Cramming.

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I feel like I’m 16 again. Or 17. Maybe 19.

I have to read this book before 7pm tomorrow night. No, it’s not for a class I’m taking. There’s no exam or final that I need to prep for. Just a fun book club meeting. A meeting in a wine and paint shop.

So really, this book will be like, the 3rd thing we pay attention to. In my mind it’ll be Wine, Paint, Book. Or maybe Paint, Wine, Book. It totally won’t be Book, Paint, Wine – I know that much for sure! But I still want to read it. It’s about a saucy girl’s childhood and it’s full of bad words and bad deeds. Aren’t you jealous of my book club. My book club is better than your book club.

So it’s not really like college. Or like being 16, 17, or 19 – since I didn’t have wine until I turned 30…ahem.

All my free time before and after work will go to this book. As soon as I’m done with this blog. And except the time I’ll spend watching my recorded shoes. And then ofcourse I need to go to bed by 10. But other than that – I’m all over this book.

Instagram insomnia

It’s 10:38pm. I have to wake up and go to work in about a minute. I should be tucked in and sleeping, deep in my REM cycle. But I’m wide awake, going into the rabbit hole known as Instagram. It’s evil. It’s wonderful. It compares only to the black hole of time known as Pinterest.
Lately I’m knee deep in NatGeo on Instagram. You know those annoying magazines that were all over your elementary school library? Turns out – it was full of the coolest stuff ever, photographed by even cooler people. Who knew?
Here’s a blue whale in Hawaii with a local diver, the Grand Tetons in their glory, a stare down by a young bear on the Denali mountains, a sea walrus tribe waiting for a baby to be born, a turtle in French Polynesia and an original point of view of the Pope. Take that People Magazine!
Ok. I need to go to bed. Right after I look at 1,000 more photos. All photo cred goes to the gods at Nat Geo.

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This land is your land…

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Sometimes happiness is a giant pinecone.
Let me explain.
We went to a local flea market today and I came home with three of these beauties. I am told that they are from the Redwood Forest. Just saying Redwood Forest makes me want to break out in song. Thanks for nothin’ Woody Guthrie. So how do I know they are really from CA? That they are real? I don’t know. Maybe they are real.
Maybe.
Or maybe they are from China. Or from Pottery Barn.
I dunno. Truthfully I don’t care. I like them. They make me happy. Look at the cute little East Coast pinecone next to it. A midget compared to it’s West Coast – pumped up cousin.
Hope you had a great weekend full of giant pinecones too.

Lotions and Potions/2014

I know I haven’t done a product post in a bit but wanted to share what I’m into lately. I’m a coconut freak – always have been. I love to eat it, drink it, smell it, you get the point. I’m the Bubba Gump of coconut.  It started when my mother used to slather my hair in coconut oil when I was little. It’s all the rage now, but back in the 80’s in Harrisaburg, PA, I was a freak show. She only made me do it at night and would let me wash it out in the morning, but it still felt strange. Back then all things from the East were foreign. Chicken Tikka Masala wasn’t the National Dish of England and Mindy Kaling wasn’t on TV making Indian girls look funny and cool. We were on our own.

Now I think my mother was a revolutionary. Did she know then that she was paving the way for stylists everywhere? I don’t think so. There’s a ton of cool things you can do with coconut oil. I hear people are even swishing it in their mouths to get all the bad juju out. I’m not so sure about all that. I do think it makes a really great skin/hair softener. And I’m obsessed with it as a make-up remover.

A few months ago my girl asked me to buy a jar of pure coconut oil. She had heard it was good for your hair (yep) and she wanted to try and use it to take off her waterproof mascara. It worked so well, she was hooked. Then I started sneaking it from her bathroom too. I use it every night to “take off my face”. I love that saying. It makes me feel chic. As if I’m a 50s starlet unveiling her night-time routine. One of my favorite scenes in a movie is Fay Dunaway taking off her make-up and cleaning her face in Mother Dearest. I know the movie wasn’t about make-up removal rituals, but this is what I remember people. This is also why I can’t write movie reviews. My focus is off.

Coconut Oil! Try it. Just remember, it’s oily. Didn’t want you to be surprised. It also works on dry heels. Just put a towel under your feel after applying so you don’t ruin your fancy sheets.

Next obsession of late: Roc everything. But especially Roc Multi-correction creme. I’ve been using this stuff under my eyes and on my lids (which is what it’s meant for) and around my mouth because I have skin discoloration there (which it’s not meant for but it works so why not. I may grow an extra limb later, but dems the brakes).

Here’s visuals of what I’m using. Any brand oil will do as long as it’s “pure”. I liked this one because it was the only one in the supermarket the day I was trying to buy it for her. It was either this or go to another store. I decided right there and then that this was one of the best coconut oils on the market!

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Worst. Soup. Ever

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I should have known by the name – All Bean. Like they needed to get rid of all their beans but none were good enough for one type of soup. They dumped all of them into a Vitamix and served it up. It should have read – All Bean No Flavor.
I usually have such great luck with soup at work. Really. They do a good job. Which is why I always buy a big bowl. It’s filling. It’s usually full of veggies. It’s usually awesome.
You see all the black specs? That’s 9 packets of pepper. 9! And I won’t even tell you the amount or salt I added. No dice. Still no flavor. The soup sucked.
As you can tell, I ate most of it anyway. I’m picky like that.
As I tell my kids, no big deal. It’s not my last meal. I’ll eat again in a couple of hours. I just thought you should know.
#firstworldproblems

I’ll sleep when I’m dead

Is that not the funniest thing you’ve ever heard? I was whining to my boss about going to a concert on a work night (Tom Petty!). Complaining about losing a few hours of sleep. Ignoring the fact that I’m still young and it shouldn’t kill me to do spontaneous things. This is what she said to me. You’ll sleep when you’re dead. Genius. She said it’s what her mother says to her sometimes. This is my new motto! No more pajamas at 7! No more 12 hour sleep cycles! I’m going to live life!
But then she also said another phrase I love,home is where the pants aren’t. Indeed. I think I like that better. Good night!

Here’s a blurry photo of the concert. It was a blast.

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The Stuff That Sticks

Like millions of other people, I was working and living in New York City on September 11, 2001. Everyone has a 9/11 story. Riding into work this morning, my train car was full of people talking about that day. Like a train full of veterans that lived to tell about it. Many of them had lost co-workers or family, but today, they talked about the little things. The weather that morning. People helping each other. The police walking around Penn Station with their fire arms out and on the ready.

Their conversation reminded me of the days and months and years following the sudden death of my mother-in-law. My husband, his sister and I would talk through every moment that led up to her passing over and over again. We’d be eating together, driving together, you name it – and all of a sudden one of us would start talking about how all the events unfolded. It was a devastating loss but talking about it, somehow dissecting it with each other was good for us. From the outside it must have sounded depressing and morbid, or like we were adding salt to the wound. But really it helped the healing. And it felt so nice to do it with people who wouldn’t hurry you through thinking about that day into the,” she’s in a better place” or “you’ll be ok soon”. Mourning slowly and long is ok. Mourning in bits and pieces is ok.

9/11 and the weeks that followed are both a blur and extremely clear in my head. Here’s what goes through my head today about that day:

  • I walked into the building at work not having watched the news. My boss, now one of my best friends, was coming in too. She said,” Did you hear what happened?” We went upstairs, grabbed another co-worker, and went to a company coffee shop – called Java City I think. They had two TVs broadcasting live. A tower on fire. News channels hadn’t expected to show people jumping out of windows so we saw everything. All three of us were crying. I think everyone in that shop was crying.
  • Not sure how/when we came back down to our floor, or if the other tower had been hit at that point. TVs were brought into a small conference room on our floor and people were either frantically calling home or watching the footage.
  • Here’s a totally wacky thing. There is a comedian named Jason Mantzoukas who’s quite famous now. But on that day, he worked across from our floor and did presentation building. He was the funny dude who would help put together our agenda packets, etc. He’s the one that helped bring the TV into the conference room, and I remember spending part of that horrible day with him. When I see him on Parks and Recreation or in the movies – all I can think of, is him sitting with us and crying.
  • My husband stayed behind at work (a choice he regrets now) and I walked home alone, with a hundred other people. We were like zombies shuffling out of buildings and onto the streets.
  • The next day was surreal. It was the most surreal day I have ever been through. No planes. No cars. No buses. All the stores were closed. The streets were empty uptown. Downtown was still a war zone. There was almost no one outside.
  • Everyone that didn’t lose someone in the city was huddled around a TV watching the coverage. President Bush came on and threatened retaliation. It was exactly what we needed to hear.
  • One of the most miraculous things was that my daughter was only 3. Completely, happily, oblivious to all the chaos and manic fear. I have never been so thankful for bedtime routines and snack time.
  • One of our events a few months later was at a production of The Producers, which had opened that April in NYC. It was one of the first nights after 9/11 that I remember being in a big room full of people that were laughing and joyous.

So ofcourse I’ll “Never Forget” the loss. But I remember so many other things too.

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