Saturday, January 31, 2009


In approximately one hour I'll be participating in awkward small talk, hovering over the snack table like a famished beast and wondering why on Earth I'm at a Singles Party.

That's right. A Singles Party.

Hungry for a man and tired of having to hunt them down every weekend, my friend decided to let the prey come to her house instead. Now me and the other girls have been talking and planning for this thing all month (and by planning I just mean vaguely wondering what to wear and hoping Spin the Bottle isn't one of the party games). The girls are excited at the thought of meeting someone new and running off into the night digits - or man - in hand. Maybe they'll fall for The One in the middle of Twister. Maybe they'll get to know someone who'll warrant an after party outing. Or maybe they'll find an awesome Mr. While I Look for Someone Better.

Then there's me. I'm skeptical about the success rate at these things (it's my first one) and the idea that everyone goes with the intent of meeting a potential date and scoring numbers skeeves me out. Yes, I know it's really not much different than going out to a bar or a club, but at least there I can hide behind the mask of "I'm just here to hang out with my friends so peace out weird man with the crazy eyes." Then if I feel brave, I can check out the scene and retreat whenever I want.

But you can't do that at a party where you're clearly looking for someone. That pretense is taken away from the get-go. I guess for those ready to venture out into the shark-infested waters called "dating," it's a welcomed relief. No need to beat around the bush. No need to act coy or figure out a cute way to ask, "So, are you taken?" You can just cut to the chase.

I'm not one of those people yet. This is another step there, but for now I'm really just going to show support. That and to mock the brave men and women who choose to put themselves out there time and time again. Bless their hearts, but I think I'll chill with the finger foods for now.


Friday, January 30, 2009

Oh Well Now They're Just Showing Off

Evolution of the Hot Dog Sign:

Random Round-Up

Here's a bunch of stuff several lovely people have sent to me. So I thought I'd pass along the smiles. Happy Friday!

*Sure your life sucks, but at least you're not alone. Need proof? Check out (Thanks JK!)

*I want a love like this, too. Only slightly less crazy. (Thanks Dama!)

*At least the Internet ups our chances of finding true love - or not. (Thanks Derailed!)

*But if so far all you've dated are total losers, then please share on I Bang the Worst Dudes. We could all use the laugh...and the collective feeling of no hope. (via Single-ish. Thanks Heidi!)

*And I came across this cool slide show yesterday. In some shots, I couldn't tell one from the other!

Volunteer Vacations

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Degrees of Separation

[Something's got Heidi all riled up! Read on to find out what - and who - got her peeved.]

This morning I was reading Single-ish on while I sat at my desk and had breakfast. Now I’m a pretty big follower, checking in and reading almost daily (and for those of you who are not familiar with the blog, it’s a guy and a girl – both single – who write about dating and their search for love). So today I came across this post. Erin had gone on a date with a nice enough guy who was not a good match for her. One of her reasons? He had no degrees.

After I read the post I was upset. So I IM’ed Dorkys with this question: Would you date a man who doesn’t have a college degree? Her answer: Depends. He might not have one, but he needs to be intelligent.

My sentiments exactly. It’s important for someone to be smart meaning they have common sense and are out there doing something with their life. A college degree doesn’t make someone smart or intelligent. It doesn’t even guarantee you a job (especially in this economic climate). Would I like my future children to go and graduate from college? Yes, because it might make their lives a little easier and provide better opportunities. But do I think that going to college will make them better people? No, not at all.

A college degree as a key to certain doors: it helps you open them, but whether you last after you walk through depends on you as a person, on luck, on whether you have ambition and drive to make it in the world. If all you have is the degree then you won’t get anywhere.

I can’t imagine thinking that I am better than anyone just because I went to college. Does going to college make me a better person than someone who didn’t? No. Does it make me smarter than someone who only has a GED? No. All it does is open some doors for me and the rest is up to my work ethic.

The fact that a degree is so important to her (“unless you’re Bill Gates or Britney Spears”) made me think. I understand the Bill Gates part – he’s an extremely intelligent man who didn’t have to finish school because he had a lot more going on in that head of his. But Britney?? I love Britney, but I think we can all agree that the only thing she and Bill have in common is money. Which makes me think that not having a college degree is only acceptable to her if you have money.

I’m all for having standards (hey, I’ve been accused of being too picky more than once), but I’d like to think that I am too picky because I am looking for a man I can respect as a human being. A man that is a hard worker whether he finished school or not, someone who makes things happen for himself, who doesn’t think any job too demeaning.

Who knows? Maybe I’m being judgmental because I’m judging someone else’s standards, but I don’t think I am. It just makes me sad to think that society has become so caught up with what people do for a living, what school they went to, or how they look that we have lost track of what’s really important – someone’s character.

[So, do you guys agree? Is a lack of a college degree a deal breaker for you?]


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What's Septicemia?

Septicemia: the 10th leading cause of deaths in the U.S. and yet not very well-known. After 20-year-old Brazilian model Mariana Bridi da Costa (left) had to have her limbs amputated and then died last Saturday because of the disease, I did some research to learn more about it. Here’s what I found.


Monday, January 26, 2009

Naked Bliss

Yesterday I read an interesting article on why women should feel wonderful when they’re naked. Laure Redmond, author of Feel Good Naked, mentioned that some of the benefits of feeling comfortable in the nude include self-confidence and love, a sense of boldness and adventure as well as the obvious perks in the bedroom.

It all had me thinking (no, relax, I’m not going to start sporting my birthday suit outside):

What would it take to completely accept my body as it is? Do we get more confident as we grow older or does age bring different sets of insecurities as time passes? Do we rely too much on how other people see us, needing their reassurances to validate our beauty?

I can only imagine the sense of freedom that would bring. To throw your hands up and let go of all hang ups. To love each bulge, mark and perfection that makes you who you are. To say “forget you” to fools who try to impose their idea of beautiful upon us.

My skin injures easily and I have childhood's bumps and bruises written all over. Like the fading childhood scar on my wrist from attempting to go down the slide head first. There’s the iron burn on my thigh I hid from mom for hours despite the pain because she’d warned me to be careful. My dark elbows and knees. My petite non-curvaceous frame. The crazy curls I’ve long decided to let loose. I wouldn’t be me without them. But I’m nowhere near being comfy with the body I was given.

Not long ago I asked people what they thought sexiness meant and having confidence was a popular answer. Knowing you’ve got it going on inside and out. And yes, I just mentally snapped my fingers and did the neck thing for that one.

So tell me, are you bare nakedly confident? If not, what would it take to get you to love what you have right now?


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Friday, January 23, 2009

Get Lost

Well I finally went out and rented season 4 of Lost. I couldn't watch the season premiere on Wednesday because I've yet to catch up, but this ends now! Especially since things are getting riskier what with commercials sneaking up on me during my regularly scheduled TV programs and morning radio shows.

I even freaked out the other night when a commercial with jungles, lakes and rugged people came on TV. I reached for the remote with the only quickness while trying to drown out the sound so I wouldn't hear any spoilers.

Turns out it was a commercial for Survivor. On a completely different channel.

Whatev. They're practically the same show...only not really.

Btw, I'm only three episodes in (and yes, I just started two hours ago) and I'm so unbelievably confused already. Now my head hurts.

Hey did anyone else see American Idol on Wednesday? I really liked the last girl who sang (her own song at that). She was cute, fun and could actually sing. Anybody have an early fave?

I think I stumbled upon a new show I might like. In Lie To Me (FOX, Wednesdays, 9 PM EST), Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction) plays a deception expert who can tell when someone is lying by reading into every action, every word and every expression. Doesn't hurt that I have this thing for English accents, too ;)


Speaking of Italiano

I signed up for classes yesterday. My coworker and I begin our weekly sessions on February 3rd.

She and I started on our own last April, studying every day during our lunch hour. We had books, listened to lessons on our iPods and took tests. We were doing very well actually.

Then she went to Italy a month later and our motivation took a vacay after that. Can't wait to start learning it again.

Book of Dreams

I know right now everyone’s buzzing about the Academy Award nominations, who got snubbed and who should win, but something else Oscar-related has been on my mind for months now: Federico Fellini's Book of Dreams exhibition that opens tomorrow at the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences’ Grand Lobby Gallery. The Italian director (La Dolce Vita, Amarcord) made a habit of drawing out his dreams as soon as he awoke and kept a notebook of these writings and illustrations by his bed. His work, on display for the first time in the U.S., date from the 1960’s all the way to 1990.

Fellini often incorporated these fantastical images into his films and considered dreams to be just as important as the work your mind does when you’re awake. But he didn’t stop with the pages in his book and so by letting himself completely explore what his subconscious was trying to say, he was able to breathe life into his dreams.

Too bad I can’t get to Beverly Hills anytime soon. Perhaps I can settle for his cool book instead.

Fellini's Book of Dreams opens Saturday, January 24th and runs though April 19 at The Academy’s Grand Lobby Gallery. Admission is completely free!


Food For Thought

So after a week of passing by these cartons whenever I walked into a store, I finally realized that they are in fact Tropicana juices and not some generic brand. Thanks, Tropicana for turning my oj snobbish ways into a difficulty. At least Pepsi didn't completely jump off the cliff with theirs.

Apparently, these logo changes have been out for months, but I haven't gone food shopping in just as long. Also, is it just me or does the name of these cookies sound completely unappetizing?

Yeah, I think I'll pass on that one.


National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women worldwide and can be prevented by knowing the risk factors and getting regularly screened for HPV. Since some doctors do not automatically give you an HPV test, be sure to ask for one during your routine Pap tests. Together, they’ll help detect any cells which can lead to the disease.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Plataeu

You know how sometimes you fight through the uphill climb, improving, growing, moving…and then you just level off? Not really climbing higher, but not rolling back either. You’re just at a standstill – going neither forward nor back.

That’s where I am.

It could be brief. A chance to catch your breath. A moment to look around and see how far you’ve come and how much further you’ve yet to go.

Or the plateau might linger for a while longer only disappearing once you’ve regained enough strength to keep going for the peak.

It could be those last few pounds you just can’t shed or getting comfortable in one position when you know you deserve so much better. But plateaus aren’t bad if you see them for what they are: a rest stop not the destination.

This break from my climb is one of the reasons why I haven't had a one-on-one session with T in over a month. Yes, the inexplicable anxiety comes and goes. The shortness of breath follows soon after and the rush and stress adds to it all. But I have been pretty ok. I want to figure things out on my own for a little bit and I know if things get too hard, she's only a call away.

Recently, I’ve been training myself to not create issues out of insignificant things. To learn that some people need drama in their lives and their behavior has absolutely nothing to do with me. With that in mind, I can let go, forgive and keep it moving with dwelling too much on it. It takes practice as old habits die very hard.

Maybe that in itself is me taking a step away from the plateau. But quite frankly, I don't mind the opportunity to check out the view.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Vision

Peace. Bliss even. To travel the world. I want love that will swirl up the butterflies in my stomach each and every time I see him. An armful of sunny flowers. An improved economy that will bring jobs to those who've lost them and sleep to those who fear for theirs. I want to succeed on my own terms.

I want to let my heart - not my head - lead the way and feel so centered within myself that I can rest assured things will be Just Fine.

Laugh more. Smile more. Wish more. Celebrate my life. Be healthy (and ten pounds heavier). I want to let color in.

Breathe, be still and believe that bit by bit change will happen.

I want to learn how to live completely and be patient with life's questions. I'll hear the answers soon enough.

"I am the sum of my small steps." Indeed.

So, what would be on your vision board?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Special Delivery

Last Thursday, I received a slip saying I had a box at the post office. From Mr. First.

I couldn't get it until this morning and finally opened it tonight. Inside I found:

My favorite (red) candy
The baby blue jacket he gave me (and I returned and later missed)
A beautiful card for Christmas and another one for my birthday
A puppy guide that'll make a genius out of Toby...or just get him to poop on his pad
A lovely CD I'll be popping in later on tonight
My old Phillies banner from a home game
Gloves with removable tops he'd bought (and misplaced) for me last Christmas
This book and that one

And soon after I opened the box and read the first card, who should text? Yup :)

The Press Trip

For those wondering how the Vero Beach trip went, just wanted to say it was fun and very interesting. Of course, I didn't relax much (outside of my spa appointment that is) and didn't see it as a vacation (it was work after all), but I got the chance to meet some great people, laughed a bunch, ate great food and had an awesome time just enjoying the warmer weather.

We experienced delays and turbulence on our flight back, but eventually landed in La Guardia safe and sound.

No geese were spotted through my window.

Happy Inauguration Day

A new administration. A chance to redirect this country to better days. Changes. Optimism. Hope returns. A breath of fresh air. Huge undertakings. Hard days ahead. A turning point. History. Inspiration. A new chapter. Questions. Answers.

What do you hope this new chapter holds?

P.S. Is it bad that I want a bow around my coat too?


Friday, January 16, 2009

Just Checking In

Hi all! Just wanted to let you guys know I got in ok. I had an internal freakout shortly before landing this morning due to some really bad turbulance. I guess I'm not as brave as I'd like to think since for ten minutes or so I had a death grip on my arm rest and it only got tighter each time the plane fell several feet or shook all over the place. Not fun.

But we made it to the resort safely and I'll proceed to enjoying the rest of my weekend. Of course, I couldn't resist this public laptop to check my e-mail, know, the essentials! Like a moth to a flame I tell you :)

Hope you Northerners are keeping warm. It's a freezing 65 degrees here. Talk about brrrrr! (Well it is to these people anyway. Can you believe that?!)

Off to Florida for a Lovely Press Trip

Enjoy your weekends my dears :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Catch Some Good ZZZ's

Tossing and turning through the night? Staying up for The Late, Late, Late Show? Well maybe I can help. Choosing the right mattress and pillow is the first step to getting the rest you need so it's important you find the comfiest set you can. Your sleep position and body temperature preferences also have an affect on how well you'll sleep. Read on for tips on choosing the right bed so you can rest easy.


U.S. Airways Plane Crashes into the River

A U.S. Airways plane just crashed into the Hudson River not far from where I work. A bird strike is said to have caused engine malfunction as the plane was taking off from La Guardia Airport. Right now passengers are being rescued and I can hear the fire engines making their way to the crash site. Let's hope no one was injured.

P.S. I'm flying out in the morning. Let's hope JFK has their stuff together and that the geese have vacated the premises when I fly back into La Guardia Sunday night.

UPDATE: Here's an updated article. No one was hurt and all 146 passengers and 5 crew members have been rescued.

Barack's Letter to His Daughters


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

More TV Shows to Come

For starters, the insanity that is Flight of the Conchords will be back Sunday, January 18 on HBO. By the way, I like how I get my pop culture news from subway posters (and yes, it's how I found out American Idol was back. Maybe they should've made another one to remind me it's on tonight again!)

And remember when I had eight months to catch season 4 of Lost* (even though the DVDs did just come out last month)? Yeah well now I have a week to watch the thing before season 5 airs on January 21 on ABC. Awesome.

*I just got hooked on the show last March, so I've yet to watch a season when it's actually on TV. Can't wait! If you're going to comment, you'd better not spoil it for me!!

Well What Do We Have Here...

New signs! Did one of you say something?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

American Idol Is Back!

I was a ginormous fan of American Idol way back in the beginning and totally fell off the wagon after Season 3 (and was totally let down when Clay lost to sweaty Roooob in Season 2, boo), but I want to get hooked all over again. I want to laugh at these kids who swear they have what it takes and I want to get goosebumps when we hear those who do.

So who else is looking forward to craptastic singers and Simon's soul-crushing quips? Because I, for one, cannot wait. Let the games begin!

UPDATE: Ok, we're only five minutes in, but I remembered my AI pet peeve: Ryan Seacrest's "after the break" cliffhangers.


Hello My Little Sillyheads

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I Rang in the Old Age By Having No Shame

Because at the stroke of midnight, Dariany and I were doing this:


One more year to file away with its collection of stories, memories and lessons. Twenty-six did its thing. It forced me to grow. It showed me how low I can throw myself and how I can bounce back. It showed me wonderful times and dark days. Twenty-six was my wake up call. I just hope twenty-seven is the snooze button. I need some serious rest after last year.

I'm lucky. My birthday comes nipping at the heels of the new year. I get twice the chance to look within and without; twice the chance to figure out where I am and who I want to be. Not to mention a chance to give any resolutions a little boost 11 days in.

Inspired by Lisa's lovely list, I've decided to create my own year-long list of things I'd like to do before I turn 28.

1. Learn Italian (in progress)
2. Travel to a new country
3. Take swimming lessons
4. Find my own go-to cafe
5. Finish the hallway photo gallery
6. Design 5 greeting cards each month
7. Date...maybe (in progress)
8. Write a letter to one extra friend each month (eight)
9. Freelance for more publications (
10. Dust off my SLR camera (done)
11. Take walks through the park with Toby (done)
12. Tell one person I love them every day...and mean it
13. Be of more service to others (forever in progress)
14. Have a sleepover filled with junk food and chick flicks
15. Host a cocktail party
16. Plant sunflowers in the spring
17. Cut my hair (done)
18. Explore watercolors (done)
19. Forgive (in progress)
20. Sign up for this and this again (done)
21. Eat, breathe and smile (done)
22. Remember it's not personal and let things go (in progress)
23. Speak up
24. Face three fears (one, two)
25. Be spontaneous (done)
26. Bake cupcakes (done)
27. Dress up for work (done)

So now I'm officially in my late twenties. I don't know what twenty-seven will bring, but I'm wishing for yummy goodness and smiles.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Cultural Commute

Whoever says the NYC public transportation system is nothing but grime and dirt, should take another look. I've often found myself reading (and sometimes writing down) their Poetry in Motion or enjoying their Arts for Transit. Granted, these illustrations often appear in the newer trains on the green line...that run down the fancy schmancy east side of Manhattan.

I would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only. I would like to be that unnoticed
& that necessary.
~Variation on the Word Sleep, Margaret Atwood

The winter was fierce, my dear,
Snowy and blowy and cold,
A heart-breaker and record-breaker,
And I am feeble and old.

But now it is lilac time.
Come out in the sweet warm air,
Come and I'll gather flowers
To put in your beautiful hair.

Let's make a bouquet of lilac
For our old bedside table.
Then the fragrance in the night
Will make me form-i-dable.
~Lilac Time, Hayden Carruth

Take hands.
There is no love now.
But there are hands.
There is no joining now,
But a joining has been
Of the fastening of fingers
And their opening.
More than the clasp even, the kiss
Speaks loneliness,
How we dwell apart
And how love triumphs in this.
~Take Hands, Laura (Riding) Jackson

In Flight, Chris Gall, 2008

Fire Escape, Philippe Lechien, 2008

Coney Island, Tim Zeltner, 2007


Friday, January 9, 2009

I Had Another One of Those Dreams Last Night...

You know the type. The ones that seem too good to be true. The ones that leave you feeling a little bit sad once you wake up and realize it was all an illusion.

Yeah. Thanks for the torture, subconscious. With friends like you who needs enemies?

At least this one didn't leave me feeling like it used to. In fact, I noticed it for what it was while I was still asleep.

And then I went on to dream about mutant spiders crawling from my vents.

Progress? I think yes.

P.S. I was finally able to put the pictures away.

SATURDAY MORNING UPDATE: Make that two now. And this one wasn't pretty...


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Smart Fast Food Choices

Can't stay away from fast food? Join the club. Good thing is you don't have to feel guilty about it. There are ways to make smart choices when grabbing food on the go. It's all about sticking to a plan and following through regardless of whether you're cooking dinner at home or grabbing a quick bite at Mickey D's.


Toy Story

With Three King's Day (aka the 12th day of Christmas/ Epiphany) coming to an end, kids have collected all their holiday goodies by now (and they're probably all strewn across your living room floor). To make sure they stay happy and safe as they play with their toys, keep these tips in mind.


A New Year

Well I'm back from my little blogging break (aka writer's block) and ready for 2009. So far the new year has been filled with:

- close friends, gift exchanges, cocktails, Domino's and My Big Fat Greek Wedding
- a drive out to visit newly engaged friends for MTV, dinner and s'mores
- a spontaneous trip for crepes with an old buddy and stopping in a cute European cafe for coffee and (more) dessert
- naming my puppy Toby (who just barked for the first time, oy vey), house training and successfully teaching him to come and sit on command
- heartfelt letters to friends and much wanted snail mail
- returning to work, writing and feeling productive once again

Hello 2009. So pleased to meet you.