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White Shirts and Steak Squirts and Schnitzel with Noodles

One of my favorite things is cream-colored ponies and crisp apple streudels, which you might say are actually two things but if you knew me in person, you’d know otherwise.

While you’re trying to figure that one out, a show of hands for those of you who have been to Alameda, California.

Okay then, how about a show of hands for those of you who have heard of Alameda, California. Three of you? Great. Then you’ll know that I probably spent about 47 hours in the car the other day driving around the Bay Area and ultimately meeting up with Linda (author of The Good, The Bad, The Worse) and her husband Alex. You probably can’t remember where you heard about it, but I’ll wager it was in the society pages of your local paper.

This was another one of those blind dates I keep making with fellow bloggers in an effort to meet everybody in real life.

Linda and Alex gave me a mini-tour of their faboo Victorian home-filled neighborhood before heading off to a Turkish restaurant where we had that classic Mediterranean dish: rib-eye steaks.

These two are a riot and Alex is awesome for two reasons:

1. He spilled steak goo on his shirt.

alex spilled food

And 2… he let me take a picture of it.

There’s nothing I like better than when I’m dining with people for the first time, somebody pulls a whoopsie, food gets spilled, and it’s not me. It’s such a relief to know that I’m not the only one with a hole in my lip whenever a donned white shirt appears.

Linda was wonderful and chatty and the three of us blabbed like old friends who’d known each other their whole lives.

margaret and linda

But all good things must come to and end, so I hopped in my car and hit the road. Luckily, with the post-rush-hour traffic, it only took about 35 hours to drive the 90 miles back home.

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  1. Margaret have you seen this?

    I cannot resist a goat in a pirate hat.

    1. I wish I knew how to spell awesome in that sing-songy voice that gay guys do to describe what I just saw. Because that's what it is….
      ♫♪ Awwwwsome! ♫♪

  2. Nezzy says:

    Even stuck down here in the hills and hollers of the Ozarks I've hear of Alameda, California. Well slap me silly and bring on the Tide, Mr. Alex and I have something in common. I can get my meal on my shoulders….I don't know how the heck it happens…must be sheer talent…I'm that kinda chick.

    It looks like ya'll have a grand time and just look at all the new fab friends you're makin'!

    Have a blessed day girl! :o)

  3. debbie_suburbsanity says:

    I also love it when folks spill food all over themselves. So endearing!

    1. Well then we MUST do lunch sometime!

  4. I really should add that both Alex and I found the extraordinary Margaret delightful, fun, beautiful, and sassy as all hell.

      1. No duh, Margaret Dear. It really doesn't get much better than you! Alex was as delighted as was about meeting the girl from Nanny Goats in Panties!

  5. OMG! How cool is THAT! I would LOVE to meet YOU, Linda (The Good, The Bad, The Worse) & her hubby Alex! 🙂

    1. And OMG! We would love to meet you, Meleah!

    2. It was VERY cool. I'm jealous of Kathy Junk Drawer for getting to meet YOU recently.

  6. moooooog35 says:

    I don't even want to know what steak goo is. I like my steaks like my women: goo-free.

    1. One of these days I'm going to remember to not throw a bunch of vanilla wafers in my mouth prior to reading your comments.

  7. I know about Alameda because of Star Trek IV, the Voyage Home!! 🙂

    1. Oh, look! A trekkie!

  8. Linda is one of my favorite bloggers! And I can't wait to one day meet Alex. All of you bloggers are getting in your cars and meeting everyone, that is so great! I wish there were some bloggers in MN or WI. God knows there aren't any in ND, SD or Iowa. I'm gonna have to get in my car and visit JD and Lola. Girls, get the spare room together, I'm coming over.

    1. I heard MN and WI outlawed blogging, maybe that's why. How are you getting away with it?

      1. I cross the border into Canada to do all my blogging. It's a bit expensive
        but I bribe the customs agents with Cheese in a Can.

    2. Jen, we need to get you out here. We need to hang out and I'll introduce to fabulous people and take you shopping for shoes. We will also drink gin and be naughty, for in my mind, there's nothing better than a naughty red haired girl.

      1. I would love to come out there and meet everyone but we would have to have a
        telethon or blogathon because it just isn't in the budget. We would have so
        much fun, and I would be naughty, just for you. Of course we'd have to meet
        up with Jayne to settle the ass thing.

  9. Aw! Anyone who lets you take a picture of his spilled food-goo is A-OK in my book.

    This reminds me I haven't had a good steak in a while. I wonder where the closest Turkish restaurant is?

    1. How cool would that be if we started some country-wide myth that sends hordes to Turkish restaurants in search of rib-eyes?

  10. Sue Seese says:

    I agree with cardiogirl, that is a nice shirt……or was.
    My husband is always the one that spills. I can go out to eat in a entire outfit of white without a care in the world.

    1. I bow to your gastronomic awesomeness. Bravo!

  11. cardiogirl says:

    This is probably going to sound lame, but that's a really nice white shirt. Is that silk?

    1. It was a nice shirt. We should ask Alex or Linda how they got the stain out. Or did they just sew a 1970s peace sign patch over it.

  12. I have taken a vow to never buy a shirt again that is any color lighter than gray. Mrs. Tarheel will gleefully tell anyone who will listen what a slob I am. I can be wearing a bib with napkins covering the bib, and if I've got a light colored shirt on I will stain it.

    1. Ha! That's a good vow then. Unless you buy disposable white shirts by the gross at some discount rack.

  13. Pseudo says:

    I thought you were going to blogher….

    And. I don't think I have ever had Turkish food. Sounds like a fun night. Spillage and all.

    1. I did go to blogher. (still in NYC right now in fact). But I had this post mostly already prepared.

  14. T.J. says:

    fun blog meet up! I'd be extra jealous except I just started on the determined path of meeting bloggy friends in real life, as well. Hmmm, how long do you think a meet up from Vermont to California would take? 😉

    1. Holy cow, that would take meeting in the middle somewhere. Like Vegas. 🙂 That's the middle, right?

  15. Nicky says:

    Ok, I am SOOOOOOOOO jealous! I would love to meet you AND Linda AND Alex and eat rib-eye steaks and spill steak goo all over my shirt! Fabulous pic of you two lovely ladies!

    1. OK, so far you are the most jealous because of all the O's. So you win. 🙂

  16. Alex and I would get along very well. All I have to do is wear a white blouse and I'm guaranteed to spill something on myself.

    Glad you got to meet another blogger. I'm jealous. When are you coming to LA again? I promise to wear white and spill something.


    1. I can't believe it's been over a year since I've been down in SoCal. But I will definitely let you know. And we'll both wear white and get a big ol' plate o' spaghetti at C&O. Or Carmine's. And if we go to Carmine's, for the love of God, remind me to bring a flashlight.

      1. You've got a date. And my iPhone has a flashlight app 🙂
        Have you seen

  17. Joan says:

    Oh, you are DEFINITELY not alone in the “hole in the lip” category! I'm a champion at it! So glad you had a good time!

    1. Yes it's turning out to be awesome hearing that I'm not the only dribbler. 🙂

  18. Mikewj says:

    I am so jealous that you got meet Linda and Alex in person. Is she as wild as makes out? Is she wild when she makes out? Did Alex talk to you in Navajo, or tell you any CIA secrets?

    So many questions….

    By the way, you're welcome to come to Colorado anytime. Just let me know and I'll try to be here.

    1. Linda is a total crackup. As well as totally cracked up. Do you know that Alex did not say one Navajo word to me? Or maybe he did, I don't remember. Wine was involved. And …oh wait yes! When we were on our way to dinner he said he had made reservations.
      get it? Reservations? BA-HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

  19. Warren says:

    OK, 3 things:

    1) Lots of people know where Alameda is. Not that long ago, there was a Naval Air Station there as well as the homeport for aircraft carriers. Mythbusters was hq'd there for a few seasons, ferchrissake!

    2) you go to Alameda for the bars, not the food!

    3). It's bad form to risk forcing your readers into throwing up in their own mouths using terms like “steak squirts” !!

    Peace out…..

    1. HA! Well I didn't think Alameda was THAT podunk. Plus, I think someone told me that Top Gun was shot there, some of it, anyway.

    2. Warren, it is still a military town. We have a Marine base and Coast Guard Island here. The bars? Which ones?

      Alex was stationed at NAS Alameda for a lot of years. Now they make movies there.

  20. Slommler says:

    35 hours? Is that all! Totally worth it!! Ha!
    Great pics

    1. It WAS worth it! (hee hee)

  21. Ginger says:

    tell me about spilling sauce and liquid on my apparel! I'm a mistress at it. sometime i deliberately repeat the stains so it looks like a design :-).

    You spent ONLY 35 hrs on the road? Wow. what a nice friend you are. you must be knackered too.

    1. Knackered! What a perfectly British thing to say. I must use that sometime soon. I'm so glad we're all just a bunch of slobs in this food spilling world.

  22. Drew says:

    Yes, I've heard of Alameda but never been there. I attempted the trip once but it went ary…

    It was late fall, when the summer heat begins to loosen it's grip on California and gives way to cooler evenings. I had read a very nice review of “Ragtime” which was playing at the Alameda Civic Light Opera. Since I've entered my mid-40's and am beginning to see the faint glow of the light at the end of my life tunnel, I have vowed to try new things. Thus although I had never been to an opera, I embraced the opportunity to go. After all, Alameda is just 90 miles from my home.

    But Alameda is also very close to Oakland…

    Oakland is listed as one of the five most dangerous cities. With a murder rate 3.5
    times higher than the national average, Oakland is known as the murder capitol of
    the world. It also distinguishes itself with violent crime rates well over 2 times
    higher than the rest of the nation (that's the US nation, not the Raider nation)

    I knew I must be careful to avoid Oakland.

    The opera didn't start until 7:00 pm but I left my home at noon, knowing that even
    in the worst of traffic, I could average 15 miles per hour, well above the 2.57 mph
    nannygoats requires (she's had this psychological disorder for years). That left me
    an hour to find parking, get my ticket, buy popcorn (I *hoped* they sold popcorn at
    operas), and get settled in my seat.

    I was cruising southwest along I-80. It was a beautiful day and one of those extremely rare occasions where not another car could be seen. I had the whole road
    to myself and was well ahead of schedule, moving along at 18 mph. At this rate, I
    would be there at 5:00 pm and was excited that I would have time to search elsewhere for popcorn if it wasn't available at the opera.

    But then things changed…

    I was using an old map from the 70's to make my way to the opera. Apparently after
    the big earthquake in 1989 that ravaged the Bay Area, the roads changed. On my old
    map, I could see that near the Bay Bridge, I-80 intersects with the Nimitz Freeway
    (I-880) and the MacArthur Freeway (I-980). I needed the Nimitz Freeway which continues south on the edge of the bay skirting the west edge of Oakland until I
    reached Alameda. In contrast, the MacArthur Freeway goes through the heart of

    I don't know how it happened but I ended up in the heart of Oakland. I didn't know
    it at the time but quickly realized it when I asked for directions from an interesting looking character. He had a dark complexion and had bright colored printed boxer shorts sticking out of his pants. The man must have been the victim of an extremely unfortunate circumstance because his pants were way too large and kept falling down to his knees.

    I don't think this poor unfortunate man had anything to do with it but when I attempted to leave, I found that the gear shift was missing! I couldn't put the car in drive. Then I noticed the steering wheel which I had been holding on to had been stolen right from my finger tips! WTF?!? As I continued to assess my situation, I realized the only part remaining from my car was the seat upon which I was sitting.

    Quickly realizing I was in danger of missing the opera, I checked my watch. FUCK!!! It was gone too. Now I had no idea of the time, no car, and it would be dark soon. I knew my situation was dire.

    It's been awful since last fall. I've been surviving on malt liquor, Newports, and the occasional crack rock. I never know if it's a mosquito or a bullet whizzing by my ear. The one good thing is I am now bilingual. I've met some new peeps, some of which are phat while others are supafly. But with the 9'z and all the hoes gettin' gank'd, me gots to stay on the d'lo. Crackaz are not real well liked and I am scared!!!

    Please come find me…

    1. Well, I am assuming you are either at the library or you stole an iPad since you gots access to the internets and all. Send your GPS coordinates STAT, yo.

      1. Drew says:

        U B damn right sista! My supafly peep, Ill Litter8, gank'd an iPad from won ub these damn hood ratz. We B chillin by da Hub Liquor on International at N 37.746753, W 122.172464.

    2. Drew, Oakland has a bad rap. Much like my two pit bulls who are actually guardian angels. Don't let the hype fool you. I spend a lot of time in Oakland and it's a great city. Yeah, there's crime, but I avoid it. (Usually.) And what is so wrong with Malt Liquor? Raineer Ale is my favorite! Now, don't worry about the 9's or the ho's. And the downlow was not meant for you!

      1. Drew says:

        Not a thing wrong with malt liquor (which is really just a legal term for beer with alcohol content 6% or higher). Haven't tried Raineer Ale but have consumed many Mickey's Big Mouths in the past however I can only locate Olde English 800 and Colt 45 here. Oh, and then there was that time I had a few pints of “Winter Wheat Wine” (a wheat beer with a 12% alcohol content)…

        1. Winter Wheat Wine. Yeah, good times…

      2. I recently had to walk through downtown Oakland and I have to say, it was pretty nice. They even had one of those “flatiron” buildings like I saw today in New York. We went to some vegan soul food place, if you can imagine that.

        1. Next time you come down Margaret, I'm taking you to Uptown Oakland. It's fantastic!

  23. Which is totally why I decline to wear white. Just about everything I attempt to eat ends up on the front of me.

    1. I don't know why I always seem to do it every time I go out for spaghetti, but there you go. I'm just glad I'm in good company with y'all.

  24. Pricilla says:

    When are you coming to pet my head? I think that would be wonderful.
    I would promise to keep Abby from butting you and the publicist would give you a tour of her yurt.

    I would let you take a photo of me eating the apple you brought me.

    Your new friend was very nice to let you take a photo of his turkish steak mistake.

    1. Note to self: bring Pricilla apples when you come visit and pet her head.

      1. Pricilla says:

        This is a very good note. I also like carrots just in case you cannot find apples.

  25. Jayne says:

    What a timely post. I've got Linda and Alex here with me in Santa Ynez for the weekend. Alex didn't spill anything at dinner last night, but today we're going to visit my horses, so I'll let you know if he steps in anything. I adore them both. It was more like spending time with old, dear friends than meeting new ones. Lucky you and lucky me.

    1. Mikewj says:

      Why am I the only one not spending time with Linda and Alex and Jayne?

      Now I'm just pissed!

      1. Jayne says:

        You need to either be a California girl or be married to one, Mike. Although, we might issue you a temporary visa should you want to visit.

        1. I remember from a visit to San Diego several years ago, visiting California is kind of like visiting a foreign country. :0)

          1. Jayne says:

            Yes! Where the fun never ends. 😉

          2. I was born and raised here and STILL can't figure out the language, like, you know?

      2. Yeah, can you just fly them out to your place or something?

      3. Michael, you, me, Margaret, Alex, your wife and kids, and Ziva and Cheesy Mike and Nicky, and Petrograd in the Spring!

        1. Nicky says:

          Yay! Can't wait 🙂

    2. BA-HAHA!!!! —> “today we're going to visit my horses, so I'll let you know if he steps in anything.”
      Aren't they just the greatest??

      1. Jayne says:

        Totally the greatest. We had a blast — And Alex didn't step in a thing!

        1. And, I am proud to say, I didn't step in anything either. In fact, Levi, the most amazing handsome and charismatic horse ever, kissed the back of my neck and shoulder and gave me chills while I was wearing high heels. He's slightly kinky but then I love that in a boy!

          1. CatLadyLarew says:

            Did you wear your high heels to the stables, Linda?

            1. Yes I did, Paula. They go everywhere I did. For the stables, I chose an open toed wedge by Ann Klein in black and cream. I paired that with a pair of rust linen walking shorts and a cream linen jacket that has the same buttons as on the cuffs of the pants. Oh, I also wore a little black jersey shell underneath the jacket as you just never know with weather and such. It was a fetching ensemble and I think the horses I met, and the goat, were properly impressed. Jayne's horses, Levi and Bubba even snorted out approval at one point. The only sour note was going into the hen house with Jayne where a chicken came flying at me trying to go all Alfred Hitchcock on my ass and made me scream and run for my life. And here I thought chickens were “soulful”. Hmmm. Not this chicken.

              1. CatLadyLarew says:

                You crack me up, Linda! I can just picture you now, fending off chicken attacks in your fetching ensemble!

                1. Jayne says:

                  It was quite a sight. Wish I had it on video.

              2. all Hitchcock on your ass – hee hee!!!

                1. I've never been so scared of an animal in my life as I was that angry chicken!

          2. Levi sounds like a real rogue!

            1. He's a Hot Horse, Margaret!

  26. Kate says:

    You think steak goo is good?…….you should eat corn on the cob with me in TX! Steak goo, steak schmoo….it ain't nothin'.
    Be careful meeting bloggers in person…sounds dangerous. I hear they never get out of their pajamas.

    1. Not true. Well, not usually true. I put my day clothes OVER my PJs and they usually can't tell. At least nobody's ever said anything.

    2. CatLadyLarew says:

      I take offense at that… I'm always out of my pajamas by 5pm on the weekends.

  27. Jb says:

    If you're ever in my area, I'd love to meet you and spill some stuff on your shirt for you!
    I have a picture from my wedding dinner with my dad and me and our bibs tucked in at the neck. I think the stained shirt think is genetic…so you and I might be related! (Did you happen to see my .com picture in this post:… ?

    Does it make you nervous to meet bloggers in person? I'd be so nervous that there would be awkward silences! (But I'm a social misfit…that may just be me).

    1. Nice sweatshirt – HAHA!!! And aren't you in or around Boston or something? I am almost for sure maybe going there in October-ish. And yes, I totally get nervous meeting ppl IRL. I burble nervous vomity conversation until I calm down and relax and then it settles down into normal coherent conversation.

  28. Sheila says:

    I've heard of Alameda, used to ship stuff there when I worked for the Government. Must be a base or something around there. I love when someone else has the spill of the night – and I goat, I mean gloat about it!

    1. Yes, there's a whole naval thing there. Alex told me they shot Top Gun there.

      1. I think they shot a lot of Top Gun at Miramar where Alex (as a Navy Airman) was stationed. But his actual ship, the Carl Vinson (or “Chucky Vee” for those in the service) was ported. Airman stay with the planes and the join the ship for cruises.

        1. I meant to say that the Chucky Vee was ported in Alameda.

  29. JunkDrawer says:

    I've heard of Alameda!!! What do I win?

    You're so lucky to have met Linda and Alex IRL. You guys live on the wrong coast! For Alex: You had to wear white, didn't you?

    You are both gorgeous ladies! What a beautiful picture. Glad you got to meet.

    1. I'm with Kathy. You live on the wrong coast. It would be so hip (or whatever the kids are saying these days, which obviously I don't know, having passed the age where I am now called “Mister”) if we all (I mean, Kathy, Jenn, etc., especially etc., who is one of my favorite bloggers) could get together and reminisce about all the great posts we've done (okay, well, the great posts you've done, but still…).

      1. OMG – I love etc. too! I stumble his (her?) posts all the time!

        1. CatLadyLarew says:

          etc. is the best blogger, ever!

    2. I was trying to figure out a way to mention the fact that we are all on Tribal Blogs and couldn't work in it. Oh well. Linda is a total kick in the pants. You'd LOVE her!

  30. CatLadyLarew says:

    Oh, that Alex! Gotta love anybody who smufs themselves in public and doesn't care! I'm almost embarrassed to admit I've never been to California, but it's now on my bucket list to get to Alameda so I can take Linda up on her offer of B & B. I'll let you know when I finally get there and we can all meet up for steaks at that Turkish restaurant! (I'll wear my white shirt.)

    1. Yes! We will all wear white shirts! Last one to spill something on it pays the bill!

    2. I'm thinking, you, me, Alex, Harry, Honey, Jayne, Dixie and Mason, and Levi. Levi is the best horse ever.

      1. CatLadyLarew says:

        You're really getting around, Linda! First Margaret, now Jayne? But I agree with Kathy… all of you live on the wrong coast! No fair!

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