Category Archives: little bits

Another World

Before a couple of years ago, I really never thought about yard sales.

Never. Really.

And yet somehow, life has evolved in such a way that last summer, Raven and I went with his family to Madison-Bouckville Antique Festival (for multiple days) and I will occasionally look inside a junk shop and finally, tipper of toppers, we just spent Memorial Day weekend working on the annual yard sale that Raven’s mom and stepdad put on every year.

It’s part of a Thing, apparently, a big, coordinated effort by the towns in the area. It involves maps, and listings, and lots of people showing up ready to bargain. Bargaining terrifies me, because I’ll never say no. SURE, TAKE IT. I CAN DO IT FOR LESS THAN THAT! Thankfully, I wasn’t left in charge of answering anyone’s bargaining proposals for very long, or we would have all just given our crap away. Correction: I would have given everyone else’s crap away.

HOWEVER! It very nearly didn’t happen at all, when Saturday dawned windy, rainy and 38 degrees. Thirty. Eight. Degrees. On Memorial Day weekend. In upstate New York. And not only did it stay windy and rainy and right around 40 degrees, there was also sleet. On Memorial Day weekend. In upstate New York.

So Saturday was a bust, and we spent the day playing games and drinking tea, which is really my kind of weekend, much more so than yard saleing. But I am alone in that, because the compulsion is strong in everyone else in that family, and so we hauled ourselves out of bed at 5:30 (ok, 6) again on Sunday, and deemed the day decent-enough-to-sell-junk.

It was still cold, but less so, and so we stood outside and sold stuff (more stuff than they have ever sold at this annual sale – the take was over twice what it has been in previous years, so maybe there was a benefit to be reaped from the terrible weather on Saturday. SLEET!!! In MAY!!!) and the greatest benefit was from the people watching.

My favorite people was a boy, about 10, who is clearly going to spread his wings and leave Sullivan County A.S.A.F.P., and (we all hoped) head down to the city to be a theater major. He was wandering around with a friend, who didn’t seem as impressed by the things for sale, and told that friend “you clearly don’t know what AWESOME is.”

He fell in love with a little rose-gold and brass heart locket in the jewelry display, and when his father tried to buy it for him, I refused his money. “Please take it,” I begged, even when he continued trying to hand me the dollar. “Your kid is awesome.”

 

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Tiny Sweaters

Dear everyone,

So, I’ve been a little quiet. It’s been across the board, really, the quiet that has settled on me over the last few months. I feel thoughtful, and also as though my mouth is full of marbles. It would be a mistake to open it, and the sensation is weird but manageable.

I also haven’t been much into… well, much. Other than knitting tiny sweaters. I’ve been nuts for tiny sweaters – and fortunately, people have been obliging by having babies. There are a couple more coming up, and I just can’t tell you how adorable these things are when they’re under construction. Look at the tiny cable!

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Just look at it!

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I finally tricked myself into getting some reading done by picking up some fiction. And not even really good fiction. I spent the first two months of the year slogging through two giant presidential biographies (want to see what I’m reading? Here you go! Let’s be book friends on Goodreads!) and I apparently needed a palate cleanser. I’m reading more Asimov now, and it’s like crack. Institutionally sexist crack.

Is anyone even reading this? I am pretty sure I need to assess the reasons why I still believe in blogs. It might just be to keep my memories in one place, but then I’m going to have to start writing more about my memories. Perhaps it is like the reading, though, and I just have to trick myself into getting interested.

XO,

KW

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Where have you been?

Dear everyone,

Hey! What have you been up to? Are you just so sick of winter? I absolutely am. But I have been making things, lots of things, in a vague sort of attempt to keep my hatred of the snow and cold at bay.cake 2

Today, I made this banana-nutella swirl bundt cake, the recipe for which I found here, and I’m absolutely dying to try it. Unfortunately, it’s for an event so I won’t be able to try it until tomorrow night, but I’m assuming it will be delicious. I also made a giant pot of broccoli soup, cleaned the kitchen and took several shopping bags worth of books to Goodwill (including one I clearly hadn’t opened in 13 years, as it had, tucked between the pages, the phone number of a boy I dated during the summer after my sophomore year of college. That phone number was written, for some reason, on a paystub belonging to my then most recent ex-boyfriend, who was an absolute douche. Why I still had these things, I can’t guess. The shredder has them now.) (That sounds like an awesome TMNT reference.) (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, yeah!)

So here I am, getting things done. Boring things, but things nonetheless. What are you up to? Any good stories?

XO,

KW

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Stepgeek?

Dear everyone,

Because of a project Raven is working on, we’ve both started to get into self-tracking, which is a really special brand of nerdery. Or geekery? I’m not sure which is more accurate. Since it is more his project than mine, and he’s been super gung-ho about it, I bought him a tool for this that I actually really wanted for myself – a fitbit. (Holla, Green Canary!) Because I am not wealthy, I figured it would be a while before I got one for myself, but as he played with his, it became clear that it was totally awesome.

So I was delighted and surprised when he came home from work one day last week and said “close your eyes and hold out your hands” and presented me with my very own bit of technological awesomeness.

Now, it’s true that it’s just the fanciest pedometer you’ve ever seen, but not much more than that. Well, it also tracks your sleep through some sort of voodoo that I haven’t figured out yet, and it has a pretty sweet web-based interface that offers graphs and charts of your activity and progress – all of that is super appealing to someone who likes concrete visualizations. So, ok, it’s considerably more than just a pedometer.

But possibly my favorite part is that it allows me to indulge in one of my favorite pastimes – anthropomorphizing things that have no right to be anthropomorphized. You see, when I pick it up after a period of not wearing it – which at this point is only after a shower or after changing my clothes – it greets me with a little message. “Hey ho, Kelsi,” it says. Or “Faster, Kelsi,” it says, perhaps trying to be encouraging. Yesterday, though, when I picked it up, it said “Stepgeek, Kelsi.”

Well. Ok then! It hasn’t called me anything yet today, but it’s 7:45 in the morning and all I’ve done so far is sit on the couch. And although I’ve only had it for a few days, the burning guilt of the fact that my step count isn’t increasing while I sit here on the couch is worming its way through my brain. Which means it’s time to get up and head to the gym, and see what the little bit calls me today.

XO,

KW

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Il piccolo fugitivo

Dear everyone,

Raven and I went to see Little Fugitive at Film Forum the other night. As a super snobby person who spent a lot of time in her early twenties being “influenced” by French New Wave cinema and (sigh, I’m so awful) Andrei Tarkovsky, I was like THIS IS MY THING. THESE ARE MY PEOPLE! But… well… fortunately and unfortunately, I’ve evolved since I was 22, and my perception and patience both function differently.

Don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed the movie. It brought me to tears more than once, but I’m still not sure whether that was what it was supposed to do. I have a hard time, you see, telling the difference between whimsy and tragedy. There are things over which I hear other people go “awwwww” which make me go “but wait! He needs a hug!” I felt like this Little Fugitive was one of those things, but I didn’t interview the other audience members to confirm. Even the text that accompanies the Film Forum listing makes me wonder how many people miss the tragedy of this little story – “but with six bucks in his pocket and all of Coney Island for a hide-out, how tough can things be” – because I don’t know, if you are seven and your father has died and you think you’ve killed your brother by accident, I swear, things can be pretty tough!

Anyway. I loved the movie, hated the movie-goers, and was reminded how isolated I am from the bustle and flow of New York City. I live in one of the greatest, most storied cities on Earth and I… go to bed at 10 and complain about how loud people are. I dunno man, get out of the house, go see some cinema, be reminded of the better parts of humanity. Your upstairs neighbor may be listening to club versions of Beyonce songs, but somewhere in the city, there is a movie being screened that shows the greatest tragedy of the human heart, and that is probably worth checking out.

XO,

KW

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Brain gaps

You’re familiar with this, right?

The question [w]hether one generation of men has a right to bind another. . . is a question of such consequences as not only to merit decision, but place also among the fundamental principles of every government. . . . I set out on this ground, which I suppose to be self-evident, ‘that the earth belongs in usufruct to the living’ . . ..

It’s from a letter from Thomas Jefferson to James Madison. I came across it, again, the other day, and while I understand the general principle (he’s talking about the idea that the goods of the earth should be distributed by the preference of those curently living, rather than according to the preferences of those who lived before – it is one of his arguments against monarchy and hereditary power), I finally had to ask… what does usufruct mean?

Merriam-Webster online says “the legal right of using and enjoying the fruits or profits of something belonging to another.” Wikipedia says “usufruct is a right of enjoyment, enabling a holder to derive profit or benefit from property that either is titled to another person or which is held in common ownership, as long as the property is not damaged or destroyed.”

So. Now you know, and I do too.

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