Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Goals For the New Year

It's hard to believe it is the end of the year, never mind the end of the decade. It didn't even occur to me until I started noticing all the "best of the 00s" lists going around... Sheesh. So much for the decade of my adulthood, which, as the New Yorker pointed out, still doesn't even have a convincing name. 

Anyway, as much as I don't think it makes very compelling reading, I am posting my list of endeavors for 2010 because I just looked back on my list for 2009 and I can honestly say I followed through on every one, and am a much happier, complete person as a result. So feel free to stop reading, my motivations are completely selfish!

Here, in a list of no particular order, are my big things to do in 2010:

1. Get my Spanish back. I used to be fluent. I used to dream in Spanish, and write papers and poetry in it. Now I can't get to two sentences with my brother-in-law (damn verbs!). And since the Venezuelan contingent is growing once more, and we are about to be outnumbered, and I figure it's wise to relearn the language of our conquerers. My approach will be to listen to Pimsleur tapes while I commute in the morning. Burning the CDs now. After that, maybe I'll get the entire Almodovar canon on Netflix. Subtitles off.

2. Appreciate my body. Love it because it keeps me alive. Feed it good food and water. Keep it strong and limber. This includes continuing my Saturday visits to the Power Center with Mr. SevPrez, and stopping at Whole Foods on our way home and to give them our Whole Paycheck. Bust through whatever health "situations" may or may not be going on with me right now with the help of my naturopath, my regular doctor, a healthy lifestyle, and a positive outlook.

3. Successfully organize and complete a grueling 20 plus mile run through Monmouth County. Have every participant finish, give them all cool t-shirts. More on Rule #1 Run to come. Also, do some more duathlons.

4. Re-caulk the tub, finish the trim upstairs (a project now going into it's 2nd year... sigh.)

5. Concentrate on family, however that shows up.

6. Keep writing, and keep sharing.

The Decade In Photos

From the New York Times, reader submitted photos. Maybe not as funny, but much more interesting that those VH1 "I love the 00s" specials.

A lot of people have asked me where I was on September 11th, 2001, having been a junior at NYU at the time. I lived in the same dorm as the woman who took this picture and have a picture taken from the same vantage point from a disposable camera bought at a deli that morning. Seems like a lifetime ago. 

Interestingly enough, my current job had its roots in that day. School was closed for a week and students had nothing to do but drink too much, watch CNN, and argue about politics. I decided I needed to do something more constructive with my time and emailed my current company, offering to take their trash out. Two years later they created a position for me. 

The rest is history.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sharing A Poem: Rejoice!

The Blessing of the Old Woman, the Tulip, and the Dog
by Alicia Suskin Ostriker

To be blessed
said the old woman
is to live and work
so hard
God's love
washes right through you
like milk through a cow

To be blessed
said the dark red tulip
is to knock their eyes out
with the slug of lust
implied by
your up-ended

To be blessed
said the dog
is to have a pinch
of God
inside you
and all the other dogs
can smell it 

from The Book of Seventy. © University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Rectifying The Situation*

The Canon PowerShot S90 will be coming home with me soon. It's been highly recommended to me by people in the know and when I walked over to Best Buy yesterday to check it out in person I was definitely pleased. It has a lot of manual features that I don't understand how to use yet, but I like the idea that I can grow into this camera. I'm really excited about the low light features, mostly because I want to improve my still-lifes for the blog. Yes, it has come to that! 

I was tempted to get a lighter weight, more compact camera after lugging around the Lumix DMC-TZ5 with 10x zoom, but I'd rather buy a camera that will take great pictures. That whole line of reasoning just makes me wish I had an iPhone so I could get the Toy Camera App. But I just can't use AT&T. I've seen their maps and it's not pretty.

*Apologies in advance if I keep referring to things as situations, I am currently in the grips of watching "The Jersey Shore" on MTV and guido lingo is permeating my being.

"Gotta Get The Spread"

I recently had a party at my house and appointed my good friend to be the photographer, as I am currently without a digital camera (more on that later). She was very diligent in photographing all the guests and various party highlights, including The Spread, which I have now deemed important enough to be capitalized. 

When she sent me the photo album of all her pictures I said, "Yes! You got a picture of The Spread!" To Which she replied, "As I leaned over to take the photo, [your best friend] said 'Oh good, you're getting The Spread. Gotta get The Spread at [SevPrez]'s house." 

I am glad to know that my friends understand how serious I take The Spread. Party on.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Costco Is Serious

For many of you, this is old news. Or perhaps you have taken for granted the gravitas with which your favorite big box wholesaler conducts its business. As a new member, I'd like to remind you.

First, you cannot enter without showing a card. Second, in order to obtain said card, you must 1) pay money, 2) produce a valid driver's license, 3) get your picture taken and printed on the card, just in case you intend to loan your card to a friend who's in dire need of bulk mustard. Third, you cannot stand near your cart while checking out. As the sign instructs, "Carts on this side ---> Patrons on other." If you forget this, you will be reminded. Fourth, you mustn't bring a bag into the store. Not even a fabric Baggu. This is to "prevent theft." Not really sure how a bag makes it easier to sneak away with 2 gallons of olive oil, but okay. Lastly, you must keep your receipt and your membership card out for the man (not the same guy who checks you when you enter) to cross reference your receipt to your cart, "you know, to make sure you weren't double charged," explained the well-meaning cashier who initiated me into these Eyes Wide Shut-type rituals. I left feeling like I must look very suspicious. And also proud that I escaped without spending over $250* -- they should give out prizes to anyone can spend under $100.

After transferring my smaller items into my Baggu bag before putting them in my car and unloading all the other massive items into my trunk, I wheeled my cart into the cart-wrangling area. (Mr. SevPrez yells at me when I don't do this). Running back to my car in the rain, I felt a twang of fear that a large man was going to materialize and yell at me for not returning my cart correctly and strip me of my membership. Is this what it was like in the U.S.S.R.?

If I am uncomfortable with my card-carrying status (it may be the final rite of passage into adulthood?), my gigantic bag of Stacy's pita chips and tremendous hunk of manchego cheese will console me until I feel better.

*My biggest act of restraint was taking the box of 80 pigs in a blanket for $15 out of my cart. You can't see me but I am bowing.