Samara O'Shea

Archive for May, 2011

Moving On

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday weekend. I spent my weekend moving, which isn’t necessarily fun, but the end result is good. I moved from Prospect Park, PA, which is near the Philadelphia airport, to the Fairmount area of Philadelphia. They are 15 miles away and a world apart.

In Prospect Park I lived with my sister, and I left because her fiancé moved in. Many people have asked me if I felt kicked out of my home—not at all! I’m excited for the change in scenery. Plus I think that our home in PP is perfect for a couple just starting out. In Fairmount I’ll live with my cousin Kate. You remember Kate. My travel buddy.

In Fairmount, I’m in walking distance of both the Philadelphia Art Museum and one of the oldest prisons in the country—not to mention lots of yoga studios, bars, used book stores, and cafes. I’ll fit right in. Because of the move, the subsequent need to get settled, and my sister’s bachelorette party, which is this weekend, I won’t be blogging for the rest of the week. Before I go, however, I want to share this precious letter my sister wrote and gave to me on moving day. She doesn’t like her handwriting so she’s figured out a way to slide small thank you notes through her printer. Transcript is below the card image. I’ll be back next week!



My Dearest Sister,

On this, the day you move out, I have something I wish to say to you. I want you to know how much I have enjoyed living with you these past 4+ years! We really had to grow a lot when we first moved in together, but we did and I’m so glad we did. In hindsight, I believe it was such necessary, fundamental and lovely growth for both of us.

I also want you to know I will really miss you—I will miss you singing to me as I ascend the stairs each morning. I will miss fighting over whether to watch America’s Next Top Model or Bones. And I will miss simply having you around all of the time.

However, I think and I hope you will be very happy in the City with Kate. And I hope and pray that wonderful things happen to you in this next chapter of you life, or maybe it’s just the next chapter of you living situation—either way. So I wish you many blessings and much more lovely growth as you go. But remember, I will always be here for you, and wherever I am, you will have a home there also!

Much love,

Radical Love

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

My one time editor and dear friend Zazel—who has a unique and fabulous name—just sent me this link to donate to her daughter Hillevi’s (another great name!) film project. Please take a moment to watch the trailer and if you can spread the word or donate a few dollars it will be in the name of a great cause. Movies that aren’t backed by big production companies need a lot of help getting made.

I Give Thee my Troth

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

I caught a few minutes of the Royal Wedding (again) over the weekend. For some reason, I haven’t gotten sick of it. Maybe it’s because I sense that Will & Kate are two genuine people. Or perhaps it’s that a royal wedding is as rare as Haley’s comet. I assure you it’s not because I buy into the fairytale. I look at newlyweds (especially royal ones) as two people who have accepted a great challenge, and I wish them all the best.

This time, I caught the ceremony as they exchanged vows. Anglican wedding vows are pure poetry. It’s interesting, the United States is largely Catholic, but it’s the Anglican church’s (called the Episcopal church in the US) vows that are more culturally popular. For example, “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here . . .” is Anglican. As is the famous inquiry, “If any man can show any just cause why they may not lawfully be joined together . . . or forever hold his peace.” These lines are not part of the Catholic ceremony.

During the Will & Kate wedding I took note of the words, “And thereto I give thee my troth.” How beautiful! Of course I had to look up what it meant. It’s the King James way of swearing fidelity and/or sealing the deal. In other words, adding a verbal signature to the vows you’ve just spoken. Here’s to 50+ years of troth for the Duke & Duchess.

The vows, in case you haven’t seen them!

Letters by Hand

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

I feared I had nothing to blog about today—then I read a profile in Time (May 30, 2011) about Zack Galifianakis (Alan from The Hangover). It says . . . “ He responds to fan letters by hand because when his fans treat him like a person—sitting down and writing a letter, or talking to him when he’s not eating or otherwise engaged—he becomes interested in them too.

Yay for Zack!

Another fun quote:

“Greg says he always knew his brother would have a performing career. ‘But the cover of GQ—I would never have thought that would happen, especially with the way he dresses,’ he says, ‘It’s more likely he would have been on the cover of Homeless Today.'”

Window Shopping

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

If you’re reading this, it means you survived the rapture. Hooray! It was a gorgeous doomsday here in the northeast—the most gorgeous day we had all week.

On Friday, reader Mike sent me this photo his daughter took at the Tiffany & Co store where she works. I’m guessing it’s an ad? It’s a fun one! Transcript below the photo.


Hello Maisie,

Did you know that last night was our 18th date?

On our 5th I told you I loved you.

On our 9th you said you didn’t know what love is.

On our 10th date. . .

Well we both know what.

On our 13th date you said love is anarchistic nonsense.

Last night I do believe you used the “L” word.

I rest my case.

– D.

In other news . . . I highly recommend you read the essay on Modern Love Rejects today. It’s about a journal turned blog and a blog that ended up wreaking havoc on the blogger’s dating life.

The Stuff Memorable E-mails Are Made Of

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Earlier this week, a friend of mine was telling me how upset she is that another one of her friendships seems to be ending. That friendship is with her ex-boyfriend and he has recently gotten engaged. The girl I’m speaking of is happily married, so no, there is no lingering hope of romance. She has been friends with her ex for years, and she had hoped they would be friends for many more years to come.

If you recall, I went through a similar situation myself. It began here and ended here. To console my friend, I sent her the following e-mail which my friend Rich sent to me as I was going through the same thing. As I re-read this brilliant piece of correspondence, I realized it must be shared. It’s insightful, it’s got a great literary reference, and it makes me laugh each and every time I read. This is the stuff memorable e-mails are made of!

August 26, 2010


Let me get right into it: this is ridiculous—and he’s going to regret it. He is, of course, operating under the assumption that, since he’ll have the splendid (I’m sure) Sally* for the rest of his life, he won’t really need his friends. Many have made this mistake and found themselves virtually friendless when their marriages or relationships imploded. Give it ten years: he’ll be back, begging for forgiveness. They all do.

I’m reminded of an episode from Edith Wharton’s Age of Innocence (I believe it appears in the film version, too, but I’m not sure). While traveling in France, Newland Archer and his new bride, May, attend a dinner party where they meet a young man who works as a tutor. Newland and the tutor have “an awfully good talk after dinner about books and things,” and Newland tells May he’d like to have the guy over to their place for dinner. May scoffs and, to Newland’s chagrin, casts the deciding vote on the matter—a resounding no: “The little Frenchman? Wasn’t he dreadfully common?” And then the third-person narrator breaks in with this passage, which I’ll never forget: “[Newland] perceived with a flash of chilling insight that in the future many problems would be thus negatively solved for him.”

I think that Kevin’s going to find the same thing: this is the first of many decisions that will be made for him. He couldn’t find the courage to stand up for a friend of ten years…wow, just imagine what’s in store for him! Stick a fork in the man—he’s done. In other words, she’s got him by the balls already!

Just look at it this way: no expensive gift; no subpar dinner; no stupid conversation with the inevitably inane table-mates; and, most important, no goddamned chicken dance and hoky poky. (I hate weddings.)

I hope you decide to come to Pittsburgh anyway—and look forward to seeing you if you do!

Rich*Names have been changed

Big Things, Small Packages

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Is this not the cutest thing EVER?!