September 30, 2008
Boy, I’ll tell you, for those of you who watch the market, the past few days have been a hell of a ride! I was listening to the news and after the close on Monday, the amount of points the market fell just kept rising and rising. Last I heard was somewhere around 770. Then it rose 400 odd points, and now, well, who knows? Everyone has a different opinion of what is going on, who is to blame, and how this whole mess should be fixed. The fact is, people, that we are going through something that is a history making event right now. Whether or not the bail out would have worked if it had passed, or if it will pass when they vote on it again is something none of us know. I think most of us are looking at the next few days with trepidation, wondering just how much this is going to affect the general public. My opinion? Go after all the CEO’s who could potentially be coming out of this with a golden parachute, let them plummet to the ground like a stone, and let the rest of us benefit from what they would have gotten. (Not that I have anything against CEO’s…I have a problem when I see people close to me losing their jobs while I’m reading articles in the Journal about packages that some of these CEO’s are getting…NOT COOL!. Share the love, is all I’m saying!) The media is making it sound like we’re about to go through some kind of nuclear holocaust, and that the stock market crash is almost the end of the world…and all that will be left will be cockroaches and door to door salesmen. If it’s really going to be like that, just let me hunker down with my honey and four furbabies (one of which has really bad breath…someone email me a reminder to pick up kitty breath mints!), some good wine, coffee and chocolate, crank up some Ella, and come what may…I’ll be just ducky!
"I could dance with you til the cows come home. On second thought, I’d rather dance with the cows until you come home." – Groucho Marx
September 22, 2008
I love life. There are so many things, little things, that are amusing when we come across them every day. The problem is that too many of us don’t take the time to see all those little things around us and live life to its fullest. I try to do just that. For the longest time I held back on the things I wanted to do as I was afraid of upsetting people. I was also afraid of going out and doing them on my own…like I needed a companion – a partner in crime, if you will. I know that I really tick off some people as I dance to the beat of my own drummer (as Mother always says when I am showing my headstrong tendencies and she’s aggravated with me), but the fact is that I do get on out there and dance…and if I slip and fall while doing the shimmy, well, I’ll just lick my wounds and get back up and out on the dance floor again, because even with the medical dramas and being really tight with a buck lately, I don’t think I have ever been happier and more comfortable in my own skin. Life is good, people! Get on out there…onto the dance floor…and whether it’s the tango or the Electric Slide…or even a polka…give something new a try!
A little bit country…
Mary Lamont will be playing at the 22nd Annual Bellmont Street Fair on September 27th.
Friday, September 26th Patricia Shih will be playing at Saxton Middle School in Patchogue.
A NEW series, Acoustic Strings and Things, is part open mic and part acoustic showcase. Mill Pond House on September 24, 7:30PM. (No website, 660 Mill Pond Road, St. James.) FREE.
Also on the 24th…The Cup, open mic, $1 cover. 3268 Railroad Avenue, Wantaugh.
Buddy Merriam and Back Roads have two gigs coming up this weekend! Get yer bluegrass on!
Martha Trachtenberg and Tom Griffith at a house concert…$10 per person and bring something for pot-luck. Call 516-579-5365 for reservations. I have seen them…they are AWESOME!!!
Gettin’ back to nature…
LI Live Steamers is having their Run Day on the 28th at Southhaven Park. Take a train ride through the woods!
Fall Nature Walk at Cathedral Pines this weekend! Click here to reserve your spot!
Wildwood State Park is hosting a Fall Festival this weekend!
Connetquot State Park is providing house tours for only $3 per person!
Culture vultures, there’s something for you too!
Poets in Port, a poetry series in Northport, will be hosting an event this Friday!
Also in Northport, the Northport Tasting Room and Wine Cellar will be hosting a reception for the works of Michael Krasowitz.
All About Color at Phoenix Fine Art Gallery…
All for now, you kooky cats! Get on out there and check some of these out! I’ll be back next week sometime with lots more for you to do! Have an event that should be listed here? Email me at email@example.com.
"Marriage is based on the theory that when man finds a beer exactly to his taste he should at once quit his job and go work in the brewery."-Nathan
September 20, 2008
No, Miss Chris is not running off and getting married…it was just a really fun quote about beer! I could have quoted Homer Simpson, but that would have been way too easy. Miss Chris has beer on the brain as it is Oktoberfest season and I’ll be away next weekend doing just what the doctor ordered–getting more grain into my diet (I know, that’s not what he meant!) — I can’t wait! I have every intention of sitting in front of a large fireplace, nursing a dark and brooding brew, and meeting other like minded beer folk (and watching men in leiderhosen). It’s my last big hurrah before I give up beer for the next few months and I plan on going out with a bang!
No sense crying in your beer!
As I was reshelving books at the library, I noticed a book I just had to borrow–Brewing Battles, a History of American Beer–by Amy Mittleman. I started perusing it, and it looks really good…it’s only about 200 pages, so it’s a pretty quick read.
I am one gal who loves her seasonal brews–the saisons, pumpkins, Oktoberfests–and I could not be happier that they are all widely available right now. Some to look for are Weyerbacher’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Southampton Publick House’s Saison and Pumpkin Ale (I heard a rumor that they were bought by the conglomerate that also bought Budweiser…can someone confirm that for me? Thanks!), Saranac’s Pumpkin Ale, Harpoon’s Glacier Harvest ’08 Wet Hop Beer (a pale ale), Spaten’s Oktoberfest, Ommegang Rouge Flemish Red, and Samuel Smith’s Organic Cider. YOU WILL NOT FIND THESE AT THE SUPERMARKET! Get yourself to the local beverage center and make a point of checking these out!
Have you ever thought about homebrewing? Of course I have (as I want to try EVERYTHING!) but it’s just not in the cards for me at this time. However, if you have the room and the desire to give it a whirl, there are some great websites out there that let you shop for supplies from the comfort of your La-Z-Boy. Take a look below:
A pint here, a pint there…
Did you know that only 2% of Long Islanders donate blood as compared to 7% nationwide? Briarcliffe College in Patchogue is running a blood drive on October 7 from 10-6, and it’s open to the public! Do your good deed for the day and help alleviate a critical blood shortage!
Friends of the Dead…
No, this is NOT a Grateful Dead thing…the Cemetery Restoration Committee is looking for donations for a yard sale to help raise funds to keep their work going! Please donate!
Do you hear what I hear?
Patchogue Theatre’s Chamber Music Series features Svet Stoyanov and Moni Simoenov this Sunday, September 21st at 3PM, tickets are $15 per person.
Annette Perry and Vytas Baksys will be playing a selection of Bach, Mendelssohn, and Beethoven at Bayport-Blue Point Public Library on September 28. FREE.
It’s back…Live in the Lobby! With shows two weeks in a row! Come on down and see some of Long Island’s great original musicians in an intimate and cozy venue, and say hi to me…I’ll be the gal who breaks your horns as you try to sneak outside with a beer! $10 admission.
Kissin’ cousins to Live in the Lobby is the Bellport Songwriter Series, coming up on September 28. Another cozy venue with a breathtaking view of the Great South Bay and great original music…$5 gets you in the door!
The Sunday Street Concert Series at University Cafe starts in two weeks…get your tickets NOW for Eilen Jewel and Phil Minissale! Advance tickets are $15, $20 at the door!
Shane Alexander at Stephen Talkhouse on September 27, $10 gets you in.
Sayville at the Common Ground on Sunday the 21st–The Swingtime Big Band! FREE.
Calling All Artists!
The Brookhaven Arts and Humanities Council is looking for you! Do you work on a large scale? Their Big Stuff show was made just for you! There will also be a Portait Show coming up! Register NOW!
Viva la difference!
Unity Day is coming up on September 26th…celebrate our diversity and learn about new people and things!
I’ll be back in just a few days listing lots more Cheap Dates to check out! Have something that should be here? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I only drink fortified wines during bad weather…(sic) After all, it’s any storm for a Port. — Winalski
September 12, 2008
Well, Miss Chris is still dealing with her medical dramas…a detached retina due to hypertensive eye disease…which means hardcore meds…which means no more red meat or beer for me (that pitiful noise you hear coming in on the wind is me, crying, knowing I have to go back on the DASH diet…no more steak dinners with a nice microbrew for me…boo hoo!). HOWEVER…I can still have wine! (And I’m still going to be sneaking in a beer here and there…I am NOT giving up my pumpkin ale!) So, as we all know that good food, good wine, and a very bad girl is what I’m all about…I’m going to devote a good chunk of this entry to my vices! (At least the PG rated ones…and to someone who I KNOW reads this regularly…get yer mind out of the gutter!)
Wine me, dine me…
Well, as I am now going to be on a forced wine kick (oh, please, no…twist my arm!), I’ve been doing oodles of research on wine sites, wine clubs, wine products, and just some really great wine articles. Many people are intimidated by wine, thinking that if they order the “wrong” wine, people will look down their noses at them. Not so! First off, many of these faux oenophiles are just pulling your leg…either trying to look like they know more than they do, or just having a goof at your expense. Read this article for how to do it, too!
There’s a lot of people that feel that if a wine is cheap, it can’t be good. Actually, have you ever noticed how many fallacies are perpetuated about wines? That screw tops and syntheic corks are bad, that box wines are bad, that only certain wines go with certain foods? I hope you’ll allow me to blow all of that out of the water for you as I give you just a teensy bit of a lesson about wine.
Let’s address the first topic I brought up–cheap vs. expensive. There are MANY great choices out there for inexpensive wines that don’t break the bank. I thoroughly enjoy researching the subject with my galpals, and I often find great recommendations in Wine Spectator and Food and Wine magazines that I make a point of hunting down and trying out and then (if I remember) entering into a database in my computer for future reference. If you are looking for something much more “quick and dirty”, make a point of clicking on the following sites:
Once you get into it, you may want to take a page from my book and document what is good and what is, well, pretty much vinegar. Click here to access a free wine database!
Screw tops and synthetic corks–wine snobs often look down their noses at these. Anyone who knows wine should EMBRACE them! Natural cork, though used for ages as a stopper in bottles, must be kept moist to maintain a proper seal. (Hence why wine is stored on its side.) However, natural cork is just that-natural-and has the same tendencies that most other woods do. It can pick up fungus, tainting your wine. It can dry out and deteriorate, letting air seep into your prized viognier so that it becomes “corked”. You likely will know if you’ve gotten a corked wine…it will have a nose of wet dog, with notes of cardboard and cheap balsamic on the tongue, and a finish that is reminiscent of licking the inside of a can (these are my observations…yours may vary…). Synthetics and screw caps are much more stable, and make it MUCH easier to reseal a bottle if need be. (I’m much more a fan of the screw cap than the synthetics as the synthetics are not recyclable.) For a quick read on the topic, click here.
Box wine. Hmmmmm…for years I looked down on it. Unless I REALLY needed to get a buzz on after having the day from hell and that was all my friend had at her house, I would have rather drunk out of the garden hose and forgo my grape juice fix. I still will not buy Peter Vella or anything that comes in say, four gallon containers, has a description on it of “Blush”, and a vintage of last week. However, those of you who are in the know may already be aware of a Miss Chris fave-French Rabbit…packed in what is known as a Tetra-Pak, this is a good $10 or so wine, comes in several varieties, and is eco-friendly. Make a point of checking out the website…it’s VERY cool!
White zin with a kobe steak? Chianti with Chinese food? Again, something the wine snobs would be horrified at…let me tell you something…my little secret…I take those rules and throw them out the window. What it should boil down to is WHAT YOU LIKE! Cheap, expensive, red, white, it should be what makes YOU happy! I will throw a few of my personal picks out there for you to try, however…write in and let me know if you have tried them and what your thoughts are!
For a good all around wine, you can’t go wrong with Pinot Noir. I’ve been drinking it for over a decade (way before Sideways made it THE wine to drink), and it goes well with everything from pastas to steak. My go to wine for most occasions is Villa Mt. Eden. The “non-reserve” wine is quite good, dry-ish with some fruit notes and extremely quaffable, and retails at around $14. Try to find the 2004 if you can.
Cheap, but I like it…that’s how I’d categorize Concha y Toro’s Frontera Savignon Blanc. It’s a heavier white wine with a lot of fruit (I taste apple and lemon), good legs, and a long finish…a bit on the hearty side. You can often find a magnum for around $10.
On a lighter note, Fontana Candida’s Frescati is a well liked Italian wine (and Miss Chris’ Daddy-O’s fave) with an 89 Wine Spectator rating and a price of around $11 for a magnum. Sweet, light, with notes of apple and grass, this is a great wine with lighter fare (though I’ll drink it anytime!)
Up for a little experimentation? How about a cheap wine tasting party? I loved this idea! Great for a night in with friends! Check it out by clicking here!
A night at the movies!
There’s some really cool goings on at the Cinema Arts Center! This week “Burn After Reading” is playing (I may have to go see this…not for George Clooney, or Brad Pitt…I have a not so secret crush on John Malkovich…he’s on my short list of next-husbands, along with Chris Isaac and Robert Downey, Jr.). Coming next week, The NY Disabilities Film Festival will be featuring THREE films at the CAC, Ben Model will be providing musical accompaniment for Clara Bow IT, and How to Draw a Bunny will all be featured.
Get your zen on…
Some of you may know that Miss Chris tries to get her zen on with a little meditation (and somehow ends up with a fit of giggles every time she tries…), but the UUFB is hosting Zen Meditation this Thursday the 18th. Please just make a small donation…they are just a really cool little fellowship that welcomes everyone…they have a beautiful location on the bay, an art gallery, and host a songwriter series I will be mentioning in next week’s post.
Ever wanted to act, but always felt kind of awkward about it? Sayville Adult Education is offering individual, personal instruction. Call 631-244-6647 for more info.
The Greenport Gallery Walk is this weekend, September 20.
Film, Glitter and Glam, photography by Mick Rock and mixed media by Steve Joester will be featured at the Morrison Hotel.
Jeanine Klein’s exhibit Use the Elephants will be at Gallery 4222.
I want to rock with you…
Some great gigs are coming up this week! I’m just going to post these all quick and dirty as I have so much to cover in these posts!
Frank Latorre and the King Bees at Eastport Luncheonette this Friday!
A Miss Chris fave, Miller’s Crossing–a kick butt and take no prisoners good bluegrass band–will be playing at Palmer Vineyards!
The Homegrown String Band will be playing at Harborfields Library this week.
Coming soon…another Jazz in the Living Room!
All for now…have something you think should be on here? Let me know at email@example.com! I’ll be back with more in a few days!
September 8, 2008
Ever have one of those days where it feels like everything you say comes out sounding like the teacher on the animated Charlie Brown cartoons? “Wa wa wa wa?” Like it doesn’t make any sense, or maybe that people are just tuning you out? Not sure if it’s the hour or what, but I’ve been trying to explain something to a couple of students about how to use research databases…I give them the URL, I walk them through what to do, I walk away, come back, and they’re on Google. AGAIN! The same search engine I just told them NOT to use! And when I ask why they aren’t on the databases I just showed them, I get this blank stare. Now, I don’t have dogs, I have cats. Enough to put me at the brink of holding the title of the Crazy Cat Lady of Patchogue. But at least when I speak to them, they look at me like they understand what I’m saying and that it’s the most brilliant thing they have ever heard (though I’m sure what they are REALLY thinking is, “Mommy, we’re hungry…feed us…PLEASE….” and, “Do you know that the neighbors can all see you when you dance around with us in your underwear? They do make shades for a reason, you know.”). Furbabies can make even the worst day seem, well, not so bad!
Dog day afternoon!
The Town of Islip will be providing FREE rabies vaccinations for dogs, cats, and ferrets on Saturday from 9-3. A $10 donation is requested, but not required.
LI Dog Owners Group has a great website with news, info, and shopping for your dog.
Doga–yoga with your dog at Love on a Leash!
Funniest movie about dogs (and their owners) ever–Best in Show!
Cat got your tongue?
I can’t believe I found this! A dating site for cat lovers! Purrsonals.com. Who knew?
And of course, www.Petfinder.com merits a mention here as well!
Bliss in Setauket now features lobster specials starting at $9.95 on Wednesdays!
Culture vultures, this one’s for you!
OAS43 will be featuring over 200 artists, plus food and live music on September 20 and 21. FREE.
I had mentioned Oktoberfests in an earlier post and will keep putting them up here as they get close. In the meantime, don your leiderhosen and kick back with an Oktoberfest brew. Maltier than the summer brews, most are out NOW! Blue Point Brewery’s Oktoberfest will be available next week. Grab a growler to go! (Thank you, Paul Brown!)
I’m not wining…
…about the price of “Two Buck Chuck”, the organic wine available at Trader Joe’s. Scroll to the bottom of the page for info on their wine selection at bottom of the barrel prices!
All for now! Add yourself to the new RSS feed list, or the new blog followers option! Have an event, gig, or suggestion? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! Chat soon!
When I am attacked by gloomy thoughts, nothing helps me so much as running to my books. They quickly absorb me and banish the clouds from my mind.
September 7, 2008
The quote above is from Montaigne. (Yes, Blogger is still giving me problems!) Any of you who know me are aware there are few things that bring me more joy than books. As someone once said…they’re not fattening, and they are intensely personal (and the immorality of a text is subjective…)! Really, what gift can you give someone that shows you were thinking of them more than a book? And considering we are moving into Autumn, with the start of school and cooler weather around the corner…it’s time to get your read on! Maybe some Poe, Lovecraft, or Hawthorne (my fave–bet you didn’t know Hawthorne wrote some really eerie stories…check out Feathertop if you have the chance!) to start getting ready for the upcoming spooky season!
September 4, 2008
Blogger really seems to be acting up lately! I can’t add things on…I can’t format correctly. What a pain! It took me about fifteen tries to log in tonight! Last week I couldn’t add video. Now my videos are only rendering intermittently, photos too. UGH!!! I want my mommy!
All the world loves a clown…NOT!
Anyhow…I had no idea how many people feared clowns! Coulrophobia is actually quite common, and is usually based upon a childhood experience with a particular clown. That being said, for those of you who do NOT fear clowns, I wanted to give you all some information about something that looks amazing! The best part is that it continues on for several weeks! The New York Clown Theatre Festival has many events that are either free or $15 per person. Ben Model, who some of you have seen at Cinema Arts doing the accompaniment for the silent films and is often mentioned on this blog, is one of the featured speakers. (Bury My Heart at Dumbass Cowboy and The Brazilian Hulk Show look really interesting as well!).
A mighty wind…
I love Christopher Guest movies but have yet to see that one. It came to mind as I’m looking at the schedule for the Common Ground in Sayville and noticing that on September 6 Gathering Time will be playing. FREE.
Art Farts, looky here!
The University Art Gallery at Stony Brook features its Faculty Exhibition 2008. FREE. While there, check out the Staller Center movie schedule…the seaon passes are definitely worth the money!
Hispanic Heritage Month is upon us! What better way to celebrate than to learn about Spanish food? The Brentwood Public Library is hosting Chef Charlie’s Tapas on Monday, September 8 at 7PM. FREE. Maybe you’re looking to burn off some of those calories…the Pat-Med Library will be hosting Salsa Dancing lessons on September 11. All classes require a library card to participate.
A good offense is the best defense…
While on the topic of the Pat-Med Library, they’re also offering self defense classes. Wednesday, September 10, 7PM.
Miss Chris has been waiting for this opportunity-
-to try something new and hopefully not make TOO much of a fool of herself! Contradance season has arrived…and with events in Water Mill and Smithtown, you KNOW I’ll be trying this out this month!
A little bacchanalia, perhaps?
September 6, FREE. Wine Tasting 101 at Cellar Tastings. You MUST RSVP for this event! Or how about some snake with your wine? Come see a snake charmer and fire thrower while you relax with a glass of wine at Peconic Bay Vineyard this Friday! Mambo Loco will be there Sunday!
Blue Point Brewery has a tasting room that is open usually from 4-7PM on Thurs-Saturday. Come on down and let your inner hippie rejoice with beers like Old Howling Bastard and Hoptical Illusion!
All for now…Miss Chris is tired what with the first week of school and all! I’ll be back in a few days with more things for y’all to do. Don’t forget to email me at email@example.com!
September 1, 2008
As Labor Day weekend draws to a close, our thoughts go to several things…returning to school, the end of summer, harvest festivals, and OKTOBERFESTS! We’re heading into Miss Chris’ favorite time of year…a time of pumpkins, cornstalks, hot apple cider, and leiderhosen. The leaves will be putting on their annual show and (hopefully) soon, there will be a nip in the air! So get on out and enjoy the best (in my opinion, anyway!) time of year, hopefully using some of the Cheap Date ideas I’m posting here!
A little bit country, a little bit rock n’ roll!
Thank you, Marci Geller, for commenting on the last post! You’re on today’s post again, with two mentions! This week, Acoustic Long Island features its first triple play and Marci Geller will be there with Cathy Kreger, and Susan DeVita as Lucky 13, and as always, admission is FREE. Lucky 13 will also be playing at IMAC (this is just an FYI as the cost exceeds Cheap Date guidelines). Make a point of catching one of these gigs…it’s worth it!
Hank Stone will be playing at Once and For All in Patchogue on September 5! Admission is FREE, and this is another show not to be missed! I’ve seen Hank when I worked the Live in the Lobby shows…he’s great! Hank’s site also features open mic nites, so Doug…here’s the info you have been asking me for!
The Homegrown String Band will be playing at several local venues in the next few weeks! I love these folks! They are really good AND just really nice people!
Dogstock is coming up at Bobbique! $15 admission!
September 6 brings the Bay Shore Harbor Festival and Boat Parade! Great music, a pirate show, how can it get any better?
The Sag Harbor Whaling Museum has an exhibit for the next few weeks about the whaling industry, oil, and its impact on society. If you’re in Sag Harbor, stop in to Spinnakers and grab a burger!
East Northport is also having a fall festival this coming weekend! Looks good…
Oompah music and men in leiderhosen…
Woohoo! It’s Oktoberfest time! Have you ever thought about why they hold Oktoberfests in September? Especially with “October” in the name? Well, Oktoberfests are actually harvest festivals! Here’s a few worth checking out!
Martha Clara Vineyards will be hosting their Oktoberfest on September 13-14…$10 per person in advance, $15 at the door. Make your reservations early!
Black Forest Brew Haus will have their Oktoberfest from September 26 through October 12! I’ve been to a few of these…so much fun! More will be posted weekly!
For a good cause…
Helping Long Island’s less fortunate is something we all should do. What better way than a little dinner and dancing? Not sure of the price, but this is something worth considering attending regardless of price!
All for now…if you have an event or an idea you’d like to see here, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org! I’ll be back later this week with more posts, so don’t forget to check in often! Chat soon!