2018-07-13 Friday the 13th 😱

Don’t be scared.. nothing terrifying is going on – except .. MFA Residency starting!!! 😮🤔😃

Of course my period also started today cuz it wouldn’t be a party without THAT happening. Cramps worse than usual and I’m self medicating with ibuprofen and iced vanilla latte. In true procrastinator fashion I didn’t start packing until today. I mean, I did the laundry.. how long can it take to throw some things in a bag? The answer, if you are me and overthink everything, I’d about 2 hours.

Seriously. I was 90% done by 9am and THEN decided to make a list. Good grief. I couldn’t leave my house this morning anyway cuz I had to wait for Fed-ex to deliver a package that required signature. Equipment for work which was on my list to pack (not what I want, but necessary). Anyway, I’m now 98% packed including the work eq. and made it to the gym to get one last round in on MY elliptical before being AWOL for 10 days!! 😱

Don’t fret about that either, hopefully my gear-shifting will only provide more time and dedication to my primary purpose.. writing and POETRY! I’m NOT looking forward to the elliptical machine at the lodge, it’s a tough SOB, so daily posts written in my typical multi-tasking method are less likely.

Did I finish my to-do list before leaving? No. But that was expected and just as I predicted the priority things worked themselves out. Everything else can wait until I return. What doesn’t get done didn’t really need doing. Such is life.

Once this session at the gym is over, I’m loading up my car and heading out. I’m going the wrong direction first, to visit Jim before I head south to Nebraska City. He’s going to come down for a visit while I am there, but that won’t be for another week. It’s been a long time since we were apart for a whole week. I’m sure we’ll still talk regularly, but it’s just not quite the same.

Hopefully there won’t be any unexpected Friday the 13 shenanigans coming my way today so I can coast through the arrival, check-in, welcome session, and first dinner without too much trouble. “You hear that Universe? No funny business!!” 😜

Ready, Set, MFA!

~Miss SugarCookie

Advertisements

2018-07-11 Preparations

I’m listening to what the Universe is DJ-ing up for me today. A shuffle from the master play list. Add a little caffeine and see how far that gets me. Yeah, I know, I know, I just swore off caffeine a few days ago. You think I would have learned from past experiments that’s a road that ends in failure. Sometimes, though, we need reminders about the truths in life. We forget and are destined to repeat our histories until we are reminded again.

Hey, isn’t that the definition of insanity? I digress. So I’m back on the caffeine and I don’t care. Back at the gym and I don’t care. Back to basics and I don’t care.

Yesterday was pretty bad-ass and I’m thinking today will be even better. I’ve got tons of work to choose from and lots of things on my personal to-do list that need to get done before I head out Friday. I’ve also got a lunch date with one of my besties, Barbie, and an appointment with my OBGYN (yay for having health insurance again)! 😜

Last night I started to really dig into my workshop packet for Residency. One of the lessons I learned last go-round was to read, comment, and be prepared to discuss. I’d never done workshop before so I had no idea what it was all about. More than once I felt unprepared, gathering my thoughts spontaneously, and even stupid for not getting one of the references in a poem (because I hadn’t just googled it first). It’s like that newbie mistake when you are on a new job and ask a question that would have been so easy if you’d just looked it up first. Not this time people. This time I’m coming prepared.

I’m going through each one, reading, re-reading, and picking out things to comment on. Lines I like and those I think need work, based on my opinions and also what I learned last semester. I’m still struggling with my own authority over the subject, but like anything, the more I learn, the more confidence I have. Poetry is no exception.

I’ll continue to do more evaluations today. My biggest hurdle on this besides my own self-doubt is reading something and having nothing to say. A read a few yesterday that I had no thought about. Perhaps that’s ok too.

When I get stuck, I put the packet down and do something else. It’s all good as long as I’ve done a good first pass by the time Friday gets here. Outside of that the only prep I need to for sure get done is picking out the poems of mine I’m going to read at the student reading. Hopefully I’ll have that done today and then I’ll be one more check box ✅ closer to having it all done.

***

Today’s post was brought to you by JET, Cake, BareNakedLadies, John Mayer, Nick Jonas, LIVE, Blues Traveler, Death Cab, Taylor Swift, Snow Patrol, and of course as always Mr. MRAZ.

Still Spinnin’,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-07-10 T-Minus Four Days

Four more days until Summer Residency for my MFA starts (Masters of Fine Arts in Writing) … woohoo. It’s a ten day retreat and break from the norm with a full itinerary of lectures and workshops and other events. This will be my second Residency and the best part about that is that the unknowns are going to be at a minimum. Knowing what to expect reduces my anxiety quite a bit. There’s definitely things I’m looking forward too and certainly also things I’m not.

Here’s the rundown:
* Poetry workshops (doesn’t matter if it’s mine or someone else’s).. love it!
* Lecture.. love it!
* Faculty readings.. I’m into it.
* Student readings.. this relationship is love/hate because of the public speaking component for me.
* Faculty/Mentor interviews.. So-so on this one.
* Having every meal prepared for me at the lodge.. Awesome right up to the moment I get sick of having the same things 10 days straight.
* Eating every meal in the dining room and being forced to awkwardly sit with people I don’t know and make small talk.. Hate, hate, hate it.
* Going a whole week without seeing Jim.. sucks. He might come down a couple nights.

I’m sure there are parts I’m forgetting, but that pretty much sums things up for now. In any case, it will be nice not to be the new kid on the block.

One big difference this time around is that it’s not winter, so I’m going to be able to do a lot more exploring of the area. I’ll probably go on a few hikes and just get to know the area much better. It will be interesting to see how different it is with folks hanging out outside in the evenings. Hopefully I will get to know people a little better so that my social anxiety monster doesn’t hinder my enjoyment of activities.

In any case, I’ve got loads and loads of stuff I want to get done this week before I’m “off the grid” (not really) for 10 days. I’m sure like most things in life, the priority items will sort themselves out.

Cheers to the Countdown,
~Miss SugarCookie

2018-07-09 Now Ain’t That Something Else!

I typically stick to my own life and times here in this space, but there’s a fascinating development elsewhere that I can’t help but want to ponder and share.

My caveat to the following is that it’s not a comparison or a contest. It’s the difference between apples and something that’s just bananas. I just love data and stats and so I’ll start with the numbers…

(Apples first)
I started this blog, posting almost daily for the past year and a half:
✔️ 507 published posts
✔️ 176 followers (including humans and bots 😉 )
✔️ 4800 Views (all posts)
✔️ 2406 Visitors
✔️ 2067 Likes
✔️ 14 Comments

(Now this is bananas)
My daughter started a YouTube Channel only ONE MONTH AGO. She’s Zoella Dragneel:
✔️ 27 posted videos
✔️ 857 subscribers
✔️ 75k+ views (yeah, that’s over 75,000 views)
✔️ Thousands of Likes and Comments (I don’t have a good way to count these up. But THOUSANDS!

Yes, I subscribed. Yes I watched a few of the videos. It’s basically a fan fiction based on the anime, Fairy Tail, where she has written a story of her own and sets the text to pictures and music she pulls off the internet. I don’t really need to watch the videos because she’s already shared the entire story with me. I’m just so intrigued by this whole thing on several levels.

First, the fact that it’s only been a month and she has 800+ people who have subscribed to get notifications when she posts something new. That’s freaking incredible. I mean the power of the internet is just amazing. I recognize the fact that it truly is a world wide web out there and that there are literally millions of people using the internet and YouTube as their entertainment. But seriously, compared to what I have been doing, it’s like wildfire. There’s a lot of power in video, and pictures, and an instant fanbase of hundreds (thousands) of people just because of the subject matter. In this case, it’s anime and Fariy Tail, but it just goes to show how easy it is to “spread the word”, whatever your word might be if you utilize some of the tools and tricks available.

Secondly, I’m pretty impressed about the amount of time she is putting into this effort. She’s 16 and does not have a job, so she has a lot of free time on her hands while school is out for the summer, but to spend 2-4 hours a day at her laptop splicing together pics and music and text… That’s dedication. She has also done contests and answers tons of comments and is excited about where the story is going. She’s just teeming with ideas about what will happen next and would rather spend time on this than other non-productive things. I’m very proud of her.

She’s very bright and very artistic and has inner motivation that I think a lot of teenagers don’t have. I don’t have a lot of examples for comparison, but I know when I was her age, I never did anything like that. (of course the internet did not exist back then either). All I can say is that I’m excited to see where the story goes too. Not so much the current story, Secret Voice (NaLu), but her story in real life.

One Proud Mama,
~Miss SugarCookie

2018-07-07 He’s Not Wrong

I met up with my friend Josh for a coffee late yesterday. It’s the first time I’ve seen him in weeks… life, you know. With Josh it might be a different day, but the story is always the same.

[x]Girl complications

[x]Diet analysis

[x]Exercise routines and goals

[x]The employment puzzle

[x]Philosophy and the meaning of life

He hasn’t worked for about 8 years and lives with his mom. A millennial that is ahead of his time, blazing that new lifestyle trail. Money is not a concern because he makes just enough doing side-gig Work for People, mostly home/yard improvement projects. The employment puzzle is his search for the ideal job for him. Not a desk job, a physical job but he’s not willing to even try anything. Why would you if you didn’t have to. After 8 years, if there’s nothing motivating you enough to get your own place, why change now?

I think the only thing that would force the change is if he met a girl he liked enough to move out. But, he’s not really looking so it’s unlikely. Since I started dating and have been unavailable for hangouts, he’s replaced me with another girl, Rachael. So he’s capable, but no girl is ever good enough (also always the same story). I thought my life was a record on repeat but he takes that to the extreme.

Of all the rehashing we did yesterday, there was one bright, shining statement that resonates within me. He said his conclusion about life, and what to do with it was thus “Figure out what makes you happy and just go after it”. That may seem obvious or over simplified, but when he said it, I was just like “Yes!!!”. That’s it.

If there are truer words, i don’t know them. Of course much of life is the “figuring out” part, but by now, i believe I’ve got that nailed down. (At long last) In true Miss SugarCookie style, I kinda want to make a list, but I’ll save that for later. The point is, Ive arrived at the “go after it” part.

If I do a deeper self analysis and life evaluation, it becomes obvious that I’m doing a damn fine job right now. It stands to reason because I AM so much happier than just a few short years ago. My friend Ryan texted me last night and his observation is that it seems like things are going well for me and my reply was that I’m happier now than I have ever been.

Thinking about this in the context of Josh’s comment, it’s because I am doing all the things that make me happy. Is it really that simple? Yes and no. Yes because the road is now paved. The foundation is there and I’m coasting along almost effortlessly. No because it has been rough at times, and getting it all smoothed out is often no small or easy task.

I’ve also learned valuable lessons along the way… 1. There will always be bumps in the road, don’t think to much about that and 2. Just enjoy today and all that the present moment has to offer. Recognizing life is short is key. We have limited time in this beautiful blue planet 🌎 and we should make the most of it.d

Josh might be his own worst enemy when it comes to most of the aspects of his life, but on the life philosophy front, he’s not wrong. If only he would learn to listen to his own advice. Maybe someday he will. 🤷‍♀️

As for me, I’m just gonna keep doing what I’m doing. I’m more than ok with my current broken record…. I’m fantastic!

Peace 😉,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-07-06 All’s Well That Ends Well

Yesterday I was in a funk for most of the day and felt highly UN-motivated about pretty much everytging. Then about 3:30 in the afternoon things started to turn around. What happenened? Well I picked my kids up from their dads house. A very not-noteworthy event but I dare say it was not a coincidence that after that things started popping.

When we arrived back home, I got back to work and had a call at 4pm which was very productive. Productive in the way that things are when an ever-elusive co-worker is actually present and hot on the trail of fixing something which has been blocking forward momentum (for me anyway). With that one, getting an ack that there’s a problem is the first step.

After that Z and I went for a drive to get our favorite fast food. It’s actually about a 20-25 minute drive from our place. Totally worth it though. Some QT in the car with just her and I and then the delish dinner. C elected to stay home and “fend for himself” since he was so newly reunited with the PC and gaming with his friends. I told him that would be ok as long as dinner wasn’t a bag of microwave popcorn (yeah, that’s me trying to parent). Whatev.

When we got back home, the aforementioned Work issue had been resolved so I was FINALLY able to do some real work. Not that the other stuff I was doing wasn’t real work, it just wasn’t real satisfying. I’ve decided my newest favorite thing to work on is AWS QuickSight. That’s the new hotness.

I’m connecting to data sources and writing custom fields and pulling all the data into some beautiful visualizations which can be published on dashboards. Sweet sauce. Don’t get me wrong, I still dig documentation, but let’s face it, That stuff is sometimes monotonous and boring.

After I pulled the trigger on sharing my results, I was super pumped and decided to use that burst of energy to go for a walk. I went to the track at the High Schoil and as I came over the hill to get there, I was provided with the gift of a pretty amazing sunset.

I walked as the Sun went down and the fireworks started again. No doubt with the storm that blew in on the 4th, People packed in for the night and ended up having a supply of unlit explosives. As I approached 15k steps, I heard back home. The Fitbit on my wrist buzzed before I arrived, signaling I hat hit my target goal for the day. More sweet sauce.

Despite how late it was, I still felt pretty awake so I decided some editing was in order. I’ve been remis at doing revisions of some of my poems based on feedback and it was on my to-do list to circle back and finish that up. I did a few and then got stuck on one particular one that’s a new style I was trying out. As I sat there thinking about the best way to describe the smell of gunpowder from a discharged air-bag, I started to feel myself fall asleep. That was my cue to call it a night.

It’s good to know that even when there are dips, things can bounce back easily. That’s life I guess.

Riding the Waves, 🌊🌊🌊

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-07-05 One Day After Yesterday

I ended on such a high note yesterday. It was a total mic. 🎤 drop moment which begs the question… what happens now? What happens after the peak of something. Do you plateau at that height or is there some post apex drop back down to reality? Well I’m not about to stop blogging now so I guess I’ll find out.

I’m back at the gym this morning trying to inject some normal routine into my day but I’m just not feeling it. I forgot my water bottle, don’t seem to have energy to do the elliptical machine, and feel sort of ‘meh’ about all of it. Strange because when I woke this morning I felt so great. I felt well rested and refreshed. But rolling into the parking lot I just lost it.

I’m on the treadmill now trying to make the most of it. Perhaps the problem is that I know that on a normal day, once I’m done with the gym it will be time to get to work and for some reason I’m not looking forward to that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still loving it, but in the last week or so I’ve started to transition back to creative mode and really digging it. I’d much rather get home and crack a book and dive into poetry instead.

My brain is so much more useful in the mornings. The days I try to do too much and work and then try to do writing or school stuff, whatever comes second (or later in the day) always looses. The reality at this point is that I now have enough work every day to fill up a whole day so I have to pick and choose what to do and where to stop.

Oh hey – this may also be a factor in how I’m feeling… a lack of caffeine. Seems I’m never satisfied and always thinking there’s things I can do to make life better. It’s not a bad way to be but as things have been so great lately I wonder if I’m doing myself more harm than good with these little experiments. The lastest one is to stop the caffeine intake (again) and not depend on that every morning.

I mean, the body makes caffeine naturally so why not just let it do its thing and reduce the dependency on external sources? The answer is probably because it’s a tough transition. One might get Withdrawl headaches and of course there’s the reality that a person could feel how I feel today. Pretty ‘meh’.

Have I answered my own question yet about what happens the day after yesterday? Yeah, I think so. But clearly I have only myself to blame. Guess I’ll just pick that mic. back up and keep walking.

That’s enough about that already,

~Miss SugarCookie