Friday, July 30, 2010

An open letter

Dear [insert name],

Thank you for the invitation! I would love to join you for [insert event]. Unfortunately, I've recently discovered that my bank account has a giant crack in the bottom of it and all I can hear is a sucking sound.

Please know that I would love to be there, but until this economy turns around, I am forced to live off of [an embarrassingly small amount of money] per day.

Best wishes,

[Anyone currently living in America who use to call themselves middle class but is now classless and/or poor]

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Recipient of best birthday present ever

My super duper creative and awesome husband somehow finagled his friend, Matt Carr, to take pictures of our children as super heroes in backyard style costumes as a birthday present. This is going to make turning 35 much less painful because slap my ass and call me Sally they are just the cutest little pictures of the cutest little kids I've ever done seen.
Hats off to the two Matts for pulling this one off. Lord knows that little two year old girl of mine is the most uncooperative little creature and I now have a contact sheet full of images to prove it.

Anyhoozle, here is one of the final shots as a teaser.

Photo credit: Matt Carr

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Paging Nancy Reagan

Republican tendencies notwithstanding (not me, her) I am hearkening back to my childhood days of hearing Ms. Reagan's incessant "Just Say No" campaign -- against alcohol, drugs, sex, and chocolate (ok not chocolate) and all other fun things and entertaining -- and using it help take off all these lovely unwanted pounds amassed from two babies and a nine year marriage. I mean let's face it, I live in a city that dually encourages and discourages healthy living. People walk everywhere -- to the nearest pizza parlors, hot dog stand, Mr. Frosty ice cream truck, candied nut stands -- and the city is biker friendly, and the subways are a plotted distance for the ambulatory. The problem is, I am really good at saying "no" to others:
"Mom, can I have a piece of candy?" - No,
"Mom, can I get a kid's car?" - No,
"Joey, can I get a coke?" - No,
"Joey, can I get a bottle of scotch?" - No,
"Joey, can I go to a strip club?" - No,
but not to myself:
"Joelle, you want a cookie?" YES!,
See what I mean?
(Btw, these are excerpts from real conversations)
If that little word come so easy for all the little people in my life, why in the world can't it come from me to the area where I need it most? I can do it. I can just say no.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Darkness is a menacing stranger.
When the lights go down, I am not as visible.
My light is not so bright to illuminate the sky.
I have to rely on my senses and wits and dimly lit streets to carry me back home safely.
Darkness is a menacing stranger.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Inter(view) Gina - Writer, Kick-Boxer, Mom

Not everything on here is about me. I mean, the biggest factor in making Brooklyn "Brooklyn" is its people and I am just one of millions. Therefore, I found it prudent to ask a handful of them a few questions.

Gina de la Chesnaye is a writer, kick-boxing and yoga enthusiast. She also surfs, has two gorgeous little girls, a glass blowing husband, and a cat.

MBL: Where in Brooklyn (do you live)?

Gina: Windsor Terrace (note from MBL - I too live here. It's a little hood sandwiched between Prospect Park and Greenwood Cemetery. Brownstone and limestone houses layed out on each street with it's old Irish Catholic dwellers resting on stoops in the blazing sun. We have two stops along the F line, two public elementary schools, two large catholic churches, Dub Pies, Farrell's bar for cops and fireman, and Double Windsor for all the aging hipsters in the hood. It is also rumored to be home to Steve Buscemi.)

MBL: Where do you hang: Coney Island, Prospect Park, or WIlliamsburg?

Gina: Um, Williamsburg, Ft, Greene, Carrol Gardens, Redhook and very rarely the Slope.

MBL: Brooklyn for life or love?

Gina: Both.

MBL: Best place for coffee? Food? Drinks?

Gina: Dub Pies for coffee, Mission Dolores, Union Pool (great shrimp tacos too!)and Sycamore for drinks, Grocery and Walter's for food.

Side note: Dub Pies is really the best place in all 5 Burroughs for coffee (Fine - Gorilla is 2nd best). You can take me out of Seattle, but you can't take away my coffee snobbery. All other coffee shops can blow me.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

SP!ppp!Lrrr!!! (or the sound of someone spitting at the world)

None of this would make any sense if it didn't have a point. Right? I mean, how many times does an individual have to re-evaluate everything before they get where they need to go? Wherever that is.

I am at home today with baby girl. She has a slight fever and while I, of course, feel terrible for her, I am also enjoying the cuddles. It seems, though, every time I spend more time with her and the boy during weekday hours (which isn't very often), I try to make sure I believe in what I am doing here. For the most part, I absolutely do. But I'd be lying if I said there wasn't hesitation. And, I think most of the hesitation would go away if I felt I was using my time here better.

I'll be 35 next month. 35. 35. 35. I love and hate aging. Love: wisdom, maturity, perspective. Hate: feeling like I haven't done enough of what I want to do.

Don't get me wrong, what I have done, what I've accomplished is nothing short of wonderful. College, a wonderful marriage with someone just as nutty as I am, two gorgeous kids, an accomplished move across the country, a nice employer. But what's missing is success as a writer. And it's my own damn fault, because I am really good fucking off, and totally fear failure.*

So while baby girl naps, I am watching a documentary on writers and how much gets written that never see the light of day. At least I know I'm not the only one.

*These posts are both practice and therapy for me to keep me focused on the road ahead. So often you will find me very self-deprecating, Internet.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Another shade of may-be-abandoned-with-no-notice

Over four years ago what started as a pipe dream grew into a full-blown mission resulting in my husband and me selling our house, uprooting our 3 person family (it is now 4), and moving across the country from Seattle to Brooklyn. Crazy right? Did I mention neither of us had jobs? Yeah. Anyway, we drove across the country in our little VW Golf with a car top carrier packed to the gills, a potty training 2.5 year old and an aging lab/newfie mix (R.I.P. Buddy). As soon as we got here, we found a crappy livable apartment in a nice neighborhood (we've since upgraded), I took a job as an executive assistant with a private equity firm in Manhattan (I didn’t even know what private equity was and not sure I do now) because the money was good, the work stable, the benefits amazing, and I thought it would temporary. You know, a day job to make the dream possible while we toiled away at “making it” – him as an artist and me as a writer or lawyer. Four years later and I am still at the same job. He’s “making it” or something like that and my writing has been sporadic at best. Oh, and law school? It got nixed. Maybe I’ll tell you about that one day after a couple glasses bottles of wine.

There have been a couple of now abandoned blogs, a drafted manuscript, a couple short stories – all drawing from some form of funk and dysfunction in my life or the fact that we are so poor we live on $12 a day in one of the most expensive cities in the world – but what remains consistent is that I wake up every day in Brooklyn and there is always something to say about life here.

Gush Gallery was my first and best attempt to commit to practice writing everyday but as these things go, I couldn’t afford to keep up the URL and I admittedly suck at HTML. There have been a few other blogs since, but as I’ve mentioned I am really good at starting blogs and abandoning them (it’s always good to recognize your faults as something other than a major character flaw isn’t it?). It is likely I will do this again, but until then, welcome to My Brooklyn Lyfe. You can also follow me on Twitter, or not. It’s your life, people.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

summer nights a la brooklyn

Friends are a wonderful thing. Especially when they have kids the same age and have movies in their backyard and bbq's and special drinks for restless hot summer nights. Sweating to the outside heat at 9:00 pm is always better when you have others to enjoy it with. And vodka. And beer.

Friday, July 16, 2010

the door and lock universe is against me

Have you ever seen the kids movie Monsters Inc? It's all about Monsters in the business of scaring kids through closet doors. They have warehouses full of doors and at the climax of the movie there are a lot of opening and closing of said doors. In order for one to be rendered useless, it must be shredded. Now, if I'd have been in that movie, cartoon or otherwise, they could just let me touch it and I would render it useless through my sheer ability to, well, render a door useless.
Why? Well, it's because I keep managing to lock myself, and many others, behind the doors of and inside sweltering apartments. Don't ask me how. I couldn't even begin to tell you. But the amount of sweat I've seen pouring off the men trying to fix my mistakes is enough to, well it's just enough. I am not sure what all these locked doors are supposed to tell me, but I am fairly certain it is along the lines of "be content with where you are cuz' you're gonna be here a while."