Category Archives: Food

Friday Find: Words with Friends

Have you guys discovered this game yet?

I don’t have an iPhone but have a free version on my Droid. And I am needless to say – OBSESSED! It’s a version of scrabble that you can play against anyone who also has the application on iPad, smartphone or the computer. I have always hated Scrabble because my vocabulary is less than stellar, but I am a competitive person, so I like this version. I currently have games going with my mother, sister, bestfriend and Leo. It’s addicting, people. The good thing is you don’t have to pay attention to it at all times – it will alert you similar to a text message if your opponent has made a move. There is also a “chat” function so you can smack talk, etc.

Hope everyone is looking forward to a FUN-FILLED weekend! Leo and I are heading to see Horrible Bosses with Caron and her Hubs tonight. It looks hilarious and we’ve been watching the previews for months now! Saturday I will take another practice exam and then head to CT to meet up with Leo and his dad for fireworks (belated) and a BBQ. Sunday will be spent at the pool getting my study on…two weeks away until Judgement Day Numero Dos.

Want to play Words with Friends??

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July 4th Weekend!

Happy belated 4th of July everyone! Hope you had a spectacular Red, White and Blue weekend! I sure did!

Friday night after work I met up with A at Friday Focus – a great NA meeting on W 12th and 5th Ave. Afterwards we got pedicures at our favorite nail place: Jay Nails on 10th St. It was really great to catch up with A since we have both been so busy the past few months. Especially because she’s expecting twins! I can’t wait to welcome Baby A and Baby B into this world in a few months!

Saturday night Leo and I took the Staten Island Ferry to see a Staten Island Yankees vs. Brooklyn Cyclones Minor League Baseball game!

Look how cute the stadium is! We were in the fourth row along the third baseline. Tickets range anywhere from $8 – $40 I think, but we pauid $16. They are cheaper at the Brooklyn Stadium, but the Staten Island game worked better for our schedule! Getting to Staten Island was really easy too. We took the subway down to South Ferry and then road the escalator up to the Staten Island Ferry building. We looked and looked but didn’t see any ticket booths. So I asked a police officer where we could buy tickets and the guy looked at me oddly and then said “Um, it’s free” he said. Really? Sweet! The Ferry left every 15 minutes, so we got on the next one and enjoyed the 25 minute trip with the sun and wind in our faces.

We arrived at the stadium, picked up our tickets and Will Call and headed to the concession stand. I was craving a hot dog and it was amazing. Yeah, if you haven’t noticed I’ve stopped the raw detox…it wasn’t helping as expected and I was done with depriving myself of goodies. Below was our second trip:

SO TASTY!

Leo and I then spent Sunday and Monday up in Connecticut. We ate out, saw Transformers and Pricelined a hotel so we didn’t have to drive back to the city for the night. We got a REALLY nice hotel room in Greenwich for only $55! And it was the best night of sleep I’ve had in a long time. I love fancy hotel beds…

Monday we played tennis, hung out at the pool and then drove home through some awful NYC traffic. Luckily we got home in time to put some burgers on the grill and enjoy Sunday night’s DVR of True Blood before the fireworks started. We couldn’t quite see the West Side fireworks from Leo’s balcony, so we climbed up this sketchy ladder to the top of his building and saw some of the show, but decided we’d have a better view of the show on the TV. Best part of the performance? Katy Perry performing her song Fireworks during the NYC fireworks- I bet she’s been waiting all year to do that! Here’s my attempt to take a picture of the festivities of the TV:

Overall it was a great weekend. I managed to get some serious relaxation in, take a practice exam, get to a meeting with A and have lots of sober fun with Leo. Still dealing with my headaches, but I’ve surrendered to the fact that I can’t fix them myself and I need to just keep doing what I’m doing to take care of myself on a daily basis.

What’s your favorite thing about July 4th?

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Lazy Weekend + Random Items

Happy Monday friends! I saw Super 8 with Caron on Friday – it was great! Definitely a scary modern day twist on E.T. and… The Sandlot? It was scarier than I thought it would be though. The child actors were pretty phenomenal, so they will be on my watch list for the next 5-10 years.

Leo picked me up early Saturday morning and we ventured to Connecticut to watch a college golf tournament. It was really fun, despite the dreary weather. We found some future PGA stars to follow as well. When we returned to the city we proceeded to stay inside my apartment from about 3pm Saturday to 5:40pm Sunday. HAHA! Clarissa is a lazypants. I’m pretty sure we ordered three meals in a row too. For anyone who doesn’t live in a major metropolitan area, you don’t know the wonder that is SeamlessWeb.com. You get to order food to be delivered without ever having to pick up the phone. Leo and I are big fans. I think we could have used a bit more exercise but we watched a lot of sports and movies, slept well and played with Crazy and The Dark One. After months and months of studying it was nice for us both to have almost a whole weekend of doing absolutely nothing and loving it.

Crazy was happy to be lazy with us

Sunday afternoon officially ended my study-free week and I had a call with a consultant about how to prepare for my exam retake. For anyone who is new I took a graduate school entrance exam last week and did really well, but I am taking it a second time to see if I can get a smidge higher because I’m just so close it would be silly not to. Most people take the test at least twice anyway.

Finally at 5:40pm it was time for us to leave Casa de Clarissa. I had an appointment with my Sunday my ASL (“Awesome Sponsor Lady”) in Central Park to read Chapter 2 of the Big Book. Leo begrudgingly left with me since it meant he would miss the last 20 minutes of the golf on TV. It felt great to finally be outside again! ASL and I sat for about an hour in the park reading Chapter 2. We had to move spots after the first few pages in order to avoid two teenage disasters using language that’s probably illegal in 12 states.  You kiss your mother with that mouth? Yeesh! We also determined that I am not consistently performing my sponsee responsibilities on weekends. Did you know being in recovery is a 7-day a week job? Apparently my brain thinks it starts on Monday and ends on Friday, oops! Time to put more reminders on my phone!

After our time together, I went to Whole Foods to pick up some more raw treats. I’ve been bad about eating 80% raw lately with my headaches continuing despite my diet, but I know it’s better for my digestion to eat this way so I picked up some treats to get myself re-excited about eating raw. Emmy’s Chai Macaroons are my favorite! I also got a new kind of Raw Ice Cream: Mint Chip and some Blueberry Granola by Two Moms in the Raw. I had a bowl of the mint chip during Game of Thrones last night:

Tonight is the business meeting for my AA clubhouse and I am the new Treasurer. That means that I get to count all the seventh tradition money we bring in and deposit in at the bank, pay the rent and other various expenses. I’ve never counted so many one dollar bills before in my life. I think the lady at the bank might have thought I was a stripper or a drug dealer…but standing there in my business suit today I proudly explained that I am a treasurer for a club. Riiiight. I felt a sense of accomplishment when the fancy money-counting machine reported that I had counted all the bills correctly!

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Long Weekend and Death Cab!

Sorry for the brief haitus here at SATC. I took a four day weekend to head up to the wonderful land that is New England to study for our big exams and enjoy some sunshine. Look! Flowers!

Ok, I know they aren’t super beautiful or anything, but I wasn’t taking many pictures inside our study cave. Leo and I had fun, despite spending 80% of the time reading books and taking practice exams. We managed a fun trip to Wal-Mart where we found out that Fruity Pebbles are Gluten Free. Amazing! Now if they were only sugarfree, preservative free, and not cooked maybe I could each them too.

We also took few trips to his parents country club golf course and made lots of homemades fresh fruit smoothies! Such a cheaper way to go than buying them at the carts here in NYC…but…I am lazy when I live here. That means Clarissa doesn’t make her own smoothies. Yet.

Getting back to work a day late was incredibly stressful for me, but luckily I made it out in time to see Death Cab for Cutie at Bowery Ballroom with Leo!! I bought our tickets months and months ago and have been counting down the days until the concert arrived! Last night we both left work and met at Bowery. Ticketmaster did not send out tickets for this event so that they could not be sold on the secondary market (i.e.  Stubhub, Craigslist, etc.). While I found this odd, I realized it was really nice to be at a concert with 100% true fans!

We got to the concert in time to catch the opening band: The Lonely Forest. They were really good! I downloaded a few of their tunes this morning before work and am currently jamming on my ipod.

Finally, around 10pm Death Cab came on!! My pictures are all blurry because the bouncer was insisting no flash…and he was really friggin big so I did not argue. Here’s a blurry one of Ben Gibbard and the rest of the band:

Leo and I were about half way back in the crowd on the first floor. Bowery is so small that we were SO close to the stage! The accoustics were amazing and we walked out without any residual hearing loss. Unfortunately we didn’t stay until the end of the concert because it was getting late and both of us have important exams on Saturday, but we will see them again on Leo’s birthday in August when they come to play in Brooklyn!

I had a ton of fun being sober at the concert last night. There was a wafting of marijuana when DCFC came on and apparently it was coming from a few guys standing nearby us. YUCK! Luckily I was enjoying the music so much I stopped noticing it. Ben Gibbard (the lead singer) is sober himself, so I felt very connected during the whole show! He’s not in AA, but hey – he knows how to have fun sober, so he’s a perfect example for SATC! It was a really nice break from stress and studying to just listen to amazing music and enjoy myself last night. It was definitely necessary!

What’s the last concert you went to?

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Time to Change Perspective

I have writer’s block today. Actually, I have life block. I simply don’t want to do anything. I definitely don’t even want to post…but I know it always makes me feel better when I do, so I will.

I have a headache, I have no appetite for salad, I am getting stressed about my upcoming exam, I only want to eat these raw macaroons:

My neck and shoulders and back are sore and stiff, I feel sleepy regardless of sleeping 10 hours last night, I didn’t go to a meeting last  night even though I told ASL that I would, I feel unaccomplished.

And even though I just complained A LOT, I’m OK. These macaroons are delicious and make me happy. I’ll probably have a salad for dinner. I will study tonight and still have about 10 days before my exam. I have physical therapy tonight to help with all the soreness/stiffness. I have two options for new meetings tonight on the UWS at 8:15pm or 8:30pm which will not interfere with bedtime. 

There is always a different way to look at the yuck in your life. There is always another perspective and a solution. Sometimes I still choose to live in the crap, but at least I know there is another way.

What crap can you turn into gold today?

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Detoxing is Icky

To be honest, recently I’ve felt like this:

Except I’m at work and don’t really have a bug. I think I’m suffering from a slight head cold but it’s probably more that the raw food detox has decided to rear its ugly side-effect-ridden head this week. I will spare you the details, but just know that I feel gross. The good news is, today is better than yesterday. And unlike Monday and Tuesday, I have no headache today. Score! This is also probably because my acupuncturist is a wizard and I saw her last night! I know in recovery all we have is today but I think when you’re sick its ok to look forward to tomorrow.

Speaking of detoxing…detoxing is usually a significant stage in early early recovery for many people. I know daily drinkers end up getting shakes, etc. And for drug addicts a whole host of things happen that are far too gross to discuss. If you’ve ever detoxed, you know what I’m sayin. I don’t really remember having to ever detox from alcohol, and I never got the shakes. Usually a horrific hangover or close-call drunk driving experience would stop me from drinking for at least a few weeks at a time. I didn’t ever drink enough consistently to have some sort of physical ailment without it.

For me, my biggest “detox” phase was actually 6 months before I actually started going to NA. That summer, I had been using that C-word for about 2 months straight, every day, every hour. And for some reason I decided it would be a good idea to quit using before my final language exam (I was in summer school) even though I’d been getting straight As all summer, despite my habit. So for about 2-3 days before my exam, I detoxed. I slept for most of it, would wake up starving, eat and then go back to sleep. After months of use, I started to get really paranoid and I started seeing bugs all over my room…beginning stages of “cocaine psychosis” I believe. So I detoxed, it was pretty bad. I don’t remember ever feeling so sick in my life. Of course I could still drink and do other things at that point, so it probably wasn’t the worst thing I could have experienced. Also, I was using again within 2-3 weeks, after getting an A on my exam.

That was probably the last time I remember using the same thing so consistently that it required me to detox. When I got clean the first time around in March 2007, my “bottom” was much more psychological than physical, although I took up smoking to curb my cravings and it took me a few weeks to stop using completely. The worst of my disease manifested itself psychologically and emotionally. I wanted to kill myself when I came into the program, and even around my 1 year anniversary I was plotting my own demise. Today I know that being sober is the difference between life and death for me. If I relapse, I won’t lose my apartment, my job, my family, my friends, my money, etc. I will die. It’s that simple for me. So I get to choose…if I choose life, I choose to be sober, to go to meetings, to have a sponsor, to work the program. My other choice is death. That may sound crazy to some people, but that’s my reality today.

I have my first sit-down with my new sponsor tonight! I am very excited about getting started and since I’ve never worked steps the AA-way I feel like a newcomer again. It will be humbling for me to go through steps 1, 2 and 3 for the 80th time, but this time it will be a whole new way of doing things. Even after years of recovery, you have work to do and I seem to have more work than others, but I am 100% OK with that. It’s a process. And I appreciate it.

What do you feel like today?

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Normal Weekend with a Hell’s Kitchen Fair!

Hey friends, how was everybody’s weekend? Mine was pretty great – nothing out of the ordinary, just normal. I am always grateful for normal weekends because it reminds me how much life is fun even if I’m not doing anything special like going to a concert or the ballet!

Friday night Caron and I saw Bridesmaids and it was awesome. Definitely one of the best comedies we’ve seen in a while, especially because I was & will be a bridesmaid myself this year. The whole theater was super rowdy, and you always know a movie is good when that happens, lots of critics in NYC. Plus Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 91%!

Saturday morning Leo and I headed up to his club up in the suburbs. I studied while he hit balls at the driving range and then we had lunch and headed over to try out the tennis courts. I brought out my racket from when I was 15 and since you have to wear white clothes only so I bought a child’s tennis skirt at the pro shop since they didn’t have any adult smalls! It fit just fine. Leo and I are both horrendous at tennis, which we discovered in the Bahamas last year. We must work hard to get some mad skills so we don’t embarrass ourselves in the future. Luckily we were the only ones playing this weekend.

Sunday Leo and I dedicated ourselves to studying at my apartment. Leo successfully distracted my felines, Crazy and The Dark One while I took another practice test (real exam is in 3 weeks!). Score is in the range that I would like, but not quite high enough yet. I need to work on my reading comprehension skills and apparently read the algebra questions more carefully. Sigh.

We did, however, take a break in the afternoon to seek out some lunch. There was a fair going on all the way down 9th avenue (as far as I could see), so we walked around a bit before Leo got frustrated with the crowds and wanted Pita Grill for lunch.

Not to mention it was dark, stormy and muggy outside. Also, we didn’t have cash for fun games like these:

The rest of the day we spent watching the end of The 2011 Players Championships on the Golf Channel. Congrats to KJ Choi! Also – I bought the Raw Ice Cream I spoke of last week from Whole Foods and it was so good and tasted like real ice cream! Raw Food Detox has never tasted so good

Tonight is Caron’s Five Year Anniversary Celebration  – I can’t wait!

How was your weekend?

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Friday Roundup: Fun, Raw, Sober News

Another Friday has come, HOORAY! We all know my favorite days of the week are Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Because, let’s face it, the majority of the fun I have been having lately happens on the weekends.  Tonight Caron and I are going to see Bridesmaids (finally!). That’s right – we are finally seeing it. It got 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, so it should be hilarious. I am envisioning a female version of The Hangover. Let’s hope it holds up to our expectations.

It is extra-special of course since I was Caron’s bridesmaid a few weeks ago and I will be a bridesmaid again in September for my bestfriend from high school! I love weddings so much it’s hard to describe. And being a bridesmaid is not only an honor and a big responsibility it is incredibly fun. Luckily my 2011 bridesmaid dresses are both beautiful, check out those awful pink ones in the movie poster above!

Raw Foods Update: Things are going well. The best part about it is the fruit. Smoothies (sans juice and milk/yogurt) are so good I almost forget I can’t eat candy. Almost. I’ve been working on a raw chocolate bar for the past week or so that is a nice replacement as well. I also learned online today that there is such a thing as Raw Ice Cream!  The best part is that it’s available in NYC – I have to get to one of the stores this weekend to buy it.

I also found a fun restaurant called Pure Food and Wine to try – it’s fully raw, vegan, organic and in Union Square. Just need to get Leo to want to try it with me this weekend. If my proposal fails, they have a small version of the restaurant in Chelsea Market where his favorite Gluten Free restaurant is. I would love to buy a bag of raw macaroons!

Sober News: After almost a year of being in two fellowships I have decided to fully transition from NA to AA. My life has been in AA for a while now and I’ve found it hard to go to AA meetings and do service in AA but have an NA sponsor and do NA stepwork. I was torn for a while because I really identify more as an addict than an alcoholic but the real solution in NYC (for me) is in AA and as much as I like the NA literature better, I knew I couldn’t continue to have one foot in each fellowship. So my plan is to work all twelve steps in AA, continue to do AA service and someday have AA sponsees. I even have an new AA sponsor! I am incredibly grateful that she offered to take me through the steps! I better go buy an AA Big Book…

I will always be grateful to NA, I’ll still call my NA friends and I will still hit up NA meetings every now and then, but I know that if I want to get through my stepwork and be of service to those newcomers who show up at the meetings I go to regularly, I need to be fully in one program. It’s been a long and tough decision making process but I am excited for the journey I am embarking on.

How’s your weekend looking?

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A Sober Night at the New York City Ballet!

The NYC Ballet Spring Gala was wonderful last night! Talk about having fun sober

I raced out of work at 6pm to get home and change in time to meet Leo by 6:40pm at the Lincoln Center Steps. I put on a silky red dress, high heels and wrapped a white pashmina around my shoulders. I felt fancy: FUN! I arrived a tad early since I only live a few blocks away, and I ended up walking up the side ramp instead of going around to the stairs. I got to the red carpet edge just in time to see her walking by:

Yes ladies and gentleman, that is Sarah Jessica Parker!! I was so close I could have reached out and grabbed her. Or one of her dates…I’m not sure which I would have enjoyed more. She had a very SATC dress on, check out the back and her purse:

What were the chances I would walk up RIGHT as she was walking up too? The lady who inspired the name of this very blog! I went around the red carpet ramp to where everyone else was hanging out to wait for Leo. We hadn’t talked since the morning and I was starting to think he was going to be late. I waited and waited, texted, called, and waited some more. I was getting more annoyed as every minute passed. Things that made me not completely flip out: I just saw a celebrity up-close, I’m all dressed up and I’m about to see the NYC Ballet! Finally it was 5 minutes to 7pm (showtime) so I just left his ticket at will call, went up to my seat and texted him to let him know what to do. Leo showed up at our seats right at 7pm and the show didn’t start for another few minutes. PHEW! I gave him my pissed-off attitude at first but slowly forgot why I was mad and we enjoyed the ballet together. He was all dressed up in a sharp-looking suit too, so that helped.

View from our seats:

The first part of the ballet was called the Seven Deadly Sins:

It had a weak start. For the first few “sins” the ballet dancers in the company were out of sync and the costumes were sub par. It picked up speed and got better. By the time they got to “Envy” it was good. Patti LePone (broadway star) was accompanying the Principal dancer the whole way through – singing the whole story. Personally, I go to Broadway to see singing and dancing and I go to the Ballet to see just dancing. So in my personal opinion, although Patti was good, the singing aspect detracted from the beauty of the dancers.

The second act was the Vienna Waltzes. Leo and I both loved this portion. Beautiful waltzes and the costumes were immaculate. Made me want to take up ballroom dancing!

On our way out we saw the party for the rich and famous all set up. You could pay $1,500 per person to go to this event pre and post the ballet…if only I was a millionaire… until then I will stick to the $30 tickets thanks!

Instead of paying that much for dinner, Leo and I headed to Landmarc in the Time Warner Center in Columbus Circle. We both had delicious skirt steaks with some sort of spicy veggie sauce on top. Remember, I’m only raw until 6pm right now!

I can’t wait for future evenings viewing the various ballet companies that visit and perform in NYC. Hopefully Leo and I will get to see my close friend, Ice Cream, perform soon!

What do you like to get dressed up and fancy for?

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No More Caffeine = More Energy! What?

For all my daily readers, I apologize for not being timely this week – I didn’t even post yesterday! Work has been a bit crazy and I’m very consumed with my new raw foods adventure. The upside of raw food is that there is so much to learn I almost forget about all the food I’m not allowed to eat. Almost.

Let me tell you, not eating wheat/gluten is one thing. Then you add nothing white (including rice). Then add no dairy on top of that. And then no chicken. WHAT?? And the whole goal is to end up not eating anything cooked, so you’re left with raw veggies and fruit. To be honest, this elimination detox is easier than others, since I end up not having to read labels or calculate anything. I have been drinking a lot of my meals – fruit smoothies (no juice, sugar or dairy though – Just fruit and ice in a blender), green juices and veggie soup/smoothies via Organic Avenue via Norma Kamali on 56th and 5th. For dinner I am not quite all the way there on the raw thing (still transitioning). I’ve been eating fresh falafel (baked) with a salad, or last night I had some stir fried broccoli with a bit of brown rice. Brown rice is to be eaten minimally…sad face.

Also: I am off caffeine. Did you hear me? Let me borrow Andie’s megaphone: I AM OFF CAFFEINE!

I don’t feel exhausted anymore, I actually am on the road to feeling rejuvenated. Not quite there yet though – I don’t feel like I have any extra energy to spare. I just dont need the 4 Coke Zeros and 2 iced coffees anymore to have the same energy everyday. It’s kind of interesting in fact…I felt like when I got clean I wouldn’t have the same energy or the same fun as when I was using/drinking. I was wrong. In fact, years later I have more energy and more fun! Even without caffeine. I didn’t believe I could ever wean myself off but I have done it folks. It’s been almost a week! Although I almost yelled out “”I WANT IT!” when I saw a colleague with a delicious looking Dunkin Donuts iced coffee this morning but I restrained myself. I just like the taste. Decaff doesn’t work though. Remember: coffee beans are roasted.

Acupuncture has been amazing and is really starting to work. My headaches are lessening, but still present every couple of days. I learned last night that poor circulation in extremities is mainly due to anxiety. Haha, so I’m anxious and I don’t even realize it. I mean my state of being is usually anxious, but I’ve felt more calm and relaxed than ever.

Enough of my random stream of consciousness. Tonight is the Spring Gala for the NYC Ballet and I can’t wait! I will write all about it tomorrow.

What’s on your mind today?

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