Today Gabe is wearing a white t-shirt, green sunglasses, and blue shorts.
This post might not be a very good one; I’m writing it late at night, unable to sleep, after a day of flying across the country to visit my parents in Illinois. It’s such a long day of travel that always leaves me simultaneously buzzing and completely exhausted. I am not a good flier.
I was coming from Seattle, where Gabe and I were for a few days visiting friends. It was crazy to be in the city again after becoming such country bumpkins over the last year. Okay, Gabe was never really a city person to begin with, but it has been a big change for me, though a surprisingly easy one. It turns out I am a country person; I just never lived in the country before.
But as we drove into Seattle, I felt a sense of anxiety start to build, just looking at all the cars and buildings. I usually feel a little thrill when I get to the city, but not this time.
(Though I was still pretty jazzed to have not one, not two, but three grocery stores within walking distance of the apartment where we were staying [as opposed to having one tiny one that is a 15 minute drive down the highway away]. And I got to visit a fancy coffee shop and get served a great latte by a hipster instead of the hippies that I am used to.)
But my day of travel left my tired as always, even though I was actually able to work on the plane and not just spend the whole time trying to remind myself that thousands of flights happen every day and the pilot is very good at his or her job, etc etc.
It was pretty therapeutic to spend the time writing and planning instead of worrying.
These last few weeks have been really busy and crazy, and I am looking forward to some downtime while I’m with my parents. Here are a couple of things that have gotten me through these busy weeks:
Romeo is my constant. On a particularly stressful day last week, he found our front door and let himself inside. Then he hopped into my bed and made like a rolly-polly.
Can you believe this place is real? Gabe and I stopped on our way to Seattle to visit friends who live on a farm outside Salem, OR. This is in their back yard. It is a lake with a dock with a picnic table on it. It was…perfect.
Oh yes, it’s on. The star of my blog and I are getting full-on married next year. So that is a pretty great thing that has happened in the last few weeks too. 🙂
Today Gabe is wearing a white t-shirt, red shorts, and brown boots.
This week, Gabe power-washed a dirty refrigerator at a car wash. We got more settled into our new house and had a wonderful visitor. And a bear attacked a bunch of paint cans outside our front door.
Apparently the bear came over two nights in a row, the first night chewing on paint cans and walking through the paint like a (wonderful) idiot, and the second night chewing on a gas can and apparently juggling it for a bit before lumbering off into the woods.
I didn’t see it happen. I just saw the aftermath. That’s fine with me.
Probably my favorite part about my new house is the great view out the windows, into the woods and a beautiful garden. Or it might be that now Romeo comes over all the time. I can’t decide.
Today Gabe is wearing a maroon shirt and blue shorts.
Since I started this blog, almost 3 years ago, I have almost never missed a post. I have skipped maybe 3 times on purpose and have outright just missed a week due to forgetfulness or confusion maybe twice.
Last week was one of those times.
Last Friday, when I normally would have been writing on this blog, I was packing everything I own into reusable grocery bags and suitcases, and stacking them high in the back of my station wagon, and driving up the coast to my new house in the woods.
All weekend, while listening to a nonstop stream of the Invisibilia podcast, I carried load after load into my new house and deposited it all on the floor. Then, over this week, the one main stack became several distinct piles, which then moved closer and closer to their room of choice.
Pots moved into cabinets. Clothes got hung on hangers. (Anxiety dreams were dreamt.)
And I am VERY tired.
To speak on my behalf in this week’s blog post, please accept the following photographs of things that have recently happened and my best attempts to capture the beauty of my new home in spite of its current pile-based state. (Hover over photos for captions.)
Today Gabe is wearing a white t-shirt, blue jeans, and brown boots.
I bought new running shoes! And then I took them for a run.
After Gabe’s dad told me a year ago that I needed new running shoes, I finally decided that the foot and leg pain I’d been complaining about a year ago when he told me I needed new shoes was bad enough that maybe I actually would buy those new shoes.
I walked into the local running shoes store (yes, the, because there is only one) and asked, “My ankles are getting all wobbly when I run. What would you recommend?”
He told me his best seller, I tried it on, he showed me that it came in bright pink, and I walked out in under about 4 minutes.
Possibly one of the best transactions of my entire life.
In case it matters, he was un-ironically sporting a wonderful mustache. And we all know how I feel about a guy with an un-ironic mustache. So I guess he has my business for life now.
Because I love a mustache, and I absolutely don’t have the time or knowledge to buy a shoe online.
Earlier this week, I went over to Gabe’s parents’ house to celebrate his grandmother’s 94th birthday.
I brought over some work to do before dinner, but just as I was sitting down, the power went out. Which meant the internet went out. Which means no work.
And also meant a candlelit dinner, which was tres romantique for a 94th birthday party.
We ate enchiladas and delicious chocolate cake, while rain poured down outside. Since Gabe’s grandmother is French, we spoke French all through dinner, which meant I nodded along politely, reacted about a second too late to everything anyone said, and contributed a lot of “Oh!” and “Oui!” sounds to the conversation.
After hauling out several old candles to light the room, and after cutting off the lumpy, melted, knocking-this-candle-over-so-it-can’t-stand-up-straight wax off a couple of particularly old ones, Gabe got the brilliant idea to make a candle.
And so, because we had no electricity, we did.
It was beautiful, and difficult to photograph.
Also this week, Gabe finally completed the whole entire floor of our new apartment! Which he has been building for us, in the middle of the woods, and which we’ll be moving into together in like 2 weeks!
Here is Gabe midway through his work on the floor. (How about that stove, btw?? I can’t wait to crank it and make it so warm all the time forever in this new apartment.)
Other than these photos, nothing interesting has happened. I am still a Twitter robot and I spend my days either staring into the Internet or trying to chat people up at 94th birthday parties about WHAT IS EVEN GOING ON ON THE AMERICANS!
Today Gabe is wearing a white t-shirt, red shorts, and brown flip flops.
Last fall, when we were running the Spark Notebook Kickstarter, I spent days upon days on Twitter. We would tweet at people who were tweeting about other planners, and say, “Hey! I saw your tweet about ___ and thought you might like this project too!” and then link them to our Kickstarter.
When we first started, I was terrified I’d get a barrage of replies being like, “Hey stop spamming me.”
But do you want to know something crazy?
No one ever said that. There were maybe three people who replied saying, “Aren’t you worried people will think this is spam?”. And then I’d write back and say, honestly, “Most people just seem to either ignore it or be excited to have been alerted to a project they really do like.” And then those people would write back and say, basically, “Oh okay, carry on.”
So the consequence I thought would occur from spending all day on Twitter didn’t occur.
But a different consequence did occur. And that consequence was that I lost my mind.
There is something crazy-making about copy-pasting the same phrase over and over into a Twitter box for several hours a day. It’s boring, but demands your attention. You can do it while listening to an audiobook or watching TV, but you can’t totally engage with the other thing.
And it is completely, overwhelmingly, unstoppably addictive.
Even after 4 hours of tweeting while watching Law and Order, with my eyes drooping and my legs screaming for me to move them and take my body outside, I would think, “Okay, well I’ll just clear this page and then I’ll go.”
So I would clear the page, scroll down to reveal a new list of names, and think, “Okay, well I’ll just clear this page and then I’ll go.”
Is this what it feels like to be a robot? If so, then I don’t blame them for always taking over in those movies and books where robots take over. I wouldn’t want to be a robot either.
Anyways, we are selling the Spark Notebook again. The print run is happening next month and they’ll be delivered in June. But final orders are due in next week, which means I’m back on Twitter. Always. And forever. Every second of every day, until next Tuesday.
If you want to buy one, the email alerts I get telling me that there’s been another sale are basically the only punctuation during days of tweeting and law-and-order-solving and listening to the new Jon Ronson book that I actually listened to in less than 24 hours because it was so good and, like, what else was I going to do? But that’s not important.
What’s important is that I am losing my mind, but there is an end in sight. Oh, and then there’s this picture of Romeo from Easter which is great:
Today Gabe is wearing a grey sweatshirt, blue shorts, and brown flip flops. Romeo is wearing white fur.
Last week, on a run I had a cow encounter. An en-cow-nter? Nevermind.
I was on a run, in the same place where last summer I TOUCHED A COW’S NOSE FOR THE FIRST TIME, and this time I saw something amazing. It was better than one cow. It was, like, 20 cows.
And you guys, I touched ALL of their noses.
They were all standing in a line at the fence, just looking at me as I ran past. And what was I supposed to do? Not touch their noses?
So I went one by one, greeted the cows, and then pushed my fist slowly into each one of their noses.
It was just as satisfying as the first time. And even better because I was going to be able to do it a seemingly endless number of times.
And then something amazing? weird? gross? happened.
One of them, while I had my hand on her nose, opened her mouth. And out came her tongue. And it went all over my hand. Like, a lot.
It was warm, and weird, and like, very very soft. I guess this is the price you pay for touching a cow nose. Sometimes they are going to touch your hand back, by any means necessary.
I ran on.
This morning, I am painting the bedroom in the new apartment Gabe has been building for us in the middle of the forest in Humboldt County. The former art studio at his parents’ house has become, over the last few months, a brand new adorable living space.
Gabe has delegated paint to me (since he is literally designing and building everything else — it only seems fair), and it has been a really daunting task. So far I’ve painted the bathroom, some main living spaces, and yesterday afternoon I did the light green kitchen.
The bedroom has by far been the most challenging color to pick, because that’s the one room of the house that isn’t lined with windows. Everywhere else is so bright and light that it hardly matters what color you make it. But this bedroom…it’s dark.
I finally figured out what Pinterest is for and how to use it, and I started researching how to paint darker bedrooms. At first I chose a grey that everyone thought was too dark; then a blue that everyone thought was insane.
Today, though, I think I have the color. It’s called “Regal”, so it can’t be wrong, right?
Plus, it’s only going on two walls. (I learned from Pinterest that if you have a dark room, painting two walls a darker color can trick the eye into thinking the room goes back farther and is bigger.) So it can’t be that bad, right?
Can you tell I’ve gotten kind of insecure about my paint choices?
Well, I can’t wait any longer. It’s time to go paint. Fingers crossed.
PS. Here’s another cow I saw on my run that day, just standing in a big puddle. Cows are weird.
Today Gabe is wearing a grey fleece, a brown t-shirt, and blue jeans covered in joint compound.
This week I made a few impulse purchases, and for once in my life, I don’t feel guilty at all about them.
Last week, J. Crew had a sale where everything that was already on sale was another 40% off, and while I’m not usually a sucker for sales like this, I went a little bit wild last weekend shopping for weird silk shirts with tiny zebras on them and fancy bird sweaters. And by “a little bit wild”, I mean I literally looked at every single page of sale items on the J. Crew website. There were 36 pages. I looked at every single one.
Then, over the weekend, I started researching this site called Stitch Fix (ps. that’s a referral link – if you try out Stitch Fix, click that and I can get some $$) where you fill out a style profile and then they send you 5 pieces in the mail that they think will fit your style. Then you try everything on at home, keep and pay for what you like, and send everything else back for free.
Living in the fashion and beauty wasteland that is Humboldt County, I think I’ve started getting really into fashion and beauty in a reactionary way.
The more I can’t access these things, the more I want them. The more I look at blogs about what ladies are wearing. The more I find myself googling “what do you do with bronzer” and then placing large orders to get bronzer, plus “just a few other things” that I assume I’ll be needing sometime soon.
None of it is here in person. It all has to be delivered in.I mean, I don’t even know where I would go here to buy new jeans or some blush. Like, there is nowhere. So now I am getting really into seeking out and delivering it all in, to myself, as often as possible.
So I scheduled a Stitch Fix delivery for next week. And then I made a triple-digit order on Sephora yesterday, to get some soaps, and serums, and moisturizers, and several other items delivered in.
I am in consumer mode, and it is pretty fun.
I’m not normally a big spender; in fact, I think this is probably the end of my spending for a while now that I’ve gotten it out of my system this last week or so.
But a couple weeks ago I did some freelance work that paid shockingly well. It was a last minute offer, and I took it, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I made enough to bump my saving account across the goal line I’ve been working towards for months.
And after I crossed that line, I had a little left over. And I thought, “Why not?”
So, hippies and communists of Humboldt County, look out. If you see a woman in fancy shorts and a silk zebra shirt coming towards you wearing bronzer, don’t be afraid. I still respect your right to smoke pot on the sidewalk and to talk to me about your hemp clothing and what the government doesn’t want me to know. I’m just acting out.