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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Stay on the Path

I don't do waiting well. The thing is that I've been doing an awful lot of it lately, at least when it comes to my graphic novel, school, work...OK, I've just been waiting a lot. But I'm a little nervous about it because this time, as I wait for the next move for my book I'm starting to lose the feeling that it's actually happening. It's not a logical feeling, because it is happening and these periods between steps are perfectly normal in the creation of a book. But it makes me apprehensive.

I find that when my life opens up, the way that it has lately, all kinds of distracting fillers flow in, and it's not easy to tell which are blessings and which are not. I believe roller derby was one of those fillers.  A good, educating experience, and in many ways, The Right Thing, just in The Wrong Time. In that case, I screwed up, over estimated my power and resources, and ended up missing registration for school. That Cannot Happen Again.

Then along comes my friend Tara. Tara is the mother of a friend of Lala's. She's a personal trainer,  sells health & wellness products, and is a text book Type A personality. She's also a sweetheart. But that is neither here nor there. Tara calls me the other day and says that she wants to tell me about her company because "With your self motivation, your health values, your energy, your need for flexibility right now- you'd be perfect!" I sniff a pyramid scheme, but there are a few factors that lead me to bite:

  1. She's nice and talkative and I want to go have tea
  2. She's the sole income of her house, and she's loaded
I'll never get her off my back if I don't
I meet her at Life Alive and we have a nice visit. We talk about me leaving my job and different kinds of tea and our girls. Then she tells me about the business. It's called Arbonne. I'm not wrong in the type of business model it is- you get bigger if others get bigger too, but on the other hand, it's the highest compensation program in the industry (I looked that up). I don't want to be the Mary Kay lady by any means. But on the other hand, they encourage a more casual, natural recommendation model. So she talks to me about the products. They're vegan- bonus. They remind me a lot of products like Juice by Alicia Silverstone. And she tells me that she can get them for cheaper than Clinique- which is the only thing to this point that's done me a lick of good. And she's brought samples for me. OK, OK, I think. Can't hurt if it's free.

This is where I've fallen to pieces.
I love the samples.
My laugh lines, eye lines, and worry lines are all gone. I've had worry lines since I was 16.

I don't know what to do. I want these products and I want them cheap. This is stupid. Am I getting distracted? Do I want to spend my time doing what she does? What if it was just a little bit of time? Can I do it all, or am I going to screw up again? Not if I get to class registration on Monday, right? Right!?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Epic Move...Kinda

So I've decided that it was time for me and the Jewelry Shop to part ways. I finish my stint there at the end of the December.

What? you say? You've only been there since spring and I thought you loved it?!

I know, but there comes a time to grow and move forward from everything stationary, and this was my time to move on from the Jewelry Shop. The facts are that I feel I've been dropping the ball when it comes to Cal and school, that I need to devote more and more time to my writing and impending Kickstarter campaign (all my research has concluded that a successful kickstarter equates to a full time job), and school is starting soon and I HAVE to get in this time or I'll go crazy! These things are just more important to me than a retail job that barely pays for the day care costs it requires.

On a completely unrelated note, what does everyone want for Christmuka?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Best-Two-Days-of-the-Year!

We survived Sandy safe and sound, and I've lived to see another birthday. I admit this one is a bit weird- good, but weird. I'm officially at that age- that age where things need to be moving. Like, sure, I've still got plenty of time, but I should have something to show for my time by now.
Good thing I'm almost finished with this script. My ideal day would involve getting off work and going home to find the kids pooped out from a great day, the house in moderate order, and to settle down an finish the story. Then, of course, to send it to one of my writing-savvy friends to read and tell me it's brilliant.
Tomorrow Jase and I are going as Death and Dream from The Sandman comic series. I think we'll take the kids to Beacon Hill. What are your plans for Halloween?

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Break to Say Where I've Been

As I'm sure you probably already knows by now, I went to New York the weekend of ComiCon, but there's a back story.

Soon after the last post I wrote, I had an epiphany of awesome proportions. I've had this little pet story line for a couple years, which I've picked at and played with, but never gotten to formulate into a full-on plot. While I was mulling over what to do with my webcomic side project, questioning ad nauseum if it was even a good enough story to put the effort to, I thought of my old story, "What a perfect graphic novel!" 

The flood gates opened. As soon as I considered the format, it was like the entire plot came spilling out and I had to write! I decided that it was the perfect excuse to run away to my favorite New York couch for an impromptu writing retreat. While I was there, it just so happened that Shane had an extra pass to ComiCon. It was a killer opportunity to get an idea for what I was getting into- to speak with other writers, illustrators, network, and maybe taste the industry a bit. It was overwhelming, but in a good way. I came away fully charged, and with a goal: I was going to have my own booth for ComiCon 2013.

It's lofty, I know, but still...

I've been writing like crazy ever since and I'm about three quarters of the way done with my first draft. There is a long way to go, and a lot still to figure out, but I'm feeling the progress and I'm pumped. Maybe I'll get lucky and finish before NaNoWriMo (November is National Novel Writing Month)- that would be fantastic!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Art Dilemma

    I've been all sorts of distracted for a few weeks. So many fun new disasters have come along that I almost forgot what I want the most!
    I was having the most fun in ages when I was regularly writing the comic collaboration with Jason, but the breaks got slammed when life happened to my artist and I was churning out pages faster than he could meet them with panels.
    I tried to compensate starting another comic project. This time I intended to draw it myself. Dusting off my art supplies, however, proved harder than I expected, and I haven't even tried Photoshop yet.
    So now I face a dilemma. Do I spend triple the time drawing for the end of a writing medium, or do I try to find another artist?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Cats

This week we adopted a couple of furry family members.

I'm not sure how long ago we first spoke of getting a pet, but the discussion ended last week with a mouse. Living in this city, mice are just a part of life. But this little bugger avoided every trap, precaution, and tactic we threw at it. Late one night, standing in his underwear with a salad bowl in hand, Jason declared we were getting a cat and that was that.

We considered just getting a kitten on craigslist- kittens are playful, cute, cheap, and perfectly trainable, clean slates. But when I started browsing the website for the Animal Rescue League of Boston, I started to melt. There are so many sweet animals in shelters waiting for forever-homes. And for the amount of vet care that the ARL puts into them, adoption is an amazing deal. A new kitten would cost upward of $500 for first year care alone. I asked Jason and he agreed adoption was the way to go.

The ARL site listed a pair of cats that caught my eye- a 1 year old black and white tuxedo American Short-Hair and his all-white brother. I called the ARL and was given scads of information. I learned that they had come from a placed that was overpopulated with cats. This left them neglected and drastically shy. Their socialization had been the focus of their care, with great results, but they still had a way to go. This, their age, and a prior rash on the white cat's neck had all worked against them when it came to adoption. They'd been there for 5 months (that's a long time to be in a shelter, in case you didn't know). But there was wonderful news. Because of their special case, the ARL was willing to adopt them out for the price of one!

Funny little coincidence- that night I found out that it was "Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week."

We hadn't told the kids our plan, in case something didn't work out. So we broke the news the next morning to much excitement. Before I said anything about the cats I'd found, Lala said "Can we get an all-white kitty?"
"As a matter of fact," I grinned.

We went to the ARL after Cal got home from school. We finally got to meet the cats, and despite their timidness had a great experience with the children playing with them. Five minutes in the room with them and I was in love. They were so sweet and full of personality! As we moved forward with the adoption the shelter started buzzing- volunteers kept spreading the news "The Brothers are getting adopted!" There were cheers and high-fives, congratulations and assurance of the cats' general awesomeness. It was such a happy day.

They were already in their carriers, so we had to hold up their pictiures 
Now the newly named Sherlock and Watson are getting acclimatized to their new home and family.   I'd be lying if I said that their timidness didn't get to me now and then. But they are warming up in strides and I have great hope and assurance from my Cat-people friends. And it's nice to just have them around. They are already a pleasant addition to the household.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Scary Things

Have you ever tried something that scared you a little?

Somewhere growing up, in between the American Dream and New Wave Feminism, I got the impression that if it scares you a little, you're doing it right. I can't say that I actually ever experienced what that means, being alternately  too crazy/stupid or too cowardly. Yes, my name is Heather Louise and I am a chicken.

Now I'm experiencing it.

I've been skating with a few other beginners about twice a week for three weeks. It's done about a tablespoons worth of good. Saturday was the first day of Fresh Meat Training and I got the piss knocked out of me. Seriously. By time I got home I was bruised from my butt to my ego. I started to question whether I could actually do this.

Part of me wavered till the other day when I got a good talkin-to from an unlikely source- my mother. Ms. I-don't-like-this-but-I'll-play-along-with-your-shenanigans. She spent a good ten minutes telling me about all the skills Derby would give me and how they could be applied to the real world. She talked about how when we pay attention to life, life tends to hand us exactly what we need. And she told me that if I was feeling chicken, so stare the situation in the face and say "Bring it on!" It was just what I needed.

It got me thinking about other things that scare me, like speaking up about values I believe in and "getting involved." I think it's time I make a list of scary things and start doing them.

Am I still afraid for the next practice? Yes. But I'm ready to face it head on. And I'm armed with a puke-bucket.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Trippin'

This is coming to you via my phone because I couldn't use a keyboard if I tried. Trust me- I have tried. It all started a few weeks ago when a slight tweak in my medications caused (among other things) the forgetting of appointments, one-off tasks, and the watering of my plants. I took my crisp menagerie as a cue to find a more resilient hobby.
For ages a friend had been talking about a newfound love of Flat Track Roller Derby, swearing it was perfect for me. After a little encouragement I started researching. A few YouTube films and a book later, I was seriously crushing. After my first live bout I was completely in love.
I ordered my skates over the phone to make sure they would ship over night (indie retail trick), then waited all day for them to arrive. When they finally came I could've been more pleased; a perfect fit, wheels that practically move on their own- if we didn't live on the second floor I'd be living in them!
But they were going to take some practice- these were no Roller-rink skates. I only got about 20 minutes of practice in before sundown on day one, but decided to skate to work the next morning anyway. I put on all my gear except elbow pads, because seriously, who hurts their elbow except in derby?
Well, after about the 4th fall I decided I had better walk for the time being, lest I be late for work.
That's when I noticed the pain in my arm. The more time passed, the less I could move it. By the afternoon I had a useless throbbing right angle of an appendage. Lesson learned: always wear ALL your pads.
The worse part is that now I have to wait to skate again.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Adventures in Electronics

   I'm one of those weird people that likes to personify inanimate objects. Mind you, I'm not random about it- I don't go around naming toasters. I stick to electronics. After all, you have to "register a device name to activate" the darn things most of the time anyway, so you might as well come up with something creative, right? 
   Somehow my new phone was definitely a dude. I decided to name it Crowley after my favorite sleek, sexy, super smart character who always wears black (all the more appropriate given that my computer's name is Aziraphale).
   I'd been complaining since I got the phone that it needed a case before I scratched it to pieces. I spent way more time than I care to share combing the internet for "just the right case." It was quite pathetic. Finally Jase said "There are some alright cases at Target- I'm just going to pick up one for you next time I go." So the other day Jason came home with this sweet little phone case that's just right. It's pretty and feminine without being overly girly, and neutral without being too kitsch. And I didn't have to deal with picking it out- see? Perfect for me. Except...now Crowleyis a man in a dress. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Keep It Real Challenge

   I wasn't sure about writing this post until two things happened. First, I listened to a speech by Neil Gaiman in which he says, roughly, that right when you start to feel unsure- like you're about to walk naked down the street- that's when you might actually be getting it right. Second, the friend I trust most for advice in artful ventures swore on my Facebook page. I guess that was enough for me. It's a few days late, but better late than never.


   Everything I’m about to tell you sounds absolutely crazy, and it is.

   When I was small -5 or 6 years old- I hated my nose. My role models were animated princesses, women on TV, and my big sisters - and every one of them had a narrow nose. By Kindergarten it was clear that the heroines of the world had dainty snouts and I had an Opus beak.
 Pulling the reins of Western society are two juggernaut industries. On the one hand, the food industry, which taps into our basest instincts to feed us crap from pretty boxes and wrappers, often plastered with bogus “health” claims while slowly killing us. The obesity rate in the United States has officially passed 33%. On the other hand, the fashion industry manipulates us by taking an unhealthy, immorally narrow subset of models then digitally alters them to an impossible level of perfection. It’s a social fabric woven of self-loathing.

   When I was 10, a hand full of people started commenting about my weight, and it stuck. I wasn’t overweight. Sure I was on the bigger side of average, but even a little more out-side-play and puberty would’ve taken the “bigger” part out. But come on- I wasn’t thinking about average. There was no average. There was thinner. Thinner was better. It was important, like brushing teeth or getting haircuts. I don’t know why- it was just important. So I started exercising. A lot. Do you know an 11-year-old whose proudest achievement was doing 100 crunches every day for a year? You do now.

   By junior high it was an absolute social game to diet. We would all go to B’s house every night, weigh ourselves, and compare. We would flip through women’s magazines and try out the latest “Europe’s Secret Miracle Diet” or “What Every Brazilian Woman Knows.” Tai Bo was all the rage and I couldn’t go to sleep without doing a tape (yes, they were still tapes). We’d pass around Dexatrim at lunch time. It was an unspoken medallion of honor to be the one who went with the fewest full meals.  I started counting calories and restricting my fat intake to 15 grams a day or less. I would exercise and exercise and it was never about being healthy or strong. It was about being thinner. At 104lbs I felt too fat because I wasn’t 100. At 98lbs I was frustrated because I wasn’t 95. I told myself that what I was doing was fine as long as I didn’t drop below 90lb. If I ever got to 90lbs I’d stop. I never did. I was only socially rewarded. I was gifted with praise and compliments and I’d go up to my bedroom at night and cry because I was ugly. I liked my hair, and my eye color was kind of cool, but my knuckles were knobby, my nose was huge, my boobs were too small and I always needed to be thinner.

   I joined the track team when I was 13 and suddenly, I couldn’t control my appetite. Calorie counting went out the window. I’d do my best to consume the “right” kinds of foods, but enough was never enough. So I started throwing up.

   I never did get back down to 98lbs- I’d fluctuate between 102-115lb depending on my activity level and over all diet, but that’s how I kept things in a manageable rang. I threw up 1-3 times a day, 5 to 7 days a week for the next 7 years, like brushing teeth or getting a haircut. 

   It was my socially acceptable dirty-little-secret. I’ve talked to countless women and girls who’ve all tried something unhealthy or extreme for the sake of being thinner. Never once in my life have I heard a woman say that she’s not done something unhealthy. We sit in gym classes and watch cheesy Lifetime network movies about the one girl with anorexia and it rolls off like a load of crap because everyone is doing it. The extreme was normalized from birth!

   The misrepresentation of women in the media has become so rampant, Photoshop abuse (yes, that’s what I called it) so common place, that whether it’s weight, skin color, or feature size,  we are raised from the very beginning of life to be unhappy with our bodies because we’re not “perfect” and “perfect” is…just, important. It’s sick. And I’ve had enough.

   So when I heard that Seventeen Magazine had refused a Change.org petition to include one non-retouched photo spread per issue, and the responding Keep It Real Challenge, I decided to get on board.

   Things won’t change until we start talking about it. Things didn’t change for me until I finally talked about it with someone I trusted- till something was more important than “important.” And you know what? One of the first things that they ever told me was that they loved my nose.


The official challenge may be over, but we can still tweet to editors, stop buying the magazines and products, something- anything!- to get them to drop the Photoshop. Enough is enough.

http://www.sparksummit.com/2012/06/25/join-the-keep-it-real-challenge/

http://www.missrepresentation.org/blog/






Monday, June 18, 2012

Joining the Club

How do I talk about my new favorite toy?

Do I talk about the financial and familial circumstances that led to my inevitable purchase of a new phone?


Do I tell you of my zombified camera or the promises to go without personal spending for a while, leading to getting the latest model? 

Do I gush about the apps or the user interface, or how I danced around the kitchen with NPR in my back pocket today?

Do I tell how Siri keeps my work schedule, reminded me to get Lily signed up for preschool, texts Jason, and calls me Catwoman?

I know what to say...
...I totally get it now.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Caring is Hot

More working on the comic whilst camera plans are pushed back till Friday. While searching, I tumbled onto this. Language warning. If you can get past that, the message is one of importance. It's not put so eloquently nearly as often as it should be.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Comics are for Everyone!

   My camera is broken, and I think that is what has been holding up my posts, for the most part. But this will be the last post without good photos. The game's afoot. For, you see, I received my first paycheck today, and I know exactly where it is going, after I set aside for fall tuition. 
   In the mean time, I've been eyeballs deep in this new writing project. I completely underestimated how fun it would be! I'm learning so much. I think the first thing I'm learning is to not be afraid. Instead of worrying about writing a stunning conglomerate of words- just telling the story exactly how I want the story to be told and letting the rest follow. Instead of stopping from inexperience of the style, just making it legible and fixing the format as I learn. Instead of molding a mediocre story around what I know, molding an awesome story around things that I'm researching the heck out of. 
   I have to say that something else that excites me, is that I'm excited about it. I haven't been this excited about a project in a long time, and it feels better than ever. 
   So then, here are a few of my favorite web comic, to give you a little taste of the kind of fun that is out there to be had. Web comics for people who don't really troll for web comics: 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tuesdays With Jason is Back!

Good evening, Friends! Though it's been an interesting, busy couple of weeks, but we've come to a settling. It's time to resume the weekly spot light on our favorite lovable character. This week with Jason:

  • "Calvin, don't wrap your head in duct tape!"
  • Me: I don't feel well, but I feel like I have to make a good dinner.
    Jason: Don't worry about it- I brought cereal"
  • "K time to force myself to draw."
  • "I heard Russel Brand talking and thought he was just obnoxious, but then he kept talking and I though-'this guy is brilliant!'"
And for your viewing pleasure, a little treat that Jason and I agree just might be the coolest thing ever

Monday, June 4, 2012

Being the Boss

I decided that I never want to be a business owner. Maybe cool enough to have a personal assistant some day, but there's no way I want to interview and hire an entire staff. And all I've had to experience so far is the vetting of babysitters.
   We've gone through every avenue from spreading the word at church to posting job adds on the Harvard website, to looking up postings on Craigslist. What we've come up with seem to be of two camps.

On the One Hand: 

  • Has experience babysitting or working as a nanny for a friend. 
  • Uses an excess of typos and grammatical errors, including the non-word "alot"
  • Moved hear for "personal reasons" 
  • Expects to be paid anywhere from $5-10 more than I make. 
On the Other Hand: 
  • Has a BA in one of the following: Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, Global Health and Population with a minor in Arabic Studies; Performing Arts and Theater
  • Speaks French, Spanish, Arabic, and/or Chinese
  • Volunteered with Special Olympics in Africa, Habitat for Humanity in Venezuela, or worked as an Au Pair in France. 
  •  How can I possibly ask you to take minimum wage? But please babysit my kids! 

I'm just trying to figure out how other people do it. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

It's Better as a Comic

   Do you ever start with an idea for a project, then half way through the project realized that it would work so much better in a different format? A sewing project that just needs a different fabric, or a sketch drawing that would translate so well as a watercolor? I have a tendency to think of writing topics and, much more frequently than my actions justify, I realize "That would be so much better as a comic."  Take for example, a little conversation Jason and I had yesterday about recent developments in The Windowsill Experiment, Pt. 2:
It's no big deal, but it would've been untranslatable as prose. Blah. 
    A while back Jason planted the seed of a wonderful plot line in my head. It stewed and grew till this last weekend I decided to turn my time alone into a handmade writing retreat. I packed my laptop to The Trident Cafe, a tiny part of me hoping that Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman would stop by, and got my butt to work. Three hours later, what I had sucked. Everything sucks in the beginning, but this was really making me unhappy. And I knew exactly why. It just needed to be a comic. 
   Lucky for me, I'm married to a graphic designer who's constantly pursuing the art of the web comic. We've been talking about doing a collaboration for some time, and even made a couple attempts, but they hadn't gotten very far. Yet something about this idea gripped me and I was determined to see it through. 
   My biggest problem was that I had no idea how to write a comic. Que game-show-loser-music. Try to Google "How to write a web comic." The results are a lot of bad writing about nothing. I have to thank Jason again for being such a comic buff; he directed me to a guide by the writer for The Zombie Hunters, which, though still sparse on the topic of writing itself, was the most comprehensive guide I was able to find.
   So armed with a nickle's worth of knowledge on a writing format, I decided to go for it. I swallowed a big gulp and just started writing. And this time it work! It shocked me how much easier everything fit on the page. I got the whole first scene written. I started a collaborative storyboard with Jason on Pintrest.com and he began the first sketches of characters. So hopefully soon, we'll be seeing the first panels of a web comic by Heather Louise and Jason.
   I'm kind of excited. 
   

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Happy Birthday, Jason!

This month we celebrated 28 awesome years of Jason. Grandma came by and swept the kids off for a few days at the D.C. cousins' house, so we hit the road again- just the two of us.
Jason G, Age 28
Casual Comfort
We arrived in New York to the welcome of friends with unending warmth and generosity. We had a blast in our signature style of goofy party games and even goofier prizes for the winners. We sang happy birthday over cupcakes and talked about our favorite things about Jason. It was perfect. 
The whole W family came for the fun! 
You're The Cthulhu Worshiper! 
Joe Wins! 
Happy Birthday too You! 


As the guests left, we settled down to cups of tea and good conversation with our dear hosts till the wee hours of the morning. The next day, just as my camera battery died, we walked to the Natural History Museum, the Flea Market, and a Farmers' Market. We studied bio-luminescent creatures and read about the future of the space program. We ate maple cotton candy and looked at Chinese relics and handmade jewelry in the sunshine. We couldn't imagine a more perfect weekend.
I love you madly, Sparky. This year will be the best one yet!
Love, Bunny

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

You Tell Me

Holy-Radio-Silence, Batman! It's been a busy two weeks and I've been wiped out. But that means I've got a lot to write about! Here's just a bit of the buzz:

  •  Going to New York for Jason's Birthday party
  • The tragic conclusion of The Windowsill Experiment, Pt. 1
  • A whole week with the kids at cousins'
  • 5 days of just Me, Myself, And I, for the first time Ever
  • New adventures in writing...comics?
Now it's your turn- what do you want to hear about first? 

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Bright Side of Monday

   Mondays can be pretty detestable. Thank you Captain Obvious. But so can a lot of other things be, depending on how you look at them. So today I've been trying to take a page out of my Lala's book and look on the bright side (she is the most optimistic child ever!)
  • Monday means tomorrow is Tuesday: Tuesday is Pay Day! I get to go grocery shopping with my new cook book in tow. I get to go to my new job that I love. I'm so getting something new to wear for work! Maybe that dress I've been drooling over for a week. 
  • My aching back means that I've got one hellofa clean kitchen! 
  • I have a wonderful, supportive husband who's been showering me with positiveness all day.
  • There are French bulldogs in the world. 
What's on your bright side? 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Veggie Mama

Happy Mother’s Day!
I hope your mother knows you appreciate them, or if you’re a mother I hope you feel appreciated.
I sure do! This morning, after sleeping in very late I woke up to kisses and hug, hand-drawn cards and a delightfully thoughtful gift, but I’ll get to that in a minute. For the rest of the day was amusing chaos as I watched Jason take on the bulk of the household/parental-drudgery. When he crumpled on the bed after saying goodnight to the children, I couldn’t help but feel simultaneous pity, awe, gratitude, and satisfaction. I think this has been the best Mother’s Day yet and I know my family loves me.
 As for the awesome gift, it starts with a story. Now stick with me- I’m not going to get all preachy and whatnot- I’m just going to tell it how it happened. About a year ago I was feeling pretty crappy about myself and life as a whole. I was having prolonged bouts of low grade depression, trouble with my weight, my skin, my energy level, and generally feeling yuck. I’d tried a number of methods to treat each individually, but needless to say, nothing worked.
 One day I was wandering through a book store as aimless as anyone could be without bumping into stuff, wondering what exactly I was going to do about it. Then I realized I was in the cook book section. I’m no chef. I follow the back of the box, thank you very much. But I was moved to pick up The Kind Diet but AliciaSilverstone (another weirdness since I’m definitely not the Us Weekly type). But cover bragged a forward by Dr. Neal Barnard, of whom I’d read several times. But what hooked me was inside read a list of everything that had been bothering me; all could be solved, allegedly, by eating a vegan diet with the processed sugar cut out. There wasn’t much I wouldn’t have tried at that point and the serendipity was a little much for me.
So I went for it. So how did it turn out? In two weeks I was feeling better than ever. Everything improved! It wasn’t perfect, but neither was I- but everything improved. I was feeling better than ever. Then life happened, stress happened, money didn’t happen, and I fell off the wagon. And trust me- the list of symptoms has reared its ugly head. It hasn’t been hard to stay vegetarian and that has been helpful, but it’s not a vegan-friendly world. It takes a conscious effort till you really get in the habit. Not to mention that while I have all the support imaginable, I’m the only one in the family doing this.
 I’ve known all this time that I wanted to get back in the boat, and in this recent burst of ambitious energy I’ve decided that now is the time. I’ve been prepping food differently for a couple of days and feeling pretty good about. I’ve been scouring the interwebs for good vegan blogs, and reading up on new cook books to try.
And just how supportive has Jason been with all of this? Look what he got me for Mother’s Day! The VEGENOMICON: The Ultimate VeganCookbook. No way am I eating these by myself! Now I'm really stoked. Step back! Mama’s in the kitchen! 

What did you do for your mother today/ what did your kids do for you? Have you ever been interested in eating vegan/vegetarian? 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

First Day Lesson

Guess who's got two thumbs, a job, and likes it! C'est Moi! Today was my first day working at "The Jewelry Shop," as it shall hitherto for be known. I'm definitely in the learning period, and it's funny finding nuances that I have to adjust to, having been out of the work place for several years. But I'm learning fast.
   The first lesson, unexpectedly, has been that my wardrobe needs an update! Seriously- it says right in the employee handbook, under Dress and Appearance, "[Clothing should be] fashion forward."
Uh, Fashion Quick-Fix?
   At first glance I'm all, "That's a requirement? What a cool place to work!" And then I realize that my normal uniform of Forever21 jeans and Tokidoki tee shirts isn't going to cut it. I don't exactly have the dough to fork out for some new work clothes (remember, I'm trying to go back to school here), so how do we solve this problem?

  • Phase one: shake off the dust and try on everything. Two or three times may be necessary. Try them on in every conceivable combination. 
  • Phase two: Suck in really hard. 
  • Phase three: employ safety pins, duct tape, and Plaster of Paris to fix it or fake it. 
   Doing so, I think I've managed to come up with enough to wear to get me to pay day, but it's going to have to be a clever few days.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Multifaceted

   I think that demon that's possessed me of late is running for Martha Stewart Impersonator of the Year. Oh, yes, the unprovoked craft-craziness continues!
   But first and foremost: I can make plants! Yes, my friends, the Windowsill Experiment has been a success so far; we have six peat cups filled with teeny tiny green sprouts. I couldn't be more proud of not killing something.
   But leaf had hardly touched air before I was seized once again, this time with the urge to sew-anything! Mind you, I suck at sewing. Really suck. I haven't sewn anything but the hem of Jason's pants in about two years. But this Spirit must have known what it was doing, because I got Lola (my machine) down from her top shelf, dusted her off, and I tell you it was like magic. I ironed, I pinned, placed, and in 2 and a half hours I had a new skirt! Just like that- and not a half bad skirt, either! I wasn't finished, though. This afternoon I was at it again. With a little sweat and imagination I got this strawberry tart apron.
   Being of multiple minds is effecting more than just my crafts though. Last week I had three job interviews: the coffee shop, the jewelry store, and the hat shop. I wanted the hat shop the most and in all my conversation with the manager, he's practically spouted sonnets to me. But he wanted to wait on the second interview until his co-manager could get back from a business trip. In the mean time, first the coffee shop called me up and offered me the job. They don't want me in till Monday, so I still have time to change my mind. But today, the jewelry shop, which I wanted second, sent me an email offering me the job and asking me to come in on Thursday!
   I'm in over my head. Maybe I should stick with plants- they're so much less complicated than people.

What would you do? Should I just take up Watercolor next?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Growing Obsession

  Have you ever admired something obscure only to wake up on a random day and say "I'm going to be a carpenter!" or "I'm going to train for a marathon!" with no prior experience? Good, then you'll understand when I tell you I got possessed by a gardening demon the other day.
   I tell you, nothing inspired it. I simply went from "I'd like a container garden...maybe sometime," to "I will garden NOW!" I can't even really recall how I got from the initial thought to eyeballs deep in mail order seed websites.
  With super speed I ascertained that growing a container garden was cheap ( or at least cheaper than I thought or could spend on something else), easy to maintain, and possible on my little back porch. All of these have yet to be determined. I also found out that my favorite garden flowers- can you guess what?- were sold out across the board. But unfettered, I found a distributor of seeds through Amazon, and managed to order the precious seeds from the bowls of the Earth. Hopefully they'll be here before growing season is over. From another, reputed, company I got some container-friendly strawberries, Bells of Ireland, and Zinnias that are supposed to grow deep wine red and chartreuse.
   I loaded up the kiddos and trekked to the hardware store for the basics, which turned out to be MiracleGro soil, peat cups, and the kids' choice of seed- Shasta Daisies, Primroses, and Heirloom Green Beans. With some messy fingers and a few spills, we created a germination science experiment on the windowsill that my or may not determine if I'm totally off my rocker with this project.
   But wait! The craziness continues! After much review I selected the book I Garden: Urban Style about how to start and keep an urban garden (obviously) but with as relaxed an effort as possible. I read it in two days.
   Today I was tending to the Windowsill Experiment, anxious for something to show, to make it real, and it was too much. I couldn't start everything from seed; couldn't someone do some of the work for me? I wanted a baby plant! Thus entered Verdenand the Tomato. He's my beautiful new pet. And the others will be too, when they sprout, but for now I can tend to Verdenand and wait.
   He also holds a deeper significance- that of eating what we grow. When I decided to get a tomato plant, part of the incentive was cost; at $3 there wasn't much to lose. Then I went to the Harvest Coop and picked up some tomatoes for dinner tonight- you guessed it- $3 per pound. That gave me a fun idea to see just how much this gardening thing pays off. Every time we use tomatoes from Verdenand per day, I'll add $3 to a running total. At the end of the summer we'll see just how much money our little green friend has saved us.

Have you ever been possessed by a hobby demon? Do you like to garden? Do you have a container garden? What is your favorite flower or homegrown veggie? Is this totally bonkers?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Top It Off



   Oh my gosh. OK. Breath...
   I'm a little excited right now. K, I'm really excited. It's just an interview, but it's to my number one potential-employer: Goorin Bros. Hats in Harvard Sq. They're beautiful. The hats are incredible and the shops are awesomely designed. It all has the gritty, old time feel with a modern aesthetic. And Alex, whom I spoke with over the phone, seemed so freaking nice. I couldn't think of a place I'd rather work! Can you just see me strutting around, wearing and selling hats that look like they walked off the pages of a Hemingway, then turning around with hats fit for a 50 Cent video? Gah! I love it!
  I fully advocate bringing back hats of all shapes as an essential part of the American wardrobe. Speaking of wardrobes, I went to their website for ideas of what the employees were wearing, to get inspiration for my outfit for tomorrow. What I found was a glove-slap-level challenge. Every shot looked like the set of Oh! Brother, Where Art Thou? But I like a challenge.

   I'll keep you posted with how the interview goes. Wish me luck!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Tune In Next Time for the Shocking Conclusion

  Much is happening and all of it is in the embryonic phase.
  • I got a snazzy new hair cut and have a box of Blue Envy by Splat sitting on my counter, wondering what to do with its self. 
  • I have another job interview this Thursday! This one's a good one!
  • I blacked out this afternoon, and when I came to, I'd acquired a bag of potting soil, seedling pots, and several packets of seeds. There was also a confirmation email stating that several more packets of seeds were on the way. I think I've been possessed by something that thinks it can garden. 
But more on all that later. Good night.    

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Pills I Hang Out With


    I’m a very lucky girl. I get one of Mother Nature’s gag gifts: the psycho/neurological disorder. My flavor: Bipolar Disorder Type 2. What that means, in short, is that I need to take a cocktail of medication just to function in a way that passes for normal. This is curious as each drug happens to have a complicated personality all its own.


  • The Big Orange Pill:  Me and Orange go way back. He stood by me when every other antidepressant left me alone or landed me in the hospital with an allergic reaction. He’s a romantic that will turn the lowest lethargic into a raging insomniac. But he’s got a dark side, and is not to be neglected. Missing one day means migraines, the sensations of shocks running from your scalp to your toes, and a craving for French fries that would scare the 7th month of pregnancy. 
  • The Little White Pill: Meet the hipster of the group. He’s so fresh you probably haven’t heard of him yet. So potent, he has to be split in half. He’s tinier than the others, but he costs five times as much. In just the right amount, he’ll show you passion and reaffirm the deeper meaning of life. You’ll also get really irritable. Too much, and you’ll be wallowing in anguish because no one understands you.
  • The Medium Pink Pill: This is the guru, the master of the group. He may be the newest to the regimen, but he’s been in the service the longest and knows how to make things run smooth. He cranks the engine. But it is a crank engine. He needs to be there to crank it twice a day. Miss a crank in the evening, and next morning you will…be…stuck…in…tar. 
    I don’t exactly get it, but somehow the result of these three guys working as a team equates to…normal.  Do three crazies make a sane? I guess so. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tue-er...Wednesdays with Jason!

This has been a weird week. So weird, in fact, that I missed Tuesdays With Jason! My apologies; I am here to make amends. I present to you, Wednesday With Jason:

  • "Want to know a way to instantly feel worse about yourself?" No thank you.
  • "Honey, I'm so proud of you," after I called to say I was quitting the liberal NPO call center.
  • "I don't want you to think I'm making out with a tattoo!" It's a long story. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Little Things (Like Sqinkies!)


    The weekends usually mean Deep Cleaning for us, and the last few weeks we’ve been doing our best to get the kids more involved in their share of the task. They have reached the age where they can take on more, and we’re trying to raise responsible citizens, sure, but it’s more than that. We’ve reached a breaking point. There seems to be a direct correlation between a child’s age, their most desired toy, and the torture it inflicts on said child’s parents.

    After a good playing session, it takes one parent a good 45-90 minutes to clean up just the Legos. That’s if they haven’t been mixed with the Squinkies, rock collection, crayons, and anything else the size of a nickel, but we’ll come back to that. The Legos have to be cleaned up immediately. Have you ever stepped on a Lego with your bare foot? The CIA should look into Legos for interrogations! And Squinkies! A Squinkie is an adorable little rubber character that comes in its own plastic bubble (think upgraded quarter machine toy), and they are collectable. That means that if a child is between 4 and 9 years old, they have to have Squinkies. They immediately discard the plastic bubble, ready for a barefoot parent to step on. The child will play with the Squinky for a while, get distracted, lose the Squinky, then throw a hurricane of a fit until the plastic-bubble-crippled parent turns the whole house over to find the lost Squinky.

    But the one that sends me over the Coo Coo’s nest is the Turn Over.  The Turn Over is when they take everything- the Legos, Squinkies, Hot Wheels, rock collection, Barbie and her accessories, every tiny toy you can imagine, and dump them out onto the floor. All of them. From neatly sorted boxes to one big mess. The Turn Over takes about 5 seconds. It takes roughly 2-3 hours to clean up.

    So Cal and Lala and learning about good old work ethic. Something they don’t tell you when you become parent is that life lessons like this don’t often come because of any growth milestone. They come because the parents have had enough. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Does This Sulking Make My Butt Look Big?

Plenty has happened, but nothing to entertain.
I'm self medicating: eye-balls deep in low-fat blueberry muffins from Dunkin' Donuts.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tuesdays with Jason

   Yesterday I had my final interview/first day of training. It went well, and I met some cool people, but this isn't about me. The kiddoes and I met Jason at the the Park Street subway stop. As I made my way up through colorful groups of marathoner entourages, Jason took the Green Line to the Christian Science Center. There the three of them had a great time cooling off. They cheered on the last few runners struggling up Boylston Street. Jason cheered for Cal and Lala as they ran sprints to the bus stop. And I got my favorite Jason-quote of the week:

   "We saw that street artist again and I bought more art that you hate. I'll put it in the bathroom." 


   For the record, I actually really like one piece he brought home. It fits the living room perfectly. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Quick Awesome

Since it's so late, I'll be brief:

"Mom, I found a quicker way to pick up!"

  • A man named Wesley Korir won the Boston Marathon today! 
  • We are learning what it means to clean up. Calvin is...innovative. 
  • Everyone in Massachusetts is celebrating Patriots Day. We're having spring break!
  • Starting today, I work for Job Plan B!
  • One of Jobs Plan A may still call back. 
  • My previous post, in a more refined form, was picked up by feministing.com!
  • Even the weather is wonderful!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Motherhood Dichotomy


   My mother has never forgiven herself for going to work when I was a child. She wasn’t a bad mom. I was well into school, 3 of my siblings were old enough to be babysitting, and I learned cherished values that I wouldn’t have any other way. But she still carries a regret that I’ve done my share of lifting since I announced I wanted to go to school. It’s a catch 22 that mothers throughout society face: mothers who choose to stay at home are made to feel unappreciated and underachieving, while mothers who choose (or have) to go to work are made to feel guilty. But we all agree that what is good for one family may not be right for another. And yet society places judgment, regardless of the decision. It’s a simple, yet stark conclusion: women are not trusted to decide for themselves what is best for them and their families.  Think about it.
   I think the dichotomy is highlighted by the political blowout from strategist Hillary Rosen’s comments about Ann Romney. The comments were untrue and uncalled for. But the circumstances of Ms. Romney’s choice to stay home stands as a blaring reminder of how many women in the country cannot make that choice. What’s more interesting, during his tenure in office, Mitt Romney tried to increase the required hours worked outside the home in order to receive state childcare reimbursement (a program I think is bass ackwards, but maybe later). In his words, he was trying to “Afford women the dignity of work.” So if you’re rich like Ann, you can take pride in spending all your time with your children, even as they’ve grown. But if you’re poor, there is no dignity in being a mother. Think about it.
    I made the decision before I had children, that when I had them I’d stay at home with them as long as they were in the home. I made my decision based on solid sociological and psychological studies, and my personal interpretations of such. There were hard times where I felt it would be better for the family’s wellbeing if I were able to help with the income - but the ultimate cost of child care, monetarily and emotionally, would have been more than my uneducated self could make. That’s messed up. We made it work out, and I was able to stay at home, but there were plenty of times I was made out to feel unappreciated and two-dimensional. That’s messed up. Now may children have grown beyond this sphere, and I have too. We’re ready to branch out and grow in ways only the village can supply. I’m doing what is best for my family, but there’s always someone, somewhere who wants to cast judgment over that choice. That’s messed up.
Being a mother is awesome.
Being a mother deserves options.
Being a mother deserves respect. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Really Bad Hair Day


Would you hire her?

   Today I went to my first job interview in over seven years. Can you say nerve-wracking? What’s worst, the sky was absolutely falling in big globby drops. My umbrella was destroyed by the kiddoes, so by the time I got there I was soaked. I push my bangs out of my face when they’re wet, so I had Hitler hair for my interview.
   The place isn’t bad- not my first choice, but the hours are perfect and well- it’s a company that hosts fundraisers for progressive political campaigns (Obama 2012, Planned Parenthood, Sierra Club, etc), so I feel strongly about a lot of the work themes. They were impressed with my knowledge of how their computer system works; in the town where I grew up, working at the telephone survey company was an adolescent rite of passage. Beyond that, the interview consisted of quizzing me on current events, which I have to say was pretty fun.
   Anyway, they want me back on Monday, Hitler hair and all, and I’m keeping my email open in case anyone else responds too. Registration for summer classes starts Tuesday. So let’s see what happens. 

Pranayama-lama-ding-dong


   For sure, there’s been a lot of changes going on with us lately. Still, I don’t understand it, but I’ve been left NOT WANTING TO KNIT! Seriously- you couldn’t pay me to knit (I mean that literally- my mom tried to pay me to make a hat for her; I’m weeks behind). This has left me in an awful situation. For about six years I’ve spent my evenings knitting. Now, evening comes and my mind is racing with everything that is changing or that I can’t change or that won’t change quickly enough or is changing too quickly and I can’t settle down. I’ll be catatonic on the outside and hurricane on the inside.
   So tonight I had a well-duh-moment. I thought well, what other hobbies can you focus on? Writing- already done that, feein’ dry. Get off your butt and do some Yoga!  
   So I busted out the mat, and turned on a video from yogajournal.com. Fifteen minutes later I was sweating like a demon, my legs full of fire and alignment, and I was feeling better than I’ve felt in days. For all the physical exertion, there is an amazing amount of clarity, awareness, and calm that comes from doing yoga. I don’t know if it’s the focus, the blood flow, or what, but after a good workout I feel such peace. I feel more present in the moment. I’m more aware of my body, its needs, strengths, and I accept and care for myself more.  That’s a beautiful thing that society needs more of.  And just as a bonus, when I was all finished, I notice my body looked better; my tummy was flatter, supporting my back more.  Now who doesn’t like that?! 
   If you are interested in trying yoga, or giving it another go- which I highly recommend- here are a few tips I've learned to get the most out of it (and sometimes save a buck or two): 
  • The best place to do a workout is on a yoga mat, but if you're not ready to invest money into your workout (which I think you should, because you'll be more likely to do it) do it bare foot on a carpet. When you're ready for a mat, this one is amazing
  • Other things you'll need are a couple of books, like phone books (or yoga blocks) and a belt (or yoga strap). 
  • Wear a fitted shirt or it will be in your face. 
  • Assuming you can't get out to a class, start with a home routine for beginners so you are sure to learn the poses correctly and be less likely to hurt yourself. I think Patricia Walden's program knocks it out of the park. 
  • Another great source of workouts is www.yogajournal.com/video/.  All free!
  • Breath "through the back of your heart." Phrases like that might not make much sense, until you try them- then they change everything! But it takes focus and listening to minute parts of your body.
  • Feel good about the good you are doing! 
   Namaste!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Finding the Bright Side

   There's been an uneasy feeling hanging over me for a couple of days. I went to the college to refresh my status as a student (you need to do that after going a semester without taking classes), where I found out that the financial office doesn't do payment plans during the summer terms. This is relevant because 3 days before we were supposed to get our tax return (which would have payed my tuition) we instead got a letter saying our old student loan demons had risen and snatched every penny. They said they wouldn't do that. It's those demons that are also keeping me disqualified for Pell grants.
    So I've turned up my job searching mode to High. I've sent out applications near and, well, as far as the T will take me. I didn't just exhaust Craigslist.com, I put it in a coma. I've thought of everything I can come up with on my own- I even considered creating a sort of Kickstarter-style fund (doesn't that sound like a good idea for students? Well, not everyone thinks so.) I started a LinkedIn account- Golly, was that demoralizing! My most recent experience was in 2006! Can anyone here top that? And school counts- no cheaters.
   I can't tell how much I've been relying on other people's positiveness. Even my little ones have been a buoy to me. Yesterday, in a moment of weakness the kids found me curled up on my bed. When they asked what was wrong, I told them "I really, really want to go to school but I don't have enough money."
   Lily put her arms around me and said, "It's OK, Mom. Just look on the bright side."
   Then Calvin brought me a penny he found on the floor. "Here, Mom, you can use this."
   So, about that bright side, if we work it right, I might be able to take one class this summer. OK. It's better than going bonkers for another semester.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tuesdays with Jason

Jason is my best friend. He keeps things positive, upbeat, and always interesting. I present, a collection of recent Jason Quotes:
  • "It's like I spend my whole life putting you back together, and then your parents come along and say stuff like 'Do you have edema?'"
  • "This smells like the Butt of Ages."
  • "When California legalized fruit-human marriages, Stan gave the pineapple a hearty smooch." 
  • When asked why we are only 2nd degree contacts on LinkedIn.com, "Because we don't have enough sex."
  • "Until this very moment, I didn't know what you meant either."
  • "Apparently other people have different ideas of what a college party would entails." 
  • "I bought them toys- I'm such a bad father!" 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Guilty

GUILTY
So, yesterday I wrote this big ol' post about getting in shape and healthy vs the beauty cult, yadda yadda. It didn't make the cut.
The irony is that after I busted my butt (and abs and arms) doing Pilates yesterday...Today I'm eating a whole bag of potato chips. Jason said he'd take the kids and give me a break and, well, I couldn't help myself.
I do have clinical bipolar disorder (I don't know that I've mentioned that before) but I don't think I can blame this on it. Can I?

What's your guilty pleasure? Chocolate? French Fries? Hanson? My Little Pony: FIM?

P.S. OMG My Little Pony: FIM is on Netflix!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

I had a post, but when I read it to Jason he was less than enthused. I admit, it's not easy to get him enthused about much these days (he has a bitter cold) but it was enough of a blow to my fragile ego.

And so I'll just say, Happy Easter/Passover. May your day be filled yummy things.

Don't count your tax returns before they hatch. They just might get nabbed by lying student loan agents.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Little by Little, One Travels Far

"I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it's very difficult to find anyone." 
-Gandalf, The Hobbit

This has been a season of change, and a much needed one at that. We've been doing what we can to shake things up and get a new prospect on life. It's kind of amazing the things that it's leading to.

Have you ever tried to make new friends as an adult? Ever tried doing it without having school or a formal job? It's not easy. Jason observed the other day that we are in an awkward position too, because we're a little too punk-kid-like to relate much to the play-date parents, but a little to parental to relate much to the punk-kids around here. That's something they don't tell you about when you start a family young.
So the other night I decided to Google Cambridge/Boston writing groups and got a bunch of results from a website I was only briefly acquainted with- www.meetup.com. What a little gem this is! I type in a hand full of interests, and I'm given a list of respective groups and when they're meeting! By the end of the night I had joined three local groups and scheduled to meet the New Wave: Young Boston Feminists at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival!
We watched Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai. It was inspiring and fascinating. To think, so much could be done in one country, starting with simply planting trees! One of my favorite scenes was of current military officers planting trees around their compounds. I think that army leaders around he world could take a lesson from that.
I met a great couple of women, one of whom, Daryl, I was delighted to find several commonalities with. I also learned that she writes for Empower Dalit Women of Nepal , which happens to need more copywriter help right now! I'm meeting with the president of the organization this Wednesday.
For the next New Wave meeting I'm going to, we're discussing the book Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman's Guide to Why Feminism Matters.

I guess the moral of the story is that the momentum from making one thing happen is bound to start other things happening too!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Feminine Proposal

I had an interesting question posed to me the other day: What does Feminism mean to you? I answered as follows:

To me, Feminism is about the individual skills, talents, perspectives, and needs each person brings to the community, and their rights as human beings to contribute to and receive from the community with equality and justice. It's about celebrating my identity and others' as a women, combined with all we are as individuals, and ultimately the unique yet common creatures we are. To me Feminism is as much about you and me as human siblings, as it is about being a woman.


So now I'm asking the same, What does Feminism mean to you?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Take Me Back to Manhattan

Reunited With My Tribe
Sometimes, when life feels like it's spinning out of control and you can't find your footing, there's nothing like getting the hell out of Dodge. When I need to do just that, I take advantage of my New York Safety Net(work).
Saturday night we went out to dinner at Lillie's which was decked out in green and orange and blasting every Irish band except the Pogues (much to my dismay). The atmosphere of the overall establishment was a lot of fun. We all commented on the fun pictures, pretty sconces, and antique mirrors. If only they could have gotten the orders right. Though they managed to get my salad right, there wasn't much to mess up besides lettuce and parm. But giving credit where owed, the dressing was fantastic.
Afterwards, the girls decided to hit the cinema for John Carter . I'll be straight, it was not what I expected. It was a lot better. Fun and imaginative- that's what it was. I could say something about stereotypical space-chick clothing (coughprincessleiabikinicough) or the Deuce Ex Ma-nephew, but in the end, it's fun, imaginative, and entertaining. And that's the most important part, right?
We engaged in great conversation, played with ferrets, and dreamed about the future. Did we solve all my existential conundrums? No. But the world seems a whole lot steadier from switching up the view with some good friends.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spinning the Hamster Wheel

  •  Today I've been dealing with an existential crisis. The part of my life that takes up about 70% of the time, really should be more like 20%. Or rather, if I wanted to be a full time housekeeper, I'd have a salary and benefits. 
  • I've been trying to learn to knit socks two-at-a-time and this is what I've been coming up with. Everyone at my knitting group has said it'd be soooo easy, that I'd never go back, yadda yadda. I think it's more like trying to write with your feet from the Wild Thing yoga position.
  • Nothing much has been happening, and when that's the case, I don't come up with much to write about. 
  • When I can't write, I try to design something. So with spring in mind, I'm trying to come up with something for this yarn. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Planning for Another Trip

Hypothetical question: Let's say you found yourself receiving a large sum of money- half of it was decidedly reserved for responsible stuff; what would you do with the other half? My answer? Anything you want!

As it turns out, Jason's office kind of screwed up his taxes this year. They were taxing him as if he started the job in January, when in fact he didn't start the job till June. This is going to result in a pleasant tax refund that should arrive any day. We've already decided on how much we'll need for paying off bills, saving for tuition next semester, any everything else responsible people would do. But there is still going to be enough left to play around with, a bit.

It was Jason that first suggested a trip. I wasn't sure we'd have quite that much money left over. I kept suggesting as many possibilities as I could- some chairs for the living room, a date in New York with a Broadway, a weekend in Maine- but when I started researching serious travel plans, I was shocked at how in-budget some places really were! I started listing serious adventure destinations to Jason, but when  he started to back off, I was confused. "I thought you wanted to take a trip," I said.
"I just need to think about this before deciding what we should do," he said.
"We've already decided what we should do," I said. "Now, what do you want to do?"
He paused at this. He went to his computer and looked up a couple different sites. Then he came back to me and said,
"I want to go to Costa Rica." 
My inner cheerleader went berserk.

So that's the plan, for now. Nothing's set in stone yet, but I'll keep things up to date here.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I don't have a knitting pro- Oh! Yarn!

I have a serious problem. It started out as a severe case of boredom. I sought to rectify the boredom, through which it morphed into intense Knitting-Attention-Deficiency.

First I started knitting Hedera, and immediately screwed up the cuff, but kept going long enough to get bored and decide that they would be ankle socks. Then I got bored enough to decide that the lace would stop at the ankle. By the time I was finished, I couldn't bring myself to do the second sock.

At the sign of Second Sock Syndrome I pulled out another ball of yarn, wound it into two, and made my first attempt at knitting two-at-a-time with two circular needles. That proved to be more trouble than it was worth. I abandon the cause in favor of nice, big, 3mm needles and a 50 stitch cast-on. I tell you, that sock was flying off my needles!


Just when I thought speed had cured my condition, this fell into my lap...
Isn't it so pretty!?!?!

See? Serious problem. Maybe if I'm lucky,  this last yarn (Batgirl BFL Sock Yarn by KnittinK) will hold my attention long enough to become two socks. 


Monday, March 5, 2012

It Finally Came!

Happy Valentine's TO me....








Happy Valentine's TO me...










Happy VALENTINE'S dear Heather Lou...







Happy Valentine's TO ME...