Thursday, September 29, 2005

How to Beat the Doldrums

"Did you know...that when you walk past a flower, whether it be in
somebody's garden or on a vacant hillside, the flower will always smile at you. The most polite way to respond, I've been told, is to cheerfully return the smile."

--Ron Atchison

It's so strange to be back. I'm really missing New York and going through the post-vacation doldrums. I wasn't technically on vacation in New York, but I was on vacation from my regular life. Now, I'm back and am feeling a little blah.

Yesterday I decided that I needed to do something very special to make myself feel better about being in LA. One of the most special things about being here is having the beach. I decided that I would dash out of work on the early side and go check out the sunset and catch a happy hour. I convinced Susan and Nicole to meet me at the Lobster. Later Susan's boyfriend Greg met us out too. With it's amazing views (overlooking the ocean and Santa Monica Pier) and very tasty eats and drinks, the Lobster is always a good spot to go to appreciate the best of LA.

It was really nice to see the ocean and the sunset, but I'm still feeling a bit bummed. One of my least favorite things about LA is that I find that many of my conversations here are very superficial ... tv always seems to be a major topic of conversation. This is particularly unsatisfying for me because I don't watch tv. Last night's topic -- which character from Sex in the City are we most like. Everyone at first says Carrie, though I felt that I really am most like Carrie, though I do have some Samantha in me. We did talk about other things actually, but that exchange underscored what I appreciate least about this city.

So, I woke up this morning feeling less satisfied about being here than ever before. I decided I had to snap myself out of it. I bought myself and my secretary a bouquet each of beautiful flowers. A couple hours later a gorgous bouquet of roses arrived from my parents as an early birthday present. Those things gave me a huge pick me up -- that and eating lunch at Patinette Cafe at MOCA. The food is expensive and beyond mediocre, but the ambiance is so nice. Even though it's right in the heart of Bunker Hill, you feel like you've completely escaped the financial district -- it has a great relaxed and artsy vibe. They also have $1 glasses of wine on Thursday. I'm a little disappointed with myself because I did not take advantage of that (I do still have to work), but it was still absolutely lovely.

My beautiful flowers

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Ask and you shall receive (I hope!)

My birthday is coming up and I'm posting what I desire:
- an opal ring or earrings. Opal is my birth stone and I have always desired opal jewelry. 31 years and I'm still desiring. Now's the time people. ;)
- accessories for my Ipod Mini
- comfy yet stylish pajamas
- gift certificate(s) to Barnes & Noble or
- decorative throw pillows (deep red or deep blues)
- a dark red chenille throw
- a black cardigan
- a karaoke machine & karaoke cds
- gift certificate(s) to Agent Provocateur
- a red Chinese lacquer cabinet to hold my TV
- gift certificate(s) for spa services ( Burke Williams is always a good choice)
- flowers
- new cell phone with camera that works on Verizon system
- DVD player
- plexiglass desk
- new dining room table
- plane tickets to fabulously fun places
- all-expenses paid birthday trip to South America, Hawaii, Caribbean, Europe, Napa Valley, or Mexico.
- fun party with my family and friends
- a night out on the town in a limo
- a makeover &/or shopping spree
- a Tiffany's gift certificate or anything from Tiffany's.

That's all I can think of for now. I realize that some of these things are big ticket items, but if you don't ask...

So I'm back home

"The welcome ever smiles, and farewell goes out sighing."
- William Shakespeare

My last couple days in New York were great. Friday night I went out for goodbye drinks with some work people. It was nice to see the crowd that came out. We went to Lea and D. met us out. I drank lychee martinis and we ate some yummy and surprisingly reasonably priced sushi. Yum. I also scored a hot Lea tee-shirt. Now I can look almost as hot as the waitresses there. (The people who work at Lea are outstandingly beautiful). Later D. and I went to celebrate his birthday eve. We went to a bar near my apartment that I walked by almost daily and always wanted to check out: Mica. It was pretty cool -- nice open upper floor and fun music. The drinks were good and it seemed like a nice crowd. It was definitely a good night.

Saturday I went to the office to finish some work. Saturday night I had my going away dinner at Quickly Shabu Shabu. I did an online search for a good group spot and found the place. When I first walked up to this Chinatown spot I thought I had made a big mistake. It looked like a cheesy fast food spot. I went downstairs and the restaurant quickly redeemed itself -- great service, awesome food, highly affordable, fun ambiance. I highly recommend it.

After dinner we went to Happy Ending -- a former erotic massage parlor turned into a very cool lounge located a few blocks from the restaurant. It was a great spot to meet up with the rest of my friends who'd come to say goodbye. It was a very fitting end to a lovely New York stay.

So, now I'm back in LA and have been welcomed back with open arms -- work people, my house mates, the ladies at the gym, even the homeless man, Chuck, who I see every morning all seemed really pleased to have me back. I have to say, it's good to be back.

It has been nice being welcomed home. It's great to be missed. Last night Trey made me a gorgeous dinner (of course on the grill). We ate outside on the patio table. Vanessa and Cookie joined us and we laughed in the candlelight and the beautiful evening. It's wonderful to be able to appreciate my garden.

Arggh! I had a garden trauma last night. I was admiring my gigantic tomato plants and realized to my dismay that my tomatoes are being attacked!! There are either tomato hornworms or possibly slugs eating into all my beautiful tomatoes. I have to say that I felt wounded seeing that. I'm not sure what to do about it. I want them to stay organic. Any ideas on organic cures for tomato pests?

Friday, September 23, 2005

Another Mama Gena Class

Wow, we're really getting in touch with ourselves in this class. I can't really talk about what we're doing, but I'll just say that I feel pretty everywhere.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

I'm leaving

"Don't be dismayed at good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again after a moment or lifetime is certain for those who are friends."-- Richard David Bach

So, I'm definitely leaving New York. I'm heading back to LA on Sunday and my bi-coastal life will come to an end (for now). I know that I am not one to sit still for long, and soon I will be on another adventure.

It's definitely bittersweet to leave. I've loved my time here -- my Mama Gena, defensive dating, partying like a rock-star, Sex in the City life. Will it come to an end in Los Angeles? I will still have a partying life in LA, but it will be of a different calibre, different timbre. Both places are sweet, but with different flavors. I will miss the flavor of New York, but I won't be gone for long. I already am planning on returning October 5 so that I can be here to catch a flight to Montreal. I also want to return for my Mama 101 graduation at the end of October.

It's also sad to leave because I've started to really like D. I'm having fun with him, and I want to continue to explore this new and unfolding relationship. Going back home is a real pain mostly for that reason. Oh well. La vida es asi. I'm going to focus on the quote above and on meeting again after a moment or a lifetime, and on the moments we have left.

Today D. suggested that we meet for lunch and picnic outside in Rockerfeller Center plaza. It was really great. I was stressed because I have lots of work to do, but it was the perfect break. It's an ideal September day, with a brilliant blue sky, and temperature warm enough to wear a light jacket or a teeshirt and be perfectly at ease. The brisk walk, the hour in the sun, the light conversation, and the sweet kiss goodbye put me in a great mood. It was also nice to do such a prototypical New York thing on one of my last days.

Picture of D. and I at lunch

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

From the Big Apple to the Big Easy

"I will dare to just do what I do. Be just what I am. And dance whenever I want to." --Beverly Williams

Boy, oh boy, did I dance last night! I got three free tickets from my work to go to the Hurricane Katrina Benefit Concert at Madison Square Garden last night. I took Alanna and D. It was sooooo amazing! We saw Lenny Kravitz, Dave Matthews, Cyndi Lauper, Elton John, Bette Midler, Jimmy Buffet, John Fogerty, Bill Clinton (he just spoke, but he's so amazing. I love him), Simon & Garfunkle, the Neville Brothers, Elvis Costello, and a bunch of other people that I don't even remember right now. It was bad ass!!! The concert was 6 hours long and we just rocked out. God, I love my life!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Latest News

It looks like my case is settling and I might be back in LA earlier than I thought. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I've been having a really fun time and I just bought a ticket to go to Montreal... leaving from New York on October 6. It would be much more convenient for me to stay here, but LA is nice.

It was great being home last weekend. I love my house and my family and my friends there. I enjoyed Cookie's party and sitting in my backyard. It seems like my house is going to get even more beautiful too. Cookie and I met with a producer for a home reality makeover show last weekend. She loved us and the house and is returning with the executive producer this afternoon! I won't be there, but Cookie should be able to sell it.

My siblings and I at Cookie's Hawaiian themed b-day party

Friday, September 16, 2005

"I'm so excited, and I just can't hide. I'm about to lose control, and I think I like it." -The Pointer Sisters

Wow! I started Mama 101 last night. Wow. It's all I can say. I'm blown away. The class rocks my world. We had an um... art project last night. We had to create an artistic rendition of our vulvas. Mine is really special -- lots of sequins and glitter. After class I went out with a sister goddess from class to a bar. Of course we had our special art projects with us. They were quite a sight, and quite a hit. All I know is that my drinks were free.

I leave for LA this weekend. I'm so excited to be going home again. Ahhh, home. Soon I will be there all the time.

Other exciting news... I'm going to Quebec in October. Susan called me yesterday to invite me to her cabin in the Laurentians for Canadian Thanksgiving. Me, being me, thought about it for all of thirty seconds and promptly agreed to go on this trip. Hurray! I was so desiring to travel North and see the leaves. I'm going to the best place for leaf viewing I could imagine and to one of my favorite cities in the whole world. Also, this means that I get to celebrate my birthday three weekends in a row. This is all truly perfection. I'm so excited, and I just can't hide it!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Monster Lunch

"What you want, baby I got it." -- Aretha Franklin

I went to lunch with Jason today at Monster Sushi. I always love hanging out with him. He makes me laugh... really laugh. Few people in the world make me laugh as much as this boy. I love that about him. We don't even have to come up with new jokes. Over our 15 years of friendship we've come up with so many inside jokes that we can crack ourselves up with just a sentence or maybe even a word or phrase. "Cinamon Crispanas." "It's a cabinet, it's a bed." "Lemonade? 7'Up?!" "Raunch, raunch, raunch that's all you ever do." "Ask me if I'm Sherlock Holmes." "Why do seagulls live by the sea?" "Writers in the sky." "I hate ze digiteel cameras."

If !mJason is reading this post, I guarantee he's peeing himself laughing. I love that boy. I'm so grateful he's in my life and I get to spend some time with him here in New York.

Does anyone know how to prevent spam comments? They're pretty annoying!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

3 Simple Things That Made Me Happy

“If we are not happy and joyous at this season,
for what other season shall we wait and
for what other time shall we look?”


I bought myself a bouquet of flowers. $7 for this bouquet of zinnias (pictured above). It's such a small price to pay for happiness.

My sister Cookie is having a Hawaiian-themed birthday party this weekend at my house in LA. You have to wear a Hawaiian outfit, so I went out today to get a theme-appropriate top. I went downstairs to Banana Republic and found a cute tank with a nice Hawaiian print. The top was in the clearance rack. I tried it on. The colors looked great, but it was too big. I was a little saddened because I thought it was the only one left. As I sadly put it back on the rack, I noticed that there was another one in my size. I picked it up and checked out the price tag -- on sale for $26 (down from $56). Sounds good, I thought and brought it to the register. When I went to pay I found out that it was further reduced to $12.99! I love when that happens. That made me very, very happy.

I was really craving a chocolate. Normally I don't have chocolate cravings, but I was REALLY craving one today. I decided to indulge my craving. I went downstairs to the Godiva store in the lobby. I only wanted one piece and wouldn't you know they had pieces of dark chocolate and rasberry samples. I had a sample and felt perfectly satisfied and happy. I still bought a truffle and it's nicely tucked into my desk for tomorrow's chocolate craving. Mmmmmm.

Flowers, chocolate, and a great bargain -- surefire ways to bring a smile to my face. :)

Monday, September 12, 2005

It's just about here

"Have the courage of your desire." -George R. Gissing

My website is just about done. I'm standing on the edge of the precipice and I'm a little afraid to jump. "I'll wait until I get back to LA," I say. "I'll wait until I can take pictures of everything." I guess eventually there will be no more excuses. I just need to hold my nose, close my eyes and leap.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Quote and other news

"Just don't give up on trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong."

– Ella Fitzgerald

Friday, Jeroen took me out for a lovely lunch at Linda's. He swears that he, Alanna, and I had eaten lunch there before. I didn't remember that at all. Either he's confusing me with someone else or I have the worst memory of any non-Alzheimer sufferer. Who knows? All I know is that lunch was damn good and I'm not going to forget the place again.

On Friday night I saw more of Jeroen. He had a crepe party. I took D. It was the first time I took him to see any of my friends, so that was sort of intense for me. It turned out well. D. and I met first at Puck Fair. We had a couple drinks there (very dangerous sangriatinis), stopped for a bottle of wine, and then headed over to Jeroen's for some delicious crepes. It was a very fun night, though I felt a little hungover in the morning. I stayed in bed until past noon. That is VERY unusual for me.

The rest of the weekend seems to have come and gone in a blur. Yesterday I did little more than watch tennis. I watched in my apartment. I watched in a sports bar, and then I watched in my apartment again. During this time, I took a break to get a manicure and some food.

Today I went to visit my college friend Jen in Brooklyn. It was great seeing the pad she shares with her Neal, her fiance, and their two very cute cats. We walked around Bay Ridge and went for a yummy spanish brunch. I then took the subway home, stopped off for some quick shopping, and came to check my e-mail. Good weekend. Now I'm off to grab some food and then drinks with a friend.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

"You can't lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse."
- John Peers

I had a date last night with K. We went to Clancy's, an Irish pub that's pretty close to where I live. It was a first date and I felt a little rude. We were sitting at the bar and behind his head was a gigantic screen projecting the Agassi/Blake game. As hard as I tried to focus on what K. was saying and to position myself so that I couldn't see the game it was really hard to avoid looking at what may perhaps have been the most exciting tennis game ever played. Finally I gave up and we both turned to watch the screen. He seemed to really want to go out again, so maybe my complete lack of focus on him didn't kill things. If it did, oh well. That was some damn good tennis!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Rodent Sighting No. 9

I'd been thinking how amazing it was that I hadn't seen a rodent since I'd gotten back to New York. I think it's because I haven't been taking the subway. I am staying close enough to work to walk. I must have manifested a rodent sighting because as I was coming home last night I saw what must have been a mouse (not the size of a small cat, so it can't be one of the city's rats) running across my path. It ran out from behind some garbage bags waiting to be picked up for the next morning's trash to the construction scaffolding directly in front of it. I am so healed from my phobia. I didn't freak out, break out into sweats, and my pulse didn't quicken. I just kept on walking.

Quote and Service Diet

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
-Mahatma Gandhi

I tried to donate blood yesterday and the Red Cross sent me away. Can you believe they wouldn't let me donate blood?! There are people dying in scores in the Gulf and all over the country, there's an incredible blood shortage, and they don't want to take my blood because I lived in another country within the past 3 years. I didn't even live in a high-risk country. I lived in Argentina, for crying out loud! That's a country that has much less infectious disease than here. I could understand if I was a prostitute and a heroine addict, but I'm just an adventuresome lawyer with a penchant for international travel. Is that so wrong?

Oh well, I'm searching for different ways to be of service. I've put myself on a service diet. Every day for seven days I have to do something of service. I'm not limiting myself to this one week though. This service diet has longer range implications. Yesterday, I signed up to be a coach for a program that teaches inner city youth how to resolve disputes using mediation instead of violence. This is a program that will take place in November. Anyway, I'm not doing this service diet because I'm a good samaritan, I'm doing this because it makes me feel really good. Volunteering is one of the most inherently selfish things I do.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

"We are the music-makers and we are the dreamers of dreams. We are the movers and shakers of the world forever it seems."
- Arthur O'Shaughnessy

I was going to write that the rest of my weekend was uneventful. That's not actually true, but I spent so much time curled up on my couch that it feels like it. On Saturday I had a date with D. I met him at a bar near my house, Opal, and watched him drink. Haha, it wasn't as dreary as that sounds. He had cocktails, I drank soda water (I was fasting), and we had a great time talking and laughing.

Sunday was a very mellow day. I went to church in the morning and spent quite a bit of the afternoon walking around the city by myself. That evening I went to see the 40-Year Old Virgin. I highly recommend it. It was HYSTERICAL!!!

Yesterday I spent much of the day on my couch... are you ready for this?!?... watching television. I was alternating between the HGTV and the US Open. It was actually super depressing, but when you're not eating you have so much free time. Last night I went to see the US Open. That was amazing. Such a great day for the Americans! Good times, though I left before the end of the Gasquet/Ginepri match. I left at 11:00 p.m. and it was just the beginning of the 3rd set! I had a long commute home in front of me as well. Anyway, though I started saying I had an uneventful weekend, I lied. It was plenty eventful.

Gotta run, I'm about to go donate blood.

Me in Arthur Ashe Stadium

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Quote and Friday

"Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best."

– Henry Van Dyke

It was so hard to focus yesterday. The three-day weekend called to me like a siren and I left work at 5:30. I met Jason and his boyfriend Joe at Union Square and we went for a lovely dinner at Luna Park. The weather was perfect last night and it felt so great to be in the slightly less crowded city.

After dinner we went to a local karaoke place. This one was in a Japaneze izakaya (pub) called Izakaya Izu. The place wasn't very crowded and I got to sing like a little song bird. "Fever" and "I'm Walking on Sunshine" (my two new favorite karaoke songs) were quite a hit. Joe sang a great version of Helen Reddy's "I am Woman," and Jason sang a smashing rendition of "My Own Worst Enemy." Good times were had by all, though the bar maidens that were inputting the songs had a curious propensity for putting in songs with no rhyme or reason (some frat-boy type that liked to make every song into a pornographic rap got to sing 6 songs in a row while songs that Joe put in at the beginning of the night never came on). Also one of the bartenders was a bit of a microphone hog. Despite all that, it was still FABULOUS. God I LOVE karaoke!

Top picture: Jason & Joe; Bottom picture: Jason Crooning

After we'd had enough of karaoke, I said ciao to the boys and headed over to Cedar Tavern to meet Craig. I did not know until I searched for the link right now that this place had a history. Evidently this used to be a Beat hangout back in the day. I wish I'd known that. I would have paid more attention. Instead I headed upstairs to meet the group, had a quick beer (they were ending their night) and left. All in all a great evening.

So, today I'm fasting. Well, I'm not really fasting, but doing a detoxifying cleanse -- Lemon Cleanse. All I can drink is this lemon concoction. Ideally, it's a 10 day cleanse. I don't know if I'm going to do that. I figure I'll just take it day by day. My initial goal is to do this over the 3-day weekend. I did 4 1/2 days before. It felt so good. I hope to do this again -- feels good for my body and for my mind. Anyway, wish me luck! There's so much yummy food around. Must resist!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Last night I went to the Bubble Lounge with Alanna, Carol, & Rob (Carol's date). It was interesting because they were on a first date and for the better part of an hour I was the only one with them. I sure did feel like a third wheel!

I learned something very interesting though about nanotechnology. Namely I learned what it is and how nanobots can be used to heal wounds faster. It was pretty fascinating. Also, we ordered the lovliest vintage champagne that came with chocolate fondue and strawberries. It was such a decadent treat. Yum.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The power of desires!

"When your desires are strong enough, you will appear to possess superhuman powers to achieve" - Napoleon Hill

So, I've already written about my desire to be on Oprah. The power of desires and manifestation is so strong! When I first started thinking of doing Hip Girlz, I spent every morning visualizing what it would be like after I'd made my first $25,000,000. I saw myself at book signings, I saw myself making a sale in one of my stores, I saw myself on my own tv show. It was great and so real. I hadn't done that in a while and my dream was seeming more and more distant. Two days ago, I decided I needed to start up again. I did a visualization where I imagined myself on Hip Girlz tv show doing an episode on Chicago. Part of the show was going to be a visit with Oprah. We're sitting in her living room and laughing. It was a great visualization.

I just now got a phone call from my sister. She said that she had lunch today with someone who works with Oprah. She mentioned me to him and he said that I should e-mail him and he'll talk to her about me!!! That was fast!!! I think I might wait until I've actually launched before e-mailing him, but gosh darn it, that's pretty potent stuff. Now remind me again why I don't do this every morning?