Monday, July 20, 2015

A few great dinners lately

July has been busy this year as I'm engaged in a full-time Summer Institute (learning about material culture), so nights at home are a welcome break from running around. We've been eating very well, particularly this past week, when our friends were out of town and gave us their CSA for the week. There were lots of greens, cucumbers, and zucchini galore. Here are a few gems we've enjoyed (courtesy of J's cooking, of course). First: Tofu lettuce wraps with Japanese cucumber salad (eaten late on a Monday night). Next: amazing peanut cabbage slaw, zucchini fritters, and veggie hot dogs (a perfect meal for a low-key summer weekend...maybe the closest we'll come to BBQing in the city). Finally: shrimp cocktail and [more] zucchini (a quick meal to assemble when we were tired near the end of the week). It's so nice to end a busy day by sitting down together and enjoying a thoughtfully-prepared meal.  UntitledUntitledUntitled

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Summer Swim Diary III

UntitledThe next stop on this summer's great West Coast vacation tour was the Oregon coast, a most enchanting place. J's grandparents have resided here since their retirement in the 90s, so this has been a place that we look forward to returning to each summer. On longer trips, we have a chance to drive out to the family's cabins along the Umpqua River, but this time, our journey was shortened due to plane travel issues. Alas. Swimming in the Umpqua is awfully special, but thankfully, last year we discovered a little swimming spot that is a bit closer: Cleawox Lake in Honeyman State Park. It is a gorgeous little lake with a small beach. You can rent paddleboats and canoes, or just swim around. It also has one of my very favorite features: a dock you can swim out to and jump off of. I think I've come to realize that lake swimming is my favorite. The whole vibe: being in nice cool water surrounded by trees, is the best. Since it's so near the ocean, Cleawox is also surrounded by dunes (on the side of the lake opposite the swimming area, one dune runs steeply down into the water, and people run and sandboard directly into the lake). I'm already excited for a chance to go back. Untitled

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Summer Swim Diary II

LA pool
This week I traded in the encroaching humidity of NYC for the beautifully-temperate June gloom of Southern California. The first leg of our summer West Coast vacation brings us to Los Angeles, where my mother-in-law lives. Her neighborhood has a great (and, in my opinion, woefully underused) pool. That's a pity for those who live around it, but a total jackpot for me. Southern California is often a little bit cool in June: it's frequently overcast in the mornings and then the clouds burn off and give way to sunnier afternoons. This week, I took advantage of the seemingly uninviting morning weather and enjoyed several refreshing solo dips before the sun came out. Each time, I got to have this lovely pool all to myself! It is a huge treat. This pool is especially nice because it's got a deep end (8.5 feet)  so I could jump in and flail like a mermaid to my heart's content.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Weekend Round-Up

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This weekend, I:
  • Did a little bit of work.
  • Went to the farmers' market.
  • Enjoyed a delicious dinner with friends at a new Tibetan restaurant (and, coincidentally, read Tintin in Tibet).
  • Finished Celeste Ng's novel Everything I Never Told You (the very last part was my favorite).
  • Watched Celine Sciamma's Girlhood on Netflix (it is so good!)
  • Had an overpriced brunch in Hell's Kitchen and a great fresh fruit popsicle on the High Line
  • Watched as a brilliant summer storm rolled in (one of the first this year).
  • Saw Mad Max: Fury Road. Wow wow wow! So delightful, start to finish.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Summer Swim Diary I

We spent Memorial Day weekend in Provincetown, MA with our dear friends. After a leisurely drive up from NYC, stopping off at antique stores, for ice cream, and a little lunch along the way, we arrived late Friday afternoon, eager to stretch our legs and to open the summer swimming season with a quick dip. (John goes in the water almost all year round, but this was my first outdoor swim of the year). The water was really on the chilly side, but I found that going under and coming up repeatedly made it seem warmer (or maybe I just became numb?) We had a nice little swim and frolic, though it was awfully hard to get warm again after going back inside. It felt like a kind of delayed hypothermia. We did warm up, though, and then had a similar short swim the next day. On the third day, we biked down to the breakwater and were going to jump in there, but it was really windy and the thought of having to bike back through town after getting wet seemed too cold. Also: as we contemplated the dip, we saw two majestic orange jellyfish puff right by, which was enough of a deterrent to stay out that day. Although I'm dreading the summer heat, I am so delighted that it's swimming time again and excited that my first swim of the season was in such a beautiful place.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


A few from our incredible Easter in Provincetown. The Cape was un-thawing and we spent the weekend adventuring, playing, and enjoying the best food and company. We got a couple of sunny days, which were perfect for sandcastle making, wading in the (still frigid!) water, and napping on the dunes. I shook the last bit of sand out of my boot yesterday, alas. Now to savor these memories and visualize the sea breeze while I get through the last very busy weeks of the semester.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Rock and Roll

Last week: Sleater-Kinney at Terminal 5.

I don't really love live music. In middle school through college, I was a big fan of several bands/artists and the thought of seeing them live was a huge thrill. These days, however, my inner granny takes over and I get tired and impatient just thinking about the hassles associated with going to shows: They start so late! They're so loud! Will there be adequate seating? Assigned seating? My feet get tired of standing on hard concrete for too long. The thought of constantly bumped into and pushed by people sloshing beer everywhere and waiting in long lines to go to the bathroom is often enough to deter me from going. But J really likes Sleater-Kinney, and they remind me of my growing up years in North Idaho in the 1990s, where my tastes and the music culture that I had access to were sort of adjacent to the Pacific Northwest music scene. So we went, and it was great! The opener (Lizzo) was a delight, and J scoped out the venue ahead of time and found us a very nice standing spot. I was still jostled quite a bit and it was a late night (and a weeknight, no less) but it was a very nice time. I always grumble about that kind of thing and more often than not, end up leaving saying "that was fun...we should do this more often!" So there is hope for me yet, I think. Their new record is very good, and as the otherwise noncommittal Times review suggested, it was really nice that it was a living, breathing, ongoing thing rather than a reunion tour.