Bibliophiled Away


it’s an honor just to be nominated

To know me is to love me and to love me is to love my dog.

Ray “of sunshine” LaMontagne has been selected as one of three finalists for the title of Top Dog at this year’s Bark in the Park Festival.

You can cast your vote here (as many times as you’d like.)

Thanks so much, dear readers!

Love and kibble,
Jamie&Ray


Fahrenheit 4:51 p.m.

With plans to see ghosts at 7:30, Ghost: the musical that is, we had to get ourselves to dinner by 5:00. Hey, let’s go try that new restaurant we can see from work! Hello Fahrenheit, new kid on the block from Cleveland chef Rocco Whalen.

Check out this incredible view from 21 stories up!

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Here’s a look at other patrons dining at 5 on a Tuesday night:

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A peek into the kitchen. (0ne of the perks of early bird dining is the speed at which your meal comes out of the kitchen.)

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No fret though, the place fills up the later the hour. There was a growing crowd of young professionals at the bar, fresh from work and unwinding from a grueling day at the office they can probably still see from their seat at the bar.

Now for the meal! Small plates of vegetables to start, like the beet salad and crispy cauliflower, regrettably not pictured. A refreshing kale salad.

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The mashed sweet potatoes that serve as a bed for the coffee and mustard crusted porkchop could substitute for candy so sweet and delicious they are.

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After the spectacular views, the second favorite thing about my evening was the dessert, a chef’s choice milkshake for only $5! The milkshake du jour was a tres leche milkshake. So sweet with a kiss of coconut flakes as garnish. (Ain’t no shame in humming Missy Elliot while sipping.)

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See that open flame on the balcony? I bet Chef Rocco would make a killing if he added smores to his dessert menu!

It was a lovely evening and if there was only one thing I could complain about, it would be the burlap squares they use for napkins. So rough they are to my delicate visage!

After dinner, make time for photo opps and take your supermodel pose to new heights!

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I’m already looking forward to my next visit and cooling off with a milkshake as my apres work drink at Charlotte’s hottest new eatery!


beautiful in all the right places

On my way into work this morning, I got told I looked beautiful by a stranger rushing for the lightrail. I thanked him and kept walking. I haven’t had a man tell me how pretty I am in a long time.

At my desk, I snip at the end of my hair that’s long enough to get stuck in the car door. I use shampoo that’s supposed to help remedy these out of control split ends. It doesn’t work, but I still use it because it smells fantastic.

When I get updates of my friend’s adventures in potty training her near 2 year old, I get to match with how Ray peed in the kitchen the other morning.

The farmers’ market opens its fresh produce this weekend and I couldn’t be more excited to reunite with vitamins. This week, my dinners have consisted of microwave popcorn. I’ve grown suspicious of grocery stores. Too many fluorescent shelves of empty promises. I’m talking to you, shampoo of lies.

I’m watching “American Idol” this season. If you cut me open to see into my heart, you would see it has thrummed for Harry Connick, Jr. for twenty years. It was love at first sight when he guested on an episode of “Cheers”. I met him after a concert to tell him how long I’ve loved him. I’ve met new friends because of him. I’ve hooked up with one of his band members. The first conversation I had with my gay boyfriend centered around him.

That awkward moment when you celebrate April Fool’s Day with an announcement on Facebook about being in a relationship. Everyone wants me to be dating. Everyone. Friends and family haven’t seen me with a gentleman since 2009. They’re getting so worried that I might be a lesbian they forget what day it is. Sorry everyone, I’m still miserably single.

The only man in my life to tell me I’m beautiful is one who rushes to catch the light rail as if he doesn’t know there’s another one coming in three minutes.


happiness

It’s not only the first day of Spring, it’s International Day of Happiness!

What I’m happy about on this day:

It’s 64 degrees today, a welcome change from freezing rain earlier in the week. Here’s to being able to finally put away those sweaters and scarves.

A BOGO Caribou Coffee coupon which allowed me to revisit Seattle with every sip of my pumpkin latte with a shot of espresso. (Miss you dirty pumpkin!)

Visiting the gym on my lunch break in the hope of spotting the cutie who smiled at me the day before as I was exiting and he was entering. (So far no leads on Craigslist’s missed connections.)

Tonight I’m having popcorn for dinner while watching “Ghost” in preparation for when I see Ghost:the musical for free.


girls chase boys


will date for TV

WAY late to the “Homeland” party, but thanks to a free month trial of Netflix I have been able to binge watch seasons 1 and 2 the past two weeks. I even took a sick day yesterday so I could enjoy 5 glorious hours of non-stop mind games between Brody and Carrie. Who to trust? Who is telling the truth? Team Brody or Team Carrie? Ah, such a great show and it goes by in a flash and the next thing you know, you look over at your dog on the couch who suffers another evening without a walk because you can’t be bothered to leave the house when there are three more episodes of “Homeland” to watch! Poor exercise-less Ray.

Season 3 is not available on the Netflix and I’d very much like to watch episodes of season 4 as they are released. Trouble is, I don’t have Showtime. I have basic cable. I have less than basic cable. I have 8 channels if I’m lucky.

What is a girl to do? My great idea is to solicit a “Showtime boyfriend” on Craigslist. Suitors must have a premium cable package and I’ll propose that we only see each other once a week for an hour at his place. He doesn’t even have to sit and watch with me. He could just take my dog for a walk.


love letter to a yoga mat

Dear Yoga Mat,

What a year it’s been! Who knew that we would get so serious? I mean, we started off as casual acquaintances, in that I would casually think about taking a yoga class. I picked you up at TJ Maxx or Marshall’s for $7 a few years ago, but we didn’t lay together until last year. Honestly, I kind of forgot about you until my friend invited us to a class. I dusted you off and shook you out and made our public debut. We were going places, you and I!

I thought I was going to puke all over you during our first time. I thought impure thoughts about what I would do if I were to ever meet this Bikram guy. 90 plus degrees inside a studio with half clothed strangers and their full on body odor for an hour and a half is my idea of torture. I thought about dumping you in the trash after class. I thought about tossing you in the same trash can that I tossed my breakfast in (pineapple in case you forgot). I thought about leaving you on the side of the road.

I thought that we should give our relationship another try. We decided to go to a deep stretch class the next day. (Couples therapy was too expensive.) And it was wonderful and I decided afterwards that I wouldn’t sit you down and give you the whole “it’s not you, it’s me” song and dance and suggest we start seeing other people. No CDs were going to be returned that day.

I’m glad I decided to keep you, dear yoga mat. It’s been a wonderful year with you. Thanks to you, I’m more flexible and have great balance.

Here’s to many more years together!

Love,
Jamie

ps ~ Sorry for farting on you.


supernova

“For the longest time these songs were eluding me. I felt like a kid trying to collect lightning bugs. I’d catch a glimpse out of the corner of my eye and run for it, but the light would go out just as I thought I’d gotten hold of one. But eventually I caught on to their game. I stopped chasing them altogether. Instead I just sat there as if I were completely disinterested in them. And wouldn’t you know it, one by one they came to me! Flew right into my jar.” Ray LaMontagne

Songwriting is a lot like love…


doing what bunnies do best

How do you explain this to children?

bunny


Tupelo Honey Cafe – a nice piece of As…

…heville in Charlotte!

For years, each visit to Asheville has always included a meal at Tupelo Honey and shopping at the Dillard’s Clearance Center…and a solicitation for a pot brownie recipe from a LaZoom’s tour guide. With a Tupelo Honey Cafe now twenty minutes from me instead of two hours, I only have one reason to visit Asheville…maybe two.

Welcome THC!

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If there is a bananas Foster French toast hole in your heart that developed when Pewter Rose shut its door, trust you can fill that hole with Tupelo Honey’s sweet potato pancakes.(And you can order it any time of day unlike the bananas Foster French toast which was limited to weekend brunch.) I could write poems about these pancakes. At $5.95, they are one of the cheapest menu items. And also the largest. And most delicious. And fluffiest. They’re served with whipped peach butter and spiced pecans. Pour on the warm maple syrup and get ready to fall in love!

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THC in Charlotte is not the same as the original (nothing ever is), evidenced by the waitstaff buttoned up to mask any tattoos. This is conservative Charlotte after all and I imagine all the bankers appreciate the absence of impromptu drum circles and eau de hippie as they make their way to dinner.

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A lovely balcony awaits warmer weather!

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Gathering together around the table is good for you!

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Tupelo Honey Cafe is the bee’s knees!


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