400 gallons of oysters

big dinner Currently working on a fun post and digging up some info on our past presidents, namely the particulars about how they liked to eat. Did you know William Henry Harrison liked squirrel stew? Yeah, he was also president for one lonely little month and was the first to die in office…

Regardless it’s always interesting to re-evaluate food fads of a generation, especially back in the early part of the 19th and 20th centuries. While doing some research I stumbled across this little sparkler of a list, what a party it would have been:

Menu for the James Buchanan Inaugural Ball—March 4, 1857

  • 400 gallons of oysters
  • 60 saddles of mutton
  • 4 saddles of venison
  • 125 beef tongues
  • 75 hams
  • 500 quarts of chicken salad
  • 500 quarts of jellies
  • A four-foot cake
  • $3,000 worth of wine

James Buchanan, the only bachelor president, thought that multiple inaugural balls were outrageous wastes of time and energy. He reinstated the single inaugural ball concept, but had to construct a new $15,000 building* on Judiciary Square in Washington to accommodate his 6,000 guests. Guests were served on long tables set against red, white, and blue walls, and when their appetites were satiated they danced beneath a white ceiling glittering with hundreds of gold stars.

**Menu & Text from “A Taste of the Past: White House Kitchens, Menus, and Recipes“//Image courtesy of Library of Congress photo archives

Taking Action

action is the foundation

I find it hard sometimes (okay, lots of times) to focus and to take action. It’s daunting when you realize that your own success truly lies in your own hands, that you don’t have any co-workers/bosses/corporate/bureaucracy to blame your failures on. Because let’s face it – it’s so easy to blame someone who’s not yourself. And when at some points success lies stagnant, it just makes the process of shooting for that tiny bullseye of success so much harder to aim for.

It’s really the small stuff, the daily reminders, that keep me going. It’s the randomly doled compliments that I get on my writing and photography, even if I have a moment of denial because it’s usually a compliment from friends. It’s the occasional writing job I stumble upon, most often unpaid but then sometimes for a loot, for blogs and magazines around this big big big world. It’s the people that I meet, and connect with, that are making it all worthwhile. It’s the women who I encounter who I can’t help but be in complete. utter. awe. at their drive, dedication, and self-made accomplishments, and inspire me to do the same. It’s the blogs that I read that keep me updating my own blog, even though I think my life is a snooze right now. It’s the artwork and the design ideas that I get from local artists and unknown design firms that make me smile, like the image at the top of this post.

This simple little piece of artwork is currently my desktop image.  I used to have a picture of oysters from Maine, but I’ve been needing an extra push of confidence these days so I’ve changed it up a bit. This little diddy was said by Picasso, I think, but frankly I’m sure anyone who’s ‘made it’ in this world has given this sage piece of advice.

Check out the blog The Fox is Black for more great desktop wallpapers. The Diploman has this fun image on his iPhone.

More from Delhi

Here are the pictures I promised last week, highlighting some of my favorite snapshots from Delhi. Though we trekked throughout India, hitting up Hyderabad, Hampi, Chennai, Mamallapuram, Kerala, Fort Cochi, and Agra as well, Delhi was by far my favorite city to tour. Click on an image to view through the entire gallery.

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A small collection

I realized recently that I’ve posted very few pictures of our trip to India last January, if any at all. Here’s one of my favorites:

books in the corner

This was in the corner of one of the corridors at Jama Masjid Mosque.


We got up early one morning in Delhi, rented a driver (it’s India friends, not Monaco, so don’t be too impressed), and requested him to take us around to some of the major sights in the city. The combination of being escorted through complete chaos, not having to deal with transportation from one sight to the next, and seeing so many of the most beautiful locations, some at their most peaceful hours, certainly made it one of my favorite days in our two weeks in India.

Will post some more pics from that spectacular day tomorrow!