November 19, 2014 § 6 Comments
The first 12 times someone asked me, “Are you listening to the Serial podcast yet?” I thought they were saying, “Are you listening to the cereal podcast yet?” and I thought, well, THAT sounds boring. I don’t know why I’d listen to that.
So I tried making a cereal version.
Yep. It is as boring as I imagined.
(PS – If you do listen to Serial and you’re hooked, don’t miss this spot-on parody version, which keeps coming out with new and wonderful episodes.)
October 1, 2014 § 3 Comments
I think I read one too many articles about artisanal living and homemade quilts and burlap baby blankets and cast iron bacon. I snapped. And I made this:
This is my goofy little present to you today. Enjoy. Or not. Your choice.
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If you enjoy that sort of thing, you might also enjoy:
September 30, 2014 § 6 Comments
Today is the last installment of the current series I’m writing for The New York Times, “New in Town.”
It was going to be a list of practical tips for anyone who’s facing a relocation. Things like:
- If you’re having trouble deciding whether to move, call someone who has done it recently either from the place you’re leaving or to the place you’re going.
- Don’t fret if you don’t ever reach a point where you’re 100% sure about whether you should take the leap and do it. Are you ever 100% sure about anything? I’m not.
- Label your kitchen boxes in extremely accurate detail. Trust me on this, and if anyone has seen the other half of the parts to my coffee machine, please let me know.
- If you’re thinking of renovating an old house while also living in it with your whole family and two dogs during the process, I might caution you. It’s kind of stupid and I don’t recommend it. We have breathed so much sawdust. So many boxes are still not unpacked. And so many contractors have seen me walking around in my pajamas and my bras hanging to dry on doorknobs.
- Be gentle with yourself as you adjust to the new place. Remember when you had your first baby, and you suddenly went from being a really accomplished professional person who ate to-do lists for breakfast to someone whose whole list for the day was, “1) Feed baby 12 times. 2) Change 200 diapers. 3) Try to shower?” This is like that. There are a million things to do, and the business of life doesn’t pause to give you time to do them. If you can do one moving-related thing a day — fill out the postal forms, get your new car tags, figure out how to use the alarm system — that’s plenty.
- If you possibly can, make some friends where you’re going before you get there, so that when you arrive, you have someone you can call to say you’ve lost your key and have no electricity and need a glass of wine. I was verrrrry lucky to have a dear friend here who housed me 1 million times in her guest room on pre-move trips to do things like find a house, tour schools for the kids, etc. Her extended group of friends are now my extended group of friends. Loose Women Book Club, this one’s for you.
- (More logistical stuff like that.)
The thing is, though, I was writing this last column while on vacation. So while I started out trying to be practical, I ended up getting a little philosophical instead. It’s hard not to, when you’re looking at this:
I was somewhere in the middle of some ocean, on an island that belongs to Great Britain, in a compound owned by Asian people who practice some serious yoga (which I know because I watched them doing yoga from where I sat on my ass reading a book in a lounge chair), surrounded by my spouse and a few of our best friends, plus a cluster of strangers from all over the globe speaking in a variety of languages and accents. I had that same disorienting feeling that you get in certain airports, where you don’t really know where you are and you feel less like an “American” and more like an “earthling.” Being in that place probably influenced what I was writing. So if you don’t like this week’s deep thoughts, blame Earth.
On that note, here’s the article. I had a blast writing this column every week, and I’m so grateful to my editor, KJ, for the invitation, as well as to everyone who read it. Thank you!
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In other news: Now that this series is over, I’ve got time to devote to a few other things. Final edits are due this week on the Penguins with People Problems book that’s coming out next year. (Also, the cover is done, and if I do say so myself, the cover birds are pretty awesome. I can’t wait to be able to show it.) Wheee!
September 8, 2014 § 23 Comments
I’m sure by now you’ve all seen Angelina Jolie’s wedding gown, which had her children’s artwork embroidered right onto the dress.
Some of the fashion reporters have dissed Jolie’s decision to take a perfectly good Versace frock and cover it in scribble, but really? This is a woman who once wore her boyfriend’s blood in a vial around her neck. I’m surprised her dress wasn’t woven from actual human muscle tissue and decorated with the urine splatters of exotic wildlife. Instead of being so uptight, maybe we should take inspiration from The Queen of Cheekbones & Darkness and punch up some of this season’s fashions.
Just look how much better these already great outfits look when you add drawings to them:
By the way, all these outfits came from the Neiman Marcus catalog, so if you want any of it, just buy it and then treat me to coffee and hand me some Sharpies. I’ll spiff ‘em up for you.
Happy almost-Fall, everybody.
The penguins and me
August 26, 2014 § 2 Comments
… turn the volume up and blow it out.
This is a crazy-busy week and I am still trying to wash off the glitter from the weekend. I attended a Hawaiian-themed party dressed as a lit tiki torch. It was a lot of fun, but there was so much sparkly stuff and tiny broken lightbulbs on my floor afterward, it looked like I’d killed Ke$ha and done a shitty job covering up the evidence. I made it into the finals of the costume contest (tip: costumes involving fire / electricity are always a good bet), but ultimately the winner was my friend who dressed as the Landshark from classic Saturday Night Live, and I can’t argue with that. It was good.
Speaking of good times, I’m just going to drop a song here and go. Feel free to adopt it as your theme song or dance to it while you’re sitting in your car or share it with someone who needs it or whatever. It’s “Blow It Out” by The Features:
August 19, 2014 § 17 Comments
This is nothing but a bunch of squishy, delicious puppy pictures.
For context on who this little one is and where he came from, you can get the full story in my column today for The New York Times. Then you can wallow in some more fuzzy goodness here:
Looks like it might take some time for them to become friends.
If Russian spies wanted to kill me, all they’d have to do is send in a spy-assassin-puppy.
There’s some yellow lab in there, but other than that, who knows? We’re going with “blended heritage.”
If you really want to go nuts with puppy goodness, the article at the NYT has video, too.
Oh, and I just want to holler some thanks at the good folks at the shelter and animal hospital where Woodstock lived before we met him. They took mighty good care of the little guy, and we’re glad.