Decadius Disseminatus

That’s Latin for “Ten Years of Blogging” (no, it’s really not, please don’t think that’s true, I totally made up the words of the sentiment. It’s not Latin for anything.)

But the gist is this: today, December 9, 2017, is the 10th anniversary of my life as a blogger. Ten YEARS I’ve been writing. On this very day an entire decade ago, I started out as a blogger. My friend Meg said, “You should write a blog” and so I did. Okay, there might have been more to it than that, I’m not that susceptible. I was going to repost my original blog, but, as it turns out, that site has shut down. Which means the first (just over) 500 blogs are lost forever. All that genius, gone in a wash of technology. (insert sad face smiley here)

I’d say it’s sad (see sad face smiley note), but I don’t know that it is (dammit! confused smiley). I don’t know if I need this to be permanent. The memories I’ll have either way but the granular details, I’m not sure we’re meant to carry those always. Maybe they are there just to color in the picture before it slowly leaches over time.

The point is, the stuff that matters we keep forever. but the rest of it, the stuff that seems so important in the moment? I don’t know that we’re supposed to keep it. I think part of life is letting go and moving forward. Hm, that is not a lesson I ever expected to learn through blogging, an exercise that by its very nature should show the opposite, but there you go.

This post, at the moment of publication is my 812th post. 812 times I’ve set out to tell you a story (at least here). My writing rate has slowed considerably. Five years ago, at the half decade mark, I wrote this post. In it, I told how it was my 1,000th post, 483 on this site and 517 on my first, now defunct site. If we include those 517 lost posts, then this is my 1,329th post.

(Remember my thing about numbers? This is a great place to demonstrate.)

I’ve technically written one thousand three hundred and twenty-nine posts (see? numbers are always more impressive if you write out the words.)

Over ten years, that is nearly 133 posts a year or a post every three days. Can you imagine? Every three days for a decade I wrote down my thoughts and published them on the internet for the world to read.

What was I thinking?

Just kidding, I like it. And I’m okay with it. I’m honored and touched and surprised that people actually do read it. People, that is, that are not my family or my friends. Since 219 people actually follow this blog and I’d guess less than 15 of them are the aforementioned friends and family, color me grateful and pleased.

What’s the point?

Well, there isn’t one, really. I just happened to stumble across my five year anniversary post only a couple weeks ago and it struck me, forcibly that I was dangerously close to this major anniversary. I knew then I had to take a moment and honor this date with a post, but as I thought about it in the days leading, I never found my story. Instead, today, without cleverness or guile, you get my thoughts. Just random scatters of notions sprinkled here for your enjoyment. Because I’m awesome like this, I’m going to link ten of my favorite posts.

Nope. Not favorite. Popular. I went to the site statistics and I found a list of all my posts ranked by number of views. So here we go, the Top 10 most popular posts on Livlife.

10.  Blog Crack

9. Buddy Coke

8. 35/35 (Kel, can you believe one of your birthday posts is in the TOP TEN? Of the 178 times that has been viewed, how many were you?…tell the truth!)

7. All About Me (Huh, that’s my intro page, which makes sense I suppose, but feels a bit like a cheat. But I did write it….)

6. Cheese and Macaroni

5. Christmas Letter

4. Magic Necklace

3. The Danger of Brushing Your Hair (in that post I am talking about something that happened 16,000 times and I spell out the words sixteen thousand and comment on how much more it seems. In 2011. Clearly I’ve believed this theory for quite some time).

2. Christian Kane Concert (this could well be MY favorite post I’ve ever written. Certainly it is to reread. I’m probably half of the page views (though I don’t think I count) and I’m both oddly pleased and disappointed it is number two)

1.  Purple Stripes – Never in a million years did I think this would be the most popular post on my site. Not sure what I thought WAS, but I wouldn’t have thought this, that’s for sure.

I’m adding one more: The Universe Wants Me to Listen to David Gray because I have always liked that post. And I think of it whenever a David Gray song comes on the radio or my iPhone. It’s number 33 overall which is still pretty high, so I’m including it as an honorable mention.

Ooops, make that two more. Wouldn’t Time Be Out To Charm You? This is another all time favorite of mine, the detailing of one of my life stories, a defining life story at that. I had to search for this one, only to find it is #73 on the list overall. But to me, this one would absolutely be top ten of my favorites, so I’m leaving it here as a second bonus.

What else can I say after ten years of being a blogger? Let’s see how long it lasts and where it goes, I guess. I certainly never thought I’d be writing a blog still after a decade.

Hm, how do you end these things? You’d think after doing this more than thirteen hundred times I’d have a foolproof system for getting out once the work is done (twss) but, unfortunately, I do not. Sometimes I’m pithy, sometimes it’s natural, sometimes I think I just stop typing.

This will be one of those times.

 

Advertisements

Long Live Livlife

My friend Elena recently had someone reach out to her on Facebook. As most of you know, I don’t do FB. But this person, Katie, reached out to Elena asking for my contact info because they wanted to send a yearbook.

Um, what?

Elena asked me and I asked who this person was. You see, I don’t really remember high school. But Elena does. So I figured she would know who this was and if it was worth sending along my contact info. She said, “I think she went to HS with us.” Well that’s strange. If Elena doesn’t remember her, then who is this person? More importantly, how does this person know that Elena and I are friends?

So I gave Elena permission to pass along my contact info, but not my regular email, my junk email, the one I use to sign up for stuff, and, apparently, pass along to people I may or may not know from Elena’s FB page. Obviously, I was curious. Then, Elena emailed me, “there is more to this story.” GAH! Tell me. Tell me NOW. She said she’d tell me in person, fortunately, we were seeing each other last night.

We went to a concert and Elena slipped in just as the lights were dimming, so there was no time to talk. After the show, after hours of waiting, she gave me this.

Katie Whatsherface reached out to me on FB about a yearbook. Apparently, she learned that you had died and wanted to send a copy of the yearbook to your family.

WHATTHEEVERLOVINGWHAT?!?!?

I’m not dead.

I’m really not. This is not a ghostly memoir. I’m a real, live girl, who reads a lot of books.

Now, of course, I have so many questions, so.many.questions, and I am just waiting to see if Katie Whatsherface reaches out. She’s had my email for two days and I’ve heard jack, with a side of squat. I’m wondering if she’ll even bother now that Elena confirmed that I am, indeed, still among the living.

Also, if I were dead, why would my family want my high school yearbook. Which is especially weird because I have a high school yearbook. One from every year (which I plan to use to look up Katie Whatsherface tonight, I forgot last night after hearing the story.) Junior high as well. And one from sixth grade. All on my bookshelves. So if my family wants them they are free for the taking when they clear out my house.

So odd. So, so, SO odd.

But I am here to state, firmly, that despite the fact that I am not a member of the Facebook community, I am, as a matter of certainty, alive and kicking. (I even just did an air kick just to prove it.)

I am alive.

Long Live Livlife.

Reading in the Rain

I know I’ve talked ad nauseum about how much I love to read outside. I LOVE it, it’s just the best thing in the world. I’m honestly surprised I don’t go into depression when I can’t for nine months out of the year.

At my house, I have a three season porch off my living room, which is on the second floor, that means my patio has a roof, the floor of the porch. I have my swing  hanging from the porch and that’s where I spend 99.99% of my outdoor reading time (once it was too sunny and I sat on the bench for 15 minutes, that’s the other 0.01%). Because of the way the three season porch is designed, it doesn’t get wet underneath. The rain has to be blowing virtually sideways to get rain underneath. The same is true inside the porch, so I’m lucky I can leave those windows open day and night, from April to October.

Okay, so this means I don’t have to stop reading when it is raining. This is a HUGE plus for me, especially this summer when it has been super rainy. And since rainy days are prime reading days, it’s basically heaven on earth for me.

Cut to Tuesday night. I was out reading and it rained a bit. No big deal. Then it got dark and a storm blew in. It was rapidly cooling off outside and I was considering heading in (I was reading on my iPad, so the dark didn’t matter) but it was a good part of the book and I was enjoying the sounds and smells of the storm, so I stayed put.

Suddenly, something wet and slimy landed on my bare leg. Okay, I just got a chill typing that. Truly. It was dark outside, so I couldn’t see it. Instead, I just freaked. FREAKED. Remember this? It wasn’t quite that bad, because I wasn’t naked, but still, I was in capri pants and it was on my bare skin.

So I freak out and start kicking both legs, which were previously resting on a footstool. Kicking like a maniac with one hand holding my iPad to keep it from crashing to the ground, I felt whatever it was leave my skin.

I calmed down and finally brought my legs to rest on the footstool when whatever it was touched my other leg! Again with the freaking and kicking and not knowing what the hell was happening. So I removed my feet from the footstool, but I was so freaked out I didn’t want to put my feet on the ground because I didn’t know what was happening and I was barefoot (my sandals were under the footstool where I had slipped them off) so I simply stuck my legs straight out. And, naturally, because I was on a swing, I start swinging wildly about in the dark with nothing to anchor me. During this time I was chanting, out loud, pleasebealeaf, pleasebealeaf, pleasebealeaf.  After maybe 20 seconds, my legs were starting to hurt, but I was calming down and I realized I needed to figure this out. On the heels of that thought was the reminder that I was holding an iPad IN MY HAND and it emits light. Um, duh?

So I flipped the screen toward the ground and, obviously, saw nothing, since the fear of the ground was all in my imagination, and finally put my feet down. As I stopped moving I was able to turn toward the footstool and I aimed my iPad again.

There it was, the source of all this drama.

A tiny green tree frog. Okay he wasn’t tiny, like maybe 1.5″ long. Which is sizeable, but by no means terrifying. Frogs do not bother me in the least. Except when it is storming, and dark and they are wet and land on my skin, uninvited, then, I guess, they bother me plenty. But I was laughing as I saw him, and I leaned forward and pushed him off the footstool with my hand. Because frogs don’t bother me. I touched him, he hopped off, I resettled in my spot and dove back into my book.

But something was bugging me, niggling in the back of my brain…

Finally, I switched over from the book to my browser and googled how high tree frogs can jump. I mean, I see frogs and toads frequently and they hop a bit, I’ve seen them jump great distances, forward, but never have I seen one jump high. Maybe and inch or two off the ground, but that’s it. However, this particular frog landed on my leg, on the footstool, which I am guessing is close to four feet off the ground when all is said and done. Four feet in the air! So my brain was wondering if he was on a tree or something and got blown onto my leg? I mean, it sounds crazy, but how else did he get there.

And then Google told me that tree frogs can jump up to 7 feet in the air, or 50 times their own body length. Wowza. I mean, that’s impressive, but also strange that I never knew that. Now I’m a little creeped out. Before I saw frogs and thought nothing of it, but now, knowing that if I am walking and see a frog on the ground, he could literally leap up and land on my head. That’s a little creepy.

Anyway, I filed that information away for later and finished my book. I was so close that even though I was cold and living in my own private dramedy, I wanted to finish. So I did. As soon as the book was done, I shut off the iPad and lifted my feet to the ground. I stuck my left foot under the stool and slid it in my flip flop. Then my right, but I couldn’t quite reach it, it may have gotten moved in the frantic flailing of the aforementioned dramedy. So I stood up on my left foot and reached further and my toe caught the edge of my shoe. I scootched it toward me and finally slid my foot in…and my toes met something slimy!

Again with the instinctive reaction, my foot kicked and the sandal went flying. Not far, mind you, just off my foot. STILL standing my my left foot, I leaned backward and grabbed my iPad, turned it back on and shined the light. My flip flop was about a foot away and now sole side up. I leaned forward with my hand and picked it up and that little frog was sitting underneath. Apparently, he thought he could make himself at home in my sandal.

Not true my freaky, jumping, little nemesis. This time I picked up the shoe in my hand, put it on, and grabbed my iPad to head inside. I kept the light pointed at the ground the whole time so I didn’t accidentally step on this frog, or worse, he didn’t hop right inside with me. As I stepped across the threshold, I turned back for one last look and the dim light from the screen could barely touch him several feet away, but it was enough to see the gleam of mirth in his froggy eye as he sat there mocking me.

Damn frog.

A Day for Moms

So Mother’s Day is still over a month away. However, I just had a cooking question and I emailed my mom, she promptly replied with the answer and now I can have dinner tonight. And it made me feel grateful for her, all over again. Not just that she’s my mom and she’s awesome and she knows so much, but that she’s always there for even the little stuff.

i was thinking that I don’t need a special day to profess my love and admiration for her. But this year, I will be so glad for the arrival of this pseudo-holiday for one reason.

Then Hulu will finally stop playing that horrible commercial about breast cancer. EVERY episode of EVERY show that I watch it is on during EVERY commercial break. It’s awful, non-compelling, and way too long. And each time it comes on I think, “seriously, I have to put up with this for three, two, one more month(s)?” Now that MD is only five weeks away it’s almost over, but I still have to watch it every day for five more weeks.

Unbearable.

So, bring on the day to celebrate Moms. Let people walk for breast cancer. Allow me to celebrate my mom any old time I want. And for God’s sake, quit showing that damn commercial.

Amen.

P.S. Happy Maundy Thursday, everyone.

Out of Control

Anyone else feel like technology is getting out of control?

I mean, really, who actually NEEDS this much technology?

Untitled

Yep, I have three iPads. That is my desk, just a few minutes ago, at precisely 2:43 pm. The one on the right, bearing the handsome face of Christian Kane, that is my personal iPad, the iPad 4. The one on the left, with the beach photo is my old work iPad, the iPad 2. The one in the center, with the mountain and stars, is my new work iPad, the iPad Air 2. Our old work iPads were out of date and not as current as the students I am teaching, so we got the newest tech.

The new one arrived today and that is how I found myself with not one, not two, but three iPads on my desk at the same time. All mine. Oh, and I took the photo with my iPhone.

Yeppers, this tech is out of control!

The Birds and the Bees

Except, well, no birds. Actually, yes, there were birds, chirping and singing and generally being adorable, but they have no impact on this story.

So yesterday, I went outside to read. It was 57º outside, but the air felt warmer than that. I figured it was one of my last chances to read outside in 2014 and I had a book I had been waiting on a long time, so that was the plan.

There I sat, in my lovely swing, in the warm fall air, just out of range of the sunshine, it smelled wonderful outside and I was enjoying it very much. Suddenly, the back of my mind registered a sound that was out of place. It was a low buzzing and it sounded like it was coming from behind me.

Naturally, instinctively, I turned my head to the left to locate the source of the noise.

That was a mistake.

Turns out, the source of the noise was a bee. A yellow jacket. He was either right behind my head on the chair, or right on my head, I am not sure. But when I turned my head, he panicked and stung me.

I got stung by a bee.

ON MY HEAD.

I felt the pain and leapt out of my chair. I couldn’t see the bee, so I assumed it was still on my head. I wanted to get it off but I couldn’t see it and I was afraid to touch it so I just started shaking my head, like a dog, to get the bee off me.

After a few seconds, I went inside to see the damage. I headed into the bathroom and tried to move my hair to see, when the BEE FLEW OUT OF MY HAIR! Apparently my shaking had trapped him under several feet of hair. Now I am trapped in a bathroom with a bee. At first I was annoyed, but as the pounding in my head grew worse, I just got pissed. So when said bee landed, I picked the the closest item, a candle, and smashed him to smithereens. Dead bee. And since I don’t like honey, I feel comfortable saying that in my world, the only good bee is a dead bee.

Well, once I had disposed of the bee, back to my head. Unfortunately, the sting is above and behind my left ear, which is impossible to see. Plus, several feet of hair…

It was very painful and very hot. Not knowing what else to do, I grabbed an ice pack and put it over the sting and went back outside to read. I’ve been stung before (in normal places, like my hand or my leg) so I know I am not allergic, the rest was just dealing with the pain.

And, oh, did it hurt. At first it was like the heat and pain were radiating out from that spot, making my whole head feel strange, but then, it sharpened and focused into a point and it felt like a migraine. It pretty much ruined my reading outside. I couldn’t focus on anything except the hurt.

I went in and laid down on the couch, still on the ice pack, which seemed to help. I laid there until the ice pack grew warm and then I took a couple Tylenol. After about an hour it lessened enough that I was able to read and I did finish my book, but the hurt never went away.

At bed, I couldn’t lie on my left side, which is how I usually sleep, so I had to sleep on the right side. This morning, it didn’t really hurt. I was relieved. Until, of course I did crazy things like shampoo and brush my hair! Now it is hurting again, but not nearly as bad as yesterday.

I’m sure it will fade completely, hopefully by tomorrow. And that is the story of how my Sunday was ruined by one tiny little bee.

The moral of the story? Don’t look. You’d think the horror film industry would have taught us that by now, but no, I had to go and look for that sound. It’s human nature. And unfortunately I got stung. Which, I suppose, is bee nature.

Just Say Hello

I have posts for Green Bay coming, but I need to upload all the photo and video. I know, but reading in the sunshine has just seemed more important. However, to whet your appetite for this exciting weekend adventure, I will share a small story.

So we are in Green Bay for about 20 min, all checked into the hotel. Elena and I are just chilling in our room, before getting ready to head out to the concert. The room phone rings. I assume it is Nancy or Ryan, Lane’s sister and brother-in-law, who are traveling with us. Because I am a funny girl, I answer the phone, using my sexiest voice, I say, “hello, you have reached 1-800-PhoneSex, how can I help you”? Whomever was on the other end suddenly hung up without saying a word. And Lane is freaking out, saying how that had better Nance and Ryan.

I’m laughing, because it seemed funny. A few seconds later, the phone rang again. This time as I reached to picked it up, Elena yelled “Just say HELLO!” So I did. And a guy said “Hello, this is the front desk calling. We know you just checked in and we wanted to make sure everything is alright with the room.”

Oh.

God.

I felt like a complete idiot. I pretended to be a phone sex operator for the front desk of the hotel.

So I tell him everything is fine with the room, then I covered the receiver and said to Lane, “um, it’s the front desk.” And SHE looked embarrassed. Fair enough. After all, it was in her name, they had no idea who *I* was.

Then there was a brief pause on the phone and the guy started….laughing. He was laughing, I figured he must know it was me the whole time. It was so embarrassing, but what can you do? So I laughed and said, “so, did you enjoy that?”

And he hung up.

I was kind of astounded, because that is piss poor customer service, but then, I suppose laughing AT one of your guests is pretty bad, too, so he probably took the easiest route. And it’s not like I’d complain, because who wants to explain that?

A while later, Nance and Ryan came to get us to head out for the concert. First thing I said was “have I got a story for you!” They were a bit surprised, as they’d only left us an hour ago, how could I possibly have come up with a story during that time? And I proceed to tell them this entire story, because who doesn’t want to hear how I made a fool of myself?

They were quiet, mostly, during the story, but Nancy looked uncomfortable. During the telling, Elena was piping in how she wanted me to answer the phone normally. It was funny, we were all laughing. I mean, it’s one of those things.

Then, there was a beat, and Ryan said, “yeah, it was me. Both times.”

WHAT?

I mean, I totally thought it was, the first time. And he told me how after I answered the phone that way, he had to hang up because he was laughing so hard. Then he decided to mess with me and called back pretending to be the front desk. He said that after I asked him (as the front desk person) if he enjoyed it, he got to laughing so hard he had to hang up again so as to not give away his game.

I cracked up.

Ryan is not a guy I know well, but after that, I think we’ll be friends for life. I mean, anyone who can pull one over on me, and make me laugh about it?

Well played Ryan, well played.