Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I'm bringing back the junk drawer.

Surely you're familiar with the household junk drawer. In my parent's house it is in the kitchen, on the island, next to the drawer for placements and napkins, and regularly stocked with rubber bands, ballpoint pens, a screwdriver or two, school papers, polishing cloths, post its, batteries, coupons, newspaper clippings, and the occasional action figure. The junk drawer was, inevitably, a constant frustration. The contents were haphazard; they would overflow, preventing the sliding drawer from comfortable closure. Resigned, my mother, normally a lightning rod for organization, didn't even both with its innards. The chaos in the junk drawer would be contained by neither plastic caddy nor the most rigorous filing system. It remained in our kitchen a satellite nation, like American Samoa, unincorporated and unorganized.

As a child, I embraced the junk drawer. It was one of four hiding spots my mother had for Hershey's miniatures, and could occasionally yield unexpected delights in the form of crayons or rubber bouncy balls thought to have been lost forever. Yet, as I grew older and my mother's organizational tendencies revealed themselves in my maturing brain, I began to reject any clutter, no matter how harmless. Tensions grew between areas I strove to corral, and the need for catchalls to contain life's everyday trinkets.

If you were to look in my e-mail inbox, both at work and home, you would stifle either an eyeroll or a laugh. There are nearly as many folders as there are e-mails. I have been known to tell people "sour cream? top shelf on the right behind the jelly stacked on top of the margarine." The need for neatness pervades my home and office, of course, but bleeds into my personal relationships and inner perspective as well. I either want wrinkle-free, categorical, polite to the point of inane or I want guns blazing, emotional firecracker frippery. Club soda might seem more bland than your Great Aunt Nana but it will still explode when shaken (or frozen).

Which is why I'm going on blogging hiatus. I want my writing to be better but at the moment that needs private practice. I'm sure I'll be back; I'm too often struck with the need to assault you with my drunk-girl-tall-heels-stumbling words. Until then, all my previous posts will form a collective junk drawer. Unrestrained, disconnected, jumbled. I'll be back when I'm ready to embrace it.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The past four days of my life have probably been the funniest [to others,] but they were too overwhelming [to me.] Will write when I'm ready to joke.

photo from here

Friday, October 9, 2009

sew fine

I have been a little missing in action this week. I would like to say that this is because I lead an extremely glamorous and important life, but honestly it's because I've been reading quilting blogs all week (insert gratuitous eye roll here). I've become a little obsessed with seeing people's massive stashes of fabric, well organized workspaces, and finished creations. A Quilt is Nice, Film in the Fridge, and several others, not to mention hours spend drooling over Heather Ross and Bari J print fabric. My AARP card is due on the mail any day now.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

color envy

I want to stomp up to this sweater on the playground and give it a nice solid shove. The thing refuses to go on sale in the color I want! Misty lavender? Yes. Warm mustard? Sandalwood? Check and check. But heather gray? Absolutely not.

stubbornly priced sweater from here

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


My goal of making at least one vegan recipe per week (as opposed to hastily making something up) is going pretty well; last night I made this pasta and it was awesome. Oh who am I kidding? It was a disaster. The recipe calls for you to make the sauce in a blender. Do I have a blender? No. Do I have a hand mixer? Yes. Did I for some reason thing one could be substituted for the other resulting in chopped tomatoes being flung into the far corners of my apartment (full disclosure: this means like four feet in each direction, max), tofu cream cheese in my hair, and my roommates freshly made chicken being knocked to the floor, breaking a plate? Maybe. But I will say this, the pasta was pretty tasty. I made it will farm fresh tomatoes I bought at this random apple festival on a farm in Queens (I know, I'm weird) but next time I'm going to use tomato paste from a can. No hand mixer required.

photo from vegan yum yum, if you think mine looked like that, you're clearly new to this blog

Friday, October 2, 2009


Proof. Proof that my father once wore a watch. Nerdily, strap side up, natch. Stringy hair, Fender banjo, thick glasses, high forehead, rubberband bracelet, straight nose. All things I've inherited. Toned arms, deep tan, center part, natural sense of timing, propensity for going shirtless. All things I haven't. The background as familiar as a childhood blanket or old friend or first kiss, the holler he grew up in, where my grandmother lived and died. A place where I never wore shoes, where I climbed trees, baked biscuits. Played in a creek, walked the gravel road to the corner store for Klondike bars, feared the neighbor's dog who lived at the top of the hill. Peered into the deep well, lit firecrackers, had a drawer in the laundry room full of nothing but tiny aprons, and shucked green beans on the porch swing. Learned to crochet, went to Sunday School. Rolled sugar cookies, drank pop, played dress up, roasted marshmallows, opened Christmas presents, grew up. Not glamorous, not wealthy, not well lit. Well loved.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

some whiskey in my whiskey

  • Did Autumn totally sneak up on anyone else? I just put my bathing suits in my underbed storage like three days ago and haven't even pulled out the jackets yet. I'm not ready to see the sandals go.
  • I may or may not have rewarded myself for going to my first "woman doctor" visit (yes, I'm 22 and it should've happened years ago, I don't want to talk about it. Although if anyone needs tips for avoiding medical procedures, just let me know, I'm a pro; it took my dentist four years to get me to have my wisdom teeth taken out) with a J. Crew shopping spree. Everyone walking down Broadway just looked to well put together yesterday and nothing makes you feel frumpier than a surgical gown and shame.
  • I answer the main line in our office and you would be amazed at how many times a day I have this conversation:
Me: Good morning/afternoon, Strapless Living Incorporated
Caller: Hi, may I please speak with John Doe
Me: I'm sorry, I believe you have the wrong number, we don't have a John Doe in this office.
Caller: Is this 555-555-5555?
Me: No it is not, this is 555-555-5555.
Caller: Do you know how to get in touch with John Doe?
Me: No, I do not know John Doe.
Caller: *suspiciously* ...okay....

I would never, upon dialing the wrong number, assume that the person on the other line knew the phone number of the person I was attempting to call. Just because I know how to answer the telephone doesn't mean I have memorized the yellow pages.
  • Gratuitous song of the day from my latest obsession, The Felice Brothers (who are playing a New Year's Eve show in Brooklyn this year and who might cause me to end my "never go out on New Year's ever again," streak).