After a long day, I came home tonight to a package. Immediately, my day improved.
Inside was a set of coasters.
I know coasters don’t sound like the most exciting thing in the world, but for me, these are a delight.
Patrick and I knew we needed coasters for our coffee table. The top is glass, and water rings show up easily. But we wanted something unique. Something that reflects our style. Something that represents us.
How can you jam so much quirkiness into a thing that’s sole function is to act as barrier between drink and table?
I ordered these lovely little things from the Etsy shop MeadowTea. The coasters are particularly perfect for us because Patrick and I met when we both DJ’ed for our college radio station. Our shared taste in music was, in part, the catalyst for our relationship. Eventually, after we started dating, we had our own radio show together (it was called “Be My Molecule”). We had about two listeners.
While we’ve never made each other actual mix tapes, the sentiment is right. We speak to each other through music.
And after a long day, I now have the perfect spot to put my wine.
It’s always been a dream of mine to travel a part of the world and get to know a particular group of people exceptionally well. In college, I majored in English and Anthropology and discovered a particular love for journalism in the form of ethnography. I haven’t made my own dream come true yet, but in the meantime, I can introduce you to a friend of mine who has made this dream come true for himself.
Mark Kendall and I took Anthropology classes together during our undergraduate career, and today he’s working on a video about buses in Guatemala. Some of life’s most beautiful stories start with a single question. In Mark’s case, he asked “Where does this bus come from?” as he traveled through Central America on a bus trip up from Costa Rica to Austin, Texas. The bus was an old school bus, and Mark became curious about its lifecycle. He began investigating the way buses are auctioned off and found out about the perils that face a Guatemalen bus driver. It’s turning into a fascinating story, woven together through interviews with the drivers and fabulous footage shot by Mark himself.
I am eagerly awaiting the final product, and Mark is currently on the hunt for more funding so that he can complete the film before he graduates from the School of Visual Arts with an M.F.A. in May. If you have a few minutes, please watch what he has produced thus far. If you like what he’s doing and want to help, Mark has set up a page where people can donate to keep this project — like the buses it features — in motion.
I bought a table at Good Will a while ago. It was pretty hideous, and it came with pretty hideous (and uncomfortable) chairs. But I needed a table, and it was functional. I spent more than half of what the table is worth on a rental truck at Home Depot to haul the thing.
In the last move, the chairs got tossed to the curb, but we kept the table. And over the weekend, I decided it was time to take our little salvage table from drab to fab.
Look at that fine detailing — I don’t know if the speckling on the paint was intentional or not.
Then, we spent about a quarter of what the table is worth at Home Depot to buy primer and paint. We initially thought we’d go for a teal color, but at the store we switched to a tangerine color. It ultimately turned out to be a marigold color, but I happen to love it. It’s bright, it’s vibrant and it goes great with the rug I found.
I love these little DIY projects, and I think Simba does, too.
Some people may think it’s loud and still hideous, but I’m satisfied with the final product. It has character, don’t you think?
Now I just need to find comfortable chairs to go with my marigold table so I won’t have to eat standing up anymore.
Each day we encounter obstacles. We drive with the sun blaring into our eyes. We run on broken treadmills. We decide which battles to pick and which things to let lie (because we know some things will never change). We get our heels stuck in cracks in the pavement.
But at the end of the day, it just feels good to return to a place you call home and the ones you love.
The moving process is coming along, but I am completely sapped. My inner perfectionist is at war with my inner hoarder. It will take extra work to come up with post ideas these next few days. I doubt you want to hear about my new trash can (the lid opens automatically) or how the greatest moment of my weekend was when I caught Patrick squeegeeing the bathroom (I’m still in shock).
I was at the old house today and noticed that despite several hard frosts my broccoli and kale have snapped back to life. Just when I thought they were completely dead, the broccoli was flowering with renewed vigor and the kale was green with spring freshness.
There’s hope for the rest of us. If little plants can find their energy and bloom again, then so can I. I just may need to gawk at my trash can for a while before I can find the right words to share with you.