Autumn, Life, New York City, summer

Life After Summer

I have been asleep since early July. Of course I don’t actually mean that I have literally been sleeping for four months, but my writing has been dormant for that amount of time. I had no intention of taking the summer off from blogging. In fact, I have a few posts in the queue, but, as with most of my work, they are all unfinished. I suppose I needed a little break from my digital life, but now I find myself gobbled up by October and I can’t help but wonder where the summer went.

Captain Clam and I had a productive summer. I have a one million word blog post about our road trip summer vacation, but alas, the screen on my computer has failed and I can neither finish the story nor can I access my pictures, feeding into the duration of my online absence. I assume that everyone wants to know all of the details from our adventures spanning from Niagara Falls to Atlantic City (or Atlantic Shitty, as it should be called), and see the photos and videos, but you must wait! Hopefully, only a little bit longer.

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A sneak peek of our July Road Trip. Seneca Lake at Sampson State Park.

I found that after we returned from our frolics, it took a few weeks to readjust to life back in the city and at work. I would plan fake vacations every chance I had, and wanted to talk to everyone (well, most folks) that I came across. I would have small daydreams about the Living Social deal to Road Trip Ireland (starting $899 with airfare!!) or a daycation in the city tasting cheeses, painting at a bar, and hovering above the city in a helicopter. The summer and all things vacation has been very hard to shake. I now have the travel bug and my credit card is paying dearly for it.

This fall is already proving to be a busy time for us. Every weekend in October is already infused with excitement. The first Sunday was spent out at my parent’s home in Long Island. Last weekend we hosted ManMadeOceans. I have known him for well over 10 years, and catching up was the easiest thing I’ve done in a long time. The weekend was dedicated to music and friendship. We went to a metal concert, a jazz show, and even sang karaoke. Once again, I must confess that my wallet is holding protest, as it should.

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Amaranthe at Terminal 5 on 10/10/14

Next weekend, the Captain and I are off to Napa for a wedding. I have never been to the west coast and am ridiculously excited to be there. We are first visiting San Francisco for a few days and have reserved a room at Kev’s House via airbnb. My Clam lived there for 5 years while he was in art school and has volunteered to be my tour guide (and chauffeur!) while we are there. I have also never rented a car before, so even before we leave the airport, adventure awaits us!

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Kev’s place

The last weekend of the month we are heading to Florida (another place I have never been) for another wedding. The eldest Clam Brother (and his three gorgeous kids) is getting remarried to a lovely woman (they’re Captain Morgan and coke people). They live in Wisconsin, so I don’t blame them for having a destination wedding in Florida. I suppose it is their way of  preparing for the long, cold Wisconsin winter. But let’s not think about winter just yet!

I am finally (at last!) starting to feel autumn creep in like a sneaky breeze that hurls your hair into your lipstick. I have banished my feet to be confined in closed shoes, wearing flip flops only for housework. Neglected and squooshed, my toes are struggling to adjust. My legs are also hairy. So hairy that any razor to come near these beasts is doomed. I have started the shaving boycott a little earlier than expected this year. Fall is not a dress season for me, thankfully.

I have switched out my facial SPF 15 moisturizer and my body lotion to Cocoa Butter so I can smell like hot chocolate when I leave the house in the morning. My blow dryer is being exercised regularly (although it is somehow missing after a fun weekend of entertaining my old friend). I am just about ready to have Le Clam store the air conditioner for the winter, hoping that the next time we need to take it out, it’s well into July.

My tan has faded and I have the full pale and pasty winter complexion happening at full force. With the sun setting so early and rising so late, I fear that I will never see it again. Ok, that’s a little too melodramatic, even for me. I suppose this year I am not clinging all that much to summer. Not like last year when I wrote I Love You, Summer. I was not ready to let go last summer. This year is different.

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Later, bitch.

As much as I am not looking forward to the frozen hell I know the Northeast is in for this winter, I revel in the crisp air and colors of the season. October and November are a calm place to be before the storm of ice and wind and relentlessly low temperatures. The weather is perfect for weekend drives with the windows down and the heat blasting. The smell of burning leaves overflows my nostalgia, and I remember the days of my former life that I am convinced I didn’t actually have. I happen to love and look good in sweaters, so that, too, is a plus.

I am letting go of summer as I know she will return. I will think of her fondly and greet her with the same joy and anticipation that I have when I see my family or an old friend. I have not given up on her. I have simply stopped holding on.

Oh, and I also can’t wait for the upcoming travel binge. I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures and tell you all about it.

 

 

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Adventure, Autumn, Christmas, Holiday Season, Overload

Merry Effin’ Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The leaves are turning and the smell of burning wood is in the air. Mornings are darker than ever as we wait for daylight savings time and snooze just 9 more minutes, hoping to be cozy enough to drift back to sleep for what feels like an eternity. Halloween has sulked past us at a blistering 65 degrees, and we are barely into the eleventh month when Christmas throws up in our faces.

Merry Effin’ Christmas.

I Love Christmas. My favorite day of the year is Christmas Eve. There is magic and mystery. Love is in the air and everything smells like pumpkin spice and spearmint. The only problem is that it’s too early to smell Christmas. I am still reeling over the fireplace/dead leaf combo. Snowmen are not quite in my forecast just yet.

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WooHoo! Autumn!

Two weeks ago, my neighborhood put up the street decorations. While I love the sense of community and festivity, I hate that one holiday is celebrated for two months. I understand the big to-do about Christmas… it’s a time of reflection and fellowship with family and friends. You get fattened up for the winter on chocolates and cake (and that badass stuffing that your mom makes). You gather with loved ones and exchange good tidings and cheer. You drink too much wine and reminisce of Christmases long long ago. There is always that one fight (or “debate,” as my Dad likes to call it) that happens, but all ends up fine and well in the end.

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I mean, Seriously? The Leaves haven’t even changed color!

In reality, that is no longer the case (well, maybe the wine part is accurate because now you drink out of blind rage from the awful experience that Christmas has become). The joy of Christmas has been stripped down and bastardized into a commercial frenzy for the mindless consumer. We wait in lines on Black Friday, a day given to most of us to enjoy and relax with our families. Instead, we fight with other shoppers over the last Tickle Me Elmo gadget (wow, am I dating myself there?), stress ourselves out over not finding the closest parking spot and having to settle for the third closest parking spot (seriously, I thought they saw my blinker), and get all hot and sweaty (not to mention bitter and resentful) walking around crowded stores with bad music and complete chaos.

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There are two scarcely known bank holidays between Halloween and Christmas. One is Veteran’s Day (11/11) and the other is Thanksgiving Day (Fourth Thursday in November). While that last statement is purely sarcastic, it is metaphorically true.

Unfortunately, Veteran’s Day is not anticipated for two months, nor is it commercialized… you hear very little about it. Why is that? I usually make it a point to call my dad and wish him a Happy Veteran’s Day. He thinks this phone call is a little weird, but it is a great excuse to get to chat with him. Sometimes I get a Naval Fleet story, but I usually get a sports story. So what. Moral of the story: Call your dad. Thank a Veteran.

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Thank you, Veterans!

Thanksgiving is a different beast. We spend a whole day celebrating the things we are thankful to have, getting drunk on wine and turkey, watching football and the Macy’s Parade. The next day we go out and buy all the things that we will be thankful to have NEXT Thanksgiving in a midnight rush of complete madness, as if these items will never be on sale again or will no longer exist in a few hours.

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11:59pm or 4:03am

Spending time with family turns into spending time with strangers and spending a week or two’s worth of hard earned income. And even when you have exhausted yourself in the first day of the official holiday season, you are never finished shopping. There is always something that you have forgotten that simply cannot wait until after Christmas when it will be half price or completely irrelevant to the recipient. Even when you begin your Christmas shopping in October, you are never done. You also forget to calculate just how much you have spent and everyone gets way too many gifts (as if that is such a thing). And you always wonder why you show up to your family/friend’s house with 3 bags of gifts and leave with a bottle of wine and leftovers (hey, that is good enough for me!).

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This guy looks a little douchey, right?

Christmas has gotten out of control. I can’t imagine what the holiday would be like if (SPOILER ALERT) Santa actually did exist and managed to make and deliver all those gifts to good boys and girls. Life would be easier, if not better. The holidays would surround you in warmth and joy, not complete turmoil. Being good would reap its rewards, and karma would take a more tangible role in life. If you are good, then you get a gift. If you are bad, you get a lump of coal. Plus, Santa is doing all the preparation and all you need to spend money on is milk and cookies (and maybe some oats for those reindeer).

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Santa is on it.

I would love to know the exact moment when that Advertising Executive said “Here’s a thought. What if we commercialized Christmas?” That must have come right after “Let’s make a fake holiday based on Love. We can put it in February since that is the suckiest month of them all.”  I can’t imagine the other religious/cultural celebrations (like Hanukkah and Kwanzaa) allowing their traditions to become so ridiculously overdone. Christmas has it’s own scent! And I am sure it is patented. It would seem that the economy almost relies on Christmas so all of these big businesses can meet their bottom line at the end of the Fourth Quarter. We literally need Christmas to keep the economy afloat? Really? Maybe. I don’t know. I may have just made that up, but it sounds like it could be true.

People, we are suckers…. Huge, gross, stupid, wasteful, stupid suckers. Why do we still have candy hangovers from Halloween and there are Christmas Songs stuck in my head? It’s November 1st, for baby Jesus’ sake! Ah yes. baby Jesus… the reason for the season. The Catholic/Christian meaning behind this specific holiday. I wonder if Jesus just has to have the new iPhone so badly that his entire existence relies on it.  Can you imagine that prayer?

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The Reason for the Season.

Dear Father in Heaven (AKA: Dad),

Please please please. I really need the new iPhone. It’s already been 2 months and Johnny has one and so does his sister. I promise to be good and make as much wine out of water as you’d like. I can throw a healing or two in there, if it pleases You.

Love your son,

Jesus

Yeah. I highly doubt it. As a fictional character, Jesus would be pissed with how his fictional birthday is currently being celebrated. Christmas is not about gifts. It’s about giving. You can give your time and love and groceries to the needy. You can volunteer to feed people you don’t know, or help out a neighbor who is down on their luck. You can be there for a family member to console them or just crack open a beer and share a good story and a laugh. You don’t need useless things. The latest gadget is not going to love you the way that a person can.

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Jesus’ first Selfie on his new iPhone.

Holy Christmas Rant. Christmas is still about 2 months away, folks. Let’s not lose our heads this year. I want to savor Christmas and get back the magic that was slowly lost in all of the hype. I am going to regain the Christmas Spirit by avoiding the crowds, surrounding myself with friends, family, and a little bit of solitude. The next month I will refuse to give into the early “Christmas cheer”, which resembles the fake smile on a mannequin. I will not sing carols until after Thanksgiving, and I will spend at least 10 minutes a day reflecting on the things I am thankful for, the people I am joyful to have in my life, and the places that I have been this year. I am looking forward to Christmas, but just not yet. I am waiting for the magic and mystery to come around. In the meantime, I plan on drinking wine, watching the leaves continue their ritual, and ignoring the Christmas Propaganda.

I love you.

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