The Waffle Iron Story

I haven’t been living my best life.

See, I’ve had this birthday money for a couple of weeks now and it’s just been floating around in my purse while I decided what to do with it.  Of course, that means that it was slowly whittling away.  I used it when I went to Salvation Army on my birthday.  I used it to buy some stuff for my bonfire.  I even used it to buy pizza for Hubby’s Father’s Day dinner.  I had halved it and I was officially doing my best to ignore it.

Sunday night, I was laying awake, looking at the ceiling, and I realized that I could use a little bit of that money to make a big difference in my life.  You could even say that it would be fulfilling a lifelong dream…  Excited, I got up in the morning with some pep in my step, regardless of my shitty sleep.  I got ready and left for work early.  I went to Meijer.

And I bought a waffle iron.

Okay?  So, what’s the big deal with a waffle iron?  When I was still living at home but was starting to cook a little bit more, I wanted a waffle iron but my mother, who is not a big fan of kitchen gadgets or unnecessary clutter, told me I didn’t need one.  When I moved out and moved in with my ex, I wanted a waffle iron but my ex, who loved meat and relied mostly on a rotisserie and an electric skillet, told me that I didn’t need one.  In my own house there is barely any space in the kitchen, so when my husband told me I didn’t need a waffle iron this time I agreed mostly because I didn’t want to find a place to store it.  Then last week I came across a recipe that needed a waffle iron and yet again was struck with a longing and this time I made the decision to just do it.

$20 and suddenly my world is full of possibilities.  Not just waffles, but toasted sandwiches and potato cakes and toasted raviolis.  Not just a waffle iron but all of those other things I keep telling myself I don’t need or can’t have.  What if that thing that I’ve been dreaming about IS TOTALLY POSSIBLE.  Yes, this is a side effect of all of these self-help books but it is literally a life changer for me.

Another thing:  A few months ago I was confronted with the assertion that the universe is like a catalog.  Anything you can think of, you can ask for it.  Even as my attitude was changing and improving and my happiness was growing, I was laid low by the idea that I no longer had any dreams.  You know, my head space was the day to day.  I was in the game of getting up, going through the morning grind, dropping the baby off, working, picking the baby up, making food happen, and then trying to get the house together for the next day.  I wasn’t unhappy.  I was completely indifferent.  I was just struggling to get things done.

But I’ve been learning that abundance breeds abundance.  The more that I have practiced dreaming, the more dreams I have.  The more that I have taken the time to notice the beauty in the world, the more beautiful things seem to happen.  The more I spend time loving the people in my life, the more love I have to give.  And, yeah, I sound like a total pukey woo-woo self-help dirty hippie, but I don’t even care.

A waffle iron is just the beginning.

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Tally Monday- June 25, 2018

Checked Out

  1. Neuromancer by William Gibson
  2. Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris
  3. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
  4. The Customer is Always Wrong by Mimi Pond

Bought

  1. Floating Dragon by Peter Straub
  2. The Ruins by Scott B. Smith

Read

  1. You Do You by Sarah Knight
  2. You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero
  3. Archie, vol 5 by Mark Waid

Reading Once Upon a Tower by Eloisa James, A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman, The Dead Zone by Stephen King, The Customer is Always WrongThe Best Loved Poems of the American PeopleChicken Soup for the SoulSimple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach, and Empowered Mama by Lisa Druxman

Summer TBR 13

Basically, I’m of two minds at present.  Part of me is ready to cut the shit.  That part thinks that it’s time to stop requesting books, time to get back on the reading plan, time to maybe cut back on how many different things I’m reading at once, and time to dig into my own shelves and stop buying books in the interest of cleaning some books out of my office.

And the other part of me?  It’s like, “Fuck that!  Read all of the books!  Check out more comics!  Order that new book you don’t have time for!  Start making even the simple parts of your reading life hella more complicated!”  I make this part of me sound a bit more manic than the other part, but this is the part of me that truly believes slow and steady wins the race and that a little bit goes a long way.

In the mean time, with this war going on, I tried an experiment yesterday.  I stacked up some books and planned on doing nothing but hanging out with the baby and reading.  I’d play with him when he wanted attention but otherwise let him cause chaos around the house.  I wouldn’t give myself busy work or clean the house or do the “chores” that I think need to be done even though they really don’t and I’m just a little crazy.  At the end of the day, I had read a couple chapters of Once Upon a Tower, gotten in my 10 pages of A Natural History of the Senses, and finished Archie, vol 5.  I planned on finishing The Old Man and the Sea, which I started months ago, but the bookmark was mysteriously gone and I didn’t want to figure out where I had left off.  It wasn’t nearly as much reading as I had hoped for.  I also learned that letting the baby run wild in the morning made for a very, very messy house in the afternoon.

I feel a real need to get reading right now.  I want to tear through some of these library books and I want to push through some Stephen King.  I want to read a great southern story and I want to read about the desert.  I want to lay in a hammock or sit under my tree.  Summer is indeed here and so you’ll notice that the TBR is back.  This is to hold myself accountable for a bit, until I can get things back under control.

I hope your week includes a hammock and a great summer read!

You Do You by Sarah Knight

This is Knight’s third No F*cks Given Guide.  Honestly, I think that this is my favorite.

In The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck, she introduced us to the idea of mental decluttering.  This is a term she uses for the theory of appropriately handing out your f*cks.  For example, this means not going to a baby shower (but sending a gift because we are not assholes) in favor of doing something that you want to do.  (This one stuck with me.  I don’t remember who was at any of my showers and I absolutely hate going to showers so it makes sense to me.  I also ask people not to write me thank you notes because hell is writing thank you notes.)

In Get Your Sh*t Together, she helps to “cut through the bullshit cycle of self-sabotage.”  I expected to like to book a lot because my most googled query is “how to get my shit together.”  It was full of simple, useful ideas that were probably great for someone who doesn’t google this subject quite so frequently.

Now, You Do You was about mental redecorating.  I am kind of in a place in my life where I need this sort of thing and this book was like a little cheerleader for a couple of weeks, riding along in my bag and shouting, “Yeah!  You’re awesome!  Let that freak flag fly!”  everybody needs to hear that there is nothing wrong with them once in a while, even if I actually suspect that there is something wrong with all of us.  We need the confidence booster to remind us that not fitting into the mold doesn’t mean we’re broken.  Knight covers the social contract and why breaking it makes people uncomfortable but also why it should be done.  She covers things that we’re told not to do, things we’re told that we’ll regret, even body issues.  It’s kind of nice.

Above all she reminds us, “If you’re not doing you, you’re screwing you.”  And that’s the kind of tidbit I like to write in my journal so that I don’t forget.

Tally Monday- June 18, 2018

Checked Out

  1. Archie, vol 5

Bought

Nothing!

Read

  1. Over Easy by Mimi Pond
  2. Attack of the Fiend by Joseph Delaney

Reading You Do You by Sarah Knight, A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman, You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero, Chicken Soup for the SoulThe Best Loved Poems of the American PeopleSimple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach, Empowered Mama by Lisa Druxman

I have not been a very good reader lately but I warned you that this was going to happen.  Television.  Video games.  Board games.  Coloring.  These things have expanded to fill my time.  And that’s just fine.  Also, my Graphic Friday expanded to fill my time last week.  It took me four days to read Over Easy.  It was good but it was long and had a lot of words.

This morning I made an executive decision.  I had been reading You Do You as my nonfiction, 10 pages/day, but I’ve been picking at A Natural History of the Senses for a week and was only 35 pages in.  It’s lovely.  It’s the kind of book that you want to take your time with and it’s the kind of book that takes time.  So, in the interest of keeping on, keeping on, I’ve switched the two.  I will most likely finish You Do You today and move on to my next book and I won’t feel so bad about taking my time with Senses.

About A Natural History of the Senses:  It’s kind of like a meditation on the senses.  We start with smell and I have to admit that I have been paying a lot more attention to this particular sense since starting the book.  There’s some science and some discussion of evolution but there’s also just the joy of smelling.  I’ve lit incense.  I’ve smelled my husband.  I’ve started using my pillow spray again.

It feels like I have a ton of books checked out right now and like I have a huge pile of reading to do but, you know, my stack is much smaller than it was and that feels good.  I am looking forward to getting back in control of it all and I am also looking forward to reading more of my own books.  I haven’t had such a craving to buy books lately.  Honestly, I’m drowning in them.

Well, I hope you read something good this week.  I have a video game to get to.

Graphic Friday: Over Easy by Mimi Pond

I learned something from my graphic novel this week.  I learned about the Plymouth Mod Tops.  Our main character, whose waitress name is Madge, buys one as her first car.  1969 Plymouth Satellite Mod Top.  This sent me down a rabbit hole and I’m still pretty excited about it.  They’re a rarity, which is too bad because I pretty much NEED one now.

I was doubtful when I started this book.  It was bigger than I was expecting and had a lot more words that I was expecting and was printed in a greenish ink that made it hard to read in bed.  But I powered through and I was glad that I did.  Madge, who starts out as Margaret, is an art student but she is denied financial aid for her final year of college and asks for a job at a diner that she stumbled upon on a whim.  Lazlo, the manager, asks for a joke and she tells him one just like that she becomes a dish washer.

It’s the late 1970’s.  The hippies are dying out and punk rock is being born.  The restaurant is ripe with the usual dramas: hook ups and break ups.  There are drugs and drinking, drag queens and lesbians.  It’s basically the movie Waiting moved back a few decades.  It was good.  I found myself chuckling and laughing and wanting to wear vintage dresses listen to my punk albums.  Plus, I still really need a Mod Top.

Tally Monday- June 11, 2018

Checked Out

  1. Over Easy by Mimi Pond

Bought

None!

Read

Ugh.

Reading: A natural History of the Senses by Diane Acherman, You Do You by Sarah Knight, Attack of the Fiend by Joseph Delaney, Arabian NightsBest Loved Poems of the American PeopleChicken Soup for the SoulSimple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach, The Empowered Mama by Lisa Druxman

What happened?  That must be what you are wondering right now.  I was doing really, really well.  I was ticking away at the TBR and it was starting to feel somewhat manageable.  Sure, I was checking stuff out still but whatevs.

What happened is that I was lulled into a book that wasn’t going to work.

Alright, for a while now I have been in the mood for a contemporary romance in a quirky small town.  I would prefer a southern town but any quirky small town would do.  So, I found a list that met these needs and I ordered a book from it.  The series is only four books long and the town isn’t southern but I was definitely looking forward to it.  I started it and the first chapter was great!  I loved the main character, who was a pretty basic hot mess but I can relate, and I liked the love interest even though he drove a motorcycle.  (Due to some personal shit, I am not a fan.)  I read the first chapter in bed on Monday night and didn’t want to put it down…

I opened up the second chapter on Tuesday when I had some down time and… I read a page, then stared into space, then read a page, then stared into space.  This pattern continued all week.  By the time I sat down to read yesterday, I had averaged out to about 7 pages/day.  Why?  I wasn’t sure.  I sat down to read and made it about five pages along before I realized that I had fallen into the trap:  I WANTED to like it but I didn’t ACTUALLY like it.

It was a combination of things.  The point of view flipped pretty randomly in one chapter and it threw me.  There was one paragraph that was full of typos.  The MC’s nipples “pebbled” which I found very disturbing for some reason.  More than that, while the initial meet-cute was great, there was this very off-putting second encounter.  There was no rhyme or reason to it and it went on and on in a way that was totally unrealistic.  And, yeah, I get that it’s fiction and it’s romance, which is a little more open to serendipity, but come the fuck on.  It was just a little much.

So, I put it aside.  I put it aside and picked up my next book: a study of the senses.  This book almost got returned before I even cracked it because my interest had waned.  It was suggested reading in Simple Abundance in, like, February.  I’d moved on.  But it’s actually really enjoyable so far.  I’ll stick to it and see what happens.

Real talk:  I probably WON’T be reading a lot this week.  It’s Summer Reading, which is the busiest time of year at work, and also the second season of Riverdale is on Netflix AND I’m like two seasons behind on The Ranch AND I haven’t finished my Star Wars re-watch.  Life is so hard.  It’s difficult to balance it all!  I’ll get it, though.  Slow and steady wins the race!

Meet Me in the Strange by Leander Watts

I ordered this book for the library after reading a review that mentioned how the world had a David Bowie glam feel to it.  I checked it out a couple of weeks after it arrived and it sat in my TBR long enough for me to forget anything that I read about it.  I’m glad, though.  I don’t know what I would have expected if I remembered the summary I read.  I think this one was better to go into blind.

Watts crafts a world that is much different from our own without feeling completely otherworldly.  The city where most of the action takes place is some kind of holy city and there is talk of the New World without there ever being any real explanation of what the New World is.  The whole book has a surreal, otherworldly 1970’s feel to it.  Django Conn, the rock star that everyone loves, definitely feels like Bowie and the fashions that he’s ushered in fit the glam rock scene too and there is a lot of talk about the moon landing and what it might mean.

Davi has always lived in the Angelus Hotel.  His family has owned it for generations and there he has access to almost anything he could want.  He spends his time listening to music in his room and coming and going as he please, him and his sister having chased off any tutors long ago.  When Davi goes to the Django Conn concert, he spots a girl who is completely lost in the music and he can’t help but feel like they are the only two people who really get it.  When the girl, Anna Z, shows up with Davi’s sister’s boyfriend, Davi follows her, desperate to find out who she is.  Anna Z is unlike anyone Davi has ever met before.  She talk-talk-talks about strange things until they seem to be the absolute truth.  But Anna Z is trying to escape and she needs Davi to be more than he ever has in order to free her.

This was an iffy book for me.  It was short and had short chapters, which I loved, and it reminded me a lot of Francesca Lia Block, which is honestly what kept me reading.  There was a lot here and I would like to see it with more ratings and reviews because I definitely think it’s worth the read.  However, I was a little put off by the portrayal of Anna Z.  She’s almost the definition of a “manic pixie dream girl” but I still liked her as a character.  I liked this book enough that I would like to seek out some more of Watts in the future but it is definitely an acquired taste.  Read it if you love music enough to think it’s everything and don’t mind a few strange ideas being twisted page after page.