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Remember the last time I talked about the potential for disappointment vs. choosing ignorance?  Well, maybe that’s not exactly what I said, but I did admit to being scared to try something new that slightly deviates from a known, and enjoyed, thing.  Ex: my love of the REBA TV show on Lifetime does not translate to her music, and when I tried to indulge in some of Reba’s greatest hits, it made me gag the next time I tried to watch her show.  My actual point was related to  Joanne Rendell’s wonderful HuffPo writing and my fear of being disappointed in her book, CROSSING WASHINGTON SQUARE, which she thoughtfully sent me and proved me totally WRONG (terrible article synopsis, please read full “Reading: Hobby or Lifestyle ” .  But, that book review is a glowing post for another day.

Kerri and me

NOW on for my totally unrelated comparison.  I’ve probably mentioned a time or two that I’m from a tiny town in Michigan, where you know the same people growing up through the years.  Kerri and I were inseparable throughout most of our childhood, when one of her favorite hobbies would be to stare out her kitchen window and watching the activity of the cute, older neighbor boys (I always just wanted to play fairies with wings and wands of colored paper).  One of them happened to be a very talented basketball player, so her creepy window watching culminated into a more mature crush around 8th grade.

Imagine her euphoria when just last week over Thanksgiving, the two were reunited at long last (and I do mean long; we’ve been out of high school for years).  After several very cheap drinks, some coy smiles and hair flipping, he didn’t know what had come over him.

Now, nothing inappropriate happened of course (there is no scene from Nora Roberts to be played out here), but let’s just say Kerri said that real life was impossible to live up to her eighth grade dreaming.

And there you go, Kerri, at your request a post dedicated to you!  Now pack those bags and come visit.

xoxo-

Lydia

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For being the biggest city in the U. S., NYC is quite a lonely place.

I tell my friends back in Chicago that it’s really fun because you can truly wear whatever you want without people caring or noticing (if you’d like me to illustrate with pictures of other East Village locals wearing neon colors, animal prints, or an occasional live cat on the head let me know) – but you’re often invisible as well.

Maybe it’s because I’ve led a spoiled life – always had close family and friends, but NYC is a test.  Not just because it’s ridiculously expensive w/less than optimal living space (I don’t allow pictures to be taken of my apartment; I insist upon visiting for the experience over a still image) but because you’re by yourself.  A lot.  And the crazy thing is, I think I’m starting to like it.

With the exception of my mom reprimanding me for drinking wine alone tonight (before you judge, I was trying to write and I now understand why real writers are notoriously heavy drinkers), I’ve learned I may not be quite as social or as talkative as I would have previously believed.  I actually enjoy eating dinner out by myself (usually with a good book) and the solitude when my roommate leaves and is no longer  constantly trying to speak to me.

I recently read Jen Lancaster’s memoir, BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG ASS.  It resonated with me not only because she hails from my beloved Chicago and the bus lines she spoke of were so familiar, but when she talks about the fast and easy friendships of the past giving way to new living, and relationship, situations:

“Suddenly I found myself living around people very different from me.  We were diverse not due to ethnicity, race, or age, but because we didn’t come from a shared past; our jobs, hometowns, educations, and experiences were all vastly different and we had no instant commonalities…” (pg. 178)

This I can commiserate with.  Yes, I’ve made acquaintances here in this huge, vast city that sparkles in the night and grimy by day… Even some people I call friends.  But it’s hard work when you don’t have the baseline from which to start.

Luckily, I have books to escape the real world and I find myself disappearing into them quite often.  For the second “luckily”, this trait is advantageous to being in a job I love.  So while I desperately miss my friends in Chicago (there’s nothing comparable to living with your two best friends in a downtown highrise boasting a pool on your rooftop with a view of Lake Michigan) I like to believe I made the best decision in transferring my life to the East Coast.  While I admit I’m not exactly living an Into the Wild survival expedition, I think I have given up some basic luxuries.

This may be a pointless post, but thanks for indulging in my slightly-wine induced thoughts and joining me all the way out here in NYC.  In fact, I think I officially belong in that annoying group of people that think “everyone should live, and thrive, in NYC at least once in their life.”

 

Update: Oprah (along with some kind words and admittances of solo and proud drinking from OUB & OAD) has made me realize that moving to NYC is a worthwhile adventure for a job I love.  Recently, Oprah shared a list of “The Top 20 Things I Know for Sure” and I’m happy that I am totally in line with several, including #13:  Let passion drive your profession.

 

As I finally got around to uploading photos from January to current on Facebook, I realized that 2009 has already been a year to remember (although I don’t look photogenic in any of the moments!).

Yes, it’s true I have joined the ranks of the unemployed, but I’ve also been motivated and inspired to follow my dreams of launching a career in book publishing, started this blog which has become quite an enjoyable hobby, begun to really appreciate Chicago and all it offers, been to my first Bulls game, Cocokey Resort with three of my best friends, had the #1 bracket in my pool as of NOW (sorry, MSU, I bet correctly that UNC would pull off the win), started a volunteer relationship with a worthwhile organization (<3 to you, Open Books), been blessed with a baby nephew, and been lucky enough to have the love, support and enjoyment of a wonderful family and system of friends.

Alright, fine, I may be a little tipsy from watching the pathetic game that MSU just played, but I am thankful for all this year has already brought (I cannot believe Easter is this Sunday – time has flown by) and all it promises in the future.  I hope you all enjoyed my Miller Lite induced ramblings (potentially found some inspiration yourself?), but hopefully this little nugget will serve as a reminder for the important things next time I get frustrated when job searching or waiting for spring to come to  Chicago.

Heading home on the train tomorrow, looking forward to some quality MI time with the family and good books, while curled up in my favorite chair!  Hopefully book reviews to come shortly… Hitting the “publish” button before I can overthink and delete this…

Though I abhor Facebook status updates, gchat away messages and the like, I’ve recently embraced Twitter.  Hypocritical? Narcissistic? Pathetic? Maybe all of the above?  So yes, my title “tweeting” is a verb.

twitter-pageDon’t judge, you can choose to opt in to my random thoughts, current activities, literary commentary and things for which I am thankful  at your will – no obligation here.  Twitter is a surprisingly simple social media network in which I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the content and users.

Give it a try – find me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/novelwhore.

We’ve all felt the pinch, it’s hard to justify the $9 price for a fancy bar drink when you could/should be making the drink with your own bottom-shelf liquor in your condo that you already are struggling to afford as opposed to helping contribute to the overhead cost of some random bar. Whew.  Well, the The New Yorker is helping us embrace the recession with a little alcholic help:

cocktail-guyGone are the Cosmopolitans and pomegranate martinis—bartenders are designing a whole new breed of cocktails for 2009….

Long Island Iced 401(k)
Put hopes in shaker. Add dreams. Shake until dashed, then drink all the vodka, gin, tequila, and rum left in liquor cabinet.

Bear Market Shot
Pick up lots of checks because you think the glass is half full; when you find it’s actually half empty, take a single shot to the head.

Broke & Tan
Fall asleep in yard on weekday, wake up sunburned and so dehydrated that anything tastes good.

Princeton Bitters
Pour two ounces of vodka into a cocktail shaker. Lament fact that you moved into a smaller house to pay for your son’s college education and, since he couldn’t get a job and he’s now twenty-six, he’s living on your couch. Eying your son as he works his Wii, pour two more ounces of vodka into shaker. Serve with a grimace.

Nasdaiquiri
Add a dozen I.P.O.’s to portfolio, wait until bubble bursts, drink all day every day.

BlackBerry Sling
Discover that your BlackBerry doesn’t work because you haven’t paid the bill. Sling it against the wall, then buy a prepaid phone and make some rum in your toilet.

Bloody Maria Bartiromo

Squeeze four packets of McDonald’s ketchup and one packet of pepper into a glass. Mix with eight ounces homemade hooch. Drink while you watch the Money Honey on a TV in the window of a Circuit City that’s going out of business at the end of the month.

Tequila Slumlord
To avoid foreclosure, rent the other bedrooms in your condo to migrant farmworkers; steal their booze when they go out to work.

Trickle-Down Punch
Let last drops of liquor trickle from spent bottles at recycling center into plastic cup. Serve with shame.

Dave Hanson

Link here: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/tny/cocktail-recipes-for-the-reces.html?yrail

Now for all of you experienced bloggers out there, this milestone is hardly something of which to be proud. But, hell, I celebrate my half birthday (July

Visual Depiction of my milestone excitment

Visual Depiction of my excitement

28, mark that down) so have no shame in taking note (and being excited) of my one-month status!

As of March 10 (I missed the actual date by two days, oops), 21 posts, 14 comments, 24 spam messages and 670 views, I like to think I have come a long way since my first post that seriously took me two weeks to publish.

Thank you all for the comments and support, and please continue to come back and give me further feedback and even criticism, if you feel so inclined. Happy Reading!

Not only is the publishing industry hurting in this lipstick economy (where akindle-iphone book is considered to be an unnecessary luxury), but Amazon is taking their e-book concept one step further – by joining with Apple  for a new application where the Kindle is iPhone friendly.

Ok, I’m not stuck in the dark ages and abhor technology.  I understand the concept of an e-book for updating a dated text (health care, law, etc.) and even for college students, to take away the weight necessary to carry textbooks around… But for the pure joy and pleasure of reading, how is a screen with text enjoyable?!  Is it just me, or is there a special appreciation that comes from the symbolic appreciation of turning a page in a book, and eventually being able to close the cover.  I anticipate I will be lugging around my bound novels for the rest of my life, and not pulling my “library” out of my purse and perusing my titles.

Amazon, don’t you think you’ve already taken enough away from the publishers by slashing prices and luring consumers away from the more tangible bookstore experience?! And consumers, the Kindle book is still at least $10 – go out and buy the book and have something to show and stand proud on your shelf, not to hide away in your iPhone!

“Sunbathing dress” may seem like an oxymoron, until now!  Seen during Milan Fashion Week on Monday, Agatha Ruiz De La Prada debuted:

The Sunbathing Dress!The Subathing Dress!

Ok, I realize this directly relates not at all to books, but I was less than enamored with my own previous post on “The Last Lecture” and was determined to find something more interesting, and I think this dress may be it!  Especially in this recession, this saves you money from buying two dresses, since it can be worn as a “sexy” pyramid dress when closed, or for a totally new look open one, or both, flaps!

I can just picture myself reading in the park or walking down Michigan Ave. and when the sun makes an appearance, I can just open my dress to soak up the rays!  What fun, the possibilities are endless…

Including (but not limited to): chimichangas, potato chips (except I guess for the baked ones, which are bland anyways), FRENCH FRIES (this is going to be a tough one), chicken wings, all crispy buffalo chicken sandwiches (since, doesn’t crispy = fried?  Correct me if I’m wrong), Twinkies, tater tots, doughnuts and I even think Ramen Noodles are included since some aspect of their delicacy comes from being fried at some point.

I know this is off-topic from my book-ness, but I may need some encouragement and support throughout the next 40 days, as I have quite the love affair with all things fried (especially 2am on!) and am worried about going through withdrawal.

No, I’m definitely not Catholic (so am not walking around with ash/dust on my forehead today), I just like a good challenge now and then!  Feel free to share what you’re giving up for Lent, I could always use inspiration for next year.

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