My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, please visit:

and update your bookmarks.

Friday, November 30, 2007

What About the Running, You Say?

I'm not sure what happened with my running routine. I went into hibernation, I think. I got a bit sidetracked, I admit.

The real truth is, I got cold during all that gray rain we had last week, and the white snow that landed on my sidewalk this week.

I hate being cold. In fact, I'm looking forward to a hot flash or two when menopause hits, just to warm up.

But then it hit me: I live in Bend, and it's cold in the winter. This problem won't go away for months. I've got to figure out how to deal with it.

I think I need one of those runner's masks I've heard about to save my lungs from the freeze. And maybe I need some real winter running clothes, instead of my $8 cotton lounge pants from Ray's. I saw some in my REI sale magazine that came in the mail yesterday. Under Armor. That's what I need.

So, maybe I have to buy stuff to run? That seems ridiculous. There's a neighbor lady who runs by our house every day. She is not chubby. I think it's because she runs every day. She does not have a mask, and her clothes look regular.

We call her "pony-tail lady," because she has a long pony-tail that swings around when she runs. She seems friendly and smiles at us when she sees us. We smile back. Such a friendly, swingy pony tail. I look forward to seeing her. It's part of my morning routine, which consists of sitting in my soft chair drinking coffee and looking out the window.

She's one of those runners who makes it look effortless. As if she just wakes up, puts on the shoes, and could happily run for hours and hours. I think she must love running.

I wish I could be that way. Maybe I should grow my hair out into a long, swingy pony-tail. That wouldn't cost me a dime, and all that extra hair might keep me warmer, too. And maybe I could be part of someone else's morning routine. It's good to give back.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Car Talk

I love Click and Clack, also known as Tommy and Ray Magliozzi. They are the "Car Talk" guys with a radio show on NPR.

They crack me up. Sometimes when I'm driving on a Sunday and I hear them, I laugh so hard I get tears in my eyes and think I should pull over. They might be more dangerous than cell phones, actually. Maybe they shouldn't be allowed on car radios, for safety's sake. They should just be on house radios, I think.

The thing is, I love them, but I don't even like cars. I mean, sure, I like having a car, and I like driving in cars, but I don't care too much about fixing cars. I don't' even know what a chassy is. I don't even know how to spell it. But I love them anyway, because they make me laugh and they really are trying to help people. They're so noble that way, it's touching.

I don't care about cars the way I care about things like cute shoes, puff paint, good art and brownies. What I mean is, I'm sort of neutral on cars.

I dated a guy once who loved cars. He had a 1965 Mustang convertible. I remember the date because that was the year I was born. He tried to teach me to "date" all the Mustangs we saw by memorizing all the different chrome thingies that were different each year. All I remember about his car is that it was red, and it was fun to put the top down on a nice day. I felt a little like Princess Grace, except we were in St. Paul, Minnesota at the time.

After I broke up with him (since I didn't want to "date" cars after all) I moved to Palo Alto and went on a few dates with a successful start-up entrepreneur. This was back in 1990, when these guys actually had real money, not just paper money. This guy was nice, but he thought I'd be impressed with his new car, too. I tried to tell him I didn't care about cars. I think he thought I was being coy, to show him I wasn't after his money.

On our third date, he made a point of telling me he'd pick me up in his new car. After 20 minutes, when he could stand it no longer, he asked if I liked the car. "Oh, sure," I said, "What kind of car is this, a Toyota?"

It was a Lexus. One of the first ones, maybe, but I really have no idea. He had to explain how cool the car was, without saying how much it cost, because clearly if I didn't care about cars, I surely didn't want someone bragging about how much they spent. That's just bad manners.

I pretended I was super impressed, but he knew I could care less. He was nice, but I really didn't want his money, or his car. Last I heard, he married an accountant.

I think the only time I've been awed by a car was down in California, driving around in my friend Steve's vintage Porsche 911. Of course I can't remember what year. It was white, and bubbly, in that Volkswagon sort of way. I liked it because it was so cute, and the leather was soft and it seemed like a car Grace Kelly would drive, top or no top (I mean, the car top, of course.)

Maybe I liked that car so much because Steve had several Porsches, and I could compare them. But I certainly never "dated" them by their chrome thingies. And maybe I liked it because Steve wasn't into the Porsches for the status. He was a total car geek, but in a charming sort of way, like Click and Clack.

Steve lived in a funky old house that always needed work, but he collected old Porsches and fixed them up, all shiny and perfect. He drove me around in these fabulous cars and told me I should consider being a race car driver, since I liked Porsches so much.

And now here I am in Oregon. My husband drives his dad's 1998 Volvo Sedan. His dad got it from his grandpa, and when his dad bought a new Toyota, we got Grandpa's Volvo. We were thrilled, because now we have two cars. We got another hand-me down Volvo from Dad and Grandpa 15 years earlier, but the leaky trunk eventually rusted under the leaky carport in Eugene's perpetual rain, and we eventually traded it in for our station wagon.

We bought our Volvo station wagon back in 1999 right before the stock market bubble burst (at least I got the car.) My husband said we could get a new one, but it seemed so...conspicuous, so I picked the 1997 model. I liked the color better anyway, plus it was $20k cheaper, and I do like a bargin. Fine with him. He never "dated" cars much, he was more interested in dating me. That's why he won.

Check out Click and Clack. I hope you love them as much as I do:

Friday, November 23, 2007

Trader Joe's = Instant Party

I called my friend Darcy today and told her to come over to my house. I told her to bring her children, and her husband, and her mother, and any cousins or in-laws who might be hanging around. I told her I would be serving a mini-feast of assorted wines, gourmet cheeses, some dried fruit medleys, and even a little "Vintage Tawny Port," for a crowd.

No, I didn't win the lottery in order to throw this lavish holiday weekend soiree. And no, I don't have a new job yet, either. I went to Trader Joe's when I was in Eugene for Thanksgiving. I can make a fabulous party for cheap when I shop there.

I love that guy, Trader Joe. He picks the best stuff, and sells it to me for a song. I'm surprised I don't hear more singing in the aisles when I'm there. It seems there could be more dancing, too. I mean, seriously, the fancy cheese is twice as much at Safeway, and I don't even open the $3 buck "yuck" other stores sell to people like my tight-wad husband. But the $3-$4 wine at Trader Joe's is pretty darn good.

I'm always shocked when the friendly Joe's cashier tells me my total, after cheerfully loading 6 bags into my cart. I pretend he gives me deep discounts every time I shop there because he has a secret crush on me, or that he must have forgetten to ring in a few bottles of wine, but after I go comb through the receipt again, I see the truth. It's just much cheaper to shop there.

I'm so excited about the new Trader Joe's opening up in Bend in early 2008. It makes me glad to live here, and gives me hope that I can stay here forever. As long as I can see the mountains, breathe clean air, and shop at Trader Joe's, I'll be okay.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Addicted to the dentist?

I've always been careful about my addictive tendencies. I've always known what happened in Vegas could very well stay in Vegas, with me behind bars, if I wasn't careful.

Thank goodness, I tend to worry about what other people think of me. This keeps me from jumping off the deep end with drugs and alcohol. In a nutshell, insecurity and the need for control keep me grounded.

The main reason I could be a drug addict though, is that I metabolize drugs very quickly. I'm talking about "regular" drugs like Advil, Vodka, and maybe an Ambien every once in a while, not illicit, illegal drugs. You think I'm joking, but I'm not. I've never used an illegal drug. Not even Pot. I'm not kidding. And I grew up in Eugene, so that's saying something.

The only other adult I know who hasn't smoked pot is my husband. I mean, he's the only one I'm sure hasn't. But people can't seem to lie if you ask them if they've ever smoked pot. Most people smile a little when you ask. I think they're wondering if I'm asking them if they want to smoke pot.

They usually say "well, college doesn't count, right?" Or they say "why, do you have some?" Or they just don't say anything, and get a bit of a worried look, like maybe god or their boss is listening. When I explain I never have, they laugh. They think I'm kidding. They keep waiting for the punch line. It's a good party trick, really, to watch their reaction.

The only reason my husband and I haven't smoked Pot is because we don't like smoking in general, and Pot is illegal, and we're super careful about rules, for some reason. I want Pot to be legal, for medicinal reasons, for the record. I always vote for it. But until then, nope. Can't do it.

My husband won't even cross the crosswalk at midnight when there's a red hand, and no cars around for miles. He just won't. It's like his feet won't move until that white hand shows up and says it's okay. It's like there are cement blocks on his feet that disappear as soon as he sees the white hand.

Maybe that's why I married him; I knew he wouldn't lie or cheat, or spend all our money on drugs. I'd rather save for nice shoes. Or diamond earrings. Still waiting for those...

But anyway, back to me and legal drugs. My favorite legal drug is nitrous oxide. I learned about it at the dentist. My teeth are sensitive. I think the dental hygienists used to think I was making that up so I could get high. But then they tried to work on my teeth without it and found that I literally jump out of the chair, and sometimes bat their hands away. Involuntarily, of course.

I try to make jokes about it, but it's hard to joke with someone who's just had her hand batted away from your mouth, especially if her job is to put her hand in your mouth. Its not like I bite her or anything. I just yell "ow," move her hand and sit up. It's a little disconcerting for her, I suppose.

I doubt they teach those nice people how to handle this sort of thing at hygienist school. Especially from a middle aged housewife who seems so normal when she first sits in your chair and asks you about your kids and your dog, in such a normal, regular way. I think I just catch them by suprise when I grab their wrists so unexpectedly. I can't help it. It embarasses me too, I assure you.

One smart dentist figured out that if he gave me nitrous, I'd get my teeth cleaned every six months, and wouldn't bother his staff so much. If he didn't, I'd wait 2 years. He was a good business man, I think.

When I moved to Bend, I was worried some random, new dentist wouldn't believe my sensitive teeth story, so I avoided going for nearly three years. Thank goodness for me, I have excellent teeth. I mean, really excellent, straight teeth and good gums. Otherwise, I'd be strung out on nitrous all the time. And I haven't had dental insurance in years, so we'd probably be bankrupt just from the $100 for the nitrous every time I'd have to go in for a bad case of gengivitus. I'm so lucky.

One dentist needed to fill a tiny little cavity once about ten years ago. He gave me Novocain. It didn't take. He gave me more. It sort of took. He gave me a tad more, and said I'd be fine. I was fine for the first ten minutes. Right in the middle of the drilling, it wore off. I'm not kidding. I wouldn't make that up, it was Novocain, not nitrous. He said he couldn't give me any more, it was too dangerous, I might overdose. Is that possible?

I'll tell you about dangerous...oh. my. god. I felt like punching the poor guy, and I'm not really a puncher. Never again. I've never had a cavity since, thank goodness. No more sugar in tea, or hard candy for me, can't risk it.

So all the new dentists started giving me nitrous, and I was just fine. Except it wears off after 10 minutes. I always tell the hygienist to hurry up and start picking plague right after she turns on the gas. For some reason they always want to chit chat with their friends. Sure enough, halfway through the cleaning, when I start clawing at the arm rest and jumping out of the chair, they start believing me when I say it's wearing off.

The smart ones just turn it up a notch. The dumbs one say "that's so weird, I wonder why it wore off so quickly?" I try not to go back to them. I'd hate to have to grab their wrists or punch them.

This is why I don't do Meth or cocaine, or pot, or even drink to excess. It's just not worth it. I know the buzz will just lasts a few minutes, and those drugs, and good vodka, are just too expensive for that tiny window.

Why would I waste my money? Or my life? I just don't think I'm the type to use drugs for a long-term escape from realtiy. I'd have such a narrow window of time for the escape, and then BAM, I'd be right back where I started, just broke with a headache. I think I'm too practical to be a true addict.

But a little nitrous at the dentist a couple times a year? Well, I think I'm due for another cleaning.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Under the Weather

I'm under the weather. I guess that means I'm sick. I'm not sure where that phrase comes from and why it means I'm sick. If the weather is good, and I'm not, I can understand that being under it is bad. But the weather's kinda crappy today. Cold, gray, windy, kinda shivery. Sort of how I feel, actually.

I didn't even feel like drinking coffee this morning, which is a big deal for me. Two of my best things in life are climbing into my good bed at night, and getting up for coffee in the morning. They go hand in hand, I think. I like to have things to look forward to.

If I stay in bed all day, there isn't that much to look forward to. This is one reason I keep busy all day, and one reason being sick is such a drag for me. It takes away the fun of going to bed.

Sometimes, if I'm too busy for too many months, I wish I could stay in bed and watch TV. But then, if I do, I remember it's only fun for about two hours. After that, I get antsy, and start complaining about how there aren't enough good shows, and I get bored.

If I drink coffee all day, coffee isn't as special; plus, I get jittery with too much coffee, and I get a stomach ache, and don't feel as kindly toward the coffee. I don't like to be mad at my coffee, since coffee is such a good friend to me.

At night, right before I get into my beloved bed, I walk around the house and turn off the lights. When I see my friendly coffee pot on the counter, right before I turn out the kitchen light, I smile at it. I get a little sweet feeling about that coffee pot, knowing I will see it in the morning and pour some nice, dark, rich coffee out of it and into my cup. That coffee pot has been very good to me.

Which is why being under the weather is so sad for me in so many ways. Being tired of my bed by 10:00 a.m. and unable to drink my coffee really bums me out.

My life is so hard, it almost makes me cry.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Rethinking Thin - By Gina Kolata

So, it turns out my new best friend, Gina Kolata from the NY Times, is actually pretty cool and here is why (besides the fact that her name rhymes with Pina Colada):

#1: I emailed her to tell her I liked her article and she emailed me right back! I'm always surprised when that happens.

Writers are nice that way. I think they're so happy that people actually read what they wrote, that they have to respond. Except when I wrote to Laura Ingalls Wilder when I was 9 to tell her how much I loved her books, and she didn't answer back.

My mom told me she was dead, and I burst in to tears. My mom thought I knew, since Laura and Mary were pioneer girls, and the dates were right there in the book. Boy, did she feel bad. I just wasn't really thinking that Laura would have been around 120 years old, or so, when I was 9. I thought she was maybe my grandma's age. I think my grandma was about 56 then.

But back to Gina Kolata: She did not even brag about how fabulous she is in real life. So, I Googled her.

#2: Lo and behold, she was on Comedy Central talking with Stephen Colbert. She looked very smart and funny on t.v.

Maybe she could be Colbert's Vice President? Oh wait, he quit. Damn. Can you imagine how much easier it'd be for America if our president could just get North Korea to laugh a little? Not snicker, but actually laugh?

But anyway, back to Gina Kolata ("and getting caught in the rain..."):

#3: She wrote a book called "Rethinking Thin: The New Science of Weight Loss--and the Myths and Realities of Dieting." I have not read it, but I think it is about being healthy, embracing the chub, and so forth and so on.

And she thinks it's okay to be chubby, and she's not chubby, so she isn't just saying that to make herself feel better, like I am. I can justify my chub all the way to the moon and back. I'd lighter on the moon, right?

I did not know about Gina Kolata's book when I said she was my best friend. If I were more organized, I would sign my blog up for Amazon and plug her book for my own financial gain, but instead I will just tell the world to go buy the book because she is nice and funny and smart.

Those are my three biggest criteria for best friends. Plus, they need to laugh at my jokes. Why have them around otherwise?

Here's Gina Kolata talking to Mr. Colbert. You have to watch an ad first, just ignore it. Then she'll come on next.

See, I told you she's nice. I'm so lucky I found her!

I was so busy working on this today, that I forgot to go running. Oops. Maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Embrace the Chub!

Ah, sweet vindication...

I was delighted to read the front page article in the Bend Bulletin today titled "Health Nuts Give Chubby Another Look" while I was eating my Kashi GoLean crunchy Fiber Twigs cereal.

Apparently, being up to 25 pounds over weight isn't so bad for you after all. The writer, Gina Kolata of the New York Times, is my new best friend, I think.

She says "Chubby, it turns out, may be the new healthy. Is it the new beautiful, too?"

Yes, Gina, yes, yes, yes!

I named this blog The Chubby Mommy Running Club on purpose. In my own way, I'm embracing my softie self, and pointing out the reality of many 42 year old American moms. I'm not advocating obesity, and I'm not putting down thinness.

I'm saying I'm chubby, and I'm healthy, and it's okay.

Here are some quotes I found through links at Wired Magazine's Blog ( ) on this subject.

I think Wired is super cool, hip, and happenin' and of course I just pull out the quotes that I like, and which support my view. Duh, that goes without saying, right?

...having a little extra weight actually seemed to help people survive some illnesses - results that baffled several leading health researchers.

"This is a very puzzling disconnect," said Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of preventive medicine at Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital. "That is a conundrum."

Being merely overweight - having a BMI between 25 and 30 - did not increase the risk of dying from heart disease or any kind of cancer.

University of South Carolina obesity researcher Steven Blair, who says people can be fat and fit, is a believer. He called the report a careful and plausible analysis...

I think JoAnn Manson of Harvard needs to stop worrying about the puzzling disconnect conundrum, and I think Steven Blair is my other new best friend.

Here's the truth: some of my best friends are thin. It's not their fault, and I'm not mad at them.

In fact, I married a tall, skinny man. He's 6'6 and weighs 175 pounds. He can't really help it, he was born that way. Well, that's not true, actually. He was 23" long and weighed 7.5 pounds when he was born. He got taller and heavier as he got older.

I think I was born with the chubby gene. I've seen pictures of myself when I was five. I was chubby.

No one gives my husband diet tips, though. When he goes out for beer with his friends, they don't discuss eating and exercising strategies, and lament on how they want to lose at least 5 pounds before their birthday. They just accept him for who he is.

I wish my chubby girlfriends and I could accept ourselves. I wish America could. I wish, I wish...

I'm not advocating unhealthy lifestyle and obesity. I'm saying chub is not a dirty word. Unless your a Jr. high school boy who just discovered the phrase that means...well, you know what it means. And that's not really dirty, that's just nature.

Nature vs. Nurture? You be the judge, but if you're a bit pudgy, embrace the chub, and spread the word!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Marvelous Sally Heatherton, Where are you?

Speaking of Susan Taylor and Awbrey Butte, has anyone heard from Sally Heatherton lately?

Some Bend blog readers may recall her sad, but hilarious story. She started her blog a couple of months ago to explain her view of what was really going on up on the "Butte." She said that nice people like herself who lived on Awbrey didn't dislike Susan Taylor, they just didn't want to see her clean laundry hanging outside on a clothesline. Especially since the blatant clothes hanging act was against the clearly stated CC&R's of the upscale neighborhood.

Sally was a successful realtor here in Bend, according to her, and, well, things just went from bad to worse for Sally and her husband, Bob the Builder. Last we heard, she left Bob, moved to Portland, and put her Awbrey Butte house on the market.

Then, it seems, her blog got hacked, and someone put pictures of scantily clad women up there, which must be very embarrassing for Sally. I think the women look tacky. I wonder how many Black Rope Martinis they had?

Here is Sally's blog:

We'd all like to think Sally's real, since she's so nice, but most of us fear she's someone's parody of Bend's ongoing struggle with over-priced housing in a national real estate market slump.

If Hollywood's looking for a new screenplay, since all their writers are on strike, Sally's story would be a marvelous movie. If only we could find her!

Someone must know something about Sally.


Why Neil Young makes Me Cry

Neil Young - "Rust Never Sleeps" Pocahontas Lyrics

Aurora borealis
The icy sky at night
Paddles cut the water
In a long and hurried flight
From the white man
to the fields of green
And the homeland
we've never seen.

They killed us in our tepee
And they cut our women down
They might have left some babies
Cryin' on the ground
But the firesticks
and the wagons come
And the night falls
on the setting sun.

They massacred the buffalo
Kitty corner from the bank
The taxis run across my feet
And my eyes have turned to blanks
In my little box
at the top of the stairs
With my Indian rug
and a pipe to share.

I wish a was a trapper
I would give thousand pelts
To sleep with Pocahontas
And find out how she felt
In the mornin'
on the fields of green
In the homeland
we've never seen.

And maybe Marlon Brando
Will be there by the fire
We'll sit and talk of Hollywood
And the good things there for hire
And the Astrodome
and the first tepee
Marlon Brando, Pocahontas and me
Marlon Brando, Pocahontas and me

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Movie Stars

I met the actors and I went to their first big party last night at McMenniman's. There are bunch of them in Bend now. Actors, producers, directors, voice talent, makeup artists, and even some of those "key grip" type people. I didn't ask what key grips do, but I will. How many keys really need gripping in a movie, anyway?

Apparently, moving from Hollywood to Bend is becoming a trend. Imagine. Trading smog for snow. They want to live here, and they want more movies to be made here so they don't have to fly back to the dreaded city of Angeles to go to work.

So they made a nice non-profit called Film Oregon Alliance: where they can network and organize. Seems there are over 200 people here in Bend signed up already. And they have a business plan and everything. Actors are smart. Some of them just play dumb on T.V.

The thing about actors is they're fun. I'm sure some of the super-duper movie stars can be a pain, but all that starvation and plastic surgery can't be much fun, and I'd be crabby too if I were a super star.

But the regular actors, the working guys and gals who plug along for years making movies and T.V. who are here today and here tomorrow, they're fun. They have the "goofball" gene, which is the biggest compliment I can give anyone. If you take yourself too seriously, you're boring.

I like these actors and writers. I'm glad we've got so many here. I wish some of them would write a sit-com about the clothesline issue on Awbury Butte. Seems like some good material in there, for a Wednesday night show. Maybe it'd be a drama, though, not a comedy.

I wonder who'd play Susan Taylor. Julia Roberts did such a nice job in that Erin Brakovich movie, she'd probably capture the clothesline neighborhood angst thing pretty well. Maybe even earn another Oscar.

I'd like to be a key grip on that job!
By the way, the photo of two famous actors, above, was taken by Bonnie Morrissey, a famous photographer.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Ooops! I forgot to diet...

I got on the scale this morning. The good news is I haven't gained any pounds. The bad news is, I haven't lost any. Two weeks ago I promised myself I'd lose ten pounds before my birthday. My birthday's in ten days.

I don't usually lie to myself. I prefer to think of this lack of pound loss and a broken promise as more of a misunderstanding.

Seriously, I just forgot.

Maybe I could lose five pounds before my birthday. Maybe if I start running every day again, that would help. And I haven't eaten any Halloween candy in about...23 hours. If I stop eating candy and start exercising, you never know. It could happen.

I'll tie a string around my finger, and hopefully by the end of the week, it will be loose.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Licorice Martini

I just made a new drink: Licorice Liqueur with vodka. Stirred, not shaken. I think it is my new favorite drink. I think I will name it "Black Rope Martini." But if anyone has a better name, please share.

I let my husband taste it. He made a face like a 5 month old baby makes when you give it strained spinach for the first time.
He said "That's terrible!" and his arms went up in shock and surrender, and he shuddered, like a kid who has to take nasty medicine that has a bad after taste.

Good. More for me.

I haven't had vodka at home in about 4 months, and I keep hearing about Martha Stewart's festive Halloween cocktails with black vodka, so I decided to get some. In honor of her. She works so hard on those holiday parties for her magazines, it's the least I can do.

So, at 1:00 p.m. on Halloween, shortly before the children were due home for a fun-filled evening of begging for candy, I went to Ray's Market.

Ray's is great. It's a high-end grocery store where you can buy broccoli, bread, gourmet salad dressing, milk, and close-out chubby mommy sweat pants for $6. But Ray's has a wonderful secret bonus: a fully stocked liquor store in the back corner, with its own separate door. This is handy for people like me who still feel a certain shame about driving up to an icky, low-life liquor store in some non-descript mini-mall looking for vodka 'cause she's too cheap to go out to bars.

Ray's is nice. It's a tiny bit snobbish. It has those wonderful cement floors that have been stained dark burgundy and polished. It has an amazing wine selection. It almost smells like Wild Oats, in that organic, high-end vegetarian way. And the check out lines are short.

Alas, Ray's liquor store was all out of black vodka. I should have shopped for it weeks ago, apparently.

So I asked the girl at the counter if she had anything black I could put in a martini. We looked and looked, and she finally found this Licorice Liqueur on a very low shelf, at ankle level. "This might be black..." she said, as she swished it around and tried to look through the dark bottle. It was the best she could do.

It was 1:20, at this point, and I still had to buy leeks for my potato-leek soup, make the soup for my party later, and get my husband some lunch, since he's working so hard on our start-up company. So I bought that Licorice Liqueur and zoomed home with his hot slice of pepperoni from Pizzacato, the fancy-schmanzy pizza place next to Ray's.

I'm nice that way. I buy him special lunch sometimes. "I'll get you some lunch," I say, as I run out the door, on my secret mission to look for black liquor. "I'll work on that business plan when I get home. And I'll do the dishes, so don't worry. You just keep programming..." I'm so helpful and nice and such an indispensable helper in this start-up business. And I get half when we sell to Google for $16 Billion.

I was going to take my Licorice Liqueur and vodka over to my friend Marla's house so we could have martinis while our husbands took the kids out to beg for candy. It was going to be a surprise hostess gift. But for some weird reason, I got sleepy, and didn't feel like drinking much. So I brought her the potato leek soup, drank some of her red wine and called it a night.

I didn't even try the Licorice Liqueur until tonight, which is no longer Halloween, but is officially All Saints Day. So in honor of the saints (is there a patron saint of Licorice?) here's my new famous recipe for a "Black Rope Martini:"

Get the vodka out of the freezer. Pour some in a martini glass. Pour in some Licorice Liqueur. Swish it around with a clean fork. Viola and yum.

If you have two or three, you may understand the "black rope" part of the name. It would be very un-ladylike of me to talk about it on my blog.

I will be serving this at all my parties now.

It's kind of black and it's kind of purple at the same time. It is a marvelous brew, plus I like saying Licorice Liqueur. It seems like something Martha would say.

Cheers, and bottoms up!