Dec 29, 2007

Three completely random sources of pleasure today.



God dag

My neighbors, as I've documented before, are a somewhat interesting lot.

Today, on the way out, I met a new one.

He's moving into the apartment of the older guy, who tells me he's been driven out by the hysterical sound stylings of Miss Apartment F.

I opened the door awkwardly. I was in a rush. I didn't have time to talk. He was carrying in a box. He smiled. He was tall and blond. He introduced himself. He had a slight (Scandanavian?) accent.

And my first thought was this:
Oh my God, it's Sven, Rose's cousin from "The Golden Girls!"

How gay is that? (Me, that is, alas, not him.)

"I've divorced better men than you...."

I'd actually checked this book out from the library a while back. It's a collection of personal ads from the London Review of Books. Those Brits are so damned clever.

Anyway, here are some cute ones:

'I've divorced better men than you. And worn more expensive shoes than these. So don't think placing this ad is the biggest comedown I've ever had to make. Sensitive F, 34.'

'List your ten favourite albums... I just want to know if there's anything worth keeping when we finally break up. Practical, forward thinking man, 35.'

'Not everyone appearing in this column is a deranged cross-dressing sociopath. Let me know if you find one and I'll strangle him with my bra. Man, 56.'

'Mature gentleman, 62, aged well, noble grey looks, fit and active, sound mind and unfazed by the fickle demands of modern society seeks...damn it, I have to pee again.'

'Are you Kate Bush? Write to obsessive man, 36. Note, people who aren't Kate Bush need not respond.'

'Stroganoff. Boysenberry. Frangipani. Words with their origins in people's names. If your name has produced its own entry in the OED then I'll make love to you. If it hasn't, I probably will anyway, but I'll only want you for your body. Man of too few distractions, 32.'

'Romance is dead. So is my mother. Man, 42, inherited wealth.'

Dec 28, 2007

amusing the bouche

Last night my friend Mark was in town, visiting from Toronto. It was great to see him. Unfortunately, he was here for only one day. He came to visit for the holiday. When last heard from he had been stranded in the airport since 8 am, because of the delays at O'Hare and the weather in Chicago. It was 4 pm when I last heard from him. I haven't heard from him since, so I'm hoping he's made it there safely in time to see the play at the Steppenwolf that he'd already bought tickets for. What a nightmare.

Since he had only a day or so here, the tour I could offer was perfunctory at best.
Actually, he knows the sites of the city better than I do, at least the posher ones.

He didn't see any of the "devastation," partly because of time constraints, but mainly because he'd rather ignore it.
Whatever.
I was happy to oblige. We spent most of the day in the quarter, which is cleaner than it's ever been before, and in the warehouse district, where he was staying.
We went on an excursion trying to find Brad and Angelina, but never did....unless the Asian family we saw walking on Dauphine St. was them, incognito. They do have access to prosthetics, as Mark reminded me.

I haven't seen him in nearly four years. When I went to New York, he'd come down to visit me there for a day. That was the last time I'd seen him in person. When he had told me he was planning to visit, I had, of course, invited him to stay with me, knowing his money situation, but I knew he'd refuse. He has a taste for the finer things, I'm afraid, and luxe hotels are one of them.

When I first met him, he was...ok, well, let's not mince words here, something of a kept boy. When he and the boyfriend lived down here, they lived in a lovely condo downtown, very posh. (The parking cost more than my rent does now, in fact.)

He spent his twenties and much of his thirties in the care of a rich boyfriend, living a lavish lifestyle. This is the ideal situation for a soul like him....so of course, fate being as it is, it had to come to an end.

He's never quite recovered from the end of this lifestyle, I'm afraid. It's not a pretty thing when a kept boy has to fend for himself.

It was good to see the semi-jovial Mark, rather than the chronically depressed one that arrives in my email. I wish I could see this happier Mark more often.

On the way to dinner he insisted that we pass through Saks.
"What do you need to buy?" I asked naively.
"Nothing. We're just going to scope out the well dressed men." He was disappointed by the offerings, needless to say.

We ended up at Stella!, a nice enough place, with an ersatz "French Provincial" decor, which didn't seem to fit well with the food.



All in all, it was just an excuse to get dressed up...which was nice.
The menu left a bit to be desired, however. I don't much like fish (insert Beavis and Buttheard laughter here), and these sorts of places seem fish-heavy for some reason. Maybe it's just a fad.

I ended up getting the lamb ("Honey glazed lamb shank on a puree of winter vegetables" to paraphrase). It arrived looking like something from a very elegant episode of "The Flintstones," a big bone sticking up ceremoniously from the plate, piled upon a mound of miniaturized vegetables.
Before the entrees arrived, the chef generously sent over an amuse bouche of raw salmon and some sort of lotus root garnish, which one was supposed to suck down from a Chinese porcelain spoon. I kept looking around to see if we were the only ones so favored, but never could quite tell. I'm sure we looked like philistines trying to suck down the raw fish in one bite and not drip the sauce all over. It wasn't easy.

Anyway, since I had already embarrassed myself, I figured what the hell, took the camera out and started taking surreptitious photos of the plate. Unfortunately it was too dark for the photos to really come out. I had to rush for fear they'd confiscate the camera and drag me back to the kitchen, putting me through some sort of waterboarding-like torture involving those amuse-bouche spoons.

You never know.

The waitress was already peeved at my little mountain of Sweet and Low packets, I'm sure. We'd started out on the wrong foot when we ignored the wine list and ordered tea. I could swear I could hear her grit her teeth at that. Hey, I *did* politely stack up the packets in a tidy little pile for her. I don't know what her problem was.

After dinner, we decided to go crazy and get a dessert. Mark had some sort of frozen ginger creme brulee with green tea ice cream. It sounded better than it was.
Looking over the dessert menu, we had a good snicker about the "Chocolate Cake with Hot Buttered Pink Lemonade."

So of course, daredevil that I am, I got it.
It was good, but nothing earth shattering. For the record, "hot buttered pink lemonade" is remarkably similar to drawn butter for the king crab legs at the Chinese buffet, with a packet of sweet and low mixed in it.
(Not that I'd ever...umm...do such a thing, of course.)

The nicest part of the meal was actually the last course, which came (by way of another snooty waiter) "compliments of the chef." It was a post-dessert dessert of meringues and two homemade espresso-flavored marshmallows.
I think the homemade marshmallows were my favorite part of the whole meal.
How does one even make a homemade marshmallow?

I think I'm going to have to look that up.

Dec 27, 2007

lego nola

Click to see the detail:







(thanks, Robin)

Dec 26, 2007

overheard

Two towering mid-thirties drag queens, both in hot pants, long silky smooth legs fluorescing in orange spray tan, walking leisurely through Target on the day after Christmas...dressed in what can only be described as Soccer Mom/Hooker drag:




Shorter one to taller one:
"We need to get you some new clothes. I don't want to see you in that Tinkerbell hoodie again."

Taller one, sullenly:
"Ok."

suburban family goes to theater


Seems like Brad and Angelina were at Elmwood today.
And to think I was just this close to going there today myself.

Dec 25, 2007

Dolly is always appropriate

Couldn't say it better myself:

Dec 23, 2007

A (pre-)Christmas Story

Back in October, when our local Oakwood Mall re-opened after two years of being shuttered following its looting and burning in the aftermath of Katrina, I went to scope it out with my mother.

We really just wanted to see if the Chick Fil-A was open, but no such luck. We've been without a Chick Fil A around here for nearly three long hard years. Actually, the mall was still nearly as dead as it had been two years ago. Nothing much had opened still. It was all rather disheartening.

Disapointedly, we made our way through the food court when suddenly I saw a familiar face at one of the tables. He was sitting there with an older man, who looked like a grandfather perhaps, but it was unmistakably him, I could tell.
It was none other than Peter Billingsley, Ralphie of "A Christmas Story"



I couldn't imagine why he was there, in fact I doubted that I was right. I mean really, why in heaven's name would he be sitting at food court table on the Westbank in a half deserted, half opened mall in October? It was too bizarre.

But as soon as I got home I looked through some old papers and surely enough, there he was, Peter Billingsley (with Vince Vaughn) both in town for a film festival at that very time.

I only recognized the adult Peter because I was one of the few who actually saw "The Breakup" in which he (with Vaughn and Anniston) starred.
Twice.
It's not something I'm proud of, but it did come in handy ultimately.

Dec 20, 2007

Egoiste!



A classic....one of my favorite commercials.

"the reason for the season"

I mentioned my own Kris Kringling efforts a bit earlier, but I neglected to mention what I myself received:



Yes, that's right:
a Jesus fish.

And a big box of microwave popcorn.

Apparently, I seem to need Jesus....and roughage.
ho ho ho.

Dec 19, 2007

I can die now in peace.



"Each room lights up as a poem is READ by Kinkade!"

Dec 14, 2007

overheard


"Girl, that look like a long island ice tea, a short on the rocks, a po-boy...and some broccoli up there."

(Comment from the back of the class as four of my students eagerly lined up at the board. {i.e. tall/skinny, short/stout, long/chubby...and one bad weave.})

Dec 13, 2007

Bulifant-a-like

I just got back from a harrowing trip to Walmart, in December. I do not recommend it.

Tomorrow is our annual faculty Christmas "party," and I had to buy a gift. Traditionally, to aid the "festivities," we draw Kris Kringle names and exchange gifts. You pray to get a middle aged maternal woman as your Kris Kringle,
and someone who's put his or her gift wish on the list as yours.
That's pretty much the jackpot in this little game of Russian roulette.

I was called into the office a few days ago with the ominous "There's a message in the office for you." For a split second, I was paralyzed by fear. I was sure my mother had died and the coroner was calling to retrieve the body.

No, but it was almost as bad.

I got there to find the school secretary beaming at me, "You forgot to pick a name," she giggled. "Tsk. I already put your name in, because I knew you'd want to participate."
I smiled and groaned inwardly (I'm good at that).

So I drew a name, opened it up. The confusion on my face must have been obvious. I held it up to her. It took her a few minutes to figure out who it was. "Oh, yes, she's one of the kindergarten aides. You know, the blonde lady."

I thought.

And then it dawned on me. It was none other than the Joyce Bulifant-a-like!

Thankfully I didn't blurt that aloud, but I came dangerously close.
I knew immediately who she was then. That's how I refered to her in my mind.

I mean really, when you see a pristine Joyce Bulifant in the wild....in 2007(!) you remember it.
Or at least I do.





Unfortunately, she didn't give me a clue as to what she might want, so it was up to me to figure out what a woman about whom I know but two things---her perky blonde do c.1974 and a really thick New Orleans accent.

What does one buy for such an exotic creature? A blowdryer? The Match Game Boxed Set?
I decided to play it safe with a Walmart gift certificate. I can't wait to see the look on her hair when she gets it.

Dec 7, 2007

just because

Here are some pictures of the legendary house of Charles and Ray Eames.

It's always been one of my fantasy houses:

By the way, it's also the centennial of his birth I see.



Dec 5, 2007

french testicles and yarn wigs

Here are a few of the recent google searches that have brought poor unsuspecting strangers to my little journal:

"What does Depeche mean?"
(More than one fan has ended up here...tricked into thinking they'd find out)


"Sex with Jem's Band"
(Oh, how I wish I could tell them more)

"Andres Segura bd"
(Maybe it's him, googling himself, and he's happened upon my website...it could happen, right?)

"Tom Logan Grey Gardens"
(I'm happy to see so many are intrigued by him too.)

"Yarn Wigs"
(I get three or four hits from this every month it seems. Apparently there's a need for yarn wig information out there. Perhaps this is my niche.

"French testicles"
(Ok, maybe this is my niche. Unfortunately, the search only
leads them here...disappointing, I know.)

"Renuzit deodorizer cover"
(I'm in the top ten links, I'm proud to say.)

"How to help a family at a time of death"
(Which led them here
Oddly enough, I'm in the top ten links of this search too. Sadly, I can offer more advice on yarn wigs than I can on this topic.)

Dec 3, 2007

a little night music

Perhaps you remember January's covergirl Joyce
I know I do. I remember her every night.
But enough about me.

Here are some more unearthed treasures from the stacks:



(one word:
"Heino."
I don't know what it means, but it's now in my vocabulary.)



(Oddly topical, isn't it?)



(Daniel Day Lewis, are you reading?)