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Auction houses all over the city called him, as well as private clients; he restored furniture for Sotheby’s, for Christie’s, for Tepper, for Doyle. After school, amidst the drowsy tick of the of the tall-case clocks, he taught me the pore and luster of different woods, their colors, the ripple and gloss of tiger maple and the frothed grain of burled walnut, their weights in my hand and even their different scents-“sometimes, when you’re not sure what you have, it’s easiest just to take a sniff”-spicy mahogany, dusty-smelling oak, black cherry with its characteristic tang and the flowers, amber-resin smell of rosewood.
Better wasn’t even the word for how I felt. There wasn’t a word for it. It was more that things too small to mention – laughter in the hall at school, a live gecko scurrying in a tank in the science lab – made me feel happy one moment and the next like crying. Sometimes, in the evenings, a damp, gritty wind blew in the windows from Park Avenue, just as the rush hour traffic was thinning and the city was emptying for the night; it was rainy, trees leafing out, spring deepening into summer; and the forlorn cry of horns on the street, the dank smell of the wet pavement had an electricity about it, a sense of crowds and static, lonely secretaries and fat guys with bags of carry-out, everywhere the ungainly sadness of creatures pushing and struggling to live. For weeks, I’d been frozen, sealed-off; now, in the shower, I would turn up the water as hard as it would go and howl, silently. Everything was raw and painful and confusing and wrong and yet it was as if I’d been dragged from freezing water through a break in the ice, into sun and blazing cold.
“Does the sun ask itself, ‘Am I good? Am I worthwhile? Is there enough of me?’ No, it burns and it shines. Does the sun ask itself, ‘What does the moon think of me? How does Mars feel about me today?’ No it burns, it shines. Does the sun ask itself, ‘Am I as big as other suns in other galaxies?’ No, it burns, it shines.”Andrea Dworkin, Our Blood
Break my heart for what breaks yours…Open my heart and make it clean…
To see things unseen.
Yes. Absolutely. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that if you don’t feel lost at 17, you are either a sociopath, a striver or, or … something vaguely suspicious.It’s so fucking hard to be a teenager. It is so hard. I HATED high school. To this day, I have anxiety dreams that I’ve gone back. I still hurt from some things that happened then … and I’m 32.
But please take hope: it will get much better, much faster than you think. Once you leave high school, you never have to go to high school ever again. And you made it through the worst part, which is middle school. From here, the world begins opening itself to you. You feel lost because you are in the midst of a huge sea change; you are becoming who you are, and you don’t know who you are yet.
So don’t think of it as being lost. Think of it as a place where you are for now, but will not be forever. Everything in life is only for now.
Adulting – a Tumbler blog