My sister lives in Brooklyn, and so last Friday D and I headed out to visit her and her family. There’s a new two-month-old baby we had to meet, and also we’d missed the winter holidays with them so it seemed like a good time to head out. I miss my sister and miss living in the same city with her.
Although I always start checking the weather report (somewhat obsessively) about a week before we go anyplace, trying to track how it’s trending, and I knew the East Coast was going to be cold, I was unprepared for exactly how cold it would be. I mean, I survived two winters in Boston. I used to dig my car out of the snow every two days for several weeks. It shouldn’t have surprised me.
But it did! As soon as we stepped outside of the airport, I felt that familiar wet cold blast in my face. I feared my nose would get frostbite. And it only got worse! On Tuesday, the day we were supposed to return home, we had our flight cancelled due to a snowstorm. The storm itself wasn’t really that bad, and we spent the day drinking coffee and watching the snow fall outside in between rewatching episodes of House of Cards on Netflix. (By the way the show is, IMO, even better in rewatch. There are marvelously subtle bits of character development that I completely missed the first time around.)
Anyway, we’re back after that adventure. By yesterday, I was finally starting to enjoy the cold and the snow and I remarked cheerfully to D that it’s fun as long as you have the right gear.
(Which, he reminded me sourly, we didn’t. And he was right, of course. My feet got cold and wet in spite of my wool socks.)
Read on the trip: Mademoiselle: Coco Chanel and the Pulse of History by Rhonda K. Garelick. A wee bit disorganized for my historian-brain, but excellent and very detailed, very well-researched. Unlike some other biographies, author doesn’t flinch from Chanel’s Nazi ties, her elitism, her disgusting anti-Semitism, and her self-serving greed. You get the sense that Garelick has reluctant admiration for the lengths to which Chanel was willing to go to preserve and expand her empire.
Also: The Secret Adversary and Partners in Crime, by Agatha Christie. These are Tommy and Tuppence mysteries. I’ve been on a mystery kick lately and plowed through all of Christie’s Miss Marple series in the last couple of weeks. My parents had every single book of hers so I’m pretty sure I’ve read all of these before as a kid, but as an adult, I’m disturbed at how casually anti-Semitic they are. I know, I know, signs of the times, but still. The Tommy and Tuppence novels are ridiculously xenophobic as well as anti-Semitic. Also, (and this is something I remember from my prior experiences with this series) I find it frustrating that while Tuppence is just as smart and in many ways more daring than her husband Tommy, he’s the one who gets recruited to work for MI6 or whatever and she has to stay home and play housewife. Ugh.
Writing: No writing got done. I didn’t take my laptop with me on this trip for the first time ever? Perhaps? I mean since owning my first laptop (IBM Thinkpad? I think?). However, I did start a bullet journal. I’m still feeling pretty ambivalent about that…
In any case, it’s great to be back in Santa Monica again. The temperature here is 67 degrees and all is well.