as 2017 winds down.

autumn in norway

It’s been AGES, right? I say this so much. Then I secretly vow to be better at blogging…and then I fall off again. To be fair, I’ve been fairly busy, and I have so much to tell you!

Since my last post, well, if you followed me on instagram or twitter, you know that I was abroad for most of September. I got to travel with Jennifer, who is one of my very best friends and also my soul sister, and it was amazing. It’s been a month since I’ve been back and I still can’t form words. Not only did I get to eat great food, see beautiful sights, and meet amazing people, but I got to spend a month with Jennifer! Having long distance best friends is hard, so we pretty much crammed all of our girl time into those three and a half weeks.

Here are a few photo collages from the trip:

💕💕💕💕🐝🌼👯
(I stole this one from Jennifer)

Oh #copenhagen #denmark, I love you so so so much ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Well hello there Denmark! I certainly did not expect to love you so much!! ❤️ #Denmark #copenhagen #europe #travel

A wonderful day in #norway ☀️😍

I got back to Chicago and was immediately thrust back into full-time and freelance work. I worked some when I was abroad, but it was different, working in a hotel room in Italy or Denmark rather than my apartment in Chicago. There, I’d open the window and listen to the languages and the different sounds and it was so awesome. Here, Fi is still making stinky messes every 40 minutes or so. I don’t have much room to spread out like I want. They’re tearing down a building across the street and for a week straight, my entire building would shake while they were doing their work. Charlotte has grown a lot, and she is a very naughty kitten! I’m covered in scratches and bites. She’s not the little rag doll she was the first day she came home. She’s feisty and vocal and strong-minded. I’ve had to start using the squirt bottle on her. I hate doing it, but she’ll just keep being naughty otherwise. Sometimes it’s exhausting. But then she tires out and collapses on me, and holds on to me so tight, and all my exasperation with her evaporates.

Also during October, Aidan went to homecoming (I KNOW), I got a massage, I got all my watches fixed, I cleaned out a lot of clothes and things to donate, and I cleaned out the bathroom and threw out four bags of old shampoo and body washes and things. I did a panel at Windy City RWA with my fellow ChiYA bloggers. I kept up (mostly) with my Personal Power University class (don’t ask me about the homework I still have to turn in!). And Aidan popped in for a long weekend. It was cool spending time with my awesome kid. Adam’s parents also popped in for a bit, and that was cool.

The Fam

I also spent weeks trying to catch up and I think I’m *finally* there. It felt like my To-Do lists were growing even though I was steadily doing things. I haven’t been back to yoga, or barre (haha in years for this one), I barely got any new writing done. I interviewed for a job but ultimately decided it wasn’t for me. That was a weird position to be in. So much is going on all the time…and the Day Job is busy. So it does seem like the list of things to do is never ending. So, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that I came home after my massage Saturday and slept for hours and hours. Got up, maybe had a snack, and then slept all night.

But now, it’s two minutes to midnight at the time of this typing. That means November is not only looming, but it’s HERE, and it will definitely be here when this post goes live. Every weekend through the end of the year is booked except one and I just hope I can sleep in at least two of them. Soon there will be Thanksgiving and Christmas and expectations and family and oh God. I can’t even think about it now.

Instead, I’m going to bed. Till next time!

Just me

Back to Life, Back to Reality!

Untitled
On this lovely first Monday of March 2013, I am getting back to reality. I spent a magical five days in Florida at Disney World and loved it. I came home and spent the weekend taking it very easy. Reading, playing on the computer, talking to Aidan on the phone. It was nice.

But now that it is Monday, it’s really time to get back to reality. And here is the list of things I need to do:

1. Unpack my bags from my Disney trip
2. Take a shower
3. Freelance work
4. Mail off important paperwork and bills
5. Put things back in their places

The rest of the week, I need to do the following:

1. Finish and turn in thesis
2. At least one yoga class (preferably 3)
3. Attend a thesis
4. Get a massage
5. Work 2 workshops
6. More freelance work
7. Edit and upload Disney pictures
8. Blog about Disney World! :)

I also have 4 King Spa vouchers I need to use before the month is out. I suspect two of them might already be expired, which sucks, but oh well. I know I have 2 I can still use. Once I have my car back. It’s in the shop now. Thanks for that, Mercury Retrograde.

Just… let me vent a bit about the havoc Mercury Retrograde has brought upon me. It hasn’t been anything I couldn’t handle, thank goodness, and somehow, things are still working out. But there have been some nervous-making moments, that’s for sure!

1. The big project I was working on for Nancy? Remember how it kept crashing and I finally sent it to her? Well, something was seriously wrong with the Word docs I was using to create the manual (which I turned into a PDF at the end). Those docs crashed my entire hard drive. Yup. Guess who was up until 3am doing computer surgery and then trying to transfer files over? THIS GIRL! Fortunately, I got the hard drive into an enclosure and was able to get all my important stuff on the new computer. WHEW.

2. Had decent luck all week at Disney until our last day. We had to catch the Magical Express at 6:10pm. We got to the bus stop from the Magic Kingdom at about 5:35pm. It takes about 15 minutes to get back to our hotel from Magic Kingdom. Now, this was partially my fault because I underestimated the time it would take for all of this to go down, but normally, a bus back to the resort shows up within 5-10 minutes. WE DIDN’T GET A BUS UNTIL 6:13PM. And it had someone in a wheelchair, so further delays to get him all loaded up. We got back to our resort around 6:30pm. I was for sure thinking we were going to miss everything and be late to the airport and miss our flight, etc. Fortunately, a 6:40pm Magical Express bus was coming, and it wasn’t full so he let us on. We got to the airport in plenty of time and all was well. The security line was smooth. We’d checked in at the resort, so we already had our boarding passes, and our bags were already at the airport. Our flight was delayed five minutes, but I never care about delays on the return flight.

3. On the plane, a man sat next to us who was clearly very sick. He had a really nasty sounding cough and it was relentless. Of course, once we were in Chicago, he wanted to shake Adam’s hand. (I gave Adam hand sanitizer when the guy wasn’t looking.) Adam is susceptible enough to getting sick. He does not need airplane germs to make it worse.

4. Adam went out to start the car yesterday to find that the battery is completely drained. He went to the mechanic (they are close by) and they gave him a portable charging kit to borrow. EXCEPT SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH THE HOOD LATCH and Adam couldn’t get the hood open. He called for a tow (the guys only charged us $5), and now my car is sitting at the shop until we figure out how to get the hood open and the battery charged again. I guess they’ll work on it tomorrow.

5. I was working on my domain when all of a sudden, NOTHING WOULD WORK RIGHT. And I checked my control panel to find that somehow I’d gone over my quota of space when just a few minutes earlier it was fine! I freaked out because I’d been with this company forever and couldn’t understand why I was out of space. I put in a support ticket to get some answers and looked into upgrading. I got an email back within 20 minutes. Because I’d been with this company since 2004, they doubled my space for free, and told me where the high usage was. I fixed that and now everything is working smoothly again. I also cleared off a bunch of files that I’d put there to access in other places. I have PLENTY of space now.

So all things considered, I’m OK. And I can look back on it and giggle. Kinda. :) But I’ll be glad when Retrograde is over on March 17. That’s two weeks. I can make it.

‘Til next time….

P.S. I must be running out of original title ideas. I apparently used this one a few years ago.

Just One of Those Weeks

Wahhhh!!!

It was just one of those weeks. You know the type where it seems like you’re doing ALL THE THINGS ALL DAY LONG but you only check one or two things off the to do list. Or when you get so far in a big project on the computer only for the software you’re using to crash, not only once, but at least five times.

Yes. That really happened.

BUT I eventually got the project done and my recipient is very happy. :) And now, another yoga teacher training milestone is out of the way. Customized yoga is done. Here I am with my student:

me and nancy
nancy is awesome

Not much more to go. I need to attend two thesis presentations, write up my book reviews, write up my private lessons, and turn in my thesis. And my final exam, which hasn’t been announced yet. Closing circle is April 26. That gives me about two months to tie up all the loose ends and finally have that certificate in my hands.

Earlier this week, I got to see a truly disgusting side of humanity but in the next instant, I saw things that were heartwarming and beautiful. It was a week where I felt like I could not get enough to sleep, and a week where a cold decided to come along and make me feel slightly off-kilter and very cranky.

I realized I like Slim Jims.

I got to work at Trisect, which I love. And because I was working on a special project, the proofreader I usually cover for was there. It was awesome to finally meet her. She was really nice, and she has big hair like me. :)

Went back to Mysore Tuesday night. I like the evening Mysore and I am thrilled that a Thursday evening Mysore is going to start in a few weeks. At least, that’s the word out on the street. I never expected to like Mysore as much as I do. Believe me, NO ONE is more surprised than I am that I like Mysore as much as I do. I got four more poses on Tuesday, and I think I’ll be here for a while. I’m up to Uttitha Eka Padasana. Yea. I’ll be there for a while. Heh. Funnily enough, I am great at that one. It’s the two before that I suck at. It’s Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana and Utthita Parsvasahita that’s gonna keep kicking my butt, and those come BEFORE Uttitha Eka Padasana. And then once I get those, the next big move is handstand, but before that is Utkatasana, where I’ll be stuck for about 95 years because I cannot do handstand (yet?). It scares the poo out of me. (But I like Utkatasana so I’m OK with that.)

I got to watch the pilot for Golden Boy, which made me happy. I thought that I would miss it because the television premiere is February 26 (you know where I’ll be!) but CBS.com is nice enough to have it streaming now. I am not a huge “cop show” girl but this one is intriguing. I like it and will continue to watch it for the time being.

Yesterday, snow came and that, coupled with usual Chicago Friday rush hour that starts at freaking 1pm, made running errands annoying and frustrating. I’ve gotten spoiled by the new Target in town. Yesterday, we went to a more crowded one and I wanted to smack everyone who kept getting in my way. And that really was almost EVERYONE. It seemed like as soon as I’d go to an empty aisle to look at something, 90,000 other people would need the exact thing I wanted. OR I’d go to an aisle and there would be one person standing right front of the item I needed, and standing SO CLOSE TO THE SHELVES there was no way I could go up and look myself without being a creeper.

I worked the Tantric Restorative workshop last night. Doing the workshops at the West Bucktown location is 99x less stressful than doing them at River West. Except for always worrying about running out of props, but we were actually OK. There were fewer people there, and although the lobby got a little crazy with one class ending, the workshop starting and *another* workshop starting, it was still OK. And the actual workshop itself was great. I almost fell asleep in some of the poses. I know some people DID fall asleep. I might have been one of them.

I was glad to get home, eat some pasta, and read. I’d planned on cleaning the apartment today, but they dropped the bomb yesterday that the manuals were due to our students this coming Thursday. And well, Thursday, I’m going to be playing in Animal Kingdom or something. So I had to get it done today. Which brought on the histrionics when Word kept crashing. And crashing. And crashing. So I used Pages and managed to get it working–although Pages has its own issues. But no matter. It’s done, and I think it looks OK. And Adam ended up doing all the cleaning.

Mercury went into retrograde today, which makes me a little bit nervous, considering I had the computer issue, and I had an issue with one of the games I play causing me to possibly inadvertently spam non-playing FB friends. Folks, I love some of the games on Facebook. They’re mindless and cute and they just help me calm the eff down. But I don’t want to be subjecting people to all of that if they don’t want to be, so I am very careful about filtering my game posts so only fellow players see them, and only sending requests to people I KNOW are active players (and I know this because they send active requests to ME). So when I’m clicking through my requests and realize that the game company has thrown in someone I KNOW doesn’t play but I’ve already clicked it (and didn’t realize it until after the fact), I get really angry. Because that’s bullshit. It’s deceitful and greedy and I can guarantee they’re not getting a dime of my “real money” for doing underhanded crap like that.

OH and also, they recommend that Sagittarius people don’t travel during Mercury retrogrades. This is what the Farmer’s Almanac says:

In Sagittarius: It is not a time to travel, so reschedule or just expect delays, lines, and lost directions. Instead, take care of local affairs. Patience and a sense of humor are needed.

WELL ISN’T THAT JUST FREAKING GREAT. But I’m not going to buy so much into this because I don’t want to be blaming every little silly thing on retrograde and making a big deal out of something that’s probably nothing or just typical annoying things that happen any time one travels.

Anyway, I expected long lines. For some reason, this February has been insane with lines in Magic Kingdom, so *Kanye shrug.* And yeah, we’ll probably get lost in Magic Kingdom, but it’s happened before and we got through it. It’s the delays that have me worried. Well, you know what? I will throw my own retrograde energy into a March 1 Friday night flight delay. That flight back to Chicago can be delayed as long as it freaking wants and I won’t care one happy little bit. And if I have to stay an extra night in Orlando… OH DARN.

I forgot to mention: a couple of weeks ago, someone told me that someone told her that I had a singing voice like an angel. Which is nice to hear but really CANNOT BE RIGHT. She has to be mistaken or have gotten me mixed up with someone else. My voice changed when I was about 12 and hasn’t been that good since. I get lazy and don’t hold keys right or I just get out of my head and sing everything completely WRONG (i.e. 9000 octaves above what it’s supposed to be and off key). Now, when I am paying attention and working hard, I sound OK. But I mean just OK as in, it’s OK to listen to me when I’m in the shower and the water’s running really hard. I can OM like a mofo. But sing? Nah, dude. She had to have been mistaken.

Something else I forgot to mention: One of the 50¢ CDs I got from Half-Price Books was Karsh Kale. I first heard his music by accident, browsing around on emusic.com, and I really liked it! So THAT was a treasure find for sure.

And now I’m calming down by blogging, listening to music, and neurotically arranging folders and files on my computer. Because that’s how people like me feel some sense of order and control in the world.

Oh my God. I think I need to go to bed. I’ve got to sleep off the rest of this cold. Maybe I should go to King Spa and sit in that really hot sauna. That’ll burn the rest of this crap out of my head. And they ARE open 24/7….. yea right. Like I’m going anywhere NOW.

Anyway, tomorrow I’ll be packing and charging various devices. Gonna TRY to make a yoga class too. I need one that’ll kick my ass. There is a vinyasa 2-3 at 11:30am and also one at 5:30pm. I’m going to try to make the 11:30am class. I will be able to do exactly 0% arm balances, but it’ll be fun to try.

OK, OK. TL;DR. Whatever. Night!

Chicago Libraries

When I moved to Chicago from Columbus, I knew that I’d be essentially downgrading my library experiences. In Columbus, if you put a book on hold, you go to the shelf, get the book and you can check yourself out using their self-check out. Very simple and quick. In Columbus, new books are in the library usually on release day, or within a couple of weeks. You can have a bunch of books on hold, and while you wait for them, it doesn’t count toward actual media you have checked out. You can renew books online. There is a max for overdue fines. I think it’s about $5.

In Chicago, there is no self-check out. You have to wait in a long line to check your books out with a person and then your bags are searched on the way out, even though you go through one of those alarm thingies as well. They just recently made it so you grab your own reserve books, but you used to have to wait in a line for those as well. They don’t get new books in for at least six months, unless it’s something that is SUPER popular. Your list of hold requests (not actual filled holds) counts toward your 30 item limit. So, say you have two Sarah Dessen books waiting to come in. That means you can only take out 28 items. They only recently allowed online renewals. And overdue fines can go into hundreds of dollars, from what I understand. (The most I’ve ever had to pay was 20¢.)

Today was the ULTIMATE in WTFbaggery. I went up to the 7th floor at the main library downtown to check out some YA novels. Because that’s what I like reading most. YA novels. That section is now World Languages. When I asked where the teen books were, I was told they are in this space called YouMedia. YouMedia is this new “trendy” teen space where teens can hang out and be teens, I suppose. It’s locked down. Basically, if you are not a teen, you cannot take out teen books at this particular library. In addition, it’s only open certain hours. I was at the library at 11 this morning. YouMedia doesn’t open until 1pm. Some days it’s open until 9pm, some days it’s only open until 5pm. Really? Four hours?

I am in shock that they’d lock down an entire genre of books like that! Are they going to restrict teens from checking out books from the adult section? I don’t think so. I can understand a place for teens to hang, but to lock the books in there is just beyond any measure of reason I can think of. They really did not think this through, but given how that library typically runs, I’m not surprised.

ETA: I just went to the YouMedia website. It says that adults are allowed in ONLY to check out books. That’s a relief… except the whole NOT BEING OPEN THE WHOLE TIME THE REST OF THE LIBRARY IS OPEN issue.

Oh Hell No

I don’t appreciate a survey wasting 20 minutes of my time, collecting all sorts of info from me, then tell me at the end that I don’t qualify because I’m black. If they were that concerned about race, they should have asked that question at the beginning. Now they have all my other data, but I get no compensation. My time is WAY more precious than that crap. >:(

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