Things I Loved/Hated This Week #19

LOVE:

Bosnian Grapefruit Juice:

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There’s nothing all that special about this grapefruit juice, but it reminds me of the juice I buy in Paris and that makes me happy. The Walmarts are beginning to have really interesting ethnic sections with quality Latin and Bosnian sections. The Bosnian ones are new to me and are such fun to look through. There a loads of coffees and teas that I need to try. There are massive containers of olive oil and something that is called Vegeta that is a vegetable based food seasoning that is by popular in Eastern Europe. Got to try it. But the thing that thrilled me was the liter of grapefruit juice. It probably came from Florida and was shipped to Bosnia and then shipped back to Des Moines–and that’s all frightening, but its European twist cap reminded me of Paris and it made me very happy.

Tea Bag Eye Compress:

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I’ve always had dark circles beneath my eyes that won’t go away. I’ve tried cucumbers like you see people do in spas and I’ve tried potatoes as they’re supposed to do the same thing, but they didn’t seem to do anything at all. The Chanel eye cream I have does work a bit, but the circles remain. They’re determined effers. I was reading about the uses of tea bags yesterday, because I was sure there was something you could do with them–there is. I was right. Happens all the time. I decided to try some green tea bags as cold eye compresses and was delighted and frightened by how well they worked. I took them off my eyes and there was no darkness at all. The next day I did it with Earl Grey, but they didn’t work quite as well. Green tea has some additional properties, I believe, but I’m not really a tea specialist. I’ll be doing this more often in the future.

Half Birthday:

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Never in my life has my half birthday been celebrated before, and after having done so on the 11th, I don’t understand why I’ve never insisted on it before. I love celebrations and I love myself so any opportunity to celebrate myself would be a great idea in my book. Anyway, it’s a thing now, so every February 11–prepare. At work, I was given lots of chocolates, a cake, an in-class party, and a generous gift card to Williams-Sonoma. It was awesome. I’m going to buy a tagine. This one:img93b

I’m really into African, Indian, and Middle-Eastern food these days. So many flavors that I’ve never experienced before. Back to my half birthday, though, I was given a bar of chocolate from Austria that I’ve never had before and it was all kinds of amazing. I’m trying not to gorge on it. I’m going to fail.  I’m 23.5 now. I’m ancient.

Papal Resignation:

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I do my hardest to find something good in every person. I don’t know why as it’s much simpler just to hate people and not care, but it’s something I do. I don’t often come across people who I fail to find one redeemable quality in. There’s one I have to see every day and that drives me insane. The current pope is another one–he’s just so unlovable. I have no real issues with the papacy or Catholicism. If people want to think he is the mouthpiece of God and that a religion that preaches love and humility but houses it in shrines of gold is a decent one, fine. I just don’t follow suit. I love the gays and birth control and shit like that. I’m not going to start a theological debate here, I’ve done that before, and since I’m always debating myself, I always win. I’ve been to the Vatican and I enjoyed it immensely, the place is an artistic masterpiece that you should see if you ever have the chance. I wasn’t lucky enough to go to the Vatican museum, so I’ll have to go back someday and do that. When you start thinking, though, as you walk by all the gold and intricately craved wood, you start feeling a bit ill at ease thinking of all the starving people that could be saved and all the burdens that might not be there if birth control were available to those of the Catholic faith. The whole thing reeks to me. I hope that the next pope, whomever he may be will be a touch more liberal than his predecessor. He won’t be, though, as Pope Benedict has hand selected the majority of the cardinals that will be voting next month. It’ll just be more of the same and that’s a real shame. We aren’t going to have another Pope John Paul I for a long time, I fear, and that is a great tragedy for the good of the world. I wish that his papacy had lasted a bit more than thirty-three days.

Mardi Gras:

861012_4469243537440_1589982460_o[Jessica, Jose, and I after a five-course French meal and a hearty cocktail.]

Ever since I discovered this holiday, I have been intrigued by it and have wanted to go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras and flash everybody for beads. Sounds amusing.

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I also would like to see the celebrated Carnivale parades and parties in Nice, Venice, and in Rio. I can only imagine that I’d have a delightful time, especially in Nice and New Orleans. I can have a good time anywhere, though, so that was a dumb sentence. The idea of a holiday where you gorge yourself is a winner in my book. I love eating. Since I had to work, I wasn’t able to go down to New Orleans. Next year, maybe I’ll use my vacation time to go down for an extended weekend? I made the best of the situation and resolved to go to the Creole restaurant in Des Moines. Surely they’d have something vegetarian, so I called them and asked. They thought catfish was vegetarian. I was flabbergasted and ended the phone call. Instead, Jose, Jessica, and I went to my favorite French restaurant, Django’s and we gorged. I had a Parisian sidecar cocktail, tomato bisque, ratatouille, mushrooms with an au poivre sauce and dauphinoise potatoes, flourless chocolate cake with Chambord liquor, and then an after dinner espresso. That was two days ago and I still haven’t processed all that food. Every dish was amazing. I didn’t think I would be, but I am now obsessed with ratatouille. It is a phenomenal dish. I need to make some soon. It would be amazing over pasta or rice or over crusty bread as it was served at the restaurant. We also dressed to the nines. It was great. I adore Mardi Gras.

HATE:

My Inability to Twerk:

I am in awe of people who can twerk. If you don’t know what it is, watch:

I know. How do they do it? I’ve tried and I’ve tried and nothing happens. I think I’m missing a specific grouping of muscles in charge of making myself able to twerk. If I could, I’d be the happiest person in the world and I would twerk all the time, just to twerk, there’s really no point to it–it’s no classical dance, by any means, but I think if you were in a discotheque with hearty cocktails present (Holla at the Madonna and French & Saunders reference!) you would shut it down. I need to watch tutorials or take lessons or something. It’s just something I need to be able to do, and I hate that I can’t.

“Hidden” Tracks:

 

These things have always driven me insane, and I thought that in this modern era of completely digital music, we had eradicated them. Alas, no, we still have tracks on albums that are like ten minutes long with four minutes of silence at the beginnings. What is the purpose? It’s a digital track, we see that it’s there, we can see how long it is, why try and disguise it, when that’s impossible? It barely made sense on a physical disc. Then, I guess, it was kind of a treat to leave the CD running and discover another song, but I never let the CD run. Why would the artist hide their music? Are they not charmed by their own creation and want to showcase it? Maybe I’m making a bigger deal out of this then necessary? Anyway, yesterday, I was listening to “Watch the Throne,” by Mr. Beyoncé, which I enjoyed much more than I expected, and there was one of those annoying silences before the song started. I was annoyed. That’s all.

Not Being In Rome For Conclave:

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I really enjoy being a part of historical moments. Sadly, the only one I’ve been a part of so far was the Royal Wedding of Prince Williams and Catherine Middleton–now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. I saw them several times and was one of the first people at the gates of Buckingham Palace, where I saw the entire Royal Family with my own eyes on the balcony where the Prince and Princess publicly kissed for the first time. It was awesome. Being there is one of my favorite memories and I’ll always think back fondly of it. I’ve long wanted to be in Rome so that I could stand in Saint Peter’s Square when a new Pope is revealed. I’m not Catholic. I’m not even religious, but I’ve long been fascinated with the Vatican and always enjoy reading about it. I love the scandals, the conspiracy theories, the truths, and the actual events that are reported–even if they might not be the truth. With the Pope abdicating for the first time in over six centuries, I’d really like to be there. Just one of those things that I’d like to do, you know? Why couldn’t he resign in the summer instead of the spring? I have work! I read that they expect the new Pope will be chosen before Easter, and I do have Spring Break right around there, so I might be able to make it work, but I’m dubious about my ability to do so. If I can manage it, though, I’ll need to start brushing up on my Italian and picking out restaurants and a hotel. Something in town this time. I stayed at a gorgeous Hilton by the airport the last time I was in Rome and that was very inconvenient. I took a plate home with me, I still eat dessert off of it.

Repeats on the Radio:

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I don’t listen to the radio because I can’t stand it. If I wanted to listen to the same four songs on repeat, I’d just turn in the Spotify top hits list and press the repeat button. How many times can people really listens to Rihanna’s “Diamonds?” I was sick of it the second time I heard it. The radio has no life or soul or creativity. There’s nothing wrong with popular music, I love it myself, but there is an entire world of music that is blatantly ignored because of the industry. I don’t know…feel free to listen to the radio, but do some exploring, too. There is so much good music out there that you won’t hear in your car.

Almost Out of Chanel:

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This tragedy is almost as chic as the time I ran out of five county cheese (and speaking of which, I’m out of it again, I must go shopping). This time, though, I think it’s worse. I’m very nearly out of my Chanel cologne. I don’t know what to do. It isn’t sold here commonly in America. I’ll have to order it online, I suppose, but that confuses me as there are other variants. There is one that is supposed to be a more concentrated blend of the original. People either love it or hate it, so I don’t know if I should buy that one or stick with the original or find a new signature fragrance altogether. It’s not fair that the Rue Cambon is so far away and I just can’t spend an hour at the Chanel boutique with all the other fashionistas on the Rue Saint-Honoré sipping champagne, chatting with Karl, and buying cologne. That’s how life should be. I need to work on making my life more interesting. When I’m on vacation, I’m the most interesting man in the world, but once I’m back home in Iowa–not so much. Le sigh…anyway, when I run of Chanel, I’ll weep and miss Paris and fall into a dark depression.

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