Things I Loved / Hated This Week #41

LOVE:

Pasta al Burro:

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I’ve always been particularly enamored of alfredo, that creamy, cheesy, wonderful sauce that screams of heart disease, but is so delicious. For the longest time, I thought that this was the truest form of the dish, but then I learned better. In EPCOT, there used to be a restaurant in the Italian pavilion, Alfredo’s, that made the most wonderful dish of the same name. Instead of cream and rehydrated fettuccine, they made paper thin pasta from scratch and tossed it in the most marvelous combination of good butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano. The typical alfredo was ruined for me ever since. There’s nothing better than that simple dish I had at Disney World. Since that first time, I’ve had it in New York City off Fifth Avenue and then again in Rome at the birthplace of the dish. I’m very well traveled when it comes to alfredo. I’m a gastronomic traveler, really, I went to Paris for the first time mainly to try a real baguette. It took me a stupidly long time to figure out how to make pasta al burro, mainly because I didn’t know the actual Italian term. Once I figured it out, I’ve made it regularly. I lived off of it in Paris when I was in pastry school, I make it often at home, it’s wonderful. Just mash grated Parmigiano-Reggiano into as much room temperature butter as you’re comfortable consuming — more than you want to know — and toss it with hot, fresh pasta. Gorge.

My Unreasonable Good Mood:

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Since Sunday, I have been in a wonderful mood. It makes no sense. I’m usually wonderfully grumpy, but lately everything is just dandy. I’m not tired, I don’t need naps, I want to do things. Yesterday, I went out on a walk and I was all, “Jeez, life is just great. Look at that sky!” If it had been at the beach I would have wept! But, it wasn’t the beach and it was still as beautiful. Then the sunset was amazing and I loved it. I was completely content with life. Then I got home and I did my exercise and I watched a television program and enjoyed it. I made tacos. I have been in a great mood. It’s just stupid! I need to figure out what’s up because I like being cheery.

Gilded Mirrors:

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My bedroom makeover is finally getting close to being finished. There is quite a lot to do still: wire the light fixture so that it’s not a pull string, install a dimmer, get the bed frame and headboard in, deep clean the floors, fix the door lock, buy some nice crisp white sheets for the bed. But, even with all that needing done, I’ve made incredible progress and hung up my mirrors last night. I have a bit of an obsession for gilded antique mirrors. I always seem to be getting them someplace. Antique shops, pilfering a dead woman’s home, begging for one at the closing of a furniture store. All very successful. My favorite is my gigantic mirror that retailed for $1299. It had a small crack in the glass and guess what I had to pay for it? $0. Nothing! That’s the best. In fact, the amount of high quality furniture I’ve gotten for free or severely discounted is ridiculous. It’s one of my crafty skills, really, knowing people who can get me stuff. All but one of my mirrors is up — the one I got from a dead woman’s house. It just does not fit anywhere! Driving me mad, really. The room has gone much more Versailles than I intended. It was meant to be more like the Chateau Marmont, but you can never have enough gold or mirrors. At least I don’t think so.

Lentil Tacos:

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Walking tacos have long been one of my favorite dishes. It’s simple and delicious — not exactly elegant, but I love them SO much. When I became vegetarian, these were one of the things that I missed the most. Those first few months were the most difficult, while my palate changed and I learned a new way of cooking. One day, I watched an episode of Julia Child’s show all about lentils and my life changed for the better. I bought a bag of those wonderful things, added some taco seasoning, tasted it, and flipped out. It was amazing. It was divine. It was even more delicious than with meat. I can’t wait to get home and eat another one! Sometimes I’ll add an onion and that’s even better. One thing I need to work on is making my own taco seasoning blend. It probably isn’t that difficult and certainly much more economical. I’ll have to consult Martha on this.

Conduit Wiring:

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I’m basically Martha Stewart’s prodigal son. I’ve long been convinced that I was switched at birth and perhaps she’s my real mother — had some kind of secret child late in life, you know? I wouldn’t mind if Alexis was my sister. Is a Russian billionaire my father? Is it a Rockefeller? God, I hope so. Either way, last night, I was really taking after my dear old mum. I baked a cake, did all the laundry, deep cleaned a floor, and installed wiring in my bedroom. I just don’t know how I do it all! My bedroom only has two outlets, and that’s far from enough in this modern era, especially for a gentleman who loves lamps as much as I do. I hate seeing cords stretch across a room almost more than anything, it drives me insane. Nothing ruins a design more than plugs. So, I used my rather ridiculous electrician skills — where did they come from? — and installed a new plug. It was guess work, and I didn’t turn off the power, but it worked the first time. I am so impressed with me! My next project is to install a dimmer switch and a chandelier instead of the pedestrian pull string fixture I have now in the room. Far too démodé for me, tu sais? I even love the look of conduit, it reminds me of old buildings that were constructed long before the electrification took place. Good old world look, I think.

HATE:

Autumnal Chill:

I love autumn, really I do. I think it’s beautiful and calming and rather relaxing since all you have to do is mow the lawn one last time and pull all the spent plants from the garden. With that done, you have months of maintenance free lawn enjoyment, only you don’t get any more wonderful tomatoes. Although I love wearing short shorts, I also love wearing sweaters and eagerly bust them out. I’m really looking forward to wearing my beloved Missoni one that sheds like no other — worth it. I like to sing “Autumn Leaves” and morosely look out my window as the green goes brown. A bit depressing, but nothing like the eventual winter, which threatens to make me suicidal each year. It’s freezing right now. I’m outside at work and the breeze is freezing my blood. It’s dreadful. I can’t bear it. I need gloves and a Burberry coat — I’m watching one on eBay…

My Back:

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My back is shit. For the longest time, I haven’t had any troubles, but for about a week now, it has not been in a good place. Today, Tuesday, is the worst it’s been in ages. I can’t sit properly because it twists my bones strangely and this configuration makes them deeply uncomfortable. I think I’m going to start doing yoga again tonight to see if this helps me at all. If not, I suppose I may have to go to a chiropractor. I’ve never done that before. In general, I’m annoyingly healthy, so I never go to doctors. I don’t like this pain. UPDATE: it’s incredibly worse today. I just got my new bed last night and it’s the first time that I’ve ever had a bed that fits my six foot long body. It’s amazingly comfortable, but I fear my body is painfully adjusting to it. Hopefully that’ll be over soon.

Tape Measures:

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Tape measures effing terrify me. I’m convinced they’re going to slice me in two. In fact, they’re one of my irrational fears. I have a couple of those. A fear of sharks is not irrational, but I am thoroughly convinced that in my life, I am going to be attacked by one. I don’t know if it’s going to kill me or if it’s just going to maul me, but I’m well assured that something is going to come up before I die. In addition to this terror, I’m also a bit petrified by those metallic tape measures. They’re awfully handy, and I use them regularly, but I get a bit scared when I have to feed the tape back into its case. It’s sharp and fast and horrible. God I hate it. I dropped one last night and it started coiling up and flailing toward me and I knew I was going to go blind, a toe was going to be severed, and that it would slit Edna’s throat. None of this happened, of course, but I swear that it was close. I hate those things! I tend to use sewing tape measures more often because the worse they could do is serve as a noose, but that would take considerable effort.

Incredible California Debt:

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When I went to California this summer, I chose that place instead of Europe because it seemed much more economical. WHAT A FOOL I WAS! I have quickly found myself with a ridiculous sum of debt, like $3000. I don’t understand how this happened. I stayed with people, ate reasonably for the most part, got discounts on travel. I don’t know what happened. I’ll be paying this off well into the late winter. It’s devastating me. I’m hate living like a hobo. So upsetting. I’ve never been spectacularly wealthy — I’m basically an heiress with no access to funds, but I’ve never had to be so conscious of my budget. I hate it. I want to be away from debt. I need some extra money soon. Maybe I can sell something? When I get it paid off, though, I’m plunging straight back into it:  EUROPE THIS SPRING! (That’s what we socialites do, you know?)

All the Cute Clothes at Target:

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[I’m asleep here, but look at my cute new cardigan!]

Mind you, I don’t hate the clothes at Target, I just hate that I can’t buy them all. I was there the other night with Jessica and there seemed to be a reawakening of taste in their men’s section. Over the past few years, the selection has been rather lackluster and I’ve stopped shopping there for the most part. They do have these pants that I like, and bought in every color, so there was some lingering quality, I suppose. But that night, there were cardigans galore, cute shirts, so many pants I wanted to put my well-built legs into, even hats — and I can’t wear hats without looking ridiculous. Then there were bags. Oh, the bags! The only place that the dreadful inequity betwixt the sexes continues is in the shoe department. The girls get so many cute shoes! The men don’t. This upsets me. Why can’t I have a pair of studded loafers, too? I can’t wait to be wealthy again. Like…next winter.

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