Author Archives: jenijen

Taking Stock: April

It’s ‘Roid Week

A few months ago I broke my blog. Not the published bit, but the editing part. It was weird — I could type into the text editing box, and if I previewed a draft, or published it, I could see the words. But in draft form nothing stuck and all that showed was a blank box. I guess I triggered some secret <invisibleink> html. Many thanks to Christina for figuring out to </invisibleink> me again so I can finally copy Pip’s Taking Stock list idea.

Making : Lots of pottery and knitting projects going.
Cooking : Muffins! To stock up in the freezer for quick breakfasts. Banana with chocolate chunks; zucchini; blueberry. Good morning!
Drinking : Water with cranberry juice and liquid silica. Little pinch of Himalayan pink salt. Keeps Sophie from stealing my water in the car, if nothing else.
Reading: A Little Life. Am wrecked. Send jokes and candy.
Wanting: Sleep. More sleep.
Looking: At Monterey real estate. Someday.
Playing: Solitaire on my phone. Awhile back I had over 500K points from playing for nearly ten years, and then one day while my phone was in my pocket, I accidentally deleted the app with my butt and lost all my points. Current point level: 211396
Deciding: Um. Must I?
Enjoying: Yoga. Been going more after a long while off from having various body ailments that needed to rest.
Waiting: For school to wrap up so I can have more peaceful mornings.
Liking: Acorn TV. Don’t have much time to watch, but knowing that Detectorists is just a click away is lovely.
Wondering: When I met Sam Irby (briefly) last week, exactly how terrible a job did I do with speaking like a smart, human, grown person? She was lovely. I’ve been reading her blog for ages, but hadn’t heard her speak before and she’s got the best voice. I think maybe I was doing alright, but said something like, Keep up the good work! Everyone loves you! on my way out the door. Like, uh, she super didn’t need ME to point that out. o_O
Loving: The new(ish) Polaroid SX-70 film. Just started on my first pack and I want to go someplace good soon. I’ve run out of things to photograph in my yard.
Pondering: Writing a YA novel. Or a short story? A thing?
Considering: Going vegetarian. Again.
Watching: The new season of Westworld. Mostly with one eyeball and from behind both my hands. So.Violent. 
Hoping: That Ace’s surgery next month to help with his arthritic leg joint issues goes well and he feels up to walking more after. I feel so badly for him. Poor buddy.
Marvelling: About this cool tidbit my cousin James shared with me.
Needing: Acupuncture. To fix my too-tiredness now that anemia and vitamin deficiencies have been ruled out. I was *certain* I was going to have to get a blood transfusion or B12 shots…
Smelling: This rosehip hair lotion. I don’t generally like rose-scented anything, but I huff this regularly. Divine.
Wearing: These socks. They fit my baby sized feet while not being too tight on my legs! The sock heel sits on my actual heel. It’s a miracle! I luff them. Ill fitting socks make me so crabby.
Following: The Bhagwan! Not really, but that Wild, Wild Country documentary was INTENSE.
Noticing: I brought my nice camera to a family reunion and then found I couldn’t take photos because I was too sad about the people missing from them.
Knowing: I know that I know nothing, basically.
Thinking: Looking at this list is kind of illustrating my shallowness.
Feeling: I really love my new car. Thank you, Scuba.
Admiring: Kate’s new house. Srsly.
Sorting: I must clean out the pantry. Immediately.
Buying: Natural deodorant. My long-lost hippyness is making a comeback.
Getting: Healthier? I hope.
Bookmarking: For the boys’ for Christmas if they ever come back in stock.
Disliking: I’ve got some kind of weird nerve issue that is making it feel like I’ve got warm liquid being poured on the inside of the bottom of my left foot. All I know is it’s not from diabetes or a vitamin deficiency, since I had about a quart of blood tested for various things last week. (See: “Needing:” above.)
Opening: Washer, dryer, dishwasher. Constantly. I don’t mind, tho. I like those chores.
Giggling: Not super current, but still.
Feeling: Sad, but not all the time, and not in a bad way. Good sad, I suppose.
Coveting: Those Jesse Kamm Sailor Pants. Will never buy, since they cost more than my first car.
Wishing: Big scale: May all living beings everywhere, on all planes of existence, known and unknown, be happy, be peaceful, be free from suffering. Selfishly: I’d really like a pair of perfectly broken in and faded 501s.
Helping: I’m behind on helping, other than donations here and there and doing stuff for my immediate family.
Hearing: Am on (another) Mountain Goats kick lately. Shocker!

Alright, kids. Until next time. xo

Everybody needs a hobby.

At the end of 2015 I had to use up a bunch of accumulated PTO hours, but work was too busy for me to disappear for a couple of weeks. Instead, I took ten or twelve Tuesdays in a row off, and I went to pottery classes and yoga and Philz Coffee while the kids were in school.

Dude. 10/10. Highly recommend! Would again! Two thumbs up! #weekdayGOALZ

In January of 2016 when I had to start working full weeks again, I moved my pottery classes to Wednesday nights. Not because I was very good at it, but because I really liked all the parts of it. The mess and the focus and the patience and especially the part where you’re centering a lump of clay and you can feel when it gets into place. It’s sort of this eerie, in a good way, sudden absence of pressure against the heel of your hand. For me, centering takes all my attention, so my peripheral vision fades out along with the background noises. You spin the wheel on the fastest setting when you’re centering, and at first it’s uneven and kind of smacking around all over and maybe makes your arms and elbows wobble. Then, as you anchor in and gain ground, things steady out. Finally it’s like the clay has disappeared but at the same time, you can still see it there, spinning but not interacting with you at all anymore. And your arms and hands are totally still.




The very first thing I did this morning was finish up the dinner dishes from last night. If that means anything about the coming year, I’ll take it, as my aim for 2017 is to clean up a whole bunch of stuff. Like, cosmically. Or whatever. Literally, too, though. Broad-based cleanup of All The Things, commencing now.

Last year, man. I didn’t check in here. There was so much sadness, and I wasn’t able to share it because that doesn’t synch with keeping things distant and compartmentalized. But once or twice in 2016 I looked back in the archives to try and remember something or figure out dates of things, and it was clear to me that I’d like to be able to do the same for this time after it’s gone.

So today. Today was downtime (the kids were away), and nachos and beer for lunch with Scuba on our last hedonistic day for a little while. Then home and our parents over for dinner for lobster tails and ribeyes and risotto and black-eyed peas (I made this and it was pretty awesome) and a really good salad my mom brought and delicious panne cotta that Scuba’s mom made and champagne. Then cuddling with Ace on the couch and a movie that made me cry and also really disappointed me, because Asian jokes? Really? Ugh. Even if it was sort of making fun of the white guy being an idiot, NOPE. And now tomorrow we’re back to eating right and getting up before the sun comes up and getting back on the no booze no sugar wagon. This was the year that we got that extra Monday after New Year’s Day off, so you know, things are starting off okay.



I had to catch a 7:55 p.m. flight from JFK to SFO, and since I didn’t want to sit in a cab for hours on end to get there, I took the A train. In the end, it probably took longer, and I’m still not sure that I was on the correct A train, but I got a crash course in subwaying. (I was also warned by a coworker not to ever say I was going to the subway place outside of the closed elevator I said it in.) I’m glad I took the train. It was an exercise in calmly letting go, since I still wasn’t to the airport an hour before my flight was supposed to take off. I met people who helped me, and a couple I helped, and had tiny, abbreviated friendships with them.



The #1 thing i love about the hotel I’m staying in is the view, but #1.5 is this button in the elevator. If I’ve ever seen one like it before, I wasn’t paying attention. Usually something in all caps is kind of shouty, but here it’s reassuring. It’s got some authority. I believe it.

I’m going to pack up my stuff and head to Penn Station with my suitcase and get on a plane at JFK and then hopefully find my car in the long term parking at SFO and drive home and sleep and sleep and sleep. And maybe in two days, I’ll blog again. Could this be the start of an even-day’d NaBloPoMo? Maybe.

Oil can

Well. If my view from bed can't be my honey and my puppy, then this is okay.

I meant to NaBloPoMo, but fell asleep too soon on day one to make it.

When I go to yoga after being out for awhile, and I’m trying to bend in a way I used to be able to but can’t really anymore, I sometimes say oil can to the instructor without opening my mouth to see if I can get a laugh. (Yes. I get one. That’s funny.)

So, you know, OIL CAN, to blogging and really writing in general. Baby steps.

I’m in New York for work for a couple of days. Gonna go grab some supper and then sleep under the twinkly lights.

This is New Wave

I was eight or nine, I know, because we were in my dad’s house in Garland, Tx. I was in the kitchen, at the window. Oh, hey! C’mere! I want you to see this! my dad called from the living room. Come watch. I sat next to him on the floor in front of the TV. He said, Okay. This is New Wave. 

David Bowie walked onto the screen. He had an acoustic guitar. The set behind him was a sunsetish purpley pink, but otherwise empty. He sat down on a plain wooden stool and sang Space Oddity, which I’ve thought of as Major Tom ever since, though I know it’s not.

It’s one of those memories that comes up often. Partly for the music; partly because I felt somehow like an adult since my dad wanted to teach me something that seemed so grown up and sophisticated; partly because I have a really clear memory of that moment, of falling in love with that song, with that singer. With the whole thing.

When I was eighteen I finally saw David Bowie perform. It was a general admission show and we got there early so we could get close. Before he came on stage we got a bet going about what the first song would be, and I remember saying of course it would be Major Tom, how could it not? Everyone else picked different songs, but I really needed that to be the opening one, because I wanted to go back to being a little kid and hearing it for the first time again. I won the bet. No one paid me, but I didn’t care.

Anyway. I’ll be over here, listening to Hunky Dory, imagining that my dad and David Bowie both are still around, just out of touch someplace. It’s not like that isn’t true.