Friday, October 28, 2005

Expanding Waistelines for the Firm

Yesterday I got to participate in two very special meals because I was doing recruiting for my firm. I had lunch at Kendall's Brasserie. The food was lovely (I had the steak fritte), but the service was very, very slow. It was almost painful actually. I'm not quite sure why it took so bloody long. I've worked downtown since 2000 and I'd never been there before until last week when I went with Jojo for dinner. When she and I went, the service was great and the food was delish (I had the duck). I guess it's just hit or miss.

For dinner we went to Maple Drive, a very good "new american" restaurant in Beverly Hills. I had a very lovely foie gras, summer squash tortelli, and took a few bites of the strawberry shortcake. It was all very good, and the service here was fantastic.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I'm a graduate!

"Your schooling may be over, but remember that your education still continues." ~Author Unknown

I graduated from Mama 101 at Mama Gena's School of Womanly Arts last night. I'm officially a Sister Goddess... but we all already knew that. ;) Miss Katie, who's staying with me while she decides whether or not she's moving back to LA, attended my graduation. Afterwards we celebrated with an amazing space clearing -- she's helping me organize my kitchen. That's a HUGE and AMAZING gift for me, because I've been so desiring to organize and beautify my home. Also, I did all the kitchen organizing and walking the dog while wearing a tiara -- the only fitting thing for a sister goddess to do really.

Later on we went the Echo to check out a great dub raggae band with Trey, Sebastian, and Vanessa. It was great fun and a perfect way to finish the celebrations. Now, I'm just prepping for the big Halloween weekend. Hurray! I LOVE Halloween!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Soul Mates

"The bond with a true dog is as lasting as the ties of this earth will ever be."
Konrad Lorenz

I adopted Marley! I'm so happy to have her. She's really an amazing dog -- incredibly sweet and well-behaved. When you adopt an adult dog from the pound it's like playing russian roulette with dogs. You don't know what you're going to get. I couldn't have imagined a better fit. To tell you the truth (and this is going to sound a little crazy), I think this dog is my old dog, Max, who's come back to me. First of all, she looks just like him. Secondly, she's as good as he was (she's actually better, so maybe he learned something in the afterlife). Plus, we have the familiarity of souls who've known each other before. Now, at first I thought I was crazy, but Jojo (who was my co-owner with Max before) came to meet Marley on Friday. As we sat in a corner petting her, she whispered in my ear that she thought Marley was Max reincarnated. We looked deep in the dog's eyes and said "Max, is that you?" She just looked back at us lovingly. She/he has a good poker face. It doesn't matter. I'm just happy I have her -- whether she's Max II or just Marley. She's an amazing dog and I'm blessed.

In other news, my dear friend Christina, another soul friend, came to visit for the weekend. It was so nice to have her visiting and sharing the dog bonding process with me. The weather was not so cooperative, so we hung out in the house a lot and caught up. It's always good for me to reunite with her. Christina left Monday and was replaced by another soul friend, Katie. Katie is staying with me for a while as she settles back into being in LA. Boy, I sure feel blessed to get so much quality time with these loving friends!

Christina and I

The dog and I taking a nap

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace." - Milan Kundera


I haven't written in a while. This week has been a blur. I'm not sure what I did really. Friday I went to the Philharmonic. Saturday I went to check out pounds. I'm adopting a dog. I found a dog that I really fell in love with (not surprizingly she looks and reminds me a lot of my beloved former dog Max). The dog's name is Marley and she's a very well-trained, beautiful Shepherd mix. I spent time with her on Saturday and Sunday. On Tuesday I went back to the pound and took Sean to make sure he's ok with her joining the family. She was a little skittish around him (she's a little slow to warm up), so I don't think he was quite as enamored as I've become, but he had no issues with me adopting her. I think she's going to come home with me on Friday. Hurray!!! That's been the big thing for me this week. Every night this week I've been out and about, but the dog has been occupying my thoughts. I'm a little frightened of the commitment. I think I'm ready though. We're ready for one another.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Update on my week

“Sometimes I go about pitying myself
And all the while
I am being carried across the sky
By beautiful clouds.”
- Ojibway Indian Expression

This week I was feeling a little sorry for myself and then took the time to realize that it's really been quite a beautiful week. I've had a week full of free gourmet meals at some of the city's best restaurants (thanks to my firm's generous recruiting budget). I got three free tickets to go see the LA Kings in my firm's suite at the Staples Center. I took Sean and Ilyse. On Wednesday, I co-organized a happy hour at Nick & Stef's with Cindy. Several friends from my old firm came and we enjoyed the stiff drinks and delicious appetizers at Nick & Stef's (all good despite the exceedingly slow service). Last night Trey made another delicious barbecue and Trey, Vanessa, Sebastian and I enjoyed his delicious chicken and the warm Santa Ana night. Tonight Melissa is taking me to Philharmonic at the Disney Hall as a birthday present. The above quote made me realize how good I actually have it. I'm completely blessed.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Journey has Begun

"There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
--Anais Nin

The web site is live! Hip Girlz is open for business! Check out it out and buy something:

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Weekend in Quebec

One of the cutest babies in the world getting geared up for the chilly boat ride.

Susan, Meg, and I showing off our delicious cookies

Gathering around the player piano.

So I arrived on Saturday morning (I thankfully breezed through Customs) and waited a wee bit for Susan and Megan to arrive and pick me up. Evidently I was supposed to call the cottage before I left (I called Sue's cell phone). I had about 45 minutes to wait in the airport before they arrived. It was raining fairly heavily.

They arrived and we drove to lake. We stopped in St. Sever before arriving to pick up groceries. Produce was very, very cheap and very good! I was so impressed. How is it that it's so much cheaper than in California? Hmmm. Inquiring minds want to know.

After getting our groceries and some gas we drove on to the lake. We boarded Susan's speed boat and boated out to her cottage at the end of the lake (it's on it's own little island and boating is the only mode of transportation to get there). Luckily the rain had stopped by the time we arrived.

Her cottage greeted me like an old friend. It was my fourth visit to this magical place and it's familiar coziness soothed me. I had made it and could finally breathe. The three of us had fun catching up. We made some homemade chocolate chip/chunk cookies and played scrabble. Susan also made calls inviting her lake friends over to the house for a party that night.

Before we knew it, it was 9:30 p.m. and the guests started arriving for the party. They munched on the delicious cookies, drank beer and wine, and caught up as only old friends who've grown up together do. The party was fun and ended around 1:00 a.m. I crashed like a sack of potatoes (I'd woken up at 5:30 a.m. to catch my flight that morning).

The next day I slept in, chatted with Susan, wrote in my journal, and made an omelette breakfast. When we were eating, Susan's friend Karen came over with her 16 month old daughter Nissa. We played with Nissa, maybe one of the cutest kids in creation, and chatted. Megan came and joined us later that afternoon. I love days when you just talk and talk and talk. After a few hours we said goodbye to Karen and Nissa and boated to the village to take a walk among the beautiful trees. The crisp fall air felt so good on my skin and I delighted in the vibrant colors around me.

After our walk, Megan went off to make dinner with her husband and father and Susan and I headed back to her cottage to get ready for the Canadian Thanksgiving feast we'd been invited to. We got to dinner (not before catching the most spectacular sunset) and had a blast eating, singing with the player piano (original karaoke), and chatting. Susan and I left around 10:30 to try to get home, pack up the cottage, and catch a few z's before leaving for the airport at 3:30 a.m. I got 3 hours of sleep and we just made it to the airport. I had no problems with customs and I made it home to LA. Great weekend, though I wish it had been longer. I could have used another week there.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Pictures from 16 Island Lake

Pictures from last weekend. Sufficed to say, it was unbelievably beautiful up there.

Getting to Canada

Customs turned out to be no problem. Arriving at the counter two minutes after the doors to your plane closes was however. I missed my flight. I could blame it on my taxi driver who couldn't find his way to the airport and ended up getting to the terminal and insisted on doing another 10 minute trip around the aiport so that he could drop me off on the inner lane instead of the outer lane. I could also blame it on myself for cutting it too close (always do). I'm just going to say that I was not meant to take that flight and all's well that ends well, because I made it to my Mama Gena class and had a fantastic time and managed to fly out first thing the next morning.

I'll write more about my lovely whirlwind weekend later.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Pre-Relaxing Vacation Stress

I woke up this morning and realized to my horror that I'd forgotten my passport in LA (I'm traveling to Canada this evening). Though most Americans seem to think of Canada as some sort of 51st state, it's actually a different country and they don't let just anyone cross over their border.

So, I know very well that Canada is a different country, but was suffering from the "51st State Syndrome." Most of the day I was thinking I'd be fine with just my driver's license (I'd driven into Canada before with just that), but decided at the last minute I'd call and just check. I called the consulate and heard a recorded message by a cheery sounding Canadian letting me know that I need to have "proof of citizenship" and that a driver's license is "not proof of citizenship." So, I have a car coming in 45 minutes and I go into panic mode. How the hell am I going to prove my citizenship?! First, I called my parents. "Dad, do you have my birth certificate there in Spain." "I think so." "Can you please fax it to me?" "Let me see and I'll call you back." So, while my dad is searching for my birth certificate and trying to figure out how to fax the oversized document, I call Trey.

"Trey, are you home?" "Yeah." "Can you go into my room and see if you can find my passport?" After much searching around, he finally finds it in my nightstand hidden under some large orange and hot pink feathers (don't ask). "What do you need me to do?" he kindly asked. "Please fax it to me." "Sure." So, off he goes in search of a Kinko's.

So, 15 minutes later I have what I hope will be the necessary tools to get into the country. I have a copy of my birth certificate and a copy of my passport. I also have a valid driver's license and a smile that could melt the heart of an ogre. :) I also have tears. Those can come out if need be. Oh, and there's always cleavage. I'll pull out all the stops to get into that country. Now, I just have to figure out how to get back...


"When the working day is done,
Oh, girls,
They wanna have fu-un,
Oh, girls,
Just wanna have fun...."
--Cyndi Lauper

Yesterday I had a most enjoyable lunch with Jason. We decided to follow our inner hip girlz and just meet at a corner and find a restaurant that spoke to us. We chose the very lovely Gaby Brasserie Francaise in the Sofitel. The service was impeccable, the presentation was equisite, the prices were not cheap. It was worth it though. Jason chose wisely with the Chilean Sea Bass. My vegetarian lasagna was not quite as special, but we enjoyed ourselves tremendously nevertheless.

After work I met Karen and Alanna at Five Points in the East Village. It was great to catch up with both of them (especially Karen who I hadn't had the pleasure of seeing since I'd first arrived in New York when she made the bold and inspired decision to quit the law firm to travel around and be a rock star). She's putting the rock star dream aside for now and in a week is starting a new life in a non-profit dedicated to helping free software thrive. Five Points was a great choice -- again I was blessed with fabulous service. We kept commenting on what a great waiter we had. My skate was delish (made up for my lackluster lasagna earlier in the day) and the milk chocolate pot de creme for desert was DIVINE! We asked the waiter to recommend something orgasmic for desert and he sure delivered. Yowsers! The three of us shared and were practically licking the bowl clean.

After dinner, I dragged my weary body and rolly suitcase to the subway and tried not to sleep on the long trek to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn where my college friend Jen and her comfy couch were waiting for me.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Back in NYC

"And don't throw the past away
You might need it some rainy day
Dreams can come true again
When ev'ry thing old is new again"
-- Hugh Jackman

I'm back in NYC. It's like deja vu. I took the same American Airlines flight (though last night I had the pleasure of being joined by my cousin Nathalie and her husband Jason) and am back in the office. It's nice to be back. I missed it here. Two days in the office and I'm heading to Quebec. Yeehaw!

Sunday, October 02, 2005


I had a great bowling birthday party and after-party last night. There were some surprize guests -- Ekow came to the party (he lives in Chicago). My cousin Nathalie and her husband Jason were there from New York. All (or most) of the usual suspects were also there. It was a blast, though I couldn't get a strike to save my life. I like bowling, but I'm just not very good. Oh well. I had enough spares to not be too embarassingly bad. It didn't matter though. It was just a great night.

I also celebrated my birthday eve. Does anyone find this surprising? I went to El Coyote with Susan from work, Eleonore, Jojo, and some friends of Susan's. It was a fun and slightly unexpected birthday celebration, and I ended up blowing out a candle on a scoop of ice cream. I'm glad I made a good wish, because surprisingly that ended up being the only candle I blew out all weekend. After El Coyote, Eleonore and I went to a party thrown by some USC grad students. The host shares the same birthday as I do (though I preceded him on this earth by quite a few years). What is it about this birthday that is making me feel rather old? Though I feel very young, I'm definitely now in my 30s and much older than people in their 20s. Sigh.