Sunday, October 24, 2010

Silver and Tomatoes

Good Evening, Loyal Readers! It is a Sunday night and I am cozy - but chic! - in casual clothing and one show stopping piece of jewelry. The jewelry to which I refer is shown at left, The Elsa Peretti Tiffany Silver Cuff. I did not purchase this fine piece of sculpted silver. No, it was given to me by someone who had tired of it, had worn it little and was glad to pass it along. I can see why she wore it little - it isn't exactly the most comfortable bracelet on the planet. It does make my arm look sort of elegant, though...

Well, yesterday, Jack and Chris were talking about silver coins and the price of silver (Jack is a budding little coin collector) and I was prompted to weigh the cuff just to calculate what the basic market melt-down value of it was. It weighed about 3.5 oz. The price of silver is about $23 an oz, give or take, making the bracelet worth a paltry $80.50 if I were to sell it for metal. (I wouldn't, but that's not the point.)

But, the retail price of the piece on the Tiffany website is $800.

I just find that absolutely incredible. I can see some kind of mark-up for craft and design - especially if the piece were hand crafted by an artist, which, I suspect this is not. $300 for something of this kind (at the 4th Street Fair, for instance) wouldn't be too too outrageous: $400 if it had more interesting work on it. But, $800?? Crazy. And, Tiffany isn't quite that special anymore, now that it has "chainified", so they have no business asking such a ransom.

Don't get me wrong, Loyal Readers. I am not so outraged that I would toss this lovely bracelet from my collection. That would be just plain silly and counter to your BloomingtonGirl's fashion lust.

In other news, I have been up to my eyeballs (again) in tomatoes this week. We have many pounds of green tomotoes and many many pounds of red. It is a strange thing to be having garden fresh tomatoes in late October, but I really can't complain. They are very delicious.

Over the past few days, I made about a gallon of oven roasted tomato sauce to freeze, green tomato preserves - more like a spiced chutney (yummy) and Sriracha, a (Thai?) chile hot sauce. I canned nine little jars of the Sriracha and it is gooooooood. It has the right balance of heat and pepper flavor. I used a bunch of pretty tired red jalapenos Chris picked a few weeks ago and it was still delicious. I just LOVE when things come out that well.

In other news, I continue to be an absolute biking addict. I didn't even feel well today but got on my bike and had a surprisingly mighty ride. The weather has been so unseasonably warm and dry, so every day is an invitation to ride. It's like flying. Makes me giddy. Absolutely giddy. Did I mention how giddy it makes me?

I mostly ride my road bike but a couple of times a week, I get on my mountain bike and drive myself over to work out at the Y, which is about five miles away. I ride almost all of the way on sidewalks. Why? Because pedaling along on sidewalks never fails to make me feel as if I am nine again, riding over to a friend's house to play. I actually keep the bike in a lower gear than I normally would so I pedal fast, like a little kid. I am not kidding - it makes me feel so joyous. It's the fountain of youth, Loyal Readers. Get on your bike this week and ride on some sidewalks and you will see exactly what I mean. Just thinking about it makes me giggle.

Off to bed. What a great week it has been. Worked on a new play that might actually have some legs and had several good hair days in a row, no small thing for a woman growing her hair out from a pixie cut.

I have such a sweet life. So lucky.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Night at Home

It is a Friday night and I am writing to you after mopping my kitchen floor. Glamourous? No. Satisfying? Mais Oui! Now, I can wake tomorrow to a clean kitchen. I'd say that there is nothing better, but we all know that there are better things, many of them rather unmentionable in polite company.

I spent my day intending to write a Pantoum but ended up writing a grant instead. It's submitted now, so I have no excuse not to write creatively. I don't know why I chose to embark upon a Pantoum. Perhaps it is because I have been reading the wonderful, the inimitable Frank Giampietro's Begin Anywhere, and in it is a poem called "Foreplay Pantoum". Maybe I can start one tomorrow. Or, maybe all I'll do is arrange play dates and make grilled cheese sandwiches for ten year olds. One never knows. Such excitement and suspense in the life of your BloomingtonGirl. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Random Things on a Tuesday Night

Isn't this a cool bike, Loyal Readers? It was made by a company called Independent Fabrication. I don't recall how I stumbled across their site, since I am not in the market for the class of cycles they make and sell. But, the site is full of interesting bikes and the back story of the company and the bios of their people make me want to move to where they are and work for them just to be as cool as they seem to be. Yes, Loyal Readers, Your BloomingtonGirl has not outgrown wanting to be cool. One would think, however, that she would have realized by now that the quest was rather in vain.

I'm off to bed to snug in and read The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen. His insight into people and the American family is stunning and rather disturbing. I wish I could write as he does. I'd settle for a quarter as well, actually.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Warming Up

Happy Monday, Loyal Readers! I am enjoying a delicious Oatmeal Jackson and a cup of coffee as I write. It had been many moon since I made these cookies and I'd forgotten how good - nay, DAMNED good- they are. They are better a couple of days after baking, weirdly enough. But that makes them the perfect cookie for shipping to Loyal Readers and friends.

I decided to post today not because I have anything terribly interesting to say, but because I needed a warm up exercise to get my writing muscles going. I have so many plot sketches swirling around in my little bean but nothing is wrapping itself around a play just yet. It could be that I just don't have any more work in me and that I should go back to baking as a creative outlet. But, I'm not ready to give it up just yet. Today, I am free until late afternoon and am going to use at least a good hour of that time to write something. Maybe a ten-minute piece of some kind.

The morning has been nicely productive. I biked to the Y, worked out with my friend Deb, and biked home. I feel so mighty and happy when I ride my bike. My friend Cindy said it right when she said that biking for her was a "kind of freedom she can't find anywhere else". I agree wholeheartedly. I feel free, young and joyous. It's even better - dare I say it - than a great new pair of boots! (I know! Who is this BloomingtonGirl?)

Well, that's enough of this for now. I'm going to get some work done. I wanted to post some pictures of the lovely parties I attended this weekend but those from the first came out badly and I forgot my camera for the second. Next time...

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

BloomingtonGirl as Biking Babe and Commentary on Trying to be Beautiful

Loyal Readers, your BloomingtonGirl has turned into a regular Biking Babe, now that she has some bee-you-tee-full new jerseys to wear. I did not buy them, Loyal Readers. No, no. I got them for my recent birthday and I couldn't be happier. Okay, two of them were technically ordered by yours truly, but I used a birthday gift certificate (Yay! - I love gift certificates, except when my husband gives them to me and causes me to have -in Jack's words - a nervous breakdown.)

Here are my lovely new fashion statements for your viewing pleasure:

Aren't they all so purty? I have to say that I have developed a lust for cycling clothing that surprises me. Perhaps it is because I am not buying any regular clothing these days or maybe it is just that I have been fatally bitten by the riding bug and am enjoying cycling in a way that I hadn't before. Who knows? I just feel so mighty in my bike fashion as I zoom down the road. I am truly a legend in my own mind. A fashion legend, that is.

If only I'd had my biking gear on when I got stuck standing in line next to the resident supermodel in town the other day at Target, I might have felt just a teeny bit better for those absolutely dreadful five minutes. But no. I was wearing jeans and a bazillion year old flannel shirt. I wore no makeup and my hair was limp and stupid looking. And there she was, also without make-up, hair piled into a cap, skinny jeans, UGHs, a long sleeve T with no bra (yeah, they're perfect and they don't even look a bit fake)...and yet, she was perfectly beautiful in an American textbook way.

How does someone look that good in real life with no airbrushing? And, she's not a youngster, either, I might add.

I realized then that the very beautiful are a slightly different species altogether. And, it was a weird relief to understand it. To feel pressure to look like a model is silly and futile. It would be like trying to be a pretty bird, or perhaps an exotic fish.

You cannot be something you're not, no matter how hard you try, no matter how much "help" you get...

And, the really wonderful thing about it all is that it just does not matter. I wish I had known this twenty years ago, ten years ago, last week, even.

It just does not matter.

For now, anyway. And, if it starts to matter at some point in the future - and I know that it will - I'll just put on my sassy biking gear and go for a ride.