I am a 40-year-old native New Yorker currently living in Canberra, Australia, with my husband and two idiot cats. My interests include books, perfumes, opera, vaping (electronic cigarettes), silk scarves, hockey, art, food, and personal liberty.


What’s this blog all about, eh?

What isn’t it about? Art, music, funny stuff, current events, food and drink reviews, fragrance and cosmetic reviews, and other miscellany.

Wow, that’s a lot of seemingly unrelated stuff lumped together. Wouldn’t it be better to have four separate blogs for music, food, politics and beauty?


Does “…any other place my words happen to form” in the blog’s subtitle refer to your vagina?

It isn’t meant to, and it isn’t not meant to. Honestly it’s just a flippant play on words with no deeper meaning. I don’t talk out of my vagina, although if you stick around long enough you will notice that I do occasionally talk out of my ass.

Where and when were you born?

Friday, March 16, 1973, 10:30 AM, at NYU Medical Center Hospital in Manhattan, New York, USA.

Are you related to Nico Castel?

Yes, he’s my dad.

I want to try an electronic cigarette. Where should I buy one/what model should I buy?

Head over to the E-Cigarette Forum and hang out in the New Member section. You will be given all the information you could possibly want, and probably more.

For beginners, I’d recommend an EGO battery with a CE4 or CE5 clearomizer. Easy to use with no messing around. For less than $10 (shipping included), this kit contains one battery, one clearomizer, and one charger. Buy two, and you can vape one while the other charges.

For E-liquid, my favorite vendors are Heather’s Heavenly Vapes and Ahlusion.

What’s your favorite opera?

With a gun to my head, I’d choose La Bohème, simply because I can listen to it thousands of times (as I indeed have) and not get tired of it. The story is universal, and the characters are sympathetic and relatable.

Also on my top 10 list are Carmen, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Le Nozze di Figaro, Un Ballo in Maschera,  Tosca, Salomé, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Cavalleria Rusticana, and Amahl and the Night Visitors.

What non-opera music do you like?

Showtunes, Latin, pop. I love Talking Heads, Led Zeppelin, Squeeze, Crowded House/Split Enz/Finn Brothers, Elvis Costello and the Attractions, Paul Simon, David Bowie, and the Beatles.  Country, heavy metal, and hip-hop are not my thing.

What are some of your favorite movies?

My Fair Lady, The Hunt for Red October, Roman Holiday, Life of Brian, A Fish Called Wanda, Amadeus, Lawrence of Arabia, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Casablanca, Best In Show. But I’m much more into television than movies nowadays.

Okay then, what are some of your favorite television programs?

Law & Order (the original, not the lurid spin-offs), The Sopranos, Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, House of Cards, Mad Men, Deadwood, The Wire, Futurama, King of the Hill, New Tricks, Firefly. I liked Burn Notice until they turned the lead character into a James Bond wannabe. I loved The Borgias with the glaring exception of the hopeless François Arnaud as Cesare, I loved Boss with the glaring exception of the even more hopeless Kathleen Robertson as Kitty. I loved Sex and the City for its writing and design, but on balance I believe it has had a negative cultural influence.

Books and authors you like?

My auto-buy list contains three authors’ works: F. Paul Wilson, Emma Holly, and Christopher Buckley. They write a shopping list, I’m on board.

What are some of your favorite fragrances?

Mikado*, Jus*, and Grape & Vine by Fresh

Le Feu d’Issey by Issey Miyake

Red Door Velvet by Elizabeth Arden

Tea for Two, L’Eau d’Ambre, Al Oudh, Mon Numéro 10, and Timbuktu by L’Artisan Parfumeur

Arabie, Ambre Sultan, Fumerie Turque, and Un Bois Vanille by Serge Lutens

Original, White, Sweet:Wood Coffee*, Sweet:Tea*,  and Sherbet: Rhubarb* by Comme des Garçons

1270 by Frapin

UII Sheer Scent* by Ultima II

Molto Missoni* by Missoni

Eternal Hope by Cleanse Your Soul

Kilikao* by La Maison de Vanille

Synthesized Lotus by Malin+Goetz

Idole and Akkad by Lubin

Bois d’Ombrie by Eau D’Italie

Ambre Russe by Parfum d’Empire

Pulp and Seven Veils by Byredo

Flossing, Seraphim, Gingerbread Whorehouse, Limoncello Dolce Vita, Silver Ginger, and Iowa by Possets

*Very hard to find. If you’ve got any laying around, email me and we can talk.



  1. cabrogal


    I sorta nominated you for a blogging award.
    It was a cute little message of hope.
    Until it fell into my clutches.

    And, err, I may have nominated you in a manner that draws creepies and nasties to your blog.
    And kinda objectifies women and encourages their abuse. Well, only your abuse actually.

    Try to go a bit easy on them.

  2. Greg

    Hi ,

    Your first post just appeared on Urbanspoon! Check it out:

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  3. cabrogal

    Elvis Costello and the Attractions

    Whenever I read of the unfortunate situation of a well known Wikileaker these days I get a spontaneous earworm that goes “I don’t wanna go to Chelsea …”.

Tell me.

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