I’ll admit it: I’m a hopeless romantic. I love long dresses, and walks on the beach, and holding hands, and candlelight and… flowers. I’ll happily buy them for myself to put around the house, but being given flowers–one of those timeless gestures of romance–just melts my heart. Which is why I was touched to receive these yesterday from my “gentleman caller”. Aren’t they pretty?
I like putting flowers into simple containers because it gives them a rustic feel, and also ensures that nothing distracts from their beauty. Of course, I say that now, but it might just be because I don’t really have any vases sitting around the house. But it’s a good excuse for keeping empty, clean jars around to use for such situations. (Or for drinking glasses, if you’re feeling especially kitschy).
Last Friday, I went to a cooking class at Gourmandise Desserts with my boyfriend and a friend from work. It was a lot of fun. If anyone is interested in cooking French desserts, you might want to give their class schedule a look!
During the course of the three-hour class, we learned how to make truffles, toffee, and marshmallows. Not bad, right? Everyone was sent home with boxes of treats, a book of recipes, and some priceless knowledge. (For example: makes sure that if you decide to mix your toffee with a spatula, that the spatula is heatproof. Whoops!)
The picture of the final result really doesn’t do the truffles justice. They look pretty nice in person! Still, it gives you an idea of what they’re like… right?
For whatever reason, I had a serious case of the Mondays today. Or, at least, I did until I sat down and noticed the branch of plumeria that I had left on my desk all weekend had bloomed:
Last Wednesday, I was taking a walk in the neighborhood behind my office when I came across a house that had on its lawn a plumeria tree, dripping with flowers. I stopped to pick up some fallen blossoms, when the owner of the house came out. “Would you like some more,” he asked.
“Oh, that’s okay,” I replied, slightly embarrassed at being caught in hedonistic pursuits.
I don’t know if he misunderstood me, or what, but he reached up and broke off a small branch. It was mostly buds, but had a few open blossoms on it. I smiled and thanked him, and then walked quickly back to the office, where I stuck the branch in water.
As the week went on, a few of the other blossoms started opening, but most of them were still closed when I left on Friday. Coming in to find that they were open today–when I had completely forgotten about them–was both exciting and pleasurable. My cube smells like plumeria. Thank you random neighbor!
The summer in LA this year has reminded me a lot of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. First it was too cold. Now it’s too hot! I’m still waiting for the baby bear weather to show up and make things just right. I neither have nor like air conditioning*, so I have other methods to keep cool. A few of these are:
Walking on the beach
Wearing shorts and short dresses**
Putting my hair up in a bun
Opening the windows at night to let cooler air in
Drinking cold beverages–especially iced tea or cold water
I like black and hibiscus iced teas, which are traditional in the US, but I’m also quite fond of barley tea, which is traditional in Asia.
I like the House brand barley tea because you can brew it cold. I toss a tea bag into a stainless steel water bottle, then fill the bottle with water. After sitting in the fridge overnight, I have a liter of tasty mugicha to help beat the heat, one cupful at a time.
What is it about journals? Orwell’s 1984 and Rand’s Anthem both begin with characters writing in journals. This is noteworthy because it is risky and/or potentially lethal. For both protagonists, the idea that one could write down thoughts that other people wouldn’t see was madness.
In some ways, that idea is already taking shape in our world today. In a time when Facebook is constantly raising questions about what should or should not be private, and large chunks of the internet are filled with blogs like this, some might ask what the point of having a private journal would be. Doesn’t everyone get emotionally naked on the ‘net? But then, you could equally argue the other side of the coin: This is a world lacking in privacy, and that might not be a good thing. Thoughts that we once would have kept to ourselves are being put out in the open, to the detriment of the people expressing them. Kids are being denied jobs because their Facebook pictures show them doing a lot of drinking in college. People are fired for mouthing off about their jobs on their “private” journals–that just happen to be publically accessible. Maybe having a private place to write all that stuff down would be better for all concerned.
I go through phases where I keep a journal. Often, these journals have just been notebooks. But occasionally they’ve been something prettier. I have scores of half-filled diaries lying around, not to mention the nicer, leather-bound books that I have that almost seemed too nice to write in. Although at the time, I wondered what the point of all the writing was, I’m grateful to have them. Looking back at what I wrote gives me a time capsule into my younger self, reminding me of how great it is to be where I am now.
Although my current journal is just a blue notebook, I might get something like this in the future. It’s pretty, isn’t it?
The only thing would be… what could I ever write in there that would worthy of filling such a work of art?! </irony>