things that have been annoying me

1. Having a meal plan but then wanting nothing to do with it. Tonight I was supposed to make cauliflower & sweet potato soup, but all I could think about was all other foods that have ever existed. Namely: this ridiculously good quesadilla I had in the Phoenix airport (I know...AIRPORT FOOD. Miracles do happen!), and it had squash and peppers and came with greasy kettle chips and fresh pico and I neeeeeeed it. I was eating almost no cheese before we went to California, but then I ate some there and all my cheese cravings are back. SIGH. Anyway, I also would be very happy with some pad thai. Or a pizza? With a burrito? I got so caught up in my food fantasies that suddenly it was too late to cook and I ate a bagel for dinner.

2. All things chevon and ombre. Ok, ombre stuff in and of itself doesn't bother me at all, but the word sounds so pretentious it makes me roll my eyes. And chevron...are we still on this? It's so 2011. *exasperated hair flip*

3. The guy I had to sit next to for a 3 1/2 hour flight. He was a creepy, middle aged, pudgy, balding man who was sending raunchy-and I DO MEAN raunchy-text messages to some lady friend (yes-if you sit next to me on a plane and text (or watch a movie!), I will read it, except I stopped reading this guy's texts because YIKES). He also ordered tons of booze and put that along with his wifi and several snacks on his company's credit card. SKEEZE BAG.

4. People obsessed with Harry Potter-WAIT PUT DOWN YOUR STONES-people with freaky, unhealthy obsessions with Harry Potter. I'll admit, I just do not understand. I'll also admit that I've also not read the books, so I have literally no basis here. I want to ask these people if they realize Hogwarts doesn't exist? Because it doesn't.

5. OOTD. I know, I know, shoot me, all you bloggers. I love you, but I don't care about your outfit. Stop shoving it in my face.

6. Tweeting your blog post multiple times a day. Now I just want to refuse to read it AND unfollow you. I'm a rebel with a cause.

Now you can probably add me and this post to your own list of grievances. I'm sorry. What can I say? It's Tuesday and all I had for dinner was a bagel. 


blogging year 2: lessons & rants

blogging, year 1

I've noticed that blogging is a lot like a relationship. For the first year, everything is sparkles and daisies and we spend every free second together. Year one is the honeymoon phase. We stretch, we grow, we get to know each other, and we fall in love. Things are groovy.

Then year two comes along, and the blogging honeymoon ends. And then come the fights. And the doubts. We tussle. We threaten to break up with each other. We sheepishly crawl back to each other. We ignore each other's phone calls and give each other the silent treatment. We eventually recommit to each other. We work on our relationship and work through our differences. We compromise. We learn to love each other and not give up.

Year two of blogging has been hard. There were days I wanted to shut the whole thing down, and there were days where I felt I've never loved blogging more. My blog and I have been in a long distance relationship this year. It turns out that blogging is a lot harder when you can't blog all day at work. My new job threw a huge wrench in my blogging mojo. It's hard to work all day, come home, make dinner, and then find some creativity to write. My best ideas come to me while driving to work and during the early-mid morning hours, but by the time I get home they've completely fizzled. 

I've blogged less this year, my blog has only barely grown, and I've been in a lot of ruts. The post ideas come slower these days, the readers come slower, and everything overall is a little slower. But it's been so good. I've made some rules for myself and learned a lot of good things. For instance:

1. I've learned not to post anything I don't absolutely love. If a post doesn't feel quite right to me, I won't post it until I get it right. If that means less posts, then so be it. Quality over quantity. 
2. People will get offended no matter what you say. Sometimes it's a valid grievance, but most of the time it's flat out ridiculous and over something extremely trivial. People are way too sensitive.
3. After a few years of blogging you'll start to make some solid friendships. It's a great thing, but it can start to make blogging feel less like an escape and more like real life (in the words of Kristen). It makes it hard to write whatever the heck you want, because you know some blog friend somewhere will take what you said the wrong way or think it's directed at them. Finding the balance between saying what you want to say and not offending the people you care about can be hard.
4. The posts you think are the most brilliant thing you've ever written are the posts that will get the smallest response. The posts you like the least are the ones that will get the most response. Science.
5. Do the opposite of all the blogging how-to posts.
  •  Don't have a picture for your post? Don't include one. We are not kindergartners and we do not need pictures to illustrate stories. If you rely on visual stimuli to help you read, you are what's wrong with this generation.
  •  We are constantly told not to write long, wordy posts. Long, wordy posts are my favorite, especially when written by a great writer, like my friend Anna. Once again, if this is a problem for you, read more books.
  • Don't blog like everyone else. The last thing the blogging world needs are more pictures of girls looking at their feet and weekend recaps. I don't care what you ate on Saturday, and I certainly don't care what you wore while you ate it. 
  • Blogging should not be treated like a get rich quick scheme. It most likely will not become your career, but it especially won't if you copy everyone else. Don't add to the noise. Do your own thing. You don't have to pay other bloggers to get readers, and if that's your main goal, check your priorities.
6. Don't be afraid to unfollow people. I don't have time to sift through sponsor posts and giveaways. When I read a blog, I want to read good writing, something entertaining, and something that has a point.
7. I've learned that I like to be mostly silly and sometimes serious. I love to tell stories. If I had a blog niche, I would want it to be storytelling.

The bottom line is, this second year has taught me how much I love this blog and how proud I am of it. It's introduced me to some of my favorite people in the world. I don't care if this blog never grows. I love it and I love writing for it. I love not having a niche. I love doing my own blog thing. It makes me want to shake so many girls who pay for blogging advice and to be told what to do. That's not what this whole thing is about, at least for me. I'll never be the girl who cares about fashion or makeup or how much beer you drank Friday night. But I will be here the next morning telling you about how I accidentally wore a blue bra under a white shirt to work.

So yeah. I think I'll keep this thing. Would it be weird if I hugged you guys?


the last 24 hours in haikus

I hated Monday.
So sleepy, I hit the snooze,
then forgot my lunch.

Well, not all my lunch.
It was the avocado.
The very best part!

Work was so stressful.
Every little thing went wrong.
Still so exhausted.

Tim Horton's coffee,
I was counting on you, jerk!
Bad coffee, again.

I sat in my car,
Fending off bad coffee tears.
I can't stay awake.

Then the afternoon.
Even worse than the morning.
Retirement, please?

So glad to leave work.
Hey! Traffic isn't that bad!
Oh, wait. Just kidding.

Listen, slow lady.
Speed limit is 65,
It's not 45.

Oh, really? REALLY?
We're taking the same exit?

Will you please just turn?
I can't pass you in this lane.

Too late, I'm home now.
Could've been so much sooner.
Stupid slow lady.

Walk inside, collapse.
I need my bed. Hello, James.
Listen to me whine.

I know, I'm cranky.
An attitude adjustment?
I know, I need one.

Whine, complain, whine, whine.
Bad day, hungry, so sleepy.

James brought cake from work!
Is that what I think it is?
A shift in my mood?

5 minutes later,
I've inhaled yummy cake.
Oh, I needed that.

Now time for dinner.
James turns on Christmas music (!!!!!!),
and we make some soup.

Chop some potatoes,
Dang, that's a potent onion!
Where is the parsley?

Crap, forgot the kale!
Burned my hand on the hot soup!!!

At least it's yummy.
Now time for tornado shows.
I just love Netflix.

I love tornadoes.
Well, they terrify me too.
I want to see one?

I should have become
A meteorologist.
Wait, physics? No thanks.

If I weren't wimpy,
I'd move to Oklahoma,
And chase tornadoes.

Wait, no I wouldn't.
But I'll watch them on TV.
Safely far away.

Monday's finally done.
This day has been really hard.
At least there was cake.

Finally asleep,
I dream weird dreams about our cars,
5am already?!

Ugh, morning workout.
I'd rather still be in bed.
Is it Friday yet?

Nope, it's just Tuesday.
Always my least favorite day.
I hope I'll get cake.



Feeling// Tired. And Sunday bluesy.  And thirsty.

Loving// Ohio. We went to lunch today for James' birthday, and I snapped these in the car on the way. Sometimes I can't believe how much I love this state, which is a miracle if you knew how much I once hated it

Watching// We just finished a show about a 2011 tornado outbreak. It was awesome. James and I are obsessed with anything that has to do with tornadoes. We totally geek out and freak out.

Listening to// some acoustic album of Phillip Phillips. Listen, I saw his audition on American Idol and I have loved him (and I do mean love) ever since. His music is ridiculous. I love him, I love acoustic guitar, and I can barely handle the two of them together. James and I laid in bed Friday night reading and listening to his album and it was perfect.


Reading// I finished The Book Thief last week. You'll have my thoughts soon in another book review post. Mixed emotions. I'm now about to start another WWII book and I cannot wait because I have a problem.

Looking forward to// going to California this weekend. I haven't mentioned that, have I? California friends, I know I promised to find a way to meet up with you next time I'm there, but hear me out. This hasn't been planned long, we're tagging along with my parents, and I'm only going to see my sick grandparents and to spend time with them. I figure that I have the rest of my life to go to California and do what I want, but I have very little time left to sit on my grandma's couch and talk to her.

I'm really sad to be leaving Ohio right as the weather really cools down and when the leaves are supposed to peak, but I'd be lying if I said I'm not dying to see palm trees and the ocean again. Be still my heart.

However, if you're in the Solvang area, hit a girl up. I'll sneak out a window or something ;)


the hazards of overtime

I worked nine hours today (I'm writing this Wednesday night). NINE. Eight hours plus one hour of overtime. I also did this yesterday. Working eight hours is one thing, but adding even one more hour to your workday will make you feel like you are dying and everything is falling apart and why is everything so hard and can you pass the junk food and would it be weird if I started crying?

That extra one hour is a gateway drug to hell. It opens up the doors to work demons who make everything go wrong. They know you're working longer and you're tired, so they unleash their fury. Yesterday, I came home and couldn't turn my brain off for the life of me. I was mentally exhausted, and I woke up today completely work hungover. My brain was still sore, my eyes were still trying to avoid looking at computer screens, my head was fuzzy, and everything was awful. Luckily for me, today was even more difficult than yesterday.

A project I thought was due last week was actually due today.
Another project was assigned to me.
My computer wouldn't function.
James had to make an emergency trip to the doctor (he's fine).
FOB and I nearly collided with each other in the hallway.
There was a problem with my cell phone bill.
Two emails saying something like "Hey Michelle, I think the file you gave me is for someone else..."
My lunch from home was nowhere as yummy as I thought it would be.
The department next to us had a potluck and it was all I could smell all day.
I had to walk past the food all day.
Did I mention my lunch was a fail? And the potluck right next to me.
Every single task at work somehow became 100 times more complicated than it ever should be.
And so much more.

I didn't even get to take my lunch break until 2:30. By that point, I decided I needed some fresh air. My head was fuzzy, and I couldn't think straight. I walked through the hallway, and as I neared the door to the parking lot I jumped a foot and squelched a scream, because there was A CRAB IN THE HALLWAY. Except! Guess what! It wasn't a crab at all! It was a leaf. But, you know, so normal for crabs to be inside office buildings. Especially with all the beaches we have here in central Ohio.

Once that happened and I noticed my brain was powering down, I booked it to Tim Hortons and got an iced coffee. Instead of using the drive through like I normally would, I went inside Timmy Ho's. Last time I went through the drive through several months ago, the jerk employee gave me an iced tea with cream (vom-it) instead of an iced coffee with cream and I didn't notice until I got back to work. It was also during a very bad day and led to me sobbing in my car, and I will do anything to keep that from happening again. Now I go inside and watch them make it. Anyway, I got my iced coffee and looked for the trash can to throw away the straw wrapper. There were two trash cans side by side, each with a logo similar to the ones you see on public restrooms, sort of like this:

The problem with this is that I stared at it for a good 5 seconds trying to figure out which was the men's trash can and which was the women's trash can. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW WHICH ONE TO USE?!

Needless to say, it has been a really long week. If you need me, I'll be pulling a George Constanza and napping under my desk.


my wild & crazy life

1. I've been reading The Book Thief lately. I know everyone is all THIS BOOK, but so far I'm not completely in love with it. I'm not sure what it is, but I'm just not excited about reading it. I'm only halfway through, so we'll see.

2. I also made a huge photo wall with my instagram prints. And when I finished I stepped back and noticed it's all tilty and uneven, but I really don't care. I would expect nothing less from myself.

2b. It's a lot bigger than the picture would let you think. And a lot more uneven. And yes, those are our bikes, BECAUSE WE ARE HIPSTER AND OH SO URBAN.

3. Did you know that in newer cars with more fancypants computerized stuff, you can't leave the keys in the ignition when the car is off? I learned that lesson last week when my battery died on my lunch break. The roadside assistance guy jumped the car while lecturing me on the importance of never leaving keys in the ignition with a kids these days look on his face. I'm telling you this so you don't have to experience the shame. Also, if I made you think I drive a spanky new car *brushes shoulders off,* I just drive a Honda. But I love it.

4. I took my cat to the vet Saturday to get her annual shots, and I was more traumatized than she was.

5. The only shows I'm even attempting to watch so far are Parenthood and Parks & Rec. That's all I need. Oh, and The Biggest Loser when that comes back. Last week a girl at work was trying to talk to me about some movie she wants to see that's out in theaters. I told her I'd never heard of the movie, and she could not even handle that I'm that out of touch. This is my life, and I love it. Give me yarn! Give me my cat! Give me my books! I don't need your pop culture.

6. At this very moment, on Sunday evening, I can see the rain pouring down outside as I drink my pumpkin coffee. I want to bottle up this moment.

6b. The rain WAS nice until I realized I still needed to get groceries. Grocery shopping in torrential rain and thunderstorms is not fun. You know what also isn't fun? Making your grocery list on your phone, and then thinking you accidentally deleted it while reaching for the limes. You know what also isn't fun? Getting home to realize you never actually deleted it; the list was there the whole time, but it had somehow been labeled Target instead of Trader Joe's. Sometimes I'm my own worst enemy.

6c. It's still raining, but I'm home wearing my flannel pajama pants, my kitty is sleeping, and there's an apple cider candle burning. Life is ok again.

6d. The good thing about going to Trader Joe's is that I bought pumpkin everything. Pumpkin body butter? Pumpkin bread pudding?! Yes. I even bought real pumpkins! I finally have a fall-ish front porch. I AUTUMNED UP THE JOINT.

6e. Every time I've tried to type pumpkin I've typed "pumpking" instead. Every single time.

7. I'm hooked on soup lately. I've been making a big pot of soup early in the week, and we've been eating on it all week. Chopping veggies is therapeutic after a long day of work, but it's also nice to have leftovers for most of the week.

8. Because I am such a wild and crazy person, I've been hooked on puzzles. Yes, puzzles. There is currently a 1,000 piece Christmas scene puzzle on our kitchen table that I work on while dinner is cooking. I am five.

Wassup witchu?