There is a swarm of thought hornets buzzing around my head and while the noise inside my dome would suggest I need to unload, the reality is that the thoughts are so jumbled that I probably couldn't do so coherently...or without pissing people off. So instead, I'm attempting to calm the hive through patient meditation in the quiet moments of my day, deep cleansing breaths and fun size candy bars. I also stayed up late and watched the Real Housewives of New Jersey last night instead of waiting until the end of the week to play catch up with my DVR. I feel whole again! And civilized!*
Though the thank you notes have been almost been finished and sent off, I can't write a post without expressing gratitude and amazement at my 31st birthday celebration. I got to see people I love, I got to eat delicious food with them, and I got to open some of the most amazing gifts ever. The meal we had at Rustico (off Slaters Lane in Alexandria) was incredible, the service divine and the red velvet cheesecake at the end of the meal...amazing. I had the scallops with creamed corn and fingerling tomatoes, and I'm pretty sure I didn't speak at all once the plate was set in front of me. After the meal I opened so many gifts and cards. I've asked for one thing for years and years. Even though my mom thinks it's a completely meaningless tool, I have always wanted a food processor. And this year, I got one (and I hugged it too)! I also now own an ice cream maker, the complete line of Wilton cake decorating tips, fancy baking pans from Williams Sonoma and a wonderful assortment of gifts from my Aunt Karen including boozey cherries from Germany, chocolate martini making supplies, and a few family heirlooms including my Nanny's glass cruet, a small ceramic fake-sugar jar with an itty bitty spoon and an unopened box of very old straight pins that belonged to my great-grandmother when she worked as a women's tailor at one of Washington DC's first department stores, Garfinckel's. The generosity was completely overwhelming.
Over the weekend we celebrated August birthdays at El Patio in Rockville, which is always a delightful experience. Though I prefer the homemade Argentine cuisine of my mama Maria, a woman I consider my other mother for the past 26 years, I have to say that the casual ambiance of El Patio reminds me of escaping to an outdoor cafe in Europe. The empanadas are pretty tasty and come in a wide variety of flavors, the choripan is ridiculously delicious and the milanesas a la napolitana are quite delectable. Naturally, the relaxing effects of bottle after bottle of Quilmes or one of Argentina's delectable Malbecs helps infinitely. I deeply cherish the fact that I have had the gift of knowing an awesome Argentine family since I was an itty bitty ginger, and that the language, culture, customs and food have all been part of my life. I am also incredibly pleased to be spending so much time with my "sisters from another mister" of late as my Spanish pronunciation and word-recall is intense! One day I will stop blending Spanish and German in my head, however. Having over 15 years of conversational, dialectal Spanish learning before I immersed myself in High German and Swiss German while living in Switzerland full-time did crazy things to my brain. Thank god Latin, which I took in high school, is a dead (spoken) language. Couple all of that with whatever French my grandmother (and my ex-girlfriend) tried to teach me, and I would be a fat, queer, multilingual, short-circuiting Small Wonder.
Despite a fair amount of avoidance coming from somewhere within me, I'm also trying to slowly convince myself that it's time to start thinking about making some new things for Oh Ginger. I've been flipping through magazines and reading blogs voraciously, trying to see what colors are in and how I feel about the different styles and looks available right now. Whatever I do will likely involve felt, linen, wood and stitching. These are textures and techniques that I cannot separate from myself. I will likely ease up on using beads or find ways to use them differently. And I hope to have a few new patterns for Cubicle Art. I'm trying to forgive myself for not finishing projects I set up for the summer months, like the Fireflies mix and stitch project and a few smaller stitching things. I owe it to myself to craft when I want to craft and let life take me where I want to go; it seems the more I pressure myself to do special things, the less likely I am to accomplish them. Hence the quiet progression into the Fall/Winter Oh Ginger line. It's like forcing a round peg into a square hole, really. Another reason why I could never do this full time.
Look for a few new posts in the coming days. I have a few product reviews - books, crafts, movies. And if you haven't already, go watch Crazy Heart. It tugged at my heart in some unexpected ways. I really enjoyed Cynthia Fuchs' review on PopMatters, too.
* I find this to be true regardless of the fact that being civilized was also a line from last night's episode. That show just makes me feel normal.