Tagged: style

It’s on.

flower child    no pictures please

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

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.

idyllic

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.

it's on!

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. 🙂

Must ask.

man at work!   umm is that a ping pong table in my dining room?

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.

taken while trying not to get caught photographing my shoes in publicI 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.

just 3 generations being adorbzI 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.

portrait of the artist   you're glowing!

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.)

stove to nowhere

Manly, no?

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!

Little friend.

"are you stealing my thunder, romeo?"   which one of us is cuter?

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.

cow news is good newsAnd 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.

nothing to see here

Sweet heart.

you spin my head right round right round   everything's fine!

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.

Inner beauty.

well howdy there ma'am   did that sound like a cowboy?

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.

Nothing.

So I grabbed my towel and flicked it at it.

Nothing.

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.

Ten count.

i just sneezed!   i'm a new man!

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.

Birthday cake.

like a bridge over confused waters   my name is mike i like to hike - just kidding! my name is gabe.

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.