against the grain.

A few years ago, I posted about things that people seemed to love but that I didn’t like or that baffled me. I don’t think I ever posted a counter to that, which is the things I like that other people seem to hate. So, here are a few.

Food pictures on instagram. I actually really enjoy seeing people’s food photos. I like seeing the meals they’re preparing, I like seeing the food plated. Now what I DON’T like seeing is the finished plate. Dirty dishes are freaking disgusting to me, saliva is gross to me, so seeing someone’s fork with food smears still on it? Sick. Why would you post that? But show me a colorful salad, a pile of fries, a juicy burger, and we can be friends.

Baby pictures on facebook. YAY show me your cute little babies! Babies are adorable and cute and a nice way to start people. There are people out there who hate seeing babies, and I don’t get it. There’s just something about that sweet innocence that gives me so much hope and makes me happy.

Dubstep/EDM. Well, actually, I listen more to “chillstep” which is slower, more melodic, and less harsh. Examples would be Blackmill or Electus. I like the way it sucks me into a dream world. It stimulates my brain and inspires my writing like crazy. And I’ve always liked some form of electronic music. Techno. House music. Trance. This is just another form, but seriously, slow it down, add some female vocals, and my ears are happy!

That’s all I have the brain power for now. Sometimes my computer’s clock decides not to advance until I click on it, so I lose time. Tonight I lost 2.5 hours. It took me a minute to realize “oh hey, it’s been 11:54pm for a long time now!” So I’m sleepy. Good night!

this week.

Seven years ago today I moved to this city which I both love and hate. #Chicago

This past Tuesday, St. Patrick’s Day, marked my seven year anniversary of living in Chicago. Adam, my friend Andy, and I packed trucks and my car, and the three of us, plus little Lucy, took the six hour trek to the Windy City. I was excited and looking forward to a new life with Adam. I didn’t anticipate the depression and anxiety that would overcome me once I settled in. It was quite the adjustment and I still often feel out of sorts. But there are some things that are so cool about living here:

1. Being able to do the majority of my working from home.
2. Finding a yoga community that I love.
3. All the authors I get to meet.
4. All the cool people I’ve met.
5. Being able to work on TV and movie sets.

It was an OK week. There was freelance work, meetings, yoga, A Different World on Netflix, Insurgent 3D (#hotmess), and movie theater food! See, I don’t go to the movies often, so if I am hungry when I go, I like to splurge on concessions. I had a hot dog, nachos, and Reese’s Pieces, which I am still working on actually. Makes it more special. I missed the Insurgent swag, but after seeing the movie, I’m kind of OK with that. It was OK, but I enjoyed in like how I enjoyed Twilight. Meaning I laughed for two hours at stuff that wasn’t meant to be funny, etc. etc. Good times. Daniel Dae Kim + Theo James on a big ass screen in 3D though was almost too much for me to handle. I’m pretty much over that silly crush I had on Theo, but I’ll never stop thinking he’s gorgeous, even with his stupid beard.


Waiting for #Insurgent3D. Rocking these Real3D glasses like a boss. ???? ????????

A photo posted by Ronni (@lilrongal) on


this was me waiting on the movie.

I’ve already surpassed my goal of seeing three movies in a theater this year! I saw Mockingjay Part 1 in January, The Duff in February, and Cinderella and Insurgent this month. I may go see Home at some point (a movie with a cute black girl with naturally curly hair as the lead? yes please!), and then there’s nothing that interests me really until November, when Mockingjay Part 2 comes out. I’m just not into the Avengers stuff like everyone else is. I love the movie scores, though, so there is that. I used to be into the Batman movies, but now that they’re rebooting AGAIN, man, I’m just tired!

I’m already halfway through my 2015 Reading Challenge goal, so I probably need to make it higher. Right now I am reading BURNING KINGDOMS by Lauren DeStefano, who has a really great Twitter feed.

I totally was expecting Saturday to be exhausting and overwhelming and it totally wasn’t. Maybe because I got an OK night’s sleep, and I drank a Blue Edition Red Bull. But I had to get up at 7:15am, which is just cruel for a Saturday (unless I’m at Disney World) to head to The Dailey Method for kid room duty.

I am supposed to report to duty at 8am to give moms time to arrive, and I like to use that time to you know, suck down the Red Bull and eat a Luna Bar. This morning when I arrived, the cutest baby was already there, sitting in a bouncy chair and drinking a bottle. I was a bit taken back and surprised someone just plopped the baby there. And he was happy as can be, kicking his little feet and sucking down the formula. Turns out he was the son of one of the teachers there, and turns out that he was probably my favorite of the day.

I spent four hours in the kid room today and it was truly enjoyable. All the kids were good and they listened well, and even though there were diapers, so many poopy diapers, and they made huge messes, it was still fun. And Cole, my buddy who’d been plopped earlier that day, was just the perfect baby size. Squishy but solid, adorable little face. It was too much! I didn’t want his mommy to take him home!

After that, I came home, had lunch, then headed over to Meksha for a workshop with Seane Corn. It was the third time I got to do a workshop with her and it was incredible. Seane is the real deal. She’s so frank and so out there with everything. And I love it. She’s a great speaker, and the practice today was perfect. Just the right amount of challenge and restoration.

The amazing #seanecorn and dorky me. #mokshayogachicago #flowandglow @mokshayogachicago
me and seane corn. i look like i am trying to eat her.

Seane Corn and Me
when i first met her five years ago

I ran into some friends there who I hadn’t seen in a while, some in years. That was soooo nice! I am kind of a loner, but getting love and light from people is so so so good.

So happy to see this cutie!!! @cassyoga ???????????? #flowandglow @mokshayogachicago #mokshayogachicago
me and cassandra. i met her at my VERY FIRST yoga class at moksha nearly five years ago!

I’m easing back into my yoga practice and it feels really good. It’s also brings up a lot of crap again, and that whole feeling of not knowing where I fit keeps coming back. All the worlds I am in are so different. They overlap in some ways but not at all in some others. I go to Moksha and everyone is eating healthy, raw, organic this or that. I go on set and people have no problems scarfing down the Cheetos. I go days where I feel guilty as hell for eating meat, and other days where I’m like “Screw it, I want a corn dog and I’m going to have one and enjoy it dammit.” And frankly, I LIKE steak and I like corn dogs, and I like bacon. I hate feeling guilty about the things I eat. Talk about being privileged, being able to have those sorts of feelings about food, right? I can’t remember a time that eating was something I could do without a lot of issues coming along with it. It gets confusing and scary and it’s often easier to avoid eating altogether until I can’t stand it and have to get something in my stomach.

Plus, eating healthy is HARD when Doritos and Reese’s Pieces taste SO GOOD. But I need more veggies in my life so I must work on getting more. Especially spinach. Green beans. Mmm spinach and green beans. I seriously go weeks without eating vegetables. That’s NOT GOOD at all.

And ugh, I already have new split ends. I might need to accept the fact that super long hair won’t ever be a reality for me unless I buy it and have it installed. :(

Maybe eating more spinach will help my hair grow. The biotin is working magic on my nails, which don’t even need it, but my hair. Please grow and stop splitting and breaking hair! Argh.

I got up at 7:15am. It is now 4:30am and I haven’t been to sleep yet. Either that Red Bull is potent as hell, or I’m just…still wired from the yoga workshop.

I should wrap this up now. I’m just babbling. OK then. Till next time….

drifting.

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Daylight Savings Time started on March 8, and I feel like I’ve been knocked off orbit and have been kind of floundering ever since. Didn’t really help that the weather did a drastic about face (not that I’m complaining but it did add to the general sense of WTF) and my cycle was on its way. Plus, it was a year ago I went to Los Angeles for the Divergent screening, so sure I was going to meet my favorite actor, and that didn’t even happen. And I know someone who will probably get to meet him tonight and it’s driving me crazy. What do you call that feeling when you’re happy and excited for your friend while also being insanely and arm-bitingly jealous? That’s me right now.

I finished watching Dance Academy and why did no one tell me that when you binge watch a show and that show ends that you feel out of sorts and a bit lost? I’ve also decided to put my novel away for a least a month, let it *marinate* so to speak, so I can revise it with fresh eyes. Believe me, it needs some revising. But I’m not quite sure WHAT to revise, hence the *marination situation*. God, I want that book contract so bad I can taste it. I want my name on that NYT list so bad it hurts. I’m just glad I’m finally DOING something about it, although this *marinating* thing involves waiting and I talked about how I feel about that in my last entry.

My sleep pattern is all weird, and my dreams have been technicolor vivid and some of them have been disturbing. So many people from my past knocking on my sub-conscious and I don’t know why.

I just read this article on Mind, Body, Green about soul loss. I feel 13/20 of these things. I know I’m going through some stuff, but it doesn’t seem much to warrant sounding a huge alarm about. But who knows.

The change in weather has been a good thing, though. It’s like, I finally see a light at the end of the tunnel. We had a lovely weekend, and although it’s getting cold again, it’s not freezing and the sun is out. Snow is just about gone. My car started right up. I just need to get her tire fixed so I can drive to my late yoga classes again. All the restorative classes end after it gets dark. I wish I was more intelligent when it comes to car stuff.

I started barre classes and yoga again, and I even made my way to Joffrey Academy for a ballet class (which my hamstrings and calves are having angry words with me about at this very moment). I stopped by the salon around the corner and got a deep conditioner, a blow out, and a trim. Only losing 1.5 inches considering I hadn’t had a trim since 2009 isn’t too bad, right? Now my hair feels like silk and looks like this:

Hair. #treatyoself #blowout #naturalhair #spring #selfie
i can’t stop touching it

I don’t know about you, but I hate getting my hair trimmed. I sit there in the chair internally screaming “PUT THE SCISSORS AWAY. PUT THEM DOWN GET RID OF THEM OMG NO NO NO STOP!” Even though I’m the one who gave permission for the trim. Even though I know it’ll be better for my hair in the long run. It still sucks because any length I get is so hard won, and I so desperately want to have long hair. People say “it’s only hair” but those are usually the people whose hair grows a foot every six months. My hair? It grows slowly, slowly, slowly, and has a tendency to break right off once it gets to a certain length. There are people whose hair can grow to their butts. Several times. I have NEVER had hair come CLOSE. And anytime it gets cut, I always worry that it’s just not going to come back. Now my nails? They grow like gangbusters. I don’t get it.


hair goals, except in my own color
mine is not that thick, so it won’t happen
but i’d like the length

I tried some new nail thing at the end of January and it damaged the hell out of them. I didn’t realize it was some form of acrylic nail. They led me to believe it was a gel polish. I don’t need acrylic or fake nails. I have great nails. But now they’re half healthy and half damaged and fragile; there is a clear line on my nails where that crap was. In this instance, I’m glad my nails grow fast. They should be back to normal by summer.

Anyway.

I think I’m stressing because I don’t feel *settled*. I’m not sure if that’s the right word. March 17 marks my 7-year anniversary of living in Chicago, and all I could think the past few months was how much I want to leave Chicago and go live somewhere new. But now that the temperatures are warming up, I think that feeling will fade away for a while, at least until January 2016!

Plus the thought of packing everything and moving is extremely overwhelming and makes me want to hide under a blanket and sleep for a really long time.

But it’s not just where I live. It’s everything. I had no idea that for some of us, being an adult meant that WE’D STILL HAVE NO IDEA. Or maybe it’s just me? Almost everyone else I know seems to have it together, or at least fakes it enough. I still don’t feel like a grown-up inside. I don’t think I *want* to feel like one inside.

Frankly, this turning 40 stuff is really messing with my mind. I’ve had nearly three months to get used to it and I AM SO TOTALLY NOT GETTING USED TO IT. I check around my eyes for lines constantly. I keep finding grey hairs. I’m physically changing in ways that I don’t even know. I used to say I’d grow old gracefully but um, I don’t know about that now. Youth is worshipped in this country, and although I can pass, inside I feel kind of like a fake. So there’s that. Feeling like an imposter grown up and also an imposter young person.

Blah. It’s the same song, right? People really don’t change, do they? I swear I’ve been dealing with these same issues for ages. Like, this entry, from year and a month ago to the day. Same lamenting. Same reflection. Same same same. Where does someone like me even fit?

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wistful.

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I want adventure in the great, wide somewhere. I want it more than I can tell….

I know it’s only the end of February, and December wasn’t even all that bad and neither was January for that matter, but I’m ready for winter to be over. I feel like there is so much I want to do, but winter just drags on and traps me inside.

I know, intellectually, that this is not true. Adam will take me just about anywhere I want to go. He’ll even give me door-to-door service whenever possible. (My car is currently out of commission again, having a flat tire and probably another dead battery thanks to Arctic temperatures-it is currently 3F, windchill is -13F). But I miss feeling free to go anywhere without feeling miserable and like the wind is stabbing my face, or like I’m going to slip, fall, and bust my butt on the slick snowdrifts. Don’t get me started on the frozen dog turds everywhere. Gross.

Winter boo face ????????#selfie #winter #Chicago #cold
when i had to wait for a bus in really cold weather
because it was too cold to dig the car out! ugh!

I just want it to warm up so I don’t feel a bite in the air anymore. I miss mild temperatures, the breeze feeling like a warm caress on my skin. Now it feels like an all-out attack and I just want to yell “Hey, what did I ever do to deserve that? Huh?”

It would be so easy if I could be like the other people who live here. They are all resigned to it. Some people (like my HUSBAND) actually love it. To the point where they wear jackets in 15F weather that aren’t even zipped. They just go about their day, not making ugly faces like I do, and digging out their cars and putting the dibs down, and waiting at cold bus stops and train stops and living their lives and not letting it cripple them like I let it cripple me. Doesn’t the wind feel like knives all over their bodies like it does mine? Even when I wear three layers, a fleece, and my HUGE North Face coat, I can feel the wind cutting through.

This winter has been mostly me working (from home, thankfully), popping in the Kid’s Room at Dailey Method every two weeks, racking up the credits like whoa so that once it warms up, I can be there like all the time whipping this tired old body into shape. I’ve been reading a lot–already on book 19 out of the 55 that I’ve set to tackle this year. And I’m afraid I’ve been bingeing on Netflix. First, it was continuing with Gilmore Girls. Then I discovered the Dance Moms collection (which I finished a few nights ago). I’ve also been watching Dance Academy, a show that is set in Australia. It’s three LONG seasons, and I’m about 1/3 of the way through Season 2. I like it.

I’ve also been dealing with one weird body thing or another. Shoulder pain on my right shoulder, most likely due to overuse on the computer. Random back aches and stomach pains. I feel all knotted up and wrong, which is why I feel I need to get back to working out ASAP. The cold makes me draw into myself. I get tense from trying to keep warm, even when I am buried under blankets and have a space heater blowing on me, and it hurts.

At the end of January, Adam’s grandfather passed away, so we went to Iowa for the memorial service. I was happy to spend time with Lola. I love her like my own daughter and we had a lot of fun together.

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not everyone gets the privilege of holding Pandernoodle

Aidan popped by for a visit over President’s Day weekend. That was a lot of fun! He’s so cool, you guys. He got all As and one B on his report card. Honor Roll again! He is whip smart and I love having conversations with him. We talked about our Mom-Son trip this summer. I’m excited to spend that time with him.

And here is a random thing.

I realized something about myself. I’ve actually known this for a while but now I’m acknowledging it. I HATE WAITING. I hate waiting for summer, just for it to blow by in a haze. Seriously, it goes SO FAST, and it stays cold so long here. I hate waiting for traffic lights (OH I hate waiting for traffic lights). I hate waiting for people to move out of my way so I can have my turn. I hate waiting in line, especially if the person in front of me is taking 90 thousand years to do something. I hate feeling like I’m on the precipice of something cool, but I have to wait and wait and wait. And I really hate having to stop doing something fun so I can go wait to do something I hate or that I find annoying. I’ve always been impatient, but now it’s at an all-time high.

I really, really, really hate going to the bathroom. And lately, I’ve been going every two hours. On the dot. All day every day. It’s annoying. I don’t think I’ve had a full night’s sleep since I was a baby. My bladder wakes me up every two hours these day.

I’m probably getting old and cranky inside. At least I still look young on the outside. Right?

But I’m ready for spring to be here. REAL spring, not the 40-50F raining spring we usually get. I want to take more barre classes. I want to get back into my yoga practice. I want to take a couple of dance classes at Joffrey. I want to walk around the neighborhood without having to put on 345498554573895895893 layers. But I feel like, there’s just going to be so much waiting before I will feel like that. And then when the weather DOES warm up, will I waste it like I did last year?

I want to do big things. I retweet all of these photos of beautiful places I’d love to see someday. Places in Norway and France. I’ve decided I’d like to do a trek to Everest Basecamp, except I’d probably be cold and pissed off by the end so maybe not. I want to go to a beach and let the hot sun bake my skin and dip my feet in blue-green water. I want sunshine and blue skies. Not this…whatever the hell color the sky is in Chicago most of the year. I want green grass or sand, not piles of dirty, poop, slippery nasty snow. I want flowers and tank tops and pink toenails and Sanuk flip flops and ocean waves and hugs from Mickey Mouse and popsicles and Aidan’s laughter in the background and amazing sunsets and sand in my toes.

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But it’s not time for that. I have to WAIT for it. *grumble*

I know. I do have a lot to be thankful for. I mean, one good thing about cold weather like this is that the partying neighbors are stuck inside instead of outside making noise all night. I will just be MORE thankful when it’s warm outside and there are flowers everywhere. Real ones, not planted ones. Just sayin’.

Blah. This was a dumb entry. Oh well. Maybe now that all that is out, I can start ardently focusing on good things, and looking forward to things without resenting the wait for them. We’ll see.

Till next time….

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