Monday, October 31, 2011

upscale creepy

near snider plaza, dallas

an eastside halloween

By the light of a crescent moon, they came. 

Eddie Coker entertained the kids at the Eastside Halloween weekend event, the kids entertained the adults, and the dogs in the Halloween Costume Contest entertained everyone. 

Take a look.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

mona lisa part two

It's only now and then that either Spoke or I voice a wish for wealth.  We talk about it for fun sometimes; what we'd do with the money, charities we'd give it to... 

We whisper fantasies in the dark as we're falling off to sleep, listening to nature and wanting, really, for little more than to wake together to the same sounds.

Money doesn't buy happiness; we know.  My mom knew, and her friend, the rich man with the beautiful blue eyes, knew.

We don't long for the big house or the fancy car.  We've no friends we care to impress.  The old cliche is true; if we did, they wouldn't be our friends.  But--- but--- but wouldn't it be great, Spoke suggested the other night as he prepared the pot for his morning coffee, if he could put a bunch of us on a plane...

"That's the kind of money I'd like to have," my love said.  I knew it was spoken from the heart, from the heart of this man who wants for nothing but to make me happy.

With money to burn, Spoke would send me, my sister and some of our friends on an all-expenses-paid trip to Shanghai! 

After checking in at the Waldorf, we'd slink into the lounge to see Dallas' soul singer, Andrea Dawson, who recently landed a three-month gig at the beautiful hotel. 

惊奇    (Surprise!

Money could buy such an outrageously fun time. 

If today, if only I could, I'd ask my mother's friend for the huge favor.  I've no doubt he would understand what a thrill it would be if I found myself in the bar of a luxurious hotel halfway across the globe, listening to Dawson's fine and rich renditions.

When you think about it, it's not so different from wanting to feel the wind blowing through your hair as you speed down a California highway in a shiny new convertible.

Monday, October 24, 2011

mona lisa part one

            Are you warm, are you real, Mona Lisa
        Or just a cold and lonely, lovely work of art?

A friend of my mother once likened my smile to the Mona Lisa's.  Introspective teenager that I was, I now understand why he saw me that way.  Some might today, see me the same way. 

My mother's friend was a handsome man with eyes as clear and blue as the Aruban waters he loved to frequent.  He was also a powerful man with friends in high places and he was wealthy. 

My mother had many extraordinary times with this man; a casual afternoon spent at a Kennedy's house with a dip in the backyard pool would be just one of them. 

One summer day he took me to lunch at Mario's, a swanky Nashville restaurant where Mary escorted us to the prominent table which was always held for him.  Details of the meal have vanished over these years but our conversation is still very clear to me. 

He told me a story about his daughter. 

It was a simple story with a message and when he finished telling it to me, I knew that I'd just heard what would help form me into the person I hadn't even known I wanted to be.   

His daughter had called him from her home in sunny California, to ask if he would buy her an expensive convertible. 

"Why should I buy you this car?" he asked.  She was ready he said, with a long, very detailed explanation of its safety features, how it would benefit her in her work and the great price the dealership was offering. 

He told me he said, "No." 

"If she had told me truth, I'd have bought her the car," he explained. 

If she'd said, "I just want to drive down the highway and feel the wind blowing through my hair," the car would be hers, he said. 

Then he smiled at me; a little Mona Lisa smile of his own.

Mona Lisa written by
Ray Evans and Jay Livingston

cuando vuelva a tu lado

What a diff'rence a day made
Twenty-four little hours...


3:00 PM Saturday
The eerie sky, Central at SMU Boulevard. 

3:00 AM Sunday
A wicked hail storm.

3:00 PM Sunday

...Brought the sun and the flowers
Where there used to be rain

Original Spanish song by Maria Mendez Grever
English lyrics by Stanley Adams

Monday, October 17, 2011

my belly-dancing hip-scarf

I must have inherited a few Aquarian genes from my mother. 

She'd have taken this belly-dancing hip-scarf
and wrapped it around her shoulders
so that's just what I plan to do.

I shall wear it to birthday celebrations in noisy restaurants.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

gentleman george

I had not expected to meet George that afternoon because I had not planned to be at the Main Street Bistro bar at 3:30 one day last week.  But at the bar I was and I was not alone; two ladies had come to watch the Ranger playoff game together.  

Main Street is just that-kind-of-place

A wine rep was sitting on the stool which very shortly would become George's seat, as it is many afternoons around fourishShe had several bottles lined up, her laptop was propped open displaying what looked like pages of inventory on the screen, and she and the young bartender were giving swirls from each bottle some serious consideration. 

Do I have good luck or what?  The Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc tasting she graciously shared with me was really good... 

The rep left and George arrived.  I knew before we were introduced that the man a few seats to my right was George.  The picture I had formed in my mind of this stranger was spot-on.  He was older, as I'd expect a man who knows his gin to be, and he was wearing a jacket.  In a bistro, even on a warm afternoon, an old world gentleman always wears a jacket.  I liked him instantly. 

Ann and Cindy would like him too, I know they would.  They are two dear friends and they are the primary reason I wanted to meet George.  You see, they like gin.  Boodles, specifically.  I'd say Ann leans toward a Friday night gin and tonic, Cindy toward an occasional dry martini.

I've been on a mission to learn about Hendricks gin, thinking my two friends in spite of their devotion to all-things-British, might enjoy this gin from Scotland, if the taste holds up to the great press it gets. 

"What makes Hendricks so good?  What makes Hendricks different?" I'd been asking the bistro's bartenders.  "You should talk to George," they'd say.

As George sipped a martini, we talked gin.  He was a wealth of information; he says only because he's been drinking gin for a lot of years.  I learned it's made from juniper berries and that many people who can usually drink without difficulty, can't tolerate gin because of their sensitivity to juniper. 

Main Street Bistro does not carry Boodles but George assurred me it's similar to Bombay and many other fine gins.  Hendricks though, isn't.  Fans of Hendricks, really love it, and those who don't, stick to gin like Boodles he said.  "It's all about the aromatics," George explained as he asked the bartender to pour me a sample of each gin.

I smelled the Bombay first and immediately recalled the grappa I'd had too much of in Florence.  All I could smell was alcohol.  Then I smelled the shot of Hendricks.  It was fresh!  What were those scents; rosemary or pine?  A touch of citrus? 

A half hour or so passed.  George and I continued to chat, a regular whose son is an area chef joined us, the baseball game ended and the ladies left. 

I left knowing I like Hendricks gin which it turns out is infused with rose and cucumber.  I left knowing I like George.  What I didn't know when I said goodbye and walked out of the bistro was which gin George prefers!  So one afternoon soon, I'll pop into Main Street Bistro, take a seat at the bar and wait for him to show up. 

It's just that-kind-of-place.

get the full story  

Monday, October 3, 2011

mack the knife

It was time to get out and into the city on a Saturday night.  Beautiful weather, a sexy sax, and a crescent moon.  (You know you're to make a wish on a crescent moon, don't you?)

And four food trucks.  Four!

This was the Grand Opening of Two Corks And A Bottle, a wine bar in the Quadrangle.  They'd had a soft opening a few months ago but tonight was about getting serious with wine and food and for me of course, music.  It took some us back to the days of decades long gone, spent in and around the Quadrangle.  The days of Baby Routh and 8.O...   

The Mark McKenzie Duo was playing the early shift.  I'd recently asked Mark if they play Mack The Knife, suspecting they do ("But of course.") and that I've probably heard the quartet play it numerous times, but for-the-life-of-me I couldn't recall.  Perhaps because the song screams for a big band accompanying Bobbie Darin.

Oh, the shark babe, has such teeth dear
And it shows them pearly white.

Mack The Knife has a long history, from its original German production in 1928 to the first English language, American show in 1933; the Threepenny Opera.  The character, who's become known now as the worst type of gangster, was named Mackie Messer, messer being the German word for knife. 

The lyrics are wild and the vocals in Darin's version are rich with all the "huh"s and that "eeek".  But you don't need to know all this to enjoy it.  You just need to feel the drums give it that kickstart....and there you go.  You'll find yourself humming it for days.

So, special thanks to Mark and George for playing it.  Play it you did, even without Jon on drums and Ray on bass! 

Then there was food...

I hit the Three Men and a Taco truck first; a single serving of Spicy Asparagus on Rice.  My sister had Ssahm's Potato Fries with Caramelized Kimchi and Chicken.  Both snacks forced us to share a second bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.  I swear; they were hot!  We also ordered Panzeroti, little breaded and fried, potato croquettes from Geonarino's to cool us off. 

My palate recovered, and five songs later, I was ready for that Vietnamese 12" baguette with daikon radish, jalapenos, and spicy mayo but the truck had pulled out.  Learned my lesson.

The Grand Opening was a grand night.  Robin won these glass coasters as a door prize.  I want them.  I'll buy her dinner at the next food truck if she gives them to me. 

I drove home under the light of the crescent moon, listening to Mack The Knife, full of wine and food and a saxophone.  Full of happy.

Oh, the shark babe, has such teeth dear
And it shows them pearly white
Just a jackknife has old MacHeath, babe
And he keeps it ... ah ... out of sight. 

Ya know when that shark bites, with his teeth, babe
Scarlet billows start to spread
Fancy gloves, though, wears old MacHeath, babe
So there's nevah a trace of red. 

Now on the sidewalk ... uuh, huh ...
whoo ... sunny mornin' ... uuh, huh
Lies a body just oozin' life ... eeek!
And someone's sneakin' 'round the corner
Could that someone be Mack the Knife? 

A-there's a tugboat ... huh, huh, huh ...
down by the river don'tcha know
Where a cement bag's just a'droopin' on down
Oh, that cement is just, it's there for the weight, dear
Five'll get ya ten old Macky's back in town.

Now, d'ja hear 'bout Louie Miller?  He disappeared, babe
After drawin' out all his hard-earned cash
And now MacHeath spends just like a sailor
Could it be our boy's done something rash?

Now ... Jenny Driver ... ho, ho ... yeah ... Sukey Tawdry
Ooh ... Miss Lotte Lenya and old Lucy Brown
Oh, the line forms on the right, babe
Now that Macky's back in town.

Aah ... I said Jenny Diver ... whoa ... Sukey Tawdry
look out to Miss Lotte Lenya and old Lucy Brown
Yes, that line forms on the right, babe
Now that Macky's back in town ...

Look out ... old Macky is back!

Mack The Knife
Written by Kurt Weill/E. Bertolt Brecht/Marc Blitzstein

Saturday, October 1, 2011