Category Archives: Personal

Title Change

As I have mentioned in the little ‘about’ section on the right, I am still relatively new to blogging and so am letting this blog find itself for a bit before really deciding. As such, I decided a name change was in order. The original name was Pieces of Me which was the name of a blog I held briefly on Vox. When I created this blog, I wasn’t quite sure of a name so stuck with the other until something struck me.

I am a web designer and kind of liked the idea of something web related. I had thought display:inline; might be all right but this piece of code lines things up neatly in a row, particularly for the list tag <li>. I then thought of overflow:visible; which allows content that is wider or longer than a particular space is coded for to be seen. In thinking about this I thought this sounded kind of like a journal or blog because it allows that which is inside of you that needs to come out, that is bigger than your insides are coded for, to spill over and be seen. It may sound a little cheesy or something, but I kind of like it so I guess that is one piece of blog evolution done. 🙂

NY Needs a Rest too!

new york backyardThe New York skyline is beautiful. There are so many images of it on postcards and websites – everyone recognizes it. But what I really love about New York is what you don’t see posted everywhere. Nestled in between the tall skyscrapers and slick retail stores are little escapes. Little niches carved out that offer respite and serenity from the hustle and bustle. That may sound cliched but having lived up here for here for over 20 years, hustle and bustle still seems appropriate.

The next time you see that magnificent skyline remember – even New Yorkers need breathing room!

Phoebe's
Phoebe's
Phoebe's

Perfection Confinement

I have been a web designer for four years, a writer since high school and a crafter since who knows when. But in the past few weeks I feel like I just learned how to write and craft for the first time.

I have this perfection issue. I think that when I write or make something it has to come out “right” the first time. This doesn’t really happen to me during working hours with web design because our websites go through rounds. It is expected that there will be layout modifications especially since there are usually more than three people involved. It’s not often but every once in a great while, a sketch will be approved on the first round. (This always leaves me with an eyebrow-raised, suspicious feeling.)

Most of my personal work stalls from paralysis. I don’t know how to move forward or where to start and I can never see the middle steps. I just see the blank screen/paper/canvas in front of me and the end. Or what I hope the end will look like.

writing basics magazine thumbI bought a magazine on a whim recently. (Let me note here that I buy magazines on whims quite frequently. QUITE frequently) It was published by Writer’s Digest. They must know something. The magazine was Writing Basics and it actually helped. The advice I followed was from the article "Rough Up Your First Draft" by Elizabeth Sims. It was this simple: just start writing. Anything – write whatever comes to your mind. You can even write the same sentence three difference ways if it comes to you in three different ways; sort it out later! And wouldn’t you know it? I wrote five pages in two days while on the bus to work. That’s probably more than I have written in two years! I felt liberated from the confinements of perfection! Now comes the hard part: keep writing because the secret to writing is apparently… to write! Yes, really. It’s that “simple”.

mini albums magazine thumbThe other break-through was in the craft department. I wanted to create a mini scrapbook album for my friend’s baby shower. Another magazine buying whim turned out to be just what I needed. It was called “mini albums”, published by scrapbook TRENDS. I didn’t even realize there was a whole mini-album trend in the scrapbooking world (I don’t scrapbook). So this little magazine featured a template drawn up by a Jennifer Gallacher that she uses for most of her mini albums. A sketched out template. I had never thought of that. I really felt very silly. There it was, staring me down again. My need for perfection, to do it right the first time without thinking it through or having a plan. So I thank you very much oh scrapbooking trends and Ms. Gallacher for saving me from my perfection confinement. I now have a solid plan for the mini album and have sketched out each page of it to boot! woo hoo!

Doors that Intrigue

My first love and I recently got back in touch via another ex – always a strange moment! I was excited to see him and glad to have him back in my life as he introduced me to some great stuff including Queen, Pink Floyd and writing poetry. He has become an avid photographer, as am I, and it turns out we have very similar photographic sensibilities. (his stuff is here if you’re curious). He shares much more than I do – I’m a little stingy when it comes to sharing creative stuff – but a recent post of his about doors has inspired me to do a little door posting of my own. (My photos are not high res – they are cell phone photos and not nearly as clear as his).

Brooklyn DoorsI took this one a week or so before his post, mostly because it was run down and so forth. I figured I could use it for a digital collage at some point. I recently took another photo of a door after his post and I have to agree – doors are intriguing. I like them older and worn. What lies behind them? In a dusty old shop – are there any remnants in the debris of what the shop was? Who owned it? What kind of people shopped there?

Doors, M train stationThere is one door that has held my attention for years. While waiting on the M train platform at Chambers Street, there is a dirty, brown, padlocked, cross-hatched double door just after the platform ends and the tunnel begins. I cannot tell you how often I have stared at that door and imagined what lies behind. Sure – storage for the MTA but are there any relics of transportation past? Is it still used (sure doesn’t look like it!) Does it lead to a whole other network of tunnels or cross stations? And then there are the stories I have written in my head while waiting (…and waited some more). Abandoned cities and families living in tunnels; networks for the aliens; escape routes for convicts. I guess doors are wonderful conduits for creativity!

Doors, 594 Broadway

After a seminar

Doors, Havemeyer and Grand

On the way to a birthday dinner

"I think I'll take a moment and celebrate my age"

The Rents

The 'Rents

As 30 draws near for me and many of my friends I am struck by how many are in a state of alarm. I cannot say for sure how much of it is genuine and how much is just ingrained from hearing people continuously lament the aging process. Were I to take my mother seriously on how unwelcome age is I think I would have ended it before 25.

This is not to say that I am completely unaffected by turning 30 or aging in general. On the contrary. However, and I think most people over the age of 50 would agree with me, I do not think 30 is anything to throw back one’s head and cry ‘woe is me’ about. As a woman, I take particular satisfaction and consider myself very lucky to be turning 30 at this point in history. Women are, and have, accomplished so much. It was not so long ago that women became obsolete at 30 and then especially when their children were gone. They most likely did not hold jobs, did not exercise, go on ‘girl only’ vacations. Their homes and families were it. I am NOT in anyway demeaning motherhood or the home – I myself look forward to experiencing the ups and downs of family life. What I mean is we had nothing else and were not supposed to want anything else. I am not married and have no children – I would be seen as an outsider – a spinster even!

How then do I recommend this milestone of 30? I see it as a fresh start, a new decade. Indeed I have been attempting to tie off loose ends and make more solid plans for my future like buying a house and getting out of debt. I look at my life and that of my closest friends and family and others I am associated with. There are some who may have accomplished more and if I feel that I am lacking then now is the time to step up and achieve what will make me a better person and more satisfied.

I look at my family and friends and I think damn – I’ve been around for 30 years and look what I have. Very close parents – both still alive, still married – close friends, some old some still fairly new, I have a job that I look forward to and so many other things that make my life rewarding. I look at the people I know and, for the most part, I see the same for them. I just hope they see it, too.

Of course looking back on what I’ve written there are others who will read this and think well of course you feel that way, you’re young, you’re only 30. But aging is what it is – a process. My body will change, some things will get harder and of course, the inevitable but I am not at the point of inevitability yet. Not in the least and when I do dwell on the finality of life it is to make sure I am doing every damn thing I can to live it up, live it well and live it right.

Originally published May 16, 2007