Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Oh, Karl

I was struck with a revelation while drying my hair this morning. I steadfastly work my way through the New Yorker each morning because my cheveux is like a towel, which quickly and securely absorbs water and refuses to let go unless prodded by the hottest of hair dryers. So I spend quite a bit of time bent over the sink, learning about the latest environmental crisis or Russian author. But this morning, it was a delightful article about Karl Lagerfeld, the skinny, be-gloved, media-consumptive patriarch of Chanel. And so, you may begin your novel:

"Christian Lagerfeld, his father, made a fortune in condensed milk; his mother, Elisabeth, played the violin."

If the story doesn't end with a death, a sexual violation, or a creepy visit to to the pastures of Switzerland, you're not thinking hard enough.


Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Ten things I like, at the moment

1. Blue ginger tea
2. Shalom in the Home. Also, the name "Shmuley."
3. Crocuses!
4. Girl scout cookies for sale at work
5. Getting excited about the cruise
6. Getting excited about my sister's wedding in Mexico. In December. Good one, sissy!
7. The Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting exhibit. Surprisingly inspiring.
8. Having a washing machine.
9. Opening the windows again.
10. Ballet flats. I really want a pair of ballet flat-style shoes to wear to work. When my dear friend Pay Chequey arrives at the end of the week, Zappos and I have some talking to do.


Monday, March 26, 2007


Vodka train, coming through

We're back from New York, where Mr. Cupcakes took lots of pictures of our adventures. The cats didn't seem to suffer too much in our absence, other than being very VERY hungry, but that's pretty much the state of things at all times. I thought maybe coming back to M'town would be a bit of an anti-climax, but then, not an hour after we returned, someone got arrested in the parking lot next door! It was much more interesting than watching Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (Note: I am not at all a chic-lit snob, and love Helen Fielding. But that second movie really falls apart once they hit the Thai prison.). I couldn't tell what the woman next door was being arrested for, but I hope it was something exciting. Lately, the neighbors have seemed a bit more, well, drunk than usual. A couple of months ago I heard one tell another she was hit by "the vodka train." That train sure seems to be making a lot of stops lately.

Ahem. As I wished last week, the snow is almost all melted, except for a few stubborn ice patches here and there. There are even a few crocus buds peeking up. In just five weeks, it will be cruise time! So I've been working on a new top for the warmer weather.

This is the Hopeful pattern, which I highly recommend (and which has been kicking around in my to-do list for at least a couple of years). It's a rather brilliant construction: knit in the round, divided for shoulders, short row sleeves, and a simultaneously knit and attached collar. Also, for every $5 pattern sold, the designer gives $6 to breast cancer research. And it's cute to boot! I'm knitting it in Calmer, which is a dreamy microfiber-cotton blend. Yes, I said dreamy. At $11 a skein, it better be dreamy.

I'm really looking forward to warmer weather, hanging out on the porch, growing new plants, and the continuing adventures of America's Next Top Model.

America turns its lonely eyes to you, Tyra.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Wonder bread

I am a pretty active baker, what with being from a bread basket state and all, where the streets are paved in flour and wheat hulls. Muffins, cookies, and cupcakes (of course) are my most frequent projects, but I like baking bread when I have a few hours to spare. But now, sweeping through the internets and the newspapers from Portland, OR to Hartford, CT, comes the No Knead Bread, a revolution in bread baking. Malena made the bread and it looked beautiful. My mom said it reminded her of European bread. Everyone is saying it's really, really good.

The trade off? Is that you better have 24 hours between the urge to bake and the urge to eat, because it needs 18 hours to rise, another 2 hours for the second rise, 45-60 minutes to bake, and enough time to let it cool. Since it snowed this weekend and our cars were pretty well stuck, I had the time. Hurrah!

I used half whole wheat flour and half white flour, and what was probably too much salt. The top is dusted in oat bran. The whole thing was a very jiggly blob, very unlike traditional yeast bread. It all felt....wrong. And you know what?

It's magic bread! It really is delicious, all complicated and savory, with a mysterious hint of sweetness (there's no sweetener added). The crust is crackly and chewy, and the inside is soft but holds its structure. I think I better mix up another batch soon to try some variations. The recipe is apparently very forgiving, so you can add any kind of ingredients (herbs, cheese, dried fruit, etc.) to make a savory or sweet bread.

And while I found baking on a snowy Saturday cozy, I am currently finding doing laundry on a snowy Monday night to be tiresome. Enough snow, New England. Let's see some green.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007


South Florida

I'm back from South Florida, where I had a fabulous time with Angela. We lived it up, Miami-style. You know, sipping mojitos on velvet couches in Coconut Grove...

. . . admiring the local folk art...

. . . looking at crazy tropical plants (this makes bananas, allegedly) . . .

. . . taking in a bit of the local culture . . .

. . . and admiring the miles and miles of turquoise water.

Lovely, lovely. Thanks for all the sun therapy and 90210 episodes, Ang!

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Saturday, March 03, 2007


That's hot

It was 55 degrees here on Saturday, which is amazing considering it was snowing earlier this week. Lest we get big hot heads, the temperature will steadily drop this week to a high of like, 12 degrees on Tuesday. But! I am going to Florida where the sun is hot and the bikinis are small. Perhaps by the time I get back it will be springtime in Connecticut (HAHAHAHAAAAA). I had a terrible anxiety dream about United Airlines last night where I kept running and running around an airport building trying to get on my flight. Also, there was a carnival at the airport, which made it even more terrifying.

Down to business: I finished my sweater, and I think it's the best finishing job I've ever done. It only took 12 years to get seams down! (I'm not going to talk about how I broke one of the seams on my way home from work and had to repair it.)

I think it might be a good sign that people didn't say, "Did you make that sweater?" at work. I think "Did you make that sweater?" is code for "Did you really think you could leave the house like that?"

Anyhoo, I like it a lot, although the braided trim is completely unlike the trim shown in the photograph. Whazzah? It looks fine, but it kind of bugs me. There is not a correction on their website. Perhaps I'll write, because the decreases on one side were incorrect (I think) as well.

I also finished these socks in GGH Marathon.

Very denimy, no? I don't remember where I got this yarn but it's been discontinued, so I would guess I bought it quite a while ago. Gives me a bit of stash guilt. They're for me, but my next pair is for my cruise sock buddy, and I learned a new cast-on this weekend. It only took 12 years to learn a second way to cast on!

The knitting cruise is less than two months away. I can't wait.

P.S. Blogger issues may have dropped Susie C. from your RSS reader, so make sure you're subscribed, kay?

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