I should be working, but I just canít help but to start writing. This is the first time in ages that I feel really good. The past several weeks, I had been dragging myself through my days wondering how I ever felt good about life.

How did I start feeling good?

It started about a week ago. Anthony invited us up for a concert over the weekend. A few days beforehand we were still contemplating whether or not to go up. Generally speaking, Adam is the personification of obedience, so I knew that it was ultimately my decision.

I didnít feel like it, but I had no valid excuse. I also knew that once I got there, I would have fun.

I told him to call his sister and tell her that weíd be up. He had gone up the previous weekend to see his old high school friends, but missed seeing her. Usually when we visit Manhattan, I remind him two or three times that he really ought to call his sister. Itís one thing if you are in town but donít call a friend, but when itís family, to me it seems extra sinful. It might be different if she were an evil little witch, but sheís pleasant and sweet and she doesnít see her older brother often enough.

That Saturday morning, I pulled myself into my clothes, put on some make-up and started feeling slightly alive. While Adam got ready, I started playing around with some costume jewelry that I had hanging around for the Halloween costume that I had planned to wear this year (but ultimately was feeling too low to put it on). I was planning to be a gypsy, so I had some huge, silver, dangling earrings and a silver bracelet made of jingle bells (obviously manufactured for Christmas, but if you start marketing your stuff before Halloween, you should expect it to be used inappropriately).

I usually donít wear a lot of dangly jewelry for a couple of reasons. I have long, thick, wavy hair thatís practically over-the-top just on its own, and thereís always the danger of getting my hair twisted around any earrings that I might be wearing. Also, jewelry is discouraged in martial arts and I donít want to risk losing something because I had to take it off and stow it somewhere.

My hair is not so long, right now. I pulled it back tight, and wore my costume jewelry. It raised my spirits to be shiny and jingly for the day.

We met up with Anthony, went into the city, and met up with Adamís sister. It was a frigid day, and we combated it by going to a fantastic Mexican restaurant. We had a lot of time to kill before the concert, which gave us the opportunity to have a leisurely meal and a long chat.

Afterwards, Adamís sister took her leave to go indulge in some Saturday night karaoke.

The concert was a typical concert going experience.

Afterwards, we met up with the person who has been Adamís best friend from elementary school up to the present. He is one of the most engaging conversationalists that Iíve ever met. We went to a diner and the boys traded stories of fistfights and antics growing up in northern Jersey, having been thrown out of that very same diner multiple times.

Adam first brought up the topic by mentioning that he was banned from that particular establishment for life, as we walked in.

I grew up with the temperament of a stodgy 40 year old, so I often ask Adam what motivated him to beÖ the way he was, when he was a kid. He usually fills in, ďsuch an asshole? I donít know. I thought it was funny.Ē

The next day, we slept in. We left Anthonyís late in the morning and picked up Adamís childhood chum, and went to get the most amazing food on the planet.

What is the most amazing food on the planet? Well, Iíve probably mentioned it before, but itís Indian food in JC.

I canít go into too much detail because if I were a more timely person, Iíd have written about the experiences of the past couple of weeks in a few individual entries. However, I am not, so it all gets crammed into one. For the sake of time and efficiency, letís skip ahead.

Last week, my lingering cold resurfaced and hung onto my lungs and sinuses for dear life as my body expelled it. It kept expelling through the weekend, but other than being congested, I was actually quite healthy.

I went to karate on Saturday and had an especially rough day. I woke up on Sunday morning as a total mess. So sore I could barely move, and coughing on top of that (which is painful when your abs are sore).

By the evening, I was feeling better, which is lucky because we had Nicoleís birthday party. She held it in a private room at a local karaoke bar. Iíve never actually been to a karaoke bar. I like to sing. I sing a lot when I am on my own. I also have a lot of hang-ups about public singing. This makes a karaoke bar simultaneously a dream come true and my worst nightmare. A private room suddenly makes it a whole lot better.

The problem here is that when I was a girl, I had several years of voice lessons. My voice lessons teacher bestowed upon me the title of ďher hardest working student.Ē I know, just what you want to hear in the performing arts.

In private, I may have been a decent singer, I donít really even remember. That didnít matter, though, because as soon as I was in front of an audience, I would fall apart.

These days, no one in my life has any idea that Iíve ever sung anything. Also, I just donít care as much. My ego is not tied to my voice. That night, I had a cold, my voice was cracking, and I was hacking up a lung, but that didnít stop me from taking the mic and enjoying the hell out of the situation.

Nicole, who, in her youth, was in an a cappella group. (Of course, since she does everything I do, except at a higher level. Seriously, is she a clone of me from a more advanced, taller, better-looking dimension?) She has complimented me a few times on my singing. I think that subconsciously, she must recognize the training because there sure isnít any talent, there. I just neglect to mention that I had voice training. That makes singing life so much easier.

Yesterday, I woke feeling good; life is sweet again. Ordinary tasks donít feel like they weigh ten million tons, anymore.

As if that werenít enough, last night was another evening out with friends. Me, Nicole, Christine and another friend had been hoping to get together at some point for food and talk.

We went out to a Moroccan restaurant; traditional and family style; A dark kind of place with lush, ornate dťcor that has belly dancing on the weekends. None were present last night, unfortunately.

We had to ring the bell to get in. Our host welcomed us like family, sat at our table to discuss our dinner options, and washed our hands in rose-scented water. This wasnít ordinary water thatís merely called rose-scented nor was it perfumey smelling. Oh no. This water, heated to a perfect hand-washing temperature, was heavily fragrant with an earthy rose scent. Water that a person imagines ancient royalty must have bathed in.

Over 3 hours, we were served 7 courses. Obviously, every single course was fantastic. Who would go through the trouble of washing your hands with rose water only to serve bad (or even mediocre) food? Maybe that happens at Disney. Except there, you probably stand in a line and get hosed down with cold water thatís been dyed pink and then you are probably handed paper napkins to dry off (I really wouldnít know, Iím just making that up).

Hmmmm, Iím not sure whether or not I say that it rivals JC Indian food. I guess it depends on a personís mood.

We laughed for the full three hours. These werenít girlish giggles, either. These were hearty, belling laughing, fists pounding on the plush sofa, mascara running, nearly passing out with suffocation, kind of laughing.

A handsome, young Indian man who, over time, became less and less subtle about his eaves dropping from the next table became drawn into the conversation.

The first words out of his mouth, ďI have two questions for the four of you.Ē We signaled his permission to continue. ďFirst, if this is what you are like when you are drinking water, what are you like when youíve had some alcohol? And second...Ē he hesitated, shyly, ďI read a lot of online personal ads, and women often say that want a man with a sense of humorÖ I was wondering if this is the kind of entertainment women are expecting on a date. Is this how you behave when you are around a man?Ē

Nicole, composed herself at will, and very seriously answered, ďWell, it depends on the date, but no, we do not usually behave this way when we are on dates. If you expect this kind of reaction from a date, you are setting the bar far too high.Ē

The man, who had quite obviously being eyeing her up from the beginning, attempted to back-peddle into an explanation that he could be funny. Very funny. The circumstances just had to be right.

Soon after, we exited the warm restaurant and entered an evening that was equally as warm. What a beautiful night.

Iím not sure if it was the food or the laughter but I couldnít sleep last night. I was up until 2. Strangely enough, I woke up feeling fine this morning.

I donít feel like working, but I feel like living, and thatís what matters.

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Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008 at 2:59 PM