Princess: Coming up empty-handed |

Princess: Coming up empty-handed

Ali Margo
The Aspen Princess

So I had this great idea for a column the other day that I almost sat down and wrote days ahead of my deadline. God forbid I not wait until the last minute, so I didn’t write it then, and now for the life of me I can’t remember what the heck I was going to write about.

My in-laws were just in town, and they usually provide plenty of good fodder, but I’ve gotten so used to their Midwestern ways (don’t even ask me what a ting-tong burger is) that it doesn’t really faze me anymore. I’ve learned to just go with it when they want hot dogs and potato chips for dinner or when my father-in-law has to have a “wedge” (a head of iceberg lettuce cut in half with a few chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers and doused with French dressing; yes, they still make French dressing, which is essentially red food coloring and corn syrup and has absolutely nothing to do with France the country or its cuisine).

Meanwhile, I’ll make myself a beautiful meal, like the caprese salad with fresh strawberries, mozzarella, basil, arugula, olive oil and balsamic reduction or the Spanish rice with shrimp I whipped up with what I had left over in the fridge.

It’s true, the night before Memorial Day we did share an epic meal featuring Ryan’s famous beer-can chicken, which he has seriously mastered. It does involve cramming the bird with all kinds of fat, what with the huge pads of butter he stuffs under the skin like a super-padded bra and the bacon he wraps around the fowl’s neck like a scarf. But his rub is rich and complex, with a mishmash of spices that are either well-orchestrated or whatever he happened to grab out of the spice drawer that day.

I also tested a potato-salad recipe from The New York Times that was insanely simple and super-delicious and basically required nothing more than a dressing of lemon juice and olive oil with fresh mint, basil and red chili flakes — not a drop of mayo. We served that with the chicken topped off with my pesto corn on the cob for a pretty epic spread.

Because the Margos were here, I went to yoga every single day for the first time since the babes was born and almost felt sort of like myself again, even though there is no doubt my bigger boobs are here to stay (thank you, God). I still have a belly, but let’s be honest: I had that before I was pregnant. Hell, I had that when I was 12 years old. I don’t think it’s going anywhere no matter how many yoga sit-ups I do. Yes, it’s crazy to believe I once wore nothing but hot shorts and a bandeau top now that I’m covered head-to-toe in spandex like some kind of fitness mummy (er, mommy), but I’m thinking at this stage of the game, I know what works and what doesn’t.

Nope, this isn’t working. I still can’t remember what my brilliant idea was. I thought if I started writing about whatever, it would come, but no.

Let’s see: in-laws, food, body-image stuff, yoga — um — Donald Trump? Even I’m not that desperate.

There’s always the babes, but I fear I’ve exhausted that topic in recent columns, and it’s getting to the point where I have made myself so conspicuous, between the pug and the baby, that people are approaching me in public all the time and going, “Oh my God, are you the Princess?” I mean, don’t get me wrong — I love the attention, and it makes me feel good to know there are actually people out there who are reading this stupid thing because from where I’m sitting it’s crickets out there, like literally. But I think that’s because we live across the street from the river. I never really noticed the sound of crickets in Colorado before we lived up here.

Nope, it’s still not working. Damn it! I should have written it down.

Was it something about how my husband and pug snore in stereo every night in front of the TV? How @GertieGoogleEyes now has over 1,700 followers on Instagram? How Basalt is blowing up?

I mean, people are worried about the development that’s happening at Willits, but I’m all for it. I can’t wait for the new brewery to come. I heard Mezzaluna is opening in the new building there. I’m hoping soon there will be some retail stores we can actually afford like the Gap (a little too pedestrian for my taste, but it does have cute kids clothes). I don’t know how many more outfits I can buy from Splendid Littles (a baby offering from the awesome organic-cotton clothing line) even if my mother was right — you do get what you pay for, because the cotton stays soft and no matter how many times you wash it, it doesn’t ever pill.

Anyway, I think Willits is all good for Basalt. We don’t want that craziness downtown, and sooner or later, it’s going to spill over because it’s going to bring people to the midvalley. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be one of those old ladies who are constantly spewing about “what it was like when we first moved here,” because there are dirt roads and there is no cellphone reception and the only traffic is on account of the herd of bighorn sheep that take their time crossing the road.

Maybe I could write about the two mountain lions spotted in my neighbor’s yard and how little Miss Gertie would probably look like a veal chop to them, but that’s not funny at all, now is it?

So I guess I’ll just stop here (1,000 words exactly) and hope I come up with something better next week.

The Princess can’t be all brilliant all the time! Email some column ideas to

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