Thursday, December 24, 2015

Oh Great Mystery

If preparing for the holidays is wearing you out,
and you feel like you're drowning:
and listen.

O magnum mysterium,
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum,
jacentem in praesepio!
Beata Virgo, cujus viscera
meruerunt portare
Dominum Christum.

O great mystery,
and wonderful sacrament,
that animals should see the new-born Lord,
lying in a manger!
Blessed is the Virgin whose womb
was worthy to bear
Christ the Lord.

May the love and wonder of the season feed and fill our spirits.

Merry Christmas.

Monday, August 31, 2015


My son (aka Balthazar, the Kid) tapped on my bedroom door.

Me, looking up from my sprawled position on my bed: Oh, hey Kid. How long've you been up?

Balthy: An hour.

Me, surprised: Yeah? I haven't heard you. Whatcha been doin'?

B, shrugging: Avoiding responsibility.

Me, having lost an afternoon binge-watching the 1st season of Fargo on Hulu: Me too.

Took Balthy up to college for the start of his Senior year this weekend. If all goes according to schedule, he should be graduating in May 2016, God willing.

I almost can't believe it.

These past three years have challenged me, exhausted me. Now I've a year to get my shit together so we can move into a place of our own again, while simultaneously saving the requisite funds to put out another book (oh, and I suppose I should finish writing it, as well). I'm thrilled and terrified. I almost feel like a graduate myself. (I say "almost" because my back and knees frequently remind me that I ain't no spring chicken.)

Not gonna lie—I fear the future. It sucks when you're going through hell, but at least there's a devil you know. Yet all we can do is keep going.

Because what's the alternative? We're either going or stopping. I sometimes don't know which is preferable. But who, on this side of the veil, can know?

I'll keep going, I guess, till I'm either recalled or have no other reason to. In the meantime, I'm going to make myself some hot cocoa and get to work on my story.

That is all.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Scribbling #5

After that writerly type class I started in April finished, I jumped into another one, offered through the NYU School of Professional Studies. Lots of great prompts in that class too. One inspired a piece (a true story!) that I reckoned would suit my little bloggy-blog to a T. The prompt: "Write about an awkward moment at school OR about a birthday party OR a romantic moment during puberty." I sorta mixed the first and third options into a weird little cocktail (you'd expect nothing less from me, no doubt).

*          *          *

My first high school, Saint Raphael’s, suffered from under-enrollment to the point that we had to merge with our brother school (this is not a euphemism). So it was in the fall semester of my sophomore year at Holy Trinity that I laid eyes upon my first serious crush, Patrick Greco*. Impossibly tall, with a shock of blonde hair framing a pale and narrow face and sapphire blue eyes, he stole my breath. If I hadn’t just lunched before my first Greco sighting, I might’ve swooned. Thinking back, I’ve no idea why he affected my heart-rate as he did, when the type I’ve come to be really into is tall, dark, and broody (as well as authoritative—yeah, I’ve got a daddy thing, so what?). But affect me he did, and I mooned around, all that fall, gushing about him to all my little girlfriends.

Unfortunately, I also told one of my new guy friends. The wrong guy friend.

Derek Jacobs, a junior, was acquainted with young Greco and offered to play matchmaker. I freaked out at the very thought. I was so incredibly innocent, so untouched, naïve. The word “sheltered” fails to convey the heartiness with which my mother preserved my virtue. I’m convinced the old gal would’ve brought back the chastity belt if she’d only known about it. I used to tell my friends that the epitaph on my tombstone would read, “Return to sender—unopened.”

I think you get the picture.

I knew nothing about dating and wasn’t supposed to. It seemed an exercise in futility for Jacobs to say anything about me to Greco, who likely didn’t even know I existed. That is, he didn’t until Jacobs went against my express wishes and let fly Cupid’s arrow at the hapless towheaded boy of sixteen.

One day soon after (I’m guessing, as I was completely unaware that Jacobs had spilled my beans) (as it were), I crouched down at my locker, fishing for whatever I needed for my next class. The corridor teemed with uniformed teens, the noise in the uncarpeted hallway deafened. I was caught completely off-guard when the door to my locker swung out of my hand. As I raised my eyes, Patrick Greco crouched down beside me. He seemed preternaturally serene, even if his dark blue eyes burned like dying stars. My heart seized at his sudden nearness. Then he said, “So. I hear you like me.”

Well, damn—I wasn’t ready for that! I don’t know that I could’ve handled anything else he might have thrown at me, but there was absolutely no way I’d been prepared to deal with such directness from a boy. A boy I liked? I said the only thing I could think of to save myself from this horrible exposure. “No!” I shook my head for emphasis, grabbed my stuff, slammed my locker shut, and ran off.

And that was the end of that. Next time Jacobs saw me he had the nerve to laugh. I wish I’d had the nerve to tell him to fuck off. Perhaps if he’d warned me in advance I might not have utterly bungled that milestone.

Because the thing is, I’m forty-bloody-four and still skittish. I’m totally tongue-tied when a guy approaches me, unless it’s someone I know and have some sort of relationship with already. I don’t know that I’d be different, or be able to behave differently at least, if I’d been able to engage fully with that very first opportunity. Maybe not. And I don’t know if Greco and I would’ve gone the distance. Probably not.

Some folks say, “If only I could go back…” I usually feel the opposite: “…thank God I never have to relive that moment.” But for Patrick, and for myself, I almost wish I could…

*Names have been changed to protect the clueless.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Blog Tour: "A Silent Soliloquy" by L.G. Keltner!

It's out, folks, it's out, it's out, IT'S OUT!!!


My bloggy pal's Sci-Fi book is out and here's L.G. now to tell y'all about it!

*     *     *
Title: A Silent Soliloquy
Author: L.G. Keltner
Genre: Science Fiction/Dystopian
Length: 28,000 words
Cover Art: Devross
Release Date: July 6th, 2015

First of all, I’d like to thank Mina for being so awesome and letting me stop by today!  I’m here to promote my newly published novella A Silent Soliloquy, and what better way to do that than with a short excerpt?

*     *     *

“Hey, Tips,” David says softly as he slides into place on the bench beside us.  His shoulder bumps ours, and I savor that innocent moment of contact.  I try to imagine that, in this moment, I am merely a girl who’s meeting with a boy.  No hidden agendas attached.

The fantasy is quickly ruined when he leans in to kiss me.

I can’t help but note the flavor of the lip balm that’s been liberally applied.  Cherry.  An extremely artificial, almost medicinal, cherry flavor.  I know that ours isn’t any better.  The grape flavor is just as medicinal, just as artificial.  It’s a constant reminder of the utility of the kiss that I’m expected to perform.

Though, I must admit, if I ignore the odd taste, the other aspects of the kiss are kind of nice.  His lips are soft, and his body emits a surprising amount of warmth considering his size.  I’m glad when our hands move to rest on his shoulders, increasing the amount of physical contact between us.  It feels grounding, so even though I can’t fully ignore the reason why we’re kissing him, I can momentarily push the knowledge from the forefront of my thoughts.

*     *     *

TIPPIE was created to be a weapon...

By all appearances, she's an ordinary girl of 18, and she uses that to her advantage in her work for The Facility.  What no one sees is that there's another girl buried deep inside.  She can't speak or control the movements of the body she inhabits.  As TIPPIE's silent passenger, she can only observe.  She uses the details she learns from TIPPIE's work to reconstruct the stories of other people's lives.  It helps her feel a little more connected to the world she can only watch.

When TIPPIE's work leads her to David, a young man with a haunted past and information that The Facility wants, TIPPIE uses her skills to earn his trust.  The silent girl beneath the surface knows that TIPPIE is only going to hurt him, but she can't help but feel for him.  Those feelings only grow, but she knows all too well that TIPPIE's work will soon come to an end.

About the Author
L.G. Keltner spends most of her time trying to write while also cleaning up after her crazy but wonderful kids and hanging out with her husband.  Her favorite genre of all time is science fiction, and she’s been trying to write novels since the age of six.  Needless to say, those earliest attempts weren’t all that good. 

Her non-writing hobbies include astronomy and playing Trivial Pursuit.

You can typically find L.G. lurking around her blog, on Twitter, or on her Facebook page.

You can purchase a copy of A Silent Soliloquy at one of the following retailers:

You can also add it on Goodreads.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Calling All Creators!

Click this caption to learn more!
One of my good bloggy pals, Yolanda Renèe, hollered at me recently about a groovy every-other-monthly* blog hop she and Denise Covey are reinstating: Write...Edit...Publish! OK, so it's got "write" in the title, which might make you think it's for writers only—BUT IT AIN'T! Artistry of all types is welcome, so long as you follow the prompts for that particular month. Hope y'all'll check it out!

*WTF is bi-monthly, anyway? Twice a month? Every two months? It'll get jiggy with any month regardless of its sex? Doesn't every-other-monthly just make more sense???

Monday, June 22, 2015

Scribbling #4

So I'm a writer who's not been writing and desperately needs to or she'll die (that's not hyperbole). I mentioned in a recent post I took a writerly type class*; in it, the instructor gave prompts meant to spur us into writerly type action. Which, of course, they did (mostly--at least one class saw me penning diatribes against things over which I've absolutely no control because I was emotionally distraught from an earlier event).

Anyway, I'll share with you here something I enjoyed scribbling in class. The prompt was "Write about a physical hardship/injury you've endured."

*     *     *    

"Push! Push! Push like you're going to the bathroom!" Hitler's little sister screamed at me.

"What do you think I'm doing?" I squealed back. My now ragged fingernails dug into the vinyl where I half-sat, half-lay. I felt another one break and bit back a curse.

"You're not pushing!" Hitlerita barked.

"Yes I am!" I attempted to bark back, but a contraction spiked on the monitor and then in my gut and the words slid out on an impotent groan. Bad enough I knew the pain was coming--with that damned machine I could tense up in anticipation of the next fresh wave of hell, which was super helpful, by which I mean not at all. "Please," I panted, "give me an epidural." Another violent cramp gripped me, like a hand had shot up my ass, grasped the base of my spine, and wrenched it like the arm of a slot machine.

"It's too late for that," my OB-GYN said as he fake-jogged into the room. "You're nine centimeters along, we need you to be able to feel so you can push."

"Like you're going to the bathroom!" the Nazi in the surgical mask helpfully reminded me.

On the verge of telling them that I bloody well was pushing, I felt a shift within and held my breath.

"He's coming," said the doctor.

"PUUUUUUUUUUSH!" yelled Eva Braun.

But even as my innards roiled and surged, even as every muscle poised to shoot out the little parasite, I clenched. I was suddenly afraid to see it through, afraid of that final thrust and what it might bring. Or what it might take.

*     *     *    

*If you're not local to NY but interested in writerly type classes, Gotham Writers does offer online classes. Mind you, I've never done any kind of online class, so your mileage may vary. Anyway, I'd say they're worth checking out.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Cover Reveal ~ L.G. Keltner's "A Silent Soliloquy"

It is my distinct and genuine pleasure to pimp out reveal unto y'all the cover for fellow blogger and writer L.G. Keltner's debut, A Silent Soliloquy. Over the past few years I've truly enjoyed reading her flash fiction and can recommend her work with all my heart. Check it out!

About "A Silent Soliloquy"

TIPPIE was created to be a weapon.  By all appearances, she's an ordinary girl of 18, and she uses that to her advantage in her work for The Facility.  What no one sees is that there's another girl buried deep inside.  She can't speak or control the movements of the body she inhabits.  As TIPPIE's silent passenger, she can only observe.  She uses the details she learns from TIPPIE's work to reconstruct the stories of other people's lives.  It helps her feel a little more connected to the world she can only watch.

When TIPPIE's work leads her to David, a young man with a haunted past and information that The Facility wants, TIPPIE uses her skills to earn his trust.  The silent girl beneath the surface knows that TIPPIE is only going to hurt him, but she can't help but feel for him.  Those feelings only grow, but she knows all too well that TIPPIE's work will soon come to an end.

About the Author

L.G. Keltner spends most of her time trying to write while also cleaning up after her crazy but wonderful kids and hanging out with her husband.  Her favorite genre of all time is science fiction, and she’s been trying to write novels since the age of six.  Needless to say, those earliest attempts weren’t all that good. 

Her non-writing hobbies include astronomy and playing Trivial Pursuit.

You can typically find L.G. lurking around her blog, on Twitter, or on her Facebook page.

Pre-Order "A Silent Soliloquy"
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Monday, June 1, 2015

My Overprotective Kid

You may remember me mentioning how, when he was younger, my son Balthazar disparaged men who showed romantic interest in me. (And by "disparaged," I mean that he denounced them as being serial killers whom I should avoid like...well, like one should avoid a person aiming to end one's life.) Well, given that he's achieved the ripe old age of 20 (holy shit!) and has been away at a very liberal, girl-pow-ah kind of college for the past three years, I figured he'd outgrown this absurd over protectiveness/smart-assed desire to kill my buzz.

I figured wrong.

A few weeks ago, I texted Balthy the following:

So, like, I was waiting for the Shuttle to GCT & this guy comes up to me & hands me a piece of paper saying, "Excuse me, I just wanted to say you're drop dead gorgeous, I love your hair and eyes. Here's my number, if you ever want to call me." Think I should call him?

After two days of radio silence, I nudged him. Thus replied Balthazar:


Me: Why not?

Four hours went by. I nudged again. Balthy wrote back:

Ask one of your friends

Me: The two I asked told me to call him. Why do you think I shouldn't?

Balthy: I don't care, do what you want. I just don't want to hear about it or find out that you're beheaded in an alleyway.

So there you have it. I mean, I'd no intention of calling the guy (he never asked me for my name, which I found really weird) and, admittedly, you never know whether a stranger means you harm. But that'd be true at a nightclub or a bar or a party, right? I mean, all the old-fashioned/more traditional ways of meeting people couldn't ensure they'd be decent, non-psycho-killers. Surely there'd be a "safe" way to get to know someone from the above scenario?

Maybe there's a more promising opportunity coming around the bend for me, one even The Kid won't be able to balk at. Obviously, I don't require his permission. But I wonder if he'll ever be OK with me having a love life of my own...

Probably not.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Streaming Consciousness: Wanting to Wake, I haven't been doing very well. My day job's been "challenging" since the end of last July. Then all hell broke loose in December and I'm just now in a position to shove most of the Devil's prancing minions back behind the rusty red gates. On the bright side, I'm proud of myself for buckling down and plowing through the 12-hour (and 13 - 14 hour) days, getting shit done, and done well. On the other, Gothier, dark side, I feel like my spirit's finally snapped. I've known moments, many moments, when I wasn't sure I cared about living. But I'm not dead yet. So fuck you, Monty Satan...

...I won't hide from that part of me that knows as hard as things have been with my day job, dealing with that's been easier for me to face than writing...

...I've gained a stupid amount of weight from comfort-fooding and boozing to sop up the pain. Now I'm even more insecure, unhealthy, and uncomfortable. That's bullshit...

...I've managed to resist smoking. Yay, small victories...

...I haven't managed to resist coke. Diet Coke, that is. Just for the taste of it. God help me, I'm addicted to the stuff. It's just so fucking refreshing, you know???

...endeavoring to self-medicate in a healthier way, I signed up for a writing course with these cats here in the city, Gotham Writers. No, not just 'cause they've got "Goth" in their name. Though that was, I'll admit, a strong inducement. First class was April 13: did more writing in it than I had in AGES. Procrastinated on the homework assignment till Sunday night (for the April 20 class) and only just managed to churn something out. Ah well. Baby steps to self-actualization...

...went to a tea-leaf reader recently who told me, among other things, that something evil attached itself to me a loooong time ago. Which is pretty fucking freaky but not wholly unexpected...

...she also advised that my navel and throat chakras were blocked but I could easily sort them out myself. I picked up a book on the subject but am having a tough time getting through some of the more academic stuff 'cause I keep thinking to myself, "Chakra-Khan, let me rock you, let me rock you, Chakra-Khan. Let me rock you, that's all I wanna do, Chakra-Khan." 'Cause that is my maturity level at 44, folks...

...I miss you. I miss the Blogosphere. I miss creating. I miss me. Don't call this a comeback, because I'm not sure I'm ready to really engage with the world again. Perhaps the best I'll ever manage is poking my head in to say howdy, now and again. But I want to wake up. I think...

Friday, March 13, 2015

"One Good Catch" is out NOW!!!

My last post was a cover reveal for One Good Catch, the second installment in a series by my fellow romance writer and bloggy-type pal, Heather M. Gardner. Well, that bad boy's out NOW and I am just so totally stoked about it I wanted to let all y'all know! You can check out the book blurb here; read on for an excerpt!


Kate crossed her arms. “I’m not complicated.”

“Oh yes, you are. Incredibly complicated. And off limits.”

“Look, it was just a kiss. If you can’t handle a little first base, it’s your problem, not mine.”

Rhys stopped in front of her, shaking his head. “What?”

“I’m not some kid anymore, Rhys. I can kiss whomever I want. And I do. If you want to continue living by my brother’s rules, then I suggest you head back to the bar.”

“I guess I have more respect for Steve than to try and feel up his sister after being back in town for less than a day.”

“That’s fine. Whatever helps you sleep at night.”

“Fine. I’ll sleep just fine.”

“Then, goodnight.”

“Goodnight,” he said.

Rhys reached for her, his fingers tangling in her hair. He pulled her in to kiss her again. Kate enjoyed this kiss even more than the first one. It was full of his exasperation, plus his inevitable surrender, making it incredibly hot. Her victory was intoxicating.


And so was that excerpt, dang! Seriously, though, I can really identify with Kate: nothing fires me up more than knowing the man I'm so totally into is completely losing control for want of me. W00F!

If you're in want of some more woofery, you can pick up a copy of One Good Catch by clicking one of the links below. I know I do/will!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Cover Reveal: One Good Catch by Heather M. Gardner

My good pal Heather Gardner, from The Waiting is the Hardest Part, is coming out with the second book in her Maquire's Corner series and asked if I'd join in the love fest/cover reveal. I'm all about the love, y'all, and I really enjoyed the first book in the series so here I am to pimp book #2. Check it!

Title: One Good Catch
Author: Heather M. Gardner
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Cover Design: Najla Qamber Designs
Release Date: March 13, 2015

Ignoring a recent trauma that is affecting her everyday life, ER Doctor Kate Maguire engages in some high risk activities, but putting herself in these dangerous situations isn’t enough to feed her edginess. She needs something more. When her brother’s high school best friend comes back to town, it’s her chance for a ‘no strings attached’ fling with the man who still headlines in all her best dreams.

Rhys MacGrath’s days of one-night-stands are long over. The pro-football player might be side-lined at rehab for a shoulder injury, but that doesn’t mean he can’t admire and desire the all-grown-up, so-damn-hot, version of the tomboy he once knew. His sudden interest in Kate might be aggravating his best friend, who doesn’t approve, but it’s her indifference that’s driving Rhys crazy.

Everything heats up when Kate’s nosy nature sets her in the line of fire of an arsonist forcing them to deal with more than just the sparks igniting between them.


Heather M. Gardner's love of books began on the hand-woven rugs of her small town library where her mother worked. There she had a never-ending supply of stories to read at her fingertips. As a teen, her favorite genres to curl up with were romance and mysteries. When she started to create her own stories, they were the perfect fit.

Heather resides in New York with her best friend who is also her husband, plus her talented and handsome son. She is currently owned by four stray cats. Heather's a full-time mom, works part-time from home, a chocolate enthusiast, coffee junkie, cat addict, book hoarder and fluent in sarcasm.

Twitter: @hmgardner

Goodreads: HMGardner

Facebook: HeatherWritesRomance 

Monday, January 12, 2015


NAMA - Statue of a sleeping Maenad 09
Photo by Marcus Cyron
via Wikimedia Commons
About a week ago, just after the start of the new year, I dreamt I was married and had a daughter*. But it seems I'd been neglecting my family, as well as my duties to our home. Not sure why; possibly because I pursued a career or simply my own entertainments, apart from them. A violent pang of remorse, and a deep desire to atone and reclaim my life, made me return to our home.

I went to my "husband" first. He was grimly unhappy with me. Hurt, somber. He was a tall, blond man, wiry, with a bit of scruff along his jaw and chin. He looked like a man who hadn't slept in God knows how long. He's not anyone I know in real life. I walked up to him, gingerly hugged him. I had to stretch and get up on my tiptoes to do it. He didn't resist me, but was slow to respond. He did eventually hold me, though. It was almost as though he surrendered to the inevitability of having me back.

I apologized for not being what I ought to have been to him and our daughter. He was quiet, wary, sad. But he loved me, he wanted me, and he was prepared to do what it took to mend things because we belonged to one another. His embrace went from passive to active, he held me closer, welcoming whatever I had to offer, even if it was more pain. I pressed a kiss, like a pledge, to the area of his face between his chin and cheek, and I loved the feel of his yielding flesh beneath my lips. Then I sagged in relief against him. Over his arm, I spied a home in dire need of attention, a sink overflowing with filthy dishes. Guilt for having shirked my responsibilities to those I loved, for so very long, overwhelmed me.

I searched for my daughter next. A matronly woman appeared, a babysitter or nanny. She eyed me with grave suspicion, and I couldn't blame her. I told her why I was there. The woman said my daughter feared me seeing her, worried that I'd be disappointed by her. From what my dream self could remember, she was really just a little girl, perhaps five, and that she could harbor such concerns puzzled me. I stood firm in my wishes and the woman took me to my daughter's room. I approached a crib, I think, and a small, blanketed figure was handed to me. But it wasn't human. It was a tiny Lego figure. That was my daughter—a thumb-sized, hard, plastic figure. I felt alarm, hysteria, but also a bewildered love. Had she become that way for want of me?

Capricho 43, El sueño de la razón produce monstruos
The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters
by Francisco Goya
I awoke soon after that discovery. Regret, shame weighed heavily upon me all that day. The suffering of my dream mate I could still feel, like a fog drifting around me. And the shock of seeing what had become of my daughter, I couldn't bear. Meaning grew, like ivy, taking over every thought. My husband was God, a Judeo-Christian omnipotent power, ready to forgive and welcome home the wayward sheep; the home in shambles really my notebooks, containing tales and songs half-done, gathering dust in their various stacks; my plastic daughter who'd failed to become real and thrive signified the talents I've been given and have failed to nurture ever since the fall of 2013. Or maybe she represents me: a woman made small, and immobilized, by depression...

...or do dreams even mean anything, at all? Back in college, a psych professor told me they were nothing but electrical activity in my brain, triggering memories that flashed in my mind's eye. Maybe that's so. Maybe we'll never know, either way. Perhaps we're not meant to be satisfied on the matter, but to ever wonder at the secrets we tell ourselves as we slumber...

*In reality, I'm a divorced mother of a teenaged son.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Another birthday pictorial...?

Night Hotel NY
...why, yes. Yes, it is. Because YOLO, as the Youth said in 2012.

I unintentionally turned inward in 2013, especially in the fall months. Perhaps that's why I opted for a solitary birthday celebration. If "celebration" is the word...I aimed to make 2014 the year of the Very Goth Birthday and didn't fall too wide of the mark.

I'd accrued a couple of free nights on (which I use to book all my work travel), so I checked into the Night Hotel NY (not to be confused with its sister hotel, the Night Hotel Times Square) (although both of them are pretty much in Times Square).

Mah room

I was running late the day I checked in (my actual birthday, December 21) and had to forgo one of my planned stops for the day, so I was in a bit of a snit as I stood in the lobby awaiting attendance. Though the ambiance was what I'd hoped for, the piped in music wasn't. "For fuck's sake," I grumbled to myself as my lip curled in a disgruntled sneer, "why are they playing this stupid dance shit? They should be playing The Cure, or Joy Division, or frigging Depeche Mode, or something." Thankfully, I could breathe a sigh of relief when I entered the blissful quiet of Mah Room.

It'd been a couple of years since I'd last visited the Museum of Sex so I betook myself there, verily. I couldn't help but note their earnest exhortation for guests' best behavior (pictured left) as I paid the entrance fee, but I told the cashier I wasn't making any promises. (Especially regarding that last bit, W00F.)

He didn't mean to turn me on, poor chap.
One of the exhibits was the darkly dirty and whimsical sex puppetry of Peruvian artist Ety Fefer called Grumildos (see image right). It was my fave of that particular visit, I only wish the artist had given us more scenes to enjoy...or, perhaps, made some for sale, so sick puppies like me could bring a scene home as a souvenir. You can see more (and infinitely better) pics of the installation by clicking here.

You'll be heartened to learn I found mine. (As it were.)

I'd looked forward to checking out the Funland: Pleasures and Perils of the Erotic Fairground installment but found it kind of meh. I thought the best (and spookiest) bit was The Tunnel of Love, in which one has to manage various twisty turns in the dark in search of the supposedly elusive clitoris.

I ambled about the MofS shop, then buggered off for some Burger King (lame for a birthday dinner, I know, but I so totally dig their onion rings and that spicy dipping sauce that accompanies them) and Cold Stone Creamery (the night was mild enough to enjoy the chocolate and crumbled Oreo goodness). I went to the 10:15pm showing of Michael Keaton's Birdman, which was brilliant and engrossing though not the lighthearted romp I'd anticipated (if I'd actually read the reviews, I'd've known "lighthearted" and "romp" were hardly appropriate descriptors for the film). It was about 1am, I think, by the time I trekked through a still active Times Square to get back to my hotel. I was emotionally exhausted from the movie ('cause I'm sensitive and whatnot) and feeling myself very alone. 

As I entered the hotel I spied the restaurant/bar and strolled over to check out the action. There wasn't any, though the bartender Licensed Mixologist was still there. I asked if the bar was closed and was delighted to learn drinks could still be had, 'cause I needed one. I ordered a Painkiller (again—so totally needed one), a cocktail composed of dark rum, pineapple and orange juices, cream of coconut, and a sprinkling of nutmeg.

As I sat and soaked up the atmosphere (and cocktail), I felt my shoulders sink down. Then I grinned broadly as the absolutely most appropriate song thundered from the bar's speakers—Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence."

Enjoy the Silence by Depeche Mode on Grooveshark

One Painkiller, to go.
When I settled my bill for the one cocktail with my Mixologist, I jokingly asked if I could get one "to go" (back up to my room, that is). And the answer, to my surprise, was YES!

Next day I went for an indifferent breakfast at some bistro around the block (Bistro Around the Block would be a brilliant name for a restaurant, wouldn't it???), then headed up to the upper east side to the Metropolitan Museum of Art so I could check out the (what else?) Death Becomes Her exhibit. Offered by the Costume Institute, this installation featured mourning garb spanning a century from 1815 to 1915. Bombastic organ music played as one meandered through the beautifully attired mannequins. Quotes from periodicals, journals, and letters of the era were projected onto the wall, and the lighting was fittingly sombre. I certainly admired the remarkable work, but after two hours was ready to leave death to its own devices.

Toward the latter half of this time period,
sparkly dress in light mourning colors of mauve and purple were acceptable.

I admit to being all Gothed out and in need of cheer. So I did some shopping at Desigual, made a stop at Starbucks for my usual (a lovely, buttery Toffee Nut Latte), enjoyed a fish'n'chips dinner at the Cock and Bull (heh heh) with a Dark and Stormy drink, and did some more shopping at Barnes and Noble, where I picked up another Georgette Heyer to add to my collection. I capped the night with a different Licensed Mixologist who, upon learning it was my last night there, insisted we do shots of Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey. Now, I'm not really a whiskey drinker but DAYUM, that jazz was the bomb diggity, as the Youth said in...hell, I can't ever remember.

Right, so; that's all I got. Hope all y'all enjoyed every danged December holiday you cared about and wish you a happy, healthy, love-filled, and prosperous 2015.