My High School Reunion

Skyline High School Class of 1998

Skyline High School, Idaho Falls, Idaho, Class of 1998

Next weekend is my twenty year high school reunion. According to the internet, a family fun center in town has been reserved all day for the event.

Yeah, I’m not going to that.

1998 Kristy's graduation

Me in my cap and gown

I hated high school.

Starting in eighth grade, each year of school was worse for me than the one before. By my senior year, I had zero close friends.

Our senior class trip was to the theme park Lagoon, outside Salt Lake City. I spent most of that day wandering around the park by myself, trying to look like I was rushing to meet someone so that no one would notice the miserable teenage girl trying not to cry.

That’s how I spent my daily lunch break, too.

And this was my own fault.

I was the girl who completely abandoned her friends when she had a boyfriend. (And the boyfriend usually didn’t go to the same school (because he was usually out of school).)

I was the girl who held a grudge and refused to talk to or even be friendly with someone after I decided they had wronged me.

I was the girl who always said no to party invitations and extracurricular activities due to my anxiety.

To be fair, I did have a part time job so I wasn’t always available. And we did live out in the country so I missed a lot things just because of proximity.

And like every high school there were bullies and cliques. But honestly those problems were the worst for me in elementary.

I still went to football games and the odd dance. I went to the senior formal with three of my girlfriends because none of us had been asked to go. And I went to the all night party after graduation, but like Lagoon, I spent most of that party trying not to look as miserable and lonely as I felt.

What I’m trying to say is, my experience was not the worst experience in the world. But it’s not one I treasure or reminisce about.

I hope everyone I went to school with is happy in their life, and I wouldn’t presume that any of them are the same today as they were twenty years ago. I’m sure not!

There just isn’t any reason for me to go to a reunion. Those are just some people that I used to slightly know. Used to be corralled into a room with. Used to hide from and avoid.

A few years ago, Jason and I burned all of our yearbooks. Talk about cathartic! I’ve never regretted it. High school is something I survived, and I’m glad I survived it. But I have no interest in reliving it.

My 100 Day Challenge

April 1 to June 30 is 100 days.

**PLEASE NOTE: I’ve since realized that the above time frame is actually 91 days, not 100. (30+31+30) You’d think I purposely set myself up to fail.**

There are lots of hundred day challenges floating around the internet, and they don’t necessarily start April 1. Most of them are about fitness goals.

I have fitness goals. But I’m stuck with this body until I die, so any fitness thing I decide to do needs to be more long term than a few months. I did a crash diet once, and it worked, and then the pounds came back, and they brought some friends with them. Dammit.

So instead I chose a writing goal. Every day from today through June 30, I will either post a blog or spend an hour writing. And if I were a gambler, I’d bet the lot that I don’t do it. I’m a tad flaky when it comes to self-imposed challenges.

***

Me: I want to write a book!

NaNoWriMo: Here’s a month long challenge to write 50k words, and here’s message boards and moderators and adorable merchandise to help you!

Me after day one: Yeah, I’m not doing that.

***

Me: I want to read nonstop for 24 hours!

Me at hour zero: Whatever, I think I’ll just watch YouTube crap all day.

***

It’s pretty frustrating to know about all of the things that I honestly want to do, knowing that life is short, and still knowing that I am the biggest obstacle to me achieving my own goals. I had a birthday recently. Forty is getting closer, but I still don’t think I’ve really started acting like an adult.

I want to write. So, I’m going to write. That’s how adult-ing works, yeah?

Checking In

Awhile back I had the grand idea of posting a weekly update on this blog. I would post a snapshot of the view from my window at the same time every week, list the sunrise/sunset times, and briefly touch on the weather. Then I’d list my observations from the week before and write out my plans for the coming week.

I was thinking that because I live in Alaska, folks might enjoy seeing how quickly the seasons change and the sunlight shifts. And I thought it would be a roundabout way of getting me back into the habit of writing relatively regularly.

But like NaNoWriMo, because there was a deadline (Mondays) I don’t want to do it.

I don’t like surprises. I like to know what’s coming and plan ahead for as many scenarios as possible. So you would think I would appreciate a similar structure for my hobbies.

Yeah, no.

If it has to be done right now because I say so, it’s not happening. To the point of a toddler-like tantrum.

If it has to be done right now because someone else says so, okay. Heck I’ll even smile.

I don’t know what would happen if someone tried to pay me to write. I think it would be physically painful for me to write something that I didn’t enjoy writing, and so if I was being forced to write, I think my head might explode. Like that guy in Scanners.

Anyway.

The sunrise today was 10:57am and it set at 2:39pm. We’re just about to the solstice and then the days will start getting longer again. After enduring the summer of the midnight sun, I think I prefer the dark of winter. The daylight can get pretty intense after awhile.

The only real drawback to the darkness is that I basically can’t drive at all. My night vision is awful and it’s about an eight mile drive through the trees to get to town, no street lights to help, and moose love to wander onto the highway. Bad combination. Of course the roads have been icy for a couple months so I’m totally fine letting Jason drive always.

IMG_1612

About 2pm at The Santa Claus House in North Pole, Alaska

We’ve managed to do a bit more sight seeing here and there. The Santa Claus House is basically a huge gift shop with a huge fiberglass Santa out front and a live Santa inside you can take a picture with. By the way, North Pole is the name of the town, but it has nothing to do with the magnetic north pole.

I do hope to blog more. Maybe short stories, maybe life updates, who knows. One thing for sure, I’ll do it when I want to and not before.

Monday November 6

Diary entry, just an update on life, things, whatnot.

November 6

The view from my office today around 4pm

This morning the sun came up at 8:57am and it set at 4:11pm. The high was in the low twenties while the low is in the single digits.

So NaNoWriMo started. I didn’t get the surge of creativity on November first like I’d hoped. I managed to write a few hundred words, and immediately got a monster headache.

Haven’t touched it since.

Like so many things, I like the idea of having written, but not so much the actual work of writing. I haven’t been able to have fun writing in a long time. I was hoping that NaNoWriMo and my crafty composition notebooks would at least make me want to write, but I honestly haven’t wanted to write in a long time.

Probably I picked the wrong story for NaNoWriMo. And probably I should have just tried typing instead of writing longhand. And I probably should have remembered the lesson from last year–if a thing is supposed to be fun, but there’s a time limit and/or daily goal, I’m not going to do it.

I know I could write 50k words in 30 days. But trying to write 50k in 30 days brings out my stubborn, toddler brain that only knows how to say NOPE.

Monday October 16

Weekly check in, overview of last week and plans for next week.

October 16

The view from my office at 5pm, actively snowing.

The sun came up at 8:48am this morning and set at 6:23pm. The high was predicted at 33 with a low of 24. We had some sun this morning, but it has been snowing steadily since about 4pm.

LAST WEEK

Between the weather changing, overtime, and Inktober, I spent a lot of time sitting down last week.

We rewatched Passengers, Liar Liar, The Goonies, and the first season of the animated Spawn series. We also binge watched Stranger Things again so it will be fresh in our brains when season two starts next week.

And then there’s this…

2bg 6

Season six of 2 Broke Girls (Amazon affiliate link). I loved the first season of this show, and I enjoyed season two. Season three was just okay, but it’s been downhill ever since. The show has finally been canceled, so season six is the last. Because I adore Kat Dennings, I’m forcing myself to watch the entire series. I got season six last week and it’s been a painful slog to get through all these episodes. Today I’m just over half way through, but I know if I don’t finish the thing it will bug me. If I didn’t love that first season so much I wouldn’t bother, but it’s like I have to know the thing is dead before I can bury it and move on, you know?

THIS WEEK

I’m putting in twenty hours of overtime this week. Between work, sleep and Inktober, I’ll blink and it will be Saturday again.

Bye!

Monday October 2

Just an overview of last week, my plans for this week, and some talk about living in Fairbanks, Alaska, movies, books, and maybe the occasional home improvement project. Read at your own risk.

October2

View from my office window at 5pm

This morning the sun came up at 8:07am and it will set at 7:13pm. The high temperature was in the upper 40’s with a low in the upper 30’s. Mostly cloudy, little bit of wind.

Last Week

Having finished most of this year’s home improvement projects, Jason and I have been spending more time crafting on the couch with a movie playing in the background. Last week we watched The Shawshank Redemption and Poltergeist.

Piedatre 2

We rented Predator 2 (Amazon affiliate link) from Blockbuster. I hadn’t seen the movie since it came out, and I was curious to see Bill Paxton’s part. (Still cannot believe he’s gone.) We were halfway through when the disc stopped. That’s one drawback to renting physical media–it gets pretty beat up! But we figured we’d seen enough anyway.

My two cents: the original Predator is a masterpiece; the extended cut of Alien Vs Predator is a decent movie; and Predators was pretty good, too. I have no love for the other sequels, and I have no interest in Shane Black’s upcoming version.

georgians interplanetary

Saturday night we watched Guardians of the Galaxy. Sometimes you just want to enjoy a fun, entertaining movie, right?

Sunday was our 12 year wedding anniversary. We’re still in the cute phase.

IMG_1034

As a treat we went to see It, you know, the one with the clown?

them

I’m terrified of clowns, but this version of Pennywise didn’t bother me at all. Maybe it was because we were in a crowded theater with smelly people and whispering kids, but I spent most of that movie bored. Bummer.

Afterwards we splurged on some more fun crafting stuff from Michaels, then did our best to relax the rest of the night.

 

This Week

We’re both participating in Inktober this year. That’s the one where you take the daily prompts listed on @Inktober and complete an ink drawing every day. Check out my Instagram if you want to giggle at me.

I’ve also started doing “preptober,” for NaNoWriMo next month. I plan to devote a separate post to preptober.

But right now, I’m going to cut this short. Today has been a heart-wrenching day, and I want to hold Jason’s hand and snuggle with my cats. Please be safe and considerate, wherever you are.

Bye.

Monday September 25

This is my first entry in what I plan to be a weekly update. Just an overview of last week, my plans for this week, and some talk about living in Fairbanks, Alaska, movies, books, and maybe the occasional home improvement project. Read at your own risk.

September 25

The view from my office window at 5pm today

This morning the sun rose at 7:46am, and it set at 7:39pm. The high temperature was in the upper forties with a low in the upper thirties. And it rained, straight down, all day.

Last Week

Metropolist

I showed Jason the movie Metropolis (Amazon affiliate link), and he enjoyed it. This movie gets better every time I watch it. Like most older movies, it’s reassuring how much things haven’t really changed.

Wonter Womyn

We rented Wonder Woman (Amazon affiliate link) from Blockbuster. It’s the best DC movie I’ve seen since The Dark Knight, but I wasn’t exactly blown away. It felt very paint-by-numbers to me. Enjoyable but forgettable.

And I see James Cameron’s point about it being a step backwards. Sarah Connor and Ellen Ripley were heroic badasses who paid no attention to their appearance and were attractive anyway. Every Amazon lady in this movie looked like she was styled for a magazine shoot. Sort of like the airbrushed abs in 300. Hey, I understand the aesthetic. Pretty people are much easier to look at. But I don’t think a gorgeous woman running and wearing an outfit like that is especially groundbreaking, let alone a victory for women everywhere.

Debt Mtn

I wanted to read this book, Dead Mountain (Amazon affiliate link), ever since Caitlin Doughty (of YouTube’s @AskaMortician and on Instagram @TheGoodDeath) recommended it.

It’s the story of nine mountaineers who died mysteriously on a mountain in Russia in the 50’s. Was it aliens? Government conspiracy? Yeti? Alien yeti working for the government?

The local library has the ebook to borrow via Hoopla, and I happily checked it out. Then I found out that Hoopla isn’t available on my Kindle. So I got the app on my phone, opened the book, and the margins cut off the first few letters of each line. No big deal right? Adjust the margins and read! Until I turn the page and the margins move back. Again. And again. Every time I turn a page. Crap.

I don’t know if it’s the way this ebook was formatted or if it’s a Hoopla thing. If anybody knows how to make Hoopla behave on the iPhone, please let me know. Or better yet, if you know of a way to get Hoopla books onto Kindles, I would love to hear it!

In the meantime, I started re-reading the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. Once I start reading that series I compulsively burn through all thirteen books. So I’m forcing myself to only read it while walking on the treadmill.

Yes, I have to trick myself into exercising.

Last week we sold our old Volvo. We bought it when we got here in March. It was going to take nearly a month for our Civic to get up here, and then it wouldn’t be ready to drive until it warmed up. A rental car would be incredibly expensive (Alaska!) so we bought a twenty year old Volvo. It was still pretty nice and took great care of us, and even though stuff kept breaking Jason was able to keep it running. But when the transmission started to fail, that was too much. I was worried we’d have to just scrap it, which would be like putting down a pet, so I’m glad Jason found a buyer. And yes, the guy knew exactly what he was buying.

I also attempted the keto diet last week. I didn’t make it past the keto flu. I have a very tender tummy and irritable bowel. Any change to my diet is tough, but trying to eat so much fat was just too much for me. Oh well.

 

This Week

Settling into a new place seems to take longer the older I get. We’re nearly settled into this house…seven months later. Our bedroom closet is the last real disaster area. It’s the only place in the house truly off limits to the cats, so it’s overflowing with all kinds of junk. The bad thing is, there’s a single shelf with a single bar, and that’s it. It’s a good sized walk-in closet, but the space is wasted (which was definitely this house’s theme).

I’m going to empty it out, try to get rid of the stuff we never wear, find new cat-proof homes for the breakables (my poor knitting needles and yarn!), and see if I can’t make better use of the space.

Next weekend is our twelve year wedding anniversary. So far the plan is to finally go see It and then go to our favorite restaurant, Taco King. Fairbanks is not known for great restaurants, and this little Mexican place is so far the very best we’ve found. Who doesn’t love tacos?

 

Bye!

Just Another Drop in the Ocean

Lately I’ve been spending my life watching YouTube.

On YouTube, you get a nugget of information (taken with a grain of salt), a giggle, a cringe, and then suddenly it’s three hours past your bedtime. There’s something compulsive about watching just one more five minute video. Not a ten minute video. Ho no! Ain’t nobody got time for that. But a dozen five minute videos?  Sure, why not?

So it’s no surprise that as my creative bug starts to wake back up, my gut instinct has been to start filming content for my little YouTube channel. A vlog, maybe, or I could talk all about bullet journaling, or writing, or maybe just make hundreds of cat videos. Better yet, I could do it all! Unboxing, product testing, pranks!

I went so far as to buy a little tripod for the old digital camera and started brainstorming script ideas. And then I procrastinated by watching more YouTube videos.

procrastinate

Recently I found out that something like 300 hours of content are uploaded to YouTube every minute of every day.

Yeah, I have zero interest in producing YouTube videos now.

It’s the same with my writing. How many millions of books are available to read on Amazon? How many magazines and blogs are desperate to get a single reader? The competition is fierce, and I’m just not competitive.

Anything I do creatively, I have to do for myself first. If I wanted recognition of any kind, I would have to change the way I do everything. And then I would be beholden to strangers for their attention and approval. It would be like reliving high school, and I am not doing that.

I have to ask myself, why bother? Why spend the time and energy to create a thing if I truly do not care whether or not others will enjoy it, especially when it means that my video/novel will just be another drop in the ocean?

Screen Shot 2017-07-08 at 8.51.11 PM

We recently moved to Fairbanks, Alaska. One of the few remaining open Blockbuster Video stores is here, and I love it. We usually visit once a week. Yeah, returning the discs stinks and yes, they don’t have everything. But there’s something to be said for wandering through the aisles and picking out something to watch.

Netflix and Amazon online video services are great, but there is no real browsing to be done. They use algorithms to point out content that you’re likely to enjoy, and sometimes they’re right. But what about the genres I don’t normally watch? What about that amazing movie that was released before I was born and isn’t even available digitally yet? And who wants to spend hours surfing through thumbnails of “related” titles when you really want to watch something new and different?

It’s like book stores. Sure there’s a big selection, but it’s strictly curated by the business owner. They want you to spend your money, and they fill the shelf with things they think you want to buy. We actually canceled our Netflix subscription. Having DVDs shipped to our house in Fairbanks was prohibitively time consuming, and their instant view portal is obnoxious (via the Playstation anyway). I would much rather wander through Blockbuster.

This is why I hope Blockbuster makes a comeback and used book stores never go away. Variety is the spice of life, right? But the algorithm depends on your tastes being consistent. I said it before and I’ll say it again:

angtft

 

P.S. After re-reading this, I realize that if my point is “why bother?” in addition to “variety is the spice of life,” then wouldn’t that mean that my creative offerings are “spice” and not just another drop? *shrugs* The ocean is already pretty polluted.

Planning 2017 In My Bullet Journal

This is my first New Year since I started using a bullet journal. A lot of people highly recommend starting a fresh journal for the new year, but as I’m not even halfway through my Leuchtturm 1917 I’m going to stick with my old one.

Here are the spreads I’ve come up with:

2017-goals

Whenever I set tangible goals or deadlines for myself, they tend to have the opposite effect. Read twenty-six books in a year? my brain says incredulously. Ha! Try none-six!

So I’m trying to simply adjust my attitudes and expectations rather than hold myself to a hard target.

peace-of-mind

With that in mind, I’ve added these quotes from His Holiness the Dalai Lama. When the world is getting me down, re-reading these will help reset my attitude.

I hope.

books-read

In an attempt to trick myself into reading more (because I honestly do want to read more), I made this grid. My brain loves to fill in boxes, so having this ready and waiting to be filled out throughout the year should make the prospect of reading regularly more appealing.

I hope.

 
money-challenge

I heard about this over on Boho Berry’s blog. It’s a financial challenge. Every week, you put a certain amount into your savings account and then color in the box. For example, if money’s tight, just toss an extra buck in and color the “1” square. If you have extra, throw in one of the bigger numbers and color in that square. By the end of the year, you will have tricked your brain into saving more money than you normally would have.

I’m sensing a pattern, my brain grumbled silently to itself.

 
i-am-what-i-eat
Being healthy is a nonstop goal. I’ve told my brain that my body is a hoarder. Anything I eat that can’t be used immediately is stored as fat, so let’s maybe only eat stuff I can use, mmkay brain? To that end, I’m going to fill in this grid with my diet staples, then in my daily spreads I can make bar graphs to keep track of how much I’m really ingesting each day. Sticking to this one will be tough.

Of course it will be. It’s probably the most beneficial spread in my entire journal.

 
wanted-spread

With the pending move, the list of things that we need is growing ever longer which means all the goodies that I want will have to wait. But my compulsive brain occasionally gets fixated on things and complains that if I don’t get it right now I’ll never get it. So this will be a place to list all of that “wouldn’t it be nice” stuff. Hopefully this will help me stick with that 52 week challenge as well.

month-in-review
My January month-in-review. I’ve started using an “If, Then” motivation system. I look at the previous month’s habit tracker and anything that I’m routinely skipping (like, reading and writing), I’ll offer myself a reward as motivation to do more of that thing in the coming month.

 
accountability-january

And here’s my habit tracker. I used to do this in a landscape layout but I got tired of turning the notebook all the time.

 
supplies

If you’re curious, here’s a list of the supplies that I use. Links are all via my Amazon affiliate account, but you can of course get most of these things anywhere. I actually got my notebook from Goulet Pens. Their prices were better and they have a much better color selection. And really all you need for a bullet journal is a notebook and something to write with; these are just the things that I use.

Leuchtturm 1917

Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens

Koh-I-Noor woodless colored pencils

Stainless steel ruler

Thanks for reading, and I wish you all the best in the coming new year!