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 fiancĂ©. 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.

Friday, July 15, 2016

status update

Today, my beloved Fitbit app told me that I have walked a total of 1,600 miles since first donning the tracker a year and a half ago - the equivalent of the length of the Great Barrier Reef. I for one am just grateful that we in this world have the technology and the means to aggregate such ridiculous data for people. I mean, think about it: I put on a rubber bracelet, go about my business, and then months later I get a notification from the tiny computer in my pocket that I've covered a distance equal to one of the natural world wonders. It's a technological amazement. You know what else is a delightful advancement? The internet. It's full of weird and magical and sometimes even informative things, and in case you've had enough awful news this month (I know I have), here are some things that aren't so awful and that may brighten your day. Be well ;)

- Sweet (home) Chicago accent
- Be more Hemmingway
- Aziz for the win 
- Claire and I made this last week and it was delish
- This one hit close to home
- Are you confused as I am about this whole Pokemon thing? Rolling Stone explains it all
Life hacks of the poor and aimless
- The most delightful piece of mail I've ever received

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

book report #9

*Love With a Chance of Drowning (Torre DeRoche) - a fun and entertaining memoir about a woman who overcame her fear of water (hence the title) and embarked on a three-year sailing adventure from LA to Australia and beyond. I'm not normally a fan of memoirs but I am a fan of boats and love stories, and the humorous and familiar tone DeRoche took to tell her story kept me engaged instead of at arm's length. While I doubt I'll sell all my possessions to live full-time on an 18-foot boat, this book almost made me want to take sailing lessons and definitely made me want to jump on the next flight to French Polynesia.

*Undermajordomo Minor (Patrick DeWitt) - this one was strange and not in a good way. I never quite figured out if it was a fairy tale, allegory, magical realism, or some other type of literally genre I never learned about in college. Amazon reviews call it "delightful, wacky, quirky, and charming" but I just thought it was weird. Not my cup of tea.

*Wild By Nature (Sarah Marquis) - honestly, this book eventually pissed me off so much that I stopped reading it about 75 pages from the end. It started off with promise - independent female explorer sets off to walk the length of entire countries - Mongolia, China, Thailand - on her way to Australia. After some obvious setbacks (weather, equipment failure, more weather, a tooth extraction) her trek totaled nearly three years in time, and this book is her memoir about the walk. But at no point did she ever say why she was obsessively walking. Was she running from something? To something? To discover something? To learn something? And even though she had helpers and fixers throughout her journey (she was given a contact person in each country and boxes of supplies at each stopping point) she never justified how she could simply take three years out of her life to walk. I guess it was a sponsored trip? Even if it was, she wrote with such a jarringly jib tone throughout (oops! almost died again lol) that it was entirely off-putting. I had high hopes for this one and it sadly did not come through.

*A Book of Silence (Sara Maitland) - I've obviously had female-adventurer memoirs on the brain this year, and this one was interesting and informative, if not a little too heavy on the dry research. Regardless, it was an interesting concept - a post-marriage woman in her 50's goes in search of silence - but what is it, exactly? And what does prolonged silence do to a person? I most enjoyed when Maitland got personal and reflected on her own silent discoveries as opposed to the more scholarly sections, but even so, this book got me thinking about my own auditory experiences, including but not limited to the ironic fact that I read the majority of this book on the subway, a notably loud method of transport that leaves little room for silent introspection.

*The Nest (Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney) - an all-around wonderful novel. A smart, funny, and captivating story that was a welcome blend of epic family saga and modern relevance. The characters were beautifully flawed but entirely relatable and the plot was so enticing that I actually woke up early one morning to finish reading it before heading out for the day. I'd been in a bizarre literary rut for the past few months (see above) and this was the perfect story to get me back into the reading game.

*We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (Karen Joy Fowler) - part mystery (but not really), part anthropological study (but not really), part memoir (but not really) and part tell-all (but not really), this beautifully bizarre work of fiction is narrated by a woman who was raised alongside a chimpanzee back when these kinds of things were still kosher in the scientific world. Needless to say, her upbringing screwed her up in all kinds of ways, and even though I tend to stray from the "I had a terrible childhood" kind of stories, this one was just enticing enough to keep me reading and get me thinking about what exactly determines the difference between humans and animals.