December in New Orleans…

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The start of my trip to New Orleans was derailed slightly by a car accident on the highway. It looked and felt pretty dramatic and it left me a little sore today, with a bruised tailbone (a literal pain in the butt), but I’ve managed to take it in stride and enjoy my limited time in a city that I’m reminded again just how much I love.

After a delicious breakfast this morning at the Ruby Slipper Cafe, I spent the day wandering some of my favorite parts of the French Quarter, looking at (and buying) art, chatting with lots of interesting people, and enjoying the miraculously beautiful weather. I had thought that I might end up heading back to the hotel at some point mid-afternoon to nap, but instead walked and walked and didn’t get back to the hotel until about 6pm, when I had a quick rest.

An hour later I was picked up by an old friend who lived in my building in New York for many years, before moving back to New Orleans about eight years ago. We caught up over dinner at Pizza Delicious (it was definitely that) and it was wonderful to see her and chat about anything and everything.

I came back to my hotel, left for a bit again to get some provisions (seltzer and snacks) and then back to my hotel room to ice my tailbone (ah yes my glamorous life) and get into my pajamas. Now here I sit, exhausted and still so happy to be here, but also thinking, why again did I commit to Holidailies…have I mentioned that I’m exhausted?

So, there it is. A play by play of my delightful (yet not particularly exciting) day. May tomorrow’s entry be a little more exciting. (Note to self: don’t wait until 11pm to write a blog post, when you’ve spent the entire day tiring yourself out.

Until tomorrow…

Apparently this is a thing I do…

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So, it’s December 1. 4:43am to be exact and I’ve made the rash decision to participate in Holidailies. I gave up writing online regularly about a hundred years ago, but seem to periodically revisit the idea when all of the Holidailies hoopla starts appearing. These days I generally channel my online energy into posting pictures on Instagram and ranting about the state of our union on Facebook. Manageable online engagement.

I have no business adding an additional commitment to my December this year. My life has become hectic and stressful and I’ve been repacking my suitcase weekly for the last month. I have three more trips planned this month, including one that begins this afternoon to New Orleans, for which I have not yet packed my suitcase. On Monday I’ll be at a conference there with some people I love and admire, but decided to give myself the weekend away in a city I love. Though, a big part of me would currently prefer to remain in my own bed, I know it will be good to take some time for myself. Beignets and oysters and wandering the French Quarter, here I come.

My next trip is down to Florida on the 12th, to help my parents move from the four bedroom house where they’ve lived for 46 years (my childhood home), into a much more sensible condo. This trip will be the culmination of several previous ones, a Herculian effort shared by my whole family, where we have literally dug through nearly a half century’s worth of stuff, from decaying stuffed animals to antique china, to negotiate a house sale, an estate sale, and a move, on the way to a lighter, less stressful life for all of us, especially my parents. More on that in a later post, I am sure.

My final trip of the year is just for me. A vacation, finally. A New Year’s cruise where I can relax and unplug (and maybe get a final few Holidailies posts in) and recharge for a better, less stressful 2019.

In between the traveling, though, I still have to navigate work. It’s a job I love, but one that has become more challenging and pressure-filled, with more resting on my shoulders. We had a department reorganization that saw the layoff of one of the best bosses I’ve ever had, and separately, the leave of absence (leading to a likely departure) of my partner in crime, who makes my job easier on a daily basis. Also on the work front, the company that owns the software platform we use (and I manage) was acquired by a private equity firm last year and that has also made work more difficult. More on that at some point later too, I am sure.

So, that’s an overview of what’s going on with me at this moment in time. So, I guess I welcome December and Holidailies back into my life. I’ll try to do this annual tradition proud…or at least post more than a few times.

 

Not quite under the wire

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2015holibadge-blueIn which I fall asleep and miss writing my blog post

 

But this is still my day 4 entry for Holidailies and it’s still December 4 someplace (California). And it’s a short one about good days and gratitude. So, a few things…

  1. Last night I noticed a whole bunch of extra money in my bank account and thought for certain an error had been made and I’d been paid twice. This morning I sent an email to make sure that the error was fixed and was informed instead that that was my holiday bonus pay. That I wasn’t expecting. And it amounts to a little less than a full week’s pay. A great way to start the day.
  2. I work with an amazing group of people. I truly do. I count myself lucky every day that I get to do something that I really enjoy and that I get to do it with people I love. People who are smart and make me laugh and make me better every day. People who appreciate me with all my flaws and all my quirks and value me for me.
  3. I have really wonderful friends and this weekend I get to spend time with some of them and get out of the city too. It’s not exactly going to the country, but it’s a tiny change of scenery with a group of people whose company makes me happy. And then Sunday I get to flex my artistic muscles in the pottery studio and see what the latest firing brings me (more jewelry to come!)

I am often guilty of getting stuck in my own head and focusing on the stuff that isn’t perfect, that isn’t right, that makes me unhappy. On the minutiae of my life and on the overwhelming fucked up state of the world too. So, taking just a few minutes and thinking about a few small things that make me happy and remind me of just how lucky I am in the grand scheme of things is important.

Even if I didn’t get it in under the wire…

 

Movie Musical Traditions…

Posted on by Girl in Gotham in Theater, TV/Movies | Leave a comment

2015holibadge-blueIn which I watch The Wiz Live (slightly delayed) and reminisce about movie musicals…

 

I have this ability to retain songs and song lyrics in my head. Particularly from musicals. It’s become something of a party trick, being quizzed to see if I know the words to a specific song from a specific musical.  If you know me at all, you know I’m a musical theater geek. A part of myself that I happily embrace. I was the kid dancing and singing in my bedroom to the cast recording of Annie, dreaming of being Andrea McArdle. I was also the kid who listened to the soundtrack of Grease interminably, acting out every song, every moment, while wearing my Grease t-shirt (iron on of the movie poster on the front and with my name in raised velvety letters on the back).

Pre-cable (and even after we had cable) and pre-VCR in our house, I was the kid who was ridiculously excited for the yearly airing of both The Sound of Music and The Wizard of Oz on network TV.  Heralding in the holiday season with my favorite kind of music, my favorite kind of entertainment, the big old ham in me (in a tiny little girl) singing along with every single song and dancing along with the choreography. So, when NBC decided to resurrect this holiday musical tradition by producing musical productions live on TV, I was excited.

While neither The Sound of Music nor Peter Pan were perfect, I was still all in with them, enjoying the hell out of the exuberance of live, by the seat of your pants musical productions on such a large scale. More the better that kids around the country who don’t have the resources or the access to live musical theater could watch. Which leads me to tonight and The Wiz Live on NBC.

The Wiz poster Of all the musicals and movie musicals that I loved as a child, The Wiz was at the top of the heap. The movie came out in 1978 and my 9th birthday party in January 1979 was at a screening of The Wiz, which was not the first time I’d seen it (my parents, always wonderful at indulging my interests, let me see it several times in the movie theater). I owned the double album on vinyl and played that soundtrack so much it warped. I knew every word to every song, every breath, every quirk of phrase. And I loved it! I now own it on DVD and still, to this day, if it happens to be on TV, I must watch.

So, I was thrilled last year when it was announced that the next NBC holiday musical would be a new version of The Wiz. A little trepidatious that it would live up to my expectations, but here we are. I love it. The cast is wonderful, the updates aren’t jarring or obnoxious and fit in well with the theme of the original. The music? The music lives up to every one of my childhood memories. And yes, I still have it all memorized. It’s right there like an old friend and it feels like a wonderful little gift to start the holiday season.

So, I end this evening with a love letter to musical theater, to movie musicals, and to The Wiz (Live and otherwise). Still holding a very soft spot in my heart.  Can’t wait to see what NBC has in store for next year’s live musical.

And now I’m going to “Think of Home” (where I get to go in two weeks!)…

Two birds, one stone…

Posted on by Girl in Gotham in Crafty Junk, Holidailies | Leave a comment

2015holibadge-blue  Or how I wrote a blog post and made some earrings in one evening…

 

So, I’ve been pretty prolific with making jewelry elements in my porcelain jewelry class.

  On the other hand, I’ve fallen down on the job in turning those jewelry elements into actual, wearable jewelry. I’m not sure why this happens. It’s like stage fright or creative block or just getting overwhelmed with all of the options or feeling like I may not live up to the potential of the pieces that I’ve made, but I end up procrastinating making stuff out of the stuff. And it’s maddening. I’ve even had a few people at work (and elsewhere) asking me when I’m going to make (and sell) my jewelry. So, part of the bargain in my own head has been that if I’m going to participate in Holidailies and sign on for another commitment this month, I need to live up to this other commitment to myself. Make jewelry. Get shit done. So, done and done (or at least a start).    

Will soon be up on Artfire for sale.

So, here we go…

Posted on by Girl in Gotham in Holidailies | Leave a comment

2015holibadge-blueTop 10 Realizations that have resulted from deciding to participate in Holidailies on December 1st at 11pm…

 

  1. I have not written a personal blog post in years…seriously, years. I think the last time I wrote a personal blog post may have actually been the last time I did Holidailies. So, December 2012? Where has the time gone?
  2. When you manage an online community for a living, managing your own blog(s) seems like something you should probably pay attention to, but in reality it’s the last thing you want to do when you get home from work.
  3. Not having updated this blog in years means a theme that’s out of date, a version of WordPress that was out of date (fixed that), and a list of links that’s way out of date.  (AKA — Please excuse the state of this site. I’ll try to fix it as I go.)
  4. Facebook has replaced a lot of the online writing I used to do. Whether that means posting short thoughts, long missives, or just commenting on other people’s posts, it’s not really the same as flexing those writing muscles like I have in the past. So, Holidailies here I come again!
  5. I love the direction my online life has taken and social media has provided some additional fun outlets for my creativity, like Instagram. Toying with adding a feed to this blog. But that requires me to find a plugin and since I just decided to participate in Holidailies, it too will have to wait.
  6. I have two other sites that have also been neglected. Probably should update those too (no one ever said I wasn’t all about biting off more than I could chew, so nom nom nom nom nom)
  7. It’s hard to write a top 10 list at 11:30pm after you’ve had a couple of adult beverages (and are not a big drinker)
  8. This may have been a rash decision
  9. This was definitely a rash decision
  10. But, I know I won’t regret participating. Never do.

Happy Holidailies 2015!

A new day…

Posted on by Girl in Gotham in Eating, Friends, Fun Stuff, Holidailies, TV/Movies, Watching | Leave a comment

Holidailies 2012A lazy New Year’s Day, sort of.  Up early and then read for a while before falling back to sleep until about 11:30am.  Spoke to my sister and then up and hanging out doing a lot of nothing today with Gen.  Somewhere about 2pm I started making zucchini pancakes — my mom’s recipe — and one of my favorite holiday traditions.  They are absolutely delicious, but I forgot just how much work they are.  I had intended to shred the zucchini in the food processor, but discovered that part of the shredder attachment was missing, so hand grated zucchini it was.

We started our Downton Abbey marathon at about this time.  As it turns out, Gen had actually seen most of the first series — with me (amazingly I didn’t recall), and so we picked up with the final two episodes of the first series.  Several hours later the zucchini pancakes were demolished and we were well entrenched in Downton.  It definitely holds up on repeat viewings, but despite it’s refined air and period costumes, it bears more than a passing resemblance to many a modern soap opera.

We are now, finally, finally, at the series two Christmas Special and Gen’s patience with all things Downton is wearing a little thin.  As much as  I adore every soapy moment of it, I can see what she means.  I mean, if they would just tell each other the truth to begin with, it would save so much drama (which, obviously, is the point).  We’ve taken to yelling at the screen and mocking the characters (which, for us is par for the course).   But, I honestly can’t wait for the third series to begin on Sunday!

All in all, not a bad way to spend the first day of the new year, hanging out with my best friend, a little cooking, some entertainment and a lot of laughter.

Tomorrow, back into the thick of things…

Tipsy…

Posted on by Girl in Gotham in Friends, Fun Stuff, Holidailies, Life, Life Stuff | Leave a comment

Holidailies 2012Have I mentioned that I’m a lightweight who doesn’t drink much?  This is why.  It’s New Year’s.  The ball just dropped, I’m half way through a large glass of champagne (actually prosecco), full up on pasta and lots of sweets.  And I’m a wee might tipsy.

I spent the evening with Gen and our friend Jim and we laughed through the evening.  We mocked Jenny McCarthy’s plastic surgery (what is with that?), Taylor Swift’s singing, laughed along with the best New Year’s Eve comedy duo the world could provide — Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper, and listened to the fireworks exploding in Central Park (though we didn’t see them — that would have meant looking out the window).

Now we are minutes into the New Year.  Jim is running lines with Gen for her role in Steel Magnolias, and I am mellowing into a nice sweet new year with hope for good things to come.  Nothing like good friends, good food, and an adult beverage to bring you positive feelings for the year to come.  Please forgive the brevity of this post.  It’s time to finish this delicious prosecco and get 2013 started.

It’s gonna be a happy new year…

Nothin’ doin’…

Posted on by Girl in Gotham in Holidailies, Life, Life Stuff | Leave a comment

Holidailies 2012Amazing how on a day you do practically nothing, there isn’t much to write about (also, nothing gets done).  Today I’d intended to clean, clean, clean.  I know, it’s a surprise, I procrastinated another day away.  But, I have a good excuse.  It’s a woman thing.   And so I spent most of the day doing a lot of nothing.  I took some ibuprofin.  I watched On the Case with Paula Zahn on Invesitigation Discovery.  I watched a couple episodes of True Life on MTV (now you know the depths of my television viewing).  I took a luxuriously long nap.  I contemplated cleaning.  Took some more ibuprofin.  I made a couple of phone calls.  Played Words with Friends.  Imported two CDs to iTunes (Hourglass, which I got from my brother-in-law for Christmas, and a mix CD, Sir Mix A Lot, from my nephew).  I watched a really great documentary, Wish Me Away.  Somewhere in there I managed to eat a couple of meals.  Oh, and more ibuprofin.

What I didn’t do?  Clean.  What else I didn’t do?  Laundry.  Also, did not find anything interesting to write about.  So, instead, you get a litany of my mundane, lazy day.  The one good thing about not doing anything all day and napping?  I’ll be up for a while.  So, guess what I plan to do now?  Clean.  But, first, I wonder what’s going on on Facebook…

I’m nothing if not consistent in my procrastination…

An Ode to Moderation…

Posted on by Girl in Gotham in Eating, Fun Stuff, Holidailies, Life, Life Stuff | Leave a comment

Holidailies 2012I’ll let you in on a little secret (that isn’t really one): I have a problem with chocolate.  Screw alcohol and drugs, give me chocolate every single time.  You think I’m joking, but I have literally sat in my apartment late at night and spent hours having a conversation back and forth in my head about whether or not I should go out to Duane Reade and pick up a bag of Hershey’s Kisses or Rolos or Riesen.  Fortunately, inertia usually outweighs the pull of the chocolate, but sometimes I do actually go and buy some chocolate, because you know, it’s calling to me.  And don’t even get me started about Insomnia Cookies — they make it way too easy, what with nighttime delivery. Whoever came up with that idea is an evil genius!

I can usually ignore the allure of chocolate during the day — or at least moderate my intake.  But my sister and I have figured out that we are nighttime snackers, a habit that was learned from our parents, who perfected the art of nighttime snacking.  So, I try not to keep chocolate in the house if I can help it, because I am not to be trusted around it.  But, I brought back a sizable haul of goodies from my trip to New Hampshire, including a nice bag of Lindor Truffles, which might just be my all time favorite.  And somehow they aren’t all gone yet.

I’m not sure how, but I’ve managed to not eat them all in one sitting and make myself ridiculously ill.  I’ve amazingly kept my truffle intake to one per day.  They are a delicious treat that I eat after dinner and I’m shocked that I’ve been able to keep from tearing through them.  Maybe I’m maturing.  Maybe I’m learning to be more disciplined.  Or maybe they are just so delicious and I can’t afford to buy more, so I’m stretching them as long as I can.  No matter what, I am savoring them.  And if I make it into the New Year with some truffles, I’ll consider it the first miracle of 2013.

I’m sure there’s a lesson in here somewhere, but the only thing I can think of right now is “mmmmmmm, chocolate.”

 

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