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?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tuesday Teasers

I haven’t done this in a while, so I decided to tease you with a few sentences from what I am reading. The rules are simple.

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

One book I am reading is called Speedboat by Renata Adler. Here is a fairly recent article from the New York Review- Books. I chose to read this book because it was the first book on David Foster Wallace’s literature class syllabus back in his teaching days. He fascinates me. [As a side note: He taught at my university for almost ten years, although after I had already graduate.]

 Page 70:

“Sometimes the point is a momentum, a fact, a quality, a voice, an imitation, a thing said or unsaid.”

“You cannot be forever watching for the point, or you lose the simplest thing: being a major character in your own life.”

There you have it! I have just recently started this book, but I am excited to pick it up later for more.

Thanks to Miz B at Should Be Reading for giving us book lovers a place to share.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Taking Stock: A Meme

This meme called Taking Stock was easy, breezy, and fun to do. 

Making: stuck my tongue out at my husband just now, so a face.

Cooking: pots are cold, and will remain so.

Drinking: Fiji water from Costco

Reading: A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor

Wanting: a glass of wine

Looking: for some quiet time after a busy weekend

Wasting: not away after eating a Turducken feast this weekend

Wishing: for more time with my friends

Enjoying: the couch with my feet propped up on the dog

Waiting: for my hubby to replace the dog and disturb the zen, which is just a matter of time

Liking: the view of the Riverwalk trees at dusk freshly lit with white lights, and the promise of good TV on this evening

Wondering: can’t believe I am saying or thinking this, “what’s for dinner?”

Loving: being horizontal

Listening: to the wind whipping wildly down the river from the 12th floor

Needing: to review some papers for my training, and sleep (desperately)

Smelling: fresh soap

Wearing: black leggings, long sleeve tee shirt, powder blue colored fleece jacket, and a pony tail

Following: the Bears game 

Noticing: the dryness of my lips 

Knowing: I have some really good friends

Thinking: I might fall asleep

Feeling: lucky

Bookmarking: Books from The Printer’s Row Journal

Opening: my mouth to yawn

Giggling: at a text message from one of my girlfriends

I realize it is Monday, but, to me in actual “writing time”, it is Sunday just as the sky is darkening (or 4:26pm, to be precise).