I don’t know what to tell you. Things are kind of terrible right now. I don’t feel like talking about it because self-pity makes me want to slap myself and my face hurts.
Dumbass things I said to my kid recently
So the other day, “other day” being a placeholder term for “a while ago but I don’t remember when,” Penelope was telling me about a kid at her daycare who is mean. Actually, this had to be quite a while ago, since Penelope no longer goes to daycare, since I had to quit my job for health reasons, which is a whole thing that falls under the “I don’t feel like talking about it” heading. Anyway, she said he’s mean because “he repeats what you say but in a mean voice.” And I told her, “Well, that’s what people do when they’re not smart enough to come up with good jokes.”
I regret that one.
Then yesterday, and I know it was yesterday because the cinnamon rolls were no good today so I fed her donuts, she says to me when I came downstairs in the morning, “I’m going to have a piece of candy, because I was supposed to have one after dinner last night but I didn’t, so I’ll have it now.”
And I told her “No, you can’t have candy for breakfast. Eat your cinnamon roll.”
“But the cinnamon roll has sugar, too.”
“Yeah, but… that’s… breakfast sugar. It’s different. Eat your cinnamon roll.”
A problem with telling the Internet things I like
Sometimes I just want to tell the Internet about a thing I bought that I like, and there is always a person who wants to shoot it down. Yeah, but it has X feature/drawback, therefore it wouldn’t work for me, therefore it’s no good.
That’s… not a thing. That’s not what I’m doing when I tell you a thing I like. I’m not reviewing shit for you like a professional… reviewest of some sort. You know, with obligations to be unbiased and think about how everyone may or may not like a thing. I don’t have to do that. I don’t have to do shit. There’s no law.
And sometimes it’s even more weird, when someone knows I own something and they’re thinking about buying a similar something or something in the same category and ask me what I think of mine, and I tell them, and then they shoot that down, or, ever weirder, tell me, “well, I’ll have to think about it,” and then I’m standing there like some kind of awkward sales person. I didn’t even know I was trying to make a sale. I was just telling you about a thing.
Relatedly, this is why I sometimes struggle with GoodReads and leaving reviews for books, because sometimes I really love something that I know, objectively, is very terrible. And sometimes I hate something that I absolutely know for sure is a good book. Just not for me. And I have to pep talk myself when I’m leaving a review sometimes, like tell myself this is not my job, this is not the NY Times. It’s a social site. People who follow me either do so because they have similar tastes or completely opposite tastes, and they want to know what I think of a book personally, because if we generally like the same books, maybe they will read it, and if they hate everything I love, then they know not to read it, and I have no actual responsibility toward the greater GoodReads audience other than to just say what I think about my personal feelings about the book. Which are sometimes – oftentimes, lately – very angry.
And while I’m talking about GoodReads, can we talk about the difference between a book review and a book report? We can all read the blurb. Just tell me what you thought about the stupid thing without giving me a plot rundown. This is not the 7th grade. I’m not going to whip out a rubric and subtract points for your inability to write a summary and note all the symbolism. Tell me: good or bad? Then I will read or not read the book, and from there, I will find out the plot points and – wait a second, I’m going to go back up to the top of this and put GoodReads in as its own heading because I have a couple more things to say. Done. Anyway. If your review starts with “Character A is a small town –” I’m already deaf. I’ve gone deaf from how bad you are at this. Internet deaf, anyway, which is probably more like blind, but not actually blind, because I still need to find the back button to nope the fuck out of what you’ve got going on here. Your review-report will make me Internet deaf. I just had to invent a thing for how much I hate review-reports.
And and and the morality police in book reviews. I think – I hope – by now, at this age, we can all understand the value of an unlikable character. I mean, there’s a line, but a character written in such a way that they’re kind of just an awful person, well. That’s a thing that books do and you don’t have to like the character for it still to be a good book. There’s that line, sure, when a character is tropey and sucky and lazily written, but that’s bad writing. A bad character is different. Same thing with questionable subject matter – you know the stuff. Just horrible things people do to each other, ugly ways people behave, things that are clearly Just Not Cool to Do in real life – all those things often go in books, too. And some people don’t enjoy those kind of things. Like you know what’s a big one on GoodReads? Cheating. A lot of people don’t like cheating in books. Even as a plot device. Even when a character is shitty and does shitty things as part of his or her clearly defined shitty character. And it’s fine to write your review and say, I didn’t like this book because I don’t generally enjoy cheating in a story line and it really ruined it for me, and that’s fine. But say you pick up some horrible thing, and the synopsis says, “Okay so there’s this dude and he kidnaps a girl off the street and he locks her up and makes her into a sex slave and he beats her every day and he’s real mean but their relationship is complex.” And you pick it up and you READ IT and then you write a review that says, “THIS BOOK WAS TERRIBLE BECAUSE THIS TERRIBLE MAN BEAT THIS GIRL AND THEN SHE LOVED HIM IN THE END WHAT EVEN THE FUCK ZERO STARS.” Excuse me ma’am what did you think you were about to read?
Or or or take my second favorite trope – obsessive romance between kind of shitty damaged people. (My first favorite trope of all time is the standard Harlequin romance “there’s a misunderstanding that could be explained in five minutes but the noble lady refuses to explain to save face and lets the dude go on with his misconceptions and they break up and she keeps her chin up bravely but then he finds out he was wrong and there’s a triumphant tearful reunion” and I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING I WILL READ THAT SHIT TIL THE END OF TIME.) One of my favorite books in this second favorite trope is called Beautiful Disaster. And so many of the reviews harp on how terrible it is that these two are so obsessed with each other, what a sign of danger it is that the dude loses his shit when he thinks she left him, how irresponsible of the author to write such terrible role models and whoa hold up. You’re going to give a book a negative review not because you didn’t enjoy it – which, fine, if you didn’t, BUT YOU’RE WRONG TRAVIS MADDOX IS THE BEST – but because you feel the author has somehow failed in her duty to the youth of America? That’s not… that’s not a thing. It’s your job as an adult in a young person’s life to make sure they understand the difference between fact and fiction, between enjoying entertainment and living it out, between right and wrong, between being a decent human being and someone who writes shitty reviews on GoodReads. That’s on you. Not the author.
LEAVE THE AUTHORS OF OBSESSIVE ROMANCE ALONE. THEY HAVE BOOKS TO WRITE. FOR ME.
And lastly. ARCs. Can you people not with this shit. We all know by now that we have to take paid reviews with a grain of salt. People are either reluctant to say negative things when they’re being paid, banned from saying negative things when they’re being paid, or too afraid of never being paid again to say negative things. And it has finally hit GoodReads HARD. ARCs are going out all over the place, all the time, and a lot – a lot of them – are for the shitty Kindle books that cost like $2.99 and are never even whole books, just one regular sized book chopped awkwardly into a trilogy so they can charge you three times. And they’re shitty. So shitty. SO many of them are so, so shitty. But I read a lot of Kindle freebies, because what else am I doing with my life, and I review them, and then I look at other reviews, and they’re all gushing BOLD CAPS LOTS OF GIFS FIVE STARS!!! reviews and I FEEL LIKE I’M TAKING CRAZY PILLS and then I see “this book was sent to me for free in exchange for an honest review.” And there’s so so so many. I get it. You want to keep the free book train rolling, so you’re willing to salt this author’s GoodReads reviews with 5 stars just so you’ll keep getting books to review, but you should know that you’re terrible and no one likes you except maybe the author, but who cares because the author is also terrible and maybe you two should take a vacation together to terrible island, and when you get bored, the writer can tell you poorly thought-out stories about half an idea she had one time and started writing down with no idea where it was going to go and just hoped she’d get there by the end but never did and then maybe you’ll just WALK INTO THE SEA.
Going back to that thing about stuff I bought.
Here’s some stuff I bought recently that I like.
I got a Loopy Case for my phone. I reluctantly switched back to the iPhone almost a year ago now, and I don’t care what Apple is saying about their super special porn star dick hard glass, I have shattered the fucking thing three damn times. I have never shattered a phone in my LIFE. I use a case. I use the useless protective glass cover, which is stupid, because the shape of the iPhone glass is stupid and no one can cover it properly. After this last shattering, I ordered a Loopy case and I like it. It’s a phone case with… a loop on the back. And you can slide your finger through it and hold your phone better.
They say it allows you to use your phone with one hand, but I’m never going to be a one hand phone user. I got on board with the smart phones pretty much as soon as they were a thing, but still too old to adapt to new ways of doing things, I guess. I ordered a left-handed Loopy even though I’m right handed (the difference is very subtle and you can still easily use it with either hand with no discomfort), because I hold my phone in my left hand and poke at it with my right. I am a phone poker. I am not a thumber. So that feature doesn’t apply so much to me. But I very quickly took to always having my finger through the loop, and it’s much easier to carry in general, like flipped around to the back of my hand when I’m carrying a lot of things, and really, it just gives me peace of mind. Also, the case it comes with is one that wraps all the way around and has a lip at the front, so it’s quite protective as well.
Things you might notice about it: It’s got a big old loop at the back, which might make it hard to slide into your pocket or phone slot in a bag. Also, the loop causes a bump in the back of the case itself. Some might find that bothersome. I do have a rebuttal for both of those: I don’t care. Buy it or don’t. I like it. You might not. That’s a you thing. That is not a “I find these things displeasing therefore the case wouldn’t work for me therefore the case is bad and by association you are also bad” thing.
Other thing I got recently: I made an extremely ill-advised basically spur of the moment trip to Dallas to surprise Bagel for her 30th birthday. Her sister came from Alaska. It was a whole thing. It was a dumb, dumb, dumb thing for me to do, but I did it and we had a lot of fun. We had breakfast for birthday dinner, ate like 6000 red bean buns (ok, just me), and watched a rack of episodes of the kdrama Goblin, which I would love to talk with you about, at great length.
We also went to Sam’s Club, and Beth directed me toward these two packs of wireless bras – Bali Comfort Revolution bras. I spend a lot of time in my house now, and I don’t generally like to wear a bra in the house, because the industrial strength bras I wear are fine but not “I’ll wear this for funsies” kind of fine. Also, I can’t sleep in my industrial strength bras and lately I’ve kind of wanted to sleep in bras because everything is everywhere. Anyway, Beth suggested these as a good idea.
I was hesitant because I’ve never been able to buy a bra that comes in sizes like M, L, XL, but I looked at the size charts and went with a large anyway, and what do you know, they fit. They’re not flattering bras – not something I’d wear to… anything. Except, like, to get the mail? Or a drive through? Or actually I’ve worn them on a couple long (ill-advised) drives. And they do exactly what I want them to. They keep everything from wilding around without the full on rigging necessary for actual participation in real life. I especially like them because most of the time at home I wear my comfort suit, which is onesie pajamas, and I just really, really hate the feeling of being braless in onesie pajamas for some reason, worse than I hate it in anything else. I’d wear a regular bra with my suit during the day, but to be honest I kind of fall asleep at random wherever I am, so I like to be prepared to nap at any moment.
Also, there’s the whole sort of FlyLady thing – did you ever do FlyLady? I should do that. She’s got this thing where every morning, you get dressed all the way down to your shoes, because shoes mean you are Doing Shit, and it’s a mindset thing. It’s kind of the same as going braless. I can wander around my house braless, and lay on the couch braless, and nap braless, but I cannot do things braless. I am not suited up for any sort of activity. Not because it would be too uncomfortable to bend down and pick a sock up off the floor without a bra, but just because, hey, I have no bra on. I am not in action mode. The Bali Comfort Revolution Bras are a nice middle ground because not only am I set to nap whenever the mood strikes me, but I could also pick up that sock and all the other socks if I felt like it. I am not prepared to accomplish anything bra-free. I don’t think Penelope was even conceived bra-free. I need a bra to be in the mindset to Do Things, but I don’t want to wear a capital B-R-A BRA. So that’s why I like those.
All right, good talk.
I didn’t do one of these surveys last year because I felt like 2015 was particularly hard and just… not fitting for a survey. I wasn’t feeling it. 2016 would be the year I could do a great survey.
I was wrong. 2015 was not that bad. I miss 2015. I miss the particular shambles my life was in in 2015. This is a whole new shambles and I regret not appreciating my previous shambles.
I will put pictures of Penny in here so you can just skip from picture to picture like islands in a sea of crap.
1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
I learned how to make fancy coffee. I took over the day to day operations of a shop and did a lot of stuff I didn’t really picture myself being the kind of person to … do that stuff. I apparently kept on with the habit of starting sentences without knowing where I was going with them. I put a pet to sleep. I took my child to Disneyland (that was last week and I haven’t written anything about it yet, but it was swell). I sent a kid to kindergarten. Geeze. Without a consistent blogging habit to look back over, I really don’t remember a lot of what I did this year. I think it was a lot of the same with a few events sprinkled here and there.
2. Did you keep your resolutions and will you make more for next year?
I don’t make resolutions, but I did have a general feeling that 2016 was going to finally be our year. It wasn’t, and I won’t make the mistake of pinning hopes on the flipping of a calendar page again.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
I have always defined this question as, “did anyone I know well enough to visit in the hospital or immediately following the birth of their child give birth?” and that remains a no, though all three female friends I have on this base did give birth this year. Or near the end of last year. I can’t really recall. So, not that close, then.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
I still do not travel. I still do not even own a passport. I don’t really have any thoughts of abandoning this country after the election, either, so I don’t know when I’ll get around to getting one.
6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
A more solid idea of what our exact plans are when Phil retires at the end of the year. Financial stability. I don’t even care about financial security at this point. Just pick a spot and stay stable there, finances, even if it’s a shitty spot. A vasectomy (that one’s not for me). A bigger house. Less stuff. Way, way, way less stuff.
7. What moments from 2016 will remain etched in your memory and why?
When I realized Hillary Clinton was going to lose. The day after the election when some friendly Germans asked me about it and I cried. Watching Penelope watch the parade at Disneyland. She was on Phil’s shoulders and kept turning around to scream down at me. “IT’S GOOFY! MAMA! IT’S DONAAAALLLLD!!” When we lost Brinkley, those last few minutes. When a customer bought two coffees and when they were made, said one was for me, because I never get to have coffee during the day. When the French guys left. WHEN FRENCH GUYS CAME INTO THE SHOP TWO WEEKS AGO!! When we took Penny to the beach, that whole trip.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I guess nothing in particular this year, other than just doing well at work. My customers like me, my boss likes me, my boss trusts me with a lot, and said she’s going to miss me when I had to give notice recently. I like the job, and I don’t hate going there or being there every day. Sometimes that feels like a pretty decent accomplishment. Also, I feel kind of okay about the fact that I worked as long as I could, and eventually got myself around to the point that I felt okay about quitting without soul-crushing guilt. Just a regular amount of guilt.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Every other aspect of my life that was not work. Our kid looks like a hobo all the time. I never grocery shop and rarely get a decent cooked meal on the table. My house is… well, disaster is putting it nicely. I was an utter and complete failure at managing to hold it together this year. About halfway through, shit went sideways and stopped working well for us, leaving us just hanging on by the tips of our fingers as the year came to a close.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I’ve talked about this before – how I have a rare condition, the details are stupid and unimportant and depressing. And how I lost a bunch of weight and was feeling better, but then not feeling better again, and I had a spinal tap, which showed that my condition was controlled. Which was good news and also depressing, because if the condition is controlled, why do I feel like shit? So, turns out I have two other, less rare, pretty normal, but definitely shitty migraine and headache type conditions as well. So we adjusted some medications and lifestyle shit, and I started to feel okay again, until I didn’t. Until I really didn’t. So, back to the doctor, and he decided to do a spinal tap, because it’s his damn favorite thing to do. This was probably the hardest part of my year, if I’m thinking selfishly only about me, which I usually do. We all expected this spinal tap was just a check in, just to confirm that condition 1 is still under control so that we could move on without having to consider it as we figured out how to handle everything else that was happening. Unfortunately, that was not the case and the test results were quite bad. My exact words when my doctor announced it were, “you have to be fucking kidding me.”
I don’t really know how to explain why this particular moment was the most difficult, except that… it made it clear that I won’t ever be done with this. I struggled with it for years, actual years spent doing not much more than just laying in bed every single day, dealing with not only feeling like hot garbage, but also the guilt that comes with being chronically ill, which either you understand or you don’t. And I met a new doctor and got better and set that part of my life aside as closed, except it’s just not and it won’t be. It can’t be cured, only managed, and we’ve once again hit a point of “this might be as good as it gets,” with “as good as it gets” being so not good that I’ve had to quit the job I really enjoy, cancel plans, avoid making plans in the first place, and spend so much time sleeping that my kid declared our 14 hour car trip “the best day of her life” because she actually got to hang out with both parents for so much time. And I think worse than feeling like shit – not much worse, but a little worse – are all the feelings that come wrapped up with being chronically ill. I feel guilty, of course. Like, all the time. And angry a lot. Then I feel bad for being angry because what right do I have to wail about the unfairness of it all? And I feel snappish toward well-meaning people who cheerfully suggest it will surely get better, or have I tried this, or have I considered that, and I have to bite my tongue not to tell them to fuck right off, and then, of course, feel awful, because they mean well. And I’m the buttfaced dickbiscuit for even considering raining on their cheer-parade with a trout-smack of reality. THEY’RE being hopeful for me, how dare I not play along like the brave little soldiers sick people are supposed to be?
Anyway, it’s complicated. I want to be sick without also being an asshole, but they seem to go hand in hand.
To answer the question, yeah, I suffered some illness. I also randomly went blind in one eye, but that was only scary the first time. It’s fine now, usually, except when it’s not, and I can just wait it out. Oh, also, I went to a trampoline park a couple days ago and my thighs are fucking killing me.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Hmm. LEE KWANG SCOOT.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Phil’s, of course. Just re-read above if you need help developing an accurate picture of all the shit that’s heaped upon him on the regular. Penny. She’s been pretty great this year. Five is pretty great. She’s generally understanding of situations as they stand in this house, and does her best to cope with them. As best as someone her age can. She also loves school and brings home great reports almost every day. Other kids like her and she’s made a lot of friends.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Can. We. Not.
14. Where did most of your money go?
The vet. Daycare. The beach and Disneyland. This year, she’s coming out of daycare, though, and we’re down a dog, so maybe we can catch our breaths a bit there.
15. What did you get really, really excited about?
Tickets to see BTS.
Taking Penny to Disneyland.
A new drink a friend and I invented called The French DeVonte. (My friend’s name is DeVonte.)
16. What song will always remind you of 2016?
It came a little late in the year, but Big Bang’s Last Dance.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter?
c) richer or poorer?
sadder, about the same, poorer.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Texting people when I think about them. Don’t I say this every year? If I have your number, I’m writing you at least two to three texts a week, then deleting them before I send them. Sorry/you’re welcome.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Sleeping. Wallowing in a pit of despair/my own filth/empty diet soda cans. Being short-tempered.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
We spent it at home, as I prefer to do. We went out for Chinese the night before, then spent the morning opening gifts together. We told Penny she’d be leaving for California to go to Disneyland. Later in the day, I made a pile of snacks. I basically arm-swept the fancy meats and cheeses shelf. At night, after Penny went to bed, we packed our bags and our car and early the next day, we left for Phil’s aunt’s house in California. We went to the aquarium (though we had to leave quite quickly because I didn’t feel well, see entry re: guilt above). We went to Disneyland. We ate ramen. Penny taught a bunch of people how to play her favorite card game. We went to a trampoline park. And then we drove 14 hours home.
21. Did you fall in love in 2016?
Does renewing my love for DBSK and Rain count?
22. What was your favorite TV program?
Running Man. It’s always Running Man. I have a somewhat irrational attachment to the show. When I was spending most of my time in bed, it’s almost all I watched. 200+ episodes. I’ve always just told people simply, it puts me in a good mood. It always has and I love it deeply. Unfortunately, some things happened this year that weren’t cool but likely uninteresting to you if I explain, and the show will be ending in early 2017. I’m taking it so hard it would probably be comical to anyone else. But before you find it comical, you should know that Business Insider found Running Man to be the ninth most popular show in the world of 2016, and the number one most popular non-American television show. In the world. (link) So stick that in your butt and fuck off. I’m sorry, the pain is still very fresh.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate at this time last year?
I can’t remember what date exactly I started hating Donald Trump instead of just finding him to be a giant but harmless tool.
24. What was the best book you read?
Probably A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. Feel free to ruin your own life by reading it.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I continue to discover that kpop is fucking awesome.
26. What did you want and get?
My job. Um, some new sneakers the other day.
27. What did you want and not get?
Good results in basically any situation in which I was waiting for results.
28. What was your favorite film of the year?
I only saw one, and it was Sully, and IT WAS SO GREAT.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 35, and I’m pretty sure I took a nap. Oh, and I worked. Which was kind of weird because all my co-workers were surprised. “Why are you at work on your birthday?” Is taking a day off for your birthday a thing? Why? I dunno. I worked. It was fine.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
You know, I don’t know. I hate this saying, like everyone else, but it kind of just is what it is, right?
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
Uniform, elastic pants, onesie pajama suits.
32. What kept you sane?
Probably Running Man.
33. What celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Always this guy. He’s so great and you don’t even know it.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
CAN WE NOT.
35. Who did you miss?
The characters from the dramas that I finished watching.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
More like a group of people. I love my little German lunch groups. These little pods of regular customers who are also German. They are my favorite people, after me.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.
I will not.
38. Quote a lyric that sums up your year.
I don’t think so Tim.
Happy fucking New Year. Don’t fuck it up.
There is a lot of stuff right now, for me and for the general world but I’m mostly always focused on just me, that is kind of terrible. I don’t feel well again. I felt better for a long time and now I don’t feel well again, and it’s shitty just like before, but with the added bonus of anxiety and distress at the sensation of being dragged back down into a craphole. I sleep a lot, mostly.
And, you know, other terrible things.
Anyway, here are some things I like right now.
NUMBER ONE. Facebook groups. I dunno, man, I am just into them. I like how I am in a bunch of different groups with a bunch of different purposes with a lot of the same people. And I like the groups I’m in with not the same people. I like how groups are being used, or at least, how I’m now seeing them being used. Like how you can just make a group for any damn thing and be in it and post in it or not or just read things. This doesn’t make sense and that’s fine. You know, the idea of people deleting Facebook or being addicted to Facebook never really made sense to me before – post something, look at some things, leave. What else is there to do on there that you’re spending hours a day? But groups, man. I don’t participate a ton, but I just really like being in them and reading things and saving links for projects and recipes some alternate universe version of myself might take on some day. You know any good groups I should be in? Add me to some Facebook groups. Make a Facebook group with just you in it and add me to it. I’m fine with that. Don’t add me to any direct sales groups, fuck off with that shit, but otherwise, yeah, put me in all your groups.
NUMBER TWO. Being basic as hell. I don’t really like the word or the concept, not so much. Especially not the whole “basic bitch” phrase. I dunno, you know that’s insulting and meant to be insulting, but the concept goes against everything I’ve come to learn about myself in recent years, so I’m not into it. But accepting the concept as a THING that we all understand, OH MAN I LOVE IT. Fall is when it seems to come out the most, but obviously being a basic person is a year round endeavor. But examples from right now: what, leggings, warm boots, top knots? Yes, yes, yes. Sign me up for all of those things. Those are all things I love. I love doing basic shit. Being incredibly average and predictable is my jam. I like watching fall tv show premiers and I like putting stickers in my planner and I like stopping for coffee. I get that the whole “basic” concept is meant to be sort of, “haha, look at you, liking things other people like,” but you know me well enough by now, or maybe you don’t, so I’m telling you now, I think that liking things that other people like is the absolute BEST THING IN THE WORLD. Yes. Put me down for one of everything that average people are enjoying the shit out of. Make space for me. I’m coming to enjoy shit with you.
NUMBER THREE. Korean television. Guys, it just keeps getting better, I promise. I don’t want to accuse anyone of anything, so I’m going to use myself as an example here, but BEFORE I started watching Korean television, it was impossible for me to imagine it could be as good as American television. I mean, I guess I just assumed the US was where quality entertainment came from. I don’t know if I thought it would be hokey or poorly produced or what. I don’t think it was a conscious thought, just some kind of embedded ethnocentrism I wasn’t super aware of. So anyway, I know I’ve beat this drum forever, but I don’t really plan to stop. It really is just as good as American television. It’s just as well produced, just as complex and interesting, and it’s just really, really great. I do think you’re missing out on something awesome if you haven’t tried them out, and I hate when people miss out on awesome things.
Okay, well, that’s about all of the things I am liking right now. I hope you are liking some things, too. Add me to Facebook groups about them.
A list, by Kelly.
Scented trash bags
People who open a straw and just leave the paper right there, the trash can is 4 steps away, what the fuck is wrong with you
That thing where you get a really low grade fever which is just no big deal at all except your whole gottdanged body hurts like someone beat you with a baseball bat
The way EVERY phone system says, “please listen closely as our menu has changed.” Listen, you can’t all have recently changed your options. It has NOT, you KNOW it has not, and I know it has not, you’re just trying to politely say “please don’t mash 0 til you get to speak to a person, you impatient asshole.”
OH AND THOSE PHONE SYSTEMS THAT MAKE YOU TALK so you’re yelling “NEW SERVICE” or “REPRESENTATIVE” over and over and over until you JUST MASH 0 TIL SOMEONE SPEAKS TO YOU
The farts of dogs who have recently gotten into cat food
Childrens’ games that take 10 minutes to set up for 45 seconds of playing
Desserts and other dishes that involve hot fruit
When the shower curtain won’t stop sticking to you because you can’t get the shower head adjusted exactly right so it hits you in the dead center of the back so you have to stand off center in the shower.
This is Stitches. He is an Abomination.
When you’re just trying to have casual chit chat with a customer and they start going off about some random topic in such a way that all you can do is just not say anything else at all because it turns out they’re kind of a racist or an asshole or a racist asshole and they’re talking like of COURSE you agree with them, like it’s assumed you’re the same kind of asshole, when you’re actually a totally different kind of asshole
That thing where when you flex your foot or stretch your back and you know as you’re doing it you’re going too far but you do it anyway and then get the massive cramp you knew you were going to get
When you get a new phone and it automatically adds all of your email contacts as ACTUAL contacts so you’ve got like 8000 people you’ve only ever emailed one time ever and didn’t even enjoy that one interaction
The way children behave in such a way sometimes that you’ve got to threaten to take away stuff YOU ACTUALLY ALSO WANTED TO DO and then you have to follow through with it
BMI measurements at a 5 year old well check you just fuck right off with that
Ok, I think that’s it for now.
I have been very tired lately. Not, like, the most tired person who was ever tired ever, but some schedule changes and whatnot have just… made me tired. I moved into a different job, sort of, at work, which would be tedious (to you) to explain, but I’m working more and I like it. I like my job. I don’t hate going there. I had a job, a long while back, that was a very tedious job and very demanding at certain times of the year (THIS TIME OF THE YEAR, if you recall my job at the accounting firm), but you know, I never hated going to work. Even when we were working 10+ hours a day every single day of the week, I just didn’t hate it. I was tired, and it was stressful, but it didn’t make me hate my life. I didn’t realize that, though, until I had a job, the one after that, that did make me hate my life, made me a truly miserable, unhappy person, a person who was completely consumed by the disgusting terribleness that job pushed into all areas of my existence. After that, I had the realization, eventually, that most people probably do at some point, that it’s TOTALLY FINE not to love your job. If you don’t flat out hate going there every day, you’re probably doing all right. And right now, I wouldn’t say I LOVE LOVE my job, but I don’t hate it and I don’t mind going there at all, so I’m doing just fine.
When I’m tired, though, when I’m really, really tired like I am now – okay, I’ll tell you part of it, because it’s my blog and I can be tedious, and it’s not like it’s a secret or anything, it’s just boring life details – I had been intermittent part time (anywhere from 0 – 29 hours a week) in one location and was trained to work in another as well. The girl who worked in the other (it’s a coffee shop) had to leave for child care reasons, so my boss asked me to apply for the regular part time (35 hours) position there. So I did, and I got it, and it’s nice, though I miss going back and forth between the two locations because I liked the variety and I like the work better at the coffee shop, but the fast pace better at the other shop. This is a military base and this is also food service, so people are in and out a lot, as you expect, and situations worked out that I was essentially the only person left able to work in the coffee shop at all. Someone else has been hired and can start in a week or two, and another girl was/is being trained to do like I did and work between a couple different places, so that’s good, but for a while here it’s been just me, so I’ve worked quite a bit. I have felt weird complaining, especially to my husband who has always just, you know, worked, about working 5 or 6 eight hour days in a row like it’s some kind of super taxing schedule, which it’s not, it’s not even close to how I used to work, but I haven’t worked outside the home in years and I spent a couple of those years sleeping and I stand all day, and I don’t know. You’re not going to make me defend the fact that working all day makes me tired, are you? If I promise that I understand that there are certainly people with harder jobs who work more hours and have more kids and extra jobs and all of that who are probably more tired than me? I promise I do know that, and I promise I feel the adequate dash of shame when I think about how tired I am.
Anyway, so I work most days from 6:30am until 2:45-ish, depending on how fast I can close things up, and that’s a pretty good schedule, I think. I like the hours. I mean, I don’t like getting up that early, but I like being done for the day that early, so it’s a fair trade. The issue is, though, that Phil has switched to swing shift for a bit, so when I am coming home and pulling into the driveway at 2:45, he is pulling in right behind me with Penelope, collected from school/daycare, handing her off, and going to work until 11pm or so. We’re really pretty much on waving terms these days. And you know, that’s fine, too, because this schedule isn’t permanent, and he’s been actually gone-gone for longer than this schedule will probably last. But it started around the time that my new schedule started, and also Penny’s “spring break,” which wasn’t really so much a spring break as it was just a week off from pre-k – she still went to daycare. Which is convenient. Except they take naps in daycare. So for that whole week, she was coming home WELL RESTED, which is a nice change from the exhausted and whiny child who normally comes home, but not so great when you worked on your feet all day and your feet HURT and your husband is at work and she has no intention of going to sleep any earlier than 11pm. Maybe.
Anyway, that’s all to say, or to justify, maybe, the fact that I am just tired. And when I’m tired, I want to complain. Just in general. All the things I want to talk about are complaints. I don’t spend my entire day complaining or whining, but when I look at the Internet, I just want to complain about shit at length, so I mostly just haven’t been on the Internet too much, because I used to be comfortable complaining about whatever was bothering me that day and moving on, but over time I became aware of the fact that as far as a lot of people know or care, what you blog is who you are, entirely, and if I was to complain here and on Twitter, then for all intents and purposes for a lot of people, I am someone who does nothing but complain all the time, and while I know that’s not true, and even if it was partially true, it has become less true as years have gone on, having people think that about me just makes me want to complain about the injustice of it all, so you see the loop I become trapped in there. But you know, it’s been a while, and I’m tired, and Penelope is going to be awake for like 80 more hours, so I’m going to just go ahead and tell you some of my recent complaints, but to make myself feel better about my perfectly justified complaining, I will insert one good thing after every complaint.
FIRST COMPLAINT. Is not about working moms vs stay at home moms, but is somewhat related, in the ways of attitudes and all. You know some people are never going to be okay with working moms, and some people are never going to be okay with stay at home moms. There are those not okay people. But let’s assume that the majority of normal people are fine with whatever you want to do and whatever works for your family and honestly don’t give a fat fuck either way. This is something that is bothering me, though. There’s this whole other attitude about working, sort of, that if you’re going to work, your job should be at least good. And my job, to some people, would not be considered good. I do work for an hourly wage in food service. And you know what, like I detailed above, I like it. I tried stay at home mom-ing. I tried working from home and have done that on and off for the last seven or so years to pretty decent success. I just didn’t want to do those things anymore. And I’ve worked in an office and “used” my college degree and all of that, but after my last experience with that, I didn’t want to do that anymore, either. I wanted to work, but I didn’t want any real responsibility. I don’t want to take work home with me or get my work email on my phone or talk to anyone from my job when I am not actually, physically at my job. I didn’t want to get involved in long projects or make important decisions or be in charge of anyone or anything, really. And I found something that works for that. When I first started working again, at the end of last year, I was making pretty much exactly enough money to pay for Penny’s daycare and nothing more. I make a bit more now, with the more hours, but in reality, if we’re speaking in terms of financial sense only, it makes the MOST financial sense for me to not work and to keep Penelope home with me, childcare costs and all that being what they are. I’m not going to do that, though, because I get more out of my job than money. No real deep satisfaction and personal fulfillment or anything like that, but I LIKE working for a paycheck and I’ve found a spot that meets all my requirements for that.
Penelope was on Facetime with my parents a couple of weeks ago and I offhandedly explained, just lightly, that I really like my job and could easily see doing something like this forever, because… I don’t know, I think I’ve adequately explained myself through the rest of this post, and my mom said, “Oh, well, that’s not a very good idea,” in a way that implied that it wasn’t okay to just be an hourly food service worker forever, that it was fine for now, but of course at some point I’d have to do something else, and just… why? Why would I have to do something else? What would the something else be? If it works for my personal family that I get to work at a job I don’t hate for not really great money, then why isn’t it a good idea? It’s not a good idea, probably, because the sort of job I am working is not really one that college graduates are supposed to be working, maybe? Or maybe because I used to have office jobs that seemed higher status? (They weren’t – I didn’t wear a uniform and a visor to work at them, but it was just grunt work in a different environment, and I actually have more responsibility/autonomy at this job than I did at a couple of my others.) I guess it comes down to some kind of perceptions about this kind of job vs that kind of job, but I really couldn’t give a rat’s ass about it, because did you see up there? Where I wrote about not hating my life? I realize it’s totally a luxury to work at a low paying job that doesn’t make me hate my life, and I get that, I really do, but why shouldn’t I get to do that if I can? I’m working, I’m getting paid real money for real work. Why can’t I do it forever if I want to, MOM? If you’re reading this, MOM, that was a shitty thing to say and you should apologize. Also apologize to my sister because I told her you said that and that made it double rude, considering she has happily worked at a restaurant for the last thousand years. RUDE.
Okay, here’s a good thing. I am enjoying the HELL out of my scooter. I ride it to and from work because we only have one car and it is just a goddamned delight. I encourage everyone to get one.
THIS IS ANOTHER COMPLAINT. I know I have complained about this before but every once in a while my fury is brought up anew, and it’s about lady grooming standards. Really, it’s about the fact that there are lady grooming standards. You know, I’m going to allow for the fact that there are some raised eyebrows when a woman doesn’t shave her legs or her armpits. I get that that can seem weird. I’m not saying I PERSONALLY think it’s weird – you go on with your razor-free lifestyle. It’s fine. It’s a thing, but it doesn’t strictly need to be a thing. What ABSOLUTELY SHOULD NOT EVER BE A THING is the idea that there is some kind of widely accepted standard for ANYTHING covered by a bathing suit. “Well, it’s a hygiene issue.” No, it’s not. “It’s fine to not go bare, but you need to at least trim.” I DON’T NEED TO DO SHIT. “Personally, I just won’t date women who don’t clean up down there.” One, it’s not dirty, and two, those women don’t want to date you, either. “It’s fine to not shave but you should know the labor nurses WILL make fun of you.” No they will not, because what kind of hellish seawitch makes fun of a giant pregnant lady who doesn’t want to wave a razor near her parts when she hasn’t even seen those parts in months, and even if they DID, fuck them, they’re terrible people and no one cares what terrible people think because they’re terrible.
I’m not even upset about this because it strikes too close to home or anything. At various times in my life I have engaged in various styles of personal grooming and I expect my preferences and level of give a fuck will continue to fluctuate as time goes on. The aggravation is with the idea that there is some assumed basic level of pube-keeping. Like if you look at some stranger on the street, wearing jeans and a t-shirt, you might feel safe to assume she shaves her legs, shaves under her arms, and forms a nice lady hedge once a week or so. Like there are people who assume that that is just what’s done, and anyone not doing that is an aberration of some kind, when there should be ABSOLUTELY NO ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT A PERSON’S GENITAL UPKEEP, OTHER THAN MAYBE, YOU KNOW, CLEAN. If you get right down to it, there shouldn’t really be an assumption about whether or not a lady is going to shave her legs or shave under her arms and which of those decisions is right and which is wrong, and maybe I’m just being held down by the societal man, but I am way more accepting of those assumed standards (not that I personally keep them or don’t keep them with any strict regularity, I do what I want, just like everyone should) than I am of the idea that anyone feels that EVERY WOMAN EVER should be sticking to a certain pubical guidebook, and not only that they should, but that most DO. It’s the ASSUMPTION. THE ASSUMPTION IS UPSETTING TO ME, UNENDINGLY. I have said before, every lady is free to do whatever the hell she wants, and every dude or other lady or variety of whichever type and combination of sex, gender, and body type that is themselves interested in sexually interacting with a vagina can certainly express a PREFERENCE, like I have a preference for big fat dudes, but I am married to a not big, not fat guy and that’s fine because YOU GET WHAT YOU GET AND YOU DON’T GET UPSET, ESPECIALLY when the possessor of said vagina is going to let you GET ALL UP IN IT. If I let you stay in my guest room (I don’t have a guest room), are you going to take a look around and be like, “Well, I’ll stay here, but from here on out you need to paint it green.” NO. YOU WOULDN’T BE LIKE THAT. BECAUSE THAT IS HOW INSANE PEOPLE ACT. And that example is about PAINT. In a ROOM. NOT A VAGINA. You can prefer green til your tits fall off, but to get mad when I’m like yeah, no, I’m not painting my cooch green for you, tough luck is just EGREGIOUS AND OVER THE LINE.
Here’s a good thing. Four is a good age. Penelope is super enjoyable right now. She’s also really, really, really trying our patience on a regular basis. I mean, to insane levels, having to leave the room and tap out for the other parent, taking deep breaths to calm the rage, more yelling than feels should be necessary, but EVEN WITH THAT, four is really good. She’s quick and funny and really, really kind and thoughtful. She’s almost five now, so I expect it will all be over soon. Maybe four seems so great because Timehop is regularly reminding me of the flat out INSANITY of two year old Penelope, which, even looking back on the evidence, does not seem like it could have been real, when I was regularly coaching myself through the day by reminding myself that it was just a phase, not her actual personality, just a phase, not her actual personality. Holy shit. Two year old Penelope. Maybe she’s still that challenging but two year old Penelope broke us and all we ask for four year old Penelope is that she not burn down the house, but whatever. Having a four year old is, overall, pretty fun.
I put off this post so long for not wanting to write a whole pile of complaints that I can’t actually remember any of my other complaints. There’s a complaint. I want to just be able to complain without worrying that people will think I do nothing but complain. Yes that is what I did in this post. No that is not what I did all day today. Actually, I got a massage today because I finally got a day off. No complaints there. It made me think about pubes a lot, though, so probably just fanned the fires.
I had to make sure 2015 was well and truly out of tricks before I could write this post. Normally, I don’t really feel the transitions between years is much of a thing. Not that it’s an ACTUAL THING for most other people, either, but it’s a non-event for me. No staying up til midnight, no parties, no resolutions, no new plans. Just keeping on keeping on. This time, though, we’re all greatly in need of a fresh start. We’ve actually had one, really, and things are going well, but I this year, I just really needed to slam the door on 2015 officially and MOVE ON.
I don’t want to do the survey this year and I’ll probably regret that sometime down the line where there’s a year missing from my collection of surveys to look back on, but I’m just not into it. Instead, I’ll just tell you how everyone is.
Brinkley. Oh guys, my dog. Two years ago, he broke his leg on Christmas and he hasn’t caught a break since. Aural hematoma, valley fever, an enormous abscess in his leg. He made it through most of 2015 just fine, until the day I took him in to the vet because he was breathing fast. Something just wasn’t right, but I didn’t know what. Well, after a series of frustrating and upsetting events involving getting him a special appointment at a far away vet for an ultrasound, and then that vet coming all the way down the mountain to town to see him, after hours, WITH her ultrasound machine, we found out it was cancer. A LOT of cancer. This was in the late summer. They said they’d rarely seen a liver like his before – just completely invaded, no normal liver tissue left to be seen in any significant amount. It was starting into his spleen as well. After biopsies and blood work came back, it was confirmed – much, much cancer.
They said we were looking at 2-3 months. It felt like we’d lose him at any minute. But time went on and Brinkley went on. And on. And on. Medication adjustments happened a couple of times. Increases in pain medication as his arthritis took a major turn for the worse. We took him off his valley fever medication, even though it meant the disease would likely make a comeback, because it’s a very rough medication for him to take. It was a calculated decision, because we didn’t think he’d make it much longer, certainly not long enough for the valley fever to take over again. And then again, more increases in pain medication.
You know, he’s good. He’s slow and he’s in pain, but he’s still normal Brinkley. It’s hard for him to get up, but he totally will, if you’ve got pizza crust. He instigates play fighting with Sheldon and we’re terrified he’ll break a hip. He spends a lot of time laying in a hole he and Sheldon dug in the backyard. Over the last couple of days, especially, he looks tired and sad a lot, like he knows and he’s just waiting to die in his hole. But everyone said “you’ll know when it’s time,” and you know what, we don’t know that yet. He’s still with us and we’ve had double the time predicted. Brinkley 2016!
I don’t think it will be much longer, but I’ve thought that before. I just don’t know, really. I don’t know at all. But I’m happy he’s here with us and he seems happy to be with us, so we go on.
Sheldon. Well, Sheldon spent the beginning part of last year healing from the brown recluse bite he got near the end of the year before. Other than that, he’s just a good dog. He’s a little crazy, and we can’t let him out around guests or new people because he’s enthusiastic and nuts and doesn’t know he weighs 80 lbs, but he’s surprised us.
Sheldon was a terrible dog when we got him from a rescue. Already 60 lbs at 8 months old, he’d never lived with people at all before. Just kennels and shelters. And if I’d been pregnant when we got him, he’d have had to leave. He tackled me to the ground regularly. He bit my arms – never aggressively, just playing, but he was 60 lbs with no idea how to control himself. I wouldn’t say he was a “dangerous” dog like the type that kill other animals and people if they can, but he was… not good. He took a long time to calm down. A really, really long time. Multiple years. Even now, if he gets excited – which he does, often – he will jump up and punch you affectionately in the guts, or knock you over. But he also is affectionate. He’s big enough to just walk up and lay his head across your belly when you lay on the couch. He will get in your lap if you let him. He loves us a lot, especially Phil. Especially Phil. In Sheldon’s mind, the house hierarchy goes Phil, then Sheldon, then no one else matters.
It kind of crept up on us, but he’s turned out to be such a great dog. Not everyone’s cup of tea, to be sure, but he doesn’t need to be, because he’s our dog. He’s handsome and goofy and he doesn’t intentionally knock anyone down anymore. He takes (steals) food right from Penny’s hands, so gently. He’s never hurt her or needed to be prevented from hurting her like we would have feared when we first got him. He’s usually (“usually”) quiet and calm. He loves blankies and carries them around. If someone comes to the house, the first thing he will do is run and get a blankie and try to bring it. He’s quirky and interesting and I don’t know when it happened, but Phil hasn’t sung the “Nobody likes you, Sheldon” song in maybe a year. I think he’ll have a hard time when Brinkley’s time comes.
Penelope. Well. Penny went to pre-k this year, and loved it. Then we ended up putting her in before/after daycare, and she loves that, too. The social stuff stresses me out – she always has reports of who was mean to her or who doesn’t like her anymore, but you know, I”m sure other kids are at home saying the same stuff about her. She’s got a couple good friends that have stayed consistent, even when she comes home and swears she’ll never play with them again, so I assume all is as it should be.
She’s learned a lot in pre-k. Letters, numbers, colors, all of that, and that’s great. But they do other things, too, just great socialization stuff that makes me really have no regrets about her being away for the whole day. They eat meals family style, everyone at one table and sharing food. She cleans up her plate and tries new foods. She learns manners and sharing and how to behave at a table. All stuff that we, of course, have worked on at home, but when it comes from the teachers she adores, it seems to sink in more. Again, just how things are supposed to be, probably.
She got taller this year. Every year, I think she looks more like a kid and less like a baby or toddler, but now it’s really true, I guess. She seems so big, but she’s just average size, all around. I think she actually might be one of the smaller kids in the pre-k class, but whatever, she looks huge to me. She dresses herself – often and repeatedly throughout the day – and the other day, she yelled out from the shower that she’d washed her own hair and added, “I growed up all by myself!”
She didn’t have any major injuries this year, which was great. No real illness, either, until the end of the year, which I’ve detailed here in great, frustrating detail. She is finally, finally better, but now we’re dealing with mystery hives. They first appeared after we met the cat on Christmas eve, and I though, well shit. But they’ve continued to pop up here and there, well after the cat contact and multiple baths and showers. Nothing serious or crazy, but she’s allergic to something and we have no idea what.
She played a lot of video games this year and continues to enjoy them greatly, much to Phil’s delight. They’re downstairs playing Rock Band together right now. She turned 4 on her birthday and had her first little party with friends. We got her a bounce house I was sure would be a hit and it wasn’t. She’s just not that into it. She was a veterinarian for Halloween, though she couldn’t really trick or treat due to illness. She got a drum set and microphone for Christmas from her aunt and her boyfriend and they’re obnoxious but she enjoys the hell out of them.
Fortunately, aside from starting pre-k, there’s been nothing huge going on in Penny’s life, and it can stay that way for a thousand years.
Phil. Well, Phil can tell you himself how his year went, if he feels like it, which he won’t. I will say that he had the worst year out of all of us, and no one knew how terrible it was. He’s worked hard to resolve things, though.
Me. Well, what did I do this year. I struggled a lot with chronic illness, but I’m doing fairly well right now. Not perfect, not great, but better than a lot of the last couple of years, so I’m taking advantage of it as much as I can. I lost 50 lbs this year, which makes me slightly bummed that I’m not doing the survey, because I’d finally get to say “thinner,” in the thinner/fatter question. I started a new at home job this year that I didn’t hate, but kind of eventually came to hate but tolerate, but I lost it because Phil was away for the very part of the year when Penelope was so sick, and I ended up unable to fulfill my contract. I took another job out of the house, though – just quick service food on base – and I’m very pleased. I pretty much only make enough to cover the cost of daycare, but it’s a sanity thing, and I’m really enjoying it. I’m surprised how much I’m enjoying it, actually. I like to work. I was ready to be out of the house. It’s convenient and the people are nice. It’s busy and the time goes by quickly. I’m not terrible at it. It’s fine that it only pays for daycare, really, because it’s doing a lot for me. I like Penny to see that I go to work and I don’t hate it. Phil appreciates how much I appreciate being able to do it. It’s a good thing in a lot of ways.
Hm, what else. Right now, we’re researching buying a Vespa for me. I’m also considering the Genuine Stella and the Genuine Buddy. Hopefully we’ll make some progress on that this month, because I am jazzed as fuck to scoot. I’m going to join a scooter gang.
Last year, I went to CA with some friends to see BIGBANG, and it was probably the highlight of my year by far. I know a lot of people have touched on this in their year end stuff, but seriously, FIND PEOPLE who are stupid enthusiastic about the stuff you’re into. If you want to know someone more or be better friends with someone, LET THEM drag you into whatever they’re stupid enthusiastic about. You will become much better friends much faster. If YOU’RE crazy into something, keep offering it up to people. Just do it. Only good shit is going to come from it. There is NOTHING more fun than going whole ham over something with people who are equally ham-mad about it.
Last year, I had all kinds of amazing support from all kinds of amazing people who tailored their support to who I am. People who know me and apparently like me and just always made sure I knew they were there and they were listening and they were ready to help me if I wanted or needed it. There have been people this year who have demonstrated what my own model for good friendship should be going forward. It’s almost enough to make me hope something very mildly terrible happens to them so I can demonstrate all I’ve learned. Almost.
Nothing else is really sticking out in my mind for 2015. Another year, another spinal tap, plus some other stuff. It seems like every year, everyone talks about how hard the previous year was for them or the people they know, how it was universally just a terrible year. And the next one is always the same – a healthy dose of bad shit that stands out sprinkled in with everything else. And 2016 will probably be the same. Maybe, though, 2016 is the year where it matters less or I handle it better or bounce back more quickly. Because while I truly want 2016 to be the first just… normal, boring, standard kind of year Phil and I have ever experienced in our entire marriage, the truth is the last several have probably been exactly that. In 2016, I guess we’ll stop waiting for the bad stuff to pass and start plowing through with PURPOSE AND INTENT.
I don’t know. I can’t wrap this up with something wise and pithy. Let me just tell you again, instead – BE ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT SHIT. BE ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT SHIT WITH OTHER PEOPLE. BE SHAMELESS IN ENJOYING THE SHIT OUT OF YOUR THING. THIS WAY LIES THE GOOD STUFF.
Every 6 months or so, I end up spending some time at this coffee shop up on the mountain where I live while Phil has minor back surgery. There are a lot of reasons, of course, why he has the same sort of surgery over and over, but they’re dumb and uninteresting. The thing is, though, the type of procedure and how quickly they do it varies between two different sorts each time, and I can never keep them straight in my mind, nor can Phil be relied upon to give entirely accurate information. So I can’t get wrapped up in my normal rambling garbage post about nothing today, because a nurse could call me at any second to tell me to come across the street and collect my doped up husband. Instead, I’m going to tell you about three small things, but knowing myself, I will probably tell you about them at great length, entirely negating my own intention of being brief.
1. I have really enjoyed everyone’s thoughts and comments on yesterday’s post. A lot of people have the same kind of angst and a lot of people have some good thoughts on how to handle it, how they are handling it, or how they might handle it in the future. If you have stuff to say on the topic, I am still interested in hearing, even if you feel like it’s repeating what’s already been said or that I wouldn’t be interested because you don’t have kids or I don’t know what else. I’m deeply into this topic right now and am into whatever you’ve got. Even if you don’t have anything to add, there’s a lot of good stuff in the comments you might find helpful in the future.
In fact, Meredith actually wrote a whole post of her own on the topic, about how she feels about the whole weight and body image topic with her own young daughter, and some situations she’s already encountered. You should check that out here. And if you feel like writing your own post about it, make sure to send me a link so I can check yours out as well.
2. Something I said a thousand years ago when it first started happening pretty commonly is that I would never have a Facebook page for my blog, because, what? My blog is not a person. That is dumb. I will never do that. And yet, here I am, proving past me to be an asshole idiot once again. I did make a Facebook page for this new site, and it’s linked over in the sidebar if liking blog Facebook pages is your thing. I didn’t used to see any usefulness of it, but now I do, since apparently the entire world isn’t on Twitter? And it does seem like a better arena for some of the stuff I like to share. And, I don’t know. Past me is an asshole idiot who says dumb shit and should be stopped, but what can you do. If it’s your thing, the link is over there. If not, well, sorry you read this whole paragraph. Past me was the one who wrote it and we all know she’s an idiot.
3. Okay, everyone had a total fit and tried to hold their breath until everything was returned to normal when Google Reader shut down, right? Not just me? That was INFURIATING. Especially because it seemed to be a move designed to try to force people to use Google+, and I WILL NOT. You can quote past me on this, I WILL NOT DO IT. At first because I hated it and now out of spite, because Google demolished Google Reader and NOTHING has equaled up since. I’ve tried a lot of stuff. I exported my feeds from Google Reader and I tried Feedly, but couldn’t stick with it. I’ve tried Bloglovin, and I do seem some value in that service, but it doesn’t work the way I want it to. I used Old Reader at first, but that one didn’t stick, either. What ended up happening was that I would only end up reading blogs if I ended up being in front of Twitter with time to spare right when someone happened to tweet a link to her newest post, or if it was Swistle, because of course I always read Swistle no matter what. Actually, I usually am alerted to her new posts via Facebook. Take that, past asshole idiot me.
It’s been a couple years now, and while I’ve never believed the whole “blogging is dead” crowd, because blogging isn’t dead until Miss Zoot hangs up her blog, which will never happen because I won’t have it. But I do admit I wasn’t reading nearly as much as I had been, and of course anything I believe of myself, I believe must be a fairly common phenomenon. WELL. The other day, BMayzie on Twitter asked if I’d heard of Bazqux. I hadn’t, and I went and checked it out (link here) and, well, it looked a lot like Google Reader.
Since I’ve always held out a sad pathetic hope that one day Google would see the error of its ways and bring reader back, I still had my exported feeds file on my computer. I loaded it up in Bazqux and it IS just like Google Reader. It’s fast and intuitive and works just like you feel like it should with nothing extra. The only thing I see that’s missing is the ability to share articles and posts with people you follow, but I don’t know if it actually exists or not because I admittedly haven’t looked around too much yet. But even without looking around all that much, I already know I’m sticking with it. I knew it within 5 minutes of using it. I am SO PLEASED.
Now, there is a catch – it’s not free. There’s a 30 day trial, and then you can choose from $29/year, $19/year, or $99 for life. I’m not sure if there are other options, because like I said, I haven’t looked around a ton. Too busy actually reading blogs. I decided I’d happily pay for it immediately.
I’m not at all associated with Bazqux and there’s no referral links or anything involved here. I just wanted you to know that if you’ve been lamenting the loss of Google Reader this whole time, this is the absolute best replacement I’ve found and I am REALLY EXCITED that BMayzie brought it up.
It does have kind of a dumb name, but I’ve decided to be okay with that.
All right, bye!