Epic Reunion

Epic: The penetration of the veil separating material and immaterial existences allowing for a greater intimacy between gods and men.

Thank you high school humanities teacher, Mr. O’Connor, for your wise definition which will be forever imprinted upon my mind.

Prepare thyself for a tale of debauchery and depravity capable of scalding the ears of Chaucer’s Miller and causing a flush on the cheeks of the Wife of Bath. I call on thee, Jim, Jameson, and Jack, the amber muses, to aid in the retelling of events dutifully inspired by your wisdom and influence.

Where it all began…

Irish Exit, a place held in infamy, infested with the lewd, crass youth of Midtown East, scattered with professionals too old to be partying and and the bizarre you hope to never encounter. Little Kitten won a happy hour – half priced drinks from 9-11pm. Despite the despicable crowd, this is our favorite dive and discount drinks cannot be ignored. Arriving to a packed bar and a small crowd of invited friends pushed back against a wall by the impeding crowd, Little Kitten, Minxy (visiting from her new home of Boston), and I started off strong with our good friend Jack.

It was not long until Little Kitten and I found ourselves invited onto the bar by convivial bartenders seeking pretty girls to dance and open mouths for shots. Gaining the attention from a group of Irish football players in for a game, we won ourselves a few more drinks and a certain Little Kitten took a short trip to the wild side.

Mingling with the strange and catching up with old college friends, the hours flew by and the drinks continued to pour. Irish Exit drew to a close when somehow I managed to finagle all three of our coat check tickets and retrieve jackets and scarves, tossing them to Minxy before scurrying off to locate Little Kitten. Astray for a bit too long, Minxy sought to locate us, finding Little Kitten sitting on the floor of the bar, the little lush, and me enjoying “tea time” (tea time: intoxicated, catachresis articulation about tweedle dee and tweedle dum, Russian Literature, all relevant and irrelevant subjects) with strangers outside the ladies room.

We make it about ten blocks (estimating) in a cab before I get out at a red light simply stating, “I need to get out.” With both Minxy and the cab driver telling me to get my ass back in the cab, Little Kitten comes to my defense stating with drunken wisdom, “She needs to do what she needs to do,” as if this were some life mission. Light turns green and they’re off.

Little Kitten and Minxy shared an emotional moment on the car ride back. Or many I should say. Tears poured down and the cab driver begged them to stop crying. As I was not present for this, I did miss any possible reason for their emotional downpour, but according to them it was a general “life” moment. Upon arrival back at the apartment, Little Kitten rid her body of some unnecessary alcohol. She won’t be the only one this weekend.

It takes me a few blocks of walking to realize I am still on the east side with the vast Central Park between me and my destination. Drunk decisions are never good ones, but let’s bypass my stupidity. I continue my trek, not really sure of where I am going, but I seem to find it essential to stop at a bar along the way. No more drinks of course, but a quick bathroom break and conversation with a bubbly blonde and her friends. After a phone call with my worry crazed boyfriend in Afghanistan, a few moments of complete disorientation, and probably an hour and a half of walking, some aimless wandering, I make it back to Little Kitten’s apartment on the Upper West. How I made it back alive, no fucking clue. Woke up the next morning to a lecture from my boyfriend about how I am in more danger than he is in Kabul and I need to straighten up. I fully agree with him.

No hangover! Perfect! And a lovely brunch at the Cuban Calle Ocho on 81st. Besides the food being satisfyingly succulent, this place offers complimentary sangria (as many glasses as your heart desires) with the purchase of an entree.

Though sangria truly belongs to red wine, I cannot deny the sensational bliss that is Tropical and Havana Banana, especially after a night of chugging whiskey when the body craves something crisp and refreshing.

Conversation ensued, travel at the forefront. With Miami as our intended destination, Minxy, Little Kitten and I discussed possible dates for a definite trip in the fall to relive our adventures from March 2011. South Beach is a beautiful place.

Still hangover free (excluding Little Kitten), between the wine and tasty food we were a little sleepy and decided to head back for a nap and cuddle fest in Little Kitten’s purple queen. It quickly turned into laughing maniacally for no reason, or high of the reunion and wine at all before eventually drifting off to sleep.

Feeling rejuvenated, we headed over to Gabriela’s, a tequila bar and Mexican restaurant for a round of quesadillas with a spicy chipotle sauce and bright colored strawberry and mango margaritas. Dinner at 9pm. This is how we do. Minxy’s last night in NYC had to end with a bit more fun than just a dinner outing, so we decided to head down to 84th and Amsterdam to hit up a few bars all packed with twenty-somethings. This is of course after stopping back at the apartment for a few quick drinks, mainly Minxy finishing off about a third of a bottle of Jameson. She even beat me out. Not the norm I promise you.

Our first stop is an old classic- Jake’s Dilemma. Starting off with straight Jack, Minxy and I were applauded by the two largest black men I have ever seen for our taste in beverage, offering to treat us next time around. We sauntered off quite please with our level of intensity to join Little Kitten. Drinks in hand, we were abruptly approached by an attractive young blonde woman trying to give us a Kettle and vodka. “Please, I am not trying to roofie you.” We took the drink. Held it for a few minutes, then Minxy gingerly placed it on the floor behind us half tucked away under a booth.

“You cannot call yourself a truse geisha until you can stop a man in his tracks with a single look”(Memoir’s of a Geisha). How about three looks? While they were exiting the bar, two very attractive men, architect and a marine, stopped dead in their tracks as their eyes feasted upon Little Kitten, Minxy and I. Modern geisha’s perhaps? I prefer to refer to us as 21st century Aphrodites, who undoubtedly share the talent.

We eventually made our way to the next bar, not before Little Kitten and Architect exchanged numbers and Minxy, after being chased out of the bar by Marine, provided him with the wrong number. Little bit cruel? Perhaps. Next stop, George Keely. A bar very big on its beer. Minxy and Little Kitten were a bit spent, but I happily sipped on a beer courtesy of a very kind doorman attempting to chat me up. The highlight of this quick stop, the Polish bouncer who insisted Minxy’s last name was not in fact her last name. I think he even asked her to spell it out for him. Quite amusing.

The evening drew to a close with me giving the incorrect number to the kind doorman with the utmost confidence in its integrity and the three of us heading back up to that luxurious purple queen for bed. But the night is not over until Minxy gets sick which comes to pass soon after our arrival at home. Minxy shunned to the sofa for the evening, Little Kitten and I curl up in the queen for a night of deep drunken sleep.

Gotye to Kimbra

I am currently in a relationship, but if it were to ever end, due to our personalities this song perfectly describes what would happen. I love breakup songs – weird, I know.

Note the way his mouth moves when he sings. It intrigues me.

Goyte – Somebody That I Used To Know (ft. Kimbra)

An incredible cover of Somebody That I Used to Know done by Walk off the Earth.

walk off the earth – somebody that i used to know

Kimbra (featured with Gotye) is from New Zealand and uses her voice as strategic sound effects, beat boxing and as background effects.

Kimbra – Good Intent

Kimbra- Settle Down

If you like these, check her out live. She is even better!

Blackouts and Hangover Cures

I recently read an article by Greatest, What happens to the brain when you black out? Definitely check out the article, especially if you enjoy copious amounts of adult beverages.  Here are a few highlights:

Research shows heavy alcohol consumption can impair the brain’s cognitive and memory functions, preventing people from recalling events that occurred while drinking excessively— aka blacking out.

Alcohol can prevent both pleasant and unpleasant memories from sticking by interfering with brain receptors in the hippocampus (the area of the brain responsible for new memory formation). 

As the amount of alcohol and speed of consumption increase, so does the magnitude of memory impairment, and those with frequent blackouts are even more likely to experience future episodes.

Women are more susceptible to blackouts because their brains recover more slowly from cognitive impairment and they process alcohol at a slower pace.

Moderate drinking in social situations— up to two drinks for men and one for women— can actually have some important health benefits.

Another excellent article, 13 Legit Ways to Stop a Hangover. Some of these may seem pretty common sense, but I bet none of you actually do them. I sure don’t.

1. Go one for one. It’s no secret that drinking water can help deflect that pounding AM headache (pretty much the opposite of a good morning). Tissues around the brain are mostly made of water, and dehydration will shrink these tissues, creating pressure in the head. Alcohol can lead to dehydration, so make sure to continuously drink water throughout the night. Try matching each alcoholic drink with one glass of water to avoid that next-day pain.

2. Chow down. No, just because beer has calories doesn’t mean it counts as dinner. Drinking on an empty stomach will allow alcohol to absorb faster, so try getting in a good meal with lots of healthy carbs before breaking out the bottle. Some research even shows a stomach full of food may help keep blood alcohol content at a lower level.

3. Keep it light. Darker drinks like red wine or rum contain congeners (substances produced during fermentation), which may contribute to causing hangovers. Skip the whiskey in favor of vodka or a glass of white wine!

4. Stay classy. More expensive liquors contain less filler congeners— a cause for headaches. So pass on the well liquor and take it up a notch with some top-shelf booze.

5. Take a multivitamin. Drinking depletes nutrients in the body, including vitamin B12 and folate. Try popping in a multivitamin to replenish what’s lost from a night of drinking.

6. Skip the bubbles. Opt out of champagne or other alcohol that’s mixed with carbonated beverages. The bubbles may cause alcohol to be absorbed more quickly. (Hence that New Year’s Day hangover.)

7. Down-dog. Scientists have yet to prove that a few sun-salutations will whisk away a hangover, but breathing and meditation exercises in yoga can get oxygen flowing and blood pumping to help relieve stress. Namaste!

8. Grab some potassium. When dehydrated, we lose not only water, but electrolytes, too. Gain ‘em back by snacking on potassium-rich foods like bananas or spinach.

9. Scramble eggs. Eggs contain taurine, which has been shown to reverse liver damage caused by a night of heavy boozing. Scramble them up with lots of veggies for added antioxidant power!

10. Sip ginger tea. Hangovers can sometimes come with a side of upset stomach. To settle that tummy, brew a warm mug of ginger tea. Ginger has been shown to help combat nausea.

11. Refuel at the breakfast table. Alcohol will lead to a drop in blood sugar, so boost it back up with a glass of OJ in the morning!

12. Get some fresh air. Oxygen increases the rate that alcohol toxins are broken down, so bundle up and get outdoors. A little exercise never hurt anyone— and it may even release some endorphins to boost that post-hangover mood.

13. Play D.D. We’re sorry to say that the only sure-fire way to avoid a hangover is to skip the booze altogether. So if waking up to a pounding headache doesn’t sound fun, play designated driver for the night (even if not actually driving).

Drink responsibly!!! …. Or merely take the subway 🙂

Recipe: Old Fashioned Tapioca Pudding

Tapioca pudding is one of my Father’s favorite dessert. Every year we go the the Sussex County Fair and split a dish from a very, very old man who comes every year with his tapioca truck. It is delicious! Thick, creamy, and not too sweet. Perfect!

We missed the fair this year; therefore, missing the tapioca pudding. This was in August. I promised my Father I’d cook him up a batch and it took me until this weekend to actually get around to doing it. Having never made tapioca pudding before and with the high expectations of my Father, I was a bit apprehensive.

It came out delicious! Just as good as the truck at the fair. If you like tapioca, this recipe is perfect! I added a dash of cinnamon on top and a few goji berries. Yum!

Recipe courtesy of Bob’s Red Mill

Classic Old Fashioned Tapioca Pudding

  • 1/3 cup Bob’s Red Mill Small Pearl Tapioca
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 2 1/4 cup of 2% or whole milk
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Soak tapioca in water for 30 minutes in saucepan.
  2. Add milk, salt and lightly beaten egg yolks to tapioca and stir over medium heat until boiling. Simmer uncovered over very low heat for 10-15 minutes. Stir often.
  3. Beat egg whites with sugar until soft peaks form. Fold about 3/4 cup of hot tapioca into egg whites then gently fold mixture back into saucepan. Stir over low heat for about 3 minutes.
  4. Cool for 15 minutes then add the vanilla.
  5. Serve!

Chipotle – Sustainability

I am head over heels for Chipotle, by far my favorite place to grab a quick bite and the only fast food place I have zero guilt about eating from. Why? Chipotle has been at the forefront of reinventing fast food and pushing sustainable agriculture and humane treatment of animals.

Below is a beautiful commercial from Chipotle supporting their Chipotle Cultivate Foundation and the importance of a sustainable food system.

Chipotle Story – How it All Started

Chipotle Culinary Story

Natural Deodorant: Does it work?

Many of you are aware of the harmful ingredients in standard deodorants as well as the detrimental effects they potentially have on our health. Therefore, I will not divulge into the clinical details.

This post is about results. Do these natural deodorants actually work.

Over the past year or so I have tested a few different brands of natural deodorant in an attempt to see if any had the potential to work efficiently enough to replace the standard aluminum deodorant. I made sure to stick with each brand for a few weeks in order to analyze the full effect.

Deodorants are listed in no particular order. 

1. Tom’s of Maine: Apricot

Fruity deliciousness. I adore this scent. They have a few other good ones, but this is my favorite, especially in the summer. I found Tom’s worked fairly well if reapplied. If I simply put it on in the morning and did nothing till evening by midday I did not feel as fresh as I would like. I figured a little reapply every 4-5 hours was ideal and kept the apricot scent fresh and left me feeling clean. It does fall short during a strenuous workout. Which I am okay with. During those situations I always hit the shower shortly after so I don’t mind smelling like sweat for an hour.

2. Lavanila Laboratories The Healthy Deodorant: Vanilla Grapefruit

Excellent company. I adore their body butters and fragrances and I imagine their deodorant holds up to that standard; however, I was unable to use this product for more than a week as it caused a severe allergic reaction in which my underarms became red, irritated, sore, and broke out. As I was unable to stick with this product long enough to get a sense for its effectiveness, you’ll have to try it on your own. Do not let my reaction hold you back. I have very sensitive skin and this company has a solid foundation in natural products as well as a large following. If you’re willing to splurge the $18 for the deodorant, definitely try it out.

3. The Body Shop – DeoDry™ Dry-Effect Deodorant Fresh & Floral Stick

Of the deodorants I tested, this is probably my favorite. Floral is not my preferred scent, but this is mild and fresh and does not smell like a grandmother. I also felt confident with one AM application versus having to reapply throughout the day. The skin on my underarms is happy as a clam without any irritation, redness or dryness. I did find that an intense workout really pushed the limits of this deodorant. As with the Tom’s, I don’t mind. These occasions I always shower right after so it isn’t a problem.

4. Crystal Body Deodorant Stick

This deodorant is great. Seriously eliminates all odors and works extremely well. Or at least I think it does. I am so accustomed to having some sort of scent under my arms that an unscented deodorant really throws me off and I simply cannot tell if I am fresh as I literally smell nothing. This caused no harmful effects to my skin. I felt best when I combined it with one of my other scented deodorants, such as applying this first then applying the Tom’s or the Body Shop’s deodorant. Plus, when they say it lasts up to a year, they’re not kidding.

5. Jason Lavender Deodorant Stick 

The following review is courtesy of my good friend Chantra. 

I first bought Jason to shit up my boyfriend from telling me that my current deodorant had too many parabens and toxins. Jason is all natural, paraben/toxin free. I am a sucker for  lavender so naturally this is the scent I bought.

I use it daily and it is gentle and non-irritating. I also do really love the scent. My only negative comment on it is it feels like I should reapply mid-day, which I don’t because I do not carry it around with me. This effect is probably because it doesn’t have scary chemicals that are seeping into my pores – so I am okay with this setback.

RESULTS:

For everyday use, I have been sticking to applying the Crystal Rock then either Tom’s or Body Shop. With the combination it really doesn’t matter which, whatever scent you like best.

When working out, if it is a situation in which I am exercising on my own or at the gym and able to shower after I continue to use the natural. However, if I am unable to shower after and need to run errands or meet up with someone, I keep a standard deodorant, usually Dove, for these occasions as a safety measure.