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ocho baby
Eloise Lilly West Maddox Malle, born on Monday, August 18, 2008 at 430 in the afternoon. Eloise weighed in at a robust 8 lbs and stands a proud 20 inches tall. Ten days late, but she still has three 8s.

I'm due to have my first baby today, which is conveniently 08-08-08.  

Unlike the number '4', which is apparently somewhat doomed, the number '8' is as lucky as you can get in numerology obsessed China.  (After all, 8 on its side is the symbol for infinity, which must be a good thing). I've since learned that China did not bid on the 2004 Olympics, or the 2012 Olympics - just 2008 - and that they plan to launch their Olympics Games at 8:08 on 08-08-08.   

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littleindia.jpgYou gotta love a guy like my friend Howard. On Memorial Day Monday at 10:30 a.m., I called him in Santa Monica from my bed in Sherman Oaks and said, “Whatcha doing today?”

“Don’t have anything until 4 o’clock,” he said.

“I don’t have anything till 6 – wanna go to Artesia and check out some of the Indian restaurants?”

“Oh yeah,” he said, “meet ya at the corner of Artesia and Pioneer Boulevards at noon.”

“Fab, see you there.” Jumped out of bed and hit the shower.

Next to the joy of eating a long, festive meal at a giant table surrounded by family and friends, my favorite culinary ritual is the food safari, an expedition off the beaten track in search of something new and delicious. My sister Jo will drive to the four corners of the earth with me to try a new pizza joint that we’ve heard is good. There was the 2-hour car trip up to Hartford with the old boyfriend, because we’d read great things about an old diner. And my very busy bud Peter managed to keep a lunch open last week so that we could go sample the hot dogs (five different ones!) at the new Papaya King in Hollywood.

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fall-leaves.jpgI remember it like it was yesterday – laying in bed, completely entranced in the fiery excitement of it all. It was nothing I had ever experienced. My senses were heightened, an obsession had begun.

I was experiencing my first real autumn. 

Growing up in New Orleans, fall was something that just … happened. The days went from excessively hot, to a little less hot, to bearably warm with the occasional jolt of cold (Cold, of course, being temperatures in the 50s. Brrrr). The leaves bypassed that whole color-change thing everyone always talks about. It was green to dead and that was that.

That is, until I began my freshman year in Maryland at Goucher College. As I plucked away at my snooze button, cursing the existence of a 9:30 am class, I rolled over and froze. There they were – red, orange, yellow and every combination between the three.

Once I was able to tear myself away from the window, I sprinted down the hall. “Have you seen them? They’re beautiful!”

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mono_large.jpg I have yet to go on a date in New York without breaking into a mental sweat.  When scouting for potential mates, I have learned pretentious is better than shallow, irritatingly intelligent better than vapid.  But every time I find myself two blocks away from any appointed date destination, panic ensues.

I literally go through the syllabi of every course I can remember from NYU and every legitimate news article I have come across in recent memory.  A friend of mine once told me she discovered the best conversation starters from a semester seminar she took called 'The Darwinian Revolution.'  To this day, I regret not enrolling in that class.  I could be married by now. 

Recently, I went on a second date at Casa Mono in Gramercy Park with a screenwriter.  As we sat at the crowded bar, reviewing the tapas menu, all I could think of was the impending birth of the "Brangelina" twins.  

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mainlogo1.gif I am addicted to chocolate. I don't mean that I just like to eat chocolate, I have to eat  chocolate. There is no twelve step program, there are no support groups but I know it is genetic. My mother is also addicted to chocolate as are two of my six little nieces. Sometimes the four of us sit around the kitchen table in silence eating chocolate. I am the enabler. I buy chocolate every time I pass through a duty free store in an airport. I stop in every bakery I see to buy anything chocolate they have. I know exactly where all the nice chocolate shops are in New York City. You get my point?

 Tell us your favorite candy...and where we can get it.

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