Things I Loved This Week #109

Flemish Still Life:

Jan van Kessel (Flemish, 1626 - 1679 ), Vanitas Still Life, c. 1665/1670, oil on copper, Gift of Maida and George Abrams

Jan van Kessel (Flemish, 1626 – 1679 ), Vanitas Still Life, c. 1665/1670, oil on copper, Gift of Maida and George Abrams

I think this is one of the most specific loves I’ve ever written about, but I’m very enamored of it. When I was in Washington DC a couple months back, one of my favorite places was the National Gallery of Art. I wish there was something comparable near here. The Art Institute in Chicago is lovely, but very expensive. The Des Moines Art Center is not so lovely, but very free. It’s not the worst, of course, but they have Van Goghs in storage instead of on display, so I take umbrage. Anyway, I was completely charmed by a room that was dedicated to Flemish still life paintings of flowers. Never have I ever seen such beautifully rendered flowers. The bouquets are full and cascading and erupting and full of such vibrancy. I have read that they were very popular amongst the wealthy in the Baroque period, and I believe this wholeheartedly. I want one myself. The paintings display bouquets that were impossible back then, combining flowers that did not bloom at the same time, so these were fanciful explosions of nature’s bounty. Most of them are painted with a very dark background, which only enhances the way they pop out of the canvas. Oh God, listen to me, I’m sounding like one of those art people. I want to use one of these images for the paperback release of my novella, Haskell & Eudora, since I’m still angry about the whole Age of Adaline thing…don’t make me revisit this sad topic. I found the image above from the National Gallery’s online collection, and it is just perfection. Look forward to owning my book, readers! Big Bouquets: IMG_4586 At heart, I’m many things. I’m an Egyptologist, a writer, a socialite, and an interior designer. In actuality, everyday life is not as exciting as the one I lead in my head…even though I do take cruises down the Nile, publish books, go on holidays in five-star hotels, and frequently renovate my house. So, I guess I have two lives. My common work life and the exciting life I lead away from it. I have been having a nice time now that spring has sprung designing huge bouquets to put in my parlor. My father used to work at Ethan Allen, so I have an abundance of slightly damaged luxury goods to use in my designs, which have been incredibly helpful classing up the place. I found a huge glass vase down in the basement, and it’s been so fun filling it up to bursting with blooms. My apple blossom bouquet was a triumph, as was my lilac centerpiece. It was the largest bouquet I have ever seen outside of the Ritz hotel in London. They have the loveliest flower arrangements. (Also, I think I would like to have a flower shop. I have too many interests.) The bouquets are so classy and fill the room up with an elegance it does not have without it. The flowers have all faded now, so I’m waiting for the irises to bloom! Morels: IMG_4706 When I was younger, going out “mushroom hunting” was part of our family’s culture. We’d take my neighbor, who was basically family, and head into our forest and look for morels. I wanted nothing to do with eating them, for my palate was not tremendously evolved before I reached my twenties, but I loved the thrill of finding them. I never had any inclination to hunt a living thing, so this was my kind of hunting! Finally, after many years, I have taken a liking to them and enjoy cooking them. I don’t fry them the way that a lot of people do, I gently cook them in butter with a variety of herbs and then incorporate them into egg dishes. They’re divine in an omelette. They’re also fabulous on top of a pizza, but I haven’t made one of those this year. I was spectacularly chuffed with the ones I’ve found thus far. I missed out completely on the delicious little brown ones, but the yellow morels I found were absolutely huge! Size isn’t everything (but of course it is), and they cook down beautifully. I’m making them on top of toast tonight! It’s going to be fabulous. My Hair:

IMG_4645

This post is about my long, flowing locks, but since I love my bun as much as I love Egypt, the Chateau Marmont, and money, I’m posting this picture.

I know that I have had this on here four thousand times, but I feel madly in love with my hair again. As it grows, there are way too many awkward stages, which has been frustrating for a person as vain as me. I haven’t had it this long since high school, and I have zero memories of growing it out then, so the process is all new to me. I have been incredibly tempted to just get the mass of it all chopped off, but I have resisted. I have been courageous and strong in the face of this oppression. And, am I ever glad I did! The quarter inch or whatever that has recently grown has once again transformed my head. (Make your own jokes.) The hair lays nicely and I don’t feel ashamed of it like I did in the past. It’s amazing just how ugly hair can be when it’s not right. The way it is now, though, I can do literally anything with it and it appears decent. #blessed. Everybody should have long hair. CouchTuner: 4EfVbSOW_400x400 The Internet used to be such an easy place to be a scoundrel. It took absolutely no effort at all to watch a show that was popular enough to be hosted on streaming websites. There used to be so many of them, too! Of course, I was never interested in shows that were very popular. I wanted to watch shows that were obscure and from the distant past. One of my greatest struggles was finding a copy of Absolument Fabuleux, the French movie version of Absolutely Fabulous. It took YEARS, but I was finally successful. Oh, that filled me with great pride. I haven’t needed to dig into that seedy underworld for awhile, but recently I’ve learned that I don’t have the channels I want on my cable, and I already pay more than enough for the half dozen channels I watch without adding more to the bill. When are they going to have a cable rebellion? Why can’t I just buy the one channel I want? I’m not going to dig into that rant right now. Anyway, to watch the shows that I need to watch: Veep, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and Penny Dreadful, amongst others, I finally found a site that will stream them to me. Keep it hush hush, because I don’t need it being deleted. CouchTuner is an immaculate blessing that I am forever grateful for. I’m terrified it’ll vanish one day. I pray it won’t!

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