Sunday, September 20, 2020

Smoky eyes

Pic of the Week


Battle wounds from a fairly epic meltdown of a 7-yr-old this week.  Comes with the territory, I suppose.

What's going on?

We can breathe! Air quality seems to be back to normal.  I was in Utah over the weekend missed the worst of it, but there were still a couple of smoky days when I got back.  Glad things are clearing up.

Been a pretty normal week. Work, food, new cat in the apartment (not mine, but he's pretty cute).  Not doing much other than that these days what with the Pandemic and all.

Terribly saddened by the news of RGB's passing.  Her life and legacy are truly inspiring. 

This week's post is pretty light.  Not a lot going on around here.  

What I'm reading


This is a troubling look at history from the viewpoint of the people who were marginalized, enslaved, massacred, etc.  Important stuff to know, though.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Audiobooks on road trips

Pic of the Week


Stopped for lunch in Barstow and the Arby's was only open for drive-through orders, so I had to go to the gas station next door to use the bathroom.  This was on the bathroom door and made me laugh.

What's going on?

Happy Labor Day!!!  I was going to go hiking, but when I arrived at the trail head a somewhat surly park ranger informed me that all of the trails in the area were closed due to the heat (it was, like, 80 degrees that day, but had been in the triple digits over the weekend).  Any other hike would have been at least an hour drive away and not guaranteed to be open, so I went home and washed my car instead. 

Not much else going on this week.  Work, farmer's market, getting back into an exercise routine, etc. I drove to Utah this weekend for a niece's baptism and had a grand old time.  It was really nice to get out of LA since the entire west coast is currently under a dark cloud of ash and smoke.  Not looking forward to driving back into that.  Looks like it should clear up a bit by Wednesday, though.

I got my hair cut while in Utah. (Thanks Brianna!).  My hair's been growing out for about a year and a half and it just felt like time to go short again.  Changes all around.

What I'm watching


Apparently there's some controversy around this one. The lead actress, Liu Yifei, apparently supports police brutality and oppression in Hong Kong.  Part of the film was also filmed in the region of China where the government is detaining and oppressing ethnic Muslims.  So, not great PR for this film.  But I watched it before I knew all of that.  I've heard some mixed things about the movie, but overall I really enjoyed it.  

What I'm reading


A look at mass incarceration in America.  It seems like if you read this and aren't completely infuriated, you need to check yourself and read it again.

Also saw this gem on Facebook and thought it was quite thought-provoking:

My kids are watching "Les Miserables" tonight and I can't help but think there are a lot of people who love this story and would absolutely hate everything about it if it were set in modern day.
A convict imprisoned for minor theft highlights the plight of the poor and the inequities of the justice system. A single-minded police officer whose insistence on the letter of the law creates injustice.
An impoverished woman whose #metoo moment ends with her disbelieved, cast away from society, further impoverished and forced into prostitution, where she is taken advantage of and ultimately wrung out until dead by upper class johns and the justice system.
These injustices lead to an ultimately failed riot by young people, that is nevertheless held up as an exemplar of the Kingdom of God that is coming.
Even the minor villains are small business owners who are working hard to achieve riches at the expense of the people around them.
And in all of this, the heroes, the only people who provide any help to one another:
* An ex-convict on the run from the law
* a lying churchman who extends grace
* a young rioter
* a prostitute and her child
* a homeless child (also murdered by state violence)
All of this in an unapologetically spiritual, inherently Christian story in which every prayer is answered save one: Javert's prayer that the convict be placed behind bars again.
And the thief is not transformed by prison, which makes him only more desperate, more dangerous. He is not transformed by justice. He becomes a better man, a functioning part of society because of mercy, and because he is invited into the community of faith. Love, faith, kindness, mercy. Justice and rule of law bring only injustice and death in this story.
I wonder in that world if each of us would be cast in the role of villain or hero. Food for thought.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Am I nesting?

Pic of the Week


Teaching the kid I nanny how to do boondoggle.  The tradition continues.

What's going on?

I am officially moved in to a new apartment!  And I'm thrilled about it.  My room is cozy, my roommates are chill, and my kitchen is huge.  Also I have a bathtub now.  Albeit a tiny one.
Honestly, this week has been all about settling in.  Unpacking, organizing, hanging stuff on the walls, finding places for all my crap, cleaning, cooking, and enjoying the new digs. It's been nice to have a project to occupy my hours and keep me busy.  I'm basically done, so now it's just time to sit back and enjoy.

What I'm watching


Some language in this one, but the writing and the acting are incredible.  I'm not a huge Reese Witherspoon fan in general, but I think she's great in this.  

What I'm cooking


Peaches and Cream Puff Pastries.  My good friend Tara sent me these on Instagram and I decided to go for it.  I was NOT disappointed.  They turned out so tasty, and they were very easy to make.  Highly recommend.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Goodbye, covered parking. Hello, free laundry.

Pic of the Week


This hibiscus flower is in the front yard of the kid I nanny.  It's as big as my face.

What's going on?

Welp.  This is it.  It's my last week on ol' Lucerne Ave.  I spent some quality time getting moved into my new place this week.  The woman I'm taking over from moved out halfway through August and was fine with me moving stuff in early, so I've been taking my time and stretching out so it's not a crazy disaster of a day on the 1st.  I was originally going to build a big loft bed situation for a queen bed, but then ended up getting a free double bed with a bed frame included! While making plans for my giant queen loft bed, I found a piece of plywood by our dumpster and set it aside. I decided to put it to use as a headboard and spent a whole day painting and getting it all purdy.  I'm VERY pleased with how it turned out:





I also did a little painting on the walls to add a pop of color and personality:


I think it's going to be a delightfully cozy little space.  Assuming I can fit all of my stuff into it.  Time to downsize a little, methinks.

What I'm watching


This is a delightful little romp on Netflix.  Short episodes great for taking a mental break for a hot sec.

What I'm reading



Good thoughts in this one.

What I'm cooking


This recipe that has nearly 19,000 ratings and close to 5 stars. First time making lasagna and it was a success!  So tasty.  And it turns out, lasagna is easier than I thought! Even though this particular recipe is a bit more involved than most.  Totally worth it.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

HEAT WAVE!!!

Pic of the Week


I sprouted an avocado pit.  Just for fun.  It takes about 15 years to get an avocado tree that will bear fruit, but even then it's not likely to be edible fruit.  Even trees that produce edible fruit are generally carefully cultivated and take 2-3 years.  This is just for a fun little plant to add to my ever-growing collection.

What's going on?

I started a nannying job this week for a 7-yr-old boy named Jack.  It's just part-time whenever the mom needs extra help.  He's a cute kid and we've had fun together so far.  He loves playing the Wii and wanted to teach me how to play Super Mario.  I haven't played a Mario game in YEARS, so it was fun to get back into it.  We also did some science projects, read, played with LEGO and generally palled around.  

I picked up a brand new bed this week!  It was free.  I rented a U-Haul and decided to take a couple of big/heavy things from my room over to my new room while I had the vehicle for it. originally was like, "I can handle this just fine on my own!" but then decided to ask a friend if he was available to help and was SO glad I did.  It would have been a HUGE pain in the butt to haul it all by myself.  It's excited to get the first of my things into my new room.  I'm excited to settle into a new space. 

We're in the middle of a heat wave at the moment and I am NOT enjoying it.  I feel like I'm always sweaty.  Plus California is on fire so our air quality isn't great.  It's quite an end to the summer.

What I'm watching


Former First Lady Obama's speech from the Democratic National Convention this week.  Do yourself a favor and watch it.  This is one for the history books.  "It is what it is."


Sunday, August 16, 2020

Desk goes under the window.

 Pic of the Week



I had plans to build a big old epic queen-sized platform loft bed for my new room, but then a friend connected me with a friend of hers who is giving away an entire, basically brand new double bed for free and so that's what I'm doing instead.  So I nerded out with a measuring tape and some graph paper and this is the furniture arrangement I'm leaning toward.  

What's going on?

Not much happening around these parts this week.  I started packing up my room even though I'm not moving for another 2 weeks.  Just channeling some of that energy while I've got it.  Basically all that means is that I'll be living in a federal disaster area for two weeks.  

In some somewhat surprising news - at least for me - my plants are all thriving.  Seriously, they look great.  

I bought a jigsaw and a palm sander this week.  Originally to help with building The Bed™, but I also genuinely enjoy building things.  I had so much fun building my bookcase last year.  I'm not terribly good at it, but I enjoy it, and the more you do something, the better you get at it.  ALSO, people around these parts are always leaving scrap wood around at building sites and back alleys and the like, so I think I want to start picking that stuff up and building things out of it.  Small things like little bookshelves or desks or night stands or whatever and selling it as a little creative outlet/side hustle.  We'll see if that ends up happening.  I often have plans like this that don't pan out.  😂 If nothing else, I now have a pretty decent set of creative tools.  :)


What I'm watching




Re-watching this classic.  Can you believe it's nearly 20 years old?! And it really holds up. :)

What I'm listening to



This podcast has an incredible series called "Seeing White" that I cannot recommend enough.  Go forth and listen.  

Sunday, August 9, 2020

I have a normal-sized liver.

 Pic of the week 


#work  I was a fake patient this week helping doctoring students remember how to give a general physical exam.  Everyone was wearing masks and shields and washing their hands 800 times.
 
Quote of the week

"Because it's not super, it's just tasty."
-4-yr-old when I asked her why the candy that her super chicken character pooped out didn't defeat the laser tornado that was destroying the town.

What's going on?

Welp, it's official.  I'm moving apartments.  A friend (the friend I went to Egypt with, actually) had a room open up in her apartment and mentioned that I should move in.  At first, I was like, "Haha, you're so funny!" But then I thought about it and it would save me some monies, and it feels like it's time for a change, so I'm gonna do it.  Move-in is Sept 1, and it turns out I actually know the property managers!  They're in my old ward and their kids love Story Pirates.  The person I'm replacing is actually already mostly moved out, so I'm gonna slowly start transferring stuff over over the next couple of weeks.  

I'm also toying with the idea of building a custom bed.  It's been fun sleeping in a hammock for the last 5 years or so, but I think it's time to go back to a bed.  The only problem is that my new room is smaller than my current room. I LOVE the desk I currently have because it's nice and spacious and perfect for puzzles, but it's nice and spacious and combined with a bed, there is basically no room for it.  So.  I'm going to build a low loft bed frame that I can store my desk underneath.  The bonus is that by doing that I'll also be creating some storage!  Doing it this way also means that I don't have to get rid of any of my furniture because it will all fit quite comfortably into my room.  PLUS I can get a cool, custom bed for about as much money as a normal old bed frame - if not less.  I'm excited about it!  I'll take pictures of the process and the completed product.  Now to find a good, not terribly expensive mattress...

Work-wise, aside from the couple of days I was letting doctors take my blood pressure (a touch higher than the 120/80 standard, but nothing to worry about) and find my pulse in 6 different locations on my body (neck, wrists, groin, behind the knee, ankles, and top of the foot), I've been on the writing team for the curriculum for Story Pirates virtual summer camp for August.  It's been really fun!

What I'm watching


This is a really fun, well-done show.  It's a tad violent, so beware, but I think it explores interesting themes, and the actors are all top-notch, and who doesn't love super powers?

What I'm reading

Just started this one, but it's a story from the time of Jesus told from a woman's perspective.  So far it's really good.  I'm excited to see where it goes.

What I'm listening to

This episode of the Mormon Sex Info podcast.  In this episode the host interviews a woman who started Beauty Redefined which helps women to deal with all of the toxic messages coming at them from our culture and how to treat themselves as more than just bodies.  Lots of great info in this one.