Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hey, Four-Eyes!

I've been a glasses wearer since I was a little kid. I have very few memories of me or my brother that don't include glasses, in fact. (Our younger sister was spared for a little longer; she's the least myopic of the three of us.)

Few of my glasses-related memories are good ones. My friend Gigi delights in her glasses and, as she told me this morning, can't understand why anyone *wouldn't* want to wear glasses if given the chance. My friend Jessie wore fake glasses in high school because she liked the way they looked.

Not me. I despised my glasses from the very first pair, a dreadful octagonal blue granny frame that my mother, for reasons I can't fathom, fell in love with. The eighties arrived and I had the enormous beetle-face frames everyone wore back then - but my prescription was so strong that they weighed about eleven pounds and constantly slid down my face. As soon as I saved enough waitressing money I bought contacts--but it turned out I have sensitive eyes. Contacts and I began a mutually antagonistic relationship that lasted for decades, until several days ago. My eyes were always red, irritated, teary, and because of my astigmatisms, not very well corrected. Clear vision was not one of my assets, but I worked around that by ignoring what the professor wrote on the board, guessing at highway signage, and wearing my contacts in inadvisable conditions like camping without fresh water and waterskiing and stumbling home from parties at 4am.

Insecurity didn't help matters. I now understand the very sexy allure of the right pair of glasses (and, lucky me, have amassed a stunning collection of reading glasses which I will wear for working), but as a young person I was convinced that any man, given the choice between kissing a bespectacled girl and one who was not, would never choose me.

so creepy!
Two weeks ago I had LASIK. Now I wake up and *see*. With uncorrected vision of 20/450, this is nothing short of miraculous. I'm thrilled. The procedure itself was creepy as hell, and so is my eye currently, but soooo worth it. I'm going to go to the movies, stay up all night, go camping, fall asleep with a book, wear too much makeup, borrow my friends' eyeliner--all the things I've never been able to do without miserable consequences.

And then I'm going to wear my very sexiest reading glasses on a date. :)

PS Thanks and love to Nurse Julie. How many hospital waiting rooms is that that we've almost been thrown out of now? Though I'm sure the nice lady across the room is still wondering what was so funny about "We Bought A Zoo."

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

What's for Dinner?

You can ignore this post - it's really for Junior, who is working at her first job far from home this summer, and wanted to know what to make for dinner that was cheap and healthy. (But if you're my superfan and you're curious about what I have for lunch pretty much every day, read on!)


First things first: go to the store and buy a pre-cooked chicken, pasta, and some veggies. Any veggies will do, pretty much.

Start the pasta. Then wash and chop up the veggies. Do enough for two or three meals.

Now cut up the chicken. Use a sharp knife and a fork. (Chop the veggies first so you don't have to wash the cutting board.)

A chicken will be enough for at least three meals. Put the extras in baggies in the fridge.

Heat oil on high or med-high on the stove. Here is how much to use:

While it's heating up, give the veggie scraps to a hungry beagle. :)

Saute the veggies that take the longest, which include green beans, peppers, onions, carrots. Just stir them in the oil until they begin to brown.

Next add tomatoes, zucchini, snap peas if you are using them and stir around for a while.

Turn heat to medium and add greens, like spinach. Put in lots! You won't believe how much they cook down.

While those are cooking, get out your spices and cheese if you like. (I use salt, pepper, herbes de provence that Julie brought back from france, and I shredded my own cheese because I am fancy. but you can use pre-shredded parmesan and Italian Seasoning.)

Stir the spices into the pan, then put on your cooked pasta, and sprinkle the cheese on top.

It's too hot to eat at first, so go ahead and put some hot soapy water in the pan. It'll be much easier to clean later!

 You'll have enough to share, so offer some to your roommate!!  (Love you, sweetie!)

Monday, June 2, 2014

Back From BEA

Junior in Georgetown
Actually, I'm not back yet - I'm enjoying a couple of days in Washington, D.C. where Junior is interning for the summer. Seeing one's little girl all dressed up for work at her first grown-up job must surely be one of the most bittersweet moments ever - but I'm so very proud of her.

Anyway!  BEA was a blast, both when I was at the Expo and when I was out prowling around the city. Wednesday kicked off the week with the Library Journal Day of Dialog where I was on a women's fiction panel moderated by my good friend Stephanie Klose. On the panel were wonderful authors I'd met before, including Lisa Scottoline (yes, she's as hilarious as you've heard) and Chelsea Cain (who manages to look elegant even with a broken knee and crutches, and then has you snorting your Diet Coke with her sharp wit)....and several lovely new ones: Lauren Oliver, Rainbow Rowell, and Pamela Nowak.  Tara Parsons of Mira spoke from the editorial side. Because it was a room full of librarians, it was fast-paced and funny and deep and important all at once.

looking back at Manhattan from Brooklyn


my favorite photo from my trip: right before it rained at the Yankees/Twins game

Chelsea Cain, broken leg up on chair :)
with Lisa Scottoline and Anne Spieth
view from McGraw-Hill Building, LJ DOD




I got to spend time with my agent Barbara and Editor Abby, of course, as well as dear friends Janet and Adam (my AFTERTIME editor) and Holly. Several after-hours libation-fueled brainstorming sessions have resulted in lots of plans, both sinister and salubrious--I always return from BEA with a slew of new projects, some of which eventually are realized.