Sunday, May 2, 2021

Breezy and beautiful

Pic of the Week


Look at us, hanging out without masks!  A friend's rooftop birthday party, and it felt so good!

What's going on?

Glimmers of hope on the social front, that's what's going on.  I went to a birthday party this week, got a BRUTAL massage, had dinner in a restaurant, went hiking with friends, visited a museum...it all involved other people and was all very lovely. 

I also continued to stay home a lot, went paddle boarding one day when the weather was PERFECT, watched TV, read, worked on my LEGO set.  Pretty chill stuff overall. Nothing of note to report around here.

What I'm watching


This was honestly so delightful and well-done.  Funny, heartwarming, empowering, highly recommended.

What I'm reading


Great book so far about questioning our assumptions and how to be more open-minded about the things we think.

What I'm LEGO-ing


It's been nearly 25 years since I put a LEGO set together and I bought myself this one as a little birthday treat.  It was SO fun to do this again.  Plus, this one is pretty cool.  It's got working doors, trunk, and hood, seats and a steering wheel that are adjustable, an engine, and you can even buy a light kit for it - which I plan to do - that gives it a work dome light and headlights!  

Sunday, April 25, 2021

That's a great pyloris.

Pic of the Week


Picking up my kid from school on Thursday and encountered this long line of shiny black cars also picking up kids.  Privileged school much? 😂

What's going on?

It seems things are noticeably getting back to "normal" - whatever that means.  Hanging with friends, going to movies, making plans for the future with the assumption that things will be open.  It's nice.  I think almost everyone I know is at least partially vaccinated, and most are fully vaccinated at this point.  HOORAY!

Still, this week has been filled with puzzles, reading, lounging, some exercise, a few projects at home, a few errands, and generally remaining isolated.  Though I did get together with a few friends to watch the season finale of RuPaul's Drag Race, and it was so so nice to be indoors eating food and watching TV with people without being paranoid.  

I worked, essentially as a warm body, for an ultrasound workshop this week and I always think it's so interesting to do that.  You kind of get an unfiltered peak at your insides.  The doctors participating in the workshop noted that I have an excellent pyloris (which is a part of the stomach), that my right ventricle - which pumps blood to the lungs - is about twice as efficient as one would expect, and that I need to stay more hydrated.

Last night my roommate had a friend over for a movie night, so I made myself scarce and decided to finally put together a little kit my friend Kasi got me for Christmas.  It was actually really nice to just chill, put on some music, snack on a cookie, and work on a little project for a bit.  Plus it turned out SO adorable.  It's technically a bird feeder, but I wanted to make it a planter.  So I did.  Well...mostly.  I still need to figure out the finer details of actually turning it into a planter.  Mostly I just need to get a container of some kind, or maybe just line the whole thing with a ziploc bag or something and then put plants in it.  Regardless, it's too cute.


What I'm watching


The finale episode was this week and I enjoyed it.  Haven't really read any feedback about it, but as far as I'm concerned, it didn't disappoint.  

What I'm listening to

So, over the last couple of weeks I've been following a bit of hubbub in the progressive Mormon community surrounding Natasha Helfer and her experience being called in for a disciplinary council - or whatever they're called these days.  She's a licensed clinical therapist and certified sex therapist who has blog and hosts a couple of podcasts talking about issues related to sexuality specifically as they relate to the Mormon community.  She was apparently called in because some of her sexual health advocacy work is not in line with current church teachings and positions on a few things.  She gives an interview on the Mormon Stories podcast about the timeline of events, her feelings about her work, and her relationship with the church.  I don't always love the host of Mormon Stories, but I think this episode is absolutely worth a listen.  I think she presents an open, honest, uncompromising defense of herself while being considerate and fair toward the church and its leaders.  

She found out this week that she's been excommunicated.  As far as I can make out, she was essentially excommunicated because she followed and used the latest understanding and research in her field, and assiduously and uncompromisingly followed the ethical codes of conduct for her profession. And honestly I think it's a gross, unconscionable travesty, especially given the circumstances surrounding the disciplinary council itself.  Some of you may disagree, but to my mind it brings up questions of leadership overreach, unrighteous dominion, gender inequality and by extension the meaning and practice of love and mercy, and the already tenuous relationship The Church and Mormon culture have with mental and sexual health.  Every mental health professional I know agrees.  

Anyway, this has just been on my mind this week, and I am a little heartbroken for Natasha, who has done nothing but bring healing and light through her work. I know that I am a better, more balanced person for having encountered to her. 

What I'm reading

I get the New York Times daily email every weekday to stay abreast of what's happening in the world.  There is often Coronavirus-related news, and the editor of the newsletter one day this week talked with an expert about how eve though vaccinated people are understandably hesitant about returning to a lot of normal things, we actually should feel perfectly safe doing things like going to the movies or eating in restaurants.  It was great to read that.  Even though I'm still being pretty cautious.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Duh duh duh...Happy Birthday!

Pic of the Week


Disneyland is opening back up and you'd better believe I got on board for that!

What's going on?

Another year older, another year wiser, I suppose.  Had my birthday on Monday and it was a very chill affair.  I took my paddle board out for a spin in the morning, came home for some laundry and a nap (I definitely cuddled up to the warm, freshly clean laundry straight out of the dryer), then my roommate and I went to the movie theater for the first time in over a year and splurged on the fancy seats that vibrate and move.  That was followed by some dessert and card games.  I had lots of lovely messages from friends, got a couple of cards, and generally had a very pleasant passing of the year.

The rest of the week wasn't much more exciting.  Work, reading, a date, and a 15-mile hike up a mountain.  Took the paddle board out again this morning because it's warmer than it's been in quite some time, but it was WINDY and proved to be a less-than-ideal day for a leisurely paddle on the water.  

What I'm watching



Will this movie make cinematic history?  No.  Was it entertaining to watch two giant monsters beat the crap out of each other in surround sound with a bucket of popcorn and a vibrating seat?  Absolutely.

What I'm listening to

This Mormon Sex Info episode about consent was fantastic.  Truly. 

What I'm reading


That's right!  It's book 7.  The end of the series.  Book 6 wasn't my favorite, but this one is shaping up to be better already.  

I also started "The Sacred Enneagram," which has been interesting so far.  Recommended.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

I haven't killed a plant in MONTHS.

Pic of the Week


My roommate's cat, Seb, was feeling especially cuddly.  

What's going on?

Back to life, back to reality.  Mostly.

It was a pretty chill week around these parts.  A little work, a little reading, a lot of naps.  I did manage to get a little sunburned this week.  I met up with a friend at the beach and forgot sunscreen and a hat.  Luckily it's not a terrible sunburn, but a sunburn nonetheless.  

Honestly, wish I had more to report. I'm honestly pretty content at the moment, but the day to day is a little...mundane.  *shrug*

I have started a gratitude practice which has been really interesting and fun.  Right before bed, I write down 5 things I'm grateful for, and then just spend a minute really thinking and about those things and sitting in the gratitude.  It's added some good perspective, and also during the day it makes me kind of stop and notice things to be grateful for.  Most of them are pretty small - the light playing through the trees, an especially good cookie, a smile from a cashier - but somehow that makes it all the more meaningful.

What I'm watching


This got pretty terrible reviews, but it made me and my roommate laugh a lot.  Don't expect much from it, and it'll be a lovely little romp.  From what I remember, it's even appropriate for the whole family, though I'm probably not the best judge of that as living in LA has desensitized me to many things.  There are plenty of websites out there, though, that'll give you the low-down on what's what.

What I'm reading

You thought it was going to be book 7 this week, didn't you?  DIDN'T YOU?  Well, you were wrong.  I'm still on book 6.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Home prices are great in the middle of nowhere.

Pic of the Week


Me and some friends in front of General Sherman - the largest tree in the world by volume: 52,500 cubic feet!  It's about 2,500 years old, 275 ft tall, and 109 ft around.  Another fun fact:  You can't see it in the picture, but the top of the tree is dead. That means the tree will never get taller, but it's still growing outward!

What's going on?

This has been a friend-heavy week!  At the beginning of the week, my friends Sara and Amy were in town for a little getaway with their other friend Katherine.  I went to spend a couple of days with them down in Hermosa Beach where we got in some beach time, food, Downtown Disney and PLENTY of laughter.  


I got in a couple of regular work days before heading up to the mountains for Easter weekend with some LA friends.  It's been a truly delightful weekend: games, puzzles, movies, enough food to keep us full and happy for a full week beyond what we planned for, hot tubbing, hiking, wild turkeys, and this VIEW:


I'm a bit of an early riser, especially compared to everyone I came up here with, so I had this morning view pretty much to myself every morning while sipping on hot chocolate and doing some morning meditation.  It really has been the most relaxing and soul-restoring weekend. Highly recommend Sequoia National Forest if you've never been.  

What I'm watching

The mountain sunrise. 

What I'm reading


Shocker!  Book 6.  This is the weakest of the books, so far, in my opinion.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Too much TV

Pic of the Week


Babysitting.  The little tyke INSISTED on pushing the stroller.  So.

What's going on?

Pretty chill week this week.  Not much to report.  A little tutoring, a little babysitting, too many donuts.  I went over to a friend's house yesterday to watch some TV (we have a couple of shows we're watching together) and between the shows we watch and a couple of movies (we got sucked into Avengers: Infinity War AND Avengers: Endgame) we ended up watching, like, 9 hours of content.  It's been a long time since I've done that.  To make up for it, I took my paddle board out this morning and the weather was PERFECT.

What I'm watching


Marvel's at it again.  This series is...fine.

What I'm reading


Book 5!  I started reading The Millionaire Next Door, but just wanted to continue with this series, so here we are.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

So. Much. Happening.

Pic of the Week


This is Polly.  She's a giant Story Pirates puppet that now lives in a storage unit because the theater where our office was located shut down (yay Covid!) and so we had to move our stuff into storage this week. Polly, I think, is angry that her horns fell off during the move.  And also angry that she has to live in a storage unit. 

What's going on?

Busy week!  This is probably the busiest week I've had in over a year.  It was nice.  Along with coordinating and executing the Story Pirates move, I did some babysitting, directed a Story Pirates show for a school specializing in students with Cerebral Palsy, hosted a volunteer event with Story Pirates with people from all over the world (we had attendees in India, Japan, Mexico, Australia, and the US), pretended to have a collapsed lung for 2nd year medical students for 3 days, tutored, and let some PA students jiggle my bits for science.  I also managed to get in some jogging, cycling, reading, TV, a hot bath, and sleep! 

It almost feels like life is back to normal.  Except for the part where I can't hang out with my friends in large groups, or go to the grocery store without a mask.  Seems like more and more people are getting vaccinated though, which is encouraging.  Plus Disneyland just announced that they're officially opening back up on April 30.  It'll be at limited capacity, and at least for the moment it's only open to California residents, but being a California resident, that's great for me!  I'm not gonna be one of those ultra-dedicated people who have to have a ticket to opening day, but I'll probably try and go sometime before the summer's over.  

What I'm watching



In honor of St. Patrick's Day we decided to bust out this old chestnut.  What a treat.  It's truly a terrible movie, but still fun to watch.  And it was largely filmed in Utah!  Hooray for tax breaks!

What I'm reading


Book 4!  Let's go!  This series still isn't as compelling as other fantasy series out there, but it's engaging enough to keep going.  There are plenty of fun, likable characters, and the storylines are interesting. Plus I'm invested now.  :)