Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Better Than the Last...

It's only natural that on New Year's Eve, we reflect over the year that is rapidly coming to an end.  And in so doing, we tend to take stock of our lives, the good with the bad, and create a set of 'resolutions' accordingly.  It's a nice way to enter into a brand new year; armed with aspirations and only the best of intentions.

I guess you could say that it is somewhat of a romantic notion; how the very last day of the year can spark so much enthusiasm and hope for the coming year.  I don't really have resolutions though.  To be perfectly honest, I never much fancied the idea of giving myself an even bigger "to-do" list than the one that life sends automatically direct into my mailbox, e-mail inbox and sticks on to my already crowded magnet and post-it splattered refrigerator door.

Is that less than ambitious of me? Probably so. However, I like to think of myself as a realist. Never a huge fan of feeling like a failure; I just don't find it necessary to add an even longer list of marks that I may or may not hit.

So, having said all that, I woke up this morning on this New Year's Eve, and I wondered: is my strategy of 'non-new year's resolution' working out very well in my favor? Or... am I just going through each year without... uhh resolve? 

Hmmm... I might have to get back to you on that one...

So now, I'm sitting here with my coffee (of course) and I am seriously contemplating if there should just be one thing... just one, that is worth pursuing, even at the risk of, dare I even say the word: failure?

That might not be such a bad idea; to set out into a brand new year with at least one main focus or objective could actually provide an overall sense of guidance that could be very comforting when feeling, ehh... adrift.  Sort of like having a lighthouse in your harbor at all times... I like that.

I will tell you this much; I had no idea on this New Year's Eve one year ago, what 2013 would have in store for me.  Not in the slightest... But I can assure you that it has not only been an adventure, but a test of willpower every step of the way.

Sometimes I forget that even though it is a lonely road and sometimes a bit uncomfortable... this is all by my own design.  I made a series of choices that in one way or another, turned a life I had only been able to imagine, into something very real.

So maybe I am hitting my marks after all.

As 2013 comes to and end and we gear up for the New Year, let's aspire for greatness, intend for kindness and hopefully not abandon the lessons learned from the years leading up to this one.  Wait a minute, maybe I actually do have a few resolutions in my pocket...

May we all have a little taste of our dreams coming true in 2014.

I'm so grateful to you, my friends and readers for encouraging me to write and share this wonderful experience of life with you.

Happy New Year!!!!


Champagne.... and LOTS of it!!!!!

Friday, December 27, 2013

It's a Wonderful Life

Have you ever accidentally overheard people talking about you when they thought you weren't in close enough proximity to actually hear their words? Let me ask you something; did you like what you heard? Or were you in fact, horrified by their misguided and half-baked assessments?

The other day, I was at a little holiday party amongst a few of my co-workers.  Still relatively new to New York, I figured I ought to go to the party and socialize a bit.  When I got up from the table to find the restroom, I overheard some people suddenly begin to talk about me almost instantaneously.  The craziest thing was, they couldn't have been further from the truth... or my perception of it anyway.

I left the party shortly thereafter.  And as I slowly walked home, playing back the words and drunken assessments of others, I suddenly felt overwhelmed with a sinking disappointment.  I felt a little silly for caring so much.  But the truth is, I went to the party having an open mind about the people I was hoping to get to know, only to discover that a few of them had already made their minds up about me a while ago.

It is an unfortunate aspect of human nature: making snap judgements and at-a-glance presumptions without ever considering all the facts.

It was the night before Christmas Eve.  The cards had been stacking up against me for weeks.  And that experience at the party was enough to send me right over the edge.  But then, I got to thinking...

I may not ever understand how other people perceive me, or worse, how they arrived at their short-sighted conclusions in the first place. But ultimately, what I realized, is that in the long run, it doesn't matter.  

The big picture here, what matters, is how you see yourself.  From there, so much is possible.  

For a long time, how I saw myself wasn't entirely fair or very accurate. It was a similarly short sighted perspective, derived from a skewed perspective of my own reality.

And after thirty years of living life, following my heart and taking chances, I've come to appreciate the person I see today.

I am not a victim or a 'survivor'.  I am simply a human being who has made a zillion decisions over the past three decades that have all, in one way or another, shaped my experience on this planet in such a fashion that I am able to see the world and function within it, the only way I know how: with intense sensitivity and emotional awareness.

I think the lesson here is pretty simple; we are all the authors of our own story.  We have no idea what someone else is going through, which means that our assessments of ourselves and others is probably not entirely accurate. But, if we can muster up the courage to own our choices, as well as their consequences, we may find a sense of peace that surpasses all understanding.

People will make presumptions about you and assign a simplified version of your character.  What can you do? That's life. That is, most often, a filtering mechanism or in the very least, lazy social skills.

I'm not perfect. I may have had a few hard knocks and tough blows along the way.  But I didn't just stumble accidentally through major life events unknowingly or without great thought or analysis.  This very moment is the product of every choice that preceded it.

It may not be exactly what I imagined or had planned, but that could very well be God directing me to greater experiences than I was ever capable of imaging.

As we approach the new year, I hope to challenge us all to consider that our snap judgements of others are not productive or necessarily fair.  Furthermore, they could also be quite hurtful. This holiday season, give someone the benefit of the doubt and you might be surprised. Let their truth be revealed in time with compassion and even a little bit of faith.  Apply this concept to how you see yourself... and you might wake up more comfortable in your skin than ever before. 


Smoke and Mirrors

1 1/2 oz of Single Malt Whiskey
1/2 oz Benedictine Liqueur 
1/2 oz Byrrh Aperitif 
Dash of Angostura Bitters

Stir and strain into a Coupe
Garnish with an orange zest

                           Wishing my friends and family health, happiness and love in the New Year. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Look Up!

I once heard it said that 'to turn the other cheek' actually means something more along the lines of 'shifting your perspective.' I guess that concept has always stuck with me.  And you know, it really does make sense.  It isn't so much an idea that you ought to just bend over and take it (sorry for that analogy) but rather, a sort of pause and extension of grace to consider the world as you know it from maybe a slightly different perspective.

What would we see differently if we turned our cheek? Even the literal physical movement of where we set our gaze tremendously influences our perspective of the world around us. 

I know this to be true; especially after living here in New York City for the past two months.  

When things are great, I look up... way up.  When I look up this high, I see birds zipping between buildings amid a back drop of puffy pink clouds and reflective glass panes.  That is when it feels amazing to be here. 

And when the days are more on the average side of life, I cast my gaze straight ahead. I move forward with purpose and some measure of focus.  I move along with the steady flow of life here and I get the job done.  I am neither especially high nor especially low. Those are pretty good days too. 

I spend a significant amount of time walking.  I am outside in the fresh air... sometimes in a complete trance.  Each day, I walk from place to place, bombarded by the zillion and one crazy thoughts I have going on in my mind at any given moment. And oftentimes, the more stressed out I am, the lower my gaze falls. 

On those days, where I was so tired, so beat up and on the verge of throwing in the towel, I can't help but acknowledge how much my perspective was influenced by the way I held my gaze... to the concrete.  It seemed that New York and I were/are a bit at odds about how exactly I am meant to live here.  And what I was beginning to see wasn't all that glitzy anymore...

What I haven't been able to write about for a good while now,  is just how difficult it has proven to be to make a life in this city. I am still without my own address.  I am living with friends who have sacrificed their own personal space, so that I may find my own little corner of this city to eventually call my own.  

I have been struggling with this process more than I can even begin to describe. I was so close to booking a flight out of here a week ago, that I practically had the exit strategy in full swing.  

Walking along my normal route, with my head tilted downward, I saw dirt, grime, poverty, trash, bubble gum, cigarettes, excrement (human and animal); all beneath the the crunching sound of the bones of my bruised feet. 

But then, I remembered that little New Yorker on my shoulder (he's a lawyer and curses frequently) saying "Look up. Adriane, LOOK THE FUCK UP!" 

I am then pulled away from staring at my feet and the concrete below and suddenly, even if only for a moment, I actually do look (the fuck) UP.

In that moment, you realize how so much of life (and how we experience it) is expressed through the lens we choose to look through. 

I suppose I just wanted to share this with you all today.  If you are facing something that is requiring a lot from you, perhaps it is wise to take a moment to consider a shift in perspective.  The world is comprised of many layers and factors.  And if you cannot see your way out of whatever crap that is tempting your demise or failure, then remember to look up; before you know it, so too will everything else.  

No more back up plans or exit strategies.  I am not leaving this city until I've accomplished whatever it is that brought me here to begin with. So with that settled, I'd say that things are definitely looking up. 


Spicy Margarita

1 oz Tequila
1/2 oz Triple Sec
Splash of Sour Mix
Sprig of fresh Cilantro
1/3 small red chili 
muddle gently and shake ingredients
Salt Rim and a Lime Wedge! 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mail Me a Hug

I have this coat; it's puffy, brown, zips and buttons down the front and has a furry hood.  I refer to it as my "burrito jacket" because that is how I feel stuffed inside this thing.  It is unbelievably warm and resilient to wind, rain, sleet, snow and even provides a cushy buffer in a hail storm: it's the perfect answer to winter. 

This jacket and I first came to know each other back in 2007 when I was living in Santa Fe, New Mexico during the holidays (which, as a side note, is a VERY cold place in the winter months due to the dry desert climate and high elevation). My parents came to visit me for Thanksgiving that year and the jacket was a gift from my mom; I have worn it relentlessly every winter since.  

However, upon "preparing" for this "trip" to New York, I had made some bizarre choice to leave it behind.  Mind you, it is enormous.  And as the early signs of winter encroached upon the East Coast, I suddenly realized my glaring mistake.  Oh my God, I'm going to freeze to death before making it to the train. 

I suppose I overestimated my ability to tough it out in my layers and down vest.  No sir, there are just some storms, some conditions that require a little added protection.  

Okay...I should have packed the damn jacket. 

My mom is practically a meteorologist.  She spends, what must be hours, charting and plotting the weather conditions from both ends of the United States.  When I lived in the South, she would regularly track the volatile activity of the cold fronts clashing with the warm southern air.  If there was a storm coming, mom would be the first to know even from a thousand miles away.  

So is it any wonder that with mixed rain and snow flurries on the horizon, I received a package in the mail containing none other than my beloved burrito jacket?!?! 

I opened the box at the post office and immediately wrapped myself in the warm coat.  It was more than a feeling of warmth though.  It was, honest to God, as if for a moment I could feel my mom give me a hug.  

Suddenly, I felt invincible. I'm protected. I'm warm. I'm loved. I'm never alone. Walking the streets of Manhattan, armed with down feathers and a hug, I am pretty sure I will be okay.  And I have my mom, the U.S. Postal Service and Anne Klein to thank for that. 

Sometimes we don't always know how a simple gesture can impact a person's life.  We can't imagine how mailing a jacket could be like mailing a hug.  Who would have thought that possible anyway?  But I can assure you one thing: 'if it fits it ships'...  And love always finds a way to fit.

I've slept with the jacket over me for the past few nights.  Guess I needed a little more than my warmest winter jacket.  I've just needed a hug or two, from mom. And I got that... surprisingly by mail. 


Never on Sunday

1 1/2 oz Gin
1/2 oz Fresh squeezed lime juice
Generous splash of Fresh Squeezed Ginger
1/2 oz Creme de Cassis 
Splash of Simple Syrup
Splash of Soda
On the Rocks

Friday, November 1, 2013

It's Not You, It's Me

One month ago, I arrived in New York; and ever since that first moment when my feet hit the long stretch of concrete, my mind has been a complete mess of muddled mush.

Imagine the fastest, highest, wildest roller coaster ride you've ever been on in your life.  The world around you flashes by in an instant.  Strands of hair whip you across your face, whether it's your own hair or the person sitting next to you.  You have no idea what has possessed you to stand in line for what feels like an eternity, only to get whipped in the face, jerked from side to side and nearly losing your lunch.  

You step off the roller coaster and have absolutely no recollection of what you saw as you were being hurled through the air along the winding track, but you are fairly certain it was amazing because it felt amazing.  My friends, that is the only way I know how to describe the past four weeks of my life in New York City. 

Each day has been a surprise, an exercise, a conflict, a challenge, an enlightenment.  

I have felt happy, intimidated, courageous, lonely, afflicted, creative, tired, observant and every now and then: defeated.  

Every moment has demanded some measure of concentration: even if only to close my eyes and try to let go of the events of the given day.  In this city, while working full time at a new job and still living out of two suitcases, even the seemingly simple and natural act of sleeping requires a concentrated effort.  

My writing had been set aside these past few weeks, as I opted to take in what I saw, rather than share it with the world as I had been this past summer.  

The lack of stability and familiarity has burdened my thoughts and mind in such a way that is difficult to articulate.  And as I sat on the shore of the East River along Brooklyn's busy borough, I wondered; Am I happy?

And much like the meager attempt to enjoy the view from a speeding roller coaster, I began to see happiness in a similarly blurred and mysterious way.  I had ventured out of Manhattan in an effort to see the sunset; something that is very difficult to do in an otherwise completely vertical city. And as I sat there gazing across the river, I began to laugh a little as the sun sank behind the entire island of Manhattan, still blocked by the skyscrapers that line the entire radius of the city.

It was funny, because in that moment, I realized how much effort it is going to take to survive here.

Am I happy here?  Was I really ever happy anywhere?

For short stints of time, yes, I felt happy.  Skipping around from place to place trying to outrun, outsmart, outmaneuver myself.  But time and time again, the void followed.

And now, as I sit at my computer and finally bring myself back to my writing, I realize that the void is not where I reside, but rather what has always been residing within me.

It is terrifying to finally understand that I need to face my fears, and hopefully believe in myself enough to follow my dreams.

New York City is only the backdrop of this story I have decided to share with you.  And I will tell you this much; it is a character all its own.


Peach Bellini

Fresh Peach puree
Glass of Prosecco

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Love Never Dies

Throughout the course of our lives, we may fall deeply in love a dozen or so times. Whether it is falling in love with a boyfriend, a best friend, or even a pet you've come to think of as family; love has a way of leaving a mark so permanent we will forever be reminded of it. Think about this for a moment...

Imagine someone you love very much. Now imagine someone who is no longer with you.  Perhaps it was a family member you loved very much who passed away. Do you love them any less in their physical absence? Did the love you feel for that wonderful creature vanish in its passing? Of course not.  

Love simply does not evaporate into thin air.  It lingers, for a lifetime...

The past month or so has been a testimony of the absolute, undeniable certainty that love never dies.  

I have seen the many ways in which love is revealed and preserved over the passing of time.  And it just leaves me in the most wonderful feeling of gratitude.  

Over the past few weeks, I have been surrounded by stories of love and loss.  People all around me were experiencing their own version of an epic love story.  Whether it was losing a beloved wife to Father Time after (over) sixty years marriage together, the tragic and untimely loss of a family member gone too soon, or in my case, the passing of one of my most treasured friends, my pet of eleven wonderful years, Pepper... they are all shining examples of how love is not ever really lost.   

And that is what makes the act of loving someone, or something outside of yourself so incredibly sacred.  It is allowing a seed to be planted to grow within your heart, regardless of the burden you will certainly feel at the moment of inevitable loss. 

Loss doesn't always mean death either.  Loss can simply be the moment a choice was made to walk on separate paths. It can be as simple as a high school break-up; leaving a pitted scar where there once was none.  

So whether it is separateness from death, or simply choosing different paths, I feel quite sure that where there was once the most pure essence of love,  hiding forever in that heartbreak, is a timeless and eternal feeling that remains.  

And it is so comforting...

It is comforting to know that even long after the physical, tangible essence falls away, true love never falls away.  

Perhaps I am overly sentimental.  Big deal.  Perhaps I'm over thinking this.  Who cares?  I care... 

I care about this subject because I know how tremendously comforted I was in the exact moment I realized that not one drop of the love was lost, when I said goodbye to the tangible physical being of my little pet, Pepper.  Not one single ounce of the love I have for her passed away when she did. My love burns bright as ever: alive and well.  

When I sat down over a beer last night with my 'once upon a time' high-school flame, it hit me like a freight train: the most innocent aspect of human emotion is our tireless capacity to love, even in the face of countless losses.  We can go for a walk now as simply two friends, who share a very special past history.  Neither one of us had to force a friendship out of thin air.  We are friends, because we probably always were, even throughout our fourteen year absence. 

We do not have to re-create the feeling of care, when it is always within.  We do not have to light a candle, sit by a tombstone, or force that tangible feeling to remain.  We can let go of whatever form we were first introduced as, and treasure the essence that is eternal.  

We are temporary yes... But real love is not fleeting... it is everlasting.  Love can be passed down through generations; through family albums, funny stories, specific characterizations and mannerisms, or simply, the most intimate and private truths that only we who shared it will ever truly know and understand.  

Love is the most precious and divine gift we can experience.  We do not have to hold on to it with a tight grip: as if it will somehow slip through our fingers.  Love doesn't need to be captured or forcefully retained

Honest love exists independent of any "doing" on our part.  

I love my family, my friends, and yes, even my pets, with every fiber of my being; and not one thing on this earth can take that love away. We may die, but love never dies. It is a force greater than our physical limitations. And for this gift, I am so humbled and bursting with gratitude.  

Pepper bunny isn't really gone; because my love for her hasn't gone anywhere... and it never will.  


Fauker's Favorite

1 oz Jameson's Irish Whiskey
Splash of Gingerale
on the rocks. 

Pepper Bunny
August 2002 - October 10, 2013

Thank you Pep, for getting me through the toughest decade of my entire life. Only you and I will ever know just how massive the scope of that thank you truly is. I miss you, I love you. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Always With Me

In loving memory of my sweet Pepper. My angel doesn't fly... She hops.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Writer Interrupted

At last; a chance to write from "home."  Isn't it funny how some routines are so important to our overall sense of happiness and well-being? Even a simple routine as waking up, brewing coffee and blogging? 

It hasn't exactly been the easiest task; wandering around from one end of the city to another looking for a place to write.  Most coffee houses are packed with fellow writers or simply a dozen or so people with little battery life.  The outlets are a hot commodity to come by; as almost every person wants to charge... something. 

I would attempt to write from my Mini i-Pad from a crowded Starbucks or other local spot offering free wifi.  But unfortunately, that is not always the most ideal environment.  And I have yet to find my own little writers corner... my spot.  Furthermore, I am always in between appointments or am off to the grocery store, catching a train, fiddling with my new work materials or simply lying down to catch some much needed zzzzzzzzzzs. 

So today, I finally feel comfortable enough to brew coffee and write from the apartment I am sharing for the month.  It's quiet this morning and I don't have to go into work until 8 p.m. tonight. 

You see, I was in in a terrible funk the past two days; unable to find a place or a good time to write.  I am just the type of person who really enjoys a certain amount of structure.  So when I knew I had pretty much the entire day to myself before heading into the city to work, I jumped at the opportunity to write: still in my pajamas and sipping pumpkin spiced coffee from Trader Joe's market.  

In some ways, I can't believe I have only been in New York a week.  I've been training at a new serving job and reconnecting with friends who live here.  Almost every moment has been filled in some way, even if only by the long walks I would take around Central Park.  

I realized something just before falling asleep last night; constant creativity produces more creativity.  It isn't something that dries up.  Creativity is rather like a muscle that only gets stronger the more it is flexed and exercised.  And so, I must continue my creative pursuits.  As steady as ever, I must nurture creativity as best as I possibly can.  

This is such a creative place.  And everywhere I look I am surrounded by the people who are actually "making it."  

If only that were me.  Another bottle of Champagne please... 

This is all part of serving the bigger picture though. And from the bottom of my heart, I wish to get there one day: sitting at the table rather than standing before it.  

But for now, I am on my way to writing a new chapter; a new story.  

This past week of moving and getting a job has most certainly interrupted the steady flow of creativity that I suppose I had, in some ways, taken for granted.  Let's just say I was a writer interrupted.  

But I believe that now, more than ever, is the time to protect and serve creativity as best as I can; establishing a sense of structure in an otherwise volatile but thrilling moment in time.  


Gin Rickey

1 1/2 oz Gin
1/2 oz Lime Juice
Splash of Soda
On the Rocks in a Highball Glass

Sunday, October 6, 2013

What's Just Around the Corner

Last night I had the opportunity to catch up with an old friend over some great drinks and a very long walk.  It was a warm night, and there was just something so incredibly poetic about the entire experience.

I didn't know what to expect, as this encounter was more than unexpected.  So we just let the conversation flow as naturally as possible.  And I began connecting the dots, between his experiences and my own.

Perhaps because we are both writers and a little prone to emotional indulgences, we both ate up the nostalgia as if it were the most delicious main course in all of New York City.

But then, just as sudden and unexpectedly as the moment we ran into one another in a crowded market just a few days ago, the gravity of the situation hit me and I came to a startling realization; we never truly know what is just around the corner.

Isn't that absolutely magical?

I have to tell you that the past five days have been like something out of a movie.  There are young couples strolling hand in hand around almost every corner, kids blowing perfectly round bubbles the size of grapefruits along the paths in Central Park, and each scene is perfectly scored with some kind of pure and equally enchanting source music.  It's frightfully wonderful.

Every corner unfolds some depiction of life, love, survival, creativity, work, struggle and yes, the ever impressive American dream.

We are all in this place because it is feeding something within our hearts that is down right demanding to be heard.  In fact, the buildings themselves are demanding in their own right.  They stand over us; towering and impressive.  They have their own unique voices and dresscode.  The buildings provide me great company.  They are my beacons, my mile markers, and my way of navigating from one corner of the map to the other.

All these people I see around me have completely overwhelmed my senses.  And I find myself struggling to find the words to express what I feel each day as I walk through the countless blocks and stretch of concrete.

I can't very well explain it.  I can't really figure out how to quantify the countless moments I catch myself in awe.

And I know that this feeling will inevitably fade over time as I too, am cast alongside this wonderful hit show that is Manhattan.  But for now, I still catch my breath each time I turn a corner and am presented with granduer and wonderment.

Tomorrow I start my job.  And then, I will have officially taken my first big bite of this 'Big Apple.'  I will have my own routine and semblance of a life as a proper city girl.  Who knows what is waiting around the next corner... maybe the best is yet to come.

Until then, this corner is looking pretty good.


Lil Nicky

1oz Vodka
1/2 oz Pama Liqueur
Splash of Soda
On the rocks with a lime wedge.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Back to Work and Getting Settled!

I never thought I would be so excited to get back to work! Can you believe it?? After only four days in NYC, I am now employed and ready to serve up some drinks once again.  Talk about moving quickly!!

It's amazing how much better I felt when I woke up this morning.  It was like I could actually relax and go have a fun day of walking adventures.  Knowing that I have an income in the immediate future provides me tremendous relief.  

NYC is just one of those cities where you don't want to go broke.  

But to be perfectly honest, it's more than just a financial relief.  When you uproot your life and move to a huge city such as this, it is very unsettling to not have certain things in order.  It felt good to wake up today and know I have somewhere to be on Monday at a certain time.  To know that I fit in and that I am respected by managers and so on is something that brings me great contentment.  

It is a nice feeling to be able to meet new people and have something in common, even if it is only our place of employment.  It just feels good. 

I feel like I'm part of it now; like I'm really here.  

I know that the next major box to check off will be to actually find my very own room to rent.  But for now, I'm really happy.  

I can't even begin to describe how amazing it is to have good friends.  My almost instant transition to the city would not have been so seamless if it were not for my friends here in NY.  

These amazing individuals have been looking out for me, networking, calling, texting, e-mailing, sending out my resumes, apartment hunting and teaching me all about the public transit system.  I honestly don't know if I could have, or would have even wanted to do this without them. 

I think today I just feel so much gratitude.  I have the most loving friends and family.  I have a new job that will provide some stability.  And I have this great big delicious city, to dive into, head first.  

I just don't think I could ask for much more.  


Mint Chocolate Martini

1 1/2 oz Vodka
1 oz Chocolate Liqueur
1/2 oz Peppermint Schnapps 
Swirl of chocolate sauce in the glass. 
Shake and Strain into a martin glass. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Road Warriors and Multi-Taskers

Imagine every annoying encounter you've ever had while commuting to and from work.  You're sitting behind the wheel of your compact car, listenening to the radio, and tapping your hands on the dashboard in hopes that your constant vigil over the endless sea of cars ahead of you will enourage the momentum to inch along just a little bit faster.  Then, for no logical reason whatsoever, some silver hybrid cuts in front of you as if that that extra five feet made all the difference in their drive time.  But you're no fool.  You know you're all stuck and not going anywhere fast.

Now imagine a similar scenario, but instead of being surrounded by countless cars, you are simply surrounded by hoards of people.  Now let me tell you, foot traffic is far more entertaining than car traffic.  

What I have whitnessed upon entry in New York City, would make any person feel a twinge of anxiety. These people are hysterical... comical really. 

I mean, who continues to read their novel while walking off of the subway and down a flight of stairs while people attempt to merge around you, beside you, and in front of you??? From what I gather so far: several dozen NY women.  

I stand behind these marvelous multitaskers and think, are you really going to read that book while going down a flight of stairs??? Really lady????? 

Just like the rules of the road, there are most certainly pedestrian rules as well.  The foot traffic rules are as followed; don't text and walk or read a book while going up or down a flight of stairs in the subway, DO pick up after your dog, and gladly step aside to double check the Mets scores, and please, under no circumstances engage in small talk.  

I find myself knocking over old ladies, getting impatient with tour busses who block the crosswalk when the go light is on, and moving almost effortlessly around the slow moving texting-walkers. 

All in all, I definitely feel like I am in the flow of the legendary pace of the daily walkabouts that I've always heard about.  New Yorkers do walk fast... but I walk faster.

Oh wait... this is a commute, not a race... 

I will have to remember that the next time I am merging with distracted pedestrians... It's not a race, it's not a race, it's not a race...

Yesterday, as I rolled my luggage down the eleven-block stretch of concrete that spans between my two friends' apartments, I couldn't help but notice that I was still mowing over everyone else!!!

I don't know... Maybe the pace they set is one of the multi-tasker.  But don't count on me writing my blog while walking through Midtown.  No sir.  

I'm just not that stretched for time... Thank God. 



1 oz Vodka 
Splash of orange juice. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


If I could describe my first day in New York, I would have to say that it has been nothing short of surreal.  I pretty much cannot emphasize that enough. If you read along, you'll no doubt agree.

What if I told you that on my very first day in Manhattan, I literally ran into someone I once loved very much? Someone I haven't seen for nearly fifteen years... Would you believe it? Yeah... I couldn't really either! But I did... and it may be one of the craziest experiences of my life.

Allow me to explain.

I woke up bright and early today in an attempt to tackle a very busy day in the city.  I had to meet up with my friend to grab his set of apartment keys and then get ready for my job interview.  I was way way ahead of schedule though; leaving me with a few extra hours to kill beforehand.

So I walked around the block to the Chelsea Market to grab a quick snack and say hello to my friend who works there, when I was suddenly caught off guard by a man who was giving me a very perplexing look.  The place was very crowded; people were everywhere.  But for one split second, it was just us. He stopped dead in his tracks: frozen, wide-eyed, hands visibly trembling.  It took a few moments, seconds really, to recognize each other.  And I could not believe my eyes.

Could this really be happening??

And there, in the middle of one of the busiest most crowded cities in the United States, I embraced one of the first guys I ever really loved.

I was sixteen years old when I first met him.  He was older (naturally)... and had that kind of edge about him that makes every good girl suddenly feel like a little rebel.

He was an artist, a poet and a musician; otherwise known as a triple threat.  He brought out creativity in me that I practice to this day. He also introduced me to Indian food, which is probably one of my favorite souvenirs from our time spent together.  It was so "mature."

It was a really dramatic break-up... as almost all teenage romances certainly are.  And I've often wondered what had become of this person who meant so much to me all those years ago.

If he hadn't seen me, I would have just missed it completely.  And now, a rather small conceived idea of killing some time, actually transpired to one of the most intense mind blowing, cataclysmic moments I have EVER experienced.

Everything that we've said to each other today is too personal to really share here; and anyway, the details wouldn't really make much sense to people who didn't know us when we were together so long ago.  We were so young when we last saw each other. But he was the kind of person who really stuck in my memory: he helped shape the artist, the writer and character I am even to this day.

I can hardly find the words to  describe what an amazing and life changing moment this was for me today, but the reality of this bizarre twist of fate has left me completely and utterly awe-stuck.  And dare I go so far as to say, inspired. 

I went about the rest of my day in an absolute haze.  I was abuzz with shock and bewilderment by this serendipitous encounter.

And as I lay my head down to wander away into a quiet reflection of the day, I  have made a rather startling discovery; there is magic in Manhattan. And I just got one huge, healthy serving of it.  

I'm certainly 'Not in Kansas anymore.'


Apple Martini

1 1/2 oz Vodka 
1 1/2 oz Sour Apple Pucker
Splash of Sour 

Shaken and served up.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Mile High Blog: NYC Bound

Well this is definitely a first...

At this very moment, I am at a comfortable cruising altitude of 36,000 feet and am seated next to the window, where I've enjoyed a nice view of our swift departure from solid ground below.  Yes, that's right friends... I am sky high. 

What an interesting way to write!!!!

It has been a very long day, full of excitement and very mixed emotions.  I have come to a conclusion that airport farewells are probably one of the closest things to slow emotional torture around.  Seriously...

It has been a crazy journey that has brought me to this moment; to this airplane.  And talk about a delayed reaction!!! Oh my gosh!!

I woke up bright and early this morning and thought, "Oh SHIT, today I leave for New York City!!" And as you can well imagine, I couldn't fall back to sleep.

I got up and began my normal routine, knowing all too well that there wasn't really anything normal about this day in the least.  And as my brother and my parents all gathered around me for a sweet hug and short prayer, I couldn't help but realize that this was unlike any other "trip" I've ever taken.

It was as if I was seeing some look in their eyes that I hadn't really noticed for the past six months; it was a look that said, "We've lost her... to vortex that is Manhattan."

I tried to keep things very loose.  I tried to make light of the situation. But then it hit me like a ton of bricks as I stepped through the gate to the other side and wondered; could they be right?

Our eyes stung from fighting back the tears.  My heart began to race.  And I think we all agree that life (as I've known it) won't ever really be the same.

And then the texts and phone calls began...

And not one person said, "Have a good trip." No, no... every single person CONGRATULATED me on MY MOVE!!!! Hahaha...

And here I thought I had convinced everyone that this was sort of a fun "staycation."  You know, the kind of trip you go on where you get a little part time job to cover the costs of all those fun touristy attractions?!?! Yeah, well apparently the general consensus amongst my loved ones is that I was meant for New York, or maybe the other way around.

It took this second plane ride, and final leg of my journey today, to realize what a brave thing this is that I'm doing.  And I feel... a bit in shock, but overall quite happy.

Tomorrow I begin the process of the epic job search.  And of course, if you've been one of my trusty readers or are just plain genius enough to decipher the play on words that is the title of my blog, well then you know by now that I tend bar as a way to "Serve the Dream."  So, if you can imagine this, I actually have a job interview scheduled tomorrow afternoon in SOHO, less that 24 hours after arrival.  How is that for moving in a New York Minute?? 

I guess I just wanted to take a moment to reflect on this day that has proven to be somewhat ceremonious.  I want to thank my close friends, my family and the numerous random strangers who've encouraged me to chase my dreams and to jump in the deep end.  I swear, it has been the driving force behind my decision to take this leap and for that, as well as many other things, I'm certainly most grateful.

As for this entry, I am on a time crunch!!! Because very shortly it will be time to "power down all electronic devices" and that means that they will cut off my Wifi connection.

It's almost time to land... literally and figuratively of course!


Airplane Overpriced Cocktail 

1oz   Seagrams 7
Splash of 7 Up

Monday, September 30, 2013

I Couldn't Have Said it Better...

Theme From New York, New York

'Start spreadin' the news, I'm leavin' today
I want to be a part of it
New York, New York
These vagabond shoes, are longing to stray
Right through the very heart of it
New York, New York

I want to wake up, in a city that never sleeps
And find I'm king of the hill
Top of the heap

These little town blues, are melting away
I'll make a brand new start of it
In old New York
If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere
It's up to you, New York..New York

New York...New York
I want to wake up, in a city that never sleeps
And find I'm A number one, top of the list
King of the hill, A number one....

These little town blues, are melting away
I'll make a brand new start of it
In old New York
If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere
It's up to you, New York..New York New York!!!'

Wish me luck!!! 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Search and Rescue: Technical Difficulties Part 3

Let me tell you a very short story of loss and recovery; if it ain't broke, DON'T replace it!! (To be Continued tomorrow)... I just finally got my computer back!!!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Attack of the Geek Squad: Technical difficulties part 2


After five failed trips to Best Buy, I am still without a computer which is greatly affecting my ability to write my blog.  The past two days I've borrowed my dad's laptop, but as of right now, I'm back to texting my blog post off of my cell phone.

**This is not fun...**

Basically, in an effort to modernize, I have opened a whole can of mechanical worms that have left me laptop-less.  I never dreamt all of this would have transpired over this past week.

Today, I actually out-geeked the Geek Squad which is not a compliment by the way! I am still without a computer and am barely hanging on to my sanity. Please be patient with me, while I try to do the same with the Geeks.

Please also send good ju ju for my computer's swift recovery!!!

I will keep you posted!!!!! Meanwhile, I'm going to keep packing my suitcases!!!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Get Serious...

Sometimes in life, you just have to get real.  Get serious.  It is part of the growing process; knowing when to put away certain fanciful dreams or unrealistic aspirations... right?  

Isn't that why it's called reality?

Well, lately I am struggling to grasp this entire philosophy.  I am in a process of juggling "reality" with my desire to pursue a (hopefully successful) career in the Arts.  

Yesterday, I sat around for a long time, thinking about this whole business of writing.  I have been engrossed in this medium for a very long time and most recently, developed some regularity with it.  But then someone said I ought to really write, you know, seriously.  

This left me almost short of breath as the word "seriously" washed over me.  Am I not taking my writing seriously... or rather, myself seriously? 

I've only just begun writing again on a regular basis, but lately I have been wondering if I should I apply all this creative energy to a more serious pursuit: like maybe a screenplay or novel.  

But then, I go into a really negative zone and begin to feel (dare I even utter the word) blocked.  And then the blockage seems to creep into the other free flowing creative outlets, spreading a foggy haze.  

And it makes me feel frightfully inadequate. 

So that is where I am at tonight; feeling a little blocked, a little foggy and seriously concerned that nothing will amount from any of this.  

I suspect we all have days like this; and today is just one of those days for me.  

Hopefully, I will snap out of it soon and get back to my regular old self; you remember the one, full of positivity, witty anecdotes and metaphors galore??? Yup, that's the one.  

Seriously... that's about as serious a writer I am gonna get tonight.  


1 oz Malibu
Splash of Pineapple Juice

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pushing Buttons

I once heard it said that 'it's our family who are the most capable of pushing our buttons, because they are the ones who installed them.'  I don't know about your family, but in mine, I would say this is quite true.  People tend to think of this phrase in a negative way, but I am fairly certain that my family's circuit boards are well equipped with all kinds of buttons: some extra sensitive, some are capable of great destruction, while others are mostly pushed to send a resurgence of warm thoughts, shared hopes and love.

It's funny how we tend to carry on whatever our parents, grandparents and favorite uncles instilled in us.  When we are young, we think we are so different from our parents.  And yet, as the years go by, the similarities creep in more and more.  I can only imagine how this will mold and shape the generations to come.

It can be a scary thought; passing along whatever nuggets of wisdom or peculiar traits we pick up from our upbringing.  How much do you borrow from your parents? And which things are you better off checking at the door??

Is it like a recipe that we feel the need to keep secret and follow to the very letter? Or, should we attempt to improve upon the recipe all together??

It's a sticky subject, but in this day and age, I think it is a rather necessary one to consider.

As a writer and storyteller, I tend to sit back at observe others whether I am consciously aware of it or not.  And I can't help but get some sort of bizarre satisfaction over the dialogue that I overhear on a daily basis.  The things people do and say while at work vs. their home environment is rather amusing.  And I am sure, the same can be true for my own little quirks and sense of humor.

Some characteristics are intensified while surrounded by my family.  And I truly believe it has a little something to do with those buttons I mentioned earlier...

The truth is, I think I've finally come to grips with how similar I am to various members of my family, and on the flip side, how very different I am as well.

The most unfortunate souvenir we carry along with us is this business of needling the people we love the most.  I am not sure who decided way back in the day that picking on their loved ones was some fascinating display of affection, but it seems quite common not only in my nuclear family, but also among other families and within relationships that I see all around me each and every single day. Maybe its the way we manage to stand the people we share our past, present and future histories with. Hmmmm...

But overall, I think we could really do without it.  I wouldn't mind if instead of needling one another, we tried harder instead to build each other up.  Now that is a button I wouldn't mind dusting off for the betterment of all our sanity.

Why not try a little harder to keep our hands to ourselves and leave other peoples'
(more sensitive) buttons the hell alone! Or in the very least, press some positive buttons to build each other up while your're on a roll...

I think that would be a refreshing change of pace for sure!


Gin & Tonic! 
1 oz Gin
Splash of Tonic 
On the Rocks with a Lime Wedge!!
Delicious, refreshing and so simple!!!

Here with my big brother... the ultimate picker and best friend!!!  
Below: Two future buttons pushers (my nieces)!!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Calm Before the...

From where I sit today, there is nothing but blue skies and calm seas ahead... literally. It honestly could not be a more picturesque afternoon here on the St. Mary's River.  And to be perfectly honest, as much as I am truly enjoying every moment of it, I can't help but wonder what is waiting on the other side of this seemingly picture perfect September day. How sad! 

I have come to realize just how jaded that sounds!! Does every good thing in life always come with a price? How fortunate are those lucky mega-million lotto winners anyway?? Aren't there a hundred different crazy statistics that suggest a wave of bad luck that ensues upon cashing in your winning ticket?? Ugh... I am beginning to sound pretty paranoid.  

I can't tell you when this little habit began, but somewhere along the way, I began to knock on wood.  After every possible statement of absolution or certainty, I would immediately sense some dangling threat of demise out there... just waiting to prove everything to the contrary.  

And so, I began to knock on wood, throw salt over my shoulder (though now I forget which side is the lucky one) and guard my hand mirrors from shattering at all costs. What is wrong with me???

I get extremely uncomfortable with statements like; 'That'll never happen,' 'that's impossible,' or the worst, 'everything will be just fine.'  Aaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!! (Knocks on wood.)

Recently, I have attempted to become less of a skeptic; perhaps because I so desperately want to believe that great things can actually occur without some torrid aftermath. Or maybe it's to preserve my delicate hands from knocking feverishly on dining tables, chairs, floors, siding, row boats, pencils etc.  It seems to be some new revised form of superstition, and so I'm not sure how counter-productive these new methods are.  

Instead of sweating bullets for what I fear could happen, I have opted instead to sweat out the anxiety through a ninety minute hot yoga session.  Instead of calming my nerves with an epic freak out, I am turning to the calming blend of essential oils and quiet reflection.  Exhale... Namaste.  

Is it working?? Hmmm, I may have to test this theory for years to come in order to answer that one.  That would only be fair, considering the decades I have spent looking over my shoulder for the, dare I say, inevitable?? 

Although I cannot promise any miracles here, I may just be a few steps closer to striking a happy balance between caution and optimism.  

Could it be possible to just look out and solely appreciate the absolutely perfect day? Given that I just winced while typing the word perfect... I would venture to guess I still have a ways to go. 

But a willing heart is capable of tremendous things! Oh...hello there my little optimistic other half... Welcome back!  

What can I say?? I guess I'm a work in progress.  It's so easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of anxiety over what could happen... 

But no matter what could happen tomorrow, it truly doesn't change how utterly beautiful it is today.  Perhaps this is the calm before the storm.  But if I'm wrong, and my suspicious nature is merely at work again, what a shame it would be to cast that "doomsday" spin on such an otherwise perfect day.

I kick myself and repeat under my breath, "It isn't doomsday. It's Wednesday."  And on that note, I think I will go for a walk and enjoy what is... and not fear what could be. Life is too short for that type of consistent negative mentality.  And this day is far too pretty to feel anything other than peace.


Brandy Alexander

1 1/2 oz Brandy
1 oz Dark Creme De Cacao 
1 oz Half and half
1/4 tsp of Nutmeg

Shake and strain into a martini glass.