Sunday, August 28, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Finally got motivated and made it to the food bank to volunteer. I guess, because I've almost always working in offices, that's what I pictured. I imagined asking for donations or helping needy people get them.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Seriously, looking for the right red velvet cake decoration is the only thing I can claim to have accomplished today! Second Bestie's a great baker, she even worked in a bakery for a while. I was so glad when she volunteered, there's no one better.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
After the clock struck midnight, I was down to the last week of my ‘30s. I received 9 birthday offers overnight:
- Ruby Tuesday - Free Burger of your choice
- Auntie Anne’s Pretzels - BOGO Pretzel item
- Cold Stone Creamery - BOGO ice cream (last year, I think it was FREE)
- Fuddrucker’s - Free 1/3 pound burger
- Ben & Jerry’s - Free single scoop and $3 off a handpicked ice cream cake in choice of flavors
- Denny’s - Free create your own Grand Slam (on birthday ONLY)
- Arby’s - Free shake (also received a free regular roast beef sandwich w/drink for my anniversary w/Arby’s a few days ago)
- IHOP - Free Rooty Tooty Fresh & Fruity Breakfast
- Mimi’s Café - Free meal w/another paid meal. Who wants to treat me to my free birthday meal by having a meal themself?
Later today, I received:
- Souplantation - BOGO Dinner
- Dunkin Donots - Postcard good for a free coffee drink (too bad there’s not one within 100 miles!)
- Islands - Free Kona Pie or Chocolate Lava
Thanks to The Frugal Girls' Big List of Birthday Freebies!
Today was a quiet day, took a very quick swim, collected coupons and picked up some free and discounted photo collages at CVS.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
I had a Fandango code burning a hole in my virtual wallet, so I went to see "Rise of the Planet of The Apes." I wonder how the next few generations will be, since I was all pop-referency in my head throughout the movie. When Draco Malfoy said, "Take your hands off me, you filthy ape," I started singing "Dr. Zaus" from the Simpsons, itself a reference to TPOTA films and simultaneously to Falco's song "Amadeus." If my feeble memory serves, that song was a reference to the film "Amadeus."
So again, what will the generations after me, who have always had MTV, the Internet, cell phones, etc. be like? Either very dumb or very smart, or, worse, both.
Then I walked over to Borders, both wishing I had the money to buy all the books I want at 40-60% off and mourning the end of bookstores.
I was born at an incredible time. So much rapid change in my lifetime: integration, women's lib to post-feminist bimbos, demographic shifts and then there's the technology. I remember when we were the only people in the neighborhood with a VCR, when they were still $1000. I remember ON subscription tv, which began at 6 pm, just one channel. You turned the box from off to ON.
It just keeps moving faster and faster.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
After my errands, aqua aerobics and more errands, I made a meatless dinner -- Gardein Tuscan Chicken, spinach and brown rice. The texture was better than other chicken substitutes I've tried. I was fortunate to be exposed to a lot of different foods since I was little, so it's not unusual for me to have a meatless meal (burrito, beans and cornbread, veggie lasagna) or one that's mostly vegetables (stir fry) that isn't even pretending to have or focus on meat.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Tonight, I'm prepping my weekly coupons and watching an Extreme Couponing marathon. Next, I'm prepping for a mini-coupon lesson, exchange and donation I set up with some friends tomorrow evening. I've always been a big believer in sharing your knowledge, good fortune and food. Where would I be if people hadn't done the same for me?
Finally, I'm older AND wiser!
Saturday, August 13, 2011
It was a vivid reminder of the insecurity, drama and poor excuses for friendship I'd had years to forget. You weed those people out, as you get older and realize how precious and fleeting time is, that you can never get it back.
Worse, though, is being mistaken for a 25 year old and not being taken seriously. Wasn't a fan of that, even when I was 25.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Didn't get much sleep last night and, after a little bit of job hunting and email answering, it caught up with me and turned into a long nap.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Mmmmm, Bakers! While I waited to get through the drive thru, "Baker Street" came on the radio.
Monday, August 8, 2011
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Today, I watched Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, having fallen asleep on it last night and on Order of the Phoenix the night before, falling entirely behind on my planned marathon. I had forgotten that, in the movie, when Harry takes the Felix Felicis, he pretty much acts stoned. Which reminded me of Internet posts I read years ago about how you can turn any HP title into a drug reference. I can’t remember what the HP&tOotP title turned into, but surely #6 is Harry Pothead and the Half-Baked Prince.
Funny, how the mind works. The thing about rewatching the Harry Potter movies is how evocative they are of when I first read the books, not so much when I saw the movies. I read Half Blood Prince just after graduating from Columbia. I should say, after I walked at Columbia, since my chair ignored my emails asking what was required for my thesis and funding wasn’t what I’d anticipated that summer, so I had to spend thousands on an extra semester. I was so glad to be out of that, so glad to read a book for pleasure again, rather than as a race against the clock.
If my feeble old mind remembers correctly, HP&tHBP was the first HP book to come out after I started at Columbia in Fall 2003, so it was like a return to my life B.C. Books were my joy and refuge again. I miss those Harry Potter summers, the buses and subways full of people carrying thick, harlequin-embossed books. In a city known for its toughness, millions were enthralled with a book about the archetypal battle of good versus evil. But then, we New Yorkers had evil hit all too close to home. I had no idea that my response to that evil would lead me down a path on which I’d be so clearly confronted with evil myself. Worse, by far, than evil are cowardice and complicity.
Adorable little girl and her older sister who were behind me in line. The parents wanted to take the kids to London for the last book, but could not afford it, so they drove from Florida to NYC to attend the release at Barnes & Noble in Union Square. I remember a man passing by in a taxi shouted, "Harry dies!" and that little girl's eyes were like a great, sad puppy's. A little while later, a man who looked vaguely familiar came out of the store and handed the girl a copy of the audio book. When her dad turned it over, we realized it was Jim Dale, who read the audio books. That night, he'd read selections from all the books and an excerpt from Book 7 at midnight.
The title today refers to the final lines of The Great Gatsby. I remember a friend, Rita, who knew it by heart. We were suitemates at journalism camp 23 years ago, the summer between my junior and senior years in high school. It really struck me, since I’d spent a good portion of junior year working on a paper about the parallels between Gatsby and F. Scott Fitzgerald, yet couldn't recite a line. That particular teacher’s term paper was notorious for taking over your life. We had to use books from the university library, because our high school library didn’t have scholarly sources. They called her “Killer Schiller,” because almost no one ever got an A in her class or on The Term Paper. But I did, which led to Sara nicknaming me “E. Scott Fitzjackson,” since "Erica Hemingway" didn't fit.
I remind myself of my stories, remind myself that’s what I am, what I’m meant to be, what I’ve become alienated from, what I’m trying to find my way back to, bit by bit.
Friday, August 5, 2011
I was extremely religious in my tween years. Whenever a passing train whistled, I was sure it was the first trumpet of the Apocolypse.
One of my favorite things was listening to a radio show called Unshackled (which is, apparently, still on and the longest running radio show). It was essentially a soap opera about how people sinned or were miserable and how they came to Christianity. Over time, it's become blurred in my memory with those little religious comic tracts. I think everyone got saved, though.
I talked to one of my oldest friends tonight and he was still flabberghasted at the surreal and cruel ordeal I'm just getting out of. He's known me almost 25 years and can't believe the nonsense of which I've been accused.
In my head, I heard the dramatic, radio soap opera organ intro of "Unshackled" punctuate my words. Although the shackles have been unlocked, I still feel their weight. I hope that, gradually, they will fall off completely. I have too many more important things to do!