Monthly Archives: October 2014

Great Eggspectations—The Humpty Dumpty Approach to Finding a Favorite Restaurant*

Blog - The Main Street Pub - 1

One thing I have discovered, house hunting makes you hungry. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s a side effect of staring at so many kitchens without being able to look in the refrigerator. (Are we supposed to be looking in the fridge?) One of the things I stumbled across while cruising a prospective neighborhood yesterday was a new restaurant. Well, new to me anyway.

The Main Street Pub is aptly named and has the potential to be a main staple as well. Hand-painted flowers decorate the windows facing the street luring customers to try greener pastures. Located at 1730 28th Street SW in Wyoming, Main Street has a hardwood character that makes me look around to see if “Norm” is going to walk in and take a seat at the end of the bar. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81QluTS-mWc  I believe it is a comparison the establishment fosters because the first thing my waiter, Zack, did was ask me my name. He was charming and attentive. It surprised me to learn he’d only been working there for a week. He too blended right away into an atmosphere that makes you feel as if the place has always been there and always will be, even though the restaurant is only eight or nine years old. And I will bet you a dessert of your choice—and the menu sports quite a few nice looking ones—that you won’t guess Zack’s age correctly if you visit.*

Blog - The Main Street Pub - 2
Feel free to describe any of these to me…in detail…slowly.

The place is large enough to host fourteen tables in the dining area with additional seating in the bar—nicely segmented by a midrise wooden wall topped by stained glass panels. It is family-friendly while still catering to bar stool jockeys in a segregated area, with a rowdier crowd in the wee hours of 2:00 a.m. (Which I will never be able to describe as that is past my bedtime. Feel free to stay up and let me know what happens.) Although the food reflects much of the standard bar fare, touches of culinary expression make this pub a cut above the rest.

I ordered the portabella club (7.99) and a cup of the tomato basil soup (2.49). I had planned to squeeze in a slice of the luscious-sounding Lemon Mousse Melody cake, but the sandwich came with an unexpected pile of French fries. The meal was more than plenty for lunch. As I ate, I watched the diners who were enjoying friendly conversation—not having to shout over the televisions there for the bar crowd and sports enthusiasts was pleasant. Because I came after the lunch hour, it was calm and yet still had the friendly feeling I look for when I dine out. (If I want crabby company, I can eat alone at home.)

The food I ate was tasty but not too pretentious. The fries were in my favorite, slightly soft state and hadn’t be doused in too much NaCl. Although I suspect the food will lean to the saltier side, so be prepared to drink gallons or just ask if the cook can “Just Say No” to the sodium.

Blog - The Main Street Pub - 3
Surprisingly tasty fare for pub grub.

The soup had a lovely tang of fresh basil which offset its salty character. The toasty pita bread oozed just a bit of the aioli red pepper sauce with each bite. If I could change something, I would have preferred a giant portabella mushroom to sink my teeth into rather than the slices of baby portabella. But that didn’t hurt the flavor. I’d also suggest they use a shredded Monterey Jack versus sliced to help better marry the loose lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers—melted cheese makes a terrific mortar. Minor gripes aside, the food comes with the promise of a warm welcome and a hope that this might become a favorite hangout of mine. Just as soon as I can find a house in Wyoming that I can afford.

Asterisk Bedazzled Footnote:
*Yes, the title is about as cheesy as it gets. I like cheese. Get used to it.
**I’m serious about the bet. First person to write in with Zack’s accurate age (as of 2014) will have dessert on me. Well, not on me, on me. This isn’t that kind of foodie site.

 

Rating:   Eggcelent = 4 Eggs
Ambiance: Egg ClipEgg ClipEgg Clip
Staff:        Egg ClipEgg ClipEgg ClipEgg Clip
Food:      Egg ClipEgg ClipEgg Clip
Price:     Egg ClipEgg ClipEgg ClipHalf-egg
(Appetizers 5.99+, Sandwiches 7.99+, Salads 3.00+, Entrée 9.99 – 14.99)

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Castles in the Sky: The Ever Elusive Search for Free Time

Castle in Clouds
Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/The Celestial Palace by Sattva

I have barely looked at my novel and I have nothing drafted for the upcoming Nanowrimo (National Novel Writers Month www.nanowrimo.org) adventures*. When I open my laptop lately, I promptly lose myself in the joys of Facebook and reading other people’s blogs. I consume this content with all the attention of someone mindlessly scarfing potato chips in front of the tv. “Munch, munch…reading other people’s issues and triumphs…how delicious. Nom, Nom, Nom!”

In short, I have been a poor writer this week. Before you accuse me of laziness (true) and chronic avoidance (ditto), please be aware that the stress of trying to find a house while also preparing for an upcoming surgery has left me as twitchy as a distressed zoo animal flinging feces at its captors. (It has also left me poorly equipped to draft clever analogies. Feel free to fling your own poo in response.) If, at the end of a day searching for a home, I have no energy beyond channel surfing some form of media, you can’t really blame me. Instead, do what I do: Blame Castle.

CastleIntertitle
If I take it from Wikipedia, is it really stealing?

For those of you living under a rock, Castle is this phenomenally casted show based on the novels by the fictional author “Richard Castle”. (I haven’t read the books, so I have no idea who is the real author behind the fake author.)

Nathan Fillion (ruggedly handsome actor) is living the fictional life I would love to lead.** The character is a recognized author, in a terrific, if episodically challenging, relationship. And apparently he can wander all around town during the day and romance his lady in the evening and the writing somehow magically gets done in the space and time in between. This is where I would like to learn how he does it!***

Where is my magical time of the day where I can squeeze in massive amounts of quality writing? Instead of fine dining and super sleuthing, I wrangle a hyperactive ten-year-old and juggle various responsibilities like an inebriated clown. (I have been known to drop a ball or two…over-sleeping the bus Monday comes to mind.) In the coming month of November, I have sworn to dedicate myself to the act of writing 50,000 words—or suffer the pangs of literary shame. Somehow I will have to find the tenacity, the willpower and the gumption necessary…to put the remote down. Then I can begin building my own castles in the sky. But, it isn’t November yet…and there’s going to be another Castle marathon on TNT starting soon.

* * *

For those of you who want to keep me honest (catch me cheating), view the link to follow my progress during Nanowrimo at the sidebar.

Asterisk Bedazzled Footnotes:

*As we head into Nanowrimo, I feel compelled to notify the blog-o-sphere that I will cease to exist in the month of November. You have been warned.

**No comments from the peanut gallery about me fictionally being a writer already.

***I suspect quantum physics is somehow involved.

Houdini Housing Crisis – Finding a Home in the Special Needs Market

Barbie Dream House Fortress…moat and guard tower sold separately.

House - Castle
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/DebSpoons

I am trying to imagine the conversation I will have with my realtor:

Me: (Ring, ring – Because that’s how imaginary phones sound.) Hello? Hi, I need a home and this (insert laughably small sum here $XX,XXX) is what I can afford.

Realtor: Really? Is there no wiggle room on that dollar amount?

Me: Only if the budget wriggles lower.

Realtor: Okay. Well, what are you looking for?

Me: That’s the tricky part. I need a house with ultra-secure doors—preferably solid wood with no glass. And NO sliding glass doors exiting the house or accordion doors on the closets, thank you very much. No in-sink food disposal units. No ceiling fans. No carpets. An unscalable, securely fenced-in backyard. A lockable basement where the furnace is secured. No Jacuzzi tubs. No decks with a drop greater than three feet. No pools or water hazards in the immediate vicinity. Near public transit and a library if possible.

Realtor: (Stunned silence.)

Me: Oh, and if there is a bedroom with padded walls and no windows, that would be nice. …Hello?   Helloooo? Dang it.

Why do I have such a strange list? Because I am a Special Needs Homeowner. I gave birth to a darling boy…who is apparently a cross between Harry Houdini and Wile E. Coyote. If he’s not trying to break out of his prison, he’s likely trying to blow it up. I don’t need a house, I need Fort Knox…on a budget. What realtor wouldn’t jump at the chance to represent me?

So if anyone out there is wondering why I have dropped off the Blogosphere radar, I am trying to achieve the impossible: luring a reluctant realtor with the promise of good Karma and abundant gratitude. Failing that, I’m sure ACME Company will have a trap I could order. Meep Meep.

Wile_E_ACME
Image ‘borrowed’ from monthlybrand.com.

Stay tuned for the next installment of “House Hunting for Autistics”.

Scribo Ergo Sum (Not The Write Stuff)

Scroll Graphic
Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net by digitalart

I am a writer. I Am a Writer!  I AM A WRITER. Nope. It doesn’t matter what formatting I use or how much I sit at a computer and bang away at editing books that never go where I think I am sending them, I still don’t feel like a writer.

Presently, I struggle with The Curse of the First Chapter. (Which, if you ask me, really ought to be a Hardy Boys Mystery. It would, of course, involve a Ghost Writer. Ooooh, new tangent…a Ghost Writer who is actually a GHOST Writer. Wait…where was I…?) Right…writing and the joys thereof. Continue.

I have been writing the same series of book for about…three…or ten…years, depending on when you actually start to count scribbling as an real book. I have managed hundreds of thousands of words. And I have re-written the first chapter of Book One about nine billion times now.*

(*Only a slight exaggeration.)

My work does seem to be getting marginally better. I no longer have meetings clogging up my book. (I hate them in real life, why would I write one into my book unless everyone gets blown out an airlock and dies a mercifully swift death?) I am learning to weed out the miscellaneous extra characters that have populated my novel like ants at a picnic. (Don’t worry, there will be a remedial course in over-used metaphors in my near future.)** But I cannot seem to be happy with anything for long.

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net by Photo Explorer 

Ant Problem
**Also, I tried to make a pun about nuis-ants at a picnic implying nuisance characters in a book, but even I can see a lead balloon filled with hot air…

And, of course, I refuse to show My Precious to anyone. Copyright infringement notwithstanding, Tolkien wasn’t far wrong about how obsessive someone can get about having the power to rule the world—which is pretty much how I see writing. I rule the universe I have made. I am a petty god and I want sole discretion to build and destroy it at a whim. But like many a creator god, I want a bevy of worshippers to look on my work to fall down in awe and be sore afraid. Just…not afraid to read it.

Musically Immortal — To Anthony with Love

Musical Mess
Copyright Rochelle Wissoff-Fields

I hate this room. I’ve spent weeks pretending the door doesn’t exist. The silence of the room is unnatural and disturbing. Even the house agrees; the floorboards squeak when I pass by, saying “Hey, what happened to the music man?” But now I’ve lost something and I can’t find it—and I’ve looked everywhere. Everywhere except one place.

Inside, the instruments look wounded, discordant. I want to apologize as I shuffle through layers of music, “I’m sorry. I miss him too.” A title jumps out at me: “To One I Love.” Reading this, I find I can finally cry.

Author’s Note:  I hated this picture the minute I saw it.  It took me a while to realize why.   For all of you out there who have known loss, perhaps the above will ring true for you also.

Friday Fictioneers

If you want to join the Friday Fictioneers, all you have to do is write a complete story, beginning, middle and end. Proofread and Edit. Post and link your Story URL Include photo prompt and InLinkz code following the directions courtesy of our beloved hostess: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields at http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/. Take time to read and comment. Make Every Word Count.

Friday Fictioneers: There Once Were Giants

Sorry, I’m afraid my take is a little obvious.  No excuses here.  Just, it’s what I saw when I looked at the photo prompt.  Once you have seen it, it cannot be unseen.

Every Friday, authors from around the world gather here to share their 100-words and offer constructive criticism and encouragement to each other. Readers are encouraged to comment as well.  The prompt is from Kent Bonham. For details, check out Rochelle Wisoff-Fields http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/

There Once Were Forests
Copyright-Kent Bonham

“What is it, Mom?”

“Ahh…it was once a tree, a long time ago, Honey.”

“What’s a tree?”

“If you really want to know, you ought to ask your pre-fall holographic history module.”

“Aww, mom!”

“Fine. A tree was…well…it was a kind of plant that grew really tall.”

“Like cactus?”

“Yes…but trees had flat, green disks called leaves instead of spines.”

“…what happened?”

“Trees needed lots of clean water and sunlight to live.”

“So…when everything got bad…the trees died?”

“Yes.”

“All of them?”

“Yes.”

“What was it like?”

“There once were giants to blot out the sun.”

“I guess we aren’t missing much then, living underground.”