Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Waitress

Last night, 'the triangle' took advantage of bargain Tuesdays at the movie theater by watching "Waitress." The movie is about an unhappily married woman who works at a dinner and creates glorious pies. Keri Russell does an amazing job portraying the lost and sad soul of Jenna. The supporting actresses were awesome and hilarious. The doctor was a unique male character who garnered quite the sympathy from our crowd (how couldn't he with all his awkward cuteness?). The song "Goodbye Earl" has taken on an entirely new meaning to me now. Oh and, I have to say I'm inspired to make pies, and I have a secret idea I cannot disclose at the moment.

This movie was surprising, delightful, and hysterical. I was more than impressed with the actors, actresses, plot, and content. I highly recommend viewing it. You will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

HAPPY 2nd ANNIVERSARY KRISTIN AND DAN :)

"there is nothing more noble or admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as husband and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends." ~ Homer

Movies, More Movies and Movies

More mentionable movies from my fun filled weekend.

First, Friday night we watched "Little Children" starring Kate Winslet. She played a bored housewife who happens upon the 'the prom king' at the local playground. The movie has three story lines occurring at once, which makes it a bit busy, however, the production was very good. I have to say I was pleased she and the prom king came to their conclusions independent of each other, which I feel is rare in instances of adultery. Oh, and there's a sultry scene that includes a washer. All I have to say about is he's freaking hot. Anyway, it's an interesting movie you should check out despite the incident with the pedophile.


"Letters from Iwo Jima" is a fantastic film about WWII directed by none other than Mr. Clint Eastwood. I enjoy his work and think he's quite talented. This movie is fascinating in the sense you are so completely wrapped up in the action, you forget it is in Japanese. Seeing a different perspective on the battle is compelling, which makes "Flags of our Fathers" a curiosity for me now. "Letters..." is a long movie, yet it is not gory like most movies about this topic. After watching the film, I definitely can make a case for the futility of war because you cannot help but feel badly for the soldiers and their families. It was evident neither the Americans nor the Japanese wanted to be there. If you don't mind the hopelessness or violence of war, you should watch this foreign film.


"The Illusionist" is another remarkable movie we watched this weekend. Edward Norton is outstanding in his role as the illusionist. He's mysterious, dignified, and amazingly believable. The story is entertaining and intriguing. The viewer is left wondering only one thing...where in the heck can I get a locket like that? OH and please, oh, please explain the illusions to me. "The Illusionist" is worth your time. Go see it.


Ok so my favorite one liners from my dear friends quoted during this movie were:

"Something is not kosher..." ~ umm, yes, perhaps the Chinese men gave it away.

"I cannot tell which body part is which." ~ I think it looked like a hand or a boob...maybe? I don't know! I'm guessing Miss Biel didn't want anyone to see her naked.

"Oh, that old line?" ~ umm, oh please, boys use that line all the time.

"Poor Horse has red on him!!!" ~ I have no comment.

This blues clues notebook is going to be a little scary I fear....

Sunday, May 27, 2007

On My Best Behavior...

I spent an hour in the car waiting for my uncle to pick up the speed so I could get home in time to meet my friends at the bar with the light up dance floor where our favorite local 80s band was playing. Allie and Amanda entertained me with updates every 10 minutes or so. Finally, we rolled into my house around 11:30 p.m. My phone rang as I unlocked the door to run in to get ready to leave. I answered without looking because I thought it was Allie. You can imagine my shock when it was yours truly a.k.a. Mr. Houdini. He asked how I was and then asked what I was doing. I told him I was good and off to meet my friends. He proclaimed I was not going to meet my friends, but instead was going to his house because he wanted to see me. I told him he was rather audacious to even suggest it. He replied rather passive aggressively I didn't have to if I didn't want to. Oh really...

I told him I was on my way. I finished up at my house and dashed out. He called twice while I was in the car on the way to town. I told him I'd call him when I got close to "Club 104" then I headed straight to the bar to meet my friends with no intention of locamoting to his party (oh yeah, NO). Of course, he never called to inquire about my disappearance, which I expected. Allie, Amanda and I spent some quality time rocking out until the band wrapped up their set. I thought about heading to 104, as I should have brought the fire ants to his bed, but instead I returned home. I decided I'm done. I've had enough disappointment in the romance department to last me a lifetime. I'm playing for keeps. There has to be something better than this...

I just keep thinking, he's away...

P.S. I'm a little disturbed by seeing one of the Libby boys dancing rather strangely in cut off jean shorts...it's one thing to have a high school reunion every time you mingle at a local watering hole, yet quite another to have to watch one of your former school mates dance freely wearing THAT...

Friday, May 25, 2007

MY FAVORITE ROCK STAR:

Noteworthy Movies from This Week

This week, I had the pleasure of watching three good movies.

"Catch and Release" was an interesting take on a romantic movie. I gratefully thank Amanda for letting me guess what happens next through the ENTIRE movie. I liked it.





"Volver" is a Pedro Almodovar movie starring Penelope Cruz. I'm a HUGE fan of his. He always has some strange and disturbed piece in his film, however, he brings it together quite well. His movies usually confuse viewers in the beginning, yet the facts slowly unveil themselves by the finale, only to leave you in awe of his work. I highly recommend watching this film.



"Children of Men" was the choice for movie night last night. I was excited to see this film, as I thought the premise was intriguing. The movie was so suspenseful and believable it hit too close to home. I think the three of us were on the edge of our seats for the entire film. It was powerful and well done; another must see.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It's not looking good for you Mr. Houdini...

Ummm, yeah so it can't be a good sign when your friend blogs about the boy who kissed you.... I heart Allie :)

I'm in love with a toddler


Alé sporting the hoodie.

I'm pretty sure he's the cutest thing in the world. Look at his little hands!!! Kate, you have to have a girl too. Can you imagine the two of them? Oh my gosh, I would have so much fun chasing after them.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I have a confession....


Last night, for some unknown reason, I let "The Bachelor" have a two hour "vice grip on my soul." There, I admitted it. BigStar and I sat in front of the TV completely exhausted and dying to go to bed, however we could not remove ourselves from the assumed positions until we found out which girl goober Andy picked. I had not watched one episode of this ridiculous show until then. As BigStar said, "only in America can you cheat on a girl and be a hero. As if it's ok." Quality programming people; just stellar.

I have to say I wanted Tessa to win. Hands down, She was the better person. Erin correctly pointed out Andy touched Tessa more affectionately than he did Bevin. Plus, he told Tessa he loved her, which was not the case with the other girl, as she told him. Oh and let's not forget the homemade artwork. Yes, some of us are smarter than we look. Of course she'd win with a creative edge like that. The depth with which we analyzed the show is slightly embarrassing. "Reality TV" such as this is kind of like a train wreck, you cannot help but stare. I'm just glad it ended how I wanted so I did not have to spend the "rest of the evening pissed off." Although, I have to admit he could have done better with the ring. Something more like:

this fiercely sparkling wonder. But as I wrote, Andy is kind of a goober.

When we finally were able to extract ourselves, BigStar's only comment was, "I like how the people at the Bachelor tried to throw that song right in there like I wouldn't even notice!!" while she hummed all the way to the bathroom. I'm not sure who was more entertaining BigStar or the show.

I unabashedly admit I will watch the one hour whatever you want to call it bit tonight about the two of them. THIS IS EXACTLY WHY I DO NOT WATCH TV!!! It's so bad it's hysterical. I am considering signing up just for the fun of it. Oh please can I compete with 24 other women over a basically cheating man whore. Sign me up for some of that!

Ok so maybe I really want Andy and Tessa to live happily ever after.... I blame Disney. Maybe I won't watch the special tonight after all...

Monday, May 21, 2007

HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY MIKIE :)

The Old People

My aunt, KJ, and I endearingly call my nana and my grammy "The Old People". Yesterday, I woke up at the crack of dawn to drive two hours north to meet my aunt so we could venture to visit with the old ladies together. Despite my efforts, I was late but figured I was allowed at least 15 minutes as a family rule. Of course, when I arrived, I found KJ in her bathrobe doing her hair. I was relieved for not being late yet annoyed for the extra hour I could have slept in. Although, the additional time did permit for me to antagonize my favorite uncle and play with "SheeShee" the cat.

An hour before noon, we were out the door heading north. The car ride to our final destination was well spent gabbing and laughing. KJ is not much older than I, which means she's more like a big sister than an aunt. She never had children herself, but with mothering all of her siblings' children, she never really needed to. I was delighted to have an entire hour of uninterrupted banter with her because usually we converse briefly two or three times a month on the telephone. Road trips provide a much better ambiance for chatting. I entertained her while she vented some much needed frustrations until we arrived at our exit. One would think when you arrive at the exit, you are not far from your desired ending point. This is not the case when you are nearly four hours from civilization or almost two hours from the next country. We still had another 20 minutes to drive to get to town.

KJ's brother, my middle uncle, telephoned us to inquire where we were. My aunt inquired about his cough and asked if he had a cold. Then she reprimanded him for smoking with his condition. (Apparently his new wife introduced him to the terrible habit last year. Disgusting.) KJ hung up and commented on his smoking. I responded by saying, "Really, it's probably healthier to be a prostitute." Shocked at my comment, I looked at my aunt in disbelief. She gave me a very disturbed and quizzical look before responding with, "Actually, now that I think about it, you're probably right." Honestly, I have no idea where I come up with this stuff. We discussed the pros and cons of prostitution compared to smoking and concluded, with certainty, it was probably better for your health to engage in the former. Never a dull moment folks.

We arrived at Grammy's house to retrieve our favorite old people to head to one of the two local restaurants. Smokey, his second wife, and two children met us there. I was very excited to stroll into the "Hotel Terrance" only to find it filled with elderly. At this point, my aunt and I thanked our lucky stars we got away from this town when we did. The restaurant showcased an interesting buffet, which everyone ate except KJ and me. I stuck to a safe club sandwich and so did she. You really cannot take me anywhere because the entire time we were eating dinner I was making jokes and silly comments to my aunt. Grammy started to give us a look but decided on a wink instead. Seriously, she is my most favorite woman in the whole world. At 83, she's more lively than most 30 year olds. That woman definitely knows how to live. I think I inherited my sense of humor from her or at least I hope. Oh my gosh I love her so much. Both of them are just amazing. Anyway, I was also lucky enough to sit next to my cousin Olivia. She's nine and talks more than I do. She provided quality entertainment for the duration of our meal.

We spent the remainder of the afternoon at Grammy's house where KJ and I had to listen to stories we did not need to hear. I will refrain from sharing how the doctor of Osteopathy saved Grammy's life, or from divulging the details of her 66 year marriage to the indestructible man sitting in the living room watching TV. We left her house chuckling and traumatized around dinner time with a bag of frozen fiddle heads neither of us would eat. We ventured to Nana's chateau down the street before leaving town. My Nana and I are very close, but she still makes me shake my head. KJ and I walked in only to be greeted by an indeterminable number of felines. In her old age, she's become somewhat of a crazy cat lady:

very much to our dismay. She's currently renovating her grandmother's house so the whole place is in a state of complete disarray, to put it nicely. We walked around marveling the strange figures and antique items she had on display. Her china cabinet was nicely arranged in the corner showcasing a plethora of beautiful patterns and delicate designs. It kind of inspired me to start a collection of mine own until she asked me which ones I wanted. That was easy. I discovered a new kind of tea mug, and delighted in the atomic hot balls she still kept on the counter. It is nice to know some things never change. Boy, do I love her something fierce.

We talked about jewelry for a bit. My aunt has taken to making some beautiful pieces for the old ladies. She told us it was difficult to make one in red for Grammy because the colors were not right. She said, "the reds looked like," then paused for a minute. "A French whore?" I interjected. She and Nana busted out laughing. My aunt said our references to prostitutes today were scaring her. Her? I was horrified as I have no idea from where they were coming. We chatted some more until KJ and I said our farewells and headed off to the cemetery before dark.

We were worried the gate would be closed because it was approaching sunset. Luckily, it was still open and the rain had subsided. We located her father's grave. It was the first time I can ever remember being at my grandfather's resting place. I removed the moss on the headstone and said a jolly hello to him despite never having met him. (I'm quite certain he's the family guardian angel.) My aunt set out two enormous pots of flowers, and we told gramps we loved him but were off to find some chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting. I'm certain he would understand. Before we left the cemetery, we drove around to visit the rest of the family buried there. Memé, Gram's mom, Great Uncle Keith, my great great grandmother who used to give me cookies and dollars and yelled at the radio when the Sox were playing, and anyone else of whom we could think. While we were driving up and down the roads, we commented on the gravestone's, the families my aunt knew, and the dates of the dead. It was the first time I've truly felt compelled to learn more about my family history. I was reading all of the headstones of these strangers wondering what their lives were like. Someone must wonder about them for sure, right? Sadly, most of the plots were for at least two and the trend seemed to be the husband was quietly waiting for his wife to join him. KJ and I made up stories about some of the people based on their last names. She told me about some of the people with whom she grew up. We did this for quite some time before it started to rain again and the desire for cake began to consume us. My aunt and I headed to the local grocery store where we were not disappointed. We found a luscious stack of chocolate whoopie pies filled with peanut butter frosting. The two of us devoured most of the delicious treats in the car before we headed out of town to the highway.

Despite the exceptionally long haul, my journey north to visit with the "old people" was well worth it. Just writing about it today makes me smile.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

What I Would Like

I borrowed this from Allison:

"The Invitation"

'It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventures of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon…I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it. I want to know if you can be with JOY, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being a human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. I want to know if you can be faithful and therefore trustworthy. I want to know if you can see beauty even when it is not pretty everyday, and if you source your life from ITS presence. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “YES!”

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.'

~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer, Indian elder


The "Triangle" in Full Force

This past Saturday night, Allie and I attempted to throw our dear friend, Amanda, a surprise birthday party. Of course, everything possible that could go wrong did. I'm pretty sure Allison will never initiate another endeavor such as the one attempted this past weekend. Aside from the mishaps and the failure to surprise, a group of us ended up gathering for food and drinks. Since it was her party, Amanda decided she wanted to go out on the town for the evening. So be it. We finished up our drinks and cleaned up our snacks. Then, the crew dispersed into a few cars to head over the bridge into the city. We ended up at a local pub that feels more like a high school reunion, but is still fun. Eventually, we were joined by more of Amanda's friends. We snagged a big table and gathered around to enjoy the evening. This is when I was damned for buying two rounds of shots; one of which featured my friend "Jack." Luckily, those were the only drinks I had all night. However, Allie and, especially Amanda, made up for my lack of prowess. I would like to take this moment to thank Allison for her very sweet and innocent rendition of the evening. This is the point in my post where I warn you I am going to refrain from such censorship...

The assembly of compadres celebrating Amanda's birthday were having a jolly time conversing and drinking. The evening was going so well...I was chatting away when I received a tap on the shoulder, then a lean in for a whisper: "Um, he's staring at you." Who?? What?!?! Is he cute?? I look up and low and behold (or high and mighty depending on the angle), there is Mr. Houdini. Seriously, are you kidding me?? I immediately felt compelled to get a drink. I think this is where I was damned for introducing "Jack". I refused to acknowledge Mr. Houdini's existence. I perfected this skill, of which I am not too proud, in college.

About twenty minutes later (still blatantly ignoring), I was talking with a friend from high school, when Mr. Houdini swaggered over to the table, interrupted, and planted a big fat kiss on me in front of everyone in the bar. Ummmm, excuse me but I'm pretty sure the last thing I said to you a month ago was, "You are awful. Never call me again." Did I miss the part where that translated into "Kiss me???" I was very unsure what to do, as I've never been caught off guard in quite that fashion so I just sat down.

He smiled and said, "Hi."
I grimaced and said, "Aloha. I shouldn't even be talking to you."
"No, you shouldn't," he retorted.

Well, I'm glad we established that.

"I came here looking for you." Mr. Houdini admitted.
"Oh, really. Well, you shouldn't have." Miss Cupcake replied.

Then, we chatted for a few minutes until I leaned over to Amanda to ask her for help. She looked at me and laughed, then turned to Mr. Houdini and proceeded to invite him to her party next month. Ahhh, not exactly what I had in mind...

He convinced me to go outside for a minute, as it was exceptionally sweltering in the bar and well...um...yeah.... I don't like to air my umm...dirty laundry...in public....ahh...hmmm..(this doesn't count so stop shaking your heads!!!)

Of course I did not tell Allie or Amanda I was going outside for fear of getting screamed at. They love me really they do. But I was a bit curious as to WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?!?!

We sat next in the garden in front of the Merrill Lynch building. This is awkward...

I think Mr. Houdini has seen a side of Miss Cupcake no one else has ever seen because I launched into such a barrage of words and questions, he was scared. Honestly though, I've heard it all before. I could do without these games and the stories. I feel like the excuses, explanations, and actions are a broken record I cannot seem to escape. God help the man who genuinely wants to win my affections. I truly worry for him and sometimes fear he does not exist. I never have been mean to anyone in the way I was mean to Mr. H Saturday night. I'm sure it was unfair, but I was tired of the bullshit.

After the smoke cleared, we ventured back to his house to continue our conversation. (Truthfully, I just wanted some ginger ale, and I needed a ride to my car.) We walked up the stairs and noticed a group in his living room. He skeptically said no one was supposed to be home. When we got up there, the neighbors were watching cable and jamming out. Every time I visit his house, I feel as if I'm entering a fraternity. The place is usually crawling with people who do not even live there. The denizens of the pretty old house do not seem to mind the vagabonds who frequent it. I find it so strange. So we went into the back room to proceed with our discussion. After a little bit I heard a knock on the door. I asked Mr. Houdini if he was going to answer it. He said no to which I replied, "do you even know who is in your kitchen?" He replied no again. I got up and walked out there only to be greeted by none other than the friends I had mysteriously left in the bar. I loved them so much in that moment I would have made out with them!!! Oh my gosh it was awesome. Allie gave me the third degree while Amanda, Pierce, et al sat in the living room jamming out to Mr. Houdini's Ipod. Not one person in the room lived in the house. However, we all knew someone who did so figured it was ok. I sincerely was the happiest person in the world when I saw the two of them amongst the crowd. We sang and danced until Allie decided she wanted to go home. I tried to coax Mr. Houdini out of his room, but he declined and crawled into bed. Suit yourself. I waited outside with Allie where I entertained her with karate moves until the taxi for which she was waiting finally decided to show up. Then I went back upstairs to join the group in the living room.

I woke up on a couch with Amanda. I asked her if she had a good night. She gave me a "look" and said, "I woke up in my shoes!!!" (Rumor has it, there is a picture of us somewhere on the Internet.)

Despite how odd it was, I think it was a pretty good night. I love the triangle!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Cinco De Mayo

I know this post is super late, but it was such a good night, I wanted to comment about it.

Around 6 p.m. that evening, I made Allie go to the local race track with me to watch the Kentucky Derby, as BigStar was there with Heidi. When we finally found them sitting at the bar, the two of them screamed so loudly I looked around to see if something happened. Erin was jumping up and down spilling her beer everywhere, which she never stopped doing the entire half hour we were there. Our lovely friend Alex so nicely offered to show us the ropes at the counter where bets were placed. Allie and I each bet on a horse and then returned to the bar for a beer. I bet on the 15 horse (but did not win). When it was time for the race to start, everyone yelled at the bartenders to turn the 15 TVs onto the race. You'd think they would listen as their livelihood depends on the patrons yelling, however, not the case. The girls completely ignored the crowd and left us to watch the KENTUCKY DERBY on one little 19 inch tv. Despite how short the race was, it was still exciting. It does not take much to make me happy. Once again, my suspicious were confirmed that I could be a bookie.

Allie and I left BigStar and Heidi to their own devices. They were doing so well on their own, we decided they didn't need any more encouragement. We arrived at my house to enjoy a feast of fajitas I conjured up. Linz was supopsed to join us but she was detained at the Verizon store. After too much food, we headed to the local hole in the wall bar to partake in the festivities.

Linz, Allie and I grabbed a table by the light up dance floor. That is right, THE LIGHT UP DANCE FLOOR! We were chatting away while an awful band sang about dental dams, when all of a sudden I felt something touch my arm, which caused me to let out a huge scream. Thank God the band was playing because I yelled so loudly, I'm sure everyone there would have thought I was getting attacked. Turns out, a pudgy old man just wanted to dance with me. Horrified, I looked at him and declined. YOU JUST SCARED THE CRAP OUT OF ME, NO I WILL NOT DANCE WITH YOU TO A SONG ABOUT DENTAL DAMS. Seriously people. Is he joking? Luckily, we did not have to endure too much pain because the band was replace by a phenomenal Capoeira demonstration.

Capoeira is an African-Brazilian dancing martial arts. It's amazing. Everyone formed a circle around the artists who were on the dance floor. We clapped and they sang and in a karate-sumo-dancing fashion, "fought" with each other. I could not believe how outstanding the fighters were. They were flipping, jumping, and moving their bodies in ways I have never seen before, which exposed muscles I did not even know existed. One of the male contenders had abs I swear were humanly impossible to achieve. Of course, one of the other men was the hottest man I've ever seen. If he asked me to run away with him for the night, I would have without any questions. HE WAS GORGEOUS, thus, had a girlfriend. Men like him were born with an entourage. OH MY GOSH HE WAS HOT. I'm fanning myself as I write...

Once the Capoeira group finished their demonstration, the band we came to see finally made its way to the stage. Esperanza is a Caribbean-Cuba 9 piece band. Their music was fantastic. We danced for a solid 2.5 hours. I had the pleasure of dancing with a strange older man and a lovely younger lad. It was nice to be out and about dancing and having fun. Allie, Linz and I had such a great time we cannot wait to go back. The band played past closing time, much to the crowd's excitement. After they finished their set, we left the bar to head home. I dropped Allie off, then returned back to the marsh, where I spent a good portion of the evening conversing with Mr. Brownie Sundae. Well, that went well.

Just another lovely Saturday night.

Personality Assessment

Aloha,

Help a girl out by letting her know how you would describe her (a.k.a. cupcake):

Just click on My Johari Window , make a few clicks; it takes less than a minute. I'm curious to see how well I know myself compared to how you all see me.

Then you can create your own little experiment.

Monday, May 14, 2007

I've Been Tagged

BigStar tagged me last week, so I thought I would finally oblige.

A - Available or Single? It depends on who is asking, so does my name.

B - Best Friend?
Kate, Amanda, Bethy, Kristin, Allie, Lo, BigStar, Lindsay, Meg, Dan, Chris, John, Andrew, Tim, Matty, Mikie, Theresa, Johanna, Mr. Brownie Sundae; ummm, there’s not enough room here to list the rest of my awesome friends…I truly love all of you and am tremendously grateful for your amazing friendship whether or not you are listed.

C - Cake or Pie? Cupcakes, preferably chocolate with peanut butter frosting

D - Drink of Choice? Gin & grapefruit juice, shots of whiskey or tequila are also acceptable; oh and water
E - Essential Item(s)? Sunscreen, my little red notebook, my mini green pen, finger nail clippers, and my Sonicare toothbrush

F - Favorite Color? Purple and Green

G - Gummi Bears or Worms? Both

H - Hometown?
Middle of no where New England

I - Indulgence? Magazines….lots and lots of them.

J - January or February? Always, always February

K - Kids? None, but I have a brood of muchachos I religiously keep track of because I love them so much.

L - Life is incomplete without:
books and hugs.

M - Marriage Date? Never been married but this one is easy, it will be July 4, 20XX. Doesn’t matter the year or what he thinks. The 7/4 part is non-negotiable. I really don’t care about the other details. (Nor do I actually plan to have a traditional wedding. I like parties.)

N - Number of Siblings? One

O - Oranges or Apples? Apples, I eat one every day, but I prefer oranges if they are already cut up and ready to go.

P - Phobias/Fears? Schizophrenia (BigStar, quit laughing). Oh, and I fear I’ll marry the wrong person.

Q - Favorite Quote: “What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Love is friendship on fire.” ~ Mr. Ben Fieldman

R - Reasons to Smile? My friends & family, good hair days, My Great Grandmother’s wink, dessert, the cat face, listening to my favorite songs, anything karate, Whole Foods, & hearing my Nana swear always cracks me up

S - Season? Summer, but I do enjoy them all

T - Tag Three: Allie , Lo, and Bethy (that means you better get cracking girl!)

U - Unknown Fact About Me:
I will not live with a man before I am engaged to him.

V - Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animals?
I don’t really eat meat but I’m not a formal vegetarian either.

W - Worst habits? I’m always late. I think it’s because the word is in my last name. Also, I can be indecisive, but I’m working on it. In addition, I sometimes do not listen to my intuition even though I know I’m right.

X - X-rays or Ultrasounds? Despite my desire to be a radiologist, Neither.

Y - Your Favorite Foods? Pretty much anything but lobster or gross black things served to me at Chinese restaurants that I have to hide in rice, as not to offend the chef who especially made it for me.

Z – Zodiac? I’ll buy you a drink if you can guess (if you already know, then you can’t play).

Thank you Ladies

Thank you very much Allie and Amanda for driving through two states in the middle of the night to pick me up at the airport. You guys are the best. I love you!!

Friday, May 11, 2007

My last days in California

Kate made me pancakes for breakfast Sunday morning. We lingered around the breakfast table until Kate introduced me to the Sarah's World on Fire Video . It was the first time I'd seen or heard it. The video took my breath away, brought tears to my eyes, and chills to my skin. I was so moved I watched it three times. Just unbelievable. My awe was interrupted by Kate's need for me to run to the store. When I returned, we had lunch, ate brownies and drank more wine. The morning was a joyous yet quieter morning. We listened to music, brainstormed ideas for dinner, and basked in the sunshine outside while Alé discovered the joys of Tupperware and water together.





He was hilarious. I loved it. I could watch him for hours.

Friends of Kate and David stopped by with their son to visit. We chatted for awhile until it was time to get ready for church and they left. I finally polished my toes, which made me feel complete. Kate and I conversed about how much better one feels when her toes are pretty. Having "Aphrodite's pink nightie" slathered on my little toe nails just brightens my mood and makes me feel stylishly presentable no matter what I'm actually wearing on my body.

We headed to Kate's Pastor's house for dinner. He had a backyard, which is unheard of in L.A. It was magnificent in its full green fluff adorned with beautifully crafted tables. We poured ourselves a drink, grabbed a plate of appetizers, then headed to the grass to plop down with others. Everyone was so nice, friendly, and pleasant. The sense of community was astounding. Four or five of the women all had children (including Kate) at the same time so all of the little ones were running around playing with each other. They were adorable. The crowd was diverse, yet young and vibrant. A wonderful sense of sincerity and grace surrounded them. I was very grateful to be part of the evening. We sat down to a delicious potluck meal of Spanish dishes. We passed around bowls of goodness and mingled with each other. It was a sublime way to celebrate life and faith. After we ate, they showed a touching yet alarming video regarding the crisis in Darfur. I could not help but feel tremendously outraged about the atrocities occurring in our world today. As we sat peacefully surrounded by an abundance of nourishment and love, I could not help but think there was more than enough to go around. No reason exists why everyone in this world cannot have enough. It's disgraceful and despicable for humanity to let such travesties happen. Once the video was finished, a few members spoke briefly about how we could help by signing up for the 'Save Darfur' newsletter, signing the petition for Fidelity Investments to stop funding the war, and how we could write letters and make phone calls requesting our leaders to help stop the war. Of course none of these things seem like enough no matter how much it helps because most want to do more than they can handle. I know I do. However, anything we do helps. Just do not passively sit by watching when you could DO SOMETHING. How difficult is it for you to take five minutes to call our ridiculous President to tell him to DO SOMETHING? Not very. Five minutes to someone living in a refuge camp is a lifetime or the difference between life and death. How difficult is it for you to sign the petition requesting Fidelity to stop paying for the bloodshed? Not very. Africans living in a refuge camp do not even have paper let alone the freedom to use a pen to sign their names. How difficult is it for you to donate $25 to the cause? Not very. $25 means life or death to someone living in Darfur. It means food instead of starvation, it means HOPE. To us it's lunch or drinks at the bar. I know I'm preaching and mostly to the choir, but we did not have a say about where we were born. Luckily, we were fortunate enough to end up in the 'Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave'. The people caught in the Genocide in Darfur were not so lucky. I think we owe it to humanity to DO SOMETHING. ANYTHING helpful even if you just buy the cd that comes out June 12th: Instant Karma .

After the presentation, the brief conversations, and a lovely little song, we had tea, coffee, and dessert. It was enlightening and quite revitalizing to be part of a community such as Kate's church, even if it was only for one night. We should all be so lucky to encounter such greatness, love, and abundance every night.

After church, we headed home to enjoy a relaxing night drinking wine and visiting. Kate proclaimed all one really needs in life is wine, chocolate, a Latin lover, and good friends. I agree wholeheartedly and could not feel more grateful for having at least three out of the four.

The next day Kate and Alé saw me off at the Burbank airport. I was at a loss for words to express my gratitude for such a wonderful week and an even more amazing friend. I kissed Alé and promised him I would not wait so long to come visit. Then I hugged Kate and made the same promise. We waved and I was off...

There is nothing quite like traveling to make one realize all that is out there. Traveling reminds us of how to get unstuck because it highlights the endless possibilities and fills us with an invigorating sense of wanderlust. We are reminded the world is bigger than ourselves. It gives us a chance to rediscover parts or ourselves as well as an opportunity to learn about pieces of us we've never seen. I love to observe the people around me in the airport; to watch them interact. Traveling to California again reminded me of how much I love L.A. I love the rolling hills, the houses greedily covering them, and the lights you can see for what seems like thousands of miles at night. I even love the hazy smog that hangs in the air until 11 in the morning. Most of all, I love to have my beautiful, artistic, worldly, and insightful friend remind me to live.

Kate's homework: to read some of the books on the two page list I gave her.

Thank you Kate, David, Ke'anu and Alé for such a marvelous trip. I cannot wait to see you again.


Books I read:

"Love is a Mix Tape" by Rob Sheffield

"Sparkle Life" by Kara Lindstrom

"How to Learn Any Language: Quickly, Easily, Enjoyably and On Your Own" By Barry Farber

"The History of Love" by Nicole Krauss

"The Tale of Despereaux" by Kate DiCamillo

"The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne

I highly recommend the first, third, fifth, and sixth books. I'm always open to discussion, if anyone cares to chat.

Oh and I'm quite proud to say all the pictures I took were with my PDA camera.

California Part III

My Saturday was a lazy day. I spent the majority of the morning reading a bad book, watching Alé run around with his father and aunt, and sitting on the porch doing absolutely nothing.



(Alé dancing with Sammy)

David and his lovely sister introduced me to an amazing movie about Flamenco called "Vengo". I was lucky enough to see the bonus tracks where the dancers were phenomenal. I was inspired to learn to move in ways one cannot describe in words. It was awesome.

Once Kate made it home from her clinical, we all enjoyed lunch and indulged in more conversation. Since it was noontime, we whipped out the wine glasses, poured some bubbly, and dove into the brownies. There is nothing quite like brownies and wine for lunch. I thought for sure my vacation could not get any better than this. Life was more than good. We spent a quiet afternoon talking about birth, taxes, plants, Herbology, dinner, etc. Our conversations were hearty and plentiful. Kate and I discussed how many unique "people" one person actually makes up over a lifetime. A person fundamentally is the same, but over time, evolves into so many different "people" as she grows much like the mantra everything has changed but nothing is different. It was the kind of conversation only two good friends could have where we discuss the merits of each "self" that has surfaced during different periods of our lives. David put it best when he said it was so nice we were friends from childhood. It puts a different slant on being a "grown up" because we knew each other "when." Of course, this conversation eventually rested on the question of what we were going to eat for dinner. We decided on Chipotle, which is probably one of my most favorite places ever. I could eat there every day of the week and still love it. They have the freshest, tastiest food. It is to die for. If I had to chose between a life of celibacy and infinite Chipotle or a lovely Latin lover forever and ever, I think I'd chose the lonely burritos. You think I'm joking, but seriously, I've been known to drive through two states just to eat lunch there.

Kate and I hopped in the car to fetch food. We were still gabbing away only the conversation took a slightly girly turn as we discussed my ex-boyfriends and how one of them had a last night that sounded like a "sex position". I almost died laughing when Kate made the suggestion. We continued to talk about worms, jokes, books, food, the beauty of dessert, just so many thoughtful and genuine exchanges that my mind immediately began scheming of ways for me to stay. I realized how much I desperately needed this vacation.

Dinner was absolutely spectacular. I had a burrito that was out of this world. I cannot wait to have another one. It was warm, fresh, and enormous.



I believe I converted Kate and David because we didn't really talk the entire time we feasted. After dinner, David's family arrived to drop his sister off, which Kate and I took as an opportunity to go on an adventure. We furtively slipped out the back door on the hunt for The Chocolate Box Cafe . We drove through a few towns before we located our final destination for the evening. When we entered the gorgeous store, I could barely believe all this wonderful goodness was in one room. We circled around the counter only to discover we were allowed to taste as many of the sinfully lusciously hand- made-flown-in-from-Belgium chocolates as we wanted. I began to wonder if it was fair for one person to enjoy so many divine things in a week. I started to feel guilty about it but was distracted by the chili pepper chocolate round Kate handed me to try.





Each piece was a form of art work. They were beautifully pristine. We tried so many different kinds we almost did not even need to buy any. However, we got a box (shown above) to eat outside at the cafe table on the sidewalk. We eagerly opened the box to share and criticize each round. -GENTLEMEN (well those who have ladies who love chocolate), if you cannot think of a gift or if you are in the dog house I promise you this will get you almost anything you want. If you're looking to impress, do not delay any longer. You can even order online. What the heck are you waiting for??? GO!!- Anyway, words fail me here, you just have to see for yourself. Go try it. As we sampled our desserts, we talked about the good old days and what we would have done in college if we had a car. I believe we would have conquered all the states west of the Mississippi, half of Canada, most of Mexico, and parts of Central America. If the Volvo had been at our disposal, it would have been much much more. Kate and I have no qualms about spontaneous trips, walks, adventures, basically anything remotely appealing or intellectually stimulating to us. If one of us wanted to go bowling in Canada, the other would get the balls and shoes. I think she is one of the only people I know who is as eager and curious as I am. This was the point in the conversation where I could remind her she was a cool parent. Weird, she's a P-A-R-E-N-T. I do not doubt she and David will resemble Robin and Mike when it comes to their children's freedom. We also talked about how we were the "cool" kids in high school because we could see a world outside of lunch or the 'senior corner'. Just talking about it with her made me feel a part of myself revive. It was almost as if we knew more about life during those times and were more 'grown-up' then than we are now. Life was more philosophical and less bureaucratic. We would never fall into meritocracy or settle for anything that didn't jive with our beliefs. For at least that Saturday night, we were sophisticated girls who discussed life over champagne chocolates. It was in that moment I decided she and I must make sure our families live in a villa together somewhere someday soon.

Once we finished our dessert, we headed home to bring David a treat and to have a drink. The drink of choice was Mexican hot chocolate (for comparison). It was yummy. When we headed off to bed, Kate said to me, "Your homework is to get some new glasses."

I laughed hysterically then crawled into bed. I could not help but think I did not want to go home....

to be continued

Thursday, May 10, 2007

California Part II

The Friday of my vacation, the three of us ventured to Santa Monica for a bit to walk around, take in the sights, and to bask in the sun on the beach.



We spent the afternoon leisurely strolling through the boulevards of this very interesting beach town. When it was time to go, Kate was searching for an atm when we accidentally stumbled upon my idea of heaven: Le Cupcake. On my gosh I was so excited. I could not believe how simply beautiful these little confections were.







Kate and I had a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter frosting (my absolute favorite thing) and regretfully, did not purchase a box. TO THE PEOPLE OF WASHINGTON D.C., THERE IS HOPE FOR YOU because this store is located in two places: Santa Monica & you guessed it, Washington D.C. I'm considering moving... Heaven in a circle. I'll just tell you it was absolutely divine. For a good half hour, I seriously was considering quitting my job to become a baker for these fabulous people.

Despite being friends for almost half of my life, I realized you still can learn new things about people, as I discovered I am not the only person in the universe who notices elevator inspection certificates (I have a legitimate reason for this, I swear). You can imagine my excitement when I discovered my dearest friend notices them too. We took the elevator to Kate's car in the parking garage, which is where we confessed our odd behavior because the certificate for our trammy expired in 2003. Of course, we both noticed. I'm glad to know I'm not alone, and I'm certain every time I look at a certificate, I'll think of Kate instead of why the state screws up each and every elevator certificate for the OEIs. (I confess I almost called Kate the other night to tell her the elevator at the Top of the East did not even have a certificate. Is that even legal???) On a side note, I can tell you if an elevator is hydraulic or not. I was not kidding when I wrote "random ramblings" in the title of this blog. Anyway, Kate, I am with you.

We left Santa Monica and headed to find food. Luckily, Kate had a place in mind thereby negating the "where do you want to eat?" debate we had for most meals. Lunch consisted of a lovely Indian meal at a tiny grocery store near Pasadena. Aside from the lemon rice, I have no idea what I had but it was deliciously flavorful. We sat outside to enjoy our meal. I could not help but think how easily I could live a life like this: enjoying lunch with Kate and Alé, seeing the sights, and contemplating dessert...

Speaking of dessert; You didn't think the cupcake was it did you? Phew. We headed to my most favoritest frozen yogurt/ice cream place in the whole wide world. This place is the coolest most amazing place ever. It's called 21 Choices. They make their own frozen yogurt and change the selection every day. You pick one of the choices, your mix-ins (they have everything you can imagine), and then the cone/dish you want. They mix your candy or fruit into the yogurt and serve it up. It is outstanding. I cannot adequately describe the goodness they produce. It's always fun, delicious, and absurdly awesome. I had an oreo creation I devoured almost before we left the shop. So good. Gosh I wish I was there....Tropical Raspberry or Sam S'mores sounds fantastic..As you can tell, food is a high priority for the two of us.

After dessert, we headed to my favorite stationery store: PAPER SOURCE , which is another place I love dearly. Ok, I admit it; I have a fascination with paper. I completely blame my father. I spent a few minutes mulling over the choices until I decided on a glossy purple stock to use for my fundraising letters. The trip to the Paper Source completed all my missions for my vacation. I only had two: to go to 21 Choices and Paper Source. Check and check. Super.

We spent the afternoon playing with Alé and leisurely chatting about everything from "wet bars" to dinner, which we both consider a sacred ritual. We brainstormed what we could have for dinner and dessert. A girl has to have priorities. Since Trader Joe's (oh my gosh another place I ADORE!!! It makes my heart swoon.) was nearby, I presented my menu of bruschetta pizza and brownies. We made a small list and headed to TJ's. If you ever need a quick and delicious meal, you cannot go wrong with this invention. My friends from college and I made it up the year after we graduated and had nothing to do but eat and drink because we could not find jobs. The recipe consists of this:

2 jars of Trader Joe's Mixed Grilled Vegetable Bruschetta
1 garlic & onion pizza round
shredded cheese

1 box of "No Pudge" Brownies
1 Carton French Vanilla Yogurt

Spread the veggie bruschetta on top of the pizza round. Top with cheese and bake on 350 degrees F until cheese is melted. Be careful not to smoke out the house or set off the fire alarm as I did at Kate's because I did not put the pizza on a pizza stone and the veggies are soaked in olive oil. Go me. At least the pizza was still unharmed and delightfully scrumptious.

Dessert: Open the brownie mix, add the yogurt, mix, then pour in a coated square pan and bake according to the directions.

In less than 20 minutes, Kate, David, Alé and I sat down to a marvelous meal. One of my favorites. Of course wine and good music was involved. Speaking of wine, Kate received Tiffany & Co. wine glasses as a wedding present. We drank wine out of these beautiful glasses all week. Let me tell you, there is nothing like drinking out of a piece of art. These glasses could bring milk to a whole new level of elegant. They are more than worth the splurge.

Mealtime at Kate's was my favorite part of the trip. We spent the time preparing and picking out meals and most importantly, dessert, then we'd purchase the components for our dishes, and finally we chatted about everything possible while preparing our feasts. Kate is right, it is a ritual; one all too often we do not participate in, which made me miss Meg again. For the last six months she and I lived together, I made a meal every weeknight. We sat down and enjoyed a glorious spread, which is when some of my favorite memories were made. The same instances occurred on my vacation with Kate. We swapped stories, shared food ideas, and sincerely talked about life over the comfort of food. I truly believe food is love. In the time we were preparing, we were also reminiscing and playing with Alé. I had the opportunity to watch him walk and bang on Tupperware containers. He's beautiful and amazing. I participated in the beginning of Kate and David's butterfly garden while the pizza was cooking. (I'll refrain from commenting on the details other than I got to take pictures.) We conspired, danced, and enjoyed just being. I cherish these moments.

Kate and I also listened to old cds like Alanis Morrisette's "Jagged Little Pill" and a mix of Pearl Jam cds. Music I hadn't heard in a long time, which made me realize how important it is for me to incorporate more of it into my life. (Dan, the Alanis cd reminded me of you and the time you made me a cd and we drove around in my SAAB loaner listening to it.) Until recently, it has always been a huge part of my life, and more than one person has commented they were surprised at my lack of it. Listening to our favorite songs reminded me to jump back into living life with a melody.

We ate dessert outside in Kate's garden under a tree dressed in little white lights. She has a beautiful yard full of flowers, herbs, and mixed vegetation. It made me want to be outside more. Of course the brownies and ice cream helped with the ambiance. We shared grandmother stories and watched Sammy, her adorable dog, mourn his confinement. I marveled in her slightly domestic yet creative endeavors. She truly does amaze me. I felt so lucky to still have her friendship.

After a couple glasses of wine and a luxurious bowl of goodness, Kate convinced me to partake in an acupuncture session. AN ACUPUNCTURE SESSION PEOPLE. For those of you who know me, you can appreciate what this means. Dr. C Blake would be so proud of me. I sheepishly laid down on Kate's living room floor where I lightly closed my eyes while she put needles in my forehead, hands, knees, ankles, and toes. That is right, something like nine needles entered my body at once. I didn't really feel her put them in. I didn't really feel them at all unless I wiggled the part of the body in which they were placed. At first, I wanted to throw up (in case you did not notice, I HATE needles, as there is a funny story about my doctor and our "needle therapy", oh and the only reason I'm not a radiologist is because of those pesky little metal things) but after a few breathes, I was fine. (It helps when your best friend is the one poking you with the needles). I felt warm and dare I say, good. She left me there for 25 minutes. I did not even feel her remove them when she came back. I did not pass out nor did I throw up. I also did not open my eyes or move my body, which I'm sure added to the absence of anxiety. If Kate ever doubted my love for her, she clearly dispelled those doubts that evening. I won't comment on how David refused to even look at the needles because Kate gave him a hard enough time after I did it. Overall, it was a pleasant experience I would consider repeating. (Can you believe it??? I'm so proud!)

After my session, the three of us watched the strangest Spanish movie I've ever seen. I have no idea what the title was but I'll tell you when we sat down to watch it, in the first scene, Kate reminded David I needed the subtitles (they speak Spanish fluently, I speak a pathetic conversational Spanish I'm working daily to improve). David looked at us and said he needed subtitles. Umm, people, he was born in Central America. SEE, I TOLD YOU THEY SPEAK TOO FAST!!! I don't care how much Spanish you speak or whether or not it's your native language, it is difficult to understand the people in the movies. I swear they are on speed when they shoot the scenes because they talk so freaking fast. David just confirmed my theory. Regardless, the movie was weird, which just means Kate will receive grief for it for years to come. She usually does so well....It was so good, she got up and left in the middle, yet David and I felt compelled to finish it, go figure.

Despite the movie, it was another glorious day in sunny California...

To be continued.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMANDA!!!

California Part I

I want to share some of the highlights from my vacation in California because I had such a lovely time. I arrived Wednesday afternoon and was greeted by Kate and Alé. Our first stop was to a local El Salvadoran restaurant for pupusas. If you never have had them, you definitely should give them a whirl. They are like stuffed tortillas filled with chicken, pork, rice, cheese, basically all sorts of goodness of your choosing. I heart them. In addition to being delicious, they are inexpensive. There is no disappointment to be had here. Try them.

After lunch, we headed to a local liquor store called "BevMo", which happened to be selling bottles of wine for five cents. Yes, you read correctly. The deal was if you bought one bottle of wine, the second bottle was only five cents. Luckily, we were armed with recommendations from the astute connoisseurs of The Wine Cask Blog . My favorite pick from the selection of bottles Kate purchased was the Gazela Pinho Verde from Portugal. It is a delicate white wine that travels smoothly down the hatch. This drink was light, refreshing, and matched our moods well. I recommend grabbing a bottle. After stocking up, we headed back to su casa for dinner.

Kate made a fabulous meal topped with an even better banana dessert. OH and there was ice cream. Lots and lots of ice cream ALL WEEK LONG. I cannot tell you how awesome it was to sit down at Kate's table to enjoy a meal with her and her family. It had been entirely too long since we'd seen each other. I am actually embarrassed by the time I let elapse between visits. We have been friends since high school; the kind of friends who threw rocks at windows in the middle of the night because we were bored and knew the other was awake. When we were 15, we use to sit in study hall contemplating love and life. We were forever the adventurers always driving across the state in her old volvo. It was not uncommon for us to drive nearly to Canada only to stop a few miles shy of the border to eat dessert at the Seven Up Cafe. More than once we drove 72 miles to get pizza, and best of all, we are still the bestest of friends. I will never again wait so long to see her.

After having been up for 21 hours, I eagerly headed to bed after dinner.

The next day, we ventured to The Getty Museum where we saw some exceptionally interesting pieces of art and sculpture. The museum itself is a piece of work. The buildings are crisp, clean, and uncluttered.





I was intrigued by the way the gallery highlighted the pictures, from the color of the paint on the walls, to the actual slant of the paintings on display, and from the flow of the rooms to the overall lighting of the exhibits, which subtly added to the experience of being engrossed in the artistic talents showcased. The layout of the work was delicate yet arduous. Everything gave the air of simplicity but you could tell someone spent a great deal of time organizing every detail of the productions. The presentation was striking and beautiful.

We saw "51 Miles of Concrete", which showcased the L.A. "River", watercolors by Dresden, an exhibit of "Anti-Art" by Japanese artists, and we also saw the "Made for Manufacture." This was our 'favorite' exhibit (I am being completely facetious here), as we both were struck by the sheer pretentiousness of the French back in the day. Their ornate designs and obscene detail made us very uncomfortable. Of course I picked this exhibit to visit because I thought it was going to be something completely different. Next time, I will read the brochure more carefully. Kate picked the "Zoopsia," which was by far the coolest work in the museum. One of the sculptures was of a dinosaur made out of Crayola clay. If you looked carefully, you could see the bones were actually little people rowing. It was awesome.

The Getty wrote this about the sculpture:

"In Leviathon, inspired by natural history museum displays, Hawkinson envisions dinosaur vertebrae as a line of figures rowing, each stroke frozen in time like an Eadweard Muybridge stop-action photograph. The somewhat haphazard dips of the oars, if real, would hinder rather than propel a boat—or beast—forward in this sophisticated spin on the fossil record. "





(Work by Tim Hawkins )

The Getty has a FANTASTIC garden on the side of a hill that features a cascading waterfall. The fountain in the middle spawned a thought between the three of us. We tossed pennies and dimes into the water only to wonder when and why this tradition was started... The garden is gorgeous and very appealing, especially to those studying "Herbology". I briefly felt like I was hanging out with Hermione there as Kate described all the varieties of plants and highlighted all the edible ones.









On our way back to the tram, we looked through the children's shop to check out the goodies for sale. I'm always amazed by the toys they have available at places such as this museum. Kate discovered an awesome book, "P is for Peanut" . She bought one for a gift and one for her son. I think the two of us read the book at least four times over the course of the week and not for Alé's benefit either. The photography is outstanding.



We encountered an alluring infinity fountain upon departing the shop. I have a very large fascination for infinity pools, so I was fond of the fountain. Turns out, so was Alé, as it was where he took his first steps. Kate stood him up a couple of feet away from the fountain. He was so taken with the water, he walked right up to the side. It was awesome. We watched him walk back and fourth a couple of times before we left. How fabulous is it to see one of your best friend's children walk for the first time? I felt very much like a proud Aunt.






(I just loved how the water flowed off the plane of the fountain. I really kind of do have an obsession with infinity pools...)

We walked through the museum lobby at the same time a very long Chinese-dragon-float -like thing hanging from the ceiling started moving to the piano-like experiment on the floor below it. I know this description is awful, but it truly was captivating. Our timing was perfect, as all the school children stood underneath the floating tunnel "oohing" and "ahhhing". They were adorable standing there in awe. Afterwards, we took the little tram back down to the parking. When we left the elevator, I caught a whiff of men's cologne that made me nostalgic for college. I haven't smelt the wonderful scent of a man furtively trying to impress in a very long time. Thank you older man in the white shirt.

An afternoon at a museum will make a girl hungry, so we headed to my favorite and only acceptable fast food establishment: IN-N-OUT . As Kate puts it, "there is something to be said about a four item menu." The place has the best food ever.



We feasted on burgers and fries then headed home where I spent the evening chatting with David, Kate's husband, and playing with Alé, who happens to be the cutest boy ever. I love him.

Once Kate returned from class, I had the pleasure of listening to her and David's marvelous married couple conversation. Hysterical. Just hilarious. We spent the remainder of the evening drinking Salvadoran hot chocolate and chatting about everything from birth to expensive worm "shit". Kate and I also sat at the computer for awhile surfing the net like school girls, but not before Kate made the scary "grape" face. David and I were scared of her, as in made her stop. It was awesome...



to be continued...

Friday, May 04, 2007

Random Ramblings


I finally found something that actually helps with motivation. I had been searching high and low for something to help me get inspired only to discover it serendipitously in the tea section at Whole Foods. I spotted some tea called, "GET CHARGED" sitting on a lovely shelf next to some tea called, "GET GORGEOUS". I looked around to see if it was a trick, but I didn't see anyone lurking. I grabbed one container of each and headed for the check out vowing to give the stuff a whirl first thing the next day.

Fast forward to this morning: Instead of reaching for my normal bag of green tea, I eagerly opened my tea of "GET CHARGED" and flopped a round into my little white mug. I patiently waited the allotted six minutes for it to seep then I dove right in. Holy cow it's good. OH and it works even though there is no caffeine. I feel like I am speed racer today. How excited am I that I found it!!! I highly recommend you check it out. I'm sipping the "GET GORGEOUS" tea as I write. I think it will be awhile before I can tell if it works. I'll keep you posted. (Yes, BigStar, you can have the tin.)

Now, GET SOME TEA!!

One more thing: I have decided to give up books and new magazines until September 1st. Next to giving up Mr. Brownie Sundae, this is the hardest thing I will have to do this year. I have read over 12 books in the last two and a half weeks alone, so you can imagine my dismay at the idea or maybe you can see why I need to clear the slate. I have so much to do in the next three months I cannot have fiction be a distraction (or Oprah, or Rachael Ray or Cooking Light or Travel + Leisure, etc, get the point?). I have dedicated May as the month of all things French only. June is the month of all things Spanish only. July is, of course, the month of solely Harry, Ron, and Hermione (I will be unavailable July 21 and 22 so please do not even try to talk to me), and lastly, August is the month of learning to teach English as a second language. I need to focus here people. The world is too full of wonderfully distracting things, and I am too easily distracted by such things... It's time I took the bull by the horns, so to speak. The only exceptions I'm allowing are books in French, Spanish, on ESL, or current events in South America. I am keeping the Economist too, obviously. Ummm, maybe old magazines as well, yet I haven't decided. Either way. This is the plan. I am giving all of you permission to yell at me if I break my plan. Ok, here goes....

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Story of Meg and Cupcake and the Beginning Of My Much Needed Vacation

In July of 2005, a random stranger and I decided to rent a house together. Honestly, she was a complete stranger. I had no idea who she was other than she was a friend of a friend of a friend. The notion of living with her did not bother me at all. I had no hesitation because my infallible super powers are my ability to be exceptionally easy-going and patient, plus, I have always been lucky with people. When I write always, I mean always. It's quite remarkable, and every day, I am tremendously grateful for the people and the luck.

On a sunny day in my favorite month, I stood at the top of the stairs trying to hide a key in a flower pot. The flower pot was a narrow rectangle with a plastic liner dividing the soil from the clay. I managed to drop the little key between the liner and the clay. I did not want to ruin the plant, but I also wanted to leave a key for my new roommate so I dug frantically in an attempt to get it out. Of course, while I was digging and fussing over this key, my roommate-to-be arrived. Meg stood at the bottom of the stairs and started laughing. My first words to her were, "I lost your key in the flower pot!" From that moment on, our friendship was sealed. She climbed the stairs to help me dig it out. Now, she's one of my bestest friends.

Last Tuesday, April 24, I jumped the train to go to Meg's in Boston. I was quite proud of my packing, as I fit a week's worth of travel into a small carry on bag. I was so exhilarated at the prospects of spending a week away, I could barely contain my excitement. I find trains nostalgic and romantic, which usually leads me to be reflective, however, not this trip. I watched the scenery then began one of the five books I would read in six days: "Love is a Mix Tape." The book kept my attention until I arrived in Boston.

Meg and I met in the Boston Common. She was on bike and I was wheeling luggage. We met her friend for dinner at a small restaurant in a basement of a building near the Suffolk Law School. Of course, I cannot remember the name of the place, but the ambiance was good and the food was tasty, but even better was the company. I do not get to see Meg as much as I use to now that she's a student. I look forward to nights here and there as well as her vacations as much as she does.

After dinner, we indulged in ice cream and ventured back to her house. When I walked in, I couldn't help but feel somewhat at home. Does anyone know how strange it it to see belongings that once furnished your home now somewhere else of which you are no longer a part? This has happened to me quite a bit and every time I'm hit with the wave of the familiar, I immediately well with a feeling I have yet to figure out. Tuesday night, I particularly missed Meg, her mixing bowls, library, and her eagerness for life. However, it did not take long for us to be chatting like school girls before we fell fast asleep. I think we ended our conversation with the idea people who give pretty invitations are evil, as they make the receivers of such delights feel guilty for throwing the useless beautiful decorations away (this coming from girls who love paper and heart Paper Source more than anyone I know. Go figure).

What a wonderful way to begin a vacation... of course, that was until I had to wake up at 4 am to meet the cab to get to Logan by 4:30 for my 6 a.m. flight...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Famous Artist, Gretchen Gammell

I have so much to write I don't even know where to start. I spent last week in California with my loveliest friend Kate, where we ate brownies and drank wine during lunch almost everyday. I promise I will write about my amazing week soon (I am very sad to be missing cupcakes with peanut butter frosting right now, which just aides me in plotting my next trip). In the meantime, I want to introduce you to a girl with whom I went to high school: Gretchen Gammell . She has work in the Attic Gallery and the Windsor Gallery. My two favorite paintings of hers are:



"A Grievous Wait"



"My Heart is a Jungle"

Isn't she fantastic?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

This pisses me off...

It is one thing if people want to screw up their own lives, however, IT'S NOT OK TO SCREW UP OTHER PEOPLES' LIVES!!!

This ARTICLE highlights how the government is ruining the lives of victims of Hurricane Katrina. Seriously, 1.20.2009 cannot come soon enough.

"World on Fire"

While sitting at the breakfast table chatting with Kate, she asked if I had seen Sarah McLachlan's video for "World On Fire". I had not. We immediately went to the computer where I watched THIS video. Goose bumps exploded up and down my arms, tears welled in my eyes, and I was humbled greater than I have been humbled in a long time. I watched the video three times. It's astounding. Please watch the video. If you don't have the plug-in, please install it. Let me know what you think....

Then go to Millennium Promise and buy a $10.00 malaria net. That is the least you can do. It is only two drinks on a Friday night at the bar. Or lunch one day this week....but it's a whole lot more to someone else. Watch the video. Buy a net. Life is good.