Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The guilt, it consumes me

So I have this cat. She's dying. I gave her to my husband for Valentine's Day 15 years ago. She's not exactly young and spry, and she's been in so-so health for quite a while now. The fact that she has untreatable kitty cancer wasn't a huge surprise. But sad. 

I had a long talk with the vet and she urged us not to wait too long to put her down, as most people do when they can't let go. I've never had to do this before and I'm dreading having to make the final decision. 

Anyway, bleh. What a downer. Sorry. 

Maybe this video of a cute baby will make up for it. It made me laugh, anyway:

What do you think her mom is like? A little chatty, maybe?

Friday, September 25, 2009

I love this!

I saw this on Jezebel the other day and thought it was pretty awesome. Tara Wheeler, last year's Miss Virginia, promised to shave her head to raise money and awareness for children with cancer. Even though she didn't meet her $500,000 goal, she went ahead and shaved it anyway. "Beauty is as beauty does," she said back in April. Indeed.

I've considered well, not shaving, but cutting my hair and donating it to Locks of Love. A little girl in my daughter's class grew her gorgeous blonde hair out and did just that. But, let's face it, nobody wants my hair. Sure, it might look thick (or at least acceptable) in some of my pictures, but that's due to clever blow outs and a copious use of products. Bed Head. Volumizer. Flip upside down. Spray. Pray it doesn't rain.

In any event, Ms. Wheeler was unable to shave her head while she reigned as Miss Virginia (even though she likely would have been able to raise much more money, so booooo Miss America Inc.) but good for her for going through with it. I'd probably chicken out. 

Monday, September 21, 2009

Silver Phoenix book signing and get-together

Over the weekend, my dear (and, up to this point, virtual) friend Cindy Pon was in town and I hosted a book signing for her in my apartment. I had about 16 or so people over for coffee, mimosas, and many, many sweets. "What?" you might be saying, "You let a bunch of strangers into your house for a PARTY? Are you nuts?" 

Possibly. But that's a different issue. Cindy couldn't book an official signing, being it Rosh Hashanah and all. She asked about coffee shops that might be fun, but the problem with coffee shops in New York is that very few look like Central Perk and they are ALWAYS full of people. Full. And my apartment is not. So. Come on over!

And it was worth it. I met a bunch of Absolute Write friends, who weren't exactly strangers, since I know so much about them (but yeah, still kinda, since I didn't know what they looked like. Turns out Lara is NOT a smoking teddy bear. She looks like this):

She's the woman in the middle. Not even a little bear-like!

Some of Cindy's other writerly and arty friends came as well. Such fun. A veritable salon. Of course, I think that any group of people gathered together talking about subjects other than a) children, b) the stock market, or c) travel plans is some sort of great intellectual exchange. Really, my standards are low. Still, books were discussed. 

Lawrence Wong was nice enough to take these pictures, plus many others, including some great shots of my dog. Thanks!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Making an effort

Part of my September resolutions, aside from blogging on a regular (albeit light) schedule was to make an effort to get out there and join the writing community. "Wow, Manhattan," people from points West say, "you must know a lot of people in the publishing world!" 

Er, no. Not really. Sure, I met quite a few people at the Southampton Writers and Algonquin conferences I attended last year. And yeah, here and there through the kids' school or whatever. But in terms of hanging out with writerly types? No. (Finance and lawyer-ly people, on the other hand? Plenty.)

My first baby step into this strange and wondrous new world was to find a real live, in-person critique group. Not words on a screen and user names--PEOPLE. Okay, done. We haven't met yet, so I've no idea how this will go. Perhaps terribly. But I'm getting out there! 

My second step I completed today: I joined a writer's workspace. This means that a few times a week, I actually have to change into pants, pack my laptop, board a subway, and LEAVE THE UPPER EAST SIDE OMG. 

The space I joined is just 3 stops on the express train and 2 blocks over, so, yes, convenient. It's really just a loft filled with desks and cubicles writers can use, with a kitchen and tables down the hall. Being as noiseless as possible is strictly enforced. I took a seat and listened for a while--nothing but taps on a keyboard. I think I can ignore that. I'll try not to get too competitive with the fast typists. 

There is a place to chat (softly) and they run a bunch of evening discussions and member readings at the KGB Bar, which just, face it, sounds awesome. Is the bar filled with spies? Arty people smoking the hookah? Who knows! Guess I'll find out soon enough.

Writing is such a solitary activity and sometimes it makes me a little crazy. Like I forget how to be social. So I think I need this. How about you? Does your work/hobby draw you away from the world? How do you deal?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The problem with role models

I have to preface this by saying that, although Serena's actions at the US Open were dreadfully unsportsmanlike, the racist comments and general dumb-assery I've read on teh intrawebz following that outburst were -- hello?--a million times worse. 

But wow, role models: my kids sure can't pick 'em. My tennis-loving daughter adores Serena Williams. She relishes the fact that the younger sister is just a bit more athletic than older sis Venus and is also into fashion and being fancy. She plays with a Williams sisters racquet and reads every newspaper article about her she can find. We watched much of the US Open together, and every day she would ask, "Is Serena still in?" So I was relieved that she lay asleep in her bed when Serena went nuts on that line judge. My daughter read the entire article the next day, and, well, we had a teachable moment and all, but I could tell that she was a crestfallen about her hero. (She still admires Serena, for the record.)

And this was my older daughter's hero from the 2008 Olympics:

Bong boy himself. That was a fun conversation. More teachable moments than I care for, frankly. 

Now, I know neither infraction is THAT big of a deal. Athletes lose their temper (football, anyone?), young people screw up. People make mistakes. Everyone's lives will go on, and I don't think my little darlings will be too terribly scarred. 

Oh well. At least they don't idolize Kanye. 

Friday, September 11, 2009

How (Not) to Attend a Fashion Event When You Are Maybe Not So Fashionable

Last night was Fashion's Night Out in New York, an event where 700 retailers kept their doors open until 11 pm. Many threw cocktail parties to prod people into drinking and buying, since the economy still, frankly, sucks. 

So anyway, Akris was kind enough to host a party and fashion show to benefit Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, and I thusly finagled an invitation. Believe me, there is no way I'd be invited otherwise. I'm just not a fashionista, by any stretch. (She said as she sits in her pajama bottoms and stretched out t-shirt.)

The moment the invitation arrived in the mail, my thoughts went from Fun! Something different! to Oh hell, what do I wear? (For the record, a fairly safe knee-length black dress and long dangly necklace. I know. Boring.) 

Here are some more helpful tips I picked up along the way. Use them at your own risk:

A. Fashion people are thin, and you've eaten too much pie over the summer, so it's time to starve yourself--Well, okay, I didn't actually do this, but I did eat a light lunch and skip dinner in the name of minimizing stomach poochage. This turned out not to be such a great idea (See D.)

B. Carve a big chunk out of your leg with your razor in the shower--Because aside from the searing pain, drips of dried blood poking out from your dress is beyond chic. But hey, no unsightly stubble. 

C. Arrive with your gorgeous and fashionable friend--The upside of this is that she gives you an air of legitimacy. The downside is that you are now the plain one.

D. Drink champagne on an empty stomach--Especially if you can't hold your liquor, like me. Oh yes, and make sure you slur a little when you are meeting new people. That's a great impression to make, along with your shredded legs and summer pie pounds.

E. Take lots of pictures like a rube who has never been to a fashion show before--Okay, so I did this furtively. I don't think anyone noticed. Or at least they were polite enough to pretend they saw nothing. But still. Whipping out a camera for blog pictures doesn't exactly scream hip and blase. And if you are going to go ahead and do that, make sure you...

F. Lose your cable that connects the camera to your laptop--So that the picture-taking is moot. Sorry, blog friends. I can't find it anywhere!

I did end up having fun, and the clothing was amazing. 

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

September Resolutions

Ah, September. My favorite month of the year. It always feels like the beginning of the calendar and the best time for resolutions, more so than January 1. New Year's resolutions have never worked for me. So why not try it this way? While I'd love to resolve to lose those last five pounds, become more organized, or learn to make baklava, I think I'll stick with something fairly simple: to maintain a regular blogging schedule. 

Up to now, I've been sort of a seat-of-my-pants, blog-when-I-feel-like-it kind of girl. The problem with that is that I can go for a loooong stretch between feeling like blogging. Stuff gets in the way. I can't update every day (trust me, you do not want to hear that level of minutiae.) So I'm going to shoot for twice per week, on Tuesdays and Fridays. 

It's still Tuesday! This one counts!

See you Friday.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Happy Labor Day!

I hope everyone's enjoying their Labor Day weekend. It's gorgeous here on the East End, so I'm heading outside while it's still possible. It's been a big summer for hanging out outdoors--my dermatologist is going to kill me.