Saturday, October 31, 2009


I've decided that the key to finishing projects in a timely manner is outsourcing. I like to think of myself as ambitious. But I'm also lazy. I'm ambitiously lazy. I told Nipper Knapp yesterday that I think the garage office should be my project room. I said I think the reason I have a hard time finishing things is because I don't have space to do them. I'm always packing things up mid-project and putting them away, making it harder to get back out and start back up, so I move on to another project. He said "OH, so THAT'S why you have so many projects going." Bastard. I came upon Alicia Paulson's website the other day, and I think the photos of her studio are dreamy. Look at that shelf filled with fabric. Swoon!

Ok, so that's the next thing to get done, but right now we have something that we got started on this week, and it's finished! And by we, I mean Roberto, our neighborhood handyman, and all around most helpful person ever, and his entire crew. He told me last Friday he would start the tile Monday morning. He and his crew also work for Barbara, our landscape designer, who is also a freakin genius, and took our sad dirt lot and made it into an oasis for us. Apparently they had to start a job for Barbara on Monday as well, so they were shuttling guys back and forth. On Monday Miguel, the youngest, and my guess the guy who gets stuck with all the crap jobs, came to tear out the old tile. They discovered that the house flipper we bought the place from had tiled right over the plaster, so they had to take the wall down to the studs and start over. On Tuesday Momo, Roberto's brother Geronimo, who is the craftsman of the crew, came and put up the hardybacker, and made a chalk line for the tile. Jack loves Momo, and stood in the kitchen door for two days saying "What's Momo doing?". 

Our house was built in 1928. Nothing is even. The floors, the windows, the walls, the cabinets, nothing is perpendicular to anything else. So when Momo the perfectionist started to tile, he was dismayed to see that everything was galley gimble. I could tell it was making him crazy, and I assured him that I didn't expect it to be perfect, just better than the barfy bean colored tiles that we had before. 

They had to make a million cuts to make the tiles line up correctly and so the tile work went into Thursday. Roberto came with his wife and worked until 9pm that night despite our protests that they go home. We bought them In&Out burgers and sent them home with a box of burgers and fries for their boys. Some stupid consolation. At one point, after we had gotten Jack to bed, Nipper and I were downstairs ready to watch TV. We had an overwhelming sense of guilt, and were trying to hide in the living room. Could we have tiled the kitchen ourselves? Yes. Should we have? NO. It would have taken us 3 or 4 months, and we would probably be flirting with a trial separation. Plus, we are contributing to the economy. So there! Suck it guilt!

Roberto also had to have his electrician come in to do a few things. We've had to unplug the garbage disposal every time we run the dishwasher because the previous owner put them on the same switch. So thoughtful. We also had a plug in the middle of this tiny wall in the middle of the room that I'm not sure what you'd plug into it. We had him take that one out and put one in the back hallway so I could move the microwave back there, and free up some counter space. When we moved here, my mother said "You don't have a lot of storage space in that kitchen" and I thought she was spoiled. She has one of those awesome kitchens with an island the size of a large motor home, and custom cabinets, with drawers, and pulls, and things that spin so you never have to bend over. Dream kitchen. But she was right, we have stuff crammed in every single inch of that kitchen, including the back table that is overflowing with crap. That my designated disaster area. The household junk drawer. Nipper Knapp is not allowed to say "What's this?" OR "Where is this thing going to go?" If it's on the back table it's got immunity from his O.C.D.

So here are the before and after  pictures. If I had a million dollars I would love to have done a whole big kitchen renovation. Taken out a wall, added french doors to the patio, retiled the floor, gotten real cabinets with drawers, and other storage things that make sense. But I don't have a million dollars. I have about thirty seven dollars. Nipper and his dad painted the kitchen right after we moved in. Shortly after that I painted the cabinets and installed the green glass knobs and drawer pulls to match my jadite appliances and dishes. I had this awesome upholsterer make the curtains from this fabric I bought 6 years ago, before I was married, or owned a house. I knew I'd have a kitchen someday, and I knew I'd want curtains from that fabric. 


thanks but no thanks for the country kitchen cabinets and horrid soffit

I alternately refer to this tile as the "home depot especial" and "refried tile delight"

The neighbors told us that there was a craftsmen era built in breakfast nook here that the flipper tore out


Ta-dah! My mom insisted on getting us the oven hood, she was right, it finishes the space. Thanks mom!

I took the door off the glass cabinet so I wouldn't have to listen to the cabinet door banging 32 times a day. I am impossible to deal with. I know. 

The white tile makes the kitchen look so much bigger. I went with a dove grey grout so it would match better with the grey countertops and stainless steel appliances, which by the way NEVER look clean. Poor Nipper

I got the "fake Saarinen table at Ikea. It's called the Docksta, and it's kind of the greatest rip-off ever. The Eames chairs are from Modernica, and they were a birthday gift to Nipper Knapp from my mother last year. 

Today I went out and bought what I keep referring to as the "Cadillac of dishracks", (sorry Nipper) and an under the cabinet paper towel dispenser. Not having the paper towels sitting on the counter anymore kind of makes me feel like we are Vanderbilts. Like we moved out of the cave and into the DE-luxe apartment in the sky. We're movin' on up people...

All in all, I'd say we spent just under $1000 over the course of two and a half years (not including the gift chairs) to make the kitchen look like the kitchen I imagined I'd have all those years ago. Now if only I could have imagined a second bathroom. I never dared to dream that big. 

PRETTY! I'm just trying to get a fix...

Ok, so I'm kind of a Christmas junkie. I start listening to old timey Christmas music sometime mid-summer. I don't subject Nipper to it until mid-October, which is two months too soon for him. But it makes me happy in an immediate way. It makes me nostalgic and hopeful, and I don't care who knows it. I even made a Pandora station that only plays Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, and The Rat Pack singing Christmas carols. Pandora is kind of the greatest thing that ever happened to me (after Nipper and Jack and the soy gingerbread latte at Starbucks that also comes but once a year).

I was on Anthropologie this morning looking for those owl towels, so I could copy the embroidery pattern onto the towels I got at Ikea for Sadie (terrible, awful, cheap unethical, going to hell). I saw that they had their holiday stuff in. Yippee! I look forward to this stuff all year. I'm like an addict who only gets to get high one month out of the year. The other 11 months, I'm just sick, and trying to maintain. Also, I'm sure much to my mother's chagrin, none of this has anything to do with Jesus. Or not much at least. It's more about the feeling of it. The twinkly lights, the smell of the tree, and the cinnamon in everything, wrapping presents, giving presents, scotch tape. I once wrapped all of my friend Mike's presents for him one year, just because it made me happy. I'm more generous in spirit at Christmas time. I don't look at other people and sigh as much. It's powerful stuff.

So Anthropologie... I have a pretty great collection of ornaments, but no tree topper. Those angels seem too something or other for my taste, and those weird finial dealies are just uhm, too violent for my lovely tree. So I'm always looking for something clever to put up there each year. I keep thinking I'll just make a tin foil star like the kind you'd have made in elementary school.

Well, ladies and gentleman, I found this beautiful little nest at anthropologie, and had an Etta James AT LAST moment, until my eyes rolled over the price. THREE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY NINE DOLLARS! Did Barack Obama make it? Damn you to hell Anthropologie.

So you know what's coming right? I'm going to make one just like it. Now I wonder where I can buy silver floss like that. hmmm. Pictures coming "soon".

Thursday, October 29, 2009

imogene + willie

I'm sorry. I apologize. I know this is slightly stalky obsessive behavior. But these people have made something awesome and it needs to be shared.

Check out the new video on the front page of Imogene + Willie's website. Did I mention they're having a pinewood box derby this weekend???? Gah!!! Who get's to be this cool?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


When I left the house today this is is where the kitchen was at. When I got home it was almost done. Hoorah! Hoorah! No more refried bean tiles! Nipper said the fridge is messy, but I pretended like he wasn't talking to me, and left the kitchen. We might just get through this week in one piece.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The pile system meets the box system meets Nipper Knapp

So I'd like to say straight away that I am by far the most organized member of my family. My mother used to tease me about how everything had to be "just so". That being said, isn't saying much, because I was raised in a Tornado. I was explaining the chore line up in our house to Nipper the other day, and I could see him visibly shaken by my story. I might as well have told him that my parents beat me with a belt as a child. 

Here's how laundry worked in our house. The laundry room was in the basement, sort of out of site, out of mind. My mom would throw a load of laundry in the wash or in the dryer when she had a free moment. But once it was dry, it got dumped onto a large dining room table that was in the room. Once the pile was 3 or 4 feet tall, or not a single pair of socks or underwear was left in the house, my mother would order one of us down there to fold it all and bring it upstairs. It felt like you'd been ordered to climb everest. The pile was always taller than me, and it seemed unfair, and as I got older, disgusting to have to fold my dad's and brother's underwear. The other horror show about laundry day was that very often in the basement you'd see silverfish the size of your hand. For those of you who don't know what a silverfish is, google it. Better yet, see if you can find video, because I'm not sure a still photo could do this monster justice. I'd provide a link, but I can't. Just typing the word silverfish has raised the hairs on the back of my neck. Shiver...

Ok so I feel like I do a pretty good job of keeping things together around here. I guess for me, cleaning means mopping, dusting, vaccuming, but not necessarily taking piles of papers (or as I call them "filings") and putting them somewhere out of site. Nipper Knapp's main ocd seems to be about things on top of things. Like mail on the kitchen counter or any random assortment of things left on the dining room table (keys, purse, laundry, mail, matchbox cars). When we lived in the loft this was especially hard to manage as everything was in site at all times. I had a large tupperware box that I had moved from our old apartment to the loft. It was filled with things from my desk that I could not afford to lose track of. I never was able to fully empty that box, because I either didn't know where to put the things in it, or didn't have the space. So I moved the box with me here, and it sat next to my desk for 2 years until I went out and bought an even bigger box, because it was now teeming with things other than things that I couldn't afford to lose track of, and other crap I didn't know what to do with. It now contains photos, art paper, a lightbox, masses of negatives, magazines, hangers, and for some reason two petticoats. 

I realize that if I move this box into the garage, which will be our new office when it's done, Nipper Knapp might have a point about my organizational skills. Which by the way, I was pretty sure were Martha Stewart like before I met his Swiss army like tactics. He is able to pitch almost anything. He has no emotional attachment to pieces of paper. It's his job to shred things we don't need, but that shouldn't end up in the garbage. I think he enjoys this. It gives me a migraine. 

I have every letter my parents have ever sent me. I have photos from grade school. I have taxes for the last 7 years, including receipts for everything I've ever purchased. I have poems that friends wrote in college, and poems that I wrote in college. I have empty check registers from 2001. I have 20 years of journals, which in this day and age of hideous revelations in people's diaries, I know is a terrible idea, and I think I'll have Nipper burn them. I have headshots and zed cards from castings I did years ago, those girls are all over the hill or married to a music producer by now. I have drawers and drawers filled with photographs and negatives. I have a drawer filled with hard drives backing up all of my our digital files. 

I keep thinking that maybe if I went to the Container Store and I'd be more inspired. But I know that it would just be a reason to buy a bunch of things that I will fill up with more stuff I should be throwing away. 

Ok so while finishing the downstairs bathroom, and getting ready the garage for move in. I have to tackle this box. I don't know where to start and looking at it is starting to depress me. I need one of those Oprah people to come in here and help me. The thought of looking at every piece of paper in that box, and trying to find a place for it fills me with dread. It's going to be a walk down the most boring memory lane ever. 

Wish me luck and please send some Oreo cookies for fortification. 

Monday, October 26, 2009

who knew chores could be SO sexy?

SO, I'm pretty sure I accomplished more this weekend than I have in the last 3 months combined. You know that feeling when you have too much you have to do, and too much you want to do, and not enough time to do either. So I've been feeling like that pretty much non stop since about 30 seconds after Jack was born. But this weekend, I broke the spell! Somehow I managed to do a bunch of stuff and spend time with Jack. It was one of those magic times when no one throws a fit, no keys get lost, no one gets a last minute audition in santa monica at 5:30. Magic.

Nipper agreed that if I got up with Jack at whatever ridiculous hour he decided to grace us with his presence on Saturday, he'd get up at 8:30, so I could go to the sample sale, baby free. Love that Nipper Knapp. Ok, so I meet Sadie there, and we're excited because there are only a handful of ladies milling about on the sidewalk. When they open the door we are somewhat disappointed to see that it's a pretty small space, but worse, that we're all going to be let in at the same time. I don't have to tell you what happens next. It's ugly. Women are crouched around boxes of ella moss and splendid littles, elbowing, scowling, grunting strange things. I quickly ascertain that there's not much there for me in the way of cute boy stuff (always the way) and I decide that digging through a box on the floor like and animal for a half priced jersey top isn't how I want to start my day. Don't get me wrong, if I thought there was some crewcuts stuff in there, I'd have been knocking ladies out.

Ok, so as I'm one of the only women standing upright, I notice on a side table this little stack of alphabet cards. I quickly realize they are the Ida Pearle cards that I had been coveting when they had them on the site a few months back. Hooray! Hooray! A little treasure. I highly recommend checking out her stuff, it's beautiful.

Ok, so we were out of there in under 15 minutes, so we went to Lowe's to check out tile for the kitchen. Sadie is a super shopper. By super I don't mean she's great. I mean she's freakin superior. She's better at it than you. Fact. But I had no idea she had crazy home improvement skills. If Nipper and I go into these places it's endless decisions that we can't seem to make. Sadie and I got an employee to go get us a cart, load four boxes of tile, pick out the adhesive, find the grout color we wanted (I decided on dove grey), without really asking or saying please. We were out of there in 20 minutes. This was at Lowe's you understand. Not Saks, not Barneys, LOWE'S. We asked if he had any more of the tile on the shelf, and he went and did all this for us. Did I mention Sadie is a model? I'm thinking of taking her to dentist to see if there's some magic pain free service you get there if you're pretty...

Ok, so tile purchased, we went to Ikea. I just needed to get a frame for this photo that I had printed a few years ago, and had lost to the garage until we started cleaning it out to convert it to our office. While we were there, I found tea towels to make Sadie some owl towels like the ones at Anthropologie that we refuse to pay $18 for. I got a perfect frame. I found a mirror for the STILL unfinished downstairs bathroom. Picked a bookshelf for Jack's room, and ate my first Ikea cinnamon roll. Uhm, yes to that!

SO I came home, and took a nap with Jack. We've fallen into a bad habit of keeping our windows closed even in perfect weather and relying on the a/c. Nipper had opened all the windows, and so while Jack napped in our bed, I laid next to him reading a book, watching the curtains blow in the breeze. You know, LA, 70, sunny, perfect.

When Jack got up, I went outside to finally plant those ferns I bought after seeing the ones Kelly had on her porch in Nashville. (Sunday I got Nipper to drill holes in the window sill and hang those ferns WHILE football was on the tv. I think I had momentary super powers this weekend.) I planted two mandevillas that I've had for oh I don't know 5 months. I framed the photograph, paid some bills, made Jack dinner, put him to bed, and watched The Abyss.

And that was just Saturday!

On Sunday I did a headshot for one of my clients who I shot when she was a kid. I'm not really doing headshots anymore as it's just too hard to work them into our cuckoo baby, audition, eating, sleeping, Madmen watching schedule. But I always say yes to old clients. So I did that, went to Target for diapers and wipes and ended up with $30 in plastic christmas plates and cups for Jack, which I knew Nipper would hate. But this morning Jack had his cocoa out of a snowman sippy cup. How festive is that?

Then I went and had a massage at Burke Williams, where my masseuse who sort of resembled that gymnast guy in Oceans 11 (or 12 or 13) but with a GIANT black mole on his face, rubbed my neck until my shoulders were no longer up by my ears. He also did some kind of crazy thai stretching that made my hips feel like Gumby.

Ok, so I know I'm going to blow you're mind right now, but after all of that, we went for Sushi. No, seriously, we left the house after 6pm, and ate in a restaurant. It was kind of surreal. I had two fusions, which is a pink drink they make with soju, and then I lost my ability to concentrate on the conversation which was mostly about the hostess who was about to lose her top and kept hiking it up as she travelled from the front door to nearby tables. Classy. Ladies, if you're going to wear a strapless dress, please tape it to your body with some Hollywood Stick Tape. Because no matter how pretty you think your decolletage is, it's not when you're tugging on your dress all night like a cholo holding up his low rider dickies. NOT PRETTY.

Ok, so this morning, we cleared almost everything out of the garage in final preparations for Nipper's Dad's arrival. He's going to help Nipper drywall. This put me in a spectacular mood because I had checked something else off my to do list. I'm practically in mommy nirvana as I'm sweeping up the floor. Nipper Knapp on the other hand was cranky and now seems to be questioning his own mortality. Oh did I mention that when Roberto showed up to start the tile we discovered that there was no hardybacker behind the old tile. Uhm, yeah, they had to take it down to the studs, which sent Nipper Knapp into a tailspin of remorse and loathing. I think he's at Sharkey's right now trying to tie one on.

By the end of this week, I will have more things checked off my to-do list than I thought was possible this year. I might even muster the strength to finish the downstairs bathroom. It could totally fucking happen.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Mini Social

Dear Internet,

Please keep me in your thoughts tomorrow morning. It's my morning to get up with Jack. We are on an every other morning routine around here, so that at least one person gets some sleep every night. So tomorrow is my morning. It's also the morning of the Mini Social sample sale. Realizing that everything good will be gone if we don't get there first thing, Sadie has agreed that I have no choice but bring Jack with me.

I know what you're thinking. Taking a two year old to a sample sale is about as smart as the Vietnam war, and possibly as deadly. But I have modern weaponry that I think will help me prevail. I downloaded The Iron Giant onto the iphone, and I'm packing a giant bag of goldfish crackers and dark chocolate m&ms.

If things get ugly, if we get pinned down in the oeuf baby section, or hung up by some nattering Brentwood moms, I'll just smoke some weed and call Oliver Stone.

Peace be with you...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Nashville baby

This is us having our picture taken at the Marc Jacobs store on Melrose. Jack hated the skunk, but he loved the moustache.

Just after Jack was born, our good friend Kelly moved back to Nashville. We were devastated. Before I met Nipper, I took Kelly's headshots when she was a young actress in LA. She's still young, but no longer and actress. When she decided she was going to move there full time, after being a summer Oakwood kid, I happened to have a room available. She decided to move in, and went back to Nashville to get her stuff. I think I must have met Nipper the next day. By the time she got back to LA, three weeks later, Nipper Knapp and I knew we were getting married. Oops. 18 year old girl moves to LA, and her roommate springs a fiance on her. It turned out fine. We got married and Nipper moved in 6 months later. We were all roommates for about a year then Kelly decided that living with a married couple, while adorable, was overrated and moved into her own cute little place.

Over the years she cooked many a delicious southern fried dinner for us. She made the best desserts, pecan pies, cookie bars, and the yummiest casserole, whose ingredient list, I wish I'd never learned. Something about mayonnaise, chicken, and cheese. 

She kept us well fed while she was in LA. She was the only other person besides Nipper in the delivery room when Jack was born. 

YES, that's me on my sidekick texting someone five minutes after giving birth. 

She was his first babysitter, when Nipper had to go work when Jack was five days old, and I needed a nap. She was also the first person Jack ever pooped on. Way to go kiddo. 

This was taken when he was five days old. He poo'd right on her cute green shirt. 

So it's taken me a bit, and she's been back to LA twice, including a surprise trip on Jack's second birthday, but this weekend, our friend Allie and I made the trip to Nashville to visit her. She bought a house this summer, and we were dying to see her new place, and see what her new life is like. 

This is all three of us (plus Jack) at Malibu Vineyards a few days before Kelly moved back to Nashville. We're all doing our best Polaroid face.

Well Hello Nashville! I had forgotten how beautiful it is! Nipper Knapp and I spent a few days there in the middle of a cross country road trip a few years back. We went to Tootsies, and Hatch Show Prints, and a few other honky tonks. But this time around, with the girls, I was able to shop and eat until nap time, and then shop and eat some more. Kelly's house is so cute, I seriously don't understand why she doesn't open up her own design business. (nudge nudge, hint hint, wink wink) I got a million little ideas for our house, that I'll inflict on Nipper in the coming months. Can anyone say ferns?

On the way from the airport we stopped at Chik-fil-a, because while we have two here in LA, they are 4000 miles from any place you ever go. Then Kelly took us to Las Paletas. Dude, my entire purpose in life is to find something like this in LA. I'm sure there are probably a ton of them, and I'm just a fool for not finding them sooner. Living in Highland Park, we are basically as close to Mexico as you can get in the LA county borders. These two sisters from Mexico opened this place a little while back. It's a simple shop that sells nothing but gourmet Mexican style popsicles. They have flavors like chocolate chili, dulce de leche, rose petal, and avocado. They are $2.50 a piece, and we ate a different one every day we were there. 

This is nothing to do with anything, but Las Paletas and several other places we stopped over the weekend, are on a road called "Granny White Pike". Which I think is pretty awesome. Sometimes when Kelly and Allie were singing along with country music in the front seat, I put myself in a trance, by repeating the phrase "Granny White Pike" over and over in my mind. Sorry ladies. 

Friday afternoon Kelly drove us to Franklin, which is the cutest little town ever (y'all). The town was getting ready for some kind of civil war unknown soldier funeral reenactment the following day. So we saw all manner of people in costumes on the street. Either that or ladies still wear hoop skirts and bonnets, and I am just living in my urban liberal bubble. It's possible. 

We had lunch at a place called Puckett's Grocery. I could have stayed all afternoon. We all had pulled pork with bbq sauce, with the yummiest selection of sides. Corn cakes, biscuits, mashed potatoes. I ate baked beans which I'm pretty sure I haven't had since I was 6 years old. I don't even think I remembered that baked beans existed until I saw them there on the menu, and had my little Proustian madeleine moment. BAKED BEANS ARE DELICIOUS PEOPLE!  

There are tons of cute shops there, including Emmaline,  that is what Dianne Merrick, here in LA, should be like, but isn't. They've managed to pick every cute piece from lots of great designers without all the filler pieces. Good stuff. 

Saturday morning we went to Marche for brunch with some of Kelly's friends. This little place is dreamy. It's a perfect little French market and cafe. We had blood orange mimosas and perfect quiche and salads and croissants and homemade jam. YUM! The place was filled with hipsters and families, and our waiter was adorable and super friendly. It was sort of a mini version of Cafe Midi here in LA, minus David Schwimmer. 

Imogene + Willie storefront

Matt and Carrie Eddmenson, the coolest shopkeepers ever

Ok, this leaves the place that knocked my socks off. I'm seriously smitten.  I can't stop going on their blog, and someday, I'd like for the couple who owns this place to adopt me, or at least be my very best friends in the whole world. The store is called Imogene + Willie and I love it. It's located in the 12 South neighborhood in an old gas station that they retrofitted themselves earlier this year. Basically, they sell very well chosen vintage Pendletons, vintage boots, pretty cashmere sweaters, turkish scarves, leather jackets, and high end denim. They have a line of their own perfect little pieces, including a denim smock dress that has a high ruffled collar and pockets, and buttons up the front, that I'm not sure why I didn't buy. Damn damn damn you Imogene + Willie! What can't I quit you. 

They have SERIOUS denim knowledge, having worked with some of the best denim lines for 20 years. They custom fit or custom make jeans right there in the shop. They have an incredible array of patterns from many well known denim lines that they've worked with over the years. I have a weak spot for a particular jean that hasn't been sold since 2002. When I mentioned the name, they new the style number and kind of denim it was made with offhand. It might cost a bit, but if you are pining for a replacement pair of the only jeans that ever made your booty look just so, they can make it. Oh and did I mention they are sweet as pie? Usually this is just the kind of place that makes me break out in hives, and wish I'd never been born. But everyone there was friendly and helpful including the shop labrador retriever who didn't try to sniff my crotch, not even once. Good dog. If you find yourself anywhere near Nashville, go there, say hello, fall in love. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

pump you up!

I'm seriously working on the Nashville post. I must have been in some kind of trance, because I didn't take a single picture while I was there. Not even on my phone. I'm awaiting a couple of snaps from the girls to finish up. In the meantime, I thought I'd fill you in on our seat mate to Nashville. 

Flying Southwest is always an adventure. It's every man for himself, and once you sit down, PLEASE don't let someone who smells, or is chatty, or fat, or worse, sit next to you. On the flight out, Allie and I lucked out, and got the first two seats so we had leg room. There was a man, a boy, a manboy sitting in the window seat, but I didn't really notice him at first. He didn't make a peep. 

Half way through the flight I noticed he was reading something, I craned my neck as casually as possible as Allie was telling me a story. He was reading The Weider System of Bodybuilding, and it looks like this:

and inside there are lots of snappy pictures like this:

To make things even more awesome, I looked down to see that he was wearing shower slippers, much like these ones:

Also he weighed less than Allie, who probably weighs 100 lbs. Other people are a mystery to me.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

please forgive the delay

I know I haven't written in a LONG time. I've been traveling, and Nipper and I have suffered a setback.

Last week, I sent him out for toilet paper and he came back with single ply. I know, you're thinking "TAKE IT BACK! THROW IT OUT! BURN IT IN THE FRONT YARD! GO BUY SOME PROPER TP!!!". But we are in a recession people. I'm not lady freakin Astor over here.

Please keep our family in your thoughts during this difficult time. When order has been restored, and I have the will to go on, I will have many many things to report. It's been a harrowing week, but I will survive.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

R.I.P. Momo 2 Electric Bugaloo

Found him in the bottom of the tank this morning. Poor Red! He's seen things no young fish should have to see. I think from now on, Red is an only fish.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fashion must have of the season

Stylish Pink Mustaches for Girls. Nuf said...

We are fish killers

Ok, so I've been a little lax on the posts lately. I have lots to report. NYC, the death of Momo, and the bubonic plague.

I don't think I mentioned it, but about a month ago, probably on a Michigan Football Saturday, Jack and I were bored out of our minds. I'm sure this is how many first pets are acquired. We drove over to Petco, bought a tank, some fish food, and two goldfish. Momo and Red. Awesome. Jack thought they were pretty cool, but we soon realized that they looked sad and desperate in their little glass box. So back to Petco for some fake plants, some fake rocks,  and water conditioner. Fantastic fake fish habitat. Happy fish, happy baby, happy mom.

Around this time we were getting ready to leave for NYC. My mom was going to fly down to watch Jack. I think I mentioned this whole dealie, right? Ok, so I didn't mention the fish, nor the fact that every house cat my mother has ever owned weighs at least 25lbs. Including me (but in people pounds, not cat pounds) when I graduated from high school. I was a fatty. It's true. She just likes to feed things.

So we leave for NY, and I cry, and then I get there, and I stop crying, and have the best time. I got in at midnight. Nipper, who had flown in earlier in the week, ordered me room service, when I was in the cab on the way from the airport. We stayed up late, and slept in late. We ate scallops and mashed potatoes with brown butter with mache, the first night I was there, and I was like Jack who? Well, not really, but it did feel amazing to have a few days not bracketed my nap time, or meal time, or dirty diaper time.

While Nipper was in meetings I walked through the Museum of Natural History. I confronted my fear of the whale exhibit. I have a fear of looming objects. I'm not sure if this is named phobia, but I've got it. Things like cruise ships, hot air balloons, dirigibles, children's rafts floating above me in a pool if I'm under water. Get it? LOOMING things. Not like skyscrapers or tall people. I guess they have to be somewhat unstable thing. The mother of all of these things in the whale exhibit. I'm pretty sure we went there when I was a kid, and it might be where it all started. The thing is just ridiculously large. I mean why does anything that big need to be suspended from a glass ceiling. And why does it's eye unnerve me so? But I did it. Sort of. I didn't go underneath it. I'm not crazy, but I did walk along the side of it, on the upper tier and I looked it in the eye. If it had fallen, crushing all those people underneath, I would have swooned and then I would have had a very hard time not shouting from the balcony "TOLD YOU!" I was even able to snap this iphone picture. Take that whale!

My good friend Misao, who I've known since I was 8 years old was in town for a wedding. Our good friend Paige and her family moved back to NYC from London last year, and so we were all able to meet for brunch on Saturday, and then walk the High Line.

I can't say enough good stuff about this park. Check out the website, and then the next time you are in NY, go there, eat lunch, or take a cup of coffee and walk it. Or sit on a bench and play penuchle, or people watch, or building watch. But seriously, go there. Awesome. Kind of gave me a few hours where I didn't feel like the world was being taken over by dumb dumbs. Hope in a NYC park. Who knew.

After our huge brunch, and walk, I did a little shopping. I did not go in here,  Because I knew it would only cause misery and suffering all around:

By our hotel in Soho, I spotted Comptoir Des Cottoniers. I was so excited to see this boutique. I bought a dress by them in Paris before Jack was born, and they've only just recently opened this store here in the states. So, hooray for me. I tried on 7000 little French wool things that I would NEVER wear in LA, and settled on just a few little things for just in case it drops below 73 degrees, and I want to feel like Jean Seberg.

Ok, so what else did I eat? Oh right, everything. It's not like we don't have good food here in LA. We have great food. It's just different. And you have to drive to get it. If I could walk to Mozza, I'm guessing I would eat there more often. As I was walking back to the hotel, I was a little hungry, so ran into the Cupping Room for an H&H bagel. I know New Yorkers have their favorite bagels, and some of you probably think H&H's are the worst. But I don't think you understand what we are dealing with out here in LA. Soft, doughy, bland, bloated monstrosities. Terrible. Plus to be able to determine that I was hungry at 5:30, but not for dinner, and it didn't matter what anyone else wanted, so I could eat a bagel, was very liberating.

Later that night we went to Mary's Fish Camp. There was some debate about wether to go there or Pearl Oyster Bar, or Ed's Lobster Bar.  Mary's won, because it was almost midnight, and I was starving, and we had been there before, and I wasn't feeling adventurous. I made them kill a lobster. I saw them do it. Then they grilled it, and I dipped it in butter and ate it, and I have absolutely no remorse. That dude had it coming. We got the last strawberry shortcake, and it was ridiculous. I think I've thought about that shortcake every day since then. It wasn't one of those spongey syrupy deals. It was a sweet biscuit with fresh whipping cream, and perfect strawberries. I might need to try to replicate that for dessert tonight.

On Sunday, after brunch at Bubby's, we needed a walk. Nipper had eaten his pancakes, and then (poor baby) had to finish my lobster omelette, because I was full. He was a man filled with regrets. I had told my mother that if I could make it to Babycakes in Nolita, I would get her a cupcake. She had gotten me their cookbook a few months back, and I wanted to see what it was all about before I invested in agave nectar and spelt. SO we walked, and walked, and walked. And at one point, I thought there is no way that this place is in THIS neighborhood. We were in some kind of rotting cabbage tin garbage can hell. Then on the very next block there was an Earnest Sewn boutique on the corner, and there it was was Babycakes!

It's hard to describe my surprise at how good their sweets are. Nipper and I aren't food snobs. But I think we both have an aversion to anything that is supposed to be yummy, but is in fact "good for you". There's always a sad aftertaste, and you KNOW that it's not really chocolate. But this, is really chocoloate. Their chocolate brownies, and chocolate brownie cupcakes were SO chocolatey, that we sat there stunned, chewing and looking at eachother. Really? This is what gluten free tastes like? The shop is tiny, and adorable, and one of the girls wears a pink waitress outfit, like the kind Flo wore on Alice. ADORABLE. When we ordered a few things to go, they put it in a pale pink box, that is right up there with the Laduree packaging, and made me want to take dozens and dozens home on the plane with me. Needless to say I'll be stocking up on my agave, spelt, and cane juice. Oh, and the best part. I checked their website, and they are opening up a shop in downtown LA!!! Wahoooo!

Ok, so that brings me to our homecoming. This is getting kind of long, so I'll try to make it brief. Because the eating we did in NY, is way more interesting than the red death that fell over our house upon return.

When we were at Mary's Fish Camp on Saturday night, we got a text, a phone, call, and an email from my mother. She and Jack were both sick, and she thought she should have our hotel's phone number, in case she couldn't get ahold of us on our cellphones. Uhm, merde. I sent her the info, checked to make sure she was ok, and tried to will myself not to think about it. Is this the kind of thing I was worried about when I got on the plane? NO. I knew she could handle most anything. I was more worried about stuff like freak subway accident that kills both of us, and Jack is raised by the Avenues gang. You know, run of the mill mom conerns.

Their illness was yucky, but brief, and by the time we got home Monday afternoon, everyone was fine. Everyone but Momo the goldfish. In fairness to my mother, he was acting strange before we left. Hiding behind his rock, floating listlessly around the tank. But when we returned the tank was super cloudy, and Momo was decidedly not well. I assume there was some serious fish feeding going on while we were gone. But I think what did Momo in, was "dropsy". This is a real thing! I thought it was an early 20th century euphemism for a lady being a drinker. Momo passed late Tuesday night, or early Wednesday morning. Not that I'd know, because I was too busy puking my guts out. That's right. I said it.

I don't think there is anything worse than throwing up, except maybe throwing up in the middle of the night. This went on until about noon the next day. Nipper started around 6 am. Did I mention my mom was supposed to fly home at 3 that day. Nipper and I were laying in bed half conscious when she sent me a text from downstairs. "Maybe I should stay a few days?" THANK YOU!!!

My mom is in many ways like a Terminator. She had polio when she was a kid. I think that and perhaps her dad being Popeye, (see exhibit a below) combined to make her a really strong person. She doesn't get novocaine when she gets her teeth drilled. Me, I want to be knocked out when I arrive at the dentist for a cleaning. So I don't know how she got through Saturday alone, sick, with a sick toddler. I could not leave my bed for a full day.

My mom's dad Popeye. I mean grandpa...

It took two days for us to clear poor dead Momo out of the tank. By which time, Red was hiding up by the filter, pointing with his fin "DEAD FISH! DEAD FISH!!!" Sorry Red. On Friday, I went back to Petco for a fish net, a tank cleaning siphon, a bucket, and a new fish. Momo 2 Electric Bugaloo. We're about $200 in for these $3 fish at this point. If another one dies, I'm tempted to tell Jack that the fish tank fairy came and took them away. When I brought them home, I was all "I feel like such a parent!". Now I just feel like a bad example.

New York was great. Jack was great for my mom, even with the barfing. Nipper and I were not disappeared like some crazy liberal dreamers under Pinochet. I told Nipper we should do something like that every year. A few days for he and I to sleep, and eat, and look at stuff. You know grown up time. We missed Jack like crazy, but in a good way. Of course, I'm sure I'll cry my eyes out the next time we go away, but maybe just a little bit less.