Recent Posts

Monday, September 28, 2009

Worth a Thousand Words

All images borrowed from

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Master Cleanse This....

Day 3 of the master cleanse came to a close, as did the master cleanse. After taking a spill on the bus (thanks to the bus driver taking a corner at lightning speed), a busy day at work, and a general gross feeling thanks to not working out and being bloated, the master cleanse lemonade just wasn’t going to cut it. I was bruised and battered.

I swung by Trader Joe’s to pick up some salad makings and fresh fruits and veggies to hold me until Thursday when I can get to the market (the highlight of my week). I was still contemplating whether or not to continue the cleanse when I looked up to the rearview and saw Jer’s crystal hanging on the mirror. I decided, life is too short not to eat food you love. Life is too short to chase quick fixes when what is needed is slow change to develop good habits. Life is too short to not gather with friends and family and share a meal. Life is too short not to take in the bounty of fall that will soon be across dinner tables.

I slowly devoured a banana while preparing my favorite fall quick-fix meal: Vegetarian Chili. A stand-by LJBH recipe includes just a can of organic kidney beans, garbanzo beans, Muir Glenn Diced Tomatoes, spices and the secret ingredient (pssst. brown sugar), simmering on medium for 10 minutes, you will be swarmed by the smells of autumn and the comfort of goodness. Green beans sautéed in garlic and olive oil make a perfectly sweet accompaniment to the subtly spicy flavor of the chili.

In summary, life is too short not to eat and autumn in just around the corner. Three shouts for both.

Grammar Rules, Except When it Doesn't

A: We're having a BBQ. I think you should come.
C: Where is it at?
A: Somewhere where they don’t end their sentences with prepositions.
C: Ohhhhh snap. (He’s good.)

In my defense I'd like to point out that this "rule" is a decendant from latin in order to avoid confusion. I do not believe my question was confusing.

But still, touche, A, touche.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sad State of Affairs

I cleaned out my fridge tonight. This is what’s left:

I'm speechless....and hungry.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Just chillin'

I have been working out really hard for the last THREE days. 2 swims, 2 runs and one spin class of death. Before that I was doing manual hard labor for 2 weeks! Why do I not look like a pinnacle of perfection?! I know there is a skinny person inside of me, clearly, just chillin’.

I took me 2 hours to get to work. I promptly started apartment hunting when I sat down. I just handle it any more. But I’m poor and can’t live in a craphole again sooooo…..aces.

Introducing my recent obsession: Orangette. It keeps me up late at night and makes me hungry. Kind of like….well, ya know (nudgenudge, winkwink).

I get gloatly and have an unhealthy sense of validation when I’m right. I should work on that.

I’m considering starting the master cleanse this weekend. I’ve never done it before but if I do, I take no responsibility for the things I do and say for the following 10 days.

I started taking spirulina as a protein supplement. It’s awful. I literally have to plug my nose to take the tablets. Not sure it’s worth it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

And on the Kitchen Table was his To-Do List

They say everything happens for a reason. I’m beginning to think that there is one thing that does not happen for any reason. No rhyme, no purpose. There is no reason why parents have to lay to rest their only child.

On August 28, 2009, Jeremy Moon Lew fell asleep and never woke up. He was found in his cabin on Ruxton Island, BC at the youthful age of 36. Saturday, September 12, 2009, family and friends gathered to celebrate the life of a person who lived more of a life than some people live in 80 years.

A fine carpenter, talented skier and snowboarder, and world traveler, the things people spoke about were who Jeremy was as a person. His kindness, generosity, acceptance of everyone and anyone, his energy and positive attitude were all at the heart of all the stories that were shared. I remember him as the “cool” older cousin who was always on an adventure, totaling a car, working on a movie set, hiking, always DOING something that garnered my jealousy and admiration.

I was able to say a few things at the celebration, which is a very not me thing to do, but I wanted to share a story and the last conversation I had with Jer. We had started talking about life and how his life path had gone so far and where I life was going. In that last conversation I will never forget what he said, “Live a life and live it well.” That has always stuck with me. It wasn’t until I found out about Jer’s passing did it finally really sink in. Live a life and live it well – that’s my pledge.

As we walked around Ruxton Island today, Jeremy was still very present. You could see him everywhere. From the ashes from his smokes dusting the drivers side of his boat, to his very organized home, to the books that he read and the kayaks in the living room, it still felt like he’d walk through the door at any moment. But we all knew he wouldn’t. His presence is now translated into the rays of the sun, the paths he walked, the cabin he built, the people’s lives he touched.

I called Ilsa on my drive home just to process out loud the weekend. I told her how much I hurt for Auntie Nadine and how so full of love I am. Ilsa calls experiences like these “tenderizing the heart.” While I will not understand and depth of grief and sorrow Auntie Nadine is feeling, my heart is tenderized. Just when I thought I didn’t have any great capacity, turns out I do. I think we all have a greater potential to love more, love deeper.

Lastly, when trying to draw out the bigger meaning, the lessons to be learned, I had my moment this weekend when it finally hit me. In a passing moment Nadine said, “And on the kitchen table was his To-Do list.” Of course he had a to-do list. He was always doing something. He was living, moving forward, crossing things off. He had every expectation to complete everything on that list. I started to think about my to-do list, which are really, eventually-get-around-to lists. That’s not really how I want to be living my life, because eventually never comes. “Eventually” comes and goes while you’re busy doing things that don’t really accomplish much. Or, “eventually” may never come.

So I still don’t believe this happened for a reason. There can be no reason great enough that would cause this much sorrow. But what I do believe is that from here forward, I can live a life and live it well. I can make new habits, cross of things on my to-do lists, accept more people in my life, invest in other peoples life with no expectation of repayment, offer a helping hand to someone down and out, and give more of myself, because that’s what he did. And it made this world better.

To Jeremy Moon, thank you for all you gave, all you did and living a life worth living. Those you leave here will always miss you until they see you again. Including me.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Vegetables: The Stuff Dreams are Made of OR How to do Back Breaking Seasonal Migrant Labor for Your 2 Week Vacation

When Ilsa gets an idea in her mind, there’s no letting go. Last year around this time, Ilsa decided she’s quit her print production publishing job, leave New York City after 19 years and start an organic vegetable farm in Central Massachusetts. The details around the circumstances are more serendipitous/ridiculous than the idea itself. For the last nine months, Ilsa has been farming, sunrise until sunset. In April I took my first trip out to see the beginnings of the farm. See the recap.

I ventured back to the farm for a 2 week stint to help with whatever I could possibly help with. This time around I was more prepared for what to expect. I went in mentally prepared to do anything, but really, I wanted to do everything that was anything besides sitting at a desk. And that I did. Planting, transplanting, shoveling, cooking, harvesting, weeding, raking, fertilizing and other such farm related activities kept us busy. We laughed, ate ridiculously fresh food, chatted about the trivial and higher things in life and reminisced about the people we used to be and the future of who we will be.

While I was there I was taking in as much of the experiences as I could. I processed a lot, let go of a lot but most interestingly, I learned a lot.

I learned that ________ (fill in the blank with any of the following statements):

It may be Labor Day and it may be my 27th birthday, but farmers don’t get days off. Harvesting kale, bok choi, parsley, transplanting fennel, shoveling manure, and reclaiming beds are all in a day’s work, regardless of national holidays and personal life milestones.

Yes, you can order 3 desserts for 2 people. Consumption may be a little more difficult.

Irrational fear of bats is still intact. Don’t want to talk about it.

It doesn’t really matter which came first, the chicken or the egg. What matters is that these chickens had a coup nicer than my apartment in NYC and I was jealous. Ok, maybe that doesn’t really matter but its still true.

Its true, one person can feed the mosquito population of the state of Massachusetts. That person would be me.

After 10 days of no processed foods or unnatural sugars, I’m not as big of a witch as I thought I would be. I’m actually quite amiable and a pleasure to be around. So I think.

When Ilsa says, “we’re reclaiming beds,” it really just means we are ripping gnarly, waist high weeds from the earth, being attacked by frogs, chewed to bits by bugs while sweat pours into your eyes. Good times.

A plate of mashed potatoes is perfectly acceptable as an appetizer, lunch and/or dinner.

At the end of the day, when the sun has set and dinner is done, there isn’t a more gratifying feeling than stepping into a hot shower, lathering up in tiger balm and curling up in bed to read a good book.

Best wakeup call ever: “Its 730, If you want to start slowly making your way into an upright conscious state, that might work out well for all of us.”

Jumping on a trampoline is not as easy as it looks. Especially for some one of my grace and athletic abilities.

From an old lady at the market 1.) do everything you want to do in your life before 65. After that (insert hand gesture of a declining nature; 2.) I’m pretty. She could tell because she paints portraits.

The best friend does not understand the term “wing man.” I was left to own defenses of the creepy middle aged man who couldn't contain his need to recite poetry and simultaneously test my “poker face of interest.”

I can cross of migrant seasonal labor off my list of future careers. Particularly heavy things.

Before Ilsa turns 50 we’re going to see a movie in the French Riviera. Just because we we’ll be able to once her or I make our millions.

Great food starts with great ingredients. In the words of Michael Pollan, “Eat Food, not much, mostly plants.”

The biggest lesson of the trip: You've got one life to live, so live it and live it well.