Chapter XVII

because you never know someone from the very beginning


January 2007

Not Ready for Prime Time…Future Posts

If only there were 25 hours in the day, I would do more writing.  Alas, we are stuck with 24…24 my favorite TV show!!!  No no – stay on topic – we only have 24 hours so there is not enough time to post on everything that comes to mind.

I have a few things I would like to write about, and perhaps will over time.  For now, I thought I would sketch them out as bullet points…teasers, if you will.

  • I am anti-deprivation these days.  I am all about adding more rather than subtracting (e.g. rather than give up french fries, eat more salad…if you still want the fries after the salad, I suspect you will eat fewer than had you not had salad at all).  This anti-diet I am sure will be effective in numerous areas of life.
  • Children, to have or not to have, that is the question…just kidding, for me and the Big H it’s not a question of if (we hope), rather, it’s a matter of when and how (and yes, thank you, we know HOW…when I say HOW I mean how to incorporate the kid into our lives…dirty minds).   I don’t know if I want to write about this, but it’s on my mind.
  • Great gifts.  I would like to do a post on great gift ideas.
  • Picking up the phone every time I’ve seen a call from my parents for the last twenty years and wondering if this is The Call.  The Call filled with news that makes you wish you could turn back time; that means you have entered a new club, as they said on Grey’s Anatomy the other night.  That call.  Just an awful feeling. 
  • Dinner party ideas.  I have lots.  Menus, themes…lots of ideas.  It will be my "Martha in the Making" post.
  • Why I love NYC
  • How I knew at age five I would live in NYC
  • Web Tools/Sites I use: LaunchCast, Typepad (yoo hoo for typepad!), del.ic.ious, Digg, Boxxet, TechCrunch, NetVibes, Yahoo (old school), Pandora, Techmeme, Mashable, Google (of course), Plaxo (invasive but convenient), LinkedIn (questionable), Newsgator (crucial), Feedburner…forget it…that would be one of the most boring "Oh god you ARE a VC and have nothing new to say" post of all time.
  • How it feels to be 34 years old, married and nowhere near owning a home
  • What I would do if money did not matter
  • How I am sick of everyone’s first response to "How are you?" is "BUSY!"  Everyone is busy.  How boring to tell everyone about it…blah blahh.
  • What it’s like being one of the only white people at a mostly black firm.
  • How nothing bothers me more than when I think a friend is angry with me.  And how I feel bad.  And then I feel righteous.  And then I feel righteous and bad, and then I usually feel ok because it blows over or was in my head.
  • What it was like growing up as a preacher’s daughter with a church literally in our backyard.  And how I thought we "owned" the church.  And how I used to steal the keys to the church and use it as my own personal haunted house…and skateboard rink.
  • Yesterday a friend of mine who is a cancer survivor hosted an amazing day of spinning in an effort to raise money for Sloan Kettering.  She raised $210,000 (two times her goal!) and had more than 250 people participating.  It was amazing, inspiring and so much more.  Lots of thoughts come to mind worth writing about.
  • How I would like to be remembered if I suddenly pop off one day.

But as I said, alas, there are only so many hours in the day…

Tonight I Sit in a Gray Mushroom Cloud

I am having one of those days.

One of those days when you wake up, feel fine, then upon your first interaction with someone (in my case, a business someone), you feel like an idiot.  When your mind says to you "Whatever that crap is that is coming out of your mouth, just STOP!"

But somehow you don’t stop.  You try again – because you know you can do better.  So you (the YOU here being ME) say something else in say, oh I don’t know, a meeting setting where there are many people judging your every word.  And there you go ahead again, saying something that makes them look at you with confusion and a hint of pity (that poor girl).  Because the meeting is a couple of hours, this scene repeats itself a few times.  I manage to say something smart "Anyone want some more coffee?" but then keeping watching as the disaster of myself unfolds. 

Or is it all in my head?  It’s one of those days.

So I end that portion of the day, return to the sanctuary of my hotel.  I decide to go buy a magazine and the woman in the shop is mean.  I am sure it’s my fault.  I must have done something.  Attempting to try something else, I go for a run.  And I feel great – like a rock star!  People are looking at me running in 50 degree weather wearing short sleeves and thinking "Wow, this woman is SERIOUS!" and I like that.  I feel fast.

Then I come back and track how fast I ran.  A new low.  WAY slower than I thought. 

And then I get a call from someone I don’t want to be an ass with.  I sound too chipper.  I decide to sound more serious.  I don’t want to look or sound like an ass.  We talk, I sound like an ass.  It’s awkward.  Maybe it’s that hideous 1 second cell phone delay – "wait what – oh no, you go ahead".  You know what I mean.  Just awkward.  Make it stop. 

How could I be so very off today?  My perceptions of everything that have happened are just wrong.  And I am not sure what to correct.  I am not myself. 

So I go back to my hotel room post run and hunker down.  Hunker down for a couple hours of solitude.  Time to regroup.  Be by myself and not interact with anything.  No judgments or gremlins, no questions about my intelligence or value-add (I hate that fucking phrase – value add.  What if you are not "value add"?  The contrary – value detraction – is just awful.  Nobody should be value detraction.)

And here I am.  I am not sure I feel better.  But at least I am not out in public feeling like everything I say or do is silly or VALUE DETRACTION.  Days like this are odd – I am not depressed, I am not sad, I am kind of gray plus radioactive (gray…kind of blehhhh; radioactive…should not be around anyone).  So here I sit in my little gray mushroom cloud and enjoy my solitude.  And I start to realize hope it is in my head.  I let said head chill out for a bit, let it get to know me again and like me again – stop bossing me around and saying bad things. 

Now I really sound like a schitzo.  But that is the risk I take – this is my account of my day.  Thank god I feel it’s worthy of a posting – that means it must not be ordinary – this type of day is extraordinary, rare, an infrequent occurrence.  OK, there is reassurance in that.  I am 34 for heaven’s sake – I should be past this crap, right, RIGHT!!??!??!  Honey, you are only young once, but you can be insecure forever! 

I go back to my prior thought – this, my friends, MUST have been an extraordinary, anomaly of a day…right?

Dead Fish

This is well-quoted, it’s all over the place, but I wanted to post it as a reminder.  It’s well said…

With passion pray.

With passion work.

With passion make love.

With passion eat and drink and dance and play.

Why look like a dead fish in this ocean of God?


A New Low

I cannot believe there is a show on MTV called Maui Fever.  It’s a "reality" show about 20 year old surfer guys and the 20 year old blond girls who love them.  It’s the kind of show that I hope never becomes "reality" for me or my progeny. 

There is excessive buttcrack and use of the word "like."  There is a girl on the show who wears a tiara to parties.  It’s not clear how any of these people have money to pay for the grilled pineapple and shrimp that they eat.  The dialogue is 90% "Hey dude, do you want to like go on a party boat with us?"  "Um, ok, dude.  So like, you can call me Palm Tree."

Palm Tree.  That is what she wants people to call her.  Palm Tree.

Even worse than all that, I cannot believe this TV show is on in my hotel room and has been for 20 minutes.  Two words: train wreck.

I Want

When I was young, my mother used to say my two favorite words were “I want”.  So I was a selfish child spoiled brat at times.  Who wasn’t.  Well, Mom, there are still a lot of “I wants”…here are a few…

I want to be the kind of person that always shows up with a gift – especially if there is a child in the house.

I want my friends to count on me for anything.  I would like to be known for taking care of my friends.

I want to be that person that tries more wasabi than I know is smart.

I want to write notes to people – handwritten – and talk to people on the phone – landlines, not cell phones.

I want my friends to know I love them and sometimes that means telling them the brutal truth.

I want to know that I can be stupid, ignorant and naïve with my friends, and they will love me just the same.

I want to increase my capacity to see the good in people.

Thank God for Peer Pressure!

After months of pressuring, cajoling, ribbing and persuading (note that STALKING did not make the list…yet) my sister has started a blog.  Yes, folks, the Chicken (long story) is writing for all the world to see.  And maybe I am biased, but she is damn funny and I am thrilled to add her to my regular reading list.  See, I said I want to hear from other people and now at least one has taken the bait 🙂

So here it is.  Happy reading, and welcome Le Chicken Pie (she has a French fetish, which I am sure we will be hearing about).


I would like a treehouse.  Even as a grown up, I love the idea of having a tree house. I could sit amongst the leaves.  I would have a comfy chair, an old rug and blankets up there.  We would take thermoses of spiked coffee up into the treehouse and play scrabble.  There would be card games and picnics, and quiet hours of reading.  There would be naps and silent times listening to the trees.

I am also really excited to have a guest room someday.  I love the idea of making it really comfortable, creating a small welcome book and building a place my friends think of as a sanctuary.  Think soft sheets, fluffy robes, good towels, old books, an ipod with cool playlists, a pitcher with lemon water, fresh flowers, a TV and DVD player with a stack of good movies, letter writing materials with stamps, toothpaste, lavender bath salts, a candle or two, a snack drawer with old fashioned candy, granola bars, dried fruit, and a few decadent things. A glass and a bottle for a nightcap, one of those delicious scented shrugs that can be warmed in a microwave and wrapped around achy shoulders, colored pencils and drawing paper (when is the last time you colored?).

Guilty Pleasures

I am all about trying to fill up my days with things that I like – rather than focusing on things that I don’t like.  Life is like an empty jar, and it’s your own to fill.

So of course that leads to the question – well what are those good things?!?  That is a really fun question to answer.  I have a running list of things I like, but I reserve a special category for guilty pleasures.  Here is the tip of the iceberg…

  • Take a spoon.  Dip it into a jar of peanut butter.  Then dip it into a bag of chocolate chips.  Eat.
  • Waking up on a Saturday and turning over. 
  • Magazines.  Lots and lots of magazines.  Vogue, Elle, Lucky, Domino, Gourmet, Saveur, Cooks Illustrated, House Beautiful, Wallpaper.  The list goes on and on.
  • Chocolate covered orange peels.
  • Thick baggy, totally unflattering flannel pajamas.
  • Stinky cheese.
  • Goose liver pate.
  • High heels.  They are kind of a regular guilty pleasure.  I always feel bad for my feet when I wear them.  Guilty.
  • Saving up all of my shows on Tivo and watching HOURS of them in a row.  In no particular order: Top Chef, Nigella’s Feasts, 24, Grey’s Anatomy, CBS Sunday Morning (ok not so guilty), Studio 60 (yes, it’s good!), 30 Rock).
  • Macaroni and Cheese.
  • McDonald’s french fries.
  • My almost nightly after dinner snack.  My husband calls it The Second Dinner.  Without fail, I can almost always eat before heading to bed.  It’s like a nightcap. 
  • Taking a hot bath on a cold day with a glass of wine and a book to keep me company.
  • Heavy cream.

I obviously have a thing for food.  Good to know. 

There are many many others.  What are yours?  Maybe should have a site for guilty pleasures.

Not Everything Has To Have a Point

This is a happy post!  About nothing!  I do this occasionally, post about nothing.   This one is about fun nothings:

  • Treating myself to a Jack and Ginger
  • Listening to John Legend.  We like John Legend.
  • And then Madonna comes on the radio!  Voguing.  Nothing like Vogueing in your office.  How do you spell Voguing?
  • Thinking how cool it would be to see my mother voguing.  She loves to dance and could give Madonna a run for her money.  Go Big L!
  • Enjoying the cold weather – truly.  Otherwise living here is a waste.  New Yorkers are like hardened criminals with chic attitude because we have to deal with seasons (FLASH TO LOS ANGELES IN THE RAIN: "TAKE COVER!  My face is melting!")
  • Learned that now for the first time ever "51% of Women Are Now Living Without Spouse" according to the NYTimes.  As a married woman, I am cheering for my "not living with that man-smell" friends.  There is way too much emphasis still for women on getting married.  Is it great?  Sure.  Was living with girlfriends great?  Yup.  Miss it daily (no offense to the Big H).
  • OOh now (Another) Another World is playing by The Creators.  Cool.
  • Went to a MOMA party with the Big H (I know the husband will hate that – it cracks me up.  I will only do it in this post.) last night.  Great party.  Fun to be out doing the New York thing. 
  • Get to go home to my CATS soon.  Love the cats.  We call them The Bellies because they eat like horses.  They really like pork products for some reason. 
  • Been talking to my parents who are thinking of taking a little vaca.  I like thinking of them exploring and going abroad.  Every summer we took elaborate car trips.  We would be gone for two weeks usually – maybe three – and they were a blast.  We went to New York, Quebec, New Hampshire to the lakes, Toronto, Montreal.  All over.  Great memories. 
  • New song: 1 Thing by Amerie.  Excellent booty shaking song.  Listen to a sample hear in the Samples area.
  • Oh, and SPEAKING of booty (picture me shaking head with attitude and disbelief), either my pants have gotten shorter or my rear end has gotten bigger.  Today I noticed I appear to be wearing highwaters.  These pants which I have had for several years fit a month ago.  CLEARLY they mysteriously shrank.  It’s not possible that the booty got bigger, and the pants are riding higher as a result.  Clearly.  Because this is a happy post 🙂

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