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Archive for January, 2009

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Change.

If I was playing that game where you blurt out the first thing that comes to mind when you hear a word … and the word given to me was “change” … my response would go something like this:

Clothes.
Coins.
Campaign signs.

The designers of the Obama/Biden campaign might deserve a Pulitzer, it was nothing short of brilliant … and the word change, no doubt, played a role in its brilliancy. But, please note, those campaign signs that we saw everywhere, every day for 2 years, was NOT the first thing to come to mind.

Until today, the word change was only a word.

A catchy campaign slogan. A one syllable verb that, for me, represented the idea of getting the Bush administration the hell out of DC.

What a difference a day makes.

If prompted to play that same game tonight, my responses would definitely be different because I had an experience.

This morning, I experienced the C-H-A-N-G-E that was printed on millions of paper signs. I watched it come to life … in the form of head nods, smiles, and prolonged eye contact between strangers that would, on any other day, be flat out weird.

I SAW CHANGE in the faces of random people on the street, at the gym, in the coffee shop, and on the elevator. Witnessing strangers holding one another’s gaze long enough to exchange an approving gesture is something truly incredible. The times in my life that I’ve seen two people who don’t know one another, swap a stare and a nod, it ended in a fist-flying fight.

This is definitely a different day.

Everyone knew that January 20, 2009 would be a historic, exciting day … but to actually see people WANTING TO SHARE this day with one another was completely unexpected, to me.

Stangers giddy, hugging and smiling? This is extreme.

It makes me believe that people truly are ready to take the word change and put it into action in some way in their own lives. The look that I saw on the faces of so many people this morning makes me think that we might be ready to create this “better America” that we’ve heard so many candidates preach about.

This kind of change goes far beyond a new administration in the White House. This kind of change is B-I-G.

Our president, Barack Obama, did what he said he was going to do … he inspired CHANGE in America … if only for a day, in my book that’s huge. I felt this energy on November 4 of last year, but today, I SAW IT come to life with my own eyes.

If this day is any indication of what President Obama can do … deriving good spirits and a fresh tone out of a discouraged population drowning in an endangered economy … I can’t wait to see what he can do in four year’s time.

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Vampire.

Jukebox.

Qualify.

Zygosis.

Knights.

Weapons.

Xeroxes.

VERY FEW THINGS ARE AS FABULOUS AND AS SATISFYING AS DE-RACKING ON A TRIPLE WORD SCORE.

You Scrabble heads know what I’m talking about.

Last night, my friend and I had one of our best boards yet. It was magical. Every pull was perfection, words branched out in each direction, covered the board equally and intersected with ease … making for mad points.

Scrabble is the only game in my house that doesn’t require an outlet and gets some serious play.

It’s one of the only games I’ve been playing for decades and haven’t gotten the slightest bit bored with. I play quite a bit, sometimes it’s a casual game over drinks and Family Guy reruns, other times it’s a balls-to-the-wall competition with teams and cash. It’s always fun, and SO gratifying when the (Scrabble) stars aline.

I think the game is so addictive because victory is just as attainable as it is impossible. You can have the most expansive vocabulary catalogued alphabetically in your brain, but if you get a bad pull — you lose. Or, let’s say, your opponent throws down POSE, you intersect it with OZONE and then pull T, X, J, U, A — beautiful!

Well … it’s beautiful … until your opponent spells off of POSE and then POOF, your JUXTAPOSED dreams go up in flames.

It’s all about luck and timing.

Last night, my friend and I had both. And it was more than beautiful. Both of us scored into the 500s, can’t remember exact numbers — there was some wine … 😉

I’m in the best mood ever today, because we rocked Scrabble so hard … is that ridiculous?

We left the board filled out, in all of its glory, on the table … we didn’t have the heart to break up all of the grand words and poetic intersections.

NERD ALERT: I’m considering a stop on the way home tonight to pick up some super glue so that I can permanently stick the tiles down and hang the board on my wall.

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I HAVE A SERIOUS CASE OF THE MONDAYS TODAY.

Ugh.

I’m swamped with work and I’m convinced that some mad man broke into the diner and extracted the caffeine from all the coffee in the building. I’ve had 3 cups and NOTHIN’ … I could crawl into bed right now and pass out ’til tomorrow.

It’s been a while since I’ve felt this rough around the edges after the weekend, and I have no excuse. I stayed in town and watched football all weekend … there were no late night shenanigans or big benders, I’m just tired. I need one more day to get some stuff done and get my head back in the game.

A few weeks ago I gave a shout out for government-mandated siestas and today, I would like to add one more thing to my fantasy request: the 4-day work week.

10 hour work days, 4 days a week … permanent 3-day weekends.

You with me?

Think about how different you would feel right now, if you knew siesta was in an hour and your weekend begins on Thursday evening.

Personally, I’d have no problem putting in the extra time, I’m already here for 9 or so hours, what’s a few more? It would be so worth it come Wednesday … knowing the weekend is almost here … oh my, how fabulous that would be.

I got an email from a former co-worker who is now living overseas, basking in his I have the best job ever glory. I’m sure he didn’t mean to pose his note this way, but like I said, I’ve got a case of the Mondays, so that’s how it felt this morning.

He’s a journalist with deadlines like any other job, but his work environment is not like any other and he’s looooooving it. There aren’t scheduled siestas in his new country, but there aren’t schedules either … he is free to come and go, work from home, nap whenever … as long as he hits the deadline. This obviously wouldn’t apply to most jobs, but the idea of creating a 40 hour week with flexibility, is dreamy.

And dreamy it shall remain.

The day that we all clock in on a 4-day work week with mandatory siestas will also be the day that we all have to ice skate home … BECAUSE HELL WILL HAVE JUST FROZEN OVER.

I’ll have my skates ready …

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… According to Vogue magazine.

I believe it was the September issue that examined the new lash phenomenon. The reporter had me cracking up with the lash-boob analogy … writing about how “every woman in the world wants them bigger and better” … but it’s so true.

IT’S ALL ABOUT LUSCIOUS LASHES RIGHT NOW.

A friend of mine called last night to tell me how excited she was for her morning appointment.

“I’m getting them done!” she shrieked.

“Oh, who’s them?” I asked, thinking there’s no room for any additional cc’s inside of her already bursting chest. I don’t have to hide my distaste, she’s well aware that I’m not down with all of her cosmetic procedures.

“My lashes! I’m getting extensions tomorrow!” she squealed in my ear.

I tried to talk her out of it, like I do every time she consults me prior to having something “done.”

3 of my friends already have eyelash extensions. It’s a tedious, expensive process that involves heat-activated bonds just like the ones hairstylists use on the head … except that the glue is pressed a pinhead away from your eyeball — EEK! There’s also a lot of up-keep; frequent appointments for touch-ups and special cleaning regimens — which equals more time and money (no thanks).

I embellished some of the horror stories that I’ve heard trying to convince my procedure-feigning friend that she doesn’t need the damn extensions.

I must admit that when everything goes as planned, the final product is incredibly beautiful and the idea of not having to wear mascara is ever-so tempting.

But I say SKIP THE PERMANENT IMPLANTS and opt for the wide variety of push-up mascaras available dirt-cheap at every drug store across the country.

I was a mascara junkie long before the lash frenzy of ’08 that Vogue devoted an entire 4-page editorial to. I got it from my mom. She doesn’t wear a lot of make-up, just one hefty sweep of mascara and a dab of lipgloss. I adopted her methodology, as a tween trying to be as pretty as her mother, and have been addicted to pumped-up lashes ever since.

To my delight, cosmetic companies have really turned it up a notch since my early lash-loving years. There’s no reason to buy the pricey name brands at department stores. I’ve tried them all, and have had the most success with the drug store brands priced under 10 bucks.

Here’s my top 5:

Lash Stylist – Maybelline
Sky High Curves – Maybelline
Voluminous – Loreal
Glam Eyes – Rimmel
2000 Calories – Max Factor

My friend told me Dior Blackout is her fav. There was a lot of hype surrounding this product over the summer, so I caved and bought it. I was not floored by the results.

I pitched my 5 favs to my friend over the phone last night … she put me on hold to grab a pen and a piece of paper. I urged her to run out to the nearest Duane Reade (she’s in NYC) and try one of them before her appointment today. I also reminded her that she can still rock the glue-ons for special events … they’re TEMPORARY, they look great and require no up-keep. Either she got nervous, or I seriously need to consider getting back into the business of sales, because the last text I got from her said that she made a mad dash for the store and bought ALL 5 on my list to try.

Btw … all 5 tubes cost less than 1 tube of Dior.

I texted her back this morning … so curious to know if she’s ditching her appointment.

No word yet.

The fact that the business of eyelash extensions even exists is a bit disturbing, no?

The whole nip-tuck-inject-enhance thing makes me uncomfortable. I don’t think I could do it. Even though there are 16 different things on my body that I can think of, right now, that I’d LOVE to change. The idea of actually making an appointment and going under the knife — or under the needle — is unimaginable. I’m also afraid that if I did one, I’d go nuts and do them all.

I’M NOT GOOD WITH MODERATION.

I’d end up looking like Lisa Rinna, who by the way, recently confessed on momlogic.com that she sees a freak when she looks in the mirror. Yikes. Sad.

I think I’ll go ahead and stick to my magic drug store mascara … and other ways of image lifting rather than image changing.

Still no text from my friend yet … she’s probably lying back in a chair as we speak. I can picture her being so patient and still as some talented stylist carefully glues on her new luscious lashes.

I can see her exiting the salon when it’s all done … walking onto a breezy New York street, turning heads left and right.

She looks GORGEOUS.

Just as gorgeous as she did when she walked in …

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It’s a quarter after 2 in the morning.

The BF disappeared into the dungeon hours ago, said he’d “be right back.”

I can hear the freakin’ raid talk through the walls.

I AM REALLY HATING WoW RIGHT NOW.

End blog.

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I got a knock on my door last night around 8 p.m.

My adopted dog, Frankie, took his typical I’m from the streets of Yonkers, I will crush you stance. His hair stood up as he growled and exposed his fangs resembling a tiny row of Tic Tacs.

I made my way down the stairs, Frankie at my feet, snarling louder with each step. I scooped up my hood-rat dog to calm him down and peered through the glass on my front door. I recognized the man standing on the other side as a person who I’d seen in the realtor’s office when I signed the paperwork to move in. I flicked on the light switch to illuminate the porch and opened the door.

This was not the man I thought I’d recognized. Oh no … please don’t shank me and steal all of my belongings.

I felt Frankie stiffen in my arms, his ears slicked back tight like he was ready to flash on this stranger trespassing in our territory.

“Uh, hello,” I said with the inflection of a question.

I noticed he had a bottle of wine in his left hand. What the hell is this? Some sort of angelic courier service? Am I dreaming?

“Hi, my name is Stephen. My fiancee and I just moved in next door. I am a wine distributor for Blah Blah Company. Wanted to say hello and drop this by,” he said in a friendly tone … he posed the bottle between his two hands in a very formal, presentation-like manner.

Wine distributor? … I’m thinking. My new neighbor is a wine distributor? SWEET.

Frankie collapsed like dead-weight on my arm … a sign that he relaxed … likely responding to the relief he sensed in me.

“Thank you Stephen, this is so cool,” I said. I took the bottle with my free hand and gave it a once over. “Nice.”

“So, my fiancee and I are going to have a little tasting at our house next week, nothing fancy, if you guys are around … ” he said.

“We’re always available for a tasting,” I replied.

“And don’t worry, I only sell in bulk to businesses, not looking to bank off the neighbors,” he joked.

Hhhhhhmmmmm. I hadn’t thought about that at all, but a good sign that he’s waving the I promise I’m not sheisty flag.

We exchanged pleasantries and said goodbye. I went upstairs, let the vino breathe for a bit, and then enjoyed the neighborly gesture right down to the last sip.

I’m thinking this morning about how a neighborly act, like the one Stephen and his fiancee are doing, just isn’t commonplace anymore. Growing up, my two next-door neighbors were like family to us. We shared wine, food, laughs, and annual camping trips. Now we are all too busy and these days and you just don’t know who you can trust. (Or at least that’s what I tell myself to internally justify why I don’t make the effort.)

Today I’m thinking that’s not a bad idea to test the waters, take the time, and find out who you can trust. Out of the 15 or so doors that Stephen knocked on last night … perhaps 1 or 2 will develop into friendships and that’s pretty cool. And it’ll be really cool the day someone gets locked out of their house, needs a cup of flour, or an extra hand with a bulky piece of furniture.

I want to be more neighborly.

I’m crazy-busy … rarely home, but that’s not an excuse to not reach out to the folks who sleep a stone’s throw away from me. Who’s more busy than president-elect Barak Obama? Fresh off a 2-year plus campaign, working day-in, day-out with his transition team … and yet Obama fought for a brand new inaugural event, one that would include his neighbors.

Have you heard about this?

Our president-elect is throwing a block party in DC because he doesn’t want to exclude the people with whom he and his family will be sharing a community with, on January 20th. No other president has ever done this. I think it’s old school and SO COOL.

So in a nutshell, I am feeling inspired this morning. Stephen, my new wine-distributing neighbor, and our president-elect have reminded me how important it is (no matter how busy I am) to make an effort to be a good neighbor.

I may not be knocking on doors tonight, singing the Mr. Rogers theme song, but I’m officially inspired and will be keeping my eyes open for an opportunity to extend a neighborly gesture.

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