Mind over Matter

cookieskidnapping

I’ve been practicing willing my body to weigh more for just a moment—to be so heavy that Dave (or a more dangerous stranger) can’t pick me up. So far I have been unsuccessful. I’m beginning to think I don’t have the ability to alter the mass of my cells to that of plutonium.

But I am Le Tired

Mountains

Today’s post is short because yesterday I climbed a mountain and I’m exhausted. It’s hard work scrambling up giant rocks and worrying about people falling off the edge. Good news—my nervous stares kept anyone from plummeting down the cliffs while I was around. No promises about what happened after I removed my protective gaze.

Game Day

VideoGames

Sometimes you have to do something just because it makes you happy. It’s easy to forget that because we all have so much going on in our lives. We have important obligations and we’re constantly thinking about other people. It’s not bad that we feel that way. I’ve made some great decisions because I felt they were a necessity or I thought they would make someone else feel good. But, so long as you aren’t really hurting anyone, there are times when you have to throw that to the wind.

Dave often has a hard time with that. He feels a lot of responsibility for creating a good life for himself and the people he loves. That means he is kind, thoughtful, and hardworking, but it also means he denies himself things he thinks are too extravagant. I decided enough was enough and bought something he’s been wanting for awhile—a new gaming system. He wanted a PS4, but was happy with his PS3. I’d planned to buy the system for him as a graduation gift in May, but I’m not one to pass up a good sale and along came Black Friday. Though I bought it on Thursday. Whatev.

So I made an executive decision and off we went—returning with a fancy shmancy computer for fun and fun alone. It’s sort of the epitome of the “do it just because it makes you happy” motto. And it makes me happy to do something nice for a person who is constantly, silently sacrificing. So really, it’s a win-win. Also, this will help to develop my super cool nerd chic status, which is really important to me.

Real Strength Training

weights

It’s Thanksgiving, which means three things. First, we should think about things for which we’re thankful. Second, we should eat a lot of food with people we like. Third, because I believe we can let two seemingly opposing realities sit together, we should remember this holiday has a terrible history that we choose to forget so we can honor the tradition of baking pumpkin pie. For today’s post, I’m just going to focus on the first. Rather, on one item in particular.

It’s easy for me to feel bad about my body, especially on a day dedicated to eating. I’m bombarded with messages of my inadequacy and, sometimes, they win. But, today, I’m thankful for my healthy, happy body. I’m thankful I can go for long walks and kinda long runs. I’m thankful I can type these words and think about black holes. I’m thankful I can carry my own suitcase to the airport and pick up my best friend’s baby and swim laps in a pool. But no matter how hard I tell myself to worry only about my progress toward a pull-up, I can’t get that little voice—the one that whispers critiques at the mirror—out of my head.

That doesn’t mean I can’t quiet her down. To honor my strong self, tomorrow I’m hiking up a mountain. It feels like I’ve been climbing up a mountain for awhile now, but this will be a real life, made-of-rock mountain. When I get to the top, I’m going to have a snack and spread my arms wide to the sky.

[joyous babbling]

Porcupine

I have a new mission in life. It is to meet a North American porcupine and feed it something. After watching videos of Teddy the Porcupine, I am obsessed with how he talks while he’s enjoying a snack. It’s probably the most amazing thing you’ll see all month, so drop what you’re doing and watch him chomping down on some mini pumpkins.

Apparently, all North American porcupines vocalize, but not as much as Teddy. He was left in a barn as a baby and raised in an animal sanctuary, so he’s comfortable with people and can never live in the wild. His handler thinks that’s part of the reason why he speaks so frequently—he never learned that porcupines aren’t usually talkative. I’m wondering if he talks during other activities, like taking a bath or going for a walk. I would like to volunteer to take him for a stroll and find out.

In this investigation of Teddy and his like-specied friends, I also learned that porcupines don’t shoot out their quills. The quills, which are hairs covered in keratin, are close to their skin and covered by softer hair. A porcupine will only push forward it’s quills, which easily detach, if it feels threatened.

Teddy, however, is a friendly and happy porcupine. He might not enjoy being hugged too tightly and it’s probably best to not sneak up on him, but he’s got some significant human friends. He knows that it’s ok to love someone and give them space. Also that it’s ok to screech with joy.

May we all zealously enjoy the deliciousness of life as Teddy does.

Apple Improv

Baking

My path to baking started because I wanted to eat a lot of treats but couldn’t find good ones to buy. Since then, I’ve made some great stuff but also have forgotten to put sugar in a chocolate cake. Definitely avoid that, if you can. I rarely use a recipe because I don’t like being told what to do, so it’s usually a go big or go home kind of situation.

I made a pretty delicious apple crumble last weekend, so I thought I’d share the recipe with you guys. Here it is:

  1. Find a few apples that you left in your fruit basket for too long. Cut them into tiny pieces (don’t worry about peeling them, that’s for suckers).
  2. Make sure there aren’t any seeds or pieces of core still in there. If there are, take them out.
  3. Put those tiny apple pieces in a bowl.
  4. Remember that you didn’t turn the oven on and turn it on now. Leave it at 350 degrees, since that’s the automatic temperature and it’s probably fine.
  5. Pour some brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg on the apples and mix it up. Don’t worry about measurements, just do what you think will be delicious.
  6. Put that mixture in a pie dish.
  7. Pour some oatmeal in the same bowl (it’s important to use the fewest number of dishes possible).
  8. Add some sugar and vegetable oil. Mix that up.
  9. Spread the sugared oatmeal on top of the sugared apples.
  10. Put the dish in the oven without oven mitts because you’re super tough.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes. Check on it and discover that it is definitely not done. Bake for 40 more minutes, checking intermittently and hoping the oatmeal will cook more.
  12. Realize you didn’t use enough oil. Decide you will eat it with some almond milk and take it out of the oven. Use oven mitts this time, because you aren’t that tough.
  13. Enjoy it while watching your favorite characters kill some zombies.

I hope you guys will try it!

Keep it Quiet

HomeImprovement

Our neighbors have been fighting a lot this weekend. Usually, they just bother me by playing their music loudly, but today they’ve been fighting about fixing something and Home Depot. Yesterday, they fought about how she doesn’t need anyone and something that costs $4,000. Dave and I have been putting together the pieces (really, just those four pieces) and have determined that they had some kind of accidental home disaster—maybe their dog tore up all the floors or one of them flushed something unflushable down the toilet. Either way, something needs to be fixed, it’s gonna be expensive, and she is not happy about it.

From now on, Dave and I will be disagreeing in whispered tones.

Whale Man

WhaleTalker

I watched the movie Ant Man this week, because I like Paul Rudd. It was a classic male-centric super hero film and had only a bit of the actor’s typical hilarity, so I was disappointed. It got me thinking, though, about what species I would like to control, if given the choice.

Dave went with cockroaches, because there are so many of them and they’re indestructible. I think that makes sense, except cockroaches are super gross. I think maybe elephants would be a good choice. Or rhinos. Or whales. Or maybe just dogs, because they seem to be everywhere but aren’t disgusting insects that crawl through your pipes.

If I could control all the dogs in the world, I would tell them to rise up and snuggle on people with cold, dangerous, hateful hearts, because who can be mean when they’re snuggling a puppy. But just in case you all think I’m a selfless do-gooder, I would also convince them to steal me bags of sour patch kids and bark at neighbors I dislike. Life is all about balance.

Puppies and Privilege

Cinderella

Because it’s Saturday, a day of happiness and joy, I am watching videos of adorable things—like a puppy playing with a crab. But because I’m me, and I can’t let anything pass through my brain without critical analysis, that video got me thinking about hierarchy and privilege.

See, the puppy is just curious. He’s playing a game and testing the waters. The crab, on the other hand, is fighting for his life. When the puppy playfully paws at him, the crab sees death. He’s trying to escape imminent destruction, while the puppy is just hopping around gleefully.

This is a bit like interacting with someone vastly more privileged than you, be that financially, socially, or physically. What they might see as an easy, fun activity could be a stress inducing event for someone less privileged. An invitation to dinner at a fancy restaurant can bring all kinds of anxiety to someone struggling with their budget. A light-hearted conversation about sailing could make someone who’s never been to the ocean feel out of place at a party. Going on and on about a high school sports victory to someone who didn’t get the chance to play could bring up difficult memories. It’s a good reminder to remember that we’re all coming at this world from a different angle—seeing it through a different lens—and to be conscious of our own privilege.

Not that any of these thoughts will keep me from replaying that video four more times.

 

 

Almost Assisted Living

GrandmaButterscotch

I just read an article about Granny-Pods—tiny homes you can place in your backyard for an elderly relative. Grandma and Grandpa move into the miniature abode and you take care of them, while still allowing for some measure of independence.

This is the perfect solution for my life. What I mean is, if you would like to take care of me but will still allow me the freedom to do whatever I want at all times, I would like to live in a tiny home in your backyard. Any takers?

I would be quiet. I don’t have much stuff. I’d say strange but entertaining things. I’d just ask that you buy my groceries, drop off home-cooked meals, drive me around, and manage my finances. Also I’d like you to drop in sometimes so I can talk about the good old days.