Tag Archives: Amazon.com

Happy Christmas…and a Merry 4th of July

I have been a little busy lately (NOT with personal projects, unfortunately) and I just picked my head up to noticed that Christmas is a WEEK AWAY! What’s next, 4th of July? My 40th Birthday? WHOAAAA…pump the brakes Father Time!

I’m finally excited about the holidays. In the past my holidays were spent working slavishly in retail making me HATE the sound of sleigh bells and the sight of cheer… Retail did have one lasting positive impact on me–I DO NOT GO HOLIDAY SHOPPING! I simply refuse to enter a crowded store in search of last-minute gifts, nor do I brave the hoards of lunatics rushing out in the wee-morning-hours of Black Friday for a flat-screen. Nope. The darkness of people I have seen from the other side of the counter during the holidays is enough to scare me away for life. It’s terrifying. All I have to say is, folks…this isn’t a pop-up holiday! Christmas is the same day every year. Get your shit together in October, you maniacs.

Here are some easy Christmas gifts that you can purchase from home…and if you’re one of those people who likes the crowd crush–let me take this moment to give you the middle finger and say Thank You for making the lives of those around you miserable. I hope you die alone, under heaps of credit card debt. DICK!

AMAZON.COM… I suggest this because you don’t have to leave your home and you can get all of your gift shopping done at a cheap price, in one sitting, in your underwear with greasy hair and coffee breath–awesome, you’re so hot. NOTE…I utilized this website when I was seriously strapped for cash because the books are cheap–and you can buy used. Now that I have some cash-flow I like to make my book purchases at independent book stores. It is always important to support small business when you can. And writers.

GIFT CARDS: Gift cards are available ONLINE from nearly every retailer. Again, you can shop in your underwear OR you can run in and purchase a few, quick, quick. NO crowds, no comparing colors and sizes…snore… Honestly, I love gift cards. But one side note on this selection. If you’re buying a gift card for a stylish second-cousin or your brother’s girlfriend… Don’t be a jerk and get a $50 gift card to Chanel or Hermes. It doesn’t make you seem Über fasionable…there isn’t anything in those stores worth buying for under $500. Let’s not kid ourselves. Either pick a reasonable store like Zara (you can shop online now in the U.S.) or increase your budget. OR (and ONLY do this if the recipient is from some farm town in the Mid-West where there isn’t internet or indoor plumbing) buy them something designer from a discount chain… on second thought, this is a waste of everyone’s time. Gift card, online, Zara, done…

BOOZE… Obviously this one has its restrictions… Are they a recovering addict? Are they of age? Are they annoying drunks? How many bottles do you buy? The one question that you shouldn’t worry about is if they are self-proclaimed sommeliers… Don’t stress out over how much to spend on a bottle of wine for a serious wine drinker. I’ve heard plenty of wine enthusiasts complain that they rarely get wine as gifts because people fear their selection will be frowned upon. NOT TRUE. Inexpensive doesn’t mean inadequate when it comes to wine. OBVIOUSLY, you’re not going to get a gallon jug of Carlo Rossi Chianti…unless you’re going for kitsch factor…but you can spend under $20 and find a gem–just talk to the shop-keeper. A knowledgable wine merchant will have suggestions within any price range. Again, try to patronize an independent wine shop–not only to support small businesses but the selection is usually limited…reducing time spent shopping (woohoo.) ALSO try to shop local! Dry Dock in Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood has a wonderful selection from local Brooklyn distilleries. Pick up a cool old-timey looking bottle of bourbon  from Kings County Distillery for your brother (I plan to.)

If you’re not willing to travel to Brooklyn, let alone ALL THE WAY TO RED HOOK… There is another fantastic place…Bottle Rocket. They ship to 25 out of the 50 states. If you visit the shop on 19th Street in Manhattan you’ll notice the kiosks of wine organized by price or CUISINE! They even have a Take-Out kiosk (This feature is available on their website, too) pairing wines with Chinese, Indian, Mexican–even Pizza! They offer gift-wrapping and even gift certificates (back to suggestion number 1–can’t go wrong with a gift card.)

Gift Cards, Online Shopping, and Booze… Happy Holidays. Keep it Classy.


Now that I really look at my workspace–it is pretty generous and I have a window. Granted my view is another building but in between there are trees and an old fashioned looking lamppost…oh and let’s not forget that annoying guy who smokes pot under my window every day. I’m thankful for the snowy cold weather forcing him to stay inside. What I’m not thankful for is the Victorian looking white desk. Not one of my mother’s better Homegoods finds. It serves the purpose for the time being but I’m holding out for my dad’s old wooden desk. I’m excited to sit and write at the same table he did 40 years ago. (I’ll post a picture when I get it)

What I love about the location of my work-space is that it’s tucked away in the corner so it feels like a separate room. A common small space misconception is that, because you don’t have a door, you have no privacy. There are little (excuse the pun) ways to create your own space in cramped quarters. I grew up in a two-bedroom apartment sharing a room with my younger brother so I have plenty of experience. My desk is in a corner next to the bed–which serves as a makeshift divider. I’m all about furniture doing double duty–you can sleep on it and also use it as a line of demarcation. I also hung a shelf and a cork board to give the corner a cozy feel and to perceive the space as separate from the rest of the bedroom.

Some of my favorite pieces of inspiration (including from the homemade, heart-shaped Valentine’s Day card from my boyfriend last year) decorate the space. I have the beginnings of my illustration projects (I’m thinking of doing a line of stationary with simple object illustrations like furniture, chairs, kitchen appliances, animals…stay tuned!), postcards from Pescara, Italy, where I did a summer semester abroad in 2006, some fashion and home magazine clippings and photographs. My favorite photo was taken in 1981 from my parents’ terrace in Tribeca–notice there are virtually NO buildings on the waterfront…in fact there really isn’t much of a waterfront community at all! I wish it was like that now. NO offense to the thirty-something-transplanted stroller-set…but I hate crowds.

*A cork-board tip, try to avoid using traditional thumb tacks because they leave holes in everything and destroy the cork. Instead, buy T-Pins and binder clips–then clip and hang like I do . They’re available in an assortment of sizes at staples, office max, dick blick, Amazon. I like them because you can move things around and have a cleaner more manageable looking board. (I also used them for my jewelry organization)

well-traveled books

The ubiquity of electronic reading devices has reinvigorated my fanatical lust for books. Real books. Print books. Now maybe this is in part because I can’t justify (or afford) an iPad purchase but it is mostly because if I buy something that I can’t actually hold it’s like it doesn’t really exist–like I just threw away $14.99 on a pdf that I could’ve made myself. There’s something official about a book with a cover and a back and pages I can turn. Someone made it and it takes up physical space. I’m also a huge fan of buying used books. It’s green. It’s financially feasible. And the books normally come with little surprises. In my latest Amazon purchase of Metropolitan Life by Fran Lebowitz (I went on a Fran frenzy after watching Martin Scorsese’s “Public Speaking” documentary) I found an air-travel artifact. A Delta Airline ticket from back when smoking was allowed on planes.

Ok, so it’s only Atlanta but I’d like to think that there was a connecting flight to an exciting city in South America…

Check out the available beverages… TAB soda! I think I’ll have a Tennessee Sour Smash.