Cartouche's Blog

Writing My Way Out of Something


Someplace, somewhere else, USA
February 09
Mind My Own Business
Artist, former newspaper columnist and restaurant critic. Award-winning author of "In Pursuit of Excellence". In my spare minute I can be found blogging here, on Huffington Post and other places that don't pay and (more often) writing for some places that do. Occasionally I tweet random thoughts and observations as @nonconfromist. I keep the really good ones to myself.


Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 31, 2011 2:00PM

My Brilliant Second Career, x2 Squared

I’m not one to look back at, wax nostalgic over or live in the past. If I’ve done it once and didn’t particularly enjoy it (or him) there’s a very good chance I’m not doing it (or him) again. There are always far more interesting prospects for the future to think… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 28, 2011 1:13AM

Remembering More than a Teacher

My sophomore year in high school, I became part of an organization called Girls Glee Club and Men’s Chorus.  By the time I graduated in 1978, its name had been changed to Heights Singers. Political correctness had just cracked open the door.

For those three years, I had the privilegeRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 31, 2011 6:18AM

The Greatest Generation that Never Was

Last Friday, I went to grab a late lunch. I specifically picked a restaurant with TV sets, so I could watch the unfolding events in Cairo.  I know this sounds counterintuitive for someone who admits to rarely watching TV, but since last week, my inner Rottweiler has grabbed onto the bone/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 28, 2011 6:53AM

Egypt is Rising

I was a naïve young woman when I arrived in Cairo in June of 1983.  Of course, there was no telling my then 23 year-old self that.  I was already somewhat worldly and had just left communist Hungary to go on this little adventure with complete strangers.  I was invited as/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 2, 2011 7:43AM

The Million(th) Post March Has Ended!

Well, we did it.  The millionth post appeared on Open Salon last night at 11:31 pm.  Amidst all the speculation and against all possible odds (on a weekend, no less), the post was written by an actual member and not some spam bot!

 A recycled member (I’m not sure what… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 30, 2010 8:53AM

Painting Over the Old Year

It begins optimistically enough.  Every New Year does.  There’s a sense that we’re wiping the slate clean of the previous twelve months, starting again, rebuilding, taking second chances, forgiving our trespasses and transgressions.  As much of the past as possible gets swe/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 25, 2010 7:18AM

The Old Man and the C-Section

What do you get when you breathe new life into classic (or crappy)  best sellers of decades past by mixing them up with modern day woes and general celebrity idiocy?  A list and a brief synopsis, that’s what.  Here’s a list of ten best sellers with slightly revised titles a… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 15, 2010 5:16PM

When Your Mother Has Alzheimer's

You don’t know “who” you are going to meet when you wake up in the morning, walk into the kitchen or pick up the phone. 

You hope for a sunnier disposition than the day before but all indications point to increased overcast judgment and cumulous clouds filled with anger. Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 3, 2010 10:36AM

My Day in Court as a Character Witness

Prior to yesterday, I’ve only had one experience dealing with court.  I was the defendant in a lawsuit that was filed against me (and the newspaper I wrote for as a restaurant critic) over a review I wrote.  To say it was not good, would be the understatement of the year. Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 25, 2010 4:58PM

Made: When Art Imitates Life

I am often asked what inspires me to paint a particular painting or write a particular post.  Often, many thoughts and concepts lurk and meander simultaneously underneath the surface as I process what I observe or feel without my realizing that they will later become sources of inspiration. I soRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 21, 2010 12:01AM

The Insignificant Other

I remember him chiding her (more than once), “If somebody stuck a $20 bill on you, nobody would pick you up.”  The idea was for everyone else to laugh at your expense.  I watched you get devalued.

I remember sitting in the back seat of the car with my friend… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 14, 2010 9:24AM

The Scar of Burning Memory

One week before my second birthday, on a cold winter morning in Cleveland, life changed completely from one minute to the next.

For some reason, I decided to climb up the stove.  I’m not sure what it was that I was attracted to or going for, but in the middle/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 18, 2010 8:28AM

Drive By (and Through) Memories

We are on our way to Washington D.C. riding in the Buick Skylark.  You are determined to get our family there in the fastest possible time.  You drive on the service road when the traffic moves too slowly for you.  There are no “rest” or bathroom stops or/Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 20, 2010 9:42AM

What Hangs in the Closet of Your Past

My not being a big fan of organized religion has less to do with being the daughter of a Holocaust survivor than it does my aversion to organized anything, except perhaps, chaos.  It also has to do with my being a seeker.  I spent the first twoRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 15, 2010 9:56AM

The Cloth of My Early Childhood

For most of the first five years of my life, we lived in the upstairs half of a two-family house in a modest neighborhood.  The layout is incomplete in my mind.  My early childhood memories are more like a collage of colors, scents and sounds that are separatedRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 9, 2010 3:24PM

Are You My Grandmother?

I never knew her.  I know little about her.  My father rarely spoke of her while I was growing up.  Long into my adulthood, when I had the courage to ask why, his response was, "it's too painful", so we moved the silent boulder up the unspoken uphill and padded it… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 1, 2010 12:21PM

How I Ended up Eating at "Hell's Kitchen"

When I auditioned for "Hell's Kitchen" three and a half years ago and didn't make the cut, I never imagined that a few years later I would end up as a guest dining on the set of the love-to-hate chef's reality TV restaurant in Culver City, Ca.Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 7, 2010 9:38AM

Keep it to Yourself

The other day I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who is in the process of purging a lot of junk from her house.  She realized that she has amassed way too much crap.  With an upcoming move, she just doesn’t want to drag along a bunch of/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 28, 2009 2:26PM


When the general arrived shortly before 6 pm with a big smile on his face and sweat pouring down his robust cheeks, I didn’t know whether to hug this big grinning corpus of a man or scream.  I was relieved to see the first familiar face of the day and to/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 23, 2009 12:34PM

Dad Who?

I remember feeling like I was “getting away with something” by deciding to leave Budapest by getting on a plane going to Egypt.  I packed as much as I could into a single suitcase and officially placed my trust in the hands of complete strangers who were about to take me… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 21, 2009 10:59AM

From "Here" to "There"

My lifelong best friend whom I had known since I was five years old had gotten married and moved to France several months prior to my arrival in Budapest. Things were not going as well as she had hoped; her husband was moody, the economy in their small village sucked and… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 27, 2009 11:43AM


Several years ago, I had a newspaper column called “The Ladies Room” that was geared toward a 35 – 50 year old demographic in a very conservative, fairly religious, golf club, white bread, Republican sector of “I see red” Florida.  My relationship with my editor did/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 22, 2009 9:53AM

Our Memories and Tributes to Dakini Dancer

When I first heard the news about the passing of Dakini Dancer last night on Hyblaean Julie’s Blog ,I was as shocked as everyone else.  What struck me immediately is that Josie’s niece Judy had the presence of mind to start an account on OS so that she could inform our comm/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 6, 2009 10:18AM

Don't Lose Any Sleep

Author’s Note:  For maximum effect, read this post with Andy Rooney’s voice in your head.

I don’t get frustrated easily.  I learned a long time ago that many sources of frustration can be sourced directly to stupid people.  I don’t waste my time on stupid peopl… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 4, 2009 1:56PM

Play Ball: American Pie

A friend of mine in New York asked me if I could get an autographed baseball from New York Mets player Jose Reyes. He wanted it for his grandson who is crazy about Jose Reyes.  I promised him I would. 

That was two years ago.

The New York Mets do… Read full post »