Monthly Archives: March 2012

Storytelling & Daydreaming

I’m finding it really difficult to do normal things.  Normal things like reading a book, completing a to-do list, or cleaning Slum Castle.  Everything about my life is in flux- or, rather, everything about my life is soon to be in flux and my attention span is long gone.  Instead of going home after work and being productive, I feel as if I have to talk through The Plan with David, which is ridiculous because every day our plan is changing.  We’re like people who re-tell the same stories just to hear each other talk, only instead of telling stories that happened in the past, we make them up about the future.  We haven’t invented a fairy god-mother yet, but still, our stories are pretty far-fetched.

But there’s nothing so wrong with storytelling and daydreaming, especially when it’s 4:00 PM on a Sunday and the afternoon light is softly coming through the window, the cat is curled at your feet, and you’re snuggled close with someone you love.

Corporate What?

I worked in the corporate world today.  No, I didn’t sit in a cubical or wear appropriate clothing (unless tight scoop-back t-shirts are appropriate office attire) and I didn’t spend all my time on Pinterest or get cc’d in on any emails.  No, my job was v. different from the others in Corporate Land- my job was to bring style to Corporate Land.  And you know what, those ladies in the company I visited sure did need a lot of help!  Upon walking into the building I sensed a style eclipse and found in confirmed when I complimented a woman on her colorful blouse and all I got in response was a shrug before she confessed that her “stylist” picked it out and was encouraging her try new things (color, apparently, is a new thing).  Other than said blouse, I saw a few masterful applications of eye liner, a lot of beautiful natural waves curls, and a couple cute dresses-  I’m not above giving credit where credit’s due.

This is not a fashion blog, nor will it ever be, but that doesn’t change the fact that I love getting dressed and I love style (not to be confused with fashion, folks!).  I am incredibly fortunate to work in an industry that celebrates personal style and allows me to express my mood, aesthetics and taste through my styling choices.  That being said, I was a little surprised to walk into a large, corporate office that caters to the beauty industry and see first-hand how so many women working for the company seemed to lack any confidence in their own personal style (or lack thereof).  I was so pleased that my team allowed these women to break free from their desks for a couple hours and feel beautiful, just as the advertisements for the products they produce tell them- tell us- to feel all the time.  It’s amazing how a flat-ironing, some curls, and a whole lot of hairspray can boost a woman’s confidence and allow them to have a really awesome day at work.

I have a lot of thoughts about corporate culture in its many variations* and there are many reason for why I’ve personally refused to pursue a corporate career, one being that I hate having to wake up before 7:00 AM (unless it’s to catch a flight to a fabulous destination, obviously), which is precisely why I came home at 6:30 in desperate need of a nap and am just now writing this post at 10:00.  

Here’s to a stylish today, dear reader, and a stylish tomorrow, too. 

*I’m not trying to imply that all corporations or people who work in corporations have no personal style to speak of.  In fact, I know many people who are smoking hot and work in an corporate setting.  So kudos to you, stylish corporate ladies!

Mad Men + Weekend

I’m lucky to have an unconventional weekend.  Instead of battling with crowds of shoppers and diners who have Saturday and Sunday off, I have Sunday and Monday to roam the city, run errands and recharge my fem-bot batteries.  This weekend was no exception.

After a week of bare legs and tank tops, the weather once again reminded us that it is, in fact, March.  As wonderful as a warm breeze and sunshine can be, I relish the cool spring air and took great delight in starting my Sunday with a chilly walk along the harbor with David.  Along the way, we stopped at Flour in the Seaport for delicious sandwiches that we ate with cold fingers as we walked. 
Just like everyone else, David and I settled in last night for an evening of television.  With a tumbler of Jameson in hand we cozied up for the two-hour Season 5 premier of Mad Men.  Reading the reviews today makes me feel as though the episode was perceived as being on par with the second coming of Christ, but I have to say that it left me a little underwhelmed.  Though I’m thrilled it’s back and can’t wait to see how the rest of the season plays out and am fully aware that it’s difficult to pack a lot of character development into a two-hour time-slot, I’ve compiled a few notes about the episode and why it made me go Meh
  •  I don’t like Don Draper when he’s happy.  I know he’s still slightly moody and twisted, but his killer instinct seems to be gone and I just can’t stand for that.  A man like Don lives for his work and no woman- no matter how young and beautiful- can keep him distracted from his job for the 15 months (or however long it’s been) since we last saw him.  Back to work, Don!  I want you to WOW us again.
  • Megan is a poor-man’s T-Mobile girl.  No one who sleeps with the boss, marries the boss and then gets promoted to their “dream job” is allowed to be that naive about the cynical underbelly of their chosen profession.  I can’t wait for her to quit her job, get pregnant, and for Don to start resenting her as he focuses all his emotional energy back where it belongs, on his work.  
  • I cared for the painfully awkward phone conversation between Lane and the lingerie-clad hussy about as much as Don cared for Megan’s silly song-and-dance number. 
  • Across the board, the characters seemed to have lost some depth and briefly become caricatures.  For example: Joan’s mom = bitch, Trudy = tired housewife in an ugly house coat, Peter = petulant and whiny career hungry account manager, Harry = sleazeball, Roger = handsome sleazeball, and Lane Pryce = secret (& British) sleazeball.  Barring Joan and Peggy, I really didn’t feel as if anyone had a genuinely dynamic emotional storyline.  Though I found it to be a little one-note, I must say the characters sang their single note relatively well (especially Megan, ughhhhh) and I have high hopes that they’ll regain their depth as the season goes on. 

And so concludes my first (and maybe last) television review.  Did you watch last night’s episode?  If so, what did  you think?  Like me, are you dying to see what Betty’s up to?

p.s. I mailed my UK visa application today.  Eeeek!

RIP

This is the Universe telling David he needs to upgrade to an iPhone. 

One thing I will never understand about the men in my life is their affectation for putting things on the roof of their car before folding themselves into the driver’s seat and motoring off without realizing said things are still on the top of their car.  I’ve witnessed this behavior time and again* with wallets, beverages, books and cell phones, but it’s rare that I’ve been privy to the article flying off the back of the car in the middle of the motorway.  This is because I usually say something like, Hey, what happened to that coffee you were just holding? and save the day.  My saving the day usually comes immediately after the car is started and we’re rolling out of our parking spot.  Sometimes (and this happens a lot more than I’m willing to give credit for) the man will come to this realization himself (usually after the car is fully in motion) and will pull over to retrieve the object within a block or two of setting out on our journey.

Today, David and I both failed to notice the location of his phone and his poor Blackberry bit it, hard.

About half a mile from our house we heard a loud noise, like a rock hitting the roof, and David said, “What was that?”  And I said, “Ummm, that was your cell phone flying off the top of the car.”  And then he said, “Shitshitshit!”

I felt panicky and nervous (partially because I was running late for an appointment to get my fingerprints taken for my UK visa- which, by the way, is more difficult than becoming an Olympian and will warrant its own blog post soon) but David was a total trooper and regained composure quickly.  After dropping me off, he went back to Frogger across the highway and retrieve the broken device.  Both of us wanted to secretly believe that it would be fine- that the rush hour traffic would have magically spared the little phone- but no amount of faith allowed this to be true and the phone is forever dead.

RIP, little Blackberry.  And David, welcome to the world of real smartphones.

*Not only with David, but also with my father and three brothers.  I live in a crazy boy world.

@ Hungry Mother

 I don’t know if you’ve caught on yet, but I love going out for drinks and/or dinner.  When I lived in Minnesota, where there is a rich coffee shop culture, I would park myself at one of my favorite cafes and do homework all evening long.  I’d usually arrange for a constant stream of friends to stop in and interrupt me, but when none were available I’d make new friends.  In 2006, I moved to Boston for school and was devastated by the small selection of coffee shops and cafes that catered to late-night (or all-night, in some cases) coffee drinkers such as myself, so instead of planting myself at coffee shops, I’d make myself at home on a bar stool.  I read books, edited papers, and wrote short stories at bars around the city and made a handful of new friends along the way.

After graduation, my habit of stopping in at a bar had become ritual.  Instead of going straight home to a tiny apartment after work, I’d stop at a bar for a drink or two and chat with whoever was around.  That’s how I met David, and together we’ve become fixtures at a number of local restaurants/bars, but none more-so than Franklin Southie.  I’ve always been drawn to the idea of a Third Place and believe that having a hub- whether it be an athletic club, cafe, pool hall, whatever- where you can unwind and casually meet people is integral to creating a robust social life.  Without the Franklin, David and I wouldn’t have nearly as many friends, but because we clocked in some serious time and have gotten to know the staff and patrons, we’ve made a number of lasting friendships with people we would never have met otherwise.  Doctors, painters, teachers, lawyers- until we started talking, we thought we’d have little in common with these people, but over a cocktail (or a couple) we’ve come to be great friends.   

Last night we went to Hungry Mother with a couple we met through a FF (Franklin Friend) and had a lovely time indulging in boiled peanuts, pimento cheese, and homemade pie (amongst other delicacies, naturally).   Through our conversation, I learned that families in the south will pass cast iron skillets down from mother to daughter and that some of these skillets haven’t been washed in decades (fascinating!).  I also learned that having a filthy skillet is actually quite good and made a mental note to stop putting ours in the dishwasher every time David leaves it oiled on the stove top.  Through our conversation I learned about authentic Cape Cod Dennis Bracelets  and how difficult it is to get one.  Together, we ate slowly, laughed loudly, and happily got to know each other better.  

Being a social animal can sometimes be exhausting, but going out and meeting new friends (especially at Hungry Mother, which is YUM to the EXTREME) sure as hell beats sitting in bed watching TV- even if it is a really good rerun of Downton Abbey…

Gin Season

And here we are again, at the beginning of one of my favorite seasons- Gin Season!

On Sunday, David and I took a long walk through Boston.  Sunday was also the day of the annually epic St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Southie, so we decided to stroll down the esplanade, through Beacon Hill then into Back Bay to avoid the crowds.  But reader, there is no avoiding the crowds on a stunning 70 degree Sunday at the beginning of spring,  and David and I were confronted with masses of sun-bathing lovers, families with strollers, and lots and lots of drunk people.

As you can imagine, the heat and crowd-dodging exhausted us, so along our journey we stopped off for refreshments (and to hide from the masses) at 75 Chestnut and Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar where we indulged in some delicious summery cocktails made with- you guessed it- GIN!  

Now, I’m particular about my gin in that I want it to actually taste like gin.  There’s nothing more refreshing than a cold drink on a hot day that doesn’t make your mouth sticky-sweet but also doesn’t go down like water.  My go-to patio cocktail is a simple Hendrick’s with equal parts soda and tonic served (and this is a must) with a cucumber garnish.  Although I prefer Hendricks, I’m always happy to substitute a crisp, dry gin like Plymouth, Beefeater, or Bols Genever if I have them on hand and want to feel a little more homey and simple.  If I’m not drinking Hendrick’s, I will change my garnish to a lime, obviously. 

This spring I’d like to branch out and try some new gins.  In particular, I’ve had my eye on Breuckelen Distillery’s gin ever since I watched the inspiring story of how they got their start over at Made By Hand and need to get my hands on a bottle.  This year, I’m going to try to stay far away from the G&T rut that usually begins mid-June and peters out when the cool autumn wind blows in.  I will make interesting, sophisticated gin-based drinks that are more complex but just as refreshing as my much loved G&T… Please, let me know if you have suggestions!    

Popping off now to dress for dinner.  My life is v. exhausting, haven’t you heard?

(top photo: gin gimlet at Citizen, middle photo: David’s absurdly large hand & a Hendrick’s with soda and tonic at 75 Chestnut, bottom photo: rug and sun at Citizen)

Mr. Cox and his Michelangelo Hands

My English Gentleman, Mr. Cox, has ginormous hands.  He also has long arms, a long torso, large, muscular calves, and big feet.  Sometimes I jokingly compare him to Michelangelo’s David (their bums are quite similar, too…).  The other night, David fell asleep long before I did and when I walked past him to get a glass of water, I noticed his arm hanging off the side of the bed.  The way his hand was positioned in repose reminded me ever so much of Michelangelo (painter, not the Ninja Turtle), so I grabbed my camera and snapped a photo before tucking myself into bed.  

Though his hand in the photograph is much more similar to Michelangelo’s Adam in the Sistine Chapel than it is to Michelangelo’s David, the similarities between the man and the art is enough to convince me that my David could have been a model for Michelangelo in a past life.  In this life, however, he is a model for Tom’s caricatures (top photo), my midnight photo-shoots, and a prime example of what an upstanding English Gentleman should be.

Mr. Cox & Michelangeo Hands

The Redcoat has enormous hands.  His hands are easily three times are big as mine, and his feet, too.  Sometimes he and I play a game where I make him hold something (my iPhone, a coffee cup, a ring) to see how small it looks in his hand, then I hold it and laugh at how large it looks in my tiny fingers.  It really is fascinating, the disparity between our hands and feet, and one day I’d like to do a photo project documenting the difference. 

 

Two Weeks


David and I have been married for two weeks today.  So far, so good!

I haven’t gotten any photos back from our unofficial official photographer, Oscar (hi, Oscar!) but I hope I don’t look as tired and sleepy in the bar lighting as I do in the direct daylight shots… This one of me and David talking is just about the only one I can stand!  But my vintage mink stole is glamorous and I love love love my hair clip and vintage champagne glasses, too. 

It’s been a long two weeks and I’m very much looking forward to this weekend.  Xox

Whiskey Sour

You know who makes a damn good whiskey sour? 

I wish I were at Island Creek Oyster Bar sipping a whiskey sour right now.  Alas, I have work to do and a big day tomorrow.

The secret to a good whiskey sour lies in a creamy, frothy egg white.  I’m a little trepidations about making them at home because of the whole egg thing, but I’ve decided it’s high time I confront my fear and have decided that I will learn to make a perfect whiskey sour once I move to the UK and have lots of time on my hands.  I also feel as if the eggs in England (Eggland?) are of a higher quality than most places here and I’m less apt to accidentally poison myself with Egglish eggs. 

Anyway, happy Friday and bottoms up!