Friday, November 30, 2007

World AIDS Day

In advance of World AIDS Day (I'll be doing Blog Exchange on December 1st) I wanted to write a post about where the epidemic stands.

There's loads of statistics - and some are looking better these days. Then I got bored. I deal with faceless numbers all the time (HIV numbers to be specific, but still really just numbers I'd be stealing from the UNAIDS website).

I have a dictionary that I got for my high school graduation. In the front of it is this inscription:

May this represent a new beginning
- Dennis, 5 June 1986
He died of AIDS about a year later. I often look at this dictionary and think, have things changed for the better? Yes, in many ways they have. And in many ways, we have a long way to go. Thanks, Dennis, for setting me out on a path. Hope to do you proud.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Books Are Free

"Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing." - Scout Finch, To Kill A Mockingbird

In our house, full of many children and limited funds (all spent on education), there was one thing that was always free. Books.

You could beg beg beg for clothes or records or toys and pray your hardest that Santa, the Easter Bunny, or the Birthday Fairy would bring them. And they might. You could beg beg beg mom and dad every time you went into a store - "oh please please please can I have it". And you might get it.

The one place you never had to beg was the bookstore. Books were free. They didn't fall under any limit. They were "extra-budgetary" as the federal bean counters might say.

Summer evenings on Cape Cod in a house with no TV we listened to baseball games on the radio and read. Our favorite bookstore - The Compass Rose - kept us in good supply. I miss that place. It had a feel to it that no other place had.

When I went in there with my parents it was FREE.

This is part of the DAY TO READ campaign:

January 10, 2008 has been designated as the DAY TO READ.

On that day we join the collective challenge to spend some time with our noses stuck in it. A book that is. If you are a blogger, join us by stepping away from the keyboard for all or part of the day and spend that time reading something you enjoy.

Next, report to us (check out Jenn in Holland or Gunfighter - this guy reads EVERYTHING) and others what you've read. You can do this in a dedicated post or a comment at Allison's blog--Soccer Mom in Denial--after the DAY TO READ has passed.

Post the DAY TO READ button at your blog. Pass it on! The button, the news about the day, the challenge to others to read, read, read, read, read!

Leave me your suggestions for books to read - not sure what I'm interested in? Check here and here.

That's it. Make DAY TO READ a Happily Ever After kind of event.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sometimes you just need a good editor


Cheney Has Irregular Heartbeat

Published: November 26, 2007
Filed at 9:11 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Doctors administered an electrical shock to Vice President Dick Cheney's heart and restored it to a normal rhythm during a 2 1/2 hour hospital visit Monday. The procedure was described as a low-risk, standard practice. Cheney, 66, went home from George Washington University Hospital and was expected back at work on Tuesday.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Others' Ears

This post brought to you by Soccer Mom in Denial - posting every Monday on a different musical memory (some are freakin' hilarious!).


I am a terrible singer. I know this. I've learned to love my voice. Alas, others have not been so fortunate. These are their tales.

A few years ago, my then-boyfriend/now-husband spent Christmas with my family and me in NYC. He's Jewish but not so much practicing so the holiday was fine with him - except the church part, understandably. It was Christmas eve and I wanted to go the midnight candlelight service. My dad and brother wanted to go to sleep. I was prepared to head over to the church by myself but my boyfriend insisted on going with me as it was so late. The service involved a lot of singing as is typical and each time he stood up with everyone else - just didn't sing. After a few hymns I noticed that he began to move closer towards me. Thinking he wanted to read the words in the hymnal I moved my arms over so that he could see better. He edged nearer but his eyes didn't go to the page. I thought it was sweet that he just wanted to be closer to me. He later said that what he really wanted was to hear my voice - it was so bad he just couldn't believe it.

I had a wonderful dog, Wilma whom I adored and took with me everywhere. We went on lots of road trips together all over the northeast. She was a very sweet and sensitive black lab - she adored everyone and they adored her. As with any driving, there were less than great moments - idiot drivers (never me) cutting you off or any other numerous infractions. Typically I would curse them out and yell, overtaken by road rage. Anytime I cursed out another driver Wilma would shake and cower and try and hide underneath the seat (keep in mind she weighed 70lbs.) I learned to control my rage and Wilma calmed down. But then I noticed whenever I sang to the radio she had the same reaction. She liked the radio just fine - I could turn the volume all the way up playing hardcore rap music and she was content. Except when I opened my mouth. Back under the seat.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Oh My God She's Dead?

I've mentioned in earlier posts my rather large extended family. For this Soap Opera Sunday I will be focusing on my closest family member, my sister Jennifer.

Back when I was a bit younger - maybe 8 or 9 - I begged my parents for a hamster. I so badly wanted that furry little thing. I had dreams of a Habitrail running through my head. Finally, my parents relented and for my birthday I received not one, but two hamsters. Seeing as they were sisters I named them Jennie and Jessica (that being my sister and me).

I was a pretty decent caretaker for awhile. The whole cage cleaning thing was a bit of a bore. And there were the few times one of them escaped and my parents and I would scramble around my room trying to catch the furry little thing. My best friend Alison and I would play with them all the time - let them run around our hands. They were so soft.

One tragic day Alison called and the conversation went something like this:

Al: Hi, what's up?
Me: [audible sobs]
Al: What's wrong, why are you crying?
Me: Jennie's dead [sob, sob]
Al: Oh my god, she's dead?! What happened?!
Me: I don't know, I just found her there [sob, sob]
Al: Found her where?
Me: Hanging from her cage! [sob, sob]
Me: I'll be okay [sob, sob]
Al: [dawning realization that this is the hamster, not my sister]. Oh right, well you've still got the other one.

Please, whoever you are out there. For heaven's sake, do not ever name your pet after your sister or any other family member. (ahem, Jenn in Holland)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Batting Cage

Yesterday I mentioned the myriad of toys at our relatives house. Today's entry is dedicated to the batting cage. I LOVE the batting cage.

They have a large basement which is actually another garage - the previous owners had several cars and since the house sits on a slope they were able to create these additional long rooms downstairs. Rooms that would not be used as a garage but which had the wonderful quality of being long with cement walls. One side is a workshop and the other is a glorious batting cage.

When we first arrived and heard there was a batting cage downstairs we figured it was really just a backstop like the one in the backyard. Oh no, it's a *real* batting cage, complete with an automatic pitching machine. It has a large net surrounding the area - so when you hit the ball it doesn't fly off the walls.

I screamed and jumped and then quickly ran into the cage (with a helmet of course) and proceeded to warm up. In heels. It was heaven. I hit nearly every ball too. Of course, I couldn't tell you if they were doubles or triples, but they felt like homeruns. Oh joy.

My husband was up next. Can't say he did as well. Our 8-year old phenom niece knocked it out of the park. She's headed for the major leagues next week.

Friday, November 23, 2007


Yesterday we went to relatives for Thanksgiving dinner. Expecting the usual dull 4-hour wait for a 5-minute meal we were pleasantly surprised to have arrived at what can best be described as Playland. Seriously, a batting cage in the basement, foosball table and Xbox. Dinner was a minor distraction.

Today's blog entry will be about one of these wonderful toys, the Xbox. We are by no means video game fans. The last time I remember playing one, Space Invaders was considered revolutionary. A big step up from Pong. My husband played some Star Wars game with our nieces for about an hour or so, until he finally beat one of them - the 6-year old I think.

Later on in the evening the girls pulled out Xbox Karaoke. Sounded like fun but nothing more exciting than you and bunch of drunk friends at a bar in NY. Oh no, this was more. This was competitive karaoke. Somehow this karaoke (which can place you at a country fair or a seaside concert with any number of "personalities") could also rate your performance. Something about hitting the right note at the right time. If you know me, you know this is impossible. I've been asked to stop singing in church. In church. By my family.

After watching the girls do a few of these songs my husband and I tried for a duet of sorts. Our character looked liked Elvis. Elvis in the 70's. Right before he overdosed. We sang Madonna's "Material Girl". We failed. Yes, we "failed". Our audience rating was so low the needle couldn't get any lower. Our character collapsed on stage at the end of the show. The audience had cleared out. Other people in the room thought we were trying to sing badly.

Next we switched to a character who looked something like a cross between Britney Spears (post-two babies, think MTV awards) and Foxy Brown. Our song - "Brick House". Have you actually heard these lyrics? Oh goodness. Needless to say we bombed that one too.

Who knew you could fail at karaoke?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I Am Thankful For

A family I both love and like.

Most days.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Holiday Travel

Oh, the joy. Ugh. I live in the heavily congested Northeast Corridor. You know, that lovely stretch from Washington, DC to Boston, MA which on a light weekend resembles a parking lot? I have lived here most of my life (a short stay on the West Coast) and have faithfully traveled during Thanksgiving. I went to college in Baltimore and grad school in Boston and never missed a Thanksgiving in Connecticut. My adherence to this travel nightmare was only outdone by my stupidity.

However, a few years ago, that all changed. I love my home state (Go Nutmeggers!) but it's not the easiest place to get to. Invariably I would go via NYC - stand on an overcrowded Amtrak train or take a very expensive flight (and then a bus and train - don't get me started on the inaccessiblity of NYC airports).

Over the years, the holiday crowd got thinner. Everyone was stressed from travel and the traditional dinner became a smorgasbord of anxiety. How long will my drive take - 5 hours or 12 hours? I spent my the entire week anxious about the trip up and the entire Thanksgiving day anxious about the trip down. And then there was my sweet sweet dog who had gotten too old to kennel and finding a sitter was impossible over a holiday weekend. So I finally threw in the towel and called Dad.

Me: How about this year I stay here in DC and we get together the next weekend in NYC. We can have a great meal and not be stressed the whole time. We can reallly ENJOY ourselves. How does that sound?

Dad: Fantastic! Thanks for not making me go to get you at the airport. This is the best gift ever!

Aaaaaah, the relief. I wrote into an online chat at the Washington Post and won a prize for that story - would you believe it was luggage?

Safe travels everyone!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Dryer Lint

This posting every day for the month of November is tough. I can find the time but finding the topic is getting tougher.

The other night while out with some other bloggers I mentioned to Gunfighter that I'm going to resort to writing about dryer lint.

Well here it is, my dryer lint blog entry:

One reader of Real Simple magazine wrote in about her most unusual holiday gift,

My Aunt Hallie gave me a beautifully wrapped package of dryer lint. It was supposed to include the instructions for making dryer-lint fire starters, but she had misplaced them.

Fire starter? Hmmmm....never thought of that. Can you do the same with navel lint?

Here are some other handy uses for dryer lint:
1. Stuffing toys
2. Nesting material for birds
3. Worms or compost
4. Insulation
5. Make paper
6. Artwork

Gee, with all these options, don't think I need to go Christmas shopping this year!

Happy Holidays everyone!

Monday, November 19, 2007


This post brought to you by Soccer Mom in Denial - posting every Monday on a different musical memory (some are freakin' hilarious!).

About a year and a half ago I got married and, as with any wedding, there was much planning beforehand. We were two pretty laid back fiance(e)s not caring too much about a lot of details and really focusing our efforts on certain specifics that really mattered to us.

One of these specifics was music. As I mentioned before my husband is a HUGE classical music fan. We negotiated that he would have control over the ceremony (with a string quartet) and I would have control over the reception. We had been planning a Beethoven-heavy ceremony - about 4 music pieces - and some readings. The reception, as you might imagine was a bit different - we had a band who was basically going to play rock-type music - the stuff you dance to at weddings.

My mom and stepdad were in town several months before the wedding and we took them out to lunch. The subject of "YMCA" came up. You can imagine the look on my Beethoven/Wagner/Mahler loving fiance's face when he heard mention of this song. I explained to him that it's sort of a tradition in our family that when one of the women gets married that we play this song at the reception. It all stems from my cousin Kristen's wedding where my newly divorced mother is captured on film desperately waving her arms around trying to figure out the letters. It's a happy memory for all of us. We subsequently played it at my cousin Kathy's wedding and later my mother's wedding (in an English manorhouse no less!).

He was mortified. The conversation moved on.

My mom said how much she loved Mozart and how much she would just love to have a little Mozart at the wedding ceremony. I gently told her that my fiance was in charge of music and he would choose. She kept pushing. My stepdad and I just kept saying to her "point taken". She kept pushing. My fiance, ever the gentleman who didn't want to piss off his future mother-in-law, kept quiet. She kept pushing. Finally, she pulls out the wild card - "I'll offer you YMCA" she yells, he responds "SOLD!"

I sat there stunned and then reminded everyone present "I am the bride and at the end of the day, I control EVERYTHING." Nuff said.

So what happened? Fiance and I negotiated no YMCA - he had issues with our crazy family maybe overwhelming his. And I didn't need it so bad that I was willing to fall on that sword. The ceremony music would be all Beethoven and it would be lovely.

Months later at the wedding reception, the band starts playing YMCA. My husband, my mother, my stepdad and I look at each other - we're a bit stunned. We didn't count on my sister doing an end run around all of us.

Everyone piled onto the dance floor and we had a blast. It truly takes a Village People to raise a family.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Mi Familia

I couldn't think of any soapy stories this week that:

a) I was willing to put in print for my friends and family to read (and therefore hate me for) or;
b) I was sufficently embarassed by (must be repressing the memories)

So I'm going to take this opportunity to describe a family who could easily end up in a place like Port Charles (that's for you General Hospital fans out there!).

There are two children who each got married, each had four kids and then each got divorced, and then each remarried into families with more kids. Of the second generation there are eight original children with three added on at a later date through a second marriage, and then even more inherited. Did you follow that?

Remember when you were in grade school and you learned all the different parts of a family - sister, brother, mother, father, aunt, uncle, grandfather, grandmother? And you had a pretty clear sense of who was older than the other?

This family has a niece 10 years older than an aunt, a grandfather who is only 38 years old, and a daughter only 11 years younger than a mother. A grandchild 7 years younger than a great-grandchild and a great-grandfather who has not yet reached retirement age.

Sound confusing? Welcome to my world.

Maybe next week I'll work up the nerve to tell an embarassing story about them.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

It's That Little Pink Nose

"I Love Lucy" - part of the weekly Photo Hunters

Friday, November 16, 2007

Product I Could Never Endorse

Duncan Hines Oven-Ready Homestyle Brownies - No prep and no clean up! In my home we do the dishes, so what makes this "homestyle"? This product has sunk to a new low. You don't even need to provide the pan. Seriously folks, pull out the mix if you have to, add the oil and eggs, and stir. The exercise will do you good and you might enjoy the process of baking. If you want the smell of brownies in the oven then put some vanilla over a heat source. Same effect, fewer chemicals.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Praying for Rain

Life around here lately has been a bit odd. It's been raining. Nearly every day or so it seems. When you go several months without rain and your poor plants are endlessly thirsty despite your constant watering, you really notice it when it rains. I'm not sure I could live in Seattle, but I sure am appreciating all this water, albeit a bit late.

It got me thinking about other people who have had issues with water lately. The Governor of Georgia recently led a public prayer session for rain. Maybe he should pray for this administration to do something about climate change.

Here's one of my favorite Sesame Street episodes on the virtues of rain according to Oscar the Grouch and Bob:

For a story about too much water check out my sister's website -- she has a stirring video from Aceh, Indonesia, a place which suffered horribly from the tsunami of December 26, 2004.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Dear John

This is a post about my hairdresser John whom I am visiting today. I love my hairdresser.

Let me tell you why:

1. When I was debating whether or not to go on a first date with this guy he said I should do it - and give it several dates. Told me to give it a chance because you never know. Yep, I married the guy.

2. When he saw my mom for the first time after she finished radiation therapy (she flies transatlantic for his haircuts) and found out she had cancer, he just about fell on the floor. Then picked himself up and said to her, "you've got so much hair, we've got nothing to worry about."

3. When he and his partner wanted to adopt a child from John's home country of Vietnam, they adopted twins - because twins are harder to place together. He wheels them around Capitol Hill wearing onesies that say "Bush is Poopy".

If I were bald I would still go to him every 6 weeks. Just so we could visit.

Monday, November 12, 2007


This post brought to you by Soccer Mom in Denial - posting every Monday on a different musical memory (some are freakin' hilarious!). Also participating this week is Jenn from Holland.


A few years ago my then-boyfriend/eventual-husband and I went to Paris for a romantic vacation. On our first night there we went for a stroll by the Seine. I kept complaining that my feet hurt so we headed back to our hotel, passing by the Louvre. We stopped in front of the Arc de Carrousel and he proposed to me. I of course said yes - or something to that effect.

The next night, all gleeful and newly engaged, we went to a concert at the IRCAM Center. I've mentioned before that he's a classical music fan - and this was going to be a classical music concert. But contemporary classical music (I myself have never really understood that term). He said he didn't think I'd like it but that this was a very unique venue and that the musicians were very well known. I, of course, agreed to go - I've been to any number of concerts that were less than thrilling - and I'm always open to try something once.

Oh boy! I don't even know how to describe the sounds that came out of these instruments - some violins, a trumpet, I don't even remember. I suppose somewhere in there was a tune or something linking these notes together but for the life of me I couldn't figure it out. Pipes clanging with the onset of winter have more melody to them. I tried desperately to latch onto something in this concert. No luck.

When it was over, my fiance turned to me and said, "What did you think?"

I replied, "Wretched".

Good thing he proposed the night BEFORE...


Click here to listen to Howard Stern mock a similar sound

Sunday, November 11, 2007


*Names have been changed to protect the innocent and mostly stupid*

Back in grad school I became close friends with a classmate of mine, Mary*. Along with everyone else in our program we were all embarking on 2 years of a master's program. Mary and I hung out all the time - taking many of the same classes and living in the same neighborhood. We got to know many of our new classmates, including SMID, and two other women, Jane* and Jill*. It was an exciting and chaotic first year for all of us. About halfway through the first year, Jane, who had been living in school housing, moved in with Jill who had a big apartment in a great neighborhood. By the end of the first year everyone had gotten to know one another and we all went home for the summer.

In the second year when got back to school, I stayed in my fabulous apartment and my friend Mary moved into much better digs in town. Jane and Jill moved into an even better apartment, also in our neighborhood. As Mary, Jane, Jill and I were in the same program and lived in the same neighborhood we spent a lot of time together both studying and socializing.

Sometime in the spring Jane and Jill had a party at their place and invited Mary and me. We invited SMID to join us. It was a lot of fun - both Jane and Jill being great cooks with a well-stocked kitchen and fabulous taste in wine.

Later on in the evening J & J were opening cards from other guests. Anniversary cards. Mary and I thought this was so great - that we too should have a party celebrating our friendship! SMID had a quizzical look on her face. Later on, we all took a tour of the apartment and SMID whispered in my ear, "there's only one bed". Mary and I thought nothing of this - there was also a futon in the living room. Don't many students bunk up?

It must have been about 2 months later by the time Mary and I finally caught on. Yep, our friends were more than friends. Not that anyone cared. To this day we like to think it's because we are so open-minded that it just never entered our minds that there was something more romantic going on. Our friends like to think it's because we're as stupid as we look.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Fat Henry being Flexible - part of the weekly Photo Hunters

Friday, November 09, 2007

It's Hammer Time!

The Washington Post had a story in the Style section about a woman who took a hammer to Comcast (our local cable provider).

Note that it was in the *Style* section, not the police blotter. She's a folk hero. Not that I condone violence, but I can truly understand her frustration.

I have spent the better part of the past 2 months fighting with the cable company over a few channels with terrible reception. You might say, "it's just a few channels" but when your team is in the playoffs on one of those channels and you can't see what's happening it can be enormously painful!

Six inside visits, three outside visits (there are two different teams requiring separate visits) and 2 months later my problem is finally resolved. Turns out all it required was replacing about 10 feet of cable inside. It's enough to make you want to go and take a hammer to someone.

Not that I condone violence.

If I had a hammer,
I'd hammer in the morning,
I'd hammer in the evening,
All over this land.

I'd hammer out danger,
I'd hammer out a warning,
I'd hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Star F**king

My husband often accuses me of Star F**king - when you stalk someone who is famous (in this town that's usually a politician) just to get a glance or better yet, a photo-op. The walls of some offices are just full of these treasured moments captured on film - complete with a clever personal note from the star him/herself!

Yes, I confess, that at times I am enamored of certain famous people - but in my defense, let me say that I am very discriminating (in a good way). I do not stalk known conservatives and have turned down opportunities to meet people with whom I don't feel a certain connection. Not "connection" like in my head I think we're best friends - "connection" like I agree with them on certain issues. Please, give me some credit, I have standards!

In the past few years I've managed to meet a few people and this, more often than not, results in a photo. I won't lie, I like my pictures. Especially the one of me and a famous rock star that my mother so lovingly had plastered on a coffee mug.

Yesterday, was a magical day. Typically, I meet these stars at some event. But yesterday, I was wandering around in the Whole Foods near my house just scrounging for lunch when I saw HER. Naturally, I slipped into stalking mode.

I quickly called my husband at work -"It's HER. I love HER. What should I do?!" He replied "Just say hello and stop Star F**king. People like it when you say hello."

I was so nervous! I couldn't possibly say hello. And interrupt her shopping? How rude!

Then, my moment came! SHE got in the checkout line - I quickly ran with my tuna sandwich (on whole grain, I'm trying to eat better) and got in line behind HER. I gently tapped her arm and said -

"Are you who I think you are?" to which she replied "I think so".

I then said - "I think you're the most intelligent woman on television." Oh my god! I said something smart! And not at all embarassing!

She replied "Well thank you. We're in town doing a piece on lobbyists." I quickly added "My husband works on the Hill. I'll tell him to avoid you." She said goodbye and went on her way.

Wow. What a day. I need a cigarette.

Who is SHE? (SMID is going to love this).

Samantha Bee - Most Senior Correspondent on The Daily Show. Sigh.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Kennedy Center Has A Veterinarian Backstage

I was struggling with what to post today and thought I would read SMID's blog for some inspiration - and there it was! Music Monday. Here forthwith, my musical Monday.

We attended a children's concert yesterday at the Kennedy Center (my husband does classical music reviews for the Washington Post) - hosted by the visiting conductor Ivan Fischer. He was fantastic - so animated with the kids. My husband offered to cover this concert because, as he told the press person for the National Symphony Orchestra, I'm "more in touch with my inner child than he is." It's true. Anyway, the concert was a series of pieces demonstrating different instruments - violin, viola, contrabassoon, flute, trombone. The conductor interacted wonderfully with the kids - who clapped so hard and shouted out their answers to his questions.

I noticed in the progam that there is an upcoming concert of Peter and the Wolf - the wonderful Prokofiev piece using differerent instruments for the different characters in a story (often narrated by someone famous like Cher, Sharon Stone, Sting, Dame Edna...) about a boy hunting a wolf.

In the story, the wolf (French horns) swallows the duck (oboe) whole. The press person at the NSO told us a funny story about a previous production of the piece (including mimes). At the end of the piece, when all the characters are marching offstage to the zoo, the children in the audience yelled "But the duck is still inside the wolf!" The conductor this day, not knowing how to respond, turned to someone offstage with a look of desperation - to which he received the reply - tell them "we have someone on staff who'll take care of that".

Since then, the NSO includes in its program a note for this concert that says "The Kennedy Center has a veterinarian backstage".

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Mazel tov!

In the past two weeks we've attended two naming ceremonies - the first was a Christening and the second a Simchat Bat. All in all they both went along the same lines - infant is blessed and welcomed into the religious community. Followed by brunch.

The Christening, as most are, was performed during a church service so other various things were included such as hymns and news of the church. I have to confess, as I suppose would be appropriate, that I got a horrible case of the giggles. In this tiny, tiny church with all of maybe 20 pews (that's 10 on either side of the aisle) half full, the minister, who was mic-ed, sang like he was Aretha Franklin. Only he wasn't. I felt bad, because this guy clearly felt the love of God, and clearly wanted to share it. But combined with a tiny, horribly off-key choir, it just hit me in my funny bone. Dear God, please forgive me for shaking so uncontrollably.

The Simchat Bat, which is a naming ceremony for a girl in the Jewish faith, was held in our friends' backyard led by a cantor -the same cantor who married this couple. It was a beautiful fall day spent with close friends and family. And the neighbor's kid peering over the fence. He was clearly fascinated by all the "amens" and at the end offered his congratulations - as in "CONGRATULATIONS!". Thanks, neighbor boy.

If I were a food critic - aw heck, I am one -I would say that both receptions were quite delicious. Roast pork tenderloin, braised beef tenderloin, penne with tomato sauce, yellow cake with raspberry filling, bagels with cream cheese and lox, rugelach, and chocolate bundt cake. All scrumptious!

No liquor, but that's usually reserved for wakes.

Saturday, November 03, 2007


The Fall Classic - part of the weekly Photo Hunters

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Onion Couldn't Make This Stuff Up

Hooters Fight Gives City 2 Restaurants
February 1, 2007

TROY, Mich. (AP) -- A fight to discourage Hooters restaurant from expanding in this well-to-do Detroit suburb by blocking its liquor license has backfired: Now there are two restaurants just two miles apart.

Troy, a high-income city of just 80,000 people and home to the state's only Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue department stores, now has another distinction. It is the only non-resort city of its size to have two Hooters.

''You come directly off the interstate and that's the first thing you come to,'' said Wade Fleming, a councilman who voted in June to reject the transfer of a liquor license from the old restaurant's location to a new one. ''That starts to define Troy, I think, and that's not how we'd like to define Troy.''

Hooters executives want just one restaurant in Troy, but the company won't close the old one until it's allowed to serve alcohol at the new restaurant, which opened Monday on a larger, more visible site.

Critics are concerned that the restaurants' scantily clad servers don't fit the image the city seeks to project in its Big Beaver commercial district. Fleming said officials are trying to make the area a ''world-class corridor.''

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Rabbit Rabbit

It's the first of the month and on the first day of the month I say "Rabbit, Rabbit". It's something a friend of mine told me to do years and years ago and just one of those superstitions I've stuck with. Don't ask me why, I honestly have no idea. She told me to say it on the first day of the month and that was it.

Along with my rabbit, rabbit supersition I also won't travel with bananas or pickle. Two other superstitions told to me by friends. The first friend was Hawaiian and the second one Indian. I tend to think their supersitious food choices were partly ethnic. But no matter, to this day I will travel with neither item.

And for good measure I also carry a St. Christopher medal with me. I may not be a practicing Catholic, but I don't need to be the member of any group to use its talismans.

Best of luck to you all for November!