Monday, April 30, 2012

how did I get here?

There was a time in my life when I slept till noon, woke up, brushed my teeth, and went straight to work.

Did not fuss with my hair.

Didn't wear any makeup.

Threw on whatever clothing was lying around, deemed the least wrinkled.

And the least dirty.

Life was simple: I worked hard, I played hard ... and late. And I slept the sleep of the dead.

I was 22 and I was just promoted. Yes, I know the sleeping-till-noon thing was clearly a hindrance, but, somehow, I had convinced my boss to let me work late and make up for it. He didn't seem to mind too much. Our arrangement was upheld for years. I was never fired.

I didn't worry about bills and receipts. I didn't worry about someone's school uniform being pressed properly. I didn't think ahead about what to make for dinner, heck I didn't even make dinner. Or breakfast. Or lunch. I didn't obsess about gifts for little boys' and girls' birthdays. Or grade reports. Or field trips.

I threw my overdue bills in a hat once a month, then drew a few, and paid those; the rest waited till my next warped lottery, if they were so lucky. I ate whatever was in the fridge, and when I was down to just the bottle of vodka, I drank it with friends, while singing karaoke songs in candlelight. I didn't buy anyone any presents, hell, I was broke most of the time. I went wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted. And I was responsible only for myself, if at that.

I was 22 and I knew I was pretty. Because the boys told me so. And the girls didn't like me much.

I didn't die my hair (except on that crazy New Year's Eve with my two roommates, but it was a drunken pact so it doesn't count)(and yes, we chose red, a really, really bright red). Never had a facial. My skin glowed with the arrogance of youth. My workouts consisted of dancing through the night.

I didn't worry about sagging body parts. I didn't worry about how I was judged as a mother. I didn't worry about keeping the fires of a relationship burning. There was always the next guy. And the next.

Life was simple: I dated, I broke up, I moved on. I wasn't attached to anyone. Or anything.

I was 22, and I had no idea what the future held. I just knew it would be glorious. I couldn't wait to get there.

Last Friday, I got a text from someone who couldn't find me at the reception. It was almost 9:30 pm. The reception that I had bought expensive tickets to, gotten a fancy dress for (#5, if you've been keeping track, the one that would necessitate the help of my good friend Spanx, but still), made arrangements for babysitting, planned my whole getting ready, hair and makeup, and possibly nails too, the one for which I had argued with my husband (Norman, the old poop, the happiest of hermits) more or less forcing him to agree to accompany me... THAT reception was happening THAT night, had been happening since 7pm actually, instead of the next day, as my calendar had been telling me.

I was flabbergasted.
How could I get it wrong?
Why was my life resisting the post-its, the to-do lists, and the omnipotent calendar?
What would I do with myself tomorrow?
Everything on tomorrow's to-do list was now irrelevant...

I should've taken the invitation out of the envelope!

How did I get here? So overwhelmed that I couldn't keep anything straight? How did I become this juggler of all things household, marriage, and kid, never mind my own career? Dropping balls left and right, in my wake? When did I start sleeping with one ear on alert, one eye semi-closed? Dragging my sorry, sagging ass out of bed, early every morning, just for the pleasure of repeating the tedium?

Where did that 22 year-old go?

What must she be thinking of her glorious future now?

Carla Bruni - Ma Jeunesse by matheusmakrakis

The dress is hanging in my closet, altered to the perfect length. The matching shoes and clutch will need to be put away. The custom jewelry is on my nightstand, shining silently, awaiting the same fate. 

They were far too kind to still give me my candle.

So pretty - still can't look at it.

The worst part? My best friend Pam, who, after a string of unsuccessful surgeries, became permanently blind before she turned 22 (yes, I know, perspective, perspective!) is eagerly awaiting my phone call with a detailed, descriptive report of the night that I spectacularly ruined, so that she can live it vicariously through me...

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Brenda is my first :)

I have been blogging for a little over a year now, with a little more frequency and intention than when I first started, but still. It started out with just a handful of friends and family members reluctantly reading my blog, mostly to score some brownie points. The bulk of the time it was just me, with my thoughts, in front of my computer, figuring out what I wanted to say, who I was and what I wanted to contribute. On the occasion of my first blogiversary (it is too a real word), I briefly wrote about what it meant for me to undertake this solo journey (you can read about it here).

So you can understand how a lonely experience like blogging can be totally validated when a fellow blogger picks you as an award recipient. Yes, it's a silly award. I didn't do much to earn it. I won't be getting anything else for it other than this cute little badge, which, coincidentally happens to match the color scheme of my own blog... But I don't feel silly at all accepting it, in fact, I am positively beaming. That tends to happen when someone sends happy thoughts my way. I'll take it any day!

While not entirely sure about the protocol of receiving and "bestowing it forward" (thanks Brenda for the tip), here's my attempt to not screw this one completely. It will always be very special to me. It is my first.
So please be gentle :)

I would like to thank Brenda Youngerman (Ponderings of an author, I love that tag line) for giving the Sunshine Award to me. She is a prolific author, excellent blogger, and of course, has impeccable taste in friends (She must... I am one!!! she said).
You can check out her answers and the other recipients at Sunshine Award

And here are mine:

Favorite color?  Grey, as evidenced by my grey car and grey house. Don't ask me to pick a color, if you don't want grey as an answer. Even my first post as a blogger was about grey.
Favorite Animal? Why, Douglas (Douggy-Woggy) my chichuahua, of course. If in general, then a horse.
Favorite number? 9. There was this boy, there was a jersey number, it stuck.
Favorite non-alcoholic drink? Coffee, cappuccino to be exact.
Facebook or Twitter? Both.
My passion? Never wasting an opportunity to learn something new.
Getting or giving presents? Argh, they are both too much pressure.
Favorite Pattern? Solid. I'm a minimalist who likes clean, clear lines.
Favorite day of week? Thursday.
Favorite flower? White roses. My nieces have been given ample instructions to make sure I have them at my funeral. And in case they forget, they can always refer to this post :)

Feel free to play along. I'm always interested in why people pick their favorites, so feel free to expand your answers.

And here are my picks for recipients. This was hard to do, because I know so many fantastic bloggers/blogs, and I'm sure if I had a whole day to write this, I'd still be listing them.
  • Hilary at Feeling Beachie ... I have a huge girl-crush on her and I love her hopping games.
  • Heather at Creative Family Moments... She is amazingly creative and her family is a hoot.
  • Denine at Words & music 365... She has an uncanny knack for spotting the most interesting stories.
  • Suzi at Boca Frau... Sunshine is a word that describes her perfectly, in my mind. Great eye for photos, too.
and last but not least
  • Karen at Karen Lynn whom I mostly follow on BlogHer, but also on Flickr, and Facebook, and Twitter, and Words With Friends, and the rest of the interwebz... She brings sunshine to my life in so many ways, I won't know where to start. My "purse sister"! I want to grow old with this woman. Norman, you old poop, don't make me choose between her and you, you might not like the answer.

Needless to say, what started out as a lonely experience turned into the wildest party I've ever attended. How about you: Whom would you nominate? Why?


Thursday, April 26, 2012

follow friday: four fill-in fun

You guessed it folks: This is a blog hop! I am apparently powerless to resist Hilary, the cutie-pie behind
Feeling Beachie and the host of this fun Follow Friday.

Of course, you also get to follow me, and I you, if you wish...
(Pick your poison: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Blogger, RSS feed or email)

You can play the fill-in game without following or hopping too, com'on, it'll be fun!

I'll let her do the explaining:

Welcome to the 60th weekly Follow Friday Four Fill-in Fun Blog Hop!

Each week, I plan on listing four statements with a blank for you to fill in on your own blogs. If you want to join the fun and come up with four fill in’s of your own, please email them to me at If I use them, I will add you as co-host to the hop! This week’s co-host is Beth Ann from It's Just Life
I would LOVE it if you could please help me spread the word about this hop…. So, please tweet, FaceBook share, and add the linky to your post…

This week’s statements:
 1.       I never ___ when I ___
2.       I used to __but I stopped
3.       My favorite picture of all time is of _______________
4.       When it gets dark I think about _______________
Please add the Follow Friday button to your post, or your blog.
Please follow me. Since Google Friend connect is gone, please follow through networked blogs, Facebook fan page or by email….If there is a co-host, please follow them as well. Leave a comment! I will follow back!
Please link your Follow Friday Four Fill-In Fun post to the linky below. PLEASE grab the linky and post on your blog…

 *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

My answers: 
1. I never fail to blink when I have my photo taken.
2. I used to worry about what people thought of me but I stopped
3. My favorite picture of all time is of anything with Emily in it, especially the baby ones :)
4. When it gets dark, I think about food, why is that?

Join us, won't you?

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

april 24, 1915

This is the story of my great-grandparents. All eight of them died in this brutal, inhuman massacre.
My family history died with them on that cruel day, years ago.

This did not just happen to them. 
This is not just the cold-blooded murder of 1.5 million innocent people.
This is the first genocide of the 20th century, a crime against humanity.

And it keeps getting perpetrated, through denial and lies...

97 years of waiting for recognition, reparation, and retribution should be enough.

This has become my story.

April 24th is a day of vigil, silent reflection, and remembrance.

But it is also a day of celebration, of survival, of triumph against evil.

Updated Apr 24, 2012 09:48 PM:
Thank you all for visiting and for your thoughtful comments. It’s been a very emotional day for me, especially since this is the first time I’ve told Emily about this. After much back-and-forth, I decided not to pull her out of school, and therefore did not take her to the vigil or to the march/protest, as was my initial intent. We spent the day watching documentaries (the portions that were suitable for her young, innocent eyes), making together our short family tree, and answering her questions.

The fact that the Armenian genocide is not officially recognized by the US government and other countries fearing Turkish retaliation, and that the perpetrators were never brought to justice, made it even more poignant. It is with a heavy heart that I felt the obligation to pass the torch of seeking reparation to the next generation – I wish I didn’t have to. Seeing Emily’s eyes water, and her obvious helplessness before the utter cruelty she was witnessing for the first time, was one of the hardest things I've had to do. Her grandparents are already in their 70s and 80s and time, unfortunately, is not on our side. I wanted her to have the opportunity to hear them recount their own memories and first-hand survivor stories told to them by their own parents. I owed her at least that much.

For as long as I can remember, I have spent this day wrapped in a cloak of grief and loss, but also a furious resolve to right an unimaginable wrong. There is not much I can do to bring back what is forever lost. What I can however do is try to give my daughter the opportunity to help salvage the churches and antiquated Christian relics that were stolen from her ancestors -- the first nation in the world to embrace Christianity in 301 A.D.--, and left by the Turkish government to the elements, to ruin for good. They mean more to me than the homes and belongings that my great-grandparents left behind, never to return to again.

To learn more about the Armenian Genocide, view photos and historical documents compiled by reputable historians, visit

Political tides change, but they often do so when driven by the will of the people. Please join me in signing this petition to President Obama, to finally deliver on his campaign promise and officially recognize the Armenian Genocide: Thank you!


Sunday, April 22, 2012

champagne and hangover

For those of you who asked me for pics of the big night, I'm afraid I have to come clean: Though we did take our "good" camera with us, it was hopelessly inadequate, especially in the darkly lit event.

If you just joined us, this is the last installment of a thread that will make much more sense if you read wanna guess the dress? and the "big reveal" first, in that order... or not :)

Seriously, how many crappy pictures does it take to convince someone that I need a new camera?
Mother's Day is almost here, yo!
And I know he don't have nothun planned.
Need I say more, Norman, you old poop?

I submit to you shameful exhibit A:

And this was such a good angle for me, too...

Here are the very few that didn't go straight to the delete bin:

She kept trying to pull me up. What was she thinking?

Montage of the honorees, produced by Cameron Crowe


                        Yummy. And yummier!

And lastly,

                                       (As usual, all pictures can be biggified by clicking on them)

I'll be eagerly waiting for that phone call, Jill. Shall we say the Ivy and Madama Butterfly?

How about you, how do you feel about operas?

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Friday, April 20, 2012

the "big reveal"

The idea was planted during a conversation on BlogHer with my good blogger buddy Darcie. It went something like this (actually, it went exactly like this) :

I wasn't planning on turning this into a thing. But how could I let that cutie-pie down?
Click here for the entire conversation.

(If you just joined us, this'll make more sense once you read Wanna Guess the Dress first.)
(Go head, I'll wait)

Meanwhile, here's my mask for the night...

(Sipping my cappuccino, whistling in tone-deaf fashion)

First, the eliminated:

Dress #1: Nice color, nice detail on the shoulder, good designer, plunging sexy back. 
But honey, putting a shiny fabric on protruding hips is never a good idea. 
Sorry, KarenApril, and Kraken.

Dress #2: Yes, Emily picked it. It wouldn't even zip closed (the reason why my arm is up is so my boob doesn't pop out). There were two variations, the other one was worse, thus not made public. 
(You're welcome.)
Nobody guessed this one, so it's safe to assume that none of you are blind.

Dress #4: HELL no. Poor lovely dress with very interesting paneling, but clearly, totally wasted on me. 
It did "go with the wind". Thanks for the laugh, JanieceMelissaand Hilary!

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Now the winners. Yes, there were two, Colleen was right! (I was totally touching my nose with one index finger and pointing at my monitor with the other, when she flatly asked me if I'd picked two):

The runner up

This gorgeous, gorgeous black number managed to make me look pretty decent. And its very modest price tag made it a must buy. Plus I have a formal dinner/reception to attend next week, so it was perfect for that! Even the grumpy hubby admitted as such. I mean, come on!! It's black, it's simple, it's versatile, it's understated and elegant at the same time. Can you blame me?

And the winner of an all-expense-paid trip to tonight's gala is... ta-da!! 

This lovely dress had all the right stuff: Dark navy (not black) to flatter the silhouette and complement the skin tone; elaborate ruffling that hid the imperfections around the gluteus maximus and hips; artful layering of the chiffon around the edge of the skirt, so feminine and sexy, ending in... ; a train, just think of all the funny conversations that'll ensue when I trip on them and fall flat on my face; and fancy shoulder draping, which finished the dress with a nice whimsical touch, with the added bonus of camouflaging the imperfections on the arms. Pretty, dressy, and cache-misère, all rolled into one. It was love at first sight!

I feel ad agencies should hire me just for the new slogan I wrote: 
A Tadashi Shoji dress: When you want a little Ta-Da in your life!!!

(Don't worry, I'm keeping my day job)

Some of you suggested that I used the shot of the back because the front was ugly, or to create mystery, or because I clearly didn't like it. Sadly, the silly reason for not showing the front photo was because my husband used the flash with it, which pretty much ruined it. No apologies, no contrition, nothing. Just "woopsie, eh, use the back photo" and that's it! I'm only letting him out of the doghouse today, because he is my date to the gala. And because somebody needs to hold my train :)

But don't just take my word for it, see for yourself:

(click images to biggify)

Well? What do you think?

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

wordless wednesday: croque monsieur in paris

What's your favorite food-city combination?

Don't forget to comment before hopping off. 
Oh, and use the linky-winky :)
But wash your hands afterwards, a'ight?

Thanks for stopping by. Happy WW!

Monday, April 16, 2012

wanna guess the dress?

The year was 2012.
The gala would be chic.
The theme? Bal à Venise, Soirée Mascarade.
Diet was undertaken for a 6-week.

She tried, oh she tried to starve and exercise.
The problem? She cheated, oh she cheated a lot.
The choices were narrowing.
Time was running out.
Decisions had to be made.
The dress was finally bought.

What did she get?
Seriously, why is the lighting inside the changing rooms so great? Outside? Not so much!

Here were the choices:

Caveat: The camera doesn't do any of the dresses justice. And I'm not THIS fat!

Which one was it? Care to guess?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

MS is my bitch

We raised $470 for MS Walk 2012, Los Angeles. We feel pretty good about that :)

For more info on Multiple Sclerosis, MS Walk, or how to get involved, check out

Click on any picture to trigger the photo album (and biggify it):