Things That Made Me Happy This Week 3.27.16
It’s been a busy couple of weeks, with travel for work that extended to a few extra days of vacation, then getting back to Boston to scramble to catch up with my routines and work at the office, and then spending this weekend with my family, celebrating both Easter and my sister’s birthday. These are not complaints, but it’s only 8:30 PM and I’m contemplating how soon I can go to bed, that’s how tired I am.
Here are the things that have made me happy over the last two weeks:
- House parties and roof decks. When I lived in Brooklyn, I missed the house parties I went to so frequently as a grad student in Boston. Of course, now that I’m back, I’m older, and most of my cohort are married and no longer students, so the house parties are fewer, but every once in a while, they still happen, and when the weather cooperates, a Boston house party often involves backyard grilling or hanging out on roof decks, both things I very much enjoy. Two weekends ago, I got to attend one of these rare house parties, and though I only knew a few people there, I just liked being there, floating in and out from the roof deck, drinking beers purchased at the convenience store down the block on the way there.
- Silent reading party. There’s a huge historic house in the center of my neighborhood, Jamaica Plain, and they hold many events for the community, including an annual “reading party” where they invite people inside the house to lounge and read for a few hours. This year’s party took place on a sunny Sunday afternoon, so I grabbed my hefty paperback copy of Infinite Jest, and spent an hour reading on a sunny window seat, just enjoying the companionable silence. But the real magic was the number of people in attendance–it was great to see so many people as excited as I was at the prospect of just reading in a beautiful space for a couple of hours.
- My apartment. One of my roommates is moving out in June, so my other roommate and I are searching for a new roommate. I was reminded of how much I love my apartment as I was showing a prospective new roommate around. It’s really a great space, comfortable and lived in and bright and spacious–a rare find. As I talked about the apartment, I found myself thinking about how lucky I was to have found it, and what a comfort it’s been to have a place I love to call home, especially during a time when my life was flipped upside down, and I desperately needed a new place to call home.
- All the Single Ladies.
I bought this book for my trip and though I wouldn’t say it was exactly a joyous read, I found it hopeful and smart. I’m going to write about it more extensively this week, but it was a reminder I’ve been needing lately that marriage isn’t the only happy narrative available to women.
- California. I attended a conference in Anaheim last week, and while I didn’t get much of a chance to be outdoors, I did carve out one hour of reading by the pool, which was just the relaxation I needed after the frenzy of 12-14 hour conference days. I love California. The palm trees, the sunshine, the ease that comes with living with near-perfect weather. I’ve been really lucky to have gotten the chance to spend so much time out there over the last few years!
Since I was already in Anaheim, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to go to Disneyland. One of my oldest and dearest friends, Andy, lives in LA and happens to be a Disney expert, so he met me in Anaheim and we spent the day going on as many rides as we could. I have never been to Disneyland, but I have been to Disney World–once when I was 15, and once to Animal Kingdom only, a few years ago. Disneyland is much smaller and more manageable, and since it was the original, there’s just something more charming about it. I surprised myself by even going on roller coasters, which is not something I normally do–we got Space Mountain out of the way first thing (it was terrifying), and then I went on a few others throughout the day. I was surprised by how much fun I had, given my cynical and jaded attitude. There’s also something to be said for spending a few days visiting with a friend who’s known you for over two decades, having long, deep conversations, and also laughing over something ridiculous that happened in 1998.
- National Puppy Day/Sid Attenberg. It was something called “National Puppy Day” last week, which I know is made up and silly, but there were even more pictures of puppies in my social media than usual (which is impressive, because I keep my social media heavily populated with puppers) and that made me very happy. One of my favorite Internet pups, though, is Sidney Attenberg, the puggle who belongs to novelist Jami Attenberg. Sid reminds me of Chief, so I’m biased, but he’s got a great underbite, and quite a presence on camera. I’ve watched this vine of him more times than is probably normal. Sadly, my parents also had to put their dog, Rita, down this week after a sudden illness. She was a pudgy and sweet chihuahua and I will miss her.
- Red lipstick. I’ve been looking for the right red lipstick for years now, and I may have finally found it. Or at least one I really like. I bought it when I was wandering around the Grove, LA’s most well-known outdoor shopping center (why, I’m not really sure, since it honestly doesn’t have that many stores), feeling sad because none of the pants I’d tried on that day fit me. So I rolled into Sephora to assuage my sorrow and found their “always red” cream lip stain. It was almost enough to make me feel okay again as I walked back to my friend’s apartment in the twilight, feet aching from all the walking I’d done over the last few days, but content. This lip stain has incredible staying power and it’s definitely bright, with a matte finish without feeling overly dry. For the price, I’d definitely recommend!
What’s making you happy this week?