Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sunday Recovery and Book Clubs

Another Sunday spent recovering. After a very productive day yesterday; went out to brunch, went to the movies, went shopping, I had an excessive evening– which inevitably destroyed any gleam of hope for doing much of anything today.

He and I went to Brooklyn last night. We were at dinner with two other couples, and the two women are in this book club together. One of the couples is moving to Texas for some PhD thing so they have an opening in the club. B, one of the women, the one who isn’t moving, invited me to join. The great thing is that these friends of ours come from Him – he went to college with B’s husband, and they are all fairly new to me. It would be another great way to meet new women. Anyway – B and I always talk about this book club when we’re drunk – she’s a writer and she’s quiet. This fascinates me – specifically that she’s a writer and has historically said only a few words in my presence. I am one of those people who can walk into a room full of strangers and talk to anyone, and she has always been so quiet around me that I have, on occasion, thought that she simply thought I was an idiot. Only recently has she become talkative to me and I find this a great victory.

But I am really weirded out by bookclubs. First, it sounds very Oprah-esque. Second, it just seems so contrived. Every time I ask someone to describe what it’s like in these meetings, she (as it’s always women) says that it’s a lot of drinking, eating and just hanging out. Is a “bookclub” an excuse to meet up with friends and hang out? Why the required reading then?

I remember when book clubs were truly all the rage, maybe 5 years ago, it was way political. I had several friends, all in different book clubs. They talked about members being kicked out – the emotional challenges of breaking up with your book club because you wanted to go somewhere new.

I don’t know – maybe it’s because I’m consistently unproductive that I’m being critical. It’s the combination of being unproductive and the fear of commitment. Even more – B said that the book they’re on now is the Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan. I mean Come ON! Could you get less fun? I mean, I read the book (or skimmed it) in college but this isn’t some fictional easy fun stuff. This is fairly hardcore. It’s a lot of work!!!!

I’m just going to do it. The reality is that I used to consume books as though they were going out of style. Even though He and I live together we have two subscriptions to the New Yorker – as we eat them up like candy and are very territorial about them. But sadly enough, I can barely finish an issue these days.

I’m going to email her right now and tell her I’m game for the next meeting. And in the meantime, if anyone has any cliff notes on the Feminine Mystique, please let me know.

Speaking of commitment – I am quitting smoking for the 23rd time tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Friday, July 28, 2006

KF takes Chowhound: Enoteca Barbone

Whether this becomes regular or not, we’ll see, but restaurants to us NY-ers, is a critical thing, and must be addressed. Maybe if I become (whisper, clap hands with glee) regularly visited – I’ll move it to the side where most serious bloggers have side discussions. But….

He (a Formal Noun, not a pronoun, for now until I have formulated the best nickname ever) is obsessed with Chowhound. You know, the true foodie website. Obsessed. Ridiculous. Granted, I can’t complain. When we arrive at a restaurant, he knows what we should order, what is the best thing ever, what is terrible. One of the things I love most about him is his obsession with trying new restaurants. And we (or He) always come prepared. Specifically, with a little post-it note that he hides in his pocket. Pulling out only when the coast is clear.

Tonight he knew the maitre d's name. Knew which wine we should order (which they had none of, but knowing wine to order is above and beyond the normal situation).

We went to Enoteca Barbone. Avenue B between 11th and 12th.

We went because it was new, it was Italian, was in the east village (ev and Italian is a good mix) and icing on the cake; this is the new restaurant of John Baron, the former pasta maker/chef/guru at Babbo. We love Babbo. Adore it. So of course we were going to try this place – plus it got rave reviews on Chowhound, which truly doesn’t let us down.

Barbone was okay. I am actually easy to please and this was just okay. The service great. The food and wine, okay. I’ll make it quick.

I got the watermelon, ricotta and caper salad. The watermelon could have been way fresher and the whole thing was really forgettable. For my entrée I got the ricotta, peas and mint gnochi. I usually steer away from gnochi but this was way promoted on said websites. It actually was really good, but spectacular? Eh. He got the asparagus for a starter- also touted as the best thing ever. Was fine. And got the Pappardelle with braised short rib ragu. Found it mediocre.

Net net- this is absolutely no Babbo. Not even Gnocco (which we love and only gets better) – maybe Bianca, which we want desperately to be fantastic but really never is.

Anyway – bill was like $75, the garden was great, the wine sucked (I hate Chardonnay and will never submit to the rationale of ‘it’s not woody California Chardonay’ ever again), the food was good, but no Babbo.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

the first rebirth

so how's that for commitment. i'm still smoking, still not going to the gym, it's been way over a year since mr. curio and i made that pact.

and i still don't know my way around a blog. i feel like my mom when she got hip to the "world wide web" like 5 years ago, or when i thought i was advanced when i started texting like 4 years ago. in any event - i still don't read blogs. other than one, which i'm way too self-conscious to name at this point. first impressions are key and why ruin it in my first, or second, rather, post. i don't know - maybe i just feel like blogs are very myspace- which, with all due respect, is definitely the 21st century version of those weird party chat phone numbers that existed back when i was 16. i hope i'm wrong - i assume i'm wrong

in any event. i got refocused due to a couple of reasons. the first is that i often end up drinking at a bar with a bunch of friends, one of which does this blog which is really good. he's a lawyer, is annoyingly smart, always seems to school me on everything and/or make me feel dumb, reads literally 2 very intellectual books a week (which when he tells me, seems impressive, but now when i write, seems dreadfully lame) and still has time to write a blog that is really freaking good (although not good enough for me to read every day like my cult-like obsession with the other blog i read). the second reason is that i read a lot of i know it's way un-cool, and is kind of like the Fox news of online news sources, but i am a busy working girl and it's just easy. Anyway, i just read this thing on a woman in france who has a blog and it got her fired. something about her trashing her job on her blog, the company figuring it out, etc. of course, given it was on, her server went beserk and it took me three days to get on her blog. i didn't read much, it was actually not that fantastic. and i thought, if she can write lame postings on a lame date she had and people are obsessed with her? i mean, is that what i takes?

so here i am.