Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The New Chair

Things are coming along at home minus the no heat for the weekend and staying in the hotel and having a Sex and the City Carrie Bradshaw moment---me typing away in bed before my bar shift working on writing projects. But this is the new Parker sleeper chair so over night guests, come one, come all, I promise, there will be heat...

It won't be as Kimpton luxury living, but I do make a mean banana bread for breakfast, and yes, there will be bourbon.

I'm in the long haul of bartending before I leave for Kripalu so I may be more silent than usual here, but make sure to visit my twin, Ms. Gin.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Why I Heart Being a Bartender

Reason number 358---you can get invited to the guest list for shows!

I used to think I was part of the underbelly of society by my said profession, but really, it's the opposite. We bartenders like our music!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hello, Ms. Gin

For a while I've been thinking about starting a bar/bourbon blog. And now, welcome to the marriage of my writing and my tending. Hello, Ms. Gin! Cheers to you and you and you...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hava Negilah

Yesterday evening a man with an accordian was playing Hava Negilah in the Herald Square subway station. Reason number #376 to heart New York. The whole day yesterday was a fall in love in the city day. It began with Alicia's Ostriker's Midrash workshop which I had resisted and resisted for so long. I always got the emails but never went. She really opened up a poem I was trying to work on about my cousin. 

Before the workshop Amy and I had Murray's bagels and afterwards, vintage clothing shopping where I scored a $15 purple dress and now that I think about it, I will call this the Meredith dress since I found it right after working on a poem.

And I get to wear the dress to Pegu later this week!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Post 30, it's curtains, curtains for you (me)

I both do and do not feel different. Perhaps I did party it up like a 21 year old for my 30th, but who wouldn't do that at AWP? According to Mr. Schmooze, my party was slammin! However, everyone was out of my room by 1 am and there was no late night pizza order and so, no, this wasn't my 21st birthday. And that night, only two bourbons for me and for the most part, the entire conference was pretty moderate in terms of drinking and staying up late. I even made it to the gym one morning.

I'm grateful for having an early panel. As unexcited I was about 9 am, many people showed up and were lively (and it wasn't just b/c Alicia got loud). My co-panels had a lot to say about identity, religion, and culture. I feel very fortunate to have such amazing women in my corner so thank you Eve, Idra, Sharon, and Erika. And to all those fab poets, both Jewish and not, this was one of my favorite AWP's. Meeting Meredith Hall and attending her panel about grant and essay writing changed how I think about applying for fellowships and conferences. (envelope for bread loaf, ready!).

Oh, and I danced and danced.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Where to Begin

I can't even begin to describe the whirlwind that is my life---I can only say what has or will be happening recently.

My cousin Meredith passed last week. She was 31 and passed on her daughter's 1st birthday. The funeral was yesterday---I flew to Minneapolis and back. I am so lucky to have such a supportive family and extended family. There were so many people from Youngstown there and I even had a high school friend on my flights. I'm realizing how fortunate I am to know the people I know and be from where I am from...

The night before I left, I ended up having a slice of pie and relaxing at a local coffee shop, Roots Cafe. The owner Jayme and his wife are from Alabama and it reminds me of Brady's Cafe from college where the regulars leave their mugs there. I'm lucky to have picked a neighborhood that really feels like one. I'm getting to know all the shop keepers, grocers, bartenders, etc.

On the plane home, it turned out that the two people in my row also lived in South Slope and so we shared a cab. Mr. Rad doesn't know how I do it, how I connect in this way. He thinks I should buy a lottery ticket. But I don't think I'm lucky in that way. 

Yesterday the rabbi spoke of cousin Meredith as being the same, a person who brings people together. Maybe that is our family. Maybe that is Youngstown, or Ohio. Maybe I'll never really know what that is, but whatever it is, it is good. Mere, Jules and I share the same Hebrew name, Raizel, after our great grandma and so maybe it is her spirit infused in us.

Whatever it is, it is a blessing. One that I will carry with me as I bartend the two days I'm in town before AWP and while I'm at the conference and beyond.

I'll be 30 on Sunday. I don't feel it yet. And I've decided to post pone big celebrations, I'm not ready yet. So in April I'll acknowledge it properly. But for now, we're almost 30 and we're a little quiet about it.

Monday, February 02, 2009

dressing it up

I've added a new color to the apt---this blue that is one of my favorites....more to come about decorating, but progress is happening as this place evolves into home and as I continue to learn about patience, decorating, budgeting (all the way TARGET!) and being more in tune with everything and not being so rigid and structured...

and today, found a new yoga studio here in a gallery. I was the only for who came to class so I felt like I had a private lesson in Anusara yoga. This type is all about the heart, which is something I think I need. Lots of heart opening and softening. I came home feeling changed and with deeper understanding of my own alignment issues, both mentally and physically.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Alimentum and Mango Salmon

Alimentum is by far one of my favorite journals. Ever.

Every time I go to a reading, I feel like I'm at a dinner party. I meet great people. Everyone really connects and has a good time. And they always have great wine and cheese.

And Joshua from One Ring Zero inspired me to finally put my mango salmon recipe down. So for anyone who ever wondered how, email me and I will send you the recipe. For some reason, I haven't been able to cut and paste into the blogger format. But the photo is above so perhaps you can construct it from there :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Sunlight

is why I got this apartment and it's streaming through the great room right now. For the first time, the apt. is as warm as I like it and I got to turn the heat down below 70 degrees! I spent the morning with pumpkin spice coffee and a banana blueberry smoothie---did some organizing---actually alphabetized by poetry and fiction books on the shelves. My grandparents called to check in and see how I was doing and it was lovely to sit on my love seat and chat late morning. Also got my first pieces of real mail (change of address form doesn't count) from mom and a university I applied to teach (the human resources survey) and so things are really beginning to settle in.

Yesterday I met Mike, who works the night shift at the bodega down the street. His brother Manny works the morning and they carry vegetarian products. He looked down at my 3 cans of Amy's soup, my veggie burgers and fake chicken nuggets and pegged me as a vegan. Nope, vegetarian I smirked and he said to let him know if there was anything I needed, that if he didn't have it, he could order it. This has some serious Ramona potential. Speaking of, I'll be reading at the Mercantile Library tonight for the Alimentum Launch Party!

And now as I'm sitting out here, I'm thinking of spring when I can grow my own vegetables right on the balcony---finally, Ramona can have her own garden!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Works in Progress

So far, the move is actually surprisingly easy. There are a few interesting things to report. All these windows make the place quite drafty in the winter...so the rush to hang curtains is a priority. Only problem, and this is a huge one---everything in this apartment is too tall. So I either have to get custom curtains or make my own. I have an interesting action plan to get something up which I will hopefully have an update on tomorrow..

But for now, I bought myself a ladder and got some essentials so I could make my first meal, pictured above with my progress on the great room.

All you do is saute garlic, red pepper flakes, spinach, salt, pepper in olive oil. Then toss with your choice of pasta (I used roasted red pepper) and top with parmesan cheese!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Walk in the Park

A photographer happened to be in the park taking pictures of the winter wonderland just around the time of a much needed walk and a chance to see some beauty. If you really listen, you can hear the sound snow makes as it lands.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Simple Things

I had forgotten how good it was to take a bath (something you don't do with roommates)---I'm home in Ohio and I have had the house to myself today while Mom is at work.

I'm still in my pajamas (clean ones, not last night's), and all I've done is work on writing projects, feed myself, and primp for the evening activities: family dinner at my favorite Youngstown Belmont Ave. restaurant: Antone's.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Dreaming of Kettle Bells

My aunt sent me a great quote this morning: "It does not do well to dwell on dreams and forget to live." 

--J.K. Rowling 

Though I've never read any of her books (yet---for some reason I try to shy away from jumping on bandwagons), I really like this idea because I'm someone who tries really hard to construct perfection and ultimately, life never adheres to the dream world you create. I don't mean this in a negative way, but it's 2009 and I'm trying to think about how I can be living my life that makes me the most happy.

I think too much. I live in my head. So in 2009 I'm moving in the direction of body. I'll be a certified yoga teacher in June! And the other day, one of my regulars at the bar gave me an awesome tip. Free kettle bell certification! I've never really worked out with those, but I do love weight lifting and so I think, yes, anything that can make me stronger is good...

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

I am breathing

In case anyone was wondering about the quiet here---

it's a new year and I will rededicate myself to the blog...

I will have a new home at the end of the month (signed the lease today!!) so my focus in on the actual space, but then I will turn to the virtual.

And in the meanwhile, breathe with me into this new year...