It felt like a high school reunion, kind of

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I get a lot of well-intended and lovingly-given grief about being such a fucking hipster. I take it in stride and I’ll totally make jokes about being a hipster too because how can I not when I have two translations of Anna Karenina on my shelf and had to tell a recent visitor that yes, I have read both of them. It makes me cringe to remember, but c’est la vie. That’s french, you know. But just wait, though, because my obnoxious hipster cred is about to quadruple.

I think the story starts with my brother in law back when we were all in high school, ish. Or right after he graduated, I suppose, since he was in the Marines. He found out about Mindless Self Indulgence  from a platoon buddy, converted my best friend into a fan and then they ganged up on me and for whatever stupid reason we just found it hilarious. We even went to a show when they were in town and it was awesome. My best friend & I danced in the middle of the crowd while my BIL stood over us daring anyone to come even remotely near us. No one did.

So when they came back in town, almost ten years later, it felt like a high school reunion. My BIL couldn’t make it this time (he had tickets to the ballet, lawlz) but my bestie and I still managed to have a ball. I was amazed at how many of the lyrics I still remembered, ten years later! We screamed, we jumped, we even drank a little and it was pretty much the best (and only) way to honor my high school years ;-)

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Mostly I hope you notice his ears

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So sure Sunday is Father’s Day but Saturday, June 14th is a way more important day in my dad’s life. It’s the day he graduates from college, thus completing what turned out to be a 38 year long academic career. David joked that maybe we should check the Guinness book of world records to see how he compared.

I don’t write about my dad basically ever on the blog and mostly it’s our of privacy. I’ve never really shared this space with him so it doesn’t seem fair to talk about him on here. It’s also why I opted for a picture of him when he was younger, as a big-eared kiddo living in a Cuba. Because seriously, those ears. Thank God they skipped my sister and I, but I just know they’ll reappear on at least one of our collective pool of future children.

But in all reality, my dad is my dad and it only send fair to nod his way on this momentous day. Well done, champ. I’ll be in the stands, rooting for you.

This is the best outfit in the world, according to 16 year old me

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I’m posting this photo first because no matter what the blog topic is, I always get at least two or three comments from family members who read the blog about my hair and how long it’s getting. I think it has something to do with how I always cut it short then grow it out, and the fact that my hair is always in some transition of sorts, but people talk about my hair a lot. It’s not just me (I swear it’s not just me), but usually it’s just my coworkers taking turns asking if I’m doing something different, or if I’ve gotten a haircut recently. But it’s just growing out. It’s getting to an amazing length and I love how straight it is when I use my blow dryer. That what I tell them, whenever a coworkers asks. I’ve recently discovered the magics that are my blowdryer and hairspray. The picture below was included solely because my hair looks like a seashell. Like a nautilus, kind of.

Okay but the actual reason I’m posting these photos is the mother fucking black hoodie. I might have scared my barista when I saw her wearing it. Well not this exact one, I promise. Just one similar. She told me she got it at H&M and best of all, she said she got in only a couple of weeks ago. That’s the best feeling, isn’t it, when you expect someone to be all “Oh I got this like years and years ago in a Goodwill three time zones away”. No, she got it only a few weeks ago. So when I was downtown for a doctor visit, it felt like the perfect after-visit treat  for myself. Yay!

It doesn’t disappoint at all and I’ve been reliving the glory days of my high school fashion. And by ‘glory days’ I mean “lazy days” and by “high school fashion” I mean “high school before I understood personal fashion”. Seriously though this is what I was all about–dark wash jeans, goofy shoes, and a black hoodie. I had three or four that I just constantly rotated through, along with my favorite five black tshirts. At one point I went a little crazy and started getting gray shirts too, but that phase was short lived. Even Lyra is part of my high school look! I think she prefers the world of color I’ve started embracing. hshoodie shmooshhshoodie bitchface hshoodie smiling hshoodie topangle

Dusty parking lots and abandoned houses

I can’t remember what sparked it exactly but I think I was drawing out some random phrase and David laughed and asked if I was an emo hipster hip hop artist, coming up with lyrics. I think you’d probably get that impression with my blog post titles, lol, which means I really hope no one goes back through the titles. I think the really good ones are on the Moose blog, though, so there’s that. We were visiting friends, though, recently and I made us pull over to take some photos. The weather was beautiful and the valley we were in has such a nice, open feel that I miss after being in the city for so long. Also we went pant shopping for David the day before and he was super proud of his red pants. They’re amazing

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I was in middle school when I first discovered the amazing genius that is red pants. They’re seriously the bomb and you guys have no friggin’ clue how stoked I was when colorful pants came into fashion because it meant I could find red pants evvvvverywhere. But more importantly, David is now a card-pant-carrying member of the Red Pants Club. We found them at Target, 50% off, and they were perfect. He’s been wearing them all the time and it’s funny to see how well suited we are for each other in the dumb small things, like loving red pants.
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Don’t Bee A Grumble Bumble

pillowandnoteAbout four years ago, David and I were studying in a coffee shop up in Bellingham. Well, he was studying. I think I was just reading, but I remember I wasn’t actually doing any schoolwork. Maybe I had graduated? Whatever. Point is, David was studying and just in the grumpiest of moods. If you know the guy IRL, you know that he’s a ridiculously mellow person and very good natured, so the fact that he was snappy and short tempered was very out of the norm. I wasn’t sure how to deal with it so I stepped out for some air and I called my mom. We chatted for a bit, I whined about David’s grumpy mood, and then we hung up and I returned to the table. When I slid into my seat I saw that on top of my book was a note. He apologized for being such a “grumble bumble” and the phrase stuck. We still use it whenever one of us is having a rough time, and it’s our easy way of apologizing when we can’t quite rise above our mood to actually apologize.

David’s mom brought back some beautiful fabrics from France and I’ve been (metaphorically) sitting on them, trying to decide what the perfect project would be. It’s a little daunting, isn’t it, to find the perfect project for sentimental materials? Anyway turning it into a grumble bumble pillow felt like a perfect fit, and I love how it turned out. It makes me smile to think about hvaing this pillow down the line, and using it the way Megan Nielsen uses her grumpy cloud pillow*

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sideshotbackofpillownote*So I forgot? Didn’t realize? Didn’t know? How similar our pillows are and while I think I came up with my idea independently, I’m not sure so by all means–she definitely should get the credit for the idea of a grumpy pillow. Also, though, everyone in the world needs a grumpy pillow.

 

Man am I ready for some May flowers!

Hey look outfit photos! I think this marks one of the first times in a long time that I just threw on some clothes, liked them, and didn’t feel that compulsive need to change five times. It was really nice. Also I’m ready for some flowers! We keep having such beautiful weather and I’m just so ready to start enjoying it. I’ve been looking up recipes to cook up on our grill and I’ve unpacked our swim suits. Let’s do this!

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Where it all started

xPiggy couple Last week I showed you the makeover I gave to my Moose, but he’s not the only thing getting a makeover round these here parts. I’ve been having a ton of fun giving updated looks to a my thrift store finds collection and it’s basically the best hobby in the world. Especially since it involves lots of coats of paint, so whenever I’m not sure what project I want to work on I can slap a fresh coat of paint onto whatever little trinket is lined up. These guys are the ones who started it, though. They’re basically the cutest, sweetest little couple in the world and they wanted to update their look a little bit. They were so polite and reserved and very very very cheap that I figured what the hell. I’d see what I could do. Eventually I’ll start remembering to take before photos, but just take my word that their looks need a little updating. And I think the glitter tie is my favorite part.

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Bringing back The Moose

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Which isn’t to say I’m bringing back the joint fashion blog I made with my bestie Kels, so let’s just nip that little implied meaning in the bud, shall we? No, a while back Kim gave me an adorable moose that she found. It was a moose in desparate need of a makeover–not that he was ugly or anything, but he was just a standard moose, painted brown with lighter shades of brown and motley white antlers. He was holding a little cage that contained one of those battery-operated lights. He was super cute, but I mentioned casually what a paint of coat might do to update him a bit and Kim was immediately on board. “That’s why I got him for you–I knew you’d give him an awesome makeover.”

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It took a while, but I did my best and I fucking love him to bits. I swapped out his light in order to give him a little bird friend, which was an ornament gifted to David. I also threw on a patterned keffiyeh because he’s definitely inspired by the Moose blog and needed to be a little fashionista. My favorite part is definitely his glasses–I twisted them myself with some wire I had laying around and felt like Martha Stewart, basically. All he needs now is a name, so if you have a suggestion, by all means. It’s welcome. I’m thinking something starting with an H, like Henry or Harold.

Frogs can teach you how to find your soul mate in a crowded room

So I know it might be weird that suddenly I’m talking about frogs, but I think this is pretty in line with the gradual shift towards musings and monologues taking precedent over pictures. Not that pictures are going anywhere. And my leanings towards inconsistent and sporadic blogging isn’t going to change, to be perfectly honest, but I think I’m refining how I want to write and share things. It’s a neat experience that you can read a little more about in my updated about me, but right now feels like a good time to talk about frogs.

Frogs. Before I go into it, though, I should say none of this is real science. Like, I’m not brave enough to even google things because I don’t want to be disabused of this particular theory just yet. It’s kind of a fun one.

Okay so frogs. We moved around for a bit after elementary school. It was one of those post-divorced things, like our family was a big fluffy hen trying to find the right batch of dirt to scratch into a bed. We kept landing lightly, but we had a hard time finding anywhere we could settle. There was one place, though, that felt really right for a while. It was this huge, multi-building apartment complex and ours was pressed right up along the back of the whole thing. Behind it was a beautiful, big pond that stretched the whole way around the back perimeter and there were these beautiful walkways through it that we’d walk our dogs along.

At night, from about early April until mid October you could hear this almighty chorus of frogs. It was like this loud wall of noise surrounding you as you sleep, and while it was noisy as hell it always put me to sleep. I’m not the best sleeper, but listening to frogs as I dozed in bed was soothing. I think it was something about the lack of a constant rhythm, but still maintaining a steady heartbeat that helped lull my breathing patterns into sleeping ones.

I forgot about that period of listening to frogs until last year, when David and I lived in this adorable little tucked away apartment. It was in the middle of a city sprawl, sure, but it had a great trail running behind it with an almost-gross standing pond area that collected mosquitos, feral cats, and a homeless man. And frogs, of course, because that’s the whole point. David and I were laying in bed, some early point in spring after living there for all of winter, and I heard a chorus of frogs. It was beautiful and we just dozed a little listening to it. We started talking about the rhythm, and how it’s a little strange that they never synchronize into one steady pulse, isn’t it? You’d kind of expect it, like how infants’ heart beats stabilize when they have skin-to-skin contact.

I picture the frogs surrounding a pond in a circle, and directly across from them is their match, the frog they volley back and forth with. Each frog has only one other match, or maybe two, but they are tuned only to their match(es). They volley back and forth their own steady rhythm, tuning out all the other matches around them, and that’s how you get such a chaotic chorus while still maintaining that steady pulse.

David and I went camping with some amazing friends. They do this annually to celebrate their wedding anniversary, inviting along a bunch of their friends, and it’s a totally amazing experience that I’m not actually going to talk about now, but needless to say there are some really great traditions, and one of them is the Frog Walk. As we were laying out on the end of a beach access road, listening to a wall of frogs pulse around us, I was thinking about how the more complicated the pond dynamic, the harder it is to find your frog match. When you’re really relaxed, though, in that moment before you fall asleep or when you can concentrate meditatively, then you can piece apart the different frog voices and you can almost hear the private volley of frogs croaking to their matches.

Things are trucking along nicely, I think.

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David loves me so much. He loves me the mostest and I know it because last night, after we tucked ourselves into bed and were in prime sleeping position, I realized I had forgotten to close up the bag of white cheddar popcorn I had been munching on and when I said that out loud, he immediately popped out of bed to go take care of it for me. He’s such a sweetie that I don’t even care how mushy I’m being on the internet. And so I don’t sound completely selfish, every morning I wake up hours before I need to so I can tie David’s long locks up into a manbun because he just doesn’t want to figure out how to do it himself. Whenever I tease him about it (usually when he’s wincing because I snagged a tangle) he tells me he’s planning on practicing… tomorrow. I think he just likes having me take care of it, and that’s something I’m okay with.

My hair is still growing out and looking at how short it was over the past year makes me never want to cut it again. That buzz cut was an intense decision that I’ll be very happy to never repeat, even if I’m happy that I can at least say I did it once. Right now my hair is about two inches away from it’s final resting place, I think. I’ve been thinking about my hair a lot (don’t I always? I have quite the internal struggle with my hair, don’t I?) and about how I deserve to enjoy the way my hair looks. I’m tired of always having it in some stage of a grow out and I want to really try to celebrate the way I look with a hairstyle I like. I’ve also been blowdrying my hair and putting on a light brush of makeup on in the morning. It makes me feel really put together in a way that feels new and responsible. Maybe it’s just shallow, but I don’t think so. It feels more like embracing myself as I get older and leave the college me behind. She’s ready for that change just as much as I am.

One of my besties invited me to accompany her to an amazing play at Seattle Repertory Theater, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. It was an absolutely amazing performance that blew us away, and it was made all that much better because the leading lady was also Arnold Schwarzenegger’s partner in Kindergarten Cop.  I mean okay she’s also the actress who plays Amy Poehler’s character’s mom in Parks & Rec, but David and I watched Kindergarten Cop a few days ago so it was in the back of my mind when I saw the play. It was excellent. Other bonuses from the night include finding amazingly close parking and I wore my tall wedges that make me feel like a drunk baby giraffe without any arthritis flaring up!

My previous date with my aforementioned friend was going to a gross, grungy rock concert. The band was one we loved in all it’s ridiculously offensiveness during high school and it was a hilarious way to “relive our youth”. We’re in our mid twenties, so I think I’m legally required to sandwich that phrase in a quotation. Our next planned date is a camping trip because apparently we just have a wide range of date ideas. I love that her and I are reconnecting.

Other than that, we spent last weekend driving down to Oregon and back to celebrate our good friends’ engagement. We’re both just ecstatic for them and it was really good to remember that Oregon really isn’t that far away, and that we can make a trip over the weekend if needed. Granted I work until 130 on Saturdays so really it should only be a trip over a three day weekend but still. The point stands and I think it’ll help motivate us to take more trips over the weekend. It was a great trip nonetheless and Sunday morning when we were all sleepy and stumbling around for coffee and breakfast, the three dogs in the house were wandering around underfoot and it made me think about babies and cousins and what our world is going to look like a few years. One of my best friends already made that jump into motherhood and it just feels like the beginning of a really exciting phase in life. And because I just mentioned babies on the internet, I think I’m require to also say I’m not pregnant. I’m not pregnant and no one should anticipate that changing for at least a year.

Summary? I want to be intentional about how I live my life. That means be realistic and focused. Steady the rhythm has been the phrase tucked in the back of my brain as a reminder of that. I want to find that steady rhythm between all the ups and downs and look for that baseline in between everything else.