Tag: Friends

Emails With Friends: Crushing

“I met Benedict Cumberbatch today.”
“In related news, I’m breaking up with you. Not really. Tell me everything.”
“He came in to tape for his new movie, and we filmed a promo.”
“You’ll forgive me if I purr a little?”
“Oh, of course.”
– X. and C.

I am by far the least impressive of my friends. But I’m fine with that because even the vicarious adventures are thrilling!

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Emails With Friends: Meta Thanksgiving is Meta

“How goes your week of not observing thanksgiving due to living under the oppressive rule of the tyrannical Queen Elizabeth II?”
“Ahem. I am partaking of Thanksgiving dinner this year at a pub called The Mayflower, situated near the site where the Mayflower ship was originally moored before setting off to the Netherlands and then New World, and across the street from the church where the Captain of the Mayflower is buried. Why, what tawdry, subpar festivities are you enjoying?”
“That’s awesome! I’m just taking a bunch of Raleigh Tavern pies over the river and through the woods to the family dinner…going to avoid the kitchen since that one time I made a turkey. I also made an oven fire (which was, however, my roommate’s fault).”
“Last year I had takeaway curry.”
– Katarina and C.

Friday Links

“Traveling in the company of those we love is home in motion.”
― Leigh Hunt

Another week, another Friday! There are a lot of great updates from various Friends of the Blog, Caitlin Kelly started teaching at the Pratt Institute, Katarina picked up a book agent (!!!) for her first novel, and a respected acquaintance found housing in Kenya where she just moved.

However, there’s some bad news from me. My grandfather’s health has taken a very bad turn with an infection that went to his heart. The family is taking the situation one step at a time, and my father and his sisters are with my grandparents, but any positive vibes, prayers, or supportive thoughts  you could send their way would be very appreciated. Thank you, kittens.

Here are your links, just a few for your Friday, and tell me what you’re getting up to this weekend in the comments!

I had to chortle because Jeff definitely owns this shirt. And I may or may not have the lady version…

This headline alone should make you want to view the gallery.

Romantic friendships, an interesting subject for those interested in gender dynamics and history. As I happen to be. The notion that they grew most during a time when men and women’s spheres were so cut off from one another is something I hadn’t properly considered before, but that makes a lot of sense. Obligatory pearl-clutchers warning, queer relationships are discussed and some sexuality.

Trying not to break into song

Disease has always been the soldier’s stereotypical companion, but the Paris Review has put together a piece and gallery on the anti-VD campaigns of WWII.

The Spanish royal family has had a rough time of it, but this article in the Daily Beast is positively dripping with scandal.

I’m a big fan of Pop Culture Happy Hour on NPR, and Linda Holmes (editor of the Monkey See blog and panelist) compiled a pinterest board of every “What’s Making Us Happy This Week” ever mentioned on the show. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Have a listen and then browse, ducklings!

What a clever thing!

So, that Star Trek future is postponed, right?

Emails With Friends: Revolution and the Humblebrag

When you’re both cultural heritage employees and history types.

“Patrick Henry’s birthday is may 29…I am so bummed that I missed out on sharing a bday with the loudest, most out-of-control founding father by a mere TWO DAYS.”

“Have I ever casually mentioned that my family’s 40 acres contains the pathway that PH walked daily to get to his first law job…incidently located in the town where my parents now live? Which he was eventually elected to represent in the Virginia House of Burgesses at the start of his political career? Never? Not even casually? If so, a lapse on my part.”
– Katarina and C.

We need to talk about the spectacles atop his head in this etching. It’s either absent minded or avant garde for the times. I lean toward the latter.




“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”
― Jane Austen

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I made it to a book launch? Well, this is the book! Kim Curran is another freelancer and writer I met through Twitter (that and blogs, how else do 21st century friendships began?) and finally got to meet in person at her launch, along with a whole host of other London writers. Let me be blunt, she’s fabulous. So is her book and right now it’s available for a limited time on the US Amazon.com site for $.99. Run, don’t walk.

GLAZE takes place in a near future and tells the story of the powerful social media technology of the same name, a girl who finds herself cut off from it and therefore everything that matters, and the desperate lengths she’s willing to go to belong. As you might expect, that’s when things start to get complicated.

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One of the posters from the launch.

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More importantly, one of the hilarious pun posters some of her friends and supporters made up.

An after the fact adventure in Little Venice

“There’s nothing––absolutely nothing––half so much worth doing as messing about in boats.”
― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind In The Willows

Katie and Adam have left the typically-less-sunny-climes of London for the infinitely sunnier climes of California as Adam finishes up the last leg of his business program. We’re missing our buddies, but lucky we got to hang out with them one last time in Little Venice for a weekend market and festival.

Little Venice is a portion of Victorian canals in Paddington, that is about as charming an area of London as you could possibly find. It’s packed full of Edwardian houses, beautiful houseboats, and lovely (if somewhat pricey) restaurants.

Some of the houseboats have been transformed into businesses, even though most are still residences, it’s kind of impressive to see what people can create in a limited space. (In other words, I have no excuses not to have our flat in order.)
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This one was turned into a second-hand bookstore, but I saw artist galleries, full cafes, shops, and I’m pretty sure at least one yoga studio. Resident house/boat cats abound, there were full gardens on the roofs of boats, and many captains hats to be seen. I approve all of this.

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There’s an entire culture related to houseboat dwelling in London, and I wish I knew more about it! Just wandering around Regent’s Canal, there was a common style of dress, a shared aesthetic taste (a colorful, out-of-time sense of color and composition that clearly calls back to the days when the canals were first built and used). Houseboat doors were open to reveal furniture that intentionally rustic rather than modern, crockery on display like old farm kitchens. It’s an interesting take on minimalist or small home living.
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Frankly there are few better ways to spend a weekend than wandering through the city, eating from food stalls and ending up in Hyde Park for a long talk over cheese and olives.

Emails With Friends: Education and Futility

When the less fun practicalities of writing for food rear their heads.

“Surprisingly freelance life management wasn’t ever covered in my Art History of the Northern Renaissance class.”

“See, if we’re talking about the usefulness of our university coursework, I can tell you I definitely utilize my saxophone-performance-with-secondary-study-in-ballet-performance EVERY day. You should have been more practical when choosing your major, like I was.”
– C. and Katarina

Yes. Everything is this effortless.

Emails With Friends: Self-Doubt and Theoretical Physics

When one of us is writing a YA novel and the other is bad at sympathy.

“So, I have put off revising (or completely rewriting) my synopsis for [name of project redacted to protect the author], but in order to query the next few agencies on my list I need to have it. And I SERIOUSLY am hitting a wall here. Everything sounds incredibly dumb when boiled down to two pages in the third person.”

“Boiling down the theory of the multiverse, the best way someone ever explained it to me was to compare it to either bread slices or Swiss cheese. But that doesn’t make it dumb!”
– Katarina and C.


London Barbeque

“Whenever I travel to the South, the first thing I do is visit the best barbecue place between the airport and my hotel. An hour or two later I visit the best barbecue place between my hotel and dinner.”
― Jeffrey Steingarten, The Man Who Ate Everything

Carnaby Street is justly famous, but running parallel to it is an equally fabulous path called Newburgh Street. This gem is stuffed with excellent stores and, what else, food. Welcome, kittens, to Pitt Cue, an actual barbeque joint in the heart of Soho.

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It’s paradoxical perhaps, but it’s quite a good idea in London to pick a place to eat based on how long the line is – in reverse order. If no one’s trying to eat there, there’s probably a reason. And if you have to stand in line for 30-45 minutes, it’s generally well worth the wait. Pitt Cue is no different. This small (almost unbelievably tiny) rib place accepts no reservation and operates on a first come, first serve basis.
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The table markers used to confirm your spot on the waiting list are also kind of adorable.

When Jeff and I made plans to meet up with Adam for dinner (lo these many months ago, and I’ve just now got around to writing about it…), we had a decent wait before they managed to squeeze us inside. This almost was worse than waiting outside because due to lack of standing space I was crammed up at the bar entrance, almost behind the counter, and having to dodge the waiters and their trays full of truly heroic/suicidal amounts of whiskey – which Pitt Cue stocks in famous amounts and which I had no desire to see spilled all over me. It was a narrow escape. But the food immediately made up for the danger, we snacked on an order of pig’s crackling which promised good things to come, and checked out the scene.
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Which, due to the aforementioned tininess wasn’t very viewer friendly…I was about seven feet away from the door.
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Except for this gentleman and his heavy use of plaid, which tickled us all to no end. Where does his shirt end and his jacket begin, we wondered!

In the end we were served a delicious twist on slaw, heavy on the spice, and a plate each of brisket. Jeff and I became brisket snobs in Utah of all places, where we discovered a magnificent hole in the wall of a place that ended up supplying at least one meal a week during high summer. And my parents in Virginia certainly have access to their share of tasty meats for us to enjoy, so how would a London attempt hold up?
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The fact that I got to this point before even thinking to snap a picture ought to tell you. My line theory is confirmed: this place is worth a wait!