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Chapter XVII

because you never know someone from the very beginning

Month

August 2007

Where have my taste buds gone!

I have a problem.  I need a new hobby.  In my spare time I have about 1,000 food blogs that I like to read.  Well, now that I am pregnant the food blogs are just not that interesting.  In fact food generally is not that interesting. 

This is a startling and disturbing development.  I have ALWAYS loved food – and wide varieties of it.  And now my taste buds have reverted to sub-prime quality.  All I seem to be interested in is plain food.  Pasta, cheeseburgers, soup.  The more boring it seems, the better.  There have been occasional moments where my taste buds swing back into action, like last weekend when I had a need for lobster like I have never felt before.  But even that, how hard is it to like lobster?  It too is pretty pedestrian…expensive, but pedestrian.  I am a FOODIE, damn it!  I like foie gras and essences of this and that; I relish new spices and love to play "Guess that Ingredient".  I am praying my palette is not lost.  What will I do?  Most of my social life – and much of my marriage – revolves around interesting eating.

And worse yet, what does this suggest for my child!  That thing brewing inside of me.  If I give birth to a picky eater because I ate like a trucker while pregnant I will DIE.  My lunch boxes as a child contained rice pilaf, goose leftovers and Canlis salad, and damn it that is what my kid should want too! 

I shall not panic.  Like the ever growing belly, this too shall hopefully pass and go back to "normal" (I can hear you laughing now about that…I know, your body is never the same after pregnancy , give it up!).  Well phooey to that – never say die!  I will not give up on my figure regaining itself and I am sure as hell not giving up on my palette.  Though if I had to choose which I would regain…sorry Big H, but I think if I have to pick one, taste buds trump flat stomach.  I’ll eat to that.

Questions for Thought

If you could be President of the United States, would you take the position?

If you feel unhappy or down, what would you change right then to turn your feelings around?

What would you do within the first 24 hours of winning $1 million, $10 million and $100 million?

If you have a dream you are not following, what is really holding you back?  Is it really something you cannot change, or are you using that as an excuse to not follow your dream?

Do your thoughts rule your emotions?

If you find you often have challenging interactions with people, have you ever thought you might be the problem?

What is the point of saying "I am overwhelmed!"  Are you looking for pity from others?  If yes, how come?  Will that really help?  What about just saying "Hey, I need some help here."

If you set your mind to learning something new in the next twelve months, what would it be?

What happened today that was good?

Which would you rather win, a Grammy or an Oscar?

Little red box (Cartier) or little blue box (Tiffany)?

Beach or lake?

Cat or dog?

Deaf or blind?

Spring or fall?

Breakfast or dinner?

Morning or night?

Mom or dad?  JUST KIDDING – THIS IS NOT A GOOD CHOICE TO HAVE TO MAKE

Flowers or candy?

New handbag or new shoes?

God or atheism?

Italy or France?

If you could pick up right now and move you/your family abroad for a year – and know it would be ok – where would you go?

Cute Cabbie

I just got off a plane and landed in the nicest cab in San Fran.  The cabbie turns to me as we are pulling out of SFO and says "Hello, lady!  How was your flight?  How is your life?" 

I laughed.  How cute.  How was my flight coupled with how is my life.  Well, great, thanks.  And then we talked about how his life is pretty darn good too.  Perhaps he was earning his tip, but at the end of the ride he said "Have a great day.  You have brightened mine!"

Mercy!  We should all be so pleasant.

Pandora’s Box: Motherhood and Feminism

Since I have motherhood on the brain of late, I found these posts interesting…and surely, a little controversial…

http://www.violentacres.com/archives/242/most-women-are-nothing-more-than-wasted-potential

and the follow up to all of the hateful comments she got, here…

http://www.violentacres.com/archives/243/if-you-are-a-stay-at-home-mom-without-interests-outside-of-your-kids-hobbies-or-marketable-skills-you-are-not-a-feminist

As I said, I have motherhood on the brain, and most of you know I consider myself a feminist (we all need to redefine feminism, me thinks) and I agree with the author entirely. 

There once was a man from…

Nantucket!  I don’t know the end of that joke, though I believe it’s obscene.  That line has been on my mind all weekend since we were lucky enough to be in none other than Nantucket.  What a great place.  Unlike the Hamptons, which everyone loves to hate, but darn it, I kind of like, the beaches on Nantucket still feel like beaches.  In contrast, the beaches of the Hamptons, while stunning, feel like a club scene. 

What a way to spend a weekend.  I have determined that my personal Ashram shall involve sea air, lobsters (I had three and a half lobsters this weekend…is that a record?), clam chowder and ocean waves.  Delightful.

Nantucket is a funny place.  It’s not totally free from invasion…as you land at the airport (the first sign of trouble), you pass no fewer than 50 private planes on the tarmac.  Oh well. 

It does make you wonder, where are the great authentic places that are actually affordable?  Where a family can go and enjoy a little beach air without mortgaging the house?  Any ideas?

Absentia

Well where in the world have I gone?  I was walking down the street this morning and realized that I was having a rather lively conversation with myself…in my head, not out loud, but even so, I am not so far away from those poor folks you see on street corners or on the subway talking to themselves.  We all think they are crazy…are we really so different?

In any event, I was talking to myself and realized it’s been ages since I tapped the blog.  Been busy.  Been busy moving.  We are buying an apartment (please do a mortgage rate raindance if you have a moment).  It’s not ready for us yet, but we had to move out of our old place so we are now temporarily staying at an apartment uptown.  I will not blog about the moving debacle…but I will say one thing.  I now know why moving is hell.  It’s a coping mechanism.  If you had any regret or sentimental feelings about leaving your old place, all of that will surely be long forgotten after you deal with the move out.  So like roaches, the hell of moving serves a purpose in life.

So here we are temporarily living uptown.  This is an interesting experience because within the course of about a month, we will have gone from the heart of the East Village, to the Upper East Side, to Brooklyn.  For non-New Yorkers, this is like traveling from Bangkok, to Paris to London.  Or in other words, moving from (1) punk-filled, noisy, full of partiers bedlum (our old ‘hood) to (2) blue haired, ladies who lunch, let’s take Muffy the yippy dog for a walk in the Park-land to finally (3) tree-lined, quiet streets with non-Starsucks coffee place, close to Manhattan but far enough away you feel human-ville (or so we hope). 

So between that and work, I have been distracted.  Oh yeah, and we are pregnant (WE.  I love that.  WE are pregnant.  I suppose that is accurate since the big-H has had to deal with his fair share of listening to me talk everyday about the effects of being taken over by an alien, or as we call it, BEAN.)

It’s all good – and worth remembering.  So expect more to come.

Coffee

No offense to coffee drinkers (I am a big one myself), but this is funny.  Or maybe I just have a lame sense of humor…Coffee_2

Life Balance…A New Unreality Show

I have been thinking a lot about life balance lately.  I have come to a conclusion…it’s not possible.  Don’t call me negative!  I am a realist.  I mean come on…roll the "life balance" movie tape please…

You have a big career where you run things and do really really well; you eat dinner with your family five times a week at 6PM (where of course you make dinner…from scratch).  You maintain an active social life where you see friends and are a regular consumer of culture; you read all the latest and greatest books, keep up on pop culture, take four weeks of vacation, have sex with your significant other (OFTEN), sleep eight full cozy hours a night, work out three to five times a week and pay bills/run errands/get laundry done etc. etc. etc. 

I mean, come on.  And I am an embracer of chaos, but that type of existence seems just out of reach.  So I have two new ideas…you CAN have it all, just not all at once.  Yes, we might die tomorrow, but let’s think positive…assuming you don’t, there are different times in your life when you focus on different elements of your life while others go on the backburner.  It’s about choosing which pot is on which burner.  Not easy decisions.  But reality – tradeoffs.

Next, I read something recently and darn it cannot remember where (probably Oprah magazine, which I always feel guilty buying but which I ALWAYS enjoy).  The article said that while seeking balance, look to presence for your answer.  What does this mean?  It means be where you are…as much as possible.  When at work, focus on work.  Leave your kids and family at home.  Focus on your job.  Be in it.  When at home, leave your work at work.  Be at the table with your kids.  Listen to what they say.  Have a conversation with your significant other where you are fully present.  Balance through presence. 

You may be saying "Not possible!  I always multi-task and that is how I get through my day."  Well, more and more research suggests that we are way less effective at every task when we multi-task. 

I am a big believer in presence, living in the present, being in the now.  It’s not easy, and I am in no way good at it, but I aspire to it.  And I love the idea "Balance Through Presence".  So there we go.  My soapbox for the day.

A Great Way to Think About Age

I read a wonderful quote the other day.  Hillary Clinton was describing a woman who works for her, and she described her like this…she said this woman has "the energy of a woman in her 20s, the confidence of a woman in her 30s, the experience of a woman in her 40s and the grace of a woman in her 50s."

Well isn’t that a great way to think about age.  I have so many traits to look forward to!  Cheers, Hillary.

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