Empathy


Like so many times before, I had a massive fight with strangers in downtown New York City.  It happens a lot when I am down there, I stew, sometimes I lash out on twitter.  I never spew my anger aloud, it’s all silent confrontation and rage in my head.  It started shortly after September 11, 2001.  I worked down there, I had to be there, it was my route to commute.  As if it didn’t dominate my thoughts, I had to face it, twice a day for years, literally passing through and under a burial ground in the PATH tunnels at the World Trade Center. 

 

Sometimes being downtown gave me comfort, sometimes fear, always sorrow, and as the tourists started streaming in…it made me increasingly angry.  I’d pass tour groups smiling and giving the peace sign posing for photos.  I wanted to shake these people and make them hurt like I did.  I wanted to smack the vendors selling books with images of destruction, shirts, hats, all sorts of crap.  I would think, this shouldn’t have happened at all, and now it’s a destination, and now you’re here – selling disaster porn souvenirs. 

 

So, tonight I saw a group of visiting servicemen paying their respects.  I don’t know where they were visiting from, I don’t know what branch of the military they serve, but they were having a solemn moment.  And around them people stopped.  Tourists, and likely natives were taking their picture.  It made me furious.  I grappled with people’s right to privacy to mourn and pay homage to the dead without others exploiting it.

 

Then I thought of the pictures that touch me.  Pictures, sometimes of suffering.  Private moments that I probably shouldn’t be privy to.  I believe pictures can change the world, and maybe some of those images may have been at the expense of their subjects.  I also have a sense of joy when I see people taking pictures with willing NYPD and FDNY, I love when heroes are treated like celebrities. 

 

Then again, I’m a New Yorker.  I have a complicated opinion of tourists.  I love the money they bring with them that benefits the city I live in, but dodging the stalled masses on my way to work can be annoying.  Some of my best friends who come to visit me are technically tourists and I relish their joy at seeing the city I live in.  And, I’ve taken many down to the World Trade Center site.  Sometimes they take pictures and I do too.  Often, they cry.  Some of the conversations I’ve had on these trips have given me a sense of peace.  Maybe that is happening when these stranger’s cameras are away and they’ve stopped hamming it up for their memento of being “there”.  I don’t think I’ll ever understand wanting to be in those photos.

 

I also remember, in 1996 I visited a concentration camp.  I didn’t want to, I had a very hard time joining the group of film students I was traveling with.  I thought I knew the history, I honor the dead, I respect their stories, I don’t need to visit a place of torture and horror.  But, I went.  And I needed a moment to sob for people I didn’t know.  I was the stranger there, I was a tourist.  In the end, my visit there turned out to be one of the most unexpected memories of my trip as one of my professors joined me, and told me his story.  His mother was a political prisoner there, she was pregnant with him at the time.  I sobbed some more.  I listened to his story and we had a private moment as he walked with me through the museum and showed me each panel as though he was showing me a private photo album.  He wanted us there, he was grateful to share this place with us and every class he brought there.  He encouraged us to take pictures, and I did.  He extended our photography lessons in that place, he didn’t just want us to take snapshots, he wanted us to make them beautiful.

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about celebrating death these days.  I watched Whitney Houston’s funeral on tv and had a long conversation with a friend that day about how we eulogize.  I have a favorite clip on youtube and it’s at someone’s funeral.  Somebody I didn’t know, someone who was clearly loved and I am grateful that someone shared that moment, and it made me think – I want that joy to erupt when I go.  It’s a gorgeous tribute, you should watch it.

 

 

 

I can’t think of anything worse than having my own grieving made public, those moments when you are so completely lost and raw.  But, I have.  I have poured my heart out freely on my podcast about many different kinds of losses and on 9/11 itself, I’ve sent words of encouragement to family on the anniversary of someone’s death on facebook.  We eulogize, that’s what we do.  And sometimes the way we do it doesn’t work for everyone.  Maybe that is what happens in that moment I catch walking by.  I don’t know the whole story, I don’t know their stories or the context of their pilgrimage.

 

But, I also think of the survivors and their families who might need a private moment and instead have people capturing their misery.  I suppose that’s why I leave this city every year on the anniversary and over time I’ve learned my own boundaries of what I share publicly, I tend to hold the most delicate things the most private.  I had to determine that for myself.  I guess at the heart of it is the sense that by living here, I have to share that and cede that control and sometimes it just feels like people visiting have no regard for that.

 

Gosh, I didn’t intend for this to be so long winded, but I guess I’m realizing it’s complicated and something I always see as unforgivable might actually be something else.



Trapped in my apartment


 

Trapped In My Apartment (Chapter 1), R. Kelly rewriten by Nicole

 

8 o'clock in the morning and sounds of hammering and sawing wake me up
I'm stretching and cursing in a bed that belongs to me
Then the sound of wood being thrown out the front door
Then I look outside and see a neighbor looking inside, he starts to talk to my landlord
Now I’m thinking about all the things I needed to do outside my apartment and wonder
How am I gonna get out with no stairs
I watched some tv, wrote a grocery list, did some dishes
Last night I could have run those errands when I got home but I put them off until today
Here I am trying to pass the time
Tried to take a nap, but the hammering was just too loud
Then I cleaned my cabinets looking for food
I needed to go food shopping today
Then I made a PB&J sandwich with what I had
Crept to the top of the stairs to see how bad it was
It was bad, there are steps missing
I said to myself “There is no way out”
“Man, I gotta get out!”
He is still working on the stairs
I got back into my apartment, closed the door
I read some blogs, checked my email
Looked out the window
The pile of wood is getting bigger
He’s knocking more stairs out
And now I'm in this apartment trying to figure out
Just how I'm gonna get my crazy ass out this house
And he hammers some more
And I tweet about my predicament
And @theambershow says I need to grow my hair like Rapunzel
And I reply to come with a ladder to rescue me
And she says she’ll bring a ladder and a dashing fireman
I start making piles of laundry to do
When I can get out again to go to the laundromat
I cleaned my spice rack, found some expired jars to throw out
Now my garbage is filling up
But I have to slow down my cleaning
I can’t get outside to throw the bag out if it fills up
Hammer
Saw
Hammer
Hammer
Saw
Hammer
Saw
Hammer
Staple
Staple
Wood being thrown
And I’m creeping around because my landlord is home
An he’s getting closer to my door as he finishes each step
And I get quieter
And more bored
I need to get out of the house and make the most of this day



Growth Spurt


Growing up I was the tall girl.  I split my chin one summer and the doctor at the emergency room didn't want to give me stitches.  It was assumed I'd be so tall people, many shorter folks might be looking up at me…so I was sent to a plastic surgeon.  Legend had it my Grandfather was over 6 feet, so it was assumed I took after him.   I stopped growing in the 4th or 5th grade.  And in this photo taken in 6th grade, I still had a few inches on my classmates (I'm the one with the goofy braces, crimped bangs and MY GOD, I loved that comfy sweatsuit/skirt contraption).  Everyone continued growing and I stayed put, at 5 foot 2. *  Except for the inconvenience of having to consider whether I'll wear heels when I have to hem every pair of pants I buy, like I'd imagine most of us, I stopped thinking about my height as a changing variable somewhere around the early years of high school.

 

Then, I went for my semi-annual – whenever I get around to it – physical.  There were routine questions, there was the "open up and say Ahh", the tetanus shot I'm still sorry I got, and then I was weighed and measured.  "5'4." "No, I'm 5'2"." Hmm, turn around, let me do it again."  "Turn around and look, you're 5'4"."  I asked him to check his records.  I've stuck with the same doctor for over 10 years now.  He'd measured me 4 times before.  Always 5'2'.  I was amused and asked if he got a new scale.  He hadn't, and so we checked again.  At 33 years old I grew 2 inches.  WTF!?!  I know.  Then he asked if I've been seeing a Chiropractor.  Apparently it happens sometimes when you are doing exercises that lengthen your spine.  It's been a month since I've gone for physical therapy, and I'd probably need to start doing yoga regularly if I'm going to keep these two inches.  I'm still skeptical, it's not like I've been squinched down two inches since I was 10, but he explained it doesn't work like that.  I also don't think you can just get taller as an adult.  But, apparently I did.  I need to have someone measure me with my own measuring tape, but I won't be asking my Dad – he'll still call me Nitroll :)

 

*except for in California where the DMV mistook my 2 for a 7 so my liscene had me at 5'7



Dear New Year’s Eve,


I really didn't know what to do with you this year.  There were awesome invites to celebrate with friends, one overlooking the crowds in Times Square, the other a cozy promise of fun staying local in the borough.  I wanted to do both, perhaps cut myself in half or leave the decision to the last minute, and maybe do neither.   Luckily my friends are cool with that and nothing was set it stone or required a solid decision.  I wasn’t worried, maybe you would work yourself out, maybe I’d chose wrong and be disappointed.  C’est la vie.

 

For the first time in a few years, I wasn't feeling hasty to end this one.  Not just yet.  It has been a really good year (icky catastrophes excluded of course).  I want to slow time, it goes too fast already.  I'm in love and a nostalgic fool.  The pressure to make you as perfect as possible was in the back of my mind, and it wasn’t just about me – slightly intimidating and smile inducing.  Gosh, you’re so complicated.  It’s also been a busy year, I was tired and enjoying the laziness of the holiday break.  So you snuck up, you went too fast.  You are sort of a jerk that way, and yet I appreciate that about you.  

 

You started with routine errands and became an adventure that found bounties of bagels, unexpected ceramic wares, Brooklyn scenery, and people watching.  You were a beautiful day, unseasonably warm and I was just enjoying walking, hours flew by as we walked.  It had been too long since I'd done that.  This back injury is frustrating, I've been benched for months.  But, I don't want to talk about pain, it makes me feel old and boring.  And, you don’t talk about fight club.   I'm gratefully starting to trust that this pain isn't permanent, I just have to go slow, and I'm not very good at that.  On your day, I overdid it and the decision of how to spend the evening was becoming one of deduction.  When I would have been getting ready, I had to rest.  We had to rest.

 

I mentioned I'm in love, which is unicorn, partner in crime cliche, double rainbow fantastic.  But when we’re not on Cloud 9 in our happy bubble, we’re mortals and we’ve been swimming in snot covered tissues recovering from colds most recently.  Somewhat sweet, since not spent alone and the cuddles are precious; but being sick is just crappy.  Compounded with the screaming appearance of Arthur (I’m stealing my Grandmother’s expression for cursed arthritis, which is maddening when settled in your sciatic nerve and sounds only slightly less boring when personified…and I already said I don’t want to talk about it).  We considered making dinner reservations.  Table for 2.  Maybe 4 if we brought our bugs with us, 5 if Arthur stuck around.  Nah, it’s more fun when it’s just the two of us.

 

And, somehow it all fell into place, as I can always trust you to do.  A spontaneous text from a friend I hadn’t seen in too long, turned into a visit.  I didn’t have to get dressed, made a quick trip to the store for food stuffs and ate and drank in good company.  The three of us watched a silly movie and set out around 11 in search of something I’d never heard of, only having read a vague mention of the tradition the day before.  Something local involving steam whistles and BYOB, another little adventure.  I put on my zip up onesey pajamas under my coat and packed a bag with some booze.  We found the Pratt campus with our ears and got there just in time to claim a spot at the front.  

 

The gut-vibrating whistles were intense, we giggled, my face was frozen in a huge smile.  I forgot about my cold, there might even be something medicinal regarding deep sound massage and chiropractic sciences, but I wasn’t drinking that heavily.  I’m just finally re-learning how to pause, I didn't notice the clock strike 12.  There were many kisses, I was really happy.  It was perfect and yet so perfectly not.  You’re just another day after all.  But, I do love punctuation and exclamation points and you sure made a loud exit .  Next year, I know you’ll creep up again too quickly, and I might even plan for you this time, or maybe not.  I also love ellipses.

 

Cheers!

 

Nicole

 



2011


15 years ago…


As I was considering buying a kindle I knew it was eating something in the core of me, something I wrote about my first semester of college.  To buy one would be to have to eat my words.  Words stated with such hilarious certainty, I was giggling while reading them aloud today.

 

There is a lot of cringe-worthy irony in this essay from 1996, but I was a freshman and everyone knows how annoying and self righteous college kids are.  Apparently I was a Luddite 15 years ago and had no clue what the future would look like.

 

 

The Persistence of Books

 

Webster’s dictionary defines the word replacement as “substitution;  to supplant or supersede; filling a place once occupied by something lost, destroyed or no longer useable or adequate, something that has become obsolete, or otherwise inferior.”  To argue that computers will one day replace books is a ridiculous statement based on the above definition.  To imagine a future without books is lunacy.  We are not living in the science fiction world of Fahrenheit 451.  The mere suggestion is a frightful commentary on society.

 

True, the twentieth century has brought the technological revolution to a breakneck  pace, but have people grown THAT cold?  So cold that one could imagine a computerized voice reading a child a bed-time story, or worse—bringing a computerized book to the beach on a sunny day?  So cold that the general public is comfortable with this prospect?  It is not the concept of change that is most concerning, but the deviance from unadulterated goodness.

 

There is no substitution for the scent of a new book, the aroma of new ink and paper.  One can not manufacture a leather-bound, gold tooled—computer; not convincingly, anyway.  There is not nearly as much satisfaction in punching keys as flipping pages through your fingers.  There is no such thing as a dog-eared disk. 

 

Unfortunately one has to see the reality in this issue.  To many, computers are an exciting step forward.  People have already begun the blasphemous act of downloading books and, in fact, reading them off their screens.  And no, printing a volume does not justify the blatant disregard for the fact that there is a nice little square book that already exists.  CD-ROM technology in the way of reference material is becoming very popular, especially among the younger generation of computer users.  

Personally, I use a PC, and I have no problem with the occasional use of computer resources.  I stress the term occasional, because I find the thought of never returning to the library to proceed with the sometimes tedious research process appalling.  There is a certain charm to be found in the labor of researching, and a triumph in discovering what you are looking for.

 

With new technology emerging, computers are shrinking in size.  Hand held computers make it more imaginable to slip under the covers before bed with a computerized novel.  The concept of teleputers and interactive computers brings new media to the public eye.  The general public seems to be excited by the prospect of interfering in the natural course of a defined plot.  Interactive books would not only defeat the purpose of suspense but eliminate the demand for talent.

 

Television and radio probably aroused the same feelings within the literary community.  As the concept of computerized literature brings this forum to a new height, the novelty of bookstores such as W.B. Dalton and Wordsworth’s diminishes.  Will paperbacks be as laughable to our children as 8 tracks are to my generation?  Am I the only person cringing?  Will libraries be partitioned between hard copy and virtual information?

 

We are entering a strange new world where something as solid as a book is both literally and conceptually fading.  Though it can be substituted in concept, a book will never be replaced in actuality.  The computer age has already begun to overshadow tradition and is a continuous threat to the stability a book represents.  The essence of a book is undeniably unique and will not be overlooked or supplanted by a computer.

 

-

 

What the fuck is a teleputer anyway?



Tabs I don’t want to close


Search Urban Dictionary for your name when you're feeling down.  Instant pick me up.


 

Crossword wrapping paper from Incredible Things by Fabio Milito

 


 

Underskin by Sam Loman on behance

 


 

Still Tasty to keep the fridge gremlins away

 

DNA portraits – I will have one someday

 

Cntrl Alt Delete wall decals by Dali decals

 


 

Folding wooden picnic table that seats 4 on outdorra

 


 

Google Maps envelopes

 

Best map of the world….ever on someecards

 


 

If Ikea made instructions for everything on College Humor

 


 

Stolen treasures from the LAPD

 

Charles Darwin Butterfly, South American Map from bugsunderglass

 


 

686 Original Snow Toolbelt from eternalsnow

 


 

Oh Natlie Dee and her awesome brain

 

 

emoticon rubber stamp found on blankanvas for purchase at caina.jp

 




Spontaneous Easter Bonnet


"In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it
You'll be the grandest blah blah in the Easter parade.
I'll be all in clover, and when they look us over…
da dum dum dum dum da da da da da da"

 

This started running through my head the night before Easter.  And immediately I thought "Life List, I need to add it!  I want to wear an Easter bonnet and go to an Easter parade!"  Then I thought, "Maybe next year." 

 

Then I started talking about it and in less than 10 minutes found out there is an Easter Parade on Fifth Avenue and I still had time to buy a hat, and OMG, this could happen.  I found a hat and a big gigantic butterfly, some sewing skills I didn't even know I had came into play, and I had a hat.  A big ridiculous Easter-ish bonnet.

 

Timing was going to be tricky and the weather looked borderline rotten.  But, I got out of bed and headed toward St. Patrick's cathedral.

 

In which I don an Easter bonnet with wings

 

 

Mission Accomplished.  Then I came home and read the actual lyrics and it turns out….

"On the avenue, Fifth Avenue,
The photographers will snap us…"

 

I was at the actual Easter parade the song is about! 

 

New Easter tradition?  I don't know.  It was humid and the avenue was packed with more tourists than bonnet-wearers and a few folks asked to take my picture which led to an internal panic and dialogue that resembled Woody Allen more than Judy Gardland… but there was an Easter bonnet, or at least a hat, and I carried it around all day until the butterfly disintegrated in the rain.  I added something to my life list and accomplished in in less than 24 hours.  Funny how you may not realize you want to do something til you say it aloud and then poof, you can do it if you set an alarm and make it happen.

 

Thanks @mattgunn for the photos



Spring Cleaning


Snow Day contemplates the reasons to love NYC and can only summon the stink eye.

 

 

A smaller pile than usual thanks to the magazine swap I've started at work.

My goofy tradition



How to Hail a Cab in NYC


If you know me, you know I take cabs often.  I joke that my favorite subway line is the private yellow one, but most often it's a case of working late and I get reimbursed. 

 

I've been surprised to see NYers lifting their arm in traffic then stomping their feet when no one stops.  Friends have admitted they don't know how to tell if a taxi is free or not. 

 

I created this crude little guide to help.

 

Click here for business card guide size version you can print, snip, and carry.

 

I have noticed some newfangled taxi tops of late and they seem to be simplifying it to just a number, on or off .  Maybe it will be a lot more obvious in the near future.

 

Me and my blog are not affiliated with the TLC, please go here for official updates and communications.  I picked 2286 because it was the first four digit number that came to mind (and was my Girl Scout troop as a kid).



NYC snippets from around the web


2010


 

The thing I love about putting these little end of year videos together is the reminder of just how great life is.  Without taking the time to revisit the year that's wrapping up I'd probably sum up it up as half spent unemployed and the other half working.  With so many joyful moments in between, I am so glad I remembered to pull out my camera and document a few.  Starting with swimming off the coast of St. John's, Newfoundland with Dana and Jess cheering me on from the rocky shore (and giggling maniacally), I managed to toss off my wool coat and jump in…in the drizzle, and a rainbow appeared right after.  It was amazing, effing freezing, and unforgettable.

 

Earlier in the year there was #coatcheck, where I got to bond with family and make some cash when I badly needed it.  The lovely Laura got married and still found time to play – taking a balloon animal class, hitting various manner or balls at Chelsea Piers, and a spontaneous bumper car trip to Coney Island.  I got to kayak on the East River, between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges with Rob, Tracy, Matt and co.  Dana, Brian, Sarah V, Sarah C, Mario, Sukhjit, Wesley and you, and you, and you visited this year.  There were Blattbashes and Amber had a sing-a-long in Prospect Park.  I volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and NY Cares.  I got to see Michael Monroe play live in NYC.  OMG, I'm still a shameless teenager!  Wanna fight?!?

 

…and I became an honorary Newfoundlander by being screeched in and may have developed a momentary crush in the process (what can I say, apparently I have a thing for men in foul weather gear).  It may be the last thing I remember of that trip, but that trip was the highlight of my year, much thanks to Dana and her wonderful family.  I licked a cod, inadvertently started a Canadian chant of USA, USA! and you get to witness a cultural tradition spoken in English, even if you don't recognize it as such. Bonus points if you can make heads or tails of what's being said or what's going on – I barely could.  Full video below.

 

I am so grateful for all my friends and family! Thank you for making 2010 awesome!

 

Extra hugs to the  theambershow for the kayaking photos and @SOTMario for his Coney Island pictures.

 

Music by Sook-Yin Lee

 

2009, 2008



autumn cleaning


maladroit (adjective) clumsy, awkward, bungling, inept, cack-handed, inexpert, unskilful, unhandy, ham-handed (informal)


 

When I was 4 or 5 my mother enrolled me in dance class, as part of an effort to teach me “grace.”  Many years of lessons and  pleas to “slow down” and “be careful” didn't work to make me less clumsy and accident prone.  I still trip over my own feet, fall off chairs and otherwise probably shouldn't even be allowed to operate my stove.

 

One of my earliest blogs was a LiveJournal where I chronicled my numerous spastic mishaps.  I think I managed 5 or so posts, the last of which was a passive aggressive dig at an ex – something about accidentally falling in love with an asshole.  I don't recall the other entries, but I probably didn't learn much from them.  I'm not thrilled about being so physically awkward, but I do like to laugh at my own expense – so one day when I meet my demise in a comically ridiculous way, the Darwin Awards can reference this list.

 

The most dangerous room in the house is the bathroom.  I'd heard this before, but after crashing onto the floor and barely missing the toilet with my head, I take it a bit more seriously – I now clean wearing sneakers (and clothes).  My Senior year of college I lived with two of my favorite former-roommates Jesse and Dan.  Having just met them and moved in, I decided the bathroom needed a thorough scrubbing.  For some reason, I decided to strip completely naked, lock the door and stand on the edge of the tub to commence Scrubfest 1999.  Bleach and water gets slippery and I lost my footing.  I knocked myself out and the wind out of me, coming 'round only to beg my new roommates not to knock the door down.  I had a bruise that ran across my abdomen where I fell over the side of the tub and wrenched my arm in a nasty way, but at least my roommates never saw my nudities.

 

That same year, I set out on a roadtrip with some friends for New Year's Y2K.  On the way to Maine, we stopped in New Hampshire.  To say I jumped out of the car with zeal is an understatement.  I hopped out, flinging myself excitedly toward our friend's SUV parked in the spot next to us.  I landed the jump on my feet, directly in a soiled baby diaper.  My friend's Missy's car probably never smelled quite right after that, but she's been present for a number of my ridiculous accidents.  We still laugh over the night we took a keg out on a boat for a late night lake regatta.  Unfortunately, the guy who joined us in our destined-to-be-flipped vessel probably still hasn't forgiven us for drowning his cell phone.

 

My knee surgery story isn't a result of a dignified sports injury, but caused by waitressing.  I managed to tear my knee carrying a stack of plates on a wet floor.  At least I didn't fall, but my little maneuveur to save the plates came at the expense of my meniscus.  Oops.

 

“Help, there are sparks flying out of my cable wire, what do I do?
“Ma'am, there is no electricity in the cable line, that's not possible.”
“But it is, fire is shooting across my floor”
“Are you sure it's the cable wire?”
“Yes!  Wait, NO, my futon is on the wire for my lamp.  Never mind.”

 

 

And then there was the time my hair straightener exploded while I was using it.  Luckily I only superficially burned the side of my face and the fireball that fell in my lap went out quickly.  My shirt and stomach were burned, but at least I got my cat to stop chasing the fireball that was headed for a crate of paper products.  Yeah.

 

 

Which brings me to my most recent incident which compelled me to sit down and journal some  memorable mishaps.  I'm fairly sure the iPhone manual specifically states not to use the phone while it's plugged in, so I hold no fault with the device, but we all do it.  If there is a warning to take from this long-winded post – take a lesson from this one.  As I have done many nights before, I plugged my iPhone in next to my bed, settled in to play some Plants vs. Zombies and dozed off.  When I woke up my phone was HOT.  I don't mean warm like I'd been on the phone for two hours, more fumbling to turn it off and not burn my hands hot.  The game played for the 7 hours or so I slept, never promting the screen to go to the resting mode.  Since it was plugged in, the graphics and gameplay kept going.  I should note the battery was in the red, nearly dead though it was getting a charge all night.  The fact that my sheets hadn't ignited while I slept was a wonder to me, did I mention the phone was burning hot? I grabbed a shirt to take hold of it and put it in front of a fan, praying it would work again after it cooled down.  Then I noticed the stinging on my face.  When I looked in the mirror I had a burn across my forehead.  I am a deep sleeper and had a vague recollection of swatting something off my face during the night.  My iPhone seriously burned my face, which then scabbed and led to lots of curious questions and my retelling this cautionary tale.  Amazingly the phone still works and my face healed, but I'm a lot more careful to shut down Angry Birds and PvsZ and never rest my recharging phone on my bed.



In which it is 7 degrees hotter than the forecasted high


truthiness


 

It's been a shitty 11 months…though there were some giddy moments in the beginning.  In those early days I stretched my severance and maintained my optimism.  It was summertime, I hadn't appreciated the warm months quite so much since I was a kid.  I adventured, I cooked, I spent lots of time with family and friends, I lost weight, I woke up well-rested, in short, I know I glowed.  I interviewed and sent my resume out, I took a promising freelance position that looked like it was going to turn into a full-time gig in the Fall.  Then, it seemed my lights went out.
 

It was a slow burn really, one devastation after another.  At the height of those “good” Summer weeks, my Uncle died.  He was sick for a long time, but young – it was horrible, awful, and as it always is – way too soon.  I had the tearful goodbye where told him I loved him and how much he meant to me, it has been no consolation.  I read his eulogy at his funeral.  I still miss him and mourn large parts of my life, “the way things were,” that died with him.  Maybe it was a delayed reaction of sorts, but suddenly I found myself not only grieving for my Uncle, but my Grandfather, my Grandmother and to make it slightly more complicated, it reignited a quest to find out more about the blood ancestry of my Mother
 

Bills started stacking up, I didn't make my goal of being employed by October.  I was uninsured, living by the skin of my teeth, scared and ashamed.  I felt as though I was chipping away at my soul with each interview I went on, pored over my thank you and follow-up emails and calls, then would get a nice note of let down or no response at all.  I still feel burned by the request I had to put together a “thoughtful analysis of my interviews” with one company, which I spent hours on and involved my Mom in helping me draft….and didn't even get a one word response.  A simple “Thanks” would have been appropriate, or so says me.  I'd aced the interview, or so I thought.  But, thems the breaks when you're on the other side of the desk, a place that grows colder with every day you're out of work.  There was also that interview with Miserable McMisery, as I'll forever remember her, where I stumbled and let Ms. ScowlyPants turn me into a mess of unhire-able babble.  It was humiliating to crash and burn in an interview and I did so more than once.  And that freelance position I worked at for some of the darkest months didn't pan out, I just think of that time as awkward and regrettable (and my clothes got tight and uncomfortable).  The bulk of the past 6 months or so are a blur of mostly despair, though I'll never forget some generous acts of kindness and joy (If I saw you or spoke to you in the past 11 months, you know who you are – I'm not risking leaving anyone out by listing you all, I just hope I thanked you appropriately).  It's been a seesaw, a mostly lonely plank, there were awesome moments where I felt I could touch the sky, but a lot of the time I was sitting on the ground.  Rinse, repeat.
 

I started and committed to many projects I never finished.  In those early energetic stages of what my fellow benefit claimers tend to call (fun)employment, my imagination was fertile.  The short list of my failures starts like this:

I'm not saying I would have won the contest, but I had some damned great ideas (if I do say so myself).  Along with @theambershow, we hand cut zillions (gross exaggeration) of snow flakes to be used as business cards.  I dreamed up a campaign with @semipermgirl to shoot video on the East River in a kayak and otherwise really lobby to go to Antarctica this year….then reality jumped in and…I bailed. It didn't help that I secured an interview with a top Antarctic scientist the week of my Uncle's death and then made a bit of an ass of myself on the phone when I called him to postpone it.

This project proved "failure to launch" long before last June, but I figured…with all the time in the world, I could finally get to it.  I didn't, and in the meantime, so many blogs and services are realizing my little hatchling of an idea far better than I could have executed on.

Yet another bloggy-type project that never materialized past hours of collaborative brainstorming with @semipermgirl.  I still think it's a fun idea, maybe one of these days I'll get to it.
 

  • For my birthday this year I bought 7 strings of Tibetan prayer flags.  It was a start.  The plan was to string my ceiling with so many prayer flags that I wouldn't see the water stains and pipes that are currently my view from bed.  Also, I had a lot of prayers, what better way to realize them then to set them free, on the wind.  I chose an auspicious day, I discussed borrowing a ladder from my landlord.  At the time I didn't know she was dying of cancer, but yeah….I never got a ladder.  I even tried wearing my highest heals standing on the step stool she lent to me.  It was a total fail, thankfully I didn't break my neck, my birthday sucked and I lost faith.  Currently I have 2.5 strings hung successfully.  One end has fallen….and then my landlord died…and well, yep, it just kept getting rougher. 

SXSW would have been an amazing trip, really an excuse to see many friends I don't get to see everyday, but I didn't rally, my heart was never in it and I chose to pursue employment…for me, because that was the order of the day(s).

I miss podcasting, and my last period of wretched darkness was very much my entree into well, probably meeting everyone who might read this post.  It had been years since @wankergirl and I started the first realization of what I was planning re-launch.

I did a lot of craft-type stuff to pass the time.  I thought why not try to make some cash on the side and just never found the energy to spread the word or finish setting up my store.  Go figure. 

 

The list of personal disappointments goes on and on, I know better, there's no need to dwell on the many things I wish i done differently.  11 months, and so much of it I can only chalk up to idle and wasted time.  I remember when I first lost my job having a conversation with someone who'd just gone back to work after a long stretch of unemployment.  She asked if I'd had days yet where I didn't see a point to get out of bed; I shook my head and I felt bad for her.  I never imagined it could get that bad, but I started to relate.

 

The world keeps turning…and thankfully I think I (mostly) managed to not completely fall apart.  I am once again employed, but I still don't feel like it's real.  I have the constant feeling someone might pop through my office wall and yell that I've been Punk'd or perhaps I'll sink, and that 90 day provisional review might not go in my favor.  I'm working, OMG, I'm WORKING!  Finally!  I don't talk about work here and I'm not going to start, but I am very excited by the work I'm doing and who I'm doing it with/for.  I'm still dusting myself off and looking at these dormant projects and beginning to own up to a (long) list of broken promises, I can really only say "I'm sorry" "I'll do better next time.".  Life isn't tidy, and I realize I tend to post when I can wrap up a story with something meaningful or tied with a bow and a hug and kiss.  There is no sugar-coating the past year, it mostly sucked.



new beginnings


On the ferry to the Statue of Liberty with @usermac

I was excited to meet @usermac when he mentioned he'd be passing through my fair city.  Brian was in NY to pick up his fiancé and her daughter from the airport  for their first visit to the U.S. from China.  For their first full day in the country, Brian planned a symbolic "Welcome Home" by way of a trip to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  A sucker for sentimental gestures and adventures with out of town guests, I was pretty psyched to join them.

 

 

Having met so many great folks on twitter and elsewhere online, I love the opportunity to see New York City through the eyes of a visitor.  This was a truly cultural exchange, I've never helped someone pick out their first "American" meal before.  How do you explain french fries, chicken tenders or even a muffin in a way which sounds remotely appetizing?  The salad was not warm, which was apparently unexpected, the dressing too sweet – we laughed, we shared food, stories and awe, and of course we hammed it up for photos.  I always thought Asians were flashing the peace sign in photos, I learned the bunny-ear-finger-formation is actually a "V", for Victory.  It was a gorgeous morning, both in the sense of the weather and the overall experience.  Never far from my mind was my own virtual sojourn of tracing my ancestor's (by proxy) trip through Ellis Island, generations before.

 

As long as I've know Brian online,  he's been in love.  I'll say it now, my jaded self discounted the distance and obstacles as impossible, or not likely, in the context of my own failed long distance relationships….but here she was, here they were….starting their life together, and it was a truly epic day,  a beginning, and one I was honored to be a part of.  There was so much more to see, or so I thought from my tour-guide state of mind, but they had adventures yet to be revealed in Washington DC, and a life to begin together in Kentucky.  They started their American journey in NYC, at a place where so many before them started theirs, a small detail not lost on this humble local.

 

 

 

 



Highly Recommended Activity for the Unemployed and Frustrated


three branches


My Mother was shocked when I told her I always feared falling in love with a blood relative.  When you grow up knowing little about your ancestry, you find yourself questioning the the big things like, where do I come from, but there a lot of other little details your heart and mind grasp at.

 

I grew up having a relationship with my Mother's birth-Mother's family, as well as her/my family who raised her.  My family tree had three branches, despite the taboos my Mother and her family had to relive as I acknowledged that third branch a generation later.  “You will always be my Grandparents” I assured my Grandmother and Grandfather, “I'm just lucky, I have a whole other family too”.  It came up in school assignments and every time someone asked “What are you”?, which came up a lot where  I lived in Long Island.  “I am Italian-by-proxy,” I'd  answer; the short explanation was always very clumsy and it's a bit like when someone asks you how you are, they only want to hear “Good/Great/Fine/Awesome”.

 

I grew up in the same town as my Mother, along with her 8 siblings.  Many of my Grammar school teachers also taught my Mom, I even attended high school concurrently with one of my Uncles.  I don't specify, when I talk about my family, who is a blood-relative, because for most of my childhood I didn't really know the difference and those designations have little value to me.  My Grandfather once told me I looked a lot like my Mother's birth-mother.  My Grandparent's met her shortly before she passed;  he recalled her hair was auburn and curly like mine, and like me, she was also vertically challenged.  Not a lot to imagine, but those details stuck with me.

 

As I have learned more about my maternal family, and only recently really saw the first clear photo of my Mother's birth-Mother, it's shocking to take in those still images.  “So…that's where your dimples come and  from” and “her eyes sparkle like yours.” said my Mom as we looked at the photos.  She was 24 when she died.  I am 31 now, my Mother is 52.  One can't help but do the math; there is a sorrow and tenderness to think about her, I love the two Grandmothers I've known, and she is also my Grandmother, even though I never got to hug her or hear her voice.

 

My Maternal GrandmotherMy Maternal Grandmother

 

I wouldn't change a thing about my family, but to die so young of skin cancer seems patently absurd and just a more than a little unfair…if only it hadn't been the 50's, if only chemotherapy was what it was today… but then I wouldn't have that third branch on my family tree, I wouldn't be Italian-by-proxy,  I wouldn't have the family I do…but, I might have known her.  My Mother and her Brother might have grown up with their birth-parents, but a lot of “what ifs” never do a person much good.

 

I've always looked to my Father's family for personal resemblance.  After my Father's Mother, my beloved Grandmother passed away, a box of photos fell into my possession.  I found one of a Great-Aunt where I saw the first most obvious personal resemblance.  I knew I had my Dad's family's stature and build.  His family's gene-pool is strong and family reunions are almost eerie in the way I always see my Father in his Uncles and my Brother's face in his Second Cousins, my Aunt in my Grandmother, but maybe because I've only had one side to look to, I look so closely.

 

 

And what of my Mother's birth father?  Well, less and less of that story remains a mystery.  I may never know how a man could leave his dying wife and his children, but I  have found the names of his second and third wife.  Many of the stories they told us about my birth-Grandfather turned out to be fiction.  I believed his ancestry was Native American until this year, even dressing the part in Girl Scouts, celebrating what turned to be a fictional heritage.  It's hard not to fantasize the less than savory bits might also not be true.  We may never know, but I choose to believe the truth always lies somewhere in between.

 

Family is not something I've ever felt I've missed out on, and so because of that, I don't initiate getting in touch with long-lost relatives, I'm not searching for family so much as part of my history.  I don't feel as though I've ever gone without a smidgen of love or family, but I've always wanted to know, with some certainty where I “come from”.  I started to ask  questions when I was around 12 years old which I later found out was around the same age my Mother was when she started to ask her own Mom, only she found out her birth-Parents were long gone and not her Grandparents, as in my case.  I am always just a bit overwhelmed when I think of how if it affects me as it does, how it must have been for my Mom growing up.

 

Family is complicated.  I admire my Mother for her gratitude for all that she has, but I know it has not been easy, she is a hero in every sense of the word.  In entering the labyrinth of researching one's ancestry, you can find out paper facts, but facts alone don't fill in the blanks or subtleties of lives lived.  I realize because of the gaps I've always felt needed filling, I probably dig harder than most might, but I do it for my Mom, and for her Mom and all the ancestors who's faces I never got to kiss and who's stories I've never had a chance to learn.



Amber’s Sing-A-Long


I'll be the first to admit, I was pretty intimidated by the call @theambershow put out for friends and strangers to join her in a public sing-a-long.  I don't sing in the shower, I try not to even expose my cat to my lack of harmonic stylings, but Amber is a dear friend and her Life List and enthusiasm to pursue each item is an inspiration.

 

I head out to the meeting point at Grand Army Plaza planning to lip-sync and quite honestly not very enthused to do it in front of strangers, in the light of the 40 something degree day. 

 

The spirit Amber created, along with her husband Rob, and the awesome group of friends who amassed to sing was giddy and contagious.  I let go, it was about the random burst of happiness that us sing-a-longers and the strangers who joined us felt.  Such an amazingly fun morning I was so glad to be a part of. 

 



the sun was literally bursting through my shutters this morning


shutters

 

religious  symbolism accidental, a deviation of light



love


A woman sees her husband of over 30 years from their yard walking up to the street they live on.  He's walked this route for over 15 years, most nights from the commuter bus that drops him off after work in the center of town.  “I guess I've never been out here at the right moment, when the trees are bare and I can see down the hill”.  She gushes about how cute he is and is completely distracted from the phone call she's on until he's out of sight and closer to the front door

 

 

I was on the phone with my Mom while she watched my Dad walking home.  I listened while she giggled, adoring his gait and totally loving every moment she could see him from her vantage point in the yard and then while she greeted him at the door.

 

That is love.  Epic, adorable, and something I will never take for granted.
 



I Suck at Weddings


Weddings and I have a sordid history.  Sure, I've been at like a zillion, but I feel like such a total shit for the ones I've had to miss.

 

The first wedding I was asked to be in, but was not was my Uncle's.  I was probably 11 or 12 years old, my Father's brother was getting married and I was asked to be a bridesmaid.  I vaguely recall the details, but I recall going over the costs with my Mom.  My parents were saving to buy a house at the time and I was at that insecure adolescent age where the thought of having someone pick a dress for me was outright horrifying.  I don't recall the actual reason, either stated or unsaid, but I wore a peach dress and watched from the pews.

 

The first wedding I had to outright bail on was my friend Kathy's.  The wedding was planned from the desk next to mine for months.  I loved the romance of a Christmas-time wedding and oohed and aahed over the dress and the details.  The reception was at Riverside Church and oh how I wanted to see the bridesmaids wearing elf shoes in an amazing historic church, but an ankle or foot injury or some annoying clumsy move kept me from making the trek on crutches on the PATH and then the subway.  I managed to rack up a lot of co-pays at the hospital that year, and a cab would have been well over a hundred bucks and I was firmly on my back going over the steps of R.I.C.E. the weekend of the wedding.

 

I quit my job and uprooted my life in 2006.  One of my best friends was planning his wedding for that Spring and I doubted I could make it.  More complicated was that his wife-to-be wasn't too keen on me since we'd dated many years before, I didn't have a job and my attendance was contingent on raising the funds to fly back to NJ.  My parents went with a close friend and her Mom and they sent me camera phone photos and video.  My memories of that wedding include trying to walk off the grief over missing it and finally sitting in on the lawn of the hospital across the street from where I lived in the Mission in San Francisco weeping in the sunlight, cursing the time difference and the miles between my friends and family

 

I was only in San Francisco for 6 months, but I managed to miss three weddings.  I was living with my then boyfriend.  I'd gotten to know his family as well as I could between NY, Texas, and then from San Francisco, and I wondered if my not being that that wedding might have ultimately changed things.  I hadn't found a job and so I couldn't swing the airfare back to NYC.  I stayed alone in San Francisco with the cats that weekend feeling absolutely horrible while the person I thought was the love of my life was at the wedding of his only brother.  That was a low-point of self-confidence and self-worth to say the least.

 

Shortly after that another best childhood friend got married.  It was a small church wedding, but I was in California.  I was back in NJ by the reception which was a low-key barbeque at her parent's house, and I threw myself into it, running back to my house at the first sign of rain for a tent.  I promised her a proper bachelorette after her son was born, but sadly the marriage didn't last that long.

 

Yet another close childhood friend was married in Jamaica about a year after I returned from San Francisco.  I don't recall if a discussion was had, but I would have loved to have been there.  Once again I felt as though finances made taking part in the NY/Jamiaca celebrations impossible.

 

Last year my cousin asked me to be in her wedding.  I had to decline as I lost my job in June and sharing in the costs of a bridal shower/bachelorette party/dress/etc led me to write one of the most difficult emails I've had to send.  “Sorry, I can't purely for financial reasons, I hope you understand, but I am really happy for you and I love you…." was basically the gist.  Read, I'm your loser-ass cousin who can't be in your wedding because it's too expensive.

 

A few weeks later, yet again, another of my closest friends from childhood, one who I happened to be with the night she met her groom to be asked me to be in her wedding.  Another gutting conversation about how much I wish I could…but…couldn't.  The wedding is at the end of the month and if I have to walk back from Baltimore, I'll bring flats.  She's been one of the most generous and accommodating brides ever and yet again I can't help feeling like I'm the one holding the bouquet of the world's shittiest friend. 

 

Thank goodness these things aren't about me, they're about the couple celebrating THEIR love or I would feel like the biggest Love-Grinch of all time.  While I'm almost relieved most of my friends and immediate family are married, I hate feeling as though I missed some of the key moments in loved one's lives I'd love to be a part of, not a barrier to work around.  Maybe one day I'll be a proper adult, able to attend the many weddings of friends and family, either at the alter or not – even better if gay marriage is legalized, sanctioned and accepted in my lifetime…but for the time being my track record is that I just flat out suck at weddings.



my mom’s favorite


 

My Mom still cites this video as her favorite video I've linked her to so I figured I'd dust it off and post it here. 

She's probably just proud I keep my bed made.

Music from Macross Plus
"Jade"
www.amazon.com/Macross-Plus-Original-Soundrack-Vol/dp/B00005JH55
For the record my mattress is not yellow, it's one of those "space material" toppers



sweet dreams


A very merry unbirthday


 

 

I have a birthday wish.  I promise never to try and throw myself a party or a gathering again, but what I would love is if I could gather a handful of my friends, at least once a year to do something for someone else.  Whether it's getting up before noon on a Saturday to clean a park or paint a school, working a shift in a soup kitchen or reading to kids at a library, I would love nothing more then to celebrate working alongside friends at something at least once a year.

 

I've always been rather quiet about what charities I support with time or money, because I'll admit I find it somewhat exhausting (and expensive) to pledge a donation for every charity or fundraising activity friends and family members take part in.  I get that and won't take it personally if you decline an invite.

 

So, I'll spare you the soapbox and forgo future birthday bashes at bars.  If you notice an email from me every so often with a request to attend a volunteer day, think of it as my birthday wish, whatever month it is.



pajama destiny


In which I regress and my mother buys me pajamas with feet!

 

Just about 5 1/2 years ago I stated what I'd like to call my "pajama destiny".  Little would I have imagined the fates would align on a shopping expedition with my Mom meant to find lingerie for my cousin's bridal shower…in Sears…  I'd link you to where you could buy your own awesome fleece, footed, zip-up, OMG adorable pjs for $20, but they aren't listed on the site :(.  So much for stocking up and outfitting myself with a uniform of playful patterned p-jammas of joy.

 

My mother wanted to hold up the sexy lingerie we were actually shopping for, as a sort of statement of "these are the pajamas my mom buys vs. my daughter is a tragedy and hasn't progressed past the age of 5", but the mall had apparently just been on fire (no joke), we weren't sure when they'd be closing and still had some more shopping to do.  While I was left to dancing around in the dressing room with an order to hurry up, I snapped this shot to celebrate my find.  Have I mentioned, I found the exact pj's I've been looking for? and YAY!

 

Composure regained momentarily.



Road trip memories


originally posted on the RoadCamp blog…

 

My friends and I still don’t know how we pulled it off.  First, there was the issue of renting a beach house 700 miles away when we were 17 years old.  I mailed away for rental brochures in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and somehow convinced my Mom to vouch for us and let us book the rental on her credit card.

 

Senior Prom was approaching and as we weighed the costs of the prom bid, dress, hair appointment, limo rental, requisite hotel room for the weekend –  the lure of adventure led us to the conclusion that our money would be better spent taking a road trip, a last hurrah before we went away to college in different cities.  Then, there was the issue of getting our parents to persuade the Principal that we should be exempt from the policy that students who didn’t come to school the Monday after Prom weekend faced automatic suspension.

 

I don’t recall the details of the negotiation, but we got approval and set out to plan the route with a paper atlas.

 

We left in the early dawn hours of Prom Friday, with no regrets, feeling slightly rebellious and running on pure excitement.  I blared Rage Against the Machine (the first few tracks on mix tape 1) as I picked up with my three passengers, also known as my fellow  Space Pirates, a reference to the Merry Pranksters (of course we read a lot of Tom Wolfe and Jack Kerouac back then).  If Twitter had been around in 1996, our usernames would likely have been Webbygail, SensuousX, Maisy, and PrincessMoonBeam.

 

The trip from NJ to SC took  about 14 hours, with frequent stops, capturing the moments and our incredibly naive commentary on a giant vhs camcorder.  My co-pilot took notes and captured observations  in our “Captain’s Log” the notebook containing the handwritten turn by turn driving directions.  It was my first trip past the Mason Dixon line and experiencing it mile by mile, I was shocked at the visible change in manners, accents, and in awe of Southern Hospitality.  Our notes, which read much like a blog, contain tidbits like “Roosters on the side of I95 by Fayetville”, “Man practically jumps in front of car on I95, brushes against door, Jones Swamp, Virginia”, “Nicole is denied service at McDonalds in Richmond, VA” and numerous quotes, which out of context make little sense to me now.

 

The video of our arrival reveals an absence of cell phones and laptops as we all rushed to the wall mounted house phone and took turns letting our parents know that we arrived safely.  A few days later we called friends and convinced one to take a car-load down the following weekend to meet us.  The trip was my first taste of “freedom”, a glimpse of life outside the tri-state area in the company of friends and the new ones we met along the way.  It was a week-long slumber party, broken up by trips to the beach and local attractions recommended by family friends who lived in the area or had visited in the past.  14 years ago, the highlights I recall most revolve around the journey itself, ones captured in the notebook, in snapshots developed at a 1 hour photoshop on the drive back, and those which were captured on video.

 

I imagine RoadCamp to be a grand adventure, with more people (some I’ve yet to meet), less need for parental permission and of course, more tech.  The ability to plot the route on Google maps, coordinate logistics via email and share the trip in real time is amazing to me when I compare RoadCamp to that first analog, and much documented road trip.



Quandary


Facebook, Google Wave and now Google Buzz have me at a bit of a crossroads with where I am most likely to “engage” online.  While I love the idea of having one homebase where I can catch up with the goings-on of friends, family, and acquaintances and also post updates about mine, I simply don't feel that would be a wise decision.  My rationale and conundrum goes like this:

 

For me, blogging started as a sort of personal journal, with a dash of naïveté and a pinch of exhibitionism.  I'm glad for the honesty that allowed me.  I have no regrets, I have no desire or need  to go and make public posts private or start censoring myself.  Had I not created a separate email address or chosen a goofy name to post under – I would have over-thought everything to silence.  I didn't start podcasting or blogging thinking of it as an interactive channel, nor did I imagine how many personal connections I'd make.  But, I did.  I don't care about follower numbers or web traffic, it's selfish and social – plain and simple – and I enjoy it and treasure the friendships I made alone the way.

 

Why I've continued to post as MissSomething and register to certain sites with a secondary email address:

  • I haven't met every single person I'll ever meet.   As anyone swimming in the dating pool does, one of the first things I do is “google” someone I am getting to know.  I search their name, I search their email address, and I search the letters that come before the @___com.  I am not secretive, nor would I ever hide anything I've posted online from anyone I'm befriending or becoming intimate with…however, I am thankful for that initial control having met my fair share of overbearing (ie: stalkerish) suitors, romantic or otherwise.
  • I want to remain in the job market, continue to play online and not worry about every word I've ever posted.  There's no erasing the past with the Wayback Machine and Google archive; I've sat beside my former CEO as he googled our co-workers.  I am constantly aware, espcially while currently looking for employment, that future employees, clients, and co-workers will do this.  Again, I have nothing to hide, but call me old-fashioned, I keep work at work and home at home.  No one I work with or for needs to find photos of my cat, accompany me on a walk around my neighborhood, or know my friends (or any of my self-indulgent behaviour) with a casual search.  If it is appropriate, it will very likely come up in conversation.
  • I have a huge family.  I've lost count of how many cousins I have, ranging in age from in-utero to older than me.  While I am not ashamed nor hiding the way in which I speak (I throw the occasional F-bomb around online and off) or the things I share, I'm certainly going to speak differently around a 5 year old then I would a 12 year old than I would with a 25 year old.  While I realize anyone of any age can come across anything I've posted online, I'm not about to lock up my site or put an age verification up, this isn't porn, any kid on the hunt for bad words would be bored here.  What I worry about is a supervised child-relative being encouraged to seek out family members, and while many members of my family blog specifically to stay in touch with family, I stick to email and other places when it comes to my family. 

I don't feel as though I've split off my personality to two.  I blog, twitter, etc as me, I've just made myself a slight bit harder to find…and I think it's the right thing for me to do.  My Facebook account is a mishmash of family, people I haven't seen since elementary school, co-workers, as well as friends I engage with in places like Twitter.  I find I don't have much to say there.  Now, with Google Wave and Buzz – I'm thinking forward.  I have one primary email account I've used for over 5 years, again the one I give to family, co-workers, old friends, new friends, potential mates, etc.  Should I remain engaged mostly via Twitter and connect the two, I'd lose that (at least initial) buffer.  Sure, there are privacy settings I could go through and block people, but that doesn't change inevitable searchability.

 

The email address I tie to my social meanderings online is forwarded to my primary one and have it set that I can respond from there as well.  But, I'm never actually signed into that gmail address.  This has all worked fine, til now…

 

I know Twitter won't be around forever, I don't know if I'll keep this site up for eternity, and I actually like the shift to centralize things and make them a bit less anonymous.  But having set up things as I have, this makes these changes particularly complicated and always leave me soul-searching and struggling to keep (albeit a vague sort of) personal anonymity.  I've tried the multiple account approach and one always dies off.  With Google entering the social sandbox (rather some I'd like to play in), I have to choose to switch between two accounts or hope perhaps in the future they'll allow a user to be logged on to more than one account at a time…but that doesn't make much sense for Google and I get that.  I don't know what the fix is, or which wires I may rig to which to keep them running from a virtual splitter, but I know I'm not alone.  Perhaps if I gave sites more time to develop before I tried to work them out,  maybe this very rant wouldn't have brewed and spilleth over.  Some of my favorite bloggers, micro and otherwise, post the sort of impulsive things they might want to keep separate from a web search of their name or primary email address.  Whatever the necessity, rationale, or desire to do this, I'm sort of at a loss at how it will all work…



Red!


Dana made me do it.

You can see 7 RED things in her home here

Here are 7 RED things in mine:

 

produce

I eat a lot of tomatoes.

 

toy

Snow Day has a red-nosed toy.

 

marbles

Red magnetic marbles (that's Mars right over to the right)

 

prayer flags

The red prayer flag symbolizes fire.

 

closet

This closet is organized by color, the other is not.

 

cupboard

My Grandmother's sauce recipe requires Redpack tomatoes. I've tried others in a form of cooking rebellion, but none taste quite right.

 

slinky

Amber combined her tickets won at a Coney Island arcade with mine to cash in for this red plastic slinky.  Hey Amber, you're it!