I bought what last night? Part Two.

So, two of the dresses have arrived.  One I completely am head of heels for (good job, me!), and the other…well, let’s just say the question, “What was I thinking???” comes into mind.  I definitely need a new hobby while having a cocktail.

Don’t get me wrong the dress isn’t hideous beyond compare, but it most likely will end up being a Halloween costume or just a costume piece for a themed 1950s secretary party where shoulder pads are okay.  On the other hand, if I could find a seamstress who wouldn’t mind altering the crap out of this dress (get rid of the shoulder pads, shorten the sleeves, pull in the mid section, maybe make it into a skirt or a curtain) I think we could have something more suitable to my taste.  Does anyone know a seamstress that would work for free or for food and cocktails and lives in New York?  We shall see.

Well, I decided to see if I could spice things up with this dress. It was a kind of crappy week in the city.  Temperature wise, it was perfect.  Yet, it rained off and on and it made for the perfect excuse to stay in almost every night.  On Wednesday night I stayed in and decided to give the dress a chance.  I decided to get all dolled up and try accent pieces with the dress, pinning it, and then I just gave up and decided to just do my hair and make up towards the style of the dress.

I know what you’re thinking.  And, yes, I had a glass of prosecco with this.

The prosecco was only to make the look classy.  I just laughed at myself while typing that.  No, it was because prosecco sounded so damn good at the time there was no reason to not have any.  Also, to make the night more fun for the Party of 1 I was having, I downloaded an entire playlist dedicated to Bonnaroo.  Did I mention the best music festival ever is happening right now?  Well, it is.  So, the prosecco was to keep it classy and to enjoy while listening to music.  There, that just made me nod my head in agreement and giggle only slightly.

Ladies, if you haven’t in awhile, dress up and take yourself out.  It is so much fun. Go by yourself, or with friends, but just do it.  I can’t tell you how much fun it is to wake up the next day and see red lipstick stains on five different glasses (I drink way too much water on a usual basis and regardless of the time of day, I am bound to lose my water glass so I just pour another one), a half glass of prosecco (it was good, I was just more into dancing in heels and lipstick), and a dress I’ll probably not wear again.  It was all fun to be had, and I couldn’t have asked for a better night in.  What would have made it better would have been going out, but as I mentioned it was rainy and yucky.  But, yes, ladies.  Treat yo’self.

Now, go buy that never-to-be-worn dress (actually, don’t…buy one you want to wear and wear it often), a bottle of prosecco, and put on a “I feel like dancing” playlist.

I bought what last night?

Let’s be honest.  We have all woken up the next day after drinking and thought,

“What was I thinking?” (Thank you Dierks Bently for such a great song, too!)
or
“Where am I?”
or
“Who are these people?”
or
“Why did I spend so much money?”

Most of us don’t wake up after staying home by yourself watching How I Met Your Mother and making endless baileys and vodka martinis and say these things though.  We usually wake up with a slight hangover, a smile on our face because we saved money from the bar we thought about going to and thinking, “Gee oh man, I should take up bar tending!  Those were some great martinis last night!” or something ridiculous like that.  So, why in the world was it when I was brushing my teeth this morning I look at my phone to see an order confirmation for 5 items in my email?

DEAR GOD HELP ME AND MY DRUNKEN SHOPPING DEBAUCHERY.

Let’s face it, I can’t be trusted with my debit card, a tasty martini, and a laptop.  It leads to the purchases of two new dresses, coin wrappers, a summer shirt, and a spatula.  Why a spatula, I will never know.  It will just be used as a microphone for my random dance parties.  That maybe why I bought it after all.

So, in conclusion here is a video about guys and girls drinking by themselves.  I do have to say, I don’t call boys or exes.  I usually lie around and by unnecessary spatulas instead.

…he called me Betty…

As you know, school is over and I’m trying to resume life under what I consider to be normal – anyone that is not a student or focused on college work.  I don’t quite feel that my expectations of ‘normal’ will kick in until after I return home from my trip to Nashville and St. Paul, MN.  Yet again, my idea of normal is just that.  It’s an idea that doesn’t truly exist.  So, not going to get existential here, but so is life.  Oh blah dee!

I met a friend out for drinks on Wednesday night.  We met later in the evening, and by then any decency to my make up or hair had been thrown to the wind.  I looked tired, my hair was frizzy, and the library I work in doesn’t have air conditioning in the work areas so I may have smelled.  I know, it’s a pleasant description, but it’s life.  I was completely fine with it as long as I got to have a cocktail.

We chose a random bar off of third near Union Square and immediately went into how much we missed each other, what places should we try for Sunday brunches, and how excited we were for rooftop layouts.  It was just the two of us, but the bar was getting crowded and the creepers were beginning to creep.  When the time came to leave we were paying out and that’s when The Creeper decided to make his move.  His timing couldn’t have been more appropriate.

A little description of The Creeper.  The Creeper was a man well into his forties, possibly early fifties.  He was well dressed, slightly taken care of, but his mannerisms were one of a creature on the prowl.  His dark grey suit was accented with a maroon kerchief, he wore a Rolex and his dark brown wingtip shoes looked as if he had just shined them.  His hair was slicked back and he had a five o’clock shadow, and he looked as though he didn’t need to eat a late night snack for awhile.  As I first saw him at the bar he was drinking a spirit on the rocks.  He was leaning slightly back with his arm propped on the bar, talking with another gentleman approximately the same age.  As he spoke, his eyes scanned the room for single ladies.  I enjoy people watching, and I know better than to make eye contact with creepy people like him.  And, I didn’t.  He chose us because my friend’s back was turned and she was a helpless victim while we waited for our checks to arrive.  I had gone from our table for just a few minutes, and when I returned he was by her side, her eyes screamed “Help,” and yet it was too late.  He had initiated conversation and she had responded.  Eesh!

I sat down, and he ignores me by angling his back my direction.  I look at my friend, raise an eyebrow, and her eyes are seeking an escape.  I interrupt the conversation politely, and he turns to look at me with an indignant air that smelled slightly of a need to shower.

“Oh, I didn’t see you there.” He lies like he smells.

“It’s okay, but my friend and I need to be on our way.” I smile, reach for my check and begin to sign when he asks for an introduction. “I’m Liz.”

My friend follows suit. He then turns again, looks over his shoulder and says, “Nice to meet you, Betty.”

Oh, hell no. Oh, no you didn’t, buddy (snap of the finger, and a raise of my left eyebrow for dramatic effect).

He is in full introduction to my friend who is looking at me and mouths, WHAT WAS THAT??? I tap him on the shoulder. “Excuse me, but my name is Liz. I suggest if you try to sleep with my friend tonight, which you won’t, or any other girl tonight, which God prays you don’t, be nice to their friends first. Also, the way to get to a woman here is not by being an asshole. I hope you have a goodnight, but we are on our way out now. “

“I didn’t call you Betty! And, why would you think I’m trying to sleep with your friend? I can have any woman in Brazil, any one of them would want to sleep with me! Do you know who I am?” He didn’t like me, can you tell?

My friend responds that he did call me Betty, but we needed to go. We walk out, we laugh over The Creeper’s mistake and head our separate ways.

I won’t go into it, but guys. I don’t care who you are, but don’t you dare change the name of a woman’s friend if you are interested in her. She will cut you down quickly and without regret. I should have been meaner. I should have been nicer. Whatever the ‘I should have,’ for that situation is has long gone and passed. Personally, I should warn the women of Brazil.

Now that summer has begun, these situations will be more common unfortunately. Yet, I will not care. I have wonderful friends, none of them being named Betty or ever will they be misnamed as such either.

Wild West Comedy Festival

Im finally back home, and as wonderful as it has been I can’t wait to get back to my new home. I miss you, New York. It’s true, I really do!

I came in on Saturday and met with three of my closest girlfriends to go see BJ Novak at TPAC. He was part of a comedy festival in town, Wild West Comedy Festival. Since I still follow many friends and Nashville hangouts on instagram and twitter, throughout last week I would see photos of my favorite hangouts with comedians such as Chelsea Handler and Aziz Ansari possibly riding a horse, you know doing redneck southern things.

I personally just wanted to be with my girlfriends and by having an evening out to see BJ Novak I could not be more excited. To begin, he is such a talented writer. My 7th grade writing style will never compare to his expertise or to his witty and satyrical style that he has proven for the show The Office or better yet for his new book, One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories . I am also completely smitten that he seems down to earth and he lives in New York. I have a dream that one day we will meet and be besties. Nope, not lovers, just besties. I want to learn about his creative process, how much he writes a day, does he take classes still or just depends on critiques to hone his writing, etc. These are the questions I would annoy him with. Also, I may ask him who his favorite teacher was growing up, who his celebrity girl crush is, and which Harry Potter character is his favorite. Mine’s Luna Lovegood.

Anyway, the event was moved to the Johnson Theater, an intimate space with black curtains on each wall. I used to have dance recitals here when I was younger, but hadn’t been inside of it since probably an audition for some play or musical from high school. It hasn’t changed, but the atmosphere was so much better with him in it rather than my two left feet on center stage.

I know I mention that Nashville has the best venues, but I’m not joking. This little theater is tiny, but it still has the best acoustics and the audience wanted to be there. They wanted to hear his stories and they wanted more once it was all over. I miss this about Nashville, we have entertainment opportunities even in the most concealed theater.

TPAC is also an interesting space since it holds, I think 3 theaters. Nothing over the top but each theater provides a beautiful stage and acoustics that can be compared to those of any top notch theater anywhere else in the country. It also is a wonderful event space and luck has it, TPAC has a museum, too. Oh, what a well utilized spot!

So, yes. Coming home has been splendid. I enjoyed the show, I laughed until I cried a few times and I even got to stand awkwardly in front of BJ as he signed my book and every question that I ever considered asking him had escaped my memory. So, I smiled and thanked him and I left as my girlfriends and I went onto our next destination. Oh geez, I love you, Nashville!

My stay is almost over. I wish it was slightly longer but as I mentioned, I am more than ready to get back to New York. I still have so much to discover there that I have yet to even dream of.

Again, go buy BJ Novak’s new book. It will keep you laughing like it did me. Be me in an airport at 8 in the morning laughing too loud while everyone else is trying to sleep. It is that good.

One year down, one to go!

I have barely had the chance to slow down since Monday (technically Tuesday) when I submitted my last paper at 12:35 at night.  I felt an immediate weight lifted when I sent the last email to my professor with two papers that I had finished days and hours prior, but that I had forgot to submit before I left for work at 9 am that morning.  Yes, my days have been that long and for just a little over a month I have barely slept because of this maddening schedule.

I really shouldn’t complain, so the complaining stop there.  What I have experienced since then has not been much different, except for the whole not going to class Tuesday night and not having to read whenever I have a spare moment.  That though, is a huge difference, it’s comparable to night and day.  I have felt less stressed by multiple elements, I slept Monday night seven hours straight through without budging, my dreams although still filled with a constant nagging of an unfinished project are always reminded by the subconscious me saying, “Don’t worry, Liz.  This is just a dream.  School’s over.”  From there I have woken up two days in a row feeling slightly delirious and slightly as if this too-good of a reality is an illusion.

To make myself feel normal again, I went to the liquor store.  Maybe I should rethink this sentence.  Let me start over.

To make myself feel normal again, I decided to enjoy my Tuesday night off with a glass of wine.  As I went into the wine shop, I was greeted with friendly staff and over priced bottles of wine.  I gulped.  I wish that gulp had been a gulp of wine, lovely dry red wine made from the grapes of Argentina, but no.  It was a gulp of air that spoke of insanely high wine prices for average bottles of wine.

Welcome to Soho, Liz.  You’re not in Kips Bay anymore.

I went to the wine attendant and immediately became chatty.  He was congenial himself so this wasn’t too difficult.  Then again, if I’m up for it I could talk to a wall.  He directed me to a malbec that as I later found out at my wine store near my place was $5 cheaper.  I work in Soho now, I should have just walked home to make this purchase!  But, alas, I bought it there.  Regardless of the $5 difference, it was still a great purchase.

This wine that I speak of is Clos de los Siete, a malbec blend.  It was fantastic.  I enjoy malbecs, but sometimes I veer away from them because of their acidic behavior.  It gets too much for me, and I feel like all of the dry aspects that I enjoy in wine are overbearing and it just makes me sad.  That’s the only word that felt appropriate.  Overkill on dry you make me want to cry!  Not this blend, though.  This probably has to do with the fact that it is a blend, 57% malbec, 15% merlot, 15% cabernet franc, 10% syrah, and 3% petit verdot.  This combination adds wonderful subtleties of a soft grassy field that I would love to find in the middle of the city and frolic through.  I’m not speaking of Central Park, too many people.  But, you get my point.  Also, the taste had a wonderful hint of chocolate that made me want to buy a bag of Ghirardelli dark chocolate with sea salt.  I wanted that whole entire combination with just one sip of wine.

This was quickly forgotten about as I slammed my foot on top of a wine glass that for the good fortune of me did not break.  I do have a lovely bruise of the outline of the wine’s rim though.

I would like to say that I enjoyed another glass in honor of being done with my first semester, but to be honest fatigue settled in early and before I knew It I was asleep and I ruined the entire bottle of wine by leaving it open.  What a pity!

I can’t wait for what this summer will bring.  I will finally get to enjoy New York as if I were not in school and only living here as normal people do.  You know, walking and taking the train and buses north, south, east, and west.  Buying groceries and not depending on the deli across the street to keep me fed.  Doing my laundry (truth – I haven’t done it in a month…I absolutely love/hate laundry mats) and going outside to breathe whenever I feel like it.  I am no longer in school for the summer.  I can resume normalcy.

So, enjoy your summer, too.  Buy a bottle of Clos de los Siete and enjoy it during this much anticipated change in weather, and just remember.  Cork it when you are done.  Wine is too precious to waste!

 

Thank you, I appreciate it.

I have often found myself saying this phrase out of habit, especially in particular environments.  My particular environments: coffee shop, restaurant, the library, the library, the coffee shop.  Anyone who hands anything to me such as a barista, the doormen, a librarian, a friend, a barista.  The coffee shop.  The library.  I think you get the idea.  I have a book problem and I’m addicted to caffeine.  And, I’m overly nice.

It’s my last week of the spring semester and I am completely out of my element.  I have been juggling two jobs for the past month, continuing grad school full time, and I have had group projects that require observations and a lot of sleepless nights.  I have barely slept, and in the midst of it all I have maintained sanity with a glint in my eye that is an understood “don’t mess with my morning cup of Joe,” gleam.  I don’t know how I’ve done it, but I have.  This morning though, I left home and as I usually do, I weave through the streets of New York going forward and to the right whenever I can cross the street without stopping.  As I walked my usual path, I got sidetracked by the sudden awareness that I hadn’t had coffee or breakfast.  I was ravenous, and my book on tape wasn’t fulfilling enough.  So, I went on my merry way to the nearest cafe.  No need to fret, there’s bound to be one on at least every corner.

I went into a coffee shop out of the normal Starbucks go-to, and struggled to turn off my headset as I walked in.  To begin, there’s a few things I can’t stand whenever I am working behind the counter at the library.  One, people who keep their speakers on while they come to check out.  Two, people who talk on their phone while they come to check out.  Three, people who combine one and two and then look at you as if you are the rude one for interrupting their conversation.  Well, excuse me for working during the time you need to come to the library.  I never meant to be so rude by being unable to read your mind while you text, talk, and/or never once communicate to me because you think I have telepathy.

Anyway, I digress through irrational anger.  As I tried to turn off my headset, I felt the baristas staring at me.  Oh geez, I’m already someone they don’t like because I’m coming off as not attentive to them.  I finally manage to turn off my phone, pull my ear buds out, and smile and walk to the front.

“Hi, how are you?”  The barista stares back at me in a blank slightly shocked manner. “May I have an iced coffee, please?  Oh, and a bagel?  And, I’m sorry I was so rude when I entered.  I have a book on tape, and I didn’t want to lose track.”  She somewhat fumbles at my politeness, the barista behind her turns around with pure exhaustion clouded over her eyes, yet she looked perplexed by my talk.

“Nothing in your coffee?” replies Barista number 2.

“Nope, but thank you for asking.  I appreciate it.”

Barista number 2 stops in her tracks.  Her back was towards me, but she turned around, looks at Barista number 1 and says, “Did you hear that?  She appreciates it.  She appreciates us, huh?”  At this point, my smile is slightly jogged by her behavior and my thoughts are racing.  Did I do something wrong?  I mean, I really do appreciate it.  She and her fellow employees are about to fuel me for the long day ahead of me.  I appreciate their work assisting my caffeine addiction.  “And, why do you appreciate it?”  The barista looks at me, an attitude slightly lilting the word ‘it’.

“I, uh, I…I mean, you have been here probably since the crack of dawn.  The least I can do is be kind to you, right?  You are giving me coffee and a bagel.  It’s the least I can do by thanking you.  I really do appreciate it.  I appreciate your help.”  I still smiled, and slightly laughed.  I immediately saw her eyes soften and Barista 2 looked at Barista 1 and laughed.

“Nobody ever appreciates us.  She must not be from here.  Here’s your coffee, girl.  And, thank you for coming in.”  Barista 2 is smiling now, a genuine smile and offers me the filled coffee and bagel and looks at me one last time. “You know, I’ve been up since 3:30.  Excuse my tired behavior.”

I thank her and the other baristas one more time and walk out the door.  Before I do, I put my headphones on, turn on my book, drop my phone in my pocket and turn around and wave as I walk out.  My politeness has never caused such a stir and I’m slightly baffled.

As I walked to work, I thought over the interaction.  I never thought that phrase could cause such a reaction.  But, why?  Were my actions not reflective of my vocabulary?  Is the phrase “I appreciate it,” not as polite as I anticipated?  Or, had it lost its meaning by how it rolls off of my tongue, and I have possibly lost a little of the meaning behind the words when I repeatedly use them day in and day out?  I couldn’t help but be distracted for the majority of my walk.  I then arrived at work, and continued to think about it.  It has left me perplexed.

So, to my blogging community of one.  This is not relative to music or drinks, or a combination of the two, but it is a subject that caught me off guard.  I don’t know why I’m still thinking about the interaction, but I can’t help wondering, are manners gone?  Had I shown her a politeness that was almost considered condescending because it is no longer seen anymore?

At this point I have nothing left to say.  I personally will continue to use that phrase, because I do appreciate the actions of those who interact with me and I believe they should be acknowledged for it.  I only hope that they understand that my words are sincere when I thank them.

Thanks for reading this.  It may sound like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, but really, I do appreciate it.

Spring has sprung – Prosecco, please!

Yesterday morning I awoke with a smile on my face, and rays of sunshine streaming through my window. I could hear the bustling of the New York streets in the distance, but a new sound made itself slightly apparent – was that the sound of chirping in the distance? Or was that a jack hammer? Am I hearing nature or is that the city’s congestion? It’s difficult to distinguish the two within a building. I’m always in a building these days!

The smile only proceeded to grow and develop and by the end of the day my face hurt from the inability to stop and the slight sunburn I had (60 degrees for pale people is sunburn worthy) on my cheeks. By this point, I was ready to relax. Not that I hadn’t relaxed all day by walking and reading for class at the High Line, and then walking to school, and enjoying another reading hour at Washington Square Park. That is work, people! You tell me reading 200 pages a day is an easy task. Gosh, the life I live. So hard, I cry tears from my time spent alone while reading. There are many, many hours spent reading. Believe me!

So, how did I relax? Is the title of this post not obvious enough? I had prosecco, of course! I have discovered a nice $15 bottle called La Marca. It is just dry enough without losing all sweet tastes of sunshine. It is the perfect prosecco for the first beautiful day of 2014. It is even more enjoyable with a drop of pomegranate, too. This simple yet perfect addition makes me feel as if I saw my first buttercup of the season bloom…which I haven’t. Do those even exist in the north???

Well, with a glass of prosecco, and the Ben Folds kick I’ve been going on (there will be another blog dedicated to just this guy – amazing music!) I enjoyed the rest of the first beautiful day of the year just hoping to hear the birds in the morning.

….and I finished the bottle. The end.

Research with a side of coffee, please!

School has officially begun and I am strung out on caffeine. Not like I used to be in undergrad, though. I have had one cup of coffee today and I am now on my second. That is a lot for me now, but in two more weeks time that amount will no longer affect me. It’s a slow maniac-like transition that changes the best of students into paper-eating zombies. Eventually my eyes will look half sunken into my skull, I’ll have gained ten pounds from stress (although my diet will never have changed and my lucky friends will have the opposite effect of stress), and I’ll have constant jitters either from the lack of sleep, the intake of coffee or alcohol, or from all of the paper cuts I’ll have acquired from reading. I’m counting two so far. Yuck! It is a vicious cycle, but for some reason every grad student that I know thrives off of it. We are so strange.

I am taking another break as I write this to tell my lovely follower of one that I have been enjoying a new music trend that I know I’m late on because I’m a librarian in school. This trend is Spotify’s mood music. Currently, although I sit in a coffee shop where they are already playing tranquil coffee music, I am listening to Spotify’s suggested Wine Tastings playlist. It is voiceless yet melodic. This is the only type of music I can listen to while studying otherwise I am completely distracted. This student thing throws curve balls left and right. I already have to read in-depth and charged readings about the future changes of libraries and the impacts of e-readers and tablets to patrons, why add anymore words to the mind’s boggle by listening to lyrics? I know it only leads to me knowing nothing and gazing at the same two words which are usually the author’s name.

So, guys. And gals. Check out a playlist. I particularly applaud my hometown’s radio station, Lightning 100.1′s playlist. It is amazing and ranges from R.E.M. to Jake Bugg to King Charles to Brandi Carlisle. I probably butchered her name, sorry. Oh, and Johnny Cash shows up there, too.

Now, back to my coffee. Yep, I’m ordering my third, let the transformation begin…

Let’s sing karaoke!

In the lovely city of Nashville, TN, I despise karaoke.  I shudder when the word is mentioned as a night time activity, and I avoid its whereabouts as if it is the seasonal flu.  Yes, it’s that bad, and eventually we are all infected.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy singing.  I grew up singing.  I come from a very musical family, I was trained vocally, and began (and ended in less than a month) as a vocal major in college.  Yet, I strongly dislike singing in public.  I blame this on you, Nashville.  I blame it on your over saturated streets of mighty fine musicians who only intended on making it in the music business, but have resorted to the bar where they hope a famous producer will walk in off of the streets and by chance be mesmerized by their voice and ask them, “Will you come to my studio?”  I’m sorry to inform you, but Kenny Chesney’s song “Big Star,” is not how it works.  Nashville is vicious.  It can break the most talented people if they are not business savvy or willing to climb a ladder of social calculation to just be able to rub shoulders with the one man who oversees all of Yada Yada’s songs in his label.

In result, karaoke becomes this competition of the finest singers nationwide.  It is jaw dropping talent one right after the other.  In fact, some karaoke bars will only hire you if you can sing and have a repertoire of songs to fill in for hours that lack the talent.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not just the talented who sing.  Occasionally you will have someone who is no more musically inclined than my brother’s dog.  This can go two ways.  If they are entertaining, who cares?  They are the crowd pleasers, because everyone enjoys seeing someone who can pump up a room despite their lack of vocal pitch.  And then you have those that will, and I have seen it, be overtaken by the talented karaoke girls hired just for that alone.  No bad vocals, please.  We are Nashville.  We know music and we know entertainment.  Ugh.

As you can see, this takes all of the fun out of karaoke.  If my friends ever did make me go, I resorted to my slow ballad, “Crazy,” sung by Patsy Cline.  I sang one song and I would be done.  The rest of the time I spent cheering on my friends and dancing whenever they sang.  I ridiculed other singers if they ridiculed my friends.  I made sure to make the bad singers at least have one big fan if no one cheered them on.  And, no one could say I never participated, because I did my one.  I was done for the night so the rest of it I spent as that girl in the crowd…gosh, I can’t stand karaoke.

But, wait, New York City…you mean, people move to New York for more than just music?  People can actually have fun at karaoke and not be over-sung and off the stage?  I can try a new song and screw up and no one would care?  No, this can’t be true.  This has to be a dream, this has to be…

Toto, I don’t think we’re in Nashville anymore.  Thank you, dear baby Jesus!

This past weekend I experienced a Karaoke in Koreatown, a small room with a television, couches lining the walls, and two tambourines.  The specific karaoke bar, Gagopa Karaoke, allowed BYOB (except hard liquor – beer and wine only) and food.  I showed up, became curious to the environment and realized no one besides our friends were going to be present.  Alright, that’s cool.  I gotcha.  I dig.  Two bottles of wine and a few packs of beer later (there were eleven of us…we each had this…just kidding!…but really…) we are dancing and laughing hysterically to Fergalicious, Turn Around, 867-5309, and swaying with phones raised to the classic song Closing Time to salute the fun evening.  New York Koreatown, you have me hooked!

I understand that all karaoke isn’t like this.  Karaoke tends to be in a bar with a person(s) standing on a stage either killing it with their off key voices and through the roof confidence and dance moves, or their awkward drunk sway that still makes the song that much more entertaining.  It shouldn’t be this competition where you are soon to be over-sung by a DJ or a bartender.  It should be fun for all and maybe memorable.

Here’s to karaoke.  May you always bring the ordinary their 15 minutes of fame.  And, Nashville.  Let them have some fun with it, dammit!

Vodka, why do I not like you?

When I was a rather young youth, possibly the age range of five to seven, I had my first encounter with vodka.  By no means was it intentional, I was just a child who was told not to drink daddy’s orange juice.  As a child who followed rules, it amazes me to look upon that memory and know that I didn’t follow this one.  I will never forget how awful that orange juice tasted.  The “Ick!” will live in my memory until the day I die.  In fact, if Alzheimer’s Disease happens to grimace itself into my old age, it too would not have the ability to destroy that five-to-seven-year old disdain for that orange juice.  It wouldn’t be until I was 18 and had gone to college that I would put two and two together.  Yes, it was a screwdriver.  Yes, it wasn’t until 18 that I had had another.  And, to this day I still loathe that concoction.

Vodka and I have never quite had a great relationship.  It makes itself well known to many people college and within the real world shows itself off as the gorgeous party girl that everyone wants to try.  Its stepsister is my more preferred spirit, whiskey.  Whiskey has a darker side, not everyone is apt for her, but once you are introduced you are intrigued, you are pulled in by her mysterious ways and her sharp or subtle bite around the edges.  She is not going to be easy to understand and has more layers.  Whiskey also gets hotter as she ages.  Vodka, she’ll always have her pretty looks, but once you’ve had her, she’ll always be the same.  Just another blonde, and quite frankly you get tired of her after her age stays the same for the next ten years.

So, why do I not like vodka?  Eh, it’s not just the screwdriver.  I used to be a go-to cranberry vodka gal.  In fact, if I could afford Ketel One (better yet, Chopin!) and cranberry I would probably have one…once every six months.  I never quite understood the fascination with vodka.  Oh, you mean it’s because it’s the least caloric and if I just have it with soda water and a lime I can drink more?  Yeah, that must be it.  Otherwise, nope, don’t see it.

Okay, okay, I’m vodka bashing.  I wanted to be nice, and the reason being is I actually met a vodka I liked last night.  Its name is Ultimat Vodka, and it is so smooth.  Like, no bite smooth, you could have this on the rocks and possibly believe it is water until you wake up with a “What was I thinking?” night behind you.  I only intended on buying wine, but the nice man at my local liquor store was having a tasting.  I was hesitant.  I saw flashbacks.  Table tops and hula hoops flashed through my mind and I shivered.  Did I really want to taste those nights again before I went to do karaoke this Friday?  Maybe this time it would be different.  It was.  Ultimat is the best vodka I could ever have imagined.

If I ever do become a well recognized librarian or archivist or information specialist (haha, a famous librarian, yeah right!) who can begin to afford alcohol above $15 I am sure I would add Ultimat to my bar.  It would be alongside  Johnny Walker and my homage to Jack Daniels – all of his kinds, he makes me smile.  I wouldn’t bat an eyelash as I paid the $45.99 before tax price, and I would go home and have a glass on the rocks with a spring mix salad or as I reread A Tale of Two Cities for the umpteenth time.  I would watch the sunset from my rooftop, or if I move from this lovely city, from a rocking chair overlooking the Appalachian Mountains.  Ultimat, you are the only vodka I may truly ever like again, but until our paths cross again, thank you for having me reconsider vodka just ever so slightly once more.