Taking Stock: July 2020

Taking Stock

Making: Smoothies.  So many smoothies- pretty much one every day for breakfast.  I know that its really better if I eat these vegetables and fruits- I will feel more “full”.  But, TBH, I gotta do this sitting in front of my computer, while I am working.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Cooking: I am finally making Ina Garten’s Engagement Chicken, because I got whole chicken from the grocery.  Dave decided to get smart with me, asking if it would work because I only got one chicken.  Turns out, I don’t plan to share with him, which is what he gets for being a smart ass.
Reading: The Underground Railroad.  And its heavy.  So heavy.  Like, I knew that slavery is pretty much the worst thing this country has ever done on a broad scale (you know, up there with genocide), but realizing that Whitehead bases his fictional account on actual events is something.  It’s taking me forever to get through it.  Along with the Sixth Extinction.  Just forever.
Waiting: To finish this move.  We got a new place over near our old neighborhood.  But you set a date to move with the u-Haul truck and it just feels like a long wait.
Looking: At Pinterest all the time now.  I’m getting so many ideas for stuff I want to make.  Like, I have already bought two pieces of wooden furniture that need to be refinished.  Like, bitch, can you just move first.  Please?
Listening: One of my sociology graduate students from a couple of years ago has a podcost.  It pairs critical analysis of media, culture, politics, and everyday happenings.  With all this spare time I have been having on my hands, I finally started listening to it.  It’s brilliant: https://www.soapboxpo.com/podcast.html
Wishing: Like everyone else, really just wishing for things to get back to normal. I have put on so much weight since this thing began- which is whatever.  But it just means I am slower and being physically active
Enjoying: I bought this Van Gogh paint by number at the beginning of the pandemic.  I don’t get to paint a lot, but I am loving the hell out of it.  Its fantastic for binging shows.
Appreciating: I am apprecaiting the hell out of my quiet office with the cold AC.  And being 200 feet from Whole Foods (and their hot bar).  Annoyed when it gets hot in the house and I can’t blast the AC because doing so will freeze Dave out (the AC in his office blows directly onto him).
Loving: I started listening to “Wow, No Thank You: Essays” by Samantha Irby, and honestly, I feel like she gets me.  I am sad that blogs aren’t a thing people do anymore, becuase I could read her every day.
Buying: iPad accessories.  Honestly, I really did buy a stand and a keyboard for my iPad.  WHAT?  You mean, like a laptop computer?  That’s novel…
Watching: Watching to see what CPS is going to do with school next year.  Apparently, they are pretty set on going back to school, because 1) parents can’t continue to stay home and 2) some kids are going to be left behind because they are NOT able to do homeschooling.  But it all pretty much hinges on the teachers union.  Which is pretty wild.  
Hoping: To rejoin CrossFit next week.  Its been five years and its time.  The new place that we are moving to is 2 miles away from a box in Skokie and I am looking forward to being able to workout before work.  For the first couple of months, it should work pretty seamlessly with my work schedule.
Wearing: In an effort to up my basic bitch street cred, I got a membership to Fabletics.  I was trying to see what that was all about, but I ended up with a couple of pairs of athletic pants that are the best athletic pants I ever put on.  So, yeah, those are on repeat now.

The World We Live In

I am not comfortable speaking publicly, so I don’t.
I can be forced to, when teaching. Otherwise, I don’t.

Its not for want of things to say, but for the strong realization that most people aren’t interested. People like to hear themselves talk. And for the most part, my experience as an educated, white, CIS, liberal lady is boring. No one cares what I think about stuff, because what I think about stuff is ultimately not interesting and often, not needed. Moreover, in *most* circumstances, my lived experience gives me little to no credit… the world is full of over educated white ladies who are vocal with their opinions.

I don’t share a lot of this content on social because I think its lazy. I don’t want to be acused of slactivism- sharing a few posts about #BLM and feeling like “I’ve done my part”. To be far, this isn’t just with things like these protests… For the most part, I don’t chime in on people’s FB pages with the message “Happy Birthday!”, which would be identical to hundreds of other messages that person recieves that day. If I like you like that, I will message you privately about your birthday.

But, I am feeling a certain kind of way right now. Chicago (where I live) is the scene of massive protests (and looting) following George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis. Like everyone else in the US, my social media feed is predominantly about the protests, #BLM, #sayhername, etc. A common theme running through a lot of what I am seeing is “silence is complicity”. And I wonder if me not sharing the sentiment is viewed by my friends as complicity.

But, then, I see other posts that say, it is okay for white people to STFU and listen for a minute.  To think… to ponder.  That not everything needs to be a 1500 word think piece, foisted into the ether for comment… so that I can be told I’m brave or something.

If my life were different, I could take real action. I could head downtown and protest. And yell. Link arms with people being dragged away. Break up fights. I could get arrested. But that is not my life… I have a family that needs me. Also, I can’t afford bail right now. And while I imagine I could handle tear gas and rubber bullets, I don’t want to end up in a coffin because I caught a stray bullet not intended for me. Or because I stepped on a weird piece of concrete, twisted my ankle, fell, and was trampled. This is privileged- George Floyd’s family needed him every bit as mine needs me; Breonna’s family grieves her just as hard as mine would grieve me.

I never used to think of myself as a deeply empathetic person, but I am starting to wonder if that is why I con’t watch videos of people dying. Terrorists beheading hostages, police shootings, etc. I have never watched another person die (aside from my mom in hospice). I am horrified enough by the descriptions and the reports. I don’t want to be in the Loop while people are being beaten around me. It is absolutely a place of privelge.

I don’t share stuff online because it’s a weak measure.
I don’t protest in person because I am afraid of being caught up in a situaton that I can’t control.

So I read. And I donate. I listen and I think. I become outraged. I hope that its enough right now.


Yesterday afternoon/last night, I had the most lovely sense of euphoria. Nico was done with school for the day. I took a break “mid day” (around 4pm) to run a couple of errands, which included a stop at a grocery for non-essentials (gin and a piece of chococlate silk pie). I got home and started in with the gin and tonics.
I found my groove quickly, and was making great progress on a paper that I’ve been working on. Pandora was really killing it. And there was a soft spring breeze coming in.


I had a sausage and bean soup in the instant pot, slow cooking. It was perfect.
I was probably a little drunk, but for a few hours, I felt like everything was lovely.

Taking Stock: May 2020

Making: An effort?  The first couple of weeks of quarantine lock down (and all the video calls that commenced) had me really concerned about the state of my face.  It just looked so old.


And I know intellectually, that growing old is a privelege denied to many.  But still.  So, I started making an effort.  On heavy video conference meeting days, I put makeup on.  And have a more reasonable camera angle.  Spoiler, my external webcam, which I think I have had for 7-8 years?  Not the best camera for accurately representing my face.

Cooking: I didn’t realize it, but Bon Appetit has a new series of recipes, which I think are meant for novice chefs… or those wanting to use simple ingredients.  Whatever the case, I have made their No Knead Foccacia and its wonderful.  Like, so good that even the sprigs of rosemary I pruned off the half dead plant on my deck couldn’t ruin it.

Sipping: So much carbonated water.  I’ve been kind of frustrated with Best Buy and Target with getting my soda stream carbon tanks.  TBH, I don’t believe that I should have to drink still water, like some type peasant.  And since I am home with Dave, we have been going through the Soda Stream tanks pretty fast.  There were three different times I went to Target for a tank and couldn’t get one… once after I called to check that they had them.  Truthfully, if I was a smoker and had a fire source in my pocket, I would have set fire to the store.  So, I found a company that does exchanges through the mail.  The tanks are a little more ($20 as opposed to $15), but they are shipped straight to my door.  And I don’t have to fight the urge to burn Target to the ground.  Apparently, you get your ass called a Karen for that shit.

Listening: I have been listening to all the audiobooks! None of the Mann-Booker books… the one I have going on my phone is the Luminaries, which is absolutely awful.  I feel like I have been listening to it forever.  If someone told me that it was 1000 hours long, that would feel about right to me. For some reason, I am physically incapable of sitting and reading a book these days… but I am whipping through the audiobooks.

Wishing: For travel.  I want to go some place.  I don’t know where.  Somewhere. I am thisclose to packing Dave and Nico into a car and driving to Texas to stay with my sister and her family.  Just to go.  Just for a change of scenery.

Enjoying: Imperfect Produce has started carrying meat and seafood.  I don’t always get my selections, but last night I had scallops that were delicious.  Really like getting a box on Monday knowing that I’ve got a good start on produce for the week, along with some protein.

Loving:  An iPad pro.  I just got a new work laptop (Surface Book), so this was really not necessary to buy.  But, I was honestly fed up with trying to read stuff on my Kindle.  It seems that every time I’d go to read on it, it was dead and the memory was full, despite it having a big ass SD card in it.  I also wanted it because I love digital magazines.  Also, as much as I try, I just get make an “Everything” Notebook happen.  So, I end up with a notebook for every occasion and without fail, I usualy don’t have the notebook I need when I need it… so I’d like to experiment with notetaking with handwritten notes on the iPad.  I’ve even been thinking about making my own digital planner, with all the spare time that I have.  If I figure out how to monetize them, its over for you bitches.   *silly*.  I really hope that I use it a lot.  Like, I kinda wish I could go back and do school so that I could do shit like this:

Watching: All the series!  Seriously, how in the hell am I unable to get a paper’s analyses together, but I have managed to watch all 7 seasons of Brooklyn 99 during the pandemic. I have also watched: the first season of Beforeigners, the first season of LegoMasters, half of the first season of the English Game,  two seasons of Killing Eve, and all of Four Weddings and a Funeral. How? Also, I have watched the first (and only) season of Making the Cut (on Amazon).  We’ve also watched the entire collection of Jeopardy on Netflix, as well as the first parts of Season 2 of Sunderland Till I Die and Take Us Home Leeds United.

Hoping: Really hoping to get more people into the parent group at Nico’s school.  I’d like to be able to do more grant writing and fundraising and not have to do community building events and stuff that I don’t want to do.  I have found my first couple of grants, I just need to get off my ass and do it.

Wearing: Masks these days.  Really glad I was able to pick up some cotton print last year to rep Manchester City and the Cubs.

Following: The Kitchen Committee on Insta (@thekitchencommittee).  Maggie Mason found a box of recipes at flea market and has been posting the recipe cards.  Followers claim them and make them.  Then send a pic of the dish, as well as their impression.  Absolutely genius.  The recipes are what you’d expect.  They look like they were written by someone’s grandma, having lived through the great depression.  And saved.  Lovely.

Noticing: I am notiching the hell out of Carolyn Marten’s wardrobe on Killing Eve.  I love it.  It is definitely my vibe: solids, age appropriate, lots of gray, black, and navy.  cm_tabcollarcoat_whitetop

No so certain about that white top- mostly because white tops are magnent for food for me.  But that gray jacket? WANT! The crazy thing about the way she dresses, is that it’s low-key, but expensive AF.  Really need to get a house, so I can have a sewing corner, so I can have a dress form, so I can sew these clothes, because even I can’t justify an expensive Armani wardobe.

Thinking: I am thinking about doing another Master’s Degree.  DPU offers a self-designed interdisciplinary Masters.  You’re limited to no more than 6 courses in each of the different colleges.  The more I learn about digial humanities, the more I am intrigued by it, its methods, and its tools.  As an employee, I can take up to 8 credit hours per quarter, for free.

Where I’m At

This week, the governor stated that face-to-face school would not resume this year.  Which is something.  It is hard to know what that means.  Like, that we’re expecting for it to get worse? Or  that even as bad as it is, it doesn’t matter because so many people have been laid off of work that we are now in the place to be hyper safe, because its not like jobs are on the line.  Or is the stay at home order being kept in place through mid June?  Another two months?  At one point, it seems like that is going to happen, because you can’t send people back to work whose children are home, right? I just don’t know it all means.

I am pretty nervous for my work situation.  June 30 is the end of our fiscal year.  But I think the expectation is that there is a lot that is going to change.  My institution said back in the winter there likely wouldn’t be merit raises and we don’t generally do cost of living raises.  My boss is having conversations with administation, but the very fact that they are talking about us being okay for through the end of THIS fiscal year makes me nervous.

Our unit has managed to survive budget cuts and restructuring for the last seven years.  I think it would be a miracle for the center to survive in tact through what is about to happen.  I don’t know what it would look like, but there are units that have been wholesale eliminated from the university.  I am trying not to think about this too much, because there isn’t a lot that I can do at this point.  But it is in the back of my mind.

The good news is that Dave recently changed jobs and is in a good position for at least a year.  So, if anything happened to my job, we could probably get through it. I mean, we are, for the first time in a while, not relying wholly on my income.  So, if I did get sacked, I might be able to take a visiting professor or fulltime contingent faculty position somewhere.  Which is bonkers to think about, and defintely not ideal in any way.

But, it is a little disheartening, because were were starting to get serious about buying a house this year.  I think that the conventional wisdom says that a recession is a good time to buy a house.  Although, I have also read stuff that says, dips in housing prices aren’t likely going to happen in Chicago.  Largely, because there is a huge proportion of “desirable” real estate that will remain in demand (read: real estate on the north side).  I mean, a person could buy very nice houses in the city, but they are in neighborhoods where there are a lot of problems.

The other really good news is that with the end of the school year, my current responsibillities for Nico’s school’s parent group are mostly over, regardless of anything else.  Even if we’re not able to move back to North Park and he stays at his school, I’m trying to step down from being president and move more into grant writing.  It seems as if our school has a real need for continued funding for computer labs and chromebook carts, etc.  I think if there was person on our board who was able to take on a lot of that, then what would help alleviate some of the fund raising activities the board has to do.  And I am interested in learning more about these activities.  And it better suits my availability.  Like, I am not the person who should be running day to day stuff, I never had the temperment or the time for it.

We’re falling into a rhythm with the homeschooling.  It hasn’t been bad… its just that the days are long.  I am routinely finding myself working from 9am to 11pm… with intermittent breaks… 45 minutes to help with some math.  10 minutes 5-6 times a day, to redirect Nico to school work or check in to see what else he needs to do.  We’re taking a couple hours for dinner and usually to watch something.  But, then I often check back into my email or finish tasks up for the day.  But, my physical activity is way down.  I’ve been rowing for 30-60 minutes most days per week, but I am not playing soccer, not lifting weights, not walking all over Lincoln Park during the work day.  Not coaching soccer or doing judo.  I am trying to take it easy and give myself a break.  Even if it means keeping my desk drawer full of candy and sugar.  But nothing about any of this is normal.




Pandemic Epiphanies

We’ve been sheltering in place for 25 days, and I have some thoughts.

Basically everything is canceled.  I recently got a new work computer (a laptop), so I have spent a non-trivial amount of time refining my home office set up.  I had a desk, but it had a smaller shelf on it that I put all kinds of shit on… books, bucket of pens, etc.  Since I planned to still have data projects and teaching and whatnot, I resurected my dual monitor setup, that I had shutdown when we moved into the new place, because I didn’t have room for it.  At the time, I was also thinking a lot about where work should be done…like work should be at work, right?


Anyway, my set up is pretty sweet now.  I finally got all the right cords and connections and dongles and such.  We have settled into a decent routine.  I was able to borrow a rower from my gym, so I have been rowing for 45-60 min almost every day.  It can’t possibly keep up with all the food I am eating.  For some reason, this pandemic has me really craving sweets.  And its pre-easter, so Cadbury eggs are everywhere.  And also, I have somehow become obsessed with Willy Wonka Bottle Caps.  *no explanation*.  Seriously, I bought two boxes earlier this week, and I have already eaten both, with plans to walk to my dealer (Walgreens) later today to get more.

This week has been especially nice, because Nico has been on spring break.  The overwhelming guilt that I am not spending every spare moment getting him to do crafts and art and physical activity (from previous weeks) is also on spring break, because spring break is the time to be a lazy slob on Playstation with his friends.  Of course, maybe a better way to think about it is that the other things that he really loves (soccer, baseball, and judo) are all canceled and he *should* get more time on Playstation.

The days are long though.  Like most parents, I don’t get long stretches of time to work.  I work in 20-30 minute blocks of time, from about 9-3.  During non-spring break weeks, we have a rule that Nico can’t get on Playstation until his work is done or 3pm.  Since he takes a break every 20 minutes, I can work during this breaks.  My best hours of work have been from 3 to 7/8, when he is entertaining himself and his school work is done.  I have been able to get some work done.  It helps that faculty are all leaning into getting their courses online, so I have the research I am contributing to and proposals I am working on.  And I have teaching stuff… always teaching stuff.  So I am staying busy.

But I realized something last night.  While the days are long, they feel productive. My house is rarely cleaner than it is right now.  I have swept and mopped multiple rooms.  The kitchen gets cleaned almost every day.  The fridge is full of food, as is the pantry.  I’ve been on top of the laundry.  I realized that in non-pandemic times, I spend a lot of time transitioning to do stuff.   Getting ready for work.  Getting Nico ready for school.  Unpacking my bag and getting ready to work, packing my back and getting ready to leave.  Giving myself extra time on public transit to get to practice, getting my shit together to go to the gym, packing my bag for soccer, getting to soccer early so I can warm up.  And since everything is canceled- I am not transitioning to do stuff… like this mornigng I rowed through 2.5 episodes of Brooklyn 99, ate some breakfast and came to sit at my desk.  I’ll take a shower at some point today, but literally it doesn’t matter when.

So here is to keeping my ass in one place for a while and cutting out all the time I spend getting my shit together to go to the next thing.

Taking Stock: March 2020

Taking Stock


I mean, I wish. I’m thinking about taking apart an old laptop but I’m very nervous.

Reading: The 6th Extinction.  I don’t know why it is taking me forever, but it is.  It is this year’s One Book, One Chicago book.  Every time I sit down to read it, I make it like 1-3 pages before I have to get up and do something else.

Looking: Old. So very old. I don’t think I’m aging well at all. I don’t feel like a “new 40” that is really the new 30. I feel (and look) like an old 40. That has 20 years left before I retire and 23 before I die.


I’m listening to The God of Small Things. It’s a Booker-Man Prize winner. I started it back in December and just ran out of steam. It’s good so far- but definitely has a “100 years of Solitude” feel.

Wishing: Running were easier.  I bought some new running shoes last week.  The weather is starting to turn here… so running outside might be nice.  I just wish I were better at it.  And that it were easier.  Really wish I could be one of these gazelle runners who just through their shoes on and go out for an easy five mile run an hour.  But that is not me.

Enjoying: I finally went to the Chicago Institute of Art this week.  Only been wanting to visit it for 7 years.  It was pretty cool.  I can see why it is so highly regarded… a lot of Manet and Monet, some Cezanne.  And a gigantic display of Arms and Armor… which Nico really liked.  He also got a kick out of this one, because he recognizes it. 

Loving: my planner. I love the Hobonichi Cousin, but had a hard time adjusting to the paper-where ink dries so very slowly. Also, the grids are so small. Was forced to get a fancy multi pen with 0.3 mm nibs. Like those white and blue pens from the 1980s with the four inks.

Only mine’s from Japan…

Hoping: my new boss wants me to do all the trainings this spring and summer. I am lobbying to do an intro to digital humanities workshop at Oxford this summer. In case you were wondering if I could be any more insufferable. Am hoping to go to one of the areas my distant ancestors were from to go to an old pub and have a drink, which I think my mom would have liked.

Coveting: While I still love winter, I’ve now reached the point of winter where I miss Florida beaches.


I got the flu* in January.

Flu* got me like malaria got Laura Ingalls.  

I thought it was a chest cold.  Dave got it first- it started with a bad cough.  Then chills and fevers, etc.  But always the cough.

I wasn’t too worried about it because I got a flu shot.  And when I get the flu shot, it comes with a seat on a high horse.  And I *thought* that the flu can’t touch you if you’re on your high horse.

Reader: I was wrong.  The flu* pulled my ass off my high horse.

It has been a minute since I had the flu*… and I don’t recomend it.  When it was clear that Dave had it, I sprinted Nico to get his flu shot thinking that it was only a matter of time before Nico came down with it.  I know that I am kind of a bad mom because I didn’t get him the shot earlier… but I tried to.  Its just my life…

Guess who hasn’t had the flu?  Nico.

In any case, it was pretty bad.  I was sick of MLK day and the Tuesday and Wednesday after.  So sick I didn’t play soccer.  Do you know how sick that is?

So sick.

Never have I been so grateful to have sick days.  I rotated between 30 min long showers, sleeping, and coughing.

*I am convinced I had coronavirus.  But all the nurses I know said I didn’t, because the first cases showing up in Chicago (from Wuhan) had just been documented.  But I think we are coming to the consensus that Covid-19 was likely in the US before the first cases in Chicago were diagnosed.


One Year

This month marks the the first anniversary of my mom’s death.
It was weird. I thought I would be struck by it, but mostly it snuck up on me. My brother, sister, and I each have A LOT going on, separately.  My brother is hustling trying to start a business in Seattle, my sister has four kids, each of which plays multiple sports.  Both have a lot to manage.  Me… I just… well… I just.  I haven’t figured out a way to a) say no; and b) work smarter, not harder.  So, for me, its often just grinding trying to make all the pieces fit together and work.  This was probably a bit of a blessing, to be honest.  It kept  the anniversary of her death from looming… I looked up one day, and it had been a year.

My dad hasn’t started sending her stuff yet.  She had en entire bedroom full of craft stuff- my brother’s wedding quilt, a quilt for Nico, yarn, wool, leather, so many craft supplies, patterns, and books.  The week that she died, my dad said that he would send these boxes; but I don’t think he appreciated how expensive that would turn out to be.  I can imagine when they do start arriving, that those days will be hard- or maybe they will be great.  Opening a box and touching fibers my mom had touched.  Or using a pair of her knitting needles for a new project. Maybe that will be comforting.

I am fighting in a judo tournament next week. Mom was really interested in my fights… often, she was the person I wanted to talk to after tournaments… after that first exhibition match at Cohens when I threw ura nagi with NO experience with it as a throw… and after my last Wisconsin tournament, when I tied for first.  For me, Mom was the only person I could talk in detail with about the shit I did… whether it was judo or soccer, my phd, crafts. That is probably the hardest thing about her being gone… she cared about the mundane shit I did every day, and the big shit I did. And she was so proud of me.


I had a weird moment earlier this month.  I was taken aback looking at some of Nico’s classwork; he’s been working on a story in his writing class. It’s about soccer and my mom would have absolutely loved it.  She would have asked him question after question after question about his process and everything about it. And he would have been tickled over that.  Like wow… Granny was really into my story, right?  Which would have been 100% true.

Taking Stock: January 2020

Making: I bought some cotton from Joann’s back in December. It was the first trip I had made to Joann’s since Mom died, and I found cotton for the English Football clubs we support in our house.  That is amazing, right?

Cooking: I made a french silk pie for NYE and it was amazing.  I don’t think I remember this, but, french silk pie has raw eggs in it.  Isn’t that nuts?  It was so good.  Also, I decided at Thanksgiving, that I am no longer going to be bullied by recipes calling for garbage pie crust.  Honestly, everyone hates traditional pie crust; no one is brought to the pie plate with traditional pie crust.  It is NO ONE’s favorite part of the pie.  So, I am resolving to make pie crusts that either go with the pie or pie crusts that I like; which is to say, graham cracker pie crusts.  I am all in on this for the rest of my life.  Fight me.

(Turns out that this isn’t all that of an innovative idea, Ree Drummond (the Pioneer Woman) makes hers with a graham cracker crust.  Which means that I am not, in fact, special.)

Sipping: Smoothies.  Like everyone else back on their bullshit in January, I am trying to increase my fruit and veggie intake.  I bought some special smoothie cups for Nico and me, but it turns out he doesn’t like smoothies that don’t taste like milkshakes.  I *kinda* feel bad about blending them up at 630 in the morning, because my blender is hella loud and it takes a long time to get the job done.  But when I let it blend to completion, they aren’t bad.  Also, it lets me be super judgey… like, yeah, ya girl getting her spinach in, before you even woke up.

Reading: Not as many books in 2020. I went hard in the paint with books last year. At the expense of my Pocket App reading. Basically with Pocket, you can save articles on the internet to an app for reading later. Despite having thousands of articles saved, I haven’t done a very good job clearing them. So I need to take it down a notch with the books and kick it up on the articles I’m reading.

Looking: at all the single use plastics I use in my life. I mean, it won’t have THAT much of an impact in the grand scheme of things. The internet is full of think pieces about how we aren’t going to reuse, repurpose, and recycle our way out of our plastic problem. But I’m starting to feel that guilt that comes from purchases that come in plastic. Thinking about what it would take to change the WAY we buy stuff, reminds me how absolutely hopeless this feels. Things like contact solution. Sold in plastic bottles that are NOT refillable. Can you even imagine the kind of consumer model that would make it possible to have refillable contact solution solutions? Like you go to your no packaging store and get contact solution on tap, that you dispense straight into a reusable squeeze bottle? That would be cool. One thing I did find that might be a game changer for travel are these little squeeze bottles from REI:


Maybe that would at least eliminate the small travel bottles of contact solution I buy when I travel and don’t check a bag.  That is probably going to solve the plastic problem, yes?

Listening: To Post Malone lately.  I’d once heard that he makes music for people who are stressed, tired, hungover, and burned out.  And honestly, I get it.

Wishing: I hadn’t screwed up the Etsy order for a custom cover for my Hobonichi planner. It was from a seller in China and I accidentally included the wrong zip code. Technically, the cover has been in Chicago for two weeks and I’m just hopelessly tracking it around the Chicagoland area’s different mail facilities. To be clear- I think it’s fair to assume that the city and the address are right. I mean, would it not make sense to try my address in Chicago? Getting real sick of your shit, USPS.

I do hope I get it… it’s a cloth cover of Van Gogh’s Starry Night and it has a PVC cover.

Watching: I finished the Anne of Green Gables reboot on Netflix. I was a little skeptical at first- this Anne was a spazz. But I got over that. I kind of thought of it as Anne of Green Gables in an alternate timeline- one where Anne and Gilbert look like kids, Matthew doesn’t die, and there are people of color in Canada.

Hoping: We’re hoping David Ross at the Cubs has a good season.  While I am a huge David Ross fan, I am a little suspicious of the idea of making him manager.  I mean, he has certainly played in enough clubs, with enough managers to have seen some really good management and some really bad management. I think when Joe Maddon was the coach of the Cubs, he benefitted immensely from David Ross; Joe could be the feel good, hippy guy, but David Ross could crack the whip. Rossey could have really high expectations for the guys and want them to do things the right way, so Joe could be chill.   I just really hope that this doesn’t end up being a gimmick- mostly because David Ross is absolutely beloved by Chicago. I mean, he hit a 410 foot bomb to dead center in Game 7 of the World Series… and he is generally a nice guy.  But, I AM spoiled; I want the Cubs in the series this year and every year.

Wearing: Before Thanksgiving, I bought a new pair of warm-up pants.  My go-to pants for coaching and playing outdoor games has been a pair of black Under Armour sweats.  They did, at one point, have elastic in the ankle cuffs, but I cut that out.  They were so comfortable, but had the effect of making me look schlumpy.  If that is even possible (spoiler: it isn’t hard).  I bought a pair of tapered warm-up pants  from Target that are my jam.  I am basically living in these…its great, TBH.

Noticing: my face a lot lately. I can’t describe it- maybe it’s my age (40). Or just how I feel about my life. But I feel like my face makes me look older than I am. Maybe this is just my reality now: dry, pasty skin, dark circles, constantly broken out. In all honesty, all the ads I see on social for Curology, Thrive Cosmetics, etc. are very apropos.

Sorting: One of my goals this year is to go through my craft closet.  Seriously. I need to.  Think Monica’s closet:

TBH, I feel really good about the fact that when we lived in North Park, I had a 10 by 20 foot space that we called “The Girl Cave”, and I have managed to fit all this stuff into essentially a coat closet. But its such a nightmare to get stuff in and out of it, that I don’t. So, I don’t do a lot of crafting anymore, even when I have the time to do it.

Saving: his past holiday season was, in a word, annoying. A combination of stress and work resulted in there being nothing left at the end of the year. I need to do a little better not running out of steam in November. It would be useful to think about Christmas earlier in the year and not be surprised by it, so I have the money, time, energy to do Christmas the way I want to. Also, for all intents and purposes, I should not be leaning into the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That should be wind it down time, not kick this year in the face time.

Coveting: A house.  So badly.  Words cannot describe how ready I am to NOT be renting anymore.  I need more space… I realized this week that when you live in a small space, you absolutely must spend time and energy putting stuff away because if you don’t your space just gets messy and the messiness of a space can be draining.

Feeling: I feel really squirrely on Sunday nights.  This is likely due to the combination of adderall and pre-workout, combined with the adrenaline from playing in games late(ish).  But lately, it seems that I can’t shut it down.  So I come home from my games and am basically up all night.  At some point, I ought to just make hay out of that… and decide that is when I am going to work on papers, read articles, etc.