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Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Years old!

Today was my birthday.

Through fantastic home cooked meals, disproportionate investments by offspring, phone calls from loved ones, and yes, Facebook Wall posts, I felt as loved and celebrated as I wanted to.

And through 10s of thousands of documents that HAD to be reviewed today, and the ever-growing to-do list at work and at home (i.e., kids’ school commitments, which may or may not include, oh, i don’t know, producing a major school play????), I was reminded that 3 dozen is far from 3.  Or One Dozen.  I am old.  And my birthday does not matter all that much, except to those who are dear to me.  And I thank them for their love and consideration.

Onward !!!  (because tomorrow is Beloved’s birthday!  And I have gifts to wrap, and a cake to wrap!!!)

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Wasaaaaaabiiiiiiiii!!!!!

I have been gluten free for about 8 weeks now.  I feel slightly less bloated – and have stomach aches less frequently.  I thought for a while that it resulted in a lighter Zuska, but really, that was just part of my typical day-to-day 5 pound fluctuation.

Sometimes, I really miss ooey, gooey, pourous bread.  I have been partaking in a few “summer associate” lunches, since I’m oddly an advisor this summer to a summer associate from my law school, and it has been sort of hard to avoid the warm, fresh baked bread which is brought to the table with olive oil and parmesean and deliciously fresh garlic – but avoid I have.

There are a few things that have made it all worth it.

Thing # 1:  Wasabi Rice Crackers.

Holy crap!

I really may never eat sushi again.

I mean, half the appeal to me is the glorious feeling of wasabi in the nostrils.  It’s fantastic, and delicious, and cleansing.  My tolerance is going up and up, and my soy mixture gets progressively thicker and greener when E and I head to the sushi joints.

but these crackers?

No soy needed.

Just an abundance of wasabi lacing on ridiculously thin crackers … of which there are SEVENTEEN in a serving.  SEVENTEEN!!  In one serving!  Which has like .00087 grams of fat and 3 calories.

I have found that if you place the wasabi-wafers on the back of the tongue, you get maximum wasabi-impact.
MMMMMMMM.

Who needs bread?

or mac & cheese.

or raviolis stuffed with fresh mozz, basil and parsley ….

i mean.

Wasabi crackers RULE!!

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First and foremost:  I love Obama.  I love him.  I want him to be my president.  And if he gets to be my president, I want him to do well.  And if he does, he will be my Kennedy.  I will swoon for him.  I will pay gobs and gobs of money to attend fundraisers where he just might appear.  I will love him more.

And if Hillary wins, I will hate her.  I will hate her more than I do today.  I will despise her for her manipulation of the only party that offers the tiniest spark of a chance of _______ [God – what can you plug into this blank that hasn’t been used before?  Not hope – absolutely not.  Solutions?  ptooey.  A country we can be proud of?  I think I’ll choose that – I will gladly shoulder some of Michelle Obama’s flack for saying what millions of us feel.  Even millions of us who have lived in this country as part of the powerful majority – we feel that way.]  I will be angry.

And I will vote for her anyway.

Despite my love and my pledges of undying support, I did not watch the debates tonight.  I went to dinner with my friend.

What???!!!

The girls are gone!  I was looking forward to this week!  And then I had to go and get a stupid cold and use the time to do nothing but sleep extra, and that was not my plan!!  I didn’t want to just SLEEP.

So, I let my friend drag me to the cool part of “town” over across the river.  Where the smart people live, and the pre-children people live, and where the post-children people or “my kids are in private school” people live,  and I let her take me to a funky and delicious restaurant.  I can’t wait to go back with Beloved.  He would love it.  I would love to return.

Conversation was good, sharing was had.  Parenting – romance – career.  The whole shebang.

And all of that was a follow up to an awesome day of work  – a day where I felt happy that I put the time into school that I did, and where I felt – even moreso than usual, which is a lot – that I made the absolute right choice for my career, my life, my personality.

The timing is nice, too.  Only a week or so after worrying that I’m not stretching and growing enough, I’ve had the most yoga-esque week of all, with many new skills and opportunities, and general happiness with the way of things.

On the homefront:  1)  I love my husband; and 2) my apartment is cold.  Despite the fact that in years past, we could not ever get the place below boiling point, blaming it on the boiler that our apartment sits on top of – we are now cold.  I’m chilly!  I need a blanket!!

I think it’s kind of nice.

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Beloved and I went out to dinner tonight.  First he came and collected me at my office.  That was fun.

As we were leaving the office, at 7:15, my phone rang.  I was assuming it was my office mate, who had just left, and so I answered the phone.  Oh, no, I was wrong.  I should not have made such an assumption.  I ended up sitting at my desk, with my coat on and my husband in the [empty, dark] office next door, taking notes frantically and negotiating what documents I would be receiving possession of before next week’s depositions.

But then there was dinner.  Where we discussed Barack (our boyfriend), Beloved’s Book, my evaluation process (eek!!!), food, and – for one brief moment – the children.

This was the context (boy=blueish; girl=pinkish]:

Who would be the weirdest person you could run into in this restaurant, right now?

Does it have to be someone who would be in Boston?  

Yes.

[random classmate from school.]  What about you?

[J’s teacher.]

Much laughter ensues, at the thought of running into J’s teacher in the restaurant.  His was funny.  Mine wasn’t as funny.  I wanted a do-over.

E!!  E would be the funniest person to run into!  

more laughter.  

E, in the corner, with a book and a raspberry brandy.

No!  She would not!  She’d be saying, “can I have more ice cream?  Those three balls of sherbet were NOT enough!”  

No, she would say, “Mom!  Can’t I have some PRIVACY?  Geez!!!”

_______________________________________

We took a cab home.  The cabbie gave me Swedish fish.  Seriously.

Once home, we quick changed into comfy clothes, threw on some totally inappropriate shoes considering the 19 degree weather, and ran outside to gaze at the eclipse.

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There isn’t really loathing. Just fear.

Over what?  You may ask.

Beloved is leaving me!!!

What is a [well, an … incompetant spoiled brat of a] girl to do??? My husband – my support – my love [my cook] is going to a neighboring state for ELEVEN WHOLE DAYS!!! gasp!

He leaves this coming Saturday and isn’t back home until the NEXT Wednesday.

Considering that work is heating up, the house is in disarray, the girls’ lives are full as hell, and I haven’t cooked in 6 months – this is NOT a minor thing.

I will be okay:

I have friends lined up for emergencies; I’m starting a recipe list and meal plan; I have a plan to go to my mom’s for the long weekend in the middle of his absence –

I think I’ll be okay.

But I’m not certain.

I’m gonna miss my Beloved 😦

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And quite frankly – no. I’m not sad.

We had our holiday. It was the day marked on our calendar all year. We had a fantastic holiday – with a delicious dinner, family and fun gifts. It was everything we had hoped for.

Today did not feel like a holiday.

[Oddly, and perhaps the topic of another post – it doesn’t feel as much like a holiday in public, either, as I’m used to.  Anyone else feel like there’s a bit of spark missing?]

The girls left wondering what sorts of stuff they’d accumulate while gone, dreading the heat, and looking forward to seeing loved ones.

One conversation:

Me [to E]: Are you excited to go to [state]?

E: YES!!!!

Me: What would you do if the flight was canceled right now?

E: JUMP FOR JOY!!

Me: Honey – you just said you were excited

E: That’s because that’s what you wanted me to say. You want me to be happy, and excited, and so that’s what I said, but I’d rather stay home.

Oh. Okay.

J was a little nervous last night that the plane would crash. Which made me a bit nervous. To say the least. I cuddled with her in her bed until she fell asleep, feeling safe in her mommy’s arms, and there was little sign of the fear this a.m.

They got on the plane without incident. And I know they’ll have a good time, because a) they often do, and b) they’re at their grandmother’s house, and she works hard to spend time with them and make sure they have a good time. In age appropriate wys.

They brought gifts, they brought summer clothes. They’ll have fun.

Meanwhile …

Beloved and I went shopping at Whole Foods on our way back from the airport, and we bought filet mignon, scallops, jumbo shrimp, the fixins for scalloped potatoes, asparagus, fancy olives, fancy cheeses, and anything else that was too-expensive-for-kids and delicious.

Then we came home and took a giant NAP (I am a bit under the weather, and airport-wake-up-time was 5 a.m.) We got up, and I went to the liquor store to buy the ingredients for gimlets and martinis, since my parents endowed me with a new bar set, and then we went to a MOVIE!

We saw No Country for Old Men. I liked it. I think Beloved did, too.

Then he made bacon-wrapped scallops and grilled asparagus, and I tried a specialty Gimlet featured at a bar up the street (it’s yummy … a traditional gimlet with a splash of Chambord Liquer to color/taste things up a bit).

Christmas day’s agenda?

  1. sleep until we don’t feel tired anymore
  2. go see “I Am Legend”
  3. Then skip over to “Sweeney Todd”
  4. Come home – where I may do work. Like, lawyer-work.
  5. He will make dinner — the filets, the potatoes, some green beans.
  6. While I nibble on cheese and olives and make more gimlets. We found the martinis to be way too strong and straight. I should check into the fruity ones for another time – but for now, all the stores are closed.
  7. Then we’ll watch a movie at home.

No stress, no pressure.

Just the two of us, good movies and good food – while knowing that the girls are spending time with people who love them, and that they are happy.

If they’re not happy – E has her cell phone on her, and she can let me know without permission or supervision.

Ahhhh, children growing up. How nice.

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I am really not a Scrooge.  I enjoy Christmas music.  I like the smells.  I love snow.  I love wearing sweaters, and scarves and having a red nose.

But have any of you READ this blog?

I just lost 35 fucking pounds.

I don’t need stuffing.

Or mashed potatoes

or fucking PIES.

What is up with the goddamned candy and cookies???

I am a lawyer now.

I can’t promise myself (and my fat ass) that i am going to gym EVERY SINGLE DAY.  I can only TRY.  And sometimes, I instead have to attend meetings.  Or wait for assignments.  Or sit in on conference calls. Or erase hundreds (and hundreds and hundreds of beautiful beautiful) words I had written.

Over Thanksgiving … [brace yourselves]  I gained SIX pounds.  SIX!!!

That’s a lot!!  That means I only lost 29.

Which is not 30.

It is less than 30.

and way less than 35

And it sucks.

but … guess what?

last week?

I lost it again.

Now I’m back to 35.

but I know that I’m on the very exploding verge of losing my ground, and gaining weight again.

And having a double chin again.

And that sucks.

__________________________

I now hate the holidays.

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I should be tired.  I have done a lot today.  A lot of work, a lot of exercising, a lot of socializing, a lot of sports practice schlepping, a lot of cleaning, a lot of chatting, a lot of cuddling.

Work still gets an A.  Sometimes I wonder what happened.  Why am I so happy, when people talk about work environments that are supposedly similar to mine in this manner?   I know I’m not in the cut-throat city, but still.  I’m just not seeing it.  And tonight, when I walked down my hallway at 5:30 to talk to a more senior associate about holiday-gift-giving etiquette, I walked past many, many empty offices.

I know, I know.  “Give it time,” or “just you wait and see.”

zuska = optimist.

I believe that my optimism makes good things happen.  It creates a better situation.  All the time.  It’s even, in the past, caused planes to take off when flights would have otherwise been canceled.  I promise.

Tonight, we all did chores.  E took out the recycling, J dusted in the living room, Beloved scrubbed the kitchen floor, I did the bathroom and 2 loads of laundry and straightened and moved furniture to get ready for Friday.

The house is taking shape.

Tomorrow I buy wine, Beloved buys beer.  I then come home (after the girls’ performance and taking the girls out to dinner) and scrub down the kitchen counters and the hardwood floors.  Then we sleep.  On Friday, Beloved vacuums the furniture and makes salsa; I work all day and then stop at the store on my way home to get paper plates and plastic cups; I wipe down the bathroom; throw the bathroom rug in the washer (how does it get dirty so fast?  it gets dirty SO FAST that I know that washing it today will do NOTHING toward it being clean on Friday.  NOTHING); take apart the kitchen table and move it to another room, vacuum the girls’ rug and the living room rug; do a final sweep of the wood floors; set up drinks and snacks; set up all the extra chairs; and otherwise freak out.

Then on Saturday, the girls have basketball games at 10 and 11.  This is okay.  Because basketball is played at the highschool.  The high school is like, 6 blocks from our house.  We do not need a zipcar.  Hell, E doesn’t even need us to walk with her.  And the games are at 10!!  And 11!!  Not 9.  Not 8.  It is downright civilized.

Then I have to make a key lime something or other ….

Anyone have any recipes????

Because that night, we’re going to an early Hannakuh party.

Sunday, I wanted to go out for mine and Beloved’s birthdays (Tuesday and Wednesday).  But I don’t have a babysitter.  😦  Woe is me.   While my kids are able to have spurts of time home alone, I’m not too keen on leaving them home in the evening while hubby and I go out on a date.  That’s a bit much.  Too much.

I really need to go to bed, or I won’t make it to Sunday.

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I guess I haven’t blogged about the fact that I’m having potentially 30 people at our house on Friday night.

Wow.

It’s a large gathering of parents in E’s grade. We are creating a support/information-sharing network for parents of middle schoolers. I somehow ended up on the planning committee for it, and although someone else (someone with a house) was going to host, they found themselves double-scheduled. I think the group will be infinitely important, useful and positive. An amazing community-builder, that will help our kids to understand how a community contributes to their development and their lives. I didn’t want it to evaporate just because no one could host.

So I decided that I could move my table out of my kitchen – like I did when I studied for the bar exam – and fill the open space we have with borrowed folding chairs, if that is what is necessary.

Look at what this requires:

I will take the kitchen table and move it into the girls’ room.

img_2138.jpg

(This photo was taken from the kitchen area – see the ugly linoleum?)

I will then make the green chair and the ubiquitous “green thing” flush with the bookshelves:

img_2137.jpg

(See, I already have some folding chairs, borrowed from mom and dad). I will put our kitchen chairs, and the comfy chair from the girls’ room, in the living room, making a circle with the couches.

And then, if need be, the entire entry/dining area can be filled with up to 3 rows of folding chairs. Or it can just be an extension of the circle.

img_2139.jpg

And then maybe … just maybe … I’ll be able to fit everyone.

Obviously, this endeavor also requires a lot of cleaning. I was going to hire someone. But I feel like it’s just too hard to do so for this small space. We have so many space-saving techniques employed, and I think it’s a lot to ask someone to work around those. So I need to find a way to fit it in around our week. Our week that not only includes full time working, daily school and Wednesday evening basketball practice, but also two bookgroups, a potluck dinner, and homework projects. Oh yeah, and my swearing in ceremony. Oh, and it’s our town’s “welcome to the holiday season” celebration, which means the girls have to perform on Thursday night.

So I made a chart:

img_2143.jpg

The girls have very little to do, which of course is only fair. I have the most to do, which is of course the way of the world. I am, after all, the person who agreed to do this. Beloved never would have done such a thing.

Not on the chart is my trip to the liquor store, where I must buy wine and beer for potentially 30 people. Huh? Also … snacks?

I just remembered I had asked Beloved to make his outstanding guacamole and papaya salsas for snacks. Isn’t this a sweet way to remind him?

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We got in super-late last night.  We left late on purpose – hoping to miss traffic.  We did indeed miss traffic, but found ourselves driving through pea soup fog.  It was pretty intense.

I had gotten up at 5, and was at work by 7 … so come 9 p.m. when we got on the highway, I just … fell asleep.  I was sleeping so fast, and so hard, I didn’t know what was going on when we stopped for gas an hour later.  I couldn’t believe we were already at THAT rest stop.  Huh?  J didn’t even wake up when we stopped, she was so sound asleep.  E was listening to a book on her iPod, and was still up and had to pee.

Once we left the rest stop, the attack of the fog began.  But I still couldn’t stay awake.  Every time I woke up, I found myself in this very surreal world, with glowing lights on all sides – hardly any cars visible.  It was scary.  And weird.  If I wasn’t 1/2 asleep the whole time, it probably would have been fine, but it was scary.  So I kept checking in with Beloved, “Are we okay?” or “are you okay?”  He said yes, and I would just (involuntarily) drift off again.  Just to repeat the whole interaction 20 minutes later.

Turns out I pissed him off.  He felt like I was saying “you’re not driving well — why?”

So I got to fall asleep for good at 12:15 a.m. in the midst of an argument over how my concern did NOT constitute needling.

We woke up refreshed, though, and now all is well.  My brother came this morning with his ADORABLE baby (which still doesn’t do a damned thing to my ovaries … they’re more than happy with the plan to be cut out and mutilated or whatever else happens to ensure that no more babies come into my womb).

Beloved and I are now doing our cooking tasks … I made cranberry sauce, and he’s making stuffing, and I’m getting ready to peel some potatoes.  We are cooking for 20 people, which is not something we’re used to.

The house I want to rent: the landlord had some hang-up, and it’s yanked from the market for now.  The real estate agent seems to think we can talk her into the cat.  The yanking from the market only helps us, since the more time we have to amass the gigantic* move-in costs, the better.

* My friend at work has started using the word “ginormous” despite the fact that she’s my age.  It occurred to me that the word greatly resembles the word that my sister and I used to use for our “down there” anatomy.  “Gyna.”  I told my friend, “the word suddenly sounds a bit perverted to me.” And she said, “you know what?  I know exactly what you mean, I’m not using it anymore.”  Am I the only one (well, as well as my friend) who has made this connection?

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