Thursday, November 16, 2017

thinking about

I have a lot in my head and it can't all be conveyed in tweets and texts. I hate posting on Facebook. I see friends but in person it doesn't always spill out, either. I am starting to miss my work friends, and having someone always nearby to spill the latest thought out to. That combined with not making time to blog just feels like I always have something to say and nowhere to say it.

On blogging
I just need to not care and write what I want and publish when I want and be fine. I need to not feel compelled to follow or comment on someone else's post because they comment on mine and feel like that is an okay decision to make. Doing that - so much reading out of obligation - stopped making this fun for me. It was another thing on the to do list.

But how do you like to keep in touch with your blog friends? I mean I feel pretty connected to many people and I miss our interaction and even if I read a post and choose not to comment (I know, I should comment), I miss that bit of interaction. Twitter is fine but I don't want to be the creeper responding to every tweet (just half, probably) and not enough people instagram story the things I want to see. Is instagram enough? Am I the needy friend here?

On South Dakota
I went to South Dakota for work a few weeks ago and it was an amazing opportunity. I was supporting a summit for the Native community and I learned so much. Like I knew Thanksgiving was a crock of garbage and I realized that the Dakota Access Pipeline was a terrible idea but witnessing these people who have been marginalized for hundreds of years working to keep their cultures alive despite extreme poverty was just... incredible? Inspiring? It was so interesting. We live in a world full of Instagram and wanting the latest, cool thing while these people work so hard to preserve the tradition of their ancestors because that is what's important to them. We went to an area that has a daycare with teachers and elders so that their language doesn't die off. They also have a workforce commission (providing jobs) to build affordable homes so that Native people don't leave the reservation to get an education and then never return because there is no housing. Reservations aren't viable communities so it's nearly impossible to get a bank mortgage. People have to leave where they grew up to further decay so that they can get ahead in life.

I saw a real Powwow and there was no other word to describe it than beautiful. Photos didn't do it justice. I learned about community and welcoming everyone and so much more about inclusivity and reservation life. Oh, and I read Sherman Alexie's You Don't Have To Say You Love Me and it was fascinating. Don't let the poetry scare you off - it was a great book for me to read to and from this trip.

One of the speakers was a water protector and we watched half of this video (SO hard to watch) and again... this is our country? The pipeline isn't the answer, and I can't claim to know what is, but attacking humans who are peacefully protesting with tear gas and attack dogs definitely isn't helping anything.

On the iPhone X
It was literally $2 more per month and my old phone had issues like not connecting to my provider's network, so I upgraded. I like the size of it (larger than my 6, smaller than a plus) and the amount of space so I don't have to delete apps anymore. I haven't used the camera and the animojis are fun for like five minutes but then that wears off. The facial recognition has been hard to get used to, but not as hard as I thought. Getting rid of the home button was a way easier switch than I thought. Just my two cents since I haven't seen many real people talk about it.

On the state of the world
It continues to be a dumpster fire. Okay, so I will admit that I am not always the most news-savvy person and my interest has increased in being aware the past two years. I was in second grade when Clinton was elected president but how did I not know there were some pretty intense rape allegations against him? I knew 45 invited a rape accuser to one of the debates but these allegations were fully glossed over and I think it's pretty justifiable in light of recent events to revisit this. I mean, there are enough awful men in the world but I feel like this is worth our time. And I know I linked to wikipedia because it's the easiest overview but I have done some reading that is pretty damning... if you have a solid defense, I would love to see it.

On Good People
I should save this for Add It To My List, but I tweeted it anyway so it's fine. In the past week, I have listened to the Fresh Air podcast episode with Pete Souza (Obama's official photographer who throws amazing shade) and the Oprah Super Soul Conversations podcast with Joe Biden, which... Joe Biden is like the wise uncle we probably all want. He seems so wonderful and he said his son was his soul and the way he talks about the people he loves is great. And I missed Oprah and her interview style, though she does put words in people's mouths sometimes and that is distracting. It was still great, though. Both of them just reminded me of how easy it was to have a president who didn't take us to the brink of nuclear war using twitter alone... Also, John Lewis needs his voice amplified for as long as he is around. What a human.

On being perpetually awkward
I went to Ulta this weekend to use a birthday coupon and grab a Christmas gift and they were doing an in-store event with It Cosmetics. I thought I should treat myself and let them make me look good and just buy the damn product. So despite slightly insulting me ("are you looking for maybe a better eyebrow pencil color? Are you moisturizing in the morning AND at night?" [Lady, I work from home, I brush my teeth and that's it...]) the anti-redness powder and foundation worked and the eyebrow pencil seemed legit. I picked what I wanted to buy and then "shopped around" so I could peek at the prices because OF COURSE they weren't marked. Couldn't find the price on one so I did a google and thought I knew. Well, I got to the register and I was wrong. I had sticker shock and just couldn't spend the money. I mean I have the money and my husband doesn't care but the point was like... just why is it so expensive and can't something from Target do the same thing? Anyway, so I awkwardly at the register mumbled something about "never mind, guess I'll add these to my Christmas list" and scurried out. And now I need a new Ulta to shop at.

This is a wall of text that was mostly just for me but this is what it's like in my head lately - a bit scattered and a mix of the serious and mundane. Maybe now that I have a phone that works and can hold photos, I'll take more.


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

add it to my list: october 2017

When you barely blog for three-ish months, all of your images disappear (again) and so please excuse my mess... I'll fix it one day.

I have been keeping a list of things to share and haven't posted a "regular" Add It To My List post since... July?? So it's time. This post is late going up because once you stop blogging regularly, it is hard to get back. That's a post for another day, though.

If you choose to link-up, it would be great if you left Bre and me a comment and clicked around to meet others but being that I am a terrible host, these rules are flexible.

Anyway... on to the recs!

Add It To Your Watch List:

The World Series: The Houston Astros will WIN the World Series if they win the game tonight. The whole city is excited, even more post-Harvey, and the team is young and fun to watch - there is tons of energy and enthusiasm and lots of choreographed handshaking. If you're marginally interested in baseball, you should watch (and support Houston, not that other team).

The Bold Type: Need a fun, escapist show with some social awareness, ridiculous outfits, and female friendship? Watch this show. It's a little like Younger, a little bit Sex and the City, and super topical. I didn't expect to like it as much as I did. In short, three friends work together at a magazine in NYC and navigate relationships, work stress, and supporting one another. It's worth checking out.

Mr. Mercedes: This show got no buzz but it was so great! It was based on a Stephen King book in which a retired cop is still (mentally) haunted by the case he never solved and then starts being threatened by the killer in real life. It isn't science-fiction and it is very messed up but it was a show I looked forward to watching weekly. I think you can only watch it if you have DirecTV or AT&T, though.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: This show was an Amazon pilot that I checked out last year and the full season is out at the end of November. It was created by Amy Sherman Palladino who created Gilmore Girls, but is really nothing like it; it takes place in the 50s and is about a woman who gets a divorce and decides to be a stand-up comedian. It sounds weird, but it left me with a warm and fuzzy feeling and I am really excited for the whole season.

Add It To Your Wish List:

.38mm pens: This is Bre's fault. She gave me one and then I won some at the Bujo and Brunch she put together and now they are all I want. Something about a super pointy pen makes my handwriting look.... crisper? I don't know but anything .7 feels like a marker now.

Add It To Your... Things to Do List

Recipes from Iowa Girl Eats: I think I have said before that it is often hard to cook for my husband. He went to culinary school. He's pretty picky. Also, I have no kitchen skills. These recipes are made with real ingredients, so they do take some prep time cutting, but none of them are hard and most of the ones I have tried have been added to our regular rotation. We especially love the Mediterranean chicken chickpea bowls and the gnocchi and chicken sausage vegetable skillet.

I would add more, but it is my birthday and I do what I want. Oh, and I guess it's Halloween for the rest of you - enjoy!




Tuesday, September 26, 2017

add it to my list: september 2017

Sorry to not come through with a list today and not like anyone needs them, but I have good reasons. I definitely want to check out what you guys are adding and I want to get back to posting shows and make-up and recipes in October to celebrate mine and Bre's birthday month. Why don't you link up today, read each other's lists, leave a comment with Bre, and expect me back better than ever in October??

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

show us your books: august 2017

I added a reading tracker to my bullet journal which really made me set aside time to read daily (I told you, my love of checkboxes runs deep). However, I had about two weeks post-Harvey where I didn't care about my bullet journal or reading or anything, and it shows. Here's to better habits with what's left of September.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo - I am a total TJR fangirl so my expectations for this book were sky high. It was fine. It kept my attention well enough, but I didn't love it like I love her other books. It was missing the fun little details that make the characters relatable and it was about a movie star who was not relatable at all. I don't not recommend it, but if you haven't exhausted all of her other books, go there first. I just didn't care enough about any of the characters in this story for much of it to stick with me.

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl - Issa Rae created Insecure on HBO and her book is about her upbringing, dealing with her Sengalese parents, being black, and some awkwardness. Truth? I liked it while I was reading it but I don't remember much about it. It wasn't told in a linear way, which probably affected my perception a lot.

Holding Up the Universe - I was in the mood for something kind of mindless and easy and this book was perfect. I finished it in three nights. If you don't mind teen angst and want some faith in the next generation restored, it's a cute story. A girl once called "America's Fattest Teen" and a boy who can't recognize faces become an unlikely couple (spoiler alert, but it's a teen book, so what did you expect?). I appreciated the lack of terminal illness, I can say that for sure.

Columbine - You should not read a book about a national tragedy while your city is being pummeled with a natural disaster. This was not a good choice on my part and as such, I had to force myself to get through the last 50 pages. If you know next to nothing about Columbine, read this. I was in middle school when it happened and didn't realize how much I didn't know. It talks about the events leading up to the shooting, humanizes the victims, compiles what is known about the parents, and talks about how the investigation was full of mistakes and the media got the whole story wrong. Eric and Dylan weren't bullied, did you know that? I learned so much reading this, even though it was hard to get through. It was very well done, even though it was emotionally draining at times.

I need to start keeping notes about books since I always forget how they made me feel when it's time to write these posts... Linking up with Steph and Jana.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

add it to my list: august 2017

Hi again.

I have to admit, I feel like more newscasters in my life have been wrong than have been right. I thought I was wasting my time grocery shopping on Thursday and I didn't really think I would miss work Monday. I thought some roads might be impassable. I didn't imagine boat rescues and tents on rooftops and a convention center filled with people and other shelters at capacity all over the city.

And then Harvey came and while I'm still optimistic, my heart hurts and I have spent the past few days worrying about my family and friends and glued to the news. I don't have the desire to tell you what make-up or TV show I have loved lately but as the water recedes, I will need to know about all of those things from you. So please tell Bre and me what to add to our lists. As native Houstonians who love this city, I hope you understand when today, all we want to share with you are things that are Harvey-related that you may want to add to your list.

This poem that is wonderful and amazing and everything I love about Houston (favorite line: you can fill up our bayou/ but you can never rain/ on our parade). Please read it.

Facebook can be used for good. During this storm, I have been able to track flooded areas, find out who is safe, and give others peace of mind. That said, when this is over, I'll go back to my silence.

Look out for those around you. Whether it's providing an emotional push, your time, your money, or help cleaning up in the aftermath, people are scared right now. Being there is invaluable.

If you have the desire and the means to donate to Harvey Relief, here are some places Bre compiled and I would recommend:

My personal favorite and where my charitable dollars go - The Houston Food Bank (Every dollar is THREE meals, y'all)
http://www.houstonfoodbank.org/ >> The Book Group is matching donations to the food bank up to $2K so if you decide to donate to them, do so now and email your receipt to info@thebookgroup.com. I did it last night!

Mayor Sylvester Turner's Harvey Relief Fund - where the mayor is directing corporations to send major gifts, but anything helps:
http://ghcf.org/hurricane-relief/ 

JJ Watt's Fund (though there is no indication of who is running this and where proceeds will go)

Thanks for listening and for asking how I am and for sending good thoughts to my city. We're gonna be okay. Now please, go see what one another loves and give Bre and I some time to get back to you. We're both really excited to add some fun things to our lists!