madame claude at white eagle hall.

During Normal Times™️ White Eagle Hall was a fun, fab, fantastic place to see live music in Jersey City. I saw some of my most favs there: Best Coast, Waxahatchee, The Black Lips. LIFE WAS GOOD.

Life isn’t that good now but we DO have the option of dining at Madame Claude AT White Eagle Hall and I think that’s pretty great, you guys.

We can eat food and drink drinks AND hear live music! The folks playing the music walk around and play the music! We can be inside this really cool historic building that I actually really, REALLY missed and have a great night!

Last night we really had a great night.

I had a TON of La vie en rose cocktails. Definitely lost count but it was a ton.

A TON.

The La vie en rose cocktail has lychee and vodka and some other stuff but I was mostly in it for the lychee. And the lychee was in it for ME.

We had a charcuterie board as an appetizer. Because we do what we must.

For my entree I chose the salmon. IT WAS INCRED. GET THE SALMON YOU GUYS.

They were kind enough to allow us to outsource dessert because it was my friend’s bday. Like they let her bring in a tray of banana pudding from baonanas and a delicious cake. The birthday desserts were EXCEPTIONAL and I was glad we got to have them.

All night the band played jazzy music on stage and it set a wonderful mood.

It was a great choice of birthday venue for my pal and I’d love to go back.

The end.

community cleanup.

On Saturday I was glad to attend a community cleanup on Pacific Ave in Jersey City. I walk and bike and scoot down Pacific Ave a lot to get downtown and I was like yes I’d like Pacific Ave to be clean let’s do this.

So we did.

The cleanup was run by Clean Green Jersey City. We met up on Pacific Ave and were given trash bags and REALLY FUN TRASH GRABBERS.

Like really fun.

They gave us plastic bags to collect trash in and plastic gloves to wear. The plastic gloves went right over my regular gloves! The ones I wear FOR WARMTH.

We were told to go in pairs or off on our own and I was like “I choose off on my own byeeee” and it was very peaceful and calming to zone out and pick up trash for an hour or so. I’d reccommend it.

There were a lot of empty alcohol bottles. Like an insane amount. I think I also came across some road kill that was in an advanced state of decay.

Cool.

But as I picked up trash I could see the street start to look better right before my eyes! I’m not making this up. It seemed really great. There’s a lot of trash around the town and it would be great if we could clean more of it up.

It’s as simple as that.

Before I went to the cleanup I was thinking about whether it would make me more sensitive to seeing trash around. Like if I didn’t notice trash before, would I notice it more now?

And for the last 48 hours…yes. I have been noticing trash WAY more. THERE IS SO MUCH TRASH OUT THERE.

My own street on The Hill is a huge trash fest. There is a local man that walks up and down the street with a grocery cart and he picks up some of the bigger trash and carts it away but street cleanup isn’t a one man job! It’s not a one SHAN job either, I think we should get a crew over here. And maybe we will someday!

In the meantime there are other community cleanups happening soon in our Jersey City community!:

You can sign up via their Google doc.

Go pick up some trash, it feels great and it’s great for the town and the land and the other folks that live here, too.

Woo!

snowfolx roundup.

I’m here today to present to you a snowman roundup. Maybe I should say a snow PERSON roundup? Or snow FOLX? I’m gonna go with snowfolx, that sounds fun. This is a snowfolx roundup, you’re welcome.

Watching over the Citibike rack by Van Vorst Park.

It has snowed a metric shit ton this winter but according to the forecast there won’t be snow for the next week AT LEAST so I think that calls for some reflection. Hopefully the snow currently on the ground will melt quickly and the snowfolx will soon be a distant memory.

My favorite pic of snowfolx taken by me.

But what a fun memory they are! I hate winter and snow but I actually do really enjoy snowfolx. Whenever I walk by one on the street or in the park it truly makes me smile. I think because snow disgusts me so intensely, it’s a nice feeling to see that someone has done something creative and even ARTISTIC with it.

Abstract and colorful snowfolk on a stoop in downtown JC.

Like, “snow is here and it sucks and is terrible but let’s USE IT TO MAKE ART,” is truly a brilliant and life changing idea.

Lost an eye. 😬

Snowfolx for pres.

Or probably more accurately, people who build snowfolx for pres.

TINY BABY SNOWFOLK ON FROZEN POND AND THEREFORE THIN ICE!

Snowfolx are most likely all built by children, but I know there are some adult-imagined snowfolx out there. If I didn’t hate snow so much I would make some!

Classic three balled snowfolk in Van Vorst Park.

But I hate snow and want it to die and don’t want to spend any time with it unless I’m skiiing and even then it’s a tenuous relaish.

ADORABLE MINIATURE MAILBOX SNOWFOLK.

So it’s just cool to see these snowfolx around the town and I wanted to give them some recognition and appreciation and show them my support. Winter is tough and hard and sad and stupid but snowfolx give me something to giggle about and be grateful for and I appreciate that.

A dog peed on this snowfolk in Lincoln Park. 😬

THX SNOWFOLX XOXO.

self love soirée.

Hey hi just going to do a quick recap of the Self Love Soiree I attended on Saturday because self love is very important especially during these valentines times.

LIKE VERY IMPORTANT.

I’ve written about this before but I think Valentine’s Day is a great time to reflect on loving yourself. Wait have I written about this before? I know I’ve written about loving your friends on Valentine’s Day. Also important!

Either way, love yourself. Just do it. It feels great. It’s totally worth it. And in the world today there are actually a ton of opportunities for self love and self care and it’s now socially acceptable to take a break and take a breath and also to admire yourself so LET’S DO IT.

The night before the Self Love Soiree I returned to drinking after a dry January so it was VERY DIFFICULT to get going but I eventually got out of bed. After a cold brew and a green juice at The Cottage on Monticello I was happily on my way to Deep Space/The Hive for the Soiree.

Yes, I do go there every weekend I guess. My boyfriend referred to it as my “community center.” MAYBE IT IS. It’s great because I can walk there and there’s always fun stuff there! I don’t know how it could get any better. I’m not ashamed.

Unfortunately I was still very hungover so I didn’t get a lot of pics. But I’ll share with you what I did!

I was excited to get a pair of conversation heart earrings from Aly Cupcake/Aly’s Little Things. THEY ARE SO COOL. There’s nothing I love more than cute jewelry with bad words on it. That’s not a lie.

WTF.

She also had some really awesome pink/red/romantic looking earrings with Cupids and actual anatomical hearts on them that were SO COOL. Truthfully I really wanted these but technically I’m still in “No Shop Q1” so I’m not supposed to buy clothes or accessories.

I know I cheated with buying the convo heart earrings but they were like $10 so I think that’s a minimal shopping footprint.

Had to support a local business, you guys.

I really enjoyed checking out the display that find & revive set up. I realize I’m a broken record with this but the space looks so different at every event and I think that is so cool. I MEAN IT IS MY COMMUNITY CENTER, PEOPLE.

They had lots of reds and purples and animal print and it was all very romantic and lovely. Honestly I couldn’t even go near it because I would have been too tempted to buy.

I can’t wait until April 1.

This Saturday 2/13/21, find & revive will be back with a pop up at the Galentine’s event at Monroe’s in Hoboken so check THAT out. (I will)

Tainable, Kaze Jewels, and Dalia Handcrafts were also in attendance as vendors. I didn’t get to take the closest look at them on Saturday but I checked them out on Instagram and they all have great stuff so I hope to see them again when I can buy…EVERYTHING.

On my way out I got distracted by some books and I came across two advance copies of books I’ve been wanting to read! Like they’re released now but these copies were advance at one time and now very affordable because the person that had them originally was giving them away. Because books are expensive!

One of them is Detransition, Baby and it’s the next book for Roxanne Gay’s online book club The Audacious Book Club SO THIS WORKED OUT PERFECTLY. I can tell you more about the book club another time but it’s really incredibly great and you should also subscribe to her newsletter The Audacity BECAUSE WHY NOT.

I got the books from Xtina’s Variety and Vintage Shop and I’m going to be looking for more books there next time. BECAUSE BOOKS.

So that was the Self Love Soiree! I loved myself so much that I needed a nap after. A long one.

As far as my community center, there is a Galentine’s event there this weekend they’re hosting along with JC Women’s Collaborative that looks very fun so if you’re a gal and you have pals that are gals you should check it out.

i forgot i like records.

You guys, I forgot I like records. I like, REALLY LIKE RECORDS.

Don’t worry, I remembered this past Saturday. You can call off the search party.

I’m not 100% sure how I first got into records but one day in 2009 I ordered this old LOOKING record player from Target at the recommendation of my friend Laura from work. The first record I bought was Grizzly Bear’s Veckatimest because DUH IT WAS 2009. PS I was here. Be impressed. Beyonce was there!

But then I realized that NEW records are very expensive and also not very fun to go looking for. But OLD records can be under $5 and you get to do an ACTIVITY that involves digging through bins of old dusty things and THAT is the adventure I was after.

ADDITIONALLY record stores are often havens for cute, quiet mysterious guys who love music and hate themselves and that was ALSO the kind of adventure I was after.

So I went to record stores! I went in Manhattan and Brooklyn and Austin and LA and Deep Ellum (Dallas) and Phoenix and Athens, GA. I went to record stores wherever I went whenever I could find them. I bought tons of $1 records that I then crammed into the middle of my overstuffed suitcase that I had to sit on to close and cross my fingers they didn’t snap in half.

You’ll be glad to know, I never snapped a record. Whew.

When I lived in downtown Jersey City I loved to go to Iris Records and peruse the dollar bins. You may be aware that “peruse,” although often used to describe a quick scan of something, is in fact THE OPPOSITE and means that you take a long-ass time to carefully and purposefully look through something. So yes, that is what I would do. (OH SHIT MERRIAM-WEBSTER IT MEANS BOTH <AIR HORN SOUND>)

Sometimes I would bring friends, or some guy or whoever, but I really enjoyed it when I went by myself and I was lost in my own thoughts and thinking about my own ideas of what music…IS. And what I like about it, and what I don’t like about it, and which records were worth spending $1 on.

At the end of my search when I approached the register with my pile, I always felt judged. I won’t lie! Music people are very judgmental. Which is uncool. And also why I never really considered myself like an actual, ACTUAL music person, even though I love music and going to concerts and ogling boys in bands. It’s too much to keep up with. I’ve said before I’m not compettive and I’m really not. I don’t want to have like a music stand off with you about who knows more.

I would rather die.

I don’t really know what this is but it has birds so yeah.

So yeah, checking out at record stores always felt hard, as I felt judged. But that could just be me, being an awkward weirdo. Either way you feel as though you are presenting your valuable discoveries to a panel of experts and you’re concerned about whether or not your ideas will be validated and/or accepted as fact. And like, whatever, I guess. The guy at Iris Records was super nice. He had curly hair and glasses and definitely smiled, so he gets respect for that.

But then Iris Records was no more! But maybe they’re back now? I don’t know, I’m confused.

For the last couple of years, even before the pandemic, I had started to really enjoy SILENCE. Like just sitting in my apartment reading in SILENCE. Or messing around on my phone BUT IN SILENCE. Or in the kitchen baking but with NO ADDITIONAL NOISES. I really started not listening to music as much. Sometimes I didn’t listen to music for weeks at a time. Maybe I was kind of going through something, or maybe I just needed a break. I had gone through a solid decade of hard work learning about new bands and listening to new songs and attending concerts that went super late on school nights and going to 3 day long festivals and I was DEFINITELY too old to make it through 3 days toward the end. Music and I were like, “On a break.” For a while!

In December of last year I started to run for recreational purposes, and with running came random playlists curated by Nike Run Club and some of those playlists had songs I liked! So I started to build a playlist of stuff I liked again, and I’ve been listening to it, as I move around the world…or just my house.

And I’ve been enjoying it. But, as I said, the return to records didn’t happen until this past weekend. There was a $1 record sale at Deep Space/The Hive Goods/Xtina’s Variety and Vintage Shop and of course I had to go because it’s one of my favorite places but also I can reasonably walk there and I needed to get my steps in, you guys.

Before I left I was going through old records that I haven’t even looked at in at least two years and I remembered all the late nights at my old apartment, bringing friends back after the bar and sprawling around the living room and listening to random shit. These were defining moments of my life and I felt sad that I left them behind.

Once I got to Deep Space/The Hive Goods/Xtina’s Variety and Vintage Shop, it was as fun as I remembered to zone out and listen to music and relax and look through the boxes of records. And I reflected on how it was once one of my favorite things and I wondered why I had stayed away so long. I don’t really have an answer for that but I’m back, baby!

And the record sale is still going on this week, in fact they will be there this very night, Wednesday 2/3/21 3-7pm eastern standard time. Check out The Hive Goods Instagram for more info.

jc women’s collaborative swap at xtina’s variety and vintage shop.

This past Saturday it was VERY COLD but it was also the day of the JC Women’s Collaborative swap at Xtina’s Variety and Vintage shop and I HAD TO GO.

I had never been to a clothing swap before and I’d honestly heard some scary stories. For some reason most of them involved “Brooklyn,” but it would be like “My friend took me to a swap in Brooklyn and it was a free for all!” Or, “I went to a swap in Brooklyn and everyone just GRABBED THINGS.”

To me it seemed like swaps were frightening because they included a competitive element and I wanted nothing to do with that. I’m not a competitive person and any kind of tense feelings really stress me out. I don’t want to FIGHT for things. It just seems like A LOT.

Anyway this swap WAS NOT LIKE THAT so don’t worry. It was great! It was very organized and didn’t feel like a race or a crazed collective grab for the best items or anything like that. It was all very civilized and fun.

Embarrassingly, I arrived 15 minutes early. I was ashamed. I didn’t intend to be that early and I felt like a nerd. Once again, I had walked way too fast and gotten very sweaty. One day I will learn my lesson but that day was not Saturday.

As I mentioned, IT WAS VERY COLD. LIKE VERY. Leading up to the swap Xtina had suggested that we wear layers, with a yoga pants/sports bra or tank layer at the bottom, so we could stay warm but also try on clothes over the bottom layer if we wanted. This was great advice because it worked out and I stayed warm.

COLD.

It’s very good to follow instructions, my friends.

Upon arrival we were given a wristband with a number on it and that indicated when it would be our turn to go upstairs to swap. (I was #2) (Be impressed.)

I’ve seen Deep Space Gallery and the store downstairs be set up a few different ways and it never stops impressing me with how versatile it is and the different ways they use the space. It’s just fun. There’s always something new to see.

While we waited for our turn to go upstairs to swap, DJs played music in the shop downstairs and we were invited to browse the shop and also the wares of some vendors that were in attendance – @cutpasteface, and @primcessart, and @talirose_art from @visioncoven

Again, there was so much stuff to look at. I really enjoy looking at stuff. A simple pleasure.

Soon enough it was time to go upstairs! The clothes were split up into racks by size, and there were tables organized by size for jeans and loungewear. Accessories were on a small table, and handbags were in a box.

We had 5 mins to choose 3 things and I suddenly got very excited so I didn’t take any pictures. I’m sorry, you’ll never know what the actual swap part actually looked like.

JK you can see some pics on Xtina’s Instagram, @xtina_moore. Calm down. Go look!

In the first round I got this BLUE TORY BURCH PURSE and I felt like I WON THE ENTIRE DAY. Like, this freakin freezing ass Saturday was MINE!

I MEAN LOOK AT IT!

After the first round we got back in line and went for the second round. This time we still had 5 mins but we could choose 5 items instead of 3. I was pumped because I got something in the second round that I had left behind in the first.

Despite not being a competitive person…I did feel like I was winning at this swap. I mean, NBD.

But I think everyone felt that way! It was a great and happy and positive experience. We all chatted in line and made new pals. We got excited when people picked one of the items we had dropped off. It was a nice feeling.

I came away from the swap with THE PURSE, a brand new with tags maxi dress from Anthropologie, a gold sequin top, a fun late 80s/early 90s looking cropped jacket with sparkly gold embroidery and velvet buttons, a basic black shift dress that is the SOFTEST jersey material, a tie-dyed Trader Joe’s T-shirt, and a couple more things. Those were my most favs.

I like the sequin/sparkly stuff best and there was actually a good amount of that there. I think because people only wear it for New Year’s Eve and then they’re done. But I like to wear sequins ALWAYS and you’re going to have to accept that THANKS.

So that was the swap! And they’re gonna have more! Follow JC Women’s Collaborative and Xtina on Instagram and they’ll keep you posted!

JC Women’s Collaborative also does in-person (socially distanced, when it’s nice) and Zoom meetups with guest speakers that are fun, informative, and thought-provoking. Their next Zoom meeting is on Feb 4 at 7pm and the topic is mental health, a v important topic! You can find more at @jcwomenscollaborative on Instagram.

And Xtina’s Variety and Vintage shop has a record sale event coming up this very weekend. On 1/30 1pm-5pm they’ll be selling records 4 for $1! I’m gonna go. If you like records maybe you should go too! I don’t know, I’m not your dad. They’re at 77 Cornelison Ave in Jersey City.

outlander gallery.

Tuesday night I had the pleasure of popping by the opening for Graff is a State of Mind at Outlander Gallery. I was PUMPED because it’s right down the street from me, at 126 Monticello. Monticello KEEPS. GETTING. BETTER, you guys. First, Last Place Winners came around, then Baonanas, and now Outlander Gallery!

Actually I don’t know if it’s even new or just new to me…Hold please, I’m gonna check the google machine.

Well, I didn’t really find definitive info, but it looks like they had a first show in September, according to when posts on their Instagram started. So let’s say it’s new!

Also, this event seems to have been more sponsored/created/curated by an outside force called JC 100’s Mural Co, with Outlander Gallery providing the venue. Love a collab! But I don’t know much about JC 100’s Mural Co either. Maybe I should have talked to people and asked questions like a real journalist.

Too bad I’m too awkward.

Too bad blogs aren’t journalism.

Moving on, let’s look at the art!

Oh wait, first, the caveat that comes with the art pics is, I don’t know if they had any of those little packet/catalog thingies with the prices and names of the artists, but I do know that I couldn’t find one. There also weren’t really any signs indicating the specific artist for each piece, but it could be that I’m blind. Additionally I am a professional LIKER of art but I am not an art PROFESSIONAL so I’m not so good at identifying the artist of a piece simply by its style.

So what I’m saying is, if you know who the artists are please let me know and I will credit them accordingly.

Yes, do my work FOR me, thx.

Really moving on, here comes the art.

These fangy guys were my favorite. My boyfriend said these are by @kidzero and I hope he didn’t just make that up. JK I checked his Instagram and there are fangy guys on there. Whew.

I like this one because it’s an NJ license plate. I believe the paintings above are by Distort (@distoart) (I believe it strongly, because it says “Distort” on the painting) and the license plate may be too.

Oh wait I guess I know this one too. These guys with their sleepy eyes crack me up, and the glass work is really pretty. They’re made by Keith VanPelt, co-founder of Deep Space Gallery. ANOTHER FAV PLACE OF MINE.

Guys perhaps I doubted myself unjustly, because I know who made this one too and it was Boone. I swear I didn’t set this up to play out this way. I just write as I go. Anyway I love the colors of this obviously. Boone has a whole apartment of beautiful, vibrant, exciting pieces like this and he was opening it up to visitors on Sundays in the fall! I went once quickly and meant to go back for a more in-depth exploration of his space but I never made it to another event. Hopefully he does it again when the weather is nice/the world comes alive again.

Here’s a grumpy looking dog. This is a dog and a style I enjoy because I’m obsessive with anything anthropomorphic. Give me more. I’ve seen more work similar to this guy around the town and it’s by Steven Cartoccio.

I love that this has Homer and rainbows. I really couldn’t ask for more.

Not quite sure what these are supposed to be and I feel really dumb for not getting it. Maybe condoms? They have a condom shape? I’m confused. I still like it because I feel like it means something…even though the meaning is unclear to me. And I love this style of old cartoon looking guys.

Keep in mind it’s hard for me to admit I don’t understand what something means so you’re welcome for being vulnerable in front of you. Now we’re true friends. Edit: These are candles. I’m an idiot.

This one I like because of the palm tree, a palm tree, a paaaalm treee…anyone? No? Okay.

That’s Outlander Gallery! And the Graff is a State of Mind show! It’s still going on until 2/1/21 so go check it out. Or don’t. I’m not the boss of you.

paterson bird store.

Today we got 3 new birds! At Paterson Bird Store in Totowa, NJ.

I’m not going to tell you much about the birds yet because I’m honestly scared it’s too soon and they’ll just up and die. Maybe that’s irrational but I just get nervous. After a few days I will properly introduce them. Also two of them still need names! And we want the names to be bird puns and I’m terrible at thinking up puns even though I really love puns so if you have any good bird puns to use for their names PLZ ADVISE.

I WILL tell you more about Paterson Bird Store because I enjoyed it. It’s not IN Paterson, at least not the one I think of when I think of the (NATIONAL PARK!) waterfall or the train station where my friend from Woodland Park comes to pick me up when I visit her. It’s not just my thinking because it’s not Paterson, it’s Totowa. So don’t get confused (I got confused). It’s all in that general direction anyway.

Whatever.

Paterson Bird Store was highly enjoyable! I was looking for a place to get another budgie so my budgie had a budgie to budge with, and I came across it on the Google. I located their Instagram and I thought it seemed like a happy place for happy birds. I also knew I could take a 30min Uber ride there so I was sold.

They were very responsive to DMs and let me know they had a lot of budgies for sale and were open today, New Year’s Eve. YES.

Sadly it was raining, so as we rode through the Meadowlands I didn’t spot any of the outside birds I like to see there, like snowy egrets.

STUPID RAIN.

I WANTED TO SEE BIRDS ON THE WAY TO GET SOME BIRDS.

On the way, I had reached the decision that we would get two new birds, for a total of 3 in our home.

We rode past “American Dream” – hadn’t seen it yet. Well…it was there. We saw it.

We finally arrived at Paterson Bird Store and IT WAS TIME TO PICK OUT SOME BIRDS.

You guys, this is a really nice store. It’s birds and birds only. Special stuff for pet birds. A whole bar/buffet of different kinds of bird seeds and snackies! Tons and tons of toys!

BUT WHERE WERE THE BIRDS?!

“In the back.”

As we entered “the back,” a cacophony of beautiful bird sounds echoed in our ears and we knew true joy.

These birds were having the time of their goddamn lives. They actually seemed really happy and were chirping and flapping and hanging out with each other. It really made me happy and excited to see them all partying in such a way. I feel like my bird Elvis is very quiet and it made me sad, like he’s been so lonely with no bird friends to party with.

This set the stage for me deciding to get 3 birds. It had to be done.

As far as the party birds, I’m only talking about the budgies they have. They had some very pretty finches but I didn’t hang with them too much. They also seemed happy! But I don’t really know their lives so who knows.

A blue and gold macaw, a scarlet macaw, and an African grey were also in residence!

These three are all super cool looking and smart and large birds, and it was a treat to see them and say hi.

Yes. I said it was “a treat.” Accept that. They were lovely and perfect. And I love them forever.

It was really hard to choose a budgie! They were all cute and lively and had fun patterns and feathers. I wanted to go with a bird or two with a wacky color mutation because the one we already have is a very handsome standard version and I wanted to mix it up. I think we did a good job in choosing a standard looking blue one, a bright yellow one, and a gray/white/blue/yellow one. Those are not the scientific names for the colors. But they break them all down here and it’s interesting as hell, if you care.

The gray/white/blue/yellow one was my favorite to choose but he also bites so…yeah. I think he’s just nervous though! Let’s give him a chance, please.

The kind women at the store expertly retrieved our chosen birds and gave them a quick nail and wing trim. Elvis has his wings grown out and can fly around but we thought it might keep these new guys safer to have them short to start, as they learn their way around the apartment. I hope it works for them but they seemed really sad when I was moving them from the travel cage into a bigger cage and they tried to fly away from me and they couldn’t get off the ground.

Not that they had space to fly around before but their wings worked differently and felt different and they were dealing with accepting that and it made me so sad.

Maybe I’m just projecting…but I was like “They WILL grow back you guys!” <sobs>

Anyway they’re adorable and we packed them up and brought them home.

They have to quarantine from Elvis for a week so they are in a cage nearby to allow tweeting and meeting. I can’t wait to hang out with them more once they settle in and stop feeling shy.

And angry.

jc women’s collaborative holiday bazaar at the hive goods.

I’m now in the midst of a personal two week quarantine but the last fun social thing I did out in the public was check out the JC Women’s Collaborative Holiday Bazaar at The Hive Goods.

The Hive Goods is the downstairs shop at one of my favorite local galleries, Deep Space. This was the first time I was there specifically for shopping and not only for art-gawking. And I was ready to shop my face off.

Like many women (I hope I’m not the only one?) I have an issue when it’s gift buying time in which I buy gifts for myself instead of for others. OR gifts for myself in addtion to the gifts I’m getting for others. It’s just the way it goes. I love stuff just as much as the next real work-from-home housewife of New Jersey. It’s just the way it is. And I’m not sorry.

So there was a TON of stuff there that I would have LOVED to buy for myself, or even the majority of my female relatives. But the problem was, I already got the gifts for the other gals so I was mostly looking for something for my dad and brother who are both THE HARDEST TO SHOP FOR.

(I hope) they read this, so I won’t reveal what exactly I got for them but I did find a small thing or two for each of them!

But mostly I got things for myself.

I tried.

Here’s a bit about some of the vendors!:

the hive goods.

As I said I’ve never gone over to 77 Corneilson just for shopping so I was very excited. Because shopping!

The most exciting thing to be done was go up to the roof and socially distance myself and fill up a bag with stuff in the bins up there for TEN DOLLARS.

Xtina, matriarch of The Hive Goods, sources and sells vintage and consignment items, and also hosts clothing swaps in the shop. So there were BINS ON BINS.

There was so much stuff! I got two little clutch purses in wild colors BECAUSE WHY NOT.

I got a skirt.

A picture frame that I put this year’s Xmas card in!

Also a print of a peacock because I need to surround myself with feathered friends THANKS.

I got even MORE stuff but I can’t tell because that stuff was gifts.

I DID get some gifts. OKAY?!

a petal to peddle.

These wreaths were BEAUTIFUL and the first kiosk you saw when you approached the building.

I follow A Petal to Peddle on Instagram but for whatever reason I’ve never seen their stuff in real life and it was SO PRETTY.

And smelled so nice. LIKE PINE.

Because WREATHS.

These items were all wanted by me and me alone so I couldn’t get any because I was supposed to be getting GIFTS. But next time it’s game on.

tia planta.

Tia Planta is the plant aunt you’ve always wanted and it clearly says it in her name and therefore cannot be denied.

Even though plants meet certain death as my wards, I LOVE PLANTS AND TO BE AMONG THEM.

The Hive Goods was completely transformed for this bazaar and I love to see the different ways a space can be used. It gets me pumped up. Who knows why. But I think the best new and innovative use of a space I already know and love was putting a forest of plants on top of the pool table.

It just looked totally awesome.

I didn’t get any plants because I wasn’t in a position to carry them around on my Saturday activities but that didn’t mean I didn’t WANT to.

Tia Planta also currently has a pop up kiosk in McGinley Sq and after I’m done with my self quar for Xmas I plan to head over.

artesana pottery.

It’s no secret that I love some pottery. Or maybe I’ve never talked about it. I don’t remember.

Artesana Pottery was SUPER cool and unique and each piece is the literal definition of one of a kind. I know that because the gal in charge of the pottery told me it was so.

This great gal ALSO gave us some coquito and it was INCREDIBLE. Super into coquito these days and 10/10 would Artesana Coquito(TM) again.

I did end up getting something for myself here and it was this hand dish with SPIDERS on it to save for Halloween decor next year.

She also had a number of pieces with generic birds and also OWLS and I was VERY TEMPTED.

I do follow her on Instagram so I can always order there. When it’s socially appropriate to buy things for myself again.

slow burn alters.

Slow Burn Alters was recently created by a gal of all trades, master of most of them, who also does some art, beautiful (and heartbreaking in a good way) poetry I’ve come across on the internets, and community reach out via a group called Locality Giveback.

Whew!

As for the alters, they were nicely put together and packaged – a perfect gift for a pal or fam member who is in touch with the spiritual side of themselves.

My pal got one and we opened it up back at her house and it had a tiny little baby candle with a holder and a crystal and a sage thingy and it was so mini and compact and also perfectly suited for its purpose and was therefore swoon-worthy. Even though I personally am not spiritual at all and unsure of its purpose…I still felt like it HAD to have checked all the boxes for a rad spiritual moment at home or on the go.

jc women’s collaborative.

JC Women’s Collaborative is a group I’ve been seeing around the town and they seemed fun and not mean and I’ve been meaning to go to one of their events! One time they had one in Lincoln Park in the fall and I couldn’t find them and I gave up and just laid on a blanket and watched their Instagram stories. As we existed in parallel universes in the same park…

So I was glad I found my way to this event! They ran the show and were super welcoming. They gave out fun Jersey City masks (“fun” because anything with “Jersey City” written on it is VERY FUN to me), hand sanitizer, coffee, and overall “vibes.”

They even gave me some cups for our coquito when I know I was being very annoying asking for them. TRUE HEROES!

In addition to hosting this bazaar, they also hosted a super fun and festive Zoom holiday party on Thursday and it was worth the hangover I had after 2 glasses of wine and one beer.

I GOT 8/10 ON THE TRIVIA.

Just had to tell someone.

flow initiative.

Not a vendor, but The Flow Initiative was at the event collecting period products. I’ve had a long saga with these period products. I got an IUD a few years ago and didn’t know I wouldn’t get a period anymore but I don’t AND I LOVE IT. But, I had all these tampons. Like three boxes. Just collecting dust.

I have been meaning to bring them to JaneDO, and to the last show at Deep Space to pass off to Xtina.

They were in a bag by my door. I forgot them like 5 times in a month-long period. I think eventually they got thrown away.

I had to go buy more before the event.

BUT I GOT THEM SOME TAMPONS TO CONTINUE CHANGING THE WORLD BY GETTING PERIOD PRODUCTS FOR THOSE THAT NEED THEM.

And I’m glad.

The JC Women’s Collaborative Holiday Bazaar at The Hive Goods was obviously badass. There were additional vendors but I didn’t even really get to spend time with them all. I hope they do it again just because and I can buy stuff for ME. maybe in the spring?

Well, The Hive Goods is also doing it again! It’s tomorrow (12/20) so I can’t go since I have to quar, but YOU should go. It’s 1-6pm at 77 Corneilson Ave in Jersey City.

Go on, git.

nike run club app.

Friends, I’d like to use this time to tell you about the Nike Run Club app. A friend told ME about it so as your friend I am now going to tell YOU.

The Nike Run Club app is the single reason I have run more than one half assed time in the last two weeks. I HAVE RUN 8 TIMES IN THE PAST TWO WEEKS AND GOTTEN BETTER EVERY TIME.

I don’t know who I even am anymore but I don’t think I care.

my history of running.

Let me be clear, I have NEVER EVER been a runner. I always HATED running at my adult height, weight, size, etc.

As like a 7-10 year old I was super into running but then it was ONLY sprinting because we had this really fun “junior olympics” in our township every fall and I placed in at least the top 3 and often won in that 3 or 4 year period. AND I LIKE NOTHING BETTER THAN WINNING. Add standing on a podium in front of all the kids I went to school with and my dad (who made me do sports and I hated sports but I felt great when I did well at sport and he was proud, he was always proud anyway because he is a nice dad) and I was RIDING HIGH.

Like I got a PRIZE in the form of a medal AND I got to be the center of attention and I was pumped to know what running could do for ME in the long…run.

The answer is: nothing at all. I had my obligatory growth spurt at like 11/12 and then I was the full sized adult woman I am now and also had the same boobs. And it got so much harder to run. Like so, SO MUCH harder. At the same time I was also trying to master using my newly enormous-feeling, deadweight body to do back flips and jumps and cheerleading shit so I was like ok it’s gonna have to be one thing at a time because I’m not the athlete my dad tried to make me be. Just not in the cards.

Most of my peers, as in the other gals that were good at running when we were young, continued to be good at running. And the spring of freshman year of high school, I joined them on the track to try to get my ass in gear.

And it did not work. As I said, not in the cards. I felt so slow and sluggish. I got really bad shin splints. I thought it was insane and ridiculous and unnecessary to run in the rain and up hills and through corn fields where you could sprain an ankle at any second. It was just. Not. Worth it.

So I gave up because I wasn’t good at it. Which I would like to say is actually NOT some kind of terrible character flaw and is in fact HUMAN NATURE. Like if you you don’t NEED to do something to live and thrive and you’re not good at it, why would you KEEP DOING IT? That makes no sense. Just find something else. And spare me the “work hard and you’ll get good at it” thing. That whole idea can suck it.

Since that misguided flirtation with track and field freshman year of high school, and the forced running I had to do in gym class and cheerleading practice that I complained the whole way through, during my whole adult life I have not been running. I love working out! But I never wanted to run. Until like 2 weeks ago.

the running begins.

I have really been struggling with the weight I’ve gained while stuck inside, and my usual workouts were not helping. Listen, I know that weight loss is like 20% exercise and 80% diet. I think for me it’s actually 5% exercise and 95% diet. Either way I SUCK at the diet part because like WHY BOTHER, but the workouts seemed to help more in the past and I felt I had plateaued and they weren’t working at all. So on Thanksgiving after a lovely meal and some adult candy I was like, “When I digest this food and sober up, so it will probably be tomorrow, but I’ma HIT THE TRACK.”

And then I did. I set off with a goal of working up to a 7min mile. The first timed mile I ran was 8.21, not bad, I thought. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. I don’t know anything about running and I don’t have a coach. I guess i’ll Google it. The “7min mile” was some bullshit they made us do at cheerleading practice in high school and I wanted to die and I don’t think I ever actually did it in 7mins because I was a little asshole and didn’t do what people told me to do if I found it ridiculous and arbitrary and unnecessary.

And it WAS ridiculous and arbitrary and unnecessary at the time, I stand by that. A 7min mile was not a valuable endurance benchmark for the type of sport and athleticism I was training for. So yes, I already said it BUT I STAND BY THAT.

But as an adult in the year 2020, I’ve gained a ton of weight and I don’t really have anything else to do so I was like why not.

nike run club app enters my life.

After that first run I asked around if anyone had running tips they could share and one friend was like “Nike Run Club app!” So I did my second run with that.

AND IT CHANGED EVERYTHING.

I still don’t love running and I think it’s pretty ridiculous as a sport. And also painful. Consistently painful. I even already injured myself and diagnosed myself with Cuboid syndrome, because I’m a doctor.

But the coach dude on the app, “Coach Bennett,” just talks you through it and says all the right things and basically brainwashes you into thinking everything will be okay. And I’m totally fine with being brainwashed. If it’s for my own good and it helps me get through something and it tricks me into thinking something terrible is fun, I AM FULLY ON BOARD.

It’s possible I use the word “brainwash” loosely and haphazardly, because I also referred to my successful experiences with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as brainwashing. But like either way, it’s positive brainwashing. And even better, a robot is doing it.

I guess “Coach Bennett” isn’t an actual robot but the means in which his message is delivered is 100% via a robot from the future. Because the future is now. The robot is my phone. “Coach Bennett” isn’t here. He doesn’t know who I am. He’s shouting into the void in a recording studio, but his message reaches me just the same.

And the message is, “running is okay.” Like, IT IS OKAY. I can make it through. I don’t even need to go fast. I can go at my own pace, I can zone out and listen to his voice, I can zone out completely and not listen to anything. And therein lies the beauty: running offers freedom from needing to think about anything.

ABOUT ANYTHING.

It’s also possible to link up your Spotify account and play your own playlists while you run. EVEN BETTER, they have custom playlists that they have made for their “Guided Runs” and from those playlists I have found new music I like for the first time in A WHILE. Listening to music I like while I’m running really helps me get it done.

And now I look forward to it. Yes I said that, I look forward to running. The Nike Run Club app has made me look forward to running. I wake up really early and I read the NYTimes morning daily brief email and wait for the sun to rise so it’s safe to walk to Lincoln Park and I get a medium hot black coffee with a coconut flavor shot and 1 mocha flavor swirl from the Dunkin Donuts on West Side Ave and I walk into the park and I look for the red tailed hawks and I say hi to the red tailed hawks and I finish my coffee and I check to see if the pond is frozen on that particular morning and wonder if I’ll see the yellow-crowned night heron they always advertise but I never see him and then I HIT THE TRACK and I press start on the Nike Run Club app and then it’s game on.

The other day “Coach Bennett” was talking about science biology stuff that goes along with running and I got so pumped up and was running along to the beat of my Spotify and shouting out “MITOCHONDRIAAAAA!” at the top of my lungs and it was the best day of my life.

This all happens before 9am and I like that even more. I take pride in the fact that I have forced myself into being a morning person. And I’ve never stopped feeling like I stole some of the day back. From who, I don’t know, “The Man,” I guess. But those 4 hours in the morning before 10am are ALL MINE and I’m never giving them back and now running helps me keep a firm grip on them.

And the Nike Run Club app helps me run.

Try it out, don’t be scared. You can find it in the App Store. It’s an app, you guys.

Let me know what you think!