Monday, December 29, 2008

a very merry christmas

jared and i got engaged on 12/20/08!!!!

he got all romantic and asked me on the beach in fort myers, florida. we are really happy and excited and also possibly a little bit overwhelmed by all the crazy things you need to think about when planning a wedding.

this pic was taken just after he asked me on the beach. and yes, he got down on one knee and prior to asking me he went and asked my dad's permission!! to answer the burning question that i keep getting asked, we'd like to have a fall wedding in '09. not sure if that's possible but we are going to try!!

the engagement story:
i arrived on the 20th ready to make holiday cookies with jared and his mom, which we did. i was antsy to get to the beach since when i left nj earlier that day it was 20 degrees and snowing. so we went off to fort myers beach, which is a bit like the jersey shore. we had some pina colada's and chatted up with the other snow birds. then we walked on the beach to catch some rays. after goofing around on the sand and watching a family make a crazy sand castle (you can see the castle behind us in the pic), i jumped up to pack up the towels and get back to the car since we didn't put much change in the meter. when i turned around, jared was still kneeling on his towel. then he reached over to his shoe and said he had to ask me something and, 'you can't say, shut up don't say that' - which is what i affectionately said after he first told me he loved me. he opened up a box and asked me to be his wife. *gush* luckily i didn't say anything stupid (like shut up don't say that) and instead yelled, 'yes!!!' then i started shaking and eventually crying which happened in succession for the days that proceeded.

here's a pic of my gorgeous engagement ring that jared picked out himself!!! i'm one lucky girl!!

and a note to the girls and guys that think love is bs. it totally isn't just hang in there. i had to date a whole lot of jerkimo's before i found a guy that is totally awesome.

any suggestions for a non-traditional super cool wedding site in new jersey/nyc are greatly appreciated!!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

I went to see Santa at Bloomingdales....

And he was on break, I mean 'feeding the reindeer'.

Monday, December 01, 2008

the wisdom to know the difference

Repost from two thanksgivings ago.

November 30, 2006 - Thursday

the wisdom to know the difference.

my dad celebrated 17 years of sobriety last night. it's always a touchy subject. he seems to embody this total dicotomy like no other, maybe it's just a dad thing but he balances this tough-guy badass motorcycle man with a super-softy and sappy underbelly. i know them both well. but he is still an enigma to me. i guess that is the way it is. i mean, as he stood up in front of this room of fellow alcoholics, all of whom had kind words to say about him, he was at once a total stranger and dear friend. there is so much i don't know about him, about his life, about his addictions. but as i heard him talk i realized that in the same way that he doesn't know everything about me and my life and travels, it is ok that i don't know it all about him. i guess it's a defense mechanism of sorts, but you really have to be discriminate about how much you divluge to people, especially those you love.

interesting enough, i don't usually assess the impact of my parents sobriety on my life. they have both been sober for the last 17-odd years and so my life has peppered with a myriad of 'celebrations', 'steps','traditions', 'sponsers', al-a-teen and al-a-non. i have gone to a whole hell of a lot of AA meetings as a result, not for my own benefit though they do serve as a reality check for the times when drinking seems to be an escape rather than an enjoyment. but i guess i have to say that i am really lucky that they took care of their shit early on. i was reminded of this just a couple days ago.

i was at starbucks the other day and ran into a friend who was cornered by a drunk/prostitute (yes, at the upper montclair starbucks of all places). i decided that since i was there killing time and knitting i would go over and sit by my friend to save her from the torment of this lonely woman. the woman mentioned that she had just turned 50 and it struck a note in me since my mom is turing 50 next week. i studied this woman and as crazy as she was she gave me a good idea of what my mom, and even my dad for that matter, would be like if she had not gotten sober. this woman was hanging at starbucks with her low cut shirt, reeking of smoke and booze, staggering and rambling. her face has sores on it and her hair was dirty and matted. but there was something so sad about her beyond her appearance. she was still a person, longing for something, maybe to feel something, but she was just so broken...talking about her 'husbands drinking problem'.

i am reading this book called the gift of pain that explores the idea of how our culture views pain and the extent that we go to to not feel it. it uses examples of people that have leprosy and how the mechanism for the sensation of pain is what they lack. here in america (land of the free, home of the brave) we are filled with different ideas of pain and control. we take anitdepressants so we don't have to feel the pain. and when it comes time to get off them we are too afraid to feel. beyond that there is the whole drug industry that seeks to eliminate pain completely.

i am not saying that we should all live with pain, but maybe there is a reason that it is there in the first place. an example from the book showed a man with leprosy who would pick yams out of burning coals who later lost his fingers. if he could feel, he would obviously not have done that and in turn not lost his fingers. the problem is that it's hard to deal with the pain, it involves us taking responsibility for our emotions and actions....and the pain is way beyond physical. but the more we numb ourselves, i think, the further we get from being happy and whole.

at the end of my dad's little talk up front he said that 'the program' took away his pain. i think he got that backwards. there was a lot of pain, i remember i lived through it. i felt it too. but the difference was that he was in an environment that fostered facing that pain and reacting to it in a way that didn't just numb it like the drugs an alcohol did before.

i am grateful for this, in this time of gratitute and thanksgiving. each day we are faced with decisions to feel or to numb. choose wisely.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


it's totally a historic night. barack obama is president. he's giving his speech right now. when they announced that he was going to be the president i just stood there and shed a tear. i remembered a point during 911 when my friend, chris, took me up to our rooftop to watch buildings smolder and smoke. he looked and me and said very clearly, ' everything in the world just changed, nicole.' i felt that feeling again tonight. but this time it was filled with so much hope. everything did just change. and god, i hope it means that the change will really bring things together.

Friday, October 31, 2008

back in the (knitting) saddle

My trip to DC was a quick one and it totally re-started my knitting. I was on a bit of a hiatus, I guess, from knitting in general (basically, I suck at knitting socks and it totally broke my knitting stride). What was nice about this trip was that the knitting made it go by really fast and calmed my nerves for the meeting that we were about to attend.

I grabbed this great olive/gold yarn from my stash. It was a chunky adrienne vittadini skein that I got from WEBS when we visited Sage and Brian over the summer. I got two hanks (there is something cooler about the word hank than skein) for two bucks each -- quite the deal! I adapted a pattern for a luxe neck warmer from Knit-2-Together, and I think it came out pretty nice. 54 stitches on size 10 needles -- the pattern was an alternation of feather and fan which looks so pretty and is relatively easy for even the most basic of knitters. The entire thing was done on the ride down from Newark Airport to Silver Spring, Maryland! The pic doesn't do it justice, especially the color; I will have to get a pic of me wearing it. It will serve as a proto-type for my christmas presents this year. I already started on one in Noro Silk Garden this morning when I sat next to a fellow knitter on the train -- gotta love a stitch-n-bitch commute.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Road trip: DC with my boss in the snow!

We're off to meet with the FDA tomorrow. I can't believe that it's
snowing or that we are actually listening to the Village People
singing along.

Luckily I brought my knitting and a book. Maybe I should have brought
some music. We are actually listening I why whole album. Yikes!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Up the Mountain

There's nothing like a fall day, an outside party up the mountain
and a bonfire. Jared and I are just hanging out trying to stay warm and live it up mountain-style. We're up at Jamie's parents house celebrating she and Steve's engagement. There are lots of activities besides wine drinking and eating. Earlier, we ran down to the lake (UGL!) and hung out on the docks throwing rocks to our hearts content! Then there was the whole bonfire and knife throwing (yes, I am serious. I threw the knife over the fence -- oops).

Congrats to Jamie and Steve on your engagement!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

be the change.

i totally freaking love this ad and not just because it's obama. i actually used it as a theme in my yoga classes this week. what i love is that it's a pic of him at the most awkward age, yet it's steeped with optimism.

i believe the be the change mantra comes from gandhi's famous line, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” -- pretty profound, if you ask me.

you may ask, how does something like this apply to yoga philosophy?? well, it's not that you have to change and become something totally different. change can come in the form of totally being you no matter how awkward you think you are. i mean, think about what you were like as a seven year old. probably missing front teeth, sort of annoying, ansty, goofy, nerdy -- but you were still you. there were mannerisms and nuances that carried through to your adult life, they are the things that are so endearing and specific to you.

at my dad's house we have this wall of pics that chronicle years of our lives. you can see this arc of awkwardness that makes way for beauty (i was a pretty nerdy kid/ adolescent). the physical appearance definitely changed, but it was also a change in the way i viewed myself and got more comfortable being me. that's where the yoga comes in. nothing is going to come and wipe out your identity to make you something/someone new. the change comes as you get better at being who you already are. that is change i can believe in.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

get the cool shoe shine

I have a horrible cold and got sent home early. Unfortunately my next
train to Montclair doesn't leave for thirty minutes. Stuck in Penn I
decided to get my boots shined up. This is the first time I'm doing
this while they are on my feet -- just like the boys do. They really
needed a shining!! They had the remnants of last winters snow and salt.

I'll be done in time to catch my train and sleep the rest of my day.
And holy cow are these thing shiney now!! Shinier than when I bought

Monday, October 13, 2008

the 'how-to change a tire' experiment

so we called AAA and as per their protocol it would be 45 minutes before they showed up or at least thought about it. luckily, neal and matty-big-hair showed up for moral support. as we stood around at the gas station and watched the goings-on of the evening we decided that we could probably just change the tire on our own -- which we ended up was interesting to me that as independent as i am, i had no freaking idea or desire to know how to change a tire up until this point. but stranded at the exxon station, my interest was peaked. out of the three of us, only matt had changed a tire and that was once.

so here's how/what i learned are the most important steps to changing a tire:
  1. first check to see if you have a: jack, spare and tire iron. this should be in your trunk. in my car, they were hidden in the trunk underneath the trunk space. that is, i had to pull up the floor of the trunk to find the tire changing goods.
  2. loosen the lug nuts on the tire. we did this wrong. you are really supposed to loosen them before you jack the car up. luckily we didn't push the car off the jack by trying to loosen them while the car was mid-air. also, you are going to need to use force. we found that using our foot to apply the force on the iron worked well
  3. use the jack to lift the tire off the ground. no real explanation needed here -- there was a diagram on the jack to show where it was supposed to go.
  4. take the lug nuts completely off and pull off the tire. you may want to make sure all the lugs are in one place, those suckers roll around.
  5. place spare where you just took the old tire off. you may have a 'donut' as i did, don't be alarmed that it looks like a tire from the short bus. just note, as almost everyone that i told about the donut retorted to me -- don't drive over 50mph with that thing!!
  6. attach the lug nuts loosely. just enough to keep the tire on, make sure tire is on straight.
  7. lower jack. make sure there is nothing/no one under the car before you do this.
  8. tighten lug nuts. use force for this, you don't want to be driving around and have those bad boys fall off.
  9. revel in the fact that you just changed your own tire. woo hoo!!
all-in-all this was not how i wanted to spend my friday night. AAA didn't make it in time for us to change the tire so we canceled them all together. it did feel pretty damn good to change it and it was good to learn. while i was waiting for the guys to show up, i witnessed a mini-van back up with the pump still in it's tank and pull the pump right off! that was funny.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Flat-busted on a Friday night

I got out of work early enough to catch class at South Mountain Yoga with Joe and then caught a ride back to my car near the train. Got in the car drive about two blocks and realized I had flat. So now I'm over at the gas station waiting for AAA with my savior/ former prom date Neal. He's the one with the AAA card. I'll just say that the Exxon is totally happening tonight.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Gluten-Free (for you and me) Review: Glutino Frozen Spinach and Feta Pizza

as you may or may not know. i have a gluten intolerance. it seems that they can't tell if it's celiac or not but regardless when i eat wheat i feel tired, cranky, sometimes sick to my stomach and sometimes itchy. the itchiness usually manifests itself on my hands or elbows. i'll save you from the grotesque imagery and just say my elbows get itchy.

anyway, since i have not been eating wheat for just over a year, i've started to seek out all the gluten-free goodness i can get. there are a few really great websites about gluten-free cooking and whatnot and so i figured, why not review some gluten free items for other glu-tards (i was introduced to this word while at the Anusara Gathering last month by yet another gluten-free 'glu-tard' -- not sure if i like that word just yet). i can't believe that there is actually a real definition for this one!!

"Hey, do you want some pasta for dinner?"
"No, sorry, I'm a glutard."
"...what does that mean?"
"It means... I'm glutarded."
"Oh. Okay."
-thank you Urban Dictionary for the context.

now that you are up to speed on what i am talking about, here's my plan in this blog....besides posting a bunch of funny things that i see or obsess about, i thought it would be a great place to review somethings that i pick up at the grocery store under the gluten-free (gf) category. basically, i am limited so whenever i see something that claims to be gluten-free, i usually buy it. in fact, i have had coworkers and friends bring things to me that they've found in the supermarket.

the thing that i miss most is pizza. i don't usually eat cheese either, but i make an exception for things like feta or goat/sheep cheese. so i have been experimenting with the gf pizza options. whole foods has a selection of gluten-free stuff. usually it takes a lot of time to prepare, but i found this frozen pizza on night after work and figured i'd give it a try.

glutino (pronouced by me and my glu-tard friend, emma, as glu-tee-NO!) is one of the more prevalent gluten-free brands that i have seen. at first glance the pizza looked sort of gross. the crust is a rice flour blend and it had feta and spinach on top. judging from the appearance after pulling it out of the freezer i was not impressed (see pic to the left). so i decided to doctor it up. i do this all the time. it's not that i eat pre-made stuff a lot, but when i do, it has to have something that makes it tastier and/or healthier. so i opted to add some cherry tomatoes that i had in the fridge.

the result was pretty tastey. definitely add some tomotoes or olives. i used my trusty pizza pan that allowed for the bottom to get a little crispy. with a rice crust (i've made these from scratch) you need to be careful that they get fully cooked or they are all chewy/rubbery and basically gross. so it's best to spray some olive oil to make sure it gets golden. this brand cooked up pretty evenly. my only complaint is that for the price it was a really small pizza. you can see by the size of the pan compared to the actual pizza. it's definitely not for sharing. that's the unfortunate thing when it comes to being gluten-free. if there's a wheat substitute of any kind, you can bet it will be way more expensive than its glutinous counterpart.

overall, i give this a thumbs up for what it's taste like a gourmet sort of pizza and cooked up pretty quick! crispy, flavorful and it definitely sated my desire for some pizza.

happy 'jew' year!

so with the jewish holiday there is no one here in my office. but the internet definitely isn't jewish or at least doesn't celebrate the high holidays....

i got a few goodies in my inbox that totally made me laugh. first, i got a link to the literal video for aha's take on me song. it basically sings what is happening in the video to the tune of the actual song. if you have had any sort of exposure to the 80's (that is unless you've lived in a black whole for the last 30 years) you know this ridiculous video where an 80's chick is reading a comic and the comic guy comes alive and pulls her into the comic with him. there's also a wrench fight at the end!!

then the other goodie that i got to pass the slow day is this other 80's redux but with a slightly more political slant:

courtesy of Bust Magazine

i'm wondering if the drill/snowmobile is likened to mc cain. does anyone else see it? it seems to have that goofy/slighly evil mr. smithers grimace that he keep flashing.

Friday, October 03, 2008

A new meaning to 'green'

We just stopped by the Whole Foods to get some food to cook up. I saw these awesome heirloom tomatoes and got two. As we were walked back to the apartment, I glanced down at the bag and saw something green moving. Ewwwwwwww - It was a worm/ caterpillar crawling out of the tomato!!! Needless to say we had to let the 'pillar and tomato go.

Btw, Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist was freaking amazing! I didn't know it was a movie about Jersey kids! That just made it better. Plus they had some of my old haunts in it (Veselka and Union Pool). I definitely felt affinity to the story of some music-loving bridge and
tunnel kids. It's a must see, Jersey!!


Here's a pic of my adorable man hailing us a cab to to and catch Nick
and Norah's Infinite Playlist

Check it out:

And yes, I actually made it here in time. It's starting to get chilly
and fall-like. Not quite 'Siberia' as my father refers to it as...but it's getting there.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

On the plane with 25 minutes to spare.

Look at how nice the plane looks before people mess it up with their
stuff. Since when do every row get a pillow?

I was worried that I would be late. I left the office at 5 and took
the N to Penn and then NJ Transit to EWR. Though it took 35 minutes
from Penn to the airport, I breezed thru security -- thank you
Continental Elite Status. Total cost a whooping $7.50 ($2 for NYC
Subway, $5.50 for Airtran, I used my monthly pass to get there).

Now I'm just hoping that they come back and wisk me up to first class
I am wayyy in the back. I also wish I grabbed some eats before I got on.

On time?!?!!

I'm not sure his is actually possible, but so far my flight from
Newark to O'hare (the most ridiculously late airports) is on time!!
The picture poorly illustrates it but that green scribble in the
middle says 'on time'.

I'm also number 5 on the first class stanby list. Ooooh they ate
boarding us at the time it says on our tickets!!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Anusara representing Obama

I was just in the hotel bar and noticed the lady in the top left of
the screen has an Anusara 'Light the Sky' shirt on! I think Obama's
giving this speech right now in Colorado.

note the lady to the left of Obama


what's really cool is that when they panned out on the screen you notice that there are only a select group of people that got to sit behind him.

On the road again...

I'm back on the road for work. After a busy morning at the office, my
colleague and I rented a car and have been in it for the past five
hours!! We're just about to our destination tucked in among the cows
and farms and Colgate University.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Equinox!

This gorgeous sunrise started the first day of the Anusara Gathering
out in Estes Park, Colorado. We scrambled to get to morning meditation with Sally Kempton which was really wonderful.

We just finished today's master class with John Friend. What an
amazing place to be and come together as a collective group. John has been talking a lot about the underlying idealology that Anusara Yoga starts from a place of honoring the spirit. At a time like the Equinox, the dusk of the yearly seasons, we can take a pause and reflect upon the past year and from a perspective of openness we can assess what we've gained. Talking a pause to look back and honor life.

Being a part of this community has changed me. Not only has it taught me to honor myself but it has also taught me that I am worthy of love and goodness. This past year has been a total testament I that. The best thing I gained this year was the understanding that I am worthy of love. And from that understanding love came to me.

Sometimes all the effort in the world is not as powerful as just
letting yourself allow things in and learning to receive.


Friday, September 19, 2008

vacation time

i'm off for a well-needed vacation to the 1st Annual Anusara Gathering, which is part of the yoga journal confernce -- i am so excited to be going to this (i really need a vacation that is outside of a cell service range). it should be a real treat. Each day you get to join in with group meditation, then a master class with the man, the myth, the legend.... john friend and then a daily workshop with a senior teacher. i decided to take this opportunity to take classes with teachers i haven't studied with before. i typically go for the noah maze, sianna sherman, niame jezzeny, ross rayburn set, so this time around i picked some names i haven't practiced with. Here are my picks for the conference:

  • Darren Rhodes- Adhikara: Experiences of Expansion as a Student (All levels) Fuel the fire of your Adhikara (studentship) in this intimate class. Learn as Darren shares his key experiences with John Friend that continues to inspire and sustain him on the path of yoga. Includes forward folds, twists, and hip openers.

  • Desiree Rumbaugh- Hearts of Courage (All levels) Explore the practice and principles of backbending in order to enter the cave of the heart and dwell inside to experience further expansion. Learn to engage the heart's courage to move deeper into the fullness of your backbends.
  • Amy Ippoliti- Power in Numbers: The Kula That Plays Together Stays Together Celebrate the power of community (kula) and the potency of raising consciousness through individual and group intention. Through heart openers, hand balances and other poses, explore harmonious vibration, communication, and sensitivity as they pertain to health in community relationships.
Note: i took the pic in the corner while hiking up in western mass with brian, sage and jared.

luckily i get to share a room with some great fellow yogis. this should be a blast. i'm sure i can live-blog from my phone, cause i'm a yoga nerd like that.

mountain girls reunited! (me and atg) @ marseilles in manhattan

in other news, alpha 'n is in town. i got a chance to catch up with my favorite cocoa puff and her new man, mr. scandanavia himself, martin. i think he's a keeper. it was sooooo good to have alpha around again. atg, if you are reading this, i think you should follow jared's lead and move on back to jerz!

also, i broke down and joined facebook since my friend, neal, told me that it's myspace for adults. if you're reading this and are on the 'book, friend me.

Monday, September 15, 2008


i made it through the three-day cleanse easily! i would definitely do it for five days next time. i feel great. yesterday when i broke the fast i wasn't starving or cranky, plus i got homemade indian breakfast (courtesy of joyti, mona's mom) which is totally amazing and gluten free!! i was pretty impressed over all with the cleanse. the hardest part was going out to dinner for mona's birthday at a thai place and just drinking the juice. i almost caved and had some soup, but i am so glad i didn't. overall i would recommend this cleanse.

the weekend was really great, too. i went down to ocean grove, nj to celebrate my dear friend/mentor/former youth leader/ former boss/ former roommate's 40th birthday. mona is pictured to the right, she was my young life leader whom i met my sophomore year of high school. it was great to be around so many people that had been touched by the way she lives her life. we spent the weekend at this gorgeous bed & breakfast where we had the run of the place, which was also a block from the beach. it turned out to be a gorgeous day to get some sunburn - which i did. mona's parents came down on sunday to celebrate and we got the opportunity to get some words of wisdom from manu, her father. he read our palms and told us all to get married asap!

it was a little strange to be with so many religious people. but i guess it really comes down to what you love and how you express it. there were a few that were taken aback with the fact that i was a yoga teacher. granted most of them thought i was a bible-thumper, but they had this misconception of what yoga was and thought that if they did it they would become evil or something. it's strange, but i understood where they were coming from. growing up catholic and then becoming a born againer, i was taught that things like yoga were associated with 'the occult'. the idea of chanting or mediating was totally out of the question even though those things aren't much
different from their concept of prayer.

i remembered my first experience with yoga. i was kidnapped by my friends and brought over to the ananda ashram. it was there that i got my first taste of yoga, chanting and meditation. i was horrible at all of them, but the chanting part totally freaked me out. they chanted for like an hour, all in sanskrit, and i couldn't handle it. all i thought was, this is evil, this is 'the occult'. but as i looked around, i saw people that loved and supported me, people that definitely weren't evil and though maybe they were a little eclectic, they definitely weren't assocating in 'the occult'. i got so overwhelmed that i cried, and then some monk guy came over and gave me a translation of what they were chanting. i read it and realized it was not unlike the psalms or hyms that i knew. it took me a long while to get comfortable with a lot of the aspects of yoga, but that day i drew a distinct connection to the idea of devotion and worship that is inherent in all religions. (ps: i took the pic to the left in front of our b & b - the flowers and butterflies abounded!)

it may be something you have to experience first-hand, but the power of god (big g or little g/ higher power/ shiva/ mohammed/ jesus, et. al) is there ready to be tapped. sometimes it takes a different name, or a different space. it was hard for me to explain this to people that were so engrossed in their own world. i am lucky to have experienced a few different spirtual things. it wasn't like i went there to preach, but i definitely told people how i believe. maybe it's just the act of believing - in anything - that's so powerful.

Friday, September 12, 2008

rock the vote!

i just had to update my addy for voter registration; i definitely want to make my vote count and be counted.
if you live in jersey and need to register or change your registration check out this site, vote or die nj - that's not really the name but it sounds so much cooler than the nj division of elections (yawn).

just a note here, the registration deadline is 21 days before the election. so that means it is rapidly approaching.

Day Two - feeling good, a little manic

so i made it through day one and am onto day 2. i had my first 2 juices and am off to get a mani pedi at lunch. i might just bring juice #3 with me to enjoy while being pampered.

it's funny, i'm not really hungry, but i totally have this craving for a gluten-free homemade soft pretzel. i came across this recipe on the net and am totally psyched to try it (once i am off the juice that is). i can't wait for the fall/winter to really expand my gluten free cooking;it's too hot in the summer to really try too hard. i plan to learn how to make gluten free bread this fall bc god only knows how freaking expensive the store bought kind is. my lovely friend, soffia, is going to share her icelandic bread-making skills. it's likely that we will listen to bjork or sigur ros whilst we bake.

other thoughts for baking -- depending on what time i get home today, i may bake up some chai cupcakes for mona's 40th bday weekend. it all depends on how much i want to torture myself.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Day One almost over -- i'm still alive

i made it through the meeting which lasted over two hours! the real test came when i walked over to duane reade with my boss and noticed how much junk food is all over that place. even the food that is semi-ok to eat -- it's everywhere!! i resisted and am now back enjoying my juice #4. juices #1 and #3 were a green mix, #2 was a pinapple-apple mix and this is the lemon, cayenne and agave mix -- not too bad. i still have two more, #5 being the green mix and #6 is rumored to be this awesome almond mylk. i'm saving that one for after hillary's yoga class!

2 down -- 4 to go

it's just past lunch time and i have had two of my six juices. i am feeling a little out of it but not really hungry. that's good, i hope. the real test will be this hour and a half meeting that i am going to. if i can stay awake through the powerpoints without my stomach growling, then i can hack this stuff.

cleanse, repeat.

it's been a while since my last blog. so much has happened. update: the iPhone 3G sort of sucks. I am still holding out for them to come up with some magical update that will fix it, but let's just say that i get dropped calls where i didn't before. i trust that it will work out.

other news: jared is moving to NJ!! we have been discussing this over the past few weeks and he will be moving here next spring. yes, spring is a long way off, but he needs to set things up here for his business. i am just so excited that he is coming here and that we can get a place together and that life is so good!

ok and with all that, i decided to do a juice cleanse. i have been feeling pretty shitty lately and thought why not clean things out. i signed up for the blueprint cleanse and will be doing it for the next 3 days. hopefully i can handle it. i will definitely blog about it. i chose the second level of the cleanse over a three day period bc i really wanted to restart my system. i had my first juice so far and am feeling ok. i might just make it through!

hopefully i can get over to take another iyengar class. i took one earlier this week and ended up as the only person in the class. surprisingly that is the first time in my yoga experience that i was the only student in the class. the teacher was very different from what i am used to. but basically we did a lot of poses over and over again. he pushed me a lot to engage the muscle at the top of my knee to really fire up my thigh muscles. it seemed to really sink in. earlier in the week i had a discussion with a yoga friend about the iyengar people being sort of sadistic. i get it, and maybe i just like it. i need some discipline every once in a while -- maybe we all do. i am just not sure i need the discipline of an hour and a half of parvrita parsvotonasan.

lastly, it's the 7-year anniversary of 9/11. i usually get all choked up when i think of this time, but for some reason i am feeling settled about the whole thing. yes, it was 7 years ago that we all had to witness the attack of our country, but things continue to move on. the word anniversary seems to be the thing that is most disconcerting. i am beginning to see how there is a need for rememberance. that rememberance can be as physical as me engaging the muscle at the top of my knee but it can be as broad as remembering the events of 9/11. they in essence are always there but need a specific energy focused upon them -- and from that there is a stregnth that supports. in a lot of ways the events of 9/11 served a purpose jump start a lot of action in our country. i know it changed me.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


It's a madhouse at the 5th avenue Apple store. I'm here geting my new iPhone!!! My 2G sold yesterday on eBay for $350 (complete with a big scratch from when I dropped it at newark airport) so I am psyched to get it hands on a slick new one. I'm going for the white 16gig.

Friday, August 22, 2008


I was scheduled to get an ultrasound of my kidney today. The oxford
website setme up with a radiology center that was literally across the
street from my office. Unforjnqtely when I got there the doorman told
me they had moved from 59th to canal street. So I trekked down here to
get this done, was approached by five different people on the street
to buy everything from a fake diamond ring to a coach bag. I waded
throw the produce stands and past the shops with cooked ducks in the
window. Then I get here and realize I am the only non-Asian here!!
Everything is in Chinese! I love it. Hopefully I will still have a
kidney when I get out.

Check out the cosmo-girl:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

commuter karma

it seems that i have really bad commuter karma, which is a bad thing for someone that travels as much as i do. over the past few months i have been back and forth to sf for work. i have sat for hours in airports, on the plane, in the train station or even on a train -- waiting, just waiting like i always do.

i hate hate hate it so much i just want to give up. i mean every once in a while is ok but when it happens like every time you have to go somewhere??!?!? -- i get pretty pissed. my last trip from newark to chicago was delayed over five hours! then the trip back from sf to newark was delayed four hours!! because of that i had three hours of sleep before my double header yoga classes that i teach every saturday.

so when you hear that someone gets to travel for work, just remember that it's not as glamorous as it sounds.

to top of my streak of bad commuter karma, i have been having a little run in with the nj transit just about every time i step on a train. this week, the train had its usual delays on monday and then last night, when i just wanted to get home and sort through my 3 suitcases and 2 piles of previous suitcases, i got the nj transit screw again. this time i didn't get home until almost 8pm. i left the office at 5:30! grrr.

i did spot my favorite greasy train conductor, aka brock. he's totally jersey and probably drives an iroc. he's been spotted flirting with the ladies and lingering just a little too long. my train buddies and i like to talk smack and make up stores about him -- like he's some sort of train celebrity. i am sure his name isn't brock, but he just looks like he needs a name like that and, well, we were really bored one day waitng again for the train so we made it up. he used to work our beat everyday...the 7:47 train from walnut to penn. then he disappeared. he resurfaces now and again. at least it made my elongated trip home a little more bearable. there's a pic of the elusive nj transit playboy to the right! you can always spot him by his signature pony tail and exposed arms. ;)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

So cute

I found this pic at my uncles house. Me a my sis were stylin!!

Friday, August 15, 2008


it's 2am west coast time and i am restless. so restless that i created an avatar from this site. it's a pathetic reiteration of myself. i have tried to do this a few different times and they always seem to fall short. i think the whole avatar creation should maybe be done by someone other than yourself. one time my friend, tom eaton, drew a cartoon of me and it totally was like -- me! ho hum, i am getting delirious.

i need to rest. i have an 8am conference call and then my flight out of here back to the east coast. i think this is my last time out here in sf for work and i am kind of bummed. i wanted to go out and play today but it was another 12 hour day. this was the worst of them all bc it was a day of waiting. we played cards, i painted my nails, we packed a few boxes and then just waited. i hate fedex ground.

i was planning on going to the frida exhibit at the moma but didn't make it -- meh. i just checked and they open tomorrow at 10am, i have just enough time for a one hour run through!! off to bed with dreams of frida-esque unibrows.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Dig it...

I got done with the worst yoga class I've ever taken and then wandered
around SF near market and 4th looking for some eats after 10pm. I
ended up at this Thai dive bar eating noodles, drinking tanq & tonic
and watching the olympics. There's nothing more American than that.

To top of off each time the door opens there's a cool breeze and the
smell of cloves wafting in. Seriously who actually smokes cloves outside of that one time you were trying to be edgy in HS?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bling Bling!

Check out the gorgeous earrings that jared got me! I'm a lucky girl.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

a rose by any other name

what's in a name?

i commonly get called michelle instead of nicole. it's so common that i actually answer to the name michelle. i usually attribute it to the fact that my last name, michaelson, could really throw people off. but even people that don't know my last name have called me michelle. who knows, maybe it was supposed to be my name.

it's funny that we get our names sometimes even before we are born. my mom wanted to call me valerie or lauren and then at the last minute my grandfather chimed in with 'nicole marie' and it stuck. but before we get a chance to actually show our true colors, we are given a name that in turn shapes us as much as we shape it.

my friends, lizzie and rob, adopted a baby from ethiopia this month and i got to be a part of the naming process. yes, she had a name when they got her but it was a difficult name. we all know how kids like to make fun of names and this one was begging for some ridicule. she will be keeping her birth name, dogmawit, but also gaining a new name.

when i got to their house, there was a list of possible names to be voted on by the family. everyone contributed to the list -- lizzie, rob and diego. they read it outloud and though having just met the little one, there just didn't seem to be one that 'fit' her personality. doggie, as the people at the orphanage called her -- you can now understand why she needed a different name -- is a sweet mushy little african girl with big round brown eyes and face with a sunny disposition. she has a big belly, a big smile and a strong presence in the room. you could tell that the time she spent in the orphanage taught her to be a bright shining star. she just has this way about her that is almost queen-like; nothing on that list seemed to embody any of that.

i pulled out my phone and did a search for some names and read them aloud. doggie's big bro, diego, curled up under my arm on the couch to help. some of the names were hysterical while others were just too bland. i put in for alpha but then we dropped that after we realized she could be referred to as 'alpha dog'. we narrowed it down to two. first was amara. it means unfading beauty. and then the other was cleopatra. i know what you are thinking, cleopatra is begging for some ridicule, too. but cleopatra could translate to cleo. lizzie kept calling out the names to see if doggie would respond. the names were aded to the list and the voting commenced. it was unanimous -- cleopatra.

cleo was the name that she really responded to -- it totally fits her whole way of being. she sat in the living room like a little queen with all her attendants around her. she sweetly comes up to you and pats your arm or back when you are holding her. it makes me wonder why we name our kids before we actually get to see who they really are. this seemed like a totally natural progression. it was cleo's first birthday and to me, it seemed like a really auspicious time to be named.

family and friends arrived to the house for a feast of ethiopian food from mesob ethiopian restaurant in montclair. we ate as much injera as we could, sang happy birthday over a dessert of fresh blueberries a whipped cream and when were done marveling in the lightness of doggie's demeanor and the fullness of our bellies, it was time for the naming ceremony. since diego was also adopted, lizzie and rob decided that it could be a naming ceremony and blessing for the both of them. i was asked to officiate.

we used water placed in a birdbath that diego had made and all contemplated the blessings that we wanted to bestow to the kids as we blessed the water. i used a flower dipped it into the water, wiping it on deigo's head to bless him. then, diego did the same for his new sister, cleo. she giggled at the coolness of the water rolling down her face.

it was an honor to be a part of the event. it's always an honor to see how people are with their kids. it really is sort of magical the way that you can choose to make things so special just by loving them. life is really like that -- when you choose to engage in it, it meets you back with an armful of blessings.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

it sorta worked

there was a whole story that i had typed in to explain why i was posting a pic of some melons....
i will have to work out the bugs. in the meantime here's the lost backstory:

I didn't actually have lunch today so I forgot totry this out. Instead I got the super-deal of a mani/pedi/10 min massage for $27!! Not the best mani/pedi but it works on a lunch hour. So here's a pic of some amazingly yellow mellons from the farmers market last week on SF.


This is a test from my iPhone


i'm going to try this when i am at lunch.

Monday, August 04, 2008

on my honor

remember the good old girl scout/boy scout days?? i was a girl scout basically up until 8th grade. i probably would have continued on and gotten my gold award (that is the girl equivalent of the eagle scout award -- i had the silver award) but my mom sorta got sick.

anyway nowadays, i like to consider myself a modern day girl scout. i found this blogging badge pic (right) from some blog i came across today, it's obviously a spoof but it really got me thinking about how many things ther are out there to foster kids creativity. i guess there are a lot of things that foster as well as hinder their creativity, like how i just want to play on the internet or watch E! and waste my time instead of crafting or cooking. blogging should totally be an actual badge that you can get. so far as i peruse, i don't see one, i did see some badges worth mentioning....

for some reason i can't seem to find the requirements for these badges but one can only imagine the fun stuff that you have to do to adorn your vest with these bad boys. these ones i should have earned already for just being me.

1. Food Fibers and Farming Badge

this badge immediately make me think of going to the fiber farm with brian and sage. i mean, wow, you get to learn how to farm or at least make your own garden, deal with livestock and maybe even shear the suckers for some fiber. this would tie in to a yarn-making badge for those inclined to the fiber arts.

2. Outdoors in the City Badge

is this is the badge you get for eating your lunch in central park or going to a park for summerstage? it would be interesting to see
what the requirements are
for this one. hypodermic needle scavenger hunt?? what it congers up for me is a memory of walking to the waterfront on north 7th street in brooklyn with hatchy. we climbed through a hole in the fence, walked through an overgrown lot and came across a guy in his underwear bathing in a bathtub not very hidden from the weeds. he asked us for some soap but we were out. i guess that makes me an unprepared girl scout. but seriously, i thought hipsters didn't shower. we did get to enjoy the evening and see the city light up as we braved the brooklyn wilderness.

3. Traveler Badge

my crazy schedule these days totally earns me this one. attaining this badge should also include some sort of relay to see who can get through airline security the most efficiently with no checked luggage. this could also include having not only the math skills but also the ability to track and keep all your receipts in order to complete your expense report on time, get the check and still earn all your american express points! last but not least this is the badge you get for taking the red-eye, getting woken up by a medical emergency and then having to work the next day.

4. Making Hobbies Badge

here we go... i think i actually had this one. i know i had this one. currently there is the sock project going on. but i am also working on a whole lot of christmas presents for the family and freinds. oh, and soon jenn and i are going to take a sewing class so i can finally use my freaking sewing machines!!


there are some other real doozies of funny badges. but that's it for now. time for me to get things together and do some yoga!

....and i'm back!

ok so jared started up this couple-blog for us and then i realized i had this old one out in the blogosphere. after having to remember my email and password that i used for this when i started it, i now have it back up and running. i wanted to move away from myspace blogging, so i'm back!

note, there is some funny/pathetic shit in the earlier posts. The last post on here was from please note, going forward they will be more current.