Tag Archives: pjs at tjs

Seven things, assuming I get to seven before I run out of things.

Thing One: PJs at TJ’s, which happened.

PJs happened! It’s over. I had a hard time this year, due to things outside my control and things I didn’t see coming, but I think that’s the way of any kind of event, right? Like last year, I had a lot of awesome help, and I think people had a good time. People said they had a good time, and I’m going to assume they weren’t lying, because what would be the point of lying to me? Just don’t say anything at all, and then don’t come back, right? That’s what I’d do, instead of lying, if it were me. Anyway, here’s some pictures that were stolen from other people.

There were arms length selfies:

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A bed, of course:

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And a cake, because laughing at my jokes alone never stops me from making them:

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Like I said, there were a few bumps along the way, and I might have felt like talking about them if I wrote this right after PJs, but first I came home and slept for a week, and then Penelope coughed directly into my eyeballs and I was sick for another entire week, so PJs feels like a hundred years ago. It’s over now, and it was a long time ago, and I don’t feel like rehashing it all. I can try harder to avoid some of the things in the future – I was really blindsided by something that just wouldn’t have occurred to me until it happened, so, now I know. But other things, like two awesome people having to cancel at the last second, well… that just sucks and there’s nothing you can do to prepare for that, and while I felt really awful for them, I’m also a giant asshole, so I felt really terrible for me, too, because I was really looking forward to seeing those particular people, and I admit that with the added stress of other things, I did have a really poor attitude for the first couple of hours of PJs. It was shitty of me and it’s easy to say now, looking back, that I would do things differently, but I was bummed out and stressed out, so to be honest, it went how it went and I can only hope that people had fun regardless of my less than welcoming mood.

This was the third PJs, and there were way MORE things that went way BETTER than previous years. It’s definitely a learning experience every year, and it pays off from year to year. Like okay, this year I still got way too much food, but there were WAY fewer total fails on the food front. And look, if you want to have a large variety of snacks, you’re going to have too much food. I can’t just buy a handful of each kind of candy and chips that I need. And also this year, I hired a makeup artist to come and do demonstrations and answer questions about anything anyone wanted to ask, which went over better than I even expected, and that was a lot of fun. I still have a really good handle on how I like this to… be… and other small details get more and more ironed out from year to year.

Next year! PJs will be on either 2/20-2/22 or 2/27-3/1. More details will come in the summer, as always. I do have some stuff to work out still. I’m really committed to PJs staying the same size. It’s just not going to change. It’s not. Not ever. It’s not negotiable. I’m also really committed to the fact that PJs is an open event. I hope that people have felt welcome to sign up whether you feel like you know me or not. Well, I know people have felt welcome to sign up, because they’ve done it. This year, due to the size and how quickly it filled, people who came in the past couldn’t come. And there’s no one who came this year or in past years that I could imagine not wanting to see again in future years. And there are people I haven’t seen yet that I know I want to see in the future. I want to keep seeing everyone I’ve seen, I want to see people who haven’t made it yet, and I want new people to know that they’re welcome to join in, too. And I want to do all that and still keep it at the same small attendee cap. Is that actually possible? I’m thinking it’s not. So among my things to consider over the next couple of months are which of the “I’m really committed to” this-es I’m most really committed to, eh?

Thing two: open letters.

Can we all agree, worst writing device in the history of ever? Can’t you just say, “here’s what I have to say about ‘current issue’?” Seriously, “An open letter to ______” might as well just say “Here’s a bunch of words to help you accurately picture the smug look on my face as I self-importantly write some shit that’s already been said to someone who is never going to read it and also here’s my back so you can pat me on it.”

OPEN LETTERS: NOT EVEN ONCE.

Thing three: makeup.

I am on a no buy at the moment, because I did a lot of buy all at once with hoarded birthday money and gift cards and all kinds of stuff, and I hope to get to tell you (who are interested) about the stuff I got pretty soon, if it would all finish arriving already.

The first thing I had to do was get my skin under control, I think I mentioned it in a post probably a hundred posts back, that it was being flaky and weird due to some medications, and since I finally got THAT working (skin care post!), I was able to start the ridiculously needle in a haystack-esque hunt for a foundation (foundation post!), and since I was spending so much time putting on and wearing a full face of foundation to see how it lasted/oxidized/etc throughout the day, I ended up practicing all my makeup a lot more.

Here, ignore my family in this picture, and pretend you’ve been reading my blog since 2007 when there was a very brief time when I posted a video every morning. Eh? Eh? There’s a difference. Aside from the fact that I’m clearly seven years older. With my finely honed-ish skills, you’d barely know it was more than six and a half, six and three quarters at most.

ISAIDIGNORETHEM

Anyway, it’s not terrible. I’m working on it. I enjoy working on it, at least. Over the past couple of months, I’ve bought a real assortment of stuff, not all of it actually makeup. Some skin care, like I mentioned, which I hope will be helpful information to anyone who is struggling with those flaky bits of skin that aren’t really a bother until you go to apply foundation and then they RUIN your LIFE. I also tried out quite a few foundations, like I said, and I ended up with a couple – some from the drug store, and then I also have some higher end that work when my skin is behaving in different ways.

I also recently bought one of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders. I went back and forth a bit trying to decide which one to buy – I don’t know if you’re familiar with them, but there are six of them (there are also blushes now, but those are a different thing) and they’re basically finishing powders, but can also be used as highlighters, and they come in different shades – Dim Lighting, Ethereal Lighting, etc. And they’re kind of meant to be like walking around with your own most flattering light on you all the time. “Dark Cavern” is not an option, so I went with Dim, which is kind of meant to give a gentle blurring effect while a lot of the others give more of a glow or a “lit from within” sort of thing. I’d like to have more of them, but honestly, at $45 each, I was only buying one and if I buy another, it won’t be soon, it was a little splurge. I don’t feel silly or frivolous spending that much on makeup, I like makeup, it’s my hobby, and I spend hobby money on it. But I generally buy more things for $45. Anyway. I was talking to Phil about it while I was sick and couldn’t really do a whole face, so hadn’t really gotten the full effect of it and didn’t know if it really did much of anything for me and explained to him how the different powders worked and he nodded along. A couple days later, I brought it up to him again* and he goes, “Is that the stuff that makes you look like you’re in slow motion?”

The ladies who came to PJs gave me some empty Z-palettes and a super generous gift card, so I ordered some eye shadows from Makeup Geek, which I’ve been wanting to try for a while. I only have my camera phone operational at the moment, so I know you just can’t rely on this picture as super accurate in terms of colors in the pan. I want to use them a little bit more (I’ve only used them for one eye shadow look) and also charge up my regular camera for more accurate pictures before I really write about them, but I can at least say that shipping was super fast and the packaging is awesome. The prices are really good, too, and the colors I did use (the purples) worked really nicely. I also tacked a couple of brushes on to my order and wasn’t impressed with those, so I’d skip them if you have decent eye brushes you like.

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Thing four: making makeup into another one of the things.

MORE STUFF I HAVE COMING IN THE MAIL: I have a brush set from Sigma Brushes coming. I really like using entirely too many colors to do what should be a much less complicated eye shadow look because I’m not very good at creating a gradient with blending yet, and I really dislike washing my brushes every single night, so solution? Many, many more brushes! I decided to order Sigma brushes for a variety of reasons, two of the main ones being price and customer service. I made a list of the brushes I wanted, and they were mainly eye brushes, with a couple of face brushes (the F40, the F35). I really dragged my feet on ordering for a couple of days once I had my list, though, because Sigma’s sets are usually a really good deal, and I just couldn’t find a set that matched up well enough with the brushes I wanted without leaving out too many or including a bunch of brushes I didn’t want.

Turns out I delayed the exact right amount of time, though, because Sigma came out with a new set of a YouTube beauty vlogger’s favorite brushes, the Jaclyn Hill Beauty Expert Box. This does include two brushes that weren’t on my original list (the F80, the F86), but I didn’t leave them out because I didn’t like them, necessarily, but more because I was focusing on eyes and trying to keep the price low. This box also includes a pencil brush that wasn’t on my list because I recently bought one and figured I could cut costs by living without one, but there is no way I would turn down another one. What it didn’t include from the list of what I wanted was the F40 I mentioned above, which I decided to go without, and an E40, which I added on. Sigma always has a 10% off code (for March, it’s MAR10) and there’s a free gift included with purchases over $30 or $35 (this month it’s a mini E25). So I was able to keep my order under $100 even with shipping and really only give up on the contour brush. The Jaclyn Hill Beauty Expert Box is only going to be sold for March and you can sign up to be notified when it comes back, if you’re interested. That kind of assumes you need brushes, want Sigma brushes, and want the same brushes I wanted, but… I think it’s a good deal, so I thought I’d let you know.

Mine are actually in my mailbox right now, so I’ll let you know what I think really soon.

Also, arriving tomorrow, I have some MUJI drawers, so it will be easier for me to actually show you this stuff in the decent light of the bathroom where it actually lives, hopefully in decent organization, rather than taking up every single inch of counter space as it currently does.

Thing five: Did you notice my hair went backward in this post?

First this:

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Then this:

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Thing six: There’s just a lot of things going on.

THING SEVEN I HAVE TO END THIS POST NOW BECAUSE PEOPLE KNOW WHO I AM AND WHO I’M MARRIED TO AND IT’S JUST POLITE.

I thought it was going to be all complaining but it’s just mostly complaining.

I had to take a break for a while, due to some health concerns and the fact that my husband was away for six weeks and a Penelope stops Peneloping for no man or blog. Oh, and also, I watch Korean television, like, ALL THE TIME. But when I talk about it, it’s like I’m talking to Penelope, because no one gives a shit or listens or does what I say and then just draws on the wall even though I am RIGHT THERE and saying STOP IT.

Or, at least, I thought that’s why I took a break, but I just logged in here to make a post and it turns out THIS STUPID POST INTERFACE DIDN’T MAGICALLY FIX ITSELF and I guess I wasn’t posting for a while also because everything is stupid.

Anyway, Phil’s been back for a couple of weeks now, and I’ve gone as far as to open WordPress a couple of times to regale you will all of my thoughts, but I’ve stopped short when I’ve realized that most of my thoughts are more like complaints or complainy observations, and there’s bound to be someone who is all, “geeze, don’t you do ANYTHING but COMPLAIN?” and I will point out to you that I just did several months of nothing, so yes, I complain and I also do nothing. So, I’ve just unmade your point for you right there, hypothetical person I made up in my mind largely as a reason not to make the effort to post.

(At this point in writing this post, I updated WordPress, and some things fixed themselves, but I can’t go back in time to two months ago and do that. Sorry.)

FLYING BATHTUB

Here’s my kid in a flying bathtub.
I went to the Phoenix Children’s Museum while I wasn’t posting.
I also started using Instagram.
It was an eventful time.

So during this whole period, most of what was occurring to me to post was pretty complainy stuff (see: health issues, husband away for a month and a half, general predisposition to narrowed eyes and curmudgeonliness in the face of blank text editors), and it was stacking up. I had piles of small ideas for a blog post, but they nearly all fell in the “general grumbling” category, making me feel as though I couldn’t write a WHOLE POST of general grumbling – though I don’t know why I felt I couldn’t, when I’ve made a pretty solid five year blog career of doing just that.

I was thinking a bit about why it bothered me, and it mostly comes down to the trend of pegging anyone who has anything negative to say as someone who must actually be deeply sad or internally unhappy with herself somehow. Or how someone who finds fault with another person  is actually just jealous. I guess it’s pretty tempting to imagine deep faults in another person when they’re finding fault with you, but we all know that’s just something we say to make ourselves feel better, right? That those are completely empty and likely totally untrue words in most cases?

Desert Ridge Market Place

We also went to a splash pad.
She was reluctant to splash.

Listen, all of this is lead up to say this: you can’t send me an email that says: FREE SHIPPING!! as the subject, and then inside, it says, “with $50 purchase.” That’s not free shipping. I basically expect free shipping with a $50 purchase from most of the places I shop, because I do not buy expensive things. That email subject line is bullshit and I hate it, and fucking stop.

Here’s another thing. Phil was gone for six weeks.

Here is another thing. Phil was gone for six weeks, and then he had a week of leave, and for some reason, since he has to shave for work every day, he feels no obligation to shave when he’s on leave, even if his leave is long enough that the only face I can make at him by the end is a hate face.

The helpful hobo

After church one Sunday, this random helpful bearded hobo offered to buckle my kid into her carseat. Thanks, hobo! Go shave. Because you look like a hobo. Hobo.

Hey, I know I have not been totally on the ball with updates here on this site, but hopefully those who are interested in attending PJs at TJ’s in 2014 have already joined the Facebook group. If you haven’t, you can do that now or follow me on Twitter for updates, but regardless of either of those things, you should know that registration opens at 9am west coast time on October 10th, which is this Thursday. All of the details are in the Facebook group so… I still suggest you go ahead and join it for full information. I can’t tell you if it will sell out or not, because I don’t know, or how quickly it will sell out if it does, but the best way to make sure you get a spot if you want one is to sign up for the Facebook group and register when registration opens on Thursday morning. Like always (the whole entire two past years), PJs is not exclusive. Everyone is welcome. There’s no secret in club or list. You don’t have to know anyone to come. You do have to register and it is first come, first in, and that includes people who have attended in the past or who are my very best pals in the whole wide world, so don’t think you don’t have a shot because I’m going to try to pull some tricky shenanigans so only my friends can come. That would make me a big hypocritical asshole, and while I am several kinds of asshole, I am not that kind.

If you have any questions, leave a comment, email me, message me on Twitter or Facebook, whatever you want. I don’t extend personal invitations, nor do I extend personal exclusions. You, personally, are welcome. That’s it. That’s the best I can do to assure you. I’m assuring you.

Penny on Charlie

LOOK AT MY HORSE, MY HORSE IS AMAZING.

Penny also on Charlie

On further reflection, this horse is just okay.

Let this be a lesson to me, I should have just complained when my complaints were hot, imaginary complaint complainers be damned, because now I can’t remember any of my complaints, except for one, which was kind of specific, in that I can, if pressed, name several people that I have, over the course of ACTUAL YEARS, seen do this specific thing, even though I would not actually be thinking of THEM SPECIFICALLY if I was to complain about it, you know what I mean? Like, for example, if I say, “I hate people who jump in the checkout line when they only have one thing, as if it’s their right.”

A guy actually did this to us fairly recently, fairly recently meaning I remember it but don’t have any real concept of the time frame. Just walked up and said, “Can I just get my bananas” and set them on the belt and began to go through the whole checkout process as if it was just a given that it was fine, because we had several items in our cart and he had the MOST IMPORTANT BANANAS IN THE WORLD in his hand.

OUT OF THE WAY, LIFE-SAVING BANANAS COMING THROUGH.

And you know, when I have a full cart, I do often let someone with just a couple of items go in front of me. But that’s my call. On this occasion, we had several items in our cart, but by no means a full load. Maybe we were in a hurry, too. Maybe we had exactly enough time for X items, with X being the number of items in our cart. Not X plus NICHOLAS CAGE’S BANANAS (I assume). How arrogant do you have to be to assume that wherever WE have to be is unimportant enough that it can absolutely, definitely and certainly wait for one banana bunch checkout’s length of time in addition to the time we’ve already calculated for our own shopping? How do you assess the shopping lanes to choose? “Oh, those schmucks there can definitely wait a banana length. They’ve got nowhere banana-important to be. Not like me. OUT OF THE WAY, PEONS. INCOMING BANANAS DESTINED FOR THE BREAKFAST OATMEAL OF THE GRANDSON OF SPUDS MACKENZIE.”

Anyway, so sometimes when you pick a specific complaint to make, like the one I had in my head that, when pressed, I could remember some people I do actually like and consider friends and don’t in any way hate AT ALL maybe doing on one or two occasions, one like “I hate people who jump in the checkout line when they only have one thing, as if it’s their right,” you’ve got to be ready for those people to maybe defend it. And I get that, I guess, because I just said I don’t like something you do, and we’re friends, so obviously I actually hate you.

And someone will say, “Well, I’m actually responsible for buying Nicholas Cage’s bananas.” Or tries to explain how it’s actually a courtesy on their part to stop clogging up the lines with just their one bunch of teeny weeny bananas. Or explain how they only did it one time, but they actually did have a really extremely important place to be that time, more important than anyone else in the store could have possibly had to be. And then everyone feels awkward. Because, what? I’m supposed to start giving arrogant banana line rushers the benefit of the doubt? I’m supposed to issue individual pardons so that a line jumper can mentally reconcile the fact that they can both do something that I personally don’t like, yet still somehow remain my friend? I’m supposed to… continue this awkward stare down?

LOOK, YOU AND YOUR BANANAS NEED TO JUST WAIT FOR THE NOD, OKAY?

And that’s why I had to just scrub one whole complaint from the list, but I think the whole banana guy thing worked out pretty well, because THAT GUY, RIGHT? WHAT THE HELL? “Can I just get my bananas?” Can I just rip off your arm and beat you with the wet end?

Here’s something else. I haven’t talked a lot about makeup stuff recently because I haven’t talked a lot about anything recently, but you need to go out and get Gimmie Brow by Benefit right now, and I will demonstrate the reason with an actual picture of my actual face wearing the actual makeup product I am actually talking about, something I have never actually done on this blog, which is kind of amazing, considering how much I talk about makeup. I went and got my eyebrows done by the most amazing eyebrow lady in all the land, and after the waxed my wonky and odd shaped eyebrows, she used only ONE PRODUCT on them, Gimmie Brow, and this is what they looked like, holy shit, go buy it:

Don't care, eyebrow hair.

Far from the most flattering angle of my forehead wrinkles.
Don’t care, eyebrow hair.

Macy’s, Ulta, Sephora, Benefit site, wherever you’re racking up your bonus points for buying all the awesome holiday gift sets that are coming out. Buy Gimmie Brow. Do it.

Anyway. That’s it, I guess. We’ve still got a lot going on right now. Some stuff is up in the air. Still working on some somewhat difficult health issues.

Oh! But Penelope isn’t! In September, she was pronounced completely clear of all kidney and VUR issues by her pediatric urologist and she was completely released from care by her team at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. All issues related to her failure to thrive and vesicoureteral reflux have been resolved. We passed my “one year catheter free” goal and hopefully she’ll stay catheter free until she epidurals up for her own kid some day.

Penelope's Last U/S

Pro.

And speaking of Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Phil is once again participating in the Extra Life marathon fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network, specifically playing for Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Last year, he was playing when Penelope’s surgery was pretty recent. This year, he’s playing shortly after finding out that we’re completely done with seeing Penny’s team at Phoenix Children’s, but I don’t think we’ll be ending our relationship with them – in terms of support – for a long time.

Children’s Miracle Network raises money for hospitals across the United States and Canada, to fund research and buy equipment, but most importantly to us, to pay for uncompensated care. We are lucky enough to be in a situation that Penelope’s expensive care and surgery didn’t burden us financially. For others, Children’s Miracle Network provides the funds to allow families in less fortunate situations benefit from the same excellent standard of care Penelope has received for literally her entire life from Phoenix Children’s Hospital. PCH has benefited our family in more ways than just the top notch medical care they provided to Penelope, and that needs to be extended to as many children and their parents as possible.

ANYWAY, the Extra Life Marathon is coming up! Here’s Phil’s fundraising page. If you’d like to donate, we’d appreciate it very much. If you could share the page on your social networks, we’d appreciate that, too. If you’re feeling crazy and want to stay up for 24 hours straight playing video games and want to support Phoenix Children’s while you do it, let me know and I’ll get you in touch with Phil and he’ll get you started with joining his team. If you just want to think about joining next year, still let me know. We’ll still be here.

That’s it! Thank you!

HO SHIT GUYS PUMPKINS

These are some things: forcing this on that, ear potatoes, PJs/weeJs.

Here is a thing that I am really sick of: companies or things or industries or whatever, I don’t know, figure out what I mean here, trying to take their in store or physical or otherwise offline methods and adapt or force them into or onto the online or non-physical or otherwise e or i experience.

I don’t want that. I don’t want that at all. And you don’t want that. I assume you don’t want that. You must not want that. Because there’s a choice. There’s online and there’s offline. There’s in store and… on… store. And books and ebooks, and, you know, the like. And one existed first and the other came along, and since I was having Amazon deliver things to my college dorm room and now I’m a thousand, I assume we’re all relatively comfortable with our choice between the two, taking shopping for example, and we all have our preferences for when we choose one over the other, setting aside the times we’re forced to choose one over another.

There are REASONS a person chooses one over another, right? Sometimes I want to go to a store because I want to SEE something. I want to touch it or see how big it is or see what color it is, or, you know what? Sometimes I like to go to Target and I like to carry things around the store for a while and then put them back because it turns out all I really needed to do was carry them around, not actually own them. Carrying them around was enough of an experience, don’t need to actually buy. It’s a great savings, really. If I picked things up and went straight to the counter with them, we would be very broke.

Other times, I want to sit at home and add 85 items to my online cart. I want $55,000 worth of merchandise in my cart. I want to read reviews. I want to compare minute details. I want to zoom in VERY, VERY CLOSELY. And then I want to come back to the site and do it again tomorrow. And I want to do it all in my underpants and a Cookie Monster t-shirt.

BUT YOU KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING LATELY? So, I’m doing one of my favorite things, reading reviews of something I already bought while eating a giant bowl of rice – actually, that’s two of my favorite things – when up pops this little box with a FACE IN IT, with text asking, “HEY CAN I HELP YOU JUST LET ME KNOW OK I’M RIGHT HERE IF I CAN HELP YOU JUST TEXT SOME WORDS I’M RIGHT HERE WITH MY FACE LOOKING AT YOU AND WHAT YOU’RE DOING HOVERING AROUND AND WAITING FOR YOU TO NEED ME TO ASSIST YOU WITH THE VERY BASIC TASK OF LOOKING AT ITEMS AND CHOOSING ONE YOU MIGHT LIKE!”

In the words of that little cleaning robot guy in Wall-E, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, WHOA.”

Look, I’m not even going to finish making my point because you can make my point, right? Why is the hovering sales associate of the IN store shopping experience hovering all over my rice-and-underpants shopping experience? Just because it works IN store doesn’t mean – wait, DOES it work in store? Are there people who like that? Anyway, just because it MAY work in store doesn’t mean it needs to be applied online, where you in THEORY have a contact link or a help link somewhere on every page. I don’t need some dude’s FACE popping up hovery sales girl style. It puts me off my rice.

And what’s weird is that now that we’re all – I assume everyone is basically me – of an age of some sort where we have jobs and we are the people at companies, making choices – you, not me, I’m at home in underpants with rice – it’s hard to imagine that these calls are being made by old men in rooms order things by catalog or have personal shoppers or I don’t know, have never seen an Internet. I assume the people who make these choices are the same people who are either annoyed by hovery sales people when they shop in store, or who choose to UNDERPANTS-RICE at home to avoid such a thing. Yet the in store experience is being all crammed into my underpants and rice moments. Why? WHY?

Or, or WORSE, when an old model is trying to be crammed on to new technology, and it’s somehow my problem to either deal, or come up with something new. Like the whole ebook thing, that’s been hard to figure out. I’m not going to look up research or links or whatever, because I’m lazy and I’m not a responsible blogger and this isn’t news media and I don’t in any way feel obligated to do so, but I read this stuff at one point, so the information is out there. So libraries start lending ebooks, right, and there was this one publisher – and may be still, I’m not fact checking because I can only use the text editor in WordPress right now and it’s really giving me the red ass – who wanted the ebook licenses to expire after a certain number of lendings, because that’s when a regular book would “wear out,” requiring the library to buy a new copy, so it was only fair that they should have to buy a new ebook after the same amount of uses. Which is just… it’s mindblowing, really.

Because a digital book is not a paper book. It’s not. It’s not the same thing. It doesn’t work the same way. You need to work with it in a new way because it’s a new thing. It’s not okay to just apply the old process onto the new thing, because it’s a new thing. New. You come up with a new way, even if the new way means less money. Unless you come up with a new way that means the same amount of money in a sensical way. Or something.

Anyway, I was discussing this with someone, and they said to me, “Well, then, what do you suggest?,” kind of confrontationally, a little, but still conversationally, but who cares how, because I don’t fucking KNOW. It’s not my JOB to know. And I don’t have to just quietly not mention that your “expiring ebook” method is shitty and nonsensical because I don’t have a better idea. I am not a Professional Ebookist. It is not in any way my responsibility to come up with a solution for the whole ebook/paper book shenaniganfoolery. Not liking something or the way something is done doesn’t make coming up with a better way MY burden.

WHICH REMINDS ME OF ANOTHER THING!

So a couple of years ago, some website I’ve never read before published this big long super heartfelt post about how they had to have ads in order to pay the writers, but they especially had to have really annoying ads. See, don’t you understand – video ads and popups actually pay the most money. The more annoying the ad, the more money the site publisher makes. So when you complain about ads, or when you view through a feed reader, or when you stop visiting the site because of annoying ads, what you don’t understand is that THOSE VERY ADS!!! are the ones making the site owner the most money to pay the writers. And —

And nothing. That was the whole thing. Just this long, supposedly meant to be super revealing “behind the ads” piece on why you kind of actually owe it to the site owner to keep visiting despite these fucking annoying as hell ads, because that’s how they make MONEY.

Uh, no shit? Really? Ads on your site are how you make money?

Anyway, I came across this post because someone, I don’t remember who (I’m lying, I remember exactly who), linked on Twitter with some kind of (and I need Lara’s handjob gif here) bullshit like “slow clap” or something like that, how everyone needed to read it to UNDERSTAND or something. The whole point of the post – and I actually would find this one for you if I even could begin to remember how to, it was such a joke – was to make people UNDERSTAND. To understand that big, annoying, flashy ads are where the most money comes from for site owners, and complaining about it is kind of a douchey thing to do, and you really should visit the site and not use ad block and not read through a feed reader and not stop coming to the site just because you don’t like BIG FLASHY VIDEO ADS and POP UPS. Because site owners NEED TO DO THAT to MAKE MONEY.

And just… no. No. I get that a lot of people make their money online. A LOT of people do. But once your living in ANY WAY becomes MY obligation, you’ve absolutely crossed the line into insanity and entitlement. If you don’t like the ads on a site, you really, really don’t need to go there. Really. If that’s how the site owner makes money, and it stops working because the readers aren’t having it, that site owner needs to find a new way to make some money, not start bitching about how the READERS just DON’T UNDERSTAND how MAKING MONEY WORKS and how they just aren’t keeping up THEIR END OF THE DEAL.

That was years ago, and I’m still mad.

You can’t just… FORCE THINGS onto OTHER THINGS because you think the thing you have on one thing should just go onto the other thing.

Things I applied that to above: in store shopping and online shopping, ebook and paper books, site owners’ responsibility for their own income and readers. IT ALL CAME TOGETHER IN THE END.

*****

A couple of weeks ago, I was trying to get Penelope to let me look at her ears, because she never lets me get close to them in the tub, and they looked grungy. I finally got a hold of her, and I said, “Penelope, your ears are so dirty, you could grow potatoes in here.” I thought something caught her attention on television, she stood still, and she let me clean her ears.

The next day, she was taking a nap, and about halfway through her normal nap length, she stood up in the middle of her bed and started yelling for Phil.

“DADDY! DADDY! HELP! HELP! TATO IN EAR! TATO! TATO EAR!”

So he had to go in there and check and reassure her that there were no potatoes growing in her ears. So… that was a slight miscalculation on my part.

On the upside, her ears are now pretty consistently clean, though I do have to submit to regular examinations for rogue potatoes myself.

*****

If you look into the sidebar, you can see that the date for next year’s PJs at TJ’s has been set! That’s all the planning that has been done/information that has been released so far, but it’s something!

Here’s what I can tell you!

– Still in Phoenix.
– Ish.
– Still in February.
– Despite what appears to be increased interest, the attendee cap will not be raised. (See this post for info!)
– Registration will be opened probably around the same time as last year, late September/early October, if that changes I will let you know.
– There is a Facebook group that you can join for information as it’s available, by searching PJs at TJ’s 2014.

I said this in a comment last year, re: throwing a small event that is both very small but also open.

It is tough. But I have decided, I will just not go about anything sneakily, and it will be clear and obvious that there is nothing to gain in the sense that maybe some other types of Internet gatherings may have something to offer in the way of… gains. And that I will be very clear that I plan to turn THE VERY INCREDIBLY HUGELY VAST MAJORITY OF THE WORLD away, but I have no plans to turn anyone specific at all away.

And that in the end, I am not owing anything to anyone, and I am not turning myself inside out with the kind of generosity people will talk about for years, about how selfless I was, year after year, becoming ever more gracious and giving to the thankless and faceless crowds that grow greater and greater each year – no, that’s not it at all. In the end, it can only be what it is, what I will allow it to be, and that is my party, and every year for as long as I want to, I will hold my party, and when it becomes unfair, or when it fails to meet someone’s expectations, or when it becomes a subject of some kind of scrutiny, I will just have to shrug my shoulders and say, well, it’s just my party.

And that’s how I look at it, and that’s how I hope people will look at it, with that kind of understanding, both in terms of what I can accommodate and what they can expect from this kind of gathering. Because the answer to both is the same – not much.

And eventually I will probably just take my ball and go home, and that will be okay, because everyone is going to clue in eventually that just like I am struggling to figure out the rules in a landscape where there aren’t rules, this is a whole wide open THING and it’s not just for SPECIAL PEOPLE, because I am the most average of the average, and last year we had the most average of the average times, and it was SO GREAT, and all I did was decide to do it.

This really should have been a whole other thing because I don’t think I’m even remotely related to your comment.

BUT ISN’T IT INTERESTING? How it seems like there are things like… BlogHer and EVO and Bloggy Boot Camp and all kinds of things, and it’s like you have to wait for them to come along at a time that you have A) the time and B) the money and C) the nerve and D) the desire to go to one of them that even remotely begins to match up with something you even WANT to attend, and then suddenly it hits you that these are not MAGIC PEOPLE that came up with these gatherings, they are just PEOPLE.

And you (or me) are ALSO PEOPLE. And so you can pick a time and a place that is affordable and convenient and talk to the people that bolster your nerve and say, HEY, come over, let’s do this specific thing or things or NO THINGS that line up with our specific interests or NON-INTERESTS, in my particular case, and everyone jumps on it, because everyone kind of WANTS to go, but A, B, C, D, never quite line up and it never occurs to us that we just don’t have to WAIT for a magic person to set it up and for ABCD to land on us, we can BE the magic person and we can jigger things around so that ABCD are WORKABLE AND REASONABLE for everyone.

I’M NOT EVEN MAGIC! I DID IT! I’M DOING IT! I FEEL SO GOOD! AGAIN!

*****

Oh, yeah, we also had to go to the emergency room because I pulled a thumbtack out of Penelope’s mouth and she told me she ate one (liar) and then she did eat some Icy Hot, but we only had to call Poison Control for that, and you’d think I’d dedicate a lot more words to those incidents, but, alas.

Recaps! Kneecaps! Bee taps! Makeup! It’s a poem! Is so!

Okay, Phil and I are moving to a new place and we’ve decided to take Penelope along with us. We spent the weeks leading up to PJs looking for a new rental, and we got the keys last Thursday. The house we picked was one of four or five we had seen in one day, and they did all blend together in the end, but even that is no excuse for the fact that when we walked in, we were completely shocked to discover an entire room we had forgotten existed.

I know finding a surprise extra room in your house is a very first world problem to have, but it does present some problems. Which I’m not going to describe. Because you know what, some people don’t even HAVE KIDNEYS and would just LOVE to PEE THEIR PANTS, let alone find a whole extra ROOM in their houses.

The other day, I put a whole bunch of pictures of the house on Twitter, to show the kind of… weird things… that are in the house, but I’ve lost my boner for displaying them here. After going on my BIG MAKEUP SHOPPING TRIP WHICH WAS SO EXCITING (oh, did you come to PJs? No? Then you might not have known that the lovely ladies who did kindly gave me some gift cards to Ulta IN ADDITION to the very self-validating Cosmo gift card), Brooke and I went by the house and met one of the neighbors, and when I asked him if anything weird went on in the house, he said, “Oh, you mean, the paint?”

I LIKE THE PAINT.

Anyway, the moving truck comes the day after tomorrow, guess how much of the house is packed. No, don’t. Because either you’re going to guess too much, and I’ll be flattered but depressed, or you’re going to guess too low, and I’m going to be offended but have to admit that you’re not too far off, or you’re going to guess right on, and I’m still going to be offended, because, come ON, have some FAITH in me, but you’re right not to really have any faith in me.

See you on the other side, THOR.

OH. PJs.

Here are all the recaps I know about. Let me know if I missed yours:

Meanliving.
Building a Kingston Castle.
Ramble Ramble.
Things That Are Not Bagels.
Pinkiebling.
PurpleLara.
Unemployed Lawyer Mom.
Bean on Parade.

PJs 2014 – is not announced yet! But will be in 2014! Will almost 100% definitely be in February! Will remain small in size! Is a problem for future Kelly! Are you thinking about coming? Let’s talk about it this summer!

Let’s talk about this instead!

So this is what-all I bought on my recent Ulta-spree. Some of it is boring but most of it is NOT. Let’s discuss this INSTEAD (after you are done gorging yourself on recaps, if recaps on eventless weekends are your thing). MAKEUP. I’m moving into a two bathroom household, finally. The ensuite master has dual sinks, which is great, and something we really wanted, but NO ACTUAL COUNTER SPACE. And the drawers? The two large ones are FAKE and only the skinny ones open. USELESS.

They distracted me with a tub I can get my entire self into, but look at the counter and drawers. USELESS.

So I am taking all of that new makeup (which we will talk about in the comments, right?) and the rest of my not entirely insignificant maybe bordering a little on ridiculous collection, to the guest bathroom, which is weird and not worth a picture insertion (it’s like a hotel, sort of, with the sink  and counter in a room and then the toilet and tub in a separate room) and taking it over for my OWN SELF. It’s not like anyone ever comes to visit anyway. Except when they do. In which case, they can admire my makeup. And it will be the best place in the whole house. Except for maybe the green and yellow kitchen. Which you have to admit is kind of delightful.

I LIKE THE PAINT.

(YES THAT’S A SOAP DISPENSER, I WANT TO TALK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE.)

Another year down, another set of pajamas… still on.

Two years in, a significantly large amount of wrinkles ironed out. Last year, I assumed PJs was a one off event, but pretty quickly decided I’d make another attempt the next year. This year, it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion we’ll be going around again next February.

It was great. I’ll post recap links as/if they come in. As for me, I currently still look exactly like this:

So I’m going to stick with one very small story for right now.

THE BEST STORY.

So, everyone got together and gave me an insanely generous gift, and one part of it was this gift card:

Rachael was the one who designed the card, and the company who facilitates these custom designed gift cards originally kept bouncing her designs back, saying she couldn’t use it, trademarked, nope, try again, but never explaining WHAT was wrong with her design. So she’s going around and around with them – the font is hers, so that can’t be it. She linked them the Wikipedia page for the cosmo DRINK, so maybe THAT was what the card was for – for me to go out and get blitzed, so they couldn’t claim that the word cosmo was trademarked or anything. And you can’t trademark the zebra pattern, obviously.

BUT THEN. YOU KNOW WHAT?

ORIGINALLY, her card had said, “This is Temerity Jane’s Cosmo Gift Card,” just like my “This is Temerity Jane’s Baby” watermark. AND THAT WAS THE PROBLEM. They finally sent her A LINK TO MY BLOG and said, “You can’t say ‘Temerity Jane,’ because that’s this lady.”

YOU GUYS, SOMEONE ELSE – AN ENTIRE SEPARATE ENTITY FROM ME – DENIED ONE OF MY FRIENDS PERMISSION TO USE MY NAME ON A GIFT FOR ME.

I’M A THING!

I’VE MADE IT!

I did champion arms right there over the gift cards when Rachael told the story.

I’M STILL DOING CHAMPION ARMS RIGHT NOW.

I’M PAUSING TO TEACH PENELOPE HOW TO DO CHAMPION ARMS.

LET’S ALL DO CHAMPION ARMS.

Anyway, don’t get any ideas from the fact that I just posted a picture of the full Visa card number because, WHABAM, I can take a “subtle” hint:

Hopefully, more full recaps of the weekend coming, if you’re interested in that kind of thing, including pictures, because I saw several people with the kind of camera that requires TWO hands, not just a thumb mashing on the smudgy screen of a cellphone.

Again, I’ll be firing it all up again next year, details to come not any time especially soon, but February 2014. In the meantime, as I said last year, if you want to see your Internet friends, invite them over to your house. You can do this.

That deer is a sweater eater. He is on WOOL. -M.H.

Let’s do something completely nuts, and I’ll just tell you what’s been going on.

1. Penny. I’ve covered the whole 20 months old is hard and frustrating thing, right? Okay, forget all that. She’s also hilarious and delightful. She learns at least a new word a day, most days it’s two or three. And she learns them. I hand her a carrot, and I say, “This is a carrot.” And she’s like, okay, carrot. And she’ll hold it up several times and show it to me, and be like, “Yo, here’s a carrot,” to show off to me that she now knows that the hard orange thing that she has FUCK ALL intentions of actually eating is a carrot. And she smiles proudly. And now she knows – that’s a carrot. She knows it forever.

Words learned in the past two or so days: bird, pretty, thank you (on top of the previous “thanks!), carrot, apple (to actually refer to clementines, which we just bought for the first time EVER – how about THOSE THINGS, AM I RIGHT? PEELING RIGHT OPEN!), taco, pop (for ice pop), and, I don’t know, world peace.

She’s also started calling her collection of blankets “naps.” It’s wrong, but it’s adorable.

I want to tell you all of the words she says, but I’m not going to, mostly because I didn’t write them down, but also because there’s got to be over a hundred at this point. She said her first sentence I don’t know how many months ago, and has been asking questions and holding simple conversations for a while now, too. Sometimes I forget that I’m the only one who hears her so perfectly clearly, but a good percentage of her words are easy for just about anyone to decipher.

HAIR.
 

Oh, and she also made up this song, which is no big thing, kids do that, but the same little tune and nonsense words were repeated so often over the next few days that we actually all sing it now.

(there’s a video here)

Try not to be intimidated by my perfectly staged, perfectly lovely, perfectly perfect mommyblogger home and life.

Zap-oh-dee, zap-oh-dee, hey, Penny, do you want to sing zap-oh-dee? Zap-oh-dee in the shower, zap-oh-dee while I’m cooking dinner, zap-oh-dee while we were doing annoyingly cliche adorable family walking through the little local wildlife zoo together over the weekend.

Phil & Penelope
 

The membership to the Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium was Penny’s “big” Christmas gift from Phil and I. Since she is young enough to still fall under “free,” the membership technically only covers me. It came with a one time free adult admission, which we used for the family visit pictured above to get Phil in, so we only need to go once more before it’s nearly paid for itself. It’s close to the base – only 5 miles – and parking is free, so it’s hardly a huge loss if we head over and she loses her baby mind and I have to haul her back home. Or, to go over and just visit her current favorite things. The zoo has a petting zoo and playground, carousel, kangaroo walkabout, four aquarium buildings which she liked quite a bit (and which I imagine we’ll visit quite a bit in the Arizona armpit months), a baby animal nursery, a train, and, I don’t know, animals.

When we were in the petting zoo, I was taking pictures of Penny while Phil let her feed some of the pushy goats and deer some pellets, and an older couple was talking to each other, saying, “Look at that deer, eating that lady’s sweater! Look! That deer is just eating the lady’s sweater!”

Eventually, I heard them and was able to rescue the pocket of my FAVORITE FRUMPY OLD MAN CARDIGAN from the mouth of the world’s pushiest deer EVER, but geeze, people, THE LADY was standing right there and clearly distracted by her adorable child’s first face to face encounter with stinky tame wildlife. A little “Excuse me, ma’am, I don’t mean to be rude, but I wasn’t sure if you were aware that there’s an animal eating your clothing” wouldn’t have been amiss.

Honestly, I’m not as mad about the deer backwash all over the pocket of my sweater as I am about the opening left for my husband to say later, “They didn’t have to fawn over you, but a little head’s up would have been bucking nice.”

Don’t worry, I killed him, and it was painful.

Petting zoo

2. My head. I saw my neurologist yesterday. I like the guy. I saw him for about two seconds yesterday, seriously. He’s very quick, he’s very brusque, but I’ve never felt rushed or like he wasn’t giving me full attention, or like I wasn’t getting quality care. I saw him for the first time when I was hospitalized with my first vestibular migraine, and this past time when I saw him, yesterday, we decided I don’t have to go back for six months.

Things are good. It’s not perfect. I told him, my words exactly, “I am not completely miserable,” and he knew exactly what I meant, and he is familiar with me, and familiar with my situation – both mine and the general condition – enough to know that we’re at a good spot. I’m very pleased, compared to where I was last April, or last summer, or even last fall. If I thought everything could be perfect, I probably wouldn’t have accepted an appointment 6 months out to just check in, but then, I don’t get the feeling he would have offered that, either.

I feel like this is probably vague, like a weird update on a chapter I haven’t actually written, but whatever. Aren’t you kind of glad I haven’t made my head thing into my thing? You know what I mean. It’s been a thing in my life, and in Phil’s life, but ugh, aren’t we all glad I haven’t made it my thing.

Anyway, so this chapter I haven’t actually bothered to write is mostly closed, except that to get to this point that is good but not perfect, I take some medication at a higher level than I used to, and I liked the old level because it didn’t work too well, but didn’t have any side effects and I thought that was a good balance. But now I take the higher level that works quite well, but does have some side effects that I don’t really care for, one of the main ones being that while I have a lot to say, there’s a lot more wild hand gesturing and frustrated face pinching-upping to get my point across, and things like calling the oven “the onion” and saying what I almost mean, which works pretty fine when you’re talking to someone near you, or to your husband who isn’t particularly big on nuance anyway, but not particularly great for blogging.

So, like I said. It’s good, but not perfect. There’s not really a way around that.

And to be clear, I’m not offering that as an excuse for not blogging as much. I’m not saying, “Oh, I haven’t been blogging as much because I take a medication that makes it harder for me to blog.” I do take a medication that does make it harder, but I’m not making excuses because I don’t feel I owe anyone any. It’s a small distinction, but it is one, because I hate when people apologize for not blogging, because, come on. Do it or don’t, it’s okay. It is. You can stop for as long as you want to or need to, and then you can start again, and it’s always okay, okay? You don’t need to apologize to anyone, ever for letting one or two or twelve or a hundred days go by without writing a blog post. You can have reasons, you can say where you were, but you never have to apologize.  I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT PART IS CLEAR.

3. PJs! Oh, gosh, you guys, PJs is coming. I’m equal parts excited and exhausted already. I’ve got plans in place already this year to make it easier on me and less stressful than it was last year, and I’ve already got my eyes toward next year with tiny tweaks to prevent things that are tiny wrinkles in my plans this year. Last year, I thought I was doing a one time thing until right afterward. This year, I’m already thinking about next year before anyone even gets here.

The thing about PJs that makes it fun for me is that it’s my party. Whenever I find myself getting stressed out and a little freaked out about what if people hate this or what if people don’t like that or how will I possibly please everyone, I just remind myself that it’s my party. I’m not putting on a blog conference or facilitating a bloggy get together, I’m throwing PJs at TJ’s, which is my party, and I can be a good hostess and make sure my guests are comfortable and fed and reasonably accommodated, but when it comes down to it, I’m having friends over to come to my party. When it’s reframed like that, it suddenly shifts back to being fun to plan and I get all refreshed and enthusiastic again. I recommend everyone throw their own parties.

4. We’re MOVING. We’ve outgrown our house. I guess I don’t really have anything more to say than that. We’re not leaving Arizona, we can’t do that, we’re going to be at Luke until the end of time, probably. I don’t mind. This isn’t a bad place to live at all, and when Phil is out of the military and we eventually head back to the east coast, it will be with no small amount of bitter on my part.

We hope to be out of here as soon as March. I want to throw away everything we own and move with nothing. Not really, but I want to shed a lot of crap. Things we don’t use, things we have just because we think we’re supposed to have it, things we mean to use “someday,” things with misplaced sentimental value, BABY THINGS. I want it all to go. Anywhere. Not here. Not with us.

5. ONE LAST PENNY THING. She’s learning to dress herself. She goes into her bedroom and chooses a shirt and puts it on, but she doesn’t know how to put it on, not really. So she comes back out of her room “wearing” the shirt she’s chosen on top of whatever else she’s already wearing. She pulls the shirt over her head until her face comes through the neckhole, like a hood, or a scarf around her face, like CORNHOLIO, you know? And the sleeves just dangling down uselessly. And then she just GOES ABOUT HER BUSINESS with her toys and stuff. Completely seriously. I have no pictures, because if I get the camera, it tips her off that something isn’t right. You have to imagine it. IMAGINE IT.

 

Please don't act as though you don't have pellets, lady.

Desert baby bested by grass, mother unmoved, unhip, big hipped.

Let’s all just agree now that we won’t expect much from each other on the weekends.

Mine involved a lot of spitting (Penelope), a lot of “I don’t want to touch you,” (me, to various family members – some covered with wet food, some covered in stinky fur), and a lot of sighs of various tones (Phil – there were two trips to Target and an unfruitful hunt for a red cardigan that I think he knew that I knew was going to be unfruitful from the start. I did know. Sighs accepted.)

Oh, and we also went to dinner with The West Coast Aunts!

I would say that you could look forward to meeting the West Coast Aunts at PJs at TJ’s, but if you’ll look to your right, you’ll notice that registration is closed. I don’t really have anything more to say about that. I went into this paragraph thinking I was going to offer some consoling words, or say something about a wait list or whatever, but eh, if you were going to register, you would have done it by now.

Tomorrow, I have big plans – BIG PLANS. I’ve got to mail out some diapers I sold – did I tell you I’ve been selling my diapers? It took a while. When the first one sold, I had to lay down on the floor for a minute. Then I laughed and counted the $48 it sold for. I auctioned one yesterday, one that wasn’t even brand new and unworn like that first one, for $45.

It’s been getting easier.

After that, Pen and I will stop at JoAnn Fabrics for supplies for my much hipper hobby of counted cross stitch. My sister and I have begun collaborating on our own somewhat inappropriate patterns that will be available for purchase around probably never, or Christmas, depending on how action packed my month long trip to Pennsylvania is.

In other news, I’ve been participating in the Biggest Blogging Loser competition, and between that and a little work I’ve done on my own before it, I’ve lost 20 lbs, bringing me down to weighing… well, 20 lbs less than my prepregnancy weight and wearing one size larger than my prepregnancy size, and looking exactly zero percent different than I did three weeks after I had the baby, because I have giant boobs and a c-section pooch.

But hey, it’s about the health, right? I mean, twenty pounds! That’s something! I can be proud of that! So what if none of my old clothes fit! So what if I actually have to buy all new, BIGGER things to fit my twenty pounds lighter self! It’s not about APPEARANCE. It’s about — oh, go fuck yourself, me.

(There’s a video in this post. You don’t see it if you’re reading this in Google Reader. I’m not saying you have to click through, or even that it’s worth a click through. I’m just saying that I want credit for more content than you’re actually seeing. I want you to mentally tally up more content points for me than you would give me if I hadn’t made this note. Thanks.)