30.12.09

Imagin-ed.


"Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence." -- H.L. Mencken

What an interesting thought, dear Mencken.  I considered this for a while and decided I surely agree.  Love requires the ability to look at things through a rose colored glass.  If we were only capable of seeing the hard facts, love would never be possible.  Love is not something to be analyzed, or synthesized, or measured.  Love is something to be created, enjoyed, and shared.  Though without the great intelligent thinkers of our world we would lack some of our greatest conveniences (electricity, automobiles, the concept of gravity), without the great lovers of the world we would have nothing.

In essence, I'd rather live in a fairy tale for the rest of my life than be the smartest one in reality.  Bring on the fantasy, the once upon a time, the imaginary world of beautiful, sweet, tender love.  You can take your calculus and your literary analysis and your physics.  As yet, there is no formula in chemistry that produces more happiness than love.  So keep your algebra, your rocket science, your botany, your astronomy.  I'll take the love...even if it is all a dream.

pic: weheartit

29.12.09

Puzzl-ed.




Sometimes I feel like life is a puzzle with too many pieces.

pic: weheartit

23.12.09

Love, Translat-ed.
















I believe that the French have a way with words.  And it is almost always lost in translation.  One of my favorite nuances is the way the French talk about family.

Instead of saying you're going to spend time with your family this weekend, the French say 'you're going to spend time in family.'  As if being with your family is an entirely different state of being.  Ironically, it is often the truth.  When a family gathers around the table for a meal, the energy is unlike any other, as if the bonds that nature made reconnect instantly.

I know the holiday season can be stressful, and we don't always remember to express our love for those around us, but please take a moment this weekend to be en famille.  Ils vous aiment.

pic:weheartit

21.12.09

Wish-ed List.


During this season of hope, of giving, of love, of spirit, I've decided to make a wish list of just a few stocking stuffers for my readers.  May you all find the following somewhere in your life:

1.  toothache love, so sweet it hurts
2.  red balloon laughs, light and bright
3.  a clock that ticks in reverse, time tucked into all the tiny corners of your pockets
4.  simplicity, complication, control, excess
5.  a reflection that reveals truth, ciao bella
6.  a spot on the naughty list
7.  and chocolate. always, chocolate.

pic: weheartit

18.12.09

Tim-ed Out.

A few friends have gone through some tough stuff lately.  So, I thought I'd send out my love in the best way I know how.  My three M's, this is for all of you...

Time.

It is the only constant in life. It is the steady beating drum to which we all march. Though the rhythm is varied and the tempo ranges, we can always hear the faint drumming in the far off distance. Sometimes, the tempo picks up and time seems to pass so quickly that we often accuse it of disappearing: “where did the time go?” And in other moments of life, it marches along so slowly, we wonder if it is just standing still.

Whatever the rhythm, we all seem to take time for granted. We believe that time is our own and we may spend it however we like. But the fact of the matter is that time is not ours at all. In fact, it is quite the opposite: we belong to time.

Like a caring mother, time is patient. It helps us onto our feet and pushes us into the world with a gentle shove. But time also masquerades as a thief; it takes our loved ones, our youth, and our memories. But if time is such a vicious villain, why do we continue to ask for more? “I need more time.”

We ask for more, because we know that with each moment we are given, there is a lesson to be learned. With time comes wisdom. And if there is one thing we learn, it is that time is not such a criminal after all.

In fact, one thing that is proven over and over in history is the power of time. It is the greatest healer that exists, mending broken hearts and broken bones and broken spirits.

So perhaps time takes things from us only to teach us its value, to help us become stronger. Time is a healer, a teacher, a thief. Time is a rhythm, an age, a gift. But whatever time may present itself as, the only constant we can count on, is bittersweet time.

16.12.09

RSVP-ed


During this time of year, I often think about the overwhelming presence of hope and faith and belief that seems to float heavily in the air.  Though sometimes I find myself a little intimidated by the thought of believing in something bigger than me, I have to remind myself that a belief is actually the most liberating experience one can have because in fact it is so personal, so unique. I have to admit I've never been much of a religious person, but during my brief stint with yoga practice, I found the closest thing to a spiritual awakening I've ever experienced.  Somewhere between downward dog and pretzel pose I had a vision.

A woman with long brown wavy hair floated naked down a river, propelled by the soft current of a waterfall.  Her hair radiated around her face in a mane of soft waves and her naked breasts soaked up the brilliant sun beaming down from the heavens.  The coolness of the water and the warmth of the sunlight created the perfect temperature, the perfect balance.  Comfort.  She lay, floating, the universe holding her up and beaming down upon her all at once.  Never before had she known such peace.  So exposed, so bare, so human.  There she laid waiting.

This vision drifted through my open mind during one of these yoga sessions.  I remember interrupting my dream to switch into a new position, but as soon as I settled in, the vision came rushing back.

What was she waiting for?  It was like a cliffhanger that played on loop.  The harder I searched for an explanation, the further away it felt.  Then, as I sunk deeper into lotus pose, I found my answer.

She was waiting for God.

I’m not sure what this vision was supposed to mean: if it was a reflection of myself and my pursuit for spiritual guidance, or if it was a sweat-induced daydream of a woman at peace, constructed to ease my weary mind and muscles.  Whatever the purpose of the vision, it remains ingrained in my soul.  Every so often something in my life will bring this vision to the forefront of my mind; flipping through the latest Oprah magazine in the doctor’s office, drumming my thumbs on the steering wheel as I wait for the light to turn green.  Sometimes I feel like I’m the woman, floating in a world of chaos, waiting on Him to show up--as if I’m the hostess of a dinner party and He is my last guest to arrive.  I can’t seem to remember if He’s RSVPed, but I’ve set a place setting for Him anyway.  This is how I think of my God.  I’m not quite sure if He’s coming, or if He’s already arrived, but I’ll wait for Him anyway.  Because that’s what good hostesses do.

pic: weheartit

4.12.09

Diagnos-ed with Old Love Syndrome

Why is it that the only time we diagnose something in our lives is when we're physically unhealthy?  Perhaps that's the only time when something can be treated.  But when you think about it, aren't there a million other times in our lives when we need to recognize our symptoms, diagnose the problem, and treat it?! 

I ask you to consider the following case: 

An old lover comes back into the picture via a flirty text.  Patient A responds with an equally flirty text and continues to banter back and forth via mobile device into the late evening.  11:58pm to be exact.  The situation that caused to the initial breakup of said love affair is unclear.

Patient A presents herself to her mental health professionals--her girlfriends--and asks them to diagnose her.  Here is what they determine:

Diagnosis: Old Love syndrome
Cause: Flirty late-night text sessions, lack of closure in previous encounters
Symptoms: Incessant thoughts of getting back together with old lover; incessant self-reprimanding for thinking of getting back together with old lover; frustration about current love situation; experiences involuntary random memories of previous hookups, things said, and moments spent together
Treatment: Unfortunately, treatment for this disease is not simple.  Milder cases can be cured with a few nights on the town.  More severe cases must be isolated, tested, and treated with one of the following:

a.  a strong martini, a night out on the town, and a makeout session with a very attractive new boy.
b.  a strong martini, a night out with said love interest, and a makeout session with said lover.
c.  a strong martini, a night in with the girls, and a willingness to accept the fact that the symptoms may have been quieted for the time being, but a future late night text could potentially spark a flare up of the disease and treatment a or b must be implemented.

Please see the front desk for your prescription (vodka) and to schedule your next appointment (tonight).

Hope this helps.
Dr. -ed

19.11.09

Blurr-ed Edges.



Imagine the moon under a magnifying glass.  A layer of hazy purple clouds streak the golden celestial nightlight, exploding into pinks and purples and blues.  Like the moon with its blurred edges, sometimes things in life are more beautiful when we can’t see them clearly.

(Note: this rule of nature also applies to beer goggles.)

17.11.09

Distanc-ed.



I think the worst thing God ever invented was distance.

pic: weheartit

12.11.09

Crav-ed.


I crave you.  At work, at home, on the train, in a plane.  Sometimes I wish the world was made of you, just so I'd always be in sweet surrender.  But then again, the world melts when I think about you, so perhaps it would get a bit messy. 

Mmm, but what a delicious mess.

6.11.09

What if the world stopp-ed?

What if the world stopped when you looked at me?
What if you didn't smell so damn good?
What if your smile didn't light up the room?
What if I stopped breathing when you say my name?
What if this is it?
What if I loved you?
What if you loved me?
What if this weren't a hypothetical question?

pic: weheartit

5.11.09

Never Been Kiss-ed Like This


I've been kissed.  Or so I thought.  Until you came along.  And I realized I've never been kissed like this before...

Kissed first thing in the morning, before the first blink.
Kissed mid-sentence, mid-smile, mid-bite.
Kissed on the cheek for good luck, on the hand for good evening, on the forehead for sweet dreams, on the neck for sweet nothings.
Kissed in the car, before I leave for the day.  And kissed in the car, after I've returned.
Kissed when I'm wrong, and when you're right.
Kissed slowly, kissed madly, kissed deeply.
Kissed because you missed me.  And kissed because I've been here all day.
Kissed until I erupt into fits of laughter.
Kissed for a million reasons, and no reason at all.
Kissed in my language, and bisou-ed in yours.
Kissed because there are too may words.  And kissed because there aren't any left. 
Kissed on a street corner as rain rolls off our umbrella onto the pavement.
Kissed under the covers so that no one can discover us.
Kissed everywhere, kissed anywhere, kissed there.
Kissed while we let our hands explore each other.
Kissed last thing in the evening, after my eyes have shut for the night.
Kissed like this, like that, and oh, kissed like this.

A kiss by any other name would never taste as sweet.

29.10.09

Chipp-ed, Crack-ed, Crumbl-ed.

A wise (and fabulously spectacular) woman I know reminded me this morning that it's important to "Always remember you're you regardless of the other people around you."  We were discussing relationships and how positively terrifying they can be at times.  Imagine letting someone else in, depending on them, caring for them, (deep breath) even loving them, only to find that they aren't about to stick around.
  
Then what happens?  If we're lucky, we survive with minor chips and cracks.  Like water that freezes in the crevices of an old concrete sidewalk, we expand with the presence of others.  When spring comes and they melt away at the first sight of warm sunlight, we're left with cracks and holes.  Cracks and holes that will eventually be filled in with moss and inevitably the frost of the next winter.  Every once in a while, we crumble completely, leaving behind only particles of sand from the strong, solid block we were before.  But no matter what state we end up in after a hard winter, we still exist. You're still you.  Sure, the elements have taken their toll, but there is never a spring that arrives when we can't somehow make the necessary repairs.

Though through the winter, the ice seems adhered to the sidewalk as if they were one in the same, it is important to recognize that they are in fact separate elements.  When the ice melts, the sidewalk remains.  When a relationship melts, the most important parts are still intact.  In essence, you're you regardless of the relationship you're in, the friends you associate with, the family that supports you.  The people and situations around you will always change, but you can handle anything as long as you believe it's possible.

Often we forget this simple adage.  We're so afraid of letting anyone in, in fear that one day the ice will melt and leave us broken beyond repair. We forget that one day, too, the pulverized particles of sand left from the crumbled concrete might wash away and be at peace at the depths of the sea.

28.10.09

What would you say if I told you I franci-ed him?

An old fling from my time in Paris sent me a note this morning and it got me nostalgic for my days in the city of love.  Why is it that the minute we have a new prospect in line, all of the exes come out of the woodwork?  Who alerts them that life may just get a little too close to perfect for an old amour, so they need to step in? Is it a test?  A reminder of all the standards we have set for the new guy?  Usually, the distraction is enough to divert my attention and make me question my current situation.

But this time was different.  There was no hesitation.  I didn't even have to think before hitting 'delete.'

Ironically, the new guy in question right now is also French.  At risk of jinxing it by saying anything more, I'll stop at: he is fantastic, and I totally "france-y" him.

27.10.09

Bath-ed in Deep Lavender.

Let's run away together, shall we?  A nice, warm sunlit porch. A soft breeze that rustles our hair.  You lean into me and tell me I'm the one.  I smile as I smoosh my face into your neck.  We waste away the day doing nothing in particular except loving one another.  But loving each other seems to take up every ounce of energy we've got.  I reach out for your hand and you pull me closer.  How did we ever get so lucky?  Slowly, the sun dips below the horizon and we're bathed in the deep lavender of twilight.  I feel your chest rise and fall with every breath, and it intoxicates me.  We're so exhausted from doing nothing all day that we drift off to a peaceful slumber, and wake to find that nothing has changed.  Yes, I do believe it would be quite boringly blissful.

26.10.09

Hook-ed, Lin-ed, and Sinker-ed.

I believe there are a few stages to the beginnings of every legit courtship.  Like all matters of the heart, things get messy and we play out of turn, but I believe these couple steps stand true for most, well, couples. 

  • Stage 1: The Hook - Don't you love that gut feeling that tells you there's something worth exploring about a person (his smile, his corny jokes, his manners, etc.)?  The hook is not something we can plan to find (or try to ignore, for that matter..thanks, Nature!), it is simply the biological/psychological/sociological response our body and minds have to another human being.  It's beyond explanation, and it is unavoidable.  And then, I think we all know what comes next... 
  • Stage 2: The Game - Just admit it.  Once you realize you're attracted to someone, you initiate the game.  Whether we like it or not, we all do.  Some have better game than others, but the fact of the matter is that we all play at some point. The minute we get hooked on someone, we go into strategy mode.  How long do I wait to call her? When do I let him kiss me? What cute little thing am I going to do to make him think I'm the best thing since pumpkin beer?  Whatever you have to do to get to step 3, we do it...and then comes...
  • Stage 3: The Mutual Confession - From a very young age, we are taught the "Do you like me? Circle yes or no" trick.  It's an easy way to set expectations up front and prevent wasting our time on someone who is not even the slightest bit interested in us.  In a way, it is a method of self-preservation.  Sometimes the confession is just that: a direct "I like you...what do you think?" type deal.  Other times it is more subtle.  We use different words and gestures to accomplish the same goal (think arm graze, lingering stare and sometimes a 'kiss and run' tactic).  However it is accomplished, we cannot proceed until these first three steps have been taken. 
  • Stage 4: The Discovery - Now that we've established I like you, and (hallelujah!) you like me back, I want to know everything about you, and for you to know everything about me.  You know what I'm talking about...the three hour dinners where you make broad statements about your past and your preferences "Have I told you about how I broke my arm in second grade?  I've always been uber-athletic" and "I like vanilla so much better than chocolate, but I'm no plain Jane."  You've told these stories to a dozen others in exactly this same setting, but for some reason, that story about your trip to Europe is brand new again.  And what's even better is, they're hooked!  You might as well be telling them the surprise ending to that new Flash Forward show.  They are completely enamored.  Not only do you verbal diarrhea all over each other (sorry for the graphic mental picture), you have to discover every inch of each others' bodies too.  It's not good enough just to hold hands, you have to trace the outline of his fingers; kissing his lips isn't good enough, you have to taste his neck, his ears, his cheeks.  And oh, those first few delicious kisses where you're not entirely sure of his next move, which in turn makes you hyper-aware of yours.  Life couldn't get any better when we're discovering new territory.  And as it goes with any unclaimed territory, we eventually need to leave our mark...
  • Stage 5: The Decision - Now it's time to face the facts.  Up until this point everything has been one giant (more or less painless) social experiment.  And now it's time to evaluate the results.  We're hooked, we engage in a game of flirtation, we admit that we're enjoying ourselves, we divulge personal information and seek information in return, and now we have to decide whether it's worth it to continue onto the next step.  Sometimes this decision is easy: Heck no!  (my best friend hates him, I can't stand the way he snorts when he laughs, he releases deadly farts in his sleep, etc.)  And even though this decision doesn't always present itself so clearly, the decision to stop at stage 5 is the easier one.  Trust me.  The harder part comes when we decide that we want to enter into (cue 'Twilight Zone' theme song) STEP 6.  Because this is when things no longer are as cut and dry.  There is no rule book.  All of a sudden someone has cut the lights and we're fumbling around in the dark because no one ever exactly tells us how to keep the guy once we get him.  Everyone readily offers up advice on how to land the man of your dreams, but the scariest part about keeping him around is that there is no game, no strategy, no step-by-step guide.  He'll stick around because, well, he likes you.  And it's really that simple and really that complicated all at once.  So, if you've made the decision to dive head first into Step 6, also known as...
  • Stage 6: The Unknown - ...Good luck.

23.10.09

It's good to be lov-ed.



All the good stuff in the world was meant for my friends.

(Thanks for being patient.  A new post is just around the river bend.)

22.10.09

Repeat-ed and Repeat-ed...

You know that stage of a new crush when you listen to a song and you feel like every little quirky lyric is speaking to you?  This song has been on repeat since a few days ago...a list, a song, a little love, and a lot of French.  I'm hooked...please enjoy my new obsession.

Listen to: "La Liste"
(I've translated below for your convenience.)

Aller à un concert / Go to a concert
Repeindre ma chambre en vert / Repaint my room in green
Boire de la vodka / Drink some vodka
Aller chez Ikea / Go to Ikea
Mettre un décolleté / Put on a low-cut shirt
Louer un meublé / Rent an apartment
Et puis tout massacrer / And then destroy all
Pleurer pour un rien / Cry for no reason
Acheter un chien / Buy a dog
Faire semblant d'avoir mal / Pretend to be hurt
Et mettre les voiles / And hit the road
Fumer beaucoup trop / Smoke way too much
Prendre le métro / Take the subway
Et te prendre en photo / And take a picture of you
Jeter tout par les fenêtres / Throw everything out the windows
T'aimer de tout mon être / Love you with all my soul
Je ne suis bonne qu'à ça / I'm only good at that
Est ce que ça te dé-çoit ? / Are you disappointed?
J'ai rien trouver de mieux à faire / I haven't found anything better to do
et ça peut paraître bien ordinaire / And that could seem pretty ordinary
et c'est la liste des choses que je veux faire avec toi / And this is the list of the things I want to do with you
Te faire mourir de rire / Make you die laughing
Aspirer tes soupirs / Inhale your sighs
M'enfermer tout le jour / Stay inside all day
Ecrire des mots d'amour / Write love letters
Boire mon café noir / Drink black coffee
Me lever en retard / Get up late
Pleurer sur un trottoir / Cry on the sidewalk
Me serrer sur ton coeur / Hold on tight to your heart
Pardonner tes erreurs / Forgive your faults
Jouer de la guitare / Play the guitar
Danser sur un comptoir / Dance on the counter
Remplir un caddie / Fill up a shopping cart
Avoir une petite fille / Have a little girl
Et passer mon permis / And pass my driver's test
Jeter tout par les fenêtres / Throw everything out the windows
T'aimer de tout mon être / Love you with all my soul
Je ne suis bonne qu'à ça / I'm only good at that
Est ce que ça te dé-çoit ? / Are you disappointed?
J'ai rien trouver de mieux à faire / I haven't found anything better to do
et ça peut paraître bien ordinaire / And that could seem pretty ordinary
et c'est la liste des choses que je veux faire avec toi / And this is the list of the things I want to do with you
ha ha
ha ya
ha ya
ha ha
Je sais je suis trop naïve / I know I'm too naive
De dresser la liste non exhaustive / To build a non-exhaustive liste
De toutes ces choses que je voudrais faire avec toi / Of all the things I want to do with you
T'embrasser partout / To kiss you everywhere
S'aimer quand on est saouls / Make love when we're drunk
Regarder les infos / Watch the news
Et fumer toujours trop / And still smoke too much
Eveiller tes soupçons / Raise your doubts
Te demander pardon / Ask you for forgiveness
Et te traiter de con / And call you a jerk
Avoir un peu de spleen / Feel a little blue
Ecouter Janis Joplin / Listen to Janis Joplin
Te regarder dormir / Watch you sleep
Me regarder guérir / Watch me heal
Faire du vélo à deux / Ride a two-person bike
Se dire qu'on est heureux / Tell each othe we're happy
Emmerder les envieux. / F*** the envious.

15.10.09

Paris, Revisit-ed.

We met for a coffee at café Buci on the corner of my street--the only downfall of living in the best part of town is that you never venture elsewhere.  We sipped from tiny cups of dirty, bitingly sweet espressos at a cast iron table.  We both grasped madly for understanding, fumbling words and language in a way that only lovers can.  Sometimes I wonder if he would have understood if we spoke the same language—part of me thinks it would forever be lost in translation.  I loved it this way.  I hated it this way.

I arrived in Paris a different person.  I don’t mean that I changed throughout my séjour—although I did—but that I was “different” in the sense that I didn't fit the mold of the 20-something American girl looking for her soul mate—especially if he comes with a sexy accent and the dark mysterious stare that all foreign men have mastered, a stare that seams to effortlessly capture helpless, painfully gullible American women.
 
When we grew tired of translating, he suggested a walk.  Still not accustomed to the French practice of injecting oneself with an hourly dose of caffeine (it’s as if this is the only respectable French pastime besides smoking and cycling in the Tour de France), I thought a walk would sweat out some of the nervous, caffeine-induced jitters.
 
The sky threatened rain, but because the Parisian skies suggest rain nearly every day, it is never commented on.  Perhaps this is why there is a café every five steps, and why they are never empty—the Parisians need a place to duck out of the rain and drink dirty coffee and Beaujolais. 
 
As we walked he took my hand in his.  My palm was damp from humidity and sweat, but he didn’t seem to mind, or perhaps he was too polite to say anything.  He seemed perfectly content just to walk; however being the anal retentive American that I am (and always will be—even 6 months in France couldn’t change my ways) I insisted we pick a destination.
 
A friend of mine had suggested I meet him around 5 at the Panthéon for a special exhibit commemorating those who lost their lives in the Holocaust.  I phoned him to let him know I’d be joining him and then had le francais steer us toward the landmark.
 
Leisurely, we strolled past the movie theaters, talking of the films we had been meaning to see, past the McDonald’s where the line snaked out the door, and uphill past the Sorbonne where I had been taking an orientation course.
 
We turned a corner and the monumental building seemed to spring from the ground, towering over us in all of its grand glory.  Suddenly, he turned to me, breaking the silent language barrier. “It’s beautiful, no?” he asked.  I found it odd that he didn't ask this question in French, the language of love and beauty and all things spectacular. 

“Yes. Yes, it is beautiful.”
 
Just then, it began to rain.  Droplets the size of cherries fell on our foreheads, splashing at our hair lines and trickling down our faces like freshwater tears.  Clumsily, I fell into him, the tips of our noses kissing as we leaned against a building in search of shelter from the overhang.  In the time it took for our gaze to wander from each other, the rain had penetrated our beings, melting away all inhibitions.
 
“Si j’étais un vrai français, je t’embrasserais maintenant.” He whispered.
Translation:"If I was a real frenchman, I'd kiss you right now."
 
I wondered what he meant by this.  All afternoon I had teased him about the French men and their charming ways.  He pulled out my chair and I snickered, he paid the tab and I shook my head.  I told him that real romance is wasted on me.  It embarrasses me.  He seemed to think I was lying, that what I really wanted was for him to try harder. 
 
I smiled and turned to dart across the street and into the Panthéon where he held my wet coat and told me about the famous “vrai français” who were buried in its tombs.
 
Our moment outside in the rain had escaped us. So instead, I let him kiss me on the stairs of the metro station, as his cigarette burned a whole in my jacket.

12.10.09

I haven't OD-ed on pumpkin, yet.

Just a few things we love about fall...

1.  The Madison Square park fall festival where they serve cold beer and warm pumpkin puffs (chunks of spiced pumpkin wrapped in pastry dough and fried until flaky and golden brown)
2.  Long walks in Central Park as the crisp fall air turns your cheeks the perfect shade of rose.
3.  Waking up to a steaming cup of pumpkin spice Keurig coffee.
4.  Cashmere socks.
5.  Stuffing skinny jeans into broken-in Frye boots.
6.  A perfectly wrapped scarf that serves equally as a brilliant accessory and as practical outerwear.
7.  A little extra wiggle room to enjoy warm, comfort food.
8.  The Halloween costume brainstorming sessions had during Monday night football commercial breaks
9.  Primetime TV in full swing.
10.  The return of creative window displays and a reason to shop again (sweaters and boots and scarves, oh my!)
11.  Brisk air gives you an extra excuse to cozy up to that special someone.
12.  Apples, apples, everywhere!
13.  Not sweating on the walk to work, hair that doesn't frizz the minute you step outside, and lightly moisturized skin tucked under soft layers.
14. The return of red wine.

    9.10.09

    Happiness List-ed Here.

    Let's start a happy list, shall we?  Please feel free to add...
    1. crossing things off a to do list
    2. red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
    3. the happy freak out first moments alone after a first kiss
    4. the voice of my father on the phone
    5. running further than i thought i could
    6. anticipation
    7. a really fabulous pair of new shoes
    8. reading aloud to each other in bed
    9. the first snow
    10. finding you have things in common that you thought you'd never admit
    11. driving with the windows down and the radio up
    12. the way the bare trees look in winter from your bedroom window
    13. brunch
    14. when my mom laughs so hard she cries
    15. seeing a new text from him
    16. whispering in french
    17. really crunchy pickles
    18. looking at the photos of a night out and giggling with your girls the morning after
    19. wandering
    20. making little noises while i eat
    21. the first moments of seeing an old friend when you just want to keep asking her how she's been
    22. christmas lights
    23. twilight

    7.10.09

    When you're hand-ed lemons...

    Anyone else abhor the saying "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade (or add some tequila and make a margarita)" or some other equally retarded version this cliche?  I can't STAND it! 

    So, I'd like to take it upon myself to revise the saying.  How about this: "When life hands you lemons, get mad, and throw them back at her.  Life can be such a bitch sometimes."  Please help me in abolishing the cheesy lemonade remark from any and everyone's standard encouragement responses.  Thanks in advance for making my life just a little bit sweeter!

    Ironically, things have been going pretty well lately and I have little use for this phrase.  Work's been busier than usual (hence the lack of recent posts) and the social and love lives have picked up quite a bit too.  Now, if I could only get to the gym a little more frequently...but hey, I guess life can't always be perfect, huh?

    And I'd rather get fat on chocolate cake during the best of times, than thin out on a liquid lemonade diet during the worst.

    PS (and totally unrelated...) - Follow me on twitter for post updates: theedchronicles!

    6.10.09

    Because I Ask-ed.

    I am a firm believer that if you ask the universe for something, (as long as it's reasonable) it will do it's best to get it for you in some way, shape, or form.  For instance:

    'Dear Universe,
    Please give me the strength to get through this work day without pulling all of my hair out.
    Thanks,
    me.'

    Universe: Ok, start a blog.

    or

    'Dear Universe,
    Please send me someone interesting.  And, if it's not too much trouble, could you tell him I'm pretty darn interesting myself.
    Best,
    me.'

    Universe: I'll work on it.

    It seems the universe does listen.  What are you putting out into the world?  Ask for something...you might just get it.

    2.10.09

    Wast-ed Away.

    Things I hate about being hungover:
    1. The pounding headache
    2. The tendency to binge eat carbs and grease
    3. The "did I really do that last night?" feeling
    Things I LOVE about great nights out:
    1. Dirty martinis with your roommate
    2. Free hot dogs that come with a cheap pitcher of beer
    3. Getting told you have beautiful skin by an Adrian Grenier look-alike who then asks for your number. Yum.

    30.9.09

    Unemploy-ed.

    One afternoon while on a long run, I got to thinking.  This was during the long months of unemployment following college, so naturally, my thoughts wandered into the familiar realm of bewildered self-discovery.  I found myself quietly constructing a “What I Should Have Done with the First 23 Years of my Life” list.  It went a little something like this: study English…real English, the classics.  Write. Had a little more, or a little less, fun—serious work pays off just as much as being a free spirit does.  Majored in psychology—I would have written the best books on “self.”  Volunteered—read to the elderly, or the young.  Became a chef, or a food critic, or a wine connoisseur.  Read the lyrics of “Better People” by Xavier Rudd for a more poetic rendition of all this.

    …but I guess there’s still time.  And it isn’t until just now that I have even the slightest clue of what I wanted all along.  Life is funny like that.  The majority of us don’t figure out who we really are (or at least want to be) until we’re too old to make it happen.  Or too pessimistic to try.  The world teaches us that most dreams are impossible. Perhaps, the reason for living is to prove the world wrong.  It often seems we live right-side up in a world of upside-downs.

    Whenever these kinds of thoughts start swirling around in my head, I call my grammar school best friend who now lives in Sydney, Australia with her boyfriend, a full-time lifeguard and star of a hit reality TV series.  She always was a bit of a free spirit, often dragging me into the muddy stream to “save the minnows” or conducting séances in her basement to speak to the Indian ghosts she believed her house was built over.

    “Life is taking you too seriously,” she told me.  At first, I thought she had been sipping a few too many Fosters, but just before I could correct her, she explained herself.  “Over there in America, you all have a formula to follow.  If you don’t graduate from college, get a desk job, land a husband, and start a family, society tells you you’re doing something wrong.  But, if you ask me, that equation is missing a hell of a lot.”

    “I guess so,” I managed.
    “Sure, all of those things are great…and if there is anyone that is meant to be a mom, it’s you.  But where is the fun?  What ever happened to exploring, traveling, doing something crazy—something worth writing a book about?”

    And so I'm taking her advice.  We need to take life seriously--go after our dreams, follow our heart--without letting life take us too seriously.  Make sense?

    29.9.09

    Chicken-ed Out.

    I want to be sitting at this counter with a giant platter of fresh cheese and crackers in front of me, a balloon glass of delicious red wine, and some soothing French music on in the background while I chat with Diane Keaton about her love affair with Jack Nicholson.  (Yes, another Diane Keaton reference.  Ever see Something's Gotta Give?  Classy, turtleneck-loving, writer/mother Diane Keaton flits around this kitchen in the movie.)

    Sadly, my New York kitchen is about the size of the double-wide doorway on the left (if that), but one day I'll have a kitchen this grand.  Another tidbit you should know about me is that I absolutely LOVE to cook...and eat.  One of my favorite recipes to make is called 'Cranberry Chicken' because it only involves 4 ingredients, tastes delicious, and is the perfect dish for a dinner party.  You stick it in the oven an hour before you wish to serve dinner, and then you're free to mingle with your guests (aka eat cheese and crackers while gossiping about your love affairs...see above).  No slaving over a hot stove all evening.

    Cranberry Chicken:

    1 bottle French dressing
    1 packet Knorr's French Onion Soup dry mix
    1 can whole cranberry sauce
    4 chicken breasts

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and dry the chicken breasts.  Mix first three ingredients together in a shallow glass baking dish.  Add chicken and coat with mixture.  Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 50 minutes.  Uncover and bake for 10 minutes more.  Remove from oven, let cool for 5 minutes.  Serve with rice and vegetable in season.

    Cranberry Chicken is truly delicious, but it seems I make chicken over and over, just in different ways.  I could use a few easy, non-chicken recipes.  Any suggestions?  Leave me a comment with your favorite and I'll make an experiment out of it. 

    And Diane Keaton, if you're reading this...I'll have you (and Jack) over for dinner anytime.

    28.9.09

    Rain-ed Out.

    God, I love when it rains in New York.  Always uptight New Yorkers let out heartfelt sighs as they duck out of the rain and slide into barstools to meet friends for a neighborhood drink.  A constant stream of sunshine and brake lights reflects off the wet streets as yellow cabs go rushing by.  And NY women break out the boots.  Oh, the boots! The beautiful, beautiful, beautiful boots!

    We climb the stairs to our cozy walk-up apartment to indulge in a steaming cup of green mint tea and a good book as we listen to the steady rhythm of the rain on the window.  The world is quieter, more peaceful, and best of all, we have an excuse to stay inside and get away from it all.

    God, I love when it rains in New York.

    Recycl-ed.

    Past relationships are a funny thing.  After they are over, we do one of two things.  Either we personify our past lovers as everything we hate in the world: “How could I have ever loved such an egotistical, unrefined moron?”  Or, we romantically glorify them, inducting them into our own private relationship shrine/hall of fame, requiring that all future romantic interests live up to the impossible standards we project onto our past lovers, so that no matter how wonderful, the new guy always falls short.  Am I right?

    Lord knows I am guilty of both.

    So, how do we break the cycle? How do we forget about "dude number one" and accept "dude number whatever" for who he is, or who he might be?  Watch the movie 500 Days of Summer (I saw it this weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it) for the answer.  Perhaps all we can hope is that the cycle continues, that after summer there is a fall, that after fall there is a winter.  Perhaps, life without the next step in the cycle is just 500 days of summer.  Perhaps, it's time for fall.

    27.9.09

    Speed Dat-ed.

    So this past Friday a gal pal and I decided to attend a local speed dating event.  We figured it would be a great way to put ourselves out there and meet some new gents.  Good idea, right?


    Yeah, worst idea ever.

    Most speed dating events are organized so that you have a short 'date' and then at the sound of a bell, you move onto the next dude.  Unfortunately, we took the cheap way out and selected the more economical "single mingle" option, which basically involves packing a bunch of single folks into a bar, handing them a free drink, and asking them to meet one another.  Essentially, this becomes just like any other Friday night, except with name tags and a little more desperation.

    Fifteen minutes in, I was cornered by a 50-year-old Peruvian bank teller asking me if I enjoyed foreign films and très leches. Did I mention he also had a lisp?  Sure there were a few decent guys in the crowd, but there was no way to get out from underneath Dario's grasp without being rude, or kneeing him in the balls and running for my life.

    I left the event feeling awful.  I had gone for kicks--to mix up my usual Friday night routine, but what I didn't realize was that for most of the singles in the room, this wasn't something they were doing for fun.  This was a last resort.  They weren't just looking for a cute girl's number and a casual drink, they were looking for a life partner who was equally willing to speed up the dating process.  They were looking to cut to the chase--make up for the years lost in their divorce, ignore their social shortcomings, find their soul mate.

    After evading Dario's sixteenth request for my contact information and partaking in a short pity party, I started to see the experience in a different light.  In a way, it made me thankful for my situation.  My situation being that, unlike Dario, I didn't need to be there.

    I won't be going back to another singles event anytime soon, simply because I'm not ready to give up my high standards.  Now if there's a single and mingle event with a bunch of Ashton Kutcher look-alikes ready to wisk me off to foreign lands and feed me tres leches off their rock hard abs while they reinact scenes from my favorite romance films, then perhaps I'll sign up.  But for now, I'm content being young, single, and free.

    25.9.09

    Lov-ed, Actually.

    It was so bright that afternoon I thought I was seeing everything under a magnifying glass.  All the vibrant colors of spring were intensified to the point where my spirit was bursting with poems.  We lay together as the cool breeze entered through the open windows and whizzed around the fan.  Sweat collected on his upper lip and made him taste like the sea as we kissed.  Softly, he tickled my belly button as I giggled wildly.  Suddenly, the rhythmic sound of a car’s motor made its way up the driveway.

    A delivery for you,” someone called from downstairs.  I looked at him knowingly.  Anxiously, I tumbled down the stairs, colliding with a vase of carnations.

    “Carnations?!” he yelled suspiciously.  “I ordered a bouquet of exotic flowers!”

    But that was just it – our love wasn’t exotic.  It was ordinary, but beautiful just the same.  The relationship, like the flowers, eventually wilted, but the vase remains, waiting to be filled again.

    Chang-ed.


    No one will ever change enough to love a different way.

    24.9.09

    Paris, Introduc-ed.

















    I told you we'd talk about Paris...

    We were walking along the Seine, licking Berthillion ice cream cones, talking about our futures.  I decided to try out my new History of Paris knowledge on the beautiful French man walking beside me as we crossed over to Isle-St-Louis.  

    "Ahem," (cue sexy French voice) "You know, this is the oldest neighborhood in Paris."

    He didn’t miss a beat.  “Yes, and it is the most expensive neighborhood in Paris.”

    Pause.

    Why hadn’t I thought of that?! Instead, I thought: only in Paris is the oldest place in the city the most expensive!

    “One day I will own an apartment on this island,” he continued, “and you will come and live with me.” Though I very well knew this relationship--or whatever it was we had--would not survive my departure from Paris, I nodded. 

     “Only if you drape me in jewels,” I teased.

    And that is how life went in Paris.  I floated along in a dream-like state not knowing what was real and what was a figment of my imagination.  One moment I was a beautiful dame, draped in jewels, a cigarette in my wrinkly hands that I smoked through a long filter like they only do in old movies, calling everyone 'darling' and 'chérie.'  The next I was a young twenty-year-old staggering out of Pub St. Michel into the hazy dusk of morning in search of some carbohydrates and my bed.

    Those six months were the sweetest I can remember, both because I consumed six thousand times my body weight in French pastries and because I cannot remember another time in my life when I did not have to seek happiness.  In Paris, it just found me.  I am not saying that I just floated down the tiny rues in a constant haze of utopia, but that even when I was miserable, it was beautiful.  Paris is the only city in the world that I have ever been to where you can be just as happy being happy as being miserable.  A glass of wine in an outdoor café tastes just as delicious when shared with a lover as when contemplating one’s miserable life.

    Not to worry...Frenchie will return in future episodes.  (And my hangover is doing much better, thank you.  Must be all the cake.)

    Over Indulg-ed.

    Wouldn't this just be the life?  So many pastries you'd live in permanent sugar high, dresses that hide love handles and simultaneously give your boobies a boost, shoes with pom-poms and kitten heels, a giant feather in the hair, and someone to wait on you hand and foot.  Oh, and did I mention you have power over the entire land? Yes, I do believe this would be the life.

    I guess there would be minor details like no running water and a people's revolution that might be a bit of a nuisance, but then you could just say really obnoxious things and become famous for them.  I mean, what if MA had said "Let them eat pie?"  Not as chic.  You can't put pink frosting on a cherry pie, now can you?

    Just in case you're confused, I'm posting this for three reasons:
    1. A girl can dream...
    2. To prove that the grass is always greener a few decades ago.
    3. I'm a wee bit hungover (oops) in cube anonymous and the combo of cake, lounge chair, and sleep seem like heaven right now.
    (I know 3 is the cooler number, but reason #4 is because this movie rocks! See Marie Antoinette now.)

    23.9.09

    Chalk-ed up to Romance.

    This is the first of many "why don't we (blank) anymore?" posts. Perhaps with your help, we can bring some of these fabulous things back.  I hope so.  Anyway, here's the first of my woes:

    Why don't we make grand romantic gestures anymore? 

    Like this one:  One morning during my stay in Paris (Did I mention I lived in Paris for 6 months? No? Well, we'll talk about that later.) I walked outside of my apartment to find a trail of chalk-drawn hearts on the sidewalk. Totally normal, right? Each heart had a little message in it, so being the curious romantic that I am, I decided to follow the trail and see where it lead.  The first:


     "I love you a little..."

    By this point I was already secretly plotting how I could construct a tarp over this casual piece of art so the rain could never wash it away, when I spotted the next one:

     
    "I love you a lot..." 

     Are you melting yet?  I was. Hardcore. A few more steps and I found the next:


    "Are you starting to see where you're going?"

    Okay, now I'm officially intrigued. Where are we going?!  What will we find when we get there?!

    Realizing what a strange tourist I looked like, taking pictures of the ground, I moved along quickly, desperate to find the next message in line.  The trail wound through the tiny streets of the left bank, over the Seine on the wooden footbridge Passerelle des Arts, and across the street to the Louvre.  There I stood, in front of the museum famous for some of the most grandiose and romantic masterpieces in the world, staring at amateur chalk-drawn hearts on the ground.  I believe our friend Alanis would have something to say...isn't it ironic?  Don't you think?  Finally it appeared I had found the last message on the sidewalk scavenger hunt.  Pushing tourists out of the way before their white tennis shoes smudged the message, I found the happy ending:

    "Tu es la femme de ma vie.  Veux-tu m'épouser?"
    Translation: "You are the woman of my life.  Will you marry me?"

    As Rachel Zoe says, I die!  Only in Paris would one follow a trail of glorified post-it notes a mile to discover a marriage proposal written so beautifully and yet so simply by a mystery writer.  When was the last time you saw something like this on the streets of New York?  Chicago? Anywhere?

    So I say it's time to bring the love back.  Let's make grand romantic gestures just because we can!  And sorry fellas, a text message just doesn't cut it.  (Did I mention I was single?)


    22.9.09

    Edumacat-ed.

    Just wanted to share a little inspirational verse on a gray Tuesday. It's really too bad Longfellow isn't on Twitter because I'd follow him to the end of the earth--never had a thing for facial hair, but I'd get over the beard thing (and the age difference) if only he'd recite lyrics to me all day. And if he spoke French, well, that would just be unfair.
      
    A Psalm of Life
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    Tell me not in mournful numbers,
    Life is but an empty dream!
    For the soul is dead that slumbers,
    And things are not what they seem.

    Life is real! Life is earnest!
    And the grave is not its goal;
    Dust thou are, to dust thou returnest,
    Was not spoken of the soul.

    Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
    Is our destined end or way;
    But to act, that each tomorrow
    Find us farther than today.

    Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
    And our hearts, though stout and brave,
    Still, like muffled drums, are beating
    Funeral marches to the grave.

    In the world's broad field of battle,
    In the bivouac of Life,
    Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
    Be a hero in the strife!

    Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
    Let the dead Past bury its dead!
    Act, - act in the living Present!
    Heart within, and God o'erhead!

    Lives of great men all remind us
    We can make our lives sublime,
    And, departing, leave behind us
    Footprints on the sand of time;

    Footprints, that perhaps another,
    Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
    A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
    Seeing, shall take heart again.

    Let us then be up and doing,
    With a heart for any fate;
    Still achieving, still pursuing,
    Learn to labor and to wait.

    Stoop-ed.

    We're really dumb sometimes.  You know that?  Really dumb.  We have vendettas against people for so long that we forget why we're even holding the grudge.  And to be honest, there's no room in this world for grudges.  They're the cause of war, heartbreak, and loss.  Why do I bring this up, you ask? Well, last night I had dinner with my mom and a few old friends of ours.  One of the women that attended, I've known since I was in kindergarten, and despite our mother's closeness, I've never been able to let go of the idea that she just doesn't seem to like me.  I never really understood why and so instead of confronting her and talking it out, I've just avoided her at every family function and told my mother we 'just were very different people.'  But last night, for the first time since we've known each other, we finally were able to sit down and talk/act like adults.  Suddenly the dark cloud that had been looming over a could-be friendship lifted and oddly enough, we realized we have a ton in common.  All it took was a fresh outlook and a little laughter to make us see that we could have been really great friends all this time.  So, I've made a personal resolution to start anew--spread the love.  I can now argue that ignorance is not bliss--sometimes ignorance is the one thing standing in our way of a good thing.  So let's stop being stoop-ed and start making friends.

    21.9.09

    Highly Principl-ed.

    This weekend during brunch with my oldest friend, we got to talking about the philosophy of life.  She mentioned that she was reading The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, which is now on the top of my reading list after I finish The Pillars of the Earth.  Basically we discussed how as humans, we tend to focus our lives around one theme, be it work, family, relationships, etc.  Though the focus often changes as our lives change, these external foci always leave us feeling as though we're not in control; however, if we concentrate on living our lives based on principles, we feel more empowered and therefore, more effective.  She didn't go into detail about what author Stephen Covey believed his 7 principles were, and I'm sure I'll have more insight after reading the book, but I thought this was a very interesting idea.

    Whether I like it or not, I often find my happiness depends a lot on how my work life is progressing (not much), how exciting my love life is (see pseudo-date reference), and how much family support I receive (lots, but never enough).  Instead, I've decided I will begin focusing on a few principles:
    1. Accept. I will accept that this is my perfect life...right now.  No waiting around for something different to happen, the best for right now is here and ready.
    2. Minimize. One's life is never bigger than the little things that it's made of: a decadent piece of chocolate cake, a long fall run, a super late night with friends, a 'job well done' email from the boss man, a smile left for a stranger.  The littler your life is, the bigger and better it gets. 
    3. Maximize.  Seize the opportunities presented to you.  And keep your eyes and ears open, sometimes opportunity knocks softly. 
    4. Love.  Dish it out in every shape and form.  And be sure to give yourself a extra large helping. 
    5. Believe.  Trust that you're stronger than you realize.  If you believe in yourself, and in your decisions, whatever they may be, you will always be right.
    So I'm not quite at 7, but I think it's a good start.  Besides, I've always been highly principl-ed.

    (image from Cal Tech website)

    18.9.09

    Vindicat-ed.

    It's Friday at 4:53PM and my weekend begins in 7 minutes.  Here's what's on the playlist for the next 3 days:
    1. Pseudo-date. (No details for fear of jinxing.)
    2. Sleep in, overstuffed bed, fresh sheets.
    3. Brunch with the girls, cappuccino, gush about pseudo-date.
    4. Search for perfect fall coat, find unneeded but perfect new ring.
    5. Dinner party chez moi for out of town guests, homemade pizzas, wine, love.
    6. More sleeping in, read, pray for morning rain for excuse to stay in bed longer.
    7. Mid-morning cinnamon coffee, walk in park, stop at museum for leisurely tour.
    8. Meet Mom for dinner, show off new ring, ask for fall coat.
    9. Wait for pseudo-date to call.
    10. Bliss.

    15.9.09

    All Sort-ed Out.

    So the past few days have been a bit of a struggle. After a few tears, many bouts with frustration, and a large dose of support, I've finally come up with an acceptable post. Because let's be honest, who wants to read a "poor me pity party post?" (How's that for some alliteration?) This blog project began as an escape from the mundane-ness of work--a way to sort out my thoughts and have a little fun along the way. However, lately my thoughts have been a bit unruly. Usually if I can keep busy at work, I don't think about how much I wish I wasn't at work, but recently I haven't been able to get my mind on anything else. So after some trial and error (wine, beer, tequila...although temporary solutions to the problem always left me feeling worse off than before), I decided that the solution might be running.

    Why is it that when our bodies are busiest, our minds are most at peace? It is only when I'm running, all muscles engaged, that I have my clearest, most inspiring ideas. The rest of the world seems to melt away and it is just me and my thoughts. I feel like just as we must routinely organize our desk, clean the bathroom, and re-stock the fridge, our minds need a re-org on a regular basis. The housekeeper needs to come in and "straighten up" the place.

    Admittedly, sometimes my mind feels like a teenager's dorm room during finals, the floor scattered with dirty clothes, empty pizza boxes, and unfinished term papers. And yet other times, it feels like my grandmother's living room, not a thing out of place--a quick dust and we're good to go. Whatever the state of my thoughts, a run always serves as my housekeeping. As my sneakers pound the pavement, I can sort through the cobwebs in my brain, tucking the thoughts about disappointments and missed opportunities under the rug, and displaying the bright, inspired ones front and center on the coffee table.

    Lately, the need for these runs has become more and more apparent. I've been taking advantage of the beautiful fall-esque weather and opting for long shaded jaunts in Central Park. Whether it's the endorphins pumping through my blood stream (anyone else wonder why no one has been able to develop an 'endorphin drug'? I'd inject that juice directly into my bloodstream without batting an eyelash), the tightening of my hamstrings, or the ability to let my mind run free that helps sort everything out, I'm not sure. But what I realized last night as I rounded the lower loop of CP is that that's okay. In fact, that uncertainty seems to be the essence of life. If we were sure about everything, there'd be nothing left to discover. And when you really think about it, we'll probably never have everything sorted out. That's the whole point--that just when we have everything alphabetized on the bookshelves of our minds, life comes in and pulls all the books off the shelves so they fall open to new, unread pages.

    (photo from weburbanist.com)

    14.9.09

    A la Mod-ed

    No, this is not a post about ice cream. Although some savvy marketing folk should nab this idea for their next Fashion's Night Out promotion: La Mode, A la Mode. How yummy, fashion with a cherry on top?!

    Anyway, en route to grab a casual drink, a dear friend and I stumbled upon the festivities of FNO 2009 last Thursday evening in the Meatpacking district and feasted on all the delicious new designer collections while imbibing in champagne, cupcakes, and chicken quesadillas (courtesy of the best "underground" Mexican eatery in NYC, La Esquina--make a reservation immediately, it will take you a few months to get in). As we stumbled from one drink line to the next, I couldn't help but smile. Okay, yes I was a little deliriously drunk, but that's beside the point. I was smiling because it was exactly what I envisioned my NYC life to be: glamorous, random, friend-filled, and a little hazy. The fact that I am the farthest thing from a fashionista, and that I wouldn't be able to afford a La Esquina margarita, nevermind a silver Matthew Williamson dress, is completely irrelevant. I am doing it. I am living the dream.

    As I stumbled over the cobblestone streets, toes neatly crammed into stiletto pumps, I thought the only thing that could make this evening more complete would be a little hot fudge and a few sprinkles. Just then, a beautifully tanned man swooped in with his iPhone to request my number: talk about hot fudge...And then it began to rain ever so lightly.

    10.9.09

    Faith Renew-ed.

    There are still good people in this world. I am sure of it. Every once in a while the universe reminds us that truth and honesty still exist. Yesterday, the universe sent me a reminder in a US Postal Service envelope. Inside: my lost wallet. Not a dime was missing.

    So, I've been contemplating the best way to thank the universe. Would a note and a twenty dollar bill suffice? Or is it more appropriate to pay it forward? I couldn't decide, so I'll do both for good measure.

    First thing this morning, I dropped off a thank you note at the post office: "Thank you for giving me my life back. I hope the world recognizes your good deed and and sends some love your way. And just in case the universe is a little slow, please accept this small thank you as an advance. Gratefully yours, me."

    Now for the pay it forward movement. This afternoon during my lunch break, I will make a stop at the blood bank and donate as much as they'll allow. Care to join me as I send out some love into the universe? Suggestions welcome...

    9.9.09

    Ston-ed to Death.

    With the recent wave of fall weather wafting through the city, I can't help but look forward to the cooler months. Most people mourn the end of summer, but I celebrate the arrival of beautiful scarves, hot cocoa overflowing with mini-marshmallows, and the excuse to cuddle a cutie anywhere, anytime. Sure, life is not always so sweet, but a girl can hope.

    Upon the arrival of late fall/early winter, I pop in my favorite movie and hit repeat. Please do not judge me for my taste in movies--I do not have a background in film, nor do I consider myself of the artsy breed by any means, so I am perfectly content with my lesser known chick flick choice, The Family Stone. I'm not quite sure what makes me love the film so much, but I will try to explain. For a more eloquent review of The Family Stone, visit this lovely LATimes review.

    The movie is a story about a real family who, like all families, loves and irritates each other at the same time. The hustle and bustle of the full house always has me longing to have a litter of my own because along with the added dramas comes added love. I grew up in a small nuclear family and though I have many aunts, uncles, cousins, etc., we lived a long drive apart at best. So, I have come to live vicariously through the Stones.

    Diane Keaton, who plays the matriarch, is quite possibly my favorite actress of all time for her classic look, fantastic performance, and striking resemblance to my own mother. Throughout the film, she calls it like it is, and has no qualms about making outsiders earn her love, trust, and attention. It is also important to note that her outfits are absolutely divine--to me, she is the ultimate white shirt and red lipstick lady.

    And they could not have found a more beautiful home for the set! The wrap-around porch, circular drive, and snowy landscape are straight out of a dream. And the perfectly lived-in decor make me want to turn my apartment into a wallpapered hovel! The coffee pot is always on, there's always a light on in the window and voices can always be heard around the dinner table. It's home.

    In the coming months, as I gear up for the holidays, I will probably watch the movie a minimum of 10 times because it just makes me feel warm and cozy inside. We all have our rituals, whether it's making the Morton family strata every Christmas morning, hanging the same ornament first every year, or watching TFS on the couch the evening of the season's first snow. These rituals remind us that no matter how many times we do something, that same good feeling still remains as strong as the last time. So, if I had my choice, I'd be Ston-ed to death.

    Want-ed.

    • to be the ever-refined woman who looks most stunning in red lipstick and a starched white shirt.
    • to frame photos from my travels and hang them around my home to spark conversation with guests and to always keep the memory of the destination fresh.
    • to become an early riser; one who enjoys a cup of perfectly brewed coffee, the newspaper, and a beautiful view for a few moments of peace each morning.
    • to be the ultimate hostess; Sunday brunch in the garden, Winter Cocktails parties, Celebrations for Nothing in Particular, etc.
    • to make a habit of keeping a journal to record my thoughts, dreams, desires, resolutions, etc.
    • to become an excellent cook, perfecting as many dishes and committing the recipes to memory, starting with my mother's tarte aux aubergines.
    • to revisit my family roots in Kerry & Cork, Ireland.
    • to record my grandmother Eddy's story in all its marvelous, detailed glory.
    • to spend one week in perfect silence in order to discover my inner voice and learn to truly listen.
    • to learn how to meditate.
    • to learn to see myself in a way I never before knew I could; to develop a type of higher vision that is unattainable by simple reflection or obvious observation.
    • to work on my golf game ("a life skill" says Dad).
    • to have an entire wall in my home dedicated to a built-in bookshelf filled with books I love.
    • to have dinner party guests who inspire intellectual and educational conversation.
    • to have my own garden where I can grow vegetables, fruits, and vegetables to use in my dishes.
    • to find inner peace.
    • to be an inspiration to others.
    • to focus on the little things. they are the best things.

    8.9.09

    Recover-ed.

    Perhaps the title of this post should be listed in the present tense, "recover-ing," as it seems to be a process still in progress. This weekend I had a few college friends in town and with them came excessive drinking, smoking, and other mindless acts. Mind you, I am normally a very responsible person--too much at times--so when I managed to break my phone and lose my wallet all in 24 hours, I was beside myself. (Side note: how does "beside myself" translate to mean being very upset?) Anyway, I canceled all of my cards, crossed my fingers that my identity was still in tact, bucked up and bought a new phone, and finally, took a deep breath. I am now an iPhone convert, a penniless employee (not that the $10 left in my wallet at the time would have made me much richer), and a bit of a lost soul.

    I know I'm not the first or the last to experience such annoyances. And I understand that I'm probably still better off than others who have been in my position, but losing what feels like one's life--the ability to communicate, identify oneself, and/or make a purchase--makes you reconsider the way we live. Part of my recovery process has inadvertently involved an inventory check. All of the truly important things in my life were still there--family, friends, health, love, dignity, humor. Perhaps I had more than I realized. With these in my pocket, what loss would I not be able to recover from?

    My identity may be lost, but I've never felt more myself.

    4.9.09

    Crack-ed.

    "Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I'm not living." - Jonathan Safran Foer

    If you have not read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close please stop what you're doing and hunker down in Barnes & Noble with a Venti non-fat vanilla latte until you've read all 368 pages (don't panic, it has pictures!) A boy I once thought way too much about gifted it to me and I gobbled it up on one 3-hour plane ride. I no longer think much about the boy, but the book has left an unshakable impression on me.

    Like the fire-red imprint of the hand on the front cover, it seems this one line has seared a permanent thought onto my brain. The thought weighs on my existence more heavily every day and I fear if I don't find a way to forget it, my bones will crack under the pressure of not enough.

    Why is it that no matter what we're doing, we question what it would be like to be doing something else? I have a job, but the thrills of unemployment beckon. I am a city girl, but the lazy country life might suit me better. I am single, but wouldn't it be nice to settle down?

    There are so many things I'm not doing. So many places I'm not going. So many people I'm not meeting.

    So many lives I'm not living...how will the one I am living ever be enough?

    Unlist-ed.

    I thought that we should get to know one another a bit, so I'd like to briefly introduce myself in the best way I know how.

    I am:
    A list-maker,
    A hopeless romantic,
    A planner,
    A world traveler,
    A loyal friend,
    An avid reader,
    A Food Network junkie,
    A Jersey girl,
    A taurus,
    A college graduate,
    A big sister,
    A perfectionist,
    A brunette,
    A believer,
    A francophone,
    A glutton,
    A runner,
    A dog lover,
    And
    SINGLE,
    But it appears I may be unlist-ed.

    3.9.09

    Bor-ed and Insane

    The -ed Chronicles all began one afternoon when boredom met insanity and decided to have a child: blog.

    I have hopes that this will become both a form of entertainment for you and an outlet for me and my occasionally insipir-ed ideas. I guess it spurr-ed from the idea that perhaps if we're lucky, we'll find the (-ed) we're all looking for. Because let's face it, we're all in search of something: to be hir-ed, lov-ed, inspir-ed, accept-ed, publish-ed, befriend-ed, stimulat-ed, inform-ed, bless-ed...

    So, here's hoping the -ed is out there.

    And I apologize in advance for all the -ed puns. There will be many.