Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Kid is Cooking: Lasagna

Easy lasagna recipeSophie's been cooking again. It's one of her favorite pass times. This time she made lasagna - one of my all time favorite dishes.

My stepmom used to make a wonderful lasagna dish with cottage cheese rather than ricotta. I've made it a couple times and it has come out quite well. Today, Sophie was initiated into the lasagna club with her rendition.

The lasagna came out great! Sophie got called into work 33 mins before it was done so she'll find out when she gets back. In the meantime, I've dug in and enjoyed her fabulous creation!

Kids in the kitchen. Always a good thing!

Note: Lasagna seems a bit intimidating, but really its rather easy. Just follow the steps on the side of the lasagna box or Google "Easy Lasagna Recipes" and you're set!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Chatty on Airplanes

air travel to BarcelonaWhen Sophie and I were walking out of the airplane ready to switch planes she started laughing and said how chatty I was on airplanes considering how I'm not much for talking to strangers elsewhere.

On our way to Barcelona, we sat next to this very interesting, pretty 20-something lady reading on airplanesfrom Poland who lives in Atlanta with her boyfriend and his two children and is an Economic student, but plans to return to school to become an oral surgeon who specializes in reconstructive dental work for children. She, her mother, brother and most of the people from her home town in Poland suffer from Graves disease as a result of the winds during Chernobyl. She has a great fear of flying so I talked to her during take off and landing reassuring her that the likelihood of problems were weak as well and if anything did happen we would die almost instantly so we'd never really go through any sort of pain or suffering.

Bilbao Guggenheim GehrySophie took my lead as we were walking on a catwalk in Biblao's Guggenheim and began telling me that if I fell we were so high up that I would just splat and be dead instantly. No the ground wasn't shaking as I began to sink with wobbly legs now holding me tenuously not wanting to hold onto the thin cable wiring as it was far too close to the edge and it was evident a person couldJeff Koons Puppy easily fall to their death. Sophie informed me she was just using the same tactic as I used on the lady on the airplane. I explained that it worked for the lady, so the results weren't the same. I did not take the catwalk again. I believe the Polish lady will fly again perhaps with a little reassurance that once she's up in the air the plane willBathroom at Bilbao Guggenheim probably not fail as the most dangerous times to fly are during take off and landing. While, I will probably not ever take the catwalk at Bilbao's Guggenheim again, at least not with Sophie as that seems to be the most dangerous time.

Bathroom at Guggenheim BilbaoOn the return flight, Sophie's TV wasn't working so she found another seat further back in the plane and I spoke to the 30-something man originally from Barcelona who has lived in LA for the past 16-years. He originally arrived in LA via his student visa attending The Pasadena Art and Design Center for Parc Guell Barcelona Gaudifilm as an undergrad, then UCLA for Fine Arts as a grad. He has kind words to say about UCLA's Fine Arts Program at a Graduate level. He still lives in LA, although he spent the past year-and-a-half in Amsterdam, and works as a video artist. He shows around the city, feels there are more artists in LA than in NY, and screens the works of other video artists from around the world in LA galleries. He went home because his work was part of the Loop Festival which took place in Barcelona while we were there. It also Loop Festival Barcelonagave him time to see his family. He parents flew into town from Northern Spain and his sister is pregnant with her second child. It was an LA art gallery that got him in the show in Barcelona which he found ironic seeing as though it is his hometown. It took him about 10 years to get used to LA. Now he likes it very much. He feels that LA dismisses history and is not tied down by it as many old European cities are. He feels these ties can often bind a city keeping it from progressing as it might otherwise. He also said the French are as bad to the Spanish as they are to other foreigners reconfirming my decision not to attend subject myself to the French during this European visit.

Yes, I enjoy talking to people on airplanes.

Christine Scott Self Portrait

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bathrooms in Paris: Even More at CDG Airport

Carousel motif in Paris BathroomAnd here's the carousel ride free for all to ride in the Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Charles de Gaulle Airport Bathroom
Unlike the conservative, uptight nature of the French populace, the French bathroom design at CDG Airport is fun and light-hearted, colorful and vivid. Too bad you can't say the same for the people of France...

Circus Bathroom Theme
If you think I'm being harsh on the people of France, you clearly haven't spent enough time there. My judgment comes from living there for more than three-and-a-half years and experiencing their condescending nature on a daily basis. Eventually, you just have to face facts. France can decorate a bathroom much better than they can treat people. An odd fact to say about a country that is terribly reliant upon tourism as a source of income.

Bathroom Design in Paris

Bathrooms in Paris: More CDG Airport

marie antoinette bathroom design While France might scoff at the idea of being kind to tourists, Paris takes toilet time and all things related very seriously. France may not think civility high on its list... but bathroom tranquility... now that is essential for all.

airport bathroom designApparently, in Paris, one must feel at peace with the world before, during and after crap-time. Perhaps it is fair to say the French take potty-time as seriously as they do dinner time. Or, it's just as important coming out as it is going in...

Paris Bathroom Design
The new choice of bathroom design at the Charles de Gaulle Airport is bright, fun and vibrant.

Bathrooms in Paris Airport
The time for austere, bland and boring is going. Now is the time for visuals.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bathrooms in Paris: CDG Airport

Crappers in ParisFine whimsical example of France's fun approach to bathrooms at the CDG Paris Airport.

France has begun to cover its public bathroom walls, floors, doors and entry ways with slick themed murals helping to flush the dull drums in Toiletville right down the sh*tter.

CDG Paris Airport Bathroom

Come-Ons and Machine Guns

Sophie: It's kind of creepy when the guy hitting on you is carrying a machine gun... especially when he's serious.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Non Commercial Mother's Day

Yesterday Sophie asked if we could celebrate Mother's Day a day early because her new job asked if she'd work a double shift on Mother's Day. I willing agreed as I don't care when it is celebrated rather just that it is celebrated.

Sophie made me a new set of dreads and put them in for me. That was my gift.

Today, it occurred to me that Sophie has never bought a card or a gift for me. Instead, each year I have received handmade presents and cards.

There was a year when she really wanted to buy me a card. Her argument was that store bought cards were nicer. I clarified my position by stating that no card could ever be more special than one made with love. Stores and consumerism want people to think store bought is better so they don't go out of business and we 'do our part' to stimulate the economy. I, on the other hand, do not subscribe to that rhetoric and know full well the best card or gift is the one my child makes me. The conversation never came up again. I've steadily received cards for all major holidays and gifts (generally jewelry - bracelets and necklaces) for Christmas and my birthday.

My birthday just passed. I received a pop-up card - stemming from Sophie's design class and the pop-up book she recently designed - and a long beaded necklace. For Mother's Day, I've had the joy of tons of compliments on my new dreads which Sophie made and put in yesterday. Celebrating a day early was a great way to go since I've spent Mother's Day being complimented on my fantastic dreads!

Consumerism is overrated. Love isn't...