First the fashion! I got this dress at a second hand store for Super Models. That is the Super Models consign their left over runway stuff there. This is a Anna Sui. My first! (and probably last considering the cost at retail). Fabulous huh? I am petrified of snagging the material. Go to the fashion page for the details.
So the week after we were in NYC Patrick and I got into a conversation about baking cookies in a production environment. It started when I gave him a bowl to wash because, though I wasn’t done baking the cookies, I didn’t need that bowl anymore. Since we are both total geeks for production lines we started talking about what production principles we could apply to my baking cookies and thus estimating how many cookies I could bake in one shift (8 hours at ‘Heather’s Insane Sunday Cookie Factory’). We estimated one batch, which makes about 3 dozen cookies, per hour. That meant I should be able to bake 288 cookies in an 8-hour period. So then I say, ‘Let’s try it on Sunday’. You should have seen our cart at the store. I bought every box of chocolate chips they had! 3 bags of flour. 5 bags of brown sugar. You get the idea. Next, at 11:50 on Sunday morning, I started baking. I had two bowls for batter, one for the flour mixture. Patrick would wash the 1-cup measure every batch (because I used it for flour and margarine) and the cookies sheet after 3 dozen. It was exhausting! I was making batter, rolling cookies, taking them off the cookie sheet or bagging them, every minute. We tracked what batch was what, numbering them by batter and batch. In the end I was able to make 281 (though I dropped one on the floor) in 7 hours (then ran out of ingredients). The reduced yield was due to me rolling a few too big in the middle batches. It was interesting though. Patrick calculated, at my current salary, that we would have to sell each cookie for 1.24 Euro, to make a profit. Not sure I could stand doing that everyday for 8 hours. I am convinced it must be done by hand too. You can’t double up batches even, because it changes the taste. Don’t think I will be doing that again soon.
We were in Warsaw for Easter. There are over 50 pictures, so they aren’t available yet. But, they aren’t really that interesting either. Warsaw is dull. The guide books said the museums would be open, but they weren’t. The ‘Spa’ in our hotel was not so great. Food was bland, though good. We had sushi like we always do. The people were nice, but flat. They seemed emotionless, or maybe just really homogeneous. Everyone looked the same. They were all dressed ‘nicely’. No kids in ripped jeans and concert t-shirts, no little Grandmas in Babushkas. Everyone looked like they had bought their clothing at H&M. Not the stuff Cristina Aguliera and Ricky Martin wear, but the day-to-day stuff. Blah. The monuments were not very interesting looking, though the story of the Jewish Ghetto was fascinating. The coolest thing we saw was the cemetery. The family plots were beautiful. I want a family plot now. We took some pictures and I am going to start designing my plot. I want it to be rock or concrete. Patrick wants black granite but that is too Art Deco for me. I want an Angel or statue of a bored Muse. I want my plot to become the cool place for Death Rockers to hangout on Friday nights. Of course I will have to be buried in New Orleans since it is like the only place in the US that allows above ground burial. Patrick says you aren’t even suppose to have head stones that sit upright because then they are more difficult to mow the lawn around. Can you believe that! They don’t care whether I am happy with my final resting place just that they can mow easily! Disgusting! Anyhow, we saw some break dancers (though they were all white), BMX trick riders and the Polish Hell’s Angel contingency, on one of the more popular Plac’s (Platz auf Deutsche und Square in English). We discovered that there is a really cool church made of skulls, we’d like to go to, in another city nowhere near Warsaw or Krakow. Krakow seems to be more interesting that Warsaw, so maybe we will go there some time. Next trip is probably Vienna though we plan to go to Mexico this summer and my friend Christine is going to meet me in London in July. That’ll be expensive!
My good friend Minturn, who knows something, in fact a lot, about everything, laid it out about the word ‘Urban’ for me, in a recent mail. Here is what he said:
‘The word is derived from the Latin for “city”, which is “urbs”. (Interesting side-light: in ancient days, cities tended to have walls and to be built on hills, for defense. As cities grew, people began to live outside the walls and thus, of course, down the hill, below the city. The Latin for “below” is “sub”. Thus, the areas outside and below the city were the “sub-urbs”. …)
Although “urban” has always meant “of or pertaining to a city” (for better or worse), in recent years (in the US of A, anyway), it has also taken on another meaning: black as in Negro. Note the “Urban League” and the current characterization of rap and hip hop as “urban” music.
On the other hand, the word “urbane” almost always is used in a positive way. Go figure.
So I still don’t understand why calling something “Urban” is a slam. I’ve also not realized the word was now being used to characterize rap and hip hop. Guess I have been out of the US too long. Oh well. Thanks for the help Minturn. And, yes, etymology is fun.