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Sweating it out.

All I’m going to say is that sometimes life is frustrating.  Someone, somewhere is definitely laughing at me and I do not think it is funny.  I have been trying my best to succeed in the world of working out.  This, is certainly not my forte, and obviously not my favorite thing.  However, I have been attempting to procure some much needed endorphins by working out.  Here’s what’s happened in the last couple weeks since I’ve started sweating.  Well, it’s really two things, two big things.  Number one, my thighs are bigger.  Yes, that’s right what kind of cruel joke is this, I have no idea?!!! But, my thighs are undoubtedly bigger.  Great. Just, great.  Secondly, I am eating like never before.  I realize, what you are thinking is, “you idiot, this is what’s canceling out your exercise.” But, I can not help it!  I have the hunger pangs of an obese pregnant woman on a detox!!! I need food and I need it now.  Plus, I have this weird lethargy.  Like, I’m tired all the time, so I eat sugar in a pathetic attempt to get a little energy from candy.  I know, I sound like  a Cymbalta commercial right now, but really this is truly depressing.  Welcome to my life, the weather is warm, the mood is foggy.

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Set Your Calendars-The Honourable Woman July 31

Set your calendars people, this show is edge of your seat incredible!!!!  Summer can be so lackluster for TV, no Mad Men, no good Masterpiece, I mean damnit, there is only one Real Housewives of New York left! What, is there to live for?  Live for this people, live for this.  Holy sh$t balls, I am watching The Honourable Woman right now on the BBC from the UK, and I am obsessed!!!(Also, I know that I am spelling honourable woman was a U-that’s how they spell the show, so no, I’m not an idiot.) (Double also, I know there are a lot of exclamation marks, but that is to show you how excited I am about this!!!) It stars Maggie Gyllenhaal, whom I’m not a huge fan of, but she’s fine in this.  Essentially it “centers on Nessa Stein (Maggie), a woman who inherits her father’s arms business and finds herself in an international maelstrom when as she continues to promote the reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.”

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Oh my Lord people, this is good.  I am only on episode two, and I keep thinking about it every day.  Waiting impatiently for next week so I can figure out, who done it, what’s their secret, and the big reveal?  It’s got political intrigue, suspense and a great supporting cast.  Andrew Buchan whom I love from Garrow’s Law and Broadchurch, plays her brother, and he is just excellent.  There is also Janet McTeer, Lindsay Duncan (another one I adore), and a slew of other wonderful actors.  It’s just really brilliant, excellent entertainment that makes me think TV is surpassing movies in a lot of ways.  Plus, damn it, I love a miniseries.  I have no life, let me get roped in someone else’s is!  So here is the good thing, and my gift to you, it’s airing July 31 on the Sundance Channel.  I’m telling you, if you don’t have Sundance pay for that sh$t now, then remove it after you’ve seen The Honourable Woman, it’s really thus far that good.  I haven’t been this excited about a show/miniseries in a long time.  Also, I’m sure it will sweep the awards, I can see Maggie in one of those frumpy designer dresses and terrible pixie hair with her Golden Globe now, so if you watch you’ll be ready.  And, just watch because honestly, it’s that freakin good! (Again, my apologizes for the punctuation:)

The Honourable Woman-Sundance

 

 

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This Stuff Happens To Everyone?

My Mom recently came in for a stay in the city.  I love it when my Mom comes to town.  It’s an excuse to go out for dinner/lunches and brunches, and generally just do more fun stuff.  On our list was to get a manicure/pedicure, (who doesn’t love a mani/pedi?)  I decided I was also going to use my spa certificate at the same time as our nails to get  a much needed brazilian wax.

All was going swimmingly at the spa, which promised an afternoon of “tranquility and relaxation.”  It was quiet, and perfectly air-conditioned on a hot New York summer afternoon.  There was a trickle of a water fountain in the back ground, and some nice boring spa music that I like more than I’m ready to admit.  We were having a great time.

The only part that I found a smidge unprofessional was one of our manicurists had their five-year-old son with them.  He was running around and playing with his iPad.  (Side note, it still frightens me on some level to see children so aptly use technology, makes me feel old, when I was five I think the most technology I played with was a skip-it machine.)  Of course my Mom was beyond nice to our spa technicians and the little wee child with his bright brown eyes, and dimpled smile.  “What’s your name?” she asked him.  “Ming Ming,” he told her through a grin with only a few baby teeth.  He then proceeded to show her the dinosaur movie he was watching on his iPad, while my Mom pretended to be interested in his Chinese cartoon.

All was going well.  They finished my mani/pedi and I asked to have my brazilian.  Normally I go to my regular waxer, but today I was just happy to get everything done in one foul swoop.  The waxing lady came out in her white jacket and slippers, and I felt confident that they would be able to give me a good wax.  I was led back to a room, and told to remove everything from down below.  All pretty normal stuff.  I laid down, preparing for the worst.  It had been a while since my last wax.  “You no worry, not too bad,” she told me as I began to hold my breath and let the waxing begin.  I breathed deeply and tried to relax.  There is nothing fun about getting a brazilian, but we were half way through and I was so happy to have everything done.  I finally started to relax, focus on the music, and try not to think about my nether regions being ripped apart.  Suddenly I could hear someone at the door.  I didn’t freak out, thinking, surely, they locked the door, nothing to worry about. But, I heard it rattle again, I looked back at the door just in time to see it swing open all the way.  There in the door stood little Ming Ming.  He looked at me, our eyes locked, time froze for a second, and then he looked downward.  Down to my half shag carpet, half bald eagle.  I didn’t know what to do, I just lay there as the five-year-old stared at my cooch.  Legs sprawled with all for him to see, having an out of body experience, and not knowing how to react.  Finally, the waxer started yelling at him in Mandarin.  He flew the room and slammed the door.  I could hear him crying outside.  Was he crying because he was yelled at, or because he just saw his first female pussy at age five?  I lay there mortified.  “Sorry so sorry,” she said to me as she picked up her waxing pace.  The whole thing was so embarrassing, and I somehow just froze.  The wax was burning my flaps, clearly she was trying to hustle along.  I don’t know why I didn’t tell her it was too hot.  We awkwardly finished in silence.  When she was done I threw my clothes back on, feeling my g-string stick to the faint residue of wax left over, ever so slightly.  I flew out of there and ran to meet my Mother at the register.

“Ming Ming saw my who ha,” I told her through my teeth.  “What?” she asked.  “You heard me, the five-year-old walked in on me full bush,” I said as she began to laugh.  I could see Ming Ming out of the corner of my eye staring me down from behind the sink.  I couldn’t bare to look at the child who was now acquainted with my pink fortress.  I got out of there as fast I could.

Today, I find myself with practical third degree burns down below, I have put Neosporin on three times, the kind with pain reliever.  I catch myself wondering about Ming Ming, will I be etched in his memory for eternity?  Me and my girl.

This is a true story.  The place was Essential Spa on Grand Street, I do not recommend.

The last thing I remember seeing.

The last thing I remember seeing.

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WORLD CUP FEVER!

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I completely have World Cup Fever.  The bug has bitten me, and it bit me hard.  I love everything about it.  The camaraderie amongst the teams, people coming together to celebrate and watch and be joyous.  Or my absolute most warming of moments, when someone from the opposing team helps another player up.  I love it! Plus, it’s hot guys running around in tight clothing, which really doesn’t hurt.  I’ve been into it since I visited my Dad in Budapest and we watched the Euro Cup outside with the beautiful St. Stephen’s Basilica in the background.  Everyone cheering and drinking beer, you could feel the energy.  I’ve never watched with a group in NY though.  Normally I find myself in my boxers in front of the TV screaming, but this year I decided to watch a game with my fellow revelers.  Germany is one of my favorite teams, and there is a big beer garden right on the Bowery.  I went with my Mom, aunt, sister, and friend who was a newbie to watching soccer.  Not really the group you would be expecting to take the time out to participate in sports watching.  But, boy was it a blast.  Everyone in their colors, screaming and pounding the table for the corner kick.  When it went into overtime I had adrenalin and you could feel the intensity in the room.  Germany won and everyone was kissing and hugging and chugging their beer, it was just a beautiful moment.  This weekend will be some of the best games.  Yes, it’s the Fourth of July, but really, if you haven’t watched, I encourage you to do so.  It’s so much fun, and it only happens every four years, get in on it now.  Plus, if you are on the East Coast like me, I really don’t know what could be better than watching TV on a rainy day with a cocktail and chips in hand.

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GERMAN BEER GARDEN ON BOWERY (EAT THE PRETZEL IF YOU GO)

 

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World Famous Strawberry Spinach Salad

Obviously, I didn't take this picture, but I swear this is what the salad looked like before it was inside me.

Obviously, I didn’t take this picture, but I swear this is what the salad looked like before it was inside me.

 

Summer is officially here, and so it’s only fitting, that I share with you my all-time favorite summer salad.  It’s  really colorful, using seasonally sensible ingredients (did I just say that?!?! makes me sound like a hippy yuppie:) but really, using seasonal ingredients, and it looks absolutely beautiful on the plate.  I’ve served this many a time on it’s own, as well as a side dish.  It’s oddly refreshing, and super healthy.  You can play with it too, some nice variations would be adding bacon if you are a meat eater, or sliced eggs, and I’ve decided next time I’m going to make it with a toasted nut, who doesn’t love a toasted nut I ask you?

My secret tip though, if you have a blender available and you blend all the ingredients for the dressing right before serving, it really whips up nicely and leaves a smooth, lighter dressing.

World Famous Spinach Strawberry Summer Salad

You Will Need:

  • One bunch spinach (damn it people, buy organic and local if you can)
  • One basket of strawberries (same as above, come on now!)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup sugar (sometimes I use a little less, I like it more on the tangy side)
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. sesame seeds (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. poppy seeds (optional, but I recommend, and if you had to choose one seed, definitely go poppy)
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ tsp. minced onion
  • A few slices of purple onion chopped (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Recipe:

Wash and dry spinach and tear into bite-sized pieces.  Do the same to those strawberries, then cut them up into beautiful-bite-sized-red-nuggets of joy.  Place spinach in a bowl. Set joy nuggets to the side, whilst trying not to eat them all.

In blender mix, olive oil, sugar, vinegar, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, and minced onion.  You could also add the seeds to the dressing if you like, though I like to sprinkle mine on last.

Toss spinach and dressing, then throw in the strawberries and onion and give a light toss.  Sprinkle the seeds on top if you didn’t add to dressing and serve.  Also grind a little pepper on top.  Yummy, and healthy, it’s a summer miracle!

Add a nut, love a toasted nut!

Add a nut, love a toasted nut!

 

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Rainbow Hunting

I realize it’s been a while since I’ve blogged.  I’m sure you’ve missed me.  It’s been for reasons of illness, health, and well, life in general.  But, I’ve come out the other side, and am all the wiser.  Never have I felt more appreciative of those around me.  From a dear friend whose wedding I had to heartbreakingly miss, who gave me nothing but love and support from afar.  To an old friend whom I saw for a glass of wine and oysters and immediately felt my soul and mind recharged.  To the countless friends whose phone calls and words brought my sanity back.  It’s strange how the hard times make you really appreciate what you have.  Your health, your loved ones, that’s what matters.  I know I sound cheese ball, and we all know my jaded self will be back in no time.  But, for now, I’m taking in every blessing I have and having much gratitude.  Something one of my oldest and wisest friends shared with me on my birthday, and now I think of it all the time.  She told me, “remember, there needs to be rain to make rainbows.”  I hope you look for colors all day today.

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Alert! New Mexican!!! El Toro Blanco!

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I have found a new Mexican place I love! Praise be to the glorious gods of Mexican food everywhere!  Oh how I love Mexican, words can not describe the unparralleled joy I get from crunchy chips, fresh salsa, and guacamole.  Oh baby!  It all happened the other day when we were over on sixth avenue, and of course, I was starving.  It was kind of weird time, early afternoon, where I suddenly realized I hadn’t eaten all day long.  We saw a huge Mexican restaurant, El Toro Blanco, with outdoor seating to boot (this is an exceptionally important restaurant point when you have a dog AND it’s finally warm out,) so we decided to have a quick bite.  Needless to say, I was tickled pink by my experience. You know how you always have to pay like twelve bucks for guacamole and then it just ends up being a teaspoon of avocado?  Well, the guacamole at El Toro Blanco is a huge one.  It seemed like a tub of smooth green joy.  That being said, the two of us had no trouble polishing it off.  They also have it in three varying spice options, which was nice.  We went for medium, but next time I’ll try hot, since I’m liking my gauc with some kick now.  Then we had the tuna tartar, maybe not my absolute favorite, but certainly delish.  Super sesame, with tons of cucumber and avocado.  After this, we had the chopped salad which I simply adored.  Avocado, black beans, strips of tortilla chips, super yummy and refreshing.  We finished off with the shrimp tacos.  These were heaven.  Really nicely grilled shrimp, super crunchy slaw, with just the right amount of spice.  Oh, and I forgot! We had the cheese dip, oh my oh my.  Essentially it’s Mexican fondue.  Super ooey gooey cheese melted in a cast iron skillet with peppers and fresh tomatoes on top, served with fresh tortillas.  Worth every calorie I tell you, every last one.    You can sit outside and watch the “seen and be seen” people at Bar Pitti across the street.  They have a great happy hour (which I will try at some point) with cheap nachos, and drinks.  Everything here is really fresh, super summery, and great service.  I’d say it’s the perfect way to start out your spring/summer el fresco dinging. OLE!

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Feel the Burn

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I have been happy lately, that’s right, surprise surprise, I’ve been happy.  Happy eating my pasta, drinking my vino, and slamming back cheese plates like it’s a vegetable platter in front of a starving vegan.  But, it’s all caught up with me.  Yesterday, I caught a glimpse of a double chin, well hello there!  Recently I have found a large flotation device permanently strapped to my midsection, safety first! And lastly, but not least, my boobs have grown.  If that’s not an indication of something, I don’t know what is.  So today I decided to be proactive and do a work out video.  No more complaining about it, take action, it’s the new me!  Here’s  how it went.

 

It began with a woman in a sports bra with abs like a fourteen-year-old Nadia Comaneci on steroids telling me, “we will start with a light warm up.”  It didn’t seem too bad, a few sort of ballet plie type things.  I can do this.  Then said ballet plies were added with a nice karate kick after.  Ten of those and I’m pretty sure I threw out my lower vertebrae in my spine.  Mind blowing excruciating back pain after warm up, this was not a great start.  But,  I am no quitter, what’s a little nerve damage to a spinal chord?  I forged forward.  Now she had us sitting.  Anything that requires me to be on my ass seemed much more promising.  So we sat for a few minutes to do some “recuperating stretches.”  This made me also feel better.  At least she was addressing the fact that some (i.e. moi) would need to stretch after the warm up.  Ok.  Her stretch was the splits.  The mother f$cking splits.  There she is with her little spandex drones doing the splits.  Right. So I sat there with my rolls mocking me watching the gumbi women do the splits in my face glancing at my dog who was staring at his pathetic mother from the comforts of his bed.  “On your knees,” she commanded.  Still nothing standing, this gave me false hope.  From there we were doing a sort of pee on the fire hydrant routine.  At first this seem manageable.  Lift and piss, lift and piss.  By the end my legs were quivering, as were my arms in fits like being mildly electrocuted shock waves.  When the pee leg lift turned into a kick out, I was audibly grunting.  Grunting loud enough that my dog began to bark back at me.  It was literally one of the most humiliating experiences of my life.  From the groaning, to the sweating, to the curse words I threw at the overly- peppy-cheerful-drill sergeant from hell, I have never felt so terribly about myself.  As I write this my biceps tremble.  The only comfort I have is at least I have started, that and the almond M & M’s I found left by my brother in the cupboard.  Tomorrow, another day, perhaps another chance at a workout.

 

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Generation War

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Just a follow up to Generation War, which is also translated as “Our Mothers, Our Fathers.”  I finished it last night, and was so blown away.  To make matters more crazy I realized at the end that it was based on real people.  Real people, people!!!!! I watched the whole thing saying, “wow, this is such good story writing.”  But, no, it’s actually based on actual people during the war! As if it couldn’t have been better.  I think it’s the best thing I’ve watched this year.  Find it my friends, watch it, tis bomb.

*Amazon Link Is Below

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Generation War-Best Miniseries Ever!

Watch Me! I am so good!

This is the first time I’ve written about something, whilst still in the middle of watching it.  But, it’s all I can think about, all I can think about!  I have one episode left of the genius miniseries, Generation War, and I seriously don’t know what I’m going to do when it’s over.  Mad Men was a snore last night (although I must say this season really hasn’t picked up yet), because all I could think about were my people in Generation War.  What will happen next?  Who will survive? Poor Wilhelm!!! It’s a German miniseries about five friends and how their lives and themselves all drastically change during World War II.  Honestly, I haven’t watched something so engaging in such a long time.  It shows how people change, how they love, how they sacrifice, how they survive.  It’s really well shot, incredibly acted (the one guy is an absolute dream boat-Wilhelm:) and is truly an incredible, edge of your seat piece of storytelling.  It is released here this week and I am telling you anywhere you can find this to watch it, you simply must.  I’ve never really watched a World War II piece from a German standpoint, and it truly makes you think and see how we all face the same moral issues, and what war can do to anyone.  I can not highly recommend this enough.  I don’t know what I am going to do when it’s over, and am essentially waiting for the sun to go down so I can watch it.

Amazon-Generation War