Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I Love A Good Flashing

Supporters of the Fine Arts Fund took over Fountain Square last week with this clever, whimsical flash mob.

Y'all know how much I love a good flash mob.

Proof that Cincinnati is much cooler than people (well, Outside-of-I275 people) give it credit for.

Folks, next time anyone organizes a flash mob, please let me know. I'm dying to be in one...

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This Is The Face of Insomnia

People, I can't take this anymore.

Please don't take your good sleeping habits for granted.

I currently cry at the drop of a hat and am coping with significant motivation challenges.

This exhaustion has also dipped my big toe in the Sea of Depression- questioning everything from my talents and commitments to my friendships and lifestyle habits.

I am currently trying a second prescribed medication to combat this insomnia (first it was temazepam, now I'm on Xanax), but so far, nothing's working.

I totally get why Elvis relied on uppers and downers.

Here's to hoping for sleep filled nights *without* turning into a junkie.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mother Lover

I am so behind in my SNL viewing.

Here's a great follow up to D in a Box. Enjoy.

Props to Justin Timberlake, Andy Samberg, Susan Sarandon and Patricia Clarkson for such a great clip.

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Local Local Local

"Ya can't out network the networks, so we're gonna be the best and only source for local."

A mantra spouted by one of my news directors in Lexington, I always respected the ideology. Local news outlets will never cover national news the way the big guys can, so it's best they stick to fleshing out the local angles.

The same could be said for Cincinnati's dining scene.

Gone are the days when businessmen shelled out hundreds to entertain clients and couples saved up to spend a night on a town for an anniversary or other happy occasion.

These days, people dine out often, and typically at more affordable venues. Enter Cincinnati's latest dining establishment - Local 127.

A lot has been said about the 4th Street restaurant, some of it has prompted passionate discussion, other articles detail executive chef Steven Geddes' extensive career as a chef and master sommelier, and first impressions of the restaurant.

In the interest of avoiding some of the politicking that happens in regards to Cincinnati's dining industry, I'm going to refrain from comparing Local 127 as it relates to Pigall's, Jean Robert de Cavel and other historic dynamics.

Yes, we loved Pigall's. Yes, we love JRdC. No, we don't like some of the stories we've heard about players in the Jean Robert/Relish Restaurant Group.

As fierce a loyalist as I am, I'm trying to change my philosophy about some of Cincinnati's restaurants.

I liken the scenario to when a favorite co-worker is dismissed by management - the replacement hire doesn't deserve to be punished for the sins (or poor judgment/ill behavior/negativity) of the one calling the shots.

Local 127 deserves a fair shake.

We dashed inside amid a spectacular, torrential downpour Saturday night, longing for a few bites to eat and a couple cocktails. I don't want to belabor the details of what we sampled - we only tried a few of the pickled/cured elements and small plates. I'd like to give Local 127 more time and another try before I nitpick about the menu offerings.

That said, we thoroughly enjoyed the beans and bacon, Italian style risotto with mushrooms and terrine with green beans.

I was not dining at Local 127 to scrutinize the details (and didn't take any notes/pics of the experience), I was dining to enjoy the company of a friend and try out a new spot.

Impeccable, attentive service was the first thing we noticed (and fellow diner Alex Triantafilou).

Within a few minutes of our being seated, Chef Geddes greeted us and explained a bit of the menu concept - local food and American wines. Like local news, many Cincinnati restaurants have discovered there's a benefit to focusing on local - locally grown produce, protein and other foodstuff.

Friendlier price points are a plus, too.

Chef joined us again to present the first portion of our meal, generously offering a few other items from the pickled and cured menu.

Sipping on cocktails from the nearby bar, the tender stopped by and asked if I liked my Manhattan, or if it needed any tweaking. It was perfect.

The server was quick to accommodate our whims, and when he honestly revealed his lack of extensive knowledge about the wine list, he obliged our request to ask Chef Geddes which bottle would best compliment our nibbles.

Not only did Geddes present us with a great bottle that has sentimental meaning for him, he shared tastes of two other reds that punctuated our meal.

General Manager Craig Nuncio visited with us at the end of the evening, explaining Local 127 is not fully booking its tables to allow for first rate service as the restaurant gets off the ground. Nuncio also spilled a secret - the space formerly known as Twist will NOT be re-named Tonic Union, as previously mentioned.

After leaving Local 127, we peeked behind the curtain blocking the view of the old Twist space - I saw a mishmash of furniture but couldn't immediately discern any changes. Definitely a "Watch This Space" scenario.

My dining companion was melancholy about the change from Pigall's to Local 127, but we enjoyed our meal and experience at the reinvented venue.

I'm looking forward to another trip to 4th Street. A champion and supporter of Downtown Cincinnati, I want this establishment to succeed like many others in the vicinity.

Success of any kind in Downtown Cincinnati is a win for all of us.

Good luck, Chef Geddes, et al.
(Sidebar: Speaking of championing the Queen City, two thumbs down to Cadillac Ranch and the poor management decisions attached to quashing Saturday night's MidPoint Music Festival performances. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.)

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Zoofari: In Snippets

Because every pre-party deserves some music.

Moms use changing tables to tend to little ones. Single gals use restroom changing tables as a spot to stow their glasses of champagne while using the facilities:

Some people did not believe my boast of spending time with a Cincinnati Bengal. Exhibit A.

Aside: Dhani Jones is a class act and was nice enough to give me a ticket to his art exhibit opening. Score!

The rain did a number on my hair that evening, but we managed to have a good time.

Joe Rigotti, Cincinnati's most spectacular event planner, looked just as fabulous as the venue.

Can't wait for next year's fete!

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Nordstrom, Natch

Fashion doyennes, call your travel agent and cancel those trips to the Coasts.

Cincinnati has a new style mecca in town, and there's no need to jet set to NYC, LA, CHI or any other city with style.

Nordstrom flung open its doors Friday morning with much fanfare, including an early bird cosmetics blitz and special trunk shows showing off the latest creations from the world's top designers.

I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek of the new digs at Kenwood Towne Centre Wednesday evening at the Opening Gala - billed as a chance to sip champagne, nibble delicious bites and peruse the racks while raising money for several local charities.

GOP Big Wig joined me for the excursion - she is likely my best dressed and most fashionable friend, and I knew her familiarity with some of the more tony clothing lines would serve me well.

We stepped in the store and were immediately greeted by a fleet of Nordstrom employees, all offering smiles, kind words and satin sachets to be filled with cosmetics samples - this first impression would set the tone for the rest of the evening, and my general opinion of the top notch department store.

We grabbed glasses of champagne and sauntered to the shoe department. Nordstrom is known for its exceptional collection of shoes (the company started in 1901 as a shoe store in Seattle) - lines including Jimmy Choo, Stuart Weitzman and Valentino. I spied this lovely Valentino shoe - red patent leather with a classically whimsical bow:

As much as my heart, no, my eternal being coveted this stiletto, my paycheck, bank account and pressing financial obligations said no, NO, NO! One pair carries a $695 price tag, meaning my tootsies will have to love longingly from afar.

Thankfully, Nordstrom (and by the way, perhaps now is the time to mention the department store does not spell its name with an 'S' at the end. It is Nordstrom. Not Nordstroms - much like the whole Kroger/Krogers Meijer/Meijers Wal-Mart/Wal-Marts yes people really say that debate) carries more affordable shoe lines. The BP. SHOES collection offers more affordable brands (Steve Madden, Jessica Simpson, Naughty Monkey e.g.) that can hit a sweet spot price point - especially when they're on sale.

After cruising through and drooling on the shoes, we headed to cosmetics and fragrances. This is where we were bombarded by customer service.

I know it was the opening gala and all hands were on deck, but we were incredibly impressed by the amount of attention we received by the people staffing the many makeup and fragrance counters. GOP and I both agreed, we felt like celebrities thanks to all the fawning at Chanel, Trish McAvoy, Dior, Kiehl's and other counters. Everywhere we turned, we were offered fragrance and cosmetic samples and complimentary applications.

I hope Nordstrom maintains that kind of generosity well after the opening.

Most women I know are hesitant to invest a significant amount of money in cosmetics without an opportunity to "try before you buy." An inexpensive mascara tube from the drug store is a cheap way to try something out, but I am less likely to spend $30 on the latest formula/wand/you-name-it without getting a chance to test drive it.

Thankfully, the makeup artists at Nordstrom are quick to help out a gal.

After we got our faces appropriately pancaked and our little satin sachets full of of scents and foundation, we headed upstairs to scout out the clothing.

Unfortunately, my video camera battery died just as I started shooting the live models, but this quick (and I mean quick) video gives you a good sense of the vibe.

GOP and I headed to the denim section, and she was immediately impressed by the brands available. Hudson, True Religion, Citizens of Humanity, 7 For All Mankind (snarky note #2: friends, the "Seven" jeans at Lane Bryant are NOT the same line as 7 For All Mankind), Rich & Skinny, Rock & Republic - we were rather impressed by the variety of exceptional, first class brands available at Nordstrom.

Next time you drop a dime (or two) on designer jeans, you might want to consider PRVCY, or Privacy For The People. PRVCY was started by a woman whose mother died of breast cancer. Apparently Carolyn Jones was displeased by the breezy immodesty of the back of her mother's hospital gown. She named her brand to honor the privacy owed to the wearers of her jeans.

One of the Nordstrom managers told us every sale helps promote breast cancer awareness and donates money to support free mammography screenings to women across the country.

How cool is that?

Enough about the fancy pants denim.

From start to finish - my friend and I were impressed with the personnel and products at Nordstrom. Even when we told the salespeople we were just browsing, they kindly offered assistance and information about their wares.

In the current economic climate, customer service will be the factor that makes or breaks a retailer. With a history reaching as far back as the beginning of the 20th century, Nordstrom is in no danger of closing its doors. But with a reputation of exceptional customer service, it's certain Nordstrom will celebrate many successes in Cincinnati for years to come.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Protect the Insurance Companies

...because we need to remember who the real victims are - health insurance executives.

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Sparkling Safari

The sequins will brave the wild Friday night.

The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden is pulling out all the stops for its annual black tie event, Zoofari - Through the Congo, which this year celebrates the Year of the Gorilla.

Through the Congo is the Zoo's 27th such celebration, meaning the destination in Avondale has had a lot of experience pulling together a great party - and this year's fete is no exception.

I got wrangled into this whole Zoofari deal by one of my dear friends who works at the Zoo, appropriately nicknamed Zooey on the blog. Zooey asked me to volunteer last year, explaining that volunteering would mean putting on a pretty party dress, mingling with Cincinnati's movers and shakers, selling a few raffle tickets and then enjoying all the delicious food and drink a gal could handle.

Where do I sign up? was my response.

The evening turned out to be probably my favorite of the entire year in 2008, so I was quick to sign up for a volunteer shift when the offer came again this time around.

This year I scored a volunteer shift escorting one of the most dapper and well-read Cincinnati Bengals (those are two major hints, people) while selling Zooloon gift certificates. After our shifts are over, my friends (Bluegrass Brit and Sweet will be among my crowd of people in attendance) will enjoy signature cocktails and bites from the best restaurants in Cincinnati.

I've been told there are going to be something like 40 restaurants on site - what a great way to taste your way around town and suss out a new, favorite dining spot.

Cincinnati event planner to the stars Joe Rigotti is the man behind Zoofari's mystique. From hip, swanky lounge furniture to elegant, ephemeral draping, Rigotti has a knack for turning any space (including a tent erected on a zoo parking lot) into one of the most dynamite places in town. Can't wait to see what he does with this year's space.

If the food and drink and animals running amok (okay, they're not really running amok) aren't enough to trip your trigger - you may be interested in knowing Zoofari will also treat party goers to the amazing musical stylings of Soul Pocket.

This band is awesome, and likely the best bet at getting a bunch of Cincinnati's Jet Set to hit the dance floor.

You can still buy tickets to Zoofari, so if you can swing the $250 ($200/members) price tag, I highly recommend it.

I can't say I've been to a better party in Cincinnati.

Zoofari: 6 to 11 pm on Friday, September 25. Click here for more information, including where to call to buy tickets.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Cleveland Rocks?

Drew Carey has a lot to deliver.

After years of touting the accolades of Ohio's largest city, some people are beginning to take notice - but it looks like even the natives are a bit skeptical.

Yesterday's NYT has a great write up of Cleveland - serving up a list of hot spots and hits to fit in to a whirlwind, 36 hour trip to the city on the lake. Laced with mentions of exceptional dining and nightlife options, the piece also does a swell job of spotlighting some of Cleveland's cultural endeavors. I've heard lots of great things about Cleveland's Museum of Art, and the article's mention of several Impressionist pieces (my favorite style of painting) did more than trip my trigger. Ditto for remarks about the West Side Market, a Bourbon Daisy cocktail at the Velvet Tango Room and menu items at Lolita.

Clevelanders are well fed, and so are their guests.

I tweeted about the NYT article this morning, and fellow Cincinnati twitterati @CincySteve replied, "yeah cleveland is great!" and included a link to this video:

The clip makes me wonder - do Cleveland's people loathe the city so much they generated a snarky, mock tourism video?

I don't think that would ever happen in Cincinnati, as I can't think of a single YPer who doesn't support the downtown movement.

I'm willing to disregard the general condescension of the video and give Cleveland a try.

But God help us if everyone in town looks like Mimi Bobeck.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Passport Stamped

If I had my passport on me last week, I would have earned another stamp.

I scored my first passport at 12, and my second when I was 17. My current and third passport expires next month. They're full of a variety of stamps from places across The Pond, but none from a place inside the United States.

Let alone my own city.

The city of Cincinnati is figuratively (and literally) divided into the East and West sides, separated by the Interstate 75 dividing line.

Native Cincinnatians will tell you there's a vast difference between the West and East sides. Old Cincinnati versus transient communities. The West's parochial commitment to the East's new money and mega McMansions. Die hard conservatism and, well, die hard conservatism.

But I digress.

There are many differences between West and East, and rarely the twain shall meet, with perhaps the exception of Kenwood Towne Centre, which everyone agrees is the best shopping center in the area.

It's a well known (and some cases, unfortunate) fact that folks from one side of town typically abstain from visiting/exploring/frequenting/supporting the other. Having grown up an "East Sider," I admit my knowledge of Price Hill, Colerain, Green Township and other points west is rather slim.

Last week, I dipped my big toe in and spent a good couple hours in East Price Hill - it was eye opening.

Ken Smith of Price Hill Will was kind enough to take 5chw4r7z and me on a tour of the area as part of a program exploring United Way's investment in Greater Cincinnati (full disclosure: I am employed by United Way) and the organization's commitment to the place matters initiative.

Smith showed us neighborhoods striving to turn a corner and rise from economic depreciation and increased crime activity. These neighborhoods, block after block of 187os-and-newer homes, tease of stories of another time. A time when an incline carried people from the downtown basin to streets where people sat on front stoops and stopped by the corner market for the fixings of the family Sunday Dinner.

You'd think time has taken the best days of these homes and neighborhoods, leaving behind sagging porches, overgrown bushes and garages on the brink of collapse.

But community organizers are fighting back - renovating places worth saving and demolishing those homes beyond repair (but often still rented out by undiscriminating landlords).

I enjoyed admiring the gingerbread trimmed homes, surprisingly stunning vistas and other features expected from a neighborhood with some history.

It's interesting to look at the ebb and flow of Price Hill's past - and compare it to what may lie ahead for Cincinnati's suburbs.

Price Hill was once a prosperous, bustling community - the city's most popular neighborhood, full of stately homes and social events. Cincinnati's growth pushed out in all directions, leading people to continue to build bigger/better/faster/stronger elsewhere. Communities began cropping up along the old 3-C Highway (Cincinnati-Columbus-Cleveland), drawing wealthy transplants away from the West Side.

Neighborhoods west of the Mill Creek evolved and experienced a bit of a depression. No longer a destination for people in Greater Cincinnati, Price Hill has struggled with revitalization - until now.

As people return to The Core and the older neighborhoods ringing the city, I wonder if the same thing will happen in years to come in outlying areas like West Chester and Mason.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Every Batch from Scratch

I had cupcakes for dinner last weekend.

It's the kind of thing my seven-year-old self would dream about.

Instead of having to eat nasty pot roast and cooked carrots (my #1 ranked most detested meal, still), I am certain I'd have preferred a dinner of cake and cookies and ice cream. Because those food groups are the most important anyway, right?

I digress.

My Cincinnati neighborhood has a new business to support - a worthy effort that shouldn't involve much work on your part. You see, I know you will fall in love with Abby Girl Sweets, because to not fall in love would mean you are a human being who doesn't appreciate delicious confections - and that doesn't sound one iota human in my book.

Abby Girl Sweets opened up shop three weeks ago - it is the confectionery creation of a husband-and-wife team who named their bakery after their little girl, Abby. Nathan (the husband) told me he and his wife (Lindsay, I think he said) bake all of the cupcakes - which range from carrot spice to a pistachio version that wasn't available the afternoon I stopped by.

My first visit to a "cupcakery" was two years ago in London at Notting Hill's fabulous boutique bakery, The Hummingbird Bakery. The Portobello Road destination is quite stylized inside - cafe furniture, frosty white accents and pretty chandeliers. The real attraction is the cupcakes, with unusual flavor pairings and artfully crafted icings and toppings.

While I enjoyed the aesthetics of one called the "Bling Bling" (liberally covered by a mound of silver dragees - which are now classified as "non edible" by the FDA because they contain minute quantities of heavy metals), I went with a double chocolate version topped with chocolate sprinkles and a glass of milk.


Abby Girl Sweets achieves much the same vibe, showcasing couple beautiful glass cases filled with silver trays and cake stands graced by delicately iced beauties. I was enchanted by the peanut butter cup and chocolate chocolate versions and decided I'd have cupcakes for the meal traditionally enjoyed between lunch and dinner.

Take a look at this cross section.

I'd like to underscore the mile-high mound of icing on that baby.

Each cupcake was incredibly moist. Very dense and sponge-like, I think Duncan Hines himself would be impressed with how wet this cake is. Having made peanut butter icing before, I know how wonky the consistency can get. Sometimes it turns out more like something made with marshmallow fluff - Abby Girl's peanut butter icing is not sticky, but nutty and buttery and everything you'd expect from a top notch cupcakery.

The chocolate chocolate version was just as divine - I was tickled to taste a hint of almond extract in the chocolate icing.

My two cupcakes came to about $5.75 - at the time the store only accepted cash, but they'll soon accomodate credit card charges, too.

I shot a video of me digging in to a "Strawberry Delight" sample sized cupcake Nathan threw in the box for good measure. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Stop by Abby Girl Sweets at 3218 Madison Road in Oakley, about half a mile north of the square.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Heinz 57

The past few days have been a total mixed bag.

Thursday I started coping with what some suspect is H1N1 (special thanks to the waiter at Nada for his double shot "vaccine"). Today, I am dealing with the remnants of my medical hurricane. No need to wear a face mask in my presence - it is just the common cold.

Much of the past weekend was spent on my couch (save for the healing moments I sought out at a local Thai restaurant, cupcakery and Bengals game).

These moments, though well intentioned, failed to offer up any real health benefits.

Shocking, I know.

Blogging to come about a new place to satiate your sweet tooth.

The Girl Who Wears a Floppy Hat to Football Games

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, September 11, 2009

Reflection (recycled)

This is about 600 posts old - but the sentiment is the same today as it was in 2006.

Many of you may not have read my account of that day; please forgive me for recycling a post - but I think it's decent enough to earn another publishing.


Calm. The first mile of a 900 trek. Radio reports. Gridlock. Tunnels shut down. Driving back to New Haven. More questions than answers. No cell service. Dead payphones in Greenwich. Regroup at lunch. Dad says to go. Upstate New York. Driving. All news on the radio. No songs. Flags at half staff in Poughkeepsie. Flags at half staff in Pennsylvania. Still haven't seen any pictures. The towers collapsed? Disbelief. Driving. ~And I'm proud to be an American~. West Virginia. Three AM. Gas is almost three dollars. Hotel near Morgantown. Red Roof. I'm safe, Mom. CNN. Pictures for the first time. First time crying. Ashes everywhere. Panic and confusion. Armani suits walking across the GW bridge. Walking anywhere that's away from tragedy. Feeling the pain that belongs to all those people in New York. That belongs to all those people in DC. That belongs to all those people in Pennsylvania. Belongs to all of us.

Drive to Lexington. Straight to Man O War. Security guard at the drive. Never had that before. New station employee ids? A lot has changed in my life in an instant. Airplane security. Post office security. Anthrax scares, too? Bits of local news. Jennings wall-to-wall. How do we localize this? Runyon at the airport. Greg on Frankfort angle. I've got to produce an hour of straight local coverage from 5 to 6? No commercial breaks? I need this, and this, and this, and this. I still can't believe it. We still can't believe it, and we report on murders and crimes and bad things happening every goddamn day. All I want to watch is news. Monte's dad died in the towers? People searching for loved ones. The pictures. The pictures. I cannot get enough.

The new continues. Localize this. Security at federal buildings. Magnets already on cars. Runyon at the airport. Again. And again. And again. Should she set up a bureau there? Flight restrictions. Unearthing stinky feet and holy socks. Collecting goods. Blood donations. Lines to give. No pocket knives. No tweezers? Is this what it's come to? A local serviceman dead at the Pentagon. Who do I make this check out to? ... Can I sign the book? Tragedy miles and miles away striking the very core of the Bluegrass. Rattling the very simplicity of our innocence. Complete & utter shock the cliched reality. 911 means something different now.

One year later. The same. Runyon still at the airport. We're really not that safe, after all, are we? Still taking the shoes off at the airport and we do it in the name of safety. Random checks. Possible profiling the story of the year. Pack your patience as you go to the airport. The American flag has a bullseye on it. Fear abroad for Joe Citizen. Just because of our beliefs. And I thought everyone wanted to live the way we do. Maybe their jealousy is fueling that hate.

Much the same today. Nerves still raw and hurting five revolutions later. Tears come running at the sight of the people screaming. Towers burning. Firefighters running in to the unknown. Flying blind to save people. Still at Orange Alert. Families without their daddies and mommies and sisters and brothers. Whole offices wiped out. Neighborhoods plagued with single parents coping with tragedy. Children. Children trying to grasp the most complicated of concepts that even adults struggle with. Blind hate giving birth to fear. Should I pretend to be Canadian on my trip? Getting ready to take the shoes off once again. This time with new socks. No liquids. Threat du jour. It's a way of life we just struggle with. Prepare for. Pray for.

For the rest of time.

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

One Voice

This man is Inspiration Personified.

President Obama shared with Cincinnati the story behind his rally cry, Fired Up - Ready to Go.

Apparently the story centers on one woman whose brief encounter with the Democratic candidate changed a campaign - and in some ways, changed the world.

I'm Fired Up and Ready to Go. You?

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Monday, September 07, 2009

One Voice Can Change The World

I am still on a high after seeing Obama.

Plenty of pics, details and video to come.

PS- the title of the post doesn't refer to Obama, but an anecdote he shared with the crowd. I'll pass on the story tomorrow.

But, I'd like to think Obama's is a voice that can change the world, too.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Cincinnati Spectacular

Stardust will blanket the Queen City.

Photo credit: Jill Terry

Twinkling sprays of light. Spiraling, glowing rockets. Lumination raining down upon the river.

The Rozzis will ignite downtown Cincinnati like a powder keg, with swarms of sweaty people standing body to body on both sides of the Ohio. Children, wide-eyed with amazement, and grown-ups silent with a moment of reflection and awe - a Cincinnati Labor Day holiday is celebrated like no other.

But do you really know the history of Labor Day?

The holiday dates back to the 1880s, when the United States mimicked a similar day observed in Canada. Our friends to the North started their own Labor Day after series of disputes between organized labor and their employers. The demonstrations quelled, and Canada legalized and protected union activity.

I've never been a member of a union. I've worked side-by-side with colleagues who were; at my last newsroom, the photographers were members of one union, and the anchors and reporters another. It was my first time working in a unionized shop.

Prior to that, I worked in a lawsuit-waiting-to-happen newsroom (actually, I think three of them broke out while I was there). We had mismanaging managers, sexually harrassing reporters, power hungry producers and reporters and lazy photographers.

Each day, we dealt with a million variables that made get any work done very difficult.

On occasion, one even keeled photographer would threaten to jump on top of a desk and wave a hand scrawled Union Now sign, a la Norma Rae (time code 1:58 for the pivotal moment).

Where the hell am I going with all of this? I have no ungodly idea.

Back to Labor Day.

These days, the holiday is widely regarded as the end of summer. Fireworks. Cookouts. Cold beer. Union or not, the weekend brings on something we can all appreciate-

A break from whatever labor keeps you busy during the work week.

Amen to that.

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Saturday, September 05, 2009

Over the Shoulder Boulder Holder

If a bra offered flying buttresses, I'd wear it.

The architectural element is used to help support structures of great magnitude. Notre Dame in Paris, a work of art near and dear to my heart, is said to be one of the first buildings in the world to feature the flying buttress, an arched exterior support.

Like I said, my bust could use a flying buttress or two.

I am guessing I'll find the next best thing at Nordstrom at Kenwood Towne Centre.

The eponymous department store flings open its doors later this month, serving up a reputation of exceptional service and merchandise.

Nordstrom is kicking off its grand opening celebrations with a fundraiser September 12 called "Nordstrom Fits America." The chain will offer guests a free bra-fitting, as well as donate $2 to the local Susan G. Komen for the Cure charity per every bra sold.

As if getting to inspect their lacy goodies is not enough, Nordstrom will also treat guests to refreshments and beauty consultations.

Call 1-866-231-4657 if you're interested in booking an appointment.

I'm getting a sneak peek of Nordstrom a few days later at their opening gala party. I promise to take plenty of videos and pictures - and fill you in on the inside dish about this new fashion mecca.

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Friday, September 04, 2009

Protect Yourself

"I don't want to touch your wine glass, so can you please grab it off the bar behind me?"

So said the barista/tender after she poured my glass of pinot grigio (the shortest pour I've ever seen, by the way) at Hyde Park's Awakenings.

The tender had sneezed into her elbow in between pouring my glass and offering it to me. I got the impression she didn't want to pass on any germs - surely a gesture borne out of the recent concerns involving swine flu/H1N1.

This exchange wasn't my first involving a conscientious effort to avoid a cross-contamination of the flu sweeping the nation.

Last week while at Mass at XU, the priest specifically asked the congregation to avoid holding hands during the Lord's Prayer, and abstain from shaking hands during the Sign of Peace. Rather, the priest asked us to bow or nod heads and smile as an offering of peace to our surrounding parishioners.

I've bowed before an Eucharistic minister distributing communion - but a fellow church goer? It was a little funny.

The priest shared with us that each Eucharistic minister would be required to use hand gel before distributing hosts - smart idea in my book. I did, however, think it was a bit odd when he said he had no concerns about germs and people sipping the cheap, Italian table wine blood of Christ.


I mean, c'mon.


It seems everyone is a bit more concerned about swine flu. I had lunch with two gentlemen today, one of whom said he is finding himself a bit more reserved when dishing out hugs to friends and strangers.

On television yesterday morning, I saw a Rice Krispies commercial showcasing a box with "Boosts Immunity" splayed across the front of it. Apparently Kellogg's reformulated its cereals to fortify them with vitamins A, C, E and several varieties of B. The box branding (and commercial voice over) says every box has ingredients that help support your child's immunity.

I can just see it 70 years from now. An old man rocking in a chair on his porch, telling his grandson, "Well, we were spared from the swine flu because Mama made us eat Rice Krispies morning, noon and night."


Apparently WaPo had the same reaction I did - this marketing gimmick is a bunch of bull pucky.

Schlocky marketing aside, swine flu is something we should all consider - especially with recent stats indicating one in three families will be affected by the debilitating illness. Forbes is asking families to consider a plan of action.

Their piece, published today, suggests families not only consider getting vaccinated (a move highly recommended by government officials), but stockpile canned soup, arm children with antibacterial gel and communicate with employers about the possibility of working from home should a family member fall ill.

Lord have mercy, are we bracing for the Plague of 2009?

Guess I'll stick with my wine, short pours or not. After all, the priest says I won't catch the swine flu from the chalice.

Chances are my Reidel is just as safe.

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Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Labor Day with the Labor

Going to see President Obama speak at the annual AFL-CIO picnic at Coney Island.

What a spectacular way to spend the holiday.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Go-Girl Gone!

Congrats to Ronda and NB-C, winners of my Go-Girl Contest!

I was a little late in running the contest, so I hope you ladies haven't been holding it until I announced the winners.

Check out the Go Girl website if you're interested in your own device - perfect for ladies who are on-the-go, whether that means hiking, biking, avoiding dirty portolets and other "rustic" situations.

(ed note: I am now apparently the source for anyone wanting more information on Golden Showers. I can't believe how many hits I get daily in connection with the title of the blog post. Odd.)

Creative Commons License
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.