We Are Friends of Gold


Sickly Sweet
May 9, 2011, 11:57 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Today, I brought my engagement ring to a jeweler friend to have it sized.

Two very cool things happened: one, she had some really great ideas about ways to either reset the stone, which had originally been the fiance’s mother’s, so that it could go seamlessly with a wedding band of my choosing; and two, she saw the worse-for-wear ring I had brought along as a replacement until I get THE properly fitting ring back, and decided to do something about its sorry state. Turns out, what I thought was costume jewelry (having been passed down to me from my step-grandfather’s mother’s jewelry box stuffed full), was actually just very dirty 14k and aquamarine. I literally thought it was brass with maybe a clear plastic stone, faceted glass if I was lucky. All it took was a toothbrush, some water and a little soap, and it’s like a brand new ring! Ladies, she says – clean your jewelry!

I thought it was especially funny, given the task at hand, that on my subway ride down to her studio, I came across more gross PDA than I’ve seen in a long while. Teenagers leaning against polls giving each other hickeys, incessant kissing in the midst of tightly packed crowds, and the exchange of a single rose.

Love is in the air.

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Used to Be
May 3, 2011, 9:43 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It was my birthday not so long ago, and my mother brought me a box of mementos. Little things I never would have guessed still existed, they were from so long ago. Photos from photo booths, ticket stubs, letters from friends. I always find these things so funny, because it’s so easy to tell when you had ‘curated’ the small meaningless and meaningful collection. Based on who and what was important enough to make it into the box, it is like a portrait of who you were at that moment, when the box became full and you moved on. Forgot about it.

Grover Whalen and the Time Capsule - from NYPL

I was happy to get this box, especially so, not because anything in it was at all precious to me anymore – the value of the contents of the box would have added up to $.28 if I was lucky. But what it did was prompt me to reach out to a couple of the people who I’d been close to then – friends across the country who I hadn’t seen since we were awkward prepubescent children, trying to figure out who we were. I’ve become who I am, and I’ve seen who my friends have become thanks to the magic of Facebook, but it was entirely superficial. We hadn’t said so much as ‘hello’ to one another on there. So I sent an email, one written as though we’d just talked days before, one assuming the closeness we had had, and it was received so well! Everyone else cares just as much. A little effort is all that’s needed to find that out.



Better Bright and Bubbly – on to the B’s, see?
February 3, 2011, 3:57 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

So I had my super happy post, and all of a sudden I felt all self-concious, like I’m not supposed to be that happy, or at least not publicly. I consider myself an optimist no matter what. Even when I’m bummed and mopey, I always expect things to get better. But I know that a good chunk of the population doesn’t so much love that. It’s not even so much that the general population doesn’t like positivity, but they connect on shared misery. I got self-concious and stopped writing. I was worried about who might see what I’m saying and if it would make me seem silly, girlish, daft, naive.

And I can’t seem to get away from it, either. I wanted to keep writing somehow, so I started thinking about a book to write. Just a shot in the dark let’s see what comes out of this little bit every day kind of thing. All I could think about, in terms of plot, is the different ways of looking at the world, optimism vs pessimism. It seemed like this total soap opera to me, I wouldn’t be able to turn away I’m sure if I watched the story I was proposing unfold. But as I was nailing down characters and all that, I saw more and more of my own story, mother-daughter relationships imploding, clashes of minds and this subtle emotional drama stuff happening. It didn’t seem interesting enough anymore. It was like my stab at creativity was turning more ‘dear diary’ than ‘dear Oscar.’ Not that I have any illusions of winning an Oscar.

Anyway, I’m back to say I’m going to just go ahead and keep writing here. And I’m going to stop telling myself that happiness dripping all over everything is not ok. I’ve already relegated much of my drab Winter wardrobe to the top rack in the closet even though the weather man won’t give me the go-ahead for that move for another month or two. A certain man whose opinion I listen to closely said something to the effect of some of those colors I’m drawn to looking like they belong to someone who hates their parents. And I don’t. And while I stand by mustard and ochre and all of the colors between, I see what he means. Not to mention I’m SO sick of this cold dreary weather. As with most things in life, I’m deciding that it is heading into Spring and so it will be.

The exciting thing about my cheery disposition and my attempt at brightening my wardrobe is, I now have a way to document it! I don’t intend to make this into a personal style blog by any means. but all of this rambling would be so much more fun with pictures, no?

Now all I have to do is learn how to use the darned thing.

Later, kids!



A Long Journey
January 9, 2011, 6:17 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This city can sure be tiring. Even coordinating how to get from one promised meeting to the next, which makes sense to do first, how much you can realistically carry from one to another before you have to give up and cab it all back home only to head out again… Just the thinking and the mapping and the planning makes me yawn.

The next few days will be filled with too much schlepping, but it’s all in the name of Living in New York. I’ll have to handle it. And I can, because I’m a New Yorker. It’s what we do.

Yesterday on one such schlep, a crawling subway ride from deep in Brooklyn to Carnegie Hill (an hour and a half at least!), I heard a funny exchange between three teenagers. It’s these little snippets of life that make 20-something subway stops between two destinations a little bit tolerable. It was two dudes, one girl. One dude had slipped off into a headphone-induced meditation. The other chatted animatedly with the girl. She got more and more cozy with him, slinging her long legs over his at a certain point, casually, like she didn’t notice she had done it. They kept talking. Then, she said “Oh, hey, total change of topic. What’s up with that skin on male parts? You know. That extra skin?” The sudden mention of his member had made the talker suddenly stutter. He was lost for words. What was she asking exactly anyway? It was like verbal diarrhea on her part – her mind had gone there and she just wanted to talk about sex but didn’t think to make it smooth. She was already embarrassed, but nudged her friend with the headphones – he would know what she was talking about. “What was that you told me about, circumcision? What was the stuff called?” “Foreskin” “Right, foreskin…” And, the conversation was over. A new total change of topic. Ah the flirtations of youth.



A Picture and What It’s Worth
January 5, 2011, 5:10 pm
Filed under: Creativity, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

You may have noticed that thus far, this blog is without images. I know I can pull from elsewhere and link back to them, I probably will before too long. But I’ve been itching to make some images of my own, to document my life, to create good quality content that is worthy of someone’s time.

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, and I tend to agree. And I don’t know if it’s having seen all of the blogs I’ve been reading for years get more and more photo-rific, my background in art, or what, but I won’t stand for sub-par. I’m probably setting myself up for a mini-disaster, saying I’ll only accept the best. Because if I get a camera and start snapping away, and I don’t like what I see… I don’t want to declare myself useless and the camera a waste of money and give up. I’m not generally the type to give up, so fingers crossed this won’t happen, but I’ll make this a note to myself to be easy on a beginner photographer.

Thoughts on the best DSLR to get? I had done some research at one point and settled on the Canon Rebel XS or XSi based on their price vs. quality and their compatibility with lenses of many types and sorts. Sound good? Am I right or did I misinterpret what I read?

Until soon,

Aurora



A List of Goals
January 2, 2011, 4:33 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Last I talked about here, I was going on about the joy in getting something done, something that nagged at me. In order to continue with the idea of progress, I like the idea of goals for each year as opposed to resolutions. No thank you to swearing off this that or the other, aimlessly trying to make myself do something daily or weekly or what have you that I know I should. Instead, I prefer to make myself some lofty goals based on things I’ve been interested in – I want to make my life look like the fantasy that I create in my head. There’s no reason it shouldn’t look as close to that as possible!

 

So if I’m aching to write, I want to start working on a big project – why not write a book? I love the planning process behind this stuff, thinking out the necessary steps, pulling together supplies and thinking out initial ideas. Sometimes I think I actually get stuck there and don’t even bother with the smaller steps, and I guess that’s where a resolution is helpful in opposition to a goal. If I have a publisher in mind for a book and I know how many pages I want total and how much I have to write a day in order to finish in time, and the special ink I want to use on my book jacket, well that’s all fine and dandy but the resolution to write every day would actually get me closer to that goal than just the planning. And if I don’t write, then it doesn’t happen.

Well, I’m not always amazing at the follow-through. Sometimes I am. I set myself enough goals that I get part way there on some and that is better than nothing! But I’m kind of excited at the moment about where my life is, where my life has gone over the past year and a half, and I think building on that and shooting toward new goals will be easier than ever. I’ve figured out how to give myself the kick in the butt I need to move on something.

This year, here are some things I’d like to accomplish (no book writing for me):

Make all of the accessories and artworks that have been swimming around in my head – jewelry, purses, prints, printed fabrics, wall hangings, altered frames.

Spend time with my body – give it as much water as it needs, don’t eat meat if it’s not appealing, use the gym in the basement, go to yoga classes in the neighborhood, try meditating, and eat more sensible portions, just more often if need be.

Become more engaged with the city that I work so hard to be able to live in – go to events and monuments and parks and institutions, see the people I love, get out of the house.

All of these things really just take time. And it’s my opinion that I’d have more than enough time if I reduced my hours online. I want to make sure that I’m only reading the things I really care about, and that enrich my life. I shouldn’t sit around waiting for updates. I can always catch up. I need to occupy my time off of the screen, and make myself crave time to do and make the things that I want to in the same way that I currently crave being online, because a life lived staring at the screen won’t mean anything to me looking back.

XO,

A



A Broken Promise
December 16, 2010, 5:30 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

You know, it’s funny – over on my work blog, I just kind of vowed not to speak too often about my daily eats. But now here I’m going to go ahead and do it. I kind of think there’s a deeper message hidden among this talk about rice:

I made some rice the other day. I wanted to have fried rice, and leftover rice is better for it, but I wanted it then, for dinner. So I made sort of a fake version of fried rice. Everything but the rice itself  – the veggies, egg, spices and sauces – was fried, and then I simply mixed it into the fresh-made rice, leaving a bunch of leftover plain rice for who-knows-what.

Then last night, I worked an event that didn’t have me home and ready to cook until nearly 10pm. I was too zonked to care, so I made what was one of the saddest meals I have in a long time – rice… with sauce. It kinda had me bummed out for the rest of the evening, and this morning too for that matter.

“I am the type of person who eats rice with sauce because she can’t be bothered” I thought.

“My usual simple meals were not simple enough. I’m pathetic. Get it together.” Not to say I don’t need to get it together a bit these days, but really, this was a low low.

This morning as I moped around figuring out breakfast, what did I see but… the last of that pot of plain rice. So I found a recipe for rice pudding. It seemed sort of luxurious, a treat, but it has eggs and milk and is warm and cozy for a cold morning and I had the few ingredients necessary on hand. You could sort of pretend it’s healthy.

Well, the rice pudding came out beautifully, it felt on the other end of the spectrum from the night before’s dinner. It made me feel like a real person again. That deeper message I mentioned above? I think it’s simply that you can make something fulfilling out of nothing – it just takes the tiniest bit of effort. And that even when you feel like you have nothing, there is likely a way to turn the situation on its head, if only in your head, and give yourself a new perspective.