Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Business of Aging

I saw a movie last night that was pretty "eh" to me but did make me think a little.

It was called While We're Young and told the story of a couple in their early 40s whose friends are all having babies (RELATABLE), so they kind of have this midlife crisis and start hanging out with young hipsters. Anyway, the movie had some great moments and then some really "wha?" parts and didn't really leave me with a clear message or point. So don't take this as a recommendation lest you get bored and blame me.

But the parts of the movie I did like were all the parts about coming to grips with aging. This is something I've thought about in daydreamy moments lately. 

I'm only 28. I hardly feel old, as a whole -- it's more like I'm recognizing that every year gets me closer to being "old" (whatever number that is) and it just kind of bleeds in subtly, unannounced, when you aren't looking. I feel too old for some things, here and there. Like when I want to go home early from parties to sleep or curl up with a book/TV show. (See: Veronica Mars DVDs these days. Any fans out there? I'm a first-timer and it's totally my speed so far.) And also, the last time I went to a rock concert, in October (the fact that it's been that long is an aging sign in and of itself for me) it took me like 24 hrs to recover from a night of standing/dancing in a sweaty crowd until a very late hour. Am I losing my edge?

And there's all the good parts of aging, like losing my tolerance for dead-end situations or relationships that I so easily gave too much time/emotional energy to when I was a little younger. The good parts like learning to take care of myself and recognizing dysfunction when I see it. And learning to not add dysfunction or unwarranted criticism/ego to other people's lives, myself, when it's better that I just bite my tongue and let someone else be right or learn things on their own instead of trying to insert my opinions. Always working on that one. Maybe I'll officially declare myself old and wise if I ever fully get there.

Or there was also the time recently, when in a fit of "I need to meet new people and I hate online dating so so so much every time I try it," I checked out local meetup.com groups.....and ended up joining a local Scrabble group. From the looks of things, the age difference between me and most other attendees can be measured in decades. It's not unappealing, but will likely do nada for my entropic dating life. Never say never? Shrug. We'll see if I go. I do own my own Scrabble board that I found at Goodwill.

Those meetup.com groups might go better for my dating life if my hobbies weren't Scrabble, crossword puzzles, thrift store shopping, cross stitching and the occasional bout of knitting. I also really like watching Antiques Roadshow? And croquet? 

I'm not special-unicorn-brained enough to think I'm the ONLY person my age who's into these sorts of traditionally geriatric things. And I'm also not silly-brained enough to think that I have to have the exact same things in common with people to want to hang out with them.

I think my point is that there is a certain....slowing down....to growing up, and that I can feel it more and more here and there these days. It just kind of strikes me in quiet moments now and again.

For my 28th birthday, I wished for steadiness. So far so good, with the new stable job I just started. Things feel very calm in a lot of my life arenas. And it is delicious, in a lazy front porch, warm summer evening kind of way. Which is one of my favorite kinds of ways. Toss in a little tank-top wearing and roof-sitting with stars to look at, fireflies and a little humidity in the air and I'm golden.

Tangents. Anyway.

I think while I was watching that lukewarm movie last night, it just reminded me of my own moments lately where I can feel the calming, even current of growing up. And sometimes that hits me with a side dish of panic that "time is running out; am I doing everything I want to be doing??" Because yeah, I feel that like anyone else. I know that biological clocks are ticking and bodies only stay in youthful condition so long, and that the dating pool does in fact get thinner and more difficult the older you get. That's no joke. And sometimes that makes me antsy and I worry I'm going to look back one day and realize I ran out of time to do important things that I should have done while the opportunities were still ripe for the picking. Because there's just one life, you know? Just one chance at it. Just one story to write. No going back and redoing any of it.

But then again, life is joy. And I'm human enough to have those life crisis moments sometimes, but also "me" enough to ultimately just settle back on that emotional rooftop and keep on soaking in the contentedness of a warm summer night firefly season of life. The kind of season where things aren't exactly perfect if you think too hard, but they're not bad by any means either if you can just tune out some of the buzzing. And as long as life will let me keep taking it one workday, lazy weekend morning and/or adventure at a time, I'll just keep moseying along with it for now. Because like I said, no more fighting. Unless it's the good kind of fighting for the good kind of things. Not now. Just that steadiness. And maybe a crossword puzzle or Scrabble game or two. You know.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Life is Joy

One of my favorite things in life are those delicious moments when I pause in the middle of whatever I'm doing and realize how HAPPY I feel.

Happy, content, brimming, sparkling. All that jazz. Just those moments where I'm suddenly hit by how GOOD life can feel and think sunshine might burst out of my pores. Sometimes it's when I'm on my way to meet up with friends I really care about, sometimes it's during a life phase when I feel passionate about my career and am working someplace that feels like a good fit, sometimes it's when I'm on my way to a service project I'm pumped about, sometimes it's just as simple as being happy it's Friday night and I have something good to watch on Netflix.

It's like a feeling that no bad things (exist though they may) can bring me down, for a few minutes or hours, or days if I'm lucky :)

I've had several of those moments lately. Just while I'm driving down the road, or as I've settled in at my new job, or when I'm looking forward to a couple upcoming small weekend trips (or daydreaming about bigger travels I've yet to plan down the line), or when I'm texting with friends I care a lot about and giggles are bursting out of me in public places.

But when I say life feels joyous, I actually don't mean "devoid of conflict." Maybe I just mean...whole.

I read this quote once that I love, about how overall happiness/joy isn't the absence of pain, but rather the conglomeration of ALL emotions. And yeah, having anger/betrayal/sadness/grief as elements of my life now and then can mean bad days or afternoons or weeks sometimes. But that's just a part of the whole.

Look, I found the quote:
“I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that – I don’t mind people being happy – but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying 'write down 3 things that made you happy today before you go to sleep,' and 'cheer up' and 'happiness is our birthright' and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position – it’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say 'Quick! Move on! Cheer up!' I’d like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word 'happiness' and to replace it with the word 'wholeness.' Ask yourself 'is this contributing to my wholeness?' and if you’re having a bad day, it is.” -Hugh Mackay
In those moments I described at the beginning, the ones where I am overwhelmingly content, it's not so much that all things are inherently GOOD – it's more that things are FULL. It's like there are all kinds of different emotions running through my veins and just pumping me full of life and all its many facets.

Because for every ecstatic phone call with a dear friend that sloshes me full of happy giggles, there are also more days than I'd like lately where my health has been less great than I want to be, or my body has random aches and pains that I wish would heal up already (I'm looking at you, creaky achilles tendons). And for every "my new job is amazing so far" moment I've had this week, I've had handfuls of sadness for a boy I miss very much but feel like the decision to do anything about it is out of my hands. So I put down the phone and say nothing when I want to say everything, and try to quiet the inevitable "what other girl does he want more and what does she have that I'm lacking" voices that flood my mind on long nights or quiet mornings. I am certain you all feel me on that one, because we've all been there. It's a rotten part of life but it is life. I know this. So onward the little heart marches, with trust that, like other letdowns before, this one will also pass eventually and just be a dot back along the road.

My point is, life is not perfect. It's not flawless or without hard emotions, and it has required hard work and risk and patience from me to get several of the best things I have going for me right now. My life is incredible and blessed and lucky in so many ways; I'm not naive to that when I read the news or books about other peoples' struggles and life situations.

But mostly, my life is FULL. And my life is HONEST. And to me, that adds up to joy. Cracks and crevices and pretty parts and all.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Paint With All the Colors of the Wind, etc.

Sometime last year, I fell in love with paint by numbers.

My life was in a bit of tumult at the time. More than a bit. Lots o' stuffs in my head and a lot of tongue biting and lip chewing and figuring out what words and when and if and so on and so forth.

Just ignore that sentence if it made no sense.

So one day I was at Michael's......not a man's house, the craft store. Don't you get any salacious ideas about my after-school activities.

Relevant side note: I don't even go to school. A middle-aged man asked me recently if I go to school. I get asked that question about once a month. Probably because I have the face of a 17-year-old. When I had braces, 4 years ago, (for the second time), I got asked that question probably once a week. Except, they currently ask about college, and during Adult Braces Season they usually asked about high school. Well, I think they ask about college now. I haven't clarified. Maybe sometime I'll just say "yes" instead of "no, I work"....at which point they actually probably wonder if I dropped out to work at a fro yo shop or the local grocery store. Or, start a billion-dollar company with no degree because #SiliconValleyProblems. Teen dropouts, man.

Or maybe I work at Michael's. The craft store. Not a man's house. I do not work at a man's house. But I could hang out there. Because I am of age to date men. Except when I was 24 and had braces.

Michael's. I honestly can't remember what I was there for. Halloween costume stuff? That feels likely.

Anyway, I bought a paint-by-number. It was a wolf. And you know what? The finished piece looks like....a cheesy paint by number of a wolf. It is nothing fancy. In fact, it's tucked in a drawer and not hanging up anywhere because....well because it is clearly a paint-by-number. Or I don't know, maybe some deeper philosophical thing about "this hobby is for me and me alone, not the rest of the world to see!"

Which isn't true, because I'm showing it to you right now:

What I like most about this whole paint-by-number business is that it is incredibly...still...for me.

It's like meditation. You know when else I feel that way? Completely absorbed in what I'm doing, just focused and relaxed and kind of out-of-body all at once? Infrequently, is the answer. But one answer from the short list: when I play the piano. And as I discovered recently, when I'm doing a paint-by-number. (Is that damn word hyphenated? I can't decide. I-can't-decide. Eff.) (E-f-f.)

Few activities can make me single-task. It's like a blissful euphoria that is sort of an escape but sort of not, because I actually DO think about my real life during those times. I'm just...sorting through it calmly rather than fretting about it or anxiously tugging on my earlobe (hey there's an insight into my life – I tug on my earlobes when I'm anxious....what if they get really long and weird someday?) (oh wait that happens when you get old anyway. I'M JUST AHEAD OF MY TIME)

I'm capable of making very calm, rational decisions after both a long piano playing sesh and paint-by-numbering. I'm tired but rejuvenated, and just peaceful enough that I feel recklessly brave and diplomatic. That's a good state to be in for dealing with conflict. It helps me say things that need to be said in a very nice and straightforward way. I should probably start all my days with these activities. Piano playing and paint-by-numbering errrry morning! In my underwears! (Just tacking on extra life bonuses like "no pants" while I'm at it.)

Did you know I've played the piano since I was like....4? 5? Something in there. That's longer than I've done anything in my life other than being alive. And walking. And eating? OK let's not get technical. Anyway, I'll write more about the piano another day.

This post is about paint by numbers. Paint-by-numbers. paintbynumbersz3

I think what that silly wolf did for me, last fall, is best described as...centering. It made me feel centered. It opened my head like a little zen garden and raked all the sand up nice and put the mental little black rocks in a neat little row. I took it on a plane to my parents' house and started painting it in their living room in Arizona, then finished it back here in California. I'd sit and paint for hours until my body cramped from being in one position. This color in that spot, that color in that one. Law & Order or whatever rolling in the background. I'm not independently artistic (really – my little sisters paint theatre sets for their jobs and I'm over here like "how do you make a cow not look like a dog"), so I liked that this was simple for me to get right.

My next quest in life is to find paint-by-numberszsd43 that are actually pretty and not cheesy cottages with cheesy lawn chairs by a cheesy lake. (A lake made of cheese actually sounds like a grade-A idea. Someone find me one please kthx) I've yet to find many PBNs (see how hip I am with my abbreviations?) on the Internetsz that interest me. Actually, I'd like one of Florence because FLORENCE! And Iceland; be still my forever-homesick-for-Iceland soul. Or, I don't know, Andrew Garfield's face (with a beard). So if anyone knows of any. Perhaps. Maybe. Tell me.

The end.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Nostalgia Season

I am easily prone to nostalgia.

Particularly at specific times of year. I used to think it was October that sparked it the most, but lately I've been feeling it pretty strongly about spring. So, I think it might just be any transitory, changing season that makes me reflective and really puts me in the "what was I doing this time last year" mood.

I've finally been in California long enough to have memories of "how things were before." It can be a pretty transitory place around here, with all the young people and fast-paced career life that kind of moves people in and out and around. So as I'm approaching my two-year mark this summer, I've officially reached a point where I'm one of the staples. One of the people who's "been around for awhile." I've just noticed here and there that some of the people who fit that role when I moved here, the people who seemed to know everyone and had their feet under them and all that jazz, are starting to move away one by one or move on to different life phases and what-have-you.

Change is often subtle in that regard as an adult, because it's not like back in school when every semester turned up a fresh crop of people and shipped a new batch out in graduation hats. It's more one at a time, these days, as friends get new jobs in new cities or coworkers switch teams, and all the faces change slowly one by one until it catches me by surprise one day.

I get these strong waves of nostalgia now and then where it just washes over me and I suddenly miss all the people who've left and the past seasons of life and how things were and so on and so forth. I had one of those moments tonight, when I went to a dinner party in a neighborhood where I used to spend quite a bit of time when I first moved to California. I even stopped in, for a minute, into a house that used to be ripe with meaning for me. It used to hold so much expectation and comfort and anxiety and stability all at once – I don't even know quite how to explain it, but I had a lot of emotions and hopes wrapped up in that house. And I stood in its kitchen tonight and looked around at the different faces taking up space there and it was like one of those movie effects where you can see the shadows of former crowds mingling around the room and fading into the background. It suddenly struck me how much things have completely changed around me while I was busy doing this or that.

Moments like that always make me want to hold on really tight to what I have right now, because I feel so sharply that before I know it, it'll all change too.

And that in a year or two, when the air is again starting to turn from cold to warm as spring and then summer take hold, I'll be sitting around somewhere thinking about this exact moment in time. About when I was about to leave Google, when I was about to start a new job at Palantir, when I was on the tail end of one adventure and on the cusp of so, so much more to come. And the memories of when I was fresh to California, of all the angst and emotion of that time that's already starting to feel like so long ago, will be even further behind me and be even more of a distant feeling.

It's borderline intoxicating, in those moments, how strong nostalgia can be. It just fills me up with a kind of ache for things that are lost and an intense thrill about whatever is about to come and a curiosity about what it is, right now, that I'll be missing most in future days.

Also, it reminds me yet again that hurts pass and desires change and the things that disappoint don't last forever. It reminds me not to get too hung up on any letdowns, because I can look back and see so clearly how past wounds have healed into scars that don't hurt me anymore, and also how often what seemed like endings so frequently yielded unexpected second and third chances where I thought doors were closed. And that gives me hope, always.

Mostly, it just makes me want to live really, really well and appreciate every little bit of every little thing and person around me. It all goes so quickly! And someday it'll all just be shadows on the wall at a party that create an ache in my bones and get me drunk on memories.

So here's to making good ones :)

Monday, March 23, 2015

With An Alternate Plan

Sometimes movies just strike a chord with me.

The first time I saw Meet Joe Black, I wandered out of my apartment afterward in a haze and just kind of walked around and.....looked....at things. I felt wide-eyed and in the mood to marvel at the world around me. Ever since, it has always been one of my favorite movies.

Whilst in the throes of germs this weekend/Monday (which constitutes the length of a holiday weekend, no? a holiday germ weekend? it's a thing now?) I watched a lot of movies and TV shows. I was on the verge of despairing boredom when I stumbled across a movie that I had, admittedly, stumbled across many times before while combing the Internets for worthy film fare.


I'd passed it up in the past because, to be honest, the name screamed "Jane Austen!" to me and I really have to be in the right mood to take on a Jane Austen-esque film. Turns out it is....not that. haha. Premise: Young man (Orlando Bloom) in the midst of career woes hears of his father's death and flies to backwoods Kentucky to sort out dysfunctional family affairs, meeting a quirky and engaging flight attendant (Kirsten Dunst) along the way and so on and so forth.

I elicited this movie's help to stave off the last of my sick-holiday-length-weekend boredom, and instead it surprised me. It charmed me. It lifted some weight and angst off my shoulders about various life issues, as movies about death frequently do. (See? Just like Meet Joe Black. The entire plot of that movie is death. I guess I have a thing. Does this make me dark? That death uplifts me? Excuse me while I go sit in the corner of a record store and wear black and....sketch things.....)

Anyway. ANYWAY. One recurring theme that kept striking me throughout this movie was the idea of alternate plans. The idea of....detours. That you can set out on journeys, goals, life trajectories, what-have-you, only to discover somewhere along the way that something doesn't quite fit anymore. Sometimes it's death. Sometimes it's divorce. Sometimes it's a career setback. Sometimes it's some kind of spectacular failure. Sometimes it's just a change of heart, that makes you pause at a fork in the road....or makes you simply walk off the road and start blazing your own little path through the underbrush, if there is no clearly paved fork provided.

It reminded me, again, that I need to be open to detours. To deviations. To distractions of the best kind. To seeing something, or someone, that I immediately know is a "yes" and be willing to step off my comfort ledge for it, come what may. To quote one of my most treasured quotes from Meet Joe Black, "Stay open. Who knows? Lightning could strike."

And to quote Elizabethtown:

"Here you have reached a fork in the map. You can go to your car and the rest of the directions will take you home. Or...look for a girl in a red hat...who's waiting for you with an alternate plan."

"All Good Things Run Wild & Free" shirt by Flybird Apparel, birthday gifted to me by a dear friend. (And now dying over their daydreamer shirt, good golly someone take my wallet from me. BUT IT HAS A DREAMCATCHER)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

New Job // No More Fighting

*In advance, forgive any parts of this that don't make sense or come across incoherently. I've had a hell of a weekend and my brain may or may not have been fevered or vomity (it's a word, sure) when I wrote it. Shrug. Onward.*

If you've read this blog for a couple years or so, you're pretty familiar with my whole "up and move to California" journey.

If not, here's a quick synopsis: came to California in July 2013, promptly lost the contract job I moved here for, worked odd jobs (freelance writing, consumer studies from the depths of Craigslist e.g. taste-testing popcorn at a factory for $80 cash), part-time job at Anthropologie for a few months, filled a maternity leave for a corporate brand management position with Ralph Lauren (how anyone thought I had the background for that job, I'm still not sure, but heyyy it worked out), wiggled my way into a temp job at THE GOOGLE (in capital letters because I'd been turned down by THE GOOGLE sevvverrrallll times during my first few months in California), rolled into another temp position in recruiting at the googz, and....

....and now, one year later, a new job!

I know: "Why in the world would you leave Google?" The answer isn't too hard, though – stability. Google is about as amazing as a workplace can get, but being a contractor only works for so long, with any employer. A little visit to Urgent Care last month (and again with the fever and vomiting this weekend, yuucckkkk what's the deal, body?) reminded me yet again that I need real medical benefits, among other things. I knew I'd start job hunting sometime this spring or summer, with my Google expiration date looming in September, but when a couple companies reached out to me about interviewing with them in February and March, I decided to go for it. And also, I think I've always known that I thrive better in smaller work environments. And the googz is anything but small. It is quite possibly the definition of not small :)

And here I am. Making this new career in recruiting a real, long-term thing. I'm joining a company called Palantir, and I am super, super into them. (You can read more about them at the bottom – I didn't want to bore anyone who follows me on Facebook or Instagram and already knows all the delightful things I had to say about them.)

My heart gets all squishy when I think about the last couple years. Like f'reals seriously squishy and tries to escape out my eyes.

That imagery came out 100% more gory than I intended. Y'all know what I'm saying.

It's been.....pivotal. That's the best word for it. Formative, trying, pressing, joyous, invigorating, exhausting, explorative, chaotic. All those things. And getting a contract at Google (twice) was this huge achievement for me. It was a landmark. I sometimes feel like I'm living in one of those movies or sitcoms where a girl up and moves herself to the big city and has to fend for herself until one day SHE ARRIVES. (My dating life is also, often comically, a lot like a sitcom story line. I should start cashing in on this.)

Working at Google for the last year made me feel like I'd achieved one of those I'VE ARRIVED moments. I got to work at the #1 company to work for....THE COMPANY OF ALL COMPANIES....for a whole entire year. And it was amazing. It really was. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

But you know those plotline diagrams? From your English classes way back when? The story builds and builds, with conflicts and character development along the way, and then there's THE CLIMAX...followed by a downward slope, and then a resolution. I feel like maybe Google was that peak....that big "oh my hell, I really really really actually did it" moment.

I feel like I fought for everything I got in the last couple years.

I fought to get it, I fought to keep it, and I fought to just keep on keepin' on. I surprised myself, all the time, with the things I got through. I'd look back at the end of some months and think, "Oh wow. I didn't know I had that in me." Do you know how amazing that is? To go through a period of your life where you learn that kind of stuff about yourself? I have more grit in me than I used to think. And that's a priceless feeling.

And now there's this. A resolution, of sorts. A gentle slope, and a settling. And just an unwritten epilogue full of potential stretching out in front of me.

When I talk about the things I ultimately want out of my life, simplicity is a word I often throw around. (I spoke to that HERE, in my ode to turning 28.) I want calm, and smooth, and happy, and genuine, and....all of that. Of course, excitement and adventure and travel and curiosity! But all within this overarching realm of simplicity. Of straightforwardness and little joys. Of being able to be brave and honest and ask for what I want, and having the universe reward me with less tangles and some honesty of its own. I mean, I can't control the universe and other people, but I can control me. And I guess that's what I've got to work with. Because I really do believe that simplicity and tangles are things that you choose, ultimately. You choose if you're going to roll gracefully with the punches or let them knock you flat. You choose if you let life's inevitable setbacks complicate your heart or not. You choose if you're going to stay buoyant and hopeful when things and people try to knock you down. You choose if you're going to pass on good potential because the obstacles don't feel worth it. You choose if you're going to let a dumb situation or two screw up the good things you can still choose to have or not. All of it. You choose.

And so, here I am. A next step and a new adventure and another place to work hard and build a new work family and start fresh and move forward. A long-term situation, with no deadline or expiration date on it.

And finally, finally, finally, no more fighting.

Now more about Palantir, my new workplace, as copied and pasted from my Facebook/Insta posts about it, if you haven't already read those ones:

Ecstatic to report that I've accepted a job offer for a recruiting role at a company called Palantir! At my first onsite interview, they gave me a free frisbee. When it was a legit 175 grams, I knew they had something to them ;) They're a data analysis company that does cool things with cool clients like the FBI, the CIA and various nonprofit entities, with an overall mission of "working for the common good and doing what's right, in addition to being deeply passionate about building great software and a successful company" while "making the world a better place, every day." Things I can get behind, y'know?

Perks include being located in downtown Palo Alto (rooftop gardens, here I come!), free food (heaven bless this Silicon Valley tradition), PUPPIES (can't go back once you've worked in a dog-friendly office), office decor based on LOTR/Game of Thrones/Periodic Table of Elements, free T-shirts for dayyyyzz, an occasional taco bar (!!!) and an annual company conference called HobbitCon. (My office is named The Shire, with worldwide counterparts like Rivendell and Gondor. Yes.)

Bittersweet to leave Google but it's been an amazing year (1 year! Can you believe it??) and I'm really looking forward to the stability (and benefits) of a non-contract role. And I am REALLY stoked to be part of such an exciting company. I feel like my new career path in the tech industry is colliding with my love of the nonprofit world and my obsession with watching Law & Order. Could there be a better combo?? Here's to new life adventures (and fighting crime)!

And now here's several articles about the company and some of the seriously neat stuff they work on:

An overall list of the areas they work on, from fraud to disease response to human trafficking: https://www.palantir.com/solutions/

Monday, March 16, 2015

Writing About Writing and Stuff

It's probably because the last few blog posts were hijacked by the Italy recap, but I came home from work today dying to write.

First I walked to the corner deli for a sandwich. Turkey, cream cheese, cranberry sandwich. One of my most favorite kinds of sandwich.....on a toasted roll. Perfetto. While walking, I plugged in my headphones and checked out the first episode of the Call Your Girlfriend podcast. Where have I been?? Women, get on that. And men, if you are interested in a diversity of candid and frank discussions about feminism, politics, the world and female body functions. Fair warning. Do what you feel.

I listened to the podcast while eating my sandwich back at my kitchen table, while the salsa verde chips burned my lips off and at least 1/3 of my brain was distracted by my plant that just.won't.grow. C'mon, little fern. Why do you not grow.

Irrelevant picture break, because that shirt:

I need to write a book. I want to write a book.

Correction: I have written a book. One whole book, and several first-few-chapters of other books. Don't be too impressed by that "whole book" – it's a children's book, so it's not that long. Actually, do be impressed  – it's a damn fine piece of literature. I'm going to get it published one of these days. I am. New homework for tonight: send that book to another publisher. The first one I sent it to, like two years ago, politely turned me down. Did you know it took J.K. Rowling something like 17 tries to find a publisher for Harry Potter? And Babe Ruth struck out a whole bunch? And nobody ever wanted to date George Clooney ever in his life until he met the woman he just married? OK not all of those statements were factual. Whatever.

The point is, I need to try again with that children's book. Because like I said, it's a good book. The short list of people who I've let read it all say so. They're also all close friends, family and one ex-boyfriend, sooo.....what I mean to say is, they're not biased at all. Yes.

I want to write a memoir.

I know I haven't like.....climbed Everest. Or became the first female graduate of some program at some school where I had to like....prove female worth....and Julia Roberts was my mentor and....stuff like that. But you know, I have stuff to say. CLEARLY. Hi, this is my blog. If you're new here....I have stuff to say.

Whenever anyone finds out that I blog, they always ask what I blog about. "My life. Stuff I do. Places I go. Things I think about." Those are my typical answers. Maybe I'll start jumping directly to "I just got stuff to say." And if I'm feeling in the mood for feist, I might add a little "you fool" at the end.

So yeah. You know those books that like....Tina Fey....and Ellen Degeneres...and Amy Poehler....write? The rambling chapters about funny and/or serious stuff and stories from their lives? With no real point other than that it's just a collection of things they want to talk about? That's the kind of book I want to write. I have started that book no less than eleventy times. Actually, if I combined all those eleventy false starts, plus all my various rambles on this blog over the last seven years, I might actually have one whole book. I might even throw in that other book I started writing, a YA fiction piece about people who all live on the same street and there's this nefarious underground plot to.........the problem is that I never figured out what that nefarious underground plot should be. So the book has been at a standstill for about four years. But maybe I could just squish it into my memoir and pretend it belongs, and people will be like "who are these characters" and then I'll distract them with my next chapter....which is about that one time that I tackled a pig at a rodeo. Because that's a crowd favorite, let me tell you.

I'm rambling. But that's what memoirs do, right? I'M PRACTICING, YOU FOOLS

And there you go.

I owe you a cookie if you're still reading. And probably a hearty pat on the bum, because who doesn't like one of those? ....in the right circumstances, of course. I work in HR. I know things.

So those are all my thoughts for today. Now I'll go follow through with sending that children's book of mine to a new publisher. And maybe poking around at my various memoir-like google docs. Or more salsa verde chips. We'll see.

Happy Monday, kids