Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Year!

IMG_0003  Well I did not find the time to take those party pictures as i'd hoped.  We had our first guests arrive shortly after 1 pm and our last guests leave after 8pm.  We had a great turnout, around thirty people came by to visit and celebrate.  We still manage to have some leftover snacks and a couple bottles of champagne so we are ready to ring 2009!

IMG_0004We are dismantling holiday decor and i am busy on Ebay while i have some leftover boxes.  Getting a jumpstart on my resolution to have a more streamlined life, purging the excess.  If there is anything you might need or want, i probably have 3 of it and can give you one (or two).

Now it's time to welcome all of the things that have never been before!

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Latin nites! And more...

Last nite it was girlie girlz at the Tarpon Turtle for apps and beverages.  Well tonight it's 9-12 at Rungo for latin dancing.  Have a friend from out of town who may join us later and not sure how crowded it will be due to the holidays.

Right now I'm listening to Prince's "Erotic City" (check my playlist!)  thinking about tomorrow's holiday gathering.  I have 32 attending and a bevy of others who did not RSVP (hey, it's an open house so not necessary) that may drop by.  Yes, it gets a little crowded but everyone is having too much fun to notice.

The Champagne is chilling on the lanai ready to have corks-o-poppin in celebration of friends near and far.  Hope to have some photos to share with a recap tomorrow evening.

Right now it's off to dinner at Ban Thai!  Check me later!

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Blessings

Well, Christmas Day has come to it's end in our household.  It's been a hectic week, preparing to host family staying at the house and friends on Christmas Day for the big meal.  Living alone for half of the year, I do not have much practice cooking for so many mouths and juggling all the errands and household chores, but I do enjoy doing it, even if my anxiety is provoked by all the offers of help that abound making me feel my efforts underway are somehow inadequate!  I fully realize this is not the intent and speaks volumes about 'me'. In the end everything turns out just as it should and everyone has a good time once things are underway.

We had 8 for dinner who enjoyed a romaine salad with roasted organic beets and greens, homemade herb bread and butter, smoked mesquite turkey, garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole (with pineapple and brown sugar), stuffing (with country sausage, green apple and cherry), green beans, crook neck squash, white wine, pellegrino, champagne, and more desserts than i can list here!  Sadly it was scarfed down without a photo op.

The morning started with our family gift exchange which was for the most part significantly paired down this year and no one seemed to mind.  Happiness is not in things; it is in us.  I am wishing you a joyful holiday and hope your festivities are only beginning.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


A British tradition I have always admired is Boxing Day.  The day after the Christmas, also known as Second Christmas.

IMG_0049Again this year people who have been so very generous to me and my family.  Hopefully this does not sound ungrateful - I've already received a half dozen gifts, some that I have exchanged for something i found to be more useful.

At my post holiday gathering  we will include a" re-gift exchange"!  Anyone attending is invited to bring along less desirable gifts in an attempt to swap them at the party.  Any unwanted remnants will then be donated to charity.

I feel this is a good way to be authentic about my wishes for 2009 - to live a more streamlined and clutter free life, unencumbered by things that i do not love dearly that others can make better use of - regardless of cost or condition of the item.  I believe that letting go leaves room for more and i am looking forward to a bountiful 2009, full of all the good things i am wishing for (not only for myself but for others).

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Early Christmas Gifts

Today I gifted two very important people in my life a little premature holiday spirit by having a massage therapist come to the house and straightened the fa out of their la-la-la's.

If you are in need of a gift idea - this one is a real treat.  Call Shannon Collier at 727-365-9531.  You can visit her weekends at the Don Cesar, or at her own place in St. Pete.  On exception and for an additional fee she will travel to you if her schedule permits.

Dinner Dance Cruise

Last night I went a dancin' and there was a fun gift exchange where I came away with a darling milk and cookie plate for Santa from here, while the VIP came away with a large box of these that we will plan to serve at our Holiday Gathering.

In addition to the fun of practicing chacha, samba and salsa during the first hour, then dancing a mixer of assorted dances and music in the second hour, i won a drawing for a Starlite Dinner Dance Cruise that the VIP and i will enjoy at the end of January.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Pets as gifts

I rescued a human today.
Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering
apprehensively into the kennels. I felt her need instantly and knew
I had to help her.

I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she
wouldn't be afraid. As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view
from a little accident I had in the back of my cage. I didn't want
her to know that I hadn't been walked today.
Sometimes the shelter keepers get too busy and I didn't want her to think poorly of them.

As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn't feel sad about
my past. I only have the future to look forward to and want to make
a difference in someone's life. She got down on her knees and made
little kissy sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of my head
up against the bars to comfort her. Gentle fingertips caressed my
neck; she was desperate for companionship. A tear fell down her
cheek and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well.

Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I
instantly jumped into her arms. I would promise to keep her safe. I
would promise to always be by her side. I would promise to do
everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her
eyes. I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor. So many
more are out there who haven't walked the corridors. So many more to
be saved. At least I could save one.

Please don't give a pet as a gift as you cannot be certain it will fit the lifestyle of the person receiving it which would not be fair to the pet or the person.   Both the VIP and i had the painful experience of being parted with a living pet and i would ask you to spare anyone else that sadness.  It's hard enough when a pet's life comes to it's natural end.

Also consider how much care and training it takes getting a young high energy pet and consider getting a more mature animal, save your money and go to a rescue site, call local vets, or the hospice in your area.  I cannot begin to tell you the number of people that have made no plans for their (often purebred) pets and consider them disposable when they move, change jobs, start a family... our pets are capable of unconditional love and should not be considered disposable accessories.  Some people are weary of getting a pet that someone else no longer had a place in their life for, assuming the pet must have some very undesirable traits but what i have witnessed is it is that the pets end up there thru no fault of their own. You can change that!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

When I say New York City, I mean Manhattan

IMG_0045 Any NYer knows that, but people from outside the 5 boroughs (Brooklyn "Kings", Queens, Staten Island "Richmond", Da Bronx, and Manhattan) or the Tri-state area do not understand that distinction. Technically, when asked 'Are you from NYC, i could say yes - but i don't, I claim Brooklyn as home, although all my landmarks are gone and the sects of immigrants who inhabited the area there have changed and i know not a soul there any more. The VIP finds this affiliation strange, and i have no way to explain it other than to liken it as a well healed scar made in my formative years, forever a piece of my identity.

IMG_0042 That is where I've been and hopefully you have missed my absence deeply. I took a real vacation where you leave some technology behind and stay busy with the outside world and it's inhabitants and maybe, just maybe some of your faith in humanity is restored.

The NY of my youth is long gone. No panhandlers, no being groped by homeless people, no 3 card monte or other hustlers and cons, no chicken hawks or heroin users with their junk still in their arm while they are passed out on the street, no pepk shows or sex shops or XXX rated theatres (people don't have to leave home for that kind of thing any more), no being offered rolled joints (when it was illegal of have any pot on ones person). Times Square is so PC it is a virtual Disneyworld. I guess it is not all bad but it saddens me to travel our great country and see it all becoming one big stripmall.

This trip we did a variety of touristy things we never would have done when we lived in the area:


We stayed at the UNION SQUARE INN. Economy and Essentials in this walk up with no heat controls and convenient subway access.


We went to an office party at 1 Roc. Center to watch the tree lighting and all the pre-recorded pomp and circumstance of the Jonas Brothers.

Admired the cleanliness of reliable public transportation.


IMG_0030Had Daisy drive us around Central Park


Admired the holiday windows on 5th -Bergdorf's was the best, where inside the sales staff scoffed at my request for wool knee highs and informed me that they have not carried socks 'for years'.

Luckily I have a sense of style that endures unlike fashion trends, however high priced they might be. I no longer have to travel to NYC for a pair of Wolford tights, they are available right here in Tampa! SO SPARE ME THE ATTITUDE LADY...


but the real reason is right here!

a reunion with friends reunited after too many years thanks to the glory of facebook!

mostly old college friends


who came early and stayed late at DEWEY'S FLATIRON.


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went to E#llis Island

Listened to street performers

Enjoyed all of Manhattan before moving on to BROOKLYN:

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Monday, December 1, 2008

Santa Claus is coming to town


I saw this photo in GQ and loved it - something you are very unlikely to see these days in the uber PC world we live in here is the USA.  I raise my glass in a toast of the coming new year and all that it has in store. 

Tis the season - What are you wishing Santa Baby will bring you?