Archive for March, 2013

I was sitting at Clarkson (225 Varick St, NYC), chatting with a member of the Independent Panel of Judges and drinking a margarita while writing about margaritas.  I’d have finished the post too if not for the restaurant’s rule of no laptops out after 5PM (They want their patrons to “join the party”) For a brief shining moment, I was a triple threat of efficiency – simultaneous drinking, writing about drinking and socializing.

I’ve been streamlining my life for some time.

I like to read myself to sleep and since my Marketing Director and West Coast Bureau Chief gave me an I Pad, reading in bed took on a note of danger. Laying down and holding the I Pad up in front of me like I would a regular book only works until my eyes droop.  I endured two rude wake-ups, my I Pad edge slamming into the bridge of my nose, before I came up with a better way. Now, I curl up in the fetal position with my I Pad propped up on the pillow next to me.  I can snuggle under the covers and only need to stick a single finger out into the air to flick the pages.  I’m primed for sleep, already in my favorite position on my favorite side so when I read the same paragraph twice and my eyes flutter shut, my nose is safe.  The unexpected bonus – the I Pad is in position if I wake in the middle of the night or in the morning and want to pick up where I left off.  The only downside is that sometimes the bedclothes cover it but since I never make my bed, this isn’t really an issue for me.

For those of you who want to try this at home, as long as your partner isn’t a fitful sleeper, you can prop up on a person too.

Streamlining doesn’t stop here! Showers are faster when I don’t wash my hair and if I go easy on hair goo, I wake up day-ready and don’t even have to wet it.

Going out to eat saves cooking and cleaning time.  If I don’t go out, I order dinner and have it delivered.

If I do go to the supermarket and if I bother to write a list, I write it to follow the supermarket set up so I don’t retrace steps.

I believe “if it’s yellow let it mellow” and I save a flush.

At work my most impressive, finely honed skill is delegation.

To clean my floor, I step on Swiffer cloths and skate around, catching dust bunnies while my hands are free to do other stuff.

I avoid the washing machine by owning more underwear than anyone should.  Employment and relatively stable weight over the past 10 years means I’ve been able to expand this principle.  My closet bursts with enough shirts, pants and dresses to outlast my underwear.  It’s usually a pile of dirty exercise clothes that thwart me so I found a solution for that too – I rarely work out.

For those of you who think “efficient” isn’t the word that jumps to mind, I’m about to knock your sox off (I hope, like me, you have spare pairs).

When laundry day finally arrives, my clothes are in the washer by 6:30AM and I go to the gym.  I work out until it’s time to transfer the load to the drier and sometimes until the clothes are dry.  My clothes are clean and calories burned before 7:30AM.  If the story of my morning comes up in the office, and it usually does but I don’t know how, my co-worker’s expressions are nothing short of dazzled.  Wishful even, that they’d be motivated to hit the gym and do laundry in the sleepy hours before the day really gets rolling. (It’s nobody’s business that I go to the gym because the laundry room and gym are on the same floor in my apartment building and it annoys me to have to go up and down and up and down – in the elevator – so the gym is preferable to watching my whites soap and spin.)

Drinks at Clarkson

Drinks at Clarkson

Even though Clarkson’s no lap top policy kept me from efficiently banging out this post, I kind of like the restaurant.  It has an Amelia Earhart meets Mad Men vibe.  (I felt like there should have been a sky blue Chevy convertible waiting on a dusty tarmac to take me home.)  The party at Clarkson hasn’t started yet as they’ve only been open for a week.  For much of my visit, they had more wait staff than customers, but I think it’s going to take off.

Please go and get the calamari with white beans and chorizo (menu here).  When you look at the dish and wonder where the beans and sausage are, they’re ground into a tasty paste and stuffed in the calamari shells. The margarita was good, maybe too sweet and too “hot” with alcohol but made with great care and lots of love.

And when you go, please say “hi” to Jeremy, the head of the bar program.  I know him from his last gig.  This means I either drink too much or he’s a really good guy.  I vote for the latter.

When I plotted this post in my head, I figured I’d review pre-mixed drinks – the ones you buy in a bottle or squeeze frozen out of foil wrappers.  But that would have entailed finding them, buying them and trying them.  I think this is better.  Don’t you?

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March rolled around like it does every year and my birthday, as it always does, rolled right around with it.

And I love my birthday.

The thing about getting older is it happens every day, every second of every day really.  So anyone can get up any morning to take stock of a new life wrinkle.  Like is that jiggle in the middle the result of cortisol or carbs and should you try a belly diet and sit ups or just get a good set of Spanx?  Is there an age limit on short skirts and black nail polish?  Does anyone really notice a few grey hairs?

On any day, you can contort to see your straightened elbows in the mirror and wonder if that extra skin was always there or if it’s new (after all, even kids need some skin slack for elbow bending, right)?  You can set aside every other Thursday to check how far your knees have fallen (I like to look down at them while standing and lay in bed with my feet toward the ceiling to account for all angles and gravitational pull).  Alternate Tuesdays are useful for deciding when youthful smile lines cross over into new territory.  Save Sundays for bigger issues like deciding if Botox makes people look weird and if at any point you’d get “just a little work” done.

It’s true a birthday is the formal rolling over of the calendar. But considering the endless opportunities for age fixation and anxiety of all types, I prefer to set my Birthday aside for flat-out adulation.

It would be nice if, as a matter of course, people applaud when I enter a room (Apple is on the right track. I was waiting outside the locked door one morning, tucked in the entry way to get out of the rain. When the staff flooded upstairs from their morning meeting and opened the doors, they clapped the eager patrons into the store. I blushed, I giggled, I bowed. I’m thinking of setting up weekly Genius Bar appointments.)  I’m open to regular high fives, thumbs up, hugs, googly adoring eyes and “atta girls”.  The thing is, taking care of the business of living is time-consuming so I understand that friends and family can’t make it to the florist for rose petals to sprinkle at my feet as I walk down the street.

It seems to me that a birthday is a natural day for the people who love you to tell you.  So for any of you who are prone to hear the ticking of the clock louder on your birthday than other days, here are a few reasons to love the day.

5 Reasons Birthdays Are Awesome:

1. Cake. Birthday Cake. Birthday Cake is awesome and let’s face it, underrated. My mother used to make me doll cakes. She’d bake a cake in a bowl to and flip it to form the skirt. Then she’d stick a Barbie into the center and decorate the cake and Barbie with frosting so I’d have a beautiful princess ball gown cake.

2. Presents. I know after a certain age, it’s not cool to admit you like presents but, I do. Pretty packages, bags and bows and the wonder and anticipation when you don’t know what’s inside. How great is it that someone is willing to shop on your behalf?

3. Unofficial Vacation. Even if you’re in the office on your birthday, you don’t do any work. It takes all your time to field birthday calls and emails and texts. And how cool is it when someone unexpected reaches out across time and distance?

4. Silliness. Singing cards, funny gifts, party games. Birthdays put people on a mission for fun and you never know how it’s going to come out.

5. Love. I think every “Happy Birthday” wish is love since the real message comes down to people are happy you were born. How great is that?

My birthday filled with love in the form of great family, friends, fun, margaritas and tacos (and fake moustaches) at Salvation Taco.

Taco Carnage - A Sign of a Successful Party

Taco Carnage – A Sign of a Successful Party

Salvation Taco is brand new so they haven’t celebrated their first birthday yet but they were excellent at celebrating mine. One of my New England Correspondents says he’s up for eating one or three lamb tacos per day. The fish are my favorite and let’s not forget Al Pastor or Skirt Steak or Korean BBQ. Yes, all tacos, all yummy.

And what party would be complete without fake moustaches?

Moustache Fun

It isn’t a Party Until …

It isn't a party until ...

Moustache Fun











I’m not sure how I ended up with a dentist who is younger than I am when it doesn’t seem like that long ago that my dentist had decades on me and my young brain didn’t recognize any years before my birth.  And sometimes when I’m walking down the street watching people instead of my feet, I try to figure out when I lost the ability to figure out if someone is 13 or 23.  But, none of this matters because I know how much I’m loved (and I believe recent schooling makes up for my dentist’s relative inexperience).

Today is my mom’s birthday. I’m pretty sure she questions how she has a dentist younger than she is and I’m also positive she embraces the 5 Reasons Birthdays Are Awesome. When I called her this morning to wish her well she said that she remembers what she was doing on this day after I was born.  She was cuddling me.

Mom, Happy Birthday! And thanks for all the cuddles and love in all forms (especially doll cakes) and thanks for the great skin. (My mom was kind enough to pass on good skin genes so wrinkes are, in fact, one age worry I get to strike from my list).

Candles spell out the traditional English birt...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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