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February 28, 2012

Minnesota Opera deal: $50 tickets for Lucia di Lammermoor

Hey 'Pantsers:

The Opera sent me another ticket deal for their upcoming show, Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor. I'm not seeing it until Thursday, but since this deal expires tomorrow I wanted to get it out to you ASAP. Follow the instructions below to get $50 tickets* (regularly priced up to $200) on Sunday, March 4 and Tuesday, March 6.

From the Opera's press dude: 
In all of opera, there's only one Lucia. Don't miss this must-see thriller that turns divas into legends. After winning the hearts of Minnesota Opera audiences as Eurydice and Amore in Minnesota Opera's 2010 production of Orpheus and Eurydice, sopranos Susanna Phillips (performs March 6) and Angela Mortellaro (performs March 4) return to star as the fragile heroine of this masterpiece of melodic beauty and psychological depth.

Order your $50 tickets at or call the Minnesota Opera Ticket Office, M-F, 9am - 6pm, at 612-333-6669.

*Limit up to 4 seats regularly priced $65-200 for the March 4 and March 6 performances only. Online: Enter 50deal and click “Add Coupon”. You will see your savings applied. Do not complete order if coupon does not load. Service charges and other restrictions may apply. Offer ends February 29, 2012. For additional information call the Ticket Office at 612-333-6669, M-F, 9am-6pm.

February 27, 2012

In Which My Vows Are Tested

When I consider my life's accomplishments, there is one that stands above all others on a glistening porcelain pedestal: I have vomited but once in the past nine years and two months (to the day).

Longtime Francey Pantsers will recall that fateful night a year and a half ago, mere days before I hopped a plane to Franceland, when I broke my streak and subsequently sunk to the depths of despair in a worthless heap. I have since decided that my accomplishment still holds-- once in nine years is nothing to burp at.

One unfortunate side-effect of my relative inexperience in this regard, however, is that I had no idea how to help my beloved Dude when he bolted from bed at 6 a.m. yesterday morning and started emitting groans and other unfortunate sounds not fit for publication as he clutched the commode for dear life. "Should I pretend to be asleep?" I briefly wondered. Then our ketubah caught my eye. "Oh yeah. I suppose I promised to help him with these kinds of things. There it is-- in writing-- with my signature underneath."

I hefted myself from bed to help, but then had the stunning realization that I had not a clue what to do. Colds are easy: ply 'em with Jewish Penicillin (matzah ball soup) and an embarrassment of citrus, and then force them to drink their weight in fluids. How does one stop violent, constant vomiting, though? Dude requested Pepto Bismal, so I went off in search of it at the neighborhood gas station and then stopped at Whole Foods for a few other Healing Items. Oranges. Bread for toast. Kombucha (they didn't have Gatorade so I figured it was the next best thing).

When I got home Dude had taken up residence on the couch and looked 3000% miserable. I gave him a just-in-case garbage can and then poured him a dose of Pepto. I also surrounded him with water, mouthwash, paper towels and Chlorox disinfecting wipes. Just-in-case garbage can became absolutely-necessary garbage can as the Pepto that had just gone down came right back up. I felt like a terrible wife for cowering in my chair and closing my ears during any one of the dozens of times he heaved and heaved and heaved.

Poor baby, but I can't bring myself to come within three feet of that garbage can.

Nothing seemed to be helping, so I had to bring in the reserves: my mother-in-law. By the time she left, he was sitting up and talking in complete, audible sentences. Cured!

The lessons I learned yesterday, in no particular order:

-Mommies cure everything
-Wait six puke-free hours before trying to make a sickie put anything down his gullet
-Looking totally disgusted during your sickie's most vulnerable time doesn't really help
-If you must watch the Oscars with your sickie in the room, mute the commercials so he doesn't have to hear Arby's reuben advertisement for folks who would "drink Thousand-Island dressing through a straw"

February 25, 2012

The Neenuh Gift Trifecta

As someone who prides herself on giving thoughtful prezzies, I must give credit where it's due: Ana NAILED it.

Ana and I go way back to our toddler years at Temple Israel in Duluth. She's now a BFD in the Jewish Youth Services sector here in the TC, and when she asked me to teach a Jewish cooking class for 8th and 9th graders this winter I couldn't say no. Cooking! Youths! Sign me up.

We made everything from knishes to hamentashen, from falafel to tsimmes. It was a great group of kids, and I was sorry to see the trimester come to an end. 

Last night I came home after a particularly long week of work to a mysterious package on my coffee table:

Cooking. Tribehood. France.

Could you imagine a more perfect gift pour moi than Quiches, Kugels and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France by Joan Nathan? The answer is no. You could not. And would you even believe me if I told you that there is a recipe for kosher-for-Passover macarons? Because there is. There's also a recipe for a delicacy called, "Frozen Soufflé Rothschild," which in its true state is embellished with GOLD LEAF. I DIE.

Ana, you win all the awards.

February 22, 2012

Mon pays ce n'est pas un pays, c'est un collier

As if there could be any doubt as to where I left my heart...

I saw the Minnesota version of this necklace on Pinterest and snapped it right up for Anna's birthday. Then I knew I had to get Frenchy versions for My Main Meuf Missy and me.

Mr. Sir and I have been Euro-nostalgia-ing real bad lately. We're watching documentaries about the Medicis and having romantical dates at fancy French restaurants where we order escargots and rue that they're already de-shelled.

I should probably be using my next paycheck to replace this wheezing laptop, but instead I'm putting it all toward a 10-day Visit in August to Paris, Diggy-town (Digoin), Charolly (Charolles) and a few other places that stole mon coeur.

Je vous verrai bientôt, mes amies.

PS: The title of this post is taken from a song by Quebecer Gilles Vigneault

PPS: Anyone want to go to Iceland with me for a few days on the way back?

February 20, 2012

Triumph of the Sunday List

Oh hello. It's been awhile. I have a fairly good excuse for abandoning you, lil' bloggy: I got boring. This time last year I went to four countries in the span of two weeks (Switzerland, Germany, Italy and France, of course). My life now is lovely, and I really couldn't be happier about it, but it's nothing to write home (or across the interwebs) about. And now, to illustrate just how domesticated and settled my existence has become, I give you The Sunday List.

In a fit of self-improvement last fall, I created a mental list of everything I needed to accomplish by the end of the weekend in order to feel great starting my week. The list is quite long, and inevitably I don't always get around to everything, which can lead to some feelings of despair, unworthiness and angst come Monday morning. I'm now trying to see the list more as suggestions than commands. Without further ado, here they are:

1. Read Both the Saturday and the Sunday Papers. My normal pape-reading time is on the bus on the way to work, so it's hard for me to carve out time for it on the weekends. Plus the Sunday paper is so BIG with so many WORDS. Oy.

2. Go to the Gym. I usually make the 11:00 hot vinyasa with Barry on Saturday, but getting to the 9:15 class on Sunday with the lady who plays the Gandhi rap and the "You're Incredible! You're Amazing!" song is a challenge.

3. Reconnect with an Old Friend. This is one of my favorites. It's so lovely to hear a long-lost voice on the phone and giggle over inside jokes.

4. Cook Something. I try to make at least one elaborate meal per week. Lately the Dude has been taking my place in the kitchen and making all sorts of Man Food like chilli, beef stew with lentils and other protein bombs. We're definitely in need of more Julia.

5. Bake Something. I recently retired from macaron-making (another reason for my bloggal absence) because they were sucking up six hours of my precious weekend. I may come out of retirement if I can get my paws on an additional Silpat and some more baking sheets... (hint, hint)

6. Clean the Apartment. I am a huge slob during the week, but I make up for it by dusting, vacuuming and tidying up in a weekly, hour-long tear.

7. Craft. I've been big into knitting lately, and due to the way-too-conveniently located yarn shop in the skyway my craft basket has been getting nice and robust again. I fully intend to tackle a sweater this year, just as soon as I finish another cowl scarf and a pair or two of fingerless gloves.

8. Do Laundry, Grocery Shop, Pack a Lunch, Choose an Outfit. File under: necessity.

9. Talk to the Mamas. Catching up with Ma P-P and M.I.L. (Mother-In-Law) are crucial for getting a handle on family gossip, recipe-sharing and avoiding the dreaded "Call your mother!" emails.

10. Spend Quality Time with the Dude. Me falling asleep in his lap while he watches weird documentaries on Netflix doesn't count. Scrabble death match does.

Here's how I did this weekend:

1. Check.
2. Check.
3. I joined LinkedIn on Friday and it somehow managed to email everyone I've ever contacted ever (from past colleagues who aren't too fond of me to former landlords to event planners at venues where I considered having my nups) to ask them to reconnect with me. One person who did was old high school friend Bjorn who invited me to his place for a mini East High reunion Saturday night. Check!
4. Manda came over on Saturday and we made Spicy Broccolini Quinoa Salad, a recipe I found on Pinterest. Very yum. Check!
5. Last night I baked this YUMTASTIC Rosemary Olive Oil Cake (also found on Pinterest) for a Downton Abbey viewing party at my friend Katie's. Check!
6. I even washed the parts of my vacuum! Check!
7. Alexa has commissioned a baby blanket for a friend of hers a week ago, and this weekend it went from this:

to this:

More than halfway done! Check!
8. Today's chores.
9. Fail. I'll call you soon! I promise!
10. Check.