March 31, 2009

Farewell March

I think you are my least favorite month. I'm really not sad to see you go.

April, on the other hand, is full of potential. Full of completely lovely days like today, including walks to the Central Park subway stop with Sarah, and hot dogs devoured in the shadow of the Plaza. Utterly gorgeous day and dog.

The evening, however, has been squandered on watching this trailer over and over. He is my dream man. Even dreamier than the one on the subway last night with the paperback stuffed into the pocket of his corduroy blazer. I'm not one for hyphenated last names, but if I had to, I would be Elizabeth Byrne-Gordon-Levitt. (Like I would drop my last name, pffffffffff.)

It's supposed to rain tomorrow, but it will be rain tempered by a lunch at Thé Adoré, which I newly rediscovered and which I cannot stop thinking about utterly for one minute. I wake up in the morning and I think, Oooooh, can't wait for lunch! This has been approximately 5 days in the making. I couldn't last any longer.

It's the latest addition to my collection, a café for every day of the week:

Monday: Cupcake Café 
Tuesday: 71 Irving Place
Wednesday: City Bakery
Thursday: Thé Adoré
Friday: Madeleine

For cupcakes, bagels with lox, chocolate chip cookies, baguette sandwiches, and quiches, respectively. Never claim I'm not well fed.

March 28, 2009


As it turns out, there was an option e) I was the only former student there, and there were skits with rolling backpacks. Many people told me I look like my mother, which is one of those ambiguous comments like, "You cut your hair!" that I'm never sure if it's a compliment or a sort of apology.

There was a sheet cake, though, with strawberries in the middle, so it ended on a high note for sure.

And now I'm at home, and my mother has absconded with the only car, and there are three carpenters climbing all over the windows replacing sills and vents and whatnot, and I'm trapped! And Maggie is having a panic attack and panting and generally being an underfoot.

I have heaps of reading. Oof. I can't stop thinking of my dream last night: I had perfect bangs that were the perfect length and they were well behaved and lay perfectly flat and I was so completely happy. That was the whole dream. 

It's the simple things in life.

Ohhh, I just want to go for a walk but there are strange men all over the outside of my house. Trapped! 

March 26, 2009

Word of the day: damp

I forgot my umbrella today. Word to the wise: wool does not smell pretty when it gets wet.

All these weekends away. Going home this weekend for my...4th grade teacher's retirement party...

Here's some background: I moved right after 5th grade, so she was one of the last teachers I had in that town and I loved her. (I cried on the last day of school.) At 10, you don't really do a great job of keeping in touch with people. I haven't seen any of my classmates (or my teacher) since long before puberty.

Possible outcomes of tomorrow night, in order from best to worst:

a) People remember me, elementary teachers get drunk, hilarity ensues.

b) Only my 4th grade teacher remembers me (she did invite me, after all), I am forced to sit at a table with many middle-aged women whom I do not know, and I have to drive myself home so I can't, you know, get drunk.

c) Other former classmates are there and make me feel uncomfortable and square (worst nightmare), and still, I cannot get drunk.

d) No one remembers me. There is a DJ. I'm forced to dance.

All I know is that I'm bringing her a box of assorted macaroons from Madeleine, which should cement me in everyone's memories for good.

Here's some more background: It was in her class that I first read The B.F.G., and she read parts out loud to us and she did the most galumphous voice for the him. We staged a play, and I got to play Sophie. And we also read Bridge to Terrabithia and she had a plywood castle fort in the back of the classroom where we could go read on giant pillows during free time. And we collected golden tickets for good grades and general jobs well done and then at the end of the year we had a giant class garage sale in our classroom and we paid for things with our golden tickets. I remember I bought a stuffed bunny that was very realistic looking. 

I guess I don't remember that much about that year. I remember writing poetry, that was a first. We had to write anonymous poems and then tack them to the bulletin board and fill out a score card guessing who belonged to what poem. Stupid Sal LoBue told everyone which one was mine because he sat next to me and peeked, and I had to ask to go to the nurse so I could cry in private. (There was a lot of shameful crying in the 4th grade.)

Still. I'm nervous. I was heaps more charming at 10. 

March 25, 2009

Stealth & Audacity

Also, a list.

On my nightstand:
  • Oranges by John McPhee
  • 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
  • the April issue of Harper's Bazaar which my aunt gave me after she was done with it
  • Otherwise by Jane Kenyon

Am currently loving:

  • the weather
  • apricot everything
  • my lunchtime strolls
  • collecting cafes, one for each day of the week

What inspires you about spring?

  • the fact that it's still sunny when I get off the subway after work
  • the small cemetery in my neighborhood that's full of headstones from the 1730s and how it's always the first place that flowers bloom

What are three constants in your day?

  • a cup of tea while I put on my makeup
  • eating an apple with my lunch
  • reading before bed

Three dishes you find yourself cooking over and over:

  • roasted red potatoes with rosemary
  • Irish soda bread
  • chickpea salad

These questions came from This Joy + Ride, which is pretty gold star if you ask me.

March 24, 2009


I've been a busy bee. This and that, this and that.

Concerns of note: yesterday I mysteriously got mosquito bites on both forearms, one shoulder, my collarbone and one knee all within a span of say, 18 minutes; my internet keeps futzing in and out; will I go to yoga tonight? 

Last weekend I went to my aunt's house in Westchester. I do love that train ride:

Speaking of train ride, here is a sunset over Lancaster County as seen from the train.

Mostly everything I've been doing includes reading. Here are some excerpts from things I've recently read.

"Like Hillary she lacks taste; her consumer preferences seem to have been rendered into being by the Mall at Short Hills." --New York Magazine on Michelle Obama (3/23/09)

"Oranges float, but these [half orange, half tangerines] have so much sugar in them that if you drop one into a bucket of water it will go straight to the bottom." --Oranges by John McPhee

"And not just brilliant but inclusive and generous--he was very rarely as assholic as he had a reputation for being." --New York Magazine on Larry Summers (3/30/09)

Assholic. I can't believe I haven't used this word before. So succinct and yet so descriptive. 

March 13, 2009


Every few weeks I get an email from my aunt and it always begins: "Hey Lizzy, what's new?" I never know what to say, but I've been thinking (and I'm at a loss for what to write these days), so here's what's new--

The number of white hairs growing in the spot above my left temple, that's what's new. Mr. President, you are not alone.

I bought a pie plate. A 3.14159 plate. And fittingly enough, tomorrow (3/14) is Pi Day. Remember when we had to wear Pi Day pins in math class? It was more recently than I'd like to admit.

Every time Leah and I go to the gym (not that often, so take this with a grain of salt), we always joke about going to the diner across the street instead. We'll be waiting at the light and one of us will say something like, "I'm feeling tired. Maybe we should just go eat some pancakes." And the other person will say, "Okay," and then the light will change and we'll just walk across the street and into the lobby and push the button for the elevator that is so slow and rickety I'm fairly certain I'm going to die in it one day.

But last night, AFTER the gym, when we were good and sweaty and actually really tired, we walked across the street and sat in a booth and had short stacks and Canadian bacon (Leah) and scrambled eggs (me) and I couldn't stop saying, "This is great! Let's come here every time we go to the gym!"

It really was great.

The new background colors here are just for a change of scenery. I reserve the right to change them back at any moment, so LOOK OUT.

I went out to Lancaster this past weekend, on the train, for a dinner and a luncheon for "alumni." I hate the word "alumni." I hate the fact that my college diploma is in Latin, too. College diplomas are supposed to make you feel smart, not illiterate.

I did not, however, hate my trip to Lancaster. There was so much that I had completely forgotten about, like the braided brick sidewalks and the cheeky houses. (Pictures TK.) But mostly when I'm there I feel sort of homesick for it, which is weird and sort of meta and I end up feeling odd-man-outish in the most familiar places.

But ultimately, the visits are always good, as was this one, and I leave feeling glad to be in New York and working for direct deposit paychecks and not anymore on that incredible ledge that graduation was. Phew! Plus, I went to Market and bought two pounds (2 lbs!) of dried apricots. I am a wealthy woman.