Friday, October 31, 2008

is it my imagination, or has hallmark hacked into my brain?

it was a late night rite aid run. you know when you just have to have new qtips and mascara TONIGHT. this skinny little card stopped me in my tracking through the seasonal aisle. i may have been known to indulge a clothing fetish or two that most normal people reserve for halloween. or prostitution. like really tall boots, animal prints and fishnets. it's why halloween is my kinda holiday. oh, and the excessive compulsory candy eating doesn't hurt either.

charmed by this card i opened it up to find this message:
are you kidding me? or 'are you kitty-ing me?' as emre would say. okay, so the 'so do i part' makes it a little schizophrenic, but who am i to discriminate or pretend that i'm not?
as if it couldn't get any better, the price (have you noticed that they want your first born child these days for a greeting card? if it's stylish, also fork over the school tuition):

99 cents.

i said NINETY-NINE CENTS. for the cutest card that was custom designed for me.

the graveyard shift check-out girl did not share my enthusiasm. but i know that you will.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008


it's a sad state of affairs when the quality of the wall mounted hotel hair dryer impresses you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

new york, thanks for delivering

remember when you were thirteen years old and K-R-E-O or whatever equivalent radio station you listened to asked you to call in for prizes? be the 9th caller and win concert tickets, the chance to meet the glamorous djs at the sonoma county fair...yeah, i never won either.

my niece, on the other hand, seems to be blessed with a bit of luck, as she called in to radio disney and won a trip for 2 to new york city, boutique hotel on the upper west side and vip passes to the regis and kelly show. i know. pretty fancy.

so i crammed two days of work into one very stressful day yesterday so i could be the tour guide to her and my sister. so i'm lying in a manhattan bed reading my complimentary copy of the new york times listening to the taxis below while they follow cue card prompts for applause at abc studios.

allyson, being the thirteen year old celebrity hound that we all were (at least, in my family), asked me immediately, "auntie kitty, do you think we'll get to see any famous people?" this obsession started a few years ago when she mailed me a key chain attachable mini-sharpie pen to take to my catered events, where i could lose my job for soliciting autographs. and yet, didn't i endure the humiliation of nick lachey calling me 'allyson' and thinking my 11-year niece was an excuse to talk to him? and did i not interrupt ashley olsen in the middle of her entourage at the museum of natural history gala? i did. because i was desperate to make her happy.

well this time, i figured she was out of luck. the chances of her running into a celebrity in one day in new york are slim, right? the pressure! ah, how i underestimated my fair city. jessica simpson in the airport (okay, so it was in san francisco, but still, new york gets dibs because she was already en route). christian slater in front of starbucks. so what if she didn't know who he was? amy and i were excited and i got that thrill of feeling really old when explaining he was the bees knees back in our day. two blocks further, new york backed me up with a christian slater tv show billboard she noticed.

and the ultimate--sitting at dinner at vyn*l (um, i think that's how it's spelled, but who knows. the star could be misplaced. this creative spelling, by the way, cost me an extra buck when i called information and they said, 'no listing for VINYL'. cute. very cute) allyson asked me about parson school of design.

niece: auntie kitty, do you know about parsons school of design, where they film project runway? it's my favorite show.
me: why yes, allyson, in fact (cool points ratcheting skyward) it's actually called 'parsons the new school for design'. it's part of my new school.
niece: oh my gosh, that's so cool! i want to go there and be a fashion designer.

ah, how things change, especially aided by reality tv. last i checked, she wanted to be a brain surgeon. but that's the fun of being thirteen.

the next ten minutes were filled with inquiries into the possibilities of me running into anyone at project runway at my school and if we could go there and then of course, the possibilities of her running into anyone from project runway. i told her that, actually, i had run into christian, last season's winner, at the cringe book release after party. but we didn't exactly exchange words. meaning, i sat at the table along with everyone else pretending not to know who he was, while smirking, which is stupid because i don't have a tv.

and then.

and then allyson gasped because at some point during this line of questioning, SOMEONE FROM PROJECT RUNWAY HAD SAT AT THE TABLE TWO FEET FROM US.

niece: oh my gosh, oh my gosh, it's SUEDE!!!!
i would have never known. it leads you to wonder how many celebrities your sorry, unschooled in pop culture ass walks, eats and drinks among in new york city. lucky for them that i'm so clueless.

clever name for a designer, by the way. the next twenty minutes were spent with allyson waffling back and forth about talking to him. he appeared to be out on a date with a cute boy, or 'with a friend' as a thirteen year old mind would think. i worried he would give attitude, be upset. but on the contrary, he jumped up and said to her, "oh my god! i've been staring at you and your cute hat all night!" He hugged all of us, encouraged her to follow her dream of being a designer, posed for photographs and gave her his card.

she's beaming. so i repeat: new york, thanks for delivering. oh, and Suede, thanks for being sweet.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

so this is how you treat a spelling champion?*

being someone with not only a hyphenated last name, but one that is spelled the true french way, i am no stranger to spelling blunders.
being someone who was called a name all my life (kitty) that in no way resembled the name on my birth certificate (ramona--gasp!), i am accustomed to explaining myself.
being someone who uses her middle name as part of her first name, i am used to ALWAYS being misfiled.
being that my middle name honors my grandfather joe, and not jo from the facts of life, i'm used to e's being dropped.
people ask me, "do you know that you spell your name wrong?" with frightening frequency. really? you're going to tell me how to spell my own name?
i am also amazed that about 25% of people want to spell 'kitty' K-I-T-T-I-E. like the I-E might help to distinguish me from a kitten.
it seems that no part of my name is exempt from slaughter.
i've long since stopped correcting people when they say, 'steamery' instead of 'sainte-marie'--like i come from some place where there's condensation all over the walls.
but the turkish kitchen's annual 10% off coupon takes the cake and never ceases to induce giggles from me: just in case it's too small to read, let me capitalize that for you.


hey. at least they got the joe part right.

*maybe someday i'll tell you about my spelling crown.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

honey, it's time to do your homework

time for everybody's favorite. it's wednesday-what's-going-on-in-my-self-portrait-class, otherwise known as 'look at me me me me'.

the challenge: to photograph myself at 80 years old.

the product:the idea: pretty simple. i was away in turkey so i pretended to be an 80 year old turkish woman.

the result?: you tell me.

the outtakes:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

for me? really?

last night emir and haley (emre's brother and sister-in-law) stayed over. since they live in the not so close reaches of new jersey, this has become an almost weekly tradition that i love, whose days are numbered, because, drumroll the beginning of november they will heed our call and move into an adorable garden apartment in greenpoint. when i say garden apartment, i really mean it. you walk through the street side building and out to the garden to get to their little 'granny' apartment. so cute. if i didn't love them (and my oft-plagued apartment) so much i'd be so green with envy as to consider hating them.

to thank them for taking care of our excruciatingly finicky old cat while we were in turkey, emre made kuru fasilye (a white bean dish) and i made borek (spinach pie). we used all turkish ingredients that somebody who shall remain nameless who is so painfully law abiding that she was sweating bullets like she was maria full of grace or something, smuggled through customs. what officer? fifteen pounds of white cheese? no, i definitely did not pack that!

after dinner i played a slide show of the bazillion pictures i took in istanbul. damn that gorgeous skyline of glorious domes and pointy minarets that resist perfect essential capture yet INSIST you shoot shoot shoot more more more photos while desperately trying!

emre teetered off to bed. and when i say teetered i actually mean groaned, rubbed his bloodshot eyes and collapsed. while the jetlag devastated me on the turkey side, emre's getting it on this end.

and then, midway through the slide show, emir disappeared into the other room. perhaps it was my own jetlag, but i was completely clueless to the fact that he was lighting candles on a cake. i can't remember being so taken by surprise. forgive me if you've surprised me and i'm forgetting, but really, when was a birthday cake a surprise? though this trip to turkey was a beautiful big birthday gift, perhaps because i was out of the country, my birthday passed pretty uneventfully, with shopping at the grand bazaar for little turkish trinkets for christmas gifts and a bowl of soup under the galata bridge. (spoiler alert: you may receive a little turkish trinket from me in the near future). pretty nice. but pretty unceremoniously did the ultimate ex-hovy's selfish holiday slip by.

so the cake. it did take me by surprise. all these words to explain how happy the above sight in my kitchen made me this morning...

Saturday, October 11, 2008


having conquered the land, we will head back to istanbul and then back to the states. where did the time go?
um, that's kim and i challenging the penis-shaped rock formations of cappadocia with our brawny, manly muscles.

Friday, October 10, 2008

ruins of olympos

maybe we'll explore the ancient lycian ruins today. or maybe we'll swim in the mediterranean sea. tough call. really.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

central turkey countryside by carriage

and off to the south of turkey--fetihye to visit with emre's great aunt. who lives on the sea.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

hamam-ee birthday

today i turn thirty three. will spend the day at a five hundred year old turkish bath built by the architect of the blue mosque. will lay on a steaming slab of marble looking up at this while ladies in saggy underware beat (massage) me and scrub 10% of my skin off. sound good? like heaven to me.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

yerebatin sarnic

one of the coolest tourist attractions ever. 2000 year old underground water storage cistern chock full of brick a brac columns pillaged from the ancient world over. dark, damp, drippy, spooky.

Monday, October 6, 2008


monday is a good day to journey to the capital, no? maybe today we'll take a bus to ankara and pay our respects to the father of turkey--good ol' ataturk.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


the ancient ampitheater at efes. a thing of glory befitting a sunday post.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

lamps at the grand bazzar

it's true that i ain't got cash for shopping. but who could resist the grand bazaar? not me. the silver. the sparkling lanterns. the exquisite ceramics, the relentless hawking. the ice cream that calls for a fork and knife. ooh, the salted cucumbers......

Friday, October 3, 2008

inter-continental ferry

day 2 in turkey. if i can manage to get out of bed by the second call to prayer, maybe we'll journey on a ferry from asia to europe over the bosphorus.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


today i fly to turkey. surprise! it's a birthday gift from emre. i know, pretty nice.
likely i won't be able to update my blog, but fear not, faithful readers. i'm scheduling daily photos from my journey to turkey in 2004 to keep you entertained.