Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Topic of the Day: End of Summer Check-in

Yesterday was my birthday which, for me personally, always marks the very end of summer. Labor Day has passed, school is back in session, there’s a new crispness in the air, and I’ve started scouting for the kids’ Halloween costumes. I’ve always loved this point in the year where summer and fall intersect — where you can get away with comfortably wearing shorts and a sweatshirt (best combo ever), the farmers markets are bursting with all the best produce (and flowers!), and you can jog outside without your under-boobs sweating. Before we jump into full-on fall, I wanted to check in with everyone and see how you’re doing. Here are a few questions for you, if you want to play:

1. What was your favorite moment/event/vacation/memory of this summer?

2. Favorite discovery (product, music, show, recipe, etc.) of the season?

3. Biggest disappointment or worry?

4. What are you most looking forward to this fall?

My answers below:

1. I had so many great moments this summer. A few favorites include watching my best friend marry his longtime partner in a beautiful summer solstice wedding; hosting friends for a fireworks-viewing party on the 4th of July; celebrating my 10th wedding anniversary with Drew; giving my parents’ yard a little makeover and seeing how happy that made them; meditating with baby bunnies; watching the sun rise over Lake Michigan; and retreating upstate with the kids and some friends over the final days of summer break (thereby greatly reducing back-to-school jitters since everyone was happily distracted with a pool, the woods, and a treehouse).

2. Favorite new-to-me discoveries: these wind chimes; Lizzo’s Tempo; this watermelon salad.

3. Biggest worry: you know, just the global destruction of our planet and the total inaction of our government to do anything about it. Sometimes I feel selfish for bringing kids into this mess – not just because I’ve added to our overpopulation problem but because I genuinely worry about what kind of future will exist for them in this world we are quickly destroying…

4. On a different note, the thing I’m most looking forward to this fall is finding a better balance in my life now that both kids are finally in school full-time and I’ll have more hours in the week for myself. I’m excited to spend more time working on DW, getting in shape, and enjoying some of the amenities of New York City that I am not as easily able to enjoy with kids in tow (leisurely trips to museums! going to matinees! walking around Manhattan aimlessly and checking out bookstores and cafes and parks).

What about you?

16 comments… add one
  • veritek33

    veritek33 September 9, 2019, 2:44 pm

    Happy birthday Wendy. I’ll play.
    1. Best moment would probably be getting engaged in July. It was a super sweet moment and I loved it and love him and I’m excited to be a family with him. Also I’ve been having some great professional success this summer and that’s been awesome. I’ve been spending more time with my parents since they moved closer and it’s been nice to spend quality time with them rather than just doing a list of chores or tasks for them when I would see them once a month and help them around the house. Now I can go swim with mom or grill with dad and just enjoy their company and new home.
    2. Favorite discovery might be the chicken asiago gnocchi recipe we found and now make at least once every two weeks! It’s terribly fatty and rich but oh so tasty.
    3. I have lots of worries, a lot of them around my wedding. Some around my mom’s health. I’m worried my Future SIL will just never let it go that we are getting married before her. I’m worried how she will choose to behave on our wedding day. I’m worried my mom’s health will decline more rapidly than any of us wants. But she’s got new knees and a good spirit and hopefully that will push her through this temporary sickness.
    4. This fall I’m looking forward to cooler weather and apple cider and pumpkin everything. But also, like Wendy, getting into better shape and losing a few pounds to be healthy and strong for my wedding/marriage/hopefully future motherhood. And I love Halloween and the decorations so I’ll be decorating sooooooon!

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      Ange September 10, 2019, 12:41 am

      I worry about your SIL too tbh Veritek. Do you have anyone that might be able to act as like a wedding bouncer for her?

      Otherwise happy birthday Wendy! I have no amazing summer discoveries because it’s cold and I hate it. Well, I discovered winter makes me grouchy.

      Reply Link
      • veritek33

        veritek33 September 10, 2019, 9:16 am

        I’ve explained the situation to the winery because it’s just not an option to not invite her and I won’t be the one responsible for making that decision. Between the winery security and my friends in attendance, if she so much as looks at me sideways she will be asked to leave or removed if necessary! How she chooses to behave is up to her. I intend to enjoy our day.

        Link
    • avatar

      misspiggy September 10, 2019, 3:21 am

      How lovely – congratulations on your career success, your engagement and your mum’s new knees!

      Reply Link
      • veritek33

        veritek33 September 10, 2019, 9:16 am

        Thank you!

        Link
  • avatar

    Bittergaymark September 10, 2019, 2:51 am

    1. What was your favorite moment/event/vacation/memory of this summer?

    I spent almost three and a half weeks up in Minnesota at my parents cabin. Playing Mah Jongg and making mojitos every night with fresh mint on the beach. It was great to get away from LA and clear my head a bit.

    I also spent weekends designing my friends Air BnB in Twentynine Palms near Joshua Tree National Park. So it has been fun going all desert mid century and making something out of what was literally an empty house. I am there tonight and it is surprisingly cozy. Many of the tiny cactus cuttings I stuck in the ground not only survived the summer, but are growing. So that’s exciting. Once it truly cools down out here with Fall I will plant a lot more as the second lot he owns was scrapped and almost nothing but sand. So we are re-deserting the land. Lots of local plants, etc.

    2. Favorite discovery (product, music, show, recipe, etc) of the season?

    Madonna’s MADAME X has really grown on me. GOD CONTROL is such a peak inside head it’s frankly alarming. The video is timely, epic, controversial, and classic Madonna. A disco protect song targeting Gun Control was sorely needed. As usual the masses don’t “get” this record. Too bad. This is ballsy, confidant pop from one of the last of the 1980s greats. Madonna’s biggest crime is staying alive and NOT O.D.ing. A sad commentary on humanity and celebrity.

    I also enjoyed FLEA BAG. STRANGER THINGS 3. BIG LITTLE LIES 2. Oh, and ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD blew me the fuck away. I cried at the ending of that movie. Literally. Some people so simply didn’t get it. Surprise, surprise. Many people are dumb. Far more than I ever previously realized.

    My own favorite discovery is that after not writing for way too long — I finally banged out a draft of a single camera, half hour, spec comedy script that I am actually pretty pleased with. Still needs a TON of rewrites. (They aren’t called Rough Drafts for nothing! )But at 32 pages, I have a nice workable screenplay to build on.

    3. Biggest disappointment or worry?

    I have a slew of art direction gigs starting in October — but I am… well, frankly, tired of toiling away on TV movies. The money is not what it should be and the work is taxing and stressful in ways few can imagine. For the most part I work with great people. But my department — ME especially — is insanely overworked. Three of us do the work of twelve. So yeah…. Kinda frustrated.

    4. What are you most looking forward to this fall?

    Like any good gay guy who grew up in the 1980s, I have tickets to see Madonna in her “theatre show.” She is playing tiny venues and I am really intrigue to see what she does in such a different setting. She alway puts on a crazy show.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    ktfran September 10, 2019, 5:56 am

    Happy belated birthday!

    1) My niece spent a week here and each of us (two aunts/two uncles) took a day off work and spent the day with her. I loved our morning… rode the bus, picked up donuts, picked up my friend’s keys so we could swim at his pool. Such a lovely morning with a quirky little 10 year old.

    Meeting my cousin’s son, who was born at 25 weeks. He’s a fighter. He’s also adorable.

    2) Come From Away was such a great show. So good. Also, Jeong, a fabulous Korean restaurant.

    3) My husband and I are both working way too hard. He’s traveling nearly every week. I’m traveling every few weeks. I’m also working late. We have family obligations. We haven’t had much time to relax. I had to cancel our anniversary lunch at Cindy’s for work. Something has to give.

    4) Ask me in January.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      ktfran September 10, 2019, 6:00 am

      2) Six was also really, really good. Love the music.

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    anonymousse September 10, 2019, 8:49 am

    1) My favorite few moments are:
    My daughter’s look of focus and determination as she crossed the finish line in her first bike race last Sunday.
    The same three year old girl figuring out how to swim.
    My son getting off the bus on his first day of kindergarten and seeing his enormous smile when he saw me.
    2) My favorite discovery this summer is that I can actually get and maintain a tan if I swim everyday. I have also discovered that I’m an old retired person in a thirty-something body. I do The crossword puzzles now, I garden. Product wise, I love Supergoop matte sunscreen. It’s basically a primer, but with great SPF. Twitter-wise, for a good laugh, my best discovery has been Bestof Nextdoor. We live in the suburbs and people are fucking crazy about the stupidest stuff.
    3) My biggest disappointment and worry is the idiot destroying our country and the rest of the globe with ill thought out tweet storms, funneling money from the military and Puerto Rico to fund a wall we don’t need. Imprisoning innocent children and brown people. If you’re feeling bleak, don’t read Jonathan Franzen’s piece in the most recent New Yorker.
    4) I love the cooler weather that fall brings. I’m looking forward to wearing warmer clothes and feeling the chill on my cheeks. I’m very much looking forward to driving north on a solo journey to see old lifelong friends and visit all my old stomping grounds in October. It’s my first trip on my own in a long, long time.

    Side note: anyone have any good recs for some fall boots? I’d kind of love boots that look pretty good but also can withstand occasional mud. I am drawn to combat boot styles/shorter styles.

    Reply Link
    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy September 10, 2019, 8:55 am

      Ugh, I read Jonathan Franzen’s piece in the most recent New Yorker the other day. Bleek is right.

      Reply Link
      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark September 10, 2019, 2:09 pm

        Our ongoing political situation is so unrelentingly bleak right now I simply ignored it entirely in my response above.

        Link
  • MaterialsGirl

    MaterialsGirl September 10, 2019, 9:08 am

    1. Waking up and running along the lakefront with MaterialsBaby. It’s something that I didn’t think would fit into our schedule, but it’s been a nice touch to my ‘former self.’ On Saturdays, we run to a park and play on the swings or run with another mom and her daughter. Nice to have time together and time doing something I love. Watching her grow and learn and explore; she’s becoming such a funny little person. Also, hearing the loons and watching the sunsets up in the Boundary Waters.
    2. This lotion is so cheap and yet quite good: https://www.amazon.com/CeraVe-Ultra-Light-Lotion-Moisturizer-Sunscreen/dp/B077TQR6ZW/ref=sr_1_7?keywords=cerave+face+lotion&qid=1568124465&s=beauty&sr=1-7
    This recipe was addicting and so summery
    https://www.southernliving.com/recipes/strawberry-shortcake
    I love making biscuits.
    I received a tagine for my birthday, so that’s been fun to use (and pretty simple!). Great for summer since it works best on the stove top.
    3. Work..we really thought some things would change here, but it’s looking like the only way forward is to leave.

    4. I’m excited about a girls weekend away in November! We’ve been doing these getaways we call “GSpot” since college, and it’s been a few years since the last. We’re spending the weekend going to Virginia wineries and watching terrible movies.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Miss MJ September 10, 2019, 9:50 am

    1. What was your favorite moment/event/vacation/memory of this summer?

    Finally getting to Paris. I’ve wanted to go for forever and over the 4th is July, we took a 10-day trip through France and Switzerland. It was fantastic.

    2. Favorite discovery (product, music, show, recipe, etc) of the season?

    Related to the above, micellular water to clean my face. I forgot my normal cleanser on my trip, this stuff was everywhere in Paris and I figured I’d give it a shot. I love it.

    3. Biggest disappointment or worry?

    Trump, the resurgence of the alt-right, the global destruction of democracy, global warming and rage-filled men with guns in public places.

    4. What are you most looking forward to this fall?

    Slowing down. I’ve been going non-stop for months and I am at my limit. My doctor said my B-12 levels are low and I’m taking something for that, which has helped my energy level. But, I need to re-center my life and focus on better sleep, more exercise, better food choices and less alcohol. With work slowing a bit, I’m hopeful that I can focus on me.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Rangerchic September 10, 2019, 11:10 am

    1. What was your favorite moment/event/vacation/memory of this summer?
    The summer was/has been busy though not all good things…I’ll say my favorite times were when most of my family came out to visit for my daughters wedding reception (which turned out to be a disaster ) but seeing the family was good as my mom came out to visit here for the first time since we moved out here.
    And 2) my best friend also made it out for a visit. We had a good time shopping and just relaxing.

    2. Favorite discovery (product, music, show, recipe, etc) of the season? I don’t really have one but I’ve started rewatching Friends and I’m really liking the nostalgia it brings me.

    3. 3. Biggest disappointment or worry? Besides the same global/country worries mentioned above – my FIL is very sick and IDK how he is still here. His heart is only working 25% capacity and his right lung is nothing but cancer (except a wee bit). The cancer is spreading to his left lung. We took an emergency trip back home last month as he ended up in the ICU but he came back from the brink of death. And I hear he is still taking chemo pills (why…IDK. There is no curing what he has anymore). But not our decision/life to make that call. The trip back was good to say our peace, spend time with him so no regrets when he does go.

    4. What are you most looking forward to this fall?
    3 weeks from Friday my husband and I are taking our first international trip and our first big trip with just the two of us. We are going to Ireland and couldn’t be more excited. We will also be there over our anniversary! Other than that, I love Fall and all that it brings. It is my favorite season.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    K September 10, 2019, 3:16 pm

    1. What was your favorite moment/event/vacation/memory of this summer? My bachelorette party (wine tasting) was lots of fun. I also enjoyed hiking in the Adirondacks for a weekend, and hosting a bbq for a bunch of friends at our new place (which was in early June so technically not summer, but close enough).

    2. Favorite discovery (product, music, show, recipe, etc.) of the season?
    I discovered Thinx (period underwear) and love them!

    3. Biggest disappointment or worry?
    Wedding stuff, in terms of worries.

    4. What are you most looking forward to this fall?
    Getting married and our honeymoon in Italy!

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Sara September 12, 2019, 10:59 pm

    1. My favorite memory was taking my little niece to Disney. Not a big fan of crowded parks but seeing the joy on their face made it worth it.

    2. Favorite discovery in terms of recipes look up ministry of curry’s Instant pot chicken tikka. Replace chicken with tofu if you are vegetarian. So good, you won’t need Indian takeout!

    I also loved Chrissy teigens banana bread recipe though I cut the sugar down to 1 cup.

    In terms of tv shows, I watched The Flash, all 5 Seasons and Supergirl. The digs at the current administration was great.

    3. Biggest worry – realizing I’m getting older and not happy with my life. Also this year flew by and I feel like I didn’t accomplish anything yet.

    4. Looking forward to the coziness that comes along with Fall. Also looking forward to making soup

    Reply Link

Leave a Comment