Archives for posts with tag: stuart

In which we find our hero and heroine considering the various acrobatic feats of public transit required for their upcoming three-city tour of southwest England this November …

Krissa: I can’t seem to do a dog-leg trip from London to Winchester, to Southampton, and back to London, without spending a fortune in single fares, and they make the return fares so cheap! Are we going to have to go through Winchester on the way back to save some coins?

Stuart: Maybe.

Krissa: Oh well, I suppose you don’t need to go back through London, you can go straight to the airport … and I can take a train from Portsmouth instead, since it’s easier to get to there from your house.

Stuart
: Definitely.

Krissa: So, there’s a bus leaving Portsmouth but it’s 3 hours to Heathrow, or a bus leaving Southampton that’s two hours but you have to be on a 6am ferry. On a Sunday.

Stuart: Mmmmm yes.

Krissa: But! I found a ¬£5¬†fare from Portsmouth to London so I’ll take that on Tuesday and spend Tuesday night in London before my morning flight out.

Stuart: …. You and I are really well-matched. My current thinking on this amounts to, “this is a thing that’s happening in November.”

Krissa: …. so, what you’re saying is, you don’t want to see my Google Spreadsheet?

Fade to crickets.
[See also.]

There’s too much space in this apartment when Stuart’s not here. The poor guy has been working non-stop for two weeks, dragging himself in every day for twelve hours and then on the weekends. It’s madness. My mother asks me about it in shock, like, there should be a law! I agree.

Nano has spent the weekend wandering around the apartment aimlessly and then flumphing in random spots. Sometimes I catch him waking up with an idea in his flimsy little brain, like, I’ll check the bedroom, I’ll bet that’s where he is, and then off he trots, full of confidence, to the bedroom. I hear him execute his patented jump onto the bed (three times taller than he) and then sort of slink back into the living room, like he’s hoping I won’t notice he got fooled again. He’s like a goldfish*.

I’m sort of like Nano, with less blonde moments and more gadgets. I watch stupid movies and weird television, like that Sarah Jessica Parker atrocity (I know, WHICH ONE) and The L Word. I read too many blogs. This weekend I spent half my time online catching up on Antonia‘s archives (sorry if that’s weird, A.) I don’t want to do anything social, because I like being social with Stuart, or at least, I like knowing he’s doing something fun if I’m being social without him. I do the dishes more when he’s working late, because if there’s anything sadder than spending too much time alone in your apartment, it’s doing it with a sinkful of dirty dishes.

And last weekend, I even ran away to Miami! Well, not really, I hated going without him, but I wanted to visit Mom in her new apartment before she comes up here for two months in Rhode Island, Dealing With The House, which is very caps-lock, since it’s really a little depressing to be in that beautiful old pile without my dad around. You can hear it in her voice. Miami is better, with its salty air and Latin vibes and double-wide doors to her apartment, with the French conversation classes and the dinners with my brother who is right down the road.

Miami is good for me, too, because it’s such a delicious sin compared to New York. I love the unrepentant enjoyment that town has with itself, like it just looks at itself in the mirror and goes “que rica!” and saunters out the door. It’s the way it flips up the floppy brim of its hat, from its perch on the beach, Mai Tai in hand and stares up at you (New York, with your grump and your garbage smell and your chaos) and sort of blinks, shrugs, and invites you to its yacht party. Miami! Mi-yaaammmi! You are so good to me, even if I affect a terrible Latin accent that’s a cross between Hank Azaria in Birdcage, and Al Pacino in Scarface, anytime I land on your shiny beaches.

So between last weekend away in Miami, and this weekend at home on my saggy couch, I’m pretty boring, right? Wait until school starts again and I start yammering on about metadata. I’ll just show myself out.

*I realize this is a myth. It’s too awesome not to be true. Leave me alone over here with my fantasies of cosmic silliness.

In two weeks, we will board a plane to Santa Fe for five days of vacation. We’ll do what we do best on vacation – I will obsessively read the travel guide and poll everyone I know for the best restaurants. Stuart will effortlessly learn the orientation of the city and navigate the transit options, and he’ll know when I’m twenty minutes exactly from full-bore hangry. For as much as I love the day-to-day of our lives together, I relish the chance to travel somewhere new with Stuart. Our best complementary attributes engage.

But I’m burying the lede. The day we travel westward is my thirtieth birthday. On August 31st, I’ll pass from my twenties into my thirties. Let’s take a moment here, shall we? Let’s eulogize this properly now.

My twenties were the least wild of all possible twenties. I remember a few truly debauched and distraught moments: having to stop for French fries at a diner on my way home from the Russian Samovar because I was too drunk to find the subway. A few ill-advised romantic choices, usually thanks to the Internet. Being sad but dry-eyed in the Port Authority watching a particularly fragile piece of my heart leave town.

But I remember some miracles, too. My first apartment, full of lazy brunches with the wittiest, most uproarious friends you can imagine. The feeling of looking out over the city from my 42nd story office window at 22 tender years of age, fearless and gutsy and happy. Knowing I hadn’t figured it out yet, but knowing I’d found the place and the people that would get me there in style.

And the best: finding Stuart.

And the worst: losing Dad.

I’m not particularly worried about neck cream and creaking bones and the loss of the excuse to shake my ass in clubs. I didn’t spend much of my earliest adulthood doing that anyway; I was too busy talking to these fascinating people I know and learning New York City like the back of my hand.

I will miss nothing about the last ten years except the person who made it so much better. But I gave him a 4.0 average in grad school and the sight of me happy, married, and his daughter through and through.

My thirties will bring me new facets of family – first, with Mom finding herself new paths in the world, and then, hopefully, new layers of family between Stuart and me and some unnamed zygotes (one day).

My thirties will bring a new career, one that I could not be more excited about. I am surprised it took me so long to realize that although writing is my first love, my great tool, that it is not my best-suited career. I am bloody thrilled to be joining the ranks of the world’s organizers, disseminators, knowledge finders and suppliers. Librarianship suits me like bespoke. I hope some day (perhaps I will be saying this as I go into my forties) to pass on the skills I’m learning and will learn, to get my PhD, and to do research and educate future librarians. Let’s get squee-ish for a second here: HOW COOL IS THAT?

My thirties will bring me more clarity about friendships and relationships. The lessons learned by fire for the past decade – be honest, be kind, don’t apologize too much, work hard for the people you love, be loyal, forgive – are already solidifying into canon. This feels good.

I have learned a lot about myself through the eyes of those who love me. I have figured out many of my best and worst impulses. I’ve learned to be proud of what I’m capable of, and I’m working on being at peace with my flaws. My thirties can hopefully be a time to focus more outward.

So Santa Fe will be a celebration and a page-turning. I will keep doing what I am doing because although life is not as perfect as it was before my dad died, it’s still pretty damn good and that’s okay.

I would love to hear you, blog friends, tell me about turning thirty. I’ll take it all to heart; there’s nothing I love more than research. Best thing? Worst thing? Most unexpected change? Thing you miss most from your twenties? Let’s hear it.

fifth

Five years of marriage today. Counting myself very, very lucky. And just a little bubbly.

Me: I went to hear Richard Stallman speak at Cardozo tonight.

Stuart: Did he bring his katana?

I had an absolutely marvelous Thanksgiving, thank you for asking. And
now, because really it’s shameful that I forewent this hallowed
Internet Tradition on the appropriate day, a list of things I am
thankful for in no particular order but with the most important bits at
the top:

snooze time!

I
mean obviously I am incredibly grateful for Stuart and how he inspires
and challenges me in a billion different ways every day (betcha didn’t
think anyone could do anything a billion times a day – that’s hyperbole
for you!) but I’m also more shallowly grateful that he is silly and
loves our very silly dog and enjoys being photographed being silly
with the aforementioned silly dog. I am madly in love with Stuart and
Nano in that order (sorry Nano but you don’t put my socks on for me
when I’m sick).

I am also this year grateful a little for
myself because I have challenged myself in some small but fundamental
ways this year and truth be told, I wasn’t at all sure I’d pull through
on the goals I set for myself humble though they were, but actually
I’ve made some headway on all of them and I have surprised myself by
doing so – it had been a directionless time and I’ve gone some ways to
rectifying that so there you have it, a very self-inflating entry on
this list but it’s true.

I am eternally grateful for my awesome
family. My parents who are so generous and thoughtful you wouldn’t
believe me if I told you how generous and thoughtful but let’s just cap
that by saying they frequently drive two hundred miles to see me and
help us with stuff. Which is awesome. And also for my amazing brother
Lui who hosts me in Houston and pours margaritas down my gullet and
stays up late talking about Stuff and is really the best brother you’ve
ever had, yes even you! And the rest of my family also obvs because
even though they are far away they are also awesome.

I am
thankful for YOU, all of you, because you like me and encourage me
(May!) and email me thoughtful recipes (RA!) and are snarky with me and
then send me awesome books in the mail (Simon!) and have become my
dearest friends (Kate and Jen!) and go to see stupid movies with me and
edit my essays (Anna!) and obviously marry me (Stuart!) and I’m not
linking to all of you because I’m lazy but you know I adore you.

I’m
also thankful for my amazing friends who inspire me, when I look around
and realize they’re doing what they love, and they’re picking
themselves up and starting over, and they’re being bold with their
lives, and they’re turning on dimes, and they’re creating art that’s
worthwhile, and they’re constantly IMing me with little ‘beep!’s all
week even when nothing is new and we’re all inundated with work, and
they’re graceful and magnanimous and have I mentioned they’re all
incredibly attractive? They ARE.

And I’m grateful for New York,
which suits me so perfectly that I can’t yet imagine living anywhere
else although I know one day I will, and I’m grateful for the beautiful
apartment we live in, and I’m grateful that there’s chili bubbling on
the stove because it’s Sunday night and Sunday nights are chili nights,
because I’m a creature of habit, as if you didn’t know that.

So
in sum, I’m grateful for this little life I’ve carved out with a
beautiful husband and a nervous dog in a dynamic, breathtaking city
with my passel of fierce inspiring friends and HEY! It’s time for
chili. Come over sometime?

Last night, to celebrate four heady glorious years of marriage, Stuart and I made pasta from scratch. Stuart stirred the eggs into the flour well with superb care. I kneaded the dough like a pro (and wore black to work with flour, just because I like to keep the world wondering if I’m playing with a full deck). Nano generously offered to eat any scraps that fell on the floor. It was truly a family affair.
Four years ago, my honey and I woke up and put on some fancy duds and along with my parents and brother, waltzed on down to the City Municipal Building to get ourselves hitched. We bought a bouquet from the ingenious bouquet-seller wandering the hall, and then we threw the bouquet to my brother and went to lunch. After waving goodbye to my parents and relaxing at home for a few hours as newlyweds, we took ourselves to dinner at Babbo, courtesy of some very generous friends.
On our walk back to the subway, arm in arm after the most delicious meal we’d ever shared, we walked past Washington Square Park. Now, in the two previous years I’d lived here, the arch had always been surrounded by chicken-wire, but on the night Stuart and I got married, we walked under the arch for the first time as the Empire Building shone white. We went home delirious with happiness and that was our wedding day. It wasn’t a big tulle-strewn bash but in a lot of ways, it was perfect for Stuart and me.
Tomorrow is another anniversary; a year ago today, Nano was sleeping in a crate in the office of an adoption counselor at the ASPCA. Then, on the 20th, during what everyone swore was a rousing rugby world cup, Stuart and I nervously visited the ASPCA. On the way up, on the subway, we wrote down potential names for the dog we might meet. After nearly four hours and a tortured lunch a block away where we weighed the merits of a very sweet but uninspiring dog named Allan, we nearly gave up. But as we walked back in and started to make our regrets to Beverly, the wonderful counselor who’d patiently helped us meet every dog in that shelter, I remembered she’d said she had two chihuahua-mix puppies in her office.
And lo, we met Nano. His name was Popi and he was almost excruciatingly shy, a little on the young side, and smaller than I’d ever considered, but somehow when he skittered curiously over to us, he grabbed our hearts. I’ll never forget sitting quietly on the floor waiting for him to approach me and looking up at Stuart, and seeing this shine, this delighted shine in his eyes, that told me that Stuart, who’d really struggled with the decision to get a dog, was in love. So nervous or no, puppy or no, there was nothing to do. We took Nano home and made him ours. Nano is a little jumpy and a little neurotic and he’s completely unlike every dog we’d considered taking home but in a lot of ways, Nano is perfect for us.
And it might seem strange to combine a post about these two anniversaries – for the record, the wedding was more important than the dog! – but when I looked at this picture last night, it reminded me what a family we’ve become, and how very complete and warm it feels to be in this city, this home, with this man, and this crazy little dog.
a family portrait

stuart, a whole year older
Yesterday was Stuart’s 29th birthday and we celebrated by having the most beautifully lazy morning – omelettes, crossword puzzles, spontaneous napping! We took ourselves to MoMA for Free Friday and wandered around looking at art until they kicked us out. We dawdled in Rockefeller Plaza and had an amazing glass of wine at Morell’s (Stuart, above!) and then celebrated with dinner at Casa Mono, where Stuart had brains. Because that’s the sort of guy he is.
Stuart is also the sort of guy who’ll bring you your cell phone from the far reaches of the house every morning, every morning that you sleepily ask him for it, and he’ll never mention that maybe you should start remembering to put it on your nighttable the night before already. He’s the sort of guy who has no problem making hilarious cooing noises at the dog or doing that funny chipmunk face to cheer you up, and he’ll always, always smile from ear to ear when you come in through the front door after work. Every day! He’s also the sort of guy who loves your parents, who suggests you use some air miles to fly to Houston when he knows you’re homesick for it. He’s the sort of guy who, at a wedding where your feet are hurting to much in your fabulous shoes to walk (and he’ll understand that you can’t just go barefoot because that’s not the sort of dame you are), will take you into an unused room at the Four Bloody Seasons and give you a footrub so that you can keep going.
And all day I was thinking about this stuff, looking at him and his mop of unruly wonderful hair and his laughing hazel eyes, and I was thinking that maybe I should leave the Universe a thank-you gift for nudging him across the Atlantic four years ago. But I sort of think maybe the Universe understands, since it’s made me the happiest girl in the world and that’s got to be sending yummy happy goodness into the karmic jetstream, right? The Universe is into that.
So basically, he’s really the best sort of guy in the entire world, and even the Universe thinks I’m getting spoiled, I’m going to keep him forever. Happy birthday, babeleh. I love you.

Stuart had a face perfect for licking this evening. And as Nano amply demonstrated, little dogs never say die. Allow him to show you.
Climb on his shoulder:
step one
Have a seat:
step two
VICTORY:
step three