Friday, September 30, 2011

List-ings - Pam’s Most Memorable Quotes (For mature audiences only)


One of my favorite characters on True Blood is Pam (Kristen Bauer Van Straten). This polished Barbie is one ruthless vampire but along the way, she has delivered an onslaught of side-splittingly snarky comments. Check them out below.
1. I don't know what it is about me that make people think I want to hear their problems. Maybe I smile too much. Maybe I wear too much pink. But please remember I can rip your throat out if I need to. And also know that I am not a hooker. That was a long, long time ago.

2. I'm gonna shove my fist up your ass and use you as a hand warmer.
 
3. Do not tell me you put our entire species at risk for a gash in a sundress?

4. Let me kill this uppity Wiccan C**t....your majesty.

5. Did I miss something? Are we girls now? Did we join a book club and read some queer chick lit memoirs and are bound together by estrogen or sisterhood some other feminist drivel?

 
6. Can we blow up these Wiccan dips---s already? I got a mani-pedi at 4.

7. (As she's feeding on a loud fangbanger) Dial it back a notch or two. You're starting to piss me off.

8. It may be 10 minutes from now or 10 years, the moment you think you're safe, I promise I will hunt you down and f---in' shred you like confetti.

9. I will give you twenty-four hours to deliver that witch to me. And if you don't, I will personally eat, f**k and kill all three of you.

10. I am so over Sookie and her precious fairy vagina and her unbelievably stupid name. F**k Sookie.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lady Chic

For quite a few seasons, the trouser has been getting narrower and narrower. It seems like the end of skinny has finally arrived, skinny jeans that is. Wide-leg trousers are so effortlessly chic, they will not only cinch your waistline but elongate your legs as well.
 
There isn’t any other item in your wardrobe more chic than the little black dress. This updated LBD has the perfect balance of peek-a-boo lace, adding the precise dose of sexy without being too suggestive. 
Nothing makes a statement like a thick billowing scarf around your neck. This little number will not only keep the chills at bay but your style perfectly intact.
The trench coat should be a staple in every woman's wardrobe. Paired with the red handbag and gloves, this belted little gem is practically sinful.
This season, color blocking is the name of the game. While I’m not a major fan of this trend, the model above carries it with the utmost confidence. The green jacket with the matching pumps is perfection.
The flirty shoulders add the perfect hint of femininity to this white ensemble. In addition, the coral clutch just pops against the crisp white fabric.
This cobalt blue dress is so simple yet it possesses such a strong presence. Incorporating it with a red lip is brilliant. The tan blouse also adds a nice contrast against the electric blue skirt.
I’d like to call this look pared-down chic. A simple hairdo sans jewelry really proves that less is more. The flowing skirt is unfussy, the skinny belt draws focus to her waist and the over-sized clutch ties her minimalist look together.
The cascading vibrant red skirt is so feminine but coupled with the black leather jacket, it gives her look a rock and roll edge. The studded leather cuffs are also a nice touch.
This outfit just screams preppy chic. The white tie-neck chiffon blouse is so classy while the plaid pencil skirt adds a nice collegiate feel to her look.
I’m absolutely loving this semi-sheer blouse. The yellow pant is dynamic and I love the corresponding color of her crimson lips and red clutch.
This look is absolutely darling! The cute factor may have something to do with her bow headband. The flower pattern on the dress is fun and flirty but the sky high pumps elevate her attire into another category.
While the dress hangs nicely on her tiny frame, the hat adds a certain pastoral charm to her ensemble which I find oddly fascinating.


Her look is the epitome of prim and proper. Accentuating her ensemble with the mini black capulet is very flattering. The ruffles that are peeking through the opening of the capulet add another dimension to the outfit.
Her fiery retro hairdo complements her all black ensemble perfectly. Her fitted pencil skirt and polka-dotted blouse would work nicely in an office setting.

Monday, September 26, 2011

To Buy Or Not To Buy-Counterfeit Goods

Buying a fake Burberry or Gucci bag from a local street vendor may not seem like a huge deal, but what if I told you that some of that money was being used to help fund terrorism?
Fake designer bags are part of a $500 billion global trade in counterfeit goods and some of that profit is being used by several terrorism groups like Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah, (a militant group in Lebanon) to kill thousands of innocent people.
The terrorist group responsible for the fatal 2004 train bombings in Madrid, which killed 191 people, was able to plan the attacks through the proceeds of pirated CD’s.
While U.S crackdowns has reduced the sales of counterfeit goods to a stealthy trip through the rear door of a dark warehouse, sales in countries like China has become more rampant. Since fake goods are now of more superior quality, their demand has increased tenfold. Nowadays, street markets from Beijing to Jakarta are teeming with fake designer brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Prada.
Next time a sales man or woman tries to lure you through a secret room full of imitation luxury brands, you might want to think about the bigger picture before listening to his sales pitch. I know I will.

Shop responsibly.

Friday, September 16, 2011

This, Is Bitchin’ kitchen

Bitchin’ Kitchen is my absolute favorite new cooking show. Hosted by the ever eclectic and deliriously hilarious Nadia G, it is by far the edgiest cooking show on the tube.
 
Nadia G’s kitchen d├ęcor definitely mirrors her eclectic style. Her colorful set is adorned with an array of skulls, hanging cleavers, frightening hands that seem to be reaching out from the walls and creepy murdered dolls strewn around her kitchen counter.
While Bitchin’ kitchen is part cooking/comedy show, It’s also quite informative. Nadia G teaches her viewers how to make some pretty amazing dishes, of course she names them according to her special brand of humor. There’s the double-decker coffin sandwich, severed hand sangria and my personal favorite, bocconcini eyeballs with blood salsa.   
Don't be fooled by Nadia G's punk rock attitude, while she dresses the part, she also sashays around her set in some fierce one of a kind "Bitchin" ensembles. She's often seen wearing a variety of unique hairstyles, crimson lips and towering fiery red stiletto pumps. Check her out below in all of her comedic charm.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Splendor Of Autumn

The time has come to bid adieu to summer. It sure was fun while it lasted. The warmth of the sun against our bare skin, the countless visits to the local pool during those sweltering summer days, our busy schedules brimming with invitations to yummy summer barbecues and my absolute favorite, summer fashion -- full of easy breezy little sun-dresses and darling footwear that makes us ladies feel oh so feminine.
Alas, all good things must come to an end and bring even better things. The sun has been setting a little earlier each day and the days have gradually been getting shorter, which could only mean one thing. Autumn is lurking upon the horizon, poised to make its grand arrival.
Autumn is such a majestic season. It is often flourished with an array of picturesque scenes that could easily be seen in a Norman Rockwell painting. I love to watch the landscapes subtlety transform from the lush greens of summer to the claret reds, saffron oranges and golden ochres of autumn.

Autumn’s arrival is not only visible through the changes of the landscapes but through the wardrobe as well. Oh the wardrobe! We get to trade in short shorts and halter tops for those billowy, warm, cozy yet stylish fabrics. I can't wait to seek shelter from the cold beneath my tweed jacket and wrap a knit scarf around my neck to parade around town.
It's really those little insignificant daily occurrences that make autumn such a memorable season. Like, breathing in the crisp morning air and feeling that sweet sting in your nostrils. That downright magical feeling of the first chill of the season coursing throughout your body, clutching the lapels of your woolly sweater tightly against your skin as a response to the chilly weather while you walk a little faster to reach your destination. Or, putting up thick drapes upon your windows to keep the chills at bay -- while a pile of soft weighty blankets serve as reinforcement at the base of the bed.
There’s also something so romantic about feeling that autumnal shift through the air. You find yourself wanting to snuggle more with your honey for a bit of warmth. In addition, that wonderful lazy feeling most of us experience from time to time to stay indoors greatly intensifies. 

What is it about that  new found autumn chill in the air that makes most of us want to indulge our cravings? I especially find those warm chocolaty drinks increasingly more appealing. I love nothing more than to snuggle underneath the covers with a steaming mug of hot chocolate and a good book.

 I love autumn! What's your favorite season?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

IL Dolce Far Niente- The Sweetness Of Doing Nothing

The sweet bliss of doing nothing is something many Americans should implement into their lives. For some strange reason, we cower at the idea of taking a longer lunch or an extended vacation. Enjoying the fruits of our labor has almost become an immoral act. Why do we feel  so unworthy of having a little fun? I suspect the reason for that is in large part due to our society’s prying eye of judgment. I mean, how dare we squander our precious life in such a shameless fashion when we could be buried under a myriad of other responsibilities.
It would be incredibly liberating to reject or at the very least forget, even if  it's for a little while, the expectations of others. It's about time we realized that a few  moments of leisure here and there is not indolence but necessary for a healthy thriving life.
While Americans have been busy working themselves into an early grave, the Italians have taken the simple notion of "Il Dolce Far Niente" and transformed it into an art form. Best of all, they've done it all with an unapologetic flair.
Now, the sweetness of doing nothing is not about you sitting on the couch all day in your underwear, mindlessly watching TV or surfing the web. It’s more of an awakening of the five senses.

Take a stroll around town and rediscover the sights you’ve become so desensitize to seeing, allow yourself to be seduced by the aroma of a quaint little bakery or simply surrender yourself to nature's unruffled beauty. The possibilities are endless.

Find the joy of "Il Dolce Far Niente" and make it your own.

Monday, September 12, 2011

My Insignificantly-Significant Monday Morning


I woke up and found myself enveloped in a murky haze of the Monday morning blahs. I shuffled languidly towards my window and hoped with childish anticipation that the outdoors would reflect my dreary disposition. While it wasn’t the quintessential summer day that would be advertised in a tourism guidebook, the sun was shining and the sky projected its usual blue hue with bouffant white clouds. While countless people strolled by my house with their respectable morning gait, a huge sigh bubbled in my throat and threatened to suffocate me. In the midst of the coughing spell that followed, I tugged at the blinds and watched it unravel with a razor-sharp resolution, as if it wanted to shield me from the “happy people.”
Instead of stewing at home in my Monday morning semi-coma, I showered and traipsed out the door. With no destination in sight, I walked to the subway station and found myself sitting amongst the“happy people” on the F train. I stared aimlessly as each stop came and went. When I saw that 42nd street was approaching, I stood up way before the train came to a halt because I knew if I didn’t, my slow moving body would cause me to miss the stop. Which would put me in an even worst mood because I figured Bryant Park would be a good place to wallow in endless self pity.
Climbing the subway stairs to get outside, I recoiled from the glare of the sun. As soon as I stepped foot into what seemed like an alternate reality, a fashionable young woman chatted on her blackberry at the entrance of Bryant Park, making all sorts of elaborate hand gestures. Walking by her, I pictured grabbing the phone from her dancing hands, slamming it onto the ground and then kicking it into oncoming traffic. I didn’t of course, I took several injections of home training as a child.
Walking near the Wichcraft stand, the emptiness in my stomach reminded me that I hadn’t eaten yet. I stood on line for what seemed like two hours and mindlessly watched as the woman behind the stand stole my twelve dollars for a measly sandwich and flavorless iced-tea. I ate the entire thing with the excitement of finding a dirty penny on the ground, that is, when I finally found a sit in an un-shaded area of the park.
After my delectable dining experience, I took out my iPod in an attempt to drown out all the people who seemed to be skipping about with joy. Less than a minute later, a lady approached me with a folder full of paper in her hands. Her mouth was moving but I couldn’t hear a word. At that moment I was so grateful for my trusty IPod. I figured she would leave me alone when she saw my blatant disinterest in whatever she was offering.
Casting my lack of interest aside, she motioned for me to remove my earpiece. I did so with reluctance and forged a smile upon my face. “Can I help you?” I said, she replied in what I suspected was a higher pitch “Do you like Poetry?”
For a brief moment, I wondered, “Is it my destiny to encounter every crazy old lady in the city?” Check out post number seven, What’sthe strangest thing that ever happened to you in the subways of New York City? But I digress.
I don’t know what propelled the word "yes" out of my mouth but as soon as it made its exit, I wanted to reach out, grab it and swallow it back up.
As she sat next to me and began rummaging through the different compartments of the folder she had in her hands, I stared at her with a vacant expression. Suddenly, I felt different. What had changed? A second ago, I couldn’t wait for her to disappear from my sight.

Then she handed me a sheet of paper with a poem entitled “God Cares.” I fiddled with it not knowing what to do or say but without uttering a word, she took it from me and pulled out her glasses from the lapel of her shirt. As she read me each stanza with such tender care, I no longer saw her as a crazy old lady but as a messenger of God.
It all hit me at once. Everything seemed illuminated. My unemployment was the main source of my Monday morning blah. My pesky murky haze not only lifted but my frown did a complete 360. After the poem, she had a few choice words for me but I was too occupied with thinking about how lucky I was. How lucky I was to be alive, how lucky I was to have a loving family, how lucky I was to be in that moment.

As she set forth to deliver her glory to another soul in need, a surge ignited something within me, a feeling I could only describe as “Holy.” Throughout the entire day, I felt such a sure sense of hope for the future. A feeling I hope will last for a very long time.                                                

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Tribute To 9/11: Ten Years Later


I invite you all to take a moment of silence for all those who lost their lives during the World Trade Center attacks.
May they all rest in eternal peace

Saturday, September 10, 2011

An Ode to Rick Rescorla: 9/11 Hero


United We Still Stand!
Commended as the man who predicted 9/11, Rick Rescorla was a former Army officer who saved nearly 2,700 lives ten years ago, only to lose his own in the process. However, 9/11 was not Rescorla’s only heroic deed outside of the Army. He also saved the lives of hundreds of people during the first attack of the World Trade Center back in 1993.

As Vice President for corporate security at Morgan Stanley, Rescorla was convinced that another attack under Osama Bin Laden’s command would eventually follow the 1993 bombing of the twin towers. So he took matters into his own hands and devised a detailed evacuation plan for the employees of Morgan Stanley. On the morning of Sept.11, 2001, he challenged the instructions of top officials and implemented his plan, saving the lives of thousands of innocents.  
Rescorla’s devotion to service is most likely the seed that sprouted his extraordinary heroism, a sentiment upheld by millions of Americans. His life as well as the lives of the countless unsung heroes who perished that fateful day, deserve to be celebrated forevermore. Fortunately, the story of Rescorla’s life will be told as an opera entitled “Heart of a Soldier," on the eve of the tenth anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks.

Rick Rescorla will go down in history as one of America’s most noble heroes.
We Remember

                                                                                                        RIP Rick Rescorla 1939-2001

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Love Affair With The Incomparable JR WARD

I’ve always been a fan of the classics. I read Herman Melville’s Moby Dick when I was about ten years old. Although I didn’t quite understand every nuance, metaphor, symbolism or shift in tone. It remains one of my all time favorite books to date. Maybe it’s because I felt so grown-up when I read it back then. Whatever the reason, there is something so nostalgic about that oh so familiar line in the beginning of the book, debatably the best opening line in American literature -- “Call me Ishmael”.
So you can understand my astonishment when I found myself literally enthralled by JR WARD’s sinister paranormal world. I was initially introduced to her Black Dagger Brotherhood series by a colleague while working at Penguin Group. I gave her the whole speech about how the paranormal genre was not my cup of tea. But she just was not having it. She literally stuffed the book into my handbag and said with utter conviction, “Read it.”
I remember my first encounter with JR so vividly, isn’t that always the case with great loves?
Since it was my first week at Penguin, I really didn’t know anyone all that well. So I walked a block to Getting Hungry and ordered myself the Penne a la Vodka. After cleaning my plate clean, I glanced at my watch and wouldn’t you know it, I only used about thirty minutes out of my lunch hour. I needed some way to pass the time, since I’m not one to get out of my seat and strike a random conversation with a complete stranger. I took the book out of my bag and began to read. To my absolute surprise, I just could not put it down.
I soon began to feel like the book and I were attached by an invisible tether. And when I would put it down it felt like someone tore my soul in half.  Hey, I never said this love affair was a healthy one. Anyway, after some research I found out that I had read the second novel of of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, Lover Eternal.

Excuse me folks, I need a brief moment of contemplation about the protagonist of Lover Eternal. Aah Rhage -- his face is so gorgeous, he makes “Brad Pitt look like a contestant for The Swan.” Okay, I think I'm done salivating over Rhage now. Again, I apologize, I'm usually more self-composed.

After I completed the book which was in about two days, I knew from the depths of my soul that JR and I would always share an eternal bond.  How cliche was that statement? But remember folks, I'm in love.

Afterwards, I  hunted down the first novel of the series, Dark Lover (All Hail the blind King). After I finished reading it, I worked my way down the list in chronological order. Since then I must have reread the entire series about four times. Mind you, each of her novels are about 500-600 pages, if not more. 
WARD’s Black Dagger Brotherhood and Fallen Angel’s series are deliciously addictive. I’ve just started reading the novels she wrote under her maiden name Jessica Bird and they proved to be just as addictive. She is such an amazing writer and can navigate a plot like no other. I must have heralded her brilliance for at least six months after discovering her novels. I have nearly all of the books she has written at the center of my enormous book shelf. And I won’t stop until I’ve read everything she’s ever had published.
That's it in a nutshell! I’ve been having a literary love affair with the talented JR WARD. Everyone who knows me is aware of it and now you are too. Phew, glad I finally went public with it.

                                                                     
                                                                                                                                 Proud to be a Cellie!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Family Summer Vacation 2011

My family and I had an amazing time on our cruise. While the ship boasted many pleasures, such as dance clubs, a casino, a variety of shows and restaurants, a large portion of our time was spent outdoors with the natives. We went on several guided tours of the Cayman Islands, Roatan Honduras, Belize and Cozumel Mexico.
I finally got a chance to go snorkeling, with stingrays (yikes). Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures to show you because I was so enraptured by the moment that it didn’t occur to me to take a couple of snapshots. It was such a cool experience. Although, I was very squeamish at first. The stingrays were bigger than I expected and looked positively prehistoric. Before stepping into the water, I had visions of suffering the same fate as the late Steve Irwing (the crocodile hunter). But my fears were soon quieted by my snorkeling instructor who clarified that stingrays are very docile creatures. He also explained that their sharp barbs were clipped short in order to eliminate the threat of injuries to the people of the island. Even after we found out that little piece of information, my mother and my little brother Alex refused to even glance at the water -- such babies, lol. 
Fact: The Cayman Islands have the misfortune of being the number one destination for hurricanes
Belize was by far the hottest area I have ever encountered, bar none. The humidity was so thick, you could practically taste it. But the people there were so generous. They saw our discomfort to the extreme heat and offered us a couple of chairs with some shade and bottled water. We really appreciated their courtesy because later that day my mother felt so ill that I had to take her to the ship’s emergency room.  A brief examination proved she was dehydrated. A couple hours later, after some rest and a few glasses of H2O, she was good as new.
Fact: English is the official language in Belize but Spanish is also widely spoken
We were quite adventurous eaters on the ship, we tried escargot (snails), frog Legs, alligator and shark. I’m such a picky eater so I’m still shocked that I tried all those exotic dishes. They were unexpectedly delicious, perhaps because they were prepared by esteemed chefs.

I was surprised by the number of people who were inebriated on the ship. I think we were the only sober ones. With some drinks at a whopping $8.50-$9.00 a glass, they must have had a strong commitment to liquor. We also visited a tequila factory in Mexico and they were giving children as young as six years old samples. The parents were all for it, I guess when in Mexico… It was such a crazy sight.
Fact: Tequila is the national drink of Mexico
My mother made a very good point during our trip. Each time we arrived at a destination our ship would dock near commercial centers which were exclusively maintained by the Carnival cruise line. Therefore, anything we purchased on those islands would be lining their pockets, leaving the locals who are in need of our business without a single dime. So, we made a conscious choice to interact and purchase most of our knick knacks from local street vendors and business owners who were not employed by the cruise line. It would be unfair not to do so.
The locals in each of the islands we visited were incredibly patient, nurturing and humble people. We were in Honduras when my mother heard about the earthquake that struck New York. Frazzled with fear, she searched for a phone for about two hours to no avail. Until finally, a nice woman who sold five dollar conch shells with her seven young children in tow, allowed her to use her personal cell phone to contact my grandmother -- free of charge. Back on the ship, that call would have cost us fifty American dollars. We bought five conch shells from her that day.
Fact: One American dollar is the equivalent of seventeen Honduras dollars. However, Honduras money is worthless elsewhere
It was a definite first and a pleasure for me to be around so many individuals with a limited amount of funds but such an abundantly rich outlook on life. Their joie de vivre was palpable. They cherished the little things, (like picking a ripe mango from a mango tree) which one of our tour guides did by the way. She stopped our van and practically ran into incoming traffic to a nearby mango tree and brought back a bucket full of mangoes for everyone, they were so juicy.  I’ve always been a little envious of people who would cherish the little things. It’s such a simple life lesson yet I’ve never really committed to it. After this trip, I’ll definitely make a valid effort of incorporating the little things into my daily life.
Check out a few pictures of my Caribbean vacation below.
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