Apr 17, 2009

The Maison Boulud

In the summer of 1900, murderous anti-foreign rebels known as the Boxers amassed in Beijing. Diplomats, foreign civilians and Chinese Christians hastily retreated to the capital’s legation quarter, where they held out for 45 days until the Eight-Nation Alliance came to their rescue...
Since then, there have been more than few changes to the city. Not least, the legation quarter – just a xenophobic stone throw from Tiananmen Square – is now under new management and is home to, among other up-market restaurants, Maison Boulud. This French restaurant, so good it almost made me feel inadequate as a critic, would, without a doubt, be my first choice of siege destinations if things started to turn as ugly as they did back in 1900.After being shown through a spectacular entrance hall, Maison Boulud’s main dining room immediately impresses. High ceilings and a large sprawl of tables make me feel important, while soft lighting and the privacy of our corner table put me at suitable ease. I am in just the right place for what is to come...
After canapés and champagne, one of my favourite of the eight courses arrives – a fantastic gnocchi and escargot fricassee, served so beautifully that it said as much about front of house and it did back. Almost as many waiters were involved in this dish as there were snails on the table. Two waiters each brought a plate of snails for me and my companion, after which another two men arrived, each holding a jug from which they poured a full silky veloute which nicely rounded off the piquant escargot.

Apr 14, 2009

When a Spouse's Career Is On The Rocks

A California wife wrote me recently about getting stuck in one of the most frustrating backwaters of marriage: What do you do when your spouse is stalled in a career crisis, and nothing you say or do seems to help?

Her husband, a professional in a shrinking industry, has been laid off repeatedly and just got slammed again by the latest in a series pay cuts. He keeps promising to train for a different career, but instead just sits at home browsing career books. 'I'm getting frustrated with his endless dreaming and inaction,' the wife writes. 'Should I just shut up and let him dream on, or should I try to encourage him, or discourage him?'

Or what? Too often, a spouse tries to double as a career coach when an employee's job hits a dead end. This only creates marital strain when the dead-ended partner fails to respond. The spouse also has a big stake in any family financial problems caused by bad career choices, widening the gulf between husband and wife.

Few couples seek counseling for job-related marital problems, but more probably should. The California wife is so angry and frustrated with her husband that she seems to have lost respect and affection for him. Research shows that when those warm feelings are blocked, a marriage can go downhill quickly. John Gottman, an author, researcher and emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Washington, has found that marriages are far more likely to break up when positive exchanges between couples, such as humor and affection, are eclipsed by negative ones, such as criticism.

Such examples are mounting fast. Another wife told me recently that her husband is burned out on his job and wants to retire, but the family can't afford it. This wife is trying to be helpful, suggesting additional training or a transfer. But her husband isn't taking her advice and just keeps complaining instead, making her increasingly annoyed. Another wife I know gave in to her husband's incessant complaints about his job and suggested he quit. Unfortunately, this touched off an 18-month stretch of joblessness for him that nearly wrecked their marriage.

Readers, have you found good ways to help a partner mired in a career crisis? Or are most job problems just too hot to handle in a marriage? What advice would you give these couples?

Apr 13, 2009

Cameron Diaz 2002Oh dear Cameron

handbag / Beauty / Celebrity beauty

DiazGangs Of New YorkPosted by Anneke Hak on 01/04/2009Prev4 of 9Next

Cameron Diaz 2002Oh dear. Cameron tries to make a statement at the premiere for her latest film Gangs Of New York, which she stars in with Leonardo DiCaprio, and gets it so, so wrong. Cameron goes for bright fuchsia lips (which are so on trend in 2009, but not so much in 2002) luminous pink cheeks and thick, harsh eyeliner. Eyes or lips would have worked well, but this whole look just doesn’t come together - and we’re disappointed.

Apr 12, 2009

The dogs have souls as the watch turn flash

As people say the dogs have souls,the gold will be flash too.

'As I held her in my arms as she slipped away i have to believe that we will see each other again'
Kelly, I'm sure you will. Dogs have souls, no question about it. I also believe that if you are there at the moment of the soul's passing, part of it will go into you. I think your dog is already a part of you.

I was not there when my dog died. It tears me up to think that her soul may not be able to find me.
Heck, I don't even know if you or I have one. No one really knows. But I'll tell you one thing, whatever it is in us humans that we call a soul -- my dog has it, too. Whatever it is that allows us to experience love, loss, joy, sadness, pleasure, pain, curiosity, boredom, empathy, etc., my 14 year old border collie mix certainly has it. Maybe it's soul, maybe it's the product of brain function and physiobiochemical reactions. But if there is such a thing as a soul, either both my dog and I have it, or neither of us do.

May be this is all example, a strory not true.

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