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the everyman memoirs

The official blog of author Tali Nay.
MAR
11

Snow in Paris

Of course I would visit Paris during the coldest cold snap they've had in years. Of course I would become horribly sick over the course of my stay. And of course I would persist in walking around the city while nursing said sickness. But I was in Paris. Staying in bed was not an option. Besides, your worst day in Paris is still better than any other day. Your worst day flying home from Paris while miserably sick is, on the other hand, actually your worst day. 

I was in Paris to see my best friend get married, her having recently fallen in love with a Frenchman. It's been interesting to watch her merge her world with his, a world where a lack of a shared native language and differing cultural backgrounds present some interesting and unique challenges. But love doesn't take these differences and challenges into consideration, one of my favorite things about it. Because who among us is looking for the least complicated option? Who among us has always wished to settle for the easiest possible scenario? 

As I sat in a velvet-lined chair watching my friend vow to love and cherish her husband under a golden painted ceiling, the whole thing made me so very happy. Because love wins. As it should always. To hell with the unknowns, with the things that make it harder, with the fact that I couldn't understand a damn word anyone was saying. By the time they were married and the room erupted in applause over a concerto of Vivaldi, I was already hopelessly enchanted. And it hadn't even started snowing yet.

 

 

FEB
24

Brooklyn Art Library

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To be fair, I didn't even know it existed until a friend pointed it out while we were in Brooklyn. And, further, I wouldn't even have been in Brooklyn had I not been patronizing Mast Brothers Chocolates for the second time in less than a week. The Brooklyn Art Library is literally steps away from Mast's Chocolate Brew Bar. It would have looked appealing regardless, the rows and rows of colorful and uniquely-bound sketchbooks, but looked especially appealing given Saturday afternoon's inclement weather. The brew bar had been packed to the gills with cold bodies dusting snow off of themselves while waiting in line for hot, brewed chocolate. Whereas the library was nearly empty.

When my friend mentioned the library, she explained The Sketchbook Project, which allows anyone who wishes the ability to draw/write/illustrate/create their own small sketchbook and have it housed in the library there in Brooklyn. Others are then allowed to "check out" these sketchbooks as they would regular library books. The concept struck me as empowering, almost like the booming industry of self-publishing, which allows people to get their words out there regardless of a publishing contract.

While I do believe writers are artists, I have always wished to be artistically inclined and have at times felt saddened that I am not. So it will not be me creating a sketchbook, but the good news for any out there like me is that even if you don't contribute a sketchbook, you can sign up with an account (much like you would to get a library card) and check out any sketchbook that interests you after searching through the electronic catalog that sorts them into categories a la "Heroes" and "Changing the World." The whole concept was simply delightful, and if you draw or animate or sketch on any level (or even if you don't), consider becoming a part of The Sketchbook Project. I'd sit on this red bench and check yours out any day. Especially if it's snowy outside.

 

JAN
31

The Blizzard that Didn't

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I was certainly hoping for more snow. Not because it would do the city any favors…30 inches would have been much more chaotic than the 8 or so that we got…but because I just wanted to see all the hype materialize. I wanted it to be something. I wanted to wake up and have to pick my lower jaw off the floor when I looked outside. I wanted to be snowed in. I wanted to have an excuse to stay home all day and do nothing but write. (I got many messages from people around the country as the storm made ready, messages telling me to be safe and stay warm, but my favorite was from a fan on the west coast who said she and her coworkers, also fans, were hoping I would use the storm to hunker down and finish my third book.)

Snow storms have always been tainted for me, in that the stress of having to commute to work regardless of the weather made me hate them. People never seem to pay attention to the words of the song ‘Let It Snow’ (“And since we’ve no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow") which clearly confirm my theory, which is that if you have to be somewhere, if you have to do anything other than stare wistfully out the window at it, snow absolutely sucks.

Being sans car here in the city means I can appreciate snow in a way I never could before, and the best part about snow storms (as opposed to storms of other varieties) is how quiet they are. And I guess that’s the biggest reason why I wish it would have kept right on snowing this week. Because that night they shut the city down, that night they made everyone get off the streets by 11pm, it was unbelievably peaceful. I always sleep with my window open, and for the first time, there were no sirens. There was no honking. No yelling. No one banging doors shut as they came in and out of the building. In a city like this one, how rare that is. On a night when it would have been much easier than usual to fall asleep, I stayed up much later than I should have.

NOV
12

Snow by Month

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I got home tonight to find that my driveway had been staked. And so it begins. Although technically it began a few weeks ago with the surprise snow that left me without power or heat for a few days (I did not handle it well) and continued today with the first Lake Effect Snow Warning of the season. I took this picture on my way out the door, and for a moment I thought everything was beautiful. Until I stepped on the driveway and realized there was ice under the snow.

As a person living far from the place I call home, I'm asked fairly often if I like living in Cleveland. The truth is that I do enjoy living here, and there's definitely something about its ghetto-ness that inspires fierce loyalty, but the downside of living here is the snow. It will always be the snow. To help myself get through the months and months of awful weather, I've devised this Chart of Optimism:

October snow = This hardly ever happens and if it does it will be like once so don't even worry about it.

November snow = Still nothing consistent on the snow front so don't even worry about it.

December snow = Multiple storms, sometimes back to back, may discourage you, but you'll be on vacation half the month anyway so don't even worry about it.

January snow = You're in the thick of it now, so take a trip to California and don't even worry about it.

February snow = Coming up against record-breaking winter snow totals, you'll wish you had pushed your California trip until now, but you didn't and it's done and you're basically out of vacation time, so there's no point in worrying about it.

March snow = Though storms continue, it's technically spring and you're almost there so don't even worry about it.

April snow = It could happen and might even drop a couple inches on your birthday, but it'll be the last you see of snow for six more months, so don't even worry about it.

I feel better already.

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