Friday, February 26, 2010

Do you see it?

Can you tell how miserable I was this past summer and early fall, even before I realized it?

I think you can see it in the photos of me from back then. Maybe I only think this because everything tends to become clear when you look back on it. But maybe not. Do you see it? Do you see the stress? The anxiety? The confusion? The fear?

I do.

And here is a photo of me that was taken just a few weeks ago. Can you see the difference?

I can.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Girl Talk: ARG!

Okay, so nothing is really WRONG. In fact, you could say that my life is actually pretty wonderful right now. But Girl Talk Thursday wants a list of the things that are pissing me off so I'm going to oblige. I don't make the rules!

Personal space violations. See this two foot zone encircling me? This is MY dance space.

Yesterday's in-class group project. Me: So with this patient I think we should start by screening her for depression since she has all these red flags and then maybe do a dementia workup if it's indicated and also assess her functional level. What do you guys think? Everyone else: *crickets*

People who don't recycle because "one person can't make a difference so it doesn't matter." I take similar issue with people who don't vote for that reason.

The fact that I was tossing and turning last night because, arg, BECAUSE I was having dreams that I was trying to sleep but kept having nightmares.

When people say that The Office has gotten lame and boring now that Jim and Pam are together and all happily in love. DUDE. Them two, like, gave me hope when I was looking at a tattered and bleak world. Maybe someday, I thought, someday someone will love me as much as Jim loves Pam?

People who use mouthwash instead of brushing their teeth. Not the same.

People who base their opinions about vaccines on television, blogs, web sites with an agenda, and rumors. If you're really concerned about something and want to make an informed decision, maybe take a look at the scientific research for yourself? Crazy, I know!

Indirectness. I WILL NOT PICK UP ON YOUR SUBTLETY. It is completely lost on me.


People who walk all over other people.

When people text at the movies. If you sit down in front of me, keep your phone in your pocket. Or else.

Everyone at the airport. OMG. Is it just that the airport brings out the worst in people or do I just hate everyone? Because I hate everyone at the airport. EVERYONE.

Public transportation delays, fee increases, and route changes.

When I feel all sad and weepy but can't figure out why so I overanalyze my life and my recent interactions. And then I still can't come up with why I feel so upset and then it dawns on me: hormones! Just like last month!

The fact that Victoria's Secret and Macy's have both discontinued the undies I liked.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Can you put pillows in the washing machine?

Yesterday I decided to go through my bathroom and get rid of the less spa-like items and excess clutter, so I started filling a bag to go to the Salvation Army. But then the bag looked kind of empty with just a few candleholders and my old shower caddy inside it and then Temerity Jane told me to be a lot more heavyhanded than I was prepared.

Well OKAY! Time to get serious. So I took a good look around my apartment and weeded out some more stuff-- that pile of sweaters that I had stacked in a cupboard as a kind of "I never wear these, let's see if I miss them" test and two or three flat irons that I don't use because my new one is vastly superior but that I was keeping "just in case." And then I came across my old pillows. I had bought new pillows months ago (during bedroom zen) and just sort of shoved the old ones into the crevice between the wall and the dryer. I didn't know if the Salvation Army would accept pillows and I couldn't seem to find the answer online but it felt wrong to just toss them down the garbage chute when really they were perfectly fine pillows, aside from the dryer side/wall dust.

So I decided to wash them. But I wasn't sure if you could put pillows in the washing machine. So I typed "Can you put pillows in the washing machine?" into Google and maybe I should have looked beyond the first page of hits but everything that came up seemed to indicate that you could... so into the washer they went.

Ten minutes later my laundry nook and kitchen/hallway were a quarter inch deep in water.

"GAH!" I shreiked. I stopped the washer, yanked out the pillows, drippily carried them into the bathroom and flung them in the general direction of the bathtub. I gathered up all of my towels and mopped up the puddles.

So then I washed the pillows in the bathtub which is probably what I should have done in the first place. And then I, uh, threw all the wet towels back into the (half full of dingy water) washing machine and crossed my fingers. (<--- see also: she who does not learn a lesson). It ended up fine, though. The end result was achieved in that the pillows became clean and the washer did not leak again.

But I am still unclear: can you put pillows in the washing machine?
Another way to phrase this might be: why the hell did my washer piddle all over my floor when I put pillows in it but seems to be working fine now?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Wanted: Nonscary Oil Incense Burner.

As a part of my make-my-bathroom-more-like-a-spa project, I went out in search of an oil incense burner. If you were to ask me why I favor oil incense, I would tell you that it is by process of elimination--

I like scented candles but I don't like how they burn unevenly. I don't like that sometimes the plate or saucer is insufficient and the wax drips out everywhere. But I also don't like the ones that come in more cup-like holders because then they burn down and you're still left with an uneven lump of wax that you either just plop a new candle on top of or scrape out of the holder with a knife and a whole lot of swearing. So, no candles.

I like the idea of regular incense in either cones or sticks, but I do have a bit of a sensitive allergic nose and the smoke from those both tend to bother me. Also, I can't deal with the cleanup of the PILES AND PILES OF INCENSE POWDER that they leave behind.

I also don't want to use some air freshener fan or that weird thing that shoots a puff of good smell into the air whenever it feels like it. Those seem somehow more chemically to me than burning oil. And also not as pretty.

Okay, do we all follow my logic for oil incense? Moving on. I decided that my old burner wasn't sufficiently zen for my spa-like bathroom. So I went looking for a new one.

And I found it nearly impossible to find an oil incense burner that wasn't shaped like some kind of howling creature.

Behold, this.

And this.

And this.

And these guys.

Maybe other people don't have the same problem with this that I do, but when I look at those I can instantly hear them crying "AWOOOOOOOO AAAAHHHHHH OOOOOOOOOO" in my head and that does not seem to be very zen at all.

So I didn't realize I was going to have to make this stipulation but here goes: I am looking for a new oil incense burner that DOES NOT RESEMBLE A BELLOWING MONSTER.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bathroom: Before

I know I haven't mentioned my zen organizing project in awhile and truthfully it's because I was backsliding a little bit. I was starting feel like I might not be able to get my WHOLE apartment zenned. Even after tackling the big projects like my bedroom and living room, I began wondering if it would really be so bad to just halfheartedly shove the rest of my crap into various drawers and slam them shut?

With a sigh and a groan, I opened the book. And the author, SHE KNEW! Regina Leeds already knew how I was feeling! She's all, Hey now. How ya hanging in there? Starting to feel tired of this? Are you thinking that maybe other people can zen their lives and homes but it's a bit too much for you since you are so busy/overworked/stressed out? Are you wondering what you were thinking, taking on a big organization project when you're already pressed for time and energy? Well. Um. Yeah. HOW DID YOU KNOW THAT??

The book knew what I was thinking because apparently that's what people do-- we "sing the same song" (as she put it) over and over again. We fall back on our reasons for not being organized in the first place. I don't have time... I'm just not an organized person... I'm stuck with this or that situation... I can't make cleaning my first priority... and so on.

What really needs to change, according to the book, is my "song." Well fine then.

I can get organized. I want my apartment to be a place of comfort and energy. Relaxation. Replenishment. Contentment. Space. ZEN. My home is where I spend the most time, and I will make it a sanctuary.

This month, the goal is to make my bathroom like a spa. It's current condition is, well, not quite spa-like....

Here's the counter.

And the human (and feline) necessity region.

The shower with that irritating organizer that always falls forward and scares the hell out of me.

And the storage shelf.

Sigh. Groan.

I can get organized. I want my living space to be aesthetically pleasing and full of positive energy. I will make my bathroom into spa-like oasis. ZEN.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Worst Game Ever

This past weekend (SSTOA FTW!), Jenny introduced me to a horrible, horrible game that she apparently likes to play with her sister. It's a version of "Would You Rather...?" with an awful twist. She bombarded me with questions like:

"Would you rather make out with this weirdo from our elementary school class or that weirdo from our elementary school class?

"Would you rather sleep with this creepy dive bar dude or that creepy dive bar dude?

"Would you rather be married to your crazy sociopath ex or my crazy sociopath ex?"

Oh my God. THESE ARE QUESTIONS I NEVER WANT TO HAVE TO ANSWER. Because, neither! NEITHER! NONE OF THE ABOVE! But you have to pick. She MAKES you. So it's just the worst game ever. The questions are horrible. The answers are horrible. The justifications to the answers are horrible (Um. I guess your (Jenny's) crazy sociopath ex? Because he's not as likely to become a murderer?). But the game, it is somehow addicting.

Friday, February 19, 2010

SSTOA- In Summary

One of my favorite photos from the Super Secret Trip of Awesome:

Yeah. I'd say that about sums it up.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Girl Talk: Going for Gold

This week's Girl Talk is about the Olympics! Can I take a moment to tell you how much I love the Olympics? Well, I LOVE THE OLYMPICS! Especially the Winter Olympics. Especially the skeleton. And the speed skating. And that biathlon where they ski and then shoot a gun. And and and!

Okay, okay. I'm supposed to come up with events in which I would be the Olympic Champion. I had trouble thinking of them. I'm quite the hula hooper, but there are undoubtedly people out there who are far more skilled at that. I can hold my breath for a long time, but there's, like, a profession of people who do that. I prefer HOT things and can touch scalding objects longer than most people, but I'm sure the dudes who walk on coals would have me beat there.

I did manage to come up with a few categories in which I would certainly take home the gold:

I can't lie, people. Seriously. Even if I'm trying to just tell part of the story and leave out one little detail my brain will go "WAIT! You're leaving something out!" and I'll have trouble NOT saying it. This is one reason my stories tend to go on and on-- I feel like I have to give you ALL the information, not just the important points. I can guarantee that I'm a worse liar than you, so hello gold medal in honesty for Julesy!

Memorizing Song Lyrics
I can't seem to remember useful information that I might need at school or clinical, but the random song lyrics category is ALL MINE. As long as I'm only graded on accuracy and enthusiasm (and not pitch or tone or key or any other words that mean "good at singing"), I'd kick everybody's booty at this one.

Most Ridiculous October and November 2009
Oh, I definitely win, suckas.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

SSTOA- Douchebags

Okay, I think I'm ready to talk about the major high(low?)light of the Super Secret Trip of Awesome. I am speaking, obviously, of the douchebags. Not to toot my own horn here, but I feel I have some expertise in this particular arena.

Did you know that the Jersey Shore apparently has a satellite location, right under our noses here in the great state of California? Well, NEITHER DID I. But take a look at the evidence:

(All photos swooped from the lovely Miss JennyGrace)

Yeah. Tip of the iceberg, people. Anyhow, once we ladies got on board with the idea that our trip was going to be saturated with douchebags, we decided to sit back and enjoy it. And, hey! On the bright side, we thought, douchebags have such inflated senses of self esteem that they are essentially harmless! I could make accidental eye contact with one, for example, and not worry that he would come over to hit on me because he had such a massive ego that he assumed I would come talk to him. See? Here they are, swarmed behind Biddy and Holly, but not actually approaching a tableful of girls.

So! We decided that douchebags, while obnoxious, are fairly harmless if you don't actually want to sleep with any of them.

Oh, but how wrong we were.

On our second night in Pacific Beach, we put on our dancing shoes and headed out to a local bar. We stationed ourselves at a table near the entrance where we could openly gawk at and judge everyone who walked by. I never said we were nice people. Ahem.
 So we enjoyed our drinks for awhile and giggled at the ridiculousness of the scenario. And at one point I said, "Okay I think we should have a contest-- who can find the BIGGEST DOUCHEBAG OF THEM ALL?"
And Holly looked up from her drink (rum, of course, why do you ask?). "Uh," she said, wide eyed, "I think I found it."
We all followed her gaze and lo. There he was: Polo shirt with a popped collar. Wristband. Trucker hat. Sunglasses. Plaid shorts. Flip flops.
"Yep." I said, "YOU WIN." And we all had a good laugh over it.

Later, when he and his posse were leaving the bar. Biddy aimed her camera at them, trying to capture the doucheyest of douches and THEN IT HAPPENED. Another douchebag, attracted by the flash, galloped over to our table and lunged at each of us in turn. We were in disbelief, taking photos to capture the moment. And this, of course, did nothing but spur him on. He yanked at Jenny's top. He thrust himself at Holly. He flailed his arms around at Undercovermama. He grabbed my face and then danced with my purse. Douchebags, we have learned, are ANYTHING BUT HARMLESS.

And then another one helped himself to a seat at our table and proceeded to tell us, uh, the meaning of life?

And they just. kept. coming. I don't know if any of us were prepared to be touched without permission so many times. So. San Diego. Full of douchebags who are not necessarily harmless. Now you know.

29. try oysters

As of Sunday, I am able to cross off an item from my Life List. We went out for sushi and the restaurant had an oyster appetizer. So I went for it.

Cautiously, at first.

And then I manned up.

This is a small accomplishment, but a notable one I think. When I was a kid I was an extremely picky eater and my mom used to tell me I should be more adventuresome (the word she always used). And while growing up I've definitely noticed my tastes evolving. I still have to nudge myself to order something different at a restaurant if I know they have one particular thing that I really like, but I'm learning to explore lots of new flavors. Including this one: rubbery, but delicious. As you can see in the first pic, these oysters were prepared with fancy sauce and garnishments (including roe which always kind of freaks me out because OMG fish eggs are popping in my mouth). But it was definitely yummy, in a salty-slimy kind of way.

I had no trouble at all coming up with the 111 items on my list and even actually had to HOLD MYSELF BACK because I had to stop somewhere and just post it already. So I'm very excited to start checking things off and adding more!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

SSTOA- Drinkies and Bad Reality TV

I guess I'll start at the beginning?

I arrived at the super secret destination of Sunny San Diego on Friday afternoon. I met up with Jenny and Holly at the airport Chili's, where they were on their second drinks. We said our hello(!!!!!)s and Jenny prompted me to order a drink. So I turned to the waiter and asked for a Lava Flow, which is a drink that is real and exists and I have ordered at other Chili's Restaurants but then he just stared at me blankly. So I asked again, "Could I have a lava flow?"
He blinked, "Well I mean.... if we have the ingredients."
"Uh. Okay." I said,  "Rum? Do you have rum?" I asked.
And then he JUST KEPT STARING AT ME. Until he turned and left, presumably to find out if they did have all the ingredients to make a Lava Flow. And can we take a step back here for a moment and all agree that this is a condition when you order ANYTHING AT ALL? That you'd like to have this particular drink or food item, but only if they have the ingredients to make it??

Anyhow. Biddy arrived and we piled into a cab and headed for the beach. Where we, uh. Hung out in the condo, drinking heavily and watching bad reality TV. And then we went out! To an authentic Mexican restaurant which was not really authentic and then to a dive bar called Dive Bar which was not really a dive bar. And there were many, many douchebags. And then it was back to the condo for more drinkies and more bad reality TV.

Saturday involved wandering on the beach, hanging out in the condo, more bad reality TV, and of course MORE DRINKIES. Oh, and Undercovermama came to join in on teh crazy. We decided to go get our nails did. The first place we stopped had a baffling list of services that included "Virgin Tin Ladies" and "Virgin Tin Gentlemen" and "Rolla Set." I was hoping that we could put all the strange sounding services into a hat and each pick one that we had to get but alas the shop couldn't take all of us. But we managed to find a second nail salon, this one with great mani-pedis and a, uh, well. I'm having a hard time coming up with the words to describe the owner lady. She was.... outspoken? Enthusiastic? Pushy? At any rate, she tried to get all of us to get various parts of our bodies waxed. For Jenny, Holly, and me, she recommended eyebrows. For Biddy, a Brazillian. And then it was back to the condo for more drinkies and more bad reality TV.

For our evening entertainment we went out to sushi and then to a bar/club that was AGAIN FULL OF DOUCHEBAGS. But this time we studied them, as anthropologists might.

And then it was back to the condo for bagels, a late night dip in the ocean, tipsy texting and... more drinkies and more bad reality TV.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Lunar New Year Dim Summary

This post showcases something that BARELY didn't make it on my Life List: eat dim sum in Chinatown. It only didn't make it onto the list because I did it on Saturday and therefore before the list came into existence. And I wasn't about to put it on the list just so I could cross it off. No faux Life List accomplishments for me, thank you!

Actually, one of the reasons I finally got off my tush and actually wrote the list is that I have recently been doing all kinds of awesome San Franciscoey things that should! have! been! on! my! list! Bike riding across the Golden Gate Bridge. Going to Alcatraz. Standing atop Twin Peaks. And so on.

Anywho, Saturday involved me eating dim sum for the first time in my life (How did I make it to 27 without knowing about the dumplings? HOW?) and wandering around Chinatown.


It was absolutely mobbed with people because of Lunar New Year (Did you know it's not just Chinese New Year-- the Koreans, Mongolians, etc celebrate it too? And did you know that there is a Cambodian New Year as well? (Yeah. I used to plan activities at a multicultural adult day health care center, so you best believe I was celebrating every damn holiday that existed (and even some that didn't (Pajama Party Day!)))). There was definitely a festive feeling in the air-- people hurried past one another buying orchids, eating treats, watching the kids on stage, getting into the huge line for the spin to win, haggling, chattering, laughing, and blowing bubbles.

And me? Well I managed to get my hands on mini custard pie so I worked on #5 (before it was #5).

Happy New Year! I was born in the year of the dog, what about you?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Life Scavenger Hunt

  1. drink a dirty martini
  2. finish my zen organizing project
  3. learn to knit and/or crochet lovely things
  4. milk a cow
  5. find the perfect custard pie
  6. build a doll house
  7. learn the constellations
  8. recreate my grandmother's fudge recipe
  9. ride a unicycle
  10. publish a poem
  11. skinny dip somewhere tropical
  12. visit all 50 states
  13. learn to use a sewing machine
  14. give someone something I love because I know they'll love it more
  15. go backpacking
  16. see the glaciers
  17. learn glassblowing
  18. picnic in the park
  19. find out my blood type
  20. have and decorate my first Christmas tree
  21. enlarge and hang up my pretty Australia photos
  22. catch and cook a fish
  23. make my mom's strawberry preserves
  24. see the aurora borealis
  25. do volunteer work after a disaster
  26. jump off a very high rock into water
  27. make pickles
  28. travel through Europe
  29. try oysters
  30. spend an entire day in bed without being sick or feeling guilty
  31. climb a very tall tree
  32. pick a pineapple
  33. eat at a fancy restaurant without worrying about the price
  34. take the road to Hana
  35. sing a karaoke song by myself
  36. buy something from a street vending machine in Japan
  37. see the Nile
  38. do a race of some kind (5k, triathlon, ?)
  39. fire a gun
  40. have a romantic champagne toast
  41. learn sign language
  42. win the lottery (any amount)
  43. refinish my grandmother's cedar chest
  44. go to a drive in movie
  45. complete a 5000 piece puzzle
  46. have a trellis with climbing flowers
  47. double dutch jump rope
  48. host a fondue party
  49. learn my family history and make some kind of heirloom craft of it
  50. read all the Chronicles of Narnia books
  51. step onto the field at the LA Coliseum
  52. befriend a wild animal
  53. jump through a waterfall
  54. confidently drive a stick shift car
  55. see an Olympic sporting event
  56. go on a boating trip around a cluster of islands
  57. see ancient ruins
  58. write a book
  59. see if I can still do a 1.5 somersault off the diving board
  60. improve my posture
  61. catch a firefly
  62. kiss underwater
  63. take an ostentatious car for a test drive
  64. go out of my way to do something nice for a stranger
  65. see a duck billed platypus
  66. learn very proper table manners
  67. go through a secret passageway
  68. take pictures of my dad surfing
  69. get henna painted in India
  70. learn to do a flip turn
  71. memorize the 12 days of Christmas
  72. follow a rainbow
  73. keep chickens and goats
  74. invent or discover or build or donate something and name it after myself
  75. make sure my nieces know basic self defense
  76. soar
  77. visit a brewery
  78. make a large donation to charity
  79. attempt to break a Guinness world record
  80. take a long road trip
  81. have a spa day
  82. meet a famous person I really like
  83. send my mother a card for no occasion
  84. go on a safari
  85. ride bareback through a meadow with flowers in my hair
  86. roast chestnuts in an open fire
  87. learn to make a really good bloody mary
  88. see a whale jump in the ocean
  89. surprise someone with a fun mini vacation
  90. go camping and sing all the campfire songs from my childhood
  91. see an endangered animal in the wild
  92. scuba dive a sunken ship
  93. kiss the Blarney Stone
  94. go to a big music festival
  95. host a costume party
  96. learn to french braid
  97. take salsa, swing, or ballroom dancing lessons
  98. have breakfast in bed on my birthday
  99. make snow cones out of snow
  100. watch the sunrise
  101. grow good things to eat in my very own garden
  102. hug a sad stranger
  103. attend a ball
  104. do a back flip on a trampoline
  105. learn to shuffle cards the fancy way
  106. stand on a cantering horse
  107. build a tree house
  108. float down a river
  109. make pots and bowls on a pottery wheel
  110. go on vacation with my whole family
  111. help a friend accomplish something from their own life list
This is my list, for now. I'm sure I will come up with more things that I want to do as I start crossing these ones off, so I'll be updating from time to time. Also, this list assumes that we already know that I have big aspirations like finish school, get married, have babies, find a job I really like, own my dream home, etc. That stuff is the cake and this list is the icing, if you will.

    Saturday, February 6, 2010

    Rather un-zen....

    Things are just a tad messier around here than they've been. I guess I'll be spending some time cleaning.


    But, well, I had a good time last night. You?

    Friday, February 5, 2010

    Any Leafy Green

    So I get this box of Farm Fresh Fruits and Veggies delivered to my door every other week. And I LOVE IT. It's like... a fun surprise, a grocery shopping trip, and a pat on the back for being healthful all wrapped up in one little package at my door.

    Apparently now is the season for leafy greens. I keep getting them. Remember when I asked you what the heck this was, and how to cook it? Even though not everyone agreed on what exactly it could be, most of you said "saute that thang, sucka." You seem to be presuming I know how to saute (sautee?).

    No matter, I'll just take a shot in the dark here. I now present to you, dear people of the world, my recipe for cooking Any Leafy Green, even if you aren't sure what it is. Prepare yourselves for sauteed (sauted?) awesomeness.

    Okay, here's whatcha do. First, ready your leafy green. Looks like I've got Bok Choy today (right?).

    Then, put your skillet on the stove and pour in some olive oil.

    Now toss in your Leafy Greens. And, like, stir them around or whatever. Next, add some real lemon juice.

    It's real lemon juice, see? Says so on the bottle.

    Put down your camera and close the bottle top and now put the lemon juice back in the fridge. Don't accidentally put your camera in the fridge-- you will feel like a breathtaking idiot. Ahem.

    Moving on.

    Stir your Leafy Greens around. And maybe put the lid on that pan and let the heat do the damn thang.

    Mmmm, sweaty.

    After a little while taste your Leafy Green to make sure it is done, then turn off the heat and, you know, nom it up!

    Wednesday, February 3, 2010


    In the past, oh, hour or so I have become completely obsessed with the idea of getting one of those mini laptops.

    I guess it all started earlier today, when I started feeling more and more like I should go to Blogher this year. I had a nebulous idea about it this morning and then by this afternoon I had essentially decided to go. My main reasons for thinking I was not going were (1) money and (2) what if I'm doing something else then? But then I realized that the solutions seem to be (1) credit card and budgeting blah blah and (2) plan to go to Blogher because then that will be the thing that I'm doing then.

    And then I realized that if I go to Blogher, I'm going to want to bring my laptop, and wouldn't it be great if I had a MINI laptop to bring? (Yes).

    And then Miss Grace told me that they have them at Costco for $notcheapbutreallynotALLthatmuch. What I really want is a give a laptop get a laptop laptop but I don't think they are running the GET part of that deal anymore and it is probably selfish of me but I'd really like to get one if I'm donating two hundred bones (especially since that used to be part of their dealie).

    Apparently I've also been nominated by Holly and Miss Grace to bring my "lappy" next weekend. Lappy! I love that Holly calls it a lappy. A LAPPY! If I had a mini laptop, I would certainly call it a lappy. Okay, so here we go. Top Ten Reasons why Superjules Needs a Mini Laptop:
    1. I could call it a LAPPY
    2. Cuteness
    3. Purse fittage
    4. Ease on planes
    5. I would bring it to class, no really I would
    6. uh...
    7. It's cheaper than a regular laptop and mine is almost two years old
    8. Lightweightness
    9. Blogher and other bloggy conference needs
    10. LAPPY!

    Tuesday, February 2, 2010

    butter me up

    There is no butter in my fridge. And I have recently been to the market. What started off as a moment of forgetfullness has blossomed into a calculated maneuver. I'm going butterless.

    If you are thinking that this is some sort of high and mighty oh-look-at-me-and-my-fancy-health-consciousness then let me introduce you to the package of Oreos in my kitchen cabinet. I may or may not have eaten six two just now.

    No, this is an experiment. I want to see what life is like when butter isn't a choice. Because truth be told sauteeing vegetables in olive oil is fine but man oh man there is nothing like slathering a fat hunk of butter onto a piece of white toast. Or white rice. Or plain noodles. Apparently "putting butter on stuff" is actually my code for "eating processed food." And while I'm not making a pledge here to cut out all things processed (Oreos!), I am taking a small, cautious step away from them. Hold me.

    Monday, February 1, 2010

    Home Office/Living Room ZEN

    Well it took me long enough- longer than the specifically allotted month as determined by the book- but I think I have done it. I have zenned my home office/living room. This was probably my biggest organizational challenge thus far and I kept trying to get out of it. "That bag by the table can just stay there, since it's not visible from the rest of the room," I'd think to myself. And then I would have to remember: NO, there are NO EXCEPTIONS TO ZEN. So I zenned the sh*t out of that room. Check this biatch out:

    Before, my "home office" area-- aka, my kitchen table that I use as a desk and the bookshelf behind it.


    I sorted and cleared off the desk. I got rid of a bunch of excess paperwork and books from the bookshelf. I bought those little grey filing boxes from Target for all my filing needs. Actually, I went back and bought a third for the eventuality that all my filing doesn't fit in two boxes and then I'll have to buy a new one and what if Target doesn't carry them anymore and I'll have to buy one that doesn't match? Oh, and you can't see it, but I got rid of a bag of random crap from behind the table in that little nook. I am telling you this because there are NO EXCEPTIONS TO ZEN.

    Before, the center of the living room. Cluttered with stuff I had tossed there whilst organizing other rooms.

    I don't know why this pic is looking so weird and elongated.



    First, let me call your attention to the dvd player and TV wires that are strung across the front of the armoire in the before photo-- this was something that had previously bugged me, but not enough to do something about it. And then, in my fit of cleaning like a madwoman, I took about six minutes to reroute the wires through the back of the armoire and now it makes me incredibly happy to look over there and see NO WIRES. So when you come over be sure to point that out, okay? Okay, moving on. The mini dresser, little coffee table (covered with a plaid blanket in the before pic), and my old suitcase all went to the Goodwill. The cedar chest was moved into my bedroom, to the foot of my bed (sidenote: this move satisfied a crazy mental itch of mine-- it felt very un-zen to have my clothes in my closet, bedroom, AND living room). I bought that new coffee table ($39 from the Salvation Army) and moved it into the house with the help of a big, strong gentleman. And I put plants on it! Plants! That's some serious zen ish, jigga!

    Before, the couchal region.


    And after.

    So this area mostly involved putting my clothes away. But I also finally hung up my Labyrinth poster, after having lived in this apartment for over a year.

    So, what do we think? Am I zen or what?