NYE 2010

as the celebrations gear up and the year 2010 draws to a close, i wanted to wish you a happy, healthy, and hilarious 2011.

thanks for reading, for commenting, for sharing this blog space with me as i muddle and mumble my way through. your company makes this corner of the blogesphere feel like home.

*raises champagne glass*

here’s to another year together.


open to interpretation

even if i have the recipe right in front of me, my cooking skills are not top notch. sure, i can complete the most basic of dishes, but don’t expect me to prepare a full color oil painting type dish. it’s best if you only expect a stick figure meal from me.

sister J and i were tasked with completing christmas dinner while mom, dad, and sister E went out to spread the holiday cheer. this is a multi dish dinner and one we’ve helped mom make over the years. we were floating high with the christmas spirit and figured it’d be no big deal. what we didn’t account for was the absence of mom’s knowledgable eyes watching over us. our cooking efforts rapidly distintigrated.

J: should i err on the side of too many cashews or too few?

me: too many. everyone loves nuts. (TWSS)

meanwhile, me: *stirs vigorously* J, this chocolate sauce isn’t so much a sauce. it’s more of a tar. think i should add more water?

J: yes. no. I DON’T KNOW! help! this cashew butter is just a pile of cashews. it’s too salty.

me: *eyes pot* *tastes* *tongue shrivels from excess salt* i think you should have erred on the side of too few nuts.

our laughter boiled quicker than the sauces. eventually i got the chocolate sauce to thin (too much, of course) and J fixed the cashew butter and the dinner turned out almost as delicious as ever, though we did get a few “i’ve never seen it done this way before.” that’s what happens you leave a project open to someone else’s interpretation.

it’s like reading a book. when you sit down to read, you bring your own life experiences and information with you. when the author wrote that scene about a family dinner, he might have meant it to be a minor scene, one to show the dynamics of the family, but when i read that scene, i flashed back to that one time sister J and i had to take charge in the kitchen. neither of us suspected we’d have to call on all of our culinary knowledge and since said knowledge is rather limited, we laughed to cover the gaps because we were down in the trenches together, family style. i automatically think of family dinners as major scenes, not minor moments.

it’s just like my coworker said, “a book is never complete until it’s read.” and that’s because the author writes the story they intended, but i read the story as it relates to my life and you read the tale as it exists in relation to you and he reads it with his rose tinted glasses and she reads it with a cynical slant and on and on. the most successful stories make us all feel like the story was written exclusively about ourselves.

perhaps THIS is why i read. i’m looking for bits of myself. my definition of self is still evolving and so finding pieces of myself as i relate to the story, to the author, to my surroundings, to my family, to my life helps to solidify my view of me.

so in this post holiday haze, i declare we should all keep reading, keep cooking, keep learning, keep living. they’re all noble pursuits.


santa’s secrets

december 24th has always been a magical sort of day, especially when the stockings were hung by the chimney with care cause we knew SANTA WAS COMING!

GROWING UP. santa’s arrival was SUCH AN EXCITING THING, it was impossible to sleep in. since my poor parents had been up to all hours getting things ready, they refused to get out of bed before the sun was up (how rude), but we weren’t allowed to open presents until they were awake. what a conundrum! and so to contain our energy (read: delay the inevitable), they compromised with us: we could open stocking gifts without parents present. and so. we did. at 5am. and then we’d fall asleep waiting for mom and dad to wake up before the main show (breakfast, getting dressed, making beds, and then OPENING PRESENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) could begin.

NEXT. we got older and found out what (or rather who) is behind the magic. at first, it seems a bit disappointing, but then you realize the magic is still there because when you think about it (and you do), you understand that it really does take magic to pull off an event like christmas. (and you thank your parents for the efforts they put in all those years). and you get excited by the holiday all over again.

AND THEN. i was lucky enough to have sister E be born when i was 11, which meant we got to play along with the santa magic, except this time, WE were the magic. i don’t have to tell you how cool it was to be in on the secret. to be the one eating the cookies and drinking the milk and nibbling the carrots left out for santa and his reindeer. to be the one who’s footsteps could be mistaken for a reindeer on the roof. sister E outgrew it, but nieces and nephews catapulted onto the scene and so us being the magic continued. happily.

AND NOW. all those years believing + all those years being means the magic for me is still tangible. probably because i want it to be. and i don’t mean i want it to be true that one man flies all over the world delivering presents and taking credit away from mom and dad. what i mean is that i now know how hard this holiday is on everyone and so i want the magic to inflitrate our worlds as laughter and relaxing moments and shiny lights and warm family moments and getting to sleep in.

thanks for putting on a merry show again this year, Santa, i mean, mom and dad. 


admit one

on sunday, i took myself on a date to see HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, PART 1. this is only the second time i’ve ever seen a movie by myself. (i know, i know…) it’s mainly because going to the movies isn’t my thing and so for me, going to the movies is a social outing. if there is no one to go with, i don’t go.

however, HP is an important franchise and one that i refused NOT to see on the big screen. everyone else had either seen it, didn’t care to see it, or couldn’t rearrange their schedules. it was then i had the following exhange:

me: self, would you like to go to the movies with me?

self: why, yes. yes, i would.

me: i’ll bring the popcorn!

self: i’ll bring the soda!

me: and when i get home, i’m going to enjoy having sole possession of the remote control.*

self: life rocks!

i’m the kind of person who should go to the movies alone because due to my excessive reading i find it difficult to watch movies. (read: i ask A LOT of questions.) it’s annoying. i know this. but i can’t help it. the visual of the video often doesn’t compute in my brain. i think it has something to do with the fact that i’m not controlling the pace of the movie. when i read, i can go forward, backward or sideways within the text, but when watching a movie, the director is in charge of the movement. i become the gal who’s adding her own soundtrack by whispering WHAT? HUH? WHO’S THAT? I’M CONFUSED.

someone should just hand me a bucket of popcorn to shut me up.

or i could continue going to the movies alone. without anyone to ask what is going on, i’m forced to pay attention.

or i could continue reading. the book IS always better.

p.s. speaking of hollywood, as i was on my way to the theater, i passed by casey affleck. it is christmas time and he is from massachusetts, so i’m 99% sure it was him. especially since i did a double take and the woman (his wife?) walking behind him with a little girl smiled knowingly at me. (wait a sec. he’s married to summer phoenix. HEY, double celebrity sighting!) this means i’ve now seen more members of the affleck clan than any other hollywood family. jennifer garner ran past me a few years ago as i was walking to work.

p.p.s. it looks like walking everywhere has more than just health benefits. well, if you consider spotting celebrities a benefit, which, I MOST CERTAINLY DO.

*i can’t take credit for this line. it’s from WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING, my most favorite movie ever. don’t judge.


not my words

i’m not feeling very wordy today, so instead of bugging you with unimportant jibber jabber of my own, here are some others’ words, images, idea that entertain me…

patrick ness talking about the CHAOS WALKING series.

a holiday creature was stirring by bats langley.

top 10 DAMN YOU AUTO CORRECTs from november.

great article on nailing the teen voice by lydia sharp.

a serious article by carrie harris on the lure of the paranormal. and yes, her serious is as profound as her funny.

a funny tweet by @FakeEditor: “Dear Author: Best of luck in your “writing career.” Yes, I’d love fries with that.”

a seasonal picture from things organized neatly. gorgeous!

a post on how and why her life is changing by kristen munson. GAH. i want to write like this. or, well, have something like this to write about!

a picture i hope i emulate someday from ally condie’s blog.

an interesting viewpoint from kiersten white on why authors shouldn’t read reviews of their work. the irony is, of course, that in order to write the post kiersten had to read reviews!

another beautiful seasonal photograph from ann finkelstein. it looks like something charlotte would have left over wilbur’s pen.

an important writing point wrapped up in a heart meltingly cute picture from (again) kiersten white.

the most hilarious take on what stress and expectations can do to a person from hyperbole and a half.

veronica roth on how sometimes NOT WRITING is a good idea.

a stunning, not seasonally correct picture from things organized neatly. mmm, summer.

the beginning of a cool writing experiment by kelly breakey and karla nellenbach.

instant haiku, just add water by adriana kirilova.

a post from linda grimes that at first glance is all silliness, but is really a love letter in disguise. I WANTS.

hands down the best post i’ve ever read on SHOW DON’T TELL by tawna fenske. a must read even if you’re not a writer.

a coworker: “a book is never complete until it’s read. please read.” (subliminal plug for my current job + my [haven’t yet achieved] dream job.)

see, aren’t their words, ideas, images brilliant?