my nook

How often do you spend a quiet afternoon reading? Our world is so full of technology, entertainment and crazy buzz that we rarely take time to enjoy the simple pleasure of curling up with a good book and being transported to another time and place.

I love to read and cherish my library membership. I am a faithful reader. What a joy to spend the last few minutes of every day curled up with a good book. About two years ago, I re-discovered the library. Even technology has made the library a convenient luxury. I can go on-line and search out my next read and have it transported to the library near my house. I then receive an email to stop by and pick up the book. No searching a paper card catalogue. No disappointing visits. The book is there at the front desk ready for me. My library participation makes me feel like a good citizen to my community and the earth!

I have toyed with the idea of an e-reader. But resisted. When discussing this purchase with C, he shared with me that this was a stupid purchase…and I reminded him that he thought the ipod was stupid too (6 years later…I’m still using it) Of course I didn’t listen to C….I broke down and bought a Nook (mainly for my upcoming Asia trip). I thought that maybe this technology would be weird. But wow. What a convenience. The reader is clear and easy to read. I was able to figure out how to use it in a relatively short time (an hour or so). The download feature was easy and fast and B&N offer a good variety of freebies.

Now all I need is a friend with a Nook and we can share books! Anyone want to join me?

freedom

One hundred pages in, I am immersed in my first Nook read- Freedom by Jonathon Franzen. Lots of hype around Oprah’s latest pick. I had to give it a shot.

Immediately hooked, the story is narrated from all different perspectives, from the neighbors, friends and on-lookers, to the wife, husband and children. This modern novel brings to contemplation the true meaning of freedom.

Freedom is explored on so many levels- freedom from love, freedom to love, freedom from loss, freedom from history, freedom from society, freedom from personal turmoil, freedom from desire, freedom from sexual desires, freedom from intellectual endeavors…the list goes on. Each character brings his/her own challenges and struggles with freedom. There is no way that you can’t find someone whom you relate to in this story of life. This story brings to the surface the timeless quest for freedom and the human quest for meaning.

Though it doesn’t appear that the average readers on Barnes and Noble are giving this book a good review, I personally think this novel will live as a classic display of human struggle and a testament to the contemporary society we live in today.

pork chops and plum sauce

I would never in a million years have thought to pair pork chops with a plum sauce. But chef C did! I must have a plan when I head into the grocery store. I usually have an idea of what I will cook for the entire week and I go to the grocery store once a week. But this week, was a little crazy and my plans didn’t work out. So I sent C to pick something up. He came home with pork chops and two plums. I was skeptical. He peel diced and purreed the plums. He then cooked them down and created a plum curry sauce to top the grilled pork chops. FABULOUS. How does he know how to make these pairings? I am amazed!

Little Black Dress

Styles come. And styles go. But there is one iconic style that will never be replaced. The little black dress. The black dress can be worn with ballet flats and fun jewelry for a casual lunch, with mile high heels for a sexy evening look, with pearls and a jacket for a job interview, with a simple cardigan for a casual day at the office and with flip flops for a summer outdoor concert.

What would we do without a simple little black dress?  And let me add…it’s all about the fit. If you can find a well made, perfectly fitted little black dress then you grab it…regardless of the price. Which is what I did when I found this perfect Michael Kors black cotten dress with patent leather details at Labels. Lucky for me… the fit was perfect and the price was right. I wore my new dress to work today with simple pearl earrings, a cream cardigan and black patent heels.  I can hardly believe someone let this dress go…clearly they must have outgrown it. I will wear it until it wears out! I mean really…how can you grow tired of a simple black dress with clean lines and sopshisticated detail?

I am thinking about wearing it everyday for a week and making a new look each day as my something new becuase I promise I have never worn the same dress five days in a row!!!! But this something new will need to wait for my MIL to return home for the photographs. There is NO WAY C will participate in this activity!

Do you have any ideas of what I can do with the dress to give it a new look each day?

Are you connected?

Do you remember your first cell phone? When I turned 16 I was given my Dad’s old bag phone. It was huge and I could only use it for emergencies. Which sometimes consisted of calling my boyfriend while driving home from school. Emergency is relative when you are 16. And I can remember upgrading to a HUGE handheld…then my first flip…then my first cute little red nokia….on to a blackberry…the one with the wheel on the side. Ah progress. Or is it progress?

Is it progress to be married to your job via a cell phone? Is it progress to be constantly in communication?  Is it progress to ALWAYS be checking your in-box? To check it just before bed and first thing in the morning. I guess “progress” is as relative as “emergency”.

I entered the working world in 1998. Email was used…but a fax machine was used more. Cell phone were still cell phones and not lifelines. I wasn’t required to have a cell phone for my job and quite frankly when I walked out of the office, my day was done…finished….complete…until I arrived back at the office the next day. No emails, no texts, no internet at home. WOW. I can’t even imagine, just a short 12 years later, not being completely connected 24-7.

There are days that I love the connection and of course days when I would like to throw my pink crackberry out of the window. I’m preparing for my upcoming trip to Singapore and of course need to stay connected. My current crackberry won’t work internationally so today I got a new one. Not a fancy iPhone…not a hip Droid….a boring, but reliable crackberry. I think I’ll call him Tom.

woo race

Enjoying our last few days of summer, C., the pups and I headed to the lake for one last swim. We’ve been working on building Woo confidence in the water. So I took this video to share with you. I planned to embed it in the post…but I couldn’t figure out how (nonetheless….my new thing is uploading a personal video to YouTube…never done this before!). So here is a link to the video on YouTube. It’s just a matter of time before Woo finds his way on David Letterman!
 

back to the 80’s minus leg warmers

Did you wear leg warmers? How about a sweat band on your head and your wrists? Perhaps you remember the Jane Fonda work out cassettes and videos? I think I had a Mouse-ercise cassette tape and I am pretty sure my 1st grade class did a Mouse-ercise demonstration at the half time of a basket ball game. And I being the fashionista that I am…even back then, wore purple leg warmers for the event. I was doomed for fashion tragedies from the get-go!

In the spirit of my 80’s diva, I purchased a purple sweat band for my yoga class. When I first began hot yoga, I barely glistened…now I sweat…..profously. My body has learned to cool itself. And now, the sweat burns my eyes.

I admit, I look like a COMPLETE IDIOTwith the purple sweat band across my forehead. They look so cute on the girls with long hair. My hair just sticks up over the band and looks weird. Not a good look. For once in my life, function over form.

Grace

A father told his son the story of two rival wolves. One wolf was unhappy, jealous, negative, and terribly sad. The other wolf was happy, positive, loving and full of energy. The son asked the father, “Dad, which wolf won?” The father answered, “The one that was fed the most.”

So goes the parable that my yoga practice was centered on today. We practiced to special music tonight- kundalini music to bring out the vital force within our heart. The music was composed to transform the spirit. My instructor warned us that the music is meant to bring us into a highly meditative state. I have honestly never experienced a practice quite like this one. At the end, I was both exhausted and exhilarated. During the practice I focused my spirit and energy on a specific point in my life that has been terribly troubling to me. This part of my life is causing pain and discomfort. But tonight, I took all of the energy in my heart, my positive energy, and I directed it to this aspect of my life. I imagined and visualized the light flowing from my heart to this darkness.

About half way through class, I felt an emotional flush rush through me. An exhaustion. A passing of the negativity. Though I am not so idealistic to think this darkness is gone, I do think that I felt the power of grace to open my heart and share light with this darkness. And I can honestly say- Thank You- to this part of my life. For without this darkness, the light would not be nearly as powerful.

The Future of Objectivity

If you are reading this blog, chances are you engage in social media. The way that we interact with others, the way we get our news and the way we communicate with others has changed. The future of communications is here. As a public relations professional, it is extremely exciting to be part of the historical movement. Take note of how this has changed the media. Citizen journalist and the blurred lines between professional and personal opinion has impacted the way our news is reported. Twenty years ago, Fox news would not be able to report so subjectively. And justa  few years ago, I would not have learned of Michael Jackson’s death via facebook. Maybe word of mouth….but not from a citizen journalist.

Today I moderated a panel of journalist for our public relations chapter (www.scprsa.org). The panel consisted of a magazine editor, a tv anchor and a radio talk show host. The one thing I walked away with was that the future is today. Objectivity for the most part is dead and the lines are not blurred…they no longer exist. According to these three professionals, personal identity and views are now married to the public persona.  We’ll never go back to the way we were. The news and the way we consume the news is changed forever.

sweet basil

I can remember the first time I tried thai food. I met my most worldly friend (Roniaml that is you!) out for dinner in DC’s trendy neighborhood Adams Morgan. I can’t remember the name of the restaurant. It was a hole in the wall kind of place. The place that only real locals dine. It was love at first bite. I am a huge thai fan. I think because I love the juxtaposition of sweet basil and spicey chilis. I dream of a visit to Thailand to taste the cuisine in its native land. I am always weary of the American places. So today, I tried a new Thai place here in Gville. I had a garlic pepper chicken dish…sicey level four out of ten. I give it a C. Atmosphere was decent. Service was good. However I think I could have made this dish at home with a little more personality and blending of spices. Perhaps I made a bad selection…I should have had curry.