i love my life!

really πŸ™‚ just needed to acknowledge this. happy weekend!


gratefully yours,

*Lala*

 

Advertisements

second chances


Last night was the first night of the year I slept with my windows open. Having been fooled by rising temperatures weeks ago, I was reluctant to fall asleep without — at least — closing my bedroom window. However, at sunrise as I awoke to birds chirping and the buzzing sounds of city traffic, the chill was gone, and this time, I believe, it’s for good. Comforted by the breeze that hints at the arrival of spring; I bask in the glow of possibility and lightness.


When Spring arrives, I am reminded of second chances. It’s a time of re-visitation and renewal. Meditating on where I was mentally, emotionally, and physically the same time last year, I extend myself to those whom I love and make things right in an effort to move forward without the heaviness of regret. I suppose that is what Easter is all about … a re-birth of spirituality and faith.


Focusing on the past will only lead to a heavy heart. Fretting the future can lead to disappointment. The present is full of promise and light. There is enough going on in the world to cause heartache and suffering, it’s our responsibility to first, love ourselves, and secondly, to extend our love to the world in the form of words, art, hugs, food, compassion, a listening ear, a smile, or even a kiss. I mentioned in my new Happy year post that my #2 focus this year is:

Love, Partnership, and Relationship Building

This is a fun one! A natural communicator, I thoroughly enjoy meeting new people with positive energy and varied perspectives. I value all types of relationships, but I wrote this key focus with romantic love in mind.


This morning I read a note on someone’s Facebook page … I paraphrase:

Love is when two great people come together and produce something even greater — something that they could not accomplish without the energy, love, support, and greatness of the other.

This is exactly what I’m asking…to have a partner who appreciates my greatness, someone who is great in his own right, and a man who is eager to build something even greater, together, with me. In matters of the heart, I’ve had many chances and I am grateful for each and every love connection.


Here’s to LOVE! and Happy Springtime!

*Lala*


These photos were taken April 17, 2011 at Brooklyn Botanic Gardens by me πŸ™‚ The cherry blossoms are not in full bloom just yet but you can check here for the status map.

india


back in NYC again. my time off has been a glorious mix of play, warmth, conversation and flirtation — i even shoveled snow at my Mom’s place which was super fun. speaking of shovels, this morning, i woke to the sound of my neighbors scraping the snowy cement and smiled because winter is in full force and we have barely made it through January. no sweat. i have a new mind or perhaps i have returned to my old one. either way, nothing can stop me — especially not snow.


i am flirting with the possibility of romance. not to be confused with love of which i have plenty. i am grateful for the work that love has produced but a girl needs romance too. love belongs to all of us and comes in numerous form. romance is sought after by the heart and loins coated in pure vulnerability. the other day, i watched a man on the train platform and felt a deep love for him (with a little lust thrown in there too). this is what i wrote in my iPhone:

Streetwalker. Today I am a one woman show. I’m watching. Hoping that you will enter the same subway car as me so I can watch some more. We are close but too far to speak. I noticed you tip the Mariachi singers just as they switched cars. I want you but only to look at and smile on. You too are present, gazing at the violinist at Jay Street station, and this makes me want you more.

You must be hot because your coat is wide open and I can see that you’re clothing is made for you, the way your shirt hugs your body and your jeans adopt your frame, slender yet athletic. The A train arrives and I am tempted to follow just to see what’s next in your life. So long beautiful stranger. What’s your name?

Yesterday, after a 9am yoga class, I visited India by way of one of my favorite Brazilian songstresses, Gal Costa. In the confines of my living room, I danced with an old friend to this song bearing the same title as this blog post. Produced in 1973, I discovered it during my stay in Bahia in a cute record shop in Pelo (of course, I bought the album): (it will play in a separate YouTube window if you click on it twice)

Gotta run, I’m making lunch for a former co-worker today and I can’t wait to see her face πŸ™‚ Congratulations Nina on completing your thesis statement and obtaining a Master’s degree at Pratt U!


This weekend, it’s going to be a cold one New York so bundle up, drink plenty of tea, and eat something hearty! And if you wanna come by for a snack or beverage, give a call!


Oh yes, Mr. Conti, bring some warmth back to NYC when you return. Super lovely to chat with you yesterday and thanks for doing your best to stay in touch. Happy travels πŸ™‚

Hugs, love, smiles and cuddles!

*Lala*

new HAPPY year

Give thanks for we have made it to another year! It amazes me how fortunate we are to be alive in this day and time. Boy, we have it ultra-easy compared to those who have lived before us.

I am extremely grateful for my good health, for clean water, for earth and sky, for my amazingly fit body, for my incredibly supportive and fun-loving family, for a strong heart, for a decent, safe, and comfy home, for experiencing love in many forms, for an abundance of food (a special shout out to Kale and Beets), for friends who inspire me, care for me, tolerate me, and teach me, for the many skills acquired over the past 15 years, for art and the artists, for creativity, for reiki, for vipassana, for yoga, awareness, for dopamine, for the ability to travel, and most of all, for peace of mind (stillness).

Each year gets better even when it feels like a tough one. Hindsight is a teacher and blessing. With each triumph, loss or mis-hap, I discover that the universe is on my side and everything that has happened to me has made me stronger, wiser and more capable.

For me, 2o11 will be primarily about 3 things:

1. My New Web Site and Book Project (W.D.I.E.T)
2. Love, Partnership, and Relationship Building
3. Awareness, Conservation, and Education

What about you?


I want to acknowledge the people who inspire me, encourage me and accept me. I love each and every one of you tremendously with a whole heart and positive spirit. Thank you for being a part of my life and for keeping our friendship or relationship alive and ticking!

You know who you are!

Lots of love and productivity in 2o11!

*Lala*

merry christmas mom

season greetings oh beautiful one!

when we were kids, my parents (or santa πŸ™‚ showered, i mean monsooned my brother and me with gifts on christmas day. we would come downstairs to a living room filled with the latest and greatest toys, dolls, robots, bikes, clothes, video games, and candy! thinking about it now, it was mad-crazy-ridiculous! and i thought that every kid in the world experienced christmas in this way with lots of love, toys, gifts, food, family and friends. oh what a wonderful world that would be!

bad photo but it's an old christmas photo

i’m not exactly sure when i stopped celebrating christmas but it was a loooong time ago. i suspect it was a combination of many things. perhaps i was absolutely fed up with being broke or pretending that i was something i was not. i also had a shopping problem back in the day and it’s taken many years for me to drop the habit. christmas shopping is my internal trigger for this addiction. once, i get the shopping bug, it’s difficult for me to put on the brakes. i would buy a gift for mom, then two gifts for me, and a gift for my boyfriend and three more gifts for me…until i had over $10k in debt and had to eat hot dogs for six months just to hold onto my apartment. those were not the days!

i remember decorating my first place in philadelphia with christmas stuff; but after the first year, i couldn’t justify spending money on shiny plastic and other frivolous items “made in china”. nothing against china but does the U.S. manufacture anything anymore?

removing myself from the holiday hype, i made a conscious decision not to shop or support the retail giants who brand holiday cheer while using sweat shops and charging exorbitant prices in an effort to make record breaking profits. i gradually pulled away from christmas but it was not so easy and it still isn’t because many people i love cherish this time of year.

some years it feels like i am standing in the bleachers with my back turned and the whole team is booing me. it’s all good, i can take it plus my brother doesn’t celebrate it either which takes some of the focus off of me.

please, please do not get me wrong, i am not a scrooge! i will show up at xmas dinner tonight with bells on and genuine holiday cheer all over my face. however, i don’t believe i have to celebrate christmas just because almost the entire world does. maybe this will change, when i have a family but for now i am sticking to my story.

the best part about the holidays is: the loving, giving, smiling, and togetherness!

my mother has caught on this year and will not be spoiling her two grown children with gifts and i get it. we spoke the other night and i suggested that next year, we volunteer at a soup kitchen together, give to our favorite non-profits or independent effort, or buy a chicken or goat for a family in need.

5 of my favorite organizations to support: (feel free to comment and add your favorites)

1. Democracy Now
2. Story Corps
3. Partners in Health
4. The Rural Haiti Project
5. Doctors without Borders

Mom, merry christmas to you and thank you for making the sacrifices so that we could spend our childhood in heavenly toy-filled bliss. the best gift you can ever give us is to keeping taking great care of yourself and being a positive presence in our life!

we love you and appreciate all that you are and have done!

I’m back from Cali and here are photos below from an exhibition in LES at the LZ Gallery where my friend, Jasmine Murrell, was a part. Go Jazz!

self-portrait by Jasmine Murrell



have a splendid weekend and to quote Mr. Santa:

HO*HO*HO* Merry Christmas!!!

*Lala*

ps. as of 2008, i no longer use credit cards and i am debt-free! now that’s something to celebrate!!!


left coast loving

yesterday in the bay, it rained and rained and rained some more but the temperature was a delightful 60 degrees Fahrenheit. i am loving the west coast or the left coast, a political expression that has been re-purposed in the art world on this side of america. it has everything to do with being in a new environment after nearly one year in NYC. what can i say, i am inspired by traveling and new experiences!

you ask, hey Lala! why do you love San Francisco so much?

1. FOOD – healthy, whole and heavenly. today we had lunch at Gracias Madre, an organic vegan Mexican restaurant in the Mission district. i nearly broke down and cried. yum yum! 3 words: Butternut Squash Quesadillas (with pumpkin seed salsa)

2. PEOPLE – easy, breezy, and friendly. many people greet each other on the street and everyone has been super helpful when approached (i’ve gotten lost a few times already πŸ™‚

3. WEATHER – it’s not hot or even warm but it’s not freezing πŸ™‚ need i say more?

4. LANDSCAPE – breathtakingly (is that a word?) gorgeous!! the architecture and surrounding mountains lift my spirit and my calves.

5. CLEANLINESS – i looked up in the subway station and was not horrified plus my allergic reaction to cheese pizza is non-existent here.

6. NATURE-ORIENTED – aren’t most Californians?

7. INTELLIGENT – in quoting the NY Times, San Francisco ranked in the top 3 of book sales around the country in 2009. reading is fundamental. i visited 4 or 5 bookstores within blocks of each other today and to my surprise, each were bustling with curious readers.

8. ARTSY – this post pays homage to the amazing 3 day art festival art called, Left Coast Leaning. my hosts, bryant and jidan got tickets for saturday night’s performance. each piece was engaging, meaningful and vibrant. this event was held at the Yerba Bueno Center for the Arts. a lovely evening which began with another fantastic meal at Osha, a thai restaurant owned by two sisters.

9. GREEN – there are recycle bins everywhere and reminders to conserve too.

10. ENTREPRENEURIAL – San Fran is a city full of boutiques, thrift shops, cafes and bars run by young, progressive types.

this is not a “dis” against NYC, my hometown. my love for the Big Apple is deep and undeniable. however, i can see san fran in my near future.

i should really go to bed now. i trust that you are keeping warm, drinking loads of herbal tea and eating hearty and whole food! winter is right around the corner!

love and light and more love

*Lala*

married to myself

A few days ago, while on my way to work, I heard a man’s voice say, “Good Morning! Good Morning!”. Turning my head slightly to catch a glimpse of the caller’s face, I managed a faint smile and returned the greeting. Before, the last syllable departed my lips, the man, who was creeping beside me in his silver Acura, hollers, “You married?” Considering that I was wearing a mini-dress, I was positive that this question sprang primarily from his loins. I picked up the pace, then lied and said, “Yes” and smiled really big to display my happiness with being a kept woman. I’m not married but I fibbed because at that moment, I felt much safer saying there was a man in my life — imaginary and all.

I shared this story with a buddy, he listened then promptly changed the subject by asking “Why do some women seem so desperate to find a man?” Then he said, “It’s a real turn-off.”

Please read my response (and theory) below:

If a girl is born into a decent family, she is never left alone. Any responsible caregiver knows this. For example, my younger brother could romp all over the neighborhood; however, I needed to be in close proximity at all times. “Where are you going?” “Who are you going with?” “How are you getting home?” The questions never ceased. The same little girls grow up to be teenagers and now their boyfriends walk them to the door, pick them up for the dance, insist on a phone call upon arrival home, etc. Then the same young teenager becomes a woman and moves away from home. At this time, she is faced with being alone in a vast world full of men who don’t seem to have her best interests at heart. But then she meets a man who reminds her of her father or uncle or first boyfriend and she thinks, “I gotta hold onto this one because when we walk down the street, men don’t bother me and so on …”

Often, men can be sharks and the one thing that seems to keep sharks away are other bigger sharks.

And let’s not forget about all of the films, soap operas, novels, and fairy tales that encourage or support this behavior.

Please do not misunderstand my theory, I am not a proponent of desperation in any form but it makes sense to me. Fortunately for me, I learned at a young age to enjoy my own company and if that wasn’t enough, I could always say, Hello!.

Currently, I am single. And, although I am content in either situation, I would admit that it’s great having a man around — whether for pure companionship, to zip up my dress, take out the trash, or with whom to converse and build.Β  On the other hand, I am noticing that when I am not in a relationship, I am far more productive hence the past two months’ activities:

September was a heavy “food” month, working on my book project, building a new web site, attending food-related events (Epicurious Entertains New York), and eating at new restaurants.

Plus, I received my Level I Reiki certification. A goal of mine since completing the Hatha Yoga certification course over eight years ago. Reiki is a Japanese energy healing form; this skill is a wonderful addition to my health & wellness toolbox.

October was a huge blur. In addition to working as a full time web producer, I was booked every weekend this month for a photography shoot. Also, a friend shared the news of the Levi’s and Leica Photo Workshop with me. This can be described in two words: super dopeness, and it’s open until December 18th.

And to top it off, last Wednesday I started a branding and marketing course at 3rd Ward.

I can only contribute the abundance of work and love to peace of mind and extreme focus.

Giving thanks for organic food, friendships, and learning. The photos are from yesterday’s excursion to the Big BambΓΊ exhibit on the roof of The Metropolitan Museum of Art or The Met. Artists: Doug & Mark Starn along with several rock climbers. Fantastic! with a capital F πŸ™‚

I feel great and I wish the same for you and your loved ones!

Peace, smiles and happiness,

*Lala*

(have you eaten anything orange today?)

Previous Older Entries