One of my more popular Twitter posts went something like this: “Omelette is French for ‘impossible to make,'” Oh, reader, we laughed and laughed on the Twitter. For reasons I could not understand, this classic egg dish was impossible for me. Every time I did it, it would crack or be too thick or some other travesty would occur. I tried everything. I shook the pan. I used high heat. I used low heat. I added butter to the eggs. I did everything. I gave up. My life changed, though, when I read through the recipe for them in David Levovitz’ new cookbook, My Paris Kitchen. He recommends using two eggs and a twelve-inch skillet. Never had I thought to use a big skillet or so few eggs, so I tried it out. I wept as the omelette came beautifully together. I’ve probably made a dozen since that happy discovery and each of them turns out flawlessly. My favorite combination is arugula and parmiggiano reggiano with lots of freshly ground black pepper. Tonight I’m making one with yellow morels that I found out in the forest last night. I’m going to pair it with a fresh salad and eat it under my new outdoor lights with a grapefruit cocktail. My life will be decadent. Here’s the (slightly tweaked) recipe: whisk together two eggs with a teaspoon of cream, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a 12-inch skillet and pour the eggs in when hot. They will set almost immediately. Rotate the skillet so the eggs are evenly distributed. Fill omelette however you like. Fold and serve on a warmed plate.
“Blue Smoke” by Dolly Parton:
Dolly Parton is one of the loves of my life. I’ve told you all about this a dozen times already on here. She’s a glorious creation and a national treasure. She’s flawless and a divine country queen and she’s Miley’s godmother! Could she be any better? No. The answer is no. She could not. She is perfection incarnate. I happily wept for hours after I bought terrible seats to her concert in London. I don’t care where I sit, really. I am going to be in the same room as Dolly Parton. Do you understand how important this is? There are going to be Beyoncé level emotions, reader. I had no idea what kind of music was going to be at the concert — but that did not matter. Her album finally came out a little while ago, and I think it’s one of the finest things she’s created in quite some time. There’s a wide variety of styles on there and she has one of her macabre story songs. This one is entitled “Banks of the Ohio” and is all about MURDER MOST FOUL. I love when she has a creepy song. There’s a gorgeous one on an album from decades ago about being locked up in an insane asylum. Oh, Dolly, you sing to my heart. The album is just lovely. She duets with Kenny Rogers and we all weep. She sings about heading off on a train away from her lover who never loved her much anyway. She sings about going home. She turns a Bon Jovi song into a gospel classic. She sings in terrible French. She is perfect. DOLLY PARTON FOR PRESIDENT.
The Scent of Boxwood:
Whenever I go to Paris, I will oftentimes catch this odd scent that smells of rotting wood. While that may not sound like the most pleasant fragrance, it is rather nice and always makes me think of my favorite city. I’ve never been able to identify the source, which has long been a mystery to me. I assumed it must be the fragrance of one of the native trees or just the smell of a city. Well, I was absolutely thrilled yesterday when I went walking through the Home Depot’s garden department looking for inspiration for my gardens and grounds. That smell jumped into my nostrils and I stopped dead in my tracks. I looked around and saw that small boxwood shrubs lined either side of the narrow path I was on. Could it be? I bent down and stuffed my face into one of the plants and inhaled deeply. Instantly, I was back in Paris. I was walking along a path in the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, I was sauntering down the Champs-Élysées, I was taking a midnight stroll past Notre Dame. I’m so happy to have solved this mystery and I’ll surely be planting boxwoods soon at home.
“XSCAPE” by Michael Jackson:
I am writing this post to rescind the comment I made earlier about my disdain for Michael Jackson’s posthumous new album. I thought that it was a bit crude and distasteful, but of course I gave it a listen. Well…I’ve changed my mind. It’s still distatestful, but it’s full of quality music that is not at all an embarrassment to Michael’s legacy like that last one, boringly titled, Michael. I truly didn’t want to like this one because of my classy belief system, but then the beat dropped and I was in for it. I went out for a walk last night with this blasting in my ears. I couldn’t help it. I danced and twirled and sang and had a hella fine time. Don’t bother getting the special edition, the original tracks that are featured on there are stale and a bit boring. The modern remixes are truly excellent.
My Hipster Lights:
Something that has always captured my imagination is a yard loaded with fairy lights and hanging lights and any kind of lights. I’m a big believer in gorgeousness with no care about the cost. I’ve always wanted to have my yard filled with lights so that I could take moonlit strolls in the gentle illumination and sigh with contentment. So, I decided I should finally follow my dreams. Isn’t that inspirational? I went to Target and bought three strands of tiny bulb lights and spent the afternoon stringing them betwixt two maple trees in my front yard. I nervously waited for sunset, and when it finally became dark enough, I turned them on on and smiled like an idiot. They were so beautiful. There’s something ridiculously charming about outdoor lighting. It’s decadent. It’s European and it’s Southern and it’s like an island and it’s flawless. Every night since putting them up, I eagerly wait for them to come on (they’re on a timer now) and just bask in their glow. You should string some lights up reader. They’re worth every penny.
The Word “Grateful”:
I often tell you about the words I hate, which is kind of ridiculous. It’s silly to hate a word. It’s just a word, after all, with its own history and reasonings. There’s nothing I can do about the idiocy I find in some, but that doesn’t mean I can’t carry on complaining. It’s what I’m meant to do — extrapolate lengthily on the things I dislike. I often think that I would make a great caustic reviewer for hotels, restaurants, museums, movies, books, anything at all. It takes a lot to impress me, so I’m pretty sure I would find a rabid audience. Call me, newspapers! Anyway, I hate the word grateful. It doesn’t look right and it doesn’t make sense. Grate means to shred cheese! It doesn’t make sense to spell it “greatful” either, unless, of course, you are full of greatness. Not really the same message, is it? So, I feel we should ban this word from the English language and chose a lovelier synonym. Like, in a speech you could say, “I’m #blessed! Thank you for giving me this Academy Award.” I’ve looked up the etymology of the word and. It does make sense, but I still hate it. Avoid this terrible word, reader!
My Inability To Be Frugal:
When I was younger, I would feel physically ill whenever I spent money. I would research return policies to make sure that I could change my mind after purchasing anything — anything, reader. I don’t know when it happened, but I’m not like that at all anymore. I don’t think about money. I don’t make tremendous amounts of it, which is a real shame, but I live as if I do. Not too far out of my means, mind you, but if I did live with what my earnings could get me, I’d just as soon kill myself. I don’t care for my credit card bills, but I do love my credit cards like they’re my babies. I’d rather have minor debt and an adventurous life than a boring life without a bill. I don’t know what I’m getting at. When I wrote the header above to remind me of today’s hate, I was feeling a bit guilty that my earnings go straight back to my cards, but today, I don’t care at all. I don’t hate that I’m not frugal. I’m happy with how my money is. I just need a sugar daddy to pay off my bills and buy me designer clothes. Accepting applicants now. Thanks.
I know I’ve written about this before, but I had no idea how awful these things could be. I’ve had several small panic attacks, but nothing that was unmanageable. They would last for a few minutes, rarely more than ten, and then dissipate with as much warning as they arrived. They happen so infrequently that I don’t even think about it. Well, I’m forever changed, I think. Yesterday I had what I would consider the first major panic attack of my life. It went on for a few hours and only went away after I forced myself to go to sleep. I never want to go through something like that ever again. I felt my completely out of mind and slightly insane. It was awful. I’ve been taking a class on neurobiology, so I can only assume this is some kind of chemical misfire in my nervous system that caused this. Whatever chemical is in charge of fear or flight or whatnot flooded my neurotransmitters and left me a mess for far too long. My research into this subject was not at all heartwarming. There are no real triggers. Sometimes stress or alcohol or caffeine. I’m not stressed. Well, not much. I don’t drink before I go to work. I didn’t have any more coffee than usual that day. I’m at a loss to explain this away. So, let’s just pray to Beysus that such an event never repeats.
Missing Out on the Future:
I don’t know if this is a feeling that plagues other people, but I am always being reminded that I won’t make it to past 2100, if I even make it there at all. Isn’t that sad? I have so much to do and see and I have to get interrupted by death. Rude. I am sincerely hoping that by the time I’m older, science will have evolved enough to reach the point where I can live forever. I have little interest in the grave or afterlife. The world is wonderful enough as it is. There are problems with it, I give you that, but there’s so many great things to see and delightful things to accomplish. What’s the point in living if you haven’t watched the sun rise over the Great Pyramids, if you haven’t walked along the Great Wall of China, if you haven’t extravagantly dined in a Michelin starred restaurant in Paris, if you haven’t taken selfies with celebrities in LA, if you haven’t seen the geishas and the cherry blossom festival in Kyoto, if you haven’t helped peasant farmers in Romania harvest hay? I don’t think there’s any point at all one way or the other — so I feel you should at least experience all you can whilst you can. I intend to have a full and rich life, but I realize that I have a limited amount of time and resources. It fills me with regret that I won’t see the glories of the future. This feeling really overwhelmed my last night when I was watching the season finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race. It was simply one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen on the television in my life. It was such a joyful celebration of individuality. It’s amazing to be alive in a time where this kind of alternative art can be appreciated. I often bemoan the fact that I wasn’t an Englishman in Victorian London, but I truly wouldn’t want to be alive at any time other than today. Victorians didn’t have iPhones, after all. The future can only get better and I don’t want to miss a bit of it.