Saturday, July 31, 2010

sorry about corrupting you

Okay, it has been brought to my attention that many of you had no idea what I was talking about with that t-shirt post, and a good many of you thought I was just being disgusting. Whoops!

It all came from a Facebook acquaintance of John's, who said something about twilight being "the time in a young girl's life when she has to choose between necrophilia and bestiality." Ha! So I thought that since those "Team Edward" and "Team Jacob" shirts are so popular, surely people would enjoy it if I cut through all the trappings of decency and called it what it is--hey, I'm not judging, there but for the grace of God go I. You know how I am about Buffy and Angel, and he's a known and admitted repeat philanderer who spends time in the grotto with Hugh Hefner. Nasty.

So, sorry about that. I'm not saying I'm not disgusting, but I wanted you to at least have context. John wanted me to give more context in the first place, but I refused, because I hate it when people assume I won't get a reference. So for those of you who understood my Twilight jab, good job! We are all twelve.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I did some things, but that's the old me

I have a dilemma. Tomorrow is my birthday, so we need a birthday dessert of some kind, but I can't make up my mind! We did carrot cake for Pinga's birthday, so that's out, unfortunately. I was thinking this or this, but have not fully settled on either one. Why is there no such thing as a three-layer pie? Because that's what I really want. I initiated preliminary specs for one, but gave up when I determined that it couldn't have decent crust and maintain structural integrity. Can you imagine, though? Picture a warmish slice of three-layer fruit pie being handed to you on a white stoneware plate with a fork in the Bead pattern, a little bit of vanilla custard or ice cream on the side. It would be so AWESOME.

Anyway, I've renounced the layered pie dream, at least for now. But I still need a good birthday treat. Any suggestions? Ideas?

Monday, July 26, 2010

another million-dollar idea

We were thinking over the weekend about making some t-shirts. Here's what they would look like:

But maybe neither of those is your style. Maybe you're a real stick-in-the-mud and would rather have something like this:

Let me know how many I should make.

some crappy farming jobs

That, my friends, is a picture of an empty hay field. Thank goodness. Mr. and Mrs. Magic Neighbor came over at five this morning to help us clear the bales off the field. This will be review for those of you who are already farmers/agritainers, but bear with me. Ordinarily what we do is drive our truck out into the field and gather the ninety-plus-pound hay bales one by one, until the truck bed is full and stacked three deep. We can fit about fifteen bales per load. Then we drive over to the hay shelter and buck the bales, one by one, onto the haystack, then go get another load. So that's each bale hefted at least twice--once onto the truck, once onto the haystack. And there are a lot of bales, at least if you're doing it all by hand. Neat! Thankfully this was the second cutting. The first cutting in the spring always has a (figurative) ton of bales, because it's the only time of the year we get enough water.

But the spring bales are also the heaviest and the most full of June grass and other garbage, so the guy who cuts our hay for us takes the whole first cutting for his cows. Cows aren't like goats, and they're perfectly happy to eat nonsense hay. Goats, especially our goats, are picky whiners and will eat only the leaves of the very most lush alfalfa hay if you let them get away with it. They're so ungrateful! Here is this amazing food source, brought to them day in, day out, and they're all, "We remember the wild lettuces and beet greens of Egypt, but now our soul is dried away and there is nothing at all, beside these stems, before our eyes." Spoiled.

The second cutting has fewer bales, and they're lighter, so it takes us about half the time--only a couple of hours--to get the hay cleared and stacked as the first cutting used to take. And happily, the magic neighbors have a trailer that fits about twice as many bales as a truck bed, so it only took us an hour this morning. But it's still hay, and it still takes four or five trips, and it's scratchy and pokey and heavy and there is a reason hay chaps are a thing.

We wanted to get the hay stacked today so we could irrigate. Irrigating is a bother and a nuisance. Just thinking about it makes me frustrated, because we never get enough water to soak the whole field. Plus it often requires interaction with a particular neighbor about whom I would say some swear words and vulgar terms if my mom didn't sometimes read this blog. To irrigate we have to set up our dam (a tarp wrapped around a 2 x 4 and weighed down with rocks and mud) in the ditch, so the water level will get high enough to go through the tubes into the field. Then we have to go to the four fields west of us and close all their valves, open the valve on our ditch, and open the headgate at the top of the hill next to the cemetery to send the water down to us. What usually happens next is the ditch junction blows out from all the water pressure and sends the water down the wrong ditch, and the dam blows out, and John gets angrier and angrier trying to reset it in a full ditch, and the idiot neighbor comes and takes our water two or three times during our turn, and the people with the fields west of us come and take it two or three times, and even on the days when the junction doesn't blow out and the dam doesn't blow out and nobody takes our water we only get enough water to get about halfway down the field. Which is why the second cutting of hay is only half the size of the first cutting. Hate hate hate.

So, there are two joyless things about farming: bucking hay and irrigating. Imagine if this were our livelihood instead of our ultra-expensive LARP hobby!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

cuttin' capers, puttin' papers in the bag

A couple of days ago we were driving over to my parents' house to do their chores while they're gone, and we saw a mare (that means mama horse) with a foal (that means baby horse) that looked eerily like the llama (that means loogies like paintballs) sharing the pasture with them. John said it just goes to show that if you take even the best horse and the best llama and leave them alone for long enough they'll get into trouble.

On a related note, here are Groceries and Rex:

"Do you mind? We asked for a private room."

Also look at this:
That is the dog that's living here right now. We named him Herb, short for Herbivore. He is very nice and well-behaved. Knock on wood. He can be yours for a fair price.

Here is the inspiration for today's post title:

I love Humphrey. He's the best.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

if this voodoo doll works he'll probably be sterile

I have a pathological fearhatred of frisbees. I simply cannot understand why anyone would invent a game that consists of throwing at your friends a plastic disc so hard that it can give you brain damage if it hits you just right. I may not be athletic, but I am clever, and I can tell you that is an abysmally stupid idea. Floppy frisbees, foam frisbees, those are fine. But the old-school frisbees? I hope you all die.

Naturally, at our family reunion yesterday (Wilkers represent!), I got hit square in the side of the head by a child throwing a promotional John Deere frisbee. Miraculously I was able to keep from crying/cracking his head open like a watermelon. But my cheekbone is nice and bruised today.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

when you find yourself in the thick of it, help yourself to a bit of what is all around you

I was thinking . . . we don't really have enough animals around here. I mean, we've got, what, four species, max? Gallus gallus domesticus, Felis catus, Capra aegagrus hircus, Homo sapiens . . . boooooring.

Once upon a time, long ago when we still lived in Lehi, I promised Captain America that we could get a dog when we moved to a farm. It was a good way to stanch the flow of begging and defer the decision to an unspecified and therefore unthreatening date in the future. But then we moved here and got the goats and the land and the aged house, and I realized that the idea of caring for a dog scared me to death. The feeding! The grooming! The exercising! The smell! The poop, oh, the poop! See, I'm a cat person, and I'll tell you right now that a large portion of my affection is due to the poop burial. That's decent of them, and I like it. I also like that cats aren't clingy and glommy. So I told Captain America that we can't get a dog until we have a fence.

But then recently our friends got a puppy--thanks a lot, McAllisters!--and the begging has begun anew. It doesn't help when we read things like Old Yeller and Where the Red Fern Grows. And sometimes I get the fever for a new furry soul-crushing responsibility, so we've started looking around. It can't be that much worse than goats or children, can it? Can it? I think what we'll do is try an experiment--dog fostering! I talked to a lady from some dog-rescue organization today, and that's what she recommends before any adoption. Kacy of Every Day I Write the Book did it, and she ended up with a dog that she only usually regrets owning, and that is a ringing endorsement. What I like about this arrangement is that it will be a less-committal way for Captain America to find out just how terrible it is to have a smelly, hairy ball and chain pooping and whining and barking and generally making his life miserable. Then maybe he'll leave me alone (he never asks John--he knows I'm the weak one re: more animals). And if we decide we don't hate it as much as we thought, we can adopt! It would be nice to have another excuse not to clean the house and do yard work . . .

By the way, anybody who can tell me why my post title is especially apt today will get a prize.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

my heart is like a wheel

I can't even . . . how do I process my emotions? Aside from brown-nosy things I have to say, like getting married and giving birth, last night was among my top life events. Yes, I cried a little bit. It was so overwhelming! Utah came through and sold it out, even though up through Monday there were still tickets available on Rio Tinto's website, which, you know how mad I was about that. Unless you don't listen to the radio, you owe him big for all the music you enjoy. He is a fundamental source for all modern pop and rock music. I am not sorry that we spent upwards of $350 to be there.

P. Mac, as he has asked me to call him, is a terrific performer. So Michael Buble? You can eat it. I can't even remember what he opened with, which is a little embarrassing, but right near the top was "Jet." It's never been a favorite of mine, but it's pretty good live. He has a great stage persona, and because of the accent everything he says is so much funnier than it deserves to be. He's no dummy and name-checked Salt Lake a good handful of times, to make sure the cheering got off to a rowdy start. He dyes his hair, which is troubling. Paul, I love you no matter what, but I would love you even more if you let your hair go grey.

His band was on top of it, and I feel sort of sad about their careers peaking already, but maybe they'll go on to even bigger and better things? Nah. The blonde guitarist looked like Steven Tyler and David Bowie had a baby the same age as them, and the dark-haired guitarist looked like Alice Cooper had a baby with a serial rapist. But back to Paul, who, for a werry old, has still got it. I was amazed at how he could still hit the high notes, and his whistle is really accurate! What other 68-year-old do you know who could do a three-hour concert, singing and whistling and playing all manner of stringed instruments, and not collapse at the end of it or die of a heart attack?

They played a little bit of "Foxy Lady" and he said that when Sgt. Pepper came out on a Friday Jimi Hendrix had it learned by Sunday and opened his show with it. Neat, I guess?

He dedicated "My Love" to the lovers in the audience, and while he was singing it a fight broke out on the floor and the Sandy police had to come and forcibly remove a bleached-blonde giantess. Hee. Alcohol-fueled irony.
You can't see my whorish shoes in any of the pictures, because it was a pretty unflattering outfit on the whole. But I did hear a girl quietly gasp "Cute shoes!" as I walked past. They aren't cute, but it's nice to hear all the same.

Right before "Here Today" he said, "Let's hear it for John," and pointed heavenward. John (my husband) said he was pointing the wrong direction, but I reminded him that Spirit Prison is up there, too. Mormon joke!
We had pretty good seats, and we were certainly closer to the stage than to the back of the stadium.

See how I am kissing him? He's not that into it.

He also talked a little bit about George Harrison, and played "Something" on the ukelele--the one George gave him, even. It was cute. He segued into "Give Peace a Chance" after "A Day in the Life," and I wonder, on a scale from one to ten, how pissed Yoko Ono gets when she hears about something like that. Because we all know that SHE'S the only one who gets to strip-mine John's legacy and sell it to all comers. Pause for hating . . .

The old guy in front of us had his ears plugged for most of the second half, and the lady sitting next to him (unknown to him) kept shoving her butt in his face while she was dancing. He looked miserable, and he should have stayed home.

Oh! When they did "Live and Let Die," he said "in which we're livin'," just like I HAVE BEEN TELLING EVERYBODY ALL ALONG, and the part where it goes BOM BOM all big, there were plumes of fire that shot out of the stage, and fireworks, and John said, "This must be the grand finale," and we laughed at our funny joke.

He did "Blackbird," which was so beautiful, and right at the end he did "Helter Skelter," which I was counting on, and you guys, I loved it so. He is near seventy! And he played "Helter Skelter!" He is the cutest thing and rocks out like anybody's business. I'm so happy I went. John is not the biggest Beatles fan in the world, but Paul is for sure his favorite of the four, and he compared it to when he saw Michael Jordan play. My brain is about to start misfiring in a minute and I'll start drooling with the weight of it all, but it's like watching history. A fantastic and remarkable experience.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I may be a lover but I ain't no dancer

One of our neighbors just got a new puppy. I know this because it barks all the time, and it sounds like it's inside my house. Like it's INSIDE MY HEAD.

There are some exciting goat developments! I think I told you about Appenzell Farm. They had two little bucklings born this spring, which is normally a huge drag. But they were so gorgeous it was just a pity to not pass their genes along. One of them is a beautiful creamy apricot color, and when I think about mixing that with Hazel's tricolor black, it makes me get all crazy with the Mendel. I can't get rid of reddish brown in my herd, so this is a heady tonic. We've worked it out, and one buckling is going to a dairy farmer just south of us, who serendipitously is thinking of adding a goat dairy to his cow operation, and the other one is going to one of the neighbors in our little goat cooperative thing. They will be so happy, and will have plenty of girlfriends. Eee! I'm going to have the prettiest babies!

So, I posted this on youface already, but really, Utah, you people should be ashamed of yourselves for not selling out the Paul McCartney concert. It's embarrassing and I'm going to stop the lecture here before I get all frothy. But I will be there tonight to pay my respects, as Tori aptly put it in the comments a while ago.

This is the last year I will attempt to grow beans in the main garden. It is a fool's errand. Something has eaten all of my squash plants, and now I find myself in the humiliating position of having to beg for zucchini. Truly, pride cometh before the fall.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

it better be what you want

Blue Knights photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Last night John took me to Corps Encore, and I was all, "Okay, you giant nerd (tall and handsome giant nerd)," but you know what? I actually enjoyed it! We only watched three corps, which helped, because I don't think I could take three hours of it. But it is crazy to watch! It's like that part in the rodeo where the sheriff's posse weaves in and out and around each other and you're just sure there's going to be a head-on, but there never is. One of the corps had their color guard in harlequin/jester costumes that I loved, and they were juggling sabres and rifles and flags and shower curtain rods . . . plus there are guys out there who are full-on running, holding a contrabass (a tuba-thingie) at arm's length. They are way strong. John said when he was in it he would eat probably 5000-6000 calories a day, and he still lost ten pounds over the summer. For breakfast he'd have seven or eight bowls of Lucky Charms, plus a few PBJs. That's nuts.

I'd probably go again. I wish they played more pop music, though. The Blue Knights played "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You" for their encore, and it was my favorite part of the whole night. Nobody played "4 Minutes," which is a crime. I had better hear it played by a marching band in a parade sometime this summer, or else.

Ganked from someone in Oregon, here's the song I liked. If you want to get your band geek on you can find a wealth of videos on You Tube of them moving all over the place.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

day 6 of my excellent adventure

We certainly didn't want to waste this expensive extra day, so we decided to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and eat some ice cream at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. It was very, very good. Smooth like custard. And while we were standing in the store eating our ice cream, "Coming to America" came on the radio, and it was a great moment. This will surprise anyone who knows me, but I didn't actually choke up when I heard it--I think I was too preoccupied with the ice cream. Norah liked it a lot, too.
After almost missing the subway entrance we went back home and I got ready to go for reals. I had been warned by my Sunday cab driver to be there multiple hours early, which I did, and even though JFK tried to defeat me by delaying the flight and changing the gate like a million billion times, I was successful.

Parenthetically: I don't think it's a good idea to name airports after beloved public figures. Because of the delays and confusion, it generates a lot of ill will, and I think there is probably a mountainous cloud of bad chi associated with John F. Kennedy from missed flights alone.

I bought a ton of food and magazines and survived the lengthy but calm flight home. We landed in the middle of the night, so I was unable to unfavorably compare Utah's desert with the lush green of New York.

Welcome home, me! Captain America was dang mad that I didn't come home the night before. He wanted to call Delta and tell them to shut up and bring his mom home. He is a good boy.

I FORGOT! We ate breakfast at Good Enough to Eat, and Claire got the waffles, and I was suuuuper boring and got the Wall Street omelet, and it's one of the few omelets not made by me that I have loved that much, and then we traded halfway through (Elaine would be proud), and the orange butter for the waffles was exactly the right thing. Plus they weren't all stingy with the maple syrup like some I could mention. But it was Canadian maple syrup, not Vermont? Why does it use Canadian syrup, precious? All the same, it was a great breakfast, and sustained us for our hot walk across the bridge.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

day 5 of my excellent adventure

Here is Claire, reposing on the couch.

One more thing about day 4--Nate and I almost came to blows about whether or not the music of Counting Crows sucks. I think it does; he disagrees. I think they were one of the first champions of the singing-like-you're-pooping vocal style so relied upon by the kids today. But I haven't heard very much of their music at all, so Nate is justified in his claim that my criticisms are ignorant and possibly unmerited.

On to day 5! We went to church, where in Sacrament meeting there was a gender-estranged individual (Sharon Stone's hair, Heidi Montag-Pratt's post-surgery face, Nathan Lane's body), in Sunday School we discussed how many of the all-time top-grossing movies follow the story form of the Hero's Quest, and a lady who was the spitting image of Julie Bowen taught Relief Society. Woo! I wore my new ballet flats to the church and then changed into my black heels, because I learned my lesson from Babbo. My figure really doesn't allow me to wear flats with my pencil skirt, but I couldn't take the 13-block walk in 4-inch heels.

After church we had bread and fruit and cheese and smoked salmon, and I got ready to miss my flight. What makes me crazy is that if I had left a mere fifteen--ten, even--minutes earlier I would have made it, but I didn't realize that Delta's curbside check-in stations are all for show, and they don't actually staff them. This is embarrassing, but I will tell you anyway, because we're all friends here, aren't we? When I missed the sixty minute window to check bags and realized that I would have to get a different flight I cried a little bit in frustration. Tears running down my face and all. Not because I wasn't having fun, but because I hate the idea of ten minutes costing 300 dollars. But here's a neat detail: at any given moment, the line at the Delta counter of people who weren't allowed to check their bags and have to buy another flight is about forty people long. So you'll have company when you miss your flight, just like I did.

I took a cab back to Claire and Nate's apartment, and the cab driver and I had a lengthy discussion about basketball and dogs and how I looked too young to have four children. Thank you, nice cab driver!

This is an aside, but the fact that it's called a "romper" should be a strong indicator that a grown woman should not wear one. I will not be bamboozled by you, Lucky magazine!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

better quality, better service

I really resent how country music has hijacked all Fourth of July celebrations, fireworks shows in particular. I believe it is possible to convey patriotism without the use of twang, sleeveless shirts, and steel guitars.

I guess it's a nice creative outlet for Orrin Hatch to play the piano and "compose" "music," but I wish I didn't have to hear about it. It makes me feel uncomfortable. I wonder how his family feels about it. Maybe his family used to think that Orrin should grow out of his musician phase, but they're okay with it now. I wonder.

I wanted to say that I got a little suspicious while I was in New York that the idea that New Yorkers are rude is perpetuated by people who want to seem hardcore and cosmopolitan, like, "Oh, you'd never survive here. People are so rude." Remember that Seinfeld episode where George pretends to be a tourist to get that lady's attention, but it backfires when she tells him he'd never make it in New York, and he totally freaks out trying to prove that he could? Most--not all--of the time, I find that if you behave like a decent human being, other people do the same. Am I wrong? Are New Yorkers rude people, and I just missed it? Because we had people carrying the jogging stroller up and down the stairs for us, and going out of their way to be friendly.

Friday, July 2, 2010

day 4 of my excellent adventure

Claire and I went to the Chelsea Market while Nate stayed home with Norah, because he is a gentleman and a scholar. We ate breakfast and got some sourdough at Amy's Bread, and I know you guys will scoff, but I really do promise you that it was not as good as Crumb Brothers. It was too mild. Then we went to a little Italian food store where I got the raddest pasta that looks like baby mushrooms! Plus they had, I am not lying to you, a gallon-sized bucket of Nutella. It cost eighty dollars and had a carrying handle. I am disproportionately enchanted by grocery stores, so places like Kalustyan's, Russ & Daughters, this little Italian place, Fairway, Citarella . . . they are like the crack cocaine for me. I could (and did) spend hours walking up and down the aisles, ogling the merch.

For a minute we attempted to go to the Union Square greenmarket, but were disgruntled by all the street vendors, none of whom were selling matryoshka dolls, and gave up. Then Claire went home to feed Norah while I did some shopping at Loehmann's. I loves a discount store. After lunch Claire and I shopped some more, then went home to get ready for Wicked (the musical).
I've discussed this before with many of you, but I think something broke inside my brain when I read Wicked (the book). Because I never had an attachment to original recipe Oz, Maguire's dystopian interpretation of it totally replaced Baum's version, and I can never think of it the same way again. It's so sad, and the characters are so cowardly and greedy and self-defeating and cruel. I have a show tunes channel on Pandora (don't judge), and even though I hadn't seen the musical, every time it played "Defying Gravity" and "I'm Not That Girl" I would just cry and cry (don't judge), because I knew that everyone was doomed. Ugh. It was awful.

So I was relieved when Wicked (the musical) ended fairly happily, trite and veneer-like though the happy ending was. It was a sop, but I was grateful all the same. Also, it was a very enjoyable show, and I liked it more than I thought I would. It lacks the heft of Les Miserables, but it's not pure fluff like Phantom, either.
On our way home we stopped at Fairway to get some crackers and salmon and cheese for Sunday dinner, and man, the cheesemonger was so ready to go home. He was the rudest cheesemonger I've ever met. Usually they're very pleasant and willing to emotionally invest in helping you find the right cheese for your purpose, but this guy was like, "Oh. You want to taste it . . ." like I'm a huge pain in his behind for even asking, like, it's your job, dink. But I got a delicious cheese all the same. So there.

So he was rude, and then there was a guy at the Chelsea Market who snapped at me when I walked past him to use the bathroom, "It's called a line!" And I said, "Yeah, but these are all empty . . ." He was just standing there, and hadn't bothered to even check if the bathrooms were busy. Here is a life lesson . . . we have a neighbor who is the same way. He throws a giant fit every irrigation day, because he's sure someone is taking his water, which they never are. But because he always goes up and turns on the water when it isn't his turn, he assumes that everyone else is like him, and is just looking for an opportunity to cheat him. Bathroom line guy was the same way. He's for sure and certain a queue-barger, and thinks everybody else is one too.

These were the only rude people I met in New York, but my cab driver after my failed Sunday flight thinks it's because I was staying on the Upper West Side. Maybe so, but during my stay Claire and Norah and I walked through a variety of neighborhoods, many of them not great, and people were unfailingly polite to us. I guess we must be really pretty or something.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

day 3 of my excellent adventure

In the morning we went to the Natural History Museum.
The blue whale is the giantest thing ever. And I'm not creeped out at all by taxidermy unless it starts moving, and you would not believe how many stuffed dead animals they have there! Elephant seals are hideous, dead or alive, and it turns out that all elephant seals share the same male ancestor, which I bet you didn't know. So their gene pool is super tiny and probably fairly predictable, as opposed to Nubian goats, whose genetic pool is so extensive that you can't predict with very much certainty what any particular breeding will produce. Other than it will most likely be a goat.

In the section on human evolution there are a bunch of hairy ape people, and they are naked, not wearing fur underwear like the Flintstones would have you believe.

For lunch we went to Shake Shack. I'm always suspicious of event-type places with lots of merchandise for sale, because it's a good bet that the clothes will be better than the food, and I was right where the burger was concerned. It was lackluster. But the custard! Yum. So smooth.


Then it was off to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It's a huge labryinth and we kept getting lost. And this will tip you off as to my woeful lack of sophistication, but after an hour or two of seeing amazing stuff that is hundreds and thousands of years old I got museum fatigue and just wanted to be done looking at it.
We ended up in the Picasso exhibition, and you know how when you doodle you might draw a bunch of little circles, or triangles, or flowers, or animals? Well, Picasso was a lot like you, except replace "circles" with "fat prostitutes," and "triangles" with "fat prostitutes," and "flowers" with "fat prostitutes," and "animals" with "fat prostitutes." It was quite a revelation. He really, really liked drawing naked folk. There is a painting of a scrawny nude fellating a bored young Picasso, and there was a guy in front of it taking picture after picture after picture of it with his camera. Hee.


After we finally found the exit we made our way to Kalustyans, which is beyond my powers to describe. It is huge and overflowing and I could bankrupt myself there. I bought some flageolet beans and chocolate layered halvah, which is my new favorite treat. It's sort of like a soft Butterfinger, only made with sesame paste and with the chocolate layered all through the inside.

Then we went to Fishs Eddy and coveted the cake plates, while trying to navigate the tiny aisles with the jogging stroller without breaking anything. Then across the street to ABC Carpet and Home, where I wanted to buy all of the jewelry and linens.

After that we met up with Nate and went to Flor de Mayo for dinner.
I got ropa vieja, which I have always been wary of, because shredded beef is so often done badly, but this was fantastic. All of the food was.
Then Claire and Nate went home while I went shopping at Filene's Basement, because I like clothes. I got a silk blouse to wear with my pencil skirt and a cream and orange-striped ruffled scarf.

The end.