A Word on Astrology

New York Magazine has a profile of my astrologer (“my astrologer”) and I almost hit the floor when I saw it. I started reading her horoscopes when my favorite online daily publication did an interview with her a few years ago. She seemed so reasonable and mathematical, and then she accurately predicted my boyfriend abruptly dumping me, so I came to believe she is the light and the truth.

It’s not that I believe in astrology. I don’t. It’s that I don’t NOT believe in astrology. It seems as likely as any other explanation of weird stuff that happens, and I like the idea that I could find structure and meaning in the world if I could just…read the signs (very Aquarius). I read Susan Miller‘s chart for me every month when the clock strikes midnight on the 1st if the site doesn’t crash.

Also, one time, she tweeted me and I called all of my friends in a complete tizzy, screaming, “SUSAN MILLER KNOWS WHO I AM!” and they all were like, “OMG YOU ARE SO LUCKY.” Read this article! It’s so interesting, and she makes you feel so at ease.

Fantasy Life Update: Dog, Fireplace, Magazine (I have acquired just one)

I am house sitting for my mom this week while she’s at a conference at the Arizona Biltmore (no, I do not feel sorry for her. The Biltmore was full, so the poor dear had to stay at the Ritz). My mother is probably the most terrifyingly perfect person in the known world. All of her plates match, she has 20 kinds of vinegar, her nails are never chipped, and no one has ever seen her without mascara at any time after 1972. I can almost guarantee you none of her socks and underwear have holes. 
Which is why staying at her house is fun! I get to pretend like I personally have 5 kinds of salt, several bottles of wine, a gigantic shower (amazing water pressure, by the way), and one of those nifty electric kettles, but I don’t actually have to um…go out and get them? The best part of her house though, is this: 

It’s snowing outside and I never want to leave here.

There exists, in this house, a tiny dog named Ceili, and she is absurd. She hates everything that isn’t sleeping and/or lying disdainfully on pillows near a fire (aka the only things I want to do). There is also a fireplace. The only thing, actually, that I brought to this, was my new copy of Lucky Peach! Do you read this magazine? It is the best! 

So, in an effort to getting my actual life to more fully align with my fantasy life, I spent a full hour talking to The Tiny Dog (no response; has not yet mastered English), reading John Jeremiah Sullivan‘s article about preserved fruit, and pretending I own this fireplace. I’m getting closer.

Do I Love You? A guide on how to know.

Maybe you’re wondering if I love you. The answer is a firm “maybe.” A good hint would be that if you get hurt and are feeling kind of bummed and are just hanging around the house alone, I make you a pie and bring it to you and sit on your couch and watch Nashville with you.
A couple days ago, I promised that I would share a few things my grandma taught me how to do. I meant to get this to you yesterday, but, you know, Nashville. The particular coconut cream pie recipe that I will share with you after the jump is well regarded to be the alpha and omega of coconut cream pies. I will let you be the judge.

Sweet, sweet convalescence.
Sweet, sweet convalescence.

Continue reading “Do I Love You? A guide on how to know.”

Place I’d Like to Move Into: Shakespeare and Company

About a million years ago, when I was hip and moving around a lot in Europe and  feeling generally very good about my life, I visited a dear friend in Paris and she took me to Shakespeare and Company. I remember Paris fondly and I had a great time and everything, but this used bookstore is why I want to go back RIGHT NOW.

The place is every stereotype of a used bookstore exploded. The owner, George Whitman, opened the place in 1951, and worked there until he died at the age of 98. He was behind the counter the day I was there, along with a lot of impossibly good looking expatriates.

Cramped, overstuffed shelves loom over your head, and any false turn could result in your stumbling into some unshaven auteur’s bedroom (there are murphy beds there for people who move to Paris to write and need a place to stay while they get situated). I think we were there three hours until Kristina made us go to eat coq au vin or go look at the Notre Dame or something very French.  Continue reading “Place I’d Like to Move Into: Shakespeare and Company”

A Museum of Highly Unusual, but Formerly Usual Things

Last night, I was trying to describe the Piano Disc I recently inherited and couldn’t think of the words for a technology that was formerly at the center of my life. I was like, “you know those things, and they’re in hard plastic but on the inside it was sort of like film but no one uses them anymore and they had data on them?” and the listening party was like, “no, I have no idea what that…wait, I think it’s called a floppy disc?” While googling around for other outmoded gizmos, I ran across The Museum of Endangered Sounds. It isn’t a brick and mortar museum like one might imagine, but rather a virtual place to take your kids when you’re trying to explain what a dial tone was.

Native Son

This article is an oldie but goodie by native son and definite genius John Jeremiah Sullivan. Without giving too much away, it deals with youth culture, evangelical Christianity, and the divided America. Before you’re all,yeah, yeah, I’ve heard all about this…well, you just keep your panties on for like, two seconds.  I was kind of bored with the article, too, until John (again, I feel like we’re friends because we’re from the same town [see: Chad Harbach]) reveals that he used to share their culture and wrestle with their demons. And that’s on page three of twenty. Do yourself a favor and read this on your coffee break.

Making a withdrawal from the doughnut bank

Today, this is the only post I’m going to make– the others were scheduled in advance. I’m in Evansville, Indiana today with my family to lay my grandmother to rest. She was a kind and gentle woman who loved my sister and me a lot, but she was also a formidable DIYer, a hell of a gardener, and an excellent, excellent home cook. For the next couple days, I’m going to share with you a few of the things she taught me over my life. 
I’ve never been one for funerals, so I ducked out as soon as I could and made a withdrawal from Kemp’s Doughnut Bank (Evansville institution and damn good doughnut makery) and headed over to Wesselman Woods. We went there all the time when I was little, and she and my grandfather taught me a lot about birds, flowers, leave-no-trace camping, recycling, and nature. It’s raining pitchforks and plow handles  in Vanderburg County, so I’ll leave you with this drool-inducing photo of my coffee and cake doughnut breakfast under the picnic shelter. I’ll be back tomorrow.Image

 

Quitting the City