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April 18, 2014

Two Temples

We visited two major temples near Bangalore — a Hindu temple near the Nandi Hills that dates back to the 9th century and Shravanabelagola, a 10th century Jainist temple dominated by what’s said to be the world’s largest monolith (sculpture made from a single piece of stone).

What struck me about the temple at Nandi Hills was the tranquility — we were truly among worshipers (we were lucky to be there on an otherwise quiet Monday) who seemed to have decked themselves in their brightest and most exuberant saris for the occasion. I could stare at them all day long.

Another thing that struck me is that this is very much M.’s heritage as a Brahmin with a bloodline that can be traced back some 2,000 years (and then he marries little ol’ European peasant mutt ME and we ruin the whole damn thing ;).

Hinduism is similar to Judaism in that you simply are Hindu, whether you practice or not (M. won’t even call it a religion). It was surprising to see him walk up to an idol, touch his forehead to the floor, walk backwards to retreat — but it shouldn’t have been. It’s no different than spraying 10 drops of wine at the home of his Jewish "familia putativa" every Passover.

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Everything is an undertaking in India and the trip to Shravanabelagola — which should have taken 2 hours but took twice that due to engine trouble — was certainly no different. (Could we really say we’ve been to India if we hadn’t been stranded by the side of the road at least once?)

The journey is the destination. The journey is the destination. I repeated to myself as we waited to find out if we’d ever get back on the road, and then, in socks or bare feet, as we climbed the 647 steps that lead to the statue. Perhaps because it was a Saturday there were far more (Indian) tourists, as well as worshipers — teens posing for pictures bowing their heads around a statue and then asking, again and again, to pose with us (not to brag but we’re kind of a big deal in India). Which I suppose is a reminder that we’re all the same everywhere. Or at least teens are.

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April 16, 2014

On the road in India. 

At first I was too overwhelmed by the emotional intensity of the experience, the sensory memories still hot on my tongue, and the rather epic jet lag to even look at my India photos.

And then I was too overwhelmed by the thought of distilling those two weeks into (god help us all) blog posts that the mere thought of trying to write about it left me exhausted. So once again, I went to bed at 8.

And then I realized there is nothing to do but present it, as best I can, knowing I will never be able to explain what really happened there: 21 friends and family gathered in a country most of us hardly knew to celebrate, explore, and, at the risk of sounding all Eat, Pray, Love, learn a little something about ourselves.

And in the middle of that, something deep and permanent happened between M. and me. We became a family.

So yeah.

It was intense.

It was gorgeous.

It was infuriating.

It was India.

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February 19, 2014

For my girls. They know why.

(Source: goodmorningcassie, via buzzfeedceleb)

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February 18, 2014

styleite:

Splashing Paint All Over Your Expensive Handbag Is Still a Big Trend

Rachel and I both did this to our LV Pochettes in 2000 or 2001 (hers is prettier than mine, no surprise).
When we discovered this more than a decade later I knew our friendship = meant to be.

styleite:

Splashing Paint All Over Your Expensive Handbag Is Still a Big Trend

Rachel and I both did this to our LV Pochettes in 2000 or 2001 (hers is prettier than mine, no surprise).

When we discovered this more than a decade later I knew our friendship = meant to be.

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February 6, 2014

I gave this sign to Andrea ages ago, when I lived in Dublin and was visiting her here in New York. It’s hung proudly in her kitchens ever since.
(via huffposttaste:vintagemarlene:pintrest)

I gave this sign to Andrea ages ago, when I lived in Dublin and was visiting her here in New York. It’s hung proudly in her kitchens ever since.

(via huffposttaste:vintagemarlene:pintrest)

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January 31, 2014

noraleah:

Jane’s tongue-in-cheek invite to our Super Bowl partay.

Super Bowl memories from way back in oh-nine … miss those roomies! (Photo was from this unforgettable night … back when I tumbl’d EVERYTHING.)

noraleah:

Jane’s tongue-in-cheek invite to our Super Bowl partay.

Super Bowl memories from way back in oh-nine … miss those roomies! (Photo was from this unforgettable night … back when I tumbl’d EVERYTHING.)

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January 31, 2014

Alma’s report on her clinical trial made me tear up. How do you still have such a sense of humor about it all? And I guess this means that you now KNOW you’re getting the treatment, right? Must be a relief.
betterbranches:

Patient 015 Reporting from Dallas
After completing year one in the Double-blind Phase of the Clinical Trial I am now in the Open Trial. I took my third dose this morning at 6:00.
Yesterday my support/test team and I measured progress/decline. Top right is inimitable Mary Wallace, Chief Research Nutritionist/Liaison/ Go-to/Get-done/You Name It Resource. Bottom left Clinical Trial Protocol Developer the brilliant, kind Dr Schiffmann. Bottom right is Scott Coleman with whom I do Gait Analysis testing, he blings me up and wraps me with reflective dots for room of cameras to translate into what looks like bionic Alma. Leslie who conducts the six-minute walk test isn’t shown. I am center in the Chapel room, ironic for an Ashkenazi Jew oriented disease, measuring the first dose in year two’s Open Trial Phase.
It was a very long day. From 8:30 hotel walk in 32 degree morning and less with wind chill to Bryan Tower shuttle to Baylor Tower and Dr Schiffmann’s office. An hour with the good doctor, stair climbing, walking, tiptoeing, heel stepping, toe to toeing, arising from recline position to standing, memory and reflex testings. Each time he gives me three things to remember. Yesterday selections were green wall, grey horse, 155 East 86th Street, apt. 51. This is the first time the address has been on the east side, odd numbered even streets. I always tell him the previous ones which confirms that though physically I slightly diminish the brain is as shiny as Scott’s cranium. I walked 1,282-feet in the six minutes, up from my Halloween visit by 182-feet but down from July’s 1,311-foot record.
Mary drove me back at 5:00. I climbed into bed, ordered room service, keyed up next episode of The Newsroom on HBOGO and hunkered in for a tomorrow’s short day, just packing up, meeting Mary for forms and another blood draw before heading to airport and home.
Thinking I’ll switch venues to a Bnb as I am over the Sheraton with lack of windows that open and hassles about the room every time. Next trip in four months is just an overnight. So why not mix it up in Dallas? The Bnb is a long three blocks to the campus but that may prove a piece of cake if this real McCoy works. Thanks for traveling with me.

Alma’s report on her clinical trial made me tear up. How do you still have such a sense of humor about it all? And I guess this means that you now KNOW you’re getting the treatment, right? Must be a relief.

betterbranches:

Patient 015 Reporting from Dallas

After completing year one in the Double-blind Phase of the Clinical Trial I am now in the Open Trial. I took my third dose this morning at 6:00.

Yesterday my support/test team and I measured progress/decline. Top right is inimitable Mary Wallace, Chief Research Nutritionist/Liaison/ Go-to/Get-done/You Name It Resource. Bottom left Clinical Trial Protocol Developer the brilliant, kind Dr Schiffmann. Bottom right is Scott Coleman with whom I do Gait Analysis testing, he blings me up and wraps me with reflective dots for room of cameras to translate into what looks like bionic Alma. Leslie who conducts the six-minute walk test isn’t shown. I am center in the Chapel room, ironic for an Ashkenazi Jew oriented disease, measuring the first dose in year two’s Open Trial Phase.

It was a very long day. From 8:30 hotel walk in 32 degree morning and less with wind chill to Bryan Tower shuttle to Baylor Tower and Dr Schiffmann’s office. An hour with the good doctor, stair climbing, walking, tiptoeing, heel stepping, toe to toeing, arising from recline position to standing, memory and reflex testings. Each time he gives me three things to remember. Yesterday selections were green wall, grey horse, 155 East 86th Street, apt. 51. This is the first time the address has been on the east side, odd numbered even streets. I always tell him the previous ones which confirms that though physically I slightly diminish the brain is as shiny as Scott’s cranium. I walked 1,282-feet in the six minutes, up from my Halloween visit by 182-feet but down from July’s 1,311-foot record.

Mary drove me back at 5:00. I climbed into bed, ordered room service, keyed up next episode of The Newsroom on HBOGO and hunkered in for a tomorrow’s short day, just packing up, meeting Mary for forms and another blood draw before heading to airport and home.

Thinking I’ll switch venues to a Bnb as I am over the Sheraton with lack of windows that open and hassles about the room every time. Next trip in four months is just an overnight. So why not mix it up in Dallas? The Bnb is a long three blocks to the campus but that may prove a piece of cake if this real McCoy works. Thanks for traveling with me.

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January 29, 2014

mandarinorientalnewyork:

"NYC, You Inspire Me to eat, drink, and connect, as our boats shall rise so high in the tide together." - Leiti Hsu

Hey I know that girl!
Follow the Mandarin for lots of other inspiring New Yorkers like my friend Leiti.

mandarinorientalnewyork:

"NYC, You Inspire Me to eat, drink, and connect, as our boats shall rise so high in the tide together." - Leiti Hsu

Hey I know that girl!

Follow the Mandarin for lots of other inspiring New Yorkers like my friend Leiti.

Comments (View)  |  7 notes


January 9, 2014

M.’s friends have always wanted him to get married in India — who doesn’t want an excuse to go? — but I just couldn’t go that far (Boothbay Harbor is far enough). So the compromise I dreamed up? A big party for his 40th birthday in Bangalore, where his parents are from.

Kinda genius, I must say myself.

But it never would have really happened without our adventurous Colombian friends egging us on — they signed up ages ago, in October 2012, and made the crazy idea seem, well, not quite so crazy.

Now the countdown is on — we depart March 14th — and we’ve got a proper party on our hands.

20 people or more, including my parents and sister and friends we hardly ever get to see (as well as friends we see just about every week). How awesome is that??

The itinerary will take us on a two-day safari in a tiger reserve in Bandipur, to temples and markets in the super-fast-growing Bangalore (I’m planning to buy my wedding dress fabric there, squeeee), and finally, on a big group holiday in the southern region of Kerala, where these pictures are from.

Looking at them, I can hardly contain my gratitude and excitement.

I mean, there are ELEPHANTS.

Elephants you can ride, elephants you can pet, and even WILD ELEPHANTS CROSSING THE ROAD.

Also: paradise and beaches and bayous and food and tea plantations and boats but mostly

WILD ELEPHANTS CROSSING THE ROAD.

I really don’t know how this little elephant-loving heart of mine is gonna handle it.

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December 12, 2013

somethingfriday:

here’s a crow using a jar lid for a sled, if you’re interested in that sort of thing. i know i am.

Yep. Me too.

Related: this Saturday we’re having a big group sleepover at Julie and Aaron’s new house in the Stamford sticks. Katie and Chris are bringing the baby (but then sending the baby home with grandma) and Kate and Chris (not to be confused with Katie and Chris) are bringing Tank.

Tank!!

As in … Zoe’s BFF (that she completely forgot exists)!!

And there’s a 70% change of SNOW.

Oh the adorable black lab shenanigans in store for us!!!

I can’t wait.

(via kiss-distinctly-american)

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