August 4, 2015
10 of my favorite words and why:
1. Synesthesia. [noun:
2. frambuesas. [in the 9th grade i had an extremely cool Spanish teacher who was young and funny and went to Rush concerts. i still don’t really know who the hell Rush is or what they sound like. but her favorite word in Spanish was frambuesas. she would say it every day and roll her r’s like she was making love to the word. i have been infatuated ever since.]
3. chalk. [this is all about the sound. there are clear images of the chalk board i had as a child and my hands covered in pink dust after a gymnastics lesson, but more than that i love onomatopoeia. chalk. when i say it i feel it in my throat and remember a classroom and pavement and something else that i can’t quite place.]
4. smoke. [this word immediately recalls memories and sounds and pictures and smells for me. the scent of sulfur when lighting a match, the vision of a swirl of white in the air, the memory of a campfire you worked hard to ignite and kept lit for hours. such wistfulness in 5 letters.]
5. sanctuary. [this word was the theme of a meditation sitting group i attended recently and it spoke to me immediately. there is nothing like the sanctuary and comfort of your own silence and self. a necessary kindness that is so easily accessible if we just take a moment.]
6. serendipity. [there’s a common misconception of this word in America ~ probably due to the unfortunate Cusack movie that we should all just put behind us if we like John at all. “fortunate happenstance” might come to mind when you see the word. what speaks to me: “Serendipity: Look for something, find something else, and realize that what you’ve found is more suited to your needs than what you thought you were looking for.” -Lawrence Block.]
7. solitude. [peace. absence of human interaction. nothing but woods or water or sand or sky. how else can we know anything outside ourselves and stop talking for just a moment?]
8. moist. [why oh why do women everywhere hate this word? i have close friends that look like they are going to literally grab my hair and start a girl fight if i say it one more time. so i say it a lot and i like it. because it’s funny. to annoy people.]
9. gloaming. [does anyone remember that movie In the Gloaming? i was going through a Robert Sean Leonard phase and it was the first time I heard the word. when i later learned it meant “dusk,” which had been one of my favorite words prior, it was immediately replaced. gloaming. that time of day that is just so ethereal. i have always loved the in-between.]
10. suspense. [the cliffhanger, the waiting, the taut gut-wrenching moment, the feeling of being weightless, the thriller that keeps your eyes open so long they begin to feel dry and teary, the magic of being unsure. change is coming and who knows what it will bring?]
November 11, 2014
10 TED talks that have moved and changed me:
1. Janet Echelman: Taking Imagination Seriously. [fav quote: “as i watched the wind’s choreography unfold, i felt sheltered and at the same time connected to limitless sky.” this wonderful woman. i admire anyone and everyone who creates – especially those who do it in a way that you’re positive it’s a direct channel straight to their soul. breathtaking.]
2. Brené Brown: The Power of Vulnerability. [fav quote: “…and she said I’m going to call you a storyteller and I was like…why not magic pixi?” a great reminder to face our vulnerability and remain open to what may be the most important things in life: courage, compassion and connection. much like the Grant Study, these are the talks/essays/lectures/books/movies/conversations that remind me of our greater purpose.]
3. Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts. [fav quote: “solitude matters and for some people it is the air that they breathe. and in fact, we have known for centuries about the transcendent power of solitude.” one of my favorite talks thus far…Susan covers several moving topics all in one eloquent speech. a speech made by an absolute introvert.]
4. Hans Rosling: Global Population Growth, Box by Box. [fav quote: “I’m a very serious possibilist. It’s a new category.” yes, i am already quite drawn to this particular global issue, however i love this TED talk for other reasons. make a concept visual for me by using plastic bins, toy cars, toy bicycles, and a pair of flip-flops and i’m definitely sucked in. oh, and the proposed solution is profound.]
5. Elizabeth Gilbert: Your Elusive Creative Genius. [fav quote: “even I, in my mulishness, even I have brushed up against that thing.” that elusive genii, that inexplicable strange external thing that blows through us and gives us a piece of something beyond ourselves. support and embrace the courage of your creative loved ones.]
6. Dan Barber: A Foie Gras Parable. [fav quote: “it’s a gift from God with God saying you’ve done good work.” i don’t know what to say except i’m in love with foie gras, i’m in love with this chef’s humor and message, i’m in love with the Spanish goose whisperer…it’s a serious love fest over here.]
7. Jane McGonigal: Gaming Can Make a Better World. [fav quote: “3 billion hours a week is not nearly enough game-play to solve the worlds’ most urgent problems.” the ONLY argument that has ever made me appreciate gaming. it’s such an interesting theory. check it out.]
8. David Steindl-Rast: Want to Be Happy? Be grateful. [fav quote: “it’s so revolutionary it revolutionizes the very concept of a revolution.” a monk says stop, look, go. our consciousness is changing and David summarizes this movement in a truly inspirational way.]
9. Ric Elias: 3 Things I Learned While My Plane Crashed. [fav quote: “About a month later I was in a performance by my daughter…first grader…not much artistic talent.” I’m generally fascinated by people who have been through scary and/or near-death experiences and what they learned from these precious moments in time. a short, sweet and simple talk reminding us how short, sweet and simple life can be.]
10. David Griffin: How Photography Connects Us. [fav quote: “photography carries a power that holds up under the relentless swirl of today’s saturated media world.” picking the photograph for my blog posts is often just as fulfilling as writing them. i marvel at the concept of how photography connects us, taps into our deepest and most human emotions, and can ultimately change our perception and the world.]
Ideas worth spreading – http://www.ted.com/talks
September 17, 2014
10 lessons one can only learn on Martha’s Vineyard:
1. paddle ’til it hurts. [if you desire intense arm soreness mixed with the most peaceful solitude possible, get your butt in a kayak.]
2. rise and shine. [if you wake up early and walk straight onto the sand, the rest of your day will fall perfectly into place.]
3. hike it out. [if you wander through the woods with an open heart you will definitely run into an animal. like a cow or a peacock.]
4. enjoy the missions. [if you take an early drive for things like fresh eggs or home-baked pies, expect to have to do it a few times until you get it right.]
5. snap away. [if you want beautiful photos realize that every sunset here is different. take pictures every day, all day.]
6. converse. [if you want to safely get into a hammock in the dark after you’ve had a few drinks, just talk to it. gently.]
7. just ask. [if you want the best bagel you’ve ever tasted, ask your Aunt Stacy to make it from scratch.]
8. exercise the brain. [if you want to really test your Swiss cheese memory make sure to drive past places you last visited 15 years ago while completely high.]
9. make friends. [if you love dogs, give them cheerios and tummy rubs. and car rides. and walks on the beach. and cheerios.]
10. just book it. [if you want to sleep like a baby, smile like you’ve lost it, and embrace peace and joy like you mean it, don’t think ~ just go.]
August 22, 2014
10 insightful & laughable Louis C.K. quotes:
1. People say, “My phone sucks.” No, it doesn’t! The shittiest cellphone in the world is a miracle. Your life sucks. Around the phone. [of course i’ve had moments where frustration with my cell phone got the best of me. but hearing this CK quote makes me laugh out loud. i’m so dumb. we’re all so dumb. i mean really – let’s all spend a minute (if you’re over 28 years old) doing a sense memory recall of our lives before these wondrous devices. and go.]
2. As humans, we waste the shit out of our words. It’s sad. We use words like “awesome” and “wonderful” like they’re candy. It was awesome? Really? It inspired awe? It was wonderful? Are you serious? It was full of wonder? You use the word “amazing” to describe a goddamn sandwich at Wendy’s. What’s going to happen on your wedding day, or when your first child is born? How will you describe it? You already wasted “amazing” on a fucking sandwich. [that’s a fucking epic statement Louis. epic.]
3. It’s like when you’re talking to a girl at a bar because you’re attracted to her, the first thing you say is always gonna be dog shit. The most honest thing you could say to her is ‘I wanna fuck your face.’ That’s the most honest thing you could say. [am i the only girl on the face of this planet that wants to hear the truth? just for a second. then definitely shut it down. but one second into the mind of what a male is really thinking when he’s hitting on me would be kind of amazing. see how i did that?]
4. A man will cut your arm off and throw it in a river, but he’ll leave you as a human being intact. He won’t fuck with who you are. Women are non-violent, but they will shit inside of your heart. [my guy friends sometimes talk about that “crazy ex who ripped out their heart and then hammered nails into it and then tied it to the back of a pickup truck and dragged it 10 miles. who ARE these crazy bitches and why are they ruining it for the rest of us?]
5. When you first get married, you have a relationship that’s so important to you, and you’re working on it together. But then you have a kid. And you look at your kid and you go, “Holy shit, this is my child. She has my DNA. She has my name. I would die for her.” And you look at your spouse and go, “Who the fuck are you? You’re a stranger.” [ha. we feel so connected to someone that we decide to create a whole new human being with them and then it leads to…this. can’t wait.]
6. When you write from your gut and let the stuff stay flawed and don’t let anybody tell you to make it better, it can end up looking like nothing else. [that’s it.]
7. Divorce is always good news. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true because no good marriage has ever ended in divorce … That would be sad. If two people were married and they just had a great thing and then they got divorced, that would be really sad. But that has happened zero times. [unbelievable as it may seem, 4 years after my separation i am still waiting for my divorce papers. there’s a bottle of Dom and some foi gras in the fridge just sitting there being saved for this momentous opening of the mail. does this mean i didn’t love my ex-husband? no. it means divorce is good news and we are going to celebrate. don’t DM me to discuss.]
8. Everything that’s difficult you should be able to laugh about. [you just stepped in dog shit – ok that’s clearly laughable. you just lost your job – ok maybe more difficult to laugh right away. but you and i both know that as soon as that better dream job rolls in you’ll be cracking up over drinks with your friends and talking about how it all worked out in the end. i’m going to embrace the laughter right now.]
9. Life’s too short to be an asshole, as an employer or as an employee. [what is with the assholes? can’t they grasp the notion that kindness can not only result in getting exactly what you want, but can also change someone’s day or life or heart forever? stupid, stupid assholes.]
10. I wish I could know everything ever, like that would be my wish – that’s what I hope heaven is, that they tell you who shot JFK and all that stuff. [i have a disease. it’s a disease of needing to know. it makes me extremely happy that i now know that Louis CK has the same disease. we should be pen pals. then i’d know all is right with the world and i’d be content in my knowing that he knows exactly what i mean.]
August 13, 2014
10 things about kissing:
1. squeeze. [the tightest hug possible as your arms wrap around me and the air rushes out of me and my ribs expand grasping for room but are hesitant with the fear of cracking. the tightest fullest hug.]
2. skin. [fingers crawling up my back, gentle and soft and tentative, my skin feeling your mouth, my palms full of hair and soft ears and the skin is so hard to distinguish, boy from girl, man from woman, skin from skin.]
3. moments in between. [when you realize there’s nowhere to be no one to be sounds outside that remind you of your bubble while you catch your breath for just one second and your heart races for the break to end.]
4. Q&A. [the secret silent questioning, searching, seeking for what it is you like and i like and what we could discover we like together. ah! you like biting the lower lip. i’ll do that. ah! you like a push and pull. i’ll do that.]
5. breath. [the moments when your lips are just far enough apart that they can still feel each other’s shadow, but the breath remains intertwined and you inhale and he exhales and you find a beautiful pattern here before diving back into contact.]
6. body parts. [how every part of our face is involved in the whole process – not just lips and hair and hands – but noses and eyelashes and freckles. fingers touching faces, breath touching breath, ears being whispered. and eskimo kisses.]
7. improv. [the ease of listening. the best kind of improv. completely present, listening, feeling energy, willing to wait and ready to go and always, always saying yes.]
8. roller-coaster. [your brain on a train, speeding over hills of connection and intensity, barreling down deep into valleys of quiet and peace, up down up down, joy, thinking, silence, laugh.]
9. scents. [is that him or me or soap or rain or sweet sweat or a faint touch of something like wine or a flower or a cigarette? the intoxicating scents of skin and energy and the day past.]
10. the dance. [the way it flows like a perfect rhythmic heartbeat, from one moment into another. now we are kissing, now we are complimenting, now we are hugging, now we are giggling, now we are kissing, now we just are.]
August 2, 2014
10 characters you might see at the gym:
1. the creeper. he stands directly behind you in every class.
favorite quote: “Nice yoga pants. Have I seen you here before?” / favorite workout song: Jason Derulo – Talk Dirty.
2. the really old lady. she’s better at spin than you are.
favorite quote: “I’m going to die sitting on this bike right in the middle of class. hope you’re sick that day.” / favorite workout song: Florence + The Machine – Dog Days are Over.
3. the stuck up buff gay guy. he doesn’t speak to you, probably because of your choice of workout attire.
favorite quote: “I really love the locker rooms here.” / favorite workout song: Iggy Azalea – I’m So Fancy.
4. the guy who won’t shut up. he just keeps yapping.
favorite quote: “I’m Fred and I’ve worked out here for 11 years and I love this instructor, do you love this instructor? and I have to work out hard today because I ate a huge steak last night with my son, did you know I have a single son?” / favorite workout song: R.E.M. – It’s the End of the World.
5. the amazing, very pregnant one. she’s 8 months in, kicking ass, and takin’ names.
favorite quote: “Do you think I can still do TRX classes or is that too much for my 3rd trimester?” / favorite workout song: Apparat – Hailin From the Edge.
6. the silent yogi. little bit of a hipster with a tiny ponytail on top of his head. mean handstand.
favorite quote: “______” / favorite workout song: Joshua Radin – Brand New Day.
7. the motivator. the incredibly hot, hot, hot teacher.
favorite quote: “Let’s go people. 4 more sets. NO I’m NOT KIDDING. Go.” / favorite workout song: DJ Snake & Lil Jon – Turn Down for What.
8. the faker. you never see them doing anything except standing around talking.
favorite quote: “You want to head to the juice bar to chat and take a break?” / favorite workout song: Icone Pop – I Don’t Care, I Love It.
9. me. see archived posts for more info.
favorite quote: “yes my gym is exorbitantly overpriced but money motivates me.” / favorite workout song: Timbaland & JT – Carry Out.
10. the Biggest Winner. they need to lose over 100 pounds and are an inspiration to us all.
favorite quote: “I just wanted you to know that you are really strong and good at this class and I like standing by you. So thanks.” / favorite workout song: American Authors – Best Day of My Life.
July 14, 2014
10 fun celebrity moments in the life of me:
1. Han S. [i’m 18, fresh out of high school and fresh into Manhattan. it’s already cold and a bit blustery for fall. i’m rushed and stressed ~ as usual ~ so i’m dashing down the sidewalk, 2 large textbooks in hand, looking down to prevent major eye tearing and just as i make a sharp turn onto Mercer i slam into a body. this body is large and male and bending down to help scrape me and my schoolbooks off the NYC pavement. it’s Harrison Ford. he smiles and apologizes and looks at me quizzically. he is quite the gentleman. i run.]
2. The Green L. [i’m on another blind date ~ see my previous post if you’d like to know more ~ at a fantastic restaurant that’s one of my favorites in Los Angeles. we have had a drink and some oysters and are finally settling into the Q&A interview session that most blind dates become when the hottest male i’ve ever seen in person sits next to me. it’s Ryan Reynolds. i didn’t even think Ryan Reynolds was attractive before this moment. i was mistaken. this restaurant is small. the tables are touching. this beautiful creature’s arm is touching my arm. i have absolutely no recollection of the rest of my date. poor, poor guy.]
3. Marilyn. [so this guy i once knew once told me and a friend i still know that he was once dating a girl in a show that was once filmed in my hometown and that we should both come down to his bar and hang out with him and this girl. this is in the mid-90s by the way. we went because the girl was Michelle Williams and we were curious. she acted like we were stalkers there to abduct and kill her, she looked so thin we were afraid she’d fall off the barstool, and she was generally…not so nice. huh. years later, Blue Valentine allowed me to forgive her completely.]
4. Johnny C. [i’m sitting in a dark italian restaurant in my then neighborhood of Los Feliz when a crowd of young and boisterous men loudly make their way to the table next to me. they are laughing and attracting a lot of attention. all but one of them. it’s Joaquin Phoenix. this is way before the “year i grew a really long beard and faked going crazy with Casey Affleck.” this is way before Her or The Master – both of which solidified any and all love i have for this man’s talent. yet, i was fascinated by the quiet one with the sunglasses who emanated some sort of alien essence that made you want to walk right up to him and touch. what a weird thing that “x” factor is.]
5. Matlock. [i was a teenager and i was ecstatic to book a scene in a Movie of the Week that was not only a few pages but with the lead actor of the film, Andy Griffith. ecstatic. over the moon. nervous. elated. after 9 hours on set with this drunk old man yelling at me that i didn’t know my lines and line producers and PA’s and a bunch of other amazing grips and such constantly trying to make me understand that he was just wasted and didn’t know his lines and everything was going to be okay and it wasn’t my fault…well, let’s just say i wasn’t surprised that shit hit the cutting room floor like a sack of old potatoes.]
6. M. [there’s nothing like the misery of waitressing in NYC. especially at a 4 star celebrity owned restaurant. but we are not here to talk about the owner ~ i think that would push this post to the dark side. today, we are here to honor the time i served Dame Judi Dench. this is a simple one really. full of grace and style, she may be the most pleasurable customer i ever had. she made my day in a sea of horrible waitressing days. oh yeah, and the tip was great.]
7. Joey. [actual physical smash-into-one-another moment #2. i’m walking casually through a flower market in the cobblestone historic downtown area of my hometown when i turn a corner ~ again with the corners ~ and run smack into Katie Holmes. we mumble apologies, smile at each other, and move on with our respective lives. not without time for me to notice however, that a) this woman is extremely tall and i am extremely short and b) when we smiled at one another our facial expressions were like looking in a mirror. for a split second katie and i both were like…whaaaaa? i do not think i look like Katie Holmes so i don’t know. it was weird and i’m sharing.]
8. Lumbergh. [there’s this fundraiser i attend every year. i always go and i always have a great time, but there was this one year where a friend of mine said there was someone i should meet. next thing i know i’m chatting with Gary Cole for an hour about movie making, raising kids, golf, retirement, and god knows what else. this guy is awesome and YES it was hard to keep myself present in this conversation when all i was thinking was “mmm yeah, that’d be great… it would really, really help us out. mmm yeah.]
9. Rachel. [there’s this place in West Hollywood where you can get a kick-ass margarita, have some hilarious conversations with incredibly cute gay boys, and you used to be able to smoke. this attracted many types of people including myself and my friends in our 20s. and apparently Jennifer Anniston. every Monday like clockwork we sat next to this woman who didn’t wear a lot of makeup, typically had comfy cargos on, and was just an all around genuine sweet person. we drank, we smoked, we laughed, and we so wished she’d step 5 feet closer and join us. oh those Mondays.]
10. The Rage. [i’m 19 and working my second real job ever at the front desk of a small but over-priced gym in SoHo. my best friend has just started working there as well and is also sitting in this front area. my favorite gym member walks in and we greet each other warmly. as always, he asks me how i’m liking the book he lent me and i ask him something similar. he’s smart and cute and quiet and a reader and he’s always really, really nice to me. we’re sort of friends. he walks away to go and get his workout on and my best friend then spends the next hour explaining to me that i’m a total idiot because i don’t even know i’m talking to Zack de la Rocha. i had no idea who he was. no wonder he enjoyed talking to me so much.]
July 9, 2014
[Note: a few people have recently asked me why i stopped online dating about a year ago. there are several reasons – and many amazing blogs about how horrific online dating can be – so i doubt i need to go into detail. let’s just make a list, shall we?]
10 terrible dates over 4 years:
1. “the one who was cheap.” [this actually seemed a normal enough date for a while – very boring but normal – until i finally gave up, quickly paid our tab and said i needed to get home. 5 minutes later, after the most consistent persuading i’ve ever been privy to, he convinces me to please please please please please please stay and have one more drink with him. 25 minutes, 3 more boring topics of conversation and 2 empty glasses later he stared at that check like it was Satan himself. i paid again. thanks guy – so glad i didn’t go home and watch Girls.]
2. “the one who liked to bargain.” [a round of mini golf and the following scenario: he stops, mini golf club in hand, hanging in mid air as if he has some wondrous thought. i say, “what?” he says, “i just don’t think i can continue playing. i can’t play any longer until…well if you gave me a kiss, i could muster the courage.” this was the beginning of a late night of me trying desperately to get him to finish the god damn mini golf and stop bargaining for kisses. because, i suppose i should add, these were the WORST kisses i’ve ever experienced in my life. they weren’t even kisses. it’s a total injustice to use the word kiss. triple bleh.]
3. “the one who thought he was smart.” [i actually introduced this one to my friends. this guy was always wanting to prove his intelligence but weirdly had no sense of humor. zero. he literally could not understand a knock knock joke. my friends constantly looked at him – and me – with the oddest of expressions.]
4. “the one who was gay.” [we only had one quiet lovely dinner, but sometimes you just know right away. i didn’t like him because he reminded me of my best friend in NY who’s a girl. he didn’t like me because of some missing equipment. we parted gracefully.]
5. “the one who was silent.” [this extremely attractive fellow didn’t say anything all night. we ate a meal, we went to a concert, we met up with some of his friends. honestly, not a word. well maybe 25 words but that was only after i asked questions that had to be answered. sometimes i’d ask a question and he would just ignore it. best exercise in patience ever.]
6. “the one who was an acting coach.” [he’s an acting coach who travels the world and does seminars and such. but this guy with a comb-over at 31 really wanted to make it CLEAR that he didn’t like to mix business with pleasure or talk about his career. we talked about him being an acting coach for 3 hours. by the end of the night i lied and told him my profile was old and hadn’t been updated and i had quit acting years ago. and scene.]
7. “the one that was sad.” [after a brief hello and some drink ordering this pour soul explains to me that his mom just died, and he’s desperately trying to figure out how to get out of his horrible job. a night at Laurel Hardware spent talking about his work and how stressful it is while he’s continually checking his phone and talking more and more about his dead mom. i gave him an extra big hug goodnight.]
8. “the one who was sweaty.” [it’s 50 something degrees in Silverlake and this one is sweating through his shirt at the bar. i’m pretty sure the shirt was supposed to be a light blue button-up but it was really….wet. so it’s hard to know for sure. he went to the bathroom for 10 minutes to “fix it” after admitting “he was a little hot.” he then proceeded to sweat until there was really nothing else left to talk about, so we talked about him sweating while i drank a beer like it was one enormous shot, threw my sweater back on, and called it a night.]
9. “the one who hated women.” [yes, i’d like to spend an entire dinner talking about your ex-wife and how she’s nuts and wants to rob you of all of your money that you inherited when your dad died when you were 7 and how all women are crazy and horrible and monsters and how it’s better just to be alone and how stupid marriage is and how all women are really just after a guy’s money. YES PLEASE.]
10. “the one who hated to lose.” [not sure if i missed the memo about some competition taking place, but i spent this evening very confused about my date’s responses and conversational tactics in general. i could say anything. anything at all, like “yes, i think that movie is really awesome and i especially loved the part when that kid died.” his response would be ” you win!” over and over. i am not sure what i won that night but clearly i came out ahead.]
**if you want to read about more terrible online dating stories, click on this link. you’ll fall in love with her. What’s In The Box?