Monday, June 30, 2008

Dr. Schmepper

Steve O. is very thrifty, in a good way - when he buys soda that only he will be drinking he really doesn't care about a silly thing like, say, a name brand. But when I saw the latest generic soda he bought it made me laugh for about 10 minutes so I thought I would share.........

Really folks, I couldn't make this stuff up.

A Feast from The White Dog

Strip steaks

Billy Bread

Stuffed Eggplant

Salad and peacn crusted Goat Cheese.

Marinated Flank steak.

So my BFF is out of town directing a show in Idaho and having a great time. I am checking in on his house from time to time and it has been a great respite from my terrible, stinky, bug ridden house. Saturday night after Mama Zu's Steve and I hung out with some friends and ended our evening at The White Dog. They will be closed for Vacation for the next week and a half -where will I go? Anyway, Ros and Barry gave us tons of food that otherwise would have gone bad. Of course I couldn't cook it at my house so I cooked it at Steve P's. I invited Robert and made it a party. It was great just to get to cook again. The only thing missing was my BFF. Here are some pics of the free food we scored. Was it maybe my karmic treat for having to deal with the folks at Mama Zu's?

The Mama Zu's experience

Do you remember the episode of Seinfeld with the soup Nazi? Of course you do. The only thing I can compare that experience to is eating at Mama Zu's. There are rules people. We arrive at 6:30 on Saturday. Early but I figured if I wanted to eat before 10 PM that was a good time to show up. We are told right away there is a 45 minute wait. No problem, I was expecting as much. As luck would have it, I found a chair at the end of the bar that no one was using - even though many parties were standing around. I sat and we ordered a beer and some white wine. I normally drink red but it was warm in there. No matter - the white was tasty and refreshing. About 10 minutes in to the wait I see the couple next to me panic and one of them leaves. The lady leans over to me and says "Do you know they only accept checks, cash. or Am ex?" CRAP - I knew that once but had totally forgotten. Already I have broken the rules! So I send Steve out for cash - I told him there was an ATM near by and I knew we were looking at at least another 1/2 hour wait for a table. Well, no sooner does he leave than our name is called for a table. I panicked- taking my wine but leaving a full beer on the bar. I mentioned right away that my dinner companion ran out for cash and if he had to give the table away I understood. They basically just told me to sit and see what happened. If you have never been in here you must know this place is a dive - it is dirty and dark and no frill. They speak very short to you if they speak to you at all. I was mortified. I had my script with me so I pulled it out, sipped on my wine and basically prayed for Steve to come back quickly. Time passed. The waiter came over and said a few times - "where is he? What is going on?" I called him and found out he was in traffic due to VCU's graduation or something - once again I offered to give up my table - But they just looked at me like I was retarded and shook their heads in shame. It is important to also point out that a this point there was no one waiting for a table and there were quite a few tables open if anyone were to come in. But no matter - that is just how they are there. Those are the rules. The last time the waiter came up to me (Steve was gone for about 10 minutes at this point) he said "Please tell me what is happening - I am getting in trouble from my superiors." That's when I looked around and noticed so many empty tables, but I didn't dare say anything except again I offered to give up my table until he returned. Finally Steve came back and I tried to explain to him how I was berated and sneered at. He was in no mood and seemed to be determined not to like the food at this point. I mean, what could be worth all this meanness? Just wait, I told him, it is totally worth it. When the waiter came up to the table he gave us such a dirty look, like we had killed his mother, then he said in a very snotty tone - almost under his breath "Do you know what you want?" I ordered The arugula salad and the Veal Marsala - and Steve got the Clams and mussels. The food was heavenly, every last drop was savored. I didn't dare take pictures for fear they would never allow me to return. I can't wait for my next trip - they can treat me however they want to - that food is worth it all. But - of course, next time I will bring cash.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Happy Belated Anniversary to a great couple.

I was remiss last week in congratulating my Sissy and Sissy-in-Law on their wedding anniversary. Happy Anniversary!! Is it 3 years already??
I don't often get political on this blog but I struggle to understand why the rights of gays and lesbians are any different from my own. Do folks not see that it is just the same discrimination we had against women and African Americans? I was thrilled with the supreme courts ruling lifting the gay marriage ban in California.

I hope it is just the beginning.

There are many things I am proud of being a Virginian for - but equality just isn't one of them. I am aware that I live in a State where race based legal restrictions on marriage were ended in 1967. Think about that- It was not long ago - just one year before I was born.

On the positive side, you can marry your cousin here. On the State website, right after it says you can marry your cousin, it states that same sex marriages are not legal. I guess I couldn't marry any of my female cousins. Darn. They are really pretty.

For information on The Human Rights Campaign and ways you can help in your own community go to this site :

Friday, June 20, 2008

Tonight and Tomorrow........Cheenon Party Time!

Yes, I have rehearsals and yes, I will be working very hard but you know what they say....all work and no Cheenon makes Jack a dull Bunny....or something like that.

If you live in Richmond, or if you are near by or if you are driving by on your way somewhere more exciting....stop in and join the party.

Tonight: Poe's Pub
$5 cover

Saturday: The Blue Bistro
no cover

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Missing Savannah

On the last leg of our journey we stopped in Savannah - almost a halfway point back to Richmond. I had never been there and was very excited to go. Steve O. Lived there a long time ago and I often hear fun stories about it from him. Two stand outs are when he was really drunk in public and when he met one of his hero's , Clint Eastwood. Thankfully that didn't happen on the same night. We arrived and quickly found a hotel close to river. I kept hearing about these drinks called "Wet Willies" I was intrigued. They sounded like alcoholic Slurpee's - two of my favorite things!~We walked along the river and drank the wet willies - which was good because it was about 100 degrees in the shade. No kidding. We had a blast walking all around (thank g-d for the open container laws!!) we found a cool candy store and passed a gazillion restaurants. We walked past these guys singing blues. They were great. We sat and listened to them for a long time - until we feared there wouldn't be a restaurant open for us to eat in. I wanted seafood. I knew this would be a great place for it. Our entire vacation was wonderful but Savannah was the first place we went to where there was no one to visit so it was just us. It was a great way to finish our journey and I hope to go back to Savannah again soon to spend more time there.

lots of boats

One of the wet willies

The candy store

making taffy

These guys were awesome - we sat for half the night listening to them sing. And did you notice the captains hat this guy is wearing?? Steve was so excited.

We toasted to all our friend's back home.

These shrimp were spiced and marinated in a pepper sauce. They melted in my mouth!

MMMMMMMMMMM - wish these were in front of me all the time.

Steve's meal was also good.

Steve really liked this statue

I thought it might be thirsty

We wanted to stop by Lady and Son's but the line was wrapping around the block (and it was a long block) so we saved that for our next trip.

I guess there may be a few more vacation pics showing up here and there but that is basically the gist of it. We had an amazing time everywhere we went and seeing my Brother and Sissy and spending time with their families was the best present I could imagine.

And it all kicked off with that incredible party My BFF and Robert Threw - I am feeling pretty lucky these days...................

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Busy Muffin

I will be back soon with pics and stories from Savannah.

I started rehearsals this week for Shirley Valentine - a one woman play I will be doing at the Barksdale at Hanover Tavern. I have never done a show at the Tavern so I am excited to have that experience. The talented Ms Amy Berlin is directing and so far we are having a fab time. It is double-fab and mega-brill. However, I have a butt load of lines to learn - and that is the easy part, ya know, so this little ol' blog has been neglected and might be for a couple days. Please don't stop visiting. I promise I will be back soon to regale you with vacation stories and pics and more from the fabulous life of Muffin Face.

read about the play and show times at

Shirley Valentine
July 11 - August 24, 2008
By Willy Russell

“Absolutely smashing.” New York Post

Call 804-282-2620

Jill Bari Steinberg stars as Shirley, a wisecracking middle-class English housewife . As she prepares “chips ‘n’ eggs” for dinner, she ruminates on her life, talking to the wall about such subjects as her husband, her children, her past and, a rather attractive offer she has just received from a girlfriend to on holiday to Greece. After her unappreciative husband shuns dinner, Shirley sees her opportunity to temporarily escape the drudgery of her life and leaves a note on the kitchen table that reads “Off to Greece. Back in two weeks.” While in Greece, she rediscovers her zest for life… and a Greek fisherman. This award winning one-woman play is rich with the comedy of real life.

Tickets are $39 / $36 with a Ukrops Valued Customer Card.*

Friday, June 13, 2008

Fun Random Pic

My friend Emmy keeps seeing this car in her work parking lot. I guess I have fans everywhere. How nice of that person to honor me in this way. I am truly touched.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Visiting South Beach

On the last Saturday we were together we all went down to South Beach. It was very hot that day but Jenn suggested we go early so we can park and beat the crowds. It was good advice. South beach was beautiful and didn't really get crowded or too hot until right before we headed back. South Beach was also the place Steve found the famous Captain's Hat - which he doesn't like to take off, ever.

Why do I look so pissed off?

I had to visit this shop since I watched the show a bit.
I did not get a tattoo on this trip.

Sissy's drink at the Ritz-Carlton.

These ships were everywhere - I just wanted to hop on one and see where it would take me.

View from the beach.

Pretty Lifeguard stand

Steve O. outside the Ritz Carlton. Can you believe they let him in with that hat?

View of the beach from the Ritz.

Another beach shot.

Soon I will be wrapping up the Miami pics and moving on the Savannah.

I'll bet you can hardly wait!!

Random silly Birthday Pic #2

Through out the party the guests were allowed to write messages to the birthday girl on different surfaces, like, windows and mirrors and such. During the party I tried to make sure I read them all but folks were doing this all night so I guess I missed a few. This one cracks me up. I did a play a couple years ago where I wore a hat during one of the scenes. This was a period piece so the hat must have been from the 20's? Anyway - it looked like a pile of poop. Seriously. wait here is a pic of me in it. Judge for yourselves.......
I don't know who wrote that particular message but the hat must have made a lasting impression on them too.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fondue Miami.

As I mentioned in a previous post, we had fondue for birthdays and other fun occasions when we were growing up so it has been a long time since I had some. There is a nice fondue restaurant around the corner from Pop and Kitty Mom's house that HNS and I went to last year and that was great - but I am talking about home made here. So we started off with Cheese fondue. This was made with a couple kinds of cheese.
My sissy and I were in the cheese department of Wild Oaks and we were looking for Gruyere. We couldn't find it anywhere - they seemed to have every kind of cheese in the universe so we finally saw something that said "Cave aged Gruyere". Jenn said that sounded too fancy for what we needed and wasn't sure what the cave aging would do to the taste. The nice woman behind the counter offered us a taste. Just when Jenn was about to say no - I jumped in and said Yes, please! Then this woman handed us each a piece of cheese that would choke a pig, seriously. Just when Jenn was about to say, Oh I think we can just split one piece (she got about half of that out) I reached over, grabbed the pieces and said "Thank you." Then I turned to my sissy and said "Look, when someone offers you free food, you say YES!" But I am not sure she really heard me because when I looked at her she had this look on her face of total delight. She was having a mouthgasim or something. I tasted the cheese. Oh my guuuud. I will always remember where I was when I tasted the best cheese I have ever had in my life. You don't get a lot of those special moments in life, and this was one of them. This was like magic cheese, do you know how, as you eat cheese, especially something with a sharp, distinct flavor, nothing seems to be as good or strong as the first bite? I am not sure why that is but this was not the case here. Every bite was like the first. We wandered around the store all glassy eyed and zombie like as we slowly savored our huge pieces of wonder cheese. It must have been quite a sight - all we could get out was "This cheese is freakin amazing." We said it over and over again. Good times.
Anyway - that was one of the cheeses we used in the first fondue.

Muffin preparing the shrimp.

The broth Sissy made for the steak and shrimp fondue. The steak was a beautiful, tender fillet. It really melted in my mouth.

cave aged Gruyere and another kind of Swiss.

cheese fondue pot. We dipped apples and crusty french bread in this fondue.

These strawberries were part of our desert. Of course we had chocolate fondue. We dipped these strawberries, pound cake, marshmallows and banana's in the chocolate. There was no pic of the rest because by this time I could barely see straight from all the eating.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Miami Memories.

So - We were still in Miami, we were all discussing what we would have for dinner one night. I am sure we were eating lunch at the time. You know those vacations that just go from meal to meal? Beth got a wild look in her eye and said she wanted homemade french fries. My Sissy just rolled her eye's like she must have been joking. I knew Beth was marinating ribs for us but I thought yum, homemade fries sounds great. I asked my sissy why she had said no to making the fries and she began to explain to me what a pain in the ass they were to make. You clean the potatoes, you slice them, you soak them, and on and on. I just looked at her and said "Yea, you know what else is a pain in the ass? DRIVING TO MIAMI! Now suck on it and get busy with those homemade fries already." What can I say? I have a special way of talking to people. Needless to say- she made the fries. They were honestly the best french fries I have even tasted, hands down. And the ribs - OMG - they were tender and juicy and so tasty. Thanks ladies for another great meal!

I napped here while my sissy was preparing the potatoes.

The wall of my pool house at night with the reflection of the pool on the wall.

The final product.

The soaking spuds.

mmmm. hot out of the fryer.