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For Michael

When I first met Michael, he looked like a girl. We were 18, and he was playing Sebastian in a college production of Twelfth Night. His hair had been cut and highlighted to match the pixie ‘do of the woman playing Viola. That the two were a couple at the time made it all the more bizarre. This was just the first of the ridiculous juxtapositions that I would discover Michael consumed as a sort of alternative fuel.

michael mclaughlin

Joel, me, Michael in Norfolk MA, 1996

Our friendship was fast, strong and not unlike an onion. His first dorm room contained a giant inflatable snake; his last was a tiny, secluded haven imbued with a faint scent of Indian cigarettes.

After the diaspora of graduation, living in different states and time zones in the last decade before long-distance was essentially free, we turned to letters. Stacks of letters. He would mail multiple mismatched pages scrawled on the backs of old resumes and tiny fringed papers torn from spiral-bound notebooks. The pages would encompass several days, sometimes weeks, revealing out-and-about musings from the Hungarian Pastry Shop or a shaded bench in his hometown. The return addresses were often absurd: “Bureau of the Internal Revenue, Office 4.” His envelopes tied shut with string and paper buttons.

michael mclaughlin

Lauren, Michael, me, Deanna. August 2006

We etched a skewed parallelogram over the country: California, Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts. Whenever we were in the same state, which turned out to be surprisingly often, Michael and I would meet for dinner. We’d conjure up novel ways to hire each other for film projects and guest-artist lectures.

michael mclaughlin

Manhattan, 2006

Michael and I lived in Boston at the same time, and then moved to New York at the same time. We held candles with his neighbors on September 12. He talked me into a trip to New York to perform in one of his puppet plays, long after I’d stopped performing. He always created the puppet costumes at the eleventh hour.

michael mclaughlin

Sunnyside, 2008

michael mclaughlin

Sunnyside, 2008

My neighborhood is something of a haven for our college crowd, and by the time he was to drown in Mexico two years ago, we had reduced our wingspan from two thousand miles to four blocks. He was one of the first people to hold my newborn son. We made fewer plans yet enjoyed more spontaneous cocktails.

michael mclaughlin

Michael filming Richard Serra, 2006

Two years, or twenty-three, have gone into writing this post. It’s just a snapshot; anything else I might like to say veers into territory too emotional or personal. But Michael is disappearing from the web, and I want him to have just a tiny place that is still google-able. He will always be right here.

michael mclaughlin

Dia: Beacon, 2006

michael mclaughlin

Dia: Beacon, 2006

Renegade Craft Fair 2011: [Silence]

I’ve had quite a lot to say in the past regarding the Renegade Craft Fair. Last year I wrote a five-part series covering everything from my favorites and purchases to the sponsors and the economics of participating in craft fairs. I’ve spent many, many hours thinking about this stuff. So what do I have to say this year?

Nothing. I didn’t go to the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn this year.


It didn’t really cross my radar. And by the time it did, I had other plans. Plus, thundershowers were predicted.

Seriously, I was not inundated with blog posts in my RSS reader as in years past. CRAFT Magazine didn’t send me emails about the fair, and I never saw a post on Facebook. I realized it was the weekend of Renegade just a day or two before, and my “hey, let’s go to the craft fair” date was out of town. MrApparently doesn’t really enjoy the craft fair, and Apparently Jr just wants to run around the field and eat whoopie pies. So we went to our local park, and I didn’t give it another thought.

That seems weird to me, and I’m sure says something about the evolution of the Renegade Craft Fair and my relationship to the selling of artisan goods in general. But you know what? I don’t really want to analyze that. Maybe next year.

To My Eight Readers

Thanks to some changes at Blogger and my brilliant husband, apparently has switched platforms and will be experimenting with the look of the site for a bit. Thanks for your patience as I sort this out. Suggestions are welcome!

elephant hat
Have you seen my latest hat? I think it’s sweet.

End of the Hibernation

It’s March 1, and I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s posting today about the end of winter. The weather is sunny and warmer than it’s been and the snow is melting. But it’s the metaphorical turning-of-the-calendar page that really changes my mindset. Something about March 1 says to me, “Winter is over. You made it through four months of cold weather; no matter what the weather brings in the next two months, you can consider any cold, snowy days anomalies.” Maybe I’m fooling myself, but that’s my mindset (and has been since college, where the collective state of mind was “February is the most depressing month”). I feel like being outside and being social in a way that I just don’t in the middle of January.

In meta news, I have completed Bertram’s Post-a-Day Challenge, in which I was gently coerced to post something (anything!) on this blog every day in February. I managed to meet the challenge, but of course I did not write something every day – some days I posted photos (and yes, not once but twice I forgot, posted them the next morning and backdated them). My goal was to complete the challenge and then assess: did I enjoy posting? What did I enjoy writing about? And the answer, as I suspected it would be, was threefold:

  1. I really enjoy writing when I actually have something to say, such as describing a trip to a museum or something interesting that my family did.
  2. I did not often have something to say, and I felt like posting my craft achievements and shoe woes was just navel-gazing. Fun navel-gazing, but not terribly interesting.
  3. I really like posting photos. This blog’s first incarnation was as a photo blog, and I’m mulling over he idea of a return to that. Although, to come full circle, I do enjoy writing when I have a topic I’m eager to write about.

Will there be more Apparently? Yes, although perhaps not every day. The Post-a-Day Challenge inspired me, and I’ll keep writing. But not about my navel.

Guilty Pleasure

Mod Podge Rocks. Go on, click it. You know you want to.

So, we’re halfway through February’s Post-a-Day Challenge, and while I have managed to post at least something every day, I’ve also confirmed that I don’t necessarily have something witty/clever/vaguely interesting to say on a daily basis. I do visit the far corners of the web fairly often, and I like to share the bits of interest found therein. This is why I enjoy blogs such as not martha and Juniper Moon Farm’s occasional feature Probably Something You Would Like.
Perhaps my role in the blogosphere is as a connector.

Apparently February Begins Tomorrow

Bertram’s mother has issued a challenge, and I will pick up this gauntlet: can I post something every day in February? Let’s see if 2010 is the year I determine the shape of Apparently.org.

Apparently…Not Just Photos Any More

As Brian was so kind as to renew this domain, it seems only fitting that I should actually do something with it other than rebroadcast the greatest hits of my Flickr photos. And since any day now our lives are about to take an incredulous (but not unexpected) turn, perhaps this shall be my venue for any such foolish and erudite observations that may emerge.

Let me start with some thoughts on pregnancy:
1. I’ve been very lucky. I had minimal morning sickness and few of the other really nasty symptoms some women seem to have. I’ve been tired and generally uncomfortable, but for the most part I have had very few incidents involving out-of-bodily fluids or other unpleasant stuff.

2. I’ve missed out on some fun. Granted, I have somewhere between 0 and 21 days to go, but I have yet to have a single crazy food craving. Adam’s wife woke up one night demanding Chef Boyardee ravioli and strawberry Quik. The closest I’ve come is “sure, sugar cookies sound good,” which I don’t think really counts as an actual craving.

3. Being pregnant in the winter is probably more pleasant than doing so in summer, but one has to find a winter coat that will keep one warm while accommodating a good deal of growth. I bought a vintage faux-fur coat at Canal Jeans that’s served me well but managed to hide my bump so well that I am never offered a seat on the subway. This morning the weather was mild so I wore an old jacket that I can’t possibly zip, and a woman halfway down the crowded subway car insisted that I maneuver past a dozen straphangers to take her seat.

Corollary: It is true that you actually need the seat more in the beginning, when you’re not visibly pregnant but nauseous and exhausted.

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