Archive | February, 2012

Leap to the hot guy

29 Feb

Most people knew the lore surrounding Leap year proposals long before Amy Adams starred in the (personally yet to be seen) movie based on the Irish tradition which states a man who receives a marriage proposal on a leap day must accept it.

After a bit of limited research, I discovered that the tradition of women proposing to men on February 29th each leap year goes back hundreds of years.  The day was not recognized by English law and therefore the day had no legal status.  It was assumed then that traditions did not have to be followed, including the belief that a man must be the one to propose marriage.  Additionally, February 29th corrects the calendar year every four years as it takes the Earth 365 days and 6 hours to orbit the sun; it was also believed to be the day that women could correct one-sided and unfair traditions.

While proposals are not necessarily at the top of my priority list this leap year, that doesn’t mean a girl can’t indulge and drool over a cute boy.

Currently obsessed with…Patrick Wilson.  I absolutely love CBS’s A Gifted Man and while I can’t tell if it is his character’s hard-ass personality, drown-in-me bright blue eyes, or the requited sexual tension between him and Dr. KATE, I don’t care – I’m hooked.

(That and Aaron Rodgers’ people are seriously going to send the authorities after me if I don’t stop crushing on him…)



#febphotoaday – weeks 4 and 5

28 Feb

Sunday, February 19th – Something you hate to do

Do you really have to ask?  Laundry.  Obviously.

Monday, February 20th – Handwriting

Although I prefer this online “diary” of sorts, I can’t part with my bedside notebook.

Tuesday, February 21st – A fave photo of you

Lady like.  No, really.  It’s Essie’s lady like.

Wednesday, February 22nd – Where you work

What?  You don’t have a Bills pennant hanging in your office?  Weird.

Thursday, February 23rd – Your shoes

Packing for this weekend’s trip.  These heels are looking forward to visiting Boston.

Friday, February 24th – Inside your bathroom cabinet

Working with what I’ve got!  A cabinet-free bathroom at the hotel…

Saturday, February 25th – Green

Of course this Christmas ornament from my mom is still out.

Sunday, February 26th – Night

This view warrants sleeping with the blinds open at night.

Monday, February 27th – Something you ate 

Successfully survived three recruitment events in three cities in four days.  I can’t wait to cook an actual meal.

Tuesday, February 28th – Money

It’s going to be a long day when you find yourself digging for quarters for your morning coffee.

Wednesday, February 29th – Something you’re listening to

“Just shoot for the stars.  If it feels right.”

Ten days to ‘look back in anger’

27 Feb

Ten days ago I had a perfectly unplanned Presidents’ Day weekend ahead of me.  Following an 8:30 am spin class with one of my girlfriends, I had absolutely no commitments or “must do’s” to speak of.  But then just like the Labor Day and Memorial Day weekends of past, my ex-fiancé managed to leave his ever regrettable footprint on yet another one of my holiday weekends.  In learning what I did last Saturday, it shouldn’t be all that surprising that the past ten days have been, to say the least, a bipolar experience of sorts…

Saturday: As the dizzying realization of what my best friend had just told me started to wear off there was clearly only one viable option for the day: get stupidly drunk with my friends.  Two bottles of wine and one shower (for me) later, the two of us headed out my apartment door for the closest bar, but not before she text our friends to meet us and to “…bring your boxing gloves”.  (Side note: only with this crew would someone actually show up with boxing gloves.  Pink ones.)  Turned out to be a group effort to get me through the day and despite the tears that may have convinced those around me otherwise, I was numb to the reality of what this long-desired answer actually meant.  I told myself I would figure it out tomorrow as I thew back another shot.  And then again as I cried into my Trader Joe’s frozen risotto back at my apartment…oh, my poor brother.

Sunday: I woke up Sunday morning with a feeling that I haven’t experienced in well over a year, if not longer.  Before I even opened my eyes, the feeling that something is abysmally flawed yet dreadfully true took over.  Then, like it did so many times so long ago, reality flooded my consciousness.  Slightly hungover from both the alcohol and my emotions, I took a sleeping pill, put on a sleeping mask, and pulled the comforter over my head.  Waking up hours later, I reached for my iPhone and quickly replied via text to the 16 missed texts and 12 missed calls.  I just needed one day to allow myself this type of self-empathy and hurt.

Monday: Having no problem making a 7 am spin class on the holiday (because I technically did not go to sleep the night before), Beyonce’s “Best Thing I Never Had” taunted me during the morning’s final high-resistance hill.  Now more tense than when I started what was intended to alleviate my stress, I hopped on the treadmill and just kept going until I knew I had sweat every little bit of moisture out of my body.  Ha, I’d show those tears!  Brunch followed by a few drinks (okay, several…”I didn’t have FIVE mojitos!“) with the girls and I went home relieved that the emotion that had accompanied what I had learned just 48 hours earlier was gone.  Now of course it wasn’t that simple but at least I fell asleep Monday night believing it was…

Tuesday: Back at work Tuesday morning, I told my team what I had “discovered” over the weekend.  They had been there through the worst of it and they deserved this less-than-fairy-tale-ending.  Jaws dropped, eyes welled, profanity ensued.  And then I threw myself into work.  It wasn’t until later that night when I was fighting with my key to unlock my apartment door, tears streaming down my face, that I realized how difficult holding it together all day had been.

Wednesday: Working late for an upcoming business trip that would take me from New York to DC to Boston on Friday, I got home in time to watch just one thing on my coveted Tivo before I needed to call it a night.  No new episode of Criminal Minds (damn!) but Dateline seemed like a solid backup.  Tonight’s story?  An update on the former Survivor producer who stands accused of murdering his wife at the Moon Palace resort in Cancun.  A resort that my ex and I had visited with his parents during our own search for a wedding location that wasn’t.  Um, really Dateline?  Don’t you know I’m having an emotional week?  No thanks.  I’ll pass.

Thursday: By Thursday it was clear that the most inescapable aspect of this entire situation had returned to my life.  With a vengeance.  I just needed out of my own head for a few minutes.  To turn off my own thoughts momentarily.  To retreat to a place in which I don’t try to figure out how I didn’t see it.  To stop revisiting every moment that the three of us spent together.  I literally needed to escape myself.  And amidst this constant state of thinking, it really hit me: how completely and utterly fucked up this entire story is.  (Sorry mom- I know you think I’m an intelligent person who can come up with a better word than this but for once I really cannot imagine a better descriptor.)  I mean, this is the type of story you hear about.  Someone you know knows someone who knows someone this happened too.  Or maybe it’s someone you know who knows someone.  Or maybe even someone you know.  But it’s never supposed to be you.

Friday: Despite the fact that it was for work, I couldn’t have been more excited for a 6 am car service pick up and 8 am flight out of LaGuardia.  Ten hours later, our day in DC was behind us and I was sipping a cocktail at the airport, excited to be Boston-bound for two days.  After a delayed flight turbulent enough to almost warrant the dropping of oxygen masks, we arrived in Boston.  Checking into the Hotel Commonwealth, my original reservation was upgraded to a master suite.  Three rooms overlooking Boston all to myself.  As I excitedly text my brother and two girlfriends while simultaneously dancing around a suite twice the size of my apartment back in Manhattan, my brother said it all: “Sometimes the universe finally works the way it’s supposed to”.

Saturday: Spending all day on campus at BU, we unwound with a few drinks Saturday night at a lounge connected to our hotel.  Determined to call it a night as soon as the evening of networking ended, I somehow – in what is probably a post unto itself – ended up on a date.  Yes, a date.  I know.  I’ll spare you the long version but around 10:30 pm I found myself sharing Asian fusion and a lychee martini with someone I had been introduced to earlier that evening.  Someone that a mutual acquaintance insisted I had to have dinner with.  I guess it’s good practice…?

Saturday bonus: my mom called my ex-fiancé “an asshole” on this post.  She NEVER swears.  This is a victory for all of us.

Sunday: Whenever I fly I love looking out the window as the plane approaches New York.  Over eight years later and I still get excited to be landing in New York.  Not this time though…because I was dead asleep until the jolt of the wheels hitting the runway woke me up.  Back at my apartment I dumped my luggage everywhere and crawled across my bed.  Hours later when I finally convinced myself to get up for a glass of water, I tripped over the bags that scattered every surface – my suitcase from the trip, an oversized purse that could be mistaken for a suitcase, unpacked laundry, gym bag from the previous week.  I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or cry as one thought took over: I am literally drowning in my own baggage.

Monday: With one more day out of the office for the third recruitment event in four days, I of course woke up with a severe sinus infection.  Later in the day I also realized I hadn’t posted that week’s #febphotoaday photos.  In the interest of looking back in anger, satirically of course, I used mine and the girls’ favorite line for anytime something goes wrong: “You know whose fault this is.”

Oh, I think we all know whose fault this is.

Wait, are we still talking about the sinus infection…?

Look back in anger

22 Feb

I unexpectedly went to see an Off-Broadway production of this title last week, and never would have predicted that the playbill laying on my bed two days later would become so appropriately poetic.

I thought our story had ended here.  Although to use the word “our” in this context makes my stomach turn with a feeling that can only be described as complete disgust.  Regret oozes from my fingertips as I type the finale to a story I  long considered beyond its final pages.  This ending one I accepted despite the missing conclusion I had once craved with desperation; clinging to its discovery, willing the reason to reveal itself.  Until now.  Because after everything I’ve gone through and after all it took to get here, the answer I once craved was ultimately so simple.  And simultaneously, it is the cruelest thing anyone has ever done to me.

It wasn’t cruel that he was already married.  And it wasn’t cruel that the wedding date was almost a year to the day we had originally planned for, over three months ago already.  It wasn’t cruel because of who he married; a female colleague and friend who I had laughed off when others teased me about their seemingly innocent relationship.  No, his selfishness and self-importance led to a vicious act that didn’t require details.  As my best friend took on the horrible responsibility of something my ex-fiancé should have long ago told me, there was only one simple, sickening thought I could process.

This entire time there had been an answer.

An answer.  The answer.  He had just been too much of a coward to give it to me.  Despite everything, the one thing I had needed was an explanation, and  now I find out he had it the entire time.  I had spent weeks of my life reliving every second of our last few months together, trying to figure out how much responsibility fell on me; when exactly my everything had changed; how my life had spiraled so out of control without my permission.  And stupidly, the concern I had for him during those first few weeks because when he left, he led me to believe he was in a terrible place, maybe even worse than me.

As I let myself understand what his withholding of this explanation would have meant, not just then but throughout this entire experience, I felt a terrible sensation take over.  Unfamiliar and unfathomable until just minutes earlier.  Betrayal.

After five years together; a home; an engagement, he couldn’t be bothered to afford me the luxury of something that had the potential to bring closure.  Or the accelerated rate at which this simple answer could have brought relief and understanding.  And yes, the anger it would have allowed for; anger that would have given me something to wrap my emotions around instead of the aimless unknown and emptiness that unnecessarily flooded my life for so long.

So when exactly does one begin to question their own character?  This place of self reflection clearly lies in a very different place for my ex-fiancé than where most descent human beings would find it.  It obviously wasn’t when he harassed me about silverware and the toaster.  Or when he asked me for a check for the utility bills.  Or when he demanded the engagement ring back, pissed that I had the gall to take from our apartment what I wanted.  Well, I learned from the best.  And the worst, now in hindsight, when emails were still being exchanged about my ring but he was six months away from marrying someone else.

I can understand falling out of love, or falling in love with someone you maybe shouldn’t.  But I cannot accept anything that followed.  Betrayal.  Disrespect.  Impertinence.  Self-absorption.  Spinelessness.  His belief that me and my feelings were in the end irrelevant to what he wanted.

And yes, I am finally angry.  Because I deserved better.  I deserved that answer.  My family deserved that answer.  My friends deserved that answer.  I probably wouldn’t have admitted this a week ago, but I let my ex off too easily in my head, and in my heart.  I had loved him for years and I didn’t want to tarnish every last memory of our life together.  But that’s more than he deserves.  There is undoubtedly a good guy and a bad guy in what became of the story of us, and he is absolutely responsible for the role in which he’ll be cast forever in my mind.  And in the minds of those who love me.

So finally I can say it, and not just to make my friends smile or believe that I’m over him.  No, I really mean it now.  A statement as simple as the explanation he wouldn’t give me.

What an asshole.

#febphotoaday – week 3

18 Feb

Sunday, February  12th – Inside Your Closet

No, my closet is not actually in my bedroom #nycliving

Monday, February 13th – Blue

Romantic evening for one.

Tuesday, February 14th – Heart 

The dry cleaner found my dress that they supposedly lost last month!

Wednesday, February 15th – Phone

I’ve lived in this apartment for 18 months and still don’t know how this phone works.

Thursday, February 16th – Something New

Busy holiday weekend planned.

Friday, February 17th – Time

It was been 9:51 in this apartment since the day I moved in.

Saturday, February 18th – Drink

Given today’s “discovery”, I need – and deserve – this.

Listen up, it’s “My Way Day” people

17 Feb

My Way Day is the day to officially do everything your way.  Now clearly if I would have known about this sooner I would have slept in.  Or perhaps even played hookey to stay in bed all day…

But in honor of what is left of My Way Day, I will:

– Overindulge on Sushi Shop’s black box with colleagues

– Follow said overindulgence with mango yogurt from Pinkberry

– Drink champagne at work…to celebrate the fact that it’s Friday

– Leave the office promptly at 6:02 pm

– Hit play on my Tivo to watch Revenge before my coat is even off

– Take a break from my strenuous television watching to take a long, hot shower

– Watch “Abduction“…and not care or apologize that I love bad movies

– Listen to Usher’s “My Way” on repeat while posting this

A February 14th post

14 Feb

This is not a Valentine’s Day post.  Well, not really.  And it’s definitely not a bitter Valentine’s Day post.  No, let’s think of this as a post dated February 14th.

Last year I was worried about the perceived cliché that a February 14th post could give.  But I gave in and had friends over for a V-day dinner anyway.  Besides, I was a cliché last year; I didn’t have much to lose.

Valentine’s Day this year falls during a week that has been extremely long and frustrating for me at work.  And it’s only Tuesday.  So, regardless of the date on the calendar, I decided to leave work on time tonight in order to get home and make a nice dinner (and cocktail) for myself.  Oh, and to try to regain some of my sanity.  For the record, I did not have a sappy movie on in the background.  Or bad breakup music on Pandora.  There weren’t flowers I had sent myself in the living room.  I wasn’t planning to indulge in an at-home facial, or some other love-yourself-on-Valentine’s-Day-cliché afterwards.  I hadn’t elected a Sex & the City marathon.  And I definitely was not contemplating joining  I wasn’t at risk of crying into my risotto.  Or any other cliché you can think off.

But because boycotting February 14th feels cliché in and of itself, I did go over the top with my dinner.  Let’s face it: making a cliché out of any Valentine’s Day cliché is fun for every single girl out there.  (And for the record, I was listening to Whitney Houston radio on Pandora.  But it was in tribute to everyone’s favorite diva!  And honestly, if you don’t tear up just a little to “Didn’t We Almost Have It All”, you quite clearly do not have a soul.)

So first things first.  Cooking without a cocktail in your hand is pointless, especially when you’re trying a new recipe.  I really wanted to make a lychee martini but after checking three different grocery stores including my favorite, the Amish Market on 45th, I could not find lychee juice anywhere.  So I settled for a pomegranate-lychee martini (like my flat-screen TV, I’ll never regret taking the nice martini shaker from my former life!)  Heavy hand on the vodka obviously.

And then, THE MENU…

Fried Green Olives

(For the record, I cut the recipe in half!)

12 green olives, pitted and stuffed with cheese (I used goat cheese)
1/4 cup  all-purpose flour
1 tbsp water
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs, grounded into fine crumb
1 cup vegetable oil

Begin by taking the olives and place them on some paper towel. Remove as much moisture from the exterior of the olive as possible. Next, get your dredging station ready. Add the water to the beaten egg, and mix for your egg wash. Add the flour to one bowl, and the breadcrumbs to another bowl.

Take a small pan and add the oil, heating it for about 5 minutes or so, or until you reach about 350 degrees.

Take a a few of the olives and toss it into the flour bowl. Shake them around to fully coat, then add into the egg wash. Make sure the olives get a nice coating of egg, then move them into the panko breadcrumbs, tossing to make sure you have a nice even coating of breadcrumbs. Add these to the hot oil, and cook for a few minutes, turning once with a spoon. Once they are golden brown, remove them with a slotted spoon onto some paper towel to remove any access oil.

The results!!


Leek & Bacon (or Prosciutto) Risotto with Pan-Seared Scallops 

Risotto Ingredients

4 slices prosciutto (the original recipe called for bacon but prefer prosciutto)
1 leek, white and light green part only thinly sliced and washed
1 cup arborio or carnaroli rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 cup chicken stock (recipe called for homemade stock but let’s not get too crazy…)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Salt to taste
1 tbsp butter (I skipped – it didn’t seem necessary)

In a small saucepan, bring the stock to a low simmer and keep it warm.

In a large heavy bottomed saucepan, cook the prosciutto/bacon over medium low heat until crisp and the fat has rendered.  Turn up the heat to medium and add the leeks and a pinch of salt.  Cook until the leeks have softened.  Add the rice and cook the rice until the rice is evenly coated in the fat and toasty.  You will be able to see an outer opaque ring around a white center on the rice grains.

Add the white wine and cook until it has absorbed.  Reduce the heat to medium low and add a half cup of the chicken stock and freshly ground black pepper to taste.  At a low simmer, cook the rice, while stirring continuously, until all of the stock has been absorbed.  Add another half cup of stock and stir continuously.  Repeat adding the stock and stirring continuously until the rice is al dente.  You may not need all of the stock, or if you find yourself running low on stock, use some hot water.  Start tasting the rice after 20 minutes of cooking.  It should be tender with a slight firm bite in the center.  When the risotto is finished cooking, take it off heat.  It will be creamy, moist, and somewhat runny but it will thicken after adding the cheese and while it cools.

Off heat, stir in the Parmesan and butter (if desired) and taste for salt.

Pan-Seared Scallops Ingredients

3 – 6 Scallops per person
Salt and Pepper

Keep the scallops in between two sheets of paper towels before you cook them. This will help absorb any moisture from the scallops. Season the scallops on both sides with salt and pepper.

Heat a stainless steel or well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium high heat and add a tablespoon of vegetable or canola oil.

When the pan is hot, add the scallops, giving them about 1 – 2 inches of room in between each other.  Cook them undisturbed for 2 minutes then using a spatula, gently flip the scallops to the second side, cook for another 1 minute or until the second side is nicely browned also.  Take off heat and serve with your favorite side.

And survey says!!