W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Moi, Toi, et VoI: April 2006

Sunday, April 30, 2006

And You Thought My Cats Got Smushed, Right?

I'm baaaaccck!


The past two days have been crazy. I opened the shop soft (no adverts, didn't even tell friends) on Friday so we could get into the swing slowly. On Thursday the health inspector came by to give the green light. That was some serious nerve rackage, good god. Turns out I need to replace an existing sink and add more sneezeguards to an existing wall (sigh...), but I've got six months to do it.

As soon as we got the go ahead, we started baking. And we baked and baked and baked. Friday we opened quietly, did a crazy amount of business from just walk-in traffic and the other vendors checking the new joint out. Saturday we did even better. I've got absolutely no complaints.

I could get used to this entrepreneur thing.

After I closed last night, Dax took me out to Ansill to celebrate. Wow. Totally excellent non-freaky tapas (I'm a baby when it comes to sea creatures. I'm from Chicago. That's my excuse and I'm stickin' to it.). Then we bought some amuse bouches from the WaWa (Starbursts and Oreo ice cream sandwiches) and came back and caught up on America's Next Top Model. What an upset! Enh, Nnenna's a bitch anyway. Next elimination: Sarah.

Oh yeah, Buh Bye, Stephen. Don't let the door hit you on your pompous ass on the way out, Oenopunk. And for the record, I thought it was completely unfair and heinous of the chefs to make them put on a wedding for 100 people in 16 hours -- when they didn't even know that was the gig when they created the menus. What would they have done if the Scotts had gone with Tiffani's 100 indi cakes? Insanity I say!*

It feels really weird after all of these months to finally be up and running.
Woo hoo!

I am pitiful. Already thinking about a vacation. A friend invited me to visit her in Dubai this summer. But, enh, I think I'll probably be in the mood for something a little less adventurous this time around. And less hot. I just wilt in the heat. My idea of a good vacation is going to a foreign city and reading in coffeeshops during the day and getting some drinks and decent fare in the evening. Checking out the grocery stores, the cosmetics stores, the shoe stores, the candy stores....that's my mai-tai-at-the-poolside sort of vacation since I burn easily. And I can't stand laying around.

*And also for the record, I concede that the use of cake mix in the box was the best use of their time, especially considering the inevitable communal coronary that occurs whenever anything cake-related pops up in their challenges. Fine. They still had to make the ganaches and buttercreams. Fine fine FINE.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Alright, Who Do I Like Who's Gonna Die

or be diagnosed with a horrible incurable disease? Or will one of my cats get smushed by a garbage truck tomorrow? Why is this happening?

This is what I found out today:

1. Health Dept. inspector is coming tomorrow! Then I will be open! Legit! Holy Shite!
2. Pastry industry journal wants me to write a column for them!
3. I'm a finalist in the same pastry competition I won last year!

If you don't hear from me tomorrow, I'm either lying in a ditch in Southsouth Philly or celebratin'...


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Crack Supply.

Good lordy, it feels like forever since I've posted.

I've been working, can you believe it? Busy little bee I am, setting up the shop, training my minions to do my bidding, shmoozing galore. It's been a ton of fun, but dang! I'm pretty tired tonight. Frankly, I hate work. Work sucks. It's nothing but a means to an end. I love finishing. Hence I tolerate the work.

At the Circus Where The CC is, there are several piano players who tinkle the ivories non-stop throughout the 14 hour workday. And the piano is mere feet from my shop. There is one woman who I swear to you must have called my dead piano teacher and found out what my childhood repertoire was and now plays it for four hours straight to torment me and make me feel guilty for giving up the piano. Rondo alla Turca is the background music to my nightmares. Seriously. If a tune could make one insane, reserve a room for me at Creedmore. ASAP.

There is another pianist who's a big soft rock fan. She plays waaay too much Elton John.

"What the hell is that? Hill Street Blues? Good god!"
"No, it's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road."
"You mean Goodbye English Rose."
"Yeah, whatever."

My minion and I were chatting about shitty piano songs and she had a Richard Marx songbook. I had Chicago's Greatest Hits. It was awesome. And not only because Peter Cetera's mother lived in my neighborhood (The yellow house on the corner of 107th & Longwood). But what I really coveted was an Air Supply songbook. Oh, Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock (Christ I didn't even need to google those names!) - how you serenaded me at such a young impressionable age, you hottie Aussie balladiers! You evil sirens! Maybe this is why I am so horribly addicted to SBM today. It's my crack.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Tonight PeopleCat and I had our first night out for a cyberdrink at McCooligan's, our cyberbar. We haven't seen each other in years, but what's totally great is that we chat all the time on the phone, so we're still the bestest of buds even though geography has attempted to rear its ugly head in the face of our friendship. But alas! T'was not to be! We met at McCooligan's (an homage to our severely Irish Catholic home turf in Chicago) on Friendster and did an IM chat while we drank for 2 hours until Big Love came on and we realized we'd better get off the network and head toward our teevees. But the commute was great - no subways! no taxis! and really no walking! because McCooligan's was our little cyberbar in the sky, complete with cute bartender, a jukebox that was way too loud and wasabi peas in the bar mix. Can you get much better than that? And no line for the bathroom! Ha!

It was a perfect Sunday evening. The half bottle left of Mr. Laphroaig and I had our final tryst (bye bye L, Love ya! Will see you again VERY VERY SOON. xx) while Chicago-based PeopleCat and Mr. Argentinian Red Wine with a Cork! made out on the other end of the bar. And I could be completely and totally obnoxious and chairdance to The Libertines (my guilty pleasure, what can I say?) while I incessantly prattled and no one was there to pick me up and lay me down on the couch to sleep it off! Weeee! We must do this again soon!

Let me explain. [Cyberarm around PeopleCat's cybershoulder...[minor drunken tumble, but I recover],...PeopleCat and I have been friends SINCE WE WERE SEVEN. We know each other like...like...I dunno, but dammit, we know each other. [**CyberHUG PeopleCat***I luuurrrrvveee you, PC. You the MAN. Don't forget to watch Top Chef. It's waaay better than Big Love. Love Ya!]

Speaking of which, which wife are you? I think I'm Margene, but people probably see me as Barb. Fuuuckkk...I'm much more freelovin' than that!!!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

I'm Not Your Bitch, Bitch.

I know I'm a wee bit late in commenting on this week's episode of Top Chef, but I finally caught it and I feel it's my professional responsibility to chime in. This one's for you, Dax and Martha.

The restaurant challenge was interesting. It really forced these back-of-house types to think about their food in a whole-dining-experience sort of way. That said, Tiffani's American Workshop winning wasn't a surprise against Sabor. In the Post 9/11 Era, I've seen a trend toward more familiar, comforting food. Not that people are anti-unAmerican in their tastes, but there's a definite pull toward what we know and what makes us feel good. And safe. So, kudos to you. Excellent name and excellent front of the house execution. There was no doubt in my mind however, that Dave was going to kick Steven's ass in the front. Who the hell cares how many kilos Mahon is from Majorca? Good lord, Steven, get with the program. This isn't geography class. People are hungry. Have you ever been in class and hungry?

And can I say for the record that HAROLD ROCKS. He always takes the back seat on praise, and rarely puts the blame on anyone else. Remind me to go to The Harrison next time I'm in New York. In my eyes, he is a true Top Chef. And jesus, has a pencil ever looked sexier behind someone's ear?

Good riddance, Miguel. You're a talented chef, but you just don't have it together. Sorry, dude. We'll miss ya, though. Take care. 'We'll have a drink when we get back to New York.' Probably shoulda doublechecked that fish before you brought it out to Tom Colicchio. Oops!

And next week's episode: Ha ha! Tiffani, wtf, girl???? CAKE MIX IN THE BOX? Well, if I may, it certainly gives street cred to us pastry chefs for once. Not like you couldn't mix a cake, Tiffi, for chrissakes. It's flour, sugar, butter and eggs. BASIC. Put me in that kitchen, beyotch, and I'll deglaze with the rest of youz. I've heard that a pastry chef could double in a culinary kitchen much more easily than the other way around. It certainly appears to be so by the way they all freak out whenever they have to do anything dessert related.

My 'pack your knives' prediction: Erghh, it's a toss-up. It could be the teaser, but my bets are on either Tiffani or Steven.


Kids these days.

I got a text message from someone asking if I was going to make it to Sex Dwarf last night.

This was my response:

Noon gongo tomo maled it drink new weed xx

Clearly I am a terrible texter. I couldn't figure out how to turn off the predictive text function and this is what I got. Obviously, the predictive text function can't predict the proclitivies of a creative free thinker such as myself (BLUE HAMMER!). And god only knows how one punctuates on these blasted things.

I think only people under 30 are capable of text messaging. Once you hit the third decade, your neurons can no longer fire in such a fashion that allows one to do anything beyond mere dialing. Someone should do a study on this.

Old fogey I am.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Monkey Suit.

I finally finished sorting through the ginormous pile(s) of business papers that had been taunting me for the past month. Okay past six months but whatever. I was really hoping they'd organize and file themselves on their own, but alas. FYI: telekinesis filing doesn't work, don't even waste your energy.

I am by nature a very disorganized person. I like to stick stuff where it fits (almost fits) and where it's easily accessible. If I were a suit, my office would the one with the Redwells and file folders stacked around/on/behind/under my desk and on the guest chair (OK, maybe not the guest chair because I like visitors). You know, there's always at least one of us in every cube farm.What's the point of taking the extra time to walk to the supply cabinet, find the file folders, make labels for the file folders, put the appropriate papers in the file folders and then fight with the already completely packed file cabinet to find a space for the damn things? When you're just going need what's in those files again in three months?

Paper shuffling has never been my forte, but ahh...I can make you one killer cupcake! Dammit I. Am. An. Artiste. My highly innovative mind doesn't operate file-style; it needs room to invent, explore, and experiment. It requires chaos in order to create.

I refuse to be stifled.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Headbangers Ball.

I had dinner with a friend whose husband is a drummer for a bunch of bands so we talked a lot of music - particularly how we've gotten so damn old that seeing a show sitting in actual seats is now preferred over standing in a mosh pit (pathetic, eh?) - over veggie burgers and sidecars at the Sidecar. She introduced me to the Red House Painters and I her to the Phoenix Foundation, an awesome Kiwi band, whose song All In An Afternoon I have listened to about 20 times in a row today. I encourage all you Yanks to check them out ASAP. They remind me of Broken Social Scene with a pinch of Postal Service. Good stuff.

Anyway, said friend is a school counselor at a K through 8 here in Philly and she was telling me about one of her students, who is 12 and severely autistic. He wears a helmet and is "as autistic as you can get" and his trademark tic is a knowledge arsenal of Belle & Sebastian lyrics. She overheard him screaming/singing something that sounded familiar to her and she asked him about it and he rattled off a demand to ask him to recite any Belles lyrics and he can do it. Is that not just about the sweetest thing you've ever heard?

Chi-ch and Chong

See how crappy and uninspired the title is today? It's not my fault. I swear.

Have you ever noticed that some people just suck the life out of you?

Not to get all new age-y on y'all, but there are certain people who make me feel physically exhausted after I speak to them. They give off some seriously stagnant chi. I have to take a 6 hour disco nap just so that I have enough energy to go on with my day. These folks are negative, needy and horribly selfish. Now don't get me wrong, I understand that they are most likely depressed and probably don't enjoy being with themselves anymore than I enjoy being with them, but I think I'm too much of an emotional sponge to handle it well.

Which is exactly why I was never cut out to be a psychologist. Thank the goddesses I got my head screwed on straight and realized that I tend to soak up a person's vibe pretty easily and that I have the patience of a fallen saint when it comes to people whining. See there I go again. I just can't help myself.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

New York Minute.

I had a nightmare last night. I dreamt I was on a cruise ship with everyone I went to high school with. Not only is the thought of being stuck on a floating bacteria frappe with no escape horrifying in itself, but damn! all of these people who hadn't even crossed my consciousness since 1992 were there. And I started getting weirded out and feeling "Prep"like - self conscious, paranoid and wondering who was going to like me. Classic stuff for the textbooks. Ready, Set, Analyze!

I had to make a quick trip back to New York today to buy some last minute cake stuff and I met my friend who makes crazy beautiful cakes for lunch at Otto. Otto is one of my favorite restaurants in New York. Everything is always positively delicious and the wine...oh the wine...out of control. We finished a fantastic lunch with a gelato trio: Meyer lemon, olive oil and parmagiano. I kid you not. We both had had the olive oil gelato before and love it, but the parmagiano was a new one. She liked it more than I did. It certainly did taste like parmesan. Sweet, creamy parmesan. Sounds disgusting, but it wasn't all that bad. A little shticky, but it worked.

Monday, April 17, 2006

WTF: I Like My Men Like I Like My Soda...

Small, sweet and Blak.

I would like to introduce y'all to the newest product in the Putridity line from Coca Cola: Coke Blak, "a fusion beverage that combines coffee essence with Coca Cola effervescence", whatever the f* that means. This shit takes 1st Place heads and shoulders (heh heh) above Diet Vanilla Cherry Coke eight days a week, baby. It's pure revulsion in a little glass bottle. Bon Appetit!

And in extremely good news, it appears that I will be able to start hauling my stuff into my new space by the end of the week! Yippee! Which means, depending on whether the Health Dept. has time between Blak breaks and siestas to grant me my inspection, that I could be open *like for real* by the end of next week.

So remember, be sure to stop by, give the Secret Bloggers' Code: bloginatrix, and get some cake comps!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

But Of Course - The Artful Loner.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Women's Realm.

Abandon all hope, ye gentlemen who dare enter the inner sanctum...

Last night Dax and I went to a Feminist Seder in Manayunk. We didn't know what to expect, but being the enlightened over-educated urban chicksters we are, we were ready for anything. O got her hands on a Feminist Haggadah and so we celebrated our Jewessness over latkes, goat cheese salad and chicken and carrots, not to mention a huge jug of grape-flavored Manischevitz.

This Haggadah was the most entertaining haggadah I've ever laid eyes on. It's very 'current', as it mentions Hitler, nuclear annihiliation, saving the environment, the Suffragist Movement, and lady paratroopers to boot.

Here are some highlights.

Frogs: The myth of the 'Frog Prince' has enslaved women to an unattainable idea of romance...We remove a drop of wine for all women trapped in false hopes and expectations for their lives.

Women are pressured to look like an artificial and unattainable image of beauty. Some women have felt compelled to surgically alter their bodies...We remove a drop of wine for all women made to feel that they don't measure up.

Locusts: As locusts strip a field, so patriarchy has kept us from the full fruits of our labors...We remove a drop of wine for the pain of all women who have been denied the opportunity to pursue their own passions.

Blood: Our life-giving monthly bood has become a taboo....We remove a drop of wine for the spilled blood of women.

(Ya knew that was coming, right?)

[Insert WORKERS UNITE! cartoon here]

[Insert passage from 'a womyn's seder' about how Lilith got totally screwed in the Bible.]

Just as the maror and charoset combine to form something new and wonderful, so may each of use merge all of her disparate selves into a greater whole. This seder is not about anger. We are proud and happy to be Jewish women.

NB: 'This seder is not about anger' was crossed out. Of course we're angry! We're womyn!

And I don't remember why, but for some reason the phrase 'This is the ghettoest seder ever' was stated at least 3 times over the course of the evening.

We had a great time, laughed our asses off, told way too many jokes about firm balls vs. fluffy balls, as any good feminist seder party should and ended the meal by taking hits from a can of whipped cream. From our lips to god's ears? Isn't that the phrase?

Editorial comment: I'm not mocking the Feminist Seder. It beats the hell out of the coma-inducing Maxwell House version that appears to be a translation of a translation to the 30th degree. This was a very educational and highly engaging ritual celebration. I take my womynhood very very very seriously. And my Jewishwomynhood - don't even get me started. I am afterall, a student loan carrying member of The Seven Sisters Sisterhood. No flaming please!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Ich Bein Ein Carnivore.

I'm feeling so much better today, thank you for asking!

I had a very nice relaxing evening. Went to The Sidecar for a couple of sidecars, yakked with the bartender for a bit, ordered a veggie burger with fries extra well done to go and then trotted back home (a block away! how convenient that your favorite bar is within spitting distance!). When I settled down to watch The Amazing Race and opened my food, to my surprise! A cheeseburger! Food of the Gods!

Now I consider myself a veggie at heart, but I admit, I fall off the wagon when I start getting stressed. Which is probably not the best time to fall off the wagon. Especially when chicken wings and bacon are your weaknesses.

Think about this for a second: Say you eat, oh, 10 chicken wings. Chances are you've eaten meat from ten different chickens. Fast Food Nation says that one hamburger can have meat from twelve cows.

I get really grossed out when I think about that stuff.

Yet it doesn't deter me.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Northern Lights.

Slumber-thieving elves have entered my home once again.

I've had bouts of insomnia forever. Fall asleep, no problemo. Stay asleep, big problemo.

I fell asleep at 11:30 after a stint at the Monkey Bar with Dax, woke up at 2:30 and didn't fall back to sleep until 6:30. Even turning on QVC didn't help quiet my mind (...measurements, shelving, tables, Robot Coupe, electrician, employees, cake, web design, Opening Day....). The Proactiv woman was on and I seriously considered purchasing some. That's how they get ya, when you're weak and vulnerable.

I wish I could be witty and amusing, but alas. Tonight is going to be a zone-out night in front of the tube, no doubt. Nothing anymore mentally taxing than catching up on America's Next Top Model.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Sign of the Curse.

I got another delicious quote in the paper today:

The first thing to do is assemble: sugar, egg whites, gelatin, corn syrup, salt, vanilla extract, food coloring, two 9-inch square pans, two sheet trays, a mixer, a candy thermometer, cookie cutters, parchment paper or plastic wrap, and a can of Pam which, [Oy Vey] says, is "the most important thing, because this shit will stick everywhere."

And that's the only thing I was quoted as saying because the article got hacked to pieces for space. I think everything else I said involved worse profanity anyway so it's probably for the best. I have a nasty habit of calling food "little fuckers", as in "just spread frosting on those little fuckers and slap them on a plate."

Fortunately it works in this paper because it's an Urban Hipster Paper, but I don't think I'll be adding this one to my press kit anytime soon. Or sending this to my mother.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

New York Post.

I had a fabulous day in New York. Took the Chinatown Bus (from Philly Chinatown to NYC Chinatown for a pittance) instead of driving. The Chinatown Bus is pretty much the intersection of Broadway and Canal in bus form. Enough said.

I spent the day with J at the tea shop, sampling teas and yammering about suchandsuch. I think I had, no exaggeration, 12 cups of tea over the course of 5 hours. Green tea, white tea, black tea, hot, iced, lattes…the whole kit and kaboodle. Needless to say, I was BuZzInG. I chitchatted with her customers while she made them drinks. I think I was talking really fast too. It’s so much fun being at the front of the house. I’ve been in the kitchen too long. It’ll be nice to socialize at work for a change. After J’s, I walked around the East Village, ye old stomping ground for four years, taking pictures, and then headed further downtown.

I love walking around New York. Do I miss it? Yes, of course. But having been gone for almost a year at this point, I can honestly say I don’t miss it enough to come back permanently. Unless housing costs drop drastically. But I think the only way that would happen is if there’s another terrorist attack and the city is obliterated, which would sort of defeat the purpose of the whole moving back thing in the first place.

On my way back to Chinatown, I stopped in Astor Wine & Spirits’ new digs just down Lafayette from the old place. Yowzers. A Discerning Boozer’s Shangri-La. The place is tremendous. It’s got Henri Bendel merchandise at Target prices. Sort of. Anyway. But the most wonderful part about it is that the people who work there know what they’re talking about as far as the wines go. And because I know shite about wine I find this much more appealing than the Post Office style of customer service that the Pennsylvania Wine and Liquor Shoppes offer.

I decided to try on a new kilt and pick out a scotch that I hadn’t tried before, but I really wanted to take advantage of the place and find The Scotch Guy for a recommendation. I knew there had to be at least one Scotch Guy there. But alas, he was stuck helping some wino customer and I had to rely on a backup guy, whom I quickly realized had no idea what he was talking about, because he kept mispronouncing kindergarten-basic Gaelic buzzwords and tossing the word ‘peaty’ around like a flaming potato. I’m sure he assumed I was looking for some stupid old scotch for my curmudgeonly uncle as a retirement gift and thought I wouldn’t see through his shabby façade. So I shooed him away and chose an Islay, Caol Ila, whose description sounded appealing: ‘Never widely available and not as pungent as some of its neighbours, Caol Ila combines an ummistakable ISLAY CHARACTER with sublime drinkability.’

Anyhoo, I’m frickin’ exhausted. The Bussetting Lifestyle may do me in.

Monday, April 10, 2006

I'm Not Happy and I'm Not Sad.

Dear S,

I'm writing to tell you it's over.

Some people thought our relationship should have ended years ago. But 17 years is a long time and it's hard to give up something that's been so good, that's been so comfortable and comforting for half of my life.

I remember the first time. A fall Chicago day in '88. The bus stop at Jackson & LaSalle. Bobby D. introduced us. I was hooked at first sound. You, you!, changed the trajectory of my life on that very day. I would without a doubt, be a different kind of person if I hadn't met you when I did.

Later on, those encounters in New York and Philly were wonderful. We all had fun, though I think our adoration of you was more you of us. Later still, even The Apollo was great; we’d all grown up, but the vibe was still there. Then you came back from LA a few months later a different man. You'd found a new kind of girl. Younger, so much younger. A girl who wasn’t even a speck in God’s eye when you and I shared our most intimate moments.

You used to be such a clever wordsmith, your craft was your art and your art wasn't just adulated. We adored you. You were special – and that was a secret kept between you and us, a secret we treasured and held in the inner core of our post-post-post pubescent souls. But you understood us, you really did. You turned those ancient bitter schoolyard memories into a bittersweet nostalgia like no one else could.

But now the magic in your words is gone. What happened to the witty poet I cherished? My heart belongs to someone else now, S. I'm sorry to say it, but you've lost that je ne sais quoi (and your thesaurus, perhaps?). Dare I say forever? The thesaurus can be replaced, but the quoi

Is it because I'm older and wiser now? Because I’ve seen the world, I’ve been hurt, I’ve loved, I’ve lost? Is it simply that I can see through your facade of sardonicism? No, I refuse to believe it. You've changed, S. You've settled. It's LA, no doubt. How can you be truly lonely and wanting in LA?

So, I'm sorry, S, but I won't be purchasing the new album. The clips I heard made me pine for you when I knew you.

You've become a stranger. But I’ll raise my glass of cab to you anyway. It was great while it lasted. But know that I'm still fond of you. Thank you.

Until Then,

Oy Vey

Lookie! Lookie!

Check out some work by the guy who will (hopefully hopefully!) design my logo. Funky, whimsical, fresh. I. Love. It.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


I did a ton of shopping this weekend. In my jammies.

How could I have lived so long without buying off of Ebay? What was the matter with me?

I bought a 6 qt. KitchenAid, a cash register, sheetpans and a new pair of Super Birkis! Direct from Germany! I saved $100s! I've also got bids on a pair of Danskos, a commercial microwave and another KitchenAid. That was an oops! bid. I got a little carried away with the process. I may just wind up with another mixer, but hell, if I win it, I'll...sell it on Ebay!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Book Review: Prep

I finally finished reading Prep. I say finally because I was itching to be done with this book, throw it against a wall and have a stiff drink.

In all fairness it was well written, original and honest. The Unwritten Rules of Prep School were definitely on point - the stuff about money, about getting into fancy colleges, about loyalty to The Idea of your school. I didn't go to a boarding school, but a Jesuit 'College Prep' in downtown Chicago. It had been a boys' school for 100 years before allowing girls in about six years before I started there, so it still had a lot of that old school tradition shtick. One of my personal favorite ancient institutions at SICP was the JUG. You didn't get a detention, you got a JUG, or Judgment Under God. JUG was also used as a verb, as in 'You're jugged.' JUG consisted of copying the Code of Conduct out of the school handbook for 2 hours after school. Come on, how great is that?! It's a rite of passage!

But Lee. Ugh. I found Lee just about the most annoying unenjoyable character I've read in a while. I found her incessant self-consciousness excrutiating. I know, I know, that's the way that teenage girls think. I get it. I guess I just don't want to be in a teenage girl's head anymore. Dare I say I liked Charlotte Simmons better? The plot was more interesting, but it was basically the same story. But Tom Wolfe made it sexier and more colorful.

Thinking back to my high school days, I wasn't a whole lot like Lee. I was one of those alternachicks who wore Doc Martens and necklaces made of safety pins and listened to The Smiths and Ministry incessantly. One of my fondest memories of high school is dumping our prom dates afterwards, and my girlfriends and I dropping acid and roaming around the city at 4 am.

I guess you could say I was a little wild.*

Maybe the reason why Lee bugs me so much is because I'm currently battling my own Mousy Girl on the End Pew Syndrome. In high school, I knew everything. And I was totally self-confident because I knew I knew everything. Now, enh, not so much. And putting myself on the line like I am with this business lately has really been quite a challenge to my ego. It's quite nerve racking to be in the spotlight like this, with people expecting so much. It's fucking scary, it is.

*The extent of my getting in trouble was getting JUGs for talking during Mass, not wearing socks and wearing colored jeans (I realize I'm dating myself here!). I never got caught smoking pot before school or ditching French with Ms. Lodl. Those infractions would have necessitated a heavier punishment than JUGs, but because I did well in school and was only a minimally rebellious teenage girl on the outside, I always slipped under the radar screen. But I went on to a fine university and ended up perfectly normal and not a delinquent. I cherish memories of being harmlessly naughty back then. It saved me from doing really stupid stuff in college.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Peep Show

I watched four hours of Top Chef last night. Here's my two cents, for whatever it's worth.

Stephen: Completely horribly annoying and obnoxious, but the boy knows his stuff. Excellent presentation, though he starts complicating things a little too much (mango ketchup for kids? I wouldn't eat mango ketchup). Serious attitude problem. Will eventually get his ass kicked, I'm sure, in a poorly lit alley someday. Good shot at winning, though hopefully he won't, because nobody wants to see the gloating.

Andrea: Good chef, but not excellent. I don't think she's top top. Her presentation skills are horrible. I think she's a great person and I wouldn't mind having a shot of wheatgrass with her, but I don't think she has the skills to make it to the end. And her sexy food was SO NOT.

Harold: I have a huge crush on Harold. He's very talented and seems calm and laid back yet quietly intense. I think he's holding back his temper for the sake of the camera though. I predict he'll make it to the final three.

Tiffani: Solid performances. Decent attitude other than the kids' meal and the tiff with Lee Anne over the timer. I can't stand those 'I'm here to WIN' people. They are destined to lose. Get over yourself.

Dave: Mediocre performance. Was chosen by production to be The One Who Has The Breakdown at some point. Will be gone in two episodes.

Miguel: Would love to have a beer and Doritos with the guy. I think he's talented but not refined enough to make it to the end. I'd love to see the underdog win, but I don't think it's gonna happen with PimpBoy.

Lee Anne*: Very solid performance. Completely calm and collected. No freakouts, hence she doesn't hold my interest. In all fairness, though, she knows her game. Will probably make it to the final three.

The SnackMaster challenge was awesome. I love the way chefs party. They are probably as wild as rock stars party-hardy wise. YEAH!


I helped a food writer friend make Chix** last night. Williams-Sonoma carried a make your own Marshmallow Chick kit which flew off the shelves. (Good lord WHY?), so she wrote a slightly anti-Peeps article on how to make them at home. I had to color the sugar with food coloring and scotch because I didn't have any vodka in the house. Scotch-scented Chix. You think there's a market for that?


Hello, Dechert. Do we know each other?

* My claim to fame is that I used to see her walking around FCI.

**Peeps is a registered trademark. I probably am not even supposed to write the name in this blog. Thus, Oy Vey's version is called Chix. It's a little sexier anyway. Especially with the scotch.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Busy as a Cat Burying Shit.

Fifty (50!) pounds cat were delivered to me this morning. Guinness Girl, on her way to her wedding in Florida (Congrats! xx!), dropped off Alex and Biscuit, with another 50 pounds of food and litter in tow.

These are some big ass cats.

But Aunty Oy will pamper those little bastards with treats, brushies and of course the privilege of sleeping in my bed and watching Top Chef tonight. And maybe sampling some of the pizza I plan on ordering later to celebrate their arrival.


I did an obscene thing today. My laziness knows no bounds. I popped a chocolate mayo cake into the oven and five minutes later realized I'd forgotten the sugar. I do this more times than I'd like to admit when I make this cake. I think it's because it's a one bowl recipe and I stop thinking and just throw whatever ingredients I remember into the bowl, stir the sucker up and throw it in the oven.

I pulled the cakes out, poured the batter back into the bowl, stirred in the sugar and put the batter back in the same pans and put it back in the oven.

It worked. I lost a little height, but damn it worked! Now if I ever caught one of my bakers pulling a stunt like that...

Inspired by this, I wrote an article on Aussie and Kiwi desserts. Whenever I write these types of articles I usually end with a few sentences of local slang encouraging my readers to give the recipes a try. Aussie slang is some of the funniest I've ever heard. Garbologist, bush oyster, freckle, goog, mystery bag...

I think the number of slang words they have for 'drunk' and 'anus' might beat the Brits'.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Love What You Do.

Yesterday was a fun day (aside from the dead cat, who appears to have been removed.). I was given a tour of the La Colombe roasting facilities to check out their espresso machines and such. I got to stick my hands in huge buckets of fresh roasted coffee beans, got to smell them, still warm from the roaster. Ah...delish. I got loads of fair trade samples to bring home and try. I got to drink copious amounts of coffee and espresso before I left. I was so buzzin' by the time I walked outta there I thought my head was going to pop off my neck and start spinning above my body.

And next Tuesday, I'm going to my friend's tea shop to learn to make her famous tea lattes. Hot tea, steamed milk, and honey. Oh, I used to live for those puppies when I was in the city. I'm going to sell her teas at The Canary. You know, that whole women's businesses supporting women's businesses thingy.

And along those lines, I managed to give Monsieur Sneezeguard a tongue lashing but good. Well, sort of, but it worked. Dude's been blowing me off for a week, which was pissing me off royally, so I emailed the head of ops at The Place Where The Canary Will Be Located* and asked him if he knew any other sneezeguard guys...less than an hour later I got an email and a call from M. Sneezeguard, who will be measuring them today or tomorrow latest thankyouverymuch.

Sometimes you've just gotta be a bitch to get things done. It's a shame that's how so many people see it.

*Suggestions for a suitable name for this place, Philly peeps?

Monday, April 03, 2006

Drama in the G-Ho Part 38

1. Twelve gunshots fired during the day over the weekend.
2. Two break-ins on Saturday during the day.
3. There has been a dead cat laying near the curb for the past three days.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

So Says I

I sent a recipe in for a contest and I just noticed a typo:

Lemon Sour Cream Cake with Blackberry Composte and Lemon Peel Buttercream.

Very original, slick. You're #1! Woo hoo!

I found a stub in a jacket pocket from The Shins show I went to nearly a year ago to the day. That was the one time in my life that I truly understood the expression "blind drunk". We hung out at the bar in the back, and good lord, I don't know what the hell happened. I lost my friends as we were leaving and I literally couldn't see straight ahead of me. Thank god I lived three blocks from Webster Hall and was able to follow the familiar lines of the sidewalk home. It was atrocious. If I didn't see those bottles cracked open in front of my face, I would swear someone slipped me a mickey.