Old Photos

It seems strange to call these old, as they are pictures from when I was little and they are in color, but considering Ronald Reagan was president when they were taken, they are old.

That’s me wearing my mother’s Queen of the May dress that her mother made for her. I love the springy daffodil background. Choosing the background was my favorite part of getting my picture taken. A quick pull on this flower background and it would retract. Then you could choose a different one, like a snow scene, or a solid color. (Boring!)

Thank goodness I grew my hair out after this. I don’t love that bowl cut.

And here’s my brother. He wouldn’t consent to dressing in these types of clothing for much longer. But he looks so going-to-church.

Where do kids get their pictures taken now a days? I’m guessing not at Sears or J.C. Penny.

Hold the phones Edna! You can get your pictures taken at J.C. Penny! They even have themes. You can even get office head shots taken there. That’s the only place, though. Sears, Target, and Wal-Mart have all closed their portrait studios in the last decade. K-Mart closed theirs long ago.

New Phone! Google Pixel 3a

I made the switch from Virgin Mobile to Google FI. Both plans are similar: low monthly cost and you buy your own phone. Google FI has a variable rate for data and I might be able to lower my monthly charge slightly.

On the left, the new phone. On the right, the old phone.

I gave my usual three-minute search for a case. The new case (left) isn’t as good as the old one.

We shall see what the Google Pixel has in store for me.

I float for the first time

Call me float-curious. Floating, the practice of paying money to lie in a dark in a tank of water with a bunch of Epsom salts was very intriguing to me.

Not enough to pay money, but I was interested.

Enter friend Kelly, who gets free floats as a part of her volunteer gig. She gifted me one, so I signed up.

Float On has a very cool waiting room. The walls are covered with this stretchy fabric that was mesmerizing. Plus, look at all those stretchy fabric things on the ceiling! And there was tea.

And look at this great mural in the bathroom!

Here’s my room. You are looking at the shower and the door to the tank.

From the other direction, the door to the hallway, a complementary robe (that I didn’t need to use) and on the right, the filtering system for the tank.

I was given an orientation, I showered, got into the tank and closed the door.

And then 90 minutes passed.

At first, I thought I needed to be inert in the water, but eventually I realized that I could move around if I wanted. After I started some slow movement of my limbs, I enjoyed floating more.

And yet.

I’m a person who regularly experiences insomnia, so I’m quite familiar with the feeling of being awake in a dark room, alone with my thoughts.

I also am a swimmer with a goodly amount of body fat, so floating is also a thing that happens to me on a regular basis.

When I started thinking of things I would rather spend money on than floating that would also relax me (massage, acupuncture, a nap—which is free) I concluded that floating was not for me.

And I’m so glad I got to figure that out for free.

If you are float curious, I recommend Float On. It was a great operation.

Another exciting thing about registering an LLC

I am not even kidding when I say the promo pen people always light up my day. We used to get them every so often in the mail at the Emerson School. I had one version for years that said “The Erson School” on it. Because nothing makes you want to buy a promo pen than a misspelling. Even my fancy new workplace is not immune to the promo pen offer.

And now Keen Eye LLC has joined their ranks. I will treasure this pen until—well, until I lose it. And I will never, ever order any promo pen, ever.

The temporary things that become part of your life.

This sign has been affixed to a locker near the one I use in the Campus Rec Center for months. I have spent many mornings staring at it as I transition from my swimming gear to my work gear.

I can see that it was hastily written by a Campus Rec employee, probably a female. I can see that this person had no idea the note would be posted for so long because little care was made in writing.

The sign gets the job done. There is an alert to the problem, there is a directive, and there is an apology. It’s scrawled on a PSU notepad and hung (again hastily, with tape.)

And then, there’s that signature. What is going on with that signature? It’s written in a different pen, and in a different handwriting. It was clearly there before the note was put up because the tape covers the S and part of the M in “Smith.”

Who is Smith? My current theories are that two employees were joking around as they made the sign, hence the “Love” or that the Love, Smith was written before the note itself was.

Someday, that locker will be fixed and the note will be gone. It will take me a few weeks to notice its absence. And then I will move on with my life, never knowing the story behind the note.

This is what the short-lived podcast Mystery Show was good for.

I just had a slight birdwalk and discovered that Starlee Kine (who made Mystery Show) now has a Patreon page where for $5.00 per month you will get access to a podcast she will create. Interesting.

When it takes two planners, two pens and a phone to plan out your weekend.

One of the things that always bugged me about the standard two-page planners I used from ages 20–35 was that Saturday and Sunday had to share a space that was the same size as every other day of the week got.

I’ve always had much more to do on the weekends, and I hated trying to cram everything into the smaller space.

The plus of the bullet journal is that you get to make you own size of pages for the day, and on this one both Saturday and Sunday each got their own page.

I’ve taken to doing a little journaling in a cheap composition book to determine my priorities. I have four categories (rest, chores, work, rituals) and I find that doing some free-form writing shakes out all the things and helps me put them in some sort of priority order.

The phone is where my calendar lives, so I needed that to remind me of official appointments. Once I have those down in the cheap composition book, I can start listing all the other things.

This was a weekend with more things at set times than I like. So I set this up in more of a time format. On other weekends I list my time-based appointments at the top, and then made two other lists: things that need to be done; things that would be nice to get done.

It’s been working well.

How’s that bullet journal thing going?

You might recall that back in October, I decided to check out the Bullet Journal method. I have, and here is my report.

As you can see by this picture, I have not succumbed to the Bullet Journal craziness of fancy fonts, washi tape and gorgeous illustrations. But I am using the system.

It’s going well. I like writing things on a list and crossing them off, so that’s fun. I like that I can start whenever.

I don’t love trying to find my notes for things. Even though I have an index started in the front, it never occurs to me to check the index. So I have flags on pages that are still relevant and check them now and again.

I shall continue on with the Bullet Journal and rejoice in the simple feeling of pen on paper.

Fours.*

I’m 44 today. It’s my fourth double number birthday and the second-to-last one that I can use my two hands to illustrate. (Age 66 will require an extra digit on both hands.)

Some age calculator at some time predicted I’d live to 89 years old. If that’s true, I’m halfway through my double number journey. But I could go at any time, This might be my last one, or I could have passed the halfway point at 33, or 22.

While some people might be put off by spending the day they entered this realm contemplating their exit, I feel a thrill of glee. The date and time of my death is probably the biggest surprise left in my life. There will be a lot of smaller surprises along the way, of course. And as long as my hands can keep working and my brain can keep working, I’m up for sticking around and seeing what develops.

Here’s to double number birthdays!

(Of note: this photo was really hard to take. I ended up setting the camera on the ledge that divides the kitchen from the living room and using the self-timer. Even so, it took six tries. Plus, I had to acknowledge that my hands don’t look like I’m 20 anymore. But why should they be any different than the rest of me?)

*An homage to Taylor Kitsch’s Tim Riggins in Friday Night Lights. “Fours” was how he referred to Luke Cafferty, who wore number 44. The inherent laziness of translating three syllables into one and then stretching out that one syllable to last as long as it would have taken to say all three syllables was one of the things that made Tim Riggins such a delightful character. 

Let’s try a Bullet Journal

I’ve been doing well with the Getting Things Done method of organization and using Google Keep, but I missed having paper to write on. So I bought myself a Leuchtturm 1917 dotted A5 journal (it’s so nice to be able to pop over to Powell’s and pick one up) and got started with this Bullet Journal thing that people have been doing.

I am SO GLAD I started with the Bullet Journal website. The reason? Certain people who post pictures on the internet spend a lot of time on their bullet journals. Which is great for people who want to make watercolor layouts and freehand drawing fancy fonts. But I think those people possibly have too much time on their hands.* I don’t, and need to get things done. This is where the Bullet Journal System comes in. At it’s briefest, it’s a really simple system that can be summed up in one, brief web page of instruction.

*If you are at all interested in the gorgeous things people do with their bullet journals, google “bullet journal inspiration” and marvel. But don’t let it stop you from actually doing a bullet journal, even if your handwriting is terrible and you can’t draw a straight line.

I followed that instruction and now I have an index page:

A future planning page:

And here’s the setup for my October monthly goals and calendar.

In this time of increased commercialism, I appreciate someone who created a simple method to get stuff done. I’m excited to have something to write in and I’ll report back at the beginning of next month as to how it’s been going.