so much to say

Hola!

Tonight I have the greatest sociological experiment of our time (Jersey Shore–what?) and a Britney appearance at the VMA’s to offer solace after the utterly wacky proceedings of the past week.

Procedurally, the earthquake and Hurricane Irene reflect how interconnected this region is in ways which can confound emergency planning. The earthquake is just plain unsettling, a queasy greeting from earth setting the tone for the entire week. That afternoon, while scrolling through Twitter on my phone, I noted references to some hurricane headed our way by the weekend. WHAT? I thought. That would be even crazier than another round of SamRon!

Cut to Friday, when I surveyed the office where I’m a temp to make sure we’d moved equipment away from windows and cleaned out the refrigerator. Most of the others were working from home, and it was eerily quiet inside the building. Out on the street, though? People were rolling carts (think “grandma carts”, my beloved suburbanites!) with toilet paper, drinking water, and food. Target was out of flashlights and batteries. I ended up rerunning the same kinds of prep at home, and still had my usual weekend errands to do in case we were flooded or the power went out.

I didn’t understand the need to buy whole cases of things. I mean, honestly, during the blackout we had a rough initial few hours but after a day or two, went to the bodegas to find household needs. I didn’t mess around with the grocery store for water this time, either. I went to my corner bodega, where the guys had plenty of gallon jugs with no price gouging. Win!

Tonight I’m just tired of the whole situation, and relieved that I don’t live in NJ anymore, or up in the Catskills, or Westchester or Dutchess counties upstate where the damage looks far worse. I’m upset that I feel as though I didn’t have a weekend, but I’m hardly alone in that sentiment. It will make Labor Day weekend even better.

domestic goddess

This weekend in KD’s food:

 

blueberry pie

chicken francaise

fish & chips and stolen bites of a friend’s McDonnell’s curry over a pot of tea (getting our Irish on)

bits of a Cadbury caramel bar, Trader Joe’s dark chocolate with caramel and sea salt, Trader Joe’s jelly beans

white cheddar popcorn

chips and guac

Samuel Adams Summer Ale

pancakes

Yum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

private life

Last week’s great read: Private Lives, by Jane Smiley. Smiley’s 2010 novel is a portrait of a woman from St. Louis who marries an eccentric scientist and moves with him to California, spanning from the 1880s through World War II. It is an unusual story in that I have not seen a novel which bridges this particular time period before, and with interesting implications. Smiley’s narrator enters life referencing grandparents’ behavior during and after the Civil War, and her husband’s actions during WWII provides the narrative’s crisis point. Critics also pointed out, correctly, that this is another work in Smiley’s oeuvre examining the sometimes troubled nature of women’s roles in marriage, certainly as it was then structured. Elizabeth is very nearly sent into an arranged marriage, or at the least one without a lot of what we might consider romance. My interest in this novel was also piqued by its location, near San Francisco. Owing to the historical period of this story, the characters are also touched tragically by the great earthquake of 1908. Smiley’s rendering of that event is particularly gripped with despair.

say the magic words…

JOB. Or more generally,

Jobs with BENEFITS.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?  I think that would solve my very own debt ceiling problem, much less everyone else’s.

I’m working on that. In the meantime, between temping and freelancing where possible and unpacking, this past weekend it was time to go and celebrate the graduation of two of my cousins from high school and college. This meant that about 700 people would gather under tents to drink beer and marvel at how all of the people who used to be kids are pairing up and having broods of their own. My cousin’s daughter seemed incredulous at the idea that her mom and I played together when we were her age. “Mom isn’t little!” she said. “And you’re older!”

Indeed.

My 18-month old niece is such a night owl that while we were at my parents’ place she just kept going, getting up, would not lie down or go the f# to sleep even when she was staggering over her own body weight, as she did not want to miss anything. Finally she leaned forward arranged two blankies for herself, and fell forward onto them in a tired slump. Which is pretty much my fantasy for August. As is finishing the list of emails, letters and phone calls I owe friends. Tonight I actually read my Twitter feed at the laundromat, where I made sure to wash the blanket I plan to pass out into myself in a couple of weeks. So yes, “job with benefits” and “sleep” = fairytale August/September around here.

deja vu

I know I allude to Big Changes Afoot in my life this summer, and I am not kidding. Let’s make a (partial) list of the mostly happy events, shall we?

  1. Graduated from master’s program. Booya!
  2. Finished intense consulting gig amidst graduation and ongoing work. Yes, I owe some “hi how are you?” emails.
  3. Completed student job. Shot into ether known as “unemployment”.
  4. Moved from NJ to Queens.
  5. Searching for Ginsberg’s next house for us to move again, oh, August 1.
  6. Career plans/long-term employment search underway, in earnest, but I did push pause during July for the…
  7. Short-term, “survival” employment search. Hello, tri-state area! You’ve probably heard from me recently. Yes, you can still hire me part-time. Ginsberg’s catnip is not going to pay for itself!
  8. [Happy stressors, personal life]. Which make 1-7 as enjoyable as possible and life overall a lighter and happier thing. Still, adjustments abound!

Go big or go home, amirite??

I’ve been through similar transitory summers and feeling as though everyone else is on some fabulous vacation while I’m…not. It’s why I felt that this summer was going to be a blip, and I was not going to actually experience it in a restorative or enjoyable sense. No, this was destined to be another of the lean hot stretches during which I could only imagine the fall and relief in the form of cool nights and a more stable (or “known”) routine.

I do try to stay in the present when I can, but sometimes I need to perk up. Part of my daydreams involve incorporating a more relaxed and confident mindset as the “new” normal. I imagine waking up and knowing just where I am, after Ginsberg and I sleep easily through the night with familiar and comforting background noises. I can take the longer mornings I’ve discovered I enjoy–with time for exercise, organizing, and a more gentle start to the day–then going into work where I am engaged, challenged, and able to contribute valuably to my team. I imagine rushing to get to a yoga class and then home, where I can write a little if I like. I see a bright, warm, living space where I welcome friends and cook, and we relax by doing not much of anything. Or going out to eat and walking home at leisure. Most of these events are precluded just by being in grad school, so you see where #1 alone is a boon!

Fall. I know for others living in the moment and continuing to enjoy a fantastic summer is ongoing, as it should be, but some days, I hope the universe forgives me for needing to daydream about a not-too-distant future instead.

start spreading the news…

At long last, I have returned to New York!

The move from New Jersey was every bit as fabulous as every one of your moves has been. Also, I get to do it all over again in August. So enough said on that matter.

Right now, my post-graduate school days are terribly glamorous. I finished my campus job a week ago, moved to my first sublet, and am currently out on the job market. (My tagline: I want to write and collaborate with others to make a difference. Yes, I mean it!!)

Obligatory Whining Section: That is all well and good, but I am in need of rest and relaxation. I still have not had a summer weekend which did not include homework, packing, moving, unpacking, resume and cover letter drafting, or some form of migraine battle.

However, there are bright spots and lovely friends in my midst, so despite all of the above, life is beautiful these days.

I plan to write more–certainly more frequently–going forward. It is an incredible feeling to realize how much time you get back simply by completing graduate school. (Yes, let’s thank Captain Obvious for paying a visit here at Ginsberg’s House.)

Cheers!  Hope you’re enjoying a marvelous summer out there!

 

humble warrior

I’ve been needing to get back to attending a regular yoga class for quite awhile.  This is well documented elsewhere, but practicing at a studio in New York can become prohibitively expensive (over $18-20 per class) when you’re in my world of Ninja Finance.  I’d made lists of the low-fee, pay what you will, etc., courses at studios I intended to investigate over this past fall.

That did not happen. Naturally school continued its maddening tendency to interfere with, you know, having a life, and lo and behold I arrived into 2011 with one of 2010’s resolutions still unchecked.

I’ve started practicing at Sonic Yoga in NYC; they have a student discount, the classes are challenging me, and the people are very friendly. I’m already feeling calmer, happier, and more serene than I have in such a long time, so finding any way I can to do this is going to remain a necessity during these last stressful, hectic months of grad school.  After which I promise you can get snarky with me if I disappear for months on end.

Here’s my favorite thing I’ve done in the last little while:

SUCH a great stretch for your hips. Have a peaceful week.