Posted in Et alia, Pint of Lagerfeld on February 1st, 2010 by Kai – 1 Comment
Cucumber on your salad, anyone?
As you may know, the wedding industry and its foibles are a regular source of amusement and/or amazement for me. Today’s fun? Lily just brought to my attention the fact that The Knot has its own Chinese wedding page. There’s nothing inherently ridiculous about that — anyone who’s had an Indian friend get married knows that wedding traditions vary hugely across cultures. However, I am LOVING some of the suggestions in their article “Top 10 Chinese Wedding Q&A.”
I have to think that this article was written by a white non-biologist, and here’s why. Question number three is: Which traditional Chinese dishes will appeal to both our Chinese and Western guests’ tastes? First, they suggest Peking Duck. Fine, good. Fatty, salty, a little sweet? Who can argue with that? Here’s the good part:
For your side salad, include sea cucumbers, thought to symbolize harmony and lack of conflict between newlyweds.
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Posted in Pint of Lagerfeld on January 22nd, 2010 by Kai – 1 Comment
Drool. From Dior.
Shopped out from Christmas? I certainly was. My bank account reeling by December 19, I was convinced I would be shopped out for many weeks to come. And, well, I am, still. Kind of. I’m not feeling the urge to actually BUY any grossly expensive additions to my wardrobe, but it’s not keeping me from ogling the hottest of the resort shoes. It is nothing like strappy sandal weather out there, but here’s a little eye candy for the winter months anyway!
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Posted in Et alia on January 19th, 2010 by Kai – Be the first to comment
Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you all had a great time. I know, it’s the 19th. It is nothing like January 1 any more. But frankly, on January 1 I still had holiday parties to go to and friends and family dancing in and out of town to deal with. I like the concept of the new year resolution — but let’s be real. Starting those resolutions AFTER the visitors are completely gone is a heck of a lot easier.
Now that life has settled into some semblance of normalcy, I’m prepared to tackle some of those items that I’ve been delaying. They’re the same stuff that everyone has on their agendas at this time of year: save more money, eat healthier, waste less… I’m an optimist, but I’m also realistic. So, I’m going to tackle them one at a time. Revolutionizing my entire life all at once is more than I can handle, so I’m planning on this resolution thing lasting me in sequence until March or so.
First up? Finances. I know, it’s a hugely major item. I’m sure a series of posts will follow. In the mean time, though, I hope all of your new year’s resolutions are going swimmingly — or, you know, at least make it to February!
Posted in Boystory, Et alia on December 11th, 2009 by Kai – Be the first to comment
This started off as a cake, I swear!
I’m sorry to say I killed a cake earlier this week. And not only that, it was a birthday cake. Being as the Man With The Hidden Talents is a fan of both coffee and chocolate, I decided that for his birthday I’d try the Mahogany Cake out of Rebecca Rather’s Pastry Queen cookbook. (I have, by the way, yet to make a recipe out of this cookbook that I didn’t like.)
The problem was, well, me. I was a trifle too impatient to actually wait for the cake to cool adequately before taking it out of the tube pan. Unfortunately, hot cake = floppy cake. Oops. You can imagine what happened next. So I made the glaze and drizzled it on top. This was the result. I actually considered making a second cake, but frankly, it looks pretty decadent like this, doesn’t it? I let the boy help me glaze it (somehow the sloppiness of the cake made the whole process that much more fun), and we served it up with big spoons. I might actually have to do this again sometime. No, it’s not exactly fit for company, but could it possibly look this sinful if it was all in one piece?
Posted in Et alia on December 7th, 2009 by Kai – 3 Comments
Welcome to the Christmas season, everyone! The giant plastic candy canes erected in the park outside my apartment on November 1 are now officially allowed to be there (I’ve been giving them the silent treatment), and I am opening the doors on not one but two advent calendars. I love advent calendars. Whee! Anyone want to sing carols?
Of course, there’s the dark side of December, too. This part of the year for me usually ends up being a mad scramble to buy gifts for my friends and family and get them crammed into boxes and shipped everywhere they need to go, while imagining that I am going to start making Christmas cookies and sending them to people at any moment. In an effort to help out folks like me whose shopping does not begin until December 1, today I thought I’d share my favorite places to shop for, well, stuff. Stocking stuffers, quirky gifts, things for people for whom you’re afraid to buy a serious gift but have to get something… you know what I’m talking about. It’s easy enough to get on the internet and find what you’re looking for if you’re looking for something specific. If you have no idea? That’s a lot harder, particularly if you don’t want to spend a ton. Here are some of my favorite sites to pick up interesting little gifts and inspire me to fill out the stockings.
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Posted in Nailing Palin on December 5th, 2009 by Kai – 1 Comment
After reading this article in Slate musing on why more Congressmen don’t use Twitter, I have to say that there are few things I would be less interested in reading half a dozen times a day than 140 characters worth of the fleeting thoughts of the members of the House of Representatives or the arguably slightly saner people in the Senate. Perhaps I’m unduly cynical, but I generally feel that a certain amount of filtering on political news is necessary to keep the battier stuff from driving you crazy. Important points, please, not the latest on the Senator who sneezed while the leader of the opposition was making a key speech on the floor. (The scandal!)
Twitter itself is designed to be the perfect medium for conveying the trivial. There are people who can be poetic, meaningful in 140 characters, but not many. I’d like to imagine that our legislators are better than the average person at this kind of thing, but frankly, we didn’t pick them for their concise force of expression, and it’s questionable whether we even picked them for their intelligence. Do I care that Pete Hoekstra is having dinner in Grand Rapids today? Uh, no.
Count me as another supporter for the continued existence of traditional media. If someone is going to have to sort through that crap, by all means let it not be me.
Posted in Et alia on November 23rd, 2009 by Kai – 1 Comment
The time has come, the wind-up walrus said. Talking about decluttering and organizing is all well and good, but it has nothing on actually doing it. One of the most useful general tips I’ve seen was the suggestion that you pick one particular area at a time so as not to get overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task. I’ve decided to start in the bedroom, and specifically to start with my closet. I will admit, I’m starting here partly because I’ve done some work on the closet already and have a better feeling for what I need to do. I’m also starting here because it’s one of the most pressing issues from the make-room-for-the-boy standpoint. Winter is coming on, and he’s going to need to have space for some bulkier clothing. Heaven forbid he should freeze to death because I have too many t-shirts.
In some ways, this is also a challenging place to start. Closet decluttering can be a more emotionally fraught process than cleaning out the kitchen. For most of us, there’s a certain amount of sentiment and personal image caught up in our clothing, present and past. You’re clearly never going to get any use out of your high school prom dress ten years later, but throwing it away can feel like you’re leaving part of your life behind. (I am not personally disturbed by the idea of high school fading into the past, largely unremembered and unregretted, but I know some people are.) However, if you shop regularly, at some point you have to admit that you can’t possibly keep all that stuff without making your current life way more difficult than it needs to be.
Luckily for me, I am mostly embarrassed by the stuff that I used to think was wearable (ah, the pink glittery top of my dreams — there’s a reason that was on sale), but even so, there were some sentimental items I hated to trash. I was also helped by the fact that most of my REALLY old clothes were at home with my parents until they moved, when my mother summarily threw it all away. So much for sentiment.
I read a couple dozen articles about closet organization before I started. Here are some of the more useful tips:
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Posted in Et alia on November 18th, 2009 by Kai – 2 Comments
Looking to increase your good cheer for Thanksgiving? Permit me to recommend the Smashing Pumpkin Martini, made with home-infused spiced pumpkin vodka. Infusing the vodka requires a week, so you’re just in time to pull it together for your holiday celebrations. I’ve been coming back to this recipe in the fall for several years; it makes a deep-orange martini that smells shockingly like a pumpkin pie. If you can’t find vanilla or cinnamon vodka, no worries — cinnamon sticks work just fine and the vanilla beans already called for are in my opinion plenty of vanilla. I like to throw in a whole nutmeg and a few cloves to round things out, so feel free to adjust per your favorite pie spices. Enjoy!
Posted in Pint of Lagerfeld on November 17th, 2009 by Kai – 1 Comment
Winter white from Kenneth Cole Reaction.
No white after Labor Day? Please. One of my favorite trends of recent years is the white or cream-colored winter coat. Living in an urban area where I go everywhere on foot, they’re 100% impractical. Which is probably why I love them so much. There are few things as gorgeous on an awful winter day as a woman chicly bundled in a winter-white coat, defying the elements and the gray street slush. Sure, they require a little extra effort to keep clean, but they’re that little bit of luxury and cheer in the most depressing of seasons.
I, um, already own one (a long Soia & Kyo coat from a couple of years ago), but that has not kept me from desperately lusting after this great number from Royal Underground. (The chevron detailing on the sleeves? Shoot me now.) After the jump, the results of my vicarious romp through the online stores in search of this season’s best.
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Posted in Nailing Palin, Wintour of Our Discontent on November 16th, 2009 by Kai – 7 Comments
‘Nuff said. No money of mine is supporting her continued notoriety. I know, it’s like watching an accident happening, but seriously. Say no to funding her next attempt at the presidency.