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the everyman memoirs

The official blog of author Tali Nay.
APR
04

Home Decor

I've been eyeing this project for some time, although I must give credit to my sister, as she's the one who pointed these watercolors out to me in the first place. At first it was suggested that maybe I could attempt them myself, though I doubt this option would have produced something that made sense being displayed on my living room wall. Maybe more like my fridge...if I had a young child to whom I could attribute their creation.

It took several stops to find somewhere with frames both as colorful and cheap as I was after (I was buying twelve of them, yo), and don't even get me started on the hours-long ordeal of trying to line them up straight and with equal spacing. My brother had cautioned I should not attempt it without measuring tape, a level, and a second person to help me, but I have none of those things. So I went for the always solid Trial and Error approach, and the project is now done. There are also about a billion tiny nail holes in my living room wall.

I realize that decorating your walls with gemstones is not normal. But I'm really not a normal girl. My affection for all things gem is the epitome of abnormal. But surely you know that by now. I freaking wrote a book about it. And quit my job to study it. And moved across the country to work in it. And now, thanks to this weekend's project, every night I will come home to it. Besides, what's so great about being normal, anyway? It sounds much less sparkly.

DEC
31

The Best Nine

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I spent a good chunk of time at the airport this morning sifting through all my 2015 photos looking for the 9 that I considered the best...the 9 that made me the happiest and also were the most representative of my year. I'd seen all the #2015bestnine stuff floating around, and not until I actually asked someone about it did I find out that people were not, as I had thought, using Pic Stitch to create homemade versions of their own self-dubbed favorite 2015 pics; that these best nine were actually auto-generated by a website and based on the 9 Instagram photos that were the most "liked" by your followers. Somewhat less charming, but still, I suppose it's a pretty good collection.

2015 was an incredible year for me. One that saw me read a record number of books, finish my own third manuscript, become a gemologist, transition my career, and move across the country. I basically crushed it. To the point where I'm struggling a bit as I sit here making goals and resolutions for 2016. It's not that I worry that no year will ever top it, it's more that so much on my life to-do list got accomplished. Particularly on the gemology front. Becoming a gemologist and then moving my career in that direction was something I aspired to for so many years, and now that it's happened, now that I've done it, I simply don't have another similarly-sized dream to replace the empty space this has left in my dream bucket.

It's a good problem to have, surely. And isn't that the whole point of dreams and goals? To achieve them? I believe that. I do. But as a person who thrives on having that next big, dreamy thing to be working toward, I am, quite frankly, feeling a little lackluster about the upcoming year. Given that I may be staying put for a while in this lovely sweet spot that my 2015 dreamy actions have put me in, I'll need to spend some time figuring out what comes next for me. Big things, small things, things I haven't even thought of yet. My hope for you, my dear friends, family, and readers, is that you are able to do the same, and that you revel in the process. Happy New Year, indeed.

MAY
05

Photo Op

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Food Tours of NY is my favorite NYC-based food tour company. And not just because they have my picture on their website. I know, I know, it doesn't even look like me. In fact, when I took this Greenwich Village tour for the second time last month and mentioned to the tour guide that my picture was on the website, she replied, "You don't look familiar." "I'm the one in the kelly green coat eating a cannoli," I replied. Still nothing.

The only reason I'd brought it up is because a photographer accompanied our tour group last month and took no less than one billion pictures of us at the various stops and tastings. This surely means that I was caught on camera in any number of unflattering mid-bite poses, including one particularly awkward moment at Joe's Pizza where I tried (unsuccessfully) for several seconds to get all the cheese hanging off my slice into a single bite. Of course, the reason for the photographer's presence in the first place is so the Greenwich Village tour website can be "redone," which does make me a little sad, because I like being a part of it. Even with greasy cheese all over my mouth I know I would still be a part of it, but a much less flattering part. #savethecannolipic

 

JUL
29

The Poster-Size Boyfriend Picture Fiasco

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Whenever I see people post pictures of themselves looking totally cute, I roll my eyes. It’s so tacky. Anyone who wants people to see them looking totally cute seems like they have something to prove. Or an ulterior self-serving motive.

It reminds me of the time a couple Christmases ago when I wanted to give my boyfriend a framed picture of me to keep on his desk at the office. Of course what started in my mind as a simple 4x6 ultimately turned into something the size of a small poster; a collage of our travels with a picture of me in the center--black and white, slight smile, wind blowing in my hair. It really didn’t occur to me that the now gargantuan thing wouldn’t be feasible to display at work until he told me it wouldn’t be feasible to display at work. I had to settle for the top of the stairs in his house. Which is the moment I realized my motive had more to do with the foot traffic the picture would get at his office, and people being reminded of this solid, witty, and at times (like the time in that photo) adorable presence in his life. The only person who ever saw the picture at the top of his stairs was me, and what good did it do to look at an adorable picture of myself?

Which brings me back to my original beef. And as for the picture on today’s post, I got nothin'. No explanation except that I've been in NYC the past several days, and to me this picture sums up how I feel about NYC, and how much a part of it I feel when I’m there. The buildings, the bakeries, the history, the hubbub. The taxis, the subways, the street signs. It just makes me happy, and so does this picture. (It also makes me look totally cute. Deal with it. Besides, it could be worse. It could be poster size and displayed on your office wall.)

SEP
09

Instagrammy

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I set up an account over the weekend. Maybe I was jealous of all the instagrammy goodness going on out there...all my friends' square-shaped pics that flood my newsfeed. So here I am, a new account holder. Ready to take pictures of...I have absolutely no idea what. Especially after my recent epiphany about chronicling. I guess we'll just see what I can come up with. Hopefully more than just the funny things my cat does. (Although for the record, she's thrilled about potentially being featured. She's still glowing from the recent Monopoly game piece addition.)

JUN
17

Seeing the World Through Both my Eyes

I love this commercial so much. And not just because of the piano music. To me, it's about life. Capturing it, sharing it. When you think about all the things we see in our lives, it's simply impossible to preserve all these memories without documenting them somehow. Isn't it?

The other school of thought on this topic can be summed up by John Mayer's Three by Five, a song I've always taken to heart. Because when our focus is on snapshooting our way through life (an event, a vacation, a sunset, whatever), we, in my opinion, get less out of the experience as we are having it.

While at an Indians game this weekend, it was the bottom of the 9th and a win was headed our way. Wanting to capture the winning run and the crowd's response, I readied my phone and managed (after a few dud plays) to hit record at just the right time. Success! Although it occurred to me as the crowd went victory-wild that I had failed to actually watch that final play. I'd been so focused on my little phone and making sure it was positioned correctly that I had to actually ask what exactly had happened, how the run had been scored. In my effort to preserve the moment, I had missed it completely. And I'll never get that moment back. Sure, I have a grainy, unfocused few seconds of footage shot from the upper deck, but I would gladly exchange that for the experience of having actually watched the runner slide into home plate and erupted into cheers with my fellow Clevelanders. Maybe today I finally overcame trying to fit the world inside a picture frame. Take it away, Mr. Mayer.