Our Long National Wait Is Over

Here is the update on my dinner out last night that you’ve all been waiting for:

The waiting line for Cheesecake Factory was out the door and around the building. It’s a big place too with huge seating capacity. Think about that.  On a Monday night yet. So we chose to go to a nearby McCormick & Schmick Seafood place. The fish was fresh if boring* but the most outstanding things about it were:

  • The place was almost empty. This was maybe 300 feet from Cheesecake’s front door.
  • It was crazy expensive. Or at least it is for a person like me who is trying to hang onto my lower middle class status.
  • I had THE BEST cocktail. The bartenders were like their own chefs. Chefs of booze. All the drinks that came out looked delightful. And I’m not saying that just because I’m on a diet and cut back my cocktailing to once a week so I’m somewhat on the deprivation side of things.

It was a Cucumber Gimlet. Which was made with Hendrick’s gin, a bit of Triple Sec, muddled lime and cucumber slices. Normally I don’t go for your “mixed drinks” because all that stuff takes up room in a small glass where the gin could be, but this was really cucumbery and delicious.

When we left the restaurant at 9:45 pm, there were still people waiting outside Cheesecake Factory.

*I don’t have a bucket list but if I did, this would be the only thing on it: to eat a whole fish roasted over a wood fire. Where can I get that? Preferably on a restaurant menu, not a backyard barbeque that I have to make myself or at a camp site. I’m not interested in eating while I sit in dirt. Although i would if I had to. But please don’t make me.

I Am Failing At Trying to Contain My Excitement



Take some deep breaths, Suzette.

I am going to have dinner at a Cheesecake Factory restaurant tonight. I was just checking out he online menu, as you do. I checked out  the NEW SELECTIONS area and what do I see there but this:

Papas Bravas. A Spanish Favorite. Crispy, Golden Brown Potatoes Served with Garlic Aioli and Spicy Bravas Sauce. Could it possibly be … ?

Excitement! Of course then I had to immediately  look up the details and found out that Pappas Bravas is not the long-remembered and achingly longed-for Papas a la Huancaina but for that brief minute, it might have been. Why didn’t I let it go for a while? I could have savored the maybe-ness of the whole situation and lived on that for the whole afternoon.

But no. As I was writing this, I lost all hope and completely bummed myself out. I should just go buy a pineapple-themed dishtowel to wipe away my tears and find a corner to sit in so I can be alone with my memories.

Consolation Prize: shrimp and grits.

No I Can’t

Two things that I can’t do anymore and I feel terrible about it.

1. Write legibly in cursive. And I do such nice notes. Too bad no one can read them. This is usually how it goes:

[reading ...  reading ... reading] … what is that? Spiteful? Grot, grot … OH! GRATEFUL!

2. This one is a two-parter:

(a) Tell a story in complete sentences and/or (b) stick to the linear timeline.

I used to be so good at both of these things and now it is the big-time suck.

The NBC Narration Reminded Me Of “Best In Show”

A message from Suzette: My posts, no matter what simple thought they start out with, seem to be turning into TL;DR type of things. So just to spare you the pain of reading through this whole thing, I’ll give you the key words* so you can skim to the part that interest you. If any.

Key words:

  • Olympics opening ceremony
  • gin
  • corgis
  • eBay
  • bone china

*What ho, Bertie?  As has become obvious to everyone – even me – that except for the Olympics, these things are pretty much the subject of every post I make.


I just heard someone on   call the Olympic opening ceremony “eccentric”. (5) Strongly Agree I tried to live tweet it but I grew bored and drifted away. Here are some selected excerpts:

I can only do so much with the material that I’m handed.

All I can say is that I fully understand why Emma Thompson divorced Kenneth Branagh. I could never take looking at that smug mug every morning. Even without the beaver fur hat. Love that the Queen was as disinterested as the rest of us. I bet she was thinking about gin, too.

Queen Elizabeth picks her nails during obtuse extravaganza at the Olympics opening ceremony.

The Queen’s “usual” is gin and dubonnet. Here she is in a happier setting on vacation at Balmoral.

The Queen Mother drank it every day – mixed three parts Dubonnet, seven parts gin, with a twist of lemon – and was even known to take a small bottle with her on journeys, ‘just in case.’ The Queen inherited her passion and enjoys a Dubonnet and gin every day before lunch, and reportedly one before bed too.


I must say that I was vastly amused, not with the heavy-handed NHS love-fest overall, but with the message that was delivered when the monkey monsters showed up and scared the wards of the state  in their back-lit beds. The next characters were a cloudburst full of NANNIES fer cripes sake  spiraling over them with their LED umbrellas come to save them from the things they were worried about. Thanks because the hit over the head with the NHS theme wasn’t hard enough until that point.

Roy Kirkham “Poppies” Lancaster shape bone china mug. This is not mine and it never will be.

Also – and this is where I am now writing to a very limited audience. We use two bone china cups from England via eBay to drink coffee out of every morning. We both love them because they are deliciously thin and have a fine but not sharp edge that feels fabulous on on the lip. They also are the best for retaining the heat in hot drink. So I’ve been trolling eBay for more mugs – maybe something with a splash of red to get the mornings off to a swift start. Poppies seemed like a good be and lo the same company does offer a poppy pattern. But it’s all messed up with wheat stalks and so I could never tolerate the untended feild-y-ness of it.

Did you see the poppies in wheat as an image of Britain that made the cut for a signifyer in the opening ceremony? Same thing. I get that the flowers were a reference to the battlefields of WWI but wheat didn’t pop up from the soldiers’ graves on the Somme, did it?  If it did, I’m pretty sure it would have been mentioned in that poem. Maybe that’s how poppies grow over in England. Maybe that’s how they grow everywhere. Maybe I’m one of those ingnernt  murricans that doesn’t know anything about other countries. Where do American poppies grow – California, right? Do they pop up all willy-nilly in the wheat fields of Fresno, too?

Finally, Daniel Craig is my enemy forever for that nasty look he threw to the corgis as he helicoptered away from them.

The Other “Let’s Move!” Events In London This Week

Although I find the Olympics themselves boring and pointless, I do like the hubbub going on around World Famous Fashion Icon and Busy Mom Michelle Obama’s™ publicity grab with the Let’s Move event scheduled for Friday. Even more fascinating to me are the other Let’s Move events that Michelle is doing with high-profile Londoners, whether they like it or not.

Opening Ceremony

Entering the city of London, World Famous Fashion Icon and Busy Mom Michelle Obama™ displays that well-known fashion forward sense of style we keep hearing about with her striking wardrobe choice complete with flattering headgear. Instead of carrying a torch she carries a banner that neatly proclaims her personal food philosophy.

Grand Marshall of her own parade.

On to the events:

Let’s Move The Big Fat Gypsies

Acknowledging the popularity of the TV show My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, the FLOTUS recognizes what a great opportunity this is to  fight obesity by putting the gypsies on the move. She organizes events like the Three-legged Garter Race  where newlywed gypsy couples compete to see who can reach the finish line first while bound together and displaying the wedding garter. At another popular event of endurance – Touch My Bride – the ladies compete to see who will be the last bridesmaid to keep their hoopskirt in contact with the bride.

the opening games

Never one to just sit on the sidelines and tell others what to do, our FLOTUS gets into the action as well. In what is sure to be one of the most popular features of the Gypsy Games, she takes off the feedbag and slaps on the harness to give it her all in the Formal Dress Carriage Pull.

Here she is first to cross the finish line. Bringing home the gold for the USA.

Let’s Move Whatever Royal Parts Can Still Move

Arriving at Buckingham Palace, FLOTUS has prepared some sedate and dignified events for beloved 86 year old Queen Elizabeth.  But first, a quick display of endurance as she challenges Camilla to the Wide Stance Contest with an intimidating hint of her power move, “the 40 Inch Spread”.

So accomplished she can do it on one foot!

The highlight of any encounter with America’s first lady is her fearsome display of Little Eye. The petite monarch pulls out an upset and turns the world of Little Eye upside down. She takes the title away from the disappointed but good sport from America.

The Monarch takes the gold! Long live the queen!

Unwilling to take a chance on losing again, Mrs. Obama then proceeds to what some might consider a mismatch of competitors as  the Royal games continue with The No Contest Contest as Michelle introduces the Queen to a hand-squeezing game based on the all-American favorite “Pull My Finger”. Later on, the petite sovereign  rebuffs the offer of a rematch and comes to the grimly malodorous realization that you can’t unring a bell and now that the the champ has started, it takes more than a tight dress and a double layer of Spanx to stop it.

(left )- the competiton (right )- M.O. is please with her performance

 Let’s Move Your Groove Thing

One last stop before the shopping starts! (Note – have V.J. call that nice Mr. Mohammed Al-Fayed with the Harrod’s and see if he can introduce me to the owner of Fortnum & Mason. It’s hamper time!)  Just enough time for a quick one with Patsy and Edina. Lucky thing Michelle brought along her absolutely fabulous 48 0z. champagne stein.

Patsy: “Have some champagne, darling?” MIchelle: “Just one! I’m watching my figure. ” Edina: (uproarious laughter)

This was meant to be a social visit but once FLOTUS found out that the AbFab ladies had their own Olympic events going on, her competitive spirit and 48 0z. of good bubbly could not let it pass. She threw down the gauntlet followed immediately by her dainties and challenged them to a game of her own invention called Dance Off With Your Pants Off. Remembering that they had to wash their hair, the invitation was politely declined.

With cries of “Let’s see how merry Olde England really is!” still ringing in their ears, Patsy and Edina make a hasty retreat before Michelle takes anything else off.

And so concludes coverage of the Let’s Move events the mass media won’t tell you about.

all graphics courtesy of The Proprietor

Headline: “Starchy Tuber Arrives In London”

We watched the Romney’s interview on CNN last night.

#1. I love that Mitt won’t  ameliorate his position when an interviewer pushes back. He firmly but politely reiterates and without pique or barely concealed anger. He might turn out to be the Coolest Presidential Candidate Evah.

For the 63-year-old mother of five, successfully running with the olympic torch represented the last lap in what had been a marathon recovery.

#2. I didn’t know that Ann Romney carried the Olympic torch at the Salt Lake City games. That must chap World Famous Fashion Icon And Busy Mom Michelle Obama’s™ ass, don’t you think? I wonder if she knows. I think I’ll tweet her to be sure of it.

she didn’t answer

Maybe MOO could run down the steps of AF1 carrying a giant sweet potato from the WH garden.