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Lobster Risotto
(for 2, with leftover risotto for risotto cakes)

INGREDIENTS:
2 Medium LIVE lobsters
1 pound of littleneck clams
4 cups arborio rice
1/4 cup fresh tarragon on stem, loosely packed.
chicken (3 cups) and lobster (3 cups) stock
1/4 cup marscapone cheese
1/2 cup sliced fresh leeks
1 head garlic
1 slice pancetta 1/4 inch thick
1 fresh lemon for zesting
sea salt (maldon is my favorite)
fresh pepper

1-2 Bottles of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, some for cooking, most for drinking. ūüôā

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Heat oven to 450 F. Slice top off of head of garlic to expose tips of all cloves. Place in center of square of aluminum foil. Drizzle olive oil, lightly salt and pepper. Fold up corners of foil and twist to seal in garlic. Place in lower rack and allow it to hang out there while you do everything else. The longer it roasts, the more caramelized it gets.

2. Place 2 medium-sized LIVE lobsters in large pot of cold water and bring to boil. Cook until shells turn bright red. remove lobsters from water and place in ice bath to stop cooking.

3. After lobsters are cooked, mix 3 cups Chicken broth with 3 cups reserved lobster water and half of the pancetta, chopped in large pieces, in large sauce pan. Bring to medium-low heat on back burner.

4. In a heavy bottom pan add leeks, a tbsp olive oil, a tbsp butter, salt and pepper to taste and allow to soften and lightly brown over medium low heat. Onions should become translucent. 8-10 minutes. Pull leaves off of tarragon, chop finely and put aside. With microplane or fine grater, remove the zest from one washed lemon and set aside.

5.  Add dry arborio rice to pan and stir with wooden spoon to coat with butter, oil and leeks. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly and then add 1 cup of wine. Bring heat to medium. Continue to stir and allow for the wine to be absorbed.

6. Add one cup of broth mixture at a time, allow rice to fully absorb liquid each time. Stir frequently with wooden spoon. Salt and pepper as you go. Taste occasionally. The rice should be al dente… or firm when bitten into, not crunchy… but NOT mushy! (10-15 minutes, give or take) When it seems close to being done, stir in tarragon. (Fresh herbs should always be added towards the end. Dried in the beginning. )

7. As Rice is cooking, shell lobster. Remove as much meat as possible. Chop coarsely and set aside.

8. Remove clams from fridge. In separate pan place the clams, a tbsp olive oil, remaining chopped pancetta, couple splashes of wine (this is soooo scientific), salt and pepper, cook over medium heat until the clams open. Keep over low heat to warm.

9. When rice is firm, but cooked, remove from heat and fold in lemon zest, lobster meat, and 1/4 cup marscapone.Voila… Lobster Risotto!!!

10. Plate the risotto in center of plate with clams surrounding. Squeeze lemon over clams and serve.

11. Remove garlic from oven and serve with butter and fresh bread like french or chiabata.

12. NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM

So, there you have it, the promised recipe for Lobster Risotto. I do everything according to my own intuition and taste, so please feel free to play around with the measurements and make this recipe your own.

I had also promised an update on the men who are interested in me and what has been going on besides Brooklyn. Well, I told the Doppelganger that I am seeing someone, which was easier than fessing up about how I made out with his brother, the Peruvian, in December. The tittie slapping Turk? I also told him I was seeing someone. Easier than admitting that his make out style leaves a lot to be desired. The 25-year-old? That just fizzled. He’s so sweet and nice and young and I am just NOT there. We are friends and I suspect that we will remain as such. The assoc. prod/writer/musician guy? Well, we have become super buddies and actually talk about our crushes/dates with each other. He likes younger hipster gals and I like guys my own age who are taller than me. Someone who isn’t shorter than me when I wear heels. So, those are the guys who were kinda hanging around for the last couple of months.

New guys who are meandering into the picture: A world traveling, extreme frisbee playing, half asian hipster. A multi-racial vegan chef of sorts. A 34-year-old adrenaline junkie with the career to afford his insane hobbies.

In order of interest is the Frisbee Hipster, the adrenaline Junkie and lastly the Vegan Chef. The Vegan Chef is nice, says sweet things, BUT is not physically my type at all. Should I feel badly about this? Maybe I will go out on a lunch or coffee only date with him.

Yes, I admit that there is a lack of interest in dating anyone other than Brooklyn. I think that this is for many reasons. Firstly, I burnt out on the 4-5 dates a week with different men. The getting stood up, or stuck with the tab. Yes, I often pay for coffee or tea with Brooklyn but that is because I want to and do so without his asking. I know that with his divorce, the kids, moving, etc… that every dollar helps. So, I can pick up a couple drinks or tea now and then or even make him dinner rather than us eating out. What I didn’t like is when I would go out with someone and even after they knew that my business was struggling, they would suggest we have sushi for dinner and somehow I would get stuck with the tab. $100 sushi dinner that I hadn’t budgeted for vs. a $22 cocktail tab that I opted to pay for are huge differences. The Second reason for my general disinterest is the level of comfort I feel when I am with Brooklyn. It’s calm. It doesn’t require work. It feels genuine. Sigh. What to do, what to do. Lastly, the third reason is this email I received tonight from one of the men on a dating site I subscribe to: “My job is to make you HAPPY babe all the time.. cuz If I had the letters “HRT”, I can add “EA” to get a “HEART” or a “U” and get “HURT”. But I’d rather choose “U” and get “HURT” than have a “HEART” without “U”.”

That email is enough of a reason, right? So, this is my update. Enjoy the risotto and stay tuned for tomorrow’s dual posting with our syndicater… TheNewGay.Net

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I know, I KNOW. WHY am I going out with the Doppelganger again and WHY haven’t I told him about my connection to his brother? Well, he still hasn’t said his last name. There still isn’t enough linking me to his brother AND I guess I assume this will fizzle out before it gets there and SO, there is no point in saying anything. He’s nice and interested, albeit his attention skills are lacking and he is awkward, at best. I almost feel sorry for him. Being the older brother of someone soooo smooth and easy and HOT.

We met up at a small bistro/caf√© and I had a (shocker) dark and stormy (As did he. The one thing he has on his brother…an expanded palate.) and grazed on the two appetizers he ordered. After numerous conversations, he still forgets about my food sensitivities and offers me things I cannot eat. Umm, remember, we have talked about this, several times. That is one of the attention issues I talk about. I seriously question whether he has ADHD. He’s easily distracted except when he kisses me. Seems like that is the only time he stops and focuses rather than looking around like a sugar binged toddler in a toy store.

Yes, that means I kissed him again. What am I thinking? I don’t KNOW. So we leave the bistro/cafe and it’s¬† semi early so we walk a bit to grab some hot beverages (cappuccino for him, chai for me) from the only coffee-shop I know to be open on a weeknight past 9 pm. I purchase the beverages while he is in the restroom. My way of being nice and thanking him for picking up the pricey part of our date.

We walked to the train, smacked in the face by the freezing February wind. I walked him to his station, mine was across the street. We said goodnight and as we were kissing outside the station, a turning car honked at us. It was a very funny moment actually. One he mentioned later in text, when letting me know he had arrived home safe and wanted to make sure I had as well. He’s nice. He’s blah but he’s nice. I KNOW. I KNOW.

So, I get home, and am dealing with the dog, making a snack, and checking my email when a drunken 25-year-old texts me that he’s missing our nightly banter. He’s flirty McFlirty and laying it on heavily. He wants to have an Anti-Valentines day date with me, mainly because I have plans Saturday night already. I told him, no romance. Action-Adventure film with violence and explosions, nachos/buffalo wings/or something equally unsexy, and Hard Cider or booze… no wine. Those were my rules. He then fell asleep while texting something about making out with me.¬†What is up with that? I will give him the benefit of the doubt for being a full-time law student with a full-time job and the want to maintain a social life, which explains the 1:30 a.m. drunken text flirts but geez, I thought that one of the benefits of younger men was their supposed stamina?!

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The weekend was productive. I had a non-romantic study(him)/work(me) “date” with my young Mr. Decade from last week. We met at a local coffee-house and spread out for some serious nose to the grindstone action. We did pretty well even. While I didn’t get all the changes made to my corporate home page, I did get a good start and built up some worthwhile momentum, which carried me through to the majority of the evening, long after I had gone home and would have normally given up to surf the Internet. Mr. Decade was good. Not a date, as I am trying to decide if I should give him a real chance or not. I’m not sure if the 10 years difference is an obstacle I can climb over. He’s sweet though.¬† He had gone out to a party after we separated Saturday afternoon and late that evening, whilst I was still in html coding hell, he IM’d me.¬† He tried subtle flirting. I dodged it. He tried not so subtle flirting, I was still able to navigate past that. Then he said, “All I am saying is, if you give me a chance, I just MIGHT curl those toes of yours.”¬† Umm, JESUS, young man! OY! Nervous laughter on my end as I asked why he is interested in me, 10 years his senior, to which his response was,”You are smart, witty, gorgeous AND sexy. Why wouldn’t I be interested in you?” Pretty good response, I must admit. We said our good-nights and I worked for a few more hours.

The time flew. 11 pm, 12:30, 2, and then 4 am. I had made plans earlier in the week to meet up for Sunday brunch with the Doppelganger, a.k.a. the Peruvian’s bigger brother (eek). I wasn’t feeling it Saturday night though. I really wanted a lazy Sunday with no commitments suddenly. I felt like an asshole but I had to feign illness. I wrote him at 4:15 am and complained of an overwhelming malaise that seemed to be worsening as the hours stretched. I felt it was a kinder excuse than the truth, which was that I wasn’t in the mood suddenly. This would have disappointed him and potentially hurt his feelings, neither of which were my intention or goal. Speaking of intentions, neither of the brothers know about me yet, but I promise, I will tell Doppelganger soon, UNLESS, after the next date, there is total clarity that we have zero chance for anything beyond friendship. I am trying to weigh him separately from his brother, and it is difficult to avoid the comparisons at every turn, but I am trying to do that. So, I sent the email and woke at 11 am to see that he had received and accepted my rain-check with a voice of concern and advice to load up on “c and Theraflu”. I didn’t do either BUT I did load up on coffee at Starbucks.

The dog and I were BORED come 2 pm. We decided a wander around the waterfront area was exactly what we needed. We took to the streets, both properly bundled in our jackets and boarded the train. At the waterfront we roamed around a little bit, ran into our Mr. Decade on the street near the cafe and stopped into his place for a bit to warm up. The pooch proceeded to show off and make out with him and his roommate while rolling on the carpeted floor in absolute glee. She is a funny dog. We stayed about 45 minutes before heading back home, past another Starbucks, on to the train and home for some amazing gourmet nachos made by… me.

I had a few more hours of work to do and I was exhausted. Even with the caffeine I was finding myself nodding off as I finished some work on the home page. I took a break to check my emails and deal with some of them and noticed that PayPal had sent me another note. They are the merchant services provider for my business and we’ve had some issues back and forth lately that we have been working through. These issues have required many updates, changes, blah blah blah. SO, I didn’t think anything of the email telling me that I needed to update my info. Of course I needed to update my account information. I just spoke with PayPal two days prior about that very issue.

I woke up Monday morning, wandered to Starbucks, and was informed that my card was declined. Hmm. Thousands in my account but a $3 espresso drink makes it come to a grinding halt? Just then it all made sense. I called my bank first to verify my theory. Then I called PayPal to let them know to warn their users. 20 minutes later I was in my banker’s office and he was cutting up my card and informing me that after the money is paid out, they will begin an affidavit to the fraud. After that point they launch an investigation and then he told me that it could take up to 60 days to get a full refund. 60 days and a bank account that was wiped clean. This will be an interesting week. I can’t believe that I fell for a phishing scam. I had plans to woo my Musician/Assoc Prod/Writer guy at a concert this week, to pick up some materials at Home Depot for a little cosmetic work I have to do on my condo and to buy dog food. I guess the universe had other plans. I may have to ramp up the dating over the next 60 days just to ensure I have dinner. I am not the type to date because I am poor and need to eat but hmmm, it is awfully tempting.

Our Tuesday post’s are now being web syndicated by The New Gay. For more intelligent queer coverage of culture, ideas and events, check out www.thenewgay.net

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I arrived first, on time even, which is a rarity for me. I sat by the fireplace¬†reading the NY Times Arts section as I waited. The bartender, a youngish musician type, made me a surprise rum cocktail because they were out of the usual cider I mixed it with.¬† I heard someone come in and ask where the bar was before he realized that it was right in front of him. I looked up and smiled, greeted him warmly and started to hear voices in my head. Hmmm. He grabbed himself a Hendrick’s and tonic to start and we sat at the bench by the fireplace finishing our first drinks while we waited for a spot at the bar.¬†

Usually when you meet someone online and they seem familiar, it’s in an abstract sense, not an real sense. I made the date with the Peruvian’s Doppelganger on Saturday night for the next evening. We agreed to meet at the bar of a small bistro in a quaint historic neighborhood halfway between our homes. Online, he is approachable. It’s easy to talk with him. In person he is a little awkward, a little stiff. The Peruvian was so smooth, warm, and attentive. Curious and interested. The Doppelganger seemed distracted and slightly disinterested. I soon learned though, as I watched him interact with his surroundings,¬†that it isn’t for lack of interest but general social anxiety. The Peruvian is so good with people because he has taken years of classes in public speaking and presentation. His presence is DYNAMIC. The room notices when he walks into it. The Doppelganger, not so much.

We finally get some seats at the bar when a nice Hungarian man and his companion get up to leave. I chat the older man up for a moment, because flirting with older foreign men is so fun at times, and we proceed¬†to sit down and drink some more. 4 drinks in, we are still chatting, chemistry is minimal. He is interested, he mentions wanting to go to other establishments with me in the future. He discusses future dates, yet he doesn’t rest a hand on my arm or knee once. Okay. Lukewarm reception. But he is at least¬†leaning towards interest in his comments. We chat up the bartender, the Hungarian man who has decided to sit on the other side of the bar, and¬†with¬†the couple he is speaking with, the woman looking similar¬†to Maggie Gyllenhall; a night of doppelgangers¬†everywhere. Even Facebook is rocking a doppelganger theme. In case you are now wondering, mine is Jeri Ryan.

We order more drinks and we chat and chat. He tells me about his business, he asks about my time in NYC and tells me about when he would visit his younger brother who used to live there. It seems he comes from a semi close family and everyone lives in the same town. Apparently, he and his younger brother also own competing businesses, yet are going into business with each other on inventions. Hmm, my brain is chattering about little keywords. Inventions. IT consulting. NYC. Weird.

I ask how Mr Doppelganger’s time with online dating has been thus far. He tells me that it’s been mostly uneventful, he was pushed¬†into it by a friend. He tells me that his brother had tried Match for a couple months but met someone through Volleyball in December that he has been dating. Hmm, Volleyball, Match. The fire alarms suddenly go off and we are ushered¬†out of the door rudely by some fireman who are yelling at the manager of the bistro and making her cry with they way they are treating her. Doppelganger and I walk into the market next door to pass a few minutes while the firemen double-check¬†the bistro and give everyone clearance¬†to enter the building. Walking through the aisles we point out bizarre foods and strong flavors we like and things we don’t and he mentions someone having issues with Indian food. A name he hadn’t used before. I asked who? On our way to the exit he then said,” oh, sorry, that’s my little brother”. Hmm.

Back outside we notice that the fireman are allowing entrance back into the building. Doppelganger has relaxed a bit more at this time and is friendlier, yet still not comfortable expressing it physically. Ok, socially awkward man. We order and finish our¬†4th and last cocktail and say goodnight to the manager and bartender on our way out. Amazing how 4 cocktails makes the night air in January feel so much warmer. ¬†I walk him to his car, which is¬†on the way to the train, and he thanks me for the fun time before asking for my number. He bends down and gives me a brief peck on the lips goodnight, but instead of pulling away from it when it was over, I leaned in. I hate pecks. Either commit to the kiss or don’t even go there. So, we kiss for¬†a few minutes. Nice, it didn’t send me running but it also didn’t curl my toes like the Peruvi… HOLY SHIT. We stop kissing and say goodnight and as I walk away, all the¬†earlier hmm’s and chatter form a complete story. The Doppelganger is NOT a doppelganger. He is the Peruvian’s older brother. Oh. shit. This is going to be an interesting one to explain.

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I have a semi last-minute cocktail date this evening. A handsome man creature hit me up on one of the dating sites and we started chatting, we both ranked each other highly, even though we are suppossed enemies. The funny thing is, he has a physical similarity to an earlier conquest. He has the smile and the eyes of the Peruvian but actually likes the dark and stormies and strong flavors I gravitate towards. Is this the best of both worlds? There must be a catch. Regardless, this will be an interesting night.

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Let’s wrap up and just cross off the list those that we are not carrying over into 2010:

Peruvian Hottie (collective BOOOOO), Jewish Dad with dogs (eh, his laugh ANNOYED me so I never even went out with him), the Luthier (just wasn’t feeling terribly attracted to him, seemed nice but eh), The Hickie Giving Musician (just can’t do it, not feeling it), Rosemary (we all know why), the Aussie (young), and the¬†Farmer (a girl can only be so patient).

Here is the new cluster of boys/men:

Academic (super cute and younger¬†and had some hmm, hot chat sex, ooops), Former Reporter (turns out we have some history in another life that overlaps), Tattooed¬†Rock Musician (seems nice, feeling eh¬†about it), Tattooed Insomniac Artist (makes cakes at 2:30 in the morning, cause he’s in the mood for cake and milk. It’s either cute or weird or maybe both),Art¬†Teacher (interesting, quirky),¬†Middle School Teacher (a little odd, not sure about him yet) and there is the Flannel Turkish guy from New Year’s Eve, which is a night I will explain in a moment.

There you have a list of the guys I am currently speaking with and trying to figure out what they are about. Follow along in the future.

Now, New Year’s Eve. I heard nothing back from Peruvian, a huge disappointment¬†but life must go on. I called the foreigner and we opted to go to this chill lounge on the other side of town. We met close by and drove over together. I worried that the night was going to be a bust when we walked in and there were only 15 people there! It was only 9:30, I remained hopeful. So, we sat, we drank, we covered ourselves from the cold blast of arctic air each time the door opened. Eventually people filtered in and a) blocked the cold air (yay!) and b) suddenly filled the joint! After¬†I picked up my 3rd drink, I was ready to move a bit. The DJ’s were doing an amazing job mixing up funk, disco, 80’s, and various electronic tracks and everyone had a groove working. I made notice of an attractive gentleman at one point, looked at him a few times and smiled once or twice. Young, but very cute and TALL.

So, I danced. I had begun work on another cocktail and midnight came around. The foreigner grabbed me and started making out with me (?!) and then I went back to dancing. After midnight the crowd loosened up as people had gotten their midnight kissage¬†out-of-the-way and were now just having fun. A turkish guy started dancing with me and eventually making out with me. It was fun but I was still thinking of the young cute Tall thing over in the corner from earlier. Eventually, I was able to make my way over there and at some point ended up kissing one of the DJ’s (really?! He was good, but that good?) and provided a charity kiss to an older woman who had never kissed a woman in her life, until at some point I got a hold of the Tall Cutie. Best lips of the night.

Eventually the bar closed and the foreigner and I left without my getting the young man’s name. His kiss is stuck on my lips though. I put out a Craigslist Missed Connection. What else do you do? How do you find someone after the fact? I’m not looking for love with him, but maybe a cocktail and some more kissage. Mmmm, kissage.

The night wrapped uneventfully and we now find ourselves in 2010. It feels odd. Surreal. 2009 was a bad year for me. It began with the death of an older friend and ended with perhaps a death to my former self. At least, a shedding of that former self. Let’s see what 2010 has to offer. A new decade, a new self, a whole new adventure.

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How did I NOT freeze my bits off? Was it¬†because they were numb from the pain of hot wax and the yanking of hair? Today was the coldest day of the winter thus far, not the type of day I like to be out walking around while running errands.¬†Ending it by¬†stripping down and being humiliated by hot wax and¬†gloved hands¬†as my waxer¬†begs me to bring in the hottie for her to meet, isn’t exactly a highlight either. Just how am I supposed¬†to do that? Hey McHottie, while I was getting the hair yanked off my girly bits,¬†I happened to mention to my waxer that you are one of the most beautiful men I have ever known and now she wants to meet you? Probably NOT going to happen.

I spoke with him earlier today, via text, the Peruvian I mean. I was in his neighborhood and we chatted about beverages but his schedule was too insane. I told him that he needed to check his mail, as I sent him something that should have arrived.

Just incase you all aren’t¬†fully on the same page, today’s wax was a wishful wax for a Thursday night of feistiness. Are we all still meditating on this for me? I need all the good positive energy you can direct towards me and this cause.

Before my wax I met up with the Asian man (with two dogs) at a local cafe. His energy was a little erratic and brisk. I had been sitting by a window working on my business plan revamp when he arrived and approached me.¬† When picking up his mocha from the barista¬†station he grasped it to hard and caused the cup to cave in on itself in such a way that it splashed out onto the counter and some of the packaged¬†snack bars beside him. I grabbed a handful of napkins and handed them to him, making an assumption that he would proceed to clean up some of the mess he made. When I saw that he was focused on wiping¬†off his cup only and had begun to walk away from the mess, leaving it for the workers to clean, I grabbed some towels and proceeded to clean it up myself. He did not say thank you. We talked about our dogs, the various medical conditions and treatments that they have all been through, and my business.¬† The rest of our conversation fades into the abyss. He isn’t remarkable, doesn’t look like his photos and has very little engaging personality. He lacked warmth and on a cold day, I was looking for warmth, not Mr. Frigidaire. Needless to say, there will not be a second date.

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