Which Flavors Trigger Your Memories?

My default vanilla was established in a subterranean ice cream shop in the former Soviet Union, where my parents took me after I had my ears pierced. I was three years old, and while I don't recall the actual needle stabbing in my ear, the intense sweet vanilla lodged itself as the standard by which all future vanillas will have to measure against. Maybe in the wake of a traumatic event, your tastebuds become hyper-sensitive and tastes become saturated. Or else maybe your brain just remembers them that way. ...more
"Chili con queso" which was a melted block of Velveeta cheese with a jar of salsa stirred in, ...more

I Lived Through 9/11 Club

Before 9/11, there was just a date on the calendar between the 10th and the 12th which never made me shutter. There was 9-1-1, but not 9/11. It’s like B.C. and A.D. There was life before and life afterward and in the middle, for a day, my city stood still, I held my breath and my heart beat double the speed. ...more

Do We Even Need Contractors?

When we moved into our apartment five years ago, we did a hefty remodel. We ripped out and reinstalled 1,800 square feet of hardwood floor, moved around three walls, removed the popcorn (and asbestos) off our ceiling, and changed out 13 closet doors. ...more

When Workers Hit on Me

When my apartment got flooded a few weeks ago on an early Tuesday morning, a group of workers showed up from a cleaning and restoration company. ...more

I'm Always in a Hurry

I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t in a hurry. I thought the constant hustle came from living in New York City, but I think it comes from within - and from my parents. My father drove fast and hated bad (READ: slow) drivers. We always had to “hurry up” to get to wherever it was we were going to make sure to avoid the crowds and then we would have to hurry to get home to avoid the traffic. ...more

I Won't Poop in Public Restrooms

The French philosopher, Michel de Montaigne, born in 1533, was an intellectual who spent his writing life knocking the arrogance of intellectuals. In his great masterpiece, the Essays, he comes across as relentlessly wise and intelligent – and funny. Most poignantly he said, “Kings and philosophers shit, and so do ladies.” ...more

I'm President of the Worst-Case Scenario Club

When the first “Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook” came out, my husband and I noted them in a bookstore and I joked how I’m thankful I’m not one of those people; they are awful! My husband chuckled and promptly wiped the rose off of my glasses, faced me into a mirror and said, “You are the epitome of a worst case scenario person.” ...more
I think you have ANXIETY lol.  I think like that too though. So much going on in the world.more

I Take Making School Lunches Seriously

With the joy of back-to-school, comes the dreaded burden of lunches. Early morning lunch assembly comes with a significant amount of loud sighing. We take our lunch making seriously in my household crafting well thought-out, immune-boosting, organic nutritional bundles of culinary love. We tried menu planning last year, it died down after a few months. ...more

Renovating the Kitchen

“I feel better giving the money to a family business, though, don’t you?” “It’s better than giving it to Home Depot, yeah, but do you really want to support a business which is run like THAT?” ...more

One Size Fits All Medical Solutions Suck

One of the concepts (and there are MANY) from My Big Fat Greek Wedding which I relate to is the father’s obsession with the ubiquitous usage of Windex as a one size fits all medical solution. My Russian father similarly resorted to his go-to resolution to remedy many health ailments: RUBBING ALCOHOL. If I got a bite, a scratch, a rash, a pimple, the solution was always ALCOHOL. ...more