I don’t often get the chance to partake of a good martini…or three. I never order them. Don’t rightly know why since I adore them whenever I do. I rarely make them at home because I’m usually shaking up a whiskey sour or mixing a gin and tonic. I have been craving a good gin martini for about a week. I keep putting it off, though. Last night, in the depths of my flu, I knew that I had to have something. I was out of white wine and nearly out of peach schnapps, so I decided it was time to shake up a martini. I prayed that it would be perfect like at Musso & Frank’s in Los Angeles. I have never had a better martini in my life. I don’t know if it was the setting or the recipe or my mood, but I often think of that restaurant on Hollywood Boulevard with great fondness. So I poured out gin and vermouth and shook and shook and shook. And it was phenomenal. (3 ounces gin, 3/4 ounce dry vermouth, and a few dashes of Angostura bitters.) Not a perfectly traditional martini but one that I am sure I will be having often. I need to buy more martini glasses. I served mine in an antique champagne coup, which was absolutely perfect, but it’d be nice to have one of those elegant little martini glasses like they have in Hollywood. Drink, reader.

New York City Planning:


This post is a mixture of love and hate. I absolutely love travel with all my heart. I know that it’s one of my purposes in life aside from Egyptology and writing. I find incredible pleasure in planning the perfect vacation with reasonably priced (yet luxurious) hotels or apartments, quality entertainment, the finest gastronomic excursions, strolls through famous museums, and more. It’s thrilling for me to put these things together like a gorgeous puzzle. I’m leaving Saturday morning for a quick trip to New York City. (This was typed long in the past.) I love long trips; I was in France for a month and California for two weeks this summer, but quick trips are also marvelous. One of my favorite trips of all time was three days in London for the Royal Wedding a few years ago. I just love travel in any form. So I’ve been compiling a list of all the things I want to see and do and then paring it down to fit my schedule. I wanted to see a new play, so I decided to see the revival of An American in Paris because I’m all about musicals. I’ve still got to choose what restaurants to try and what shops I have to peruse, but I still have four days to get it sorted. It’s such a fun thing to do, but also terribly sad because you have to pick and choose between what you want to accomplish. Oh well, you can always go back. I surely will. I seem to visit New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Paris at least once a year.

Noodles and Company:


Have I ever told you about my undying love for Noodles & Company? I am almost certain that I have since it’s been a constant in my life for years. The first time I experienced this divine dining experience was at the Mall of America. They made mushroom stroganoff and it was incredible. I ordered it every time I went, which wasn’t often because the chain hadn’t expanded to Iowa at that point. When it did, my life forever changed for the better. Until they removed my beloved mushroom stroganoff from the menu. That was a day of heavy hearts, reader. If I’m honest with you, I still haven’t fully recovered. For a while they would still make it for you, but that day is no longer. I have stopped asking. I have transitioned to Japanese Pan Noodles with extra broccoli and tofu. It’s fabulous. I’m drooling thinking of it. Jessica and I were at this chain at least once a day, if not more, when we were in San Francisco this summer and had no regrets. We went other places, too, but Noodles & Company stole our hearts…as usual. I am wondering if there is some food additive to make it addicting? I don’t care. I don’t want to give up this addiction. I’m going tonight. I think I might branch out and try something new, but I’m scared. Hold me.



I spent a long part of my relatively short life cowering in loathing of most vegetables. Then I became a vegetarian and my palate transformed. It was the strangest thing. Suddenly I craved tastes and textures I had never before considered. Cabbage is one. I want to eat cabbage all the time. I make scrambled eggs with sautéed cabbage a few times a week. It’s quality and takes so little effort. Broccoli, though, that is a beast I never thought I would tame. Then I had broccoli in a dish I had at Noodles & Company. What is this shit, I thought to myself, glaring at the caramelized green demon with no intention of consuming. Then I thought to myself, inspired by Hillary Duff’s iconic song, “Why Not?” I took a bite and I changed my mind, the texture and taste were absolutely incredible. Broccoli was better than I ever dared to dream. Cauliflower is still a different story, but I love broccoli. I like it roasted and sautéed and raw and in every single form it is conceivable to be in. I want some now. I want to dip an entire thing of roasted broccoli in hummus and watch Murder, She Wrote. That sounds divine.

Dry Shampoo:


I consider Tabatha Coffey to be a close, personal friend of mine. We’ve met, after all, and that’s all it takes for me to consider a celebrity a friend. Thus, my other dear friends Angela Lansbury, Dita Von Teese, half the pantheon of 90s country superstars, Kathy Lee & Hoda, and the entire British Royal family (whom I haven’t met one-on-one, but have seen regularly with my own eyeballs) are all in good company. We’ve all been in the same places at the same time anyway. But Tabatha and I had a quite good chat a year or so ago, so we’re very close. It’s a special bond that brings us together. I’m off topic, as ever. Anyway, Tabs — that’s what I call her — she used to work for the Toni and Guy salons. They taught her everything, and she’s taken those skills with her everywhere she goes. So yesterday at Target when I was stocking up on dry shampoo, I had to get a bottle by this company. It was three times more expensive, but I’m sure it’s worth it. It wasn’t nearly so much as the kind that Karl Lagerfeld recommends, though, so I didn’t feel too decadent with my $17 dry shampoo. This product is remarkable, though, and it has changed my life for the better. Not this bottle in particular, but the concept of dry shampoo. I wash my hair about once a week now, and refresh it every night or so with a spritz of whatever magic is in that bottle. When I wake up, I brush it through and style as desired. It’s a triumph. I save so much time. My hair might not be silky smooth, but it’s clean, full-bodied, and nice looking. So, I consider that a win. Spray your hairs, dear reader. Be beautiful.

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