Inspiration 9.29.14

This week, I went to a carnival and coveted after some funnel cake (damn you, celiac), watched a movie on my bucket list, and attended a reading. Busy busy! But being busy is fun. I love always having something to do and even in down time, there’s usually an idea brewing in my mind to explore.
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Enjoy these links for some whimsical browsing:
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Have a wonderful, whimsical, welcoming week to October!

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Love always,
Gabriele

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Itty-bitty items for the bucket list

When I worked at a summer camp, I used to walk through my neighbor’s yard, down a hill and through a park to get to work. One year, I decided to start jogging it, because why not? The first week, I was huffing and puffing. My asthma was not having it, and my gums ached terribly (which apparently happens to a small percentage of the population. Your brain zaps the oxygen from your gums. Weird.)
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But by the sixth and final week of camp, I was flying.
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And since then, I’ve been a runner. I enjoy it. The solitude, the peace, the feeling of your body and mind being at one. It was a worthy goal.
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getphysical
Sometimes our bucket lists are about our small accomplishments, and they can mean just as much as the big ones. Plus, when you’re in the day-to-day routines of life, it’s not always easy to fulfill those big bucket list items. Most of us can’t nip off to Africa for a safari for the weekend, or star in a film. (Though… with a time turner and a magic wand, anything’s possible.)
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So, fill the nooks and crannies of your bucket list with little items. Little pebbles that you can drop in your bucket to fill the gaps around the large stones.
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What are some of my latest small accomplishments? Trust me, some of them are really quite small – you need a microscope to see them. They’re more like grains of sand.
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settlerscatan
I finally played Settlers of Catan, a Indie/Gamer nerd popular board game that almost crosses that line into dorky Dungeons and Dragons territory.
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It’s also been on my list to see every Hayao Miyazaki film. He recently retired (which is sad) so I have a decent chance of catching up! His films are whimsical, with poignant stories of love between family, between friends, and for the earth.
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Where does inspiration for these sorts of bucket list accomplishments come from? Anything and anywhere! Some bloggers, like Sarah of Yes and Yes, will create a yearly list of items to be completed before each birthday. Her items this year range from eating dim sum to going carless for a week to trying aerial yoga. Definitely quite a way to spice up your life!
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But really, this is also about your mindset. Embrace everything in your life as a new accomplishment. If everything’s an adventure, you’re always having fun, always crossing things off your bucket list. Maybe I’m just easily impressed with new things, no matter how big or small. But I think that’s better than being jaded and never looking at the world as a place of wonder. That’s no fun.
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There’s so much to do, and so little time!
Love always,
Gabriele

Inspiration 9.21.14

Hello, hello! It’s nearly the autumnal equinox, the day when daylight and nighttime hours are equal. That will be this Tuesday, the 23rd. I’ve been dabbling again in my spiritual pursuits of nature appreciation and recognizing my druid and ancient Roman roots. (Side note – I really need a time machine to meet my ancestors.) Anyway, this means I’ve been trying to be more present and notice the subtle shifting of seasons changing. It’s been very interesting to read about Autumn equinox traditions and folklore!
Have some pumpkin spice, break out the sweaters, and check out Sunday’s links:
  • I should keep this stickied above my desk – eight things everyone in their 20s needs to chill out about
  • Start your day with hot water and lemon! This sounds like a good way to wake up
  • And why you shouldn’t use your phone as an alarm… I’m a terrible offender with this
  • These brides and grooms are rocking some pretty amazing mohawks
  • Doing karaoke is an outdated, never achieved item on my bucket list… maybe I’ll have some bravery with these karaoke songs for people who can’t sing
  • The buy nothing year – how two roomies saved over $55,000
  • Pumpkin pie smoothie! Must indulge the need for pumpkin spice

 

Have a grand, glorious weekend!

Love always,
Gabriele

Accomplished! Visit ALL the bookstores!

On Sunday, I journeyed with the lovely Danielle downtown to the shop, Books of Wonder. I had no idea that such a phenomenal place existed! It’s only YA and children’s books, and Danielle and I spent much time wandering their aisles, gazing at covers, and cooing over their rare books collection.

Danielle and I were so happy to score signed books from the authors!

Danielle and I were so happy to score signed books from the authors!

Then we were lucky enough to attend the First Time Authors for Teens panel, where five authors premiered their books. Only maybe twenty people were in the audience, so it was very intimate and friendly. Like any masterful storyteller, the authors regaled us with great anecdotes. There was Adi Alasaid, who told us of meeting a homeless man named Ohio, while on a road trip. Ohio proclaimed himself to be the thumb push-up Guinness World Book of Records champion. To this day, Adi has not been able to replicate a single thumb push-up, though not for lack of trying.

There was Isabel Gillies, who has acted on “Law and Order”, and now after writing memoirs has turned to penning fiction. Katharine Howe, who grew up on Bloom County (which I did too, though it flew over my head as a child of the 90s) and writes about witches (still after my heart, there). Amanda Maciel, who managed to write a book while also being a senior editor at Scholastic. And Amy Zhang, who is publishing her first book at age 19!

Before the panel and after the panel - books went fast!

Before the panel and after the panel – books went fast!

After we had books signed and managed to drag ourselves out of the panel, Danielle and I went to the Strand, because we were only a few blocks away, and well, why not turn the afternoon into a total BiblioSmiles field trip? Visiting the Strand has been a longtime bucket list item for me, and until now it’s been a taunting failure to myself as a literary New Yorker.

 

The communal bookcase at the Bean, a recommendation at the Strand, and Danielle meeting the authors

The communal bookcase at the Bean, a recommendation at the Strand, and Danielle meeting the authors

We needed coffee after that, so we stopped at this cafe called the Bean, where they have a communal bookshelf next to the register. Then we wandered around Union Square. I have a feeling it was one of our last beautiful days of the season, so I enjoyed the chance to soak up sunshine while watching kids play, old men play chess, and Hare Krishnas chanting right across from a man holding up a doomsday poster.

New York City, darlings, anything goes.

 

Top: Hare Krishnas; bottom: doomsday Jesus lover. He was not happy I was taking his picture but I wasn't the one holding the sign

Top: Hare Krishnas; bottom: doomsday Jesus lover. He was not happy I was taking his picture but then again I wasn’t the one holding the sign

It was a very successful, very book nerd outing! I loved it. I think finding a niche post-college has been so important. I’m glad that after a year, I’ve managed it. You have to take care of yourself – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and socially. It’s so less exhausting to just be yourself.

There are places and people for every niche. If your thing is sports and drinking, well, then you’re probably going to have an easier go of finding your people. But if your thing is Dungeons and Dragons, or historical reenactment, or tai-chi, or political discourse, well there exists places for you too. Just poke around. Find them.

I have, and am so happy for it.

Love always,
Gabriele

Inspiration 9.15.14

Late on the weekly inspiration, but here we are! Last week was full of getting into the fall swing of things. The air’s got that brisk scent to it already, though the temperatures are clinging to the 70s during the day. I too, am clinging to my summer dresses and sandals as long as I can. I don’t think I’ll be able to hold out too much longer.
Still, autumn keeps that back-to-school vibe of bettering oneself, and with that I’m plunging into lots of little bucket list challenges. Maybe some of these links will inspire yours!

 

Have a productive, positive, perfect week!

Love always,
Gabriele

Seeing Dreams Come True: That Random Company

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of seeing the first show of That Random Company, a theatre company launched by several of my darling Purchase alumni. We crowded into a nice lounge at the bar Solas on the Lower East Side.

Their first performance, entitled Exit Pursued by Beer, kicked off with comedy and highly laughable skits. There was only one portion that was a little too “Purchase” for me, which is a way of referring to over-the-top arts school weirdness. I used to go to many of the Drama Studies majors’ shows at school. They tended to be either good, bad, or really, really bizarre (one that still sticks in my mind has girls crawling around stage in the dark wearing horse head masks and nightgowns).

 

That Random Company! Cast and Founders

The lovely founders and performers of TRC. Check out their awesome business card! And Ethan Whitehead captivates the audience in the lower right image. 

But this show was a success! We were laughing, despite the top 40 music pumping from the bar below. And it’s so lovely to see friends succeed, especially in an arts environment. The founders, Ethan, Colline, and Catherine, have really made something to be proud of. And my darling friend Kim manages their PR and Marketing efforts – on top of her own full time gig! I enjoy the company tag line as well: “At That Random Company, we help you do you.”

I am alllll about that.

After the show, I caught up with both familiar faces, along with people I only knew in passing from campus or theatre people parties. Some of us ended up at a rooftop party afterwards, which was a splendid end to the evening, though my quads are still dying from the eight flight walk-up to get there. But seeing all of my friends from school made it more than worth it.

 

Danielle and Gabriele at TRC

So thrilled to be reunited with another Purchase alumnus – the absolutely divine Danielle, editor of BiblioSmiles!

Purchase was a big part in shaping me into who I am today. It fostered tolerance for all life paths and the belief that your only limit to what you could achieve was your own imagination. I like to say, once you’ve been to Purchase or another art school, even if you were on a liberal arts path, you probably ended up drinking the creative-special-snowflakes-for-life kool-aid.

And everyone at Purchase was so supportive. I’m sure there was some competition, but in general, most people were engaging and wanted to hear about others’ creative projects and ideas. I think that’s so rare to find nowadays. Especially since I grew up in a rather cutthroat town where everyone was competing with each other. Over everything, and anything. Purchase was such an unusual change, and a much needed one.

So! From BiblioSmiles to That Random Company, I look forward to seeing more great things from all of us.

Love always,
Gabriele

Inspiration 09.07.14

Winter is coming. September is here. I already spotted a few colored leaves on trees. Every year I tell myself, I’ll be somewhere without winter, and every year, New York manages to sing its siren song again. Sigh. One day.
Anyway! Hope you have all had a lovely week, despite the reminder that summer is leaving us again. I spent the week prepping for new students, wearing the most out of my sundresses, and catching up with my friends at their theatre company’s first performance! Exciting stuff!
Try to get out and enjoy the warm weather while you can, too. We all need that Vitamin D before we all burrow in our caves for the next several months.

 

Have an sunny, sepulchral, September weekend!

Love always,
Gabriele