I came, I saw, I ate: 3/12/23

Learning to Paint in Premodern China is an interesting exhibit at the Met- There are some lovely works that I really could have stared at for hours- the delicacy with which these works are done…

Met Galleries 760,61,62,63 and 64. We are starting to get to some of the works that I really wonderful- I loved the last three images, and when peaking into the next galleries I know I am in for a treat…

  • Urban Hawker is an Asian Food Hall that recently opened in midtown Manhattan. I had the Classic Roti John sandwich from Ashes Burnitt pictured on the left, while my daughter had the Stingray Fried Rice from Mr. Fried Rice. The offerings at this food hall show a range of Asian cuisine, and while some stands are better than others, there are many amazing options.
  • Enchilada Suiza’s from Amor Loco in theater district Manhattan. My daughter and I split because the portions are huge at this place, but the food is delicious and somewhat reasonably priced given the location.
  • Parade on Broadway- sad but well done musical based on a historic event- I will talk more about this experience in a future post
  • Big East Basketball Tournement
  • Some Like it Hot on Broadway- Old fashioned singing and dancing Broadway show loosely based on movie of the same name
  • The jigsaw puzzle that was 20×20 and fit perfectly on my coffee table

New York Historical Society is one of my favorite museums in NYC- I think they curate some really interesting exhibits. The Scenes from New York room is one of my daughters favorite places in the city. The Kara Walker exhibit is really thought provoking and well done. The History of the Jewish Deli is just a fun walk thru.

Ten Things: 3/11/23

Every evening I write down ten things that defined my day. I try to capture the good and the bad, things that I am grateful for, things that I am looking forward to, and what I do that day just for me, I really just write the little details that made that day different from others. I enjoy it and it works for me. Here’s some things pulled from various days over the past week:

  1. went to Farmers Market. Forgot to put my money in my change purse. Was only able to buy one apple.
  2. My daughter was able to get home successfully despite a few flight issues
  3. Got email from a friend from writing class who moved after the class ended. Always nice to hear from people and have fun email conversation
  4. Kitchen organization angst! Sometimes my lack of space starts to get to me
  5. My next coffee table will be larger so it can accommodate larger jigsaw puzzles
  6. Had a day where I wanted to dwell and obsess. Decided I let it become a self fulfilling prophesy after having written about dwelling
  7. Grateful for some good workouts
  8. Pets slept with my daughter instead of me…for one night anyway
  9. Got to see my friend K before she went back west
  10. finished jigsaw puzzle!!

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. Buddha

Anything Can Happen Friday: You’re so Lucky

I was eavesdropping the other day-

(I know we’ve talked about who a story belongs to, but I’m sorry- if you are at Starbucks and are talking loudly enough for half the place to hear you, your story is not your own. I’m betting most urban writers have lifted plotlines and characters from real life)

So I was eavesdropping:

Two women, my guess would be thirty something… Blue says to the Yellow:

You’re so lucky to have him.

Yellow, the recipient of these words, didn’t say anything, but just sort of looked at her friend. She didn’t smile or acknowledge or anything. She just looked at her blankly.

Is telling someone that they are lucky to have someone a COMPLIMENT?

If someone told you that you were lucky to have your partner, what does that really mean?

Does it mean that your partner is out of your league and therefore you should count your lucky stars every day that they lower themselves to be with you?

Does it mean that you don’t deserve to be in a relationship with this person?

Does it mean that the speaker of these words wishes they were you and this particular person wants to be with your partner?

Under what circumstances would you tell someone that they are lucky to have someone?

I don’t like this phrasing. I think it implies an imbalance in the relationship- it presumes that one person is better than the other.

Is one person in a relationship “better” than the other?

Wouldn’t it be better to say something like: You two balance one another out? It’s good to see how you two work together towards a common goal? Isn’t that the heart of a relationship: two people coordinating together to make a life?

Would it be better to say: You’re so lucky that your partner does X?

But even then, are you lucky that, say, your partner does 50% of the household duties, or is it not luck but communication and setting expectations?

Does luck have anything to do with an ongoing relationship?

Have you ever told anyone that they are lucky to have someone? What did you mean by it? How would you feel if someone told you that you were lucky to have your partner?


Little Luxuries

I had a craving for ramen.

I went to the ramen place a few blocks from my house, sat at the counter, and ordered a bowl of ramen.

I’ve written about this matter of factly- but in matter of fact, I rarely go out to a sit down restaurant by myself in the middle of the week and order a meal.

I don’t have a phobia about eating/doing things by myself. I love food and restaurants. But I almost never go out to a sit down meal by myself. Sure, I’ve grabbed fast casual when I’ve been out and about, but waiter service? Rarely.

I guess I think of waiter service food as a treat- it’s something to be savored as a meal rather than merely sustenance. Which I guess makes the real question…

Why do I not want to treat myself?

We could go into the whole mother/wife/woman mindset- how many of us will give our families the best of us and leave the crumbs to ourselves…

We could ponder why I don’t think I deserve this…


I could just be thankful on the day I craved ramen I just went out and got myself some. That on that particular day, I didn’t overthink, I didn’t question myself or sociological constructs, I just took my e reader out to lunch, and enjoyed a spicy bowl of tonkatsu, no nuri or egg, with curly noodles.

Try not to think about what others expect of you: try to think about what you expect of you.

Sometimes we have to allow ourselves some little luxuries.

I Came, I Saw, I Ate

We have a little snow this week in NYC- Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Met Museum- Permanent Collection- Galleries 756-759. I thought the painting about moving day was really cool- May 1 used to be “moving day” in NYC, when everyone’s leases were up- so everyone moved that day. Also thought the work by Perry was pretty cool.

Berenice Abbott’s New York Album- Small, but interesting exhibit. I’m a sucker for old NYC photos. Some of these feature my neighborhood and areas I frequent often.

Virginia Woolf exhibit at the NY Public Library

  • Brooklyn Craft- I took a knitting lesson- fun!!
  • Empire Bakery- they make bakery versions of yodels, twinkies and sno balls. Yum.
  • L’antica Pizzeria da Michele- this pizza is SO GOOD. For any Eat Prey Love fans- this is the Julia Roberts pizza from Naples. They just opened an NYC outlet!!

Ten Things: 3/4/23

Every evening I write down ten things that defined my day. I try to capture the good and the bad, things that I am grateful for, things that I am looking forward to, and what I do that day just for me, I really just write the little details that made that day different from others. I enjoy it and it works for me. Here’s some things pulled from various days over the past week:

  1. my sister introduced me to WordleBot- this could be addictive
  2. Took knitting lesson- which was a learning experience in many ways
  3. Woke up saturday morning to a huge messy hair ball on my pillow right nest to my shoulder
  4. When I was washing hair bally sheets, the washing machine broke during spin cycle- two hours to dry my clothes
  5. I used to buy my drug store brand cosmetics from Bed Bath and Beyond- bummed they aren’t selling them anymore
  6. thought to ponder- do we hate things that are “nice”
  7. When doing wordle i came up with the word pooka before I thought of polka…
  8. Forgot to bring poop bag on dog walk. After betty did her business, i was trying to find something to clean up with. I looked up and there was a newly installed box from a local vet containing poop bags! huzzah!
  9. I bought eye shadow from Sephora. When I got home I realized that it was used. The sales clerk when I exchanged it was less than stellar at customer service
  10. Happy with my subplots for my novel

Buildings fall; even the earth perishes. What was yesterday a cornfield is today a bungalow. But words, if properly used, seem able to live forever. Virginia Woolf

Anything Can Happen Friday: Announcements

Earlier this week I wrote a post about a recent theater experience was marred by a crazy number of people taking their phones out during a live performance.https://wakinguponthewrongsideof50.com/2023/02/27/take-your-phones-out/

One of the comments that I got was that the theater should make an announcement before the show to remind people to silence their phones, because clearly, no one would dare turn on their phone after an announcement is made.

I laughed at my naivete. I didn’t realize that there were places where announcements were not made about silencing cell phones before a performance or movie.

I chuckled a little about those that thought that simply making an announcement would be enough to stop people from taking their phones out.

But let’s get back to the reality of the situation:

Even if rules are clearly posted, said over a loud speaker and reenforced by ushers going up and down rows, some people are not going to listen to the rules.

Some people are above the rules.

You know my stance on rules- without rules, and people following them, we have anarchy.

Are some rules stupid?

Of course.

Should we need to have cell phone rules at live performances? Probably not. It seems like it would be common sense to shut down your phone when at the theater or concert hall. But alas, common sense isn’t so common anymore.

I’ve written about rules a lot over the years, and you all know my song and dance by now. But until people realize that the sun does not revolve around them, there will just be more and more rules.

Buckle up (which had to be made into a law btw because people didn’t think that buckling up was important).

Rules? Yes or No?

Another Language

I once asked my daughter about her greatest regret from her younger days of schooling. She said that she wished that she had taken/learned Mandarin.

Her reason?

It wasn’t anything cultural, or about the education or about socioeconomics. It was purely personal: she wanted to know what the other girls in the honors block were saying about her.

However you look at it though, learning Mandarin is a thing.

I recently read two books that have somewhat different takes on the learning of Mandarin.

In The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks, the learning of Mandarin is seen as the thing to do to make your kids competitive in the world, even if some think it’s pretentious and bougie.

You have to get him into Rolling Hills…They start Mandarin in the second grade...I nod, thinking, Mandarin in the second grade?


In Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng, the learning of Mandarin is relayed as questionable:

The news calls China our greatest long-term threat…sometimes angry parents complain if their children choose to study Mandarin, or Chinese history.

Admittedly, OMH is a dystopian novel, however, I can’t say that no one aligns with the above sentiment. There are people who are afraid of the cultures of others.

So how do you feel about the teaching/learning of Mandarin in elementary, middle or high schools? Is it a pretentious, elitist thing to give kids another accolade on their resume?

Is it a needed skill in today’s world?

Is it problematic for any number of reasons?

Have you not even considered it for any reason?


Look Slowly

This is a Rob Walker, The Art of Noticing exercise about looking slowly. But before we get to the actual exercise, I’m going to give you another story.

I originally did this exercise back in late September/early October. I scheduled the post ahead of time, with the body of the post being five pictures and a note to myself to check my notes. This would have been fine if I had actually put the correct pictures in the body of the post. However, I put in the pictures from the post I did last week of the basement panel covers…

So when I went to write this post I sort of scratched my head and had to take a moment to think about what I had done. Would you call that irony for a post that is supposed to highlight how to look at things slowly?

I had to retrace my steps. Figure out which of my idea notebooks my notes were in (when I go someplace to take notes I do it the old fashioned pen and paper route) When I found my notes, (which I didn’t label by the way- I was lucky to notice how I phrased something) I could figure out the approximate date and I went back to the pictures that I had in my WordPress media account from around that date, and luckily I found the pictures that corresponded to my notes. (I actually had two sets of the pictures in the media file, so apparently that was a particularly busy time for me) FYI- I don’t keep a lot of the photos that I take- I delete everything except the things I really love, so there’s no way I would have found these on my phone.

Way too much work for a Sunday morning…

But now I present to you the actual exercise, which was to look at an item for TEN minutes (FYI- the Met did a story and apparently the average person spends 17 seconds looking at a work) Personally, I only really look at the things that I like or that interest me, and even then I know I don’t look for more than five, unless I’m REALLY intrigued.

I spent ten minutes with each of these works.

What did I find?

I noticed little details that I think I would have missed if I spent 17 seconds looking at them. My favorite observations:

  1. Couple – I thought is this what love looks like, or is it flirtation? I wondered about this couple, who they were, what their relationship was. When I really looked at this I imagined their story more than I looked at the craftsmanship, though I was intrigued by the artist’s color choices.
  2. Desk/Table- After I quickly admired the craftsmanship, I began to imagine who actually used this. It looked short, so I imagined this was something a woman used instead of a man. I wondered if it was used to write love letters, because there was a draw that could be locked. Would it make a good vanity? I thought about who would use it and why, and immediately made up stories in my head about the “owner” of the piece.
  3. Snuff Box- I admired the craftsmanship of this piece, and wondered what it would feel like to hold it- would it be rough as I imagined or smooth- would it be heavy or light? It looked large to be a snuff box, so I immediately wondered about who would own it and how they would use it. I can’t seem to get past making up stories about imaginary owners of things.
  4. Sofa-After observing the details, the scrolling, the color, the braiding, the first thing I noted was how someone would sit on this. If a woman was wearing the fashion of the day it would have been a large dress- did she only put part of her body on the sofa? How small were people’s butts anyway. Then I immediately thought of the who would use it and what they would say to one another.
  5. Cabinet- This was incredibly intricate, and from a distance it was too hard to take in all the intricacies. With this object I wondered more about the craftsman/artist who made the piece. How did they do it? It’s so intricate and detailed and there are so many layers to this. This was the only object that I didn’t make up a story in my head to go along with it.

This was a very interesting exercise. Have you ever tried to look at one thing for ten minutes?

To Dwell or To Avoid

Let’s think about the differences between DWELL and AVOID. For this exercise we will look at the definitons provided by Merriam-Webster.

Dwell- Merriam-Webster.com

to keep the attention directed —used with on or upon

tried not to dwell on my fears

to speak or write insistently —used with on or upon

reporters dwelling on the recent scandal

Avoid– Merriam-Webster.com

to keep away from SHUN

They have been avoiding me.

to prevent the occurrence or effectiveness of

avoid further delays

to refrain from

avoid overeating

Have you ever dwelled on something? My Mom is a classic dweller. She can take a topic and beat it to death. She still has things from forty years ago that she manages to bring up in conversation on a regular basis. I have learned to avoid certain words and phrases when dealing with her because I know she’ll just get lost in the dwell.

What are some common themes that people dwell upon?

Do you dwell on the regular?

Now let’s look at avoid. My Husband is a classic avoider. If you don’t say something, it won’t happen (sort of the opposite of Field of Dreams if you build it…). He will talk and walk around pretty much any subject he doesn’t feel like dealing with. I have to figure out ways to get him to talk about harsh realities and sometimes the not so harsh ones.

What are subjects/situations that people tend to avoid?

Do you veer towards avoidance?

Neither avoiding nor dwelling is good in the long run. Both choices tend to stop us from getting on with our lives- they cement us in a spot and stop growth and change and being able to get to the next step.

But how do we avoid being a dweller or an avoider? What are the steps we can take to stop us from going down either of these paths?

Is there anything good about dwelling or avoiding? Are there circumstances where these are the best courses of action?