Back to the Future

We’ve been having to take a lot of career aptitude tests online in Health lately.  The grown-uppy-types are very concerned that our lives have no apparent direction or focus (they are right on this account) and that online aptitude tests where you check boxes and mark bubbles will somehow help direct us and manifest our destiny (woefully wrong).

Apparently I should be a stand-up comedian.  *winks and smiles while the ba-dum-dum of drums and cymbals plays behind*  That or a naturopath, but, you know.  I really can’t see myself ever pestling herbs and prescribing clay masks for ailments.  I don’t doubt its veracity–nature is good, yay nature, I am very pro-nature–it’s just not my cup of herbal tea.

I’ve decided to post about my increasingly nebulous future simply because it’s started to feel all the more nebulous as of late.  I’ve always been told I have years and years to figure out what I want to do with my life, and now suddenly I…don’t.

I’m forced to face the fact that the ONLY THING in this world that I am very, very good at, and that I can see myself doing happily for the rest of my years, is creative writing.  It always has been, and I’m pretty sure it always will be.  And this is kind of a hard lot to draw.  Every day, even during said career aptitude tests and college education classes, I’m bombarded with reminders that careers in the arts are notoriously fickle in regards to financial security.  And, ermghurughmrrm.  As someone who relishes planning and security and self-sufficiency, this doesn’t really sit well with me.  BUT I CAN DO NOTHING ELSE.

And then there’s the whole question of c*llege??

I have never before in my life questioned the fact that I was going to college.  It was handed to me on a platter at birth the same way things like “the world is round” and “you have ten fingers” were.  But…I’ve spent a long time researching the pros vs cons of obtaining an MFA in creative writing.  Most successful authors, even those with such degrees, seem to be of the mind that it’s not really worth the money. And I might be on the same page with them.  (Haha, literary pun, haha.)  For me, at least–I don’t want to sound snobbish–creative writing has always been more about intuition, inspiration, practice, and trial and error than algorithms or plot diagrams or instruction.  Definitely, I think the environment of a college literary program would be inspiring, and it definitely would be helpful to be around other likeminded individuals for feedback and midnight NaNoing sessions (and possibly meeting cute college writer guys, ya never know).  But…maybe it’s actually more helpful to me to read a lot and toodle around on my own?  The problem is I’m also deeply engrained with the stereotype that if you don’t continue onto college, you become a reckless, rampaging teenage delinquent set loose on the world with no direction in life, even though there are plenty of wonderfully intelligent people who never continued to higher education and are still huge forces of awesome in this world.  (One of those links is not like the other.) Also, it may be that if I do not go to college I will hole up in my apartment or whatever and order all my groceries online and never see the sun and never socially interact again because it’s so much easier.

I just…I dunno, guys.  At least I still have a few more years to think on this.

Anyway…it does not do to dwell on dreams, Harry, and forget to live.  What am I doing now to work on my writing?

  • I’ve made it to my school competition of Poetry Out Loud, which is exciting and fun and terrifying.  If I win, which is unlikely, seeing as I’ll be going up against kids four years older than me and vastly more experienced, I think there’s a regional competition, then state, then nationals.  Granted, this isn’t working on my writing at all–it’s actually one of the first times I’ve ever performed a poem not my own–but it’s still working on my stage presence and spoken word skills.  (I also love spoken word.  I would not be disappointed in the slightest if my future career ended up focusing more on performance poetry than other types of writing.)
  • Novelling has been somewhat stalled lately.  Remember Thaw?  I gave that up during the summer to take a new idea out for a spin because I am a NAUGHTY, NAUGHTY GIRL WITH COMMITMENT ISSUES.  Luckily, though, I realized that that new idea was actually way too complicated and it never progressed into novel-shape.  I’m not saying I’ll never do anything with it, but I realized it’s going to take a huge amount of finesse and concentration and dedication to flesh out the idea into something that doesn’t seem too bizarre, and, as I am a lazy sack of caffeine and societal angst, that doesn’t sound too appealing right now.  So I am back to Thaw.  It’s around 60K words at the moment.
  • Writing is gradually getting less dark!  Yay!  Remember when I was having this problem?

tumblr_inline_mthr9h93F81qi7ifk(The last two years of my writing life…)

I’m not sure why this took me so long to realize, but the only way to make things less fiery-destruction-y was not to force it.  My older writings were reflecting my mood at the time, and that’s been getting better this year.  And the dark writings weren’t bad–they were just a different side of me.  It’s good to write multiple moods, since everyone experiences multiple moods.  I still get a kind of twisted pleasure out of writing from the blackest pits of my soul, but I feel the need to do that less often. 😀  I’m slowly mastering the art of whimsy, and I like it just as much.  I’m learning balance.

  • Voice is developing!  Before it tended to be really malleable–as in, I would read Jane Austen and for the next few days I would write like Jane Austen (or a shoddy teenage version of Jane Austen), then I would read a shoddy blog post and would not be able to pull myself from the depths of the shoddy-writing mindset until I read something breathtakingly clean and articulate.  My current mood or mindset would influence the way the words came out a lot. But now, looking back on Thaw, especially, I’m starting to see some voice consistency and development of unique character voices…and I like it.  I’m not so critical of myself now, with some distance between myself and the novel, and I’m liking what I’m writing.  It’s really cool.

If you stuck with me through this entire post, thank you so much!  I had, um, a lot of thoughts.  I hope you all have a FANTASTIC 3-day weekend! In the comments: anyone know any really good quotes regarding THE FUTURE?

Let’s chat.

Have you ever seen those “coffee-date”-format blog posts, where you and the blogger are seated across a virtual table sipping on respective caffeinated drinks, and supposedly you’re talking to each other but really the blogger is just droning on and on about their lives while you stare at pictures of said drinks?

Well, aren’t you in for a treat.

Have a lovely, classy, monochrome cappuccino.  It tastes wonderful; warm, smooth, and a bit bitter–and you’ve got a brownie to wash down too, it’s just been cropped due to Instagram’s weird photo shaping lens.

Firstly, I want to say, thanks for the responses to my last post!  I really feel like I’ve been welcomed back with open arms.  Muchas gracias!! (As a side note, though: wth are you people doing commenting at 6:30 AM?? Sleep, sleep, my children.  We are on winter break!  Am I the only proper teenager here?  I myself only slithered out of bed at 10 this morning because I needed to get food in me and make sure that last post published.  I’m quite sure I could sleep all day if I didn’t get hungry.)

And obviously, since I’ve been gone for so long, there’s things that have happened since my last post that I need to fill y’all in on.  Not anything big or scary, just a bunch of mildly exciting pit stops on the road of everyday life.

  1. I performed my poem ‘The Professional Aimless Wanderer’ two months ago at the Washington State Poet Laureate’s reading.  The last word you all received on this endeavor was that I was having a hell of a time trying to write something.  I never succeeded, instead digging into my poem backlogs to scrounge up something suitable.  It went over quite well, though, and it was fun and a good experience.  Mother Dearest took a video…but due to her technological ineptitude, it’s mainly a video of the back of someone’s head with me off to the side, perched like a poetic shoulder-angel.  It’s also sideways.  😀  You guys want to watch it anyways?  Anyone know how to rotate it, at least..?
  2. Just 2 days ago we returned from a trip to see the extended fam in Klamath Falls, Oregon.  At Crater Lake we got a very detailed and lovely shot of a bird’s butt:IMG_0100
  3. IMG_0046 as well as this striking fisheye-effect shot of yours truly.  🙂  (NOTE, FOR CLARIFICATION: THIS IS NOT MY ACTUAL FACE.) We toured Captain Jack’s Stronghold (in Northern California), attempted to ice skate, and ate more hash browns than could possibly be healthy. Life was good.
  4. I got a new computer!  DSCN4325Its name is Cecil, he’s my birthday and Christmas present and probably blackmail material for this year and next, and he is just…the sexiest thing. Seriously.  So sleek and shiny and light and fast…I think I’m in love. Many thanks to the parental units.DSCN4327
  5. In way more recent news, today we took a day trip to Portland, Oregon, and visited the famous CITY OF BOOKS!!  Is it a bit drastic to proclaim that, post-high-school sometime, I really want to live in Portland, just for the sake of Powell’s?  Maybe I could work there as a supplement to the writing thing…I just really, really love this place, you guys.  For some reason it’s extremely comforting to wander around alone inside a huge building filled with books–like being swathed in stories.  Plus there was a cafe, with scones and chai lattes.  DSCN4328(Upon bringing out the camera to snap a picture of the lemon-blueberry scone, Daddio exclaimed from across the table, “You must be back to blogging!”) 😉DSCN4330

My haul.  Hyperbole and a Half is the…the greatest thing ever, you guys.  I cannot even begin to express my love for this comic.  If y’all aren’t reading her blog, get on it, stat.  Her dog-themed comics are the only thing that will guarantee me a 10-minute, laugh-so-hard-I-cry session, no matter how bad of a day I’m having.  I’m usually guffawing so loudly Citrus joins in (he knows how to mimic my laugh), and there’s no way my day can continue to go downhill from there.  Hyperbole and a Half, guys.  Seriously.

And now I hold the awesome concentrated humor in tangible, dead-tree form.  Nothing could be better.

Also…

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ohmigod I might be really dangerous with this book. 😉

Have a lovely day, y’all.  I don’t know why I’ve slipped into saying “y’all” within this post.  I don’t say it in real life.  It’s pretty fun to type, though.  I hope your coffee was enjoyable, and the brownie too!  We should really do this again sometime.

DSCN3111(Citrus says hi, btw.  He’s missed his adoring people.)

SURPRISE

Sorry.

Sorry.

Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.  Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.  Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.  Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.  Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.  Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.  Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.  Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.   Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.  Sorry.Sorry.  Sorry.Sorry. Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.  Sorry.Sorry.  Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.  Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.Sorry.

I think that’s exactly 100 sorry’s–not counting that last one just there–but, well, there’s no way I’m going back and checking.  If you count and come up with another number, prize* for you!

So, ergh.  I know this thing died went into hibernation, and I know that was a bad move on many accounts and I also know that it was entirely my fault.  I HAVE NOT POSTED SINCE SEPTEMBER 15TH LAST YEEAAR I MEAN THERE IS OBVIOUSLY SOMETHING WRONG WITH THIS.

The abbreviated version of the story is this: I actually did have a lot of ideas for posts and such that I would sit on, and then try to go about compiling, but something about the last few months (new school? insecurity?) let my inner perfectionist take an extreme hold and really start to stifle my…everything.  I couldn’t write a post or snap pictures to put up here without them being absolutely perfect, and obviously that was never going to happen, no matter how many hours I spent slaving over writing and photo and video editing.  Hence, no posts.

I’m going to do something insane here and not edit this draft once I finish typing it up.  It’s kind of nerve-wracking to think about, actually (ugh, I am so completely Type A), but it’ll probably be good for me.  Actually, if I want to jump back into this whole blogging thing, which I do, this is probably going to be the only way I’ll have time to do it–maybe I can type up a few posts per week, but I’m certainly not going to pour as much time into tweaking and nitpicking as I’m used to.

THERE IS TOO MUCH HOMEWORK.

(If you can count up the number of times I’ve ever complained of that on here, I will actually legitimately send you a $15 gift card or something.  We can work something out.)

Actually, I’m on winter break right now, and it’s New Year’s Eve, so it feels like a good time to jump back into this.

I know running TGITO was A Good Thing.  It gave me writing and social marketing and photography practice, it probably made me A Better Person, and it definitely helped me Feel Better About Myself.  (This is hard for perfectionists, you’ll have to understand.)  I let it bottom out, and that was A Bad Thing.  I don’t really have a constant in my life, something that always makes me smile and that I do just for me, anymore.  I needed to cut off blogging for a few months because it was ceasing to be that thing, instead becoming very stressful and anxiety-inducing and altogether just too much effort.

Once you hit high school you turn into a lazy sack of caffeine and societal angst.

I wasn’t warned.

Anyway, though, in spite of it all, I’m back.  I took a long enough hiatus that it feels a bit nostalgic to open up WordPress again, and also utterly terrifying.  My inner perfectionist is wringing her hands over the fact that this post serves really no point except to make a dramatic reentrance, but I suppose she’ll have to learn to be okay with that.  I definitely want to continue to blog!  I’m not exactly sure what I’ll start posting about from now on, but we’ll get into that later. 🙂

It’s the new year.  (Speaking of, Happy New Year, everybody!!)  365 blank pages that I’ll really try hard not to let whoosh by unfilled like 2013.  I don’t want to proclaim any grand resolutions here, for obvious reasons (namely the flaws of human nature), but I do want to keep writing and posting and I do want to approach the coming year with some sort of achievable goal, instead of just waking up every day and winging it (which as it turns out doesn’t really work for me).

2014 promises to be magical.  Justin Bieber is retiring from music.  Peter Capaldi has already argued with Steven Moffat over the sexism in Doctor Who scripts.  I’m sportin’ some pretty awesomesauce new glasses.  The little ponytail in my hair doesn’t look quite so awkward now.  I’m learning how to navigate the murky waters of the high school social scene, and hellyes I’m flubbing up a lot along the way, but learning is never a bad thing.  Plus my birthday was 22 days ago, so I’m rocking a brand-spankin’-new age to take for a spin and mess it up as much as possible in what is hopefully a joyous and eclectic explosion of orange.

Also I’m back.

Have a lovely day! 😀

(You should leave a comment on this post if you’re reading it, just cuz I feel kinda lonely and hope everyone didn’t forget about me. 🙂  I don’t care at all what it says.  Resolutions, the color of your pinky toenail, your favorite liquid to consume, your innermost secrets, musings on the Novikov Self-Consistency Principle.  Really.  Just write a thing.  I love you.  Thanks bunches.  Best wishes.)

*prize may or may not be only my eternal adoration and gracious admission of defeat

5 Hours of Sleep and Lots of Coffee (Belated Friday Faves #3)

Yeah, I should probably call this post “Sunday Faves” for the sake of accuracy and all that.  But I feel like I had a good thing going with Friday Faves and the ensuing alliteration, and so the thing stays.

I should probably also explain about the title of this post, but it doesn’t make any sense because it’s true.  I would only choose such an odd and nonoriginal title if I was truly running on 5 hours of sleep, and, alas, this is the case.  The first week or so of school has been thoroughly dominated by BUCKETS of homework!  It’s only really because I’m taking all honors classes, and maybe there isn’t ACTUALLY that much work, but with my OCD perfectionistic tendencies, a simple 40-minute assignment can equate to days of slavery and stress.  MUST ACE ALL THE THINGS.  Unfortunately, last week didn’t really go well for me in terms of remembering assignments, performing well, and handing things in on time–let’s just say I was definitely feeling Friday the 13th a couple of days ago.  Ah, well.  Tis but a small matter.  And while my GPA might suck right now, I can certainly bolster it over the course of the semester–right??!!  At any rate, I’m looking forward to putting the snafu of last week behind me tomorrow as I embark on what surely will be a better 5-day stretch.

Hoo, you can tell I’m really tired.  That paragraph rambled and strayed considerably.  I was meaning to tell you that because of the massive amounts of homework (and my unfounded Doctor Who addiction that I cannot seem to shake and requires daily feeding), I’ve been operating on around 5 hours of sleep for the past few days, compensating with extra coffee in the mornings, and I feel like crap.  Definitely not making the healthiest decisions here.  My immune system took a hit as well, and, coupled with the new environment of 1800 kids and all the circulating germs, it’s only natural that I should be sick now.  Bleh.  My throat is scratchy and my tummy hurts, you guys.  Wish me tasty tea and restful sleep from here on out.

Thus far this has not been a very optimistic Friday Faves post.  Being sick is not my “fave”.  Onto the meat of the matter!

#1.  Spaghetti Bowl!  Ooh, look, I’m a big girl now!  On Friday I attended my first *official* HS football game with a group of gal pals, and, you know, we had to get into it.  Memorizing cheers, shouting ’til we were hoarse, decking ourselves out in all blue, blue face paint, the works.

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Although I have a feeling that you can tell from this awkward selfie that I was not totally sold on the face paint.  You can also tell that, as I constantly reiterate, I am REALLY BAD at the art of selfie and I have to go into PicMonkey and apply all these weird color effects to my face in order to feel okay about posting it here and that my nose is really oily and shiny  SPUNKALICIOUS and that my hair has absolutely no idea what it’s doing at any given moment but we shall not talk about these things.  (Something we shall also not talk about is the fact that the whole sexism and objectification thing of football and cheerleading bugs me.  I fear this post is not long enough to contain my feminist rantings.)

Right, then.  Focus on the face paint.  And my cute blue sweater, if you’d like.  Sweater season!  So excited.

While we’re on that subject…

#2.  The arrival of autumn!  At least before everything gets dreary and sludgey and rainy and the SAD-depression-stuff kicks in, early fall has got to be my absolute favorite time of the year.  Everything seems to slow, become just a bit more ponderous–nothing seems as frantic, or as frivolous.  Also, cute sweaters.  Also, herbal tea.  Also, orange leaves!  Also, PRETTY NATURE!  Also, PUMPKIN SPICE ALL THE THINGS!  Also, flu season!  😉 *cough cough, literally*  And there’s that whole not-sweating-when-you’re-just-sitting-still thing.  That’s nice.

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#3.  Being asked to perform poetry with the Washington State Poet Laureate.

(Doesn’t my elegant and poignant use of Doctor Who gifs serve to underline my mature and poetic nature?)

I received the inquiry from my old Language Arts teacher a few days ago (it’s not PC enough to call it “English” anymore), and this was basically my reaction.  People think I’m good at words!  Moreover, people think I’m good enough at words to sort-of-somewhat represent youth spoken word poetry alongside the State’s Great!

Reaction GIF: laugh, are you kidding me?, David Tennant

At first I was excited…majorly…and now there’s this crushing void of self-doubt inside me, knowing I’ll have to WRITE SOMETHING for the occasion and OH GOD WHAT IF I NEVER WRITE ANYTHING GOOD AGAIN and EVERYONE WILL HATE ME and OBVIOUSLY I AM NOT CUT OUT FOR THIS TYPE OF THING and WHAT IS THERE TO WRITE ABOUT MAN I CAN’T DO IT and WHY CAN’T I BE BRILLIANT AND SPEND MY ENTIRE DAY WATCHING DOCTOR WHO??

Lack of sleep may make me a bit dramatic, methinks.  Just a heads-up.

I have more things to say but I’m working on condensing my posts and posting more frequently.  That will probably be a good thing.  And you know what else is my favorite?  Sleep.  Sleep is very nice.  Never mind the fact that I wasn’t up and at ’em until 11 this morning, I think I’ll turn in for the night.  Hope your weekend was awesome and that you are able to recover from the dreaded influence of the last Friday the 13th!!

 

TGITO, put your big girl panties on

(what follows is a public attempt to pull myself up by my own bootstraps, in which I refer to myself in the second person and blame Doctor Who for a lot of my “problems”)

Blogging world, sorry I haven’t posted in so long.  Friends, sorry I’ve been so awkward to talk to for the past few weeks.  Self, sorry I haven’t ran “for real” at all since my 5k and am not doing so hot in terms of my attempted strength training regimen.   Mother Dearest, sorry I’ve left the house in a state of bedlam and clutter and have conveniently forgotten every single dish I dirty and leave in the sink.  Sunshine, sorry I’ve stayed inside practically 24/7 instead of venturing out and enjoying your preciousness, and Vitamin D output.  Self, sorry I’ve made you subsist on a diet of mainly cereal, coffee, and egg burritos for the past week.

Part of this was due to the fact that, some of the time, I was actually being productive!–working on projects and organizing and journaling and meditating and all that jazz.  The other part was due to none other than sheer laziness.  And the fact that I was marathoning Doctor Who.  (MUST CATCH UP TO CURRENT SEASON)

TGITO–look, your life isn’t that hard.  You are SO INCREDIBLY PRIVILEGED and you’re surrounded by AMAZING PEOPLE and you live in SUCH A STATE OF CUSHY COMFORT I don’t even know how you have the gall to waste a single day of your fluffy life.  Money isn’t an issue.  Neither are resources or outlets or activities to occupy your time with.  So when you sit around on your lazy bum all day just lamenting about things that are WITHIN YOUR CAPABILITY to change, I find it hard to muster up any sympathy for you.  Nobody’s going to come running when you ring a little bell on your nightstand, no one’s going to be able to put in treadmill time “for you” just so you can feel better about yourself while continuing to scarf junk food and Netflix binge, what’d you expect??

This past week, you seem to have been undergoing a Great Introversion, which I have to say I don’t approve of.  I’ll give you some credit–you’re insecure, you’re frickin’ terrified of starting up at a new public school and feeling like a bright orange guppy in an enclosed tank of dead-eyed sharks, and part of this is probably just some teenage hormone crap which makes you want to hole up with your laptop, hiss at the sunbeams that filter in through your curtains, and lash out at anyone who opens your door.  And feel sorry for yourself because you’re not doing anything, but at the same time it’s oddly soothing to curl up in your little hole of bitchiness.  Put the claws away, girl.  The world is not out to get you and you’re more than capable of facing it at its worst and embracing it at its best.

Where’s that bright and bubbly, chipper teen girl who revels in spreading Citrus spirit and isn’t afraid of what people think of her?  Where’s that strong-headed girl who can push herself through anything, be it a grueling run, a dramatic day at school, 1,667 words a day, or 5 hours of continuous exam cramming?  Why are you letting her hide away in a tower of your own construction made out of junk food and insecurity?  The world wants her back.  You want her back, admit it, you’re just afraid of the work it will take.

Wah, wah, yes, I know, TGITO, some things are hard and you’re tired and you know you should be running or creating or something but you’d much rather be drinking tea in your pajamas and watching Doctor Who.

You have the power and the means to be a totally awesome person, so don’t sell yourself short.  Yeah, it’ll take work, but you’ve never let a little dirt on your skirt scare ya, have you?  Stop focusing on the immediate gratification and work on shaping yourself for the long haul–because with a little luck, you’re in this for it.

This has been a note to self.

 

5 Things Short People Want To Tell You

(or rather, shout at you, but won’t because we’re too awesome and besides it would look kind of silly to shout into someone’s face if it’s a foot higher up than ours)

1.  We don’t think of ourselves as short.  When we’re at home, in fact, with no one to compare ourselves to, we actually feel pretty dang tall.  And in our minds—there’s just no question about it, we’re 6’8’”, at the minimum.  Ready to conquer all.  Until we have to interact with a 6-footer and get cricks in our necks for the rest of the day.

2.  If you want to know my height, ask me how tall I am.  Yeah, I guarantee you I have my height memorized and check it faithfully every morning in the hopes of seeing improvements.  And you wouldn’t believe how many people ask how short I am instead—um, excuse me??

3.  Don’t make jokes about our vertical challenges.  Being short in today’s society sucks, all right?  Not nearly as much as being some other stuff, but people tend to discount you as “less worthy” or diminutive, or think you’re some sort of joke of a person when they size you up.  The highest compliment, appearance-wise, we can get is “adorable” or “cute”.  Never mind trying for “pretty” or even “gorgeous”.  (Also you can’t date tall boys because they’re out of spontaneous kissing range, but I digress.)  Don’t think we aren’t used to it or that we don’t realize it ourselves.  You’re touching a nerve and playing on our insecurities when you mention it, so let’s just not bring it up at all, all right?  We’re awesome enough anyway, there’s plenty of other things about us to talk about.

And stop with the nicknames—no, no Shorty, no Smalls, no Mini or Armrest.

4.  When we wear heels, it’s not always a vain attempt to make ourselves more formidable.  In my case it may be.  But we have as much of a right to high-heeled shoes as any girl, so stop your sniggering.

5.  We’re going to live longer than you.  There’s this and the fact that our hearts don’t have to work as hard to supply blood to our extremities, so pffllbtth.  *raspberries*

Run Like a Dog 2013

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stitch before

stitch afterYay for picture-heavy posts!  (Though I imagine that this, too, is okay with you, because my posts are usually novels I write in attempts to procrastinate working on my actual novels.)  I don’t have much to say on the subject of this run, except that it wasn’t nearly as tiring as I thought it was going to be, except for a brief but overwhelming wave of nausea after it was over, most likely because I sprinted too hard to the finish line–but endurance is building up! 😀  We did end up taking two dogs–Daddio ran with Peeve and I, Stitch.  He was a good, faithful running partner, only stopping to pee on three garbage bins and attempting to yank my arm out of its socket only twice while stopping to greet a dog behind him.  I actually think having Stitch with me made me faster, because I had something to think about/fuss over/be concerned about other than the fact that I was running a 5k.  And while I didn’t try for time, I actually managed a perfect 10-minute mile–on the dot, 31:00!–and that’s pretty okay for me! 🙂  I’m not sore at all today, one day later, and I feel accomplished and awesome and like I want to go for another run.  Tomorrow.

It was also my first time running with Bic Bands!

DSCN4159(Tip:  when taking an awkward but necessary-for-your-blog selfie, be sure to include emphatic jazz hands.  It makes things easier on everyone.)

DSCN4160I ran in the above band, the thick Orange Crush (have not tried the bottom one yet, thin Hip to Be Square).  And all I can say is…wow.  Just like every other fitness blogger on the internet, I’m going to virtually yak your ear off about these, so be prepared.  I didn’t have to reach up and adjust, check that it was still there, remove, or otherwise fiddle ONCE–and I may or may not be a pathological fiddler.  And–andandandandandandand!–it was in THE SAME PLACE when I finished the run as when I started.  Being someone with an abnormally large cranium and uncontrollable hair (MIGHT I REMIND YOU OF THE OLD HERMIONE-INSPIRED LOOK:

HAIR! 004), these were a godsend.  And Bic Bands donates profits to charity!  HOW COOLIO.  They’re pricey, yeah, but I have a feeling these are the only workout headbands I’ll need for a few years now, and the company is totally SPUNKALICIOUS.  (Read my last post if you’re lost here.) 😉  So…yeah.  Consider Bic-Bands heartily TGITO-endorsed.  I bought them myself, wasn’t provided with review products or anything, so all opinions are 100% my own!

Ten-minute mile.  Fun dog socializing.  Free clementines and granola bars afterward, and a good time was had by all.

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Friday Faves #2

Featuring 5k fears and finds, beautiful blog buttons, bolstered body image, link love, and writing-related reads.  Not in this order.

Greetings my dear friends.  I would like to apologize for not posting since last Sunday, but I know you’re cool with it ‘cuz you’re cool like that.  It wasn’t that I had writer’s block, really–it was more that I did have a lot of ideas but, incidentally, there was a lot of stuff I wanted to do a heck of a lot more than sit down to pound out a blog post.  Projects, people…mysterious projects. 😉  Ah, well, you’ll find out about them soon enough.  They’re good ones. 🙂

Anyway, this, at least, means that come September 4th when I forgo my internet-inhabiting ways for the academic lifestyle once again, I will not completely abandon you for a week!  I now have many “backup” post topics saved up to prevent total radio silence here.  So, everyone has won here.  Let us move on.

1.  Beautiful Blog Buttons.  Have y’all noticed my new lovely ORANGE social media buttons in my sidebar?  They were only 99 cents 5 dollars in the Etsy store, made by IGottaCreate, who also offers FREE buttons, though not all in orange. 🙂  Cheap Etsy downloads are quickly becoming a kind of vortex for me…  At any rate, I’ve finally found out how to make social media icon bars, as per my question in my Blogoversary post!  I used this tutorial, designed for WordPress.COM blogs, to integrate the buttons into a widget.  It’s way easier than I was mentally building it up to be.

2.  Bolstered Body Image.  Maybe it’s come across around these parts (because I’ve written about it at length) that, lately, I haven’t been exactly happy with my appearance.  I’ll skip the melodrama.  Then I found some clothes that actually fit me nicely, wrote a post in an attempt to shape myself up, read some even more awesome posts, stripped down to my skivvies in front of a mirror and recited some self-esteem mantras (a la Kiss My Broccoli), started running longer and harder (why is running like the magic self-esteem-boosting drug?  though I’m not complaining), and bought some pretty eyeshadow and liner for my peepers.  I’ve always really loved my eyes–probably my favorite superficial feature, and I’m glad I’ve figured out how to play them up a little bit more now.  No shame in flaunting what ya got! 😉

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I also got a haircut.  Not that this picture makes it very easy to tell.  Also, I’ve coined a term–that above hairstyle?  That’s not “unruly” or “out-of-control”, folks, that’s SPUNKALICIOUS, you hear me?  SPUNKALICIOUS.  Please let’s integrate this into our daily conversations.  As in, “My bangs are being especially SPUNKALICIOUS today”, or “My day was sure hard; I guess life’s just testing me to see how SPUNKALICIOUS I can be about it!”  Yes, SPUNKALICIOUS must ALWAYS be ALL CAPITALS.  Preferably accompanied by a Z-formation fingersnap, if you can manage it.

3.  5k fears and finds.  My second 5k ever is tomorrow!  AHHH/yay!/I’m going to be so dead by the end of this!  Funny thing: since I’ve done this before (once), my brain has seemingly gone into “pro mode” about the whole thing.  As in, why should I worry about preparations?  Stretching beforehand, hydrating sufficiently?  Why even bother, especially when you’re not shooting for a PR?

I really hope I can snap out of this before tomorrow morning; at the very least, I have no doubt it will dissolve into a cloud of fear and crippling self-doubt at the starting line.  But this too must be worked through!

If your arrogant brain hasn’t gone into everything-under-control mode about your next 5k, here are some great reads from around the internet to help you prepare yourself for the race:

4.  Writing-related reads.

  • 10 Things Teens Should Know About Writing.  He comes right out and says teen writing sucks.  I can’t figure out whether I’m awestruck and thankful that someone prevented me from getting my hopes up too high, or feeling crushed…
  • Maureen Johnson’s Brain Monkeys.  Her answer to that eternally-posed question, “Where do you get your ideas?”  And it’s Maureen Johnson.  You’re guaranteed an out-loud laugh.

Also, this and this.

DSCN4119The former, I was lucky enough to snag for free at the magical old library, and the latter I pre-ordered.  (It’s been out for about a month now.)  The former…well, it’s Stephen King!  So witty, hilarious, and wonderfully profane; and since it was an older copy, I didn’t feel guilty about underlining quotes and dogearing pages.  For reference, you know.  😉  It’s just general, down-to-earth writing advice that doesn’t even bother to be tailored to specific ages.  And the latter, obviously, is geared more toward young writers, and it remains optimistic about a writer’s chances while still cautioning you to get a “real job”.  😀

The parents are also very supportive of all my writerly endeavors, but then again, they are parents.  That is Job of Parent.  So…does my writing suck?  Do I have no chance of success?  Or am I an amazing undiscovered gem (Mother Dearest’s viewpoint on the matter)? 😉  I’m getting whiplash darting back and forth…I guess the only thing I can do, in either case, is to keep pounding on.  Work hard, put in effort, always be striving to improve.  Maybe even query anyway, despite my age deficiency.  The worst that can happen is “No”.

No further alliteration for today…Happy Friday! 🙂

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What’s your favorite thing about your body?  Please divulge all in the comments!  Today, take a moment to appreciate at least one thing that is beautiful about yourself.  Don’t fall prey to the “but that’s so vain” thing.  Strut yo stuff, gurl.  And tell me what it is that makes you beautiful!  (Well, one item from the list, anyway.)

Further Fur

I all but promised you 2 days ago that the alliteration was going to die with that last post.  Maybe that might have been a mite misleading.  I’m on a roll, or rather, a reckless rampage.

peeve can't stop won't stop

This post isn’t really an update or record or news flash or anything, but it does introduce a furry member of my family and it does include a lot of cute goggie pictures and hopefully it will make you smile, because Peeve is really good at that, and you never know when someone’s in need of a laugh.  So, read on, my good peruser-of-le-blog.  Read and be entertained.

Peeve made her Instagram debut last week, and she quickly became quite popular.  I’m not sure why I’ve never shared pictures of her before, because she’s comedic gold!  If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen her….special face, but now for the cordial introductions:

DSCN3953Her name is Peeve, because she’s our “pet” and our family is one that gets a roaring laugh out of puns.  We always joke that she’s our “biggest pet peeve”, and she certainly seems to think so, though she’s pint-sized.

20130814_180713 e cropped outShe’s a docile creature, not overly concerned with the fast pace of society and its regulations.  She likes to take it easy.  Naptime occurs at least six times a day, more if someone else is willing to engage in the pastime with her.

IMG_20130812_120237 IMG_20130812_202804 - CopyThese are STUNNING shots of her, all gussied up in her best.  On a normal day, expect to find Peeve like this:

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Yes, Peeve is rather special-looking.  She also possesses startling chameleon talents, managing to resemble Yoda, an Ewok, and a monk seal all in one fell swoop.  Judge her by her size, do you?

yoda collage 1

Striking, the resemblance is.  Mmmm.

ms collage 3

I…I can’t even…ms collage 2 ms collage 1There…there are just no words.

Fun Fact:  Boston Terriers were originally bred as “war dogs”!

peeve grr

Since I know you’re all quaking in your boots with trepidation right now, I’ll stop with the Peeve pictures.  I’m glad I finally got around to introducing you to her though! 🙂  Now for a quick poll:  Which dog (if any) should accompany me to the Run Like a Dog 5k?  I initially thought I was going dogless, definitely (drat, here comes the alliteration again), but now I’m decidedly less decisive…

The contenders are: Stitch…(he might be more fun to document; he’s a bit of a camera ham, really)

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and Fraggle.  Yes, like the Rock.

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(Heckyes we have a buttload of dogs.)  Both medium/large breed, both in good shape and quite amiable, both would probably find the run fun.  Thoughts?  Have you ever run with a canine companion before?  I haven’t, so it’s probably not the best idea to break into it at a race, but…dogs…  I might simply pawn one off on Daddio.  That way they would get to enjoy the race without baffling me and what little consistency there is with my running style.

(In case you were wondering, Zixie gets an honorable mention.  Her hips are too bad to run that far, though.  Alas.  Otherwise she’d be my go-to girl.)

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Should I go for it?  The dark side clouds everything.  Impossible to see, the future is.

Haha, anyway–happy final fragments of Sunday.  On a semi-related note: how the heck are we over halfway through August already??!!  I literally thought it had to be the August 3rd yesterday… #timewarp

I hope you got a laugh out of our funny-faced furry friend.

Friday Faves

Featuring: food finds, fun, fur, accomplishments and attempted alliteration.

1.  Accomplishments: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, meet 3-dimensional puzzles.

DSCN3906 DSCN3911 DSCN3918 DSCN3920 DSCN3922 DSCN3924Up in our Wyoming cabin, the bro, the friend, and I happened across a vintage Peppercricket Farms 247-piece, 3D PUZZLE.  We slaved away hours over this thing (at least, I did–the bro and friend dropped out 70% of the way through [weaklings]) and I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve been kinda waiting for an excuse to show you my handiwork since then. 😀  Or that this puzzle was my sole driving force for the three-day span it occupied; I ate, breathed, and slept Peppercricket Farms.  I even missed dinner one night???!!  What could have possibly possessed my soul so fiercely as to cause such an unthinkable outcome??

Other news in the accomplishments department:  I’m running my second 5k evah next Saturday, the 25th!  (You can read the recap of my first 5k here.)  I’m simultaneously pumped and terrified–since the great fooeing of the knees, running has been rather hard and painful for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely grateful that I’m at least able to run with knee braces at this point, but I’m also out of shape and in pain and such and consequently I’m not nearly as speedy as I would like.  For this reason, I’m not hoping to PR on my 5k, but I am hoping to finish strong–that is, resist the urge to walk!  Running is an extreme mental hurdle for me, and I only hope I’ll have the strength to jump it.

run like a dog

The race is South Bay Veterinary Hospital’s Run Like a Dog 5k–I’m stoked because of the proceeds going to the humane society. 🙂  Also, it’s pet-friendly, so hopefully I’ll get lots of chances to ogle and photograph all the cute widdle goggies! 😀  Daddio shall run too.  Fun!

2.  Fur: The many joys of peanut butter.  A few days ago, I introduced dog Zixie to the many joys of the spread and put the ends of a jar to good use.  We both had great fun.DSCN4029

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Yes, my dog looks like a fox.  And yes, after this session, the remaining peanut butter levels testified to exactly how far her tongue could get into that jar:

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🙂

3.  Fun: The world’s smallest potato.

DSCN4094I don’t know why, but I crack up every time I look at this guy.  Obviously, Mother Dearest and I are such talented gardeners!

Once upon a time I had a pretty orange manicure, but now I’ve traded it in in favor of a more natural earth-inspired nail look.

DSCN4083You know those lucky ducks whose jobs are to come up with witty nail polish colors for the bigshot companies?  Well, I call this look “Girl Who Had Way Too Much Fun Digging For Potatoes Gloveless”.  Catchy, right??  O-P-I hiring office, here I come.

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Fortunately, Mother Dearest and I have also harvested some (marginally) larger potatoes, and other glorious summer veggies (pole beans, snap peas, radishes, etc.)–I’ve got my eye on a satay from Vegetarian Times for these babies.

Fun, part B:  Scavenger Hunt w/ Little BroAlphabetical, photographic scavenger hunt, no less (“Take a picture of something starting with A, B, C, and so on, no skipping letters and no going inside.  First person to finish gets a 10-point bonus; duplicate picture points go in favor of the 2nd finisher.”).  Yeah, ‘at’s right, folks, we’re bringin’ sexy good, wholesome fun back!

DSCN4012Here’s my Wasp Nest for “W”.  Do those white caps mean there’s still eggs inside the nest??  Ook.

4.  Food Finds:  Ketchup Curry, and Rockin’ Rice.  A few weeks ago I made PBF’s Crock Pot Curried Lentils (minus chicken thighs), which in my opinion was amazing (or maybe I was just really hungry) the first day and then faded into meh for the remaining servings.  Not to fear!  This mehness resulted in the discovery that I l-o-o-o-v-e the rather offbeat combination of curry + ketchup.  Like, a lot.  Like, enough to maybe make my own recipe out of it.  Nummy stuff, you guys.

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(^^Such a beautiful photo.  Ain’tcha proud?)

Food Finds, part B:  PlanetRice Lightly Milled Sprouted Brown Rice.

Lightly Milled Sprouted Brown Rice 6 x 20 oz. Stand Up Pouch

(Photo from PlanetRice’s Website, Link Above)

Are we thankful we discovered this!  We picked it up on a whim while at Albertson’s in Sheridan, Wyoming, and it turned out to be the best rice Mother Dearest or I have ever tasted!  Not to mention the fact that it’s like a healthy combination of white and brown rice–sprouted, too, so extra nutrient power–and pleases my entire Standard American Diet-eatin’ family!  Hooray!  You have no idea how hard it is to find something healthy that will do this!  Thank you, PlanetRice.  Highly recommended.  Now hopefully we’ll be able to track some down back home…

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Well, this was a fun post!  Mayhap they will start to become a regular feature–a Fantastically Fun Friday Faves Feature!  Or, in the interest of not being murdered in my bed by a band of bustling, boisterous, alliteration-averse apes, I should prune the practice of such postings and crack down on the current craziness to circumvent catastrophic consequences.  Happy Friday!