Monday, October 17, 2016

J.K. Rowling Book Signing - 2012

Four years ago yesterday, I was at Lincoln Center, getting The Casual Vacancy signed by J.K. Rowling. Shelby had an extra ticket, and so I went with her, Shylah, David, and Katie. We all had dinner at Carmine's beforehand, and of course meeting her afterward was lovely. J.K. Rowling is a delight, and I remember especially being surprised at how very beautiful she was. Lev Grossman writes about the evening much better than I could, especially all these years later.

I realized I never really wrote about it here, so I thought I should mention it. Harry Potter has always been a summer read for me, like so many other people, but there is something so decidedly autumnal about it, so now seems like an appropriate time to mention that this was a lovely evening in my life, a few years back.

I still haven't read The Casual Vacancy, though.

Friday, October 14, 2016

On Unproductivity

I thought I'd have loads of extra time once we moved to Vermont, and although I haven't exactly been spending every night out on the town, I do seem to be getting less done than I'd expected. What happened to those morning pages, the evening runs? It's all blurred into dark mornings, darker evenings, and lots of still-unpacked boxes. Perhaps this is always what moving looks like. Perhaps next week will be better.

In the meantime, here are some Instagram photos of autumn in New England. It's glorious, even as I complain about not having gone hiking yet.

A photo posted by Kristin Maffei (@ktin520) on

A photo posted by Kristin Maffei (@ktin520) on

A photo posted by Kristin Maffei (@ktin520) on

A photo posted by Kristin Maffei (@ktin520) on

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

What Fictional Characters Are You Most Like?

The ever-brilliant Liz posted this question, along with three photos, on Facebook today. I stepped on a (live) mouse this morning with my bare foot and it sort of set the tone for the whole day so far. I've been packing like a madwoman (as anyone on Snapchat can probably tell you) for the last few days, and the longer I do it, the harder it is to keep up momentum. Plus my heel kind of hurts from running and--oh yeah, I stepped on a mouse this morning!

Anyway, this little meme was a much needed distraction just now, so I wanted to share with you my selections for myself. Sadly, though I may wish to emulate them, I'm just no Jenny Cavilleri, Charlotte York, or Elle Woods. Instead, I think I'm more a:

Jo March and

Hermione Granger combination,

with a very healthy side of Liz Lemon.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A Weekend in Hudson

Way back on the weekend of August 26th, we headed to Hudson to spend the weekend with two of my closest friends from Sarah Lawrence and their families. The town is super cute, and you can get there relatively quickly on the Amtrak.

On Friday, we wandered around the town, which is adorable, if pricey. We stopped in at a really gorgeous antique store that had some incredible modernist furniture, and then stopped at a tea and chocolate store for some refreshments. We also saw Gaby Hoffmann, star of Now and Then, perhaps the most-beloved film of my childhood.

Other than the one foray into town and a quick trip to Olana Castle, we mostly stayed inside at the house we rented, which was wonderful. It was a chance to really catch up and bond with some babies. We also had a ton of really delicious homegrilled dinners!

Obviously delighted to see an upping stone in New York!

On Saturday, Sarah, Matty, Roger and I all checked out Olana Castle, which was pretty incredible. I hadn't been since I was a little kid, so it was really fun to go back and check it out. The views were stunning and I can see why an artist would build a home here. If you go to Olana, I would definitely pack a picnic lunch and eat it on the grounds, which were really gorgeous.

On Sunday morning, we all enjoyed one last breakfast together before hitting the road. Roger and I made our way back to my parents' house to spend some more time with my sister and do a bit more packing for my parents' move.

I'm so glad we got to spend the weekend with all these incredible people and their wonderful babies. We're all so busy that we don't often get a chance to see each other, and so setting aside a full weekend to just enjoy being together was really powerful, especially right before we moved. I can't wait to do it again next year!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Jess and Madhu's City Island Wedding

On August 20th, Roger and I made our way to City Island, a spot we hadn't been to since way back when we lived in Harlem, for the wedding of Jess and Madhu, who you may remember from our trip to India.

Although the weather had been sweltering in the weeks leading up to the wedding, that weekend, the heat finally broke a bit, and we were able to enjoy the gorgeous views from the ceremony site at the Harlem Yacht Club. It's difficult to make out, but the beautiful couple came in on a boat, and walked down the dock, instead of down the aisle!

I wore one of the outfits I bought in India, which was even prettier than I remembered, and resolved to always wear pants to weddings from now on.

The ceremony was beautiful, and combined Buddhist prayers with Indian traditions. I don't know if I've ever said this before, but I actually haven't been a big fan of writing your own vows. However, Jess and Madhu's vows really changed my mind on that. They were so beautiful and personal, and clearly showed how deeply in love they are. It was an incredibly moving ceremony, and one I'm so honored to have been a part of.

The party afterward was a blast. I loved seeing Jess's family, including her mom and grandmother, neither of whom I'd seen since high school. It was so lovely to see them and hear what they've been up to, since when we were children, they were like a second family to me.

Jess's brother, Philip, was the hit of the evening, and I asked if we could hire him out for futhre weddings! Phil was just a little kid when we were all hanging out, and although we definitely did our fair share of tormenting him, I was so thrilled to talk to him and hear what an incredible person he has become. He reminded me that when I first started driving Jessie to school, we also took Philip to middle school (something I'd completely forgotten), and he told me that on the first day of middle school, Jess told me to drop him off at the high school and make him walk the quarter-mile or so to the other school, terrifying him on his first day at a new school. I was pretty horrified that he remembered this, but apparently I swooped in and rescued him, saying we should drop him off at the front door, and dropping him there. You can't imagine my relief that the story ended that way and not with, "And I just wanted to tell you I've thought you were a huge bitch ever since the day you abandoned me in the MHS parking lot!" Hahaha.

Everyone gave really fantastic speeches. They were all by turns funny, poignant, and meaningful—everything a wedding speech should be. I especially loved the moment when Madhu's friend said she wanted to pass on the best wedding advice she'd ever heard: "Your wife is always right."

Jess and Madhu served appetizers, homebrewed beer, and delicious wedding cake, and I think scaling back on the food was a really wonderful idea. It got everyone dancing right away, and made me realize that dinner at weddings is often a bit of a distraction. I've had amazing meals at weddings, of course, but what I'm really there for is seeing the couple in love and dancing! This wedding was full of both of those things, and I can honestly say it was one of the most fun weddings I've ever been to.

Jess and Madhu, being able to connect with you in India and at this wedding brought me so much happiness, and seeing the joy you bring to each other was the most wonderful part of this wedding. Thank you so much for inviting Roger and I to celebrate with you. It's a day I'll never forget.