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


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


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.