Sunday, January 31, 2010

will you be my valentine?

I don't think I need to say anything about this do I? Words are completely unnecessary with something as perfect as this. Oh and btw it's called the mens oyster perpetual air king pink in case you are my husband and/or a wealthy stalker and were thinking "she's been SO good this year, what the heck!" Go ahead spend Jack's pre-school tuition on it. It'll teach him that life isn't fair, and when mommy is happy she's more willing to take you to the zoo. 

Friday, January 29, 2010

How to conjugate an irregular verb en Francais...

Is is just me or are the days getting shorter? Or am I getting older? DON'T answer that. I can remember time passing like molasses when I was kid. OH MY GOD I'M SO BORED! Then my mother, channeling all mothers would say "only boring people are bored". Which I think is true for grownups, but I'm sure plenty of very interesting kids are bored out of their minds daily. Nipper's mother would tell him to "go run around the block". I took this advice to heart as a teenager, but really it was just an excuse to go to the other side of the block to sneak cigarettes. Charming.

Last week I bought a cute new hamper at the container store, that I didn't realize held TEN times the amount of dirty clothes as our old one. We've just been throwing our filth down the rabbit hole all week, and it never seemed to get full. When I finally hauled it downstairs this morning, because Nipper was threatening to dress Jack in some of my boyshorts and camisoles because of lack of clean laundry it weighed so much I'm pretty sure I sprained something.

I've been wanting to take a picture of and write about these flashlights since December but haven't been able to carve out the 7 minutes required to do so. They're made of beechwood, and they are so pretty! Meema and I found them in the sale room at Anthropologie. I think they were $7 down from $40. Yay!  Never mind that Jack loves flashlights because they are yet another thing he can "shoot" us with. Mother of the year... These I don't mind sitting out on the table because they're so pretty. I tracked down a website where you can buy them. It's called Areaware, and I found a million other pretty little things there.

For instance, who doesn't want a French conjugation chart on their wall? I'd love to put this up in the office once it's done, but I'm not sure if it'll fit. I'll need to find 4 minutes including the time it will take me to track down the tape measure in the heap that is now our back hallway. The remaining contents of the garage, and the entire contents of my sizable fabric/embroidery/wrapping/knitting/sewing/crafting/timesucking collection is either in the back hallway or stacked up in the breezeway outside the kitchen door. It looks like Sanford and Son moved in over the weekend. I only need about 20 minutes to finish painting. But now that I've started doing the laundry that I've been putting off all week, painting the floor around the washer is not really the most efficient use of my time. Although it would give me a good excuse to not finish the laundry and start thinking about how to remedy the still unpainted bathroom.

Ritalin anyone?

Madame Pappas taught us to sing this to the tune of "Hi Ho" from Snow White, but if you had junior high French this should jog your memory...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sigh... swoon... glug, glug, glug...

It's like Steve Jobs and Lorca had a baby, and that baby is this company. From the Francis Francis manual:

It should be pronunced the way a mother, lovely disturbed by finding her little child hands and mouth black of stolen chocolate, would say: “Fraaaanicis Fraaaancis!” her right hand straight moving like a saw, an expression she would like to be serious but is defenitely unable to hold the overwhelming smile that will turn this little tragedy into a kiss. Because this, is Francis Francis!. It’s the child within ourselves that we constantly love, the child that make us smile, laugh, enjoy. So, if someone asked himself what’s that child in the brand name, it’s just the best part of all of us. And Francis Francis! - with all his products - just wants to express this little childish sympathy, able to let you smile even when you think you are not in the mood.

Or maybe it means that this freaky old fashioned euro machine is going to try your patience like only a naughty toddler can. Either way, I love it. 

And on the 24th day of January craigslist created Francis!

I didn't want to jinx it until I had this sweet baby in my greedy little hands. I found it! I found it! Wahooooo! Come on over to my house, I'm making coffee, and your order can be as stupid as you want it to be. I try to check craigslist and ebay once a week, but I've been trying not to be obsessive about it so imagine my surprise when I checked yesterday and saw that this had been listed on the 17th of January, almost a week ago! I'm 99% sure I found it so quickly because I had all but given up. My mom found this cheapy ($29) Krups machine at the market out in Palm Springs, and I told her to get it for me, to keep me in soy lattes, and out of Starbucks, until I could find this machine, which I told her could take YEARS. She bought it Saturday and Sunday I found my Francis Francis!

I found Nipper Knapp much the same way. For my birthday that year my friends and I went bowling. There was a boy there that I liked, and he was a friend of a friend and he had driven up from Long Beach just to come to my stupid bowling birthday party. I thought for sure this was a sign that he was interested. He bowled a few frames, never spoke to me and left. In my pity party (and definitely tipsy) state, I told my friend that I was DONE dating. I had THREE cats (sorry Nipper) and my guitar, and lots of cigarettes, and you know books, so I was done dating, and was just going to try to be happy solo.

I met Nipper at noon the very next day. He asked me on a date and I said "no thanks". I don't think I had ever said no to a date before that in my life. I told him we could go out, because I really wanted to go to this blue's bar we had been talking about, but I didn't want it to be a date and was that ok with him? He said that it wasn't really great news, but fine. I just learned a few nights ago, that Nipper was not really in the habit of asking out strange women, and that his suspicions about this type of gigolo behavior were confirmed when I turned him down. A few nights later he picked me up for our non-date, and we went for sushi beforehand. Half way through dinner, I asked him if it was ok if I changed my mind, and if our not date, could be a real date. He put his hand on my back (we were at the sushi bar) and smiled and said sure. There was something really sweet about the way he said it, but I learned later, that he was trying to contain his glee about the fact that he totally KNEW he was going to get lucky that night. Boy howdy. (sorry mom).

At the blues bar later that night, half way through my drink, I had the thought "I'm going to marry this guy". Later that weekend, maybe the next day, we were sitting on my front steps and Nipper said "I love..." as I turned towards him nodding, because I thought he was going to say "you" and I was going to say "ditto", he chickened out and said "your hair". He did say it a few days later and we laughed about the incident on the porch. I mean here is this guy who NEVER asks girls out and the day after our first date he's about to say "I love you". I'm sure this would be page one of any single person dating manual. "Do NOT tell person you love them within days of meeting them. Psycho." But the thing is, he did love me, and I loved him, almost from the moment he showed up at my front door. We were married 6 months later. Sometimes it just happens that way. I guess it didn't hurt that he put out on the first date. (seriously... sorry mom)

So here we are, almost six years later, one wedding, several cross country road trips, one trip to Paris, no cigarettes, lots of fights, lots more hugs and kisses, one house, one baby, two prius, zero cats, no bowling, and a Francis Francis espresso machine. I'm a very lucky girl.

Speaking of Francis:

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Buck

I stole this pic of gizmodo

I know I'm guilty of being on the slippery slope to douchebaggery; sorry Nipper d-baggery; with my Starbucks order. Most of the year it's just a grande soy latte. Which Nipper Knapps says I may not call "a cup of joe" under and circumstances. But when the holidays roll around I add gingerbread syrup. And because I am trying  failing to quit caffeine, I order it half caf. So that's a grande half caf gingerbread latte no whip no foam. D-BAG. 

But due to my addiction and frequent visits this winter, I witnessed some poor souls who are worse off than me. My friend Allie managed a Starbucks here in LA for a while and she has some doozies as well. Here are some of our favorites. 

1. A woman, we'll call her "Madeline" who came in THREE times a day and got SIX shots of espresso, FOUR regular, TWO decaf with THREE splenda mixed in.

2. Another lady, who may or may not have had a drug problem,  we'll call her  "Janice" who ordered ELEVEN shots of espresso in a venti cup, with a cup of whipped cream on the side. She plans on never sleeping again. 

3. Anonymous Starbuckian who ordered a venti EIGHT pump caramel frapp (normal frapp has Four pumps of vanilla, they double it) with caramel coating the whole inside of the glass, extra whip cream and more caramel on top. Good luck with that. 

4. A girl I saw a the South Pasadena Starbucks ordering THREE shots of decaf espresso in a venti  cup with the rest of the cup filled with 1/2 Half and Half, the other 1/2 whipped cream. What's the point?

5. And this one is my favorite, A woman in front of me was ordering her drink as I got to the other register. The girl behind the counter looked like she was trying her best to hold her face in a neutral postition, but in her eyes you could see the full "what the fuck are you talking about". Here's what I could glean: Venti hot chocolate with THREE shots of espresso, room for half and half, and three packets of splenda. For some reason she didn't want to call it a mocha, and demanded it be hot chocolate with espresso. It took her another two or three minutes to convey to the girl what she wanted even after I had ordered and paid for my shame. When the barista finished her drink, and tried to call it, it came out something like this:

 "Venti, hot... triple venti moch...Venti cocoa with three..." 

The woman knew it was her crazy that he was trying to decipher, so she went and retrieved it. She took it over to the bar to pour in her half and half. She took a swig, pulled a sourpuss and handed it back over the glass to the confounded coffee slave. 

"I'm sorry" she announced. 

"I know you tried, you did, I'm sure, but I don't know WHAT this is" (neither did he). 

"It's just watery, and... No I'm sorry, I'm in a big hurry, and you tried, but this isn't..." 

Then she went back to the poor girl on the register and proceeded to either get her money back or re-explain her drink, I don't know because I actually was in a hurry, and had to leave.

What I want to know is how do people come up with these drinks in the first place? How do you go from coffee black to venti Three shot decaf caramel side of whip with a splenda? Starbucks is ruining us. America Fuck yeah!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Me: "Oh yeah, it's right over there on my desk. No. RIGHT THERE!" Nipper Knapp: "Sigh"

SO it's raining. I mean really raining. I know that in other places it does this all the time. But we are ill equipped to navigate this kind of poor weather. The roads, our homes, our children, and our bodies are incapable of handling the burden with much grace. Day two we were researching selling our house and moving to a more temperate climate, like say, oh I don't know San Diego.

SO yesterday I had to go out in the rain to buy diapers (potty training fairy where are you?) when the siren song of the Container Store called out to me. I circled the block twice trying to find a closer spot and then gave up, and braved the half block walk to the front door. Who's gotten soft? Not me...

Inside I wandered the aisles imagining my home, pristine, organized, spotless. An older woman with an employee name tag popped out from behind and end cap and asked if I needed help. I demurred, to which she said "Good, just go up every aisle and look around. They call that 'pre-shopping'. Then you can really see what you might want to buy". Uhm, thank you very much Grandma Moses, but I believe on my planet we call that "regular shopping".

I bought a box for all my wrapping paper, and this cool scout hamper that looks less dorm roomy than our current basket, and a little magnetic calendar for Jack and Brenda, so he can see what days are story time at the library, and what days he has music class, and what days he has to languish at home with his parents mooning over him.

But the cutest thing that I found, and I SWEAR it's going to change my life, are these cute little paper clips. I think I've posted a picture of my desk before. (but I'm too disorganized to know where) I subscribe to an ancient family method of paper piling. Piles and piles of paper surround me. On my desk, on the floor, in the drawers. I'm pretty sure I showed you all a picture of the big box of papers that has followed me from our first apartment, to the loft, and now here. This is a genetic affliction. I blame my DNA. I also blame, being a mom, the hours in the day, "and that lying son of a bitch Johnson"... I brought my clippies home and promptly cleaned up a GIANT stack of papers on the kitchen counter. I paid the bills, sorted the receipts, and put them all into smaller and smaller more manageable stacks to be filed or read or sent. Genius. By this time next year, I'm going to be President of something! I just know it.

They also make some that that say, shit, crap, merde, and caca, which I am going to order, because there are so many things on my desk that fall into these categories. For instance, "merde": all medical bills, the notice that told us our property has been re-assessed for 30% less it's previous value, and any correspondence from our dentist. I'm a letter saver. If you've hand written me a letter or a card in the last 20 years, chances are, I've got it. I've got all the letters my parents sent me at boarding school. Letters from my grandma that I got in college, all of them. So it would give me great pleasure to take all the letters and POEMS from my previous boyfriends and clip them together with a "caca" clippy. Life is filled with little moments of joy followed by exquisitely painful realizations that the person you're talking to is a moron. I've saved them all.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

But it's not my fault!

I tried. I REALLY tried. You saw all those paint chips right? It's not like I didn't at least try not to do the right thing. I even went through the motions of buying four little green paint samples and dutifully painted them on the wall. I looked at them in different light at different times of day. I cocked my head to the side and stared at them thoughtfully. I really tried! Then I asked Nipper to come in and look at them. As soon as he said he didn't like any of them, maybe before he'd even finished the sentence I knew what had to happen. I didn't even say it out loud. I simply set to the task at hand. Picking out the perfect shade of pink.

uhm, no, no, no and NO

I know for a lot women pink is repulsive. It's viewed as a color best left for babies or bimbos or baby bimbos, or god forbid BARBIE. But I love it. It's a flattering color for me, and I think there is a flattering shade of it for most people. But mostly I find it cheerful and soothing. Especially that pale pale warm peachy pink. You know the color of the bottle top on the johnson's baby oil? That's just about my favorite pink. Blush, or cloud, or apricot fluff. By any name I love this color. I also love that deep dark cherry pink, but it has to be just right, and used in moderation or it evokes dirty plastic things you find in the bottom of a sale bin at walmart.


I had a few pink swatches set aside for what I thought would be the door color. I added to those 7 or 8 more in the same vein, and had Sadie look through them and help me choose. Until Sadie met me she HATED the color pink. I think maybe our entire friendship might have been a rehabilitation process for her to prepare for her daughter Hattie who ONLY likes pink (atta girl). But she has in recent years warmed to my favorite pale pink, which by the way looks great on her. She chose the color I had chosen for the door. Great minds. Then our nanny Brenda chimed in that she thought we should paint the alcove a dark shade of the same pink to give the room a little depth. Oh my god it was like we were on one of those HGTV shows. The ladies in my life are so stylish and wise.

SO I sincerely hope he meant it when Nipper said I could paint the office, or as he is now referring to it my "man cave", any color I like. Did I mention I'm going to put gold leaf polka dots along the trim? Goody goody gum drops. That's just the kind of thing a girl who loves pink would say right? Frack yeah!

Big reveal soon to come. I need to paint the floor which means removing everything from the room, which is kind of hard, because I don't know if you noticed, but we are experiencing monsoon type rain here right now. 

Les Plastiscines!

Can someone please explain why I am not in this band? Les Plastiscines Je les aime!

Sorry it runs a little over my borders, this was the smallest version I could embed. See I can't even show off a cool band with style. Hack hack hack... Going to go smash my guitar now.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The artist formerly known as YouTube

When we got our new iphones we decided to let Jack use our old iphones to keep him from caterwauling on long car rides, flights, or when we'd like to use the bathroom by ourselves, have a meal in peace in quiet in a restaurant, etc... Sometimes after a major diaper change, he likes to lay in his crib and collect his wits. In he goes with the iphone. Go ahead, get to judging. I don't care. 

We loaded it will a few Pixar movies, and when he's home and on our wifi he can access YouTube. So besides the fact that my two year old can successfully navigate YouTube on an iphone, the things that he finds amusing and watches over and over are mildly disturbing. If he wants to watch something specific, I will type "locomotive trains" or "fire engines" or "garbage trucks" into the search box, but usually he just opens it up, goes to the history tab, and finds what he wants himself. I know that there are places like but until he can use those opposable thumbs and spell for himself, this will have to do. 

There is one video in particular that I believe falls loosely into the "train" genre. He will watch this video two or three times in a row. I'm hoping this is just the first buds of a taste for the absurd. An early inclination for Monty Python and irony.

Sometimes Nipper just calls him YouTube, like he's a sidekick in some 21st century version of Goonies. "Come on YouTube, let's go explore that abandoned mine shaft." The Nipper Knapps, giving their child a quality upbringing one YouTube video at a time. Sue me.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

je ne veux pas travailler

Je ne veux pas travailler
Je ne veux pas déjeuner
Je veux seulement oublier
Et puis je fume

watercolor copyright and courtesy of Carol Gillot

So I'm sitting there last night minding my own business and I stumble upon Carol Gillott's blog Paris Breakfasts. Finally someone more obsessed with the Laduree macaron than me. I was planning on getting stuff done, but instead I spent two hours reading her blog. Looking at pictures of Paris, reading about her obsessive hunt for the perfect macaron and how they are made. Her posts on what French women are wearing, and the subtle "non non's" that shout AMERICAN TOURIST are great. Apparently she travels to Paris from NY several times a year, and I'm thoroughly jealous of her hop on a plane distance from heaven. 

I've tried my hand at making the macaron at home. Last year I got the Paris issue of Gourmet magazine (RIP) and they had a recipe for chocolate macarons with a bergamot ganache filling. They tasted amazing, but they weren't even close to perfect in terms of looks. You have to be very scientific, and know how to measure things by the microgram to make perfect French macarons, and I am more of the pinch of this dash of that kind of cook. It's also very hard to get blanched almond flour here. I used regular almond flour from
Surfas which contains the brown hull so they aren't as pretty and it probably also changes the flavor somewhat. I wonder if I bought blanched almonds if I could get them to a fine enough consistency in my cuisinart to make the flour. A new project!!!

Ms. Paris Breakfasts also has an
etsy shop where she sells her watercolors of Paris scenes. In my favorite one she will paint your dog, or cat, or I'm guessing if you really want, your goldfish Momo into the scene in front of Laduree. Genius. I'm smitten! I think I'm going to need to commission one of her paintings for the new Laduree themed office/craft room. I wonder if she could paint my shoe collection in front of Laduree? Those are kind of like pets...

watercolor copyright and courtesy of Carol Gillot

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Share the wealth part - I can't remember - 5? Haiti.

Ok, so the only thing on everyone's mind today is (or should be) the devastating earthquake that occurred in Haiti yesterday. Here is some info that the Huffington Post put together on different ways we can all help. Please take a moment to look over this list, and donate. They make it easy as pie to just click and give. You can even do it from your phone.

Here is the actual link for those of you luddites who didn't get the embedded one above:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

F-bomb? what F-bomb?

It's a frakin (sorry Nipper) miracle that Jack's first word wasn't a curse. For those of you with sensitivities to this kind of language, you can exit the room while we discuss. My mother swore like a sailor, my dad has been known to drop an occasional and effective expletive when necessary, and both Nipper and I sprinkle the majority of our conversations regardless of company with, let's call it, a liberal dose of the f word.

I love it. It's so satisfying when you are angry, and so descriptive when at a loss for words. Someone once said to me that only uneducated people use profanity. As close as I can calculate my education starting in the 7th grade, when I went to prep school, followed by boarding school, followed by a private university, excluding the cost of my parents moving to a better school district in elementary so I could attend a public school, cost somewhere close to $150,000. So whoever that person was who said that can go fuck themselves because they're wrong. I'm plenty educated and I love to curse.

When Jack was born there was no slow down in our use of profanity. As a matter of fact, I'm sure we cursed more in those early months. Fuck I'm tired. Damnit, we're almost out of diapers. That Santa Monica mom's group is filled with Assholes, Shit, and Oh My God Holy Shit. As he got older and his brainy little girlfriends started talking, I had to force myself to curb my enthusiasm for cursing while they were around. It's one thing to pepper your kid with bad language, quite another to tell the kid next door that you're "all out of milk, for fuck's sake". Nipper, who I'm pretty sure actually swears more than me, but only by a hair, is REALLY good about remembering not to swear in front of other people's kids.  I'm always saying really inappropriate things just as some toddler ambles into frame. Nipper glares at me and says "way to go mom".

That Jack is now talking, and more recently repeating everything we say, combined with the fact that we just saw "The Fantastic Mr. Fox", we've been trying to say the word "cuss" in place for our usual oaths. It's not as satisfying, but it amuses us to say "well why the cuss would she do that?" and "cuss this stupid salad spinner".

Which leads me to our parenting triumph this weekend when Jack uttered his very first curse (sort of). The fact that it was Nipper's fault (sort of) is of unimaginable satisfaction to me, ye of the the foul mouth.  We're in the living room Saturday night watching the movie "Cars". Jack and I had "worked" that morning, and he had been such a good boy, and we were so proud of him for not being one of those kids who FREAKS out, even though, someday, I'm sure he's going to, that we took him to buy a dinoco helicopter toy that afternoon. That's right, I said it, we rewarded our TWO year old for working by buying him a Disney toy. Someone shoot me and call Jon Benet Ramsey, we are terrorists! It's not like we offered him blow and Drew Barrymore's number. But still...

So that night before bed he wanted to watch "Cars", and we oblige, because we do every single thing he says. It's like we are Basic and he is a keyboard. The part of the movie where James Taylor sings about small towns comes on, and Jack asks "who's singing this song" and Nipper says "some d-bag" and Jack immediately says "what that d-bag can do?"

First we died. Then we looked at each other hands over mouths so as not to let him know that what he had just said was both horrifying and hilarious. Did Nipper think that by removing the word douche it was no longer an inappropriate thing to say in front of a two year old? Douche after all is SUCH a forbidden word, whilst bag is so very common.

A friend of ours whose kids are now tweens told us a story about his son swearing in his third grade classroom. Apparently he passed a note across his desk to the little girl sitting on the other side that said "fuck is your name". When he got home from school his dad told him that if he swore in school everyone was going to be very upset and that he would be in trouble. Then for the following few months, every time he and his wife got angry with each other or just for no reason at all they'd say to each other "fuck is your name".

I wonder what poor dead William Safire would have to say about all of this?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

asthma anyone?

I've been sneezing a lot lately. 10 or 20 times a day I have little sneezing fits for no reason. But I don't have allergies, I swear. I'd prefer to think it's just some kind of seizure or nervous tic this sneezing. A product of neurosis, but not some kind of diagnosable illness.

I was raised in a household where no one believed that allergies were a real thing. Kind of like the tooth fairy. Never mind that my poor brother was clearly allergic to our cat and basically had a permanently drippy nose and red itchy eyes. I think it was acknowledged that his body was intolerant of the cat, but this was apparently never thought of as a reason to NOT have the cat. He'd be over on his side of the table sniffling in between bites of dry pork chop, and my dad, not even looking up from his food would grumble "get a tissue"... MY GOD PEOPLE! I just realized I was raised by wolves! Nowadays if a kid so much as expresses a dislike for something we assume they are allergic and whatever the substance in question is, we ban it for life.

We have hepa filters in both our bedroom and Jack's room, but they are as much for making white noise when we sleep at night as they are for air cleaning. Today I was in Target in between auditions and they just happened to have the replacement filters, right there on the shelf. I've known for a while that we need new ones, but they never have them at the store, and ordering them online always seems to be the last thing on my mind when I'm on the computer 14 hours a day. So there they were, I bought them, brought them home, and set to replacing the old filters. Uhm... This is what I found.

That's when I remembered that I think I changed the filter (which is supposed to be changed every 3 months) right after we moved here nearly 3 years ago. I'm blaming momnesia. But I think maybe I've found the source of my sneezes....

Friday, January 8, 2010

cross your fingers and light a candle

oh sure he looks all sweet and innocent now...

On December 22rd Jack and I shot an All Detergent commercial. We were informed on December 23rd that some of the film was destroyed at the lab, and we might have to reshoot in January. Gulp. Getting a two year old to do ANYTHING for more than a few minutes is difficult. Getting a two year old to let you take his shirt off, put it back on, make him run around a strange laundry room, giggle, throw laundry in the washer, look natural, take his shirt back off, put it back on, run around the laundry room again, laugh, look natural, NOT FREAK OUT, for two hours, while someone is filming him, and there are strange people standing around staring at you, is really hard. I got him to do just that on December 23rd. Now I get to try again. Should have known that it was too easy. I predict full family collapse by 9:05 am.

If you're in the South Pasadena area tomorrow and you hear a child sobbing and a mother muttering things like "this business is a pox upon our house", you know you've found us. Throw a soy gingerbread latte and some Buzz Lightyear swag out the window of your car as you pass, we are people in need.

what you need is a chan-da-leeah!

I don't know why I've been talking about Nashville so much this week. Must be something a brewin with out little friend Auntie Swing. Don't you dare send us a picture of a pregnancy pee stick young lady...

When I was there visiting in September, I found this light at a store in Franklin and thought it was so fun. It's rainbow colored and plastic and I loved it. I took a picture of it with my phone and sent it to Nipper. He replied that he thought it looked messy. But then relented and said whatever.

We needed a new fixture for the top of the stairs. It's such a tiny space, and the fixture the house flipper put in was this giant rustic hacienda type deal. Awful. We painted the whole stairwell a deep dark orange color, and hung Frida Kahlo up there. I had been struggling to find just the right light.

Once again, I failed to take a before picture. But here are some shots Jack and I took of the new one last night. His friend Cleo gave him a kids digital camera a few days ago, and he's been happily snapping away at everything. I had him lay down with me on the landing under the light to see show him how we could take pictures from a different angle. My little Stieglitz...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

paint chip-itis

Everyone has a drawer somewhere that is filled with these right? I'm wondering if the sheer number of them is a sign of an unwell mind. We are working on the finishing touches of our garage which is soon to be MY CRAFT ROOM...I mean our office. The electrical outlets were put in today. The drywall is finished. Now I have to pick a paint color. I want to do something fun, but then I also feel like I need to paint it something neutral in case I end up doing a lot of my photo work out there. Ugh! It's so hard to decide. Right now I'm kind of leaning towards a Laduree kind of color scheme. Cool jadite green with dark grey trim. Or maybe dove grey walls and fun apple trim. Pale pink door no matter what. Duh. 

I'm not sure if this is still a croquembouche when it's pink and green but it sure is pretty

Laduree Tokyo, don't you just want to put on a petticoat and soft pink shoes and twirl?

Sigh... I would like my cosmetics laid out in my powder room like this. I mean I know this is a sweet shop and not a bathroom. But I could make pretty in this room.

If I had only known this existed before we signed the lease on the new prius! 

I lifted this little collage off a blog called It's perfect and it pretty much summarizes my love of Paris

Batter bowl green, mercer green, tears of joy, vulcan grey,la fonda spanish dancer, herbal mist, pale tidepool, stingray, hobnail, nottingham, tin man, parkside dunes, anonymous, sparrow, palatial pink...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I've got my wax wings and I'm ready to fly!

Ok, I admit I'm not always the most practical when it comes to fashion, and that's particularly true when it comes to shoes. For most of my life I've been willing to suffer for the right pair. When I was in college in San Francisco, I would walk the mile uphill to school in my high heel tennis shoes that I thought made me look just like a fly girl (not with all the hot pants and eyelashes in the world have I ever looked like a fly girl). In fact, I didn't own a pair of flats other than flip flops until I got pregnant with Jack. I wore heels everyday. 

My back started hurting just typing that sentence. I'm not sure how or why I was able to go through an entire decade teetering on stilts. I don't remember anything hurting, but I'm sure it did. Now if I wear heels for work or even an audition, my back hurts, my feet hurts, and I feel CRANKY! 

This brings me to the embarrassing truth about my health habits. When I lived in San Francisco, I was actually pretty fit. This was due in part to not having a car and walking everywhere, and in part to the masochistic relationship I had with an adrenalin junkie we'll call Space Cadet 1. We ran, we rollerbladed, we snowboarded, we did bikram yoga three hours a day. There was rock climbing, and day hikes, and all kinds of microfleece and gore tex in my life back then. Mercifully we broke up and I moved to LA, land of sundresses and flip flops, where I promptly stopped working out all together. It was like I flipped a switch. No yoga, no bike rides. One time I tried to walk home from the Beverly Center, and felt like I was on the Bhutan death march. 

So over the years when I visited a gym, or say went on a trip to Europe where I needed comfortable walking shoes, I wore chucks, or these really cute puma maryjanes. Most of the time, I wore boots, which I saw as a safe flat alternative to heels that didn't make me look frumpy. I suffered. 

A few weeks before Christmas Nipper's cousin's wife Keri started a biggest loser challenge on her blog "my year started tuesday night". I said "I'm in" and then didn't give it another thought as I ate my weight in dark chocolate pecan meltaways over Christmas. Then came the first weigh in day. Uhm, holy shit. I laced up my chucks and headed for the gym. I got on the treadmill and started running. My completely out of shape body fueled by vanity, and competition, and chocolate pecan meltaways, rebelled with every step. It's not wind, I felt like my lungs could do it. Trouble was, I was running in what is basically cardboard flaps with a little cotton duck sewn on. Every step was torture, and when I got home, my calfs were on fire. 

The next day Nipper and I went to a schmancy running store in Brentwood, where I'm sorry, but everyone is SO white. I pushed past all the ladies in their white terry cloth track suits and fake birkin bags, and the 50 year old men dressed in their $200 jeans that their 2nd wives bought them and their baseball caps to cover reality, to find my perfect shoe. After the kid measured my foot and watched me walk to see what my foot does, I told him to show me all the shoes that would be good for my feet, but only those that come in pink. He looked up at me and then I said "Yeah, I'm totally not kidding, sorry, I'm that idiot". 

He obliged, bringing me 4 different pink pair for my particular kind of foot. There was a hot pink pair on the wall with orange trim that apparently wasn't right for my gate. I thought about asking him if I could try it, but I didn't want to press my luck. The first pair was too soft, the second pair was too stiff, the third pair was just right. I didn't try on the fourth pair, because it was uglier than Diego Rivera in the morning, and I'd rather run cripple foot in my maryjanes than wear anything that ugly...

So here they are. Shiny! Pink! COMFORTABLE! I had no idea my feet could not hurt this much. What a dope.

Monday, January 4, 2010

uhm, WTF!

Came home briefly this afternoon to pick up Jack to go to music class. Noticed house REEKED of cheap perfume. Forgot to ask the nanny about it. Returned home hours later, noticed house still REEKED of cheap perfume. Started sniffing around trying to find the culprit. Told Jack I was chilly, he offers me blanket from the couch and it hits me like a hot summer day. The blanket has been doused in something, perfume, or fabric softener, I can't tell. I then notice it's on the throw pillows as well. I throw everything in the wash, and light a candle. I ask Jack if the nanny spilled anything today. He says "Yes, she said uh-oh on the blanket". Now he's two so who the hell knows what he's talking about. But then I sit on one of my grandmother's chairs over by the window and the smell is there too. It finally dawns on me that it's febreze, and it's like the chair took a bath in it.

Our nanny febrezed our furniture while we were gone. wtf is that about?

Sunday, January 3, 2010


That's my swedish furniture name in case you were curious. MÅRYJA TJÅMMAS, I'm a bed. Go here to find out yours. Oh internet, I love you!

I spent New years day night at ikea. Yup that's right. I was there just before closing stocking up on a kura, a grundtal, a gosig shark, and a sultan fidjetun. I also wanted an orange billy jader, but they were sold out. 

Dark Chocolate Chili Popsicles! Yes Ma'am!

Gourmet popsicles, who knew? Is this going to be the new cupcake? I mean it is 2010 after all, and we don't have hover cars yet. What a gyp. That's just the man trying to keep us down...

Santa Meema gave Jack and Nipper this Zoku Quick Pop Maker. It's great! It makes popsicles in under 10 minutes. You just put it in the freezer for 24 hours. When you take it out you put in the handles, pour in your ingredients, and voila! No plugs or batteries.They have all kinds of fancy striped popsicles you can make, and ones with whole fruit. But I've been dying to try to make the Mexican style paletas like we had in Nashville. I'm sure the fruit paletas will be very easy to make, and how great to be able to make organic whole fruit pops in my own kitchen for the kids (and by kids I mean me and Nipper) in under 10 mins. Dope.

Last night I made dark chocolate chili popsicles. I made hot chocolate on the stove using chocolate milk so it would be extra chocolaty and a metric shitload (4 heaping tablespoons) of Marie Belle Aztec Hot Chocolate, which contains cinnamon, nutmeg and chipotle, then I added a little chili powder. I chilled it in the freezer, stirring it occasionally so it didn't congeal, and then poured it into the Zoku. I can die now. YUM!

A few years ago on my birthday Nipper Knapp and I had dinner at a restaurant in town called Grace. The pastry chef made sweet corn ice cream, with dulce de leche sauce, and some kind of crunchy nut topping. It was the most amazing dessert. I want to try to make the some sweet corn ice cream in our ice cream maker, get it to the point of almost frozen, like where it's more frozen custard, and then try to make popsicles with it. Maybe add some sea salt and dulce de leche stripes or dark chocolate shell? The sky's the limit!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

This year's girl!

When my mom came for Christmas, she brought a box of stuff that was mine when I was a kid including a yearbook with foulmouthed inscriptions from my sophmore year in high school that made adult me blush, "A Birthday For Frances" record, and this book "This Year's Girl". Dudes, this thing is awesome. It's a paper doll book, but I never cut them out. It follows Robyn and her best friend Judi from the 50's to the 80's.

The details are great! In the early 70's Robin 'liberates her name to Robyn, and liberates her hair to look like the prostitute in the movie "Klute". Judy liberates her name to Judi, and perms her hair in sympathy with her oppressed black sisters. There's a page from the late 70's where they drink celestial seasonings herb tea, listen to Judy Collines, and wash their hair with herbal essence shampoo in the green bottle. I WAS THERE MAN! Every page from the 80's has too many great details to list. I could look at this book over and over.

Doesn't the grown up Robyn look just like Meridith Baxter?

Even as a kid Judy looks more fun than Robyn

That's right Judy "Fuck Housework!"
This whole page slays me.

"When I say no I feel guilty"... MASH! QUICHE!

The full title on this page is "Finalizing the Parameters of their Interface" awesome.

My dad had that runners day by day log!

Donahue and the Izod alligator!

Clinique make-up. Sigh... I thought anyone's whose mom used that was "chic"

I'm pretty sure my mom had both of these outfits