Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Biggest Turnout Ever!

I'm sorry it's taken me so long to update the blog. I won't bore you with excuses.

This past Saturday was SPECTACULAR at Vito. Get a load of who showed up:

Sam (of course)
Kerri (naturally)
Susan (not as much a regular as she used to be)
Jen & Leamy (fantastic)
Russ & Ann (virgin tour)
Liam (also his first Vito flight)
Holly (semi regular looking hottie tottie in a black sequined top)
Alison (who even though she works in the Liver ICU always fights the good fight)
Kim (Holly's friend who drank Grey Goose Orange on the rocks with a lime -- yum)
Kathy (even though our nutritionist warns her against coming)
Kerry (her labs love when she comes -- she always brings home leftovers for them)
Amy (Kerry's sister on her inaugural visit, too)

To all my first timers, thank you. I do hope you'll come back again. It was absolutely a fantastic night. The bar turned into Red Sox Nation West while the game was on. I think Kerri's obnoxiously loud whistling broke Florence Henderson's wine glass. If not, Kerri surely busted a few hearing aids. (Yes, Mrs. Brady is a regular. She looks good. Just the right amount of plastic surgery.)

Liam and Russ threw down. Four, that's right FOUR martinis each. If they had chosen beer backs instead of water, Rick Groel's record would be in serious jeopardy. Your PR is safe for now, Rick.

I need to get my camera fixed and bring it into the bar so when we do have a showing like we had last Saturday, I can post the motley crew here. Next time. And there will be a next time. Right, people?

As you all know I like to make the blog as interactive as possible. So here's my latest favorite You Tube clip:

Friday, October 26, 2007

Go Sox, part 2.

Man, oh man I love a victory! But even more than that, I love people who want to contribute to the blog. Critics, writers, and photographers? You're all welcome here.

Today's contributor is Pam, my sister-in-law Michelle's friend, who reminded me where I had first fell in love with the Brandy Alexander. Pam is also a full-time mother and writer. She can now add photographer to her CV. (See that? CV instead of resume. All class, people.)

In honor of the impending triumph of the red sox, here's a picture I took yesterday leaving work. I was on Longwood Ave by Children's hospital and heard the plane above. I think by the time I was there the "Sox" and the "Surrender Rockies" signs had evaporated

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Happy Birthday, Jimmy!

Today is my brother Jimmy's birthday. At least I think it is. I'm not very good with dates although I can usually guess your birthday within a three day window. So Jimmy's birthday is either the 24th, the 25th, or the 26th. Writing this now I'm beginning to feel like it's the 26th because my brother Larry's birthday is also in the twenties but in January. The 23rd, 24th or 25th. I did get the day right once when I called my brother Chris to wish him a happy birthday. You know, sang the song and everything. He let me run through the entire serenade, thanked me and then told me his birthday was actually in six months. Oh well, the sentiment is the same.

Happy Birthday, Jimmy! This is what I'd give you if I saw you today, or tomorrow, or the next day:


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Go Sox!

In honor of tonight's game, I'm posting a little ditty that I'm sure all East Coasters are sick of seeing but I can't get enough of.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Brandy Alexander Part 2

I was reminded by Michelle's friend Pam of where I first heard of a Brandy Alexander -- The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

I tried to find a clip of the scene on You Tube but 20th Century Fox has pulled all clips from the site. (Something I think all companies will start doing thus making us pay for clips in the future which is another reason why writers should strike. But I digress.)

So here's a picture of the greatest cast of the greatest show EVER followed by a transcript of the scene. Lou: Look, miss, I was just about to have a drink and I wouldn't mind some company. Want one?
Mary: No, thank you.
Lou: I said I wouldn't mind some company!
Mary: Well, all right. I'll have a Brandy Alexander.
Lou (dumbfounded): How 'bout some coffee?

And just for fun, the greatest scene ever written:

Mary: Has the job been filled?
Lou: Yeah.
Mary: Oh.
Lou: But there is another job.
Mary: Oh?
Lou: I figured I'd hire a man for it.
Mary: Oh.
Lou: We can talk about it.
Mary: Well good.
Lou: How old are you?
Mary: Thirty.
Lou: No hedging! No 'how old do I look'?
Mary (smiles and shrugs her shoulders): Why hedge?
Lou: Yeah.
Mary: How old do I look?
Lou (pauses): Thirty. (opens booze bottle in his desk drawer) What religion are you?
Mary: Uh, Mr. Grant, I don't quite know how to say this, but, uh, you're not allowed to ask that when someone's applying for a job. It's against the law.
Lou: Wanna call a cop?
Mary (sweetly): No.
Lou: Good! Would you think I was violating your civil rights if I asked if you're married?
Mary: Presbyterian. (Lou stares at her.) Uh, well I, I, I decided I would answer your religion question.
Lou: Divorced?
Mary: No.
Lou: Never married!
Mary: No.
Lou: Why?
Mary: Why?
Lou: Do you type?
Mary: Mr. Grant, there's no simple answer to that question!
Lou: Yes there is! How 'bout 'no I can't type' or 'yes I can'?
Mary: There's no simple answer to why a person isn't married.
Lou: How many reasons can there be?
Mary (nervously): 65.
Lou (exasperated): Words per minute. My typing question!!
Mary: Yes.
Lou (gets up off his chair): Look miss! Would you try answering the questions as I ask them?
Mary (stands up): Yes, Mr. Grant, I will, but it does seem that you've been asking a lot of very personal questions that don't have a thing to do with my qualifications for this job.

If I could write like that I wouldn't need 10 milligrams of Adderall every time I sit down to write a script. And I wouldn't waste the first half hour of my Adderall induced concentration posting to my blog. Oh well.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Return of Maniac Mommy

I'm again going to take a backseat to my sister in law, Michelle. No, she isn't really a maniac mother but I think sometimes she feels she is. In reality, she's an excellent mother. And when I first met her, she really didn't seem the type who'd have kids. But man, she jumped into the deep end and hasn't looked back since. This is one of the f*ing funniest things I've ever read. And, yes, those are diapers on the kids' heads. Take it away, Michelle:

So, the other night I was putting out toothbrushes for the kids and listening to them giggle in the next room. Then I heard one of them say to the other one, "OK, now you smell my butt." I rounded the corner to find pretty much what you'd expect: both of them naked and bent over, one presenting and the other inhaling.

This is how I found myself standing in my own home, shouting "No Butt Sniffing" with great vehemence. My two children cocked their heads at me, bemused. Smiles twitched at the corners of their mouths. Mommy is so funny when the veins stick out in her neck. "No butt sniffing." I said it again, like it might be less absurd, more serious the second time. "It's a rule."

That really is the bottom of the barrel, in parenting terms. Announcing that something's a rule. That's what I do all day, I make up rules. Don't pee on your sister. No fingers in the butt. Don't break that, don't throw that, don't touch that, don't lick that. (An admonition that is always, invariably followed by: STOP licking
that.) Sometimes I hear a commotion in the next room and I start shouting KNOCK IT OFF and waving my arms in the air, even though I can't see what's going on. I run toward them yelling, no, no, no, and
secretly I'm steeling myself. How grossed out am I prepared to be
right now? How much wine is left in the fridge? And then when I find
them spitting down the necks of the dolls they've behedded, and I
yank the toys away, the kids are truly mystified. Sammie says, "Oh,
all right," which she says just as Elmer Fudd would.
Yep, that's my job around here, bringing the party down.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day

Apparently today was Blog Action Day. Everyone who publishes a blog was encouraged to write about something that relates to the environment. Since I'm late to today's game, and I'm sure there have been a zillion posts that are more clever and more informed than mine could ever be, I'm going to write about the Brandy Alexander.

I was asked to make this a few weeks back at Vito on a Saturday night. I wasn't sure how to make it but George, one of the waiters (the gruffest of the bunch), used to be a bartender so he walked me through it. There was much discussion about whether or not to use the light or the dark Creme de Cacao. As I look it up on the web now, it seems to go either way. That night I made it with dark Creme de Cacao. Also, I didn't shake and strain it, but put a few ice cubes in alcohol and milk and blended it! All in all, it tasted kind of like a coffee shake.

We don't make many blended drinks at Vito. Mostly martinis and wine. I'm pretty sure my Brandy Alexander customer's first few sips were nothing but dust and old margarita mix. Maybe that's why she ordered three.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Philly Wedding

I mentioned a few weeks back that I was too busy to post due to work, weddings, etc. Well, at long last, here are some pictures from my niece Krista's, wedding. All pictures are courtesy of my sister in law and renowned family photographer, Colleen.

Krista is my oldest brother Jim's oldest daughter. Here they both are trying not to cry as they walk down the aisle.
Here they are in a more relaxed moment before the reception.
Before the wedding I went to my mother's room to borrow some hairspray. She was tucked into her full-body girdle/body armor and was rolling around like a full tick trying to get her even more control top pantyhose on.

Once she got dressed, we slid her into the limo where she sat waiting to be pushed out. Here we are in the back seat of the limo.
My mother's date for the weekend was my cousin Paul. He was a good sport all weekend long doing whatever my mother wanted. However, in this picture he looks like he's being hijacked by my mobster brothers.
Colleen insists that the next picture is of one of the Baldwins, Chris Noth and George Clooney. I see the three dorks who tortured me most in my youth.
In all my pictures I try to keep my chin down, my cheeks in and my head tilted to minimize any double chin-ature. Here are Colleen and my mother not succeeding at the pose.
The Wedding Party.
The Bride and Groom (after a few cocktails, obviously).
The Bridesmaids rolled up to the church in a stretch Hummer. Here's me & Sam pretending like it's ours.
By the end of the night, I finally got to dance with the bride. I taught her the "Crank That" dance by Souljah Boy. It could catch on to be the new chicken dance.
For those of you who don't know the "Crank That" dance. It's time to learn.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Absolut Ruby Red

I bought a bottle of this stuff earlier today at work. Erica and I were sitting around waiting for something to do and we asked if we could run to the store for a minute. Being that there was nothing to do, Kenny, our boss, gave us permission to go. Erica (that's her in the picture to the left) and I headed straight to Vons for some cocktail mixings. We thought about Prosecco but Vons didn't carry it. Then I spied the Absolut Ruby Red. I've always been curious about it mainly because I liked the name. I'm not really a fan of grapefruit but I was certain we could make a decent cocktail from this. Erica was on board. We then headed to the juice aisle where I thought I'd get some grapefruit juice and some soda water to mix with the vodka. Erica pushed me toward the "light" juice. Always a fan of fewer calories, I took the bait.

We went back to the office to mix our cocktails but as we were walking up the stairs from her car we were distracted by the beauty of some man standing outside our stage. We immediately dropped our groceries and headed to the nearest and most discreet window so we could spy on this specimen. Turns out we had to run all the way over to the Girlfriends office to see who this dude was who was keeping us from the drink. Rick Fox. Now I know many of you think of Rick Fox as some played out old cornball, but I gotta tell you this man is a stone cold fox. I couldn't believe it. Anyway, after making an excuse to go down to stage to get a better look at The Fox, we came back upstairs to make our Ruby Red cocktail.

The drink we settled on:
1 1/ oz Absolut Ruby Red
2oz Soda Water
Splash light Ruby Red Grapefruit juice

It was not so great. There was kind of a gross after taste that I blamed on Erica's "light" grapefruit juice. We tried to jazz it up with what we had in the 'fridge. We found some pomegranate juice. That definitely took the edge off but it still wasn't right. It was missing a layer. It was missing the ingredient that makes you want to drink 16 of them. We powered through nonetheless and drank.

When I got home I looked online for Absolut's mixer suggestions and nothing really caught my eye. So I'm opening it up to my reader: any suggestions on a good mixer for Absolute Ruby Red Vodka?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

An Excellent Showing

I had an excellent showing at Vito this past Saturday. At one point every seat at the bar (minus one) was filled with my friends. A big shout out to the Drim-Cahoons for stopping by and dragging the Sherer-Weissman's with them. Mainstays, Kerri and Sam, anchored the night while semi-regulars Stacey and Cowan enjoyed a lovely dinner at the bar. The big surprise of the night was the impropmtu "Burn" reunion (minus Stamos). All my ladies from Burning Man stopped by after a long day at a baby shower. Maura, Nancy and Linda came a little later than everyone else but stayed until I finished cleaning up. While at the bar, they managed to come up with no less than five reality shows to pitch to NBC. It's time to build the Burn Dynasty. Just in time for the writer's strike.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


This is Barney. He was a friend's dog who passed away today. He was also one of the sweetest dogs I ever met. And given his size, I think he was a mix between a malamute and a horse.

Tell Daphne, Woody and Sandy we said "Hi" when you get to Rainbow Bridge. Let them know Brady will be there soon. Here's a picture of me and Brady dancing.

Happy Birthday, Lisa!

Today is Lisa Ricci Casparriello's birthday. She's my oldest (as in longest) friend. We met when I was around almost 3. She was 6. I ran outside in my diaper and begged her to play with me. She was like a big sister to me. She was the first person to tell me I needed a bra. She always made me be Kate Jackson so she could be Jacklyn Smith when we played Charlie's Angels. And she was the first person to turn me on to Woody Allen movies. What more could you ask for in a sister?

Happy Birthday, Lisa. I hope it's a good one.

I'll post a picture of her when I get home from work.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

French Martini

I may have written a little about the French Martini a while back. I first heard of it when I was still working days at Vito. A woman ordered one during lunch and I didn't know what it was. I looked the cocktail up in my trusty Mr. Boston's it said:

1 1/2 oz. Vodka
1 oz. Black Raspberry Liqueur

That's what I made and it was promptly sent back. The woman requested pineapple juice to be mixed in. Both Hank and I thought that was disgusting but she was drinking and paying so who cares, right?

Since then the French Martini has become the new hip drink. You can order it at almost any bar (where the clientele is under 90) and you won't get looked at like you're from Mars. However you may not get the same drink twice. Seems the rules are fast and loose with the French Martini. I've ordered it a few different bars and it's always a little different.

The best I had was at West, the new steak/martini bar at the top of the Hotel Angeleno. (Formerly known as the round Holiday Inn that sits atop the 405 Freeway at the Sunset exit.) We went there to shoot our first episode this season and me and a few other writers spent the whole times upstairs taste testing martinis. The recipe at West was pretty elaborate:

1 oz Vodka
1 oz. Chambord
1 oz. Pineapple Juice
Splash of Grand Marnier
Splash of Cointreau

Shaken well. Served in chilled martini glass with a twist.

This recipe was delicious but deadly. I had three. Needless to say when I watched the premiere of my show the other night, none of the scenes seemed familiar.

At work we are always searching for a new drink to have on show night. The standard has been Pomegranate Lemonade Margaritas with a Grand Marnier floater. (My own recipe:2 oz. Patron, 1 1/2 oz. Pomegranate Lemonade, big splash of Grand Marnier on top. Stirred. Served over ice in a paper coffee cup so as to disguise what you're really drinking on stage.) It's delicious but we've had enough of them.

The criteria for show night drinks is few: powerful enough that you only need one but sweet enough that you can't taste the liquor. Tonight I made a tester French Martini for this weeks show. In an effort to pare my costs, I skipped the Cointreau. I can't substitute the Chambord for Black Raspberry liqueur because there is no comparison to Chambord.
It's raspberry with hints of vanilla and honey and really kicks the drink up a notch. Anyway, here's my recipe:

1 1/2 oz Vodka
1 oz Chambord
Enough Pineapple Juice to make it a lovely lavender color. (Not an exact measure, I know but sometimes you gotta just feel it.)

It turned out delicious. Didn't miss the Cointreau at all. Here's a picture of it. (I didn't have my photo crew with me so excuse the lousy image and the price tag on the bottom of the glass.)

Monday, October 01, 2007

Skinner's Rat

I want to thank everyone who commented on whether or not I was a terrible blogger. Those that said I wasn't are my new best friends. My brother Chris commented that the infrequency of my posts makes him feel like a Skinner's rat sitting in his cubicle waiting for treats. And since my brother knows I like to have pictures with my posts he sent me this:
That's why I love my brother. Support AND evidence to back it up.