SUPER EFFING BUSY.
I’m not even joking – and unfortunately, right now I don’t have time to play catch-up. Here’s a summary of my 2017. For reasons that will rapidly become apparent, it begins in June. You may assume that the months before June also included “Activisting.”
June: Laid off in company-wide restructuring. Took the rest of the month off. Reconnected with self, family, and community. Activitsted.
July: Spent time with family. Looked for a job. Activisted.
August: Freelanced. Activsited.
September: Freelanced. Started a hyperlocal political podcast (radiofreebayridge.org) Activisted.
October: Freelanced. Got diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Also some rad podcast stuff. Also organized (along with my #ResistanceFam here in Bay Ridge) some pretty impressive (if I may say so myself) protests over the House’s passage of a bill to eliminate a woman’s right to bodily autonomy after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Here’s a video that was made of our first protest.
November: Freelanced. Had my thyroid out. Got to spend a few days with fam in NYC that I hadn’t expected, incl. the spawns. D’aw. And some rad podcast stuff.
December: Freelanced. Radioactive Iodine (RAI) treatment to destroy any remaining cancer cells. Hired onto the Omar Vaid for Congress campaign. More rad podcast stuff. Quit fashion in favor of politics.
…? (But definitely more rad podcast stuff. And politics.)
At any rate, dear reader friends, if you don’t hear from me here for a while, it’s because there’s a lot going on. It’s a good thing.
Whatever challenges you faced in 2017, I hope you you overcame them and got to spend more time reflecting on happy things than sad ones.
And may 2018 be even better!
Posted in Activism & Politics, Lifestyle
Tagged 2017, 2018, Activism & Politics, bay ridge, brooklyn, cd11 handmaids, economy, family, fashion, hobbies, new york city, podcasts
It’s the day after Thanksgiving, the turkey has been devoured, and everyone is wandering around my aunt and uncle’s house (well, everyone who’s up so far) in a post-turkey coma, tottering towards the coffee and slowly organizing their things.
I love Thanksgiving leftovers. Mushing a giant bowl of turkey, stuffing and potato together and then drowning it all in thick, delicious gravy. Nom. Followed up in a few hours with some apple pie and maybe some whipped cream and maybe even some cake?
Of course, the other thing one has to do on Thanksgiving morning is look ahead to the next few weeks of Utter Holiday Insanity. There are gifts to be bought and mailed, cards to write, parties to go to and people to catch up with. Technically, getting through New Years Eve marks the finish line…but then (at least where I am) we’ll be deep into the snowy season.
Last year, overwhelmed with all the things one needs to take care of when one has just moved, I neglected to hire a snow plow and just watched the snow pile up day after day. This year – two days ago, in fact – I called a plow company for an estimate.
Last year around this time, I started working on a sitcom pilot. I’m now steeling myself for rewriting both the pilot and the second episodes, thanks to some great feedback and some new ideas.
Last year, I was excited about moving to a little town in the country and taking on new challenges at work. This year, the challenges promise to continue being…challenging…but I’ve come to the knowledge that despite trying, I was not built for the country lifestyle. Something on that front may need to change in the coming months. We’ll see how it goes.
That’s pretty much how I feel about everything at the moment. I’ll see how it goes. What do you want out of life? I’ll see how it goes. Where do you want to move to? I’ll see how it goes. What do you want for dinner? I’ll see how it goes.
Actually, the answer to that last question is probably “leftovers.” At least for a few more days.
Posted in Lifestyle
Tagged eating, family, gravy, leftovers, life, Lifestyle, looking ahead, looking back, mashed potatoes, planning ahead, reflection, stuffing, thanksgiving, turkey
For those who don’t know, my grandfather was a neuroanatomist. (I would say a famous one, but he was very humble and I don’t think he’d approve. Even if it’s true.)
Today, a good friend of the family passed this article on to my parents; it’s a list of affordable family vacations and summer trips across America. If you go to their interactive map, pick the “Atlantic region,” then “New York,” then “The Sophisticates,” guess what – the one thing they pick, out of every cool free museum and interesting thing to do in the state, is MY GRANDFATHER’S BRAIN MUSEUM* in Buffalo, NY.
Which I think is pretty freaking cool. Especially since, as the article states, “Brody built this exhibit to be used by everyone, from kindergartners to neurosurgery students.”
You all should go.
*I should say that the museum’s formal name is “The Museum of Neuroanatomy,” because if you google “my grandfather’s brain museum” you’re not going to find much. Unless your grandfather also has a brain museum. In which case, let me know.
Posted in Lifestyle, Science & Technology
Tagged anatomy, brains, families, family, family vacation, huffpo, neuro, neuroanatomy, science, summer vacation, suny at buffalo, the huffington post, ub, university at buffalo, vacation ideas
One of the reasons I moved to NYC – aside from it being a great place for writers – was that I knew it was the kind of place my friends might be likely to visit. I’ve gotten into the habit of fielding questions from those making trips, and a recent email from a friend made me think: maybe it would be useful to post this and other travel-related discussions online.
Feel free to add to this in the comments; if you have a question about NYC or other cities I’ve lived in, get in touch and I’m glad to help out when I have the time. 🙂
So, my inaugural edition of Ask A Local…
Q: Hi Rachel! We’ll be in NYC from June 8-13. Since we’re driving we’ll need somewhere to park the car as well. I was thinking of maybe looking for somewhere in Brooklyn on airbnb. In terms of budget, we were hoping for $200-$250 per night, not sure if that is realistic? The hotels that I looked for seem to be either really cheap and really dodgy looking or really upscale and expensive! We’ll mostly be out and about so don’t need fancy just clean, safe, and somewhere to have breakfast would be good. The kids are small and can sleep in one bed together so we really just need two doubles/queens. Thanks for your tips. Excited to meet you too!
A: I had a quick look into hotels and I think Brooklyn would be an awesome option for a family trip.
Williamsburg has seen so much influx of $ the last few years that their hotels will be mostly new builds. I am slightly wary because I don’t know the bedbug situation in Brooklyn these days (i don’t say that with any alarmist intentions, it’s just a thing modern travellers must be aware of) BUT the solution to this is easy; you just look the property you’re considering up – a Google search like “[PROPERTY NAME] review bedbugs” should tell you everything you need to know, and if u aren’t sure how to interpret something, link me and I’ll give u my opinion. Williamsburg is very cool and relaxed now, lots of hip thirtysomethings and lower who can afford east villiage prices but prefer Brooklyn/the burger for whatever reasons. Cafes, meatball shop, good vegan/vegetarian, cocktail bars and beer halls. If u like video games and nouveau-retro and beer, barcade. Know where you’re going before you leave the house bc lots of blocks and poor signage generally; well-documented on yelp.
The other neighborhood I would feel confident recommending in Brooklyn is Carroll Gardens or park slope. Slightly older and more professional crowd. Kids probably in the range of 3-7 on avg? (based on math taking place in my brain, grain of salt.) A bit twee. Grocery stores (trader joes), bars, near downtown Brooklyn, excellent downtown Manhattan access.
Can you recommend other accommodation or neighborhoods for this friend, visiting the city with her family? This was all off the top of my head, so if you know the ‘hoods I’m talking about, or feel there’s something I left out…join in the discussion. 😀
My cousin got married this weekend up in Maine. It was a gorgeous wedding, the theme was a kind of country garden party and here’s a photo of the fairy lights they used in the barn.
Getting to their part of Maine from NYC is a bit of a trick. Most public transport only gets you as far as Bangor or Portland, which is still a significant drive. Or, it costs an arm, a leg and several airline transfers to get to a nearer-by airport. Which is a very, very tiny airport.
Instead, I drove up with a friend (she did most of the driving, at least till we got up there and there were fun country roads to zip around on. We ate lobster, stayed at a gorgeous lakeside house, went to the wedding on Saturday, and zipped back down to the city on Sunday.
The wedding was gorgeous. Sunny weather, a bit on the warm side but held at sundown; the bride was stunning and my cousin, the groom, looked fantastic in 20s-inspired gear. Instead of a wedding cake, my grandmother had baked tiny cupcakes for everyone, which my grandfather helped to decorate. As the night went on, the meal broke up into dancing and reminiscing.
Monday morning, now. Time to let reality back in.
…mom and dad came home from the hospital and they were like, “Hey, look, we got you something!” and I was like, “ANOTHER ONE?” but then she turned out to be super, super, super cute. So I let her stick around.
Happy birthday, M. You are still the cutest thing ever, and I love you. *hugs*