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Tag Archives | lists

Monday Listicle: 2011 First Things

We’re in New York for the holidays and the past week has been a blur of visiting, appointments, and last-minute shopping.  I’m exhausted, in part because I’ve been moving at a New Yorker’s pace for the first time in five months and I’m a little out of practice.  My days have been occasionally triple-booked, like the day I had coffee with Squashedmom, did some errands, met another friend for lunch, went to a doctor’s appointment, met a third friend for a glass of wine, and then met up with my wonderful family, all of whom have converged on New York in December so they could visit with us.

I’d sort of forgotten it was Monday, and then I saw Stasha’s great list about “first things” in 2011–the topic came from Bridget at Twinisms. Stasha’s  list is short so you can read it and get back to the cookies/football/champagne/snow-ball fight.

This year has been full of firsts, including our first Christmas at my sister’s new house in New Jersey, where champagne has been flowing with great abundance. It seems to me that if we could get most of the warring factions in the world on a steady IV drip of Moet or Perrier-Jouet, we might solve a number of the world’s problems.  Just a thought.

Significant firsts of 2011, in no particular order:

1. My sister’s second baby–another daughter–was born in April. She is the second baby but I couldn’t be at the hospital for the first baby’s birth, so  this is a first. Now, in December, that tiny morsel is all thighs and cheeks and big round eyes. Delicious:

2. I rode an elephant.

3. We hired a cleaning lady, which is a bit like suddenly having a fairy godmother.

4. Liam started playing the euphonium in his sixth-grade band. Some children play the flute, or the clarinet. In extreme cases, maybe the drums. My son chose the mini-tuba, which is about as big as his torso.

5. I started stand-up paddle-boarding.  An hour paddling around on the flat waters of the Gulf in the early morning makes everything seem okay.  Santa brought me an underwater camera, so now I can take pictures while I paddle around.  I may start saving my dirham for my own board.

6. The fluffy July trees of Hyde Park got me so inspired I got myself some new kicks and started running. I’m a long, long long way from even running even a mile without stopping, but I still get an endorphin rush that (temporarily) squashes my desire to eat cookies.

7. Finally got through all eighty gazillion pages of Book Five of the Game of Thrones series only to discover that it’s not over. George R. Martin is writing another freaking book that I will probably have to read just to find out what the hell happens.

8. Caleb became a voracious reader. Not sure if that’s a “first,” exactly, but it’s pretty significant.

9 & 10.  Started linking this blog to other sites, particularly (duh) Stasha’s listicles and freefringes lovelinks.  (Hey! I won editor’s choice at lovelinks last week, too. What a nice holiday gift, don’t you think? Winning is like a little black dress: always appropriate and goes with everything).  Reading the writers on these blog lists helped me weather those first weeks in Abu Dhabi; I’m grateful to both Stasha and Erica M for creating these online communities.

Continue Reading · on December 26, 2011 in Abu Dhabi, Children, Monday Listicle

Monday Listicles: Things I Miss

I woke up this morning in Abu Dhabi with a bad case of the blues. The see-for-miles view out our 37th floor windows didn’t help; the gulf gleaming in the distance didn’t help.  Then the Monday listmaker struck again: Stasha at The Good Life said the topic for today’s list is: 10 things I miss.

Well. That’s easy-peasy, folks.

Numbers 1-8:

Mother, sister, brother, brother-in-law, nephew, 2 nieces, stepfather, gathered in Provence for mom’s 70th birthday. Actually, I miss Provence, too (but that’s not an official entry on the list).

9. Not people at all but things:

I love magazines. I know, I know, hard copy is so 20th century that it’s positively quaint. My subscription to The New Yorker comes to my iPad but it’s just not the same. I can’t flip through the pages, dip in and out of articles, skim the cartoons, dart around to whatever strikes my fancy. Yes, yes, I could just hit a link on the table of contents but somehow a dedicated jump like that lacks…serendipity. (And yes, Richard, I fully appreciate the irony of a blog writer bemoaning the loss of print culture!)

10. Coming on the heels of #9, this “miss” will seem a little odd, but here goes. I miss my iPhone 4. I am unmoved by gadgets, mostly, but I loves me my iPhone4. Mostly, I love all the camera apps I’ve got–I think of it more as a camera than a phone. Because the iPhone 4 can’t be easily unlocked, it can’t use an international sim card, so I’m relegated to my (far inferior) iPhone 3.  Please note that “easily unlocked” and “international sim card” are phrases that I do not fully understand, so please don’t ask any questions. I parrot only what DTS (domestic tech support, aka Husband) tells me. The phones don’t look that different, but a day hasn’t gone by that I don’t itch for my 4.

11. Finally, as I suspected I would, I miss green. The dominant color here is…tan. Lots of different shades of tan, but mostly? Tan. In the white heat of day, even the gulf waters look bleached out, a silvery blue-ish beige. Nowhere yet have I found this:

Continue Reading · on August 15, 2011 in Abu Dhabi, expat, Monday Listicle, tech life, Travel, UAE

What I Will Miss: A Listicle

We moved. Our apartment has been gutted, appliances pulled out, carpet ripped up, and the new tenants (a family with two small boys) move in at the end of July. The reality of leaving hasn’t quite hit home yet, because we’re “down the shore” for ten days, as we always are, reveling in bare-feet-and-shorts life of Long Beach Island.

There’s a lot to say about moving–almost none of it good–but I’m still too fried to say anything coherent, so instead:  a list.  I’m linking up with The Good Life, over there in the upper-left-hand corner of the country, where every Monday Stasha runs the Monday listicle.

I love lists.  I make them all the time – I even make lists about what lists I need to make. Husband–a non-list-maker–scoffs at me, but I don’t care. If I write it down, then I don’t have to carry the thought around in my head and given that my memory is becoming ever more sieve-like, lists are life-savers.

I’m sure our new life in Abu Dhabi, which officially starts in August, will be wonderful in many ways, but it’s not going to be life in New York; it’s not going to be my regularly scheduled life.  And here’s what I will miss about that life:

1. Green trees and the breeze stirring around the leaves

2. The Union Square Greenmarket, particularly early on a summer morning

3. Peel’s Cafe house muffin with lemon and rosemary

4. Trader Joe’s

5. Public art: sculptures, paintings, murals, mosaics

6. The Highline, even with all the damn tourists and hipper-than-thou locals

7. Riding my bike

8. Our opera subscription (which we’ve “sublet” to friends: enjoy, Lauren & Brian!) and the joy of watching the fountain at Lincoln Center

9. Walking around in a tank-top and shorts

10. The subway

11. The first snow

What won’t I miss?

1. The 14D bus

2. The amount of skin shown, during summer months, by people who really should be wearing more clothes

3. The 14D bus

4. The entire month of November. Ditto the entire month of February

5. The second snow

6. The junkies who hang out in Union Square doing slow head bobs up and down, almost looking as if they’re doing yoga spine rolls.

7. The sirens. The dirt. The noise.

8. The 14D bus

9. The subway

10. The third snow

Continue Reading · on July 11, 2011 in Abu Dhabi, moving, NYC

The List of the Undone, Now Haunting A Household Near You

Mom-101 wrote a great post (she does that a lot) about the myth of “doing it all,” which is what people like to say to women (mostly) as a sort of compliment, as in “how do you do it all?” It’s a compliment that I sometimes think translates to “jeezuz you look harried/exhausted and why are you so freaking compulsive and maybe you should just relax and probably you’re not really that much fun to be around.” One of the comments on the Mom-101 piece pointed out that there isn’t really a gracious way to respond to that question. Either you say “well yes in fact I am superwoman and it’s hard for me to be in the room with you mere mortals” or you duck your head and mutter that in fact it’s all done with smoke and mirrors and no one should get too close or the illusion will be destroyed.

But reading the Mom-101 post and the many comments started me thinking about that list…the list of the undone. The list that when you don’t get all the stuff crossed off, you flip to a new page but you carry over the stuff that didn’t get done from the day (week, month) before.

The list of the undone.  Yes, that’s right: it’s the list that won’t die. It’s the bags of clothes, intended for the Salvation Army, piled so high in the closet there isn’t any room for my shoes. It’s the skirt that’s been at the dry cleaners for three months; the beautiful linen napkins someone gave us that we’ve used once and now they’re dirty and have been in the laundry basket for…a year. It’s the class project–a beautiful tapestry of kids’ drawings made by a parent in Caleb’s kindergarten class–that we bought at last year’s school auction..and that’s still leaning against the bedroom wall because it can’t get hung up without these special hanger-thingys and of course we don’t have them, so I’m waiting for the hardware store to magically discover that I need those specific whatchamacallits and deliver them. It’s been a year and I think any day now the hardware store guy is going to show up.  And there’s just basic stuff–the orthodontist consult I need to schedule for Liam; the physical I need for myself; the wild mop of curls that has blossomed on Liam’s head and that needs to be trimmed lest someone mistake him for some kind of urban poodle.

The list of the undone haunts me–and everyone I know has her own list that won’t die, that seems to breed under cover of darkness.  Sometimes I think it’s just that I’m a working mom and that’s why the list flutters around me in the dead of night when I’m supposed to be asleep–but the moms I know who are “just” at home have their own sharp-toothed lists, too. I don’t know that anyone who is “doing it all” is, in fact, doing all of it, at all. (Notice that I’m not even mentioning, not even for a moment suggesting, that the Gwyneth Paltrowvian mom-chums at Goop have figured out how to have it all. Notice that I’m not even suggesting that “doing it all” is helped immeasurably by having a rather large staff that includes trainers, cooks, housekeepers, and a nanny or two).

Are we doomed to be haunted by the undone? Is the only form of exorcism here actually to get all that crap done?

What’s on your list of the undone?

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Continue Reading · on April 14, 2011 in family

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