In a little over a week I will be hitting my mid-thirties. This for some reason scares the bejesus out of me. When I was a kid, I thought by now my friends and I would all have our shit together. We would all have 2.5 children and a white picket fence.
A., I, and some friends headed over to the Steampunk Festival in Waltham this past weekend. I am not going to lie, my goal was to gawk. I am pretty open-minded when it comes to people’s preferences, but for some reason the idea of walking around with a bunch of gears attached to your head is a bit bewildering to me.
That being said, I learned some valuable lessons along the way and was happy to see so many people out and about embracing their true selves.
It has been a disheartening week. The news out of Cleveland, the ongoing saga here in Boston of the Tsarnaev brothers and their friends and family and everyone’s role in the bombing, the sexual assault charges brought against the man who’s supposed to be preventing sexual assaults in the Air Force – each of these stories alone is bad, but together they’re overwhelming enough to make you think that humanity is in a terrible place. Clearly we deserve that zombie apocalypse that’s heading right for us. I am only sort of kidding.
So let’s focus on something else instead for a moment. Let’s think about one of the best part of humanity. Let’s talk about Delaware. (That’s not where you thought I was going, was it?) Continue reading »
Have you ever looked at toys with a toddler? I’ve been in the toy aisle of Target with my 4 year old a bunch of times, and it is amazing how long it takes to pick out a simple toy car. We try to stick to Target and avoid an actual toy store for fear that in a space filled only with toys, it would take us a full 24 hours of negotiating the merits of this toy over that one only to have his head explode in the end over the sheer possibilities. Choosing just one from the many options is a marathon event for him. I think it stresses him out.
As impatient as I tend to get during this process, in many ways I’m sure I’m no better at making a decision. Sure, with the small stuff I decide fast – what to have for lunch, what music to listen to at any given moment, what book to get from the library (when it comes to books, I just get everything). But with bigger stuff like jobs, a house, marriage, kids, these things took me ages to decide. Ice ages, in some cases. I don’t like to cut out any options, and obviously making certain decisions means you forgo the opportunity to make certain others. Continue reading »
I am 5’3″. This occasionally poses significant problems for me. Like when I am at a general audience concert. I try to press to the front, but alas, someone taller will always stand in front of me.
Case in point, two weeks ago on Saturday night after all the hullaballoo died down, A., my friend Erika, and I went to see The Dead Milkmen in concert at The Sinclair. I was psyched. I have been of fan of their snotty punk rock since my formative years. They haven’t toured in forever. I got my tickets in advance. I WAS READY TO ROCK.
About a month ago, Michelle asked if a couple of us from the blog would help her friend’s daughter with a project. The kids in her first grade class each have this little stuffed dog called Paws that they mail to different people around the country, and each person is supposed to take the dog to a variety of locations in his or her city, take some pictures of it at local landmarks, and then write up a little blurb in the dog’s travel journal about the city and the dog’s experiences there. Of course, I was proud to show Paws around Boston and the city just outside of it where I live, Watertown.
“Boston is a tough and resilient town. So are its people.”
- President Barack Obama
I have not moved from my TV since about 3 p.m. A. had to bring me a glass of wine to calm my nerves. I can’t seem to quite put words together about how I feel right now, so bear with me.
I have lived in Boston (not counting two years I spent in glorious Toronto) since 2001. I moved from New York to Boston on Sept. 15, 2001. You can do the math about when I moved and how my nerves were already shot. But I bounced back, and while the memory never fades, the constant fear does. Continue reading »
Here I am, hanging my head in shame – really, I am – because I haven’t had time to write up a full post this week because instead I’ve been reading. A lot. This used to be the norm for me; I wasn’t happy unless I had four or five books stacked next to my bed, or possibly on it, even while I was sleeping there. I was always in the middle of two or three books simultaneously because I couldn’t decide which one looked best. I would regularly read until 2 a.m.
I don’t do these things so much anymore due to the demands of kids and work, keeping up with relationships, and a million other things, both serious and stupid, that pull at my time. But I do have a reading list going, and after AWP, I pulled it out because I wanted to add a few novels, a few authors. The result was a trip to the library where I boldly checked out three novels and one memoir, probably 2,000 pages all told, that I will attempt to get through in the next three weeks. Continue reading »
At AWP a few weeks ago, I attended a panel discussion on writing and motherhood. During this talk, four women plus the moderator talked about their experiences as writers and mothers and how those worlds intersected (on good days) and collided (on bad). It was an interesting panel, and overall I felt inspired when I left it, but I was uncomfortably reminded of one thing that it behooves you to have if you want to be a writer: money.
You may want to say, “DUH, it is always better to have money,” so let me just state that I know that. Obviously. Yes, it is always preferable to have some money rather than be faced with an empty checking account when you still haven’t paid your electric bill. But there is a heavy, painful truth to needing money if you’re going to take the time away from a more traditional job to create, as evidenced by things like Amanda Palmer’s TED talk about how artists should give away their art for free and this lovely bit of satire from The Onion about doing what you love but only in your free time. If you don’t have money, it is a Herculean effort to get anything significant done. As someone who has been trying to figure out for years how to get in some extra writing time when I can’t afford to hire childcare unless I spend my “spare” time working, I know this firsthand. It’s quite the conundrum, and oddly, it’s one the otherwise great panel at AWP didn’t address at all. Each of those women said they had childcare of one sort or another, whether it was your standard day care or the more unusual – and arguably more fun – drag queen who happened to live in the same building and love babysitting. For some people, neither thing is a real option, and yet, they don’t want to give up trying. (Maybe this is the problem, maybe we should all just give up.) Continue reading »
Last night A. and I ventured out from our suburban cocoon down to the Orpheum Theater to see Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. It was a birthday gift for A. and we were beyond psyched. The Bad Seeds are one of those bands that I had listed on my bucket list to see live. I love going to concerts, but depending on who you are seeing it can be pricey and not always worth it. (However, one of the best concerts of all time was when Katie and I saw George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic. It was a Sunday night, and we left the still-raging concert at 1 a.m., since we were responsible adults who had to be at work the next morning.)