Clean Living the Hard Way

August 13th, 2014 § Comments Off on Clean Living the Hard Way § permalink

The kids come home this Sunday. Which means time is running out for my husband. Every night we have this conversation:

Him: What do you want for dinner? I can pick something up.
Me: Mega Stuf Oreos.
Him: Indian?
Me: Mega Stuf Oreos.
Him: We could do Thai.
Me: I want Mega Stuf Oreos. I will settle for Double Stuf if you can’t find Mega Stuf [and yes, “Stuf” has just one “f”].
Him: Maybe I’ll just make us pasta.

Why does he even ask me?

IMG_6877And of course, as those of you know me on Facebook, know that Adam and I had a weekend in New York. And while IMG_6911I can assure you that all of Adam’s posts about how inebriated I was were definitely exaggerated (almost), we had a lovely time. We had a fabulous lunch at Eleven Madison Park, spent time with the Tweedle Twins, rode bikes on Governors Island, saw the Degenerate Art show at Neue Gallerie, drank with friends, drank more with friends, drank a smidgen more with friends, and then I was forbidden from having a 2 a.m. “free conversation” in the middle of Cooper Square*, was appeased with pierogies from Veselka, and then felt a wee bit ill the next day.

As a result of my maybe overdoing it on Saturday, I declared this a week of “clean living.” Which Adam has been throwing back in my face. From yesterday:

Him: I can pick you up dinner or make you something.
Me: Mega Stuf Oreos?
Him: Clean living.
Me: Mega Stuf Oreos and a bar of soap?

I cannot believe I haven’t yet gotten my Oreos. I’ve gone since Saturday night (well, technically Sunday morning) with no booze, no sugar, and no coffee (I haven’t given up caffeine; I’ve just switched to tea because I have less of a tendency to overdo tea like I do coffee). And you know what? I don’t feel one iota better.

Bring on the damn Oreos.

*And just so you don’t think that this was some oppressive move by my husband, forbidding me to speak my mind, it was actually the work of my (free speech-teaching, political science professor, baby) sister.

We passed by and I said, “Oh, look, a conversation on comfy sofas in the street!” and the Tweedle Twirp said, “Oh no!” and I said, “Oh yes!” and the Free Convo person said to my sister, “She can join us!” and the Tweedle Twirp said, “No, she cannot!” and she led me away by the arm.

pink booby roomThe next day, I texted her to ask if I had hallucinated the whole thing (as well as the “booby room” in the bar–I asked, “Did we sit in a pink booby room?” and she said, “Actually the boobies were white, the walls were pink.”), but she assured me the conversation on couches in Cooper Square at 2 a.m. were most definitely real. I said, “I cannot believe I missed out on a free convo! Do you have any idea how much I have to say?”

She replied, “Yes, actually I do have some idea.”

As if! Tip of the iceberg, people, tip of the iceberg.

When I’m 44 (Plus One)…

August 17th, 2013 § Comments Off on When I’m 44 (Plus One)… § permalink

Two old ladies walk into a bar. No, it’s not a joke; it was last weekend. With Doodles still at camp (a representative letter: “Send me more books. I ate a hot dog and a hamburger today. I’m having fun”), and Adam continuing to do this thing he calls “work,” Pie and I snuck off to New York for a few days to see my parents and to visit with T Rex and Pad, who were on vacation there from San Francisco.

On Sunday night, though, my college roommate, Jax, and I went out to tear up the town. And by “tear up the town,” I mean we had dinner and then a drink. Jax and I were a force to reckon with once upon a time, but not so much anymore. Now she had to get back to Westchester to her two kids, and I fall asleep before the Late Show goes on. But we headed to Bathtub Gin for a drink before she went home. Bathtub Gin is one of these swanky bars that you can’t tell is there. No name, no sign, no nothing. It’s behind a coffee stand, and you have to enter the coffee stand and then go through the back door of the stand to enter the bar. Oh so chic. As we walked in, Jax was most impressed with me. “Oh my God!” she screeched in a high-pitched New York-accented voice. (She really does talk like that. I think if they ever did a “Real Housewives of Westchester,” she’d be a righteous contender.) “How DID you find this place?” I think I broke her heart just a smidgen when I looked around, leaned in, and whispered conspiratorially, “Google.”

We were clearly the oldest by a decade or two. We were definitely the only one bemoaning kids’ soccer schedules. But what upset Jax the most is when I pointed out that pretty much everyone in the bar had been born around 1990.

“NOOOO!” she yelled.

“Even our bartender,” I said.

“NOOOOOOOO!” she yelled a little louder.

So we asked. “Hey bartender, what year were you born?”

He told us to guess. “1987” was my opening bid.

“Close,” he said.

“1988?” Jax tried?


Our lovely bartender was born in 1989. The same year I graduated college. Jax howled for a good five minutes, but we had a nice chat with our young man, and before you know it, I was handing over a phone number. True, it was Adam’s number–our young man had a good friend who wanted to work at Adam’s company–but hey, I was out at a bar in New York, passing out phone numbers.

Yeah, I’ve still got it. If I can only remember where I put it.

Drink, Drank, Drunk

June 13th, 2013 § 2 comments § permalink

Last weekend was my almost-annual girls’ trip to New York City. The weekend was relatively tamer, but no less fun, than previous trips. On Thursday morning, before I left, I was in the shower, which seems to be Pie’s favorite place to have a conversation with me. Adam was in there getting ready for work.

“You need to send me LOTS of pictures while you’re gone,” Pie told me.

“Of what?” I asked her. “This isn’t a sightseeing trip? What am I going to send you pictures of? Everything I drink?”

Adam snorted.

“Yes!” Pie said. “Send me a picture of everything you drink! Everything!”

And so I did. And in the ultimate cop-out, I decided that instead of blogging about my trip, I’d tell you about it through the drinks I drank. So, bottoms up!

While the Acela offered such delights as beer, wine, and hard liquor, I opted to stick with a Perrier, as I wanted to make sure I didn’t fall asleep before seeing my family.

Even though I didn’t arrive till past 9, I made it awake long enough to have dinner with my sister. Second drink of the night, with the Tweedle Twirp, at the sushi place near my parents’ apartment.

This was drink #3, 4, and 5, and probably #12, 23, and 42. I always complain when I’m at my parents that they prematurely wash my water cup, but as they left town shortly after this drink, I knew my water glass was safe.

Coffee. With my parents. At my new favorite breakfast place, the Cookshop.

Lunch was midtown, and a lovely little Turkish place, Taksim, with the most amazing bread and tzatzki. My lunch mate was a college friend.

Friday night brought me the first alcoholic drink of the day, if you can believe I waited that long. Another friend from NYU, Brian, was reading from his book at this nifty performance space, Dixon Place, on the Lower East Side.

Of course that drink led me to be late to meet up with Scooby and Lilith who were arriving from home, but I found my way to them, and in the pouring rain we headed to Barbuto where I had a Sazerac.

From there we met up with the Tweedle Twins and headed to Louis while we waited to be called for a table at Death and Co. While there I pissed off the bartender by asking a few too many questions (probably not a good idea to ask him, when he referred to the drink menu, if I should be concerned by his lack of confidence in my drink; the man was clearly no bartender, but a mixologist, and he was not amused by me, not one bit), but my drink, a Presbyterian, was delicious. That’s a clearly tipsy Lilith behind me.

Death and Co. never called. We walked by and were told that they didn’t have any tables for six, and they closed in about 45 minutes at 3. So the Tweedle Twins went home. At which time the bouncer told us we could have a table for four. And with only a smidgen of guilt about basically ditching the Twins, we took the table. I asked for the spiciest drink they had, which turned out to be an East River Underground. Of course it was so dark, you could barely see it.

The next morning came quickly. Waaaay too quickly. And while I had been looking forward to a mint julep at Schiller’s Liquor Bar, all I could manage was coffee and a burger.

I continued this healthy drinking right through my cupcake and milk…

…though I threw in the towel when we headed to Broadway to see Kinky Boots. At the theater, one may purchase a sippy cup of wine, with the choice of a single or double. I ordered a single, which was still a full 8 ounces of alcohol. And truth be told, it was gross enough that I dumped most of it in the toilet at intermission.

But the wine at dinner redeemed the fortified grape industry, although dinner at 11:30 p.m. is tough for an early bird like me. But the food at Lavagna was worth it.

After dinner, the Twins joined us again, and we went to Ace for beers, but it was so freakin’ dark that none of my beer pictures came out. Instead this is a picture of me and Tweeds killing moose. I was initially excited because I thought the game involved killing cows–and as you all know I have a long history with cows–but it turns out killing cows is a mistake that loses you points. And it led to a long and pointless conversation about the lack of wild cows and my insistence that at one point, before they were domesticated, there had to be wild cows and perhaps somewhere there was a colony of wild cows and we could find it and shoot the cows. By this time, everyone but Lilith had left me, so I just shot moose and then Lilith and I walked back to the apartment.

The next morning, despite getting home around 3 a.m., Lilith and I were both up early so we grabbed drinks–iced coffee for me, iced tea for her–and took a walk on the High Line. Unfortunately I was hazy enough that I forgot to take a picture of my drink before I finished it, so this is Lilith’s drink, which I was holding while she found a bathroom.

The final drink of the morning was a rather tasty, tart grapefruit juice, of which I partook at brunch at Markt, where they still giveaway matches (and yes, I took, one or twelve).

And then I hopped the train back to Boston. Where no one cares what I drink.

Our Children Know Us *Too* Well

October 1st, 2012 § 1 comment § permalink

My husband’s all-time favorite restaurant is Yardbird in Miami. It’s got bacon. It’s got fried chicken. It’s got bourbon. We were waiting for our three-month window so we could make our holiday reservation. Done!

When we were last there, Adam bemoaned the fact that they didn’t have T-shirts for sale. He’s been hounding the site looking for them and was thrilled when he found them.

The box came today. Adam was at work. Pie saw it. “What’s in there?”

“It’s Daddy’s T-shirt, I’m guessing, from Yardbird,” I told her.

“Are you sure?” she asked.

“Pretty sure. What else would he be getting from Yardbird?”

Pie shrugged and said matter-of-factly, “Bourbon.”


Post-Bourbon Blues

January 3rd, 2012 § 1 comment § permalink

Ah, the return to civilization. It’s never pretty, is it? That forced detox when the bourbon doesn’t come three times a day (although to be honest, the first drink of the day was generally vodka as we never made it to the brunch that serves a bourbon bloody Mary, and I did love the gin-focused Verde Intuition). The reinstatement of (moderately) healthy eating when you don’t have the Frieze ice cream within walking distance and friends who egg you on to consuming obscene quantities of food. The end of daily pool frolics and free nightly babysitting.

Highlights from the trip? Too many to list them all. The Seaquarium.
Dolphin at Seaquarium
Little girl spa day. Big girl spa day. Grown-up dinner. Sushi night.
Sushi Boat
The rooftop deck of the hotel Adam and I escaped to for the night. Beach.
South Beach

Pool. Seeing friends I haven’t seen in close to a decade. Gin. Champagne. Vodka. Wine. Bourbon. Duck fat fries. Fried chicken.

The boy had fun getting to use the tools in his Nana’s art studio.
In Nana's StudioI proved I’m old by going to the diviest bar in Miami Beach and getting into an argument with a friend about… semicolons. Adam discovered an app that let him control the bar jukebox from his phone. I don’t think I’ve seen him that excited since he discovered bourbon. We ate at a new restaurant, Yardbird, which Adam had been reluctant to try. He ended up eating there three times in four days (even going alone one of those days, his hankering for chicken and bourbon was so mighty). I learned what a “food baby” is (thanks to Tuna’s “My food baby hurts”; you thought I had forgotten about that, didn’t you Teener?).
At Yardbird

It’s 21 degrees out it’s almost dark at 4:20 p.m. We don’t make it easy for ourselves, getting home around 3:30 and having to return to a full day of school/dance/Hebrew school/Cub Scouts at 8:15 the next morning.

Here’s a New Year’s resolution for you: I resolve next year to not come back from our trip to Miami Beach.

Sigh. Next year in Miami Beach.

Rough Life

December 24th, 2011 § Comments Off on Rough Life § permalink

Vacation dilemma #1: What will the holiday drink be? I’m a firm believer that Whiskey Sours shouldn’t be drunk when it’s above 50 degrees. Mojitos? Possibly. A little out of season, but still acceptable in this 78 degree weather. Lemon-Drop Martinis? Always a safe go-to drink.

Tonight, alone with my husband (can you imagine?) at a bar outside overlooking Biscayne Bay, I found a new love: Verde Intuition. Gin. Lime. Basil. Cucumber. And something yummily sweet. Perfection.

Vacation is on!

Movie Night Gone Family

December 15th, 2011 § Comments Off on Movie Night Gone Family § permalink

I realize that I’ve been lame of late. Adam’s office party was simply disappointing. I mean, the party was great. But my general behavior was so good that it it was terrible. Then a few nights later, we went to a swanky 40th birthday party for an old friend of Adam’s. The whiskey sour was amazing. The wine was free-flowing. The potential was there for me to make a total ass of myself… and yet, I behaved like a grown-up. I know! So disappointing!

To make up for this dismaying lack of lack of decorum on my part (did you follow that?), this past weekend I hosted a special movie night for my movie night gang. I have five friends who come over once a month (it was six, but Sunrise decided that trivial things like children, community obligations, and a healthy spousal relationship took priority over our movie night; I know, we’re better off without her kind!) to watch a movie, eat popcorn with too much butter, devour buckets of Trader Joe’s chocolates, and consume gallons of red wine. It started after the New York trip when Sunrise declared she had never seen Heathers. As soon as we got back, we scheduled a movie screening. Movie night took on a life of its own and every month the next movie has just been something that made sense. Something we all agreed upon for whatever reason. We’ve watched Class (Andrew McCarthy!), Broadcast News, The Big Chill, St. Elmo’s Fire (more Andrew McCarthy!), the original Women (Jungle Red nails!).

I don’t know how it happened, but at our last movie night, the conversation somehow turned to Cougartown. Yes. The TV show. Here’s a secret about me. I am obsessed with this show. Obsessed. I am devastated that it hasn’t been on the air in just about forever (but it is coming back!). Hey, even Abed on Community can’t get enough of Cougartown. Turns out, two others of our sixsome also like Cougartown. So we decided on a Cougartown marathon for our next movie night. But somehow, things went wonky. I’m not sure if it was the chocolate or the butter or–could it be?–the red wine, but someone came up with the idea of making it a family event. Of subjecting our husbands to Cougartown as well.

And so it was written. And so it was done.

Sunday was our Cougartown marathon. Children were banished to the basement with juice boxes and Daddy Day Camp on DVD. To make the event a little more tolerable to the husbands, we combined our TV marathon with a bourbon tasting. Nothing makes Adam happier than bourbon. Except for perhaps lots of bourbon.

Of course, as anyone who watches the show knows, Jules has a love affair with her wine and her wine glass (is this the appeal of the show? A 40-something woman who drinks too much and gets snarky with her best friend? Naaahh. No resemblance here). Her first glass, Big Joe, comes to a sad end, and it replaced with Big Carl. Of course, we couldn’t have our Cougartown night without our own Big Joe’s, which are apparently called Big Bens:

We had pizza and wine and bourbon and popcorn and chocolate and birthday cake and non-birthday cake and screaming children and scheming children and not enough chairs and more wine and more bourbon and a happy time was had by all. Nothing too wild happened. Well, nothing that I’d ever share. Because what happens at Movie Night, stays at Movie Night. But I didn’t want you folks thinking I’d lost my edge. I’ve still got it. And it’s sharp!

Under My Host

November 13th, 2011 § 3 comments § permalink

My lovely hubby just made me the most lovely whiskey sour to put me in the appropriate (non-suicidal) Dorothy Parker state of mind for my Nanowrimoing this evening (she may have written about martinis, but she was a fan of the whiskey sour, which I think is my new drink).

It’s good to be me.

“I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I’m under the table,
after four I’m under my host.”
–Dorothy Parker

Drink, Drank, Drunk

June 17th, 2011 § 5 comments § permalink

This piece on Flavorwire on “How to Drink Like Your Favorite Author” was illuminating. At the moment, I drink mostly like Hemingway. In the winter, I’m more of an Anne Sexton drinker, which disappoints because I’ve always considered myself a Dorothy Parker kind of gal (without the suicide though). But I’m not sure I’m a Whiskey Sour person. Then again, I’m not sure I’ve had a Whiskey Sour. I think I see a weekend project in my future. Anyone have a good Whiskey Sour recipe they love?

“Three be the things I shall never attain:
Envy, content, and sufficient champagne.”
—Dorothy Parker

Mojitos. Martinis. Lemon Drops. I think I better narrow down that drink of mine so when this list is made twenty years from now, my one drink will be obvious.

Pancakes at Sunrise for Sunrise

June 14th, 2011 § 3 comments § permalink

Pancakes. Pancakes is where this story is going to end. (Every blog post reminds me of a song. This time, I’m humming the Sunday’s “Here’s Where the Story Ends.” I should figure out how to post a playlist on this blog so you can get the same damn tunes stuck in your head.)

Pancakes. But it’s not really about pancakes, of course. Leaving Sophie’s heading toward a major avenue to catch a cab, Sunrise declares that she really wants pancakes. Okay. I know a diner. Right around the corner. Open 24 hours. Let’s go take a look at the menu!

The diner is attached to a bar of the same name, and both have menus up. So I pause at the first menu. Attached to the bar. That’s closed. Shut up for the night. Because, by law, bars must serving alcohol at 4 a.m. It’s the law right? Except at just after 4 a.m., the door to this bar opens, and out walks one of the bartenders who says, “Come on it. First round is on us. You can get the next round.”

“There will be no ‘next round’ for us. One more is about all we have left in us.”

“Eh, come on in anyway,” he says.

What’s a gaggle of haus fraus to do, but go in for a round of beers? (Although by this point, both Sunrise and Scooby—proving that they don’t have the fortitude of us old time NYU girls—have switched to soda.)

It’s pretty much the two bartenders—whom we’ll call Chavez and Garfield—and a guy at the bar who will call Bullfrog. We perch on bar stools, and resume drinking. Well, I resume drinking. Scooby and Sunrise silently fret that this is all the beginning of some New York Post headline that reads, “Boston Haus Fraus Look for Beer, Find Death.” (At this point, when I told the story to Tweeds, she said, “Really? They gave you a beer after closing? At [name of bar]? That’s so illegal!” So out of respect for the so-illegal bar and the great time we had, I’ll skip naming it).

Chavez tried to pick up Scooby. Garfield and I discovered that we both moved into the city in 1986, so he let me dictate the songs on the iPod from that era of my early NYC years, starting of course with The Smiths’ Louder Than Bombs. The Bullfrog and I start up a conversation and he seems like a pretty cool guy, plays in a band with the kind of music I actually like, so I made him promise me, as soon as he’s over his ex, he’ll let me know so I can fix him up with yet another single friend in New York (I’ve got a bunch of them!).

Sunrise is still hungry, so Chavez kindly runs next door and buys her a plate of Fried Oreos. Seriously. Beer. Fried Oreos. After hours. I don’t know which is the most exciting for me.

Fried Oreos. Mmmmm....

5 a.m. My beer is done. My memories at this point are turning a little hazy. I think we finally have had enough adventures that I can tell Sunrise’s husband to take his “pedestrian tweets” and shove them up his….

We say our good-byes. We head out to the street. And we finally catch that cab back to the apartment. Daylight is starting to shine through the buildings.

See that sliver of bright sky through the buildings?

We’re back. (Later Beetle tells us she was mildly horrified when she looked at her watch when we came in, and she realized it was bright enough that she didn’t have to turn on the light to see it.)

Sleep for five hours. Bagel run to Murray’s. And then back home again. Needless to say, Sunrise, Scooby, and I all passed on doing any of the driving.

It took me a full week to catch up on my sleep. But it was well worth it. And the best part? We’ll do it again. Next year. Same time. New adventures. I’ll be sure to tell you all about them.

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    I read, I write, I occasionally look to make sure my kids aren't playing with matches.

    My novel, MODERN GIRLS will be coming out from NAL in the spring of 2016.

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