Naked and Hopeful gets a Versatile Blogger Award

Thank you to Aussie man for giving us a Versatile Blogger Award. As I said to him, I’m usually associating the word versatile with outerwear and waterproof sneakers. I have no problems being related to these things.

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Valentine’s Day Etoufee

HOW IT BEGINS: A DREARY DAY POST MARDI GRAS…

A ROMANTIC CREOLE COTTAGE…

TWO PEOPLE ON A DATE WONDERING WHAT TO DO ON V DAY…

There is something I want to do tonight, Laszlo, my love. To celebrate Valentine’s Day… Hee, hee, stop that! That tickles!!!  It’s something I’ve wanted to do since we’ve been down here in New Orleans

Laszlo: (Nuzzling Lala) Don’t I know it, baby…

Lala: (Pushing Laszlo away to look at him.) How did you know? How did you know I wanted to make Crawfish Étouffée tonight? Wait! Where are you going? What did I do?

Laszlo: (indistinct grumbling as he stomps away.) I just had a hunch.

Crawfish Étouffée, a date in the Vieux Carre at Laszlo’s house.

Laszlo imbibes his Herb Saint...

Laszlo imbibes his Herb Saint… prior to the cooking festivities.

Crawfish Etouffee on Valentine's Day... it's not pretty but it sure beats going out...

Crawfish Etouffee on Valentine’s Day… it’s not pretty but it sure beats going out…

Cutting up the ingredients of the Louisiana "trinity"... or is it the Creole trinity?

Cutting up the ingredients of the Louisiana “trinity”… or is it the Creole trinity? Note the “King Cake” in the background–a Mardi Gras must, we are told by our native friends. There is an actual baby baked into it. This, while disturbing, does not slow us down in eating it.

The man cave prior to the romantic crawfish dinner. Wait...romantic crawfish dinner?

The man cave prior to the romantic crawfish dinner. Wait…romantic crawfish dinner? This is why we don’t live together.

Laszlo depoops the crawfish. Which is really just gross.

Laszlo depoops the crawfish. Which is really just gross.

When Lala saw the amount of butter she decided to start drinking. "At least I won't be aware of getting fatter," she reasoned.

When Lala saw the amount of butter she decided to start drinking. “At least I won’t be aware of getting fatter,” she reasoned to Laszlo, who kept refusing to refill her glass.

"I'll stay at my end of the counter and work. You stay at yours." "What? I can't hear you all the way over there!"

“I’ll stay at my end of the counter and work. You stay at yours,” said Lala, who has an aversion to small, insectile dead beings on his granite counter. “Just bring me more wine.”
“What? I can’t hear you all the way over there!” Laszlo said. But he totally could. “I’m a guest here!” I said. He ignored that too.

The trinity. Or a trinity. Red bell pepper, onion, celery, garlic. Even a vampire would like this.

The trinity. Or a trinity. Red bell pepper, onion, celery, garlic. Even a vampire would like this.

A Valentine's Rose would smell as sweet even next to your crawfish depooping operation, Laszlo.

A Valentine’s Rose would smell as sweet even next to your crawfish depooping operation, Laszlo. Note the lack of wine in the background. Sigh.

The problem with crawfish is that they look disgusting, taste like heaven, and must be depooped. Like all cooking one must employ the right tools for efficiency and good results: here is pictured my crawfish-depooping tool, Laszlo.

The problem with crawfish is that they look disgusting, taste like heaven, and must be depooped. Like all cooking one must employ the right tools for efficiency and good results: here is pictured my crawfish-depooping tool, Laszlo. Boy is that nasty. It’s times like this when I realize that HR Giger’s Aliens might not have been all that original.

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate the deaths of these small critters and the deliciousness of their hinies when boiled.

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate the deaths of these small critters and the deliciousness of their hinies when boiled.

For those so inclined, here is the recipe:

Taken from Louisiana Hometown Cookbook

“Easy Crawfish Étouffée”

1 1/2 cups chopped onions (drinking enough wine prevents your eyes from watering)

1 cup chopped bell pepper (we used red)

1 cup chopped celery (ours was kind of aged looking but organic so maybe that evens the playing field?)

2 cloves garlic (big, fat garlics. Not those mini-me versions you get up north)

1 1/2 STICKS BUTTER (that’s right, folks. One and one-half sticks. What? What.)

1 can cream of celery soup (I know, I know, it’s a shortcut…but I’m just starting out on the whole cooking thing… I’m barely housebroken as it is… so give me a break on this part, okay?)

1 can Rotel tomatoes (with chilies, obtained at Rouse’s by evading a 6’4″ transvestite in pink tutu)

2 pounds crawfish tails (and a Laszlo for depooping)

Salt and peppa’ (Not the music. We used Gershwin and the Pina film soundtrack)

Saute onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic in butter. Add soup, tomatoes and crawfish. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes. Season with salt n’ peppa’ to taste. Add water as needed if sauce is too thick. Serve over cooked rice.

If you do it all right you should look like this after eating it:

This was the level of romance in the room after we ate, however.

Alas, this is representative of the level of romance in the lovely little cottage after we ate. That’s me at far left. Laszlo is front, drool stains and all.

Doe a Deer: The McKittrick Hotel’s Huntsman’s Ball on New Year’s Eve. Part Two.

So as we left it the little deer had just met one Laszlo Von Glitz, who was out hunting that night at the Sleep No More New Years Eve Huntsman’s Ball at The McKittrick Hotel. The night was cold. The alcohol, which the deer had never had before, was flowing freely…

Laszlo was enjoying himself.

I say, this is good sport, ho ho.

I say, this is good sport, ho ho.

To think, thought Laszlo, thoughtfully, thousands of these meek creatures are killed by motorists every year.

To think, thought Laszlo, thoughtfully, thousands of these meek creatures are killed by motorists every year.

He was starting to feel some sympathy for his new doe friend. (She was funny.)

"Pull my finger! Okay, I'll pull my OWN finger," said the doe. It was forest humor, and for once, everyone laughed.

“Pull my finger! Okay, I’ll pull my OWN finger,” said the doe. It was forest humor, and for once, everyone laughed.

Laszlo watched the actors and actresses sway by in the midst of the bachanallia. One had kissed his doe's neck during the show.The doe thought It was like being back in the forest during muskrat mating season,  so pungent were their scents.

Laszlo watched the actors and actresses sway by in the midst of the bachanallia. One had kissed his doe’s neck during the show.The doe thought It was like being back in the forest during muskrat mating season, so pungent were their scents.

There was much celebration.

IMG_3908

They even met new “friends” together, although the Doe still didn’t quite “get” humans.

Lazlo and the doe met an OBGYN: "I don't believe in doctors," the Doe told Laszlo, not quite soberly. "I'm having my fawns naturally... in the forest."

Lazlo and the doe met an OBGYN: “I don’t believe in doctors,” the Doe told Laszlo, not quite soberly. “I’m having my fawns naturally… in the forest.”

Soon it would be time to go home– the deer perhaps to Central Park where she would snuggle into a shrub– the Huntsman Laszlo to his posh loft.

Laszlo, the hunter du soir, walked home with his catch on his back, just like in the olden days.Damn carriage broke down again!

Laszlo, the hunter du soir, walked home with his catch on his back, just like in the olden days.
Damn carriage broke down again!

The doe never suspected a thing was awry…

The long walk home at 3:30 a.m. All the while, the Huntsman visualized his prize hanging from a hook in his oubliet

The long walk home at 3:30 a.m.
All the while, the Huntsman visualized his prize hanging from a hook in his oubliette.

Yet as he thought of his oubliette, he realized that maybe the doe was a pretty nice friend to have around…

Image 3

He decided not to kill her and eat her. They lived happily ever after.

The End.

Doe a Deer: The McKittrick Hotel’s Huntsman’s Ball on New Year’s Eve. Part One of Two.

This is the story of a deer who stumbles on the New Years Eve “Sleep No More” Huntsman’s Ball at The McKittrick Hotel.

It begins with a doe.

IMG_3900

One frigid New Years Eve a doe, or “doe-in-a-dress” to be accurate, came to the big city and made some friends at a party.

She tried to adjust to how things were here, but the natives didn’t understand her ways.

"They call it the Venison where you are from? We call it the Charleston."

“They call it the Venison where you are from? We call it the Charleston.”

The doe tried to explain how dating worked in the forest.

Doe: "This is the part when all the bucks appear and start fighting over us, sis! Any minute now..."

“This is the part when all the bucks appear and start fighting over us, sis! Any minute now…”

No, I do NOT have ticks. Thank you very much for asking.

The New Yorkers asked all sorts of awkward questions.  “No, I do NOT have ticks. Thank you very much for asking,” said the doe.

Then things got really weird as the locals displayed their mating practices…

The doe saw these two could occupy the very center of a slamming dance floor in the center of the "ballroom" and still be more interested in their social media. I bet the girl is typing, "Totally awesome party. I'm sooo dancing my ass off." The guy is looking up underwear sales at Bloomies. "Perhaps I shall move away from the boxer-brief?"

The doe saw a couple in the very center of the teeming dance floor endlessly using their cellphones and oblivious to all else. (Even the doe had a cellphone– it was the forest, not the Moon.) The doe guessed that the girl was typing, “Totally awesome party. I’m sooo dancing my ass off.” The guy was probably looking up underwear sales at Bloomies. “Perhaps I shall move away from the boxer-brief?”

Doe: Hey! That's not a fake tale, buster! (Tail. Doe's are poor at spelling, but good at finding sweet grass in shady fields...)

“Hey! That’s not a fake tale, buster!”                                                                 (Tail. Doe’s are poor at spelling, but good at finding sweet grass in shady fields…)

The doe was not having fun. She was about to turn tail and bound her way back to the shady groves and streams of her beloved home forest.

But then …

Then she met Laszlo, who was a huntsman or something...(in the speakeasy part of the McKittrick)... "Stone Cold Fox" was the band.

Then she met Laszlo, who was dressed as a huntsman-slash-“cool mask, dude”-guy…  (This was taken in the speakeasy part of the McKittrick. “Stone Cold Fox” was the band, just in case anyone is interested. The doe was not.)

He was adventurous…

"I am invisible," Laszlo thought, creeping across the wall of the castle. Just then, the lights went on to reveal he was not, in fact, anything of the sort. (In the Blue Room after much wine.)

“I am invisible,” Laszlo thought, creeping across the wall of the castle.
Just then, the lights went on to reveal he was not, in fact, anything of the sort.

Laszlo Von Glitz thrusts! He parries! He wonders where everyone went! (in the Blue Room)

Laszlo Von Glitz thrust! He parried! He wondered where everyone went!

He took her into a secret Blue Room and gave her spiced wine that tasted terrible. He introduced her to other new and exciting things…

The doe loved New York City. There were as many fresh water pools of scented spring water as she could put her hooves on. And the best part? They imparted a pleasant dizziness to the evening that made her ears positively twitch.

The doe loved New York City. There were as many fresh water pools of scented spring water as she could put her hooves on. And the best part? They imparted a pleasant dizziness to the evening that made her ears positively twitch.

Now, what the little Doe-in-a-dress did not know was that often huntsmen aren’t particularly good beaus for yearlings fresh out of the woods to hang out with… she also had never rhymed before.

The Doe in a Dress (for so she was) wondered vaguely whether there was any functionality to the concept of human clothing. She sure felt a breeze...

The Doe wondered vaguely whether there was any functionality to the concept of human clothing. She sure felt a breeze…

All of a sudden it was all so very fun, despite the overcrowding and the lack of a nice plot of grass to use as a bathroom.

End of Part 1.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Laszlo! LAAAAsssszlo! We got a Liebster Blog Award!!!! Holy $%&*#!*!

A couple mornings ago, after crying herself to sleep because she couldn’t write a novel in three months and also because she felt fat and it was all Laszlo’s fault because he kept chocolate in his house and also ordered dessert a lot, Lala awoke to discover her micro co-blog with Laszlo had been given a Liebster Blog Award by her total future soulmate over at Softer City — an awesome blog that continuously helps Lala feel like she can someday fit in in the big Apple. Through her gummy eyes she read the kind words of its author, girlnextfloor.  And then she rejoiced. She woke Laszlo by going to his house and ringing his doorbell sixty times. He rejoiced but seemed tired.

Happiness is realizing that you are noticed, then humiliating yourself until everyone starts to look away again.

Then she had to go to her new dentist who was awesome and who told her she was flossing okay but might she floss some more in the future? Please? Also, less chocolate might help.

The whole time she was happy. Imagine, she thought, Someone is reading! Or skimming! Or something!

When she got home Laszlo gave her chocolate. This was a bump in the road.

Even this bunny, who died in the name of chocolate cravings everywhere, could not put off our happiness.

Still, she was happy. So, kind readers, skimmers or simply drive-byers of Naked And Hopeful, please hustle and bustle on over to check out girlnextfloor’s great stuff, because she stopped Lala from crying even more over her failure as a human, a woman, and a writer.

Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you, Softer City!!!

Our award-age situation is as follows:

1. Hamptons Art Hub – great source for art news and insight
2. Other Things – the blog of Alison Espach, a most amazing novelist (The Adults) and my mentorThe Adults
3. Toulouse in a Pickle – just a great narrative blog with a really cool voice. Very atmospheric.
4. The Ralphie Chronicles – because a dog has never been so charming, or so delicious looking…
5. Softer City – because I was a fan of this awesome blogger before she was a fan of us… Her New York-centric blog rocks.

The Liebster Rules

  1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
  2. Link back to the blogger who presented the award to you.
  3. Copy and paste the blog award on your blog.
  4. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 5 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed.
  5. Let them know they have been chosen by leaving a comment at their blog.

How to survive your boy/girl friend writing a novel…

— a guide by Laszlo Von Glitz, with added nagging from Lala… (but actually written by Lala…)

The process of writing a novel is an agonizing descent into hell for some writers. Self-doubt, rejection, and hours of solitary focus can make your beloved mate nigh-on unrecognizable. How can you save your relationship and your health during these trying times? The answers might surprise you. So, kind readers, buckle up and start taking notes… 

1. Avoid sudden movements. Such as sneezing. Even if holding it in shatters your brain and puts your back out.

Losing braincells to sneezing could be worse, he thought. At this rate he’d have at least 5 more years of life.

2. Avoid interrupting the writer‘s thought process by showing her how you just framed a pretty picture of her, by offering her coffee, or by stealing a snuggle. These are all capital offenses and will be rewarded with withering glances. Or screaming.

The creative process can be wonderfully rewarding for a new couple. Please note the use of the word “can”. It’s also a good idea to do like we do and not live together during these trying times.

3. Talk in a low voice at all times. The novelist is skittish and prone to bolt.

4. Do not try to fix how the garbage bag has been placed in the garbage bin, even though pineapple juice is all over your hands as you go to remove it.

Lala: I did not throw those in there. You must have.

Laszlo. I just got here. You did. I’m holding them. They were in here.

Lala: Don’t criticize me! How am I supposed to have any confidence in my novel if you’re always criticizing me?

Lazlo sighs and goes to rinse out the bin, which also has some aged tuna at the bottom of it.

Listen, buster. I don’t wanna hear none of your lip: I mess up garbage cans by nature. Got it? And why are you so skinny? It pisses me off. We eat the same things and I’ve got this fat booty, and you have a flat stomach. Grrrrrrrr

5. Do not take her out to a new restaurant… particularly a vegetarian restaurant (such as Candle at Broadway and 89th near her apartment). You will discover later in your intended-romantic evening that there are consequences to healthy eating. You will not see your novelist (you may hear her) for several hours due to these consequences.

Side note: By all means, do not attempt to get amorous. This could be fatal for you. Instead resign yourself to seeing this all night:

After eating a full on vegetarian meal, the novelist-in-training retired to the loo in order to “take notes for the novel.” Right.

6. Do not attempt to hide.This can be construed as shirking, and may prompt extreme hostility from your novelist. You could lose an ear.

7. For god’s sake, act normal, and do not show your nervousness. Novelists can sense fear.

The novelist surprised in its natural habitat is actually more afraid of you than you are of it. Proceed with caution, and never show your fear. Avoid telling it that it’s pretty.
But by all means continue to buy your novelist things. Like this shirt.

So there you have it, beloved readers and writers and still-living mates of writers: the way to handle a budding novelist as she crashes and burns against her own psyche. I don’t mean to suggest that being the mate of a writer is all skulking about. Sometimes it can be quite rewarding for you as well. Simply delete her manuscript one afternoon, when she’s not looking … and sit back and watch the fun!  Sparks will really fly for you two.

That is all.

End transmission.

What are ya waiting for?

“Laszlo?”

“Yes, funny bunny?”

“Did you touch my computer?”

“Nope.”

.

.

Years after its conclusion, The Sopranos disrupts bliss…

Greetings, fans and phantoms, you meandering minstrels of word and lurk and thought and image… you sacred bloggers of the digital space-time continuum…

“Will ya shut up,” shouts Laz.

(“I did not shout ‘shut up,'” Laz says, looking wounded, from the other end of the couch. It’s March Madness. This means 1) couchal occupation of an extended nature, 2) spinach dip consumption in vast amounts, and 3) fresh bags of salt and pepper potato chips from Trader Joes brought to him on the hour. He also doesn’t want to be interrupted.)

“Okay, now I’m going to start shouting,” says Laszlo, reading this as it is written.

But he is telling the truth: There has (heretofore at least) been no shouting. The truth of the matter is that Lala has been watching The Sopranos at her apartment. Frequently. Her enthusiasm often leads her to act out what she’s watching when she visits with Laszlo.

“Does not,” says Lala.

“Do you remember the last time we watched Pulp Fiction? For weeks after you couldn’t stop whispering ‘Yay, though I walk through the shadow of the valley of death’ to your breakfast cereal.”

Lala: “Whatever. Will you let me work? I have a novel to write. A shitty novel.”

For a time the drone of basketball commentators and cheering fans is the only thing to be heard.

“Okay… maybe I do get a little excited,” she admits.

Say “carrot cake” again, motherfu**er. Say “carrot cake” one more goddamn time. — Little known original script for Pulp Fiction’s famous “Big Kahuna Burger” scene.

“A little? Just today you offered me gabagool,'” says Laszlo.

“So what?” says Lala.

“You were serving me carrot cake,” says Laszlo.

Not carrot cake.

“I got confused,’ says Lala.

Laszlo: “Also, I think you better stop introducing yourself as my Goomah.

Lala: “Really? Why? It means sweetie pie, right?”

NOT a goomah. Unless Laszlo needs to tell us something.

“Now THAT’s a goomah,” says Laszlo. “Give me my computer back,” says Lala. “This is why we don’t live together,” says Laszlo.

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