Insomnia Friday – Thoroughly Random Thoughts

2 July 2010

Insomnia’s been intermittently kicking my ass for the better part of the last 20 years. I cannot recall a stretch that has been as bad as the last few months.

…in other news, Netflix on Demand has been a friendly and faithful companion lately.

…in still other news, the movie TAPS somehow has endured the years quite well.

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My Week in Bars…

To the lovely barmaid with the pixie cut who kept me in good beer at Fat Heads in Pittsburgh, you’re the kind of restaurant professional who makes me wish that I still ran a restaurant just so I could hire you.

To the blowhards sitting next to me at The Uptown in Chicago, I appreciate the very strong feelings you so loudly expressed about illegal immigration. By the by, I wonder who picked the avocados for that five dollar guacamole you were eating?

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So here’s a question for you all…

Recently I found myself in the company of a woman whose professional acquaintance I had just formally made after several email exchanges. After the business portion of the evening, she invited me to join her and several others for cocktails. The preponderance of the others were men, and it was evident that most of them had a more substantive social relationship with her than I, and I also suspect that most of them were quietly interested in her. At a certain point in the evening, this woman began to be less than delicate in concealing her knickers given the length of her skirt. I presume that the booze was the primary factor.

How does one discreetly tell a woman that she is being less than discreet?

How does one discreetly tell a woman he does not know well that it might be time for her to go home… especially given that she is surrounded by closet suitors who have known her longer?

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Get well soon, Tracee Hamilton. You are my favorite WaPo sports columnist these days, and I will miss your voice.

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The One Question Meme: if you could create a version of Netflix that would enable you to have short term rentals of something on a revolving basis, what would it be?

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Something you should know about drinks…

If you’ve ever had a Bellini, chances are you’ve not had a good one. The Bellini is perhaps the simplest of all classic cocktails with only two ingredients, prosecco and white peach puree. It is also one of the most commonly mishandled where people substitute fresh peach puree with something from a can or even worse – fucking wretched Peach Schnapps. Invented by Giuseppi Cipriani in 1948 at Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy, the Bellini, when made with fresh and honest ingredients and poured into a proper champagne flute, immediately evokes elegance and sophistication.

  • 3 white peaches peeled and diced
  • 1 bottle of champagne
  • In a blender, puree the peaches. (If you’re like me and sensitive to pulp then run the peach puree through cheese cloth after blending.) Pour 1 ounce of pureed peach into a flute and top with 4 ounces of champagne.

I have also made variations on the Bellini with pears, green apples, and mangoes. The most import thing is to get good and in-season fruit.

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This post is tacit acknowledgement that there is a small chance that I am going to participate in NaBloPoMo for July… I gotta do something to get myself above my non-writing / non-blogging rut.


Winter Meme – A Baker’s Dozen on a Lazy Friday

5 February 2010

Most of the questions in this meme were derived from a series of old letters written between me and one of my favorite people (you know who you are.)  I wish truckloads of happiness for you, my friend.

I am off to go do some snow-watching/drinking by a fireplace.  Have a good weekend all, everybody please be safe, Go Saints! And click me to see the funniest Who-Dat video ever.

  1. If you had to move away from your current city, what two or three cities you’ve never visited would top your list of choices?
  2. What was the last thing that stayed in Vegas?
  3. You are about to be snowed-in for two days and can pick any non-spouse, non-romantic partner, non-one of your children to be with you.  With whom would you like to be snowed-in (real life friend, and/or person you’ve never met)?
  4. What song should be kept in case that reads “break glass in case of emergency or [insert your name here] is really depressed or being a raving lunatic?
  5. What was the first book that changed your sensibilities?
  6. When meeting someone of the gender to which you’re oriented (professionally, socially, casually, on a train, wherever,) what’s the first thing that you notice about them?
  7. If you won a $1,000 today – assuming that today is not the day of snowmageddon and you have all of the flexibility you could want – how would you spend it?
  8. A great first date must involve ____________, and how does your answer change when in a relationship and it’s a date night?
  9. Upon a final edit, I realized that this question was a duplicate of #5.  Given that I have about three minutes to publish before leaving, and all of the art and everything else is labeled with Baker’s Dozen meme, what question do you wish I would have asked?
  10. What was the worst job you’ve ever had, and how much money would you have to be paid to do that job again for a year?
  11. If you were guaranteed honest responses to any three questions, to whom would you direct questions, and what would you ask?
  12. As you’ve gotten older, to which list have you added more items: list of romantic deal-breakers, or list of romantic must-haves? What was the latest item added to either list?
  13. What is your most frequently occurring day dream?

I Survived NaBloPoMo

30 November 2009

It feels rather anti-climactic to conclude NaBloPoMo with a post about… well nothing really; but that’s all I have left.  In the last 30 days, I’ve emptied my drafts folder of every post worth posting, and even recreated an old idea or two.

I will leave you with a mini meme, just so you don’t feel like I didn’t give you anything today.

        1. What picture is the wallpaper on your phone?
        2. Putting on my chef coat makes me feel a bit like a superhero; what gives you that feeling?
        3. I am most looking forward to ____________________ in the new year.

The One Question Meme

14 November 2009

One of my favorite blog posts* from one of my favorite bloggers mentions getting a phone call from the bank to inquire about her credit card.  It seems that some shopping that she did was so far outside of her normal spending patterns it tripped the fraud alert.

She’s a sex-kitten rockstar type, so for her, buying groceries sent the algorithms aflutter.

What could you buy that would be so unusual that the bank would call to ask WTF?

 

*I would have linked but couldn’t seem to find the specific post.


Fill in the Blank Friday – A Baker’s Dozen – My Answers

3 October 2009
  1. If I was on a first date with someone and s/he ordered a White Zinfandel or as evidenced last night, a Redheaded Slut (please don’t ask) I would probably end the date early.
  2. When I’m sick I really want someone to bring me Peppermint Patties & Chicken Soup, and then leave me alone to be miserable.
  3. I know that some people really love Stamp collecting but I don’t understand how they spend so much money on it.
  4. I know that some people think I’m crazy for spending so much money on antique watches, pens, lighters, cufflinks – take your pick but I really love them.
  5. I’m so glad that I’ve out grown gloves and Shoes?  or more seriously the need to fight every rhetorical battle no matter how small since high school.
  6. I am living proof that the stereotype about left handed people isn’t always accurate.
  7. I know that it is a made-up word; but Screwvenir is a permanent part of my vocabulary.
  8. I can’t wait for the charity Rat Pack night I am hosting at one of my favorite bars.
  9. The most common misconception about me is that I am a raging snob
  10. I wish I wouldn’t feel the need to try so hard sometimes but sometimes I just can’t stop myself.
  11. If I never heard the word (or phrase) Florida State wins* again, it would still be too soon.
  12. I have a hidden talent for Identifying only by sound the exact amount of change dropped on the floor that no one would ever expect of me.
  13. I am not a fan of extraordinary rendition; but if it were to take place for crimes against entertainment and people of color then Tyler Perry should be the first person on the place to Guantanamo.

* I know that this revelation causes great pain to my dear blog friend and fervent Florida State fan, Elle Dubya. Sorry, Elle.

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p.s. I am adding in this picture because who doesn’t love shoe porn?  Terrorists, that’s who.  christian louboutin shoe porn


Fill in the Blank Friday – A Baker’s Dozen

2 October 2009
  1. If I was on a first date with someone and s/he ordered a _________________, I would probably end the date early.
  2. When I’m sick I really want someone to _________________.
  3. I know that some people really love _________________; but I don’t understand how they spend so much money on it.
  4. I know that some people think I’m crazy for spending so much money on _________________; but I really love it.
  5. I’m so glad that I’ve out grown _________________ since high school.
  6. I am living proof that the stereotype about _________________ isn’t always accurate.
  7. I know that it is a made-up word; but _________________ is a permanent part of my vocabulary.
  8. I can’t wait for _________________.
  9. The most common misconception about me is _________________.
  10. I wish I wouldn’t _________________ but sometimes I just can’t stop myself.
  11. If I never heard the word (or phrase) _________________ again, it would still be too soon.
  12. I have a hidden talent for _________________ that no one would ever expect of me.
  13. I am not a fan of extraordinary rendition; but if it were to take place for crimes against _________________, then _________________ should be the first person on the place to Guantanamo.

Sunday Afternoon Soundtrack

25 September 2009

I received a most flattering email from the author of the Skrinkering Hearts blog.  My virtual friend and Good Hair connoisseur, Megabrooke, is looking for new music for the Fall and Winter.  I was assigned to make recommendations for a Sunday Afternoon Soundtrack that would move her a bit outside of her Indie comfort zone – ten songs or three albums. I went with music that I am guessing will be new to her if not the market place.  All of these songs are available as singles through Amazon, Kazaa, or one of the other music joints.  I included links to free versions though YouTube wherever possible.

  1. Tito Puente’s version of Lush Life is not the best version of the song – that can only be Coltrane & Hartman.  His version, however, is a most danceable and romantic rendition of the classic.
  2. Gil Scott Herron’s tribute to Billie Holiday and John Coltrane, Lady Day & John Coltrane, is perhaps overshadowed by the more famous and equally compelling The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.  But the homage is, to my way of thinking the best example of the spoken word/jazz hybrid movement.
  3. Not being from DC I doubt that you’ve had much exposure to my city’s homegrown musical genre, Go-Go.  The style was created by Chuck Brown who cobbled together the remains of discarded jazz and left over funk, infusing heavier percussions and horns and the music was born.  His rendition of the jazz standard Stormy Monday still rocks my world and makes me look for a dance floor.
  4. I know that I’ve mentioned my love of the movie The Thomas Crowne Affair and its soundtrack before.  If you missed the prior superlatives or I was insufficiently articulate to propel you to listen or purchase, I hope that repetition will tip the scales.  The first song on the album is Windmills of My Mind by Sting, a song which was never released on any other album and might be the sexiest song he has ever recorded…
  5. …the third song is Everything by Wasis Diop and words fail to explain the silken rhythms that will caress your ear.
  6. I fell in love with Cassandra Wilson’s music at a 1996 concert at the 9:30 Club.  She was awash in a faint blue light and played with a quintet that was equally compelling.  After listening to her version of Time After Time, you might fall in love with the richness of her voice too.
  7. Most jazz & hip-hop fusions tend to be dominated by one style or the other and create a generally shitty rendition of both.  Guru’s first Jazzmatazz album is an exception to that.  Listen to the track Trust Me and perhaps you will take the title’s advice about music.
  8. Prince & George Clinton did a duet.  Could it be called anything other than We Can Funk?  Does anything more need to be said?
  9. I once wrote in this space that it is one of the great mysteries of the world that Eva Cassidy dies at thirty-five but Sick (typo but I’m keeping it) Cheney lives.  Her version of Autumn Leaves is, in my mind, the definitive version of the classic.
  10. Montreal’s Jazz Festival is arguably the world’s best (sorry Nawlins, your festival is more blues these days) and George Benson’s recording of Take 5 at the festival is one of the most electrifying examples of jazz guitar ever recorded.

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