Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Blue Light Specials

Cincinnati Magazine came out with its best restaurants issue this month and all the food is appropriately... vertical... and... angular.

Cause it ain't fancy unless it's sharp and pointy and jutting out from the center of the plate like a weapon.

Who in the hell wants to eat a lamb chop just lying limp on dinner plate? Not me.

I want my lamb chops arranged artfully, protruding from the plate like a Frank Lloyd Wright angle, with a bunch of other stuff stacked on top of it. I want those lamb chop bones upward and reaching for the sky, and also supporting a teetering potato or something.

Look people, I don't think I'm alone here in saying that if I'm going to eat a hotdog I want the chef to engineer a way that it angles toward the ceiling. If it's not inverted, what's the point? I don't want my dog languishing horizontally - You can't stop my dogs shine!

Even the fries are uppity - they get their own glass so they too can be vertical. Yeah. Just like in the red McDonald's carton... until it tips over in the bag.

Oh, who am I kidding, I love trying new restaurants and I love ridiculousness even more. Of the 10 best restaurants named by Cincinnati Magazine I've eaten at seven of them.

1. Orchids at Palm Court - Been only for lunch, and it was a damn fine lunch; though there was also the time the Boss Man had me go with him to check out the space for an event, but I only went 'cause he drove me in his convertible Porsche boxster, and I'm shallow like that. (Update: I went for dinner with the Boss Man and he passed out in his scallops. We had to call an ambulance. True story.)

2. Boca - Spent a weird, drunken night here a few years ago with some dudes I barely knew; food was awesome.

3. Nicola’s - Had dinner here for the first time a few months ago; my own personal review coming soon, please stay gripped to your computer screens for this event, people.

4. The Palace - Is this a real place?

5. Bouquet - The food is great but my advice is to experience it through wine and appetizers, then finish off the night with a nightcap at the bar. (Update: Thursday is burger night. DO IT.)

6. Cumin - Never been, and it's kinda in my 'hood. Sad. (Update: Cumin is closed now... Cumin, I hardly knew you.)

7. Via Vite - I love Via Vite. The pizzas, the bolognese, the half price bottles of wine on Sunday nights, the terrace. There's much to love here, though it's no Nada.*

8. Nectar - Brunch is tremendous; I should go back here soon.

9. Daveed’s - Never been, but I did walk past it last weekend on my way to Mt. Adams Bar and Grill for hummus and chicken buddies (totally awesome).

10. Honey - Again, brunch is my thing. And Honey's is delightful. Go there immediately. (Update: Honey is closed now.)

Also listed was Jean-Robert’s Table as the best new restaurant and Senate was the runner-up.

I'm a big fan of Senate, and the bar is great, but you also can't go wrong with a regular ol' hotdog from a regular ol' concession stand or cart. But as soon as Senate figures out a way to make their hotdogs as inverted as the truffle fries, I will fall madly in love extra madly in love with it!

*I can't believe Nada isn't on this list; the reviewers at Cincinnati Magazine are savages. (Savages who are well-versed in fine dining and who know lots of creative adjectives to describe food. But still, savages.)

Monday, March 28, 2011

As Luck Would Have It

A year ago today I met Ray (my boyfriend, not my dad) at Coffee Emporium for our first "date." We ate waffles. 

I wouldn't have guessed then that a year later we'd still be eating breakfast together, or that he'd be helping me pick out an area rug for my dining room and saying sweet things like, "I'm gonna have to carry that motherf*&^%$ up three flights of stairs, aren't I?"

Sometimes it's hard to know at first how lucky you really are.**

* I mean, look at that rug, right? Such a vibrant blue, and it was cheap. Thanks Pottery Barn Outlet!

* And the boy, well, what can I say, I got lucky. (Just keepin' it real here, folks.)

Monday, March 21, 2011

The 8 Phases of Dating

'Before I met you my heart was a crap taco.'

It's so funny and sweet at first and then, oh god - save yourselves!

Friday, March 18, 2011


I must go there immediately so I can can sit in Montsouris Park and think about this poem.

Thousands and thousands of years

Would not be enough

To tell of 

That small second of eternity

When you held me

When I held you

One morning

In winter’s light

In Montsouris Park

In Paris

On earth

This earth

That is a star

Jacques Prévert
French, 1900–1977)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What's In Your Drawers?

You know that drawer in your fridge where you forget stuff, so you never put anything in there?

Apparently I put some Honey Roasted Turkey in there two years ago. I found this black, drippy lunchmeat horror scene last week. It expired in November 2009.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sole Blues

I think I broke my foot. Or at least broke a bone in it. Or maybe I just bruised it, but whatever, it hurts. I'd like to complain about it some more but everyone has stopped listening. So now you guys are going to have to deal with it.

I am creating a bruises, broken bones and sore muscles mix*... for the elliptical (of course), because I can't run on the treadmill. Because my foot hurts.

Please text song suggestions to 'Omigod Gina, Your Foot Is Totally Broken, Probably.'

*there will be no backwards skating to this jam, my friends.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

What Do You Call A Dude With An Umbrella Shoved In His Pie Hole*

Some dude today lobbed a blonde joke at me. For reals.

The scene: Crossing the street near work; it's misting.

Man with an umbrella: "Blondes don't need umbrellas, huh?"

Me, without an umbrella: "That's how we roll."

Man with an umbrella: "Or blondes are smart enough to carry one. Hahaha!"

Me (sarcastically): "Clever!"

Maybe his wife left him for a dude with more hair and now he's lashing out at manes everywhere. Or maybe he totally wanted me... it did seem like the playground equivalent of pulling my ponytails.

*this dude.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Study Of The Heart

I've been writing a piece on an unusual case of transposition of the great arteries and I came across Dr. Richard Van Praagh and his wife, Dr. Stella Van Praagh.

Together in 1965 they created the Cardiac Registry at Children's Hospital Boston, a collection of over 3,600 specimens, some dating back as far as 1944. Pathologists, cardiologists and cardiac surgeons use the Registry to learn more about the anatomy of heart defects.

They continued to direct the Registry until 2002. A tremendous lifelong collaboration, but an even better love story it seems.

He first noticed her at a conference in 1961. She was the woman with the big brown eyes who asked smart questions. They married in 1962.

She died in 2006 and he says, "I miss Stella in so many ways, but I'm making steady progress on our life's work - a clinico-pathological study of more than 3,400 cardiac cases, some never described before... How I wish I could share them with Stella."

Aww. I wish he could share them with Stella too.

Do yourself a favor and read this short bio, in Dr. Van Praagh's own words, about his life and love.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Things Are Gonna Change Around Here

A few times a year I like to come up with some half-assed resolutions I won't follow. Without further adieu:

1.) Stop saying "adieu."

2.) More cat petting and brushing. (The cat hair tumbleweeds in my apartment are kitten sized.)

3.) Finally download some new music and update my sad iPod(s). (What do you mean my new "Sexy Slow Jamz" mix featuring SWV as the backward skate highlight isn't new music?)

4.) Actually train for the Pig relay this year. (Oh god, I'm exhausted already.)

5.) Lift weights. (This will require going to the gym… which I will need a Google Map to find it's been so long.)

6.) Ensure I am still a member of my gym. (Come on guys, I really want to belong.)

7.) Start that book club I keep I talking about. (The one where I don't have to read anything I don't want to read but I still get to enjoy finger foods and drink wine.)

8.) Finish the closet/bedroom re-org of 2010. (My new shoe shelves really showcase my collection, but they deserve better than to be surrounded by medical records, pen holders and kitten sized cat hair tumbleweeds.)

9.) Try to understand why even when I am being sincere everyone thinks I am joking. (Me: "Ha, you're hilarious!" Other person: "God, you're such a sarcastic jerk, Gina." Me: "Huh?")

10.) Schedule appointments for dentist / acupuncture / podiatrist / rehab (the physical therapy kind, unless I get that wine drinking book club started, then maybe the Charlie Sheen kind.)

11.) Never surrender.

I am ON this.