Sunday, December 30, 2007

Last days of 2007

Since Christmas, life has stumbled on at a rather slow and languid pace. And I'm really quite liking that! After the hustle and bustle of the last few months with the planning for the charity event, parties and meetings and finally the SFO trip, it's been quite nice to simply do.... nothing!

There has been a lot of lounging around in my new jammies and lots of watching of DVDs - Ronnie Mars, BFG Wedding, The Sound of Music (40th anniversary edition), Gentlemen Prefer Blonds, The Lady name just a few)
I've interspersed the DVD watching with book reading - The Secrets of the Vinyl Cafe, The Glass Castle, Around the world in 80 days (re-read), Miracle on 34th Street (yes- the original book!) and am now on Tic Tok of Oz.

Finally left the comfort and warmth of home last night to meet up with the girls for pre New Year's Eve drinks. Found out that the bookstore on Front Street @ Church was having a mega sale and picked up a few books.

Will be going back tomorrow with a list....and more time to browse!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Unwrapping Christmas

Thanks to the abundant generosity of friends and family, this year's haul included:
  • A pot of poinsettia flowers
  • Veronica Mars DVDs (Season 3)
  • Comic - Asterix and the Magic Carpet
  • A bottle of Zinfandel Rose
  • DVD - My Big Fat Greek Wedding
  • Book - The Glass Castle
  • 2008 The Nutty Bunny Calender
  • A hand painted cloth bag
  • Gold Star dark ale - special from Israel!
  • A hatful of Lindt magic
  • A jade vase
  • A Bodyshop gift bag
  • And finally, (my fav) new "cheeky monkey" comfy flannel PJs!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Recipe for fun with friends @ Christmas!

I decided to try my hand at the delicate art of "sweet making" this Christmas and then realizing that I had not the foggiest clue about anything remotely concerned with the process, I called in re-enforcements; a.k.a Trippy and Shutterbug.

So here's a quick notes version of the events that transpired earlier today:

Step 1: Shutterbug checks to make sure we have all the ingredients we need.

  • 1/2 kg of non sweetened biscuits
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 200 gms drinking chocolate or cocoa powder
  • 2 fistful of minced raisins or plums
  • 4 beaten eggs
  • 3 -4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 bottle of dark rum
Step 2: Powder biscuits. Add sugar, cocoa and minced raisins and mix.

Step 3: Add beaten egg and rum a little at a time and knead into a dough with the butter

Step 3.5: Try to understand how the hand beater works.

Step 3.8: Figure out the hand mixer.

Step 4: Add extra rum if needed to take off the taste of the eggs. More rum the better. (which we did - liberally)

Step 4.5: Give up on the hand beater and decide to use good old (wo)man power! Make funny faces as you knead the dough - it's key!

Step 5: Make mixture into small balls. Or large balls. Whichever floats your boat.

Step 6: Garnish with coconut shavings and and refrigerate for 1/2 hour. You can also use finely chopped nuts (for that delightful balls and nuts combo), or coco power (for a bitter sweet taste)

Step 7: Contemplate afternoon's work.
Note: Finished product may vary depending on quality of ingredients and cooking skills of chefs.

Where are you Christmas?

There's something missing this year.
The spark... the magic... the wonder.... the joy?

I've tried so hard, and yet I feel nothing. It's Christmas eve and it might as well be any other day of the year - I feel just as empty, just as blah.

Perhaps some will say I'm overreacting. But then if you've known me even a little, you'd know just how important Christmas time is for me. There's always been a magical quality to this time of year - and I DON'T mean the presents and the decorations and the blatant consumerism that invades everyone's minds and thoughts since Nov 1 when the malls begin with the Carols.
I'm talking about a kind of quite but powerful feeling of love and friendship and kinship that though exists all year round, is somehow all that more magnified at this time.

That's just gone.

I've decorated the tree, put up lights, hung up rows of Christmas cards, attended parties and wished friends and family and general strangers on the train "Happy Christmas"

But I still feel empty and very lacking.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

More about San Fran

My public demanded, so there are the rest of the trip details:
Day 4, Tuesday Nov 27:
Discovered more little charming things about SFO - like the fact that you can buy transit passes in a Deli store which just happens to be right in the heart of the Castro district! Wandering around 'Frisco's "Man Town" was just a gut wrenching experience for me; All these fine young men all around me and not ONE who'd be interested in giving me a cursory glance even! honestly, moments like that do NO GOOD to a girl's ego!

Walked all over the Mission District and spent a few quite hours wandering around San Francisco's oldest building - Mission Dolores. Built by the Franciscan missionaries in 1791, this little Church that served as a house of prayer and a house of hope for countless has withstood the passage of time and stood firm through not one but two major earthquakes (1906 and 1989) that demolished most of the city.

Met up with Jean at the Asian Art Museum where she works and thanks to her, got in for free and peered around for a bit before closing time.

Day 5, Wednesday Nov 28:

Headed over to the other end of the city to check out the Home of the San Francisco Giants - AT&T Park... formerly known as Bell Pacific Park... formerly known as .....
People really should know better than to name buildings or landmarks after a Corporation. It's painful trying to keep up with who's buying what and who's merged with who etc.
Took a tour of the stadium which is quite new and is a "Classic urban ballpark with an old-time feel and all the amenities of modern ballparks. Inspired by Wrigley Field and Fenway Park and modeled after Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Jacobs Field and Coors Field."

Took my first (of many) Cable car rides from Union Sq. to Grace Cathedral - the beautiful Gothic inspired Episcopal Church that is also the home of the world's first interfaith AIDS memorial chapel.

Day 6, Thursday Nov 29

Tour of Alcatraz Island famous for the State Penitentiary

A quick walk down Fisherman's Wharf - which is really just a Tourist Trap and really quite crass!The sunbathing sea lions are about the only thing worth seeing - and even their incessant barking becomes tedious after the first 3 minutes.

More Cable Car rides and a windy walk down Lombard Street

Discoveries in SF's North Beach district and watching the sun set from the Coit Tower.

Day 7, Friday Nov 30

A long and leisurely walk along Ocean Beach to the start of Golden Gate Park.

A continued walk in Golden Gate Park stopping at the Conservatory

Hot Chocolate and Crepes in the famed Haight-Ashbury district

Day 8, December 1

Drive to Muir Woods with Hemant

Sunset along Pacific Hwy 1

Farewell dinner with Jean, Will and Hemant.

Day 9, Dec 2

Ta Ta San Francisco - it's been swell!

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