Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Booties Everywhere

A couple of weeks back, I rambled in a post about how I was on the hunt for a pair of ankle booties. I put this desire out into the universe (as Oprah has instructed us all to do), and I'm sure you all formed a prayer circle for me and my booty needs. How very thoughtful of you.

Well, good news, friends: OUR BOOTY PRAYERS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED* in the form of a Gap Factory Outlet!

This place opened up down the street from me a week ago, and well, I may have gone a liiiiiiiiiiiittle bit overboard...

That's not just one but TWO pairs of booties plus a pair of tall boots (and some pumpkins just to make it festive)! My life is now filled to the brim with booties. Here, watch me model:

Note the fringe!!

Now watch me get a little tired/disgruntled while modeling:

Now watch me as I do a sexy version of the chicken dance maybe?:

Now watch me -- actually, feel free to look away as I do whatever this is:

Anyway, I'm living a fairly bootylicious life these days. Here's hoping you find the footwear of your dreams! 

Which fall fashion items are you still looking to add to your wardrobe? 

*By the way, I know you weren't praying for my shoes because, like, that would probably be pretty inappropriate...

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The (Totally Not At All Scary) Legend of Sleepy Hollow

My boo and I recently took a day trip to the nearby town of Sleepy Hollow, an area famous for being the setting of Washington Irving's short story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. You remember that story, right? It's the one with the headless horseman and Ichabod Crane and....uh...the headless horseman. The details are hazy, but I have distinct memories of being a terrified child listening to my teacher tell an abridged version of it to my second grade class.

On the way up, as we drove, I decided to google the legend just to refresh my memory. What I discovered was possibly one of the most significant bummers of my life: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is HELLA BORING, y'all. At least as a Halloween story, it is. There is seriously nothing scary about it, and if you don't believe me, here's my Cliff's Notes version:

There's this guy Ichabod, and he's, like, a total weirdo. Like, Gary Busey kind of weird, n'mean? Anyway, Ichy wants to get with this rich girl, Katrina, so that he can have enough money to support his weird, little life (did I mention he's a weirdo?). There's also this other guy named Brom Bones, and he wants to get with Katrina too (not for her money but because he loves her or whatever). He decides he wants to play pranks on Ichabod and basically torture him away from pursuing the girl of his dreams.

One night at a harvest party at Katrina's dad's house, Ichabod is like, "Tonight's the night that I'm going to make Katrina my boo." He obviously fails, and instead, he gets an earful of scary stories told by the party guests. One such story is the tale of the Headless Horseman, a ghost who rides in the night in search of his head which was blown off by a cannonball. Ichabod, being the basket case that he is, gets really easily spooked, and on his way home, he is all kinds of freaked out. 

As he is riding through the night, he sees in the distance a cloaked traveler on horseback. Ichabod quickly realizes that the mysterious man's head isn't on his shoulders. Instead, he is holding it at his side. At his side, y'all. HIS SIDE.

As I'm sure you can imagine, ICHABOD LOSES HIS SHIT. He races to the bridge where it is said that the Headless Horseman will vanish. 

A recreation of the fictional bridge in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

But he doesn't vanish. Instead, he pursues Ichabod and throws his severed head at his big, weird face.

The next morning, Ichy is nowhere to be seen, but a flippin pumpkin is found busted up at the bridge. When the story of Ichabod's disappearance is told to Brom Bones, he is said to "look exceedingly knowing."


I'm sorry I even recounted all of that for you, but hopefully now you are feeling just as disenchanted as I was when I rediscovered the details of this sorry excuse for a scary story. 

Still, though, Sleepy Hollow was a fun place to visit, especially if you like visiting cemeteries, which weirdly enough, I do. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is the resting place of lots of cool people, including Washinton Irving himself.

It also has a ton of hauntingly beautiful memorials, gravestones, and mausoleums. 

But hey, we didn't just hang out in a cemetery all day. We also went to a pumpkin patch!

But after hearing The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, this experience actually felt a lot like sifting through a bunch of severed heads (hence Daniel's expression). We bought a pumpkin, an old lady knowingly touched my butt for some reason*, and we decided it was time to head back to Brooklyn.

Anyway, so that's Sleepy Hollow! It's a lovely place to visit, but don't expect to see any ghosts or actual headless people because you will be sorely disappointed. 

Do you have a favorite scary story? 
Like, actually scary? As in, not pumpkin-chunkin-level scary?
Tell me!

*Let me know if you're interested in the details of this story.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My fifteen-minute blog post


Today I am challenging myself to write this blog post in under fifteen minutes. I take way too long to write these days. I'll start a sentence, erase it completely, and then rewrite that very same sentence again, on and on...forever. I've done it about a dozen times since I started this post. I decided today that this madness has to stop.

So I set a timer for fifteen minutes. It's this timer that I found in the dollar section at Target in the shape of a red bell pepper:

I pasted this picture after the fact, by the way. Pictures are the thing that slow me down the most when blogging.

I do this practice from time to time when I am on a deadline. I'll set my timer and then I'll write like a maniac until the timer goes off, and then I'll watch some Parks and Recreation or eat a pickle as a reward. I live a simple life.

The problem today is that I forgot to pick a topic to write about before starting this post, and that timer is just ticking away like the telltale heart, so I'm kind of bugging out.

But that's okay. Maybe I'll just write about what's new with me.

It's October 1st, a day I have been looking forward to for quite some time. Not only is it the first acceptable day to order a pumpkin flavored anything, but it is also the day that every single episode of "Gilmore Girls" arrived on Netflix! If you're anything like me, and I'm sure you are because you are still here reading this rambling mess, you probably have every season of "Gilmore Girls" on DVD stashed away somewhere in your living room. Still, you have to admit that having these episodes so accessible at the click of a button is a rare treat. I've watched the first three already. Do I have a problem?

9 minutes left. Shit shit shit. Okay. What else am I up to?

Guys, I am looking for booties. Not like pirate treasures or butts, but rather boots that go to your ankle and have some kind of substantial heel. I want to wear them with socks and leggings, but the hunt has been difficult. Somehow I believe that if I get booties in my life, it will change everything.

By the way, my husband knows this, but that's a phrase I say A LOT: "It will change everything."

I say it hyperbolically, of course, but there is still a bit of truth to it. I've said it about the prospect of getting a juicer, a new apartment, a french press, a bicycle, a denim jacket.

And you know what? I got all those things, every last one, and they most certainly did not change everything (that's a lie...the denim jacket was pretty much a full-on game-changer, but still).

It's amazing to me that this far into my human existence, I still believe very basic lies about the world. I know that intellectually no material good will really be THE thing that changes my life, yet I still have this primal, juvenile belief system. I can't quite shake the thought that if I get booties, somehow my life will all make sense.

Booties, y'all. Booties.

And by the way, if you are waiting for the thing that will change everything, and you probably aren't because you're an adult and you know better, I just want to remind you that it probably won't. Life is life. Booties, juicers, apartments -- they really don't change the game that much.

Okay, so with one minute left on the clock, I will bid you adieu. I'm going to read through this now and cringe over how poorly-written it is. #controlissues

Friday, September 26, 2014

Napkin Wisdom: Stop Waiting

I recently had a flight delayed for over four hours. Early on, the airline employees kept making announcements that it would probably be about thirty more minutes. Then thirty minutes later, they would be back with the same announcement, on and on for FOUR hours. If you've been in this position before, you know the kind of insanity that can overtake you. All of your senses become heightened. The rage becomes a hot feeling in your head which then becomes a disgusting taste in your mouth which then becomes oils that seep out of your pores. I spent the last hour of that waiting period constantly swiping on deodorant and sending angry tweets to American Airlines demanding free chardonnay. It wasn't a shining moment for me.

Waiting is the worst. No one likes it. Humans don't like it. Dogs don't like it. Cats are probably fine with it actually, I don't know. But regardless, it's one of the least palatable states of existence.

It's the reason that the idea of purgatory is so frightening. It's the reason we don't use dial-up Internet anymore.

But for as much as people hate waiting, we tend to do it a lot. We like to think that all of the delays in our lives are these fixed, inevitable, external circumstances (doctor's offices, subway stations, the line at Starbucks, etc.), but the truth is we create plenty of our own waiting periods in life. We don't just have to wait; we choose to wait. 

I recall a time from a few years back when I was living in Austin, Texas. I had moved there because many of my family and friends were there, and I mean, it's Austin, y'all. Why wouldn't you want to live in that glorious town?

And while that year was filled with wonderful experiences -- food trucks, put-put golf sessions, concerts, outrageously fun cookie swap Christmas parties, invigorating conversations over coffee, lots of thrifting, and so much joy -- still, I felt deeply discontented. For months and months, it felt like I was holding in one giant sneeze -- like something explosive, relieving and wonderful was on the other side of whatever it was I was doing, but I just felt stuck. I was working three part-time jobs, not doing anything particularly creative, and the prospect of trying something new just seemed exhausting.

And I would be lying if I said I didn't have some idea of what I wanted to be doing: I wanted to move to New York City. I wanted to start my career. I wanted to do something BIG.

But instead, I waited. I did life at about 30%, and instead of chasing my dreams, I just watched a lot of Battlestar Galactica (this, by the way, was probably one of the best things to come out of that year).

Looking back on that time in my life, I don't regret it at all, but I kind of wish I could step through the time-space-continuum and slap myself in the face. That would probably cause a black hole, I don't know, but I kind of want to do it. It wasn't like I wasted that year, but man, I waited that year.

I sat, I laid, I wandered until one day something clicked. I signed up for an improv class, my husband and I had a serious talk about making life happen in New York, and we packed up a truck full of all of our most prized possessions and moved to Brooklyn. That first day, when I crossed over the East River on the Manhattan bridge, I felt like I could breathe again. Suddenly, I wasn't waiting anymore.


All of this to say: yes, life is full of waiting. It is, and it sucks, and I'm sorry. But if you are in a particularly dismal period of feeling stuck, you may want to ask yourself: who is causing this waiting? Is it some cosmic, external force (God, nature, the DMV) it maybe you? We often try to justify reluctant periods of our lives as seasons of patience, and while those do exist, I would argue that they are not as frequent as we claim they are.

So how about this: If the thing you are doing feels like waiting, then do a new thing.

That doesn't mean necessarily that you should quit your job, move to New York City, engage in risky behavior, or get a face tattoo. But the thing about this existential waiting game is that while we don't often choose to admit it, we tend to know exactly what it is we are waiting on. You know what will change the game for you. Your heart cries out for it all the time, and if you're playing the waiting game, you're probably telling it to shut up right now. So stop doing that, and do something new.

It's scary, it's exhausting, it's risky, but it leads to better things. It really does.

For the record, as is the case with almost everything I write, I am basically writing this post for myself because I am continually forgetful of my life's most poignant lessons. Hopefully, unlike me, you only need to learn this once.

That being said, do something new this weekend! What will you be up to?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Reclaiming the joy of art class

Remember art class? That sacred time of day during your elementary school existence wherein you got to hang out with your coolest teacher. Remember her/him? My art teacher was named Miss Blum, and she was always wearing a vest. Yours probably was too. And remember how this very cool teacher would lead you and all of your peers in an art project? And she/he would walk around the room inspecting everyone's work, and there was literally nothing you could do wrong. You could paper mache your text book to your face, and your art teacher would say, "What ingenuity!" You could draw the most lifelike, defiant penis on the face of the earth, and she would remark, "Oh, what a strangely beautiful mushroom!"

It was the most affirming time of your life. Admit it.

Recently I've been getting nostalgic for the joy of art class. Rare is the time in my life when I engross myself in an art project because I am not, by trade, an artist. That is, I am not a painter, a sculptor, a calligrapher, an Etsy store owner, or anything of that sort. Sometimes life calls upon me to make certain things -- a card for a friend, a pie chart of my expenses, a tent for my cat to retreat within -- but when there is no reason to create a work of art, I feel pretty silly doing so.

But tonight, in a fit of boredom, I decided to buck that negative feeling and just afford myself some creativity time. I channeled Miss Blum and just started creating for the sake of creating. My husband, Daniel, joined in too. I played with a set of pastels that I've been meaning to try out while he doodled in a notebook. Here he is showing off his drawing of a dog:

Nailed it, Daniel! 

This is what I ended up creating using the pastels. I had the wrong tools, and I couldn't remember what carrot leaves looked like, so no judgements!

That's grapes, a carrot, a banana, and a lime, respectively

Midway through, we decided it would be a good idea to make art specifically for each other. Daniel made this for me because, you know, he's a creative GENIUS:

And I made him this because, you know, it's true:

We will probably make a weekly thing out of this, so get excited. Miss Blum would be so proud.

What crafts/art projects have you been making lately? 
Tell me so I can steal all of your ideas!

Friday, September 12, 2014

5 Things to Look Forward To

The weekend is drawing nigh, so I'm feeling a little optimistic, but hey maybe you're not. Sometimes it helps to think about all of the wonderful things in life that are coming your way. If you're struggling with that today, let me help!

1. Gilmore Girls is coming to Netflix!

You might as well put in your letter of resignation now because you're not going to have time or need for petty things like work once October rolls around. No way. You're going to be way too busy devouring EVERY SINGLE EPISODE OF GILMORE GIRLS FROM THE COMFORT OF YOUR OWN NETFLIX ACCOUNT.

Man, this show, guys. It is so smart, so funny, so good, so full of cultural references and wisdom. I, like you, have every single season on DVD, but season 3 has some major scratches on it and seriously, who needs the pain of removing a DVD when you're binge-watching the greatest piece of television in history? Mark your calendars, folks. October 1st: the day Netflix will explode.

Also, #TeamJess, just saying.

2. Autumn Leaves

It may not be time to take a stroll through Central Park with your pumpkin spice whatever just yet, but it will be very soon. The leaves are still a wilted green from where I sit, but when they finally change, don't be too jaded to enjoy them. They are magic.

3. The iPhone 6 comes out or whatever

I'm not overwhelmingly excited about this, but I know it's important, and maybe it's important to you, so there you go. September 19th, getcha some new tech, SON!

4. Cat Video Festival

This is FAR more important than that last thing I mentioned. On October 5th, the Galapagos Art Space in DUMBO will be hosting the The First (and Probably Last!) Annual New York Feline Film & Video Festival for Humans! I mean, are you kidding? How are we just now organizing a festival around feline features (alliteration!)? It seems like this should have been happening biweekly ever since Grumpy Cat rose to prominence.

For non-New York dwellers, this festival is going down in other places as well (Houston, Austin, Boston to name a few), and they are also taking submissions! Your cat could be famous!

5. Get Back Up

amazing design by Tim Bauer

Oh my, would you look at that! You're not going to have too wait too long for this one, because folks, this is happening TONIGHT! If you're in or near New York, come check out this artist showcase put on to celebrate the new fall season and raise money for City Harvest. There's going to be music & storytelling as well as beer & happiness. I'm going to be telling a story, so if you've ever wondered if I'm a real person and not just a blogger robot, tonight's your chance to find out (spoiler alert: I'm a robot, but I am capable of love)!

417 W 57th Street - 8:00 PM - $10 suggested donation (again, all proceeds go to City Harvest). If you aren't blessed to be in the greatest city in the world, share this event with someone who is. Check out the event page for more details!

So these are the things I'm looking forward to. How about you?


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