The Week’s End // A Roundup of Important Reads

Hello friends and welcome to the weekend. I’m back to rounding up my favorite finds across the web every week again. So, if you’re looking for some interesting and inspiring reads to check out while you relax, look no further, I got you covered.

100 of the longest days ever.

Is it 2018 yet?

Start talking about why we resist.

What bullets do to bodies.

The age of anxiety.

Start new.

Good job.

The Rolodex project.

Do what you want.

Let’s all move to Alaska!

New and improved alphabet // Kot Bonkers

What do you think? Have you read, watched, or written an interesting thing this week? Has something on the internet made you feel strongly? If so, drop a link in the comments, we’d love to check it out!

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This list was originally sent out along with today’s newsletter: Find the “Good Enough” + some of my own existential musings. Check it out and subscribe, or help support what I do with a cup of coffee or three :)

Featured image via Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // A Week of Getting Back

“That’s what I do: I make coffee and occasionally succumb to suicidal nihilism. But you shouldn’t worry — poetry is still first.”

― Anne Sexton

Hello, dear readers. Thank you for stopping by for a cup of coffee and a bit of conversation with me. I’ll have a cold brew as usual despite the dreary look outside. The weather reports promise a turn for the warmer soon, and I’d rather not be full of hot and bitter brew when it comes.

I apologize if I’m sluggish. I’m not feeling all that well, but I’m fighting it, with the aforementioned cup of coffee mostly. I slept in much later than I meant to, which seems to be the new theme around here just about every Sunday. The bed felt too comfy, and the house was too cold to get up until well into mid-morning when I found myself well behind in everything I hoped to accomplish, including meeting with you.

I beg your forgiveness but remind you, with a smile, that it is always better to be late than to have never shown at all, right?

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m in a good mood today despite not feeling especially well. I started the day with breakfast in bed because I have the best girlfriend in the world who heard me mention we hadn’t had homemade biscuits in a while yesterday and made sure I had some, with a healthy side of bacon when I woke up.

Still, I’m tired, and these words are coming slowly, but I have a playlist featuring songs from Tarantino movies playing in the background, and I’m keeping busy, running around the house trying to clean what I can before the caffeine leaves me and I’m back snuggled under the covers and sleeping again.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this past week was not especially eventful, but that was a good thing. I was able to get back down to my quiet tedious work of writing, and reading, and thinking.

I wrote more posts this week than I have in a while, and I worked a bit on some sort of editorial calendar, but I haven’t gotten very far. The problem is as much as I love writing here it never feels exactly like real writing, no matter how much I tell myself is certainly is. I suppose what I mean is it isn’t exactly the kind of writing I want to be doing, or, not the only kind. So, once again I am searching for other places to send some words too, and next week I’m going to start working on a zine of awful things in the world.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I finally made progress on my 30 book reading challenge this past week. I finished Saga Volume 7, it was amazing and heartbreaking like all the others and made considerable progress on Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf which is turning out to be such a surprising and delightful book. It’s like reading an adult fairytale, so refreshing and different from my usual picks.

I’ve also gotten back to learning a little something every day. One of my favorite birthday gifts this year was The Intellectual Devotional by David S. Kidder. It’s a thinkers version of those books of daily prayer or aspirations, but instead every day I learn something new on history, literature, philosophy, mathematics and science, religion, fine arts, and music.

And, and, I’m working my way through a YouTube playlist of James Baldwin interviews, talks, and debates because, I am ashamed to admit, I have only just recently discovered how truly amazing this man was.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that staying productive this week is going to be tough because this week is going to be a good one for TV!

The Handmaiden’s Tale premieres on Hulu Wednesday. I just read the book this year, and it was good, weird, but good, and I am very interested in seeing what they do with the show. Dystopian stories have always been my favorites, and this was the first that really made me think about privilege and perspective in the telling of suffering. As a woman, it also scared the shit out of me.

Then, Dear White People is coming to Netflix on Friday. I really enjoyed the movie and, same as above, I’m interested to see where they might take a show. I think stories like this are important. The world is changing and they way people are processing their positions within society are different now too. Some things are getting better, mistakes are being made all the time too, and we ought to be able to have a conversation about it all, and a little entertainment too.

Then, then, on April 30th, the show I have been waiting forever for finally becomes a reality, American Gods! New Gods, technology and media and money, and old Gods like Odin, and Anansi, and even Easter going to war here in America. I cannot wait!

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this little blog of mine hit yet another milestone this week. I have crossed the 3,400 followers mark! I know, that isn’t a real milestone, but it’s felt like forever since 3,300, and I needed a boost before long wait to 3,500.

I hope most of you are real people but either way I am grateful for each and every one of you. It’s not 10,000, sure, but it’s still good for the old ego and keeps me motivated. It feels good to know that so many people stopped by here at one time or another, some of you when I was a worse writer than I am now, and still thought me worthy of following and checking back in on here and there. I hope I can keep getting better and you can keep finding reasons to stick around.

Thank you all again, really, from the bottom of my heart.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that, as much as I’d love to stay and chat all day with you, there is so much more to be done around the house and in preparation for the coming week. I’d like to work on some of that reading I talked about and get a jump on the writing too. It’s early enough too that I might get in a nice long hot shower and a good body scrub and a face mask too.

I hope you had a good week. I hope you accomplished what you set out to do, or you learned a lesson or two for the next. I hope this weekend was a relaxing one and you got to make some time for yourself. You deserve it you know.

Thank again for stopping by.

Until next time :)

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Check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + some of my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or share a cup of coffee perhaps?

Written for the weekly Weekend Coffee Share link up hosted by Nerd in the Brain

Featured image via Abi Porter

 

The Week’s End // A Roundup of Important Reads

Hello friends and welcome to the weekend. I’m back to rounding up my favorite finds across the web every week again. So, if you’re looking for some interesting reads to check out while you relax, look no further, I got you covered. Here are the things I found important, inspiring, and interesting enough to share:

drea the vibe dealer

Today is Earth day!

Refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose, and recycle

Or get out and #MarchforScience

Sigh, is America great again yet?

Silence is powerful too.

Comfort each other.

The last Rachel Dolezal interview you ever need to read.

The most infuriating thing I read this week.

“Seriously, this guy has a point.”

We just spread our shit around, don’t we?

DNA.

Forget the unicorn frap!

What do you think? Have you read, watched, or written an interesting thing this week? Has something on the internet made you feel strongly? If so, drop a link in the comments, we’d love to check it out!

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This list was originally sent out along with today’s newsletter: Words Mean Things + some of my own existential musings. Check it out and subscribe, or help support what I do with a cup of coffee or three :)

Featured image via Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // It’s My Birthday Month, and I’m Starting Again

“Even bad coffee is better than no coffee at all.”

— David Lynch

Hello, dear readers! Thank you for stopping by for a bit of coffee and catching up. I probably shouldn’t be having coffee, the caffeine and the acid are probably the last things my stomach needs, but I’m at home today, and coffee means a lot to me, so I will drink and deal with the consequences later. I know it will be worth every sip.

I know I haven’t  been around much lately, and we will get to why in a bit, but before we do I wanted to warn you that today’s post might contain some TMI subjects and descriptions and a bit of bad language. If you don’t want to hear that kind of thing maybe skip ahead a bit or skip away, I won’t mind I promise.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week was fucking awful.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I know you, and everyone else, me included are probably tired of hearing me talk about my health and my medication and my anxiety and my hope that any day now I will start to feel better. You are probably tired of hearing week after week that I am still sick, but here I am telling you once again that I am still sick. Not just still, I’m actually worse and getting more and more worried as each day goes by.

Since my ulcerative colitis diagnosis, my whole life feels upended. All I can think about now is my stomach, and bathrooms, and what foods I can and can’t eat, and whether or not I can work today, and when my next doctors appointment is, and if this new pain is due to the disease or my medication, and what medication I am on and what medication will come next if this one doesn’t work, and whether or not I should call my doctor, and whether or not this is serious, and if I’m sleeping enough or too much, and oh god I have to go to the bathroom, again, again, again, again…..This is my life now, and there has been no room for writing anymore.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I feel overwhelmed by all the things I haven’t been able to do or finish because of all of this. I haven’t written a new post here in days, and the comments are piling up. I failed the Blogging A to Z Challenge before I was able to really get going. I’ve missed submission deadlines, and I haven’t sent a newsletter in weeks. I’m so far behind I don’t know where to even begin to catch up, but I want to.

I want to find a way back to doing all the things that made me feel good. I want to find a way to get back to telling my story and spreading my message. I want to finish what I started, so I am starting again.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I think my first two Blogging A to Z posts turned out pretty good, and even though I couldn’t keep going I haven’t gotten over my need to talk about all the bad things in the world. So, I am picking up the project again and combining it with another project I can never seem to get my shit together enough to finish. I am going to make a zine/chapbook from the posts!

I have no idea when the thing will be done, now that I have given myself permission to work outside of the April deadline but I’d like to have a draft done by the middle of may. This will be my first physical thing I am making so please be patient, but I am promising that this thing will be a thing and I will keep you posted if you promise to keep me accountable.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that my birthday is coming up this week and despite everything, I am still excited. It’s not a big birthday, I’m just turning 32, but it’s my day and I take it very seriously. I like to think of the entire month of April as the time to celebrate me. I mean, your birthday is not just the day to mark when you came into the world but a time to celebrate another year that you got to be on this Earth. What could be more important?

I always think about how each birthday could be my last and it feels wrong not to make each one meaningful no matter how hard aging is or how depressing or bad the year has been. When you consider that there are so many people who won’t be getting a birthday this year your perspective changes. You realize that each one is a gift and worthy of celebration.

This year, like every year, I’ll be making time for dinners and drinks with family and friends and a bit of quiet reflection on the past year and planning for the next. I don’t ask for or expect gifts, I just want to see all the people who make my life meaningful but I know my girlfriend got me something good, she always buys the best gifts, and I’m anxious to find out what it is.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that I have come to the end of my cup of coffee and, sadly, the caffeine has done nothing for my energy levels. I need a nap. Thank you for chatting with me, it’s been good for me to get up and get typing again. I hope to keep the momentum going.

I hope you had a good week, and that your weekend was a relaxing one. If you have a minute drop by the comments and let me know how you have been and what you have been up to.

Until next time :)

An early birthday present to myself, from myself 😊 #sagavol7

A post shared by Lisa Blair (@zenandpi) on

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Check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or buy me a cup of coffee perhaps? 

Written for to the Weekend Coffee Share link-up hosted by Nerd in the Brain

Featured image via Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // Spring Break Started Early!

“Sometimes life is merely a matter of coffee and whatever intimacy a cup of coffee affords.”

Richard Brautigan

Hello, dear readers. Thank you for stopping by for a bit of coffee and catching up. I almost didn’t make it today! Fatigue is kicking my butt, and my medication still hasn’t taken effect yet, and that means I slept most of the day away.

The clouds outside aren’t helping. It seems our warm, dry weather streak is over.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that thanks to the break in the warm, dry weather I got an extra day of spring break. The local news predicted blizzard-like conditions, so school was canceled which means I got to stay home too.

But here in Denver, Colorado what happens in one part of town can be very different from another. Some parts of the city got hit bad, in my area we got mostly rain, and by early afternoon the slush had melted and dried. I have a feeling out district will take a hit with the public for this one, but it won’t matter. It’s hard to decide whether or not to brave the conditions and hope for the best. The public forgets that safety is most important, especially in the Transportation department.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that even though it’s officially spring break, I still have to work but it’ll be easy work: organizing, filing, spreadsheets, cleaning up, that sort of thing. I can’t exactly afford to lose five days of pay, but I can afford to lose some, so I’m just working six hours a day, and only three days out of the week, Monday thru Wednesday.

Thursday and Friday, my girlfriend and I are planning a day trip out-of-town and a day in-town. Thursday we’re heading to Denver Art Museum for a very geeky Star Wars costume exhibit then out for seafood and sangria. Friday we’ll be heading up to Boulder for the day. I’m not sure what we’ll do up there, but I’m hoping for lots of shopping and more good food.

***

Last week wasn’t so bad. My route wasn’t running, and I managed to steer clear of having to do extra work, so that was good. I had hoped to spend all that free time working on a whole bunch of writing projects but, it turns out, I only had time and energy for one.

I entered a fiction contest at The Writing Collective. You can read it if you like but it isn’t my best work. I found out about the contest a little late and between work, my guts still acting up, and a last-minute dinner and drinks date with a cousin who got laid off from work, I didn’t have time. I wanted to give up, but I thought maybe I should try anyway. I thought I should do my best and see what happens. *shrug*

I also finished my first submission for Aloe. I’ll be submitting it today, but there is no guarantee of acceptance. If they agree to publish it, I’ll wait a few weeks before working on another. If they don’t, I’ll get started right away on another.

I’m hoping that this week I can finally get back on track around here. I have a ton of drafts to finish and the A to Z challenge is just around the corner, and I have barely got any ideas together. I have a theme, which I have yet to announce, another thing I’m behind on, but I have nothing written and a few letters lacking a topic.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that we’ve come to that time, I have to go. After spending the day in and out of naps, plus sweating over cleaning and writing, it’s time I took care of myself. I’m thinking a nice cold hard cider and a long hot shower, at the same time!*

I hope you had a great week. I hope your weekend was nice and relaxing. I hope you’ll take a moment to drop by the comments and let me know how you are doing and what you’ve been up to.

Until ext time :)

*Some might consider a “shower cider” to be outside the spirit of the “shower beer.” Unfortunately, beer doesn’t agree with my stomach so cider it is and I don’t care what those people think.

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Check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or buy me a cup of coffee perhaps? 

Written for to the Weekend Coffee Share link-up hosted by Nerd in the Brain

Featured image via Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // A Bad Week that Wasn’t so Bad

“A friend of coffee is a friend of mine.”

― Death Wish Coffee

Hello, dear readers. Thank you for stopping by for a bit of coffee and catching up with me. I did my best to get going early this morning. It helped that I had to be up anyway. My stomach waking me up every morning around 5:30, just in time for medication and work, is my new normal. Unfortunately, my gut isn’t aware that it is the weekend, so here we are. The weather is gorgeous so I have the windows open and the cold brew already made.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this past week was not the best but sometimes when you get through a bad week, when you do your best and get everything done that you needed to, it feels like a good week anyway.

Work was frustrating. I can’t go into a lot of detail but imagine if you had a goal or task that took place over the course of months every year. Imagine are awesome and complete your tasks on time, every year. Then imagine that instead of getting to celebrate, relax, or move on to the next task, you were reminded by your boss that you were part of a team and that your job was to complete the work of other employees who hadn’t completed their tasks, every single year! It’s infuriating! But I’m taking care of myself. I set boundaries. I’m not going to stress myself out or overwork myself to complete this task.

But I’m taking care of myself. I set boundaries. I’m not going to stress myself out or overwork myself to complete this task. The get a couple of hours, two days a week, and that’s it, and from now on, instead of just checking in with my team, I will check in with other teams so that I can be free in April, as was always my goal.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you this week was a slow writing week. For most of the week, when I wasn’t working, I was just too tired. My health still isn’t back 100%, which reminds me, I finally had a consult with my GI doctor a whole month after my diagnosis! I’m angry it took so long, but I’m happy to have more information and a plan. It also helped that she started out by apologizing.

I’ll be honest, though, a lot of what she said was a bit depressing. She really made sure I understood that ulcerative colitis is for life. I can never stop treatment, and I can never lose my insurance. If I lose insurance treatment becomes too expensive. If I stop treatment, it may not work when I have to start again, and I will have to start again because ulcerative colitis is for life.

So, I’m back on the steroids, but at a lower dose, and an anti-inflammatory drug that I will take every day for the rest of my life. It will take a few more weeks to know for sure whether this plan will work or not but I’m hoping it will. If it doesn’t work, then I’ll have to move on to harsher drugs, and no one wants that. I’d much rather be taking these pills then giving myself injections or going in for infusions every few weeks. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that even though I didn’t post much, a few writing related things did happen. I had a piece published on Femsplain. I worked on a few things for Aloe, and, I found a fiction contest to enter if I can get my shit together.

I also changed a few things around here. Nothing big. I added a new page for work I’ve had published Elsewhere. I tweaked my About page and updated my Now page too, and I set up an account for donations/tips on Ko-fi. I don’t expect to get much now, but after I start working on some bigger projects I’m hoping to get a few bucks here and there to help keep my going. And finally, I spent a ton of time gathering ideas and information and talking with like-minded folks on both the Buffer Community and Femslack.

The Buffer Community is free if you would like to join but Femslack will cost you, or you can do what I did and write for them instead. It’s worth it!

It’s nice to feel like a part of a community—especially when it’s a secret “members only” one—and to know there are people I can ask questions of or vent to should I every need it. In fact, I’m thinking about setting up a community of my own in the future *wink, wink*

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this coming week should be easier than the last, which means I plan to be hanging around here much more. I have a ton of comments piled up and awaiting replies—I’m so sorry!—and a few posts drafted and waiting to be shared. I want to catch up on the comings and goings of my blogging friends and find some new ones to follow too.

It’s the last before Spring Break too. I don’t have any big plans yet, but my girlfriend and I are hoping to find something big to do. We’d love to get out-of-state for a few days, but I’d settle for just out of the city if I could. Even that might not happen, though. We need a dog sitter first and our usual, my little sister, has school that week. Sigh.

I can’t tell you how badly I need this vacation. I am going crazy doing the same things day in and day out with nothing new to stimulate or inspire me. I don’t care what we do or where we go as long as it is away from work, home, and everyone I know.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that, sadly, we have come to that time. I love chatting with you all and if given half a chance I could probably go on all day long but there are rooms to clean, pets to care for, and shopping to be done, not to mention all the writing itching to get done. So, I’d better get off the internet and out into the real world.

I hope you had a wonderful week I hope you had a relaxing weekend too. Please, take a minute to drop a note in the comments and catch me up on everything that has been going on.

Until next time 🙂

I don't understand how she can sleep with her nose buried in her own ass like that 😝

A post shared by Lisa Blair (@zenandpi) on

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Check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or buy me a cup of coffee perhaps? 

Written for to the Weekend Coffee Share link-up hosted by Nerd in the Brain

Featured image via Unsplash

The Week’s End // A Roundup of Important Reads

Hello friends and welcome to the weekend. I’m a little late, as usual, but if you’re still looking for some interesting reads to check out while you relax, look no further, I got you covered. Here are the things I found important, inspiring, and interesting enough to share this week:

Desert wildflowers cover the ground around the Amboy Crater in the Mojave Trails National Monument on March 15 in Twentynine Palms, California during yearly bloom.
Wildflower Bloom Carpets Southern California in Vivid Color

So disrespectful and utterly embarrassing.

Trump’s budget is both heartless and pointless.

Is America great again, yet?

Resistance made easy.

Six years war.

The best we could do.

The largest humanitarian crisis since the end of the second world war. We have to help.

Author Amy Krouse Rosenthal died this week. Read her viral essay and her books.

Missing Richard Simmons” makes me uncomfortable.

Safe, inclusive, conversational.

I haven’t eaten at McDonald’s in years, but I almost ran out for a Big Mac and Shamrock shake this week :)

What do you think? Have you read, watched, or written an interesting thing this week? Has something on the internet made you feel strongly? If so, drop a link in the comments, we’d love to check it out!

***

This list was originally sent out along with today’s newsletter: Positivity is not a Cure + some of my own existential musings. Check it out and subscribe, or buy me a cup of coffee, perhaps? 

Featured image via Unsplash