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, 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 white t-shirt, red shorts, and brown boots.
Oof. I had a sinus headache all afternoon yesterday, and unfortunately my week was so busy this week that I didn’t get a chance to compose an actual interesting, nice post in advance. So in place of a real post, here is a collection of miscellaneous notes from this week:
I think I might have stopped using baking soda and vinegar for my hair washing routine. Let me explain.The other day I was over at Gabe’s parents’ house, and my hair was feeling so dirty. Which, by the way, has been happening more and more in the last few weeks.
At first, when I started doing the baking soda thing, my hair was super clean and good looking, for many days at a time. But over time, my hair started to feel dirtier faster, and it didn’t look much different than back when I was using shampoo.
So anyways, I was at Gabe’s house. Since I didn’t want to whip up a baking soda concoction in their kitchen just so I could take a 5 minute shower, I decided to take a chance and wash my hair with the Dr. Bronner’s soap that was sitting in the shower stall.
And you guys – my hair looked amazing. Like, better than it’s looked in weeks. So I bought some Dr. Bronner’s for myself and I have been using it. And my hair looks so much better than with baking soda. I might be out of that game.
I haven’t heard many people who have quit shampoo and then gone back to washing their hair (even though Dr. Bronner’s isn’t really shampoo or even normal soap…). I wonder how many of us there are out there?
I skipped yoga on Monday night and went to the movies instead. I saw Gone Girl. It was in some ways better than the book (the movie ending was WAY better than the book), although the characters were a little less deep than in the book…
Here’s another yoga story: on my way into the building earlier this week, on a particularly rainy night, a guy who happens to look eerily similar to someone I went to high school with, and who I have seen around the yoga studio a lot, got to the door at the same time as me.I almost never interact with him because he looks so much like my old friend that it gives me the creeps. So to have him hold the door open for me was…a weird moment.
So I hurried up (don’t forget, it was raining) and as soon as I took my first hurried, wet step into the building, I slipped and fell directly down onto the ground.
It was one of those falls where nothing hurts; you’re more surprised than anything. One second I was up, and the next I was down. I laughed quickly to let him know I was okay, and looked up to see if he was offering me a hand.
Instead, he did nothing. He said nothing.
I said, “Don’t worry, I’m okay!” thinking maybe he was just a little bit in shock. He still said nothing, just standing there, still holding the door open as I fumbled to get up while halfway in and halfway out of the building.
Finally, as I was back on my feet and walking into the building, he said, “Did you hit anything?”
For a split second I thought about running away and quitting this yoga studio forever before I could never overcome such an awkward encounter, but decided I should probably just go to class instead. As usually, I got very sweaty.
In one great moment, though, my teacher opened the window and a cold breeze — along with a few glorious cold raindrops — blew in on me.
I met a black cat on my street. I briefly considered becoming the kind of person who carries a baggie of kibble in their pocket. I decided against it. For now.
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:
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.)
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.
Today Gabe is wearing a blue sweatshirt, red shorts, grey socks, and black shoes.
You guys, a wonderful amazing thing happened to me this week.
First, in case it wasn’t yet clear from all the cat news (and before that, snail news) and work-related slides with bunnies talking on the telephone on this blog, I love animals. I think they’re funny. I think they’re cute. I could watch basically any animal do anything for any amount of time.
And ever since I can remember, I have wanted to touch a cow’s nose. I’m not sure when I noticed this longing, but whenever I see a cow (in real life or in photos) all I can imagine is pressing my palm up against their nose and how oddly satisfying I think it would feel.
Slightly firm, but a little leathery and soft. A little wet, but slightly textured.
And I didn’t just want to touch it, but I also wanted to push on it a little bit. To palm it. To put just a little bit of pressure on their weird, soft, funny nose.
I don’t know why. But people have these tactile things, right? Some people have to stick their fingers on a sticker; some people just go bananas for the feel of certain fabrics. I don’t know how I came to know that touching and ever so slightly pressing on a cow’s nose would be, just, a wonderful feeling, but I knew it.
But I also knew that, like, when am I going to get that opportunity?
Sure, Gabe wants to get goats, and probably chickens, and maaaaybe a cow, but that’s several years away at least.
So it’s one of those things I knew would be great, but that just wasn’t likely to happen anytime soon, if ever. I wasn’t going to actively pursue it, because I didn’t even know how to actively pursue it. So I put it out of my mind (except, of course, when I was driving past a field full of cows — which, by the way, are almost always standing in a herd several yards out of reach of some non-farm lady to stick her hand over the fence and push on a nose).
Which is what made what happened this Monday so amazing.
Let me refer you to an email sent this Monday, July 21, 2014.
Subj: THE BEST RUN EVER
the greatest thing just happened.
this afternoon i went running and before i was starting my run i saw a field with a few cows in it, so i walked up to the fence to look at them and then one of them walked towards me and then it put its head through the fence and i let it smell my hand and then i realized i could totally touch its nose and so i did and i finally got to touch a cow’s nose!!!!!!!
and it was the greatest. it was just like i hoped it would be.
and then i had an amazing run. yay!!
And you guys, it was just like I imagined it would be.
No, it was better! Because I was actually doing it! I couldn’t believe it. I laughed out loud. I looked around to see if anyone was watching, and when I saw that no one was there, I did it again.
It was just great. A day-changer. The realization of a totally inconsequential yet deeply satisfying dream, completely unexpected and out of nowhere. What a simple pleasure. Just one of the best feelings in the world.
I may have to quit blogging or maybe even going out of the house, because it’s simply not going to get better than this.
But rather than quitting everything because I’ve peaked, I’m going to take the opposite tack. I’m going to go through life with my chin a little higher because I know tiny, amazing moments are possible and even if I never get to press another cow nose again in my life (but OH I hope I do) that I did it and it was just as wonderful as I knew it would be.
And that is pretty good.
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.