Saturday, December 26, 2009

In Hoc Signo Vinces

Turns out, writing papers about French anti-Semetics and "sh*t" is a pretty good way to go.

Our Funny Valentine made dean's list this semester.

Her figure may be less than greek and her mouth a little weak but when she opens it speak, she's certainly smart.
Way to go, Smarty Pants!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Pomp and Circumstance

A big and hearty congratulations to my favorite professional student, the Cantabrigian.

Way to go on this your 3rd (? I kinda lost track around the end of your first year of law school) post-graduate degree.

Always a gentleman, perhaps no longer a scholar.

Now maybe you'll get a job like the rest of us.

Way to go, Smarty Pants.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Family Tradition

In the fall of 1970 my grandfather called my father, a senior in college, demanding to know just what he was doing up there and why he was, as Poppy put it, " pissing my money away."

I received a similar phone call from my father in the spring of 2001.

Yesterday, when asked how her term paper is going, my sister, a sophomore in college, responded thusly:

"Uh, I don't know. I am just comparing the two Jean-Claude Grumberg plays we read and then I was going to talk about how the French were actually pretty anti-Semitic and other sh*t"

I believe I can say without fear of successful contradiction that my sister will be on the receiving end of a similar phone call in the not too distant future.

Good to know she's keep the family tradition alive.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Now We Are 60

Today is my dad's 60th birthday.
If I were more with it and on the ball, I would have set this to post at 3:13 AM, the minute he was born. Frankly, if I were with it and on the I'd have his actual present finished and ready to go. Oh well, it's the thought that counts.

So now, without further ado, 6 things I love about my dad, 1 for each decade of awesomeness.

6) He calls me every year at the exact minute I was born and says the following:

"'Betty Bear was so excited she could hardly sleep. It was her birthday.' Happy Birthday Betty Bear!"

(Betty Bear's Birthday was my favorite book when I was very small. I don't even remember reading it but he still knows the whole thing by heart. )

5) He is at once ridiculously proper and totally irreverent.
He uses phrases like "daily ablutions" and "ladies foundation under garments," he stands when a lady enters a room or leaves the table and always carries an extra hankie.
Then there's the side of him that does things like turn to you in the middle of a family wedding and whisper:

"Your mother and I didn't light a unity candle. We used a Bowie knife and had a ritual blood letting on the altar."

And then, because he's so well mannered, he's able to turn away and watch the rest of the ceremony while you're sitting there biting your tongue, holding your breath and digging your nails into your thighs in a desperate attempt to keep from laughing.

4) He's a triple threat. He can sing, he can dance and he can act. He's amazing. And intimidating. He also knows more about music, dance, theater and film then you do. No. Really. He does.

3) He's got style. Serious style. People stop him on the street. Style, panache and charm. It takes a special kind of guy who can pull off shocking pink trousers with green elephants. My Philadelphia lawyer father is perhaps the only man who can them look dignified and understated.

2) He is the reason we got the Disney Channel as kids. It wasn't so we could watch it, it was because they played the old Zorro and Davy Crockett TV shows at night. He loves Zorro and Davy Crockett.

1) Five years ago, in a conversation that lasted one minute and 37 seconds that he probably doesn't remember and I'll never forget, he gave me the biggest vote of confidence I've ever received. It's his voice I hear now when I have to drown out the voices that say, "you're no good," "you can't do this," "who do you think you're fooling?"

Happy Birthday! I love you!

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Okay, I suppose it's technically a "wintery mix," but there are actual flakes in there with the rain.

But still! Snow!

Love it!

Friday, December 4, 2009

A Minor Quibble

Dear Google Spell Check,
As a reminder, turkeys are done, people are finished.
Please do not ask me if I am "done spell check." I am not done. I am finished.
Thank you,

Thursday, December 3, 2009


From Phil:
I just saw my reflection. I look like Billy Crystal playing a younger version of himself in When Harry Met Sally.

You've been making me laugh for nigh on 13 years and remain the only person who always gets all my jokes. A man among men, my friend.

Sha la la la

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It Is The Way To Go

Indiom [in-dee-uhm] –noun (derived from the english word idiom)

a figure of speech or a colloquial term or phrase whose meaning cannot be deduced by the literal translation or arrangement of its words. An indiom can be a reordering of the words that make up recognized idioms; the use of several words to describe an existing word; the misuse of an idiom or word in a way that makes it mean something radically different and/or hilarious. Indioms are typically coined by Indian-born men over the age of 60.

For example, when discussing the death of Jack Kemp this spring, Dr Sharma had this to say,

"Well, he'd had cancer since yesterday."

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mr Brown

So, last night I was walking home down 5th Ave.
I spied a tall man in blue jeans with long, curly grey hair.
"Who does that guy think he is, Billy Connolly?"
Alas, it was!
So, Billy Connolly! Strolled 6 blocks down 5th Ave, he and I.
Nice legs, Billy.
Oh Billy!

Monday, November 30, 2009

30 Days Hath November

30 Days
30 Posts
That's the news, folks and I am outta here!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's All Right

So much easier to come home when your bell rings early Sunday morning with friends bearing gifts- oj, coffee, the paper and a bottle of Moet. Oh, and Sam Cooke on the stereo.

Not bad. Not bad at'all.

In other news:
Check out the front pg of the automobile sections. Cadillac station wagon! Be still my beating heart! Before I ever wanted a Mercedes wagon, I wanted a Cadillac.

Perhaps dreams really do come true.

Edited to add:
Once again, my Guy Friday comes through:
If you can wait for it, we could go halvsies on a CTV-S Wagon. You'd get a non-conformist leather lined grocery getter.I'd get a super charged 550 bhp baloney smoker.

A man among men you are, my friend. A man among men.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Home Again Home Again Jiggety Jig

Grace In Small Things- Homeward Bound Journey:

The indescribable feeling of relief when I throw myself in a cab at the end of a trip and say, "take me home."

Thursday, November 26, 2009

And one last thing

I am thankful for the St Regis who held my bag this afternoon and provided me with the paper so I could kill time this Thanksgiving Day with Mo Dowd (whom I heart, muchly).
Today I am thankful for my cousins- those who are always willing to host, those who always provide tips for excellent adventures and those who always make me laugh. Especially those who make me laugh.

And aren't I lucky, you all do.

I love you,
Ry/Ralph/Rags/Ryan O'Brian

(And God bless us, everyone)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Day 3

The note I received from my waiter:

You are beautiful
Call me

Ah, but had he called me ravishing someone would have had a run for his money.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Roma Day 2

Two days and saying, "when in Rome..." has yet to get old.

Ah, Will Ferrel I love you.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Grace in Small Things

The lazy traveler edition:

Having wonderful friends whose attention to detail is so exact and whose taste is so similar to your own that all you have to do is ask them for their itinerary et voila your trip is planned.

Makes arriving in a new city two and a half hours of sleep all the better.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

So Low

I rarely use names, but for once I'll make an exception.

At this very moment, Miriam and I are sitting in her living room singing Whitney Houston and Bryan Adams songs. Not at the top our lungs but rather under our breaths. You see, John has gone to bed and we don't want to wake him.

Getting along famously has to be the best way to get along. Don't you agree?

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I felt so happy I almost cried,
And then he kissed me.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Oh moon grow bright
And make this endless day endless night

On second though, endless day might not be a bad idea considering I have 27 million things to do before I ship out tonight.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tautology of the Year

"I want a moratorium on death."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Abbott and Costello Plan A Party

Or maybe it's Laurel and Hardy.
Or Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.

I can't decide.

My father and I are trying to plan a get together and it's like a real life version of "Who's on First."

Unfortunately, either one of us are especially effective communicators.
Fortunately, both of us find this hysterical.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Wendy Lady

It’s been nearly 4 years and I’m still not over Wendy Wasserstein’s death.

Strange, I know.

It’s not as though we ever met. We didn’t have a weekly, monthly or, hell, even annual date. It’s not as though October 22 rolls around every year and I think, “oh, Wendy and I would have been doing X today.”

Still, there’s a Wendy sized hole in my life.

I remember reading my first Wendy essay—Shiksa Goddess. I think, though I could be wrong, that the essay was published around the time Jamie Lee Curtis starred in the film version of the Heidi Chronicles. As an aside, I thought that the Heidi Chronicles was the true story of Heidi Fleiss. It’s not.

Anyway, she was just there. For about 13 years. I read her plays and her essays, bought her books. I grew up- graduated from college, moved abroad, fell in love, had my heart broken, fell in love again and had my heart broken (again) moved to New York, got a job, lost a job, got a new job and re-read her plays and essays. She was always there.

And then she wasn’t.

When she died her tributes spoke volumes, especially about her friendships. One woman commented that she was a “new friend,” she’d only known Wendy for 25 years. The quote that came up again and again was:

You can judge the quality of a woman by how long she keeps her friends

Well. I suppose you can. So Wendy died and I reached out to an old friend to whom I hadn’t spoken in years. Our mothers have been friends since the early 60s, we’d been very close and fallen out not with a bang but with a whimper. As chance would have it, she happened to be living at home for a year. So I called and we started talking and it was awkward at first but we got through it. And now she lives in New York and is an actress and we meet for brunch or movies or dinner or coffee or whatever and it occurs to me that we are now doing the sorts of things that Wendy’s characters were doing when I started reading her almost 20 years ago.

So I guess I’m sad because I won’t have Wendy to tell me how the story ends. Guess I’ll have to figure that one out on my own.

Grace in Small Things

The "My Internet Was Down Yesterday and I Couldn't Post" Edition

1) Postcard waiting for me when I got home last night

2) "Gold Digger" playing in Dunkin' Donuts this morning

3) Looking at the photos from this weekend and falling over laughing at the memories

Sunday, November 15, 2009

It had been, until this weekend, a very long time since:
I've scaled a fence
Had security called to a hotel room at 3am due to noise complaints
Started a quote list because everything we said was just too funny
Lost my voice screaming at a football game

S.E.C. Football and tailgating in GA is pretty amazing.

My friends, however, are even better!

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Go war damn eagles!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Georgia On My Mind 2009

It's time once again for my annual autumnal journey south of the Mason Dixon.

This time I'm headed to Athens to see Georgia play Auburn.

I don't have a horse in this race, but since my ticket comes to via a War Eagle, I'm rooting for Auburn.

I've been practising my cheers and have my orange and blue all packed and ready to go.

Weagle Weagle War Damn Eagle!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

We have a pretty even distribution of labor in my household.

From each according to her ability, to each according to her need. Or something like that. Except without the bad Soviet hair cuts and drab clothing.

This works well and keeps things moving swiftly along. We each have our own duties and roles suited to our own strengths and weaknesses.

I, for instance, am in charge of removing all manner of insects and creepy crawlies. Also, spraying Raid in the cracks and crevices of our abode.

My roomates, on the other hand, are in charge of dealing with any and all snakes that may enter the apartment (yes, I know I live in New York City but snakes are scary) and any and all ghosts.

I'm not kidding.

Things that go bump in the night? When my over active imagination takes charge and I'm 100% certain that there is a serial killer hiding in our bathtub hidden by the shower curtain? All them.
They also understand my fear of showering when I'm home alone and are perfectly willing to scream, "I'm home! And I'm not going to go all Norman Bates on you!" as they walk in the door.

It's a good thing.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Something New Every Day

I learned a new word!

I'm so excited!


It's a noun meaning: underhanded or unscrupulous behavior; also : a devious device or trick.

Plus it's vaguely onomatopoeic, which I love.

But, very best of all, I learned by watching Mad Men. Score! Don't say TV never taught you nothing.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

There Are Worse Things I Could Do

In Which I Fall Deeper into Cliche
I think I need to Punch Myself in the Face.

So, I work in fashion.
The majority of my clothes are black, white or camel.
I own more pairs of black tights than dresses and have a different black dress for every day of the week. And a pair of black flats to match each one.
I live in the West Village and know more gay men than straight.

I want a cat desperately but refuse to get one because, well, I just can't.

Today. Today, though I slipped to a new and dangerously dark low.

I went to Starbucks for coffee. I don't do it all the time but these are the times that try a girl's soul and desperate times call for desperate measures. I wanted the flavor of a latte with nutmeg and cinnamon on top. I needed more of a kick than that. So I, no joke, stepped up to the counter and ordered the following:

"I'd like a medium Americano cafe au lait."

Angels wept.

I had to explain how to make it.

Then, when they didn't do it correctly, I asked them to dump it out and re-make it as I stood at the counter and gave them step by step instructions.

Jesus wept.

I tried to be as nice as possible while telling people how to do their job. I'm properly embarrassed and left a $5 tip.

Still, though, I need to be punched in the face.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Grace In Small Things

The Laundry Edition

1) Someone left the entire Sunday Times on top of a washer

2) Hearing “Throwing Down” come on the radio and singing along “ashes, ashes all fall down”

3) Getting into bed with clean sheets that smell of Tide and Clorox bleach and starched

Sunday, November 8, 2009

My grandmother wore Estee Lauder's White Linen perfume.

Her scent was a much a part of her being as her grey hair or throaty laugh.

Several years ago my brother wandered a perfume counter at Marshall Field's in Minneapolis sniffing every bottle until he found what "Nanny smelled like."

I miss Nanny. Every day. More than I can say and more than I thought I would.

Today, as I walked home from bruch, I passed through a cloud of White Linen. My ipod was on and my mind a million miles away, but one whiff and I was recalled to life.

I could hear Nanny as clear as day, "Hi, doll!"

Guess she's still watching me.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Faux-jolais Nouveau

Tonight we are celebrating the arrival of the 2009 Faux-jolais Nouveau.

It's a holiday I created myself. It's what you celebrate when you have unbreakable plans for the 3rd Wednesday of November.

The usual suspects are due to arrive chez moi any moment. Candles are lit, nibbles are out and wine is chilled. Just on thing, I seem to have forgotten napkins.


Thank goodness my friends are generous souls who always ask to bring something.

That's how I roll folks, I'll invite you over but make you bring your own napkins.

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Mind is A Terrible Thing

I’ve had Wichita County Line Man running through my head all morning.

Except, well, that’s not really the song I want to be singing.

I want to be singing the song that goes, “if you’re leaving Amarillo…” but I can’t actually remember the words and the tune is similar enough to Wichita County Line Man.

Thus, I’m still on the liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnne.

Edited to Add-
Turns out I've meant to be singing "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" which explains why I was unable to google the lyrics "if you're leaving Amarillo."

Thursday, November 5, 2009

27th Heaven

All I can say is, "thank goodness."

Thank goodness it's over and I can get to sleep at a decent hour!

Oh, and Matsui, #55 in the program, #1 in my heart.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Vite! Vite!

I ran past the Standard Hotel last night.

What with Jude Law sightings and Gwyneth Paltrow drive bys and its most recent mention in the Style section, the Standard is this year's Gansevoort (as an aside, perhaps one day I'll throw champagne off the roof of this hotel, too!). As such, the paparazzi camp out in front of the entrance.

It's not unusual, I see them all the time. Generally they don't give me the time of day.

Last night must have been a slow night. As I ran past 2 or 3 of the guys started screaming, "Smile, pretty girl!"

Made my night.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


This year's Halloween costume caused a bit of a stir.

I went as Holly Golightly in her nightgown (ie I wore a man's tuxedo shirt, Holly's sleeping mask and ear plugs). It was pretty cute, if I do say so myself.

Comments at the party ranged from "cute, if chilly" to "Dude, you're not wearing any pants!" to the poor 10 year old boys who came trick or treating and stood on the stoop with their mouths agap.

Still, the very best comment came all the way from London. M, a bit confused about who Holly Golightly actually was, thought she was a singer in a band. Once corrected, M had this to say:

I did find it strange that you would go as a singer from a rock band without her pants, but Ryan nothing surprises me.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Of Mice and Men

File this under "best laid plans."
It was a winter's day in New York City.

A Tuesday I think. Perhaps a Wednesday. Mid-week. Grey. Wet. Rough day at the office. You get the idea.

Anyway, I decided it was a pizza kind of night. I went to Arturo's and picked up a large mushroom pie and a 6 pack of Heinekin. Figured I'd bring it home and surprise my roomates with dinner. Got home, opened a beer, put the oven on warm, took a slice for myself and put the rest of the pie in the oven (can you guess where this went sideways?).

Some 10-15 minutes later I smelled smoke. Went into the kitchen and saw flames jumping out the top of the oven. I managed to pull the flaming box out of the oven and got it in the sink. The flames set the paper towel roll and the dish drying rack as well as the wooden spoon on fire.

Fortunately I had a full brita filter of water and was able to put out the fire.
Unfortunately, I lost the pizza.
Fortunately, I still had 5 beers left.

And that, is the story of how I set my apartment on fire.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


This post is for Halsey who, when I mentioned last night that I would post everyday for November, said, "but you never post!"

Right, I never post except in November!