Thursday, January 5, 2012


you should know my loves that i recognize our bravery.

we have exceeded expectation.

the intent to honor passion and purpose. seeking and finding deserved happiness. love. longed for inner peace. overcoming self hate and doubt. faces illuminated with the brightness of joy. comparisons and fear cast away. standing in nobility. emptying basins of clouded uncertainty. filling them with the promise of beauty and grace and action.

the first morning of 2012 i awoke to a flash of light warming my face. glowing droplets falling all around. wake. up.

i opened my eyes to find my friends standing at attention. all busy inspecting a small glimmer leaking into the dark room from an outside covered window. pulling back the fabric, a singular ray of light shot through, illuminating the walls and ceiling. through the window we jumped into the dark of outside. and there they were, slicing through the thicket. burning signals through tree tunnels. rays streaming among us, exposing a lit path to somewhere in the distance. and so without thinking we ran, escaping the cold, basking in the golden possibility breaking over the horizon.

welcome to the Year of The Light.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

ze barfday leest.

this week i turned one year older, and am surprisingly excited about it.

not excited because of some epiphany or movie ticket discount, but excited to be moving towards the future...towards me being me...and the happiness that will ultimately bring. at this very moment, me being me consists of: friday night cravings for Fage yogurt (listen to your elder and go get some immediately), peppermint tea, and the new Coldplay album (ditto).

as a bday present to myself i decided to compile a special list. typically i am fab at focusing on questions, but for this special occasion i thought it best to impress myself with answers.

so in no particular order, i present to you...

The Things I Know For Sure.
(one for every year)
  1. once you start waxing whatever, you can never stop waxing whatever 
  2. breathable fabrics are best
  3. laughter cures
  4. i am chemically addicted to fire cheetos
  5. when in doubt, cover it up
  6. i will never win a spelling b
  7. my friends are more fun than your friends
  8. everyone endures pain
  9. india sweats the demon out
  10. proper food and sleep could change the world's function
  11. one's jungle-book-fantasy-void can be filled by bathing elephants in a river 
  12. biscuits are better with maple syrup
  13. if you bake it, they will come
  14. thread count and shower pressure matter
  15. people mostly remember how you make them feel
  16. it's not as bad as you think it is
  17. things become much easier when you stop holding on and just let go 
  18. if you have met, but do not like, anna brame spessard mulhair kiani - you are a horrible person
  19. pretty is good. funny is much better
  20. truth and trust should be the goal
  21. wealth in all forms is meant to be shared
  22. when i write my book, my mother will first critique the cover art
  23. paper cuts bring out the dragon
  24. 5 hour energy is an afternoon of bad trips and tender moments spent in the restroom
  25. it is10xs the fun if there's a costume
  26. grandmother stories are the best stories
  27. dried apricots will do the job
  28. entitlement right next to ego is the most unattractive 
  29. your dream for me is at times bigger than my dream for me
  30. fringe makes everyone fall in love

khappy berthday to me.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

80 minutes of summer.

this year we had more or less 80 minutes of glorious summer.  #lesigh

with september soon approaching - i thought it best to conclude this season with some pictures of my favorite summer memories. for the next 9 - 11 months they will remind me what it's like to dress without long underwear.

they will also serve as vindication that my natural skin color is in fact brown. not wan. 

i will miss these things.

but more than roughage and high heels. i will miss this most of all.

i hope you enjoyed summer as much as we did. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

the power of four.

families are a slightly incredible cohort. you can probably relate.

they hold the ability to empower or erode. shield or abandon. enlighten or completely confuse.

and if your family is special like mine, they have the power to do all these things simultaneously.

their interconnectivity is quite brilliant. affectionate glances framing guilt. vocalized pride stemming from secret deception. a bit of codependency thrown in just to make sure you're still awake. love and belonging interlocked, laced together in a lumpy soft embrace.

my father, mother, brother and myself are a compelling bunch. and one stupid gushy blog will not do us justice. this also holds true for extended family, however it should be known the smaller group is arguably more entertaining than the larger one.

by the way, i decided it's best that grandmothers are not included in the extended family list. one. they are far too wily. and two. they have eaten more shit in their lifetime than i care to ever eat in mine. they therefore warrant distinction, and nothing ever general. each one rightfully exists in their perfectly crafted ecosystem of fantasy. and by ecosystem, i don't mean terrarium. something with a little more first class leg room and extra drawers for jewelry. one day i'll write down my memories of my grandmothers. you can then drink tea and cozy up, reading tales of my Jewish Bubba asking her 8 year old elizabeth what she wants for breakfast. my answer forever being french toast. smoking in the kitchen, she relays every detail of each conversation had over the past month. repeating and then she says to him so many times elizabeth grows up to be a story teller. doesn't every kid play 21 and shop at Bloomingdales? or if you need something with more of a bite, aloha. sit ocean side - drink something serious - and fantasize of my hot-legged-chinese-portuguese Tutu. her chapter lovingly named Have That Man Put Some Ice In My F*cking Wine, will make you vomit with laughter. 

warning: tutu makes other grandmothers blush. she lives in las vegas. she has Club A on auto pay.

in not so plain terms, my family hooks me. confuses me. loves me. keeps me on my toes. they are charged and aware. ready-to-not-take-your-ish. ready for a good laugh and great story. and above everything - above allllll the few great guarantees of this world - they are never. ever. boring. thank the prophets.

after weeks of searching for the perfect word to describe them, i still can't nail down the proper term. in surrender, all i have come up with is: power nap. because sometimes after spending a week, or a day, or a dinner, or maybe just a speaker phone conversation - you'll need one.

growing up, i memorized their individual frequencies. measured their collective output. spent the majority of my life, in two groups of three. things always seemed crystal clear.

Group 1) cindy + elizabeth + max = elizabeth giving max a hard time/food shopping
Group 2) artie + elizabeth +max = elizabeth giving max a hard time/food eating

the number three was easy. it was comfortable. it was rehearsed and expected. but four...four was mysterious. the yet-to-be-cracked algorithm.

artie + cindy + elizabeth +max = the unconstrained variable

i had often wondered what the unknown power of four would hold. not that i expected  Donna Reed Show utopia, but what type of family experiences the perfectly manicured lawn. or late night conversations in the kitchen over chocolate cake. dialing one number and reaching two people.

turns out, if you have introduced me to your family, i have most definitely stalked them for as long as possible. not to worry. i made a concerted effort to not be creepily noticeable. why would i want to go outside when i can stand in the kitchen and watch Gail passionately read the newspaper while Ron works at the computer, re-telling old jokes. she was totally unaware she ate all of the sesame seed snacks from the bowl on the counter. if you waited long enough, she would start to play the blue piano in the bedroom and sing a tune or two. who wants to meet up with friends, when i can sit in a chair and watch andi and danny cuddle on the perfect-cuddle-couch for hours. never getting up for anyone. there was no better place to be.

i blame it on my shower curtain pull back disorder. discovering rationale behind mock turtle necks and cruise ships. wall plate displays and chicken chachkes. guns and eighties hair. stories of old hollywood standards and soft-shoe. i have to know if it's pristine. if you only clean for company. if professional help should be called. or maybe no one gives a shit, and just leaves it all wide open.

but for right now, the investigation can rest. because for the first time in my life, i got the chance to experience the unimaginable. my first family vacation. ever.

prompted by the Berkeley college graduation of my brother, i have to admit i was a bit terrified. but then figured even if the trip was a complete bust, at least i had the opportunity to answer the question: Why are you going to California? with...

I'm going on vacation with my divorced parents.

words sweet as honey.

yes, i knew what was coming. and yes. some of it came. but there were other far more glorious moments i didn't anticipate.

it's a good feeling to be surprised. but being surprised as a jaded 30 year old, is even better. i grabbed ahold of memories i never thought would be mine. held tight. and floated above it all. watching my parents sit in the front seats of the car. max and i silently in the back, listening to artie and cindy family vacation conversation. mom saying how she keeps raw green beans in her purse to eat on the plane. dad laughing at mom for being ridiculous. mom laughing out loud because even though she knows she is ridiculous, my father is still far more ridiculous than everyone.

cut to the restaurant. we all sit down. together. dad and mom share salmon with asparagus. cindy can't eat her half because the kitchen basted it in sweet sugar devil sauce. another piece of salmon is ordered. the establishment makes the grievous error of charging $8 for replacement salmon. my parents riot. they tag team the restaurant manager over the erroneous $8 charge. someone gets bored and leaves to retrieve blood from a nearby rock. the argument gets heated. my father unknowingly addresses my mother, saying, hold on honey. i gleefully shit my pants. team Alinikoff wins the standoff. my exhausted mother unintentionally leaves her to-go half eaten free piece of salmon on the table. she laughs. my father hits it home with, it's the principle of the matter.

graduation day. my dad and i take pictures from the stands. my father uses his fancy camera. he lets my mom direct some shots. i ask for a thumbs up and take a picture. they both smile, give me thumbs up and say heeeyyyy.

celebration time. my dad's sf friends organize a last minute graduation dinner for max. my sweet father is excited to show off his kids. the dinner is held at the beautiful home of my father's first wife. all four of us arrive. i curse myself for not stealing more liquor bottles from the flight. during dinner, i talk to dad's first wife - seated across from me - while his second wife (my mother) sits next to me.

what's more awesome than being able to say Going on vacation with my divorced parents?

...Hanging out with my dad and his ex wives.

i'm blessed to know my experience lies somewhere between the Donna Reed Show and bat-shit-crazyville. we are humans after all. made up of unconscious gabs and loving embraces. a mess of boundless brilliance. talented artistry. and hilarious honesty.

with the humorous jaw line and humbling body hair swirls of arthur alinikoff, i am grateful. to the secretly sensitive cindy powers of observation, i promise to sit up straight to open my heart chakra. to my brother max, who really isn't impressed by anything unless he feels it in his heart. u are my doppelganger.

to all three of you. i love you.

Friday, May 13, 2011

things i never thought i would say...

my brother is 26.
my brother is a berekely graduate.
my brother is taller than me.
my brother is better looking than me.
my brother appears to have a small nose, but it is really big in pictures.
my brother has a bigger heart than you.
my brother grows a lot of facial hair.
my brother wears shirts that fit him.
my brother doesn't take a shower every day.
my brother still touches his nose when he laughs.
my brother got all the freckles.
my brother is going to be a great father.
my brother loves me more than anyone loves me.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

takeover makeover.

i'm not trying to be a debbie downer. god knows i have made huge shifts this year toward being a happy beam of bouncing light - which thanks to some adult acne medication - i totally am. thankful for my life. thankful for my job(s). thankful for all the money i don't have. thankful for steven tyler's open shirts and feather hair extensions competing against jlo's open shirts and hair extensions. but this week the light has fizzled and i am left listless, waiting around for the kneeling bus to take me home.

everywhere i turn. everywhere i look. everywhere i sit to pee. senior moments follow me.

in other words, i have been blindsided by the takeover.

the takeover infiltrates my dreams, reminding me to bend with my knees; mocks me in poorly lit bathroom mirrors, and wickedly taunts me through livingsocial deals to some caribbean paradise named 'burry me here'. you're probably desperate to throw me a congrats since you may have heard i obsess over the elderly. but let me clarify. while i do love old people - i didn't expect the takeover to lurk around the corner waiting to randomly pounce at the age of 29 3/4 on a monday.  physical ailments. early onset mental-pause. tripple checking for my purse, keys and heavy sweater. sudoku puzzles. my mind encased in some sort of mold growth build-up. i would clean it off, but last week i threw my back out again, reaching for the soap.

it all started after my 29th birthday, when i received a promo email from urban outfitters. inside the email, lived a black and white photo of a model in 4 different outfits. the words "Vintage 90s" in bold.

vintage 90s. the two words curdled as i said them out loud. i found myself offended, as if it were a personal attack. this was obviously the work of some paid intern-child. some gap baby who's parents didn't yell at them enough. some knit wit who thinks the dewey decimal is a new clothing line.

two things bothered me. one, how the hell are the 90s vintage. two, who in their right mind wants to relive them through fashion? classified personal photos from middle school shot out from my memory box. boxy crew neck tshirts. spaghetti strap flower patterned dresses. high wasted acid washed jeans. clogs. brushed frizzy hair. the egyptian pyramids. wait. let's bring up a visual.

6th grade social studies fair. here i am, looking unbathed and disheveled before it was cool to look unbathed and disheveled. i'm pretty sure the teacher gave me an A for pity effort. wearing the curtain from our living room as a toga - and belt of desperation around my head - who wouldn't want to probe this  furry child for trojan war factoids. or at least take a few sunflower seeds. it's a bit rhetorical, but i'll say it anyway - the parents didn't help with this one. like prostitution or recreational drug use, for me the 90s were a victimless crime. do not encouraged. do not repeat.

[side note
trojan horse : romans
6th grade : elizabeth]

while we're at it, what would happen if we brought back all of the 90s from this picture in particular? uni-brows. girl mustaches. shoddy shaved legs. babe, your mustache is so baby your mustache is so girly and truly ironic....wanna go back to my place and look through my encyclopedia britannicas? their vintage.

speaking of feeling nauseous, the takeover has branched out to my clothing choices of this decade.

[another side note i will share: i am crabby as i write this post. a bloated blogger. i just devoured six green tea mochi icreams, chased with a jar of dill pickles. all my ethnicities are satisfied.]

outside of pajamas, all things i wear seem to be tragically uncomfortable. at the end of the day my body screams to be released from the casing of convention. no matter the cut or stretch, jeans are too restrictive and trigger my sciatica. i thought it was just me, until i caught some 60 minutes report on a study done of the correlation between low rise jeans and back problems in younger women. moving forward, i vote for the cropped palazzo. along with pants, belts = body torture. i use them sparingly. underwire bras and thongs are devil snacks. i would need to be getting paid a lot of money for a playboy spread to ever consider recreational thong use. we'll see where i land on that one. i thank god for my non existent chest, and double shirt it whenever possible. shoes must be semi-flat with pillows of arch support, making heels a big fat joke. but while still a joke, they are permissible under two specific circumstances. 1) to show and shave my legs for a wedding  2) to be a fo-hoe in a club, coming face to face with other real life hoes. in both cases heels stop being heels. they become twisted obligatory social armor, protecting my ego from other females.

i don't know why getting dressed is becoming such a chore. zipping and buttoning, a superfluous eff you. i thought maybe it was weight gain. but no. turns out i just hate buttoning my pants. lately i daydream of soft billowy coverage. linen blowing in the wind. elastic waste bands. jersey knit summers. relaxed tummies. damn you, eileen fischer. damn you and your twine pleated shorts. any chance those come in pants?

the final straw breaking this camels back was a moment last week in my bathroom. monday morning, 7am. (really quick. for anyone who hasn't yet experienced the takeover, let me give you a tip. only bad bad things happen in the bathroom at 7am. nothing ever good happens there, so don't take your time and hang out like you have nothing else to do. go into the kitchen. or into the bedroom. or for fucks sake watch some tv, but don't think you are in control once you enter into the lair of truth. it will end up owning you. sorry, i'll stop.) so, after turning on the shower, i pulled my hair back and waited for the room to get warm and cozy. kicking my clothes to the corner, i applied toothpaste to my toothbrush and turned to get in the bath. like a crack of lightening, i got a side shot of myself in the mirror and shockingly shuttered away in panic. steam billowed around me. i held my breath. was i hallucinating?? was it a day terror???? with magellan eyes.....i leaned in...... and stared at my ass in the mirror... ass. the shar pei. stared back. (click the link.)

stunned. overnight subduction zones of distinct ugli fruit texture had managed to form. at long last, i was an impressionist. a bus ride of possibilities later, i convinced myself this condition was not a cocktail of laziness, stretchmarks and cellulite, but somehow related to extreme dehydration. figuring an iron would not generate prolonged remedy, and i've already had surgery once this year, i opted for drinking more water and avoiding the mirror entirely from this point on. so far, lighting hasn't struck twice.

enough kvetching for tonight.

my pajamas are calling.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

i kees de muderrr.

to my momma,

thank you for teaching me how to laugh and enjoy all of life's little blessings.

you also showed me how to pose for the camera. thanks for that too.

i love you forever.

happy momma's day.

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