Big Easy New Year
December 29, 2006

Happy New Year.

I am heading to the Crescent City for food, memories, shopping and general end of the year gluttony. Pictures to follow - using the sparkling new camera given to me this holiday season.

May 2007 bring peace, love, and happiness to you and yours.


December 27, 2006

I really disliked the red head from the first season of Top Chef. Tiffany.
"The assignment said to impress us"
"Did I not?"

I feel like things should be in order and taken care. I need to go in for a deep teeth cleaning, which I have not scheduled. I need some gum work. I need to pay some bills. I would just like to, but don't need really, a mani/pedi and a facial. Well I think I need the facial, my skin looks like a volcano. I can't even think of all the other things that nag when I attempt to sleep. I have a constant feeling of unraveling, until I push these to-do's out of my mind and continue to meander aimlessly. Addressing none of them. This summer I was all over those must do items. It felt great. Until it was tiring. It really was not worth it. Things will get done. In due time. Really who am I impressing?

I really need to take an affirmative action. This thought hit me at the gym; truly ironic. There are so many options out there, none of which I have ever exercised. Literally. I use to have motivation and self-restraint. Oh and time. A powerful combination. I apparently no longer have any of these things. I blame my job. But that is too easy. I blame it for a lot of things. So I need to be proactive and pay some one to help me. The knowledge that money is spent should help. Note the should, because I no longer know myself. At least when it comes to eating and exercising. Since there ain't nothing impressive about my thighs.

I am completely underwhelmed with my performance this month. Yeah, yeah, yeah it was the holidays. I also billed the shit out of it in November, leaving me ex-hausted come December 1. Taking a personal day there too. Puts me eight hours behind from the gate. But that is no way to wrap up the year. Not with a review right around the 2007 corner. I pray the holiday slump can be overlooked and that comparison wise I can shine. Some sort of luster-less shine, but a sheen nonetheless. A shine enough to impress for now.


Crazy Is As Crazy Does

I have to call you and when I do there is a silence, a pause, and a gap. The distance, as they say, is palpable. Maybe we do bad phone. We have not really had to master that skill. Fortunately. Maybe it is the holiday hub bub. Yours. We have no hub and the bub was put on a plane already. So it is just me and I am flying solo over here. Is it resentment because I said I would stay here? Are they giving you slack for that decision? You mention it briefly, saying she should understand that I should be there. But that is it, nothing more and no more insight. So I am left guessing and grasping. I turn into a wild suspect. Crazy voices in my head. Looking for words inside yours. Meaning in the gaps. You joke that there were women, roadies. But I can't tell if it is a joke. Because of the distance I begin to assume it is not. At least not a very funny one. I feel like my ideas and conversation are rebuffed with one liners and those bad jokes, second to, "I don't knows" and immediately followed with "gotta run". Since there always is something and it is worth running to. Or maybe I am worth running away from. See, see how far it has gone; there is running. That is what happens when you are gone and I am alone. And my friends live in my head. I guess I am not really alone after all, they are here with me. Spewing crazy ideas, but they are here. Yet I have grown used to the non-alone. Rather quickly. I am not talking about the good times alone. This, this is alone. In a big rambling house with two dogs. And rain. I go to the gym and begin to think of myself as single. Not just because I am alone, but because I feel alone. The distance wears me down as I press on the treadmill. I feel it in my bones as I pump the stationary bike. Not just the physical but the absence of us and a feeling that you are here. It no longer feels like a you and me. It is you and then me. Sometimes you versus me. Certainly not a we. The we is the girls and I. And they keep poor company. They don't laugh at my stories and they refuse to hold my hand, angering that I am even touching their paws. Both are picky with their paws. I am left along holding my own. Reflecting back to what I said, if I did something wrong, who she is, or if I can detect when it will end. Because it will end. You will grow tired and it no longer will be okay. At least that is what I rationalize as I tuck myself in and turn off the light. A good night to me, my loneliness, and my friends - the crazy voices in my head.


December 26, 2006

The cars moved slowly, still in their slumber. I was not far behind them. Bloated and downtrodden from the long holiday and the weather. Not the fast paced, hurry up and go momentum. No one wanted to return to their desks, their holes, their daily grind. We were headed to the airport, in the dark. She called to say she was still there and it would be hours upon hours before she made it home. Turns out the flight was the wrong one and it should have been lunch time when we made that trip. Instead we arrived early and I had time. Turns out I had a lot of time. To walk the dogs in the rain. To finish coffee and breakfast over the Tribune and Today Show. To run to Saks for their beloved after-Christmas super sale. I mean super. To finally, finally, get a working phone. Talk about time. Wasted time spent waiting for the sale to go through. One hour later, I am able to make it in. And I am the only one who has made it in. Despite the slow moving traffic on the interstate, no one is working today. At least not this kind of work. The bloat continues as the few of us who have straggled in pretend to work. Pushing papers, exchanging, "how was your holiday", and counting the minutes until it is acceptable to leave again. I steal food, because the idea of getting back in the car is tiresome and the rain persists. Rationalizing that if I snack now, I can leave early and eat a proper meal on my couch in my pyjamas. Yeah, that is a proper meal. At least on a rainy, damp, after-Christmas day.


Happy Happy Holidays
December 23, 2006

During our brief holiday we stopped into Holiday. I have not been that slap happy in a movie for a long time. It is just wonderful sitting in the confines of the theater, relaxed, with a ridiculous movie plot and a happy ending. The Breakup wasn't funny because, well, there is nothing funny about breaking up. It could have been the two glasses of Pinot Grigio at lunch that added to the awe. But the Christmas music and the sappy love story had me in smiles. Warm comfy smiles that make me want to buckle in for a long evening of movie watching. Underneath a blanket with the fan on high (remember it is still 80). All cozy and half asleep, hearing the rain on the window and letting the buzz wear off. And that is when I come home to my parents house to find The Sound of Music playing in the background. Bingo. Nothing better then a rendition of These are a Few of My Favorite Things. Has me humming along, smiling sweetly and ready for couch time and an early bed time.

Aside from the Holiday today was nothing close. Ginger vomited times three. A flood in the guest room and a broken cell phone. How un-happy and non-holiday. No one wants to deal with any of those on a Saturday during the holidays. No one wants to deal with those, ever. I want to crawl under the sheets and whine. Except that it smells like puke and you know that the day has begun all around you. So much for a happy holiday. Suddenly I am the Grinch and someone stole my Christmas. The scrooge was here too. None were welcome and hopefully both are long gone.

As the weekend is a long one, so is the time to recover. That is how we holiday-ed. There are more movies to come. More wine to be drunk. Another round of baking. To add sweet and yummy to our holiday plans. Definitely more sleep. The festivities have lasted since the first of the month and have a full week's worth of party left in them. I plan to drive by the lighted displays of the fabulous houses. We will hit the theaters again on Monday with the Jews, and others escaping their homes. There are invitations to Christmas day treats. And lest we forget the glow of the New Year. Many more occasions to be happy. There is a lot more holiday left. A happy and healthy to all.


December 22, 2006

I didn't win this, and I didn't win in November either. My mother has phenomenal luck at random drawings; recently snagging a $450 Furla bag in an online contest. At her lunch hour she entered her e-mail and three weeks later the UPS man delivered the package to her door. This was not the first time such luck smiled down on her. Though we share the same eye color and skin tone, she did not pass on her winning streak gene.

I do feel like a winner though. And isn't that what counts? I have a wonderful partner who is eager to please, a rock of support, willing to jam out in the car to Styx (....Thank You Very Much Mr. Roboto, Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah, Secret, Secret.....), and takes my bitchy moods one after the other. Last night we celebrated Chanukah and this morning Christmas. We dined on latkes and stuffed cabbage and he participated while the rest of the family and friends lit the candles and said the blessings. We agreed to one gift that night, in celebration of the Jewish holiday. Adorably, he got excited and asked to open all the rest. Like a kid at Christmas - literally. Even awaking at 3 a.m. to say, "Merry Christmas". I secretly hoped the rest of the gift exchange could wait to proper morning. And it did. So this morning over fruit, scones, and cider we sat on the floor, in our sleepwear, and pretended to be kids. Simulating Christmas on the wrong day, when it is 81 degrees outside. But it was the memory and the moment that counted, not what the calendar and thermometer dictated. We eagerly waited for each to open their gifts, taking turns one by one. I insisted it was done this way, so we can devote time to watch the other's expression as the present was revealed. It was all very sweet and it mattered not what was actually in the gift. Those boxes could have been empty or filled with small inexpensive trinkets. What mattered was there was someone to share it with. To show excitement to. Hoping they love it as much as you them. To have shopped for and planned for. Smiling while placing the credit card down, knowing they will just love the gift. To make new traditions, welcomed together with the old traditions, and to start the memory making process. Talk about being a winner.

Speaking of winning, how do you feel about the new do? Is it a winner? Feel free to share the good, the bad, and the ugly. I want to give thanks to a winner in my book, my superstar designer.

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Fart Queen and Other Princess Stories - Year End Review
December 20, 2006

Here they asked for it - so why not incorporate it into those year end reviews and predictions. I never intended to do one for a slew of reasons. Who wants to think about where they have failed or sucked? What good does it do to make the same resolutions year after year and realize you never get there? Those qualities may be a part of me and trying to change them makes me unhappy, grumpy and frustrated. I can't quite get there and then I hate myself for who I am. No thank you. Plus, like Valentine's Day or Mother's Day, isn't it better to be continuously aware of goals and progress? Rather than reserving one day and forgetting about it all by sayJanuary 21? I took some mental notes here, back in October. It is not to say that those ruminations are not done regularly or even when forced upon me by my religion, sometime in the fall months. So I was planning on saying fuck it. But then I read this and was standing in shower laughing and decided to give it a go. This resolution is not based on bullet points of to-do's, it is based on a problem that to fix can touch on many of the cliched resolutions; stress, diet, and exercise.

This resolution is to FART less.

Yes, you read that correctly. And yes, I am absolutely serious.

I am built like an old man and can makes sounds like a duck. A loud honkin' duck. A percentage of the time the odor is somewhere between rotten eggs and day old broccoli. Other times it is like vodka; odorless. Fortunately. It is just LOUD and unbecoming of anyone. But especially of a prissy girl like myself who dons dresses, heals, pearls, and wears make up everyday. I fancy expensive shoes and high thread count. So it is especially surprising this is also one of my trade marks.

That is why it is bothersome. I feel awful. I understand, from time to time, people experience gas and bloating. It explains gas-x commercials and a whole row at CVS devoted to treatment of such. But this is above and beyond. At least I am pretty sure. We generally keep tales of such tucked neatly behind our pocket doors and disguise such noises with coughs and toilets flushing. But I am going to assume that mine is wore then most. So I vow to treat it properly this year. It has grown worse, substantially worse, over the past several years. I fear it will just get worse. And what about one day when I am preggers. We already know pregnant ladies are gassy. I may cause an explosion. So instread of it escalating and growing - I will address it. Head on. Or whatever.

This means a change in diet. It has to. I doubt the morning Starbucks or the afternoon can of Diet Coke help. These are gassy and indigestion inducing. They are hard on our stomachs and contain unnatural sweeteners, which I have to believe wreak holey havoc on our intestines. This one is going to be hard, because I am not going to be unrealistic here. Cutting out caffeine is impossible. I am asking for less gas, not to die. I can promise to consume less. I have already begun to faze in tea, as an enjoyable substitute, done in response to article read two months ago. See, constantly evaluating and considering my life, not just on January 1's.

This means a change in life style. Here is where the ubiquitous - I need to exercise more comes in. Well I probably do. Who doesn't really? And in that category I could stand to lose ten more pounds. Same question. As we know the two go merrily hand in hand. But as my gas goes, I think these solutions will both help the larger problem. While I would love nothing more then to get rid of the jiggle in my wiggle, getting rid of the farts is the priority here. I can say this was less of an issue several years ago when I was not supporting the extra lb's. So deductive reasoning says, take the pounds off, the gas may be gone as well. This means keeping up with the cardio two to three times a week. I enjoy the yoga classes, but those tend to aggravate the stomach condition. There is something about the up and down of the aerobic activity that feels effective and actually helps my stomach. Or so I think in my head. And if my self-diagnosis of getting rid of gas involves a more routine exercise regime, I think I am in good shape. Well not good shape physically, but you get it.

This also means a change in overall diet. Healthy, hearty eating will help alleviate the pounds. Less weight - less gas. Or so I have diagnosed. It also means less stomach upsets, a good source of gassy lassy status. I am fairly certain that pizza and french fries are not the best for the stomach. Grease is not my friend. Hell, grease is nobodies friend. Then there is the cheese. I heart cheese. When I was little I dreamt of cheese villages where people lived in wonderful bliss. American, Swiss, blue, cheddar, goat, stinky, yellow, green. I will eat it all. I know my body cannot handle milk. That was an easy one to eliminate and a quick remedy to preventing some serious bathroom crises. So, (again using that deductive reasoning) I should not be eating cheese either. But I do. Cuz I heart cheese. I said it twice, because it is just that good. So this, like coffee will be really hard to let go of. But, I will eat less. Moderation has to help. It will aid the diet plan as well. A whole package.

This means I have to work on stress management. I get anxious, nervous and overwhelmed, and I feel it in my stomach. Yes, in that way we all do. But the bloating increases too. And we know what bloating means; more gas. Better stress management has to ease the blow to my stomach. This too is muy difficult. Lawyers become such because they are stressful people. We give and receive stress like they are birthday presents. It is not something that is going away. Not unless I quit my job. But I sense stress may come when my loans and mortgage are due. That is why management is the key here. Deep breathing, those yoga classes, writing, and even exercise help to control the stress. That and a shot of whiskey and a Valium. But lets take it one step at a time and try to keep perspective and not become uncontrollably anxious and stressful, especially over items that are beyond my control or that don't require stress. Like what to wear to work. A daily battle spent on the floor of my closet with cries like, "I have no clothes." Those distress signals sent from a pile of clothing, can be eliminated. Leading to a less anxious and less stressful existence. And hopefully less gas.

This means seeking professional help. Yeah that is where the Valium comes in. No, not that kind of help. At least not yet. I mean a primary care physician, a gastroenterologist, or even an acupuncturist. I have been to the PCP and she gave me some awesome medicine. It alleviated the bloating and made me feel like my slimmer, shinier self. It did not relieve the overall problem, or, my guess, the cause of the problem. It also created a whole new problem. But enough time has been spent on toilet talk, that I will not go into detail. She did say that she sees a ton of similar aged women who have the same issue. I guess we can call it IBS, I just think mine is a slight permutation. And like all syndromes, it may not really exist. After all, it is not a disease. So instead I can consider the alterna-medicine approach; acupuncture. Relieving the pressure through needles, may help alleviate the bloating as well. Just a thought. Who knows? Can't hurt and definitely something I have been considering for a few months. So my guess is the final stop would be a GI doc. He will stick a tube down my esophagus and/or run a slew of tests. That scares the shit out of me. Literally, it causes stress and gas. Oh god I can feel the bloat rising. That is my last, last option if the above fail. So final an option that we may see that in resolution guide in 2010. For now have a Happy New Year. Faaaaaart!

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Friday Follies
December 19, 2006

Friday nights spent alone are not shameful. They are beautiful. Wonderful excuses for time to get in touch with you. Oh yeah touching required. That is definitely not shameful. No way, they should not be considered anything but. It is very important time to yourself, by yourself. A weeks worth of workdays makes Friday night deadly. It is not just the tired, it is the time. Alone, with yourself. Books, baths, wine, TV, Thai food, magazines. It is all about you and yourself. Not such a fan of baths, sitting in that dirty water, but you get the picture; it is about getting back to you. Whatever that may mean. The week was about them. About your job. Your obligations. The laundry. Walking the dog. Going to the gym. But Friday night. That time is for you. Well at least it is for me.

Even single I felt this way. And now when there is a built in playmate it is no different. Run, play, gallivant with your boys. Because, at times, I prefer being here, alone. No I wouldn't turn down plans. I still don't necessarily. I mean "hey wanna grab a drink", may not drag me out. But concrete plans and events are not missed. I am not in the habit of arbitrarily turning down invites. I am not that pretentious. And I am also a big fan of the "lets get a drink after work" idea. It is generally not happy hour. Not with these hours. Not when there is a dog to go home and walk. It is closer to seven and others have had many happy hours by then. But once I am home, settled, fed and in new clothing, it is very hard to leave again. Very. Sometimes I assign myself tasks. Like checking out the cheesy clothes at Old Navy. The mall is a mecca for activity on a Friday night. But I am not self conscious, even if it is couple-rama at the mall. Movie and dinner dates. Babies, mommies, and daddies, shopping. Starbucks. You just breeze by on a mission for a short skirt. Holding shopping bags proudly as a display of freedom. Looking for something fun. Maybe to wear out the following night. Since that is when the plans happen. Content in that I have a couch and an over sized Tulane t-shirt to go home to.

And that is so what Friday nights are about. That and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Those are tasks I can conquer. And if I don't. Who the hell cares? It may not even mean getting into bed early. If there is a Sex and the City episode or a bottle of wine to finish, or both, it could easily be 1 am before the sheets are turned down. Or even a curfew of 9 pm; where the wine works its wonders and the week wears me down, it is all I can do to get through a whole episode of What Not to Wear. Really there is no rhyme or reason, it is just what feels good. And being at home enjoying the peace usually feels pretty flippin' good.

I just love love love the quiet. The calm. The decadent niceness of doing girly things. The fact that Saturday is there for the taking. Errands, the gym, dates and plans. The grind, well the weekend grind, starts up again. But I am ready for it, since Friday night was all for me. Damn if there is shame in that.

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Fa La La La Law School
December 18, 2006

If we were in New Orleans, it would mean sweatshirts, library pants and the same t-shirt and bra for three days straight. Pulled from a pile in the floor where they were dropped the previous night. Well, morning really, since studying never ended anytime before midnight. Quitting any earlier meant we didn’t feel complete. It is the time of year you fall into bed, your mind heavy with theories and pneumonic devices derived to remember. So tired you can’t think; so awake because all you can do is think. We would awake and repeat day after day. For almost three weeks. We would Starbucks at ten, two and eight. Three times a day, each visit seeking a caffeine infusion, a break and a glimpse of the real world. Christmas tunes, blind dates and turtle necks. The trappings of how the other half lives. We would laugh, make promises of our lives post-finals and encourage ourselves to get through three more hours, one more week, or a single final exam. We would be there for each other. That is what friends do. That is what law students do. That is how it was in New Orleans.

If we were in New Orleans, we would be hunched over a laptop typing and recalling, analyzing, outlining and praying. The weather turned cool, but we never noticed. It was always cool on the fourth floor of the library. The lights were strung, but it was all a blur in the car on the way to our carrels. There, there in law school were generic stale fluorescent lights. The same people, the same faces and no one knew it was December. It was just, “what exam do you have next?” Monotony spiced with a change in subject; contracts, criminals and intellectual property. Despite this we would take solace in each other. Sharing jelly beans to pass the time and lap up the sugar. Agreeing to a noon lunch and place for a sandwich. Helping to hold books and computers on the long walk back to the cars in the dead of night. Asking each other those damned hypotheticals and attempting to sort out those questions with no right answers. Crying when the stress was too much and we just, “knew we failed our Torts final”. We would be there for each other. That is what friends do. That is what law students do. That is how it was in New Orleans.

These were the times we prepared for the rest of the semester. Otherwise, it was Sunday’s where you made homemade scones and hand whipped cream topped with fresh berries from the Whole Foods. We dine while preparing meatballs to stew for dinner. We then curl up on Ikea with a third cup of coffee, flannel pants and enjoy our friends in Beverly Hills. The 90210 gang are our separate memories enjoyed together to make new memories. We may part ways with plans to call our moms and go to the gym. Only to meet up in a few hours for study groups and planned meals of pasta with gobs of cheese. At the end of the day, at the end of exams, at the end of it all we would be there for each other. That is what friends do. That is what law students do. That is how it was in New Orleans.

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For the Love of Basketball
December 15, 2006

The first night we were together we lay in bed drunk. Talking in that way that 4 am makes sense. The way that those first few moments of a new man make sense. Lying there sharing ideas and stories. He says, "I don't have a religion. Duke basketball is my religion." In that early moment of the early morning I knew we were never going to last. That didn't make sense.

What I didn't know, until that point, was how I felt so strongly about the importance of religion. His lack of one, was troubling. It is not important what yours is or who you consider a god. It is important you have one. It means a belief system and a foundation. It is something that roots you and a system you can teach your children. A fondness for college basketball is one thing. To consider it your religion is a whole different story. It apparently also means that you will be devout about spending time watching, talking, and reading about it. After all Coach K is your god, you must treat him accordingly. With all due respect and proper time for prayer and reflection. That may mean endless hours watching games, reviewing play history, reading on the Internet and glorifying past wins. That too was a sign. One that would come later, as the 4 am conversation was in May and as I learned there 'aint no basketball in May.

Don't misunderstand. He was a good person with values, kindness and heart. We had good times. That was a relationship I don't regret. But such a bold statement was apparently a warning for me. One I didn't even know I had. Even in a drunken sleep depraved state. Clearly there were other warning signs. But I already knew how it would end, so why not enjoy the ride? And what a ride it was. Men who worship basketball as gods also know how to drink beer, make 4 am a new bed time, set up stadium seating in their living rooms, and beer pong tables in their driveways. It was several months of heavy partying, a constant stream of people, places and friends. There was always something to do and when there wasn't he made it up. He turned The Bachelorette into a betting game. He decided Martin Luther King Day was a reason for a keg. He even got me to play flag football. A feat achieved by no one past or present.

As with all good things, that too had to come to an end. I figured graduation was the time to do so. He apparently believed otherwise. And discussed as much with his friends. Who are equally as drunk, at most times of the day. After a night on Bourbon street, I was the recipient of a 3 am door bell ring and I let up a disaster of an individual. He smelled of beer, b.o. and cigarettes. He lost a contact lens somewhere. He was post-bachelor party, and post-strip club, and I was half asleep. What happens thereafter is up to your imagination. A few short hours later, laying in bed again, his phone rings. This time the bedroom conversation, is between him and a friend. But the result is the same as it had been a year earlier; I knew it was not meant to be. This was my deductive reasoning, gleaned from my training as a lawyer. Or simply the fact that cell phones are notorious for allowing others to hear your every word. So I heard this, "you are with her? I thought you said last night you went there to break up."

And there it was. Not said to my face, but the message was clear. Maybe that is what you get in a world where NCAA is the bible. Or when you chose to continue a relationship when you even know that it was not meant to be. I don't really think so.

There is not much more of a lesson. Shit happens. Relationships end. And that was inevitable, especially here. Where geography and personalities were never meant to be long lasting. We meet certain people who touch are lives and leave an impression. Or at least some crazy stories, ridiculous pictures, and an ability to watch eight consecutive hours of football. It does not always have to be meaningful and spiritual. It can just be fun. Sometimes there passion is not ours. And clearly where Duke blue is involved, we differ on what spiritual is. From that I learned I truly am not a fan of college basketball. Which has come to be a running theme, just ask Magoo about that. Who knew Florida would be a powerhouse? I also learned how important some values are to me. For that I am thankful.


Lets Go To The Mall
December 14, 2006

"Are they getting married?"

"Well, she is carrying a bouquet."

"Yes but she is wearing a jean jacket. And he is in shorts. And flip flops."

"But see, she has a white sun dress underneath the jacket. And he has a red rose boutonniere. And look there is a photographer"

"That is not a photographer, that is her mother."

"Well your mother would come to your wedding, right?"

"But in the middle of the mall? She has to be pregnant."

"You are mean"



Danger Zone
December 13, 2006

It is familiar dangerous territory. You wrap yourself into their lives so quickly. You become folded together, in an instant. I just don't understand how it happens. How you find men who are willing to play the insta-relationship game with you. One meeting and I am your girlfriend. Parents introduced, keys exchanged and lives sewn together in a matter of weeks. The pattern is the same. All of it down, to the bitter end. Because it always ends.

I am not trying to be harsh, critical or pessimistic. But it has to end. Too much too soon, becomes problematic for just that reason. There is a necessity to the slow and getting-to-know. First dates are special because of the newness and excitement. First kisses, first nights together, first everythings.

Jumbling it all together loses the excitement that is specially reserved for each moment. It is all exciting (probably even more so given the volume) but it is all over at once. The rush ends quickly without the accompanying base. Once the new wears off, there is nothing left there, since a foundation was not structured. Maybe there was never a real like, just the lust of the new. The whole package deal of excitement was enough to sustain the relationship and that was what's initially craved. That kept the glue together. Once the heat wears out, the glue melts and the entire package opens up and falls apart. Your feelings strewn about.

Because with the newness and excitement you gave your entire self. You had to. It is part of the pattern and how one enters into an insta-relationship. Your life halts, to contribute and consume in the depths of the man. Waist high deep in his life, openly neglecting yours. Once it is over, you are too. It takes muddy work boots and a crane to extract that mess. If only.......things moved slower, there would be more time to assess your true feelings, how you two really interact and if it is a good idea to move in together after the 3rd date. With time comes perspective and clarity. Moving quickly erases those functions and means you are 10 steps ahead of what is safe and sane. Not only have you moved fast but you have dug in deep, it is relationship quick sand. That is why it is dangerous.

It is why the warp speed dating machine is a crash toy waiting to implode. I am not jealous or resentful. I wish all well. But women are prone to do this with their relationships. We give, give, give to men. Their lives become ours. We cling quickly to avoid loneliness and boredom and to feel wanted, sexy, and attractive. We all want those things and ten times more. Really we deserve all those things. But there is a practice and procedure and it is there for a reason; it is necessary. It is how we know those things are genuine and not fabricated. That does not come from forcing it's hand. Relationships take time and are not all give and push. We need that time to develop, grow and learn. From each other, from our mates, and about us. To plow it all into an accelerated pace ruins the intended effect. It is impossible to do it, and to me, that is why it all ends inevitably. That is why it is so dangerous.

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In Sync
December 11, 2006

It is when we are shopping together in sync that I know it is right. There are no issues or confusion. Maybe you just let me get my way, so that things flow easily. But you are happy doing that, you like to please me and you like me to be happy. So it is not a sacrifice to follow my lead and meet my wants. We move together, perhaps at my insistence. But I don't know it, so I am happy. To me it is perfection. I smile contently thinking to myself how impressively easy and wonderful it really is. I call you, from the other end of the store and ask your opinion of the boots. Knowing you will say the right thing, just wanting an opinion anyway. Wanting to see your expression and smile. I want to make the decision together. Even though my mind was made up and I was going to buy them. But you knew that also. Maybe a girlfriend would be better suited. But you are there and you will always make me feel pretty. And special. Telling me they look sexy and "not like a hooker". My words, not yours. I help with a sweater selection, pants that fit and a new tee, where latte was was spilled on the first. I don't mind the spill, but I know it concerns you, so I agree to a new shirt. I try to understand you, the way you do for me. Meeting my needs with a smile. It is comfortable, how I would have wanted it. How I would hope for. We share food. Easily deciding. I try hard not to push my wants onto you. I don't want to take advantage of the fact that you will always say "yes." I ask you to decide, to insure you get a voice and a want. I worry you will resent it all and one day pack it all up. Later, I say that between tears. Fear that I am too much and you ask too little, for yourself. But you smile along and agree to what makes me happy. Assuring me that is not how it is all. Still I worry that I am too in charge, too much and too bold. That you are too scared and too accommodating.

Afterwards, I am full, my button pressing into my belly and the gas begins to fill my stomach. You laugh when I roll down the window in preparation for a duck noise. Loud and stinky. "Oops, please forgive me," and you do. Smile, smirk, and comment that it is a smelly one. But I don't care, because it is said in good humor and because I know you don't care.

Following our errands, the long list near complete, we crash on the couch. Giggling together at Elf. This is my kind of movie. I can't handle much more. You know it and let me yell, laugh and point at the screen. Just like the first night, that time with Kicking and Screaming. Letting me rewind or pause when I have to use the bathroom. Again. And again. And again.

Sometimes we fall out of sync. I think you know it is time to leave. I think you know that was supposed to be the last drink. Cocktails and hunger prevail. I get antsy and irritable. You think I know that the broken appliance is important. You think I understand your requests and that we really need to address the problem. Today, not later. You think I don't respond properly or timely. When we are out of sync we are ugly. We stand on steps of restaurants, patrons politely give us space, and move away. We use hushed whispers to mask our annoyance. Tears are covered by the dark lighting of our seats. It is not nice. Not at all.

By morning, it is dog walking, toast, Paula Deen and computers. A wireless connection to make our personal connection easier and smoother. We spend the entire morning together. In our house. Our first weekend, relaxed. I use the treadmill and you handle tech support. We share coffee and use of the remote. There are roses. My favorites; a mixture of reds, peaches, pinks and white. It is not for the tears, it is for the year. One has passed since we were first introduced, "oh our friend will be meeting us soon, he went to law school with us." That night, all five of us sitting outside Bellas waiting for our name to be called. To steal from Sex and the City, "life happens when you are waiting for a table".

To continue to celebrate us, it is Happy Feet and three bags of candy. We are never this gluttonous, but it feels good and healthy. This time there is less laughter. Those Mexican penguins cracked you up. But it is scary and depressing. Not my kind of movie. You let me cover my eyes, bury my head, and tell me when it is over. You fill me in when I have to use the bathroom. I planned for a European Cafe, small plates, wine and hot cocoa. I planned for cold. It was 80 degrees and closed. We walked, enjoying the lights on the water, and the glorious hotel. Sneaking a peek at another's wedding. We stumble onto an English pub. Very cute, with a great view. European with outdoor seating and crazy good food.

"You know they took a spoonful of easy mac and deep fried it, right?"

"Yes. And I am so okay with that."

I am brazen and the wind has picked up. We are on the water. I chose a coffee cocktail, with Jameson. We both decide it is disgusting, I wrinkle my nose and swallow hard. It could have used some cream, but that's not me. Generally I am good with whiskey. It does the job and leaves me warm and tingly inside. Just like the whole weekend. Warm and tingly. We walk back to the car, arm and arm, in sync.

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A Very Jewish Christmas
December 08, 2006

I am in the holiday spirits. Raised totally Jewish, I grew up in a household where we NEVER had a tree. We were not one of those families. Holidays were spent at the movies and in Chinese restaurants with the rest of the Jews. We were from Miami after all. But how I loved Christmas. I am told at age four I was pointing out the pretty. Something about large, bright, shiny objects that amused me. I have a thing for fireworks too. Just the general holiday thing makes me smile. Seriously those trees smell so good, lets not even get into how gorgeous they can be all decked out. The crisp air (yes even in Florida), the cheer, apple ciders, cookies and lights. Lots and lots of lights. The Christmas House was a favorite stop, where they gave away candy canes and had non-stop caroling. As a cheer me up, I did drive abouts looking for the best lights and whole streets done up to the nines.

Junior year of high school, Rachel and I, in a crazed brake from our work, decided we wanted a Christmas tree. In January. We set out to find the remains of a tree dragged to the curb by the gentiles in our neighborhood. What we were planning on doing with this is still a mystery to me. And a lesson we learned shortly after we maneuvered our find into the back of her Jeep. With dead pine needles all over the place, we drove back to her parents house. Her mom stared at us with a quizzical look (which, in retrospect, was actually the appropriate response) and asked what in god's name we planned to do with a half dead, already used Christmas tree, in January at a Jewish home? Given that we did not have a single answer, we dragged the tree, with a trail of needles, to the end of her driveway and left it for the garbage pick up.

Today at last (!) I can say I have my own tree. Having a Catholic "roommate" means I get to decorate and celebrate. Oh yeah, bring on the x-mas. Instead of ogling fondly, pointing out every single house with lights, and enjoying the mall decorations, there is real Christmas in my house. Wahoooo......

We have a tree named Moe. He is decorated to a tee. Including a very crooked silver star he wears on his head. We have multi-colored tacky lights and a slew of ornaments both purchased (some shown above) and the rest given as gifts. We hosted a small "I love Christmas So Very Much" party and friends generously brought Moe some lovin'. There amongst SEC football, prosciutto wrapped bread sticks and veggies, we adorned him with all his trimmings. There were no cheesy Christmas songs, after all Gator football was on. But it was the start of what I hope to be a tradition. Not just of friends and food (oh and football of course) but of warm holiday memories. We asked for toddler donations to Metropolitan Ministries as well. Trees, ornaments, family and holiday happiness right here. Not a dead tree in January. A live one, the weekend after Thanksgiving twinkling with lights, goofy reindeers, and holiday spirit. Finally, my testimony to the season. It is not just about the glitz and glamour of it (as I have learned and actually really do love) it is about the people, the warmth and the making of memories.....under the tree.


The Impossible Bosses Gift
December 07, 2006

In a bizarre ritual, we have to buy the partners we work for, whose names adorn the front of the building, holiday gifts. I believe the tradition began when they were a baby firm. Three, four attorneys all working closely (probably too closely) together. At that time a sense of family and a sink-or-swim mentality prevailed. It was natural and easy. I also think gifts flowed in both directions. We are no longer there. On any level. Partners are partners. With Mercedes' and estates. We are bigger, much bigger, a dozen attorneys and 50 staff people. We are swimming, merrily along. But yet that last vestige remained.

I guess it would be rude to be the first group of associates to end the tradition. What message would that send? Questions would fly about our happiness level. But it is not that; this tradition is not tied to happiness. In Real Simple they did not have gift suggestions for your bosses. There are suggestions for your hairdresser, post man and yoga instructor. Even do's and don'ts. But not for your boss. Because simply put you should not be buying gifts for your bosses. Unless, they add, you are sucking up or you want to bribe them. The message was obvious, no one wants to be considered a suck up. Well here it is not really about that either. Since all associates chip in. But the idea behind what Real Simple had to say is still there. Don't buy gifts for your boss. "But! But!", I putter to myself...."what about the rest of us?" We are stuck in a tradition that is frowned upon by the manners' gurus.

Given these circumstances it makes gift purchasing, IMPOSSIBLE. Of course none of the websites list boss as a potential recipient. Since people are not supposed to buy things for their bosses. Duh. Go figure. Plus, what do you buy people who have more money than necessary and all the trappings of a successful life? On top of the fact that the typical office type gifts, business card holders, paper weights and such were used up years ago. Can we re-gift those ideas? Or do we need creative different ideas? Last year was gift baskets picked in an attempt to match personalities. That was a task. But again, these are our bosses, so it needs to be tasteful. We want the gifts to be meaningful, polite, sophisticated and appreciated. This seems very difficult for any boss. Lets add four and make that three men and a lady. One who does not drink. At all. Ever. IMPOSSIBLE.

What makes it worse. Absolutely the worst, in a I am whiny baby way, is that we get nothing. As associates in a law firm, we do not get a Christmas bonus nor do we get a small token of holiday cheer. Nothing. So our efforts to shop for the right gift and our money spent paying for it, make the gift that much more IMPOSSIBLE.


December 05, 2006

I am feeling needy, selfish, whiny and evil. I have been working hard. Hard as the word sounds. To me I deserve stuff, things for that. Not just the money, but the things. It is Christmas time and consumerism abounds. Everything is about buying. So I want. Want, want, want. I want to get my way. And I am feeling whiny and selfish so I think I deserve, deserve, deserve. Now. A foot stomp. My arms crossed. And a "how dare you," look in my eyes. I was raised never to ask for something. You wanted that cabbage patch doll, you needed to wait idly until you did something deserving. Or an occasion; birthdays or Chanukah. But if you were so brazen to ask, then forget about it. You can kiss those baby doll dreams goodbye. Whiny needy girls don't get things that way. A lesson true to so many a thing. Boys don't like whiny needy girls. I am sure your boss has no tolerance either. These girls, they need to work. Well I am working and now damn it I am whiny and needy. I want a shiny car with new tires. Make it red and fast. I want a big house with wood floors. An eat-in kitchen. Counter space. A fence. I want an evening at the 'bucs with caramel apple cider and a laptop. I want to join a gym again and feel the muscles in my legs on the treadmill. I want boots. Black, leather and to my knee. I want to keep whining.

I am going to keep working. So I believe I can keep whining. Whining and needing. Whining and wanting. Working for these things means I can whine for them. Right? I don't take them for granted. I own them. I worked for them. They are my dreams, my wants and I deserve them. Hold on tight, this is where the whiny girl becomes selfish. Stomps her foot again, re-crosses her arms and scowls. They are for me. I don't want to share them. It has come to a point where I am settled. Income flows in regularly. Security in a job. Security in an address and location. Too much time was spent in motion. A summer here, a semester away, a change of address. Loans, money, insufficient funds, ramen noodles. We are past that. Way, way past that. To a time and place that this is now a memory and not a flashback. This is the beauty, the attraction to this age and time. The thirties are known for it. I craved a time when I was in the same place. At 21 that was my heaven. No more goodbye's. One summer I prayed for it. Little did I know that stability was more stable then ever dreamed. I found it. Don't go throwing it away. I have worked hard to get here. Years, hours, money, time, you name it. Do. Not. Ruin. It. I am only going forward with it. I am moving towards more stability. A higher income. A savings account. IRA. Those are my initials. I can be found there. You want a new address. Fine, if it means a bigger one. Space for a life. A family. Oh and that shiny car. Otherwise, forget about it. You can kiss those baby doll dreams goodbye. I am not the girl for you. I am a whiny needy girl. Who has worked hard. I need more. Not steps backward. Not less. Not confusion. More stability. More, more, more.


Pass or Fail
December 04, 2006

I thought I was pregnant. He was a doctor. A brain surgeon. There was another, a Fourth of July rendezvous. I had two tests in my car, EPT's. Picked at a CVS in the middle of town. I had driven to the levy, not those, the ones by the Lake. Through City Park over to CC's in MidCity. Now it was August, four weeks later. I wasn't sure about him and I wasn't sure about his feelings toward me. There were nerves and a sense of anxious but I don't recall steamy. There was cool, at least in the air. There was no humidity, despite the time and place. Insted I recollect oak trees and a slight breeze. The heat didn't stick, though I stored a secret, that clung to me and was packaged in a plastic bag. I sat outside, iced coffee, MPRE practice questions. An upcoming test. A real one with multiple choices, bubbles, and pencils. We chatted; his notes, my books, our lives. I eventually agreed to sushi, with a stranger. To Frenchman. Dinner and rolls. Still a stranger. But less strange. We parted, early Saturday evening.

I pass the tests. That means negative, no lines. It's not someone else's problem. The week passes, with a phone call and plans. Later agreeing to meet, "I know a bar where surfers hang out." He was wrong, there are no surfers in Louisiana. Drinks surrounded by CBD yuppies and New Orleans drunks. At Lucy's there amongst surfboards, with plastic mermaids in our margaritas, he reports he " beats up gay people". There placed in between stories of Yale and patients. He has a flight to Houston. I am given a lucky break. We again part ways, still very much a stranger. This time very strange. I knew then I needed to give the other one a chance, he had not yet failed me.

I fail the test. The MPRE. I don't know it yet, but I could sense it. I knew I didn't pass that exam. I also knew to refuse his phone calls. How can you beat anyone up? Really, who is that evil? Gay people? Prep School, Ivy League and Medical School? Neurosurgeon? Ummm excuse me? That is digusting even. You failed all my tests. And this isn't even brain surgery. This one is a simple no-brainer. I can't even begin to imagine what is wrong with you. All that education and training. Seriously more breeding then two people combined. I guess you can't teach class or tolerance. Certainly can't pay for it. Who admits to it too, after three conversations with a stranger. I guess in some ways it is good to get out there. "Oh you beat gay people, well "I chew my fingernails". We all put our flaws out there to examine. Take it or leave it. See what you can handle. Me, gay beating is definitely a no.

I was given the chance the retake the test, a chance to pass. I later did. Using his tools and help. He helped me pass. While we will later fail, at that time I decided to give him a chance. This one. This one got no more chances. He failed. He is just strange. A true stranger. Fucked up and strange.


Happy Holiday
December 01, 2006

You think trying to do good deeds would be easy. But as they say, none go unpunished. Stepping out for a dog walk means missing the Salvation Army. No takes backs. Oh but they will reschedule. How kind. For Wednesday. How inconvenient. We want it out, now. Not Wednesday. “Well it can’t be that big,” he says with the kindness of a toad. It was a four minute break, from chocolate bark, toasted almonds and my clothes. Piles of them, folded, but out in the open. Like the futon we are trying to donate. All of it needs to be put away. Time off found me the beloved salt pepper shakers and sad news, this year is the last. All left were the snowmen. Also a pair, this time for Christmas, also as cute. All mine and in the nick of time. Now its Brandon, Kelly and Dylan, the treadmill and holiday cards. We are in Christmas mode here on my favorite December 1 day off. My holiday. A beautiful thing. Well aside from the Salvation Army. So much for their holiday cheer.


This is one girls tangy sweet take on live and her loves - food, family, friends, photography anything goes, afterall it is her world.

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