I’m in one of these phases where I’m feeling out of sync with a lot of people right now. It’s nothing dramatic, but just a slight feeling like I’m out of step with everybody, online and in real life. The boundaries are blurred now anyway. I’ve also been thinking about some people who aren’t in my day to day life anymore. I mean they are there because of the “wonders” of the internet and I can see aspects of their lives that they choose to share, but it doesn’t have anything to do with mine. It almost feels voyeuristic when a friendship is reduced to a few status updates as the remaining thread that connects you. In this way, Facebook seems to magnify that loss of meaningful friendship rather than make us feel connected, when people drift away gradually from your life whether it’s just for a little while or permanently.
I know it’s perfectly natural for relationships to evolve and fluctuate, but sometimes it makes me wonder what happened. These are the things I think about when I sit in my room looking out the window on gloomy, rainy days.
Mia’s been doing this a bit too, something she calls her “dark time”, where she’ll sit in front of our bedroom window with the lights out after the sun goes down and look out the window. I wonder what she thinks about.
Maybe it’s this weather, this crappy no man’s land of weather where we’re somewhere in between Winter and Spring, that makes me want to cocoon myself at home and just listen to music (oh, it snowed again last night – wet, icy, slushy snow). Feels almost like those high school teenage days when shutting everything out but the music on your headphones was the only thing that seemed to make sense in the world.
But I know things are cyclical. March is always a weird, transitional month. Even the business slows down this month, a fact that we can map as a trend from our 5 years of monthly sales data. But sometimes we forget and we freak out over how slow it is and then we remember and go, oh…it’s March.
I know we’ll fall in sync again.
Posted by Jenna | 17 Comments
It’s been a bit quiet around here, not because I’m so busy with work, but because I’m out having fun. Maybe a little too much fun since I’m actually really looking forward to being reunited with my couch again this week after having gone out 5 out of the last 7 nights, with many of those days full of coffee meetings with friends as well. The weather has been unseasonably warm and we’ve been spending much of that outside, even in the evenings. There have been drinks and food and long chats with friends and even an awards ceremony. I’ll tell you more about one aspect of the Martha Stewart American Made Awards later, but you can imagine how good the food and drink spread is at any Martha event. It was pretty spectacular and I strategically positioned myself in front of the oyster bar for much of the evening. But the highlight of the week was a New Order concert on Thursday night at Roseland (Anna took some great photos of the concert on her blog here). I mean holy crap. I don’t think I had that much fun in a really long time. The venue was packed and the lighting and visuals, which was stunning by the way, made us feel like we were back in clubs again; we danced and jumped around like fools. I don’t remember doing that in a really long time and I wasn’t in as much pain the next day as I thought I might be, so hey, that’s a plus. Maybe we aren’t as geriatric as we sometimes feel like we are, what with all our aches and pains and herniated discs. Not yet, anyway.
I haven’t been the only member of the family on a social binge. It’s birthday season around here and the girls have been going to endless birthday party after party. The kids nowadays (at least around here) express their interest in playing with your children by informing you that they’re “available” for a playdate on such and such day, making me feel sometimes like a personal assistant and social planner. Between the 2 kids, all the parties and playdates can be really hard to keep track of. Other parents can back me up, but I feel like a big part of being a parent is shlepping all over town to drop off, pick up, and transport your offspring from one location to another. Am I right??
And then there’s Mark, who has not been having as much fun as the rest of us. Fall is cookie season so wholesale orders have been rapidly coming in and the markets, which we’ve been consistently doing pretty much every weekend since September, are busy. But it’s nice to come home with empty bins and drink containers after a busy day of selling, so he’s been content in that regard.
Happy Monday. I’m looking forward to a quieter week.
Posted by Jenna | 5 Comments
What is it about maps that are just so fascinating? I’ve been long obsessed with how the intricate network of streets create these complex patterns, totally unique to each city, and creating maps have often been a recurring theme to some of my work projects. I think that’s why I’m so fascinated by Claudine’s obsessive map-like maze drawings because of this long standing fascination with urban typography.
And then this book.
Lena is an artist and designer who I’ve known about and long admired for a really long time, but had only met earlier this year. We have quite a few mutual friends in common so I’d like to think that it was only a matter of time before we would meet. And when we did have dinner way back in the Spring, she was gracious enough to give me a copy of her book, Maps, a book she self published last year. Maps is a collection of beautifully hand drawn illustrated maps of 40 cities around the world, 20 here in the US and 20 abroad. She started making these illustrations back in 2004 for a magazine and they are wonderfully charming and peppered with landmarks and points of interest. It’s the perfect book to share with the girls because of their love of maps, no doubt fostered through nightly bedtime routines of looking at maps and atlases with Mark since they were babies. It’s also fun to look through different cities and talk about places we hope to visit in the future. I love Lena’s aesthetic sensibilities in everything she creates and this book, with her artistic interpretations of that urban typography that I love so much, is no exception.
Lena’s book is now available in store at Anthropologie.
Posted by Jenna | 12 Comments
Our trips down to Portland while we’re out in the Northwest are usually limited to day trips to meet up with friends, but this year we stayed for 3 days at my friend Jen’s house in our old neighborhood close to where we used to live when we were there in the mid 90s. Jen’s another friend who I met on the internet through various blogging/twitter circles and we hung out when she was in town earlier this year in NY. She’s been wanting to meet the girls for awhile and when we arrived, she put together the best welcoming care package full of notebooks, crayons, lip balm, colored pencils and mini slinkies. Jen’s the sweetest!
I’ve mentioned my neutral feelings towards the city of Portland before and I may very well be the only person in the world who feels meh about it, but we make the drive down to Portland because some of our oldest friends still live there, including one of my oldest childhood friends from my East Village days. And now, we’ll be putting Jen and her husband Jim on our list of must visits every time we’re in town. So even though the city doesn’t pull at my heart strings like I feel like it should, our visits to Portland are full of friends and fun times hanging out, reminiscing, and food of course! Lots and lots of food. Mark baked everyone a cake at Jen’s house – a light cake with lavender buttercream and blueberries that we picked that day. Jen and I got to lounge around at night on her couch after the kids and boys went to bed, staying up way to late eating cake while watching the Gilmore Girls reruns like we’ve been talking about doing for months.
But I think the most surprising thing about our trip to Portland is how Mia bonded with Jen’s dog, Zelda. We’ve always been more “cat people”, the girls included, and I don’t think the girls really ever played with dogs before even though my parents have a dog. But man, did Mia ever play with Zelda. She’d chase and toss toys with her for hours every day and took her for walks to the park down the street. I think Zelda was in heaven. I hear she slept solid for 2 straight days after we left.
Posted by Jenna | 13 Comments
Have you ever woken up one day and realized that you hadn’t seen any friends in a long time? I can be one of those people who can easily stay inside the house for a few days without getting cabin fever. The girls can do this too. We’ve spent whole weekends inside just putzing around the house. Maybe we’re homebodies. Or hermits. Or maybe we’re just too absorbed in whatever we’re doing at the time…you know, like drawing complex mazes up mountain tops or really over working to death that design for a client (oh, you want 2 directions for that cover? Well here, let me give you 8). Thank god we live across the street from a playground and have friendly neighbors or we might never get out (just kidding). It’s funny when I think back to when the girls were babies because I was so much more diligent about getting out every single day, going to bookstores, taking walks with the stroller, going to playgrounds and playdates. I mean, they were babies; they probably didn’t care where they were, but I suppose those kinds of scheduled activities are more for the parents to maybe save your sanity and cobble together some semblance of anything that resembles a social life. But now, that sort of pressure to go out every single day is gone. We like being at home.
I realized today that this has been a really non-social summer so far since school’s been out. Other than hanging out with Anna twice, a few playdates for the girls, and one backyard party, I haven’t really seen many other friends at all other than some run ins with the neighbors or at camp drop off. No outdoor summer roof parties, no drinks on a breezy summer evening, no dinner at restaurants or a girls night out. Pretty sad. Or is it?
One of the positives of getting older is just being comfortable with who you’ve become. No pressure, no judgement. It’s not about being anti-social or boring or introverted. It’s about settling into yourself and acknowledging that it’s okay to want to spend time alone, even if it’s a lot of time alone (also, when you’re a parent, you’re never really alone, are you?). I don’t need to go out constantly to feel secure in my friendships. I know that they are there. It hasn’t always been this way and maybe this just comes with time or age. Or maybe we leave some of the bullshit dramas of some friendships behind as we get older. It’s a great feeling to be able to reach out to people when I’m ready to hang out with a friend and know that we can make it happen.
Posted by Jenna | 22 Comments