Monday, December 22, 2008

The Holiday Spirit

WC emailed me from the train:

"A homeless man on my train just gave some change to another homeless man."

She just called me to discuss. We wept.

But now we are both thinking that the two of them were in cahoots.

I feel played. I don't like it.

Happy Holidays!

The Best Holiday Card Ever, from KF's company.

Mysterious, magical, and perfect.

And yes, the little girl in it looks suspiciously like E, KF's daughter!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy About The Holidays

I received this email recently from a friend of mine:

"For some reason this holiday season feels so much more stressful and melancholy than last. I could kick scrooge's ass right now."

The holidays do have a tendency to bring that out.

But for me?

Before I can answer that question, I think I need to look back on my most recent Christmases...

Christmas 2005: Rather than returning to Beijing after my trip to Bhutan with WC, I had escaped for some alone-time to the Banyan Tree Spa in Bangkok.

Christmas 2006: I was with my parents, which was lovely, but the Sociopathic Alcoholic had apparently set a timer to remind himself to send me nasty emails and text messages every hour accusing me of being with other men. Perhaps in a couple lifetimes from now I'll look back on it and be flattered at his estimation of my man-attracting skills.

Christmas 2007: I was with my parents, but this time, my email and phone were wonderfully silent.

Christmas 2008: I will be with my parents, and will bring home two "strays": MG and EA, who will join us for Christmas Eve dinner.

I feel good about the holidays this year. In fact, I think I feel VERY good about it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Call Me Mountain

SL arrives today!!!

I've arranged for a car to pick her up from the airport, have been working since 3AM so I can finish up by the time she arrives, will clean my apartment in a bit, and then hit Whole Foods to stock up on supplies. A quick peek inside my fridge revealed only lemons and condiments.

So, to tally up my visitors from Asia this year:

GC from Beijing in April
MM from Tokyo in May
EH from Beijing in June
MB from Hong Kong In July
LW from Hong Kong in September
HM from Tokyo in September
FC from Beijing in November
SL from Hong Kong in December
KF and her husband from Beijing in December

2008 was the year Asia came to me. I think that makes me the mountain.

Monday, December 15, 2008

"I'm Irresistible, You Fool"

Gorgeous Hunk O' Man (JF) got dumped by his boyfriend over the weekend.

I'm stunned.

He's the most beautiful man I've ever seen naked. (Not what you are thinking. Unless you are thinking that when we lived in the same city and on evenings when he'd take me out dancing to some gay club, I'd go to his apt to pick him up and he was always running late so I'd sit on the toilet seat and keep him company and chat with him while he showered and preened).

He is also brilliant. And funny. And successful. And beautifully mannered. And sharply (but never meanly) witty. And is a clever writer and conversationalist. Sure, yes, he's also terrified of commitment and emotionally unavailable, but I mean really, who isn't?

I have to admit, while I am stunned, it is oddly comforting. If even Gorgeous Hunk O' Man (JF) can be dumped, then it's not so wildly mindblowing that the rest of us can be, apparently, all too resistible.

The Demise of Dating

I had posed a question many months ago when I was busy with my online dating experiment.

"With most endeavors, having a clearly identified goal is necessary, or at the very least, helpful in achieving that goal. But with dating..., can being "goal-oriented" hinder rather than help?"

Very rarely do I get the tingles for someone upon first meeting them. It usually requires a long, drawn-out process of getting to know them within a context where there is no romantic/sexual expectation. Hence, I don't like getting hit on. I don't like pushy. I will run if chased (or hurl myself out of a still moving taxi). This also explains my preference for being the aggressor. For me, repeated exposure to a particular someone within a NON romantic/sexual context is usually necessary for me to develop the tingles. And I have great respect for the tingles; I rarely ignore their call, and their call is absolutely required.

So goal oriented dating simply doesn't work for me. A few "dates" to get to know each other, under the expectation of a possible future relationship (of whatever kind), are not sufficient to provide me with nearly enough data points. I require vast data points before I can even begin to feel TRULY interested in a person. And the vast majority of men out there (unless I meet them in a context of work or friendship) simply do not have the patience to play out that game. Especially in NYC, where there's far easier prey out there.

But then I stumbled upon this article in the NYTimes. "Dating is dated. Hooking up is here to stay."

According to the Op-Ed Columnist, Charles Blow:

It turns out that everything is the opposite of what I remember. Under the old model, you dated a few times and, if you really liked the person, you might consider having sex. Under the new model, you hook up a few times and, if you really like the person, you might consider going on a date.

Oh good grief. Unless I want to raise cats for the rest of my life, I think I might need to entirely change how I operate.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Weirdly Reassuring

From WC:
"I was at the Supreme Ct today. Met Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy. This seems so wrong to say, but the Chief Justice is kinda hot."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


IC and I launched our Girly-VIP-Shopping-Email business last week. Thank you, thank you, thank you very much.

And the vast majority of the items that we highlighted for purchase/consideration were hand selected by yours truly. The whole email business should be renamed: "Stuff C-Belle Covets."

I commented to CL the other day that if anyone should ever wonder what to get me as a present, they only have to go to our website.

So CL summed it up like this:

People can go to your business website to figure out what to buy for you. And if they want to figure out what you are thinking, they can go to your blog. So really, when you actually start dating someone again some day, you guys never have to actually TALK. Unless he wants to talk about himself, in which case, you wouldn't really be paying attention anyway. So you guys can just have sex all the time.

I blinked a few times at the last part of that. He's quite the joker, that CL.

But it got me thinking about a topic I've thought and written about before. Can someone really figure out another by reading their blog?

The answer is a resounding "no." At least in the case of my blog.

My blog is highly misleading. I write about numerous topics that appear personal. But my treatment of those topics is necessarily superficial and overly simplified - there's just not that much real estate in a typical, bite-sized post.

My thoughts/hopes/fears/dreams that are truly vulnerable and hence, secret, are recorded not on my blog, but in my little black moleskine journal that never strays too far from my side. And for every blog entry, there are multiple entries in my private journal.

But CL is still essentially correct. ONLY my moleskine is privy to the layers of the onion that have not been polished and prettified for public consumption.

I suppose this is one of the reasons my gay boyfriend, Gorgeous Hunk O' Man (JF), and I get along so well. We know that there's all manner of vulnerability hidden away under our respective glossy surfaces. So we treat those glossy surfaces with care, and we don't make the mistake of thinking that the hardness extends all the way down. And we never ask each other for access to the mushy soft bits. Not out of indifference. Rather, out of protectiveness for the other.

It sounds like the opposite of intimacy. I have this particular dynamic only with him - where intimacy is expressed by... well... avoidance. And it's because we actually DO know each other - at least well enough to recognize ourselves in the other.

Because sometimes kindness and affection are demonstrated not by peeling the layers back, but by mutual admiration for and gentle treatment of what has been carefully buffed, and a complicit agreement to ignore the rest.

Some Morning Humor

Courtesy of DS:

Greatly Deserved Recognition

SL just texted me on her way from Hong Kong to Singapore. Why was she headed to Singapore on a Wednesday afternoon (her time)?

Because she has been nominated for Best Anchor at the Asia TV Awards!

And since she is a public figure, I think I can safely use her full name.

Susan Li, Bloomberg Anchor, (and my dear friend), is AMAZING.

She moved to Beijing in the fall of 2003 with one objective: to cover the Beijing Olympics. And she did so this summer.

Love it when a plan comes together!

Congratulations, darling, and can't wait for your visit next week!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Small Victories

Finally home after a long day of back-to-back meetings.

The bright spot is that I experimented with posting blog entries from my blackberry earlier this evening, during dinner with some friends. I had written that post, Closing Doors, a couple weeks ago and had saved the draft on my berry.

I feel that I've won a small technological victory.

So it's with no small measure of satisfaction that I sit at my computer right now, with a freshly poured glass of wine.

And perhaps tonight, I might actually sleep.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Zen of Naming Cocktails

FT, at his Bar Veloce in Soho, has two cocktails on the menu: Patience and Fortitude.

Of the two, I prefer Fortitude. Which maps astonishingly well with real life.

According to Webster:

Patience: an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay.

Fortitude: mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously.

Once in a thing, once on a path, execution (regardless of the difficulty) seems overwhelmingly easier than waiting to trigger in the first place.

Difficulty, I can handle. Restlessness gets the better of me, every time.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Tiara Kind Of Day

Woke up blue this morning.

Usually, watching a horror movie, while wearing a tiara, is the antidote. But I found myself, inexplicably, watching Under The Tuscan Sky.

Not sure why I'm in such a sappy mood.

I don't like it.

WC and I met for drinks yesterday afternoon. And I've realized something... we almost always end up crying. It wasn't always this way. It's only the last few years that we've turned into weepy drunks, when drinking together. But then... it's not surprising, is it. Can't live a life without encountering reasons to cry. And we've seen each other through many of them; their memories never do fully fade. Apparently, they emerge on quiet weekend afternoons, when WC and I are sitting on neighboring bar stools, sharing a bottle of a dry white.

"Unthinkably good things can happen, even late in the game."
- from Under The Tuscan Sky

The cynic in me wants to throw up a little in my mouth.

And yet... isn't that what we all hope for? Even the most cynical of us. Even me.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

2 Girls, 4 Computers

IC and I have been churning out new products with lightning speed.

If we had had a spare moment to question our ability to get certain things done within our specified deadlines, we would have given up before even starting.

But since we didn't have that time, we just pushed on.

There are certain advantages to having known each other since we were 12. Added to that, are the advantages of spending 8 hours a day, 5 days a week together in the same room.

Because when the shit hits the fan and we need to accomplish in a single day what should take WEEKS by any sane measure, we manage to communicate quickly, efficiently, effectively, in a kind of shorthand that is incomprehensible to anybody else.

"The dedicated merchant page, that link, pissing me off. Now or later?"
"Got it."
"And the...?"
"First yes, second no"
Imagine that all day long.

It's ASTONISHING that what we've produced makes ANY sense at all.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Shellfish Is An Abomination

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Is bad that I now have a crush on Doogie?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Postpartum Depression

Giving birth is hard.

IC and I just reached a major milestone for our business.

The last few days in particular have been brutal. But we did it, more or less.

We were too exhausted to be in a celebratory mood. However, we did go to the corner bodega for smokes and a cheap bottle of wine. We turned to each other in the harsh light of the bodega, and if we had had the energy for it, we would have gasped and stepped back. Yes, we looked like we had gone through a war.

Back at my apartment, we toasted each other tiredly and drank and smoked while tracking open rates and click-throughs and fun stuff like that.

IC claimed that this was harder than actually giving birth for real. I must remember to tell N that, once he is old enough for a conversation.

But my terrifying thought? We'll have to do this over and over again, once every two weeks. Note to self, must hire more people. IC and started this entire venture with the goal of running our business while sitting in neighboring pedicure chairs. And we're both entirely irritated that we're not there yet.

So I'm irritated, exhausted, hungry, slightly drunk, and.... and at least two other negative adjectives but I can't get my brain to work at the moment.

But it's done.

Off now to finish the wine.