A Few Open Letters

29 September 2011

Dear Time (re: Passage of),

I would really appreciate it of you would stop playing parlor tricks with my memories.


The Guy who wants to stop thinking about The Girl


Dear Short Haired Girl / Once & Future Long Haired Girl,

You are still the prettiest girl in the room.


A Guy Who is Happy You’re Happy and Healthy


Dear Random Woman from Internet Dating Site I Have Used for an Embarrassingly Long Time,

When we were chatting the other night and you asked what I first notice about a woman, contrary to your implication, I was not being coy by telling you that “it’s complicated.” Had you asked me in person, or any format that lends itself to long form answers and given me a minute to consider the question, I might have answered something like this:

I notice eyelashes, and collar bones, intellect, and shoes. I notice the cut of her jib, and the yes, the size of her rack too (however enlightened and renaissance, I am still a boy.) I notice the book in her hand, the shape of her skirt, the sway in her walk, her choice of libation, and too many other things too. It is… well, complicated if for no other reason than the fact that what I notice is situational and personal.

Sadly, you opted for judgmental and shrill… or was that just the effect of the chat format? No matter, as I am pretty sure that I don’t need any more judgment or shrill in my life.


The Guy You Ran-Off Before Even Meeting (is that some kinda record for ya)


Dear Manager at Random New Restaurant,

Do you actually owe money to the Mob, or is your wine list just priced like you do?


A Guy Who Knows What You Paid and What You Charge


Dear Handful of People Who Still Read This Thing,

Thank You.


A Guy Who Appreciates That You’re Still Here.


I Know, I Wish – Volume III

16 June 2011

The third part of the occasional and almost entirely navel-gazing I Know, I Wish series – (part I, part II for reference.)

I know that the space between giving space and giving up is narrow but deep; I wish that it wasn’t also filled with water I must tread while wearing emotional lead boots.

I know that the disease steals more of you with every passing minute; I wish that I wasn’t so selfish in my reaction to the pain.

I know that our friendship is over; I wish I cared more about it ending than getting the last word.

I know that fidelity has never been high on your list of relationship priorities; I wish that you would stop making me complicit in the process.

I know that spending too much time on my high horse is a character flaw; I wish I didn’t like the view from there so much.

I know that it would be the height of irresponsibility and selfishness, but I wish that the fantasy of running away from this life didn’t hold quite so much appeal.

I know that intellectual and emotional reactions must be measured for appropriate response to stimuli; I wish that past prejudices didn’t have a thumb on the scale.

I know that choosing my battles is a sign of maturity; I wish that I didn’t use that as an excuse so often.

I know that grief, loss, and recovery all have stages; I wish that acknowledging them would make them go faster.

A Few Open Letters

23 February 2011

Dear Pretty Pretty Princess, P3 for short*,

You asked me why I lose my poker face and can’t hide my disdain when I am around your bloviating boyfriend or his name is mentioned in discussion. First, we’ve known each other for more than a couple of years, so you know that I know from bloviation. Second, it is not his useless rhetoric or constant need to insert himself and his perceived trump card into any unoccupied corner of a conversation. Third, you have to know that it has nothing to do with your unfounded suspicion that I still want to be in your bed.

No, P3 , my allergic reaction to him has everything to do with the fact that he is about as secure as a puppy that marks every part of his territory at every opportunity. It has to do with the fact that any man who has compulsive need to have a hand on his partner’s ass for the entirety of an evening is small, petty, and ungentlemanly. It has everything to do with the fact that you not only accept this unacceptably possessive, and unseemly behavior, but you seem to embrace it like a woman who thinks she can do no better. My problem with him is the P3 that you’ve become with him. You cannot expect your friends to watch you dissolve yourself into him and then want to drink the weak tea that results.


A Man Missing a Friend


Dear Bartender at the Ebbit,

When a guest asks you for a “Basil Hayden Manhattan, 75-25, extra-cold and skip the cherry and the bitters unless you have some Orange Bitters around” the proper response is something in the affirmative. You may also be inclined to think that the orderer might know a thing or two about cocktails, might even be Industry. The absolutely improper response would be to, wrongly, insist that Manhattan’s don’t contain bitters. You really should not belabor the point – especially because your lack of preparation is showing – thrice more.

Who did you bang to get that job?


The Industry Guy Who Went to Another Bar after that Cocktail


Dear Family,

Life is complicated. I get that. You know that I get that better than most. Please stop taking me for granted; I am not your foregone conclusion.


The Emotionally Exhausted Son, Sibling, Uncle, and Cousin


Dear Woman Who Would Prefer Not to be Named,

That suede kitchen apron might be the most thoughtful gift anyone has ever given me… up there with the book of Neruda Love Poems from another woman who would rather not be named. It means the world to me – you will forever be my lesbian soulmate.


A Man Who Ain’t Easy to Shop for

*Charmed reference for those of you who don’t think I have ever consumed absent minded pop culture,

A Few Open Letters

6 October 2010

Dear Woman-I-Won’t Name,

I know that you were just being a good bartender, and a little bit of flirting is part of the job. I also know that in the hierarchy of the “most difficult women to pick-up” hot-bartender falls just one notch behind lesbian-stripper. But not for nothing, if I had your address, I would have sent you a hand written card of thanks for the other evening… I would probably have busted out my red wax stamp to seal it for good measure. And that stamp doesn’t come out often.


A Man with a New Crush

Dear Four Seasons & Bourbon Steak,

I’ve been to your joint a half-a-dozen times now and each time the service has not been to the standards of a place I’ve revered for so long and a place that purports to strive for the superlative. To place a really fine point on it,your service isn’t allowed to suck when you charge twenty bucks for a glass of wine. That glass isn’t allowed to sit empty for double digit stretches of minutes before someone inquires about it. The-bad-suit-wearing manager is not allowed to finally offer to get me another glass and then forget about it. And this largely forgetful experience ought not be the best of the six I’ve had.


A Man Whose Trust and Patience You’ve Exhausted


Dear David & Lucinda from NYC,

Meeting and conversing with you two are reason enough for people to be more willing to share space with strangers. Our conversation was the best part of sitting at the Four Seasons. Even though I don’t wish to be fixed up with your niece (but I’m sure she’s lovely,) I look forward to having drinks with you during my next trip to Gotham.


A Thoroughly Charmed Man

Dear Forces That Control the Weather,

I just want you to know that to my liking last Saturday was the perfect fall day around these parts – cool enough for cashmere, warm enough not to need a coat on top of that. This is my favorite time of year, and you all should feel free not to rush through it.

With Sincere Gratitude & Thanks,

A Really Big Fan of Fall

Dear Women SEC Football Fans,

There are many things about the SEC that drive me nuts – your intellectually hallow and insular belief in the superiority of football in your southern conference is atop the list. However, I will never complain about going to your games because only in the south do girls wear pearls to watch football.


A Man with a Weakness for Certain Things

p.s. When it comes to fashion, it is a myth that diamonds are a girl’s best friend; that role always belonged to pearls.

Dear Westboro Baptist Church Members,

You all are the most vile humans on the planet – twisting logic & hating gays enough that you will protests a soldier’s funeral will earn you that label. What makes you even worse – besides all the hate and vomit inducing behavior – is that your Supreme Court case forces me to defend your right to spew this evil.


A Man Who Wants to Renounce His ACLU Membership

A Few Open Letters

20 July 2010

Dear ABC Suits,

If you’re going to make a police show that blows like Kenny G’s horn, perhaps you shouldn’t include “Blue” in it’s name. The mental link to the great NYPD Blue only magnifies the spectacular suck that is Rookie Blue.

Dear Tryst Management,

I get that maybe you have suddenly decided to be the kind of restaurant that charges people for a refill of drip coffee, but not giving me a warning before my check appears and reads coffee-sandwich-coffee, is like pouring me a tepid cup of lamesauce.

Dear Interwebs,

The social contributions of Sarah Palin and Twitter are of questionable merit, however, the brilliance of the ShakesPalin and BardofWasilla Hashtags are beyond doubt.

Dear Former Major Client,

I know that you knew that I was getting fatigued with all of the travel, but trust me, you bouncing a big check wasn’t exactly the way that I wanted to free up some time.

Dear Tracy from the Vintage Vinyl Shop in Pittsburgh,

Not for nothing, but the Original Pressing of Coltrane & Hartman you sold me was only part of what made my day yesterday… if I was the kind of man who seriously considers the flirtations of married women, I absolutely would have danced with you in the store.

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.


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?


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?


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


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?


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.


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.


17 June 2010

WARNING: I’ve had a craptacular couple of days and needed to vent about a couple of things.

Enough with you, Albert Haynesworth owner of the largest contract for a defensive player in the history of the NFL.  Having played a mere 12 games, much of which you sat on the sidelines sucking on oxygen because you were comically out of shape, and already pocketed $32 million, you decided to demand a trade?!?!? Are you fucking nuts?  I’ve long ago surrendered the notion that the modern (and highly paid) athlete owes the public at large anything, but when you bail on your teammates after all of this, you have earned a new station in the pantheon of sports pathetics… sure, you may not be in the OJ, Rae Carruth room, but you’re now keeping Tonya Harding company.

Enough with you Michaela Salahi, and your Bravo TV pimps too.  You, Mrs. Salahi give vapid a bad name.  You are a giant sack of [mostly purchased] hair, and your surface cannot be scratched lest it reveal more surface underneath.  Enough with you and your swarm of sycophants.  You are a liar, a fraud, and a common criminal in a designer dress that probably still has the tag tucked somewhere so it can be returned later.

Enough with you Washington Post.  I’m tired of defending you against the displaced NewYawkers who constantly deride you as not being the NY Times.  I’m tired of attempting to uphold your honor as a world class newspaper when you devote dozens of column inches to the aforementioned Salahi.   Have you abandoned the journalist’s purpose – to paraphrase the great Walter Cronkite, the job of a newsman is not to tell people what they want to hear but what they need to hear – in favor of the notion that “every one else is doing it”?  Mrs. Salahi and her ilk are publicity whores of the proletariat, weeds in society’s garden, thus any journalistic water you give them (good or bad) only makes the weed grow stronger.

Enough with you CEOs / Titans of the World and your conservative defenders (do you buy them buy the hour or the event?)  When leaders of the Big Three automakers testified before Congress, I thought I would never hear a more culturally tone deaf group as they staunchly defended their fiefdoms while still extending hands into America’s pockets … and then the bankers came to town and were even more brazen in public masturbation about their rigged casino successes, average citizen be damned… but now there are new claimants to that ignoble throne; Oil Company execs, you’ve lined your pockets with untold riches while feeding your government lap dog and the public lies about the all too real dangers for catastrophic destruction, and somehow, someway sit before the public, shrug your shoulders and claim risk v. reward? If there is a Hell below, you’ve got a very special place reserved for you.