Thursday, March 29, 2018

Thursday Thoughts - neon sign on the horizon rubbing elbows with the moon

1.  Last night I got to see Lola Jean and Baby Seeve (as she says) and get peanut butter eggs Carol made that I then ate for dinner like a rabid child in a specially handmade frock. Only I was in my car outside of Target.

2. Bruce loves toilet paper like it is a glorious gift from the universe put on earth just for him to attack.

3. From the I Am An Idiot File: the lease on my car is up in May, and having never leased a car before, I thought you turn it in right at the end and had no idea why they were contacting me in advance. Wait, the inspection is up a month before the lease? Cool. Cool. Mad dash to make a switch this week. I need to pay better attention to when things expire as if they’re dairy, which I’m vigilant about.

4. Related: I hate cleaning out my car, and every time I have to trade one in, I vow to not store things in there next time like I live in it down by the river, then I break that vow the first day I have it.

5. Good: getting this awesome gift from Sara, it made my whole week. 

6. Sad: Linda Brown, the little girl at the center of Brown v. Board of Ed that ended legal segregation, died. 

7. Bad:  No charges in the murder of Alton Sterling. Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal (explained with a simple diagram). Your president's silence on Stormy Daniels is deafening. People attacking Parkland kids who lived through a school shooting. Lowest of the fucking low, you guys. Seriously.

8. Local friends, consider this a personal invite to MFD's campaign fundraiser on Friday, April 13, near our house. Adults $45/pp, kids 13 and under $10/pp. Can I count on you to be there? You don’t have to live in the district, vote like us, or vote period to attend. I would love to see you. Please RSVP by clicking here and entering the corresponding amount (ie one ticket $45, two tickets $90, two tickets plus a kid $100), then choosing pay at the door if you can, or completing it via card online. Thank you for your consideration. We need to get a head count in soon.

9. Reminder:

10. E-card of the week:
Sanity is knowing you
are going to be
batshit crazy and
this too shall

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Set the world on fire or don't. It's your life.

Throughout March with International Women's Day coming early on and its Women's History Month designation,  I meant to do a series of posts about the various states of women. Here we are two days before the end of the month and this is the first one. The best laid plans, right?

Coming home from an event Sunday night celebrating women, Debbie and I were talking about how much of women's empowerment messaging is tied up in achievements like being a boss and shattering glass ceilings, as if we're only worthy if we do those things. While there were some awesome bosses and glass ceiling shatterers presenting Sunday, this was not the messaging of the event we attended, but as all good events do it sparked a lot of off-shoot conversations on the 45 minute ride home.

As a feminist, I love women who are bosses and shatter glass ceilings. I certainly want all of us regardless of gender, race, orientation, etc., to have equal opportunity and ability to be the boss and ascend to the highest levels in all fields.

But mostly I want women to know who they are and be happy with who they are even as they're working on who they might become next. That goes for all of us, from the glass ceiling breaker to the world traveler who works when she needs to to the stay at home mom and all the millions of us in between.

There's an art to appreciating who you are in this moment while knowing that you are not finished growing into who you will become because we're never finished becoming who we are. In this fast world, society pushes us to constantly think ahead to what we're going to do and be next and I wonder if that art form of appreciating where you are right now is dying.

If you are the woman who has the drive and determination to be the boss and break down the barriers, I support you. If you are not that woman and don't want to be that woman, I support you. It takes all of us to make this world go around.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to set the world on fire. There's nothing wrong if that sounds like too much to you.

There's nothing wrong with living what you consider to be a regular life. There's nothing wrong if that sounds like not enough to you.

We're each on our own path, and we must allow for that and encourage each other when our paths cross, resisting the urge to push everyone down the path we have chosen for ourselves. We all have this one life to do with what WE want.

Don't let the world make you feel like you are not enough or that your life and what you want from it and what you're doing with it is not enough. Don't let the world make you feel like you're too much or that your life and what you want from it or what you're doing with it is too much.

The only person who decides what's enough or too much is you. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

March Recommendations

1. Marshalls/HomeGoods for everything, but especially mirrors. Mirrors are expensive, especially bigger mirrors. Not so expensive at Marshalls. I got a 24x36 for $24 ($30 less 20% coupon from my aunt Dawn).  

2. Old Navy Spring Dresses - I have a lot of dresses. They are my spring, summer, and fall uniform and what I wear the most both to work and to kick around in. Every spring I buy new ones to replace the ones I've had to get rid of - this year I had to say goodbye to one I've worn faithfully for 12 years as well as two other favorites that were worn to hell. I soothed my soul with this one and this one. Sleeveless is fine on the weekends or when I step out into the sauna after work or at lunch, but I have a few cardigans like this one to throw on over them for work.  

3. Shipt - Full disclosure: this is a preemptive try it with me recommendation for those of you who are geographically close to me and have also been dying on the vine since Amazon Fresh ripped our hearts out and stopped delivering to this area. Shipt is now delivering groceries from Target which is good news for people like me who have been buying a lot of groceries from Target (love the Simply Balanced line, just bare chicken, and prices/sales/coupons in general), but the best is that if I need something regular from Target AND cold groceries, they will deliver both. My fellow introvert friend Stacey and I are very freaking excited about this.The yearly fee is $99. From now until 3/30, you can sign up for $49 and delivery over $35 is free and even more importantly for me, same day delivery is available. Full disclosure: if you use the links I've provided, you get $10 in free groceries and can try the service for two weeks and I get $10 in groceries as well. They are of course in other markets as well, so if you're not local, check it out for your area.

What are you recommending lately?

Linking up with Lauren & Bre

Monday, March 26, 2018

TWTW - still feels wintery

My ideal Friday night at 41 is to make a vat of iced coffee and read a book. Check and check this week.
Saturday I had Bruce off to Camp Bow Wow at 8 and MFD and I met Debbie at the train at 9. We met her friend Steph and our friend Dan in the city and saw some other friends along the way at March for Our Lives. Great crowd, great student speakers. You can feel the change coming.
Loved hearing this old song along the way.

To the people saying kids shouldn't have a say for a million bullshit reasons that really at the root is them not wanting to lose their power or to kids doubting themselves...
We picked Bruce up and got home around 2:30, then were soon off to Shawn's surprise 40th over in Jersey. 
Followed up by a benefit for Jenn's Vision, also in Jersey - catch Amanda with the eye protection goggles! Great job Jenn! It was nice to see friends in both places that I don't see in person often.
I was zonked by the time we got home around 11. Mae was done with the day too.
Sunday morning I attempted to sleep in but Bruce wasn't having it. I got sheets in the wash but that's about it before MFD took over the living room. I was hangry and sequestered in my room while MFD filmed a video but escaped to Marshalls to score a $24 mirror for the shore and a dog bed. Then I lounged with the dogs and ignored the shit laying all over my house and tried to ignore the campaign finance guy at the dining room table. Not easy. Why does anyone run for office? It's a fucking nightmare. The system is stacked against regular people. 
Debbie and I headed to Ardmore for Press for Progress, an event to celebrate International Women's Day (March 8), to hear from local women entrepreneurs making their communities better including our friend Jen who owns Fuel Cycle Fitness  with her husband in Ardmore (local friends, check it out!). We met some great women, and I shared my hot yoga horror story with the owner of Positivity Yogis and she had the exact same story so we are convinced the same instructor terrorized us. If I was near Havertown, as an inflexibile non-yoga loving person, I would 100% go to Positivity because her vibe was great. It's all about the energy people put out, you know? It's nice to be at a woman-centered event hearing from women who empower other women and give back to their communities in such a variety of ways and take inspiration from such a variety of things. It truly shows you there is no one path in this life, and that we all need to do it in a way that makes sense to us but that we can support, empower, and accept each other even if we approach life differently.

Weekly food prep: breakfast is scrambled eggs with swiss cheese. Lunch is a quasi shrimp fried rice - still cleaning out the freezer and pantry. Dinner is spaghetti with veggie meat sauce from the freezer. I also cooked beef marrow bones in the crock pot for 48 hours to make bone broth for dogs and humans.

After this weekend, I'm hoping to catch up on my sleep this week. Too ambitious?

How was yours? 

Friday, March 23, 2018

Looking forward to it

Happy Friday! Between the Tuesday-Wednesday foureaster, a 2.5 hour commute home Tuesday and a late train going in Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and today, I’m ready for the weekend. Commute fuckery wears on you, and multiple days in a week is

The state of the world is also wearing on me - the Stephon Clark execution in Sacramento, a dangerous warhumper installed as the new National Security Adviser, a white terrorist bomber in Austin being described as "a nice kid from a great family" in the news, this clown president tweeting bullshit every single day. I can't keep up.

So today, I won't try to. Here are some things I’m looking forward to, not necessarily this weekend, but in general:

A pedicure, using a Christmas gift card. I haven’t gotten a pedicure in forever.

Freedom from boots and coats. My arms and feet want to be free.

Wearing spring clothes - my wardrobe has much more variety in the spring

Turning the heat off and opening the windows

Easter at the shore with Mom and Rich and Swan and Debbie.

Seeing friends this weekend.

Finishing the book I'm reading tonight - it's a good one. It'll be the fourth I've read since Sunday so you might say I'm on a streak of quickly readable books.

Transitioning my calendar to all digital. I never thought I'd do this, and I still can't get the hang of digital lists, but I am finding it easiest to see all calendar stuff on my phone between my work calendar, personal calendar, MFD's calendar, MFD's campaign calendar, shore calendar. The paper calendar is not cutting it for all this shit anymore.

Finishing my shelf project in the basement. Well, starting AND finishing it since I've only really started it in my mind.

Hopefully seeing a lot of you at MFD's Campaign Fundraiser on Friday, April 13. Please let me know if you're interested in coming and I'll get information to you. 

What are you looking forward to?

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Thursday Thoughts - spring will be a little late this year

1. There are few seasonal things that annoy me more than a March winter. The calendar start to spring was Tuesday, and this was the scene Wednesday. It's nearly April. My soul is yearning for spring. While I am thankful for my workhorse winter coat and boots, I am sick to death of wearing them.

2. My nails are calling for spring though, dressed in OPI Excuse Me Big Sur. It took me a weather-related 2.5 hours door to door to get home on Tuesday night and the first thing I did was paint my nails in case we lost power. Priorities, right? Nothing makes me feel less put together than having janky, chipped nails.

3. My fear of losing power priorities were not all vain. I busted a move through five loads of laundry Tuesday night just in case, which meant I had to force myself to put it all away on my lunch break on Wednesday since I was working from home.

4. Thanks as always to the nurses, doctors, EMTs, police, fire, and all emergency personnel who have to make it to work regardless of weather. True VIPs.

5. I saw this this week and it shocked me. Since I am always reading I rarely think about never reading.

6. I hope people show up across America for our kids on Saturday for March for Our Lives. If you are not going to DC,find a March For Our Lives near you. I will be in Philly. Bucks friends, there is a march in Doylestown as well. The Doylestown events are favorites of mine. There are also events in West Chester, Media, Norristown, Pottstown, Allentown, Wilmington (DE), Lewes (DE), Rehoboth Beach (DE), Audubon (NJ), Princeton (NJ), Ocean City (NJ). Put your zip code in on this link, find a location you're comfortable with near you, and show up if you can.
7. Corporate dems, watch yourselves. You literally have no excuse for backing these rollback regulations aside from money you got from lobbyists. It is irresponsible and repugnant. We're coming for you next...
8. After we get these people out of government.
9. Reminder: thanks to my mom for sharing.

10. E-card of the week:
Spring is that you?  I only
ask because you look
strangely familiar . . . do
you have a twin named

Monday, March 19, 2018

TWTW - the one with the birthday

Thursday I turned 41. Some years I have a big plan on my birthday and some years I remain un-showered most of the day and run errands but the one thing I never do on my birthday is work. This year I got to sleep in, go to the library, drink a zillion cups of coffee, wear leggings, spend the afternoon and evening with our friends and MFD, completely avoid the news, hear from so many good people, and spend the day out worry-free knowing my mom was taking care of the dogs. Thanks Mom, and thanks for the cookies and banana cake and chicken salad and rye bread - it saved someone from dying on Friday as I was hangry and had no food ready.

MFD and I headed to New York to meet up with Melissa and Blane, had a hotdog on the street, ambled around, and had dinner at Bea in Hell's Kitchen. It was delicious and very reasonable, a really cute place.
We did pics outside of the theater before the show.
Then it was freaking time! Springsteen on Broadway. I laughed and cried and felt old and young and inspired and connected and happy and sad and hopeful and really all the feelings. Including strained - I was holding that pose for what felt like 15 minutes as someone took our photo. I'd like to think I'll have it in me this week to do a post on this but the truth is I probably won't - it was not a concert in any sense, I think a lot of people think that. It was story telling and story telling through song. It felt cozy and inspiring and it was fucking amazing to see Bruce in a venue with less than 1,000 other people. We encountered the same psycho fan before, during, and after the show which is always good fodder for conversation.
We dropped Blane and Melissa at their hotel and hoofed it back to Penn Station, making the train we thought we wouldn't make which is always good. We got home around 1:30? And I was too amped to sleep so I was up until 3. It was an awesome day.
As every birthday is, because I share it with The Notorious RBG who is very badass. Speaking of, how awesome is this Badass book Melissa got me? I freaking love it. I want to write in all the pages like a junior high school girl with dreams.

Friday started slower than I hoped, but we hit the road around 10:30 with me in my 50 shades of blue to open the shore house. Bruce has absolutely no car chill, which is unfortunate since he will be in the car a lot. We got our apartment mostly sorted amid dog chaos - I meant to go down a few weeks ago and sort of set it to rights because it is not easy to do it when they're there, but I didn't. I took the dogs down to the beach for a little and saw the sunset by the bay on my way to the grocery store. My dad and Carol arrived and we had Piccini for dinner and watched March Madness. 
Saturday I had my crew out at 9 for four mostly fruitless errands in Somers Point, my Dad removed the mirror from one of the dressers and fixed the drawers, he hung the new organizer in the closet (closet will be painted this year), Carol cleaned the top two floors, MFD cleaned up the outside, we moved photos around, got rid of the lighthouse that didn't fit and replaced it with a mirror, and various other things. It was tiring! In the middle Dad got hoagies from Boyar's and we watched basketball before Carol and I took the dogs to the beach.
While all that was going on I made corned beef two ways (one in the crock and one in the oven), cabbage two ways (one in the crock and one sauteed in butter), potatoes, and carrots; and picked up bread from Boyar's. We had the traditional Paddy meal and toasted my Grandmom. Saturday would have been her 86th birthday and no corned beef I've ever had including my own touches hers. Happy birthday Grandmom! Warm brownies Carol made with ice cream for dessert and a glorious sunset. During which I nearly broke my ass - dropped Bruce's leash, he kept going, I stepped on it, my feet went out from under me, both legs in the air, I landed on my hip then my back, and was laying dazed until I was like oh fuck I need to get him. Thank God the person at the stop sign stopped...then again, wouldn't you be sitting with mouth agape as a lady tangled in three pugs went feet up in the air then had to crawl up, limp, and lurch across the street to get her rogue puppy? Yes, you would. I was stiff and sore and hit the hay early.
Sunday I was up at 6 to walk all dogs, then I took Bruce down to the beach with me. So wonderful to be back in my place of peace. When the house is closed, I do not work to find another place of peace so by the end of February I'm angsty. 
Back to do some chalk contact paper and more clean up before putting Bruce to sleep and packing up the car. Even Mae is sad to see the shore in the rear view. I'm relieved that the house is open not just for personal reasons, but also so everything has been assessed and I know what I need to get and do before rental season. It helps clear my mind and I can plot out weekends of when things are happening and get help when I need it. Thanks Dad and Carol for everything, especially taking home a zillion pounds of trash and card board! 
We were home by 1:30, and coming home from the shore is a drag. I finished a book and dithered around about what to start next, which is unusual for me. I also did a load of towels, ate leftovers, and tried to rest. The Bruce Fall made me really sore. I'm happy I changed the sheets Friday before we left. I was in bed early not moving. 

Weekly food prep: breakfast is egg muffins with feta cheese and onions. I also made a batch of power breakfast muffins but had already put them in the freezer and was too lazy to pull out and photograph, so here's a photo of Gus pissed off because he's in a headlock instead. You guys have seen the breakfast muffins a million times. Lunch is PB&J and cucumber slices. Dinner is corned beef leftovers and then either chicken, sweet potatoes, and broccoli, or pasta with frozen veggie meat sauce. 

Thank you all for the birthday wishes here and on FB and Instagram and via email and text. You're awesome. 

Anyone local to Bucks/Northeast Philly or the shore giving away or looking to sell a dresser? I'm in the market. 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Thursday Thoughts - In the day we sweat it out on the streets of a runaway American dream

1. If you're not following Comments by Celebs on Instagram, you are missing out. Thank you Lauren for sharing this gold mine.

2. Somewhere over the last week I forgot that I never owe the world an explanation, even if the world is thirsty for one. I forgot that the world can't take what I don't in some way willingly give. Both of those things are so out of the ordinary for me to even think about that I was operating at like 20% of my normal capacity.  It has been almost five years since I’ve given away my personal power to circumstances or people or the world at large. Taking your personal power back is like running an errand in Mordor: it takes longer than you think, requires more energy than you have to spare, and is a dark, dirty, flesh eating mind fuck on the way there but you drag your ass home even more fierce than you were before because you've been reminded of how vital your personal capital is and you aren't going to let anything fuck with that again any time soon.
3. But today is my 41st birthday and while that whole battle with myself earlier this week was a drag my birthday will definitely not be. We're meeting Melissa and Blane in New York and seeing Bruce Springsteen on Broadway and I could die of excitement, I've been waiting for this forever. Thanks to Mom for picking Bruce Springsteen The Dog up from Camp Bow Wow and hanging with the dogs!

4. While that will be an exciting and awesome end to the day, I'm going to the library in the morning and that's nothing to shake a stick at either. Library love for life. Speaking of, did you catch up on the 56 awesome posts in Show Us Your Books on Tuesday? Man, if you can't find your next great read in one of those posts, you can't find it anywhere.

5. Aside from seeing Bruce Springsteen The Man, I'm possibly happiest about not commuting for two days in a row even though I will be on a train to NYC today. Being on a train for something fun is different than being on a train for work. I've had a series of very late trains and run ins with brain drainers. Yesterday a man  put a hat that was sitting on the seat next to me onto my bag saying very matter of factly, "There's your hat." I told him it wasn't my hat. "Oh...SURE it's not," he replied, his tone and look making it clear he thought I was lying and it was my hat but didn't want to tell him. Dude. Why would I lie. Go away.

6. You've got to have fresh nails for your birthday too. It's a personal rule. Essie Lots of Lux - this is textured polish and it's weird and I won't ever buy another textured polish but I love the color. Excuse the mess, I was painting my nails when the power went out last night. Not the best timing. I could've cleaned them up and taken it again but the world is an imperfect place. Plus Bruce Springsteen The Dog is freaking hilarious in this photo.

7. Another minor purge was picked up yesterday. Thanks Vietnam Vets of America!

8. I can't even, hour by hour now in this administration. Tillerson, Russia, Sessions orchestrating ICE illegal fuckery, fucking insanity abounds not day by day anymore but hour by hour. I'm taking my birthday off from this shit, I've had enough bad energy in my psyche this week. I'm tired. Please refer to Amy Siskind's Authoritarian list as always.

9. Reminder: courtesy of Jay-Z.

10. E-card of the week: me!
Made my March Madness picks on a wing and a prayer. I don't even have any idea who I picked to win.
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