An absolutely random assortment from last weekend.
[My blurry iPhone shot aside, all photo cred goes here.]
In November, my oldest friend up and had a destination wedding on us (smart girl). So this weekend her family invited a few (200 few) who missed the first round to head to Pennsylvania for toasting, dancing, and well-wishing. I bought a dress and a train ticket and my family flew east and we did toast and dance and well-wish.
I remembered something this weekend. And Tuesday night I put words to it when a favorite and I sat outside and let the sun sink, rehashing our respective weekends, splitting truffle fries, and drinking a Hendricks-based situation called an “Iron Lady” (RIP).
I remembered this: to have people in your life for decades is a privilege. Longevity in almost any instance is a gift.
To have people who, despite time and distance and detail, have witnessed it all - Tweety Bird bathing suits to wedding dresses, birthday parties at McDonald’s, bangs, bowl cuts and braces, tattoos, Thanksgivings, new jobs, new lives - is nothing short of miraculous.
Even though I’m not usually a fan of the lamb/lion month I found this particular one to be whiskey-soaked and wonderful.
Because, this month…drumroll please…for the first time ever since my NYC arrival I’ve enjoyed every single weekend off from Nanny City. All the weekends! All to me! (And there’s still one left!)
So even though the weather’s been gross and I gave up on the no-sugar thing and I’ve missed the bambino/bambina and I’ve been working too late, I’m still amazed by my last month and all those hours of weekending.
Worth mentioning. I …
- took a plane ride with Christopher Abbott
- made my first batch of ice cream (so good you wouldn’t believe)
- found a new granola recipe
- rubbed shoulders with JGL*
- worktripped to Austin
- read this and this and this and this
- went to a party with a ball pit
- found my soulmate in bag form
- ate a mediocre doughnut
- ate the best doughnut
- danced with the dj
- found a new site to love
- downloaded my new favorite thing ever
*By “rubbed shoulders,” I mean to say that he passed me on the stairs, waved and said he hoped I enjoyed the show as I stammered my way through “hi,” and ate popcorn hands-free, directly from the tub.
Spring Bucket List
Ever since this past summer when I felt an extra set of sads as Labor Day loomed, I’ve made a point to try and get all I can out of a season. Write it down and do it - easy as that.
Winter flew and now we’re in that ambiguous month but it’s here, I swear, March snow be damned because spring is almost here. I can’t wait for the flowers and the pasty legs. That first time you eat dinner outside and the way the ocean is just shy of bearable the last week in May. Spring, guys, let’s get excited. See below for plans and let me know what I’m missing.
The Spotted Pig (May 8) Doughnuts: Dunwell Doughnuts (Mar. 30), Baked by Butterfield (Mar. 23) Potlikker (May 18) Brooklyn Winery (May 4) Battersby (carryover from the last list) (May 1) Cream Puffs: Choux Factory, (May 15) Beard Papa’s (April 21)
Back Forty West (Mar. 19)
Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream (April 28) Strawberry Cookie Dough Ice Cream by Joy the Baker (Mar. 24)
Basil Mint Mojitos
Something with asparagus, avocado, and artichoke
Something with scallops and sweet peas (May 19)
Tenth of December (May 1) Rules of Civility (Mar. 30)
Contagious: Why Things Catch On
Fever Pitch (requested by someone who insists I’m a lunatic for having gone 25 years without reading) (April 13) Lean In (April 2)
Tiny Beautiful Things
After a pizza induced book buying fest at WORD a few weeks back I wound up with a copy of Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things. I’ve since read it twice and seem to find ways to bring it up in nearly every conversation I have.
It’s not a perfect thing. I wouldn’t read it in a few gulps but rather bursts - before you go to sleep, the waiting room, and when the Q rolls over the bridge.
I loved it. I loved it from the forward when Steve Almond describes the internet as a place where we “shine our buttons in public” and explains what he means when he says, “radical empathy.”
And most of all I loved these parts:
Your assumptions about the lives of others are in direct relation to your naïve pomposity. Many people you believe to be rich are not rich. Many people you think have it easy worked hard for what they got. Many people who seem to be gliding right along have suffered and are suffering. Many people who appear to you to be old and stupidly saddled down with kids and cars and houses were once every bit as hip and pompous as you.
When you meet a man in the doorway of a Mexican restaurant who later kisses you while explaining that this kiss doesn’t ‘mean anything’ because, much as he likes you, he is not interested in having a relationship with you or anyone right now, just laugh and kiss him back. Your daughter will have his sense of humor. Your son will have his eyes.
One Christmas at the very beginning of your twenties when your mother gives you a warm coat that she saved for months to buy, don’t look at her skeptically after she tells you she thought the coat was perfect for you. Don’t hold it up and say it’s longer than you like your coats to be and too puffy and possibly even too warm. Your mother will be dead by spring. That coat will be the last gift she gave you. You will regret the small thing you didn’t say for the rest of your life.
Say thank you.
- Dear Sugar #64
WTF, WTF, WTF? I’m asking this question as it applies to everything every day.
Ask better questions, sweet pea. The fuck is your life. Answer it.
I am not a religious person. I don’t meditate or chant or pray. But lines from poems I love run through my head and they feel holy to me in a way. There’s a poem by Adrienne Rich I first read twenty years ago called “Splittings” that I thought of when I read your letter. The last two lines of the poem are: “I choose to love this time for once / with all my intelligence.” It seemed such a radical thought when I first read those lines when I was twenty-two—that love could rise from our deepest, most reasoned intentions rather than our strongest shadowy doubts. The number of times I choose to love this time for once with all my intelligence has run through my head in the past twenty years cannot be counted. There hasn’t been a day when those lines weren’t present for me in ways both conscious and unconscious. You could say I’m devoted to them, even in times when I’ve failed profoundly to live up to their aspirations.
Learn compassion. We start life with a very selfish outlook — we want what we want. But compassion is about realizing we are no more important than everyone else, and we aren’t at the center of the universe. Someone annoys you? Get outside of your little shell, and try to see how their day is going. How can you help them be less angry, less in pain?
The Lumineers | A Take Away Show | Act 2
And here’s a brand new song from the band, currently untitled.
Hey guys! So…
- 1 guinea pig (RIP Peanut)
- 1 diner fleece
- 1 US citizenship
- 1 fake Christmas tree
- 1 cross country trip made with pai’s 3rd child
- 2 graduate degrees
- 2 kids
- 3 Brasilian citizenships (1 honorary and 2 actual)
- 3 dogs
- 5 states
- 5 graduations
- 6 goldfish
- 7 Harry Potter books
- 7 churches
- 9 cars
- 10 pairs of earplugs (purchased for those 40+ cheerleading competitions)
- 50 nights waiting up for teenage me
- 52 pizzas grilled on your Big Green Egg
- 40 (ish) coats of paint for the walls of 5 different houses
- 272 episodes of Car Talk
- 1,548 batches of pancakes
- 2,804 pots of rice & beans
- 5,000 nights waiting up for teenage Marina
- 1 billion miles flown and driven. To: Maine, DC, the entirety of Western Europe, Boulder, Disney World, The Grand Canyon, Scottsdale, Mexico, Brasil, Wenona, Seattle, Hilton Head, Dallas, Santa Barbara, Chicago, Milwaukee, Las Vegas, Lancaster, New York, Baltimore, and San Clemente.
- & 30 Years
When I think about what I want, what I’m actually looking for, the answer is embarrassingly simple - someone to build something with. Mom & Pai, I hope you took yesterday to sleep in, bask in your 70 degree sunshine, and look at all you’ve built with your 30 years. Here’s to the next 30!
Things are nuts right now.
So, here’s a list of my favorite Recent Incredible Happenings because I need to slow down and remember that things are nuts but they are also so good.
- White Pizza Dip (eaten in Greenpoint at a particularly excellent Golden Globes viewing party)
- Whiskey Caramel Marshmallow Bark with Bacon (brought to a German bar in Fort Greene…because nothing says HAPPY 34th better than bacon and beer out of a boot)
- Maple Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cranberries with Barley (eaten last night…by myself…while watching the Bachelor)
- MY FIRST SOUL CYCLE CLASS (currently accepting donations to fund this new addiction)
- Maybe the best care package in the entirety of UPS history
- A re-read of this (which is really enough to make any sane person want to book a one-way ticket on Air France)
- As of today, Valentine’s is less than a month away! (!!)
- Kiehl’s Avocado Eye Treatment