I'm prettier than you are.
Friday, 30 January 2004
Anti-Anti-Valentine's Day

I'm all atwitter. Sittin' on pins 'n' needles. Can barely contain myself inside my own (smooth, silky, butter-soft) skin. I've been waiting since Christmas for another round of original, righteous rants about "commercialization" ... and now I won't have to wait much longer, 'cause Valentine's Day is just over two weeks away! This means it's time for everyone to start composing their passionate Anti-Valentine's Day rants about how if you love someone you don't need Hallmark to tell you when to tell that person because damn it all to hell, you love your honey bunny every day and make sure to let him know by hiding Post-Its in his shoes! You won't be led by corporate America! Besides, when you don't have time to make your own cards and are forced to buy a Hallmark, you choose the ones that are blank inside! No one speaks for you!

Of course, this is assuming that you even have a special guy or gal. Because if you don't, this is your time to assert your single status and claim you're fine, really you are, with being single, and just because no one finds you cute enough to cuddle up next to as you watch reality shows, that doesn't mean you're not a lovable person. You can send yourself flowers! YOU love you, and that's all that really counts anyway, isn't it? Isn't it?!!

P.S. Don't forget to include in your rants something about the extortion-like prices of red roses, and how you wouldn't give something as uninspired as red roses anyway, even if you were going to be a sellout this year and celebrate VD (LOL!), which you're not!

fresh-baked at 07:45 PM
Wednesday, 28 January 2004
A Story In So Many Words (#9: 100) - "Knitwit"

Stylish and flattering!

Every year Grandma Schenk sent Karen, her only granddaughter, the same gift for her birthday. And every year, Karen stuffed the itchy bright yellow cableknit pullover sweater and itchier bold plaid pants into the back of her bedroom closet, where they joined seven years of identical itchiness that never saw the light of day or dark of night after their initial unwelcome unwrapping. One year Grandma Schenk died a week before Karenís birthday, but still the familiar box arrived on Karenís parentsís doorstep on time. Inside were Grandma Schenkís well-worn steel knitting needles, still sticky and warm with her blood.

*   *   *

#1: 100 - "Food For Thought"
#2: 100 - "Mammu"
#3: 100 - "In A Pickle"
#4: 100 - "Meet Me"
#5: 100 - "Use Your Noodle"
#6: 100 - "Dental Gross"
#7: 100 - "Cold Cut Heart"
#8: 100 - "Sour Grapes"

fresh-baked at 07:00 PM

Fifth Avenue, 5:42 a.m.

Little ants and rubber tree plants have nothin' on the high hopes exhibited by this enterprising container of salt! I must say I'm impressed with this cannister's can-do attitude! Never mind what I said about salt in the past. Where's the paprika now? The turmeric? The Rice-A-Roni® Spanish Rice seasoning pack or the fenugreek? Sleeping, that's where! And not even on the job! And I don't see Mrs. Dash® dashing through the snow in her chenille robe and scuffy slippers, either!

Sorry for assaulting your reputation earlier, NaCl! You're the salt of the earth!

Note:  No, I am not trying to be artsy with the black and white photo. It's just that I took this photo before dawn this morning, and the color result looked like yellow snow. At that hour, the snow had not yet had an opportunity to be yellowed as thoroughly as it appeared in the photo, and I did not want to put the snow in a bad light. (See, it's all about a little thing called respect.)

fresh-baked at 09:58 AM
Tuesday, 27 January 2004
Scent of a Short Woman

To the short woman waiting for your little smoothie at Bachue early this evening:

"Short" does not automatically translate into "cute". You are not Sally Field circa Gidget or The Girl With Something Extra. You are not even Sally Field circa Forrest Gump. Although your nails, painted a sophisticated dark shade that is in vogue 'round these parts, indicate you are an adult, your hyperactive reaction to a tiny smoothie leads me to believe your nanny neglected to slip the Ritalin into your Sunny D sip-it box this afternoon. I suggest you pipe down, calm down, and stop flailing around so wildly, not only for the sake of appearing like the adult you are, but because the motion is stirring up the spleen-churning odor of insecticide and Teaberry gum that has attached itself to your coat. (And please oh please stop looking back at me, waiting at the counter just behind you, as if I should think you and your little smoothie and histrionics are darling. I assure you neither is.)

Googoo and go go already. My yumyum is ready and my tumtum is growling! And it's close to your beddy-bye time!

fresh-baked at 06:21 PM
Monday, 26 January 2004
Little Gem

I am resurfacing from the muck of dread sickness, struggling to lift myself from the impossibly luxuriant 4500 thread-count sheets and heirloom quilt (hand-stitched by angels!) that adorn my four-poster deathbed, and peeking out from behind the gossamer netting that keeps visitors from seeing clearly the ravages my illness has inflicted upon me, just to say this:

"Jewelry" is not pronounced "JOOL-uh-ree".

Now, if you'll pardon me, I must ease myself back into traction and dream pretty dreams of giggling, yellow-haired, translucent-skinned children bouncing on colorful Hippity-Hops down a lollipop-lined lane. I sure hope the Afterlife is as sweet!

fresh-baked at 09:32 PM
Friday, 23 January 2004
Speaking Up

Why is it that I always wind up saying what everyone else is merely thinking, but when I do, the other people refuse to back me up and instead look the other way? This has happened more times than I care to recall, but in the interest of brevity and sanity, I will only relate what happened today at the gym.

I was seated on the large mat area on one side of the top floor of the gym. Several other people were already there, all of them young men, all of them quietly stretching, and only one wore headphones. There was one scrawny older guy, standing in the middle of one side of the mat, against the brick wall. He was neither stretching nor wearing headphones. He did, however, have a cell phone affixed to his ear and was speaking loudly into it.

I looked over at him and gave him a blank, even stare, thinking he would get the hint. Several of the young men looked at him and then at me, and when they saw me looking at the guy, I swear I saw their faces agree with me that this guy really shouldn't be on his cell phone. Even if there weren't signs all over the gym saying not to use cell phones, common sense would dictate that the gym isn't the place for you to carry on a conversation if the other person isn't there in actual person form.

So, anyway, my blank stare was met with a blank reaction, and this dolt continued droning into his phone. The young guys were still looking over at him with mild looks of annoyance, and looking at me looking at him. Finally I had it, and decided to let him have it too.

"Excuse me," I said, looking up at him, establishing unwavering eye contact. "Would you please take your phone call out of the area?" He looked back at me but said nothing. He didn't miss a beat of his conversation. I didn't take my eyes from his. Was I talking to the wall beside him?

"Take your call out of the area," I repeated.

"Why should I?" he said.

"Because the signs say so. There are signs all over the gym prohibiting cell phones."

"So?" he said.

"It also happens to be incredibly rude."

"Then don't listen," he said with a toothy sneer.

"I can't help but hear you," I said. "And so can everyone else. No one cares what you have to say."

He stared at me and went back to his call.

"You know, you're a rude son of a bitch," I said, my voice firm. I collected my stuff and stood up. "You are so important," I said. "You are so very important!"

And you know what? The young guys just sat there the whole time. Even though they had been shooting the guy annoyed looks and one or two of them were looking at me as if they agreed with me, none of them said a word. They just sat there like babies hoping their mothers would come by so they could hide behind their skirts.

"Jackass," I muttered, and left the mat area. The infants watched me leave, some of them with slack jaws that looked like they were waiting for a bottle of formula.

One of the trainers was walking toward me, so I told him to tell the man to get off his cell phone. He looked at me blankly too. One of the young guys who had witnessed all the excitement walked by and gave me a sheepish sort of semi-smile. What support.

Amazing how I, the lone woman in the bunch, was the only one with balls.

fresh-baked at 03:33 PM
Thursday, 22 January 2004
Book Crooks

Cheryl Borochaner: Please return Lost Horizon (James Hilton) immediately. I lent it to you in tenth grade, and when I asked you to return it in eleventh, you acted like I was the one on drugs. I know it's been 25 years since I last saw you or it, but I still want it back. If you haven't finished it by now, I don't think you ever will. A shame, because it's a really good book.

Denis H.: Yes, I did too lend you Breakfast of Champions (Kurt Vonnegut) in 1980. Stop acting like you don't remember. Come on. Give it back. I don't have a crush on you anymore, so it's not cute.

Leslie K.: When do you plan to replace Going Down (Jennifer Belle), which you claim you lost during one of your moves? Saying you're going to replace it isn't the same as doing so. Hop to it.

Note:  Denis's and Leslie's last names withheld to protect their privacy, since he and she are my brother's and my friends, respectively. Cheryl Borochaner lost her senses somewhere beyond the horizon in 1978, so who cares.

fresh-baked at 10:30 PM
Wednesday, 21 January 2004

From time to time on this site, I document the high drama of PaneerQuest2003*, the epicurean adventure in which my friend Kyria and I indulge. Our search for tiptop saag paneer in Manhattan's bounty of Indian restaurants has unearthed some delightful treasures as well as some less than savory samples. Thankfully, however, the good experiences outnumber the bad, because less-than-good food makes me not so happy. I feel more sorry for the inadequate food itself than for the stomach that acts as host. Not-so-good food that comes to the table all eager to be eaten reminds me of dorky girls who go to the school dance hoping they won't have to remain wallflowers all night and then wind up dancing together in a little circle around their purses.

The last time Kyria and I went out for Indian food together, we got a little daring, and instead of the usual saag paneer, we ordered mushroom saag. The food was the belle of the ball! Today we followed that same lead and veered from paneer once again. Today we both ordered mushroom saag at Gandhi:

I always feel somewhat self-conscious when the person I'm eating with orders the same dish as I do. When I know this is going to be the case — because for some reason I must know what the other person is having before they order it — I like to place my order first. I do not like to be the one who has to say with a sheepish, apologetic smile directed up to the waiter, "I'll have the same thing." I am convinced that the waiter, unwilling to outwardly scoff at us at the table, mocks us once in the kitchen. I think the waiter, when he brings the food, wants to place a dish in front of each of us and then say, pointedly, "Oh, no, wait," as he switches the plates, one eyebrow raised in derision.

So in order to avoid any awkwardness, I asked the waiter to seat me at a table on the other side of the room before Kyria and I placed our orders. Kyria and I chatted to each other via our cell phones until the waiter entered the room with the food. Once our dishes were placed before us and the waiter disappeared, she called me back and asked me to join her.

"Can we switch plates midway through our lunch," I said, "so I can have some of yours and you can have some of mine?"

She told me my suggestion was ridiculous. Some people really do have nerve!

*Note:  Continuation of PaneerQuest2003 in 2004? I do not know if we can, in all honesty, call it PaneerQuest. SaagQuest2004 is more likely. I must confer with Kyria, if she is still speaking to me after today's debacle.

fresh-baked at 09:20 PM
Tuesday, 20 January 2004

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that the kind of person who has anything to do with a toothpick in public wouldn't be too concerned with what he does with it, right? Well, then why was I so thoroughly appalled yesterday during lunch at Candle Cafe to see that an otherwise well-dressed and -groomed man had a toothpick tucked behind his ear like a lotus flower? And to add insult to crushing injury, the toothpick wasn't acting as a mere accessory, like a stickpin (oh, horrors of the '80s!) or an errant cornflake. No, later it was pointed out to me by my eagle-eyed companion that it was also being put to use in the man's mouth.

Ordinarily I would applaud the melding of form and function, the union of style and substance, but in this instance, I was more than a touch repelled. Although I'm not certain whether he used this implement to pick his teeth or to act as a substitute for a cigarette that wasn't permitted in the restaurant, or if it was just evidence of the man's oral fixation, that does not matter. What matters is that one moment the thing was behind his glistening ear, and the next it was in his mouth. I could not look at him after that, for fear of what he would pull (out) next. Perhaps a Q-Tip from his underarm? A Wet-Nap from his lap?

Is this just bad form, or am I too picky?*

*Rhetorical question, children. Do not send email hotly defending public toothpick use. Toothpicks should remain unseen, in your fanny pack, until such time as you get back to your dirt-floor hovel, where you can pick whatever you like.

P.S.  Look at what I had for lunch! I sure know how to pick 'em, huh?

fresh-baked at 06:44 PM
Monday, 19 January 2004
Season's Seasoning

I hate talk about the weather. Hate. Huhhhuhhhaaaauhhhhuuhhhaaaaaaate. Yes, it is cold. Yes, I see the snow. Yes, I see the ice. I do. I also see the calendar, my pets, which indicates that it is January. So really, the cold and ice and snow that you find so remarkable is really not noteworthy. Barring tragedy to you and yours, of course. I mean, I am not so heartless as to lack compassion for you, yours, and theirs if any of them happened to fall prey to death as a result of a weather-related occurrence.

I just have one little thing to say about this pesky ice business before I retire for the evening. And that is this: Why does everyone salt their sidewalks? I can understand if you live in, like, England or Nebraska, where they're not exactly known for their haute cuisine, but here in this country, the so-called melting pot, and especially in this city, where every possible food anyone could ever want is readily available, we can certainly do a little better. That's why every morning when I go out to shovel the sidewalks of Broadway, I sprinkle a different variety of seasoning on them. Here is what I have contributed thus far:

  • Saturday:  Paprika
  • Sunday:  Turmeric
  • Monday:  Caraway seed
  • Tuesday:  Fenugreek? Rice-A-Roni® Spanish Rice seasoning pack? (We'll see how I feel in the morning!)

I must say, this not only adds a dash of color to the bland icy pavement, but also a much needed zesty flavor that my clients love licking off my boots!

fresh-baked at 09:55 PM
Sunday, 18 January 2004
Cause and Effect

Scene seen at Veg-City Diner

fresh-baked at 02:31 PM
Friday, 16 January 2004
Your Fat is Not Your Fault!

"Your house may be making you fat," some expert/editor/whatever from Self (I think) magazine said on The View this morning. (I had it on only to catch Jennifer Aniston, but I missed her. And shut up. I like Jennifer Aniston. Stop acting like you don't like someone just as popular, which means you have to pretend you don't like that person because it's not cool to like someone so mainstream. Go back to listening to Kylie Minogue and pretending you're not.)

So, anyway. "Your house may be making you fat," this woman said. Yes, your house itself is a vicious saboteur. And you'd be surprised at the ways it chooses to sabotage your efforts (even now, two weeks into the new year ... and this is the year you're finally going to get in shape! You know you said that last year, but this year you mean it!). As it turns out, it is not a good idea to keep the lights dim when you forage through the refrigerator in the middle of the night. If you turn the lights on or up, you will feel like you're in an interrogation room and will be less likely to shove leftovers into the hole in your head in an attempt to fill the hole in your soul that is aching to be filled by/with something else that you can't or won't identify. So it's the fault of lighting.

Your diet failure is also the fault of the color of your kitchen. As many people know, restaurants paint their walls warm colors, such as pumpkin, persimmon, or mustard, to stimulate appetite. But at home, you should choose cool blue. Oh, and replace the bulb in your refrigerator with a blue one because that will make you not want to stuff strudel into the bottomless, gurgling, churning pit that is your stomach. Blame the pumpkin! Give those warm colors the cold shoulder!

Use smaller plates, glasses, and utensils. Listen to soothing music. Hide your TV when it's not in use so you won't be tempted to lie around on the sofa and eat snacks. Spray lavender mist in the air. Paint your bedroom a pretty pastel, ladies (yes, you were the ones being specifically addressed, you fatty fatty fatsters!), because pastels are instrumental in soothing the beast within you that urges you to finish the pan of brownies now now now because you can't handle the stress of your job (it's an even bigger bitch than your disapproving mom who never listens) or anything else in your life.

Oh, and don't forget a peppermint-scented candle. Peppermint makes you want to work out! This is true. I know that every time I suck on a candy cane, I can't wait to hit the treadmill.

So you see, it's not your fault that you're fat. It's not your fault that your get up and go came and went and you didn't even see it coming or passing in the first place. It's not your fault that the leftovers look so pretty in the dim light of your cozy, pumpkin-colored kitchen. It's your house's fault. So either become an arsonist ... or get some peppermint!

See, you do have control! The choice is yours! Don't you feel like a gigantic weight has been lifted from your shoulders, if only figuratively?

fresh-baked at 12:56 PM
Thursday, 15 January 2004

I feel sorry for the untouched, freezer-burned strawberry ice cream in the quart of neopolitan. For the stale, unbitten donut with the pink frosting and colorful sprinkles. For the sticky pineapple hard candy, the only one in the dish for at least a week. For the bruised peach and the mealy apple.

My heart aches for the cheese that stands alone after the farmerís wife and everyone else is taken.

The lone tree on the median strip, gasping on exhaust fumes. The dandelions, beheaded by the lawnmower. The unbought bagels tossed into the mass grave of the dumpster. The last puppy picked from the litter. And his mom, who has to see him go.

fresh-baked at 09:33 PM

Winter is pretty!By 7:15 this morning, I'd already fallen in the snow twice, with only five minutes between falls. Of course, that is just an approximation, made using the old-fashioned egg-timer I keep on a macrame strap around my neck. This is what I get for attaching three-inch heels to my snowshoes.

Oh well. Live and learn!

fresh-baked at 07:37 AM
Wednesday, 14 January 2004
You Lose

Because I was intent on winning on eBay tonight, you lose out on my hilarious bon mots for the day. After all, anyone who's honest with herself knows that material possessions are much more lasting than laughter.

As a result of my successful bidding, I'm out $20.50 plus $3.50 shipping and handling, plus an optional $1.30 insurance charge. But you? Well, you just can't put a price on trauma and letdown, can you?

Go to sleep, sheep. I'm off to count you. (See, you do count, after all!)

fresh-baked at 11:02 PM
Tuesday, 13 January 2004

No, it does not stand for "water closet". Although it could. Although it does, elsewhere. Like on the door to the rest room at a certain whimsical tea parlor I have been known to frequent.

And it does not refer to funny fella (and red-nosed sot) W.C. Fields. No. (And please, if you love me at all, refrain from doing an impression of him now. Really. I'll know if you're doing it. I'll hear it, no matter where you are. And hate you.)

It does not stand for or refer to any hilarious two-word combinations you're bound to come up with, either. (And if you dared to do a W.C. Fields impression, I hope you're unable to sleep because for some reason now you can't stop thinking of all the knee-slapping possibilities.)

No, W.C. here stands for none other than Wind Chill. As in that thing that makes it "feel like" a temperature lower than what it really is. As in that wretch who can take an ordinary wintry 25 degrees and whip it into a frigid, breath-freezing frenzy that will leave you cursing gods you don't believe in and inventing others so you'll have someone to blame.

So, anyway, if I don't write anything here for the rest of the week, it's because I live in an experimental open-air apartment environment, where the lack of protection from the subnormal temperatures (with wind chill!) leaves me with assicles hanging from my pants, a victim of all the vagaries that that caftan-wearing, mustache-bleaching, dry-elbowed harridan Mother Nature has to fling and sling my way. And here you thought I lived on Easy Street, and that I wouldn't come out and play online because I was otherwise occupied, doing stuff like shopping at Anthropologie and Bloomingdale's, buying a photo printer, and lunching like a lady.

Oh, the chill of it all!

fresh-baked at 09:25 PM
Monday, 12 January 2004
T-oreador: An Update

For weeks, Taxi had been obsessed with becoming a toreador. All he would talk about was his upcoming course of study at NYU — the curriculum that would give him an excuse to wear a jewel-encrusted bolero jacket, embroidered vest, satin sash, tight-fitting breeches, pointy-toed velvet shoes, and a flat hat. I don't know how many times I tried to tell him what bullfighting was all about — that it was more than just looking dashing while waving a red cape — but every time I broached the subject, he interrupted, held up his paw, turned his head, and said, "I'm paying good money to learn all about it, so I don't need your two centavos!" You can't say I didn't try to warn him.

I expected him home late in the afternoon today, the first day of the semester, so I was startled when I heard a key in the lock shortly before noon. I put down the vest I was Bedazzling for Taxi's ensemble, and went out to the living room. And there he was, staring at the corner by the front door, where a red flannel sheet that acts as his bed awaited his tired aching bones.

"T, what's wrong?" I asked. His shoulders, ordinarily squared proudly, were slumped forward. He turned his face away from me and sighed.

"Why are you home so early?" I asked. "Is your stomach acting up? Was it the surf 'n' turf from last night?" I bent down to pet his head.

Tears instantly sprang to his eyes, and he said, in a voice thick with emotion, "Could you please remove this sheet from my sight? I want nothing to do with red anymore." As I lifted it up and started to shake it out in preparation of putting it away, he turned his face away and sniffled.

"I can't look at it," he whispered. "I just can't look at it."

I asked him what was the matter.

"I had no idea that the point of bullfighting was to kill the bull!" he said. "Not one of my classes had anything to do with the vest or the cape or the hat!"

"I didn't think they would," I said. "It's an evil, cruel sport, Taxi. I tried to tell you."

"It's just bullshit!" he said. "I thought it was, like, a game, where no one gets hurt, and I'd get to wear the splendid outfit and wow the señoritas to thunderous applause!"

After a serious talk over tapas and churros, he decided that tomorrow he's going to drop his current course load and enroll in the fashion design program. He plans to design spangly sweatshirts, banners, and flags emblazoned with the words REBEL BULLS, REBEL! for his trip to Pamplona this summer.

"If I can just free them," he said, his voice strong and determined, "then everything will be just dandy."

"Said the dandy," I said with a wink.

"Que mierda de toro!" he said.

fresh-baked at 09:52 AM
Sunday, 11 January 2004
Teddy's Or Not

Last night was El Teddy's last.* Viewers of Saturday Night Live have seen the restaurant and its rooftop replica of the Statue of Liberty crown on the show's opening credits for close to a decade. Here's a closer, less frenzied, more lasting look:


*Note:  If the Newsday article is not accessible using the above link, you can read it here.

fresh-baked at 05:24 PM
Friday, 9 January 2004
Does She? (Do I?)

Or doesn't (don't) she (I)?

Does, do, doesn't, don't what?

Well, not give you anything here all weekend, that's what.

She'll never tell. (And neither will I.)

But be sure to check back obsessively, periodically, anyway, in any case, to see what's up. Or down. Or not.

Or don't.

fresh-baked at 09:05 PM
Thursday, 8 January 2004
Paradise Found!

You want to see slices of my life. You want to see how I live here in Manhattan. You want to know what those in the know know and do. You want to see if it's all it's cracked up to be on Sex and the City. "Jodi, which of those four strumpets are you most like?" you wonder. "And don't give us the results of one of those hilarious online quizzes! Tell us! Spill!"

Well, spills are messy. And tonight's the maid's night off. So I hate to tell you, but I'm not letting you in on the ins and outs of daily life here! Especially not mine. You really don't want to see photos of what I see at the gym. Even if I did hang around in the locker room (which I don't), believe me, you wouldn't want to see what hangs out there and how much and how low. You don't want to see the rest of what makes up my days and nights (Charles in Charge), details of which I won't reveal either pictorially or verbally. And if you do, well, that's just too bad.

What I will show you, of course, is what's inside my stomach now. But don't worry and/or get excited. I'll only show it to you before it found its way there. If I don't show you photos of my exterior, I certainly won't show you what's inside either.

So now, without further fanfare, here is what I had for lunch today at the always outstanding Candle Cafe:

Asian Dumplings
Plump, steamed spinach dumplings,
served with ginger-soy dipping sauce

Paradise Casserole
Layers of sweet potato, black beans and millet.
Surrounded by steamed greens. Served with country gravy.

Now, won't you agree that this is more satisfying than seeing and hearing about all the untethered tits flitting about the gym locker room?

I thought so.

fresh-baked at 07:55 PM
Wednesday, 7 January 2004

This arrived today, wrapped up all TOP SECRET-like:

"What could it be?" I wondered. I'm always ordering stuff, and I just can't keep track.

I puzzled over this for quite some time, and then realized I could find out if I unwrapped it:

And look! The colors are in perfect ROYGBIV order!

Shana handed me a book of matches and some lighter fluid. Taxi took one look at me as I set the thing on fire, and said, "No fucking way!"

I guess I'll just have to figure out some other use for it, then.

fresh-baked at 03:17 PM
Tuesday, 6 January 2004
Open and Shut

I'm pulling when I should be pushing, alarming brooms and Push-Me-Pull-Yous alike. Hemming when I should be hawing. Hawing when I should be heeing. Hither when I should be yon, and to when I should be fro. In a dither, a lather, and don't want to bother.

Out of sorts, and sort of out of it.

See you later. Or sooner.

fresh-baked at 06:42 PM
Monday, 5 January 2004
Cocoa Pup

Today I told a girl on the street that I loved her.

I know that comes as a shock. That I would love anyone, on the street or off. And that I would tell that person of my love? Well, that's just too crazy to even consider.

But this person, well, she is the "mom" of a puppy named Cocoa, a 12-week mix, whom I met today on West 23rd Street on my way to Pilates (where else?). At first, when I saw Cocoa, ears flap flopping, gamboling on the sidewalk toward a few pigeons, I attributed her bounce to puppy enthusiasm. Which was enough to make my morning.

I caught up to her and the woman walking her and just had to stop and tell both of them how outrageously cute it all was. We chatted for a few minutes about Cocoa's general adorability. But it wasn't until I crouched down to pet the pup (with the woman's permission and encouragement, of course) that I noticed Cocoa was a little different from most four-legged furballs:

"Wait a minute," I said. "Does she only have three legs?" You can always count on me to be quick on my two feet.

"Yes," her mom said with a laugh as I continued playing with Cocoa and petting her incredibly soft puppy pate.

"Was she born this way?" I asked.

"She was born with a defective leg, and it couldn't be saved, so they amputated it. I got her from a shelter."

"Good for you! That's the way to go," I said as I stood up. "Was she like this when you got her?" I asked, bending down to fill my hands with floppy felt-like ears.

"Yes," her mom said with a huge smile. She looked down at Cocoa and smiled even bigger. "Yes, she was."

"Well, then I have to love you!" I said, wagging my tail. Cocoa looked up at the two of us and smiled.

I thanked the woman for letting me play with Cocoa and take her photo. "See you later!" she called to me as her puppy bounded down the sidewalk.

I crossed the street, hoping I would see them again, but knowing that as far as today was concerned, my day was made. And all before 8:00!

fresh-baked at 01:49 PM
Sunday, 4 January 2004
Bit O' Bile

And now, I present to you a subset of the population against whom I direct a special blend (organic and aromatherapeutic!) of bile-infused vitriol:

Anyone or anything who or that describes himself or itself as "irreverent".

Upon this I will not expound.

Now go back to searching online for pithy, head-nodding quotes by which to live your life. And watching Sixty Minutes. (Remember, the tickticktickticktickticktick of that stopwatch means your weekend is over and it's time to get severely depressed.)

fresh-baked at 07:58 PM
Friday, 2 January 2004
Six Things That, Because He Broke Her Heart, Andy Ruined for Karen, Even Though She Never Liked Them Anyway
  1. Turbinado sugar

  2. That scene in Say Anything... where John Cusack stands on Ione Skye's front lawn and blares "In Your Eyes" from his portable stereo (oh, and by the way, Andy, no one calls that thing a "boombox" anymore)

  3. Ansel Adams landscapes

  4. The way he purposely (?) mispronounced "Camus" and "Goethe" in front of people who knew better

  5. Swedish

  6. The linguine and clam sauce at Fortunato's

fresh-baked at 09:16 PM
Thursday, 1 January 2004
Happy Food Year

You don't know how relieved I am that I didn't resolve to stop sharing full-color fun fotos of my food in 2004. If I did, then I wouldn't have this for you today, which I enjoyed this morning at Josie's:

"Denver Style" Scrambled Tofu
with Peppers, Onions and Tempeh Bakin*

But then again, even if I did make such a resolution, everyone knows that resolutions, like rules, are meant to be broken, and I, a girl who insists on being a well-shod step ahead of the messy masses, would insist on being first in line to smash one to smithereens. So either way, you are treated to the dish's dish.

*Oh, please don't kill the messenger. That's the way they spelt** it.

**Spelling variation in homage to healthy grain!

fresh-baked at 08:45 PM