Roman Holiday

The super cute ajusshi and his wife in my current drama. This scene unfolds right after the guy discovers that his wife has cancer.

*after closing up the shop*
W: Let’s go home.
M: Wait, come here for a second.
W: Aren’t we going home?
M: I told you to come here for a second.
*slides a printout across the table that reads “High-quality France Premium Package”*
M: I asked the kids to print it out. Let’s go there.
W: What about the restaurant?
M: We can take a few days off!
W: (smiles indulgently) You make it sound like we’re well-off. It’s company picnic season. Do you want to get cursed at by our regular customers?
M: (losing patience) Let’s go. You said it was your dream to go to France.
W: (surprised) When?
M: You said it while watching a movie awhile ago. You said you wouldn’t want anything else if you could go there. What was it? It was a movie with a princess in it.
W: (squints) “Roman Holiday”?
M: (turns to stare at her) Was it Rome?
W: Yes.
M: (rescuing the situation by brushing it off in his typical ajusshi way) Rome and France are the same. Let’s go and have fun just the two of us.

The whole drama this guy has been pissing me off with his backcountry hick ajusshi antics (cooking kimchi noodle soup in the hotel’s hot water kettle, etc. etc.) but today he was actually… adorable.

This drama has its poignant moments but not quite enough to rescue it from its otherwise depressive and meandering story line, hence the low ratings. The last few episodes are really picking up in terms of plot and script, but I had to sit through the first 9 hours during which I intermittently felt like stabbing myself and packing it in. This is why I never devote my undivided attention to a drama (I’m usually post processing at the same time) unless there’s some serious eye candy in it.


Exhibit 3: A copy of Walden, by Henry David Thoreau

R. and I both started reading Walden in the beginning of our relationship. It takes a certain amount of solitude to grow fond of Walden, and our relationship was a vessel where we could put both our isolations while keeping them separate, like water and oil. We were living together, but decided to sleep in different rooms, both reading Walden before falling sleep. It was our proxy: our bodies were separated by the wall in between our rooms, but our minds were converging towards the same ideas. By the time we broke up, neither of us had finished. Nevertheless, we continued reading it.

From the Breakup Museum in Zagreb. I gather this is a new-ish development? Because the last time we were in Zagreb we didn’t bother seeing much/any of it except the wall of graffiti near the bus station. I still remember a very sweet old man giving us some danishes while we were wandering around near the bakery at the bus station. Looking lost? Homeless? Penniless? We were not very self-aware at the time.

I wonder if having a partner makes you travel more, rather than less. If you had to travel alone and foot the cost of a hotel alone etc. would that be too cost-prohibitive? Including all the planning you had to do, alone? And all the eating in restaurants in foreign places, alone? I’ve done my fair share of solo travelling and always found it delightful. But then again, it takes a certain amount of solitude to grow fond of Walden.

Last night we talked about how the outliers in social ineptitude rarely have their friends tell them to their face that they are being dicks. I guess to wit I do not recall an instance where I have directly told a friend that. I generally just don’t make friends with such people. Perhaps the more impressive phenomenon is the friends of said dicks (let’s call them FOD for short), who are nice enough to hang out with them at length without complaining or being turned off. Wouldn’t they then be the ideal friend? Super tolerant and always encouraging. Even in amity the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. One of these FODs actually sent me a Christmas card last Christmas without my sending him one! Thanking me for hosting him for a meal last year. That was the sweetest thing ever.

The amazing thing about the Singapore gossip mill is that everybody kinda-sorta knows everybody else (even nominally) in a given social circle. So that allowed us to distill concretely several examples of Ds and FODs :P which I think yields better analysis. This is the main benefit I have found in going to the right schools. Better gossip.

latest book

So Yishun Library just opened while we were here and I homed in directly on their singlit section. Nobody else showed much interest except a young boy who was there poring through the Singapore Ghost Stories. I picked up an anthology – Under One Sky, and so far the most brilliant thing I have seen in it is this:

2018-02-05 13.59.15.jpg

So cute. I confess the shorts translated from Chinese were lost on me (even after translation!) in that I did not see the point of some of them but I did like the one with the paper menagerie. I read it at the dentist and almost cried right before it was my turn to be seen, which would have made the dentist understandably antsy if his patient were in tears before her teeth were even fiddled with.

The ones translated from Malay were also meandering with not much of a concrete plot, just themes woven together to evoke certain moods. So this poem is still my favourite. Yishun Library is super snazzy now with little reading nooks (with individual lights you can turn off and on), loads of magazine cubbies, and a ton of people already using it; it was as if it was never closed (I went on opening day).

Northpoint has also become a veritable food haven with restaurants I actually like! Of course after 20 odd years of living in Yishun they only decide to up their game when I am about to move away. There’s Din Tai Fung, Sushi Tei, London Duck, Canton Paradise, 4fingers/Bonchon/Jinjja chicken – three korean fried chicken establishments. We don’t even have one in Seattle and there are now THREE in Yishun.

Of course even with all those restaurants I asked X to venture further with me to Yishun Park where there is a famous har cheong gai. Our JC music teacher joined us (since we all live in the north) and he finally got a free meal out of us in exchange for the torture we subjected him to back in JC. I used to go over his notes and worksheets with green and red squiggly lines for spelling/grammatical errors and bounced them back to him. After the rather excellent Ah Tan chicken wings we took a bus back to Northpoint and he gave us a most uninformative tour of the place in which he basically pointed at restaurants and said “So here’s some food” and “There’s some more food…”

Of course halfway through he tried to get me to quit my job and to join him and X at MOE teaching music/planning the music syllabus, and also to help him screenwrite some of the shorts he wants to film/produce since he thinks my language skills are decent and we have established that his sucks. Every time I meet this guy or talk to this guy the odds of being asked to do creative work for him (for free, in my limited spare time) are very high. He thinks I’ve been wasting my life away studying math but I showed him my wooden adult mobiles (he has a v. strange brain in which he doesn’t know many words or technical terms for objects, in this case ‘mobiles’, but once I namedrop Alexander Calder we both reset to the same page. So one sorta needs to know how to hack his brain before any comms can be established.) and baby origami mobiles and he thinks I should sell them on Carousell under the Baby Toys section. He says that they will sell (I never doubted that) from $50-$100 apiece, but I have barely had any time to actually make some for commercial purposes (even though I have already designed a logo for my etsy shop, but that’s about as far as I’ve got :P). So far I have only made 3? for young kids that I actually know (or whose parents I know), and one for ourselves. He still has our work and the H3 projects we did in 2007 in his cubicle! Crazy! Is he a hoarder? I barely remember what I wrote back then.

In fact the other day Z told me his mum found a review I wrote of the book she gave me for my birthday last year and I could hardly remember that I wrote any such thing.  It has not even been a year since  I posted that. I don’t normally review books since I’m not really interested in reviewing books but that lady made me so pissed off with her rhetoric that I gave her a one star on Goodreads and basically warned everybody off buying her book. Which I guess was not the best thing for Z’s mum to find considering it was her gift :P Apparently I had written three extremely harsh paragraphs taking the entire thing apart and she got his entire family to read the review and they were all bemused. I felt bad after Z told me so went back to see what I wrote but everything was justified so I stopped feeling bad really quick :P

The Seven Friendships

They were friends from the first look
the first day of work and friends
they would remain. Not lovers.
Never, though they thought of things
to whisper about all day.
At night, when they sat at home
hunting for something to say
to their actual lovers,
they longed to be back at work,
where the home life they described
to each other seemed larger,
funnier, more colorful.

They were playful as gods and,
at the same time, serious.
Once, in a car, on the way
to a conference, they worked out
the seven possible forms
of friendship between people
who aren’t related by blood.

First: the fortunate friendship
of two who feel equally
attached but not attracted
to each other. No desire.
Instead, equilibrium,
a reliable membrane,
keeps them wholly separate
while holding them together.

You can always tell these two
in the kitchen: they can share
a cutting board — two different
sharp knives chopping two different
vegetables, and no one gets
in anyone else’s way.

Second: the friendship founded
on suppressed desire. All
the accessorizing takes
the place of real nakedness.
The servant’s invocations
to his master; the master’s
adulation of the slave.
Michael Jackson / Liz Taylor —
yes — Regis and Kathie Lee.

Letter writers are the third,
their correspondence floating
safely above and beyond
their problematic bodies
like a vial of scented oil.
They use each other without
apology — an excuse
to shape the simplest moment
into something memorable
ending with “Write soon, write back,”
that frank plea for affection.

Then there is the electric
communion that’s awakened
between two people vastly
different in age, like the
dowager one of them knew
who’d had to wait ’til she reached
ninety to meet a young child
she recognized as herself,
the adventuress she’d been.
At long last, the right playmate!

Fifth: the fireproof friendship
that has survived desire.
This includes all the ex-wives
and ex-husbands whose shared grief
unites them as love could not.
They drift back to each other,
grateful for a cup of tea,
for someone who remembers
that their first dentist in Troy
collected brass hose nozzles.

Next, a love of argument —
not bickering or nagging,
but the brainy brakes-without-
pads kind of arguing, no
attachment to conclusions,
no transparent right and wrong,
just the delirious pleasure
of competing for airspace
with someone you trust never
to take you personally.

And the seventh form? Friendship
based on the exchange of gifts,
preferably ridiculous.
Someone would get the idea
to buy odd salt and pepper
shakers, and once he’d purchased
the first set, a whole history
of silliness could begin.

That was when they stopped counting
and pulled off the interstate
on the way to the conference.
They found a small antique store,
Junkian Analysis —
really! — and in the windows
pairs of perfectly ugly
salt and pepper shakers shaped
like airplanes and bowling balls,
Roy Rogers and Dale Evans.
They liked the ceramic clams,
the Taj Mahal in Bakelite;
they loved the milkglass cabbage,
the jaguars, the shooting stars,
the stainless state of Vermont
side by side with New Hampshire.

A lovely poem in an equally lovely collection by Erica Funkhouser I found in a used book store in San Diego.
How nice to think of you and another suspended in equilibrium, at once together and apart by a membrane. Like larvae in an egg sac, snug and with nowhere to go. It reminds me of Katherine Mansfield’s

We might be fifty, we might be five,
So snug, so compact, so wise are we!
Under the kitchen-table leg
My knee is pressing against his knee.

We started packing for our annual trip back today. Z is an excellent packer, loads of plates and bowls were tucked away into spaces I did not know existed. We usually try to concentrate on bringing back ceramics/glass since the rest can be shipped home with negligible damage. The house is a mess, and despite that I have asked Zh to come over on saturday to play gostop with me since I have huge withdrawal symptoms ever since Hr left. It was very nice to pick up where we left off (in 2015!!!) and to think that we might be back in Singapore at the same time for several years. Especially since a certain someone has informed me of tentative plans to move to Sardegna soon after we return to Singapore. What is that about even?! It’s almost as if she can’t bear to exist in the same country as me. How rude.

Z is reluctant to ever move again once we move back :P We will see how that goes. He says if I insist on moving away again he will sell all of my stuff and my painstakingly collected plates. We all know how successful he has been at getting his way in the past, so I’m not exactly worried about that.

Apparently I might make a return trip (alone) later this year to check on the renovations and he just realized that he will a) starve and b) have no one to bug. I haven’t decided if it’s nice to have someone depend on you for stuff. One the one hand it is nice to be needed/appreciated but on the other it’s kind of a pain to have to keep thinking ahead and preparing for meals. When I am left to my own devices and alone I’d usually resort to takeout :P Or reheating some junk in the freezer.

We got a free hunk of raclette on Sunday and that made me really happy. Granted, it’s American raclette but still. Free raclette!

I would love to visit an antique store called Junkian Analysis! So cute. Z has similarly corny names for all kinds of things – his dream Indian restaurant would be called Second to Naan, and his dream shellfish restaurant would be called Pot de Clam.

Is it weird to have a kid just so you’d have a third person to play Go Stop or other board games with? I think the returns are too low, it would take 14-15 years before that kid is old enough to understand the board games that we play (I had to check the age ratings of our board games once) and it would probably take less than a year for me to resent that kid for taking up too much of my time/attention/sleep. H recently posted an article on maternal regret and it seems highly worth a read, especially for all those moronic cloistered christian women in Singapore who keep pestering me about having kids or who claim that I will change my mind.

Done (2017)

Books read:
1. The New Yorker 2016 Cartoon Edition
2. The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros
3. Longbourn, Jo Baker
4. The Home-Maker, Dorothy Canfield Fisher
5. The Perfect Hamburger and other Delicious Stories, Alexander McCall Smith
6. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 1, Jeff Kinney
7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 10: Old School, Jeff Kinney
8. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 5: The Ugly Truth, Jeff Kinney
9. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 4: Dog Days, Jeff Kinney
10. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 6: Cabin Fever, Jeff Kinney
11. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules, Jeff Kinney
12. Esio Trot, Roald Dahl
13. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3: The Last Straw, Jeff Kinney
14. Before and After, Matthias Aregui
15. Spoiled Brats, Simon Rich
16. Meditations in an Emergency, Frank O’Hara
17. Eat, Muse, Love; Chua Foo Young
18. Shoulder the Sky, D.E. Stevenson
19. Folding Paper, Meher McArthur
20. The Half Stitched Amish Quilting Club series (Books 1,2,3); Wanda Brunstetter
21. Between Two Seas, Carmine Abate
22. The Amish Millionaire series (Books 1,2,3,4,5,6); Wanda and Jean Brunstetter
23. Sarah’s Choice (Brides of Lehigh Canal #3), Wanda Brunstetter
24. Wild Horses (Sadie’s Montana 1); Linda Byler
25. Keeping Secrets (Sadie’s Montana 2); Linda Byler
26. The Disappearances (Sadie’s Montana 3); Linda Byler
27. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 11; Jeff Kinney
28. Absolutely on Music; Haruki Murakami, Seiji Ozawa
29. Bit Rot; Douglas Coupland
30. The Illustrated Book of Sayings: Curious Expressions from Around the World; Ella Frances Sanders
31. Orbit: Poems; Cynthia Zarin
32. The Lesson; Suzanne Woods Fisher
33. Every Good Deed and other stories; Dorothy Whipple
34. The Moving Toyshop; Edmund Crispin
35. Losing it; Emma Rathbone
36. Meddling and Murder; Ovidia Yu
37. Washington Driver’s Guide
38. Crazy Rich Asians; Kevin Kwan
39. China Rich Girlfriend; Kevin Kwan
40. Rich People Problems; Kevin Kwan
41. The Frangipani Tree; Ovidia Yu
42. We were always eating expired things; Cheryl Julia Lee
43. Princess in the Spotlight; Meg Cabot
44. Princess in Love; Meg Cabot
45. Princess in Waiting; Meg Cabot
46. Princess in Pink; Meg Cabot
47. Princess in Training; Meg Cabot
48. Party Princess; Meg Cabot
49. Sweet Sixteen Princess; Meg Cabot
50. Valentine Princess; Meg Cabot
51. Princess on the brink; Meg Cabot
52. Princess Mia; Meg Cabot
53. Forever Princess; Meg Cabot
54. Royal Wedding; Meg Cabot
55. Princess Lessons; Meg Cabot
56. From the notebooks of a middle school princess; Meg Cabot
57. Alice in the know; Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
58. One more thing; B.J. Novak
59. The Grooming of Alice; Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
60. Royal Wedding Disaster; Meg Cabot
61. Alice on the outside; Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
62. Alice on board; Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
63. A Week in Paris; Rachel Hore
64. The Book of Snobs; D.J. Taylor (husband of Rachel Hore)

Now reading: Lapham’s Quarterly: Home, Chatsworth; Balik Kampung; Nathan Hawthorne – Tanglewood Tales,

Dramas completed:
1. Feast of the Gods (2012)
2. Goblin (2016/17)
3. Legend of the Blue Sea (2016/17)
4. Happy Together (1999)
5. Queen In Hyun’s Man (2014)
6. Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim (2016/17)
7. We Got Married (Jjongah)
8. High School King of Savvy (2014)
9. My Princess (2011)
10. Autumn in my heart (2000)
11. Summer Scent (2003)
12. Hwarang (2017)
13. Strong Woman Do Bong Soon (2017)
14. What happens to my family? (2014)
15. High Society (2014)
16. Ms. Perfect (2017)
17. Sirius (2012)
18. Reply 1988 (2015)
19. Dummy Mommy (2012)
20. Misaeng
21. Moonlight drawn by clouds (2016)
22. She was pretty
23. Oh My Ghost
24. Fight for my way (2017)
25. Suspicious Partner (2017)
26. You’re the best, Lee Soon Shin!
27. Descendants of the Sun
28. Emergency Couple
29. The Prime Minister and I
30. Witch’s Romance
31. Time Slip Dr. Jin
32. The King Loves
33. Wang’s Family
34. Kill me, Heal me
35. Pasta (2010)
36. Saimdang, Light’s Diary
37. I remember you/Hello Monster (2014)
38. Shopping King Louis (2016)
39. Reply 1997
40. The King’s Face
41. While you were sleeping (2017)
42. Temperature of Love (2017)
43. Rascal Sons
44. Innocent Man
45. Black (2017)
46. Royal Gambler
57. Trot Lovers

Now watching: Temptation (2014)

Movies watched:
1. Eun Gyo
2. 500 Days of Summer
3. 50/50 (set in Seattle! but majority filmed in Vancouver)
4. The Night Before
5. Tough as Iron
6. Mood Indigo
7. The Walk (2015)
8. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
9. Maid in Manhattan
10. Clueless
11. Bounty Hunters
12. Enemies in law
13. Dad for Rent
14. Pride and Prejudice (1995)
15. Lady in the Van
16. Sense and Sensibility
17. Jane Eyre
18. Midnight Diner 2
19. Totoro
20. Obsessed
21. Bride Wars
22. Arthur (1981)
23. A Werewolf Boy (2012)
24. The Third Way of Love
25. Almost Famous
26. Arthur 2: On the rocks
27. Fate (2008)
28. Casa Amor
29. It could happen to you
30. Eloise at the Plaza
31. The Servant
32. Arthur (2011)
33. The Princess Diaries
34. Eloise at Christmastime
35. 10 things I hate about you (filmed in Seattle!)
36. The housemaid
37. Fever Pitch (2005)
38. She’s all that (1999)
39. Valley Girl (1983)
40. The King
41. The Great Gatsby
42. Chinese Puzzle
43. The Meddler
44. The Great Gilly Hopkins
45. Mona Lisa Smile

Now watching:

Games played:
1. Monopoly Deal
2. Terra Mystica
3. Dominion
4. Lords of the Waterdeep
5. Sushi Go
6. 80 points
7. Bang
8. Code Names
9. Blokus
10. Red Se7en
11. Through the ages
12. Go Stop

Piano pieces learnt:
1. Etude Op. 10 No. 3 ‘Tristesse’, F. Chopin
2. Fantasiestucke Op. 88 (piano part), R. Schumann

Black Friday 2017

I did better this year! Didn’t shop at Pottery Barn or Memebox (on account of it closing down :P)

Innisfree haul: $91.38
Black Friday 2017
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Santa string art kit ($4)

Black Friday 2017
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Rudolph string art kit ($4)

Black Friday 2017
Limited edition christmas kit ($35) with

Black Friday 2017
all these cute christmassy boxes!

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Super cute santa cushion case:
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Black Friday 2017

Random samples:
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White linen body wash ($10)

Black Friday 2017
Peach body lotion ($10)

Black Friday 2017
Camellia shampoo ($11)

From the University Book Store sale: $90.15
Black Friday 2017
Venetian paper ($2.54)

Black Friday 2017
Green leaf paper ($0.82)

Black Friday 2017
Red gelly roll pen ($0.97)

Black Friday 2017
Cactus bookmarks ($4.46)

Black Friday 2017

Black Friday 2017
Soap for naps ($7.46)

Black Friday 2017

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Soap for yuge mistakes ($7.46) (for ggy’s birthday)

Black Friday 2017

Black Friday 2017
Soap for a man’s man ($7.46)(for Haaken’s birthday)

Black Friday 2017
Lapham’s Quarterly Fall 2017; on music ($19)

Black Friday 2017
Ambrosia; Mexico City ($19)

Black Friday 2017
Hannah Viano notebook for z at some point ($12.71)

Black Friday 2017
Bargain books

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For Joy’s birthday

Books from Half Price Books: $16.47
Black Friday 2017
Everyman’s Classic Haiku ($5.99)

Black Friday 2017
Pablo Neruda’s Love poems ($4.99)

Black Friday 2017
Kanshi ($3.99)(for Z’s dad)

From Amazon:
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Trying to start on my penguin great food collection ($4.97)

Black Friday 2017
Another birthday present for ggy ($10.87)

Black Friday 2017
Lots of great recipes here ($11.06)

Not featured: Our new 6qt 9-in-1 instant pot that retailed for $74.99 on Cyber Monday! It’s back to $120 now :S. Just in time for soup weather. We’ve already made peanut soup and bak ku teh in it. Will work on a bolognese next.

From B&N: $67.32
Black Friday 2017
The amazing artful baker ($29.11)

Black Friday 2017
Dominique Ansel’s book! ($22.68)

Black Friday 2017
Book for XY’s mum :P ($15.53)

From Wander: $23.30
Black Friday 2017
Finally gonna get to try their dual ended concealer

Black Friday 2017
Supposedly has great coverage. I haven’t opened it yet. Trying to clear some older concealer.

From Yesstyle: $55.53
Black Friday 2017
They do stationery! But without envelopes? what’s up with that :S

Black Friday 2017
Pink baby’s breath ($2.81)

Black Friday 2017
Pretty affordable foot peeling masks ($4.23)

Black Friday 2017
This one’s $4.28

Black Friday 2017
Geometric earrings ($3.78)

Black Friday 2017
These look a little like the mobile I’ve been making ($5.72)

Black Friday 2017
Holika Holika cotton scented hand cream ($5.15)

Black Friday 2017
Peri pera velvet lip tint in Elf rose ($6.17)

Black Friday 2017
Shiseido lip balm ($4.62)

Black Friday 2017
Etude House Dear Darling Apricot Tint ($5.39)

Black Friday 2017
It comes in the cutest little popsicle bottle

Black Friday 2017
Etude House Play 101 contour stick ($11.26)

Black Friday 2017
I actually finished my Pony Effect simon pure lip tint last year! It has a pretty nice colour. Doesn’t really stick though. ($6.17) – this was so much cheaper than what I got it for last year!

Trader Joe’s:
Black Friday 2017
New coffee and tea chocolate passport! ($9.90) It’s pretty good. Not quite for the chocolate aficionado, but for the tea and coffee drinker

An old haul from Michael’s:
Black Friday 2017
They’re about $8 a tube, and I got one on a discount for $3.49. I generally buy these with no plans but they recently came in very handy for my luggage tag and bookmark project! I recently got a laminating machine from Amazon so have been preserving japanese maple leaves.

An old Metropolitan Market haul:
They were having a 20% sale on homewares
Black Friday 2017
Adorablest thing ever ($3.99)

Black Friday 2017
Leaf sauce dishes ($6.38)

Black Friday 2017
A larger leaf dish ($7.19)

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A Christian Lacroix notebook ($14.99)

From Anthropologie’s 30% off everything sale: $76.21
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Suite One Studio sugar bowl

Black Friday 2017

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Suite One Studio’s newer dessert plates

Black Friday 2017
Anatomy of a fragrance travel set

Black Friday 2017

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Keat’s Truth and Triumph soap

Black Friday 2017
Ginger flower soap on clearance

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Blue tea towel with gold details

Chocolates from Neuhaus: $35
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Found the only box with a jade ganache piece

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These are so good! And so affordable.

Total: $557.27
Not including: the new oneplus 5t I got for LZ for passing his general exam! One plus doesn’t believe in BF or Cyber Monday sales though :S but given their specs their price is really really worth it. Can’t wait to put together the string reindeer and santa! We put up the christmas lights yesterday and brought out the tiny little christmas tree.

Kids’ books

You can never go back – on loving children’s books as an adult, says

Handy found a means to circumvent the social inconvenience of haunting library kid’s sections, though: having kids of his own.

this, while a pretty good reason to have kids, seems to be extending social inconvenience to an inconvenience that permeates all aspects of life. I’d rather haunt the children’s section alone like a creepy stalker, thanks very much. Most people probably do assume I am checking out books for my kids. I don’t know why so many people (particularly in church or family) seem to be overly interested in our offspring. Someone recently mistook an instagram post for a baby announcement. Most friends who know us know how anti-natalist we are and would never assume such a thing. So there is a clear divide between our close friends and all the other people who are the instagram audience and two different things are being communicated all the time.

I’ve recently started reading One More Thing, by B.J. Novak – it got off to a slow start with an alternative hare and rabbit tale (I am not a fan of fables, with all their moralizing) but got subsequently much better with “‘The Something’ by John Grisham” in which one of John Grisham’s books mistakenly gets released with the publisher thinking that ‘The Something’ was the title he wanted instead of just a placeholder for his typical lofty titles, which he hadn’t had time to come up with yet. John Grisham found out that his book ‘The Something’ was number one on best seller lists in his newspaper and shit hit the fan :P Almost Simon Rich-esque. Harvard must be doing something right.

Been too lazy/busy to start on christmas cards (and I really should, if I want to send them out at all) – instead I’ve been busy making luggage tags with Japanese maple leaves and my new Amazon Basics laminator. I looked up whether or not I could relaminate something (that had little air pockets) twice and this forum that told me I could (and I did) also informs on how laminating machines are not allowed in schools without excessive checks and then devolved completely into a principal bitchfest. “Is your principal my principal? Because…”

In other news, made 12 inarizushi today with a little packet of onigiri spices I brought back from Japan (you just mix it into the rice with sushi rice vinegar etc.) and tuna mayonnaise in the middle and inhaled like 10 of them throughout the course of the day. Got a huge inari craving yesterday while we were at uwajimaya. I’m all out of sushi vinegar though so can’t get my next fix until we go to the asian supermarket.

The ending of the article:

Handy ends his survey of child lit with E.B. White, whose terse brilliance has yet to be surpassed; he was similarly successful at writing for adults. The grand tear-jerking finale of Charlotte’s Web is technically the spider’s quiet death, but I’ve always struggled most with Fern’s declining interest in Wilbur the pig’s survival. She’s grown too invested in riding the Ferris wheel with a boy named Henry Fussy. White “doesn’t condemn her for it,” Handy notices approvingly, since “Fern’s interest in boys is as natural and inevitable as the change of seasons.” White doesn’t wish to stunt his heroine’s growth like other children’s authors might (C.S. Lewis infamously shamed Susan Pevensie for leaving Narnia behind in favor of lipstick and nylons when she came of age).

I understand Fern’s falling for Henry Fussy. I’ve fallen for more than a few Henry Fussys myself. But her abandonment of unsuspecting Wilbur still hurts me in a way a Henry type never could. I guess it’s the ache of innocence—the kind of ache that doesn’t have anything to do with lust or greed or any dark desire, but with deep-seated childhood fears. I don’t want Fern to leave Wilbur behind, because I feel as though she’s leaving me, moving on from our days of lounging in the barn amongst earthy smells, two lazy friends sat in the sun. At the same time, I know that I am Fern, and I’ve abandoned Wilbur a hundred times over, following the same societal and biological pull of romance and progress. I’ll probably be torn between the two all my life. Maybe everyone is.

Huh. I’d never thought of Lewis’ portrayal of Susan Pevensie as “shaming” but now that I think about it, that’s exactly what it is. I did feel a veneer of disdain toward her while reading the series. Omg all these children’s authors are just playing with my mind.