Yes, I know. It’s been a while since I posted. Well, I’ve been busy. (Hold on for dear life, this post will be all over the place.)
I spent a whole 36 hours in Germany, where I slept in a hotel room that had no heat. It also had no sheets on the bed. That was fun.
In a lovely bar, I nearly walked into the men’s bathroom (because, hey, I don’t speak German.). Thankfully, I harkened back to my knowledge of 40’s slang, and took a chance that “Damen” might be reminiscent of “Dame”, and, well, thankfully, I was right. Do not be fooled by the h-e-r in “herren”. You’ll find yourself face to face with a urinal and god-knows-what-else.
What did I eat, in Germany? Italian food. Well, I was there for work, and the Germans must have thought it would be neat to treat the Americans and the Englishmen to a nice treat. Gotta tell ya, I was happy to not have to eat boar ( we were near the Black Forest, after all, and in lieu of cake, the local menus offered boar, venison , and all sorts of gamey fare that I just don’t think my jet-lagged-stomach could handle). I ate my caprese with a smile, thank you very much.
The next night’s dinner was Burger King at the Cologne train station. Yes, you read that right. Burger King.
I don’t eat Burger King at home, so why would eat it abroad? Because I was abroad. GMO lettuce and tomato, and hormone-injected beef are not permitted in the EU, and so, of course, I wanted to see whether this Whopper would live up to its name.
It tasted exactly the same as a Whopper in the States. Disappointment does not begin to describe how I felt.
My colleague proceeded to tell me she was going to order a schnitzel. What she meant? A wurst. I’m not the only one who doesn’t speak German.
On the upside, there’s a lovely confectionary shop in the train station, and I bought the biggest brick of chocolate-covered marzipan I’ve ever seen. Then I was happy.
We were boarding a train to Brussels. I felt a huge relief when we arrived – largely because I could speak the language. Of course, when I asked the cabby the fare (“C’est combien?” ) he had the audacity to answer: “It’s seven Euros.”
Did I mention he looked like Mickey Rourke from 9 ½ Weeks? Yeah. To say I was a-flutter would be accurate.
The next day in Brussels was full of meetings, but I did catch a glimpse of Manneken Pis before buying some chocolates at what turned out to be the Starbucks of Belgian chocolates.
What else has kept me from posting? Well, I’ve spent entirely too much time with gay men.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my gay husbands and gay boyfriends. But, despite one of them proclaiming to like making out with straight girls (don’t DO that to me!!!), they’re not exactly helping my cause.
Sure, they’ll tell me I have great boobies (sometimes, far too often for comfort), they may nibble on my shoulder blade, or get too close – I think they forget that straight women are *attracted* to hot men – but, they can’t really , um, you know, give us straight girls what we crave. If you catch my drift.
Let’s revisit a comment in the paragraph above: one of my gay friends claims to like making out with women. This sent me into a small tail spin. What kind of mind-fuck would that be for your average straight girl?
Imagine: hot , in-shape, very sexy man approaches you in a dark corner/bar/living room. You can feel the chemistry. (He likely doesn’t feel the same chemistry.) He leans in, presses you against the wall , and kisses you like he means it. His hands may do a little exploring,or they may stay entangled in your hair.
Imagine, hot, wet, passionate kisses. They leave you panting, weak in the knees.
They leave him… amused? Entertained? What? I don’t know. But , not turned on, certainly, right? How unfair is that? Totally unfair. Thankfully, this has not happened to me, but when I heard a friend’s podcast (link above), it’s all I thought about for days. (Please don’t make out with me, Ric, I’m not strong enough to handle it.) I’m still thinking about it. I’m fascinated by this idea: someone who is not at all , not even remotely, attracted to me, my gender, could, and presumably has, make out with me/one of us, and like it? It boggles my mind. I guess it depends on your definition of “like”, but still. I can’t get this out of my head. It fascinates me.
Ok. We’ve covered Europe. We’ve covered sexual gay men. We’ve briefly touched on how neither helped my love life. Which leads me to…
Chicago. Oh, yes. I also went to Chicago. How could I forget?! Here’s what I will say about that trip:
It was FANTASTIC to see old friends. It was glorious to walk around the city and revisit old haunts. Chicago men still check me out (thanks, guys!). [ North Carolina men? Not so much. Never. Not even a little bit. See why I hang out with gay men?? They flatter me, they’re funny, they’re affectionate. We can talk about how potentially unhealthy this is another time.]
Chicago still makes me feel a combination of alive and invisible. Attractive and horrific. Young and very, very old. Vibrant, and sad, all at once.
Meanwhile, I do not understand these Southern straight boys. Guys, do you think it’s rude to flirt? Do you think it’s beneath you (you, the hot guys. The attractive, intelligent, interesting guys who I may actually want to spend time with) to flirt ? Is it beneath you to even look my/our way? I don’t get it. I really don’t. I also don’t recall if it was always this way. After all, I moved to Chicago in my 20’s . I came back to NC in my 30’s. I don’t know if things are so different, or if now I just notice. In any case, it’sstill pretty frickin’ annoying. So, hold on tight, if I see you, watch out. I’m coming over to talk to you. Prepare yourselves.
I have had an experience or two via friends lately though. In the interest of their privacy and my friendships I will only say this: I’ve made some additions to my list of “things straight guys do that are a huge turn off (to me)”. Ready?
1. Drive a red corvette that is NOT from the 1950’s.
2. On meeting your girlfriend’s friends, hang on to your girlfriend and kiss her every 38 seconds. (I don’t need you to mark your territory. You and I want very different things from her, trust me).
3. Tell your girlfriend’s friend how hot your girlfriend is (Really?? Tell your girlfriend. Tell HER. In private, preferably.).
4. Check out your girlfriend’s friends in a wolfish way.
5. Speak as though you are the only person with any knowledge on any subject. Ever.
6. Farmer blow (I recently learned that gay guys do this too. WHY??!!)
7. Pee in the shower. (THIS is a deal breaker. Do it once, and you’ll never have sex with me again.)
So, for now, I’ll stick with my gays (because, if I witness their farmer blow or know they pee in the shower, I don’t have to stress, because while they may make out with me, they are NOT coming home with me) and my cooking.
Of which I have done next to none, lately. I’ve made a few comfort foods lately though, that much is true.
The best? Baked apples.
Never made baked apples? Don’t stress, they’re pretty tough to get wrong. Here’s what I do:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Core apples (I like to use Granny Smiths, but Gala will work, so will Honeycrisp – generally , firmer is better (ha, that is so true).
Place the apples in a baking dish. Into the hollow where the core was, pack the core with the following: butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, almond slivers. Start with the brown sugar, and make sure to end with the almonds. Pack as much as you can into the center of the apple.
Then, I like to sprinkle into the dish (over the apples and around the bottom of the dish) some extra brown sugar, some extra cinnamon, and some extra dots of butter. That helps create some caramel-y goodness in the bottom of the dish.
Bake for at least an hour, preferably 90 minutes if you can wait that long (because your kitchen will start to smell like heaven). Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
What else is good and comforting?
Warm apple cider , spiked with Maker’s Mark.
And, a good pinot. I recently tried Poppy, and it was so delish, I drank ¾ of the bottle before I realized it. *hic*
Holiday and party season is quickly approaching. I’ll try to keep my wits and sense of humor about me, you do the same.
And If you wanna make out over a glass of Poppy? Call me.