When I was 13 my mother was really into going to Goodwill which always had a stack of romance novels – “bodice rippers” – in the book corner. They would automatically fall open to the juiciest parts, their spines broken open to paragraphs about “heaving bosoms”, “satiny love sheaths”, and “rigid manhood”. I would read them when I thought she wasn’t looking.
To celebrate turning 31 – the inverse of 13 – I hosted a “Heaving Bosom Birthday Party”. The local used bookstore was raided, and I came away with dozens of trashy romance novels. My friends were invited to flip through and find the saucy parts to read out loud.
I surprised myself by being prudish! I was giggling uncontrollably almost the whole night, and had to bury my face in my hands a bunch of times. But it was awesome; even some of my generally shyer friends stepped up and read passages that made me blush, and it was hilarious and fun to be a little bit scandalized.
My good friend Eva Blue from Montreal happened to be in New York City over the weekend, and she took all of these amazing photos that show just how shocked I was! Eva, thank you for your photos – I’m so glad you were here. The entire set is on Flickr.
At a bar over the weekend, my friend Esther demonstrated how to execute the perfect high-five. The trick is that you look at the other person’s elbow as you’re going in for the slap, and you can’t miss! In these iPhone photos I took, Esther (in blue) is demonstrating with Biana, who admitting to “whiffing” on high fives in the past.
Have you heard this? Go try it!
p.s. If you make it to Loreley for a drink, get snacks. They have an awesome authentic German menu, and if you ask they’ll serve you gigantic warm pretzels even though they aren’t on the menu.
I sense a new blog series: S’mores with Amber.
Cutie pie DJ Addison Groove came to my house on Halloween to have his first s’more. We didn’t light a fire in the back yard (it got late and cold by the time people showed up), so we made them on the gas stove top.
“It’s fuckin’ good!” he said.
This is Sebastian; he’s from Switzerland, and ate his first s’more over the weekend at a party I threw. There have been a lot of foreign friends who have had their first s’more in my backyard, actually, and, maybe this is silly of me, but there’s a touch of pride in being able to provide someone with their first taste of something so distinctly American. I’ve struggled in the past few years with feeling left out, because there’s not a lot in this culture I really connect to (I’m looking at you, Jesus and reality TV), but chocolate and marshmallows smushed between graham crackers? I’m all over that.
He thought it was “pretty good”!
p.s. To roast a marshmallow without burning it to black, dip it in your beer first. It will make your marshmallow flame retardant and infuse an awesome beer flavor into it, too. I got this tip from Tracy who, no kidding, owns BeerSmores.com
My dad called yesterday concerned, because he saw an episode of Peoples Court where the photographer didn’t get a contract and the client didn’t want to pay.
“Do you make sure you get a contract?” he asked. “You probably should.”
I told him not to worry, first because I don’t even get out of bed without a contract and a deposit, second because I would never release photos without getting payment in full, and third because I haven’t missed an episode of the Peoples Court in four years.
Do you watch anything kind of embarrassing? Fess up!
I refuse to end the week on a sad note, so tell me: what do you do to cheer yourself up during sad times? (I’ve already bought shoes and that totally helped.)
I’m heading to Wisconsin hang out with Tracy for a few days; we’re doing fun geeky girl stuff. She is one of those friends with a house that makes you feel right at home the second you walk in, and I’m excited to spend time there. There were also promises of a lesbian bar. Woo hoo!
Jake is going to be around, too. He gives epic hugs, and lets me touch his bald head. I like him very much.
Over the summer I helped throw an event and was tasked with picking a decent bottle of sparkling wine in the $15 range. I headed to my favorite wine shop where they quickly selected this as the best bottle for the money, declaring it better than a lot of bottles twice the price. They were right, and I’ve been buying it ever since, even though neither I, nor anyone I’ve spoken to, can say its name.
If you’re used to celebrating with champagne, try a good prosecco like this one. It’s lighter and is generally less alcoholic, it’s not too sweet or too dry, and it tastes like a celebration. Pairs well with vanilla cupcakes and excellent friends.
At $13 a bottle, I’ve declared it the Blatt’s “house bubbly for special occasions”, and we served it at midnight on New Years Eve. Have you tried prosecco?
Related: can you open a bottle of sparkling wine, or does the cork popping freak you out? I can do it, albeit quite nervously, but I have a lot of friends that simply cannot and pass the bottle off to me. If you’re not a really big resolution maker, “learn to open a bottle of prosecco” should be your 2012 task. (I stand behind any resolution that helps you party more.)
Once you can do that, try sabering it open with a big kitchen knife, Helen Jane style.
Here’s a not-so-secret: I love Meg Keene. She is one of the people instrumental in inspiring me to getting my business up and running in 2010, it is her hand that is among the ones I feel pressed into my shoulder blades when the business blahs hit, and I am completely in awe of her.
How do you thank a person like that? I don’t know, but when her book came out and everyone banded together to push it to the top of the best-seller list, I started by buying three copies.
Then she sent me two. One of them is mine-all-mine, but the other four are for you.
Leave a comment below telling me your favorite part about going to weddings, and I’ll pick four winners at random on Monday 9 January. Closed! Thank you guys for your comments!
Meg is on tour right now promoting the book with lots of fun events. The Brooklyn party, though, is going to be the best; I know because I’m planning it, along with Meg from La Vie En Rose Events and Michelle Edgemont. We have met over beers, volleyed countless emails between us, and schemed away.
The reading will be at the Park Slope Barnes & Noble on Saturday 28 January at 2pm. It is only by showing up there that you will be given walking directions to the most kick-ass, planned with love after-party in the history of book tours. It will be boozy and fantastic, and, from what I’ve seen from Michelle’s handiwork, very, very pretty.
See you there?
Have you seen Shit Girls Say? It was a Twitter feed first, and now it’s a webseries. Totally brilliant and “oh my god. so true!”
(I’m currently in bed with the stomach flu, so you may direct your love notes, sympathy and other funny things my way this week.)
Remember how two years ago I made six pies? The next next year I broke my own record and made nine the night before Thanksgiving, earning myself a spot in the The Recordsetter Book of World Records (on page 78).
Two hilarious dudes from Toronto teamed up that Christmas to beat my record with 14 (and they did it wearing Christmas Tree costumes!)
Now I’m seeking to reclaim the title this Thanksgiving, and am bringing *more than 14* to Greenpoint Church again. Thank goodness my neighbor said I could use his oven. Next year, I think I’m going to have to call for backup.
It’s going to be a wonderful holiday, I can feel it.