Worry warts.

where's gabe-o?   i think in the woods, therefore i am. (in the woods.)

Today Gabe is wearing a grey fleece, khaki pants, and brown boots.

You guys, I think I came up with a genius strategy for time management this week. Maybe I should write a book.

Well, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me run this brilliant idea past you first.

Okay, so you are gearing up for a big end-of-year push at your company. You are like, sooo busy. So busy that you just put your head down and get ready to plow through it. No time to think about how busy you are. You just have to DO.

You work hard during the day. You sleep hard during the night.

But then you do this fun thing where, during the time you used to waste on sleeping, you don’t sleep. Sure, sure, you are busy during the day and your body really wants to shut down and restore itself at night, but instead of doing this, you just don’t.

Then, you start worrying about things like renewing your lease. You start worrying about the future of your business. You start worrying about never having enough money to buy a house, ever.

You start worrying about how you’ll ever have time to keep up your personal blog, which is one of the highlights of your week, because you are so busy you can’t possibly actually think about money or the future or your blog — you only have the time and space to worry about everything.

See how easy it is? Just don’t go to sleep! Ever! There is so much to worry about!

This is the brilliant time management solution I came up with Wednesday night and you guys, wow is it effective. I mean, I can work all day un-distracted because I know I’ve got a solid 8 hours of restorative, relaxing worrying to do between the hours of 10pm and 6am.

And the best part is, your nighttime worrying can go on without end. When you worry about business phone calls you have to make about things like leases, you will never actually be able to make those calls at 3am! So you are free to imagine disastrous scenarios to your heart’s content without ever having to worry (ha ha) about finding an actual solution.

I don’t have insomnia very often anymore, but you guys, when I do — oh wow, do I make the most of it. If you think insomnia just has to be about sitting on the couch flipping through channels and staring bleary-eyed at bizarre early morning programming you never knew was on TV, then boy are you behind the times.

Oh, sir. Next time you can’t sleep, try worrying instead. You won’t believe how productive and stressed it makes you feel, which means you must be really, really important.

(This blog post brought to you by one sleepless night.)

But really. Things are fine. Don’t believe me, readers and/or Sleepless Kate? As proof, please accept the following pictures of Romeo The Cat.

perfect couple   four ears

oh so dignified   i hate christmas

hello dear   weird body, steely gaze

Role modal.

i love the woods!   let's count the trees...i see one, two, three...

Today Gabe is wearing a brown sweatshirt, khaki pants, and brown boots.

Well unfortunately, this week we’ve taken a few steps back.

Over the summer, I got really into the idea of dressing up nice every day because it makes you look good and feel good, and because, I mean, I am a grown adult woman who works from home and boundaries must be set somewhere.

But then, a few weeks ago, I needed to buy some new pants to sleep in because it was getting colder out and shorts weren’t going to cut it anymore. My only other available sleep pants option were these ratty old blue sweatpants I’ve had since high school, whose elastic is all but gone and that look, just, terrible.

Gabe once said, “You’re dressed like me when you wear those sweatpants.”

We both knew what he meant.

So I did some online shopping and, you guys, I found something wonderful.

I think they’re technically classified as “loungewear” but if we are being honest, I think it’s more accurate to refer to what I discovered on the internet as glamour sweatpants. And I love them.

Do you believe in love at first sight? I do. Well, not exactly love at first sight, but I have — at many times in my life — met someone and known instantly that this was going to be an important or special person in my life. I felt that way the first time I met Gabe. Same with my boss/mentor/cofounder at Popforms.

And same with these pants.

I saw them on the model and I just knew. I was about to hit “order”, but decided, even though my heart was sure, that I owed it to myself to be logical. (Though we all know love isn’t logical.) Still, I took the time to scroll down and read the reviews, and you guys — there was not one single person who had a bad word to say about these pants.

So what are these magic pants?

They are a pair of thin, slim-fitting, olive green, made-of-modal-the-best-fabric-in-the-world lounge pants and they are perfection. As soon as I saw them I knew I had to have them.

And as soon as they arrived in the mail, I knew I had to try them on.

And as soon as I tried them on, I knew I was ruined.

First of all, they look great. They’re flattering, they’re understated, they go with everything…they are just perfect.

Second of all, they are so comfortable. The fabric is so soft, and the shape is comfortable without being baggy and weird.

I look forward to going to bed every night because I know I’ll get to wear them and feel so comfortable but beautiful and also so cozy and happy.

And with all kinds of intense, all-consuming love, it went a little bit too far.

This week, finally, despite all my best intentions, came the day where — on one grey, misty, “don’t want to get out of your PJs morning” — I went for a run, took a shower, got dressed…and made the decision to put on my glamour sweatpants instead of real pants.

We’ve wandered into dangerous territory. Mistakes have been made.

But how can love that feels this good be so wrong? Maybe just for one day, it’s okay to wear your glamour sweatpants while you take business calls and write marketing strategies. Right? Right??

High pony.

someone was not in the mood to have their photo taken   maybe if i stand very still she will stop taking my picture

Today Gabe is wearing a grey fleece, a black t-shirt, khaki pants, and brown shoes.

This week I discovered that my poor dear English ivy plant is now the home to a family of spiders. Well, more like a womb of a family of spiders.

A few weeks ago, I moved my ivy plant outside because it was dying and I didn’t know what else to do. After I did that, my mom told me it might have been wilting because it was in a too-small pot — which turned out to be exactly the case. I repotted it in a bigger pot and trimmed back the longest vines so that the growth would be focused at the center, rather than sending all the good stuff out to the longest ends of the longest vines.

But it seemed to be doing well in the sunshine, and so, naively, I left it there.

And now it can never come back.

You guys, there are bugs outside and they will just make themselves at home in whatever they find that seems hospitable. Even your English ivy plant that is ONLY THERE TEMPORARILY. But is now out there for life.

I went out to water it yesterday afternoon, and thought, “It’s looking so good. It’s finally time to bring this baby back inside so it can keep beautifying my bathroom.”

And that exact moment is when I noticed a little spider web between a couple of the vines. A spider web dotted with dozens of tiny, baby spider eggs.

Goodbye, English ivy plant. You can never come indoors again.

I mean, I tried clearing the spider web out, but listen you guys — once you have seen a web of baby spider eggs on your plant, you will never be comfortable living with that inside your house.

Making the decision to bring that back into your house is like making the kind of decision people in horror movies make.

“You guys, it’s fine to go into the basement despite all the spooky warnings, right?”

No, it’s never alright. Did you not see all the spooky warnings??

And even if there’s not a nightmare spider apocalypse scenario HAPPENING IN YOUR HOME WHERE YOU SLEEP, then you at least will spend probably the rest of your life with that twitchy feeling that there might be something crawling on you, because you know that there is a not zero percent chance that there is a family of spiders being born at any second in your house.

Listen, I know spiders are everywhere and there still might one day be a family of spiders born in my house that take over and I have to move out and just leave them all my stuff. It still might happen.

But I am not going to be the one to make it happen by bringing a tainted ivy plant inside just because I want a beautiful bathroom. No sir.

Hall pass.

you coy devil, you   who me?

Today Gabe is wearing a white t-shirt, blue shorts, brown flip flops, and green sunglasses.

To say that I was disengaged during high school would be an understatement.

And when I say “during high school”, I mean literally the time that I was inside my high school, from 7:55am to the time the final bell rang at 2:25pm. I wasn’t a super sulky teen who just didn’t care — I was an editor on the newspaper, I had friends and boyfriends, and I knew that continuing to be a very good student would mean going to a very good college, which was all I had cared about since I was about 12 — but by the time I was in high school I was so bored during school every day that I checked out mentally for huge blocks of time on an almost daily basis.

I would wander the halls every single day.

I would ask to go to the bathroom in a different class each day and, knowing I had some A-student credibility built up, I would just leave and go take a walk for 10 or 15 or 20 minutes. No one ever stopped me and I never got up to any trouble while I was on my walks; I just couldn’t stand to be in class anymore and so I would go take a walk, look at art projects hung on the walls or read student council campaign signs or look at old photos in the trophy cases, and just enjoy a break.

I bring this up because this week, I was re-introduced to my checked-out self — who I haven’t seen in years — and it brought memories of wandering the halls of high school and taking a mental vacation when you’re somewhere you just don’t care to be anymore.

It was Saturday morning, and I wanted to take a yoga class. Gabe was out of town and I was feeling antsy, having given no thought to what I wanted to do with a weekend on my own. This was my first mistake.

I don’t usually take yoga on Saturdays, and so I didn’t know any of the teachers who were teaching that day when I decided I needed to take a yoga class.

The one who happened to be teaching an “all levels” class closest to the time I wanted to go had the kind of “why yes, I AM a yoga teacher” name that tends to give me pause when selecting my teachers. I won’t re-print it here, but suffice to say, people who have self-given touchy feely names tend not to be a good fit for me.

But I decided to be cool and non-judgmental. I mean, I quit using shampoo! I can be very cool and into hippie culture, right?

(As it turns out: no, not in all cases.)

When I got to class everything seemed fine at first. Nice music, good vibes, and poses I could handle. But I noticed she had a very distinct way of talking. And by distinct, I mean impossible.

She would whisper, inaudibly, “now just roll ontoyourback..spreadyourfingers…putyourkneesup..”

“AND RISE!!!!” she would shout.

11 heads pop up, having missed the previously whispered string of instructions, quickly eyeball the pose the teacher is in, and scramble to mimic it.

“Okay. Now…whileonyourback…lift your hips and your arms over your head.”

“AND RISE!!!!!!”

11 heads pop up, wondering how to get your hips and your arms over your head at the same time.

This, on top of a lot of talk about love and those annoying reversing platitudes that fold in on themselves (“what is inside you is outside you, etc”), and by about 45 minutes in, I was out.

I was not engaged, to the point where I didn’t care if she thought I was doing a good job (which, you should know by now, is generally my only motivator in yoga: pleasing my teacher). I was bored. I wanted to leave.

And so I did something I’ve never done in a yoga class before. I left.

Not for good, but I just stood up, walked to the door, and went for a wander around the halls.

I looked at a clock I’d never noticed before. I got a glass of water. I read the rules for the sauna, which it turns out, have some pretty funny jokes in them.

It was delightful. I stayed out there for maybe 5 minutes, but those 5 minutes made it possible for me to come back to class and actually do some yoga that pleased me — rather than just running out the clock and waiting for it to be over.

And my walk did what my teacher could not — it brought me into the present moment; it relaxed me; it tuned me into the world around me that I see all the time, but fail to notice. I stopped thinking about how bored I was, and found something to appreciate and enjoy.

Gabe doesn’t like going on my daily long walks with me (though he humors me more and more every year by coming along) but I wonder if my need to go walk around, even on the same route every day like I used to do in Seattle, comes from those days back in high school where a little walk was a special, just-for-me time I was completely present during the day, and appreciating a place I normally couldn’t stand to be.

I don’t know.

After yoga, I did a shopping trip to see about making my own homemade deodorant but ended up buying a pre-made hippie version when I couldn’t find one of the key ingredients for my recipe. Sigh.

Shake it.

baby beluga   the perfect couple

Today Gabe is wearing a grey sweatshirt and red shorts, and he’s kicked his brown flip flops off to the side.

Well, you guys, I washed my hair. And, if you’re keeping track you’ll remember, by washed I mean rubbed baking soda into my scalp and dipped the ends of my hair in vinegar. And you know what? My hair looks — normal!

I washed it on Saturday, after a week of not washing per the internet’s directions, and on Tuesday evening it was still good to go. In fact, it was better than it ever would have been going that long between washes before. I didn’t wash it again until Thursday.

Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean I didn’t shower — I do live a normal human life which includes things like exercise and being a functioning member of society. I just didn’t put anything in my hair. Nothing but a good scalp rub, which is apparently (again, according to the internet) all you really need to do to keep things from getting weird.

One of my biggest motivations for this (other than great hair) was a desire to spend less time in the shower, which has been one of my favorite parts of this whole process. The more days I can go between showers, and the less time I spend in each of those showers, without becoming a disgusting person, is a huge win.

Now, in other news not related to my hair but still related to my shower, the English ivy plant that I put in my bathroom is dying. And I don’t know why! I know this kind of ivy likes indirect light or even shade (my bathroom window is surrounded by big redwood trees) and I’ve heard it likes humid conditions too. And what is more humid than the place where showers happen??

But still it is losing lots of leaves and the leaves that are still there are losing their color. It’s vines are getting longer, but nothing else about it seems healthy. I AM DEEPLY CONCERNED.

This afternoon I put it outside, sighing an exasperated “Why are you doing this to me?”. Maybe some sunshine and fresh air will help? I have no idea. Maybe it’s not even dying. Maybe it’s just mad at me for buying another new plant.

I bought a Dieffenbachia Compacta (also known as Dumb Cane, which seems unnecessarily mean) for my bedroom, which is one of the darkest, shadiest rooms in my house and so one of the hardest to find a plant to put in. But today I found Dumbo, the dumb cane, who loves to grow in shade and is only slightly poisonous to humans if eaten, but let’s all just promise to be grownups and not to eat this plant, okay?

On the flip side from its poisonous streak, it’s also apparently great at removing toxins and pollution from indoor air — this according to NASA. (Why are they studying this? I don’t know.)

Other things that happened this week, unrelated to my shower:

mad river madness   muy rapido

woofer   everything's fine here

Listen up.

for some reason today's pictures are weirdly forlorn   see what i mean? but we were having fun i swear!

Today Gabe is wearing a yellow t-shirt, blue shorts, and brown flip flops.

It’s been 6 days, 1 hour, and 15 minutes since the last time I washed my hair. And by washed, I mean the last time I scrubbed baking soda into my scalp and then conditioned the ends of my hair with apple cider vinegar.

And you guys, things are exactly how you’d expect them to be.

On Tuesday, I had to admit that my hair smelled weird. On Wednesday, I bought some essential oils (lavender and grapefruit, in case you were wondering) to make my hair and general environment smell better. On Thursday, I had that terrifying thought that people sometimes have when they are on drugs, which is, “Is it going to be this way forever?”.

I didn’t wash my hair for a week because the internet told me to.

Apparently, when you quit shampoo, you’re supposed to wash with baking soda and vinegar a few times, and then go cold turkey for a week. No shampoo, no baking soda, no nothing. Nothing but hot water, a new commitment to high-and-tight ponytails, and, ideally, a work-at-home environment where you can live your normal life without coworkers noticing your new weird appearance and odor, which they might feel compelled to ask you about every day.

“You look…different. Wait, no, that’s not really what I mean. What I mean is: you look worse.”

Since the last time I “washed” my hair I’ve also gone on two runs, done two very sweaty yoga classes, and realized the power of just letting it go and giving in completely to your weird new project.

My yoga teacher gives everyone a little head massage during savasana at the end of class, and this week I’ve been trying to send her empathetic, “I know this is difficult” mind messages during my head massages.

Because just giving me a head massage after a yoga class is already a testament to your commitment as a yoga teacher. For those keeping track, I am still, all these months later, still getting ridiculously, unbelievably sweaty in every yoga class I do. To be fair, I like classes that really challenge me, but even so — my sweat game is basically off the charts. No one in my class can match me. It is the one thing I have over all of them.

(I have to count this as a victory, since in the new class I joined, I am the worst person there. This is just a statement of fact. I am getting over it. Slowly.)

So with the sweat situation I am working with by the end of every class, it is already a real commitment to her craft that my yoga teacher deigns to rub my temples with her fingernails and give me a cute little tap on my third eye every time.

But now with the sweat and a new hair texture that could only be described as…hmm..eerie? — well, let’s just say I am now also the worst person in my class in the “heads I have to touch” category for my teacher as well.

But see, this is what yoga — and also giving up shampoo — is all about. Getting into your body (or your hair) and letting go. Letting go of hangups. Letting go of insecurities and self-doubt. Letting go of conventional notions about what clean hair looks like.

Embracing this weird thing you’re doing. Completely. And spraying your hair with lavender essential oil spray, because seriously, we are trying to live in a society here and there is a line.

Short cut.

phoning it in   can't be bothered

Today Gabe is wearing a grey sweatshirt, a green t-shirt, red shorts, and brown flip flops.

Alert: I quit washing my hair with shampoo. Starting yesterday. Continuing on at least until tomorrow, possibly for the rest of time. It’s hard to tell at this early stage if this is a genius idea or a terrible idea. (The best ideas usually have this quality. So do the worst ideas.)

But listen: I’ve been living in Humboldt County for like 9 months now and it’s starting to get to me. I was a vegan for the summer, and it turns out that was just the beginning.

“I figure I’m probably the only person in this town who *doesn’t* make their own deodorant, so I should just try it out right?”

Gabe raised an eyebrow silently.

I’m still a vegan at my house, though I’m going to be generally vegetarian out in public because I don’t want to ruin people’s lives by being impossible to bring to restaurants or cook dinner for. I love when people cook me dinner! So I’m happy to eat non-vegan if it will make someone else’s life easier who wants to feed me.

This summer when I started being vegan, though, I wasn’t sure how I’d feed myself. And it turned out to be actually really easy — it’s actually not that hard to get enough iron and protein on a vegan diet. It’s just different, and once you figure out where those things come from, then it’s not a problem.

But I didn’t know that stuff back when I started, so I got really into scouring blogs for advice on how to eat as a vegan. And it just so happens most of those blogs also feature interesting reports on things like why shampoo is actually harmful to your hair’s natural beauty (not to mention the environment) and how to make your own dirty hippie deodorant out of coconut oil and baking soda.

And it took a long time — at first I’d just laugh and scroll past those posts to the recipes — but, I mean, one day I stopped to read one because it had nice pictures. And then I read another one, and then I read another one, and I guess what I’m trying to say is now my head smells like vinegar because I just washed my hair with apple cider vinegar.

(Don’t worry, it doesn’t smell like vinegar when it dries. For real. But it is weird during that not-quite-dry period.)

But listen: I’m living in a land of people who make flower crowns for fun. Now I make flower crowns for fun. And guess what, it is really fun! (Even though my face in my flower crown picture suggests otherwise. I loved it. I can’t help it that Gabe is the most photogenic human being to ever live, and that my normal camera face is embarrassed cringing.)

just...wonderful  i liked this more than it looks like

So I quit washing my hair. I might make my own deodorant. I’m a vegan who knows how to get big and strong so she can level up in her yoga class. Things are getting weird here. In a good way.