Saturday, March 31, 2012

Storytelling & Daydreaming

I'm finding it really difficult to do normal things.  Normal things like reading a book, completing a to-do list, or cleaning Slum Castle.  Everything about my life is in flux- or, rather, everything about my life is soon to be in flux and my attention span is long gone.  Instead of going home after work and being productive, I feel as if I have to talk through The Plan with David, which is ridiculous because every day our plan is changing.  We're like people who re-tell the same stories just to hear each other talk, only instead of telling stories that happened in the past, we make them up about the future.  We haven't invented a fairy god-mother yet, but still, our stories are pretty far-fetched.

But there's nothing so wrong with storytelling and daydreaming, especially when it's 4:00 PM on a Sunday and the afternoon light is softly coming through the window, the cat is curled at your feet, and you're snuggled close with someone you love.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Corporate What?

I worked in the corporate world today.  No, I didn't sit in a cubical or wear appropriate clothing (unless tight scoop-back t-shirts are appropriate office attire) and I didn't spend all my time on Pinterest or get cc'd in on any emails.  No, my job was v. different from the others in Corporate Land- my job was to bring style to Corporate Land.  And you know what, those ladies in the company I visited sure did need a lot of help!  Upon walking into the building I sensed a style eclipse and found in confirmed when I complimented a woman on her colorful blouse and all I got in response was a shrug before she confessed that her "stylist" picked it out and was encouraging her try new things (color, apparently, is a new thing).  Other than said blouse, I saw a few masterful applications of eye liner, a lot of beautiful natural waves curls, and a couple cute dresses-  I'm not above giving credit where credit's due.

This is not a fashion blog, nor will it ever be, but that doesn't change the fact that I love getting dressed and I love style (not to be confused with fashion, folks!).  I am incredibly fortunate to work in an industry that celebrates personal style and allows me to express my mood, aesthetics and taste through my styling choices.  That being said, I was a little surprised to walk into a large, corporate office that caters to the beauty industry and see first-hand how so many women working for the company seemed to lack any confidence in their own personal style (or lack thereof).  I was so pleased that my team allowed these women to break free from their desks for a couple hours and feel beautiful, just as the advertisements for the products they produce tell them- tell us- to feel all the time.  It's amazing how a flat-ironing, some curls, and a whole lot of hairspray can boost a woman's confidence and allow them to have a really awesome day at work.

I have a lot of thoughts about corporate culture in its many variations* and there are many reason for why I've personally refused to pursue a corporate career, one being that I hate having to wake up before 7:00 AM (unless it's to catch a flight to a fabulous destination, obviously), which is precisely why I came home at 6:30 in desperate need of a nap and am just now writing this post at 10:00.  

Here's to a stylish today, dear reader, and a stylish tomorrow, too. 

*I'm not trying to imply that all corporations or people who work in corporations have no personal style to speak of.  In fact, I know many people who are smoking hot and work in an corporate setting.  So kudos to you, stylish corporate ladies!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mad Men + Weekend

I'm lucky to have an unconventional weekend.  Instead of battling with crowds of shoppers and diners who have Saturday and Sunday off, I have Sunday and Monday to roam the city, run errands and recharge my fem-bot batteries.  This weekend was no exception.

After a week of bare legs and tank tops, the weather once again reminded us that it is, in fact, March.  As wonderful as a warm breeze and sunshine can be, I relish the cool spring air and took great delight in starting my Sunday with a chilly walk along the harbor with David.  Along the way, we stopped at Flour in the Seaport for delicious sandwiches that we ate with cold fingers as we walked. 

Just like everyone else, David and I settled in last night for an evening of television.  With a tumbler of Jameson in hand we cozied up for the two-hour Season 5 premier of Mad Men.  Reading the reviews today makes me feel as though the episode was perceived as being on par with the second coming of Christ, but I have to say that it left me a little underwhelmed.  Though I'm thrilled it's back and can't wait to see how the rest of the season plays out and am fully aware that it's difficult to pack a lot of character development into a two-hour time-slot, I've compiled a few notes about the episode and why it made me go Meh
  •  I don't like Don Draper when he's happy.  I know he's still slightly moody and twisted, but his killer instinct seems to be gone and I just can't stand for that.  A man like Don lives for his work and no woman- no matter how young and beautiful- can keep him distracted from his job for the 15 months (or however long it's been) since we last saw him.  Back to work, Don!  I want you to WOW us again.
  • Megan is a poor-man's T-Mobile girl.  No one who sleeps with the boss, marries the boss and then gets promoted to their "dream job" is allowed to be that naive about the cynical underbelly of their chosen profession.  I can't wait for her to quit her job, get pregnant, and for Don to start resenting her as he focuses all his emotional energy back where it belongs, on his work.  
  • I cared for the painfully awkward phone conversation between Lane and the lingerie-clad hussy about as much as Don cared for Megan's silly song-and-dance number. 
  • Across the board, the characters seemed to have lost some depth and briefly become caricatures.  For example: Joan's mom = bitch, Trudy = tired housewife in an ugly house coat, Peter = petulant and whiny career hungry account manager, Harry = sleazeball, Roger = handsome sleazeball, and Lane Pryce = secret (& British) sleazeball.  Barring Joan and Peggy, I really didn't feel as if anyone had a genuinely dynamic emotional storyline.  Though I found it to be a little one-note, I must say the characters sang their single note relatively well (especially Megan, ughhhhh) and I have high hopes that they'll regain their depth as the season goes on. 
And so concludes my first (and maybe last) television review.  Did you watch last night's episode?  If so, what did  you think?  Like me, are you dying to see what Betty's up to?

p.s. I mailed my UK visa application today.  Eeeek!

Friday, March 23, 2012


This is the Universe telling David he needs to upgrade to an iPhone. 

One thing I will never understand about the men in my life is their affectation for putting things on the roof of their car before folding themselves into the driver's seat and motoring off without realizing said things are still on the top of their car.  I've witnessed this behavior time and again* with wallets, beverages, books and cell phones, but it's rare that I've been privy to the article flying off the back of the car in the middle of the motorway.  This is because I usually say something like, Hey, what happened to that coffee you were just holding? and save the day.  My saving the day usually comes immediately after the car is started and we're rolling out of our parking spot.  Sometimes (and this happens a lot more than I'm willing to give credit for) the man will come to this realization himself (usually after the car is fully in motion) and will pull over to retrieve the object within a block or two of setting out on our journey.

Today, David and I both failed to notice the location of his phone and his poor Blackberry bit it, hard.

About half a mile from our house we heard a loud noise, like a rock hitting the roof, and David said, "What was that?"  And I said, "Ummm, that was your cell phone flying off the top of the car."  And then he said, "Shitshitshit!"

I felt panicky and nervous (partially because I was running late for an appointment to get my fingerprints taken for my UK visa- which, by the way, is more difficult than becoming an Olympian and will warrant its own blog post soon) but David was a total trooper and regained composure quickly.  After dropping me off, he went back to Frogger across the highway and retrieve the broken device.  Both of us wanted to secretly believe that it would be fine- that the rush hour traffic would have magically spared the little phone- but no amount of faith allowed this to be true and the phone is forever dead.

RIP, little Blackberry.  And David, welcome to the world of real smartphones.

*Not only with David, but also with my father and three brothers.  I live in a crazy boy world.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

@ Hungry Mother

 I don't know if you've caught on yet, but I love going out for drinks and/or dinner.  When I lived in Minnesota, where there is a rich coffee shop culture, I would park myself at one of my favorite cafes and do homework all evening long.  I'd usually arrange for a constant stream of friends to stop in and interrupt me, but when none were available I'd make new friends.  In 2006, I moved to Boston for school and was devastated by the small selection of coffee shops and cafes that catered to late-night (or all-night, in some cases) coffee drinkers such as myself, so instead of planting myself at coffee shops, I'd make myself at home on a bar stool.  I read books, edited papers, and wrote short stories at bars around the city and made a handful of new friends along the way.

After graduation, my habit of stopping in at a bar had become ritual.  Instead of going straight home to a tiny apartment after work, I'd stop at a bar for a drink or two and chat with whoever was around.  That's how I met David, and together we've become fixtures at a number of local restaurants/bars, but none more-so than Franklin Southie.  I've always been drawn to the idea of a Third Place and believe that having a hub- whether it be an athletic club, cafe, pool hall, whatever- where you can unwind and casually meet people is integral to creating a robust social life.  Without the Franklin, David and I wouldn't have nearly as many friends, but because we clocked in some serious time and have gotten to know the staff and patrons, we've made a number of lasting friendships with people we would never have met otherwise.  Doctors, painters, teachers, lawyers- until we started talking, we thought we'd have little in common with these people, but over a cocktail (or a couple) we've come to be great friends.   

Last night we went to Hungry Mother with a couple we met through a FF (Franklin Friend) and had a lovely time indulging in boiled peanuts, pimento cheese, and homemade pie (amongst other delicacies, naturally).   Through our conversation, I learned that families in the south will pass cast iron skillets down from mother to daughter and that some of these skillets haven't been washed in decades (fascinating!).  I also learned that having a filthy skillet is actually quite good and made a mental note to stop putting ours in the dishwasher every time David leaves it oiled on the stove top.  Through our conversation I learned about authentic Cape Cod Dennis Bracelets  and how difficult it is to get one.  Together, we ate slowly, laughed loudly, and happily got to know each other better.  

Being a social animal can sometimes be exhausting, but going out and meeting new friends (especially at Hungry Mother, which is YUM to the EXTREME) sure as hell beats sitting in bed watching TV- even if it is a really good rerun of Downton Abbey...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Gin Season

And here we are again, at the beginning of one of my favorite seasons- Gin Season!

On Sunday, David and I took a long walk through Boston.  Sunday was also the day of the annually epic St. Patrick's Day Parade in Southie, so we decided to stroll down the esplanade, through Beacon Hill then into Back Bay to avoid the crowds.  But reader, there is no avoiding the crowds on a stunning 70 degree Sunday at the beginning of spring,  and David and I were confronted with masses of sun-bathing lovers, families with strollers, and lots and lots of drunk people.

As you can imagine, the heat and crowd-dodging exhausted us, so along our journey we stopped off for refreshments (and to hide from the masses) at 75 Chestnut and Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar where we indulged in some delicious summery cocktails made with- you guessed it- GIN!  

Now, I'm particular about my gin in that I want it to actually taste like gin.  There's nothing more refreshing than a cold drink on a hot day that doesn't make your mouth sticky-sweet but also doesn't go down like water.  My go-to patio cocktail is a simple Hendrick's with equal parts soda and tonic served (and this is a must) with a cucumber garnish.  Although I prefer Hendricks, I'm always happy to substitute a crisp, dry gin like Plymouth, Beefeater, or Bols Genever if I have them on hand and want to feel a little more homey and simple.  If I'm not drinking Hendrick's, I will change my garnish to a lime, obviously. 

This spring I'd like to branch out and try some new gins.  In particular, I've had my eye on Breuckelen Distillery's gin ever since I watched the inspiring story of how they got their start over at Made By Hand and need to get my hands on a bottle.  This year, I'm going to try to stay far away from the G&T rut that usually begins mid-June and peters out when the cool autumn wind blows in.  I will make interesting, sophisticated gin-based drinks that are more complex but just as refreshing as my much loved G&T... Please, let me know if you have suggestions!    

Popping off now to dress for dinner.  My life is v. exhausting, haven't you heard?

(top photo: gin gimlet at Citizen, middle photo: David's absurdly large hand & a Hendrick's with soda and tonic at 75 Chestnut, bottom photo: rug and sun at Citizen)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mr. Cox and his Michelangelo Hands

My English Gentleman, Mr. Cox, has ginormous hands.  He also has long arms, a long torso, large, muscular calves, and big feet.  Sometimes I jokingly compare him to Michelangelo's David (their bums are quite similar, too...).  The other night, David fell asleep long before I did and when I walked past him to get a glass of water, I noticed his arm hanging off the side of the bed.  The way his hand was positioned in repose reminded me ever so much of Michelangelo (painter, not the Ninja Turtle), so I grabbed my camera and snapped a photo before tucking myself into bed.  

Though his hand in the photograph is much more similar to Michelangelo's Adam in the Sistine Chapel than it is to Michelangelo's David, the similarities between the man and the art is enough to convince me that my David could have been a model for Michelangelo in a past life.  In this life, however, he is a model for Tom's caricatures (top photo), my midnight photo-shoots, and a prime example of what an upstanding English Gentleman should be.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Two Weeks

David and I have been married for two weeks today.  So far, so good!

I haven't gotten any photos back from our unofficial official photographer, Oscar (hi, Oscar!) but I hope I don't look as tired and sleepy in the bar lighting as I do in the direct daylight shots... This one of me and David talking is just about the only one I can stand!  But my vintage mink stole is glamorous and I love love love my hair clip and vintage champagne glasses, too. 

It's been a long two weeks and I'm very much looking forward to this weekend.  Xox

Friday, March 16, 2012

Whiskey Sour

You know who makes a damn good whiskey sour? 

I wish I were at Island Creek Oyster Bar sipping a whiskey sour right now.  Alas, I have work to do and a big day tomorrow.

The secret to a good whiskey sour lies in a creamy, frothy egg white.  I'm a little trepidations about making them at home because of the whole egg thing, but I've decided it's high time I confront my fear and have decided that I will learn to make a perfect whiskey sour once I move to the UK and have lots of time on my hands.  I also feel as if the eggs in England (Eggland?) are of a higher quality than most places here and I'm less apt to accidentally poison myself with Egglish eggs. 

Anyway, happy Friday and bottoms up! 

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Question: Is there anything better than an afternoon nap on clean white linen? 
Answer: No, no there is not.

Maybe it's just me, but losing an hour of sleep is debilitating to the point where I would rather be totally jet-lagged from a trip to Japan than have this weird sleepiness tugging at my eyelids and slowing me down.  Don't get me wrong, I embrace the extra hour of sunlight, but my body still feels like it's 7:00 AM even though my mind knows it's 8:00.  And it's not just about getting up in the morning- my internal cocktail clock is all messed up, too!  Oh, what a difference an hour makes...


This is a totally random mini post, but I have to share.

Do you ever want to gnaw on something until your gums bleed?  Like, do you get the strange desire to chew a piece of glass or a bit of rough sheet metal until your gums turn to ribbons and your mouth is full of blood?  I get this feeling when I'm anxious or stressed, and I ache for it in the back of my mouth where my wisdom teeth would be if they hadn't been removed.  And maybe that's just it- maybe these are phantom aches from teeth long gone and I'm displacing my tense energy to this space because it is hallow but once experienced much pain. 

Working on my visa for the UK makes me want to chew shards of glass and gulp my own blood.  Who writes these visa applications and what kind of people do they think will read and understand them?  The minute I try to comprehend anything on their website, my eyes cross and the roman alphabet becomes as foreign to me as Egyptian hieroglyphs.  AND I HAVE AN ENGLISH DEGREE.

This is absurd.  I need to find something to chew on.  A handful of rocks sounds pretty good. 


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

@ Saloon

In case you couldn't tell by my last post, I was starting to go a little stir-crazy in my apartment yesterday and was in desperate need of a walk by the end of the afternoon.  After a little coaxing, David and pulled ourselves together, walked down the front steps and turned left, which is something we never do.  The air was humid and warm last night and we walked down streets we'd never been down before.  It was like a mini-vacation in our own back yard.

Eventually, we made our way to Davis Square and accidentally stopped in the speak-easy style Saloon.  We both fell hard for the atmosphere and the snacks and cocktails didn't disappoint, either.  I'm already looking forward to going back. 

After a drink and sit, we made our way down Highland Avenue toward home.  Along the way David stole some balloons from a sandwich board which brought much joy to my heart even though stealing is wrong (tisk tisk).  Seeing him clutch those balloons as they tugged in the wind allowed me to see him exactly as he was at the age of three.  The sparkle in his eyes as he gazed up at the balloons, the happy grin on his face and the lightness of his walk, as if the balloons themselves were putting more of a bounce in his step.  It was adorable to watch him with his balloons, and when he let them go we both took a deep breath and felt as if something important had happened.  We watched them float away until they disappeared into the darkness, and then we walked to another bar and had a drink. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lethargy & Toast

I'm feeling really lethargic and weird today.  I called into work and told them I'd work from home, which I promise to do as soon as my mind finds focus and stops jumping forward two (2!) months in an attempt to imagine what my life in England will be like.

Kate, you cannot predict the future.  Just let it come.  

On days like today, when I'm melancholic and distracted, I often find something bizarre to feel romantic about.  Today I feel romantic about hot lemon water and toast.  Toast with honey, toast with foie gras, toast with salted butter, cinnamon, and sugar.  I just want to sit and eat toast with David and snuggle.  No talking, just toast eating and snuggling.

Before I turn into the most pathetic person on earth, I should probably get out of my pajamas and go for a walk.  Yes, a walk would do me a world of good... And then I have to start (and really commit to finishing) my visa application so I can move to the UK in two (2!) months.  And whilst I fill it out, maybe I'll eat more toast.

Monday, March 12, 2012

@ Sacco's Bowl Haven

If you ever get married, do yourself a favor and get out of town for a while immediately after the wedding.  If, for whatever reason, you can't get out of town, or if you've decided to delay your honeymoon, at least drop off the grid for a solid work week and give yourself some time for at-home face masks, long phone conversations with your best friends, and an afternoon to go through all the pictures from the wedding.  Really, take time to re-hash the event with your spouse, just like you used to do over plates stacked high with hangover food the morning after a great party.  Chances are you're only going to get married a couple times in your life, so give yourself plenty of time to savor the after-shock of the wedding.  It'll do you good. 

If you do not take my advice and decide to return to work/real life immediately after tying the knot (as I foolishly did), be prepared to:
  • Tell everyone at work how much fun you had at the wedding you didn't invite them to
  • Miss about 400 million calls from friends and family who want to know how you're doing now that you're married
  • Feel completely exhausted, constantly
  • Have a moment of panic a week later when you realize, Ohmygosh, I'm married!  This may or may not occur at a bar after realizing you just spent the last 35 minutes flirting with some guy who is giving you the look which will immediately make you choke on your drink and think of casual ways to mention your husband in conversation.  Oy! 
So please, heed my advise.  It'll do you wonders for your sanity, I promise.

In other news, I wanted to share a magical outing I took with my entire immediate family (plus some great friends who are basically family) the day after David and I got married.  Now, I completely understand the average person's aversion to bowling.  I too loath the idea of sticking my fingers into holes that other grubby fingers have been in,  having to wear bowling shoes, the silly graphics on the score-screen, and the fact that half the people in every bowling party take the game far too seriously.  In fact, I really don't like bowling, but am thrilled to learn that I love Sacco's Bowl Haven in Davis Square.  This is why it's awesome:
  • They have a bar with a great beer selection, a decent wine list, and a drinkable whiskey (Knob Creek). 
  • Sacco's has Candlepin Bowling, so you bowl with cute little hole-less balls and don't have to stick your fingers in mysteriously moist holes full of germs and bits of broken off finger nails.  
  • NO SCORE SCREENS!  Instead, you keep score the old fashioned way, on paper score cards!  This is excellent for a number of reasons, the main reason being that you can make up your own rules and keep score in whatever way makes most sense to you and your company.  It's like cheating, but with everyone on board!   
  • They have awesome flatbread by the Flatbread Company, who, from what I understand, now completely operates (and owns?) the bowling alley.  The flatbread is delicious and you can choose from a number of great toppings such as fig & goat cheese, free-range chicken, and pulled pork.  Yum!
  • It's super retro but still really young and hip at the same time.  I didn't see a single old person or bowling-bag the entire time I was there, instead, the lanes were full of young people who looked like they know a lot about bikes and really like PBR. 
We all had a great time eating, laughing, and bowling and I'm really looking forward to getting a group of friends together to do it again, which is crazy because I really do hate bowling shoes.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Estrogen Central

Exactly one week ago, my mother and I hosted a small gathering of ladies for my unofficially official bachelorette party.  Because I am allergic to anything even slightly masquerading under the guise of a traditional wedding affair, I staunchly refused to call it a bachelorette party and instead referred to it as 'The Wine & Cheese Party' or just 'Party' for short.  Much to my chagrin, everyone I know called me out on my silly semantics and still referred to it as a bachelorette.  Thankfully, none of these people brought strippers, penis-bedazzled accoutrements, or clip-on tiaras and I was able to eat Belgian sheep cheese and foie gras just as I would at a normal party, which made me happy.

Many many thanks to everyone who slopped through the sleet to drink wine with me at The Wine & Cheese Party- especially my best friend Sarah who flew in from Minnesota and surprised me with an unexpected visit!  And a big THANK YOU to my Mom, Trudi, and Christa for being so organized and sweet, always.  And to everyone who was really gung-ho about it- thank you for letting me disappoint you a million percent by:
a) refusing to rent a douchey Hummer limo
b) deciding not to bar hop (you wouldn't have wanted to in that weather, anyway), and
c) not playing bachelorette games (I've heard horror stories about games involving bits of rope, cold hot dogs, and mini goal-posts.... Ummmmm?).

I think another Wine & Cheese Party is in order and the sooner the better!  The best part about a Wine & Cheese Party is that you don't need to get married to have one.  Ladies, let's make plans!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

M.I.A. no more!

In the past 72 hours, I have:
  • Gotten married
  • Caught a cold
  • Said goodbye to almost all of my friends & family (thanks for coming to the wedding, guys!) 
  • Gone candlepin bowling
  • Slept more than my cat
  • Gotten over my cold almost completely (thanks whiskey & Zicam!) 
  • Completely run out of cute & clean clothes to wear
To say the very least, it's been a fast and furious couple days.  In fact, this entire week has been exciting and completely exhausting.  The last of the family flies out tomorrow, at which point David and I will break down into frantic tears of joy as we start re-organizing Slum Castle (it's difficult to maintain order without the help of a maid) and getting back to daily life and, in my case, daily blogging.  The fact that we're actually married hasn't quite settled in- though we've been living like married people for a looooong time already, so I'm sure we'll manage the big change just fine.  But I'm quite looking forward to having some alone time, just me and D, because we haven't been alone in well over a week which makes me sad.

As you can imagine, I have loads of photos to share, experiences to document, and sleep to catch up on.  And today, it's back to work!  So au revoir, my sweets!  Let's play again tomorrow.  With photos and costumes and everything!