"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> ASK MADAME KYMARA
Desperate times call for desperate measures. With this uncertain global economy, comes a myriad of desperate situations from our readers. From wardrobe and decorating to relationship issues , we have received more questions than usual. Here, we present the best. So, pour yourself this month bizarre cocktail and read on....
The Income Tax Cocktail or "Bronx with Bitters and Make it Snappy"
1 1/2 oz. Gin
3/4 oz. Dry Vermouth
3/4 oz.Sweet Vermouth
Juice of 1/4 orange (squeezed directly into the shaker)
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
Shake in an iced cocktail shaker, and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange wheel
Dear Madame Kymara,

I have recently become engaged and moved in with my fiancée. We love to go out and have friends over, but I do not have enough money for new clothes to wear to parties. When we have friends over to our apartment, I am embarrassed because we do not have very much money to decorate. The worst thing is that I cannot afford a wedding gown! My fiancée had a lucrative career in the investment business, but he has lost his job. I work as a waitress, but tips are slow since the recession. Help!!!!

~Threadbare in NYC
Dear Thread,

Madame Kymara wonders why young people prefer the "off the rack fashion" Why would you want to look like everyone else? Our advice is to sashay yourself to your local Good Will or consignment shop. If you invest some time, you can find one of a kind vintage, new, and gently worn clothing, and accessories that will be the envy of your fellow party goers. True, you may be met with some slight repairs. Nothing that a gaudy fabulous brooch or scarf can't solve. My dear, how do you think we survived the 70's? Plus the quality is far better than the recent "affordable" garbage we have seen in the inexpensive clothing stores, which frankly, are created to be disposable.

Recently, we purchased a fabulous wedding gown and veil, hermetically sealed in the box for a mere $5.00. Gone are the days of extravagance when a woman would favor a new gown over gently worn out of fear of "bad luck" from the previous inhabitant. In the current economic situation, a frugal bride is the beautiful bride who can spend her money elsewhere in the home.

The same goes for home decor. Recently we noticed that a creative acquaintance collected mismatched tiles from various sources resulting in an amazing new floor for her kitchen that cost next to nothing. The Goodwill has an online auction site where one may find tons of unusual items.
Since you indicate you are in New York City, try "Vintage Thrift" http://www.vintagethriftshop.org/index.php
"Housing Works Thrift Shops" http://www.housingworks.org/social-enterprise/thrift-shops/
and "The New York City Opera Thrift Shop" http://www.nycopera.com/aboutus/thriftshop.aspx
Once you discover this fabulous way to shop, you will be hooked!

Happy Hunting, Love,
Madame Kymara
Dear Madame Kymara,

My friends and I love to go out for drinks on the weekend. We can no longer afford to since mixed drinks are at least $8.00 a pop. We would love to get together and have fun, but since several of us have lost our jobs, its nearly impossible. What should we do?

~Thirsty in Ohio
Dear Thirsty,

Why not have a house party instead? It is much more interesting to purchase eclectic barware and mismatched glasses from various inexpensive sources and create your own cocktails. Try using recipes for vintage drinks. As the word spreads about what a creative host you are, your social life is sure to improve. An added bonus is that you will not have to worry about you and your friends returning home in one piece from a weekend rendezvous.

Madame Kymara
Dear Madame Kymara,

I am involved in a serious relationship. My other half is invited to parties by his friends, but they never invite me. His friends are mostly married or are in relationships themselves, yet they refuse to acknowledge that he is in a relationship and make it known that they prefer he goes to their parties stag. This has been going on for a few years, it is not a new situation. It really hurts my feelings. What should I do?

~Inside Out
Dear Inside,

We wonder if you have done anything to offend this offensive group. If not, it appears as though your significant other's friends have the manners of barnyard animals at the trough. It is quite rude to invite one half of a couple and shun the other. It is up to your other half to make it known that you attend parties as a couple and he is not going stag. If the invitations stop rolling in, one has to wonder if there was a more sinister plan at play.

Madame Kymara
Dear Madame Kymara,

My husband snores. It is not bad at first, but it gets worse during the night and I rarely get a full night's sleep. It is becoming worse. If I wake him up and ask him to stop, he is at it again in less than five minutes. What should I do?

~Sleepless in Quebec
Dear Sleepless,

It sounds as though you should first eliminate medical conditions that could be causing this offensive sawing of the wood. Ask him to see his doctor. If health issues are not to blame, we suggest separate bedrooms. It has been Madame Kymara's experience that the path of the dedicated snorer rarely changes.

Madame Kymara
Dear Madame Kymara,

What is your opinion of wearing second hand shoes? I have seen some very funky shoes at second hand stores, but do not buy them because I find it disturbing to wear someone else's shoes.

~no second hand sole
Dear No,

While we do adore a good thrift shop find, we have to agree that second hand shoes can be trés disgusting. You might want to explore Lysol spray, but we feel that this will leave you smelling like a freshly cleaned restroom. Our rule of thumb, if it is not truly in the antique shoe department, pass on this purchase.

Madame Kymara
Dear Madame Kymara,

I have several friends who always expect me to pay the bill when we go out to dinner. They pick the place and order the most expensive thing on the menu, but when the check comes they always say they have forgotten their credit card. They are fun to go out with, but I can't afford to keep paying the bill. How do I tell them enough is enough?

~going broke
Dear Going,

The next time the check is laid to rest on the table, politely excuse yourself and head for the rest room. Do not return to the table and patiently wait at the exit. These hustlers will be forced to pay up. Works like a charm every time.

Madame Kymara
Strange Music..We have recently been rediscovering Sun Ra, known for his "cosmic philosophy". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NJ2oXwWEvw&feature=related

Strange Places...Located at 2588, Route 22, Patterson, NY, Texas Taco is a definite blast from the past worth discovering. The decor, reminiscent of a whacked out acid trip to another planet is the perfect place to indulge in Tex-Mex munchies that are incredibly good. One can splurge (without bending the purse strings) on tacos, burritos and guacamole while being surrounded by psychedelic swirls of bizarre objets d'art that include giant cement body parts and long forgotten carnival rides. One of Madame Kymara's favorite date places.

Next month, we kick off the fall with more haunted places, haunted hotels and a haunted restaurant.

Send your questions to madamekymara@punkglobe.com. We do not publish real names, don't worry, your secrets are safe.