Mar 31, 2007

Coming in April...

Bravissimo: Altered States of Reality, a brand new blog, will cover Shear Genius and other Bravo reality t.v. shows in general.

Created by the same teams that bring you Blogging Top Chef and Top Design Blogger, we've added a brand new talent, Lazarus West.

Can't wait to view the new blog? We'll let you know when it's up and running. Let the snarkfest begin!

Mar 30, 2007

Eye Candy

If you've wondered what all those darling Scotsmen wear under their kilts, wonder no more. Real men wear kilts, dahlings. Ah, be still my beating heart. My weekend's made. Thank you, Linda D. for this wonderful video.

Pet Food: Who can you trust?

Not my pooch, but it looks just like my tiny Da Vinci Cody Meister

According to an Associated Press story, "Recalled pet foods contained a chemical used to make plastics, but government tests failed to confirm the presence of rat poison, federal officials said Friday.

The Food and Drug Administration said it found melamine in samples of the Menu Foods pet food, as well as in wheat gluten used as an ingredient. Cornell University scientists also have found the chemical, sometimes used as a fertilizer, in the urine of sick cats, as well as in the kidney of one cat that died after eating the company's wet food."

I thank my lucky stars that I feed only dry food to my pooch. I feel nothing but sympathy for the pet owners who fed their pets what they thought was superior stuff, only to watch them suffer. In a world full of pain and anguish, this might be a minor point but, at the very least, shouldn't we be able to trust the manufacturers of our pet food?

N'uff said.

Mar 29, 2007

What's your preference...?

Pedicure or Manicure?

In my book, pedicures rock. They can last several months, while my manicures last several days at most. Less than a week after getting one, my nails, no matter how many top coats I put on, look like I've been scraping them across a sanding board.

True, manicures get a bang for their buck. Everyone sees them. And pedicures remain out of sight, unless you're wearing open-toed shoes or sandals.

What's your preference? Do you agree with me or not? Inquiring minds want to know!

American Idol Poseur

Thank you my adoring fans for voting for my puppy-like cuteness week after week. I mean, with hair like mine, who needs talent?

Move over, Bitch. I'm gonna win this thing!

Mar 28, 2007

Handy Men

Danny Quick, painter, and Denver Miracle, electrician, and Red Jenkins, automotive genius, are the men I rely on these days. A single girl who lives far from kith and kin depends on boyfriends, affordable handy persons, and the kindness of neighbors to keep her household in tip top shape. Sweet Henry, my new wide eyed bachelor neighbor (too bad he’s got a cute girlfriend) helped reset my TV remote and figure out how to connect my VCR and DVD players to my cable box. He kindly labeled everything so that I could remember which doohicky to turn on when.

A friend recommended a plumber for my dripping faucet. I had already found one through Richmond Plumbing Specialties. These good old boys suggested a wonderful person even though, as they solemnly declared, I was a Yankee. Richmond Plumbing Specialties sits in a former McDonald’s restaurant right off Broad Street. Shelves upon neat shelves contain marvelous male and female bushers and adapters and fittings, the likes of which have not been seen in years. If I need to replace one minuscule part of an ancient 1955 faucet, you can betcha that they stock it. Plumbers just go there to ogle and tell tall tales and share plumbing horror stories. It’s also a great place for a single girl to hang out and smell the lovely aroma of testosterone if she hasn’t had a date in a while.
A few years back, one of my main squeezes proudly gave me a girlie tool bucket for my birthday. I was expecting jewelry, but it turns out that this bucket is one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. I still haven’t a notion of how to use half the stuff in it, but when a handy person (man or woman) comes to my rescue and asks, "Do you have a thingamajiggie wrench?" I hand them my girlie bucket. Lo and behold, the required tools are in it 90% of the time. Thanks, NR. You still warm the cockles of my heart. Oh, and your cockles weren’t too bad either.

But I digress.

All I need now is a good jack of all roof trades. Someone who is bonded, and who will clear my gutters and patch my roof for a reasonable price until I’ve saved enough mulah to afford a new roof and gutter system. Our houses are supposed to be our best investment, but mine, being of a certain age, is becoming a bit of a money pit.

Enough quibbling. Here is a photo of the James River. I walk along its shores every morning with my pooch, taking in the sights and sounds of river life along the quietest stretch of Riverside Drive. This morning a gaggle of geese landed in front of me, and a blue crane leisurely flapped overhead, looking for the perfect fishing spot. Life is good….as long as there’s a handy man in it.

Oh, and if you think Ms. Place is plumberly challenged, think again. I fixed the toilet all by myself. All I needed was a paperclip to attach the chain to the ball cock. Dahlings, such lovely language. I nearly fainted with delight. Isn't handy men language simply poetic?

Mar 27, 2007

Appetizer Cravings

Craving Sticky Rice. In this new feature of Dishin’ Dat, I’ll describe some of my favorite appetizers in my regular eating haunts around town.

These days I no longer eat a full meal when I go out, which is 4 or 5 times per week. Dinner portions are too filling, and I find myself waddling from the table if I manage to finish my plate. When I order a full meal, I usually bring home a doggie bag. However, expensive food seldom tastes good after it’s been sitting in a fridge and reheated in a microwave, so I’ve gotten in the habit of ordering appetizers instead.

My favorite appetizer restaurant of the moment is Sticky Rice on Main Street.

Dahlings, the Sushi Chefs in this place are anything but Japanese. Half of them look like they graduated from some northeastern art or medical school. I sit in my favorite spot in the corner (see photo on left) watching the chefs prepare sushi, the traffic whiz by on Main Street, and the regulars walk through the door. My appetizer of choice?

Sticky Balls! (Get your minds out of the gutter.)

I crave them. In fact I want them so much, that I have stopped by this place after work five times in the past two weeks. Each Sushi chef puts his own plating spin on his Sticky Balls (yes, they are all men), and here are the reasons I like them: Mildly hot taste, scrumptious flavor, subtle smell, Japanese influenced plating, & the sound and sensation of a deeply satisfying crunch.

Sticky balls are comprised of tuna, crab, and sriracha rice in an inari (bean curd) pocket, deep fried, and topped with scallions, wasabi, and eel sauce. Yum. YUM.

Oh, dahlings, I am salivating just thinking about them!

My Richmond friends are torn about this restaurant. They either adore it or hate it Here are a few comments from the Sushi World Guide that sum up our differing opinions.

"One of my favorite sushi restaurants in the US, by far, in terms of creativity and taste. This is only the second place I've ever been to that actually uses fresh crab in their California rolls. The atmosphere is a little smokey and dark, but I think this is part of its charm. They have some great rolls, as well as other Pan Asian cuisine on their menus. "

"If you like a smoky atomosphere and rowdy drunks, then this is the place you want. The food was substandard, wait staff s-u-c-k-s, and all in all an unpleasant experience for me and my wife. It is a place for those who don't like to taste their food or hear themselves think during a 'dining ' experience. Judge for yourself and be afraid! "

"This restaurant is charming and epitomizes the 'charm' of Richmond; it is creative and often humorously boisterous in the late evening hours. The food is creative and can easily please even the non-sushi lovers, but the staff brings down the atmosphere. On several occasions with several different servers, the servers were condescending to a customer who was not familiar with sushi, and extremely rude and curt. If the staff was nicer, this would be a fun place to hang out for a young crowd, but I wouldn't bother unless you happen to know the staff personally. "

"The service is horrible, and the fish was fishy! Save your time and money. Go somewhere else. "

Dahlings, I must make a comment to the above. Ms. Place has never been treated with anything other than civility at Sticky Rice, due, no doubt, to her generous tips and fabulous smiles. If she's ignored, she starts to bellow like Vicki in the Housewives of Orange County. That gets most of the waitstaff moving.

Correction: Last night I returned to Sticky Rice to discover a female sushi chef! So I stand corrected. Not all Sticky Rice sushi chefs are male.

Fabulous Women

The women in these photos look beautiful, healthy and fit without the attenuated, anorexic bodies so popular today. I am being a realist and will grant that, with the exception of Queen Latifah, none of these women are above a size six. But none seem to be starving themselves either, and they certainly don't mind showing off their curves...

Scarlett Johannsen is so comfortable being a female that she oozes sexuality without even trying. I suspect she actually enjoys wiggling as she walks.

Wow is all I can say about Selma Hayak. Gorgeous, talented, and brains. What a trifecta.

Liv's weight has fluctuated, but she has settled into her womanly curves and they look splendid on her tall form. She looked downright broody after giving birth to her child, giving her a soft glow. She also took her time getting the weight off. Now that's something I can relate to.

Sophia Loren at the '99 Oscars at age 65. Her beauty secret is that she exercises a half hour every day. She still looks fabulous, but I could only find one recent head shot of her. Let's just say that when she appeared at the Oscars, she put every other woman to shame.

Maria Sharapova, Tennis

Perhaps it isn't fair to include professional athletes. These particular women couldn't have reached the top of their game by being anorexic. Fit, beautiful, muscular, and with the stamina of ten linebackers: Why aren't body types like these gracing the fashion pages?
Gabrielle Reece, Volley Ball

Pam Boteler and Hannah Menke, sprint canoers

Pam Boteler glammed up

I would kill to have Angela Bassett's buff arms (or kill myself in the process to achieve the same look.) Unlike Oprah, Queen Latifah seems comfortable in her own skin. She tried losing weight a few years back and had breast reduction surgery, but recently she's found a weight and look that work for her. She's never anything but fabulous looking.

Vanessa Williams looks even more beautiful almost a quarter of a century after winning the Miss America crown. All I can say is, "Girlfriend you are taking excellent care of your body!"

Mar 26, 2007

Whatever happened to...

Phoebe Cates?

She played the popular girl in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and fulfilled the fantasies of every prepubescent boy by taking of her swim top in front of Judge Reinholdt. No doubt he is still recovering from the experience.
Phoebe then.

Phoebe now, with husband Kevin Kline. Mother of two children, Phoebe acts only occasionally these day if at all. In 2005, she opened a boutique with her partners on Madison Ave and named it Blue Tree.

At $75.00, this beach pareo Milano is definitely within my budget, although many items listed online are not.

Learn more about Phoebe in this 2006 USA Today article.

Mar 25, 2007

Time Out

Sometimes a picture just says it all....

... even if you suspect it's photoshopped.

Mar 24, 2007

Eye Candy

If you watch Grey's Anatomy, you are probably experiencing the same quandary as me and asking yourself: "Who do I prefer? The gorgeous Patrick Dempsey or the yummilicious Justin Chambers?"

McDreamy or McSteamy?

Born in 1966, Patrick Dempsey played Reese Witherspoon's fiancee in Sweet Home Alabama. He lost no fans when he graciously bowed out of the wedding, and then landed the role of Dr. Shepherd on Grey's Anatomy. Along the way, he's become a new daddy. In my book, studliness does becometh a man.

Justin Chambers

Justin Chambers was born in 1970 and raised in Springfield, Ohio. He began his career as a professional model working throughout Europe, Japan and the U.S. with contracts at Calvin Klein and Armani, and then studied acting.

Dahlings, I don't care how good his thespian skills are, I can only recall that skimpy towel and how my jaw dropped when I thought Justin was going to reveal all.

According to one biography, Justin has sired five progeny. If this is true, I am forever grateful to him for taking a vigorous part in making this world a more strikingly beautiful place to live.

Mar 23, 2007

The results are in: Daniel Craig is the clear winner

Readers have spoken. By a majority, Daniel Craig is the James Bond for the new era. I agree with some viewers who find him more striking than Eye Candy. So, I will accept Mr. Craig as the next logical Bond.
Thanks for the fun, folks. Stay posted for my next Eye Candy candidate.

Seen in the Personals

I'd slide a hand up your leg. If you had a leg. M, 52, hoping to meet woman who'll give him a hand.

Just once I’d like to date a woman whose home isn’t on Bitch Island, accessible only by Satan’s Hell Train into which is continuously piped the blood-curdling screams of her multitudinous previous victims. If you don’t think that’s too much to ask – and don’t have a long-running tab at your local pharmacist – then write to stupid man, 43.

We’ve all made mistakes. Mine was a cerise pump during London Fashion Week 2004. Fashion troubadour, (M, 35). WLTM similar, or appropriately dour fag hag.

My last affair ended with a round of applause from a crew of stand-by paramedics. If the next one has to end I’ll settle for a text message. Woman, 39. Seeks man who knows when to wear his Medic Alert Badge, carries his own emergency injectable adrenaline kit, and isn’t too scared to say ‘actually, I don’t feel like lobster tonight’.

Redhead, lovely, wishes to perpetuate the ginger gene. Overeducated, wealthy enough, successful enough, famous enough – so what? Let’s have babies! Already have kids? The more the merrier. Delighted to relocate, for the right man, from Manhattan to Manhattan Beach, London to Lindisfarne to Lizard, Arbroath to Altnaharra, Belleek to Belfast, Skibbereen to Sligo.
From the London Review of Books

Mar 22, 2007

Live Chat With Top Chef Harold!

Our spirited live chat last night revealed a few favorite eateries in Brooklyn:

Grimaldi's Pizzeria for best pizza

Peter Luger's Steakhouse

Junior's Cheesecakes

How utterly divine! How wonderfully delicious! Big Shamu and Java Junky from Top Chef 2: They Cook, We Dish have arranged a live chat with Harold Dieterle, winner of Top Chef 1. If you missed the chat with Stephen Asprinio on Monday, in which Ms. Place talked like a groupie, because she secretly always liked Stephen's confidence, then


the chat with our talented Top Chef Harold. Please folks, stay tuned. We will provide the link on Thursday night just before the chat (7 Pacific Time, 10 EST). To go to the chat, click on the Top Chef 2 link above, or Amuse Biatch.

Two Top Chef chats in one week. What did we do to deserve this largesse?

Stephen Asprinio's Wine Recommendation

During our Monday night chat, Stephen Asprinio, sommelier and Top Chef One constestant recommended the McCrea Cellars Syrah Amerique.

Click here to learn more about this wine and McCrea Cellars Syrah Amerique

Mar 21, 2007

Kelly Wearstler, Top Design PreRaphealite

Oh, dahlings, Top Design, through the person of Kelly Wearstler, is channelling Pre-Raphaelite beauties and leg-0-mutton sleeved suffragettes. Who knew that she represented a true Renaissance woman!