Have a happy new year, everybody!
Happy winter solstice! Today we will receive the least amount of daylight hours all year, which is about nine hours in NYC (and anywhere on our latitude). As I’m writing this, it’s not even 4:00 yet and it’s already looking gloomy and dark outside. But! Starting tomorrow, daylight hours will increase by about two minutes per day, which rhymes with yay! My plants are doing the happy dance, which they choreographed themselves.
Now I’m off to Canada to spend Christmas with SP’s parents in their remote and stylin’ cabin. They just put in an outdoor jacuzzi, which means jacuzzi in the snow! And his mom left the tree blank for us (read: me) to decorate. Sweet!
I hope your holiday is extra special this year. And that you receive a most excellent surprise, like the one I got last year:
Today is Serendipity Day, aka Serendipity Do-Da, aka Do-Da Day. So what does this mean?
If you didn’t see the movie Serendipity, then you need to go ahead and do that because it’s all about fate and destiny and energy and has awesome NYC scenes. And if you did see it, you probably didn’t pick up on the fact that Jonathan and Sara meet on December 20…which is today! That’s the day they’re in Bloomingdale’s at the beginning of the movie, trying to grab the same pair of gloves. So they meet and have this intense connection and go to Serendipity for frozen hot chocolates and skating in Central Park.
But when Jonathan writes down his number for Sara, it gets blown away and she thinks that’s a bad sign. So then he writes his name and number on the back of a five-dollar bill, which she immediately uses to buy mints. Sara’s idea is that if the five-dollar bill makes its way back to her, then they’re meant to be together.
So. My friend Joe and I loved the idea of this movie and we used to celebrate Serendipity Day by going to Serendipity (after going to the same glove counter at Bloomingdale’s and also Wollman Rink, since once you put your names in at Serendipity it takes at least two hours to get a table and these locations are actually very close to each other in real life). We had frozen hot chocolates and then we each wrote our name and number on the back of a five-dollar bill, which we then used to tip the waiter. Not that anyone ever called our asses. But that’s not the point. The point is that we put it out there. The city is magic. It does magic things.
How can you celebrate Serendipity Day if you’re not here? Well, if you are with your soul mate now and doing the happy dance, then celebrate with the One. But if you are still searching, send out positive energy into the universe today. True love will find you.
Oh, and by the way? Serendipity is also home of the $1,000 Golden Opulence Sundae, served in a Baccarat crystal goblet (which you get to take home), made with the world’s most expensive chocolate, and covered in 23K edible gold leaf:
This poetry slam I went to Monday night rocked the house. Some of the absolute best spoken-word artists competed in a slam hosted by Mahogany Brown. It was at Spark Art Center, which was actually this random room in the back of a restaurant in Chelsea. But as the guy who lived next door told me, there are no random rooms in New York. Anyway, this slam was so underground I can’t even give you a link to it. Not because it’s top secret, but because it was totally off the radar.
Soulful Jones was so intense that I had a Coffee Talk pheglempt moment during his performance. Check out his music on his MySpace page, too. And Uninvited has only been on the scene for a year, but he’s already a shining star. The winner was Ben Crossan, whose only contact info at this time is his phone number. And my soul sista Tatyana Cabrera also performed. If you’re into slams, watch out for these neighbors. They’re so hot they make fire jealous.
Your TGIM thought of the day is brought to you by Cheryl Lee Terry. She’s an astrologer who knows. I was so freaked out when I turned to her usual spot in Time Out a while ago and her horoscope page was gone! But I found her online, so it’s all goodness.
If you’re into checking out your horoscope, hers is right on every week. You can visit Astrology and Beyond here.
So I made an executive decision to not send out holiday cards this year, for the first time since I started sending them. It just seems like there’s an indirect relationship between the whole email/ecard/eeverything craze getting whipped up into a larger frenzy every year and appreciation for/interest in/inclination to send handwritten communication.
Who’s with me on this? Or am I being a total Grinch about it?
Here are five things.
1. Everyone knows that it takes me a long time to advance with technology. it’s a flow I appreciate, but don’t necessarily go with. So when my answering machine died suddenly, I went to Best Buy to get a new one. But wait. Oh, I’m sorry…did you want a new answering machine? Gee, that’s too bad, because they don’t make those anymore. I mean, they do, but there’s only like one and it seems like a pathetic purchase when everything else is cordless or digital attached to an answering machine. As I didn’t even have a cordless phone (but I did get the special extra-long cord for my vintage phone!), this was a big step. I went with the digital phone. And it really does sound clearer than my vintage phone. I’d just like to know how it holds up in the long-term scheme of things, so if anyone out there has a digital phone, please share your experience.
2. My current rank in the Facebook Dawson’s Creek Trivia Challenge is 6. Out of 23,595 players. Must. Stop. Playing. But my thought is this: As long as I’m getting my work done, I’m allowed to play. Yeah. I’ll just keep telling myself that.
3. In response to my recent rant about never running into my people on the streets of NYC, the universe gave me Keri Russell. I never saw Felicity, but I loved her in Neil LaBute’s play Fat Pig with my boy Jeremy Piven. I was leaving my coffeehouse and she was coming in, being introduced to someone. She was all, “Hi, I’m Keri,” totally sweet and approachable. Sadly, she’s just not one of my people. Trust me, if it was John Mayer or John Krasinski or Tobey Maguire, this isn’t the only place you’d be hearing about how I almost touched his coat or whatever in way too much detail. I’d totally be renting a billboard about it. Although I was just in LA, right where John was filming his new DVD.
4. I just finished reading Story of a Girl and an advance copy of Sweethearts, both by Sara Zarr. They’re awesome.
5. Being crazy efficient with the holiday shopping this year, I whipped into the Container Store, organization mecca, for a small travel container. Nothing else. Here’s how weird I am: I actually felt sad that I didn’t have to get any more gift wrapping/bags/bows/tags, since I had the whole place to myself and it would have been some sweet shopping. But I learned the hard way last year: Get that silver mylar paper early, because they sell out!
So I’m back from a week in southern California (LA, San Diego, Malibu, La Jolla) and man. Was it butt fricking cold in New York while I was gone or what? I mean, snow? That’s harsh.
But! I am holding onto palm tree memories and warm sand memories and surfer memories and would like to share my Cali Vacay Top Five with all of you friendly neighbors. Since I am kickin’ it old-school with the disposable camera / convert to CD thing, I don’t have photos yet. Look forward to those, though. I even have a palm tree montage all planned out for your viewing enjoyment. Big, fluffy ones and small, sprigly ones.
Until then, here’s the best of what happened on the West Coast (and, yes, I saw the Hollywood sign. Icon viewed, check.).
1. Skee-Ball on the Santa Monica Pier! And vintage Pac-Man! It’s hard to find one of those nowadays with a working joystick (sadly, down was nonexistent. And Skee-Ball! I haven’t played that in years and it’s definitely on my Top Five Games list. It took a while for me to get into the groove and by then SP was over it, so I didn’t accumulate the 73 meters of tickets I usually do, but hey. I traded them in for foil heart stickers, a Super Ball, and one of those things where you blow into it and it makes a siren sound. Oh! And we went on the Pacific Wheel! Which I get is a lot like going on the ferris wheel on Coney Island, but it is much more exciting to ride the ferris wheel after you’ve traveled 3,000 miles to do so.
2. Huge waves on December 5! Swells forecasted up to 25 feet! It was crazy. Usually La Jolla is quiet this time of year, but everyone came out to see the surfers. This is the best video of Big Wednesday.
3. Crumbs of Beverly Hills! I am not even making this up. As we all know by now, the best cupcakes in New York come from Crumbs, my newly discovered cupcake obsession. So imagine how thrilled I was when I just happened to see a Crumbs among the palm trees of Santa Monica Boulevard. They had a lot of the same flavors as here, but with added treats like key lime, cotton candy, and fluffernutter. It’s the first ever Crumbs outside of New York. Breaking news, people.
4. The W Hotel in San Diego! Not only was the Cool Corner Room a place where I could easily live for a month while I finish the second draft of book three, but they have a rooftop beach with heated sand. I know. In other hotel news, the decadence of the Beverly Hilton was dazzling. They have an amazing aquarium and the Christmas tree was unreal. Photos of both forthcoming. The Cool Corner Room was this:
5. Discovering this quote at the Morrison Hotel Gallery (not another hotel, but an actual gallery), a cool place with rad Jackson Browne and James Taylor photos: “I still believe in love and peace and positive thinking.” Who said that? John Lennon. When? December 8, 1980. The day he died.