NaBloPoMo 2014: Off to disappointing start

For the first time since 2009, I won’t be successfully completing National Blog Posting Month. I wish I had a better excuse then just shear forgetfulness, but alas that is not so. However as the first rule of blogging dictates, writing about how/why you haven’t posted recently is about as interesting as posting photos of your lunch.

So instead let’s chat about some of what I am hoping to post for all the remaining 28 days of NaBloPoMo.

2014 was a pretty important year for me. Since I last posted here in Dec 2013, I got engaged, moved apartments, got married, traveled to Hawaii, went through an incredibly stressful few months of work, got my canning on again, turned 31, and generally had a really full year.

I figure those events alone, should be plenty of fodder for 28 blog posts. But let’s throw in a few posts about new music I started listening to this year, maybe a book review or two, some photos, links to interesting things on the internet and the usual randomness. In fact, let’s aim to keep this daily thing going through December 2nd, to make up for my slacker weekend.

Now that I have blown the dust off of this thing, let’s see how this rolls. As always your comments make my so very happy.

The purposeful blog

I keep telling myself that one of these evenings I am actually going to sit down and do more than just regurgitate some words on to the screen. Maybe talk about my job, or Alex or at least do a decent recap of some of the highs and lows of the past 7 months. Maybe talk about deeper issues, maybe photograph a recipe, maybe put together one of those little photo recap videos I have been wanting to do. But alas with the shorter light, the demands of work (with commute included) 45-47 hours a week, my creative flow in the evening has so far seemed quite limited.

That all said, I still appreciate the discipline of sitting and writing something, anything really, at least once a day. Similar to how the original NaNoWriMo is focused on helping writers get over themselves and just produce, NaNoBloPo forces me to just get over the fact that I don’t really have anything to say at the moment and just write.

So here I am blogging and maybe even getting in a few posts in this month that help me feel like I worked my witty writing muscle or shared something important, memorable, even.

P.S. I got this postcard in the mail today from the girls and it totally made my evening:

Postcard from the girls

NaBloPoMo over already?

Is it just me or is it a little hard to believe November is already over (or will be in just 15 minutes or so)? Which means if I get this post done in time will wrap-up my 4th consecutive successful run at posting every day. It has been a good run and both a little more tiresome (no planning of posts = late evening scramble every single time) and once again very rewarding. Getting myself in the habit of writing little bits of my life down and sharing them with you all is now and over 8 year old tradition and one that I think I want to continue.

I don’t have any big plans for blogging in December, however I still have loads or re-caps and fun visits from the non-blogging months of this year, so hopefully I won’t fall off the blogging bandwagon too far. That said, thanks to all of you who read and commented this year, you really make this a joy. Goodnight!

Rain, Market, Library, Games and more

To cap off my two day stint of hosting and spending time with good friends, today I spent much of the day wandering a rainy Seattle downtown with Sarah and Mark. We looked through booths, bought delicious tea from World Spice, grabbed a quick lunch and then parted ways as they continued their trip south to Portland. Then I headed back to the apartment finished up a little laundry and then headed out with Alex to meet up with Emily and Dan. We went to one of my favorite places that I was eager to show off to our out-of-town friends – Cafe Mox. Home of delicious food, games, beers and super comfy booths that you can play games at for hours, this place is a Ballard mainstay.

Unfortunately because I was such a neglectful blogger I never got around to posting about my trip to San Francisco where I got to meet Emily in person for the first time. You see Emily is both a stranger and someone I know quite well all thanks to the beauty of the internet. We finally met in person after reading each other’s blogs for years, in April. We hit it off in the nice way you do when you get to skip some of the basic intro stuff and just go right to being friends. If you too want to meet Emily and her rocking awesome husband Dan, I suggest heading over to Pantalones del Fuego and getting acquainted, because believe me you won’t regret it.

Emily and I got to have our second face to face meeting. What a gem! And to top it off she and her husband Dan like to play board games too. All in all an excellent evening.

NaBloPoMo – Halfway point

Well, November is officially halfway over, which means I only have to go, “Gah I still have to blog and it’s already 10:30pm!” 15 more times this month. This is my fourth straight year of doing NaBloPoMo and perhaps it is because I started it after a six-month blogging leave of absence, but it has been harder for me to feel like I am actually writing anything of substance. Unlike previous years I haven’t put together a schedule, lined up any guest posts or done any real prep work. So in many ways it should be no surprise that most of my posts have been a scramble to just write something and let myself get to bed.

But maybe in the end that is really the point, just to get myself accustomed to opening up a blank draft box and typing little words, one after the other. And maybe instead of causing a giant drop-off in my writing (like has happened in every previous year), this method will actually get me back to a more reasonable blogging schedule.

Either way, thanks for following along and if you haven’t commented yet, please do! It would be great to know who all makes up the 50 unique visitors this site has had this month.

Take a deep breath and welcome the days of NaBloPoMo

So I didn’t really intend to take a six-month hiatus from blogging, but just like I never mean to forget to water my plants, get 2 months behind on email, or procrastinate on that one project thing – but life still happens.

In an attempt to not talk to you all (the five of you who still read this) about the boring subject of why I HAVEN’T been talking to you. Let me just say, here I am, back for my 4th year of blogging every day for a month. Of course thanks to my general lack of blogging initiative, I also haven’t planned out this month at all. Which means you are probably all in for a smattering of attempts to catch you all up on the past 6 months, random photo posts, and probably a good number of filler posts. In other words, exactly the same thing you all have been putting up with for over 8 years now. (Yes you read that correctly I have been blogging for the entire lifespan of a 3rd grader, or to put in an even more mind-blowing way, my blog is as old as most of my sunday school kids! Crazy town.)

In conclusion I will leave you with this photo from a recent Ladies’ Night, in which Jenn, Katie and I went to a local French restaurant and ate delicious things for many hours. And although you can’t tell in this photo, yes those are leather pants Katie is wearing.

Ladies Night

Complete filler post

Last night Katie informed me oh so politely that I haven’t posted here since February. Ah, tut, tut! I have to admit I was somewhat aware of that, however that dreadful snowball of “giant update needed”, “oh I really should upload those pictures from my trip first”, and so on and so forth led me down the path of sad empty blog.

At her recommendation, I won’t actually attempt that long overdue update now, but this is just a quick hello, check the pressure, kick the tires type of thing (wow, my car analogies are quite horrid and should definitely be retired) and since nothing bores more quickly than an avid navel-gazer trying to explain why they haven’t gazed at their navel in public recently. I will end here. Hopefully now that this post (in its rather shortened, nothingness) is out there, more will follow. Keep your fingers crossed!

Day 12 – A collection of interesting links, thoughts about Lent, the weather and why I haven’t been blogging

So obviously my attempt to post 5 days a week in February has not taken place. Sad to say, my goal to take a photo every day has been equally a failure, however I don’t actually feel too badly about it, because I both posted more AND took more pictures than I had during the previous two months.

In the good news department, I have several almost completed drafts of various things rolling around in the blog, so hopefully February will still finish strong.  But as following my long tradition of following up long blogging absences with list/link based posts, here are some interesting tidbits from my life and internet browsing:

1. I decided to give up sugar for Lent, which although containing a rather loose interpretation of “sugar” (basically avoiding sweet things including but not limited to diet coke, honey on my bread (but bread remains okay, cause come on!), the vast majority of baked goods, ice cream, chocolate, etc).  This is actually not nearly as challenging for me as giving up salty things, cheese or other more beloved foods. However I have definitely missed chocolate a few times already and have missed my weekend habit of making pancakes or french toast on Saturday mornings.

2. I found myself quite awed, saddened and overall impressed by this collection of World Press Photo Winners from 1955 to 2011. I agree with Kottke’s statement that these are amazing photos that don’t present a very positive view of humankind (many of the photos are graphic portrayals of the horrible things that humans inflict on each other). However I was also struck that while many of the photos portray deep painful grief, there can be no huge upswellings of grief without the larger underlying foundation of great love. Hopefully a similar collection of the next 56 years will have more photos depicting peace and equality breaking out, than the last 56 years of wars, cruelty and pain.

3. In a fascinating glimpse into Seattle weather, today we passed through sunshine, snow flurries, cloudy skies, and some rain all on the 25 minute drive to church.

4. I loved this list of advice for young people, from which the following highlight can be drawn:

Yes, you should not worry too much about the consequences and you should definitely quit your job that you hate and it’ll probably all work out great. Job quitters are the happiest people around.

5. This last link is mainly for Katie, or any other Star Wars lovers, this great post comes up with the perfect way to integrate the far inferior 1-3 trilogy (the one with Jar Jar Binks) into one’s viewing of the original trilogy. While this would make for an all to epic one night marathon, this definitely stirred my interests in re-watching Star Wars some time soon.

Day 1 – Welcome to February

So apparently last NaBloPoMo almost killed my blogging instinct dead, cause I have only written three posts since then! Oddly enough I think some things are a bit easier to do when they fall in the category of “daily” as opposed to “some time, probably soon, but definitely not right now”.  In order to help get me back in the groove of blogging I am deciding to blog 5 times a week this month, this should hopefully get me back to a more regular schedule, but also keep me from the higher demand that actual daily blogging requires. And to top it off, my good friend Jess (who I will check with before linking to her blog) has agreed to join me by posting 4 days a week. Having a blogging accountability partner always helps and maybe we will even think of other cool ways to blog through the shortest (and frequently dreariest) month of the year.

An auspicious way to start what is sometimes the dreariest day of the year, don't you think?

I took this during lunch break today, when I took a short walk to a nearby park to enjoy the sun and chat briefly with Grammy.

In addition, I will also be taking a photo a day during this month. Most likely many of them will end up being the low quality but addictingly fun iPod Touch via Instagram ones, but I will try to actually get my real camera out from time to time. So there you have my goals for the month, how about you? Any brilliant ideas of how to make it through February?

I finally, finally updated my about page

Remember how a really long time ago, I had this contest to pick a photo for my new “about” page.  Well I finally finished writing up a new one, which you can find by clicking that convenient “about me” link under the main header.  But don’t worry, if you miss the old one you can find it under that same link.  As always let me know what you think (or just point out any glaring typos).

This week has been the week of the massive snow here in Seattle and my goal for the weekend is to finally get some of my back log of photos uploaded and tell you all about how I got to work from home for three days (i.e. the best week ever). Hope you all are safe and warm!