THINGS I LOVED/HATED THIS WEEK #154

LOVE:

Amelia Peabody Audiobooks:

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I miss Egypt every day. SO MUCH. It’s ridiculous at this point. I should just pack up and move. I know that I’m going to at some point. If it’s not full time, I have no doubt that I will be spending my winters in Luxor when I have the job and money that support such a change. It’ll be perfect. Can you imagine anything more delightful than a Christmas party on a boat sailing along the Nile? You’re all invited. My agony for my favorite place in the world has grown so strong that I’ve been looking for any possible way to get back. So I cook the foods that I ate there, I decorate my home like the Winter Palace, I burn incense in the hope of imitating the smells of the shops. But it’s not enough. So, I have started downloading my favorite books and listening to the Amelia Peabody series all over again thanks to Audible. I love Audible. I promote it so much that I should have a personalized promo code. It’s been delicious to go back to Victorian Egypt with Amelia on my afternoon walks through the countryside. It’s like being back with old friends as she solves murders and mysteries up and down the Nile. My favorite books are the ones set in Luxor. It’s such fun to be able to visualize the sites now that I know them so well. When they go through the Valley, I’m utterly charmed. When Hatshepsut’s temple is described, I get giddy. I just love it so damn much. People who don’t love Egypt probably won’t care about Amelia or her adventures, but I can’t get enough. But download them anyway, dear reader, and share in my thrall. There is nothing finer than the divine novels of Elizabeth Peters, aka Barbara Mertz, fabulous Egyptologist, and sadly dead before I had the chance to write her gushing letters of admiration. That’s something that I will always regret. She passed away just as I started to discover her work. Weep with me.

Rangpur Tanqueray:

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Gin has been my favorite liquor since I took the Amtrak to Hollywood and imbibed several each day with a wacky cast of characters. I wonder what ever happened to all of them? Where is the old woman who was in a three-way relationship with a hippy and a lady who thought she was a reincarnated Incan princess? What’s happening with that devilishly handsome boy scout leader? Where’s the drunken elderly woman who slurringly instructed me to put Lucy Ricardo in my next novel? I don’t know. But I do know that I’ve been passionate about good gin ever since. I was drinking Seagrams in those days, but that’s so much better than some of the shit I’ve bought from the bottom shelf. When I used to have money money, I tried out plenty of brands, but I consistently came back to Tanqueray. It’s the best, and it’ll always be the best. Most gin drinkers would readily agree. Anyway, I’ve been having minor withdrawals this past month because of a ridiculously restricted budget — thanks a lot, medical bills — but I finally had a bit of free cash, and it was time to get turnt. I don’t like living my life like I’m not on vacation. So not having a martini every night has been trying. That problem is fixed, dear reader! I found a special variety of Tanqueray called Rangpur. It’s more heavy on citrus than the original, which I still prefer, but this bottle makes a fabulous gin and tonic and an even better martini. I think it makes the best martini I’ve ever had. Let me verify that for you. Bear with…one sec…one sec…yep, that’s a delicious martini. It’s light, but potent without kicking you in the face with alcohol like some varieties tend to. COUGH BOMBAY COUGH. That shit is vile. I’d rather drink cheap gin than Bombay. And that’s saying something, dear reader. So, stop being so persnickety about gin and learn to love it the way that I do. You feel so classy slurping on a gin martini, and people are usually impressed by you. I don’t do everything to impress others, of course, but I do feel awfully fancy when I do. And that’s a good feeling.

Making Soup:

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Soup is my favorite meal, and I am the queen of making soup. Nobody does it better than me, at least not on this continent. I will say that Debbie at The Lantern in Luxor, Egypt, does a meaner lentil soup than I can. I bow down to Debbie. I don’t know what she does, and she’s not willing to say. I hate when people do that, but I can’t hate anything about Debbie. You’ll understand that when I finally get around to posting my blogs from Egypt. I’m so behind on my travel narratives. I feel awful about that, but what can I do with work, college, sleep, cookery, and maintaining my body? You’ve heard me rant on and on about my lack of time on plenty of occasions in the past, so I won’t burden you with it today. But, delightfully enough, this irksome lack of free time to pursue my life’s passions is exactly what inspired this topic. I decided to make a week’s worth of food this past weekend, which is something I have needed to do for probably a decade but have never done, so that I can have more free time. Inevitably, I get home, full of good intentions of making myself a hearty, healthy meal, but wind up pouring out a bowl of cereal, or making a bowl of popcorn, or just eating a chunk of cheese and then a bit of chocolate and a martini. It’s not a good diet. So, I decided to turn my dietary health around for the better. Abs are allegedly made in the kitchen, you know? I’m over that. So, I roasted a shit ton of vegetables and used the rest of my delightful ALDI supplies for a bunch of soups. I made tomato and I made lentil, and they were both treats. I don’t have a recipe for soup, so I can’t help you out with that. I soften onions in olive oil and butter with salt and pepper and spices. Then I add garlic and the rest of the ingredients. They simmer until soft, then I use the immersion blender, and it’s done. All you have to do is check the seasoning and GORGE. I did. I’m about to do it again. YASSSS LENTILS.

Forever XXI:

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Something wonderful happened some time ago that has sent thrills through me every time I remember. The Forever XXI nearest me now has a men’s section. Finally. I have long felt that this is a major injustice, not being able to buy unreasonably cheap fashions. But now life has meaning and I can go to the mall with purpose instead of listlessly floundering between the GAP and Express. They’re both far too expensive. I got a gorgeous faux suede jacket when I was there the other day, which makes me look fabulous. And then I found a cape-like cardigan in my favorite fabric color of the moment, camel. When I was in Nice last year, I found the first cape-cardigan that I’d ever seen at ZARA. America is finally catching up with France. This one is much cheaper, too! And beyond my joy at being able to buy clothes that make me feel decadent, I applaud Forever XXI for letting me live out my Harry Styles fantasies. I mean take a look at this and then tell me the great many people in Santa Clara, California, who screamed, “HARRY!!” At me were wrong. I’ll wait:

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Who is WHO? Is this “Inception”?

I only want to shop here now. It’s the only place. Well, until we get an H&M, but that doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon. Fix this, Des Moines.

Apple Watch OS3:

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I was one of the early adopters of the Apple Watch. I didn’t buy it the first day it came out, sight unseen, like the very first iPad. (Do you remember those chunky, slow, low-resolution tablets? We thought they were the very definition of NOW. Thinking back on it now, from the comfort of my iPad Pro with gold accents and fingerprint scanner, I chortle merrily at the development. I wonder how long it will be before I find this machine ridiculous?) But back to the Watch. I bought it once they had a cheap gold ones. Mainly because I am a total ho for gold. I mean, I have legitimately looked into what organs I could sell to pay for the golden MacBook. I still have every intention of acquiring one of them, next year probably, but somehow keeping my kidneys. I guess you need them for something. But back to the Watch. It was mainly a status symbol. Not just because it was GOLD but because it was EXPENSIVE. And, also…it didn’t really do much of anything. I mean, it tracked my steps, and that was cool, but there was no amazing feature. As the months progressed, I grew ever more fond of it, though. It was charming to read texts on my wrist and to see my collection of travel photography whenever I checked the time. After nearly a year, the Watch finally seems useful with the latest update. It is so fast now! Like, you can click the timer and it just starts! You can tell it you want to go for a walk and it will just start, you don’t have to wait for nearly a minute while the app loads. It’s such a blessing. And that sounds dumb, but it’s made a world of difference. And now you can respond to messages easily with your own handwriting. I thought this was ridiculous when I heard about it, but it is the most natural thing in the world when I finally gave it a try. Bless Apple. Bless that Watch. I am blessed.

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