Things I Loved / Hated This Week #47

LOVE:

Tea In Chicago:

Souvenir_of_Chicago_The_Drake_Hotel

Ever since I went to Chicago last year for a day trip to the Oriental Institute, I’ve been obsessed by the idea of going to tea at the Drake. The Drake is, I believe, one of the finest hotels in The Windy City. It’s so very classy that Queen Elizabeth stayed there on one of her tours of America. She even took tea there! Princess Diana did, too, later on. Could anything be chicer than taking tea where the queen once did? No. When I toured the hotel, under the guise of a wealthy tourist, I was very impressed with the amenities. So, I am craving a visit again just for tea. My new custom made suit is going to arrive early next week and I have the day off on Friday…perhaps a trip is in order? I want to revel in finger sandwiches and hot tea, fresh scones and Devonshire cream! sweet pastries and a glass of champagne. All this while gentle harpists play and I wear my suit and smile contentedly at my surroundings. The more I think on this, the more I know it needs to happen. I’m looking at Hotwire right now. [UPDATE: Probably happening early next year!]

Also, Eartha interlude:

 

Pumpkin Seeds:

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I don’t really remember much about my past, you know? Well, of all the memories I have left of elementary school, my most vivid is a Halloween party we had in second grade. This was back in those carefree times where we could actually carve pumpkins and dress up and have a good time. Le sigh… My teacher took the seeds from the pumpkins and roasted them and I don’t think I’ve ever had anything tastier. Back then, I was easily impressed by table salt and vegetable oil, I guess. Ever since then, I’ve thought of those pumpkin seeds, but never did I make them myself. I don’t know why. The other day, though, for our little Halloween gathering, I roasted the seeds from a couple pumpkins with olive oil and a Greek seasoning blend (by Cavender’s, put it on EVERYTHING) and broiled them for a few minutes. Then, I gorged. Sweet Allah! They were so good. I can’t get over it. They were crispy and chewy and oh so delicious. I literally shoveled them into my mouth. I can’t wait to get home so that I can finish the ones I have left. I’ve been hungrily eyeing the one remaining pumpkin that hasn’t been carved, yet. I can’t wait to devour all of its delicious innards.

The Conjuring:

I’ve long been intrigued by the Warrens, those famed demonologists that are so beloved in paranormal circles. My first interaction with them was years ago when I was watching …what was it? A Haunting? Paranormal Witness? It was one of those well done supernatural shows that don’t have a bunch of idiots screaming through a castle in the middle of the night, but focus instead on the story of a past haunting. I much prefer that. Well, this episode was the pilot of the show and before then and for the longest time after, I’d never seen anything quite so scary as that. The demon in the basement with completely black eyes was easily the most terrifying thing I’d ever seen and it has remained forever with me, in fact it’s inspired me in some of my writings. The Warrens were the investigators in that episode, and ever since then, I’ve been happy to read things about them and always enjoy when they’re on a podcast. Last night, for our annual Halloween Spectacular, the scary movie for the evening was The Conjuring, which was honestly quite terrifying! The movie was rather perfect in the way it developed suspense and all the characters were engaging. It was supposedly based on a true story, and that might be the case, I don’t know, but even if not, I was thrilled. Jessica and I were screaming like schoolchildren when the demon was atop the armoire. Magnificent film, really. I can’t applaud it enough. Rent it, reader, pee your pants.

Baked Potatoes:

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I always forget how much I love them, but baked potatoes are one of the best meals in creation. I could have them for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner, and for snacks in between. I think they’re marvelous. Prick a potato, rub it in oil, and toss it into a 400-degree oven for an hour. Nothing better. I hadn’t had one in ages, so the other night I had a craving and had it (along with cottage cheese, rice chips, pumpkin seeds, leftover pizza, grapefruit, and boiled eggs…it was a strange, delicious meal) for dinner and I was in foodgasm heaven. If only I had some cheese to put on it, that would have made it even better. Alas, I only had butter and fleur de sel, but that was good enough. I still haven’t gotten into eating the skins, but I think I’ll try it next time, there’s supposedly loads of good things in the skins of fruits and vegetables. I’m wary of that. Seems gross, but I guess I do eat apple skins. You should go have a baked potato.

Pilot Precise V5 Pens:

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I go through weird patterns with writing utensils. I use them all the time, I wear them out, in fact. Every day, I try to write at least five pages of my stories and I have a hard time typing out these thoughts. When it comes to blogging, I have no trouble being creative with a keyboard, but in fiction, I have to handwrite. Last year, I was all about these red checking pencils by Ticonderoga that I discovered on clearance that I fell madly in love with. I sharpened them down to stubs. I wrote hundreds of pages with them and sketched and whatnot. I couldn’t find any for this school year, which was a bit devastating. I’m sure I could order them on Amazon, I never looked. Bear with…bear with…you can. But, I don’t want them anymore, I’ve moved on. I’ve always thought that I didn’t like writing with pens. I think it’s because of the pen. I like the tip to glide over the surface, and those Ticonderoga pencils did that phenomenally well. But, somehow, by some miracle, in my possession is a Precise V5 pen by Pilot. I refused to use it for ages because I felt it was one of those pens that would just leak ink all over my pages. Out of desperation one afternoon, I had to use it and had a little attack. It was wonderful. The ink does not run, but is very solid and slightly wet — reminds me of writing with a fountain pen, which is a pain in the ass, but not this one. It’s perfection. I’ve written so much with it and love the way my cursive flows from it. I can’t stand to write in print, everything must be cursive. Buy yourself some of these pens and practice your penmanship, reader!

HATE:

Things Stuck in Nose:

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This is serious, reader. Have you ever been eating something and then laughed and then suddenly a bit of what you were eating is now lodged in your sinus cavity? It can’t just be me. I’m not saying that this happens often, of course, but it has happened a few times in my memory and it’s disgusting. I feel like I should be shipped off to some lovely island so that the rest of civilization needn’t be around me. Last night, I was eating the most delicious pumpkin seems, remember how I love them? Well, I was eating one after another and then Jessica did something or the other and then there were bits of pumpkin seed in my nose? In my nose! It was awful. Then I had to blow them out and disgusting chunks of seed and spices flew out of me into a tissue. It was beyond repulsive, guys. I spent the rest of the night ejecting little bits of it out of me. I should have been put down right there.

Cable Television:

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I love the great number of things you can watch on cable. Personally, I wouldn’t want to live without:  Ancient Aliens, Fashion Police, The Colbert Report, Honey Boo Boo, Life With LaToya, and The Golden Sisters. But cable is also very stupid. We have to pay a ridiculous sum of money for a million channels that we never ever tune into. Sure, I might flip through them once in the vain hope that something might actually be worth watching, but if it’s not on the…maybe six?…channels I watch, than it was a vain attempt. Why can’t we just order the channels we want and have them streamed over the Internet? I don’t want to drill holes in my walls and have to pay some exorbitant fee to have a technician come out and retrofit my lounge and kitchen with cable outlets. Can’t we just get Apple TV-like boxes and hook them up through that? I think that’s the future of television, but I’m not sure if anybody is headed that way, yet. Won’t it be amazing to order the ten channels you watch for maybe $1.99 per month and then watch them on the computer or TV or your iPad? That’s the day I’m living for.

National Geographic Page Layouts:

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I am regularly driven crazy by National Geographic magazine. Now, don’t get me wrong, I adore the magazine, but I feel that they could do a better job actually designing the magazine — they should hire me temporarily or long term…pay me big dollars to make your magazine better! The major issue is that National Geographic is so picture heavy, which is great, but they put the pictures in the most random places. There will be spreads of images that go on and on for ten or more pages that start in the middle of a paragraph. That drives me insane! I want to finish the sentence I’m reading, at least, before I look at all the pictures and admire the excellent photography. It’s just a little thing, but you know, I never have this issue with Martha Stewart Living. I know Martha wouldn’t stand for an awkward layout such as that. Maybe this is just something that only bothers me, but I imagine that others are annoyed. Also, I’m still annoyed they didn’t publish my beautiful missive on Queen Tiye. SLUTS!

Darjeeling Tea:

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I’ve been trying to like Darjeeling tea, but I just can’t get into it. I’ve brought my massive collection of teabags (TEABAG! GIGGLE!) to work so that I can sip it throughout the day. This is great because it keeps me warm, and it also keeps me full of tea, which I guess is a good thing. I’ve read all about the health benefits of tea, but I think it might be a bunch of hocus pocus. I’ve had a lovely cup of green tea every morning for months because it’s supposed to make you skinny. Lies! All it did was make me need green tea in the morning. I love green tea. I’ve been contemplating green tea cake — is that a thing? I had green tea éclairs in Paris at this lovely Japanese bakery. I’m off topic. I’ve been brewing Darjeeling in the mornings as it’s the only teabag I have with caffeine. Even though caffeine doesn’t wake me up, it does cheer me a bit. Well, Darjeeling is not my favorite. It’s kind of bitter and gross. I only have one bag left, thank Allah. I need to buy me some more Earl Grey and some more LADY EARL GREY. Lady Earl Grey is the best tea in the world.

Not Hating Anything:

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I’m well known and celebrated for my charmingly sarcastic and hateful attitude. I used to be like the human Grumpy Cat. I thought everything was awful. I hated the prospect of anything and everything. But now, in my old age (I consider myself ancient) I’m not bothered really by anything. I don’t love everything, mind you, but I’m not terribly bothered by anything either. People still do things that upset me, which is annoying, but I don’t really let it get to me. I hate this passive attitude when I have to write this blog. What fun is there in reading ten things I loved each week? Nobody wants that. Reading negativity is much more amusing than somebody who’s always pleasant. I promise that I’m going to work on hating more things. It used to come so easily. Now, it’s a struggle, and I really do hate that.

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