Monday, November 28, 2011

News Round-Up, Version N.Y.T.

Good morning! It's news time.

I think my friend Nikola ghost-wrote this.

And they wrote this article solely for my friend Micheal, who already heats his bedroom with his supercomputer during the cold chunks of the year.

This one is for my cousin, for both the insight into GF food and the marketing of an international company.

I already sent this to Meg but it's really good, and Lemon would like it too.

There are two for Meggie - one that's op-ed and national and one that's news and local (47 kids in an algebra class!?!?).

And as this article sadly says, "Sometimes the story that science tells us isn’t the story we want to hear." My husband the pragmatist, my husband the unsentimental, my husband the striving pianist - this article is for him.

So I read a lot of news, but I think about everyone while I do it!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

At the end of a non-WW weekend...

Today, after four days of glorious eating, drinking, wine tasting, staying up too late, visiting with friends and going to gatherings... not to mention cooking and hosting my very-first full-on Thanksgiving dinner at home!... it is back on the wagon.

The Weight Watchers wagon.

But at the end of the weekend, while the homemade rolls (Rouse family easy bread recipe to the rescue!) were delicious slathered in butter, and the pumpkin pie made by my sisters-in-law was a triumph (all from scratch including real baking pumpkins) with ice cream AND whipped cream, and the smoked turkey that John masterfully BBQ'd (in the rain) on Thursday afternoon was the last word in moist turkey meat, the best part, the very BEST part was: the stuffing.

I love stuffing. But I don't love celery, and I don't love undercooked onions, I don't love bland bread and I don't like garlic in there. And so, for the very first time ever, I made stuffing precisely the way I like it, with all the parts from others' stuffings that I admire in one big dish... and I ended up with such a success that 2 hours of dishes didn't even matter, because now I know what my very own Thanksgiving stuffing will be, year after year!

So in case you're wondering: Mrs. Cubbison's cornbread stuffing with a lot of onion slo-o-owly sauteed in even more butter, with a big pile of fresh sage and dried thyme, and water chestnuts. It all marinated for 2 hours in the fridge and then I stirred in the liquid (just water, not chicken broth, for the non-meat eaters) and baked it for 40 minutes in my mini-casserole dish. Perfection!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Case of the Very Intense Friend

Me: Am I too hard on Person X? (Name has been removed to protect the innocent.)

John: What do you mean, too hard?

Me: I don't know... you know... too hard on them, with my opinions and ideas and stuff... you know, too hard on X so that they won't want tell me about their life, like, fully.

John: Well, no.

Me: (sigh) (of relief)

John: I mean, you're not any harder on X than you are on everyone else.

Me: (sigh) (of resignation)

John: And yet, they all do still tell you everything. It is a mystery.

Friday, November 25, 2011

At 9 PM

On a Friday night... John and I are both Googling and Wikipedia-ing...
  • Armie Hammer
  • Clyde Tolson
  • The Lindbergh Baby
  • Clint Eastwood
  • Helen Gandy
... so you know what we went and saw tonight!

Friday, November 18, 2011


Just another reason I adore my husband? When contemplating what we'd do if we won the big Powerball lottery, he said, with glee and absolute seriousness, "I'd become a professional student."

"Oh, yeah?" I replied. "You'd finally get that Ph.D. in economics?"


"From where?"

"Well, I'm a millionaire, so the London School of Economics to start." I laughed and he thought about the other degrees and area of study he could devote his life to.

Don't forget, marriage is about pros AND cons.

For example, I said I'd become professionally awesome, and a professional taker-of-my-friends-on-trips. But based out of London to start, of course!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Down, down, down we go...

So, a Weight Watchers update on me and John - for those looking to cheer*, to scold**, to take inspiration*** or derive jealousy**** from:

I'm down 23 pounds and John's down 42. (!!) As for the high point and the low point so far...

While I dearly love Ann Taylor LOFT for letting me fit into a size 2 skirt at the outlet malls last weekend (and for $13 I sort of had to buy it, so they are the real winner), I also know better that I'm about a 6 right now. And THAT feels as great as a 2 ever could, don't get me wrong! It's basically the size I was back at age 23, when I lived alone over the winter on Cape Cod and only had one friend and ran on the beach a few days a week AND didn't know how to cook yet.

As for the downside, I am now cold most of the time. It is a noticeable difference from last autumn. Sure, I've always had cold fingers and toes, but I have never been downright shivery for much of the day! I am surprised, and not pleased about this. But since I have to buy all new clothes anyway, I guess it's just time to implement a style based on layers and buy a second (or third) pair of fleece jammie pants.

* many, many friends are wonderfully supportive and take joy in our success;
** some friends tell me I shouldn't even care about losing weight, or about maintaining a silly number on the scale - and some hear the number 23 and say, don't lose any more!;
*** I think I can safely be held partially or wholly responsible for about 4.5 other people joining in the last few months;
**** well, yes, it's very rare but we're Americans and this is weight loss - pretending this doesn't exist is just a lie.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Briefly: November's Re-Read

I'm re-reading Little Women - for the first time ever. I read it at age 10 or 11, and never went back to it. I'm not sure why; I think it may have been a little religious for my taste?

The fun part so far is that I assumed everyone was a Jo, everyone loved Jo the most, and everyone wanted to hang out with Jo - but now, in my (ahem) old age, I'm seeing that in fact, no - Jo is not the only way to be. That's something new to contemplate. The ways I was Jo, or am, and the ways I'm not, or wasn't - it's the classic standby in literature for young women that divides a personality into characters, giving us a lens through which to grow. That never stops being enjoyable, no matter how old I get, and it's nice to get Alcott's lesson almost two decades after it was intended!

The other bonus is that I don't really remember what happens (other than a few major events), so it's a combination of nostalgia and discovery - a more pleasant November re-read, I can't imagine.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Why do we have Netflix?

(This will not be a post bitching about Netflix pricing. I maintain that if the leap from $12 a month to $18 a month hurts your finances that much... then you, my friend, have bigger financial problems than your DVD/DVD+streaming/streaming subscription(s).)

No, instead, we have it so that I can start watching the old TV show thirtysomething! I remember my parents always watched it, and I thought, heck, I'm 30 now. Let's see what it was about in the 80s instead of in the 20teens. Two episodes in, I notice:
  • the clothes are amazing;
  • Timothy Busfield is shockingly less handsome as a young man than as an older man;
  • sound mixing has evolved leaps and bounds;
  • the conversations are more realistic, and about more universal subjects, than on any sitcom I've taken in in a long while. Hmm.

Monday, November 14, 2011

So, I got an iPhone...

... and some people may have noticed I am doing even LESS phone-calling than I was doing before. (Bill, I know you think this is impossible. Turns out it is not!) And I think the iPhone promotes this. It's such a handy little personal computer, such an intimate little screen all customized for you - that the actual phone call feels like nothing but an intrusion. Conspiracy? Or maybe Steve Jobs hated talking on the phone, too, and he just brought us all along with him. You never know.