Saturday, November 10, 2012

Storm musings.

Dear Sofa-

We have been through a lot these past couple of weeks.  With the hurricane and a snowstorm I have spent a lot of time with you, even more than the past. Reading, working, watching critically acclaimed films such as Magic Mike.

You comfort me. You support me. Sometimes I want to just spend the whole day and night snuggling with you. My cat adores you. You are machine washable.

Could this be?



Sunday, October 28, 2012


This is a long one, but it could never be long enough. It literally unbelievable to me that it’s been six months since I’ve lost my mom and over 2 years since she was diagnosed with Cancer. To say the recent past has been a hazy mess of a journey is the understatement of a century. It has felt like seconds, while also like an eternity. I feel like I haven’t spoken to her in years and simultaneously like I just hung up the phone with her a few seconds ago. I honestly don’t know what to feel most of the time other than cheated out of every second she isn’t here. But on the other hand I have to be fair and realize how lucky I am to have had her for as long as I did. I have thousands of memories of her that I relish daily.

I’ll never forget the time she thoughtfully told me it might be best if I revealed my personality slowly to my new colleagues once starting a new job. This statement was followed up with a lot of encouragement about my individuality and how everyone loves me, eventually. It was actually good advice that nobody else could give but a mom. Another time I received a call at work. Of course, it was my mom, as she is the subject of this post and also the only person that called me at work. She informed me she had picked out the name of my first child. It was Maclovin’.  I informed her she couldn’t steal a name from the movie Superbad for my unborn child.  We moved on.

I also used to love when I would call her at school and she was typically busy- since she was at work- so she would put me on the phone with her students while she gathered paperwork or answered other calls that came in while we were chatting. I knew all about little Harry, her triplets, Emily, and other little cherubs.  Some of her “regulars” needed daily medication, but many just wanted to talk. I totally get why.

My mom was also one to burst out into song at any given time. She was many things, but a strong singer she was not. My favorite tunes were from her camp days. There was one that went something like ”Chikum M sweet, hambone an fine.” I can almost hear her now singing in a key of her own and ending the tune with a little holler. She also had a quirky take on the pronunciation of certain words like karaoke (Kah-ray-oh-kay) and gigalo (Gigg-alo).  The discussion around Gigalos is a whole other story. 

Pronunciation aside, she was an excellent fake conversationalist. She could carry on a hypothetical scenario (one of my favorite activities) with me for impressive lengths of time. We once carried on a pretend interview with Oprah for our co-written novel for about an hour. We also drove from Cape Cod to Ithaca New York managing to surf the radio and listen exclusively to Pearl Jam’s remake of “Last Kiss” for the entirety of the ride. We could stretch things out.

I loved how she would invite herself to anything shamelessly.  Random Bar Mitzvah or wedding?  She was on that list faster than any other. She would have invited herself to any of my parties, if she weren’t the first person on my guest list already. I loved that she proposed a toast for every occasion and expected all to contribute. I loved that she preferred her food burnt, especially popcorn. I also loved that she stole Splenda from any single location that offered it. I found one in a purse pocket last night and felt the urge to both smile and cry. It was just so her. Splenda everywhere just in case she needed to sweeten something on the run.

In sum, I miss every thing about her. I know that had none of this ever happened we would argue and I would take her for granted, just like one does with the most precious people and things in life, unwilling to accept they could ever be gone. She was always the first to tell me. Life isn’t fair.  I just have to imagine that she is somewhere doing something great at some fabulous party she managed to sneak into. Or maybe just singing to her own tune with stolen Splenda. Wherever she is, those that are with her are lucky. Love you always woman. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ode to fall

Oh fall, how I love you so. I love your crisp air, and your autumnal glow. I love your crunchy leaves and the need for big sweaters. Pumpkin patches, apples, and red wine. What could be better? Not much I tell you, not much at all. It’s why I’m oh so happy to finally greet the fall.  

Not much makes me want to write poetry, but fall you make me want to write sonnets. I want to read them to you in candlelight. I want to take you on a horse drawn carriage rides. I want to take you on picnics, walks along the beach.  You make me believe in love, fall.

I love the way you make the air smell a little less like garbage and somehow… a little more like bacon. I love the feeling of change and the availability of miscellaneous gourds and miniature cornhusks. I love your haunted houses and your pumpkin lattes.  I love the presence of boots and black nail polish.  I love puffy vests and cashmere.

Basically fall, I love every single thing about you and will be relishing every second of you until it is time to transition into my next favorite season; Santacon. But until the season of Santa, I toast you fall. I raise my pumpkin ale in your honor and thank you for your perfection.

All my love,


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Break Up

The other day I decided to perform some routine browser history cleanup. I looked in horror as I saw a repeat website on the list that caused a serious flush. Like a woman who has caught her husband red handed with an unsavory computer habit I shut the laptop in a fury. Then I decided I must take action.

Dear Seamless Web-
It has come to my attention that my love for you is inappropriate.  This thing we have feels so good, but I know in my heart it is wrong. And pardon the cliché but it really isn’t you- it’s me. You were there for me these past few months in a way for which I can never thank you enough. Whenever I logged in, jonesing for a noodle or Pho you were there with a plethora of options.  You were efficient, fast, and consistent.

I am the one with the problem. I relied on you too heavily, called on you too often. A girl only needs so many noodles and I, have had more than my share. I wish I could just see you on occasion; it might hurt a little less. But, I don’t trust myself around you so I think this is goodbye. Maybe not for long, maybe not forever, but for now I bid you adieu.

And Seamless web. You’ll be just fine.  I was a steady source of income for you, but I am no fool. I know others call on you maybe just as frequently. And they most likely feel the same warm feelings as I.  You will continue to grow with more restaurants, app enhancements and whatever the future might hold. And I will be cheering you on every step of the way. And I am sure, one cold winter’s eve I will be back.

Until then with love,

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Things I learned on vacation

1. Apparently I have been pigeon toed my whole life and nobody told me- thanks Dad.
2. It is also seemingly far too common for 60-year-old men to date women less than half their age. If one more person thought my Dad and I were a couple I was going to rent the Goodyear blimp to announce this was in fact not the case.
3.  After 28 years of effort and pain- it is abundantly clear, I do not tan.
4. Wild horses are pretty neat, but mini horses are still the cutest.
5.  I will never be on island time. This lifestyle works if I am ever running late, but me waiting for anything, especially a cocktail is not the prettiest site.
6. If anyone recommends you got to a place called the Cash and Carry- I would advise against this plan.  Our mission was wine; this establishment offers a can of Goya Black beans, a slot machine, and the stench of desperation.
7. If you ever need a bug repellent stronger than Deet, bring me. I think an inch of my skin is uneaten, my Dad, unscathed.  I am available for sunsets, jungle tours, and beach combing missions.
8. Keeping that in mind, nature is amazing and inspiring and infinite, but my one true love will always be A/C.
9. All that said, the people of Vieques seem pretty happy. If you haven’t heard from me in a while I may have purchased the shell truck for sale on the side of the road. I may or may not have left my resume with its owner and I am clearly qualified.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Love is all you need.

This Labor Day weekend was one of much introspection. While attending a wedding of dear friends hosted in our College town, there was much nostalgia and reflection. There was also a lot of commentary on the fact that apparently college females no longer wear clothing, but alas mostly the former. We laughed, visited some favorite haunts, and danced to the songs we have for years.

It was one of those crossroads where the past was very present. Through photos, favored stories, and inside jokes we revisited the moments that have forever impacted our lives. The weekend was about love, but to me of course it was also about friendship. Walking down College Ave was a unique moment, for it wasn’t one that was filled with desire to go back in time. It was one where I was grateful for all of the moments I have had and friends I have made, but it reconfirmed my position in the present.  Thankfully this position is one with many of those that I was with back in College by my side.

Additionally, I am grateful to greet fall: my favorite season. Fall is the time when NYC begins to smell less like sewage and more like air. It is when said air is filled with possibility, perhaps because it becomes dry enough to actually perform daily tasks without profuse sweating. And where I can once again pretend I will go apple picking. One thing that wasn’t left behind once my schooling ended is the school year calendar.  I am happy to take with me the things from the past I favor most and say goodbye to summer.  Cheers to love and cheers to friendship. And here is to a school year that outperforms the last. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Oh Portland

As a sporadic symptom of ongoing anxiety, I tend to over prepare for the possibility of becoming homeless. I often times will think to myself or comment aloud when I see suitable shelter, food options, or places I would shower if I am ever in need. In fact I had  recently selected the perfect alcove within some scaffolding across the street from my office to be my homeless nook, which has since been removed, but I digress. My newest discovery in the art of being sans home is Portland, Oregon.

During a recent business trip I have discovered this would be the perfect haven for those finding themselves dwelling within the streets. First and foremost: climate. I was only there for 3 days, but it was perfectly warm and dry, which is a plus when you are sleeping outside and don’t have regular access to an ice bath. Secondly, there are lots of trees and grass. I would just need to invest in a tent and I am pretty sure I could sustain myself on many a grassy knoll throughout the city. Other important factors include; a multitude of eating and drinking establishments and affable residents leaving said establishments, which favorably influence the possibility for leftovers and friendly banter.

Overall I think I would enjoy living on the streets of Portland more than most cities. The overarching plus is definitely the cleanliness factor. It appears that composting, free range hipsters keep a clean city and although I would prefer my heavenly bed, if I were forced to the streets, for now I would choose Portland’s.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Not to get political but...

It's been a while. I was going to blog about what makes Portland, Oregon so great. Or why music is so important. Until suddenly, I was under political attack by my Parents’ (now my Dad’s) friends. Why would I be voting for whom I plan to vote in November? Not surprisingly, I had an answer and they did not. I do not need to get into for whom I plan to vote. It is obvious since everyone who reads this knows me. The thing that scares me is that so many people do not plan to vote.

I beg of you. Please vote. I clearly would love for you to vote on my side, but mostly I want people to stand behind his or her beliefs. Tonight I was asked why I planned to vote for my candidate. And sadly it was in an aggressive versus a conversational manner. I have an interesting stance. I have been given a lot.  I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth by any means, but I have not had to ask for much. I have received an Ivy League education and a summer home, luxuries most do not receive. And my parents worked extremely hard, from the ground up to give them to me.

Did they give their blood, sweat, and tears to make this happen? Definitely. Were there government programs in place to help them along the way to help them? Absolutely. I am for the people. I have always been for the people. And I will always be for the people. I will never agree that American citizens do not need assistance to help them sustain themselves. Of course I believe in Capitalism. If you work hard you should be able to get ahead. But everyone is not given a level playing field and I believe our government is what can help America make us the country that everyone talks about. The place where you can achieve the American Dream.

I believe in America. I don’t believe in hypocrisy. Please think about what matters most to you and who you truly think can make that happen.  And most of all remember cocktail party etiquette and leave the politics, religion, and money behind.

Monday, June 11, 2012

C'est la vie. C'est la guerre.

In an effort to reintegrate our Catholic faith into our lives, my family has built a bond with a priest in CT. He has offered much solace during an otherwise hectic and tumultuous time. One statement he made that has provided much comfort is that we should look for signs of my mom’s spirit around us. I have found her to be present in many ways from rainbows to constellations and  acts of coincidence and fate.  I realized I took it a bit too far when I became convinced her spirit ate my bacon on Sunday. But I miss her, I can’t help it. And maybe that means I am looking to hard, but  I am starting to realize that she won’t be around to do the things that used to make me laugh or maybe even cause annoyance.

I’ll never forget the time my mom helped me move into an apt in Florida and then we decided to check out a local hotel bar with an alleged amazing rotating view of the city. However, when we arrived it became evident this was now event space and longer a functioning bar. We discovered this as an employee informed us of such upon our entrance, however of course my mom wanted to check it out. It turned out to be a Native American tribal reunion at which each attendee was fully decked out in traditional dress and clearly of Native American descent. Although we were two pale white ladies in shorts and Capri pants,  she was convinced we could just blend in and “enjoy the music”. Of course I was humiliated, but humored the same and secretly had a blast jamming out to  a super zealous flautist. I loved that she was up for anything. As always, she was flexible where I was tentative.

She would often say “c’est la vie, c’est la guerre”, amongst several other random sporadic French statements, left over from the French nuns of her childhood. I believe the loose meaning is “such is life such is war.” She rolled with the punches, even the final punch in the most graceful possible way. Flexibility was always her way,  where I am unwillingly ruffled by the twists and turns life invariably produces.

Another amazing trait possessed by my mom was her desire to listen. I am not saying she always succeeded, there were times when she would inevitably have to tune out the 10th time in a row I called crying about a rodent or pest or the in depth description of a mundane task performed at work. However, mostly she had the rare desire to hear about your day, savor it, and most likely ask you to repeat it to her friends later if she found it amusing. This would drive me crazy, as I would fear the joy she received from my tales wouldn’t carry over to others and often times I would balk at her request. Needless to say I wouldn’t mind repeating things a few more times. I miss you and love you, these hydrangeas are for you woman.  

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Is entrepreneurship dead?

A few weeks ago, as I strolled along the beach in CT with my father, we encountered a young girl handing out flyers for her lemonade stand down the street. I read the sheet and was immediately outraged. Her “Lemonade Stand” would be open that day from 1-3- or maybe longer. 

“Maybe longer??” I shouted into the wind. “Where has the work ethic gone?” I spewed in disgust to my father. We joked about this for a few paces more. Would she be donating the money to a local charity I hope- we teased- due to her swanky address. 

But seriously- my childhood enterprise was way better than this lazy little sprite, with her fluctuating hours. It all began with two scrappy girls and an idea. An idea that we could pick up shells and other treasures from the beach and the world would buy them from us at our home storefront. We called it The Shell Stand and after a few successful years we expanded into the restaurant world with the launch of the ME muffin café.

The  premise behind the ME (aptly named after Marissa and Emily) Muffin Café is that we would scrape together $1 a week essentially to purchase a box of Jiffy Muffin Mix, which my mom would then bake for us, and then we would resell them to her and my business associate’s parents on a daily basis.  We also sold them coffee they made. We worked long hard hours, for less than minimum wage and I think it truly was one of the pivotal experiences in my life that shaped me into the person I am today.

Is this drive and determination lost on the current generation? Perhaps I should start a mentoring program… or we may all be at a loss for lemonade.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Reality Check

Have you ever sat back and compared your pre-planned future with its present reality? I am in constant awe of the passage of time and how seemingly little things change, while all the while my reality has been astronomically altered. Did I think this is what my life would have been like as a doe eyed lass? Did I realize I wouldn’t actually be a famous actress, veterinarian, or astronaut? No, but I also never received any sort of psychic certification so I kind of had that coming.

As what I like to call a “practical dreamer”, I don’t tend to look too much on the past, I am more of a forward thinker, however I find myself in a state of contemplation of late. Although I may not be spending my time sans gravity ,as I may have dreamed at one point, I also never could have predicted I would have a life filled with such amazing individuals, some of whom have been a part of it for many years and many monumental moments.

Although I need to work harder at taking advantage of all of the opportunities that surround me, especially in the amazing city that is New York, I do feel extremely lucky. I live in one of the world’s greatest cities in an apartment I can almost afford. I have even explored many cultural happenings such as purchasing illegal margaritas in the outlying sections of Central Park during Summer Stage, posing as art dealers at the Frieze Art Fair (mostly for free champagne), and most importantly traversed to Brooklyn for several delights involving Tikis, Discos, and other delicious treats. If it is at all possible, I will uncover new jewels I am sure.

In other news due to airport security and increased internet privacy rumors I have determined to phase out my usage of the phrase da bomb, however I am replacing it with a more universally friendly I be jammin’. Neither really make much sense in my day-to-day conversation, however life always seems a little better with ill placed out of date jargon. Peace. Out.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Things My Mom Taught Me

A few years ago I had a blog. I never really wrote about much and I basically only had one reader, my mom. Actually I had a few more based on knowledge attained by nerding out to some Google analytics., but regardless, I stopped writing for a while. I was having a hard time finding life to be amusing enough to warrant commentary. Now, having recently lost my main reader and supporter, I would like to remember her here and often and resurrect my once beloved blog. To be succinct, my mom was the best. A lot of people may consider their mom their best friend and I am definitely in that camp, but she far surpassed that role. Beyond giving birth to me, for which I am truly grateful, she was my number one supporter and fan. She was my motivator, my therapist, my teacher, and my stand up comedian. She had an absolutely amazing ability to know exactly which hat to wear when I needed it just by the tone of my voice. So I called often. It may not be the coolest admission, but I have always preferred my mom’s company (and Dad’s but this post is about Mom) to many others and before she got sick they were always on the invite list to each of my swinging gatherings. My mom was also amazingly quirky, while simultaneously getting along with almost every person she encountered. Below are some of my favorite Mom-isms that I will plan bestow upon my own offspring. I share them here so that you may perhaps glean something from her knowledge as well.

1.“Life is not fair.” – This one is painfully true, but always allowed me to keep it somewhat real. Before things got real…

2.“Find your passion.” A realist, my mom always pushed me to realize that life is too short not to follow your passion.

3.“The writing is on the wall” Said realism allowed my mother to offer complete clarity on any given situation. “It is pretty black and white- if he doesn’t bring you soup when you have mono, the writing is on the wall. He’s just not that into you.” She could and should have written that book and movie.

4.“If you don’t want to go out, just tell your friends you have a bad period.” This mentioned in a previous post and was some of the most hilarious and awkward advice I have ever received, however my mom was always super helpful in getting me out of things I didn’t want to do. And usually without using the aforementioned suggested embarrassing excuse.

5.“Okay what really happened?” My mom was quite perceptive and knew I tend to twist the truth to cast a more favorable glow over myself at times. She never would take a biased side and pretty much always knew when I was in the wrong. Pure honesty was always delivered. This went with clothing shopping as well.

Above all, my mom made me the person I am today, and more important still, the person I want to become. I am sure more of this sage wisdom will surface throughout the days and months, as I continue to remember my mom and I am sure everyone has some gems from their own family. Enjoy them, savor them, and remember them.