Back in the saddle agaaaaainnnnnn. I’m back!

 

I’m back! I had planned some big apology sesh at the beginning here to temper my gaping absence, but you know what? Life happens. And a lot of life has happened these last two weeks.

First off: The Walking Dead is back on. STUFF IS HAPPENING, GUYS. I won’t spoil anything for you, but people have died, okay? It’s a big deal. On top of that, it airs on Sunday nights. Sunday, as you might recognize, also happens to be the night I typically update the blog. The Walking Dead has played a heavy role in my not updating JOMO recently. I’m going to have to figure a workaround for this.

In fact, now that the mid-season break is over for many of my shows (seriously, what the hell even is a mid-season break?) I’m finding it more and more difficult to do the things I should be doing, like reading and blogging. I’m seeing that the majority of the JOMO Empire has existed within the mid-season vacuum and perhaps that was a key factor in my resounding success and that now I’m actually going to have to make some hard decisions in my life. Great.

But let me get back on topic.

I have sucked at the grocery challenge these last two weeks. Like, I can’t even say the numbers, so I’ll just post these pics:

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$242.48?! It’s as though I wasn’t even trying. Almost exactly like that.

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$167.68. I have brought shame unto my family.

I know. I KNOW. I’ve let each and every one of you down. I’ve been weak. I bought some grand margaux and baguette and tortilla chips. I splurged a bit, and also had to stock up on some basics that I’d run out of. Looking back, part of the grocery challenge was also functioning as a pantry challenge, wherein I was relying heavily on my reserves of things like spices and canned tomatoes and broth. But, eventually you run out of some of that stuff and it’s not like a kitchen can function without them. So, I stocked up on a bunch of stuff. Also, I bought some fancy cheese. Sue me.

Another thing is, with The Walking Dead back on (I’m sensing a trend here – how many of my failures can be directly linked directly to the undead rising from the Earth?) and our weekly viewing party (if you can call two couples a ‘party’) I’ve felt a need to provide snacks. If you know me in real life, you know how compulsive my need to feed people is. No one shall cross my threshold without being offered something to eat. I’m the old Jewish mother of atheist Portland nerds. So, I bought snacks. And before long it’ll be time for our weekly Game of Thrones viewing party so I’m gonna have to keep some prudence in mind. Snack prudence.

Snack prudence is a thing I actually just said. Send the doctor.

Valentine’s Day happened. I know, I know. Valentine’s Day is this stupid meaningless thing. I also expect flowers and a fancy dinner and a nightcap. And don’t fuck it up. Like, don’t come at me with a 6:30pm or 8:30pm reservation. I will know you waited too long to call if we end up with some second-best seating time. I know this is silly and demanding and trivial. I don’t care, it’s fun. I’m really  not usually like this, I swear – it’s just a thing I enjoy. And on Valentine’s you usually get a special prix fixe, special wine pairings, special plates compliments of the chef. And as long as the husband doesn’t mess it up, I will plan an equally fancy date for Steak & Blow Job Day. I’m not a monster.

This year’s surprise reservations were to Nel Centro. It was… good. It was not overly expensive, and the food was solid but uninspired. We got the hazelnut goat cheese and beet salad to share, and then chicken tortellini (me) and lamb pappardelle (husband). All the food was fine, but it wasn’t earthshaking. Valentine’s dinner should be orgasmic. Really, all dinner should be orgasmic, but especially so when you’re dropping a couple bills on a single seating. Also, my after-dinner macchiato came out more like a tiny cappuccino, but at least they didn’t try and make me something with caramel in it like Starbucks does when I order it.**

I gave up beer for Lent. You read that right, folks. I gave up my most favorite liquid for an imaginary holiday I don’t believe in. The idea came to me sometime in the morning on Mardi Gras, and before I knew it I wasn’t drinking beer for the next 46 days. Like many decisions I make, it was rather impulsive. So, what I’m trying to say is that I’m becoming more and more familiar with mead, wine, and cider.

Last week, I woke up to a distressing personal message on Facebook. It was from an old high school friend, someone who I haven’t seen in probably ten years, but whom I believed was a generally kind and caring person. So you can imagine my surprise to open up my phone in the morning to a message that said, and I’m paraphrasing here, ‘You’re too condescending and serious. I’m unfriending you!’. And then, not only was I unfriended, but I was blocked and cannot message this person to find out what could have been so awful as to make them literally ruin my day. And, in all seriousness, it didn’t just ruin my day. Stuff like this happens and I’ll spend the next Until the End of Time killing myself trying to figure out what I said and convincing myself that everyone has always hated me because I’m just so fucking condescending. I don’t even have to try – my brain provides this service free of charge!

So I realized something. This is a person I haven’t seen in ten years. Somebody I would be unlikely to hang out with, and whose presence in my life is limited to Facebook. And they were able to ruin my day. Why keep relationships with non-IRL friends on Facebook, when it’s easy to use that access to make me feel shitty? I mean, and this is probably true for the majority of people, the large part of my Facebook friends list was people from earlier periods in my life whom I friended for the sole purpose of casual stalking. You know, seeing what they’re up to since high school or whatever.

The result of this situation? I culled my friends list! I went from just over 600 to around 250. 250 actual real-life humans that I regularly interact with. I just don’t need to give people unfettered access to my life and opinions. (I do understand the irony of making such a statement in a public blog, but there’s nothing I write here that I’d consider too polarizing or TMI. Also, my barometer for what regular people consider TMI could be skewed.)

The culling has been cathartic.

In other things that have felt good, I’ve been to three sewing classes and it’s been a blast! Just as I hoped, I’m learning some of the basic skills I’d lost. There’s a beginning sewing 2 class that starts the week after this session ends. I plan to sign up for it, as during that class they let you learn such exciting things as: Buttonholes! Zippers! I’m nearly done making my pajama pants, and will be excited to wear them!

I made some new dishwasher detergent this week, as I’d run out of the Awesomesauce I’d made initially. You may recall a couple weeks ago I mentioned that the Awesomesauce was making my glasses cloudy. So this time I tried this unnamed dishwasher detergent, which claims citric acid is key in avoiding cloudy dishes. We’ve washed a couple loads with it so far, and I’ll keep you posted on my findings.

I also got a cute new haircut last week! I’ve been trying to grow my hair out. I had for a while sported that shaved-on-the-sides-long-on-the-top look every girl in Portland was wearing. Then I became Over It and have been patiently waiting through iterations of frumpy hairdos until I could actually do something with it. Well, wait no longer! I can do something with it! Instead of the thick emo side bangs I’ve rocked the last couple years, I am now back to flat bangs and couldn’t be more pleased. And what’s more, they require flat-ironing to become presentable, which has obligated me to some amount of styling in the morning. And I tell you what: I’ve felt damn fancy styling my hair these last few days. It’s made me realize just how little effort I’ve put into getting ready of late, and that I generally feel better about myself when I, you know, try a little.

But I’ve saved the best for last, dear reader. The biggest reason for my absence has not been The Walking Dead, but rather the fact that my kid GOT FUCKING LICE. For those of you unfamiliar with the plague, it completely derails your life for a week or so. Want to do something other than launder EVERY PIECE OF FABRIC IN YOUR HOUSE? TOO BAD! Want to spend your time NOT COMBING AND PICKING YOUR CHILD’S HAIR FOR TWO OR THREE HOURS EACH DAY? ALSO TOO BAD! I can not understate how much lice really puts a heavy, wet towel on accomplishing anything.

So, I guess that’s it. Overall, I’ve felt discombobulated these last two weeks as my schedule has been willy-nilly. But I managed to make soup this week, and now I’m updating my blog finally, so maybe life is getting back to normal. Maybe?

**I am so irritated that Starbucks took the already-existing macchiato, a perfectly satisfying espresso drink, and created a sugary monstrosity of the same name. It has made it hard for me to get a macchiato anywhere, as I’m either asked about whether I want the caramel drizzle (hint: I LITERALLY NEVER want a caramel drizzle on my coffee) or (if I’m at a self-respecting espresso shop) whether or not I understand I’ll be getting a traditional macchiato, and not the syrupfest Starbucks has unleashed. Life is hard in a post-caramel macchiato society.

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But I’m an Artiste!

Last week I talked a bit about depression, and anxiety, and was generally having a crummy week. I’m happy to announce that this week has been great! I’m contributing the greatness to the following points:

  • Friday (my weekly day off and designated errands and/or lady brunch day) started out rough. Woke up crying, that sort of thing. I had a long list of places I needed to go, but no motivation to even get out of bed.However! I’ve come to know that I can kind control it to some extent, and I know that if I can manage to get up, get showered and dressed, get some coffee and get out the door I can most often crush the depression monster before it turns into the panic attack monster. Luckily for me, my depression (at least in the beginning stages) is fairly lucid, but if I let it go and it morphs into depression-anxiety, I have a harder time kicking it.

    I know that this isn’t true for everyone, or even mostly everyone, with depression. Telling people to just get over it and pull themselves up by the bootstraps is an asshole thing to do, okay?

    But I managed to do the things, got out of the house, ran all my errands and accomplished all the things I needed to. And I was right: Once I got past the completely overwhelming hurdle of actually getting out of bed and getting ready, I actually had a really nice time running around. And then when I got home, I received the *best ever* no-reason-just-reminding-you-you’re-awesome/blog-fan-mail card from a sweet, sweet friend and that really blasted my day into the positivity stratosphere.

    So now all I want to do is send people cards for no reason. Seriously, it’s the best fucking thing and we should all do it.

  • I did some hand lettering on a marketing piece for work last week, and it was really fun. Like, really really fun. And it reminded me of how much I enjoyed doing that sort of thing. And then I realized that I haven’t really done much creating in a long, long time. Sure, I feel creatively rewarded when I cook and organize and decorate and tidy, but I haven’t made art in a long time. So, I went out and got some new pens, paper and some watercolors. I’ve never really used watercolors, but I love watercolor paintings. And I painted a beet! I want to do a series of small vegetable paintings for the kitchen. This one is just a study – it’s not going on my wall.

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    This painting can’t be beet!

  • I started my sewing class on Saturday and I had a blast! We were told to bring patterns for pants with elastic waists, which was thoroughly unexciting (Grandma pants!), but when I picked up the recommended pattern I realized we’re making jammy pants! Up with jammy pants!

    We cut and pressed our patterns and practiced some finished seams. We learned about things like that it actually matters what direction you put your fabric on the pattern because the stretch is different on either axis. We learned how to read the pattern directions (which are really stupid complicated and unintuitive). Some things are coming back to me from my days sewing in 4-H and I’m stoked to go to next week’s class. I need to go pick up the fabric and some notions for next Saturday. Yay another trip to the fabric store!

  • Some of our very best friends brought their kids over for hanging out Saturday. The husbands brewed beer (first time going full grain!), the kids LARPed with some new practice weapons and the moms got to do some mom hanging out. Also, TACOS!
  • Today my sister-in-law and I (and the kids) got pedicures. Girl day! Purple toes!

So, yeah, those things made my week pretty great.

GROCERY CHALLENGE TIME!

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$76.70!

The bill should have been a lot less than that, but I probably spent about $30 on Valentine’s Day stuff. Well played, Hallmark. Well played.

My reading hasn’t been tip top this week. I’m reading Mindy Kaling‘s memoir Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). It’s not my favorite. It’s short, and I really should have finished by now, but I’m not getting into this book. She’s pretty self-deprecating, and she talks a lot about body image stuff, but I wouldn’t consider her body positive at all. She’s not really my kind of person, I guess. Also, she uses some ableist and transmisogynist language that I’m really not crazy about. But I’ll push through. I hate leaving things undone.

Excercise? Pffft. I am really sucking at this. I really, really need to find my motivation and get back on track. But I’m so enjoying the reemergence of my creative side that that’s all I want to do right now.

So, this week I found some joy. A lot of it, actually. I hope you did too.