It's Called Avoiding the Mess in the Kitchen

I have an entire kitchen to clean because I didn't get that done before we left for work today. And when I came home, I looked at that mess in there, and I turned right around and walked back out. I picked up my latest indulgence, Kurt Vonnegut's The Sirens of Titan, plopped myself down in the middle of the couch, and finished it.

Then, I looked at the dishes piled beside the sink, managed a glance at the winking food dryer telling me it needs to be emptied, remembered the salad I bought that should be washed and prepared tonight to make tomorrow easier, and I turned right around and sat down in front of my computer.

Perhaps I should allow the dirty dishes to motivate me to blog more often.

Anyway, I'm taking this procrastination moment brought to you by my messy kitchen to tell you about my reading lately. I mean to do this every so often, because I'm almost always reading something good. This month I finally discovered the perfect irreverence and winding narrative of Salman Rushdie in Midnight's Children. I loved the way the story spiraled around itself and you knew you were on a staircase, but sometimes couldn't figure out whether you were going up or down. It's long, but worth every sentence.

This past Sunday, Kenny ran his first half-marathon, and like the supportive, wonderful wife I am, I went and sat in the car for most of it and read. I ended up finishing Dave Egger's The Wild Things later that evening after dinner. The Wild Things is a novel that sprung from the screenplay he wrote with Spike Jonze for Where the Wild Things Are. The screenplay, of course, was based on the brilliant children's book by Maurice Sendak.  It's an imaginative, beautiful, heart-rending romp through childhood in the head of Max, an 8-year-old boy in his wolf suit. It's good. Read it.

And for the past few days, I'd been working my way through Titans. I love Kurt Vonnegut, without reservation. I love his black humor, satire, and wit. I enjoy sinking all the way into his outrageous worlds and the lives of his characters. My favorite Vonnegut of all I've read is Bluebeard followed closely by Breakfast of Champions. Everything is good, but those are particularly and perfectly weird.

And with The Sirens of Titan I've exhausted my collection of fiction at home, so I'll probably make a foray back into the depths of Young Adult literature we have at the library at school. Whenever I take my classes into the library each week to pick out their books, looking at the covers of all the books I read and folded into myself while I was in elementary and middle school makes me nostalgic, but in a beautiful opposite-of-sad way. Because I can reread them and relive and refold the stories back into myself in a different way, seeing new things, noticing new things. Sometimes I think good books are like good donuts. I've already tasted this kind, but that doesn't stop me from ordering them again and again.

Here, have a donut hole, courtesy of Vonnegut:

"It took us that long to realize that a purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved."
                                                          ~Malachi Constant / Unk / The Space Wanderer, Sirens of Titan

How do you avoid the mess in your kitchen? And what are you reading? Do tell.


"I promise this, promise this, check this hand 'cause I'm marvelous"

Yup. I just titled this post with Lady Gaga lyrics. What.

Last week was a whirlwind of a vacation. I believe I didn't sleep past 7:00 or 8:00 once. It's like a new vacation record for sleep. Anyway, I'm going to tell you all about it - in three separate, fabulous photo-filled posts. But first, I have to edit all the video I took while I was in Seoul answering your questions from the last post. I actually didn't get to film the video until Saturday, so of course I'm way behind on the Wednesday deadline. And tomorrow there's another topic up for discussion. However, I think I'm going to bow out of this weeks vlogging, considering I don't even have last week's up on the computer and edited yet.

Honestly, I love editing, writing, designing fun banners and graphics. But I'm in one of those weird places where I'm off balance and I can't seem to find it no matter how I juggle my time. Sometimes the Internet becomes my top priority. And why not? It keeps me in touch with my family, it entertains me, and it introduces me to fabulous people like you, or all the people I met while vlogging. But sometimes, cooking all three meals for me and Kenny everyday becomes my priority. And that takes up most of my time and effort since I'm a horrible cook and a terrible meal planner. Or sometimes, having a not-disgusting almost-clean house becomes more important. Other times, it will be sending handmade letters and cards to my sister and my friends. This week, it's the cooking and the cleaning. Just looking at my computer begins to stress me out. I have so many ideas and things to say and things to share that it just overwhelms me.

So, this little post to say, "Hello." I'm trying to catch my balance. I hope to be back here and on YouTube very soon. I've got some really great things lined up that I'm excited about writing and talking about. But first, I've got to get the dishes cleaned, give my husband some well-deserved attention, get rid of this pounding headache, and get some photos and video edited. I don't know when that's going to happen, but it WILL happen.

I've got so many plans, and so little time to execute them. I've got things to do and hopefully sometime this week I'll have a few more posts up and my first We Blog We Vlog video up.

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the Internet?


Raise Your Hand

The lovely VEDA (Vlog Every Day in August) people are at it again. Only this time, we're not vlogging every day. We're vlogging once a week. And this week's topic is questions! So get busy in the comments and ask me any questions you want and you might see them answered in my video. And in case you didn't dedicate last month to watching all 31 of my August vlogs, hop on over to my YouTube channel, subscribe, and catch up!


Huge Announcement

It is Sunday, September 19th. In exactly 3 months I will be landing in Nashville to visit my family and friends for two whole weeks. I have already drawn up a calendar and I am jumping up and down ready to fill it in with the names of family and friends and the places we'll meet. And yes, I'm already looking forward to Christmas! (It's never too early, you Grinches!)

However, I'm fatter than I'd like to be. I'm not as fat as I have been, but I'm not taking care of myself, either. If you'll remember, way back in 2008, I had plans to attend my sister's wedding in November. I initiated the Don't Be the Fat Sister Workout Plan and it worked. I lost weight for her wedding and felt great about myself in the dress I wore. Of course, I was still much fatter than my sister. It's impossible not to be with her trying so hard just to weigh 100 pounds. My goal isn't not to be fatter. It's just to not be the fat one.

So, without further delay or hesitation, I am reinstating The Plan. I'm going to update here once a week on my progress. For example, I'll weigh every weekend, I'll post my workouts, and I'll try not to drink too much iced coffee or eat donuts. My goal weight is, again, 140 pounds. I've plenty of work to do, so I'm going to get busy! If anyone else wants to join me in my 3 month battle against the bulge, let me know! It would be great to have some accountability and encouragement! Come on, we should at least slim down before we eat all that yummy Christmas food!

And to my family and friends: I'll see you in 3 months time. And I'm gonna look gooood!

Oh, and P.S. If you're reading in Google Reader, click over to Wonju Wife to see the new design! I'm not totally happy with it yet, but it's getting there. Let me know what you think, lovelies!


New Rules

I make stupid rules up all the time in my head. As if there aren't enough rules already.

Tonight, at a seriously safe intersection where you can see cars in both directions for a good distance, Kenny wanted to jay walk. He was anxious to start his run and the track was across the street. But would I do it? Nope. Gotta follow those rules. Because with my luck, we'd get stopped by one of those traffic cops with their little white hats and their tight pants and their electronic ticketing thingies. And that's why I follow the rules. I follow the rules because it works for me. I see the logic behind rules; I understand they're usually there to keep me or other safe; I feel all squirmy inside when I break the rules.

Then why am I making stupid ones for myself?

I'm stopping this madness right here. For example, I have this stupid little rule in my head that every post on this blog must be either a) profound, b) extremely well-written, c) funny or d) have an amazing photo attached. While all of these are excellent reasons to share something, they're not the only reasons. Maybe I have a crap day and I need to talk about it. Maybe I have something to say, but it's not profound, well-written, or even funny. So, I'm posting WHAT I feel like it WHEN I feel like it. Yep, that's the new rule around these parts.

Also, this is like the least sexy September in the history of Septembers. I'm fat. I'm lazy. I'm cheating on my life with the TV. Tonight I went for a walk that turned into a run that turned into a sprint-as-fast-as-you-can-from-here-to-there-just-be-faster-than-your-self-loathing kind of thing. It's the first time I've gone out for some exercise in a while. New rule: Stop making excuses. (There's no need to point out the 500 other posts in which I tell myself to stop making excuses. I'm very aware that they exist, thankyouverymuch. Apparently I need to continually remind myself of this rule.)

New rule: Give more. I've been getting wonderful, kind comments and during the vlogging season of August, I was giving as good as I was getting. But now? I'm crap at commenting on... well, anything! Twitter, blogs, vlogs, dailybooth. You name it; I suck at commenting. I would love to be the awesome girl who sends everyone handwritten letters every month, or the woman who is so thoughtful and remembers people's birthdays with presents and care packages. And who is to say that I can't be that girl? But right now? Until I get my stuff together, I can comment away. (File this under: stop making excuses.)

And the last rule: NO MORE RULES! Who needs so many rules anyway? Especially self-imposed rules. I'd love to just start living a more disciplined, scheduled life and not have to make rules. I'd rather just DO what I want to do. Eh, we'll see.

What are some rules you make for yourself? Are they silly? Or do they really help order your life and make you a better version of yourself? Because my rules are pretty crap.


Puppy Love

Enter Shanti.
This is not our puppy. Some of Kenny's friends who own a cafe here, the same ones who let us use part of their field for our garden (weeds, you win), got this adorable Jindo/Great Pyrenees mix a few weeks ago. We went to see if there was any hope for our little garden row of vegetables, and next to the weeds that have overtaken our tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers, was this little guy. The day we were there, his owners were on a two-week vacation and the person they had asked to take care of him had not done a very good job. He was clearly starving for attention and a better place to go to the bathroom. Anyway, when the owners came back, we went to see them and Shanti again and they invited us to take him for walks or trips whenever we like. So we made a special plan this Saturday to do just that. Isn't he precious?

He's three months old now, and he's going to be huge. Kenny and I both love big dogs, but we can't have one with the apartment we have now. Plus, we both work and I just wouldn't be comfortable getting a puppy and leaving it alone all day. Shanti is a perfect sweetheart, eager to run, eager to play, and just so eager to be loved.

He hasn't had any obedience training yet, so Kenny decided to give him a little practice. 

He also loves running! He's really good about staying close to us when we let go of the lead. We actually took it off right after this picture! So, don't think he had to run around trailing that thing all day!

He has the sweetest face, doesn't he? 

You should take a break to applaud here because I have about 40 other pictures of this dog that I restrained myself from posting. Consider this serious discipline, y'all!

Poor guy. He got so hot and worked up in the heat that he didn't want to walk back to his house! I carried him part way, mostly just because I love the guy, but also to give his little legs a break. We were out for about an hour and a half, and even though he had plenty of water, shade, snacks, and a romp in a cool stream, he was exhausted. I think it's probably the longest he's ever been disconnected from his little doggy house. We're going to go back plenty of times to visit. So, watch out for more puppy love in the future! (And a vlog about Shanti coming soon! You can subscribe to my channel here. )
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