In Celebration of 500 Followers…A Happy Dance!

Some of you have known me to be a performer of thank you happy dances on this blog.

There was the very first happy dance, which I definitely feel is one of the most embarrassing videos I’ve ever posted. In this happy dance, I channeled some sort of globe-loving Vanna White character. It was odd, but you all continued to like me despite the weirdness at play.

Next there was the second happy dance, when I reached 100 followers and went all out with “The Artist” inspired rendition. I began to discover a strange love for video editing around this time, so it’s pretty fancy. This was also Hazel the cat’s first video appearance. I know, I know…she totally steals the show.

It’s been a while, almost two years, since I’ve done such a goofy thing. While I was moving across the country a few weeks ago, something truly awesome happened.

I reached 500 followers on my teeny blog!!!

I wanted to thank you all properly for your incredible support and encouragement. Blogging isn’t an easy thing to keep up with, but you all keep me going with your fun-loving selves.

Every day I have the privilege of connecting with beautiful people from all over the world. This community that we share continues to astound me with its loveliness. I’m so happy to be a part of it.

Again, thank you so much! Here’s my gift to you…

 

I’d Much Rather Play Make-Believe

reflection in the city

I never stopped playing make-believe. And, I think it’s safe to say that at this point in adulthood, I will never stop.

Hell, when I put clothes on each day…it’s still very much like playing dress-up.

Last night I stayed up late, past midnight in my old age, and actually finished an entire movie without passing out in my chair. Wild night, let me tell ya!

I’m a bit late with catching this flick, but I watched “Stuck in Love” with Greg Kinnear (love him!) and Jennifer Connelly (love, love her!) from 2012. It’s one of those indie romantic comedy/drama films, the kind that are often very hit or miss for me.

This one was not a miss.

In fact, I haven’t bawled that much over a movie since the time I made the dreadful mistake of watching “Atonement” alone at an early matinee showing at the theater. Without a tissue in sight, let’s just say I barreled out of there with my sunglasses on to hide my red, puffy, snotty face.

Okay, so back to “Stuck In Love”.

For readers and writers, it’s a goodie. A love of books and a struggle with the writing process are both a strong undercurrent throughout. Sure, it’s a touch unbelievable to have a family of writers — dad, daughter, son — who all miraculously get published.

But hey, that’s what make-believe is for.

Kinnear had a fantastic line, which he said during a speech with a knowing smirk.

“I’m not sure what it is that compels a person to play make-believe even when they’re an adult.”

I love that. We writers are the oldest children I know. We continually see the world as a playground, a colorful place to explore tirelessly.

I’ll never be the adult who has my shit together. I’d much rather play make-believe.

The Book Decor Workout

Kitchen with book decor

Last weekend I stumbled upon a new workout. It’s all the rage with the A-listers in Hollywood. (Not really.)

Here’s what you need to get sweatin’…

  • Tall ceilings with a daring, unreachable shelf.
  • Sturdy ladder that will keep you from eating shit.
  • Insanely heavy boxes of books (lots of them!)
  • Grippy shoes or bare feet, because socks on the kitchen counter are a safety no-no.
  • Stretchy pants that won’t split in the private area.
  • Balance, endurance, and a touch of insanity.

So, anyway.

We finally got around to some more unpacking after a two-week stalemate. Although our new Portland apartment and our old Milwaukee apartment are comparable in square footage, they are night and day in all other aspects.

Our 1930s gem we used to live in came with cute built-ins to solve all of our book storage woes. I showed them off last summer in the Show Us Your Shelves challenge that was going around the bloggerhood.

This sleek building we now inhabit is a different creature entirely.

Every bit of space counts when you’re living in modestly sized digs. Lining entire walls with bookshelves can destroy your chances of having anywhere to sit, eat, sleep, etc.. And while my books are the loves of my life, a little practical furniture goes a long way.

Luckily for us, we happen to have 12-foot ceilings and a solid shelf soaring into our kitchen heavens. Problem solved!

Side of the fridge…

books with guitar

Top of the fridge… (For funsies, I stacked a Hitler biography right above “Poems That Touch the Heart”.)

books above fridge

The very random corner nook with absolutely no rhyme or reason to the book placement…

corner bookshelf

The Yoga friends breathing deeply to remain calm hanging in their dangerous neighborhood…

yoga books

The Ken Follett region with my dad’s old guitar… (Fun fact, Ken plays the bass guitar in a blues band.)

ken follett books with guitar

And finally the glue holding this whole operation together, the champion coffee table books masquerading as a bookend…

coffee table bookend

It’s been a few days and even with my shoddy architectural design, we have not had any catastrophic domino effect. My comfy chair happens to be right below that cabinet cliff.

Just keep your fingers crossed for me.

When I woke up the next morning and, with the exception of my back and legs, had long forgotten the Book Decor Workout, I had a foolishly happy moment when I walked into the kitchen.

There were all of my friends. Perched high, their lives in peril but smiling back at me nonetheless.

Any of you book lovers can feel me on this. Until those book friends were freed from their boxy confines, I still wasn’t at home here.

It’s funny how many times we’ve moved and always looked accusingly at the books. The choice to give some up arises, and then we veto it and keep them all. Even the ones that were gifted and we still haven’t read. Even the ones that aren’t our faves.

Because the books make our home. Sure they’re heavy bastards, but they’re simply lovely.

Later that day I unpacked one of the last remaining boxes and guess what I freaking found? Ten more damn books.

Time to grab the ladder and get my book fitness on!

Have you ever tackled a home decor project that turned into a surprise butt-busting workout?

On a completely different note, I was absolutely tickled this weekend when my sweet friend Jessica from Notes of Nomads included one of my recent posts in her “5 Best Blog Posts of the Month” roundup. If you haven’t check it out yet, please be sure to take a looksy!

 

Home Is Where the Writing Is

Yes, those holes in the Yoga mat were caused by a no-good cat.

Yes, those holes in the Yoga mat were caused by a no-good cat.

Home Is Where the Writing Is.

Silly spin on a cheesy saying? Alright, maybe a little bit.

When I woke up today and looked at my tattered (fourth?, fifth?, sixth?) draft of The Bra Game, I didn’t feel overwhelmed. A goofy grin spread across my sheet-wrinkled face.

Since uprooting my life two weeks ago, writing has seemed like another planet to me. I thought I would be able to manhandle my creative drive and keep the momentum. But already I knew that I wasn’t the same gal I was before The Accidental Spirit Quest.

It’s not that I haven’t been inspired, it just seemed so impossible to become still enough to handle it. To give my writing the attention it deserved.

This week I began editing again. And, it feels really awesome.

The end of this crazy novel project I started a year and a half ago is in sight. Through a full-time job, a 200-hour Yoga teacher training, my mom’s breast cancer, and a cross-country move I am proud to say that I somehow persevered.

Writing was my constant through all of the change, as it always has been and always will be. 

I want to take a moment to thank the blogging/writing/reading community. After a few days of getting settled here, I hung out on my pretty new patio and opened my laptop with uncertainty.

Was my blog even still there?

Had it been hijacked or had it run away?

Or, did somebody finally realize all of the monumental gibberish I’ve been spouting in cyber public and hook my neck with a cane to yank me off the stage like a cartoon?

But, there sat my little blog. There you all were. Like a sweet place to come home to.

Getting back into the swing of things has been challenging. Thank you all for sticking it out with me.

I love the way we support each other, laugh our asses off, and share pieces of our lives. And to think…we are from all walks of life, from all corners of the map.

I mean, how cool is that?

This Place is “Hideous”

Vista House in the Columbia River Gorge

Vista House in the Columbia River Gorge (aka The Looker)

As soon as we passed the Oregon border after our three-day jaunt across the country, cats in tow, our jaws dropped open. The final hours of our drive were alarmingly beautiful.

We kept oohing and aahing over every damn thing.

  • Look at the colorful train across the amazing river! Wow!
  • Look at the incredible rams chillin’ on the hillside! Bitchin’!
  • Look at the snowy Cascades way the hell over there! Cool!
  • Look at how freaking gorgeous everything is! Neato!

So being the smart asses that we are, we said enough with all of the goofy, pretty talk. To change it up, we now joke about how ugly everything is.

(To avoid this sick humor being lost in translation, I will bold and italicize all sarcastic adjectives going forward.)

IMG_20140406_121444

Vista House Married Couple Selfies

Last Sunday we took a repellent scenic drive near the Columbia River with Multnomah Falls as the endpoint. The bridges were blah, the hills were drab, and there were revolting waterfalls everywhere.

And bonus, all of this vile nature is a short 30-minute drive from the city for us.

Eventually our road game shouting “Waterfall!” every time we spotted one fizzled out. After the tenth unsightly waterfall, we no longer acknowledged their sleazy presence.

They are disgusting after all.

You can easily spend an entire day on this offensive road, stopping at perverse waterfalls and hiking your ass off. Even though we were like kids in a candy shop, we reined in our enthusiasm and chose to stop at two.

As you can see here, the Latourell Falls are absolutely foul. But, I’m into those legs.

IMG_20140406_122610071

Mr. H’s Legs and Latourell Falls

Two adventurers were frolicking around the top of the yucky waterfall. They’re a little hard to see, but they’re up there being batshit crazy.

Hikers on top of Latourell Falls

Hikers on top of Latourell Falls

Being the party poopers we are, we stayed safely on dry land. We meandered along the homely road, passing one grody waterfall after another.

We arrived at Multnomah Falls and joined the masses to marvel at this nauseating sight.

Multnomah Falls

(I have no idea who this family is, but I thought they were as cute as can be.) Multnomah Falls

After we fetched our chai tea lattes and fresh chocolate fudge from the little hut in front of the falls, we hopped in the car and headed home.

Overall, our day was very plain and uninspiring.

And, while we’re at it…these two really gross me out!

Aphrodite and Hazel Doing Their Usual

Aphrodite and Hazel Doing Their Usual

 Your turn! What’s the most “hideous” place you’ve ever been to?