Holding on to my pants

Happy International Pants Day! Okay, well, I guess that holiday is not so widely celebrated, outside of this blog. Today is the 16th anniversary of the start of my blog. It’s a complicated anniversary for me, tied up as it is with a sad anniversary as well. But both of these anniversaries remind me to hold on to my pants. For you see, it was my dear friend who introduced me to the power of pants. Or at least, the power of the word pants. All these years later, the word pants still holds a special place in my heart.

As you may have figured out, I love to play with words. And I love word games of all sorts. So it shouldn’t surprise you that I enjoy playing Wordle. But it turns out I’m not great at it. And the main reason for that is that I am stubbornly holding onto my pants.

When I started playing Wordle, I would vary my starting word, usually with some combination of frequent letters. (“STARE” or “TEARS.”) But at some point in the Spring (likely in April, when I also think about my pants-loving friend), I decided to try “PANTS” as my opening word. I decided that I would keep playing PANTS every day, and sooner or later I’d hit the Wordle in one try. Many months passed, and I’d faithfully start my day with PANTS. At some point in the Summer, it came up in a group chat that I always start with PANTS. And then some time after that, one of my friends shared with me the heartbreaking discovery that the Wordle would never be a plural ending in -s. For whatever reason, the Wordle powers that be decided not to include this one particular word structure. Incredibly aggravating and arbitrary, given that they include other morphologically complex words (repay, coyly, beady, finer, lying, parer, unfit, to name a few). But whatever.

I’ve ended up continuing to start my Wordle with PANTS, even knowing that I’ll never score the coveted single guess success. And I’m (mostly) okay with that. PANTS makes for a decent starting word, Wordle-wise. At this point, it would feel like a betrayal to switch. (Or maybe I’ll just drop my PANTS one of these days.)

On an aside, in deciding to write about this topic, I felt like I should have a photo. And I remembered (or half remembered) just the photo I wanted to share. (The one now at the top of this post.) Except that I couldn’t quite remember when I’d taken it. So I spent quite a bit of time filtering through my rather dauntingly large photo library. And struggling to remember when it was that I’d take it. Memories came back to me that it was from the Boston MFA (Museum of Fine Arts). But I couldn’t remember the year. So I kept poking through. And then I remembered that it was from an exhibit on Gender-bending fashion. And so Google came to my aid with at least a date range (March-August 2019, in case you wondered.). It was quite the trip down memory lane, flipping through my photos, and racking by brain trying to remember when I’d gone to the exhibit. In the end, I found my pants. But what started out as a quick post turned into a rather bigger time sink than planned. (Such is the story of my life.) But since I tracked down the pants, and their source, I figured I’d share a couple more photos from that exhibit. (Or at least photos of signs from that exhibit.)

Picking up where I left off

I’ve been known to pick things up. I’ve also been known to drop things. Clearly I dropped things with this blog. But it’s never quite dropped out of my thoughts. I still go about my life, thinking I might like to pick it up again.

Given that I haven’t written here in almost a full year, and barely said much then, a lot has happened in my life. (And in the world, of course.) I don’t expect to be able to fill in all those blanks. I just missed having this space to express myself creatively. So I’ll just pick up again, and see where things ago.

Here are a few categories things I hope to share here:

  • Photos and tales from trips and wanderings
  • Thoughts about things I’m reading or watching
  • Photos of things that catch my eye. (Lately, this means leaves)
  • Lists of things that my mind wants to put together
  • Other creative projects that I produce
  • Other creative projects that I admire
  • Pictures of my dog

I’m hoping to dive back into blogging daily, at least for the month of November. (I still mark the occasion of NaBloPoMo–National Blog Posting Month, that is–at least in my head. Anyone else still do this) And after that–well, we’ll see how things fall from there.

I’ve just been cutting onions

Here we are, more than half way through November, and this is my first post in close to a year. I realized about November 3rd that I’d missed my annual tradition of at least *trying* to blog every day in the month of November.

Life has been very busy and very full. I have a new job that, even though it’s technically part time, has me constantly rushing to catch up. (I’m teaching a course as an adjunct, and basically building the course as I go along. The opportunity only came up a few weeks before the start of the semester. Plus I’m commuting into Boston 3 days a week. And I still have a bunch of research group and community commitments. It’s been a lot.) So when I remembered that I’d missed my NaBloPoMo tradition, I didn’t spare too many wistful thoughts.

But then today is a special day for this blog: Happy 15th birthday little blog! I’ve missed you, and hope we can catch up soon.

It was just this morning that I recognized the significance of today’s date for my blog. And then a little bit later in the morning remembered the other significance of this date. This was the date I lost a dear friend, 14 years ago today. This blog will always be a little bit tangled up with my memories of her, and the grief that sometimes still catches me unawares.

Just this Friday, I found myself thinking of her, through a funny meandering path of thoughts and memories. We have developed a family tradition of having pizza on Friday nights, and I put together a special one to deal with my difficult dietary constraints, and with a bunch of vegetables. (Because I like vegetables.) Theo was helping me prep for the pizza, and was cutting an onion. And as Theo struggled with the burning and watery eyes of cutting onion, I found myself singing the Flight of the Conchords song, “I’m not crying.” (And then I found myself thinking of Elizabeth, who I believe was the one who introduced me to that band.)

“I’m not crying No, I’m not crying. And if I am crying It’s not because of you It’s because I’m thinking about a friend of mine who you don’t know who is dying. That’s right, dying. These aren’t tears of sadness because you’re leaving me. I’ve just been cutting onions. I’m making a lasagna. For one.

So all of this is why, rather than getting my blog a cake (or reusing a photo of a cake), it felt more fitting to share some sliced onion.

Faux leaves, real shadows

I do love leaves, and shadows. So naturally I love shadows *of* leaves. Even if they aren’t real leaves.

These metal leaves are a decoration I recently got at a thrift store. (My daughter and I have discovered a mutual enthusiasm for going to thrift stores. Possibly too much enthusiasm.) Anyhow, the leaves cast some fun shadows in the low afternoon light. I enjoyed seeing how they changed (sharp above, doubled below) with the changing light.

It seems I’m still inclined to post daily. I think I need to settle on an approximate frequency for posting. For those of you who post regularly, what’s your strategy? Do you have goals for quantity or frequency of posts, or do you just post when moved to do so?

changing shadows, unchanged leaf

unicorn

A little over a week ago, a single leaf caught my eye out on the deck. It was caught between the boards, and casting a long dramatic shadow in the morning light.

Yesterday, a similar-looking leaf caught my eye casting a shadow, this time in the afternoon light. Looking at the two photos, I’ve decided that it was actually the same leaf. It’s moved a bit, and flipped around, but it appears to have all the same markings. It seems to have blown out of the spot where it was trapped, only to get caught again.

leaf-shadow2-afternoon

It seems I’m not quite ready to leave November behind. Both the leaves, and the daily posting. I’m hoping to settle into some sort of moderate frequency for posting, perhaps something like once or twice a week. Somehow, though, if I’m not all in, I tend to be all out. Here’s hoping I can break that trend.

if a blogger falls in the forest

forest
Trees that fell in the forest, many years ago. It is not clear whether they made a sound. Now they make for a pretty scene.

Amazingly, after last year’s November goals shortfall, I was able to get back up again and post daily this month. This is my 30th daily post in November, and so successfully wraps up my NaBloPoMo goals. Somehow, it wasn’t even particularly hard this time. Was it as easy as falling off a log? It was certainly less painful than falling off a log.

I’ve enjoyed regrouping (grouping again) and reflecting (flecting again?) and putting together photos and thoughts. I might even be able to keep on keeping on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

a bunch of balloons for the birthday blog

My blog is 13 years old today. With this, it officially becomes a teenager. It’s hard to know what to get your blog. Really, I’d love to spend more time with it. Maybe reminisce about old posts and the halcyon days of the blogging community. Maybe spend some quality time composing posts with a bit of substance, or maybe a creative writing project. But as is apparently my mantra, I don’t have time for that today. So I’m getting my blog what I usually get it: a few photos I’d been saving. These particular ones are wrapped up in my ongoing thematic train of thought.

Here are several photos I took of balloons during my June 2018 trip to Poland.

poznan-balloons2This brightly-colored bunch of balloons drew my eye in the Old Town square in PoznaƄ. I enjoyed the contrast of the regal renaissance buildings and the garish contemporary pop culture balloons.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Colorful stripes abound.

unicorn-balloon

This stylish woman (whether a balloon enthusiast or a balloon vendor) was not to be overshadowed by her bunch in her vibrant hot pink dress.balloon-seller

And finally, this photo was not from my trip to Poland, nor of balloons. But I’d hate for my blog to think I hadn’t remembered the cake.

cake13.jpg

Happy birthday, dear blog.

a bit shrivelled, but otherwise sound

shrivelled-rosehip

A month into daily blogging, and I’m feeling a bit shrivelled. Certainly, not all my posts have been fresh and plum this month. However, I did write a few things with some intention, and had fun posting some sets of photos. So all in all, I’m glad I did this again.

I’m amused that there was only one exception to my daily posting success: The 2nd day. I did put something up for that day the next morning, so my grand total of posts for the month is still 30.

skeltal-leaf-shadow

What I haven’t managed to do this month is spend time reading books. Since I finished grad school, I have really gotten back to reading again for enjoyment, and this is something that thas made me happy. But it would seem that the time I use for blogging takes up the time I might otherwise be reading a book. So, perhaps tomorrow I will pick up a book after I get into bed, instead of scrambling to figure out what to post here.

I also generally need to get back to spending more time on my research. I have some deadlines coming up over the next few months.

seize-the-day-mug

However, I really hope I can keep blogging semi-regularly. I need to figure out a way to commit to blogging, without it necessarily being a daily effort. The “when I feel like it” approach seems to result in many ideas, but not bearing fruit. And I like it when my blog bears fruit (even if that fruit is a bit shrivelled).

How about you? Do you have a blog, and if so, how do you decide how often to post?