Wednesday, December 27, 2006

They Say It's Your Blogday


Happy second blogday to the Tent! I'm looking forward to a year filled with learning new words, improving hand-eye coordination, throwing tantrums, and napping.

In other words, business as usual.

(Also, here's a better explanation of my Christmas than I offered you. Hope yours was merry/filled with virile Latinos.)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

What Just Happened: Christmas Miracle Edition

Remember when the Sweet Valley High books had the occasional "special edition," when the characters went on spring break or a ski trip or something like that? Maybe they were called super editions, I can't remember. Anyway, I loved those. They were always so much more dramatic than the regular books and one of the twins always almost died. Anyway, this is my special holiday weekend update. No fictitious twins were harmed in the making.

Christmas Eve consisted of making luminaries, tracking Santa online (complete with 8-year-old Jillian breathlessly shrieking "He's in Paris! RIGHT NOW HE'S FLYING OVER PARIS!"), putting out reindeer food for Rudolph (but not that greedy Blitzen, hells no), a beer run, and my parents hiding a Jesus action figure in each other's cereal bowls.

Kate was a lovely addition to the festivities this year, braving the Fung Wah, offering up newly acquired Trish McEvoy makeup skills (we can make you look dewy), and being a good sport about the fact that when she met Dorie, she was entertaining her children (but mostly herself) by standing on her couch using wooden spoons to conduct Christmas music with an almost disturbing level of enthusiasm.

My mom made Kate a welcome basket with fancy chocolates, warm socks, and a keychain with a K. I think we've pinpointed the source of the family hostessing gene.

My mom's humor-free childhood friend came to Christmas dinner and subjected all of us to her social awkwardness. She's one of those people that all my mom's other friends have given up on but my mom tries to be nice and still invite her places. I think we've pinpointed the source of the family just-can't-shake-a-dud gene.

It was a merry Christmas with my family, my beloved friend, and an aunt who was astute enough to give me the Martha Stewart Homekeeping Handbook, which means I can now clean my entire apartment using just a toothpick and half a lemon. God bless us everyone.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Stealing, Lying, and More Things To Like About Christmas

Last night on the news they were discussing how hoodlums broke into a church in the middle of the night and stole money from the priest's office. First of all, if you're breaking in anywhere, why a church? Second of all, do you think there's a special place in hell reserved for people who steal cash from a priest right before Christmas? I'm not saying it's all that far from the special place reserved for people who insisted on wearing blue to their first communion (me) or didn't get confirmed (me again) but I do think some special consideration must be given. Third of all, the church officials kept saying how saddened they were because that money was intended for the needy. As far as I'm concerned, anyone who breaks and enters for $40 is probably pretty damn needy, so mission accomplished, gentlemen.

Of course, this is coming from someone who, while babysitting Dorie's kids last night and trying unsuccessfully to get them to calm down and go to bed, ended up putting Santa in her cell phone. Nothing like bringing the big guy into the 21st century, right? I held up my phone to show them: "Look who I'm calling, you guys... hello, Santa? How are you? Listen, I'm having some trouble getting the kids into bed. No, no, they're good kids, you know that. And I'm not saying you should send any of their presents back, buuuut..."

By that point, they had gone from screaming bloody murder to under the covers, wide-eyed and silent. And now the "recently dialed" section of my phone is endlessly entertaining: Melissa, Carly, Mardi, Santa, Kate. I might leave him on there; I bet he hardly gets any calls/letters/faxes/telegrams/prayers/shout-outs after the holidays.

Merry whateveryou'reinto, blogfriends!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

And Here I Didn't Even Know I Was in the Running


Kate: I just wanted to congratulate you on being Time's Person of the Year.
Me: Congratulations to you as well!
Kate: Thank you, thank you. I knew I was on the short list last year, but this is really an honor.
Me: I had a conversation with a coworker and I think I really convinced him that I was on the cover. He said, "What, is it someone who looks exactly like you?" No, it's ME. And it's also YOU. Very existential.
Kate: Yeah, and it doesn't diminish the honor at all to have to share it with six billion other freaks.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Few Heartwarming Holiday Moments

1. My mom wrote this in an email to me: "I want to rip someone's face off. Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!" (And all this time I've been claiming to be more like my dad.)

2. Dorie's husband offered me his children to serve drinks at my New Year's Eve party. By strapping trays. On their heads. And having them walk around. Now there's a joke only their father could get away with.

3. Melissa and I decided that we're breaking up all the couples at said party and drawing names to determine who will kiss who at midnight. People are then free to return to their chosen kissing partners, however, the duo who stays together the longest into the new year gets a great door prize. I may be getting a little competitive here, but I think One of My Friends Who is Entirely Unaware of What They're Getting Into and I will be very happy together. I can see it now: "Stop crying, Kevin. You can go back to Carly AS SOON AS I GET THAT DOOR PRIZE."

4. My students did remarkably well at their holiday concert today, considering they weren't allowed to say the word "Christmas." That meant plenty of Winter Wonderland and (wait for it) Winter Pokey, to the tune of Hokey Pokey. What have we become, America? You put your mittens on, you take your mittens off, you put your mittens on and you shake 'em all about...

5. Donald Trump just forced Santa into rehab. Thankfully the big guy is just grateful to get a second chance and promises to try much harder next time.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

What Just Happened: 12/17

On Friday I babysat for Dorie's kids (whom I'm not naming by name to avoid the possibility of them googling themselves... kids are so freakin' wired, it's ridiculous). I've talked about Dorie before, but for any newbies, the deal is that she and her husband have lived across the street from my parents for eleven years, so they basically moved in right when I was leaving for college. She and I have discussed the absurdity of how I lived in that house for a jillion years and she moved into the neighborhood right when I was moving out, but honestly, because of the age gap between us (about fifteen years), we probably wouldn't have been close friends back then. I mean, it would've been hard for a 33-year-old to meet an 18-year-old and form a significant relationship.

Anyway, in the years since they've moved in they've had two kids (now 8 and 7, to whom my parents are godparents) and the whole crew has become family to my family. As an only child I should probably say something sweet and corny like, sniff, I always wanted a sister. I never really did, though. But having a surrogate one has turned out to be great. Plus she and my mom bicker so much that I end up looking like the perfect daughter.

So on Friday her son and I picked up her daughter from basketball. I tease Dorie that she's raising Popular Kids, because they're both gorgeous and athletic. The boy is going to start playing lacrosse next year, for cryin' out loud; I see Duke and stockbroking in his future. I love my nights with them, because I get to be a soccer (or basketball) mom... and then I get to say goodbye and go home. One of them wanted to get a pizza at Papa Gino's and the other one wanted to go to Pizza Express and it was such A Big Deal that you'd think, from their faces, that the ensuing coin toss to decide between the two should've happened in slow motion with Chariots of Fire theme song playing in the background. (Papa won, and the disgruntled party settled for scraping the excess tomato sauce off their slices with a spoon.)

At one point Dorie called me, in that two-and-a-half-margaritas happy place:

Her: You know what's so funny? I'm at the Cactus Club and you're home with my kids!
Me: Wait, you mean you wanted me to stay with the kids until you got home?
Her: I'm out and you're home! It's like we switched lives! Ha ha ha!
Me: Do you call all your babysitters and say this?

When they got home, Dorie and I stayed up talking late, and I rolled across the street at about 3 AM to sleep in my old bedroom. It's very counterintuitive to stroll into my parents' house obscenely late; I still have that 16-year-old mentality of feeling like I should be creeping silently up the stairs and hoping that I don't have any hickeys or smell like Marlboro Lights.

On Saturday I went to see The Holiday with Sarah. I loved it! It was a perfectly executed chick flick, all marshmallow fluff and cuteness... the cinematic equivalent of the honey in the plastic teddy bear. But because nothing normal ever happens to me, I got to the theater before Sarah, got in line to get our tickets, and the guy in front of me inexplicably asked for about fifty gift cards, each of which had to be stamped or initialed or something by the guy behind the counter, and everyone involved in this mindfuck took their sweet ass time, despite the growing line and my silent fury. Sarah arrived ten minutes later, got in another line, and I ended up jumping ship to her line because she got tickets faster.

That night I had dinner with Mardi and her friend Kathy, and then Mardi and I went to the Tree. Sarah met up with us later. All I can say is that hilarity ensued, our night ended at about 4 AM, and today I slept until 1:30 in the afternoon, which I haven't done since college.

And now Christmas is right around the corner! How did that happen? Things are getting very giddy up giddy up giddy up let's go. I still have to finish my cards and I THINK I've finished all my shopping. I know I'm ready to be done with work until the new year, so I'm just marking time this week. But I can't wait to start scoring snowman candles and "Teachers Build the Future" paperweights from my kids, all of whom are already psychotic with the anticipation of Santa.

Oh, like I'm not. He always brings me products.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Dear Japan, Miso Sorry

For those of you not from the area or not in a baseball state of mind, the Sox just spent the national debt to acquire a young Japanese pitcher named Daisuke Matsuzaka. Although my feelings toward our new friend are not unlike my feelings toward Barack Obama (i.e. "aaand what's all the hype about, exactly?"), I'm optimistic. Red Sox Nation is always optimistic. And I drew an "07" in the center field sand at Fenway in October so that's got to count for something.

But guess what? Turns out, surprise surprise, that we're really just freakin' tacky. The headline on was "Konichiwa!" Our local sports journalists basically pinched the cheeks of the swarming Japanese media and called them adorable. I just heard one of my favorite radio stations play a soundbite, "Welcome and domo arigato, Daisuke!" Yeah, you could argue that it means thank you, but we all know it's a Mr. Roboto reference.

I shudder to think of how much "Turning Japanese" we'll be hearing in the bars come April. And I just heard that they served hot dogs and sushi in the press box dining room. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

Monday, December 11, 2006

I Was Just Trying to Buy Brownie Mix and Everyone at the Store Made Fun of Me, and Other Anecdotes on Life

What do you think, have I found the title for my autobiography, or what?

This is reason 3,001 why I don't bake. I remembered on the way home that I had to bring brownies into work tomorrow. Because the grocery store is So Far Away, I went to Store 24, so I pretty much felt guilty before I walked in the door. At a place like that there's always that sense that anything you're purchasing could've been sitting on the shelves since the same store was illegally selling me Marlboro Lights in high school.

But they had brownie mix and I looked at the back of the box to see what else I needed: vegetable oil, eggs, water. I must have read the ingredients under my breath because a woman walking behind me said, "You don't know how to make brownies?" I turned, smiling, assuming she wasn't a horrific bitch, but she was. Woman was totally sneering at me. Excuse you, Betty Crocker. I should've told her I was making them for disabled kids. Maybe I'll go back tomorrow, hope she comes back in as well, and have a "well, the jerk store called and they're running out of YOU!" moment.

Then I'm in line, and the guy behind the counter turned the egg carton on its side the long way and stacked it in the bag. Maybe I'm overly egg protective, but I said, "Oh, actually, can I get the eggs in their own bag?" The guy said sure and couldn't have been nicer. And then the woman behind me (a different woman!) said, to no one in particular, "Now she needs a separate bag for her eggs!"

Now I need a separate bag? Now? As though the bag is yet another thing in my exhaustive list of demands?

I left and have decided that from now on I'm buying my brownies at Rosie's, like any other respectable non-baker. Clearly the magic of the season has touched us all.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

What Just Happened: 12/10

After work on Friday, I got my hair did. Well, cut. Now it's shoulder length, if any of you are keeping track. As I think I've mentioned, my hairdresser is a longtime family friend and every time I see her, she repeatedly asks me to a) get it cut more often, which I really should, b) blow it dry adequately every time, which I really should, and c) use products. I don't really use any products; my hair is Totally Straight and Boring (see right) and I'm inexplicably a wash-and-go girl in this one area of my life. My hairdresser can't get over the fact that I love every other kind of product and yet I'm not at all enticed by shine spray or texturing paste or whatever the hell she puts on me. It always goes like this:

Me: I never blow it dry for this long.
Her: I know.
Me: Or this thoroughly.
Her: I know. But you should.
Me: I'm filled with regret.
Her: Oh, enough out of you.

Me: You don't have to use any product.
Her: I know, but this will just make it shiny/silky/supple/sublime.
Me: No, that's okay.
Her: I'm just using a TINY bit.
Me: No!
Her: YES!

Clearly, I'm good at drawing boundaries when it matters.

With hair like a golden, dewy meadow, the only time in the foreseeable future that it won't be damp and/or in a ponytail, I went to meet Mardi and Doug at the Marriott bar/restaurant, where there appeared to be a Santa convention going on. Those sorts of things are funnier to observe when you're drinking vodka cranberries. Then we went to (where else?!) the Cherry Tree, where our favorite barfly has, sadly, left for brighter pastures, which means that we now have to pay for our own pitchers. Miller Lite is back to tasting like hooker bile now that it costs money again. At one point all the Santas that we saw at the hotel came raging into the Tree singing Christmas carols; apparently they were bar hopping to spread the holiday cheer and raise money for underprivileged kids. Mardi lured one of the well-intentioned Santas into drinking cheap beer with us for awhile, and Doug looked up at one of the other ones and asked, "Are there really needy kids in [Affluent City We Were In]?"

On Saturday I went to my godmother's Christmas party. She hasn't had a party in about fifteen years so I got to hear plenty of "Oh, my goodness, look at how big you've gotten!" which really isn't a compliment when you're 29. I flitted around like the social freakin' butterfly that I am and provided answers to questions like "So what are you doing for work these days?" (I'm a neurologist who practices law on the weekends and also writes children's books), "So where are you living these days?" (I split my time between my country home, my city home, and the island of Hawaii, which I recently purchased), and "So have you met anyone special?" (Nah, still screening Leonardo's calls; he can be so needy, you know?)

I got home around 1, and Mardi and Sarah were still out but the bars were closing (welcome to Boston, we're lame!) so they came over to my place, because it's the happening afterhours (read: in lieu of a full bar and live band, it features a laundry basket full of towels and a fridge with nothing but wine and ketchup). Mardi brought a boy, in keeping with the tradition of my friends using my home as their motel, and Sarah and I went upstairs to sleep but she kept me awake and giggling. In the morning I drove the lovebirds home and then Mardi and I shopped for accessories for my New Year's Eve naughty-or-nice extravaganza. One of the stops was a party store where I was able to use my teacher discount. Nothing like exploiting the kids to save a few bucks on handcuffs, extra large blow pops and candy necklaces; I'm sure I can incorporate them into a lesson plan somehow.

(P.S. Thanks Zorak! See how I turned my gratitude into a shameless plug? Takes skill.)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Good Eatin'

When I say I'm a beginning cook, I mean beginning. But part of my new healthy kick has been trying new recipes, and I thought I'd share the good ones with you guys. Yes, I'm a novice, but I'm okay with that. Everything I put on this page has been made by me and deemed to be good, so take that for what it's worth. This page will be updated (hopefully a lot!) with new stuff. There's nutritional info included for everything as well. I got most of these from Cooking Light.

And in case you start noticing a recurring theme, yes, I'm a chicken girl. I don't eat a lot of red meat, but not for any particular reason... I love hamburgers at barbecues and spaghetti and meatballs, but I just don't have it all that often. I also don't like potatoes, cheese (although a little of it is okay if it's melted) or beans, so you'll notice the absence of those below (if any recipes say to add grated cheese, for example, I don't, but you feel free to rock the parm). I haven't tried cooking fish yet but I will sometime. Ooh, and I just found a recipe for watermelon margaritas. Yum! When's summer getting here?

Chicken Marsala

1 lb. boneless chicken breast
4 cups of egg noodles
3 portobello mushrooms caps, cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup marsala wine (The recipe actually calls for 1 1/4 cups, but the consensus was that the finished product was a little too marsala-y so next time I'm cutting back. However, I used actual marsala wine because I couldn't find cooking wine, so maybe when you use cooking wine you need more of it, I'm not sure.)
1 tablespoon cold water
1/4 cup lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Stir together the water and cornstarch in a small bowl until smooth. Stir in the marsala wine, lemon juice and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and set aside.

Combine the flour, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and dash of salt in a shallow bowl. Cut chicken into 1 inch pieces. Flour chicken by lightly pressing both sides of each chicken piece into the flour mixture.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Arrange chicken strips in a single layer. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side or until they are lightly browned but not cooked through. Transfer chicken to a plate and cover to keep warm.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring and turning the mushrooms occasionally, for about 3 minutes or until the mushrooms are lightly browned but not tender. Stir the sauce and pour it over the mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 1 minute or until the sauce becomes clear and thickens slightly.

Stir in the chicken. Cover and cook for about 8 minutes or until the chicken is done. While the chicken is cooking, make the noodles. Spoon noodles onto plate and top with chicken-mushroom mixture and sauce.

Makes: 4 servings

Nutritional info per serving:

Chicken and Mushrooms in Garlic White Wine Sauce (served with garlicky green beans, see below)

4 ounces uncooked medium egg noodles
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried taragon (or basil or parsley)
1 (8 oz) package presliced mushrooms
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup fat free less sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.

Cut chicken into 1 inch pieces. Place chicken breast halves in a shallow dish. Combine 1 tablespoon flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, stirring well with a whisk. Sprinkle flour mixture over chicken; toss to coat.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until browned. Remove chicken from pan. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan. Add garlic, tarragon, and mushrooms to pan; sauté for 3 minutes or until liquid evaporates and mushrooms darken. Add white wine to pan; cook 1 minute. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in broth, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper; cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring frequently.

Return chicken to the pan. Cover and simmer 2 minutes. Uncover; cook 1 minute or until chicken is done. Stir in noodles; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Place about 1 1/2 cups chicken mixture on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese.

Makes: 4 servings

Nutritional info per serving:
CALORIES 350(29% from fat); FAT 11.1g (sat 2.6g,mono 6.2g,poly 1.4g); PROTEIN 34.3g; CHOLESTEROL 99mg; CALCIUM 91mg; SODIUM 502mg; FIBER 1.2g; IRON 2.5mg; CARBOHYDRATE 26.5g

Garlicky Green Beans

2 cups green beans, trimmed
1 teaspoon butter
Cooking spray
1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground sea salt
1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic

Cook beans in boiling water 2 minutes. Drain and plunge beans into ice water; drain. Melt butter in a small nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add beans, salt, pepper, and garlic; cook 2 minutes or until heated.

Makes: 2 servings

Nutritional info per serving:
CALORIES 54(35% from fat); FAT 2.1g (sat 1.2g,mono 0.6g,poly 0.1g); PROTEIN 2.1g; CHOLESTEROL 5mg; CALCIUM 45mg; SODIUM 170mg; FIBER 3.8g; IRON 1.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 8.4g

Peach-Glazed Chicken

Cooking spray
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 pound chicken breast tenders
1/2 cup peach preserves
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 green onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; add oil, and place over medium-high heat until hot. Add chicken, and saute 5 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken, set aside and keep warm.

Reduce heat to low; add preserves and remaining 3 ingredients. Cook, stirring constantly, until preserves melt and onion is tender. Spoon preserves mixture over chicken.

Makes: 4 servings

Nutritional info per serving:
CALORIES 238 (10% FROM FAT); FAT 2.7g (SAT 0.6g); PROTEIN 26.3g; CARBOHYDRATE 26.4g; CHOLESTEROL 66mg; SODIUM 95mg

Black Pepper Citrus Chicken

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 1/4 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 tablespoon salt
4 (6 oz) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 cup sliced onion
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
1/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon pepper and salt over chicken. Add chicken to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to pan. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Add wine; cook 1 minute. Return chicken to pan. Add remaining 3/4 teaspoon pepper and juices. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 4 minutes or until chicken is done. Sprinkle with parsley.

Makes: 4 servings

Nutritional info per serving:
CALORIES 240(22% from fat); FAT 5.9g (sat 0.8g,mono 2.6g,poly 1.5g); PROTEIN 39.6g; CHOLESTEROL 99mg; CALCIUM 29mg; SODIUM 259mg; FIBER 0.5g; IRON 1.5mg; CARBOHYDRATE 3.8g

The Obliterate Your Friends Bay Breeze

3 shots cranberry juice
3 shots pineapple juice
2 shots Grey Goose

This is the perfect amount to fit in a martini glass. Shake well, and use the Goose! It makes a difference. Also, have lots of pillows and blankets on hand, because nobody's going home after a few of these.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Wherein I Use More Synonyms for "Vagina" Than I Ever Thought Possible

Damn my expired Us Weekly subscription; I'm so out of the celebrity gossip loop. But I'm happy to find that it's reached terrifying new heights. It appears that in my absence, labia flashing has become a trend. It's not enough that these twenty-something starlets are all drunk and coked up every night, now they're showing off their goods like a new handbag. I mean, what the hell? Is vulva the new black?

When I heard that Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton's favorite new accessories were their vajayjays, I was all like, nuh-uh, did their skirts just ride up a little or something? But people, these pictures are unbelievable! There's one here and another one here... and oh yeah, here's one more! Those are the edited ones, but you can Google Image your way to the real McCoys, as you'd better believe I did. (In fact, not unlike a 14-year-old boy, I said, "Awww, come on!" when the first ones that I found had strategically placed blurs.)

Seriously, WHAT'S GOING ON? You cannot honestly make a mistake like that. You would have to be novacained from the waist down to not feel a gentle breeze long before some paparazzi has a chance to catch your business on film.

What's next, reverse cowgirl with one of the wise men in the middle of a Catholic school nativity scene? Can I get an amen?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

What Just Happened: 12/3

After my dad and I went to New York for that baseball weekend in September (when I also met Darren, Miss Peach, hung out with Kate and Dave, experienced Chipotle for the first time, and didn't sleep), my mom and I decided that we should plan a mother-daughter weekend (pause for the "awww" here), so she and I just spent the girliest two days in Boston.

We stayed at the Westin in Copley, which is a solid A- as far as hotels go, and they have something that no other hotels do: the Heavenly bed and bath. Seriously, the bed is like nirvana. I don't even know what to say about it. I tried to deconstruct its infinite complexities to figure out why it felt so good, but then I just gave up and made sweet, sweet love to it instead. The Heavenly bath is great too. My new Philosophy 3-in-1 and I took three heavenly showers over the course of 40 hours. Fine, four. (Incidentally, Party Jen and I stayed at a Westin in the Bahamas a few years ago, and we called everything in the place heavenly, including the ants we found on our nightstand. Ew. In the hotel's defense, I'm sure the heavenly ants invaded us because of our empty daiquiri glasses.)

Anyway, since the hotel connected to all the stores in the Pru, we went Christmas shopping for, um, everyone. We probably got something for you. We're hoping that you like it, but there's a gift receipt in there so you can exchange it if you want to.

Before we went out on Saturday night we got our makeup done at Trish McEvoy at the hotel spa, which is probably the silliest thing you can spend money on, but we hardly knew our own beauty (and no one else will know it either, because we didn't bring a camera and washed everything off six hours later). I was coveting this, but got it to give to my mom for Christmas instead, because if I need to spend $85 for skin that's supple and glowing, I'll stick with drab and dehydrated and instead put the money toward my electric bill. No, just kidding. Don't you know me at all? They just didn't have two, and tis the season to give unto others (in hopes that she gets sick of it by February and then gives it unto me).

We went to see the show Respect, which was light and fun and adorable. It featured a blond, brunette and redhead, so it was kind of rocking a BFC vibe. (Ahem, I've mentioned my BFCs before and have received a few questions about this acronym; I've been meaning to add this Tent trivia to the SAQ, and just finally did, if you find that information at all interesting.) I'd never been to the Stuart Street Playhouse and liked it there. So it was this nice little show about music and women through the ages-a-lama-ding-dong, and we left on a happy little cloud of positivity, and then I had to tell a drunk hooker to step off. She and her lumpy fortyish-year-old date were about to jump right into the cab that I'd been waiting ten minutes in the cold for. I don't think so, kids. (When we got back to the room, my mom called my godmother and said, "You wouldn't believe it, Red just yelled at a prostitute! It was great!")

The food! Room service breakfast both days, which means you can eat eggs and drink hot chocolate and then lie down! Am I too young for that to make me as happy as it did? Friday night at Meritage in the Boston Harbor Hotel was parmesan and caramelized shallot wrapper style ravioli with white truffle oil, maple rubbed lamp chop with risotto, and a chocolate tasting plate. They actually do something that other restaurants should start copying... anything that you order can be served as an appetizer (excuse me, "small plate") or meal ("large plate"). So you can get a normal meal or order all apps and share, which is one of the best ways to eat out. Also, you know how lots of menus have wine recommendations for certain meals? (Jeez, they even do that kind of thing at places like the Olive Garden now, so now you can decide which "house merlot" goes better with your chicken parm.) Anyway, the chef designed the menu so that it's actually organized by wine... genres? what's the word I'm looking for? and the food that would go best with it. Neat! If I wasn't strictly a chardonnay girl, I'd have tried the prix fixe menu. Saturday night at Rustic Kitchen was olive bread, butternut squash tortelli (not tortellini, is there a difference?) with brown butter, sage and creme fraiche, and then chocolate chip gelato. The place is so lovely, cozy and warmly lit, perfect for a cold night.

While it wasn't like I was really away for the weekend (I live ten minutes from Boston), it felt like I was, and I was sort of out of the loop with my friends, so the text messages that I was getting were cracking me up: "I don't understand, you're in Boston but you're away for the weekend? Are you in captivity?", "Going to Hurricane O'Reilly's. Want to drop by, or are you busy being exfoliated?" and my personal favorite, "I know you're away, but do you think it would be bad to bring a girly magazine to visit my cousin in the hospital? Nothing hardcore, just like a bikini girl magazine."

All in all, a pretty perfect weekend. It could've only been better if I'd been there with Jason. No offense, mom.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Movies of 07

2/18: Music and Lyrics. The first movie I've seen in a theater this year. Clearly, I get out a lot. Saw it with Kate and liked it. Liked it in that simple way that it's possible to like a straightforward, unapologetic RoCo. No Oscar nods, no complaints, no aftertaste.

1/27: Sideways. Saw this for the second time and loved it just as much as the first go around. However, I stayed in on a Saturday night to watch it, citing fatigue and being cash poor, and then woke up with strep. Lesson learned: Always go out.

1/9: Boys on the Side. I've seen it a million times. Love it.

1/6: The Devil's Own. This is the sort of movie that you'd probably sit on the edge of your couch watching for a few minutes if it happened to come on TBS, until the dryer buzzed or the phone rang. But thanks to my mom's love for The Ford, there were nine of us who spent part of their Saturday watching it. Probably would've been better if they'd just had Brad Pitt be some pawn of organized crime or something rather than involve the whole Northern Ireland debacle, which was totally glossed over anyway in favor of extended shots of Harrison's furrowed brow. Plus, you don't even get to see Brad have so much as a good make-out with Natasha McElhone. Maybe that was for the best, considering I was watching it with my family, but still: robbed!

1/1: The Wedding Date, which I DVRed ages ago. It was pretty terrible, but at the same time it was perfect for a rainy, gray, New Year's Day when I just wanted to lie on the couch and not clean up yet. There was a cute, rally-the-ladies quote in it ("Here's to the guys who've caught you, the losers who've lost you, and the lucky bastards who have yet to meet you") and then about twenty minutes later, Party Jen texted me and said exactly that as her toast to the new year. Weird, huh?

Books of 07

Nothing yet. I'm not much into the book learnin'.