Thursday, May 31, 2012

Anything But

I've been cheating on the GG's lately. For the last 6 weeks or so I haven't been reading GG books. Just normal books. I needed a break, especially when I was on vacation and just wanted to read whatever was on sale at at the airport.

How do you feel about this weird scatter collage? Personally, I don't like it.

To be specific:

The Help, Kathryn Stockett
The Sentimentalists, Joanna Skibsrud
The Flying Troutmans, Miriam Toews
Bossypants, Tina Fey
The Cat's Table, Michael Ondaatje
Ten Thousand Saints, Eleanor Henderson

I'm not going to link to any online retailers because I think you should go to your local bookstore and buy it there.

Incidentally, I also joined Goodreads, because I'm just not on enough social networks these days. Are you there too? Let's be friends! I'm thecrabigail.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Ten Years

I realized this long weekend that in some ways, it's been ten years since I first came to New York.

In May 2002 I moved to Brooklyn for the first time, to work a 3 month internship at Scholastic, the children's publisher. I lived with a couple in their brownstone in Sunset Park, the same neighborhood I live in now. I had never intended to move to New York City, or the the U.S. at all, it just kind of happened.

I was scared, sure, probably. I remember coming home from visiting a friend in Pennsylvania for a weekend, getting on the wrong subway from Port Authority around midnight, ending up at Coney Island in the wee hours and having no idea how to get home. Oops. It would not be the last time the Q train would wrong me.

I would like to think that in my ten years NYC has made me hard, but the truth is I'm still a little bit afraid of jay-walking. I have seen many dozen rats, and several dozen celebrities. I have been flashed more times than I care to remember. I have lived in 5 different neighborhoods Bay Ridge (twice), Kensington, East Village, Crown Heights, Sunset Park (twice). I have eaten probably hundreds of bagels. I have (touch wood) never been mugged. I still work in book publishing, but I went from kids to adult non-fiction.

After my three months in the summer of 2002 I went back to Guelph to finish my final year of school, before moving here permanently the following May. I often think that it must have been some level of youthful stupidity/bravery that I was ever able to move myself to NYC with so little thought. I have since spent a lot of time wondering how I will move out of this city. We have a love/hate relationship and I spend a lot of time plotting my escape, knowing that I probably will never get far.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hoarder Tendencies

Things have been shit. Sorry for the cussin', but there's no other way to put it. Things got real heavy. So, I haven't really been in a blogging mood. But I did want to share a recent acquisition with you, so you don't feel abandoned, and I can feel a momentary distraction.

Remember way back when I told you about my recent interest in German bisque vases? Well, at the time I had inherited one lovely vase, designed by Tappio Wirkkala.

She's a beauty.
Well, after that my mom gave me another Rosenthal vase.

And then, the pi├Ęce de resistance! Thanks to the eBay app I downloaded on my phone so that I can obsessively check eBay (especially during the day, because the 'Bay is blocked at work), I was able to score a deal on the coveted Wirkkala Pollo vase!

Those curves!
It was honestly the most difficult and annoying eBay transaction of my life, with a seller who was not only disorganized, but also possibly (probably) a big fat liar. However, I got my vase, and I can probably thank the seller's disorganization for the low, low price of this little chicken.

Now, if this little devil lays so much as a white whisker on these I'll make a stew out of him.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Road Trip!

Almost 1500 miles later, we successfully completed our southwest road trip. Something that was on my 2012 Get 'er Done List

The original plan was:

Las Vegas
Zion National Park, Utah
Monument Valley, Utah/Arizona
Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona
Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

We managed to squeeze in some other small adventures, including Window Rock, Flagstaff and Sedona. 

We started with one night in Las Vegas. What can I say about Vegas? It is about the weirdest place I've ever seen. A place where you go and look at other hotels. Well, that's all we did. Being too cheap for gambling, too cynical for flashy shows and too old for clubbing, we are probably not the Las Vegas Tourist Board's target market. I did lose $5 on a slot machine while H. sneered next to me.

Should read: "College kids welcome!"

Just like home!

From Las Vegas we drove to Zion National Park in Utah. Zion was a highlight for both of us, I think. It's gorgeous, and we managed to fit three hikes in. We also had some tasty meals in town.

 And there were goats at our hotel!

From there we went to Monument Valley, which you may know if you - like H. - have watched lots of westerns.


And, there were goats!

We also managed an early morning trip to the amazing (and completely empty) Goosenecks State Park in Utah, which had an incredible example of erosion and a "meandering river".

And we saw the "Mexican Hat" rock that the town of Mexican Hat is named after:

From there we went to Canyon de Chelly National Monument, where you can only enter the canyon with a Navajo guide. our guide, Ben, told us about how he was born in the canyon, and he and his family still live there. Built into the canyon walls are ancient ruins from Ancient Pueblo peoples.

As well as wall markings dating from about 300 AD:

Right through to the 19th Century:

Next up, we went on a whirlwind tour of the utterly bizarre and eerie Petrified Forest National Park and looked at some trees that are 220 MILLION YEARS OLD. Unfathomable.

220 Million Year old TREES. That's older than the Rocky Mountains! And they still look like trees. Weird.

Finally, the Grand Canyon. What can you say about the Grand Canyon? It's amazing? Everything they say about it not being properly captured in photos or descriptions is completely true. It's massive.

And we even saw some locals!

Camera shy.

Literally outside our hotel window. 

And thus ends "How I spent my spring vacation".

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