Friday, September 13, 2013

Because I love this picture.

The first full week back at school is officially over and while it was exhausting it wasn't bad at all. This weekend is supposed to be perfect weather! Alex and I are having a picnic in prospect park with some friends who just had a baby named Cora (!) and then we're going to go back to Montclair on Sunday to re-look at a house we really liked.

Could it really be the one? Everyone keeps saying, "you'll know when you walk in." And while I really liked the house when I walked in, I didn't just know anything. I have a feeling that I'm not the "know when you walk in" type. I need to look at the trulia ad a million times to the point where everything is memorized, analyze the neighborhood via google maps, talk to a bunch of people about it for a week, realize I'm still thinking about it and then go back and look at it again and then still maybe not know. We'll see. Or maybe I am the "know when you walk in" type, and this isn't the one.

I'm now going to interrupt this post with links to things I like on the internet, not necessarily because that's what a lot of people blog about on Fridays, but because I feel like I want to tell you guys about cool stuff. So here goes:

This is the best essay I've ever read about abortion.

Alex and I are on the cover of this week's New Yorker (kind of.)

This is the saddest story about a house.

This Vine makes me love everything about life.

Best etsy shop ever?

Best thing on Youtube?

You should be listening to these podcasts: Holmes. Garlin. 

The thing about links posts is that I think I secretly view them as blog post cop outs. I should be writing a blog post about how much I love the medium of podcasts and their connection to radio and the internet, combining my love for the old and the new. Or how Vine reminds me of America's Funniest Home Video's and gifs and the same time, but in real time, and while they could be a total time suck, they also feel weirdly special. Or how I have no idea why listening to someone playing the flute over the 20th Century Fox theme song so makes me laugh so hard, but it does. But let's not talk about shoulds.

I was made aware of most of these links through Alex who is basically King of the Internet, or at least Mayor. (I like how I went from King to Mayor).

He hates when I share stuff about him, but too bad. If you liked these links, you should check out the podcast he will be doing soon. I'm thinking of it as a podcast for those of us who are not good at finding great things online on our own, but like enjoying the great things that are online.

I'm reading two books right now, the first is for work, since I will be doing a banned books curriculum with the 6th grade, called Places I never Meant to Be. It's a collection of short stories by censored young adult writers, edited and with an introduction by Judy Blume, of course. And it's really good. The second is what I guess would be called a self help book? Maybe pop- psychology- that I just started last night called Romancing the Shadow. My therapist recommended it and so far it's helping me think about how to be my authentic self. Something I'm always striving for. It very much connects your body and your mind (something my therapist has always done with me) and gotten me thinking about trying transcendental meditation as well.  This is starting to feel like another moment where I could try and write a longer post going deeper into these heavy issues, but look, it's Friday and it's 72 degrees out and sunny. So let's just end there. Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Today I went to vote and signed my name under someone else's! I walked into the auditorium of St. Cecelia's church with that feeling of nervous pride that I always get when going to vote. It's a mixture of getting all Lesley knope-ish and feeling overwhelmingly like a grown up at the same time.

So after the nice old lady told me what my district was, another nice younger lady found my name and told me to sign and I signed under the wrong name!

Me: Oh crap.

Lady: What?

Me: Um, I signed under the wrong name.

Lady:  Do you know who you are?!

To my defense, which I showed the lady and then the man that she called over, the name underneath mine was Shannon O'something and her signature was almost identical to mine! (Big S some squiggles, followed by a big O and more squiggles).

Me: Look at her signature! I thought it was mine.

The lady did agree that they were alarmingly similar and so did the man in charge who decided to just initial my crossed out mistake and if that other lady showed up to have her sign under my mistake. (I wonder if that was the official way to handle something like that. And I wonder if she ever showed up to vote)

Everyone in the whole auditorium laughed at me. Especially the old ladies. And it made me feel proud to be an American.

We looked at some houses with real estate agents this weekend and it went well! No dream house found yet, but we're getting a better handle on this whole house hunting thing and I think we're going to be able to find something special eventually. Right now we're feeling a lot of love towards Maplewood, but want to explore Montclair a little more too. Any readers familiar with either towns? I'd love to hear any thoughts in the comments! Also, thanks for the great comments on my first house buying post. I'm excited to keep you guys in the loop.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Did you guys know that Barbara Streisand displays all of the wonderful things she's collected over the years in a mall in her basement in Malibu?

Barbara Streisand has a basement mall.

The mall also includes actual stores where she can buy new presents for her friends.
Along a cobblestone-paved, antique-lantern-lit “street,” a collection of turn-of-the-last-century-style shops beckons “customers” to step inside. Traffic is heaviest during screening parties, when the Sweet Shop does brisk business dispensing licorice, frozen yogurt, and popcorn to guests. Before going out to a dinner party or a friend's birthday, Streisand likes to duck into the Gift Shoppe to pick up a present—a soap dish or a pair of candlesticks—and tie it up with pretty ribbons at the wrapping table.
Other emporiums include the Antique Shop, the Antique Clothes Shop, and Bee's Doll Shop (in front of which she thoughtfully installed a bench for men to sit while the ladies are inside). The only items missing are the cash registers.
"You can do that if it's your own mall," Streisand explains to me on a September afternoon.

My friend Erika sent me an email with the subject line "Were you AWARE of this?" this weekend and the body containing just this link.

Like Erika, no, I was not aware of this. However I find it fascinating, like most things about Babs tend to be.

I'm an old school Barbara fan, with most of my knowledge and love about her focusing on the movies The Way We Were and Funny Girl. I remember watching The Way We Were for the first time with my mom in high school, because she was like, "you need to see this movie!"and not being able to get over how much Robert Redford looked like Brad Pitt at the time! But also just thinking Katie was pretty cool.

And then of course, Sex and The City had their great The Way We Were homage with Carrie and Big in the episode where Big marries Natasha. I love the scene where Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte try to explain the movie to Samantha, that's how I feel right now explaining it to all of you!

I just watched it again. It's so good!

Anyway, the point of this post is to say, isn't it totally weird that Barbara Streisand has her own mall in her house, but also, isn't she super awesome? Yes, I say yes to all of those questions.

Also, when you google "Barbara Streisand's Basement Mall" you find out that someone wrote a play imagining what it would be like to work there, and I have to say, it actually looks pretty good.

In connection to all this, Babs just put out a book about all of her dream homes that she's lovingly decorated over the years. I think I'm putting it on my Christmas list. I know it's only September but as we all know: