Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

It's so silly to make people come to work during the week between Christmas and New Year's; my mind's here, but it's so hard to make myself be productive. *Sigh.*

Instead, I'm thinking about what I'm going to wear for tonight's New Year's festivities and the order in which I'm going to go to my parties. Em's having a party at her place and Sage's friends are having a big cocktail party in their Chelsea loft. My current plan is to start at the loft party and then head over to Em's before the clock strikes midnight. Thankfully, the parties are within 15 blocks of one another because I know finding a cab is going to be a nightmare. As will navigating the chilly streets in a short dress and strappy high heels.

Speaking of the dress, it's a bubble dress. You know those poufy creations that are kind of cool, but could also look kind of bizarre. Mine's lavender shot through with silver threads. If nothing else, it's festive, and if I don't wear it tonight, I highly doubt I'll ever wear it. I have to wear it; I bought it at a little boutique downtown. Even if I look like a blueberry on stilts... so be it. What's life without occasional risk-taking.

I'm looking forward to the evening, and am expecting it to be relatively chill and civilized. I'm not anticipating anything too crazy, and plan to be in fine shape tomorrow to take advantage of yet another day off.

Happy New Year everyone!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Smoothie Gone Awry

Back from family-land and in the mood to detoxify and nourish my body, I decided to get uber-creative with smoothie-making tonight. The brilliant idea: use tomatoes! Now why hadn't I thought of that before? (Wait and see). I mixed half a box of cherry tomatoes, some frozen raspberries, a little OJ, yogurt, and a banana, and at first it seemed fabulous. The consistency was smooth, it tasted great, and it was a lovely pink color.

However, 15 minutes later, the world was less rosy and unexpectedly gelatinous. While I had been innocently talking on the phone, getting ready to savor my creation, my smoothie, which had flowed beautifully out of the blender, had gradually solidified into a gelatinous pink lump that looked suspiciously as if it was on the verge of curdling. I stuck my finger in it to test the viscosity and got a jiggling mauve lump of gunk on my chest for my trouble. How in god's name did that happen?

The culprit is clearly the tomatoes. I've used OJ, yogurt, bananas, and frozen berries many times before in smoothies and have never created an inadvertent jello mold. Take it from me, if you're in the smoothie mood and you get the urge to use tomatoes, fight it. The results are less than appetizing.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Swedish Glogg Party

I had a total blast this weekend. Friday night, I went to a holiday party and out to dinner and then Saturday I threw a birthday/holiday party at my house, the theme of which was a Swedish Glogg Party since I'm part Swedish. I think the party was a success. There were about 30 people crammed into the living space in the apartment that I share with Rumi. In typical New York style, we had had to put the coffee table and living room chair out in the hall to accommodate our guests.

Here are a few things I would do differently that I want to remember for next year's bash:

1) Start the party no later than 8:00 pm - This year, I started it at 7:00 pm thinking that because there were other holiday parties I'd give my guests the option of stopping by mine first. However, no one came before 7:30 (also typical New York - actually, 7:30 is super early), and literally all of my girl friends were just walking out their doors at around 8:00 pm.

2) Have no ending time - I had set the party for 7 to 10 but a large group stayed until midnight which was perfect. I don't know what I was thinking imagining that I would be up for going out after the party (and after running around all day, baking, and getting everything prepared). Plus, it was pretty much the perfect end to the evening to turn around after shutting the door on the last of my departing guests to see Mr. Italian standing in front of me.

3) Have a bigger pot of glogg - The glogg was a hit. I went through three batches in a saucepan. Who knew it would be so popular. It turns out that everyone loves hot mulled wine, and frankly who wouldn't? It's hot, spicy wine filled with raisins and almonds. Yum. Next year I'm going to have a bigger pot or I'm going to use one of those catering things that dispense coffee as a glogg dispenser. How cool would that be?

4) Organize the booze so it's more self-serve - Next year, the booze gets its own table so that guests know exactly what where it is, what their options are, and how to get it. I ran around trying to get people drinks but I think if I had organized it better people would have been able to fend for themselves a bit more. Ideally, next year I'll be able to just direct them to the booze table and say, help yourselves.

Other than that, I wouldn't change anything. I made lussebullar (St. Lucia Buns), had Le Tur and fig jam on crackers, pepper-encrusted salami for my meat-eating friends, olives, pepperkakor, Swedish candy (bilar, salt lakris, and vine gummi), smoked salmon, and a bunch of snack that Rumi's boyfriend brought over. Also, everyone who said they were going to come came! It was fantastic. Pretty much all of my closest friends in New York came to the party, not to mention Mr. Italian (date # 5 for those of you keeping track).

It was a great way to celebrate my b-day and I was very happy.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Deep Blue

I get a "Daily Om" post sent to my email each day and though I'm always so busy I try to take at least a minute to read the posts. It's a positive centering exercise that reminds me to take some time for myself, and that the be-all, end-all is not work, men, or anything else other than what's inside of me. The posts also remind me to do basic stress-relief type things, such as to breathe and to be thankful.

I really like today's post because it's about this concept of interconnectivity. It imagines all of us as part of a great ocean of "love" - which I know sounds very new-agey - but which I take to mean the positive life essence that connects us all to one another and to the undefinable energy of the universe - whether you want to call that a higher power, God, the Universe, or some other name.

The negative aspects of life, the challenges, fears, and notes of discord that we all experience are imagined as sharks swimming about in the otherwise tranquil ocean. The sharks - despite their fearsome appearance - are not totally negative either because they too are made up of "love." The point of the post as I interpret it is that we are all part of this love, the ocean. We, like the sharks, are made up of the ocean, and despite sometimes feeling like we are surrounded or attacked by sharks, beyond the sharks is a much larger ocean of... tranquil bliss; the happiness that is within us all that I personally tap in to through yoga, bubble baths, clearing my mind, running, practicing my Swedish, going to church, and spending time with people I love, among other things.

Sometimes I focus too much on the "sharks" and forget about the ocean, so it's nice to be reminded about it. It's calming.

Here's the Daily Om:

"What We Are Made Of
Choose Love

Love is often presented as the opposite of fear, but true love is not
opposite anything. True love is far more powerful than any negative emotions, as
it is the environment in which all things arise. Negative emotions are like
sharks swimming in the ocean of love. All things beautiful and fearful, ugly and
kind, powerful and small, come into existence, do their thing, and disappear
within the context of this great ocean. At the same time, they are made of the
very love in which they swim and can never be separated. We are made of this
love and live our whole lives at one with it, whether we know it or not.

It is only the illusion that we are separate from this great love that
causes us to believe that choosing anything other than love makes sense or is
even possible. In the relative, dualistic world of positive and negative,
darkness and light, male and female, we make choices and we learn from them.
This is exactly what we are meant to be doing here on earth. Underlying these
relative choices, though, is the choice to be conscious of what we are, which is
love, or to be unconscious of it. When we choose to be conscious of it, we
choose love. We will still exist in the relative world of opposites and choices
and cause and effect, and we will need to make our way here, but doing so with
an awareness that we are all made of this love will enable us to be more
playful, more joyful, more loving and wise, as we make our way. Ultimately, the
choices we make will shed light on the love that makes us all one, enabling
those who have forgotten to return to the source.

This world makes it easy to forget this great love, which is part of why we
are here. We are here to remember and, when we forget to remember again, to
choose love."

Monday, December 10, 2007

Holiday Party Music Picks

I've been in a flurry of activity preparing for my upcoming holiday party. It's actually a holiday/birthday party as my birthday is at the end of December. Although I grew up hearing how December babies always get shafted, I can report, happily, that that's never been the case for me. I guess I'm lucky like that.

One of the things I've been working on, in addition to cleaning up and organizing my god-awful disaster of a room, lugging home bottles of liquor and tasty ingredients, and perfecting my Swedish glogg recipe, is picking the perfect play-list for the party. It's actually way more challenging than I would have thought. I'm doing it in order and trying to have some chill, but fun music up front and then gradually picking up the tempo. The hard part is that you don't want to bust out, for example, Britney's "Gimme More," too early, but you also don't want to let things lag in the beginning.

What are your music must-haves for a holiday party? Send 'em my way. Once I get my list perfected, I'll be sure to post it. It's going to be awesome.

In other news, for those of you who have inquired... yes, I've been rather preoccupied this past week with the Italian man. I'm not going to write much about it because, surprise, surprise, he actually seems cool and I'm genuinely interested in seeing him again. Me thinks blogging would not be a good idea at this stage. Now, if it all fizzles and goes to pot in some semi-painfully hilarious fashion, you can be sure that I will share all the sordid details.

For now though, I'm going to remain pleasantly mum.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Distracted

All I can think about today is sex. Walking to the subway: sex. Reading cases: sex. At a meeting in a conference room: sex. Maybe this is what it's like to be a man, to walk around all day feeling a dull pulsing of desire and having it flare up at the most inappropriate moments when a stray vision of two bodies intertwined flashes across your mind. It's quite distracting. How do men hold it together if they really think about sex every 7 seconds? (Or other women, for that matter). Good god, it's a wonder they get anything done. As it is, I must have read the same paragraph over today at least 20 times, still without any comprehension.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Airports

Sometimes, out of the blue, delightful, completely unexpected things happen. Like, for example, meeting a ridiculously sexy Italian man at the airport on your way to London, having said ridiculously sexy man ask for your number while you're tying up the laces of your sneakers, and then having a terrific first date where you find out that not only is Mr. Italy hot, he's also smart, thoughtful, funny, considerate, accomplished, caring, chivalrous and possessed of a smoldering intensity.

These things happen. Isn't life fun?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Little M.I.A. Me

This was totally not going to be a post about how oh my god, I'm not blogging as much lately, where does the time go, I still love the blog and miss you all, but I'm so busy. But, the title just came to me so apparently I do feel the need to 'splain a little about my temporarily changed blogging habits. (Anyone else read "Everything is Illuminated," and not realize until weeks after finishing it that "'splainin'" was supposed to be explaining? Nutz. ).

I've gone from an every day blogger to a once-a-weeker in the blink of an eye, and all I can say is it's the holidays. Not only are the holidays filled with emotionally wrought visits to the Fam for Thanksgiving and Christmas, they are also filled with parties! It seems like just yesterday it was August and I was enjoying the lazy haze of summer simmering over the city. Suddenly, I'm in London for Thanksgiving, it's December, and today it snowed! In less than a month it's going to be 2008, which I find particularly shocking in light of the fact that Will Smith reminded me tonight on 60 Minutes that "Independence Day" came out in 1996. That's like 12 - TWELVE - years ago. I had to wait for the sledgehammer of panic to settle down in my chest after hearing that fact.

Not to worry though. December is going to be so busy, I'll have hardly a second to ponder the traitorously swift passage of time. Take for example this upcoming week. I have events every single night. Every night! Good lord. I'm exhausted, but excited, just thinking about it. Tomorrow, I'm going to dinner with the hot Italian man I met going through security. Nice. Date No. 1. Therapy on Tuesday, book-club on Wednesday, Holiday party on Thursday, Holiday party on Friday, Holiday party on Saturday, and Holiday party on Sunday. That's 4 holiday parties in a row and only one of them is an official, business-y one. Don't get me wrong, I'm totally stoked about all of them, but I must admit, it would have been nice if they had been spread out a tiny bit. Not that it would have helped much, because the next week is sure to be just as busy.

Did I forget to mention work? Yep, I actually have to do work as well. Sigh. It would be immensely helpful on the social front if work could just chill out for a bit in December. I'm not holding my breath, but a girl can hope.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

London Highlights

Hello Blogsphere! I'm back from a drizzle-soaked, chilled-to-the-bone, museum, musical, and historical sight-saturated, family-intense, surprisingly endearing baby-spit-up-smelling, cuddle-filled visit to London. I know I've mentioned this before, but my nephew - Baby Bean - is adorable, and getting the chance to bond with him was one of the highlights of the trip.

Despite the weather, London is a fun place to visit and there's tons to do. I had a great time walking around Notting Hill, Covent Garden, and Hyde Park. In Notting Hill, near where my brother Frey lives, there's a cute coffee shop with inviting couches that plays old French songs and has delicious baked goods. Their coffee was better than London's Starbuck's, which tasted burnt to me. Hyde Park was relaxing; there were teenagers playing soccer outside, people strolling, flocks of swans and ducks, and wide open grass filled spaces filled with fallen leaves and dotted with impressive, stately trees. In Covent Garden, I had the best Belgium waffle I've ever tasted from a little kiosk. It was delicious! They must make the batter with heaps of sugar because the waffle, which I had plain, came out delightfully carmelized around the edges.

Speaking of food, I had my fill of Scottish shortbread cookies; they were impossible to resist, particularly since they were one of the few things that was not at least double the price of what it would have been in New York. I also tried clotted cream for the first time. Strange stuff. It looks like butter with a crusty yellow edge, but tastes like whip cream. My mom and I had it on scones with strawberry jam. On the way down it tasted delicious, but I must report that 15 minutes later I could still feel the sensation of it in my mouth and throat - sort of an unpleasant coating that made me fear for the health of my arteries. I also sampled the fish 'n chips - good, but not good enough to make up for it being fried. The stand out food was the Indian and fusiony Thai food. Excellent.

I took advantage of the lack of a strike to see some musicals in London, and am now of the opinion that the theater in London may be superior to that of New York, not necessarily for quality (although it was great) but more so for convenience. While in New York one must wait for hours for half-priced tickets and can't get tickets for tons of shows, in London it was a snap to get half-priced tickets and I was able to see "Wicked" - a show that I've been trying to see forever in New York. A review of Wicked will be forthcoming. I also saw "Chicago" which I also enjoyed. I love that song that the murderesses in jail sing about how they killed their husbands. He had it coming!

The other London attractions I enjoyed were Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's Cathedral, and the tour of the Tower of London. My favorites though were the museums. I dragged my mom to the British Museum where we saw the Rosetta Stone! - how cool is that? - the National Gallery, and the Tate Modern. That Tate was really cool. I'm not a fan of modern art but they had quite a range including some surrealist and abstract impressionist art. The coolest thing about the Tate was the actual structure of the building, an impressive old warehouse set on the bank of the Thames River with dramatically spacious, high-ceilinged rooms showcasing the art work. Even if you absolutely loath modern art, it's worth it to go to the Tate just to check out the facility, arguably a work of art in and of itself.

The visit also included some good family time, including a walk from the Tower of London up the Thames and over London Bridge to get to the Tate with my mom and Bacchus, nice dinners and lunches, and just chilling in front of the TV watching movies or taking turns gushing over my little nephew. My brother Frey gets props and many thanks for organizing the trip.

But, as with all great trips, it's always nice to get home. I'm very happy to back in my own bed, work, routine, and among predictable and familiar New Yorkers. The Brits are cool, but it's comforting to be back on the subway after the tube, to be walking on streets where pedestrians have the right of way, where Starbuck's coffee tastes like it should, where there's sunshine mixed in with the rain, where I have my whole closet and bathroom at my sole disposal, and where the cost of my morning coffee doesn't cause me to shake my head in despair at the dismal state of the American dollar.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Baby Bean

I've been off the radar because I'm in London with the fam for Thanksgiving. I left New York Thursday morning and met up with Bean, Baby Bean, and Bacchus in the airport. I also met a fantastically sexy Italian man going through security, but that's another story - nice beginning to the trip though, I must say.

I've spent the last 4 days wanting to eat up my little nephew. He is soooo adorable I can hardly stand it. Now don't get me wrong, the whole experience has also made me think long and hard about how unready I am to have babies. Good lord the little tykes are a lot of work. I struggled up my brother's stairs carrying just the stroller; somehow Bean managed to go up and down carrying the baby, his seat thingie, the stroller, diaper bag, and other sundry items like random pacifiers, blankets, stray toys, and burp clothes. It's incredible. I haven't really checked email because I've been focused on sightseeing with Bean and the baby, trying to make him smile (and/or stop almost crying - he's so good, he hardly ever screams), or gazing at his sleeping little face in wonder.

So, let's get to how freakin' unbelievably cute my nephew is. Adorable. The cutest. Ever. I'm so smitten. His huge luminous eyes just gazing up at me, and then suddenly, from out of no where a brilliant smile filled with sparkles. It's one of the most beautiful, peaceful things to just watch him sleep. He and Bean are leaving tomorrow and I'm going to miss them. I'm so glad they came and that I got to spent a few days with them; I can't believe I hadn't seen him since he was born. Now he's 7 1/2 months old! A mini-human, as my brother Bacchus says.

Speaking of which, one of the most special things was watching my brothers with the baby. I knew Bacchus would be good with the baby but Frey really surprised me. He was so gentle and sweet and seemed kind of fascinated and enamoured.

I can't let 7 more months go by without seeing him. He's too cute and he's growing so fast! He's going to be colouring, crawling, and walking - maybe not in that order - in no time.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Turkeys: Before The Table

I don't eat meat. It used to be for health reasons, but now it's mainly because I literally cannot stomach the cruelty perpetuated against animals in the industries that prepare them to become food. My personal view is that we all have a responsibility to understand what happens to animals before they wind up as carcasses on our dinner plates, and it's also my belief that if more people were aware of the poor treatment that animals receive they would work to make the system more humane - so at least if humans must eat animals, we can do so in a way that minimizes the pain caused to them.

If you are interested, check out the below video, filmed by an undercover investigator from PETA. It's short and not as informative as some of PETA's other videos, but it gives you a sense for the kind of senseless cruelty that turkeys are exposed to while waiting to be slaughtered. If they have to die, they should at least be treated with dignity and compassion. After all, if giants invaded the world and started eating us, wouldn't you want to be treated - at a bare minimum - with dignity and compassion?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

No Grazing

While having coffee after church today, I met a fascinating woman who does work with women's and children's health in South Africa. She's Swedish and moved to South Africa because she married a South African. Her work in Capetown started off focusing on children's health, but lead her to women's health - because unless the mothers are healthy it's unlikely that the children are. Interestingly, she said that working on women's health leads inevitably to programs to increase the economic self-sufficiency of women.

The starkest example is the AIDs crisis in Africa. One of the highest risk factors for women in Africa is whether they are married. Married women are at an extraordinary risk of contracting HIV because their husbands are using prostitutes or sleeping with other women outside of the marriage and then bringing back sexually transmitted diseases to their wives (and children). Where women are not economically self-sufficient - which is most places in the world - they are trapped. They're dependent on their husbands and feel that they have to stay, even if there's abuse or adultery.

While I was in Cambodia, I saw the same thing. Women from different social classes are separated from one another. The men move between the different classes of women, sleeping with one class outside of marriage, and the other inside of marriage, and passing diseases between them. It's incredible that prostitutes continue to be blamed for the spread of diseases, because it's not them that are spreading it to the wives of the men who buy them. Prostitutes, like wives (and of course they're often both), have limited power over the men that they sleep with. Often times, for example, they are not in a position to insist that a client wears a condom.

Apparently the only country in Africa which has seen a drop in the rate of HIV transmission is Uganda (hopefully Pas, who has done work there, will chime in). My new friend told me that this was because Uganda started a massive public health campaign aimed at curbing concurrent sexual relationships - something which my friend said was more common in Africa than the West (in the West you have lots of sexual partners but their more often one after another, instead of all at the same time). The issue with having multiple concurrent sexual relationships is that if one person in that chain contracts HIV, suddenly you have 4, or 6, or 10 others who contract it almost at the same time. It makes sense that it would spread rapidly under those conditions.

I honestly don't know if this is true, and if you're interested this theory is discussed in depth in a new book called The Invisible Cure, which I plan to get. The slogan of the Ugandan campaign was "No Grazing," as in, if you're eating one dish, don't nibble from others. It was successful because it resonated with both the health workers in Uganda and the population at large.

It's just so shocking that becoming a wife could be the most dangerous thing you could do in terms of your health. But on the other hand, it's not at all surprising that becoming a wife in an unequal partnership could be risky. I think it was Abigail Adams who said that all men would be tyrants if they could. Women have to come together and support one another in becoming economically independent. As the AIDs epidemic demonstrates, women's rights are quite literally a life or death matter.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Drafting Doldrums

I really quite desperately want to sleep.

Unfortunately, I have a rather gigantic assignment due that is taking literally forever. It's 9:00 pm and I'm stuck in the office and probably will not be able to go home for a while. Boo. As I have nothing substantive or interesting to say, I guess the point of this post is to whine. *frowning* This is the first OBIM day that I've had in a long, long time.

Which reminds me, it's actually Tuesday! Which is both good and bad. Good, because I'm that much closer to the end of the week and my coveted weekend. Bad, because I have a boatload of work to do and I'm not sure how I'm going to do it. I'm also supposed to go on a date tomorrow night with the Masked Priest, but it's unclear at this juncture how that's going to happen.

Help.

I'll leave you with a funny tidbit: The other day, I heard someone describe a person as ineffective by calling them a "one-armed coat hanger." Hilarious. Come to think of it, I kind of feel like a one-armed coat hanger right now.

Date Update: The Masked Priest just called and for the third time in a row he did something that left me feeling pleasantly surprised. How delightful. He called with an idea for a bar to meet at tomorrow night which was midway between both of us in a cool area. Then, during the conversation when I was saying that I might have to meet up a bit later because of work, he suggested that we meet for dinner instead (because I would not have been able to eat by then). He even had a restaurant suggestion. He listened, thought of me, and suggested something that would make my life more pleasant. He's confident, has back-up plans, and fun ideas. Remarkable. Wow. I kind of feel like a one-and-a-half armed coat hanger now. Once again I'm left with the impression that this guy might be kind of cool. Despite my work, I'm looking forward to dinner tomorrow.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Mom & Me

My mom's in town for the weekend and we've been having a lot of fun. We attempted to go for drinks at the bar on the 35th floor of the Mandarin Hotel but were thwarted by all the people in town for the marathon. Lesson learned: Make reservations, even just for cocktails. Instead, we had dinner at Cafe Gray. Fancy, but delish. She had Snapper, which was light and flavorful, and I had the Skate Schnitzel. Interesting, but not the greatest because it was fried - hence the "schnitzel." My favorite was the tiny lavender cookies that they brought at the end of the meal (I believe pastry chef Chris Broberg's lavender-scented white-chocolate petits fours). Lavender in food is kind of fabulous.

Today, we went to church and then had coffee cinnamon buns and pieces of Princess Cake after the service. It was so relaxing, and fortifying for the four hours of shopping that transpired afterwards. We hit Banana, Kenneth Cole, and Bloomies and basically shopped 'til we dropped. OK, I shopped; my mom almost dropped. I got two dresses, a purple coat, two pair of shoes, and a sweet black top that I can wear for both work and going out at night. A perfect date top - always a great purchase.

Now, I'm trying to do work while my mom is watching football downstairs. God, do I hate football. Hate. It. It's got to be one of the top 3 most boring things in the world, right before watching paint dry or waiting for water to boil. Not only is it boring, it's extremely aggravating to listen to. I can't stand the incessant murmur of the crowd roaring and the announcers squawking.

It makes me tense. She loves it. Bizarre.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Dips

I'm having a slight emotional dip. I'm not sure why. This is 10,000 times better than it used to be. It used to be that the norm would be a dip, and the unusual would be a feeling of well-being. Those were in the dark days of things long since past. Now, I operate, especially lately, on a plane several stories above the emotional wasteland that I used to exist upon. It's nice and warm and fuzzy up here, but sometimes there are the dips.

I'm not sure what precipitated this one. It's not even a full dip, but I find myself hanging on with my fingernails, scared that I might slide down all the way. I don't like the emotional wasteland. It involves feeling of isolation, being overwhelmed and anxiety. It feels a little like things are flying apart, like there's no sense of purpose, nothing concrete to hold on to. It evokes the desire to binge. It evokes a feeling of need. Need. Need for what?

Not cool, creamy, chocolaty goodness. Despite what I feel.

But, as I was saying, we're not in a full-blown dip. I think it started from a series of seemingly small, inconsequential things. I had to deal with the psycho-actress that I rent from about bills. Every time that happens it's a source of stress and I think why am I still living here? The apartment suddenly looks dingy again, I hate the lack of bath tub, my room looks like a chaotic mess. I think, I'm not together. I don't have the apartment of a woman who is together, sophisticated. My mom's coming in to town and I'm excited to see her, but it's also stressful. I have to think of what to do, where to go, will she be happy, will she be warm. I need to work because of something that came up last minute on Friday. I feel guilty. I also feel stressed about work.

And then, last night, I met the boyfriend of one of my new friends. She's white, he's Indian. Sound familiar? Well, it turns out that Indian boy, after dating this White girl for 4 years, finally told his parents that he was dating a white girl. Ooooooh. Yes, I intended that mocking tone - not to him, not to my friend, but to the past - my own past. It was a big deal for Indian boy to finally tell his parents, and of course he didn't tell the whole truth. He told them he had been dating her for 1 year (not 4). The mother cried, the father wrote an email asking him why he made his mother cry. They both asked him why he couldn't just date an Indian girl.

God, it's all so stupid.

Exbf's parents didn't want me to be with him at first either for everything that I was not. I wasn't Indian, I wasn't Hindu, I hadn't grown up in the Indian culture. Never mind that I'm respectful, culturally aware, and that I was genuinely interested in embracing their background and culture. My dad's an immigrant. I get it.

The funny thing was that eventually his parents did accept me. It actually got to the point that his father gave him his blessing to marry me. The funny thing is that it happened a few weeks before we finally broke up. That's hysterical. His parents came to accept me, actually embraced - to the extent that they could - the idea of us marrying, just before we broke up.

I have to admit that hearing my friend's story last night, I felt a tiny flicker of hollowness laced with a tinge of bitterness inside of me. An edge of harshness. I guess it's anger, maybe hurt. Still. I don't want to be with him. I haven't wanted to be with him or talk to him since the day, almost a year ago, that we broke up. But, things that I experienced with him still affect me now and then. Remembering still evokes some negative emotions.

I guess maybe this emotion is something like: You never saw how wonderful and special I was. And, that makes me mad. It makes me want to throw a plate at him. I tried really hard. His parents - people totally dead set against me from the beginning b/c of things completely out of my control - came to appreciate and accept me. But, not him. He was too selfish, too small, too weak, too insensitive, too self-involved, too cowardly, too insecure, too pathetic, and he had way too little to give.

Every time I remember these things it take me back to this: The re-realization and re-confirmation that he was not good for me and not good enough for me. He sucked.

So, why the lingering emotions that pick at the edges of the almost-healed scabs on my heart? I should be joyous, filled with elation that I'm not with him, that I didn't end up with him, that I was spared from spending one more year with him and his bullshit. And, I am. Truly. A day ago, two days ago, I was filled with joy. The world was warm and fuzzy, and I was so incredibly happy to be me, on my own, safe from that kind of negativity. But, as I'm learning, things are not black and white. I can be joyous about not being with him at the same time that I still feel, on occasion, sad about how he acted and what I experienced while I was with him.

(I was just thinking, as I was writing, you should not be feeling this; it is over a year ago! But then I thought, Fuck it, I'm purging. This is how I feel. This is what I will write. So there.)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

You're Invited to the EXBF-WHO? Party!

There is so much to celebrate today. First, it's a Blood Day and I'm going to do something especially nice for myself in honor of the first day of my period. Second, I'm planning a party - an "Exbf Who?" Party for November 9th, the one-year anniversary of my break-up with Exbf.

I've invited a bunch of my girl friends in New York to celebrate with me. On the agenda are cocktails, cute outfits, and perhaps a healthy dose of Exbf bashing, just for fun. Or, maybe not. Maybe I'll be having so much fun, I'll be like "Exbf who??" That's the objective and I think it will be rather easy to achieve.

Fun, right? I am so incredibly fortunate to have a network of wonderful girl friends in the city. I'm also fortunate that I have so much support from my friends outside of New York. Wood, Pas, and Bubbles supported me through three years of nonsense with Exbf. And, I have all of you! Your kind words, humor, and presence helped me get through that difficult time when I was not only moving on from Exbf, but also trying to escape the evil empire (my former employer).

In thanks to all of you, and in order to fully commemorate this wonderful occasion, you're all invited to a the EXBF-WHO? Party, here on my blog, on November 9th! Drop by, leave a comment, and share your own story about an Exbf who wasn't worth his weight in salt. (Men, you can share stories about Exbfs who weren't worth their weight in salt too).

Love, Buttercup

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Masked Priest: Part I

On Saturday, I went to two Halloween parties dressed as this femme fatale with a bunch of my friends. I had a nurse's outfit, a cap, a wig of platinum blond 2-ft long hair, red patent leather high heels, bright red lipstick, and a hatori hanzo sword strapped to my back. It was awesome. Technically, I should have had an eye-patch but it turns out that those things are super uncomfortable, so I scratched it. My friends were dressed as a pirate wench, a mammary gland, a pirate captain, a boxer, and Gogo (the psycho-Japanese girl from Kill Bill). I loved dressing up, loved walking around the streets looking at the other crazies, and had a total blast at the parties.

At the second party, I bumped into a very tall (I'm thinking 6'4" to 6'6"), broad-shouldered man wearing a priest outfit with a mask. We chit-chatted in the hall about our costumes and I couldn't help noticing that even in my 3-inch heels (which put me at roughly 6-ft), I had to tilt my head to look up at him. Nice. The party went on, Gogo and I hit the dance floor, had some cupcakes, filled up our champagne glasses, and continued dancing. The apartment where the party was held has this really cool set up with a DJ-booth in the living room, and the guys who live there all take turns DJ-ing for parties. The Masked Priest DJ-ed for about an hour while Gogo and I danced, occasionally catching my eye. When he finished, he joined Gogo and I on the dance floor and he and I started dancing and talking. At one point, he took off the mask and put it on my face, and pictures were taken. It happened so fast and it was dark on the dance floor, so I didn't get a clear picture of the top of his face. Or, if I did, the alcohol has since obliterated it from my memory.

Around 2:30 am, when Gogo was ready to go, I told the Masked Priest that I was leaving. He said that we should hang out some time, and I, looking up at him, said sure. I gave him my number and left with my friends, thinking that the evening had been fantastic, mildly flattered by the attentions of the Masked Priest, but not holding my breath for anything more. It had been fun for what it was, and I didn't expect nor need anything else.

On Sunday, I mostly recovered, more so from lack of sleep than from dehydration. After coming home at 3:20 in the morning on Saturday night, I had made the somewhat poor decision to watch the latest episode of "Gossip Girls" until 4 am. Upon waking around 9:30 am, I lazed around, cleaned, organized, and then did a little shopping later in the day. That night, I saw "Rendition," a very good and disturbing movie that I recommend seeing.

Monday, I worked and went to Swedish class - one of my new favorite things. Tuesday, I worked and went to therapy and talked about eating, emotions, and this new book I've become fascinated by, "Feeding the Hungry Heart." It's in the self-help genre and all about the emotional reasons people (women mainly) overeat and/or binge. I picked it up for research/exploratory purposes, and became totally hooked. When I finish it, I think I'm going to pick up another book about binging, anorexia, or bulimia. Maybe not anorexia - I don't think I'm ready for that yet. Reading it, I feel a little like "Fight Club" when Marla and Tyler participate in a cycle of self-help groups as a way to deal with their own emotional issues. Of course, unlike Marla and Tyler, I'm not a totally disconnected observer - I have my own issues with eating and emotions and it's so interesting to be exploring them and learning about other people's stories and perspectives.

Getting back to the main thread of this post... I came out of therapy and was in the midst of checking my messages when I got a call from an unidentified number. Looking at it quickly, I thought it was a Utah number and assumed it was Bean calling so I clicked over. Guess who it was?

The Masked Priest! My, my, my. Not only did he call, he actually called to converse. What unexpected behavior for a man. Rather intriguing. We chatted for about half hour about all the basics - where do you live, what do you do, what did you do on Sunday, I liked your Halloween costume, etc. It was so pleasant because he was clearly interested in me and the conversation - quite a difference from the leagues of self-involved men I've encountered during the last year who can only talk about themselves in between trying to take off my clothes. After talking for a while - having a perfectly nice conversation - he asked me to do something next week. After we had agreed, tentatively on the day (pending me checking my schedule), he ended the conversation by saying he would call me around Sunday to touch base and wishing me a nice week.

Me thinks the Masked Priest might be kind of cool.

Here's the funny thing. I don't exactly know what his face looks like. I know what the bottom part of his face looks like, but I have no recollection whatsoever of his eyes or nose. When I meet him, I'm going to have to cover his eyes and nose with my palm to see if I can recognize him. Thank god he's significantly taller than most men in the city. And what about me? The last time he saw me, I had 2 feet of blond hair framing my face. If we recognize each other, and like what we see, it will be nothing short of amazing.

Even so, I'm looking forward to it. I love Halloween.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Halloween Costume

Here's what I think I'm being for Halloween (or, more accurately, for the Halloween parties this weekend):
I think it might just be the perfect mix of evil, slutty, fierce and creative. I might ever go so far as to get a blond wig which I think could come in handy for the future.

What are you all going to be?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Lady Waiting (Revisited)

On July 13, 2006, four months before EXBF and I broke up, I wrote the following post and then promptly deleted it after he freaked out at me for sharing "our issues." He felt that me writing about our problems was a violation of his privacy, and even though I felt like it was productive for me to express my feelings through writing about them, I acquiesced to his request, pulled the post, and refrained - for the most part - from writing about things that made me upset while I was with him.

One of the many things he never understood that what I was writing about was not just him. When I wrote this post I was writing about my feelings. I was working them out and I was also imagining that other women had probably had similar experiences, where the actions of their partners fell short of their expectations. I wasn't blaming him totally for this incident, or even for my feelings of hurt. I was exploring the situation and how it had made me feel and I was working out what I thoughts about it.

Reading it now, almost a year and a half later, I think I was far too kind to him - as I was many times. I was there; he wasn't. That was the problem. Not my sensitivity, but his lack thereof. And, beneath that, his lack of love. If you truly and honestly love someone, you treat them with care. You think about their feelings and happiness. You consider them. During most of our relationship, he consistently considered one thing, and it wasn't me. When he said he "didn't think," he didn't mean he didn't think. He meant he didn't think of me. I didn't get it then, but I do now. And, now, when I read this, I want to run back to that apartment, grab that girl that I used to be and help her start packing.

He never deserved her, and she always deserved a lot more. I just wish she had figured that out sooner...
Art found here.


It wasn't just twenty minutes.

It's that we didn't have any alone time together during the family vacation, and that I've worked like a dog for the last six days since coming back.

It's that during that time you went out with your friends, relaxed, and had fun while I sat at my desk and came home exhausted with no time for anything except crawling into bed and going to sleep.

It's that on Tuesday night at 9:30 pm you called me and asked if I minded if you went out for a late dinner with friends, which was thoughtful and sweet, and I had to tell you that I didn't because I was still sitting at my desk and could not have done anything with you, or anyone, even though I wanted to.

It's that when I asked you what time you would be home after your late dinner on Tuesday night, you said "twelve thirty or one," which made me angry because I thought to myself, is it really necessary go to a three-hour dinner?, and doesn't he realize that if he doesn't come home until 1 am, there's not even a chance that we'll see each other while we're both awake?

It's that I swallowed those feelings and got over them, and instead started looking forward to Wednesday night, a night that we have decided is supposed to be "our" night to enjoy one another, and to put each other first, above all other distractions.

It's that I told you how much I was looking forward to seeing you Wednesday night, and you told me the same, and that we agreed to be home at 8 pm sharp.

It's that we flirted and I told you in no uncertain terms that I was going to have two glasses of champagne after work and race home to be with you so that you could take advantage of me, and that we joked about the window of opportunity and our mutual excitement.

It's that during our flirting and joking, I said, "You're not going to make me wait, right?," and I was dead serious, and you said, "of course not."

It's that I was having fun talking with my work colleagues for once, while drinking my two glasses of champagne, but was keeping track of the time, and that I dropped everything, rushed out the door, and hopped into a cab, the moment I glanced down at my watch and saw that it was 7:45 pm.

It's that I called you from the cab feeling frisky and happy, missing you, and looking forward to seeing you in a few minutes but that you didn't pick up.

It's that three messages later, feeling disappointed, I walked into our apartment, which was quiet and dark, and you weren't there with candles and a bottle of wine waiting for me.

It's that it would have been okay if you were there, even without the candles and wine, because what I really wanted was you, but I couldn't even have that.

It's that when you called a little after 8 and told me that you were at the gym, it didn't seem like you realized that you should have been home when you said you were going to be home.

It's that when you finally came home at 8:25, you were sweaty from the gym and you sat down to eat a Cuban sandwich, neither of which made it appear as if the most important thing that night to you was me or getting close to me.

It's that I've seen you be on time for work, firm events, going to the gym, meeting your friends, and going to the movies, so know that you are capable of being on time when you want to be.

It's that I really, really wanted to be with you, and that I wanted you to want to be with me as much I wanted to be with you.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Emotional Purging (aka: My EXBF Was A Dick)

I'm reaching the one-year mark free from my EXBF and all of the selfish crap he used to do that made me completely miserable while I was with him. The official anniversary of him coming into the living room, sitting down on the chair and saying, "I just can't try anymore," is just around the corner, on November 9, 2007. Pretty exciting, right? I've decided to get all my girl friends together for wonderful weekend of drinking, dancing, manicures, and purging to celebrate. There may be some making out with random boys. Or not. New York is our oyster.

I've also decided to give myself permission to write about my feelings about him on this blog, or to talk about him - to the extent I want to - until November 9. After that, once the year is up, he's officially, 100% (in the words of JT) G-O-N-E. Finito forever. Now doesn't that have a nice ring to it?

For most of this year, when I thought about him (which thankfully has not been that often - Yay Me!), I haven't done all that much writing about him, mainly because he used to check the blog and it irked me that he could be reading my thoughts, thinking that he knew what was going on inside my head after reading just a smidgen. He never understood anything when we were together, and he most certainly wouldn't understand anything now. I knew that whatever I wrote about him, the only thing he would take from it was something along the lines of: She's not over me yet; I'm the greatest. Of course that's completely wrong. I was over him the second those words left his lips, and he most certainly is not the greatest. It's just taken me longer to sort out and move past my feelings for and about him, and how he treated me. It's also taken me a while to sort out how I feel about me for staying with someone who was such a dick (you may be hearing a fair amount of that during the next couple of weeks, only for therapeutic purposes).

I also haven't wanted to want to write because soon after breaking up, I felt like I should be totally over everything relating to that relationship. He was a dick, he made me sad, he broke up with me, I'm 10,000 times better off now than I was with him, so why would I be spending any energy on him reliving old feelings of sadness, hurt, tenderness, or anger? My friends all told me, He's irrelevant, Don't let him upset you, He's nothing, Move on. All good sentiments, all of which I have followed for the most part.

But, do you know what? There's a part of me that is still very hurt and very angry. It doesn't consume me; it just comes in flashes now and then when I'm forced to remember something. I'm OK with the angry part but I'm not OK with the hurt part of me, because I'm not totally OK with the fact that I let him hurt me. If no one can make you feel anything, then if you stay with them even while they're hurting you, then you must be letting them hurt you, right? I've mostly forgiven myself for that. I know that I was in a very vulnerable place when we got back together again and I know that I cared very deeply for him. Being vulnerable and caring very deeply for someone can both be beautiful things. However, they can also position you to be lacerated and chopped into tiny little pieces, which is what he did to me emotionally. What I'm most angry about is that he met me in a place of vulnerability, I gave him my trust, and he took my trust and buried it in a vat of slow-burning acid. It ate away at me bit by bit, until I had nothing solid left inside.

God, do I sound bitter? I don't think I am. For the last month, I was thinking a lot about this concept of forgiveness, thinking that I probably had to forgive him in order to let any residual negativity related to that relationship go. However, something happened over the weekend - a slut that he slept with while professing his love to me popped up on the edge of my social network - that made me tap in to my anger again. It was like a scab being ripped off, revealing some still tender skin. I'm sure there was pus too. I think that's what forgiveness would do, let the pus drain away.

On the other hand, I've never been a fan of letting pustules go their course naturally. I prefer to attack and pop the hell out of them so that the pus goes flying everywhere, never to return. That's how I started to think about anger this weekend - a force that clears away that pus. To be healing, I think anger has to be a specific type of anger. It can't be turned inward or be all consuming; it has to be energizing and empowering. I'm not consumed with anger. I'm happy and loving and was trying to be all zen about this - trying to focus on forgiveness. But, fuck it.

For the moment, I'm not forgiving him. He was an asshole. He treated my feelings and emotions with complete disregard. He didn't prioritize me or our relationship. He was not there when I needed him to be. He had inappropriately intimate relationships with scores of "female friends." He checked out women in front of me. He didn't make me feel loved or cared for or special. He slept with a pathetic slut while telling me he was still in love with me. He slept with that same pathetic slut a week before we got back together. He was a dick to the pathetic slut and just used her for sex (or so he said, but how knows). He made a mix tape of the worst summer of my life and then played it while we were on vacation. He almost never thought of me or my feelings. He always said things like, "I didn't think." Three weeks after I had moved in to his apartment, he wrote an email to one of the girls he had slept with in between us and told her that he still thought about her often and all the fun they had had together. He also told her that he was "trying to get back together with his ex" - keeping the door open after we had been back together for 5 months. I could go on.

But, I won't. Not right now. I'm not sure how I feel about the fact that I wrote any of that down. Isn't this a sign that I'm not as far along as I "should" be (by whose measure?)? On the other hand, I'm actively focusing on letting go, and I think that in order to let it go, maybe I first just have to allow myself to express this into the ether.

Blogsphere, Friends: My EXBF was an asshole. I loved him, but he was a dick. This scenario has happened to better women than me. There were things about him that were beautiful and times we had that were wonderful, but overall, he was just a selfish person who didn't have a lot to give outside of the bedroom.

Does it hurt me a little to say these things? These mean things about him? A little bit, which then makes me think maybe I shouldn't have said them at all. Maybe I'm calling negative energy to me by expressing these feelings? Whatever, I'm not second guessing it. I have about two weeks to purge my mind of all thoughts of him before he fades away permanently into nothingness.

I will end by saying I am unequivocally grateful that I was not with him during this past year. Being single and on your own has its challenges. It's hard sometimes to feel like you don't have someone special "there for you" (except for yourself, friends, and family - the saving graces). But, I learned from this last relationship that it's much worse to be in a relationship where you don't feel like there's anyone there for you, than to be single. Compared to that destructive emptiness, being single is a cakewalk.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Dill Pickles

What's the deal with Dill Pickles having zero calories? How is it possible that cucumbers and vinegar have ZERO calories? Are they bad for you? Good for you?

On binge eating, I was talking with my friend today and she said that she doesn't keep food in the house in order to not binge eat. I asked her, "No food? None whatsoever?" It seemed somewhat radical to me, but also elegant in its simplicity. It's true that if there was no food in the house, you wouldn't binge eat because it would be impossible to do so.

Maybe I've been looking at this eating issue from the completely wrong perspective. I've been asking myself questions like "Why am I doing this?," and "What can I binge on that is not unhealthy?" I pretty much know the answer to the first question, and asking the second question basically makes me an enabler.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Synchronisity

I've started a few new things recently. One of them is taking Swedish lessons because I'd like to become fluent. The other is going to a progressive (i.e., not part of the Religious Right) Church.

This past Sunday, I saw my Swedish teacher at Church and he ended up sitting next to me. While we were waiting for the service to begin, we proceeded to have a conversation in Swedish. We talked about work, Swedish class, what we had done over the weekend, and then he asked me if I was a Christian. In response, I said that I was not a Christian, but more of an Agnostic. Mind you, this was all in Swedish.

I then asked him what he was. To my surprise and delight, he said, "I'm a Buddhist." My church might just be the coolest church ever.

The next day, I opened up my email and found an email from my Swedish teacher inviting me to a guided meditation that he was going to be doing this week. How awesome is that? I've been talking about wanting to meditate for the last year, but have only had limited success. Then, suddenly, I go to Church, meet a Buddhist, and am now going to meditate tonight.

Divine intervention? Perhaps.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Procrastination Sex Break

Ever since the Black Dress Revelation, I had been doing quite well in terms of feeling balanced. In the last two days there was a slight dip, not in my mood, but in my habits as a result of some work stress. I have a big project due and it's taking a lot of time and instead of working on it throughout the weekend, I procrastinated. Procrastinating is the worst. But, it's almost as bad to force yourself to do something you don't want to do in the middle of the weekend; hence the problem. I've been chewing so much gum that my jaw hurts.

In a break from working, I watched Episode 6 of "Tell Me You Love Me." Dude. I think that's possibly the most blatant sex I've ever seen, short of watching myself in a mirror. I don't even know how they film that without having sex. I'm talking specifically about Jamie and the Hot Guy from Lost (Shannon's Brother). Not only did we see a full frontal semi-open shot of her - which was frankly a little more information than I needed - we saw his ass and what may or may not have been the base of his actual penis between their entwined legs. I'm kind of shocked, but also fascinated.

In addition to sex, "Tell Me You Love Me" has been boob-crazy of late. I've seen so much of the Woman-Who-Can't-Get-Pregnant's boobs that, today, when she made love to Pollack with her sweater on, it felt like a nice change to see her covered up. Her boobs are kind of amazing. So big and mushable. It must feel different to guys (or girls) when they embrace someone with large pillowy boobs versus little boobs. Do they notice? Oddly though, during the sex scenes with Women-Who-Can't-Get-Pregnant, I felt like her boobs looked a bit uncomfortable. They were getting seriously smashed. It made me afraid that they were going to pop.

Finally, there was the 60-year old therapist and her husband getting it on in front of the fire place with a nice bottle of red wine. Those people know how to set the mood apparently, and our Miss-Sixty-Thang looked like she had a fantastic orgasm. It's a little weird to see older people having sex, but I think it's wonderful. We should have more models like that. One more thing to counter our toxic-youth-obsessed culture.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Prayers

In the last month or so, I've started going to church. I'm an agnostic, Buddhist-leaning, atheist with a soft spot for Wicca who believes in some divine pattern and purpose to the universe, so going to church - a Christian church - is a little weird. Sometimes during the service, I feel like an anthropologist, studying the religious people in their natural habitat. But mostly I just have a nice time, and revel in the warm fuzzy feelings of peace and calm that come over me when I go. One of my favorite parts is the coffee and cakes after the service. I just chill down in the cafe, away from the ceaseless hubbub of Manhattan, have interesting conversations, and feel a part of a smaller community for a few hours.

During the service, they sometimes send around a page entitled "Our prayers." The idea is that you can write down the name of someone you have in your prayers, someone who is going through a difficult time and needs the prayers of the community. The lists go up to the Priests helpers and they take turns reading out the names so that the whole church can pray for all of the names. Putting aside the question of whether there is a divine being who can answer prayers, I believe in prayer for the same reason that I believe in the power of positive thinking. Although I'm not necessarily good at it, I believe that our minds and how we see reality can impact the world. Even if it can't help, 30 people beaming positive thoughts to one of my loved ones can't hurt.

The last time I went, I wrote down "my family and friends" on the sheet. Today, I wrote down the name of one of my best friends, and the names of her family. She and her family have experienced a very sad loss. I'm far away, so all I can do from here is think about my friend and send my thoughts out into the ether. I love her and I wish she and her family did not have to go through this.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Too Many Tinis

Oh my good lord, I am so hungover today. I blame all my new work friends, who I absolutely love. We went out in Soho to a bunch of places; four, to be exact. Four bars on a Thursday! My saving grace was that I only had seltzer and lime in the last place and declined the bud light and the tequila shot. Now that could have been ugly.

Today's going to be a busy day, followed by a fun night with the BBC girls - we're trying to plan another yoga infused trip. Speaking of "infused" just made me think of all the cocktails I had last night. There was the "Rhubarbarina," the "Black Crow," and the "Bluetini." Along with wine...

I'm fairly worthless at the moment, but I'm off to work. Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Blogger Loyalty

I was this close to switching my whole blog over to wordpress. I had imported all my posts, set up a new url, and designed a new site. But, I wasn't totally pleased with the options over at wordpress. Their customizable headers are clearly superior, or at least more user-friendly, than the ones at blogger, because, for example, I can't figure out how to make my custom header on blogger go across the entire page. However, what I didn't like about wordpress is that it was more difficult than blogger to change the colors on the rest of the blog.

For all those reasons, including my soft-spot for blogger (it's where Bean and I started this blog as "Buttercup & Bean" - so cute! - way back in 2005), I've decided to stay for now.

It would be super-cool if some kind soul out there could help me fix my header...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Letting Go

I hold on to things, people, emotions. I'm a pack-rat in body and mind. It's hard for me to let go completely. There's always the thought lurking in the back of my mind that someday this or that could be useful. It's the same with clothes, extra pens, memories... men.

I have a photo album that I made a couple of years ago filled with pictures of EXBF and me. After this weekend, it would be more accurate to say I had a photo album filled with pictures of EXBF and me. Now, I still have the album but it's mostly filled with pictures of me.

One of my close girl friends and I went to Philly this weekend because we both happened to have Columbus Day off. We decided to make it into a girl-bonding, purging weekend. She has an ex-husband and things from him that she wanted to let go of; I have left-over emotions regarding my relationship with EXBF.

We had so much fun running around Philly that we didn't get to the purging until the bus-ride home. She went first, then me. I flipped through the album, looking at pictures of our vacation in Belize, remembering snorkeling and getting scraped up on the reef, the perfect bungalow on the edge of the island with the hammock perched perfectly over the water, the night of the storm, and caving among Mayan ruins. There were also pictures of our first year together, pictures of a cake I got him for his birthday, nights out dancing, both of us smiling, and hugging, and close to one another. There were a lot of him looking cute and sweet (quite deceptive actually).

Sitting there on the bus, I hadn't known what I was going to do. I sat there holding one picture in my hand, looking at his big brown eyes, remembering feeling tenderness for him (feeling a tiny bit of tenderness despite everything), and thinking how much I had loved him and how much I had tried to make it work. I drank in the picture, the features of his face, his eyes staring out at mine, and then...

...I slowly and deliberately tore it in half.

It felt delicious so I kept tearing until the picture was reduced to a pile of feathery fragments.

It was so liberating. It was like a rush of elated adrenaline surged through my body. It felt so good that I picked up another one, and then another one. I ended up ripping into tiny pieces almost every single picture with him in it, including most of the ones where we were together. I saved two pictures of us where I looked particularly cute, and then folded the picture so that you could only see me. Much better.

As I methodically ripped up the pictures, periodically saying, "Buh-bye, EXBF!," I felt so happy at the confirmation that I no longer need those pictures. I don't need the weight of the emotions. I want to be rid of them completely. I don't want to feel sad, angry, or bitter. I want to forgive him for not being what I wanted him to be, for his faults, his selfishness, his immaturity, his inability to be by himself, and then I want to wish him the best and wash my hands of these memories.

A lot has changed in the 11 months since we broke up. I don't feel pain anymore, but I do on occasion still feel sadness. I see our relationship differently now, from a much clearer perspective, and I see all the reasons that I am so lucky not to be in it any more. I deserve a lot more than he ever gave me - than he was capable of giving. I am still a little angry. I still feel a sense of injustice - that I was wronged. But, what can I do with those feelings? Nothing. I can let myself feel them and move on. That's all. Those emotions do nothing for me, nor do pictures of him.

If you have something you want to let go, trying ripping up a picture or two and see how it feels. It's symbolic but in the symbolism powerful. The last time I saw his face, my heart was in shreds. This time, it was him who had been ripped to pieces and released.

Poetic justice.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Filing

I just spent the last 14 hours of my life focused on one single goal: To revise and file a brief electronically on the United States electronic filing system. One would think that electronic filing would be simple and user-friendly. It’s not.

Things I did not do today: work out, make my own coffee, overeat, talk to anyone outside of work.

Mood: Quite good but tired, and slightly stressed.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

My Black Dress

What do you do when you come home at night after a very long day to relax? When it's just you, you're hungry but you're too tired to eat, and you're totally key-ed up by a day filled with stress?

It's hard for me to relax during the week, and especially at the end of a really long day. Even if I've gone out and had fun, it's still hard to wind down when I come home. Sometimes I knit, which is relaxing. On occasion, when Rumi is gone, I have baths, which I enjoy.

But, lately, for the past couple of months, I've gotten into the terrible habit of munching. Munch, munch, munch on anything and everything. Salt, sweet, creamy, crunchy - nothing is exactly what I want, or everything is what I want, and I hope from one snack to the next completely unsatisfied.

At my worst, I stop when my TV shows are over or I feel sick.

I can't believe I just wrote that, but it's true. I'm way beyond not stopping when I'm full; I only stop when I feel sick. It only happens at night, when I'm stressed and I have been going, going, going.

I've been going back and forth with this issue for a while now - the issue being this thing with food that has become a problem of late (i.e. when I realized I had gained between 7-10 pounds and was definitely not as skinny or fit as I used to be). At first I thought it would just work itself out. Then I tried a diet, started internally rebelling, and messed myself up more. Then I got off the diet, felt better, and was sure that things would work themselves out. But, now I've realized that the late-night munching thing is yet another expression of this same problem.

It hit me forcefully last night when I went to try on this beautiful black satin dress that I had worn once a few years ago to a black-tie event. It's a gorgeous dress and I still remember how the sales girls oooh-ed and aah-ed over me when I tried it on in the dressing room. Well, last night I couldn't even zip the dang thing up. The unforgiving satin showed clearly where I had gained weight on my hips and butt. Just when I was thinking I should start embracing being a bit curvier, seeing how much I've changed from what I used to be made me sad.

The fact is, I don't want to be curvy. I want to be tight, thin, and strong. I know that eating at night and eating unhealthy things is definitely contributing to this food/weight issue. I know it, but I haven't been able to change it.

I haven't wanted to change because it feels like I would be depriving myself of something good - the taste of chocolate, ice cream, etc. But, looking at that dress riding up on my hips, having to suck in my stomach to get the zipper to fasten all the way, it was inescapable that my bad habits are depriving me of something as well.

I guess I have to decide what I value more: sweet things and the food coma that comes with eating too much or feeling good about myself and being able to wear my old clothes with confidence. It seems like the latter would be a no-brainer. It's so clear that it's mind boggling to me why I'm even having this issue.

What, pray tell is my problem? If I'm really eating as a way to self-medicate, I need to figure out the underlying issue and resolve it. If not for me, then for that black dress. It's far too beautiful to never be worn again.

Artwork Found Here

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Britney And Coffee Don't Mix

Britney Spears losing temporary custody of her children is NOT news! I can't believe that the Today Show, which I realize is not the pinnacle of hard-hitting journalism, featured a story about Britney losing custody on their program this morning. I'm used to them bringing me various bits of entertaining fluff as I get ready in the morning, but Britney's custody problems? Come on! She and her situation are sad, but she's one woman with one set of problems - she should not be the focus of our national attention and I don't care about any of it.

This, on the other hand, should be the subject of our national attention. And, this.

I enjoy consuming pop culture with the best of them, and obsessively check Pop Sugar, The Superficial, and Go Fug Yourself - normally, several times a day. I don't check those sites for news. I check them for the same reason I watch America's Next Top Model: Pure entertainment value and stress relief. It's relaxing to focus your attention on something completely lacking in mental stimulation that's entertaining to boot.

I suppose the same could be said of the Today Show, that it's not intended to be the source of daily news. However, certainly it's supposed to be on a slightly higher level than celebrity blogs - higher in terms of not solely focused on pop culture. Lest you think I could alleviate this problem by putting on CNN in the morning, I don't have cable up in my room so to the extent I choose to flip on the tube, I'm a captive audience to the morning network programs.

Shouldn't morning shows have some kind of social responsibility to educate the legions of Americans who take their first sips of coffee each morning with them in the background? There should be some kind of line between pure, meaningless fluff and things of value that networks should bear in mind for their morning line-ups, and Britney's debacle of a life should not make it across the line into "things of value."

See, now look what they did to me. Because of their impact on my morning, I now wrote about Britney on my blog, and I have further perpetuated the national focus on Britney. So much for global warming and world peace.

Sigh.

In another Britney-related note, LC said something quite amusing on The Hills last night (a delicious show that I revel in for its pure fluff entertainment value). While snuggling with the disgusting Brody Jenner (talk about celebrity whore), LC happened to glance up while her friend Lo was acting a little crazy on the couch. Lo was wearing a little dress and she flashed her panties. LC said to Brody, "Oh no, I just saw Lo's Britney."

That's funny.

It's also a testament to exactly why Britney's disastrous life does not deserve to be the focus of our national morning talk shows. The woman who was once a superstar is now so well-known for flashing her nether regions that her name is becoming synonymous with that very same region of female anatomy.

Sad. So sad. She was once so much more.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Girl Friends & Eye Candy

I had a lovely weekend spending time with my girl friends, doing yoga, and practicing my Swedish. Saturday night, I got drinks with Lakshmi and another close girl friend of mine at a great lounge in the East Village called Angel's Share. The entrance is unmarked at street level; to get to the lounge you have to climb a flight of stairs and go through a tightly packed Japanese restaurant.

Angle's Share is cool because there's no standing room and they do not permit groups larger than 4. Strict rules that they vigorously enforce, but they're worth it because they makes for a very relaxing, intimate atmosphere. The lounge has delicious drinks, including the best sake I've ever tasted, which isn't saying that much because I really haven't sampled all that much sake. However, the one I had last night - a milky, floral sake - was delish. They also have ridiculously cute waiters ala the barbarian desert warrior, Lo, from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, who kidnaps Zhang Zi Yi and brings her back to his sultry love den in the desert. Remember this?

I have such a weakness for men with goatees. Sigh. Pirates, buccaneers, desert warriors, Spanish swordsmen. You would think a girl would run into at least one of them in New York amidst the hordes of lawyers, bankers, and other professionals.

Speaking of outrageously attractive, fall-to-the-floor-in-a-panting-quivering-mess, hot men, when does the next season of LOST begin?




Girl friends are awesome, but I still miss my boy friends.

I'm off to bed. Wish me luck that that shot of Sawyer makes its way into my dreams. Yow-za.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Little, Happy, Blue!

I've woken up to delicious smell of coffee every day this week. It makes me feel like I'm on vacation, or visiting my parents - I feel very adult. I've also saved myself approximately $25 dollars at Starbucks (the cost of one cup of coffee, gum, and a raspberry scone - items I am frequently compelled to buy upon entering a Starbucks location right before work), spared my body the extra calories of the raspberry scones, and saved the environment from being assaulted by 5 paper cups. Not bad, Buttercup. Not bad at all.

I talked with my friend Sammy-B (fka "Prue") last night, and she reminded me of our early days at the Firm From Hell. We're like war buddies who are eternally bonded after surviving some unspeakable horror (no disrespect to actual soldiers intended). I started telling her that I was feeling a little blue and that I was spending all this time thinking about being out of balanced, blah, blah, blah, and how I'm pretty sure I'm boring all of the people close to me along with all the readers of my blog. I mean seriously, how much can you hear one person talk about their efforts to change their life, going out in NYC, etc. Vomit. Just be already. She said, "You're crazy. You're life is about so much more than that. You're just a contemplative person. Don't worry." Contemplative, I like that. Way better than "over-analyzer." She's coming to NYC in November and I can't wait to see her. Yay!

I had an impromptu drink with my cousin last night after work. There I was kvetching about how I don't have things together in my life how I want them to be, I don't have the level of balance and motivation that I want to have, dating sucks, thinking about dating sucks, I need to find an activity, I'm boring and bored and I have crow's feet, blah, blah, blah. Are you detecting a pattern? She said, "What are you talking about? You're crazy. You're my hot, feminist cousin. That's what I tell everyone. You just over-analyze." I said, "Actually, I'm just contemplative." Point for Sammy-B. And, point for my cousin for being so cool and for thinking I'm cool. Very refreshing.

See how important girl friends are? They tell you when you're being crazy. Something I really need in my life - apparently.

One more little thing happened that's been making me smile. There's a boy at work that I'm friends with and there had been a moment of weirdness at the end of last week. As it turns out, I think I was over-analyzing - um, being too contemplative. He's cool and I really like him, so I'm glad things are back to normal.

All little things, none of which are blue, but all good.

p.s. The title and pic are for Pas and Bubbles and in honor of the game we played at that bar in Chicago.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thursday Thirteen (Ghengis Khan)


Thirteen Facts About Genghis Khan (13th Century)
(From the fascinating book that I'm currently reading, Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World)

1) He was not a "barbarian," and he did not command barbaric hordes.

2) He was an innovative military commander who excelled at battle, plains warfare, and sieges, and his army of Mongol horsemen was composed of tightly organized units of 10, 100, 1000, 10,000, and 100,000.

3) Genghis Khan was the son of an outcast family that was left to die on the steppes with his mother and siblings at a time when warring tribes fought one another across the steppes.

4) From his humble beginnings, he gradually and methodically conquered every tribe on the Mongolian steppe, unified them under his sole control, and then took his armies to conquer what would become modern-day China, parts of India, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe.

5) In 25 years, the Mongol army subjugated more lands and people than the Romans conquered in 400 years.

6) At its zenith, the Mongol empire covered between 11 and 12 million contiguous square miles, an area about the size of the African continent and considerably larger than North America, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, and the islands of the Caribbean combined.

7) Every where the Mongols went they collected (either as slaves or as new members of their empire) people of learning such as scribes, teachers, religious persons, and crafts people - and used their knowledge and skills to advance the empire.

8) Genghis Khan recognized that religious disagreements created strife between people, so he instituted complete religious freedom throughout the Mongol Empire.

9) The Mongol penetration into Eastern Europe in the 1200s decimated 100s of thousands of knights and the European aristocracy, brought new learning to the Europeans, and seems to have played a pivotal role in ushering Europe out of the Dark Ages and setting the stage for the Renaissance.

10) While the Mongol men were off conquering foreign countries, often on campaigns that lasted several years at a time, women ruled over every facet of the Empire.

11) The Mongols ate a diet consisting mainly of meat and dairy, and as a people they were stronger and hardier than the grain-fed soldiers of foreign nations that they fought against and repeatedly destroyed.

12) Genghis Khan's cavalry redrew the boundaries of the world, consolidating little kingdoms into united nations that still survive to this day, such as China.

13) At a time when most rulers considered themselves above the law, Genghis Khan insisted on laws holding rulers as equally accountable as the lowest herder.

Bonus: Genghis Khan abolished torture; instead he offered the people that he conquered two choices: die or swear complete loyalty to their new ruler.



The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Rape Conviction Leaves Polygamy Unchallenged

The polygamist Warren S. Jeffs, a prophet for fundamentalist Mormons, was convicted of being an accomplice to the rape of a 14-year old girl for "orchestrating the marriage of the young girl under duress" back in 2001. The victim testified that she had been forced into a "celestial marriage" (plural marriage) that she did not want, to a cousin that she did not like. Prosecutors argued that Jeffs knew that the forced marriage would lead to "nonconsensual sex," i.e. rape, and the jury agreed.

What's most interesting to me about this case is that it was not about polygamy. Instead of charging Jeffs with polygamy per se, prosecutors went after Jeffs for statutory rape. The conviction is unquestionably positive with respect to its definition of rape. Though the article mentions no allegations of physical force, the jury still found that a rape had occurred based on a lack of consent and/or sex that occurred under duress. Of course, we're dealing with the rape of a minor, and the whole premise of statutory rape assumes a lack of consent on behalf of the minor, so perhaps I'm being too optimistic in terms of applauding the jury for their progressive definition of rape. Not knowing the applicable state law, I don't know whether an adult woman would have received the same level of justice had she been forced into non-consensual sex, i.e. rape.

That's one of the most fascinating aspects of rape law: Young women under a certain age are presumed not to consent - in fact, they are legally not allowed to consent - while women over a certain age are presumed to always consent, unless proven otherwise. If your below a certain age, the assumption is that you kept your legs closed; if your over a certain age, the assumption is that you willingly opened them. That's why so much of rape law - which continues to be quite antiquated - focuses on the issue of force. Instead of assuming that it's rape unless there is affirmative evidence of consent, our legal system assumes that it was consensual sex unless there was evidence of force. (Not all states, but many continue to have this assumption at the core of their rape law).

The problem with that is that sex continues to happen in our society in the context of inequality, and the reality of sex for many girls and women is not always, or even usually, an experience of equality. Set against the backdrop of inequality - gender, economic, age etc. - it's ridiculous for our legal system to assume consent when sex happens. At least in the case of minors - who are protected by statutory rape but also denied the ability to consent by that same law - our legal system approaches sex from a more realistic perspective that recognizes at least some of the power issues involved.

The conviction of Jeffs is a victory for the victim and a general victory for women's rights advocates. However, I'm disturbed that Jeffs was not also convicted under the anti-polygamy laws for polygamy. Although there are enclaves of fundamentalist Mormons spread out through the country flagrantly practicing polygamy and its attendant forced, child marriages against the law, the authorities consistently fail to take a stand against polygamy. Instead, the enclaves are allowed to exist relatively unmolested, despite the molestation and abuse that - by many accounts - goes on within those communities.

In America, we don't have to look to Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan to find examples of female oppression. It's right here in our own country and appears in many different forms, one of the most blatant examples of which are the fundamentalist Mormon enclaves led by men like Jeffs. In convicting him as an accomplice to statutory rape, our society has taken a step towards protecting the rights of children growing up within those enclaves. However, his conviction for rape leaves the broader issue of polygamy and its implications for the rights of women (in a patriarchal society) unexamined and unchallenged, and offers no clear protection for adult women within those enclaves. To offer protection to all women within those communities, in addition to enforcing the law of statutory rape, the authorities would also need to enforce the laws against polygamy, something which they have thus far been reluctant to do.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Heroes Recap


SPOILER************SPOILER***************SPOILER


They're back! Tonight's season premier of Heroes was awesome. First things first, Mohinder looks hotter than ever. It's so nice to have him back in my living room. Better than how hot he looks is the fact that he's teamed up with Mr. Bennet to bring down The Company and their minions with the Midas Touch. Parkman's in on it too because he's living in Mohinder's flat with the little girl that's being terrorised (by Sylar?) in her dreams. There's something so perfectly wonderful about the picture of Mohinder and Parkman raising Molly together.

I feel bad for Claire, having to pretend she's not special in her new high school, but I have faith in her and I can't imagine that's going to last too long. Especially not when her new friend appears to have flying abilities. Although, he could be a trap set by the company to lure her out. I miss Zach though. He and Claire were cute. I also want her to sock it to all of the cheerleaders at her new school.

Is half of Nathan's face totally burned? Wow. I'm not digging the beard but it's understandable that he would be drowning his sorrows in a liquid diet after thinking that he had allowed Peter to die. What's up with his mom being part of secret society with Hero's dad? And Nathan's father and Linderman? Who's killing them off and why? The Company?

Hero in Japan with the samurai is thoroughly enjoying. The great samurai warrior is a British guy in search of easy cash! So much for the heroes of legend. I bet Hero convinces the warrior to give him his armor and then Hero does all of the deeds that late become legend. That's why the warrior's sword is meaningful to Hero - because it's actually his sword, the sword he used when he became the stuff of legends 400 years ago. That's my guess anyway.

What did the girl trying to cross the border with her brother do to all those people? Maybe the sound of her screams melted their brains and made them bleed out of their eyes? Or just her emotional pain? Either way, fascinating. I like her. She's a keeper.

The best surprise was Peter chained up in the box. Poor Peter, but he's a live! And adorable! And, from the looks of things, way more powerful. He shot a blue fire bolt out of his hand. If only I could do that - my legal day job would be a distant memory.

The only ones missing that I really wanted to see? Nicki and Jessica. They're my favorite.

Awesome start to the season. What did y'all think?

Monday, September 24, 2007

One Grind At A Time

As many of you know, I've been trying to create the type of life that I want to have, one in which I feel in tune with myself and my ideals, where I nourish my soul and feed my passions, where I'm at peace in the present, balanced, and completely happy with me. It's harder than one would think. I date the beginning of this effort to around the time I eliminated two major causes of toxicity - a job and a boy - from my life. With those two negative elements pruned away, I was free to focus on making positive changes for me (many of which were kind of about rediscovering me), and that's what I started to do.

I found a new job that I really enjoy, built new friendships, and took a trip that I had been wanting to take for years. I tried a diet, started going to the gym more frequently, and opened myself up to new social experiences, dating, and enjoying this amazing city and all that it has to offer in the way of restaurants, clubs, museums, outdoor space, and, of course, shopping. Kidding (kind of). I assumed a new motto, which though not neatly encapsulated in any little phrase, is about living life in the present, trying to focus on being happy now, and making each moment the best that it can be. It's about making the changes that I want to make now, at once, and not waiting any longer to be who and what I want to be. A worthy goal.

Though I have accomplished a lot, there's still a lot I need to do. I'm still far away from where I want to be, and I don't know why. Attaining balance, for example, has proved elusive. I understand that many people, including yogis, struggle for years and entire lifetimes to attain a state of balance, and I recognize that I'm in good company in my current state of failure (or current state of partial success). However, I want it now, and it frustrates me that I haven't done a better job of reaching that point.

Part of it is the city. There's so much going on here all the time - much of it fantastic, pleasurable, and stimulating -it's hard not to feel stretched thin on a regular basis. Part of it is my job. I'm a lawyer for a large corporate law firm in New York. Even under the best of circumstances, working with the best people, it's stressful, and it's a challenge to make good choices to deal with that stress (such as yoga instead of happy hour). Part of it is being single. I'm on my own - along with my friends and family - in this journey at the moment; I don't have that sense of stability, security, or added strength that comes from being involved with a loving partner. I'm also dating, which with its ups and downs, uncertainties, doubts, and unknown future poses its own challenges, many of which, on occasion, pluck away at my best efforts to be wholly happy in the now.

I don't like that dating does that to me. I don't like that I'm the type of person who could have my center pricked and bruised and thrown off kilter by the unknowns of the dating world. As I think I've expressed before, I'd like to be impervious, invulnerable, and perfectly and absolutely one hundred percent happy in my singledom. I hate, loathe, and despise more than words could ever say that sometimes I feel like I'm missing something from the present by the mere fact that I'm not in a relationship. Ugh, did I just say that? I don't want to be that woman - the type of woman that needs a man to be happy. I know that I'm not that woman. But yet, I also know that I'm not completely 100% happy in my singledom, and I must admit that I think it would make me happy to fall madly in love with someone terrific. Or to go on a date with someone terrific. Or someone remotely interesting, for that matter.

I don't like nor want to get emotionally caught up in the dating thing. I realize that's a funny thing to say for someone who also says that she wants to fall in love, which would presumably involve the embroiling of emotions. That raises the question of whether I truly want to fall in love right now. Good question. The truth is that I just don't know.

No, that's not right.

The truth is that a part of me does not want to fall in love right now. I haven't yet attained in my singledom the life that I want for me. I want to fully maximize and appreciate this time when I'm on my own (and that's why it irks me that sometimes the pitfalls of dating make me blue). I want to make more of the changes that I've been trying to make forever. I'm sure your familiar with the litany by now: yoga, going to the gym regularly, meditating, being healthy, etc. I want to prune away the rest of the negativity, get my shit in order, fill up on positive elements, and make my life how I want it to be, now. Before some boy waltzes in and mucks things up.

This weekend, I took some much-needed me time and turned something that could have been negative and discombobulating into a positive wake-up call. I spent Saturday cleaning my room, sorting though piles of paper and boxes that I hadn't gone through since moving out of my Ex's place, getting rid of old clothes, and reorganizing. The end result was a far less cluttered bedroom that is actually quite cute and inviting now that a portion of the junk has been cleared away. Internally, I feel less cluttered as well. On Saturday night, I went out but kept my alcohol intake to one drink and then called it an early night (1:00 am) so that I could wake up refreshed on Sunday morning for yoga and church.

That's right. How much to I rock? I did yoga and went to church this morning, and I'm not even religious. I did yoga on my newly de-cluttered floor from a DVD that I had bought months ago but never opened. The DVD is called "Yoga For Happiness," and the guy who leads it is not only hot, but also really funny. His name is Eoin, and I think I just might make him my new imaginary boyfriend. To give you a taste of his sense of humor, while I was leaning into pigeon pose, Eoin said, "Feel the honey in your hip." Recall that pigeon is not the most comfortable pose to hold for more than a few seconds. He encouraged us to lean into it more, and while I summoning my energy and grimacing, he said, "it should feel good, like someone licking ice cream off of your body." What?? Bent over my knee, I burst out laughing and then easily leaned in to the pose more.

This is what I need more of in my life. Eoin. OK, fine, not him. Someone like Eoin? No, focus. I need yoga and other activities that give me something positive in return when I put my energy into them; activities that make me feel happy, healthy, grounded, and balanced. Things that cultivate and nourish the happiness that I have within me, and build a sense of security, peace, and satisfied joy. Visions of hot men licking ice cream off of my yoga-fied body are also perfectly acceptable.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that this weekend, though it started off with a little emotional dip, I managed to turn it into something really great and productive that ultimately made me feel balanced and happy - exactly what I've been striving for! Granted, it's how I feel now, and tomorrow may be a totally different story. But, for right now, I'm proud of me. Along with cleaning, yoga, and church I also bought a host of new kitchen appliances that I've been meaning to get for ages, including a super fancy blender and a programmable coffee-maker.

One of my dreams has been to become the type of person who has her life so together that she wakes up each morning to the smell of freshly brewed coffee, and then sets out to face the day with her non-Starbuck's coffee-filled, eco-friendly, reusable mug in hand.

Sometimes it takes big changes to become the person you want to be. Other times it takes small ones. Tomorrow at 8:00 am, barring some technical malfunction, I will be just a tiny bit closer to becoming the me that I want to be. I can't wait.