Masala on the Mic!

2013-03-07 19.59.10Thursday morning arrives and I am a different person. Even a year ago, I might have spent weeks preparing for a speaking event. Thought of what I was going to say days ahead of time. Picked my outfit the night before. And rehearsed plenty before the day of.

Today is different. Because I learned something from the past. All that extra prep just makes me nervous. And I get more antsy than if I just plan minimally, think through the basics, and leave the details for the day of. 

So I wake up, thank God for kids who help me with laundry, and thank God again that we replaced the ink cartridge on the printer a day ago. Print out a few pages, pick out a black dress (can’t go wrong with black,) and head out to  get my hair blown out. Simply because it doesn’t cost much and when my hair looks nice, I feel like I can fly. Or at least have a bit of confidence in front of strangers.  Continue reading

Masala in Prose


“Are you a writer?” pops up on my computer screen about a month ago.

Ummm? Depends on who’s asking.

“Yes.” I type my reply. I suppose it couldn’t hurt to tell this stranger since it’s not like I’m telling him where I live or that I’ll be vacationing in Bermuda from August 7 though the 15th, the perfect time to rob my house. 

“Are you published?” Next question pops up.

I should ask you the same thing. Or at least, Hello, what did you say your name was? 

“Funny you should ask,” I type, “My first book, Swimming Through Clouds, launches this June.”

“Great. Would you like to read a little bit at my book reading event?”

As in, out loud? And, wow! Really? Me? 

“Sure. I mean, yes! I’d love to. What did you say your name was?” Continue reading

Who is Your Neighbor?


Supei Liu of Nomi Network

When I grew up in Canada, we knew our neighbors. The ones next door. The ones down the street. And definitely the ones across the street, especially the mother who screamed, “Ian!” every evening around 6:00PM, a.k.a. dinner time, because Ian loved to play outdoors, no matter the weather or the season.

As I grew up and we moved the States, I noticed more and more, that society turned inward. Kids played outside less. Folks paid landscapers to mow their lawns, so you rarely caught a glimpse of your neighbors unless they were pulling in or out of their driveway.

Fast forward a decade and Hubs and I end up in New York. The very mention of New York suggests high rises, pricey goods, and crowded subways. Oh, and fear. Don’t trust anyone, especially your neighbors. Then, by a fun turn of events, we moved into the town of Oyster Bay, first to Glen Cove and then, Locust Valley, where we currently live.

I never imagined being on a street where you not only know your neighbors, they become like family to you. And they have… Continue reading

Chi-Town Girl Risks Livin’ in KnicksVille


Basketball Battles are on the upswing now that more and more games are being nationally televised. While some run red lights to catch the opening minutes of Downtown Abby, those of us without the DVR feature on their cable box, that is, the Paulus crew rushes home to take the stands. Court-side couch seats never felt so cozy.

Best part, none of our Knicks fan neighbors can throw tomatoes or dirty looks at us when the Bulls hit a buzzer beater three and we’re doing a Benny the Bull jiggy on our living room dance floor.

Creeeeek! [That’s the sound of brakes on my fingertaps.] It’s 9:09! There’s something I’m forgetting. FLU Shot appointment at 9:00 AM. That was nine minutes ago! Siri!! Why you gotta play me like that? Ring! Beep! Something!

Tell me, “Stop typing, Hot Mama, because it will take you exactly three minutes and twenty-two seconds to drive to your doctor’s office. Then leave an extra forty-seven seconds to park and walk in the door and sign in. Yes. You will be late.”

That’s it Siri. I’m getting a watch!

For the record, Siri and I made up. The deed is done. Strange thing is, my other arm hurts. Go figure. Continue reading

The Who. The Who?

With the hubbub of holidays and the onset of basketball season for three out of four of our princesses, hubs and I have been overdue for a date night. So I asked for a Wednesday night. And hubs gave me an enthusiastic yes to the yes. :)
So as the day drew near, I realized that even for adults, a week night feels like a school night so I thought dinner and a movie, not to far from the house, would suffice. Want to see Denzel’s new movie Flight. Want to see Life of Pi. And still haven’t seen Breaking Dawn, the Twilight finale, but am willing to wait for the DVD to come out. Since I already know how it ends and all.

Hubs sends me a text half-way through my afternoon, “Can we leave by 6:00PM?”

“Ummm. One has to be picked up. Two have to be dropped off for practice. And your mom needs a ride back from visiting your dad. What do you think?” My way of saying, it’s gonna be a fight.
Continue reading

Reinventing Deana

Welcome back to Fiction Friday Folks! Here’s a character I met one night while dreaming. Wanna meet her? Join us for some coffee? Don’t be shy… she’s nice. Really she is.

“Reinventing Deana”

I get paid to fire people. It’s an ugly job, but someone’s gotta do it. My name is Deana. Some call me Dee for short. D stands for doomsday, death, deadly, and door. As in slam the door shut on your career. That’s my deal. Continue reading

From Andrew to Sandy

Hurricane Sandy destroyed our grill. But, this was the worst of the damage for us.

On route back from Chicago, Hubs gets a call. From a coworker who happens to be a psychologist. He’s giving a lecture tomorrow on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after natural disasters and major crises, and he wants to discuss this topics with the Family Medicine residents. Physicians and other men and women like police officers and firefighters can be perceived as invincible during a crisis. Rick Vickers helped hospital staff walk through the aftermath of 9/11 and the 1990 Avianca plane crash in Oyster Bay. He’s keenly aware that when doctors get flooded with patients hungry to share stories of their losses and heartaches, someone needs to turn the tables and say, “What’s up doc?” to help the physicians process their personal experiences as well. After all, they’re only human. In turn, the residents will hopefully be able to use the same line of questioning and counselling with their patients in the coming days and months post Sandy and all her side effects. 

“Would you want to share some reflections on what life was like during and after Hurricane Andrew?” Rick asks Hubs. 

“Of course.” Hubs remembers certain key details of the ’92 disaster like it was yesterday. Some is fuzzy. [A normal part of PTSD involves blurred memories.] He and his family lost nearly everything. It’s a miracle that they’re alive. Really. 

I think God saved him for me. :)  Continue reading

Once Upon a Hero

I fall in love. A lot. Doesn’t take much, actually.

Smile. Make me laugh. Buy me a drink, and my heart is yours.

Kidding, Hubs. My heart only belongs to my Sunshine, and anyone who knows me, knows, I am INTO my Hubs!

But I am drawn to people who wow me—with their stories. But not just any ordinary story. The stories that magnetically captivate me are the ones that involve a hero. Especially when I’m listening to the details. And find out that the hero of the story is standing in front of me.  Continue reading

Trade of Innocents: A Movie that Moves Me

Take the 7 line to the F line into the city from Jackson Heights after I miraculously find parking on a side-street near the station! Get off at 14th street and then proceed to cross the same street—three times, because as much as I love the city, I still get turned around when I enter Manhattan via subway. I think the numbers are going up. So I turn around and walk the other way. But the addresses are even higher numbers, and so I turn back around and find The Quad Cinema less than a block away. 

I approach the booth and after eyeing the steep New York City movie fares, I crouch down when my turn comes and say, “One child ticket please.”
The guy behind the counter chuckles. “Eleven dollars.”
“Right. One adult ticket for Trade of Innocents.Continue reading

Sushi, Stomp, & Something Sweet

Love walking around the City! Shake Shack,
we’ll come back for you next tme…fo sho! 

So we started out our NYC Operation Birthday Date by driving into the city, and during our hour plus commute from Locust Valley to Manhattan, we debrief and deflate, one of the gifts of marrying your best friend. I still remember my high school English teacher Mr. Quick referring to this human gift as a “sounding board,” surely a reference to some famous poem or literature. [Will look it up when my energy supply rises back to normal levels.]

Earlier in the day, I simply asked hubby to please cooperate with tonight’s plans. It was my “Follow the Leader” after all. And after a fashion crisis (yes, guys have those too,) changing from casual to less casual shirt, and then from his runners back to his dress shoes, we are on the road, in our Honda Accord with no a.c. Hubs tried to fix it, but there must be another leak since the freon only lasted a day or two. Nothing like natural cooling with the windows rolled down and the wind blowing through your hair and the scents of New York floating into your air space.  You know—that familiar combination—smog of taxi cabs, cigarette smoke of pedestrians, and ethnic food of all sorts.  Continue reading