We Are Friends of Gold

Sickly Sweet
May 9, 2011, 11:57 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Today, I brought my engagement ring to a jeweler friend to have it sized.

Two very cool things happened: one, she had some really great ideas about ways to either reset the stone, which had originally been the fiance’s mother’s, so that it could go seamlessly with a wedding band of my choosing; and two, she saw the worse-for-wear ring I had brought along as a replacement until I get THE properly fitting ring back, and decided to do something about its sorry state. Turns out, what I thought was costume jewelry (having been passed down to me from my step-grandfather’s mother’s jewelry box stuffed full), was actually just very dirty 14k and aquamarine. I literally thought it was brass with maybe a clear plastic stone, faceted glass if I was lucky. All it took was a toothbrush, some water and a little soap, and it’s like a brand new ring! Ladies, she says – clean your jewelry!

I thought it was especially funny, given the task at hand, that on my subway ride down to her studio, I came across more gross PDA than I’ve seen in a long while. Teenagers leaning against polls giving each other hickeys, incessant kissing in the midst of tightly packed crowds, and the exchange of a single rose.

Love is in the air.


Used to Be
May 3, 2011, 9:43 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It was my birthday not so long ago, and my mother brought me a box of mementos. Little things I never would have guessed still existed, they were from so long ago. Photos from photo booths, ticket stubs, letters from friends. I always find these things so funny, because it’s so easy to tell when you had ‘curated’ the small meaningless and meaningful collection. Based on who and what was important enough to make it into the box, it is like a portrait of who you were at that moment, when the box became full and you moved on. Forgot about it.

Grover Whalen and the Time Capsule - from NYPL

I was happy to get this box, especially so, not because anything in it was at all precious to me anymore – the value of the contents of the box would have added up to $.28 if I was lucky. But what it did was prompt me to reach out to a couple of the people who I’d been close to then – friends across the country who I hadn’t seen since we were awkward prepubescent children, trying to figure out who we were. I’ve become who I am, and I’ve seen who my friends have become thanks to the magic of Facebook, but it was entirely superficial. We hadn’t said so much as ‘hello’ to one another on there. So I sent an email, one written as though we’d just talked days before, one assuming the closeness we had had, and it was received so well! Everyone else cares just as much. A little effort is all that’s needed to find that out.

Eat Your Greens
April 2, 2011, 4:39 am
Filed under: Food

Despite my attempts to be a domestic goddess, from time to time things get away from me, and I let them, and I end up without a clean dish in sight and a kitchen counter piled high with dirty ones waiting to be washed. Now is just such a time. I think I can keep it up for a few weeks, but then it just has to naturally ebb and flow. Maybe it makes me appreciate the cleaner days that much more?

Still, my inability to keep up with the dishes aside, I have been making some food lately that is worthy of note. In particular, I was proud of this little tart on puff pastry.

Had I made the pastry myself it would truly be awe-inspiring, but the packaged stuff is so good, so reliable, and much easier to work with than you’d expect. I once used it to make black bean, cheddar and banana empanadas that I was sure were going to turn out a terrible mess in the oven but instead were sweet little packages of interesting flavors melding together and the friends I was serving them to loved them. I also made a puff pastry wrapped baked brie with jam, which did become a mess, but it was a delicious mess that was devoured. This tart was just a late lunch for me and the man, and again, I was warning him the whole time I made it that we might have to go out for sandwiches in the end, but it came out nearly picture perfect! There was, what seemed like too much filling, but after seeing how well it all set in the oven, I wouldn’t be afraid to lump all of it on there next time. The cheese isn’t going anywhere. I also really want to experiment with using other vegetables and fillings.

Next on my cooking experimentation is adding this guy to my egg repertoire. I am, though, trying to get back into my health kick that I had going a few weeks ago, and all of this egg and cheese business doesn’t exactly help. But, so easy, and so subtly weird, which is exactly the kind of food I love.


Better Bright and Bubbly – on to the B’s, see?
February 3, 2011, 3:57 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

So I had my super happy post, and all of a sudden I felt all self-concious, like I’m not supposed to be that happy, or at least not publicly. I consider myself an optimist no matter what. Even when I’m bummed and mopey, I always expect things to get better. But I know that a good chunk of the population doesn’t so much love that. It’s not even so much that the general population doesn’t like positivity, but they connect on shared misery. I got self-concious and stopped writing. I was worried about who might see what I’m saying and if it would make me seem silly, girlish, daft, naive.

And I can’t seem to get away from it, either. I wanted to keep writing somehow, so I started thinking about a book to write. Just a shot in the dark let’s see what comes out of this little bit every day kind of thing. All I could think about, in terms of plot, is the different ways of looking at the world, optimism vs pessimism. It seemed like this total soap opera to me, I wouldn’t be able to turn away I’m sure if I watched the story I was proposing unfold. But as I was nailing down characters and all that, I saw more and more of my own story, mother-daughter relationships imploding, clashes of minds and this subtle emotional drama stuff happening. It didn’t seem interesting enough anymore. It was like my stab at creativity was turning more ‘dear diary’ than ‘dear Oscar.’ Not that I have any illusions of winning an Oscar.

Anyway, I’m back to say I’m going to just go ahead and keep writing here. And I’m going to stop telling myself that happiness dripping all over everything is not ok. I’ve already relegated much of my drab Winter wardrobe to the top rack in the closet even though the weather man won’t give me the go-ahead for that move for another month or two. A certain man whose opinion I listen to closely said something to the effect of some of those colors I’m drawn to looking like they belong to someone who hates their parents. And I don’t. And while I stand by mustard and ochre and all of the colors between, I see what he means. Not to mention I’m SO sick of this cold dreary weather. As with most things in life, I’m deciding that it is heading into Spring and so it will be.

The exciting thing about my cheery disposition and my attempt at brightening my wardrobe is, I now have a way to document it! I don’t intend to make this into a personal style blog by any means. but all of this rambling would be so much more fun with pictures, no?

Now all I have to do is learn how to use the darned thing.

Later, kids!

A Long Journey
January 9, 2011, 6:17 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This city can sure be tiring. Even coordinating how to get from one promised meeting to the next, which makes sense to do first, how much you can realistically carry from one to another before you have to give up and cab it all back home only to head out again… Just the thinking and the mapping and the planning makes me yawn.

The next few days will be filled with too much schlepping, but it’s all in the name of Living in New York. I’ll have to handle it. And I can, because I’m a New Yorker. It’s what we do.

Yesterday on one such schlep, a crawling subway ride from deep in Brooklyn to Carnegie Hill (an hour and a half at least!), I heard a funny exchange between three teenagers. It’s these little snippets of life that make 20-something subway stops between two destinations a little bit tolerable. It was two dudes, one girl. One dude had slipped off into a headphone-induced meditation. The other chatted animatedly with the girl. She got more and more cozy with him, slinging her long legs over his at a certain point, casually, like she didn’t notice she had done it. They kept talking. Then, she said “Oh, hey, total change of topic. What’s up with that skin on male parts? You know. That extra skin?” The sudden mention of his member had made the talker suddenly stutter. He was lost for words. What was she asking exactly anyway? It was like verbal diarrhea on her part – her mind had gone there and she just wanted to talk about sex but didn’t think to make it smooth. She was already embarrassed, but nudged her friend with the headphones – he would know what she was talking about. “What was that you told me about, circumcision? What was the stuff called?” “Foreskin” “Right, foreskin…” And, the conversation was over. A new total change of topic. Ah the flirtations of youth.

A Skip to My Step
January 8, 2011, 2:59 am
Filed under: Personal | Tags: , , ,

I’m really just loving life these days. Once you start thinking this way, it’s just infectious, you start thinking this way more and more.

It took me a while to decide to love life. I went through the teen angst and melodrama that was normal, but sometimes I wonder if I was harder on myself than I needed to be, than even the angstiest of the angsty can be. At a certain point I started to ease up and let things happen, embrace cycles and processes, look to the good in situations, and decide to find joy just because I could.

I don’t want to be misleading – I was always kind of happy-go-lucky and easygoing. My mother said she could have raised 100 of me, she tells me that all the time, each time like it’s the first time. But there was this melancholy, I guess during the teen years, and I guess looking back on it from my current happy perch makes it look more dismal than it really was. But that is the truth, and that makes me even more grateful to be as happy today as I am.

Anyway, I feel a bit as though I had to learn to be happy. I was always optimistic, hopeful. But not necessarily happy. I kept the optimism, and the hopefulness helped me find sources that told me that Life is Good, and suddenly I could see that it’s a choice! And what a choice to make! Sometimes my heart just swells as I walk down a street with the sunshine smiling down between the buildings at just the right angle, or when I see someone being kind or a small child making a mess of themselves with something sweet, or when I hear the perfect song at just the perfect moment. It’s cheesy and cliche stuff, but it’s beautiful and there’s romance to it and I’ll take that over self-pity any day. When you see that the small things add up to make the bigger picture, anything seems possible because all it takes is a couple of parts to make a whole, and when you believe it with the core of your soul, those anythings-that-seem possible actually happen and suddenly your life is a musical.

This is all to say, as I started with, that I am just loving life! Love it! And there are few places where you can shout it out to the world without a cocked eyebrow or a pshaw or two. But this here is one place where if I don’t say it I feel like I’m holding back on you! So, enjoy.

A Picture and What It’s Worth
January 5, 2011, 5:10 pm
Filed under: Creativity, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

You may have noticed that thus far, this blog is without images. I know I can pull from elsewhere and link back to them, I probably will before too long. But I’ve been itching to make some images of my own, to document my life, to create good quality content that is worthy of someone’s time.

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, and I tend to agree. And I don’t know if it’s having seen all of the blogs I’ve been reading for years get more and more photo-rific, my background in art, or what, but I won’t stand for sub-par. I’m probably setting myself up for a mini-disaster, saying I’ll only accept the best. Because if I get a camera and start snapping away, and I don’t like what I see… I don’t want to declare myself useless and the camera a waste of money and give up. I’m not generally the type to give up, so fingers crossed this won’t happen, but I’ll make this a note to myself to be easy on a beginner photographer.

Thoughts on the best DSLR to get? I had done some research at one point and settled on the Canon Rebel XS or XSi based on their price vs. quality and their compatibility with lenses of many types and sorts. Sound good? Am I right or did I misinterpret what I read?

Until soon,