Saturday, July 31, 2010

Karen Day 68 - Hedgehog Dreams

Hedgehog Dreams.

6:05 AM - "MOM!!!........MOM!!!" I rush into my kid's room, "What's wrong?" "Mom, where's Hedgehog?" "I think he's on the couch." He rushes to the living room"Hedgehog! Oh silly Hedgehog, what were you doing out here?" My kid looks at me. "I need some coffee first, Honey." "Please mom? Hedgehog misses me and we have things to talk about."

8:30 AM- I have my first cup of coffee. Hedgehog, 3 and I eat breakfast together.
"Mom, Hedgehog likes Cheerios because it's not goupy and won't get his fur wet. But no milk. He also likes bugs and ghost stories." "How do you know what a ghost story is?" "I don't know."

9:30 AM- We are all in the my kids room. 3 is telling Hedgehog ghost stories, Hedgehog and I fall off the bed in fear. This goes on for quite awhile.

At some point 3 and I walked to the park. The dishes didn't get done. The laundry didn't get done. I was almost wearing pajamas and there was no time for makeup.

Back home, we had some baguette with cheese, grapes and baby carrots. Hedgehog took a nap.

Hubby came home and wondered what we did all day.
I tried to explain the Hedgehog phenomenon but I don't think he got it.

My break was to go do 40 flights of stairs. It cleared my head for awhile. Until I got home.

Hubby made dinner.
After my chips freakout the other day, he thought this was funny.

And it was.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 68 from France:
Sing A Song

Shaboom sends us her update from Paris...

Breakfast - I ate every bit. I must've been hungry or stressed or both. (Quiche, potatoes au gratin, yogurt)

Lots of stairs today and I spent the morning and afternoon pruning the lilac trees, cutting the grass and washing down all the garden furniture. I had my iPod on the entire time and I worked on "Proud Mary" for my audition. Paris cabaret singer sounds like much more fun than Parisian café waitress.

Obsessed! left to run a bunch of errands in the afternoon, so when I was done with my chores I spent 4 hours on James Brown's "I Feel Good." The neighbors must be wondering why there is so much singing going on next door, and the same songs for hours on end.

Luckily he fed me lunch before leaving - salad, pickles, olives, cucumbers, radishes, pâté, leftover potatoes.

I am in charge of dealing with fixing the pumpkin-mobile. The mechanic came over in the evening after work. To delay his departure to after Obsessed! returned, I made him crêpes, salad and a beer and we ate dinner together. Then, when I could delay him no longer, I walked him out ...right as Obsessed! pulled up. Mission accomplished!

I kept Obsessed! company as he ate dinner. I ate a quarter of an orange and some pineapple yogurt before bed. We then got in 2 hours of indoor cardio.

Long day. Oh, and I think something is wrong with my computer. I shall deal with it tomorrow.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 67 from Burbank - Hedgehog Love

Once Upon a time in a far off land called Burbank there lived a little boy with a lot of stuffed animals. For 3 years these animals lived on the bed during the day and on the floor by the side of the bed at night. They were all very cute but the little boy didn't really play with them or have a favorite. He was more interested in his matchbox cars and rocket ships.
Then one day his mommy was putting all the stuffed animals on the bed and saw the little hedgehog puppet. She put it on and in a soft voice said "Hello." The little boy turned, put his matchbox cars down and came over to meet the hedgehog. "Hello" he said.

And from that moment on Hedgehog became his best friend.

He showed Hedgehog his cars, rocket ships and books.

They played puzzles, built things and watched shows together for 3 hours straight. Once in a while the little boy's mommy is grumpy but Hedgehog is always sweet and nice. She gets to be the little boy's friend and doesn't tell him what to do. Sometimes even mommy is surprised at what Hedgehog says. In fact mommy has always been a little icked out by puppets but she's kind of falling in love with Hedgehog too.

We all sat and had bacon and eggs this morning.

Then Hedgehog stayed home while we walked to the store.

Lunch was pita bread, humus, some grapes and freshly baked cookies.

For dinner, Hubby grilled steak, portabello mushrooms and red pepper. I steamed the artichokes. And that's real mayo.

That night the little boy asked if Hedgehog could snuggle.

Hedgehog Love.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 67 from France:
Cargo Pants, Check!

Shaboom sends us her update from Paris...

I have been searching for cargo pants FOREVER. I was shooting a wedding in New York last fall for which I had this chic image of myself in sexy cargo pants and a wrappy cashmere top and sky-high heels with aviator sunglasses and my camera bag. But alas, I couldn't find women's cargo pants ANYWHERE. Yesterday, I found a cheap pair in Saint Germain des Prés.

I put on my new pants, we grabbed Le Petit Con and went for a walk with a brief detour at the pharmacy for a refill on allergy medication - I'm allergic to Le Petit Con, natch.

French kids running errands with their mum...

Petit Con is annoyed with me lately, or something. He hates being on the leash and when I let him run off leash, he doesn't listen to me like he used to. I think he's officially a teenager now. Rotten luck. Luckily, Obsessed! was with me and Petit Con still obeys his master ...most of the time.

Mali joined us and we took a long walk down by the canals. I'm stressed because I think I have to go back to LA and sort out the current disaster which is my apartment.

SwimSwim made my subletter's life hell apparently because she has moved out after 20 days of living there and now I am paying for an empty apartment. Time to make a decision.

Do I give up the home I've built for myself for the last 10+ years? Do I give up the only home I have before I have a new home? Do I try to get another subletter and risk having to deal with the same situation that has just come to pass? Do I move back to LA? I can find a job much more easily there but can I handle living next door to SwimSwim?

Obsessed! felt bad for me and tried to take my mind off my stress with ice cream. Sometimes, I really love this man. He knows what I need and he is prepared to give it to me. But why is it not enough?

He took me on a date tonight. We went to the movies and saw "Precious." I know you all saw it a million years ago in the States, but this is France. Things work much more slowly here.

I loved the movie. It made me cry - as if I need to cry more these days. I was so stressed out that I couldn't even think about indoor cardio tonight. But I walked for a few hours and there were some stairs involved. I can't really remember what I ate today, or even if I ate. Sorry.

Karen Day 66 - Loco

Mmmm watermelon for breakfast.

Tomatoes, goat cheese and basil on a fresh baguette.

Then Hubby made me this delicious dinner.

Grilled shrimp with avocado, onions, tomatoes, cilantro with lime juice.

This is where I had a slight freakout. A minuscule tiny rant. Some people find this charming. Here's what happened.
He served this delicious meal. I saw chips. Chips brought me down not too long ago.

Me: Wow, this looks amazing. But........ there are chips. I can't do chips!
Hubby: Then don't eat the chips.
Me: But you made this for me. I have to eat the chips. Shaboom would eat the chips. They are not her kryptonite! But, Honey, this is not Mexican Skinny! This is French Skinny! If I could lose weight eating Mexican food it would have happened a long time ago!
(Hubby is silent. Waiting for my next move.)
Me: Crap. Was that racist? Saying Mexican Skinny?
(Hubby's brows furrow in confusion.)
Me: Okay, here's the plan. I will eat this delicious plate of food. Then I will call my Mexican sister-in-law and ask her if what I said was funny or racist. Then I will not have any more chips for awhile.
Hubby: Okay. (Rolls eyes)
Me: Se how easy breezy I am? I'm just goin with the flow.
Hubby: Did you have a lot of caffeine today?

Me: Um, Rosalie? I have to ask you a question.........

Rosalie: Yes and yes. It is racist but it's funny. And since you have a Mexican sister-in-law you get to write about it because I said it's okay. And you are loco.

I love the get out of jail free card.

Buenas noches.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 66 from France:
I Love My Friends

Shaboom sends her update from Paris...

BootyDance and I left her ArmenianPrince and his parents at the hotel to nap and went off in search of Happy Hour!! We plopped our butts down at a café in the walking streets of the second arrondissement and drank something extremely sweet and yackity-yacked for a few hours.

When we returned to the hotel, not only did ArmenianPrince treat us to champagne...

He also treated us to breakfast in the morning!

Then they were off, back to LA and I sat down in the 2nd Arrondissement and drank multiple café crèmes while writing postcards. I think I might have to start a postcard campaign to SwimSwim. I know! Don't say it. But you can read why HERE.

When I got back home, Obsessed! made us a delicious lunch...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Karen Day 65 - New Destination

Early in the morning I head out for a new destination. I had spotted a little pastry shop the other day in Downtown Burbank and was excited to try it.
The sun was warm and the flowers smelled delicious from the dew. It was the kind of morning that slaps you in the face with happiness and makes you feel very small.
There is a path that goes under the freeway. As soon as I see it I start to get the "I'm about to get on a roller coaster" feeling in my stomach. At certain times of the day the light hits it just right and it's kind of beautiful.

I arrive in Downtown Burbank and it's so early almost all the shops are closed. Except for Starbucks and The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. Which is all fine and dandy but I'm looking for...
AHA! It's open!
Burbank Pastry

These all look yummy.

What to try?

These are their version of the chocolate croissant.

I decide to go with a classic croissant.
It was absolutely wonderful. A little more like cake. I think it may have been like the croissant Shaboom ate in Germany the other day.
I wonder what Shaboom is doing right now? It's about 6:30pm in France. Maybe she's walking under a Paris bridge to get a fresh croissant. Hello my friend. Are you looking for the moon?

I have kept it for a little while, but a giant horse is about to eat it so it's time to give it back. May it light up Paris with it's moonbeams and send you my love.
Time to head home.

What will await me when I return?
Usually Hubby will clean the house. He awesome like that. About once every 3 months I come home and he's moved the furniture around. Which was startling at first but now I think it's funny.
I open the door and find him cleaning out the junk drawer. Which, I would never think to do because by it's very name IS A JUNK DRAWER. But he does this about once every 6 weeks.
I'm going to throw a giant Bed Bath and Beyond coupon in there later just to annoy him.

Here's the thing about the early birthday present to Hubby (The new BBQ), he's so excited about it I get meals like this served to me. A hamburger with jack pepper cheese, roasted red pepper on a toasted fresh roll. Along side a chili stuffed with cheese.

Everyone's asleep by 9:00pm.
We are wild over here.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 65 from France:
More Danish Invasion

Shaboom sends her update from Paris...

BootyDance and ArmenianPrince came to Paris with his parents in tow. I started the morning out at Park Monceau near Cashew's house. I haven't seen him since I stood him up (over email, at that) and simultaneously broke up with him on Valentine's Day. Read more about that HERE. I know, I know, you're shaking your head at me. It's okay - I deserve it.

Anyways, he loves my homemade marmalade and had run out, so I ran some over there with my adrenaline pumping. I was trying to time everything perfectly so I could drop off the surprise package without having to bump into him. I know he trains for triathlons all morning, so I had to get my butt over there before he came home - I was successful.

On the metro on my way to meet BootyDance, there was a lady with a fancy hat.

We ate at Le Tambour.

Soupe à l'oignon

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 64 from Burbank:The new BBQ

Breakfast 2 eggs hard boiled with a little mayo and mustard.
80 flights of stairs.

Pack up some snacks, take 3 in the stroller and walk to Lowes. Meet Hubby there. He picks out the BBQ of his dreams. His birthday present. We load the box into the car. He takes off. 3 and I walk part of the way home.

Lunch: 3 and I stopped at a restaurant that said it had home style cooking. I ordered a salad. It was GROSS. Stole some of my kids fries and got the hell out of there.

Walked about a mile and had to call Hubby to pick me up. It's now 90 degrees in Burbank and I've got a blister from my new shoes. I don't feel very French at all.

I'm finally home laying in bed with a tummy ache from that lunch. Have a little baguette and butter with some bubbly water. Strangely, I do feel a little French at this point.

Hubby puts the BBQ together and grills a delicious dinner. This could be the best birthday present I ever got myself if he cooks every night.

Apparently buying Hubby a BBQ is an aphrodesiac and makes me irresistable.
2 hours of indoor cardio.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 64 from France:
Dinner Foible

Shaboom sends us her update from Paris...

There was some intense indoor cardio last night. I know, even my anger and annoyance at the mess in this house isn't a strong enough opponent for Obsessed! when he puts his mind to it.

There was also a lot of stairs both yesterday and today, as I was doing all the laundry that hadn't been touched while I was gone. So, although I didn't leave the house yesterday, I got plenty of exercise.

Breakfast in bed = quiche & a crêpe (of which I ate about half.)

Snack = lemon/sugar/butter crêpe (by the way, we use pure, partially salted butter.)

I brought back some Danish wine-gums (røde hunde means red dogs) that are similar to "Swedish Fish." I have been munching on these a little...

Here are the organic apricots that have no artificial coloring...

Mali, Obsessed! and I went to his friends' house tonight. They are a brother and sister who live in the suburbs south of Paris and Obsessed! offered to come and do the dessert part of the dinner - crêpe party!!!

The female hostess made what she called "spaghetti bolognese" but was less bolognese and more like 2 litres of sour cream with a miniscule amount of tomato sauce. Obsessed was so horrified that he actually gave her a hard time and made fun of her! "That is NOT bolognese. That is crap!"

I felt really bad for her as she had thrown her back out earlier in the day while vacuuming in preparation for the dinner party, knowing how allergic I am and they have FOUR CATS in one tiny French apartment. Then she spent an hour in pain standing in the kitchen cooking this sauce with her thrown out back and all she got was sass...

I admit, it was not a bolognese but it was edible.

Afterwards, everyone was really excited for the crêpe part of the evening. Obsessed! definitely Tazmanian Deviled through her kitchen and made a huge mess but the results were delicious. I had a few bites of butter/sugar/lemon, nutella/whipped cream, and tasted a chestnut cream sweet crêpe.

Then they pulled out some pickled? candied? mirabelles which is a fruit like a plum but the size of a cherry on steroids. CLICK HERE

As everyone at the party (we were about 16 people) except me is French, they all know what a mirabelle is and how they taste, so they gluttonously piled the fruit onto their chestnut cream crêpes or on the side of their plates if they were having Nutella or strawberry or banana or whatever crêpe versions. Unfortunately, at some point in the canning? process, the fruit had turned. I didn't taste them but they apparently were, from the French faces puckering around me, borderline disgusting. It was a funny site to see so many Parisien expressions even more sour looking than normal!