SL 678

My in-laws live in Emerald Isle, NC, just down the block from David Sedaris. When I first sent them one of his essays about there, they didn’t quite get his sense of humor. Now, they stalk him and notify me when a Sedaris is in residence. And they send me links to his latest essays.

The New Yorker’s Best Books of 2019.

Going to see the Nutcracker is a very expensive, but awesome NYC-area tradition. We’re going this year with an added bonus of more diversity. Truth be told, Jonah isn’t totally excited about this, because he associates the show with matching sweaters and other terrible things that we did to the boys when they were children. He’ll get over it, after we let him wear his scruffy beard and get a beer at the microbrew across the street from Lincoln Center.

For anybody who has read the Federalist Papers, it’s very clear what Madison and Hamilton would have thought of Donald Trump. I’m not sure if we will ever recover from his presidency. I think that one of the first jobs of the next president and Congress should be putting in place all sorts of laws that limits the power of the president and reforms election laws, so this NEVER happens again. I think that proposals for these reforms should be part of every campaign.

Apt. 11D Gift Guide 2019 — Cyber Monday For Me

This is just quickie post of the deals that I’m checking out right now. Mostly it’s clothing that I want for the holiday season.

Because I work from home, my uniform are jeans, blouses, and boots. I have daytime versions and nighttime versions. I am not a yoga pants around the house girl. I feel pretty strongly that just because I work from home, I still have to put on contacts, make-up, and a decent outfit. After all, I’m out and about town seeing people during the day, too. I’m not living in cave.

I rely a lot on J. Crew, the Gap, Ann Taylor and Banana Republic for the girly blouses. They’re all having 50% off sales right now. At J.Crew, I like this one, this one, and this one.

Steve and I have been binge-watching Schitt’s Creek for the past month. One of the characters, Alexis Rose, is a modern Boheme who wears a lot of flowery dresses and floppy hats. So, maybe that’s why I really love this flowery dress at the Banana.

For the rare work event, I have a handful of dependable, comfortable, packable outfits. I just picked up these pants and blouse. These shoes needed a little breaking in, but now they’re conference-ready.

I’ve gotten way pickier about sweaters in recent years. This is one way that women over 40 can make mistakes. I hate itchy woolen cowl necks and bulky cable knits. I like items that can be easily stripped off, makes me look skinny, and/or are super soft. I have one J. Crew cashmere sweater that I wear nearly every day. I think I need another. They are 50 percent off at Garnet Hill today.

Apt. 11D Gift Guides 2019 – Tech

I’m going to start with tech products, because there are so many cyber deals today.

We’re an Apple family. So, I have an iPhone, an iPad, and an iMac. Jonah has an iBook for college. I need to upgrade my iPhone this year. My old iPhone 5S still works, but I need a better cell camera. I think I’m requesting the iPhone 11 this year. With the new phone, I’ll need a new case, too.

Because we use these products for years and years, I don’t mind spending big bucks on this items. Also, they are cross-over items, meaning I use them for work and for fun.

Good headphones are a must for the boys. Steve and I use wireless earbuds for running.

Ian is a Nintendo Switch kid, while Jonah uses Xbox. I’ll do game recommendations later.

Accessories like multi-port plugs and wifi extenders are frequently used.

I use my Nikon 5100 nearly every day to take pictures of the kids or books for my Etsy Shop. I leave the camera in the kitchen, so it’s always ready to record an especially good dinner. The camera is ten years old and still works too well to replace yet, but if I was going to upgrade, I would go for a camera with wifi, so I could more easily post pictures to Instagram and the blog. A former photography teacher told me that he leaves his good camera at home for typical evenings and slides a smaller camera in his pocket for quick, spontaneous shots. I haven’t done that yet, but would consider it.

Gift Guides 2019

It’s December, so it officially time for some holiday gift guides here at Apt. 11D! Woot!

Here’s the drill for the new people. I’ll list ideas. Some ideas will send you over to Amazon. If you buy that item or anything on Amazon via a link on this blog, I’ll get a small kickback, which I’ll translate into boots for me. Win-win!

So, if you have to buy a gift on Amazon, I would really appreciate if you got to the website from a link here. I have a busy morning after a three-day break, but I’ll get the first post up here later this afternoon. In the meantime, here are previous years’ ideas. In the meantime, if you have some ideas for me, please list them in the comment section.

Thank you!

Happy Leftover Day

Hope y’all are sitting on the sofa with a good novel today. I am. With the smell of turkey bones being slowly turned into soup broth. The boys are quietly doing their own things. Steve’s at work, but hopes to cut out early.

I really could be doing some work, but I’m wiped out. Between a morning 5K race, which I was not really in shape for, and then dinner for 14, I’m not capable of much today. My legs ache.

I remain confused by Black Friday, since those sales are available all the time, but whatever.

SL 677

Me elsewhere… The latest newsletter. Check out these pretty books that turned out to be worth more than I thought. (I paid $4 for them. Shhhhhh.)

Share your favorite Thanksgiving recipe. I do the Ina Garden method, so I already brined my bird. And Pioneer Woman’s stuffed mushrooms for an app. We actually roast our own pumpkin for pies; I discussed the process (and handled criticism) before here and here.

We just signed up for our local Turkey Trot. It’s going to be really lame, because I was actually lame for two months and am now totally out of shape.

Just calling it now — I think the final ticket is going to be a mayor — current or former — whose name begins with B. Oh, wait! There’s three of them. Who knew? Have there ever been this many majors in a primary before? Not sure. Anyway. Based on my highly scientific polling of people I drink with and/or am related to, I think it’s going to be Pete with VP Cory.

Parent-Public School Partnerships

Over the weekend, three parents called to ask questions about the right way to educate their kids who were having various issues — anxiety, emotional issues, learning differences. I guess I’m getting a reputation for knowing a lot about special education, so they came to me for help when their kids weren’t fitting into the norm. The parents were looking for answers and alternatives, because they weren’t getting that information from the schools. Schools simply had no clue how to handle the oddballs.

I will probably set myself up as a consultant soon. Over the weekend, Steve and I talked about how I should set up an LLC. I will probably keep giving advice to parents for free, because special ed parents are my people, but I will charge private companies for my knowledge. Because they are also coming to me for advice. When opportunity knocks and all that.

Here’s a prediction about public education. Parents are going to start playing a bigger role in education. Sure, rich parents have been doing that for ages, but now middle class parents will be doing it, too.

Parents are getting more and more involved. I see it on twitter, as special ed parents are tagging me on their tweets. They are organizing in national groups and creating their own organizations. They’re getting more political. They are starting new after-school programs. They’re sharing information on the Internet.

At the same time, tax payers aren’t interested in paying for school buildings or for teachers, so those schools will soon just be doing the basics. Everything else — music, enrichment, arts, tutoring — will be happening after school and will be funded privately.

I have already started doing that for Ian. Public schools only meet about half his needs. We start the second part of his education every day at 3:30.

While I’m a hundred percent behind parental involvement in schools, I am worried equity issues. Kids with parents like me will have even bigger advantages than in the past. If more is going to be expected of parents, then information to them has to be distributed freely and equally.