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 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 tan fleece, a white t-shirt, blue jeans, and brown boots.
This week I got my rhythm back (a little bit more than last week) but I’ve still been figuring out how to spend my time.
I realized I think I’m having such a hard time, partially, because right before I left for vacation, we were in a mad sprint at work with our Kickstarter, so I actually haven’t been living my normal schedule since the beginning of November. I went from working wake-up-to-bedtime for 30 days, to barely working at all.
And now things are back to normal, only I don’t remember what normal feels like.
I keep sleeping through my most productive hours; I normally do amazing things in between 8-10am, after waking up around 6-7. But now I sleep until 8:30 or almost 9, and from there I just seem to lose the day.
(Is it embarrassing that I just had the thought, “I guess I could start setting an alarm for 6:30 or 7 to reset my schedule”? I honestly just thought of it. I haven’t woken up to an alarm regularly for like 2 years…so I guess I forgot it was an option? Oof.)
It’s been hard getting back into yoga too. When I was on vacation, I got a little — let’s call it “soft”.
I was feeling so strong before I left and over the summer I had lost 8 pounds and to be honest, this fall I was feeling pretty good about things.
Then Christmas vacation happened. And the softness rolled in.
Christmas wasn’t all bad for my yoga lifestyle. I got some beautiful new yoga clothes as Christmas gifts (shout out AG!) that I desperately needed, and which gave me a *huge* boost of confidence in my first class back.
But then in my second class back, after the thrill of amazing new clothes had worn off a little, I realized how much of my yoga powers I had lost. I started having trouble clicking in mentally, and I definitely had trouble aligning all my poses and having super strong arms.
(Ha ha just kidding I have never had, and probably never will have, strong arms.)
It’s slowly coming back. Just like my work routine is slowly coming together, so is my yoga. Slowly.
One thing I’ve been enjoying a lot since being back is the weather. It’s sunny here! It’s warm! Not shorts-weather-warm, but great weather for taking a hike by the beach.
Gabe and I headed to an unexplored trail by the beach this weekend, where we found ourselves out of the sun and under the canopy of many a redwood tree. We had a weird conversation about nothing, where I told him really interesting stories like how I had recently purchased some pre-shelled pistachios and wasn’t sure how I felt about them, and he told me about dubious plans to create an all-rope tree fort one day.
It’s fun to have conversations about nothing with people sometimes.
I used to be a terrible conversationalist, and after many years of working really hard at it, I think I’m actually pretty good at it now. It takes a lot of effort (as an introvert, every bone in my body usually wants to run away from the idea of most conversations) but it’s a skill I’m really proud of.
But sometimes it’s nice to just say boring, weird stuff to someone you love. Under a canopy of redwoods. Knowing that when you come out it will be a bright sunny day, and one of you has a coupon for ice cream that you’re about to go use.
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 white t-shirt, blue shorts, brown flip flops, and green sunglasses.
To say that I was disengaged during high school would be an understatement.
And when I say “during high school”, I mean literally the time that I was inside my high school, from 7:55am to the time the final bell rang at 2:25pm. I wasn’t a super sulky teen who just didn’t care — I was an editor on the newspaper, I had friends and boyfriends, and I knew that continuing to be a very good student would mean going to a very good college, which was all I had cared about since I was about 12 — but by the time I was in high school I was so bored during school every day that I checked out mentally for huge blocks of time on an almost daily basis.
I would wander the halls every single day.
I would ask to go to the bathroom in a different class each day and, knowing I had some A-student credibility built up, I would just leave and go take a walk for 10 or 15 or 20 minutes. No one ever stopped me and I never got up to any trouble while I was on my walks; I just couldn’t stand to be in class anymore and so I would go take a walk, look at art projects hung on the walls or read student council campaign signs or look at old photos in the trophy cases, and just enjoy a break.
I bring this up because this week, I was re-introduced to my checked-out self — who I haven’t seen in years — and it brought memories of wandering the halls of high school and taking a mental vacation when you’re somewhere you just don’t care to be anymore.
It was Saturday morning, and I wanted to take a yoga class. Gabe was out of town and I was feeling antsy, having given no thought to what I wanted to do with a weekend on my own. This was my first mistake.
I don’t usually take yoga on Saturdays, and so I didn’t know any of the teachers who were teaching that day when I decided I needed to take a yoga class.
The one who happened to be teaching an “all levels” class closest to the time I wanted to go had the kind of “why yes, I AM a yoga teacher” name that tends to give me pause when selecting my teachers. I won’t re-print it here, but suffice to say, people who have self-given touchy feely names tend not to be a good fit for me.
But I decided to be cool and non-judgmental. I mean, I quit using shampoo! I can be very cool and into hippie culture, right?
(As it turns out: no, not in all cases.)
When I got to class everything seemed fine at first. Nice music, good vibes, and poses I could handle. But I noticed she had a very distinct way of talking. And by distinct, I mean impossible.
She would whisper, inaudibly, “now just roll ontoyourback..spreadyourfingers…putyourkneesup..”
“AND RISE!!!!” she would shout.
11 heads pop up, having missed the previously whispered string of instructions, quickly eyeball the pose the teacher is in, and scramble to mimic it.
“Okay. Now…whileonyourback…lift your hips and your arms over your head.”
11 heads pop up, wondering how to get your hips and your arms over your head at the same time.
This, on top of a lot of talk about love and those annoying reversing platitudes that fold in on themselves (“what is inside you is outside you, etc”), and by about 45 minutes in, I was out.
I was not engaged, to the point where I didn’t care if she thought I was doing a good job (which, you should know by now, is generally my only motivator in yoga: pleasing my teacher). I was bored. I wanted to leave.
And so I did something I’ve never done in a yoga class before. I left.
Not for good, but I just stood up, walked to the door, and went for a wander around the halls.
I looked at a clock I’d never noticed before. I got a glass of water. I read the rules for the sauna, which it turns out, have some pretty funny jokes in them.
It was delightful. I stayed out there for maybe 5 minutes, but those 5 minutes made it possible for me to come back to class and actually do some yoga that pleased me — rather than just running out the clock and waiting for it to be over.
And my walk did what my teacher could not — it brought me into the present moment; it relaxed me; it tuned me into the world around me that I see all the time, but fail to notice. I stopped thinking about how bored I was, and found something to appreciate and enjoy.
Gabe doesn’t like going on my daily long walks with me (though he humors me more and more every year by coming along) but I wonder if my need to go walk around, even on the same route every day like I used to do in Seattle, comes from those days back in high school where a little walk was a special, just-for-me time I was completely present during the day, and appreciating a place I normally couldn’t stand to be.
I don’t know.
After yoga, I did a shopping trip to see about making my own homemade deodorant but ended up buying a pre-made hippie version when I couldn’t find one of the key ingredients for my recipe. Sigh.