In the Mix

Just like the next person, I’m creeped out by the targeted pop-up ads that appear on my e-mail accounts: the wannabe profiteers who try to tap into my proclivities, who gauge me by age, gender, work life, householder status, motherhood, etc.

Though I’ll admit, despite the fact that I never click on any internet ads, I’m still somewhat relieved to see the Hollywood Square –style array of photos of available “hot” single men who supposedly live in my neighborhood.

NOT because I’m in the market—my husband is a catch and a half, and then some—but because I assume that I’m still categorized by the internet gods as a hip socialista— an in-the-mix urban chic girl who would have the time and money and weekends for Federal Hill pub crawling, high-end wine tastings, and extreme mountain climbing.

Not old yet!

Lately, however, I’m not sure what to make of the latest batch of flirtatious ‘singles in Towson’ photos: Thalia, director, Jessica, builder, and Asti, explorer.

I’m not that much in-the-mix . . .

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Who Let the Dogs Out?

Recently—in the rich-yet-raggedy neighborhood of Ruxton, north of Baltimore—there has risen an outcry over a mansion being bought by Sheppard Pratt Health System, a psychiatric in-patient hospital in Towson. The purpose: to create a sort of toney halfway house in an erstwhile residential neighborhood, a house where patients recovering from ailments such as anxiety, eating disorders, or drug addiction (pharmaceutical and otherwise) can purportedly ease back into post-rehab life.

Irony is: The relatively new mega-home replaced a somewhat quaint bungalow where various local luminaries once gathered for cocktails and such, including (apparently) F. Scott Fitzgerald and even his wife, Zelda, who was treated at Sheppard Pratt after suffering from alcoholism and schizophrenia, according to various reports.

Ruxton neighbors from the 1920s would likely have been more welcoming to such celebrity re-habbers. Then again, perhaps not.  F.Scott and Zelda were infamous for their antics, once crashing a Hollywood producer’s home—on all fours and barking like dogs.

Upon getting inside, Zelda went upstairs and took a bath.

Half Veggie

I finally found cage-free pork at Whole Foods the other day. If chickens can now pursue a free-range lifestyle, why not their more intelligent farmyard friend, the pig?

Then, my daughter said: “Mom, I don’t eat pork. I’m half-vegetarian.”

What is half vegetarian? “I eat chicken,” she said.

Trouble is, at age 8, she is actually averse to eating most veggies, including peas, asparagus, lettuce, artichokes, chickpeas, etc.

So I gently told her, “You have to actually eat vegetables, honey, to be a vegetarian.”

If she had her preference, she would eat mostly burnt toast (albeit with olive oil). And so far, I don’t think there is a foodie category known as bread-etarian.

Farm Fresh

I was at a farmer’s market the other day–picking out juicy strawberries, eggs from free-meadow chickens, a wedge of sharp & fragrant aged cheddar cheese, and yellow apples that were crisp and sweet and, well, delicious.

And I was reminded of a month we spent in Paris, where I realized: What we in America call gourmet, the French simply call food.