Three things ~ 9.30.21

Things I’m loving this week

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The Woman They Could Not Silence. I’m not really sure where to put this book because 1.) It’s engrossing and so I am really enjoying it, but 2.) the subject matter is infuriating and even more so as it’s true (tossing women in insane asylums for being “difficult”). I’d have been locked up at 13 with my attitude and mouth.

Hiking. I could walk in the woods all day, especially with six friends to keep me company. We spent nearly five hours hiking the Gerard Trail in Oil City on a beautiful Sunday and it was awesome. I had sore calves for two days, but it was worth it.

Running at Presque Isle. It takes me nearly 30 minutes to get to PISP for our Saturday morning runs. I know in most cities that is a short jaunt, but here in Erie, that’s the other end of the earth….and, yet, I have zero problems doing it — even at 6:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning because it’s always stunning and it’s the most beautiful (and flat) place to run in Erie. PISP is worth the drive, week after week after week, in any season

Things I’m not loving this week

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My 82-year-old mom looks better in jeans than me. You can’t see it, but she’s wearing skinny jeans with a belt and she looks great. I was wearing old yoga pants with cat hair on them and a hoodie with a stain on the front. I need to up my game if I’m going to hang around with my much more stylish and trendy mom.

poolside football

Steelers. Um…guys, you are making it very stressful to be around my house this football season. Get your head in the game so I don’t have to internalize my husband’s stress every time you play. Or, I need to find the schedule and make alternative plans at game time.

Worth Reading ~9.29.21

A few articles, blog posts, and other things I think are worth your time.

Harper’s Magazine: To Be a Field of Poppies: The elegant science of turning cadavers into compost

Lifehacker: Store Your Pineapples Upside Down, and Other Surprising Ways to Keep Your Fruit From Spoiling

Mental Floss: 21 Phrases You Use Without Realizing You’re Quoting Shakespeare

The Washington Post: Privacy Reset: A guide to the important settings you should change now

Just Write # 208 ~ Never perfect, always genuine

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L tells me a lot. Sometimes, much more than I want to know. I couldn’t imagine discussing the things she talks to me about with my own mother. That’s not her fault. She’s from a different era. You didn’t talk about sex or periods or salary or the realities of parenting/marriage. You just stuffed it all down, sucked it all up, and held it all in.

L holds little in. I don’t hate it. I like knowing what’s going on. (You can take the reporter out of the newsroom, but…). I like to think I can help provide some perspective and/or wisdom. I see things from a different vantage point. Though, there are times I’ve gotten uncomfortable enough to be like, you know, you have older girl cousins, maybe ask them about that. Or Google.

When I was in college, I was scared most of the first couple years, desperately afraid to fail and sure I was in over my head. All the way to the end, I wasn’t confident in which direction to go. But, my parents would’ve been the last ones I’d have asked for help. Back then, when your mom called the landline that you shared with your dorm roomie, you whispered: Tell her I’m at the computer lab.

One year out of college, working in my major (Public Relations), I realized I hated that field. I liked the place I worked, I just didn’t like P.R. I don’t have the personality for it. I have little tolerance for fake people and even less for faking stuff myself. I have a hard time hiding how I feel about something or someone. I don’t consider that a weakness. I actually think authenticity is a huge strength (few can be vulnerable enough to be real), but….it’s a major problem in P.R. where B.S. is the primary language and appearances ALWAYS matter.

I didn’t tell anyone I hated my chosen field or that I had no idea what to do next or that I was afraid I’d just wasted four years of college and tens of thousands of dollars. I just knew I had to get out, so I took an entry-level position at the newspaper, delivering ad proofs to customers. It was a terrible job, but at least it was real. I didn’t have to fake shit day in and day out.

I like the truth. I like authenticity. I like imperfection. I like flaws. I like vulnerability–mine and yours. Anything less bores me or irritates me. Not with everyone, of course. I feel less and less like sharing anything with anyone via social media anymore — talk about inauthentic bullshit, it doesn’t get much more worse than social media.

But with the people in my real life, those tough questions, complicated problems, and honest conversations are what I live for. They keep me grounded. They make me feel like I’m not alone. They recharge me.  Sometimes they also keep me up at night, but I suppose that’s the price of loving and living in the real world.

BE-YOU-FS

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About Just Write: Just Write is my adaptation of free writing, a technique in which a person writes continuously and quickly without little regard for spelling, grammar, or topic. It helps writers overcome blocks of apathy and explore everything from meaningful topics to mundane observations with the same effort and without the pressure of crafting perfect prose. I just start writing.

Three things ~9.23.21

Things I’m loving this week

Paddleboarding

Paddleboarding. I bought an inflatable paddleboard because it’s easier to toss into my car and take wherever. I don’t love inflating it and I wonder if there’s an battery operating thing I can get because I’m clearly not inflating it enough. I think if I could get it fully inflated, it would be easy to stand up on it, but it’s also fun to just kneel or sit crosslegged and paddle along and lay back and chill and dangle my feet off the sides. I spent nearly two hours chilling on Lake Pleasant Saturday. Yep….all alone. I don’t mind that — sun, water, solitude, a good Spotify playlist on my phone.

pillow

All About Vibe custom pillow. Kelly mentioned how much she missed Sam, so when I saw these custom pillows, I had to get one. I opted for the medium-size for about $40 and I was surprised at how cute it was. Vibrant and adorable. Kelly loved it!

summer pizza

Summer pizza. This is my favorite time of year to make mini pizzas — when the tomatoes and basil are fresh from my garden. Mmmm….. I eat this about three times a week. I buy personal-size crusts, brush with olive oil or spray with butter spray, sprinkle with sea salt, add lots of fresh basil (cut into strips), slivers of red onion, black olive slices, and lots and lots of sliced tomatoes (I use grape or cherry, but roma work, if they are not mushy). Top with fresh mozzarella (or shredded) and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake till the cheese melts/browns a bit.

Things I’m not loving this week

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The Allegheny River Trail.  I forgot what a bumpy, bumpy ride it is (roots pushing up the asphalt). That said….we had a fun day last weekend riding from Emlenton to Franklin and traveling through the dark train tunnels twice. Tip: Remember to take off your sunglasses in the tunnels. (oh….wow…yeah, that’s much better….)

nails

Nail limitations. I am just girly enough to like the look of my first-ever press/glue on nails, which Lauren put on for me Saturday night, but….wow….it’s hard to: type (and I’m a writer by profession), text, remove a sports bra, open a pull-top can, slide open a screen door, write with a pen, take off jeans (button-fly are out of the question)….. Not sure how long I can handle these.

covid

The never ending COVID nightmare and mask-holes. This is how my 18 year old daughter works her entire shift — two masks, a shield, a gown and gloves. So when I hear parents whining about how their fragile, soft kids can’t breathe in an Old Navy cloth mask at school, I literally scoff out loud. Maskhole adults and antivaxxers are the reason we’re stuck in this loop.

Worth Reading ~ 9.22.21

A few articles, blog posts, and other things I think are worth your time.

The Atlantic: ‘What If the Thing You’re Waiting for Never Arrives?’ Waiting for Godot is a classic that feels like it was written for the Delta era of the pandemic.

Waiting for Godot and some of Beckett’s other plays have very small casts. There are two or three or four characters at the most, usually two—they almost live in pods, where they’re constantly with each other all the time. We get to see the bickering, the small victories that happen in a day, the attempt to take space from each other in these confined situations, the sense that you’re in this together, which quickly flips into the sense of being trapped with each other.

There are feelings of frustration, anxiety, anger, but no clear object or person to direct the anger towards. They’re angry at their existential situation, and then Beckett shows how that plays out in interpersonal relationships.

Narratively: I Spent My Childhood Helping My Mom Sell Dead People’s Junk

The Washington Post: Alone in death: Tens of thousands die each year in the United States and no one claims their bodies

ProPublica: He Beat Her Repeatedly. Family Court Tried to Give Him Joint Custody of Their Children.