Tuesday, December 26, 2006

To dos

I am lucky enough to have this week off, so, of course, I need a to do list to make sure I don't go insane. My two must-do to-dos are:
  1. Revise my thesis proposal
  2. Do my MFA reading

Other things I hope to get done:

  1. Make headway on redoing our second bathroom. I'd really like to finish it, but I want to be realistic here since I'm doing a lot of the work myself and I've never done this type of thing before.
  2. Put a second coat on the touch up paint in our bedroom; hang art there.
  3. Finish and start knitting projects: Start and finish 2 hats (1 for my dad, one for a friend of the family); finish my mom's scarf; finish B's hat; master the lace knitting scarf pattern; start my fun, adorable pocketbook.
  4. Read the pile of books near my bedside
  5. Work on my break-up friend essay and write a draft of a"who wears the pants" essay I've been thinking about. Edit down my cleaning essay to submit to the Globe.
  6. Decide what photos we want for our wedding album, scan them, and order them. Finally! Also decide which four we want framed and order them. Also order a few honeymoon pics to frame in the hallway.
  7. Scan new clips and ask B to add them to my website.

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Sunday Scribblings: Change

What a fascinating Sunday Scribblings prompt. I plan to write a New-Year-themed post later in the week, so today I'll just write about the concept of change.

I think change is wonderful. It can be scary, but honestly, how boring would life be if it weren't constantly changing? And to take that one step further, how boring would you be if you weren't constantly changing? Life is all about taking on new challenges, and, what's harder for me, allowing yourself to fail.

There is a great article in this month's Yoga Journal about the concept of starting over, and how when you want to make a change in your life, big or small, you have to allow yourself to start over as many times as it takes until the change sticks. This attitude really helps me (and maybe other perfectionists out there?) because when I realize I didn't stick with my plan, I can allow myself to notice it, and then start over. So after I don't go to the gym for four days, I don't wallow in the fact and get down. I just say, today I'm starting over, and then go. Ditto for my more cerebral goals, which I find the hardest to keep, such as stay in the moment, not judging myself, and allowing my feelings to be no matter how much I don't want to feel them. Best Blogger Tips

Essay and other stories

A few of you asked me to post links to my essay when it was published in the Globe, so here your go: http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2006/12/24/the_dog_days_of_december/

There's even a fab pic of my favorite dog.

And here are two other stories in today's Globe. Thanks for your interest, everyone!
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2006/12/24/portrait_of_the_young_bards/
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2006/12/24/a_caroling_mob_takes_to_city_streets/ Best Blogger Tips

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Meme

Thanks to Kim G. for passing this along!

  1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Either is fine with me!
  2. Real tree or artificial? Real, definitely.
  3. Eggnog, hot chocolate or apple cider? Eggnog grosses me out, just the name--bleh! (They should rename that, like they're calling prunes dried plumes now to make them seem more palatable.) But I love hot cocoa, even though it makes me break out. Apple cider is good too, though I associate that more with late fall.
  4. Favorite gift as a child? Hmm. I don't remember too many of the gifts I got early on, but I do remember an electronic cat that my Oma got me. It would move around when you clapped, and it purred when you pet it.
  5. Nativity Scene? Yup, we have a few, though we're not religious.
  6. Hardest person to buy for? I'd say my lil brother. He lives in AZ so I don't see him much so it's hard to know what he has and doesn't. I usually go the gift card route with him, though I hate doing that.
  7. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail - but only to people who I won't see around the holidays.
  8. Worst gift received? Can't think of one. I'm pretty easy to please. I guess if you pressed me I'd say one of the 5 sweaters I got from various in-laws last year. How many sweaters could one person need?
  9. Favorite Christmas movie? I love the Grinch and Charlie Brown, and I crack up at A Christmas Story everytime I see it.
  10. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I pretty much spread it throughout the year, though I do most of it post-Thanksgiving.
  11. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Sure!
  12. Favorite thing to eat? Everything!
  13. Clear or colored lights? Clear, though I kinda want to spice it up next year and add some color
  14. Outside lights? Just on our front windows
  15. Favorite Christmas Song? This year it's that duet, Baby it's Cold Outside. So cute!
  16. Travel or stay home? We usually do a little bit of both, to see B's family, which is local, and mine which is in NY. If at all possible, I like to be home Christmas morning.
  17. Angel on top of tree or star? Star
  18. Open presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? Growing up it was one on Christmas eve and the rest on Christmas morning. But that switched as we got older and my older brother liked to sleep in until noon, and me and my little brother liked to get up early. Then Steven opened most of his gifts at night and now we've morphed into doing most of the gifts that night. But when we're here, it's all about Christmas morning.
  19. Favorite ornament theme or color? I love an eclectic tree with ornaments from our childhood.
  20. Favorite Christmas Dinner? Maybe Italian food? Though I really just like food, in general. :)
  21. What do you want for Christmas this year? Nothing in particular. I'm blessed with a husband who is an amazing gift giver, so I'm always delighted.

Merry Christmas!

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Friday, December 22, 2006

Like a rock

One of the many things I love about my husband is how well he takes care of me when I'm sick (even when that sickness is self-inflicted in the form of too much alcohol). The other day when I drank much too much, he picked me up from the bar and drove my very drunk friend home across town.

Then he was very patient with me as I begged him to stay at said friend's house so I could drink some more. All of this while I spouted funny but very inappropriate things, such as "EVERYONE LOVES BOOBS!" (That was one of the more proper ones.... But tell me, is it not true?)

After he finally corralled me back into the car, I made him listen to Paul Simon, whom I love and Brian hates. When the song Love Me Like a Rock came on, I said (quite a few times) "I love you like rock. Because a rock is solid, and I love you..."and over and over. Until finally I said, "Do you know what I mean? I love you like A ROCK, as in a stone. Not I-Raq, as in the country. George Bush totally fucked that up."

From the mouths of drunks.... Best Blogger Tips

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Note to self

Next time you want to drink 6 cocktails on an empty stomach on a Wednesday night, Just. Say No. Holidays or not, being hungover at work is no fun! Best Blogger Tips

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Win some! (and lose some)

First, the good news: The Boston Globe's City Weekly is taking my essay about Brian and me adjusting to our puppy dog! I'm so excited!

I'm also doing a small article for them on this amazing event Brian and I went to Sunday night: the caroling mob. (I'll post a link to my article this weekend if you want to know more about it.)

Then, the bad: my cleaning essay got rejected from Skirt. I thought this magazine would be a good fit for it, so I'm bummed. I'm wondering if the essay needs tweaking, or if I just need to keep on sending it out there. If anyone who hasn't read that essay for me yet wants to, please let me know. I'd love more comments! Best Blogger Tips

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Yee-haw

Check me out! I've got a small blurb in this week's Sunday Globe Magazine.

(Sunday Scribbling to follow on Monday...I'm having internet problems at home!) Best Blogger Tips

Thursday, December 14, 2006

What I learned from a man

I sometimes read Thisfish's blog, which is mostly about dating in NY. She recently had a post about the 10 things she learned from a man, and I thought I'd steal the concept.
  1. How to fight fair (bug)
  2. How to save and invest (my dad)
  3. How to respond to difficult people with some semblance of grace (my boss)
  4. How to love Christmas (bug)
  5. How to play poker (my cousins)
  6. How to write a coverletter (my big brother)
  7. How to rollerblade (my little brother)
  8. How to develop photos (a male college prof)
  9. How not to break up with someone (in a letter; thanks to a jerk I used to date)
  10. How to make a fort out of your bed and not get out of it all day (bug)
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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A small update

Not sure what to write about, so maybe I'll just catalogue some goings on in this Bug's life.

  • I am officially done with Christmas shopping. Christmas knitting, on the other hand, is still roaring.
  • I've started running with Chloe in the morning. I don't go very far, but it's something.
  • I found a new yoga studio that I love.
  • I've also been meditating myself to sleep at night, which is quite nice.
  • Though I'm still having crazy bad dreams about my upcoming MFA residency. Usually I am lost/forgot to do my homework. So annoying.
  • I'm getting my hair cut by a new person tomorrow. I've had the hardest time finding a hair dresser I like. Fingers crossed...
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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Sunday Scribbilings: Punishment and reward

This week's Sunday Scribbling prompt is Punishment and Reward. Nothing comes immediately to mind about this phrase, so I think I'll just freewrite and see where it takes me.

We had a Christmas party last night, and the reward was getting to talk with people I haven't talked with in a while, including BostonErin, and DJ. It was also nice to chat with my upstairs neighbor over beer, instead of over condo docs and contractor bills, and with my sister-in-law outside of the normal family cauldron. But the punishment for inviting a lot of people was that there were some that I barely got a chance to say hi to.

The punishment for having really high hopes around parties and the holidays is that inevitably the event is disappointing. We were disappointed that a few people who said they'd be there didn't show, and that people left on the early side (a lot before midnight--are we getting too old for late, drunken, silly parties?)

The reward for having high hopes though is that you're an optimistic person in general, so after you wallow a bit in the disappointments, you can spend more time concentrating on the good: Brian made a lot of wonderful food that everyone enjoyed, I got just tipsy enough to laugh a lot but not be hungover today. We got to share our insanely decorated house with friends. We realized the joy in having a Christmas event with friends instead of only with family--the best part being that we could control the guest list and truly be surrounded by people we love. Best Blogger Tips

A poem

As you all probably know, I'm not much of a poet. But I was inspired to write this after two events occurred yesterday. One, I heard a teacher give this exercise to a group of teens at an event I covered for the Globe. The exercise: write a poem telling someone how to do something. Two, a friend announced she was pregnant (and another friend recently announced she was trying to get pregnant).

Here goes.

How to congratulate a friend on her pregnancy
Shriek, "Oh my God, I'm so happy for you!" and mean it
all the while tramping down thoughts
of, I guess I should've appreciated more
the last time we got drunk and talked until 2
about things that had nothing to do with breast feeding or poo.
Say, "You guys will be the best parents!" and mean it
all the while not thinking
I feel lonely already, not initiated into the varicose vein club
Whisper, "That's so amazing," as you touch her tummy, and mean it
all the while refusing to acknowledge the voice in your head screaming,
Why don't you want to do this? Will you ever
And the other voice screaming, Why should I?
Everyone else is doing it doesn't seem a meaningful enough reason. Best Blogger Tips

Friday, December 08, 2006

recurring nightmare

So, apparently I am nervous about my upcoming MFA residency. I have now had 3 dreams with the same theme--I show up for a class and I have forgotten to do the reading and/or I don't know where to go.

The wierd thing is that I don't really feel nervous about the residency. No, I haven't done my reading yet, but I've got weeks to get that done. And I'm really psyched to see all my buddies again. I guess getting workshopped is always nerve-racking, but I should be used to that by now... What could it be?

I guess it will be a break from my routine, which may be causing anxiety? Though that's not usually my M.O.... Maybe getting a new mentor? That will be a scary change since I loved my current one so much... Maybe part of me isn't happy with what I accomplished this semester? Though I wouldn't be surprised because I'm psycho like that, I should be very proud of myself. Maybe making a list of writing accomplishments will help:
  • Wrote 2 short stories that are on their way to being finished. Definitely the best writing I've done ever.
  • Wrote everyday, between blogging and morning pages.
  • Wrote 2 essays that I consider done.
  • Started submitting them places. Though they haven't found a home yet, at least I'm in the game.
  • Reinforced my writing community, through blogging and meeting with locals like BostonErin and Poetmom.
  • Pitched and got assigned some articles for the Globe.
  • Started taking myself more seriously as a creative writer.
OK, let's see if my dreams change tonight... Best Blogger Tips

Monday, December 04, 2006

Short story/novel suggestions?

I'm trying to think of a list of books I want to read next semester. I know I want to delve into these short story collections. Has anyone read anything lately (or in general) that they love? I'm looking for stuff that I can learn a lot from as a writer.

Brief encounters with Che Guevara: stories
by Ben Fountain
The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel
Something I've been meaning to tell you by Alice Munro
Something by Chekhov (suggestions welcome!) Best Blogger Tips

Spent

I am feeling spent. I am sick of writing, sick of knitting, sick of cleaning, sick of shopping, and sick of party planning. Unfortunately, that doesn't leave me a lot I want to do. Tomorrow I will be taking a day off from work to do more of the things I am sick of in preparation for my Christmas party this weekend. I am looking forward to the party at least. Best Blogger Tips

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Sunday Scribblings: The last hour


This week's Sunday Scribbling topic is The Last Hour.


I was struggling with what to post because I am really not in much of a writing mood this weekend. Luckily, though, I finished a knitting project in the last hour, so I'll post a picture of that. It is an Ipod cover for my friend whose birthday is coming up. (The Ipod cover is on the left, the right is the ball of one of the yarns I used to knit it. My next project is a baby hat and slippers for two babies who are coming to my Christmas party next weekend.
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