Life Stuff

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…



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’…

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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.”


I wish…

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Holidailies 2012I’m using a Holidailies prompt today, which is, “What do you wish had happened in 2012, that didn’t?”  It’s actually easier to think about the things I wish hadn’t happened in 2012, but I do try not to think about my life in terms of regrets or wishes for things that had or hadn’t happened.

I’m not a “everything happens for a reason” girl.  I don’t think of  my life in terms of fate or destiny, but you can’t really wish away the bad stuff, because it negates the good stuff that resulted too.  I’ve always tried to look at all the things that have happened in my life as having led me to the next thing that comes along.  Regretting things that have happened or wishing for things that haven’t is generally a futile exercise that leads to extreme dissatisfaction.  And while certainly there are things that I’ve been through in my life that were unhappy or unpleasant or awful, they are also the things that have led to whatever came next, and without them lots of awesome stuff might never have happened either.

I won’t lie.  I do wish that I hadn’t spent ten months unemployed and without much income.  Or that I’d been able to stay more motivated and do more of the things the extra time could have allowed me to to do.  I also wish that I hadn’t gained a bunch of weight this year.  But, dwelling on it isn’t going to do me any good.  So, while this year has been a difficult one, I’m hopeful that the next will be better and I’m working to make sure that’s the case.  Exercising again for my physical (as well as mental) health.  Applying for lots of jobs, trying to stay creative and motivated, and keeping an open mind.  I hope there will be good things to come in 2013.  And those things couldn’t happen without being where I am right now.

Most of all, right now though, I wish I had a cookie.  Chocolate chip or peanut butter (or peanut butter chocolate chip)…


Planned Inertia…

Posted on by Girl in Gotham in Exercise, Holidailies, Life, Life Stuff, Reading, TV/Movies | Leave a comment

Holidailies 2012I planned today as a day of very little.  It’s almost too easy to do, but I sort of knew that I wasn’t going to be productive today before I went to bed last night.  The good news is, I don’t seem to have had a return of the deep dark depression that followed my Thanksgiving sojourn.

I caught up on some DVRed and on demand TV (those Real Housewives are not very nice to each other and the food on Top Chef still looks delicious), read some more of Dark Places (I foresee Gillian Flynn becoming a must read author for the duration), ate a lovely sushi lunch from Amber (thanks to a credit from, and basically was a lazy sod.  Like I said, almost too easy to do.

The tendency is to roll myself back up in my hermit cocoon and become a ball of couch potato until life intervenes and forces me again to interact with it.  So, instead I’m going to fight against that and make sure I do stuff.  Tomorrow, whining or no (and I’m certain there will be some), I intend to exercise.  I also need to do grocery shopping, before the weekend.  And the living room explosion needs to be contained.  Also, apply for a few jobs.  It’s not exciting, but it’s necessary to make a list and keep myself accountable.  One foot in front of the other and all that shit.

I definitely count it as a plus that I’m not feeling depressed or anxious.  I am feeling like I could lean back into the inertia and do nothing for a lot longer, so I’m pushing against it, fully aware of how difficult that sometimes becomes for me.  But I’ve built some inertia into my plans for New Years (a low key, Downton Abbey marathon watching affair), just so I don’t feel too deprived.  I know, my life is just party party party.  Never a dull moment.

In the meantime, trying to get the workout argument over with in my head tonight (or at latest tomorrow morning), so I don’t waste too much time before I get off of my ass and just walk…


A White Christmas (sort of)…

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

Holidailies 2012I opened my eyes at about 7am and the first thing I did was look out the window.  Yep, it was snowing.  There was a dusting on the ground and steady flurries, making my Christmas in New Hampshire idyllic notion complete.  A White Christmas.  I read for a while and at about 8am, my sister and brother-in-law came in to get the (really nice) keyboard they bought for my nephew, to set it up in the living room.

At about 9am, I wandered out into the living room and the Christmas tree was lit up and all the other lights were lit up as well.  Shortly after my nephew woke up and the gift opening commenced.  First off — stockings.  My first ever Christmas stocking and Santa brought me a clementine, lots of chocolate, an Honest Tea half and half (useful for my return bus trip to NYC), a box of Angry Birds gummies, and a bottle of deep purple sparkly nail polish!  YAY!

The haul was pretty impressive all around.  I got lots of chocolate (Lindor Truffles), more gummies (Haribo!), a pair of beautiful handmade earrings (by my sister), wonderful pajama pants, a mix CD (Sir Mix A Lot — so named by my nephew), and lots more little goodies.  We followed opening gifts with a traditional breakfast of bagels, lox, and cream cheese (that’s a traditional Christmas breakfast, right?) and then there was more lounging, reading, and music listening to take up the rest of the morning.

Early afternoon included another long walk with my sister and Ket, a little colder, a little more damp, but the snow had stopped during the morning and mostly just left a melting dusting behind.  I whined a little about the walk, but again was glad I’d made the effort.  Back at the house, more reading and relaxing followed by a ridiculously delicious dinner of roasted lamb with chimichurri sauce and homemade apple pie for dessert.

We’ve just finished watching an episode of Man vs. Wild and my sister and nephew are both sacked out on the couch, trying in vain to fight sleep, while my brother in law putters around the house.  I’ve rallied enough to write this short synopsis of another lovely day on my Christmas Adventure in New England.  An early night seems inevitable (with a good book awaiting me once I get into bed).

Tomorrow some more relaxing and then heading back home…

Jewish Christmas Eve…

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

Holidailies 2012Today was a good day.  Woke up at about 7am and read for a couple of hours, then fell back to sleep until about 10:30am.  Had a leisurely morning and late breakfast and then my sister and I went for a four mile walk with her friend Ket.  Always good when I am motivated by company to exercise.  A brisk (sort of freezing cold) walk through suburban New Hampshire.  Not a bad way to spend my time on “vacation.”

After a shower and some reading, we headed out for dinner, to a rare thing in these parts…a decent Chinese restaurant.  After the traditional Jewish Christmas Eve meal (I had Chicken and Broccoli), we headed to the other traditional part of the evening festivities, the movies.  We saw Skyfall, which for some reason in my head I keep thinking of as Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (a movie which I never saw and don’t know the plot of).  Another Bond movie that didn’t disappoint.  I won’t spoil anything, but was completely shocked by the turn of events, though not unhappy with the outcome (vague enough?)

We’re back at the house, the beautiful tree is lit up, the stockings are hung (there’s even one for me!!!!) and my nephew has just put chocolate chip cookies in the oven to bake for Santa for us to munch on.  Now we’re getting ready to play a very competitive (as Blutsteins competitive is the only way we roll) game of Scrabble.

Next stop, Christmas morning…

Traveling in Style…

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Holidailies 2012I’m a pretty laid back traveler.  I don’t need much.  Enough space not to feel like I’m suffocating, preferably a window seat (to lean on for napping) something good to read, some music, and maybe snacks.  I always say that I’m the person you want to sit next to if you are traveling with small kids.  I don’t mind them, in fact I love them and will often be glad to play with them and distract them if you need help.  And I can usually sit companionably next to most anyone, as long as they aren’t a complete jackass.  I’ve even been known to forge friendships on long airplane flights or bus rides or train trips.

So, this morning, at the butt crack of dawn (7am), when I set out on the bus, on a (not so) well rested ninety minutes of sleep, I was only concerned that the person sitting next to me not be too fidgety.  Sizing up the people getting on the bus, I was hoping for the diminutive woman rather than the very tall man, who was likely to take up a lot more room.  Be careful what you wish for.  The woman sat down next to me.  It started off inauspicious enough, but before too long, my seatmate was telling me her life story in a stream of consciousness, off kilter tear.

She started with her terrible experience during Hurricane Sandy, and I felt for her, because she’s been out of her home since it happened.  Then she moved on to her gallbladder surgery that she had the day after Thanksgiving, which would have also been okay, until she started telling me about ever little detail of her surgery and her after care and her scarring and having to be bathed and…you get the point.  She told me in no uncertain terms that she was very annoyed with her cousin, at whose home she was staying, because she “just needed her space.”  She then somehow transitioned to a discussion of President Obama and how she needed to go to Washington, DC to visit him because she had a lot of things she needed to tell him.

It was at this point that I realized she wasn’t just a talker (I mean, I’M a talker), she was a little off.  By the time she started talking about god and how children were rising up to kill their elders and all of it was foretold, I knew I was in trouble.  Up to this point, I had been a vaguely active participant in the conversation, though relatively quiet — and you know if I’m the quiet one in the conversation, the other person is a world class talker.  So, now I’m sitting in my seat thinking, “Okay, how to gracefully exit this conversation?”

Fortunately, at some point, there was a lull and I took that moment to put on my headphones and feign sleep.  Before I knew it, I was actually napping.  Phew.  Crisis averted.  I kept my headphones on for the rest of the trip for fear of getting sucked back into it.  The good news is, because we left so early in the morning, there was no traffic.  We arrived a half hour early into Boston and I was able to make my escape and head for the commuter bus to New Hampshire.

All in all, though, I can’t really complain.  Bus travel is the cheapest way to go and it means that I get to see my sister and her family on short notice for the holidays.  And, if I’d never sat next to her, I would have had nothing to write about tonight, so bonus!