Thursday, March 31, 2011

I Can't Believe I Missed It

I love Top Chef.  I think it may be the only show in the history of TV that I would race home for.   For whatever reason, it grabbed me day one and I've been hooked ever since.

Last night was the finale and I missed it.  I just can't believe it.  I was so tired yesterday (not to mention hungry--I was starving all day long).    The day just got away from me.  Had to get new front brakes.  Meetings.  Family dinner (if you're local, the food at Guardalajara is great).  I laughed out loud when I got up this morning because my clothes were in a heap right in front of my front door!   I decided to spend some time catching up on some home stuff but all I managed to do was return one phone call before I completely crashed.  I had to cut short a perfectly lovely conversation because I just wasn't going to make it.  I crawled into bed and got myself all cozy and then realized that it was Wednesday.  And the finale.  And I just couldn't do it.  I did check this morning and my guy won (I won't spoil it if you haven't seen it yet) which is a huge relief.  If he had lost, I would have blamed myself for not being there to root for him.

There has actually been some knitting going on here.  I knocked out a quick gift for my office mate today.  She's been working out and doing great so I whipped up this little iPod cozy for her.  She bought herself a pair of lime green and black sneakers to inspire her to go the gym on schedule and I had this great bias tape that Pat (of the tomatoes) had dyed.  Perfect with a big black button.

It's perfect for her!

Time to head to work.  The upside of working 8 minutes from home and is I can push my mornings pretty far.  If I hit the lights right, the ride is only about 5 minutes so wish me good green light karma today.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

All My Jazz

When I die, I want a big, Bob Fosse musical number just like the end of All That Jazz.  But instead of Ben Vereeen, I want  And instead of Ann Reinking I want Lady Gaga. 

But I do want both Ben and Ann (and John Lithgow) to make cameo appearances.

The last 20 minutes of All That Jazz may be some of the best cinema ever made.  If nothing else, the love scene between Roy Scheider and the dying old woman in the hospital is probably the most romantic, erotic, loving kiss on film. 

I was raised on Broadway shows.  I saw Ben Vereen in Pippin when I was 8 years old.  I was the only kid in my 5th grade class who could argue the pros and cons of Fosse vs. Bennett.   The only show that my parents didn't take us to was Hair and I think that was not because they thought we would be shocked or damaged by the (deep breath) nudity but because they didn't want to have to deal with all of our questions in the car on the way home.  What were they smoking Mommy?  Why was that man naked Daddy? What's a hippie and can we tie dye my pajamas when we get home?

When I was a freshman in high school my aunt won a cruise in a raffle.  And she took my sister with her.  Surprisingly, I didn't really care.  But it seems that everyone and their brother was worried that I might be upset by it so I was treated like a queen.  Pop's station house was in the midst of the theater district so we knew a lot of theater folks growing up.

There was a wonderful wonderful named Bill Kahn who I fell truly, madly and deeply in love with when I was about 6 years old.  We would often run into Bill at Gallagher's Steakhouse and he would sit me at the bar and we would have a cocktail together--a Shirley Temple (on the rocks please) for me and a martini (I think it was a martini) for him.  We would nibble on cocktail peanuts and chat about things like school and learning how to read and how to add.  He was a role model for me on how to be an adult with children.

And that fateful week when my sister was on a cruise, Bill took me to Broadway.  He took me to MacBeth at the Circle in the Square.  He took me dinner.  And, be still me heart, he took me to the opening night party for Pirates of Penzance in the upstairs room at Gallagher's.  With (hold your breath) that 1979 heartthrob, Rex Smith.  Who took my breath away.  And I met Barbara Feldon (yeah--dammit--Hello 99!).  I still have the cocktail napkin with Rex's autograph on one side and Barbara's on the other.

They're both also invited to the big musical number when I die.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Biscuit A Muffin and A Scone Walk into a Bar....

There's a piece of my soul that will always exist only on the east end of Long Island.  In 1987 when I graduated from college, a unique opportunity arose and I ended up staying in the Hamptons.  And I loved it.  I lived with three wonderful guys in  beautiful homes (okay one was ugly but we still made it a beautiful home).  When we split up (all for good reasons) I ended up in just about the cutest apartment in Sag Harbor that has ever existed.

When I left, I left abruptly.  And that is one of the greatest regrets of my life.  I left many friends behind and I left an extraordinary lifestyle behind.  This was all pre-internet and pre-facebook so it wasn't as simple as it is now to stay connected.  I had a wonderful way of life but I really struggled financially there.   By the time I chose to leave, I was managing a very cool restaurant from 7 am to 5 pm, running home, changing clothes, working at a radio station from 7 pm to 1 am and then working (at the very least) Friday and Saturday nights waiting tables.  On the side, I was producing (and occasionally performing in) some really interesting theater.

And it was impossible to make ends meet.

I had no cable.  My air conditioner sucked.  And, thank you LILCO, even though I was only home for 2 hours a day and it was during daylight, my electric bill was outrageous.  I had my pride and I had my ocean but I also had really cheap cat food and jug wine.

I still go back and visit but it's not the same as living there.  Especially since the Amagansett Farmers Market is gone. 

It wasn't what you think of as a traditional farmers market.  It was a real store with real departments but it was decades ahead of its time.  The focus was on local food and local vendors and/or interesting food and interesting vendors.   And you have to put this in context.  It was the the 80s.  Reagan was president.  Everyone (except me) was making money.  Sting was still weird.  Charlie Sheen took our breath away in Platoon.  The Twin Towers were still glittering on the NYC skyline.  Bob Geldof was feeding the world and we really didn't have a lot to worry about.

If you got to the Amagansett Farmers Market at the right time on Sunday morning you could get cheddar scones.  Oh the cheddar scones.  They were wonderful.  Herby.  Cheesy.  Flaky.  Warm from the oven.  And gone in a flash if you weren't there on time.  And if you didn't get them, the week seemed so very long until you had the chance to get them again.

The years progressed.

I moved back to Westchester County.  I have a nice life here.

The Amagansett Farmers Market closed (heartbreak) but a cultural movement toward local food and real farming arose (thank you Judy Wicks and Dan Barber).  The internet and facebook allowed me to reconnect with some (although not all) of the people from my past who I cherished and missed.   My local farmers market is amazing (thank you Pasquale).

But I couldn't find those damn scones.

I tried the Barefoot Contessa's but they just weren't the same.  She's an east end girl (suddenly I'm humming Pet Shop Boys) as well and I worship her but they just didn't cut it.

The other day I found this

It's as close to perfection as I have found.  I made them with heavy cream because my milk was spoiled so I had to bake them longer and they were a little moister than they should have been but it was like taking a step back in time flavor-wise. 

I could just about smell the ocean.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Been too long!

Things have just gotten crazy (in a good way this time) and I am finally settling back into some sort of a normal schedule.

I've had a whole lot to tell you all but I'm on the run so I'm going to dump a load of random things into your lap for you to play with.  Kind of like dumping out your mother's jewelry box or your father's tool box when you were a little kid.  

1.  My new job is very cool.  Today I got to drop off a big box of brownies for some hero firefighters.  Sweet!
2.  I felt bad that I had gotten mad at the firefighters for being late for the parade on Sunday but I don't think they actually noticed I was mad so it's not that big a deal.
3.  Dead battery.  Pop. Live battery.  Dead battery.  Nice co-workers.  Live battery.  Dead battery.  Pop's car.  Pop.  Live Battery.  Sam.  New battery (and oil change).  That pretty much sums up yesterday and today.
4.  I swear I'm going to start chart C on my Metamorphosis sweater when I get home.  I swear.
5.  I swear I'm not going to pick up the pretty little thing I started while I was waiting for the printer and play with that instead.  It's knit from Cherry Tree Hill Possum Laceweight in Wild Cherry and it's beautiful.
6.  It's fun to tell people that you are going home to play with your pink possum.  Because it sounds like it's dirty but it's not.
7.  It's also fun to tell them that your pink possum is really fluffy.  Same reason.
8.  Bunch of stressy people at work today.  It's amazing to me how much good an old fashioned pizza lunch can do for the soul. 

Back soon.  With pictures.  And more BadKitten songs.