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rue-madame's Diaryland Diary

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A table!

I just realized that I am going to have to order a 2003 calendar. Every year I forget until the last few weeks of December, and then freak out because very few stores carry the brand I love, Lett’s of London. As I am a nutty organizatrix, I need to have all of my calendars be the same brand, style and size that way I can tidily set my life on a shelf, in perfect order.

Monday was The Day of Errands.

Tuesday was the Overflow Errands Day in which I did laundry, shopped for more groceries, went to the art supply store and had a skirmish with the dumb-ass cashier, and finished printing holiday cards.

Wednesday, yesterday, was pretty much the same as Tuesday in terms of productivity, but I only left the house to have a meeting with the yoga studio. And for that, I didn’t even need to get in the car. I like those days best. Anyway, I got stamps for the cards and waited in line for an eternity at the post office because I can’t just buy flags or snowmen; nooooo, I need to see the full panoply of stamps before I make my choice. I then came home to a stack of cards that Terence had trimmed out. We spent the rest of the afternoon writing and addressing them (approximately 40) and finished just as my right hand just about withered and curled back into my wrist from overuse, sort of like the way the Wicked Witch of the East’s feet shrink up and disappear under Dorothy’s house when she thuds into Oz. The whole time, Terence kept pointing to the seven cards we have up on the mantel in a ceremonial gesture of “I would like to point out once again that we have only received seven cards from our so-called friends and alleged relatives.” Every year it practically sends me to the asylum--the designing, the creating, the writing of 40ish personalized messages--but the fact is: I like making the cards, and I like sending them. I truly don’t mind the sacrifice, even if I do complain over and over again.

I finished “The Corrections,” and have moved on to “Catcher in the Rye”, a hardcover copy I found on the book shelf at the cafe last night. I am also reading “Howard’s End,” if you want to know the truth, and need to get a copy of “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” for January’s book club meeting. There are many references to Aslan as well as warm, leonine metaphors in “The Corrections,” so I thought it would be interesting to revisit some C. S. Lewis. I loved The Chronicles of Narnia when I was a kid, and lived through the siblings in their fur coats, eating Turkish Delight in snow-covered sleighs. We’ll see if I pick up on all the Christian imagery this time around; Lordy knows, I had no clue as a 9 year old. I also loved “Armance” by Stendhal, but at sixteen, I did not get any of the homosexual nuance. I’d like to think I’m not that dense anymore.

Did I mention that Jacques gave me 100 cl of pruneaux d’Agen when I left Paris? It’s a large glass jar filled with prunes stewing in armagnac. It’s one of the city of Agen’s specialties. I got the bottle back in October of 2001, and still have a lot of prunes and armagnac left. Sometimes, I’ll eat a prune or two with ice cream or solo as a nightcap. That’s how come I still have some left. And they just keep getting stronger and better. The only reason I am mentioning the prunes is that last night I incorporated some of them into a pork roast and then reduced the pan juices with more armagnac and some creme fraiche, and it was so goddamn delicious, I almost convinced myself to open a restaurant and serve only that. In Paris, I ate something almost as good at Perraudin, a really great place on the rue Saint-Jacques in the 5th.

Terence was over the moon with excitement with my culinary prowess. He still can’t believe that I hid my carnivorous gastronomic skills under a cloak of veganism for almost eleven years. Is he ever happy that I have returned to the Dark Side of meat-eating! The first time I cooked a steak, he flipped out and actually got a little bit angry, saying something like, “You mean to tell me you’ve known all along how to cook a perfect steak with a sauce marchande? How could you keep this a secret? That’s cruel and unusual!!!” I was a good vegetarian and vegan cook during those lean years, but I had to be a LOT craftier about cobbling together complete proteins and meals that didn’t rely entirely on starches. It’s really much easier being an omnivore.

The friend who visited last week has all sorts of food issues: no meat, no dairy, nothing too acidic, blahblahblah. She has a thyroid condition, and contends that it’s easier on her body to consume things that get digested quickly. While I understand wanting to control what you put in your body, especially when you have health concerns, I don’t take kindly to guests picking things out of the foods I make. Either eat it and suck it up in the name of being polite, or offer to help prepare the meals. Sheesh.

I’m hungry now. Time for lunch.

12:55 p.m. - 2002-12-19

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