What I Learned This Week: #198

Monday, May 31 – Sunday, June 6, 2021

The Week in Puppies!: A friend of mine fosters dogs. She’s been doing it for a couple years and only has had one “Foster Fail” which actually means she ended up adopting one dog herself. Part of fostering puppies is getting them ready for their forever homes. In addition to vet and normal care, puppies get an extra dose of socialization – they need to be around people.

My friend put out a call to have people come over and “socialize” the dogs, or as I read the invitation, “Come play with puppies!!” So I did. And it’s every bit as great as those slow motion puppy montages on the internet make it out to be.

The Week in Driveways, Actually, One Very Challenging Driveway: It’s not often that a driveway sticks hard in my brain, but the driveway to my friend’s house in a very old part of a small town in Kentucky brought me and my little Chevy Spark to a long, pitted and puddled, gravel driveway. Traveling at the lightening speed of about 5 miles per hour with trees and brush close, gave me the sensation of being in the opening credits of a either a very sincere independent film, or a very typical horror one. I crept along the dilapidated “road” looking for signs of civilization (which I’d been promised in my directions). I could barely make out a house through some overgrown grass but I knew that wasn’t the one. Finally, a clearing! Made it to the house and back out! Patted the (all-terrain) Spark’s dashboard in thanks when I hit the main road!

My Spark in all it’s glory. Also, kudos to the girl who sat down for a smoke just as I was taking this shot.

The Week in Contemporary Art: I went to the Contemporary Arts center for the first time in a long while. Typically a normal stop for me when I’m tooling around downtown (admission is free), I decided to see if I could walk in without reserving time. I could and I did. CAC was still requiring masks, which is fine, but the space is never crowded even in the best of times so it seems more theater than science. Whatever. I went in.

Contemporary Art to me is contemporary psychology. I can’t usually, reliably or sensibly explain the objects in front of me, but I get the biggest kick knowing whatever weirdness or plainness it is, it sprang from someone’s brain, and then enough people deemed that it was worthy of other people viewing it, and then, boom, there I am, looking at it. So, art.

The Week in Day Drinkin’: I took the day off work on Friday to be “on call” for friends who were getting married on Saturday. The point was to make myself available if they needed anything…picking up wayward relatives from the airport, or distracting/entertaining a wayward relative, or errands, or whatever. As it became clearer they weren’t going to need me, I settled quite comfortably in a day drink. It was the first time, in a long while, I could just hang someplace and drink at my own pace. Three bars, three hours, four drinks, a little reading, and then a long, luscious nap. An awesome day.

Book and a beer

What I Learned This Week: #197

Monday, May 24 – Sunday, May 30, 2021

The Week in Health: Way back when I turned 50 I decided I needed to have primary care physician (PCP). I went. The only “thing” of note was that ty blood tests showed a slightly elevated cholesterol, but not enough for medication. Due to my age, he told me to get a colonoscopy. I told him I would get one when I turned 55. He did not like that. “Why are you even coming here?” he asked. So, I didn’t go back. Colon problems don’t run in my family, and I’m reasonably sure I timer didn’t go off in my digestive system on my 50th birthday requiring immediate attention. All good.

Now, I’m 56 (missed my 55 deadline due to COVID), and I have a new doctor and I asked for a colonscopy (lookin’ all proactive as I sat there on the exam table) and even asked for the shingles shot. Elder care…here I come.

The Week in Tuna: 56 isn’t always about health, it’s about finding, and deeply caring about, finding a good deal. Tuna Meal Tuesday at Court Street Lobster fits the fill. $8 tuna sandwich with chips. The chips, which I liked and asked about, are Utz kettle chips that CSL futzes around with. A delicious deal!

The Week in Ice Pops and Temperature Drops: I was very excited the week before this to pull a tank top out of the dresser, and to buy a pack of ice pops (keeping with the theme of “the deal”- they were on sale at Kroger for $1.99). Summer time, Baby! As someone who sparingly uses my AC, ice pops are part of dealing with summer in the best way. I threw a few in the freezer and then, out of nowhere, weekend temps dropped to the mid-forties…decidedly not ice pop weather. Oh well, I got a (pineapple) taste of summer while it was 90 degrees and will wait patiently for warmer weather tempered with ice pops.

The ICE portion of the freezer. Ooooh, I gotta eat those meatballs soon!

The Week in Nduja: Fausto, an upscale cafe located in the lobby of the Contemporary Arts Center, features seasonal and, for Cincinnati, edgily prepared food. I dropped by for lunch this week because I thought they might have an interesting salad option. They did. I got the turnip and radish salad with nduja and pickled onion chutney, local herbs, white bean puree, breadcrumb and sesame. Turnips and radishes are small, tender and almost sweet this time of year. When I ordered I asked what nduja was because I’d not heard of it. The guy said it was salami. Welp, it’s actually spreadable salami, which made it kind of a ninja in this dish. I kept sort of tasting salami but I never bit into salami. It was kind of great. I added a confit tuna protein (A small tuna theme!) and I was full for the rest of the day. Oh, the whole thing cost $22, an amount that usually would cover about 3 lunches for me, so I felt extra fancy at my desk that afternoon. Of course, it totally negated the deal I got on the tuna sandwich.

The Week in The Soup: There is a Reddit-famous recipe that Reddit posters simply refer to as The Soup. I follow several cooking sub-Reddits and The Soup comes up a lot. It is from a website called 365 Days of Slow + Pressure Cooking, and this is the breakout recipe from that site. I made The Soup this week. It is created for people who don’t cook a lot, and if you follow the recipe as written, it’s pretty terrific. I followed it very closely, really only adding red pepper because I like a little heat.

I really like the opening step which fakes a roux. Flour, onions, tomato paste, and oil get microwaved before getting added to the Crockpot. It works, of course, but that doesn’t make it weird for people who are used to sweating out making roux.


The Week in Math: So I had enough gumption to make an egg strata for breakfast for the week, but not enough energy to do the math on my 9×9 pan and make 5 equal servings. Next time I’m going to to cut 45 pieces and take 9 each day.

5 days…6 servings…poor distribution

The Week in Music: Finally, I got back to Music Hall for the first time in over a year for the extremely scaled back May Fest. Based on Sangerfests in Germany, May Fest normally takes place over a couple weeks in several locations around town, with the full May Festival chorus and Orchestra filling the stage at Music Hall for rousing performances. In fact, one of my favorite parts of the Festival is watching the hundreds of performers find their place on the stage. It touches my inner logistic heart.

This year the chorus was booted in favor of lone singers on a stage with a socially distanced orchestra. The audience was also socially distanced. The show was short, no intermission, to help comply with COVID spreading measures. I hope never to have to watch a performance with these types of constraints again. But, for what it was, the moment soprano Sophia Burgos started singing the opening nots of Aaron Copland’s Poems of Emily Dickinson, I started to cry. Live music is part of the human experience, and I’ve missed it terribly.

What I Learned This Week: #196

Monday, May 17 – Sunday, May 23, 2021

The Week in Acting Your Age: I grabbed an early dinner at the bar at Nation in OTR. A couple was leaving as I sat down and another couple was sitting down as I was finishing up. A quiet, early night.

I was glad to see their BLT back on the menu, something COVID supply chain issues had prevented. Also post COVID, Nation has what looks to be an almost entirely new staff. So I was impressed with the way the bartender handled the couple who sat down at the end of my night.

They were an older couple, that is to say, my age. They sat down like they owned the place, which is something a lot of people my age do. I probably do it. We are a confident age group. But then he started asked to be taken care of in a way he was accustomed to, and here’s where we parted ways. He asked for a beer he’d heard of, making it clear which one that was on the 10-pull tap. He asked for golf to be played on the TV in front him, not the one slightly to his right. His wife smiled. I smiled. Then he noticed the music, which was modern, indie-rock stuff, and it was not to his liking. He asked the 20-something bartender if she’d ever heard of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Here’s where I silently wept for my generation. She said she had, and I’m guessing it’s because her parents listened to them. Having heard of RHCP was not enough though. He asked what her favorite songs of theirs was. Here’s where she could of stumbled, but luckily he supplied a couple of song titles and she gamely agreed those were here favorites. Then she asked if he would like if they changed the current music playing to RHCP. Wow! He LOVED that! Here’s where I cheered for the young millennial. I hope he tipped well!

Here’s how my brain felt listening to an explanation of the greatness of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

The Week in Eyes: I missed my COVID year eye appointment, but finally remembered to put one on my calendar. They asked when my last appointment was, and I really had to think. The COVID era has changed the way I calculate time. I honestly could not remember what part of 2019 that I had been last examined. A complete blank.

Anyway, as a long time wearer of glasses, this was the first time I was offered Blue Blocking lenses to help reduce eye strain when on the computer. I’m still holding out for bionic eyes, but this is a fine start.

The Week in Hollywood: I can’t watch movies at my place; I’m too antsy and always want to get up and do something else. But, I love movies and missed going to see them. This week I went to a theater to see Best Picture winner, Nomadland, starring one of my favorite actresses Francis McDormand. The film is beautifully photographed and filled with moving performances including non-professional actors. It had a lot to say about getting old in America and not much of aging in America is great.

The theater actually welcomed a typical Tuesday night crowd of about 10 people. Every other row was taped off. The previews were as weird as always. Love that they think the same crowd at Nomadland would be excited that Fast and Furious TEN was coming this summer. I’m not thrilled about the $1 COVID service charge, it’s just a reminder to me why movie theaters continue to try to kill the movie-going experience. But they can’t. I was glad to be back.

The Week in Shrimp: I cooked a lovely and tasty Spicy Shrimp and Chickpea Salad from NY Times cooking, cutting the recipe in half so I wouldn’t have to overstuff my gullet with shrimp before it turned. Seafood is not something to make at the beginning of the week and keep nibbling on. I had it for dinner and lunch the next day, and, it was actually better day two. The recipe called for both lemon and lime, but I only used lemon…the original seemed too much like 7-Up!

The Week In Cooking…for Someone Who Is Not Me: Finally, I got to cook something to take somewhere for other people to eat. Even though it was in the 80’s outside, I happily fired up my oven and made two desserts and a potato casserole. I probably would have kept cooking stuff, but it was time to go. Side note: My Pyrex travel container seemed to be disintegrating from a year of sitting quietly on the shelf. I will happily buy new food pack-up gear because I expect to be doing a lot of cooking for people this summer!

The Week in Stocking the Fridge…For Someone Who is Just Me: I’ve learned that parsley and cilantro will last a couple of weeks in the fridge if I put them in a cup with a little water. These bunches are from last week. This is a habit that’s easier to pull off when just one person has access to the fridge. One very frugal person!

Fridge gardening and hey look! It’s Iced Coffee Season!

What I Learned This Week: #195

Monday, May 10 – Sunday, May 16, 2021

The Week in Health Order Mayhem: First, the Governor of Ohio gave us June 2 as the day the vaccinated people could go maskless. That gave us time to make some changes. Then the CDC and the White House butted in and said it was time for vaccinated people to stop wearing masks. Like, immediately! This came as a complete surprise. Stores and restaurants were not ready. People were confused. As I’ve said, getting out of the pandemic is going to be as weird as getting into it. I was out and less cautious this week and but I am still wrapping my head around being shoulder to shoulder with the unvaccinated. I’m gonna do it, I just need a minute.

Still, the lure of restaurants was strong this week, and I got to sit inside a few places I’ve missed:

The Week in Restaurant Dining – Part 1…Lucius Q: Taco Tuesday at the bar. Lucius Q has a great taco Tuesday deal…three tacos for $7. If you’re there during Happy Hour, take a buck off your beer, too. They change tacos each week and the element of surprise is part of the fun. This week was turkey adobo with some kind of cream sauce, corn, and pickled onions. Loved it. I couldn’t finish all three so I had a bonus taco breakfast the next morning.

Taco Tuesday

The Week in Restaurant Dining – Part 2…Abigail St.: Small plate, upscale food was NOT what I wanted when I went out to see what I could find for dinner on Thursday, but as I walked past the open door, I could not, not stop. Abigail is one of my treats and I missed their food. Also, if you believe in the connectiveness of everyday living, I will note that I had planned to make gnocchi for dinner that night, but the little downtown Kroger didn’t have the gnocchi I wanted. You know who did have the gnocchi I wanted? Yes. Abigail street. Gnocchi and oyster mushroom with peas and asparagus on a pea puree. A pea puree, I tell ya!

I came for the gnocchi, but stayed for the pea puree!

The Week in Restaurant Dining – Part 3…Nicolas: Nicolas is an award winning, fancy Italian restaurant located smack in “the hood” where it’s been for years. serving up delicious upscale food. I’ve gotten take out from there a few times over the past year, but this weekend I ventured inside with a group to celebrate the upcoming marriage of a friend. For the 10 of us, over half were dining inside for the first time in over a year. It’s a little rocky remembering how to use the wine list and how to order. But it all came together.

I had the Taglioline Neri Al Frutti Di Mare (Fruit of the Sea) with acqua pazza sauce (squid ink), littleneck clams, calamari and scallops. I want to eat the food that I’ve been skipping all COVID Era because I didn’t think it would translate well to take out. The Fruit of the Sea was stellar. Oh, and we all split gnocchi appetizers, so it was a surprisingly gnocchi-filled week!

The Week in Restaurant Dining – Part 4…Classic, Cincinnati…Skyline: I’ve had takeout Skyline but nothing is better than eating it fresh inside the dining room. I crave Skyline, but put off going back until my Mom could join me. She’s vaccinated, but eye surgery left her a little vulnerable, and she was waiting to get more stable eye sight back. This was the week! Skyline is a great choice because, as a classic, we eat there a lot. She didn’t need to see a menu and we would be in and out quickly, a great end of pandemic bonus. Loved it, as always.

The Week in Restaurant, make that Bar, Dining, make that Drinking – Part 5…Bar Saeso: Bar Saeso opened during the pandemic. I went the first day they opened, but it’s a small bar, and it was always too crowded for my COVID sensibilities whenever I wanted a cocktail and I hadn’t been back. This Sunday I decided I wanted a night cap where someone else would make my drink. Bar Saeso isn’t really my kind of bar. It has a generic upscale vibe that doesn’t interest me. But, their drinks are good and the service is friendly. I will go back every now and then to support my neighbors.

The Week in Slumming it, Foodwise: And just to keep it real, running late to work one morning I grabbed a $1 frozen Monteray Egg Burrito from Kroger…and I loved that for what it was!

The Week in Filling a Craving, Foodwise: On Thursday evening I wanted a brownie. My thought is if I want a brownie, I should make one. Of course, you can’t make one. I made a batch, ate my craving’s worth and brought the rest to work. It was the first time I brought in food that wasn’t individually wrapped. I told me co-workers to eat them if they were comfortable doing so, and skip them if they weren’t. The batch was gone by lunch. Masks off/Brownies down.

I just wanted ONE brownie!

The Week in Sports: I did more than eat this week. On Sunday, FC Cincinnati had their first game in their new stadium in the West End. I met friends at Northern Row Brewery and we marched to the park and then to the stadium. I didn’t even have tickets to the game, but it didn’t matter. The excitement was pretty spectacular. Our team is not great, but they are ours. It’s going to be a fun season.

What I Learned This Week: #194

Monday, May 3 – Sunday, May 9, 2021

The Week in Cooking – Dry: The leanest of meats, pork, has never caused me any trouble. This week, though, the pork loin I cooked lived up to the dry reputation. It’s my fault, though, since I forgot the apparently crucial step of basting the loin a few times in its last hour of cooking. In my defense, the loin was cooked in a crock pot and it’s not typical to open and close the lid for basting or any other reason. Anyhoo, I ate the pork for a couple meals and it tasted great despite having the mouthfeel of a graham cracker. When I dropped off a portion for my Mom I told her that when she ate it she should pretend she was at wedding buffet and chose the dry pork over the dry chicken cutlet.

The Week in Cooking – Wet: I knew I was not going to go out for Cinco de Mayo so to prep my home “celebration” I made pollo con salsa in the instant pot. I’m sure it’s not very Mexican, but at least it was wet!

The Week in Cinco De Mayo at Home: Wednesday after work I gathered my essentials for a very personal cinco de mayo: Pollo con salsa, an avocado, chips and salsa, tequila, and Mexican pop music on Spotify and I settled in. Since the holiday has been taken over by bro’s and partiers, if I go out on May 5th, I usually “counter program” and go to an Asian restaurant. It’s not quite the right food, but it’s quiet! So, thanks to COVID, this year (and last year,) I still got my quiet cinco de mayo, but a more appropriate culinary one.

End of the bottle decision: It this one drink or two?

The Week in Good Thoughts: At work this week, my department was in a meeting (in person, in a conference room) and we were asked to describe how we worked together. One of the women said we were family, which got a bunch of “Awwwws” and then she added, “I’m serious. I pray for each and every one of you every night.” Even as a non-religious person I found that to be one of the sweetest things a coworker has ever said. That is the kind of stuff that makes work more tolerable!

The Week in Subconscious Action: I’ve been wearing wrist braces to bed for the last couple of weeks and it’s interesting to me that sometimes I wake up and they are not on my wrists. They are either neatly dropped down to the floor or placed next to each other next to me on the bed. It’s unnerving. Why some nights and not others? Why sometimes on the floor and sometimes on the bed? Are the apartment ghosts in on this? What else is going on in the middle of the night? Who knew working out the kinks of carpal could lead to a mental breakdown? LOL!

The Week in You Don’t Know: I took a walk at lunch and a man on a smoke break outside the casino called out to me to asked where I worked. He said I reminded him of a woman who had worked at the Justice Center. Well, it wasn’t me, but I asked if she still worked there. He said she didn’t and then he told me she committed suicide. I asked her name and he told me (I won’t print it here) and he gave me some other rough details of her life. Then he wistfully said, “she’s the only woman I’ve ever loved and she never knew. ” This man walks around with that all the time and I’d bet he doesn’t tell that story to a lot of people. You just don’t know what people are carrying around.

The Week in Ramen at a Restaurant: Through the COVID era, I did WAY more take-out than I have ever done or expect to do again. The nice part was as COVID necessitated take out as a way of restaurant survival, the containers got better. And so, I have a bunch of great new containers…for free (ha!). On the negative side, it killed me to get so much packaging where at the restaurant I would get reusable plates and such. Of course, the social part was gone, but what else was gone was certain types of food that I enjoy eating out. For the entire COVID shutdown, I didn’t eat fish from a restaurant, or other heat/timing dependent dishes. This includes one of my favorite things to eat at a restaurant: ramen.

This week for the first time in well over a year, I had a bowl of ramen. The cool weather helped my craving for it, and I headed to Zundo. They do a very rich pork broth that has always killed me. I am so glad the waitress wasn’t around when I took that first spoonful. I”m sure my face was as close to pornographic as it gets in public. It. Was. So. Good. and I. Was. So. Happy.

What I Learned This Week: #192 and #193

Monday, April 19 – Sunday, May 2, 2021

The Week in Here Comes My Social Life: I love that I was too busy to actually post last week’s weekly thoughts on time. I had to actually go to social activities that took place outside of my apartment. A wonderful development.

The Week in 420, Heh, Heh: April 20, International Cannaibis day, or, as the neighborhood store called it “Reggae Day,” just makes me laugh all day. While marijuana and cdb oil gain in popularity and continue to be more and more legal, 420 still retains a little of its counter culture roots. I took a minute to listen to Willie Nelson and other related activities (wink, wink) and dreamt of sticking it to the man.

The Week in Restaurant Week: Restaurant Week is an easy time to contact a friend and schedule a dinner. For some reason, eating out during Restaurant Week seems like I’m participating in something more than just dinner. How it works is any participating restaurant puts together a prix fix menu at a low-ish price. This year, the magic number was $36. For that price it’s worth finding and trying new places around town, a form of food tourism.

I went to two places. I got four courses at Mita’s (including their outstanding ceviche), and three courses at Butcher and Barrel. Both meals included dessert at the final course, and that’s a rare eating out treat for me. I buy lots of expensive and extra stuff at restaurants, mostly alcohol, but I rarely get dessert. Dessert is good, but I like fitting into my pants. Also, at Butcher and Barrel I was with three people who hadn’t eaten inside at a restaurant in over a year and that made it extra fun.

The Week in Cooking: Part 1, All the Cooking!: Sunday is my day to get my week in order. I straighten up and clean my place. I blog and, I cook for the week. Last Sunday, instead of all that, I went drinking, putting me woefully behind in domestic responsibilities. I made up time with a very efficient cooking session on Monday. I made a hominy chorizo frittata, panang curry with potatoes and cabbage (cheated with pre-made tin of curry, but it counts), and an Italian chicken with ham and cheese (a very loose take on Chicken cordon bleu). Best part: I started cooking at 5:30 and was finished and cleaned up by 7:30. That’s mad cookin’ skills!

That’s some ugly chicken, tasty, but ugly.

The Week in Cooking: Part 2, Internet Cooking: Mississippi Pot Roast is one of those internet recipes that people cannot get enough of. It’s easy to make, practically designed for people who can’t cook but can dump stuff in a crock pot. It’s pot roast, an envelope of au jus mix, and envelope ranch dressing mix, a stick of butter and a jar of pepperoncini. That’s it. The result is slightly sweet with a little tang and a lot of mouth feel…very much like turning a piece of meat into a fancy snack food. I liked it well enough but I really prefer a more traditional roast that’s, well, beefy.

The Week in Most Unnecessary Products: At TJ Maxx this week I found a scented jigsaw puzzle. It smells like cool peppermint. I know because I touched the box to release the scent. Maybe the scent will do straight to your head so you don’t have to concentrate on the source of the water in the puzzle’s waterfall.

Stinky picture!

The Week in Other Puzzle News: I’ve been working on this puzzle for weeks. I’m down to the part where pretty much every piece left hooks onto what’s already in place and still, still, the puzzle and I are fighting.

Such a pretty, brutal puzzle

The Week in Art: Found some flower power chalk art on the sidewalk in Washington Park.

Aggressive flower power

What I Learned This Week: #191

Monday, April 12 – Sunday, April 18, 2021

The Week in Pants: Not sure how long it’s been goin’ on, but this week I noticed three pairs of my pants had blown out, or near blown out crotches. I am very sure nothing exciting led to crotch wear and tear, but I was also sure that I should buy some new pants before a disaster happened with me and my crotch and my pants in public.

Pants are tough for me. I’m short. I have a 28 inch inseam. This matters in pants shopping and comfortable bicycle riding, so my inseam doesn’t come up a lot. But this week was pants week and all I could think about was my inseam. I started online, carefully (attempting) to buy the same cuts and styles I already had. That did not work. Suddenly I had all kinds of pants in my apartment none of which I could wear. The new ones didn’t fit, and the old ones were threatening a fashion scandal.

For the first time in well over a year, I went pants shopping, first returning pants that were too long, too small, and in one case too heavy (material is hard to fathom during on line shopping). It took some effort, but I now have pants that I can wear. The pants crisis is averted, for a couple years, anyway.

The Week in 1/2 and 1/2 and 1/2: One thing that needs to come back soon is being able add your own accouterments to coffee. No two people like their coffee the same way, and many coffee drinkers have spent years creating the perfect coffee to cream to sugar ratio. In the Covid era, the cashier does this for me. For the most part it’s fine. But this week I asked for a “dollop” of half and half. This was a fancy coffee place, so I assumed I was good. But a few blocks away when I took a sip, it seemed way to milky. I think I got half half and half and half coffee. It was gross. At work, I brewed kuerig to 1/2 full of my coffee cup and then added the half half and half and half coffee mixture. I had three passable cups of coffee and way to much math. Also, I learned to be VERY careful ordering half and half in the future.

The Week in Brown Bread: Allez Bread has a pretty funny Facebook account that enthusiastically and honestly showcases their wares, especially one-off baking projects that normally are not available. This week they talked about a nutritious and dense German bread, Vollkornbrot, and I high-tailed it into the shop to see what they were talking about. Vollkornbrot is a brown bread, made with rye flour. Allez’s version was studded with sunflower seeds. I bought 1/2 a loaf on my way to work (having thoughtfully thrown some butter and a knife in my backpack). The 1/2 loaf weighed about 3 pounds. When I opened it at my desk, it reminded me of what I called hippie bread of the early seventies, specifically the kind made in a coffee can. I loved it.

The Week in Sure, I’ll have a Cocktail: One of the greatest things about Covid is the new rules applying to getting liquor to go from bars. To my 80 year old Mom’s delight, I have been bringing her a Manhatton from Japps on Main for months. Japps is a bar I very much enjoy. Sitting at the bar on Saturday afternoons, or mid-week after dinner, the place has a low key neighborhood feel, and the bartenders are true mixologists who can ask questions about the type of cocktails you like, and make one that is perfect.

But here I am waxxing nostalgic, because, since Covid, the bar stools have not been in place. This week though, when I went to pick up my Mom’s Manhattan, the bar stools were back. So, sure, I’ll have a cocktail. I sat down and my heart skipped a beat. Molly came over and suggested I try a Remember the Maine, a rye whiskey drink with a hint of absinthe. I did. It was perfect. And I had a great conversation with the woman drinking wine at the next (covid spaced) stool. Man, was that great!