Month: July 2014

Storms and things

The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

When you’re on a transpacific flight, you spend a lot of time counting blessings, finding ways to not hate the fact that you’re trapped. With a pregnancy-influenced bladder and a squished middle economy seat. And a young child sitting directly behind, who apparently finds great joy in hitting the seat back energetically and repeatedly.

When I was flying back to Guam last week, I spent some time counting those blessings. These are some I came up with:

1. the plane wasn’t crashing

2. my husband was beside me

3. there were only 12… 9… 6… 4 hours left

4. the food hadn’t been as bad as it could

5. I had every excuse in the world to chillax, set aside responsibilities, and pass the time

One of my favorite things about flying is that when you’re on a plane, all responsibilities kind of come to a stop. I guess there are exceptions to this, but really, during travel there’s generally a suspension of all the day-to-day stuff.

The same thing happens during storms. I remember a few rare snow days during Greenville, SC winters. I relished the opportunity to sit home and not have to do anything (barring the ubiquitous college homework). Knowing you can’t go anywhere can be beautiful.

You know, wearing pyjamas all day and reading whatever and eating homemade soup (if you’ve had the motivation to even make it) and watching Netflix and generally acting like the lazy bum that you know resides somewhere deep down in your heart.

So yesterday, when tropical storm Halong was making its way between Guam and Rota on its angry pilgrimage toward the Orient, that’s mostly what I was doing. While the winds whistled around the windows and rained palm branches and various other debris (including a random snorkel) on my little home, I was embracing my inner lazy bum, propping my feet up, NOT doing the mountain of homework that’s due in two days or the writing assignments that are piling up in my queue.

I think we should schedule storms more often.

Why I feel robbed by Pinterest

DSC00891I don’t feel like I’m old enough to make this kind of statement, but I’m going to do it anyway.

I was an indie crafter before indie crafting was cool. Or maybe I should say, I learned to make things by hand during a time when it wasn’t cool.

Seriously, how many preteens in the ’90’s spent half their time reading and the other half knitting, crocheting, or planning out home decor options with detailed elevations and floorplans on wide-ruled paper?

I’m not delusional enough to think I’m the only one, but I was one of precious few.

I was always good at making things work–and making them work more or less attractively. Now, today I’m not the kitschy blogger who sits at home and figures out new and amazingly cutesy ways to arrange the pictures on the mantle, then posts pictures to Facebook, Twitter, and this blog.

I’d rather go on a hike.

I don’t like cutesy. I’m not cutesy. Or even artsy. But I’ve always loved taking pride in a well-done project, especially one inspired by my own creativity.

For this reason, I feel robbed by Pinterest. Douglas

Let me explain.

Example 1:

Someone walks into my home and spots a Christmas tree built entirely of books, like the one the hubster and I constructed last Christmas season. The first comment out of the esteemed guest’s mouth: 

“Oh my gosh! That looks like something right off of Pinterest!” 

Example 2:

In a moment of horror at one of my husband’s terrifically unattractive floor-lamp purchases, I attack the thing with hemp rope and a glue gun. A few hours later, we’ve got a unique, customized thing that doesn’t look like it came off the reject shelf at Wal-Mart.

One of my best friends (and a certifiable Pinterest addict) walks in and says “Whoa, I saw something Just. Like. That. on Pinterest last week. I actually like yours better. Where did you find instructions?”

I know that coming from her, this is THE highest form of praise.  

On countless other occasions, I’ve heard my peers refer to weddings, baby showers, and even entire homes referred to with the relatively new adjective pinteresty. “You know what I mean by that, right? Artsy and crafty and generally unique and cute?”

*groan*

The phenomenon is enough to make me want to wear one of my afghans as a superhero cape, grab my made-over floor lamp–a random hand-crocheted octopus that I designed–and the recipes that have been passed down to me by my pre-Pinterest forbearers–and hold them to myself–and to proclaim to the world that I DIDN’T EVEN NEED PINTEREST’S HELP.

If pinteresty makes it into the dictionary in the next few years, I’d like to propose a complementary addition: extrapinteresty, the prefix meaning “without; outside of.”

Dealing/ThinkingYeah, see that lamp? It’s MY brainchild. That’s an extrapinteresty project. That required no computer screen–just me, several dozen hot gluesticks, and three hours of time.

Oh, don’t you love my extrapinteresty Christmas tree? So do I. It was MY IDEA.

I haven’t yet been irritated enough to delete my Pinterest account, though the thought has occurred to me.

I would like the world to know that I use Pinterest far more as a collection of useful links and ideas than as an independent source of inspiration.

When I don’t know what to make for dinner, I go to a cookbook, not to a Pinterest board.

Most of the time. And whether you think my living room looks amazing, or like an unorganized eclectic smorgasbord complete with a totally random rope-wrapped floor lamp, you can praise (or blame) me, not a social networking site.

7,000 miles pregnant.

Almost three months since my last post. After about 60 days of non-blogging (and not much writing at all of any kind), I almost forgot that I actually enjoy writing. One side effect of turning a pastime into a job is that once your passion becomes your job, it’s… work. Should be obvious, I guess, but it’s not until it happens.

So when I found out I was pregnant in April, I kind of felt like I had no mental energy to spare for something as mundane as writing another blog post. I all but quit copywriting, and that led to a sabbatical from blogging, which I’m not sure was as much of a break as I thought it would be.

Pregnancy converged with grad school classes (which I’m still woefully behind in) and a six-week trip to the states that turned into a 7,000-mile road trip from Philadelphia to Colorado and back again, lots of detours in between. That trip might have spawned lots of great blog posts.

Instead, that epic 20-state road trip will go down in history as a few Instagram pictures and snatches of memories, as well as a few stories for my yet-to-be-born child: “When I was pregnant with you, your dad and I almost drove off the edge of a mountain just outside of Cripple Creek, Colorado….”

Stories are so much more exciting when there’s no written evidence to water the action down with too much reality.

As I type this, I’m sitting in the Atlanta airport waiting to board a very long flight to Tokyo (which will be made longer, I can tell already, by my 14-week-pregnant body).

I’ll get to Guam sometime, longer from now than I’d like to think about. In the midnight/early morning hours. And then real life will start again, and I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to pretend anymore that I’m still on vacation or that life isn’t meant to be written down.