Notes from a Clamshell Path | No. 4
This week is the beginning of the end AND the beginning of the beginning. Change is hard. Especially change every ounce of your being is fighting against. I'm going to put a lot of extra effort into grounding myself, being thankful for where I am right now, and steeling myself for what is to come. Do whatever you can for yourselves this week, friends, and if you need a distraction, read on!
Friday. I won't be watching any inaugural activities. Although, I thought maybe I should since Hillary Made-of-Steel Clinton will be sitting there a few rows from the action, watching the whole thing up close. If she can do it, I certainly can from the safety of my couch with a bottle of vodka in my hand. BUT I decided I can't watch it happen. I can't watch the Obamas walk away. I can't bear witness. I just can't. So I've been trying to think of a good way to spend that day (here are some ideas.) I'll likely keep the TV off and figure out my outfits for Jamaica. That always makes me happy. How are you spending the day?
This time next year. I just read (actually skimmed) an article suggesting that you figure out how you are going to evaluate yourself at the end of the year. I looked at my 2017 list and saw that most of the things on there were grouped around a few themes. So here's what I came up with: This time next year, I will ... 1. be physically stronger 2. have less debt and more savings 3. have less stuff 4. have used my free time to learn new things through reading and online classes 5. have established a daily writing and photography routine
Local places that stay open in the off-season. This time of year can be pretty brutal in this town as we go down to just a handful of open restaurants and bars. There are three that I am especially grateful for: 1. Spindler's. They just opened this past summer and are planning to stay open most of the winter (with a few weeks off starting this week.) The winter food menu is filled with things the Mr. and I want to try, like creamy chestnut bisque and ricotta gnudi. 2. The Canteen. If you've been to Ptown, then you've definitely been here. This will be the first time they stay open in the winter. And not only that, they are serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, 7 days a week. AND they are offering delivery after noon! They also lowered their prices to accommodate the year-rounder budget. I admire their community spirit so much! 3. Blackfish at Local 186 winter pop-up. Last winter, Blackfish, a restaurant in Truro, set up shop in Local 186 for a few months. They also had a super fun trivia night downstairs in the Grotta bar once a week. We're so excited they are back again this winter!
Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang. WOW!! I watched a few of the sequences several times over. This is the most amazing artwork I think I've ever seen. And it's done with FIREWORKS. And super colorful biodegradable powder. Check it out on Netflix.
Sully. Even though you know what happens, this movie had me so tense. It is a wonderful movie about the most incredible situation. The footage of the real people and the real incident at the end will leave you in tears. What a story!
A birthday hat for Stephen. Keeping with my commitment this year to use what I already have, I'm working on a special birthday hat for Stephen. I usually buy these things because I am a terrible consumer of stuff. This year, the cordless glue gun I got for Christmas will be put to excellent use!
"Obama: The Ocean President". I'm having such a hard time letting this man and his family go. The ocean is our lifeblood out here and I am so grateful for his creation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument off the coast of the Cape. I can't imagine we'll make much progress under the new guy, but I am hoping we can maintain what we have.
The Long+Short magazine. I'm always looking for new sources of interesting information. There is a lot here for you to explore. Work is centered around themes such as "Spaces" and "Margins" relating to innovation. They have a newsletter you can sign up for, too.
News and Guts. If you follow Dan Rather, you already know this is his latest project. I'm all in when it comes to that man and I can't wait to see what investigations he brings to light.
Al Jazeera English. It is humbling how little I know about current events in the Middle East. The reporting this organization does is always eye-opening and I am finding their perspectives on what is happening here to be really important. If you haven't already, I strongly suggest you add it to your regular reading feed.
"The Disco Demolition Night" episode of the Undone Podcast. This podcast takes stories from history and finds new and unknown threads of the story that continue long past the headlines. This one has everything: disco, baseball, racism, entrepreneurship, chance, and house music.
Curio.io. I will admit that sometimes I just cannot focus long enough to read some of the really interesting articles out there. With Curio you can listen to someone read them to you while you do the dishes! Articles are from The Guardian, Aeon, Lapham's Quarterly, The Point, Nautilus, The Idler, Open Democracy and other premium publications.
Beastie Boys/Daft Punk Mashup. AMAZING! My favorites: "No Sleep Till Brooklyn" and "Disco Breakin."
Eating + Drinking:
Hot cocoa with tahini. I've been adding a spoonful of tahini to my hot cocoa these days. It adds a slightly nutty flavor and a whole lot of mouth-feel. And probably some calories, too.
Toasted panko bread crumbs. I somehow have become obsessed with toasting panko in a little olive oil and sprinkling them on everything! Mostly, I like a little crunch on my pasta or my mashed potatoes. But I even tried it on some reheated pizza.
"Outdoor Photography for Smartphone." This is my January class from Skillshare. It's taught by a photographer for Surfer magazine and is something I do almost every day. So far, I've learned some new tricks and tips.
colored pine cones for the fire that turn the flames blue and green
eating lots of pot roast, soup, and deeply nourishing winter meals
Free eBooks with Amazon Prime. Not sure if you are aware of this, but if you have Amazon Prime, you get to choose a free eBook every single month. Sign up to get the monthly email. They give you several selections to choose from.
Francis Mallman's instagram feed. I've been obsessed with this guy since I saw him on Chef's Table. There is something so appealing about food cooked over an open fire in Patagonia made by a gaucho chef wearing a poncho who reads books aloud to his family and serves his food by candlelight in the outdoors.
Stuff. So I've started listing a few things on eBay. I have quite the resort wear collection that I really need to whittle down and I also have shoes I won't be able to wear anymore (mostly wedges and super flat sandals.) I SOLD my first pair yesterday and am working on posting a few things every day. I have some Kate Spade, some J Crew, and a few Calypso St. Barth sandals to photograph and post. If you want to see what's up there now, my eBay page is here. It's very rudimentary right now, but my goal is to make it more appealing by the end of the month. I'll likely switch over entirely to a fixed price model in the coming week. For those of you reading here, click on the Best Offer button and I'll give you a break if you mention you saw this on Juniper Disco.
Side Hustles. So I don't actually have a Main Hustle just yet. Minor detail, but I have found some easy ways to make some extra cash. This is one that might appeal to many of you: Achievemint. Have a FitBit? Might as well earn some cash for all those steps you are taking. I love that you can kind of just set it up and forget about it. ALSO!!!: You get an extra 250 points if you sign up using my special referal link here.
Planning + Organizing:
Lifetime Travel. I want to pose this question to you: have you put any thought into your Absolute Must places to visit? After last year's events, I realized I really needed to get serious about planning those important once-in-a-lifetime trips. The older you get, the more physical limitations are going to spring up. It IS going to happen to you, my just about or actually middle-aged friends. I'm not talking about the oh-that-would-be-cool locations. I'm talking about the my-soul-will-ache-for-all-eternity-if-I-don't-get-to-go-there destinations. Here are mine (Pinterest board links included for you to visually peruse): 1. Sardinia. Oh, magical Italian island with the crystal blue water and rounded-by-the-wind stones, how I MUST see you. This may be a milestone birthday trip. 2. Uruguay. I blame Tony Bourdain, Francis Mallmann, and House Hunters International for this one. Steaks over the fire. Gauchos. Ponchos. Open terrain. Socially liberal culture. 3. Spain and Portugal, especially Barcelona. Tapas and architecture. Architecture and tapas. 4. Croatia. Clear blue water. 5. Cross-Country trip of the US. Mostly: Lake Tahoe, kitschy road-side attractions, Fallingwater, seafood shacks, Big Sur, swimming holes, and Mackinac Island. Give it some thought and let me know what is on your Absolute Must list!
Crooked Media and Pod Save America. I've been pretty clear about my admiration for the Keepin it 1600 Obama boys. They've decided to strike out on their own and create not only a new podcast but a new media company that supports activism on the Democratic side of things. If this is you, then you need it in your life: "a political conversation for people not quite ready to give up or go insane."
Critical Reading. "The Man Who Became Donald Trump." Fascinating look at the Clinton aide who played DJT in her debate prep and the insight he gained by studying for that part. He's gotten really good at predicting what that man will do. He's also interviewed on Pod Save America. "Here Are the Lies That Paul Ryan Told About Obamacare During His Town Hall Meeting." This guy. "A President's First 100 Days Really Do Matter." Watch closely.