Saturday, January 16, 2016

A better blog. Not the new name. But there's swearing!

I can't think of a better blog name this week. Maybe I can just name it A better blog.
Or...
Maybe I'll try again next week.

My big thought today is about cursing, swearing and doing so to be well, real, or whatever.

Swearing in blogs. 

All the cool people do it. Except me. I think if I did, I'd probably have more readers, because I'd be the cool anti-mom who swears. Only most moms I know swear, so I think it's the pretend cool anti-mom all the other moms love to read because they all pretend they don't swear. I actually don't swear a lot. But I think-swear a lot. And I like to use British words that are close to swears. Like, Bollocks. I love Bollocks. I love the way it sounds when said right. It sort of rolls of the tongue and sounds much more definitive and authoritative than bullshit. Bollocks is a word that makes you notice the ridiculousness of something whereas bullshit is just something people say when they're angry about random things like going to a theater and finding out all the tickets to your favorite show are sold out because everyone but you reserved a seat three days ago. Bollocks is reserved for when you're at happy hour and the one guy/gal that knows everything is spouting out random thing like the next virus to kill the majority of mankind will come from hamsters. A good, hearty "Bollocks" (because bollocks must always be said in bold) will end the conversation right there, whereas "That's bullshit" will invite a retort ' "No, it's true, hamsters are in households everywhere, innocent carriers of the next incurable virus... death pets." I also love Spatchcock. That's not an actual swear word, or even British, but it sounds like one. It's a legit word referring to ripping the spine out of poultry and crushing the breastbone. I'm going to start using it. "Look, you knock this heck-n-crap off, or I will spatchcock your ass." But I would mean, really, spine, and breastbone. And I just said ass. So I do swear. See? I'm cool. But not anti-mom. I'm not mom or anti-mom. I'm just relieved my boys are in middle school and can get their own snacks and be left alone for a while so I can think of clever ways to use spatchcock without making it look like I'm trying deliberately to use the word spatchcock. The best smoked turkey we ever had was spatchcocked. That's an appropriate use of the word spatchcock. But I like using it as a threat. There really isn't a response to being threatened with spatchcocking.

Segue.

I was chatting with a friend and we were talking about how we don't realize how much we actually get done in a day. This is true of everyone. Except people who lay about on couches and watch daytime television all day. And then the people that lay about on couches watching nighttime television all night.

Things I've done this week:


**Went to Target and did NOT buy a journal... it was an awesome journal with an image of a typewriter outside with butterflies flitting around it. Walking away was hard.

**Came up with a new angle on my other sci-fi story, the first draft that's completed thank you very much. Will work that out later today or tomorrow. Have to get the first chapter polished by Feb. 1 though, because I entered a contest. My concern is this story is so unique and 'out there' that I don't know if it'll go over well. Because, I'm deep.

**Wrote more my YA Space Adventure story which is a story that reflects my inner-adventuring-12-year-old and isn't deep at all.

**Ran! And attempted Julian Michael's Yoga Meltdown. Totally melted down during the dolphin.  Like a tuna melt only with dolphin meat. Like I was the dolphin trapped in the net, and now I'm covered with cheese and melting in an oven while Jillian Michael's doing weird body contortions on screen and I'm like, that should be me!

Things that happened in the world that I care about:

Grizzly Adams died, too!

Bowie, Rickman, and now Haggerty? I loved Grizzly Adams. Think I've seen every episode. It was the first time I thought about running away and living in the mountains. I think, truly, I was misplaced at birth. I do not think I was ever meant for urban life. If I didn't have the mountains and trails here, I'd probably die of urban-exposure. I know Haggerty isn't quite up there with Bowie and Rickman in terms of changing the face of music for a couple of generations of music lovers, or showcasing phenomenal acting skills as a villain you can't help but hate so much you love him. But for me, personally, Grizzly Adams with it's two-year run has left a permanent mark on my life. I also wanted a pet bear for a while.

Politics.

Well, this is a 'safe space' so lets just leave that out there. Except if Trump wins. Then I'm moving to Canada  because then all hope I ever had in my future or my children's future will be lost. Oh, and my friends. They'll need a room, too. I mean, really, there's a lot of land in Canada that isn't populated due to inhospitable cold and such, but I think there's a few million of us who'd be more than happy to give it a go if needed. I mean, Siberia's got people... And I feel bad for Canadians, because I recognize they probably don't want a million Americans running north infesting their lands with our Americanism, which is why Canada should do it's part to encourage all Americans living in their lands not to get lazy with their voting habits this election. Mail-in your ballots.

Powerball sadness

I commented to a friend about how awful it would be if you think you won the powerball, because you had the winning numbers but for the week previous. That actually happened and I feel for those people because I couldn't imagine believing that all the answers to whatever problems I thought the Powerball could solve were solved, and then have to wake up and realize that nope, your life is still yours.









Thursday, January 14, 2016

This is life

How does that work for a blog title?
This is life.

I mean, it's not everyone's life, but it's mine. We'll stick with it for a few days but I'm not in love with it.

I think I mentioned my journal problem, and how much I'm addicted to them, but I can't possibly fill them all up... I found a new use for one of my spares. I'm ridiculously excited about it. It's going to be my 'day end' journal, where I note the things I achieved and accomplished that day. My new personal revelation (which everyone else already knows) is that to do what you want to do, you have to take action. The problem is action can sometimes be vague and ambiguous, especially if you're in-between things and starting new and also playing the role of the person-who-stays-home-while-managing-a-mid-career-life-crisis-and-has-to-do-all-the-crap-home-stuff-too. This will help keep me on track of accomplishing my goals of being an author, being employed either in-home or out-of-home, and of running/working out/not-eating-cupcakes. It'll also fill up this extra journal I have. It's black with gold type-writer style numbers all over it, and just not suitable for poetry or prose. It just screams business.

All the most successful people kept journals. And they wrote in them all the time. In the morning. In the evening. It was part of their daily routine. It's a solid, valuable part of a successful life success plan. I'm trying really hard to fill all my current journals before I find new journals. I haven't met a blank page I haven't wanted to write on....

Other news:

I didn't win the Powerball. For about five minutes I thought I won $4, but it turns out if I had these numbers last week, then I would have won $4.

Random people I find inspiring this week: Penelope Trunk (because she's real. and mostly right. I don't care if you don't like her. She's kinda got a point.) The Bloggess (life is hard, she's surviving, but she's got a better sense of humor about it than most of us). People I Want to Punch in the Throat (I am not capable of expressing that much violence, because I'm trying to be kind and mindful and all that, but I relate to her pain and she's funny and honest, because honestly, I'm probably not as kind and mindful in my head when I run into people that should be punched in the throat) The Pioneer Woman. Beautiful photographs. The main reason I want to live on a cattle ranch are the images she captures.

In the world outside...

I know David Bowie and Alan Rickman both passed, and I am fans of them both. David Bowie was an even larger part of my life than I realized. Once I look back over my teen years, I realize he was there at almost every moment. I'm one of those people who think Labyrinth is a classic movie we should raise our children on. Alan Rickman was a phenomenal actor - Harry Potter just showcased his amazing talent.

Everyone else has already said everything you could say about their passing. They were 69. My mother was 62 when she passed from cancer. It sucks. I know. It's as though there's all this energy that belonged to them and their lives that can't possibly end because their just is so much life, but then, they being mortals, they died, and their energy dissipated somewhere and all we have are the memories. It's heartbreaking and it's sad and I wish we had a better way of celebrating the lives of those we lose.



Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Is this really my life? Is this my life? My life, this is, truly? Are you sure?

I got some suggestions for a new blog name.

Asillisa which I really liked, but only clever introverts like me and the friend who suggested it would understand.

Turning over a new Li, which I also liked, but since I didn't get it at first, I don't think I'd be able to sell it... 'so, ms. famous blogger, what is 'Li?' "Why, I"ve no idea. Let me put you on with my cleverer friend who suggested it to me to explain what Li is, and why it means so much to me.'

I like one of them:

Is this really my life?

I'm just not sure about the question-in-a-blog thing. Maybe... This is really my life. Or. My life, this is, truly. Or WTF is this my life? Or, This is my life, like a statement or an accusation.  But, I might try it out if nothing better comes up. Because sometimes, I think, really, is this really my life?

I went to the hairdresser for a much-needed hair cut. The boys didn't notice, but I look more put together and less well, less un-put together. Usually when I'm going to start a new venture in life, or just feel like I need change, I go for something new and completely different. This time, I didn't want that, which surprised me. I thought I'd go in and say something like I usually do, like 'I want a short, sassy bob with long bangs and make me look like I have a heart-shaped chin and lose 10 pounds off my cheeks.'  Then, I dye my hair a new color. Oh how I love hair colors! Violet! Cherry Cola Red! So I stopped at the store and looked at all the Feria colors I love so much that I can't carry off because, honestly, you're saying something when you have violet hair. Not anything bad, no, it's just not the hair color for someone who wants to hike and run and is excited because of all the new journals she can write in. It's more for an artist or angry rebel or someone with cool tattoos who doesn't care about running or hiking. But maybe someone who would like journals. Definitely a writer type who specializes in romance. Which I do not. At. All. Not that I haven't tried, there's great money in it, it's just I'm not romantically imaginative enough to pull it off.  I like to think if I re-did life, I'd have violet hair and tattoos. Still probably wouldn't write romance though.

Then I realized it's really about change. The hair cut, not the lack of romantical imagination or desire for violet hair and gekko tattoos. (Romantical is now a new word.) It's how I don't want or need a very big change right now. A lot has happened, yes, but there's only one small change that I need, one small thing. Everything else around me is fine: family is good, friends are good, hobbies are good, running is good, hiking is in spring and will be great... I love the life I'm living. It's not my life that needs to change. It's the income I need to bring in that has to change. One isolated problem I can solve in time. Not something I need to completely alter my look for.

Well, except sometimes, I run into people and hold my breath thinking if I don't exhale, maybe they won't see me... then, I think, I should color my hair! And wear big sunglasses! And heels so I'll look taller! Then they won't recognize me! And it's nothing against those people, it's just they are strangers now, well, and mostly were then. Just shadows and ghosts of another life I care never to return to again. Except they keep cropping up in coffee shops all around town. Seriously, find a cemetery to hang in people, I'm trying to live a new, nondescript drama-free life here!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Lets have a redo!

My blog needs a new name.

Mostly because La La Land represented me at a time when things were kinda La La... I had my adorable young children to raise while I was writing and it was fun and light and the children were cute and huggable and pudgy. It's a great blog name for someone with small children and writing and so forth, but my children are past the La La phase. They've grown into the 'out of high school but not the house' and 'turning 13 and getting pummeled by puberty' stages. Just in time for that, I'm having a heck of a mid-career crisis. Okay, I know, so aren't like, a bajillion other people. It's just I'm making a thing about it. My mid-career crisis is more emotionally tolling than yours because, because... because it is. But if you're having a mid-career crisis, I totally get you, and I understand, and I'm there, and no, I think it's perfectly fine to say screw it and become a barista... it's kinda my c-plan. We'll talk about my b-plan another day. Just don't bring up the a-plan, cuz that totally bombed.

La La Land doesn't quite fit me anymore, because I'm headed in another direction. Unless I win the Powerball, which, in that case, I'm moving to another country without a forwarding address so no one can beg me for my mad riches.

The first two weeks of 2016, according to my horoscopes, were amazing. Ripe with opportunities! People love me! I'm spectacular! But in reality, so far, two weeks in, 2016 is a bit of a let down. Kind of a tosser of a year. If it stays this way, I might have to return it.

There was the incident with the resolutions. I made a bunch and then promptly broke them all with one accidental cupcake(s)(box)(boxes). Then, I discovered I still don't have a job. Huh. Kinda awkward. On top of that, today, my sense of where I was in time and space didn't match, because apparently your inner ear is important, and I ended up with both a crazy ear ache and a complete sense of dizzying vertigo which resulted in everyone having pizza for dinner, but not, as it turns out, my impending death. Yet. One never knows for whom the bell tolls, right?

And that's why I need a new blog name. One that explains life after toddling pudgy boys and their pre-teen singing sister. One that covers the mid-career-life-crisis when you're jobless after 40 but still have dreams and plans and drive and ambition. One that makes sense of boys going through puberty (ick. they're going to get hairy.) One that gets when you say you run, you mean at 11:45 minute miles and only above 32 degrees. One that isn't so, well, adorable.


Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year to everyone!

Did I ever mention my journal addiction?

It's real. I can't refuse journals. I struggle to not buy one when I walk by them in the only bookstore left in Boulder County. I do fill them up,  at least, because I am a big believer in daily journaling, but I never fill them up quite as fast as I buy them. So I dedicate the 'extras.'

I have one journal dedicated to story ideas for a fantasy novel that I may or may never write. Another one is dedicated to the sci-fi story I'm working on. I have another one just for random notes. And I have the daily journal one. I still have three other blank journals. I think I'll reserve one for my forays into poetry. Sometime last year I bought a bunch of poetry handbooks and guides, and this year, I'm going to spend more time playing with poetry. No real reason for it, it's just something I've always enjoyed and wanted to delve into more.

This time of year everyone is writing about their resolutions. I'm not going to :) because lets face it, you don't really care. I mean, did you even care about my journal addiction, really? It's okay. I understand. It's not that interesting unless you also happen to have a journal addiction, and now you know, you're not alone.

I did something different, though, this year. I made the resolutions, then I made goals from them. Under the goals, are the 'how to get this goal.' So, for instance, my resolution to Be healthy has goals: Exercise every day, eat better, be more mindful. Then, those have 'how to' so exercise every day w/ Jillian Michaels or a run during week, and a hike or long run on the weekend. Eat better has eat fish 2x a week and plan monthly menus, and mindful has meditate in the mornings for 15 minutes, starting with five minutes every other day and working up. See, now they are all doable. There are other resolutions, and I did the same thing with those, as well.

The last year was interesting in terms of personal development. I think it's rare that we actually stop to realize we'd actually had some personal developments happen, especially internally, where it's more a gnawing, slow realization that you've changed than some sudden external event, but it quickly became very clear to me that I'd been living out of tune and out of sync with who I am, what I wish to do and how I wish to be, and the last few months I've spent time really putting thought to how I want to express myself through my life. Genuinely. Not like an Instagrammed life where it's all an image, but a true expression of myself. I'm really looking forward to being able to put some of myself out into the world while I've decided there are other things that belong only to me.  Other things haven't changed. I still need to run. Still love to hike. Have to write. Am obsessed with finding ways to keep dinner time healthy and not from delivery... But there is more. I think there is more to all of us, and we all owe it to ourselves to keep trying to find the higher expressions of our selves.

Happy New Year!


Quick rundown of random things:

Six months in, new Middle School is still the absolute best thing that happened for Turbo and Bear. Those two have just attained new levels of maturity and growth through the higher expectations. 

Drama Girl is still in childcare, but I think she's going to explore hair and cosmetology which we all think would suit her so much more! Fun, cute clothes to work and get to do other people's make up for money... c'mon....

Husbear loves his new position, and pretty much has found his calling. No one who knows him is surprised by this, but it's one thing to be told, another to learn it for yourself.

I'm still working on a profession, but I have a better, clearer picture of my life in both my career and in my writing. 2016 will be exciting in terms of both, but I don't know yet what either will fully look like. It's a statement of inner knowledge, belief, and that intuitive whisper that says you're on track I'm going off of here.

I've become addicted to digital loaning from the library.

I'm still in lounge-wear and have yet to find a hairstyle I like aside from braids, side ponytail, high ponytail and low ponytail.





Saturday, December 19, 2015

Quick week in review, featuring wisdom, trust and other such things

Teeth Drama!
I had teeth drama. I suddenly discovered a new tooth had sprouted! I could feel my gums aching, and the tooth pushing. I pulled back the edges of my mouth and used a flashlight to see what was happening, when I saw it. A bone where I had never seen a before had pushed itself out. I went over all the likely reasons, aided by goggling dental anamolies:


  •  Triplet that I absorbed in the womb now making a late appearance. 
  •  Tori, these bone-growth-like things that occur when you grind your teeth a lot, like I do. 
  •  An abscessed tooth that would infect me and kill me unless I removed it with the blade of an ice skate. 
  • Tooth tumor.


A few days later, after realizing it wasn't going to go away on its own if I just played loud music and ignored it, I called the dentist and went in. I explained my dilemma, and the dentist tech chic person poked around a bit.

"This?"
"Yes."
"This, this right here?"

"Yes, that is it! What is that?"
"...."
"I mean, it just showed up."
"It's.. um, it's your tooth."
"What tooth?"
"Your wisdom tooth."
"Oh, did it come in? Is that what happened? It just finally erupted and popped out?"
"It's, well, it's been in." (for years, apparently).
"Really? I never knew!"
"So when are you getting it removed?" (Dentist who's seen me for the past 8 years and has been trying to get me to get rid of it for the past 8 years, but of course I ignored her because I thought it hadn't actually come through yet.)

So that was fun. My wisdom tooth, which has fully come in and been taking up space, probably may have a cavity, but no one can really tell, because it's really hard to get to. I was sent home with pain meds and a reminder I really should get it pulled before it actually does become a huge source of infected rancid tooth pain.

This entire tooth thing took up most of my mental energy this week and is the reason I didn't blog. (Too busy googling teeth things)  I was a bit disappointed it wasn't anything exciting, like an absorbed triplet.

Random Snow Day!

I heard El Nino meant we'd have a milder, drier winter in the Front Range, so I stopped paying attention to the weather reports. Every day is mostly the same. Sunny and unseasonably warm or Sunny and seasonably cold. So when I did hear some chatter about snow I ignored it because every snow prediction other than 1-3 inches is wrong. If my weather app says we're getting 1"-3" of snow, we're getting maybe a dusting that can equal around an inch and a half. If it says we're getting 4-6 inches, we're getting 1-3. If it says we're getting 5-10, we're getting 1-3. If it says we're getting a blizzard, we're getting rain. It's just how it is. So I was fairly surprised to be woken up at 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday for our school district to call an unprecedented snow day. Which of course was the best kind, for my boys, who didn't even know it was going to snow. We spent that day in our pajamas, Husbear worked from home, Drama Girl was home from work because despite my best advice to her EVER, she still insists in working in childcare, and not a lot was done all day. It was beautiful.

Trust issues!

My friend and I discussed this over Indian food. She was talking about the precautionary measures she took when selling things on Craigs List: Call the neighbors. Pack a knife in your pocket, just in case. Arm the eldest child with a hockey stick or baseball bat. Her eldest popped his head out, and said 'I think it's safe, there's a baby." I looked at her, and said 'The baby's just a distraction." At which point she jumped up and yelled, in her very calm, not-yelly way, 'That's what I said!" Because trust.

Then,  Chase Fraud alert texted my phone to tell me my debit card may have been placed at risk by a third party vendor (I'm going with either the Chinese delivery or the gas station - thanks a lot, guys!). I called the number on the text, and then was all like, but wait, what if THIS is the scam? Eventually, the customer service rep kinda figured out I was THAT person, and was like, 'I can tell you feel uncomfortable telling me anything, but we are Chase Fraud. However, you can always just call the number on the back of your card, or visit your branch...." Leaving out the obvious, that the only reason I got those text alerts is because I myself enabled them... It's a rough world out there.




Friday, December 11, 2015

The can of hominy in dreams and careers (note: they are completely unrelated)



  This is hominy. Hello hominy.


It looks like popcorn, but it's not. It's hominy, and harder to find than it should be. I think it's made from corn. It is, it's made from corn kernels (thank you Wikipedia). Hominy is an important ingredient in a white chili stew that I make that my entire family loves.

Think about what I just said there. That my entire family loves. This is a family where, on a good night, two out of five people enjoy the meal cooked.  This is because the universe has a bizarre sense  of humor and has created a group of people  genetically predisposed to liking different foods from everyone else in their immediate genetic tree family. No one in my family has the same taste in anything. At all. It made meals difficult until I changed the criteria for a successful meal to "at least two people liking it," because the list of meals that all five of us will eat and enjoy can be counted on one hand, not including the thumb. No one complains anymore because I tell them straight away that only 2-3 family members will approve of this night's dinner. White chili is one of the few meals they all enjoy. But it requires hominy. Safeway didn't have it. Sprouts didn't have it. Target didn't have it. I had to go to the dreaded uber store, the King Sooper store, which, in this area, is the big grocery heavy. Everyone goes there. At all hours of the day and night. It's always crowded, I can never find what I'm looking for, and I always run into people I'd been hoping to never see again, as well as people who were hoping they'd never see me again. But, hominy is necessary, and I bought it.The thing is, I had to buy it today. 

TODAY.


Because I had a dream about hominy. It was a really important dream. In this dream, I got the sad news I didn't get a job I applied for like three months ago, but it was okay because I was hanging out with an old friend from High School I hadn't seen in ever who just dyed her hair some lavender shade (we so need to catch up lady!) and after all was said and done, there was a can of hominy. With a capital H. Hominy. It was a big can. And I knew, I just knew, hominy was the key to my future career success. Hominy.
Which confused me, in the dream, because how hominy is remotely related to careers wasn't made clear.  It was the last image of my dream. I woke up thinking, hominy.

Then, today, I had to get it. HAD TO. It's going to snow tomorrow, and I want to let the white chili simmer in a crock pot all day. I became a bit obsessive about it. I pulled myself out of the house despite my huge 'I'm giving up diet coke cold turkey' headache and went and scoured the world for hominy.

I'm still not entirely sure why I associated hominy with career success in a dream. I mean, hominy isn't even in the dream dictionary... but, when I came home, I did get an e-mail about a job that just opened that is exactly the job I want, exactly where I want,  that meets all my needs, and the one where I meet all the qualifications for including the weird skill set most people in my field don't have. I'm unique, people, unique... 
So I applied, thinking about hominy.

(Note: I personally think jobs are like a lottery these days, and you either get extra chances because you know someone, or you get lucky because it's Tuesday and everyone else who applied Tuesday misspelled their own name...)  
(Note 2: I already have a back up plan for when the hominy-dream connection doesn't pan out and I never hear from the mysterious people known as HR, but if it does pan out, I'm saying I called it.)