THINGS I LOVED / HATED THIS WEEK #67

LOVE:

Calorie Counting:

calorie-counting2

My love for this comes and goes on a daily basis. This weekend I decided to start counting calories again when I stepped on the scale and squinted in disbelief. Over the course of this endless winter, I somehow managed to gain ten pounds. TEN! That’s like a baby suddenly hanging off of me. No thank you! Over these interminable months, I forgot how to be reasonable with my appetite and gave into every whim and fancy, but no more! I’m doing fairly well so far, even though this is only the third day back on it. One side effect that I wasn’t expecting, though, was a rather bizarre increase in energy. I don’t want to nap or sleep or ever feel tired. I slept for four hours last night and woke up this morning with all the beauty and grace of an actress in a scripted television series. I put my glasses on, looked around in confusion, and went downstairs for breakfast. I never eat breakfast; this is awfully strange. Hopefully I’ll get rid of this winter fat soon and will have my beautiful body back. I’m not trying to brag myself up right now, but I was looking resplendent at the end of 2013. A refresher for you:

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Soon it’ll be back, I’ll be back with a terrifyingly thin vengeance.

Vacation Planning:

Pierre Hermé [London & Paris]

If I had been born twenty years earlier, I probably would have become the world’s greatest travel agent. I live for finding bargains and going to exciting places on the cheap. Making reservations is better than a hit of cocaine — I assume, I really haven’t a clue. Recently I found a charming apartment for this summer in Paris. It’s cheap and it’s cute and it’s in a new area and I couldn’t be more thrilled to explore! Exploring is what I love, since I’m truly an adventurer at heart. Why isn’t that a career? Is it a career? Like Indiana Jones, you know, but with actual consideration for the archaeological practices that he constantly ignored. He was fighting Nazis on a regular basis, so this behavior can be forgiven. I’ve been thrilled to hunt down the perfect places for my summer holidays — now I’m starting to work on the week I’m in England. I really, really, really, really want to go to St. Ives. Excitingly, I’m leaving for a quick trip to Los Angeles next week (EEK!) so, I have to get that whole thing figured out. It’s been such fun! I’ve gone over what I loved in LA and the things I didn’t and figured out a nice three day itinerary. Over my lunch break, I made reservations for dinner at the Ivy and the Chateau Marmont. I love me some Chateau time. I’m traveling with my mother, I hope she enjoys the overpriced opulence of it as much as I do. It’s going to be such fun.

Return of Creativity:

unleash_your_writing_creativity

All winter long, I’ve been in a funk that I’ve told you all about. My mind has been clouded over and I haven’t had much concern for my creative writings. This is an important part of who I am, so this has been an issue. Now that the weather is finally nicer, at least a bit, I find myself outside more often and thoughts are running through my head. I’ve read that other authors seem to hear their characters in their mind, desperately wanting to escape. I understood this for the very first time when I wrote Haskell & Eudora (available now for Kindle!). When I had finished with that, my brain went silent and everything I tried to create was rather dull. Finally, though, I’m beginning to hear them again — they’re telling me little stories. They’re not fully formed, but there’s a murmuring in the back of my mind. Sentences will appear fully formed from the depths of my subconscious. I have a feeling that Eudora is coming back and it has something to do with the Middle East. I don’t know, yet, but I think this might be something good.

British Museum Lecture:

britishmuseum

I’m getting so excited for my vacation this simmer. It’s a bit in the back of my mind, though, as I’m going to LA in a week. What is my life? I travel so much you’d think I did it for work. My dream job requires loads of travel. I’m a great traveler — I can get through security in two ticks and pack a week’s worth of clothing in a backpack. Back to the European vacation, though. I’m not planning too much for Paris, because we will be there for such a long time. I am getting our week in London organized because there is just so much to miss that I don’t want to miss. I’ve got tickets to Dawn French! I’ve got a reservation for afternoon tea at THE RITZ! Now, I’ve got tickets to a lecture at the British Museum. I’m exceedingly excited about this. My sister even seems to be, but I don’t know why she would be quite so enthused about a lecture on ancient Egyptian art. You know why I am, I’m sure. My goal in life is to work in the Egyptian galleries at the British Museum. It’s basically the only goal I’ve ever set for myself. I even applied for a job there once, but that didn’t work out since I don’t actually live in England. Curses! Can I write the Queen a nice note for honorary citizenship?

Prepping the Garden:

martha_gardener

In the autumn of last year, I fell into the deepest depression of my life. I hope that I never go through something like that ever again. And, if I do, you make sure that I seek professional assistance. There is no way in hell that I’m going to be miserable for five months of my life again. That was a stupid thing to do. Now that the weather is warming up, I’m able to stay outside comfortably and the sun is setting later and later, so I have the time to accomplish great things. Anyway, because of my crippling depression, I left the gardens and the vineyard and the patio and most of the yard in a state of disaster. I’ve decided to start by cleaning out the gardens so that they will be ready to plant with all kinds of delicious salad greens just as soon as the ground is friable. It’s been wonderful to pull out all the dead weeds and plants and dig out the growing whatnot that shouldn’t be there. There are tulip bulbs all over and the irises are joyfully shooting through the debris. I only have one of the four gardens cleared out at this point, but spring has only just sprung. There’s plenty of time.

HATE:

Late Spring:

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I am delighted that the snow has finally melted and it’s becoming nice enough to go out for walks again. It was a bit chilly yesterday, but I still went out in shorts; my legs were in desperate need of some Vitamin D. It was absolutely glorious to be outside and reveling in nature. Annoyingly though, I know that this is far from how it should be. I have an app on my iPhone called TimeHop that shows my previous statuses and updates from years past. Already I’ve seen gorgeous crocuses and tulips that I’ve cut a year ago that aren’t anywhere near to ready right now. I went out to my tulip bed yesterday and there’s nary a sign of life. I’ll have to replant all the herbs, too, I discovered. Hopefully the mint was hardy enough to survive another year. It’s an indestructible herb, I believe, so I have hope that it will revive itself soon enough. Anyway, the garden is dead and mossy at the moment; I need to start cleaning out two of the four patches. (My father and I are competing again for most spectacular and productive garden this year — I’ve never lost.) To add to my annoyance, I keep seeing the glorious springtime they’re having in England. Tom Daley’s boyfriend keeps posting pictures of flowers and even one of Tom wearing a daisy chain crown.

English country road. #DaisyChain crown.

A post shared by Dustin Lance Black (@dlanceblack) on

I can’t deal with that. It’s too adorable. Do come springtime, come quickly!

Spotify Organization:

spotify-logo

I love Spotify, don’t get me wrong. I think it’s the greatest thing that has ever happened in the history of the Internet. It’s an amazing resource where you can find almost any song — though I’m often foiled in my attempts since I have rather obscure curiosities. Where is Maurice Chavalier’s Avril Prochain — Je Reviens? I can’t find it anywhere! It’s nowhere! Not even on the YouTube, and the YouTube never fails me. Even though it has these faults, I still adore it and would never stop paying for it. Still, I wish that it had a better system of organization. It needs to be something more like iTunes where you can scroll through an attractive display of the albums you’ve saved. Instead, Spotify just let’s you scroll through a list of playlists. This isn’t dreadful, obviously, but it’s not the most straightforward thing to navigate. Yesterday, I discovered that you can organize albums into folders, so if you have a bunch by one artist, you can put them all into a folder and clean up the list a bit. I spent a bit of time doing this, but it’s still not what I want. They should hire some talented design people. An overhaul is very much in need.

Fasting:

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I know that I shouldn’t complain about something too much until I’ve experienced it a few times, but I can tell in one going that this is too much for me. I’m trying out that 5:2 diet that they’re crazy about in England in the hope that I will look gorgeous and beautiful in Hollywood — I mentioned all of this above, I think. Yesterday, was my first fast day, where you eat a heavily restricted diet of only 600 calories. In the end I ate about 900 and wanted to reign terror down on the world around me. It wasn’t that I was hungry, because I honestly wasn’t that bad off, it was just that I was so exceptionally bored and unsure of what to do with myself. I didn’t have a nice break for dinner time because I consumed my allotted number of calories over luncheon. I couldn’t make popcorn to eat while I watched Veep, so I just had to sit there for two hours actually staying focused on the story. This nearly did me in, reader. I am not a person who can simply sit in front of a screen. I can’t bear it. I need to be doing a hundred other things. Without having the normal comforts of nibbling all evening, I was simply plagued by ennui. Thank Beysus that this is only something I’m doing for two weeks and the fasting days are only on two days per week. Otherwise I’d lose my shit.

“Terrible Miss Margo” Realizations:

Cover

The first novel I wrote that I was proud of is called Terrible Miss Margo. I worked and slaved over it for two years. It is my child. I adore it and I always will. I’ve tried to interest literary agents in it, but none have responded with any desire for it. That’s rather soul crushing, but it’s normal in the publishing industry. I became fed up with failure after a while, so I put the manuscript out of sight and promised myself to return to it with fresh eyes. After several months of ignoring it, I’ve opened it back up and now I can see that it is riddled with problems. It’s too long, the writing is far too florid, the pacing is slow, and the character developments don’t always feel consistent or authentic. It has become apparent that the novel needs a complete reworking — perhaps into the first person instead of the third. The story is still good, I feel, but the way I presented it was not fresh. This frustrates me, of course, but I’m not terribly bitter. Writing that novel taught me so much about the writing process. Editing it taught me more than I ever dreamed I needed to learn about proper grammar and the publishing industry. If I hadn’t created this world of characters and figured out how they all went together, I never would be able to write like I can today. My novella, Haskell & Eudora, which I feel I’m rightfully proud of would not exist without all that I labored through with Terrible Miss Margo. If ever I am published, I don’t know if this will be the one to make it to your local bookseller. Something will, I know, in time. Maybe I’ll self publish it in time — just to get rid of it. I’m sick of the weight of those four-hundred pages on my conscious.

BAHAHA:

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I think the most annoying thing in all of the Internet is written laughter. I can deal with the occasional lol and I won’t punch my laptop over a haha. Even though I can tolerate these things, I cannot deal with bahahahahahaha. Mainly because nobody actually says this in real life. People don’t talk like animated Disney villains. If they did, I would prefer they speak like Yzma from The Emperor’s New Groove and constantly shout things out like:

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They don’t, though, so that’s sad. Bahahahahahaha is just the worst thing in the history of the Internet. Maybe I don’t understand the purpose of this slang, but then again, I don’t want to. Desist, desist my dear readers from using this horrific mangling of the English language.

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