Monday, February 28, 2011

Oscar Predictions on NBC's Today in LA

When I called James Franco and Anne Hathaway "The White Knuckle Express," I had no idea how right I'd be. What you don't see on-camera is the email I got from Ted Chen moments after the Oscar broadcast began titled: "You were right."

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Friday, February 25, 2011

Oscar Eats: Christian Bale’s Kale Salad

Christian Bale’s Kale Salad
Serves four

This salad is a version of one made weekly with a crew of girls knighted "The Bang Gang" (it refers to a one-time hairstyle preference, not anything lascivious) when we’d gather to watch the best show on television, RuPaul’s Drag Race. It also seems the perfect meal for those of you looking to shed poundage the way Christian Bale did in his outstanding performance, one that will surely earn him on Oscar on Sunday, in The Fighter.

4 packed cups de-stemmed, finely chopped kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 Gala or Fuji apples, diced
1 avocado, diced
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds

2 tablespoon tahini
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 small shallot, minced
1 teaspoon honey
dash cayenne pepper, or to taste
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

In a large bowl, toss kale with olive oil and allow to wilt slightly while preparing other ingredients.

Dice apples and avocado and toss in lemon juice to prevent oxidizing.

Mix all of the dressing ingredients in a small dish, mashing the tahini with the back of a spoon until there are no clumps remaining.

Toss kale with dressing and gently add in apple, avocado and sunflower seeds, tossing to combine. Serve and enjoy!

Members of the Bang Gang tranny-ified at a Tranimal Event in late '09...

And one night's Drag Race Dinner. The kale salad is the lower half of the plate.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Oscar Eats: Caviar Bardem, Pomegranate Rose Dessert Tapioca

Caviar Bardem
Serves four

For surprise Oscar-nominee Javier Bardem, whip up this tapioca dessert play on caviar. Like the Spain actor, it’s unexpectedly sensual and also filled with antioxidants. Oh! Not that Javier is filled with antiox…sigh, forget it. It’s a textural delight and flavor bombshell.

1 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca pearls
1/4 cup sugar
pinch salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon rose water
1/2 cup milk (coconut milk can be substituted)
pomegranate seeds to garnish
edible rose petals to garnish (optional and if available)

Place pomegranate juice and 1/2 cup water into a heavy saucepan. Sprinkle with the tapioca and let sit for 5 minutes.

Stir in sugar, salt, vanilla, rose water and milk.

Bring slowly to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until tapioca is translucent and cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Spoon pomegranate tapioca into serving dishes and chill for at least 2 hours. Serve topped with pomegranate seeds and edible rose petals (if using).

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Oscar Eats: Chicken a la King's Speech

With the hours to Oscar dwindling, it's time for another recipe. This one bows before the film most likely to unseat early front runner, The Social Network, for the crown of Best Picture...

Chicken a la King’s Speech
Serves four

I like to think of this as chicken pot pie fit for a king. It’ll make you stutter and stammer it’s so good!

2 whole chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
4 puff pastry shells
3 tablespoons butter
2 -3 scallions, trimmed, sliced with tops
1/2 cup crimini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1/2 cup chantrelle mushroom, cleaned and roughly chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 10oz bag frozen green pea and pearl onions, thawed
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 can cream of mushroom soup (not condensed!)
minced Italian parsley to garnish
truffle oil to garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and roast for 30-40 minutes or until juices run clear and meat is no longer pink. Cool and remove skin. Cube chicken, set aside.

Reduce oven temperature to whatever is recommended for puff pastry shells and bake them according to package directions.

While the puff pastry is baking, place a large skillet on medium high heat. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and sauté scallions, mushrooms and bell pepper until soft, about 5 minutes. Add thawed peas and onions, cook another 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and reserve in a bowl.

Return skillet to heat, melt remaining two tablespoons of butter and whisk in flour. Whisk in milk and soup and cook over medium heat until a thick sauce forms, about 2-3minutes. Add reserved vegetables and cubed chicken and warm through.

To serve, spoon the choppy Chicken a la King’s Speech into the puff pastry shells and top with parsley and truffle oil (if using).

It'll make you say "Piss, shit, bugger" it's so yumtastic.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Oscar Eats: Winter's Roasted Marrow Bone

After yesterday's True Shrimp and Grits, how do we honor Winter's Bone, the indie darling that triumphed at Sundance and landed in the Oscar race for Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor?

Meth souffle? Nah, it's not really in season. By roasting a winter's bone of course.

Winter’s Roasted Marrow Bone
Serves 4

1 crusty bread or baguette, sliced into at least 8-12 pieces
2 whole garlic cloves, peeled
8 center-cut beef marrow bones (ask your butcher to cut them into3 inch long portions. They should total 3 to 4 pounds)
1 cup Italian parsley, chopped
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons capers, roughly chopped
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons white truffle oil
juice and zest of one lemon
Coarse sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Rub each slice of bread with raw garlic and toast lightly.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Place marrow bones, cut side up, on a lightly greased foil-lined baking sheet. Roast 10-20 minutes, depending on size of bone, until marrow is soft and has begun to separate from the bone, but before marrow begins to bubble over.

While bones are roasting, combine remaining ingredients except sea salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Serve garlic-rubbed toast, roasted marrow bones, parsley-truffle oil dressing, bowls of sea salt and cracked pepper to guests and invite them to scoop out marrow onto toast, sprinkle with salt and pepper and top with parsley salad.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Oscar Eats: True Shrimp and Grits

Everyone knows I love a good pun, especially a good food pun, so to celebrate this Sunday's Academy Awards, I'll be posting recipes all week long that honor some of 2010's greatest accomplishments in cinema and will play with your tastebuds just as much as their titles play on words.

First up, one of my favorite films of the year, the Coen Brothers' True Grit, nominated for 10 awards including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress, though, sadly, Matt Damon will not be recognized for his brilliant Matthew McConaughey impression. If you don't get what I mean, watch this and remember the moment when Damon leans back in his chair, peels his coat to the side to reveal a tin star and drawls, "I'm a Texas Ranger."

True Shrimp and Grits
Serves 4

These whiskey-drenched smoky shrimp are right up Rooster Cogburn’s alley. Served with cheesy grits, this is one meal you’ll never want to bid "A-dios."

2 cups chicken stock
1 cup quick grits
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
1 cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded
2 slices bacon, chopped (high quality turkey bacon may be substituted)
1 yellow onion, diced
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup whiskey
juice of one lemon
4 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

In a large pot over high heat, combine water and stock and bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir in grits. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook, stirring constantly, until water is absorbed and grits are tender, about five minutes. Stir in butter and cheese and cook until cheese melts. Remove pan from heat, taste for salt, cover and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon until fat renders and bacon begins to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Add onion, cooking until it softens and begins to caramelize, another five minutes. Add garlic, scallions and shrimp, sauté just until shrimp turn pink, about three minutes. Add whiskey, lemon juice and parsley to pan, season with salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat.

To serve, ladle cheesy grits into serving bowls and top with drunken shrimp.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Hungry for Love: "Sign a Waiver," with White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Thanks to the All-Star Game this weekend, every street and freeway choked with traffic like it was the 405 at rush hour as LA turned into Hotlanta West. I swear, I haven't seen this much Fubu and Baby Phat since my Fruitvale years, if even then.

The big games meant lots of parties, so Friday night, Mel and I struck out for the "Purp and Yellow" shindig in Downtown.

You know that inane "Black and Yellow" song?--OH GOD! Why did I even mention it? Now it's stuck in my head. That is totally the Beetlejuice of rap songs. Say it three times and you can't get rid of it--

Anyway, "Purp and Yellow" was Snoop's rebuttal rap in honor of his beloved Lakers and the party was in a teammate's honor, which made the people-watching priceless as chickenheads and gold diggers pouring into their 99-cent hooker best in the blatant hopes of landing a baby daddy to call their very own.

Our favorite of the night was a quartet that looked like the ghetto, busted version of Danity Kane minus Aubrey (BTW, why am I so excited every time I see her on Oxygen weeping "I'm not 100 pounds anymore"?), led by angry black Sporty Spice who had a mohawk weave and was rocking a stained black bra, cropped pleather vest and leggings that were part vinyl, part fishnets.

Leggings are not pants. Stockings are not pants. Stockings made into leggings are CERTAINLY NOT PANTS! But we weren't going to tell her that; she was hardcore.

Also in the posse; an 80-pound Eastern European dame in a one-armed animal print shirt that she'd opted to call a dress, her 250-pound friend wearing a purple version of the same "dress," in the same size, which you could almost hear groaning with exhaustion as it battled to stay in one piece, and a girl whose name I feel I should know considering how well I got to know the thass part of her butt cheeks ("thass:" thigh/ass, the crescent moon of under buttocks that should only show in a bathing suit, aka: butt side boob) which were hanging out for the world to see.

Off. The. Charts.

But we weren't there for the ladies; Mel and I were hoping to find some nice gentlemen to make the night worthwhile. Scooping the scene, there were a few stand outs in the crowd, including one guy who looked like David Justice, and a funky white dude I eventually beelined for whose name was Brad.

In a black thermal with a thick brunette Beiber-ish mop, he had a little of the Jared Leto in him, minus any emo, and since the pickings were slim, I figured an introduction was in order. But within thirty seconds of chatting, I realized I'd have been better off making out with Black Scary Spice.

First of all, he told me he'd seen me standing by the bar earlier ordering a drink and was waiting for me to come over and say hi. Ummm, what's wrong with that picture? You see a girl at a bar ordering a drink, you walk over and offer to buy it for her, then strike up a conversation. Duh, Romeo.

Then, when I asked what he did, he said he was a musician.

"Oh! Cool. What instruments do you play?" I asked.

"None," he replied and then told me to guess what kind of music he made. Based on his look, I reached for Electric Country.

Nope. He's a rapper.

"Really?" I replied, my inner Oakland girl wanting to sneer. "Whose music does yours get compared to?"

"Tupac and LL Cool J," he told me.

"Whoa. Those are mighty hefty claims," I said.

"Look, I'll tell you this right now, there are three things I do where you've got to sign a waiver before it happens, because I can't be held responsible afterward: Listen to my rhymes, get a massage and get a kiss."

Yes, Brad really said that, among many other cocky, bragging claims, which is probably why I cut our conversation short with a good ol' "I have to work tomorrow" before slipping into the crowd.

But the next day I started thinking about it and realized, it's kind of a great concept! What do you do so well that someone needs to sign a waiver before it goes down? Brad's were lame and generic but when I told the story to one of my best friends the next day, we realized the genius and started thinking of things that would need a signed waiver.

-My dear friend Jemal is a tall, chiseled interracial Adonis who's kind, artistic, smart and converting to Judaism. Jewish girls are gonna need to sign a waiver before they see him read the Torah.

-Also Mahdi, Jemal's brother, breaks it OFF at Equinox. Girls need to sign a waiver before they see him in spinning class. (I'm not kidding, he has groupies in the class.)

-I call Rachel "Gumby." Men need to sign a waiver before they see how flexible she is.

And me...?

Well, not everyone knows this, but I'm an insanely dope jump roper, I was even in a jump rope workout DVD series with Eric Nies of MTV's The Grind fame. That might require a waiver. And, of course, there's the baking.

You better sign a waiver before you make these...

White Chocolate Foreplay Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen cookies, depending on size

3/4 cup salted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar (lightly packed)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup white chocolate chips or chunks
2 cups roasted, salted macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, cream together butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and vanilla until well combined.

Reduce speed to low and beat in flour, baking soda and salt. Mix just until blended.
With wooden spoon, fold in white chocolate and macadamia nuts.

Lightly coat cookie sheet with cooking spray and drop rounded tablespoons of dough a few inches apart.

Bake until barely golden around edges, 10 to 12 minutes. The cookies should look slightly underdone when removed from the oven. That way, they will cool to chewy perfection. If they’re golden brown and look fully baked, they’ll only be useful as hockey pucks or loofahs once cool.

With wide spatula, transfer cookies to wire racks or sheets of wax paper to cool completely.

Repeat with remaining dough.

Sign a waiver and serve warm.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Who's Hotter, Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp? Alex Pettyfer Decides

Walking into Alex Pettyfer's hotel suite high above the stars on the Walk of Fame, the Hollywood sign glistening in the sun behind him, you can't help but fall a little bit in love. Not with the young heartthrob who is being heralded as the next Robert Pattison with this week's release of "I am Number Four," but with Oliver, his adorable seal-grey puppy recently adopted from the rescue organization, Barks ‘n’ Bitches.

"I got him two weeks ago," Pettyfer says in the British accent he suppressed while filming his starring role as John Smith, one of nine aliens infants sent to hide on Earth after their home planet is destroyed. Assigned a guardian and an order, they can only be killed in the sequence of their numbers. Following the murders of Numbers One, Two, and Three, Number Four (Pettyfer), is living on high alert in Paradise, Ohio, disguised as an American high school student, when he falls in love (with his real-life sweetheart, "Glee"'s Dianna Agron) and realizes he has something to fight for.

Sporting a simple band on his wedding ring finger—which went uncommented on despite rumors he and Agron were engaged (rumors have since surfaced that they've split)—Pettyfer told me that he appreciates comparisons to tween phenomenons like Pattison and "Twilight," but felt the buzz was premature.

"I hope we have the success of 'Twilight' by half or even a quarter," the 20-year-old began. "Obviously, you've got that central story of falling in love with something different and that's comparable between 'Twilight' and 'I am Number Four,' but I don't think we're anything like them. We're a lot less serious. I think people are looking for the next 'Harry Potter' or 'Twilight' as they're coming to an end, and hopefully we can fill that gap."

With Michael Bay, "the king of action" according to Pettyfer, and Steven Spielberg, "the godfather of film," producing, "…Number Four" is expected to easily inherit that mantle.

Since the film is all about gaining powers, I wondered what innate human ability Pettyfer would give up if he had to.

"Taste," he replied easily. "I don't really enjoy food. I'm not a big eater. I only eat certain things, [like] In 'n' Out Burger, pasta, pizza. I think sight is the most important."

Considering the media maelstrom surrounding the film, replete with screaming, crying fans at Hot Topic signings, I wondering if losing his anonymity was difficult.

"I haven't been witness to it; I've been holed up in hotel rooms [promoting the movie] for the last five weeks. Maybe in five weeks, after the film comes out, it will be."

Pettyfer, who says he'd like to emulate the career of Gary Oldman, "an actor who challenged himself and took the bar to a whole new level," has the added blessing/curse of being Tigerbeat-friendly. A former model, I asked if being too handsome was ever a detractor from an actor who wanted to follow an Oldman-esque path.

"I don't see myself as attractive or ugly. I think attraction is in the eye of the beholder," Pettyfer said (as only a handsome man could). "If I put Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt up, fifty percent of the women would go for Brad Pitt and fifty percent would say Johnny Depp."

So who would Pettyfer choose? "Johnny Depp! All the way," he smiled.

Reviewing "Unknown" and "I am Number Four" on Today in LA

That's right, ya'll, Ted Chen said "ass" on Today in LA.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Hungry for Love: Valentine's Day Can Suck It--Plus 8-Minute Microwave Mojito Cake

I like to think that my life is pretty cool. I get paid to see movies for free, interview incredibly talented people, make yummy food and occasionally pop up on the tube to see how much trouble my ginormous mouth can get me into.

Over the past couple of weeks, things have been sprinkled with even more fabulosity as I got to attend events like the Golden Globe and SAG Awards for NBC, started hitting the other side of the red carpet (above, Mel and I at the Ciroc OK! Magazine pre-Grammy party, below, an AP photo from the Remix Magazine launch party)...

...And even got some Twitter lovin' from Isaiah Mustafa, aka: The Old Spice Guy...

...After I semi-accosted him at both the Golden Globes and DGA Awards, drunkenly admitted I loved him "in a very deep way."

But tonight, with that usual Sunday agita sinking in, a lingering anxiety unshakable since childhood when Sunday meant the end of freedom and the imminent return to school, I feel lamer than usual. Why? Because tomorrow is Valentine's Day and I will be spending it alone.

Being 32, single and living in LA, where women past 25 are often viewed with the appeal of expired milk left out in the sun, not having a man is never a picnic, but no day makes it a buffet of misery and self-pity quite like February 14th.

I was raised by feminists, babysat by Naomi Wolf (no, really, I was), but am still well aware of the one constant women are beaten over the head with from the time we’re born; that if we don't find a man, get married and have babies, we’ve misspent our time on earth. Every pop song, sitcom, rom-com and storybook preaches it and even though I know can be happy and fulfilled without some dude to "complete me"--I'm pretty damn whole as is, thankyouverymuch--I'm always made to feel less-than if I find myself without an arrow through the heart from some diaper wearing perv with an overactive trigger finger.

But haven't we all been a little traumatized by Valentine's Day?

From grade school, a sense of V-Day doom is instilled the moment we first suffer the pressure of giving valentines to everyone in the class, even the kids you hate or the boy that puts worms in your hair. Then you get to junior high and have to pray that someone sends you one of those lame candy-grams that get announced in homeroom so you don't look like a flaming loser after everyone else's name is called and you're left sans red construction paper heart and chalky Rolaids-flavored "Be Mine" "Luv u" "U rock" hearts. Pretty soon you’re in high school and frantic for a date to the Valentine's Day dance to avoid the same shame. And, before you know it, you're old enough to be made to feel pathetic if you're dateless and having a wannabe Sex in the City girls night when Cupid's arrow should be striking.

I can't tell you how many Valentine's Days I suffered through single, feeling the panic rise as January ended, followed by depression and eventually terror, knowing the only love I'd get on February 14th would be from my mom and dad, until one year when I finally had a boyfriend to celebrate Valentine's Day with.

And you know what? It sucked!

I thought it would be all romantic and magical. Nope! Everywhere we went there were super long lines to eat and couples bickering as their blood sugar plummeted as they waited for tables and overpriced prix fixe meals, swarmed by tacky red balloons and wilting roses. It didn't feel special; it felt like enforced fun, which is the worst kind.

Now I know the best thing to do when it comes to Valentine's Day is chillax and try not to make a big deal out of it. It's just another day, one that has more marketing dollars behind it than most, but it doesn't mean I have to spend it guzzling cheap drugstore chocolate in a heart-shaped box to drown my single sorrows. Instead, I can make this quickie cake (complete with booze) if I need to eat my feelings, take a few deep breaths and know that February 15th is just around the corner.

8-Minute Microwave Mojito Cake
Serves 6-8

Now you can have you cake and drink it too! For those in need of a quickie—dessert that is—these cakes can be made in about ten minutes and come with the added bonus of a little buzz.

Mojito Cake:
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon light rum
Zest of one lime
2 tablespoons chopped mint

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla. Add dry ingredients, milk, rum, lime zest and mint.

Pour batter into a large, microwavable heat-and-serve container.

Place container in microwave and heat on high for eight minutes. If your microwave doesn’t have a turn table, rotate cake every 1 ½-2 minutes.

While cake is cooking, prepare first glaze.

First Glaze:
2 tablespoons chopped mint
Zest of one lime
Juice of two limes
2 tablespoons light rum
2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Whisk together all ingredients.

Remove cake from microwave and run a knife along the edge of the cake, loosening from sides of bowl.

Pour glaze over hot cake, allowing it to run down sides and underneath.

Allow to cool slightly while preparing second glaze.

Second Glaze:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
4 tablespoons water

Once first glaze is slightly set, pour second glaze over cake. Slice and serve.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hungry for Love: Hitting the Wall

Oh my God! Online dating is so awful!

Of course, I already knew that, but each new attempt is that much more harrowing.

Arbitrary, time sucking and totally fruitless, after four or five months on OKCupid, tonight I hit the wall. With only one lame date to show for my investment and the lingering sting of being told I was only "good looking," I found my finger hovering over the "Delete profile" button and reminiscing on my return to the cyber-dating wasteland.

A few months ago, I didn't think it could get any worse than the guy who listened to "rape," but damn was I wrong.

There have been a number of humdingers, but here are the greatest hits when it came to low points on (sigh) "Ohhh-kay Cupid".

May I present "Heretopleaseyou," the black guy who said his name was Chris but wouldn't give a last name and refused to send any photos because, as he looooved to tell me over and over and over and over again, he was so famous. I'd like to believe it was Chris Rock, but he was probably Chris Brown. He asked me to meet him for sex, no drinks, no dinner, no conversation. I said if he was as well known as he claimed, he could find that at any bar, grocery store or gas station in town. He's probably trolling Craigslist as I type. Another 50-plus-year-old man kept sending me IMs asking me if I'd like to go sailing and calling me "doll." He looked like Albert Finney and made me cringe. A lesbian started sending me messages every time I logged in, ignoring the clear indication that I was straight and only interested in men. Plus, she looked nothing like Mila Kunis is Black Swan and therefore got blocked quickly. More than one man sent me a message saying, "I'm going to be honest--I'm not interested in anything serious, but you seem like a lot of fun so let me know if you wanna chat." "Fun" has always been a dubious distinction in my mind. It implies a put-on carefree savoir faire that makes me think of Rizzo in Grease singing "There Are Worst Things I Could Do." I didn't write to any of them. Of the two attractive men who got in touch with me, one never responded beyond our second email and the other started talking about my nipples within two minutes of our first conversation. Is it any wonder these people are still single? They're totally heinous and dysfunctional.

Scrolling, page after page, hoping I'd stumble upon someone who could fulfill my hopes and dreams and prove that all those people who insist online dating is viable weren't ignoramuses, or, worse, uppity a-holes already in committed relationships (none of which started online), here's what I've discovered thus far:

1. Never fall for a guy wearing sunglasses in his profile picture. Everyone looks sexier in sunglasses. It's like posing with a cigarette; you're suddenly more alluring, worldly and seductive. See: James Dean, Rita Hayworth in Gilda.

2. Never trust a guy wearing a hat in his profile picture. Much like sunglasses, just about every man in the world looks better in a hat, especially a baseball cap (words my friend Jenny lives and dies by). Plus, dollars to donuts, that dude is bald or on his way and that's why he's covering up.

3. Subtract (at least) one-two inches from the height they claim. If a man says he's 5'9, he's 5'7. Maybe 5'6.

4. Sending an email will almost never illicit a response. Even in the warped online dating arena, men like the chase.

With nothing to show for my time and a general sense of misery every time I typed in my ID and password, why was I unable to make that final click, sending my profile into internet oblivion?

Because I'm sitting on my couch, eating out of styrofoam, watching Grey's Anatomy, on a serious losing streak of celibacy. I need a frickin' man in my life and since none have the balls to do anything beyond play a little grab ass when emboldened by liquor, I've been proverbially "putting myself out there." This way, when family friends or, worse yet, my mother, ask why I'm still single, I can honestly say I'm trying.

But then I got this poem from one man who was attempting to court me:

"Tubas to the face.
Spit valves emptied on your toes.
The night swayed and sweat dripped from the walls.
It was hard to tell performers from audience
as a cluster of bodies and brass pulsed in unison.
Every once in a while a form would appear from the wreckage to find their way to the bar. Missing a limb and ear drums draped to their knees.
Only music that can create this mess."


I'm not really a poetry girl, but I reread the verses, trying to conjure a smoky, subterranean coffee house where everyone is in black turtlenecks and berets, a bongo player punctuating each line with a rapped beat. I could get into that. Maybe. Possibly. Probably not, but I was trying to tell myself that this guy couldn't be that bad, and just as I was on the verge of convincing myself to give the guy a chance over a cup of coffee, I got a follow up:

"Gum spots on concrete and the smell of hot dogs draped in bacon.
Fixed gear bikers intermingle with El Salvadorian line cooks.
Everyone displayed like an art piece under the fog-lights
On the ride home I think about jogging with coyotes and singing to deer.
Instead it was a sentimental cat that followed me on my walk home.
Now rainbow chard is a cute vegetable.
Especially when intermixed with garlic and ginger."

I wrote this response:

"Like smoky fires flickering
At burning man
The smell of patchouli wafts
Like smoke from your bong.
I read these words and wonder;
Are you reading a Karma Sutra
While practicing tai chi
And hugging a tree?
B.O. and compost piles
That is the smell of our love.
Snap snap snap snap
Clapping ain’t allowed.
I misread you terribly
You are not the man for me."

I erased it before I sent it, not wanting to hurt the poor guy's feelings. Instead, I moved my hovering finger a few inches to the right and clicked, "Disable Account."

Ok Cupid, I think we need some space. And I need a drink!

Blackberry Green Tea Mojito
Serves 4-6

These are my new obsession because they're delicous, refreshing and, one might argue, almost good for you thanks to plenty of antioxidants.

1 1/2 cups loosely packed mint leaves, chopped
Juice of 2 limes
Juice of 2 lemons
6 teaspoons superfine sugar
1/2 cup brewed green tea, chilled
1 cup blackberries, muddled (raspberries, blueberries or fresh chopped peach can be substituted)
1-1 1/2 cups light rum (use 1/4 cup per person)
Soda water

In a large pitcher, combine mint, lime and lemon juice and superfine sugar, stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour in green tea, muddled blackberries and rum.
Fill glasses with ice and add Mojito mix, filling glasses 3/4 of the way. Top with splash of soda water and serve.

Interviewing Paul Giamatti for The Indie Angle

"What a hunk." "A hunk of talent."

My love affair with Paul Giamatti deepens by the day.