IWSG February 2019

I missed posting this on time, but whatever. Here’s my answer for the Insecure Writer’s Suport Group prompt.

Besides writing, what other creative outlets do you have?

Writing has been my main creative outlet for a long, long time — second only to daydreaming, probably, which is absolutely where my drive to write started. Some of my other creative hobbies have, similarly, come out of writing, and others have come in on their own.

Drawing

I guess I’ve always been a doodler, always been very fussy about my crayons and color pencils and markers. For a long stretch I didn’t do anything with those because I was too much of a perfectionist, and the colors weren’t going down consistent enough. Have you ever looked at something you colored in with a Crayola marker and didn’t like it because the pen strokes were at slightly different angles or overlapped to much and made a dark/light/dark stripe effect? That sort of thing. Anyway, in college I ended up taking a life drawing class and I loved the control of graphite, the messy straightforwardness of charcoal, and, omg, my fave, coloring in a sketch with watercolor.

But oddly enough, what really made me feel like an “artist” was making fanart comics. And because I’m a fan of the economy of simple lines (and I can’t draw backgrounds for the life of me, lol), I got into the habit of drawing stick figure comics. While it wasn’t exactly High Art, it was a really entertaining way to convey a story. And I did do other, mostly watercolor based fanart as well.

Baking

For some reason, my grandma and I are the only people in my family who seem to really enjoy making pies. I probably started because of the apple tree in my parents’ backyard, and because I knew my dad’s friend Jane also baked and was willing to share her pie dough recipe with me. (A few years after doing so she made me cry over not refrigerating the dough in the right shape… and that, more or less, is why she’s not invited to my wedding this summer. Life’s to short to make a nineteen year old cry over spheres vs disks, come on.)

I do follow recipes. I think partly because I started in baking, where ratios and things tend to be Very Important, but also because I’d rather produce something tried and edible than an experimental disaster. The more I learn about spices and different flours and lower carb options, the more I’ve become willing to experiment. Started with tweaking the spiced sugar mix on the apples, and so far I’m up to subbing a mix of almond and coconut flours for regular flour because my grandpa has celiacs. (Coconut flour burns, like, at the drop of a hat though, so maybe I’ll do a 3:1 blend or something next time.) And, branching out from this, there’s also…

Cooking

Again, I follow recipes. But I spend a lot of time googling substitutions. My spice rack grows in fits and starts, but if I don’t have something I’ll try something else instead.

There’s a thrill in trying a new recipe and discovering a new favorite. I’ve made keto tortillas several times, made cauliflower fried rice a lot, made a keto French onion soup not often enough because it’s amazing. There’s a pride in creating edible things. And I’ve even started collecting the recipes I tend to reuse into my own recipe binder for future, plastic-sheet-protected reference. Someday it might even rival the massive Holiday Recipes cookbook my grandma gave me one Christmas (each of the grandkids got one) with every cookie, candy, chocolate, and brittle recipe she has (and possibly also my great granny had) ever made.

Plus, getting more into cooking has allowed me to get more into healthy foods, and it feels really good to have kept off the thirty pounds I lost last year. Hashtag confidence boost.


Overall, I think a creative outlet is something that should boost you up. Having a finished product afterwards is nice, but not always necessary because it’s more about how you feel. Like, clearing out the cobwebs and putting good, accomplished feelings in their place.

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A Bunch of Months In Review: Fall & Winter 2018

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’m dusting the cobwebs off this blog as best I can, in the form of a review.

Writing

I have a confession to make… I didn’t do NaNoWriMo this year, breaking my three year streak. It was a hard choice, but I’m still underemployed — my weekend job is juuuuust shy of paying my half of the rent — and I needed to focus on applying to jobs and doing freelance writing. The latter is going well. I’ve made $30 so far, and it’s just a matter of gathering my remaining brain cells between holidays to do more. The former is going… Yeah. It’s just going. I had a few interviews last week and I’m still waiting to hear back on both. One is full time with benefits and would be so much fun, according to my inner foodstuffs marketing nerd, plus the company is international which bodes well for maybe moving abroad someday. So, fingers crossed.

As far as writing goes, I’ve been creating fanfiction works somewhat regularly. It’s fun, it helps me keep my edge, and the community aspect of fandom is always a source of entertainment. Side bonus: in doing so, I’ve also got a front row seat in watching tumblr sink itself with the staff’s new ban on “female presenting nipples.”

Planning

In wedding news, we have sent out our save the dates! Most of them, anyway. With a few stragglers still letting us know their current mailing address, there will be another small round going out this week, and then that’s all done. We’ve also signed a catering contract and it’s a huge relief. Yesterday the wedding planner came over for a Facetime with a potential DJ who, considering she knew exactly what I meant by “White Horses by The Rolling Stones except the specific cover that was on the prom episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” definitely has the job. Now it’s on design, wedding website final touches, figuring out a couples shower date that works for some key people, etc etc. (If my mom has a bell concert schedule conflict with this one like she did with the engagement party, I am going to lose my shit. But that’s another story.)

Making

Courtesy of my work’s Thanksgiving potluck, I got to take a turkey carcass home and make stock from it. It’s funny, considering I went off to college unaware you could actually just buy stock (thanks Dad), but this is the first time I’ve done it. The other night I used some to make keto onion soup, and it was excellent — though certainly different, considering I usually use plain chicken stock from the store instead of turkey stock that was made with rosemary and thyme simmering in there.

The thing about being my father’s daughter, though, is that he obsessively freezes and vacuum seals this sort of thing in very specific portions. I just sort of used whatever tupperware I could find, and didn’t thaw anything in advance because pfft, that would require being organized. So I actually used two cups more than the onion soup recipe actually called for… Whatever. It turned out fine. It’s just that next time I’m going to have to pick between the giant brick of stock or the teeny tiny cylinders of stock, and I don’t know how much volume any of the containers hold. Fun!

Anticipating

Six parts Christmas, half a dozen parts the wedding.

My family has a… complicatedly haphazard system of demanding Christmas lists from everyone and then claiming different gifts via email sound-off. This year my list was basically gift cards, no socks, and no aprons. (I have so many aprons. Do I ever actually wear aprons? Nope.) However, since we sent our save the dates, including a link to our wedding website, people already have access to our registry and someone, somewhere, has purchased a flame colored Le Creuset casserole dish that I am Very Excited About.

I have one Le Creuset pot already and I have never known love of a piece of cookware like this.

Reading

Currently I’m relistening to Clariel by Garth Nix in the car, and when I’m done with that I’ll listen to Goldenhand again. I’d explain why, but technically that would be spoilers.

But I just added a new audiobook to my collection this week, for the first time in a while — Carry On by Rainbow Rowell.

Watching

We always have something on, once we clicked into holiday season mode my fiancé started playing all the Halloween, then Thanksgiving, and now Christmas episodes of Friends, That 70’s Show, and occasionally Fraiser.

Did you know that Friends, in all ten seasons, only ever did one explicitly Halloween episode??

Also, if you haven’t seen The Haunting of Hill House, I recommend watching it twice. Once for the story/context/family drama, and again so you can catch all the hidden hints and the ghosts staring at you from the background of almost every scene.

Feeling

Happy, but slightly restless. I need a job. I need… a project?

I’ve focused a lot on self-improvement this year, with going keto and making more of my own food and losing weight and attending Mindful Eating classes at the local health center. I’ve been using my Fitbit to keep track of how much I sleep, how much water I drink, and how often I get up and move around, to make sure it’s enough. (Protip: The feature that’s kept me the most tuned in is Hourly Activity. You set the range of hours you want to be active get a dot for every hour you take at least 250 steps.)

I think part of why I’m restless is because I haven’t been creating as much as I’d like. I need to get back to working on my original novels — though there’s nothing that says I can’t still noodle around with fanfiction on the side. 😛

Needing

To hear back from the places I interviewed with last week…! I sent a follow-up email yesterday to the place I’m really hopeful about and got an “out of office until Dec 10” reply, so maybe that’s all the delay is about.

I just. I owe my parents a lot of money while they’re also paying for half of the wedding, my credit card bill is ridiculous… That’s all the debt I have, at least, but I’m anxious to be able to chip away at it more effectively.

Loving

The holiday season. My fiancé is an excellent decorator. Today he has promised that he will do the tree, which basically means he plans to spend several hours lovingly wrapping every single branch of our seven foot tall live tree in string lights. This is not a requirement I have set for him, it’s all his doing. He and his mom are obsessed. However, the results will be beautiful and cozy, so I’m just going to sit back and revel in the joy of not being required to help.

Hating

How many different, ahem, political and/or public figures that I could mention in this section of the review. But I won’t.

No, what I chose to side-eye with seething dislike is the way my family treats my uncle. Now, admittedly, he is a few cards short of a full deck sometimes, but I hate the way certain people openly act so done with him. It’s like an attempt to publicly shame him into better behavior or something? I don’t know. I’ve had some rocky relationship stuff with my fiancé, similar enough on the mental health front that I can understand the deeply embedded frustration and sadness and anger and helplessness of it all, but I would never wear that so openly on my sleeve and vent all the crap until the crap is all anyone else knows about.

If anyone is going to take anything from the cryptic paragraph above, please… please let it be that kindness is a virtue, especially towards someone who is struggling with some deep shit. Even if they’re a pain in the ass.

Hoping

For better things. Better political leaders, in the US and elsewhere. Fewer wildfires. More compassion. More creativity. More sustainability. Lower carbs, lol.

And that my wedding dress will fit! I have lost thirty pounds since February — I just got my official 30 lbs badge from Fitbit this past week — and I want to shave off a little bit more.


As always, I’m still trying to figure out exactly what I want to do with this blog. Perhaps I’ll start sharing some of the random things I find as I go through my drafts on tumblr — prompts, interesting images, worldbuilding ideas, that sort of thing. I’ve got to back that stuff up, just in case that ship finally sinks.

Wishing you all a happy and as drama free as possible holiday season!

What’s up with all these Weddings?

In the past two months, I’ve been to one bachelorette and three weddings, while in the midst of taking the first major steps into planning my own.

In some ways it feels like I’m on an episode of Four Weddings — a reality show where four brides attend each other’s weddings, rate them, and the one with the highest score gets a free honeymoon. I don’t watch this very often because, you know, it’s a reality show. The contestants can be very bitchy and backstabby sometimes because, duh, they really want to win. But sometimes you get a good episode that feels a little more wholesome and almost like the ladies could actually be friends after filming is over, which is nice.

Anyway, after attending all these weddings, I’ve come away with a few observations — a compare and contrast, if you will, of what other people wanted for their celebrations that I do not. Out of all of these, I really only have one “what’s up with that” bone to pick and I’ll get that out of the way first.

MY WEDDING WANTS

  • I absolutely want to go around to every table during the wedding dinner, thanking people for coming. At two of the three weddings I attended, the couples didn’t do this and it seemed odd. To be fair, one of them had several days of events leading up to it where the couple did have the opportunity to talk with everyone at least for a few minutes. But, um, if you’ve put some family friends at table 9, they’re going to feel like an afterthought if you don’t at least come say hello on the day. (We’re not doing that kind of seating arrangement, but still.)
  • I don’t want a sweetheart table, head table, or anything like that. My fiancé and I have known for a while that we want long farm tables, ideally just one long one but two if we have to, and a family style dinner rather than plated service. We can do this because we have a sixty to seventy person guest list; the three weddings we’ve been to this year have all been closer to a hundred or one hundred fifty.
  • I want realistic vows. I don’t want flowery, poetic “I’ll be yours forever and a day” fluff. I want, “we’ve been through a lot and I’ve got your back.” I want the occasional chuckle from the assembled guests. I want real world statements that actually mean something. I want to feel the love, not feel like I’m watching a poorly done chick flick.
  • I don’t want a ton of flowers. Bouquets for the ceremony are a separate thing, but other than that I don’t want to blow too much on florals. For one thing, they don’t last and it seems wasteful. For another, we have a pretty tight budget and it will be better spent on amazing venue and spectacular food. For yet another, big arrangements at the dinner table doesn’t work well with family style, because of all the dishes being passed hither and yon. Have you ever been to a party where the centerpiece gets in the way of even seeing the person sitting across from you, much less talk to them? What we want instead is greenery with occasional pops of color — all colors, because as a queer couple we’re dead set on a rainbow theme.
  • I don’t want both rings held by someone on the groom’s side. My “person of honor” will be my brother, and I want him to be the one to hand me the ring I put on my fiancé’s finger. At all the weddings we’ve attended this year, the Best Man had both rings and passed the groom’s ring over through the officiant. Nah. I want my bro to feel like, “I’ve got this.”
  • I wish we could do fireworks! But we’re in a wildfire danger zone (thanks Northern California), and cant even have sparklers. But, the wedding we attended in the French countryside (it wasn’t exactly a destination wedding, both the bride and groom are French and have family in the area) had the most AMAZING firework show in between the main course and dessert. We will have to be content with a bubbles and glow sticks sendoff, or something to that effect.
  • I don’t need an official videographer, but I absolutely want to designate a family member or two as the iPhone videographer for vows and speeches. It doesn’t need to be professional, but I do want to remember those moments in their full-motion glory.

That’s all I can think of at the moment. Not very many things, but the impact they’ll have on our big day ranges from kinda big to very significant. Some I already knew — but the rest, I am so grateful to have thought of. Attending weddings while planning your own is a fantastic source of inspiration!

Where do I start?

So many things have happened recently.

First, I finished the A to Z Challenge! I didn’t always post on time, but the nature of my theme kind of made that inevitable.

Second, it’s May. I was born in May. Sometimes my birthday falls on Mother’s Day, which is always annoying, but this year it’s the day after.

Third, MY PARTNER PROPOSED.

It was always the plan, and I definitely had a voice in picking the ring design, but I didn’t know when, where, or how. Afterwards there was an engagement party that doubled as my thirtieth birthday party, and it was absolutely lovely.

Fourth, I woke up at 7am today because I had to go to the DMV and renew my driver’s license before it expires on Monday. I got to the DMV at 8am and was able to leave again at about 1pm. BUT…

Fifth, while I was at the DMV I got a very important email from a winery I’ve been interviewing with. I am now in the wine industry part time! Probably just weekends. I’m also applying to full time things because, uh… I’ve got some time to make up for and I’m not currently opposed to the idea of pulling a lot of hours so I can pay my parents back for the money they’ve lent me in these past several months.

That is my update. I am still recovering from the DMV, so… ta.

#AtoZChallenge — Time

This post is part of the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, where I am challenging myself to reflect on other A to Z posts that I come across.


Speaking of time (thanks Armchair Explorer), I recently rewatched the movie About Time. It’s a favorite and always succeeds in making me cry, but at the same time always leaves me a little ticked that I can’t time travel.

Back in college, with my graduation year of 2010 fast approaching, I started having this reoccurring dream. In it, the stroke of midnight that ushered in 2010 would somehow slingshot me back to midnight of 2000, with all or most of my future memories intact. And oh, the things I did differently in those dreams.

  • I would have been more unflappable as I started at my new middle school.
  • I might have had the nerve to do choir as well as band.
  • When it came to fandoms, I would have gotten into Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy before the LiveJournal comms went dead.
  • I would’ve gotten my ears pierced sooner. My Grandma always wanted me to, even offering to get hers pierced a second time if I would get mine done. When I finally had mine pierced on a whim in high school as a distraction from being upset about something, I think she was a little sad that she hadn’t gotten to be there for it.
  • In sophomore year of high school I would have rolled my eyes and kept my mouth shut more while I friend of mine had a power trip.
  • I would have stood up to my mom more about why I didn’t care about going to school dances. I probably would have been out in high school.
  • I would have tried smoking weed in college.
  • There are people I would have avoided becoming to attached to in college, because they turned out to be insensitive jerks who had no problems with leaving me behind in the end.
  • I would have spoken up more in the second semester of that History if Education class, participated more in the discussions, and earned a grade as high as I got the first semester.
  • I might have studied abroad my junior year like everybody else, and not been so freakin lonely.

It’s not so much that I regretted what I had actually done… You know, beyond the basic looking back on some things and thinking oh god I can’t believe I did that oh god it’s so embarrassing. It was more like exploring what I could have done instead, what I would do if I were in that same position now and seeing how much I’ve grown since then. Those dreams brought me feelings of such intense pride in myself for no longer being such a doormat wallflower mouse.

I even had a similar dream more recently, probably due to watching About Time again. In it, I traveled from now to when I was in college and immersed in the Metalocalypse fandom. Because how frickin fun would it be to remember the fourth season before it aired, go into the fandom comms back in the day, and start presenting all these “crazy” theories that turned out to be RIGHT ON THE MONEY.

What would you do differently, and why?

#AtoZChallenge — Flood

This post is part of the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, where I am challenging myself to reflect on other A to Z posts that I come across. 


The flood anniversary, one year on

The flood anniversary, one year on
— Read on boneandsilver.com/2018/04/07/the-flood-anniversary-one-year-on/


It’s kind of funny that I saw this today (I mean floods are no laughing matter, but you know, a coincidence) because it’s pouring in Northern California today thanks to the Pineapple Express.

Which apparently gets its name for being a warm, wet stream of weather coming at us from the tropics/Hawaii. It mostly seems to be hitting Sonoma, Napa, and Marin counties in the north bay and along the Santa Cruz Mountains south of San Francisco.

There are three ways to get our place from town. Green Valley Rd floods annually, last year they got fish in the vineyards across the road it was so bad, so I’m not surprised that’s already the worst. The road that we’re on crosses a stream, and that’s gotten deep enough between us and the bridge that I can’t see the middle lines anymore. There’s one other road, and it’s starting to get covered. Still possible, and it’s not supposed to rain hard again until 10pm so we’ve ventured out to our friend’s moving away party. Maybe things will be a little down by then, or at least not any worse.

However! On the off chance that we are rained out of our house, we made sure the cats have enough food and water just in case, and we can probably crash at our friend’s place. The house itself will be fine, it’s on really high ground relative to the road, which in turn is higher by our place than where it’s flooded. So that’s good!

Other areas in Northern California that were affected by the wildfires in October have all been shores up in anticipation of winter flooding. Better late than never, I guess? (Not really.) But they really have good monitoring right now, just in case of rampant mudslides, so that’s good too.

A Month in Review: February 2018

Without actually posting a screencap, let me just tell you that my weight spiked dramatically as soon as I took my previous job in 2016. One of several negative impacts that whole experience had on my health. But I can now say that, thanks to aggressively cutting carbohydrates from my diet, I’m back down to more or less what I weighed in 2017.

Now, what should I celebrate with… homemade keto Greek Yogurt ice cream, homemade keto chocolate almond fudge, or homemade keto chocolate coconut cups?

Anyway, I feel good. Healthy.

Here’s all the other things I am currently:

Writing

… Fanfiction. I continue to refuse to be embarrassed about this because for the first time I am tackling a chaptered fic and taking the time to outline everything in advance. It’s practice for some of the techniques I recently tested out this past NaNoWriMo.

I’m also not very good at writing slow-burn romance that takes a back seat to the main plot, so this is a good writing exercise for me. I wrote the first 9k words in under a week — prologue and chapter one. Now I’m working on chapter two and it’s a bit slower going, but that’s fine.

Planning

… The wedding! We’ve got a wedding planner lined up for full service, but we’re saving $1000 by doing our own venue search. We’ve narrowed it down to two possible venues and they couldn’t be more different. One comes with a $35k price tag but includes lodging for up to 51 guests, full commercial kitchen, a pool, all the vintage tables and chairs we could ask for, and basically whatever we want to do with the property for the weekend, we can do. The other only has a $4k site fee, but no lodging, totally bare bones, basically like getting married in a cross between a redwood forest and Fern Gully.

Once we finish the paperwork and our wedding planner is totally on board, we’ll have her help us price things out and see which site makes more sense. Tbh, I’m leaning towards the bigger price tag with everything included… because with the second site, there would be a running argument with my parents about how it’s a long walk for everyone, uneven ground, steep, blah blah blah even with golf carts to shuttle guests to and fro.

Making

… All kind of fancy keto fat bombs. The other day I made twelve chocolate coconut cups — coconut in shredded, butter, and oil forms, heated together then poured into silicone baking cups and stored in the freezer, then when solid topped with molten 100% dark chocolate and frozen again until solid. The texture is amazing, almost like toffee, and with roughly seven drops of liquid stevia there’s enough sweetness that I’m starting to not care how bitter the chocolate is.

I even improvised a double boiler with my saucepan and a glass bowl to melt the chocolate. Not all the chocolate actually made it into the cups… but because I ate it, but because it was all very messy. Maybe I should invest in a glass bowl with a spout?

Anticipating

… Any response about the job applications I’ve sent out in the past week. Any at all. Although… it would be great to get some interviews in addition to politely worded “you’re not qualified enough” form letters.

Reading

… A little here and there, but not a ton. Some fanfiction, since it’s what I’m writing at the moment. Re-listening to the Abhorsen series by Garth Nix when I’m by myself in the car. I recently obtained a copy of Golden Hand from my local library, the follow up novel to the main trilogy, so I’m excited about listening to that soon.

Watching

… Angel. We finally finished it in February, and I gotta say, the first season was definitely the best. Past that, it gets weird. Let’s just say that there were a lot of “what the fuck did you just DO” moments. Dammit Cordelia.

Now we’re rewatching Buffy until we get to the point where Angel starts, and then we’ll watch one episode of A then an episode of B, rinse and repeat, for a better sense of timeline. We are incredibly dorky people sometimes.

Feeling

… On and off blah. Sometimes I go a little over on carbs and have to go through a brief period of ick to get back into ketosis.

Plus the weather keeps seesawing from warm and springy to cold, windy, and raining. The rain is good, sure, but I could live without the freeze warnings and the high wind warnings. All these atmospheric changes keep giving me sinus headaches. But March is starting to look like it might stay warm, so yay!

Needing

… A job. Lordy lordy, I need a fucking job. I’m starting to go stir crazy, and not always in productive ways.

Loving

… The wedding ideas coming from our friend Rebecca, our “spiritual guide” for the wedding. (She got a kick out of us saying that, lol.) She suggested that we sage everyone as they come in, to sort of cleanse everything, and I love that.

Hating

… All this shooting crap lately. Even locally (because we signed up during the fires to get all the local alert texts) in the past couple weeks two different high schools have shut down for a day — one because a 16 year old student graffitied some sort of threat, and one because of someone suspicious on campus. Last year one of the private catholic schools got trashed by some guy on drugs.

Did you know that there’s an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer where there’s a threat against the school, and someone makes the comment that school shootings are “bordering on trendy at the moment”? That was filmed roughly twenty years ago.

Hoping

… That with a full service wedding planner on board there won’t be too many wedding-related headaches. My parents are stressing me out already. I love them to death but sometimes, ugh, I swear, I just want to knock their heads together.

A Month in Review: February 2018

Without actually posting a screencap, let me just tell you that my weight spiked dramatically as soon as I took my previous job in 2016. One of several negative impacts that whole experience had on my health. But I can now say that, thanks to aggressively cutting carbohydrates from my diet, I’m back down to more or less what I weighed in 2017.

Now, what should I celebrate with… homemade keto Greek Yogurt ice cream, homemade keto chocolate almond fudge, or homemade keto chocolate coconut cups?

Anyway, I feel good. Healthy.

Continue reading “A Month in Review: February 2018”

Now I’ll tell you about me…

These are questions posed by inkbiotic, who likes to hear what people have to say about stuff.

1. Would you rather be beautiful, an astronaut or able to walk up any surface (ie up walls and along the ceiling)? Why?

I’m afraid of falling (not heights, heights don’t bother me, but put me on a steep slope trying to go any direction and I’ll freeze up), so not the walking up any surface one. I could give or take being beautiful. So I guess I’d rather be an astronaut.

After all, there is no up or down in space. I learned that from Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Up and down are determined by gravity, which is generally a planetary orientation, but when you’re in space you have to switch to a situational orientation based on where you are, where you want to go, and any obstacles that are in your way. I like thinking about stuff like that.

2. Would you rather physically age, mentally age or visibly age?

The closer I get to thirty, the more I discover that physically aging sucks — so not that one.

My answer depends on what you mean by mentally age… Does it mean more maturity, adult-ness, etc, or does it mean inching closer to dementia? Because I’ve seen the latter (I was visiting my Gramps in the Alzheimer’s ward once and… got lost). In that case, no fucking thank you.

3. What was the last good deed you did?

This is a tiny good deed, and I don’t know if anyone cared… but yesterday my partner and I were leaving a winery tasting room and I thought I’d pushed the door hard enough for it to close behind us. We got about twenty feet before I glanced back and realized that it was still yawning open, so I went back and closed it. Flies would have gotten in, or something, and the tasting room staff would’ve had to go around the counter to go close it.

4. I’ve been watching the Good Place. It’s great. To give a spoiler-free description, it’s a comedy about a Heaven-like place, where you can live in your ideal house in a perfect village, eat all your favourite foods, and hang out with your soul-mate. What three things would you choose to have in your good place?

I would want a tiny house village! And have three tiny houses — one to live in with my partner, and one for each of us to have our own creative workspaces. (Possibly another tiny house for a library, too, but the kind of library that’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. With audiobooks as well as print.)

The other thing I would want is my three cats, and I don’t care if that doesn’t count as one thing because I love them.

Food-wise, I want every imaginable style of pizza.

5. You get a time machine watch that can only go up to an hour into the past or future. What would you use it for?

I’d probably use it for when I’ve forgotten to take my anti-anxiety meds before noon. Or if I’m running late for work.

6. You’re such an awesome person, that the mayor of your town has asked you to come up with a national holiday, what would you want the holiday to be for (eg Tree Day, Festival of Dreams), and when would you want it?

Love a Kitty Day.

7. What small something would you change right now?

I would change the amount of carbs in my favorite turkey jerky. Why does there need to be so much cane sugar and brown sugar? Why?!

8. What are your plans for getting older? How do you want to spend your time when/if you stop working? Where do you want to be?

I’d like to get into the wine industry, though still on the marketing and outside events side. Somewhere I can actually stay for a few years and still feel like I’m growing in my role rather than hitting a dead end career-wise. Somewhere that can pay a living wage and offer medical, dental, and vision coverage. And I’m enough my father’s daughter that if I can retire at some point, I’d probably still end up doing something similar on a part-time basis anyway.

I’d also like to write and publish a few novels. And remember that tiny house village from question three? That’s where I want to live, somewhere in Northern California with a view of the ocean and lots of walking trails. A garden that I don’t have to do anything with, just enjoy the bounty of.

9. You find out (probably from a magic floating wizard or by text or something) that nothing you do today will have consequences. What’s your itinerary for the day?

Costco pizza. And deep dish pizza. And one or two seasonal pizzas from our favorite restaurant in Petaluma. Pizza pizza pizza, all day long.

I would also tell a former employer exactly what I think of her.

2018-01-01 11.42.4710. When you die your ghost will be trapped in the place of your death, where do you want to die?

I don’t know… But if I could stay wherever my body ends up, I would prefer to do one of those biodegradable burial pod things that turns your body into a tree. Then I could be a dryad.

The Keto experiment has begun.

I have a confession to make… This is the first diet I’ve ever been on.

Growing up in my parents house, my dad basically fed us like we were all on a diet. A protein, a starch, and vegetables with every meal, plus the built in kind of portion control you can only get from a man who buys things in bulk at Costco and then vacuum seals his own portions of “enough for four,” “enough for three,” “enough for two,” etc. We didn’t have much in the way of snacks around the house, usually, but when I did snack it was usually things like a slice off the big brick of Tillamook mild cheddar. Desserts were infrequent, and when they happened usually involved fresh fruit in some way.

I’m not saying I always ate my veggies, but I seldom ended up overeating at any given meal.

But now I’m going to be thirty in a few months, and I want to lose the stress weight from the past few years… Long story, mostly work related. My partner and I have both decided to try out the Keto diet, which basically means we eat so few carbs our bodies start to metabolize fat for energy instead. It seems like a fairly sustainable plan, and I don’t have to be on it forever.

The Experience So Far

I feel like crap. Crap in that special way where I’ve been ramping down my sugar intake since mid-January and I’m still sliding down the slope of a major energy low. One day I could barely make myself move for apathy and despair. Another day I kept crying about everything. Carb withdrawal is brutal.

The diet started officially a few days ago, and I’m not entirely sure I’ve limited my carb intake enough. Still, I feel like I already have the keto flu. If I do, that means I’m already done with some of the three to five days it usually lasts!

I made some very tasty cream cheese truffles. Gotta love Pinterest as a recipe source.

Tonight we both downloaded the KetoDiet Pro app, and that should help quite a bit with carb counting.

Have I mentioned that I feel like crap? It’s also entirely possible that I still have an actual cold. That, or the weather is warm enough that the plants have decided it’s spring and I’m getting seasonal sinus headaches again. Or possibly both.

Going Forward

I’m going to keep a better eye on my carbs, and start taking some vitamin B and C supplements along with my usual daily boost of vitamin D. Everything is still full steam ahead.

I’ve lost my mind and started rereading my old fanfiction, and actually still like a quite a bit of it. I mean, I’m going to go through several rounds of rereading and editing before I repost anything on Archive of Our Own, and not all of it is going to make the cut by any means, but a lot of it still makes me laugh in a good way. If nothing else it is nice to have a creative project.

Lastly, at some point in the future I want to start putting together my own cookbook of favorite, go-to recipes. That’s another project. I don’t know what it is about being more hands-on with my own food, but this is all very exciting — enough, at least, to push through the carb withdrawal.