Tag Archives: restaurants

Alice B. Toklas and the giant bag

Well, W and I are back from our big weekend in the big city.

Sometimes I am so accustomed to living in the suburbs that I feel a little like Country Mouse when the buildings exceed three or four stories.

The Addams Family musical was entertaining, especially if you grew up with the TV show.  It certainly isn’t Les Mis or even Hairspray, but then what is?

You had me at budino

Dinner was delicious.  Highlights: a sheeps milk ricotta appetizer and an Italian custard  called a budino.  Best dessert ever.  It had a dark chocolate bottom, a creamy, velvety middle and a salted caramel top.  I told W that it made all of my taste buds come alive.  I felt like Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio  for a moment.  The budino was way sexier than Padma Lakshmi, and that’s saying something.  This is evidenced by the fact that I am posting a picture of the budino and not a gratuitous photo of Padma like the one that appears on the cover of French Playboy.

I couldn't help myself

I couldn’t help myself

On Sunday, we were able to sleep in, enjoy a nice breakfast and do some in-town shopping.

Alice B. ended up joining us for the play and dinner

The most unusual part of the weekend occurred before the play.  We were looking to kill some time and wandered into a gay bookstore.  W and I browsed, and I found a copy of Gertrude Stein’s The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas on the clearance rack.  I decided that I needed to own the book and went up to the front counter to pay for it.

There was a very skinny gay boy working the register.

I gave him a nod.  The nod spoke volumes.  It said: “Hello.  How are you?  Nice day we’re having.  I have enjoyed shopping in your store.  I am glad that there are still gay bookstores around. ”

I placed the book on the counter.

He looked at me quizzically, unable to decipher the nod.  It always works with butch women.  Straight guys, too.  I was puzzled.

The clerk picked up the book very gingerly, possibly concerned that it might contain lesbian cooties or something, and announced the price.

I silently paid in cash.

“Do you want a bag?” he asked, unable to mask his annoyance.  I wasn’t sure if he was put out by my literary selection — it certainly wasn’t Sexy Sailors or Bend Over! — or by having to push a few buttons on the cash register.

I thought about the bag for a few seconds.  I wouldn’t be carrying around The Harder She Comes: Butch Femme Erotica or something racy like that.  But, I would be taking the book into the theater and a restaurant, so a bag might be nice.

“That would be great,” I said, trying unsuccessfully to sound friendly and approachable.


Alice B. and the giant bag

That’s when he bent down under the counter, pulled out a giant white paper bag and placed Alice B. Toklas inside where she slid about, bonking her head here and there, because the bag was so fucking large.

When we are outside, I tell W that the big bag was a big fuck you to the big bull-dyke buying classic feminist literature.

She tells me to be nice.

On our way to the theater with Alice B. Toklas and the ginormous bag in tow, I play a  game that I like to call “I could fit a _____ in this giant bag.”

“I could fit this week’s groceries in this giant bag,” I say.

“I could fit a loaf of French bread, a large wheel of cheese and three bottles of wine in this giant bag.”

“I could fit a pair of Dr. Marten’s 8-eye boots and four flannel shirts in this giant bag.”

“I could fit two of our cats in this giant bag.”

(At least two.  Maybe all three, I think now as I write this post.)

And off we went to the theater, me, W, Alice B. and the bag.  We all had a lovely time.

I tell W this afternoon that I will be blogging about the bag.

“Be nice,” she says.

I am not sure why she is constantly reminding me of this.

She’s talking, of course, about the clerk in the gay bookstore.  Not to rip him to shreds over a giant paper bag, especially one that is 100 percent recyclable and biodegradable.

Upon reflection, I realize that my approach was all wrong.

Warning: The Text Below May Contain Extreme Stereotypes

No Harm Was Meant in the Writing of This Blog

Blog Is for Entertainment Purposes Only

I saw skinny gay dude and thought show tunes, see-through shirts and attitude.

He saw non-communicative large woman and thought angry butch lesbian.

That didn’t leave much for either of us to hang our hats on.

I think now that I should have opened differently.

For example:

Me: “Hi.”


Me: “Hello.”


Me: “Great bookstore.”


Me: “We’re in town to see the Addams Family.   It’s a musical.”

Because just like the Addams, we are family after all.

The Addams Family Musical

Going away and not going crazy

W and I are going away this weekend.  Just the two of us.  No kids.  No cats.

We only go away two or three times a year, so it’s a pretty big deal.

The last time that we went away for the weekend?  October.  We spent Saturday night at a local casino with friends.

In the days prior to that get-away weekend, I over thought the whole trip.  What if the food isn’t any good?  What if our room is dirty?  What if we can’t find a thing to talk about?  What if my expectations are too high?  What if we get in a fight?  What if the weekend is a total bust?

With these get aways coming every five months or so, everything seemed to be riding on this one weekend.  Fun times or bust.

Turns out that we had a great time.  We always do, despite my anxiety.

Heidi KlumThis time, I thought I’d try a different strategy.  Like just go with the flow and trust that everything will be as silky smooth as satin sheets or Heidi Klum’s legs.

So our trip itinerary — which features 24 hours without a single child (two legged or four legged) — includes The Addams Family musical and dinner at a fancy restaurant.  We have dinner reservations for 11:00 p.m., which I think makes us hipsters, at least for the night, or at least really, really cool like P!nk or Bruno Mars.  I bet they always eat dinner after 10:00 p.m.

I was thinking today that the infrequency of these get aways might actually make them a little more special.  A little more shiny and new.  If you got a new car twice a year, would you really care after year two?

Which, in turn, got me thinking about the things in life that you really only want to do once, or at most, twice a year.

My List

  • Vacations.  Not weekend trips but week-long trips that involve stopping the mail and the newspaper, finding someone to care for the pets and buying a new bathing suit.  For one thing, I stress over what books to bring, one for each flannel-covered personality.  And no, I don’t believe in Kindles or Nooks.
  • Eat corned beef and cabbage, preferably on or around St. Patrick’s Day.
  • Eat a candy cane.  I have one every Christmas and then ask myself what all the fuss is about.  How did these crooked mint sticks ever catch on?
  • Go to a parade.  Once a year is enough to see all of the fire trucks within 20 miles of your hometown.
  • Watch a classic tear jerker in which someone dies of a terrible illness like Steel Magnolias, Beaches or Terms of Endearment.
  • Partake of jelly beans or candy corn.  These foods are only appropriate eating on their respective holidays.
  • Order an egg cream.  I think I like the idea of egg creams better than the actual drink.  I mean, it sounds like a good idea, all classic and vintage and cool.  Oh, soda jerk, I’ll have the vanilla egg cream and make it snappy.  But then I look around at everyone drinking much more satisfying milkshakes at nearby tables.  My son had a sip of my egg cream and said it tasted like air.

Ok, spill.  What things do you think should be given once-a-year status?