And Then It Was August

Still going strong in quarantine. Still working from home. Definitely not still journaling every morning.

Here’s a stream-of-consciousness info-dump.

I blazed through Fargo Season 1 & 2 on Hulu and the new Babysitter’s Club series on Netflix.

Most days I wear “Pool Blue” Crocs.

I’m halfway through my Reiki Master course. It’s a lot of information to take in and actively use but it’s nice to have something to focus on. I ordered a Human Anatomy coloring book to help better understand the body while I work on it energetically. Intention counts for a lot but building confidence while maintaining accuracy is equally as important.

Eckhart Tolle has a new class on SoundsTrue and I won a scholarship for it! I’ve watched the livestream Q&A’s and I enjoy watching him sit in silence to wait for an answer within himself, instead of just trying to fill dead air. Sometimes the silence after the question will be a minute long and I check my WiFi to make sure it didn’t disconnect but then I see him blink. It’s exhilarating to see someone practice what they preach with such intensity.

Oh, and I’m bald! At the end of May I shaved my butt-length hair for the One Mission Buzz Off campaign. I sent a little over $4,300 to One Mission from my wonderful sponsors, then shaved off and mailed about 10 braids to Wigs 4 Kids in Michigan. I’ve always wanted to shave my head, so it was exciting to know that I could do so while also helping someone else.

My lunch break is almost over so I’ll leave you with this:

Wash your hands. Be kind. Slow down. Take deep breaths.

Hard conversations are important. Black Lives Matter.

Be well and I’ll talk to you soon.

-L

Keeping Sane

Following suit with the other states, Massachusetts is in a “Stay-at-home” lockdown because the governor doesn’t want to call it a “Shelter-in-Place.” Regardless of the term, I think it was expected but overdue.

My bed is now my fully functioning desk, complete with a landline phone (that I kick over every few minutes) and neck pain! It’s just like being in a real office. I don’t mind working remote, although I am definitely not hydrating like I used to. I have been making sure to stretch and unclench my jaw every few minutes.

I think the internet turned a corner today. Last week things were bleak, some people were staying home, others still had work obligations among other things. Then later in the week more people were in quarantine and getting a little punchy but overall still in good spirits. Now we’ve nose dived with the mandated restrictions and people are starting to get agitated as the novelty has worn off and reality is setting in. You can only stare at your mind-numbing electronics for so long before you forget how to sit with your own thoughts without flinching. Even so, I would still like a Nintendo Switch.

I’m picking up morning journaling again, three pages long-hand, in a notebook right when I get up. Most of it’s scribbles and nonsense but it’s nice to get all the crap out of your head before you just sit around with it all day.

I DO sit or lay down to meditate or just consciously rest for about 10 minutes. For the past few weeks I’ve been drinking celery juice first thing in the morning and whammo does it really remind you that you’re alive. It is distracting during meditation when your stomach starts gurgling but overall the gastrointestinal side effects are minimal.

And just like that, it’s nearly 1am.

GOODNIGHT.

Ice Cream in the Time of Corona

I ordered an ice cream for delivery. Rest assured, I washed my hands, opened it up, washed the outside of the cup, and washed the spoon before I used it. Then I wiped down the counter I had set it on before washing.

Chocolate ice cream, Marshmallow Fluff core, strawberries, crunched up waffle cone, Nutella sauce on top, chocolate shavings garnish, topped with cinnamon whipped cream.

Cut to me being truly shocked earlier today when the jeans I ordered didn’t fit.

This is my 6th day home, aside from light walks and grocery visits. I have yet to flinch but I see a lot of people are having a hard time. I will say that I started (consciously) meditating 10 years ago, so I’m used to staring at a wall with my thoughts rolling on by. Are you clenching your jaw? Let your shoulders down, loosen your mouth and face muscles, breathe so that your stomach moves up and down – not your chest. Periodically becoming aware and correcting those things will help take the edge off.

Sometimes when I’m in bed and I start consciously loosening each part of my body, one of the first sections I become aware of is my face. Relaxing your brows and mouth will make you wonder, “What the hell kind of face was I just making?” and “How the hell tight was I closing my eyes?” It reminds me of the grumpy old man puppet that Jeff Dunham uses, with its face all scrunched up and sour. Yes, what better way to get a peaceful sleep than scowling at the ceiling.

I’m excited to get caught up on all the books I’ve wanted to read. Currently, I’m reading Jessica Simpson’s “Open Book”, EB White’s “The Trumpet of the Swan” and “Dear Genius – a collection of Ursula Nordstrom letters. I’m almost finished with the first two. Jessica’s book is great, I really enjoyed reading her perspective on major pop culture moments. I read EB White’s book, or I believe it was read to me, when I was in elementary school and remembered really liking it. I save it for my night and morning book as it’s light and funny. I try to be mindful of what I consume (mentally and physically) before bed. The ice cream probably wasn’t the best idea but you can’t go wrong with a story about a swan that plays trumpet for cash.

Sad to see Kenny Rogers passed away. Everyone is sharing The Gambler but I have yet to see an Islands in the Stream post. The BeeGees wrote the song but I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard the Dolly and Kenny version in the doctor’s waiting room, in the dentist chair, or walking down aisle 5 of Stop&Shop.

Sugar crash has commenced. You only have a short window of time to remain vertical after eating a Nutella w/ chocolate ice cream bomb.

Blast off. Goodnight!

Happy New Year, New February, New March

I was suddenly reminded that I have blog when the annual charge rolled through on my credit card.

So, hello! I’ve gained weight, I’m planning on shaving my head bald, and I’ve been consistently entering a “win a Tesla” contest. More of those in future posts, well, mainly just that middle point but it’s a longer story for another time.

My GoodReads challenge is off to a hot start. Last year I barely made a dent in my goal of 25 books in 365 days but now that we’re working with 366 (Happy Belated Leap Day!) I’m off to the races. I’ve been taking in a mix of audiobooks while I work and then hard copies when I get home. Currently on the audiobook front is Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow and the night stand copy is The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B.White. As you can see they go in descending order of most nightmarish to goo-goo bedtime appropriate.

Duolingo is my new favorite app of 2020. I’ve heard about it off and on for a few years but I’ve done my fair share of buying language education books, CDs, and online programs to know that if it’s not in my face every day, I’m going to swiftly lose interest. I started off learning Irish Gaelic for fun but I realized I had taken 8 years of French and had barely anything to show for it. I switched over to the French program and it has been wonderful in refreshing my memory of lessons I had learned years ago. It was also helpful in targeting and explaining areas that I also used to struggle with in high school and college. I still use the unpaid version and have found that the game and heart/live format engages my Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis loving brain. It’s nice having to earn the lessons to move on to the next round.

I used to dream in French but it hadn’t happened in years until recently when I started reading and speaking it again. That and dreaming in cartoon format. Related?

Before I sign off, any books I should be reading or adding to my queue? Open to all genres, but I’ve been looking for Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror, and/or Mystery. I like Stephen King and I have the feeling I should be reading more Philip K. Dick. I read one of his short stories in Grave Predictions, a collection of Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror, and/or Mystery stories (who knew), and have thought about it ever since.

Eating

I’ve never tested positive for gluten intolerance but after eating bread for about a week, my shoulders are cramping and I keep getting zings of pain in my head.

Last week I had a seminar that was going to last a few hours and I wouldn’t have access to a fridge or eating facilities as the breaks were only going to be 20 minutes. I bought a loaf of bread, peanut butter, and an apricot spread, figuring I’d make a sandwich to take with me that wouldn’t require chilling. It did the trick and, as not to waste the loaf of the bread, I started eating sandwiches.

 I’ve maybe eaten 10 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in my life. About 6 of those sandwiches happened in the last week.

Peanut butter was never apart of my diet until college when, one day, I saw someone standing in front of a row of toasters, slathering smooth looking peanut butter onto a slice. I followed suit and the rest is history. I still don’t love peanut butter in large portions. I don’t think I could eat a spoonful out of a jar unless I was getting woozy from not eating. I know it is filling and delightful, so I do enjoy sparingly, unless in a Reese’s form, then in which case, I do not enjoy sparingly. My mother bought me a 1lb Reese’s Easter Bunny and I would’ve eaten the whole thing had it not threatened to break my teeth trying to chomp through his feet which were coated in 3 inches of solid chocolate.

A few years ago, after an excruciating experience of thinking I was having a heart attack, I ended up having a hiatal hernia. I’ve always had trouble eating flour-based products, as they never digested well, but after the hernia, I started getting strict about eating less flour and eating more green things (Like money! Especially for the amount of produce I had to buy to make up for the satiation flour creates.)

I felt a hell of a lot better.

Unfortunately, Italian subs are my favorite things even though they are basically a bomb to my digestive track, but I only have subs or sandwiches sparingly. Normally, I have a day of bloated discomfort and move on.

Today, I have yet to eat a sandwich. I’ve had no pain. I know there is half a sandwich waiting for me in the fridge and I’m getting hungry. Oh boy.

With food sensitivities, you find you’ve become your own test subject.

Is it….the flour? Is it….the yeast? Is it…the egg? It goes on and on.

It took me months to figure out Trader Joe’s chocolate bars gave me vertigo. I’ve recovered but moved onto the Cookie Butter and Cocoa Spread Swirl.

Highly recommended on graham crackers.   

August

It’s been a little over a month since I’ve turned 30. So far so good. I’ve listened to 5 true crime podcasts in (almost) their entirety, began switching to drinking iced tea almost exclusively, and got a temporary tooth.

For the podcasts, which I recommend:

Dr. Death

The Clearing (on-going, episodes out Thursday)

Dirty John

The Shrink Next Door

The Man in the Window

I put them in the order that I liked them. Although The Clearing and Dirty John are about even for me. All can be found on Spotify, which is how I listened to them.

For iced tea, my recommendation is Pure Leaf Tea House Collection “Black Tea…with a hint of Sicilian Lemon and Honeysuckle.” It’s not the healthiest way of drinking tea but boy, is it delicious.

For temporary teeth, I can’t say I recommend it but I’ll let you know when the permanent replacement comes in.

Back to the podcasts though. The new one I’ve been listening to is “COLD” which is about the Susan Powell missing person (and murder) case. This one is almost twice as long as the other podcasts, both in episode length/run-time and in episode numbers. I was vaguely familiar with this case when it happened in 2009 but didn’t know all the details of it, as I was only about a sophomore in college and didn’t watch too much cable news. Trigger warning, if you are interested in watching it, it does go into the trauma of domestic abuse in all its forms.

***

I’ve been sleeping a lot lately. Our family had quite the changing of months from July to August as we ushered in a wedding and a death on the same day. I’ve left behind some of my supplemental jobs and have been practicing more self Reiki and consistent meditation. I thought I’d be able to bounce back quicker but 5 months of minimal nights sleep has taken more of a toll that I realized. The whole iced tea diet probably isn’t helping.

We did get a new kitty though! That was a welcome change and unexpected. I think Sally approves of her new home. I’ll be spending time working from home with her in the following weeks so I’ll be able to give a more accurate assessment of our new life together.

In office life, I’ve received a new set of wheels. Don’t hold your breath, it’s not a company car. My new set of “roller blade office chair wheels” have arrived and have been installed. They are exactly as they sound. They are roller blade wheels that hook onto your office chair like any other type of office wheel. If you had no idea that your office chair could even detach its wheels, then you are in good company. The new wheels are quiet, don’t mark up the floors, and if you give even the most minimal push off, you will go rocketing into the printers at 40mph. I like them a lot.

Rolling off until next time.

143xox Lo

29

My final hours of being twenty-nine!

That’s all. It’s been fun. I bought sensible shoes.

I’m trying to finish my Disney Emoji Blitz challenge before midnight.

Off to the zoo tomorrow.

❤ lo

July

Every post I write wants to begin with “So I haven’t written in a while…”

It’s an apology to myself for not doing this insignificant thing that I created for my own entertainment.

Once a year I get an anniversary email from Tumblr saying Happy Tumblrversary or some iteration of that on the one of three (or four?) Tumblr’s I set up for myself.

One was a cartoon character named Mr. Winkel. One was outfits I created inspired by cartoon characters. One was the food I was eating, plus a thought (e.g. Lunch: BLT, Thought: I prefer Simon over Garfunkel.) One was called Ahoy Matey’s and I have no idea what that was about aside from that when Pinterest was a sapling with about 15 pins (no exaggeration) I found a DIY shirt where you painted a whale with a speech bubble that said “AHOY!” and somehow that transferred over to the blog name.

Since my time away I have added a few more contributions to Reductress and worked on some cartoons and short films.

I haven’t worked on Troll Girl in a while because it started turning into a chore. Adding hashtags, trying to promote, trying to gain followers. I started drawing one a day as a way to focus my attention on something that wasn’t a negative thought, story, news article, song, etc. You will be hard pressed to find an upset Troll Girl. I purposely made her always laughing, smiling, curious, or restful. As it became more about eyes on screen, it became less about her. I think about her a lot but I think she is still resting. Trolls aren’t on the same sleep schedule as we are.

My 30th birthday is in less than a week. I googled “Things to Do Before You Turn 30” and all the suggestions were terrible, time consuming, or $15,000. It doesn’t feel like too much of a big leap anyway. Ever since I was little, I’ve always been 4 going on 45. Compared to how my peers have “jumped through the hoops” I’ve felt perpetually 14. Compared to how my peers speak and act, I’ve felt perpetually 900. I think they are much more grounded than I am, which I envy. Maybe it’s just all the past life work I’ve done.

Recently I saw a headline that read a science study has shown 2 hours of nature a week can make you a happier and healthier person. Those numbers seem awfully weak but by perspective, someone like myself who works in a windowless building, two hours of nature, even if it’s just walking around the work parking lot, is a heaping Rx.

I’ve eaten two hot dogs today.

-L

Curly Girl Method

I don’t know how I stumbled upon it but I finally got into the Curly Girl Method (CGM) by Lorraine Massey. I’ll probably post before and after photos at some point but I’m only a few days in and I’m already in the “transition phase” (read: looks like shit) as the curls I have start to realize that they don’t have to be fried with my flat iron.

I’ve had mildly curly, BIG hair my whole life. In high school I found out about hair straighteners and oooh boy did I take that and run. I bought a straightener, turned it up the highest setting (nearly 500 degrees) and let ‘er rip. I let it rip for about 15 years.

The Curly Girl Method starts with removing sulfates from your shampoo/conditioner and using silicone free conditioners. This is a lot more overwhelming than it may seem. The DevaCurl products are wonderful (created by Lorraine Massey and the official products of the CGM) however they are pricey so I was trying to find quick, cheaper, drugstore products to get started. With the help of some CGM Facebook groups and NaturallyCurly.com, I was able to get into my new routine.

My hair before CGM

My hair is starting to curl on its own again but I’m sure I’m due for a DevaCut, which is a type of haircut designed for curly haired people, performed by stylists who have to be trained in the art of the DevaCut. Updates on that as it comes.

As I find products and start seeing more transformation, I’ll post photos and talk about what works for me.

That being said, I’m nervous for my stage hair…I usually straighten my hair when I perform…even my avatar on WordPress is me with stick straight hair. It has always been the more accepted hairstyle whereas curly can be seen as “messy” and “unruly.” Even my coworker chimed in as I was fluffing my curls about how much he loooooooved straight hair. -___- I’ll be ignoring the curl-shamers.

Wish me luck! I’m sure I’ll be clogging many drains in the near future.

xox Lo

New Year, New Netflix Binge

Like the rest of the world, I recently started watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. I bought my mother the book a few years ago and I enjoyed reading it but I never committed to the strategy. Somewhat inadvertently, I’ve made some new changes since the new year. The underlying theme being “GET UP ALREADY!”

I’ve always wanted to consistently go to yoga, and despite there being several studios in my town, none of them had exactly what I was looking for. I happened to see an article in the town paper about a new studio up and they offered a “chakra flow” yoga. All my woowoo senses sparked and I signed up. I’ve already gone a couple times, found a new water bottle, and even got a lavender FitBit to keep myself moving around when I know I won’t be going to yoga. So hopefully walking up a flight of stairs won’t wind me anymore.

Another itch has been to get another tattoo. I’m thinking either a small four-leaf clover or a small magnolia. Who knows!

That’s my new year’s update for now.