There's a gas station in Newport that is fantastic for people watching.
It's on 9th street, about a block before you get to Washington St. if you're driving west. I was on my way to a friend's house for dinner and didn't have a bottle of wine on hand. I was pressed for time and knew Party Source would be a zoo, so I stopped in at the gas station instead. I had to cut bait on the wine idea and prayed the beer case would have something a bit more high brow than Bud Light or MGD. I passed over the Heineken (I think I was Heineyed out from my trip) and found the last six-pack of Blue Moon.
I saw everything from trashy rednecks with sweaty bandannas in the back pocket and gangsta Gs with braids and over sized white Ts and country hos with fleshy parts hanging out of tiny, strappy tops and tight stonewash.
It was great.
Altar Boyz at The Playhouse in the Park is a riot.
Here's the premise: a Christian boy band is giving their last performance after a tour stopping in second-rate cities around the country.
The boy band is made up of five guys: Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan and Abraham - he's the Jewish one.
The musical-cum-play is a hilarious statement on pop culture, the Christian Right and morality. I enjoyed it immensely, and was disappointed when I noticed many older patrons and their rather stalwart faces in the crowd.
Sure, this play pokes fun at Catholicism, which could be considered blasphemous in some circles. And the boy band concept and some of the subtle jokes could be lost on people in the 65+ crowd. But I also got the impression some in the audience were disappointed that this play wasn't Theatre with a Big T. But as my mom pointed out - even Shakespeare enjoyed humor. Many of his serious works include a humorous character to help break the tense mood.
So take that, Cincinnati Theatre Snobs. Altar Boyz is awesome.
Friday the 19th
I cooked dinner for a friend and our conversation included a snippet about galangal.
Never heard of it? Me neither.
It was an ingredient called for in a recipe attached to Indian/Thai spices I bought at Portobello Market in London. It is similar to ginger in that it is a root vegetable but it has more of a pine and citrus flavor.
I checked three stores for the stuff (including the Cam Asian supermarket in Evendale) and had no luck.
So I shortchanged my friend on the galangal - but I don't think he minded.
For future reference - anybody have any suggestions as to where I could find some of this stuff?
Saturday the 20th
Aveda in Hyde Park can do no wrong.
I feel like a million bucks every time I come out of that place - no matter what I have done. This weekend I slowly said goodbye to my blondeness - it's Autumn and so that means I can't be quite as blonde as I'd like and must embrace the copper lowlights.
*Warning: Hair salon technical jargon ahead*
The stylist suggested I tone down my summer blonde. I was a bit apprehensive to switch from a two to one highlight/lowlight combo to the one to one version I sport in Fall - but I was downright giddy when the stylist washed out all the chemicals. The more frequent, darker streaks make my blonde chunks pop even more.
So I guess sometimes it pays to listen to the expert.
Sunday the 21st
I love the 1940s and 50s.
It's period in American history that's steeped in innocence and altruism and romance, and I suppose that's why it's my favorite era.
Just take Sinatra. The way his voice boldly drips out those classic tunes like Fly Me To The Moon and You Make Me Feel So Young - I've always had a thing for his repertoire. Give me a Sinatra CD and a Starbucks venti nonfat sugar free vanilla latte, and I'm ready to embark on a road trip. His songs are classic and so upbeat for the most part - they make me want to hold someone close and swirl around on a glossy, hardwood dance floor in sequins and gloves.
Sunday I indulged a bit of my romantic streak by watching another old classic, Funny Face starring Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire.
The music is bubbly, the acting fairly superficial. But the sets and costumes - over the top glamour. And Audrey proves she has a gentle, solid voice, even Hollywood execs chose a voice-over seven years later on My Fair Lady.
How could I not buy these?
I walked away deciding if my heart still had to have them in the morning - then I'd go back and try them on.
I woke up Sunday morning in a panic - worried whether the last pair of size 10 would still be there.
I ran an errand then decided to swing by the mall - my foot never pressed harder on the accelerator.
I was in a hot fever to get there - all while my brain was swimming with thoughts of those department store slug fests - you know, the ones in the movies where women battle it out for the last pair of something on sale at bargain basement prices.
I raced inside Macy's and tried on the 9s, 9.5s and the 10s.
Then I put the shoe down, walked away and went to Dillard's to see if they had any better deal to offer up.
The shoe still called my name. Sure they weren't the Sex On Stilts I found a month ago, but they were pretty damn close. And these red snakeskin shoes would go with far more things already in my closet.
So I took them to the register and that's when I discovered the Shopping Gods were smiling on me.
The price at the register was $15 dollars cheaper than the sticker on the box.
It was meant to be, right?
Now... where's a girl to wear some hot, red snakeskin stilettos?