Browse Category: Living

Musings: my favorite coffee cups

I’ve always had a great appreciation for china, stemware, things of that sort. I value both the functionality and beauty that they bring to my meal and drink. I had this one favorite latte/macchiato glass that I would use to make beautiful coffee drinks in the mornings. One day, I heard the unmistakable sound of broken glass. I came into the kitchen to find my coffee glass shattered and an expression of guilt and horror on my husband’s face. I reassured him that it was alright, that I would get a new one sometime soon.

My beautiful glass before it broke, holding something delicious.

Months went by and some mornings, I really missed my glass. ‘It’s just coffee,’ you may say, but as someone who tries to celebrate each meal and drink, it’s not just caffeinated black water for me. It’s good coffee that deserves to be served in a beautiful vessel. One day recently, I decided that I would replace my glass and get a few extras, so I went onto the Nespresso website to buy some and was sorely disappointed–no more of their signature latte glasses. And none on ebay or Amazon either.

Fortunately, I’ve acquired many beautiful cups over the last few years and they bring a smile to my face every morning as I admire the artistry that went into their design. A couple of them are pictured below:

Espresso cups by Konitz
Bloomies espresso cup by Villeroy & Boch
A colorful New Wave cup and saucer by Villeroy
Cups by Konitz-- a wonderful gift from dear friends
Evening coffee
My favorite regular mug
The cup I drink from when I'd rather be on a farm in France.

As is obvious, I have a thing for coffee cups and teacups. I have many different kinds, and love collecting them; I consider them little pieces of art. There’s one particular set of cups and china that I’m happiest to have acquired, mostly through different auctions: a vintage collection of the Acapulco china by Villeroy & Boch, designed in 1967 (pictured below). The Acapulco line’s pieces are covered in groovy vibrant bird and flower artwork, inspired by Mexican art. Villeroy re-introduced this lovely look a few years ago in a more modern form–they applied the Acapulco pattern to their popular New Wave china for a masterful blend of sleek and artful. But I like the old collection better. It’s incredibly charming and I feel that the colors pop more. I often drink my coffee out of these pieces. I love that the old run of Acapulco yielded lots of oversized/in-between sized cups, which means I have cups that are perfect for espressos, but also ones that are perfect for lungos, cappuccinos and whatever else I make. Since I like to add whipped cream to all my coffee drinks (because coffee rocks a little harder with whipped cream), I like to use these bigger cups to run one or two shots, and there’s still plenty of room left for the whip without it overflowing. Some of my pieces are from the ’60s, some are from the ’70s. I ended up loving the cups so much that I’ve bought several different pieces here and there through auction– trays, teacups and saucers, plates, trivets, coffeepots, teapot, egg holders, teabag holders, ashtrays (I don’t smoke, but these ended up being bundled in with other pieces I liked, so I’m glad to have them anyhow) and I’ve amassed a great collection.

Some Acapulco cups

For our anniversary, my husband presented me with a big, heavy, beautifully-wrapped box. Inside was a set of beautiful latte glasses. These particular coffee glasses (pictured below) are tall ones by Villeroy, with removable stainless steel handles in the curved New Wave shape. The glass is a classic, pretty window to the drink; the steel gives a funky modern finish. So, I pine no more for long-lost coffee cups as I’ve been given this lovely set of replacements. I’m happy.

Villeroy New Wave Latte Macchiato glass
Something yummy on my balcony

Beijos, minha irmã…

Last week, I watched my sister fly downwards towards South America, where she’ll undoubtedly paint Brazil a brand new shade of red as she makes her home there for the next four years. I’ve watched her travel the world for roughly twenty years, and whenever I could gather up the time and money, I followed her–to Europe, to Africa, to Haiti, to various places around the States.

My sister and I in her bedroom many moons ago. Note the beloved 'Pound Puppy' in her hands! Hers or mine? Can't say for sure...

When I was 12 years old, I cried, completely inconsolable, when she moved to Italy. When she came home for Christmas that year, and left again after the holidays, I cried harder than before. Eventually, I stopped crying because I realized that all her travel abroad meant wonderful things. New homes abroad for her meant exciting trips abroad for me. In turn, exciting trips abroad to visit my sis meant quality time and good adventuring with her. So began many fun and memorable trips all over the place…

When I was fifteen years old, I went to West Africa on my own to stay with her for three months, and celebrated my sweet 16th during that time. I went back the next year for two months. Even at that young age, I knew better than to take such an experience for granted. This time spent in a quiet part of Africa, in the presence of my sister whom I admired and adored unabashedly, remains a uniquely formative and unforgettable time in my life.

My sister styling my mane back in the day. Sacred duty!

Long and scenic road trips, elegant train travel, not-so-elegant train travel, funny airplane rides, spine-rattling clunker taxis with herds of goat strapped to the roof–we’ve experienced it all together. She is–and will always be–my favorite travel partner. We haven’t done a big trip together in a longish while, so I think about Brazil with great excitement, thinking of the good times to be had when I go visit (often!) in the coming years.  The anticipation doesn’t fully make up for the heavy heartedness that I felt at her leaving, but it levels the emotional field a bit.

Me, my sister, Venice in 2004

So off I go to work on a little Portuguese, and to add people, places and things to my South America bucket list. And to my dear sister– happy trails to you; até logo!

My sister-- dressed as a traveling marchande, gazing out towards distant lands during the late 1970s.

The coolest yogurt ever

First of all… hi. Long hiatus, I won’t even bother explaining, but please know that the blogging world was in my heart 🙂

I went to Whole Foods recently and had a meltdown in the dairy section because they were out of the yogurt that I usually buy (whole milk plain yogurt by Traders Point Creamery; greatest yogurt EVER). So I resigned myself to scouring the shelves for a temporary replacement. I decided to try Skyr, an Icelandic yogurt that I had read about a few months back. I found a plain single serving 6-ounce container of plain skyr priced at $2.79 (ouch!) and was pleased to find that it had only 100 calories (yay!), 6 grams of carbs (double yay!!) and 17 grams of protein (triple yay!!!). Oh, and it’s fat free (I’m out of ‘yays’ by this point because I’m still reeling that this miracle food exists).

It’s a yogurt made with skim milk; the milk is incubated with live active cultures and rennet. The whey gets strained away and you’re left with something like soft cheese. Not to worry–historically, all that strained-out whey didn’t go to waste; it was used to pickle foods during the winter. You need to use a lot more milk to make skyr–at least 3 or 4 times more milk than it takes to make the regular liquidy yogurt that fills most supermarket shelves–which I guess explains both the higher price tag and the high protein content. Today, it’s made mostly with cows’ milk although it used to be made with both cow’s milk and sheep’s milk.

The following morning, I eagerly opened my container of skyr and turned it upside down over a bowl. Nothing came out. I grabbed a spoon and stuck it in to swirl it around a bit and was surprised to see how thick it was. The taste? Sour, like sour cream mixed with plain yogurt. Consistency? This is yogurt that you can chew. I drizzled my Haitian-smuggled honey and ground cinnamon over it (which is how I normally eat my plain yogurt). It took getting used to; it took me a lot longer to eat because it’s more like a soft cheese than regular yogurt.

Verdict: I love it and now regularly shell out for it. My trusty Traders Point is still the greatest ever, but this stuff has gotta be the coolest ever. I’ve also tried the blueberry and vanilla flavors. But you should be warned–none of the flavors take away that tangy mouth-puckering dairy taste, so don’t expect blueberry-infused skyr to taste like sugary fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt. All flavorings are very subtle. I’m enjoying mixing in different ingredients–I like to add a spoon of vanilla extract to it. Sometimes I mix in some of the more liquidy plain yogurt. I might try it with jam and fruit sometime–Icelanders often eat it this way. Apparently Icelanders also stir in milk & sugar, or cream & sugar. I can’t imagine adding cream to such a creamy cheesy dairy product, but Icelanders have been making and eating this stuff for about ten centuries, so I readily assume they’ve come up with sound recipes for this product along the way.

I tried Siggi’s skyr, a New York-based skyr-making company started by a homesick Icelandic immigrant named Siggi Hilmarsson. I buy this particular brand at Whole Foods, but it sells in other specialty shops too. Siggi’s flavors include plain (yum), blueberry (yum), vanilla (yum), orange & ginger (would like to try), pomegranate & passion fruit (have no desire to try, as I hate passion fruit), acai (would like to try), and grapefruit (curious). Certain Whole Foods locations also carry another brand called, but it’s not at my location. Major kudos to the website for sharing lots of fun skyr recipes with the public! Happy eating!

Facebook Rehab: The halfway point

Hi readers 🙂

I recently blogged about my intention to cut out Facebook for a month. I thought I’d share a few side-effects now that I’m at the halfway point.

1.) iPhone battery lasts longer. The battery on this wondrous phone is awful, but it’s much less awful now that I no longer screw around on Facebook all the time.

2.) More efficient use of daily time. I used to wake up before sunrise, but then over coffee, I’d start Facebooking. Somebody please, cue up your favorite rendition of “Who Knows Where the Time Goes?” because that’s the very question I used to ask myself whenever my time disappeared into the Facebook vortex. I gladly report that this is no longer a problem.

Facebook vortex *

3.) Less anxiety. When I was cruising facebook aimlessly, I had guilt sitting like a rock in my belly. This is no longer the case and I gladly report that I am less anxious.

4.) Self-pity. Yeah, I know–not a desirable side-effect. I’d feel frustrated sometimes, like that painful, mouthwatering sensation that overtakes your body when you’re not allowed to take a potato chip from the plate of Lays sitting in front of you. One night, thanks to my TiVo, I did a 24 marathon and finally watched the last 6 episodes of the series. As the final minutes played out and I cried with Chloe O’Brian and watched Jack Bauer fade away, I actually felt sorry for myself that I couldn’t whine about the end of my favorite show on facebook.  I thought, ‘Lose facebook AND 24 in the same week?’ Anyway, I got over it 5 minutes later. Sometimes my husband sits near me, logs in, and says something like, “Ohh, so and so posted her first pregnancy picture.” Insert itch-that-can’t-be-scratched sensation. How many times did I want to bitch to the facebook community about Italy’s crybaby tactics on South Africa’s fields? Many times, but I engaged in animated discussions about it with my husband and father instead. Sidenote: How crazy was Italy vs. Slovakia??!

5.) True face time. I admit that I’m generally over-addicted to my iPhone. The apps, the email, the games, and worst of all, the facebook. Now that I use my phone a lot less, I’ve become keenly aware of people who are plugged into their smartphones–I’m talking zero eye contact during a conversation so long as the damn phone is in their hands. I readily recognize that this is a growing epidemic of rudeness, and I renounce this awful behavior for my part. I vow not to look at random info on my phone while talking to people. This new self-imposed rule has enabled me to converse meaningfully with people in a pre-smartphone way: no distractions, complete focus. Of course, I owe my friends and loved ones that courtesy anyway.

Bottom line: Life was always good, but these days, life is better; I’d be lying, however, if I said I didn’t miss facebook.

Photo Credit: “Facebook is Scary” by Kevin Saff

Experiment: Facebook rehab

Hi readers.

Chances are, if you’re a close friend of mine, we’re probably friends on Facebook. And if you’re my friend on Facebook, you know that I spend plenty of time there. Recently though, my addiction has begun to weigh heavily on me. One of my best friends had given up Facebook access as a sacrifice for Lent 2010, describing the website as “crack.” I’ve come to see it the same way. I can no longer ignore or deny that I’m addicted to this website. One of the worst things about it? That’s it’s not even just confined to being a website anymore–it’s on my phone too. For God’s sake, it’s EVERYWHERE. So I check in “real quick”–in quotes, because it’s most often never quick–ALL the time. The most common letdown is that usually, it turns out that nothing exciting has happened in the last 120 seconds (the amount of time that has lapsed since I last looked).

Of course, the very nature of Facebook is designed to keep you hooked. Hyperlinks everywhere, in the form of random faces that you want to click on. Quite often, before you know it, you’ve got twenty tabs open and you’re making mental notes to return to this person’s profile and that person’s picture album. Yada yada yada, so goes facebook’s never-ending story.

And the games? Forget it. I made the mistake of starting to play an online facebook game called Restaurant City, a Sims-esque restaurant-focused game. The “goal” of the game is to build your restaurant, decorate it, hire people and keep them fed, and master all of the food and drink dishes that you serve. The problem is that this game is an online form of soap opera–there’s no end in sight; the goal is to never reach an end goal. This game keeps sending more and more novelties to settle and colonize my mental landscape. It’s become quite the time suck.  How bad has it gotten? This bad: I created a whole secondary profile just to play this game. Fake Me’s restaurant was supposed to be a place from which Real Me could siphon off whatever I needed. But Fake Me wanted more. Fake Me’s restaurant is now more ornate and grandiose than Real Me’s restaurant is. The energy, time and focus needed to run Fake Me and Real Me’s restaurants is staggering.

Long story short, it’s all just too much for me now and I’m about to short-circuit. So I’ve decided to cut it out for a month. I know it’ll be hard–I love seeing what everyone’s up to, checking out friends’ and relatives’ pictures, and making my restaurant pretty, but the truth is that this one website keeps me from being engaged in what’s really going on around me. I check in too often when I could be doing more productive/meaningful things. So I’ll be deleting the phone app for the month, and I’ll block the website on my computer temporarily. Facebook is one of the main places where I advertise my blog posts, so I’ll have to find some way around that little issue–I’ll probably just click “Share on Facebook” directly from my blog posts so that I’m not tempted to log into my account, but I sincerely hope that my friends keep on reading anyway.

So if you need to reach me, you can do so outside facebook. I look forward to reporting from a more peaceful, self-aware mindset  😉

Experiments in ice cream

Hey all!

One evening last week, my husband phoned me from the store and asked me if I needed anything. I said ‘ice cream.’ He decided to surprise me.

After dinner, he brought me some frozen goodness, remaining secretive about the brand. I could tell that it was an extra dark chocolate, because it had a very dark color. I tried a spoonful and tasted an intense chocolate flavor. My first taste of it didn’t exactly lead me to ice cream–it reminded me of chocolate mousse. It had the flavor of an intense creamy homemade chocolate dessert that managed to have the consistency of ice cream. Very strong on the cocoa, slightly nutty. Completely different from any other chocolate ice cream I had ever had, but in a good way.

My husband grabbed the pint so I could see what it was, and it threw me for a loop. Goat’s milk ice cream, Deep Chocolate flavor. Not that it should seem so farfetched–we eat goat’s milk cheese, and it’s pretty delicious. It’s only logical that we should do other useful things with this milk.

Pros of goat’s milk? It does a body quite good. It’s a complete protein. It’s much easier to digest than cow’s milk; it’s not lactose-free, but it has a lot less lactose than its moo counterpart. It’s also lower in fat. I was quite pleased to find out that the serving of ice cream I was having had 160 calories and 6 grams of fat. The same amount of chocolate ice cream from Haagen-Dazs would have run me 270 calories and 18 grams of fat. The biggest pro in my book: it boasts a super short ingredient list. This is a biggie for me–I hate seeing loads of chemicals in my food (which is just one of the reasons I mainly cook at home). I look at these pints and their ingredient lists read something like: goat milk, evaporated cane juice, egg yolks, pure vanilla locust bean gum, guar gum, carrageenan.

Cons? This particular brand of goat’s milk ice cream, Laloo’s, was pricey: $6.99, a hefty price tag for just a pint. Although if I was unable to consume cow’s milk and I discovered something like this, I’m sure I would easily cough up the seven bucks to get my ice cream fix. Another con, it’s a bit hard to find. A 100-mile radius search on Laloo’s website let me know that I’d only be able to find this ice cream at Whole Foods. I also conducted a 100-mile radius search for other cities, and similarly the brand is almost exclusively available at organic specialty stores and markets.

Considering that Laloo’s is currently the only commercial goat’s milk ice cream out there, I give them kudos for featuring a wide array of flavors. Their line-up includes fun flavors like Vanilla Snowflake, Deep Chocolate, Strawberry Darling, Rumplemint, Capraccino (a coffee flavor that plays on the root word for goat “capra”) and Black Mission Fig. They also have a couple of different frozen yogurts as well as an ice cream sandwich. Unfortunately, my neighborhood Whole Foods only carried two flavors–another disappointment. I’d love to try the strawberry, but I only have the chocolate and vanilla available at my store.

I marched (as in got in my car and drove) to Whole Foods a week later and got the Vanilla Snowflake. While I do generally prefer vanilla ice cream to chocolate, I assumed this would have a more pungent flavor than the chocolate because it wouldn’t have the benefit of a strong outside flavor to stand up to the goat milk flavor. I was quite wrong. I actually fell pretty hard for the vanilla. It had a very strong vanilla bean flavor–a big plus for me. It was intensely creamy and it smelled amazing–like sweetness, vanilla and cream.

Verdict: There’s no other like Chunky Monkey, but goat’s milk ice cream has earned a favorable spot in my freezer.

Mud crawling…

Hello everyone!

Looking for something totally different and off the wall to do in the upcoming weeks and months? Ever heard of Muddy Buddy? Sponsored by the Columbia Sportswear company, it’s a multi-sport event that involves running, off-road biking, obstacles and mud. This event’s making people dirty one city at a time, traveling around big cities in the US during spring, summer and fall. You participate in a two-person team. When the race starts, one of you runs while the other bikes. You both get to an obstacle, go through the obstacle (successfully 😉 then switch off with each other (the biker now runs, the runner now bikes). You get to the next obstacle, then switch off again. You do this for five obstacles and eventually make it to a good old mud pit at the end of the event–the one through which you will both crawl and emerge “muddy buddies.” The whole event covers a ground distance of six or seven miles; by the end each of you will have run about three miles and cycled three miles. Apparently I shouldn’t be worried that I’m not an Olympic athlete–it’s designed with all sorts of competitors in mind. Nice. Adding to my bucket list.

If you’ve got little ones who’d like to try their hand at an obstacle and a mud crawl, sign them up for Mini Muddy-Buddy. This event is geared towards kids age 4 to 13 (the 4-, 5-, and 6-year olds must be accompanied by an adult for the crawl), and involves a short obstacle course followed by a mud bath. Fun stuff.

The entry fee for the event will run you and your partner $150 total (it’s $15 more for the Orlando event). Mini Muddy Buddy costs $15. Click here to see scheduled dates and locations. It’s mostly in bigger cities for now, but it’s in enough states that you should be able to drive to one nearby if it’s not taking place right in your town. There’s one coming up on May 8th in Orlando. I won’t be able to make it that week, but there is a South Florida Muddy Buddy coming my way in late November, so we’ll see if I muster up the courage for that one. By the way, if any of you sign up I’d be more than happy to bring my camera to document the historic occasion. You know, for posterity. And for Facebook.

This thing sounds like a blast, and it beats dinner and a movie hands down, doesn’t it?

When the kids malfunction…

Why did you make me play second base?”

The quote above is from the 1989 film ‘Parenthood,’ directed by Ron Howard. ‘Why did you make me play second base?!’ is what young boy Kevin cries out to his father Gil (played by the masterful Steve Martin) after he causes his baseball team to lose the game. Gil, a staunch fan of America’s favorite pasttime puts his unskilled boy in the position of second base and Kevin plays rather badly, causing an embarrassing loss for his teammates.

I was at Chuck E. Cheese recently, watching a toddler relative ball her eyes out in horror as she saw the live Chuck E. in front of her for the first time ever.

Relatives at Chuck E. Cheese. Supposed to be every child's favorite place...

It got me thinking about how often adults put children in situations that the children themselves hate. And we just don’t seem to get it. We assume they’ll love it. Or we feel like said situation is a milestone, and we have to snap a picture of it for posterity.

Ohh, so the tears and the frown mean he's NOT thrilled to be in the Easter parade...
My husband (in green), not behaving according to plan.

When I was at the mall once years ago, I walked into the Disney store and saw an awesome Incredibles-themed Halloween costume. My nephew was a baby at the time but I bought the costume anyway for next Halloween. It hung in his closet patiently. I waited impatiently for next Halloween to come, knowing he would be so unbelievably excited about wearing that costume. Boy was I disappointed. He hated the damn thing. In fact, he cried miserably the whole time that he had it on. Cried miserably until we took it off him and dressed him in his—get this—Incredibles pajamas. So he wore Pjs for his first trick-or-treating, and was as happy as a boy could be.

Mr. Incredible...feeling not so incredible.

Why do so many of us psych ourselves out about these perceived milestones in kids’ lives? Many of us react with sadness, disappointment or even anger when the kids don’t react how they’re “supposed to.” I’ve been guilty on a few occasions of building up of emotion and excitement before an event—imagining the expression on my beloved nephew’s little face the first time he enters the gates at Disney World, imagining how he’ll react when I take him trick-or-treating for the first time, imagining his reaction when I introduce him to larger-than-life Mickey for the first time at the Magic Kingdom. I’m now convinced that my nephew (and most kids for that matter) can sense it and reacts with anti-excitement just to show me who’s boss. Rightly so too—I’m not master of his emotions, nor will I ever be.

You may think he's about to take a math test, but it's actually his 6th birthday. He never smiled once during the Chuck E. show. Or when we sang happy birthday. Or when we cut the cake.
One of my husband's earliest memories: trying to move AWAY from Donald Duck.

So in this post, I’ve including some pictures of these milestones-gone-awry. There are teary faces. There are eyes squeezed shut and mouths wide open, and you can hear the screams coming out of the photographs. These pictures make me laugh really hard and there’s something I admire about those upset faces, whose defiant expressions read, ‘nope, I don’t like it and I’m not gonna like it, no matter what you say.’ Kiddie protest, if you will; the precursor to armed struggle.

Hope these tears bring a smile to your face!

My all-time fave. Crying at the park. Love it.

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,

which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them,

but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children

as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,

and He bends you with His might

that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies,

so He loves also the bow that is stable.”

– Kahlil Gibran

Concerning friendships…


Starting out on a little sidenote–there are some websites and blogs that I follow regularly—GOOP, Gwyneth Paltrow’s site being one of them. gets an unfair share of harsh criticism in my opinion. Seriously, why all the hate? I enjoy the little entries on lifestyle, health and travel. It’s funny how so many people worship, *cough cough*, er, I mean “follow” celebrities and glorify their silly behavior, their alcohol-and-drug-infused crazy spells, and their extravagant spending. Then a celebrity decides to create a website with some pleasant articles that contain useful information like recipes, workout tips and advice, and this is the celebrity that gets bashed. Something’s wrong with this picture!

But I digress, lovely readers. I decided to bring up GOOP because I recently found what has become my favorite article ever about friendship. On Ms. Paltrow’s site, which also sends its articles in newsletter form to subscribers, there was a recent entry titled “Friendship Divorce.” The following question is at the top of the page:

“What do you do when you realize that although you may have years of history, and found real value in each other in times past, that you kind of don’t like a friend anymore? That, after time spent with this person, you feel drained, empty, belittled or insulted. My father always used to tell me that, ‘you can’t make new old friends.’ How do you distinguish if someone in your life makes you change for the better or if you are better off without them?”

What follows is an engaging series of enlightening responses from scholars, authors and psychologists sharing their thoughts on friendships and the way friendships change over time, how one can tell whether a friendship is worth saving, and how one goes about defining “true friends.”

I love love LOVE this article because it addresses one of the most relevant topics in our lives. This everyday miracle we call friendship—this strangely absurd art of coming into contact with one of the 7 billion people on the planet and sacredly keeping this contact over time and distance—often causes as much heartache and headache as it does joy.

I’ve always put a high value on amiability; I’ve spent a lifetime going out of my way to remain likable, even to people who didn’t like me. I used to put all kinds of effort into friendships long after they stopped being of any benefit, much less enjoyment.

A few years ago, a co-worker shared this quote with me: ‘People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.’ The quote didn’t mean as much to me then as it does now. I used to feel a tremendous sense of guilt and loss whenever a friendship fizzled out or died. Now I understand that it’s no biggie, that it’s only natural. All living, breathing things have a life cycle. I now think of friendship as its own living and breathing organism—one that needs nourishment at times, one that is capable of having a long and healthful lifespan, and sometimes one that can become quite disease-ridden.

I used to keep dying friendships on lifesupport at all costs for as long as I could. Nobody likes a funeral. But where’s the quality of life in that? What’s the purpose of the friendship at that point? Let it go with its dignity in tact. Its death doesn’t render its life meaningless. That friendship was a part of your life for a reason; he or she brought you joy at one point. Be confident that you took from each other whatever it is you were meant to take from each other, and move on.

So that said, I vow to be the best friend that I can be. I’ll still be nice and amiable because I don’t know how to be any other way with my friends. If I ever sense weird red flags about any of my friendships, I’ll study the relationship inside and out with a critical, but loving eye. And I mean that with all my heart.