Monday, September 29, 2014

The 1,000 List, Installment #1

Good evening, Friends.

Have y'all heard of Ann Voskamp and/or her list of 1,000 everyday gifts? Admittedly, I haven't read her book (yet), but it's on my list. And I've decided to take her lead and make a list of 1,000 things that I enjoy. Because I believe in this science/phenomenon of listing things you're grateful for and feeling and experiencing the positive results in your larger daily life.

So. I'm going to give my list to you in installments of 100. And below is list #1. I hope you like it. I hope you write down things that make you happy, however small. And I hope it helps make you happy, in a big way. Hugs to you.

1. Buttons
2. Coke cans with Santa Claus on them
3. Holding hands
4. Flossing my teeth
5. Seeing someone walking a dog in the morning carrying an actual (non-travel) coffee mug
6. Drinking wine with friends
7. When a gentleman buys me a drink
8. The crunch of kiwi seeds between my teeth
9. Making friendship bracelets
10. Reading books to kids
11. Running
12. The sound of a coffee pot beginning to gurgle and drip on a Saturday morning
13. Being at a live football game -- the sounds, the air, the game, the food, the beer, the cheering, the community -- all of it
14. Sitting in a classroom, listening to lecture, and taking notes*
15. Chick flicks
16. Celebrity sightings -- always unexpected, always over as they begin, always providing a little thrill
17. Reading, reading, reading
18. Falling asleep without setting an alarm
19. Sharing a bed with a cat
20. Talking to a cat
21. Animals
22. When they let you leave the office early
23. Those unexpected situations where the power goes out, or you get lost, or a huge storm keeps you inside a superstore, during which forced bonding and community commence
24. Getting a haircut
25. An album that I can enjoy from start to finish
26. The feminine, sexy feeling I get when I wear perfume
27. Walking the Kansas City Plaza (wrapped in eight layers) to see the Christmas lights
28. The free beer at the end of a brewery tour
29. Being called by a nickname
30. Lifting weights
31. Painting my nails
32. Sitting on my patio
33. Watching "The Little Mermaid" with my niece
34. Playing with Play-Doh
35. Disneyland
36. Disney's California Adventure park
37. Coloring a picture with no regard for "appropriate" colors, but instead with the aim of using all the colors of the rainbow, so the finished product looks rather psychedelic
38. Having a beer with my parents
39. Catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror or a window and seeing my mom in the reflection
40. Seeing the reactions of people who first see how much my younger brother and I look alike
41. Doing a freelance writing assignment and remembering -- when the check comes -- that I get paid for it
42. Being out to dinner with a boy, or particular friend, and knowing I don't have to even bother reaching for my wallet
43. A simple, small chain/pendant necklace
44. Putting sunscreen on my face, neck and arms in my car before work (in the parking lot at work, not while driving)
45. Vacations with my adult friends
46. Introducing family to friends
47. The fact that my cat, Max, loves people
48. The fact that Max knows who his mother is and loves her the mostest
49. Organizing papers into file boxes and binders and such within my personal life
50. Raking leaves, particularly with a group of people
51. Ditching the rest of the family with my sister-in-law Jenny to get coffee or lunch and bitch about things together
52. Skyping with my brother Patrick and his family
53. Browsing at the library
54. Picking up an item on hold at the library
55. Cross stitching
56. Baking
57. Giving baked goods to men in their 20s/30s and watching them turn into boys
58. Doing dishes
59. Alone time
60. Meeting new people
61. Watching Mizzou Tiger football games with fellow alumni at bars in LA
62. Completely air drying in the sun, after jumping into a pool or swimming in the ocean
63. Being in a car with friends, windows down, music up loud, everyone singing along
64. A bath by candlelight
65. Hotels
66. The movie theater experience -- popcorn, Junior Mints, soda, the dark, the laughs, the drama, the romance
67. Zac Efron's beautiful mug
68. Men. In. Glasses.
69. Sliced banana in vanilla yogurt with cinnamon stirred in
70. Blowing bubbles
71. The first cup of coffee at the office each morning
72. Coworkers who make me laugh
73. Hugs
74. (Sometimes) Grocery shopping
75. Buying things I don't need -- but that are so stinkin' cute -- at Target
76. Being in the same room as Nick, a long time friend. Just sitting on our computers, drinking coffee, coexisting, sometimes commenting on something or making the other watch a YouTube video.
77. Morning talk radio that has me cracking up in my car
78. Going to the lake with Corie and her fam
79. Ham and cheese Hot Pockets
80. White Christmas lights
81. Colored Christmas lights
82. A clean room, or home
83. Being with plants. The smell of soil, watching growth. Green.
84. Praying with my family
85. Being a bridesmaid
86. DANCING
87. Writing
88. When my dad answers the phone by shouting (one of) his nickname(s) for me: "Bling Bling!"
89. Payday
90. Pancakes
91. Spaghetti
92. A cute waiter
93. The way that corpse pose feels after a yoga session
94. Going to bed early
95. Sleepovers with my niece. And pretending to be asleep when she peers over her bed railing to see if I'm awake: "Auntie Bailey???" :)
96. A home that smells like a home cooked meal in fall
97. Striking a match
98. Laughing so hard your face hurts
99. Laughing to yourself about something that happened at another time
100. Playing Dr. Mario on old school Nintendo

And finally, since we've kicked things off here with Positivity, I'd like to once again share this video that talks about thinking about good things, in this case when you're scared/anxious. EN. JOY.



*I'm not kidding. This is legitimately one of my truly happy places.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Life Update

Let's do some life updates, shall we?

Why are we doing life updates?

Well, because Bailey Kathleen wants to write, but she kind of just wants to do a little journal spew thing where she tells you about the cat and the book(s) she's reading, etc.

Sound good?

Great.

Mouse: 

I'm going to Disneyland tomorrow! With friends Rosie, Courtney, Carlos, and Joanna. Should be a fun group.

I bought myself this blingtastic necklace, and let's just say the pendant is a little larger (like 3 times, at least) than I expected, making it quite blingtastic.

I will wear it with pride.

Cat: 

He is lying sweetly right now, with his head on one paw -- SO CUTE -- and kind of giving me grumpy/sad eyes that say, "Why aren't you doting on me?" but Bro, I was just over there and loved on you and you up and moved yourself, so I'm not quite sure you want my love right this second. Per your body language. Just saying. Love, Mom.

Darius:

Darius Rucker is singing one of his new country tunes on my Pandora shuffle station. I love ya, Hootie, but I think we're gonna skip this track.

Excuse me. Be right back.

Harriet:

I am reading "Harriet the Spy" and quite enjoying it. I've laughed out loud a time or two.

Officially halfway through this list. Concluding "Harriet" will get me up to 51 of 100 books read. Holla. Harriet. Harriet holla.

However, one of the running jokes in the book is that Harriet's friend Janie is always working in her at-home lab attempting to make explosives. The book was published in the 1960s. I don't think this kind of content would fly by a publisher's eye today... I say this is both good and bad. Totally horrible that we have so much violence today -- both in general and in schools. Good, however, that literature is (hopefully) adjusting to this fact and curbing or tailoring its discussion of violence in a way that is clear and healthy for youth.

WON:

I just won a cross stitch kit I bid on on eBay. Yay! There is more to the story about the particular kit I bid on, but frankly I'm feeling too lazy to tell that entire story right now. But it involves Disney, I can tell you that.

Clean:

Annnnd, just got an email update (because I don't text) that my out of town friends will be here within three hours, so I gotta get out of this bed and get to cleaning my apartment, yeeps! And cleaning myself (shower needed).

Loves to you, my readers! Have a wonderful weekend, and try and get something Disney in there, because Disney stuff is fun and great! Here's a song to kick things off for ya!*:




*Fun/weird fact. I like to put sunscreen on while listening to this song. I don't know if it's some subconscious, reminds-me-of-Africa thing, or what. But there ya have it.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Problem/Not a problem

The cat is very snuggly in the mornings. This is a problem/not a problem.

It's so refreshing and reassuring and, ahh, just lovely! when I wake up and realize he's been nestled by my head for a while already before I had even opened my eyes.

I mean, really -- how sweet? He's waiting for me in the mornings.

I understand this happens in romantic relationships (between two humans) sometimes, with someone admiring the other sleeping beauty or beast, but, um, I'm not in one of those (nor am I living inside a romantic comedy). Sooooo, I just admire my beautiful giant friendly beast and reach over to touch his soft, soft, fuzzy wuzzy self after slapping the Snooze button again.

I think he turns on his inner snuggle machine after I've hit the Snooze approximately seven or eight times. By then he starts to think, "You know what, I think she may be closer to being awake and thus available for petting and feeding." And then, really, the snuggle machine is kind of in overdrive.

I'm not complaining.

The only thing I [might] complain about is how @#&$! difficult it is to get out of bed when he's like that.

I mean.

I mean.

The snuggling, and the head butting, and the CUTENESS!!!!!

MAXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX!!!!!!!!!!!

(Trick or) Treats

Since we're nearing that weird holiday where kids walk around in costumes and get free candy, and because I'm eating candy and sugared cereal and salty chips and PICKLES ON SANDWICHES!!!* right and left, I think now would be a good time to discuss Halloween candy.

*Not pregnant.

First, we must talk about the ludicrousness of it.

The fact that you get (or got, for those of us now over 4'8") heaps of it.

For free.

What?

No really. Let's pause and reflect on that. (Continue reading when you're ready). (By the way, Jerry has reflected on this).

Second, the trading.

I don't know about y'all, but my brothers and I used to extend our Halloween festivities by turning the whole thing into a gambling operation, carried out in full public display in our living room.

With half-worn costumes -- Dorothy braids loosely assembled, PeeWee Herman jacket shed but grey pants still intact -- we would spread ourselves on the carpeted floor and first --

we would sort.

Tootsie Pops with Tootsie Pops, Starbursts with Starbursts, Kit Kats of varying sizes with Kat Kats of other varying sizes.

Four blonde (or red, or black, for the night) heads would bow over the pillages, relishing in all the greatness of the evening's hunt, maybe the stick of a sucker poking out of a mouth puckered deep in concentration.

Once sorted, the trading post would open, inevitably led by -- eye roll -- the eldest child.

For the most part there was a natural and civil order to the operation, with standard trades being Kit Kat for Snickers, Skittles for Starburst, M&Ms for Sixlets. Items equal in brightness of hue, matching in sweetness or tart (Warhead would be an acceptable trade for a Lemon Drop, for those using this guidebook at home; an Airhead might be a comparable trade for a Warhead, but it might make more sense being traded with something in the softer candied division (sometimes texture trumps flavor, don't ask me why)).

Sometimes my brothers would try to pull a fast one on me, but I either wised up quick or never fell to their prey -- I'm not sure which exactly. But anyway.

They would try to get me to trade something delicious of mine for something disgusting of theirs. Namely, what we fondly called "Orange and Black Nasties."
I believe they are a peanut butter candy of some sort, wrapped in black and orange wrappers.

OK, Google tells me they are "Mary Jane Peanut Butter Kisses."

Um, I like kisses, but y'all can keep these.

Anyway. The bros were always trying to trade orange and black nasties. Which, if they wanted to fool me, they should have just remarketed the product. Orange and black Deliciousies. Something like that.

And now, finally, we must discuss the smell of Halloween candy.

I remember when my brother Patrick first commented on this, whilst sticking his face inside his pillowcase (because after the age of 10 you must graduate from a candy pail to a pillowcase; sturdy, and holds at least 10 pounds of candy -- I know this from experience, and that experience is called the Halloween of 1998) full of sugared plunder and taking a giant and lasting whiff.

I followed his lead and realized all in one moment that this smell I had smelled year after year was indeed unique.

And oh so precious and special.

Don't believe me? Find some kid's bag of candies this year, and put your sniffer near it.

It has its own smell.

All that candy mixed together -- Tootsies, Snickers, suckers -- it is distinct.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Signs you may be PMS-ing

1. In morning meeting, your boss mentions popcorn and chocolate and you immediately start picking out your beverage of choice (Coke) to accompany this snack that is not before you as matter but is very much in your head now that your boss has mentioned it.

2. In same morning meeting, your boss mentions pizza and you think, "YESSS!!"

3. Immediately following lunch, you come back to your desk and start eating Chex mix.

4. While eating Chex Mix, you see the Cinnamon Toast Crunch on your desk and think, "YESSS!!"

Just a hunch, but I think there could be hormones behind this.