Figures that when I leave the house for something fun, I’m rewarded with a cold.

I spent just about all of last week congested–it’s still hanging around a tiny bit, but I feel much, much better. I fell asleep Monday evening after work and was pretty much out all night and felt much better Tuesday.

Last weekend was a lazy weekend, mostly, with running errands and hanging out at home, and this weekend was busier. I spent my Saturday morning getting my hair dyed–and it looks awesome–and we stopped by a home show in town on Sunday that was kind of underwhelming, although it might’ve been just that it didn’t have much that we needed.

Sunday night we went to see Jukebox the Ghost, which is practically an annual concert at this point–they typically come once a year around the spring, and this had to be like the fourth or fifth year in a row we’ve gone. They were fantastic, as always, and they’ve got to be one of my favorite bands at this point.

I was originally gonna take Monday off, but somehow in a short span of time, a bunch of other people had that idea, too, so I got up for work like normal yesterday, took a nap for my lunch break, and otherwise tackled the day.


Saturday 9: Young and Beautiful

Saturday 9: Young and Beautiful (2013)
Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here.

1) Lana Del Rey wrote this song for the soundtrack of The Great Gatsby. She wanted it to reflect the feelings of Daisy Buchanan. Have you read The Great GatsbyI haven’t, strangely. For being a bookworm, I have of a lot of bizarre gaps when it comes to books that are considered classics, partly because for some reason they were never taught when I was in school and partly because I haven’t gotten around to them otherwise. That’s one of them.

2) In the 1970s, Robert Redford portrayed Jay Gatsby. In the 2013 version, Leonardo di Caprio played the part. In real life, both “Gatsbys” have helped raised funds for the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). Are you careful about recycling and conserving water/electricity? Recycling, yes, and electricity as much as possible. I try not to leave lights on in rooms I’m not in, and during the day, if it’s bright enough, I’ll open the blinds in my office and turn the lights off, but that’s also a preference. I’d do everything by natural light if I could.

3) Lana Del Rey admits that she dropped out of college because she simply could not get the required math credits. When confronted with basic addition, subtraction, multiplication or division, do you do it in your head? Reach for pencil and paper? Or do you take advantage of the calculator that’s on your desktop or phone? I can do it in my head, but as the numbers get bigger, I’m gonna need pencil and paper–sometimes I don’t even need to actually write it out so much as look at it. I mostly use a calculator when I’m being lazy or when I’m doing something like calculating how much of a tip to leave because I just don’t feel like working that one out every single time I go out.

4) She enjoys Kurt Cobain, Eminem, Elvis and Sinatra. Which of those four gentlemen did you listen to most recently? Sinatra, I think. I definitely had Sinatra on within the last few days. I also have Elvis’ greatest hits in my collection and a little bit from Nirvana and Eminem. The funny part is of the four, I probably listen to Sinatra the least.

5) Speaking of Sinatras, she has described her high maintenance look — big hair, long nails, elaborate eye makeup, full lips — as “Gangster Nancy Sinatra.” How long does it take you, on an average day, to prepare to face the world? On an average day, about a minute because I work from home and don’t face the world at all–I just roll out of bed and do a few things as part of my morning pre-work/wakeup routine. If I’m leaving the house, anywhere from 15 minutes to a little over an hour. It varies wildly based on if I’m going to the gym, which is long enough to change clothes, or if I’m just going out to a movie or something, which is probably 45 minute to shower and put on a little makeup, or if I’m going somewhere more fun where I want a full face of makeup. It also depends on if I’m shampooing my hair, but if I’m leaving the house, I probably am.

6) She’s a big soccer fan, and her favorite team is Liverpool FC. Here in the US, college basketball fans are currently obsessed with March Madness. What’s the last sporting event that you watched? Hockey, but without cable and a decent streaming subscription, I don’t watch that nearly as often as I’d like to.

7) Her younger sister, Caroline, studied photography and is responsible for some of Lana’s publicity pictures. Have you ever gotten a job because of a relative? My dad asked a reporter he knew if the local paper needed anyone when I was in college, which I really fucking hated because I didn’t want my dad to be trying to get me a job–especially when he’s complained about my grandfather doing the exact same thing. They didn’t just take me, though. They looked at my work from school, hired me as a stringer, and ultimately offered me a part-time job shortly after I graduated, but I’d already accepted a full-time job elsewhere. Honestly, if they’d gotten to me first, I would’ve taken it.

8) In 2013, when this song came out, Pope Francis became the first pope from a Latin American country. Latin America generally includes Mexico, most of Central and South America, and in the Caribbean, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. What’s the farthest south that you’ve ever traveled? Mexico.

9) Random question — What button would you prefer your life to have: rewind, fast forward or a pause? Hmm. Pause, I think, to stop and let some of the most fun times last a little longer, followed by rewind to go back to some of the best times and be back in that moment. I don’t think I’d want fast-forward at all. Even if I could use it to skip the bad things or even to jump to things I’m looking forward to, I don’t like the idea of skipping so much.

Friday 5: Beware

    1. What’s something people cautioned you against that turned out not to be dangerous or bad at all? I kind of have two–first, vacationing in Mexico several years ago. My husband, who was my boyfriend at the time, was worried about it, my mom was worried about it, and basically everyone was expecting us to, like, end up murdered down there. It was totally fine, and aside from genuine reports of violence and crime, I’m now convinced that a lot of that attitude is racism. Second, getting an English degree. I don’t make a lot of money, but I do have a very stable job for a decent company–I’m not unemployed and broke like people expected me to be. I realize I might’ve just gotten lucky, but it’s still not a decision I have ever regretted.
    2. What’s something you wish someone had cautioned you about? Ooh, I don’t know, because I feel like I had parents who left me well-prepared for life. I feel like I have more instances of wishing I’d listened to people cautioning me as opposed to not being cautioned at all.
    3. What’s your favorite non-English word of warning? It’s not quite warning, but I like “arrêtez,” which is French for “stop.”
    4. What’s a really stupid thing you’ve done that could have resulted in your demise? Knowingly get in a car with a drunk driver. I’ve also driven with a slight buzz, which I know I shouldn’t have done, but I’m also adamant that it is different than being drunk.
    5. What should you probably stay away from this weekend? Booze and sugar–I’m trying to get in better shape. I’ve already failed, though, having had a margarita last night, and then I bought little cheesecakes at our winter farmers market.

From Friday 5.


Friday 5: Parental Control

  1. Where do you think you’re going? Tonight? Nowhere. Tomorrow, brunch, I hope, and Sunday, the home show.
  2. Who do you think you are? My delightful, sarcastic, smart, opinionated, hard-working, ambitious, loyal self.
  3. What’s gotten into you? Independence and a healthy dose of being done with bullshit.
  4. How do you expect to pay for all this? Um, that’s valid, but I get paid Monday. Really, it’ll probably hit my account over the weekend–pays that fall between Saturday and Monday tend to arrive sooner than expected.
  5. When are you going to come to your senses? I’m stubborn, so probably never.

From Friday 5.

Friday 5: Mischief Managed

  1. The Mirror of Erised doesn’t show a reflection of you at the moment, but of you and what your heart most desires. If you gazed into it today, what image would you see? My dad cancer-free and my husband and I each with our own books successful enough that we’re not working full time and possibly living in the mountains.
  2. A howler is a blood-red letter sent to signify extreme anger or to convey a message very loudly and publicly. When it is opened, the sender’s voice, which has been magically magnified to a deafening volume, bellows a message at the recipient and then self-destructs. If it is not opened or there is a delay in opening it, the letter smolders, explodes violently, and shouts the message out even louder than normal. If you were to receive one today, who would most likely be the sender? Ooh, I don’t know. I’m hoping no one because I don’t think I’ve done anything to deserve one at least within the last several months.
  3. What model vehicle would be great to turn into a flying car? I was gonna say a DeLorean, but I guess we’ve already seen that fly.
  4. What item in your house could use a dose of magic, and what extraordinary quality would you like to imbue it with? I’d just make everything clean itself. It would solve a lot.
  5. Among people you know, who is most likely and secretly born with magical ability? My husband. We’re known to be thinking the exact same thing sometimes, but aside from that, he’s correctly predicted the gender of every baby in the family except one and swears he has the occasional predictive dream. And although he seems to have bad luck with his employers shutting down or downsizing, he gets new opportunities faster than anyone I’ve ever known.

From Friday 5.

Saturday 9: Valentine

Saturday 9: Valentine (1993)
Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here.

This song was specially chosen for the Saturday 9 closest to Valentine’s Day.

1) This is a love song written by Willie Nelson for his young son. Have you sent any Valentines this year to someone you love who isn’t a romantic partner? The only time I really do this is with funny Internet Valentines. I share those with whoever I think would appreciate them.

2) Today that little boy, Lukas, is a singer/songwriter who wrote eight of the songs for the 2018 A Star Is Born soundtrack. Have you seen the Bradley Cooper/Lady Gaga big screen romance? I haven’t, but I do want to.

3) On Valentine’s Day in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell patented the first telephone. Who did you most recently speak to on the phone? The woman from my eye doctor, calling to tell me my contacts were in.

4) Penicillin was also introduced on Valentine’s Day (in 1929). When you get a shot, do you look away when the needle touches your skin? Yeah, it does freak me out a little bit. Not so bad that I can’t handle it, but enough that I don’t want to see it.

5) According to legend, a gift of red roses signifies love and romance. When did you last purchase flowers or plants? Did you buy them for yourself, or someone else? I don’t know, it’s been a while. They were most likely for someone else.

6) This week’s artist, Willie Nelson, can trace his family tree back to the Revolutionary War. Captain John Nelson served with the Minutemen back in 1776. If you could go back in time to witness any great moment in American history, which would you choose? Could I just hop around to concerts?

7) Before he became a musical success, Willie was a door-to-door salesman, peddling first Bibles, then vacuum cleaners. INC magazine tells us that the traits of successful salespeople include resilience and good listening skills. Do you think you’d make a good sales person? Just based on those two traits, yes, but not a single thing about that job appeals to me. I’d hate it.

8) In 1993, when this song came out, Saved by the Bell aired its series finale. Crazy Sam likes to tease her brother because he once admitted to her that he has seen all 86 episodes of this teen sitcom. Is there a show that you believe you’ve seen every episode? Oh, there are a few, especially now in the streaming age. I’ve seen every episode of Lost and The X-Files, for sure, and a few others I’ve watched on Netflix over the years.

9) Random question — We’re having milkshakes! What’s your favorite flavor? Strawberry, but depending on what I’m in the mood for, I could go for chocolate.

Friday 5: QoTD

  1. What kind of drunk are you? Chatty, generally more outgoing. I loosen up some and am more open to things like dancing and karaoke, and I’ll probably tell you anything you want me to.
  2. What’s one of your language-related pet peeves? “Could of” instead of “could have.” You’re wrong. And then someone once tried to tell me that it was their “local dialect.” No, it’s isn’t. You’re confusing the contraction of “‘ve” with “of,” even though they mean two very, very different things.
  3. What would be a good question to ask people you’ve just met, if what you really want to know is what they’re passionate about? You know, an alternative to “What do you do?” or “How do you know so-and-so?” If they could be anywhere in the world doing anything they wanted, where would they go and what would they do? Or if they won the lottery tomorrow–like, a sum so huge that they never had to work again–how would they spend their time? Or even how would they spend the money?
  4. When you get home super tired and super hungry, do you usually eat first or sleep first? If I were only a little bit hungry, I’d just go to sleep. If I’m super hungry, though, I have to eat first, because otherwise, I’ll be uncomfortable. I’ll probably fall asleep anyway, but I really won’t like it. Plus if that’s the case, I was probably out and it’s probably late at night, and if I was out and it’s late at night, I need to put on my jammies and take my makeup off, so another few minutes to scarf down a snack isn’t gonna hurt me.
  5. You’re taking an exam. You aren’t sure about the answer to question 5, but you know it’s either “lions” or “tigers.” You get to question 11 and realize whatever the answer to 5 is, 11 is the other answer. Do you write “lions” as your answer to 5 and 11, thereby ensuring you’ll get one of them right? Or do you write “lions” for 5 and “tigers” for 11, risking two wrong answers but giving you a chance at two right ones? I probably take my chances putting down two different answers, because even though I know I’ll get one right no matter what, I’ll also be annoyed at putting down two of the same thing. I’m also a born gambler, so it’s a risk I’m okay with.

From Friday 5.

Friday 5: Salt Fat Acid Heat

  1. What are some very salty foods you enjoy? God, I over-salt everything. Soups, pretzels, Ramen when I still ate it…
  2. What areas of your life could stand a little fat-trimming? Debt, but that probably goes for all of us, and it’s a work in progress anyway. My closet because I have way more clothes than I need, but I can tell you I’ll part with a tiny fraction of it. Stuff in general, especially having bought a house last year. There’s the shit from the apartment we don’t need–we still have a lamp surplus–plus my mom took that opportunity to unload junk of mine that was stashed in her basement. So there are all sorts of things lying around that could go.
  3. How acid-tongued are you? I can be, but I choose not to be. All in all, though, I think I’m pretty mild, especially compared to how nasty some people can be. I can be biting, but not horrible.
  4. What’s an interesting way you’ve burned yourself? I once spilled hot chocolate in my lap as a kid. But now it’s either I’m not waiting for my food to cool down or I used a straightening iron like three times out of the whole year and hurt myself. Or curling iron. Why does someone with natural curls need a curling iron? To make the curls look nice, duh.
  5. What are your favorite everyday cooking implements? I don’t think I have one. Could be because I don’t cook enough.

From Friday 5.

Friday 5: Then You Begin to Make it Better Better Better Better Better Better Yeah

  1. What’s something you hated as a teen but love today? I can’t think of something for this specifically, but I can tell you that teenage me would have some qualms about adult me’s life right now. I’m not where she would’ve thought by any means, and not even in a bad way, just different. My life isn’t as ~cool and edgy~ as she would’ve hoped, but I’m happy.
  2. What’s something you recently dreaded that turned out not too bad? Ugh. Man. Ask me this Monday or Tuesday because right now, things are not going well, and by then, there’s a chance there’ll be a tiny spot of good news. Or…it could just be worse.
  3. How do you feel about February as it compares to January? The late winter months here for me are basically like a slow crawl to spring, so I see February as progress. It’s still pretty cold and snowy and we’re certainly not out of the woods as far as that kind of weather goes, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
  4. Who among people you know is really making the world a better place? My brother and best friend. They’re both working in the psychology field–she works with kids with behavioral issues, and his current job is working with adults in a sort of assisted-living situation, where normally, they’d need hospitalized but are in a program that allows them to live independently.
  5. In what way is today better than yesterday? So, as one could guess from #2, there’s some shit going on that’s not good–health issues with my dad. We found out Wednesday and it was surprising. Yesterday, we got a little bit more information, and there’s still more to learn on Monday, where we’ll have a better idea of the scope of things. I’ve been at my parents’ house every day since Tuesday, mostly going over one day, spending the night, going home the next day, then heading back the next, mostly to help out with things. Today was the first time I was in my own home the whole day. I’ll talk more about it eventually, maybe soon, but for starters, it felt more like a normal day, and besides that, the dynamic right now is weird. It’s like…being there, I’m in the middle of everything and there’s just kind of a certain vibe right now, whereas at home, it’s not staring me in the face so much. It’s not like it’s all magically different or better or I’m forgetting all about what’s going on when I’m home, but it’s like there’s no elephant in the room.

From Friday 5.

Friday 5: Teal This Record

  1. Where in Africa would you like to visit? I’d say my #1 would be Egypt, but I’m so interested in travel that I’d go see just about anything.
  2. If you ruled the world, what would you forbid people to talk about in the company of strangers? I don’t know. I’ll talk about or listen to anything.
  3. In what way do you tolerate (or enjoy) being used? A few people come to me to look over writing–usually formal communication to make sure everything is correct, and my mom’s one to come to me and ask if there’s another way to word something. I don’t mind it. It’s the kind of work I’d prefer to be doing.
  4. When did you recently have an a-ha moment? I don’t think I did. Do with that what you will.
  5. What’s something you know about turtles? That they’re the only reptile I would describe as “cute.” Ask me this again when my husband comes home. He’ll tell me something I don’t know that he knows I’ll think is cute or interesting.

From Friday 5.