Here and There

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pretty kitty WEIRD book

I read this book, The Darling Buds of May, back in the month of May. Just as things were starting to turn lovely: all the yellow roses were blooming, the Pixar roses were showing off, the weather was warm and everything was generally pretty nice.

So, I thought this book would be a perfect book to read. It was one of the most bizarre books I've ever read. It was full of all my favorite things: food, nature, summer, love, cocktails, good smells, relaxation, parties. But it was kind of like that story about Raggedy Andy where he has a birthday party everyday for a week. Too much! I've been trying to kind of process it blog-wise, but haven't had luck, so I thought I'd just go for it and see what I find out.

The family in the book is large and loud. They are constantly eating, watching TV, drinking, laughing too loud...hmm, it's hard to describe.

Premise: Big family in rural England, live on a farm, older daughter looking for romance. Tax guy comes to get them to declare their income. The parents set him up with their daughter and trick him into staying on the farm for awhile to "get well" because he is stressed. He forgets about the income issue. There is strawberry picking, horse races and a huge party with free flowing champagne.

The weird thing is that this tax guy goes to get them to declare their income, they claim they have their farm and don't make any money. They even spend a few weeks strawberry picking and say they have to for money. But really, they have tons of cash all over the place and only do the picking because they get to eat as many strawberries as they want and enjoy the work. They have a new mattress, a new washing machine, new pots and pans and a new car. So this kind of polluted the whole live-off-the-land contentment thing. And it's never addressed how they get this money.

Plus, the matriarch and patriarch of the family seems to love each other so much, very romantic with each other, but the guy goes and smooches this neighbor lady cause she's so uptight. And the wife thinks that's just fine. What?!

All in all, it was bizarre. It was funny and I loved all the nature and food and "feel good" vibe. But then it would just rub me the wrong way and make me think I was on the track toward hedonism if I thought I liked to lay around in a meadow and eat cake daily. I mean, look at these people!

So, if you see it at a thrift store or used book store and think, what a charming little cover, I bet this is like Little Women. It's not. Just so you know.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Chihuly at the de Young

We saw Dale Chihuly's glass at the de Young on Friday night. We went with our friends M, A and little Viv. It was one of those exhibits that makes you excited to go in the next room and the next room...lots and lots of smiling. I loved it.

One of the best moments was when Viv looked at this huge hanging thing and said "Spaghetti."

The girls both loved the chandelier room, Lily also liked this one.

A charmed evening of dark rooms full of bright glass. Funny the two things that inspired me were so different: First, sitting by myself in front of the museum, waiting for my family to come back from the bathroom I was watching the cypress trees and the fog roll in and the gray evening come on. Then, walking through the black rooms reflecting the colors of glass, my eyes shining from it. They kind of combined to make this perfect little memory of the evening. Outside and Inside. Nature and Art.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Fourth of July

I made Ina Garten's flag cake for our Fourth of July. It was tasty and easy. I think I'll make the same cake for Lillian's birthday, but maybe with different frosting.

Yesterday we watched The Business of Being Born. It was great. Very interesting, very hip looking and sounding. It sure won me over. I think it was the information I learned by watching it, but it also could have been the cool NYC vibe and the amazing midwife that was featured. She seemed so cool, I wanted to either BE her or have her deliver my baby at home.

What looked most attractive to me was when she would go to an appointment with a mom and she would take her blood pressure while she was lounging around in her own bed. That would have solved a lot of my problems I think.

The problem now is, if you don't have a few thousand dollars lying around and you have Kaiser, you don't really have the option do you?

Friday, July 04, 2008

Mulder and Gidlund

We've been watching X Files now for a few months. We're in Season Three, just finished disc 3 and it has been so fun! One thing I notice is how both Mulder and Scully are like walking encyclopedias! They'll approach a crime scene and recall theevery possible effect of chemical/bacteria/viscous liquid A B and C in combination with an obscure animal/bug/genetic disorder and an obscure case study in Ohio and presto, they've solved the case.

I don't really know any facts or information that could be helpful in solving these X files. But it occurred to me that I may be helpful if the case included a body found in a garden bed.

Me: "Look at these hydrangeas, Mulder."

Mulder: "What about them, Gidlund?"

Me: "Well, I've heard about cases like this, [picking at blossom with long pair of tweezers] where the showy parts of the plant, or, flower, take on different colors according to the acidity in the soil."

Mulder: "These are pink, what does that mean?"

Me: "Well Mulder, the more acidic the soil, the more pink the flower. If the soil were extremely base the flower would be blue."

Mulder: "When you perform the autopsy on the body, see if you notice any evidence of exposure to acid as a cause of death."

Me: "I'll do that."