Mid-Month Catch-up, Who Dis?

fall-in-Oak-Glen-2021

I cannot believe that it is feeling like fall here in Southern California and it’s not even Halloween yet. Usually, it’s hotter than dog’s breath all the way up to Halloween and then magically on the dot it turns cold the night of trick-or-treating and that costume you thought was great on a warm night in September is now needing a sweater and tights! But nope. Not this year! We are actually hovering in the mid 60’s and breaking out the fall sweaters. I LOVE IT!

I had a minute at work so I thought I’d pop in and share a few photos from this month. The top photos are from an impromptu visit to Oak Glen with my mom and Suki. We totally went there for the apple cider doughnuts, I’m not gonna lie. They are such a treat. There is nothing like waiting in line for a popping hot tiny doughnut freshly fried and covered in cinnamon sugar. I don’t have any photos because I was too busy making a tictok.

I know, who am I?? Do I think I’m some kid playing on tictok? Next thing you know I’ll be filming myself dancing with my teenagers? The answer is: Yes, and no. I am on TicTok and I do actually love it but NO I am not dancing. Are you kidding me?? I’m terrible at memorizing dance moves!!! I might do it for a parody but I am not on purpose following that trend. I’m actually just making little micro movies and I love it! I don’t know if I can put them here. I’ll have to look into that but if you have an account you should check me out. It’s been really fun.

Cdm5K2021

Oh yes! I ran the CdM 5K. The same one I used to run back in the day. (Man, I used to be so skinny. The Corona Virus twenty didn’t miss me.) I’ve been trying to keep in shape but it’s a losing battle as I approach fifty. I had planned to run a half marathon but that seems to be pushing itself out further and further.

pumpkin-patch-blair-bear-2021

You know what I love about this time of year? Everything! Bring on the pumpkins, bring on the apples, bring on the cozy sweaters! We took Suki’s baby to the pumpkin patch for her first traditional pumpkin patch picture. We didn’t get any good pictures but it was still fun for us. Then I bought enough pumpkins to decorate my front porch that it looks like Martha Stewart lives there. I am a sucker for disposable fall decorations.

october-2021-vegas-trip

Payam and I also took a trip to Vegas to visit my good friend Bethany. It’s pretty funny how often I write about hating Las Vegas and yet, here I am visiting again. This is all Payam’s fault and Bethany’s. But I did really have a good time in spite of the hotel that was craptastic. I will not recommend the Flamingo for staying overnight. While it’s been remodeled it’s still pretty dirty and gross. However the flamingos are cool! And who doesn’t love a good pink-themed decor!

It was so funny, I woke up early like I alwasy do and wandered around the really nice garden pool area with my cup of coffee in hand looking for flamingos. I saw every other bird imagineable but no flamingos! Then the very last place I checked (a back corner near a restaurant) there they were! There weren’t a ton but they were indeed there and I love them. The color of their feathers! So pretty!  So if you are a bird lover or a pool lover I can recommend the flamingo but if you are a fan of cleanliness I’d say skip it.

what-happens-in-vegas

We did really have a good time. The ice bar was over-priced but maybe worth it for all the good photos we got. I thought it would be like the ice bar in Finland or Iceland with luxurious furs and ice sculptures but it was more like hanging out in the meat locker in the back of a restaurant. At least we looked groovy in our coats.

poor-whiskey-got-shaved

In other news: I am now a dog groomer! Just kidding. I’m so not. But I did order some dog clippers and I went to town on my poor Whiskeybutt.  See, the thing is there are so many people owning dogs now (a side effect of the pandemic and people seeking pets to save their sanity during quarantine) that our local vet (who is also our groomer) is totally booked for grooming all the time. We have had to put off Whiskey’s much-needed monthly grooming for three months and he has been looking rough. I bathed him in the shower and that backfired on me because his fur is so fine it matted up like barbie doll hair. I was so frustrated with trying to brush him and snip out the mats by hand with scissors. It was just getting worse and worse. So I gave in and bought some clippers and guess what! Now he has no more mats! My family thinks I’ve gone crazy but both Whiskey and I are feeling much better. And, yes, he is cold (because he’s a Southern California Pansy ass like the rest of us) so he has his own special jacket. You might think he looks pissed in that top right photo but actually, that is his gentlemanly model look.

fall-in-the-nature-trail-2021

Now that Whiskey has no fur we can walk in the nature trail again! It’s beautiful as always.

inktober-1-2021

I’ll close out this October post with some inktober drawings. I’m experimenting with adding more texture for darkness…I have a lot to learn. It’s always so hard for me to slow my process down but it’s a good exercise.

Yes, I’m Changing.

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About once a month I go crazy. The causes of me going crazy can be debated. Is it hormones? Is it me growing out of my own skin? Is it mental illness or mercury in retrograde? Maybe it’s the fall-out of the global trauma of a pandemic that we are all experiencing? Maybe I don’t have enough else going on… I have no idea. But know that I am getting help and for the most part I’m a pretty happy, well-balanced person. I just go crazy once a month.

The weird part of this going crazy every month is that my go-to response is to flee. I always want to up and move to somewhere else. I want to get my own apartment and start a new life somewhere else. As you can imagine this can be troubling to my family who loves me very much and doesn’t have any idea what is wrong with me. I don’t know what to say other than I have a restless spirit. I love my life very much until I don’t and then on that day I want to destroy everything and start over. It’s madness.

Usually, it passes.

before-new-SAJ-office.

But sometimes I get a hair up my butt and I go and rent myself an office somewhere else! Yes, I left behind a perfectly good at-home office to go work in a boring office building in cubicle-land. I know, it seems so counter-intuitive and like a huge waste of money but it has saved my sanity. I am so happy in my new office. I was on the verge of wrecking my whole life and creating a little space away saved me. Like Virginia Woolf says, I just needed a room of my own. A different room in a different space, twenty minutes away from where I was.

I don’t know if that makes sense but it makes complete sense to me.

So now I go to work every day. I commute to a boring office in industrial land. I walk the quiet air-conditioned halls of a big public workspace until I get to my small corner. It used to be a reception desk for an executive office so it has three walls (one of those is all window) and a counter on the out-facing side. I sit behind that high counter like a receptionist used to but I don’t have to recept anyone. I put plants on that counter to hide behind and occasionally I direct the Fed Ex guy where to go but nobody ever bothers me. It is blessedly quiet.

at-work-selfie-at-my-new-SAJ-office

I walk around the mostly vacant building talking to no one. Only a few other people work there and they are like quiet mice tapping away at their own computers. There is a kitchen but it’s closed because of covid so we keep our lunches in the company fridge but nobody stands around the water cooler chatting.

I take at-work bathroom selfies.

I do like dressing up for work again. There is something about going to an office that makes getting ready way more efficient.  I don’t know how long this charm will last. But that doesn’t matter because I can stop going to my office whenever I like. I’m my own boss! The rent (which is very reasonable by the way) is set to go up in October so I will reevaluate then. I’m thinking by the time winter comes around I might like to be back at home where it’s cozy but right now, while it’s hotter than dog’s breath, I AM LOVING my air-conditioned office.

I can actually wear office clothes instead of my usual uniform of a sundress and anti-chafing legging shorts. It is so nice to dress up again.

 

cafe-near-my-new-SAJ-office

It’s also really nice that my office is next to a bustling shopping center with lots of restaurants, cafes, and shops. Bug tags along to work with me sometimes. Working from home really helped me out when I was a young mother but now as my kids get more and more independent, they don’t need me as much anymore. They might think they need me but all they need me for these days is for spending money (I feel like an ATM), making them breakfast, and acting like their own personal uber driver. Believe me, I’m happy to dodge their constant demands. Having a regular work schedule has helped me create boundaries on more than one front.

old-office-converted

Meanwhile, back at home where my office used to be, I moved everything to the sides and set up a big table in the middle. The kids used it for a craft project the other day and now I’m using it for some book organization but maybe someday I’ll move the table back out and buy a big velvet couch sectional and create a kid conversation pit. Or maybe Payam will move his office in there. So far he’s pretty happy in the living room where he can watch soccer on mute all day. To each their own, right?