Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Oh no, Ginger. I still can't believe you're gone.

I just found this article, "Something About Harry: Old Dogs are the Best Dogs", and I thought it was worth sharing. My favorite line: "He was the shape of a baked potato, with the color and luster of an interoffice envelope."

Even though Ginger passed away six months ago, I still think about her. I can't pinpoint the moment she became an old dog — beyond her being 10 when I adopted her, I mean. She always had the energy to bark at other dogs, bark when I put shoes on, and bark whenever someone said, "Go, go."

But the night she got bitten on her snout (in a scrap with a border collie, no less), I felt like something changed. After we got home from the clinic and went to sleep, I kept waking up. She'd have walked into the wall with her cone, too disoriented to just back out of the tiny hallway. So I'd turn her around and bring her back into my room. (I never did know why she kept wandering — what was she looking for?) The next day, after the anesthesia had worn off, she ran through my parents' house, barreling through the narrow doorways and banging them with the gargantuan cone. Fearless. In the photo, though, I think she looks a little vulnerable. To get the photo, I had to prop her up; she kept tilting to the side. Oh, Ginger.

Still, there's nothing I'd have done differently. I do think that old dogs are the best dogs.

By the way, Papa is doing fine. She gets a break this week from me telling you about her hijinx. We'll be back next Wednesday.

Friday, January 23, 2009

New York notes: lunch, brows, and a psychic

On Tuesday I had lunch with Leigh, a friend from Northwestern (we met in a psychology class). During our grad school days, we went to Cancun once and The Keg many times. (Google "keg evanston" for some hilarious reviews.) We've also seen a fistfight or two there. Now that we're grownups, we can do the ladies-who-lunch routine. So here we are at the Barking Dog, sans alcohol.

After lunch, I went to Ramy to get my brows done. I first went to him last year and could not believe the results. (That's a compliment to him, not me, by the way.) This time, I had a great time chatting with him about love and life and pets as he worked his mad brow skills.

One last thing: I had an appointment with psychic Tony LeRoy. He doesn't sugarcoat his impressions, so it was fascinating — and painful — to listen to him. He gets right to the heart of who you are. Bam! as I have thought often in the last few days. A thrilling ride, though not for the faint-hearted.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Oh no, Papa! Not the pens.

Even though I’ve been out of town, I can still do an installment of “Oh no, Papa!” because she always gives me plenty of hijinx to blog about.

Even though I’ve tried to Papa-proof the house, I never thought pens would hold much appeal. On two occasions, she chewed them apart, leaving them on the floor. It puzzles me how she could distort them to such a degree. But thank you, Papa, for not choking.

I bought her a chicken-flavored bone. She seems to like it, but the real test will be what happens if I happen to leave pens on the living room table. I'm still on a search for the endlessly entertaining toy.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Pearls, pearls, pearls

At the JANY show, I looked at jewelry and also shopped for supplies: chain in sterling silver and vermeil, pearls in pink and mauve, petal pearls in a golden champagne hue, and mixed strands of nuggets with rose quartz, blue lace agate, chalcedony, and citrine. When I was visiting Lucky Gems, one of the salesmen gave me an orange and said, “Free gift!” It was one of the best free gifts I’ve ever gotten. He must’ve known I don’t eat enough fruit.

Even though I wanted to break the habit of buying a piece of jewelry at every show, I caved when I spotted a white coin-pearl ring from Rene Escobar. It’s a standout piece in his collection, with a nickel-sized coin pearl set in sterling silver dotted with amethysts. What I love about it is that it’s not dainty, it’s very “Bam!” I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’ve seen a lot (when it comes to jewelry). I have to admit, I prefer to buy from designers who take the time to talk about their jewelry.

Speaking of… I said hi to Ray Griffiths, whose rings I try on every year. Ray continues to add beautiful pieces (including a tiara) to his collection, but I keep trying on similar versions of the ring I bought a couple of years ago. My newest object of desire: an 18-karat yellow gold ring with a square white topaz. I wear round (or round-edged) shapes in rings, but I just loved this stone, with its severe corners. Bam! again. Also noteworthy: Ray is going green by giving out Post-It pads with images of his work printed on them. Clever marketing, and now I can think of him every day.

Finally, here I am holding a 16-inch strand of 16–19mm graduated South Sea pearls, for sale by a vendor from Hong Kong who graciously snapped the photo. The wholesale cost: $32,000. A few booths away, I found a vendor who sold 20mm shell pearls — uniform in shape and color — for $26.50. But I didn’t buy them. Sometimes it's hard to scale back when you see the top-of-the-line strand first. I also passed on earth-friendly shell pearls in coral and peach shades that looked like the real thing. Maybe I should branch out (bad coral pun intended) to designing with orange hues?

The show is always fun and exhausting, and this year was no different. If you get a chance to go, you should: it’s a way to see a staggering amount of jewelry in one place. And, you get the chance to talk to artists and their reps about their newest and most popular collections!

Monday, January 19, 2009

New York habits

On Saturday, I went out for Italian food with Matt, who’s in town training to do hair for Fashion Week. We walked to Carmine’s, which came highly recommended, but there was an hour and a half wait, so we walked until we happened upon John’s. After getting a number there, we wandered and waited some more. (Perhaps dinner in the theater district was not the best idea.)

But the wait was worth it: we shared a spinach salad with walnuts, apples, and blue cheese, cheesy garlic bread (with chopped garlic, not powder), and a calzone the size of a pizza pan. After that, we walked to a bakery for cookies (him: an Oreo brownie; me, a raspberry-jam-filled number). Cookies-and-tea is a habit from home that I've managed to maintain while in New York.

Access to fresh-baked cookies may not be the most interesting thing about my travels, but be patient. That was only the first day of my trip. More later.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Oh no, Papa! Be good while I'm gone.

I'll be in New York for a few days, and that will be the first time Papa does not have contact with me or my parents (they'll be visiting Yukie). Aww, Papa.

So I think I'll leave my pink robe out for her. I'm excited about my trip but sad about being away from her. Stay warm, Papa.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Yesterday's annoyances

I've had DSL issues, so I haven't been as techno-present. Or whatever the word is. So yesterday I stewed about how much [my internet service provider] sucks while I watched The Bachelor.

The show is plenty annoying in its concept, but here's a specifically annoying thing: when they fade out before a commercial, the voiceover threatens, "Who will lose her chance at love?"

Not "at love with Jason," mind you, but AT LOVE, period.

Still I watch.

After all, someone has to root for Naomi.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Oh no, Papa! Not ALL of the garbage!

During the holidays, my routine changed, but Papa had handled it decently.

Except for one Saturday. I came home from a party to find plastic bags and wrapping paper and batteries and paper towels strewn all over the floor. What was missing: the fatty bits from the leftover roast I had eaten for dinner. At least Papa did not eat any of the TSP-soaked rags that I used to clean the walls before painting. And she didn't get sick.

I don't know why Papa did this. Boredom? Separation anxiety? Hunger?

I've been giving her a bit more food lately. And hoping that she does not come up with any new ways to make trouble in the house. Be cool, Papa.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Resolutions 2009

Happy New Year! I'm looking forward to an excellent 2009. I plan on it being a fulfilling year.

But first, a quick wrap-up of my 2008 resolutions:

1. Did not eat fruit every day. I may have eaten more fruit in '08 than '07, though. I'm not sure.

2. Did not develop a turnaround jumper. Unlike the fruit thing, I made no effort on this at all. Perhaps that's because Bonch got engaged and has been busier, and people are not exactly knocking down my door to teach me basic basketball skills.

3. Did not write a second book. I revisited the opportunity, then decided not to pursue it. Instead, I focused on my essay writing — with satisfying results.

4. Did successfully reconnect with many of my Greek friends. Including my freshman year college roommate, my first and last roommates at Gamma Phi Beta, my little sis, and the GPhiB house boy. Facebook is handy. Bonus: I also got in touch with some old friends from high school and grad school and my job at Tommy Nevin's.

Overall, I did not meet my resolutions. But I'm happy to say that #3 and #4 were the most meaningful to me, and I did a respectable job with each. (No, that's not an elaborate rationalization).

Now, on to 2009 resolutions. I started thinking about this, but haven't made any decisions yet.

Last year, even though I was busy, I enjoyed a quiet New Year's and was working on a vision board. Yesterday, I went to work, got a haircut, painted my bedroom, made cookies, and went to a party for five hours. (The party rocked, though I don't recommend playing competitive ping pong while drinking. I got woozy from constantly bending over to pick up the balls; they appeared to be getting smaller as the night wore on.) Today, I went to brunch and then had a tennis lesson and a couple hours of mixed doubles. All good things, but they made for a very active (read: non-contemplative) couple of days. Who's got time to make resolutions?

So I'll leave you with this: I'm setting three goals. One personal (relationship-related), one professional (publishing-related), and one about my daily life (a small thing I'll strive to do every day). Next year's check in won't be vague, though. I promise.