THINGS I LOVED / HATED THIS WEEK #76

LOVE:

“Almost Royal” on BBC America:

I have fallen in love with television again. There are such good shows on! It’s not like the dark ages of the past where I only had Honey Boo Boo to happily sustain me. Now I have Life With La Toya, Honey Boo Boo, Penny Dreadful, The Graham Norton Show, The Barefoot Contessa, and my newest obsession, Almost Royal. This is an absolutely magnificent program in every way. It’s a faux documentary that follows to minor members of the aristocracy on a royal tour of the United States. Of course, neither of them are really members of the royal family, but rather they are great comedians. Nobody but the production team shares this info, so it’s rather Borat but much more amusing. Georgie and Poppy Carlton go around from place to place with their wonderfully dry comedic skills and it’s absolutely flawless — like when they go to an American Tea Party meeting and are appalled by the lack of tea! I can’t say enough good things about it, other than I really relate to these fictional characters and their reactions to most things are the same as mine. I don’t know a thing about baseball or changing tires or acting like them! Enjoy the episode above  and do tune in to the show on BBC America!

Lose It:

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Like I was telling you last week, I got fat all of a sudden. Out of terrible sadness and disgust I decided to turn to my old friend to fix this disastrous situation. I fired up my well loved Lose It! app (free) and reprogrammed it to adjust to my newfound obesity. I needed to lose ten pounds and I had about two weeks to do it. Not easy, but hardly impossible. It’s been about eight days now and I’ve lost six pounds. I’m really very happy. Today I was a little bit silly and I went out to a restaurant and surely that destroyed my diet for the day, but I still have about four or five more days to get myself back in order. I’m not terribly worried. The app, though, if you don’t have it, is a revelation in fitness. There’s nothing terribly unique about it — calorie counting is as old as the moon — but with the app’s built-in catalog of foods and drink and caloric values, it’s quite simple to get a solid grasp of all that you’re consuming. At first it’s a right bitch to cut down on your calories and get down to the weight loss limit and you become righteous and angry. But, then, after a couple days, your body adjusts to this deficiency and you start to feel full on only 1500 calories a day instead of 2500. I’m always impressed by this and wonder why I fall of the horse so easily. There truly is nothing better than being thin. I might get flak for that, but it’s ever so true. If you want to get yourself on track or lose a few pounds before going husband hunting in England, I heartily recommend this to you.

Eddie Calvert:

 

If I could escape to anyplace in the past, I would surely start in Egypt and then hurry over to Victorian London. But, the place that speaks most to me, the time period that I fit in the strongest with is the glory days of Old Hollywood. I love the glamour and the art deco designs and the phony accents and the films and the nightclubs where men wore tuxedoes and everybody was playing a classy roll. Hollywood is much the same, I’ve discovered from my jaunts to California. Everybody is still playing a character, but the characters don’t have the class and elegance of their Old Hollywood counterparts. Now everybody is a slut. I don’t have a problem with this, don’t get me wrong, I’d be one too if it got me in a movie, but there is just a huge chasm where glamour went to die. Sometimes my desire to go to this time period overwhelms me and there’s nothing to do. So, to ease my mind, I’ll mix up a cocktail, a classic one like a sidecar or a gimlet, and put on the music of Eddie Calvert. To me, his music is synonymous with Old Hollywood. There’s just something wonderfully alluring about a muted trumpet — maybe that’s just me? Doesn’t matter, though. When I listen to Calvert, I close my eyes and suddenly my hair is slicked back with too much pomade, I’m in a beautiful black suit, the champagne is flowing, I’m surrounded by my beautiful Hollywood friends, and on the nightclub stage, Eddie is playing his trumpet. I open my eyes and nothing of the sort is taking place, so I sigh wistfully and sip my drink.

The Cheesecake Factory:

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I went to the Cheesecake Factory years and years ago and ate some kind of chicken and then never thought about it again. I was overwhelmed by their giant menu. But, yesterday after I gave up my diet (long story we’re not getting into here), I knew that I had to eat, so I decided to try it out again and I’m ever so glad that I did. First off, the ambiance is excellent. What is their theme? It’s like a blending of rococo with Egyptian revival and elements of ancient Rome. It didn’t make sense, but I liked it. The people in there weren’t low class, either, and I appreciated that. I don’t judge people, but I don’t really like being sat next to people in sweatpants, you know? I wasn’t meant for this modern world. After I was escorted to my seat by the exceedingly friendly staff, I was again alarmed by the menu. It’s massive, but thank Beysus there was a skinny menu on the inside. Just because I gave up the diet doesn’t mean I’m no longer health conscious. So, I ordered a Long Island iced tea and a huge salad and happily munched away whilst watching the World Cup. I’m not the kind of person to watch a sporting event, but nobody told me that the World Cup is a bunch of attractive men running around in well fitted shorts. If I had known that I would have paid much more attention. I had a lovely time at the Cheesecake Factory and I’m sure I’ll return soon. Well, not soon, since I’m leaving the country in two days.

Cocktail Making:

Martha-Stewart-Makes-Cocktails-1I LOVE MIXING DRINKS! It’s one of my favorite pastimes now. I think it would be great fun to be a bartender in a fancy bar or on a cruise ship. I’ve always had an odd fantasy of working on a cruise ship — a Cunard cruise ship, mind you — in one of the First Class sections. I couldn’t bear to work amongst the poor. Not that there’s anything wrong with them, I just don’t understand how they work. Vote for me for governor! I get rich people. Our brainwaves are synchronized. Anyway, in my elegant bar on a transatlantic Cunard ship, I’d shake up the tastiest drinks and have so many tips. This week I’ve come up with two new drinks that I’m crazy about. I don’t have names for them, I tried thinking up some, but nothing seemed just right. The first drink I made this week was very precise and the recipe is as follows: purée 1/2 of a pitted nectarine with one ounce of lemon juice and one tablespoon of sugar; strain into cocktail shaker; add two ounces rum and five slapped and torn sage leaves; shake; pour over ice and add sparkling water to top. It’s lovely! The other drink was less precise, but probably tastier…I’ll measure it out later. In a highball glass filled with ice, fill halfway with gin; add triple sec until glass is three/quarters full, add a splash of lemon juice, top with tonic water. That thing is freaking dreamy, reader. I might go make one for my lunch. It makes me a bit giggly so I decided to name it after all, it’s called The Madcap. Drinking lunches are the best, you know?

HATE:

Taking 24 Years to Figure Life Out:

New Life

I have always seen my life in distinct movements, rather like a symphony. There’s an opening and a middle section and then finally a swan song. I assume that I will live to be at least a hundred years old. I turn twenty-five years old this year and thus begins the ending of my opening — soon I’ll be beginning that lenghty middle section. When I think of life along these terms, I find it much easier to understand myself and the plans I have for myself. I have spent this beginning in search of who I am. Now that I’ve discovered who that is, I’m prepared to carry on with the part where I’m making loads of money. I had to spend all this time discovering what it is that I’m good at and where my place is in the world. I am a writer, an explorer, a teacher, an Egyptologist, and a luxury travel guru. These things all play very well with each other and I can see any number of combinations where I use them in association with others. Fancy tours of Egypt. Novels about Egypt. Loads about Egypt for it’s really the love of my life, you know? That’s not what I’m trying to get at with this segment, but I’m not known for staying on track. What I meant to write about is my frustration that I’m slow at figuring important things out — like what to do with my life. I’ve been on my grind lately, though, and I’m getting it all in line. I have one year left before I set out for my great accomplishments, though, so I’d better keep the momentum up. I can’t be here forever, tu sais?

The Terrible Curse of Procrastination:

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Is this my fiftieth post on the subject of procrastination? Surely it is. I am doomed to eternally put things off until the very last moment. That room I’ve been working on all year, for example. It started off as a walk in wardrobe, then a gym, but now it’s my new art gallery and video production facility. I’ve decided it might be fun to make videos on the Internet — but people are very mean on the Internet — and I’m very lazy, so I’ll probably never get around to it. If I just put my mind to it, I know that I could get most of the work done in a day…but here I sit googling nectarine cocktails and reading the menus of all the restaurants at Harvey Nichols. I don’t think these are terribly wasteful pursuits, but I really should get something wonderfully productive done before I leave the country for a lengthy period. (I’m hoping for a month and a half! Such fun!) There are days when I flit about the house in a haze of working frenzy, but that’s not a very common thing at all. I really should get to work on this or seek some kind of hypnotherapy? Do they have that? I’m going to google it.

Fat-Shaming Myself:

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[This picture has nothing to do with this topic, but it made me laugh, so here it is.]

Something that a lot of people don’t seem to fully understand is that fat people are always fat no matter how much weight they lose. Even if they look like models…they never quite forget what it was like to be fat and so it’s hard to appreciate fully the way they look now. I have long suffered this way to the point that I think I have a minor mental disorder. I’m still fat in my mind. I look in the mirror and I can see quite clearly that I’m not fat. I’m kind of fit now, actually, but there’s something strangely wired in my brain that doesn’t allow me to appreciate it. Every once in a while, things clear up in my mind, like when I ended my Ab Quest blog series. That post was a revelation. As the months slip by, though, I find myself reverting to my old ways of thinking and deciding to go on a little diet was the wrong thing to do. I weighed myself every morning for a little over a week, I obsessed over every ounce, I counted the calories of everything I consumed, I drove myself crazy. All I could think about was planning the day’s eating around as few calories as possible without passing out from hunger. The beginning wasn’t so bad, as I wrote about, it was kind of fun to quickly shed a bit of weight and not suffer too much. But, I have an obsessive personality and this diet quickly became unhealthy. I just kept putting myself down. I’ve always done this. I always think I’m fat and disgusting. I need to stop doing that.

Wanderlust:

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Wanderlust is seriously the worst thing in the entire world. It drives me mad on a daily basis. My family has always been a crew of travelers. We go all over the place all the time. I remember when my personal problem started with startling clarity. I remember very little of my youth, but this remembrance is surprisingly vibrant. I was in eighth grade in my social studies class. I wasn’t really focused on this silly American colony simulation project we were doing, I was staring at the big map of the world thinking about how thrilling it would be to go to England. It was about four years later when I went to Europe for the first time and my life was instantaneously changed. I loved traveling so much that it consumed me. I thought about it all the time and happily lived in Paris after high school. Now, as I get older and am able to travel all by myself and have the freedom to go anywhere in the world, the wanderlust gets worse. I want to go absolutely everywhere and because there’s nothing to really stop me, my craving to see every bit of the world is driving me insane. For instance, yesterday I spent hours researching the country of Jordan. I’ve never once considered going to Jordan before, but now I have to go or I’ll lose my mind. I want to see Queen Rania, walk through Petra,  go hiking in their national parks, swim in the Dead Sea, drink mint tea in little café in Amman, and take pictures of everything. I love to travel and share my experiences through my writing and photography. I feel like it’s my duty to the world to go where others don’t or can’t and bring the cultures of the world to you. I love travel so much, but I oftentimes wish that my imagination wouldn’t go into such overdrive. I can’t possibly manage to go everywhere…but why not try?

This Blog Series’ Hiatus:

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Admittedly, I’m not terribly sad about this one. In the morning, I’m leaving for Minneapolis for a day of fun in the Twin Cities and from there I’m hopping on a plane to Iceland! You all know the itinerary, I’m sure, I’m always going on about it, so I won’t discuss the delights of Reykjavik, the markets of Paris, the beaches of Brighton, or the Ritz in London here. You’ll be reading all about them soon. I’ll be posting regularly, so don’t fret, it’ll be just like you’re along with me. I am so excited to get back to Europe, it feels like it’s been an eternity, but it’s only been a couple of years. A year without Europe, though, is a tragic one. I will resume writing my Love/Hate series when I get back to America, so don’t be too devastated. In the meantime, you’ll have my daily adventures to regale yourself with. Also, I haven’t booked a ticket back home, yet, but I’m close to getting it sorted. I’m terribly excited about what it might mean…but I’ll save that announcement until it’s official. For now, AU REVOIR!

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