Thursday, June 21

My own Book Camp begins Monday

My friend, Leslie, got divorced a couple weeks ago. She'd been fighting with her ex for several years, and in fact, had been in the process of this divorce for about nine years. She told me in January that one of her resolutions this year was to get divorced. I'm super happy for her, and proud of her for finally digging in and getting this thing done.
She's motivated me. Not to get divorced, but to dig in to the thing that's been plaguing and scaring me for a while, too: The Book. So next week, while Sydney is out of camp and I'll have entire afternoons to get my shit together, I will finally finish up the last few bits of the book, and get to sending it out to people. I also will make a shameless request on Facebook for any friends that know anyone in the book publishing industry. I'm ready, and I want to be an author.
So, next week is "Book Camp," and I'll even get Sydney involved too, so she can help me stay motivated. I really feel like I need someone to sit next to me while I'm doing this, and Sydney in her gaming chair right next to the desk may be just the thing. It's a good idea I've got, and maybe once I start sending it out, I'll feel less guilty or weird talking about my "book," which has no real life of its own. It'll be a tangible thing, and it'll be out in the wild.
And goodness knows, once I sell one, I've got a bunch more ideas. And then I can afford to move to California.

Wednesday, June 20

They're the worst for making this a thing

I hate so much that I want to write about something here, but I feel timid, even nervous, about doing so. I hate that there are people who may or may not be reading the blog here, and that upon learning something here, they may say, "Hey! I deserve some of whatever may be available because of this thing that happened! I'm gonna be an asshole again!"
So, here I am. Not talking about the thing I want to talk about. I'll just bottle it up and wait, I suppose, to spew forth once the whole situation resolves itself and there's nothing for anyone else.
I hate you people who make me feel this way.
I mean, in real time, there's nothing they can do, for sure. I'll sit on it and probably post later...

Monday, June 18

I did an Instagram thing

Every morning during school, I draw pictures on Sydney's lunch bags. They can be inspirational, silly and ridiculous. They can be dinosaurs, of course. Not all of them are great, but the few that are I posted to my Facebook page to broadcast my drawing prowess. I was scrolling through the images the other day and decided that I really needed an Instagram for the drawings.
And then I created it: @paperbagsandsharpies. Good or bad, they'll get posted every day.
What's weird is that I've already collected 39 followers, and only two of them are accounts I know: mine (duh!) and Mom's (of course!). But it's pretty exciting to be watching my followers count grow!
But then I thought, well, this is great and everything, but my new followers won't get any new content until August. And then I thought, "No! I will draw pics for Sydney's camp days!"
And so I have. I posted my first non-lunch bag drawing today for Sydney's Monday at camp. I'll draw them in the mornings for her, I think, and post them, thus getting into my new routine. I'm really pretty excited about this, purely as a creativity outlet.
Check it out and give me a follow.

Thursday, June 14

"Be the List." I love it...


I spent some time in my loft/office last night, and have come to some conclusions, listed below.
1. The pink ottoman is too big to sit at the foot of my bed right now, so it'll stay put in the loft, being weirdly in the way of everything. At some point, the ottoman and the cozy chair will go back in my bedroom, but it won't be at this house. So! Conclusion: It stays put. Kimmie must deal with it.
2. The cozy chair will be reupholstered. I've been hedging and being undecided, but Sydney's declaration last night that she was glad the chair was just going to be recovered I guess sealed the deal. A new fabric will have to match the ottoman, though. Mom's on it. Conclusion: Cozy chair stays, but gets a makeover.
3. The cozy chair's ottoman will go the way of donation. It's weird to donate just an ottoman, but that's the decision. Mom's never liked the ottoman's awkward sizing, because it was built too big, and for me, it will just cost way too much to have that reupholstered, too. I need someone who will come pick it up, though, so that's on my list of things. Conclusion: Ottoman gets donated.
4. Karaoke machine will get donated, too. I haven't told anyone this, but no one seems to care about it at all, so I may just ditch that without saying anything. Then I can be all, "Well, that got donated like a year ago!" Conclusion: There will be no more terrible singing in my home.
5. I need to move the wooden elephant plant holder, but I'm not sure where it's going yet. I've found a place for the stuff (not plants) that are resting inside it, but the elephant itself feels very lost and weird in the loft. It really belongs elsewhere. BUT WHERE? Conclusion: Elephant's new location to be determined.
6. I need to put together my rolling cart from Ikea, because it can be used as a pillow place and side table. I'm thinking a little plant and coaster atop it, with a couple throw pillows in the bottom shelf. In my head, it looks cute; it practice, maybe not so much, but I need to try it. Maybe some picture frames in the second shelf? Conclusion: Many options there, but I need to build it first.
7. I think I'll be happy with the small rug in the loft right now. It's the right size for having a large chair in the middle of the room, and it's colorful and fun. And it can be washed in the machine, which is great since my dogs seem to like to vomit on it. Conclusion: It stays put.
And I think that is the entirety of my conclusions about the loft. When all this is done, I'll be happy with it. Just in time for us to maybe move into a different place next summer. *imagine the shrugging emoji girl here* Here's hoping I get off my butt and get these things taken care of before then!

Wednesday, June 13

Caution: Use only as intended

I know very well the perils of social media. I understand that it can be classified as an addiction. I have read all about how the body's dopamine levels increase when opening Facebook. And I realize that one's mental health may be decimated by comparing oneself to their friends' social media lives. I know that Facebook has way more information about me than I'd like.
I get it. I do.
I just don't care.
That's not to say that I have no care for my own mental health with regards to FB. I've snoozed all my friends who talk politics on the regular. Like, really, all of them. Those with the occasional post have been permitted to stay in my feed, but those with vastly opposing views, or those that post too much, have been snoozed. Rage and frustration aren't good for me, and I've lessened their impact by snoozing those people. My feed is a happy, positive and informed space because of it. I know as well as anyone the bright, shiny process of using an Instagram filter, so I like and scroll through those posts with a grain of salt.
Brian is super proud of, and somewhat pretentious in, his dislike of Facebook. "I only check it like once a week," he tells me regularly. "They have too much information." Yeah, I know. "You give them too much information." Yeah, I know.
A friend posted the other day that she was happier off social media. Duly noted that she went on social media to tell us all how happy she is off social media, but whatever. Good for her. It's the smugly superior implication that those of us on our social media are less happy than she is, or haven't yet seen the light, as far as she's concerned, is irritating.
On that post about being happier, all that friend's enablers chimed in. "Indeed, I'm happier without it, too!" "You're so strong!" "Yes, you're absolutely right!" "Life is better off Facebook!" Again, noted that they were on social media to even comment on this.
The kicker is that these people, as long as they don't post anything, can stalk and peruse and observe, and still feel like they're not actually participating on any of these sites, and no one can call them out on their false superiority.
Me? I post everything that interests me. I check in to places regularly. I share pictures and bits and pieces about my day. Why? Because I'm more interested in what everyone else is doing. If I engage, hopefully, they will, too. I use the social media apps as they're intended, to keep up with people. To see what they're doing. To hear about their day, or to see something that may have surprised or intrigued them.
You see, I'm what they call a long-distance friend. I can't see my friends and family regularly from where I am, so FB and Instagram fulfill a special place in my heart, giving me an all-encompassing place where I can catch up with all of them throughout my day. And it lets me share what's happening in my day, if they care to know.
So sure, it's an addiction; it's an invasion of privacy; it's a crutch. But it's also perfect for using as it was intended. Yes, I take those "My life is better without Facebook, and yours could be, too" posts personally. Those people are probably close enough to their friends and family to not need such a connection in their lives. My life would not be better without Facebook. It would be lonelier. So I'm going to keep posting and status-ing and liking and commenting. It's important to me, and keeps me sane.

Saturday, June 9

And now we have too many croissants

You know how there's some basic tenants of living in a society? Stuff that just everyone does because it makes the world go round. Like waiting for people to exit an elevator first; or not taking the next table's french fries or something like that. Today, I came into contact with an example of someone who ignores the rules of basic society: a person who did not place a divider on the check-out belt at a store.
Picture it: Costco. Brian and I had a pile of food and whatnots. We had placed everything on the belt, as one is supposed to, and waited our turn. B was at the end of the check-out counter, and I stood at the payment machine. The checker had gone through all our stuff, and was continuing down the line when Brian and I both noticed that she'd just scanned eggs.
We were all, "We didn't get eggs."
She goes, "Really? These aren't yours?"
"Nope. We didn't get eggs."
"Oh. Okay. What about these croissants?"
"Yep; the croissants are ours."
She seemed super confused about the eggs, though, and between her sliding them back to the order behind us, and me checking out the belt behind our order, we discovered that the guy behind us hadn't placed a divider on the belt.
Wait. What? Who doesn't do that?
He was completely unaware of our confusion, or anything going on, as he was staring at this phone and seemed lost to the real world around him. I said to the checker, "Yes; this is the end of our order," as I pointed at the croissants.
I paid for our order, and Brian and I spent our time walking out to the car discussing the basic rules of being a human, and how they include order dividers at the store. And as we emptied our cart into the trunk, I noticed the best thing ever: We had two packages of croissants.
So our croissants had been rung up at the beginning or middle of our order and were already in the cart while I was entering the payment information. When the checker asked me about the other croissants, I thought, well, of course, those are ours, knowing we had croissants.
So here's the beauty of the thing. The dude who doesn't know how to use an order divider lost his croissants because he didn't use an order divider. And he probably didn't notice because he was on his phone. And he probably didn't realize it until he got home, where hopefully, he got into trouble for not buying croissants.
Moral of the story: Use order dividers. It'll help you get home with your croissants. And you'll look like less of an idiot.

Friday, June 8

So maybe I was more than "somewhat" defensive

So as I'm finishing up my blog post from last night, and settling into the stats and counters and whatnot, my kid comes up behind me. She spends so much time at my desk and on my computer that she seems to think that everything that goes on at the desk and on the computer is up for her approval/critique/perusal. Of course, nine times out of 10, I'm doing bills or something boring. Last night, I was on a site she hadn't seen and doing something on a page she didn't know.
"Wait. You blog?" she asked, somewhat incredulously.
"Yes; yes, I do," I said, somewhat defensively.
"Huh," she replied. And then she walked away.
I'm not sure why it bothered me that she was all surprised that I'd be blogging, or is she more surprised that she didn't know I blogged at all. Either way, it was a weird exchange, in that she didn't have any follow-up questions.
Honestly, I'm not even sure I'd be ready for her dive into this thing. I don't fear answering any questions or justifying any of my opinions, but it would be really a lot for her to process, I would think. Like finding all my mom's diaries, if she had any, or my dad's confessional selfie videos or something. Just a lot to process. Over like 15 years or whatever.

Thursday, June 7

No better reward than Starbucks

ITEM!: When I was a kid, I hated taking showers. I'm still not a fan of the process; I consider them an obligation to being a decent human being. Of all the futuristic fantasies out there, I think my favorite would be the ultraviolet, dry shower that would clean you and remove all the grime and stuff without you having to get wet or put on lotion.
My child is more like a younger me than I ever thought when it comes to showering. First of all, I have to make her do it. She never volunteers. And secondly, making her shower puts her in a mood, wherein she pouts, won't speak to anyone, and moves all slow and lumbering to avoid it for as long as she can. It's hard to get mad about it, though, because I'd do the same if I could.
ITEM!: Sydney has no summer camp next week, so we'll do a whole lot of hanging out. But the other day, we came up with a delightful afternoon camp for her ... and me. We're calling it the AJs Afternoon Dessert Camp. Every afternoon next week, we're going to stop into AJs, and each of us chooses a different dessert from the bakery case. So far, on Monday, I'm going to get the orange creamsicle cupcake. Sydney has her eye on the fruit tart, if you can believe that. She also wants chocolate-covered strawberries. I also want a slice of key lime pie. Every morning this week, we've been plotting our AJs for next week, and I'm so excited. I'm thinking we'll knock out some movies on her To-Be-Watched List, too.
ITEM!: I need to spend some time cleaning up my desk here. My kid has taken over the space again, and it's covered in Funko Pops, dinosaurs, dirty dishes and gum containers. Ugh. Perhaps I'll do that tomorrow instead of taking a nap on the sofa before leaving to pick her up from camp. And as a reward, perhaps I'll get myself a Serious Strawberry Frappuccino.

Wednesday, June 6

"Grease" is the word; movie theater is the place

I took my kid to the movies last night to see Grease. Yes, that actual and official 40-year-old movie, Grease. She's never seen the whole thing, and I'd never seen it in a movie theater on a big screen. Let me tell you, we had a delightful time. Brian chose to sit this one out, but Sydney and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I got sing along, as did the rest of the audience, and we got to enjoy a mom-and-daughter date with a tub of popcorn. All good things.
And I have to thank my local movie theater chain for it. My theater has this awesome weekly awesomeness called, Tuesday Night Classic. We went to a few of them around Christmastime, and saw Elf and Christmas Vacation. I've been paying attention to what's being offered, and we missed the showing of The Princess Bride because Sydney had a test that next Wednesday. But the offerings are always on my radar. And Sydney wanted to see Grease.
Future movies on Tuesday include Monty Python and The Holy Grail, which I think we'll skip; American Graffiti, which we'll also skip; and Lawrence of Arabia, which I never could through because it was so boring. Weirdly, we may get to Top Gun, so Sydney can see that it's really a pretty cool movie, despite Tom Cruise. Raiders of the Lost Ark is coming up, too, but Syd and I will be in California for that one. Beyond July, they don't have the movies listed yet.
This is a super cool thing though, that my theater does. And Sydney and I are huge fans...

Tuesday, June 5

One small step for Miss America woman...

Let's take a moment and talk about why a Miss America pageant without a swimsuit and evening gown is much-needed and better than ever. Here's the reason. Are you ready? BECAUSE WOMEN ARE ABOUT SO MUCH MORE THAN THEIR BODIES.
We've been told for years that the Miss America pageant is a scholarship program. Who hasn't seen Miss Congeniality? Contestants want to be nurses, social workers, teachers, etc. They're real people with a real desire to make the world a better place. (Seemingly. I'm sure some of them really just want to be Miss America.) But still, if all that is the case, and they really do want world peace and all that, why do they need to look good in a swimsuit and evening gown? Why do they have to be a size 2?
The contradiction inherent in this "competition" has always been laughable. And how they market the damn thing has never been about how the women are anything other than something pretty to look at for a night.
So, the news broke this morning that the swimsuit and evening gown competitions are toast. And if you spend any time on Twitter, you would assume and know that this decision was greeted with overwhelming praise and celebration. Not really. Dudes are the worst. And in seeing how they are reacting, it's easy to see that they are exactly the reason why the swimsuit and evening gown competitions needed to be scrapped.
Women are on a mission. And it's a good one. They want to be treated equally and fairly. They want the respect that they deserve as members of the human race. They want to be seen as productive, valuable members of a society that doesn't determine their worth based on an idea of what is "pretty." They want the right to be free of a man's opinion on them based on their face and body.
This won't happen quickly, and it won't happen quietly. It'll happen incrementally. And it'll start with small revolutions against "the norm." Miss America is a good place to stage one battle. The war is far from over.

Monday, June 4

Zombie office workers are funny

Okay, I think I can say that it's official. I don't like sitting at my computer at night in the office to blog. I mean, I was upstairs at 9 last night, and the kid was in bed. And Brian was asleep downstairs, and I had nothing to watch on television. A perfect atmosphere for a sit-down at the computer, for sure. But I just didn't want to go in there and sit down. It occurred to me as I made that choice and walked back into the bedroom that I would have been happier with a laptop at that moment. I love the desktop for my kid and the bill paying and all that. I hate it for blogging. I'm gonna stop whining about that, though. hashtag firstworldproblems
Because here I am, perfectly happy blogging at work, being all slippery and secretive, and switching active windows as soon as I hear someone coming near me. Also, my workload lately has been, shall we say, soft. I'm getting all kinds of random things done because I don't have much else to do.

We ordered pizza for dinner last night, and there's a bunch of it in the fridge still, but I don't know if I want to eat it for lunch today or wait for dinner. A thing that is swimming around in my head right now. And Sydney's at camp, and I hope she's having a great time. And Brian's at home sick, and I hope he feels better. And my dogs are awesome. And my mom has too much stuff to stress about right now. And I'm starting to plan my next trip to California. And while my wrist feels better in the splint, my index finger gets super sore. And I really, really, really need to get back on the Weight Watchers bandwagon. And I stood up to my boss today. And I have a whole bunch of June things to get done.

Friday, June 1

Hopefully, happy artichokes grow better

I got motivated yesterday by it still being May and I went through Sydney's room like a tornado. She was a champ about cleaning out stuff, and we made some very real headway in her old toys and randoms. She even has clean surfaces on her dresser and nightstand, which is amazing. Who knows how long they'll stay that way, but for now, her room looks quite delightful.
Also, I potted that other artichoke plant, and moved it so it'll be happy.
My PocketHose popped though, so that made me all wet while I was out there. It entertained the puppy quite a bit, though I was far less amused. Elliot loves to help me in the backyard because she inevitably ends up all wet and running around like crazy. I don't think I've ever had a dog as pleased with water as she, since she's constantly chasing the hose and trying to drink all the water. And then jumping in it! So fun. However, this is my third PocketHose to pop on me, and the second to pop within the last year. I mean, I'm going to get another one anyway, because they're awesome, but this popping business is troublesome.
Anyway, I guess I just want to document that after yesterday's post about not getting stuff done, I got stuff done.

Thursday, May 31

Go away, June; bring back May

You know when you look at a calendar and you think, "How the hell can it be [this month] already?" I'm there, you guys. The fact that June starts tomorrow, the sixth month of the year already, is enough to have me kinda freaking out about how little I've gotten done so far this year. I couldn't begin to list out for you what I wanted to get done so far this year, but I do know that it's more than what I feel like I've marked off my tally sheet for 2018.
So, here I am, trying to come up with a To-Do List for June. And trying even harder to motivate myself to get it done. Vagueness alert: I know the one thing that I do want to get done, and that's my main motivation block. I don't even know what's slowing me down with it.
Other things include cleaning out Sydney's room; situating the garden so I'm happy with it and not wanting to change anything for a while; cleaning out closets and cabinets; doing that one puzzle with the white edges; maybe lose a couple pounds; and read a few books. I can't think of anything else right now.
Maybe I'll just write out my list and post it somewhere that bugs me in its obviousness throughout the day. Why do I find June to be disheartening? *sigh*

Wednesday, May 30

Today's Priority: Renew library card

I'm pretty excited to say that my library card is expiring at the end of June, and I'm nervous enough about forgetting that I'm getting it renewed today.
The library has become my sanity, my lifeline, and I'm all in.
I currently have five books checked out. One will be returned today; one will be started today because I don't have much time to read it before it's due and there's no renewal on it; and three that are awaiting their turn on the top of the to-be-read pile.
I think I've already read on of those three, though, and another of them is the sequel to that first one, but I'm not sure. So I guess I'm ecstatic to point out that I've been reading so much these last three years that I can't keep straight what I've read anymore. ... Wait. Hold on. I keep track of what I've read right there on the left. I'll check that out when I'm done writing this. ...
But, truth be told, I'm in love with my library, and I don't know what I'd do without its awesomeness. Hence, the immediate need to renew the library card.

Tuesday, May 29

I may have finished the succulent garden, though

I've become quite attached to growing things in pots lately. I think of something cool to grow, I buy it and put it in a pot. Sometimes I am successful. Sometimes, I am not. I've learned that growing berries in the desert requires way more than I am capable of giving. Beyond the berries, I've really been amazingly good at what I've chosen to garden.
A couple weeks ago, I saw a cool, hanging succulent in the planter outside my AJs. I plucked a sprig of it, and it's rooted and grown nicely in a pot by my garden window. I've wanted more from the plant though, so I decided I needed a couple more sprigs to root and grow, to turn the little succulent into a sizable succulent for outdoors, perhaps. I managed to break off a couple pieces of the same succulent this afternoon.
Mom and I figure it'll be better for the new little guys if they're planted in a small pot, as well, and babied and nurtured in the garden window, too, to ensure that they'll have a safe and happy childhood. I actually do have a empty pot for them both, and I'm looking forward to planting them in the morning.
And I also repotted one of my artichoke plants this weekend, and it seems to be super pleased with its new pot and placement in the yard so far. My cousin Rosemary posted a picture of her 3-year-old artichoke plant which was finally bearing artichokes for her, so I was motivated to treat my plant to a better living environment. I have a second artichoke plant that I need to repot, as well. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow afternoon.
I have quite a garden growing in my backyard and on my patio, and I'm very much in love with it. What's next?