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Four Legs

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It doesn’t snow much in the lower half of New York state anymore, so every time we do get an actual snowstorm here with a decent amount of accumulation it’s a cause for excitement! We got about a foot over the weekend, and it was beautiful in Brooklyn. Despite my never-ending bronchial unhappiness, I forced myself outside for a bit. To the dogs’ disappointment, I forced them to come along, too. Every year I somehow convince myself that Fritz and Bruno are real dogs and that they want to play in the snow just like all of the other happy dogs I see frolicking around in the stuff and having a blast.

Well, Fritz and Bruno are not real dogs, and they do not want to play in the snow. They don’t even want to walk on a wet sidewalk. After about 2 minutes, they were both wet and dirty and crying and shaking. Sigh. So, back inside…where they were both immediately subjected to baths, another thing they both hate. They spent the next 24 hours sleeping off the trauma, which is a whole hour longer than they usually sleep each day.

Meanwhile, Evan and I are packing up our apartment and getting ready to move to the new place on Friday! Evan found this company called Jugglebox that rents out reusable, stackable moving boxes. They delivered them (disinfected!) to our current apartment, and they’ll come pick them up from the new place in two weeks. Very cool. Quite a step up from our last move, which we (very stupidly) did entirely with IKEA bags and at the expense of Daniel’s youthful energy. Never again.

WE ARE SO EXCITED TO MOVE. Really. It’s going to be so good. I can’t wait to get in there and take pictures—it’s such a cool space with so much potential. In the mean time, I’ll be taking a million photos from the rooftop view we’re giving up!

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birthday Doodle

It’s hard to believe, but our tiny little Fritz is already FIVE years old! As much as I really can’t remember what our lives were like without him here with us, it doesn’t seem like it was that long ago that he was struggling to climb up on chairs…chewing on baseboard moldings…chewing on blanket tasselschewing on sofas…chewing on absolutely everything in sight. Fritz was a difficult puppy, and Bruno (who is five years older than Fritz) had a really hard time adjusting to having him around, but it was all worth it so many times over. Fritz has turned out to be a great dog, and he and Bruno—despite their very different personalities—have turned out to be the best of friends. The four of us are a family together, and I can’t imagine it being any other way.

Fritz is a complex dog. There’s no other way to put it. He’s very smart (stop laughing—you should see this dog make a nest out of blankets, he’s clearly a genius), but he seems to always be in a state of concern over not being able to convey complex emotions without using words. YES, I AM PROJECTING. But really, if you’re lucky enough to have met Fritz in person, you know what I mean. He’s an intense cuddler and affectionate beyond belief, but you just get the feeling he wants to be understood. He’s sensitive.

Happy 5th birthday, Fritzy Doodle Dandy. I love you so much. Thanks for being such a great dog and not minding too much when pluck you out of a cozy sleeping spot because I want you to curl up with me on the sofa.

These are some of my favorite Instagrams of Fritz (Fritztagrams?) from the past year.

Fritz birthday montage

Fritzy sweater

Isn’t he just the bee’s knees? He’s such a Martian.

FRITZ FACTS: He clips his own nails. He’s an incredibly clean dog—he bathes himself like a cat. He considers human nostrils a delicacy. He’s always cold, even if it’s 95°F out. He has a part-time job as an iPad stand. His favorite toy is a stuffing-free raccoon named Randy. He has a hairless chest. He barks if he hears someone curse. He smells like tortilla chips.

One more picture, just because I can’t resist—this is Fritz on the day he came to live with us. So tiny! Love.

baby Doodle

Oh, just some weekend Instagram snaps I’ve been meaning to share here! Top to bottom, left to right…

✖ How cool is this black West Elm skull candle? I pretty much only buy stuff at West Elm when it’s on clearance, and I got this nearly-life-sized guy for $7 (!) at the DUMBO location. They only had one left, or else I would’ve bought a bunch. The best thing about Halloween being around the corner is SKULLS EVERYWHERE.

✖ I couldn’t resist this SHOPLIFTERS tote bag that was for sale at the merch counter at the Morrissey shows. I guess I’ll have to turn it around if I’m shopping in a store with employees who might not get the reference (or who might not have a sense of humor), but otherwise I shall carry it with pride.

✖ Evan and Bruno enjoying their morning coffee. Aren’t they handsome? This photo reminds me that I really need to take more photos of the new apartment before it stops being “new.”

✖ I had nothing to do with this—Fritz tucks himself in all the time. I’m told that the smarter dog breeds like Chihuahuas all do this. Bruno is only half Chihuahua (the other half is Bichon Frisé, a breed high in sweetness but not known for intelligence), which explains why he can’t really even figure out how to crawl under a blanket most of the time while Fritz is off basically building forts and growing opposable thumbs.

✖ I’ve been wearing my fake glasses (they’re the “Thatcher” style in Revolver Black from Warby Parker) every now and then, and I’ve gotta be honest—they make me feel great. Wearing glasses gives me enough confidence to wear my hair back in a ponytail, something I NEVER do unless I’m at home. I am wayyyyy to self-conscious to leave the house with my face completely exposed, so it either has to be hair or glasses that I hide behind, and it’s fun to have this option. I feel like a different person when I wear them. It’s like a disguise. And hey, I figure my vision is probably going to tank within the next few years anyway, so at least I’ll be comfortable wearing glasses when the time comes!

✖ This VOTE LEFT mug was another cheapie West Elm clearance item. Unfortunately they’re sold out online, but stores probably still have them. And yeah, I know it’s not really possible to truly vote left in this country, but I can dream. For now, I’ll vote as far left as I possibly can.

Brooklyn Heights Cinema is on my old street (Henry Street pride!!), and I miss going there to see movies—it’s a great little theater. It’s actually not too far of a walk from DUMBO, though, so I should make the effort to walk up now and then. It’s near a great little natural-food restaurant called Siggy’s Good Food that does an amazing vegan brunch. Highly recommended!

✖ This is the original herringbone tile in the lobby of Daniel’s building. Tile like this is the reason I like hands-off landlords who don’t want to pay to renovate. Isn’t it pretty?

I don’t have a corresponding photo, but prior to taking that picture of the tile, Daniel and Max and I went to go see The Perks of Being a Wallflower at BAM. It was so, so, so great. Really. It’s based on what I consider to be one of the best books of the past 20 years, and certainly one of the greatest books ever written for young adults. The movie was directed and the screenplay was written by the author of the book, Stephen Chbosky, and he did a perfect job with the conversion. The trailer is pretty terrible, but don’t worry—it’s not a good representation of the actual movie (funny how that happens sometimes). I was pretty much either in tears or holding back tears for the duration, just like when I read the book the first time. The actors are all wonderful, the soundtrack is exactly as it should be, and it felt great to watch a movie that actually feels like teenage—and human—reality. Read the book. See the movie. Hold onto your Kleenex.

Just a quick note before the weekend…

I’ve been back in New York since Monday night (more London photos to come!), and since then I’ve been in the office and trying to get myself fully into work mode. I have to admit that I really do miss my daily London routine (basically drinking coffee and hanging out), but a week and a half away from my office means a TON of work upon returning. This was the longest stretch of time off I’ve had from working in the two decades that have passed since I graduated from high school!

Fortunately, I’ve had two things to take the edge off of my return to the daily grind:
MORRISSEY + MAMMA BISCUIT!

I went to see Morrissey on Wednesday night at Radio City Music Hall, and tonight and tomorrow night he’ll be at Terminal 5. These are my 27th, 28th and 29th times seeing Morrissey live (show #30 will happen in Decemeber!), and in all honesty it really never gets boring. Yes, it’s a different experience (for him and for me!) than it was when we were 20 years younger, but I’m so thankful that he’s still going and still amazing and still giving. I’ll post some photos when the three nights are over. VIVA MORRISSEY.

Today has been an extra-special work day with none other than Mamma Biscuit (if you’re not already reading her blog, you’re missing out) here in the office. Is there anything better than taking a break from staring at a computer screen and nuzzling your face into the neck-rolls of a glamorous, toothless, geriatric pug? Nope. I adore Mamma. VIVA MAMMA BISCUIT.

And no, I don’t need glasses to see, but hey…I like the look. SUE ME. I’m about to order these with non-prescription lenses!

p.s. I’ll announce the Frida Kahlo book giveaway winner tomorrow!

I’m still making my way through all of the comments on my post from last Friday about my history (and future) as a blogger, but apart from the responses I’ve been leaving there, I wanted to take a minute to say THANK YOU.

The older I get, the more I realize that fear of being labeled a hypocrite (or a “flip-flopper,” if you want to get political about it) is probably the biggest thing that gets in my way when it comes to making decisions that are open to being judged by others. The fact of the matter is, though, things change. Situations change. People change. Times change. We learn from the people we meet along the way in life, and that’s a positive thing.

Like I said in my post, I’m not exactly sure where I’m headed in terms of advertisements and this blog, but I feel confident that if I do go ahead with it, I will treat that decision seriously and let my personal ethics guide me. There’s not only one existing model to follow when it comes to advertising, and there’s also nothing that says new models and standards can’t be developed. I’m not worried about what other people have or haven’t done—I’m concerned with doing what I believe is honest and worthwhile. I’m also not opposed to learning as I go. (I am a progressive and a modernist, after all!)

Anyway, I’ve said this before but it bears repeating: I have the BEST group of readers and commenters in all of blog-land. I am so incredibly appreciative of those of you who take the time not to just offer support, but to share your own perspective and ideas and concerns with me. As much as I like writing for writing’s sake, I love blogging for community’s sake.

Thank you again. ♡

Left to right, top to bottom:

I spent a lot of time cleaning, unpacking, and arranging. I’m pretty impressed by how much I managed to cross off the to-do list! By midday Sunday I was able to sit down and enjoy an iced coffee and feel a bit more at home. (The book under my coffee is Lena Corwin’s beautifully illustrated book of city maps. I can’t stop looking at it!)

On Sunday afternoon Shilo and Jenna came over for hot coffee on the roof. It was a bit chilly out, but still so nice to enjoy the view! I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it. Shilo brought some vegan blueberry crumb bars that were super-delicious. Perfect.

I’ve always had custom aluminum legs on my KARLSTAD sofa instead of the wood block ones they come with, but I’ve hung onto the wood ones since I’ve had a project like this in mind for a while now. I didn’t wind up with neon pink work table legs, but I did decide to give my sofa legs a set of neon pink socks! I’ll take better photos of the sofa and its new gams soon, but for now here’s a little sneak peek. I love how this turned out.

On Sunday evening, Daniel and Max came over to have beers with the dogs! Bruno and Fritz looooooove their Uncle Daniel. It’s so cute to see them jumping up and down with excitement whenever he’s around. Bruno immediately claimed his lap space and greatly enjoyed the extra attention—especially the belly-rubs.

Oh! And I decided to start wearing bracelets again. I used to wear stuff on my wrists all the time, but then I started getting annoyed by how they felt when I was using the computer. I like the feeling of security they give, though, so I’m giving them another shot. Aren’t those hot pink bangles great? They were a present from Jen. She, Tamera, Jenna, Shilo and I all have the same ones. I feel happy looking at them. I have nice friends.

p.s. Speaking of spray paint projects and friends, did you see Tamera’s amazing stool?! It’s so pretty.

Is it just me, or it next to impossible to snap back into work mode this year? Maybe it’s because I took two weeks in a row off in December, but I just don’t feel like I’m fully present and engaged in what I need to be doing every day. I think the weather might be partly to blame—it’s been unseasonably mild in lower New York this year, and I constantly feel like it’s either late fall or early spring. I’m just sort of floating from one day to the next.

I did just have a really great weekend, though. Jen from Honey Kennedy came to stay at my house in Newburgh for three whole days, and we had a wonderful time. Jen is terribly sweet and funny and really, really nice to be around (just ask Fritz and Bruno, who fell deeply and madly in love with her), and I’m happy to have finally met her in person.

Aside from holding the very first semester of Anna’s School for Unicorns (a.k.a Photoshop classes), I also made us some very very thick and rich and spicy and almost too delicious hot cocoa using Vosges Aztec Elixer. And tofu scramble. And burnt kale chips. And reheated pizza. I’m pretty sure it was like going away to a fancy resort for Jen! (Or, um, not…)

I got my hair cut again, too. More of the same! I’ve been back to Mariko at Dlala Salon four times now since I got the best haircut ever 8 months ago, and that has to be a record for me in terms of frequency. Can I add that NOT ONCE have I taken a pair of manicure scissors to my bangs in a fit of midnight desperation since I started seeing Mariko? Her cuts look so good growing out that I don’t have to.

It’s pretty neat having LONG hair, too! I haven’t had this much hair since I was a freshman in high school, which was…um…23 years ago. I’m going to just let it keep growing. Now that I know about layers and deep parts and stuff, it’s nice to have waves and partial buzz cuts and long bangs.

On a side note, I just want to put this reminder out there: Much like paint is just paint, HAIR IS JUST HAIR. The great thing about it is that even if you do something stupid and it looks terrible, you can always just cut your hair short and eventually it’ll grow out. As a side bonus, you get to have a million different hairdos as it gets longer. If you want a fun haircut, get a fun haircut. It’s just hair.

Fritz turned four years old a few days ago. I can’t believe he’s four already! It seems like it was just yesterday that were were bringing home this insanely adorable, sleepy lump of fur. He was so cute! (And then he ate our sofa.) Fritzy is so good now. Yes, he has his moments when he does an ultra-annoying Chewbacca/seagull vocal impersonation for seemingly no reason at all and for lengths of time that are highly unnecessary, but he’s a total snuggle bug and just an all-around great dog. He’s also really warm and he likes to sleep under the covers at night, so our heating bill is less with him around. And he’s still really cute.

Oh, clothes! I found that nice triangle-print shirt at Target! The proportions really aren’t as weird as the photo on their website makes it look. It’s quite flattering, actually. And Martha has a the same one of course.

Yeah, that’s a new black + white iPhone case. I ordered one from Society6 because I’ve been thinking about selling some stuff through them and I wanted to know what the quality is like, and I’ll be honest…as cute as the illustration (by Dawn Gardner, whose work I love) on my new case is, the quality is really, really sub-par. I’ve had a capsule case from Uncommon since I got my phone in May (that’s the multicolored one in the top photo, designed by Marco Cibola), and I love it. The plastic is smooth, strong and durable; the edges are smooth and comfortable to hold; and the design is actually embedded in case. The case from Society6 is unbelievably flimsy, and you can literally scratch the printed image off with your fingernail. I fully expect it to look terrible in a couple of months. Both cases were about $40, and while that’s pretty steep for something so small and made out of plastic, it’s definitely way too much for the ones from Society6. Bummer! It’s definitely cute, though, so I’ll keep using it until it breaks.

UPDATE: Society6 contacted me after reading this post, and they have very kindly offered to send me a replacement case as they believe I may have been sent a defect. Fingers crossed that the new one is better. I’ll update this post when I receive it!

UPDATE 2: I received the replacement and it’s exactly the same. The quality is too poor for me to recommend it, sadly. It should also be noted that Society6 has a no-return policy except in the case of defects, so if you’re disappointed by a product upon arrival, you’re out of luck.

UPDATE 3: I purchased a new case from Society6 in July 2013 for my iPhone 5, and it’s MUCH better quality. You can read my updated review here.

(Like I said, RAMBLY.)

In September 2010, I shared with you the wonder that is Marcel the Shell With Shoes On. Now, my friends, we have Marcel the Shell With Shoes On, Two.

Directed by Dean Fleischer-Camp
Written by Dean Fleischer-Camp + Jenny Slate
Starring Jenny Slate as “Marcel”

There’s also a Marcel picture book available. Yes, and an iPhone app. And also Daniel’s Halloween costume from last year.

MARCEL FOREVER!!!

I know, Fritz is absurdly cute. It’s sick, really. The eyebrows, the underbite, the ruff, the fancy ankles…too much. Sigh.

I have to get some stuff done today. This is the first weekend in forever that I haven’t done any freelance work, and as nice as it was to sit around a bit yesterday, now I have to get moving!

TODAY:
Laundry
Vacuum
Clean bathrooms and kitchen
Rake leaves and clean up outside
• Goodwill (next weekend!)
Grocery shopping
• Unpack the suitcase filled with random items that’s sitting in the hallway (next weekend!)
• Measure dining room wall to plan new bookshelves

Speaking of people getting stuff done, have you been over to Daniel’s blog lately? I seriously do not understand how he manages to do all of this stuff. I mean…I know Daniel. We hang out often, and never once have I seen him wearing a cape or lifting train cars, so I’m pretty sure he’s not a superhero, but somehow he’s managed to get done in just a few months what would take me a few years. Is it just the wonder of youth that makes him so efficient? Whatever it is, it’s impressive. He’s my power animal.


Aled Lewis on inPRNT

I came across these photo prints by Aled Lewis (his other illustration and design work is amazing, too!) a few days ago, and I can’t stop thinking about them. I love tiny animal figurines, and I extra-love making them have conversations with each other (no, really). I extra-extra-love that Lewis took it one step further and make these great little scenes with dialogue and everything. They have a Museum of Natural History diorama-like feel to them that I really dig.


Aled Lewis on inPRNT

I mean, you can really hear them, right? I feel sad for Rhinoceros, hanging his head in shame for evolving into a lesser beast than Triceratops. It’s not his fault! And poor Wooly Mammoth, he just wants to grow his hair out and hang with the cool kids. Moms just don’t get it.