Friday, September 29, 2006

Poetry Thursday

Come, come, whoever you are.
Wonderer, worshipper, lover of leaving.
It doesn't matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow
a thousand times
Come, yet again, come, come


This is my Poetry Thursday submission. [It's technically Friday now, but I started writing this last night and forgot to hit send.] I really resonate with this poem. I am a "lover of leaving" or a "veteran of new beginnings" as my aunt called me. I hear this poem calling me to lead a better life. I love Rumi and am always surprised that a 13th Century Persian poet can speak to me so profoundly.


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Ask and it is given...

Last year I decided to write down everything I wanted for my birthday. It was quite successful, so I am doing that again. So (drum roll please) is the list of what I desire for my birthday (October 1):

-a slow cooker
-One pair of New Balance 992, size 7B
-Ipod Nano (or Ipod Video)
-art lessons (acrylic painting or drawing)
-guitar lessons
-pair(s) of and/or gift certificate(s) for Manolo Blahniks or Jimmy Choos
-comfy yet stylish pajamas
-gift certificate(s) to Barnes & Noble or
-karaoke cds
-microphone for my karaoke machine
-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
-a new Palm Phone or a Treo
-plane tickets to fabulously fun places
-all-expenses paid birthday trip to South America, Hawaii, Caribbean, Europe, Napa Valley, New Zealand, 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.
-a GPS for my car

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...

Monday, September 25, 2006

Happy New Year

"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

There is so much in the universe that seems to be applauding my change of direction -- right now we're experiencing a new moon, a new season, and a Jewish new year. I'm taking this as a universal high five to my decision to change direction.

So, I'm following Ms. Ella's suggestion above. While wracking my brain to figure out what to do next the inspiration hit to try mediation. I remembered that this fantastic form of alternative dispute resolution was one of the things that first captured my attention and inspired me in law school. I went off course for a few years there, but now I'm back to that original inspiration. I'm exploring how this win-win model of resolving disputes can take the disputants and me personally higher. So we'll see what happens.

In other news, I co-hosted a really fun Rosh Hashanah party with P. His place was packed with family and friends. I worried a bit about my food coming out ok, but my matzoh ball soup and brisket were a hit. All the food at the party was really great, the drinks were flowing, and the United Nations-ish crowd (my family, P's family, and non-blood relatives from all over were in attendance) was very into it. I had a blast. I can't wait until the next party... my b-day party happening this Saturday. :)

Monday, September 18, 2006


"Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself." - Og Mandino

Weekend wrap-up: Friday night... my friend Veronica got married to Dan at the most beautiful hotel I've ever seen -- the Mission Inn in Riverside. P had actually just been talking about taking me there when not one day later we get an e-mail from Veronica inviting us to the wedding. So we drove down Friday afternoon and arrived at the lovely Inn around 5:00. We were in our finest... P was in his coat and tails and I was in my new wedding uniform -- the black sequined Betsy Johnson dress that has become my new wedding staple (third wedding and counting). The wedding was beautiful and we enjoyed hearing the best wedding band I've ever heard in my life -- this 11 member band could do latin music, contemporary and old school favorites, and even the have nagilah like pros. At one point the horns came out on the dance floor and were wailing. It was quite impressive. These guys were great, but so were the mariachi band that greeted us on the way out of the chapel and all the other lovely touches. It was quite a party. Word to the wise though... champagne and margaritas are not a great mix.

Saturday was pretty chill. We recovered from the night before and then headed to P's sister's place for her b-day party. She had a great bbq. The food was wonderful and there was a really nice vibe. It also had the very interestingly LA vibe of being full of interracial couples -- of the 5 couples in attendance, all of them were mixed. I felt like I was in the middle of a Benetton ad. Very amusing.

Afterwards, P and I went to check out a record release party that his work was throwing. The record release party was held at a very unique bar called Bar Sinister. The record was a goth compilation, so the party was appropriately held at this goth/fetish club. When we walked in, a man covered in head to toe latex (think Gimp in Pulp Fiction) entered right behind us. Behind him were two guys dressed up circa 1763. As we waited a man with horns and a tail came out to talk to the woman at the front and upstairs a woman in a crazy nurse's uniform was "flogging" a highly tattooed young woman who'd been chained up. I was definitely not in Kansas anymore. It was quite an experience. P and I walked around taking in the costumes and watching some of the craziness. We danced for about an hour downstairs and then went home. Quite an experience in alternative lifestyles.

Sunday was a mellow day -- church, brunch, and football. Good wholesome American fun to contrast the night before.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Poetry Thursday

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
by Portia Nelson

I walk down the street.
There's a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost.....I am helpless;
it isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place;
but it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall's a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

I walk down a different street.

This Poetry Thursday poem really resonated with me. I feel like right now I'm living somewhere between stanzas IV and V. I'm not totally walking down a different street, but I feel like I'm standing in an intersection and contemplating. Do I walk down the legal street and just avoid the deep hole of a law firm or do I walk down a completely different street? I'm not exactly sure at this point, but I'm just happy to be out of my metaphysical hole.


Monday, September 11, 2006


"I say follow your bliss and don't be afraid and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be."
- Joseph Campbell

So I took the aforementioned leap. I gave notice at work today. I'm resigning from my job at the law firm. I don't have an alternative plan yet. I don't have a new job. I just have a knowingness after these past two months of introspection that I'm ready for a new journey. My body knew long before my mind that the time had come. Stress induced illnesses sent me to the emergency room and running to doctors' offices. It's only when I went on medical leave and took my doctor's and my own internal guidance system's advice to get out of town and travel that I was able to regain clarity. And so here I am leaping through the air and waiting for the safety net or the wings to sprout. Wheeeee!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Poem and Teaser

God Says Yes to Me (by Kaylin Haught)

I asked God if it was okay to be melodramatic
and she said yes
I asked her if it was okay to be short
and she said it sure is
I asked her if I could wear nail polish
or not wear nail polish
and she said honey
she calls me that sometimes
she said you can do just exactly
what you want to
Thanks God I said
And is it even okay if I don't paragraph
my letters
Sweetcakes God said
who knows where she picked that up
what I'm telling you is
Yes Yes Yes

I'm about to embark on a major life change. I don't want to write about it until it's official, but it's MAJOR and it's SCARY. I'm taking a huge freakin' leap without a safety net (a visible safety net), but I have faith that something soft will catch me or better yet wings will sprout and I'll begin to soar. I'm definitely relating to the Anais Nin quote that says "There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." I've always related to the quote but now I feel the pain of remaining tight. I can't "play it safe" anymore. "Playing it safe" feels reckless. It feels dangerous. It feels life threating. And so I'm leaping. I'm taking the dive on Monday. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Napa Valley

I was a little weary of traveling when I went off to Napa Valley for a wedding last weekend. I'm so glad that I dragged my little bum on this trip though. It turned out to be such a blast. P and I drove up in little Charlie very early on Saturday morning (when we got on the road it was about 4:45 a.m.). We drove up, stopping occasionally, and made it to our hotel by 1:00. Our hotel was not very fancy, but it was clean, had a pool, and Elvis had once stayed there. I was happy. We briefly unpacked and then hopped in the pool for some swimming and water aerobics. We ended up jogging in the pool and racing. We had lots of fun laughing and splashing around.

Afterwards we got dressed and walked into Downtown Napa for a late lunch. Evidently during weekend days downtown Napa is a ghost town. We had a lovely lunch at Ristorante Allegria and then walked around the empty streets. We stumbled into the Bounty Hunter, a great wine bar, after a little while and decided to do a tasting. P. tried a white wine flight of wines and I went with champagne (life is always better with champagne). By the time we were done with the tasting (3 each), I was quite toasted. Did I mention we also had wine with lunch? We stumbled to Cole's Chop House for a delicious dinner. I had the most amazing Beef Wellington and stupidly ordered a glass of cab to go with dinner. By the time we'd finished dinner (though I'd only gotten through half of the cab), I was falling asleep. We managed to get a taxi and I promptly passed out.

On Sunday we decided to do a tour of the valley and check out some vineyards. Before we went drinking we went to brunch at an adorable cafe called Piatti. We had some delicious veggie omelets and then planned our strategy. Knowing that we are both lightweights we figured we'd be very judicious about the wineyards we went to. We ended up going to Saint Supery, Mondavi, Turnbull, and Luna. We both got a little tipsy (though we didn't taste at each vineyard and we always shared a flight), but we had a blast driving through the beautiful countryside and discovering new wines. I even joined the wine club at Luna!

We made it home and then got dressed for the wedding. The wedding was at Copia and was absolutely beautiful. The setting was beautiful, the ceremony was beautiful, the food was gorgeous, and so were the couple. We had a blast. Monday morning we attended the post-wedding brunch and then headed home.

The drive home was fantastic. We took the scenic route and went to Muir Woods, Carmel, Big Sur, and generally just relished in the beauty that is the California Coast. P and I had a blast and I just felt so privileged to live here and to be able to do this. It was a great weekend. Life is good!

Me and the groom at the wedding.

P. and I at the wedding.

P on the PCH (somewhere between Carmel and Big Sur)

Friday, September 01, 2006


"To begin a journey one must have courage; to finish a journey one must have perseverance." Alex Sung

I feel like I've needed some perseverance for my travels. I'm heading on another trip -- Napa Valley for another wedding. I leave tonight and return Monday. I suppose I am not generating much sympathy when I say I'm a little weary of traveling. I can hardly complain about Australia, France, and Napa Valley. OK, I won't complain. I'm pretty lucky to have all these adventures and beautiful experiences. And, as I'm fond of saying, I can rest when I die.

Viva la France.

I just got back from France. My body clock is trying to readjust. I'm a little brain dead from all the traveling. I had a great time in France -- we visited quaint Norman villages, drank lots of wine, ate amazing food, and chatted and laughed until the wee hours. And of course, we had a wonderful time at the wedding that brought us all there. Good times were had by all.

They say a picture speaks 1000 words, so I'll just post some pics and have you imagine the rest.

The happy bride and groom.

Me, mom, dad, and Julie (grandchild of a family friend). I had the good fortune of seeing my parents for two nights during my trip, as they were also visiting France.

The beautiful manor we called home from Sunday until Thursday.

Me in Lisieux; in front of the basillica of my patron saint- Saint Theresa.

Picture of beautiful Honfleur, my favorite village in Normandy.