Thursday, December 15, 2016

status update

December 2016 shall henceforth be known as the month I became Very Boring. After months of frustrating unemployment interspersed with exciting travel to exotic places, I finally took a perfectly acceptable temp job at a Real Company. It's a very dry temp job though. I spend my days staring at spread sheets and sending follow-up emails and tracking misplaced pieces of paper, and though I get a full hour for lunch during which I take a brisk walk around midtown, I sit right back down in my cubicle at 1:15pm each day to reacquaint myself with those darn spreadsheets. It's a good change of pace for me though. I'm finally learning what having an actual office job is like (answer: dull, but they give you things like free flavored coffee and a whole swivel chair to yourself), and it's been a relief to take a pause on the ole' job search. I've also used this time to take a pause on the ole' blog posts, which I have mixed feelings about. On the one hand, I have a list of posts I want to write - I have honeymoon pictures to share, a whole wedding to process, and lest I forget the idyllic Thanksgiving weekend we recently spent with friends in Palm Springs. On the other hand, I've been putting a lot of my spare time and energy into my Etsy shop which I've found to be a much-needed push into a different creative direction. So who knows? Maybe I'll come back from this little break with a million more words to write, maybe I won't. What I do know is that the holidays are almost here, I don't have a white dress to fit into anymore, and yes I will have a second helping of Christmas Day Lasagna. Stay cozy, my friends.

- Make good talk not small talk
- Welcome back
- Guilty as charged
- This might be my Christmas present to myself
- A quick, easy, and winning weeknight dinner
- Check yourself before you wreck yourself
- Between the holiday gift exchanges and my burning desire to wrap myself up in a blanket and hibernate for the next four years rest of winter, I thought it best to invest in a few new candles

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

status update

Welp, this month has been a doozy of emotions. There was that whole depressing/upsetting/baffling election debacle that I'm still not over (not even close), but I also spent two glorious weeks on a boat in southern Europe AND the cubs won the world series. So I'm in a quandary: how do I reconcile the fact that the world is (probably) going to hell in a hand basket and still take such pleasure in remembering some of the happiest times of my life (wedding, honeymoon, world series)? Is it wrong to post pictures and think, aw that was so fun! while we collectively have so. much. work to do to turn this country into one of peace and respect? Oy. I don't know. There must be a middle ground between dwelling on the negative and blithely skipping though life, pumpkin spice latte in hand. What I do know, however, is that these questions are not going to be answered quickly or entirely by me. So in the mean time I will take long walks with friends through crunchy fall leaves, spend way too much time planning extensive Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving meals, and cozy up with as much tea and bad tv as I possibly can without actually becoming one with my couch. Be well, my dears.

*I already bought my 2017 calendar, but this was a close 2nd
*You can sleep in a bubble!!
*I love me some trial sized anything and this might be my next indulgence purchase
*It's been a time for comfort food and I've been making chicken soup on repeat
*Didn't think an ESPN article could make you cry? Think again.
*I could stare at these all day
*Welcome back 
*I don't know what I'm doing so obviously I opened my very own etsy shop (!)

Saturday, November 12, 2016

we're all in this together

Ok, so this week didn't turn out exactly like we had hoped. I was all ready to wax poetic about glass ceilings and historical moments while recalling the spirit of Sister Joan, the super-liberal nun who taught me world history in high school and kept a giant poster of Rosie the Riveter outside her classroom. I was preparing to babble on about how tears sprang to my eyes as I filled in the bubble next to who I thought was going to be the first female president and how I blasted Beyoncé as I walked down the street and how I kept thinking about what a privilege it is to be a woman in this country and have the right to vote. I mean, I now have 12 (twelve!!) Vote for Her buttons that I have no idea what to do with, for god's sake. But that post will remain unwritten, at least for the next four years (or 1,452 days to be exact...but who's counting?). Until then, we need to grieve and to commiserate. We need to let ourselves be baffled and confused. We need to allow the anger and hurt that's bubbling inside of us be let out, but we need to do all of these things together and productively. We cannot perpetuate the hate. We cannot shut out those we do not understand. We must create lines of dialogue and open conversations no matter how hard that may be. We need to look our cousins (or brothers or aunts or mother's best friend's sisters) in the eye and empathize with their frustrations and work to understand why they voted the way they did. And then we need to rally and get our sh!t together and never let this happen again.

Tomes have already been written in an attempt to unpack this election, but to help you sift though them all here are a few articles that have helped me the most:

*What Will I Tell My Children?

*Dear daughters

*A huge part of why I'm angry

*Channel that anger into something good - this and this can help you figure out your next step

*Wear a safety pin

*She's gonna be ok

*And finally, something silly because we need to laugh

Monday, November 7, 2016

I'm with her

I'm with her because in grade school my gym teacher yelled that I "run like a girl" as if it were a bad thing.

I'm with her because in college I asked to borrow a friend's car and was denied because "everyone knows that women can't drive."

I'm with her because I once went on a date and the guy looked me in the eye and said, "never trust something that bleeds for seven days and doesn't die."

I'm with her because wearing a tank top to work an outdoor event in the summertime pretty much guarantees I will be ogled by every man on the job site.

I'm with her because I told a guy he was making me uncomfortable and he replied I was his "worst mistake of 2011."

I'm with her because once I offered a suggestion in a rehearsal and the director literally held his hand over my head, imitating the glass ceiling.

I'm with her because these are all minor grievances compared to the abject horrors faced on a daily basis by women in this country.

I'm with her because this has nothing to do and everything to do with the fact that she is a woman.

I don't often venture into the political realm on this blog, but this country has a big decision to make tomorrow. It is my wish, my hope, my prayer that we all do the right thing and vote for her.

Friday, October 14, 2016

status update

You guyssssss - I did it! I actually for real's not for fake got all gussied up and walked down an aisle and got married in front of 100+ of our closest friends and family and didn't fall down once!! And it was fun! It was also stressful and overwhelming and something I need not do again, ever. But it was also a ton of fun! My b'maids were total rockstars. Or rather, they made me feel like a rockstar. They fluttered around me like they were the birds in a Disney movie and I was one of the princesses, shoving me into my spanx (seriously, thanks ladies), buckling my shoes, and last-minute (literally) sewing my corset to my dress because somehow I and my seamstress, over three different dress fittings, failed to notice that the bustier was visible to anyone taller than me (which is most people). We traipsed around a nearby mall taking pictures at the Barnes & Noble and Johnny Rockets (apologies to all the people we made switch tables so that we could have the cute corner booth), had a most beautiful ceremony, and then danced like idiots for the rest of the night. I still can't feel my feet. I have a ton of ideas for separate and subsequent posts that offer actual wedding planning advice instead of just a bunch of exclamations, but for now I'm simply going to bask in the rest of this post-wedding glow and get my honeymoon on. Happy fall, y'all!!

* I'll be taking this advice very, very seriously this week
* My new obsession (and time-waster)
* I put a temporary moratorium on all things baked goods due to the wedding (see: above) but this is a strong contender for First Thing I Bake When I Get Back
* Political pockets
* I'm not alone!
* I needed this a few weeks ago when I swear every line I waited in was the LONGEST ever

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

(new year's res) Roll of Film #3

In a burst of fruition and serendipity, I happened to actually read one of the dozens of promotional emails that crowds my inbox every hour and learned that the Lomography store was giving away a free roll of film during a "Photo Week" (or something like that, I didn't read the email that well) in August. So I scooted my way down to the store and picked up a roll of their own brand of film, Lomo Color Negative. I shot on my La Sardina wide angle camera over the next few months - my journeys took me all over Manhattan and up to Portland, Maine for a most lovely bachelorette weekend, and I made sure to snap at least of couple of pics every few days. The results are stunning - the colors are vibrant and saturated, and while the few pictures I took at dusk did not come out at all, hazy, overcast days were no problem. For being a cheap and plastic camera, the La Sardina takes some fun and dreamy photos. It's not as "gimmicky" as some of the other Lomo cameras I have (the Diana camera is good but a little too retro and blurry for my taste and the FishEye is frankly annoying) and the pictures tend to be much richer than anything I can natively take on my iPhone. I'm taking this camera and a handful of film to Europe and I can't wait to see what images I get!

Film: Lomogropahy 400 Color Print Film - ISO 400
Camera: La Sardinia 35mm
Photo locations: Midtown Manhattan, Portland Head Light (Portland, ME), Central Park

Saturday, October 1, 2016

walkin' down the aisle

Welp, it's here! I'm walking down an aisle today that will end with a priest, a rabbi, an octad of groomsmen and bridesmaids, and the man I'm going to marry. It's exciting, it's overwhelming, it's something that people do every day all around the world, and it's something I never thought I'd actually do. But I am, and it's going to be awesome. I'm sure I'll have much more to say after the fact but for now, thank you all for all your help this past year, whether in text form, email, or just listening to me yammer on for hours about whatever wedding crisis I was experiencing at that moment. Time to raise a glass and get your dance on!


Monday, September 26, 2016

book report #10

*Mother Tongue (Christine Gilbert) - I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir about a mother's (admittedly crazy) idea to become fluent in three languages - Mandarin, Arabic, and Spanish - and raise her family in a multi-lingual household. I admired Gilbert's honesty. She made a few huge mistakes in her journeys (China was a giant bust) but wasn't afraid to fess up, ask her husband for forgiveness, and move on - a lesson in humility she wasn't shy in sharing and one that we as readers could probably use ourselves.

*Eleanor & Park (Rainbow Rowell) - all the feels. All the teenage angst. This book was every John Hughes movie rolled into one hormone-fueled, modern-day Shakespearean drama, and I loved it. I was surprised though - I normally can't stand love stories, but this wasn't a typical romance novel nor was it a splashy beach read. It was a tale of pure yet unrequited love between two desperate teens told with both innocence and passion, and I never wanted it to end.

*The Flood Girls (Richard Fifield) - not a fan. The first 97% of this novel painted a vivid picture of an odd and quirky small Montana town that was part A League of their Own and part American Graffiti. I enjoyed peeking into this world so unlike any I've ever experienced, even if most of the fictional residents freely oscillated between character and caricature. But then the story turned tragic for no other reason (it seems to me) than sensationalism, and the last 20 pages were entirely dark and depressing with little chance for hope or redemption. It was by no means a long or difficult read, but I wouldn't recommend this one. It left me feeling strangely empty and dubious of humanity's ability for compassion.

*The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Annie Barrows & Mary Ann Shaffer) - I grabbed this book off the library shelf for two reasons: it was a softcover small enough to fit into my purse, and I had a train to catch and couldn't spend any more time in the library. As it turns out, my methods for choosing reading material aren't so terrible because this was a delightfully surprising book. Set in the years immediately following WWII and written as a series of letters and telegrams, this tells of the inhabitants of Guernsey - one of the Channel Islands (between France and England) that spent the entirety of the war under German occupation. I had never heard of Guernsey, let alone it's particular role in the war, and this book was a wonderful introduction to a time and a place unfortunately glossed over by my teachers. It was written with humor and empathy and had me googling all sorts of historical facts alongside my reading.

*Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty (Ramona Ausubel) - an intensely compelling novel about a couple's infidelity and how a series of events and one small decision can completely unravel a previously happy family unit. Ausubel created an inhabitable world and often revealed fascinating details and backstories of minor characters for the sole purpose of adding color to the story, which made me want even more from the book. The characters were all flawed but relatable, and toward the end I was rooting for no one and everyone. Definitely one of my favorite books of the year.

*Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany) - so...I didn't like this. And it pains me to say that, because I love the Harry Potter books. I read each one within 48 hours of their release dates back in those early '00s, and hell, I spent this very evening taking a quiz to discover my true Patronus (spoiler alert: it's a grey squirrel. I'll be unpacking that one for a while.) But this play was vapid. And not written well. Or rather, written at a much lower reading level than the final books in the original series (a literary device I truly appreciated), which frankly just pissed me off. Either the playwrights didn't think a play can be written with compound sentences (it can) or they were intentionally writing for the grade school set, but either way it created a disjointed narrative. Also - the scenes were JARRINGLY short. From both a literary perspective (let's try a little harder, shall we?) and a technical theater perspective (SO many scene changes!!), it was distracting. Finally, I just didn't like the story. Without giving anything away, it felt forced, unbelievable, and obvious all at the same time. I've heard the London production of this play is fantastic, so maybe all the smoke and mirrors help hide the structural flaws in the script. But since it's unlikely I'll be seeing the play in person any time soon, I'm going to need a little more than this version of the script to keep me interested.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

status update

I don't want to be one of those people who only talks about her wedding, but my wedding is in 15 days and I can think of no other worthwhile topic to occupy my every waking thought and most of my sleeping thoughts as well. The programs have been written but not printed, the dress has been hemmed but not picked up, the card box that goes on the gift table is a task I keep shuffling to the bottom of the to-do list and you guys, NO ONE TOLD ME WEDDING PLANNING WOULD BE THIS TIME-CONSUMING!!! Blame Pinterest (obviously) and those cutesy little 6-word programs that say "music starts - we kiss - everyone parties." Granted, I knew it was going to be a little more complicated then that, but it's as though I've been in a year-long production meeting for a one-day party. Oh and on top of that I'm still trying to find my purpose a day job and jumping in on a few theater-related gigs because why the hell not. So I guess it's a good thing that my focus has been elsewhere, because this is one of the few status updates that didn't begin with a blithering recap of the current weather situation. Yay me!

*There's an entire world of competitive steel drumming and it's a rabbit hole but one worth going down
*I'm seriously considering signing up for this and this
*The eye of the artist
*I can't unsee this
*The best sushi in all the land
*It turns out I've been slow blogging this entire time!
*I don't know the first thing about neuroscience, but this was one of the sweetest stories I've heard in quite a while

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

the organized life - travel tips and tricks

I am by no means a true frequent flyer, but 2016 is shaping up to be my personal Year of Travel. I've already taken eight flights and a handful of train trips equalling over 80 hours of travel time, and I've got at least four more flights before the year is over. Though I'd previously done a decent amount of traveling, this is the year I finally got smart about surviving the sometimes endless journeys. With a little pre-planning and investing in the right tools and gear, I took a huge step in making my time on a train or airplane a bit more comfortable.

* Reusable and collapsible water bottle - this collapsable water bottle is my no.1 smartest purchase of the year. While bringing an empty water bottle to the airport is a no-brainer (fill it up after security at a water fountain to save yourself some $$ and the environment from another discarded plastic bottle), the collapsible nature of my bottle means I'm no longer carrying around the weight of an empty bottle. Granted, it's not as pretty as some of the "fashion" bottles out there (because we need water to be fashionable?), but at 3oz in weight, I'll take it over your 11oz Swell bottle any day.

* Clean socks on long flights - I love taking my shoes off on long flights. I often sit cross-legged in the seat and for obvious reasons, don't like to do so with shoes on. However, my go-to transit shoes are a pair of Tom's (they're flat, comfortable, and quiet, and perfect for this 32-going-on-62-year-old) - but thanks to my smelly feet I need to wear little nude socklettes with them. The socklettes are great underneath the shoes, but not so much as stand-alone socks. Cue a fresh pair of clean, white cotton socks. I'm not sure why, but there's nothing so refreshing as putting on a pair of socks just as you're settling in for a long winter's flight. I don't necessarily do this for quick trips to Chicago, but by hour 4 of my 10-hour flight to Hawaii? So glad I added a pair of socks to my carry-on.

* Snack attack - I do not care what time it is in New York or what time it will be in California. If I'm hungry I'm hungry (and if I'm hungry I'm cranky), and the airplane is not the place for me to reset my internal clock. If you're unlike me and use the flight to get yourself on "local time" then you must be a robot and please tell me your secrets now. I've learned (the hard way) to always have a snack or three on hand. Subsequently, I've decided that I am too old and fancy to eat like I'm at an airport just because I happen to be at an airport. So remember: as long as it isn't a liquid, you can get it through security. A giant bagel with artisanal cream cheese, a Tupperware full of fresh blueberries, or a DIY cheese and cracker plate will not only sustain you beyond Delta's idea of a dinner, it'll also make you feel downright posh. 

* Wrap it up - I make sure to pack a scarf, sweater, or a Turkish towel in my carry-on, even if I'm going to Mexico in June. That flying metal tube can get mighty chilly, and even if you're not cold per se, it's sometimes nice to wrap yourself in something soft and comforting.

* Charge it - I've mentioned this before, but I recently invested in a second set of all my charging cables/plugs/cubes/doohickeys. While it's certainly not necessary, it is a tiny luxury to not have to undo my at-home charger situation every time I travel. I now have a ready-to-go baggie of all the cords I need for all my devices and have shaved at least a few minutes off that dreaded packing process.

* Go analogue - even though I do my due diligence and save PDFs of important documents and correspondence to both my Dropbox and email, it's often very helpful to have a physical printout of a few of those documents. Itineraries, contact info, and maps are all things I need to have at the ready - and I don't want to wait for my phone to turn on, recharge, or find a strong signal to access this info. And, because I'm an adult and it looks bad to use crumpled papers pulled out of the bottom of my bag, I store everything of this ilk in a slim, old-school folder. It's lightweight and doesn't take up any extra room but does wonders for my overall organization level. Also - I add an empty #10 envelope to the folder for any receipts I need to save for reimbursement purposes. The last thing I want to do is scramble to find a random $3 parking lot receipt that I know I put here somewhere but can't find so I guess I'll just eat the cost. No way.

Are you a frequent traveler? What tricks have you picked up over the years?

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Portland batch!

I recently had the most lovely pleasure of spending a weekend in Portland, ME celebrating my upcoming nuptials (#kaydoniwedding). Some call it a bachelorette, others call it a hen party, and I called it all that and a much-needed weekend away from the hot and sticky mess that was New York in the summer. Portland turned out to be the perfect destination for the weekend - for a myriad of reasons, I wasn't interested in embarking on a traditional bachelorette evening of shots/strippers/sequins/stilettos (and honestly I got more than a dose of that kind of night two weeks later in Chicago...but that's another story for a much other time). Instead, I wanted a little bit of everything - good food, craft beer, fresh air, and ocean views. And since Kristen had recently moved to Boston, Portland turned out to be relatively easy to get to - Claire and I took a train to Boston (no more Bolt Bus for us!) and then drove with Kristen the remaining two hours to Portland.

We rented an Airbnb for the weekend. While there were a handful of really cute boutique hotels in downtown Portland we would have liked to use, we couldn't get our act together and by the time the three of us gathered to organize the trip, everything had been booked for ages. Luckily though, we found a fairly affordable attic apartment available for rent, and since we had a car, we were able to stay outside of the downtown area in the quiet and residential South Portland. I wouldn't recommend that area for anyone without a car though. It would have been a 45 minute walk to downtown, and though Portland itself is extremely safe and walkable, that's not a trek I'd want to make at midnight.

I tried my hardest to not pre-organize every minute of the weekend as I am wont to do while on vacation, but one of the sights I definitely wanted to see was the Portland Head Light, the oldest lighthouse in the state of Maine. Situated on the beautifully maintained coastline, the lighthouse and the surrounding walking paths, beachfront, and gardens are all free to visit. We spent over an hour wandering around the area, and when the fog rolled in from the east we used the moody scenery as inspiration for few moments of quiet seaside introspection.

We ate and drank like kings queens all weekend long. In addition to artisanal pizza, craft beers, fancy cocktails, and the best donuts I've ever tasted (really, the only donuts I've ever even liked), we sat ourselves down at a roadside shack called Fisherman's Grill and ordered the. best. lobster. rolls. ever. While most lobster rolls need to add globs of mayo and/or butter and/or a bunch of other random veggies to make up for lack of lobster meat quality, what we ate was pure, fresh, lobster and little else. We barely spoke as we savored our rolls, and even though they were gigantic (the three of us split an extra large order with three buns) we still found room for a shared cup of clam chowder and a huge order of the silkiest and most flavorful scallops I'ver ever eaten.

We also found time to lay out on the beach. Even though clouds threatened our lighthouse visit earlier in the day, the notoriously mercurial Maine weather cleared up in the afternoon and allowed us to have a solid three hours on the beach at the nearby Two Lights State Park. I did, however, underestimate my ability to withstand cold water. Boasting that "the cold doesn't bother me" because four years ago I swam for hours at a beach in New Hampshire, I was quickly shown up by both my friends and everyone else at the beach when I put one toe into the freezing cold water and immediately ran shrieking back to my towel.

I came back to New York relaxed and ready to take on this last surge of wedding-planning frenzy (less then a month away now!), which is more than I can say for my pre-Maine state of mind. My friends were so generous in giving me their time and energy, and I can't thank them enough for letting me drag them across four states just for a silly bachelorette party ;)

If you go:

Where to stay: Portland has a handful of lovely hotels, both chain and boutique - but we opted to stay in an Airbnb in nearby South Portland. Looking to book your own weekend getaway? Use this link: to get $35 off your first stay!

What to do: Downtown Portland is easily walkable and navigable and home to a ton of cute shops. If shopping's not your thing and want a breath of fresh air, the nearby Portland Head Light and Two Lights State Park have walking trails, beach access, picnic areas, and great views. We also stumbled up on the Portland Farmer's Market and spent a happy hour oohing over giant tomatoes and taste-testing fresh cheeses.

What to eat: I had some of my most favorite meals in Portland. In no particular order, I can gladly recommend Otto's Pizza, CIA Cafe (in South Portland), The Holy Donut (go to the Park Avenue location, order at least three Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt donuts, and savor them at Deering Oaks Park across the street), and Fisherman's Grill for a lobstah roll and all the other fresh seafood you can manage (be warned: it's cash only and expensive - but beyond worth it. Just fork over the money and stop complaining.) Also: we never made it to Duck Fat but I swear on my next lobster roll that I'll get there one day!

What to drink: Novare Res Bier Café has an outstanding beer menu, The Bearded Lady's Jewel Box has an impressive cocktail menu that was almost too hip for us 30-somethings, and the Armory Lounge in the lobby of the Regency Hotel has an old-school old-man vibe that turned out to be exactly what we needed for our final nightcap of the trip.

Friday, September 2, 2016

zucchini bread

Sometimes it's a late summer afternoon and you're one month away from your wedding and even though all the pesky details and questions about those details are finally starting to come to an end, you now have an onslaught of wedding presents showing up at your door every day that you really shouldn't have registered for in the first place because where the heck are you supposed to put them in your teeny tiny new york apartment? You're tired and hot and overwhelmed and kind of just want it all to be over but instead of having yet another meltdown you see a bowl of vegetables in your kitchen from a recent CSA haul gifted to you by a friend who was going out of town and didn't see the point in picking up a bag of food she'd never be able to use. And even though you should've been at the gym ten minutes ago (because, you know, the wedding), you start to bake. Eggs, flour, sugar, a little cinnamon and a whole lot of zucchini. You shouldn't be wasting time and calories on this bread, but you're pretty sure it's going to taste good and you're really sure you need this right now. Something to focus on. Something for your hands to do. It's quiet in your kitchen, save for the crack of an egg and the scrape of the zucchini across the grater (and the construction across the street and the crying baby next door and the helicopter flying overhead, but you choose to ignore those sounds as they do not positively contribute to your afternoon). And soon you find a familiar rhythm you didn't know you missed. Measure, pour, stir. Measure, pour, stir. You don't know why (and you're certainly not going to take the time to analyze why), but you have calmed down. A bit. There is still a stack of thank you's begging to be written and a pile of towels that need to be washed and a whole wedding you need to finish planning, but right now you've got a fresh loaf of bread begging for your attention. A bit of butter, a reheated cup of coffee, and a very deep breath for reassurance: you've got this.

for the curious and hungry: my go-to zucchini bread recipe

Monday, August 15, 2016

status update

I don't want to be one of those people who only talks about the weather, but you guys, it's like a sauna out there. Seriously I broke a sweat just walking to yoga the other day. I really don't remember it being this hot and humid when I was a kid, but then again I spent the first 18 summers of my life at our local pool, first as a pool rat then as an actual lifeguard. So it's entirely possible that it was this hot but masked by my ability to jump in freezing cold water whenever I wanted. Since this adult life of mine does not have such easy access to a cool body of water (note to self: become friends with someone who has a rooftop pool), I instead have been obsessively watching every moment of the Olympics while setting a personal best record for ice cream eating. Those athletes are working so hard down there, it's only right that someone compensates for all their burned calories, right? Here's to Team USA!

*Read this, watch that
*Be still, my fabric-loving heart
*This sparked a fantastic brunchtime conversation
*Just in case you forgot
*Method man
*The darkest of comedies (but still so funny)
*"...Leona Watson Chalmers would cite those grueling six-day weeks of theater life as the inspiration for the Tassette, the first commercial menstrual cup."

Thursday, August 11, 2016

(new year's res) Roll of Film #2

Even though I try my hardest not to keep too much unnecessary "stuff" around the apartment (small-space living ftw!), I have been slowly collecting film cameras over the years. The most recent edition (given to me for my birthday by my most lovely fiancé) is a Lomography La Sardinia, a wide-angle 35mm no-frills camera. I loaded it up with a roll of film as soon as I took it out of the box but as it is wont to do, life got in the way and it took me a few months to shoot the entire roll. Nevertheless, I'm pretty happy with the new camera. It didn't handle shadows very well and a few pictures I took around dusk were so grainy and distorted that the subjects are barely identifiable, but shooting in bright daylight produced some vibrant colors and even few fun light leaks. I'd been toying with the idea of bringing a film camera on our upcoming honeymoon (does one person really need to bring three cameras on vacation?) and based on this first roll, I think I'm going to do it.

Film: FujiColor - ISO 400
Camera: La Sardinia 35mm
Photo locations: Central Park, Jones Beach, Coney Island, Astoria Park

Thursday, August 4, 2016

summer in the city

It's been a strange summer. I haven't been stuck in a theater like I normally am this time of year and the surplus of free time threw me for a loop. Instead of plowing through my usual "Summer To-Do List," I instead have been greeting each day with an odd amount of disengagement and ennui. The world also seems to be going to hell in a proverbial hand basket and more times than I can count I've forced myself to turn off the news and go for a walk. We're also less than two months away from the Big Day (!) and since it's been a fairly pricy couple of months (understatement of the year), we've been making a decent effort to curb unnecessary spending - which means no weekend getaways, lavish dinners, or any big purchases not related to the wedding.

This city, however, is at it's best in the summer. Or maybe I'm just such a hot-weather person that I put on my rose-colored sunglasses sometime around Memorial Day and actively ignore the hot-garbage smell that emits from nearly every New York street. Regardless, I've managed to fill a few of those endlessly vacant days with some lovely walks around my neighborhood, walks around Central Park, walks through the greenmarket, and even a trip down to Coney Island to (finally!) see the Cyclones play.

August has arrived, and while some argue for getting rid of it I for one am excited. I'm having not one but two bachelorette parties (because why not?), hopefully going to the US Open trials once and for all, and planting myself in front of the television to watch every second of the Olympics while audibly disagreeing with all scores given by the Russian judges. Happy summer, everyone ;)

1.) Summer veggies at the greenmarket
2.) Long Island City rooftop
3.) Astoria Pool
4.) Cyclones game in Coney Island
5.) More veggies
6.) Sunset over the East River
7.) Jones Beach
8.) View from the newly-opened Hallet Nature Sanctuary in Central Park
9.) Sunset walk through Astoria Park

Thursday, July 28, 2016

top 10 ways to not write your blog

1.) Start four different posts that you immediately hate because they are trite and/or uninteresting and/or boring for even you to read. Do not finish these posts.

2.) Sign up for a three-week new student pass at a local yoga studio and take a vinyassa and a barre class back-to-back. Be amazed at how much your abs now hurt and decide that your computer is much too far away from the couch; you couldn't possibly write anything now.

3.) In anticipation of blogging about it, take a zillion pictures of your favorite necklace that broke in a Macy's dressing room but you managed to fix so it's nearly as good as new. Compare your pictures to any number of necklace-based instagrams, get discouraged, delete the pictures, do not write about the necklace.

4.) Have a meltdown about a variety of wedding-related issues, including but not limited to: a never-ending search for first the "perfect" pair of shoes, than an "acceptable" pair of shoes, than "any f'ing pair that fits and looks remotely close to what I originally wanted;" the sheer panic you feel every time you get a wedding present and have no idea where to put it in your teeny-tiny one-bedroom apartment; the outrageously high cost of hiring a hair and makeup artist to turn you into a photogenic sun goddess for the day of the wedding; the incredulousness of "escort cards" (those things that tell your guests what table they're sitting at) and how something that someone will use for five seconds can cost so damn much and be so complicated to organize. Do not use any of this material as fodder for a series of articles to feature on your blog.

5.) Take a day trip upstate to see an opera recital. Romp through the woods, revel in the quiet of nature, and take an obscene amount of selfies with your iPhone camera remote (because that's who you've become now). Share the best selfie to instagram and fall asleep on the bus ride home because you've had a long day.

6.) Mope around like a sad puppy because one of your closest friends in New York had the audacity to move all the way to Boston to be with her fiancé. Bake two dozen unnecessary yet delicious rosemary shortbread cookies in an attempt to dull the pain.

7.) Have a second meltdown because you can't find a dress to wear to your upcoming wedding shower. Try on every dress in Manhattan and most on ModCloth. Curse the clothing industry, your genetic history of short torsos and large ribcages, and your penchant for tater tots. Try on a jumpsuit. Curse everyone and everything. Search Pinterest for more ideas and get instantaneously demoralized because every dress looks as though it's being modeled by a professional fashion blogger because everyone on that site is a professional fashion blogger. You can't get five people to read your blog. You just need one peach-colored dress to wear. You should go back to bed.

8.) Use the time you'd normally spend prepping posts for the week to apply for dozens of "real jobs" because you're 32 and this whole freelance thing just isn't cute any more. Obsessively refresh your inbox as you wait for those offers to roll in. Wonder if gmail is down. Send yourself an email from another address to make sure the internet is working. Contemplate moving to a country with free universal healthcare. Like Iceland. Iceland could be fun.

9.) Spend waaaay too much time researching options for the upcoming NYC Restaurant Week and make sure to get your reservations in as soon as the site goes live because last year you got crappy time slots and you will NOT be slighted again.

10.) Contemplate opening an Etsy store for your embroidery designs. Do not let the fact that you have no previous embroidery experience deter you. Spend hours at Michael's fussing around with different thread color combinations, doodle a bunch of new patterns, and make a test piece to give to your partner for his desk at work. Decide it doesn't look too bad and move forward with your new business venture. Do not waste precious time blogging about it because that would be ridiculous.