Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Chris surprised me this weekend by accepting my invitation to take him shopping!  I think he just got tired of my asking him, but still.  This was a big step.

We spent the whole day in Manhattan, first at Filene’s and DSW, then at lunch with Nate, then at H&M and Banana Republic, then back to Filene’s.

The tally:


  • 3 pairs jeans
  • 1 polo shirt
  • 2 T-shirts
  • 2 pairs shoes
  • 1 jacket


  • 3 T-shirts
  • 2 blouses
  • 1 sweater

I was impressed both with Chris’s stamina and willingness to try on new things and my moderation.  I haven’t been shopping in two months, and for me to come home with only six things (all great bargains) is pretty unprecedented.  It’s amazing how addictive not spending money is!

I can’t wait for next weekend, when I get to show Chris’s mom how well I’ve dressed him.


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I wrote the other day about my appreciation of Shaquille O’Neal and his Twitter activity. Then Chris told me that when Shaq can’t sleep, he goes to Wal-Mart, and when he checks out, he pays for the next 20 people behind him in line or something crazy-generous like that. Then I read this, and any doubts I had about THE_REAL_SHAQ actually being the real Shaq vanished!

It’s really him!

And he tips really well.  Apparently, the man’s got a heart of gold, officially making him my newest favorite celebrity.

I don’t care what my dad says about his spelling. The man’s enormous and typing his tweets on a tiny little cell phone, so let’s cut him some slack. And the whole point of my liking him on Twitter is that he’s funny, not that he’s insightful or literary.  And his tweets are funny mostly because they’re written by a very large, very rich, very famous person.

If you’re not convinced, here are his last two:

  • I had a nokia e90 but it fell n da toilet, now I have a shaqberry lol, I’m a toilet twitterer about 18 hours ago from txt


  • I hate leprekons lol about 20 hours ago from txt

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Happy birthday, Dad.

Sorry I’m a few weeks late for your actual birthday, Dad, but I think this is one gift you’ll actually appreciate.

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Last night, my brother and I went to see my high school friend Michael’s band, Stepanian, play at the Bitter End in Manhattan. Actually, the band’s bassist and I have been friends since we were babies; we used to carpool to preschool, and I have very distinct memories of climbing the stairs to his second-floor playroom. His mother was one of my gifted-and-talented teachers in middle school.

The band was awesome, and it was great to see Michael again. But get this. Another high school friend and her husband are in town from Seattle this weekend for a last-minute vacation. After having a late pizza lunch, Amy and Peter were wandering aimlessly around the Village. Peter stopped outside of a bar to look at the band posters taped to the front window and recognized a band called Stepanian. He looked inside, and there was Michael doing a sound check on stage!

So we ended up sitting with Amy and Peter for the show and then going to Rub for BBQ after. My brother got something called “burnt ends,” which were pretty much the most delicious thing any of us had ever tasted.

Only in New York, guys. Only in New York!

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In medias res.

Because I spend most of the day thinking about money (how much I have, how I can get more), I appreciated this piggyback off of the Center for an Urban Future study I wrote about the other day.

I have no idea what “middle class” means. When I was much younger, I assumed my family was rich because my dad was a doctor, and we lived in a big house. That turned out not to be true, though I never wanted for anything (except a little sister and an electric toy car I could drive myself to school in). My dad worked hard (still does), my parents had amazing priorities (music lessons, dance lessons, sports lessons — lessons of any kind — for the kids came before pretty much anything for themselves), and my mom was the ultimate Bargain Shopper. To this day, whenever she visits, she brings along a bag of goodies that she’s gotten, all for free using rebates. I’ve never had to pay full price for home hair dye!

I splurge on myself a lot more than my mom did, but I try to be responsible, too. I’m currently trying to see how little I can spend during the month of February, an experiment that is constantly at risk of being derailed by some great bargain on Craigslist or eBay, which I check literally thousands of times a day.

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The cost of living.

Has everyone seen this? Apparently, $50,000 in New York City is equivalent to about $125,000 in Houston.

I’ve been down on New York lately, mostly because it’s so expensive, but with a side of its taking so long to get anything done here. As a result, I feel always as if I’m just slightly out of control of my life, with an ever-growing to-do list that includes everything from Call My Grandmother to Clean the Toilet to Maybe Finally Go to a Museum or Do Something Else New York-y That’s Supposed to Make Living Here Worth It All. My brother Jesse just moved to Houston, and he has a car, and he can run multiple errands in a day. (And he loves his job, working for this incredible organization.)

Not that I want to move to Houston, and as I’ve said before, New York has so much to offer.

It just gets a bit overwhelming sometimes, especially when you’re not really sure what you want to do with your life and where you want it to take you.

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Just a reminder, in case you’ve forgotten, as I had, about this incredible snack:

photo by strph

photo by strph

If you haven’t had ants on a log lately, make it now. Spread the peanut butter on the celery, dot it with raisins, and bite in. The sweet-savory combination is sublime, and the crunchy-creamy-chewy combination is even better. It is a perfect snack!

It reminds me of something my mom used to make us, I think for Christmas Eve dinner. Bunny pear salad!

photo by Sandra Shields/The Epoch Times

photo by Sandra Shields/The Epoch Times

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