Sunday, May 10, 2009

book help

OK, 3 posts in a week; are you guys feeling the love?

I need some book help. I have a STACK of to-read books, and it's growing to the overwhelming stage. And when I get overwhelmed over too many decisions, I just need someone to tell me what to do (even though I really, really hate to be told what to do. I know-- I'm an enigma, wrapped in a conundrum, shrouded in a mystery, drinking a cup of coffee and whimpering about books).

I just read, nay-- devoured Orangette's A Homemade Life. I read it in one morning, curled up in the corner of Brian's bed while he packed for his trip. I just loved it, and if I could write a book, it would be this sort of book. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes her website, or food.

Now, in the nonfiction category, I also have:

Color, A Natural History of the Palette,
Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife,
Bill Bryson's Shakespeare: The World's a Stage, and

(not yet started)
Gilda Radner's autobiography, It's Always Something,
The Worst Hard Times, about those who survived the Great American Dust Bowl, and
I'm Perfect, You're Doomed, the memoirs of a disfellowshipped Jehovah's Witness

Ohhhh, and my France guidebook.

In the fiction category, I have

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, and

(not started)
The Road
The Housekeeper and the Professor, and
Geek Love

aaaand, I really really want to re-read HP6 before the movie comes out.

Sooo, what do I do? Please help.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

the wonder of technology

OK, so, you know how some people come into your life so circuitously, it's hard to even explain how they got there? It was always so easy when I was younger-- oh, we went to college together, or oh, we go to the same church. Now, 32 years, 4 states, an insanely crazy job, and an information superhighway later, I have these people, these lifeblood friends that I couldn't do without if I tried. I have bi-coastal coffee breaks with Ashley in Boston, talk to Erin while she's in Target in Texas, and watch the same DVR'd shows with Tom in New York while instant messaging. WOW, that's so nerdy and awesome.

Today I want to tell about the one that is Krysten. She and I met, as people these days often do, online. She grew up with an ex-boyfriend of mine, ran into him at their 10-year high school reunion, and they exchanged blog addresses, as we did in the pre-facebook era. She read my blog, which was linked on his blog, and I did the same. Soon we were exchanging blog comments... then e-mails... then phone calls... then one day (some time after the boyfriend had moved on,) I flew out to Phoenix to visit her. Four years later, I swear I see her more than any other friend or family member. At the very least, twice a year, sometimes for major holidays like Thanksgiving or Easter, always for at least one of our birthdays, and this year, a 2-week holiday to Europe. She is quite simply one of my most favourite people in the world, and one I wouldn't have met without the glory of the interwebs.

I bring her up today because she really made my day yesterday. We all have different friends who perform different roles in our lives. I always call Amy, for example, when I need a self-esteem boost, because she always always makes me feel good about myself. I call Danael when I need someone to really really listen. And I call Krysten when I need someone to reinforce what I already really know deep down, but am trying to justify something else. She is a hardass in the best possible sense of the word, and sometimes, I don't even need to call her, because I know what she'll say, and rather than disappoint her by telling her that I'm leaning toward the wrong decision, I just do what I know she'd tell me to do. I know that was like, the awkwardest sentence alive, but I trust she (at least) will know what I meant.

So, yesterday I was having somewhat of a low self-esteem day. It happens to the best of us, I know, and I'm not generally a low self-esteem kind of person, but I've been really busy, had a lot going on and not a lot of me time, and have had this one thing on my mind (the one I'm not asking her about because I know what she'll say) that is driving me crazy, with its little pointy edges, poking around in my head, and forcing me awake at 6am or God forbid, earlier. So yesterday, of course I was up early, forced that thing aside, spent the morning reading (I do love to escape into someone else's world for a bit), decided to go out, couldn't find a single outfit that made me feel any better about myself, got all disgruntled about money when my favourite sommelier was missing from the bar (the one that always refills my glass and "forgets" to charge me for it), until I got home, to a present from Krysten.

It wasn't anything major, just this fizzy bath thing from this store that we both like, but it was truly the thought that counted-- a surprise from one of my favourite people, for no reason at all, on a day when she had been on my mind. I stuck my nose down in the wrapping and immediately sneezed, a big, deep, fizzy-lemon sort of sneeze that made me laugh out loud and literally hug the box.

So, thanks, Krysten... for the gift of course-- I can't wait to use it, but also for being YOU, for inviting a stranger into your home and into your life, for always being thoughtful and supportive, and for being my conscience even when you don't know you're doing so. I think that's the very highest praise I can give you.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

on the flip side

So, after working 14-16 hour days for 23 days straight (yes, 23 days STRAIGHT), it is my week off. The first day, understandably, was spent in the bar, as it was Cinco de Mayo, and I just couldn't face my mountain of laundry and dirty coffee cups and dust. Yes, there were mountains of dust. Where on earth does it come from? Yesterday I avoided housework again by meeting Seth for lunch and a movie (Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; it was truly awful), some shopping that I couldn't afford, then wine and cheese at the Biron, dinner at Zuni, and dancing with Brian and the Burrs. It was the funnest evening I've had out for a while, but despite my running around allll day and drinking well into the night, I popped up at 5am like I have every other day in the last 23. Grrrr!

I decided to pay attention to the universe (because honestly, it's been lobbing some doozies at me this week, and I just keep ducking... but that's another story for another conversation) and get my toosh out of bed and back to productivity.

By noon I had had a pot of coffee, watched LOST (kudos, really), washed, dried, and folded three loads of laundry (all pajamas and red shirts-- sad), gone to the market, made myself lunch, cleaned the kitchen, dusted and vacuumed the entire house, colored my hair, and had a long conversation with Krysten about whether we should take nicotine gum to Europe with us since neither of us have a prescription for Xanax. (Coincidentally, I tried a piece about an hour ago and it gave me a headache, so I think I'll pass. It was a good idea though.)

Now, back to me. I have Orangette's new book, A Homemade Life, a nice frosty glass of vinho verde in my hand, and the soundtrack to Amelie on my iPod. This is what days off are supposed to be. Enchanté.

Edited to add: the perfect cap to this afternoon? Sitting cross-legged on the kitchen counter talking on the phone to Erin, eating apricots, and having a 2nd glass of wine.