Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I can't say I've ever been a huge fan of Halloween.  After the traumatic spider incident (where I was mistaken for a Purple People Eater), it just didn't hold the same joy for me.  There was the year I went as a colonial lady and Sarah went as Rapunzel; my drab dress and brown up-do wig just couldn't compete with her silvery-blond tresses and powder blue gown.  And one of my first memories of public humiliation was in kindergarten, when I was forced to take the stage in my ballerina costume.  As I turned to the microphone to tell the audience what I was (kind of obvious with the pink tutu and all, but those were the instructions), the principal turned away and I ended up saying, "I'm a ballerina" with no mic in front of me.  I don't know why I was so embarrassed - I was six, for God's sake - but I can still remember it like it was yesterday.

But then I grew up.  And some time between the ages of six and thirty-one, I gained enough confidence to appear in public in a leotard.  Either that, or I lost my mind.  I'm leaning toward the latter.

Keepin' it classy.
Fortunately, by the time we attended the Halloween parade yesterday afternoon all ill effects from the tasty but surprisingly potent punch I consumed on Friday night had worn off.  Jack looked rather dashing in his bear suit, if I do say so myself.

Jack surveys his adoring fans.

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United Bears of America."
Now that I can dress my child up in adorable costumes, I'm learning to love Halloween.  Jack is hibernating as we speak, resting up for the main event: trick or treating in Old Town.  Hope to see some of you there!


Friday, October 28, 2011

Shut the Fudge Up

I've known for a while now that I needed to curb my swearing.  I may look like a delicate flower, but I've got the mouth of a truck driver.  It's not something I'm proud of - more of a dirty habit that I can't kick.  But once Jack started speaking, it became clear that my foul-mouthed ways had to end.  The trouble

I've had a potty mouth from a young age myself, and yes, I do place some of the blame on my parents.  I can recall telling my mother that she had an R-rated mouth when I was in elementary school.  Not that I blame her, of course.  If I swear this much with one child, what on earth would I have done with triplets?  Every other word out of my mouth would be a profanity.  But the fact of the matter is, when you're frustrated (and let's be honest, when are you NOT frustrated as a parent?), an appropriately dropped F-bomb is just so satisfying

A few weeks back, I was trying (as usual) to do way too many things at once.  Generally I'm attempting to speak on the phone (and God forbid I have my headphones handy) whilst performing various other tasks - feeding Jack, changing a diaper, applying body lotion, etc.  In this instance, Jack was in his crib playing while I was getting dressed, and when I tried to answer my ringing phone, it slipped right out of my hands (cursed lotion).   You can hardly blame me for muttering a frustrated "dammit" while I retrieved the phone.

Now let me just say that "dammit" was a toned down version of my usual expletive choice - a compromise, if you will.  Same goes for "crap" and "mother effer."  I thought that by avoiding the truly heinous four-letter words, I was doing pretty well for myself.  But what you have to understand is that the word "crap," while fairly benign coming from your own mouth, is not nearly as innocuous on the lips of your 22-month-old.

A few minutes later, I went to get Jack from his crib.  He stood up on his tiptoes, reached out to me with his pudgy little arms, and said, rather firmly, "Dammins, dammins.  Shit."

Out of the mouths of babes...

Oh dear.

I was horrified.  I don't even remember saying shit, but I'm afraid there was no one else around at the moment to blame.  So I did the only thing I could do  - I ignored it.  I picked Jack up and took him downstairs, praying to all that is holy that Jack would simply forget.

But despite the fact that Jack can't seem to remember simple things, like not sticking his fingers in electric sockets, for example, he has clung to that choice phrase like a well-loved blankie.  This morning, probably close to a month since the incident, Jack smiled his gap-toothed smile and said, "Dammins, dammins.  Shit."

For a while I'd tried to tell myself he wasn't really saying those bad words.  "Diamonds," I would correct him.  "Shirt."  But I've heard Jack say both of those words in their appropriate context (Twinkle Twinkle Little Star uses the word "diamond," in case you were wondering; I haven't been quizzing Jack on his knowledge of precious gems just yet), and no one had said a thing about stars or clothing this morning.  It's just a fun little expression to him now, like "ABCD," or "Minky, come."  I'm bracing myself for the day when his preschool calls to tell me what little JackJack said on the playground.

And it's not just swear words you have to be careful with as a parent.  Oh no, you have to worry about words like "mucus" and "nipple," too.  Because toddlers are like parrots.  They will repeat anything you say, wherever and whenever they feel like it, polite company be damned.  One must be constantly on guard.  It's easy to slip, I know.  Someone cuts you off on the freeway and you want nothing more than to raise your fist in the air and tell him where he can shove it, but there are no freebies in this game, my friend.  One strike and you're out.

I've accumulated a couple of somewhat satisfying phrases I can use in place of my beloved swear words, including "son of a duck," "son of a mother" (pretty much putting "son of a" in front of anything works; you can even use it on its own), "schmidt," and "jack-hole."  But let's be honest, nothing comes close to the real deal, and the next time I stub my toe or run into the coffee table, I can't guarantee what's going to come out of my mouth.

So from now on, if anyone asks, we've been learning about beavers and mules around here.  No bullpucky.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Weekly Inspiration: New Music

I go through phases with music.  When I find an album or a band that I like, I become obsessed.  Then I go through streaks where I don't buy any new music for a long time.  For example, I purchased Ellie Goulding's "Lights" several months back, and since then I haven't bought a single song.  Then Sarah randomly sent me some Youtube videos from a singer she likes last week, and I discovered all these other great bands.  I thought I'd share a few of them with you, since I'd never heard of them before.  Then again, maybe I'm just totally out of touch and everyone knows who these bands are.  Although since I can't find most of them on iTunes, you never know...

First off, Wolf Gang.  Sarah sent me the link to this video for "The King and all of His Men"

The album, Suego Faults, wasn't available on iTunes, but I did purchase this other song, "Lions in Cages," which is also quite fantastic.

Niki and the Dove's Malin Dahlström (I think - everything is in Swedish!) Photo from The Guardian UK

Second, Niki and the Dove.  This video for "Under the Bridges" features awesome choreography to an equally awesome song.  Love!

And finally we have I Blame Coco, discovered by Sarah a ways back.  I've been listening to "Self Machine" for months and I'm still obsessed with it.  Why is it some people are so inherently cool?  I suppose having Sting for a father helps...

Eliot Paulina Sumner aka Coco

If you have some amazing new band I need to know about, please share!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Quick Update From the Front Lines

It's like we're running some kind of combat hospital here today.  First we have John, high on pain killers and covered in Betadine after his mansectomy.  In all seriousness, John had to have a lump removed from his chest this morning, and his coworkers have found it quite amusing to reference pink ribbons and Save the Ta-tas.  Fortunately it looks like John is going to make it.

But as John was convalescing this afternoon, I got a call from Jack's school.  You never want the preschool director's first words on the phone to be, "Everything is okay, but..."  Jack apparently tripped while going down the concrete steps and took a very hard fall.  He's got three bruises on his head, including a serious shiner on his forehead and a nice red lump on his crown.  All of this on picture day, no less!  I'm pretty sure the photos were taken prior to the incident, at least.

Both of my boys have been brave little soldiers, however, with Jack cheerfully singing his personal mash-up of "No More Monkeys" and "Patty Cake" (it goes something like this: "No more doctors, baker's man"), and John whipping up a delicious kale salad, sweet potato casserole, and pear crumble for dinner. 

And I'm officially hanging up my nurse's cap and calling it a night.

Before Jack became one of the walking wounded

Monday, October 24, 2011

Happy Fall!

I've always loved this time of year.  I think it goes back to childhood, when fall meant a new school year, a new wardrobe, a new Trapper Keeper...  Fall was when I made my New Year's resolutions.  This year, I told myself, I'll be popular.  This year I'll make new friends, I'll do better in school, I won't doodle incessantly in the margins of every notebook.  Of course, by November those resolutions were already broken, but I never lost hope.

Fall also means perfect weather, where it's crisp enough to wear your favorite plaid coat but not so cold you can't muster up the willpower to leave the house.  The leaves are changing, the holidays are approaching, and culinary delights like pumpkin pie chai lattes appear on cafe menus.  It really is my favorite time of year.

So, to that end, I thought I'd share some of our recent fall exploits.  What can I say?  Give me an opportunity to dress my kid in a pumpkin hat, and I'm grabbing that sucker by the horns - er, stem.

Jack gives the new park on Commonwealth and Del Ray Ave. two thumbs up.  Or he would if he wasn't clutching the remains of a pumpkin biscotti in his fat little fingers.

And here I am, overcompensating for Jack's lack of enthusiasm by smiling like a moron.
This past weekend was a full-out fall extravaganza.  On Saturday morning, we went to the Fall Festival at Mt. Vernon.  What an amazing place to visit with kids.  We went ahead and bought the one-year membership for $25.  It pays for itself in two visits.

So basically Jack had no idea what to do with the hoop.

Checking out the pigs at Mt. Vernon.

Note the joy on Anneliese's face.  Also note her foot position.  I think you can guess what's going to happen next.

On Sunday morning, we met up with Sarah at Eastern Market.  How have I lived here for three years and never been??  There were so many great vendors and fun things for Jack to check out.  The fact that you can buy a bag of fresh donuts for three dollars isn't too shabby, either.

It only took me 138 years to discover Eastern Market.  Auntie Sha Sha and Jack were clearly already in the know.
On Sunday afternoon we headed over to our friends' house in Old Town for their neighborhood Oktoberfest.  I miss the neighborhood camaraderie of Old Town so much.  Okay, fine, so we didn't actually speak to our neighbors when we lived there.  But I like to think if I lived there now, I'd be friends with them.  Especially since our neighbor lived in a multi-million dollar mansion and had a wine cellar the size of our current house.  I did enjoy the view of his yard, at least.  Ah well, at least we can crash our friends' neighborhood parties in the meantime. 

Jack stops to smell the flowers.  I'm not sure the window lurker in the Eighties tracksuit is entirely pleased.
Fall is also an excellent time of year for cooking.  Or for John's cooking, to be more specific.  He made a delicious pumpkin soup with coconut milk last week, and I'm anticipating lots of veggie pot pies with homemade crusts over the next few months.  If you have any delicious fall recipes or fun fall activities to share, please post them in the comments!
Happy fall, everyone!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Fun New Phase of Toddlerhood

Last week Jack decided two things:
1) It's super fun to put your toys down your shirt, particularly if you're wearing a onesie or footie pajamas.

There's an entire barnyard's worth of animals in there.

"This is normal, right Mom?"

2) It's even more super fun to get naked.

Fortunately for me, he hasn't quite figured out the whole sleeve situation.

I see a Calvin Klein Jeans commercial in his future...

I'm waiting for the moment when Jack decides to do a strip tease in Target.  For now, I'm grateful he hasn't decided to go for the full monty.  I'm not sure the world is ready for that just yet.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

They Came. They Saw. They Shopped.

Last Thursday my mom and her good friend Deborah flew into D.C. for a visit.  I knew there would be shopping involved because my mom is a champion shopper, Sarah is her protege, and Deborah puts them both to shame, but I was not prepared for the shopping tsunami that was headed my direction.  What is one to do when a giant tidal wave of consumerism is headed her way?  Head for the hills?  Build an ark?  In the end, there really is only one answer.

Grab a life preserver and hang on for dear life.

I tried to keep up with them, I really did.  And at first I thought it might not be so bad.  Our intentions were so pure on Friday morning as we headed to the National Portrait Gallery and the Building Museum.  But after twenty minutes of letting Jack flop in the lobby of the Building Museum, Sarah's eye landed (quite by accident, I'm sure) on a giant sign that read URBAN OUTFITTERS.  Urban Outfitters is Sarah's Mecca.  She makes a pilgrimage there at least once a week.  She was due for a fix.  And besides, the National Portrait Gallery wasn't open yet, so we had some time to kill.  It wasn't exactly difficult to convince my mom and Deborah (or myself, if I'm being honest) that this was the perfect place to bide our time.  It was all downhill from there.

After we parted company with John (who I'm ashamed to say got caught up in the whole thing and actually purchased something himself), we managed to get back on the wagon and head to the Portrait Gallery.  Of course, by then we were hungry from all our shopping, so we sat down at the cafe for a quick snack.  An hour later, we finally forced ourselves to look around.  There was a folk art exhibit that my mom thought sounded interesting, so off we went.  Within five minutes Deborah had made a new friend, a security guard who had apparently been to heaven before and assured her that the gold there looked quite different from the gold tin foil covering a piece of art.

An example of what it DOESN'T look like in heaven.
He then moved on to a giant paper mache sheep (I'm a big fan of folk art, let me tell you) and asked if he could have a sheep as a pet.  My mom and Deborah mulled that one over for a moment before Deborah replied, "I guess so.  If you're zoned for it."
"Could I have it in my house?" the man asked.
"I'm not sure you'd want to," my mom said.
"But could I, like, hug it?"

On that note, we hightailed it out of there and we went where we'd really wanted to go all along: the gift shop.

A true work of art.  And you can pet it.

On Saturday we headed to the zoo.  We saw the orangutans (and learned all about regurgitation and re-ingestion, a super fun subject), the sea otters, the elephants, and the small mammals.  Jack enjoyed watching the otters make a nest in a hollow log.  True, he thought the otter statues were mice, but if it makes the kid happy, who am I to correct him?

In the small mammal hall, Jack was delighted by the golden lion tamarins, mostly because he thought they were Minky.  Now you might be starting to think Jack has a hard time differentiating his mammals, but in this case, he may be on to something.  I'll let you be the judge. 

Later that afternoon, post-lunch at Lauriol Plaza, we did the only logical thing: we shopped.  There are a handful of great boutiques and furniture stores on U Street.  I think we saw them all.  The biggest hits were Legendary Beast for vintage jewelry and the new vintage furniture store Foundry.  By the time I drove home that night I didn't care if I ever saw another Pendleton jumper or rhinestone necklace again in my life.

It's amazing what a good night's sleep can do.

On Sunday we had brunch in Old Town and took Minky to the dog park near the river.  Jack had a wonderful time chasing Minky around. However, when Minky dared approach another small child, Jack was less than thrilled.

After the dog park, we shopped at the enormous and amazing accessory boutique, Lou Lou's, then hit up LNRB's Stella and Dot party, because clearly we hadn't done enough jewelry shopping in the past three days.  After that, we headed for Georgetown for yet MORE shopping.  I think I hit my shopping wall somewhere during those following three hours.  Anthropologie lost its luster.  Madewell made me want to cry.  Even a cupcake from Baked and Wired couldn't revive me.  When I went home that night I was ready to collapse.  Monday loomed before me like a wall of bad pleather accessories.  I prayed for a miracle.

Fortunately, even my mom was starting to show signs of wear and tear on Monday, and we agreed to go to Gadsby's Tavern for their toddler play time.  I kind of love how in Old Town they have a play group in the same place where our founding fathers used to drink beer.  It was seven dollars for a group of three, which worked out perfectly, since Deborah was determined to press ever onward in her quest for shopping glory.  Jack had a good time reading with Grandma.

Jack was also invited to participate in crafts or play in a tunnel, but his tastes have always been unconventional.  For example, this keyhole proved to be highly entertaining, until we were told not to touch it.

Gee, you'd think it was a historic landmark or something.
After Jack's nap, I picked the ladies up in Old Town, which required visiting one last boutique, and then we went to see Footloose with Sarah.  I later found out that she went to Urban Outfitters after the movie let out around 9:30.  It's a disease, people.  Fortunately, it doesn't appear to be catching.

On our final day, Tuesday, I dropped Jack off at preschool (no tears!) and I took my mom and Deborah into D.C. so we could tour National Geographic and grab lunch with some friends.  I left the ladies to fend for themselves for the afternoon, and they actually chose to do something cultural: the Holocaust Museum (which I'm ashamed to say I haven't seen yet).  They said it was really amazing and I think even Deborah was happy for the brief respite.  John made a fabulous farewell dinner, and we culminated the visit with a bottle of Cakebread Chardonnay and a pumpkin mascarpone pie that somehow only lasted two nights (a real shock in this house).

Seeing my mom was so wonderful.  I'm thankful to Deborah for flying out here with her (the visit might never have happened otherwise) and for both of their generosity while they were here.  I made out like a bandit, let me tell you.  Of course, now that Mom and Deborah are back in their respective homes, I'm starting to feel a little down.  It's hard not having family around, especially when you have a kid.  Jack had the best time playing with his Grab-a and I loved catching up with my mom and Deborah.  We always seem to have the most fun when we're all together.  I love you both!

And you know, it's the darndest thing, but I suddenly have this strange hankering to go shopping...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Weekly Inspiration: Footloose

Okay, okay, so this is semi-mortifying to admit, but not only did I go and see the Footloose remake last night with my mom, Sarah, and Deborah -- I actually kind of liked it.

Now don't get me wrong, it was cheesy.  Super cheesy.  Extra cheesy, you might say.

But I still had fun.  It helped that I was with people who liked it.  This is certainly not a movie I would ever want to see with John, who would have been making snarky comments the entire time.  And there were parts where Sarah and I just had to turn to each other and smirk.  I mean, let's be honest, you have to suspend belief from the outset with Footloose.  A town where dancing is banned?  Seriously?  I know I for one get so angry sometimes I simply have to drive to an abandoned warehouse and DANCE, but for a teenage boy, it's a bit of a stretch.

This is MY time, people.

I was pleasantly surprised that the acting wasn't too terrible, however.  Both of the leads -- Julianne Hough (from Dancing with the Stars) and Kenny Wormald -- are dancers first and actors second.  This could have gone horribly awry, but it actually worked.  I'm not a good dancer to say the least, but I love watching people with talent dance.  I'm willing to admit that So You Think You Can Dance is one of my favorite shows.  And while I'm reconciled to the fact that I'll never learn how to dance properly, I feel like line dancing may be within reach.  I've already got the cowboy boots and hat.  Now I just need a patient instructor and about four shots of tequila.

This all came at a good time, too, considering that I have somehow volunteered myself to go as a Jazzerciser for Halloween.  There is an alarming amount of Spandex in my future.  And you might be praying for that city-wide ban on dancing after all.

In My Thoughts...

This post was written by my good friend's little sister, who was just diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 28.  I can't imagine what she's going through right now, but I have to say I am blown away by her strength and positive attitude.  Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Just One of Those Days

Jack's sick.  I'm sick.  It's raining.  The grape Children's Tylenol spilled all over the carpeted staircase.  John was *nearly* late for an interview at the White House this morning (he made it right on time, thank goodness, but I knocked at least a year or two off of my lifespan worrying about him).  It's just one of those days.

Fortunately, there are a few fun things on the horizon.  Mommy Joseph and her good friend Deborah are coming to visit!  I'm hoping I don't feel too sick, because I'm really looking forward to the zoo, shopping in Old Town, Mt. Vernon, and other fun activities.  We also have reservations at The Majestic on Saturday night, and I'd really like to be able to taste my coconut cake, thanks much.

Sarah and I also made it to the next and final round of the Lucky Lifestyle Contributor Contest!  Of course, I have no idea how many people made it, but at least this will all be over soon.  Thanks to everyone who voted, in particular Chad and Shauna.  Their dedicated clicking was truly impressive.  Voting for the next round starts November 1st, so we all have a nice break from Sarah's nagging.  In the meantime, I have a bit more editing to do before passing my novel along to the next round of beta readers.

If any one has any suggestions for a rainy day activity, please let me know!  We're already on our second episode of Sesame Street this morning - this does not bode well.  Especially since I'm talking along with Elmo during the intro to Elmo's World, in a really bad impression of Elmo's voice. 

It's almost like he's mocking me.
Thankfully, even on the worst of days, there's always nap time to look forward to.  Just one. more. hour.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Weekend Getaway: Norfolk

This past holiday weekend, I learned a few things.

First: Norfolk?  Not half bad!  It's the new home of our dear friends Dave and Meredith, and their little guy Soren.  It's hard to believe it's been a year since we had the boys together.

Two pumpkins straight from the patch.

The boys in the bath one year ago.  The tub was slightly more crowded this time around.

Besides being home to some of our favorite peeps, Norfolk also has an awesome zoo, truly impressive botanical gardens, and surprisingly good cuisine.  Any town with a bagel shop featuring tempeh bacon is alright in my book.  There's something to be said for not living directly outside of a major city.  Dave and Meredith have a house that is literally five times the size of ours.  It's RIDICULOUS.  I think I may have said that like nineteen times over the weekend.  Four bedrooms and an office, three and a half baths, original details like coal-burning fireplaces and ceiling medallions, and a kitchen that John is seriously coveting.  It's pretty awesome when two families of three can all sleep under the same roof and not feel even remotely crowded.

Save a horse; ride a rhino.

This was not easy to achieve.  But I think the results speak for themselves.
The second thing I learned is that I might be a wee bit of a control freak when it comes to Jack.  I already knew I was a neat freak, but apparently it's worse than I thought.  I think Meredith nearly died when I whipped out Jack's full-torso smock for mealtime.  I mean, is it wrong not to want to change Jack's outfit three times a day?  And sure, I may have used the hand sanitizer about eight times at the petting zoo, but it was a veritable petri dish up in there.
Jack is also capable of so much more than I give him credit for.  Apparently he CAN ride a tricycle and climb a rope net.  He knew how to play basketball without me showing him (not that he could reach the net, but he tried).  He knows how to share.  By the end of the trip I felt like Marlin from Finding Nemo: "You think you can do these things but you can't, Nemo!"  Actually, he can.  He doesn't have a gimpy fin.  He's a pretty capable little guy.  This weekend I learned to stand back and let him try, even if it scares the stuffing out of me.

I was worried about finger crushage, but Dave wisely pointed out that would probably be a big deterrent at a Children's Garden.

Requisite photo of Jack with animal statuary.

Soren gets to raking while Jack greets visitors.  They're totally ready for their own place.

And thirdly, I learned that if you're going to a petting zoo, wear shoes without a lot of tread.
Otherwise you'll find yourself cleaning goat feces out of your toddler's Converse with a Q-tip.  It's not pretty.  Trust me on this one.

And here I'm thinking, "Please don't eat my child's finger."

Jack offers a single blade of grass to the goat.  The sentiment was sweet, but sadly unappreciated.

Never one to be deterred, Jack goes in for a kiss.  Note the lovely chip o' sh*t that later ended up in Jack's shoe.

Thanks to Dave, Meredith, and Soren for a lovely weekend!  We can't wait to visit again soon!  

Friday, October 7, 2011

So What Are You Saying, Exactly?

I think the universe is trying to tell me something.  In the past couple of weeks I've seen several blog posts on critique partners and beta readers.

For example, yesterday on Is It Hot In Here Or Is It This Blog.
The other day, on La Vie en Prose. 
And recently, on Will Write for Cookies.

So what, dear Universe, are you trying to say, exactly?  That I need to widen my critiquing circle?  That I'm delusional if I think the eyes of a few close friends aren't going to cut it this time?  That I need to find an actual critique group?  Ugh.

So far two people have read my book, the delightfully enthusiastic LNRB, and Sarah, who may be my twin sister but also happens to be my harshest critic (and also my biggest supporter).  The amount of feedback I got from them is already overwhelming.  After this round of edits, I'm hoping to send the novel to two or three more writing friends who I know will give me honest feedback without crushing my soul completely (Lisa, Erin, and Elizabeth - that means you).  Once I have their feedback and have had a chance to compile it, edit again, and talk myself down from a very high ledge, I'll hopefully be able to send it to some of my non-writer friends who will give me good general feedback (and, if I'm lucky, make me feel like I'm not completely insane for trying to get a book published).

As I've said before, writing the book is the easy part.  It's what comes after that really tests a writer's mettle.  It's especially daunting when you're terrified that at any moment, the publishing powers that be might proclaim that YA Paranormal is officially dead and over.  There are a lot of potential critique partners or writing groups out there, but the truth is, I find them terrifying.  And also kind of pointless.  I probably just haven't met the right people yet, but from my experience it's a very self-serving set up.  Do I honestly want to spend what little time I have reading another unpublished author's novel, anymore than they want to waste their time reading mine?  Not really - we'd only be doing it to get feedback on our own novels.  If the person isn't a very good writer, will their feedback mean much, if anything, to me?  Plus, can you really trust the opinion of someone who might be in direct competition with you for one of those few available agency openings per year?  And worse still, what if I read something that blows my book completely out of the water?  All that will do is shatter the very delicate structure that is my ego.

I'm very fortunate to have a couple of friends who are also aspiring authors, as well as some very well-read friends and family members.  Maybe it's naive to count on them for feedback, but for now, it's what I'm comfortable with.  I'm not saying the universe doesn't have a point, exactly.

I'm just choosing to ignore it.  For now.  

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Weekly Inspiration: The Yellow Wallpaper

Perhaps it is the Lucky competition that got me thinking about a short story I read in college, The Yellow Wallpaper.  After all, it is about a woman's descent into madness, and with all this click-click-clicking, I'm starting to feel a bit mad myself.  I love a good short story, and this one has stayed with me over the years because it's so brilliantly written and sort of implants itself in your brain.  I found it online, so if you feel like making yourself a bit crazy too, read it here

There are a lot of blog posts and paintings inspired by the story.  This post has some great images of rather attractive yellow wallpaper.  Of course, after reading this story, I have a feeling you won't be considering yellow wallpaper for your home any time soon...

Meanwhile, the madness continues.  Vote for us, if you dare!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lucky Lifestyle Contributor Contest - Round 4

I have to believe that if the good folks at Lucky Magazine knew how crazy this competition was making us, they'd do something about the rules. Alas, it looks like Round 4 is going to be just as nuts as the last round, because as of right now you can vote as many times as you want. Last time we managed to hold onto third or fourth place thanks to the dedicated finger tapping of some very loyal friends. Unfortunately it didn't matter, since it seems even the people with zero votes made it to this round. I'm not sure how Lucky will decide who goes to the next round, or if they'll fix what has to be a glich in their system some time in the next nine days. All I know is Sarah and I worked hard on this round of the competition. Fortunately this round had to do with a great topic: friendship.

Many of you know Kim. For those who don't, she's been our great friend since college. She also has great style, so she was an easy choice for this entry. Read about our friendship and fashion similarities and differences here.

If you get the chance to vote, we would sincerely appreciate it. Now that you're already registered, it should be a piece of cake. The good news is that if we make it to the next round (which is the final round) the judges will actually weigh in! Thanks to everyone who has supported us so far!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Psssst... Don't Forget!

The Crafty Bastard craft fair is going on today in Adams Morgan from 10 AM to 5 PM!  Hope to see you there.

Artwork by Laura George Art + Illustration

And, if you're interested, you can hear Stephen King's speech from the Mason Awards here.

Happy weekend!