Celebrataciousness

I send out big hugs and kisses of celebration to my two favorite newly engaged friends…

The first happy couple is Stephanie and Anthony, who have had the most incredible courtship ever… starting on a Greek Cruise, and spanning at least three continents, Europe, Australia and the US. Her leap of faith to be with this warm hearted man has already been well documented on Interravision: here. Though I just recently learned of their Christmas Eve engagement, I am already getting excited for their wedding… I know it will be a blast, the question is: in which country will it take place? Auguri!

And also I am thrilled to send out big felicidades to David J. and Nancy. At the very least, I am happy that this will put an end to my friend David’s frequent complaining about the lack of good women out there. And by “good” he means one who will climb mountains, don cramp-ons (whatever those are), scuba in crazy places, and follow him (or better: lead him) on one crazy expedition after another (word is they are heading on a 6000 mile journey by train across the Gobi Desert). I’ve only met Nancy briefly, but I know for certain they are a match made for each other.

Horray for love!

Steph

There is nothing I can appreciate more than a leap of faith. That is just what my good friend Steph has done– and in quite extreme measure.

After meeting a very nice boy on a Greek cruise ship last year, she quit her job, left her apartment of nearly 10 years, said so long to close friends and family and moved to Sydney, Australia to be with her love. Yes, the same Sydney that is half-way around the world. Man, I thought my own move from Boston to New York was a big move.

Steph holds a very dear place in my heart. She’s a ray of sunshine…on crack. She carries more energy, more “can do” and more purses than any one else I know. We first became friends back in college and have managed to keep the embers of our friendship burning even though it is only in the last year that we have lived close to one another.

It was Steph that I was visiting when I met Damir here in Long Island. In fact, it is because of Steph that I even met him in the first place. I never would have had the courage to talk to him and his cousin, but my girl Steph is not one to be labled “shy”. She struck up the first conversation, and I have carried it on ever since.

Though she has only been gone a short while, her absence is palpable. Even living around the corner we didn’t see each other as much as we probably should, but I liked just knowing she was there. It was comforting to know a good friend, and one that knows me to the core, was just a few blocks away. Long Island still feels like foreign territory to me, and I am ashamed to admit that I have made not one new friend outside of work that lives in the area. It’s easy to get lazy like that.

I hope she is there now in Sydney basking in the glow of the Australian winter sun and the excitement of a new home, country, and boyfriend. At least I now have a good excuse to start planning a journey to the South Pacific! Here are a few photos from our nearly 15 year long friendship (click on it to see larger):


And another goodbye

All week I have been trying to write this post, and keep hitting the delete button about halfway through my thoughts. I can’t get it right, and so now I will stop trying to get it right and just write.

I learned on Monday from my friend Penny that a friend we had in college was tragically killed last weekend in a boating accident on the Chesapeake Bay. Mike and some friends were out on a boat late Saturday night and hit a marker; three ended up in the water and Mike didn’t make it out. I don’t know more details than those.

Mike and I weren’t extremely close in college, but we hung out in the same social circle. Because our social connection, my memories of Mike all take place at a party or bar, and thus are full of laughter. It has been years since we were in touch, but regardless the news has been weighing me down. Mike was engaged to be married, and my heart goes out to his fiancee.

I have to admit fearing what she, Mike’s fiancee, is going through– when Damir is late to meet me, or we are distanced for a period of time, my brain often defaults to the worst case scenario. Why do I do that to myself? Usually I am fearing a car accident, not that he is careless at the wheel, but having spent some time now driving the NY highways, I see those other crazy drivers careening down the road… not to mention the countless roadside memorials that now line the shoulders of every road I drive on. But he always comes bounding through the door full of kisses and hugs and each time I realize how silly I am to worry in such a senseless manner. What’s the point?

I don’t have a suitable closing for this post, how do you “wrap up” news such as this? I leave you with the link to Mike’s obituary in the Baltimore Sun: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/obituaries/bal-md.ob.schott07aug07,0,4743019.story

May You Frolic in Cat Grass Forever

Dear Marley,

Sweet Kitty, you will be missed.

I am glad I came across that ad on that expat message board when we lived in Amsterdam and that Ashbloem had space in her home and heart for you. I know you brought her much joy and laughter over the last several years, and guided her through the changes in love and life that have since transpired. Her Virgil in orange fur.

No doubt you were thankful to be free of those kids in your previous home, and owners who took less than loving care of you. The first of Ashbloem’s brood of kitties, you were the cantankerous yet sweet older brother of Gus and Tugboat. You became the world traveling kitty, passport and all, having lived in Holland, Switzerland, Boston and finally Dallas. You got to see more of the world than most cats, or even people for that matter.

I am sorry that I was not there to say goodbye, but I know that you are up above noshing on some sweet cat grass with a side of tuna.

Farewell, sweet kitty.

Summer Loving

The weather has finally turned hot and humid which can only mean two things:

1) Beach weather!
2) I won’t have another decent hair-day until October!

D and I started our summer tour of NY State Parks on Monday, taking full advantage of the Empire Pass that allows us free entry into all the parks for the upcoming year– including the best beaches Long Island has to offer. What LI lacks in culture, it does make up for in a plethora of State and County parks to explore.

We checked out Captree and Heckscher parks on Monday. Captree was nice, with a good picnic and BBQ area right on the beach as well as multiple boats in their marina offering fishing trips and coastal cruises. Hecksher looked like it had seen better (funded) days. I already have the beach chairs, towels and suntan lotion stored in the back of the truck for any unexpected beach going moments that might catch me by surprise.

Speaking of Summer Love, Penny’s wedding last weekend was lovely and it was fun to see some college pals I hadn’t seen since graduation. Penny was beautiful and the weather held for the important parts of the day, namely the reception held under the blue open skies.

We were seated at a table with a friend from college, Janine, her husband Michael and their toddler. As luck would have it, Michael is a first generation American… his father was born and raised in Montenegro! Damir and Michael got on like a house on fire talking about all things Montenegro and their sweet son Eli seemed to take a special liking to Damir and followed him around and about the wedding reception. Or maybe it was the other way around. I have to say, it was pretty darn cute.

Benvenuta!

Please join me in welcoming this little darling, Rossella M. to the world, born to one of my dearest friends on earth, Giorgia.


Benvenuta Bella Bambina!

Of Mice and Men and Bears and BBQs

So, I found a mouse dropping this weekend. I am sure that is exactly what you were hoping to see on interravision today, “mice droppings”. Yuck. Eww. And you know… where there are droppings… Luckily (or not, depending) I saw the dropping near the poison bait thingy that my landlord put out. Hopefully that takes care of that and I won’t find any more unwanted house guests anytime soon.

Damir was back in Boston this weekend and thankfully the sun came out in time for us to do some fun day trips. I picked him up on Saturday and we drove up the coast on Rte 1A through Cape Ann to Rockport. It was great driving through all the pretty little coastal towns, and the weather was perfect and sunny.

We met up for dinner with Amanda and David and had a great time talking about how crazy Switzerland is, cross country drives, and Amanda and David’s upcoming move out West. We ended the evening at one of my favorites, Bar 10.

Sunday was a bit of a lazy day watching baseball and strolling around the neighboorhood. We Hung out for a long time in the North End, and had dinner at a great little place called Euno. I splurged on some pasta, but only ate about 1/4 of my plate so hopefully I won’t regret it at tomorrow’s weigh-in. Mmmmm. Pasta. Food-wise I was pretty good the rest of the weekend.

OK, have you heard about Build a Bear? Am I the only one who has never heard of this before? Fantastic idea! Go to this shop, pick out a bear “skin”, watch it get filled with fluff (as much or little as you like), insert a heart (which you make a wish on before the heart goes in), sew it up, and pick out an outfit and a name. OK, I love this. I may be a total goofball, but I love it!

Damir took me on Monday to make my own bear, and you know what? It was silly and yet so very sweet. Yes, I am gushing. I am the proud owner of Medo (that’s montenegrin for bear):

and have him smartly dressed in these overalls:

Thankfully Damir didn’t make me get the Yankees uniform for Medo.

Later on Monday we headed over to casa de Superette for some BBQ delish. This is where my diet was really put to the test! All that gorgeous meat, hotdogs, snacks, and treats. So hard to resist! I had a big salad, some grilled asperagus and grilled zucchini. OK, yes, I snuck in a few potatoe chips and a bit of hotdog– but no bun or relish. And no dessert. I rock. This morning I fit into a pair of pants that I haven’t worn in nearly a year. That’s good news. Worth a few missed cookies for sure.

While at Superette I picked up my order for a hot little cell-phone cleaner and all purpose pouch designed with the cutest little russian nesting dolls. The lovely ladies who bring you the wonderfully Superette have started their own design company: MOGO (Modern Goods from Scratch). The best part is, you can have your own fun items and not have to pick it up in person… They ship!

SHAMELESS PLUG: Please visit and buy something from MOGO! Trust me, you won’t be sorry. And you will be the envy of all of your friends for having cool unique hand-made accessories.

Damir left back to NYC this morning, and I am sad. It’s hard to have all these starts and stops… he’s here and we’re together 24-7 and then he is suddenly gone. I don’t know when we’ll see each other next. Hopefully very soon.

I’d Like to Thank…

I’d like to thank the Academy of slumber for bestowing upon me the best night’s sleep in over two weeks last night. It is such an honor for me to be the recipient of this great blessing. I could not have done it without the help and support of the following:

First, to my dearest Ashbloem who came over yester-evening, listened to me vent and ate thai food with me. Curry is better when you are around, my dear. The Pilsner Urquells went down real nice-like and surely contributed to the sweet sweet coma into which I was induced last night.

Next, I’d like to thank Mr. Mike who once again took the time to pass on some very sage advice that calmed my frazzled thoughts. I owe you one, man. I couldn’t have done it without you.

Last, but certainly not least, I’d like to thank the makers of the sweet nectar of the (sickly) gods, Nyquil. As advertised, yes, your product did come to the aid of my nighttime sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, and fever so I could rest. God bless you.

Oh and speaking of God: Word Up, man. Praise be Yaweh.

Make Me Over

Ashbloem, Reilly and I went for MAC makeovers on Saturday. I love going for makeovers at MAC. This time they had a DJ, body paint models and mai-tais floating around. Yum!

here are some of the action shots…


We went to Bar 10 afterwards for some cocktails and to show off our pretty faces. The waitress remarked, upon hearing our ages (all early 30s), “You give me hope.” Ah, to be young.

Lately I have been wishing for a total makeover. You know, like you wake up one morning and you are someone totally different. Like Cameron Diaz. But I guess that doesn’t really happen in real life. I have been thinking about cutting off my hair or dying it another color. It would be interesting to wake up with new hair, and maybe even new eyes. What do you think? Can you see me as a brown-eye’d redhead (ala` photoshop)?

I just want something…. different. Clearly another manifestiation of how much I am wishing for change in general in my life right now. OK, it’s not Cameron Diaz… but maybe…

Where did February Go?

I am looking at my calendar and cannot believe it is March 2nd. MARCH!

Was I abducted for the month of February? Do I have amnesia? I cannot believe the whole month has slipped through my fingers. The only way to know what I did last month is to look inside my trusty little camera. There must be some evidence there of what went on… Let’s see…

Looks like the month started off with a party of some sort. That’s RIGHT! It was ashbloem’s birthday. We had some fondue! And as usual, our girl Ann was THE LIFE of the party. She kicked it off hard core when she tried to see how many pieces of fondue bread she could stuff in her mouth at once. I think she got to 10. Check out dearest Dabney in the background. You know what she is thinking, right?




Nothing says HAPPY BIRTHDAY like a candle in a round of cheese. Right, girls?

Oh! And then Ash and I had a rare night out to ourselves! ALL BY OURSELVES! It was glorious, really. I can’t remember the last time we did that. We laughed and chatted up the friendly bartender, Ski, who was not the bartender we were hoping to find that night. Ah, well. He tried on her hat, though, and we liked him for it.


Maybe I had a baby.

No, that can’t be right. I think I would remember that. But what a cutie!

Oh, check this out. Now I remember… the bloody mary bar crawl with Vic and Chris. We started at Harvard Gardens, on to Kinsale, over to Spire then across the river to Cambridge where we hit Noir (even though they had no bloody marys as we had been promised), go kicked out of Grendels, had some thai food, and ended up at John Harvard’s. It was a full day. We had a few drinks.

Then it appears that I was abducted by strange asian garden gnomes:

Noooo. That’s just Ann again killing me with her crazy antics again. She had a grand old time with my hot pink cashmere hat at the Lush Lounge, where we were hanging out with Dabney and the lovely Francesca.

[Ladies… I am telling you that guy at the bar was STRAIGHT.]

The month ended with a trek through arctic temperatures (I swear there was an Emperor Penguin following me down Tremont) to the Union Oyster House, and no I did NOT order the “Ye Old Chili Nachos”. Vic and I feasted on oysters, cheerystones, and mussels. Yummmmmm! I totally charmed the shuckers, Mike and Dave, behind the bar and they let me come back and take some great shots up close and personal. I am actually going to save them for a separate posting since I like them (the pictures, not the schuckers) so much. No, they were really cool guys who kept us well entertained.

Well, that brings us more or less up to date on my social schedule. Sure, there’s been more than bar hopping and parties… but who wants to hear how I did my laundry the other day, or just how comfy my brand new sheets and duvet are?

Back to more regularly scheduled blogging… Promise.