This turns into this #1

[BEFORE: Look honey, a ceramic head of a man from India complete with turban!]

[AFTER: His head is lunch, complete with turban as salad bowl.]


Happy Birthday Leo!

HSF gets a bit lyrically bold this month. Don't blush!


So charming

I am in love with these small paper sculptures Kyoko Okubo makes from washi.

The greatest night ever -- if you are me

Edited in the harsh light of morning for shameless use of "great." If I am going to be an adjective hussy, I should at least attempt to reach for higher fruit.

It started in a steak house with Monique and Colin. A charming Spanish red and a baked potato.

Next came The Bees at Melkweg. Loved it. Go see them live or buy the newest album "Octopus." Excellent soundtrack to summer or any mellow experience with friends (I am thinking Christmas holiday skiing in the Alps -- but that is Nicola's mellow experience, not mine. I just thought I would try it on for size. And it sort of fits.) At one point I did worry that I was enjoying the band's groove a bit too much and was on the verge of transforming into one of those spinning women at Phish shows, but then I came back to reality.

Then Amy, Rob and guywhosenameIcan'trememberrightnow danced to the DJ that followed the band which is never a bad thing. And I didn't hippie twirl even once.

After the dancing we wound up drinking vanilla shakes from McDonald's and eating FEBO frites. Amy and friend who cannot be named left and Rob went with me to American Book Store so I could buy the new Harry Potter book at 1am. He's a good friend and was strangely excited to witness the weirdness of muggles in capes wandering around Amsterdam in the early morning.

On my bike ride home, I passed two girls with the special Harry Potter bags that came with the book. I called out, "Harry Potter. YEA!" and they answered, "YEA!!!" And then I knew the world is very small and we, the fortunate ones, are able to geek out and be just who we are in the midst of it. Editors note: "Harry Potter. YEA!" That was the best I could do?

An all around stellar night. Some would say great and I would have to agree.


First Amsterdam cold

When you blow your nose using the toilet paper here, you are apt to lose a layer of skin. It is rough! Makes me appreciate triple-layer softness with multiple additions of lotion and a dash of aloe vera Kleenex found in every Target throughout America. Sniff, sniff.

I miss my mommy.


Über staunch

A few weeks ago I introduced my friend Nicola to the wonders of "Grey Gardens." I have been holding off showing the movie to anyone because I feared some of the fabulousness might have been lost over the Atlantic. Not to worry. Not only did she embrace Little Edie, but she also embraced the house rule of wearing a head scarf while it was on. And there was cheese in abundance along with lovely other treats to set the proper tone (though it wasn't any canned pate and ice cream). And "Grey Gardens" was such a success that we followed it up with "Valley of the Dolls" and THEN "Kid Stays in the Picture." Was it excessive? You betcha. Would I do it again? Absolutely. It is wonderful to have a friend here who I know would fit seamlessly in with all the other girls I love. In fact, I have put her forth her nomination to the Boca Broads -- I think she could bring a much needed Barbara Cartland element to the group and she promises to wear chiffon before noon every day.

Things have been busy here. Work is taxing -- good but hard. Every day I hit the wall of ignorance and every day I feel humbled. The next few weeks are going to be interesting as my projects really start moving. The room I work in is filled with fantastic people who have been super welcoming to me. Friday afternoon there was an impromptu gathering on the secret deck outside the department and one of the guys brought out impromptu noise makers. Sounds like a good fit, no?

Tom arrives in two weeks and I have been trying to get things ready for him. This morning I assembled an IKEA wardrobe all by myself and had a mini-panic attack when I realized that I would never be alone in the buying, hefting and assembling of inexpensive Swedish furniture again and, while that is good, that is also sort of sad. Because I like feeling like I can take care of myself and do whatever is needed to make things work and I wonder if I will lose that feeling when Tom is here to take care of me and help make things work. Wow. Being taken care of. What is that going to be like? If you could see my face right now, you would see me grinning like a fool. I don't have to go very deep down to know that it will be wonderful, and I suspect that the minute I see him at the airport, it will be clear that everything will be just fine.