String of Lights |

A verbal blinking on and off, not necessarily on a circuit.
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Sunday Nov 17, 2013

My, um, wardrobe situation is really sabotaging my, uh, attempts to put theory into the practice of establishing and maintaining control in the domestic sphere. I mean, really, how is packratting even possible in place I’ve only reallyreally lived in for just under 2 years?!

I think this sort project calls for 2 piles: KEEP and FACE THE FACTS, FATSO.

And it’s important to actually stick to it.


I still wear it.


1. It’s too tight.
2. It’s too loose. Wearing it does not make me look smaller. And even if it does shrink in the dryer, it won’t shrink in that tailored way.
3. It has a complicated neckline, waistline or hemline that I can’t pull off.
4. It looks stupid. Even if I spent a fortune (over $30) on it, it’s even more of a waste money hanging in my closet or crumpled in a drawer.
5. It’s so well-loved that it’s ripped/stained/worn beyond repair. But if I use it as a cleaning rag, I can pay tribute to it. I think. 6. It wasn’t as fabulous as I thought it was.

Uncommon cure for the cold

Monday Jul 15, 2013

His trips to the store always result in a more interesting yield than mine do.

They’re even better if he goes when I’m sick. Yesterday’s packages synthesized the week.

In addition to the usual kleenex, chicken soup and cold medicine, he also came home with:

~Cake (I didn’t get any the other night – why put in the calories if you can’t taste them)

~Breakfast croissant sandwiches (road trip)

~A new blender and all the ingredients for gazpacho (after having re-screened Women on the Verge)

~The most recent Sports Illustrated, so I could “read something different” (I’d expressed my admiration of the level of analysis in those sports radio shows and mentioned how I still remembered bits from an article I’d read in SI, a brief biography of Mike Tyson, way back in the early 1990s)

[Hopefully not] The Last Word [for String of Lights]

Thursday Jul 11, 2013


“Write about what you know” is the advice they give to struggling beginning wannabe writers. Right now, all I know and certainly all I know enough to write about are … myself, drinks, this blog, and maybe just a little about how to use my words.

So no, I absolutely do not want this to be my last word of String of Lights, nor do I wish String of Lights to be a meta-blogThat said…

If my other reader is still out there somewhere, it might be a while before SoL resembles anything close to its former consistency or before it regains its supremacy over Facebook, but poco a poco, it could get there.

And if any new readers have arrived here, following the link that I [against my better judgement, now perhaps clouded by the above-pictured] posted on the above-mentioned social network site, caveat emptor: this blog is tailored to its audience – me. I may pull fewer punches here than I do publicly and there will be blood (in the form of typos, grammatical and spelling errors and copy ‘n paste accidents).  And there is no rating. MPAA or otherwise.

I started making The Last Words today around 13:44. I’m on my second and all I can envision is my internal AA sponsor coming home early from work.

Sponsor: So, starting early today, are  we?

Me: Uh. It’s just Cocktail Development.

Sponsor: Oh, OK. Hey, wait! Those look exactly like ingredients for The Last Word. I thought you nailed that one in November.

Me: I did. But I ran out of Nolet’s after the first one and wanted to see if some other gin would be acceptable…

Sponsor: And what did you “want to see” with the first one?

Me: Dispassionately.

No, I didn’t name it.

Thursday Mar 21, 2013

1.5 oz gin

.75 oz Luxardo Maraschino

.50 oz apricot syrup

.25 oz freshly squeezed orange juice

dab of Hungarian paprika from a tube

All all ingredients to shaker. Add ice. Shake. Strain into chilled coupe glass.



It gets dark here so early

Tuesday Jan 1, 2013
It gets dark so early

But this October lightning storm woke me up and made it seem like it wasn’t really time for bed.

Whenever I hear it on the radio, it’s whenever I need to.

Sunday Sep 30, 2012

There is indeed something that’s making this place my own…It goes both ways.

And so far, nothing changes my wanting this.
And so far, every time this sense of home could get shifted out of place, if it doesn’t find me first, it’s never to hard for me to find something that will put it back.

Maybe on the right day…

Tuesday Aug 7, 2012

…and with the right songs loaded in, walking might just almost feel more like running and less like fail.

Evidently, you actually can use the word “love” in a job application cover letter and still be taken seriously.

Sunday Aug 5, 2012

I’ll start teaching Spanish at a new school soon – on 2 of the 3 campus locations of the College of Southern Nevada. But I’m not really moving. I’m bi-locating.

F[and not so F]AQs:
1. OMG! Are you guys getting divorced?
No. Unless my husband has told you otherwise. If that’s the case, please tell him I said ‘sup and that I’ll pick him up after work and take him directly to the cleaners.

2. OMG! You’re still going to finish your dissertation, aren’t you!?
Inshallah. Now, don’t ask me about it again unless you want an eagle screech and a whole bunch of tears to shoot out of my face and into yours.

3. OMG! Las Vegas has a community college?!
No, silly, of course it doesn’t! I’ll be conducting class on the casino floor at Hooters.

4. OMG! Do you actually like Las Vegas?
Yes. But only about as much as you like…Lake Tahoe? NYC? Glacier National Park? Cancun? Your hometown? You get the point.

5. OMG! That city shouldn’t even exist in the desert! Don’t you feel bad about wasting water?
Every day. So I try not to. And the conservation practices I’ve learned in Las Vegas are, um, spilling over into the way I live in my other town, too.

If you have any of your own, ask away. I’ll answer.

Up next-ish…Frequently proffered advice such as:

1. Vegas, Baby! Don’t gamble and party every weekend, now.

Thanks for your concern, but it does not apply. Even if I wanted to party like that, I wouldn’t. I’ll be living and working as a professional educator. And besides, Las Vegas is a small town; I’m constantly running into someone who recognizes my handbag.

A dialectic of cocktail invention

Friday May 4, 2012

Me: Even though we usually drink it neat, I’m going to make you a very special cocktail using the very challenging mezcal. It’s challenging because it’s a raw and relatively, um, unrefined agave spirit. And it has a strong, smoky flavor, which means that it doesn’t really mix well with the traditional cocktail ingredients. But falernum, especially one whose simple syrup is made from piloncillo, will not only combine with, but stand up to the mezcal, prove itself an equal. Hand me that stirrer, would you? I’m not shaking this drink because I don’t want to bruise the spirit.
You: omg! You’re so emo.
Me: Nuh-uh. It’s a valid, um, Thing in cocktail building. Look it up.
You: It may well be, but come on. You practically said it yourself; what spirit is tougher than mezcal? And especially one named after Antonio Aguilar. Güey looks seriously badass.
Me: He may well have been un macho cabrón, pero también tenía su corazoncito./ He may well have been a badass, but he got his heart broke just like anyone else. Now cállate y drink your drink. It’s called “Tu recuerdo y yo”/”Your Memory and Me”. Like the song.  It had to be a two-ingredient drink. Get it? The mezcal is the “tu recuerdo” and the “yo” is the  falernum. Or vice versa.


You: Uh. Yeah, but in the song he sings about tequila not mezcal.
Me: Yeah. I know. Dammit. But I’ve had the name of this drink in my head forever and I knew that it had to be made with mezcal. I just didn’t know there’d be a brand called Don Antonio Aguilar. In fact, I was really hoping he was the same Aguilar who sang the song in that cantina scene in the movie Tal para cual ’cause that would be the coolest coincidence ever, but that was Luis Aguilar, who’s no relation…and he’s still singing about tequila anyway.
You: Well, don Antonio sang one called “Copita de mezcal”, ¿que no?
Me: Yeah, but then we’re back to drinking it neat, aren’t we? Maybe I should just make “Tu recuerdo y yo” like this:

~2 oz tequila or mezcal (both options work wonderfully)
~1/2 oz falernum (look it up or message me)
Stir for a full minute over ice cubes, preferably made from orange or lemon juice. Strain into a small (but not dainty) shot-type glass. Garnish with orange twist. Y ¡por el amor de dios! don’t drink it like a shot. It took me 2 days to make the falernum! Savor it. And by the way, this delicious and potent drink is not for pendejos (or other insults that start with “p”).

I guess I fit the profile.

Wednesday Apr 4, 2012

“And then he asked me if I’m Cuban!” I reported, excitedly. “But you don’t sound Cuban when you speak Spanish, do you?” “Not at all. He probably asked me that because I ordered a Materva, put salt on my green salad, made animated hand gestures while talking on the phone, and dumped 3 sugars in my café cubano without even tasting it first.”

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