Saturday, September 28, 2019


Encouraged by my success with tasty croutons, I'm eager to learn how to make new foods, especially ones I never imagined cooking at home. My latest project is applesauce. Yes, real applesauce made from scratch.

I rode out to Aquebogue today. I heard Helen's Farm grows good apples. They have several varieties, all of which look delicious. I bought a bunch and brought 'em home.

On the way back, I stopped at Wildwood State Park and soaked up some sun at the water's edge.

Making applesauce is simple: you just cook apples and add sweetener. I prefer maple syrup to sugar and honey because of its taste and superior nutrition.

My project was a success. Next time you invite me over, I'll bring a batch.  :-)

Friday, September 27, 2019

At The Crossroads

As I sail into a third chapter of my life, I wonder what will become of me. Might I enjoy a parvenu's life of carefree bliss, or will I degenerate into Sebastian Melmoth, filled with sorrow and regret. Or are there other possibilities, like experiencing events anew through a different gender lens? (I'm voting for that last one.)

“When you're young, you think everything you do is disposable. You move from now to now, crumpling time up in your hands, tossing it away. You're your own speeding car. You think you can get rid of things, and people too -- leave them behind. You don't yet know about the habit they have, of coming back....You can never get away from where you've been.”

― Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin

Can you foresee your future?

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Living Your Dream

Two years ago I reviewed a novel here ("Made For Love," by Alissa Nutting). After the book's publication, the author moved to Los Angeles to turn her story into a television show.

Nutting just announced the series is set with Ray Romano as lead actor. It'll be on HBO Max.

Wow! I look forward to seeing the show. The story is smart and engaging.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Half of Halloween

As I mentioned last week, to lure my partner into celebrating Halloween I just came up with a couple's costume -- we're going to be hockey star PK Subban and Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn. PK and Lindsey were engaged recently and are rising super-stars in the world of sport. What a great couple!

I'm not sure which part of the celebrity couple Robin wants to be so I'm creating costumes which either of us can wear. Here's the Lindsey costume; PK's will follow in a few days.

What do you think?

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

TWA Hotel

The new TWA Hotel is open at JFK airport. Going there is like traveling back in time.

The hotel has retro-styling from 1958. It includes an aviation museum with stewardess uniforms from the past, a fully-restored 1958 Lockheed Constellation airplane, a cocktail lounge suitable for Bill Murray's lounge-singer character, a rooftop pool, fitness center, gift-shop and two good restaurants. You can visit during the day or stay overnight.

I just made a reservation to spend my birthday there (Nov. 2-3). If you're in the neighborhood, come by and join me for a drink in the cocktail lounge!

Friday, September 20, 2019

Halloween Costumes

I love Halloween. For decades it was socially-acceptable cover for me to jump the gender wall and wear girl clothes. I never missed the opportunity to create a fun costume.

My grumpy partner Robin hates Halloween. To entice her into joining me, I learned she will participate if I make us couple-costumes. In past years we've been Ralph and Alice Kramden (from "The Honeymooners," with me dressed as Alice), Max and Caroline (from "2 Broke Girls") and -- my favorite-- Colonel Sanders and a chicken. Pictures of some costumes appear below.

For this year I just got a bright idea -- to be the new "power couple" in sports -- hockey-player PK Subban and Olympic champion skiier Lindsey Vonn. PK and Lindsey were recently engaged and are on their way to celebrity super-stardom. They are now being covered by People magazine and similar media.

I created our costumes this week and now need a party to attend. Maybe your place?  :-)

Do you celebrate Halloween? What costume will you wear this year?

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Matching My Blog

I spotted this Calvin Klein top in a thrift-store. The front panel and shoulder-piping are leather and the color of the top matches my blog. The piece was brand-new with original sale tags attached. It retails for $69 (a price I'd never pay) but, in the thrift-store, it was only $13 (a price I would and did pay).

I'm pairing the top with a plain skirt and patterned tights. It's a look that's simple yet appealing. It is what I dream of wearing to work.


Monday, September 16, 2019

Louis Armstrong

I just made a deal of the decade.

Louis Armstrong was the greatest musician of the last century. I recently started exploring his stuff and am amazed. Louie is so talented and his songs appeal to us even today. I want to get deeper into his oeuvre and have been searching for his music on vinyl.

Yesterday I leafed through a dusty, disorganized record store and found a 4-record box set with dozens of Louie's best songs. And the collection includes wonderful photos and biographical literature. Upon examination I see the records are pristine: they look like they've never been played.

The price for this treasure? Five dollars. Or, as we say in New York, "fi-dollas."


Sunday, September 15, 2019

When Pigs Fly

My motorcycle-friend Fuzzy told me there's a place where pigs fly. So I had to go there.

It's The Flying Pig Cafe which serves delicious breakfast and lunch. Outside is a sculpture of a flying pig; inside is a wall of adorable piggy banks. There was live music, tasty food and strong coffee. Bingo!

Sunday, September 8, 2019


An old classmate just contacted me on Facebook. She shared the class photo of our kindergarten class from way back in 1963. Can you pick me out?

I'm enlarged in the next picture.

Does it look like me?

Friday, September 6, 2019

The Red Pill Or The Blue Pill?

My best friend Suzanne gave me an amazing coat. I decided to create an outfit around it.

Suzanne collects and sells clothing online, deploying superior fashion sense for pecuniary reward. I'm honored whenever Suzanne gives me something and this piece has exceptional brio.

I paired the coat with attention-grabbing checkered pants, a white body-suit and red heels. I wanted to create a visually dramatic look. Did I succeed?

The blog-post heading is inspired by the coat; the phrase is a popular meme from a 20-year old sci-fi film, "The Matrix." You can learn about the phrase's cultural meaning here.

What do you think of the outfit?

Thursday, September 5, 2019

New Is Not Always Better

These days all you have to do to make coffee, listen to music or buy anything is push a button. On a machine. Life's become easier and cheaper -- but not better.

The first sacrifice of this ease is quality. Compressed digital music files are vastly inferior to vinyl recordings whose warmth and fullness is palpable. Coffee-pods made a year ago lack the freshness of newly-ground beans. And the real motivation behind most of these "improvements" is to make products cheaper and thus more profitable.

But things are lost. Not only quality but something equally important -- romance. Personal involvement. When you work to make something, you appreciate it more. Brewing coffee from scratch, putting a record on a turntable is effort that involves you in the process of creation, a joy unappreciated until it's lost.

Why all this nostalgia from an old guy? Because I just discovered a pleasure of my youth is still available -- Jiffy Pop!

You can still make popcorn by shaking a Jiffy Pop container on the stove or over a fire. Instead of pushing a button on the microwave, you actively shake the container until it magically grows and grows and becomes a dome of delicious food. The process is fun for kids and, I just discovered, fun for adults.

I assumed Jiffy Pop must have disappeared decades ago but, no, it's still here. You can buy it in supermarkets for about $2 a container. I bought some last week and am re-living my youth.

Have you ever eaten Jiffy Pop?

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

The Mod Squad

I flipped the instant I saw this dress. Its bold colors speak to me. "Hey, Ally!" it says. I also love the simple design and unusual material.

After I put the dress on I realized it has a "Mod" style. That prompted me to pull out white boots -- you know, the ones made for walkin', that's just what they'll do, one of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you... dum da dum, dum da dum...