It would take all day to chronicle all the fun we've had over the last few years, this Karigee and me. We met on that fateful day, May 15, 2005, at Ralph's on 8th Avenue, before the Brad Mehldau and Renée Fleming concert at Zankel Hall. We were with some other new friends, all convening because of Renée. I brought up Sondheim, or she did, and the rest is history.
She didn't live in New York City then, but I visited Chicago a couple of times and she patiently chauffered me and mine all over the place. It's part of the reason why I call her Queen Hot Dog. Not just because at any given sighting of a hot dog cart, she'll take advantage of the approximation of the opportunity, but because she is Hot Dog. The Hot Diggity Dog Ziggity kind. Which makes her royal.
Kari teaches me about books, plays, movies, tv shows, singers, places, style and people. None of her teachings are intentional - it's organic because it's just who she is. We've road tripped, bus tripped, train tripped and ferry tripped. She listens and agrees and eggs me on. She pours the wines. She orders the Earthen Oven. And we laugh, laugh, laugh and laugh. Wait, plus she enables. Oh, does she enable! But I'm not holding that against her. Not in the least. And today is her fortieth birthday. I wish her many more happy years of peace, love, grace, fun, laughter and Betty Buckley cabarets.