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living in twilight

December 31, 2015

What was the single best thing that happened this past year?

My beautiful husband lived more. This continues to be the single best thing that happens every day, especially when he brings home pudding or Toblerones.

What was the single most challenging thing that happened?

Ha. The single most challenging thing that happened was that all of the challenging things happened at once.

What was an unexpected joy this past year?

Math was an unexpected joy; the surprising, comforting predictability of it. Relationships with my family. Watching Poirot with my cat.

What was an unexpected obstacle?

Hyperextended leg tendons.

Did you have to learn any hard life lessons in the past 12 months?

Yes, but I don’t think I’m quite done learning them. They were large. Still processing. Still not quite as far into the sunny water of my mind as I would like to be. Murk happens. I kind of want a t-shirt that says that.

What is your happiest memory from the year?

Going to a superfun grunge rock show and having some bitch dump beer on me to get past me in the crowd and having to kind of lean into my husband to keep him from thinking about hitting a girl. I don’t know why, it just gets me. The music was so good and my outfit was so cute and I was so happy and Jason felt like kicking someone’s ass for disrespecting me.

What was your most stupid incident?

APPARENTLY it was when I cried over the girl bringing Santa back his sack in Ernest Saves Christmas.

Did you do anything you are ashamed of this year?

NO.

Anyhow, actually, yes. I was way more afraid way more times than I should have been or wanted to be. I am totally ashamed of not being more of a little solider. And I really do need to try to select more carefully for setting and situation when letting go of my temper.

What was your proudest moment of 2015?

I got a B in precalculus! and I got to start a community involvement program!

What was your most embarrassing moment of 2015?

Haha. I learned to drive a Car2Go this year. There is a definite learning curve. I felt like I was steering a bucking bronco for the first little while. Not glorious.

Pick three words to describe 2015.

Profound

Challenging

Transformative

What was the best book you read this year?

The Omnivore’s Dilemma

What was your favorite movie that you saw in 2015?

It Follows was pretty great. Other than that I feel like I mostly just watched a bunch of stand-up and documentaries, most of which were on the right side of excellent.

What was your favorite record from 2015?

I liked Bully’s new album.

What was your favorite month of 2015?

December, for sure. We started a lot of new Christmas traditions, and my birthday rocked.

What was the best thing you bought?

Cute dishes. And school.

What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?

Netflix.

What was the best way you used your time this past year?

At my job, at school, working out, and hanging with my baby. Also going on fun adventures and making things with friends and family.

What was biggest thing you learned this past year?

I can do it.

Create a phrase or statement that describes 2015 for you.

It is not the critic who counts; not the one who points out how the strong stumble, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the one who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends herself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if she fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that her place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

What is something you did this year that you think you will remember for the rest of your life?

I took precalculus and it wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t hard, either. I WON MATH.

What is something you accomplished this year that you are proud of?

I successfully researched, designed, proposed, and launched a community involvement program.

If you could change one thing that happened this year, what would it be?

I would have not hyperextended my leg tendons. Old lady hoopty yoga it is for me from now on.

What are the three most important things you learned this year?

I endure. Like the dude, but far, far more active.

The best light really does come through the darkness  at dawn.

Children who are raised with religion have a harder time than their peers telling fact from fantasy; there is no reason that should not follow you into your adulthood, and there is no reason, knowing that, that you should tolerate it any longer.

What is something that was hard for you at the start of the year, but is easy now?

Weight bearing.

In what area do you feel you made your biggest improvements?

I got tough. Not only did I get emotionally stronger, I got physically stronger. I began to demand more of myself, and more of others. My sense of justice is back. My determination is back. I have ideas, and plans, and I have them firmly. I can toss a bag of potting soil, also.

Knowing what you know now, if you could write a letter to yourself that would travel back in time so that you would receive it at the start of the year, what advice would you give yourself?

Oh, dear you. There is literally nothing you can do about it. Try not to clench your jaw so much. Watch things that crack you up. Get to SNL a little sooner.

What was the nicest thing someone has done for you this year?

Jason forced me to go see the new Star Wars movie, because my relationship with Star Wars has been, while profound, kind of fucked up lately. I discovered that he had not seen any of the original three all the way through and insisted on putting them on, and while my husband snored peacefully I laughed and cried and let my spirit soar at all the same parts as I ever did. It is really nice to love Star Wars again. I even liked the new movie pretty well, although I recognized almost every single line, exchange, set, and framing from the original three movies. Which, fine. I will enjoy that once. Any further movies had better move along.

Did you make any new friends in 2015?

Yes, I did. Some are brand new and some are just newly branded, but I made a lot of quality connections this year. Everyone I invested my time in was a wonderful, valuable person. I feel lucky.

Did you (or anyone close to you) give birth?

Yes! Holly was a consummate badass and pushed Dotty out this year, after graciously allowing her to stay in there for an entire extra week. Actually it may not have been that gracious. 😉

What was the worst lie you told in 2015?

I don’t know, I feel like I was pretty fucking honest in 2015. Even with myself. Currently I am working on teaching the tiger how to come out of its cage nicely. (that’s what she said).

Whose behavior merited celebration?

Jason’s; he really held it together and helped drive our tiny family through a dark time that was mostly his. He continues to be the most amazing person I have ever known, or could think of.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

All of the republican candidates except Rand Paul.

Do you hate (strongly dislike) anyone or anything now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

All of the republican candidates except Rand Paul.

Did you travel outside of your country of residence in 2015?

No. But I really want to in 2016! I need to get to Canada before they realize that maybe that totally isn’t the worst idea actually, and build a wall.

How many different states / provinces did you travel to in 2015?

We went to Washington, and I think that is it. 2015 was a mellow, home-bound year. It was good, it was just as it should have been.

How many concerts did you see in 2015?

I don’t know. Several, though. It was good. It was the year of deciding that if people are supposed to stop discovering new music at 33, we had better get on it.

Did you drink a lot of alcohol in 2015?

Ehh…probably. But I have basically stopped drinking liquor, so it was more like I drank a lot of beer in 2015. I ❤ hops.

Did you do a lot of drugs in 2015?

No, but I did smoke a pretty fair amount of weed.

What did you do last year that you’d never done before?

Ate mushrooms. And then fell in love with mushrooms. Allowed skim milk to be in my house. Petted a chicken. Planks.

What would you like to have this year that you lacked last year?

Ease. I want to really completely stop looking over my shoulder. Hard times haven’t broken me but they’ve stolen a little of my inner glee. I would like my inner glee back, please.

What date from last year will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

March 3rd, because Jason was stronger and his surgeon was cleverer than one massive goddamn tumor.

Where did most of your money go?

Drinking the nerves away, wedding celebrations, I paid for a term of school out of pocket, which was shattering…I bought super cute dishes and silverware and cups and cooking utensils and tupperare…there is always Christmas…

What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Math! My job and ever growing responsibilities and opportunities. Dotty! My dollhouse. Suburban supper club. Having dinner on the Portland Spirit. Seeing a new grunge band! Achieving that one weird color of green perfectly in a hand dyed tutu skirt. BERNIE SANDERS!

What song will always remind you of last year?

I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas. Jason had never heard it before and I went down this whole google tunnel of Baby Rose Marie after that, and then I had it stuck in my head indefinitely. I still have it stuck in my head.

Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?…thinner or fatter?…richer or poorer?

Compared to this time last year I am so much happier I can’t even really comprehend it. I am, for the first time in years drumroll please, skinnier! But only because I was so much fatter previously. I am probably richer in general, but I currently do not feel like it because the cleaning out magic of Christmas has recently visited my bank account.

What do you wish you’d done more of?

Laugh.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Fret.

What did you do on your birthday?

What a wonderful question! This year my belief in the surprising and exponential power of gentrification led me to host a birthday dinner at The Original Taco House, which I have been enjoying with my grandparents for all of my life, and which I am suspicious of losing to some cute little boutique falafel shop or something. The bartender was actually from Portland, and everyone brought me excellent presents, and I had my favorite crunchy chicken taco, and wore a massive ten pound sombrero while Happy Birthday was sung to me. It may have been my best birthday ever. And then of course I sang karaoke. At the Bear Paw, because we are not sure that there is karaoke at Tom’s anymore, and anyway, almost everyone I love does not enjoy Tom’s like I do. Or in any way at all.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

I honestly can’t say. I got the only thing I fucking wanted last year.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept for last year?

Dealing with muscles. I grew unbelievably! I actually wish I had documentation of it, now that I have stopped working my warehouse/wagonpulling job and my bootcamp yoga class, and have returned to my mostly sedentary ways. I gained ten pounds! I busted the shoulders out of my shirts! I was BEEFY. So mostly my fashion concept for last year was, is there anything left that fits me?

What kept you sane?

For the first part of the year, I have no idea. Probably nothing?

For the latter part, Jason, my family, all of our friends, yoga, long walks, burying my face in Lucky’s soft neck furs, working on my dollhouse, working. Working. I love my job right now and it drives me insane almost daily in the small systems malfunction  sort of ways, but it keeps me sane every moment on a much deeper level because I am getting to do good work, useful work, work that makes people’s  lives better; and that has finally stilled the little clockwork demon inside me that is always gnawing its fingernails ragged over what it really ought to be doing with this, its one life.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Haha. Because it is obviously Bernie Sanders and I am certain this post is already peppered with doting mentions of his name and values, I am going to go with second most, and say: Chris Farley. I had never seen anything with him in it before, and then his bio came out and I watched it and cried a lot, and then I started down this entire SNL rabbit hole because I had never really watched any of that before either, and, yeah. Chris Farley kicked off an interesting, informative, and hilarious year of media for me.

What political issue stirred you the most?

Well, the attacks in Paris were a really big deal. That changed a lot of thinking in its own way and was obviously huge; the largest worldwide issue I think. However…what really moved ME the most was getting the opportunity to hear about and fall in love with a political candidate for president like Bernie Sanders. I have hope that regardless of the outcome of this race, just his existence and his ability to rally so many who are crazy for change will alter the formula for future candidates.

If you met yourself for the first time this year would you strike up a friendship?

Dude, yes. And a business, and several nonprofits, and twenty websites, and three apps. Other me would obviously be a web developer.

Did you spend any time listening to yourself?

So much time. As usual.

What did you say?

I said soft things, more often than not. Holding my bones up was hard; keeping my face up was hard; being a human was just hard, for the first part of the year. And after that, it was a bit of a shock how easy it was again. So I said a lot of soft things to myself, because everything else was so hard. And I’m glad of it. I have a new skill. I always struggled to be sweet to myself, and now I am a lot better at it. I am trying to grow myself up gentler and greener; not everything is a sidewalk that I have to force myself through. Sometimes I can just unfurl. Mostly, I can just unfurl.

What did you do over the summer?

I had just finished with math forever, so I smoked a ton of weed. Die, knowledge! However, the math persists. I can still call it up today. Hoorah! Also I helped a lot with Nitya & Andy’s wedding, and I had one fabulous hairdo for it. And I stood by anxiously as Jason expertly dyed an entire mens suit orange. Also, on or around our anniversary we finally smooshed our wedding cake, and Jason cheated and got me in the ear. I have chickens as witnesses.

What news story sticks in your mind the most from 2015?

ANYTHING WITH BERNIE SANDERS. YAY, BERNIE SANDERS.

What things do you appreciate most in your life at the moment?

My home, warm and spacious and full of cute things.. The sunshine, as it happens to be here today. My job, which allows me to mostly just do things I want to do anyhow, and pays me for it. My cat, who is the main person I hang out with besides Jason. Jason, who is the main person I hang out with besides my cat.

Where were you when 2015 began?

Having a mellow night at Pub with Jason, wearing cardboard hats, drinking lots of beers, and engaging in lots of flights of fancy and half baked debates.

Where will you be when 2015 ends?

I don’t know, I have never understood this question. But before it ends Jason and I are going to see Helio Sequence, because it has been shockingly long since either of us has.

What are your plans for 2016?

I am going to learn how to use a serger. I am going to handle my car situation. I am going to keep on doing my own lame duck version of yoga. I am going to OSU to begin on my bachelors degree. I am going to read at least three new Terry Pratchett books. And hopefully I am going to leave the country at some point; I have been here for a very long time now.

Did you keep your New Year’s Resolutions of 2015?

No.   2015 was its own wild ride; specific resolutions are the privilege of those not laboring under the one all-consuming wish to crawl out of this damn whitewater and breathe.

However I did finish math! So at least in one way, yes.

Do you have (a) New Year’s Resolution(s) for 2016?

I want to go like there’s no tomorrow. I’ve got that braid of personal magic back that I’ve been whinging over for years, and its return is stronger and calmer and more focused than the original feral brand. I can do more with this kind of magic. I am like Gandalf the White, only a hell of a lot more fun. Furthermore, I want to wear glasses sometimes and not break them until at least July. And still flossing. I still need to floss. And to clean the bathtub. Also I need more amazing rocks.

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where the rain comes in

December 30, 2015

I’m watching this nature documentary called Sex in the Wild and I’m totally thinking that this is how I would handle the birds/bees situation with any hypothetical offspring: oh, you want to know about sex? HERE, know about sex in all its every species evolutionary and neurobiological glory before society gets its chance to lace and shutter you through with its nonsense concepts.

Understand the universal sludge and humor before you subject yourself to the universal airbrushed stodginess.

Yes, that is an elephant being born. I KNOW. No wait, come back…  …oh well, let me know when you’re ready to find out about humans.

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more important than currency

December 29, 2015

Today I clothespinned some outgoing mail to the outside of the mail slot in my door, which propped it open a little. Enough to let cold air in and warm air out. Being of an inventive mind and no inclination to leave the house in quest of actual post offices or mailboxes, I simply put a couple of pieces of masking tape over the slot on the inside of the door. I wondered what the mail delivery person would do when they tried to shove the mail in and encountered tape, and my imagination began to run away with me; all sorts of semi-dire scenarios for the mail delivery person popped into my head.

However the most logical reaction to finding the mail slot blocked would be to simply pin any incoming mail to the slot the way one found the outgoing mail…so I left it, and waited.

Just now I heard the clothespin click, and I rushed over from where I was making tea just in time to see something hit the masking tape. There was a moment’s pause, just one moment’s, and then a hand karate chopped straight through my masking tape, and a single letter followed it. The mail slot snapped shut.

I sat on the floor and laughed until my belly hurt. This experience has done nothing to lessen my long-held belief that mail delivery person has got to be one of the most interesting jobs of all time.

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walkin, many days go by

December 28, 2015

One of the rudest jokes my aging body has played on me so far is its sudden and adamant refusal to continue processing dairy products. Its quota has been met, my body tells me firmly, and now it is going to knock off for the rest of all time and maybe trickle round to the donut shop.

This really blows because although I am a fairly adventurous meat eater (although I draw the line at raw beef and crustaceans), [ok I guess maybe that means I am just an adventurous fish eater], anyhow, I do not actually like eating that much meat. All my life I have been wont to get the lion’s share of my protein from the dairy: from chunks of cheese with my soup to shredded cheese melted in a pan to buttered popcorn to chocolate milk. I am technically aware that buttered popcorn does not have that much protein.

So lately to get decent protein I have been trying to eat a lot of things that I have flatly despised up until this point, and it makes me feel like a total hypocrite and a betrayer of self, and also not at all excited about tastes, most of the time. Like, I have tried skim milk. I have tried it twice. My feelings about the silky sweetness of true real milk have at this point in my life far eclipsed my feelings about a nice, dirty cigarette.

This meandering complaint is brought to you today by the fact that I have made a fabulous discovery along the treacherous route through the land of the Healthy Old Person Diet, and I feel absolutely obliged to share it with you: believe it or not, against all dictates of common sense, oat milk tastes like the leftover milk after you have eaten all the marshmallows out of the Lucky Charms!

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It’s always the little things…

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a footprint of feelings

December 14, 2015

November

FullSizeRender (76)hues

workaround

wheres the art

nicotine kitty

grand rapids

cone as still life

space bubble

coke

spices

dots.jpg

shrooms

the mouse

i wish this phone was mine

horse brass

los pueblos

my real pdx

deez balls

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takin the back streets

December 14, 2015

My poor cat is having a hard time.

I work from home a lot of the time now, so I am privy to the entirety of her daily cycle: sleep a lot; wake up and check the front door to see if it’s still raining; if yes, check the back door to see if it’s still raining; if yes, throw oneself despondently into one’s favorite plastic bag and mope. Bug human for food. Bug human for toys. Bug human for catnip. Bug human just because she is there. Mope. Repeat ad nauseum.

This is getting old, not only for her royal catness but for me as well. I enjoy enough passage to the outside world through my electronic devices to avoid cabin fever most days, but she has nothing but that plastic bag and me. And even I am not delusional enough to think that that can be very satisfactory.

So lately I have been taking some steps to entertain her in the good old modern American way, the way that is good enough for the rest of us on slow and boring days, and I have been working on lining up regular episodes of CatTV.

I started by getting a bird feeder and hanging it right outside her favorite window, but birds do not seem to be digging it. I don’t know what their problem is necessarily, but I suspect it is the squirrels. This however is fine by me, because squirrels are way more interesting to watch anyway. There is this one in particular who runs UP the window in some mad parkour dash to attempt to FLING himself into the bird feeder…so far I haven’t seen him manage it but I so applaud his efforts and give him mad points for personal style. I was so taken with his exuberant gathering skills in fact that on that first day I went out and made chk chk noises at him, and threw him some nuts. He caught on right away and now he comes back every day. If I see him, I go out and throw some nuts. If I don’t, he runs up the window again and then sits in my garden and looks at me, and I go out and throw him some nuts.

chippy

And Lucky loves it. He’ll go around hoovering up nuts off the sidewalk for an hour and she’ll just sit there watching him, quiet as a whisper, stiff as a board.

cat TV

And a good time is had by all, especially by human, who can now work without being cantankerously interrupted every three to seven minutes.

chippy jr

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