39 Years of Marriage

My parents have been married 39 years today!

I only take pictures of cats, so those are the most recent pictures of both of them I have.

As I’m working late tonight I ordered delivery (the pictures for which were as below) for them to feast upon.

10 books

on facebook some 9 years ago my friend John Smith challenged me to name 10 books that have stuck with me and influenced my life. I declined at the time but, it’s been a minute, and I’m up for it now:

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl

– this was one of the first books I ever devoured to the point of missing sleep. It was a big deal because as a kid I wasn’t a good reader (I caught up eventually after some necessary eye surgery). I saw the movie and read this like it was fanfic. Fanfic remains a big chunk of my reading.

I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

– this book, luck and hard work, is why I own a house (which is something he recommends against). I was devoted to his blog before the book dropped in 2009, and I devoured and implemented the advice as I read through it. I continue to follow it and revisit it on occasion. His framework for personal finances is fantastic. My fan theory is his origin in the online pickup artist community is why he was able to produce the best scripts for phone calls with banks / credit cards.

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks

– this was a foundational text and informed my entire understanding of how weird it is to be a human with a brain

Being and Nothingness by Sartre (selected readings)

– why did I get a philosophy BA? this was why
Existentialism remains my jam

Getting Things Done by David Allen

– this book is the foundation to my todo system – and my todo system is how I am able to do things really – it helped me figure out the power of not doing, of trusting my system and not trusting my brain – also just how much being busy is bullshit

Invest Yourself by the Commission on Voluntary Service & Action

– I volunteered with CVSA when I was 18. I cold / warm called libraries asking if they wanted the newest edition of this book. This book grounded me with the knowledge that if I need to bounce from my career / my life as it is that there are other tracks I can take – that the ‘rat race’ and the common path are not the only paths. I recently heard if you need to be blessed make yourself a blessing and it reminded me of all the good in this book of weird paths and alternate futures

Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House Book by Cheryl Mendelson

– This big bible of how to keep house is amazing. The preface tells the story of a big shot corporate woman who secretly loves house work. The way this book interfaces with gender and norms and capitalism is subtle and weird – mostly it is just packed with good advice and in-depth explanations of how to live in a house

The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris

– This book is some top tier bullshit and the author could be poster child for unexamined privilege. He got rich off selling dubious supplements on the internet. Yet it, like CVSA, reminds me that the paths we are given are not the ones we have to take, that we can forge other paths / the importance of crafting the life we want for ourselves

The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk

– Solar punk magical future fiction book. There’s a passage in it about water access and how it is a blessing and thinking about it makes me salivate whenever I recall it.

A People’s History of the United States is by Howard Zinn

– The first best history book I read. I never felt comfortable with big man history, and I’ve always loved labor history. Howard Zinn was my gateway to history.

So dear reader – Have you read any of these books? Share your thoughts! Also, what should I read next? What 10 books impacted you?

long time no blog – magic

a short story / poem about my family:

one day in Kansas a woman went out side with a sweet potato and yelled
and she threw it on the ground and went back inside
the next day
a man came to the house and asked her out on a date
that man was the only man she’d ever known that wasn’t a pig

and that woman is my mom and that man is my dad

a poem about my folks, by Lena Marvin

Reminded about a modified meme

the original on the right, I couldn’t leave it, I had to correct it

don’t just go through the motions – always give 100%
says the svelte blonde with perfect hair

I couldn’t stop myself

I had to correct the broken meme

a pole dancing sloth telling me not to do my best, but to rather do anything at all, to just go through the motions, try giving 10%, but even that I worry is too high

Things and stuff and amazon

I added amazon affiliate links to some stuff I bought and like.

I’m not good at buying things. It is easier online than in a box store, and a thrift store is easier than box store, but I hate shopping.

I’m decent at acquiring things.

Free stuff is more my jam, and thrifting is much easier than most stores

I figured out awhile ago that part of why dumpster diving and free cycling is easier for me to get things from is because there is a limited time window and limited choices and there is more freedom to give up on the things if they don’t work

and I’m honestly jealous of folks who can just buy the thing they want from a store

stores are hard for me. I don’t feel confident, I feel like I’m taking up space, and generally, what they have doesn’t feel worth whatever price they’ve got

With free stuff the worst is terrible terrible bugs, which is real bad and I haven’t had to deal with yet but I fear it. With free stuff you end up pressured to take a thing and sometimes that things needs to never make it into your house and what happened was you helped someone throw trash away.

A fail case for free stuff is sometimes you’ll fall in love with a thing and it breaks and there really is no way to replace it because it was one of a kind

I once got shoes that were worn to perfection and super comfortable and cozy and cost $3 and I still think about them, bit I only got to wear them for like 7 months

Covid, and light!

my new bedroom light

The bulbs of my bedroom light are more expensive than the fixture and worth every penny. If I want a bunch of light, I can swap a couple of my firefly bulbs out for regular bulbs.

I went to amazon and got permission to make affiliate links. I keep buying things from them, so I might as well link to the stuff I like and use. Monetization for a blog with virtually no readers. yolo

Also, I have COVID. I’m on day 5 since testing positive on 7/2.

Yesterday I lost my sense of smell.

This sucks. I’m very glad I have both sick days and the option to do a little bit of WFH so I don’t get too far behind on work stuff. I love what I do.

houses are work, and houses work best when you work on them

I think of my house, my building, as an eco system. Many folks are familiar with cascading failures: when the heat goes out and the pipes freeze and the whatever horrible thing happens next. I try for stacking success instead. While out on my igloo adventure I hired the worlds best handy man, Carlos, to rip out the horrible floors and address the walls in the bedroom.

blistered wall, water damage from before the new roof / clogged gutter / the back of the house needs tuck pointing

I have given Vargas Tuck Pointing a deposit to address the exterior back wall. Tuck pointing is very important for brick homes! So that will be addressed, but in the mean time, Carlos got that bumpy plaster ripped out.

Yes, the floors under the carpet could probably be fixed up and made beautiful. I don’t want more hardwood floors to worry after. I *like* vinyl. Sheet vinyl. I like it. It’s easy to clean, and I think it looks cool.

eco cork foam

But before the vinyl goes the new underlayment. Carlos says this stuff was easy to work with. It was also pretty affordable. ET voted for cork, and so we got cork! Visible in the corner is all the plaster that got torn out. We now have this exposed brick area. This we didn’t address this project. I’m not sure what fix we’ll go with. We might leave it, we might put drywall over it, we might paint the whole room a mural that incorporates the exposed brick. Part of what I love about owning is I don’t have to decide now. We can work it out later. It’s fine! It’s great! Yay!

a bedroom with fantastic vinyl floors!

I came home to this, and I love it!

Meme Correction

White text on black background, looks like a boomer meme where they printed it out on a piece of paper (wasting ink like it’s affordable!)

if you think you are smarter than the previous generation … 50 years ago the owners manual of a car showed you how to adjust the valves. Today it warns you not to drink the contents of the battery.

black text on a white background which I added:

which means enough folks from the previous generation were drinking the battery for the warning to be added

EDC – Every Day Carry

Things I Carry

Everything on the hanky goes in the ginger chews container, which includes my eye glass cleaner cloth, the hanky itself (cool elephant on it was my grandmas), and my headphones, I also have a kaweco sport fountain pen (which makes me feel fancy), a new to me business card holder thingie (so fancy). The lil knock off moleskin is my wallet at the moment (I lost my wallet and I’m in mourning / waiting on all new cards and nonsense). Not pictured, the phone that took the picture.

I’ve been investigating fountain pens for the past few years. They’re interesting. My in-laws gave me one for Christmas a few years ago. I like them, but they’re hard to carry fearlessly in my holsters, so when I saw the kaweco sport fountain pen on sale, I went for it! I do rather with I had one of the metal ones (which I found out about reading this pen post), but I also know I’d be heartbroken if I lost an expensive pen.

A little more tidy

I keep all this junk (+ keys & phone) in my holsters.

What I carry it all in + keys & phone

I’ve been wearing holsters instead of a purse for over 10 years now. I love it. I have tried a variety of vendors on Esty. My current pair is from https://www.lacienagashop.com/product/negrabasica/ who I originally found on Esty. The shipping is pretty rough from Europe, but worth it. I have sewed my own pair (which worked okay but I haven’t bothered to again) and I tried leather, but the cloth just works better for me.

I wear my holsters over my top and under my outerwear. For the first six months at my job I wore it hidden under sweaters all the time because I wanted to figure out if it would be okay at work or not.

The responses I get to it are: oh! you must be *have a bad back, *goth/kinky, *carrying guns. The last one is mostly a Missouri thing. I once had a checkout person at Petsmart get super excited about me maybe having guns on me and told me all about the gun he had in his work locker. I am both very pro-gun control and pro-gun hobby (though I don’t have one), which I wish was a more common gun stance. When I lived in NYC I had a bodega clerk who said I “look like a lady cop” I asked if that was okay and he said “this neighborhood? this time of night? yeah!”