Saturday, December 6, 2014

Feels Like Bragging: Are You

The "Are You" meme over at Sunday Stealing.

1. Are you psychic in any way? Yes, I truly believe this to be true.

2. Are you a good dancer? I think so. My dancing gets better in direct proportions to the amount of wine I've had. However, there is a fine line between the time it goes from fabulous to time to go home. Nah!!!! Kidding!

3. Are you a good singer? No. Wait! In the car I am. My family would contest this statement.

4. Are you a good cook? I'm a fabulous cook.

5. Are you a good artist? I can doodle with the best of doodlers.

6. Are you a good listener? This I can say with tremendous confidence. I am a stellar listener!

7. Are you a good public speaker? I can do it. The less people I know in the the crowd, the better. Speaking in front of people I know makes me more nervous.

8. Are you a good babysitter? Yes, in short spurts.

9. Are you a good mechanic? Uh, no. And I'm okay with it.

10. Are you a good diplomat? Outstanding.

11. Are you a good employee? Yes, I take and follow direction well. I finish what I start. I'm overly reliable.

12. Are you a good dresser? Yes, except when I don't have to be. I can rock sweats rather well and comfortably.

13. Are you a good swimmer? Yeah, I swim for my job. That said, I won't win any races though.

14. Are you a good skier? I've been skiing my whole life.

15. Are you a good gift giver? I am feeling so smug with this meme. I'm not good at everything but this is giving me an ego boost! I give great present!!! I love to give. I'm far less comfortable receiving. Giving me things is never required. I have what I need.

16. Are you a good musician? No, I'm not musically gifted. I played guitar, badly, for one year when I was in seventh grade. My parents still have my guitar.

17. Are you a good comedian? I am a horrible joke teller, an average storyteller, but I'm great at  slightly sarcastic one liners. My friends think I'm funny. At least they're laughing at me.

18. Are you a good cleaner? Not my strongest suit. My house "appears" clean. I use smoke and mirrors.

19. Are you a good actor? Yes. I can make you believe things.

20. Are you a good writer? I can be at times. I need the right motivation. Lacking a muse these days. Any takers?

Friday, November 28, 2014

Didn't Fry the Turkey, But I Did Fry My Computer

I didn't post yesterday because, like many of you, I spent my morning wrestling (AKA stuffing) Tom, then hosting the family at our new place. The day was a smashing success even though my parents got lost navigating the big city streets (we live in a tricky spot to get to). The food turned out yummy, as always, we played lots of Rummikub, no one got too drunk, and my kids behaved, for the most part. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because expectations are manageably low and casual. It's the perfect recipe to exceed them.

The only casualty of the day was my computer. I left it sitting on the island while cooking. I inadvertently splashed a very small amount (small amount, I reiterate!) of  yellow liquid on it from a tall stemmed glass. It went blink, blink, bli....  Fried!!!!!!!!!! And not in a good way like a turkey!

I almost died when my nicer/kinder/better half asked me to use it so he could show my dad something.

"Out of juice," I croaked.

I determined this answer, although a white lie, was better than the alternative yet more truthful response. The timing wasn't right, and I'm not sure the timing is good today either.

My computer is new (September purchase). I don't want to brave the Apple store on Michigan Avenue, or any location, on Black Friday. I don't leave the house on Black Friday if I can help it! I think I will wait until Monday to sneak it into the Genius Bar.

That's the long version of why I didn't post yesterday, and I am blogging from my phone today.

(I've actually exceeded my NaBloPoMo expectations! I pretty well knew I wouldn't post every day, but I wanted to write a majority of them. I feel successful (enough)!)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Holiday Served Cold

Smiling, I push through the door calling,

“Kids, I’m home!”

His filthy boots greet me instead.

With exhausted nonchalance, I transfer Chase’s bat from the coat closet to our bedroom.

“So glad you’re here for the holiday, Honey.”

This time I'm prepared.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Poems While You Wait

I turned a corner in the crowded Randolph Street Market yesterday, and almost ran right into “Poems While You Wait”, a group of poets, five yesterday, who routinely makes the Market/Charity Event/Art Festival circuit, or so I was told. Sadly, I had never heard of them before.They directed me to their Tumblr here for more detailed information.

Never mind what they were actually doing. Writing poetry on the spot for a $5.00 donation. The fact that they set up a makeshift writing shop on simple cafe tables, used only vintage manual typewriters, with real typing paper, almost gave me the thrill chills. 

My daughter even responded, “This is so cool!” 

It is! And it was!!!

Of course, my daughter also thought the typewriters were prehistoric. But to me, it felt like a comforting sigh, so nostalgic. I received one right before I left for college, typed all my term papers on it, changed the ribbons, and fixed type bars. It probably would have been wise, at the time, to purchase stock in “White Out”.

So this is the concept of “Poems While You Wait” (taken directly from their Tumblr):

Step 1
We show up ~ with Royal, Smithy, & Olly.
Step 2
You show up ~ with your poetry topic ~ & for a suggested donation of $5 commission an original poem from us.
Step 3
You go away ~ this is the “wait” part of Poems While You Wait.
Step 4
You return ~ 15-20 minutes later ~ & retrieve the poem we typed out for you.
Step 5
You go away again ~ this time with an artifact, a souvenir, a gift from us to you & from you to who-knows-who, a memory of an unpretentious human interaction which resulted in … fun, which is just another word for poetry.
  • 100% of proceeds go to support the non-profit literary publisher Rose Metal Press

Here’s a picture from yesterday:

The topic on the sheet ahead of mine was “He proposed to me on a horse. He is allergic to horses.” This made me laugh, but what a great poem this will be!!!

Here are a few examples I pulled off their Tumblr page:

Love them!!!

Mine are clever and quirky and will become framed gifts, and I am so excited to give them. Maybe more than anything else.

The best part of this for me???

See Step 5.

Unpretentious human interaction!!!!! A special gift. FUN!!!!!

I am going to stalk them.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

How Do You Spend Thanksgiving? This Is What We Do...

I can’t believe the architectural tour boats are still operating this late in the season. I can hear the docent’s muffled voice from my window in the sky. 


It’s been a long while since I’ve had to keep hushed well into the (LATE) morning. Mateo’s in the house! And mama wants him up, up, up because I miss him, and want to play. But first, I am going to quickly tackle this Thanksgiving meme set forth by Kwisgiver over at Sunday Stealing. Yes, it is Saturday but I am trying to be ahead of schedule (even though I am fully aware I missed yesterday). 

Things you may or may not care to know about my Thanksgiving holiday plans:

  1. Are you celebrating Thanksgiving at home or elsewhere this year? With whom will you spend Thanksgiving Day? I have cooked every Thanksgiving turkey for the last 24 years. I love hosting this holiday. House smells yummy, we require casual dress, eat, and watch football. This year, there will be the four of us plus my parents, my husband’s brother, and my daughter’s roommate. Can’t wait!
  2. What do you have for breakfast on Thanksgiving? I am not a big breakfast eater, or maker, for that matter, especially knowing the sheer amount of food I will be consuming later in the day. My husband, for life, is the breakfast guy. He’ll do a full bacon/egg/hash browns thing, no doubt.
  3. Do you go to a Thanksgiving parade or watch one on TV? I have this whole Thanksgiving morning routine, which includes the Macy’s Parade in NYC and complete with the yearly anticipation of the Rockette’s kick line!!!
  4. Do you serve appetizers, lunch, or snacks during the day? My mom usually brings an appetizer, which we don’t really eat because it’s Thanksgiving, and everyone’s holding off for the big meal. I always have medium sized black olives for my dad, and shrimp cocktail for my kids. Eat lunch before you come, please!
  5. What do you wear on Thanksgiving? We are very casual on Thanksgiving. I usually wear black tights and a light weight sweater.
  6. What’s your Thanksgiving table like- do you use special plates/silver/glasses, etc. Do you have a color scheme? Center piece? Candles? I don’t have a theme of any sort except Fall. Depending on my mood and available time, I make candle holders out of gourds or pumpkins. I put votive candles in pieces of fruit. Things like that. There will be a centerpiece of candles though I don’t know where the closest florist is to our new digs. Better put this on my list…Search out florist!
  7. Do you serve buffet-style or family-style? What do you have to drink? My family always serves holiday meals family-style, everything on the table. My dad likes Diet Tangerine pop, and the rest of us will drink wine. It becomes quite the party!
  8. Once you’re at the table, do you say grace or a toast or does everyone go around and say what they are thankful for? I have never been to, or had, a holiday meal where we didn’t say grace. It’s what we do before most meals regardless of a special occasion.
  9. Do you have a dessert right after the main meal or later on? Later on.
  10. What do you do with your leftovers? Disperse them!!!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

My Kid Turned 24 and I Feel...

I am not feeling any older than I did five short years ago. Not even ten years ago, maybe. I am in the same physical shape. A bit thinner actually (though I am not sure this is a good thing). Not as strong. Smarter, for sure.

“The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.” Madeleine L’Engle

My thoughts aren’t particularly those of a (little older than) middle-aged person. I do feel wiser after going around those blocks.

Another belief of mine: that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.” Margaret Atwood

So then, how in the world did I become a person who has a 24-year-old child?

I am convinced that most people do not grow up. We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies, and on our faces but generally our real selves, the children inside, are innocent and shy as magnolias. Maya Angelou

Where did the time go? So imperceptibly, it moved, that I almost didn’t hear the whirr. 

“There is a certain part of all of us that lives outside of time.
Perhaps we become aware of our age only at exceptional moments and most of the time we are ageless.
Milan Kundera (Who is this guy? He is the author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being (good book/movie))

The speed is dizzying!

Just remember when you’re over the hill, you begin to pick up speed.” Charles M. Schulz

Stop. Just stop.

Do not wait for life. Do not long for it. Be aware, always and at every moment, that the miracle is in the here and now. “ Marcel Proust

In my morning prayers, I always ask for moments, minutes, entire days for which I am fully present. Living. Because “time and tide wait for no man” (Who said this? A quick google search gives credit to the poet Geoffrey Chaucer)

None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.” Henry David Thoreau

I am desperately trying to maintain my zest for life. Be excited by things. Little things. Am I running out of time for new adventures? I desperately want to be interesting. Feel interesting. I still want “you” to think I am interesting. If nothing else.

Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been. Mark Twain

Sometimes I look in the mirror and all I see are dark circles and deep crow's feet.  Other times, I see the twenty or thirty year old looking at me. Many times I like what I see. Sometimes, when I’m tired, especially, I don’t. And I think to myself, “Where am I?” 

And I always notice the eyes. "Where is the crystal blue?".

I may be a senior but so what? I’m still hot.” Betty White

She's funny, and I wish. 

Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty. Coco Chanel

Yep, my daughter turned 24 yesterday, and to think she believes she’s old!!!

First, I want to know how it happened, then why she didn't ask me if she could grow up so fast. 

And why don’t I feel old enough for that?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Pre-Holiday Books: What's Everyone Reading?

What am I currently reading? 

I am reading Speedboat by Renata Adler,


PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives complied by Frank Warren (See HERE for explanation).

What did I recently finish?

The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan. Keegan had a job waiting for her at The New Yorker when she died in a car accident five days after graduating from Yale. Her essay entitled "The Opposite of Loneliness" about her Yale experience subsequently went viral. From the book's foreword, which was written by one of her Yale writing instructors, I gather she was spirited, curious, and feisty. Challenged people, questioned everything, and was akin to a square peg. For me, this translated into a wonderful reading experience. If you compare her writing style to the likes of more acclaimed short story authors like Alice Munro, or even Miranda July (No One Belongs Here More Than You), you will notice the youthful inexperience in her writing. But who cares? The stories and essays are still incredibly contemporary, engaging, and rather unique. I highly recommend it.

What will I read next (with my increasingly limited time!)?

I think it is time to pick up (again) a collection of short stories called Bark by Lorrie Moore, and Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique.

What is going on in your “reading” life these days?