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 🙂 The cherry blossoms are not in full bloom just yet but you can check here for the status map.

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Why Did I Eat That?

photo_klawdietIn my New Year message, I mentioned focusing on 3 things this year. The first being my new web site and book project. Well, the time has come. My blogging energies have shifted from here to here:

http://wdiet.net/

I’m so very excited about this project titled, Why Did I Eat That? (W.D.I.E.T); and seeing that the best way to bring traffic to a web site is to link to other web sites, I thought I’d start here.

WDIET is short for this catchy-title — a dynamic and light-hearted food book turned food blog that offers recipes, recommendations, and information about all things food related.

Take a look, subscribe, and please share with your friends and family!

Muchas gracias – thank you very much – muito obrigada!

*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*

it can get better

Recently, many young people have taken their own lives because other cruel people and society made them feel worthless, strange, and different. Although I am not a homosexual, I emphatically support the gay community and I would like for every one to realize that WE ARE ALL CONNECTED and DESERVE LOVE in all forms — no matter your color, age, beliefs, nationality, economic status, or sexual orientation.

My brother’s girlfriend shared this video with me. It was produced by a few employees who make movie magic at Pixar Studios. We must BAN or speak out against artists/musicians/politicians/clergy men and women/family members and friends who ostracize or abuse others. Too many people speak as if being gay or transgender is a sin or bad thing. It absolutely is NOT and we must not tolerate this behaviour. It can get better if more of us, speak out against cruelty and violence done to members of the gay community.

Whether you are homosexual, bi-sexual or heterosexual, I am sure that you can relate to what is being said here. Acceptance and respect of other people directly relates to self-acceptance and self-love.

If you are gay and have considered, suicide, reach out to someone or go to:
The Trevor Project.

Please share this YouTube video with your loved ones and have a restful weekend!

*Lala*

body clock


most weekday mornings start off nice and easy, with some reiki, meditation, music or a combination of the three. however, as the time creeps closer to nine a.m., the panicking commences. i have recently been tasked with coming to work a ‘little earlier … just in case there’s an emergency.’ at first i thought to myself, we are not saving lives and it’s kinda crazy that people find the need to make demands that go totally against another person’s body clock. by body clock, i mean some people rise with the sun (without the help of an alarm clock) and others (like me) have a hard time sleeping at night, hence the term night owl. punctuality has always been an issue for me. plus, i have never been a fan of rushing for anything, it’s important that i feel like my life is NOT being consumed by working for other people. yet the fact remains, i am currently working for some one and i must play by their rules. Suck it up Lala — at least you have a job to be late to!


while we’re on the subject of rules, i want to share a story about an occurrence last week with a police officer in a Brooklyn subway station. i wrote everything down after our brief interaction. Here are my notes:


C train – I swiped my Metrocard and immediately noticed a cop standing in the center of the staircase. When I am running late, which is often, I eat my breakfast before walking down onto the platform level — usually it’s a fuji apple or a bagel with some random spread or veggies on it.


When my brother first moved here, we foolishly jumped the turnstile at this very station. Seconds later, a cop approached us from this very same section of the staircase and promptly gave us a summons to appear in court. Of course, we weren’t carrying I.D. — at least that’s what we said. We never made it to court because we never gave our real names.


I knew exactly why that cop was standing there but since I’d just missed the train and had some time to kill, I approached the officer slowly, leaned in, and whispered, “is everything okay?”

He calmly responded, “Yes, everything’s okay.”

I pushed further, “are you sure? why are you standing here like this?”

“I’m here to make sure everything is safe, to protect you.”

“From kidnappers ..??” Playing along, I gave him my most quizzical look. “Is that why you are hiding?”

“Oh, well you know, if I stand here, I can see all angles of the station,” he fibbed.

“I can see everything from here, you should stand here.” I grinned.

“No, it’s better if I stand here,” he challenged.

That crazy whistle or ringing noise was activated to indicate the train’s near arrival. I moved in a little closer and purred, “Can I take your photograph?”

He raised his eyebrows, glanced upwards, and said, “the train is coming” in hopes that I would drop my question. Seeing that I was still standing over him, he responded by saying, “we’re not supposed to do that, I could get in trouble. They don’t like us to take photographs.”

“Whose “they?”

“The big guys, my boss — cause it may end up in the newspaper or on the internet.”

“Oh, I don’t work for any newspaper or internet, I’ll only take one,” then I held up my index finger to make my intention clear.

He hesitated, “If you didn’t already tell me … that would be different but now …”

Fumbling through my bag, I pulled out my camera gingerly. Speaking softly and quickly, “The train’s coming, stay still, I’ll be quick.” I switched my camera’s color mode to B&W then positioned it and made one photo.


Even though he failed to tell me the truth as to why he was hiding on the staircase — to fulfill his summons quota — I blurred his face to honor my word. I could never be a police officer or part of any military because I clearly have a hard time NOT breaking rules and pushing boundaries. I suppose we need both types: the rule breakers and the rule makers to make this thing called, civility, work.


Tonight, I am going to see Sufjan Stevens at the Beacon Theatre!!! YAY!! My second live performance this week … this past Tuesday I had the ultimate pleasure of seeing Brad Mehldau perform his latest album, Highway Rider, in its entirety at the Carnegie Music Hall. I totally love his work and think he’s brilliant.


And pick up a copy of this magnificent book by Ms. Isabel Wilkerson titled, The Warmth of Other Suns.

Giving thanks for the most gorgeous November weekend!

I love his beard!

Peace & smiles

*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.  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 Bambú 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 🙂

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?)

failure is everywhere

New Podcast

The book Mountains Beyond Mountains: The quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A man who would cure the world, tells the story of one doctor, Paul Farmer, M.D. who founded Partners in Health to address the lack of health care in poor communities throughout the world — his first facility was built in Haiti over twenty years ago. I am thoroughly enjoying this book. During a Q&A at a Dartmouth First Year Lecture, he said: I prefer to surround myself with people who are not afraid of failure, people who take risks. Failure is everywhere and is nothing to be afraid of. (i am paraphrasing).

This statement moved me and I wanted to share it with you along with this declaration I came across last week-ish on WordPress. To me, the only failure is not trying at all.

Failure Manifesto

Failure is your fault, no fault, default. Failure is mistakes, double-takes, roller skates. Failure is missing it, missing hits, missing shit. Failure is melting, yelping, coping. Failure is blurry, worry, Murray. Failure is weeded, needed, pleaded. Failure is soon, womb, swoon. Failure is here, near, fear. Failure is choosing, losing, musing. Failure is old, cold, on hold. Failure is halting, salting, waltzing. Failure is ouch, slouch, pouch. Failure is love, shove, sort of. Failure is new, boot, pig snoot. Failure is broken, spoken, woken. Failure is finding, binding, winding. Failure is burn, yearn, kern. Failure is dropped, chopped, topped. Failure is pure, sure, bonjour. Failure is hate, late, dinner plate. Failure is sudden, wooden, couldn’t. Failure is power, cower, shower. Failure is yours, soars, dinosaurs. Failure is human, Newman, rumen. Failure is glorious, tedious, part of us. Failure is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

The images are from the walls at Eyebeam Studios in NYC.
It’s watermelon season:)

*Lala*

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