Day 16: These are a few of my favorite things

I read a blog post recently where the author listed things they liked. My first reaction was “how lazy”, but the list was meaningful, and revealed a lot about the writer. I’d like to do a list in that vein.

Some of my favorite things:

  1. The smell of my father’s trumpet case
  2. Mountains
  3. Sending cards and letters
  4. Getting cards and letters
  5. Discovering new poetry
  6. The Strike’s “Shots Heard ’round The World” album
  7. Judo
  8. Gardening
  9. Spirals
  10. The smell of cocoa butter, but not the feel
  11. The Simpsons
  12. Sandalwood
  13. Ramen
  14. The smell of soil
  15. Horses
  16. The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier And Klay
  17. Snow Leopards
  18. Nas
  19. Paul Beatty’s “Tuff”
  20. Flash fiction
  21. Salmon, kale, and sweet potato
  22. Finishing writing a story
  23. Bossa Nova
  24. xerox machine smell
  25. new socks
  26. serving food
  27. sharpening pencils with a knife
  28. professional wrestling
  29. Beauty and the Beast
  30. performing
  31. jackets
  32. breaking thin ice on frozen puddles
  33. Teaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
  34. Kylesa
  35. Being 35


Day 15: Derby Fun

I’m writing a short post because it’s late, and I have reading to do. I took the 2 older kids to see a high school fried’s roller derby bout. I don’t know much about the sport, and had never seen it live before. We had a blast, my friend is a super-badass jammer, and got MVP. She scored a ton of points against the opposing team, and beat them by nearly 100 points. We had fun cheering, and it wasn’t as brutal as I thought it might be. I was worried about having my 6-year old there, but I think she had the best time.

I was invited to go to practice and try-outs. I could see myself going to practices, but I don’t know I can add another full-time activity at the moment, but I want to try it out.

All in all, it was a fun, family-friendly event. Cheap night out, too. Good time.

REBLOG: Review: The Cautious Maiden…and a Giveaway! — Mikal Dawn

This post is originally from my friend Mikal. Though not my cup of tea (not even a pun…move along, please) this giveaway may be of interest to you.


Oh. My. Goodness. Yeah, I know. I say that with pretty much every book review. But for serious. I have excellent taste in books. You guys should know that by now.😉 So don’t be shocked when I say, you must get this book! I’m talking about The Cautious Maiden by Dawn Crandall. This is the fourth book […]

via Review: The Cautious Maiden…and a Giveaway! — Mikal Dawn

Day 14: Warrior II

My back pain flared up recently. I have sciatica and a few herniated disks in my lower back, and arthritis in my mid back. I decided to confront it instead of just being in pain or medicating.

I’ve found some stretches that work, and Muay Thai. I’ve done a few classes here and there over the years, but I haven’t been able to really pursue it due to scheduling. I was worried the rotational nature of the kicks would aggravate my back. It hasn’t, but it has had the benefit of loosening up my exterior and frontal hip muscles, which contribute to pain and immobility. I’ve been really drained in jiu jitsu, especially working takedowns. My hips have been weak, and MT has helped my athletic stamina for BJJ.

In addition to minding my posture and stretching every hour, I’ve been trying to do yoga several times a week. The other day, I was able to bend forward from the waist more than I could in years, and was feeling great. I cam almost do a perfect downward-facing dog now. I went into Warrior 2, and the instructor said “say something positive and affirming about yourself”. Without thinking, I calmly said “I AM a fucking warrior”. I was stunned for a second, then I smiled, because even though it’s kind of corny, I know it’s true.

The past few months have been a period of transition, and I haven’t had much of a routine to speak of. Taking the time to ground myself and be intentional with my time has been hugely beneficial, physically and mentally.

I was talking to a friend who had started seeking mental health services. He was worried he was making a big deal out of nothing, or too sensitive. He’s also in the military, and there’s still a stigma about seeking help. He asked a few coworkers about it, and a few thought he was just being whiny. I pointed out that the people he asked are 1) men and 2) military members. We are cultured to ignore feelings and get the job done. When my mom was dying 10 years ago, I feel I shouldered a lot of the administrative burden of managing the details. I had to. I promised myself I would process it later, so I could take care of business. I thought I was acting out of strength, or being tough, but it was a reaction of fear. I was unwilling to process my emotions and thoughts head on, and packed them away. In not dealing with it, I was being a coward. It blew up years later.

That’s not what warriors do. Sometimes you do have to keep moving forward, but you also need to make sure all your gear and faculties are battle-ready. This includes mental health, diet, sleep. Everything.

Being a warrior doesn’t mean being perfect. Namaste, fuckers.



Day13: Baker’s Dozen, I Guess…

…Coming up with titles is hard.

So, Dear Readers™, many of you know I transitioned from a 15-year military career into a STEM career. After the interview, I searched the internet for advice about how to dress in a science/engineering setting, and found nothing. This was unsettling, I didn’t want to be inappropriately attired.

Because: Most engineers dress like crap. Dad jeans tapering to Dollar General tubesocks protruding from dingy white sneakers. Ill-fitting polo shirts, or those short-sleeved shirts not meant to be tucked in, like the ones Charlie Sheen wore on Two And A Half Men. Dorky-ass floppy hats.


SRSLY, that is one dorky-ass hat.

I get it-everyone here’s a nerd, or at best, a wonk. Even the college interns are square.

I thought about it more: and it doesn’t matter. So many websites and magazines tell you to make a good first impression, to wear tailored clothes from good fabric, and so o. It’s no all bad advice, but unlike the military, the content of my character and capacity for performance is not judged solely by my appearance. I can wear jeans with a polo and a cardigan. I can wear baggy black jeans with loose-fitting hoodie. No one cares.

Just as in my post about sparring in Muay Thai, I ascribed more importance to it when I should have been comfortable being myself.

I need to slow down and not take things so seriously. I need to have fun. I need to be more Lil Yachty and less Lil Scrappy.


So that’s the takeaway here. Be like Yachty.