Is Gingham Ever Appropriate?
This morning I awakened at quarter of an hour that no one should ever be roused unless there are international flights involved. One thought flirted with my consciousness, "Is gingham ever appropriate?" Could it be that simple - could gingham be the reason for the lack of z's? A fashion faux pas my somnabulistic Robin Hood? I looked the word up - nope, no z in gingham according to Wikipedia. More thought was deemed appropriate for this predawn enigma. Body parts were scratched, yawns stifled, Jack Russell Terriers walked. I think a tea kettle may have been drafted.
It's been a strange, yet compelling few weeks, so you'll forgive my mental meander. There was a drive from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware to Miami Florida. I stumbled on the set of Tru TV's "South Beach Tow" and got included in the filming of the next season as I stood transfixed by Bernice's ability to ramp up from subdued to screaming between, "Cut" and, "Action."
Later that day I recorded my own South Beach Toe when I almost lost a toe nail in my fervor to take up outdoor running.
I was in DC for a week at the summer Fancy Foods show & was initiated into the, "Men o'Cheese" group. However, just like the Freemasons, my lips are sealed. I had a side trip out to Virginia's mixing bowl. Not a kitchen supplies store as it turns out. Who knew?
Ginge & I did not kill each other during the 2 day drive south to Miami. Ginge did have a minor meltdown when I insisted we (i.e. he) drive our large rental truck around the tight squares of Savannah, GA. Score 1 for me since we got our moving truck stuck behind a horse and buggy occupied by a microphone wielding tour guide whose genteel enunciation was none the worse for wear over a tinny microphone. I at least enjoyed the free tour. Ginge was, well being a ginge, all fired up and nowhere to go fast. I believe I heard him mutter "I'm going to miss the 11am breakfast at McDonalds if Scarlet O'Hara doesn't wrap it up." Wherever Equus go, we go.
I'll spare you the domestic details about our Miami trip, but will share some of my Facebook updates. This I do in homage to the schamncy Lincoln Road shop assistant who suffered my innocent reply, "It's the humidity I dislike" to her conversational gambit, "Are you a fan of the Miami Heat?" They do not suffer sweaty fools gladly in the basketball obsessed Magic City. And yes, I had to Google - I thought it was baseball.
"4 kids. 4 drums. 1 Baggage Claim + 1 huge headache. I'll do the math if you leave the kids and/or the drums at home."
"That's a lot of Vera Bradley for so early. Poor guy."
"How can this be a red eye when the Illy coffee stand is closed?"
"I'm soaked & I smell like fried chicken. Why couldn't I have gotten stuck in a bar?"
"Wondering if I can get a cab to bring me scotch?"
"I love cycling around this crazy art deco spanish mid century modern city in the evening. Surreal (in a good way) for this boy from the Valleys. 84F at 9pm. Scent of olive oil frying, coriander, the ocean, and tropical flowers on the cool breeze. Spanish being spoken everywhere. Sometimes I think I'm in southern Spain, especially when cycling the ocean boardwalk paths. Lovely."
This was followed by...
"The douchebag stole my bike and now my phone autotype recognises douchebag. A mixed blessing."
"Can I bring a bag of beets in my carry on? They're not a liquid, gel, or in my shoes or underpants. Anyone?"
"Is it wrong to want to slap the jolly people who've been playing paddle ball for 45 minutes next to me? I guess if you have to ask... Zen enough for you?"
"Forget Gatorade - Dale's Pale Ale works for me after a long bike ride!"
"Stunned. Just had the guy who works the counter at the FedEx office basically tell me to go back to England, or whichever country it is I'm from. Dude, I'm from Wales. I've been an American citizen for a decade & a USA taxpayer for 2 decades and I don't understand the relevance of nationality to customer service. Who's training these guys? "Eva beware of the city. It's hungry and cold. Can't be controlled." Indeed!"
"Ever the over-achiever. I've developed runner's toe after only 2 outdoor track runs in Miami."
"Guy next to me at SBUX is clipping his nails. Slowly. #indangeroflosingbreakfast"
"Just paid $4.75 for a 20oz bottle water. Movie only cost $11."
"At SBUX, Ipod tells me I burned 24 calories cycling here. Lemon poundcake is 500 calories. Belly good!"
"Surreal moment of the night. Good Morning Baltimore from the high seas. Nice connection back to James Marsden!"
"Wierd being at the beach on one's own when it's busy. I feel like Mr Bean!"
"Water just emptied pretty fast. Guys spotted two 4' sharks! Where's Chief Brody?"
"Weather's gorgeous today. Beats tropical storm Andy yesterday. Dragging my empanada & beer filled belly to the beach! It ain't gonna be pretty!"
"Actually contemplating a jog tomorrow. Intimidating. Yet to see anyone look tired whilst jogging the streets/parks of Miami. Myself, I can barely speak when I'm moving!"
"Staring at my bike locked up in a pool of water & wishing I'd had the sense to lock it up under the umbrella table next to the lamp post. Doh!"
"City apartment living can take some getting used to. Dude close your bathroom blinds. Please!"
"Saved. The toaster has arrived. Thank you a very warm UPS man"
"Overheard at SBUX, "Remember when it got cold a few years back & the iguanas were falling out of the trees?" Good times!"
"That was interesting. First time (and second time) I ever got stung by a jellyfish (twice mind you)."
"My world traveler husband just asked the cable guy if he's German. "No, I'm Cuban" came the reply. Close but no cigar!"
"I don't think any male under 30 owns a shirt in Miami."
"Reading reviews for gyms. Trying to find a gym to work out at while in SOBE. I'm quoting a review, "Provided one the strangest gym experiences ever when I walked in to find a drag queen DJ'ing in the middle of the day." Gotta love Miami."
OK, so cue the record scratch sound effect. What was it that woke me so early if not for the gingham? I saw it in the kitchen while waiting on line for the tea kettle. It's L & O day today. The Limoncello and Orangecello has done its magic and now becomes an adult beverage. Into the freezer it goes, and we'll have booze before July is out! Recipe will have to be included in a future column. I'm all out of words.
And, oh, back to the gingham. Turns out I had a column due and the gingham, well while it it may not be appropriate for dinner with friends, fresh cheeses, peaches, blueberries and strawberries are here, signifying early summer picnic season, so what other use is there for gingham? And that, dear readers is the subject of a future column...
This column is dedicated to my two wisest and generous friends in the food biz (you know who you are). Your advice is much appreciated, and I'm sincerely touched and motivated to make you proud. I leave it to the delicate, yet wise words of a certain New Jersey lady, who leaned in close with words of advice to her future son in law on his wedding day, "Son, don't f*** it up!" With the gifts of great wisdom shared comes a great responsibility. I am in your debt. Thank you. I'll try not to f*** it up!