Thursday, November 30, 2006

NaBloPo Me

Yeow! Today is the last day of NaBloPoMo. It's been such a good exercise, to find something worth sharing with the world every single day. I don't think these posts have been my best necessarily, but they've been real and honest and frequent.

I'm so up and down emotionally lately. I don't share a lot of it here as this place is theoretically public and I tend to be quite private when it comes to my feelings. The thing is, I've been grappling with the same issues for years. And, I think they're the same issues a lot of people struggle with. Questioning self-worth, success, intelligence, physicality, happiness. Lately though, I'm feeling all of these things within a bubble. Sometimes I wake up and I feel trapped, like I'm suffocating inside a pink bubble. It's the bubble I'm supposed to put all my worries in and then release into the wind. I feel like I'm stuck inside it, without oxygen, my life is tinted pink and I'm drifting aimlessly.

The end of the year is coming up and I'm hoping and praying for change. I need to grow some temporary balls to break the seal of this bubble. I just want to be happy. I want to be smart and successful. I want to grow, not stagnate. This post has turned into a diatribe of personal feelings. Perhaps this is a first step to enacting change, to throw it out into the universe and claim it as my own.

Thank you NaBloPoMo for challenging me, for making me feel like a part of an entirely new community of writers. And, for ultimately giving me a record of thoughts from each day in a month of a year in the life of me.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Stay-Puft

I'm on the road this week, in a central CA town without a lot creative options for dinner. I was perusing some of the chain restaurant web sites, looking at the nutrition information posted and I was flabbergasted. There is so much fat and sodium in everything.

Here's what I found:

Macaroni Grill
Grilled Salmon: 81 g fat, 6,600 mg sodium
Spaghetti with Meatballs: 115 g fat, 5330 mg sodium
Grilled Pork Chops: 107 g fat, 4950 mg of sodium

PF Chang's (no sodium content listed)
Kung Pao Chicken: 80 g fat
Shrimp with Candied Walnuts: 80 g fat
Fried Rice: 69 g fat

Lonestar Steakhouse
Five Star Filet (9 oz): 60.3 g fat, 126 mg sodium
Lonestar Wings: 131 g fat, 1470 mg sodium
Grilled Pork Chops: 100.4 g of fat, 316 mg sodium

When did pork chops get so unhealthy? I thought pork was the other white meat. I thought it was very brave of these restaurants to post this information for the public. Of course, I've listed some of the worse-off items on the menu. The salads and some of the soups were reasonable, and I noticed that most of these restaurants did have at least one low-fat steamed fish or grilled chicken dish (though they all sounded quite unappetizing).

I've never been one to obsess about food. I like to eat healthy things so that I get vitamins and energy. More than being skinny and waifish, I want to be fast and strong. However, I don't always adhere to an athlete's diet per say. I rarely say no to buffalo wings, sweet potato chips or pudding. They're all so tasty, unlike chain restaurant food which is almost always mediocre. And that is what makes this whole thing so tragic. The food that is so bad for you also tastes so bad.

At a loss this evening, I wandered over to the grocery store and bought some frosted mini-wheats, a mini-bottle of 2 percent and a little plastic bowl. I fear that I will have to start packing this little blue bowl in my suitcase along with some cereal and a spoon, lest all my travel turn me into the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Woe-Man.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

In Tennis Love Equals Zero

I saw that saying on a tee shirt today and said to myself: "Self, aren't we glad there's more to life than tennis?".

Not that there's anything wrong with tennis. Tennis is actually one of my favorite sports. I love the little skirts, the neon bouncy balls and the way all my pent-up aggression seems to dissipate after a few well-placed serves.

Now, there could be something wrong with referring to the voices in my head in the first person plural.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Tired and Needing to Pack

I'm beato after a long day of working, working out and running around town. I've got frosting in my hair and my allergies are out of control after a lovely visit with some friendly cats. I'm trying to finish all the wine I bought and opened at Thanksgiving as it will surely turn while I'm away. On my way to "the No" tomorrow and I still have to pack. Luckily, it takes me very little time these days to pack my shiz for a couple of days on the road. This is my last CA trip this semester, and while I'd rather be finishing up someplace grande and beachy, I'm thankful nonetheless for the little break that's coming my way in a couple of weeks.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Phoenix Mountains


It's crazy to find such beauty in the nucleus of urban sprawl, right off the highway in central Phoenix. The nice thing about these Mtns is that they form their own mini-valley within the larger metropolitan Valley that is completely isolated and peaceful.

It's a vast open bowl in the center of the peaks. This means you can run around without having to stick to any trail because the geography is so distinct you never loose your bearings. You may, however, find yourself on the very steep incline of a very flakey and seemingly avalanche-prone rock face. This is not-so-scarey when you have new shoes!

We saw tons of baby cacti out there disguised as rock. For example, the sneaky hedgehog cactus to the left was poised deceivingly in a rock hole. This is a tempting place to put your hand when the earth is slipping out from underneath your feet in a rock-slide.

The Falls was so good. Joyce Carol Oates is one of my favorite writers. Her words are so graceful, the story is complex and smart and emotional. It's like reading ballet, it moves swiftly and seems effortless though underneath it's intricately choreographed and supported by well-trained muscles.

Time and Erosion are two continuous themes in the book that I think about. Like the water in Niagara Falls, today I was a droplet of water on the earth eroding and evolving alongside civilization and religion. We came across this adobe pueblo. It was so beautiful in it's simplicity. One room, square windows, one door and a fireplace.

It felt very lonely. It was covered in graffiti, trying to breathe right in the smog zone above the city with broken bottles glittering off the trail. It was built right into a hill so it got shade during parts of the day. I wondered if it might have had a thatched roof originally as there were no signs of roof supports.

One thing I really love about living out West is that the sky is huge. You can see miles and miles away just by gaining a little bit in elevation. I wonder how the landscape here has changed over time. I wonder what the mountains, the people and the animals once looked like here, even 100 or 200 years ago not to mention 1,000 or 100,000 years ago.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Shoes Glorious Shoes

I got new shoes today! I'm so excited about the way they hug my arches with room for my toes to wiggle and a snug hug around my now sensitive heels. I lurve them...

shoes

Friday, November 24, 2006

Around Town

Camelback Mtn.
camelback 3

The Tail-End of Camelback Mtn.
camelback tail_

Phoenix Mtn. Sunset
phx mtn sunset

Thursday, November 23, 2006

so full

Thanksgiving in the Desert:
-baked brie with pine nuts and apricots
-brined and roasted turkey
-stuffing with tarragon and shallots
-spicey pureed butt nutt
-au gratin potatoes
-green beans
-orange-cranberry relish
-rosemary dinner rolls from scratch (these were so worth all the kneeding and rising, observed as scrumdidiliumtious with buttery rosemary crusts, could sell for $9 bucks a piece at Starbucks, yeah doggie! )
-homemade gravy
-pumpkin pie
-a few bottles of pinot noir to the dome

Overall, it was a better than expected excellent evening with good friends, fantastic food and very warm hearts.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I Need Something to Believe In

Today I almost got into a collision with a city bus. It was totally my fault. Sometimes I am an incapable driver. I make bad decisions, I don't pay attention, I psych myself out. The bus literally came within inches of hitting the passenger side of my car and I couldn't help but believe that God was watching out for me.

I've always struggled to find faith in my life. I have issues galore with Christianity and my Philosophical brain has a hard time believing in something I can't prove. There are moments in my life though when I feel God, when I earnestly pray, when I honestly believe I am connected to a creative force larger than myself.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Suckas

Much to the dismay of many of my friends and family, I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Shawn Carter, aka Jay-Z. I think The Blueprint is one of the best hip hop albums ever. 'Girls, Girls, Girls' will get me dancing and singing even when I'm in the worst of moods. And, back in college, I regularly answered to 'Brita-what's your mothafuckin name'. Jigga what?

I thought The Black Album was by far his most inspired and well-produced album and I was shocked to hear that he was retiring back in November of 2003. Hovito went out with a bang and a sold-out tour and soon after stepped-in as the President of Def Jam records.

I have to say that I feel a little betrayed with Jay's comeback after only a couple of years in quasi-retirement. What was all the fuss about? It's just not right to trick the American public into buying records and attending concerts under the guise that it will be 'the last time ever'.

Back in September, Jay was quoted as saying "When people want something bad enough, it happens. And they want it bad (laughs). I'm trying to hold out, but I don't know how long I can" (Billboard.com). I think this is absolute hooey! I believe this 'comeback' was in Jay's plan from the beginning and if "Show Me What You Got" is any indication of the what the new album has in store, I ain't buying it.

So, while I applaud his efforts with this to raise awareness of the World Water Crisis and as I much as I want to support Beyoncjay enterprises, I just can't get behind this comeback.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Cactus of the Week: Saguaro

saguaro perspective

Saguaro cacti, the Monarchs of the desert, are probably the most well-known and recognized of all cacti. They are native to Arizona and small areas of the border with southern California and Mexico.

For the first 50 years or so of the Saguaro's life, it exists as a growing pole without branches. Usually Saguaros sprout a couple of branches from the same level and as it matures further new branches will grow above. Saguaros can grow to be 200 years old and 40 feet tall (though some have been documented with a height over 50 feet).

zack and the giant saguaro

Woodpeckers hollow out holes at the tops of these cacti in which they build nests. When the nests are abandoned by Woodpeckers, tiny elf owls often move in. In May buds form on the tops of the cacti and their branches, these buds will bloom one evening and flower will last well into the next afternoon. Too quickly they close and don't ever reopen. Later dark green pods grow into juicy ripe fruit. The fruit can be eaten right off the cactus.

saguaro buds2

Surprisingly, Saguaros have very shallow root systems that stretch out about 3 feet in diameter from the central root. The ribs of the Saguaro run lengthwise along the cactus and expand and contract depending on the amount of water the cactus is holding. These cacti are heavy, a tall one can weigh up to 8 tons holding over 200 gallons of water in the form of sticky slime.

armtop2

Saguaros truly are a rare and magnificent plant. It's worth a trip to Arizona just to walk out into the desert and stand next to one.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

soul

Last night Z took me dancing for my birthday at Chez Nous. This little club in central Phoenix was a welcome blast from the past. The half-moon leather booths and dark, smokey atmosphere were a perfect frame for the awesome Motown band that graced the stage. I absolutely loved how many of the men were dressed in suites or collared shirts and the ladies in dresses. Everyone was so cordial and welcoming. The music was fantastic, I could have danced all night.

Friday, November 17, 2006

it's my birthday!

I finally got an Arizona driver's license the other day which won't expire until the year 2043. Isn't that crazy?

Today I am 28. Sometimes, living out here, I get lonely. I feel like I have few friends and that my family and my 'real' friends who are spread out all over the country have forgotten about me. Today though, I feel so loved. My phone literally has not stopped ringing with happy birthday wishes and I'm chiding myself for ever indulging in self-pity because I am so blessed with such wonderfully funny and loving friends.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Industrialization

Earlier this week, I was talking with my Grandma who grew up in LA. When I mentioned that I was coming out to Bakersfield she gasped and said 'oh, I used to love the drive through Bakersfield, looking out at the beautiful rivers and farms'. I sort of chuckled and told her that it's not exactly what it used to be.

I woke up in my hotel room and looked out the window at a grayish brown sky, the smog in the air was thick. I understand that many towns have their fair share of crapholeishness and I can get work around the decrepit looking Mexican restaurants, the neon clad nudie bars, the rows upon rows of dirty fast food joints. It's the people that really tear at my gut. Everyone seems unhappy, frowning and numb. Most women have a child or two in toe, are waddling down streets under their extra weight with unkempt hair and plastic shopping bags from Food Co. The men seem snarly and serious, wearing baggy clothes and gold chains around their neck. This is a generalization of course, but one that's got me thinking.

Today as I was driving past rusted warehouses and train tracks, I came to Panorama Drive, what must once have been a beautiful vista overlooking a fertile valley. I had to pull my car over to the side of the road to really take in the scene. Stretched out before me was a sea of sandy earth, cut into grids by grey roads with dotted lines of telephone poles and cagey electricity towers running in every direction. There were four big industrial plants visible with large cylindrical drums pumping dark smoke into the air. The landscape blurred into the murky brown smog that hovered over the valley, obscuring whatever land mass lay on the other side.

The thing that really got me was that on Panorama drive there are parking overlooks and a large park where people were out jogging and walking their dogs. The grass in the park was burnt by the sun and the few palm trees planted there were covered in graffiti. I wonder what Col. Thomas Baker would have thought to see his once spawning river banks and plentiful agricultural valley turned into an industrial wasteland.

Later on in the afternoon, as I was desperately searching for a place to grab some lunch I came across a really odd cluster of subdivisions. The sign read "Bakersfield, The Way Life Should Be" and all around were new developments of enormous houses with ornate columns and glassed-in pools. Is this where the executives who run the Halliburton Plant and the Chevron-Texaco Production Facility live? These houses seemed so incredibly out of place here, right across from a large cotton field where migrant workers sweated, working against the blinding mid-day sun and acrid air quality. As the gap between the very rich and the very poor increases, my anxiety surrounding the future of the American working class rises. I wonder, what can I do to make it better?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

10 Things I've Done In The Last 10 Days

1. sat in the emergency exit row of an airplane
2. watered a cactus
3. read a book
4. washed my feet in the ocean
5. drove one of these
6. cried myself to sleep
7. ran 5 miles
8. talked to my grandma
9. drank whiskey
10. wrote a poem

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Bakersfield, CA

smells like a dirty diaper. This is not my favorite place to travel.

Monday, November 13, 2006

"nobody cares about your pustulus toe"

Last summer I bought these really beautiful lime green and light grey trail runners from Merrill. I bought them in the amazing village of Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado which hovers around 10,000 feet above sea level. I think I must have been suffering from altitude sickness because I completely misjudged how monstrous my feet are and merely scoffed at the $130 price tag.

Now I have beautiful, too-small sneakers that cost more than my coffee table.

For the past 5 months or so, I've been trying to break them in and have suffered on and off from blisters and aching arches. Two weekends ago, though, we jumped straight into foot abuse territory after a 10 mile hike in the desert.

I've now got a blister forming an accurate outline of my second-to-big toe, making a horseshoe-shaped pustule on the left side of my left thumb toe. In addition, I got a bruised toe nail and two bloody heels. My feet weren't exactly pretty before the toe abuse incurred, but now they're in desperate need of help. I really should think about upchucking the moola for a pedicure and a new pair of sneakers, not that anybody cares.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Saturday, November 11, 2006

kripalu, books and bubbles

I went to a Kripalu Yoga class today. It was great to be back in that environment. I always feel like my Yoga sessions are so much more productive when I'm in the presence of other people and not working at home from memory or a tape.

I also started The Falls by Joyce Carol Oates today. So far it's melancholy and morose which suites my current state of affairs. It's such a treat to delve into the words of such a talented author, especially after reading Choke by Chuck Palahniuk which kept by attention but was by no means a work of literary masterpiece.

All that stretching and reading made me very sleepy and I so indulged in a long and luxurious afternoon nap. Now I'm going to hop into a bubble bath and then meet some friends for sushi. All in all, I have to say that this Saturday has been quite relaxing and lovely.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Where Dreams Come True

As promised, here are a few pictures from last night's basketball game.

I've been to quite a few Celtics games and always enjoy watching basketball in person. It's one of my favorite sports because it's fast and easy to follow. Basketball players, in my opinion, are by far the best athletic eye candy. My opinions were fully confirmed as we sat up close and personal watching the sweat fly as these gigantic men dodged and grabbed at each other all night.

Whoo, is it getting hot in here or is it just me?

banks


Steve Nash is one of my favorite players. He's the spitting image of one of my best friends and so I feel like I kind of know him a little bit. Plus, he's a little scrappy and I like that in a man.


nash ball in the air


I first fall for Steve back when he played with the Mavericks and lucky for us that's just who the Suns were playing last night. This meant that we also got to watch one of my other favs in action, Dirk Nowitzki. Dirk reminds me of the BFG. He's so huge and seemingly clumsy, yet he scored 35 points in the game and helped the Mavs maintain their close edge and win the game.


Dirk

Thursday, November 09, 2006

What could be better than stepping off a plane and into 8th row seats at the Suns game? This is fucking awesome! Pictures to follow tomorrow.

Not quite sure how I feel about having the ability to blog straight from my blackberry...I feel very connected.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Overachieving Identity Crisis

I am realizing lately that I have a real problem with needing not only acceptance but praise. It's not good enough for me to be pleased with the job I've done; I want others to recognize it too. It's really unhealthy to put so much stock in what others think but I'm not sure how to get around it.

This issue has always underlined my work in school and in my job. I'm constantly striving to succeed. I never really thought about it much though with regards to this blog though. For almost two years, I've used this platform to express my thoughts and opinions, to share stories and photos and random tidbits that are interesting only to me.

This NaBloPoMo thing has got my knickers all up in a tizzy because now I'm subjecting, asking for this personal space to be judged. Rashenbo is reviewing the participants by alpha category and my blog didn't get a mention. Out of the 61 blogs beginning with the letter 'B', mine did not stand out. Does it mean I can't play with the big girls? Should I throw in the towel right now? If we don't make an impression amongst 61, what are the chances we'll stand out amongst 600?

Now, I really like all the blogs that she picked and I'm really annoying myself even whining about my insecurities. I'm actually enjoying being a part of this contest. One awesome thing about it is finding so many new, funny and thoughtful with which to expand my horizons.

This unknown blog is not about winning contests or attracting millions of adoring readers. It's about having a place where I can write and share my thoughts with everyone and nobody. And for this place, I am grateful.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Big Decisions

I'm in Santa Barbara this week, staying at a different hotel than normal and loving it. I love the grand staircase here, the mission tiles and old school elevator (with a real iron gate door!). Sometimes it feels very luxurious to be on the road. Sometimes it's just lonely.

The particular hotel I'm staying in this week has a plethora of channels on cable television. I don't have cable at home and when presented with such a wide array of choices, I find myself unable to make a decision. I flip back and forth between the Travel Channel and the Food Network occasionally jetting over TLC and Animal Planet.

I get stuck watching spoiled girls on MTV whine at their fathers for cars and lavish parties, hoping to fill an emotional void of acceptance and unconditional love. I find myself with eyes glued to before and after, do-it-yourself home renovation shows. Cable means I can watch Sponge Bob Square Pants and The Daily Show. It means Lifetime Movies and E True Hollywood Story.

It's all very overwhelming and it makes me think I'd be better off sitting in quiet solitude reading. Currently, I'm enjoying Choke by Chuck Palahniuk. It's got way more disfunction and humor than I'm going to find on TV tonight. And, so I think I'll sit in my lonely hotel room drinking a cheap single-serving bottle of Fish Eye Pinot Grigio with my nose in a book.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

McDowell Mountain Preserve

Today's hike around the McDowell Mountain Preserve was awesome. That place makes me want a mountain bike, bad. There are miles and miles of sandy trails through cholla patches with beautiful views of Four Peaks and the McDowells.






Saguaro Skeleton




Looking back on Fountain Hills. See the fountain?




Barrel, Ocatillo, Saguaro

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Today I wish...

...that I had a pretty brown horse to race over the dry and dusty hills.

I finally cleaned out the refridgerator. It had been staring me in the face for days, just begging to be rid of take out containers and leftovers nobody was ever going to eat. I realized we had 6 different jars of jams and jellies so I made Jam Thumbprints. They were quite delicious if I do say so myself.

I've been listening to Gillian Welch today, thinking about red clay wings. Her voice makes me remember to breathe. Breathing is important for keeping your shit together. Cookies help with that too.


Jam Thumbprints

1/2 cup of butter
1 egg brown eggs are local eggs and local eggs are fresh
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups flower

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter, egg, sugar and vanilla together so it's smooth. Mix together flower, baking powder and salt; add to the wet ingredients.

Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Squish them with your thumb. Put a dollop of preserves in the thumbprint. I used apricot-pineapple, blackberry and strawberry jams and all were delish. Bake for about 8 minutes, more or less depending on the size of your balls.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Quest for Festeroo

Les Claypool, always on the front burner of musical and comical genius, unveiled his latest project, Electric Apricot, at Bonnaroo last summer. Since I didn't get artist passes this year, I didn't think it would be worth going. However, now that I've seen the trailer for this movie, I am wishing I would have endured the miles of mud and the wookies galore just to see the screening.




You can check out the fan website here. The band bios are especially chucklicious.

Name: Herschel Tambor Brillstien
Turn ons: Blondes, the smell of burning sage, recycling
Turn offs: Fear of enlightenment and discovery, malls, microwave food

Recycling is such a turn on.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Cactus of the Week: Barrel

If you're ever stranded in the Sonoran Desert without water and you spy a Barrel cactus, you might think it's your lucky day. You might lop off the top and mash down the pulp to form a thick and unappetizing liquid. If you drank this liquid, thinking that your life was saved, you would be woefully wrong. The alkaline liquid found inside Barrel cacti actually causes a net loss of water in the body.

barrel

I like Barrel cacti because they're round and almost cuddly. They are, to me, the Santa Claus of cacti. The Arizona Barrel produces a beautiful yellow flower right on the top of the cactus. Unlike the Prickly Pear Cactus fruit which is covered in microspines, Barrel fruit is spineless and juicy. Therefore, it's usually gobbled up quickly by desert animals like javelina and coyote.

Barrell Flower

Barrel cacti can grow upwards of 8 or 10 feet but most commonly hover around 4 or 5 feet. The Barrel actually grows leaning toward the southwest and is often known as the 'Compass Cactus'. Varieties of Ferocactus and Echinocactus (sciencey terms for Barrel) grow all over the southwest in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and parts of Utah.

barrell hat1

It's November!

Brinki*dink is participating in National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo). Mrs. Kennedy over at Fussy announced this challenge/contest as an alternative to National Novel Writing Month, where apparently people are writing an entire novel in 30 days. I think writing a blog post every day is much more manageable.

To start off this commemorative occasion, I thought it would be appropriate to tell the story of the day I saw Mrs. Kennedy herself on the streets of California.

I travel a lot for my job and, fortunately for me, I get to visit the beautiful towns on the central coast pretty often. One day, I was walking through such a town when I spotted a beautifully tall woman walking hand-in-hand with an adorably cute little boy. I knew, at first sight, that it was her and I completely froze.

Does one approach a much admired blogger in the same way they'd approach a celebrity? Is it rude to call to them from across the street, stumble over an awkward profusion of compliments and plug your own blog?

I was stunned into a frozen state of social panic and promptly feigned interest in the window dressing of a nearby card shop. It's odd because I read her blog regularly. I saw the before and after pictures of her kitchen remodel, I've read her tales of motherhood, I felt so bad when her dog passed away and was so glad when they got a new puppy. I feel connected to her writing and her life, yet I thought it would be intrusive of me to walk-up and shake her hand.

Ironically, that same day I had my second ever* TV celebrity sighting. After missing out on my opportunity to meet my blogging icon, I was feeling a bit bereft of self-esteem and so headed to Starbucks for a little pick-me-up. While waiting for my iced soy chai, who do I see down the counter but Abraham Benrubi. You may recognize Abraham Benrubi from shows such as ER and Parker Lewis Can't Loose. Again, I was struck with paralyzing anxiety that I was in the presence of a celebrity, and I went about my business non-chalantly all the while chiding myself for missing out on the opportunity to make a famous friend.

I don't know if actually making verbal contact with either of these people would have changed the course of my life in any way. But, the fact that I'm now sharing this tale on my own blog makes me feel like the experience has come around full circle in a way. Do ya get what I'm saying' here?

Post or Die Mothafuckers!



*My first celebrity sighting occurred when I was around 13 and met The Frugal Gourmet at a book signing in the mall. The Frug's show appeared on PBS and he'd cook things like Duck and Kraut, Tripe and Spaetzle. Little did I know that Jeff Smith would go on to be involved in one of PBS's most publicized scandals when he was accused of sexually harassing a few of male assistants. I never thought he was guilty, though I did suspect his relationship with Craig, the head chef on the show, might have been a little more than friendly. Regardless of the turmoil that surrounded his personal life, The Frug was quite an inspiration to me as a youngster in the kitchen. "Until I see you again, I bid you peace."