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.

Nerd poker.

whuuuuutttt   what

Today Gabe is wearing a tan fleece, a purple t-shirt, khaki pants, and black shoes. And he’s holding a blue jacket.

“Hey! Did you know you can make mozzarella sticks at home?”

It was only in the same moment that the words came out of my mouth that I realized I should have tempered the enthusiasm and surprise in my voice a little bit before I spoke up.

“Yeah,” Gabe said. “You can make pretty much anything at home.”

And I mean, I guess that’s true. But I’ve never seen mozzarella sticks in someone’s house; kind of the way that you rarely see sushi in someone’s house that isn’t in a takeout container. I know people can make it at home, but like — how do you even start? To me, certain things are just restaurant foods. They live at the restaurant, and people with very special training and know-how make them. They are things that are simply out of reach to the average person.

And so to realize that all across this great nation, moms everywhere are making their own mozzarella sticks basically blew me away.

At times in my life, my naivety has been a source of embarrassment and weird feelings. But in recent years, I’ve been enjoying the feeling of constant surprise and delight that knowing nothing about how the world works offers me. Like mozzarella sticks made at home. I mean, who knew??

Short post this week, since I’m writing this late Thursday night during a bout of insomnia, and I think it is almost time to try to go back to sleep.

Usually my insomnia comes in the form of waking up for no particular reason at 3am and then just being up for the day, but tonight it’s the can’t-fall-asleep kind. Sigh. At least I got a bunch of work done that I had been planning to do in the morning? (I always look on the bright side. Remember the mozzarella stick thing?)

So instead of words, I’ll share a few nice pictures of a few nice things:

we went to the river   gabe love river!

what happens when gabe goes unsupervised   new neighborhood cat! couldn't be cuter.

Good night/morning.

Hot town.

hmm what the hell is this   it's flowers! guys, i figured it out. it's totally flowers.

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

Well, it’s been almost two weeks since I’ve exercised and I think my body is falling apart. Well, not falling apart. But feeling terrible? Feeling like all the exercise and vegan-eating I did this summer is being completely undone, slowly, day by day? Yes. That one. That’s the one that’s happening.

I woke up with the flu two Saturdays ago, and every day since then I’ve woken up expecting to finally be the day that I go back to yoga or take a run. And every day, until yesterday, it hasn’t been the day.

But yesterday, you guys, I went for a vigorous walk. A vigorous walk! Up a hill!

I am definitely going to yoga this weekend.

The only bad part about going to yoga this weekend is that in the weeks since I have been sick, my very favorite yoga teacher taught her final classes at my local studio. Which means that next time I go back, I’ll be diving back in and trying to find a teacher to fill her spot (until she opens her own studio in a few months, at which point I’ll transfer there and basically pay her any amount of money to teach me yoga for the rest of my life).

I have no idea how to find a good yoga teacher. I did it completely by accident the first time, since I didn’t even know what I was looking for back then, and now that I know what I like I’m afraid I’ll never find it again.

The yoga teacher who is taking over the class I usually take happened to sub for my class one time when my teacher was on vacation a few weeks ago, and I cried in my car after that class. So…I don’t think I want to try out any of her regular classes.

In my brief research so far, I’ve also read that some of the other teachers at this studio have candles and do head massages with essential oils in every class, which sounds like a little bit more than I can really handle twice a week. Plus, I mean, these ladies probably have no idea how sweaty I get in your average yoga class, and I would hate to subject anyone to touching my head at any point during or following that.

Basically I am worried that there won’t be anyone that I want to take direction from. That people will either be too pushy, too condescending, too serious, too hippie…

Ugh. Can I do a Kickstarter campaign to just hire my original yoga teacher and keep her on like, retainer?

Ever since I moved to Humboldt I’ve been on a mission to make new friends, which is not something that is easy for me, but it is slowly coming together. But now I have to add in a mission to find a new yoga teacher too??

I’m going back to bed.

(Just kidding. Kind of.)

Cruel summer.

surfing the web i mean the ocean   getting richter oh so richter

Today Gabe is wearing a black wetsuit. Righteous!

Oh man, you guys. I got the flu in the middle of summer. And it is…terrible.

On the upside, I’ve gotten to take like 4 full days off work and watch movies. I am getting really well acquainted with my couch, and feeling really thankful for the free 500+ satellite channels that are paid for by my landlord and allow me to watch endless movies during my time really getting to know my couch.

On the downside, I’ve been housebound for 6 full days and I hate it. I’m antsy. But then again, I’m too tired to be antsy.

I had to miss my printmaking class one day, and then I had to miss yoga the next day. I did manage to make it to a coffee date on Wednesday, but spent the rest of the day glassy-eyed and horizontal on the couch recovering from spending whopping 2 hours out of the house for the first time in days. And then I missed yoga again.

Basically I don’t like it.

One great thing about being sick, I guess, has been rediscovering crossword puzzles. I started doing them on Day 2 because I was getting sick of TV, but didn’t have the energy to read. A crossword puzzle was something I could print out from the New York Times website, prop up on a big hardcover book on my lap as a surface, and then do one line at a time while closing my eyes for 5-10 minutes in between each clue.

Unfortunately the NYT doesn’t release new free puzzles super often on their website. Right now, I’m working with a Monday puzzle and a Saturday puzzle.

I finished the Monday puzzle in about 15 minutes. The Saturday puzzle has been sitting with 4 answers filled in for something like five days. I really need them to release, like, a Wednesday puzzle.

I started feeling a little bit better yesterday, and even managed to make it to a coffee shop for a brief writing session in the morning. As a reward for being so brave, I decided to treat myself (congratulations on leaving the house!) by buying some new small plants for my house.

I read a blog post on the best plants to purify the air in your house, and since my mind is melting with monotony and flu symptoms, I decided I definitely, definitely needed a plant or three to help beautify and purify my home.

aloe me to introduce myself the dowager fern non vegan

Say hello to my aloe, my english ivy, and my venus fly trap. The aloe’s new home is inside a vase my friend made in a ceramics class last year that is finally fulfilling its ultimate purpose. Looks good, no?

I didn’t mean to buy a venus fly trap, but when I saw them on the shelf at the plant store, I had an instant flashback to having one as a child and I couldn’t help myself.

I remembered a time when my dad had a venus fly trap at our house — I don’t remember if it was always there, or if it was passing through on its way to an office — but he told me to stick my finger in the venus fly trap’s jaws and see it close around my finger. Which I did. And it was thrilling!

But now, as a grownup, for some reason I am afraid to try again.

But that’s okay. It doesn’t actually eat fingers, but according to Google, pretending to feed your venus fly trap your fingers isn’t actually good for it since it uses its energy for something that isn’t real food.

So I will just keep my hands to myself. And rest. And drink tea and soup. And enjoy my fresh, fresh, bug-free air.

Meow mix.

my muse   you oughta be in pictures!

Today Gabe is wearing a grey sweatshirt, blue shorts, and brown flip flops. Romeo is wearing white fur.

You guys, you’ll never guess where I was last Saturday — an art opening, in Eureka, CA, where I was showing a print I made of Romeo to a gallery of real-life people who came to see an entire room full of cat art.

portrait of the artist as a young manHey!

My printmaking teacher told me a few weeks ago about this art show called HumCats, which was based on a bigger show that had happened in LA a while ago with a bunch of big-time artists, and the Humboldt version of which was accepting submissions.

“You mean, like, I could submit one of my Romeo prints?”

“Yup.”

“But this is only the third print I’ve ever made.”

“Do it!”

So I did it! Because why not?

And that’s how, last Saturday (or should I say Caturday), I ended up going to a little opening in a little gallery, where I saw a surprising number of patrons dressed in cat ears.

The gallery had 150+ pieces of cat art, ranging from beautiful oil paintings and intricate drawings to some of the craziest bullshit I’ve seen since leaving my BA studio art program. It was a profoundly weird experience.

I thought it would be thrilling to see my art up on the wall — something that hasn’t happened since college — but in a way it was actually pretty anti-climactic.

First, I went by myself, and so in the moment where I actually found Romeo up on the wall, I instantly realized that I wished I had brought someone to point at it with and say, “Hey look, that’s mine!”. I don’t usually like to be the center of attention for stuff like that, which is why I didn’t invite anyone, but I kind of wished I had someone there to tell me how truly amazing it was to see this black and white monotype that doesn’t really look like Romeo but which has really cute ears up on the wall.

And secondly, after I found my print I also discovered that the exhibit organizers had lost my art tag, so my Romeo print didn’t have my name or any information with it. So I had to spend my first few minutes there trying to get the attention of the organizers, waiting for them to find my tag, discovering that the tag they had made for me didn’t even have the right information on it, and then having to write one myself.

So that was anti-climactic too.

This is normally the kind of thing I get a huge kick out of — and to be fair, it was still really fun to be at an art opening with my very own art on the wall — but I was surprised by how un-thrilled I was by the experience.

I think I would do something like this again in the future, though. But differently. And with different expectations.

I took pictures of some of the most interesting cat art I saw, which actually reminds me — I did still get a kick out of going to this weird event. I mean, “cat art” has got to be, traditionally, one of the lowest forms of art.

“Oh, you drew a picture of your cat? How interesting.”

But making it intentional, and the focus of an actual we’re-taking-this-seriously art exhibit is kind of funny and draws an interesting collection of perspectives and ideas together.

Here are some things I saw at the HumCats art show:

tres gatos linus

banksy   something fishy

And that’s it! The show closes next week and after that Romeo’s brief time up on the gallery wall will be over.

His framed print will be move back to my dining room wall where I can stare at it while I eat breakfast, which is where he is really meant to be after all.