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You can't blame me for not remembering the finer details of my food, it was
New Year's Eve, after all. The amounts of alcohol that precede, accompany
and follow special occasion meals can seriously affect my recall ability.
There was a prix fixe menu from which I selected a sunchoke soup with apple
and bacon, a main of steak (I don't even remember the cut) with a blue
cheese sauce and a molten chocolate cake that was without choice. I have
nothing bad to say about the dining experience, but enough with the molten
cakes, already.

Alias * 76 Clinton St.,
New York, NY

Save a Prayer

Young People's Prayers by Percy R. Hayward may have been published in 1945, but it speaks to me still, despite my not being all that young anymore. But hey, with today's bratty, self-absorbed society, ideals intended for teens half a century ago probably still haven't sunk in with the twentysomethings and beyond of present day. Sure they're funny, but damn if they're not relevant to the sinners, complainers and obsessors of the world like me.

This book is so out-of-control specific, there are prayers for nearly all of life's quandries such as "I Have Lost My Job," "Save Me from Hating People," "On the Coming of Vacation" and "Save Me from 'The Blues.'" The following were written with me specifically in mind, I swear:

Forgive Me for Time Lost
Save Me from Whispering
Save Me from Over-Attention to Myself
Keep Me from Futile Bypaths

Steady Thou My Temper

Forgive Me for Time Lost

God of the ages, I come unto thee in penitence for the time that I have lost.

Timelost For the hours spent in aimless talk on small things while the high themes of the universe had to wait.

For the messages of lesser value that I take unto myself from the press and the radio and the screen.

For the time that I waste because it is not planned, or is planned for a shortened purpose.

For my selection of music and pictures and friends that fall short of the best.

For my unwise choice of books.

For my idle thoughts that regard not the things that are lovely and of good report.

For these, my Lord, I come in penitence to thee.

Through my resolute creating of a new plan for a wise use of time, grant me an awareness of thy forgiveness for time lost. Amen.

Save Me from Whispering

Grant unto me, my Lord, the courage and the wisdom to leave unsaid the things that I can only whisper.Whispering

Hold back my lips from uttering things so vicious or mischievous that they could not be proclaimed upon the housetops.

Save my heart from thoughts that can be uttered only behind the hand.

Touch me with such understanding of other people's struggles and virtues that I shall never say anything about them in a corner.

Spare me, O Lord, the atmosphere of critisism and suspicion that is finally overcast with the shadows of secrecy.

And grant me this boon of the spirit through my joyous concern about things so varied and so great that there can be no room in my heart for gossip. By the vasteness of thy world, let my mind be cleansed.

In the name of One who knew what was in the heart of man. Amen.

Save Me from Over-Attention to Myself

Overattention Save me, my Lord, from petty and foolish tinkering with myself.

Allow me to let myself go in some cause, some purpose greater than my own small self.

Spare me the weakening sickness of self-love.

Purge me, O God, of too much concern about what is going to happen to me.

Grant me the cleansing grace of being able to lose myself in absorbing and joyous work.

Turn the mirrors of my self-contemplation into windows opening upon the wide vistas of they world.

Save me from being a fuss-budget about small slights and petty personal offenses. Make me too great to bear a grudge, too interested in large things to harp constantly upon what is trivial, too wisely and humbly sure of myself to take offense.

Thus, teach me the meaning of the ancient wisdom that only he who is willing to lose his life in interests larger than himself can find and nurture his true self. His name. Amen.

Keep Me from Futile Bypaths

Lord, keep me from straying into the futile and foolish bypaths of life.Blues

Hold me back when I would pursue the will-o'-the wisp of surface fame.

Stay my feet when they would wander into the alluring ways of comfort and ease.

Steady my vision and nerve my will, O God, when I look down the bypath of sensual pleasure and would choose it as my own.

Grant that I may not wander on the winding trails that go with bitterness of spirit, maliciousness of mind, and cruel sharpness of speech.

Save me from the purposeless paths of giddy and foolish pleasures.

Keep me back from the devious byways of prejudice and jealousy, of paralyzing envy and foolish spite.

Thus wilt though hold me from the futile byroads of prejudice and jealousy, of paralyzing envy and foolish spite.

Thus wilt thou hold me from the futile byroads that daily beckon me away from the single pathway of thy purpose.

In the name of Him who in the hour of his temptation resolutely spurned each byway of life. Amen.

Steady Thou My Temper

Temper God of all peaceful and patient minds, I come unto thee with this my prayer that thou wilt steady my temper.

Calm thou the hot impulses of my heart.

Ease the fever of my blood and the uncertainty of my nerves and muscles.

Grant me the patience of the long look and of the careful plan.

Show me where my anger is rooted in my indolence or short-sightedness.

Vouchsafe unto me the wisdom to plan my life according to they holy laws of physical strength and soundness, wherein are found peace and courage and self-control.

Lift me, O God, out of my selfish absorbtion in my own small daily concerns. Show me the kingdoms of they world–the needs of the poor, the sufferings of mankind, the uncompleted temples in the city of thy will being builded in the hearts of men.

Thus make me too great for my petty anger.

In the name of Him who though reviled, reviled not in return. Amen.

Mesa Grill


"Everybody likes Bobby Flay" goes some annoying guy in an annoying Food TV
commercial. That is a flat-out lie, but I have no beefs with Bobby's
restaurant. I'm not so into the '80s Southwestern, bold flavors thing, but
the brunch is surprisingly good (I go nuts because it seems like our friends
go to the same brunch place, Teddy's, a block from their apartments every
single freaking weekend. Why do I care? It just annoys me when people won't
venture beyond the place on their corner. Or maybe I'm just jealous because
I've never had a place on my corner).

The woman at the neighboring table was surprisingly non-good. The bread
basket filled with baked goodies and jalepeno jelly, chicken sweet potato
hash with poached eggs and chile hollandaise and home fries was almost
ruined by listening to some twat (sorry, I've been addicted to that word
lately) go on and on about weddings, her expense account and her brand new
$500 boots (which unfortunately I couldn't see, as she was too close). She
committed ten million food faux pas. She asked about the burger. She ordered
a salad. Her friend ordered the exact salad. You don't order salads and
burgers at restaurants that do other things better (both her and the
level-headed friend shamelessly ogled our food, not without surprise) and
you don't order the same thing as your dining partner unless it's like a bbq
place or chicken shack, you know, a place known for their one thing. She
didn't know what tomatillos were, but made it seem like this was the
waiter's problem, not hers. This is the kind of woman who abuses customer
service, returns things after wearing them and is mean to "the help." When
the waiter innocently asked, "how is everything" she matter-of-factly
replied, "I'm bored," as if it was his job to play court jester.

My mouth was happy, my eyes and ears were in hell. I think it's the Food
TV curse. Demanding people who care very little about food and lots about
dining out. God help me the day I dine at an Emeril venture.

Mesa Grill * 102 Fifth Ave.,
New York, NY


It's all about the taro-shrimp "cookies." This fried dim sum novelty seems
to be exclusive to Portland, and may be one of the city's few redeeming

Legin * 8001 SE Division St., Portland, OR