Saturday, August 30, 2014

Currently... in September

FEELING:  I'm going to let my feet answer this one: THEY HURT!  Work has been keeping me hopping from one job to the next and I'm soaking my feet and taping the band-aids on but it feels like I'm stepping on shards of glass everywhere I go!

WATCHING:  absolutely nothing at the moment!  As I have mentioned, my computer won't turn on (I'm going to get it looked at) and the TV hasn't been plugged in for months.  I don't miss it one bit!

LISTENING TO:  my usual Pandora suspects but with some Cat Stevens thrown in.  that makes jazz, singer/songwriter, and new wave the top hits of this past month.  

READING:  I just finished To Sail Beyond the Sunset, another (duh) Heinlein novel and it ripped the heart out of me.  I had weird dreams and everything.  The day the plot took a sad turn, I snapped at everyone and everything.  My soul gets too involved with Heinlein, so I've been alternating him with some of the Culture novels by Iain M. Banks - last month I enjoyed The Player of Games and last week I started in on Matter.  they're a bit speedier than Heinlein and I don't have weird dreams (phew!)

WORKING ON:  ay, there's the rub.  I usually knit when I'm watching TV, so now that that's not happening, my knitting progress is at a standstill!  I am working on organizing my wardrobe and storage and cleaning out my closet while fixing/repurposing things I no longer use. it's almost scarf weather!  I had better get back on my knitting horse!!!

THINKING ABOUT:  why I can't seem to sleep.  how well can we really know ourselves? and what I should dress up as for Halloween!

EATING:  raw zucchini pasta and smoothies!  I've been trying out new smoothie places all over town.  the spiral veggie machine makes it so easy to make zucchini spaghetti...maybe I should invest in a blender to make smoothies at home, too?

LOOKING FORWARD TO:  well, Halloween, obviously.  NYCC, even though I'm only going on Friday (boo).  cooler fall weather for scarves and jackets!  and all the flavors that come with fall like caramel apple, pumpkin spice, cider, etc etc!

MAKING ME HAPPY:  live Nirvana and Foo Fighters songs on Pandora, mellocreme pumpkins, long walks, buying rings on amazon (don't judge), reading on the train, and my swishy new hairdo!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Sunday Social

1.  What is one thing you hate doing?

This might actually be more of a phobia, but I hate touching railings.  Or the safety bar in the subway.  I'd rather stand up at sway all over the place than touch that thing!  I'm convinced that any type of rail is just slathered with an unsavory cesspool of human germs and I refuse to touch it!

2.  What is the one thing you hate shopping for?

Oh man, I used to hate shopping for pants.  As a woman, shopping for pants is always such a guessing game:  Does this brand run small?  Large?  Are they cut too low?  Is the hem too short?  What the fuck does this number mean?  Is this "European" sizing? What do the cutesy names they give to their cuts mean?  What the hell is "curvy" anyway?  It usually means grabbing a wide range of sizes and styles and dragging them into the dressing room only to find that the highest and lowest numbers fit the best, while the sizes in the middle don't fit over my calves and are four inches too short.  WHUT.  But then I discovered that Urban Outfitters' high-waisted retro fit bell bottoms fit me PERFECTLY.  They stretch when I move, stay up without belts, and actually touch the floor (something this taller-than-average gal never dreamed she'd find)!  I have three pairs!

So now, I'd say I hate shopping for FRUIT.  if you buy fruit downtown where the quality is better, it's twice as expensive.  if you wait to buy it til you get uptown, the shops are a haphazard mess where they inspect your bags (yup) and it's all moldy and awful.  Buying fruit is the new buying pants.

3.  What is one thing you love doing?

I love grocery shopping!  I love taking my time and looking at everything - especially the weird stuff.  I think it can be a lot of fun, if you let it!

4.  What is one place you love going?

I know so many New Yorkers will echo my sentiment, but I LOVE THE HIGH LINE.  I love getting on it at 30th street near the Javits Center (which reminds me of ComicCon) in the neglected, industrial part of Midtown just below Hell's Kitchen.  I love walking down to Chelsea Market and perusing the shops and food there.  And maybe most of all, I love getting off at Gansevoort Street, taking a chance on the furthest reaches of the West Village, getting hopelessly lost and finding beauty.  So, the High Line, and surrounding areas.  Sorry I can't be more specific.  

5.  What is your favourite thing to do that you do daily?

Reading!  I read like a fish!  Um, that is to say, I read like a fish swims.  Maybe?  Well, I've usually got my book on the train to work, forty-five minutes.  Then before clocking in, like half an hour, then on my lunch hour, and sometimes on a pleasant day in a shady spot in the park AFTER work, and on the train'll rarely see me without a book in my hands and it's usually out on the platform too!  My only problem is that now I need bigger bookshelves to accommodate my new conquests!  I refuse to switch to e-readers...reading off screens makes me dizzy and the smell of old books, the feel of the pages, cracking the don't get these simple sensual pleasures from a Kindle!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

#tbt The Least-Super Model

My mother sent this article to me, clipped from a local magazine.  The year is 2006, and despite a deep-seated self-loathing that the photograph conveys, I have volunteered myself to model for a local photo-feature.  Does this image not make you cringe?  The forced, uncomfortable smile barely peeking through a wall of hair, one arm crossed in front to sheild from view my body, already heaped in clothes a size (or more) too big?  This photograph makes me sad.  I see myself at my most afraid, here: afraid of being unloved, afraid of being criticized, afraid of - as the photo shows - even being looked at.  I'm glad I have these photographs of myself from this time period to remind me that no matter what, it's happiness that is the most important.  Much more important than how you look in a photograph.  And not to worry, because inner beauty DOES show up on film.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Trader Joe's Tuesday: Tea Tree Oil

Trader Joe's Tea Tree Oil

Tastes Like:  Not for eating!  This is a beauty product!  I will tell you that it smells minty fresh and feels like tingles.

Great With:  I know it says not to, but I use this occasionally as a toner when I feel like my skin could use it.  I know, I know.

Perfect For:  Hot, sweaty summer days...when you feel all the city dirt and grime built up on your face, and sunscreen and sweat in your pores, a tiny bit of this can make you feel clean and glowy again!

Must Know:  this is very harsh and strong and will dry out your skin, so be VERY careful!

Costs:  $6.49 for a little bottle that goes a long way!

Monday, August 25, 2014


Last week, I spoke about my disappointment with Jurassic Park, and how I felt the movie was better.  In a dramatic turn of events, this week I review the novel Flashforward by Robert J. Sawyer, which was the inspiration for a one-season TV drama on ABC several years ago.  SPOILER ALERT:  THIS BOOK IS BETTER!

The back jacket summarizes the plot better than I possibly could.  And while the TV show attempted to show the multiple impact on numerous characters, the book focuses mainly on the three scientists at the heart of the physics experiment that caused (?) the "flash forward" - or did it?  While Crichton goes overboard with jargon and explanation, Sawyer's style is breezy and action-focused.  He trusts his readers, doesn't over-explain, and moves on.  Even chase sequences are short!  Sawyer cuts right to the core, quickly finding the point, and doesn't labor over it.  The book is only 319 pages long, but it feels like a short story.  Along the way we are confronted with a major philosophical question:  would you want to know your future?  And if you did, and didn't like it, could you change it?  Predestination, fate, predetermination, all of these questions about while mystery, intrigue, and a race against death!  Whew!

There's still time in the summer to read a fantastic, glossy, sexy, action novel.  If you can get your hands on it, Flashforward will suck you in, whirl you around, and spit you out gasping for air.  This book is better - better than the TV show, better than Jurassic Park, better now than later!  Check it out today!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday Social

1. What are you most looking forward to about Fall?

SO MUCH.  Wearing my Tom Baker scarf around, drinking Pumpkin Spice Lattes, the September Issue of Vogue, leaves turning, tourists going home, HALLOWEEN, Comic Con, Coney Island, long walks, picnics, layering my outfits, friends coming to visit, giving lots of ghost tours, cake picnics in the park.  I am so ready.  Bring it on, Fall!

2. What is your favorite sports team?

I make it a policy to root, root, root for the home team, since I have no special allegiances.  But I will admit a soft spot for anyone sporting the Buffalo Bills logo.

3. If you could go back to college is there one thing you would change?

I wouldn't change a damn thing.  I will always treasure my college years.  You only live them once!  And I had such a blast.

4. What was your favorite class you ever took? HS or College?

I've loved MANY classes but I'll never forget taking Alternative Performance Techniques with Don Boros, my junior year of college.  I want to be Don when I grow up.  Okay, so the class met a couple times a week and every other week, we put up a show that was free to all the public based around some wacky concept.  "Puppets!"  "Words!"  "Sounds!"  and it was always bizarre.  One show, we TP'ed the black box theatre to a light display and the James Bond theme.  Another time, dressed in Glo-sticks, we threw a tarp over my classmate and made her into a maypole of Christmas lights while she screamed over top of "Safety Dance" at top volume.  My final project involved smashing food all over myself and a tarp in a fountain on campus.  I stole an orange cone, climbed inside it, and was filmed following people around as this orange safety barrel.  It was so bizarre and weird but the whole department envied us, getting to create whatever we wanted.

5. Reach into your purse what is the first thing you grab?

My book!  It's always the biggest thing in my purse.  Right now, it's The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks.  A birthday present from my boyfriend!  I've been reading a ton of Heinlein and it is VERY different but I like the little parable Mr. Banks is weaving!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Does Not Compute

well, it's happened again.  last summer, my laptop was reduced to a useless piece of machinery by lack of a charge cord.  earlier this week, almost a year to the day later, it simply refused to turn on. I hve to wonder if the "robots" in my life just know what's best for me and are trying to push me outside to enjoy the weather and "get some fresh air."  well, seeing as how I have no choice, here's what I've been up to:

- working 7-8 days a week
- walking in Greenwich Village
- discovering a new smoothie place!  $3 fresh fruit smoothies on the UWS?  you gotta be kidding me.
- planning outings for fall
- reading a lot of Heinlein & the Culture series by Iain M. Banks - expect lots more book reviews on Mondays!
- self-led culinary very afraid...any good results should end up here!

so if my blog looks funny in the meantime or isn't updated on the regular schedule, it's because my friendly little machines have conspired against me YET AGAIN.  Frakking Cylons.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

#tbt A Tale of Two Robots

On January 19th, 2012, I took this photo in Williamsburg, Brooklyn:

Pay CLOSE ATTENTION the goofy little robots in the bottom, holding up the carnation?

I loved this photo and the robots and the flower SO MUCH that I made that photo my lock screen photo for the past, like, two and a half YEARS.

And THEN....

LAST WEEK, while trying to find coffee (it was a coffee emergency, you see) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I saw THIS GUY painted up on a wall!:

Is it just me, or are these THE SAME ROBOTS?

And could they be trying to tell me something?


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Trader Joe's Tuesday: Fruit Wraps

Trader Joe's Fruit Wraps

Tastes Like:  Extra-thick fruit roll-ups.  Or very gummy fruit leather.  The texture is odd, but not displeasing.

Great With:  your evening glass of cranberry juice...or anything else, really.

Perfect For:  Children?  A quick nosh?  A sweet exit to a healthy lunch?

Must Know:  They are "organic," for what it's worth!

Costs:  $0.49 apiece, but they're just a little snack, not a budget-busting splurge!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Jurassic Park

I picked up Jurassic Park in the beginning of the summer, expecting it to be a fast-paced, quick summer read.  Your typical "beach/airplane" book.  I carried it with me all over town and perhaps the most amusing anecdote I can tell you is that when I was reading it in Chelsea Market, a guy who I must describe as a "skateboard bum" approached me and smiled and started to initiate friendly conversation by remarking that he "didn't know they'd made the movie into a book."  Sigh. 

For those of you expecting the book experience to be like the movie at all, you're going to be sorely disappointed.

Oh yes.  For the first, oh, say, half of the book, nothing much happens. all.  In fact, it takes several chapters of bouncing around between incidents before we even meet any of the main characters!  This book suffers from too much "prologue" and then chapter after chapter of science jargon and then FINALLY, dinosaurs.

Here's where I will agree with the "skateboard bum:" normally, I sing the refrain "the book is always better!"  but in this case, I think the movie wins out as being more of the fast-paced, action-packed entertainment that I was hoping for all along.

Throw me to the raptors.  The movie was better.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Social

1. One item you wish you could splurge on right now

I don't think I need them right away, but I would love a pair of hot pink Converse!  I usually have a policy of waiting until my current pair has MASSIVE GAPING HOLES in them, and that is thankfully not the case.  I still find myself wanting a new pair, since the ones I do have a kind of beat-up LOOKING.  Ratty and holey and the rubber is peeling off!  I do have some ideas for re-vamping them, however, and I can invest in a new $7 pair of insoles to help (I hope)!

2. If you had an entire weekend of no plans what would you do?

MAKE SOME GODDAMN PLANS, that's what I'd do!  I'd lay in the grass on the Highline...take a book and my knitting to Central Park...clean my filthy disgusting kitchen...FINALLY reorganize my bedroom!  But unfortunately, my next (possible) day off from work will (possibly) be August 23rd.  I ain't complaining!  I like being busy!

3. Next place you are visiting outside of your current city?

What did I just say, about working nonstop everyday?  I'm staying put, keeping down the fort, until probably Thanksgiving when IF I'M LUCKY, I'll be able to get away.  But I'm not counting on it.

4. Are you a neat freak or a clutterbug?

A little of both - I think the phrase "organized chaos" applies here.  For instance, I recently implemented a method of sock-folding where I stuff one sock into the other so matching socks isn't painfully difficult in the morning.  HOWEVER, the rest of my drawer is a messy shambles.  Ah well!  I can find what I need, that's the most important thing!

5. Favorite Summer purchase?

Hmm...I went to a lot of thrift stores over the summer and I also bought a lot of books.  So, I would say it's a tie between ALL OF MY HEINLEIN BOOKS and the black dress I bought at the Salvation Army for like $4?  I think it looks especially good when styled with a boa.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

#tbt My Blog Turns 5!

So apparently, I started this little blog FIVE YEARS ago!  Woohoo!  Originally, my posts were short (like tweets) but now they' so?  And it may interest you to know that when I first started this blog, I loved to rhyme.  So for my blog's fifth birthday, I would like to regale you with three of my old poems concerning various subway encounters (like ya do) starting with the oldest ditty, originally published on August 29, 2009:

Ode to the Crazy Homeless Lady Who Shoved Me Hard in the Subway

Downtown bound West 4th Street Platform,
You pushed me on the side-slash/arm.
I saw the cops, but they didn't see
You randomly assaulting me.
Were you rushing for the train?
Or angry because you're insane?
The train doors shut, and, with a sneer,
You shouted obscenities so all could hear,
Pulled up your shorts and glared around
As the train continued downtown.
For no matter what you may have done,
The 8th Avenue Local waits for noone.

This next poem was inspired by one of those classic "WTF?" New York moments, originally published on May 9th, 2011:

The Lonely Mop

Dear Lonely Mop,
Where the hell you from?
Are you trying to reach
The Downtown 1?

Dear Lonely Mop
Wherefore art thou?
And how long have you
Been hiding out?

Dear Lonely Mop,
So stealth! So cool!
I'll keep doin' me
And you keep doin' you.

And lastly, my habit of creeping on strangers on the train extends even to rhyme, as we see in this untitled piece, originally published on July 2, 2011:

Blonde hair
Dark roots
Sweatpants in summer
Ugg boots

To and fro
Side to side
Rock-a-bye baby
Subway ride

Drooly chin
Nodding head
Missed your stop
Time for bed.

Thanks for letting me survive for 5 years.  Please don't put me on GOMI for this.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Trader Joe's Tuesday: Pure Organic Bars

Pure Organic Cherry Cashew & Chocolate Brownie Bars

Tastes Like:  Rich, sticky, gooey delicious dessert that's actually good for you!  The cherry cashew flavour tastes like gnawable, portable pie filling. and the brownie - do I even need to say it?  Okay, imagine Little Debbie walnut brownies, but denser and richer.  Now make them a million times better for you.  I like the taste of that.

Great With:  I bet a glass of cold milk would make both of these a little more indulgent, but I'm usually savoring them on a park bench in the middle of one of my ramblin' adventures.

Perfect For:  Tossing into your purse or backpack in case of sudden Snack Attack.  They seem to hold their shape fairly well, and not discorporate like some granola bars after spending a week or so at the bottom of your favourite catch-all satchel.

Must Know:  Gluten-free, vegan, kosher, organic.  Why, only an Airitarian* would have a problem with these!

* Airitarians are people who only consume air and air products

They do, however, seem to be comprised mostly of nuts, an astonishing amount of nuts and nut butters, but if you're allergic, then, NUTS to you!  More for me!

Costs:  $1.49 per bar.  I've only seen these sold on an individual basis, but would buy a box in a heartbeat if I could find them anywhere (anywhere else that is, ha ha, I'd never cheat on you, Joe!  You know that!)  That may seem steep, but compared to other specialty bars for people who Don't Eat Any Gluten, Meat, Dairy, or Anything Else Ever and worry about what they'll do if they get stuck somewhere and can't find sustenance, $1.49 for a sustaining and mind-blowingly delicious meal-on-the-go isn't too shabby, now, is it?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday Social

1. One Show you would love to see on Netflix that isn’t there

I wish I could watch all of the classic run of Doctor Who on Netflix - it's available on HuluPlus, but not Netflix?  Almost makes me think about cancelling Netflix to switch to Hulu....

2. One song you wish they would play more on the radio

I don't really listen to the radio - that's what I have Pandora for!  I love Pandora radio.  I've noticed that every "cool" place I go to plays Pandora radio.  Hair salons, tattoo parlors, vegan restaurants...

3. Your favorite song to sing loudly to in the car

I don't know if it's my FAVOURITE, but back in college when I was the Default Designated Driver (being the only person anyone knew who had a car), I would pull up outside my friends' dorms to take them out and cue up Billy Ocean's "Get Out of My Dreams (Get Into My Car)" and sing  scream the opening bit:

"HEY!  (hey!)
YOU!  (you!)
(who me?)
(drum beats)

4. What Movie/TV show do you quote the most?

This might be random but I think I quote Better Off Dead, the John Cusack dark comedy, the most.  I'm always getting asked by tourists "How do you get to (name of a place that's super close that they're almost on top of it already)?"  And I get to quote the line:

"Go that way.  Really fast.  If something gets in your way...turn."

5. One silly thing you do daily

I can think of so many silly things that I do but nothing that I do daily and nothing particularly silly, at least by my own standards.  One thing I do every day is dip carrots in peanut butter.  That's not really all that silly, I would say.  But it is daily, or nearly almost always daily, and unusual!

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Time I Wore A Snake

Like, I'm always bragging about how New York City is magical and any given night can turn into an amazing adventure and blah blah blah and I think sometimes people roll their eyes and assume that "New York City is a constant adventure!" is just something we tell ourselves to justify paying more on rent than we make in a month and most of the time that's probably true but


On my way to go see an accordion festival ( ! ) uptown I chanced upon this big lady at the West 4th Street subway station.  I asked her handler if I could pet her.  "You can hold her!" he encouraged, and then draped Honey Boo Boo (that's the snake's name, no lie!) over my shoulders and instructed me to "cradle her like a baby."

She was heavy - VERY heavy - but warm and soft and reminded me of holding a puppy.  A very very LOOOOONG puppy.  But gentle and aside from being oh did I mention quite heavy, she was a total doll.

Just goes to show that adventure lies around every corner!  Unless you're Indiana Jones.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

#tbt On The Boards

I used to act, believe it or not.  This photo from my college days, back when I used to love acting and boy, do I look like I'm loving it in this picture!  How hot is that orange and yellow dress?  And the white feather twixt mine cleavage?  Hawtness.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Trader Joe's Tuesday: Apple-Banana & Apple-Mango Bars

Trader Joe's Apple-Banana & Apple-Mango Bars

Tastes Like:  well, first, we'd be remiss if we didn't say what these things look like:  slabs of semi-digested food.  Or bird-feeder fodder.  Or some kind of fruit jerky?  But if you close your eyes, and try not to think about it, they're delicious!  The Apple-Mango tastes like a gummy fruit treat, and the Apple-Banana variety tastes like fresh-baked banana nut bread.  Both are pretty delicious, but to be honest, the Apple-Banana is the clear winner here.

Great With:  perhaps a cold glass of milk?  I think they're meant to be eaten on the fly, as I did.

Perfect For:  throwing into the bottom of your purse and pulling out when you're in a shit mood and desperate for a sweet snack.

Must Know:  vegan and gluten-free!  The only ingredients are the fruits themselves.  HOW DO THEY DO IT?

Costs:  $1.49 apiece, and the Apple-Banana is TOTALLY worth it.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Job: A Comedy of Justice

My first Heinlein novel may still be my favourite.  It's called Job:  A Comedy of Justice but it could just as easily be called Alec and Margrethe:  A Romance of Love because this book is dripping - dripping - in adorable little scenes like THIS:


(it earns bonus points for awesome because that penultimate line echos the sentiment of the tattoo on my left arm)

Just as Margrethe sweeps Alec along with her charms, so will Job:  A Comedy of Justice seduce you into wanting to do nothing else but read!  As far as Heinlein's crazy tomes go, this one is fairly short - just around 300 pages - and moves along speedily compared to Time Enough for Love or Stranger in a Strange Land where you can find yourself lost in dialogue.  Speaking of lost, though, I'm sorry to say that you may be a bit confused for a while.  I recall describing the wonderful book I was smack dab in the middle of to a coworker:

"Cool, what's it about?"

"I have no idea!  But it's TOTALLY AWESOME!"

I had my theories...but they were all proven wrong!  Gotta love a book that can really - and I mean really - keep you guessing!

Now I think it's only fair to warn you that this book takes quite the heavy hit at religion, but if you're not prepared for that with Heinlein, you're already in over your head.  Suffice to say, it's a parody of the book of Job, re-written as Heinlein saw fit.  Fixing wrong bits and whatnot.  Give the man a soapbox to discuss religion, and you're gonna get it.

The ending is perfect - perfect - but I won't spoil it for you here, you'll just have to read it to find out!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sunday Social

1. Gum or mints?

Gum, but BUBBLEGUM.  Crybaby super sour gum, if you've got it!  Or, I will take a big blue Bubble King gumball!  Or pink, if I'm feeling flirty and nostalgic.  Something about smacking on gum makes me feel sophisticated like a teenager again... which is weird, since I had braces and couldn't chew gum from when I was 14 until when I was 20...yes, I had braces from high school into college!  I never got to be a cool kid sneaking gum into ninth period Spanish class, so I think I'm making up for lost time now.  Plus, gumballs are round, sexy, and opulent - take it from a candy expert.  Gumballs, FTW!

2. Tea or Coffee?

I like my tea every now and then, but coffee is my foreverlove.  No milk.  No sugar.  We don't need to complicate things.  Black as midnight on a moonless night, and I'm happy as a peach.  Mmmm, peach.  Speaking of, marzipan shaped like a peach is a delectable companion to a rich cup of black coffee in the morning:

3. Fruits or Veggies?

Tough choice!  I love them both, but I'll pick veggies!  I adore all of the weird vegetables most people turn their noses up at, like Brussels sprouts and asparagus and mushrooms...I eat RAW KALE.  I'm super hardcore like that.

4. TV or Movies?

I'm going to say TV right now, because it's easy to sit through an episode or two of TV but movies take time to finish.  But I'm not really watching many screens lately!

5. Candles or Diffusers?

CANDLES CANDLES CANDLES.  Or, I'll use incense to set a mood!  But I adore candles.  I have a problem with buying SO MANY CANDLES.

Friday, August 1, 2014 August

Stoked, excited, and sooooo happy!  My big vacation was a lot of fun, I'm glad to have gotten away, but I'm also so happy to get back!  My life lately is so surreal and wonderful.

I'm falling behind on Sailor Moon because I'm just a bit too busy for TV these days!

My main Pandora stations lately are Motown and my own personal Broadway favourites!  I usually start listening to Broadway showtunes around my birthday every year - the heart wants what the heart wants, and who am I to argue???

READING:  I'm almost finished now with Time Enough for Love and have a couple more Heinlein books waiting in the wings - The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, Friday, and Have Space Suit, Will Travel.  Heinlein hasn't stopped amazing me yet - for better or worse!!!

WORKING ON:  Altering and maintaining my clothes (mending and adding pickups to skirts, etc) and re-decorating my room after I had to take it completely (COMPLETELY) apart! 

What to do next.

EATING:  SO much ice cream, sangria, and coffee - I kind of do it up in style around my birthday before work gets hectic in August through October!

LOOKING FORWARD TO:  Halloween.  After MY BIRTHDAY, Halloween is the next big event.  I haven't picked a costume yet, though I have LOADS of ideas!

Random encounters with snakes, falcons, and accordions!  Getting to see my puppy, all the birthday shout-outs and well-wishes, and all the coffee and ice cream doesn't hurt either!

Photobombed by a rat terrier.


Thursday, July 31, 2014


I've spent the better part of the past year - maybe even longer - fretting about my impending 30th birthday.

it seems like such a monumental number.  like New Year's Eve, or Daylight Savings.  when the clock flips over on midnight, I will be thirty. everything different.  a whole new decade.  I will be changed.

and I worried for months and months what that new 30-Meghan would be.  would she be poor?  successful? popular? lonely? lost? confident?

would more of the little gray hairs that amuse my hairdresser crop up along the crown of my head, like Gandalf the troll doll, sticking straight up in stubborn salute declaring "30! 30!"

would the skin around my eyes continue to grow frail and delicate and deliberate, taking longer and longer to return to it's proper place when I pull it out to apply and remover eyeliner?  will I have to figure out the confusing world of eye cream?

would my joints start to ache, my hearing start to dull, my eyesight grow to dim?  will my skin finally clear of the hormonal acne that has plagued my face since the seventh grade?  will I finally, after years of waiting, get my boobs?

will I be able to look at myself in the mirror and feel complete?  will I make my parents proud?  will I stop being shy?  will I acquire a zen-like patience, looking back on thirty years of life, and come to the conclusion that it takes time to carve a river through rock, and stop demanding to know wht happens in the end?  or the opposite - will I look forward to see my remaining years slipping quickly away and be seized with a fervor to grab left but the balls and charge bodly forward heedless of consequence?

by the time you read these words, it will have happened.  the magic switch is already flipped.  and I have decided there is only one thing I know in my heart, one truth I cannot deny, one certainty I can boldly declare as 29-Meghan typing words to 30-Meghan to read in a future she can't yet see but can't wait to live:

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Trader Joe's Tuesday: Organic Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Trader Joe's Organic Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Tastes Like:  Spaghetti-O's without the noodles.  Boom.  Light and sweet, tangy tomatoey flavor.

Great With:  Rice cakes on the side, or dipped in.  Small broccoli florets tossed on top.  And maybe just the TINIEST garnish of cheese.

Perfect For:  Quick and filling (yes!) snack on a winter day.  Sick days when you can't cook beyond microwave.  Or using as a base for a thick soup, throwing in sliced squash and rough-chopped tomatoes, making a slushy autumn stew.  Or make your own "spaghetti-O's" using this as the base and adding vegan, gluten-free noodles and crumbled-up veggie burger or not-dogs!

Must Know:  Vegan and Gluten-free!  USDA Organic!  No Preservatives!  No artificial colors or flavors!  Why, you'd have to be a FOOL not to try it!

Costs:  $2.79 for a container that makes 3-4 servings, depending on how heavy your pourin' hand is!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Stranger in a Strange Land

Once you grok this book, you won't be able to put it down.

Stranger in a Strange Land, my most recent Heinlein conquest, tells the story of Valentine Michael Smith, "Mike" to his friends, a human being born on Mars.  Raised by Martians, Mike returns to Earth to grok our strange Earthling ways and teach us his. 

The beginning of the book shows us Mike's education.  Immediately bonded to the capricious nurse Jill, Mike escapes the hospital where he is essentially being kept prisoner (he does not grok any such concept) and flees to live off the hospitality of liberal and licentious Jubal Harshaw and his three lovely secretaries.  Mike is in an unusual position:  he is innocent and naive yet stands to inherit a lot of money, a lot of land, and thus he is in high demand; however, what is truly valuable may be his powers that we don't even understand.

As Mike grows to understand our human ways, he in turn imparts some of his Martian ways onto his new "family."  His innocence, his trust, his way of seeing right and wrong wind their way through lessons in Earth religion, morality, and sexuality. 

The most charming aspect of the book may be the characters we are allowed to get to know, as they let us grok them in fullness.

The Stranger in a Strange Land may not be as strange as you think.  If you're looking for a book that might shift your perspective to grok things from a different angle, SiaSL is a speedy and nicely-paced novel with interesting guesses at what "the future" will be like and how we can change it.  I guarantee it is a goodness.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday Social

Sunday Social

1. 3 Favorite songs right now

"You've Made Me So Very Happy" by Blood, Sweat and Tears:

"Boogie Oogie Oogie" by A Taste of Honey:

and "The Only Exception" by Paramore:

2. 3 Favorite movies that remind you of Summer

For no apparent reason:

Evil Dead

and Reefer Madness:  The Musical

3. 3 Favorite articles of clothing you own

my kimono
my vintage 1920's fringed robe
and duh, of course my red velvet ball gown:

4. 3 Items on your wish list

hot pink Converse lo-tops
frames for my bedroom, to hang up cool stuff
and a big, floppy sun hat (like the one I borrowed from my mom on my vacation)

5. 3 Books you would recommend to someone

For a plane ride:  FlashForward by Robert J. Sawyer
For the beach:  Beautiful People by Simon Doonan
For swooning:  Job:  A Comedy of Justice by Robert A. Heinlein

It was REALLY hard to pick just three!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

#tbt Grandma's Birthday

My Grandma is an awesomely funny lady.

She just turned 89 two days ago.  This photo is from her 80th birthday party a.k.a. the last time I wore a blouse to please my mother.  I'm sure I was sweltering in the late July heat, here.  Ugh!  Look at those neutrals!  What was I thinking?!?  Just looking at the way my hair and outfit are styled (conservatively?) you can tell how much I love my Grandma.

Here's the funny thing about this picture:  I had gotten myself all dolled up and respectable for Grandma.  Just when my mom was about to press the shutter on this photograph of cross-generational commemoration, my awesome Grandma (on the right) whispered in my ear, "smile and think about sex."  WHAT!  Completely blowing my cover.  If the photo had lagged a second later, I'm sure my well-poised smile would be something entirely different:  a mixture of shock, surprise...befuddlement?

Happy Birthday, Grandma.  The jig is up.  Fat chance of getting me into another stuffy blouse for your 90th.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Trader Joe's Tuesday: Dilettante Fruit Medley

Dilettante Fruit Medley

Tastes Like:  Moist fruit chunks ensconced in a thick layer of chocolate with a sweet layer of white chocolate on the outside.  Dense and chewy and lush and tangy. 

Great With:  Coffee in the morning, tea at night, more and more of these.  Chocolate addicts, pay heed!  Trail mix lovers, delight!  These need no pairing or mixing.  They are simply divine.

Perfect For:  Dessert for a picnic lunch in the park.  Sitting prettily in a cut-glass dish in your air-conditioning for guests to pick at during a casual afternoon soiree.  Sharing with a special sweetheart alongside a glass of red or dry white wine.

Must Know:  Contains milk, sulfites, and soy; manufactured in a plant that handles peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, and eggs.  Yeah, you probably shouldn't have any.  Leave 'em to me.

Costs:  $5.79 - the cost of class.  Absolutely worth it for the indulgence.

Monday, July 21, 2014


Today would have marked the 31st Birthday of my good friend, Aaron, who passed away three years ago this past winter.  The occasion never passes without its share of memories and the feeling of unfairness it brings.  Every year it gets easier to believe the unbelievable, that my friend is really gone.  But that doesn't make it any easier.  I wish I could tell you in person --  Happy Birthday, buddy.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Social

1. What is the most difficult thing you have been through?

Well, the passing of my good friend three and a half years ago was probably the top thing.  Tomorrow would have been his 31st birthday, in fact.

2. What was your best birthday?

Probably my 25th.  I celebrated for a whole weekend!  I think I read the entire first Twilight book, had my first mac and cheese from S'Mac, and a man dressed as a bong on St Mark's Place told me I looked 19.  Not too shabby!

3. What has been your favorite thing you’ve done in your own city?

Darling, I live in NEW YORK CITY.  That's such a hard thing to say...probably either the trapeze class or getting my tattoos.  I mean, I have all the options right here!

4. What is your idea of the perfect date night?

A loooooong walk.  A super long walk and probably ice cream at some point.  Scratch that, definitely ice cream, and a very long walk.  Dinner?  Used bookstores?  And ice cream.  Let's walk.  I'm easy.

5. Have you ever been to a blogging conference? If so which one(s)? If not do you want to?

I have NOT, but I'm not really sure what they are.  I don't really think of myself as a "blogger" just a super-lazy person who happens to have her own blog.  What kinds of things does one DO at a blogging conference?  Is it like NYCC?

Friday, July 18, 2014


Ladies and gentlemen, my esteemed readership:  as you read this I am waking up in my childhood home, probably hours before anyone else, debating whether it's worth waking the dog to trek downstairs to frustrate myself attempting to operate the coffee maker.  In the meantime, please help yourself to some posts from last year's vacation video bonanza!

Do You Believe In Ghosts?

Sharing is Caring...Not

If You Only Have Five Minutes to Live

Slangin' Tough

My Baby

Wow, look how weird I looked last year!  Can you believe how LONG AGO that was?  And all that's transpired since then? Oh man is it WEIRD looking back...

But going forward, I plan on taking many pictures, drinking many glasses of sweet white wine, dancing and enjoying Anderson's Custard to celebrate my inevitable crushing defeat at mini golf at Adventure Landing.  And then landing in inevitable defeat as I come to realize that Vacation Isn't All That

Thursday, July 17, 2014


This photo isn't dated, but to the best of my knowledge, it was taken sometime in the spring of 2006-7.  I have no recollection of the time or who I was with but I remember spending glorious hours hanging out with my friends in the local WAL*MART.  It was a playground for people with no better place to be.  Here I am, dressed up like an Olsen twin/heiress.  Sparkly bag, big hat, sunglasses, tiny dog.  That's some serious WAL*MART swag.

And for a serious throwback, here's the ad for the Grand Opening of the First-Ever WAL*MART in 1962!  Cool, huh?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Trader Joe's Tuesday: Nonfat Greek Yogurt

Trader Joe's Nonfat Greek Yogurt

Tastes Like:  Fage - tastes just like Fage but at a fraction of the price.  Thick, rich, ever-so-slightly bitter in that perfect Greek yogurt way. 

Great With:  A dash of raisins stirred in.  Or some wacky flavoured jam!  Or scooped out like dip for navel orange wedges or Granny Smith apple slices.  Or both!  Or all three!  Or all four!  Let's get crazy!

Perfect For:  A protein-rich, satisfying breakfast or a quick, hunger-annihilating snack.

Must Know:  Well, it ain't vegan!  But it makes the Trader Joe's gluten-free list, as does most Greek yogurt anyway.

Costs:  $4.99 for two pounds of yogurt!  That's insane, since a similar-sized carton of anything else, anywhere else will run you closer to $10!

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Colossus of New York

Once you read Colson Whitehead's Colossus of New York, you'll never look at the city again.  His keen observations in short snippets are the perfect bon mot to pepper your conversations with annoy your friends with. 

"Colson Whitehead says " are a New Yorker the minute you say, 'That used to be Munsey's, or That used to be the Tic Toc Lounge.'"

"Colson Whitehead says "There are eight million naked cities in this naked city -- they dispute and disagree.  The New York City you live in is not my New York City; how could it be?"

"Colson Whitehead says this was his first view of New York City from back in the seventies - hey, where are you running...?"

Nevertheless, if you dream of taking a vacation here but can't afford it, or if you have been here and want to really know what the locals think, read this book.

Though his chapters are like a magnifying glass on the city and its culture, most of the paragraphs are only loosely themed around one subject, jumping from objective observer to inner monologue and from mind to mind.  He creates his worlds by picking like a bird:  a string, a stick, a piece of fluff, a found feather.  All the little bits go into building Colson Whitehead's nest of prose.

With a rhythm that moves along as steadily and relentlessly as the city he describes, The Colossus of New York will sweep you along and leave you as breathless and dizzy as getting lost in the Port Authority underground at rush hour (or any hour, for that matter).  It will take you in and spin you around and depress you just a little before spitting you back out into your real life which, if you're lucky, is smack dab in the middle of the Colossus of New York.

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