oh, walter!

I’m still secretly interested in what’s come before.  Now, I’m secretly interested in:
1. Beef Wellington, how to get the pastry really light and crisp
2. Sudoku, the secret keys to it
3. Traveling alone, without a planned itinerary, to a foreign country
4. Studio lighting photography classes
5. Workout music, what should I be working out to, so I don’t keep hitting the >> button
6. Taking a job outside my comfort level to see what I learn about myself and the world around me
7. Interior decorating, and what my "I want our room to feel like a boutique hotel room" style is called.  It ain’t modern or traditional.  I want to find a good interior decorating book or magazine, so I can point, "that’s what I’m going for."  I should photograph more hotel rooms. 
8. What it will be like to pick up and move somewhere where I don’t know anyone.
9. The psychology of self-esteem
10.  Seeing if I will actually improve in my new drawing class



  1. RE #5

    I suggest some Kanye, Jay Z, and sometimes I listen to Marah. Depends on the activity; elliptical or running. Though when I'm on the elliptical, I don't mind doing an ipod shuffle because it's much easier to hit >> when you're not running.

  2. Traveling alone without an itinerary would be wonderful, but I would spice it up by begging some amazing local cook in the region to host me so he/she can teach me the ways of regional cooking. Wouldn't it be amazing to spend two weeks with some amazing Italian Nonna in Naples as a mentor?

  3. Regarding items #3, #6, and #8 – I highly recommend them! Thinking about it is scarier than just doing it-

  4. Oh, I love Sudoku. I discovered it in August, when I was in London I always saw some business-guys in the tube, making Sudokus in the Evening Standard. I was looking over their shoulder and was thinking with them… Now I have several Sudoku-books and somehow it's lost its attraction. Whatever, I will keep it up. Try it!

  5. I love Living, etc, DOMINO, and Oprah's decorating magazine. Realistically, though, I have a dog. I can't have an all-white room with carpeting that resembles this month's "it dress." I do love interior design inspired by clothing and handbags, though. Oversized canvas. Hurricanes. A dark wooden bowl filled with bright green lentils might photograph well, but who keeps lentils on their coffee table? I also like the idea of a gold fish. But I don't like the idea of seeing it dead one morning.

  6. I love Sudoku! Once I figured out how to do it (and the truth is, there is no real secret. you just need to figure out which row or column will be easiest to attempt first and then work from there) I fell in love with the game!

  7. Workout music – I find that even really upbeat/pop-y songs can get a little tiresome (when working out my attention span isn't even close to two minutes long). Depending on your taste in music, you might like mixes – either more techno or just pop songs mixed together, so there is no lag time. In fact, the tracks on the new Madonna CD are all mixed into each other (no pause between each song). Get friends to make you mixes, as well – that way it's a surprise as to what comes next, and gives you incentive to work out: the purpose of listening to it.

  8. IMHO, self-esteem is less about psychology than it is a journey. I don't think someone with low self-esteem will ever become high self-esteem, since the wounds that caused the self-esteem issue will never go away and never be forgotten.

    But I believe that, over time, a portfolio of accomplishments will go a long way to finally allowing you to truly accept yourself. Even now, I have a nice job, a wonderful family, and I have nothing to complain about. But I still feel the need to prove myself.

    i don't think that feeling with ever fully dissapate, but I do feel much better about myself than I did ten years ago.

  9. one of the secrets to sudoku: figure out which number is mostly filled in (i.e. there is already one in most boxes, columns, etc) and start filling it in in the few remaining places it can fit – usually you can get quite a good start that way.

  10. "8. What it will be like to pick up and move somewhere where I don't know anyone."

    I noticed you said, "will" and not "would." If this is something that really is on the horizon for you, I can offer that I think it is one of the most exciting adventures. New places have a great way of feeling like new beginnings, don't they? I love that.

    If and when you do leave NY, I don't think you'll struggle to make new connections. You're like the sailor with a girl in every port, except instead of girls and ports you have blog readers in every country. New friends abound.

    Good luck with that adventure, when it comes upon you!

  11. Stephanie, you should check out Veranda magazine. It tends to be a hodge-podge of exquisite interior design all ranging within that realm of "boutique hotel." Sometimes a bit more rustic, sometimes more avant-garde, but always arranged, folded, tucked, placed, hung, designed beautifully. If you don't find the name of what your style is, you'll certainly find ideas.

  12. Sounds like you have some challenging interests here. It’s always hard to go off to a foreign country alone. I have a fear of flying, no less going by myself.

    I think once we do something we all fear—-we get over it. I have anxiety disorder and panic attacks, so a lot of people say, “Well face your fears—go out and do what you fear.” Ah yeah—gimme’ a martini first will ya?

    I hope you get to do all these things. As far as the beef Wellington, hmmm….never cared for it. I always wanted to learn how to make sushi… or should I say, ‘prepare it’. That’s gotta be an art!

  13. Re# 8…..it is scarier thinking about it than actually doing it. Once it is done, you feel empowered and like you can take on the world. I just picked up and moved to DC with no job and no friends here…..it has been a wonderful growing experience! Best of luck to you on accomplishing every single one of these!

  14. #3… I'd love to do that, but always thought it was a bit dangerous to be a young woman travelling alone. I always take my boyfriend with me, but since we have different tastes and work schedules… Will check out the site the other reader suggested.
    Oh, and sudoku is verrry adictive. Beware!

  15. Austin, TX, has your name written all over it. Well, yours and Phil's.

    We'll see you here. The lake, the hill country, the politics, the music, the laid-back culture … all await you.

  16. Re: workout music – for me it's 70's Stevie Wonder, India.Arie and the RH Factor, jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove's funk project. Great, high energy stuff.

  17. dwell is a great interior decorating mag. I definitely fall into the "boutique hotel room" style and I find myself tearing out quite a few of their spreads to include in my someday folder.

  18. And I didn't even MENTION the food. It may not be NYC, but I think you'll be shocked, delighted and impressed.

  19. nobody in their right mind would willingly move from NYC to Austin, TX. Maybe SF, Paris, London, but not Austin. And I LIVE IN AUSTIN.

  20. # 6 i would reccomend becoming a beekeeper if you want to do something different and interesting with your life. Dealing with Nature and Bees will change your life forever.

    you will learn about fear, pain, beauty, ecology, pushing your limits physically and mentally, the cycle of the 4 seasons will have new meaning….and you will never ever bee able to pass through spring and summer without noticing what tree or plant is in bloom and other details of the natural world.

    believe me after working some bees for a summer ….that phony big city shit will look even more phony then a $3 dollar bill.

  21. You'll need to buy frozen puff pastry.

    Or if you meant, how to make puff pastry from scratch, then I don't know. Lots and lots of cold butter and flour, as far as I know! I haven't attempted that one yet myself!

  22. I discovered Sudoku in November and got Sudoku book for christmas. Now I`m addicted.

  23. Regarding #5 and Heather B's comment.. Uh, yeah! Marah is perhaps THE BEST BAND IN THE WORLD. And regarding Austin, Texas.. They'll be playing at SXSW (South By Southwest) this March and I'm going. Perhaps we should take our adult drinking southward? Kill two birds with one stone.. Workout music and a perusal through the beautiful city of Austin.

  24. I was in a store today and Ray LaMontagne's "Please" came on. It made me think of you instantly. The way I might think of a old friend when reminded of something we shared together. It is weird to think of someone you've never met in that way. I just wanted to let you know how much you have touched my life. Kisses and best wishes.

  25. Six weeks ago I just decided to pack my bag and spend a week in Bali. A place where I did not know a single soul. I decided not to do any research and/ or make any specific plans. I also decided to disconnect myself from the media of any osrt (TV, Internet, Email, Nwespaper, Radio etc) while in Bali.

    It was the most amazing experience of my life and I really struggled to get myself to leave the place at the end of the week!

  26. Sudoku? Noooo. Can't cope with numbers. At all. Give me The Sunday Times crossword puzzle any day of the week. Well, Sundays, anyway.

    Picking up and moving to someplace where I don't know a soul? Love it. I remember expecting to feel that way going to college. New beginning. New people. No baggage. A Long Island girl should not go to George Washington University if she's looking for a place where she doesn't know a soul.

    The only problem in moving is that I can't read maps. It's the numbers thing. Highways. Routes. They're all numbers!

  27. Workout music. I prefer upbeat songs that you can almost run in time with. I know a guy who could make you a workout CD. He would need a mailing address however.

  28. oy! i cannot stand the generic interior decorating that has made it's way to personal homes. the style of pottery barn, etc. is so blah that there is no distinction or room for expression of personal taste. i always thought furniture that looks like it could be mass produced and used for a restaurant or hotel is uninspirational. it's the same with ann taylor and clothing. however, i have been known to have unpopular style to say the least.

  29. Way back in 1965, when I was 23, I was exiting a relationship that just did not work. And I was devastated. While I had previously visited Europe once for a few weeks as a student with some friends, I NEEDED to get away and I NEEDED to travel but feared going alone.
    One day in October 1965 I quit my advertising job in NYC and bought a one-way Icelandic Airlines ticket and left two days later. On the stopover in Iceland—you see in those days the DC-3's needed to refuel—I met a friend I have had for over 40 years. Later in the trip I met my future wife in Geneva. Our son is now 30 and just completed his travels……tme has flown by.
    Stephanie, you listed your goals and dreams,…do them all. You will never regret having tried. The only regrets I have had are those I never attempted to do. I drivereally want to cross the Sahara in a 4-wheel Land Rover.

  30. Wow, I used to be like that. I would have these books to read or movies to see or things to learn like how to grow the best roses or how to make a soufflé. I’d have all these mini goals and constantly be making a list and revising it as I achieved something. But then I started working full time, and it seems like much of my earnest pursuit of learning fell by the wayside. Check out this site it’s an Andrea Dorfman Film called Love that Boy. It’s about this girl who is about to graduate from university and creates this elaborate list of life events and strange learning experiences. The link below will get you to the Mongrel Media website and from there you can go to the movie website.


  31. OK, I'm a new "runner." I'm going out for a "pretend run," I like to say. 2 blocks running, 1 block walking, repeat for 30 min., till I can go longer and still breathe. And I've accidentally discovered a few great songs for running–great because the beat matches a running pace, that is (also can work for stairmaster): The Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated," The Knack's "My Sharona," John Lennon's "Oh Yoko," Ray Charles's "Hit the Road, Jack," Pete Townshend's "Let My Love Open the Door" (the fast version), and, uh, Don Henley's "Boys of Summer." If you know of any others, please post 'em.

  32. 5) My favorite song to workout to is This Means War! from Busta Rhymes ELE album. I also dig Pink (Trouble, Get this party started) and Trick Daddy, Abracadabra, I Love Rock n Roll, Blaque's 808, Tom Petty's American Girl, and Redneck Punk by Jackyl.

  33. #7- Definitely check out Kelly Wearstler. She has an amazing book out(yellow and black cover). Her style is french chic meets hollywood glam meets modern lines. Her colors are lucious, very much a boutique hotel look. I love this designer!

    And my favorite work out songs of the moment:
    1. Hung Up- Madonna ( her latest release)
    2. Doorbell- White Stripes
    3. Perfect Gentleman- Wyclef Jean

  34. I will suggest enitre albums, not singles. I think it's fun to discover your own favorite single:

    Odyssey by Fisherspooner
    Silent Alarm by Bloc Party
    The entire new Madonna CD
    Brazilian Girls self titled
    She's So Unusual by Cyndi Lauper (because you just have to!)
    Candi Staton (This is pretty old school but so much fun.)

    Have a blast!

  35. Moving somewhere I didn't know anyone was the loneliest experience of my life; some risks do have to be evaluated!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.