Archive | January, 2020

Monkey Pencil Song

28 Jan
Got in a bike accident
Tore my private parts real bad
Your friend arrived from afar
 guilted to go out to eat
Sat upon that wood bench
But like a monkey still I pinch
[beat] [growl-shout] Monkey pencil Monkey pencil
Hold so tight
Even when [beat] it isn’t right
[beat] [growl-shout] Monkey pencil Monkey pencil
Grasp and clutch
Even though [beat] it isn’t much
[syncopated] Like monkey  [half beat] on that pencil
My loyalty [beat] is so prehensile!
Your work Halloween party
Bathroom in your bosses’ house
Tried to stick your hand up my skirt
I resisted- not in here
Found out you had bet your friends
You could slide home base with ease
But like a monkey still I squeeze
[beat] [growl-shout] Monkey pencil Monkey pencil
Hold so tight
Even when [beat] it isn’t right
[beat] [growl-shout] Monkey pencil Monkey pencil
Grasp and clutch
Even though [beat] it isn’t much
[syncopated] Like monkey  [half beat] on that pencil
My loyalty [beat] is so prehensile!
Over 6 years of dating
both working the same bad job
You Listened to mean girl lies
You relished ambushing me
And threw me under the bus
You talked about them so Much
But like a monkey still I clutch
[beat] [growl-shout] Monkey pencil Monkey pencil
Hold so tight
Even when [beat] it isn’t right
[beat] [growl-shout] Monkey pencil Monkey pencil
Grasp and clutch
Even though [beat] it isn’t much
[syncopated] Like monkey  [half beat] on that pencil
My loyalty [beat] is so prehensile!
[Outside in the frozen cold
Scraping my frosty windshield
You surprised me before work
Brought my favorite coffee
Drank the warmth and felt so snug
And like a monkey still I hug]
[beat] [growl-shout] Monkey pencil Monkey pencil
Hold so tight
Especially when it all goes right
[beat] [growl-shout] Monkey pencil Monkey pencil
Grasp and clutch
Especially when the loves so much
[syncopated] Like monkey  [half beat] on that pencil
My happiness [beat] is so prehensile!

This Weird Thing Happened to Me in 5th Grade

14 Jan

I was a teacher’s kid.  So pretty much, whatever teacher was best, my parents could request and get for me.  No problem.

The fifth grade teachers all came to my fourth grade class to introduce themselves.  It would be the first time we’d changed school buildings.  My elementary at the time only had space for K-4, then you went to the middle school for 5-8, then HS for 9-12.

There was an old gal, with a whisper of a voice.  No way did I want some soft-spoken grandma!  There was some fat lady who looked mean.  Nope.  The known best teacher in the fifth grade (who pretty much every parent requested)

came in and I instantly had a strong dislike/aversion to her.  She was in 4 inch heels.  Totally impractical, uncomfortable, and girly.  How the fuck was she supposed to watch us in the gravel at recess?  Her outfit was a form-fitting pencil skirt and suit jacket.  I instantly thought she was ridiculous.  I was like, offended, by her.  WTF?  The teacher I set my heart on looked athletic.  She had short blonde hair, wore comfortable looking sneakers, and in the Q&A portion said she loved sports.  Travis, the boy who had ended up with every same teacher I’d had from 1-4th grade enthusiastically wanted in her class.  So did I.

I knew my parents wanted me to have the best (most girly) teacher, but I insisted I wanted the sporty one.  And they let ME pick.

I was still a kid.  Not aware of fashion, oblivious of any pre-teen stuff.  I was not cool at all–that wasn’t even on my radar.  Still a baby really.

My best friend had many older siblings, so she was more interested in teenage things.  She liked makeup and wanted boobs very badly.

The teacher played music in the background of class, and I liked that.

The class held up posters to a song that went with a book we read, Bridge to Teribithia? I can’t remember exactly, but I do remember how proudly and excitedly each group raised their poster during the assigned portion of the song.

The teacher talked about going to the re-up of Woodstock Music Festival and how the people from New York had funny accents.

We read Where the Red Fern Grows and watched the movie, too.  I was disappointed the death scene wasn’t the graphic depiction we had read in the book.

She also talked about how Ellen (the sitcom of Ellen Degeneres, which was in it’s non-notorious early days) was so funny.  And that made me watch it.

My teacher’s endometriosis falls like a blanket over the entire year, touching everything.  Making a great impact.

We had silent reading what felt like a lot, and the teacher let us sit under our desks.  It felt like a fort, and I really liked that.  My best friend introduced me to magazines:  YM, Seventeen, and Teen mostly.

My class continuously went out to the track.  I’m not sure if this was normal for my teacher with every class, or if she just wasn’t feeling well a lot and took us outside to have a break.

We had substitute after substitute, and that felt like having no teacher at all.

The other kids were happy we weren’t doing that much, like they were able to get away from something.  But I like learning, and I felt a little disappointed despite the fun.

That was when you could still watch any ol’ movie in school.  I must have seen every Disney classic out in that span of time, and I must have watched The Lion King at least 5 times just in school.

I loved to write, and my teacher gave (just) me (that I know of) a blank journal that I could fill up because she noticed that I had an interest in writing poetry.  I felt special and I felt like she recognized potential in my writing.

Math had always been a struggle for me, and 5th grade was the year I really fell behind and never caught up–mostly due to so many subs and so much track-walking.

Our teacher asked my best friend and I to take flowers she had received (from her boyfriend? if I remember correctly what she said) into the empty classroom while everyone was at recess.  My best friend was nosy and initiated snooping through the teacher’s desk drawers–she had candy in there.  Though not enough that we would go unnoticed if we took some.

I put my middle finger to my eye in a covert flipping off of a particularly annoying substitute that made known I was a teacher’s kid–a label I had been trying to downplay after graduating out of the school both my parents worked at.

One day, the class was silently reading (seated at our desks) and the teacher called me up to her desk.  She was practicing her signature over and over and asked me which one looked the best.  While I was scrutinizing the names on the paper, out of the corner of my eye I could see the teacher unzipping her pants.  Remember, the whole class is in the same room, just feet away, reading silently.  I quickly pointed at whatever signature, said “that one,” and started to make a hasty retreat to my desk.  She asked, (and I’ll never forget this as long as I live) “Would you like to touch my ovary?”  I said a quick, “No thanks” and rushed back to my seat.

I don’t think she was trying to be a perv or anything like that.  I think she knew I wanted to be a veterinarian, and had an interest in science.  And she thought it might be educational?  And we were inside a room full of other kids, not obscured or private in any way.  I thought it was odd then and I think it’s super-strange today.  What was she thinking?

And I wasn’t shamed or secretive about the incident at all.  I told my best friend (a known blabber-mouth), my parents, it wasn’t something I kept quiet.  Today, that teacher would probably be fired for doing that, maybe even get hauled into court and possibly labeled a sexual offender.  But this was the 1990s and I guess everyone just thought–‘hmm, that’s weird, and maybe poor judgement…’

I mean, I have suffered no psychological damage from it or anything, so I’m glad nothing really came of it.  Though my mom is adamant that she did go talk to that teacher, and even swore at her (which doesn’t sound like something she would do), but I have zero recollection of that at all.  None.  And I feel like I would.  So I guess a conversation was had.

Mostly, I use that as a funny story to bring up that sounds far-fetched.

 

How to Start Working Out

13 Jan

We (maybe you did also) made the goal that we want to incorporate strength workouts into our fitness routine as much as possible.  But how do you actually make that happen?

kelly coffee-meyer

start with this video

We got Kelly Coffee-Meyer workout tapes.  She is great because she pushes you without being annoying, or mean.  She is feisty and funny.  Her tapes are designed to be done in 30 minutes.  There are two full length workouts on most of her DVDs.  Also, she provides “pre-mixes” that are shorter and target certain areas.  To us, the premixes are everything!  They tell you what you’ll be working, how long it will take, and are 8-17-ish minutes long.  So you can just do one or you can do a combo.

 
piyo-live_orig We also have Celine Johnson’s Piyo, a combination of Pilates, yoga, and it uses your own body weight to work on strength.  She is slightly annoying, but not to the point I have to mute it.  There are several DVDs that have names like “Drench” and “Lower” and it’s a nice change of pace.  The Piyo is good because it sneaks up on you.  You’re doing a yoga-type sun salutation, stretching (I’m breathing, though she’s not all pesty about the breathing/mantra stuff), then you’re like out of breath a sweating.

My point is find something you like, some short/abbreviated versions of it, that target different areas.  The pre-mixes or different discs target specific areas of the body.  So we do upper body one day, lower body the next, abs the third, than back to upper body.  Then you can do strength every day without fatiguing any one muscle group.  Each group has two days to recover. Have a plan and schedule out which days you want to do what.  Or mix it up sometimes to fight boredom.

Once you have your workout in mind, make a space in your day for it.  Really fight to keep this time for your workout.  Make the time a priority.  It doesn’t have to take long–sometimes we literally only have (or are willing to do) 10 minutes in a day.  If you are awake for 15 hours in a day, 10 minutes in literally 0.9% of your entire day.  Which isn’t much.  That’s not really an amount of time I can make excuses for.

Part of blocking out (even a short) time is making it a routine.  This is key!  Every day honor that time to work out.  Start by trying to go 5 days in a row.  Every day get up there and at least do some working out.  This is the whole thing when trying to start and stick to a workout.  We start small.  You know, during holidays when we’ve fallen off the wagon, or if we reverted back to couch potatoes and we want the workout goal to be a thing again…

I always feel like I have to be doing 30 other things, and don’t have time.  Sometimes I feel tired and lazy.  Just do something.  It doesn’t have to be a lot of time, a lot of reps, or a lot of weight.  Do any little thing.  When we re-start this goal, we might do 1 or 2 sets.  It’s not about being superman, it’s about making your brain know that this is a routine.  Any little thing is better than nothing.

And I promise, it gets easier.  Nobody wants to get off the couch.  Nobody starts out an in-shape expert.  That first 7-10 days (the out-of-shape phase, I call it) is horrible.  Nobody likes feeling like they can’t do it, they’re getting winded early, they are sore the next day.  Everyone would rather be sitting.  Push through!  Just tell yourself to get through the first week, and it DOES get easier.  A lot of people never feel the joy or happiness from exercise, because they don’t realize everybody goes through an out-of-shape phase that totally sucks for the first 7-10 days.  That goes for running too, but that’s for another post.  Get through that 7-10 days of a new program and that’s when you start to feel it get not quite as difficult, not as sore, and you feel a bit happy.

Also, if you force yourself to adhere to your workout for a week in a row, your mind settles down and actually enjoys establishing routine.  Once you get into the second and third week, it’s a whole different feeling.  And when you start being about to do all the reps, increasing weight, and noticing some tone–it’s a major  morale boost.

And nobody ever regretted working out.  Even on the days I was most hangry and fatigued, very stressed and busy–after the workout, ahhhh.  I felt accomplished.  And more importantly I didn’t feel the guilt for not sticking to it, the regret at lazy-ing out.

That’s my best advice on getting started.  Nike has a point.

Good luck and let me know if this helped, and if you have any additional tips for getting fitness going in your life.

Woke

10 Jan

Urban Dictionary defines “woke” as being aware, and “knowing what’s going on in the community.” It also mentions its specific ties to racism and social injustice.

I don’t like the term, “woke” and not because I’m conservative or republican or racist or something.  It’s a hot word, a cultural catch-all right now, sure.  But it’s what the grammar itself implies that I don’t like about it.

Q: What part of speech is the word “woke“? … A: ‘woke‘ is a verb, an intransitive verb, and a past tense of the infinitive ‘to wake‘.

The word “woke” meaning progressive or understanding of problems is in the past tense.  This bothers me because we are never finished learning.  It’s not an end point you reach then you’re done.  So saying ‘you’re woke’ or ‘someone is woke’ is saying you/they know everything there is to know, they are the most sensitive and progressive that it is possibly to get.  Impossible!  We should all strive to learn and grow and understand always.  There’s no end point.  No finish line.

The other problem with hyping a word as the cultural catch phrase is that it puts that word/mentality in the trend category.  It becomes the ‘far-out’ the ‘groovy’ the ‘radical’ of the past.  Those words become passe’, dated, out of mode.  You lose their meaning, and instead they symbolize a time-frame.  And racial understanding, for example, should NEVER be just a passing trend.

Language means everything.  It’s what makes humans the most intelligent creatures.  Our ability to use language to communicate is the WHOLE thing.  So we need to be careful how we use it.  Especially for important social justice causes.

Fat-Positive is Negative

9 Jan

Yeah, I said it.  Unpopular, un-p.c. opinion–but I stand by it.

I listened to Lizzo because it’s fun, and feminist and I totally get behind that!  It’s a ‘you go girl!’ moment where I see role-model for young girls. But is she an entirely good role-model?

Lizzo001

I also watched Shrill because I think Aidy Bryant (name/sp?) is funny on SNL.  And I saw her do stand up with a pad of paper and she was hilarious.  I wanted to see what she’s doing with her talents.  But the show was kind of depressing, which is a sad commentary about how our society makes overweight people feel.  [and we should stop that].  But then her boss was made to look like a villain because he cared about the health of his employees.  And the whole fat-positive movement in the show rubbed me the wrong way.

aidy bryant

Fat-positivity is what I call enabling. 

Let me back track just a second.

Kids should not be bullied.  Not anyone, not chubby-trons.  Hefty adults should not have to tolerate back-handed complements, or taunts, or trolling.  People don’t have a right to stigmatize others.  Not for mental illness, sexuality, weight, anything, really.  Mind your business, take care of you.

People that are “other” in some way should be allowed to love themselves.  And to one extent or another all of us are a little bit “other” in some way, many ways.

So there’s that.  I’m anti-bullying.

But, people we have taken it too far on the spectrum, shunning bulling, past neutrality, into enabling behavior known as fat-positivity!  It’s gone too far.  Fat is nothing to normalize or champion.  It’s a health concern.  Really.

Some people are chubby kids, and it’s a genetic trait that they will easily put on weight.  Yes, some medications and disorders can contribute to being overweight.  Also, Americans are inundated with advertising and marketing encouraging us to consume calories.  It’s an epidemic.

And yet, calories are calories.  Nobody has it harder than anyone else calories in, calories out.  You have to balance the two–and it IS possible.  For I’d say most everyone, except in very extenuating circumstances (a small minority).  Lifestyle choices are within your control.  Yes. They. Are.  It might not be easy changes to make.  Changing your ways might be difficult to adhere to.  But it CAN be done.

Things that we do not celebrate:

Mental Illness.  It can’t be helped.  You’re born with it, genetically predisposed to it.  We shouldn’t stigmatize people who suffer with mental illness.  Yet, we also don’t throw a party about it.  Society agrees people should do whatever they can to manage it (see the psychiatrist/psychologist, take medication, use strategies to manage symptoms)

Addiction.  It’s a disease.  But it’s not useful to society, and it’s detrimental to health.  People shouldn’t be criminalized (for drugs alone) or stigmatized–they are sick.  But we do want people to go to rehab, get off substances, and help themselves make better choices.

STIs (STDs if you’re old-school).  They are common.  It can be tricky and high-maintenance to prevent getting them.  But having one can impact other individuals and society at large.  People shouldn’t be called disgusting whores or dirty johnsons if they get one (or more), but I think we can all agree we would like people to treat STIs they have, refrain from spreading them to other sexual partners through abstinence, condoms, etc, and warn others prior to engaging in sexual acts.

Those things are all health concerns that we should not bully people over, but at the same time must be dealt with or consequences occur.  If we were to have mental illness positivity and just encourage people to live as they are and embrace their bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, instead of medicating it what would happen?  Well, it’s ultimately not good for the individual as being untreated can lead to inappropriate or dangerous behaviors, possibly even death to others or themselves.  Same with addicts–“Just champion and embrace your drug use!” we’d say. Then, all the crime, and downward spiral which isn’t good for anybody.  And STIs, well we’ve seen what happens when those health concerns are ignored and it’s no good.

Also, all of these health problems lead to complications, symptoms, consequences.  When medical bills are already spiraling and health insurance is a whole big thing–shouldn’t we do everything we can to alleviate the problems we can control?

Being overweight exacerbates other health problems.  This is science.

According to the Center for Disease Control, People who have obesity, compared to those with a normal or healthy weight, are at increased risk for many serious diseases and health conditions, including the following:1,2,3

  • All-causes of death (mortality)
  • High blood pressure (Hypertension)
  • High LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides (Dyslipidemia)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Osteoarthritis (a breakdown of cartilage and bone within a joint)
  • Sleep apnea and breathing problems
  • Some cancers (endometrial, breast, colon, kidney, gallbladder, and liver)
  • Low quality of life
  • Mental illness such as clinical depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders4,5
  • Body pain and difficulty with physical functioning6
  1. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/effects/index.html

chubby-tron

anorexic

People die earlier when they are over their BMI.  Ralphie Mae and John Candy might have lived longer if they had not been grossly obese.  And Chris Farley and Elvis Presley had drugs in the mix, but their obesity made their health status even worse.

That’s not a fate I want to get behind.  I’m not saying you have to be a size zero.  But everyone should be giving up vices, managing their health status, and aspiring to a healthy lifestyle.  For their own health and happiness.  And I refuse to be stigmatized for saying so.

What I Like (and don’t) in a Podcast

8 Jan

I don’t know what to write today.  Usually, I’m brimming with ideas.  Though my natural peak creativity happens in the morning–when I’m at work.  I get more fatigued after work, so it’s more difficult to get excited by things.  But this is the time I’ve set aside for writing, so rather than dilly-dallying trying to think of something inspiring, I thought I would just start typing.

11892001_10206874091918455_5195105834330914230_n

We want to start some type of podcast.  It makes sense, because we listen to them most of every day at work.  Also, you know me–I’m full of opinions.  We both started lists of potential topics.  And I have been listening for what I like and what I don’t like.

 

have a professional sounding introduction with the premise of the podcast, why we are qualified to discuss the topics, and our names.

get right to the topic at hand-no chit-chat or distractions.  It drives me bonkers when people fuck around before talking about whatever they’ve listed as the title/subject of that episode.

Pre-record professional sounding ads (if we get sponsors) so it sounds upbeat and the same every time.

Do good research about the topic–it’s annoying when people don’t know anything about their subject.

Trigger warnings prior to the episode

Spoiler warning with exact time we’re finished talking about that.

Stick mostly to the topic, state facts, but also be ready with our theories or complaints or opinions.  But have some balance.

Big reactions during taping just sound like a regular conversation in the audio.

Do it 5 paragraph essay style:  Tell what you’re going to talk about it, and why you’re interested in that, go section by section, then sum it up.  I also like when people say what they read or looked at to research in case I want to get more in depth about the topic on my own.

If there’s any patrion or rating requests, make a little jingle instead of saying it over and over in each episode.

Don’t have any speech-ticks such as “like” or “you know what I mean”

Don’t sound monotone, but don’t be on crack.

 

Another Douche Poem in the Works

7 Jan

I was scared I would never meet another

How would I see them, where would I go?

You were up front, easy

feared I’d always be alone

I lept at the chance at dating

the alternative at home

don’t flatter yourself

that’s why I gave you the time of day

I didn’t find you attractive

but you were nice, all the same

I wasn’t sexually active

and that’s why I didn’t throw you away

when you proved to be bad in bed

and also crazy

stalling out on coming, crying in the bedsheets

just another day

Your controlling behavior was something I didn’t get

I had no context

nothing to compare it with other than my parents

Had no idea you’re a subset

not everything goes this way

I am not weak or small

Tried to put on a brave face

I can handle it all!

Your domination was tiring

I wanted to be my own person

you wanted me helpless, admiring

but I’m also not a flake

I had no one to turn to

my secret weighed heavy

even now, you’re one of my worst mistakes

Now, I wish I had dated a bevy

just for comparisons sake

Treated me like a trophy

manipulated the truth

gaslighted me constantly

worst yet-you wasted my youth

The audacity to leave me

when everyone knows who was the prize

hurt my ego-how embarrassing

I should have left you, in my eyes

yet I stuck it out

because I’m good and loyal

I don’t want you to think otherwise or have a doubt

I never loved you, I was just stuck

I hope you know the truth

you suck

I barely liked you

thought you were ugly, but felt sorry that I did

the guilt from my raising and your manipulation kept me

If I could go back in time, I’d renig

best of 2019

4 Jan

Day of the Dead

I painted my face and wore my senorita dress and monarch butterfly wings to work.  Cool and I did an offrenda to our deceased loved ones, and I liked having a happy time to think about them and remember them.

 

work x-mas party

One of the supervisors really outdid herself and planned a fun party with catered food, nice decorations (including wine glasses with our work and the year etched on them as memento), a photo booth where we got copies of the pictures, cash bar, and a dj.  Cool wanted to go very badly, and even though parties are later than my bedtime and make me stressed out and anxious I agreed to go.

And once I got some wine in me, I loosened up and had fun.  The people that sat at our table were tipsy to drunk, but that made them really talkative and friendly, and it was nice to finally interact with people at work!  Some coworkers dressed up as Santa and Mrs. Claus and really put a lot of effort into the costumes, so we asked them to take a picture with us.  And it turned out really cute.  Maybe we’ll make it a future Christmas card.  And Cool and I took a picture together with a giant rose as a prop, which turned out really cute.  And it’s special because we never get pictures with both of us.  I even got up on the dance floor and did the 7 moves I know–and people were trying to keep me to come dance in the middle of the circle (I did not).  It was a success!

 

played Jenga at Social Hall

After we went to the zoo (also one of our favorite things to do) we stopped at Social Hall for lunch.  It turned out to be happy hour and our server was really nice and good too.  This never happens in Arizona.  We noticed when we first moved here that the service pretty much everywhere and every time of day, is bad.  Like abyssal.  But she was friendly and efficient so it was a special treat.

They have games inside and a big patio with a jumbo Jenga game made of 2×4-size wood.  Cool and I played and generally just had an unexpected fun time.

 

parents visit

I wanted my parents to see where we live, our cute house, our favorite spots…  So they came, but it was July when everyone is hot in AZ, and un-acclimated people want to die.  Not the optimal timing.  And I am very much conscious of utilities and we usually keep the temp no lower than 90F because in AZ you could easily spend $300+ on utilities if you let yourself be comfortable.  Anyway, so it’s not a good time of year for visitors.  But I wanted them to see and have fun, and that’s when they could come so we tried to make the best of it.

I planned a very detailed itinerary to try to accommodate everyone’s needs and desires:

zoo-because all 4 of us are animal lovers.

Sephora- to try scents and makeup and lotion.

heard museum-because it’s personal history to all of us and I knew they would all like it.  Also, it’s free the first Friday of every month.

aquarium-this was not on my itinerary, but we had time between plans so we made it happen.

movie-Cool and I are addicted to the luxiorious movie experience with the comfy seats and restaurant-food and bev brought right to your seat.  So I wanted my parents to enjoy it also.  And–it’s an AC space (AC I’ not paying for).

book store-  All 4 of us are readers and we have a local bookstore that also serves snacks, coffee, and adult beverages.

casino & buffet- to bring a little of my parent’s home to the visit.

brunch-for my birthday!  I love brunch so much!!!

WNBA-I wanted to go to a game for my birthday, and I got us 1st row tickets (closest seats of ever) to enjoy.

We really packed in the activities and they are already Cool and my favorite activities, so it was fun to share them.

 

color run

Not only was it a color run, it was unicorn-themed and that’s like my favorite ever.  Cool was a good sport and even dressed up in complementary-colored tutu with me.  They had all kinds of selfie stations, and threw color on us as we ran.  The location was beautiful, and the sunrise in AZ is always gorgeous.  So it was a fun time with tons of cute stuff!

 

tour de fat

We discovered this in 2018, and at that time I spontaneously danced in a talent show.  Which was very fun.  Except I finished the routine with crowd-pleasing splits (with zero stretching/preparation) and messed up my hamstring for the 8 following months.  But it had been a real fun time, so we went again.

This year it was much hotter, so I was drenched in sweat the whole time.  But we dressed adorable, tried new beer, and spectated some of their quirky contests and shows.  It’s always a unique and entertaining time!

 

pride wk at work

Since Phoenix summers are uncomfortable (an understatement) the city has Pride in April.  Which is really a terrible idea.  Because everyone else is doing Pride in June and nobody in the spring, so AZ is out of sync, and it ends up being lackluster as a result.  Also, it can still be 95-100F in April, so it’s not really even a nicer temperature to most people.  I could tell the people in the parade were hot and uncomfortable, fizzling, and spirited by the halfway mark.  They really need to find a stadium with a roof or somewhere cooler to hold the thing–in June.

So that’s why when work agreed to celebrate a Pride week in June it was like the best thing!  We dressed up and got to partake a little bit in what the rest of the nation was talking about so much.  Also, I’m really proud of my company for being inclusive, accepting, and going as far as celebrating the week.  Makes me feel safer and more welcome.

 

AZ fair

So in AZ, it’s less of a fair with animals and crafts and more of a carnival.  Which I guess for a city in the middle of a desert makes a lot of sense.  It was just different from what we’d experienced before.  Animals were hard to locate, and there weren’t many.  Crafts were not plentiful either.  Plant stuff was literally 12 pumpkins and the honey people–that’s it.  So that felt weird.

I found residential parking so we didn’t have to pay the $10 or fight the crowd, and that made me over-the-moon excited.  We just had to walk an extra mile, which is no problem for us.  We walk all the time.  They had all kinds of giant fair food and beverages to pick from.  There were rides, but the safety of those sketches me out so we didn’t do any of those.  But we did try our hand at a couple of the games, knowing they are rigged, but just wanting to enjoy the experience.  I did the Wack-a-Mole, and am so good at hitting those vermin that I won a prize!!!  Which never happens to me.  And it wasn’t just a little dinky thing, it was a good sized purple sparkly unicorn!  So that was super-cool.

 

brunch crawl

I saw it on social media and spontaneously (which I never am) bought tickets for the next day.  As you know I love a brunch!  All around town there were deals at the restaurants on pre-fix brunch stuff.  So we got to try a few different places all in one day.  And we found some new gems in town that we had gone to before and ended up being tasty and pleasant.

 

Halloween costume

I always think I’m going to lazy out of the costume and just wear something easy from a previous year, but then the spirit hits me.  This year I went from easy bear I already had to…fish!  I learned how to do mermaid face-paint that looks like fishnet.  Got some purple tights.  Painted my Mohawk blue.  And made a fin out of closed butterfly wings.  I looked amazing (if I do say so myself).  And I enjoy painting faces a lot, and am getting better and better at it.  And the planning phase is fun too.  Also, not gonna lie, but the accolades are fun to get as well.

 

my mohawk

My hair was long, just out of laziness and being cheap.  But I made the mistake of trying to save money by box dying it.  And Cool and I were actually getting really good at the process.  Even the lady who cut my hair said she has worked with professionals that didn’t do as nice a job of even coverage as we had–which I took as a major complement.  Anyway, box dye does horrible damage to hair.  I knew that before, but I didn’t realize just trimming it wasn’t going to fix it.  It was the kind of thing that I was going to have to trim and trim until all of it was cut off so I could start fresh.  And that sounded like a long plan.  But Cool suggested I get a mohawk.  And I’ve had short hair before, but nothing so dramatic or trend-specific.  But I am feisty and fun (and also thought it would be easier to just cut all the dye off at once) so I found some pictures.  The haircut went well and I felt cooler than I actually am.  I got a lot of genuine compliments at work–like people coming out of their way to tell me they loved it.  Not just the ‘I noticed a change and say nice hair’ stuff that you sometimes get with a fashion risk.  And not everyone liked it, but I was totally OK with that too.  Some people are old, gender-conforming, or conservative.  And I don’t care about any of those group’s opinions.  I thought I looked awesome and that’s what mattered!

 

 

#3:  Left Mck

I had been relieved to have a job after the terror of both my mate and I losing our jobs in the same week.  And for over a month.  I was really afraid.  But then, the job just wasn’t what I can accept.  I don’t want to be treated as dispensable.  Don’t want to be micromanaged and watched to the extent I feel like I’m living in a Big-Brother world.  I want to know ahead of time if I will be in my same team, position, or location–not told right as it’s happening.  I don’t want to constantly be training new people all the time all the time, without being in some leadership position or getting a raise or recognition for doing that.  And I sure as fuck don’t want to commute.  So I was ecstatic when I got a job close to the house and could leave all of that behind.  I just wish I hadn’t had to lose all the acquaintances/friends I was getting to know.

 

#2:  10 year anniversary with my mate- Nov

What a special time!  Cool and I have made it ten years and now it sounds just as substantial to others as we always felt about ourselves.  It’s really neat to be able to say ‘decade’ and also really a relief that this is it.  Love.

 

#1:  Got a permanent job

As much of a relief as it is not to be a precarious temp having to worry constantly about messing up and losing a job, and having to save every penny for just in case–this happened really late.  It was promised that in 90 days I would go perm.  Feet were dragged for additional months.  So when it did happen, it was less of a happy occasion and more of a what took so long?  But now life in Arizona can truly start and I’m really happy for stability.  I want 2020 to be the year of stability!

goals achieved in 2019 and goals for 2020

2 Jan

-kept up on in-a-row runs

On January 2nd, I will have run at least 1 mile every day in a row for 6 years and 1 day!  2192 days in a row!  Go me.  At this point, this one would be harder to break than follow.  So it you’re dedicated, in-a-rows really do work.  Pick one habit that’s really important to you and try it.

 

-continued making a weekly menu, grocery list, and sticking to that at the store.  And shopping at Winco.

We stuck to this pretty well, and it worked.  We just have to continue maintaining it.

-Continued to put on makeup and fix my hair every day for work.  
I wore makeup every day.  And I fix my hair!
-Drink 12 cups of water a day.
This one varies depending where I am, what I’m doing, the temperature, etc…  I have mostly been very good about drinking water.
-went to the doctor.
Did it.  Will probably have to do it again soon.  Don’t enjoy it.  Mostly because I hate logistics and having my schedule messed up.  But I need to get my Rx renewed and also find a dermatologist.
-dentist twice a year.
fail.  I need to find a new dentist now that I have a real job with real insurance.  It’s on my calendar.

-Floss daily.

I flossed 197 days last year.  53.97% of the time.  That’s just about 3.5 days per week.  I mean, I’ll take it.  Tiredness is most certainly a factor.  But hopefully it’s a little better in 2020.  I will try to get it done earlier in the day this year–that might help.

-workout at least 5 days a week.
We worked out (above and beyond the mile) 165 days last year says my Daylio app.  That’s 45% of the time, which is a lot better than I thought!  We can (and will) do better, but I’ll take nearly half of the time.  It’s built into our work day schedule, but it gets a lot harder on holidays and sometimes weekend, or when it’s very cold or hot, or the afore-mentioned appointments.  I think once we get into the routine we’ll want to do it and it will be easy to keep up.
-cook at home and meal prep on weekends to make the week easier.
Mostly.  And it sure helps a lot.  We live cheaper and make better choices when the food is waiting for us.  As I was standing at work today, I decided I need to give us more credit for this one.  It’s a lifestyle change and it’s cool that we’ve managed it a lot of the time.  I keep food ideas on my Google calendar.  Then we make a menu or what we feel like, or what a holiday or event dictates.  Then break it down into ingredients.  And that becomes the shopping list.  Which I write in the order of the layout of the store we go to so it’s fast to grab things.  Then we 98% stick to the list at the store, only putting things in the cart that are on our list.  Then we do a cooking.  And put things into split tupperwares for every day at lunch (saves money, saves calories), and put the rest in bigger tupperwares to grab throughout the week.  It takes some time but I get hangry a lot and having things at the ready keeps my decisions cheaper and healthier.
-pay off the Visa. 
I submitted double the minimum every month, but there is still money on it.  Moving and unemployment made it a little crazier than I’d like.  But it’s a work in progress.  It wasn’t for lack of trying.
-read.
Failed.  I started off with very technical 800 page book, then slogged through it.  By the time I finished I was a little burned out.  Then, all the commuting ate up my time.  And changing jobs was a whole big thing.  Etc, etc…  This next year we’re going to ease back into it by reading at least 10 min a day because that’s just 1% of my waking hours so I don’t feel overwhelmed by that.

 

Ok, so all of that.  And in 2020:

 

Save money for a car before November.

Do that by eating out and ordering in less.  Get what we can from the dollar store.  Price compare between Amazon, Walmart, and Costco when getting non-grocery items.  Do bountiful baskets to eat more produce and save money.  Use less, waste less.

 

More time for creative endeavors.

Spend 1% of waking hours doing each thing.  We’re setting the interval timer app to do 4 times of 10 minutes.  Each 10 min segment works out to 0.9% of our waking hours.  So even though I get antsy and feel like I need to be doing something “important” it is so much easier to think of it as a small portion of my day.  Makes it more manageable.  I think as we get in the groove, we can add more activities or lengthen time spent, but one thing at a time.  I just want to make a habit of including creativity into every day.

 

I might add more goals later, depending on how the ones on this list go.  And I think I’m going to do the monthly evaluation blogs again, because those really helped me keep tabs and stay accountable.