– This week has brought devastating news. A dear friend’s husband was suddenly and unexpectedly diagnosed with cancer. He is no older than I am. I can barely manage to process this myself and I can’t imagine the hell that my friend and her family is living through.I have been wearing down the gears on my elliptical to try to come to terms with my rage but it’s useless. I work out until I’m exhausted but anger still explodes in my brain each time I think about it. Other than bringing meals and sending texts there is nothing for me to do but turn it over and over in my mind, trying to wear down the news’ rough edges so it hurts less. They have two grade school children.
– I cleaned out my pantry the other day and in addition to throwing out the last of the Christmas candy and olives from the year I graduated high school (just kidding! mostly!) I discovered I had at least five jars of pickle relish saved up in there. Come the apocalypse I’ll be eating pickle relish with a spoon and laughing like a maniac, partly because I’m glad I saved so much relish and partly because my mood stabilizer will be long gone I’m sure. I tweeted something to this effect and Sarah Sphar replied with the hashtag #relishtheapocalypse which will surely be on any brand of pickle relish I’m eventually selected to endorse.
– Our very favorite thrift store, Treasures to Find, closes its doors for good tomorrow, and I’ve stopped by several times during their liquidation sale to say goodbye. One of the things I bought Isobel is a bell hop’s bell which she is always compulsively trying to ring whenever she spots one. I am either a genius or an idiot because I put it in my bag without hesitation, knowing full well this would buy us hours of ear-splitting entertainment. Maybe I can convince her to use it outside. When we got home she found the bell and spent the next hour and a half periodically ringing it and shouting SORRY! TIME’S UP! as if she was a game show host. Bell Hop’s Bell? One quarter. Noise-related headache? Two aspirin. Watching your three year old become drunk on game show host power? Priceless.
– Next week I’m hosting a V-Day giveaway including a sparkly heart pin from Let’s Die Friends, valentines from The Red Star Designs, goodies from Little Big Shop, and an erotic novel. You are not going to want to miss out.
– Anthony’s birthday weekend was an orgy of dinners, D&D and laying around reading in our underwear. In a word, wonderful. On Saturday night we went to a historically famous French Basque restaurant called Wool Growers a few towns over. The food was amazing and it was served family style at long, communal tables, giving the effect that we were all eating at Hogwart’s, but with a bar. Isobel brought her pink purse and filled it with silverware which we sneakily unloaded before we left for home. Anthony’s D&D tournament was a success despite the fact that the comic book shop we had arrange to host the tournament in double-booked us. I briefly took a turn as DM while Anthony went to go check something when suddenly a magical sparkling unicorn appeared before the group. “Excellent!” said Danny, “I kill it and take its horn to use as a weapon.” Sadly for him, Captain Picard arrived shortly thereafter and phasered him to death. Related: my DM privileges have been revoked.
– My friend Stefanie, recovering academic, sultry piano player, and chocolate whore, recently gave me a Kindle Fire when a family member upgraded to the newest version. When she first offered me a Kindle I thought it must be an old version and I was still losing-my-mind ecstatic. I may have just bought fifty new books at the library’s annual book sale but I’ve been dreaming of a Kindle for years all the same. When I saw she had given me a Kindle-MFing-FIRE I nearly pooped my pants with joy. (What? I have a medical condition.) I can check Instagram and Twitter while I read disposable fluff! Actually the first book I bought (and read in two blissful sittings) was a biography on one of my favorite artists, Frida Kahlo. It included recipes, for chrissake. I’m pretty sure it was written just for me. Why an ereader, probably no one is asking? Let me tell you anyway. Not only do I love to read, but have you seen my bookshelves lately? They are so filled to capacity it’s standing room only in there, and last month I was so cramped for space I made one book give birth in a manager. There are plenty of books I’d love to read but not necessarily own. Hence, Stefanie is my new hero and I’ll have to think of an (in)appropriate way to thank her.
Reuse Roundup: DIY Border Paper Crown – These would make perfect party favors.
Scrapbook: Anthony’s Birthday – I’m a fan.
Little Big Shop: My Photography on Etsy – You need wall art and I need a new heater.
Best of 2010: My First Year Blogging – All kinds of good stuff.
Recipe: Roast Fingerling Potato Nachos – The best tater tots of your life.
Divers Rescue Dolphin After it “Asks” for Help. This is so amazing. I caught myself holding my breath while watching.
Cleveland is Your Best Friend. Part memoir, part love letter to her city, Bridget Callahan’s writing is magical.
How to Gain or Lose 30 Minutes of Life Every Day. “Spiegelhalter converted reams of statistical risk tables into a simple metric.” An eye-opening look at how lifestyle affects aging.
Sir Patrick, You Are Awesome. Heart.
I answer a reader question once a month. Do you have a question for me? I’d love to answer it! If it’s a short one I’ll answer it here. If it’s more complicated, I’ll give it its own post. You can leave your question in the comments, @-reply me on twitter, email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a messenger pigeon. Don’t actually do the last one, though. My cat will eat it. Be sure to let me know if you want me to include your name and link to your blog or shop. Anonymous questions are fine, too.