Friday, September 30, 2011


     Guess who got to fly in a private plane today?  This girl!  And it was everything you think it'd be.  Nice, oh so nice, convenient, and no security lines.  The plane made me think of Seinfeld, yes Jerry Seinfeld.  So here goes my Seinfeld story.
     When I studied abroad in Seville Spain I met him and his friend, fellow comedian Mario Joyner.  My Spanish friend Julia, who'd be an au pair in the US, came to a birthday party showing off an autograph--it was Jerry's.  I looked at it and then forgot about it.  We left the party with some other girls and went out for some drinks.  While out and about we saw Jerry and Mario eating dinner outside of a cafe.  A little tipsy, I strolled over to the comedians, introduced myself, explained how I was studying in Seville.  I didn't ask for an autograph and didn't act starstruck, I just introduced myself.  They asked where they should go out later, which clubs.  I suggested some and walked away.
     The girls and I went out and had what we thought was a fun time.  As we walked back to Julia's car around 12 am, ready to go home, a stretch Mercedes sedan pulled up to us.  The left, back seat passenger window rolled down and Jerry, asked if we wanted to show them those clubs now.  I did what any 20 year old girl would do, I pushed my 3 Spanish speaking friends into the car and said "yes, of course, we'd love to show you those clubs now."
     Seinfeld's chauffeur took us all around Seville.  Mario and Jerry had just seen a preview of Austin Powers and keep repeating the "yeah, baby, yeah" line.  The girls and I had no idea what they were talking about.  We hit 3 or 4 dance clubs and stayed out until 7 or maybe it was 8 in the morning.  Since I could speak both Spanish and English, I was in charge of drink orders for everyone.  And with the drinks I got really chatty.  I asked Seinfeld question after question after question:  
"What's happening on the show?  I've been abroad for months and can't watch it."
"How old are you?"  This got Jerry searching for his wallet and showing me his driver's license.  He was 42. 
"What happened with you and Shoshanna?"  This got me some stupid guy answer about how the long distance was too hard, she was in LA and he in NY.
"I know you like the Knicks.  Do you have season tickets?"  His answer, "yes."
"What kind of music do you like?"  This question got me a story about Paul McCartney and how when Seinfeld mentioned on Letterman that he liked the Beatles, Pau McCartney sent him his then new album the next day.  Must be nice to be famous.  
     Then I asked "so how are you guys traveling around Europe?  Eurail?"  And this question got me the following answer "try, our private jet."  I was young and so excited about my own Eurail pass that I couldn't imagine anyone traveling any other way.  Well famous people, people with a hit show, they travel in private jets.
     That night was one of my best.  Dancing with Jerry Seinfeld to the B52's Love Shack and drinking many many agua de Sevillas will always be a fun memory to share.  The night ended with Jerry Seinfeld telling me the name of his hotel and the room number.  It was Hotel Seis, but I can't remember the room number.  I kissed him on the cheek and that was that.  
     Until the next day when I took my then boyfriend to Hotel Seis and let a message for Jerry and Mario, to meet us at a restaurant that night.  They actually showed up, with their same chauffeur coming in first to check out the place and to see if we were there.  Well "we" were there.  Me, the girls from the night before, and a new addition to "we" my boyfriend.  When I introduced Jerry to my boyfriend, I sealed the deal.  No late night out until the wee hours of the morning; well at least not with those American comedians.   

Thursday, September 29, 2011


     It's the new year for all the Jewish people out there.  To ensure a sweet and good new year one should eat apples and honey.  But we never say honey and apples.  Never ever.  Word order matters.  It just does.
     In the sermon I listened to last night the rabbi discussed fear and humility.  Humility is an important thing to remember, and an even more important quality to have.  One of the best role models I've had for humility was my mother and the other is my paternal grandma.  Those two women rocked the house, but they never acted like they knew how extraordinary they were...
     The co-founder of Hewlett-Packard, David Packard said: "You shouldn't gloat about anything you've done; you ought to keep going and find something better to do."
     Happy New Year!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


     Question of the day, why do people lose their accents when they sing, particularly British people?  When was the last time you remember hearing any of the Beatles, Elton John's, any of the Rolling Stones, Adele's or any other British singer's accent?  Exactly.  I didn't think so.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


     I went on a blind date set up last week.  When I emailed the setter upper to tell her I didn't feel any spark with the guy and that we'd better off as friends she emailed back and wrote 2 things I find curious.
     First, she wrote I'm sorry you didn't feel a "spark" in quotation marks.  I ask you, is feeling a spark such a novel idea or is a figment of my imagination that it deserves to be in quotes?  You're either attracted to the person, the whole person not just looks, or not, right?  And that's what spark is.  I felt like her quotation marks were mocking me.
     Second, she asked if I wanted her to tell the guy I wasn't interested or if I wanted to call him myself and tell him this news.  Who wants to call some guy and say I didn't feel a spark with you, when the person who set us up can do it and remove all of the awkwardness out of the situation?  I don't get it.  This wasn't a good friend of mine setting me up.  If it was I may have called, actually no, I would not have called.  I'd wait to see if he asked me out again and then I'd tell him (hey he might not feel a spark with me).  But I don't need to actively pursue someone to tell him I'm not interested.  Come on, that's odd to even suggest I call this guy.  This set up was more organized, much more formal than my friend's boyfriend setting me up with his room mate.   So again I don't get it; I don't get why she'd suggest I be the one to call him.
     But I do get what a spark is and there wasn't one.  Thanks but no thanks.

Monday, September 26, 2011


     My paternal grandpa, Papa, as we called him, loved going to the movies.  When he and Mama visited us from Delhi, India, he couldn't wait to get to the theater.  I remember sitting in the back seat of the car when Mom dropped my grandparents off at the movies.
     We left them there for hours--way longer than the time required to see a double feature.  We're talking a quadruple feature at least.  And I'm hoping Mama and Papa's movie watching included several buckets of popcorn.  One, because a movie just isn't a movie without popcorn and two, because I think it's one of the only movie concessions my Hindu vegetarian grandma could eat, unless of course the popcorn's butter flavoring was made out of animal products, like lard.  Then she for sure went hungry and despised her film-loving husband on those afternoons at the movie theater.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


     My friend's mom says that your face shows the way you live your life.  This came up over the weekend several times as I met people from different classes at the reunion.  Basically if you've got a perpetual scowl or frown you're probably not that nice, scary or not that happy and I stayed away from you this weekend.  But if you smile a lot it probably means you radiate kindness and I was drawn to that and wanted to talk to you.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


I'm here in Madison and these are my observations:

Things that never change:
-The beer is still cold
-The cheese curds are still delicious
-Babcock ice cream (house made at the U-W) tastes great as always
-(And I wonder how I became lactose intolerant--thank you Greater Madison, thank you very much)
-The same professor that had me wishing class was over was our class speaker last night and she made me feel exactly the same way (for the record I was not the only one who felt this way).  Who speaks for 45 minutes at a dinner?  No one.  Well someone did.  But no one should.
-It gets COLD here.  Its in the 40s and it's still September
-Tailgate parties are loud, fun and always serve brats

Things that changed:
-The airport is actually a real airport now, which means the guy that checks me in isn't the same guy who waves in the plane with orange flags and hand signals

Memorable moments:
-Saw my great friend
-Took a picture with Bucky Bagder
-Got hit on by a co-ed on State Street.  Oh make that two, one guy was on a skate board, but it still counts.

Friday, September 23, 2011


     I'm on my way to my 10 YEAR LAW SCHOOL REUNION in Madison, Wisconsin.  How on earth did 10 years pass so quickly?  I'll be the first to admit I didn't love law school.  But the place, that town, is where my parents met during their own graduate school careers.  So Madison and the U-W will always hold a special place in my heart.  I lived in the same building where Mom and Dad met for my first year of law school.
     Another tidbit of information, Dad proposed to Mom at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, my alma mater.  And you wonder how you end up at certain places.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


     Not me.  I love it.  It's the best meal--all those choices.  Yum.  I'm talking about the all-u-can eat brunch variety.
     Some people disagree.  I recently met with a food critic for one of the local papers here in Dallas and he hates brunch.  Hates it.  Among his reasons are mediocre food and too early on a Sunday.  I cautioned him to get onboard, because here in the Big D people are religious about brunch.  It's social hour to debrief the weekend's events, prepare for the week ahead and prime time not to fall into the tug of Sunday blues by keeping the drinks coming.  A/K/A a brunch isn't a brunch without bottomless mimosas or bloody marys.  Am I right or what?  Let's brunch.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


     Unless you are an extremely close friend, my boyfriend or a family member, I'm not going to respond to a missed call.  A missed call is just that a missed call.  And I'd like to point out it's the equivalent of hanging up on somebody.  You calling and not leaving a message is the same as you calling and hanging up on me.  So why would I call you back?  Weirdo.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Isn’t that Virginia Slims slogan funny?  What’s even funnier is how Virginia Slims used to sponsor a women’s tennis tournament in Albuquerque.  How does a cigarette company sponsor a sporting event?  Does that still happen?  Anyway, my sister volunteered as a ball girl for the tournament one year; and my family hosted tennis player Anne Smith 2 years in a row.
Anne grew up in Texas and her nickname was Pepper, as in Dr. Pepper.  None of that diet soda for her.  That woman was an amazing athlete.  She had 6% total body fat and ate her cereal with half and half, not milk, every morning.  Hosting Anne, our family got special VIP passes and we’d sit with her parents who’d come in from Texas to watch the tennis.  I’d loved having that tournament in Albuquerque, it seemed like such a big deal for such a smallish place.  We saw Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Mary Pierce play. 
But the best was watching Anne.  She was our player.  Her wins were our wins and her losses were our losses.  She made it to the quarterfinals one year and I remember walking home behind her after the match.  Terrible can’t even explain how bad I felt for her and upset doesn’t do justice to how it looked like she was feeling. Nonetheless, she showered and got it together.  The real cure—our families went for New Mexican food that night.  Nothing makes a painful day go away like some of that yummy New Mexican food.  And yes, there is a difference between New Mexican and Mexican food.

Monday, September 19, 2011


     Growing up in Brooklyn, my Jewish mother wasn't allowed to enter the synagogue on Saturdays.  No women could.  This made going to Hebrew school impossible and as a result she didn't get bat mitzvahed when she turned 13.
     Her brother had a bar mitzvah.  A huge fuss was made over him--believe me, I've seen the old black and white movie.  I think my grandparents thought my mom's wedding would make up for her lack of a bat mitzvah.
    But even after her wedding my mom still wanted a bat miztvah.  In fact, she decided she'd have a double one with me when I turned 13.  Even while sick in the hospital my mom had a Hebrew tutor.  I can't imagine being that devoted to learning while being sick.  But that was my mom.
     She passed away before I turned 13 and before we could go through with our double ceremony.  When it came time for my bat mitzvah, I'd been out of Hebrew school awhile and knew our finances wouldn't allow for the schooling or a huge bat miztvah party.  Plus I wouldn't have been able to go through with the whole ritual if my mom wasn't there to go through it with me.
     Despite all of that, my dad and then step-monster made my 13th birthday special.  On vacation in San Francisco, we attended Friday night services and the rabbi acknowledged me and my family.  It was an ok substitute and actually felt pretty good at the time.
     A friend of my mom's asked me recently if I'll ever have a bat mitzvah.  She explained how she'd promised my mom that me and my sister would get bat mitzvahed even if my mom couldn't be there with us.  I just smiled and said "hopefully" and "you never know, maybe I'll have a double with my own daughter one day."

Sunday, September 18, 2011


            My senior year of high school and my freshman year of college I used to wear overalls.  I thought they were cool and that they were in, despite the fact that I bought my first pair used at Buffalo Exchange on Central in downtown Albuquerque.  Who buys height of fashion items used?  An oxymoron right? How could they be in if they were some man’s old painting overalls?  Ah yes, I forgot to mention that I bought, or more likely traded in some of my normal, properly fitting clothes for this pair of men’s overalls.  But then again, didn’t Kris Kross wear overalls in their music videos, you know, with one overall strap unfastened and hanging down, flapping around?  Or did they just wear their clothes backwards?  My overalls allowed me to experience, first hand, things I’d never seen before.  So let me get specific.

            I wore those faded blue denim (oh so soft), extremely baggy overalls to one of my first concerts in Albuquerque—Soul Asylum.  Like I said, big names, or just good bands in general, didn’t perform much in the Burque.  But when they started coming, we went.  Soul Asylum came to the Q, Albuquerque’s other nickname, when their hit Runaway Train was well, a hit.  The concert was a big deal for me and my friends.  And it caused a bigger deal for me to get permission to attend it after tennis practice and on a school night.  But I got permission. 
            To top off your vision of me, a seventeen year old girl, wearing loose men’s overalls with a t-shirt, I also decided to wear Birkenstock shoes that night.  Okay okay, they’re really sandals, but I’m pretty sure I wore them with socks and fine, they were fake Birkenstocks.  Dad wouldn’t shell out a lot of dough for chunky, granola footwear, even if they were in-style.  And my footwear may have been the only thing on me that was “in” or quasi-in that night.  And by “in” I mean in, in Albuquerque, NM, a hotbed of fashion if I’ve ever seen one.  But hey, you live and learn right?  Or you move. 
(As an aside, I spent all of my high school figuring out a way to get out of New Mexico and I did.  I left and went far away.  But it is always home.  When I go back, I love it.  Everything about it and have realized that I miss it terribly.  The weather there is unbelievable, the people are kind, and the pace of life is relaxed. That’s a trifecta if you ask me.  Dad called it God’s country, and I’m inclined to agree.  But when I was a teenager, I wanted out, bad.)
My girlfriends and I headed to the concert.  My choice of footwear became an issue when my girlfriends decided to join the mosh pit.  I held back explaining how I didn’t want to get my feet stepped on.  Fine no big deal, right.  I stayed by our seats.  Standing, swaying, listening to music alone.  Next thing I know a girl came up to me, stood next to me, took my hand and held it.  Now you’d think my instinct would be to pull my hand out of a complete stranger’s hand, but I didn’t right away.  The music had me.  I was into the concert and apparently into holding this girl’s hand.  And remember, I hadn’t been to many concerts maybe this random handholding went on there…alright, I’m not that dumb.  Yikes, trying to defend myself 17 years later isn’t working.   
When her friend came and stood on her other side and asked if we were there together as a couple I finally jerked my hand away.  My hand holder then told me she liked me, like that.  I’m guess this is when my eyes got real big and I explained that I wasn’t a lesbian.  And her reaction, “but, you’re wearing those overalls.” 
Thank you overalls, thank you very much.  I didn’t realize you were a lesbian uniform, or go to closet staple for women who like other women.  You’d think I would’ve tossed them or at least tried to trade them back in for something at Buffalo Exchange.  But no, I didn’t. 
Instead, I packed them in my body-bag size duffle bag and headed to college, where I’d like point out I wore them once while hanging out with the guy I was dating.  He in turn asked if he could borrow them.  He liked my men’s overall so much he wanted to wear them himself.  Curious isn’t it? 

Saturday, September 17, 2011


     The best thing about dancing is you don't have to talk while you're doing it.  It's sort of like when Tom Hank's character in A League of Their Own says "there's no crying in baseball."  Well, I'm happy that most of the time there's no talking while dancing.  And for the record singing along with the song while you're dancing to it doesn't count as talking.

Friday, September 16, 2011


            For the love of group diners at group dinners everywhere and the people (our friends) who go out of their way to plan these dinners (or other big meals, brunches come to mind), can we all just agree to split the bill? 

This means we each put our credit cards in and literally split the bill.  This doesn’t mean the people who leave the group dinner early ask for the bill and then parse out what they ate or didn’t eat or drank or didn’t drink and then decide on an amount they are willing to pay.  This means that you factor in the birthday guy or gal’s meal, taxes, tip and general common courtesy.  THIS ALSO MEANS THAT YOU STOP MAKING CALCULATING THE BILL SUCH A BIG FAT NIGHTMARE.  (Can you tell I just had to deal with this nonsense?) 
Enough already, we get it, not everyone eats the same amount or drinks the same amount or wants dessert or wants appetizers.  If you’re already asking about how the bill is being divided up or how we are paying for the meal before anything is ordered, than maybe you should skip the dinner.  Or maybe you should grab McDonald’s to-go and eat in in your car before you get to the restaurant.
But that’s silly.  You should go to the dinner and enjoy knowing that it will all come out in the wash.  It will be a wash, really.  The little extra you might spend right now at this dinner means that the next time your friends might pick up one of your drinks, or get your valet for you.  Come on, join the human race—the race where most of us are trying to get along and not create enemies at dinner. 
However, if you don’t drink alcohol at all, but attended the dinner, your friends might be gracious enough to make your share of the bill less or agree that you should pay less of a tip or no tip at all.  This makes sense.  My friends do this for me on occasion when I’m the designated driver or don’t want to drink that night.  And I truly appreciate it.  But it doesn’t make sense for you to pay less if you partook in the entire meal and just want to be a cheapskate.  (FYI—everyone is watching.)  It especially doesn’t make sense to make such a fuss about the bill, if you’re at a birthday meal and you’re acting like this without having brought a birthday gift for the birthday person.  Your birthday gift should be your flexibility; your ability to allow the meal to be a true birthday meal without drama and to treat the birthday person. Goodnight!  The dinner I just ate at had the whole table on edge and the birthday girl having to deal with how people were paying the bill.  The birthday girl seemed stressed out about it long after we left the restaurant.  Fun way to celebrate your birthday if you ask me. 
Alternatively you could avoid this entire mess and as the host you could pay for everyone’s meal.  That’s how they did it in the olden days.  Or you could go directly to Miss Manners herself to see how to handle this type of situation in present day, and so I quote from the website:
“If you’re organizing a special occasion out at a restaurant or bar to celebrate a friend’s birthday or other life or career milestone, you can’t expect your friend to pay her own way. It’s the group’s responsibility to split the honoree’s tab among them. On the other hand, it’s not okay to invite a bunch of friends out to dinner to celebrate your own birthday, and then expect them to chip in for you. If you’re the one who suggested the dinner, it’s incumbent upon you to offer to pay for your own meal.”
            May your next group meal go swimmingly or may you skip out on the drama and eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s on your own.  That might be the best bet for a better dinner experience.  Even if it’s ice cream and not a proper meal, you’re in your pajamas and there’s no one in your living room but you.  Stress avoidance.  It’s bliss.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


           How many of you single ladies (or your single girlfriends have told you they have) planned out your weddings in your head?  Basically, you’ve walked your groom down the aisle in your prefect wedding.  Sure, you can admit it.  I’ve done it.  But I don’t recommend sharing this information regularly or with anyone of the male gender. 
By way of example, I know this guy who sublet from this girl, this single girl obsessed with having a baby.  She was so obsessed SHE HAD A CRIB in her apartment.  An already assembled crib in her apartment. 
Now, how many guys did that gal convince to come home with her only to be ditched by them minutes after arriving at her abode?  My guess—too many to count on my two hands.  Relax baby lady, not all fantasies or dreams or goals need to be on display in your living room!  It’s stories like that, that give single girls a bad rap.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


     I've been wanting to dress up as Mr. Peanut for Halloween the past 2 years and haven't found the right costume.  But I'll be damned if I don't get that perfect yellow peanut costume this year.  I just have to sport a monocle and twirl a cane.  I'll sexify this masculine ensemble with black fish net stockings and red lipstick.  This is my version of androgyny--don't judge.  It's worked for me before.
     The first year I lived in Dallas, I knew no one.  So when I was invited to a Halloween party I decided to go (by myself), but decided last minute.  I didn't have a store bought costume.  So I made my own, the best I could under the circumstances.  I went as a man.  I slicked back my hair, wore brown pleated trousers (sadly these were my own), a white button down, my dad's suit vest, and topped it off with a fedora.  Oh and I gave myself a mustache--who knew that's what eyeliner was for?
     I showed up at this girl's house party, a she as a he.  The girls dressed up (in a group) as their worst bridesmaids dresses ever started at me in horror.  They whispered "what girl dresses like a boy on Halloween?" thinking to themselves you know this is the only holiday where its permissible for a woman to dress a sluts and whores, you know naughty cops, sexy doctors, beer maids, you name it and she came as a man.  Well I'll tell you what girl dresses like a boy, pencils in her own mustache and wears loafers instead of stilettos--a girl who could give a care, that's who.
     And you wanna know what, guess who liked this girl dressed like a guy?  Another party-goer, a male party-goer.  And if memory serves, his interest in me lasted 2 dates--not too shabby for a last minute costume/gender change.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


     I feel like I was just on an episode of Glee.  But it was real life.  I saw Patti Lupone--the singer, the original star from Evita--perform tonight and she sounded great.

Monday, September 12, 2011


     While I'm still on the topic of the Rolling Stones, I saw and interview with Keith Richards recently and he said he doesn't like to go to all the star-studded parties anymore and that he likes to "get away from all the flimflam."  I had to look up flimflam--it means nonsense.
     There's a diner in Ann Arbor, MI called Flim Flam.  It's great for hangovers and washing away all of the nonsense from the night before.  And while we're on the topic of Ann Arbor.  Who saw U-M beat Norte Dame Saturday night during that incredible night game?



Isn't that the best fight song ever??!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


     I'm thinking of everyone affected by 9/11/01 today and our collective broken heart.  Time makes things less painful, but it never fully heals anything.  I read the article about those children who lost their parents in the attacks and how they never knew them.  To me that's unimaginable.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


     As of today my top 5 songs, in random order, are:

     1.  Angel of Harlem--U2
     2.  Beast of Burden--Rolling Stones
     3.  Time After Time--Cyndi Lauper
     4.  Proud Mary--Ike and Tina Turner
     5.  Hurricane--Bob Dylan

     But this changes all the time...

Friday, September 9, 2011


     I'm crazy about the song Moves Like Jagger.  And I'll tell you what, I've seen Mick Jagger live and his moves mesmerize you.
     So how'd I end up at the Rolling Stones Bridges of Babylon tour in Pontiac, MI in December 1997 four days before the LSAT exam?  I needed a break from studying, that's how.  I even cleared it with Dad.  Meaning I told my dad my plan to go to the concert during Thanksgiving break, thinking he'd say don't go study instead, but he said "of course go see the Stones, who wouldn't?"  So I went.
     My senior year college roommate and I were in an honor fraternity, yes an honor fraternity (sneer now) that needed volunteers to take tickets at the concert.  So we drove from Ann Arbor to the Pontiac Silverdome a/k/a Detroit.
     Have you endured a Michigan winter?  Better yet have you stood outside in the 30 degree weather with a wind chill on top of that tearing concert tickets?  I have and I wasn't good at it.  For starters my gloves were too big, which made me slow.  Mick and Keith fans didn't like that.  And these were real tickets with perforations so you got to take home the larger part of the ticket stub, not this Ticketmaster print-your-tickets-at-home bullshit we do now.  These were the real deal--the concert goer was left with a stub for their bulletin board, scrap book and bragging rights later that night at some Detroit dive bar.  But only if I did my job right.
     Unfortunately for some Stones' fans I did not.  The frigid cold, my too big gloves, and the pressure to be fast had me discombobulated and while I could tear tickets, I gave the wrong end of the ticket to some fans and deposited the big part of the ticket stub--the part with the name of the show, the date, the location and the seat number--into the slot of my locked, ticket holding canister.  Bad move(s).  I was booed and hissed at...literally.  People were so pissed at me for depriving them on their cherished memento.
     I must thank the freezing cold weather.  For surely, if it'd been warmer, those concert goers would have stayed outside and torn me apart, fought me, kicked me, something not nice and most likely violent.  Or they would have rioted and demanded the guy with the key to my ticket-taking receptacle appear at once.  The cold, however, prevented them from coming after me or from complaining more than they did.
     I survived the ticket taking line and pissing off a couple of people.  Finally no more ticket holders formed a line and a stadium employee allowed me into the warmth, only so I could complete round two of this once glorious, now hideous volunteer job.  This would be a good time to mention the sole reason for agreeing to do this volunteer job for my honor fraternity was because after you took tickets you got to see the Rolling Stones FOR FREE.
     But first I had to count my ticket stubs.  I actually counted the first couple stacks of twenty five tickets and then I started making little piles that were as high as the first properly counted stacks of twenty five stubs.  I called over my supervisor, gave him my made up number of tickets taken and was given the green light.  I raced out of that room leaving the genuine, honest, ticket counters in my dust to grab a seat and see Mick, my oh-so-sexy-yes-I know-he must- have-sexually-transmitted-diseases and a raging-drug-problem-Mick Jagger.
     His hips, those gangly arms.  I'm telling you those moves are smooth.  Mick can work it.  He had on two tight t-shirts one red and one purple.  When he shed the red one, I almost fainted.  It was beyond sexy.  And then he kept dancing around the stage and back and forth on the make shift "Bridge of Babylon" that was part of the set for the tour.  It was utterly amazing.  I was star struck, I was jealous of his dance moves struck, I had it bad.
     That Mick though, he's an equal opportunist with those trance-effect dance moves.  Even men were gawking and wishing they could move like that.  I mean why else would this guy at the concert say what he said to me?  Mick must have put him in a hypnotic state, anything looked good.  This guy walked up the steps of the stadium and stopped right in front of me and said "you're striking."  Not you're pretty, but you're striking.  It's the best compliment I've ever received.  Ever.  
     Wait, come to think of it, I hope it was a compliment.  I think it was.  The way his face looked when he said it made it seem like genuine flattery and not an insult or something not nice.
     How much better could that night get?  The hottest dancer of all time was dancing in front of me and a random, guy out of no where noticed me and said something nice to me.  It felt so good.
     So what tops that?  How about Row Z, Seat 11 at the Michigan theater in Ann Arbor.  That was the seat either my college boyfriend or me sat in when we were at a Bob Dylan concert one summer and he told me he loved me for the first time.  And then a year or two later (he'd since graduated and moved) he told me to go to the theater find Row Z, Seat 11 because he'd left something there for me.  I trekked thorough the Michigan weather again, this was in December, asked permission to go into the theater without buying a ticket, searched the seat, the row, everywhere.  Exited the theater, annoyed at being so cold and not finding a present or something, and who was there waiting for me, surprising me by being back to town without telling me, outside of the theater?  You guessed it.  Mr. Row Z, Seat 11.
     Told you I liked concerts.  Amazing things can happen at them.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


     My mom died when I was ten, but she'd been sick with leukemia since I was seven years old.  I went to a grief counselor years later (they didn't tell surviving parents to take their kids to see a therapist or grief counselor in the eighties, or my dad ignored them if they did) who told me to buy a book titled Motherless Daughters--The Legacy of Loss by Hope Edelman.  I bought the book and read parts of it.  There's no way I could've read the entire book straight through--too hard.
     Anyway, that book sits on my bookshelf to this day.  If you've lost your mother you know what it feels like to break down out of nowhere, even if you were having the best day just because you miss your mom. Having this book makes me feel better because it makes having those feelings not feel so strange.
     A while ago, one of my ex-boyfriends saw the book on my shelf and made some nasty comment about how terrible that book is, what a crappy title it had and how it made him sick to look at it (sitting in my bookshelf).  I started him down incredulously.  And replied, "well, that's what you are when you lose your mother, you're a motherless daughter.  So what's your problem with that kind of accuracy?  She's writing a book for women who are exactly that.  And for the record, that's what I am.  I still get sad about it and know I always will."  I couldn't believe I was having that conversation let alone dating someone who would get so miffed by a book title.  What kind of person dared say something like that to a girl who'd lost her mother?  Bizarre.
     I'm so glad to say that relationship didn't work out.  It's been years now and he married someone else.  Thank goodness.  Sometimes you know things won't work out and it takes you longer to get there than it should have.  That was me with that guy.  We dated a long time.  Too long in fact.  So long that I thought I had to make it work even though I knew it never would.  When I think back on that guy now I think about how insensitive he was and how was just a plain old jerk.  A jerk is a a jerk.  Even if you don't have your momma around to tell you or get you to realize it.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


     What makes a place call certain things those things?  Midwesterners call soda, pop, while people where I grow up call every kind of soft drink a Coke, even if it's not really a Coke.
     I've noticed that guys in Texas call their guy friends their "buddies."  I never heard guys call other guys their buddies where I grew up or where I lived before I moved to Texas.  But in Texas I hear it all the time:  "I'm meeting up with a buddy of mine" or "He's a buddy I went to college with."  I wonder why that is.  I used to think "buddy" was a word little kids used.  Apparently I was wrong.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


     Most people I know have written a letter to some store or company to complain about the poor service they've received or a product they bought that broke or had a defect.  I've written these letters of complaint as well.  But a friend of mine told me that for every letter of compliant you write you should write a letter of praise--to that store or company that has treated you incredibly well, has amazing products or provides top-notch customer service.  I love this idea.  It makes so much sense.   I started doing it myself, probably not as much as I should; but it feels wonderful to send a letter of praise like that to a complete stranger.  I encourage more people to do the same.

Monday, September 5, 2011


     When I lived in Seville, Spain I never joined a gym and would go running for exercise.  Each time I'd get ready to leave the apartment, I'd tell my senora that I was going running.  She'd ask "Why are you running?  Nobody's chasing you."

Sunday, September 4, 2011


     One of my girlfriends calls me a "concert whore" because of all the concerts I attend.  I never said I like the moniker, but I do see a lot of live music.  You would too if you grew up in Albuquerque, a place where most bands and singers bypass.  So I'm just making up for lost time.  I should probably buy some sort of frequent concert-goer pass to the American Airlines Center in Dallas with all the shows I see.  But I wouldn't mind losing the nickname. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011


     I'm in NYC visiting my sister on her birthday--it can't get better than that! 
     It's strange how visiting her is so familiar even though it's her place and her stuff; it still feels like home to me.  I guess that's how you know you're with family.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011


When we moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico from upstate New York, my parents sought culture and missed their ethnically diverse group of friends.  So they went looking for “their people.”  They found them and made friends.  Some of those people—praise be to God for the sake of my culinary-talented parents—could cook.  I’m not sure if these people met as the Gourmet Group before my parents arrived in the desert or if it only came into full swing when my parents found them and scored their lucky invites.  Either way, my parents joined the Gourmet Group—a group of couples who hosted each other every month at one of their homes and served a gourmet meal. 
 This was right up my Hindu father’s alley.  He could cook some mean North Indian fare and had been learning Szechuan techniques and had almost mastered them.  My Brooklyn-born, Jewish mom had studied food science in college and grad school; she could cook anything well.  (And I really do mean anything; I’m not being a kiss-ass here, even if she was my Mommy.)  Her best dishes were French.  I remember Coq Au Vin as my favorite from growing up.  But she’d learned to cook Indian food from Dad and from his relatives.  Dad even admitted that his Jewish-white-girl-wife could make a better curry than he—now that’s a big deal.
 The other couples that rounded out the Gourmet Group included the Muscarellas (Italian food); the Gustafsons (Swedish-origin people, I can’t remember if it was the husband only or the wife too, but they served up some nice cuisine); and the Khourys (he was Lebanese and she was Hispanic, they both could do some damage in the kitchen).  There may have been some other couples, but I don’t think so.  Plus, it doesn’t matter these are the ones that stand out in my memory. 
  When my parents hosted the Gourmet Group—always on a Saturday night—my sister and I had to clean our rooms.  I’d finish and want to help my parents.  This meant more cleaning.  I wanted to help cook, but cleaning came first.  We’d help clean my parents’ fancy silverware (wedding gifts) with silver polish and cotton balls—or stuff that looked like cotton balls, we couldn’t use anything harsh.  Dad made us spray Lysol everywhere.  We’d walk the whole house spraying it in every room.  It’s only been recently that I realized you could spray Lysol on a surface and wipe it clean and it’d be totally disinfected.  I always thought Lysol was for the air and only the air.  That’s what Dad taught me. 
And when it came to cleaning the mirror-paneled wall in the dining room Dad instructed us to use Windex and newspaper.  Who uses newspaper to clean?  Smart people (yes, he did actually tell us that—bad joke I know).  Or at least that’s what Dad told us. 
“Newspaper leaves no streaks,” he told us. 
“But it leaves our hands all black,” we’d cry. 
“So what?  You wanted to help didn’t you?  Then stop it.  Stop complaining about some smudges on your hands and clean the mirror.  And while you’re at it the windows need to be cleaned too.”
  I’d like to point out that years, many years later, Dad finally admitted that cleaning with newspaper doesn’t work.  “Did you know it leaves behind a grey film on the windows when you use newspaper with Windex?” he asked me when I was in my late twenties.
    “Yes,” I replied.  “I’m pretty sure I knew that since the first time you armed with a spray bottle and a Sunday paper in an asinine attempt to clean a glass surface.”
  After I got done with all my cleaning or let’s call a spade a spade and call it further dirtying my family’s mirrors and windows, I was allowed to approach the kitchen.  My job—shrimp.  Specifically, de-veining the shrimp before Dad marinated it in tandoori yogurt sauce and placed it on the grill.
   “What is this black stuff,” I’d ask.
    “It’s their shit,” Dad would respond.  That answer would create a “tsk tsk” sound from Mommy, accompanied by a correction: “it’s the shrimp’s bowel movement, you know its B.M.,” Mommy would explain.
  De-veining every last shrimp didn’t make me a chef by any means.  I had to stay away from the wok.  I couldn’t mess up the raita or even taste the kulfi freezing in the freezer (one too many fingers in the not-yet-frozen Indian ice cream had relegated me to BM cleaner, plain and simple). 
My parents allowed me to set out the black and burgundy dinner plates or even the fine China plates if Mommy decided to go super fancy.  I could also sit and watch Dad draw his menus.  He’d use my or my sister’s box of pastels or brand new set of markers (only to ruin them) to draw out that night’s gourmet menu.  I loved his ritual.  (I noted he was a good artist that would come in handy for book report covers later on in elementary and middle school.)  Dad’s menus looked beautiful, each a work of art.  If I’d been smarter I would have saved them all and framed some of them. 
 When the Gourmet Group arrived at our house for dinner, my sister and I had usually already been led by a babysitter to one of the other couples’ homes to be watched with their kids. 
(If the Khoury’s hosted Gourmet Group, my sister and I would urge our parents to take us with them.  We loved the Khoury’s sons Alex and Peter.  They were younger than us and could easily be suckered into playing the games we wanted and let us be the “teachers” and them the “students” so we could use their cool easel blackboard in the playroom.  Nights with Alex and Peter would have us laughing and dancing, some nights more than others.  Alex, the daredevil, used to sneak into the Gourmet Group’s dinner and see how long he could stay without getting caught.  He’d eventually be found and get sent back to us in the playroom.  But one time, before the adults saw him, he decided to take a sip of whatever his dad was drinking.  Imported beer.  Even just a sip made that 4 or 5 year-old kid even funnier.   A tipsy child old is hilarious.  And whether he was in fact buzzed or only playing it up because we saw him take a swig and then alerted and egged him on, he sure looked haggard slumped in his dad’s lap at the end of the night.)
 Those rare nights existed when we got to stay at our house while the Gourmet Group dined there.  I’d sneak out of my room to lend more help.  Dad would let me help him assemble the desserts.  If Mommy didn’t have time to make kulfi, they’d serve Haagen Daz raspberry sorbet in small Asian bowls with Asian soupspoons.  Dad would give me a packet of Pirouette cookies and I’d jam a rolled wafer into each scoop of the cold, maroon ice.  Dad applauded my skill, would say “bravo” and then carry the bowls of dessert out to the Gourmet Group. 
   I’d like to think all these years later that I had a pivotal role in my parents’ Gourmet Group.  I mean no one ever truly feels fed unless they get a proper dessert, right?