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 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 tan fleece, khaki pants, and brown boots.
This week, in yoga class, a fly dropped dead on my yoga mat.
I was just pulling myself into plank position, when I saw a little black spot appear right underneath where my knees were hovering. Then I saw it move. “Oh, a fly,” I thought to myself.
So I spread my knees apart and lowered down onto the mat, so that I wouldn’t squish it with my legs on my way down into cobra. I expected that it would fly away as I moved my body down basically on top of it, but nothing happened. I lowered all the way down with my legs on either side of it, and when it still didn’t move, I sat up and tried to swat it away.
So I grabbed my towel and flicked it at it.
That’s when I realized that this fly came to its final resting place right on my yoga mat.
It felt like a sign. Of what, I don’t know. But when something lays down and dies on your yoga mat right in front of you, it feels kind of significant.
Maybe I’m overly sensitive to signs lately. Someone told me recently that I should start writing down my dreams every morning, so that I can pick up clues about what’s going on in my mind. In fact, they said I should set an intention for my dreams every night (like, “tonight I’m going to dream about what I want to do next in life” or “tonight I’m going to dream about my family”) and then in the morning, put together the clues and themes from the dream to inform how I’m feeling deep down about things.
So I have been starting the last few days by, as soon as I wake up, trying to decode the clues from my dreams from the night before.
One morning this week I woke up and tried to figure out what it meant that I was in a busy city street and kept trying to leave to go to the beach, but every time I would step away, I would realize that I had left my computer or something else valuable up in the city that I had to go back for. My intention that night had been, “I’m going to dream about who I really am.”
It sets a weird tone for your day when the first thing you do is try to quickly scribble down the weird things that made sense when you were dreaming but are quickly slipping through your mental fingertips now that you’re awake, and then start decoding. What does the computer symbolize? Where is this city? What does this have to do with who I really am?
It makes you look at everything you do for the rest of the morning in a really weird light.
So maybe the fly who decided to die on my yoga mat wasn’t trying to tell me something. But it felt like it.
Maybe tonight I’ll set my dream intention: “I’m going to dream about what that fly was trying to tell me” or “I’m going to dream about what that fly knows that I don’t know”.
I hope it’s a good one.
Today Gabe is wearing a red raincoat, a grey fleece, blue jeans, and brown boots.
Did you know you can get a headache from a massage?
Yesterday afternoon I was feeling tense and headache-y all on my own, so I decided on a whim to cash in the massage gift certificate that my parents got me for my birthday earlier this week.
I called and got a last-minute appointment, and had a truly amazing massage. I was like, in the zone for the whole thing. It was so relaxing, and although I normally try to avoid ever speaking during a massage because it will take me out of the zone, I actually had a nice (albeit mumbled and brief) conversation with my masseuse about my weird body tension.
When I started doing yoga, the only adjustment I ever got was my teachers walking by a shoving my shoulders down away from my ears. Apparently, my shoulders are always hovering just millimeters below my ears, which is not where they belong.
And apparently, holding your shoulders up and forward is not very conducive to relaxed muscles or open chakras.
(I already knew this. I just didn’t know I personally was guilty of doing it basically 24 hours a day for my whole life.)
So while I was getting my massage yesterday, she was working on my head and upper neck and she asked, “Do you get a lot of headaches?”
And I said, “Kind of.”
And she said, “I can tell. You have SO much tension here. It’s like a brick.”
I’m not a doctor, but I know that in general your body is not supposed to have brick-like qualities.
So she worked on my scalp and my neck and I had the realization for the first time ever that those muscles *are* always tense, and that having someone rub them felt really, really good.
It was pretty incredible (though I don’t think those muscles ever even got fully relaxed, but that will probably take another 28 years to un-do) and after the massage she even taught me some qi-related body shakes I could do to transfer my energy back into the earth rather than up into my head.
(I live in Humboldt County, where these kinds of lessons are inevitable. I just accept them now.)
I went home blissful. And sleepy. And hungry. And thirsty.
I ate ice cream and drank lots of water. And then I got a raging, get-in-bed-and-don’t-get-out headache that lasted until I went to sleep at 9pm.
Apparently, as I learned from the internet, feeling sick and getting a headache after a massage is actually a sign that it went well. Something about your lymphatic system and toxins and your internal water balance all getting massaged and released can really throw off the rest of your day.
And apparently, I had a really good massage. Because oh boy, this headache was no joke.
Luckily, it was bedtime by the time it really hit in full force. So I went to sleep and woke up without a headache and with a light, somewhat-flexible neck.
I can still feel my shoulders creeping up to their usual hiding spot, even as I type this, but I’m working hard to keep them down. I’m just trying not to feel tense about what failures my shoulders are. I don’t think my masseuse would appreciate me giving myself tension about feeling guilty about my tension.
So maybe I’ll just shake these bad vibes down into the earth. I hope my neighbors can’t see me.
Today Gabe is wearing a tan fleece, blue jeans, and brown boots.
All week it’s been raining in Humboldt County. As I write this, I’m sipping a latte and debating whether or not I can realistically leave this coffee shop and weather the rain that is pouring down. I know it’s just a short run to the car, but it’s so warm and cozy in here that, even though I don’t have any more work I can work on here, I don’t really want to leave.
And I like it that way.
When I moved to Seattle, I was disappointed by how much this supposedly rainy city didn’t live up to its reputation.
Everyone told me when I got there, “See! Everyone says it rains a lot here, but it’s actually really sunny! And in the winter, it’s just grey, not rainy.”
And I was like, “We are not on the same page about this.”
I was hoping it would rain a lot there. I considered that a perk. I didn’t want it to be sunny. I like the rain. I feel like if I’m going to have a grey winter day, I better at least get some good rain out of it so that I can cozy up to a latte and snuggle under a blanket at home. I want to fall asleep to the sound of raindrops and wind chimes blowing around. I want to wake up to a wet driveway and a sleepy town.
I like the feeling of having to stay inside and burrow down. Maybe it comes from growing up in the Midwest where sometimes it’s so cold in the winter that you just can’t go outside, and sometimes it’s so stormy in the summer that you have to huddle in the basement playing board games all night.
It’s nice to be safe and cozy inside when it’s less-than-nice outside. And maybe I like it to be gross outside so I can burrow down and feel like I have a good reason for it.
A few weeks ago I tried to figure out what my spirit animal was, and I decided it was probably a deer. But maybe I need to be some kind of burrowing creature? A tiny, hide-y, dig-me-a-tunnel-and-I’ll-see-you-next-spring animal? Not that I know what any of those are. (Taking suggestions in the comments.)
And if you’re wondering, Gabe’s spirit animal is probably a pelican.
Every spring, I visit my aunt in southern California, and I always fantasize about living there while we are there. I love being by the beach, and the palm trees, and the every-single-day sunshine, and the bathing suits, and the burritos…
But I think I’d miss the gloom and rain of northern California. We get enough sun to feel like we still live in California (I mean, it was 75 and sunny just a week or two ago), but every once in a while we get to snuggle down and pretend we’re having a cozy winter at home too.
Today Gabe is wearing a tan fleece, blue jeans, and brown boots.
On Wednesday this week, I was having a little bit of a bad day. I decided around noon to exercise my work-from-home right to work-from-bed, and so I turned on my heated mattress pad, changed into comfy pants, and crawled under the covers with my laptop.
I was only under there for a few minutes when the bed started to shake.
I’ve lived in California for (cumulatively) about 4 years now, and I have never felt an earthquake. Once, when I lived in San Francisco, I heard a rumble that I thought was a big truck but turned out to be a minor earthquake — but I didn’t actually feel anything.
So it was strange to realize a few days ago that yes, my bed was actually shaking and no, there was no explanation for why I was suddenly bouncing left to right.
It went on for longer than I would have expected. I actually had time to think, “Is my bed shaking? Are they doing some work upstairs? Is this a big truck rumbling down my street? Oh wait, no, I think this is an earthquake. Am I in an earthquake? Lucky I’m in bed. I hope nothing falls down! Is this still happening?”
It really dragged on.
And luckily, I was in bed and nothing did fall down.
Today Gabe is wearing a brown sweatshirt, khaki pants, and brown boots.
This week I’m writing my post in advance because at the time my post usually goes live, I am going to be working in a sweatshop of my own creation, hand-packing and shipping Spark Notebooks to everyone who ordered one during our Kickstarter.
So I’m writing this on Sunday night, while trying to pack a full week of work into 1 weekend day and 2 weekdays before I leave for Seattle on Wednesday.
I’m driving up — it’s a 10 hour trip that I kind of love to do — and I’m staying with my Popforms cofounder from that night until whenever we get the last notebook mailed out.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. We had originally set up production so that the notebooks, once printed, would be sent to a fulfillment center that would ship them out for us. But then they delayed the project. And then they delayed it again. And again.
So that suddenly, the notebooks we had promised by early January weren’t going to go out until maybe February.
And that’s when we decided: we’ll just do it ourselves. And in a way, it feels kind of right that it happened this way. Not that we wanted to spend several full days assembling boxes, printing labels, and hand-packing thousands of notebooks from Kate’s living room during the middle of a work week, but it actually kind of matches our history and who we are as a company. We have always been bootstrapped, doing things manually and keeping our hands on as much of the finished product as possible so we could make sure it was exactly what we wanted to deliver.
So I’m driving up to Seattle to pack a couple thousand notebooks into boxes.
And I don’t know when I’ll be back.
But it will be a good trip. I hope I’ll get to see some friends, but a change of scenery is always nice for me, regardless of what actually happens while I’m away.
I just hope my plants don’t die while I’m gone. Someone who I won’t name, but I bet you know who I’m talking about, didn’t water my plants while I was gone for two weeks for Christmas (his defense: “I forgot.”) and now one of them is in very rough shape. I’m hoping for a miracle while I’m away.
What should you do when every leaf on a plant has wilty brown edges? It’s very sad.
For now I’m trimming the obviously dead leaves off, giving it good light, and trying really hard to resist the urge to overwater it.
Send positive vibes our way and maybe, just maybe, when I come back from Seattle I will be a few thousand notebooks lighter and in possession of one beautiful, healthy Dieffenbachia Compacta.