Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ask BB... or Tag, You're It

I swiped this from my friend Jaxie, who is quite a bit younger than me, but is such an old soul, and a kindred spirit.

1) What is your personal style like? I've blogged about my obsession with make-up, but somehow, I don't think that this is what this question is about. I wear lots of jeans; man, how I wish I could wear them everyday. I work in an office, so I'm business casual when I'm at work. Brooklyn (and most of the Eastern seaboard of the US) is in a cycle of HOT and HUMID right now so I've been wearing little smock dresses and sandals or white khakis and a tank/cardigan sweater set combo most of the time. On the weekends, I wear Bermuda shorts (sure, they're stylish but to be honest, they cover up my one-day-shy-of-40-year-old thighs) and a cotton tank top. I do adore the cooler/colder weather though. I love sweaters, boots (both super casual Uggs and my knee high leathers) all brought together by the perfect pair of jeans. See, I'm back to jeans again.

2) How did you meet your best friend? I have several besties that fit in different categories. I met M on the first day of first grade. We lost touch after high school; big girl jobs do get in the way of having a proper social life sometimes. We reconnected on Facebook and when we got on the phone for the first time in over 10 years, an hour and a half flew by *SNAP* just like that. I met L at summer camp. We were summer sisters for about 5 years. She's living out in Colorado and when I see photos of her son, I see that mischievous grin that L wore all those years ago when we were out and about, running around camp after lights out. I met A when she looked at the apartment on the first floor of my parents' house. It was so fabulous to have your bestie in the same house. We used to have breakfast together on weekend mornings and we didn't even need to get out of our jammies to do it.

3) Describe your family. I come from a long line of crazy people. There was an episode of Designing Women where the character of Julia Sugarbaker explained that in the South, people didn't hide their crazy relatives up in the attic or down in the basement; they kept them crazy people right there in the living room or in the parlor. That's my family. Some are really mentally ill and some are just eccentric. Regardless, they always make the holidays interesting and the added bonus is that they make me look really really normal. We all eat too much, we laugh too loud, we argue politics ad nauseum, but we're fiercely loyal and have been known to make ice cream from scratch in an old-fashioned churner.

4) What's been the best day of your life so far? That distinction goes to the day my daughter was born. I gave birth via c-section on a Friday evening (and it was the 13th, insert evil laugh here) and I didn't actually hold FRU until the next day at about 12 noon. The nurse put her in my arms and time stopped for a bit. I held FRU's little finger and gazed upon FRU's little face and actually felt my heart grow. I knew at that moment that life would never be the same and I was so right.

5) What are you afraid of? Snakes. I don't know why exactly, it's not like Brooklyn has a large native snake population. But I look at a snake and I get the chills (not the good kind) and gag. I can't help it. I know snakes are one of God's creatures, but if they could stay hidden, I'd really appreciate it.

6) Cocktail of choice? Ooooo, I love this question! I love Captain Morgan and Coke Zero, a good margarita (rocks, no salt), Absolut Brooklyn and ginger ale and a ice cold Italian Pinot Grigio or California Chardonnay. Not all at once though, that would definitely NOT be pretty.

7) Favorite movie and why? My all-time favorite movie is West Side Story. It's the musical version of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet made in 1961. It's the only movie to have 2 winners for Best Director. It's a combination of music, lyrics, joy, pain, anger and when you add Rita Moreno's Anita's purple dress that she wears to the dance, it makes things perfect.

8) If your life had a soundtrack, what are 5 songs that would be on it and when would they play? Scenes from an Italian Restaurant by Billy Joel because this song is just fabulous, Smile by Lily Allen because it reminds me of the trips with my girlfriends, Amazing Grace, the old southern hymn because it reminds me of my mother, Running on Empty by Jackson Browne because it reminds me of my father and Thank Heavens for Little Girls from the Gigi soundtrack because I used to sing this to FRU to put her to sleep.

9) Favorite book? Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry. It is THE quintessential Great American novel. Nuff said.

10) Favorite TV show? True Blood. I don't watch a lot of TV anymore, but I never miss an episode of TB. It's part fantasy, part thriller and part history and part soap opera.

11) Quotes you live by? "...for nature gives to every time and reason, some beauties of its own..." by Charles Dickens.

12) If you could have a dinner party with any 5 people, dead or alive, who would they be? My grandmothers, my daughter, Eleanor of Aquitaine and Gregory Peck. Legal disclaimer: this list is subject to change.

13) Pet peeves? Purposeful stupidity, arrogance, those with lots of money showing off to those who don't, people being famous for infamous things (eg: Paris Hilton and all of the Kardashians), drivers who don't get out of my way when I want them to, people who don't return calls/texts, and tomato sauce with sugar in it.

14) Have any pets? I have an almost 3 y/o standard poodle named Rosie nee Gracie. I rescued her a year and a half ago and still rush home to see her. If you've never had a dog, you don't understand the pure joy that exudes when his/her master comes home. It's like Christmas, your birthday and Easter, all at once, every single day.

15) If you could change any one thing about yourself, what would it be? I've learned over the years to not live in the past, wish I had better hair or expect to be treated the same way I treat others. Life is meant to be lived. The good, the bad and the ugly will all make their presence known when the time is right. I don't think I'd change all that much. Well, maybe I'd have better hair.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Things I Am Obsessed With...

I got this idea from another blog, but that writer's whole blog is about obsessions and I'm going to write about obsessions once. Well, maybe twice, but I promise to not write about obsessions until I'm over the things with which I'm currently obsessed, deal?

1- Books. I can't seem to stop buying books. My mom is a librarian so let's face it, this is a hard habit to justify. But hey, I only buy them with they're on the clearance tables, which is how I came to be in the possession of some really REALLY weird books. Ya know what, I'm not even going to try to justify this. I like books, just deal with it, k?

2- Mineral Makeup. I have horrible skin (and for those of you who have read old posts, I still occasionally break out with cystic acne) and the mineral makeup really helps stem the amount of crap that seeps into my pores on a daily basis. I have a few colors for when I'm pale and for when I'm tan. I think maybe I just really like the feeling of those fluffy brushes on my face.

3- Who Am I Kidding, I'm Obsessed With All Makeup. No really, I am. I ain't gonna try to justify this either.

4- Lindsay Lohan's Dying Career. She's like a car wreck, I can't help but gawk and point her ridiculousness out to others. How did such a promising talent get to the point where she had "Fuck You" painted on her middle finger for a court appearance?

5- The Duggars. OMG, seriously, Jim Bob/Bobby Earl or whatever your name is, you NEED to wear a condom occasionally. Don't hand me this line of crap about waiting until God has declared your quota. There's no way two parents can nurture the amount of children is takes to fill TWO baseball teams and it isn't the job of the older ones to take care of the little ones. Maybe Jim Bob/Bobby Earl or whatever his name is and his lovely wife with the badly grown out mullet are trying to not make up a sports team, but they're going for filling an ENTIRE stadium with their spawn.

6- My Mother's Retirement. Seriously, without exaggeration, we started talking about when my mother was going to retire in 1996. I think (fingers and toes are firmly crossed) the time has finally come. The only problem is that we don't have anything else to talk about. I guess we'll have to discuss our inner feelings or some lame shit like that.

7- Always Having Iced Coffee In The Fridge. I MUST have coffee and a shower every day to function. Nothing I say or do can be admissible in court if I haven't had both. But NYC's in the middle of a raging heat wave. So, I brew up my coffee double strength and then ice it down to there's always so caffeinated goodness to be had. It ain't as good as a steaming cup of coffee, but once my mascara is applied, I don't want it melted off by drinking a hot beverage on a hot day.

I think I'll stop there. I tend to get on a kick with something and then obsess about it till I can't stand it anymore.

For example, I LOVED the Twilight saga so the natural progression is to read The Host, which is also by Stephenie Meyer. I loved the Twilight books. I don't think Ms. Meyer is a brilliant writer, per se, but she is a wonderful storyteller. So, I get The Host. Whoa, I think I 'm going to live to regret the time it's taking me to complete it. It's a sci-fi/romance (which is a weird combination) about a alien (though in the book they're called Souls) that is implanted in a human body, but the host's (thus the title) memories and personality aren't completely erased. So the host and the human love the same man, all while trying to prevent a) more souls from being put in hosts and b) more hosts being controlled by foreign souls.

Yeah, I have a headache too. But I'm happy (and slightly embarrassed) to have less than 100 pages left till I can chuck this dopey book across the room in disgust.

Maybe I gave you something to think about. Or maybe you're just thankful to not be weird with odd tastes in books.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My First Post in About A Year...

I had an amazing experience last weekend and felt compelled to write. I guess it helped that I was with two friends who are both writers. So here it goes:.

Healing from Blue Eyes

Sometimes, I get so worn down that I just get used to it. It becomes my new “normal.” I go from task to task with no recollection of how or if I finished anything. Laundry gets washed folded and put away, groceries are purchased, beds get made…but there’s no joy or even conscious knowledge that these things are complete.

Then, one day, the sun shines again. This time, for me, it arrived the in the shape of Melissa and Jenee. These women are 2 of the Ya Ya group that I met through that online book club/message board 5 years ago. We met up in the home city of one of the group for 3 years running and then the recession hit, some of us got divorced, some of us moved…in other words, life got in the way.

Anyway, back to sunshine’s arrival. They rolled into town on a Wednesday night and time seemed to be suspended for 4 whole days. The clocks didn’t tick. The only sign that time was passing were the pictures Jenee took of the view from my porch. There was one with the sun shining and one with a risen moon.

You must understand one thing about Ya Ya’s. When they hug your body, they hug your soul too. You don’t want them to let you go because it feels good and honest and safe when they’re hugging you. You just know they will help you slay any dragons that have the audacity to show their faces at the party and then will pour you a cool cocktail and hand you a cool compress for your forehead.

And for me, on this trip, the fellow dragon slayers had blue eyes.

Jenee’s bright, almost turquoise, blues dance with mischief. They help you get the eccentricities of her family. They share her joy of her soulmate/husband and they share her sadness of being without children. They glow when she’s talking about her writing. They even cross a little when she’s had too much whiskey.

Melissa’s blues remind of that beloved pair of jeans that fit perfectly…you know, the ones that hug every curve. Her eyes had a sadness that I wish I could erase, but they are so so wise. They reflect her love of all things masculine. They giggle with you when you’re acting silly and they can absorb everything in a room in 3 seconds flat.

I hadn’t seen these women in about 3 years so we had lots to catch up on. Oh Dear Lord in Heaven, did we talk! We yapped every morning and into the afternoon before one of us said, “Ok, let’s get going before we spend the day in our jammies and switch from coffee to booze.” We talked about, and this list is by no means inclusive, food, kids, cocktails, men, dogs, cars, books, girlfriends, shopping, shoes, dresses, parents/families, simple pleasures, music, movies, Seinfeld, health issues, drug addicts in Union Square and coffee.

We sweat, we laughed till there were tears, there was one leg with a cigarette burn, there was drunk dialing to Atlanta, there were stinky subways, there were street feet, there were parking issues, there were what seemed like 18 wash clothes and 47 towels in my bathroom, we drank, we ate Nathan’s hot dogs and drank beers on the beach (the way nature intended), there were fireworks (both in my heart and in the sky), we met new Ya Ya’s, there was lots of Facebooking…in other words, there was lots of stuff that was good for my soul.

These women don’t judge me. They don’t make me feel bad for my bad choices, they celebrate my good choices. They were patient with my daughter when she was talking their ears off. They scratched and cuddled my dog. They took beautiful pictures.

They both had long drives home, but hopefully the bliss of the weekend carried them over the miles that now lie between us.

As I cleaned up after their departure, I was happy. I consciously finished the laundry, washed the dishes and did general straightening. I checked each task off my mental list of things-to-do. When all the chores were complete, I showered, sliced myself a tomato and poured EVOO and balsamic over it and ate it on my porch. I tried to imagine what that view of the bridge would be like for the person who has never seen it before. When I got into bed that night, I was so refreshingly sleepy, not out-of-my-mind bleary-eyed exhausted. I slept the sleep of the blissful. I held the laughter and the sistah-friends’ blue eyed love with me. And for the first time in a long time, even though I was alone, I wasn’t lonely.