Tuesday, September 16, 2008

See It & Eat It (Poor Piggy)

One recent morning I was hanging out with Oprah Winfrey and Gwyneth Paltrow (well, maybe I was only an audience member during an Oprah taping, but I did sit front and center and briefly chatted up Gwyneth backstage). Gwyneth was talking about her diet and saying how no one should ever eat anything that comes out of a package. I agree. Not even Healthy Choice with their new Café Steamers can convince me that something is good for you if you have to tear a flap off of a cardboard box, pull out a black plastic bowl, poke a hole in the film cover, microwave on high for six minutes, and stir to incorporate a sticky sauce.

Lately I’m more into “straight to the table” food, which includes the pig we ate at my 30th birthday soiree on the farm in Louisville last week. The pig arrived at the party in the back of my dad’s truck. He was ensconced in a plastic bag, but it was very loose-fitting. Nary a preservative had crossed his path.

We laid him to rest/roast in the ground early in the morning, and later that night we pulled him out by the light of tiki torches with the assistance of a large tractor and chains. It was a fairly barbaric sight, I must admit, so cover your eyes, because here is a photo:

A few of the party’s attendees couldn’t bring themselves to sample a bite of pork (when I did, my vegetarian friend Tim screamed “Death breath! You have death breath!”), but the truth is, that dear pig was probably far more nutritious than the many dubious passed hors d’oeuvres we consume on a daily basis.

Meanwhile, poor Jeff had to be traumatized by the pre-cooked versions of his dining choices twice in one week. Mere days after the pig roast, we were at a press dinner where he ordered a monkfish entree. He then went home and was astonished to find himself watching a segment about monkfish on Animal Planet. “I’ll never eat monkfish again,” he vowed, describing how the fish blends right in with the sand on the bottom of the ocean and consumes its prey via a hideously wide, flat mouth. “It looks like a rubber band and tastes like one, too.” He drew a little sketch to prove it.

P.S. Here are some more shots from the birthday weekend, many of them taken by up-and-coming photographer D.J. Corney:

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Numbers Game: A Birthday Blog

I recently picked up the September issue of Glamour magazine to check out a little quote of mine they ran on their “Are You Normal” beauty page. I was shocked to see myself identified as: Amalie Drury, 30, Chicago. My eyes were riveted on the number. It was a few weeks before my birthday, and the reality of the situation hadn’t yet occurred to me with such inked, professionally bound intensity. But alas, a new decade looms. On my last day as a twentysomething, I herewith count the milestones of an era gone by.

20-29: The Stats

Cars Owned: 2 (Black Beauty #1 and Black Beauty #2)
Wrinkles Acquired: 7 (according to screening by laser institute)
Jobs Held: 2 (one 3-year college stint at Jacobson’s department store, with responsibilities including leaning on the counter, reading WWD and trying on bridal veils in the dressing room; 7 glorious years reporting upon all things modern and luxurious in Chicago)
Perceptible Hairstyle Changes: 0
Gray hairs discovered: 12-14 (mostly near right temple)
Apartments Occupied: 6 (Cherokee, Fullerton, Superior, Wells, Wisconsin, Mohawk)
Boyfriends of significant tenure: 4
Repeat Breakups: no comment
Number of times listened to Flunk song “Play”: 871 (most-played song as reported by my iPod)
Family Meltdowns: 207
Interviews with Sarah Jessica Parker: 1
Chipotle Burritos Won: 365
Quarters Fed to Parking Meters: $5,822
Cocktail Parties Attended: Countless

Well, you know what they say. Thirty is the new 21.

P.S. Graham, I can’t decide whether to thank you or smack you for introducing me to Nestle’s Flipz chocolate-covered pretzels. They are the first and last thing I need in my life.

P.P.S. I keep smelling something delicious. I think it’s my hair.