10 Thing Friday

1. “Meghan Markle Is Everything Ivanka Trump Wishes She Could Be.” AMEN.


2. I finished Godless last week and HOLY SHIT that ending. I need to watch the entire thing again. MARY AGNES FOREVER. I relate so much to her character and the general ability to make things far more difficult than they ever need to be.

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3. Yes!am super perturbed that Taylor Swift is on the cover. She should absolutely be a part of the story because she publicly held a man accountable for grabbing her without consent, but she should not be honored on the cover (why not Tarana Burke who established the #MeToo movement????). A month ago Taylor’s attorneys demanded a blogger take an article down discussing how much the white supremacists’s like Taylor’s music and what her image represents to them. Instead of denouncing white supremacy, Taylor’s team went after the blogger. I understand why celebrities don’t want to get tangled in the vicious and complicated web of political statements, but Taylor has not been vocal at all regarding social justice, women’s rights, or in speaking out against our Groper in Chief. Instead, she uses her time and voice to continue complaining about Kanye West. GET OVER IT.

4. I am so happy that Russia is FINALLY receiving sanctions for their shady Olympic dealings. Of course Russian athletes can still compete which kind of defeats the point, but at least it’s something. “How the Kremlin Tried to Rig the Olympics, and Failed.

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NEVER FORGET.

5. This got lost in the engagement excitement last week, but Amber Tamblyn’s “I’m not Ready for the Redemption of Men” is an important read.

We’re in the midst of a reckoning. It’s what toxic masculinity’s own medicine tastes like. And people should allow the consequences to unfold, regardless of how it affects those they consider to be friends. The only way to enforce seismic, cultural change in the way men relate to women is to draw a line deep in the sand and say: This is what we will no longer tolerate. You’re either with our bodies or against our bodies. The punishment for harassment is you disappear. The punishment for rape is you disappear. The punishment for masturbation in front of us is you disappear. The punishment for coercion is you disappear.

6. While You Were Sleeping is a Christmas movie. The end. I can’t believe how many of you disagreed on Instagram!!

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Remember how there used to be charming and lovely romantic comedies in theaters instead of 14 superhero movies? Me too. The Big Sick was the best thing that has happened in a LONG TIME. I just want to watch two really beautiful “regular” people fall in love by some twinkly lights.

7. Southern California is again being ravaged by fast-moving wildfires. What an unbelievable horror.

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If you know of any good local organizations to donate to, please let me know.

8. I love all three of these actresses, and I cannot wait for this show!! Down with the patriarchy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Retta shouting for them to just listen to her for just one damn minute is me at work. LET ME SPEAK FOR 30 UNINTERRUPTED SECONDS FOR THE LOVE OF FRESH GOAT CHEESE.

9. Continuing with my love of Khalid, I recommend “Silence” by Marhsmello featuring Khalid. I totally missed the opportunity to have Marshmello be my musical artist name.

10. SEASON TWO OF THE CROWN IS TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have to go to a holiday party tonight, then I am going to be eating scones and watching the show all day Saturday (j/k I have to work, but other than that, DRAMA WITH JEWELS ALL DAY).

Image result for the crown season 2 gifI am not excited for an increased focus on Philip (UGH), but I am thrilled to watch Margaret’s Snowden era unfold (and Jackie Kennedy makes an appearance!!!). Merry Christmas to me.

Onward, Ho

In September, I wrote about trying to fall back in love with running. It’s been a rocky relationship and we we took a break for a while.

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I’m signed up for the Avenue of the Giants half marathon in May, and after months and months of nothing, I needed to get back with the running program. Things went pretty well in October and I was going to OTF a couple of times a week and running pretty consistently. I was only whipping out a few miles on the best of days, but it was still something. Then November came and I truly don’t know WTF happened to my motivation. I didn’t want to do anything ever and I was in a deep pit of bad attitude.

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I am now forcing myself back into exercise since that race is now a mere five months away and I have a non-existent running base. I mostly love running once my body gets used to it again, but getting out that door is a STRUGGLE. It’s also my favorite time of year to run (chilly and dark early), so I am wasting precious days by being a bum. After not running for a while, I tend to get in the mindset that I can’t run anymore. It will be too hard. Too impossible. Too whelming.

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This week I officially started my training plan which is three days of running and three days of OTF (which also requires running 99% of the time). If I can get three days of any combination of running and OTF this month, then I will be thrilled. It is holiday party season which keeps me busy most nights of the week. It is also cookie season. It’s so hard to say no to free sweets and wine. SO HARD.

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When I put on my running gear Tuesday night Sari actually cheered for me then ruminated on how she couldn’t remember the last time I actually went for a run. NOT HELPFUL.

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Onward, ho!

WTF Wednesday

Bitcoin has been in the news a lot lately, so when I overheard some professors talking about it recently, I decided to take advantage of their collective knowledge to try and understand what the hell Bitcoin is. After they explained it to me several different ways, I still was struggling. I conceptually understand what a bitcoin is and why they are used, but I still don’t get really understand their big picture purpose (other than buying things anonymously). And then they told me that each one costs about $11,500, so I peaced out because that doesn’t apply to me at all.

Image result for huh gifMaybe it’s because I will likely never have $11,500 around to play with, but why would you spend that much money on a totally made up currency (I get that all currency was totally made up at one point in time) that may or may not exist next month? The price is SO UNSTABLE.

Signed,

Overly Cautious Consumer

I am DEEPLY angered by Trump’s proclamation that they will be significantly decreasing the size of Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante. I understand the furor over bureaucratic overreach, but these lands must be protected by the federal government because no one else will or is capable of doing it. The designation of Bears Ears in particular has been the culmination of significant efforts by local tribes to protect land that is sacred and historical to them. Good to see America keeping her commitment to screwing over the native people.

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In a week’s time, Trump deprived Navajo Code Talkers of their rightful honors and recognition by using them as a political prop to attack an opponent with a racist slur (I am embarrassed for Warren and her unsubstantiated claim of native ancestry, but this was completely unacceptable), he announced plans to destroy lands that are sacred to them, and now the Navajo are suing Trump. IN ONE WEEK.

(SOURCE)

This is a good article on some of the scientific value of that region of Utah.

Hey, Brock Turner,

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And your appeal.

OUTLANDER

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I enjoyed this episode much more than prior ones. I am thrilled that they skipped a lot of the unnecessary extra plot from the books (A murder at the ball! The extra voyage and the bat dung! John’s revelation of the existence of Willie to Claire! And Yi Tien Cho’s general creepiness!). I liked having the Geillis reveal earlier in the episode so that the actress who plays her gets more screen time (she’s fantastic!).

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I am also glad that they changed the prophecy from the books. In the book it states that the next King of Scotland will be from Lord Lovat’s lineage (Jamie’s grandfather). It’s assumed that his lineage has died out (since mostly everyone thinks Jamie is childless) until Geillis learns of Brianna. This makes no sense. Jenny has an entire herd of children. If you argue that a female wouldn’t have been considered an heir, then Brianna doesn’t count either. Wouldn’t it skip to Willie? If Brianna does count as heir, then why wasn’t Jenny’s brood considered the heirs before we knew of Jamie’s female progeny? The show’s prophecy was far more specific which helps that whole thing make more sense.

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Also, I still hate Claire’s reaction to Temeraire. Being in a slave market would be horrifying for most people I would think, but particularly so if you had come from a time where MOST OF US agree that it was an abominable practice that has left a dark and shameful stain on our history and has caused numerous challenges for generations of people in this country. BUT. How else are you supposed to help someone who has been enslaved if you don’t “buy” them and set them free? What is the other option, Claire? The best thing you could do is to “purchase” everyone you possibly could, then find a way to get them to safety and freedom. She can’t end the practice of slavery in that time, but she and Jamie certainly could help individuals.

Anyway, I enjoyed the episode mostly because it featured a party with fabulous dresses. No more shipwreck fashion, please! JK, more of that to come.

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Salt Water Coffin of Doom

A few years ago I was having a lot of problems sleeping. It just wasn’t happening. As part of trying to figure out why I couldn’t stay asleep, I learned that I had a magnesium deficiency. Since then, I’ve been taking a magnesium supplement. I used to take a bath with magnesium flakes, but now that I share a bathroom with multiple people, the thought of taking a bath in a shared tub makes my skin crawl (even right after I clean it).

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I also made some lotion with magnesium, but the peer-reviewed jury is still mostly out on magnesium absorption through the skin. Anyway, MAGNESIUM. Also, ANXIETY. While I know that I am very lucky because a lot of people have anxiety too severe to survive without medication, I try to take as little as possible because it makes my brain feel like it’s in a fog. My anxiety isn’t so severe that it typically significantly impacts my ability to carry out my daily responsibilities, and I understand that not everyone has that luxury.

Anyway, magnesium and anxiety. In part of my efforts to find options that don’t include increased medication, I stumbled upon floating. The “salt” in the water (that keeps you floating) is actually Magnesium Sulfate which is why magnesium is relevant to this story. Supposedly, it is best absorbed through your skin in this type of set up. After a lot of reading (and some wine), I signed up. And then I spent an entire night unable to sleep over it. I kept seeing tanks that looked like this in pictures:

Float tank epsom salt

I am extremely claustrophobic to the point that I struggle to keep both legs under the blanket on my bed because I start to feel trapped and freak out (even if I am freezing). Most of the time when I am awake at night it’s because I’ve spiraled down into some completely ridiculous scenario of being trapped and unable to get out. For instance, I spent WEEKS fretting late at night about sliding down into the hull of a kayak and having my arms trapped beside me, then just being stuck there until I died. TOTAL PANIC over something that I am don’t even think is possible. In the light of day, it feels so ridiculous.

The nights preceding a road trip are always accompanied by my imagining every single way I could get into an accident and be trapped inside my car. It gets so severe that I have cancelled trips because I am so frantic over it. I almost didn’t go to Yosemite last month because I was afraid I would slide off one of those winding roads and be trapped in my car while I slowly died from exposure. I would have been SO MAD at myself for cancelling, but claustrophobia haunts me.

Anyway, the thought of being in a tank with a lid was horrifying and I called to cancel my appointment. The man I spoke to told me that they have walk in tanks that are about the size of a closet, then you would close a door once you’re in. I could completely stand up in the tank and open the door at any point. That sounded a bit better to me, so I kept the appointment. I decided not to be a chicken and to force myself to do it despite my level of discomfort and sheer paranoia that an earthquake would happen while I was in the tank and trap me in there forever while I slowly died from desiccation. For the record, there have been zero earthquakes since I moved to Sacramento.

I made an appointment for last Friday to float for 60 minutes. I arrived 15 minutes early and was given a tour of the facility. I was shown a “common reflection space” to use after. I asked what people do in the “common reflection space” and was informed that they typically use it meditate on their experience in “the chamber” (that term makes it WAY WORSE) or for journaling. Journaling. About floating. I almost couldn’t handle it. I know a lot of people journal about various things, and I am not making fun of that as a practice, but what does one ruminate on after laying in salt water for an hour? I am not the most introspective of people and I don’t particularly care to spend much time examining how I think I feel about anything, but I readied myself for a truly transformative experience that would turn me into a real California person.

He left me in my room (with a locking door) where I undressed, rinsed off, took out my contacts, put in ear plugs, then stepped into the bath. The water was about 10 inches deep and tepid. I thought it would be hot water, but it was barely warm. I had a button to turn a blue light on, but I was worried that having the light on would continue to illuminate the fact that I was shut in a closet of water. There was also a button to turn music on and off. Since I can’t imagine why I would want to float with only myself to focus on, I keep the music playing. I shut the door, laid down, and turned off the light. And then I just floated in the total darkness.

I wiggled a lot in the beginning which caused little waves that made me float towards the side, so I spent a good chunk of time panicking about touching a side in the darkness. I tried to focus on panic attack breathing (big breaths pushed out through pursed lips) to calm down, but my heart was pounding. It also took me a while to figure out what to do with my arms. Letting them fall by my side hurt my shoulders because of the buoyancy. Lifting them above my head also felt weird. So, I ended up folding them across my chest like I was in an actual coffin. When in Rome. I also kept causing myself to jump because I forgot a hair tie and my hair was just creepily floating about. I kept thinking of the dead woman with her creepy hair floating underwater in What Lies Beneath. I highly recommend NOT thinking about dead people underwater when floating in a tank of water in total darkness.

One of my mental exercises to help me chill out is to list the rulers of Russia or the monarchs of England backwards, so I focused on that which sent me down a mental rabbit hole of what would have happened if certain people had lived longer or died earlier (things to journal about!). At some point I started to believe that something (like a shark or water monster!) was below me which would have really been incredible in a mere 10 inches of water. I tried to get the light back on, but it was one of those damn “air buttons” where you have to push through the a giant silicone cover to actually hit a button. I have super weak hands (thanks, arthritis!), so I got into a bit of a panic when I couldn’t get it on. Then, since that didn’t happen easily, I decided that I was also TRAPPED.

I was sitting up, and when I tried to push the door back open, I just slid back across the floor of the tub (the salt water makes things super slimy). I was then grossed out that I was touching so much of the bottom of the tub and also freaking out because I couldn’t get the door open. I finally had to push against the opposite side of the tub to get the door open.

I got out of the tub completely just to convince myself that I was not in fact trapped in a salt water coffin of doom. I took some deep breaths, made myself get back in, started counting kings, and forced myself to chill out. I eventually relaxed enough to almost doze off, but my body would randomly twitch which caused waves that would jerk me back awake. This happens at night, but it rarely actually wakes me up (restless body syndrome!). One of these times I realized that there was no air movement on my face (I can’t sleep without a fan) and I decided that I was in fact trapped again and that there was also NO AIR. I got the door back open and got back out again. The cold air of the room never felt better. I got back in, but left the door cracked. And then a few minutes later the light came on and it was over.

Despite all of my self-induced hysteria, I felt really relaxed and in a bit of a fog after. I rinsed off and again regretted my lack of hair tie as my salty mop was gross feeling and completely unwieldy. I got dressed, but realized I should have bought a pair of loose-fitting clothes to change into. Getting back into my work slacks and silky blouse after was not great. I left the room and tried to chill in the “reflection zone,” but a guy kept trying to talk to me about “meditating on gratitude” and “nourishing your heart root” (wut), so I had to get out of there.

I went home and was kind of out of it for the rest of the night. My lower back hasn’t ached since, so that has been nice. The man who owned it said that as with most treatment types of things, you typically need to do it several times to fully realize any benefits and get used to it. I am not sure if I could ever get used to it, but I wasn’t completely closed to trying it again. But, then, someone commented on my Instagram that she had heard about guys taking care of business in there and had not been able to go back. I can’t believe I didn’t think about that and I totally believe it’s happened. Why do men have to ruin everything?

Magnificent Men Monday

I am finally all caught up on Riverdale (THE DRAMA) and it’s nice to have good ol’ “chillest fella ever,” Luke Perry, back on the big screen. I watched 8 Seconds while I was home at Christmas and man that movie is still so good (and so so very sad). He’s still a very handsome man, but GAH he was so super pretty when he was young.

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Also, Skeet Ulrich is still super hot in that “don’t even think about it, girl” kind of way. Every scene with him and Jughead makes me want to cry though.

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