Here’s the deal: I made this new year’s incense with my mom. It smells lovely in the jar. I burned some at the start of the month, using only a small piece of charcoal (as I was about to go to bed, and didn’t want to use a whole charcoal for only one little bit of incense). It worked beautifully, and smelled amazing. All went well.
Then, a few days later, I wanted to burn some more of the incense. I used a half of a charcoal this time, instead of just a tiny piece, because I was going to be up for a while, and so could add incense as it burned down. Almost immediately, the whole room started filling with smoke. And I know incense smokes. But this was different. It was like fire smoke. So, for fear of 1) smoking myself out and 2) setting off the fire alarm, I doused the whole thing with water.
I then left it a while – meaning days – before I returned to burn some again. Two attempts later, I had a very similar result. No, it was not quite as smoky as that second time. It was still rather smoky, though. And, get this: it didn’t even burn down all the incense. So, I’m not even sure what was burning to be all smoky. I need to defer to my mom on this one, as I genuinely am unsure as to what is going on here. (To be fair, though, I could just be exhausted and not thinking straight. Genuine possibility. 😛 )
^ Remembered as I was writing it, so got it technically on the first effort!
Tomorrow night, we will be watching Mulan (the live-action, not the animated) for the first time. While we aren’t sure about dressing up – yes, we do dress to theme when we see films and shows in theatres, so we have no reason not to do it at home, too, right now – we are planning to have Chinese food for dinner. Since, however, we all prefer to follow more the paleo type of diet, I am brainstorming options of easy-to-prepare-by-myself dishes. I’ve done the chicken fried wild rice before, so that’s on the list. All I need to add are eggs* and carrots, which are easy enough to procure. I’m wondering if an egg-drop soup could be possible, or something like szechuan veggies or something… Going to check with a friend of mine who cooks bourgie stuff, too, and who happens to be Chinese. I think she might have some tried and true ideas. Fingers crossed!
*Fun fact: When I spent all that time with the acrobats, I learned on the train how to cook eggs the way Chinese people do for fried rice – never how I would have guessed, but I am super glad I learned it, because it is delicious! Also, I realize that could be referring to either how I learned to cook it or how it is actually cooked – both were never how I would have guessed, so I guess the unclear statement was, in fact, true, no matter the interpretation! 😛 (Slash, yes, hashtag nerd/dork, I know.) 😀
My mom asked me this week if I have been noticing more squirrels than usual lately. Whenever she is out somewhere, usually driving, she feels like she has been seeing loads more squirrels than usual. At first, I was thinking about mating seasons, and wondering whether we were at a time of year where there just happen to be lots of recently-added squirrels in the mix.
But then something else occurred to me… and then she said that something else. “I just wonder if, because everyone had been staying home and not going anywhere for a while,“ she began.
And I finished, barely able to restrain my laugh before finishing, “No one was out driving to run them over??”
We both laughed. But we both considered the idea as a genuine possibility. Lost of things were affected this summer by people’s not going into offices and work anywhere near the typical amount…, perhaps this was just another of those effects.
And perhaps not, but the idea is a lot more fun to consider that the poor squirrels this summer actually had a chance for once. Kind of like the air, you know?
I still laugh when I think about her specifically bringing it up to me to ask my thoughts on the matter, as though it were something of significance in our lives. Just in the squirrels’, I suppose, but we both totally loved considering it, nonetheless.
Is it weird that I am reading a poetry book as part of my novel-writing homework and training for myself? Or that I can’t even quite remember where I got the recommendation to read this particular book, but that I am still sticking with it, years after the fact? I’m not one to take recommendations and follow through with them, unless they come from specific individuals or have an extremely powerful and supported argument behind them. I think this recommendation came from someone I do not know personally, so the argument must have been amazing for the recommendation. I just remember that whoever it was said that this poetry book was a must-read for writers, because, though it was focused on poetry, it was 100% applicable and important for writers and novelists as a whole, and was even one of the most important of all reads for them.
So, I’m reading it. I actually started while up at my brother’s in Wisconsin, and pulled out the highlighters and everything with it, treating it as a textbook of information I likely will want to reference in the future. (I’m not one for writing or highlighting in books, so it really takes good convincing for me to believe it a good and even viable option as my own practice. Aka it’s a huge deal that I am doing the highlighting, and it shows how seriously I am taking the idea of this book’s being a valuable and important asset in my writing, one I will benefit greatly from referencing further in the future, as well as reading now.) So far, it has been kind of amazing. I am extremely grateful for the recommendation, and grateful that I followed through with it. (I mean, I even went out and found the book and bought it immediately after receiving the recommendation, that’s how powerful a recommendation it was.) It has already been well worth it, and I can tell that so much more is to come, it will blow this beginning stuff out of the water.
And I am very much looking forward to that.
It has been not so easy to produce a story yet, but I have finally begun the beginning steps in a way that now can lead somewhere rather easily. Moving forward, I will need to set myself down at table, and actively pursue certain thought processes and brainstorming and writing, in order to start getting into the real stories of it all. I am afraid of dong that, but I trust that I want to do it… so, I am slowly but finally getting myself there, little by little, baby steps… baby steps…baby steps write a few words…baby steps write a few more… I can do anything!*
*Get that movie reference, and you have a special piece of love from me and my childhood. 😉
I’ve been considering the film version of the Disney musical “The Little Mermaid” tonight. As I found myself not only singing “Poor, Unfortunate Souls” while readying myself for bed, cleaning my teeth and putting in my retainers, but also saying with accurate intonation all the dialogue that exists throughout it and directly after it, I began to wonder if I knew more than I had passively considered. I hadn’t much thought about it, but I was a little bit surprised at my having known even that little bit of dialogue outside of the one song. Once I truly considered it, though, it seemed silly that I would be surprised at this knowledge, for the simple fact that I very likely could dialogue my way through almost the entire film, and with minimal error. The fact is: I know that era of Disney films quite well.
A Japanese friend once asked me, as I sang along to a Lion King song that was playing over a speaker at a Harajuku outdoor shop, why all Americans know the words to Disney songs. I laughed rather hard at her question before answering. My initial thought was, ‘Well, duh – how could we not?’ But I found the reasoning for such an automatic thought, and explained it to her, how Disney films were such a huge part of US culture in the 90s and early 2000s especially, so kJ so that their music became big parts of pop culture, so even people who didn’t watch much of the movies still knew the main songs from them.
That being said, I was one of the people who watched the films over and over again. When I find a movie I love, I tend to watch it regularly and somewhat often (when I’m in a movie phase or mood, anyway). Only the really amazing movies that actually are sad movies or depressing ones are the ones that I tend not to rewatch. The rest of the ones I love, I probably have seen them loads of times, up to dozens, perhaps. And certain Disney films fall into that category of films I have watched an absurd number of times, “The Little Mermaid” being among them. That and “Aladdin” probably have the highest number of viewings for me among the Disney animated films.
And so, it should come as little to no surprise that I would know so many lines from the film, and possibly could recite the whole darn thing. 🙂
Though, that makes it no less absurd that I can do that in the first place… 😛
I keep going back to how, when I was staying with a friend at her house, – yes, a house and not an apartment – she was very excited to inform me that she had guest towels now. She was so utterly excited about that fact, likely on account of its sounding so grown-up like, that I didn’t say anything about it. However, it seems to be that this is her first time of having guest towels, right? Well, I have noticed in the past that one of the first things I do, whenever I move in somewhere, is prepare for the possibility of a guest or guests coming to stay with me. This has always included having extra towels for these guests to use, and enough blankets and pillows, as well as a handful of other things I consider to be important to have available for a guest’s use.
Now, one might think that I have guests over all the time, if this is something I always seem to do. I actually think I don’t often have guests stay over, and it has been almost never for my current place of residence this past year and a half. However, I definitely have had people come stay with me at each of my other residences…, and plenty of those times were last-minute or spur-of-the-moment or totally unplanned sleepovers. Because of that, I have always just made sure that I am prepared… you never know when the opportunity will arise, right? That’s how I see it, anyway, and so I make sure that I am always prepared.
If only we could get the part of me that keeps my living space super tidy to view things that way, too, so that I just would keep my living space always tidy… Alas, it does not see things that way so far, and my clutter-y messiness wins out on a regular basis still. I am, however, working on improvement in that area, and have improved much already in recent years. And I have finally accepted that, well, I am messy – not dirty, but messy, untidy – with my living and working spaces. That acknowledgement has definitely helped me to plan a little extra mental space and time to spend tidying up regularly, and so the tidiness has lasted longer and longer lately, and the messy stages shorter and shorter!
Anyway, I’m off to sleep – much still to do in the next day or so, before I head home…, and I am still very tired and sleepy after the car ride yesterday. I went 872.0 miles, with an average of 27.9 miles per gallon through hill after hill in a lovely Jeep Compass for 13 hours and 42 minutes of drive time yesterday, going from Madison, Wisconsin, to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I left at 4:45 in the morning from my brother’s driveway, and arrived in my cousin’s at 20:22 (that’s 8:22pm), meaning I spent 15 hours and 37 minutes on the road, in some capacity or other. (Though, I really enjoyed the part that involved taking fabulous photos of the Bridges of Madison County, despite the snakes everywhere!) That’s a lot for a day, especially after having gone to bed at midnight the night before, and struggled to sleep at all due to paranoia around potential bug bites… (It turned out to have been from hiking on Friday that I got the bites, and they just didn’t show up until Saturday morning, all itchy and swollen and red, leaving me to think that something was in the bed, biting me overnight… but, we didn’t piece that together until last night, after I was long gone from the imagined bed bugs that had kept me out of restful sleep those four hours of planned sleep.)
So, anyway, I’m off to sleep now. Goodnight, all! 😉
Yesterday, I was oxen the glorious opportunity of seeing a friend of mine complete an online challenge…
***Small tangent: You see, everyone has been – and by everyone, I mean a lot of people, not actually everyone – doing various challenges in their homes, and, upon completion, challenging someone else (often multiple someone elses) to complete the same challenge.
The ones I have seen have ranged all over the pace, including but not limited to juggling a toilet paper roll like a soccer ball, doing ten push-ups and nominating ten people to do them, doing 25 push-ups, singing a praise and worship song, chugging a beer, and doing specific hand motions to a fast song without being allowed to practice… to name one more than a few. ***End of small tangent
Today, I woke up focused and ready to complete my task, to complete this challenge with which my friend had presented me yesterday… hoping, at the very least, that I could complete it, for it was not an easy one…
Now, what was this challenge, you may wonder… I divulge:
The pants-less challenge: Either take off or put on a pair of pants, without using your hands, while holding a handstand.
Of course, that’s the kind of challenge you get when you have acrobatic friends who find it funny that everyone is working from home in pajamas most days right now, and who imagine that a good chunk of everyone is at home with no pants on, since there is no one to see…
So, anyway, my friend did it with her onesie, which I found somehow hilarious, and so I elected to do the same with a onesie of my own.
Hers was a panda, and the one I selected for the task was a rainbow unicorn… equally suiting to our personalities, in a way…
It took many efforts – perhaps close to ten – for me to figure out how truly to make everything work and then actually to do what I had worked out to do… I can’t hold a handstand, – just pop up onto one and then come almost immediately back down – so I knew I would have to use a wall… behind that, though, all the rest of the strategy had to come from giving it a try and seeing what happened, finding out from trial and error a bit as to what works and what doesn’t.
Eventually, after lots of practice and a short break, I went all-out and got it(!!).
Super silly, and I could hardly stop laughing, this challenge was so much fun.
I had been thinking at every challenge how unchallenging it really seemed to me to be, and how not-very-entertaining each one was…, ‘These are lame challenges,’ was a common thought from me… but not on this challenge – it was not only interesting, but kind of crazy, a tad scandalous, challenging, it made me think, and it was totally fun.
I loved it.
Feel free to give it a try in your own home – though no video is required, you might enjoy reminiscing immediately with what is likely to be some comical footage… and you might want to share it, anyway, even if you utterly fail… 😛
Wishing you loads of fun and silliness right now – laughter is, indeed, an amazing medicine. 😉
******Beware of bodily functions in this one******
As I prepared to get into the shower tonight, I suddenly found myself remembering certain silly instances in my childhood in which I would find myself jumping out of the shower to use the bathroom.
I remember how I would skip like crazy on the toilet seat, because I was soaking wet and hadn’t dried myself at all in those two steps it took to get from shower to toilet – I just had to poop so badly and so suddenly that it couldn’t wait another few minutes for me to finish showering.
It didn’t happen all that often, but it was definitely a regular occurrence for me – I remember it all so clearly, the times of being wet and on the toilet seat… and then having to figure out how to manage toilet paper when, again, my body was all wet…. I couldn’t even get it off the roll, because my hands were dripping with water!
I eventually learned to hop back and forth from foot to foot while drying the backs of my thighs and my hands, and then would turn to the toilet ASAP, still not always dry, but dry enough.
There was a definite art and timing to it all… and I have no idea why I couldn’t just go before I got in the shower…, but it is what it is, I guess… it was what it was, at any rate. 😛
Children are silly, I swear… 😀
And yes, I am fully aware that I am referring to myself, too, on this occasion… derr… haha