Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Just some things.

I'm really bad at blogging. I say this because I keep forgetting to blog. I'm not bad at writing a blog, just bad at blogging itself.

It's not as if I don't have anything to blog about. In fact, I have plenty to blog about. Everyone has plenty to blog about. It's just remembering to do it is all.

So here I am, remembering to blog. Thank you for the encouragement/reminder, Ashley.

Several things have happened in the last few days, and some good things are coming up in the next few. Allow me to tell you just a few of those things:

1. My parents came to Boston this past weekend and stayed with me. It was really nice. Plenty of good weather/ long-batallion-death-march-esque walks (I'm, as usual, being dramatic. They were very nice, long, walks)/food/ failed homemade Nutella/ eating lobster quite un-like a lady/ Bananagrams to make the weekend quite enjoyable. Dad hates the city, I think know. He's a pretty good sport about it, though.

Having my parents around reminds me of how much I've changed since I last lived at home-- for the better, and for the worse. I've grown up/matured, etc. etc. yadda, yadda-- all the positive things one normally does when going off to school eight hours from home, then moving to a city in a different state. But, having the most honest good-hearted-ness (is that even a word?) of my Dad and the calm, patience and kindness of my Mom around makes me notice that I rush more and judge more and become impatient more than I ever did...

Mom, if you're reading this... thank you for being the calm during my frustration and frenzy of trying to make Sunday brunch. Thanks for also secretly having Dad and Alan buy Nutella when mine failed and I wanted to cry.

Dad, if you're reading this... thank you for being such a good person (always) and wanting to pay for the train rides after you and mom snuck on (and for trying to pay again when you were leaving for the airport, even though I rushed you onto the train). I promise I will make good by your fare evasion :-)

Wait. When did this blog become so serious? When did I become so serious?? (I'm assuming roughly around the same time I started listening to NPR and wearing skirts to work and paying too much in rent).

2. I'm sleeping outside in a tent this weekend-- "Back in the 'Dacks" as I've recently started calling it. Three splendid days of dirt, tents, canoes, no running water/electricity/cell phone service, possible bears and/or moose (meese?) sightings, s'mores (obviously), campfire smell on my clothes, best friends, hiking, and backpacks. It's exactly what I need.

I need a black-sky-and-blanket-of-stars over my head at night. I need to look out and not see another human/brick/car/street sign. I need to breathe in and not choke on the diesel of a truck that just cut me off as I crossed the street. I need only see rolling mountains and trees and friends, and I need only breathe air that smells like nothing and fresh at the same time, and I need only eat steak/s'mores/freshly caught fish right off the fire.

I think I'm almost nearing my fill of city-living. I'll be here a few more years, sure. But I won't be here forever (pretty sure I'm not meeting my millionaire-farmer-husband at Neiman Marcus anytime soon), and so eventually I will move. Hopefully, it's Back to the 'Dacks. But even if it's not, even if I fall and hit my head and decide to never leave, the Adirondacks will always hold the most special of places in my heart. I'll be back as often as I can.

3. I read a weird article the other day about an Egyptian man who came back to life at his own funeral (true story). Freaky stuff. It made me think back to the time that I wrote out a living will for my mom to hold onto. In it, I wrote that someone needs to make sure I'm 100%, totally and completely dead before burying me. This is why. Being pronounced dead and then waking up at your own funeral is why. Ugh. Gives me the heeby-geebies. I also wrote that I want to be wrapped in cheesecloth before being buried, and that I want a tree planted over me. This is still the case.

That's all, thanks for reading!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Music for when it rains.

If April showers flowers bring May flowers showers, then what do May flowers showers bring?

Good rainy-day music. And cooking from scratch. And listening to good rainy-day music while cooking from scratch.

I received in the mail, about a week ago, the beginning of a new way of life. Making things, all things, at home from scratch-- alright, not all things, that's a bit dramatic. Who even has the time for that? Someday when I'm a millionaire farmer's wife, maybe...

It's a cookbook unlike all other cookbooks I've ever owned, and it had me from "Homemade Butter." Even though I haven't tried making the "Homemade Butter" yet, it feels good to know that someday I will.

I found a few hours to myself on Sunny Saturday (a brief hiatus in the Rainy Season of Boston) and spent those hours strolling Whole Foods and a little Russian market in linen pants and big necklaces. I bought vanilla beans for my own vanilla extract, molasses for my own brown sugar, tomatoes for my own tomato sauce. Life was good. Life was really good. I had good music in my ears (Hurray for the Riff Raff's Pandora playlist) and aisles of fresh produce and bulk oats/nuts/rice/beans/granola/other stuff in my eyes. A Sunny Saturday in my world doesn't get much better.

(Weird, you think. Who spends enjoys hours shopping for food? I do. If you're my mom, you know that I can spend literally HOURS in a grocery store-- especially a grocery store like Whole Foods. And if you're my mom, you know that I enjoy making frequent [read daily] trips to the grocery store to buy...anything. Or nothing. When I'm home home (the ol' City of Good Neighbors), it's Wegmans. Wegmans is my Mecca, but don't ask me why because the only reason why is because it feels good, and no one ever really understands/likes that answer. But that's all you'll get, so don't ask me why.)

At Whole Foods and the little Russian market, I bought spices that I could pot in my backyard-aka-fire escape (can't tell you what kinds since the names were in Russian. They smelled good, though, so why not, right?), fresh fruits and vegetables, and one sweet onion to make homemade onion rings. If you've never made onion rings at home, do it.

I laid everything out on my table and took a nice picture of it. That also made me feel good. Such simple joys on a Sunny Saturday.

But, alas, today it rains just like the weatherman said it would. Back to rainboots and frizzy hair. Love the former, hate the latter. What makes me happy, though, is that it's the perfect day to make baked onion rings from scratch along with homemade tomato soup. I'll probably listen to Gregory Alan Isakov's albums while I stew the tomatoes and chop the onions. I'll also cry while chopping the onions.

Gregory Alan Isakov on Pandora is my go-to on a rainy day. Anything Bon Iver is good, too. Its melancholy poetics and lush, languid melodies stir me. He churns up his own musical atmosphere, ruled by the moon and the sea, at least aesthetically if not always lyrically-- so says Isakov's website (which I frequent). Doesn't that just sound like a rainy day?

If you've never listened to Gregory Alan Isakov or Bon Iver before, do it. Do it while you're making onion rings at home for the first time. Make sure it's rainy outside though, or it might put a damper on your Sunny Saturday.

Update... check out these onion rings:


Tell me you wish you weren't eating these and I'll tell you that I've got a farm out back to sell.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wild Geese

"You do not have to be good
you do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.  
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,

over the prairies and the deep trees,

the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile, the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,

are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things."     -Marie Oliver

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Being a meerkat

For my second post, I thought about listing the pros of wearing Crocs (...yes, pros) since no one else seems to know what they are. However, since I partook in my very first Zumba class this weekend, I thought you should know about that instead.

I'm sure my experience was similar to that of so many other first-timers. It's weird, you're bad/ bordering embarrassing, and by the end, the music makes you move in such a way that you're convinced you're Usher and Shakira at the same time.

If you've never heard Zumba music before, you should really take a listen. Add it to your Pandora playlist for hoots and giggles. Or, add it simply to round out your understanding of what someone who has never been to a Zumba class presumably looks like during their first 60 minutes of a Zumba class.

What I learned during 60 minutes of beating African drums, the staccato of Flamenco, and the cymbals of India (oddly mixed with the down home twang of Blue Grass?) is that I am neither coordinated nor graceful, and that I do not possess even the slightest ability to move my limbs any other way than in slow, rigid movements.

Of course, one should expect that it takes several tries for a first-timer to catch on to the jumps, twists, thrown arms, twirls, steps, hops, (jiggle...ugh), booty shake, and semi-lunge/bounce/arms in the air/twist/shout/clap/something else. That is, unless you're the freak to my right who, despite never having done Zumba before, somehow picked up nearly every mini-routine after seeing it done once. Frankly, this girl and I couldn't have been more opposite.

Learning curve and freak-girl aside, a dancer I am not. A choreographer, however, I am. I know this because I made up a minimum of 94% of the "dance" moves I performed in those 60 minutes right on the spot. Yes, as the cliche goes, I danced to the beat of my own drum/cymbal/horn.

It took me until about the third song to care considerably less that I wasn't falling in sync with a simple and repetitive three-step routine (I sincerely tried to!) and forget about awkwardly being the tallest girl in the room (picture, if you will, a meerkat standing in a field of rather short grasses). I'm so happy I did.

I laughed less about being uncoordinated and uncomfortable, and more about moving and shaking and sweating and feeling, really feeling, the music. I clapped and shouted, and threw my stiff arms in the air like I just didn't care. Yep, I was the tall goon going right with a leg up when the (entire) class was going left with a leg back.

My soul felt good for it.

I encourage everyone to try it at least once. If you do, wear bright colors. You'll be happy you did.

I'll be back to Zumba this week and I can't wait. I'll be the meerkat in the middle going right with my leg up.

Friday, May 4, 2012


Once is an accident. | Twice is a coincidence. | Three times is

Writing my first blog, I've decided, is hard. What am I even supposed to write about? Why did I even start a blog? Whyyy??? Why.

For a moment I thought that I would write about running. I like running (I don't).... I just ran 8.01 miles (two weeks ago)....  and I'm training for a marathon (I'm not). I could write about how Ashley and I started a running club (this part is true, though it's not truly a club until we have shirts and mugs...), but since I don't run nearly as often as I think I do, it can wait. No. My first blog will be about finding dimes.

And so here it is. A blog about finding dimes. It's my first try...

I find dimes. I find so many dimes: "Well... there's another one on the sidewalk." "Oh look, one on the step of the train I'm boarding." "Oh my, a dime in the Altoids box. Funny that I picked this register out of the six that are open." They're everywhere, and only I find them. Or they find only me.

Dimes. Everywhere.

Not nickels, not quarters, not $100 bills (someday?). Pennies, yes, but they're not nearly, for about nine reasons, as exciting to me as dimes.

It happens for a few months, stops for a few weeks, then starts for another few months. It's magic every time.

I never really thought about where they come from*. I just assumed it happened and that it happened to me by some wonderful Giver that would give me enough dimes to make my first, second and (possibly) third million dollars. But alas, there's no Giver giving me one, two or three million dollars one dime at a time. It's too bad really....

Recently, I've been thinking that Granny, Grandpa or Aunt Dorothy has been sending me dimes. To thank them, I now wink and smile up toward the sky. Yes, I look like a weirdo. No, it's not too far from the norm.

Even if it's not the case, even if there's no one "sending" me dimes, and I just find them out of dumb luck (hey.... I'll take it).... I like to think they're sending me dimes.

I don't really know what dimes represent yet, or why I need to believe that someone is sending me dimes. I think that maybe I never will, and that's okay. I just like finding them. It makes my memories, the few though I may have, of Granny, Grandpa, Aunt Dorothy, and now Grandad, reoccur.

There will be more posts about dimes as long as I keep finding dimes, and I think I always will.

Thanks for reading my first post. *Sorry I ended a sentence with a preposition.