Cover illustration by Ralph Steadman!
November 25th, 2016 · 6 Comments · Daily
Cover illustration by Ralph Steadman!
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November 24th, 2016 · 5 Comments · Daily
At 9:00 this morning, Meredith and I camped out on the couch for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I was knitting on the cowl, she was working on her laptop, and the parade was acting as our background music.
One of the first performances was from the cast of Holiday Inn.
Me: I’m not sure why, but this sort of thing always makes me feel slightly uncomfortable.
Meredith: I hate this. I would rather watch the Muppets singing for 45 minutes.
Me: Yes. Maybe.
Pretty soon I was all wrapped up in my knitting and she was no longer looking up from her laptop to see who was on the parade.
Someone singing on the television: Are you blind when you’re born? Can you see in the dark?
Meredith: That’s not funny, because I WAS. And now I’m offended.
At first I didn’t realize that Meredith was talking to the cast of Cats, but when I did? I laughed and laughed because she WAS nearly blind in her left eye when she was born, and her right eye was severely far-sighted. (More on that here.) And then I felt bummed out because I still harbor guilt about being the mom who didn’t realize that her kid couldn’t see.
Shortly after Meredith forgave the cats, Jeff returned home from his 5K (where he finished second in his age group), and Harper got out of bed to join us downstairs. We cleaned the house, a few of us showered, I threw together a green bean casserole, and ten people showed up for Thanksgiving dinner (which was really Thanksgiving lunch but I guess dinner sounds fancier). (We WERE burning candles. The kind of candles that crackle and pop!)
At 1:00, everyone filled themselves with one or more of the following items: green bean casserole and cranberry salad and regular salad and mashed sweet potatoes and mashed regular potatoes and bread and stuffing and parts of a dead bird. Afterwards, some of us watched a dog show while others chatted and someone cleaned and then three of us went to the gas station down the street for cash and ice cream and two people went upstairs and suddenly it was time for pie. Pumpkin and apple. Both delicious. Shortly after pie, Scout and Henry came back into the house and I removed the shock collar from Henry’s neck.
And then I put the shock collar around MY neck because what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, and the best way to live your life is to choose the experience that will have the most anecdotal value.
The shock collar has a tiny red light on the top that lights up when a shock is administered. Henry has learned that when the shock collar is on, it’s best to not bark. I, however, haven’t learned a thing.
(Notice the red light after my third bark. That bark delivered a shock.)
I barked and shocked myself five times before admitting that it was more than I could take. And then I realized that I no longer remember how to drive a car. (In China, electroshock therapy is used to cure people who suffer from internet addiction. In other words? SO LONG, NABLOPOMO! I’ll see you on the 12th. OF NEVER!!!)
((I’ll see you tomorrow.))
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November 23rd, 2016 · 5 Comments · Daily
I needed yoga last night for 14 insignificant reasons and 3 significant ones.
Yesterday I ran across a few sentences written by Elizabeth Bishop: “Life’s fairly enjoyable, but every so often I look back and see only the confused flotsam of a hundred quickly done, half-done, ill-done efforts. So, I suppose, one fills up, but can anything be well-done that isn’t accompanied by dreaming, sloth, contemplation, leisure?” It resonated.
Five people showed up for yoga last night and we yoga’ed and yoga’ed for 75 minutes and it was humbling and invigorating and relaxing and at the beginning of the session when we were asked to come up with a word to repeat to ourselves during the breathing sequence, the only word that came to my mind was Frosting. Later, as we became more aware of our breathing, the instructor asked us to repeat the word that we chose at the beginning of class, but precede it with I Am. “For example,” she said “I am love. I am peace. I am forgiveness.”
I am frosting. The first time I said it to myself, I laughed. But then it sort of became part of me and a few minutes later I touched my head to the floor during a wide-legged forward fold.
I’ve never done that before.
I am frosting.
We are frosting.
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November 22nd, 2016 · 13 Comments · Daily
I bought these shoes in 1994. They are 22 years old and they don’t make it out of the closet as much as they used to because despite the stars, they are a bit whiny and inconsolable. This morning I put on black running pants (costume), a black tunic (uniform), and a black weird long jacket that blows in the wind (spirit lifter). I then pulled black no-show socks out of the sock drawer (they actually DO show, as they are seen showing in the photo) and reached for the shoes. As soon as I put the right one on, the heel cracked and suddenly it felt like I was walking on rocks. As soon as I put the left one on, the heel cracked and suddenly it felt like I was walking on rocks. Both heels. Same day. Sort of magical, really.
My dad turned 74 today, which means he might currently be on his fourth pair of Converse One Stars. (He doesn’t wear One Stars.) He still makes the best peach pies. He still comes to the rescue when garage door openers look broken. (He still comes to the rescue when his 46-year-old daughter looks broken.) He donates most of the food from his garden. He’ll gas up your car when you’re not looking. I could go on (and on).
This says it all: I was supposed to have jury duty on November 1. When I called in on October 31, I was told that I wasn’t needed. When my dad heard how disappointed I was, he ordered a copy of Twelve Angry Men for me and had it delivered with an assignment. I was to watch the movie and then call to tell him which juror I would have been. (I wanted to be Henry Fonda. Alas, I was Jack Klugman.)
Rest in peace, drinking age shoes. You were born in the same year as Justin Bieber, yet you are twice as smart and much more reliable.
Happy Birthday, Dad. You were born in the same year as Stephen Hawking and Joe Biden, and I’m willing to bet that neither of them can make a caramel pie.
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November 21st, 2016 · 8 Comments · Daily
I had beautiful plans for the day that included spending 90 minutes audiobooking in the car and visiting with my nephew, but I woke up with a migraine and none of my pills could shake it. SO, I spent the day on the couch with Scout as my headrest.
Henry made frequent visits to press his head into my thigh because “Is it time to eat yet? Is it time? Now? How about now?”
I did manage to add a six row section to the cowl, which I believe is nearly halfway finished.
This evening will include lots of hot tea and blackberries drizzled with pear honey from Half Crocked Chef. Fuzzy pajamas. Falling asleep as Colbert delivers his opening monologue. Having dreams that look something like this.
*From Grammarist: In American English, the verb cancel is usually inflected canceled and canceling—with one l. This is not a rule, however, and exceptions are easily found. In varieties of English from outside the U.S., including Canadian, British, and Australian English, cancelled and cancelling are the preferred spellings.
(I also prefer Grey to Gray.)
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November 20th, 2016 · 3 Comments · Daily
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November 19th, 2016 · 4 Comments · Daily
My friend Sarah and I attended a Tibetan Singing Bowl Meditation Session this afternoon and I don’t feel like I can give you a thorough assessment of it because I zonked out. I will say this: The breath work was amazing. The chanting? Weird for me, but it felt nice to concentrate on removing external obstacles and inner struggles. When the leader asked us to lie down after the chanting and to set an intention to stay awake during the guided meditation and singing bowls, I knew I was in trouble. I fell asleep thinking of Amélie, because I’m pretty sure we were asked to consider the person we would like to become.
(I know I’ve shared that scene before. I love it so much.)
Less than an hour later, I was at the grocery store buying spinach, blackberries, and beer—because that’s how you top off a singing bowl meditation session.
Less than an hour later, I was drinking a beer float and helping a friend make a shirt for her son’s birthday. (If you’re curious: Pumpkin beer with salted caramel ice cream. Dreamy.)
I had an enlightening day yesterday and now I’m all high on peace, compassion, social justice, and respect. Coincidentally, these are the core values of Islam, and the only reason I know that is because I’m trying to educate myself. I’ve heard so many lazy people regurgitating hate toward the Muslim community. When asked to defend their views, they can’t. They simply repeat what they’ve heard from their neighbors or their parents or their friends or Donald Trump.
Peace, compassion, social justice, and respect.
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November 18th, 2016 · 3 Comments · Daily
Busy non-stop day and all good things and I’m leaving right now for something else that will also be very good.
Fifteen minutes of my day was spent with this guy:
Enjoy your evening.
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November 17th, 2016 · 7 Comments · Daily
This morning I went here:
Where I picked up some of this:
I then popped over here:
And nabbed one of these:
Next up? Haircut. The current strategy is to spend some time here:
With the goal of eventually landing here:
Finally, I have the starting point for a tattoo that will forever provide the mountains:
It will be tiny. It will be on my right wrist. It will be my third (and most likely final) tattoo. (I know it needs work.)
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November 16th, 2016 · 4 Comments · Daily
- Baby monkey wearing a diaper and holding a tiny ear of corn.
- Door-to-door henna artist who wanted to trade designs for roasted butternut squash and some words of encouragement.
- Pecan pie (fully intact and warm and wrapped and not poisonous) on the hood of my car. I felt like I needed to add the “fully intact and warm and wrapped and not poisonous” since we were gifted a pecan pie against our garage back in 2009 and it looked exactly like this:
- Light snow falling and sticking to my eyelashes as I stroll across a parking lot wearing clogs and handknit socks (and pants and a shirt, obviously. I’m not a gymnosophist!) before entering a restaurant where the only thing on the menu is an assortment of fruit and warm caramel for dipping. (I learned the word gymnosophist last week and have been waiting for a moment like this.)
- Baby moose hanging out with its mother on the side of a mountain and Hey! Is that a waffle bar less than 100 feet away? Why, it is!
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