Sunday, November 25, 2012

Skipping Christmas?

Christmas Tree 2010

Not quite.  But, since we'll be in Florida and possibly Boston for much of December, we've decided not to decorate for Christmas this year.  I love the holidays, and I love decorating, so it's a bit of a disappointment, but with things as hectic as they've been recently, it's certainly for the best.  I made a few paper snowflakes for our door (using this tutorial, they turned out better than any other paper snowflakes I've ever made, and reminded me of decorating in England with Carlea and the others), and I'm listening to the Indie Holiday station on Pandora.  We're still planning to buy some Christmas gifts, and attend as many holiday parties as we're able, and spend some time wandering around the city taking in this special time of year, but I'm officially taking any pressure off myself, and saying that anything that doesn't happen this year can happen next year.  I spend a lot of time thinking about how nice it will be one day to have a house with stockings over a fireplace, to have 25 days of Christmas planned out in an Advent calendar, to have a pinterest-perfect tree with fresh pajamas and a hot chocolate bar underneath, but for now, I'm just glad to be flexible enough to opt out of it all when things get busy.

Christmas Tree 2011

Here's looking forward to those New York Christmas traditions we'll still be a part of this year, and to making more of our own next year!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving 2012!

Best wishes to everyone for a hearty and warm Thanksgiving this year!

Cordial Thanksgiving greetings... Digital ID: 1588302. New York Public Library

As with most recent years, I'll be spending tomorrow with my parents and sister at my mother's best friend's house, enjoying turkey and counting our blessings.  Roger and I celebrated with friends this weekend as well, and hosted what has become a tradition for his friends from college, Friendsgiving, with a potluck for thirty people.  It was a lot of fun, and I got a several new and delicious recipes.

I've been slower about posting this year, because things have been busy, but I'm so grateful for every facet of my life.  I've been surrounded by friends and family, and wholeheartedly in love all year.  If that weren't enough, my job and school have both been going well, and I've been honored to teach at Goldwater Hospital this semester.  The year hasn't been without its challenges, but I've been slowly trying to take care of my health, to spend more time figuring out where my priorities lie and what my  goals are, and to keep my heart and mind open.  Roger and I are looking forward to a warm vacation in Florida soon, and to both of our final semesters at school, and then to figuring out our next big steps.

Blessed indeed.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day, November, 1884 sends me an email everyday with a new poem, and it's one of my favorite things to see when I wake up or when I'm riding the subway (when I get most of my email-checking done).  When I read this one today, I was particularly moved, and I hope it moves you as well.  I've got high-hopes for this election (in case you couldn't tell, I'm a big Obama supporter), but even if you're not voting my way, please do vote today.  It's a privilege and a responsibility.
I Voted!

Election Day, November, 1884 (Walt Whitman)

If I should need to name, O Western World, your 
   powerfulest scene and show,
'Twould not be you, Niagara--nor you, ye limitless 
   prairies--nor your huge rifts of canyons, Colorado,
Nor you, Yosemite--nor Yellowstone, with all its 
   spasmic geyser-loops ascending to the skies, 
   appearing and disappearing,
Nor Oregon's white cones--nor Huron's belt of mighty 
   lakes--nor Mississippi's stream:
--This seething hemisphere's humanity, as now, 
   I'd name--the still small voice vibrating--America's 
   choosing day,
(The heart of it not in the chosen--the act itself the 
   main, the quadriennial choosing,)
The stretch of North and South arous'd--sea-board 
   and inland--Texas to Maine--the Prairie States--
   Vermont, Virginia, California,
The final ballot-shower from East to West--the 
   paradox and conflict,
The countless snow-flakes falling--(a swordless 
Yet more than all Rome's wars of old, or modern 
   Napoleon's:) the peaceful choice of all,
Or good or ill humanity--welcoming the darker 
   odds, the dross:
--Foams and ferments the wine? it serves to 
   purify--while the heart pants, life glows:
These stormy gusts and winds waft precious ships,
Swell'd Washington's, Jefferson's, Lincoln's sails.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Summer List: Make a Website

So, my summer list wasn't the world's biggest success, but one of this weekend's biggest successes was finally (finally finally) creating my own website.  It's not perfect, but I was pretty impressed with myself for creating it, so feel free to check it out, and let me know if you have any suggestions.  The finishing touch will be uploading my CV, but I'll need to convert that into a PDF, so it will have to wait at least until tomorrow.
I used blogger, because it's just easiest for me to have all of my information in one spot.  (I also recently set up a class blog on here for the class I'll teach next semester.)  It really is pretty flexible, although I know a lot of people prefer Wordpress, and that makes sense to me too.  In case you want to stay with blogger too, I figured I should pass on some love to the sites that really helped me set it up:

How to create a static home page: (The only real problem with this is that it's not possible to remove your default "home," the blog, from your top tab-system, so you have to do a little bit of fooling around with it if you decide to use blogger.  See the third and fourth comments for a workaround here.)

How to make a contact page: (This was the easiest part of the whole system.  Every other website said, "Oh, this will take 5 minutes!" and then I spent an hour tweaking.  This actually only took 10 minutes.)

How to import posts from one blog to the other: (I imported all of my posts, and then just put up the "shameless self-promotion" ones, which I'll be cross-posting from now on.)

How to embed a PDF: (Like I said, I haven't actually done this yet, but this broken-English explanation seems like it will do just fine.)

Some other tips I hope to use in the future:

And finally, I got most of my inspiration for starting a site from some of these great people, so I figured I should send a shout-out to them, too.  You should visit their sites and give them some love if you get a chance: