Sunday, March 31, 2013

This Easter Bunny Was Almost Naughty

Dear Allie,

Happy Easter!

Late to bed, early to rise on Easter makes a vamp extra effervescent!

I was up early after a wild night (more on that later) and I headed over to my brother’s house to help hide Easter eggs before my niece and nephew woke up. We even got their dog Bailey all dressed up for Easter. Cute, huh?

My brother's dog Bailey got into the Easter spirit!
But oh, let me tell you about last night! I was feeling a little blue because even with all the world-traveling I’ve been doing, I still missed going to Jamaica where my lifeguard buddy Jamal has been begging me to come visit. I just couldn’t squeeze in a visit to Jamaica between my trip to the Maldives and of course seeing you in NYC!

Rough and ready Viktor is becoming the expert at what he calls “fantasy-reality” where you take a fantasy and make it as real as possible. After first telling me to turn up the heat in my half of the duplex, he came over for dinner last night -- wearing his bathing suit! He then told me to “suit up" for an evening in Jamaica!

So there we were, cooking dinner in our bathing suits, dancing to Bob Marley:

"I wanna love you and treat you right;
I wanna love you every day and every night:
We'll be together with a roof right over our heads;
We'll share the shelter of my single bed;
We'll share the same room, yeah! - for Jah provide the bread."

And the meal he made – my Jah! Jamaican curry garlic crab legs with toasted, spiced basmati rice and beans and frosted cardamom cookies for dessert. As reggae music thumped in the background and I savored the special blend of spices, I found myself thinking, “I’m willing and able… so I throw my cards on your table!”

Fortunately, I knew I had to get up early the next morning to play the Easter bunny. . .

Happy Easter to my bestest friend ever!

Luv and hugs,


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Bridal dress shopping, vaping and vamping

Dear Allie,

I had a wonderful weekend with you, Adam and Patrick. I can’t believe how lucky we were to score tickets to “Lucky Guy!” How exciting was it to sit within spitting distance of Tom Hanks and then to go backstage to meet Maura Tierney, thanks to Patrick’s Hollywood connections!

Wow, Patrick did bring some pretty good perk’s to the party, didn’t he? Can you see why I’m having such a hard time deciding whom to invite to be my guest at your wedding? You met Perrin, my Parisian playboy and you know all about Viktor, my rough and ruddy Russian. And someday soon, you will have to meet Tobias, my debonair diplomat…

But meanwhile, it was so much fun being back in NYC again, people-watching in Times Square, slurping those strong raspberry snow cones at Dave & Busters, dining on Peruvian Ceviche and roasted scallops and sipping cherry manhattans at Marseille. Thank goodness you knew that it just took a wink and a nod to the doorman Simonez to get inside to play and vape with NYC’s beautiful crowd at the Electric Room.

Vintage wedding dresses ARE beautiful!
I am thrilled I got to pick out your wedding dress and of course I LOVE the vintage theme! The “Glamour Vérité” exhibit at MOMA was quite the inspiration. Those cover photographs from the vintage (1928-40) French cinema tabloid Pour Vous were fascinating! I love seeing vintage vamps, and how their style of glamour has evolved through the years.

I think it’s funny how some fashion trends from eras such as the 1920’s come back into style – I still love plunging V necklines and long strings of pearls – while others take on a whole new twist.

For example, those long cigarette holders may look elegant, but they must’ve been a little unwieldy. And now even cigarettes are going out of style, because we finally have a much better, more glamorous alternative.

Now that vaping is coming into vogue, I would imagine that someday we’ll look back at photos of women smoking and think they’re about as glamorous as guys in Minnesota wearing their baseball caps backwards!

Luv and hugs,


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Tender Meat for St. Paddy's Day

Dear Zuri,

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! It’s still freezing cold here in Minneapolis unlike last year, when I was enjoying green martinis outside on the patio. This year, I am wrapping my friends around me and we stay warm with drinking, partying -- and eating.

Green cocktails for St. Patrick's Day. Tia Berry vape afterwards.
And oh, how I love to eat!

Some people consider food to be simply fuel, which I will never understand. I believe that Virginia Woolf was absolutely right when she said, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”

This week, I invited my reliable, ruddy Russian redhead Viktor to join me and friends from work for what ended up to be one of the best meals of my entire life. We dined at a charming neighborhood restaurant called Victory 44, where one must leave all calorie-counting at the door.

After appetizers of squash croquettes and bacon-wrapped dates, I then dined on scallops with a blood orange reduction sauce. They were smooth as silk and went down like butter.

The most decadent dessert I have ever eaten.
But there are just a few calories in chocolate covered bacon. . . 
But by far the most delectable treat was dessert – and you know how much I love dessert! This was probably the most decadent dessert I’ve ever eaten: chocolate buttermilk cake with salted caramel ice cream, topped with caramel sauce, chocolate covered bacon, bacon toffee and brown butter crumble. Wow!

I am sitting here vaping caramel right now, salivating as I reminisce about that evening. When a Vaping Vamp treats herself, she goes whole hog! At other times, a tasty vape can often satisfy.

There must be a wee bit of the Irish in my blood, because now I am now craving a traditional Irish dinner of corned beef and cabbage. I have sent Viktor off to buy some kobe corned beef, the tenderest meat of them all.

Yes, tender meat is a must on this St. Patrick’s Day!


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Lavender is for bridesmaids, violet is for vamps

Dear Allie,

I am so happy for you, I can barely contain myself. I think you and Adam are a wonderful fit and it doesn’t surprise me in the least that he finally got down on one knee and proposed to you. August 31 can’t come soon enough!

So how are the wedding plans going? Is there anything I can help you with? I think a trip to NYC to pick out our bridesmaid dresses sounds like a fabulous idea. Your lavender sash sets the tone and I’m certain all of your bridesmaids will look lovely in lavender.

The sash on Allie's wedding dress will be a lovely shade of lavender.
But my maid of honor dress must be a deeper shade of violet.

Of course, as your maid of honor and true to my vaping vampiness, I agree that the color of my dress must be a deeper shade of violet!

I just got home from the Maldives where I had a very romantic time with Perrin. But Mon Dieu! My narrow escape from that bad-ass barracuda was so frightening. Even a Vaping Vamp needs a hero now and then!

Viktor picked me up at the airport (I lent him my 1968 Volvo while I was gone), and he prepared a fabulous meal for me, just as he had promised to do for Valentine’s Day. We started out with steamed artichokes with lemon-tarragon sauce, then herb-rubbed beef tenderloin and finally, dark chocolate fondue for two.

I have a feeling that he is hoping there's a path to my heart through my palate, and he may be right! Next week, he is planning to take me out to his favorite Twin Cities Russian restaurant, Moscow on the Hill.

Oh Allie, I’m already in a quandary about whom to invite as my guest to your wedding!

Luv & Hugs,


Sunday, March 3, 2013

A terrifying dive in the Maldives

Dear Allie,

I’m writing you from Paradise!

Perrin continues to amaze me. After all our hard work last weekend setting up the new anti-smoking campaign, he decided we deserved a vacation in Maldives!

You know I adore diving, and the crystal clear water here is teaming with tropical fish. It’s been beautiful, but I must tell you about a terrifying moment yesterday...

With Perrin in paradise (the Maldives to be exact)
But first let me say the Naladhu Resort is romantic and exotic. We are in one of only 19 villas, which makes it very intimate. We have a private infinity edge pool, goose down pillows and a garden rain shower. The food is spectacular! Fragrant Thai dishes, fresh fruits and the breadfruit chips are seriously addicting. The white sand beaches are secluded and seem to beckon to us.

Perrin sings to me softly in French during our romantic walks, hand in hand, bare feet traipsing in the surf. It is a seductive and magical place…and sharing it with this deliciously debonair man has been magnificent.

Okay, enough about romance! Back to terrifying...

During our dive yesterday at Victory Wreck, a sunken ship covered in coral and alive with parrotfish, I was nearly attacked! The shipwreck is covered in jagged seashells and I was carefully maneuvering around the bow when I saw a flash of silver at lightning speed coming at me. I just caught a glimpse of needle sharp teeth when a long sleek barracuda went flying back away from me.

Perrin saved me from becoming a meal for this giant barracuda!
Perrin had pounded it away with his fist seconds before I was to become a nice mid-morning snack! He moved so fast to protect me! Even if I had seen the big barracuda early I may not have moved, I’ve seen them before and they attack swimmers infrequently.

We swam to the surface where we discovered Perrin had sustained a wound on his hand from the fish. Luckily it wasn’t serious. It did give me an excuse to baby him the rest of the evening. As you can imagine, a vaping vamp can nurse any man back to health!

I'll see you in a few days, dear friend! Now I'd better get back to Perrin and paradise!