Hello world. It’s been a while. I think the last time we spoke I was showing off my newly finished sweater (that I have yet to actually wear for more than 15 minutes). I want you to know I haven’t forgotten to write a blog about my trip to Cuba, that is in working draft mode, and I still haven’t gotten my film developed. I would really love to include the pictures in the post because they help tell the story. Here’s one from my phone to tide you over:
In any case, I have done other things besides going to Cuba since November. Important things: Joey and I have started bowling fairly frequently. That reminds me to look up some tips online for how to bowl better. Oh good, the first result is an angelfire-hosted site. Thank god.
I’ve been listening to NPR out the wazoo, to and from work every day. Sometimes when I get sick of hearing about Obama’s “opinion” that marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol, I’ll flip over to the CSU student station. They play some pretty good stuff most of the time. I usually don’t recognize any of it.
Joey got a job. He’s working at a cabinetry place 50-60 hours a week. Crazy dude. I like hearing about the process and what he does at work all day, and when he says “polyurethane” (btw I spelled that correctly on the first try). He’s pretty great. I think Girlfriend Tha Dawg is lonelier (duh) being home alone all day. She does pretty well, though.
Speaking of Girlfriend Tha Dawg, she has worms. Grossout warning! The worms are totally in her poopy. Fortunately our new next door neighbor was a vet science student and is willing to examine dog stool and might be able to get us a prescription. Bomp. Despite the worms, Girlfriend is still a lovely and happy derg.
I’ve been listening to the latest Backstreet Boys album A LOT lately. Here’s the thing, you guys, before Kevin left BSB their sound was pretty consistent in terms of style. Then he left and they made two or three really awful albums that were trying to be like all the music on popular radio that I can’t stand, and it sounded totally fake. BUT Kevin came back and this last album they put out in 2013 just sounds like them again and it makes me so happy. They’re corny and ridiculous and their songs really aren’t that good, but I love them anyway and I’m listening to this album right now (“In a World Like This” check it out if you dare). So there’s that.
Many books have been making their way into my life, but somehow I haven’t finished a single one since the new year. I do believe I should spend a large portion of my sick day today making some headway in “A Passage to India.” It’s a good read, though I admit sometimes I don’t know wtf they are talking about. I’ve also got a book about Kurt Vonnegut and another about the Dresden bombing. And to top it off with some fluff I’ve got a book about yarn! I’m trying to re-up on my yarn knowledge, for both work and just becoming a better knitter/fiber gal. The yarn book is by Clara Parkes, who wrote The Yarn Whisperer, which I read at the end of 2013. I wrote about it here, check it out!
I was knitting a lot before we left for Cuba, and since we got back I’ve mostly been knitting for work and so am a little burned out on it. I’m hoping to start the sleeves of another sweater I’m currently knitting. I need to finish up that sucker! Other than that I have an idea for a knitted collection in the works. I’m not gonna reveal what it is now! I’ve got some Etsy re-vamping to do and what-not, so I need to make a plan of action for that. More on that later.
I auditioned for the Larimer County Chorale. It went ok – I won’t hear about whether or not I’m in until Wednesday. I’m not too worried, because if I don’t make it, I won’t have to spend $110 on membership fees or moneys on a dress. So, win/win. I tried out and that’s the important thing. If I do make it, I think it will be a lot of fun.
I can’t really think of anything else right now, except that I missed Justin Timberlake at the Pepsi Center in Denver this past week. Bummer. Oh well, that would have cost me a couple of Benjamins. Just gotta let it go sometimes.
Here’s something for you before I go. It’s a photo from my first Fort Collins Friendsgiving. It was so warm on Thanksgiving that we ate outside. ‘Twas lovely.
With that I will say to you, peace out, Girl Scouts. I hope this was fulfilling for you. It sure was for me. Love y’all like sisters.
I finished knitting a sweater. I brought it into work today. I went outside with my lovely co-worker, Louisa, and she photographed it (and me). And we are reminded yet again of why I will never be a model.* Here are the images from the photo shoot…
*I’m talking about my awkwardness in front of a camera, not belittling my appearance.
The 2013 Virgo Month of Leisure was entertaining and filled with amusing recreation. Joey and I both celebrated our birthdays; I turned 25 and he 24 (#cougar), and our birthday celebrations were quite satisfying. We had some special visitors: Joey’s friend Bruce who just moved to Denver, and my brother, dad, and stepmom. I finally got started in my pottery class and I absolutely love it. I spent some time in the Old Town Yoga Studio and have found a teacher I think is the best, so I hope to continue to go and take her classes. Joey officially became a certified EMT in the state of Colorado, and he’s currently searching for a job on that front. He also got a bunch of home brewing gear for his birthday from me and his brother, so he brewed up a batch of Tallgrass Oasis (he will later add a touch of orange) that’s currently fermenting under a brown satin blanket in our living room. Girlfriend’s back right knee isn’t doing so hot, and even a long walk irritates her so she can’t put wait on it. It’s making me nervous! I bought a car, and it’s super awesome, except that I think it’s already leaking oil and I need to get the dealership to take care of that. Another trip down to Denver? Ok…
Enjoy some pictures from the Virgo Month of Leisure:
OK! That was probably just blur for you all, but that was the easiest way I could do that. This is what happens when I go a long time building up photos and not blogging and then I have to dump it all at once on you. I’m sorry, but I hope you enjoy the pictures. They are in no order whatsoever.
Looking forward to October and some goals I want to achieve. My goals are:
-Buy tickets to Cuba for Christmas
-Do some autumn/winter clothes shopping (obviously not for Cuba)
-Learn a song on the guitar
-Create an honest-to-goodness budget
-Get back into running
-Continue pottery, yoga, knitting, and reading daily
I think that’s my complete list, but I may have forgotten some things. Do you have any October/autumn/end of the year goals?
I suppose it’s time again for some reflection of the self through this year as it comes to a close. It completely blows my mind how quickly 2012 has come and gone. I am still living and working in the same place, but aside from this my life couldn’t be much more different than it was a year ago.
At the beginning of 2012 I was freshly out of college and finishing up my student job at the library, frantically applying to other jobs, including one full-time position in the building. When mid-January came around, my student employment had been fulfilled and I moved on to work at the public library and health food co-op in my town. Both of those jobs paid minimum wage, and though it seemed I was working all the time, it really was never enough, and the job at the co-op was surprisingly stressful and NOT rewarding for the little amount I was being paid. The public library was calm and relaxing, but I soon got very bored shelving books and nothing else for four-hour blocks of time.
I went through a bout of minimalism that lasted for a few months. My friend Megan recommended to me the book this book by Francine Jay, and it became my bible. I cleaned, culled, and donated my heart out until I had gotten rid of about 10 boxes filled with material items I’d acquired over much of my life. I counted my clothing items and pared down my wardrobe to under 150 things (this felt great at the time, but unfortunately came back to bite me in the butt this fall/winter season). 150 clothing items (including shoes, underwear, and socks) really is not as much as it might seem to be. If you don’t believe me you should count all your clothing items, then proceed to drop your jaw when you realize just how many tie-dye t-shirts you really have (my weakness).
In March I found out I’d be able to quit my part-time, minimum wage jobs and rejoin the university library team! I started my new full-time, well-paying job with health insurance in mid-March, exactly three months after I had left and one day after I saw Radiohead in concert in KC (super amazing awesome concert #goThomYorkego). It felt so great to be with the people of this building again – I had really missed them so much already! Now I’d be working with a new group of people (who are lovely), but still get to see all those with whom I worked before and absolutely love to pieces.
After starting this job, the possibility of being able to find my own apartment became a reality. I called countless property managers and looked at many apartments before I found one perfect tree house that would be perfect for my dog and me. Expensive? Yes. But boy-free? HELL YES. During a fun (but basically vacation-less) summer, I moved into my own apartment for the first time in my life. Feelin’ like an #independentwoman.
When August came around I made the huge decision to break up with my boyfriend, with whom I had been for six out of the past seven years (we started dating when we were juniors in high school and had broken up two times prior). I’m not going to go down this road, because it is TREACHEROUS. All I’ll say is that while it’s been difficult, I know that I made the right decision and I am hopefully a less broken person than I would have been had I stayed. Also, being single rules (and really sucks sometimes).
All through this time I have really thought hard about what I want to do next in my life and where I will go. Somehow, the state of Oregon made its way into my viewfinder, and I started doing some research on the place. Though I have yet to go there and experience it, I am about 90% sure this is where I want to be next. There have been a lot things that have steered me in Oregon’s direction, and as I have thought about it more and more, some really incredible friends have also expressed interest in going there to live. An amazing friend and past roommate and I have started making plans to get out there after she graduates college, with both of our dogs and her son. Just yesterday, my best friend in the entire world, who is currently serving a term in Cambodia with the Peace Corps, emailed me that she and her (super hot & awesome Peace Corps) boyfriend are considering moving there as well, when their terms are up. All signs continue to point to “YES! OREGON!” and after I visit for the first time in April, I am hoping I will be able to make some sort of decision regarding plans to go there.
Something I did to step outside my comfort zone this year was to audition for and participate in a play at the local Arts Center. I was involved in theatre for most of my life up through senior year of high school, but when I came to K-State I freaked out at the theatre auditions and ran away, not looking back. Five years after my last time on stage, I decided to give it another go, partly as a way to get past some stage fright I’d developed through college. I tried out for “All My Sons,” and made the team, though with a very small role (less lines to memorize? FINE WITH ME!) I am so glad and proud that I did this, even if I never step on stage again. The people I met through the production are an amazing group, and I hope to never lose contact with many of them. I learned a lot about myself and about working with others, and a lot about why I DON’T really enjoy “doing” theatre much anymore. There are things I do love about it, but the important thing I suppose is that I understand my relationship with theatre much better.
One other crazy thing I did was, after growing out my hair for three+ years, COMPLETELY CHOPPED IT OFF. Most liberating thing you can ever do, I swear. So worth it.
At this point I am trying to work on always improving myself, for myself, and for others. Most of the time I do this in very selfish ways, i.e., staying home in my pajamas and reading or knitting (or LIT’RALLY staring at the wall for an hour), or by going to the pottery studio and flailing all over the potter’s wheel. But I want to be less selfish; I want to improve myself in ways that benefits others. One line in particular from the Fleet Foxes song “Helplessness Blues” (from the album of the same name) really stand out to me at this point in my life: “But now after some thinking, I’d say I’d rather be a functioning cog in some great machinery, serving something beyond me.” I could keep going, but that is the gist of that sentiment.
Here is a list of books I read in 2012:
Bossypants by Tina Fey The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo Siddhartha by Herman Hesse (for the third and fourth times…) The Joy Of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide by Francine Jay
I Have America Surrounded: A Biography of Tim Leary by J.M.R. Higgs Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain **Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins** – EASILY MY FAVORITE OF THE YEAR Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman by Alice Steinbach The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson Palo Alto by James Franco (just out of sheer curiosity – and it was horrible) The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life by Karen Rauch Carter All My Sons (a play) by Arthur Miller Becky’s New Car (a play) by Steven Dietz House of Blue Leaves (a play) John Guare The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (just finished for the 4th time last night!)
Wow! I didn’t realize that I had read that many books this year. 18 books; that’s about one book every three weeks on average. Not bad! My goal for 2013 will be 25 books.
Here are the knitting projects I completed this year: