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.
Oh, Camp Mighty. It’s hard to explain what it is because it is so much more than words can tell, but basically it was a weekend where we brought our Life Lists and focused on accomplishing things. From the website:
The objective is to improve your life until it cannot be further improved…The retreat gives you time to think about what you want, a team to help, and a pool. For floating.
Camp Mighty was a larger version of the Mighty Summit I went to last year, a life-changing event, as it was what started my business in earnest and what helped me realize on a visceral level that living epically is totally possible, even for little old me.
This year’s event brought into focus that I’m in a Good Place right now. My Life List is chugging along; I have successfully created the space for doing Amazing Things. The time is there, the room is there, the fortitude to press onward and accomplish is there. That didn’t come easily, but my 2010 goal of making my lifestyle such that I could Life List as I wanted was accomplished.
And it feels SO GOOD.
“So, Amber,” I asked. “What now?” Because, ok, excellent, but one can’t stop.
The larger conference was broken down into four teams; we met together and were encouraged to share five things with the group that we wanted to accomplish. Here are my picks, and if you can help with any of them, get in touch, please. It would be so nice of you.
- Holi color fight.
- Hike in Hawaii, jump off a cliff, and yell “Geronimo!”
- Officiate a wedding ceremony.
- Fly kites in a group of friends.
- Be in a book club.
They’re all “doing cool stuff” things because that’s where I am right now: I want to have FUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNN! Wouldn’t you know: I was seated a few chairs over from two ladies who live in Maui – one of who is building a guest house.
“Hi,” I said. “I’m Amber, and I make an excellent house guest.”
“See you this spring?” she said. “I know a cliff you can jump off of.” (Later that evening we decided capes should also be involved.)
Someone else had “have a professional portrait of myself taken”, and, of course, I had my camera. The only thing cooler than having someone help you with a Life List item is to help someone else yourself. (A lot of people had this on their list, actually, but between timing and the rain, I didn’t get to snap as many faces as I’d have liked.)
Best parts: hugging people who have inspired me. And hugging people I’ve inspired. (So much inspiration!) And rocking out to the TonTons (plus chatting with the singer between sets – she’s adorable). And drinking champagne in the hot tub while chatting with super smart ladies. And the speakers. And dancing my ass off at the space-themed dance party, in my pretty space-themed dress. And soaking up the sun poolside. And road tripping with three hilarious gals from LA to Palm Springs, with a pit stop at In-N-Out (as one does when one is from the east coast and lands in California).
(My dress is from here.) (I totally brought my one-frillion dollar camera into the hot tub. I was careful. The photos were worth it. Don’t judge me.)
I did end up floating in that pool, too, alone on Friday night, with the rain in my face and my body warmed up by the hot tub. It was incredible, and an excellent way to think, by the way, should you have the opportunity.
“What next? What bigger? What more?” I whispered these questions to myself softly, but heard them loudly because my ears and my lungs were both underwater. You want to know what popped into my head?
Adventure. Business bigger.
Everyone who has heard the details of AMP growing the past year is astounded at the trajectory, but I still want more. I decided, as the pool wormed its way into my ear canal, that I will be consciously unafraid of making more money and getting more business. (It is terribly difficult to be consciously unafraid when your stomach is in knots.) I will take on larger, longer weddings, I will stop dragging my feet about offering customers prints and albums. And I will have more adventures, because those are rad, and I deserve them.
You all know me by now; you know I do not believe the “Universe speaks to us” or anything like that, but goddamn if there isn’t an unprecedented inquiry for a 120 person wedding sitting in my inbox as of 9:30 am Tuesday morning.
So I will open myself to adventure and success this year.
Oh man oh man. Here I go.