a post for my mom & dad

My brother and I do a lot of things together: we brunch together, we laugh together, we juice together, we sing together, heck, we even live together! But there was one thing that we weren’t doing together that was really eating at me…we weren’t reading together! One time, long ago when we were worlds apart (he in New York, and I in Western Massachusetts), we tried reading the same book but it just didn’t happen. Maybe it was the book (no, I don’t actually believe that), or maybe it was the timing (that’s a more likely the reason), but nonetheless, I was left feeling defeated.

CaptureFast forward three years to a few weeks ago, and David and I were trying to browse the Strand. Amidst the chaos of a typical Saturday afternoon, I managed to glance down and catch a glimpse of Goodbye Columbus’ attractive new cover. It all happened so quickly that I don’t remember how we managed to reinstitute initiate our sibling book club, but it happened and I’m glad. Having already had our discussion, I can confidently say that there was no better book to be our first. My brother and I share a sense of humor, thoughts on” isms,” and countless neurosis, so you can see why Goodbye Columbus was a natural fit.

With an array of novellas, each indulged our sensibilities and provided lots of fodder for discussion. Last Saturday David and I parked it at Irving Coffee and commenced our discussion, pens in hand. One of the foreseeable issues with reading the same book—at the same time—is that it’s hard to keep your thoughts to yourself. All of which is only further complicated when you’re not at the same point. This is to say that before reading Goodbye Columbus, David and I agreed that we would keep all of our shit to ourselves, but this ended pretty quickly, and I think I may have started it. Sometimes I would burst into his room, or he would approach me at the kitchen table, and we would share our favorite lines—it’s like we couldn’t help ourselves. But alas, each of those conversations was cut short by one of us saying, “I’m not there yet!” Or, “I thought we were waiting!” Luckily, there was still plenty to discuss when we sat down on that fateful, gloomy Saturday afternoon.

While I initially thought that talking about the book while reading it would ruin things, it didn’t. When David and I sat down, there were so many motifs, thoughts, and funny bits that could only be appreciated after reading the whole thing. Now, I could go into great detail about what we we discussed, but that’s not the point of this post. This isn’t English class, and neither was the discussion that David and I had. I do think that we had a healthy and thoughtful conversation, each adding ideas and expanding on the ones that had already been shared—that part was all great. But what I think I appreciated most was the simple nature of the interaction between us, two siblings. It’s, dare I say, heartwarming that after all that we do together, this is one more thing to add to the list.

Like Mother, Like Daughter: Post Christmas, 12/29

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This audio has been sitting on my desktop for almost two months, and I can’t believe I haven’t posted it. My mom and I went on our annual Tacky Tour on December 29th, and I know that because I actually listened to the clip to figure out what the date was. You should know that I never listen to something after we’ve taped it because I really don’t like listening to my own voice. But I had to listen and once I started, I couldn’t stop. I really think this is one of my favorites, just my mom and me talking about nothing, how perfect!

A Vapid Filler Post Where I Share My No-Fail Nail Polish Colors

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 6.21.01 PMHave you ever noticed that when a blogger doesn’t know what to post (though they’d never tell you this), or don’t have anything of value to add, they either write about the weather or share lists. Lists of seemingly imperative yet truly menial things such as: weekend sales, favorite items for Spring, or knick-knacks they can’t live without. Some people might say that this is actually just something that bloggers do, but I’m not buying that. If people just didn’t say anything instead of sharing something stupid–that goes for real-life as well–the world would be a much more thoughtful place.

With that, however, I present my favorite shades of nail lacquer, because why not? Spending most of my days sitting at a computer, my hands are almost always in my line of vision, and thusly, so are my nails. For me, looking down at unkempt and plain nails is a really depressing thing, so I opt to always keep a little color on them, even if it’s something blushed and blanched. Just like clothes, cosmetics, and anything else superficial that we are attuned to, painting your nails is an adornment that tells everyone about ourselves. Here are my favorites…

Notes From 23

Usually when adults hear that anyone under 30 has advice to share, they scoff (Exhibit A: the subtitle of Lena Dunham’s book…Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned”). How are we supposed to be productive members of society when 20-somethings get nearly the same respect as teenagers, and because it wasn’t so long ago, let me tell you, we’re not talking about that much. But, because I don’t care about that, here are a few things I’ve been mulling over, as I approach 24:

 If it wasn’t on Facebook, it did happen.

Technology is fantastic, I love it. I even have a blog where I can put out all of my dumb thoughts that no one reads.But that doesn’t mean that I respect all of it, and the expectations that have come along for the ride. You may be familiar with a post that I wrote about the woes of social media, if you haven’t, you certainly can. While it’s cliché to say that we live in a world where we post, and post, and post, but don’t live in the moment, it’s true. We are so busy taking photos to remember moments that we’re not actually in the moment, making the memories. And the content of these posts is another thing entirely. Depending on the person, they can be viewed as self-involved, braggy, and sometimes…just weird. What is the message that you’re trying to convey with your post? While I fall into the shameless photographer category, I try to stay in the present and advocate for stepping back.

Relationships are like your 9-to-5, but they pay less.

Whoever said that relationships shouldn’t be work was wr-wr-wrong. Yes, some relationships are easier than others, but to take them for granted is totally negligent. I don’t believe in taking relationships for granted (i.e. family, longtime friends, or office acquaintances), that just doesn’t work for me. It’s important to both show and tell people that they matter to you. Who wants to feel like they’re the only one who’s invested in a relationship? I’ve been there, and I can say that it’s a pretty shitty feeling. If you’re lucky, your relationships will be fruitful, but sometimes, they feel like more effort than they’re worth.

Being selfish once in a while never killed anybody.

Now that I’ve got both feet into the 20s water, I’ve realized that not only do I have a more defined and asserted sense of who I am, but I’m also more open and accepting of change, something that wasn’t so commonplace when I was 16.  Point being, I know myself, the good, the bad, the everything. Knowing myself as I do, I know when I need “me time” and I know what I need. This may appear selfish, but I think it’s actually one of the best things you can do for yourself. Being selfish may also include small things like letting people know what you want to do, rather than “going with the flow” if you’ve got a real opinion. This is usually a great tool to prevent pent up frustrations, etc…

Saving money is boring but necessary.

This is pretty self-explanatory. My generation is terrible at saving and understandably so. Simply put, we’re not in much of a position to so. We’re not making that much at our jobs and are residing in cities where the cost of living is too high. While we’re doing our best to cover the minimum (i.e. rent and eating), we’re also spending on things that we really can’t afford…without the help of our parents. It’s definitely hard to think about the future when you’ve just spent your entirely life in school, which I bet you thought you’d never get out of. The thought of life after college was daunting and that holds true, for so many reasons, this being just one of them.

That said, if you don’t treat yourself every so often, who will?

A little something special every so often, if you can swing it, is a great way to show yourself how much you care about you. For me, it could be something as small as a stop to Juice Press or a latte and alone time. One time, I did, however, justify taking home a bag from MZ Wallace. But you know what? It made me feel good and I use that bag all the time.

By sweating the small things, you get quite a workout.

“Don’t sweat the small things” is one of my least favorite sayings. Ugh, just the thought of it makes me feel icky. I find it such a condescending thing to say because it instantly creates a diminutive dynamic. Simply put, Person A (the one saying this) is telling Person B that their feelings don’t matter, that what they’re feeling is wrong, and that the issue they’re dealing with is miniscule. Even if their reaction seems disproportionate to you, it’s not your job to say that. While I don’t suggest getting worked up about everything—because who can sustain that much stress?—to be cognizant of your emotions is a very productive and healthy thing.

If you take a job for passion, you might get screwed over, but at least it was worth it.

My generation is supposedly quicker to leave their jobs, risking everything because their not happy or fulfilled, and for this, we get we get a bad reputation. We’re looked at as not serious and that’s not fair, we’re just looking for something different or better. That said, we don’t always think with our heads, staying at a position because of where it may lead, but rather, we live in the moment and leave for jobs that seem more interesting or exciting. These career shifts may not always work out, but in the end, hopefully we’ve learned a thing or two.

Expectations are lame and nonproductive.

I think this says it all. While sometimes expectations push us to “do better,” more often than not, we try for the wrong reasons. Expectations often lead us to do things that we really aren’t interested in doing. I, for one, strive to do things that I want to do, not the things that other people reflect upon me. While this isn’t always the nice thing to do, it ultimately makes me a very happy person. Leading me into my next point…

 You can never get your time back, so spend it wisely.

As I kid, I distinctly remember my mom telling me how important time was, that you could never get more of it and that you could never get it back. Impressing this upon me at such a young age definitely left an indelible mark, which is probably why I believe in being selfish, spending my time exactly how I want to, and being as honest as I can be. I always say, “no regrets” and that’s exactly how I try to live.

The Consideration Car

Whenever I take the train, I make it a decided point to sit in the Quiet Car. There are many perks of this seating option, only a few of which include being nearly guaranteed a seat and the chance to rest my bionic hearing. While noise is probably one of the most commonly accepted offenses in society (hence the dedicated car) I feel that a Consideration Car should be instituted, for those of us who are bothered by even more. In my Consideration Car, I would ban things like pungent foods, unhygienic people, over perfumed people, rowdy kids, anyone on a cell phone, loud chewing, snorers, and people who can’t control their bodily functions. While I’m sure I could name a dozen more actions I’d like to constrict, I think you get the point. When I wrote this on the way home for Christmas, the traveler seated next to me was eating a fresh-from-the-microwave croissant with ham. Can you imagine how odorous that was? And she had a bag of three! Who needs that much food for a trip to Boston? And who wants to eat three of those things? She was practically sitting right on top of me in a train car with about as much ventilation as a plane at its highest altitude. Gross. Did she not think that such a meal would smell? How self-absorbed can one person be?

My agitated state was probably heightened by: her telling me that a friend of hers left my place of work because she hated it, the scowl on her face, the book about Chilean miners that she was carrying as a prop, the fact that she’s wearing Chloe perfume, and because she reminds me of the pretentious and judgmental third world studies kids I despised at school. So I digress. During the last train ride I took, a small child was running the entire car length yelling, “Have a nice ride! Have a nice ride!” which, to me, was in clear violation of the Quiet Car rules, and yet, no one said anything to the giggling adult chasing after him. When left to their own undeveloped devices, most children will make noise, how is this surprising? But nonetheless, they shouldn’t be seated in the Quiet Car. Ah, then there was the time before that when I was seated next to a girl who smelled and looked like she hadn’t showered in three weeks, and making me more uncomfortable was the way she used her cell phone through a Ziploc baggie.

Okay, so maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m the weird one, the troublemaker, who shouldn’t be allowed to leave the house. If all of these people seem to be disturbing me, then what if it’s not them? What if it’s me? Yeah, I actually really doubt that. Most people enter the public sphere with a complete lack of consideration and ability to see how their actions will impact other people. It seems to me that most people choose to sit in the quiet car not only for the lack of noise, but also for the lack of distractions and disturbances.. Let this be a call to action. From this point on, we will be a more thoughtful and conscious community, and will cease the sensory assault on others. Is that too much to ask?