Friday, December 12, 2008

the reason for the season

the day after i moved to london in november 2004 for a short 6-month work/travel stint, i met a new friend. correction: i met my future wife. i'm not sure at which point during our six months spent as roommates we started referring to each other as "wife" and "wife" but it might have something to do with the fact that i cooked her meals while she ate mushrooms right out of the pan before they had time to grill, or the fact that she is the only reason i made it to work on time everyday because she'd scream my name until i bolted out of bed in a huff, stumbling to the bathroom with my eyes closed. we certainly took good care of each other for the duration of that time, and continue to be partners in crime 4 years later.

we lived on the infamous Kings Road in Chelsea. while surrounded by the poshest of stores (diesel, french connection, jigsaw and molton name a few), my favorite by far was paperchase. the day before i flew home, i spent about 2 hours in that store to stock up on everything i thought i might need (ok, want) before i could make it back to london. i was devastated to give up the tradition of grabbing a cup of caffe nero's coffee and perusing paperchase for hours on a sunday afternoon.

that is until one day, i wandered in to borders here in orange county and POOF! an ENTIRE section of paperchase goods. an orgasm to the eye. i peed my pants with excitement at the possibilities of owning it all. each and every delicious notecard, pen, ipod case and journal.

let me cut to the "chase" here. for christmas 2004, i bought my wife a 2005 calendar/diary from paperchase. and each year since, i've continued the tradition. there's nothing that quite makes it feel like the year is coming to an end...nothing that gets me in to the holiday spirit... and nothing that takes me back to that magical time spent in london, as the feeling of purchasing two fresh-off-the-press, untouched and uncluttered planners for the upcoming year. one for me, and one for my wife.

yes, i know. some people watch "it's a wonderful life." some people start playing christmas carols in their homes on the first of october. some people drop coins in the salvation army bucket... and some get "wrapped" up in the stress and anxiety that comes with shopping for everyone and their mothers. i delight in the simple pleasures like fed-exing a tiny little package to one of my best friends, and wishing her a good year:

Monday, December 8, 2008

russian down the 5 freeway

imagine my delight when my dear russian friend, jessica - better known as JEEEEEEEEESSS when combined with a running-jump-trample-kind-of-a-hug, informed me early last week of her impromptu decision to travel the length of california on friday for a reunion with some of her southern california friends. this--coming from the girl who refers to mid-california as "somewhere between heaven and hell." simply put, she's a san francisco snob (and i don't blame her).

on saturday morning, nicci and i drove up to los(t) angeles to demonstrate some good ol' southern california hospitality. we picked jessica up and headed straight for Craftacular, a massive shopping bonanza hosted by Bust Magazine. after picking up a few essential items (traveling menorahs made of altoid tins, plastic passport holders, business card holders, fancy notecards and some funky jewelery), we hit up Toast for lunch. by far one of my favorite los angeles restaurants. with some time to spare before the big reunion on saturday night, we completed mission: smoke hookah whenever we're together. after some blackberry hookah, mint tea and then an apple-mint hookah refill, we were on our way to freshen up and hit the down with ucsd's finest alpha epsilon phi alums.

it's a funny feeling walking in to a room full of 10 or so of your closest friends from college. while some things never change, beer bongs are replaced by Makai Kiss martinis, buffalo wings are replaced by ahi tuna and seared scallops, engagement rings are blinding and lawyers, nurses, and engineers discuss careers, significant others and...gasp... the future. although you'd think oceans separated us for the number of times we see each other in any given year, i adore these girls and their ability to make me laugh until i cry. i adore beth's ridiculous faces, barri screaming "tttttttttarrrr," shiri's free lawyer advice, yinds for being yinds, jess for her insight... the list goes on.

the night finished with a visit to a local kareoke bar and a slumber party @ kerri's place in beverly hills.

on sunday, after brunch and a leisurely stroll down beverly and rodeo, i said goodbye to my favorite russian, paid a visit to my favorite south african couple in brentwood, and my favorite boyfriend in hermosa beach. :) it was just one of those weekends i wished would roll in to an entire month. i'm a lucky girl.

Monday, November 24, 2008

foto fun

since I currently lack the brain power to creatively and, in detail, blog about our recent trip to mexico (i'll save it for a rainy day, or thanksgiving day) - i decided to do something a little different. since it's 11/24/2008, i decided to find the 24th picture in my "puerto vallarta 2008" album and this is what i found:

looks like i don't need to recap the trip after all, since the photo basically tells the full story. we were either hanging out in flip flops or with our feet up for 7 days straight :) throw in some margaritas, guacamole, ziplining, a boat cruise, and lunch on a private beach, and there you have it. mexico in a (coco)nut shell.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

puerto vallarta dreaming

i'm about to blow a fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse.
it's a good thing i'll be here in 3 days to drink, sleep, read and dream my frustrations away:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

i bet you didn't know...

So many people have been tagged in the last few days to write 7 random things about themselves and tag 7 others to do the same. I haven't (welcome to loserville), but I'm gonna go out on a wire here and say that I did just because I needed a starting point for a new entry. It's been a month. I hope everyone that comes across this page will do the same, since one of my favorite things on earth is learning about other people. So watch out blog-world, I'm about to go on a tagging spree!

1. I have a confession to make. I have become OBSESSED with photography and event planning blogs lately. Like, it's the last thing I do before bed and the first thing I do when I wake up (ok, after a few hits to the snooze button, brushing my teeth, and checking my email). One of my newest faves is It's delicious. Makes me want to spend the rest of my life finding reasons to entertain friends and family with themed parties. Ho-hum.

2. I have a non-ossifying fibroma (also known as a fibrous cortical defect. huh?) in my right leg. That's code for really benign, unimportant tumor... until someone blasts you with a soccer cleat. two years in a row. and you spend your high school days being pushed around school in a wheelchair (thank you Emily Bailey, I am forever indebted to you) with a cast the length of your entire leg and pain more excruciating than giving birth to a dinosaur.

3. I've traveled to about 25 countries all over the world, but never been to Yosemite. Or the Grand Canyon. Or the local zoo for that matter.

4. I bit my nails for the first 24 years of my life. I look at photos of myself from a couple years ago and am repulsed that I carried on for as long as I did. But I guess that's why they call them bad habits.

5. All things aside, I have a pretty incredible job. It has brought me to have tea at Simplyummy with the Senator's wife in Winston-Salem, NC. It has taken me to meet with David Carey, publisher of Conde Naste, in his Times Square Plaza penthouse suite. It's brought me to Austin, Texas to watch the sunset at the famous Oasis and have breakfast burritos at the landmark Juan in a Million. My job has brought me to the First Lady's conference in Long Beach, CA, to hear the Dalai Lama speak on forgiveness. It's put me in the driver's seat of a Gulfstream jet for 130 miles somewhere between North Carolina and Orange County. And every day I get to hear about the incredible work being done for kids, and really, that just about does it for me.

6. I used to (and sometimes still do) collect thousands of quotes in quote journals - on subjects ranging from friendship to travel to life to love to judaism. Over the years, as some of the pages yellowed from spills and the corners of the book bent, i'd randomly open up one of my journals and find something written in a handwriting that's not mine, and have no idea whose contribution it was. To this day, it still drives me nuts, but I guess I'll never know. Regardless, I love it when I'm sitting there soaking up the brilliance in one of my Rabbi's sermons, and I can complete his sentences when he references a quote from one of my books.

7. In April 2000, I took two weeks out of my senior year in high school to travel to Poland and Israel on March of the Living. I spent a week as a witness to death, destruction and hate in the concentration camps, while hearing Holocaust survivors tell their haunting stories on long bus rides from camp to camp. Our second week in Israel celebrated life, hope, and Israeli Independence. I came back a mess. I cried for two weeks straight and couldn't even look at a flower without being reminded of gas chambers and Auschwitz. I skipped senior prom because I just couldn't deal with all the hype. The trip changed my life in innumerable ways and still, hardly a day goes by when I'm not reminded of the lessons that loom from it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

rock the vote.

For someone who's an international studies major with a focus in political science, active in the ADL, and generally just "aware" of the issues we're faced with, i'm admittedly apathetic when it comes to half the crap that goes on in politics these days. i tune out when i want to, and rarely speak up unless there is something wise to be said. so sue me. but a recent blog post by one of my favorite americans, adam duritz of the counting crows, really ignited that fire in me that i so badly needed just 5 short weeks away from election day.

read on, or don't...i could care less as long as you know that one day i'm gonna marry this boy. :)

"Let me get this out of the way first. I can't stress how important I think it is for you to vote in this election. It's time for our nation to reclaim it's place as a beacon in the world. We may never set the example we might have around the world again as a leader in foreign policy or diplomacy. It's possible we are just too tied to powerful lobbying interest groups to make those kinds of changes. But there's nothing that says we can't set the example of a country of free men and women banding together to decide our future as one nation. We CAN remind the world how a democracy truly works, why it works, and why it matters that it works. A democracy matters because, on its most basic level, it says that every single person matters. It says that no one person is of lesser or greater importance than another. It disputes and it spits in the face of a way of thinking that had gone on for thousands and thousands of years, basically the entirety of human existence, until we came along two hundred and thirty-two years ago and said there was a better way.

I hear a lot of people talk about patriotism and flags and American values but the truth is there is only one truly American value: your right to vote. It is the definition of America. It is the way we decided to define ourselves that set us apart from all the other countries in the world at that time and it is the reason we fought that first war. It took 72 years for the first group of women to organize a conference to seriously discuss getting themselves the right to vote and another 72 years of hard fought struggle before they got it. That's 144 years your great grandmother and their great grandmothers fought to secure those rights for their daughters and granddaughters and you. Can you seriously hold so little respect for them in your hearts that you would throw that right away?

For the first hundred years of our nation's existence, we actually had slaves, people considered by some to be less than human. Their children and their children's children hold their own fate in their hands in 2008 but their ancestors paid a heavy heavy price to carry them here over the chasm of that injustice. We have come to this country from every point across the globe and we have made a pact with one another. We will live here together and we will decide our future together and then we will abide by that decision and live out that future, whatever it may be, together. The proof of the strength of a true democracy does not lie in your ability to elect the person you want; it lies in our ability as a people to lose an election and still abide and stand by the pact. Democracy is hard that way. Sometimes you lose. But we have kept the pact for over two hundred years, failing only once to abide and that one time was the worst disaster in American history.

Our country may not be perfect but the ideal is. And anyway, it's still our country. If you don't like the way something's being done, we have a system in place that allows for peaceful change. All you have to do is take part. If you're over the age of 18 and you're an American citizen, get yourself registered and vote. Just go to the front page of and click on the flag. It'll register you anywhere in the United States for any party you like. Then come out on the first Tuesday in November and take part in the birth of a new nation, one that is reborn over and over and over again. Every time you step in to that booth, you breathe new life into the ideals that began this country two hundred and thirty two years ago.

It's your turn now. There is nothing more important you can ever do for this world than to wake up and be a part of it." -adam duritz,, 9/20/08

Saturday, September 20, 2008

maybe we could sleep in, i'll make you banana pancakes

this is by far the laziest day i've had in a few months. i unplugged my laptop, brought it in to bed with me (euw, kinky) and i'm sitting here catching up on life. cleaned my desk, organized (but ignored) some paperwork, made a smoothie, turned on jack johnson, and all is right with the world.

tonight is the annual kids of kilimanjaro gala at balboa bay club, hosted by the incredible namkung family who designed (and continue to fund) a school lunch program for kids living in the monduli district in tanzania. i admire anyone who sees a need and makes it their life goal to take action and solve the problem. kudos to chelsea and her family for doing just that. i'll be helping out at the event tonight - and whether or not i win another $1,000 bloomingdales gift certificate or meet another beautiful girl like mary (pictured at last year's event), i'll be happy to see what's in store for the evening.

in other news, i gave birth to a new website this month, which has taken over my life at work for many, many, many hours. check it out. i'm stoked about this project and can't wait to see what comes of it!
in other other news, i'm counting down the days until a week-long stay at the stunning Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta in november. i have no problem with places like london, rome, new york, and san francisco (in fact, i've been to all of those in the last year!) but i have been craving a tropical, do-nothing-but-eat-drink-sleep-read-and-tan getaway for a couple years and it's finally that time! i will be joined by some of my best friends (and maybe a certain boyfriend) and i can't wait.
my baby sister just took off on a 3-month jaunt to tel aviv, where she'll be working with renowned desiger, galit levi. keep up on her travels, falafel consumption, and camel rides here.
better go check on grams.
peace, love and kilimanjaro.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Reality Check

I AM … enjoying the calm before the storm.

I WANT… to lose 30 pounds.

I HAVE … to learn to hang my clothes up daily.

I KEEP … secrets. well.

I WISH I COULD … take a month off.

I HATE … ignorance.

I FEAR … old age, and i don't know why.

I HEAR … the buzz of my fan, which isn't quite doing the trick.

I DON’T THINK … I could ask for better friends.

I REGRET … nothing.

I LOVE …kisses on my forehead, pinkberry yogurt, and cafes in foreign places.

I AM NOT … capable of speaking swahili.

I DANCE … best when under the influence.

I SING … even though i can't.

I NEVER … underestimate the power of saturdays and sundays.

I RARELY … leave my camera at home.

I CRY WHEN I WATCH … olympics commercials and weddings.

I AM NOT ALWAYS … the best daughter/sister/friend i know how to be.

I HATE THAT … bad things happen to good people.

I’M CONFUSED ABOUT … why americans are so focused on work.

I NEED … to always brush my teeth before bed, otherwise i can't sleep.

I SHOULD … be organizing my life.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

ABC's of me.

the point in filling this out is to tag 5 others and make them do it too. see "T" if you think you could be one of them!

A. Attached or single? attached, if that's the right word!
B. Best friend? you know who you are.
C. Cake or pie? cake, hands down.
D. Day of Choice? friday nights
E. Essential Item? laptop, toothbrush
F. Favorite color? i like every color. especially the perfect blue.
G. Gummy bears or worms? bears
H. Hometown? boston, mass
I. Favorite indulgence? cookies & cream ice cream
J. January or July? july, for sure
K. Kids? one day
L. Life isn't complete without? good friends, good wine, good music
N. Number of brothers and sisters? 2 sisters
O. Oranges or apples? apples. YUM
P. Phobias? i don't have any serious ones.
Q. Quotes? it would be cruel to make me choose just inquire within!
R. Reasons to smile? 'cuz things are looking up.
S. Season of choice? winter, spring, summer or fall...all for different reasons :)
T. Tag 5 people: betty, jenny, todd, nicci, chelsea. who else has a blog?
U. Unknown fact about me? i would rather listen than talk. but i guess if you know me well enough, it's probably not an unknown fact is it?
W. Worst habit? putting clothes everywhere but on hangers. i'm getting better...
X. X-ray or ultrasound? who cares?
Y. Your favorite food? anything mediterranean
Z. Zodiac sign? cancer, through and through.

saw this, liked it, and it's all i have time for.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

10 things.

1. Today goes down in Festival of Children Foundation (and United States) history. Our initiative to have September declared NATIONAL Child Awareness Month was passed unanimously in Congress. The swift, bipartisan support and passage of H. Res 1296 in the United States House of Representatives will "bring national attention to issues of vital concern to children," says Congressman Ken Calvert (R-CA), who introduced the bill alongside Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-CA).
Folks, we're big time.

2. On the work note, I'm moving in to an office tomorrow. A real office. With four walls. And a door. For fear of anyone I work with ever finding this blog on the web, I'll leave it at that happy thought.

3. My phone battery died in the middle of the night last night, so my alarm didn't go off this morning. I think I set a personal record for getting to work on time (okay, 2 minutes late) with only 13 minutes to shower, dress, and look (quarter-way) decent.

4. Raise your hand if you actually read this thing.

5. Why can't I stop thinking of all the things I would do if I could just take 2 months off?

6. This summer has flown by in the blink of an eye. It's almost August and I can only count one day spent at the beach so far. That's not really okay.

7. I think of so many things I want to say on here... and then I think of all the people that could potentially find out. Maybe I should do one of two things: stop caring, or try to figure out why there are so many things I want to say about other people.

8. I'm going on a double date this weekend. :)

9. My dad just got home so I'm gonna sit with him while he eats dinner. I'll think of a #10 then.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

unleashing kindness

we came back to the office after lunch today to find these little gifts of happy from the hi-tops , a group of moderate to severely disabled dancers that perform at opening ceremonies of festival of children every year.
you probably can't read it all, and i don't feel like translating... you get the picture :)
now can i eat that tootsie roll?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

how long must we sing this song?

came across this article on Yahoo! news today.

um, universe, could you possibly throw us a bone here?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

"it was so hot outside, you could fry an egg"

if every weekend was just like this one, i might never work. it was a schvitzer, no doubt. spent yesterday hopping between beach and pool in 110 degree heat but aside from sweating buckets, dani and i were quite content in our taco loco-induced heaven.

after just over an hour at cress street (pictured here on a much cooler evening a few weeks ago), we gave up and went for a dunk in the pool. spent the evening drinking palomas in the backyard with some family to celebrate the longest day of the year, and discovered my sister's allergy to escolar:

"As much as I love this fish, it has a dark side. The oil in escolar is not digested in humans. That is good for the diet. But it is not so good for our gastrointestinal system. Escolar has earned the nickname "Ex-Lax fish." In portions over 6 ounces, it causes a condition known as keriorrhoea, which rhymes with another, very similar, malady. The Japanese have banned it since 1977. In the U.S., the FDA banned escolar in 1990, but reversed itself a few years later. As one Los Angeles chef said, "It is . . . sort of a crap shoot."

uh, sorry sister...sorry that you had to spend your last night of summer vacation hugging the porcelain god. :(

today i woke up early to drive down to beautiful la costa where i met the boy's family! enjoyed a shrimp and margarita lunch at las olas in cardiff by the sea. have i mentioned how much i love seaside towns that have never seen a chain restaurant in their existence? 'cuz it rocks.

that brings me to sunday night, the start of yet another work week. 12 days til birthday shenanigans in san francisco! :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

dibujando un manana

in honor of my coffee date with mr. matt copley this morning (happy birthday, matteo!), i had to give a shout out to my little children in mexico city. mind you, they don't own shoes let alone have access to the internet to ever find this blog... but they're always in mi corazon! i hope we make it back to mexico this year to visit them with lots of sugary drinks and toys, books, granola bars, jumpropes and smiles. not a day goes by that i don't think of the time Team Kids took over mexico city and witnessed a way of life no one should ever have to suffer. i want to sweep those awesome kids off their little feet and give them the life they deserve. if i only had a million dollars...

comment below if you want to be interviewed for my blog... i have all sorts of fun questions to ask you if you want to share a little something with the world wide web (why do i feel like i'm only talking to, like, 2 people on this thing? let me know you stopped by otherwise i'm gonna stop pretending i have blog followers!)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

on the blog bandwagon

after a year or two (or six) of diddly daddle, i'm jumping on the blog bandwagon. the name, "talk without speaking," comes from a favorite U2 song of mine: you've got to cry without weeping, talk without speaking, scream without raising your voice. i really can't tell you what you're gonna get from me here. but i do know that if you're lucky enough to check back often, you might learn about my friends' canker sores (or lack thereof) from time to time.
but really, since this is my first post, can i get some comment love? let me know you stopped by.