Thursday, October 27

Smoking = child abuse ?

Today for the second time ever, I heard someone express the idea that parents who smoke in front of their kids should be "done in for child abuse".

My mind boggles.

I understand non-smokers who rant about smokers, I really do. Smoking is unhealthy, it smells bad, it's a bad habit, etc etc etc. Yes, I know all this.

But really.

Equating smoking with child abuse ? Nope, no way, no how. In fact it's pretty damn offensive to all the great parents out there who just so happen to smoke, and who are raising happy, well adjusted, self confident children.

My father smoked. He also taught me the difference between right and wrong, a sense of personal responsibility, gave me self-confidence, taught me to read and love books, to take an interest in the world at large - I could go on and on.

The fact that he died of lung cancer at 53, when I was 20, is punishment enough for his addiction, wouldn't you think ?

Should he really be tarred in memoriam with the same brush as the people who molest and beat their children ?

For fuck's sake.

Tuesday, October 25

random pet peeve

People who complain about anchovies in their Caesar salad.

If it doesn't contain anchovies in some way, shape or form, it isn't a real Caesar, OK ? It's like complaining about tuna in a Niçoise, or apples in a Waldorf.

Friday, October 21


So we're expecting guests for the weekend. They arrive from Japan in, oh, about an hour.

Thing is, we've never met. They are friends-of-a-friend.

Having guests stay here is a Big Deal, because there is no spare bedroom, only a pull-out couch in the living room. You have to go through the living room to get to and from our bedroom to the rest of the appartment. So getting up early in the morning, or in the middle of the night for a pee or a glass of water involves tip toe-ing past the sleeping guests. Therefore although I am quite hospitable (I like to think so, anyway!), usually the only people who come to stay are family members or very, very close friends.

And I like my space and privacy. Really, if there was an extra room here I would gladly offer it to acquaintances, friends-of-friends, even people-that-I-chat-with-on-the-Internet but have never met in real life. But there isn't.

Strangely enough though I am looking forward to it. They seem nice. They've never been to Europe before and want to visit lots of museums and do interesting stuff in Paris. Since I love, love, love this city and all it has to offer it will be fun to play tour guide.

Hey, maybe I'll even go up the Eiffel tower again.

(S being a much nicer person than I am, he has taken hospitality as far as going to pick them up at the airport. Bless him.)

Tuesday, October 18

religieuse ecstasy

Lunchtime today.

A woman eating alone.

Early thirties, good looking, well dressed in an austere kind of way - black turtleneck sweater and black tailored pants. Hair pulled back, eyeglasses with a square-ish frame.

She had a salad.

And then ordered dessert. The waitress brought a religieuse au chocolat. A religieuse is sort of like an eclair, but shaped differently. Imagine 2 puff pastries, a big one with a smaller one perched on top of it, sort of like a snowman. Filled with chocolate cream, and covered with chocolate icing. An old fashioned dessert.

Well, the woman's face lit up. She beamed. She grinned. She was almost giggling to herself as she took her first bite.

Was she on a diet, and was that the only sweet she would eat all month ?
Did it remind her of Sunday afternoons at a tea room with her grandmother, or perhaps a favorite aunt ?

Who knows. It made me happy to watch her eat.

Monday, October 17

RW Apple, Jr.

I want that man's job.

Last week there were 2 articles written by this guy in the travel (or was it dining?) section of the New York Times. One was about eating out in Shanghai. The other was about genuine English restaurants in London.

Yesterday I was browsing through the NYT website again and noticed that the lucky Mr. Apple had been eating his way through the best Thai food in Bangkok.

So Mr. Apple travels to vibrant and exciting cities, samples the glorious local cuisine, and then is paid to write about the experience.

Come to think of it, Mr. Apple regularly mentions his wife Betsey in his articles. She obviously travels with him and is his most frequent dining companion. Never mind wanting his job, it's hers I'm really after...

Sunday, October 16


Yesterday, I bought half a kilo of parsnips for S. Because there is nothing quite like a gift of root vegetables to show a man you love him.