I Got a New Hat

I wasn’t planning on buying the hat. I was only running out to Fred Meyer to pick up a prescription but it felt like it was a negative a LOT of degrees outside today and the hat that I was wearing (a little crocheted thing I made by accident a few years ago) was just. not. cutting. the. mustard. So, since I was there anyway, I decided to see if they had any warm hats on sale.

And boy, howdy, did they. The selection was small; not surprising given the snowpocalypse panic we had here in Portland a few weeks ago. All that was left was the funky stuff. The hot pink hats with over-sized glitter baubles sewn in. The super chunky yarned hats that are supposed to fold over the back of the head but stand straight up whenever there’s any moisture in the air. And the one I picked: a super warm and fluffy purple and white hat with a pompom on the top, a small section separated in the back (to allow a ponytail, I’ve decided) and two braided cords with pompoms at the end of them, attached to the back of the hat, one on each side of the small separated part. It’s the goofiest of goofy hats, but Oh Em Gee I Love It.

Here’s the picture I posted on Twitter earlier today:

NEW HAT!

New Hat!

 

And with that, dear blog readers, I HAVE WON NABLOPOMO 2014!

Feeling Capable

I did 150 squats tonight. That is not hyperbole. It was really 150. And I did them on purpose and everything! And and I can still walk. Sure, it’s more like hobbling and there is lots of groaning involved and every time I go from sitting to standing I’m pretty sure that I’m never going to be able to switch back but still: 150 squats! And 50 Supermans! And 15 modified pushups! And woooooooo exercise! Bring on the pizza!

Then, my wireless router decided to get all wonky. My television was still getting an internet signal but my Chromebook and phone dropped their connections entirely. It’s the first time that’s happened since I moved in here and that means it is the first time that has happened that I haven’t had someone else around who knows more about wireless signals and routers (or someone who insists that he knows more than I do whether he does or not) around to fix the problem. But, with the help of Google, I managed to fix it all on my and Google’s own help! Take that, “you’re not smart enough to take care of computer stuff by yourself” people that used to share living spaces with me!

In the scheme of things, these aren’t super big deals. I didn’t suddenly figure out how to bring about world peace or anything. Still, I like knowing that I can figure things out and do things I didn’t think I could do (or that I was told I couldn’t do). I like feeling capable and smart and like my legs are burning off. Well, okay, the burning part is kind of a bummer but the cause behind it and the health that will result from it is pretty great.

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving was simple and low key and I am quite impressed that, for the second year, I managed to cook a whole dinner in my tiny kitchen. I mean, yes, okay, it wasn’t an extensive dinner: turkey, potatoes, green beans, rolls, and fruit salad (which, if we’re being honest, was more just whipped cream with a fruit cocktail garnish but I won’t tell if you don’t); but it still counts!

Wow, that sentence was a grammatical nightmare, wasn’t it?

ANYWAY

I know that yesterday was the day to really share the things for which we are thankful but really–shouldn’t that be an every day thing? Plus I was very very tired last night and there was no oomph left in me for listing or writing or communicating in an understandable matter.

Shut up, this is FAR better than my communication skills were last night.

ANYWAY PART TWO:

This year I have a whole heck of a lot for which to be really really thankful:

I have a kick ass family and this year I got to see and hug so many of them–many of them for the first time since we were MUCH younger!

I have a really really really really really really really really really really really really really great group of friends who are all wonderful and amazing and awesome. They are my “I choose you” family and I love them all so much and, no kidding, I am actively grateful for them Every. Single. Day.

I have a crazy and adorable and hilarious cat who keeps me company all day. I’m not really sure who is who’s pet but I think it all works out in the wash. I keep her fed. She lets me sometimes pet her belly fluff without ripping my hand to shreds. If that’s not feline-human mutual respect, I don’t know what is.

I have a pretty great career–I get to work from home, at my own pace and the work is almost always steady. My primary clients are hilarious and we get along well and I actively look forward to their notes and advice and messages. This is not always the case in the freelance world and things can change on a moment’s notice so I’m thankful that I’m in the lucky camp right now.

I have been able to do every Gorillas (sorry, Nicole: GORILLLLLLLAAAAAAAAAAAAAS) workout so far and, since starting them over again, I haven’t missed a day.

Gilmore Girls is on Netflix. This gets its own line in this list because Gilmore Girls. On Netflix.

I love where I live. I live in my favorite and what is, for me, the best neighborhood in the city. It’s beautiful and almost everything I could need or want to do is within a short walk from the front door of my building. I worked really hard to be able to live here and that I haven’t been forced to move to somewhere less desirable is a small miracle so I’m really thankful I’ve been lucky enough to keep making my rent and really enjoying life here.

And to expand on that, I’m grateful for the geeks and the nerds. You are all my people and have my my life a much better place.

I’m intensely grateful that the Internet and social media exist. They can be incredibly stressful and can harbor some serious asshattery but they help my friends and family and I stay connected and close even though we are far flung and some of us don’t get to see each other in person very often.

This isn’t a completely comprehensive list, but it’ll do for now.

What are you grateful for this year?

Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving

The Mother has landed! I repeat THE MOTHER HAS LANDED.

Meaning, of course, that my Mom is in town for Thanksgiving and that means that the holiday has officially begun! I hope your Thanksgivings (and Thursdays if you live in a non-Thanksgiving celebrating place) are amazing and wonderful and awesome and filled with food and love and family and naps.

From High Up in My Ivory Apartment

I wouldn’t call myself a slacker. I wouldn’t because I know, deep down, that I’m not. I’m busy with work, I have a(n admittedly mellow) social life, I keep my house (relatively) clean and tidy, and I do my best to keep up with the goings on in the world. Even so, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to being well acquainted with the “meh, good enough” half-hearted shoulder shrug. It would also be a lie to tell you that the shrug is a rarity in my world.

Most of the time I don’t mind the shrug. In fact, I’ve been working to embrace the shrug because being able to say “at least I tried,” or “that’ll do; it doesn’t have to be perfect” is something that I think is important to be able to do.

Then there are nights like last night and days like today. There are days when the emotions run high and it feels like we’re all hanging on by the thinnest of threads. We watch as a too-smug Prosecutor announces that the State will not be charging the police officer who murdered an unarmed man. We watch as he blames the victim, the crowds of protesters, the media and everybody except the man who actually wielded the gun. We watch as police officers fire tear gas into crowds of peaceful protesters and as the media choose to focus primarily on the few not-so peaceful protestors who decided to take their frustrations out on their surroundings. We watch and we read because it feels like changing the channel, closing the tab or turning the page feels like turning our backs. Choosing to focus elsewhere feels like saying “you are not as important as this other trivial thing.” It feels like flaunting the fact that we can choose whether or not we pay attention to those for whom that same choice is, at best, a pipe dream.

So we keep watching. We watch from our safe and warm homes and we are keenly aware of how privileged and lucky we are to not be out on the street, trying to stay safe, fighting for our lives at every moment of the day and it hurts. It hurts because if we could take some of that luck and privilege and just hand it over to someone who needs it, we would do it. We would hand it over so fast.

And then we feel guilty for hurting because who are we to hurt? We’re warm and safe and fed and our pets are snuggling and oh poor us, high up in our ivory apartments, we have to feel things! Life is so hard when you have to feel things!

*Sigh*

There are, of course, ways that we can help. We can donate books and funds to the Ferguson library. We can write to our local and leaders and representatives and beg for a body camera for every police officer. We can donate to rebuilding funds and to funds to help the people arrested during the protests. We can speak out against racism and be good allies to those who need us. There are lots of things we can do and even when we do all of them, they never feel like enough. They never feel like enough because they aren’t enough. They might never be enough, but they are better than nothing.

There is something very wrong with the world when “well, it’s better than nothing” is the best that most of us can do.

 

Ferguson

I just can’t. My heart is full and none of the things it is feeling are good.

And somehow my Facebook feed is full of pictures of people’s dinners.

Sunday is For…

Sunday is for lounging on my couch and eating Chex Mix while watching Master Chef Jr.

Sunday is for tossing quarters to Poppy who is happy to bat them all over the place before she squirrels them away (currently under a pillow that is sitting on the floor) to save for later.

Sunday is for doing all of the laundry at once so that it can just be done and I can give in to the sloth without feeling guilty (this is one of the benefits of living in this apartment building: lots of machines instead of just one).

Sunday is for reading one of the many books sitting on my shelf or in my Kindle.

Sunday is for Molly’s birthday! My friend Molly has completed another lap around the sun and to celebrate I think you should pre-order her new album!

Sunday is also for Scott’s birthday! Scott, like Molly, has lapped the sun again and he has some super great musics that deserve a spot in your collection.

Exercising Update

I have now exercised (on purpose, not as part of my usual “look at me walk to the store and then carry stuff home!” routine) for eight days in a row. Today, when I get around to actually doing the workout, will be the ninth day and I thought it might be a good time for an update.

So far? I’m happy with this app. I like that I can actually do all of the different exercises that it has introduced so far. I like that they are called things like “Supermans” and “Dead Bugs” even more. I like the ones that let me lie (lay?) down most of all. I also appreciate that so far I’ve been able to complete the workouts in their entirety. I get a little shaky/wobbly by the end, but I haven’t had any muscles or limbs totally give out prior to finishing a workout yet. This is doing good things for my general confidence levels.

The only problematic thing is the math. I’m not a math genius by any means; my skills cap out somewhere in the basic-medium algebra level of mathing. This means that I am able to do the math on the workout to find out how many of each thing I am going to be doing. This wasn’t a big deal during the first few workouts but last night, when it told me to do ten rounds of ten squats and ten (modified) push ups I realized that it was telling me to do a hundred squats and a hundred (modified) push ups. And that? Was intimidating. It was almost intimidating enough to get me to skip the workout altogether.

But I didn’t. I completed it. I completed it without collapsing on the floor or barfing up my spleen or losing control of…things. I completed it and was still able to walk around afterwards. I did a hundred squats and a hundred (modified) push ups. I, the person who really would rather sit as close to completely still as possible most of the time, did literally hundreds of exercisey things. On purpose.

What I’m saying is that I have earned this Gilmore Girls marathon. And that I haven’t worked up the nerve yet to see what tonight’s workout will bring.

Over the River…

I left the apartment today. On purpose and everything…and not just to run to the grocery store. In fact, I didn’t just leave my apartment. I left my neighborhood. No, wait: I even crossed the river (this is something only Portlanders will probably get). AND the thing that I went to, that was on the opposite side of the river? It was not even geeky or nerdy.

I know. I don’t really recognize me right now either.

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