So, where have you been??

I’ve gotten asked this a lot lately, and rightly so. I  figuratively fell of the face of the planet.

Basically, 2013 had some good times (below), but over all it kinda sucked. Everything stopped at the end of 2012 when my mom’s house burned down. Since then, it’s been just about figuring that out, dealing with it outside and in, and then trying to pick back up where I left off. Turns out my strategy for dealing with things is to run away, aka travel.

So here’s a summary of really long post with the notable ridiculous points:

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My birthday 2012 and also a bachelorette party with fun friends. Loved this.

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Then mom’s house burned down end of October, which pretty much began my planetary falloff.

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We went to New England for Christmas.

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Then Quebec at the end of January for more snowboarding. I was clearly not intending to spend too much time at home dealing with my shit.

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Went to Michigan to hang out (and oh yeah, snowboard again) with my nieces.

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Occasionally I went to my mom’s. This is my friend Mike, and a chicken. Mike went and helped at my mom’s more than I did. Coping strategies. I has dem.

Finally classes ended and I got back to important things, like watching Doctor Who.

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I surprised MBF with a trip to Seattle for his birthday

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Visited my god daughter for my birthday 2013 and her school’s parents’ weekend, getting myself these sweet earrings in the process.

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Somehow I got free tickets to SXSW Eco, and learned a few things for mom’s house, should she wish.

And that’s the year right there.

Once I got a calendar year away from the house, I tried to cram even more trips in, aiming to hike a really big trail before I get too old.

Oh, and at some point back in October, I stopped using Facebook. I couldn’t stand the negativity. It’s cost me a lot of social awareness, but I’m remembering how to actually make plans and hang out with my friends. Now I’m resurfacing. Back in town. Back to volunteering. Back to… gosh, I hope a more settled time and reality.

So yeah. That’s where I’ve been.

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Pigs on parade

And here is my god-daughter’s back yard farm “ham cam”: pigs 24-7! This is hilarious to me for so many reasons.

That’ll do.

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How to ship an inhaler

Yeah, it’s worth a how-to. It was that complicated… until it wasn’t.

Ok, here’s the bottom line: I used FedEx overnight (air) for US-domestic, shipped an inhaler with about 120 puffs, found a “station” to ship from, and had to write exactly this on the package, which I marked as NOT dangerous/hazardous:

“Not restricted as per special provision A98.”

IMG_8831Here are the details. The devil is in them.

1) This provision is for inhalers that are under a certain milliliter size. I was told it would be printed on the inhaler, but I couldn’t find it (on a Dulera daily inhaler). I saw that the delivery was something like 5 micrograms, so I surmised this would also be under the milliliters. If it wasn’t, fuck it. I was finished fiddling with it by then, and my guy was having asthma attacks as I dithered away at FedEx counters.

2) The regular FedEx office (where I went first) told me that the inhaler was a hazardous good. Don’t believe them. The provision says it’s exempt. The end. Or if you want, believe them, run around town trying to find a “station”, call FedEx 3 times, get connected (and disconnected, and re-connected, and then call again) to the hazardous materials guys. They will cite you the special provision, read its legalese to you, then ask you if your inhaler is under the size limit (as in #1 above). If you’re just sending an inhaler to a kid at camp, I think you’re gonna be fine. And as in #1, fuck it. Someone you love needs to breath asap.

3) Regular FedEx offices can’t accept hazardous goods. You need to find a special “station”, and a normal FedEx place can tell you where that is. Right, this isn’t a hazardous good, and you fall under the provision, as stated ever-so-clearly on your package, but last thing you want is them rejecting your package at the last second. Go to the station. Oh, they also tell you that you can arrange a home pickup for your package. I tried that, too, and the driver refused it. In the end, I went to the station after hours of running around, phone calls, and utter frustration and worry. Skip all that and just go to a station. Even if you have to drive an hour, you’ll save all that time. It took me about 7.5 hours of phone calls and getting across town a few times before I finally made it to the station. If I’d just gone to begin with, I’d have saved about 6 hours.

4) Why FedEx? You might be able to deliver somewhere else overnight, and for cheaper. I had to use them because that’ s who was delivering next day to the in-the-boonies location I had to get my inhaler to. It cost me fifty bucks, but if my asthmatic had a serious attack while waiting for his package a day later to save me twenty? Yeah right. I gladly paid the fifty.

That was ridiculous. In the end? Inhaler arrived just fine and my asthmatic is still extremely alive.

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Tolkeening

Tolkeen: the anguished wail of Tolkien fans after a Peter Jackson movie. To tolkeen. Tolkeening.

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Release what doesn’t serve you

Release what doesn't serve you

This phrase has been going through my head and coming up easily once a day—from very random and disparate origins (in articles, from different people, in TED talks and Netflix, Pinterest.. really from everywhere)—for about 10 days now. I decided to start giving things back to their owners (my garage had a lot of unreturned pool party items, for instance), returning to stores, sending to nieces, donating, etc. I’ve also started deleting many duplicate and unwanted photos. *deep breath* I’m aiming to reduce my photo stock by about 1000 pics each time. I have 18k, and I’m hoping to get down a few thousand. That might be 9; it might be 2. I just don’t know.

But so far, I’m already down 2k (to 18.7k). My goal is 9,999 by Oct. 1.

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How you spend your days

…is how you spend your life. Dang.

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From http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/06/07/annie-dillard-the-writing-life-1/

Well, how I spend my days is deciding to do something, making a list of to-dos to get there, and then maybe only doing the first one. Or writing in the first page of a new journal. Or new blog. Etc.

I think I’m going to go back to compiling my blogs into one blog instead of one for yoga, one for garden, one for gaming (OMG I’m missing the WoWs so much lately)…

I think when I was blogging a lot more, I got more done. It was like the imaginary audience kept me honest. Or at least made me feel competitive with other bloggers. Does the end justify?

Either way, I want to be more productive. And thus I shall. (Ironic note: this draft has been sitting since Sept. 2. Ha.)

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Not a pinstrocity!

I’m flabbergasted.

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I saw this pin, thought making a bird looked pretty easy, but was pretty sure it would end in tears. Strangely, it did not. Weeeeeeeird.

 

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