Mighty Life List
Dec 29 2007


This 1950’s Saks Leopard Print 3/4 Sleeve Swing Coat is identical to the coat I wore while I was pregnant, and it made me feel so cutie when I otherwise felt kinda bleh. If you’re having a baby, or love someone who is, this coat is a winner.

Not preggo? This zebra stripe J Crew cardigan is on mega-sale. You’re welcome.

Dec 29 2007

Not Helping

When you want to have the president arrested for war crimes, just maybe skip the beret. You know, just that day.

Dec 28 2007

Tiny Project

I just saw this short video by Sean Ohlencamp who captured 365 days of his desktop–via Kottke. Oddly, it had never occurred to me to use every element on my desktop to make it beautiful (including the icons).

Is your desktop lovely? Mine was not, but I took a few minutes this morning and made it nice. (The photo is by Heather Champ). You should do it too, as it will make your day more lovely. If you do, will you do a screen capture and tag it “desktopahh” on Flickr? That way, we can all see the results here, and that will be fun.

Dec 28 2007

Memory Scrapbook

More small differences between Argentina and San Francisco:

People don’t really throw anything out. There are two “vintage” stores in our neighborhood, and pickings are slim. One of the owners told me she goes to New York to get things, because Argentines pass down their clothing or use the fabric to make something new.

Perhaps because of the above, there’s a rich sense of creativity in the way Argentines dress and the things they make. So many of the objects in shops are completely novel to me.

Especially mid-day, about a quarter of restaurants and bars have no music. It’s peaceful.

There’s dog shit everywhere on the sidewalks, presumably because the dog walkers take out six or seven dogs at a time.

The ideal ice cream cone scoop comes to a point on top, because they don’t keep ice cream as cold here. All the giant pictures of idealized ice cream in heladerias have scoops that look like gnome hats.

They open presents on Christmas Eve, and some families light candles and make wishes before blowing them out. Everyone sets off fireworks at midnight, so the city sounds like New Year’s at home with all the explosions and shouting.

Whipped cream is more the consistency of whipped butter.

Lots of shop owners have a high fear of fraud about Internet sales.

“Hypoallergenic” products are often perfumed.

There are little garbage cans next to the toilets so you can throw away your toilet paper instead of flushing it.

Thermoses are everywhere in shops because people need them to keep their matê warm.

What nutella is to much of Europe, dulce de leche is to Argentina. It’s caramelized brown sugar, milk, and sweetened evaporated milk, and they put it on bread, pancakes, ice cream, whatever. The texture is unbelievable, like liquid silk.

Dec 27 2007


Bryan is adventurous about most things, and especially food. Wherever we go in the world, he tries the sausage. Good idea in Germany, but Malaysia? Anyway, lately, he’s taken to trying meat of all sorts, which is how we ended up preparing Matambre for Christmas. Turns out it’s a very typical Argentine dish, and you should know how to make it, because it’s awesome.

It all started when Bryan dragged me into the butcher shop around the corner, and then pointed to stuff while I tried to translate. The conversation with the butcher went like this:

Bryan: What is that?
Me: What is that?
Butcher: Matambre.
Me: What is matambre?
Butcher: Meat and things.
Bryan: I want one of those.
Me: Uh. OK. How do you prepare it?
Butcher: You put it in boiling water for two hours, then freeze it.
Me: In the freezer?
Butcher: No.
Me: Freeze it?
Butcher: No! You freeze it with the post in the sink.
Me: You make it cold?
Him: Yes.
Me: OK. Do you cook it in the plastic and everything?
Him: Yes, yes! Then you break it with the sink.

In answer to my utter confusion, the butcher mimed preparation of the meat, which ended with us putting the roast in the sink and whacking it hard with the bottom of the pan.

Apparently, a lot of people serve it cold as an appetizer, though they don’t put it in the freezer to get it that way. It’s crazy tasty, and a lot like corned beef, except the vegetables are already rolled up inside with a couple of boiled eggs for good measure. That’s why it looks sort of like a severed arm when you first open it up. Delicious.

Dec 26 2007

Christams in Argentina

Dec 25 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!, originally uploaded by MaggieMason.

This is Santiago Francisco Jesus Mason de Necito Vega. He’s our excellent Christmas bush.