Thinking I was late, I texted a birthday note to my friend's daughter last night. "Whew, just under the line," I thought with relief.This morning I realized I was two days early. I drove so many silly miles today that Earth should sue me, but it is good news that all eight of J's cavities are now filled. I ate lunch at 3p which just isn't right but gives you some sense of the marathon I ran prior to it; figurative of course but no less onerous. That I can guarantee. A wild goose chase for purple Gatorade finally turned up this seemingly elusive drink. The elusive "below-100 unread messages" in my inbox remains a missing grail. Hubs got home at a normal time, and I fed him last night's dinner. We watched some Olympics and discerned an unfortunate new bit of choreography employed by too many skaters: a bend that in essence looks like they're attempting to take a dump in mid-skate. Who watches their choreographer and says, "yes, that's the move I simply must incorporate! It is so elegant." It is not. I told T that I was taking a basement night. Then I went upstairs to check in the boys and found that Jack was warm, stuffy and moaning. Sadly, for T, I'd already called basement night so suggested he put the kids' Advil on his nightstand. Hey, I'm the one on deck for tomorrow's snow day. And so goes another day. I'm off like a prom dress!

Yotam and Sami, a great read

My dear friend, C, and I (she of the two daughters who I love and have chatted about before), met up at the Metro tonight and headed downtown to the 6th and I synagogue to hear Joan Nathan moderate a discussion with Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. That C and I took the Metro more than two stops on a school night is news enough really, but fortunately for us was not the main event. No, Tired 1 and Tired 2 were fully inspired to see the duo behind some of our favorite cookbooks, and we were not disappointed. Except possibly by Joan who was not an interviewer extraordinaire. But anyway...

Yotam and Sami were totally charming, witty, interesting and they wore cardigans which has us crushing all over them from what used to be the women's seating, high near the rafters of the shul. In concert , the men's accents and building's acoustics were just challenging enough that we focused as if watching a quickly-paced subtitled film, and I fear I missed every fifteenth word, but alas, good for the brain, and nothing detracted from their stories and banter.


We had our books signed and moseyed home. I'm in bed and bet C is too. Because T is in his firm's fantasy football league again this year, he's watching Monday Night Football like it's a lifelong passion yet one just discovered.


Before I pass out, I beseech you to read the Sunday Magazine from yesterday's New York Times. It's the Food & Drink issue and is fascinating, especially the story on Balthazar! Hop to it, y'all!

Shrimp a la Susan Spicer

I had a slight breakdown yesterday, readers. It's been a hard few weeks, at times during which even the comedic relief provided by viewing my photo of J's "night-vision goggles" hasn't cut the butter thoroughly enough. Suffice it to say that it's been a loooong time since I cried as much in a six hour period as I did yesterday. Frankly, it was comforting to know I still had it in me; sometimes determination and attempted positivity act like a dam against a rushing current (not that that's good, but it is helpful). As such, I lost my will to deal with dinner in any way sometime around 4p. T stepped up to the plate masterfully and made a Susan Spicer shrimp recipe I'd flagged. All of five ingredients, it was delicious. Pimenton, sherry, basil, shrimp, oil, a touch of butter... We sopped the sauce with bread and drank a nice rosé alongside.

Today has been a series of stupid and inordinately frustrating events, commencing with a mind-boggling experience at Staples. Because roadwork on Wisconsin Avenue has reached the stage where no one believes there is any plan to ever finish the job, getting to this dumb Staples takes a ludicrously long time. In order to gain back some time once there, I last night took advantage of the Order Online-Pick Up At Store option. Doesn't that just sound fabulous? I love this feature. The Container Store offers this as does Barnes & Noble. They even text you when your order is complete. From the get-go I had infinitely less faith in Staples but really, how hard is it to see that Customer Emily wants a Label Maker refill, walk to aisle 6 and grab said refill, and put it behind the desk that says "Online Order Pick Up Here."

It's not hard.

However, when I arrived at Staples, my order was not ready. The manager sent her colleague to aisle 6 to get the refill cartridge and concurrently emailed me (literally, RIGHT THEN AND THERE) a confirmation that my order was complete and ready for pick up. Colleague ambles back empty-handed; the look of confusion on his face almost made me feel bad for him. He looked utterly flummoxed. "Mrs. Manager, there aren't any cartridges." "Well, Colleague, let's do this together." So we ALL go over to aisle 6 -meanwhile I'm reading my confirmation email again; have I been punk'd?- and sure enough, there's a little tag on the hook that says "item out of stock: please re-order." Starting to feel vaguely like Steve Martin in Father of the Bride, when he can't but just six buns, I bought the $25 double-pack and headed home. Grr.

I am happy to say that the rest of my project went swimmingly, but then I did my one squirt in each nostril of Nasonex (per doctor's orders since I have chronically inflamed nasal passages; terrific) and immediately got a nosebleed. This gusher lasted for 25 minutes. 25 minutes, people.