Birthdays no. 1 and 2.

And so it begins: I used to think of Halloween as the beginning of the year-end gallop, but since I no longer have a small child to get costumed, the race now starts with The Birthdays, three in nine days.

Alan’s and Kate’s was Saturday. Of course, Kate is in California, but we partied enough for both of them. Hence today’s mostly photo post. Not that I am hungover, just a little tired.

The evening started with a long, multi-course dinner at a Hot New Place called Magnet. (It’s a former radiator repair shop.)

This was only the first course, and yes, that’s hummus. The trick of this restaurant is that everything is cooked or baked over or with the help of a wood fire. I don’t have any more dinner pix because the food was so good I think I fell into a swoon and became unable to operate my camera. You can check out their Instagram, if you like. This was my cocktail choice, and it was outstanding:

After about a million calories and seven thousand courses, we retired to our friends’ house for birthday cake, so I sent this one to Kate, who was at Lake Mead with some friends for her own celebration:

She replied with a pic of her own that indicated the sun had set on Lake Mead and the party moved to Vegas:

She certainly didn’t look dressed for hiking, anyway.

Then we had one more round of drinks, Hank Pierce’s Brake Bumpers, because we are all “Succession” fans:

Then we pawed through Lynn’s grandma’s collection of vintage matchbooks:

This one is my favorite:

Dunno why. It just reminds me of a round of martinis after a OABI cruise. (That’s “once around Belle Isle” for you non-Detroiters.)

And then we went home. I was in bed by 10:30, and we all agreed Magnet is our new favorite restaurant in the whole world.

Some of you have asked how Kate is doing in California. Very well, thanks. Her internship period has passed at the studio and she’s now an production assistant (fewer sushi runs, more handling microphones), with the caveat that she is only scheduled on a gig basis, which means she’s doing the Gen Z Hustle, i.e, trying to pick up cash here and there. She just interviewed to be a personal assistant, the new version of the mail room, I guess. But she’s on her way, although still parentally subsidized.

With that, I will start making mashed potatoes for our own, far more prosaic dinner tonight. To discuss? Maybe the president’s are-they-or-aren’t-they chest pains. I’ll be back in a couple days.

Posted at 6:09 pm in Same ol' same ol' |

39 responses to “Birthdays no. 1 and 2.”

  1. Deborah said on November 17, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    Thanks for the Kate report. LA seems like a good place for her at this point in her career. When I went there a couple of times with my husband and his students recently I was blown away by how much potential there seemed to be there. Good for her.

    We’re going to be in CA around Christmas this year as I’ve said here before. We’re doing this mainly for my husband’s granddaughter because she’s been through a lot with her parents divorce and her mom (my husband’s daughter) moving away. It’s all terribly sad.

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  2. alex said on November 17, 2019 at 7:33 pm

    Looks dee-lish!

    Went to a birthday bash yesterday for a one-year-old and her mother who was told she could never have children. This was her second, both unplanned and unexpected. And it was a great time.

    Very sweet young couple and I love their dog. It’s a mutt, some kind of hound and probably a little pit bull. I wish it were possible to breed one just like that. Perfect disposition and so cuddly and sweet. And a totally Never Trump circle of friends, which is the only way I roll these days.

    Happy birthday to the Derringer clan!

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  3. LAMary said on November 17, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    The personal assistant jobs out here can range from perfectly reasonable to insane. Just sayin.

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  4. Dexter Friend said on November 18, 2019 at 3:00 am

    We were out west a while ago and decided to pull in off the road and have a gander at Lake Mead, where a big gate stopped us. “Twenty dollars, please”. But ma’am? We just want to drive down and look at the lake for 5 minutes and leave. “That’s $20.”. Ok. And my daughter did a half donut in her VW convertible and we were back on the road.

    TV: Ray Donovan surprised me, as he’s back. A big shock in S7,E1. “Shameless” jumped the shark a few years ago, but it’s back also, and I watch it as well. Meh…but Luis Guzman is in the cast at least for a little while. He’s a great actor.

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  5. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 18, 2019 at 7:29 am

    Two weeks in Israel in 1993 and I came back addicted to hummus. Great stuff, infinitely variable. Better than guac.

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  6. Deborah said on November 18, 2019 at 10:49 am

    When we were in France in July the chef at the place we stayed in Le Thor made hummus with mint in it. I had never had that before and wow was it good. I don’t make hummus very often but when I do I’m going to add mint.

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  7. Jeff Borden said on November 18, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    We saw “The Irishman” yesterday. Outstanding. Great work in front of and behind the camera. . .especially Joe Pesci. I’ve never seen him do a quieter character and he was splendid. Yes, the movie runs three hours and 30 minutes. No, you will not notice. It hits Netflix next week, but it’s worth seeing on a big screen.

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  8. Charlotte said on November 18, 2019 at 2:09 pm

    Road trip, probably 1991? End of the ski season, still not sure if I was getting into grad school. Took off with a guy I hardly knew (friends vouched for him). On the way back, we blew through Vegas and went to camp in the back of my pickup for the night. Lake Mead campground full, so we drove back out into BLM and pulled over.

    Morning — ranger banging on the cap. My companion, blearly-eyed: So wait a minute, you’re telling me prostitution, gambling and open carry are legal in this state, but not sleeping in your truck?

    She still wrote us up.

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  9. Deborah said on November 18, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    Jeff B, I agree, saw that movie a couple of weeks ago, Pesci should win an Oscar, he said more in the flicker of an eyelid than I’ve ever seen an actor do. The time flew by.

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  10. Dexter Friend said on November 18, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    I used to eat falafel from a street vendor in Cleveland, smeared with hummus of course. But the hummus in stores in those little round trays with hot flavoring inside the center small center circle is pathetic and sickening. Aldi’s sells it, so does Walmart and many regular stores. Avoid it.
    Tomorrow I have to turn in my 3 set-top boxes for new ones with apps that appear on the screen so a subscriber can access Vudu, Netflix, etc., and using a BluRay for those things will soon be obsolete, starting in 2 weeks. Spectrum. They are coming up with so much new stuff it makes my head spin…especially phone service. I don’t need their phone service but they won’t let up in pestering their customers to use their mobile services. I have used 4 companies over the years and now use Verizon and what the hell? Nothing going on to make me want to switch.We have a deal that’s much cheaper than our former Sprint deal.

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  11. alex said on November 18, 2019 at 6:28 pm

    I used to have a wonderful matchbook collection… Pete Miller’s, the Pump Room, Calo, Emilio’s, the Burgundy Inn, all kinds of cool ones. My partner used them all up smoking when he didn’t have a lighter handy.

    Even though it was warmer today, there’s a bone-chilling humid ickiness in the air and I just can’t get warm even with the heat blasting. Hope I didn’t get some bad cooties.

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  12. Julie Robinson said on November 18, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    My great aunt had a collection of matchbooks from her travels all over the country. It was endlessly fascinating to us as kids, and seemed the height of sophistication. Also sophisticated to me was my grandparents’ collection of swivel sticks. What can I say, I was a small town girl.

    Orlando finally turned warm and sunny today. I hated to complain, because it was still better than home, but I was growing concerned. All was forgiven today.

    Hummus gives me the runs. One of the spices, I think.

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  13. basset said on November 18, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    I knew a producer years ago who worked for a large religious organization… whenever something awful happened he would go make a film, and it was film in those days, about it which would then be sent out to churches to raise support. The back of his office door was covered with airsick bags from many different airlines, some of them quite obscure.

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  14. alex said on November 18, 2019 at 8:49 pm

    Nobody beats my collection of swizzle sticks. My old drinking buddy Nancy can attest to that, and the last time she’s seen it was probably ten years ago.

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  15. LAMary said on November 18, 2019 at 9:31 pm

    Back when I was in that small village in France, I would visit the my friend’s grandmother, just to be nice. She had a big matchbook collection and an even bigger postcard collection. Since my French is barely existent and her English was about the same, we went through the matchbooks and postcards and commented in German occasionally. She was originally from Alsace, so bilingual. This was part of my visit that included removing the shutters from her windows, bringing her some bread, and having morning coffee. My friend was freed up to sleep an hour longer. We went back at dusk to put the shutters back up.

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  16. Sherri said on November 19, 2019 at 11:31 am

    Hummus is good, but I like baba ghanouj even better. There was a great Middle Eastern restaurant close to Carnegie Mellon, and it was a favorite during my time in Pittsburgh.

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  17. Jakash said on November 19, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    Just throwing this into the mix.

    “Mayor Pete” won his last election with over 80% of the vote in South Bend. Wow. Uh, he received 8,515 votes. D’oh!

    “The losing candidate in one of the three open seats for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago this year received 37x as many votes as Mayor Pete.”

    All righty, then!

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  18. Julie Robinson said on November 19, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    Sadly, I don’t see any political future for Mayor Pete in Indiana. No way will he get elected to a statewide office.

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  19. alex said on November 19, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    I think he’ll be perfect as Warren’s veep.

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  20. Julie Robinson said on November 19, 2019 at 5:11 pm

    Alex, that’s my dream ticket too.

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  21. Scout said on November 19, 2019 at 5:27 pm

    Warren/Buttigieg would be a fantastic ticket. I’ve noticed the knives are out for Mayor Pete all of a sudden. He must be polling well in Iowa.

    What did everyone make of Biden’s pot-is-a-gateway-drug gaffe? Does he not realize that a boatload of Americans already think he’s too old and out of touch?

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  22. David C. said on November 19, 2019 at 5:35 pm

    There are so many better choices than Mayor Resume. Stacey Abrams, Julian Castro, Tammy Duckworth, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris. I’d take any of them over Buttigieg.

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  23. Brian stouder said on November 19, 2019 at 6:01 pm

    Random thoughts and reactions, in no particular order: Not long ago, the library had large private collections of matches and so on. It was surprisingly (to me) enthralling. Regarding movies, Ford vs Ferrari was quite good, and very Michiganian. Excellent photos from our proprietress. It will always amaze me how quickly the kiddos grow up. When they’re babies, it seems those days will never end; or at least not quickly enough(!)…and then – proof – they’re over and the young folks are gone, running their lives. A very great blessing, indeed, yet there’s a sort of melancholy in it, too. Regarding the Dem candidates for president, I am now a yellow-dog Dem, and will fully support whoever gets the nomination. I still like Kamala the best – and maybe she’ll be the running-mate for whoever wins…and finally – and in stark contrast to our current president – today is November 19….and the anniversary of a few brief remarks on the dedication of a new national cemetery in South central Pennsylvania…..So we’ve had pretty good presidents before, and we will again

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  24. alex said on November 19, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    Biden can take his record player and gateway drugs and go on a nostalgia trip with them. Stacy Abrams already said she wouldn’t be his running mate. Maybe she’d change her mind if someone else wins the nomination.

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  25. Deborah said on November 19, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    I’ve been watching the testimony on MSNBC all afternoon. It doesn’t seem positive for the president from what I can tell even though Volker and Morrisey were witnesses the Republicans wanted to include. It’s going into prime time and the Republicans don’t want that to happen because they want people to turn off their TVs instead of watching the truth.

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  26. Jakash said on November 19, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    “I’ve noticed the knives are out for Mayor Pete all of a sudden.”

    Scout, I feel like they’ve been out for a while, with his relationship with the African-American community in South Bend being one of the things people aren’t happy about. Also, being seen as positioning himself to be the middle-of-the-roader candidate if and when Biden starts losing steam, which is definitely happening. A number of true-blue lefties aren’t enthralled with that idea.

    Still any port in a storm for me, but the hubris of being a 37-year-old small-city mayor who decides the next thing on his agenda should be getting elected president has turned me off from the start, if I’m being honest.

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  27. Suzanne said on November 19, 2019 at 8:11 pm

    I like Mayor Pete but I think he needs waaaay more experience before he tries for President.
    I also don’t get excited about electing someone over 70.
    That said, I will vote for my left shoe over Trump.

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  28. Dorothy said on November 19, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    At a party last month (at my sister’s in Poughkeepsie) I had beet and lemon hummus and it was fabulous. I’ve scoured Dayton trying to find it to no avail. Fresh Market in Cincinnati was supposed to have it but they only carried other varieties made by the same company that makes the beet & lemon. I’m too lazy to make it myself. I might have to order some on line, but I also heard that a place here in Dayton will get it for me if I ask them. Yes, that will be my first choice rather than ordering it online.

    I was home today – head cold/deep scratchy voice – so I was glued to the impeachment hearing from 9 AM to about 2:30 when I had to go to an eye doctor appointment. Sometimes I worry I’m immersing myself too much in this stuff, but then I realize I need the hope that Trump will be out of the picture well before the election next year. It’s what keeps me going.

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  29. susan said on November 19, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    Dorothy- Hummus is really easy to make, and home-made is so much better than store-bought, no matter what brand. Even better, cook your own chickpeas, instead of using canned. What flavor! You just throw all the ingredients together in a blender.

    I can’t imagine putting a beet in hummus. Ugh. Try as I might—and I have tried mightily, even planting them in my garden for a couple of years— but, nope to beets (unless they are pickled). Sweet dirt is not my thing.

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  30. LAMary said on November 19, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    Today the family decided to extubate my brother Garry who had a hemorrhagic stroke on Saturday. He’s my oldest living brother and he’s very good guy. He’s 14 years older than I. He intervened when my alcoholic father would go on one his rants berating me. He could get me laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes and snot coming out of my nose and I could do the same to him. Every time we spoke on the phone we got each other laughing. He coached soccer, boys and girls, and baseball and basketball for boys and girls and when he was on the school board in our small town he got a bus for the special ed kids and increased spending on special ed, having been the sibling of someone who didn’t have those classes available. He’s a conservative Republican who holds local office in our home town and I ok with that. He’s my brother and he’s an good guy.

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  31. jcburns said on November 19, 2019 at 10:25 pm

    So sorry about your brother, LAMary. I logged on here to tell Dorothy “go to Trader Joe’s in Moraine, they have a zillion varieties of hummus,” and then read your comment, and well, hummus seems less important, although life-giving in its own way.

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  32. Dexter Friend said on November 20, 2019 at 12:55 am

    Sorry to hear about big brother, LA Mary. Damn, life is short. I never blacked out in my life, even when drunk. I feel fortunate to be able to remember all kinds of stuff I did as a kid, a teen, as a soldier, young husband, divorced young man, all of it. Yeah, a lot of it I wish I could forget, but I accept the past. My big brother’s dementia has totally removed him from my life, five years now since he forgot who I am. Best wishes, Mary, best wishes.

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  33. Deborah said on November 20, 2019 at 4:14 am

    So sorry about your brother, LA Mary.

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  34. Dorothy said on November 20, 2019 at 4:18 am

    Mary I’m so very sorry about your brother. Sending much love and sympathy.

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  35. ROGirl said on November 20, 2019 at 4:29 am

    Sorry about your brother, LA Mary. I just found out yesterday that my sister-in-law’s sister killed herself. She was schizophrenic and wouldn’t take her medication. I heard about her life over the years, but I never met her.

    I’m with Susan on homemade hummus. It’s very easy to make and tastes much better than the store-bought stuff, much cheaper too.

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  36. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 20, 2019 at 8:33 am

    May Garry’s memory be a blessing. Grace and peace to you, LAMary.

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  37. diane said on November 20, 2019 at 9:24 am

    Warren/Buttigieg was my top ticket choice too but Mayor Pete’s constant emphasis on being young has started to wear on me and made me realize, yes, he is too young and yes, being the Mayor of a midsized town is not quite enough experience, even for VP.
    LAMary, my sympathies about your brother. And Dexter, about yours too.

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  38. Ann said on November 20, 2019 at 10:48 am

    Reading posts out of order so just hitting this one. I’m so sorry, LAMary. He sounds like such a great guy. We all need people who can make us laugh the way he made you laugh.

    Nancy’s restaurant sounds like Galit in Chicago, which just made a widely-circulated “best 50” list from the Tribune’s dining critic. Wood-fired everything and great hummus. We just spent five days in Chicago and I didn’t get decent Mexican or Chinese even once before we had to head back to the northwoods. Not that I’m bitter. I do admit to one meal with fantastic oysters, scallops, and 54 day dry aged steak, though, so I really shouldn’t complain.

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  39. beb said on November 21, 2019 at 12:35 am

    LAMary Sorry about your brother. He sounded like a real nice guy. There aren’t enough like that in this world.

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