The Amber Show

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Regarding the Whole of 2016 and What’s Next

I’ve just taken a look at my Life List. There are so many things I’ve managed to accomplish that I haven’t gotten around to checking off here. I am happy.

My business has taken up a ton of my free time, and Blogging As A Thing has become something entirely different than it was in 2004 when I started, and these two things combined have meant that this place is going stale. It was also never my career; I found the thing to do for a living that literally moves me to tears (which is awkward when you’re standing on a dance floor holding a camera watching a newly married couple having their first dance and getting choked up behind it, but there is a moment at literally EVERY wedding I photograph where I think “I am so FUCKING LUCKY I get to record this for them”). I should start writing about it. And life. I don’t want to forget everything. I’ve also come so far; today marks thirteen years since I started my blog. That is… insane.

I still want to keep blogging, I just need to clear space for it, and in the past year, I haven’t. This is changing this summer.

I can’t wait.

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Cheap Pregnancy Tests are Way Better

This article in NY Mag talks about pregnancy pee strips, something I hadn’t heard about in pop news in a while. It’s a topic I became an accidental cognoscente of a few years ago when I started reading about fertility. I recognized the author’s reporting of holding peed-on strips under harsh light, and was amused to hear there are now apps that tweak your photo to show lines more clearly. The most shocking part of this was reading that the drugstore pregnancy tests are $22+ now. Friends, no. Buy the box of 25 cheap pregnancy tests on Amazon. They’re small, with no plastic casing, and work very early – so early, in fact that they detect an hCG (pregnancy hormone) level at about 25 mIU/ml. This is early enough to detect a chemical pregnancy.

You will have to decide for yourself if knowing you’ve had one is devastating or fascinating.

You can keep them in a drawer and pee on them as often as you’d like. I like keeping them for other people, too, and at fifty cents each, being generous is pretty easy. More than once, a friend has come over to request one of mine, along with a paper cup and use of my bathroom. (It probably helps that I  also always have both herbal tea and a full bar on hand.)

A friend of came home from work to a package of the them a few days after my recommendation, and immediately sent me a cell phone shot of her completed test for co-analysis, spilling the beans of what turned out to be her daughter before her husband got home.

Babies are expensive enough.

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IDGAF

Storytime: I got to yoga yesterday and realized at the front desk I’d forgotten my water bottle. They don’t sell them (to be eco friendly) but said I could raid the lost and found to borrow one.

“It’s okay,” I said, “I’ll just use this.”

I pointed to the now-empty paper coffee cup I had been sipping out of on the walk over.

The person behind the desk gave me a “Well…” I was about to say, “Oh it’s fine, I don’t like to drink that much water during class; I probably won’t even finish a full cup.” thinking she thought it would too little water to get through a class (I was going to a Bikram class). Her actual concern, however, was that it would look, to the other students, like I was sipping coffee during class.

I must have given her the most withering “are you fucking kidding me?” look ever before I caught my face and arranged it into something more gracious, because she backed down super fast. I forget sometimes that “worrying what strangers think” is a thing for some people. Everyone stop caring about this and just and live your life, please.

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A Letter from a New Friend

handwritten letter

In November, Marley and I landed in Kuala Lumpur, planning to take a short connecting flight to Chiang Mai to begin a trip to the Elephant Nature Park. We missed that connecting flight and couldn’t fly out until the next morning.

Resigned, we checked into the Sama-Sama Hotel next to the airport. I immediately threw on my swimsuit and headed to the pool, where I met an older Australian woman traveling by herself. We had the most wonderful conversation, and after baths, we had wine and appetizers in the hotel lounge together, exchanged mailing addresses, and then parted ways the next morning, to go off to different parts of the world.

She sent me a letter, which arrived last week when I was in Mexico.

Isn’t this the loveliest?

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2016 In Review; 2017 New Years Resolutions

We… didn’t quite get around to getting a baby this year.

Other than that, I had two New Years resolutions for 2016:

Travel more, and watch more TV. I know watching less tv seems like the more likely resolution, but I found myself more often than not idly browsing the internet instead of intentionally sitting down to enjoy a TV show with Marley, so we did it this year, and it was great.

I also traveled more in 2016 than in all my other years combined. I saw amazing things, ate amazing things, and met fabulous people.

This year, I’m resolved to go out in NYC more, and try new restaurants and bars, etc.

The trick to keeping your New Years resolutions is to make them fun.

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One Small Ding on the Patriarchy

I was in the drug store, where men’s razors worked out to $2.25 each for a pack of twelve. The pastel pink razors that go with my razor handle would have worked out to a similar price, I think, if I could find a twelve pack, but I couldn’t, so I was stuck buying a smaller, more expensive pack of lady razors. This irked me. I bought the guys razors; they work fine.

Down with pink tax.

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Life List: See the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular – check!

I’m going to be catching up on my Life List items now until the end of December 2016 – I’ve done so much this year!

I finally went! It was corny in parts, and also very religious in parts, which I wasn’t expecting, but which was fine. I wouldn’t recommend it for non-Christian families without an explanation. The Rockettes were absolutely fabulous, though. I wasn’t able to take photos, so this is one I found on the web, of the best outfits they wore.

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I’m Still Here

I’m slowly making the divide between my business and personal life more defined. I began accepting friends on Facebook from other wedding vendors – a space previously used to just goof off – and my Instagram account got more professional, with only small, curated glimpses into my personal life. (I also unfollowed a ton of people – please don’t be offended. I just can’t keep up.)

I refused to share my own wedding photos publicly and requested guests keep their phones away for the day except to take photos of themselves, a move that inspired an Associated Press story. I showed one on Facebook for our first anniversary.

I’ve really fallen in love with running a business and having a personal life that’s more… er… “personal”. My parties have turned less “bring all your friends” and more “my friends only”. It’s why I haven’t written in this space too much, either. I don’t need to process everything out loud any more, and if I’m being encouraging, I want it to be for business reasons. I’ve been journaling privately, but I’m still here from time to time, I just don’t think in the same capacity I was.

It makes sense: I started this blog at age 22, and that was 12 years ago. To say “a lot has changed since then” is an understatement. I like myself more, and life is better than ever, although more wrinkled. Seriously, I have one wrinkle! It’s a small, horizontal crease in my forehead now that wasn’t there least year WHAT THE FUCK?

Anyway, you can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and I still cut up on Twitter, too.

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Life List: Visit Joshua Tree – Check!

This year has been my year to just Be. I’m not getting married or divorced or buying or selling real estate or moving or dealing with my dog dying or running around trying to find my place in this world or working on losing weight or changing my name yet again or struggling to build a business or dealing with any sort of drama or… anything. For the first time in years. 2016 has been my year to just Be. I took that to mean “travel”, I guess; since the beginning of the year, we went to Maui, and then I went to Paris and Dubai, and Nicaragua, and we just got back from Palm Springs, and we’re going to Malaysia and Thailand in a few months, and I haven’t been blogging ANY of it, but oh man. I have some photos.

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Last week in Palm Springs was a photo workshop, and Marley joined me for five days after it ended. On our list for certain: Joshua Tree. After several years of going to Camp Mighty in Palm Springs and never making it the 20 miles or so over to the park, I finally did, and I was so glad I got to go with Marley for the first time.

On Sunday, we headed there just at the tail end of the sun being high in the sky. We drove for miles, stopping to get out of our car frequently to take pictures of the Joshua Tress and plants and rocks. We stayed to watch the sun sink and the heavenly bodies to emerge: first Mars, Saturn and Antares in the usual place just as soon as the sun dipped down, then five, then ten, then a million at once. There were meteors, too. I’ve never seen stars like this.

Shout out to the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs for loaning me the pool robe, which is perfect attire to see Joshua Tree in. Paired with their provided in-room walking stick and my own scarf-turned-headwrap, I was perfectly dressed to be a freckled, enthusiastic cult leader.

p.s. We made a playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/theambershow/playlist/32LOCNwQ45gbtfJSkJVryX

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