Do you remember the film, RAINMAN? Dustin Hoffman won an Oscar for playing the autistic grown-up child of a wealthy Cincinnatian? Tom Cruise played his younger brother? Well, during the filming of that movie they did a scene at a hole in the wall joint across the river in Kentucky called Pompilios. I have ALWAYS wanted to try it but never an occasion or a memory to do so. Out of sight out of mind thing.
A handful of swimming buddies from my pool created an outing to the restaurant.
I always heard the food was ordinary but the place extraordinary. It was an attractive and LARGE space with an outdoor area for dining.
I ordered the lasagna because I believed that you cannot screw up lasagna, but apparently you can! But you go for the ambiance and the memories of the film shot inside their walls. Don’t go for the food! I wouldn’t go back, but I am so glad I went there. And remember, I am an EXTRAORDINARY food snob! So, I had friends that loved their meals there. But the other gal who had the lasagna felt the way I did. Maybe it was the lasagna.
Did I tell you I did a selfie with Cincinnati Bengal Giovani Bernard #25 at The Cincy Airport in KY?
And then I walked into Kroger’s and saw this of him!!!
My dad had a high school and college sweetheart that he adored and she lived in a neighborhood in Cincy called Glendale. After her family passed, which was part of the Proctor & Gamble family, she being a descendent of the Proctor’s. They took the family home and grounds and turned it into a park. My father walks daily in that park.
It is his new routine. 2-miles daily. I am so happy he is walking! I am happy he is walking in a park with a paved path instead of on the streets where he lives.
I met him one day with Dulce and it stormed something fierce.
So, we went back a few days later to my father’s oasis and walked. Dulce loved it! My dad was in heaven.
The great thing about living in an 18-story building with lots of friends is the feeling of a college dorm. I have so many lovely friends in this place and we all get along so well. There are troublemakers but those are the ones that aren’t fortunate enough to have created these kind of friendships and they have them among themselves, I think and hope, but they are a small minority and the rest of us relish our friendships here.
So, my friend Mary Lou, her DVR didn’t tape Castle. My DVR didn’t tape The Good Wife, and Jo’s DVR didn’t tape Revenge. So, what did we do? Jo went to Mary Lou’s for Revenge from 8-9. I went to Mary Lou’s from 9-10 for The Good Wife and Mary Lou came to my place from 10-11 for Castle. How cool and fun is that!
The next day they were doing an Asian Fest down in Washington Park. It was a dozen Asian vendors from around the city that set up tents for the community to try their food.
I LOVE, ADORE, RELISH, CRAVE Asian food. I ate sushi for breakfast, lunch and dinner when I visited Tokyo years ago. I was like a pig in mud. Happy, Happy, Happy.
I tried some new, different and unexpected delights.
Sesame dumplings. Sweet, delicious from Yat Ka Mein.
Also from there were Curry wantons. Imagine chicken curry in a crunchy wanton. Very tasty.
A Vietnamese church made an egg pancake/omelet that had shrimp, veggies and a sweet sauce on top that was really tasty.
My law school buddy, classmate, and all around sweetheart of a guy named David opened up Pho Lang Thang, which were by far the longest lines at the event. Best Vietnamese in town. Ask ANYONE!!!
Here is the link to David’s joint!
He was telling me about the church food and some lady not knowing who he was came up behind us and was talking about his restaurant and explaining the food he was serving. So funny. If she only knew!!! He being a classy soul didn’t say a word.
All in all, it was a fun filled Asian food day. I went with my neighbors Joan and Charlie who love Asian food like I do!
And we shared the food so we could try more, but we all got second helpings of the Sesame Dumplings. Yum!
Then I went home and realized that I had a book fair coming up in 3 weeks and I had a novel that I needed to finish writing, editing and send to the publishers, so they could proof it and hope I could get it out in time. I REALLY wanted the book for the Fair. So, I went into serious writing mode. I would sit down at 8 or 9 in the morning and write all day till 5-ish and with an hour break in the center to eat lunch and give my brain a break. Then I would walk Dulce and sit back down at 6, 7 or 8pm and write till 10,11 or 12 am. When I finally finished the book, which tends to write itself, so you can’t rush it. It is going to be as long as it is going to be. I had to shelf it for 24 hours and come back to it with fresh eyes and edit the thing. THAT was another 3-days of 9-5pm, sitting and working away. Finally, it was ready to be properly proofed by the editors, and then published. One problem. I could not come up with a title I liked or found fitting or grabbing. I had everyone playing with titles. I asked friends, neighbors, and strangers for titles.
Finally, I came up with one. THE WEBS WE WEAVE and that is what I used. It is on amazon.com. Check it out. Pass it on….
I did take two food breaks during that long writing and editing period, but it was hard for me because my head was in the book and I felt guilty taking the break, but I had to eat.
The first was Gabby’s in Wyoming with my Aunt Barbara who I love dearly. I never used to like Gabby’s, but I discovered that they have the best chicken wings in Cincy! I love their wings.
Then I needed some home cooked meals.
I made a zucchini quiche, which I love! Sautee onions and zucchini in butter with oregano, basil and parsley. Pull off the heat. In a separate bowl mix 2 eggs and a white cheese, like muenster or Swiss cheese together and then toss the zucchini mixture into the egg and cheese mixture, toss it and put it into a pie shell and bake @ 350 for 25 minutes or until ready. Guaranteed hit!
And I tried a Chicken Thai soup! It contained chicken, broth, spinach, coconut milk and an assortment of spices!
The next outing was with my friend Mary Lou to a place on the west side of town called Ron’s Roost. I usually go East and not West, but Mary Lou raved about their fried chicken. I wasn’t crazy about it but their award winning hot slaw with bacon was well worth the journey,
and the rooster on the building and the car outside made it doubly worth the journey.
For me, it echoed back to the BIG CHICKEN in Atlanta, which is an institution down there so that warmed my heart. Greatly!
I called Vivian and asked her if she wanted to see GONE GIRL with me. The ads for the movie were intriguing! It was playing next to a Dewey’s pizza in Kenwood. We bought our tickets and then went to Dewey’s for pizza. The wait was an hour!!!
We did something absurd, funny, and camera worthy. We ordered the pizza and sat in two chairs in the waiting area and we turned the cardboard box into a table and we ate our pizza in our laps. We didn’t have time to wait for a proper table. We were pretty psyched to have done it the way we did. Many people took pictures of us. But we were psyched because the couple in line behind us at the movies BROUGHT their Dewey’s pizza with them and the movie folks would not let them bring it into the theater. BUZZ KILL!!!
As for the movie, I had not read the book. It scared the crap out of me and made me realize THIS is why I never got married. I don’t think marriage gets that extreme but I think it does get bad. ALWAYS! It always or I would like to think/hope it starts out amazing but it always seems to turn sour! The amount of people I know that are happily married I can count on one hand and have fingers left over! So, now when people ask me why I am not married my response will be GONE GIRL!
If you have never been married and see that movie, you will NEVER EVER marry! And I wondered how many couples went home that night and crawled into bed with their spouses and slept with one eye open. All I can say is YIKES!!
I know, I know. I am such a happy-go-lucky, optimistic, glass half full, always looking at the bright side of things, but that marriage thing…I would love the perfect ending. I write about the perfect ending, but sadly I just don’t think it is out there! I wish a man could make me feel differently, but I have yet to meet him.
There is a wonderful book fair that comes to Cincy annually called BOOKS BY THE BANKS. It is at Duke Convention Center. It has authors giving talks about their books, talents, and how they got to be where they are!
The first boy I ever kissed. His little brother Josh Shenk was there with his latest title.
Books by the Banks is FREE and it is a great opportunity for folks to come meet authors and get their books signed! I went to a few fairs that were comparable in Florida and was able to hear Stuart Woods and David Balducci speak and they were fantastic and it was FREE!!!
Well, I volunteered to work the event for WCET, public TV. and my job was to be a “handler”. When I think of handler, I think of handlers for spies. I know I watch way too much television. But in this case it meant escorting a superhero named Super WHY around convention center. It was a lot of fun. It was my friend Dan who works at CET. In costume, he can’t see kids coming from left or right or little, little kids so I would tell him when they approached. The kids went WILD for him. It was adorable. Here he is getting ready!
I was in the room while he and other well-known characters got into their costumes with other handlers to help them dress. Look at this familiar fella!
THE MAKING OF A MONSTER
I met a family friend at French Crust, which is Jean Robert’s little breakfast joint. Yummy Capps and I tried a new dish, which was Scrambled egg with goat cheese, confit tomatoes and asparagus. It was on a croissant but every now and then I do follow the rules and avoid the bread. I didn’t dare try the coffee again because the last time I drank it was awful!!!!
That evening, I had a legal meeting at Maggiano’s in Kenwood Mall. I had never been! The portions seemed enormous, but it was a business meeting so they brought out large quantities of food.
We started with a large tossed salad. Then we had bruschetta, tomato caprese, and sausage and peppers.
That in and of itself was a lot of food. Then came the entrees. Chicken Parmesan, Chicken Piccata, and a pork dish that escapes me.
Dessert was a dark chocolate cake, but for me one of my serious weaknesses is Tiramisu. I love it!!! So, I ate rather healthy and that was my rationalization for the dessert. I could have eaten the whole plate full of Tiramisu, but I knew it would not be pretty or appropriate.
The next morning I did a mediation meeting downtown with my dear friends John and Jennie. It was a wonderful meeting and a wonderful excuse to sit with two friends and drink a Mexican Latte. LOVE those things!!!
It also made up for the fact that I had an owner’s meeting that evening.
We have a wonderful building. Wonderful people and then we have the pot stirrers. They came into this amazing community and are causing great turmoil. It is so hard to swallow. We are getting numerous complaints by residents feeling bullied, harassed, intimidated and the group marches on in a feeble attempt to control the building and for what purpose is beyond my comprehension. If it is NOT broken, DO not fix it. If you do not like it here or the people here, stop complaining and move to another place, but DO not bother, harass, intimidate, bully or attempt to force people to think your way. You are entitled to your views and I am entitled to mine. Why do you think, I should think the way you do? I am not a conformist! I think I came out of the womb as a non-conformist. It is unnerving to watch. Sad really. And yet, it makes those of us here who have great friends, great friendships, great love and respect for this building even closer and less tolerant of their deceptive and manipulative ways. They keep saying we need to respect them as they attempt to shove their backward ass creed down our throats.
You earn respect! You do NOT get it! You earn it! If you are not getting it, you need to re-evaluate what you are doing that is UNNERVING people and making them so disrespectful to you! Maybe you need to observe, maybe you need to be more mindful of other people, and maybe you need to put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
Here is the irony. A handful of people moved in here, angry, bitter, venting, pushing, plotting, and complaining and as a result they are not very liked except for those in the same predicament. Two couples moved in and embraced the building, the people, and we have ALL embraced them back. They love it here! We love them!
Here is the bottom line and it is REALLY easy folks! You get back what you put out. Put out bad vibes, meanness, and harshness it comes back to you. If you are a good-hearted, kind, genuine soul and are nice to others, usually people are nice back.
Why don’t these people get it????
It really ruffles my feathers some days! Can you tell? Thanks for listening to me vent!
After being stuck on Mitchell Avenue in horrible construction traffic for 25 minutes as they merged two lanes of traffic in a highly congested area into one and NOT being able to move for TWENTY-FIVE minutes, which was insane!!! I finally was able to meet my wonderful friend Sue, the radiation nurse, at Sugar n Spice for breakfast and that Mexican omelet. OMG, it is so good!!
The wait at Sugar n Spice was equally as insane as the traffic, but I do love that place!!! And Sue had never ever been there!!!
We sat there till they kicked us out!!
I was taking care of my friend Jennie’s kids and I was going back to the Wyoming High School Homecoming. That evening, started with a parade of floats and fire engines.
I had not been to a Wyoming High School game in over 20 years!!
I thought I would see a ton of familiar faces, but I didn’t. But I saw 1. Mary’s grandson, Josh #58, 2. Lydia was there with friends, while
3. Greta and the seniors rushed the field. And a different friend named Mary, 4. her grandson Parker, who I knew as a kid in Manhattan is now the quarterback for Mariemont. The opposing team!
I did run into Tara Pease and we sat and chatted for quite awhile and I really liked her. I wish I had taken the time to get to know her years ago. She is a really neat gal. I always loved her hubby Charlie. He always felt like family to me. So it was the nice highlight in the evening.
Then I went home and Greta my friend Jennie’s oldest and I sat and chatted.
The next day, the youngest, Lydia and I went to Greta’s soccer game. Lydia, being the thoughtful younger sister suggested we go get flowers and Reese cups for her big sister’s last home game.
It is neat to see sisters so close and connected. The second night, Greta went to a Homecoming dance
and Lydia and I went to Chipotle for dinner. Then we rented THE FAULT IN OUR STARS and being the great babysitter that I am, I cried like a baby and poor Lydia had to say, “It is okay, Erin!”
What a great movie! What a tearjerker!!!
Sunday night I came home and made whipped parsnips. Not sure about doing those again! And roasted chicken with Morte Verde (green tomatillos) sauce and let me tell you this…IT ROCKED!!! It was delicious and so easy!!!
The next day, my friend Jo came over and we were a bunch of lounge lizards. To all you moms that do take care of kids daily, WOW! Impressive! Don’t you get tired? When do you sleep? Jennie’s kids are so great and so easy to be with but you constantly go!
The day after that, the moving company arrived with a shipment of furniture from my mother’s home in Savannah. Pieces that I grew up with and love dearly. A grandfather clock, an Asian ornate desk, a dry sink that I started to carve my initials into it as a young child and was in heap of trouble for doing it. You can see the E and the beginning of an R carved into it.
It was like Christmas and I got a lot of my mom’s pots and pans and cookware. SCORE!
Then it was time for the big Queen City Indie Con book fair/event at Memorial Hall the first day and The Grand Ballroom at the Millennium Hotel the next day!
The first day they had speakers, which included:
LIST OF SPEAKERS
Jayne Rylon, MR Polish, Tonya Kappes talking about marketing books.
Then: Sara Celi, LP Dover, Samantha Young and Georgia Cates talked about that couple that can restore faith in love!
After lunch there were more marketing tips from Jayne Rylon, Robyn Peterman, Chanda Hahn and Annalise Grant.
These are writers that have truly made a mark in the industry and they offered invaluable wisdom!
The lunch was catered by Tom & Chee featuring their classic tomato soup and a variety of grilled cheese sandwiches. They were yummy!
What was so wonderful about the day besides being in a gorgeous old Cincinnati relic of a building
was the knowledge and information these writers/authors shared with us. Wendy Owens who hosted the event was masterful at getting a great group of women who are well versed in the industry and had them address the issues we ALL want and need to know. It was fabulous!
And I was so honored to sign the authors banner for the event.
That night I went home and whipped up some chicken wings. I found this great cheat sheet in Saveur magazine. I whipped up three different types of sauces, which included:
And I followed the time they recommended and I didn’t check on them till the timer went off.
This is what I got!
I know I am supposed to show you pretty pictures of food, but the reality is people screw up!!!
I really screwed it up!
So, I re-did it a few nights later. This time with thighs instead of wings. It was yummy.
The next day of the Queen City Indie Con was at The Millennium Hotel in the Grand Ballroom and sponsored by Joseph Beth Booksellers.
I was such a newbie among a group of VERY established authors. That is fine! You have to start somewhere, but I felt like a newbie. Here is my swag!
People had slick cards, crazy amounts of terribly creative swag in forms I could not have begun to contemplate.
I met really nice authors who were so kind. Elizabeth Sharp said that someone helped her when she started and if I needed anything she would like to pay it forward and would help me. How nice is that!!! I was so touched and so impressed.
Here is the link to ELIZABETH SHARP.
I had a great tablemate named Donya Lynne.
And here is the link to her books.
The gal helping me as an assistant for the event was very fond of Samantha Young and Mia Sheridan who were very nice.
Here is the link to them.
Here is a pic of us together!
Here were two of my favorite speakers from the event.
Sarah Celi, who spoke so well and was so informative!
And Annalise Grant made me laugh! I thought she had the most wonderful sense of humor and it made me want to read her work.
All in all, it was a great day! My other neighbors at the event included: Sidonia Rose and Melissa Toppen.
I met some very nice bloggers and it was interesting to meet folks that blog about books for a living and really have a profound impact on the book industry.
Here is a blogger that I really enjoyed speaking with at Indie Con! Her name is Shirley Bastain!
The day went well and it was one of the best learning experiences for me in the industry.
And I sold some books. I signed tons of autographs, which is so odd to do, but so flattering!
Then I went home and babysat for Emily Jo. That is Trouble’s granddaughter. I took her to Panera for dinner (josh #58 came along with us) and afterward we went up to Mary’s to play a card game called Phase 10. It was a fun Saturday night.
There was a ball for the writer’s conference, but truthfully, I hate putting on a dress and sitting in a corner alone. Rather be with friends and friends’ kids.
After pushing to get the book complete and two early mornings that went till dinnertime, I was ready to relax.
I caught up with some friends Bill & Karen who have been traveling and had them over for coffee and I made a recipe from Joanne Chang’s cookbook from her amazing pastry shop in Boston called FLOUR. The lady that makes the killer sticky, sticky buns!!
I made a French Lemon Poppyseed Cake. It was yummy.
A day later, I noticed on Facebook that my tablemate Donya Lynne got sick! Two days later, I got sick and it nailed me!
I came down with a horrendous cold that forced me to rest on the couch, drink tea and as I always say a good cold brings out the Jewish side in me. I buy chicken noodle soup and orange juice and O.D. on both till I am better!
I managed to go to lunch with my friends Stephen, Lynn and Laura, but it was rough. I did not feel well or right. Didn’t stop me from choking down an entire steak salad with blue cheese or drinking a pitcher of Arnold Palmers.
I went to a fabulous and fun Halloween party. Here are pics of the costumes. It was a ball.
The next day, I went to the funeral of my wonderful neighbor and friend, my Tasmanian, friend Phillis, who you have heard of me speak of so fondly.
She died last Thursday on her daughter’s 50th birthday. She was such a kind and sweet soul. She was surrounded by all of her kids and she is now with her beloved husband who passed a few years previous to her. She missed him terribly.
The service was long but beautiful. The coffin was draped with the Australian flag on it.
After the service the family went to the grave and we all met back at the building for food and laughter. Phillis would have wanted it. She told her family they must continue with plans for her 90th birthday party on Dec. 20!
I took her 9-year old granddaughter, Nina, who desperately wants a dog for a long walk with Dulce, Duffy and I. We walked the streets of Clifton. We stopped and she had her first Graeter’s ice cream. She fed a spoonful to the dogs to share. She laughed. She got to be a kid and be happy on such a sad day! My grandmother died when I was 10 and it was hard. Hard to see my mom so sad at her mom dying. I am sure Nina felt the same way! But for an hour she got to forget why she was in Cincy!
Graeters and cute pooches make everything better!!!!
Until we meet again…
Enjoy! Eat, travel, laugh…often….
I almost forgot!!!! I am doing a BOOK SIGNING at THE HAMMOND NORTH located @ 5300 Hamilton Ave. on SATURDAY, November 15th, from 10a.m.-12:30p.m., and will be reading a kid’s book @ 10:30a.m. So, bring KIDS!!! There will be food and drinks as well!!!!
If you are local, please come!!!!