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Mutton & Mead Festival 2018 | Montague, MA

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After much cajoling and a determined search to prove to Dan he would not need to dress up, I finally managed to convince him to take me to the Renaissance fair this year. Every year come June we see the signs advertising it, and every year I bounce around the car shouting, “Let’s go! Let’s go!” but it’s taken five years of living in this town to make the whopping ten-minute drive to the grounds.

By far my favorite part was Cirque du Sewer, a trained rats and cats show. I had seen it on the attractions list online and wanted to check it out, but it was by pure luck that we got to see it because we were walking in the area about fifteen minutes before the next showtime.

In true cat fashion, most of them didn’t want to participate in the tricks for the day–particularly one Pad Kee Meow, the cat on the far right stand above. They were all adorable, though, and for the kinds animals they are, I was impressed by both the rats and the cats–and the team’s ability to get them to do anything in the first place. (A lot of turkey was used to entice them, if we’re being honest–but still! Impressive!)

There was so much beautiful and fascinating stuff for sale, too, but the only thing I ended up getting was some food and a henna feather on my shoulder. I would have gotten quite a bit, but with a trip to Salem coming up at the end of the month, I made it a point to pull back on my spending. Even without throwing my money at every stand, though, the whole experience was a ton of fun. It was silly and exciting and impressive on so many levels. Even though dressing up wasn’t required like Dan had feared, so many people did come in costume and I was blown away by the craftsmanship and commitment of so many of them.

I ended up visiting my parents yesterday for Father’s Day, and I was vehement in telling my mom she needs to come next year because I think she’d love it. I know I plan on going again.

June 18, 2018
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Get Off the Internet

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I haven’t used Facebook in weeks, and I can’t begin to tell you how good it feels.

I’ve been progressively uninterested in the internet in the past few months, and while I’m a little disappointed about that and feeling something like nostalgic for the good ol’ days of Livejournal, MySpace, and AIM, it’s also turned out to be a good thing. It’s not exactly news that people are “addicted” to their phones and technology and mindless scrolling, and I’m not even close to immune, but I’ve gotten so much better at it lately and it’s amazing how much better I’ve been feeling.

Things I’ve done besides scroll:

  • started a quilted project
  • knit a shawl
  • read more books than I thought I could handle
  • improved my cooking skills
  • started practicing yoga
  • gone to the gym on a semi-regular schedule

This isn’t to say that I don’t use the internet–obviously it’s how I’m posting this, and I still spend countless hours on YouTube. What I am saying is that I’ve started cutting out the toxic parts from my life. Personally, this was mostly Facebook and Twitter because people would always be sharing news that outraged them or posting general complaints or call outs or criticisms, and it all piled up on me emotionally until I realized I just needed to turn it off.

And this weekend, instead of constantly checking my notifications, I plan to go on a hike, finish another book, and maybe work on my next zine. I also hope to get back into learning photography and finish up revising my novel in the coming weeks, and I’d like to think those are pretty reasonable goals.

June 8, 2018
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Small Goals | June 2018

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small goals header

I was in bed the other night thinking about what I’d like to get done through the upcoming month and it struck me–why not write up a blog post about it? No strings attached! (Except, maybe, trying to achieve the goals.) So I’m hopping back onto the small goals wagon and taking the same approach I am with just about everything else right now–do it how I want, when I want, if I want.

So what was floating in my brain when I was wishing I was already asleep?

Draft a new short story. / It’s been a hot minute since I wrote up something new (anything new), so I’ve got an itch to work on a new short horror piece.

Read ten books. / I just…really like to read. And I want to get caught up/a little ahead on my goal of 75 books for the years, so ten sounds like a nice round number to attempt.

Bake a blueberry pie. / Again, I just really like blueberry pie. It’s been years since I made one, but I feel like I’m always craving it, so I thought it would be a good project for June.

And that’s it! Nice and simple. The biggest challenge is going to be the ten books, but I managed eight in March, April, and May, so I’m feeling confident on throwing in those last two.

Any goals for your upcoming June?

May 31, 2018
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Reporting from Procrastination Nation

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desk spaceDisclosure: Some of the links below are Amazon affiliate links, meaning if you choose to purchase a copy of the book via Amazon, I will receive a commision from the sale.

Things I should probably be doing today:

  • revising my novel
  • working out

Things I’m doing instead:

  • cleaning out my computer files
  • glancing out the window for the mail truck every five minutes
  • jamming out to Dashboard Confessional
  • window shopping Etsy + Amazon

When I wasn’t busy socializing and spending all of my energy on that, I spent the weekend doing my first read through of You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero, and I loved it. I’m planning on buying myself a copy asap since the one I read was from the library as per usual.

And yet.

Here I am, Monday morning, doing pretty much anything except the two things I feel like I’m supposed to be doing, and I’m not really sure how I feel about that. Do I roll with the punches? Do I try to force myself back on track? Will that just ruin my mood for the rest of the day? Because I know that if I have a bad workout (i.e. do not perform at the unrealistic expectations I have for myself today) then I’ll feel shitty for at least a few hours if not the rest of my day. But I also know that if I don’t try at all I’ll also feel shitty for…not even trying. It’s something of a catch-22 here. A rock and a hard place. I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t.

My current approach is taking my time, trying to do other things that at least make me feel productive–like writing this post–and hoping that I’ll get a burst of motivation later on, or at least be less afraid of whatever comes from trying (a.k.a. failure).

I’m also thinking of rereading the You Are a Badass chapter on procrastination because it never hurts to give yourself a reminder, even if it’s something you just read a day or two ago.

tl;dr: Already my day is not going as planned, but I’m trying not to be too hard on myself about it.

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

May 14, 2018
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A Fresh Start + Upcoming Events

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I just spent the last hour or so deleting every old post on this website and all the unnecessary graphics leftover from them. (And maybe a few necessary ones as well by accident.)

It was like a technological spring cleaning.

I lay in bed last night around 11 pm fighting with myself to fall asleep and stop thinking about coming downstairs to my office to delete everything right away, and it was one of the few times I’ve won that kind of fight. Most of the time my sleep schedule is nonexistent, only slightly irregular if I’m lucky. So here I am now, a clean slate on my laptop, typing out this new little hello to the universe.

I’ve been thinking far too much about my relationship with the internet lately; it’s lost the joy and excitement that it had for me when I was in high school. It spiked my anxiety and depression to highs and lows I’d never known before–thanks, Facebook–and it didn’t feel worth it anymore. But we all know it’s something that can’t easily be kicked aside. It’s so much a part of daily lives that it takes only moments to feel left out or for the phantom buzz of a notification to tickle your pocket, only for you to remember, “Oh, wait… I don’t have that app anymore.”

I’m still trying to find a balance between being something of a hermit or a Luddite and remaining involved with the internet because it’s always felt integral to how I connect with others and make new friends. It’s challenging to find that balance, and it’s still tempting to throw it all away and spend my time knitting, gardening, and baking instead, but I don’t think that’s really the answer.

For now, I go into this with the intention of no more “regular features,” no more pressure about photos and graphics–if I want to make and include them, great; if not, fine–and no schedule. I’ll blog when I want and about what I want.

Because I’m getting too old for this popularity contest shit.

upcoming events header
If you’ll be in the Boston area April 21-22, I’ll be tabling at both New Zineland 2018 and the Massachusetts Feminist Zine Fest, along with doing a reading the night before MAFZF.

For more information, check out their pages: New Zineland | MA Feminist Zine Fest

You can also keep up with my events page to know where else I’ll be hocking my wares this year.

April 5, 2018
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