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December 03, 2011

Things I Want to Do in New York...

By Cornelia Read

So, I'm totally broke. And as usual when I'm totally broke, I daydream about things I want to do the next time I have money.

Van Cleef and Arpels-Personalities Maharini of Barodo Diamond Emerald Necklace
Okay, not exactly like go buy myself an emerald Hindou necklace at Van Cleef & Arpels... or buy myself a Welsh pony and take up riding again, for the first time in 31 years...


Although, you know, hey... if you've got piles of cash lying around and you feel like making an absolute stranger really, really happy for Christmas, feel free.

No, I'm talking about cool kind of cheap stuff. Like I want to go visit Orchard Corset down on the Lower East Side and get fitted for really awesome bras by the Hasidic Goddess of Boobulage, whom people on Yelp have refered to as pretty much the platonic ideal of the lingerie fitting ladies of the universe. Here is one exchange:

My friend and I walk in and are greeted by a Large Hasidic Man (henceforth known as LHM) who looks at us and says, "Yes?"

Me: Umm, we're here for bra fittings?
LHM: "Elllllllllsiiiiiiieeeeee!" (I could be getting the name wrong)

We wait a few minutes and admire the Olivander-esque shelves full of small flat boxes until a Tiny Hasidic Woman (THW) emerges from behind a curtain. She points at me and says, "You, come."

Me: Hi! How are you today?
THW: What are you looking for?
Me: Just an everyday type bra.
THW: Take off.

I strip off my top-things. She checks out my goods for a half a second then pokes either side of my back with two fingers. Within 30 seconds she has me strapped into The Perfect Bra.

THW: Your left is bigger. Everyone has a big one.
Me: That's coo....
THW: The good surgeons make one bigger to look more natural.
Me: That's smart...
THW: They grow like tomatoes on the same vine, independently. You want two of these?
Me: Umm sure, one beige one black?

I mean, does that sound awesome or what? Also, they have corsets and waistcinchers thingies and apparently the lady will lace you up and make you look amazing. Which I kind of need because I just got this dress, which I have to wear to a fancy thing in a couple of weeks (this would NOT be the size in which I purchased it, just saying):


It came in the mail today, and looks a lot better than I thought it would, but it would look totes better if I actually had a waist. Ahem.

Also, the pin is horrible. But luckily it comes off.

And, really, I didn't even have a waist when I was a freshman in college (or an iron or a hairbrush... apologies to those who've already seen this on Facebook, my college pal Diana emailed it to me yesterday, and I keep looking at it, wanting to brush my eighteen-year-old self's hair and tell her to cheer the hell up, because she is eighteen and still has cheekbones, for God's sake):


Now I'm looking for earrings and shoes.

I'm kind of digging these:


Except they have Minnie-Mouse toes, which I totally hate. And also they're probably just too busy considering the dress needing a pin and everything.

But I figure really tall is good, since I don't have a waist. And then platforms so my feet don't implode before the cocktail portion of the evening is over.

I could also wear my gold cowboy boots and save some money, I guess. But this is all in my imagination so I am going all out.

Also, I would like to buy this apartment:


Which is actually kind of a bargain, considering that it's a three-bedroom two-bath duplex penthouse with a large terrace and a view of the water, in Manhattan, for $599,000. And it's about four blocks north of me. And it has an elevator, which would be a nice change from the fifth floor walkup, even though all those stairs are doing my ass a world of good.

Here's the floorplan:


I do not actually need three bedrooms, but in my dream life I would like a dining room, so there.

I suppose I should have picked something a little more remunerative than novel-writing, considering.

Here is what I'm going to do after I wear that dress, though, which is much more in my price range:

Go order a "full patacon" from the Patacon Pisao food truck that operates from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. every night, about six blocks away.

A patacon is a Venezuelan sandwich which is served up not on bread, but on two mashed-flat-and-fried wads of green plantain. Here is what the New York Times has to say about this sandwich:

When the truck window opens for the evening around 7 (it closes around 6 a.m.), a small crowd is often on the sidewalk, maneuvering forward to place orders with the manager. One of the most popular requests is the “full” patacón ($5), a combo of chopped griddled beef, pork and chicken, typically dressed with lettuce, tomato and a piquant pink sauce. Preparing the sandwich might take 15 minutes; many folks tide themselves over with a tequeño ($1), white cheese deep fried in pastry dough.

When the patacón is finally handed down, it’s wrapped in foil, which serves more than one purpose: fried plantain is not very absorbent, and every bite threatens to send sauce squirting out. Peeling back the foil little by little helps keep the patacón hot (and those dancing shoes unsullied). The starchy plantain and savory meats are an especially satisfying pair on a cool evening.

Here is what it looks like:


Also, I would very much like to sample the offerings of a local woman who has come to be known as "Elsa, La Reina del Chicharron." Chicharron is chunks of deep-fried pork. Elsa is apparently the queen of them. Unfortunately for my waist, she is but three blocks from me. Here is a sample:


Also, there is Albert, the king of Mofongo. Well, okay, he runs Albert's Mofongo House, but it sounds like he reigns supreme.

Inwood_albert's mofongo house

If you have never heard of mofongo, here is an explanation from Joe DiStefano on Serious Eats:

Soon after a friend moved to Inwood in upper Manhattan he told me of a 24-hour restaurant near his place that specializes in the Puerto Rican dish known as mofongo. Not to be confused with the beef tripe soup known as mondongo,mofongo is a hearty ribsticking dish made from mashed plantains. Within a week of his move I found myself taking possibly the longest train ride I’ve ever taken for food, DiFara’s running a close second. As soon I exited the A train at Dyckman Street I spotted the temple of all things mofongo: Albert’s Mofongo House.

The place is literally a shrine to mofongo. A painting of a grandfatherly old man mashing plantains along with garlic and onion adorns one wall. Next to my table sat a huge pilón, or mortar, big enough for Paul Bunyan to mash mofongo. A page on the menu labeled Mofongo Mania lists more than a dozen varieties. Rather than go for chicken, goat, oxtail, or for that matter lobster, I chose the most traditional variety,chiccharon. After all, if I’m going to eat close to pound of mashed starch, I want as much pork as possible to accompany it.


Hint: the mofongo is the stuff up on top of the wooden thing. Yes. I would try eating that. But not until after the party thing.

Can you tell I'm on a salad regimen? Yes. I am not exactly cranky, but fried pork is sounding totes awesome right now.

And since I live in the middle of Planet Fried Dominican Pork now, it seems like a good idea to join the New York Rowing Club, come spring. Which built a really cool boathouse about eight blocks from me in 2004:

1318279786July 2004

Because even with all these stairs, I will need more of a workout come spring if I go in for the local chow.

Or, I could join the Inwood Canoe and Kayak Club, which is at the other end of Dyckman Street.

I totally love it up here. Especially because I'm about six blocks from The Cloisters, a medieval museum that's part of the Met, built by the Rockefellers.

Medieval art is pretty religious and static, but it's still a very cool place to hang out in. I went there last weekend and walked around. It was gorgeous inside:


And they had all these beautiful Books of Hours:


And reliquaries (this one was designed to hold the skull of a female saint):



But the outside was even better:


You get an amazing view of the Hudson from the gardens, and the sunset was pretty damn spectacular:


Not least with a view of the George Washington Bridge through the trees.

So, yeah, I'd like to go back to The Cloisters, when I can afford the entry fee again. Even though the gardens are free.

Also, they have these amazing bushes outside with bright purple berries on them:


Amazing. There wasn't any sign saying what they were, so I Googled them when I got home. Aptly named: Purple Beautyberry. I could put some on my terrace, if I win the Powerball and buy that duplex.

In the meantime, I am going to hang the curtain rods I bought at the Dollar Tower last week, when I still had a little money. I can now do this because my awesome friend Laura Corvinelli Bishop gave me a stepladder from her parents' house in Yonkers, in addition to two air mattresses which look terrific. Because she is awesome.

And maybe, in the end, I will end up wearing something like these to the party, because there are an AWFUL LOT of shoes like this for sale in my new neighb:


Okay, mes chicas, what do you want the next time you have spare cash?


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It must be time to go to bed, I saw the photo of the reliquary and thought 'why would you make a cookie jar of a woman's head' . . .

I am also slightly shocked to realize that real estate prices in Vancouver are higher that Manhattan. A duplex town home that size in Vancouver would hit a million easily.

If I had spare cash right now, I would be practical and get caught up on all the things I really need to replace and can't afford to. I am saving airmile points at the moment so I can get gift cards to get a new winter jacket - how I would love to just go buy one! My car needs to be painted or, okay, it is 21 years old, I could replace it. I would love to be able to pay off my mom's property taxes that she has been deferring for 5 years.

I was just thinking tonight that if I owned my apartment instead of renting, I would gut both the kitchen and bathroom. I guess if I had serious spending money I would buy a condo or a house. In my area of Vancouver they have been building carriage houses on lots that already have a big house and they just use up the back yard and put in a small house. I would love a small house to call my own. They start at about $1.2 million.

If I had spare cash, it would mean that all of the bills are cought up and current. That would be such a relief, I'd probably spent the spare cash on several pints of Guinness and something nice for My Sweet Angel.

Also: Chicharrones? I'm there, baby!

Regarding the dresses, shoes, bras & such: Reasons 32-295 why I'm glad I'm a guy.

Hi Cornelia,

I'd by a wheelchair van and move back to Salem or Marblehead. Once ack on the North Shore I'd find a +/- 200 year old house with a shop and apartment. I'd have a writing space where I could see the ocean. I would sell cool stuff and talk all day with customers who may or may not buy anything. That would be okay, because I would just love the life.

You could come over and bring some of those sandwiches. I'd put on my old Newman School rowing hat. You could wear your rowing club hat. Then we'd put the sandwiches in a ditty bag and go over to Crocker Park to eat and count 210s in the harbor. Or we could just buy some lobster rolls at the Barnacle.

gaylin, everywhere else in Manhattan it would probably go for multiple millions... another reason why I love this neighborhood! But I have so many other things to catch up on, financially, even if I come into some money. Sigh.

Doc, we should have chicharrones. I promise I won't make you go bra shopping. You wouldn't look good in a bra., I can just tell.

Yeah, me in a bra = stuff of nightmares. Still, it might help me better understand the transvestite narrator of my latest fictional blog posts. I mean, I sometimes wear a kilt, but that's a hell of a ways from a little black dress and some cute shoes.


I want a gaming laptop verra badly.

I need more brain cells---I am becoming SO absentminded in my middle age----can I buy those"?

Reine, I am trying to picture a 200 year old, wheelchair friendly house. Ramps were not really in back then, but since we are spending spare cash, a little retorfit would be ok.

My BIL used to live on 212th street. We stayed with him and walked over to the Cloisters. A neat place.

Spare money after all bills are paid:

A little extra, A Conklin, Mark Twain fountain pen. I have a collection and it would be a cool addition.

A little more extra, A Saturn Sky Turbo. The princess point out that there is no room for them in two seat convertibles. Hence needing to use spare money.

A serious amount of extra (Powerball) money,

I deliver pizza in what could be called the high rent district. Either of these two would be good:



3 Serendipity Cr. is wheelchair friendly, Renie, you could come visit. 1 Squires is the house I delivered to while training a new driver. She asked what apartment we were going to, I said that this is a single family house. For the St. Louis contingent, I did not tell her the name on the mail box was the same as the one on the German restaurant up the street. For a while, 1290 Dry Ridge was for sale. A massive house on a huge lot. Nice family. Economic downturn. Family business sold, house sold for 2M less than asking, about 4M less than it was built for.

Actually, this is the one I would want to live in, it is in a better neighborhood, across the street from Washington University, http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/4-Brentmoor-Park_Clayton_MO_63105_M84687-72593?source=web

Reality time, Trying to justify the 1400 calories a Red Robin Burger would be. Still can't.

Well, as you know, I got laid off last summer so this subject is dear to my heart. I have a wishlist of at least $100k EASY on my house. I also desperately want to travel and it looks like we can't even afford our usual two weeks in Cape May this summer. BUT every time I bemoan this stuff, I remind myself that the greatest luxury is time and I'm so lucky to be able to write full time right now, I can barely speak about it. So I should get my ass in the chair and start typing.

Wow - $599k seems very reasonable in New York for that gorgeous place. I've never wanted to live in New York, but this blog is almost making me change my mind. Can I just visit you and do fun stuff? I'll buy you a sandwich.

Hmm. Extra money. Finish replacing the wall-to-wall carpet with hardwood floors in the rest of the house, and buy some great rugs. Finish off around the windows on the enclosed porch we had built a few years ago. Have shelves built to make a "library" in the upstairs spare bedroom.

I seem to be fixated on the house - I'm a nester. Maybe buy myself a nice piece of jewelry, since the husband doesn't believe in buying jewelry. And travel around Europe.

Nice post, Cornelia. I read it over breakfast, and you've made me hungry again.

Oh, and when I visit you, I totally want to go to that bra place.

Is anyone else seriously considering a road trip to the bra place? Because the experience alone would be worth it.

In other news, many of you who have been reading TLC for years will remember Rita. Today is her birthday, and wherever she is in heaven, I imagine she is cracking everyone up, just like she did here. Miss you!

Is it just me, or does that reliquary look an awful lot like a blond Anjelica Huston?

Spare money would first go to pay off debt. But then it wouldn't be called "spare" money, would it? After that, I'd go all out on a new computer, since my current one is 7 years old and temperamental. I'd remodel the basement, adding some living space, egress windows, and a bathroom. The rest I would squander on quilting fabric. Lots and lots of quilting fabric. It's an addiction.

A cook. A housekeeper. A secretary. A chauffeur. A personal maid. Oh, hell, what I really need is a keeper.

Alan, yeah . . . it'll never happen I know. But y'know . . . maybe?

Oh and I'm totally up for the road trip to Ollivander's bra shop.

Alan, that is a fantastic real estate app!! Thanks!

A groundskeeper. My husband goes outside, looks at all the overgrown places that need a machete, all the twigs and limbs that need picking up (pines are messy shedders), all the ivy that's taking over the azaleas. He looks around and shouts, "Staff!" and nobody answers. I'd love to hire a gardener so that the next time he shouts, a Mr. MacGregor type would tug his forelock and say, "You wanted me, sir?"

If I had a fully-funded retirement and a paid-for house, I think I would hire a cleaning lady, but I would have to supervise because I've never had a cleaning lady (I had one when I was a Peace Corps volunteer who used my vegetable brush to clean the toilet, which might explain why I NEVER GET SICK) who cleans the house as well as I do. But I get tired of scrubbing the tub and washing the floors.

I would also buy the nicest shoes I could find as long as they weren't made in China. I mean expensive shoes that are not only beautiful but comfortable. I would probably have to fly to Italy to find them.

I would heat my house to warm all winter rather than keeping it at 58-62 while we wear all our clothes at once. Heat just leaks out of our 1928 bungalow. Brick and plaster are pretty, but they do not insulate.

I have been to the Memphis version of the bra place - perhaps coincidentally perhaps not located in the Orthodox neighborhood of Memphis and yes it does have one - where there were bras on the walls and on hangers and the place was so stuffed I could hardly move. The bra lady found exactly one - ONE - bra that fit me and suggested I look in the teen section at Target instead. I slunk away in shame. However, as I have aged, I have seen that what seemed like a small blessing in my youth is not so bad after 38 years of gravity.

Cornelia, you are hardly a "total stranger" to any of us here, and so we have all chipped in and bought you the Welsh pony. To what address shall we have him delivered?

Your 18-year old self was breathtaking and your whatever-you-are-now self is too.

When I have pots of extra money lying around, I'm coming to NYC to buy myself a second home. Only $599 for that 3-bedroom place? That is a steal!

Oh, Class Factotum, how true! Long skinny breasts . . . no, just as well.

I want to go back to last night's Mexican restaurant for the cheesy shrimp thingie, except I don't have a waist either.

I think I would buy that NY apartment, too. Or maybe we should all chip in and have a TLC crash pad in the city? Like a time share? And then I'd get tickets to see Hugh Jackman.

Can you wear the hideous pin in your hair, Cornelia? Or is it truly hideous? Luvluvluv the dress!

Happy Birthday, Rita! She was such a hoot and a true pleasure to read.

I'm going to take a me, me, me moment and announce that I don't care about money (probably good, since I never have any) but what I have wanted for a long time is admission to an artists colony. And....I'm in! Next year, two weeks in my own private studio, meals delivered, nothing to do but work. I sob in joy.

Congratulations Ramona!!!!!

Since we moved to a larger house the day before Thanksgiving, I've had many, many dreams fulfilled.
But… a washer and dryer is next. Thank gohd I live in an area where good appliances are put on the Craig's List: Free section.
I always indulge in fabric, yarn, art supplies, and books when I insist that I need a shopping experience.

I would like to visit that bra shop.

Chicharrones are also pork cracklings, which are excellent alone or baked into rolls.

The full gory detail of the cleaning lady/toilet brush story is here: http://diaryofagolddigger.blogspot.com/2011/07/in-which-my-cleaning-lady-uses.html

First, rip out our 300'-long driveway and redo it, including new drainage for the blocked gutters (that go under the drive, of course), and new gutters with leaf-proof covers. Then maybe pave the driveway at the farm, while we're at it, so my car doesn't get stuck halfway on the 1/2-mile long snowy road. (Paving would also mean I no longer have to weed-whip the darn thing.)

The price of oil has kept us from doing this for ages, but it's starting to get to critical mass. Sigh. There goes the retirement fund.

But what I'd really like to do, if enough cash was available, would be to fund a TLC gathering. I'm surprised Kathy didn't mention this one, too.

That apartment? Wha, does it have bedbugs, or something? Sounds way too good to be true. But such a lovely space.

Happy birthday, Rita, wherever you are. Hope you're enjoying another place where IOCHFTS.

I like the fact that, aside from the apartment, shoes and dress, these extravagances are not outrageously expensive.
Just having the time to think about them is a luxury. I'm off to dress shepherds for the living nativity. Maybe I can keep some gold or frankinsence or mur for later! I wonder what I could get for them on Craig's list?
My spelling....sorry Mrs. Kirby.

after bills are paid/mortgage paid off:

* shoes AND boots that fit my big honkin' feet and don't give me blisters in the first 10 min of wear like all the other.

* a professional back scratcher to follow me around
"would you like your back scratched again ma'am?"
"yes, thank you Jeeves... a little to the left please"

* weapons for a paintball army , & the army of paintballers, so we can go around tagging/color coding things. (ie "that person with the red splotch needs to ticketed for crimes against anything remotely fashionable, and charge extra for the crocs.")

* a guest house that looks like a shabby chic gypsy caravan in shades of white, pale blue, and that lovely green color copper turns when the patina begins to appear... where I would pretty much spend all my free time.

* a salad bar in my kitchen, restocked daily with the toppings I love

* long sleeve tops that are long enough for my 5'11 self, that don't assume I have freakin' gorilla arms and knuckles scraping the ground

* glitter coated leopard print roller skates

* Chitty Chitty Bang Bang... up and running :)

Thought of another one: In addition to bras that fit, how about jeans that fit?

Ah, just a pipe dream, I fear.

Hang up my blue fuzzy robe, get rid of everything I own that doesn't fit in the Sebring convertible, head south till I hit the border, take a left and drive. And drive. And drive. Stop everywhere I have a friend with a bed or couch, sleep on a beach, jump on a cruise ship (maybe never come back), and see where life leads. Oh, and sign up with Neptune Society so they can pick me up anyplace my body quits working, after which they will turn me into part of their fish habitat off Key West.

Hurrah, Ramona! Enjoy every moment and write, write, write with abandon.
Holly, I'm loving the saga of the new, larger space -- lovely curtains!

To the ideal of clothing with the correct fit, add "no latex" for me . . .
and if we could eat those yummy delicacies and still maintain our desired body shapes, so much the better . . . maybe I need to add rowing to the aqua-aerobics?

I love the idea of a get-together, and I just know that Rita would be observing and laughing along with us. . .

Cornelia -- that dress is absolutely stunning and size is just a number anyway. I'm sure you'll look fantastic.

Extra money after all the basics are done would be to take my DH1 back to Poland to visit her birthplace and hopefully bring along her Babcha (grandma in Polish), who was instrumental in finding her for us.

I would love to find sexy shoes, but with my wide, big, and flat feet (thanks genetics), I'm sure I'd have to have them custom made. Not sky-high heels, that ship has already sailed, but something more attractive than birkies and new balance.

I'd also plan on attending Bouchercon, whereever it is, every single year and get a nice suite too.

With spare money (i.e. the Big Money), Lillian and I want a place out in the country where we can have rescue animals and perhaps a small, rotating artist colony.

But today I'd settle for one of those sandwiches and a couple new pairs of jeans!

I want to see photos of you in THE DRESS!! (It's wonderful.) And as for the shoes, remember you have to WALK. And there might be stairs.

Have fun!! xo

Joshilyn and I LOVE the Cloisters. My favorite thing to do is walk up the hill through the park and watch the architecture slowly reveal itself through the trees.

Dinner out with Don!
And all the hardcover books I can carry.
There's a wonderful Mexican taco truck in Palm Beach County. Luckily for my waistline, it's an hour away.
I do miss good museums here in Fort Lauderdale. That was one advantage of living in Washington DC.
Extremely cool shoes.

Yes, the dress! We want photos!

And we have to know which shoes you got!

Seriously, I want those shoes. To look at, I could never wear them. Your neighborhood looks way too fattening for me. Actually, when I was young, I lived in New York, and had family friends who lived in in Inwood. We went to the Park, and my mother dragged us to the Cloisters, which are pretty wonderful. My favorite place is the herb garden. You could just see the monks bending over tending the greens. All this overlooking the Hudson. Just lovely. Pictures of you in your dress? Please?

I'd pay off the bills, including the mortgage; have the condo completely done over from top to bottom (I don't want to move, because I like where I live, I just can't stand the old appliances, ratty carpeting, worn linoleum, etc); hire a Professional Cleaning Lady who gets to all the nooks and crannies every single time; get a new body (with a decent, working spine - a pipe dream in MY family); finish off the basement storage room into a study; travel; attend every single one of those Writer/Reader gatherings that all of you talk about and that I can only dream of attending. (It would be so lovely to meet ALL of Youse Guys (Tarts and Backbloggers alike.)

Underwear that fits just right - Cornelia, if you want to go to that place, I'll take the train into the city and accompany you so I can just watch as people who have the money to spend there do their spending. A little vicarious living...

I dream on...

Even Kermit had clothes to fit . . (thanks J) http://www.brooksbrothers.com/boysandgirls/kermitqa.tem?cmp=EMC-110911d&rid=308826051
. . . and if this site is right,
we can expect urban/accessible communities in urban areas, like this
Of course, there is that tiny little detail of coming up with $$$ for it . . . ;-)

I LOVE the Dress, LOVE fried plaintains, LOVE the black and red shoes, want to live on the second floor of the boathouse. That's what I'll buy with all that money--a lifetime coupon for free fried plaintains and cuban coffee and that boathouse.

I have American Beautyberries growing prolificly in my backyard--love the purple.

One question: what does "totes" mean in your context? Just curious. Is that some new slang I'm not aware of? Just curious. Thanks.

My friend sent me the link to your site and I was in awe at the first thing I saw.. The emerald necklace!Then it went on to exploring my fav pass time.Day dreaming of things I would give my left arm for. On to the things I would spend my "extra cash" on! The French Crown Jewels. Not as admiral as a rescue place for pets or paying off my parents bills. Which I would love to do also, but I thought we were suppose to be a little selfish in our daydream.
I would also like a estate of some sort in a place by water! But first things first. Someone to do my arch enemy ..the Laundry, which I tackle every two weeks. Thanks for listing I enjoyed.

Hi guys, sorry to chime in so late. I was at an introductory DAR meeting at a cemetery in Queens. Perhaps fruit for a blog post in two weeks? Methinks yesssss.

Reine, YES to lobster rolls and 210s and rowing hats and owning groovy houses wherever we want!

Alan, so glad to see I'm not the only one with a real estate fetish--or a constant yearning for burgers.

Ari, but your house is gorgeous and your book is genius. So it's all lovely.

Laura, if you come visit I will buy YOU a sandwich, and bookshelves are also on my wishlist...

TLC bra trip, Kathy!!!! And yea for Rita, wherever she may be.

Sandi, and here I was just thinking the reliquary looked like Agnes Moorehead, but it's way more Anjelica. And yea for addictions, fabric and non! The fun not-driving-one-to-crime ones, anyway.

Undine--me too! I prefer to think of the person I need as "a wrangler," however. At least it sounds kind of western or something.

Ah, Margaret--that's what I yell every time I look at my kitchen, and my as-yet-un-re-assembled dining room table... sigh.

Ah, class factotum, I wish I could say the same thing about gravity! It hit me at about age eleven. Oh well. And I think a trip to Italy for shoes is a genius idea.

Harley, when you buy that place, I'll let you wear my gold cowboy boots if I can come visit. I will also bring sandwiches.

NancyM, totally down with the crash pad idea. And the pin would be groovy looking, except that about half the rhinestones are that icky opalescent color that looks like someone coughed all over them. So, yuck. Also, a little too cross-like for me. Don't want to scare off the atheist beau. (mmmmm.... cheesy Mexican shrimp thingies...)

RAMONA!!! YEA!!!!!!!!! Which one? I'm going to apply to one in January...

Ah, Holly, I am with you on the washer and dryer. Very glad to have a nice laundromat two doors down from me, but it's a workout getting my hamper back up all these damn stairs.

cf, I look forward to reading that blog post, but only after I've eaten my (vegetable-heavy) salad for the evening. Right after I run the gold sequin mini-dress I got for my kid down to her at college, so she can wear it to a frat party. Oh joy, oh rapture unforeseen.

Ah, K in O... yeah, weed whipping and gutters. Makes me happy to be in the city. And no bedbugs as far as I know... it's just way the hell uptown. Like, more upstate even. West 212th Street or so.

Okay, gotta go run the sequins to the kid, more in an hour, vishnu willing.

Laundromats so much not my thing that I haven't used one since hmm, maybe 1971, when I threw a fit and we bought a washing machine. I may have been traumatized by the bullet holes in the windows . . .
Hamper wrangling is a challenge -- when I moved from condo to house, the floor plan involved carrying clothing further. I stopped using the solid one and switched to a light, cheap, collapsible version from Walgreens. Sort of like this (you can find everything with Google ;-)

Lynn in Texas: "totes" = totally

xena, I'm sure Mrs. Kirby forgives you. And my Uncle Hunt burned some frankincense for me last year. Really wonderful! The dress was only $85 on Amazon. I figure this is because it's probably made out of recycled plastic grocery bags. Which is why it needs a better pin--so no one will realize how cheap the dress is, when they are distracted by some large sparkly thing or cleavage or whatev.

Gillian--YES! I want all of that stuff too, especially the caravan shack and the rollerskates. Maybe we could trade sleeves?

K in O, I just want jeans that don't fall off, since it appears my ass has migrated up to my boobulage area. How the HELL that happened, I do not know...

Oooo DebbraSue--Poland! I want to go to Poland!! I'm hoping they let me write about this awesome WWII spy chick next, who was Polish. And yes to suites at Bcon in perpetuity!!!

Okay, Fran... artist colony... I think we need to pool together to do that. I will bring the sandwiches. And the jeans. And wear the leather jacket of awesomeness... Could we rescue Welsh ponies?

Hank, I'm taking Lee as my date, since the beau was a little whingey about the occasion (something about communist parents making him feel guilty about a deb thing?) So I'm hoping I can lean on Mr. C should the going get rough, stairwise. I still wish I could wear your wedding dress, but there wasn't a lot of black tulle out there in the skirt arena this year, except on goth websites. Which meant it was paired with plaid and a lot of buckles. And not very nice tulle... But Jill Krementz will be taking photos of the cocktail party beforehand, so I'll see if I can talk her into letting me post a couple here. Unless I look scary.

Ann, you are a woman after my own heart. Especially the driving and the friends with sofas to sleep on... and the fuzzy blue robe!

Mr. Husband, you are wonderful. As I have long suspected... and as Mrs. Wife has gushed. So the next time you guys go a-Cloistering, you have to come visit and indulge in some pork-centric local delicacies.

Deb, all your plans sound fantastic. And apparently the bra place is super, super cheap. Which is part of its charm for me.

Storyteller, sigh, the $$$. Yes. In our dream world, everything will be free for the cool nice peoples. Like all of us. And I LOVE the Brooks Brothers interview with Kermit--thank you!

NancyP, I'm pretty sure all the fried plantain and cafe con leche places will deliver to the boathouse... can I come visit?

Lynn, how wonderful that you have beautyberries!! And "totes" is something a young pal of mine has gotten me to say recently... short for "totally." I feel so hip now.

S Mary, I have a collapsible net hamper, but it's starting to crap out on me. Will check the availability at Target, since I don't have a Walmart near me.

lil, the herb garden was looking not so herby, but I look forward to checking it out in the springtime. So glad someone else has been in Inwood!

If I had money to burn I'd set up a state of the art woodworking shop with dust collection and air cleaners plus wonderful new tools. I looked at the systems this week and drooled but alas 4 new tires took precidence. My current project really has me wishing for the system though. While I'm at it I would have a housekeeper to clean up all that dust.

I've been trying to complete building computer/storage cabinet number 2 so sorry I'm late to the party. One more drawer to make and 2 drawer fronts to rout the edges and it will be done. whoopie!

I'd also fly first class to Germany to visit my cousins and tour Berlin again. These old bones get so cramped in steerage these days.

I do think we need a Tart field trip to the bra store.

It would make more sense if I routed the edges of the drawer fronts. Too tired to proofread. lol

The link is for Walgreens -- aren't they everywhere? (they sure seem to be).
My hampers (one dark, one light) are getting a bit ragged after three years; I reinforced somewhat with a bit of sewing . . dental floss is really sturdy.
Add to the list: if I were rich, I'd have a chauffeur, a chef, and a cleaner willing to do windows and laundry!

That necklace's sapphire or ruby cousin.

The house Gaius Baltar had in BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (which, in my fantasy, is in Vancouver). One room for the shoes.

And yes, probably much sooner than any of the above, a pilgrimage to the Hasidic Goddess of Boobulage. Sounds BRILLIANT!

I can't have The Ideal House, which is the Gamble House in Pasadena, which seems totally unfair. So after the hot tub and the weekly massage (up from the monthly) it's totally ABOUT the house, it would be the ideal one floor house in New Mexico, maybe with a separate guest quarters and enough parking for the lift-equipped van, the PT Cruiser that I think Stu should drive, and the Mini Cooper or smart car because I want a wind-up toy car.

So like, um, other than that? All those items in all those catalogues (Wintersilks, Signals, Wireless) and all the cute stuff on the Goreydetails website, Perpetual Kid and thinkgeek catalogues. And the 4 storey wheelchair-accessible Victorian dollhouse. And the Charles Rennie Macintosh furniture and the Frank Lloyd Wright stained glass.

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