The Joys and Regrets of 2017

on January 5, 2018

via GIPHY

2017 was filled with joys and regrets. So many ups and downs.

Here is a list of both:

Joys

  • Melvin starting his own practice.
  • My travels to Hong Kong, Tokyo, Whistler, and Palm Springs for work plus a family trip to Disney
  • Some of the best books I’ve read in a while including Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Made for Love, All Our Wrong Todays, and The Witches of New York.
  • Pearl really started to read books. Yay!
  • Jasper is potty trained! Y’all I haven’t bought diapers for the first time in 7 years!
  • I converted the spare bedroom into my office.
  • Season 3 of Mr.Robot, another season of Kimmy Schmidt, Difficult People, Game of Thrones.
  • Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Maroon 5, LCD Soundsystem, Lourde, Kesha.
  • Hitting level 30 in Pokemón Go.
  • Ladybird.

Regrets

  • Buying Taylor Swift’s new album. Complete garbage. Way too whiney.
  • The latest season of Walking Dead. Why do I keep watching?
  • Not going to the gym more.
  • Not spending more time in Tokyo (although I could have spent a month there and it wouldn’t have been enough).
  • Not owning a Toto toilet or bathtub.American toilet technology hasn’t changed since the invention of indoor plumbing. Why?!?
  • Not making enough of an effort to hang out with good friends.
  • Letting my anxiety take over too much.
  • Not reading more books
  • Losing my Bose noise cancelling ear buds. Sad day. Thankfully I was able to replace them with an updated bluetooth version which is better.

My Instagrammed Life

on November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving is practically upon us. This is the first year ever that I am hosting. As one can imagine, this brings a lot of pressure and stress. The previous 10+ Thanksgivings have been hosted by my husband’s family. They have lots of traditions I don’t agree with but that is a story for another day. My point is, this is the first year I get to do it my way. But I also need to make sure that my way lives up to the previous iteration of Thanksgiving.

Which brings me to my main point- my house is a wreck like 95% of the time. Actually, let’s make it 97%. Three small kids plus a dog plus a full time job plus a husband with a full time job means there is not enough time in the day to keep my house looking Instagram fresh. I’m fine with that. But I would most likely never post that on Instagram. It’s not pretty enough.

My husband took our kids to see his parents for a few days in exchange for me spending that time cleaning and prepping for Thanksgiving. So for the last five-ish days, I’ve cleaned, folded, cooked, grocery shopped, set the table, and even polished the dang silver. The kids should be home in a few hours and I fully expect my house to go back to non-immaculate within in hour of their return.

So in honor of my fake Instagram life here are some before and after pictures. Also remember that so many of the things you see on Instagram are not an actual reflection of reality. Happy Thanksgiving. And be grateful for the messes in your life. It means your living it! 🙂

Before and After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Long Time, No Blog

on November 8, 2017

Life has been rather boring lately. But boring in a good way. That predictable day-to-day life type of way. I went to Whistler, BC in September for work. I got another tattoo. Fern turned 5. Melvin and I celebrated our 10th anniversary.

Here is a little gif of me, my friend Stephanie, and Matt at the Grand Meetup Closing Party. The theme was Prom Through The Years.


My kids are pretty darn cute. We had photos done recently. I really like this one even though there is a Vulpix in the picture.


I haven’t been reading as much lately. But I found myself looking for a mindless read the other day. I stopped by the library with a few choices in mind. I truly support public libraries but the one near me does not have the best selection. None of the books I wanted were available. So I decided to browse the shelves. I ended up with a new book called, Final Girls by Riley Sager.

Final Girls is about a group of three girls, all survivors of grisly mass murders. Quincy, the newest member of the club, is trying to lead a normal life after surviving the murder of all of her friends. All is going well until she finds out the first Final Girl is dead. This is definitely a thriller with plot twists and turns. I devoured it in about 3 days.

 

I am also reading the book, Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS by Joby Warrick. I will say I am not a huge fan of nonfiction. But Joby Warrick’s style of narrative nonfiction makes it read like a John Le Carré novel. You don’t even realize you are learning! This book will arm you with a better understanding of what is going on in the Middle East and how it all started. For example, I had no idea that the Middle East, as we know it, didn’t really exist until the early 1900s. The book focuses mostly on Al-Zarqawi and his role in the founding of ISIS. If you like history and spy novels, this is a good read for you.

I am always looking for good books to read. Let me know if you have any recommendations. 

Summer Books

on August 30, 2017

I’ve had a ton going on the last few months with the kids out of school so I haven’t gotten around to posting much. Besides, I don’t think anyone actually cares about the boring, daily minutiae of my life. Work is busy (as always). Kids are doing well. I cut my hair really short because it’s just too hot in New Orleans.

And because it summer, I’ve been reading much more. I don’t have any one kind of book I prefer but basically pick up what looks interesting. I do like mystery/thrillers. I hate romance books. I hate historical romance even more. Sci-fi or dystopian fiction is fun. Basically I will read anything other than romance.

Made for Love by Alissa Nutting

Made for Love… I am not sure what I can say about this one. I was drawn to this book because the cover is an airbrush image of a sunset. It looked like a trashy romance, which I suppose is the point. But it’s not. It’s a hilarious story involving a large computer company named Gogol, mind melding, sex dolls, a trailer park, and dolphins. This is definitely a must read.

Dietland by Sarai Walker

I haven’t read a book in a while that really made me think about things in a different way. Dietland challenged my thoughts on dieting and why being overweight is frowned about by society. While a piece of fiction, there are so many great lessons and thoughts that can get carried over to real life. My favorite part about this book is the Fuckability Theory. There is so much to it. I wish that it was an actual book I could read! The book also features a feminist terrorist organization called Jennifer that fights against the patriarchy. Anyway, if you are a woman and ever considered dieting, read this. Also, it’s being turned into a show. Not sure how I feel about this since it seems parts of the book that are crucial are not really suitable for prime time.

The People We Hate at the Wedding by Grant Ginder

This book was entertaining. I thought it would be funnier though. It’s a family drama about an upcoming wedding. Apparently there is always drama surrounding weddings or large family gatherings. The sister getting married is viewed by her siblings as the favorite. The siblings are each going through a lot of stuff. They all bring their baggage and sort through it in the days leading up to the wedding.

The Child by Fiona Barton

I really enjoyed this book. A house in London is being demolished and during the work, the skeleton of a small child is found. The story is told from a few view points. There is the newspaper reporter, the mom whose baby was kidnapped from the hospital and never found, and the grown woman who used to live at the house. It’s not as much of a thriller as it is a mystery. I did enjoy this one a lot though, especially as all the pieces came together.

Night Film by Marisha Pressl

Although this book isn’t new, I finally got around to picking it up. I really loved Special Topics in Calamity Physics. And just like that book, Night Movie has a level of detail not seen in many works of fiction. The book combines writing along with faux newspaper articles and photos to help tell the story of Ashley Cordova. Ashley is the daughter of mysterious film director, Stan Cordova. Stan Cordova is know for his horror films and the fact that he hasn’t been seen in public for 30 years. When Ashley turns up dead, an investigative journalist starts looking into the story and goes down a dark trail to discover the truth. This book is part horror and part thriller; the type of book that sucks you in until you get to the last page.

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

This book was a typical knock off of the Gone Girl style psychological thriller geared towards women. The author also wrote Girl on the Train, which I liked but didn’t love. I found this book to be much more entertaining with less loathsome characters. Plus it only took me like a day or two to read.

What are you reading? I’m always looking for suggestions!

NOLA- A More Modern* Third World…

on August 10, 2017

*as in we have running water, indoor plumbing, and electricity on most days.

Don’t get me wrong. I love New Orleans. I never thought I could actually love a city this much when I moved here 11 years ago. But fuck, this city is lightyears behind so many others. It’s not only the little things (having to pay extra for recycling?!?) but the bigger issues such as crime. I’m not here though to focus on the big picture. I have no solutions for those sorts of things. This rant is about the little things that makes New Orleans super annoying.

Makin’ Groceries

For example, today I thought: “I usually don’t go to Walmart but see they now have a grocery service. Let me see if it’s in New Orleans.” The closest dang pick up place is a half hour away even though Walmart claims it’s in New Orleans. It’s not in New Orleans. The airport is close to New Orleans but last I checked, New Orleans ain’t Kenna-brah. And I’m not driving over a half hour to get groceries from Walmart.

While I am on groceries, why the heck are there no grocery delivery options here? We used to have Good Eggs but like all good things, it closed. Rouses basically would have my business for life if they just delivered. I don’t mind going there but shopping with 3 kids is not pleasant, especially when this happens. Some days, I can make it to the store alone but it’s never a guarantee. Since I’m being 100 right now, if AmazonFresh opened up here, I’d probably never leave my house. That thought makes me so happy. Mainly, because this gif is me.

Spirit Titus GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Mail

Ya know how mail is supposed to be on time, reliable, etc? The whole, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”? Yeah I don’t. We can go days at a time with no mail even though I see the mail person walking around the neighborhood. Then after say 5 days, I’ll sudden get a backlog of mail delivered. My theory is that the postal worker doesn’t feel the 1 piece of mail they have is worth the trip up my steps to deliver. So they hold onto it for me until they have enough to give me all at once. Beyond annoying. Not that there is anything super important coming in the mail most days; I just like to know it’s working! UPS and FedEx are no issue at all. It’s strictly USPS.

Schools

Private school is the hidden tax in New Orleans. There are pretty much no traditional type daycares in New Orleans that aren’t either in awful neighborhoods or super sketchy. Tulane and Loyola offer daycare for ages 1 and older but they mainly pull from staff. There used to be a place in town that was affordable and offered infant and baby care but it closed when the director was found to be stealing all the money. Classic NOLA. So the alternative we have to traditional day care is private school. Private school is most times not year round, costs more than daycare would, and can require things like uniforms… for toddlers. Not only do you then have to pay for private school, (which has things like holiday break and summers off) you then have to figure out what to do when there is no school. It’s pretty much the worst.

Let It Go Eye Roll GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to schools though. Instead of pretending to know it all, I’ll just leave it to you to Google something like: schools post katrina new orleans. Also, you can hear me talk more about my school grievances here. I am still annoyed with this author who makes me sound like a rich white lady trying to game the system. (Although I do want to grow up to be Lucille Bluth so maybe she knows something I don’t.)

Pot Holes/Endless Street Construction

Do you just love driving through potholes and damaging your car? Do you love the thought of random street closures due to an endless maze of construction? Then NOLA is the place for you! Just take a look at this awesome site! It’s dedicated to the potholes of New Orleans! Since I travel the same streets daily, I know where to swerve but I’ve hit a car killer more than once and drove away hoping my car was ok.
Angry Bart Simpson GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Regarding the construction, the same dang road has been torn up or under some form of construction since 2013!! And they don’t expect to complete it until maybe summer of 2018. How is that ok? The road is a main traffic road and not a side street. It’s not like 20 miles long. Yet it’s take upwards of 5 years to complete the construction. And this is only one small part of the construction issue. More info about all of that here.

This piece is already 400 words longer than I expected so I’m going to end with this gif about why I love this city.
Mardi Gras Dancing GIF by Cheezburger - Find & Share on GIPHY

**I haven’t even started on the pumps/flooding. Fortunately, we weren’t affected but I know plenty who were.

***Also on my complaint list- crazy ass meter maids and parking enforcement in general. Oh and that time my car was stolen and it took the police 8 hours to respond and included a call back to us asking if the car was still stolen. Oh and slumlords in the University district. I’m looking at you, Craig Tolbert.