Meeting Diane Keaton

Last week, I attended the book launch for Diane Keaton’s new memoir, Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty, published by Random House, along with my friend Mei. The event was held at Barnes & Noble’s Union Square location and free with the purchase of her book (as most events held at B&N are), and there was a significant turnout.

There are few celebrities that I would get excited to meet (Julia Roberts, the original cast of 90210), and even fewer that I would purchase a memoir from (same answer), then there’s Diane Keaton. Having grown up watching many of her movies (okay, I must admit that I have yet to see The Godfather), and being of the opinion that she is an amazing actress, one of the greats, because, well, she is, I was thrilled to get the opportunity to not only see her in person, but actually meet her. And, it was awesome.

Before she even got to the stage and was announced, I saw her walking towards us. My friend and I had seats that were pretty close to the stage, but were asked to move last minute to make room for others and had chairs brought up to us on the side lines. This kind of obstructed our view a bit, but turned out to be the best move because when they started forming lines based on rows for Diane to sign her book, I ended up being the first one up there.

Diane Keaton was funny, smart and most of all, really sweet. And, while I hadn’t originally planned on doing anything with her book other than getting it signed, I might crack it open after all. Oh, and she had a black and white plaid mani of which I complimented her on.

20140506-124707.jpg

Advertisements

Below Freezing in the Spring

This morning I awoke to a cold apartment and my weatherman uttering the two words I never want to hear in the middle of April and (gasp) just mere days before my birthday: wind chill. With temperatures in the upper 70s this past weekend (at least in Connecticut they were), how could we go from contemplating a bikini to deciding whether or not to slip our feet back into the Uggs that have just been tucked into the back of our closets? The thought to me was unfathomable, especially since I’ve been browsing the internet (purchasing) in search of new flats and sundresses to add to my collection, daydreaming of the first days where I will once again be able to wear the light, airy frocks…because really, there is nothing in the world like them.

Instead, today, I forewent my Uggs and scarf (I would rather freeze that wear either again this season), donning a sweater and my lightest wool coat before frowning in the mirror and stepping out of the house, having the good sense to grab a hat at the last minute. As I was walking outside, I saw the telltale sign that winter had indeed come back even if just for the next couple of days and frowned at the traces of snow covering bits of grass and cars. I pulled my hat on, stiffened my shoulders and shoved my hands in my pockets, longing for the warm air to return.

But, not to fret. We will reach the 60s by Friday just in time for my birthday weekend!

20140416-131613.jpg

The Life & Death of It All

It’s been a while since I’ve heard anyone utter that expression, but due to recent events in my life, this popped into my head this morning. I am reminded of a scene from the finale of Dawson’s Creek (yes, I was a fan back in the day), where, to paraphrase, Dawson says that the opposite of life isn’t death, that life has no opposite.

It has been a long time since that show aired, but that line has stuck with me through the years, mainly because of how true it is. Birth is the opposite of death because birth is the beginning of something and death the end, but life…life is existing. Can there be a true opposite to that? I don’t think that there is, and I think that that is a thought that is overlooked more often than not. Many people go through life without a care in the world, ignorant of the very real fact that they are on a once-in-a-lifetime journey, because when life ends, that’s it. There are no second chances or do-overs. It’s just over. Then there are others who strive to make a name for themselves, to leave a legacy, but they have it all wrong too. These people are so wrapped up in leaving something behind that they, too, are ignorant in the rarity that is life, and therefore miss out on the little things, which, as we know, really are what make up one’s life. Not that there is anything wrong with living either of those ways, it’s just that often times a person’s life isn’t really appreciated until circumstances threaten its very existence. And it shouldn’t be that way.

We tend to obsess over the little things that really have no significance, something of which I am definitely guilty of. But, I often find that while I am obsessing, something big or traumatic happens to someone that I care about which always forces me to take a step back and reexamine my life, and brings me to the realization that all of my obsessing is just wasting time that should be spent doing/thinking about other things. That, if I put as much effort into my life and my relationships as I do obsessing, I would be leading a much fuller life and, hopefully, not missing out on the things that truly matter.

Right now, in the midst of a life or death situation of someone that I truly care about, I sit back and think about everything that I thought was important, people who I once thought would be with me forever but have faded away, and I realize that, while some of these people I do miss, the only thing that matters is right now: this minute. And that everything else just isn’t as important as I once thought. That the only thing to do is to live in the present, because everything else just isn’t living….

Life has no opposite; life is existing.

Winter Inadequacies & Traveling

After a late, wine-infused evening of great conversation with a new friend (a weekly tradition in the making), I woke up this morning to a world of more white than when I had gone to bed – if that is even possible. I quickly got dressed, threw on my rain-boots, and headed outside to shovel out the car. Seeing as how I am not normally in possession of a car, I also am not in possession of a shovel. I know, how can you live in NYC without a shovel, well I have been in my apartment for close to eight years and I have never needed one because my landlord always shovels me out…eventually. Ah, the perks of living in a private house. So, having a deficit in the winter-gear department, I grabbed the closest thing I had that resembled a shovel: a dust pan. Yes. I am that girl. I shoveled the car out this morning with a dustpan…and no gloves: a winning combination that left my hands red and raw. I am not proud of this moment; however, it is definitely something that I am going to laugh about in the not too distant future…like perhaps tomorrow or Friday after I have gotten rid of the last of the snow.

When I finished, I went back insides to warm up for a few minutes before my trek to the bus stop, but unfortunately it doesn’t end there. Not only did my bus end up being twenty minutes late, but it also broke down and I had to wait another large chunk of time to get onto the next one. Thankfully, my ride on the subway was fine, but right after I got off at Grand Central they stopped the 7-line from coming into the city because of a fire.

On the bright side, I was able to get my latte with no problems as there was surprisingly no line at Starbucks…hopefully my commute home won’t be so bad. I am sooo looking forward to my day of yoga, beauty and shopping on Friday 😁.

20140205-125838.jpg

Dior Vernis Nail Enamel (653) Darling

This past summer, I was killing time before meeting a friend for drinks and decided to browse around Sephora.  Not the greatest idea, since practically every time I step in there I end up purchasing something I hadn’t been expecting to get.  That particular trip, I believe ended with my purchasing a shade of Marc Jacobs Enamored Nail Glaze, Daisy to be exact.  I purchased something else that day , but I cannot remember what it was.  I had been very excited about the Marc Jacob nail polish because it was a new product for him, and because it was named after Daisy from Gatsby, clearly (he also has a shade called Gatsby of which I own as well).

So, I was walking around the store, browsing, and I came across this amazing shade of pink nail polish from Dior Vernis Nail Enamel: Darling (653).  Now, not only did I love it because I am a pink girl and it truly is an amazing shade of pink, but I also loved it because of the name.  My best friend Melissa and I have been calling each other darling for as long as I can remember.  I’m not sure how it started exactly, but of course the name drew me in.  I stood there for a few minutes, contemplating the purchase but ultimately left the store without it.  For the longest time I had been a strictly Essie girl, and I could not justify spending $24 on one bottle of nail polish no matter how perfect a shade of pink it was.

Fast forward a few months to my most recent Sephora trip.  I was in desperate need of mascara, of which I use Dior Extase, and so upon my entrance into the store, I knew that I would be back in the vicinity of that beloved nail polish color.  I convinced myself that if they did still have it, I would purchase it because really, at that point of course I was meant to own it.  After procuring my mascara – Dior really makes the best mascara – I glanced at the nail polish and, there was Darling, sitting there waiting for me.  I scooped it up immediately and rushed to the register…the line was atrociously long but seemed to move quickly enough. 

I have not used it yet, but very soon my nails will be inhabited by this beautiful shade of pink!

Survivor: Blood vs. Water Finale

Having gotten into Survivor earlier in the year, and watching a ton of seasons back-to-back with every episode waiting at my fingertips, I never before had to endure the week-to-week wait that fans experienced until now.  The same suspense that kept me in my Survivor-a-thon craze held my attention week after week for the new season Blood vs. Water, though I missed the ability to stay up late into the night (or in on a rainy day) watching episodes.

Let me say that this was an amazing season.  I knew a few of the returning players, though none of them made it to the end.  I really liked the premise of pitting loved ones against each other – seeing which ones would stick by their loved ones and sacrifice themselves, and seeing which ones would turn against each other (which was bound to happen).  I wasn’t surprised when Rupert changed places with his wife because that’s the type of guy I could see that he was, but I was disappointed because I wanted to see him win for once.  Although I didn’t like Aras from Survivor: Panama, I came to like him this season and was rooting for him I think partially because I wanted him to beat his brother Vytas, and partially because I felt bad when the tribe went behind his back and voted him out – although that is a move that happens frequently with this game.

There came a point almost mid-way through when I expressed my thoughts that Tyson was the frontrunner.  For one thing he ended up finding both idols, which was definitely an advantage.  A second thing was that he seemed to have this control that no one really seemed to realize.  Everything that he did was calculated, even insofar as the way he ended up playing both idols, even though after they were in play it was clear that they had not actually been needed and were more for peace of mind.  A few weeks ago, when they decided to draw rocks at tribal council (only the second time it has been done), I wasn’t sure what the outcome would be.  It really could have changed-up the whole game.  Tyson didn’t end up drawing the white rock, and I was glad about that, although the person that I had wanted to leave (Ciera) didn’t draw the white rock either.

In the end, Tyson did win, and I think that he deserved it, although I would have liked for the edits to be a little less obvious about it.  The next season begins in February and it sounds like it will be an interesting one.  I can’t wait!

Touring the North Fork

Recently, on a perfect fall day, I decided to drive out to the North Fork and visit some of the local wineries.  I say some, because there are sooo many of them, I really don’t think it’s possible to visit all of them in one day – I mean, I guess you could try, but one, you would end up so drunk that you wouldn’t remember a lot of it, and two, if I was going to do that, I’d rather just do a bar-crawl.

So, with a list of wineries in hand, and pages of directions from google that didn’t always help me after all (when did google start making their directions confusing?), I headed out east for a day of fun and adventure, with not a care in the world.

My first stop was all the way in Greenport.  It is the most eastern winery on the North Fork, but it also is known for its view…and can I just say that the view was absolutely worth it even though I did not walk out of there with a bottle of wine.  You could take a glass (bottle) and walk out across an expanse of lawn where you were greeted with Adirondack chairs, picnic tables/benches, and a gorgeous view of the Long Island Sound.  Having grown up on Long Island, and being acquainted with some parts of the Sound’s beaches, I was amazed by the beauty of it.  Kontokosta Winery is a must.

Another winery that I really liked – although again, their wine wasn’t the best (I know, I’m a wine snob) – was Duck Walk Vineyards North.  What I especially liked about this place was that they had live entertainment and a lively attitude.  Also, you were able to walk through the vineyards with your beverage of choice.  I put my wine glass down on the grass and frolicked.

There were a few other vineyards that I visited that day, where I did end up taking home a bottle from, but the two I mentioned above were definitely the most fun ones.  All in all, it was a fun day, and I wouldn’t hesitate to go back and do it again.

Are You Ready for Winter?

Like it or not, it seems that winter is hitting us full force and ignoring the fact that it is about a month too early, and that the temperatures today are usually reserved for the middle of winter, you know, February. I don’t quite remember the temps from this time last year, but I know that they were definitely higher than this. Despite the big snowstorm we had last winter, and only a short period of plunging temps, I feel that it is inevitable that this year it will be bad…especially if today is any indication. So, how are you preparing?

Normally when it gets cold I get in a baking mood. Using my oven both warms up my apartment on a chilly day, and fills it with the delicious aroma or cookies or muffins. I envision cozy nights in watching movies with friends, red wine, fireplaces. I think of warm comfy pjs and furry Uggs, phone conversations that last forever and winter adventures just to prove to yourself that a little chill (frigidity?) doesn’t scare you.

What is your favorite winter memory? Is it with a best friend, a significant other, family, or a night you did something just for yourself? I have a few favorite winter memories, ones that I keep close to my heart, that fill me with hope and warmth and love.

Being ready for winter isn’t just about buying a new coat or scarf, and it isn’t just about the parties and the cheer. Winter is the time for reflection and improvement. It’s the time when you look deep into yourself, see how you’ve grown as a person, how life has changed you and determine what new improvements can be made.

What is your favorite winter memory? Are you ready for winter?

Panda Obsession

A few months back, I was watching the news as I was getting ready for work and I saw the cutest things ever.  Twin baby pandas were born at Zoo Atlanta; the first ever twin pandas in the US.  Also, twin pandas in general are not very common, more often than not, one of the twin cubs doesn’t survive.

Ever since then, I have been obsessed.  I followed the pandacam for a bit, but was never satisfied with what I saw – because really, there wasn’t a lot going on on the pandacam (so sad).  Zoo Atlanta keeps a blog about the twin baby pandas, and with every picture I see, I love them more and more, and want one of my own.  Or at least to hold one of them.  Did I tell you already that I’m obsessed?!

I am well aware that, although they are cute and fuzzy right now, and easily cuddleable, one day they will be huge.  I am also aware that it is probably illegal to have a panda for a pet, even if it is just a baby.  For about a week I was considering adopting a panda from one of the wildlife websites, and getting a t-shirt with a panda on it.  I haven’t done either of those things yet, but I’m still thinking about it.  What I do have in my possession though, courtesy of my friend Melissa, is a panda pillow-pet, which arrived last week.  It’s not a real baby panda, but it’s cute, cuddly, and it won’t get any bigger.  And.  I love it.  I know, I am a huge dork…but I don’t care!

To Tattoo, or Not to Tattoo?

Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you the same thing: I am not a tattoo girl.  Sure, I played around with temp tattoos when I was a child, putting them on with a damp sponge or cloth, as per the instructions.  But, the last couple times I did that, I remember wanting to get the temp off of me asap, going insofar as using rubbing alcohol to get it off, only to leave my skin pink and sensitive.  I’m the girl who has never done anything permanent to her body with the exception of getting her ears pierced once.  I could never have been okay with having multiple holes on my ears, and aside from that, the only other thing I had ever thought about doing was a belly ring.  I didn’t do that because I have a birthmark slightly above my belly button, and felt that that was decoration enough for me, and I am completely happy with my decision.

So, back to tattoos.  Other than the fact that they are permanent, and removing them is a painfully long and expensive process, another reason that has always stopped me from getting tattoos (other than just not liking most of them) is the needles.  I have a fear of needles.  When I was younger, my mother would take me to the doctor for a checkup, and when it got to the point where they would administer my yearly shots, I would run away, literally.  I would run out of the room as fast as my little legs could carry me.  I would run under the nurse’s desk and reception.  I would just run.  Of course, eventually I would be found, picked up and taken back into the room to get my shots, but I wouldn’t be happy about it.  Today I no longer run away from doctors, but I do always almost pass out while getting a needle or when having blood drawn.  I wish I wasn’t so squeamish, and I know that it is a mind-over-matter thing, but at my age, I still have not been able to master this.  I even have sat in while other people were getting tattoos, and got the same feeling in the pit of my stomach and had to turn away.  It’s kind of embarrassing, but I always warn people ahead of time.  Blood and needles are soooo not my thing. 

Why am I considering a tattoo all of a sudden?  Don’t worry, it’s not because I’m going through a mid-life crisis: I’m way too young for that!  I guess it is more of a, if you see something that you really like, then you allow yourself the possibility of changing your beliefs for this one exception.  I am a firm believer that nothing is written in stone, and that just because I’ve said for years that I dislike something doesn’t mean that I am never going to change my mind about it.  My friend Melissa and I were talking about this last week.  We both have been thinking about getting the same tattoo, in the same place.  We have a couple of reasons for this: we think that the area that we are considering is sexy and we both really love the symbol not just for the physicality of it, but also for its meaning: perfection, equilibrium, long lasting friendship or relationship.  Melissa and I both think that is beautiful.

Instead of running to the first tattoo parlor that we see, because I have been a non-tattooer for as long as I can remember, I went onto Amazon last week, found the symbol that we want and ordered it for us to try on together, as a sort of test run for the real thing – if we happen to do it.  The temp tattoos are a bit bigger than either of us would like to have – if we do decide to go permanent they would be significantly smaller – but I think that they are a great way to see if we really are willing to do this.  I think that I definitely am, but as I said before, I always hesitate to do anything permanent to my body, so I will wait and see.  When you have a bff who is as good to you as mine is, sometimes you end up doing things that you would never expect yourself to do…and have a blast while doing it.