Why so mad?

A lot of people are getting pissed off about the ALS challenge.
What up with that?
I know I know. People are doing it for other reasons, they are missing the point. But are they? My 10 year old knows what ALS is. That can’t be bad. It’s silly and goofy. And it’s become a game for celebs to see who can do a better one. But so what? I’d rather see that then butt selfies. Butt selfies are all the rage.
Also – why do people get so pissy so fast?
Here’s what I know. I know that I’d rather see your aunt/husband/brother being doused with water for a cause than a news story about ISIS. Or Ferguson. Yes those things are happening. Yes those things are evil incarnate. And yes I read about them. But afterwards, I need something else. To function, to wake up tomorrow and know that this world is ok for my kids, I need something else. I need to see ice water dumped on Anna Wintour or George Bush. On a side note – I love Retired George Bush. He’s so warm and kind and…not dumb. I may have even voted for Retired George Bush. Maybe.
Anyway. Dump the f’ing water. Donate to ALS. Cool down and lighten up.
Here’s me and my crew doing it.

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“Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys”

A very smart woman told me about that saying. It sums up what I’m thinking many times during a work week, a chat with a friend, or a chat with my family. And then I remember that some of those people are my monkeys. And it is my f’ing circus. And then I’m exhausted.
But most of the time, I wish I could print it on cards and hand it out to people. And smile. And then walk away.
I gift this nugget to you.
You’re welcome.

No ask too many questions!

Years ago, when a large part of my job involved literally making invites ( or melting hot wax in a spoon at midnight in the corporate cafeteria to seal those invites- true story) we would scour NYC for the best of everything. We knew the really good paper houses. We knew which store had the perfect envelopes. We knew where to get great flowers and even prettier vases. We spent hours on font styles and spacing. Hours. But that’s what happy insane planners in their twenties do. Right? I’m sure the Millennials are confused. Oh you of Etsy luxury. You have no idea what it means to be really grass roots. Or maybe you do. I dunno. I’m just a middle-aged Gen Xer trying to get by.
Wait, what was I talking about?
It was so nice in the city today that I walked to a further train station than usual and passed a small, stationary shop. It reminded me of the shops we would haunt and hunt in. My favorite of these oldies was a ribbon store on 28th Street or 29th street. That’s right people. A ribbon shop. Imagine a world without Michaels or AC Moore. Before The Knot or even Martha Stewart Magazine. There was/is a little shop devoted to ribbons. You can look for hours for ribbons for weddings, for gifts, for your hair – whatever you want. What you can’t do is “ask too many questions”. All along the walls are small, but clear signs,” no ask too many questions”.
To this day if one of my kids is badgering me, or if my husband is interrogating my trip to the store – this is what I think in my head. NO ASK TOO MANY QUESTIONS!

The Dinner Bell

Sometimes nothing makes me happier than some hummus. And some pretzel chips. Do you know about pretzel chips? I was just introduced to them. It was love at first bite. Sorry. Hope your dinner made you this happy.

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I’m sorry what?

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I’ve been trying. I really have. I’ve watched every episode. I’ve read every article – even ones in legitimate news publications. You know, the ones that don’t have that many pictures in them. But I don’t get it. Here’s the general premise by wikipedia (which I get):

“The Leftovers takes place three years after a global “Rapture“, which caused the unexplainable disappearance of 2% of the world population. It centers not on the people who were taken, but on the ones left behind, in the fictional town of Mapleton, New York.”

The main character is played by Justin Theroux, of Jennifer Aniston fame. He plays the most depressed, hardened, six-pack showing chief of police that you’ve ever met. He has a daughter who makes every other teenager look like a bag of sunshine and happiness. There’s also a cult group that dresses in white, smokes cigarettes and causes havoc. But after episode 3 – they weren’t so interesting anymore. I won’t even go into the prophet-savior-of-the-world-born-of-an-Asian-chick plot line. 

And that’s where the things-that-make-sense in the show end. Every episode is a deeper glimpse into the confusion. Maybe I’m not cool enough. Maybe I’m not smart enough. Or both. 

I’m giving up. And I never give up on TV. I didn’t give up on Dexter when it veered into the ridiculous during the last season. I stayed with Game of Thrones even when they killed every single character I loved. I’m even still watching The Good Wife after what they did to Will Gardner. I’m loyal man. But not with this show. Sorry HBO. Sorry Justin. I knew the show was a goner when I started thinking about his life with Jennifer during his serious, dramatic scenes. 

If you haven’t watched the show – don’t let this deter you. Go ahead and watch it. Then we can have coffee and you can explain it to me. I’ve got other fish to fry. Fish named Jack Bauer.

 

 

 

You say tomato, I say bruschetta

We had a fun weekend out on Long Island with our Aunt Kathy. Picked up our daughter from her annual visit, went to the beach and met some furry friends (and their pink gooey toys). I wish everyone had an Aunt Kathy.
She’s smart, funny and sassy. And if that wasn’t enough, her green thumb is off the hook. She could start one of those annoying, hipster farming co-ops if she wanted to. But she wouldn’t.
She loaded us up on the way home with green bean, eggplant and tomatoes. Not sure what I’ll do with the other stuff, but I know exactly how to polish off the toMAtoes.
To be saved for another day -

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To be eaten ASAP!

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Stinky Pinky

It’s wet. It’s dirty. And per it’s name, it stinks.
Actually it doesn’t really stink.
It’s full of gooey saliva and it should stink, but it doesn’t.
Pinky is Maddie’s favorite toy. Maddie is a Yorkie mix – a rescue dog that lives the good life in the Hamptons.
Beach down the road. Garden full of veggies outside. A doting mommy. And Pinky.
There’s no amount of Lysol that could make me touch Pinky.
Ewwww

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Nutty

Two years ago my sister showed up at Mother’s Day or Thanksgiving or Christmas – one of them – with a bag full of these spicy, sweet, salty nuts. They have a strange crack-like power on everyone who tries them. I decided to make a batch for our favorite aunt out in Long Island who takes our girl for a beach adventure every summer. In fact she’ll take any girls – all girls seem to be welcome. Boys too maybe. She’s good like that. She deserves some nuts.

This is the Smitten Kitchen recipe, quadrupled. Cause that’s how I roll.

4 Cups Nuts (any nut will do. Except the nut you’re married to), 1 egg white, 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, 1/2 Cup White Sugar, 2 tsp Cinnamon, 2 tsp Salt, 2 tbs Cayenne Pepper, 3 tbs water.

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Combine the sugars, cayenne pepper, salt and cinnamon. Whisk the egg white with the water until frothy. Add egg whites to the nuts and coat evenly. Add the sugar and toss. 

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Spread evenly in one layer on parchment paper and bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before packaging. I made a batch of these last week to take to a picnic and found this cute candy bowl. The plan was to give the host of the picnic the nuts and bowl, but when he offered it back at the end of the night, I took it. I couldn’t help it. It’s so cute. The first batch of nuts I made were pecans, almonds, and walnuts. The clear winner taste wise in our house is the pecans – so that’s what I made today.

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Padawan lesson for the day

 Sometimes you’re the hammer, and sometimes you’re the nail.

I heard an amazing interview this morning on my way into work. Jeff Bridges was on The Howard Stern Show talking about his current movie, his life and his work. Stern is one of my all-time favorite interviewers, it’s like he knows exactly what I would ask a particular person. To me, his show shines when he interviews someone. It could be a celebrity, a musician, a hooker – whatever. He’s good at it. I’m almost always interested. Even when he brings on people I could care less about – the conversation sucks me in. 

Jeff Bridges was no exception. I like him as an actor. He’s been in some good stuff. But I’ve never had a burning desire to hear from him. Until now. Now he’s my Yoda. Don’t believe me? Google his quotes. He’s genius. He may be high, but he’s genius. 

He said lots of funny/interesting things this morning, but my favorite was the line above. He didn’t make that up, I’ve heard it before. But he said it in an upbeat, lively manner. In a way that implied he’s ok being both. Each has a job to do. One isn’t more powerful than the other. I’d always thought it meant that you were either succeeding or failing. I was wrong. To Jeff, it means you are doing different things successfully. 

Can you guess which one I was today? Which one were you?

Dear Howard, I’m not going to punk out!

Confession. Sometimes (not ALWAYS) I make plans and then cancel. I’m particularly guilty of ditching my friend Howard. Howie. Uncle Wowie to some. Here’s the formal definition of my disease:

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Retreating. It’s what I do best. Some folks also refer to this as “flaking”. I’m a flake. Sometimes. But not without a cause! I don’t just willy nilly cancel. I’m not a monster.
Here’s the reason I couldn’t come to the party, the cocktail hour, the dinner, the birthday, the birth of your first born (gulp):

- when I said yes, I meant it. I really wanted to be there. Then all of a sudden I didn’t, and it doesn’t mean I don’t love you. I do.
– sometimes I over estimate my ability to “make it happen”. For example, I thought I could work a week-long event, travel home and then go right to a party. Or… I thought I could drive the 10 hours for your baby shower, have cake, and then drive home.
– you wouldn’t have fun. Why? Because I suck at faking it. Loads of people do loads of things they don’t want to. Not me. No sir. I have no poker face. I’m a walking billboard of my emotional state.
– I thought I’d be able to volunteer for the PTA/show up for your make-up party/drive you to your friend’s house even though I work two states away and can’t ever be home by 3.
Good intentions people. Always good.
I’m lucky my friends and family don’t disown me. They all understand. Almost all do (ahem. Howard)
I’m also very understanding when friends cancel on me. I get it. I don’t judge you! I’m not mad! I may even be happy. Who knows. The point is, it’s ok.
But I don’t want to be the friend/wife/mother that cried plans. I vow to change! Or at least make fewer plans that I have to cancel.
I’ll see you tomorrow night Howard! Xoxo

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