Wednesday, March 20, 2013

First Day of Spring + Macaron Day

For the purposes of this post, I'm going to turn a blind eye to the fact that there's still snow on the ground to say thank goodness spring has arrived. It might still be too chilly to put the coat away, but at least the day has greeted us with sunshine and sometimes you've just got to take what you can get. Pretty soon I'll be able to squeeze back into my skinny jeans without needing to pair them with tights, use my phone's touch screen without freezing my hand off, and stop hearing A. go on and on about how "in L.A. you never talk about the weather because it's just sooo perfect and blah blah blah." I also can't wait to host picnics in the park and if all goes well, we might be exploring a new neighborhood before summer's arrived. Fingers crossed!

Today is also Macaron Day both in New York City and Paris so if you're a fan of the treat, browse through these bakeries around NYC to get a free macaron. Just tell the shop you're there for Macaron Day. A portion of today's sales at many participating locations will be donated to City Harvest, a rescue organization committed to feeding the hungry.

I wish I'd known Macaron Day was back again so soon. Then perhaps of baking mini baseball cupcakes for last night's World Baseball Classic's final game, I would have used my Christmas/birthday present from the Bantu Girl to give macaron-making a whirl. It doesn't seem hard at all and just think of all the filling options you could play with. *nom nom nom*

Monday, March 18, 2013

My Weekend in Instagrams

You know those days when it starts off just right and you feel great the whole day through? That was my Friday. I was in such good spirits I finally returned to the gym after going AWOL for four months. I'm still sore from that workout, but am determined to keep at it now that my body and mind can handle the efforts. Still riding the high, I asked A. out on a date, enjoyed a delicious Italian dinner at Tony's Di Napoli, and then walked over to Starbucks for a cup of hot chocolate because I simply didn't want the evening to end.

I'd been wanting to check out the CONFETTISYSTEM: 100 Arrangements exhibition at Museum of Modern Art PS1 so badly that despite the snowy weather, A. and I trekked into Queens to visit the museum Saturday afternoon. While the décor was festive and pretty, I have to say I was a bit disappointed by the installation. I'd expected grander! More interactive! What the hell I thought I'd be able to roam around and find myself surrounded by sparkling fringes and tissue paper in this "immersive environment." Instead, I found that the space was occupied by a pop-up shop for a new nail salon offering manicures for 50 bucks with the lovely things hanging overhead and just out of reach. After hyping it up so much, I felt slightly embarrassed. " was this sold to you?" A. asked while I just stood there with a fake smile plastered on my face. Blah.

It was my first time at PS1 and from an architecture standpoint I liked the idea of converting a former school into an art space. Even the caged staircases were left untouched and took me right back to my childhood days. (A., who's from California, found them depressing and I can't say those were my favorite details in my own schools.) As for the exhibitions, well he and I share similar opinions about contemporary art ("So, um, why exactly is this in a museum again?"), but it was fun to wander around and stumble upon some real oddities: a cucumber phone, a mouse peeking from the staircase wall, video clips of an artist interview taking place in a tub at The Standard hotel, some trippy abstract paintings that left A. mesmerized and me plain cross-eyed, and lastly, discovering that a teeny nude woman had fallen into a sea of lava through a hole in the lobby floor. I felt like Alice. Even the giant tinted windows framing the snowy outside seemed like a video installation of an eternal winter.

Afterwards, we walked a couple blocks over to 5 Pointz, an iconic warehouse that's completely covered in graffiti. I'd taken photos of the place for last year's Souvenir Foto School and was surprised to learn that some of the art gets painted over so the building keeps changing. After all that work, I'd want my stuff plastered on there forever.

It's 3 in the afternoon, we're covered in snow, but nowhere near wanting to end our adventure so we decided to seek warmth and sweets at Doughnut Plant, where the donuts are absolute heaven. My new fave: a peanut butter square doughnut filled with blackberry jam. I order a second. The snack was good, but we had another treat while sitting in the bakery: a random conversation about New York City bookstores and print versus digital with a Brooklyn man sitting next to us. It was such a pleasant conversation, I almost didn't want to leave, but felt badly for the other patrons waiting to sit with their own snacks. It did make me wonder just how many wonderful conversations could be passing me by just because I don't let strangers burst into my personal bubble too often.

Two hours were spent at Barnes & Noble perusing every floor and countless aisles, grabbing books, holding them tightly hoping it'd be the one that would come home with me only to let them go at the sight of another more interesting title. In the end, Best of the Best Lesbian Erotica was the day's chosen one.

Din din was at Vanessa's Dumpling House near Union Square and because, once again, we still didn't want our day to be over, we caught a showing of Silver Linings Playbook (trés bien, by the way), and then laid in bed in the dark talking about the movie, mental illness, and motivation until I finally fell asleep.

For some reason, on Saturday morning I'd woken up teary-eyed and, knowing full-well that I cannot, that we cannot for quite some time, my first words to A. as I rolled over to nuzzle my face into his was "I want a baby." It's not like we'd ordinarily have one anytime soon, but to have that choice taken away from me - no matter if temporarily - has been one of the hardest things to accept about battling the cancer. So I let that moment come, I let him comfort me, and then I let it go knowing that in order to fully normalize, I have to accept this reality of mine with all its chinks and strengths.

So when A. decided to master the art of the French toast on Sunday morning because his future children needed to know the beauty of a well-made batch, I smiled and cheered. I hope that when our time comes around, we'll be happy and ready. That we'll take the next five years to uncover all the bits of us and add found pieces to our collection of awesome. I'll be a nurturing and eager mom and I know he'll be an attentive dad. Or at the very least good at distracting them with breakfast while I sneak in a few more hours of sleep on mornings after a full day spent exploring.

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Pep Talk from Kid President

There's been so much good buzzing around these days what with Porcupine Hugs slowly garnering attention, the weather getting slightly warmer, and tonight's graduation from radiation. I'm feeling great, but if you're not, Kid President has a few choice words for you. I meant to share this weeks ago, but flies.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Happy + Exciting News

I'll start off by assuring you that I'm alive and well just incredibly busy and somewhat tired. I'm on week three of radiation and the treatment has been taking a serious toll on my energy levels. Not only is commuting an hour into Manhattan every weekday evening a pain in the arse, but I've also been working part-time and channeling every spare moment I have into working on my stationery business.

Well happy news: Porcupine Hugs has officially launched! A. coded the website I designed and even taught me a few things about maintaining it, which is nice because I know I've stretched him past his limit and he's been so gracious about it all.

So pop on over to to browse and shop the card collection and keep up to date with news and special offers by signing up for our newsletter or following the Porcupine Hugs Facebook page. There's so much more to come, believe that.

A big squeeze to all those who've gently nudged me towards this moment (or straight up yelled at me to "get it together!") and those who've patiently heard me talk ad nauseum for the past six years about this little dream of mine. And to my rock star boyfriend who created CSS magic while serving as life coach/drill sergeant, you are amazing.