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As in Cell Phones. As in… cripes I don’t know, bane or boon. Oftimes something can be both. And the cell phone is the perfect example.

Ok, I had a long, hard week. I ended my work day extremely cranky. Met Jamie at our local Mexican restaurant. Had a couple margaritas. Got buzzed and pissed off as they, the restaurant, never fails to rip us off and tonight was no exception.

So I meet Jamie for (theoretically) Happy Hour. I order a margarita, the barkeep asks, “On the rocks or frozen?” “Up”, I say, as that’s my preference. And off she goes to prepare Jamie (as he’s been moved to switch from Cerveza) & my drinks.

We are planning to move to a table and have dinner after we finish drinking.

I finish mine more quickly then Mr. H., as usual, and order another.

As we then finish together, we ask to settle up at the bar before we move to the table. The check arrives. It has not been a happy hour for us. We have been charged full price for our margaritas. Jamie queries and we are informed that the Happy Hour margaritas are only of the “on the rocks” or “frozen” kind; “up” does not qualify for the Happy Hour discount.

Jamie calmly informs the barkeep that we were not informed of this odd distinction. He requests that since we are staying to have dinner, could we let this slip as we were not informed of this non-icy anomaly? No, I’m sorry you were not alerted to this, but no, the check stands.

Really? Really? Yes, really.

Now, this is a place, and we discovered this the hard way – on returning for our second meal and examining the bill more closely, as the first time didn’t make much sense, but what the hell, we had a good time and were buzzed so it didn’t matter that we seemed to be paying too much – that automatically adds 15% to the bill. This is very odd in NYC. This is also detrimental to the waitstaff, at least when dealing with J & myself, as we’ve both been waiters in our pasts and tend to tip very well. But hell, if the tip is added to the check, which we find really irritating, we’re not about to leave any more. Live and learn.

So, tonight, after being again screwed by this restaurant – it would have been so very easy for the barkeep to say, when I ordered my margarita up, “You know, that isn’t a Happy Hour margarita permutation” (of course, she wouldn’t have stated it that way; yes I’m sure about that) – we decided not to have dinner there after all.

Jamie was in the mood for some tasty red meat. That gave us two immediate options: Jake’s Steakhouse, just next to the annoying Mexican restaurant or The Riverdale Garden, a short walk away. We opted for The Riverdale Garden. We like it there. The staff is lovely. The garden is lovely. The food is lovely.

So, in the end, everything worked out well. We had a much better, if more expensive, meal than we were planning on.

What did we have? We split the excellent Red & Yellow beets with camenbert and roasted hazelnuts. Then J. had the delicious, beautifully charred Hanger Steak. I had the incredibly tasty Wild Boar with figs and a yummy cold white bean salad.

For the wine, we had Domaine des Deux Anes (House of the two asses – donkeys, that is), a naturally produced wine from Corbieres, Languedoc Rousillon. It was… ok. A bit too tanney and high in alcohol content, 14.5%, for me. The alcohol pretty well drowned out the pleasure of the fruit. I prefer a lower alcohol content with more depth. Now it sounds like a horrid wine and it wasn’t, it was perfectly passable, just not to my taste. And that, as my late dear friend Bob used to say, is what makes the phone book.

Dessert. Jamie had the pecan pie. A mound of pecans in a delightful tart crust with a side of praline ice cream. I had “Mom’s Chocolate Pudding” with Chocolate Pretzel Bark. My mom, and I love her cooking dearly, never made chocolate pudding like this. Not sweet, just delicious chocolate-y richness, topped by a dollop of whipped cream surrounded by a tasty crumble of, well, pretzel bark; bark being the catch-all for any flat, broken up chocolate with some ingredient mixed in.

Finished it all with a nice cup of French press coffee and then waddled home. Jamie to bed – how he goes immediately to bed after a large meal is beyond me, I need to digest – and I to, well, here.

And there it is, the happy roller coaster that we call life: an annoying day at work followed by a couple tasty margaritas followed by an annoying incident followed by a wonderful meal.

Not a bad ride at all. Of course, now I haven’t spewed about cell phones. Ah well, tomorrow is another day.


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Stewart. That Martha. She pissed me off. What about? Quinces.

There was a piece in the latest Martha Stewart magazine about “The Forgotten Fall Fruit”, ie: quince. Jamie & I were at our local, really good, fruit and veggie market yesterday when there, in a bin, were some quinces. I thought, “Why not?”, and chose two that, to me, looked quite lovely.

Arriving home, I looked up the article and found that Ms. Stewart says to buy quinces with no sign of green skin; that ripe ones are pale yellow to yellow. I, of course, had bought two greenish ones. Why? Why did I do that, you ask.

Because the art director of the piece, for whatever reason, had used two lovely green quinces on the first, full-page picture of the article. And as I tend to lean more toward the visual, I remembered the picture not the words.

So now, I have two greenish quinces resting on the kitchen counter, ripening. One day, the air will be redolent with their, reportedly, lovely scent and they will be the proper, yellowy color.

But for the moment, they’re green and I’m still pissed off at Martha.

…Didn’t I just write about falling into petty annoyances. Ah well… I’m only human. 🙂


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That’s what the air is tonight. Crisp. Autumnal. The sky is clear and star-filled. And living in NYC, that last is saying something.

I think of all the seasons, Autumn is my favorite. Well, I don’t think that, I know that. Maybe it has something to do with the on-set of the end, or rather, the big rest. It’s a time of amazing energy and change. The same could be said for the Spring, which is my second favorite season. Winter being my third. Summer, dead last; so far behind the pack, to borrow a line, it thinks it’s in the lead.

I’m looking forward to the upcoming (how did the time pass so damned quickly) holiday season. I know, I know, believe me, I rail against the ridiculous, disturbing American need to start selling the holidays months before they’re here. But today, on one of my walks, in the air’s crackling briskness, I looked into the building’s little garden area: someone had decorated it with mini-pumpkins and suddenly, I was whooshed ahead to Halloween, and Thanksgiving. And it made me feel good.

Probably because this year, unlike any since I left my parents’ home 27 years ago, I’ll be celebrating in a home. In my home. With my husband and cats and, if Jamie and I ever get our act together and figure out a date, with friends over for the holidays. Oh it all sounds so traditional and mundane; so straight. It really isn’t. What it is, is glorious. There are many times when I, like we all do, get caught up in my own little dramas, petty annoyances, drudging ruts. It’s human nature; it’s what we do. For some perverse reason, it’s so very easy to complain.

But the truth of it is, I’m damned lucky. And happy. And I think most of us are. Not in some Edenic way, only the insane and the sainted live there, but all of us who have some modicum of comfort and freedom and friendship and love in our lives should take a moment each day and say thanks to whatever power we happen to belive in. An island without life is just a barren rock, and that’s no way to live.

As the performance artist, Penny Arcade, says, “You should love somebody. It’s the most political act there is. It’s the only one that truly changes the world.”

Hey, wasn’t this post about Autumn?


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An atypical daytime post.

Funny how things happen. Leaving the apartment for work today, I heard a small noise. A long-ago familiar noise. I looked to my left and sure enough, there it was: a little kitten on the hallway stairs leading up to our building’s third floor, bundled up in itself, mewing. Jamie joined me, and with a “what else can we do” fatalism, Jamie got one of our cat carriers while I picked up and held the scared, but extremely friendly, kitty.

When we got him/her into the apartment, in the carrier, Jamie set to creating a flyer to post around the building. The kitty mewed and Morgan & PD seemed fairly disinterested. Interesting that. When Jamie moved from FL to NY to join my life, he brought the late, great Jeff with him; Morgan was… well, horrified. Spent an hour running, screaming around the apartment. Spent two weeks attacking me. It was not fun. Eventually though, Morgan and Jeff worked out a tenuous detente and pretty much agreed to ignore each other.

Jamie just called (I’m at work), I guess we just decided that, if no one claims her/him, we not only have a new home, we have a new child. Guess I’m not getting a dog anytime soon.

Back to work,


**Update** Well, no kitty for us. It turns out that a neighbor from the 3rd floor showed up after Jamie posted the signs around the building. He was very appreciative that we had taken in his cat – Tripoli (a boy). Our neighbor is a very nice older man who, Jamie felt, was very fond of the little bundle of fur, so at least we know Trip is in a good (if somewhat careless) home.

It was amazing, though, how sad I felt when Jamie told me about the return. For whatever reason, I bonded with that little cat almost immediately. I’m still a bit sad about it. And PD is still, a day later, looking around for her new friend, who she only really heard and never saw as Trip was in a carrier on the kitchen island. Morgan…well, Morgan could care less, but that’s Morgan. As long as she can sit on me, she’s content.

Guess I’ll just have to be content myself with our two older ladies, PD and Morgan. And that’s not such a bad thing at all.

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Hedwig and the Angry Inch logo.As in, Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

What seems like a lifetime ago, I was the box office manager and website designer for the Off-Broadway production of Hedwig.

I was also a huge fan. I still am. The whole experience was life-changing in so many ways. Afterall, it was responsible for, among many other things, my one and only IMDB.com entry. Oh yeah, and without Hedwig, I’d have never met my husband.

One day, I’ll write about that. But not tonight. Tonight I’m just going to announce, because it’s still how many people wander onto this site, that I’m throwing the orginal Hedwig site back onto the web.

It’s still written in its original primitive html. It’s still a mishmash of styles. It’s still Hedwig.com. And it’s still in the process of restoration.

Some stuff won’t work. Some links will take you to places that no longer exist.

If you’re a Hedwig fan, enjoy the ride. If you’re not, what the heck’s wrong with you?

On to the site…

As for me, on to bed. Gotta get up early tomorrow to trek to NJ for my Godson, Zane’s 2nd birthday party!


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Shantaram. It is a name meaning “man of peace”. It’s a book. A very long book. A 936 page book. By Gregory David Roberts. A very long book. And worth every delicious moment spent reading.

It’s an amazing mix of thriller, drama, memoir, cultural immersion, love story, criminal methodology, big thoughts, and little ones, too.

Our lovely mortgage officer, Dinika, loaned it to Jamie & I. This was a while back. Jamie read it right away; I, didn’t. I admit it, I was daunted by the book’s physical heft; a book you could kill someone with. But finally, I started. Now I’m just past the halfway mark and loving each and every one of its many pages. It’s an amazing ride, a wonderful education; a tome to savour.

What’s it about? Briefly, it’s a novel about a man who escapes from an Australian maximum security prison (where he has been justly jailed for various criminal offences) who’s run from the law takes him eventually to India. Bombay/Mumbai to be exact. There he meets a cast of characters from ex-pats from across the globe, to make-shift slum dwellers, to Mafia kings. And his life is changed. Boy, that really doesn’t sound interesting. But really it is. It is phenomenal.

The author, Mr. Roberts, is a man who escaped from an Australian maximum security prison (where he had been justly jailed for various criminal offences) who’s run from the law took him eventually to India. Bombay/Mumbai to be exact. There he met a cast of characters from ex-pats from across the globe, to make-shift slum dwellers, to Mafia kings. And his life was changed.

I’m anxious to see where he and the character wind up. So back to reading I go.


**Two things, while digging up the links for this piece, I discovered that the novel is in film pre-production; starring and produced by Johnny Depp. I have mixed feelings about this. While I understand the desire to film this story, it is an amazingly visual piece, I worry that even a longish film won’t do the story justice. I would much prefer to see it done as a BBC mini-series. While it wouldn’t reach the mass audience that a “major motion picture” would, it would allow the tale to take its time, unfold as it should. Just compare the TV & film versions of, for example, The Singing Detective, TV/film or The Lives and Loves of a She Devil, TV/film (as simply, She Devil, to witness what a vast difference an extended time-frame can make. I hope it comes out well.

Also, I thought I should mention that when I link to amazon or any other such selling entity, I’m doing so only to help ya along should you wish to seek out the whatever for yourself. There’s no payback on this end other than the joy of spreading the word of things I like.


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