Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A presto... my two friends

So, I may have made a rash decision... no, a stupid decision... no, an impossible decision. I decided to give up Diet Coke and chocolate for Lent. What? For most people, chocolate would be the hard part, but I just threw that in for good measure. Chocolate is like a friend who you see very infrequently, so waiting until April is no big deal. But, Diet Coke is probably my one true vice. I don't drink very often, I have never smoked, I have never done drugs. But every time I drink Diet Coke I ALWAYS think two things: "I know those chemical ingredients are slowly mutating my insides" and "I love this stuff." Every time.

And yes, I actually prefer the taste of Diet Coke to regular. For the past five years I have been sharply focused on eating healthy (I follow Weight Watchers) and working out. I am a dedicated health nut. Diet Coke is the one zero-calorie treat I get. However, my treat has gotten out of hand... I drink three or four a day. Now, it's time for a break. Last year for Lent, I gave up Diet Coke (except on Thursdays), but now I am going cold turkey. A real aspertame fast. It's 9:04 a.m. on Ash Wednesday, and so far, so good.

I'll keep you posted.

Diet Coke (in italiano) is Coca-Cola Light.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Friendships aren't Flowers... but they grow, too

Recently, I had a GIRLS NIGHT OUT!... the infrequent night that women in their late twenties and thirties (and beyond) schedule to hang out with just the ladies. (Note: women in their early twenties don’t need to schedule such gatherings because every night out is GIRLS NIGHT OUT!). So, as careers, relationships, new friendships, and commutes have distanced me from some of my longest and closest girlfriends… I feel the need to rally in support of GIRLS NIGHT OUT!

As the plan was coming together in the past couple of weeks… I realized how excited I was to go. The faces of this particular GIRLS NIGHT OUT!, were a random smattering of invitees; A few of my closest friends… and some I have only just met. Still we are each connected by a distinct thread that weaves through a network of mutual friends on the Westside of Los Angeles.

So, with my hair straightened and umbrella in hand (thank you SoCal rainstorm), I kissed Ian good-bye and headed out the door… ready for GIRLS NIGHT OUT!

It was a good night… sushi, drinks, conversation and a lot of laughs. But the best part wasn’t the slychee martinis (yes, slychee) or the red velvet cupcake. It was the chance to catch up with friends who I don’t get to see nearly enough. One of my best friends (who was my roommate for three years)… had so many stories I finally got to hear… a whole new life down the 405 freeway in Irvine. Another former roommate (yes, I have had several) is jet setting around the world in the next couple of weeks. Everyone brought with them their umbrellas, their hilarious fatigue, and their lives.

While GIRLS NIGHT OUT! reminds me how good it is to see some of my closest friends, it also reminds me how glad I am our lives have evolved, too. I am glad that I no longer have roommates (that I have THE roommate); that I have made new friendships in the past few years that have become so important to me; that my work has taken me onto avenues of Los Angeles and my profession that I never would have imagined I would venture. But most of all, I am glad I can still look back on the ladies who I befriended when I moved to Los Angeles and that I can still call them my friends. My garden has grown, for sure (as have theirs)… but the original seeds have deep roots… and I hope that’s where they will stay.

Friendship = amicizia