Friday, June 29, 2007

Match Oh My

I've gone ahead and done it. I signed up for Wow. After spending the last hour skimming through profiles and adjusting mine, I can report that, based on my initial impression, it is indeed ugly out there. 35-year olds saying they're looking for EIGHTEEN to 25-year olds, men with really, really bad or creepy pictures winking at me, and lots of people who can't spell.

The good news is: I put myself out there. As my Uncle says, I'm just putting out my racket and keeping myself open. This is going to be either interesting, dull, wonderful, good practice, or none of the above. Stay tuned. Thanks for all of your advice!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Weight Loss Ain't Easy

I'm hungry, tired, and cranky. All I want out of life right now is a pint of mint chocolate chip haagen dazs ice cream. I could eat the whole thing I swear, and even though my stomach would feel sick, I would savor each and ever decadent bite. I don't know if I want it because my body is craving sugar like it was water and I was stuck in a desert, parched, achey, and covered by a fine layer of whitish salt, OR if this is an emotional eating craving thing as a result of the fact that I'm cranky, bored, and procrastinating from doing work that I was supposed to be doing for the last 3 hours (that I didn't do because I was finally catching up on my blog reading on bloglines). All I know is that I effing want some god damn ice cream.

When I pointed this out to my mother during a phone conversation a few hours ago, she said, "I never had those cravings on the South Beach Diet." By way of background, my mom turned into superwoman a few years ago, decided she wanted to lose some weight and in a few weeks on the South Beach Diet managed to lose 26 pounds. The woman didn't cheat, didn't have cravings, worked out regularly, and has kept ALL the weight off. She's amazing.

I, not unfortunately but differently, am less than amazing. I'm tired every morning when I wake up (I don't know if it's the diet or a lack of solid sleep) and have hardly any energy throughout the day, except immediately after a medium sized Starbuck's. I finish my meager breakfast and immediately want more. I eye the clock and at 11:00 am decide that I absolutely must have at least some fiber crackers or I am likely to perish. At lunch it's the same thing. I finish the lean protein/veggie combo and I want more. An hour later, when I feel a slight hint of hunger, it's all I can do to prevent myself from reaching for another Fruit & Flavor snack bar.

I may be the worst dieter ever. And, don't even get me started on the gym. I've been going, and I've been making a valiant effort to work out, but that's about it. Even with music, for the last week, my running has been pitiful. I have barely been able to bring myself to do 2.5 miles, and I have to stop in the middle, sometimes twice!

Despite all of that, I'm doing it (I am not, for example, having a fudgsicle tonight, so help me God). I'm doing the diet, I'm doing the working out, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that with continued diligence and effort, it will all start to pay off. Dieting will become easier, running will become easier, and I'll get svelter, stronger, and sleeker.

But, for right now, let me just say, this is freakin' hard. More power to any and all of you out there who have actually lost weight. You have my undying admiration.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Fudgsicle Battles

Written in fine print on the bottom of each box of Fudgsicles should be the words: "Dangerous: Approach With Caution At Your Own Risk." Although my diet allows, and in fact requires me to have a dessert each evening, and although I was doing really well when said dessert was an Edy's no-sugar popsicle, things have not been so rosy in Buttercup's Weight Loss World since two boxes of Fudgsicles made their way into my freezer last week.

The first episode happened on Thursday, after I had come home from the gym and eaten my usual meal of boca burgers and veggies. I waited for about 20 seconds after finishing my last bite of okra before I was up at the freezer reaching for a fudgsicle. So much for proper digestion and having dessert as a snack sometime after the meal. Oh my god, the fudgsicle was so good. It was also only 60 calories which made walking over to the freezer and busting out another one so very, very easy.

After finishing my second 60-calorie pop, it came to my mind - quite out of nowhere - that the second box of fudgsicles contained 40-calorie pops. Doing the math quickly, I realized that I had consumed only 120 calories of fudgsicle, which was about 800 calories less than what I would have consumed had I eaten a pint of Haagen Dazs Ice Cream instead. At the time, with an 800 calorie window, walking over the freezer and busting out a 40 calorie pop seemed like a no-brainer.

By the time I finished my third fudgsicle, my stomach hurt enough to eclipse the fudgsicle yearning that was still emanating wildly from my mind and mouth. Why do my mouth and mind love chocolate so? I could bathe in chocolate if it didn't clog my pores, and I could eat it every day, surviving on it and it alone, if it didn't cause me to blow up like a blimp. Chocolate, oh chocolate, a doomed love affair.

The second episode happened tonight, and exemplifies a key problem that I need to resolve within myself. Namely, my ability to split, without a moment's notice, into two different personalities, one that acts like a reckless teenager and the other who acts like a healthy, bossy, adult. The teenager wants what it wants NOW - usually food, but sometimes other equally destructive things - and it couldn't care less about the consequences. The adult tries to be healthy but is repeatedly taken over by the teenager. (I think the adult may also really like chocolate, and may secretly wish to not be in charge).

Tonight, I came home after having a great day (so there was no emotional eating involved, or at least none of which I'm aware), ate my boca burgers and okra, and then had a fudgsicle for dessert. Upon finishing the fudgsicle, I immediately wanted another one.

Or, I should say half of me wanted another one. Immediately.

The other half of me tried to say "no." It said, "Buttercup, under no circumstances WHATSOEVER are you allowed to have that fudgsicle. I mean it! You are going to be FAT, FAT, FAT. Don't even think about going to the freezer. I mean it!"

The first half didn't even bother saying, "Fuck you." It just took control of my body, sashayed over to the freezer, opened up a fudgsicle, and reveled in the taste of the cool chocolaty goodness melting on my tongue. (The other half also reveled, despite fully being aware that this would probably mean FAILURE for my second week on the diet).

This, after a fantasic day! I didn't even have a snack! I was so good! Why did I have to have a second fudgsicle? Bad. Bad. Bad.

Thank god, both halves stopped after the second one. Somehow, I have to bring those two together. Ms. Rebellion and Ms. Bossy, Ms. Body wishes to see you.

The food wars must end.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Internet Dating Advice?

I'm in need of your wisdom, advice, expertise, and writing abilities. After some contemplation, I've almost decided to sign up for Having been unable to come up with a reason not to do it, other than it takes too much energy, and the guys could be dull and/or psycho, I've basically decided to give it a shot. Why not? It can't be worse than The Onion.

Before I can get started, there are a few things that I need, including (1) a description of me and my perfect match filled with fun and interesting details about moi; (2) a zingy username that sums up me in a word; and (3) a one-line description that again sums up me and what I'm looking for.

Simple, right? Try, impossible. I'm not good at this kind of stuff at all. Have any of you gone through this? The whole tooting your own horn while being tantalizing, engaging, and welcoming... Yawn. But, yet, I have to do it if I'm going to go on Match, find my dream man, and fall madly in love. Only these three small things stand between me and my future happiness. You see how much is at stake.

Let's take them in order:

A Description of Me:

I thought I might include the following facts: I like to travel and recently went to Mexico and India. I'm in to being healthy and like running, pilates, and yoga. I also like reading, music, art museums, wandering through the city, being outdoors, scuba diving, and spending time with family and friends. I think the following words describe me: Open-minded, compassionate, honest, introspective, feminist, and adventurous.

What else? Too blah? Not enough? Too much? If you were me and had to describe me, what would you say?

A zingy username:

The username is supposed to be something tied to your personality, like "Hiker Girl" for someone really in to hiking. I like many different things and can't come up with one username that represents all of me. It's supposed to be something catchy that gives a hint of your personality or interests. What do you think?

One-line description: emphasizes how important this step is. Apparently it's the one chance you have for your "voice" to be heard on your profile. Omg, the pressure! It's supposed to be something like "blah blah blah seeks blah blah blah." The examples they use are so dorky they makes my toes curl. For example, "Nature-loving carpenter seeks a partner on life’s path. Let’s hike the Appalachian trail together.” Um, hello, gag me with a spoon. Or what about this one, "Lawyer who rescues stray cats seeks kind-hearted companion."? That's not that bad, but a little cheesy and lame in my humble opinion.

Kind readers, I'm throwing these questions out to you. Knowing the 'Cup as you do:

(1) What interesting facts about me would you put in a profile?

(2) What's a good username?

(3) What's a good one-line description?

My internet dating success is now in your capable hands. Don't let me down!

Friday, June 22, 2007

I Rock!

Starrlight just honored me with a Rockin' Girl Blogger Award! Wow! I'm truly honored. When I started this blog, I did it mainly to provide a creative outlet for myself. I was also motivated by a subversive desire to throw a little more feminist pixie dust out into the ether. If anyone had asked me at that time how I wanted my non-existent readers to view me, even if I wouldn't have said it out loud, and even though I didn't necessarily believe it totally of myself at the time, secretly, on the inside, I would have wished that at least a few of them would think that I rock. Apparently, my wish came true. Thanks Starrlight!!

There are many Girl Bloggers that I read who unquestionably also deserve this award. Allow me to pass the Rockin' Girl Blogger Award along to five of my all-time faves. The following Girl Bloggers are fierce, funny, compassionate, witty, inspiring, supportive, introspective, wise, whimsical, sassy women, and they all totally ROCK:

1) Wood: I love this girl like a sister. She's been there for me during the last 6 1/2 years in ways that I could never repay, mainly because she's so freakin' strong, put together, and balanced that she hardly ever needs any support from me. She's a wonderful mom, and a loving and supportive partner to her husband Dutch, who works outside of the home, and, among other things, teaches gymnastics in her spare time. Basically, she is Superwoman. Thank god she's on my side.

2) Gypsy: This sultry, fire-cracker recently opened up a restaurant with her love, Lancelot, and has been working her fingers to the bone, in between other activities, to make the place a success. She also has the honor of being the person who gave me the metaphor that I needed in order to make the decision to leave my heinous Old Firm for my lovely new one. Gypsy, who knew that a 5 story building could be oh so much better than a 10 story one?

3) Wordnerd: I'm grateful for the many occasions on which she has shared her deep, compassionate, penetrating insight with me. She once asked me, after I had written a post about why I hated Old Firm, why my sense of personal self-worth was tied to my success or failure at Old Firm. That's the type of penetrating question that will make a girl think, and it did.

4) Starshine: My first official "blog buddy," Starshine is one of the warmest, kindest, most bubbly individuals that I have ever met. She's going to be married in less than two weeks to an absolutely wonderful man that I've also had the pleasure of meeting. I'm so excited for both of them and I wish them a lifetime of love, health, and happiness.

5) Interstellar Lass: Lass is also someone I put on the "super woman" list. She's the mother of two incredibly active children, she works outside of the home, and she and her husband just decided to to take in her Dad to live with them. That is such a generous, beautiful, and right thing to do, and I applaud her for taking care of her Dad like that.

Congrats Ladies! You all rock!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Reasons I Love My New Firm

1) I no longer feel sick to my stomach and depressed each week day.

2) I no longer feel like I'm stuck in the Matrix.

3) I no longer feel like my firm is trying to kill me.

4) I no longer have to fight for enough time to complete the work assigned to me.

5) There hasn't been a Black Saturday since I started working at New Firm.

6) I no longer need a Plan B, because I'm actually happy in my current situation.

7) New Firm is not a toxic cesspool.

8) I no longer feel miserable or the need to be darkly humorous about my misery.

9) I can say "no" here without fearing for my life.

10) No more Dragon Lady.

11) I no longer feel like my work is an inconsequential, waste of time.

12) I finally have time to do things that I want to do.

13) I no longer hate being a lawyer.

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, June 20, 2007

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

Starshine and Prue asked me to share what a typical day on the diet is like, and since as a general rule I love getting questions and answering them, I'm more than happy to oblige. Below is what I ate today, which, in light of the fact that I only have a few choices for each meal and snack, is very typical of what I've been eating for the last 10 days.

Buttercup's Wednesday Menu:

Breakfast: Vita Muffin + Dannon Light 'n Fit Yogurt + Coffee with skim milk.

Snack: 4 Fiber Rich Crackers with thin layer of All Fruit Jam.

Lunch: Salad with salmon, mixed veggies, and a dash of vinegar (no carrots, peas, beets, corn, or balsamic vinegar), + 2 Fiber Rich Crackers with All Fruit Jam + Diet Coke.

Dinner: Piece of Salmon + equal amount Broccoli + 20 Almonds (the almonds were extra, but I was really hungry today after working out so I ate them as I cooked the salmon).

Dessert: Fudgesicle.
All Day: 1 - 2 liters of water a day with at least three glasses mixed with the Green Tea Extract.

I love the breakfasts and highly recommend the Vita Muffins (you can buy them in bulk from the website, but remember to get the low carb no sugar 2 oz. muffins or muffin tops). I also thoroughly enjoy dessert which is generally a Fudgesicle or an Eddy's Sugar Free Popsicle. Only 60 calories! Other than a little bit of hunger late in the morning and afternoon, I've felt pretty satisfied each day.

I'm a little hungry tonight but I think it's because my dinner was too small, especially in light of the fact that I worked out. You are allowed to eat as much dinner and lunch as you want as long as you eat only lean protein and veggies in the correct proportion prescribed by the nutritionist. Because I'm exercising three times a week I'm supposed to eat an equal amount of lean protein and veggies (50% protein to 50% veggies). When I was exercising zero times a week the amount of food I was supposed to eat did not change, but the proportion of lean protein to veggies did (55% protein to 45% veggies).

According to my nutritionist, this diet is approximately 1300 calories a day, which obviously I could not live on without turning into a stick, but makes sense for weight-loss mode. Also, as Em and I were discussing today, I probably end up eating more than 1300 calories because of the fact that lunch and dinner amounts can be quite large, depending upon how much food it takes to make you full.

You are supposed to stop eating when you are full. That's one of the main lessons that I hope to take away from this experience at the end of the six weeks.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Body By Buttercup Update: Week 1

I went to the nutritionist today to get the results for Week 1 of my new healthy eating regime (it's a diet). I stepped on the scale in her office, conscious of the fact that my clothes were adding extra weight, wished silently for good results, and was rewarded for all those Fiber Rich crackers I've been snacking on in lieu of this, this, and this.

In 9 days, I lost 4 pounds!

Woo-hoo! From my starting weight of 139.6 (I left off the .6 in my original Body By Buttercup post), I am now down to 135.4. Later, when I got home and stripped off all my clothes, I weighed in at 133.5, which is only 1.5 pounds more than the top of my usual weight range, and only around 6 pounds above my target weight of 128! It's also the first time I've seen the number "33" in like three months.

What did we learn from this experience? You should always weigh yourself naked.

I was happy to lose the 4 pounds, but, ever the Achiever, even happier when the nutritionist told me that I had done an excellent job. When I first saw the results, I was worried that she would say that I had not lost enough. I had cheated a few times during the week, including having 4 Bacardi and diet cokes, one and a half glasses of red wine, and a small pinkberry frozen yogurt, and I was afraid the numbers were going to sell me out. I had written everything down on the sheet, so my cheating was fully disclosed, but I was afraid the nutritionist was going to look at the results and then say that I could have done a lot better. However, my fears were unfounded. She said I had done 97% of the program perfectly. I got a 97%!! That's an A +. Yay! I love A+s.

Beyond the poundage and the validation, what made me feel really great was the fact that I'm actually being disciplined. Apparently, I'm perfectly capable and strong enough to be disciplined and in control of what I put into my body. Shockingly, I do not have to feed random emotional cravings with chocolate, ice cream, and home made meringues. Who knew? Prior to starting the program, I had been really nervous that I would be unable to stick with the program. It had been so long since I had made a conscious, continuous effort to eat healthy, I honestly doubted if I could get back on the healthy wagon again. Well, good news, it turns out you can totally get back on the wagon. All it takes is one step in the right direction.

It's the same with having a routine. There I was, last week, frustrated at myself for not having a routine, feeling like a failure for not having my life together (I'm aware that this sounds like I'm being hard on myself), and then I took one step forward by going to the gym on Friday, which was followed by another step by going to the gym on Saturday. And then, buoyed up by the success of going those two days, and motivated by my new dress (it seriously is working better than a yellow polka dot string bikini), I vowed to go to the gym three times this week. And guess what? Suddenly, this week, I have a routine! Since I was social on Monday and I have plans Thursday and Friday, I need to go to they gym Tuesday and Wednesday. Presto! It's like my life is starting to run itself.

Here's what I think the routine is shaping up to look like:

Monday: Gym.

Tuesday: Therapy + Me Time.

Wednesday: Gym (or Thursday)(maybe yoga during lunch).

Thursday: Something Social (or Gym)(maybe yoga during lunch).

Friday: Something Social (maybe pilates in the morning).

Saturday: Gym in the morning and Something Social at night.

Sunday: Rest.

I'm sure that was fascinating for everyone. It's actually really important for me to have a routine. I haven't had one since Law School, and I think the lack of a routine has been a big part of why I have felt lost and uncentered in the past. But, those days are gone People. We're changing things up around here tout de suite!

Green Tea Extract

One of the products that my nutritionist suggested as part of my 6-week health program is HerbaSway's Peach Green Tea extract. Peach because it tastes good. Green tea extract because it provides you with an anti-oxidant boost that is supposed to assist your metabolism and enhance weight loss while you're on a diet. The idea, simplified, being that if your metabolism is functioning at its prime, calories will be metabolized efficiently and not stored as excess fat.

Although the bottle suggests swirling a dropper full of extract into a 6 oz. glass of hot or cold water, my nutritionist recommended three droppers full of extract in order to maximize the benefits of the supplement. I've been taking the supplement for a little over a week now, and although I can not yet say if it's had a beneficial impact on my weight loss efforts, I can report that it's a tasty way of drinking water throughout the day.

I'll be meeting with my nutritionist in about 2 hours to discuss my progress during the past week, and to be weighed officially. Yikes! I've never been obsessive about scales before, and though I'm fairly certain I've lost a few pounds, I must admit that I'm slightly nervous. I want to see progress! A full report of my meeting will be forthcoming later this evening. Stay tuned.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Weekend Redux

The weekend was busy, productive, and way too short. I spent time with Em, went dress shopping with Lakshmi for a wedding I'm attending in two weeks and found a cute dress, met some friends for drinks at The Musical Box down in the East Village, had a 20 minute massage in a tiny Chinese shop that was better than most massages I've gotten in fancy salons around the city, and had my hair dyed to cover up some yellow highlights that had been annoying me.

I went back to my old hair stylist and admitted that I had "cheated" on him with the stylist who had put in the highlights. He welcomed me back with open arms and did a nice job. It's so nice to be together again. His salon is the best because their shampoos includes the most decadent, sinful head massage imaginable. Frankly, it's so good that it's hard not to think about sex while it's happening. On the hair front, I'm glad the yellow is gone, but now that I'm back to the monochrome dark brown, I feel a little too much like a goth for my tastes. *sigh*

The big success of the weekend was that I made it to the gym not once but twice! On Friday evening, I ran for 30 minutes and then lifted some weights, and on Saturday morning, I ran for 30 minutes and then did a pilates class. I was motivated to go, in part, because after only a week of eating healthy I had already started to notice a difference, and I knew that if I went to the gym I'd see even greater results. Once I got to the gym, I was psyched to be there, and very proud of myself. It felt good.

As far as all the dating stuff that was plaguing me last week, it was funny because the minute I got on the treadmill and started running I suddenly found myself thinking, Whatever, I can totally do the dating thing. I don't need to wait for any silly boys. I'm awesome. You gotta love endorphins. I also had a number of fruitful conversations that helped me get a more balanced perspective on the whole dating thing. More on that later.

Now that I have a cute dress to fit into in two weeks, I've vowed to go to the gym at least three times this week. I'm a superhero, I can totally do it. Before I know it, I'm actually going to have a routine. Amazing. Tomorrow, I meet with the nutritionist and find out exactly how much poundage I've lost in the last 9 days. Wish me luck.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Plagued By A Pink Elephant

I've been in kind of a funky mood on and off for the last three weeks, ever since I came back from India. I still haven't figured out the crux of my angst, other than that I'm no longer on vacation. I think it's a few things. First, I don't have a routine yet and it's driving me crazy. Since joining New Firm three weeks ago, I've had my first opportunity to develop a routine based on what I want to do with my free time. It's a novel concept, and I haven't yet mastered it. I find myself becoming frustrated that I haven't figured everything out yet, that I haven't started going to a regular pilates class or started running three times a week again. My lack of discipline annoys me.

I'm also frustrated because I blew my "diet" during the past two days. Among other things, I ate a salad drenched in oil from a fast food restaurant (it was either that or starve), and then ate three South Beach bars for dinner last night (because I got home so late). Excuses, excuses. I should be better than that. I'm sure you're thinking that it could have been worse, and you're right. But, that's not good enough. I watched Em do this whole program and for 6 weeks she was the Queen of Discipline. I want to be disciplined too. My weaknesses annoy me.

Since I'm listing frustrations, let's throw the big one on top of the pile, the one that I've come to view as the pink elephant in the room during the past week. I'm referring of course to dating. I think I hate dating. I mean really, sincerely dislike it. Immensely. Dating is not fun. Sure, the dinners, the hanging out, those moments can be fun. But those moments are brief and fleeting. As one of my co-workers said the other day, "Dating sucks. It's filled with uncertainty and you don't know who to trust." I couldn't agree more.

Most of dating is waiting in a state of uncertainty. The only thing I dislike more than the idea of me waiting on a man, is me actually waiting on a man. And, guess what I've been doing during the last two weeks? Waiting. Not all the time, not even most of the time, and certainly not actively, but it's happening. Worse yet, I'm beginning to suspect that the person I've been waiting on may be more trouble than he's worth. Although I'm trying not to jump to conclusions, and am giving him the benefit of the doubt, he may be a Texter.

Despite myself, I notice the passage of time, I file away the timing of calls and texts, and promises of future communication. It doesn't take any effort. The information just filters in and sticks to me like dead flies on super sticky fly paper. I don't hold my breath. I do my best not to expect follow through, lest I allow my hopes to be raised. But I take note of everything. I'm aware of my proclivity to obsessively focus on details. It's a trait that though professionally useful, does not suit me well in the dating arena.

One solution to the waiting problem would be to fill up some of my time with more dates. Waiting on one man is a lot of needless pressure. If I had 2 or 3 in the mix, I would be so distracting by the juggling that I would notice the action or inaction of any one of them a lot less than if I had only one up in the air. It would also help to focus on me and establish a routine.

The issue I'm struggling with suddenly, to my immense displeasure and surprise, is that I find myself wanting another relationship while simultaneously feeling scared as hell to get into one. Layered atop that conflict is my inability to keep my emotions in check. I don't think I have the callousness required for successful casual dating. My emotions swing between cynicism and hope depending upon my moods or the relative action or inaction of the suitor of the moment. I don't like the fact that some one else, other than me, can influence my emotions. I find myself thinking, as I often do in many contexts, that I should be stronger than that. I should be Impervious. Impenetrable. Invulnerable. Totally In Control.

But, if I was all of those things - impervious, impenetrable, and invulnerable - I wouldn't be me. I would be cold and wrapped in steel - sort of how I used to operate in relationships, before the last one took my heart, crushed it until it bled, and then threw it away. Lovely. He was the phone booth that I stepped into, and now I'm no longer how I used to be. At some point, I'm sure I'm going to thank him for getting me in touch with my inner vulnerability. However, not just yet, because at the moment my inner vulnerability is mucking up this whole dating thing. I don't like feeling vulnerable, insecure or self-conscious. I prefer having an unwavering and unassailable sense of self-confidence.

All of this is obviously not about any one person that I may or may not have gone on a date with last week, but about where I am in my life, a piece of which is the fact that I had a difficult break-up about six months ago. That experience left me with a certain level of healthy cautiousness. I guess it makes sense that I would be cautious - and all over the emotional map - with regards to dating, after having my heart broken once before, and after having realized the depths of my emotional vulnerability. With the capacity to love greatly comes the ability to be hurt deeply.

The good news, according to my posse, is that I'm finally ready to date again. Six months ago, or even three months ago, I was not ready to date anyone. I didn't want to be physical with anyone else, and I didn't want to waste my energy on the whole dating process. I was in healing, energy conservation mode. The fact that I now find myself wanting to date has everyone thinking that I've made leaps and bounds of progress in terms of getting over my broken heart. I think they're right. It feels that way inside too. I no longer feel the weight of the walnut. Instead, I feel pent-up desire and a genuine desire to meet someone I could fall in love with and who could fall in love with me.

Does it make me weak that I would like to fall madly in love?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Nano Quest

I've been trying to make time to buy a new nano since my nano disappeared last week. It was either stolen from my desk at work, or hidden by me so well that I don't even have a recollection of hiding it.

In addition to making me sad (my mom gave it to me as a present with my nickname engraved on it!), it's disappearance has thwarted my intentions to get back into the gym. The idea of running without my music is pretty much unfathomable. This in turn has been frustrating me because I've started this new nutritional regime and I know that I will not be able to maximize the results unless I combine the healthy eating with exercise. My goal is to do three cardio sessions in the gym per week, but at this point I would be proud of myself if I managed to get in there at least twice. But, in order to do that, I need an Ipod.

I stopped by Best Buy over the weekend, but after waiting for 20 minutes I was told that they were out of pink nanos. By that point, my heart was set on pink and I trudged away from the store dejectedly, my hopes for running over the weekend dashed. A friend of mine mentioned that I should go to the Apple Store on 5th Avenue, which I thought was a brilliant idea, but because of work being so busy the last two days I hadn't been able to make it over there.

Finally, fearing that yet another day was going to go by without me being able to pick up this essential work out item, I called the Fifth Avenue Apple Store, hoping that they would be open late enough so that I could pop by after work.

Do you know how late those crazy Apply people are open? Twenty four hours a day, 365 days a year. I didn't believe it when I saw it on their online information so I called the store and asked. The saleswoman assured me that even if I came by at 2 am I would be able to buy a nano. Amazing.

The universe has once again conspired to lead me down the right path. I would basically have to fight the tide at this point to not end up at the gym all healthy, svelte, and happily bopping away. Who am I to stand in the way of my destiny? I'm off to the Apple Store tonight, after a vodka and soda cocktail.

Best Thong: Hanky Panky

Some time ago I came across a post by Heather of Miles Etc. regarding thongs. She recently returned to to the world of paid labor and business attire and was describing her twin frustrations with panty lines on the one hand and uncomfortable thongs on the other. I can relate to her dislike of panty lines, but have to disagree with her regarding the merits of the thong.

It's hard enough being women, walking around in our normal, imperfect, beautiful, curvy bodies, worrying about everything it is that we worry about each day. The last thing we should have to worry about are annoying panty lines. Panty lines, on all occasions under all types of clothes (business attire, jeans, and yoga pants, for example), are unflattering and totally unnecessary. No matter how perfectly shaped, skinny, toned, and smooth you are, add a panty line and you're booty will suddenly look bumpy, bulgy and indented. It's a travesty, and it doesn't have to be that way. You can totally eliminate the lines and maximize the assets without sacrificing any comfort.
I started wearing thongs about 8 years ago because I thought they were kind of sexy, but now wear them exclusively, not only or even mainly for the panty-line buster effect, but because I find them way more comfortable than any other type of panty.

My thong panty of choice is Hanky Panky's low rise thong. They are awesome. I swear. They have a thick band of stretchy, soft, sexy lace that completely eliminates all lines and sits just below your hips very comfortably, and they're low enough to fit under most low-rise pants. They don't ride up or cause uncomfortable wedgies anywhere, and they're made of a very flexible, breathable fabric that feels nice against the body. When I wear them, it feels like I'm not wearing anything, which in my book is pretty much perfect. In contrast, other panties, that can scrunch and ride up in unseemly places, feel bulky and awkward. The other great thing about Hanky Pankies is that they come in a ton of beautiful, fun, practical colors. I have about 20 different pairs.

In New York you can get them at the Pink Slip in Grand Central or in a lot of the boutiques around the city. According to their website, you can also find them at Bloomingdale's, Neimen Marcus, and other department stores such as Lord & Taylor. For anyone looking for the perfect thong, or a new sexy panty, check 'em out and let me know what you think.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Body By Buttercup

Despite not having slept much last night (not for the reasons you're thinking), this Monday finds me very happy for a number of reasons. How bizarre is that for a Monday? The weekend was fantastic and filled the following successes:

1) I had a marvelous "me day" wandering around and shopping for most of the day Saturday. It was so great to have nothing to do and nowhere to be and so relaxing.
2) I made out like a bandit shopping, mainly at Anthropologie and Olive & Bettie. I found some cute tops, a jacket, and a dress. Score.

3) Johnny Drama's brother checked me out. :)

4) I randomly and literally bumped into River at Lotus Saturday night, observed his attractiveness, thought better of it, and then LEFT the club alone with Lakshmi and her boyfriend. Major success! According to Em I'm a "champion." Totally.

5) I had a fun date on Sunday.

In addition, the big news of this week is that I'm starting a 6-week nutritional program. I suppose another name for it might be a "diet," but I prefer "nutritional program." Go with me on this. It's kind of like "The Zone," and entails following a healthy eating plan based on proportions of proteins, carbs, and fats, exercising, and cutting out junk like most alcohol, sugar, and refined carbs. Did you know, by the way, that wine is one of the worst offenders? Apparently it's bad for you because it's loaded with alcohol, carbs and sugars. The best weight-friendly alcohols are vodka and clear Bacardi. Who knew?

Somehow, unbeknownst to me, although I'm thinking all of the naan and curry I ate in India had something to do with it, not to mention the croissants, I gained approximately 10 lbs in 3 months. TEN POUNDS! If I go back 4-6 months, I've gained about 12 lbs! If I go back a year and a half, when I was at my drop-dead skinniest, I've gained 14 lbs! (Not "drop dead" literally people). That's never happened to me before. Granted, some of that is water weight, and I'm still fairly thin but I weigh more now than I have at any point during the last 4 years, and that does not make the 'Cup a happy girl. I think part of it also had to do with all the fun (read: drinking, carousing, and chocolate) I had immediately after the break up in January and February.

Regardless of the reasons, when I started work 3 weeks ago and realized that I looked like a stuffed sausage in my work pants (and was forced to buy a size up in pants, horrors of horrors!), I realized I had to pull the breaks on the whole unhealthy weight gain train, and get back on track pronto. It's not even about the weight, per se. It is, but it isn't. Of course I want to feel lean and strong, but more importantly I want to feel healthy. I want to feel like I'm taking care of my body to the best of my abilities. As many of you know, I felt completely unhealthy - mentally, physically, and emotionally - for much of last year, what with the toxic work environment and relationship issues. I've spent the better part of the last six months getting my mind and emotions on track, and it's now time to do the same with my body.

The next 6 weeks are going to test my self-discipline. So far today, I'm doing very well. I've had a South Beach Morning Bar, 2 Fiber Rich Crackers with jam, one Endulge bar for my mid-morning snack, and coffee with skim milk. I'll admit I'm slightly hungry, but overall I feel great. I'm really proud of myself.

In the interests of full disclosure, here are the relevant stats: Starting weight: 139 lbs. Projected weight loss after 6 weeks: 10-12 lbs. Anticipated final weight: 128 lbs. I think I'm going to keep you all posted as another way of keeping myself accountable to myself. Between my own self-discipline, going to the nutritionist each week, and reporting to all of you, there's no way I'm not going to succeed. Wish me luck.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Matt Dillon Encounter

I had just come up to the Upper West Side after spending most of the day shopping and wandering around Soho, and was on my last molecule of energy when I walked in to North West, a restaurant on the corner of 79th and Central Park West, looking for a waiter to seat me outside. I was wearing a casual eggplant colored skirt and a black tank top with flip flops. My hair was pulled back into a pony tail and wisps of it were escaping all around the edges of my face. My arms were literally weighed down with bags from all of my purchases. I was tired, hot, and not feeling particularly cute at all.

Standing just inside the doorway, I took a quick glance around the restaurant and suddenly found myself staring at Matt Dillon, who was sitting a few feet away, looking right at me. I met his gaze for a second, took in his chiseled features and characteristic penetrating direct stare, and then looked away immediately. He looked hot! The waiter approached me and I asked for a table outside, conscious that Matt Dillon was still facing my direction and semi-dying to look at him again. But, I didn't.

Outside, the waiter sat me down two tables away from Matt Dillon, directly in his line of site whenever he looked out the window. I ordered and ate my food, sipped my coffee, and tried very hard not to sneak peaks at him. After I had been there for about a half hour, one of my girl friends joined me, and the two of us proceeded to catch up, sip our coffee, and try not to sneak peaks at Matt Dillon. While we were trying not to look at Matt Dillon, Marisa Tomei walked by our table. Two celebrity sitings in 30 minutes!

After a little while, my friend suddenly said that Matt Dillon was leaving. My back was to the entrance of the restaurant and I couldn't see anything. I asked her if he was coming our way, and she said yes, and I said, somewhat breathlessly, "Should I look?" just as Matt Dillon came up even with our table. He totally heard me.

Matt Dillon stopped, turned around, flashed me a smile and said "Hello." He was standing about a foot away from me. My friend and I were smiling and pretty much giggling (very sophisticated New York of us), and I replied, "Hello."

He said, "How are you doing?" and I replied that I was doing well. I was mesmerized. He was really tall, built up and muscular, his face was handsome, his smile open and easy, and his eyes were intensely sexy. He was wearing a tank top with a black button down shirt over it and I could see a sprinkle of salt and pepper chest hair just above the outline of his very well defined pecs. Matt Dillon looks really effing good.

I said, "You totally saw us checking you out, huh?"

Matt Dillon replied, without missing a beat in quintessential drawling Johnny Drama style, "I was checking you out. Two lovely ladies, enjoying a beautiful Saturday afternoon." Yep, that's right, Matt Dillon said he was checking me out.

He then held out his hand and said, "What's your name?"

I took his hand and said "Buttercup." (Matt Dillon held my hand!).

Then Matt Dillon asked if I lived around the area, and whether I came to the restaurant often. I said I lived in New York and that I came there often, and he said, "Oh yeah?, well I'm around here a lot."

I responded, "Well, I'll look for you next time."

Then he said, while motioning towards the corner, "Well, I gotta get going because my brother's waiting for me. It was nice meeting you." (I was thinking, Johnny Drama is here too?!).

I replied, "It was nice meeting you too."

For the rest of the day, every time I thought of the encounter, I smiled.

A day later, and I am still officially crushing on Matt Dillon.

Friday, June 08, 2007

A Feminist, Not A Man-Hater

I did this little blogthing that I found on Sparky's blog and was at first amused by the unsurprising results. I'm a woman and I believe in equality. Of course I'm a feminist! Frankly, I was shocked I was only 98% feminist. I even voted in favor of women picking up checks on dates on occasion, but I picked "agree" instead of "strongly agree," so that may have been where I lost those two percentage points. No matter. I know that I'm 100% feminist.

Then I read the text under the picture of the woman with the boxing gloves, where she explained that even though I was a feminist I was not necessarily a man hater. She helpfully pointed out that I might even be a man, even though I was a feminist. Was that really necessary?

Do we really still have so far to go that a Blogthing has to remind people who might be identified as feminists that feminism does not mean that you hate men? We still have so far to go that we have to explain that feminism does NOT equal man-hater? Every woman alive has or had a father. Many of them also have brothers, sons, uncles, nephews, and male lovers. Of course being a feminist does not mean that you are a man hater - that would be hating a part of who you are. That is just plain silly. If there's a critical mass of people who are still operating under the delusion that feminists are bra-burning, man haters, we are a long way off from the cultural gender revolution that we have to have if we are ever going to attain true gender equality.

I was in a better mood, but that just made me grumpy all over again. People, you can be a feminist, appreciate the history of women and the reality of women's historically, socially, politically, and economically oppressed status, and believe that there should be change such that women and men attain a level of actual equality without hating men.

The trick is that we need more men to become feminists. Whether they identify as feminists or not, we need men to stand up with us, not for us but for themselves, and to demand change. If women and men continue to identify seeking equality with hating men, we're never going to get there.

Usually when I meet men, at some point they generally end up asking me if I'm a feminist. I don't know what it is. I've taken to responding, "Yes, aren't you?" Usually, they guffaw, chuckle, or look bemused. Unless they're completely intimidated, they usually become more interested. The bad, though tempting, ones because they see a challenge and something they think would be fun to tame. The cool ones because they're either already aware or intrigued or both. Either way, it works to a woman's advantage. Strong, sassy, and independent (i.e feminist) usually does.

Start spreading the word: Feminism means equality, not man-hater, and it's HOT.

You Are 98% Feminist

You are a total feminist. This doesn't mean you're a man hater (in fact, you may be a man).
You just think that men and women should be treated equally. It's a simple idea but somehow complicated for the world to put into action.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

I'm feeling super grouchy today, and I don't know why. It's not my period, work doesn't suck, I have a date coming up with a cute boy, I'm going to be doing a lot of fun things with my friends this weekend, and the weather is gorgeous. WTF? Instead of dwelling on the grouchiness, I'm trying to think positively, and decided to write today's TT about 13 things I'm happy about, including things I've done that were good for me this week, things I'm looking forward to, and random things that have made me happy. Grouchiness, be gone!

Thirteen Positive Things

1) I did yoga at NYSC on Monday night even after going all the way home to change.

2) I did yoga during lunch yesterday at a studio near my work and bought a pack of 10 additional classes to use during lunchtime.

3) I've gone back to eating yogurt for breakfast in lieu of random bread products.

4) I've started to use the coffee machine at work instead of stopping off at Starbucks in the morning.

5) Last night I had to work late, until 1:30 am, but I didn't even mind (that much) because everyone I was working with was awesome. The Partner was genuinely apologetic and totally appreciative that we all pitched in to get the work done, and the team was great. A massively huge difference from Old Firm.

6) I've started to fill up my 1 liter bottle with water each day, and I've made a conscious effort to start focusing on trying to drink at least a bottle a day. I plan to get back up to my 2 liter a day habit eventually.

7) I made an appointment to see a nutritionist. I had to cancel it because of work today, but I'm going to reschedule. I really want to start the 6-week program that my friend Em recently completed. She had awesome results.

8) Tuesday, Em and I ran into one of our old bosses at a benefit and he made several remarks about how gorgeous and glowing we looked now that we had left Old Firm. He asked, What happened? Em and I couldn't say the obvious so we just shrugged and smiled.

9) Tonight, I'm seeing "Romeo and Juliet" at the open air Delacourt Theater in Central Park. I'm excited because Lauren Ambrose, Claire from "Six Feet Under," will be playing Juliet.

10) This weekend, I'm going to a huge party at Lotus, along with Pele, Lakshmi, Lakshmi's boyfriend and another girlfriend of Pele's. Should be fun to dance and see a bunch of people I haven't seen in a while.

11) During the day on Saturday, I'm planning a "Me Day" for moi. I'm going to wake up early, exercise, and then spend the entire day lounging around, shopping, wandering around New York, and possibly continuing to clean up my room. I can not wait!

12) Sunday, I have brunch with the group of wickedly cool girls I met at BBC in Mexico.

13) Also this weekend, I have a date with Mr. Reunion.

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, June 06, 2007

Making Out With Ari

I was standing at a cocktail party talking with Ari Gold in hushed tones. We were together. His arm was around me, the palm of his hand pressed against my hip, pulling me in close to him. He was dressed in his standard black suit and crisp white shirt, and I was in a little cocktail dress. We were flirting and he was talking really fast in that dismissive, maddening, but funny way he has on Entourage, in between nuzzling my neck and trying to kiss me. At one point we kissed. He was running his hands across my back, gripping and groping me, and then I pulled away slightly.

That's when I revealed myself to be a complete airhead. I said, slightly indignantly but sincerely, "Ari, doesn't this mean that you're cheating on your wife, to kiss me like that?" He said, "No baby, it couldn't possibly be cheating because you have no meat on your bones, so how could my wife ever consider this cheating?" I took that to mean that he was saying that since I was a vegetarian - and thus had flesh made of something other than animal meat - that his wife would never be bothered by Ari kissing me. But, a part of me wondered if he was telling the truth. He was talking so fast.

That's what I dreamed last night.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


When did texting become an acceptable primary method of courting and communication in the dating world? People used to pick up the phone and have a real, live conversation, in real time, prior to asking them out on a date. Even when texting first appeared, people used it to nail down logistical details, not to set up a first date. Now, it's everywhere. Males are using it to set up dates, maintain the appearance of connection while engaged in other activities, and for random effortless booty calls.

That's my main problem with texting, it requires basically no effort whatsoever.

I've reached the point where I've decided simply not to respond to texts. If a male does not have the balls or the level of interest required to pick up the phone and give me a call, he's not worth my time. If you must know, River was basically the inspiration behind that decision. He texted me one too many times, thought it was acceptable to ask me for dinner over a text, and periodically availed himself of his phone's texting capabilities to "booty text" me. My final conclusion on River was that he was looking for a girl to make-out with - and nothing more - and he mistakenly thought I was that girl. He also mistakenly thought that I would keep returning his texts indefinitely.

This morning, my no texting policy was challenged because the guy I met at the Reunion texted me to ask when I was free this week. This, after failing to call Monday night as he had indicated that he would. By the time he texted, I had basically written him off to a nice experience. Faced with the text, I was forced to decide whether to ignore it, write back, and if so, what to write back. Eventually, I settled on texting back that he should call me to set something up. Guess what happened? He called, and then I called him back, and then we had a real conversation. Amazing.

To be clear, the anti-texting policy is only against the use of texting as the primary method of communication in a dating relationship, such as texting to set up a date. Texting is fine as a secondary or tertiary method of communication, and particularly useful for ironing out logistics (i.e. "We're in the bar, where are you? Meet me there."). But, if I'm not committed to you yet, you're going to have to do something other than texting if you want me to stick around.

Any man worth his weight in salt will pick up the phone and call. Any man who's actually interested, will want to pick up the phone and call. If he's too busy, too scared, or too uninterested to call, he's basically a waste of time, energy, and emotional space.

Monday, June 04, 2007

8 Random Facts About the 'Cup

Terra tagged me for this meme, the object of which is to blog “8 Random Facts About Myself.”

Here are the rules:

1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Here are 8 random facts about me:

1) My favorite pose in yoga is the one where you lean forward, grab your elbows with your opposite hands, and let your head, neck, and arms hang down towards the floor. It makes me wistful each time to leave it, especially for downward dog.

2) I have to eat breakfast food for the first meal of the day, whether that meal happens at 8:30 am or 4 in the afternoon, and it must include coffee.

3) The smell of hot dogs cooking in the microwave when I was younger used to give me a headache and make me feel nauseous.

4) I think that sometimes I have spontaneous orgasms. It happens unexpectedly and feels different than other orgasms, like a deep shiver that runs up and out of the core of my body. Every time it happens, I wonder if it is or if it isn't, and if it isn't if it's somehow connected.

5) I just came home and found Sven, my male roommate of two weeks, cuddled up on the couch with a girl in our extremely small living room area. (Gregory, I told you!). I'm hiding out in my bedroom watching hockey to give them a misguided sense of privacy. I miss Rumi.

6) I'm a pack rat who strives for minimalism and usually fails miserably. I'm constantly saving things that I think might be useful at some point in the future. It's very difficult for me to get rid of things that have sentimental value.

7) I used to have dreams, when I was younger, where the sound was so loud that I would wake up and feel as if my ears were hurting. It used to confuse and fascinate me that my brain was capable of faking itself out like that.

8) I was once on TV.

Photo: Cutting the lawn at the Taj Mahal.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Something Unexpected

I had a great time at my 10-year college reunion. It was so much fun. I had been slightly worried that I might get anxious or slightly sad about being back and rekindling memories of the past, but to my great surprise, it was nothing like that. I felt genuinely happy to be back on campus, and it was so much fun to walk around the grounds absorbing everything. The old hall where I used to spend a lot of time going to classes and studying smelled exactly the same, like a mixture of fresh paint and something undefinable that flooded my mind with how it felt to be in college. It's so funny how scents can bring you back like that instantly.

I didn't feel a twinge of anything for my college ex-boyfriend. How fantastic is that? Not even when Pele and I drove by the place that I used to live that was just across the train tracks from the place where he used to live during that time. I must have crossed those train tracks hundreds of times, going back and forth from his place to mine. We both lived in triples, him in a room in his fraternity house divided by sheets to create the illusion of privacy, and me in my sorority house. I remembered stumbling home completely blitzed after mixers, the time I found a Playboy in his fraternity bathroom and threw it out the window after first dumping Comet all over it so that it couldn't be salvaged, the night that he called me from up in his room while a stripper "entertained" the rest of his brothers down in the common room, mint juleps before football games, and him coming to visit me in the library, following the scent of bubble gum and coffee. I remembered, but it didn't make me sad. It just made me smile.

I also genuinely enjoyed seeing old friends and acquaintances. I reconnected with a girl, Rackil, that I had been extremely close with all through college, but who I had lost touch with over the years. We picked up from where we had left off, so much so that I can't believe, nor do I understand why, I let so much time go by without her in my life. She has a much better memory for college than I do, and she reminded me of about 1,000 things that had made us laugh that I had completely forgotten about. In addition to Rackil, I met up with a lot of random people from my first year dorm, my sorority, and different classes. It's incredible to see what people are doing and how much they've grown and changed in 10 years. It was such a pleasure to talk to people within the framework of college, but without all the cliquishness that used to inform those relationships.

In addition to all of that, the Universe saw fit to send me a little present. I met a boy. Or, more precisely, I met a half-Indian, half-Swedish, smart, successful, charming, interesting 42-year old man who lives half the time in New York and half the time in London. Yep, half-Indian and half-Swedish. The Universe really outdid herself with this one. He was sweet, assertive, and extremely confident. He seemed open and honest, and genuinely interested in getting to know me. Who knew that men in their 40s could be so cool? I had no idea. It was so refreshing to talk to someone confident and secure in his own skin, someone who seemed attracted to me but not single-mindedly determined to get me in the sack - at least not immediately. He was very attractive, and I found myself attracted to him in a way I haven't been to anyone for quite some time. We had real conversations that actually interested me. Shocking, no?

Friday, June 01, 2007

10 Year Reunion Road Trip

I love Pinkberry. After months of passing it on an almost daily basis, I finally indulged in a plain frozen yogurt with raspberries, blackberries, and coconut toppings on Friday. It was so delicious, I had another one on Saturday. Yum.

I leave early tomorrow morning for a mini road trip with Pele. We're heading South for our 10 year college reunion. I wasn't going to go but she finally convinced me, and I'm kind of glad she did. I think it might be a little awkward, seeing so many people I probably never knew or have forgotten in the last 10 years. However, it might also be a lot of fun.

I wasn't looking forward to the memories, but now I've started thinking I might be pleasantly surprised. I spent most of my college years discovering my inner feminist and hanging out with my college boyfriend, a guy that has since go on to become wildly successful and married. I'm not sure how I'll feel returning alone to what used to be our stomping grounds, even though its 10 years and several relationships ago. For the longest time, I thought of him as the one who had gotten away (even though, perversely, I let him go). He's not going to be there because he's a year younger than me, but I suspect that the memories will be.

Reunions and similar things that mark the time are probably good to attend. They give you a sense of distance from the past and valuable perspective, which can be both saddening and freeing. Here's hoping I end up feeling more free than sad after this weekend.