25 April 2009

think about it

E and I have been watching this clip together on YouTube (as well as some other clips from the show -- as we sort of got hooked on watching talented people -- it's the envy factor).

I love the sound of her voice; it's rich and smooth, like a glass of great red wine. I also love how E gets a smile on his face watching her sing and wow the audience.

But the best part of watching the clip was when E, pointing to the judges and the members of the audience, said, "Look, they don't think she can sing well. But she can!" (This was after having watched it several times already.) I asked him, "Why do you think they don't think she can sing?"

I suppose I expected him to say, "Because she's not young and beautiful. She doesn't look like she can be a good singer." I suppose I anticipated a teachable moment, where I would say, "But she can sing, and we should never judge people by their appearance."

Well, how judgemental of me.

E's response was a shrug with "I don't know."

How non-judgemental of him. And how refreshing. He just cared that she did sing beautifully and the judges and the audience loved her performance. He has not been polluted by currently existing social expectations and psychology, where you're nobody if you don't look like (fill in the blank with the name of a movie star).

Really, why did we even think she couldn't sing, when we saw her walk on stage?

As the author of this article asked, is Susan Boyle ugly? Or are we?

23 April 2009


The package arrived and was waiting for me quietly in our mailbox. Inside it was a bar of soap, small enough to fit on my palm. The gift is not the soap, however -- it's the gentle fragrance of lavender. When I picked it up and breathed in, the smell took me all the way to Japan where this soap was made. Handmade with love, red wine, and lavender. What a lucky girl I am.

22 April 2009

our spring-break trip, reader's digest version

Went. Visited. Came home.

I'd like to go back some day and take time to walk around.

15 April 2009

the dream kitchen?

Another rainy day in Washintgon, D.C.

I was at the Museum of American History and looking at Julia Child's kitchen yesterday, and for the first time, I was struck by how small her kitchen was. There isn't that much counter space in there. I've never noticed that before because my own kitchen was also small back then. I now have a fairly spacious, modern kitchen, and so, in comparison, Julia's kitchen looks small.

A friend of mine in Hawaii, whose cooking has always wowed me (in fact, I have never eaten anything that she cooked that was not absolutely delicious), does not have a huge kitchen, either.

What Julia did have was pots and pans. And knives. Lots and lots of them. All hanging on the wall, making it easy for her to spot exactly the one she needed.

What does my dream kitchen look like? Do I deserve my dream kitchen?

06 April 2009


Okay, so it was only several days ago that I twittered my belief that our backyard orange blossoms were the fragrance of heaven.

Well, that was before a friend of mine gave me not one, but two tubes of hand cream from L'Occitane.

Now this is what I call "personal luxury." A 1-oz. (30ml) tube costs $10, and I would never, ever, not in a million years -- okay, maybe in a million years, but not in a thousand years -- pay that kind of money for hand cream. But my gosh, they smell absolutely fabulous!

One tube my friend gave me is rose velvet cream, and the other one is L'Occitane's classic lavender. The cream is incredibly silky smooth and rich without being sticky at all, and it moisturizes my hands amazingly (I only need a little bit). The fragrance is subtle yet long-lasting. And herein lies the dilemma....

I was chopping vegetable for stir-fry last night, and I kept smelling roses. I hesitated before washing the rice in the pot, and wondered if it would be okay if my jasmine rice tasted like roses instead of, well, jasmine.

These tubes are perfectly sized for stashing them in a handbag, except I am not putting them in the Grand Central Station grade mess of my purse. They would surely be squished, the content spilled all over, and my wallet and cell phone, not my hands, will end up smelling like roses. That would be a tragic waste.

02 April 2009

went, didn't find, and still bought

I didn't forget the farmers' market this afternoon.

I got there at 1:25 p.m., five minutes before the market was to open, and people were already lined up at the entrance. I had to circle the parking lot twice to find a spot, all the way at the end of the Western Hemisphere. (Next time, I shall get there at 1:00 p.m., claim the prime parking spot and hang out there with a book until the market opens.)

And yet, and yet, my vendor didn't have the tomatoes I was after. I actually went to the market just to get these tomatoes, and they didn't have any today!

These tomatoes are called "Pink Lady", about an inch in diameter, and have a delightfully crunchy skin that makes them perfect for a quick snack. In fact, I can just stand by the kitchen counter and eat them. One after another. And another. And another...

"My" vendor is also popular among other shoppers, obviously. The booth had a line in front of it, and it took me a while to get the ladies' attention. They said that "the tomatoes weren't good" or something to that effect, in Japanese, and I'm hoping that they meant "they weren't good this week but will be available next week." Oh, and they didn't have any mizuna, either.

I, of course, was a little disappointed, but these ladies are so friendly and upbeat that it's hard to stay disappointed. I'll be back next week.

I couldn't get the tomatoes or the salad green, so instead I bought .... some flowers. Two bunches of ranunculus, to be exact, for $6. A happy bouquet of punchy red, orange and yellow. I skipped my way out of the market, got home, and was a bit late picking E up at school because I was arranging them in a vase and forgot what time it was.