a Cheap Holiday: 10/01/2002 - 11/01/2002

Cheap Holiday

Welcome to a cheap holiday in my life. At least you get to go home at the end of the day!

Thursday, October 31, 2002

Tonight, I'm off to Manhattan for a long weekend of debauchery with my girlfriends. This will largely consist of shopping, museum hopping, drinking, and dancing. I miss Kali-the-Avenging-Goddess and will no doubt be forcing her to act as my personal shopper, since it's her stylish touch that most often makes me look super-hot. Curiously enough, when I dress myself, I tend to opt for a slightly more conservative style, while Kali delights into turning me into some 1940's, retro, pinup goddess. I've tried to pack as lightly as possible, to allow room for new clothes, shoes, and hopefully a few early Christmas presents. Thank the Goddess that November is a three paycheck month!

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Today's lesson is: be careful of who you share your secrets with. Some people will guard your secrets, no matter how vile or perverse, and provide you with support or advice when appropriately asked. These are known as friends and they are more precious and rare than diamonds or platinum. Others, when in possession of your secrets, will treat them like radioactive waste and heap aspersions and unsolicited opinions upon you. Such persons are most correctly known as fuckwits and must be assiduously avoided. Thus endeth the lesson...
I think I've discovered my new superpower - my smile. I've had seemingly obnoxious and cynical men compliment my smile, as if it holds some awesome power to hypnotize. Hmmmm....I guess I'm going to start smiling more...
This week's needle drop: The Vines' "Highly Evolved."

Like their Swedish dopplegangers The Hives and Hellacopters, Craig Nicholls and his Ozzie bandmates mine the ghosts of "Revolver" and classic surf guitar with the best of them. The brain stem-seizing pleasure of "Get Free" is highlighted by one of my favorite lyrical choruses currently going: "She never loved me/she never loved me/she never loved me/why should anyone?"

This leads me to realize I may be the aural equivalent of a self-mutilator - people who cut themselves as an expression of the internal pain they feel trapped by. Not that I cut myself, because I don't, but there are some days where the internal pain I feel is best released by the sound of an electric guitar so loud and distorted that I think it's going to crack my sternum and turn my gray matter to oatmeal. This is why I'm not a huge hip-hop or techno fan, because I don't get that same cathartic release with that music.

However, traditional bluegrass is always good for the soul...

Saturday, October 26, 2002

O Happiness, O Rapture! Dita's website has been totally redesigned in a loverly pink and she'll be appearing in her own layout in the upcoming December issue of Playboy! Damn the whole time/space continuum issue that prevents me from attending her burlesque stageshow.
These are a few of my favorite things...

...an icy cold margarita

...a rainy day spent under warm blankets with a sexy partner

...men who look me in the eyes

...kisses behind the ears

...a scalding hot, fragrant bubble bath

...a bold red wine

...mashed potatoes with much more butter than is healthy

...the smooth lines of a finely boned corset

...the vibrant colors of Mexican design and art

...stargazer lilies

...the feeling a fine chocolate truffle melting on my tongue

...the hip flexor muscle on an attractive man

...the sound of a cat's purr against my ear

...the smile and laughter of a happy child
The ever-magnificent Princess came to town to visit last night, after apparently a very stressful day at work. So it was incumbent upon me to soothe her frazzled nerves. Upon a friend's recommendation, I took her to Los Catrines Tequilas, a gorgeous upscale Mexican restaurant. The thing I've always loved about Princess is her ability to put me in situations where I have to exercise my lax flirting and social skills. In an effort to secure a bartender to get a pair of tasty margaritas, she pushed me in the direction of "the guy with the leather coat." This ended up being a good choice, because not only was the gentleman in question helpful in procuring our drinks, both he and his friend were fashionable, humorous, educated, courteous, extremely drunk, and fun. After Princess and I dined on delicious langostinos and flounder, we hung out with the boys for a glass of port (Princess has discovered she doesn't have much fondness for port), before sticking our heads into 1616 Locust, the current hottest dance spot in town. 1616 Locust used to be The Locust Club, an upper class businessman's club, where the finest white men of Philadelphia would gather for drinks, cigars, and a refined escape from their Main Line wives. As a result, the space is gorgeous, with giant ornate wooden bars, marble or carpeted floors, and five levels of space. I hope the operators are able to keep the night-time action happening without too much damage to the gorgeous infrastructure of the building. And the DJs were pretty damn good too. One of the things I love the best about the DJ and dance scene in Philly is that it's fairly integrated. Down South or even in Washington, D.C., people tend to stick to "their" club - basically, the one where everyone else looks like them. But in Philly, people tend to mix it up a bit, which makes things lively. I think it's excellent irony that what was once a bastion of light skin privilege and socioeconomic exclusivity is now home to house, trance, hip-hop, hootchies, and playas.

Friday, October 25, 2002

I attended a lovely wine event at the UPenn Museum of Archeology + Anthropology, the Wines of Antiquity. The event was held in the Egyptian and Chinese galleries, which includes gorgeous Buddhist statuary and ancient sarcophagi. The event included food, beer, wine, face painting (hmmm, I'm not sure how that relates to ancient Roman wine-making techniques, but, ok), and a lecture and tasting of Italian wines. It seems that wine tasting events attract a pleasant, warm, and physically attractive group. Or maybe that applies to this particular charitable organization. The distribution of age ranges seemed quite even and people seemed knowledgeable and educated without being stuffy. I struck up a conversation with several people and handed out my personal card. The next wine tasting I'll be attending will be with the Wine Brats group in Philly. Hopefully that one will be as lively and pleasant.

Saturday, October 12, 2002

I've had more than one man suggest I would make a good dominatrix. Actually, this would be a bit of a stretch for me (I'm more naturally submissive), but it's not out of the realm of possibility. Besides, I could damn sure use a decent footrub...
I am in the midst of my social ladder-climbing phase, it seems. This evening, I ventured over to have a drink at Le Bar Lyonnaise, which is the reservation-not-required downstairs bar for Le Bec-Fin, the signature French restaurant in Philly. Le Bec-Fin is so exclusive, you don't even get to see a glimpse of the dining room unless you have reservations (a windowless door separates the reception area from the dining room). The downstairs bar, however, is warm and cozy and the service staff is quite affable and chatty. But with a kir royale clocking in at $19, I didn't even hazard the very attractive plate of pomme frites.
I'm half mad for these shoes. I actually don't like most Prada shoes. There is a retro style they have that I like even better, but I can't find a damn photo of them online.

Sunday, October 06, 2002

Many thanks to Rachel for figuring out the problem with my username on the postings. Smoochies to ya babelette!
For some unknown reason, the Blogger template is cutting off half my username in my posts. My full username is "LadyAdmin," which you'll see if you look at any of the archives. Seeing my username as just "Lady" in the current posts is making me feel like a collie dog or something....
This week's movie review is Secretary.

I first heard about "Secretary" about six months ago and have been mad for its release ever since. (In case you're wondering whether that means I have my own dominance/submission fantasies, the answer to that would be a "yesyesYESSSSSSS!") The fact that the movie was getting fairly good reviews across the board only increased my anticipation.

I'm here to say that "Secretary" is an absolutely delightful - and wondefully hot - love story. Once again James Spader reigns supreme in the role of sexual deviant who is actually terribly vulnerable (does anyone remember his fabulously William F. Buckleyesque turn in Pretty in Pink?) Maggie Gyllenhaal is luminous as Lee Holloway, alternately funny, childish, courageous, and broken. I'm told that the original short story by Mary Gaitskill is more painful and desparate, but director Steven Shainberg and screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson have given the film a lovely sense of humor and lightness, while still maintaining a lot of emotional depth. I was tempted to stay for a second showing straight.
The weekend in Philly has been gorgeous! Sunny, almost clear blue skies, and just enough chill to make outdoor activity comfortable. I've tried to get out some on both days and I've found myself drawn towards Rittenhouse Square. For one, it's a fairly quick walk from my house and secondly, a fair number of shops and restaurants have sprouted up in the last five years. Having been to Gramercy Park in Manhattan not long ago, I find myself being reminded of it when I visit Rittenhouse Square.

Yesterday, I walked over to Rittenhouse to check out what's new on the shelves at Barnes & Noble. I'm somewhat happy and appalled to see that Hayden Herrera's biography of Frida Kahlo has been reprinted, in anticipation of the new movie about Kahlo starring Salma Hayek. It's wonderful that Herrera's magnificent biography (one of my favorite books) has been released to a new generation of readers and Kahlo's work will reach a new audience. I'm somewhat disturbed to see that the original cover art (Kahlo's "Self Portrait with Monkey") has been replaced with a photo of Hayek in character as Frida. I must admit to not being terribly thrilled with the choice of Hayek for the role. I'm terrified that the casting of Hayek represents a "prettification" of Kahlo and seeing this new cover art on the book does little to allay that fear. While I've always viewed Frida has possessing physical beauty, hers was a defiant beauty, almost a beauty in spite of itself. Herrera's biography depicts a Frida both fragile and fiery, both soft and almost monstrous. I have a hard time seeing Hayek with enough range to accomplish this.

I take a turn by the periodical shelves and stop to browse the tattoo magazines. I'm still contemplating getting a second tattoo and while I'm already decided on the design, I like to look at the photos in the magazines. A man that I'm peripherally aware of standing beside me moves behind me as if to walk away. Then I hear:

"I hope you're not thinking of getting any ink, because you're perfect as you are."

Uh? Whu?

I'm having a "Taxi Driver" moment. ("Are you talkin' to me? I'm the only one here holding a tattoo magazine, so you gotta be talkin' to me!") I look up from the magazine and see a man, probably in his mid-30s, definately overweight, and not well dressed. His insufferable rudeness and judgementalism has already poisoned me, as I find myself flashing onto hypothetical scenarios of this man's life - no girlfriend, premium cable TV in order to get the porn channels, too much beer, and trying to pick up chicks at the Barnes & Noble. Of course, there is no more justification for me to entertain these images than he has to pronounce my "perfection" - or to assume I don't already have a tattoo.

I give him a look. I know I'm giving him a look, I can feel the death rays shooting out of my eyeballs at him. With just a tiny bit of smile curling one side of my mouth, I respond:

"I already have a tattoo."

Though he's standing well out of my proscribed personal space, he now knows he's transgressed. The verbal backpedaling begins.

"Well, I just think it's a trend that's going to die soon."


"Well, have a good day."

You could practically see the smoke from the heels of his shoes as he beat a retreat.

However, he did leave me with a good lesson to reflect on and that is the nature of judging by appearance. I have to admit to being guilty of this on occasion and I'm now reminded of why this is an unfortunate practice.

Afterwards, I cross the street to Devon. The restaurants have not been open long and, as usual, most people are flocking to the cafe tables at Rouge next door. Devon has cafe tables too, but Rouge (and its sister restaurant Bleu) are more considered the places to "see and be seen." (Just in case you were wondering, there used to be a clothing store on Rittenhouse called Beige and a few blocks over is a bar called Bar Noir. I'm mad to have someone open a bar or restaurant there and call it Tartan.) I'm the only one in the restaurant, so I sit at the bar and have a lovely Bloody Mary and a delicious bowl of lobster bisque.

Sunday began with a bit more ambition. Because I don't have heavy curtains, the morning sun tends to wake me up early, even on the weekend. I find myself waking up naturally around 8am, a touch of chill filling the apartment. Realizing that the weather is probably perfect for a skate, I strike out at 9am for inline skating on Kelly Drive. My skating is somewhat hampered by the presence of a fundraising walkathon for scleroderma, but I do manage to make about 40 minutes of actual skating effort. The weather is perfect, sunny, not too breezy.

Afterwards, I shower, dress, and walk to Rittenhouse Square again. This time, my heart is set on a Bloody Mary and the cheese and fruit plate at Bleu. However, once I get there, I'm so hungry from my morning exercise that the description of the croissant sandwich on the menu becomes irresistable. I order a Bloody Mary and the croissant sandwich (scrambled egg, applewood bacon, and provolone cheese, YUM!), which comes with a huge mound of shoestring fries.

As I'm finishing up my lunch, a cute and obviously athletic blond man comes into the dining room and asks to squeeze in next to me at the bar. I strike up a pleasant enough conversation using the deliciousness of the croissant sandwich as an opener. I discover that he originally went to UPenn, but now lives in SF. We politely discuss the absurdities of living in SF and I bring him up-to-date on all the new hot places to go in Philly. We both have a cup of coffee, after which we part pleasant company. Like someone newly hatched from a decades-long coma, I feel proud at my increasing ability to comfortably interact with attractive strangers.

Saturday, October 05, 2002

I went ahead and joined the UPenn Museum of Archeology + Anthropology this week, because not only is it a highly rated school and museum, but they also hold ultra swanky events and fundraisers. As a coworker of mine said, "I love getting drunk standing next to one of the Sphinxes." I'm contemplating joining the society for the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts next.
Tuesday night, on the encouragement of two good friends, I went and tried my first Brazilian jiu jitsu class. Fellow classmate Sharon gave me the initial tour of the cozy gym and Jared the instructor was friendly and relaxed. I had planned to go to a second class today, but basically I'm a slack motherfucker right now. Seeing as there are no kickboxing gyms in Philly whatsoever, taking jiu jitsu might be the next best bet for my getting whipped into shape.