Month: November 2013

30 week blog challenge-weeks 11 & 12: nicknames and purchases


Hi! I missed a week of the 30 week blog challenge, and I nearly missed another. I figure I’ll do these two weeks and get back on track next week! :)

Week 11: Nicknames You Have and Why

My main nickname is Ronni. That’s how I introduce myself to people, that’s the name I go by on almost all of my social networking profiles, and that’s how I identify myself. My parents gave me that nickname when I was little, only it was spelled Ronnie back then. I am not sure when I dropped the e, but it probably happened while I was in high school. It’s just a lot easier to be “Ronni” than to try to explain why I’m named “Ronica” instead of “Veronica”.

Week 12: Something You Bought Recently

Hmm. Well, last week, I bought the Catching Fire score. I have a thing for movie scores, and I had to have that one because I loved the movie so much. I also bought some things for Thanksgiving, some cat food, a toothbrush, and other assorted boring things. Catching Fire was definitely the most exciting of the purchases!

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november so far.


Well, it’s been a week and then some! Last Friday, I got up early to ride with my friend Reshma out to the suburban location of Yogaview. We were meeting some fellow former teacher trainees there and then going for coffee after.

I was so excited to see my beautiful friend–I hadn’t seen her since right after Sukhava Bodhe. But I woke up that Friday morning feeling off. I hadn’t slept well, so I thought that was it, but it turned out that I was coming down with my second cold of the year.

The older I get, the worse colds hit me. I remember being down for maybe no more than a day when I was little. I know that Aidan shakes off colds and illnesses within hours. But this cold hung on for a while, and only today am I starting to feel like normal again. Sore throat, probably a fever, coughs, sneezing, itchy eyes (so I’m thinking allergies were mixed in, too), achy shoulders (but that probably had more to do with yoga and doing THREE “inversions” the night before). At any rate, it was gross.

But that Friday morning had been lovely. The yoga class was nice, and the teacher told me that I have a strong practice. Which always amazes me when people tell me that because I’m probably the laziest yogini in Chicago. I wonder how I’d be if I actually had a daily practice? My version of “inversions” probably wouldn’t need quotation marks around it.

After coffee, three of us headed to the Baha’i House of Worship. It’s the only one in North America, and one of only seven in the whole world. I’d always wanted to check it out, we were right there, and we didn’t have to be anywhere.

reshma, me, amy

It was beautiful and humbling. The Baha’i faith is a gorgeous one.

I am not a great meditator. I sign up for Deepak Chopra’s meditations all the time and I never do them. If there is meditating in yoga class, I fall asleep. Or I start thinking “Really? Really though?” I love esoteric stuff, but some of it is too much even for me. But I was able to sit and meditate a bit in the meditation hall/temple.

By the time Reshma dropped me off, I was done. I went straight to bed. I was disappointed that I missed a Hip Opening workshop I wanted to attend, but there was no way I could even sit, let alone do another asana practice.

The next day was WindyCon. Adam had a concert and I wanted to see a few panels. But even though I’d dropped $50 on the one-day registration, I couldn’t last more than a few hours. I know Adam knew something was wrong after we stopped by Target so I could buy cold medicine and I didn’t want to linger. There was also a mall right there that I had zero interest in visiting. I really was sick!

When I’m sick is when I love being a freelancer. I was able to sleep, buried under blankets and blankets, rather than dragging myself into a too cold office to freeze and be miserable and loopy.

The week passed by in a drug-filled sore throated blur. I did call my mom on Wednesday to wish her a happy birthday, and she knew right away that I was sick. I left the house on Monday to have lunch with Adam and his father, who was coming through town from Des Moines en route to Atlanta, and then I didn’t leave again until Friday evening.

And this is when I was actually glad to be sick because gorgeous s00j was in town and she was also sick. So we were able to exchange ALL the hugs and kisses without worry of contaminating each other. Also? It’s amazing that a woman with a sore throat can still sound like an angel when she sings. She’s amazing.

We're all mad here...and it's ok!

They asked the audience to sing along with the choruses, and this is what I sounded like:

squiggly notes

Which made me sad because just the first weekend of November, it was the Suzanne Sterling workshop. My third year going. I LOVE Suzanne. Her voice is amazing, her energy is gorgeous and infectious, and she is just wonderful. Suzanne Sterling is all about freeing your voice, and I felt like I’d done such a good job of doing just that… until I got struck with my head and chest cold.

Suzanne Sterling and Me

It was such a blessing to see her and be in her presence, and to learn from her again. She comes to Moksha the same weekend every year, and as long as I’m able, I’m going to attend her workshops.

Man. For the most part, being sick is the pits. Everyone on FB and Twitter is coming down with something or another this month. I was totally getting back into my yoga practice but lost a week to the cold. I have to get back into it this week. I just do.

I’ve started Christmas shopping for Aidan, but no one else. I’m not even really in the mood for it this year. I’m halfway considering not decorating, but a friend of mine told me that I absolutely must decorate. Especially because I’ll have Aidan this year. And I know I’ll get around to it at some point. Christmas is my favorite, right? I just feel too tired to even think about it right now.

Santa Came! 2012.

But first, there is Thanksgiving to look forward to, where I will make myself a few servings of cornbread dressing that no one else will eat (fine, more for me then!), and a BIG thing of mac & cheese because yes. I am not sure who’s turn it is to host this year, but I’ll be happy either way.

That’s all for now. I know, I still owe you a NYC trip report. I’ll get around to it, I promise. Till next time….


30 week blog challenge – week 10: a photo of you taken over ten years ago

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30 week blog challenge – week 9: pet peeves

This week’s blog challenge is pet peeves!


Now, I know that my default nature is to complain. Anyone following my twitter feed knows this. I actually feel guilty because I vent so much on twitter. I think it has to do with being from Cleveland. Most of the Clevelanders I grew up with are still very negative and pessimistic. So it’s in my blood, even though I do try not to be so negative and complainey. Because really, who wants to hear that, right? And there are a lot of amazing things to be happy about.

With that said, I do see the value in venting. Sometimes it’s good to get stuff out so it’s not eating you alive. But it’s all too easy to dwell in it, which is no good.

This blog entry gives me a chance to vent a bit, so here goes…

Rudeness. I cannot stand rude people, and I cannot stand myself when I catch myself being rude. This includes people who interrupt me when I’m talking, people who blast their music and yell and scream so all the world can hear them (like my neighbors who partied until 3am Saturday morning–when I had to be up at 8am for a workshop), people who let their children run wild in stores, people who let their large families take up entire aisles in stores and on sidewalks, people who see that you urgently need to get over on the expressway and they purposefully speed up so you can’t, people who don’t clean up after their dogs so there’s poo all over the sidewalks, people who yell and scream about their lives like everyone gives a shit…I could go on.

Footsteps. I realize this is my issue and no one is really at fault for my eccentrics, but I HATE the sound of footsteps. Poor Adam gets the brunt of it because he’s a pacer. He paces all the time. And I am usually OK with it…unless he puts on shoes. He wears really clicky shoes. And we have hardwood floors. He gets told off so much for pacing, slowly (even more torturous), while wearing his shoes in the house. Personally, I love the idea of not wearing shoes in the house. As someone pointed out, why would you want to bring all that outside crap and track it through your home? But really, it drives me crazy. Oh and when I’m in Target and someone is wearing high heels and it does that extra click? You know what I’m talking about. No, just… NO.

Chewing/Kissing/Other Assorted Non-verbal Mouth Noises. This includes cats cleaning themselves. Gum smacking (and the sad thing is that I’m guilty of smacking my own gum which makes me want to kick my own ass). But the worst is chewing noises. I cannot stand them. Sometimes I even hate the sound of my own chewing. It’s like nails on a chalkboard. It makes me irrationally angry and tense and all icky feeling. Even heavy enough breathing is enough to make me want to curl up in a corner and rock back and forth. It’s so dumb and I wish I wasn’t so sensitive to it.

There is actually a name for those last two items: Misophonia. Makes me feel better that I’m not alone in this, but it doesn’t mean I like it. There are loads of other sounds that trigger anger in me, but they don’t happen as often or make me react so much. And it’s happening to Aidan too. Whistling, humming, singing… those sounds make him so angry. He doesn’t even like attending concerts or listening to his mp3 player anymore.

Being Held Back. This can be due to many ways. People not wanting to spend money for certain things. Red lights. Traffic jams. Hours that take forever to go by. I like to do what I want to do when I want to do it, not have to wait for other people or things to happen or give me permission. I hate that I can’t just walk onto any movie or TV set and play a part. I hate that I have to be judged by others on whether or not I’m worthy to do certain things or another. One of the reasons I’m glad I’m a grown-up is that I can pretty much do what I want (within reason) without other people or things stopping me. So that’s why I think I get so irritated when someone or something DOES get in the way. Especially if *I’M* the someone getting in the way!

When I’m Lazy. I know. How can something I’m in control of be a pet peeve? But it is. For example, right now, the apartment is disgusting and I have no desire to get up and do something about it. Because I’d rather sit here writing and listening to music than clean. But I need to clean. And I will. But I’m annoyed at myself for not being motivated enough to do it right now even though the place is making me hide out in my bedroom because it’s so gross. Pathetic.

Bad Smells. My nose is super sensitive. I don’t know if it’s been like that my whole life or what. I just know that when I was pregnant with Aidan, eleven freaking years ago, my nose was like a sonic radar and I never got over it. So. Bad smells. They haunt me everywhere I go. Good smells are fleeting, bad smells are pungent and everlasting and constant. Neutral smells are OK but those are rarely not interrupted by a bad smell. I probably keep the incense/sage/air freshener/candle companies thriving because I am constantly combatting bad smells. It’s exhausting.

That’s all. I need to get back into a positive headspace. Adam’s taking me out to dinner and then to Half-Price books later!

Till next time….



Morton Arboretum 2013

Chicago had a crazy night of wind and rain, and I think that the high in the upper 40s today means that the part of autumn I’m not a fan of is settling in. The part when all the pretty leaves are falling off the trees with a vengeance and it’s just rain and cold and grey… until all that rain turns to snow. I think the Christians were on to something, tossing Christmas where they did. If I didn’t have the holiday season to look forward to, I don’t know what sort of shape I’d be in. I guess mourning for the true loss of summer, jeans shorts, sandals, and tank tops.

But. Moving on from that. I had a really neat October. There was my trip to New York City, which was amazing and awesome and will be blogged about for sure because a little blurb in a potluck post won’t be able to cover everything. But I’m not completely cruel, so here’s a photo of me laughing in Times Square.

New York City 2013

There was an afternoon spent at Morton Arboretum to capture the beautiful fall colors. I visited Graceland Cemetery, where I always get a little bit maudlin. I start freaking out about mortality and letting my mind go to dark places. Maybe I shouldn’t visit cemeteries anymore. But then, how could I get photos like this?

Graceland Cemetary

There was my trip to Columbus, Ohio, where I hadn’t been for three years. Things just fell into place for me to attend the Ohio Valley Filk Fest this year. I’m not even *that* into filk, but a lot of people I adored was going to be there. Someone offered me a ride. And I made hotel arrangements with Belinda and Patrick. And with all that working in my favor, plus a chance to see Aidan? It was a no brainer. Aidan had no idea, so when his dad pulled up to the hotel, Aidan was not impressed. Then he saw me and his little face lit up like the sun. It was so awesome to see! I’d missed that little guy and scheduling this year has made it hard to see him. Last weekend was the first time I’d seen him since he left in August.

Surprise Weekend with Aidan
i was so happy to hug him again!

It was so nice to spend the weekend with him, and with some other friends in the sci-fi/con community.

Belinda, S00j, and Me
belinda, s00j, and me
so blessed to know those two beautiful women
and of course i had to represent my alma mater

I got to eat at my beloved Bob Evans with my friend Angelo, who I’ve known since college and who I adore. Even though I really enjoy the Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches, there is no sausage better than the Bob Evans patties.

Now that November is here, all of my shop emails are turning to holiday themes. Which I’m usually OK with but this year, I feel like it’s rushing me a bit. Probably because the place isn’t holiday ready, what with Lena’s litter box habits being very out of whack and the constant cleanup because of that. Also because we need to just do a serious deep cleaning anyway and I have zero motivation to do it any time soon. There’s cat hair everywhere. The kitchen counters need a good scrub down. I need to sanitize the bathroom again. And I will. Truly. A lovely pixie named s00j is coming to spend the night in a couple of weeks and I want to make sure that the place is spic and span for her.

Crookshanks has plopped on to my lap and is purring like a purring thing. He’s also putting his paw on my hands every time I start typing, so I think that means it’s time to sign off for now. Tonight’s plan is to kick off my weekend Singing Myself Awake. Third year in a row I get to study with Suzanne Sterling. I’m a bit nervous about the asana practices. She kicked my butt last year and that was when I had a regular and strong practice. Now my practice is weak and sporadic. I’m going to be hurting by the time this weekend is over. But it’s my fault for letting my practice slip so much. I’m also worried because I have health issues this year that weren’t as severe last year. This year they could be a hindrance, but I know that I can always modify. Maybe this weekend will kick me back into gear.

Anyway, I’m off for now. Need to shower and eat something to prepare for the asana kicking I will surely experience tonight. And Crookshanks really does mean business.

Till next time….

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