Musings - motherhood at year one


Our Chloe turned one last week, and it's been sort of a bittersweet occasion. Sweet because we survived a year; she's blossoming into an incredibly headstrong yet intelligent child and it's been a joy to witness her her daily transition from a baby to a tottering toddler with opinions. She seems to be turning (for better or worse) into a mini version of my judgmental self. And somehow bitter, because of everything else going on in the world today that has left me constantly betrayed and worried about her future.

I never intended to extend this blog into motherhood territory, but I feel that there is now more to be said then ever about the changes I've gone through. I've come full circle into understanding finally what it means to be living consciously; and it doesn't involve curating anything or buying anything. It involves actually learning to be spontaneous and to take things in stride and to just inhale the moment.  I've discovered infinite patience and flexibility that I never knew I had in me even as I've become more and more disillusioned and anxious about the world. I find myself remembering that I never wanted to be a mother for the longest time, and now I cannot fathom a world without my child. I find myself looking respectfully at other parents these days, with an understanding and kindly pity for those without partners, families and resources to navigate them through parenthood.

As a childless working woman, I never understood why anyone would subject themselves to 3am feedings, embarrassing tantrums at grocery stores and paychecks that went to paying for diapers instead of vacations. Now as a working mother, I finally understand that sometimes you choose paths you never intend to take and they end up being some of the most rewarding.

I'm still regretful sometimes especially when things like gestational diabetes and hemorrhoids and the inability to enjoy a night out unencumbered wade into my life. Motherhood is probably a joy for some, but for most, I suspect we do it because we're systematically and culturally programmed to. I already know that one is more than enough for me; I neither have the strength nor the selflessness to afford another. And perhaps, the world doesn't need one more person to drain its resources. There are so many other things that seem so much more selfless that I'd imagined myself doing e.g. running an animal sanctuary, adopting one of the millions of abandoned children, working at a food security non-profit, spending my energy overhauling politics and education and welfare. Being a mother and choosing to bring a child up in a world that is so uncertain and scary, and taxing an already fucked environment certainly seems like the most selfish thing I could have done.

And yet somehow my justification (just or not) is this: I will bring my child up to make a difference. That if I could try my damnedest to raise a kind, courageous and thoughtful child who changes the world in her own way it wouldn't just have been a selfish, biological urge. It's the reason I wake each day and trudge along, trying to live and trying to carve meaning; I finally have some end goal to work towards even as hope remains but a distant glimmer for the fate of the earth.

A Lament for America

It may seem like I'm preaching to the choir since the demographics of those who read this blog skew towards mine and I'm pretty sure most voted for the same Democratic platform. I'm writing today about things you may already know and fear but this election has had a profound effect on me. I'm numbed by disgust and paralyzed by despair and hopelessness. Everything I had ever espoused about governmental regulations and the environment, about growing political dissonance and world disorder seems to have come to fruition; it's terrifying because at the back of my mind I always had a small flicker of hope that America would come through, that we as a nation would sober up and realize the cost of our political and life choices. This election has extinguished that last remaining spark.

Hillary Clinton, in her concession speech, said we owed Trump an open mind and a chance to lead. The world gave him a chance to display a fraction of sensibility when the Republicans nominated him to represent them on the national stage. He has so far failed to prove that he would be in any way an effective leader. He has neither the skills nor the temperament; this nation is hinging its bets on his unpredictability, that perhaps his ghastly behavior thus far was merely pandering to his base. It's terrifying that the most powerful man in America, and quite possibly the world, is prone to fits of fancy. This is a man who has no qualms about dropping bombs all over the world, treating women and minorities with disrespect and literally lying his way to the White House. How did we go from disseminating democratic ideals around the world to electing someone who has said that he admires Vladimir Putin and quotes Mussolini?

I came to this country ten years ago after working hard to gain admittance to graduate school. It was my only way of leaving a country ravaged by years of cronyism and corruption, a country that was slowly pushing aside secularism for Islamic fundamentalism and where affirmative action existed only for the majority. In America I thought I would have a secure future, that people were more tolerant, that I wouldn't feel uneasy for being different. If I worked hard and pulled up my bootstraps I could achieve the American dream; I would be able to find a skilled job and contribute to society. I would be able to have my children grow up in a democracy where their rights as human beings in a civilized nation would be recognized. It feels like I have left one nightmare only to wake up at the beginning of another.

In ten years, I have seen the rise of the first African-American president who may go down in history as one of the greatest American leaders. But I have also seen the bigotry and racism that thwarted President Obama every step of the way. I have seen how an increasingly hostile and xenophobic Congress blame, lie and manipulate their way to ensure that they would stay in power and that their will, not the will of the people, be done. I have seen the denial of sound science, the bastardization of the Supreme Court, and the humanizing of corporations. I have seen basic voting rights and women's rights and minority rights that patriotic citizens have fought so hard for be squashed by people intolerant of cultural shifts. I have seen the uptick of mass-shootings and the defunding of Planned Parenthood and the collapse of public education. I have seen immigrants and welfare recipients be scapegoated over and over again. I have seen how fear-mongering has reduced people to anger, narcissism and short-sightedness. The last ten years has crushed my hope in this country and its government that once stood for justice and liberty for all. Most of all, the last ten years has crushed my hope in humanity.

Some may say that I'm prematurely pessimistic and that we must trudge on with kindness and rise above the occasion. Those words are meaningless. Hope is a fool's errand. Hope is why liberals have buried their heads in the sand and kept muttering over and over again that there is no way Trump would win. Hope is why people voted for Trump; they're hoping that he will be able to lift them out of the quagmire. Hope depends on the premise that things will get better, that an end goal is better than nothing. I guess if you wait long enough, everything that you hope for will come true even if the reality is that the tides of nature is cyclical. Hope causes inaction and encourages complacency.

The world as we know it is pretty much over. Four years is a long time and in the process, many things will be set into motion that cannot be undone. The effects on the economy and on social welfare will be disastrous almost at once. The effects on the environment and the climate are irreversible and its repercussions will reverberate long into the distant future. When the social safety nets have been ripped from under their feet and their education sold to the rich, how do we look our innocent children in the eye and apologize? When their family members lie sick in the streets, crippled by healthcare costs and their friends go hungry, how do we look our innocent children in the eye and apologize? When our daughters are deprived of their equal gender rights and our sons deprived of their sexual orientation rights, how do we look our innocent children in the eye and apologize?  When the oceans have risen and the human population suffer through drought and famine and flooding, when we wake up one day and the birds are silent and the flora and fauna of our youth have disappear, how do we look our innocent children in the eye and apologize?

When we tell our children that the 45th President of the United States of America and the 115th Congress of the United States of America failed to protect to their fragile future and led them down a path of new world disorder, how do we look our innocent children - those who must live with the consequences we are bequeathing to them - how will we ever look at all our innocent children in the eye and apologize?

I have no good advice on how to cope with this all except that I will hold my daughter closer tonight and begin tomorrow with a resolution to muddle through this unfortunate time and do everything I can in my limited power and influence to make sure that there will never be another embarrassingly tragic election like this again. I owe it to my daughter, to generations before us and to the generations after us.

On finding a balance

Chloe Avery, born 09 July 2016. 6lbs, 18in, 2 weeks early and the joy of my life.

Hi! I'm back after being away for a year from blogging with a renewed sense of purpose. Those of you who follow my Instagram already know that I had been busy gestating  a little chest-burster since last October, and she finally arrived two weeks ahead of schedule. Late night feedings, the inevitable two-week old fussiness and sleep deprivation coupled with dun-dun-dun Chinese confinement practices has left me feeling really cranky and bored out of my skull. There's only so much reading and screwing around on the laptop one can do while housebound for a month. I'll revisit this whole confinement thing later when I'm not as annoyed or tired. Anyway... 

I know most people probably can't be arsed about my shitting out a kid or about babies for that matter. In fact if anything, it's a one-way ticket to hauling ass away from this blog. But here's the thing - there's no other time like the quiet hours of the crack of dawn to think about spending habits, mindful consumption and general state of affairs. In fact, I've been thinking so much about these things that I feel a rambling post is overdue. Long time readers will know that I've suffer from a slew of existential fears particularly ones of a dystopian future marred by climate change, in that uneasy Cormac McCarthy way. In fact, the recent news of the triumph of Trumpian politics, the alarming bouts of terrorism, the random, uncanny shootings, and the fact that it's again the hottest year on record, goes to show that I may unfortunately not be that far off base.

I've had some qualms about bringing a kid into this world and being a bane to the already stressed terrestrial resources. Having kids is apparently the worst thing you can do for the environment, right up there along with sitting in business class and flying around the world twice. With that in mind, I decided that I wanted to really cut down on as much waste as possible while saving as much as I could. After all, why spend too much on clothing that I wouldn't really need after 9 months. I started off wearing my baggiest tops and getting a couple pairs of used jeans from an office mate. I also picked up two pairs of black denims from The Gap for $10 each and a couple of loose, long-sleeved supima tees from Lands' End. The denims lasted me at till I was about 6 months pregnant and the tees lasted the whole pregnancy. Then for the last few months, I lived in a pair of full panel maternity jeans from The Gap, the aforementioned supima tees and my mom's Arc'teryx fleece jacket. I was lucky in that my feet never got swollen or bigger so I could pretty much still wear the all the shoes I owned. My pregnancy wardrobe added up to less than $100 overall for the entire 9 months- something I guess only achievable if you lived in the Pacific Northwest and worked at a place with no dress code. I did cave in in the last month and bought a pair of sandals, a top and a couple of nursing bras during the sales at Nordstrom and The Line.

The Lands' End tees were and still are one of the best purchases I've made. They were each $8 a piece when I bought them but look and wash better than tees that are 10 times more expensive. Ethically made? I'm not sure - but then again, are James Perse and Alexander Wang tees ethically made? The best quality t-shirts in my opinion are the Japanese made ones from Comme des Garçons, but I'm not sure they're ethically made either. After tallying the amount I needed to spend decorating a nursery, building my cloth diaper stash and saving for the 529, I felt that I couldn't justify anything more than $20 on a t-shirt.

As for spending on baby clothing, we received A LOT of hand-me-downs from friends for which I'm grateful, it's a bit of a relief to see clothes being recycled. I ended up not really using much of what was given though because (a) it's 80 degrees these days and the baby only wears her diapers and a top and (b) I hate onesies (whoever thought pulling a top over a yowling, squirming baby in the middle of night is a good thing needs to be shot), the baby hates onesies and I ended up buying a bunch of cheap side snap tops that are god-sent. The tees are made by Gerber in Bangladesh though, so ethics be damned.

It was, however, a little disconcerting the sheer amount of used clothing I received; I have literally 7 or 8 gigantic boxes of clothing from 4 different people sitting in my basement and none of which I will be using mostly because I came to realize that 6 or 7 of those side-snap tees, a few footed pants and a bunch of Green Mountain Diapers Workhorse cloth diapers would suffice for the baby. If anything, having less clothing meant I didn't have to sort through as much laundry in general and it just made bleary-eyed diaper changes much easier to deal with. I guess having a uniform system works equally well for babies. Obviously different strokes for different people.

What I've been finding really hard to balance though is the little frivolous clothing purchases for the wee one. I find myself constantly browsing for baby clothing when I'm bored. My focus has shifted from Lemaire to Makie, from Mill Mercantile to Fawn Shoppe. I realize I probably shouldn't be buying terribly expensive clothing that the baby will outgrow in a couple of months, so I end up shopping for cheaper alternatives at The Gap and Zara. And so the entire story of trying to be a conscientious shopper begins again. I'm still working through trying to close the browser instead of forking over money and to start the kid off on the right foot of buying only what she really needs.

Over the next few months, I'm going to try to put together more frequent posts about trying to balance a finite amount of money with extravagant desires - no longer just for myself but for my living vicariously through another being. I'm also trying to find a balance between budgeting prudently and leaving behind smaller carbon footprints. I do this in part because this blog has been an interesting catalog of my transition from carefree grad student, to a jaded researcher to a (still jaded) working mom, and in part because soliciting advice from an online community of strong and successful women and mothers has always been an upside to Assembled Hazardly.

Random thoughts - life and such.

(Top: Bratislava, Bottom: Prague)

Eastern Europe!
Before my obtusely nonsensical spiel, have some eye candy from our whirlwind trip to Eastern Europe that we took after my final PhD defense. I loved Slovakia and Poland the best though I surprisingly didn't take any decent photos in those places - probably too busy getting touristy wasted on cheap wine and beer. Interesting factoid: when we visited Auschwitz, the tour guide told us that a lot of the survivors hated striped clothing for the rest of their lives; it made me rethink my relationship with breton tees.

On buying a new house
So we bought a house... I sometimes wish we hadn't only because after we signed the documents, did the inspection and visited the house multiple times over the last few weeks that I realized we had a place that needed so much work done I could start a lifestyle/DIY blog and make bank. You know what, maybe I will. I read somewhere - who knows, GOMI maybe - that bloggers make the natural progression from fashion to lifestyle to mommy blogging. That's right, the natural progression of blogging niches corresponds with the rate of body sag and accumulation of body fat.

That said, in our neck of the woods, anything that is remotely updated with a good location in the city and enough space so that you're not peering into your neighbor's porn collection will cost an upward of $600k - often times more, with no contingencies attached (Waive the inspection! Waive the financing! Waive the appraisal! Bend over Grey-style and get screwed twice! It's the market!), over 20% downpayment and occasionally, a complete cash offer over asking price.

I mean obviously I'm just being an ungrateful snot because we're so goddamn lucky to own a house but when you're standing in front of a blackened fireplace, faced with barf-colored walls and four different kinds of cheap berber carpeting and sagging kitchen cabinets that don't close, how your life sucks is really all you can think about in that moment.

On anxiety, existentialism and being faux-emo
I'll confess I've been struggling over the last few years with deep-seated emotional issues stemming from a bad grad school experience and from several inherent character traits that have been downright self-destructive for me. I don't think real-life struggles get talked about enough; I don't trust anyone who makes everything seem like it's always rainbows and sunshine and kittens when it's really boxcutters, drippy mascara, Bright Eyes on repeat and tubs of chocolate ice cream. I tried Headspace for two-minutes, got even more annoyed at that British bloke (Reddit always makes me side-eye everything) and decided I needed to see a therapist instead. I think the therapist has been good for me, there's no prescription meds or talking about childhood trauma - it's about building a plan, facing up to responsibilities and being a little less hard on myself.

This is going to sound so obnoxious and self-aggrandizing but I'm pretty harsh on myself and tend to want everything to be perfect. I'll stop short of calling myself a perfectionist (I'm not, I let a lot of things slide, I think...) but a lot of what I do borders on crazy. I need the edges of my towels (bath towels, hand towels, kitchen towels, blankets, sheets, etc., etc.) to line up perfectly and folded once lengthwise and three times after that. They also all need to be white. I got so tired of trying to correct my husband's folding that after he folds them, I redo ALL of them. Which is why I never get any real work done - I'm too busy fucking folding towels in thirds. Jesus Christ. And that's only the tip of the iceberg.

My therapist made me realize that I don't have control of everything and I beat myself up if things don't go my way. So I got all existentialist on her, yo. "What's the point of anything if I can't control things?!" I sobbed, wah wah wah.  "Influence," she said wisely. "You can always influence the outcome." I think I love my therapist.

My absolute avorite written works (and secret bibles) in the entire history of mankind are 'Paradise Lost' and 'Maldoror' and I think subconsciously, I veered towards those two books because they seemed to speak most closely to my nihilistic approach to how I viewed the world and the existence of a higher authority. Perhaps after my therapy sessions ends, my new bible would be something by Emerson... hahahahahahaha *wipes tears from eyes*.

On stuff
Moving is a damn bitch. I hate it. I hate the sound of tape pulling over boxes, I hate standing in line to buy boxes, I hate bubble wrap and newspapers and being scared that my gazillion potteries will break when it falls out of the U-Haul. Moving makes me want to stab my eye with a pencil and yank out my hair and run around screaming like a crazy person. I would pay for professional movers but we just spent all our money buying a house and fixing a shitty bathroom that I can't justify paying someone to pack my shit and load/unload them so I can go back to folding my towels.

But I think more importantly, moving and packing makes, made, whatever... makes me feel bad about myself. It exposes me in ways that make me feel uncomfortable because when you're standing there staring at heaps of glassware and plates and cake pans and throw blankets, it doesn't lie. You can't escape the shelves of sparkly wine cups and gleaming ceramics sitting there serenely and winking wickedly, conspiratorially at you. Amanda, you have a shopping habit. The reason you can't afford movers or an expensive lamp is because you bought ALL these porcelain goodies from Crate and Barrel or DWR and you don't even like them anymore because there's even more porcelain goodies from Crate and Barrel or DWR to buy. So it goes, as Vonnegut says.

Maybe those people at GOMI were right, I've been using blogging all the while to justify a shopping habit (Alright, you hams win!!!). I'm actually pretty mortified at how much junk I have, it's really gross on some level. Maybe crazy cot lady and all the insufferable spartan minimalist holier-than-thou Instagrammers were right. My life would be so much easier and less revolting if I only had to move a couple of Aesop products, a shoebox of kitchen utensils and a Fjallraven backpack of clothes.

But in all seriousness, as I've pointed out before, I'm glad I'm realizing that buying all these things haven't made me a happier person even though just a few years ago, I thought that they did. I know I'm going to accumulate some junk in the future because it's the natural progression of life despite what all the insufferable spartan minimalist holier-than-thou Instagrammers say, but I think the horror of moving and having to clean and pack shit when I'm already so tired and fed-up with everything is going to keep me in check. Yes, it's going to cost me blog readers and Instagram followers because I'm not posting pictures of expensive candles and flowers and plates  and macarons (not macaroons you damn morons!) anymore but at 32, I think I'm old enough to realize that those fleeting moments of validation are an illusion and really just not worth it most of the time.

On this blog
After laying all these things out (and actually having a full-time job, woot!), I think it's safe to say that I should and probably would be hanging up my finely-polished Marni shoes and calling it a day. I'll probably still update occasionally with some pictures on how things are progressing with the house/dog/dog/dog/life/growing zygotes/organic gardening because it's fun and I'm a braggart. I'm debating about starting a new blog  I kind of want to keep things going only because I like having a outlet where I can just moan about the same thing for the umpteenth time and not have anyone cancel lunch on me. Maybe this time for realz, the blog about home decor with my shoddy DIY skills should be called, Assembled Haphazardly.

* Apologies for the potty-mouth of late, I'm trying to get my teenage-angst out of the way.

Truth, word.


The last four or five months has been kind of nuts. If 2015 is any indication of the rest of my life, I think I'll be needing a permanent Vitamin B pump and a ginseng tube (or speed maybe?) Either way, I've been finding it hard to slow down and almost had a crazy nervous breakdown a few weeks ago from working/un-procrastinating about 100 hours a week.

Long story short, I'm finally there, dear readers. I've reached adulthood singularity and beyond me is this infinite expanse of bills, 9-5 jobs, sensible shoes, mom hair and screaming children. I have my dissertation done, my exams scheduled, my gown reserved and a low-paying research contract lined-up. All these years of moaning, finding excuses to procrastinate and talking endlessly about frivolously trivial things has amounted to... one big giant let down.

Don't get me wrong, I am glad I'm finally out in the real world and away from the life-suck of academia but the new exciting world just seems to be more of the same, except honestly, so much scarier. We've been saving for a bit and trying to buy a house that isn't about to fall apart at the seams and would fit a family of three and a dog comfortably while allowing for days where we want to avoid each other as much as possible. Three you say? Well, yes. My biological clock is ticking and my husband isn't quite as cynical or existential as I am and well, if I want to shart out a wailing piglet, I should best do it now before my creaking knees won't be able to withstand the extra weight.

I find it hard after all these years of blathering about quality vs. quantity etc. to come to terms that when you're an adult with a house and a family to think about, spending $600 on a pair of shoes is hardly justifiable. I was looking at cribs and goddamned strollers the other day and wasted time reading some stupid mommy blog about buying a Bugaboo. For a brief moment, I pictured myself in a pair of cloppity No. 6 clogs, a $500 Laura Manoogian sweater and pushing a $1000 stroller with a baby swaddled from head to toe in Nico Nico. That's me! I'm a cool mom.

And then I came to the realization that: (a) the baby would outgrow that damn stroller in three years (b) no one fucking cares if I wear a Laura Manoogian sweater or a Banana Republic one except that I'll be devastated when I have spittle all over the front of a hand knitted alpaca sweater and I'll feel like a moron and  (c) mortgage, college fund, medical bills, hipster car payments, violin lessons, vaccinated trips to Disneyland etc. etc. would render me destitute and careworn.

Would a Bugaboo work better than a $150 Graco stroller from Target? I'm sure it would. Is it necessary? I'm sure if I'm still at the point where my source of validation is Instagram and this blog, it definitely would be. But my point is that in the grand scheme of things, as long as it works well enough and lasts a long time, it doesn't matter. I feel that I've tricked myself into believing all this while that "quality over quantity" crap is sustainable in any way for a regular human being. I mean, at some point in your life, maybe one starts realizing that having twenty Gap t-shirts that you can afford to have stained with applesauce might be more financially prudent than having one $125 Alexander Wang one.

I'm not sure where to draw the line. I'm not entirely sure if my mind hasn't already been so brainwashed by years and years of incessant marketing and being sucked into an Instagram/blog/La Garconne vortex of beautiful people in beautiful clothing with well-behaved children and supportive husbands who vacuum that has made me so blinded to the realities of life. It's hard to remember sometimes that for the six or seven L.A. bohemian mothers who remain at 90lbs after giving birth and living in million dollar mid-century homes, there are thousands and millions of other women dying in childbirth or struggling to balance finances with kids who have autism or military wives or just women whose lives are so much more than just brunching and talking about MNZ shoes.

I keep getting these comments or reading views about how no one wants to read about crappy things and that blogs are a means of escape - but isn't the whole point of a blog to be an online "diary" of sorts? At some point, blogs stopped becoming an interesting read about real life struggles and degenerated into rehashing the same glossy magazine material. I don't know about you, but for every two posts I read about buying some hipster crap, I want to read about the person behind the blog and why she buys what she does and what it means to her instead of every single post being a click bait or a giant advertisement.

It just seems as if the more I have to do or the more responsibilities I have, the less I find that I need to think about simplifying or buying less or consuming less because I have no time to actually buy anything. Suddenly there are a million of other things that seem so much more important for me to use my money on. I've come to the realization that all these purported things that make your life so much more enjoyable and luxurious like $80 candles (I hope you appreciate my ironically posted picture above) and handmade soaps and $40 tea in a can is an absolute waste of money. I don't know if I get that much more enjoyment out of a Cire Trudon candle than I would a farmer's market one. I don't know if Bellocq is selling me good tea or just the pretty tea canister. I don't know if Saipua soaps are worth the price when there's so many really great Etsy sellers making the exact same soap. My point is (and I realize I do a terrible job at getting to the point in any straightforward manner), I don't know if expensive or luxurious things and that whole buy quality over quantity schtick is valid anymore. I mean sure, I want to buy a bike that won't fall apart like a cartoon when I start pedaling, and I want some decent copper pots and pans, but all the seemingly unnecessary nonsense like cushions and shoes and bags and jewelry... it's all just so... wasteful.

Sometimes I look at houses on Instagram, and I think about how in the blue hell does anyone sit on such white couches with overpriced Kantha throw pillows. A blogger recently gave up her comfy couch for a cot. A COT! A fucking COT! A married woman whose husband is fine with this nonsense! It's like these people (women, always women) have their husbands' balls in a vice and makes them agree to never leave a video game lying around or disavow watching the TV and instead of drinking beer on Sundays, go out and plant hydrangeas while their wives brunch their lives and savings away. And the poor children, whose toys are always wooden and sterile and who are forced to live in this colorless void of black and white Pleasantville bullshit. For a while there, I sort of got sucked into this made-up world, and I think that realizing finally, that the more important thing to me instead of picturesque brass trivets and Japanese-turned bowls and white walls was the ability to not have to worry about money, to allow for some mismatched silverware and beer caps lying around, and to just fucking sink into a ratty old couch with my dog and my bazillion books and DVDs and tangles of wires from the TV and the iPad and the computer because it's goddamned exhausting (and frankly quite boring) trying to live the sterile, made up life.

I think some while ago, Moya left a comment about how after having a kid (beautiful little Severin), she couldn't justify spending hundreds of dollars on a dress. I've come to the realization that the more time I have to think about simplifying my life or whatever, the more I tended to shop to offset the items I have that I felt were mismatched or that didn't belong in my replica of a mental asylum. I think having responsibilities and a life that isn't completely based on false online pretense is probably the best way to avoid that whole consumerism black hole in the first place. Go read a book, go watch some trashy TV and think about your child's college fund. And if you don't ever want to have kids, go plan a holiday or save for retirement at 40. Anything is better than sitting around planning some bullshit capsule or rearranging your socks because at the end of the day, these things don't matter; what matters is not having to worry about anything.

P.S.: I'm not saying anything new here, but I just wanted to share some feelings that have been roiling for the last few months. I'm at my fifth month of not buying too much crap: I bought a Karina Bania art, some Heath Ceramics pieces during a Didriks sale, an Uzbek painting from Project Bly and some Simon Pearce glasses from Dara Artisans. I think I'll also be buying a new pair of shoes in the next few weeks. But yay for no random pick-me-up purchases!

ETA: My husband thinks it's very tiring to read meta blog posts about blogs, blogging and bloggers, so I'll shut up and not take things that bug me too seriously. I think he liked it better when I was raving about shoes... weird, no? Let me assure you that I'm really as insufferably whiny in real life as I am on the blog but there's also someone in making sure my stupidity & inadequacy isn't going to ruin my everyday functionality. Thank goodness for voices of reason.

Please buy one less item today and donate to the Red Cross' Nepalese Earthquake fund. All affiliate links revenue from Assembled Hazardly now till the end of the year will be donated to the Nepalese Earthquake fund. Thanks.