Friday, May 30, 2008

Another suburban family morning

I sang Synchronicity II while playing Rock Band tonight. Haven't heard the song in years and as I was reading off the lyrics and singing, I remembered how much this song and the album impacted my life, listening at 10 years old, and how this song summed up what I thought the average married adult life was about.

Some of the lyrics that resonated for me as a kid:

Daddy only stares into the distance, there's only so much more that he can take

Every single meeting with his so-called superior is a humiliating kick in the crotch

Daddy grips the wheel and stares alone into the distance. He knows that something somewhere has to break.

He sees the family home now looming in his headlights, the pain upstairs that makes his eyeballs ache.

Many miles away there's a shadow on the door [the monster from the lake]

This song was all about my father. My father would come home, angry, talking about his own humiliating kicks in the crotch, drink and verbally snap, his way of handling his constant life disappointments and the reminders of his financial responsibilities. My mom's method for handling all of this was to just ignore his tantrums while I, a child, was caught in the middle and often asked to play armchair psychologist (I had already read Freud by that age and was reading Jung because of The Police). For me, the monster was not at the door but in the house making himself at home. I was terrified a lot of the time.

This was my parent's life. Sting was singing about it so it meant others lived this way too. So, this is what marriage was and I had to avoid at all costs being in a marriage and bearing the brunt of this from a husband.

Eventually I realized that my parent's relationship wasn't what everyone had. My aunt and uncle moved down to Florida a few years later and provided a positive model of adulthood and marriage but I have always struggled with the idea that eventually, a marriage would turn someone into the kind of person that grips the wheel and hates me and his life.

As I've grown older I think that it is I who would feel this way instead.

Wow, this sound awful, doesn't it?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Whoa!!

I was talking with a friend of mine about my weekend and that I made pizza. He asked if I made the dough from scratch (yes) and the sauce (no). I told him that I can't seem to make a good tomato sauce. The only period in my life in which I did was before I went away to college and lived at home. Back then, my sauce was so good that tasting it while cooking put the entire sauce in danger of being eaten before mixing it with the pasta. I said to him, "well then I went away to college and by the time I was able to cook for real again, I forgot what I put in it. Now, it's always too acidic. I can never get it right."

He says, "Maybe it's your pans."

"Well, before I went away to college I cooked in really nice pans and since graduating, I've had these shitty pans. I really want new pans, especially All-Clad, but I've put it off..." and as I tell him this it hits me why I've had shitty ass pans all of these years and I yell, "Holy crap! I haven't bought good pans because it's something I've expected to get as a wedding gift! I haven't bought good pans because it's what you get when you're settled!"

I have unconsciously not bought good pans and have used bad pans for oh, 11 years because somewhere, buried in my subconscious, I have associated good pans with marriage. Marriage equals registry equals high-end kitchenware from Williams-Sonoma. And I never even believed in registries! How on Earth did that happen? Well, I guess since I've deconstructed every wedding/marriage belief and fantasy I've ever had growing up, one was bound to get missed.

My friend then says, "You're settled. Get your All-Clad. Make the sauce."

Absolutely right. I'm so totally getting a new set of awesome pans!

Monday, May 26, 2008

What I did on my information vacation

It's only 7pm, but vacation is over because as soon as this blog post is done I'm doing laundry and possibly cleaning the apartment.

The only stuff I did on the computer (including the iphone) is twitter, play a game of scrabulous, read the NYTimes, and upload some photos to flickr. I didn't touch my email, read any blogs or watch TV. So what did I do? For the most part, I spent my weekend in the park. Saturday, after working at the co-op, I stopped by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to say hello to two coworkers and then napped on a secluded bench. I stopped by the library hoping to score Haruki Murakami's "A Wild Sheep Chase" or any Murakami book I haven't read (nope, I cannot be spontaneous about books in the central library. I always fail). Instead, I went through my pile of books I got for free at the BN.com giveaways and settled on "Elsewhere." Took me a few pages to realize that Elsewhere was a young adult novel, but hey, at that point I was already ensconced in the park and wasn't going to go back home to pick something else out.

Sunday I spent the entire afternoon in the park lounging, reading and writing in my journal. Heading back home, I came across a gingerbread church off the path. This thing must have been in someone's house for the past five months!


In the evening after a run (sans podcast), I made pizza from scratch (made the dough, but not the cheese), enjoyed a glass a wine and watched Brokeback Mountain which was absolutely the most boring movie I've seen in a while plus I needed subtitles to understand Heath Ledger.

Today, I woke up early again and headed back to the park to finish the teen novel. L. was there with her son and we hung out. On the way back home, I made a point to walk past the gingerbread church, which had collapsed, probably due to moisture as the steeple wasn't crushed.


I made another pizza from yesterday's leftover dough, which I promised to post a photo of for L. This one, while tastier, larger and thinner than the one last night, got stuck to the pizza peel while going into the oven and some cheese and sauce slid out of place. Still, it was beyond edible (yes, I love a lot of basil and after this photo was taken, I drizzled evoo all over this baby and topped it off with freshly grated parmigiano reggiano)!


So this was a great weekend! I got to see some peeps, relax, read, cook, think and enjoy life! I did think about what I was missing on the blogosphere, but it will be there tomorrow. I'm in no rush to read it. :-)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

let me borrow that (black) top

Even though my cousin makes fun of me for wearing black every time I come down to Florida (it's called packing light, B.), I realized this morning while getting dressed that I have completely reduced the number of black shirts to such a degree that I don't even have a nice black top to wear to work anymore.

This all started because I had a "talking to" by friends and family a few years ago about how I needed to branch out from only wearing black. Now the only black items I own are said t-shirts, two sexy black sleeveless tops I cannot wear to work, a black cashmere sweater, and three dresses.

I think I was too successful in excising black from my wardrobe. I need an all purpose black top to dress up or down.

And because I'm talking about tops, here's Kelly! (ZOMG! LOVE Kelly!)

Information vacation

I consume a lot of information. Every day I read my favorite tech blogs, read the New Yorker on the train, read the New York Times online, scan local message boards at home, scan work-related message boards at work, listen to NPR while working, listen to podcasts while running, watch TiVo while emailing. And so on.

All of this information can be inspiring and it all churns around in my head. I find some creative and professional inspiration and go home and play around with it. That's very gratifying even if nothing comes of it.

However, since I'm a loner at heart, an only child used to amusing herself, I'm aware that I can easily get caught up in keeping myself occupied, and it's also a side effect of being alone.

Sometimes I think about what good all of this constant information serves. Yeah, it's nice knowing things, I like being on top of what's going on. When I'm away from my computer for a weekend... wait, that's so unrealistic... Ok, when I'm away from my computer while down in Miami, I come back and see how many unread posts I have in my aggregator. There's this constant supply of information that I can never fully be up on. I could easily be a slave to it, putting aside real-life activities for the (very real) joy of information acquisition. So when I downloaded snackr tonight (and I love it!), it was a signal of my need to slow down and re-establish some balance.

I wasn't too happy about the Memorial day weekend rolling around (it always seems to catch me off guard) since I have zero plans, but now I plan on taking an information vacation. Or as much of one as I can.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

you're gonna belt that, right?

I wore a belt with my jeans yesterday. I really hate belting pants and normally I'll refuse to wear them but I needed to, those jeans are pretty low rise.

When I was a kid, I was a tomboy who would run around in either shorts or skirts. I hated wearing pants and my mom, for whatever reason, would always put me in pants or dark washed jeans when I needed to be "presentable." Funny, she never made me wear fancy dresses. It's almost like she knew I hated pants and therefore demanded pants whenever I needed to be paraded in front of adults (maybe it was a feminist thing). The pants? They would always be belted.

(I can't believe she put me in pleats, too.) So belts = stuffy and uncomfortable. The minute I was allowed to choose what to wear I ditched the belts. I know it drives her nuts that I don't wear them, either.

Unfortunately, I guess I couldn't avoid them because when my mom was in town last year, I put on those jeans I wore yesterday and while walking around the city, she saw me hiking them up several times and insisted that we stop somewhere and buy a belt. And wear it. So ok, she had a point and every once in a while (meaning: only when I wear those jeans) I wear a belt.

Heh, my mom still can make me wear a belt.

Monday, May 12, 2008

fonts

I watched the documentary Helvetica last night and loved it. My uncle, quite possibly the person who's had the most varied impact on my life, was interested in typeface when I was a kid and had typeface booklets laying around that I would love to look at and copy. So this movie was beyond interesting to me. It's probably why I immediately loved brandtags.net. The idea is that you go to the site and are shown a brand's logo and you're supposed to respond with a word or a phrase that you associate with the brand. But it's the response page that's enjoyable. Varied font sizes correspond to the number of responses. Take a look at the Playboy page (which I picked because of the variety of course) and just scroll down. Isn't it lovely?

nothing exciting

It's late, not crazy late, but late for a Sunday night to be up and watching really bad TV. As soon as I'm done writing this blog post I'm going to skim through Time Out New York and I guess try and go to bed.

I looked at the forecast for the week and supposedly it's all rain which is a shame as I made the decision to try and rotate through all of the Spring/Summer shoes I have instead of wearing the same ones over and over. I really don't want to wear rain boots all week.

I had a great time Friday night with former PRN coworkers but the weekend was too quiet. Watched movies, cooked, hung out in the park on Saturday. Today woke up late, walked around, cleaned the apartment. Meh, nothing exciting.

Friday, May 2, 2008