Archive for April, 2005

Apr 26 2005

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Things I want to hear:

“You can have a body double in real life. Forever.”

“We have to go. We’re late for the stylist.”

“Dolce & Gabbana got back together just for you. Check out the layouts.”

“You are now a multimillionaire. Tax free.”

“Oh my God! Look what they say about you on Page Six!”

“What should I do with all these boxes from Harry Winston, Tiffany, and Prada? And why won’t this Tom Ford guy stop babbbling about “Suzy is my muse. I must speak to her NOW and show her the latest designs.” Should I throw him out?”

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Apr 23 2005


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While ambling some errands yesterday (more like practicing my old lady walk, since I kind of overdid the fluff removal the past couple of days), I saw an abandoned glove on the sidewalk. Sleek, dark leather fingers curled toward the sky as if in supplication.

I was immediately reminded of an incident from my now-distant youth:

My father and I were going somewhere in England by train (the destination, I’m afraid, is lost in the mists of time). In those days, there were still corridors in the carriages, and you opened and closed the carriage doors by reaching through the open window of the door and turning the handle.

Just as the train pulled out, a very pretty young lady leaped on board and collapsed into the seat opposite ours. She settled her handbag on her lap, with a glove — and then she looked out the window. There was the glove’s mate on the platform. She flung open the window and gaily tossed the other glove to the platform to join its mate, clearly thinking that whoever found the pair would get some use out of them, whereas the one she had was no good to her at all. She then settled back in her seat, eyes bright and cheeks aglow. The spontaneity and charm of that gesture remains with me still.

Yesterday turned out to be one of those days that seeing Dad’s writing reduced me to a puddle of tears. It’s been almost four years since he died, but there are still days like that when grief jumps out of its lurking place, both surprising and surprisingly intense. Suddenly, you feel as horrible as you did when it first happened.

I was planning to make one of his recipes for dinner, and this one happened to be included as part of one of his weekly letters. The letter was breezy, amusing, and poignant all at once, and whammo! There I was, sobbing over the shrimp.

Here’s the recipe, which I promise will not make you cry. In fact, it will have quite the opposite effect, being as it is, delicious. (Notes in parentheses are mine.)

Shrimp and Artichoke Salad

2 cloves garlic (I tend to use a little more)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (I like the seedy kind)
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons shredded basil
1 red onion, thinly sliced (I find half an onion is enough for me)
12 ounces cooked, peeled shrimp
14 ounce can of artichoke hearts
Lettuce (I use mixed greens)

Coarsely chop the garlic and then crush to a pulp. Mix the garlic and mustard together to form a paste, then beat in the vinegar, and finally, the olive oil. Season with freshly ground pepper. Stir in the basil and onion and let stand at room temperature for half an hour, then stir in the shrimp and chill in the refrigerator for an hour or more. Drain the artichoke hearts and halve each one. Make a bed of lettuce, place the artichoke hearts on it, and spoon the shrimp mixture on top.

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Apr 20 2005

Fourth Birthday

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Well, well. My silly little blog turns 4 years old today. That’s a lot of nonsense*.

But more importantly: how long have you been blogging? And what inspired/inspires you to write?

*When I was a kid, my Dad used to shake us upside down while we screamed with delight, saying he was trying to get all the nonsense out. He never could. I’m still trying.

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Apr 17 2005

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I’m finally released from Car Country. I set out to run some errands – when I say “run”, in my case, it’s really more like ambling, or moseying, or on a good day, strutting – and after about five blocks, I realized I was looking for a taxi. Which is…a car. And…driving. After all that complaining about the cars and the driving. Not to mention the fact that the Frightening Florida Fluff is approaching crisis levels. If I want to be Svelte Suzy again any time soon, I better start strolling those errands. And lots of ’em.


Confidential to Ben: Your idea of restoring my hair color to its original mouse has been vetoed by the Committee. First, it was determined that it would be far too expensive and require too much research to discern exactly what that color is. Even assuming that the natural coloring of the Great Speckled Suzy could be ascertained, it may well be impossible to reproduce it. Finally, the cost of therapy when I see a) What the color is; and 2) How much grey hair there is will be prohibitive and prolonged. So unless you inherit millions, become a rock star, or win the lottery, you will have to put up with your old auntie in her artificial state. That goes for the rest of you, too.

I’m also determined never to have blue poodle hair, either, no matter how old I get.


Brunch be Damned (aka Brunch of the Damned): A couple of friends came over for brunch today. I was planning to make Eggs Florentine, because I’m a big, fat showoff. Everything was going perfectly until, for the first time in my life, my Hollandaise sauce separated before my eyes. One moment, glossy, yellow perfection; the next, a curdled, separated mass of grossness. One moment, a fabulous cook; the next, a humliated culinary failure who can’t have a temper tantrum on account of company. They claimed not to mind, but I’m sensing anecdotes here, and possibly snickering.

Cross “cooking” off the list of things Suzy can do. That leaves shopping, and knowing what wine to serve. Oooh, good idea! Time to banish that care, as the great Thomas Jefferson would say. Go get a glass and join me. The toasts are on you.

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Apr 07 2005

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Random notes:

My mother celebrated – if that’s the right word – her 73rd birthday in the hospital on Monday. When I called to wish her a happy birthday, she cheerfully said, “Well, I was here for Christmas and New Year’s, so I figured I’d just keep going.” (Pause) “I’m not going for Mother’s Day, though.” You have to admire that girl’s spirit. We did our best to make things festive: My sis tied helium balloons to her bed, and brought her the gifts from all her kids, who all phoned her, too, from near and far. No date set for release, but let’s all hope it’s before Mother’s Day.


Remember the piano that suddenly appeared outside the door of our building, leading to the fluid and fascinating use of the “f” word, and many other epithets, courtesy (or discourtesy of) the building manager? This morning, amid much clanging and pounding, the building manager and assorted deconstruction cohorts put the poor thing to rest. By the time I peeked out, there was nothing left but the brass interior. And soon, even that vanished, leaving me to wonder about the family the piano first belonged to: how proud they must have been to finally get it; the happy evenings spent round it, singing and playing, in the halcyon pre-TV world (not to mention the arguments and tears spent over the same keyboards by unwilling children forced to take piano lessons). What brought this once-beautiful item to being a prank problem that couldn’t be solved for months? Even so, the mystery of whose piano it was and how it got there remains.


More computer problems. I’m beginning to think that I’m one of those people who can’t have them, like those folks whose magnetic field, or whatever, makes it impossible for them to wear watches. The problem this time is with my Airport, proving once and for all that Airports are just not Suzy-friendly. The Fix It Guy is scheduled to arrive in a few minutes. He was here last week for almost two hours, fixing other things. Computer problems are almost as pricey, and far less fun, than a serious drug habit. Also, Fix It Guy must think that either I’m the stupidest girl in the world or that I have a crush on him. Or maybe both.


I suspect Mr. Mouse was partying in my absence, in the time-honored manner of kids when their parents are away. He hadn’t quite finished hiding all the tell-tale (tell-tail?) signs, since I surprised him actually in the garbage bag. I’m afraid I did yell, but hastily fastened up the bag and threw it outside in horror, where I was further horrified by the sight of huge raccoon tracks (I think; anyway, not dog or cat) in the mud right outside my door. Nature. I’m telling you.

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