Five Days Away

20 Feb

This post is inspired by today’s prompt from LaTrina’s BlogMeFebruary Link-Up. It’s supposed to be about skin and aging. I’ll get to the skin part eventually.

I’m five days away from something that honestly, doesn’t feel all that big, while at the same time I think it’s maybe supposed to be big. Let me clarify: There’s this little, persistent voice at the back of my head listing all the things I could have, should have done by now. Now that I’m five days away from 28.

It might be the therapy, but mostly I’ve been ignoring this voice. I don’t know what I want to do, that’s true. It’s also true that it’s okay if I don’t know yet. I’m not as successful as I’d pictured myself by now, that’s true. When I was much, much younger I even thought I’d get started on the whole having kids thing at this point. Now J and I just laugh at that thought. I am married, which, before I’d met J (ok, so this means before freshman year of college) I didn’t think I even wanted to be married. So mostly when I catch this voice whispering, I’m able to throw a bunch of fact back at it, shout her down with what is going well in my life. Mostly it works.

But you know what voice I have been listening to? (This is in no way an admission that there are several voices in my head. I swear.) The one of a former co-worker from my grad school days who told 23 year-old me “After 25, it all starts going down.” As in your body. And yeah, I’ve experienced that–though in my case it’s been more weight-gain than things heading south of their own volition, so I at least have the hope that things can be tightened up when I start putting in the effort. However, this voice (and probably every beauty ad I’ve ever seen and heard) have started working on me about WRINKLES.

In all fairness, I don’t have any right now. If my parents, in their early-to-mid fifties, are any indication, I’ve got some good genes working in my favor. My dad has some pretty severe crow’s feet, but the man eschews sunscreen (I know, I know, I fight with him about it constantly.) like it’s his job. Otherwise, they’re really only just beginning to show a little wear and tear. Their 30s and 40s, from my memory and photographic evidence, were good to them (in general, but also in the wrinkle department.)

So, I don’t have any wrinkles at this point. But I can’t help thinking about Dad’s crow’s feet.

That’s why this year, for my 28th birthday, I gifted myself some night cream and some eye cream. Because I’d love it if I could avoid those crow’s feet for even longer than he did. (Daily sunscreen use was a present I gave myself a long time ago. Yay me.)

So, happy birthday to me. This feels a little vain, but I did go with the drugstore options. Even if Cate Blanchett’s face is a pretty compelling advertisement for that crazy expensive SK-II stuff.

LOOK AT THAT SKIN. I know Photoshop must be involved, but DAYUM. Cate looks good.



13 Feb

I love Parks and Recreation. It’s a really funny show full of very earnest characters who are actually fun people that I would enjoy having in my life. Also, Leslie Knope is my spirit animal/imaginary best friend/personal heroine.

So naturally, when Leslie (that’s Amy Poehler’s character to the uninitiated in the audience) divulged in Season 2 that she celebrates Galentine’s Day on the day before Valentine’s as a way to show her appreciation of all her awesome lady friends, I was totally on board. Last year, I even managed to get together with a few of my own awesome lady friends to celebrate. The best part was, we weren’t the only table of women celebrating Galentine’s at the restaurant that evening!

I am incredibly lucky to have a lot of really, really great women as close friends. So, in honor of this most excellent day, I’m sharing the Galentine’s cards, drawn by the very talented Natalie Nourigat and featured on the Bitch Magazine website here, here and here. My personal favorite is the one about the musk ox. Of course.

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10 Feb

I’m at a Starbucks in Poughkeepsie, taking a break from stripping wallpaper at my dear friend’s new home (that she OWNS. like the boss that she is.) The blizzard left a few inches in Brooklyn, a few more in Manhattan and more still upstate, but the effect was underwhelming compared to what the storm The-Weather-Channel-wants-us-to-call-Nemo dumped on our friends in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine.

So I missed yesterday’s prompt, “siblings”, but I’m writing on the topic today anyways, since I have one and I like her a lot. Also, cute photos.

My sister is 3.5 years younger than I am. I remember being dropped off at my maternal grandparents’ home when my mom went into labor. I was really excited that I was going to get a sister. And I stayed pretty excited about having her, until she arrived. Then I got jealous. At one point I climbed into her crib (she was elsewhere) and waited for one of my parents to find me so they could make as big a fuss over me. (Didn’t happen.)

But she turned out to be pretty cool, if maybe a little clingy sometimes. My elementary school friends looooooved her, since she was so cute (a little porcelain doll.) I waffled between really digging having her around, defending her from some of our older cousins and being generally annoyed with her existence. In essence, I was her big sister. I may have learned most of what I knew about being a an older sibling from books like Fudge and the Ramona Quimby series.

We had growing pains, for sure, but since I moved away for college and then real life, we’ve developed a very strong bond. She’s more than my sister now–or, she’s more my sister now than ever. And that rocks.

A helmet and a bonnet-- only my sister could pull off such a bold fashion/safety statement

A helmet and a bonnet– only my sister could pull off such a bold fashion/safety statement

That helmet is noticeably lacking here

That helmet is noticeably lacking here

Matching bangs & mismatched smiles

Matching bangs & mismatched smiles

She blogs at 1littlelion. Her name is Lauren and she’s awesome.


Pie and compromise (sort of like tea and sympathy? This title’s a bit of a stretch.)

6 Feb

I’ve decided to participate in the BlogMeFebruary challenge cooked up by Katrina of Sota is Sexy and Lindsey of, because it’s low pressure (one post a week, or more if you want) and also, these ladies are very, very funny.

This week’s challenge is FOOD (really, they wrote it in all caps so that’s what I’m sticking with), and today’s prompt is dessert–though I’m apparently allowed to pick from any of this week’s prompts (I think?) or make up something of my own that’s on topic– still I’m going to riff on dessert for a bit.

J hates cake. I haven’t really been able to pin him down on what exactly it is about cake that is so offensive, though. Sometimes he’ll say it’s too dry, but my mom and I have a (not very) secret recipe for some seriously moist cake (that sounds vaguely dirty. It’s not. Just replace the oil with applesauce and use a box mix. You’re welcome.) but he’s still not into it. So it’s just one of those things that, maddeningly, I LOVE but my partner is just not that into (see also: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Harry Potter books, making the bed.)

Anyways, we got married not that long ago. As most wedding movies (and that one episode of Gilmore Girls) will remind you, selecting a cake is a VERY IMPORTANT part of a wedding. Franck Eggelhoffer (“Every party has a pooper, that why we invited you! Party pooper! Party pooper! Every party has a pooper, that’s why we invited you, George Baaanks!”) from Father or the Bride says so.

So we had cake at the reception (I think my mom would have boycotted if we didn’t provide her with cake after everything she did to help plan that shindig.) There was the requisite cake cutting and feeding each other/getting frosting on his face. People went “awwww” like they were supposed to.


Photo by Christopher Morris Photography

BUT! we also had pie at J’s request. Lots and lots of pie. So much pie that our friends from college reported that each had at least one piece of all three flavors.


 That’s a lot of pie.

So much pie we took home extra. It was the best part of our wedding, depending on who you talk to. And we got to eat pie in bed for breakfast during our honeymoon. And in bed after dinner while watching Parks and Recreation, a show we both love.

So my husband may not like cake, but I guess it’s not all bad.

Who wouldn't love that face?

Who wouldn’t love that face?

The Water Returned!

5 Feb

True to form, I am only 3 weeks in to this new blog and already 1 week behind. (I never said I was perfect.)

But! Our water came back last Wednesday after the city/some rando crew hired by the city or my landlord (we’re not quite sure on that one) ascertained that the pipe had not, in fact, frozen as they initially believed.

No, my internet friends, somehow the city crew that drives around planting trees in below freezing weather in January had managed to CRUSH our water main while they were planting our tree. So this past Wednesday morning, another crew, this one definitely hired by our landlord, arrived to replace the busted main. They were out on our sidewalk with a jackhammer at 7:30, which was handy as that’s when I need to get up for work. When I returned nearly 12 hours later, this is what greeted me:

If only it had been summer and I was one of those kids from Hey Arnold!

If only it had been summer and I was one of those kids from Hey Arnold!

The crew who put in the new pipe had the bright idea to use the hydrant to clean up the debris from the street. In opening up the valve, they broke it, and so for nearly four hours water gushed out of the hydrant across the street from our building, spraying so hard it hit our front door. Eventually the fire department showed up and fixed it, but it was a fun coda to the end of our water saga. First we had no water, then waaaaaaaaay too much. High-larious, let me tell you.

Since then, I’ve been struggling with some sort of cold/flu thing that I keep saying I will get over, but it’s been slow going so far. January was kind of a rough month for me. I wasn’t really looking forward to this new year, anyways (it’s not triskaidekaphobia), and then January hit me like a ton of bricks, so now I’ve come out the other side a limping, unshowered, hacking, fevered mess. (I have no idea where the limp came from.) But I made it through. February, you’d better treat me right, you hear?

In other news, one of my best friends just bought a house (!!!!) and I will be visiting her there this weekend, to help peel some truly ugly wallpaper off of the walls she now jointly owns with her fiance. Fun times. I’ve never removed wallpaper before, but I do love me some home improvement projects.


Water and trees. (Not the story you might think)

26 Jan

I mentioned before that I live in Brooklyn. Like much of the country, we’ve had a pretty cold week.

The city decided to plant a tree in front of our building this week. In doing so, they exposed our water pipes to  (forecasted) below-freezing temperatures for several days, and now we have no water because the pipes froze.

That’s the story our landlord relayed to us, anyways. It was strange how it started: Wednesday night, J noticed that the water pressure from our bathroom faucet was low. Thursday morning, he ran into our landlord (who lives in the unit below ours) on the train, and discovered that the problem was going on in their place, too. Thursday night, our landlord informed us he’d checked throughout the house and hadn’t found a leak, and that the water coming in from the main line was very low. Friday night we had even less water pressure. This morning we had no water. This afternoon our landlord informed us that the pipes are likely frozen and it could take several days for them to thaw (where I come from, frozen pipes don’t so much thaw as they burst, so I’m thinking no water for a week.) So J and I went and bought gallons of water at the grocery store and made arrangements to shower at a friend’s apartment. And we fought about how much water to buy, because we’re both pretty pissed about the situation.

But we do have a skinny tree out front now that might provide shade to our building in like, 20 years.

In other news, we have a mountain of laundry to do (at the laundromat), our cat has not peed anywhere inappropriate in three whole weeks (either she had an infection that we cured with antibiotics or we haven’t done anything to piss her off lately) and this morning, before I realized we had no water, I finished painting the storage boxes my mom got me for my birthday and now our DVD collection looks like this:

Organized pop-of-color-y goodness

Organized pop-of-color-y goodness

As opposed to what we previously had going on, which was this:

What our DVD collection used to look like

What our DVD collection used to look like

I was pretty proud of myself. Then I realized I couldn’t wash off the paint.

But still proud.

About Me

24 Jan

A few things about me (the short version):

I like books, daffodils, chai lattes and blogs. I recently married my college sweetheart and got a pixie cut. Next up: world domination.

Photo of author

Feelin’ sassy with the new haircut

A few things about me (the long version):

I am currently in therapy. I don’t know how much I’ll talk about it on here other than to say this. As of now, it’s still pretty early in the process, and I don’t know how much I want to share with family, friends, and/or a faceless void possibly comprised of tens of anonymous readers. That said, the basics are: I was really depressed for a long time. I realized I was depressed, took a long time to figure out I might need therapy, sought therapy, am now in therapy and feeling less depressed. I am very hard on myself a lot of the time. I’m the kind of perfectionist who does not do things rather than do them and fail/have them not be perfect. My therapist is Gestalt-trained, which is a weird (to me, anyways) sort of therapy that (to the best of my understanding) works by examining tension in your body and connecting it to the emotions you’re repressing when you feel these tensions, and the root causes. I think it’s helping.

All my cousins on my dad’s side of the family call our grandmother Nonie. That’s because she is Italian and wanted to be called Nana, but I, the firstborn grandkid, couldn’t pronounce it and my version stuck. (I’m actually pretty proud of that.)

I have a yellow cat named Saffron that we adopted when she was a year old. Her paperwork says she shares my birthday, but that is of course the vet’s best guess. My husband J thought it was a sign anyways. Her name is inspired both by her coloring and by a character on Joss Whedon’s short-lived, much-beloved show Firefly. This should tell you pretty much everything you need to know about what kind of cat she is (a cat who will pee in inappropriate spots at inopportune moments, like on my umbrella before I leave for work on a rainy day), and quite a lot about what kind of nerds J and I are (Browncoats!).

Photo of author's yellow cat

My gorgeous cat, who may or may not be plotting murder or escape at any given moment.

J’s a freelance scenic designer. Sometimes he goes off and does theater somewhere else, sometimes for a month. Since we live in a 400 square-foot apartment, that’s not always a bad thing.

When I was younger, I wanted to be a writer, then a marine biologist, then an oncologist, then a writer again, then an actor, then manager of a theater company. Now that I’ve grown up I have no clue.

I work for an advertising agency because a)paycheck and b) health insurance. But if you’re a prospective employer who stumbled upon this blog, I was taking time to explore another possible career path. Having confirmed that it is not the career path for me, I am eager to return to the world of nonprofit administration.

I grew up in Northern NY, about 10 minutes away from the Canadian border, in a small-ish town that is big for the county it’s in (or it used to be—it’s kind of dying now as the industries that supported it are moving away.) My husband J grew up in Central NY in a tiny town about an hour away from the mall where I used to go back-to-school shopping each year (which is 3 hours away from my hometown.) We met my first month of freshman year in a theater program at a SUNY in the Hudson Valley. Now we live in Brooklyn, after a brief detour to Southern Indiana. We got married at a vineyard in the Finger Lakes in September of 2012. We really like living in NY state.

Photo of author and her husband in Halloween costumes

Us in our Halloween costumes, which cost us $8 total. (He was a cowboy, I was Rosie the Riveter.)

(I over-use parentheticals.)

If you’ve read this far, I am very pleasantly surprised! And I would also like to know as much or as little about you as you’d like to share, so please leave a comment if you have the time.