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The Naked Project

I was what some refer to as a naked kid. While some children didn’t mind the warmth and comfort of clothing, I preferred life in my birthday suit, which I attributed to my parents who were hippies and therefore naked people. Also, being naked felt like freedom and when I was super little it meant direct access to my toes.  Then I started to hit puberty and nakedness didn’t feel so comfortable anymore. So I became a clothing person.

The weird thing is, I didn’t just become a clothing person, but the pendulum swung and I became incredibly uncomfortable with nakedness. I mean, I was no nevernude, but with the exception of being with a fella (when I am all about taking off my garments!), I tended to avoid baring it all.

Then I read of the benefits of sleeping naked. It promised things like skin rejuvenation, happiness, lowered anxiety, better sleep, and even perks for the lady parts. So I decided to give it a try. I would see what it is like to be a naked person!

At first it was weird. I felt vulnerable and even under my sheets and behind my closed blinds, I felt exposed. Then it started to not be so weird. I slept great and it was REALLY comfortable! The longer I slept naked, the more confident I became. I took my nakedness out of my bed and walked around and grabbed midnight snacks. It wasn’t long before I was hit with that same feeling I had when I was a kid. Nakedness is freedom!! And the confidence I felt from being comfortable with myself translated to the rest of my life. Hells yeah nakedness!!

Except there are some drawbacks to sleeping naked. I woke up a few weeks into my experiment and barely had enough time to book it into my bathroom before food poisoning rendered me into a position of projectile vomiting into my toilet. Barfing is pretty terrible. Heaving and barfing while naked is all kinds of vulnerable and horrible feeling.

There’s also the cold factor. Winter is coming and already it is cold and will only get colder and I want to be under ALL the blankets all the time and climbing naked into a cold bed is the worst! So I have compromised by wearing a men’s flannel shirt to bed and then taking it off once I am warmed up. I keep it in the bed and slip into it if I need to get up. Flannel is the solution to so many problems!

I checked in with my friends about sleeping naked. One said, “Sleeping naked is the BEST!!” The other decided to give it a try but told us later that her cat kept pawing at her boobs. We told her we have the same problem with the fellas.

So now I am a naked person, at least a person more comfortable in her own skin. High five to my naked kid self!

Recapitulations For A Year Passed

Tomorrow I will turn 32 and I get to leave 31 behind. I am glad. Relieved. Excited.

It’s not that this has been an actual ‘bad’ year. I am ridiculously lucky in the hand life has dealt me and how I’ve played it. Still, compared to others, this wasn’t one for the books. I’ll be so bold as to call it shitty.

Except it was the good kind of shitty that helped me learn a lot, the kinds of things that can only be learned when the chips are down and big choices have to be made or fold. I don’t fold. I believe that so much of happiness in life is in the accidental and the unexpected, but I also believe that sometimes we have to make our own happiness. We have to decide we deserve it and then venture out and do whatever it takes to get it. Which can be scary until I think of the alternative.

Every year on New Years Eve I practice recapitulations and given this past year, it seemed appropriate to move it up and do it tonight on the eve of my birthday. A recapitulation is a summary or concise review.

or the idea that we cannot put our energy into the future when it is still focused on the past

I believe it is important to give voice all moments in life, both good and bad. Especially bad. They need to be given their moment and recognized because life is shaped by those moments and what we decide to do with them. I am a runner by nature. I run from problems and conflict and I find I would so much rather forget about awkward moments or heartbreak or loneliness and brush them aside and tell myself I am all right, which is exactly how I handled a lot of those moments this year. Except they cannot be forgotten and sometimes I wasn’t all right. I forged ahead even when I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

photo 2 (1)

I made it. I will keep making it. And now, at a safe distance, I can look back and see what I learned from it all. I can take stock and decide where to go from here. I wrote down the biggest moments from my year on slips of paper. I sat outside in the cold, frosty night and I read them and I thought of how shitty each one was but I also thought about what I learned from them and where I’ll go from here. Ceremoniously, I burned each one and watched as it turned to ash. Then I wrote down three wishes for my new year and I thought about them and what I am going to do to get them. I burned each of them and their ashes mixed in with the others. Because life is all of those things and I am who I am because of all of those things.

photo 3 (1)

When I was 6, I assumed being 32 would be so much easier. It’s not. It is WAY harder, but I wouldn’t give up the adventure for anything, even with all the shitty obstacles.

To 32! Let’s do this.

photo 1 (1)

Yes Please

accidental Euphoria
I didn’t mean for this photo to look sexual, but it actually kind of works for this post ;-)

The thing about working a soul sucking job that takes up all the hours (and then some) and fills the rest with restlessness and anxiety is that when I am not working said job, I am crashing lifeless on my couch while Gilmore Girls runs on an endless loop and  I am only half watching it because my job has taken up all of my cares and I am busy calculating exactly how long I can go without doing laundry before I’ll have more loads than I have quarters for.

This is not a life I want to be living.

This fall has been a challenge.

It’s okay though, because I have a plan (not just to get a giant roll of quarters the next time I am at the bank). Part of that plan involved sleeping in last Saturday until I didn’t need to sleep anymore. It was small, but important. I’ve tried this before, but on Saturday, I was finally successful and I felt great and like teenager Amanda all over again (except less angsty). And I stretched my arms as I stood on my balcony while the dogs went and took care of their business and the sun shone and I thought, Today is beautiful and I am going to put on pants and go eat eggs and work on my novel in the sunshine!” and then maybe I spun around like Maria von Trapp and I didn’t care because my chain smoking neighbor, who is the only one who can see me anyway, always laughs endearingly at me when I do such things.

I put on pants and drove with the windows down and I blasted Taylor Swift (because seriously, how much are we all obsessed with 1989)!

Then there were no tables and a line out the door at the eggs and novel writing place.

Or there was no parking, which was the case for the next two places I tried.

So I found myself walking into a dive that had ample parking but no line, which may have been because they don’t serve eggs (or any food), but had lots of tables and they do serve bloody mary’s, and I decided that was just as good as eggs.

Several hours later I had switched to “Boozey Lemonade” and convinced a friend to join me and help me climb the hurdles I was encountering in my novel. He brought metaphorical rope and thoughtful questions. The sun shone and I was perfectly day drunk and writing and feeling a little bit of my soul for the first time in a while and I wanted to stretch out my arms and Maria von Trapp again, but my friend is easily embarrassed so I didn’t.

I wandered around downtown (obviously still listening to T. Swift) and I made drunk purchases at Urban Outfitters and I smiled a lot (and not just from the Boozey Lemonade) and as the day came to a close, I met up with a fella who was in town and we sipped classy drinks and chatted about all the nerdiest things in the world and then we went back to his place where we curled up and I read aloud from Amy Poehler’s book (and recent day drunk purchase), Yes Please.

Sometimes life is just like that. Things are shit and then sleep finally happens and boozey lemonade and drunk purchases turn out to be good and well-fitting choices and pulling out a book and saying to a cute boy, “I mean, I could read this to you” TOTALLY WORKS!

 

Sundays are for Snuggles

Writing is hard.

I am learning this as I once again attempt to take the stories and ideas that swirl constantly in my head and wrangle them down on paper into a coherent plot. It’s hard. I am 10,000 words off my goal, but I’m enjoying the challenge and the process.

It also doesn’t help that it is dark early and by 6:30 I am yawning and ready to crawl into bed. Day light savings makes me feel like I am 90 years old.

But today is Sunday and I spent it writing with a friend and curled up on the couch under a pile of dogs reading Amy Poehler’s new book and it felt good. This is how all Sundays should be.

Puppy Cuddles
Puppy Cuddles

50,000 Ways To Spend November

In just a few days it will be November, perhaps one of my favorite months. I will turn another year older, delight in the cooling, colorful fall weather, and watch men everywhere become extra scruffy as they grow out their Movember Mustaches. As I have always had difficulty growing a mustache myself, I will instead be participating in National Novel Writing Month.

A few years back I decided to attempt the NaNoWriMo challenge of writing a 50,000+ word novel in 30 days. I had no plan other than some character ideas and a sense of adventure. I discovered after a difficult 20,000 words that having an idea of the plot is also sort of important. This year I am attempting it again. I have a better idea of my story, its characters and plot.

I love writing and the catharsis it provides. Though I have never excelled that much at fiction, I am excited for the challenge. I am excited to see how my story will unfold and what that experience will be like. I don’t expect to write anything spectacular or even very readable, but I want to see if I can do it.

When life hands you cockroaches, just sing Taylor Swift at the top of your squeaky lungs

Sooooooooooo I have had my period for 2.5 weeks (uh huh, thanks stress, thanks) and there are lice in my classroom and my  students totally stole my voice so now I sound like a chain-smoking old lady who has a squeak toy caught in her throat and this morning I came into work and there was a giant (at least 4ft, maybe 10ft) cockroach in my  coffee mug and I couldn’t help but think that some days are just more stabby than others. And Autocorrect keeps trying to change stabby to “stubby” and there is NOTHING STUBBY ABOUT MY DAY, Autocorrect. It. Is. Stabby.

stabby days

But even though I am feeling extra stabby and have the current sex appeal of a, well, a chain-smoking old lady who has a squeak toy caught in her throat, Taylor Swifts new album, 1989 came out today and I totally have no shame about how much I LOVE her new pop sound and I keep listening to it on repeat while dancing around my apartment squeaking out, ARE WE OUT OF THE WOODS YET ARE WE OUT OF THE WOODS YET ARE WE OUT OF THE WOODS

Also, I have a fun new hair cut, so maybe life isn’t the worst. Just. Stabby.

hair cut

When dealing with a depressed fish…

I think my fish, Edgar Allen Poe is depressed. And I know,  maybe you’re thinking that it’s because I named him Edgar Allen Poe and that’s just sort of his deal, but my other fish, Sylvia Plath, is happy as can be, so that’s definitely not it. He is sort of mopey and the other day my mom was convinced he was dead because he was “floating” and I tried to explain to her that floating is what fish sort of naturally do and it’s only when they are floating upside down that one should worry. He is not floating upside down. He’s just moping.

This is Edgar Allen Poe. He is dark and brooding.
This is Edgar Allen Poe. He is dark and brooding. Also maybe depressed. 

Normally, I wouldn’t pay too much mind to this, we all get bad weeks and I can only assume fish are the same way, but my last fish, Allen Ginsberg maybe committed suicide by propelling himself out of his dwelling and flip flopping across my living room. I don’t want the same thing for Edgar.

reading Poe to Poe
reading Poe to Poe

I tried reading him some poetry. Sylvia loves it when I read poetry of her namesake. Edgar seemed indifferent. Besides keeping his water level low enough that he can’t possibly off himself, I’m not sure what to do.

 

My Microwave-Free Life

microwave

I’d like to say that the reason I live without a microwave is because I’m one of those people who cares about things like toxins and health, but I regularly eat Lucky Charms by the box full, so clearly my body is only sometimes my temple.

No, the reason I don’t own a microwave is far less soap boxy. It started when the minute plus button stopped working and I was only slightly annoyed that I actually had to punch in the 1-0-0 and start because I am super lazy, which is why I owned a microwave. Then the 2 button broke, so I had to be a bit crafty and punch in 1-5-9 if I needed something to cook for two minutes. If it needed more than 2 minutes, it better need no less than 3! Then the stop button broke, so I would just keep the door open when I wasn’t using it, because I am a problem solver.

Finally, a few months after that first button broke, the whole thing self destructed and I bid it a fond farewell as I tossed it into the dumpster.

The thing is, I had every intention of replacing it because microwaves are super convenient! But I am also super lazy and busy so I didn’t really get around to it. And the longer I put off getting a new one, the more I started realizing that I kind of liked all the of the extra counter space and it really wasn’t so much more work to heat things up in the oven or on the stove than by punching a few buttons.

So I decided to make a decision that started out of laziness into a more purposeful one, and I have lived for almost a year now without a microwave. I kind of love it. I replaced it with a smaller, much more useful toaster oven, which I LOVE because I always made toast using the broiler and it usually came out burnt or at the very least never evenly toasted.

I highly recommend a microwave-free life. It opens up more space, cuts down the toxins (in case your body is also sometimes your temple) and I love the (only slightly) extra time it takes to cook up a meal for myself. It feels good and sometimes even makes me reconsider those boxes of Lucky Charms (but only sometimes).

I spend Too Much Time Pondering Taylor Swift’s Hair Care Regiment

I have decided to chop off a lot of my hair. It’s long and pink and I’m antsy and in need of something I can change and control in the chaos and cacophony of my life right now and it’s either cut my hair or get another tattoo and since I have no idea what my next tattoo is going to be (yet), hair cut, it is.

I’m not daring enough to go Audrey pixie short, so I’m thinking of something in the mid-short range. If I could pull off the major side part with wispy bangs, I would totally go T-Swift on this, but her hair is probably made of pixie dust and rainbows and mine has a cowlick and I cannot shampoo it with unicorns blood (which is what I am assuming she uses). So I googled medium hair cuts for thin, straight hair and as I was scrolling though dozens and dozens of celebrity women, BAM! Zac Efron with perfectly messy-quaffed, wispy side bangs and side part.

zac
I’m not ashamed by how much this made me laugh.

He probably also uses unicorn blood. Damn rich celebrities.

I have my appointment on Saturday so we’ll see what happens.

 

Not really a blog post

It has been an entire week since I last posted and I’d like to say that it’s because I was off galavanting on some great adventure or because of some other exciting excuse, but mostly it was because my job is soul sucking and then I got food poisoning and barfed ALL the barfs of the world. It was not my prettiest moment.

When not barfing and grading papers though, I managed to slip in an adventure or two, so check back this week because I PROMISE to tell you all about them. And one of them involves booze, and booze makes everything better.

As an I’m sorry for not writing, I leave you with this link to Buzzfeed‘s “This is What Happens When You Send Tinder Guys The Emails From You’ve Got Mail”. It’s my favorite thing right now.