GoAaF events

I want to smooch this face!

Thank you, Dear Reader Alexandra from Seattle, for sending me this pic of Truman, the long-haired dachshund/part cat, on his browse through the University of Washington’s University Book Store. Truman does not like to be parted from his beloved couch, which is in the living room of the house he never wants to leave, and he absolutely refuses to put mileage on his own little feets, so he must be strolled in his special Truman-mobile when it’s time for the dreaded “fresh air” outing. On this day, Truman had his human stroller him to UDub (Go Huskies) for some meaningful shopping at the city’s favorite book store, which no doubt included a stop at the book store cafe for some meaningful coffee, which is totally a thing.

The GoAaF is a staff pick!

I have had a most excellent week here in VivianWorld, starting with getting pics of a long haired dachshund giving the GoAaF his best Look of Awe, and continuing with me coming across a New York Times article about the celebrated chef and restaurateur Wylie Desfrene, one of those Day In The Life Of things.

Wylie Desfrene, celebrated chef and restaurateur, was quoted by the reporter from the New York Times as being the kind person who tries to have at least “two meaningful coffee experiences a day”.

Please note: There is no “N” in restaurateur — he’s a restorer of the human spirit via food, not a restaurant-er, which is the history of the word “restaurant”, BTW, which only gets its “N” because it was one of those gerund or participle things before it became a noun. You’re welcome.

We’re here to erudite you, whether you want it or not.

After reading that NYT article, I spent the day feeling bad that I’ve never required daily meaningfulness from my hot beverage because I’m such a pathetically shallow and dim-witted person. I’m too stupid to drink meaningfully because, basically, I’m dead inside, just like every other ordinary, negligible person who lives and dies in utter anonymity. I was feeling very bad about being just me.

And then I thought, Whoa. Telling a New York Times reporter that you seek two meaningful coffee experiences a day is exactly what you should tell a New York Times reporter, whether or not you have any earthly idea of what a meaningful coffee experience is because, truthfully, no one does. But it sounds pretty damn deep. Makes you go, HuhWylie Desfrene is a genius!

So, New York Times, if you’re reading this, I not just your average travel memoirist! I’m a dream cartographer, a cataloger of whimsies. I also like to go on long car rides with enlightening red beans and rice.

True story: I went to two funerals last week and, driving home on I-95 from the one in Washington D.C., Top Cat and I pulled over in Delaware (I was starving and desperate) and got a Popeye’s red beans and rice. Now, you know that I consider myself a connoisseur of red beans and rice, and that it’s my go-to entree when I am in New Orleans, where I’ve shoveled it in tasted it in its high and low iterations (that is, in various restaurants with, and without, starched white cloth napkins) . . . and Popeye’s red beans and rice IS AWESOME.

I am, right now, promising myself to take myself to Popeye’s as soon as I finish blogging.

P.S. Just got back from Popeye’s. I got the large side for $3.99 and it was deliriously good. Oh man, I am stuffed to the gills. Now, back to the blog:

Going to two funerals in one week gives you a lot to thing about. The main take-away for me is, I must write my own obit (I already have my cause of death picked out). If you want to see just how bad an amateur obit can be, read the paid-for obits in the NYT. Those things aren’t cheap, and they stink.

Fun fact: When my dear uncle Rolly died two years ago I wrote his obit that was published in the paid-for section of New York Times which a total stranger re-published on his blog because, he wrote, it sounded like Rolly was a guy he would have liked to have known — and that’s what an obit should do. If you, Dear Readers, clamor to know more about my obituary-writing experience and my snot-nosed Helpful Hints for Writing an Obituary That Doesn’t Stink, I will be happy to go into it in detail in a future blog.

Funerals, Popeye’s, food for thought, dachshunds — so many favorite things, could the week get any better???

Oh, yes, it can, and it did:

Finally, at long last, on May 16, 2017, I got to turn off my electric blankie. Finally, at long last, Spring dragged its hoary butt into what the TV people call “Seasonal Temperatures”. Lickety (above) likes going outside about as much as certain long haired dachshunds but there he was, sprawling on the patio like he’s just drunken half a dozen un-meaningful margaritas. That’s it! Your first 80-degree day of the year is intoxicating! Heat — glorious sun-baked warmth, star-sent lightness of being, dazzling brightness of skin-kissing light — heat makes you a sluggish, simple-minded, drunk! Wait. Is that what explains Florida?

All that, and der Drumpf’s getting his ass handed to him on an FBI platter made this one of the best damn weeks of my life.

Russian Imperial Porcelain

Russian Imperial Porcelain. It’s an FBI platter made of Russian Imperial Porcelain. Get it?

Thank You, venerable laws of karma;

Thank You, ye olde petards of irresistible hoist;

Thank You, sweet delicious Told You So’s.

For the first time since November 9th 2016, I can’t get enough of the news. Every breaking story out of Washington D. C. fills me with hope and joy, and an urge to dance my face off. Happy, happy, happy days are here again.

Before I go, I want to give you something in appreciation of all you Dear Readers. Last week I put up some watercolors of irises, and judging by the comments there are a number of Dear Readers who are going to be doing some iris painting of their own. So, for those of you who could use some itty bitty help in that department, I’m giving you my iris drawings:

You can see that I made changes on this second pic after I’d done the drawing; and I’d originally drawn it facing the other way so I flipped the image (turned over the tracing paper to use it on the back side) before I pencilled it onto the watercolor stock.

Have a great weekend, all you Wonder Ones, and may all your dancing be in hope in joy.


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Ah. . . New Orleans . . .




Just got back from NOLA and, as the saying goes, all I brought home was a great big hangover. Or maybe that’s just a saying in our house. And yes, I did find the perfect tea cup whilst I was roaming Chartres Street in the old French Quarter:


This is what the best red beans and rice ($13.00, hold the sausage, with substitution cole slaw on the side) in the French Quarter (with Pinot Grigio in a tea-shaped Go Cup) at 801 Royal Street looks like :

P1070627 (1)

Bowls with herbs displayed on a wide brim = “fine dining”.

And this is what red beans and rice looks like at half the price ($6.00) at the great, old school, down home Majoria’s Commerce Luncheonette in the CBD (Central Business District):


All the dishes are melamine, sure sign of a high-quality dive joint.

Ah, New Orleans . . .






You know what they say when they quote Tennessee Williams:


Photo taken in the Bywater neighborhood of NOLA.

America has only three cities:


San Fransisco, New York, and New Orleans . . .






Go Cup holders on the rental bikes at our hotel. That’s my kind of ride.

. . . Everywhere else is Cleveland. (Sorry, Cleveland.)

 And a big Holy Cow to R. Stephanie Bruno, special correspondent at The Advocate, for making me feel like a rock star with her fabulous review of my humble little book, Gardens of Awe and Folly:



And Thank You, Octavia Books for hosting a Wine and Books evening on Wednesday, April 13, featuring Moi and the Little Book that Could.

Here’s me, signing pre-ordered copies:


And here’s me, bloviating about everything I know about writing’ and painting’ and book making’:




Thank DoG I found this great Ellen Tracy top in NOLA, because after four days of living it up in my favorite American city I could not fit into the rather form-fitting blouse I’d packed.

There was even an After Party in the garden of the wonderful Lady of the Roses who you know from Gardens of Awe and folly, Karen Kersting (that’s Karen in the butter-colored brocade jacket):


And for those of you who already know Karen from Chapter 4 of the GoAaF . . .


. . . then you also know about her sweet little Bee, the pup in the lower right side of Karen’s rose garden (on page 70). So I know that you’ll love this pic of them together, and the look of love in sweet little’s Bee’s eyes:


Then it was time to pack up the bags, call a cab, and head to the airport:


I know what it means to miss New Orleans.

A Dear Reader and Commentor asked me, last week, to re-invent the Internet Thing we invented when we did watering cans, only with tea cups. . .


. . .   so next week’s post will be dedicated to Nancy S. and All Things Tea. Or Tea-Adjacent. Or All Things Served in a Tea Cup, or All Regionally Evocative Bevvies Served in a Tea-Cup Shaped Go Cup.

Have a great weekend all you Wonder Ones, and roll some good times for sure, cheres.

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