30 November 2005

More from our Florida Weekend (and there will be yet more...)

A comfortable way to get in touch with the outside world...
Marie, Anthony and I had breakfast here, a Panera Bread right near their home in Florida. I've gone to the one in Long Island during with my sister and Grandma, so it was like a part of home right there in West Palm!

The bonus feature is free internet access (from your laptop). We were able to find out about tea rooms in the area, and check our emails, etc. Their blueberry bagels are phenomenal.

Little Tea House

I didn't take pictures of the inside, as it was nice but nothing to rave about. The food was satisfying, perhaps even healing as I felt so much better after the afternoon tea. These are just a few images of Marie and I in The Little Tea House's gardens; the Oriental Tea Room was pretty; maybe next time we will make reservations for there. It was amazing to be in such a peaceful green environment in November.

29 November 2005

Shopaholic Delight

One of my favorite stores, Anthropologie is located all over the US. I found this one whilst shopping in Palm Beach Gardens. Amazingly I walked out without buying anything. Two days later is another story. I mean, please! How can I resist gorgeous clothes, home decor, and even teatime paraphernalia? It's made for people like me...well, maybe not the price. Sale section!

In South Beach we also went to Urban Outfitters. I think they are related. They are slightly more affordable and made for a younger market. But I'll never be too old to shop in these places.


We had an intoxicating time in South Beach.
It's not always teatime with Gata!

28 November 2005

It's a hurricane! No, just a rainy portion of my lovely weekend in West Palm Beach. I'll have more pictures soon.

19 November 2005

15 November 2005


I was rather disturbed at the nasty comments I received over the weekend. Naturally, I deleted them all so no one else would have to be exposed to such bile.

Whoever wrote these comments obviously had nothing to do on a Friday night, and lacked the courage to at least leave a name. I guess his or her opinions were not worthy enough to own up to, even by their source(s). The speling left muc h to bee desyired as wel.

My blog is written mostly for my own benefit, and secondly for my friends or anyone who happens to enjoy what I write about. If it's not what you're into, you simply have to move on. I certainly don't force it on anyone. Besides, I could see receiving criticism if I were getting paid for writing, but since I'm not, back off already!

Finally, I have been careful not to include political, religious, or even moral items in my posts. At best I've expressed disdain at bad etiquette. So why all the comparisons to leaders spanning from France to Cambodia? This is not the forum for such ideas anyway.

PS: Don't mess with my friends! They are not mousy or whatever else you like to call them; they are attractive, intelligent individuals who don't deserve your hypocritical musings.

That's all I'd like to say on that subject. We now return to my crazy cat/book/tea loving blog.

09 November 2005

Day Tripper

One of my favorite places in London, right off High Street Kensington. I've never been there in the summer...it looks like they have outdoor seating...they never had that in April!

Anyway, it's a lovely place to get cream tea (the best scones in the world!) and not break your budget. Then you can walk to nearby Kensington Church Street and browse the antique shops until you get to Notting Hill. Now that you have all the caffeinated energy and a satisfied belly, it's time to blow all the pounds in your wallet on Portobello Road!

07 November 2005

Regular? REGULAR?!!!!

I had breakfast at a coffee shop near my home. The waitress (server, to be PC, which I'm not) was really helpful and friendly. Sadly, like everyone who works in a non-tearoom, I did not get a satisfactory response when I asked for the tea choices. She read off a list of Celestial Seasonings herbal varieties, and then finished off with "regular tea". What does that mean? In diners it usually refers to Lipton Orange Pekoe, in the same old bag.

Sir Thomas Lipton, a pioneer in the tea industry and great businessman, would be appalled to hear such a title being conferred on his tea, especially as I believe his tea plantation was located in Ceylon, modern day Sri Lanka. Can't the restaurants at least call it Ceylon tea? If I were to order a bottle of wine, would I say "Regular Wine"?!! And what about green tea, which was much more common in the past than black tea (yes, and couldn't restaurants at least say black tea????) Would not green tea be more regular than black tea? Women spend long, hot hours picking tea leaves in many countries: for what? "What do you pluck?" "Just regular tea."

02 November 2005


I've been suffering from both insomnia and nostalgia.

The nostalgia results from my recent reminiscence of our old karaoke days in Chelsea Piers. I know how corny karaoke sounds, but it was so much fun! It's the best way to live out one's inner rock star. Of course, the reason most karaoke venues are bars is because most people need a bit of alcohol to exorcise their own personal Diana Ross, Freddie Mercury, or perhaps Frank Sinatra.

In the Chelsea Piers days, the karaoke room above the bowling alley was the best, and safest, place to go. It wasn't strictly a bar, as many of my friends were underage and had full access to the "stage", the little space in front of the dj's equipment. I rarely drank myself, unless you count the hot tea I predictably consumed to help out my voice (the cigarette smoke tended to be stifling, this is before recent smoking laws were enacted).

My first impression of the place was that the dj (Spencer) was a bit of a ham himself. He would walk around with the "good microphone", as opposed to the mediocre ones attached to the screen, and would sing "Always and Forever", "Maria Maria", or whatever, directing lyrics to the females in the audience. By time he was finished crooning, we'd all be in the mood to have a turn. We had slips to fill in our song choices (I'd usually fill out four of them - yes Marie I am the Karaoke Hog) with our names. I of course used Gata, mainly because I liked how it sounded being announced by Spencer ("give it up for La Gotta!").

It was fun when there was a good crowd to cheer you on, but not so large as to make it feel rowdy. One woman was so excited about being up there that at the end of a Mary J. Blige song she put in her own lyrics: "I'm singin', I'm singin', I'm singin" in Chelsea Piers!" What a great way to unwind on a Friday evening.

On recollection, I only made it there a handful of times. Marie was there the most, and maybe Erica. I brought my camcorder twice, and got some awesome blackmail footage (of myself, too...how did I think I could sing a Wham song?) But those were some of the best Fridays or Saturdays in recent years. Even preparing for it was fun, dressing up a little, planning which songs we'd like to try. This is what made it so sad the day we came all ready to go and found a pool table in place of Spencer. I still don't understand why Chelsea Piers stopped having karaoke: was it not cost-effective? Was the sight of two white boys singing "Baby Got Back" too traumatic for Spencer? Not that I'd blame him.

This was five years ago, and much has changed since then. But, cheesy as it sounds, I put a good Karaoke night up there with a great book, a fragrant Darjeeling, or a purring kitten.

Speaking of which, now that she's in heat, little Zenobia has kept me up the past few nights with her constant wailing and moaning. I think she's having her own karaoke nights. Make it stop!