I blame Clooney

My whole life I never heard the word Nespresso, and then all of a sudden everyone was talking about it, gushing superlatives and telling us we just HAD to try it. Well, we are nothing if not susceptible to peer pressure, so we'd been chic and European (and engaged!) only about a week before we realized that what we needed to be even more chic and even more European was to BE those people talking and gushing about it. So we did a little bit of research, visited the Nespresso store, and brought home our very own machine (the CitiZ Slim in Titanium Grey, if you're wondering).

Don't know what the hell I'm talking about? Go here. Or watch this.

I am not a coffee drinker. I have always hated the taste of coffee, except in tiramisu form. The summer I was 14 I went through a brief misguided coffee-drinking period, in which (here's the peer pressure again) a girl I admired convinced me that drinking coffee was cooler. That was also the summer I became a vegetarian (that lasted 2 whole years!) and boycotted Gillette (that lasted only until I needed more shaving cream). I was not myself. Since then I have abstained completely from coffee, instead ordering hot chocolate or chai from Starbucks, relatively firm in my conviction that coffee tastes disgusting. Even though CameraMan is very much a coffee drinker, in that "can't get going in the morning without it, in fact don't even bother attempting a normal conversation with him before he's had it" kind of way,  I couldn't do it.

And then the Nespresso machine came into our home, and changed everything. A shot of freshly brewed espresso at a low Intensit├Ąt, mixed with a generous pour of frothy milk and a spoonful or two of sugar, is a revelation. CM and I quickly developed our morning routine, standing together companionably in the kitchen, with him in charge of coffee and me in charge of milk…heaven. I'm working up to more intense espresso, less milk, and less sugar, but for now I could not be happier to have suddenly developed into a coffee drinker.

WienerLover had a few friends over yesterday for homemade pumpkin pie and Nespresso drinks (see, now everyone is doing it). His apartment was just about the coziest thing ever, with the smell of pie wafting through the air and the heat from the oven making us warm and toasty. And then there was my espresso with milk and sugar, which I haven't had since I left Vienna. I was suddenly blindsided by an intense wave of homesickness, for CM, for Vienna, for our life together, which we were just starting to figure out when I had to leave. I'm so ready to get back to all of it—only 2 more months to go...

On the bright side, I can now (belatedly) definitely cross this off my list:

86. Learn to like coffee.

In other news, after a lifelong aversion to mushrooms I just discovered I love them. I'm a whole new girl.

But don't get your hopes up, pickles. Your time may never come. Blech.

Video amazingness

I thought everyone had seen this, but apparently not, so just in case you haven't....

This Saturday brought to you by peppermint hot chocolate, smoked meats, massages, and friendship.

Happy extra hour weekend!

Dearest readers, what are you up to this weekend? Will you be putting that extra hour to good use? I have a jam-packed weekend planned (around 2 Butterfly performances). I'm taking suggestions for what to see on a movie date with CaliBoy Sunday night—seen anything great lately?

In the meantime, it's been a long time since I've shared links...

I heart Ira Glass.

This is one of the most delicious things I have made, ever. It might convert even the most vehement brussels sprouts naysayers. This wasn't half bad either.

I found a NYC sublet! Yay!!! Thanks to this.


I'm on the hunt for the perfect grey boots for winter. These are pretty close, but the blue zipper weirds me out (right?). What are you hunting for these days?

Hope your weekend is filled with crisp weather, lazy mornings, and peppermint hot chocolate! xoxo LMB

In which I live to procrastinate another day

Readers, I'm going to let you in on a shameful/disgusting secret: I have not been to the dentist in (mumble mumble) years, since way back when I could still be claimed as a dependent on my parents' insurance. No checkups, no teeth cleaning, no nothing since then. I know: ewwwwwwwww.

And the irony of that is, I've been paying for dental insurance this WHOLE time, and I still didn't go. I don't have a pathological fear of the dentist or anything, though I definitely wouldn't say I enjoy it particularly, except for that one time when they gave me the really good drugs. It's just one of those things that slipped through the cracks once I became an adult and wasn't being regularly reminded by my mother, like writing thank you notes and eating vegetables.

So today was the big day, the day I finally bit the bullet and worked up the courage to walk into a dentist's office, sit in that chair, hang my head in shame, and let a stranger put his hands in my mouth.

I had pictured this moment many times, in which the dentist snapped his latex gloves menacingly and threw around phrases like "root canal" and "gum disease," all while shaking his head in disgust.

What he actually said was: "Well, it's not as bad as it could be. No cavities, so you'll just need a good cleaning."


I'm not sure what message the Universe is sending me here, but I'm pretty sure it's not FLOSS REGULARLY AND HAVE YOUR TEETH PROFESSIONALLY CLEANED TWICE A YEAR.

I guess the wake up call will have to wait for another day.

Puppy love

I'm having cat withdrawal something fierce. Oh, there are the occasional adorable pictures (although whatever happened to Caturday, am I right?) and Skype sightings of the Bossy Cat, but none of it is enough to fill the cat-shaped void in my heart.

So I'm transferring all my love and affection to friends' dogs. Turns out, although I am by no means a "dog person," when the dog is cat-sized or smaller, it'll do in a pinch.

Enter Millie.

Isn't she just the cutest thing you've ever seen (since the Bossy cat, obvs)?!? She is the new puppy of two of my friends, and let me tell you, she is ready for her close-up.

She's lovey, playful, she has the best ears I've seen, and she will sleep on anyone and everyone.

She even dressed up for Halloween, as Suzuki. Her friend Oscar (pictured here with WienerLover) was Cio-Cio San, of course.


What? We never claimed we weren't opera nerds.

Race against the clock

Panic set in today for real. I am leaving in Houston in one week, and not coming back until May. Ack! And in my remaining week here, I have to sell my car, ship clothing to Vienna and Christmas supplies to New York, visit dentists and doctors (since my "in-network providers" will soon be far far away), clean up my Butterfly score and my desk, pack, and visit with all my favorite Houstonians. Oh, and find a place to live in Manhattan for when I get there (DID I MENTION THAT'S IN ONE WEEK?!?).

Sometimes in the face of that kind of pressure I buckle down, crossing off entire to-do lists in one fell swoop, becoming a super-productive version of myself, all with a beaming smile on my face.

This is not one of those times.

In fact, my response to the mounting panic has thus far been to do absolutely nothing. It has become vitally important, for example, to watch every last item in my Hulu queue. And did you know that Better Off Ted is now streaming on Netflix? Neither did I, but now that I do, in my spare time I will be watching every single episode, while doing my best slug impression.

I can't get off the couch, people. It's a problem. Thank goodness this week I have 5 performances and numerous social engagements, because otherwise I might never even sum up the energy to shower. (And lord knows I'm not making the effort to do my hair - ponytails for all!)

It might be time for an intervention. Consider this my official, undisguised cry for help.

Magic Monday

At CameraMan's new job, they put shows on seemingly by magic, sometimes with a total of THREE rehearsals, none of which take place on the stage or include the orchestra. Somehow, it works. Here in the world of mere mortals, I'm used to three weeks in the room, followed by a generous serving of onstage technical and orchestra rehearsals. Of course even with bags of time, a successful opening night often feels like a miracle, but that's another story.

I'm in the midst of a magic miracle of my own at the moment. Tomorrow morning at 10am, the second cast of Butterfly takes the stage for the first student matinee, joining the orchestra for the first time. Their one onstage rehearsal was today, and it has to be said… they kicked some serious a**. Despite a complicated stage deck with lots of steps and a big ramp, despite being responsible for moving a wall at the right time and bringing multiple props on and offstage, despite a lighting plot without followspots (so they HAVE to be in the right place onstage all the time, no fudging), they pulled it off with ease like the pros they are.

And tomorrow morning, in front of a couple thousand children, they'll do it again (knock on wood). We dabble in a little magic over here, too, you see.

Suck it, Europe.


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