Thursday, April 10, 2014

American Honey's A Callin'

It's been a very stressful week. Between a new and growing role at work, signing contracts on my new home, making time for the gym, classes, softball practice, and just general things you have to do in day to day life. It's been a lot, but I think a lot of good. At least that's how I'm choosing to see it.

But the last few weeks overall, despite the surmounting stress, have been eye opening. I've always been the girl that could do it all, felt I could have it all. Time constraints never mattered, efficiency has never been a challenge, and there was nothing that I couldn't accomplish. But, ironically, accomplishing something so big in the last few weeks has actually made me realize that there are limitations to what I can achieve. And I'm perfectly ok with that.

It dawned on me when I was singing at the top of my lungs in the car one day. One of my favorite private-car karaoke songs, "American Honey". Now I know what you're isn't really my vocal forte. I'm more of a Salt N Peppa or Pat Benetar kind of vocalist, but you'd be wrong. I can belt my country with the best of them. And by best of them, let's all be clear that I mean I'm better than Mickey (but if asked in front of him, I will admit to nothing).

That's not the point I was trying to make, I don't think.

But I had an epiphany mid-song: Get caught in the race of this crazy life/ Trying to be everything, can make you lose your mind. Damn, Lady A, you get me. Now I did not grow up on the side of the road where the church bells ring and strong love grows, but there definitely is a wild, wild whisper blowin in the wind, callin out my name like a long lost friend.

And I've been listening to that wind at roughly the same level that I listen to anyone when I've got a snack in my possession. I know someone is talking, but I kind of nod along and focus on the snack at hand. Note: do not tell me anything important when I am eating, but you likely already know that.

The realization is this: I've been trying so hard to be everything to everyone else, that I've forgotten to be certain things for myself. And having done something as empowering and self-serving as buying myself my first home was a big wake up call to remind me that I have to be there for myself first and foremost. At least at this point in my life. This is the time in my life where I get to take care of myself. And as much as I watch my friends around me getting married, having children, taking care of others, I do want those things one day. But right now, I've got to be everything to me. And if you are in a similar position, you should do the same too. I also watch a lot of my friends forget to take care of themselves in both mind and body.

So why does this all matter? As I think back to the last few years of my life, as I often find myself doing in the wake of my recent decisions, I've never been good at this. I've always worked so hard to be EVERYTHING. And while I want to be everything, it's not at the expense of what I want even more than which is comfortable and confident with myself. And in order to do that, I have to be ok with not being everything. I can be a lot, and I think that I am.

But this next phase of life, which is truly what this is, I am not focusing on being everything. I am going to focus on getting really good at what I am.

So here's to the next phase, here's to listening to the wild wind, and here's to being something instead of everything!

Cheers, all!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Things I could lose in the fire

Oh my, this is terribly embarrassing. Here I thought it had been a few weeks since I last posted something. But, as it turns out, we're dangerously teetering on a year. Holy crap!

Just goes to show how quickly time flies, I reckon.

But tonight I'm inspired to resurrect a forum that has previously been such a wonderful sounding board, as I have much to share. So much has changed from May of last year. So much. As I re-read the last few postings and musings from nearly a year ago, I'm not sure that I knew how much my life has transformed.

In May 2013, I was in love. I had a job where I punched the clock and saw potential to maybe one day move up. I played tennis, I didn't coach a softball team. I had a plan, I had certain friends.

And today, in almost April, 2013, I am not in love, I work a job that consumes me (but I secretly like it), I don't have time for tennis, I spend what little free time I have coaching softball. And I do still have a plan, but a far different one. I'm buying a house. I'm staying in Richmond. Somewhere in the last year, I grew up in a way that I didn't realize I hadn't previously.

I quickly skimmed over the last part about buying a house. Yes, you heard me right, a freaking house. This matters a lot to me because in my life, I've never been one for concrete goals, but this is one of the few I have ever had; to own before I'm 30. Now many of my best laid plans have not panned out by this point in my life, but this one seems to be coming to fruition, and quite frankly, it's terrifying.

Anyone who has patiently followed my journey over the last few years knows what a roller coaster and transformation my life has been, and this piece of stability is both exciting and scary. And with less than a year and a half away from such a big milestone in my life, I'm finally embracing this opportunity. There's something to be said for being financially independent, free of parents, free of a significant other, and surviving in the wild on my own will. It's empowering. Every woman should feel this moment of pride and fulfillment.  Imagine what I will actually feel like with the keys in hand an drinking my celebratory champagne in my empty living room.

In the meantime, if you'd like to contribute to the Synthia Floor Champagne Fund, you can direct all contributions through my chief fundraising officer, Mickey.

I hope everyone else has had a less eventful last year, and I promise to get back in the swing of channeling my inner Cindy Lou Who.

Until we meet again,

Sunday, May 19, 2013

All Dressed Up With Nowhere to Go

It's the right kind of night to write.

It's exactly the type of evening that I love to be curled up on my bed, next to my half unpacked suitcase, a little Ingrid on in the background, a few rain drops for ambiance falling outside, and something really amazing on my mind that's burning the get out of my head and onto my screen.

Bed- check.
Half unpacked suitcase with removed items strewn about said bed- check.
Ingrid on in the background- check.
Rain drops- mostly check.
Killer, transformative insight- Umm...sure, let's see what we get...

But jokes aside (although likely not), it is in fact the right kind of night for me to write. Sunday evenings used to be my posting evening. After finishing a day on the field with the girls and grocery shopping for me and the Mickster, it was time to come home, attempt to be brilliant and then throw it all out on the interwebs for public judgment. And tonight feels like the perfect mix of exhaustion from a long day, desperate need to procrastinate, and much on my mind. 

So what do we do when we don't know what to do? As I ponder how to get that "spark" back and devote more time to your beloved CLW, and as I just spent a weekend surrounded by old friends and a small piece of my "old life" for lack of a better term, I realize that part of me is missing in Richmond. Part of me is still in Atlanta, and holding on to pieces of what used to be. And I'm ok with that, but there has to be a way to bring that lingering piece of the puzzle to my physical present.

The trick, much as it is when I want to write and have to decide what to write ABOUT, I have to figure out what that missing link is. So really, this is a 3-fold process:

1- Identify the missing link
2- Figure out how to fix identified link
3- Fix identified link

Hmm, actually doesn't seem so bad when I look at it from that perspective. I mean, after all, I managed to find something to write about tonight. Perhaps this could all be fixed by bringing Sweetwater IPA to Virginia. However, I doubt that the solution to this problem lies in the negotiations between the state and a local Atlanta microbrewer's distribution department. However, if it did, it would prove that Homer Simpson was right to claim that alcohol is both the cause and solution to all of life's problems.

This one however, probably requires some additional thought. I'll get Mickey and the rest of the brain trust (Jackson) on the problem right away. I expect the outcome will yield "Buy us more bones", but hey, maybe it could work.

Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Quite frankly, I could begin and end this note just with the title and really feel that I have adequately expressed myself. But what fun would that be for any of us?

So allow me to start again... Yup, I guess that really is the only way to put it.

I had a very special opportunity this evening to listen to the one, the only, Anthony Bourdain. And for any other fellow foodies out there, or even just avid television watchers, I would fully expect that this name rings a bell. I'd like to claim that he is a hero to me. Not that I believe in heroes, or should necessarily look up to a former crack head who swears non-stop (ok, let's be honest, I kind of respect the onslaught of curse words), but damn if I don't respect the way that man thinks about and preaches the gospel of food.

Following a Power Point presentation of the abhorrence that is Paula Deen's cuisine (see The Lady's Brunch Burger), Tony - as I like to think he has given me permission to call him - offers a mantra that I support:

Food matters.

And it does. It's not just a means of nourishment and sustenance, but it's a way of showing who we are and what we are about. I judge people by the way they look at food. And I'm ok with that, even if you aren't. I haven't always been this way, but it's certainly something that I have learned as I've gotten older and learned more about how to respect myself, my body and those around me. Food is not just about eating...don't get me wrong But these are two very different things.

I respect my body and myself with the food that I put into it. I like fresh and unique ingredients. Especially over the last few years and a significant weight loss, there is an inherent need to control what goes into my body. Processed foods and fried foods (while at times still delicious and necessary for hangover recovery) are not a way for me to show respect to myself. This is what fuels my desire to cook. And my love for cooking is enhanced when I'm able to share this product with those around me.

Cooking is a way that I express myself and show respect for those around me. It's a way that I connect with people and bring my friends together in a home environment. And on an even more personal level, it's a way that I have found to share and enjoy time with James; we love to cook together and share the foods that we enjoy with each other. From planning the perfect combination of flavors, selecting the right ingredients, and spending an evening putting it all together, it's a way that we relate. All because of food.

Ok, here's the part my Richmonders are not going to like. So fair warning, stop reading now - you won't like this next bit should you hail from or love the city of Richmond.

Despite what Richmonders think about this town, the food culture is depressing. I hate selecting restaurants here for several reasons. The first being that there is a severe lack of diversity in the food here. While there are a few gastro pubs and farm to table style restaurants, and one fantastic Italian restaurant that I enjoy, I have crossed off every restaurant that interests me in this town. And I don't need a reservation to get into any of them. Which brings me to beef #2...I don't need a reservation for anywhere. I think there are some pros to this, but half the fun of going to a great restaurant is the wait and anticipation of getting to go. In Atlanta, my best girlfriend and I had a long list of restaurants that we would call down 2 weeks ahead to see what we could get into. After taking 2-3 reservations (usually in the 9-10 time slot, which is all that is available 2 weeks out) we would continue to deliberate over which reservation to keep based on the menu that most deserved our patronage. After finally coming to a carefully calibrated decision, we would then study our menus in order to maximize sharing and enjoyment of our event. This was an evening, not a meal. Richmond has absolutely nothing comparable to offer. Sorry.

I would like to follow Tony around for the duration of his stay in Richmond to get his take on the city and see if he's able to find any gems that I have yet to discover. Or atleast to sit and have a beer with him. But not in a stalkerish kind of way. Or maybe in a stalkerish kind of way. I admit to nothing.

In short, let it be And I want everyone to love it too because of the value that it holds in my life, not just to sustaining my life, but in helping me respect myself, relate to those around me, and express who I am.

Thank you, Tony, for a wonderful regaling of  your tales of the world, beautiful synopsis of the role food should play in our lives, and the much needed derision of Guy Fieri and his penchant for Ed Hardy.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

This One's for the Girls

I'm not sure if you've noticed, but I haven't written in a while. Ya, it's true, just check on the monthly log directly to your right. It's been almost 4 months. Crazy, no?

The crazy part is that I honestly thought I was only about two weeks behind. Whoopsies...

Of course, you know me, and I would only be here typing to you now if I have something of the utmost importance to say. I would surely never ramble on and on about random items - things like my Mickey, or how Jackson has a new bowl cut. Definitely not going to tell you about the 10K I'm running this weekend, my current time standings and the frustrations that go along with a strained calf... Mom's visit this weekend, signing a new lease on an apartment, or the latest bet that could result in a new tattoo (not on me, because I know my Braves won't let me down). No, no, no, only important stuff here tonight.

So, what's eating Cindy Lou Who?


Geez, ain't that the truth? Mmmmhmmm.

I read an article last night that has really just got me all wound up. Please feel free to peruse said article here: Said article

For any of my single lady friends around my age, and really maybe just any of my lady friends in general, I think you will see my immediate frustration with the content of this piece. This is what I get for opening a Fox News article in the first place, I really should have known better anyway.

Essentially, modern society, at least the one that I live in has spent so much time and effort in teaching women to focus on embracing their individuality and discovering who they are in order to ultimately be better wives and mothers should they one day chose to go that route. At least, that's been my major take away. We have theory. Patience is a virtue.

But now, there seems to be a new message, maybe it's retro chic vintage, like a used clothing store that infers that women have to set aside marriage and children should they chose to follow career paths. And surely prioritizing careers is not really an option but a causation of modern thinking. A woman chooses career over embracing marriage. That's a lofty assumption to put out there, IMHO.

But alas, the piece that really grinds my gears is not so much the message itself; we are all entitled to our opinions, but instead the mixed messages that women send to other women. As if there is only one route to take and that must be the chosen route for all women. As if we are all one broad category of person. And according to said article, I've already missed my time to find a husband. And since I am supposed to embrace marriage and not focus on a career...where exactly does that leave those who don't follow this "sage" advice?

Most of my girlfriends fall into the 25-35 demographic. And the big difference between these single friends and the married ones is that we all identify ourselves as 20s and single. It's a breed, it's a specific descriptor, and one that I think is vastly misunderstood and over analyzed. We are a group of women that aren't necessarily prioritizing our careers or choosing not to embrace marriage, but we are just a group of gals trying to do the best with what we've got. Some of us are recovering from heart break, learning how to invest wisely, purchase property, train for marathons, maybe even just trying to figure out how to get our dogs to stop peeing on visitors. It's not some major life choice that we made that has lead us to this infamous destination.

We didn't find a husband in college, and that's ok. We didn't find one 5 years after, and that's also ok. Because you know what? When we do find one, we will have years of Facebook history to help us figure out what we do and don't want in our wedding photos and how we will and won't make our baby announcements. (Assuming we haven't all sworn off Facebook by then...who knows, maybe Facebook won't even be around by then!) There's nothing wrong with us, so please stop asking what is. Moving into Q4 of my 27th year, I feel better than ever, and I wouldn't trade that for anything. So, suck it.

The stigma that comes along with being late 20s and single in this society is...bullshit...there I said it. We live our life based on what Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda have taught us over the years of late night TV. We wake up, we go to work, we have a drink, we work out, we bitch about men, go on bad dates, meet great men, and nothing is wrong with us or where we are headed. And some days, it's easy to forget that, but in the spirit of women giving advice to other women....I won't do it. We all have to make our own path and it's not on anyone else to tell us how to do it or make us feel bad for doing it differently.

That's what I will hopefully get to tell my daughter someday, and what I wish someone had started telling me a long time ago. So before I get any closer to a girl power rant, which is not my intention here at all, I digress. Some days, we ladies just want to be left alone. When we talk about gender equality, it's not in relation to sexual escapades or job compensation, it's in terms of pressure and judgment. Can't we just be left the hell alone like men? Let's write some more articles about grown men who still play video games or call their mothers 5 times a day. Let's spend more time judging men who can't match their socks together and think it's ok to take a girl to Taco Bell for a date, because those things aren't ok and there probably is actually something wrong with them, which is why THEY are single. Spend some time judging them and making them feel bad for a while.  What's their window to find a wife?

In the meantime, I'll be on the couch eating Spaghetti-Os and watching FRIENDS reruns and listening to some Martina McBride..

CLW out.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Merry Christma-Channuk-Wanza-kuh!

The traditional seasonal greeting.

Well, atleast in today's society.

As a half-breed, I feel so demographically homogenous in today's society. Coming from a half-Jewish, half-not family, I don't feel so special anymore. Atleast not in terms of my Atlanta heritage. In Richmond, I think I am still an anomoly. At any given time, I'm really just a beer away from being asked if I know Adam Sandler. (I don't, for anyone who is still curious)

But I still own my cultural heritage, because it is part of who I am. I grew up lighting the candles and spinning the dreidle and I try to maintain these traditions to the best of my ability. I want to make sure that my Mickey has a strong sense of where he came from :)

So as I start to prepare myself for my first journey home next weekend for the holiday season, I reflect upon this holiday season and the gems that it is about to bestow upon me (mostly my mother telling my dog that he is sufficient until any further grandchildren present themselves), and I want to wish all of my friends and followers and family a happy holiday season.

Embrace the holiday spirit, whatever that holiday may be. And if the holiday season (or the 9 shopping days left) does not so move you, then channel deep inner thoughts of Ho-Ho-Hos and Egg Nog and latkes and tacky lights, or whatever it is that really touches you deep down on a holiday type level so that you are tolerable at a holiday party.

Beacuse the holidays are real and they are spectacular. Tell those you love that you love them, and those that you don't that you do anyway (a little white-lie never hurt anyone).

And before you know it, it will be 2013 and we will be onto whining about new things all over again, so enjoy the holiday spirit while you can.

A most joyous of seasons to you all, my friends. To Jews and non-Jews alike, we are all but one holiday melting pot known as December.



Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Rap Songs White Girls Love

Recently, I've made a fantastic discovery...

The rap section of my satellite radio stations.

Now I know what you are thinking "How can this white girl from East Cobb (for my Richmond friends, think Short Pump) possibly know anything about good rap?" Valid question. I don't. I am, however, quite well versed in terrible pop rap. While attending high school (not in snobby East Cobb where I grew up) I was more of a demographic minority and was exposed to a much wider array of rap music. Most of which I chose to ignore and opt for whatever 95.5 The Beat told me I liked in those late 1990s/2000s years. Side note: did anyone ever decide what we are calling the early 2000s? Or are we just kind of skipping over that reference and pretending it never happened, kind of like Lindsey Lohan's music career?

So as I have been getting back in touch with my high school music roots with the discovery of my new satellite stations, I've been thinking about some of my favorite "rap" songs. And simultaneously realizing that absolutely none of them are getting any air time on these legit stations. Quite frankly, I've really just been changing back and forth between the 4 or so channels in hopes that Baby Got Back will be on so that I can roll down the windows and impress all of Richmond with how I know every single lyric unlike anyone else. So far, no dice. But who understands those rap stations anyway? I mean their playlists, they're just so BIG!

But you other brothers can't deny, there really is no need to look much farther than my own embarrasing Spotify playlists to identify a subset of songs that all girls love to listen to and proclaim that they "love rap music".

1. Sisqo: Thong Song
2. Sir Mix A Lot: Baby Got Back
3. P. Diddy: Shake Ya Tailfeather
4. Salt N' Peppa: Shoop
5. TLC: No Scrubs
6. 50 Cent: In Da Club
7. DMX: Party Up
8. Akon: Smack That
9. Beyonce: Single Ladies
10. Outkast: Hey Ya
11. Tag Team: Whoomp There It Is
12. Destiny's Child: ANYTHING
13. Ginuwine: Pony
14. Nelly: Country Grammar
15. Jay-Z: Hard Knock Life
16. Jennifer Lopez: Jenny From the Block
17. Ashanti: Always On Time
18. Jagged Edge: Let's Get Married
19. Juvenile: Back That Azz Up
20. Lil' Jon: Get Low

Ok, Cosmo-stlye quiz time. Even though when it comes to music, Cosmo ain't got nothin' to do with my selection. many of these did you read over and immediately respond "OMG! That's my soooooong"?

15-20 OMGs
False. You do not like rap music. You are probably a white girl that grew up in the 90s though. Well done, you may collect your complimentary glow in the dark slap bracelet and scrunchie upon completion of this post.

10-14 OMGs
Congratulations! You went to college in the last 15 years! Or atleast to the frat parties...

5-9 OMGs
You listen to a lot of country music, don't you? That's ok, I do too. For you I offer an alternate list:
Dixie Chicks: Wide Open Spaces
Rascal Flatts: Bless the Broken Road
Brad Paisley: Alcohol
Kenny Chesney: She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy
Reba McEntire: Fancy
Sugarland: Baby Girl
Martina McBride: This One's For the Girls
Faith Hill: This Kiss
Does this list seem to be a little more in the right direction for you? Thought it might be. Nothing wrong with that.

0-4 OMGs
Don't worry, Mom, I'll play you a few of these rap tunes that the kids be listenin' to, yo.

Fun fact: I've done more than one of the songs on this list at front of public. True that.

If you can come up with any others that I have left off the list, please feel free to chime in. It's a pretty fun exercise, until you realize that the music you've been listening to actually kind of sucks. Oh well, that's why we have the freedom to hide our playlists on Facebook, whew!