Theme: Sorrow

Um, I was sad when I started drawing this. Find your sorrow where you will, at least there is a silver lining to this one.
I’ve been feeling down and know better than to sit and stew in these thoughts. I wrote recently that I bought a book on handwriting analysis and through my brief study reaffirmed that I make mountains out of molehills. Therefore I’m vowing to stay away from macro photography, stop measuring the liquid in my glass (not half full, not half empty, simply mmm tasty beverage) and look at the whole tree-filled forest.
Earlier I was standing in the kitchen when I noticed huge, beautiful flakes of snow coming down. Remembering how a walk in the snow really picks me up, I made excuses of buying more milk for JM and headed out the door. It stopped snowing instantly. I walked into town anyway and wandered around the grocery store before buying some Nestle chocolates in addition to my other items, then walked home past the teenagers holding their weekly Young-Asses-of-Switzerland meeting on the heavily trafficked staircase*. By the time I got to my doorstep I realized I had forgotten the milk. Then it started snowing again. Welcome to Mount St. Elli’s.
* Kids get out of school early on Wednesdays and love to loiter precisely where they’ll be thought of most illy.


Pots de creme au chocolat, with meringues = Happy St. Valentine’s Day

Because St. Valentine’s Day is drawing near, and because nothing sings to me of romance more than a man who will make me dinner, and especially a dinner ending in chocolate, I feel moved to record here one of my favorite simple little desserts. These little pots de creme are lovely, and almost stupidly easy, and people do ooh and aah over them, especially when you serve them with a delicately tottering tower of meringues.

[To anyone who expected more snark and blather on St. Valentine’s Day, may I refer you here.]

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Theme: The Seasons

I have reached a point with this illustration where I have to stop. Nothing good is coming from the fiddling, I’ve eaten about a thousand D’aims and I’ve cursed the makers of Adobe Illustrator because of my inability to click on a line and select the actual point or anchor of my choosing no matter what magnification I’m in.
So here they are, the temporal seasons of existence including my usual theme of footwear. Once I was working on fall I realized, hey there, I’m not really in summer any more. Whoa. And then heard myself thinking and added, you certainly don’t sound like you’re fully into fall either, dude. And then I had another piece of chocolate, that solid, dark substance that envelops all seasons.

Chocolate, er France, how I love thee

I seem to have forgotten something in France, my brain. The story of my trip will be the subject of my nanowrimo attempt this year. I stayed in the Burgundy region in a small village overlooking vineyards and took over a thousand photos. My French, which disappeared when I started learning German, started coming back while I was there. I can read French which surprises me but shouldn’t since I read The Stranger, Le Cid, and The Count of Monte Christo in my French literature class at uni some 18 years ago. Speak French, I cannot as witnessed by one delivery man who came up to my room in the manor searching for the reception. My door was the only one open so he asked me where the office was, which I understood, but couldn’t give him any directions. So I told him in French that I didn’t speak French, walked him back down stairs and said there in French as I pointed to the side door, to which he said, “thank you.” Damn accent. Alors, I will definitely be going back.


Yummm, France. . .

Oh, wait, I meant “Yummm, fondue.” I am ready to celebrate the arrival of fall with a fondue, except that I don’t know anyone who would willingly come over to eat a bowl of cheese, and it seems a lot of fuss for one person. Maybe l will make raclette instead.
Whether you’re talking about fondue or France, it sounds lovely. Send me La Tour Eiffel une carte postale. What region will you be visiting?

As for the chocolate, today I broke down and bought a packet of M&Ms. I blame Candyfreak. My recent eating habits (except for a recent bacon-drenched brunch with my parents) have been shockingly abstemious, but Candyfreak tore through my considered, adult resolve like a hyped up teenager through the flimsy slippery wrapper of a king-sized Snickers. I snatched it up at the library, read the first three pages at the bus stop, and walked away from the approaching bus to buy candy. It’s not that Steve Almond’s writing is appetizing, more that his mad incantations send wafts of cocoa liquor scent streaming off the pages.

I bought a tiny bag of malted milk balls and a packet of tempting-looking but tasteless Piraque chocolate wafers. How can a cookie be both brittle and flaccid? But I am guessing the vitaminated wheatina cookies are Piraque’s real taste sensation, mmm – mmm: vitaminated wheatina!).

My informed decision to walk away from the bus kept me out 45 minutes late and garnered me some truly substandard cookies, but reading Candyfreak without sweets would have been a wriggling, burning torment. I have, however, been plagued by the insistent and inexplicable desire for the rarely encountered, thoroughly repulsive Sky Bar.

Going to Frenchy France

I’m going to France soon and I can’t stop singing about it. This will be my first real trip there in the five and a half years I’ve lived in Switzerland. Yes, I’ve been to the French-speaking part of Switzerland, and yes, after reminding him that I’ve never been to France, JM drove me through the corner on our way home from Germany once. Now I get to go for three whole days. Joy!
I must remember to warn my friend P to bring her own chocolate when she moves to Germany next year. German chocolate sucks and she’ll be eight hours away from the good Swiss stuff. Poor thing. “N-e-s-t-l-e-s, Nestle’s makes the very best. Chocolate.” Sing it with me.
By the way, it’s that time of year again. We had our first fall fondue this evening. And oh yeah, I’m going to France.