The Pink Ticket

A playground of many muses.

The Pink Ticket - A playground of many muses.

New Poetry: Broken

There’s thunder in the sky
A distant rain
Coming for what’s left
It’s times like these
I wish I’d learned to cry
Mornings roll around
As they usually do
A discounted valentine
Doughnut and day after
Petals falling from flowers
Fading into spring
I dreamed of dead
And distant friends
Arriving to a backyard party
Someone elses dream
Laid out along green grass
And I stand lost
Unable to look for you
There won’t be enough
Pink lipstick
To make it right
There won’t be enough
Rain to quench
The drought
But there is always
Too much me
Running through my mind
And I don’t want to be
Brokenhearted tonight

All the things that happen after the Resolutions


It’s been a month since the infamous Valentine resolutions.  Seems like time moves in leap warps. I keep playing guitar–I’m not really getting better, but I’m trying.  I started voice lessons–and lost my voice. Maybe the universe is sending a message?

Maybe, but shortly after Valentine’s Day, I made a rather quick decision to apply to the summer Yale Writers Conference… and was accepted. I’ve been steadily working on my manuscript for the conference and am very happy with the progress I’ve made.  Suffice to say that writing my own personal story is the most difficult thing I’ve done.

And somewhere in there lines of something else are coming to me. Randomly. One at a painstaking time. I don’t know yet what it will be, but they’re out there.

I’m going to try to post here a little more often. I may move the blog to another one of my URLs, or just change my provider, but it will still be here.

In the meantime… mahalo.

Resolutions for Fiscal Love Year 2016

Last year I declared 2015 the year of the pull up. Well, fuck. Didn’t that go somewhat astray? I don’t know if I can do a pull up without assistance–probably not but certainly close. Long story short, the year of the pull up declaration turned into something bigger than I had imagined it would. I know I can pull up more than my own body weight off the ground… I can almost squat my own body weight. I can bench over half my own body weight. I’m pleased with those numbers. Pull ups turned into powerlifting — and I’m really cool with that. Resolutions are about finding ourselves–improving on what’s already pretty damned good.

But first, the retelling of the story–for the 17th year now.  Why Valentine resolutions?

Because, my lovelies… I hope to someday find someone else to make them, too.

Cue Scenes from an Italian Restaurant… that’s where is started. A beautifully lit Italian restaurant on Manhattan’s lower East Side on a slightly snowy December evening–probably a Thursday because Rich flew on Friday.  It was our Christmas dinner–and Rich loved the place because of the wine. We went to the places Rich liked–he paid. He handed me two tomes. I knew he had spent a lot of time considering which books he’d gift me; if it was possible, he was more particular about words than wine.  It was that our relationship was founded on months earlier.

I’ve told variations of this story every year, and each year I probably share a little more. Some days I think about the brevity of his life in mine and how powerful it was–and the numerous ways in which it changed me. He told me once, perhaps at that dinner (wine does fade some details), that I was good for him but I often think I’m the one indebted to him. He’s been gone 16 years now and the emptiness that left still hurts.

The first person I called when I learned Rich had died was the other love of my life… and the only other person who would indulge an occasional participation in my Valentine ritual.  He left us a few years ago now, too.  I continue to carry on the tradition, first awakened in one of those books that snowy eve.  Not what one would call a masterpiece of literature (that was the second book), but because I reminded Rich of the main character. It would be years later that I would realize how much and how hard that must have been for him.

But the passage I read in flight that propelled this years long quest, I share again as I do each year:

“Aren’t you mixing this up with New Year’s?”
“Nah. That’s nickel-dime stuff. Smoking-eating-drinking resolutions. These are the — you know — the hardcore, maybe-this-time, kiss-today-goodbye, some-enchanted-evening resolutions.” – Armistead Maupin, More Tales From The City

And now, my resolutions.

Back in November I mentioned a lifelong desire to write a song, and that I felt I needed to learn to play an instrument… or at least learn something more about just the process of words. Net: I wanted to learn guitar. I planned to begin in February. She said no, and lent me her old guitar to start now. And so I did. My grandfather wrote songs on the guitar; I want to connect with that legacy in my own way.

Stemming from that, and in honor of the friend who once got several members of the gay men’s chorus to attempt to teach me to sing around a piano in a bar, I will face one of my biggest fears and take voice lessons.  I am fairly certain I won’t ever be a great vocalist, but I want to learn.

Montana. I’ve been saying for the last eight years I would visit. I’ll actually work on plans to really do that in the next year. I have my reasons.

Since this is my first blog post in months; I will plan out a new writing plan. My last one failed in 2015. I was ok with that. It was a hard decision but I am ready to write again.

Oh, and yeah, I will write a song this year.  It probably won’t be great, or even very good. But it will be real.

This years resolutions are a bit heavy–so let’s also say I vow to try blue hair at some point in the year.

Until next year…be the change.

Project 52: The Recipes Week 39: Tempeh Marinara

Tempeh Marinara

Tempeh Marinara

This week’s recipe builds on some of the earlier recipes, namely the Lentil Tomato Sauce and Walnut Parmesan. This one can take some time but it is worth the effort.  It’s especially good if you have some leftovers for the Lentil Tomato sauce.  Cook up some of your favorite pasta, or rice… roast some tomatoes and prep this tempeh…



Tempeh Marinara
1 package tempeh
1 cup non dairy milk
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 slices Field Roast Chao
1 recipe Lentil Tomato Sauce
4 servings favorite pasta
4 cups roasted grape tomatoes
Walnut Parmesan to garnish

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Prep a baking sheet with non stick spray.
  • Whisk together the nondairy milk and cornstarch. Let sit for 3-4 minutes.
  • Cut the tempeh brick in half and then slice each half lengthwise.
  • In a shallow bowl, mix together the bread crumbs and spices.
  • Dip the tempeh into the milk mixture and then into the breadcrumbs to coat.  Press the tempeh into the crumbs to facilitate good bond.
  • Add the tempeh to the baking sheet. and repeat with all four pieces.
  • Bake 15 minutes and then flip. Cook another 5 minutes.
  • Top each piece of tempeh with a slice of Chao and return to oven. Cook another 4-5 minutes until Chao is melted.
  • Serve atop pasta with lentil tomato sauce.  Garnish with roasted tomatoes and sprinkle generously with walnut parm.

Store any leftover tempeh in the fridge. Leftovers make excellent sandwiches!

Project 52: The Recipes Week 38: Lentil Tomato Sauce

Continuing on my lentil themed recipes… This is combines all the freshness of the season.  In fact, all fresh produce were locally sourced and grown within 5 feet but no more than 5 miles from my home.  even my tomato paste was made locally.  But I digress.  There is nothing better than eating foods in season.  This also freezes nicely for that fresh pre-autumn sunshine taste when winter sucks the most.  The lentils add some bulk and chewiness to the sauce.

Sorry for the lack of photos from the final sauce (check next week’s post) but in the meantime, here are my onions cooking up deliciously. No oil for the sauteing, but they do get a nice caramelization on them anyway from the sugars.


Lentil Tomato Sauce
8-10 large ripe tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 cups lentils

  • Coarsely chop tomatoes and puree in blender.
  • In a heavy bottom pan, saute the onions using a little water or broth to prevent sticking.
  • Cook onions 4-5 minutes until starting to brown slightly.  Add garlic and continue to sauce another 1-2 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes and bring to a high simmer.  Add all the remaining ingredients and continue cooking until lentils are soft.


Project 52: The Recipes Week 37: Lentil Brownies

Lentil Brownies

Lentil Brownies

Every so often you need something so chocolately fudgey goodness… and why not get a nice dose of iron and fiber in the process?

These brownies stay pretty soft in the middle, and leftovers should be refrigerated.



Lentil Brownies

1 1/2 cups cooked lentils
1 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons Flax seed meal + 5 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup agave (or other liquid sweetner)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Prepare a 9 inch square baking pan with nonstick spray, or use muffin tin for individual sized brownies!
  • Mix flax seed and water and allow to sit for 5 minutes until gelatinous.
  • Combine everything but walnuts and chocolate ships in a food processor and puree until smooth.
  • Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
  • Spoon into prepared baking pan.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes, until firm to touch and sides start to pull away.  If using muffin tins, reduce baking time to about 30 minutes.

Project 52: The Creatives Week 37: The problem with clouds

He overheard the mother tell her child that the clouds were soft, like pillows, floating in the sky… a place for angels to stretch their wings and take naps; a place for them to sit, their angel feet dangling off the edges while they looked after us. The child watched out the window of the plane, concerns not quite abated about the risk that clouds wouldn’t damage the plane.

Smart kid, he thought and turned to his own window. He knew the edges of clouds to be razor sharp. They were deceptive with a soft appearance until you touched one. Few actually do. He wondered if the angels wings were bloodied with their naps and stalking small, unsuspecting children. He imagined dangling legs falling zealously to earth, burning up as they did.

He opened his laptop. Amazon best sellers sometimes wrote themselves.

Project 52: The Recipes Week 36; Overnight Steel Oats

Overnight Steel Oats

Overnight Steel Oats

It isn’t something I’d really call a recipe–it seems too, well… my normal.  I’m a huge fan of overnight oats during the summer.  Basically, just oats and fruit tossed in the fridge with some non dairy milk.  Not too long ago, I decided to up the game and use steel cut oats. They are much chewier than their old fashioned counterparts… and I love it.

I seriously don’t think of making this as a “recipe” but I’ve been asked several times “how to” and so this is my version.  Change it up, mix and match, add some seeds, try different fruits… by winter I’ll be cooking my oats again (maybe) but for now, soaked is king.  I prep these while I’m making dinner next morning.  It’s the perfect way for me to get my fruit in (other than a smoothie); the hemp and molasses give it a nice iron kick–which is perfect for anemic me.

Overnight Steel Oats
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon hemp seeds
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 date
1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
1/2 cup steel oats
2 Tablespoons chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped fruit

  • In a Vitamix add water, cinnamon, hemp seed, date, and molasses and blend until smooth and creamy.
  • In a plastic or glass container with a tight fitting lid, add oats, hemp “milk,” fruit, and nuts.
  • Place lid and leave overnight in the refrigerator

Stir well before enjoying.