Friday Links

Mindy Kaling, writing about my life. Mindy Kaling, being awesome. Mindy Kaling, living in a small room in my mind.

More links and things.

  1. And then, after that, basically we just started eating gold and murdering homeless people.
  2. American trying to explain KVN, head explodes
  3. This recipe is tricky, but I managed to muddle through
  4. IT’S a warm evening in the summer of 2010. I am leaving a cafe in the very center of Moscow when I notice my car is missing its license plate. I know what this means: I am being followed.”
  5. Babies: As useful as IKEA furniture.
  6. Livable cities, again
  7. Dog hats made out of dog hair, on dogs.
  8. Roooolller Deeeerby.

Pics from Around the House

I cannot tell you how excited I am to be typing this from my iMac, which now has a temporary table. That I can put my camera on! And upload pictures! Praise Bahá’u’lláh.

Ok. Here we go.

Here’s a lawn gnome that my mom got me as a present.  Because I think lawn gnomes are creepy and I love them. And because she thinks that Mr. B and I are huge NERDS.  It’s not an inaccurate assessment, but it still stings.

Here’s my grandpa assessing our bedroom color. He didn’t have too many kind words for it, either.

Mr. B assuming his natural position in our empty, empty living room.

But then we got a couch! But the legs don’t fit, so we have to sit on it on the floor. It’s a hipster couch. Doesn’t matter. Mr. B will sit on the hipster couch.

Oh, and this is part of my kitchen.  Most finished room to date. And yes, I picked the orange color.

And I love it.  It’s better when there are lots of people, lots of food, and lots of pretty flowers in it.

Last, this is me and my friend Mr. Roller. By the end, we weren’t really friends anymore.

More pictures later, when I find the rest of my computer.


Our New Routine

  • Work
  • IKEA Couch is delivered
  • Unbrideled enthusiasm for 15 minutes as you finally have a place to sit
  • IKEA couch is defective (obviously)
  • Call IKEA
  • Wait 30 minutes on hold
  • Heart rate is up
  • Yell at IKEA representative
  • New couch will be delivered!
  • In three weeks.
  • Work
  • Sleep
  • Weekend
  • Put together bed delivered from Overstock.
  • This takes you four hours.
  • Decide now is when you’re ready to paint your bedroom.
  • You hate yourself.
  • Drive to Home Depot
  • Buy six paint samplers of the color green in remarkably similar shades
  • Paint all six onto the wall. Pretend you’re in The Yellow Wallpaper.
  • Drive back to Home Depot, get one color. Hand over your wallet.
  • But wait, you also need a painting tarp and a tool organizer.
  • Drive back home
  • Tape walls for 2-3 hours, tape carpet for 1 hour
  • Paint for 6 hours
  • Hallucinate from the fumes.
  • It was a good hallucination.
  • Examine handiwork.
  • Coat of paint is uneven.
  • What.
  • Paint for 1 more hour.
  • Hallucinate. This time you see Jonathan Rhys Meyers riding a unicorn.
  • Watch TV for
  • Coat of paint is uneven
  • Screw this
  • Sleep
  • Work
  • Work
  • Drive to IKEA for kitchen chairs
  • Buy 6
  • Five are great! One is defective
  • Alcohol
  • Work
  • Weekend!
  • Dad comes, says bedroom painting is sloppy.
  • Tell him he can sleep in the radon basement.
  • Mom says the green looks like “you sleep in a swamp.”
  • Tell mom she can sleep in the radon basement with dad.
  • Pretty kitchen table is delivered from West Elm.  It is PERFECT! PRAISE ALLAH.
  • Work
  • Try to muster up 30 minutes to take pictures of the house for the blog.  Realize that your camera, your camera cord, and your computer are on three different floors. Also, your computer is lying down, turned on, on the carpet of your office. Not worth it.
  • Drive to IKEA to return defective chair
  • Feel like you’re a prisoner of IKEA. A prisoner of economics.
  • Since everything else is EXPENSIVE AS HELL, decide, after three weeks of looking online for alternatives, that you will buy an IKEA desk, even though you’ve been burned in the past.
  • Desk is in-stock, legs are out of stock.
  • You will have to drive to IKEA AGAIN.
  • But not today.
  • Hate your life.
  • Hate your husband.
  • Hate yourself.
  • Drive to Home Depot.
  • Buy grill.
  • Realize you also need charcoal, lighter fluid, spatula, weed killer.
  • Connect Home Depot to your checking account automatically.
  • Work
  • Think about how you will have to go to IKEA today again after work.
  • Contemplate homicide.
  • Read your to-do list
  • It is not getting any smaller.
  • Cry quietly.

Losing Erica

Yesterday, after watching the price of the Rogue move up and down over a year and across three states and even trying CarWoo (which is a great service but not one we had success with), Mr. B and I found a great price on the Rogue in Delaware, two hours away from our house.  We ran from work, skipped dinner, ran to my car, and I gnashed my teeth through rush-hour traffic to make it to the dealership in time.

As the sun was setting, we sped past signs for Delaware beaches and over the very cool Senator William V. Roth Bridge (“I’d trust it more if it were dedicated to Catholics,” Mr. B ruminated. “The Jews probably cheaped out on the bridge materials.”) I was still grinding my teeth, my heart palpitating at this point, pushing the pedal down and down to go 80, 85, 90, to make sure we got to the dealership on time, to ensure our two-hour commute wasn’t wasted.

When we reached the Dover city limits,  I finally relaxed enough to realize we were going to make it, and I started realizing that I would be trading in Erica, my 2000 Honda Accord.

On one of our last trips to DC to visit Mr. B when we were living apart

“It’s just a car,” Mr. B said, but while we were signing the papers for our new Rogue, but it started pouring rain outside and my heart squeezed together picturing Erica, alone at the dealership in the rain, without me, abandoned, even though she’d been such a good girl.  I wasn’t ready to give her up, even though I’d been mentally preparing ever since I started the “New Car Fund” bank account over two years ago.

As we were cleaning her out, I gently stroked the back seats and said, “It’s going to be ok.  We’re both going to be ok.”  Even though I wasn’t.

Trip down memory lane: parking pass from my senior year of college.

Erica and I have driven over 100,000 miles together, miles that started when my parents generously handed her down to me the summer after I finished my Bank HaPoalim internship in Israel.  We’ve driven countless hours to and from college, with furniture, with laundry, with a thermos full of my mom’s soup carefully tucked into the backseat.  We’ve driven on long, lonely stretches of dark road with the iPod blasting Mashina Vremeni when we were philosophical or sad, and we’ve driven with the iPod blasting techno when we were happy.

We’ve driven to DC, scared and alone, starting a new career, and we’ve driven from DC, career and husband in tow, boxes upon boxes in the back seat, back to Philadelphia.  We’ve driven with Mr. B and without Mr. B, in the snow, fog, and hail so big we’ve slowed down to a crawl, gripping the steering wheel, peering over the headlights into the end of the world.  We’ve driven when Mr. B and I were just dating, and a little bit broken up, and talking about getting engaged, then engaged, then married. When Erica and I drove together, there was somewhat of a hypnotic peace, a connection between me, her, purring quietly, and the wheel. A sense that I was in control, that I could go anywhere and do anything.  And Erica was quietly, reliably there.

Erica almost never gave me any major problems, but she was getting old and probably in a couple thousand miles, the problems would start.  We also needed a bigger car to be able to fit a bike rack and all the new accessories that come with a house, all the big boxes and heavy-duty bags, and Erica just couldn’t do it for us.

As we drove away from the dealership in the dark, I didn’t glance behind me to look at her one last time because we were both exhausted out of our minds and just wanted to get home.  I did snap this last picture of her, of a bumper sticker that she’s had for a while now. It says “As is my car, such is my life,” in a joking sort of tone, and when I bought it, I meant it ironically at the time.

But now, I’ve come to realize that, really, Erica and the parts of my life that we experienced together were both great.

Erica, I will miss you. Even if you are just some steel all glued together, without any emotions. We humans have them, and it doesn’t make it easy.

Shahar, sorry, but this is going to take a while.


Friday Links


  1. In fact, hygiene took a bit of a nosedive in Western Europe at this point, a fact we can glean from the bathing habits of various royals. Queen Elizabeth I was considered a paragon of cleanliness because she insisted on bathing at least once a month.”
  2. Only the Breast represents just one facet of the emerging market in human milk. In an era when the benefits of breast milk are better understood and more scientifically certain than ever, demand for it has created a niche industry.”
  3. The article expresses hope that this could restore faith in humanity. Well, wouldn’t that be nice. But was faith in humanity ever lost?”
  4. So that’s why I was pissed. Look, I’m not trying to paint myself as some saint, but I’m just trying to honestly figure out why it is that a dedication to your family first and foremost is not only looked down on by other men, but it is also seen as a kind of weakness”
  5. How to be insufferably twee.
  6. Wait…we owe UK money?
  7. Winning” in Hollywood means not just power, money, and complimentary smoked-salmon pizza, but also that everyone around you fails just as you are peaking.”
  8. “”I have a photo of Tata with sausage!” I exclaimed.”
  9. Ah, there it is.
  10. How considerate.
  11. Meanwhile, in Israel.
  12. Fish pedicures in London are the hottest thing to have swept the city since the Royal Wedding.”
  13. Looky at this cool blog I found!
  14. Speaking of Turkmenistan…
  15. How do we feel about this movie?