weddings... yeah. In general, they suck.
In fairness, I have to say they don't always suck. WP's wedding was beautiful and fun, though I was stressed for weeks beforehand about giving a toast at the rehearsal dinner. (I killed.) And B'n'K had a great wedding, from which I learned a very important lesson: mariachi bands can, in fact, be romantic.
But this wedding was more like a mini-vacation, and one I sorely needed. Aside from my delayed flight to San Francisco, it was a stressless long weekend, filled with great food, friends, exercise, and fantastic scenery.
Some of the highlights:
Calistoga. Lovely town. Easy drive from San Francisco.
Lovely town with trees. Pretty trees, with leaves that change colors. And leaves that stay green but are still worth taking a moment to appreciate:
Solage. I've already praised the rooms, but I failed to mention the pens. They're made of paper. PENS MADE OF PAPER!!!! Well, cardboard. With wooden doo-hickies-- whatever those pen parts are called that you use to attach a pen to your shirt/notebook/pen protector. Cool, right?
One of the many things I loved about this wedding, is that the ceremony took place in the yoga studio. Which also happens to be where I did my first-ever boxing workout (if you're ever at Solage, work out with Donovan-- the next day, I could barely lift my arms).
Pretty right? Here's one with TandM, the glowing bride and the euphoric groom... or, at this point, glowing wife and euphoric husband:
The wedding was immediately followed by a toast outside the reception area. And I'm not talking champagne. I'm talking shot glasses of the best Bloody Mary I've ever had, and beer for those who were so inclined. There was also something red, which I'm guessing was a Shirley Temple for the non-drinkers in the crowd. I have no photos. I was too engrossed in my Bloody Mary.
Post toast, the doors to the reception area opened, and everyone GASPED. Although why everyone gasped, I'll never know, because expecting anything less than perfection from TandM... well, that's just sheer foolishness.
That's the first picture I took once the doors opened. And what's cuh-razy about this picture is that I'M ON THE WALL. See? Back there in the left-hand corner? And I didn't even notice this little factoid until a couple days ago. TandM are SO together, that they had slides of every single wedding guest-- and, of course, of themselves-- projected on the wall throughout the reception. It was a subtle, lovely touch.
Another subtle, lovely touch? The place cards. Here are a couple from the Dollhouse crew:
Right? I know. And that's truffle oil there above the plate. We all got a bottle for our cooking pleasure-- perfect and appropriate because, not shockingly, TandM also happen to be amazing cooks. Although, frankly, I think they should just jettison their successful careers in television and plan weddings, because this one was a slam dunk.
Until the dancing started. The dancing is the really crappy part of a wedding when you're single. And it's when I slip away. As quickly and quietly as possible. And walk home alone.
I'm sure there are people out there who think the dancing is the BEST part of a wedding, and that it doesn't matter if you're alone or not, and to those people I say more power to you. But when ninety percent of the crowd is couples, and the bulk of the other ten percent is young enough to dance on daddy's feet... that's when I'm outta there.
Of course, the walking home alone, is even suckier than the dancing.
But at least once you're home, you can take off your shoes. And be grateful for a lovely evening, planned thoughtfully and meticulously, by people who love each other and love their families and friends, and who used the occasion of their wedding to let each other-- and all of us-- know it.
So, to TandM: Thanks, guys. You created a perfect day. May every one of your days be just as joyous.
I am not a restaurant critic.I can’t even in good conscience call myself a foodie.But I know a good roasted chicken when
I see one, and I’m awed by one when I taste it.
Today, I had a good roasted chicken.
Because today, I had lunch at Bouchon.
Bouchon is Thomas Keller’s other restaurant in Yountville, CA.You know.The
one that’s not The French Laundry.The one that only has one
Michelin star.(Come to
think of it, I’m not sure why I even deigned to eat there, what with the
paucity of stars.But I suppose a
girl can’t be fancy all the time.)
I should preface this by saying that my Big Wedding Weekend
started somewhat horrendously… with me wiping away tears on the train from the
San Francisco airport to the rental car garage, all while forcing myself to
yawn repeatedly in the hopes that the other train passengers would think my
eyes were watering because I was tired, and not that I was crying like a baby
because my plane to San Francisco had been delayed three hours, causing me to
miss the wine tasting I’d taken the whole day off work to attend, and sending
me into a spiral of self-pity about how much it sucks to travel alone when
things go wrong because there’s no one to commiserate with or bitch to or make
Plus, going to a wedding alone.
So then I decided I would eat sugar.I was already planning to eat sugar for
Thanksgiving.(There’s no way I’m
not having chocolate pecan pie.Not unless my hands fall off and my teeth fall out, and even then,
that’s what blenders and straws are for, my friends.Blenders and straws.)
And I must say, the sugar decision perked me right up.So over the course of the last four
days, I've had a bar of chocolate, half a pint of Ben & Jerry's, and a rice crispy
treat.Plus two little pastries at
the wedding.And then, today, I
had profiteroles at Bouchon.
They were perfect.
(Lest you feel I’ve turned into a complete and utter slob, I
also went for a long walk/jog in Calistoga, took a Pilates class, and did two, count 'em two, sessions with the personal trainer.)
This is all to say that ending my trip at Bouchon was a
perfect button.Or maybe a perfect
arc.Friday was rotten, Saturday
started moving things in the right direction (I’ll write more about that
tomorrow), Sunday delivered the most wonderful wedding ever created (also more
about that coming), and today the roasted chicken at Bouchon brought it all
I haven't quite figured out what's so special about roasted chicken. It's so simple, at least on the surface, and yet so easy to get horribly wrong.
Which, now that I think about it, is a lot like life.
And it must be said: if the rest of my life were as good as Bouchon's roasted chicken, I would certainly die happy.
Is there a better way to start a meal than bread and butter? I'm gonna go with no. And can't you just HEAR the crust of this bread crunch?
And then this beet salad with persimmon...
Yum. Big, big yum. And the chicken...
Ah, the chicken. The opposite of tears.
And it didn't make one bit of difference that I was eating alone.
On a totally different topic, with the exception of one black blouse and a silk sheath, I wore everything I packed! Meaning I will be a hopeless over-packer forever and ever.
Do you enjoy eating out by yourself? (If you haven't done it in awhile, I recommend it!)
Today, I sort of graduated. For the last seventeen months, I've been spending every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning at the small-ish gym in my trainer's apartment building. It was exactly what I needed-- well equipped, but not overwhelming. And very private. Then, a couple months ago, my trainer got married. Now she and her husband are moving to a house. With, obviously, no gym.
So starting next week... we're switching it up. Instead of the gym, we'll be working out at the park near my house. So... y'know. Less private. Pretty public, in fact. Pretty I'm-going-be-sweating-my-ass-off-in-front-of-lots-of-people.
And I'm cool with that. I'm even looking forward to it.
Not only is this change-up an opportunity for my to get over my self-consciousness about exercising in front of other people... it's an opportunity to share a picture I took a couple years ago of my new "gym:"
L.A. 2009. I’m stuck in traffic on the 101 freeway, listening to Isabella Rosselini on NPR. Isabella, for some reason, mentions that starfish are one of those rare species that can reproduce asexually, and I realize that if I could do that, I wouldn't have to worry about finding a boyfriend/husband. I wouldn’t have to internet date! I wouldn't have to figure out if I want to/can/should have a baby/adopt a baby/child on my own. I wouldn't have to stress about things like FSH levels, or weigh my feelings on in vitro versus adoption.
I would just have a baby. Thus began my starfish envy.