4.30.2008

fowl play

I don't know why all I can really think about anymore is clothing (or maybe, more accurately, why suddenly I am powerless to stem the near-constant flood of clothing-related thoughts, whereas before I could shove it aside for periods of time sufficient to have in my life e.g. earned a BA in philosophy, successfully negotiated a lease, and acquired and thus far retained a career in a non-talking-about-clothing-related field). Whatevs. I want this shirt:



It has a sequined swan* on it, lined in red sequins which I have decided are the blood of its enemies. Also I could buy twenty of them for the cost of the Bottega Veneta dress.

Tomorrow: something deep and intellectual! That in no way relates to fabric! That I have not come up with yet!

*FUN FACT: the actress Swoosie Kurtz's first name is a reference to a cross between a swan and a goose and an airplane. This is not a lie.

gravity

MY GLASSES JUST FELL OFF MY FACE AND ONTO THE FLOOR FOR NO REASON and it is my deep need to share this fact via the internet that makes me think I should just capitulate and join Twitter.

4.29.2008

one man's underage pop star...

It has come to my attention that, through a series of indirect relationships and events, I am going to personally profit from the Miley Cyrus wrapped-in-a-bedsheet Vanity Fair photo scandal. Which: awesome.

penny wise

At the vending machine in my office, a 12-ounce can of Diet Dr Pepper is $1.00, and a 20-ounce bottle of Diet Coke is $1.50. This means that the incredibly beautifully painfully delicious Diet Dr Pepper is 8.3¢ per ounce, and the nice and okay Diet Coke is 7.5¢ per ounce.

The question which I have not been able to answer for the last freaking hour, resulting in tremendous thirst and personal frustration, is whether the difference in awesomeness is worth a marginal 0.8¢ per ounce.

Update: It turns out that, yes, it is. Excitement in the mouth!

Other update: I was pretty sure that "excitement in the mouth" was a Jerkcity reference from the depths of my geeky subconscious, but Google points me only to weird-yet-hilarious Pokey the Penguin.

Update son of update: Okay so. It is a Jerkcity reference after all.

This is basically a chain letter

Triple-threat A Lady (she's brilliantly smart, brilliantly dressed, and I suspect is one of the people in the world who could school my butt on Scrabulous) has passed along an blogmemethingaroo that requires me to tell you six unimportant things about me, and then assign this to six more people. Okay, so it isn't required in the sense of horrible things will happen if I don't do it. But damn if I haven't been posting here with serious frequency lately, so I am not going to turn down an opportunity to keep the streak going.

N~E~Wayz. Oh gross I just typed that. But I couldn't resist. Anyways.

One: I have this deep yet irrational belief that whatever I do next in my life will be the thing that I do for the entire rest of my life until I retire or die. Career-wise. As a result, I feel paralyzed about making any future-related life decisions.

Two: I have this very bad habit of doodling women's faces whenever I have paper and pen in front of me. Occasionally I will attach the heads to very, um, Barbie-esque bodies. This has made for raised eyebrows during workplace meetings.

Three: I hatehatehatehate overwrought presentations at restaurants. I don't like to feel like I'm sullying someone's aesthetic vision by taking a bite of my chicken. Sometimes I will order pasta or soup just to avoid fancy plating.

Four: My feet are wimps. Every single pair of shoes that I own, including Converse All-Stars and other forms of sneaker, has given me blisters. Right now my left heel is covered with a spectacular latticework of band-aids.

Five: I assign character traits to numerals. I can talk at length about them, and their relationships to each other. Five is a total asshole.

Six: In my mind, I will not truly be an adult until I have bought my first non-secondhand couch. Not that I have even bought my first secondhand couch yet.

Passing the damn thing forward:
Leila
Angela
Marcin
Meredith
and whichever 2 of you are the first to do it in the comments.

Bonus Seven: sometimes I sign my emails "xoxo Gossip Girl" and I am not ashamed of that fact.

4.28.2008

Off the Marc

I work a scant few blocks away from the Marc Jacobs mini-empire over on Bleecker St., which alongside the zillion-dollar shoes and bags stocks a pretty astonishing quantity of really cheap (like, in quality and in price) objets emblazoned with some sort of Marc or MJ or MMJ or whatever logo that makes me completely convinced that yes it is totally worth it to spend fifteen bucks on a canvas tote bag (which, admittedly has a silkscreen of a dinosaur emerging from a phone booth, which makes it worth it anyway) or eleven on a pair of flip-flops because geographically speaking the Marc store is closer than J.Crew and the flip-flops are cheaper than J.Crew's anyway so, god, Mr. B should just stop poking fun of my increasingly snob-branded accessories already goddamnit.

Anyways, in the stores they sell these t-shirts that feature naked celebrities with slogans like "protect your largest asset" or "cover your ass." The shirts are sold to benefit skin cancer awareness, and were I the sort of person who was into wearing tshirts with naked celebrities on them, I would totally own one or possibly several. But as it happens as of the time of this writing I am not quite that sort of person (No, I might actually be that sort of person, actually, now that I think about it) so I do not, as yet, own any of these t-shirts.

But on If It's Hip It's Here they did this roundup of all the shirts, just so you could check out Selma Blair's tater tots (there is a totally nsfw area of pixels on or near Dita Von Teese, bee tee dubs). And two things struck me when I made it down to Robert Duffy:


First: holy crap the guy is ripped. Look at that back muscle! That is the sort of muscle that a nine-year-old boy notices in his comic books and so starts adding to his own drawings of overly-muscled men and feels proud of himself for having paid attention to (like how I felt in 2nd grade when I discovered how to draw cheekbones by using slanty lines).

Second: This is wrong. Wrongy wrong wrong wrong.

Let me note here, for the record, that I am the sort of person who, when asked what she'd do if she won a million dollars in the lottery, would first take into account that about $550,000 of that would go to taxes. So being that sort of person, when I have dreams of being spotted on the street for my truly astonishingly amazing personal style of jeans and a cardigan, my imagination does not arrange for this to happen by The Sartorialist or Karl Lagerfeld or even Mr. Jacobs himself. In my mind, I am discovered by Robert Duffy, who is the business side of the MJ empire and someone who I think is awesome. So it is not with, like, schadenfreudian glee that I note that Robert looks totally photoshop-of-horrorsed here.

This notion was corroborated when I scrolled down a bit to the "hot anonymous dudes" section of the tshirts, and found a guy whose name reliably ends with -ico(note the sleeve), so here we have Rico or Nico or Serpico:


The man looks, you know, normal. Not normal in the "most people's bodies look like this" sense (because: not in my world). Rather, normal in the sense of his head was not photoshopped onto someone else's body and the designer accidentally kept the head a little too big and it looks sort of wrong. Like has happened to certain people who might or might not be the business brain of a fashion-and-lifestyle behemoth that likes to put its employees, naked, on t-shirts, to benefit skin cancer awareness.

Points for the skin-matching, though. I'm sure Frederico/Calico/Mexico completely appreciates how effectively his muscled physique was whitened to match the face of his literal corporate overlord.

Also, perhaps sadly, none of this will in the slightest deter me from buying future $1 Marc Jacobs rat-shaped keychains by the bucketload every time I need to impress people I don't like by buying them designery gifts. Or by lusting over the shoes. Or possibly buying one of the naked-Eva-Mendes tshirts. Because she is hot. Etc.

perfectly proportioned

In my teaching days, one of my favorite in-class tricks was explaining the difference of relative vs. absolute quantities. "Sixty percent of my friends wear ugly pants" and "Three of my friends wear ugly pants" each paint very different pictures of my social life (though, I don't know, which is worse: the idea of vast percentages of my acquaintances in icky trousers, or the idea that I have only four five friends? Now that I think of it I deeply hope neither is true.), and furthermore each without the other is a fairly meaningless commentary on the state of reality.

So pick your poison: This Bottega Veneta dress is on sale for $936 less than its original price or This Bottega Veneta dress is 40% off.

Either way it is still fourteen hundred dollars for a freaking dress.



Albeit a painfully beautiful cashmere blend, silk-lined dress in my favorite silhouette of all time with really kickassedly awesome oversized hook-and-eye closures in the back that might or might not be available in my size but nevertheless due to the fact that it basically, with shipping and the inevitable dry-cleaning bill required due to its whiteness, costs two months rent*, is not something I will ever have a rational or financially sound reason to own.

*or, put another way, one-sixth of my annual expenditure on shelter.

4.23.2008

Today's Bad Karma

Discovery: RSS feeds are really great for when you have an ambivalent relationship to a certain person and want to read their blog in order to feel superior to them, but do not want to give them fodder for their sitemeter and thereby increase their blog-driven self-worth.


At the present time there are no people about whom I feel this way or to whom I do this. But I am filing this little insight away for the inevitable necessity of its implementation.

Did you catch my kickass use of non-preposition-ending phrases in that above paragraph? God. I would totally date me if I were not me, yet still had all my current characteristics, and I-as-me still existed along with I-as-not-me. It could happen?

4.22.2008

Vignette: Rules

Two things that I said today, in two different internet-conversations, with two different people, without at any point realizing that oh christ, I am that girl. Except for now, when I just realized it:

(1) Re these shoes:
me: i think it is morally reprehensible to spend more than $20 on flipflops
me: unless the actual resale value of the raw material exceeds that amount

(2) Re this dress:
me: i categorically refuse to spend more than $45 for a piece of jersey
me: and even that is generous

4.21.2008

Cookbook Arbitrage: Redux, Reuse, Recycle

While we do tend to return to certain themes here on RSGo (food, grammar, fashion, and chicken nuggets chief among them), it is rare that a particular topic will outlive an interest arc of a week or so (see also: twins, olsen + pants, hostess + blue, prussian). This is probably because I, like you, live in a short-attention-span culture where we consume information in bite-sized morsels from which we extract as much info-nutrition as we can and then (let's take the metaphor there) digest and expel within, I don't know, eight or so hours, or maybe fourteen to thirty-six if we are not eating enough fiber or have been traveling a lot.

This is all by way of introduction to the fact that it was quite a while ago that I single-handedly invented the greatest financial strategy of all time, namely: Cookbook Arbitrage, in which one takes advantage of the completely stupid* simultaneous printing of list prices in various national currencies on a single copy of a particular book in order to become a bajillionaire and retire in luxury on a boat entirely filled with tuna tartare and a very large refrigeration mechanism and some anti-mercury-poisoning tablets.

The book which I originally used to illustrate this point is a delightful cookbook which has positively languished on my Amazon wishlist, coughcoughcough, entitled Breakfast Lunch Tea, which oddly Amazon.com seems to no longer have in stock, although Anthropologie does, which probably says something about the preciousness of this cookbook, though perhaps nothing too surprising when you consider that this is after all the cookbook of a precious Parisian bakery run by a precious lady and published by a precious publishing company BUT ANYWAY ON WITH THE POINT OF ALL OF THIS WHICH IS:

When I wrote that brilliant post on the eve of the first night of Passover, 2007, which, according to the Jewish calendar, was almost exactly a year ago today (actually it is a year and three days, which is damn close enough for an accident), I was positing that this was a brilliant investment given a then-staggering conversion rate of $1.34 to €1.00.

Do you know what? The United States dollar continues to be about as stable as Tom Cruise's marriage (badum-CHH!), and that dollar thirty-four that bought you a shiny one-euro coin back in the day? Will now buy you only eighty-four euro-cents**, my friend.

But what sucks for America means money in your - yes your! - pocket! Because, ladies and gentlemen, you will not believe your eyes, but publishers only very rarely change the price on the back of a book! And since it is likely that there were not dozens of print runs of Breakfast Lunch Tea, it is also likely that every copy out there still lists the same international price scale. And this means profit!

Let us make like a rap star who has a used cardboard box and follows recycling laws, and break this down:


If you buy Breakfast Lunch Tea at the still-holding-steady price of $29.95, and go sell it to a friendly European person for €29.95, and convert your euros back to dollars, what on April 3 2007 netted you $40.05 will now net you a whopping $47.65 as of 5:11pm EST on April 21 2008! Your 2007 return of 33.72% has gone up to an eye-rubbingly unbelievable 59.09%, which is, depending on how you measure it, and I have no idea which way is correct but in the course of doing these three very different calculations I totally learned how to issue fraudulent profit statements, either an 18.9% or 25.37% or 75.23% increase in profit over merely one Jewish year, which is way hella better than alpha, for sure.

Were you to decide to do this using British Pounds, you would find yourself turning $29.95 into $39.50, or with Canadian dollars $39.72, or with Australian dollars (pounds?) $47.10. Holy crap! Again, conveniently ignoring transaction costs! But do it at a high enough volume and those transaction costs just melt away anyway!

The moral of all of this is that even though reading my brilliant writing two-to-seventeen times a month really is its own reward, you are now afforded another way to profit from my undeniable brilliance. EVEN IF YOU HAD IGNORED ME THE FIRST TIME. Look at how nice and forgiving I am.




*I do realize that this is not an entirely stupid practice from, say, the printing-and-shipping efficiency standpoint of the publishing company. But still. There has got to be a better way.

**I am pretty sure they still call them "cents" when it comes to the Euro, but as I am a Stupid American I am actually not very sure, and would like to refer to them as centimes or something lovely and foreign, but I worry that my overreliance on France as the ur-European Union-country will alienate any readers I may have in, perhaps, Denmark or Slovenia. Assuming that Denmark and Slovenia are part of the EU. Which anyway the point is: I am going to call them euro-cents and you are going to know what I am talking about and we are all going to live happily ever after.

cookies aloft!

What do you get when you combine the Pope, the ancient exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt, and a weekend of bearded men insisting that they have Jedi powers?

Sadly we got no references to Ratzinger looking eerily like Emperor Palpatine, or the Pharaonic implications of nerd-hierarchies. But kudos (or, more accurately, cookies) to all six of you who tried your manly hands at my feeble attempt at outsourcing the writing of jokes.

For those of you whose addresses I don't have readily available, please send them to me. For everyone else, watch the mail for some sort of delectable cookiform treat.

It is worth noting that, while my weekend did not include any time spent in the company of the Pope, it did involve attendance at both Passover seders and el convencion de los comics. However, short of seeing the actual real-life bits&pieces of a real-life porn star as she leaned over to write something,* nothing is quite worth committing to an infinite life in the google archive.


*Whether this occured at seder or at Comic Con, I'll never tell.

4.18.2008

Mass and Measurability

Many years ago I went to a new doctor, and when in the course of vital statistics acquisition she weighed me, she marked off two pounds from the scale-given total because, back then, I had long thick hair that apparently had so much heft it would make a difference in whether or not she would admonish me for being a farm animal in the weight department.

This has stuck with me. By "this" I mean the notion that there are parts of the body that are not really "the body" that still, nonetheless, contribute to overall mass. Like, if I wanted to lose a quick couple of pounds, all I had to do was cut my hair!

But of course nothing is ever done in broad strokes here in the Helen household, where our official family crest is "Why Measure Things In Pounds When You Could Also Measure Things In Micrograms?!" which, in Latin, is "Sum Plene Rabidus." So of course I took my doctor's assessment of my own weight to heart and then started doing completely stupid things, like wondering how much weight I had lost in the process of, for example, blowing my nose.

Okay. Right here I really wanted to talk about how much snot weighs, and do some kind of convoluted analysis of how many cookies (or how much of one cookie) I could justifiably consume per sneeze given a desire to maintain mass equilibrium. But - stop the presses - the internet has failed me. Having googled every permutation of the words quantity, mucus, snot, ml, gram, sneeze, and weighs, I am coming up empty-handed. So, um, I called my dad. So here is an actual quote from a doctor about how much snot you get rid of when you sneze:

"Usually there's a teaspoon or so in there, but if you have a cold or an irritation, you can have up to an ounce or so--up to a tablespoon sometimes. Are you calling me from work?"

Thanks, Dad! A freaking ounce! That is a really really really hugely gigantic quantity of boogers! It is possible that I am a particularly ladylike and delicate sneezer, but I am pretty sure that this is not a snot-quantity I have ever achieved. Maybe manly steak-eating men regularly reach this, though, so I am not going to be too incredulous.

The convenient part is: someone else has already done the cookie part of the math, and it turns out that a package of Oreos (20oz) generally contains about 51 cookies (let's say 50).

Which means that one Oreo weighs 0.4 ounces.

Which means the largest sneezes contain more than two Oreos' worth of snot.

Which means every time you sneeze you can eat at least one Oreo without ANY RAMIFICATIONS AT ALL except for the happiness achieved by eating an Oreo.

I seriously feel right now as if I deserve some sort of Nobel Prize.

Next time: how many chicken nuggets can be consumed every time you trim your nails? Stay tuned!

Boy meets Helen?

Blame it on spring fever, but based pretty much entirely on his good natured bro-smile in this picture, I might be developing a little bit of a mortifying-yet-awesome celebricrush on the grown-up version of Boy Meets World star Ben Savage. Ben! Call me!

4.16.2008

convergence & cookies

This Sunday, in Manhattan, the following things occur:

1. New York Comic-Con
2. The second night of Passover*
3. A visit from the pope

Ten bucks -- or a cookie plus postage, whichever comes first -- to the person who most brilliantly synthesizes these three things.


*I realize that technically this happens everywhere. But the venn diagram of "everywhere" has a region in it that includes New York, so I am confident in the accuracy of this statement.

4.10.2008

vignette: girls vs. boys

while we're on the subject of new technologies...

me: she is a bad writer with bad ideas
me: if she were a good writer, or had good ideas, i would be ok
me: but she poorly expresses poorly thought-out notions
Adam: it's because the woman-with-ideas-generally-perceived-as-male does well
me: yeah
me: i was fucked the minute i started writing about clothes and shoes
me: i might as well just throw it all to the wind and insert a webcam into my uterus
me: OH GOD
me: THAT WOULD BE SO COOL
me: I WOULD TOTALLY DO THAT IF I WERE PREGNANT
me: HOW CAN WE MAKE THIS HAPPEN?

cakemail

I just got emailed a recipe for pecan-bourbon bundt cake.

I have given this some thought, and I have decided that I would prefer it if I had just been emailed the actual cake. I mean really. Someone needs to invent cake-emailing technology. Why do we not have this technology? We have the technology for facebook to tell the entire world that I just browsed a rifonkingdiculous pair of wedges that I would like to own very very much and make me wish my birthday were next week instead of in whatever infinity of months away it actually is. (note: 9. other note: I had to count that out on my hands.) We have this very annoying and useless and invasive technology. SO WHY IS IT THAT WE DO NOT HAVE THE POWER TO EMAIL SOMEONE A CAKE?

I ASK YOU THIS. WHAT IS THE DEAL, PEOPLE? WHERE THE HELL ARE OUR PRIORITIES.

In unrelated news, I have not eaten lunch yet. Also, perhaps in a future post, I will talk about how much I like the consonant placement in the word "bundt."

4.03.2008

Midnight in the hostess pants of good and evil

Faithful RSGo reader Kat (not the picture-demanding one, the other one) points out that on Wikipedia's Crayola crayon page, they indicate a fun fact:

Several colors have been renamed through the years, beginning with the 1958 renaming of "Prussian blue" to "midnight blue."

Nineteen fifty-eight. That is twenty-eight years before the birth of the Olsen twins. It is, however, about simultaneous with the heyday of hostess pants. Just sayin'.

dinner at per se

It has to be done. When you have dinner in New York's best restaurant, one of the most difficult-to-get reservations, you have to cast aside your hatred of food blogging and write about the meal. I'm not going to go into swooning detail of each garnish and placement (though believe me, each garnish and placement was plenty swoon-worthy), because other people have done it better.
Per Se is Thomas Keller's New York restaurant. Reservations are near-impossible and the menu is a $295/person prix fixe, service (famously) included. Yes, I've read the book. And the cookbook. And basically every review of the restaurant ever written. So I was maybe overprepared.

We started out in the bar, with gin & tonics. Per Se makes their tonic water in-house, and our server repeatedly pronounced it "quinn-ine" instead of what I say, which I am having a hard time writing phonetically without IPA characters but is basically "quwhy-nine," so now I am convinced that I have been pronouncing it wrong my entire life. So already, one drink order in, I have learned something from my Per Se experience. The g&t, btw, fwiw, was tremendous. Both in execution (one of the best I've had), and size (it was served in a pint glass).

The room is, well, the room. It is unexceptional. Or rather, it is exceptional in its ability to be unexceptional. One of the many Per Se Fun Facts is that there's no music playing, no art on the walls, no scents in the air -- nothing is to distract you from the food. But this is common knowledge. The light fixtures are fun: they look like they're growing out of the floor, but are in fact suspended between ceiling and floor, so that if an errant bathroomgoer rises from his seat ungracefully, the entire light fixture starts swaying in an incredibly obvious way. Not that this happened to me.

With various exceptions for non-red-meat-eaters and non-cheese-eaters and the like, the four of us basically all ordered the chef's tasting menu. An amuse bouche of gruyere gougeres (look, call me insane, but the servers said it "gougeres," like it's spelled, instead of "gougere," like it'd be pronounced in French, so now I feel that if the highly-trained servers at the most highfalutin restaurant I've ever been to don't bother with the French pronunciation, I sure as hell won't either.), and then the mega-famous cornet of salmon tartare and red onion creme fraiche, followed by the equally mega-famous Oysters & Pearls (caviar, buttery tapioca, malpeque oysters), and followed by the salad course. Another Per Se lesson: the salad course can be replaced with the foie gras course. Two of the four of us ordered the foie gras supplement (one torchon [not me], and one seared [me]). After we'd finished our dishes, Mr. I'll-Have-The-Torchon grandiosely declared that he had ordered the better foie gras. He was extremely incorrect.

Amazing thing: The torchon of foie gras was served with a huge slice of warm toasted brioche. A few minutes after we were served, a server replaced the half-eaten slice with a new, fresh slice. "Just in case it got cold." This is the sort of thing that happens at Per Se.

Next was sable. I am categorically as in capable of describing sable without using the word "silky" as I am able to say "roman a clef" without prefacing it with "thinly-veiled." The sable was, indeed, silky. And crispy on the outside. And served over a grainy mustard sauce with apples and cauliflower. And awesome.

Post-sable came the duck, Pekin-style, (Mr. B: "Why isn't there a G?" Me: "[blather about swallowed consonants in transliteration]." Universe: "Shut up, Helen."), avec preserved kumquat and jerusalem artichoke.

I am forgetting a course.

There was beef -- a particular cut of steak, a particular provenance, a particular preparation -- that escapes me. It was served (oh spring!) with asparagus and morel mushrooms (the non-red-meat-eater's lobster did have, oh my, wild ramps), a tater-tot-esque cylinder of beef marrow (swoon), and a puree of potatoes and cream.

The course I forgot was a scallop. It might have come before the duck. It was another surpremely springly preparation: peas and a minty hollandaise-y sauce (with an -aise name of its own that for the life of me I cannot recall at the moment, even though when it was said I had this flash of "I know what that is!" and I am going to blame my failing memory on either the pint of gin & tonic or the grievous onset of old age).

Once all this was through we transitioned to dessert via the cheese course -- Brillat Savarin (a soft cows-milk cheese vaguely reminiscent of brie, named after the late eighteenth/early nineteenth-century gastronome whose biography I started to tell at the table and then I checked myself because honestly, Helen, shut up. So instead I reiterated my favorite food fact, which is the one about butyric acid, and perhaps that was inappropriate considering that we were at table.) with rhubarb, celery, and pink pepper. This gave way to the "Shirley Temple," sour-cherry bread pudding with ginger sorbet and a grenadine reduction, which was followed by the sweet finish: pain perdu with English breakfast sorbet and whipped creme fraiche for me and the other foie gras consumer, a variation on a milles-crepes for Mr. B (crepes layered with pastry cream), and the Per Se take on the classic montblanc for the final of the four.

And then there was a selection of chocolates (pomegranate, lemon, bourbon, aspice, pear, banana, two i don't recall). And then there were candies and treats. And then we were all given little packets to take home of what appear to be supremely fancy granola bars, which are sitting next to me right now and mocking me with their attractiveness, but I am going to wait until after lunch. And then there was the check, which came in under what I feared it would be but was still - with wine and tax - equivalent to more than two months' rent.

At this point it is worth noting some things.

First: the portions. They are teensy weensy. The entire piece of seared foie gras that I was served would be a single bite, maybe two, were it a hamburger or a steak. The duck and beef were single slices, maybe an ounce -- two ounces at most -- and the garnish would take the form of two or three precisely-placed slices of kumquat. The bread pudding in the "Shirley Temple" and the piece of pain perdu were rectangles each of approximately one inch on their longer sides. The gargantuan proportion of this meal was its breadth, not its depth. A little bit of a very lot. Word on the street is that the average serving size is one and a half tablespoons.

Second: the breads. You have a choice of bread throughout the meal and one of them is rye bread made with riesling and duck fat. This sounds like it will be the best bread in the history of the univers. Unfortunately, it is not all its ingredients promise. Much better were the sourdough made with potato, or the whole wheat with sea-salt. You also have a selection of two butters -- one from California and one from Vermont -- which led to much flashing of east-side and west-side gang signs whenever the butter needed to be passed.

Third: the service. Was impeccable. There were lots of people attending to our table, and I was fairly sure which of our half-dozen attendants was the captain, but I wouldn't stake my life on it. Still, everyone was friendly and nice. We kept being in the middle of wildly inappropriate conversations whenever a particular nice lady came by. Some sample sentences that she walked in on:

"David Burke fucking sucks."
"The easiest way for me to fall asleep at night is with lots of drugs."
"Vagina" (That one was Mr. B, and he was saying it in Spanish. Vaheena.)

I think she liked us. Who wouldn't?