Wednesday, August 31, 2005

"The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself." – Anna Quindlen

Last night I went to meet my wonderful college friend Jen for dinner. We went to an amazing sushi restaurant in Gramercy Park called Hamachi. It was really, really yummy. They had these unusual roll combinations that were so tasty. Oishi. I can't wait to go back there again.

It was great catching up with Jen. She's preparing for her wedding (seems like everyone I know is preparing for a wedding or just had one!), and is going through the usual stresses with a great sense of humor and a calm demeanor.

I've been feeling a little like I've got a case of terminal singlehood. Will I ever get married and have babies? I date lots but when will I meet the man I want to spend the rest of my life with and who wants to spend the rest of his life with me? Who knows? At least I'm having fun being single. I feel like I'm about ready to start this next adventure though. In the meantime, I'm just enjoying the ride.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Weekend in LA

"Let's give the historians something to write about." - Prospertius

I went back to LA last weekend for my friend Sumako's wedding. I was so excited to go back until I woke up Friday morning with quite a pain in my neck, swollen glands, a slight fever, and a virtual inability to swallow. "This is not good," I thought to myself.

I went into the office and was not feeling better. I could barely keep my head up. I called my doctor's office in LA. When I described my symptoms they told me that it sounded like I had strep throat and should probably see a doctor right away. My flight was in a few hours and I debated whether or not to go. I decided that if I'm sick I'd rather be sick in my own home. I flew back. I tried to keep my breath and germs to myself. Hopefully my fellow passengers are none the worse for wear for having had the misfortune of flying on the same flight as me.

I got home quite late. I was picked up at the airport by Eleonore who is now living in LA. Hurray! She took me home and I fell asleep pretty early. I woke up and went to the doctor's in the morning. He looked in my throat and confirmed the strep throat diagnosis. He gave me two options -- a one time antibiotic shot or a series of oral antibiotic pills. The shot works faster and is just one time, he told me. I decided on the shot. As he walked out of the office to get a nurse to administer the shot, he informed me that the shot would be in my "rump." Great. The nurse came in and gave me a very painful, but relatively quick shot. Not fun, but not as bad as a bikini wax. I guess those are good training for something.

The doctor told me that he thought I could still go to the wedding, if I semi-quarantined myself. I went and had a good time. I'm very glad that I went.

Me and the former old firm crowd at the wedding. In case you can't tell, the beautiful bride is the one in white.

Yesterday, Tre threw a fabulous barbecue for me. It was so great to eat his amazing food. Tre made his famous ribs and his special Greek/Salvadorean chicken. Yum. He kept telling me about the meals he was going to make when I got back and I just drooled. Can't wait to get back. It was also great to enjoy being back in my garden. I took a few pictures of my garden so that I can enjoy it when I'm here. I'll share some with you.

A sideways view of the baby orange, lime, & lemon trees. In the back is the mature guava tree. The lime and guava trees are already bearing fruit.

A little corner of the garden with the passionfruit tree and some assorted flowers. The garden smells heavenly.

A close up of one of my rose bushes. This particular rose is so fragrant.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Another Goddess Night Out

"I believe that when you realize who you truly are, you understand that nothing can stop you from becoming that person." - Christine Lincoln

Last night I hung out with a bevy of goddesses. First I met my beautiful cousin Nathalie for drinks near work. We went to a very fun bar, Lea . The wait staff at this place is both really good and really good looking -- nice combination. I had a couple lychee martinis (no surprise), though at Lea they're called Tokyotinis. Nathalie and I had fun catching up and I was so glad to see her.

After meeting up with Nathalie I went home to have dinner and sass myself up to go out with some sister goddesses. I met them at Cabana, a swanky rooftop bar in Chelsea. It reminded me of LA bars ... mostly because of the heat lamps. God, I love heat lamps. I'll have to buy a couple for my backyard in LA. So anyway, we ladies had lots of fun, garnered some free champagne from the table of guys sitting next to us who were out on the company's client development expense accounts, and gradually found ourselves home.

I'm not sure where we'll end up next time, but I think we should arrive there in a limosine. That's what I currently really fancy.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Quote of the Day and Some Musings on Kansas

"Why can't we all just get along?" - Rodney King

The Kansas School Board has been in the news lately about their attempts to only teach the theory of Divine Intelligence in schools. It's rather mind-boggling actually. I do believe in a divine creator, but to just poo poo centuries' worth of scientific evidence is strange. Personally I believe in Flying Spaghetti Monsterism. As should you.

Very interested in Kansas? You can read what I'm currently reading: "What's the Matter with Kansas" . It's a fascinating read about political life in Kansas, though I find the tone of the book a little too disparaging of conservatives and one-sided. The byline of the book is "How Conservatives Won the Hearts of America." I tend to think that how liberals lost the hearts of America is by adopting a holier-than-thou attitude, and assuming that all conservatives are morons. I am a liberal, but I don't buy into the "all red state people are retarded" rhetoric and find that not only does it not serve us, it seriously hurts us.

OK, that's my two cents for the day.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Quote and Some Other News

"Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting." -Anonymous

Yesterday I went tango dancing at the Argentine consulate. They have free lunch time classes. I hadn't been tango dancing in over a year. It felt so wonderful to dance again and nice to know that even when rusty, I've still got it.

Last night I met Sean at the W for a drink. He's in New York for work. I was happy to see him because even though we own a house together and "live together" I rarely see the man. When I'm in LA this weekend he'll be in Tahoe. Figures.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

In Defense of Defensive Dating

This is an article about a practice that Mama Gena calls Defensive Dating. The author of this article calls it Dating Roulette. Personally, I like to think of it as Dating Lottery or Dating Raffle. The more you play, the better your odds of hitting the jackpot. I've been doing a lot of this in New York. You know what? It's pretty darn fun.

Dating Roulette

By Lisa Daily

I'm a firm believer in the concept that a person who is not in a
mutually monogamous, committed relationship should always be dating
three people at a time -- what I like to call "The Pair and The

The typical male response: No problem!
The typical female response: Oh, I couldn't!! Isn't that cheating?
What men have known for ages and women are just picking up is that
no, it's not cheating if you're not actually in a relationship. In
my estimation, until you have that official awkward conversation
where you agree not to see other people, everybody is officially
still on the market. (Or as they like to say in the real estate
business when a house has an offer but the deal isn't signed,
it's "BN" for back-ups needed.)
Most women will date a man, or a few men until they meet someone
they like, and then they immediately stop dating the other men. Now
that they've given up their other guys, they focus all their energy
and attention on the one guy they like. Will he call? Will he ask me
out on Saturday night? Should I hyphenate my name after we get

Pretty soon, the guy freaks out under the white-hot intensity of all
her attention and dreams. And he bolts. And now, she is not dating
the guy she really likes, but she's also not dating anybody else,
either. The solution? Dating Roulette.

If what you're looking for is a committed, serious, relationship,
why in the world would you date more than one person at a time?

First, dating roulette keeps you from focusing too much attention on
a relationship that isn't yet a relationship. (Technically, a few
dates does not a relationship make…)

Second, dating three people at a time keeps your schedule pretty

Third, you get to date three different people at a time, without
worrying if one of them is the one.

Maybe date number two loves to take you to see hip bands that number
three has never even heard of. Maybe date number three gives great
foot massages, but doesn't share your interest in museums. No
matter! The three of them combined will have no trouble satisfying
all your dating needs. (Sort of a Frankendate!) You will be having a
ball because you always have a date on Friday nights (and probably
Tuesday nights, too), and having most of your social needs met
without feeling like you need to mold one of your suitors into the
perfect person for you.

Black-tie Tuesdays and Casual Fridays
Okay, so there are three critical issues to consider when you're
dating more than one person at a time:

First, do you tell everybody you're dating about everybody you're
dating. The answer? Only if they ask. You certainly don't want to
lie (and there's no reason to) but you probably don't want to
volunteer the information and hurt someone's feelings.

Second, is it okay to have sex with someone when you're dating more
than one person? In my opinion, no. Why? Let's skip right over the
nine-page essay I could write about the potential spread of disease
and go directly to reason number two: Because once you have sex with
someone the relationship is no longer casual. It's a lot more likely
someone has committed some emotion, and either you'll get your
feelings hurt, or hurt someone else's feelings.

Last, (and this is probably a ladies-only dilemma, except for a few
select gentlemen residing in New York and L.A.) how do you remember
what you've worn on each date, with whom? Well, I once heard that
former First Lady Nancy Reagan kept little index cards attached to
each outfit in her closet, noting the date and occasion when she'd
worn the item. Sure, you'll probably feel like you're channeling
Desperate Housewives' Martha-on-crack character Bree Van De Kamp,
but it just might work.

Three is a magic number
You may wonder, why date three people at a time, and not two or
four? Three seems to be the magic number. Two doesn't really keep
you busy enough or offer enough variety. As for four, well that
doesn't feel so much like dating as it does crowd control. An
ambitious dater may be able to successfully handle four at a time,
but eventually we all have to dedicate a little time to those
crucial tasks like work, REM sleep, and waxing unsightly body hair.

Dating Expert Lisa Daily is the author of Stop Getting Dumped!

Quote and Update

Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand - and melting like a snowflake. -- Marie Beyon Ray

I'm so excited! I just figured out an easy way to post pictures on blogger. That's a picture of me in my office in LA.

So, I haven't written for a couple of days. My weekend was fun. Saturday I had to spend some time in the office. I then had dinner with a guy from my building. I think he thought it was a date. I didn't. After dinner I met up with Alanna and we went to the Villard and then to Redemption, a bar a couple blocks from my apartment.

Sunday I went to church. After church I met up with my new church friend Tusi and her cousin, who's visiting from Scotland. He treated us to a lovely brunch. I went back to the office for a few hours and then met Craig at Luna Park in Union Square. We had some drinks and he was a darling to treat me. I'm so blessed to get treated all the time. :)

Last night I went on a date with O. We went to a bar called Bliss. That great thing about O. is that he lives only 2 blocks away from me. That's very convenient (at least for now). I got approval from the powers that be to move out of the studio and into a one bedroom. Hurray! I'm just waiting for the leasing company to find me an apartment.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Friday Night

"Your spark can become a flame and change everything." E.D. Nixon.

Last night I went to see The Wedding Crashers with D. The movie was very funny -- absolutely absurd, but we laughed despite ourselves. D. found it particularly funny. He was howling the entire movie! Afterwards we went to Cold Stone Creamery in Times Square, which is next door to the theater. When I first got to the theater, there was a line down the block to get into the ice cream shop. After the movie and we had our taste I realized why. That's some damn good ice cream. I had the amazing and aptly named "cheese cake fantasy." Yum!

So enough about me and my life. What about you?

Friday, August 19, 2005

Quote and Another Fun Outing

"Realize how good you really are." Og Mandino

Last night I had a very fun girl's night with Alanna and a couple of the goddesses from my Mama Gena class -- Carol & Melle. We went to the King Cole Lounge at the St. Regis Hotel. It was dark and very expensive -- very upper crusty. We started talking with a group of guys that used to work there. The one very yummy guy I spent the night flirting with told me that checks at the hotel bar or restaurant often run upwards of $1000. He said he's seen people spend $700 on a breakfast tab! Remind me not to go back there unless someone else is treating me, or after I've reached my Oprah-like status. ;)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Quote of the Day & Then Some

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually who are you not to be? You are a child of the universe. You were born to manifest the glory of the universe that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone."
- Marianne Williamson

I'm focusing today on being my most brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous. Not quite sure how I'm going to do that, but I'm just going to keep asking myself "what can I do right now to be my most brilliant, talented, and fabulous?" and see what comes up. [I focused on gorgeous as I was getting ready this morning] Right now I believe being my most brilliant, talented and fabulous would best be accomplished by stopping to blog and starting to work.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Quote of the Day & More Thoughts

"It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare;
it is because we do not dare that they are difficult."
- Seneca

Darling Christina told me that she would like me to update my blog more often. I will try to do so every day. Why the hell not? Anything for my audience. ;)

Not much to report today. I received a lovely postcard from my friend Jill simply saying that she's glad we are friends. What a wonderful way to begin a day. Later this afternoon I will go search for a lovely postcard to send back to her. Snail mail is such a delight.

I had another bikini wax today. I am beginning to feel that there's a greater social good involved in this process. It's more than just aesthetics. It's about opening up and allowing yourself to become vulnerable -- nothing more vulnerable than being spread out on a table and having a middle-aged russian woman you don't know applying burning hot wax to your most private of spots. I had a theory about why that was good. I forgot it. It's actually crazy to let a woman you don't know do that to you. It's crazy to let anyone do that to you actually. Hmmm. Why do I do this?

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A couple pictures from last weekend.

Connie's b-day party was an unexpected high school reunion. From left to right: Carrie, Daniela, Fay, Diane, Me, & Connie.

Meredith and I at her birthday celebration on Friday night

The Aristocrats and other fun date happenings

I had a really fun date last night with S. We met at the theatre and went to see the Aristocrats. It was so funny, though you shouldn't go if you're too sensitive to the truly crass. I loved it though and laughed despite myself. At the end they say you can go on the website to provide your own version of the joke. I think my version will have to include, at a minimum, Uncle Vito and his hollowed out peg leg, hamsters, a dead grandma, genital warts, and a clown.

After the movie S. took me to my favorite NYC bar, Rudy's. I love the diviness of the bar. I noticed that they changed the juke box and have a digital one. There's ten times as much music, but I loved the old juke box. It was very old school and had the most amazing jazz albums. I was a little saddened by that. The music is still there, but it's somehow not quite the same.

After a drink at Rudy's, we headed to Japas 55 for some karaoke. We all know how much I love karaoke! It was truly a great night. It was his birthday, but it felt like mine. :)

Monday, August 15, 2005

Quote of the Day and More on the Weekend

"At times it is necessary to go over the top. How else can we get to the other side?" - Kobi Yamada

I forgot to add that on Friday night I celebrated another 30-year birthday celebration. I had dinner with Meredith, Ekow and friends at the Grotto . Both of these crazy kids were turning 30. We were also providing a fond farewell (fond of him, not of the farewell) to Ekow, who's off today to Illinois to start the next phase of his career as a law professor. Ah yes, I'm sure there will be more than a co-ed or two with a crush on the dashing young professor.

Weekend in DC

I went back to my hometown last weekend for my friend Connie's birthday. I forgot how hot DC is in August. For much of the weekend I felt a bit like a wilted tulip. I had remembered DC being over air-conditioned in the summer, but this trip it felt like no matter where we went it was still too warm.

Despite the heat, it was great to be back. Connie picked me up at the metro station and took me to Montgomery Mall. She was looking for shoes to go with her birthday dress and I needed a strapless bra (not really the easiest thing for me to find). After a couple hours in the mall I put my arm around Connie and said "this is just like old times." She laughed. All we did in high school was go around that mall. After shopping, getting mani/pedis, and showering for the big night we went to Guapo's for the big dinner.

Mary (other high school friend) met us out with her adorable baby boy -- well, he's 15 months now. Boy... they have a lot of energy at that age. I chased him around for 20 minutes and was ready to call it a night. Can't imagine doing that for 24 hours! Anyway, we had dinner and everyone really enjoyed the margaritas. Connie's parents especially enjoyed them. Her mom kept saying "My daughter thinks I'm drunk, but I'm not drunk," in a way that confirmed her intoxication. It was quite amusing.

After the dinner, we all headed to the Yacht Club of Bethesda. That place is a trip! No one could believe I'd never heard of this local institution. It's a place for the 40+ crowd and is hosted by the famous Tommy the Matchmaker. At least, the club insists he's famous. There are newspaper articles about him plastered everywhere. If you look closely, you'll notice that it's the same three Washington Post articles re-copied and pasted up in various sizes. Regardless, he does hold a certain amount of notoriety (we saw him on the local news earlier that afternoon). The Yacht Club is very dark, pretends it's a cruise, and plays lots of 80s music and disco to a distinctly older set. I've filed this one away for when I'm a 50-year old divorcee (yes, I know there are a lot of assumptions inherent in that statement).

After an hour of a half of getting hit on by octogenarians, we decided to head to another spot. We went to the much younger, incredibly more frat-like, Caddy's. It was very hot in there and the place closed down about a half an hour after we arrived. It was just as well, I'd had a non-alcoholic night and it was all quite a lot to handle sober.

Yesterday we woke up and walked around Bethesda in the heat. Not much going on when it's that hot. We brunched at the Pancake House and then hit Blockbusters for Napoleon Dynamite (great flick). We met Connie's parents for an early dinner at a pizza joint, then I was off to the train station. It was a good weekend and I was glad to have been able to celebrate Connie's special day with her.

I will post pictures soon (as soon as I find the cable to connect my camera to the computer).

Friday, August 12, 2005

Quote of the Day and It's so nice to be back...

"There is only one you. God wanted you to be you. Don't you dare change just because you're outnumbered!" -Charles Swindoll

I love being in NYC. It took me about 15 hours to get back in my groove and now I'm flying again. I got back to work on Wednesday and had a full, though not crazy day in the office. I left at 9:15 p.m. (I know for some people that's crazy, but for us firm lawyers leaving before 10 p.m. sometimes feels like you've hardly worked). I went to meet up with Jeroen for drinks at the Villard. The place is very red with loungey couches and much older men with much younger women and it smells of ilicit affairs. The service is impeccable and they had some damn good lychee martinis (my new favorite drink). Jeroen and I had fun catching up and by the time I got home I was again psyched to be in the city.

Last night was a summer associate cocktail party for the firm. It was held at the Campbell Apartment at Grand Central Station, a fun 1920s era apartment. All the attorneys and summers were invited and there was quite a turn-out. Towards the end of our time at the Campbell Apartment, there started to be rumblings about where to go next. I campaigned to go to karaoke, but we first ended up going to Pop Burger, an uberhip burger joint in the Meat Packing District.

Finally, we gathered a gang of six of us to go to Village Karaoke , a grungy, dive BYOB karaoke spot with private rooms and an amazing song collection -- even has songs in Chinese, Japanese, Philipino (Tagalog), and Spanish. Next time I'll have to bust out the Japanese songs. ;)

So not surprizingly, I grabbed the microphone and had a hard time letting go (I did share the fun. With 6 people, it's easy for everyone to sing lots). We all had fun, and I got to sing some crowd pleasers such as Walking on Sunshine, These Boots Are Made for Walking, Fever, and I Love Rock and Roll. There was plenty of dancing and singing and we stayed out till 3 a.m. I would think that I would be tired from all the boozing and the late night. I was so jazzed from all the singing that I'm wide awake today.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Quote of the Day

"Do we dare be ourselves? That is the question that counts."
- Pablo Casals

Oh one more thing...

The political asylum hearing was postponed until December. The wheels of justice don't always move quickly in this country. The good thing is that in the meantime, he's still in this country where he's safe.

Back in NYC

I arrived in NYC yesterday evening. It feels good to be back here. I'm in a new apartment on the East side (50's). I've never lived on the ES, so this will be an adventure for me. ... I'm not actually sure how long I'm going to stay in this apartment though. It's really small. I'm working on my squeaky wheel exercises, so I told our office administrator that I would like to be moved to a bigger apartment. This place is cute and clean, but it's a small studio (smaller than my bedroom at home). I figure if I'm giving up 4 months of my life to be here, they can pony up the dough to put me into a decent-sized one-bedroom. In any case, there's no harm in asking and it's a good exercise for me to do so.

Had my first Power of Pleasure in Biz class last night. It was definitely inspiring and I think it will help me get over the first major hurdle I've experienced as an entrepreneur -- namely my own fear and self-imposed hesitations. Just taking this class has been a big breakthrough. I'm sure I will continue to move me higher.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Quote and Update

"Let me never wander from my heart's desire." -- Florence Scovel Shinn
I signed up for another Mama Gena class (these things can be addictive). This one is formally called -- Using the Power of Pleasure to Have Your Way in the World of Business. I had a strong intuition about taking this class and I've signed up for it. So I have 3 more weeks ahead of pleasure training. I prepared for the tough work to come. :)

Tomorrow I have my political asylum hearing. I am just holding on to my faith and knowing that what is meant to happen for my client will happen and that he will not be sent back to a place where he may be tortured and killed. I have faith in the justice system, the compassion of the judge, and in my kick ass legal skills.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Quote of the Day and Musings on Being Back

"I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."
-Dawna Markova

I got back from my trip to Europe on Tuesday night after a very long 30+ hour trip back. The nice thing is that I got to spend some time with my law school friend Ed on a long layover in London. It was also good because even though I tried very hard (to no avail) to manifest an upgrade, I got the best economy seating situations possible (emergency exit row in one case and row to myself in another).

I'm back and a little jetlagged, but it's nice to be back. I came home to discover that my garden had been transformed in my absence. I now have 5 fruit trees -- lime, lemon, orange, guava, and passion fruit. I have a little kitchen garden with sage, oregano, mint, tomatoes, parsley. I have night of blooming jasmine, calla lillies, hydrangeas, poppies, and all sorts of roses. I also have flowers that I don't even know the name of. All I know is that it's looking beautiful.

I am trying to focus on the enjoyment of being home (as opposed to my usual post-vacation doldrums). In fact, since I'm effectively living in New York right now, I'm trying to see this as another part of my vacation. I'm going to see a concert at the Santa Monica Pier tonight and am going to enjoy the feeling of the ocean breeze on my face and the sand between my toes. Life is good.

Here are some pictures from my trip:

Square in Algeciras (where my parents live)

Me making friends with a monkey in Gibraltar

The view from my lounge chair

Snake "charmer" in Tangiers (this guy just blew his flute for a second and then his assistant pulled the rattle snake out of the bag and then kicked it until it started to rattle. Then he promptly put it back into the bag.)

Chris and I having fun with camels

Chris and I at the family reunion