Chapter XVII

because you never know someone from the very beginning


December 2006

The Obligatory 2007 Resolutions List

I like lists, and the New Year is a great time for lists.  The obvious list of one of resolutions.  So here, after a stream of consciousness, is my list of 2007 resolutions:

  • Play more backgammon
  • Do more crossword puzzles (good for the mind, and now that I am almost 40…well, 35…I need to work on the mind)
  • Talk to my cats less (forget that, I love my cats and if I am a freak for talking to them, so be it)
  • Work out more.  Yeah yeah, but it has to be there.  Maybe the right one is Run a Half Marathon
  • Eat more food that comes from my own kitchen
  • Read a new magazine every month (I picked up National Geographic the other day and was excited – what a cool publication.)
  • Care more about what matters
  • Focus more on a few things where I can go deep, rather than focusing on many and not doing any particularly well
  • Be less of a crazed bitch ready to yell at an innocent tourist gaping stupidly at the billboards in Times Square, standing in my WAY as I JUST TRY TO GET MY COFFEE AND GO TO WORK!!!!  Damn, failing already.
  • Organize my pictures, and take more pictures!  I love the idea of a visual archive of life.
  • Take advantage of NYC’s cultural offerings.  It is sad and pathetic that in the past year the most intellectual thing I have done is go to the movies – and see blockbusters, at that.  Why do I live here, if I am not taking advantage of what NYC has to offer?
  • Eat more sweet potatoes and beets.  Because they are good AND good for me!
  • Less IMing
  • Thank people

(this list is getting long but this is fun!  I think I will keep going…)

  • Smell the roses
  • Review Russian vocabularly.  I used to be pretty good.  It’s a crying shame I speak no languages other than English.
  • Go back to Paris
  • See and talk to friends more often
  • Read at least three biographies…ideas, Martin Luther King, Jr.; Winston Churchill; Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Go rock climbing, even if it’s a man-built wall.  I did this once in Utah and loved it. 
  • Less stuff that sucks.  More stuff I love.

More Dusting, Less Cancer!

And people say sexism is dead.  Oh contraire, friends, OH CONTRAIRE!  Check out this officially sponsored pile of crap.  I mean, this must have been sponsored by the Get Women Out of the Workplace Society, in this case, otherwise known as the journal entitled Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention.  You have to read it to believe it, but the title is (and I kid you not), "Housework Cuts Breast Cancer Risk".

Oh, you gotta laugh.  Let’s not focus on researching a real cure or prevention, let’s spend more dough on SWIFFERS to avoid cancer.

Something to Think About

"Anyone can become angry — that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way — this is not easy." – Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics

A Week in the Life:

  • Sat next to an Olympic gold medalist at a dinner.
  • Ate at the best restaurant in NYC with my husband, and did it our favorite way…at the bar!  We love eating dinner at the bars of wonderful restaurants.
  • Celebrated Christmas with sister and husband.
  • Partied with Cubans for a holiday soiree!
  • Traveled to San Francisco and Los Angeles, and then back to NYC.
  • Reconnected with an old friend (not really RE-connected, I just had not seen her since September).  She is in the midst of writing 5, yes FIVE, books.
  • Wrote all of my holiday cards on a plane.  Had three people tell me I was making them feel guilty.  Marveled at how telling it is that I wrote them on American Airlines and mailed them from California.
  • Finished my Christmas shopping without leaving the comfort of my home!  God bless the Internet.
  • Built a 2007 budget with one of my companies.
  • Celebrated the holidays with a group of people who make it their mission to Do Well and Do Good (another portfolio company!).
  • Made a frittata.
  • Met Didi who played Frenchy in the original Grease.

There were a few other things, but those were some highlights.  Had I not thought about it and written it down, it may have gone by as just some other week.  But it was kind of great, looking back at it. 

Eat More Dirt!

I travel a lot.  Not as much as a consultant or a salesperson, but a lot nevertheless.  For example, in the next four weeks I have three trips to California, one trip to Brazil and a few days in Virginia.  Mind you, I live in NYC…and American Airlines.  These four weeks are extraordinarily bad…it’s not always like this.  So yesterday a friend asks me about my travel plans over the next few weeks, I tell him and he says one thing:

"You are going to get sick."

"Nonsense!"  I reply.  "I am healthy as a horse.  It’s just a matter of drinking lots of water and taking vitamins.  I will be FINE."

Well, I get on my plane yesterday in perfect health, and as I described it to the Husband, it was like entering a leper colony.  I was immediately surrounded by sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy-head, fever so they can rest travelers.  It was awful.  I wanted to run for cover but it was an airplane – there was no place to go!  So I hunkered down.  I had taken vitamins that day, I took a Sudafed to keep everything clear, and I started drinking water (after having already downed 6 glasses earlier that day).  I was armed and ready.

And it did not matter ONE BIT!  I got off the plane fully contaminated, and now I have a cold.  I now join the ranks of those that should be quarantined on planes and forced to wear a face mask to keep my germs to myself. 

I gotta tell you, I must have a magnetic personality.  My immune system picks up everything but men and money.  People mention the word "sick" to me and my respiratory system goes into convulsions.  Are my lungs lonely???  Do they NEED to be filled with crap that drags me down?  Does my face look better with swollen sinuses? 

I do everything I should!  I rest, I take vitamin C, I down gallons of water and tea, WHAT THE HELL!  I have no time for this, NONE.  So perhaps I need to change tactics.  Forget health – bring on the vices!  Alcohol, late night partying, fried food, recreational drugs BRING IT ON!  Maybe that will work.  Or perhaps I should have played in the dirt more as a kid.  Rats.  For now, bring on the chicken soup and the ginger ale.  Piddle.

A Few Thoughts for Today

Sometimes more is less.  Ponder these:

“What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.” Colette
“Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring. Imaginary good is boring; real good is always new, marvelous, intoxicating.” Simone Weil
“It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light.” G. K. Chesterton

Christmas Time, and a Marriage Saved

I am so proud.  Last night I was in Kmart, and I saved my marriage.  The best part is, my husband has no idea how close to the brink we actually were…

It all started a few years ago at home.  I really love Christmas.  I have all my ornaments from when I was a kid; I freak out when my mom cooks something other than goose; I nearly boycotted my parents’ house when they got a three foot tree (Who the hell puts a Christmas tree on a TABLE in order to fit gifts underneath????  Bah humbug.); I tear up even listening to certain carols.  I am a sucker for Christmas. 

However, I have always wanted to take the whole Christmas decorating thing to the next level, say with a theme.  Perhaps an all green Christmas, or English Christmas, Hickory Smoked Christmas or even Chocolate Covered Christmas.  But then we have my personal favorite…Clampett Christmas!  I mean, how fun would it be to create a White Trash, Backwater, Down Home, YEE HAW, I BREAK FOR BUSH, deep fried, and double-wide kind of Christmas!  Imagine the decorations.   Politically Correct Disclaimer: As a white person who grew up south of the Mason Dixon line, I take full license in exploiting this stereotype!  I can sing Silent Night but I also know every word of Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer, and am darn proud. 

How you might wonder, would this come together?  Well, funny you should ask…

– We would need a huge white FAKE tree

– Tinsel everywhere

– There would DEFINITELY be an inflatable Santa on the lawn with reindeer

– Christmas morning we would all have to wear buckteeth and mullets, and call each other Cousin

– We would sit with Ma and Pa and listen to Britney belting out holiday tunes

– There would definitely be a family trip to Olin Mills to get a photo taken (with Clampett teeth)

– Our eggnog would be spiked with moonshine made fresh

– I would give everyone a copy of The Birth of Jesus Coloring Book and a tin of Skoal

– We would have a pumpkin seed spitting contest and sponsor a chicken fight on the lawn

– Hershey, our dog, would be dressed with up as a hound dog

– Naturally we would leave our Christmas lights up through June…need to carry on the theme you know

It would be a tinseled out, inflatable, lights flashing everywhere extravaganza! 

And so there I was last night, standing in the Kmart pondering the lifesize inflatable reindeer with the flashing nose, and I knew I was but one credit card swipe away from realizing my dream.  I finally have my own place to live with my husband, and can have my own Christmas.  My own White Trash Christmas.  I was tempted. 

But alas, it was not meant to be.  I pictured the husband coming home and wading through a sea of lights and empty beer cans strung happily around the tree (with the cats dressed as reindeer) and said, NO.  The man might leave me.  And if there is any part of me that knows what it means to have a white trash Christmas, I know it means to have my MAN at home with me.  I would not want to have to grab the rifle and hunt him down after he leaves and runs back to the Upper East Side.

SO maybe next year I will be able to persuade him to embrace the notion of playing Jed Clampett for just one day.


Merry Jedtmas an’ happy Noo Year t’all, an’ t’all a fine night!  Fry mah hide!  Mebbe next year.

Top of Mind

Making (MASTERING) cassoulet

Reading a poem a day

Getting up early (getting better at this)

Helping my portfolio companies

The side of my hair that is not cooperating

Pregnant friends.  Many pregnant friends.

Trips away with my husband!

Going to Sao Paulo just to get the miles to become Executive Platinum…how fun!

Living in the country…not to be confused with the suburbs


Dry hands

Am in CA and am freezing. 

Needing to create stuff.  Painting, drawing.

Playing more backgammon

What is top of your mind?


What is your self saying today?

I read that somewhere, written a tad differently, but there it is.  A good question.  Think about that.  What is your SELF saying today?

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