Category Archives: General

After the Awards Recap

Jonathan Guijarro 111

We are gearing up for going in the next month like a lion, but there are a few more days of the shortest month of the year left to be had, so let’s recap the last bit of February here (and recuperate from the Academy Award mayhem).

Pink goes good with green.

A cocktail that leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

The magic lives.

A moment of peace.

Joe Jonas in his underwear again.

Scallions & parsley.

A pretty little cycle.

The enchanting ‘Lily & the Octopus’ by Steven Rowley.

Fantasizing.

My brother’s 40th birthday. Now we are old.

Ice ice baby.

Andy on the radio.

A smorgasbord of Hunks.

Other February Hunks included Joe Putignano, Josh OhlJonathan Guijarro & Tom Frelinghuysen.

Continue reading ...

Red Bark, Encased in Ice – Part 2

17iceencap05

Fairy tales of ice queens have always fascinated and enthralled me, while simultaneously terrifying with their hidden threat of danger. Such thrills are the bane and brilliance of winter at once. A sorceress of ice can chill the warmest heart. The crimson branches that once swayed in a warm breeze have been stilled by the wave of an icy wand. The world looks and feels frozen. In such perfect beauty there is an unforgiving coldness, a sense that no matter how much you try to chip away at it, the heart can never be discovered.

Yet even within the frigid confines of an icy prison, some vermillion stems still pulse with life, their cells preserved in a holding pattern until a thaw. It cannot be seen by the naked human eye, but life remains in a sort of sleep. We all want to rest in the winter.

One day, not too far away, the sun will once again conquer the ice. It will melt away and reveal the wet pulsating life that once seemed lost. The return of spring.

I sense it through the crystalline beauty.

Continue reading ...

Red Bark, Encased in Ice – Part 1

17iceencap01

Even in the midst of winter, the garden offers delights if you know when and where to look. In this instance, it’s the afternoon hour of a sunny day, beneath a wayward gutter which coated a coral bark maple in layers of ice, like some ridged chunk of Swarovski crystal. Icicles dangled precariously from its rigid limbs, and as pretty as it was, I worried what damage might be born to the beautiful bark.

There are some things you can’t control, however, and ice freezes are one of them. Last year we had a very late stretch of frigid weather that decimated the entire crop of lilac buds. We had wrapped the shrub in plastic in a last-ditch effort to keep the buds alive, all to no avail. Some years are like that, and there’s nothing to be done.

I’m not sure what effect this icing might have on the coral bark maple. Hopefully it will come out of it unscathed. At the very least, it’s going out with a bang of beauty. Winter casts its own spell.

Continue reading ...

No Thyme for Parsley

17parsleyfr

Another woefully-underused fresh herb is the flat leaf Italian parsley. The curly kind has given it all sorts of bad ubiquitous names, but its unique flavor, especially when used as more than just a garnish, lends a brightness that too often gets ignored because the dried kind, and the restaurant abuse of the curly kind, has made it such a pariah in home cooking. Nobody remembers to use it, but it belongs in so many dishes, chopped fresh and sprinkled on at the last minute. Give it a green whirl again.

Continue reading ...

Sweet Summer Fantasy

17sunfantd1

It happens the same way every year, and always at about this time.

A yearning, a longing, a memory of something that has yet to happen, but somehow has happened all before.

The dream of summer.

When the snow gets all dirty and grimy, and a few nights tease with the promise of a thaw, I think of summer and make tentative plans in my head. Right now, I’m envisioning a background of terra-cotta, with accents of colorful tiles, and plantings of penstemon to attract the hummingbirds and butterflies that make a backyard so enchanting.

The flower catalogs will begin arriving soon, further whetting the appetite and stoking the stuff of dreams. It’s not too early to indulge in such anticipation. It’s all coming.

Continue reading ...

Cycle of Joy

17cyclefun1

A happy scene is achieved with a few floating cyclamen, and this sight never fails to rouse me from the winter doldrums. It is small consolation for the memory of them in their natural habitat, but any consolation, no matter how small, is a welcome one at this time of the year. We are on the right track, however, as only one more month of winter officially remains. The rotten weather may linger, but that too will eventually be wiped away. It always is.

Continue reading ...

Mid-Week Mayhem Squashed

17peacemidbr01

This is my Monday after a long-weekend away, so forgive me if I’m not quit as plucky as usual. Better yet, don’t bother me at all today because I just need to catch up in peace. To that end, I just want to point you to this linky post of previous moments of tranquility that have given me great joy over the years. We need more calm in this tumultuous internet zone.

Continue reading ...

Returning to a World of Magic

hp17901

Those of us wishing for another tale of Harry Potter were somewhat appeased by the release of a play billed as ‘The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later’. It picks up with the children of Harry Potter, along with all the main players of the original books, some of whom show up in memory, or in those magical picture frames where the dead still seem to live out some fragmented version of life. J.K. Rowling’s magical world was always one in which loss was inevitable and irreversible. She taught that tough lesson in as kind a way as possible. Harry’s hurt was always palpable and present even as he triumphed and gained the love and loyalty of a group of friends who became his family. The latest play, ‘Harry Potter and The Cursed Child’ is a tribute to all of that, and Rowling, Jack Horne and John Tiffany manage to recapture the enchantment, bringing our favorite characters back to thrilling life.

“Harry, there is never a perfect answer in this messy, emotional world. Perfection is beyond the reach of humankind, beyond the reach of magic. In every shining moment of happiness is that drop of poison: the knowledge that pain will come again. Be honest to those you love, show your pain. To suffer is as human as to breathe.’ ~ Dumbledore

Continue reading ...

Unfit President(ial) Recap

1hunkrec1

Forget that treasonous clown who used Russia to steal the last election and focus on the recap at work here. We broke the hump of February, and we are on our last full week of the wretched month. Here’s what went down over the week of love.

Andy Cohen’s latest book ‘Superficial’ was a super-fun romp through celebrity glitz.

Keeping things simple on Valentine’s Day.

Blue Valentine.

Andy in his youth. (And younger.)

A simple meal.

Our Mom’s birthday dinner.

Narcissistic memories.

Love is pain and pain is art: Madonna’s ‘Graffiti Heart’.

A tour, back in full bloom.

Another blooming installment here, and here, and here.

Our first official brunch.

A gift from the Amish.

Nick Jonas, as hot as ever.

A super-hot Hunk of the Day run included Josh MooreMauricio PlastinaKeegan Whicker & Andy Cohen.

Continue reading ...

A Super Snowy Recap

zac speedo 170001

Who knows whether the snow will have stopped falling by the time this post goes up and I have to ride into work. My office doesn’t close for snow. Never has and never will. [Sigh.] On with the recap, because on Monday mornings like this one, all I want to do is rewind. Just to Friday…

It all began with a bang: Zac Efron in a Speedo.

Not quite hiding my family jewels.

A Queen fails to live up to her name.

Sneak Cheesecake peek.

Color me excited!

My ass got the glorious Cheesecake treatment here.

Art for inspiration.

Blank me.

Winter poem.

Hot hunk Saturday.

Cold snow Sunday.

Hunks of the Day included Matt Lister, Dev PatelMarcus Balliette, James Gao, Paul Richmond, Spencer Rahal & Arad Winwin.

Continue reading ...

On Sunday It Snows

17ssnotr01

The Suite for Flute & Jazz Piano Trio Jean as performed by Pierre Rampal & Claude Bolling (and written by Bolling himself) plays on the stereo. The living room is flooded with white light – from the snow, not the sun – and through the green branches of a Norfolk Island Pine I watch it fall down, heavier and heavier.

On the stove, a batch of Sausage, Kale and Potato soup is simmering. This one uses the chorizo sausage called for in the original recipe, and already that has made a difference. Not that that first attempt wasn’t good – I just wanted to see how it was meant to be. The chorizo rendered so much more delicious fat too – the lovely paprika-hued kind that soaked so gorgeously into the pale potatoes and translucent onions. Once again I was struck by how a simple tablespoon of Balsamic vinegar can have a profound effect on a pot of soup.

The music plays on, and more snow falls down. I move onto the conversation couch, and open up the Harry Potter play – billed as the 8th story, told nineteen years later. In one sitting, I devoured the first half. (You can too – it’s very much a traditional play, and moves as quickly on the page.) Harry Potter, a snowstorm, and soup simmering in the kitchen. Hello to a perfect Sunday.
And still, the snow falls.

Continue reading ...

A Blank Post

A non-traditional post, minus a picture, and I’m sorry for that.

It’s just that this is always a difficult time of the year when you live in the Northeast.

This is what makes the spring and summer so luscious.

But as you’re going through it, it simply sucks.

Hence the lack of motivation to come up with anything all that profound or original.

I will get up in the morning and try to do a bang-up mid-day post.

In the meantime, grab a book. Find a spot by the window.

Wrap yourself in your coziest robe.

Put some tea on the stove.

Grab your loved ones a little closer.

It’s winter.

This is survival.

Let’s get through it together.

Continue reading ...

Winter Ghosts & Snowy Shadows

17bstcozin091

Peering out onto a snowy street, I realize that all memories are ghosts.

It doesn’t even feel like I’m here.

Certain presences linger.

Certain memories remain.

But if you look too closely, you are prone to miss them.

I keep a general gaze instead.

When you let things go hazy, they occasionally come into better focus.

Continue reading ...

Crown Jewels

17crownjewl00

Heavy is the head that wears the crown… jewels.

Sometimes, especially in the middle of winter, you need a bit of sparkle to see you through the darkest days.

I find such joy in a piece of costume jewelry, draped as a headband, almost like a crown.

I wear it like a weapon, channeling its crystalline powers, shooting off shards of reflected light from the almost-diamonds like so many magical bullets.

Not even semi-precious stones, their worth does not translate to money or value, but some things carry greater worth in the way they change one’s perception.

If you believe you’re a queen, no one can take that away.

Royalty is not always God-given.

Grab your own.

Continue reading ...

Zac Efron’s Freedom Speedo

zac efron speedo superbowl1

Not even Zac Efron in a Speedo will get me to see a ‘Baywatch’ movie, so I’ll just wait for the clips and screen-caps. Besides, everyone likes Zac Efron naked so much better. Or at least, as naked as Zac Efron gets here.

Continue reading ...