Every Day is Brighter with Gordon Ramsay

Anybody who knows me know I LOVE me some Gordon Ramsay. I mean love. There is nothing I would deny Gordon. He is welcome to my pots, pans, spices,lingerie collection, and bed whenever he wants. (Seriously, have you SEEN this man? Woof!)

I could spend all day on why I love him-from the fact that he is the one who inspired me to clean out my fridge, his books dominate my recipe book shelf, both of us are intense devotees to "tough love" as well as just rewards, we both love Paris , or maybe it's just the way he says "Fer fuck's sake!"

I love me some Gordon Ramsay and just when I thought I couldn't love him more, well it turns out I can.

Sunday I spent a lovely afternoon running around the Village including purchasing some yarn for my FIRST lace project (wish me luck). On my way from the yarn store to Doc Holliday's I happened to see a couple holding hands. Now just the week before this would have sent me into a tailspin-blubbering that no one would ever love me and all the effort I've put into living has been wasted. But today-whether it was the sun or my bag filled with fingerling yarn or just that they were happy without being a fucking e-harmony commercial (you couples on the UES who want to run me over you're so happy you can't let go of each other's hands AND have to take up the entire sidewalk YOU are who I am talking about)-I smiled at them. The girl, even though she must have been about late 20s, had a pirate Jenny thing going on with thigh high striped tights and a black frilly skirt. Her boyfriend was older and more "goth-y" black fingernail polish, long dyed black hair free, a black t, black leather pants, black slightly platformed boots. They walked happily hand in hand and I smiled, and remembered what I was like when I was in college when I loved EVERYONE-the strangeness, even the mean-ness-of people. Hard to believe, but I just loved people. And in that moment, I had that college girl back again grinning in the sun.

Before I walked into Doc Holliday's, I stopped into a hat store, which had some BEAUTIFUL hats and I was sorely tempted. Then I remembered that Enchantments, a magic store (a REAL magic store, not rabbit out of the hat magic store) was around the corner. Enchantments has been in NYC as long as I have, which is saying something. I buy all my incense there because it's hand blended, but also because I studied the "black arts" for a bit.1 I love these stores. They remind me of high school when I used to carry a pouch of crystals, wrap my tarot cards in a purple scarf, and wear hand blended oils to bring the love of a certain boy (which it NEVER did). I read books on magic from the popular (To Ride a Silver Broomstick) to the more obscure (On Psychic Self Defense and 777)2

While in Enchantments, I walked to the back where they had a range of herbs and other, uh, things, in jars. If you are a real practitioner (as I once was), you often burn a specific blend of herbs for a particular spell or ritual. The jars in the back are kind of like the magic version of the candy in Dylan's Candy Bar. You can put together your own mix for your ritual rather than relying on whatever blend yahoo has decided you should burn.

I was eyeing the jars when I noticed the happy goth couple was here too. The boyfriend picked up a jar, opened it, and inhaled. I couldn't see what it was till he tipped it towards his girlfriend's nose. "Here, smell," he said. She stuck her nose in and inhaled. "What is that?" she asked. "It's star anise," he replied, "Gordon Ramsay uses this to cook ALL THE TIME!" I couldn't hold back. I looked at him and said "My God, you love Gordon Ramsay?!" "Of course! He was cooking lamb today!" We chatted for a few minutes about the F word, raising veal and turkeys, and recipe challenges before they walked back onto the sidewalk (the store was SWELTERING). I purchased some incense and went back into the bright bright sunshine thinking that living in NYC isn't really as bad as I thought it was just a week ago.

I meant to write about this sooner, but I knew I had to post this story when I saw this article about how Gordon's "colorful" ads (and by the way if you haven't seen this spoof, it's fabu) have improved traffic for a "hospitality" job site. The article seems to imply this is surprising because Gordon is so "abrasive". THE GUY HAS 3 TV SHOWS fer fuck's sake! OF COURSE it helped because if an English professor and a goth guy can both share a moment over star anise and cooking lamb because he must be doing SOMETHING right.

So if you have a free moment, don't DO NOT watch Hell's Kitchen, watch the F Word or go to i-Tunes and catch one of his recipe podcasts. Trust me, every day with Gordon is a good day for me.

1While it may not seem appropriate to write about it here, the reason I got into reading about witchcraft was my father. I don't know why, but when I was very young, like 8 and 9, he started bringing me home antique books on the practice of magic from the outright ludicrous (one book offered a love spell that involved the menstrual blood of a goose, if you can imagine such a thing) to the historical (one book offered a history of the Knights Templar among other things). Thus, over time, I managed learn a great deal about the various practices and history of the "black arts." While I no longer practice, I often think of those days with great nostalgia. Thus going to Enchantments bring back some of those happy days when I would go to magic stores to get crystals, incense, or candles for a particular spell.

2 These books were far harder to get in my day. I was lucky there were so many antique book stores around and living in a college town right after the 70s helped I'm sure.

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