I love a good light-up magnifying mirror in the bathroom. Preferably a heavy-bottomed, shiny chrome one with a light that rims the circumference of a mirror which definitely shows you your pores in close-up but doesn't scare the crap out of you. I do not want one of these in my own bathroom, but in a nice, well-lit hotel toilette, yes please. I loooove to move in CLOSE and examine things: are there any rogue eyebrow hairs just begging to be plucked? How is that freckle looking? And that one? What is up with the blackhead congestion around my chin? Let's have a look-see, shall we! My good high-school friend, Lauren, used to give herself gently "pore purges," a soft-tipped Q Tip in each hand moving in on her T-zone. I myself was never patient enough to heed her admonitions to do the same and that is one reason why she became a model and still has perfect, luminous, porcelain skin. And I did and do not. She is now a make-up guru in LA, and I am super proud and impressed.

Y'all don't act all surprised about the pleasure I derive in a good self-facial; most women I know looove to do the same. In fact, my cousin, Jill, once told me she went to town on her nose in the middle of a workday -she went to the bathroom and while washing her hands leaned in for a look and then couldn't resist. Long story short, she then recoiled in horror at the bulbous red Rudolph nose she'd provoked and had to stay in the ladies' for quite some time.

During her rehearsal dinner at Antoine's (yes, the famed Antoine's in NOLA), I had more than a few glasses of wine and was then moved to give a toast. Oh.god. All emotional and full of love, I teetered up to the front of the room and started going on (unplanned; horrors) about how Jill and I had always been so close, and I just loooved her, and was so happy for her, and let me tell you a story. I was going to tell the blackhead-picking-at-work story but I suspect she thought I was going to tell a more R-rated memory because she furiously started the slice of the throat, "get the hell offstage" pantomime, and then I got nervous and exited stage right as quickly and with as much dignity as possible.

Fortunately, because 95% of the people there either grew up in Louisiana or had made it their hom, and as such had been instilled with or adopted LA partying habits, no one much noticed anything, but I do wonder if the groom's family, lovely folks from VT, thought Jill's cousin might have tied one too many on.

Whatever. Tom and I are in NY now, our hotel has a fantastic magnified mirror of which I have taken good advantage in the well-lit bathroom , we ate lunch at Gramercy Tavern, walked the High Line, and discovered a phat Italian market at which I went hog-wild buying cheeses/pastas/flours/etc. We raced through the Greenmarket, bought more cheese, some tomatoes and plums, bagged our dinner reservations in lieu of a room picnic, enjoyed said picnic and decided to head back out around 8:15p. Only in NY could we then get dessert (me), go to Nordstrom Rack (Tom), meet up at The Strand bookstore, find that James Franco was there, buy some books and head back home. On the way back to our hotel, we passed the Union Square Regal theater. I was reminded of yet another fab NY memory which hails from my years living here, 2000-2003. A friend and I went to the Regal to see a movie; I don't remember which. As the lights went down, someone in charge yelled, "it's actually a sneak of Harry Potter #1" and the tape rolled. Too damn cool.

I love New York.