Samara O'Shea

Archive for December, 2010

2010 Curtain Call

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

For my last blog of 2010, I will list the things for which I am grateful and looking forward to. I’m sad to see the year go (primarily because I’m partial toward even numbers), but its passing cannot be stopped. I wish everyone a safe and happy New Year!

Things I’m Grateful for at the End of 2010
• The Sun
• The Moon
• The Wind
• The Rain
My trip to Ireland
My trip to Amsterdam
President Obama’s ode to letter writing
• My photo in the NY Times
• Writing for two publications for the first time: Readymade and Main Line Today
The end of a friendship (it’s not the end of it I’m grateful for but rather the way I handled it feels like an emotional accomplishment).
• My mother’s 60th birthday
• The 111th Congress and their not-so-Lame Duck Session
• This sweet moment

Things I’m Looking Forward to in 2011
• Using my new Kate Spade calendar
• A trip to Honduras
• My sister’s wedding (she just got engaged!)
• The Spring
• The Summer
• The Fall
• The Winter
• Adventures that have yet to be discovered!

2011 Comes Early

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday and is psyched for the New Year. The January 2011 issue of Main Line Today (a local Philly magazine) is out and in it is my first restaurant review. The article is called “Restaurant Revival.” Please take a gander. It’s an exciting challenge for me to cover a new topic—especially one that involves all the senses like food.

As far as resolutions, I have one so far: Stop putting sugar in my tea. That’s all I can come up with. (Keep in mind I drink a lot of tea, which equals many spoonfuls of sugar).

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

“Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer. Cheer to all Whos far and near. Christmas Day is in our grasp so long as we have hands to clasp. Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we. Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart and hand in hand.”

~ Dr. Seuss

Shea Butter Socks and Love

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

One of my co-workers gave me the greatest gift yesterday: Fuzzy socks infused with Shea Butter. I put them on as soon as I got home. They are soft and smell sooo good. I kept thinking, “What is that wonderful smell? Oh! It’s my feet.” The tags says the Shea Butter will survive twenty-five washes. Whether they do or don’t, I’m glad to have them to wear on Christmas Day (a day in which I live in my pjs).

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They have those plastic thingies on the bottom to keep me from slip-sliding all over my hardwood floors. These are a thoughtful, inexpensive gift to give someone you see in passing—a co-worker, bus driver, teacher.
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In an unrelated point: Here’s another stellar quote from The Art of Loving, which I mentioned three blogs ago. There’s more to come. This is an outstanding book:

“Love is possible only if two people communicate from the center of their existence, hence if each one of them experiences himself from the center of his existence. Only in this “central experience” is human reality, only here is aliveness, only here is the basis for love. Love, experienced thus, is a constant challenge: it is not a resting place, but a moving, growing, working together, even whether there is harmony or conflict, joy or sadness, is secondary to the fundamental fact that two people experience themselves from the essence of their existence, that they are one with each other by being one with themselves, rather than by fleeing from themselves.”

~ Eric Fromm

Winter Solstice

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Welcome to the first day of winter. I think we should celebrate its arrival the way we celebrate all the other seasons. Winter certainly serves its purpose. It kills bacteria and bugs so we aren’t infested. It sends us inside to spend time with loved ones. It freshens the air, darkens the sky, and without winter we wouldn’t have such an appreciation for all the other seasons.

Below is a silly little video / winter solstice poem, and below that is a time lapsed video of last night’s winter solstice lunar eclipse. The season is magic already!

Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse from William Castleman on Vimeo.

Simple Pleasures

Monday, December 20th, 2010

What a magnificent four days it’s been. The reading on Thursday night in NYC went very well—video to come. On Friday, I celebrated my friend Rachel’s birthday with a girl’s night out. On Saturday, I headed back to the Greater Philadelphia Area to set up for my mom’s sixtieth birthday party. We actually managed to keep it a surprise! Here’s the cake we got her:

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We had a sommelier from The Wine School come and host a tasting. I believe wine is one of the best analogies for life and love. You can’t rush wine. It ferments and comes into its own in time. Not just the wine, but also the vine itself is a good correlation to the well lived-life. A vine can live up to 150 years—as it grows, its roots get deeper.
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This has nothing to do with anything except joy in a cup. While I waited at Starbucks for my sister to pick me up, I ordered a Peppermint Mocha—one of my favorite winter concoctions. It normally comes with whipped cream and peppermint sprinkles. This one arrived with peppermint chocolate sauce. I now know what Heaven tastes like. That gorgeously gooey drink was divine.

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On Sunday, I rested and wrote Christmas cards. Today, I received an alert that Note to Self was mentioned in the spectacular blog A Beautiful Ripple Effect. All is well, and it’s not even Christmas yet. Blessings abound!

Oh yes – how could I forget?! Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed on Saturday. I rejoiced within as I was running around heating up appetizers for my mother’s guests. A bit of freedom has been restored! The freedom for gay men and women to be themselves.

The Art of Loving

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Yesterday, I began reading The Art of Loving by Eric Fromm. I’ve come across the name of this book in other books on love, so I decided to go straight to the source. Published in 1956, it is one of the first (if not the first) books to approach love from a psychological perspective.

The first thing that surprised me was the size. It’s small—only 123 pages. I would think a manifesto on love would be much longer. Not that I’m complaining, I find many books are both profound and compact. Plus it means I can get through it quickly.

I’ve read the forward and introduction, and here are the quotes I like so far:

~ “The reading of this book will be a disappointing experience for anyone who expects an easy instruction in the art of loving.”

~ “It [this book] wants to convince the reader that all of his attempts for love are bound to fail, unless he tries most actively to develop his total personality, so as to achieve a productive orientation; that satisfaction in individual love cannot be attained without the capacity to love one’s neighbor, without true humility, courage, faith, and discipline.”

~ “The miracle of sudden intimacy is often facilitated if it is combined with, or initiated by, sexual attraction and consummation. However, this type of love is by its very nature not lasting. The two persons become well acquainted, their intimacy loses more and more its miraculous character, until their antagonism, their disappointments, their mutual boredom kill whatever is left of the initial excitement.”

~ “There is hardly any activity, any enterprise, which is started with such tremendous hopes and expectations, and yet, which fails so regularly, as love.”

~ “The first step to take is to become aware that love is an art, just as living is an art; if we want to learn how to love we must proceed in the same way we have to proceed if we want to learn any other art, say music, painting, carpentry, or the art of medicine or engineering.”

I won’t be blogging the next two days. Be back on Monday. Stay warm!