**CLOSED! Thank you to everyone who entered!**
And so, another National Blog Posting Month (a.k.a. NaBloPoMo) comes to an end. This is the second year I’ve done it, and my first 100% successful one. It’s been fun, although I’m glad to going back to a more relaxed schedule. It hasn’t been hard, though. I really love my blog. I was a blogger before I knew what blogging was; I used to daydream about “Amber Magazine” when I was growing up, which would be a publication that would feature my thoughts, events going on in my life and highlight things I love. That’s a pretty good summation of this blog.
To celebrate the end of NaBloPoMo, I’m giving away a one year subscription to my favorite magazine of the past year: Domino. (See the tie-in there? I was talking about an imaginary magazine and segued it into a magazine giveaway. Zing!)
Leave a comment on this post and I’ll draw the winner at random on Wednesday. I’ll draw the winner on Monday, December 8, when I do my gift guide. That makes sense, I think. Give a gift while talking about gifts.
I am so smart.
My in-laws keep kosher, and kosher = no butter near the turkey, and by “near” I mean “in the same meal, anywhere”. So everywhere you’d normally put butter at Thanksgiving: on potatoes and veggies and so forth, there was none. Just lots of margarine. Both Rob and I forgot about this and stuffed ourselves at Thanksgiving, and then again last night, with leftovers.
It’s not pretty around here. Scientists are going to discover a hole in the ozone over Brooklyn and pinpoint it right above our apartment. Universe, I apologize.
Rob is worse than just gassy, he’s full-on sick. All he’s been able to accomplish since last night is sweating, moaning, and sleeping. In between, he’s making this house almost uninhabitable. The dogs have started to run out of the room after catching a whiff. That’s bad; I once had to physically restrain them from rolling around on a dead frog.
At Thanksgiving with Rob’s family, a “pick a name out of a hat and buy for that person” idea was suggested for Hanukkah gift exchange. I happen to like this method, but Rob and I have already decided that we’re doing donations this year in lieu of gifts. One, it’s less expensive. Even though we’re ok and will be for a long time, we’re being cautious. Two, there are people we love doing work we believe in, and they need help. I’d rather save lives than give unnecessary things. In my own mind (or “heart”, if you will), this kind of holiday has been a long time coming, and I’m excited. I’m not condemning frivolous gift-giving; it’s fun, and joyful! But right now it’s not where we’re at.
I have to figure out how to present a donation gift. I was thinking individual pictures of dogs that we’d be helping printed onto cards. My sister-in-law gave cards out when she donated money to Noah’s Ark, and those were cool.
Any other ideas? I don’t want to be cheesy.
P.S. Be sure to check out my gift guide, coming on December 8, which will feature fun and frivolous gifts, as well as where and how you can find charities to donate to for holiday gift giving. I will share all the methods I’ve come up with on presenting these humanitarian gifts. Also, if you are doing a gift guide on your blog, send me the link and I’ll feature it here. I’m curious to see what my fellow bloggers are cooking up!
My perfect kitchen has a Smeg refrigerator. There’s a showroom in Manhattan, and every time I walk by I stop to admire them.
This two minute Wallace and Gromit cartoon features a yellow one. I think I’d like a yellow one myself. Or maybe red, or orange. Or pink!
Here’s another thing I’m grateful for: Triple A memberships when you really need them, like when someone decides that they are going to drive on a rain-saturated lawn, and they stuck in six inches of mud. (I won’t tell you who did such a thing, but his name rhymes with Gob, and he’s gotten stuck already once this week in an entirely unrelated incident.) It was a few minutes of fruitless tire spinning before we gave up and called Triple A, and then waited an hour for John, the tow truck guy, to show.
Using old 2×4″s, ingenuity and my beefy muscles we were able to maneuver the car to a place where it could be towed out the rest of the way by the tow truck (and then John let me operate some of the levers!)
It was a huge inconvenience and it made us crabby, but it was sort of nice being out there with the setting sun pouring through the trees, turning them gold, and, no kidding, the mud was glorious. It was bright brown and thick and pure. No tiny rocks or little sticks, or even sand. Just pure, squishy mud. If it was warmer I would have rolled in it and dealt with the consequences after.
We were in my grandmother’s backyard, and the lawn is totally ruined.
I apologized to her, and she grinned at me. “I don’t care. It’s your yard now! Tear it up if you want!” and we laughed. And then I groaned. It IS my yard, and we’re going to have to fill in these huge tire tracks, I guess in the spring. First, though, I’m going to throw on a swimsuit and have a bit of fun. You think I’m crazy? Well, you didn’t see this mud.
The recording booth is up; it fills up the entire office save for a thin sliver of space between the wall of it and the wall of the room it’s in. Rob has been running all of the wires in this space, and tonight he had to squeeze his entire body into it to get a cord in the back. He was able to get in alright, but not out.
My heart sank when I heard his voice calling for help, and I sprinted up the stairs expecting to see blood or, worse, expensive equipment accidentally broken. Thankfully there was neither, and when I realized what had happened, I ran and grabbed my FlipCam.
Inspired by SugarFang.
Flannel pajama pants. Supportive brassieres. The sound of three dogs crunching kibble. Matty hugs. Dances with Leeloo. Spooning with Tino. A husband that handles stuff I can’t. Chocolate ice cream. 24 hour bodegas within walking distance. 24 hour fried chicken places within walking distance. A washer and dryer. Friends who are mere blocks away. A big ass television. Netflix. The new recording studio. An expecting friend. Pea soup. Facebook. Ugg boots. Owning a camera. Rob’s beard. Not being in a wheelchair. The “for free” section on Craigslist. Books. A subway map on my iPhone.
hm… what else?
To be continued… (in the meantime, add your own!)
This cute program takes a digital image and converts it into a faux Polaroid. It’s kind of cheating, but the results are really pretty. It makes a genuine Polaroid camera noise and then takes a few minutes for the picture to appear. While it’s “developing”, you can shake it!
I used the program to convert a cell phone photo my friend Carissa snapped and sent to me. The bracket is from Anthropologie, and the a lamp shade and cord are both from Ikea. She strung the cord through the bracket and made herself a charming, inexpensive, zero-footprint light, perfect for a her tiny apartment bedroom. So cute!
Yesterday was a series of circumstantial bell curves.
I got an appointment last minute with an optometrist. Rock! Three minutes before, I was 1000 feet away from the entrance of the door (according to my GPS), and an access-a-ride truck decided that the middle of the street was a great place to unload slow-moving seniors. Suck.
I drove around and couldn’t find a good parking spot. More suck. I was late.
I finally found a spot, and the guys who worked in the shop I parked in front of told me that, yes, this too-good-to-be-true parking spot is valid. Rock!
I was late for my appointment and had to reschedule after lunch, in an hour. Suck.
I simultaneously discovered a crumpled twenty in my purse, and a diner three doors down from my appointment. I ordered a grilled cheese and coffee. Both were perfect. Rock.
My appointment went well; the doctor was nice and, after two minutes of me being a baby about it, didn’t make me suffer through the glaucoma test [for the unfamiliar: you stick your head in a machine and have to get your eye just right, and then the machine poof!s air on your eyeball, and no matter how much you're prepared for it, you nearly pee yourself every time.] I picked out glasses I love. Awesome.
I stepped out onto the street, looked out, and panicked; then rolled I my eyes at myself. I am forever thinking my car has been towed.
“Not this time!”, I thought. “The parking gods have given me a gift, and I double checked with a guy from a shop. A guy from a shop! He’s a guy! He’s local! He knows what’s going on. My car is just behind that garbage tr… Oh.”
My car had been towed. My cell phone was broken, too, and the pay phone ate about three bucks worth of quarters before I got a connection, in what I call you-should-have-fixed-your-cell-phone-earlier tax. It has to be called something; a phenomenon with a name is not as bad as plain old “robbed by a piece of machinery”.
The cop on the street had given me the wrong number for the tow company, and it took me three minutes on the phone with a bewildered receptionist at a Spanish-speaking nursing home to figure this out. Someone else had their last quarter eaten by the pay phone, and, in an effort to reverse my karma, I gave him one of mine. (Not that I believe in that stuff, but it couldn’t hurt, right?) The cabbie I managed to flag down refused to drive to my neighborhood. I had to take a convoluted subway ride home. Suck.
I finally got home and Rob wasn’t mad, because he’s awesome. I was somehow able to shower, dress, and get out the door again in time to keep my iPhone appointment and see John Hodgeman’s Apple Store talk. (They only let ONE hot girl go ahead of me this time. It’s an improvement.) John was taking questions from the audience, and he answered my question, which was “Who inspires you?”; a total high note way to end the day.
I hung out with my little brother yesterday. I’m in a position where I can help him achieve SO much, but he doesn’t have the motivation to make even one step forward, and it freakin’ kills me! My uneducated parents didn’t do a good job in instilling the “you can do anything you put your mind to” thing in us; there were no long-term goals they shared with us, and there was no sense of “let us always strive to be better and press onward, through the most difficult, to the bright end”. It was always, “this is hard, I quit.” and “we deserve this luxury, even though we don’t have the money.”
I floundered around a lot when I left the house at age 20, and I didn’t so much pull myself out of it as marry out of it, which is marginally acceptable, but only because I’m a woman. My brother is still mired, and I don’t know how to say, “make one step and I’ll help you take over the world!” He’s a wickedly brilliant artist (his drawings, even the ones from when he was little, are jaw-dropping) and he wants to learn video game design and graphic design. Game design is about as hard to make a living at as fashion modeling is, but graphic design is not, and it’s a logical starting place for the long-term goal of video game designer. Sorry, snooze fest; my point is that, especially with the kind of natural talent he has, anything is possible, and Rob and I have about one bazillion friends in graphic design that would be willing to impart their wisdom to my kid brother, if only he were enthusiastic to learn.
In the meantime, I’m now trying to pull myself out of that whole mired mentality, too, because while I’m fine being married and living this life (which is really 90% Rob’s life), I’m not the person I want to be, and I’m certainly not the person that I want my children to become, which is forever my hallmark of success.
The Bible says women are to be man’s helpmeet, and I’m doing that, and loving it. (*kerBLAM!* That’s the sound of every feminist’s head exploding.) This wife thing, though? I’ve got it down cold. (Of course, I have the world’s most mellow husband to make it easy.) I need to do something else, too, in addition. But what?
I’ll keep you posted.