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 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.
Today Gabe is wearing a brown sweatshirt, khaki pants, grey socks, and black shoes.
(Romeo is wearing white fur. And nothing else.) (Typical.)
You guys, this week I did something I really never thought I would do.
This week, I grabbed a credit card and went online, and I ordered The Desire Map, which is a book made by Danielle LaPorte and which is a place to think about your goals (or, you might say, your desires) and make plans to go get those things you want. Once you know what they are.
And that’s not something I ever thought I would be spending my money on.
But in the last few weeks, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to what my goals are and where I actually want to go in my life. It occurred to me that instead of just thinking about these things while I go on walks, and then put those thoughts on hold until the next day’s walk, that it might actually be useful to write these things down.
And not just in a notebook, because I learned a long time ago that my attempts to journal “big ideas” usually result in the first 1-2 pages of a brand new notebook being somewhat-filled with tentative half-thoughts, and then abandoned. And later burned. Because seriously, how embarrassing.
So I thought: maybe in this case, a system would help.
Maybe someone else giving me some guidelines and questions to answer and tips and inspiring/a-little-bit-eyeroll-worthy-but-still ideas might be useful for turning those embarrassing half-thoughts into some real, actual ideas.
And so I got one.
I’m excited. And a little weirded out – I mean, buying journals about “feelings” and “goals” is really not my style most of the time. But this week, it felt like the right move.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
And as long as we’re talking about notebooks that just might change your life…
I want to share something with you. It’s a Kickstarter we launched yesterday at Popforms, and as of right now (like, right this very second!) you can pledge and support a pretty cool project and get a sweet notebook of your very own.
The Spark Notebook is something that’s been months in the making, and I can’t believe it’s actually out there and people can finally actually see the video, and the pages, and actually donate to get a real-life notebook of their own. You guys!
I’d love for you to check it out! Amazingly, we met 100% of our funding goal yesterday (like, 14 hours after the project went live!) which was insane, but really exciting and validating. I couldn’t believe it — I was basically glued to the computer all day, starting at 6am and going on until…I don’t even remember when I went to bed.
We’re really excited to see what we can do if we can keep this amazing momentum going. Adding some new goals, some new designs — we have lots of ideas.
If you like the notebook and want to pledge, honestly it would mean so much to me! Or even if you just share it on social media (you get free stuff, if you do!). If you leave a comment on this post letting me know you pledged or shared the project, I’ll send you a hand-written thank you note.
For reals. Because it means a lot, and also because I love a good hand-written thank you note.
And that concludes the notebook section of this post.
Quick poll: has anyone else noticed that yoga class sometimes seems like a competition for who can breathe the loudest? Asking for a friend. Who is a lady I don’t know. Who was sighing ridiculously loudly on the yoga mat next to me last night.
Today Gabe is wearing a grey sweatshirt, a green t-shirt, red shorts, and brown flip flops.
This week I got a new computer. Yay! The best part is came for free via work.
I had to send my old computer to our new content writer, and so I had to delete everything off of my part of it so she could start fresh without having to reformat the blah blah and lose all the programs already on it.
And the process of transferring my old computer stuff onto my new computer has made me remember the thing that always comes up whenever I am moving or otherwise doing something arduous involving getting things from one place to another — it has made me remember that when faced with the task of transferring anything from here to there, my first reaction is just to leave it all behind and start over.
Just forget it. Leave it. “I don’t have time for this.”
I told myself this time would be different.
And yet, on Monday night, I found myself watching my old photos slowly (gut-wrenchingly slowly) upload one by one to Dropbox — my fifth attempt to get the last year or so of photos transferred to my new computer, after a failed Mac migration attempt, a failed zip drive attempt, a failed emailing-a-folder-to-myself attempt — thinking this thought over and over:
“Let’s just leave them all behind. Start fresh! Forget it.”
I had started the process on Friday. It took 3 days before I reached that point. Longer than usual, but here we are.
I am good at leaving stuff behind. I don’t feel sentimental when it comes to things — I guess I like to see something that has sentimental value if it shows up, but if keeping something will cost me more time/energy/money/thought than leaving it behind will, I will almost always choose to leave it behind.
I have no photos from college because my computer crashed at the end of senior year and I said, “Oh forget it” to all of the music and photos that I had accumulated in the previous four years.
And I didn’t really feel sad about it; I didn’t come to regret it later. The most that ever happens is a, “Hey where’s that song? Oh, it was on that mixtape that was on my old computer.”
I have one photo of my senior art thesis, and I have no idea where the actual physical components of my thesis went. I missed the deadline to take it down from the gallery and the gallery manager got mad at me, and I decided the prospect of dealing with her further was not worth getting the pieces of my thesis back. And so I never got it back. And I never regretted it.
Because, really — what am I going to do with my art thesis? Put it in a box and store it in a closet? For how long? I hate the idea of transferring something around that I’ll only end up throwing out later.
But this time — I want these goddamn photos.
The last year has been great. Great! I have so many photos of Gabe (thanks in no small part to this blog) and the two of us doing fun things together in Seattle and Humboldt, plus pictures of France and trips to La Jolla and Peoria, and just a lot of things I’d actually like to see again in the future.
Luckily, the Dropbox method [seems to have] worked. I got everything loaded, and deleted everything off the old computer. I have yet to download the new photos from Dropbox, but you know — I’ve been busy.
I have been basically tethered to my new computer since it arrived, since it came right in the midst of launching our newest product at Popforms. Morning til night, I am staring at its bright shiny new screen, making slides, writing copy, editing content, and otherwise being completely plugged in.
The end is in sight, though. Maybe even this weekend!
I’m going to eat a vegan cupcake and go for a hike. And then probably remember halfway through that there’s actually this big huge important thing I really need to get done before Monday and rush home to stare into the screen again a little bit longer.
But at least I’ll get the sweet first half of that hike in.
Maybe I’ll even take some photos.
Today Gabe is wearing a tan fleece, a teal jacket, khaki pants, and brown shoes.
This last week has been a blur. We launched this great thing at Popforms. I worked a lot. I slept not enough. I tried to take the weekend off, but ha ha ha I totally didn’t.
However, I took a day trip to Ferndale (a nearby town in Humboldt) on Friday the day after we launched in an attempt to relax (ha ha ha) and I took some photos that will hopefully suffice for a blog post this week.
Please enjoy these pictures of a cemetery, some cows, and also some elk that I saw by Gabe’s house.
Gotta go binge watch old episodes of Mad Men in bed, bye!
Today Gabe is wearing a teal jacket, purple shorts, and flip flops. In other words GABE IS ON VACATION Y’ALL.
Or, Gabe was on vacation when this photo was taken. Which, technically, was Thursday. Which means, technically, today we are back from vacation.
Don’t feel bad for me though — I’m working from bed today, which is basically like being on vacation.
I was talking about going to a wedding in Phoenix. Which I did! And I cried as expected during the ceremony, danced a little as expected at the reception, and then left early once I realized that basically every single person at this wedding was already or on-their-way-to-being completely loaded, which was a little bit more than one teetotaler on her own could keep up with.
Also previously on this blog, I wrote about visiting the lovely Descanso Gardens in Los Angeles and discovered after a few days away from Twitter that they tweeted about my blog post!
This got me thinking about my blog brand (if I can get one garden to tweet about me, how many more could I get if this was some kind of amazing garden blog?) and how kind of aimless this blog has been recently. I have been so busy blogging it up at Popforms that I hardly have anything smart or interesting left to say here by the time I get to my weekly update (though I try to say one funny thing per post, emphasis on try and let’s also put “funny” in quotes).
One of my favorite blogs is a site called Oh Dear Drea, which I return to again and again despite the fact that the author is a hip, gardening, vegan-cooking mom from South Florida — and I am none of those things. It’s been really interesting to read, though, and I think the thing that keeps me (and her many thousands of readers) coming back to it is that it is basically 100% “real talk”, especially in her older posts, which are about being single and pregnant, breakups, getting married, and more — and are so candid and stream-of-consciousness-y.
Same goes for my Popforms cofounder’s blog katemats.com — it is ridiculously popular (and I say ridiculously because she hasn’t updated it in months and it still gets tens of thousands of visits every month) and I think it’s because it is so full of “real talk” about career stuff. It is just super helpful and super honest.
So based on my sample size of two (though I am a very discerning blog reader in the sense that I read almost no blogs because almost no blogs seem worth reading most of the time), I think if this blog is going to grow, it needs to get infused with some real talk. But real talk about what? That’s what I don’t know yet.
Anyways, this post was supposed to be about vacation so let’s talk about vacation!
Here are some things we saw, as we made our way from Phoenix to LA to Santa Barbara to Los Padres National Forest to Big Sur to Point Reyes to the Sonoma Coast to Humboldt County (home sweet home):
After Phoenix, we drove up Highway 1, starting in Los Angeles and going all the way up the coast (twisting and turning) as far as we could go, which turned out to be Leggett — just an hour or so outside of our destination in Arcata. We camped the whole way, which was super fun and slightly out of my comfort zone, though I like to think that thanks to this trip my comfort zone has expanded slightly to allow for 3 consecutive days of camping in 3 different sites.
On the first day of our road trip post-wedding, we finished my audiobook on LA history (A Bright And Guilty Place – highly recommend it!) just as we rolled through Santa Monica to meet up with Highway 1. We pulled over to the side of the road in Malibu, changed into our swimming suits, and jumped into the ocean. The sun was hot and the water was cold, and Gabe showed me how to duck under the big waves and body surf back to shore.
We hopped back in the car and drove until we reached Los Padres National Forest, northeast of Santa Barbara. It was beautiful, warm, and had probably the most charming, kooky campground host on the face of the earth. He showed me where I could see Venus in the early morning sky.
The next day, we packed up camp and ate waffles in Solvang, before hitting the steep, sharp curves on Highway 1 outside Big Sur. Sweating and carsick, I contemplated the desperation of being stuck on a coastal highway with no way to get back to the main roads except to keep plowing forward, while feeling simultaneously thankful to have found a travel partner who gets me to do things like jump in the ocean and take the scenic route because “it’s fun”.
In Big Sur State Park, we camped for the night and I overheard a fellow camper righteously puking in the bathroom on my way to brush my teeth. I set up the tent all by myself for the first time ever, and took it down myself in the morning.
On Wednesday, we stopped by Point Reyes to visit a friend who is working at a nature preserve tracking birds and their nests. We hiked down to the beach and Gabe collected a few shells. We heard about our friend’s coworker, who named himself Hummingbird, which is about what you’d expect, I guess. Then we drove on up the Sonoma Coast, where we camped for the night at a park right on the beach. Everything got very sandy, the air was misty and chilly, and yet somehow it was still one of the most fun nights of the trip.
It probably had something to do with being back in the familiar climate of northern California. There is something comforting in feeling close to home, even if you prefer the hot sunny days of southern California and maybe looked up how much it would cost to buy some land outside of Solvang because maybe it seemed like a great place to live one day.
But being in the salty, misty air of the north coast feels familiar and comforting. And spending three days with someone you like a lot, stuck in the car, asking hypothetical questions like what you’d do if you owed the mob a million dollars but had only collected $100,000, just to keep the conversation going, is pretty fun too.
(In case you were curious, I said I’d take the money and buy a next-day plane ticket to southeast Asia, then take a bus to a train to a boat to Australia, where I would spend the rest of the money on wigs and transportation to some mid-sized city where I wouldn’t stand out to locals and cause a stir, but where the mob also wouldn’t be likely to be traveling in the next year on vacation or something and happen to see me at the grocery store.)
(What would you do?)
And finally, we made it home. I slept in my own bed, I took a shower, and I put on clothes that didn’t smell like a campfire. I reconnected to the internet after 4 days away. It was grand, both being away and coming back.
And now it’s back to real life. Which feels pretty good too.
Today Gabe is backlit. He is also wearing a white t-shirt, khaki pants, and no shoes.
Today I am writing from sunny San Diego, CA. More specifically, sunny La Jolla, CA just north of San Diego, where it is warm, slightly breezy, and wonderfully sunny. Before I left Humboldt County it had been pouring rain for about 72 hours, and before that it had been misty for a week, and before that it had been just plain cloudy.
Needless to say, as a sunshine enthusiast, this is exactly what I needed.
(Though the hippies in Humboldt are quick to remind me that the rain is what will keep the Redwood forest from burning down so OKAY FINE it can rain there I guess.)
On Saturday, Gabe and I drove from Humboldt down to San Francisco to visit friends and hang out for a couple of days before our flight to San Diego. It was fun! I bought some badly needed new pants, and stayed up late playing card games, and got meals with a few friends who live in the area. I also met a one-eyed cat named Joey who I tried desperately to make friends with — which she hated.
In the span of 2 days, I ate about six burritos and accidentally walked about 60 blocks from the beach through Golden Gate Park and up to a place called B-Star for dinner in totally unsupportive shoes — so all in all, a great pre-vacation.
After our flight got delayed by about 4 hours, Gabe and I finally landed in San Diego on Tuesday. Gabe rented a surfboard, we ate an enormous delicious dinner with my mom and my aunt, and we played a game of rummy wherein I spent most of the game with a score in the tripe-digit negative numbers. (Oops.)
Gabe and my aunt Gayle and a went for a hike at Torrey Pines State Park yesterday which was truly amazing and lots of fun, although I have no way to prove it. I brought my camera along specifically to capture the craggy orange stone, wide array of foliage (flowering and spiney, and both at the same time) and the majestic ocean views, but ended up just chatting and pointing at cacti for our 90-or-so minutes walking a full loop of the park’s trails.
We ended up coming down from the park onto the beach and looping down back to the car by walking down the beach, so we hit basically every kind of terrain we possibly could yesterday.
But here are some pictures of things seen and photographed on our trip so far:
And this morning I went to a yoga class with my aunt that has left me feeling super invigorated and excited for the rest of the day. I met some jazzy ladies, chatted with the instructor whose son lives in Humboldt, and — as always happens anytime I am in a room full of people I don’t know — ended up giving my Popforms contact info to a fellow yoga-doer who likes the sound of what we are doing.
So it is a great vacation. Now I am off the enjoy the sun.