When I was a kid, I envied my Bubby Cryille’s personality. She was warm and welcoming, but also outspoken. She knew everyone — and everything about them — and she loved life. I remember her beauty routine most of all — second only to my memories of her Entertainment Books. She went weekly to a salon called the Magic Touch in Oak Park, where she went for her hair, her brows, and her nails. It was like Bubby HQ. Bubbies here, bubbies there, bubbies everywhere. Bubbies doing nails. Bubbies doing hair.

Her hair was standard Bubby — brushed back curls — but her nails…her nails were her creative outlet. My dad’s mother is much more tightly wound, but my beloved Bubby Cyrille – she went for red.

Jag-U-Are by Essie was her signature shade. For years, I thought she was simply mispronouncing the name “Jaguar.” It took years, and four years since she passed away, for me to realize I was wrong.

I spent Christmas in Westchester this year — a slight break in my “Jewish Christmas” tradition of movies and Chinese food in Michigan and Amagansett.

We made our way up with Adam’s father, but on the one condition that I could get a mani/pedi before going to the house. Adam and his dad dropped me at the salon before heading to the gym. I walked past its hair styling section to the mani/pedi room, and the first color I picked up was the shimmery red “Jag-U-Are.” It was at that moment that I canceled my shellac mani in favor of a regular manicure with this color as an ode to my late Bubby Cyrille.

The rest of the holiday was lovely — good food, future family, and we even squeezed a movie in there. Most of all, it was nice to have memories of my Bubby with me, even if just on my nails.



Christmas in the Hamptons 2.0

Last winter was my first in New York.

Lonely is a bad state of mind to be in, and the bleak New York winters do [negative] wonders for loneliness. I was invited to spend the Christmas holiday — which historically for my family and me had meant Chinese food and a movie in suburban Detroit — in the Hamptons. Having never before been, I jumped at the opportunity. Peaceful it was not. Less than a full day after arriving, our would-be lovely holiday was cut short due to an impending blizzard.

I’ve since returned to my cousin’s home in Amagansett, but had planned to spend Christmas alone this year. Alone but not lonely.

The office was closed Friday. I spent the day cleaning, doing laundry, and eating. By nightfall, boredom — note: not loneliness — set in. Before bed, my cousin had text messaged me. Cue: loneliness.

I spent most of Saturday sleeping off my cold, and around 3 p.m., I had made the executive decision to take a 6:40 Jitney to Amagansett.

No regrets.

I arrived and imbibed — crisp white wine before bed.

This Christmas holiday has beyond made up for its predecessor. A lovely drive and walk about Montauk Point, a movie in East Hampton, and English-style breakfast for supper.

Neither alone, nor lonely.

Belated Gifting: Delinquent Edition

It’s 11 a.m., and those within the Eastern Time Zone and beyond have likely unwrapped the majority of their Christmas gifts. There are three nights left of Hanukkah, and so still plenty of time for belated gift purchasing.

For some, gifting is enjoyable and easy. For others, especially those who fell victim to the crappy economy, gifting is a pain.

I tend to gift sporadically. Cards are more my style so that I can reach many more people while not spending my life savings.

My cousin Max alerted me to a humorous gift option a la George Costanza’s “The Human Fund” donations. Check out “Helping Those Who Can’t Afford to Care,” a fake charity donation generator.

Humor aside, if you do have a little extra to spend, consider making an end of year donation to a real charity. I’m passionate about social media for social good, and thanks to the Internet, it’s easier than ever to give a little with the potential of making a big difference. Check out the IRS tips for end of year giving.

Holidays [not] On Ice

I spent most of my day yesterday trying to travel to the Hamptons, specifically to Amagansett, but my wait time at Penn Station and on the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) inspired a weird amount of thought. [I should also probably cite Joni Mitchell as inspiration, because “River” was playing on repeat on my iPhone.]

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