Yearly Archives: 2012

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to one and all.  It’s going to be a fabulous year and to ring it in right, I will be drinking one of my favorite champagne, which I thought I’d share with you.  Well, at least the name so you can go get your own bottle.  I discovered Fluteau at a huge champagne tasting at K&L Wines a couple of years ago and liked it as much as I liked the Salon and the Cristal, which is saying a lot considering those two retail for hundreds of dollars.  My favorite was the Cuvée Prestige, their blanc de blancs, which retails for $40.  Happy celebrating.

New_Years_12-31-2012_009

 

 

Rebirth

OK, so the world didn’t end today, but it is a new beginning.  I can feel the change coming, though I’ve been feeling it for awhile, and the whole Mayan calendar 2012 thing actually started last December, so anyone who is in tune energetically has been seeing some major shifts in 2012.  I think that things are going to start smoothing out for people who have been diligently rebalancing themselves and looking at their shit, as we so eloquently put it back in Dee Wallace’s acting class.  I for one am all for a smoother road, an easier life.

I think 2013 is going to be about being.  I feel like my entire life up until now has been about doing.  Needing to work hard to achieve something, believing that working hard will bring you what you want, or simply keeping myself busy so I wouldn’t have to deal with any of my emotional issues.  A hamster is technically doing a lot on that wheel, but actually going nowhere.   The only reason it takes hard work to get something is because you believe it does.  Line up with it energetically and it will arrive at your doorstep with minimal physical effort from you.  Of course, most of us have a hard time believing that, so we perpetuate the hard work = success equation.

In order to clean up my energy and do more being instead of doing, I’ve made a commitment to being positive and refraining from any negative comments–no complaining, no snarky gossiping, no criticism, even towards myself.  Let me tell you, today was my first day and the best I could do today was say that I could now recognize how much I complain or make snarky comments, even if it’s only in my head.  And I consider myself pretty self-aware.

It’s time to start a new habit.  In this time of renewal and rebirth, start anew and commit to yourself.  You’re only hurting yourself by complaining or blaming someone else for your problems.   We’re trained to spend hours working towards a goal, but how many hours do you commit to cleaning up your energy?  That’s the only way you’re going to see monumental change in your life.  Otherwise , you’re just on the hamster wheel going nowhere.  You can’t do happy; you have to be happy.  Spend less time doing and more time being and just see how your life is transformed.

UPDATE:  Right after I posted this, I read Gwyneth Paltrow’s latest goop email about perfectionism.  It’s all about how we are always doing things, trying to be perfect instead of giving ourselves a break and just being.  Obviously, it’s up for everyone right now.

Book: Lipstick Jihad

 

I’ve always been fascinated with the Middle East, which seems weird even to me because I’m so white bread Midwesterner in both looks and upbringing, but there’s always been this pull towards the exotic.  Growing up I was drawn to Arabic culture, even as Scud missiles were being launched from Baghdad during the first war in Iraq.  When I went to college in Washington, DC, I was introduced to Lebanese food, which opened up a whole new world for me.  I love Middle Eastern food so much now that when a friend recently asked me what my comfort food was (other than chocolate), without hesitation I said mezze.

Then 9/11 happened and pretty much all of America went from latent anti-Arab sentiment to downright hatred, but I never lost my interest.  I remember seeing a Muslim woman in a head scarf right after 9/11 and you could tell she was just waiting for someone to say something horrible to her about being a terrorist or something stupid like that because she was almost cowering from people.  At the time I thought how sad that was because she had come to American for a freer life and here she was feeling like she was going to be attacked at any moment in the Land of the Free.  As this was running through my head, I smiled at her and she literally did a double take.  I like to think that my smiling at her made her feel better but truthfully, it was the least proud I have ever been to be an American.

Even with my fascination and love of many aspects of Middle Eastern culture, I wanted to understand more.   I remember at a party years ago an Iranian woman saying to me that she would prefer to move back to Iran permanently because life was so much better there.   My feminist self was rather appalled that this educated, cultured and articulate woman would prefer a backward country where women were treated like pariahs.  Obviously, I only knew the Iran that was on the nightly news.  It took reading Lipstick Jihad to understand what the woman was talking about and get some insight into Persian culture.  I thoroughly enjoyed Lipstick Jihad:  A Memoir of Growing up Iranian in America and American in Iran by Azadeh Moaveni and her follow-up Honeymoon in Tehran:  Two Years of Love and Danger in Iran.  Both are written with such insight and feeling.  Moaveni straddles both cultures and can see things from both perspectives.  Plus she’s a journalist who has been covering the Middle East for years and also speaks English, Farsi and Arabic fluently, so she knows the nuances of the area, Iran in particular.

I truly believe that if we learn more about other cultures, we can find better solutions to the world’s problems.  Up until a couple of years ago, a well-known travel company Geographic Expeditions was leading tours to Iran to enable people to learn firsthand about the people and culture.  All the people who commented about their trip had such wonderful things to say about the people and the country.  Of course, when I read that I wanted to go immediately.  Unfortunately, the recent developments in Iran, which Moaveni chronicles in Honeymoon in Tehran, have made it inadvisable to visit right now, but I hope things will improve soon, because I would love to visit this fascinating, richly cultured country.  UPDATE:  When I was getting the website information for the link for GeoEx, I saw that they have started doing the Iran trips again, so I guess international relations have gotten better and it’s safe enough to travel there again.  YEAH.  Now I really want to go.