My laptop bag, the one I’ve had for about five years, is falling apart.
I’m considering this one from Madewell:
but worried about whether it will hold everything I need (usually a laptop, a wallet, a book or two….odds and ends…)
Specifications: ideally under $200, very durable, and made of (or at least looks like) brown or black leather.
Thanks in advance!
For the first time since I was about eight years old, my family decided to do Thanksgiving at our house in upstate New York, rather than the house I grew up in outside Boston.
I am the only one of the four cousins on this side of the family who is old enough to remember Thanksgiving at the Lake (henceforth referred to as TATL), and therefore the only cousin to fully understand both the perils and the rewards.
The perils of TATL:
1. The risk of heavy snowfall that would basically prevent departure due to the long inaccessible dirt roads, the lack of town-sponsored snowplows, and the prevalence of citified sedans in our family
2. The risk of plumbing failure, heating failure, oven failure, or electricity failure in our old house. In the summer, these things aren’t so bad. In the late fall—especially when a cold snap results in 8-degree temps outside—these things are somewhat concerning.
The rewards of TATL:
1. You know that song that begins, “Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother’s house we go”? (AKA the only Thanksgiving carol in existence?) It should have been written about this house.
2. It is the coziest place on earth
3. There is a particular kind of beauty about it in the winter that we never really get to see, since normally we close the place in October.
Fortunately for everyone involved, no major systems in the house failed, and the potentially heavy snowfall that was predicted never really materialized.
Therefore, we got to enjoy the fire…
and the view(s)…
and the company…
without any major catastrophes to contend with.
(images 2, 6, 7, and 8 courtesy of my uncle Geoffrey Parkhurst.)
My vote: TATL forevermore.
(I hope you all had very merry Thanksgivings and happy post-Thanksgiving sandwiches as well. And that you used nutritionless white bread on said sandwiches. Nutritionless white bread is the only way to go.)
so that someone would tell me when it’s time to stop eating candy.
(I feel ill.)
Guess what this weekend is? Philadelphia’s very own literary festival, organized by Joey Sweeney of Philebrity.
The 215 Fest starts Thursday night with a reading at the Free Library by Nicholson Baker (!!) and Dara Horn (!!) and continues with a reading/concert/dance party (made up the dance party part, but you never know with writers) at Underground Arts. I shall be at both.
Also, here’s my event:
Tin House Presents: Cari Luna & Liz Moore
Saturday afternoon, 10/19, 2 p.m.,
Upstairs at Marra’s
1734 E. Passyunk Ave
I am totally going to self-plagiarize for a moment, but here’s what I said in a recent interview with The Head & The Hand about why this festival’s important for Philadelphia:
"LM: This year’s festival has some incredible names attached to it—I can’t wait to see Nicholson Baker. It’s important for Philly because I see Philadelphia as a city brimming with literary potential. Your press, all the writers who live here or have recently moved here, the long tradition of journalistic excellence associated with Philly, the interesting subject matter….the cheap rent….ALL of these things make Philadelphia just primed to be a terrific city for literature. So I am absolutely excited about participating in a festival that celebrates that. And I aim to spread the word about it, through my very rudimentary social media skills, but more importantly by peer-pressuring my friends to come."
Long story short: you should come. It’ll be fun. It’ll be good for Philly. I like you.
Dear Tumblr: it’s been a while. Here’s why:
Back in 2005, I met a 23-year-old who went on to become my roommate and then my boyfriend. (Read all about it.)
Here we are as babies.
Here we are as slightly older babies.
Here we are as grown-ups, in Philadelphia, outside the house we just bought.
Here is a picture that I have no good reason for posting other than it is the most ridiculous picture ever taken of us.
And here we are, last weekend, getting hitched.
It’s been a great and busy year and I am very, very grateful to be married to Mac.
And also, to be back to regular life….which equals more posting…and some more updates to share, in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
Home No. 5: The love/hate cycle with your work. -
In a 24-hour period I decided that my new book was:
1. Totally unbelievable. This was in the morning. Just woke up thinking this for no reason at all. People will shake their heads at this. Who do I think I’m fooling?
2. Completely boring. This was in the afternoon, before I did another session…
This rings so completely true. But Feeling Number 3, for me, is unfortunately the unicorn of feelings-about-writing, and visits about biannually….Feelings One and Two are much louder and pushier.
Preying on the neuroses and phobias of city folk with targeted ads on Facebook that, as you are scrolling down through all of the baby and wedding pictures of your friends and “friends,” leap out at you with the headline, “Attention Philadelphia! Bed bugs are everywhere.” And a nice little picture of the life cycle of a bed bug as well.
(See screen cap below. I kept it small so as not to do the same thing to all of you nice people on Tumblr.)
Two weekends ago M stayed in Chicago, where he’s been working, and I went to visit. It was the third time I had been and the first time I got it, as a city….the first two times it had felt too spread out, disparate. The streets had felt too wide. The restaurants had felt too large. I’m not used to space in cities.
This time was different: for one thing, I got to spend lots of quality time with two great friends, Heather and Christine (the latter of whom moved to Chicago since the last time I visited). Heather is a very good friend to have, not only because she is incredibly kind and funny, but also because she is incredibly professionally tuned in to Chicago’s food and culture and therefore made excellent recommendations to us.
Christine is one of my closest friends from college, and she recently made the brave and awesome decision to pursue acting, which precipitated her move. I had never seen her act before, but she was conveniently opening a show while we were there, which we had the pleasure of seeing. It’s called Inventing Van Gogh, and you should see it too. Look for this lady:
(Seeing her act was one of my favorite parts of the weekend. She’s….really….good. Seriously. A natural. Whatever it is, she’s got it. And that was so moving to see, and even more incredibly, she’s only just begun…)
We stayed at Longman & Eagle, which I could not endorse more enthusiastically. It’s a small city inn with a great restaurant/bar downstairs (I am still dreaming about a fried soft-shell crab dish…) and, upstairs, a handful of thoughtfully decorated rooms.
This was ours:
(Pants on bed, shoes on floor not included)
The tub was magical, as was the room-sized shower on the other side of that wall. And each room comes equipped with reasonably priced, delicious snacks and drinks in the fridge.
We also went to Dillman’s, which I think had opened the day before (A+ pickles), and Taxim.
The low point of the weekend was sustaining a non-life-threatening, albeit face-threatening, injury that sent M and me to the ER for six hours in the early morning Saturday. The bad thing about the face is that it bleeds a lot. The good thing about the face is that it heals quickly.
(See: me, four days ago, making a carrot cake. See also: the cut on my eyebrow that looks 75% better than it had a week before.)
In conclusion: Chicago, you won me over. Not that you needed my approval. I’ll be back and ready for more eating ASAP.
This summer is going (has gone?) by fast, in part because of all the little trips we’ve taken. Updates and recaps soon to come.
For now, pictures from two…
A view from the roof of a nearby apartment building.
Went to the East Hampton Library’s Authors’ Night, in which my sweet friend Jess Soffer was participating, in support of her book Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots (which you should all read if you haven’t yet).