ugh

The dog is currently whining outside my bedroom door because i don’t want him to come in here and get in the bed.

The children are currently whining in their bedroom because they “need something.”

I am currently whining here on this blog. I’m tired and my feet hurt and I feel like shoveling candy into my face with an actual literal shovel but I don’t even have any.

WOW I AM IN A BAD MOOD.

K

Quickie

Apparently it’s the last week of classes before Thanksgiving break and I have no idea how that happened. October and now November are flying by.

Today has been a busy day full of only the most boring nonsense: tasks like open enrollment for my benefits at work and updating my holiday card spreadsheet. (Obviously, I have a holiday card spreadsheet.) I also spent many hours grading papers and doing laundry and cooking and then the garbage disposal started leaking.

ANYWAY, I don’t have an idea for a post today, so please allow me to refer you to a few good things I’ve read recently — please enjoy:

  • Lauren Fleshman’s op-ed in the NYT “It is grown women, not girls, who top the most prestigious podiums. It is grown women in their late 20s and 30s breaking American records. It is American women in their mid-30s winning the Boston and New York Marathons. Imagine if we gave more girls a chance to get there.”
  • This Tom Hanks Story Will Help You Feel Less Bad “So Tom Hanks is as nice as you think he is and exactly what you hope him to be, which is great unless you are someone trying to tell a good story about him, with elements like an arc and narrative tension. ‘Saintly Actor Playing Saintly Public Television Children’s Host Mister Rogers Is Saintly’ is not a great story. But what am I supposed to do? He sat facing me, cheerful and focused and willing. Maybe this could just be a story that makes you feel better.”

Questions

Where is the best place to shop for twin size duvet covers in cute patterns that aren’t a million dollars? As an example, I like the Pillowfort stuff at Target, but they seem to operate more on a comforter model. As another example, Pottery Barn is cute but pricier than I’d prefer.

If you’ve read The Chronicles of Narnia or Harry Potter (the first 2-3, anyway) to your kids, at what age did you start? I remember reading Narnia with my dad, chapter by chapter, and I think I must’ve been around five, but I’m not sure.

Is there anything good on the new Apple streaming network? I apparently have a year of it for free thanks to a recent phone upgrade, but the app isn’t compatible with my old-ass original FireTV Stick. Is it worth trying to watch it elsewhere?

Related sub-question: the old-ass original FireTV Stick is a little slow and unreliable. Worth upgrading to a newer version?

Why do I always, always eat chips and salsa/guacamole/bean dip past the point of fullness? I feel so bloated and uncomfortable right now. Why do I do this to myself?

If you’ve got answers for me, feel free to comment or just @ me.

Year in Review: 2017

I have a couple of posts backlogged, but I just realized I hadn’t done my year in review questionnaire yet! Most of you reading know what this is and have done it yourself (or at least read others’ posts), as it’s gone around this corner of the internet for over a decade. You know the drill.

Previous years’ answers are available here: (200720082009201020112012201320142015, 2016). Over time I have modified and  deleted some of the original questions, but here’s what I’m working with this year:

1. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?

Placed (second) in the overall women’s rankings of a 5K, won a named award at work, watched my children see the ocean for the first time.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Last year, I wrote:

“For the coming year, I would like to focus on making more gains in terms of health and fitness. I made some progress toward that in the last few months of 2016, and, after taking a bit of a break for the holidays, I’m getting moving again now. Healthier, smarter eating and lots of activity, mainly running, yoga, and barre3 for right now.”

Hey, I did pretty well on those!

This year, I’d like to: Get a general practitioner so I can stop going to urgent care, spend less on frivolous purchases. Keep up my yoga practice. Race in another 5K and a 10K, as I’m now in a new age group!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

A lot of ladies on the internet and a couple of work friends, too.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Not this year.

5. What places did you visit?

Atlanta and Birmingham (mainly for shopping), the Gulf Coast (friend visit), Iowa (family visit), and St. Louis (quick friend visit on the way home from Iowa). Was that really it? I’ll have to do better next year. Good thing I already have plans for a ladies’ weekend with my BFFs in May.

6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?

A sane president, mainly. I would also appreciate more time alone and a more organized house.

7. What days from 2017 will you always remember?

January 20. December 12.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I credit the voters and hard-working Democrats in Alabama for this: electing a Democratic senator for the first time in 25 years.

I also got officially promoted and won a named, college-level teaching award, which is pretty sweet.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I have really struggled with healthy eating this year, although I don’t consider it a failure. Just a struggle.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

My entire family was sick for the first half of the year after the kids started daycare, thanks to them spending each day in a petrie dish of viruses (and “building their immune systems”). I personally had at least 3-4 stomach bugs, two sinus infections, two ear infections, and pneumonia. Plus my usual persistent hacking cough that lasts 3-6 weeks every time I get a respiratory virus. It was the sickest year of my life.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Does daycare count?

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

The kids’ did, often. My husband’s. The aforementioned Alabama voters.

13. Where did most of your money go?

Daycare. It’s more than our mortgage.

14. What did you get really excited about?

The Senate election and turning 40, both of which happened on the same day.

15. What song will always remind you of 2017?

Anything from Moana, and yes I blame the children.

16. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? Angrier.
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner.
c) richer or poorer? Richer, technically. More income but less of it leftover.

17. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Reading fiction. Spending time outside.

18. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Reading the comments. Retail therapy.

19. How did you spend Christmas?

My dad and brother visited a few days prior to Christmas, but for the actual holiday, it was just the four of us (which I like). We went to a Christmas Eve service at a new-to-us church and then CW and I made ourselves a fancy dinner after the kids went to bed. On Christmas morning, we had cinnamon rolls and mimosas and opened gifts. It was really great. Two year olds are fantastic at Christmas. Not so much in church, though.

20. What was your favorite TV program?

I rewatched Gilmore Girls so I could enjoy it alongside the Gilmore Guys podcast, which was great. As for newer stuff, I fell in love with The Good Place and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

21. What was the best book you read?

I barely read anything this year, y’all. I started a comfort re-read of Harry Potter, which went by very slowly and took up my reading time for months, but I petered out somewhere in book 5, and then I haven’t read anything too special other than that. Just at the end of December, though, I read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which was nice, and Dark Matter, which was fine I suppose. Meh.

22. What music did you get excited about?

I really liked new things by Sylvan Esso and St. Vincent this year.

23. What did you want and get?

A new MacBook Pro for Christmas, an unlimited yoga studio membership, and a Democratic senator.

24. What did you want and not get?

Impeachment.

25. What was your favorite film of this year?

I barely saw any movies that stick out in my memory, so I’m going to go with The Last Jedi and Wonder Woman as my top two I saw in the theater.

26. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I voted, ate donuts for breakfast, and then went to yoga. In the afternoon, my husband took me out for a nice lunch date and then I took a nap. He made me fish tacos for dinner (one of my favorites) and we had a lemon merengue pie. That night, we celebrated the election results. That weekend, we had people over for a small party with lots of prosecco and baked goods. I turned 40.

27. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?

A mix of some pre-pregnancy clothing and some bigger pants from Old Navy / leggings on days I don’t go to campus. Still not quite ready for most of my old pants.

28. What kept you sane?

Coffee, running, and Twitter.

29. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I can’t think of anyone. I do miss Barack Obama, though.

30. What political issue stirred you the most?

What didn’t?! I have outrage exhaustion. I suppose the Alabama Senate race.

31. Who was the best new person you met?

I met a couple of new people through CW’s work connection who seem like they could become good new friends.

32. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017.

I need to get my own doctor and stop going to urgent care every time I catch something from the kids.

And, as I say every year, qui patitur vincit.

33. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

“I said, early to bed, bitches, early to rise
They make a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

— Lin Manuel Miranda / The Decemberists

The End of November

It’s the last day of November, which means I’ve successfully made it through NaBloPoMo, publishing a post every day this month. I was hoping to get back in the habit of blogging (and personal writing in general), and I suppose I did that.

Most posts I cranked out were not that great though, for me. A lot of the time I just sat down with my phone app and typed some stuff into the WordPress text box without much thought. Some posts were dumps of photos I’d already posted on Instagram; others could just as easily been a series of tweets. (Although, to look at it another way: long Twitter threads really ought to be blog posts, so I think I’m in the right on this one.)

I’m not sure whether this exercise will get me back to regular blogging again, though: most of those posts typed right before bed only exist because I am a completer and couldn’t let myself get away with skipping out on my 30-day commitment. Now that the month is over, what’s to stop me from just whiling away that time on other social media? Nothing! Nothing’s to stop me!

But maybe this list of things I intended to blog about this month, but never got around to, will encourage me to come back and say some more things:

  • Yoga and the om
  • Favorite milestones and memories of the last 10 years (because I’m about to turn 40)
  • Morning people
  • Weight and body stuff
  • Dr. Seuss Thing 1 and Thing 2 hats tutorial

We’ll see.