Friday, December 24, 2004

Feliz Natal

With things looking much better on the family front, our first day in Brasil has been wonderful. A bit jetlagged from an overnight flight, but between the Guarana and espresso, and the best Christmas Eve I´ve had in three years, I´m feeling pretty energetic.

We exchanged gifts, had a delicious dinner of lamb (yes, I tasted it and, to my surprise, liked it), turkey, rissoto, and rice, panettone filled with ice cream for dessert, and then listened to Daniela´s very talented friend Edrick play the guitar and sing for us. After Edrick sang, another friend of the family, Caroline, played the piano and sang opera. The evening was topped of when Daniela´s Dad sat down at the piano (something he rarely does) and played some beautiful music.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Paradise Found

Thank God for frequent flier miles. They have made it possible for Hubby & I to go to Brasil to be in Daniela's wedding. We leave tomorrow (today). We are so excited. Her family is so incredibly kind and generous, they take us in and take care of us. I feel like I am getting the gift of parents for Christmas because Daniela's family are the kind of people who treat you like one of their own. I just hope I don't get overcome with emotion and start bawling.

The wedding is on Sunday and I know it will be beautiful. Chuck is in charge of the rings, so I hope he doesn't faint or, worse yet, forget them.

The next day we all head up to the beach house in Mara├║. The drive will be incredible, taking around two days, it will take us through the small towns in Brasil that most tourists don't get to see.

Then, relaxation on the beach for the next week.

Damn, after the month I've had, I need this. Though I am sure I am going to worry like crazy about my Brother. He does seem to be doing better today though. One day at a time, as they say in the program.

Have a safe, warm and happy holiday!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004


Rebates Repulse Me

I hate rebates, they're the biggest scam EVER. These companies KNOW that 98% of us are schlumps who let them expire or just don't even bother. So today, when I bought new memory cards for my digital cameras, I tried to be very proactive and fill out the forms right away. On the form I noticed a web address - FINALLY - they're making it easy with online registration... so I went to the Office Max website and, lo and behold, it's BEING UPGRADED and ISN'T AVAILABLE.

YEAH, RIGHT! Why don't they just add a link to buy the Brooklyn Bridge.

em effers.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Cookie Monster

Well, I missed Jenny's Cookies & Cocktails party, major bummer. Her party was inspired by our favorite restaurant here in LA, Lola's, who serves hot fresh baked cookies as a dessert... so damn good!

So to make up for missing the party, on Friday night, bro called Lola's to order Cookies for take out... but much to our dismay, they were having a private party and weren't providing food. So we called again tonight, another private Christmas party. No fresh baked cookies. How sad is that?

Then again, I'm the type who puts my cookies in the fridge and my Faux Ho's in the freezer... and since Hubby grabbed me some molasses cookies that I will be sinking my teeth into within the next 48 hours, it really isn't so bad.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Day 4

Still in LA, in the midst of helping family. Things are going much better, though the stress is giving me migraines, upset stomaches, and crying spells. But it's what needed to happen.

Had a good day today, lunch at Bossa Nova, about the best Chicken Lasagna I've ever had... and for the first time in what seems like weeks, a REALLY GOOD Starbucks Vanilla Latte (non-fat, sugar free, extra vanilla, with whip - whew!)... a visit to some inspiring friends, and a stop at Costco - which was so insanely-mobbed, it's reason enough to keep me from moving to LA.

That said, having not shopped in quite some time, especially given the actual NEED to shop this time of year, I feel like I'M jonesing*. Driving by M.A.C., Kitson, Beverly Center, and Fred Segal about put me over the edge. I need SOMETHING, just a little bit of Target or Gap would get me through...

*I am NOT a Shopoholic, I checked the symptoms, hubby is well aware of all my purchases and I don't have to sell off my collection of Beanie Babies to pay my bills.

Friday, December 17, 2004

On a Mission

Family crisis got too much to bear, so at at 1am Wednesday I booked a flight and at 6am I was on my way to Las Vegas. I have to try to help, even if I'm not really the one who can change things. If something bad were to happen, I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if I hadn't at least visited.

Meanwhile, I think my body is feeling the effects of extreme stress, but I can't worry about that right now.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Winter Wonderland

Back in NY and greeted with cold and snow. I really don't mind the snow as far as looking at it and snowboarding on it... but the driving in it and walking through the parking lot in it (and nearly biting it) I could do without.

But for me, growing up in the Northeast, it just wouldn't be Christmas without it.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Love, Actually is Putting me on The Edge of Reason

Parts of my life seem to mirroring Colin Firth movies, but not in the way you might think.

I'll start with the Portuguese I am trying to learn, ala Colin Firth in Love Actually. We are going to Brasil in a couple weeks for Daniela's wedding and I don't want to be a completely ignorant American who can't even attempt to communicate. But I did also, just in case, buy the Point It book with all the pictures of stuff you might need, and I will be surrounded by beautiful Brasilian women - Daniela, Mika, Sofia and Charlotte - who will help me shop =)

This weekend, we're visiting the in-laws, who live in Florida's premiere retirement hotspot, The Villages - smack dab in the middle of the state. Earlier today, we went to a Christmas brunch, where I felt like Bridget Jones, mainly because we were half as old as the majority of people there, and most of them were wearing Christmas jumpers.

And the worst of all, I'm spending most of my time here worried about my family. I'm like Laura Linney in 'Love Actually', on the phone all the time, trying to make their lives better while nearly sacrificing my own sanity.

At least it's sunny here, not very warm, but sunny.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Gorilla Tears

Having a rough time as of late. Our family can't have good without bad rearing it's ugly head. Too much to mention, too depressing, and no matter how bad you think you have it, someone else is dealing with much worse crap.

So given my state of mind, when I read about the wake they had for Babs the Gorilla at the Brookfield Zoo, I bawled my eyes out...

"Babs' 9-year-old daughter, Bana, was the first to approach the body, followed by Babs' mother, Alpha, 43. Bana sat down, held Babs' hand and stroked her mother's stomach. Then she sat down and laid her head on Babs' arm."


Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Wake me Up When I'm Skinny

It's not new, I've heard it before, sleep affects your weight. But the new research spells it out a bit more. When you're sleep deprived your body makes more of the hormone that makes you want to eat and less of the one that tells you to stop eating. It also makes you want to eat all the crap that you didn't sleep long enough to dream about... Krispy Kremes, lasagna, Butterfingers, Big Gulps...

If sleep were the key to eating less, I should have been emaciated on those summer vacations when I stayed up until 2am watching tv but then slept until 3pm - getting up just in time to see Blackie & Jackie go at it General Hospital. Unfortunately, I was still a chubby girl exposed to a few too many late night cable movies.

So basically, I've tried the Stay in Bed all Day Diet (SO ahead of my time) and it didn't work. Because, realistically, you only have to be awake for an hour to down a box of Fruity Pebbles, some pop tarts, some leftover pizza of which you ate most of the night before and wash everything down with a few pepsis... and appetite has little to do with those food choices, while instant gratification and tastebud extacy do.