Monday Musings: On being late to the party.

orphan black

Happy Monday, all.

I know I’m way late to the party, but I’ve just discovered Orphan Black. Sci-fi is usually not my bag, but I kept seeing ads and hearing raves about this show. Plus, I heart BBC America. So I watched the first episode on demand and … I’m hooked. It may have been a nice, sunny weekend, but I don’t know because I was on my couch bingeing 16 episodes of Orphan Black. Continue reading

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Monday Musings: On inherited talents and hilarious TV.

Good Monday, all.

It’s a new year, and I haven’t gotten any better at this blogging thing. I tell myself it’s because I’m too busy or not disciplined enough. Turns out, it’s my parents’ fault. Procrastination has always been my greatest talent. Thanks, Mom and Dad.

tulips

I hope you all had a happy, restful, joyful, chocolate-ridden Easter. The no-sugar cleanse starts tomorrow, right?  Something about spring — the appearance of budding flowers, bright strawberries and spindly asparagus, and the weather turning (hopefully staying!) warmer — makes me think more about light, healthy eating. Jessica sent me one of her handy meal plans, but I just need to get on the ball. See “procrastination,” above. Continue reading

Monday Musings: On getting back on the horse.

No, no. You’re not hallucinating.

It’s me. I’m actually writing a blog post. I know that hasn’t occurred since, oh, June, and now it’s, oh, November. But here I am.

There’s no good excuse, really. Just that this writing thing is hard. And sometimes I believe I have nothing interesting to say. And sometimes I overthink and overedit, resulting in a diatribe of incoherent thoughts followed by general posting paralysis. And my discipline begins to wane. So, sure, I’ve been busy. We’ve all been busy. But then a funny thing happened. Several other bloggers I read expressed the very same sentiments. We’ve all been in a rut together. Continue reading

Monday Musings: On feeling the funk, passages and nesting.

I know, I know. I’ve skipped a couple of Monday Musings. But I’m back this week, and in a funk. It’s why I just haven’t felt like writing as of late.

Oliver

Oliver’s been really sick, which has thrown my world into disarray. I’ve been on a tear dealing with the beach house. I’ve been overscheduled with social things. And I took a couple of days off for my birthday, which I think you always pay for coming and going. The stress of trying to go on vacation and then trying to get back in the swing is often not worth the going. Let’s just say I reversed any rest and relaxation about 24 minutes into my first morning back. Continue reading

Monday Musings: On decor, dog-shaming and old wives’ tales.

Good Monday to you.

beach_decor

My family is refurbishing our beach house, albeit a bit late in the season. I don’t consider myself especially good at decorating — I don’t have the patience or vision to pick out knick-knacks and accessories, all those little items that make a room look finished. But I learned one important thing about myself: I’m much better at it when it’s someone else’s money. When I’m not grimacing at the $80 pillow or the $200 difference in a panel vs. sleigh bed, I can bring fabrics and colors and textures together like nobody’s business. My house though? Still an embarrassing “work in progress,” after five years.

I joined Instagram this week. As if I needed another social media site to monitor. I’m way over Facebook, am sporadic on Twitter but can Pinterest like a champ. Apparently Instagram is the wave of the future, though. All I know is that I have no idea what I’m doing. But, come. Be my friend. I can promise you way too many dog-shaming pictures of Ollie, like this one. Continue reading

Monday Musings: On weddings, childhood reading and lips.

Happy Monday to you.

I went to a wedding this weekend in Greenville, S.C., a place I’d been through — maybe even slept in — but never really explored. It was a blast. Picture a bunch of north-of-30-year-olds who think they have the stamina (and livers) of 22-year-olds. That’s all I’ll say. But the town is a find. It’s cute and quaint and walkable, with a proper main street actually called “Main Street.” It’s also a foodie town — every restaurant, even the burger joint on the corner, was phenomenal. I don’t know why I haven’t been more often.

Last week, I read that one of my childhood idols, E.L. Konigsberg, passed away. I hadn’t thought of her in years, but the news still made me take pause. Her book “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler,” was one of my favorites growing up. I don’t remember much more than two kids running away and camping out in the Met Museum in NYC, but I know I loved it. Right up there with “Have You Seen Hyacinth Macaw?” and “The Westing Game.” I need to own and re-read all of those again, I think. Continue reading

Monday Musings: On productivity and defining our times.

Happy Monday to you.

For some reason, I was incredibly productive this weekend. That’s highly out of character. In two days, I wrote, at least partially, eight blog posts, cooked four new recipes to share with you on Culinary Cousins, caught up with family, socialized, finished reading the book before book club, bonded with Oliver. While I am usually a marathon weekend sleeper, my eyes popped open by 9:30 a.m. every morning, and I fidgeted if I sat down. It was weird, but I feel very accomplished. And like it’s been 17 years since Friday. That’s how a weekend should be, I suppose.

mad-men6

I’ve been reading all the comments Mad Men has been getting this season. To sum it up, y’all are mad. I’ve always recognized that MM is a slow burn, building from the beginning of the season into some explosive, cathartic storylines near the end. So, I’m being patient. But the crux is that everyone’s tired of Don being his brooding, depressed, drunk, womanizing self. They want some character development. While I see their point, that got me thinking in another direction. Continue reading

Monday Musings: On pollen, tragedy and rubbernecking.

(I know it’s not Monday, but let’s just pretend it is.) And I won’t wish you a happy Monday, because it wasn’t.

But, first.

When I lived up north, I forgot about the dust cloud of pollen that envelops our southern cities for a couple of weeks in the spring. I’m lucky that I’m not much affected by it, but I can imagine the agony of those who are during this time. It’s just inescapable.

That fine, yellow powder is a blanket over every outdoor surface. Our cars turn yellow, our wipers work overtime and pollen crust clings to the sides of our windshields. The air hangs heavy with it until a soaking rainstorm comes along to wash it away. Then we’re left with the chalky remnants along street drains and sidewalks.

Even Oliver isn’t immune. During a walk last week, he was just rifling along, nose skimming the grass. Then I looked down and saw this. Pollen nose.

Oliver

As we all are, I’m just stricken by everything that happened in Boston yesterday. But, at the same time, not surprised. Is that just the world we live in now? One in which I’m desensitized to violent news or the prospect of terror events in America? That’s the shocking part. And it scares and saddens me.  Continue reading

Monday Musings: On childhood, book movies and gelato.

Happy Monday to you. I’m back with more random, wacky things on my mind.purple_flowers

Finally (finally!), spring weather seems to be breaking through. This weekend down south was only slightly cool but gloriously clear and sunny, which does loads for my mental and physical health. Don’t mind me while I go roll in the warm grass like Oliver does, reveling in spring. I just wish we didn’t go straight from freezing to sweating this year.

I finished reading Divergent, by Veronica Roth, this weekend. Have you had the pleasure? It’s great. Really creative and suspenseful, and I highly recommend it. It’s of the same genre and post-apocalyptic undertones as the Hunger Games series. And therein, I guess, lies the scary part. These books are for young adults — meaning pre-teens and teenagers, right?. Books about killing and war and sex, even. Hey, when I was 15 I was reading questionable things too. But more like romance smut from the vaults of Danielle Steele and Judith McNaught. Not dark, violent books about evil people who want to take over the world. I’m just sayin’.

Speaking of books, it’s starting to bother me when a popular book that everyone’s read becomes a movie. Think Gone Girl or Fifty Shades of Grey. It seems a waste to recreate a story that everyone already knows. To me, it destroys the magic, replacing all of the imaginative visions I created with Hollywood’s interpretation. And it becomes so much more about who’s going to be cast than about the words or the work. I prefer when an obscure book becomes a movie — think Perks of Being a Wallflower and Silver Linings Playbook. Then I can read the book to fill in details. But I suppose my definitions of “popular” or “obscure” are relative.

Mad Men season 6 premiered last night. I’ll tell you how it’s gone for me by the time you’re reading this. I watched it live, but also recorded on my DVR. I will spend all day today reading through the TV writers’ and fellow viewers’ analyses. Then I will watch the whole thing again tonight or later this week with fresh eyes. Because it’s visual literature, remember? I know, obsessed.

Have you tried Talenti gelato? You can probably find it in your supermarket. All I have to say is this. Salted Caramel gelato with chocolate-caramel truffles mixed in. I have no other words.

Have a good week, all.

Monday Musings: On chia, grammar and globalization.

Good Monday to you. I’m back on schedule with some of the random, wacky things on my mind this week. Even though it’s April Fool’s Day (Happy Birthday, Prink!), this is not a joke, promise.

I do have some levity for you, though. About seven months ago, my cousin posted this picture on Pinterest. It’s supposed to be just a picture of a creepy house. But then. I have it saved in my Joy board, because every single time I see it I laugh uncontrollably for at least 10 minutes. Yes, 10 minutes. Even after seven months.

I have found a new obsession. It’s been awhile, but the familiar grip has taken over. I just can’t get enough of … chia seeds. Say what, now? But stay tuned over at Culinary Cousins, since I’ll be waxing philosophic about those soon. Like, maybe tomorrow.

I could write a whole book on my grammar pet peeves, but inappropriate use of apostrophes tops the list. You don’t make something plural by adding an apostrophe! I see it everywhere — like 1980’s instead of 1980s — but the one in the NY Times this week was the last straw. Apparently we “don’t have a history of dynasty’s in the U.S.” That sound you hear is my skin crawling.

I was eating a mango last week when something occurred to me. It’s sort of a miracle that I can drive to my local grocery store, buy a (pretty cheap) mango — a fruit native to South Asia —  and eat it at home in North Carolina. It felt so special and exotic. Score one for globalization, I guess.

Have a good week, all.