Good morning! It’s rainy, dreary and all around blech here in Philly – what a great day to go back to work after a long weekend. It’s too much of a meh day to make connected, coherent paragraphs, so here are my random, jumbled shares for this bleakish a.m.:
- PenPals and Swapping. When we moved to the suburbs, I felt incredibly disconnected – from my normal routines, from my friends, and I also lost a bit of my independence. I don’t drive, I’m a terrible driver, but in the city, not only is there no need for a car, a car is a pain in the ass because there’s just no parking. In the ‘burbs, it’s all about the car. So, in attempt to reach out to the far off world, because that’s how I felt, a bit, trapped in my large suburban house, I started penpaling and swapping. For the most part, I was swapping through Swap-bot and through a couple of ATC swap groups. The ATC swap groups became all about the drama, so see ya. I got bored of Swap-bot, and then there was Facebook – and the Pocket Letter craze. I made a half a dozen pocket letters, never wanted to make another one, and I was off the swapping. Penpaling was a bit more complicated. I had joined the League of Extraordinary PenPals, and I was writing to ten or so people. I was keeping up, doing just fine, for probably a year, and then my father died. Strangely, I didn’t really have trouble writing letter after letter telling the whole saga again and again, but after I wrote them all – that was it. I couldn’t write another letter. And, it didn’t help that I had lost my Wendori (my faux Traveler’s Notebook that I had made myself, and had my pen pal log as well as all of my addresses and stamps). And I just stopped. I figured if I ever got a letter saying, hey, what happened to you? I’d figure out the next step then – but I never did. I was writing to people who also had too many pen pals, and I guess I wasn’t missed. And, then I dropped out of the League altogether, because not only was I not an extraordinary penpal, but at that point, I couldn’t stand looking at the Facebook page – here, I was navigating the No Dad waters, and people were posting stuff like, “can you help me through this difficult time, I lost my favorite pen” or “send good thoughts my way, my third cousin twice removed is having surgery tomorrow.” I just didn’t really have any patience, or generosity towards anyone who suffered merely from this thing called life. Anyway, with the return of Project Life, and the hauling out of all of my papercrafting supplies, the swapping bug has bit again – this time with something called a Flip Book. So, while I’m not wholeheartedly committing to penpaling again, I am dipping my teeny toe into the Swap-bot waters. I’ve signed up for two swaps, and I’m not signing up for any more until they’re out in the mail. I’ve joined a few swapping Facebook groups, but I’m not signing up for anything until those two swaps are out the door. I’ll let you know how it goes!
- Beautiful. For my Valentine’s Day present, Joe got us tickets to see Beautiful, the show based on Carole King’s early career. Strangely, after seeing the show, which was toe tapping and superfun (although – huge note to lady sitting behind me – no one came here to listen to you sing. You leave the show singing, you don’t sit in the show singing), I was not intrigued by Carole King, but rather with her cad of a husband, Gerry Goffin. I knew that King’s writing partner was her husband, but before the show I never really thought about who wrote what, and it never occurred to me that she didn’t write any of the lyrics, but was solely a composer, at least in those early years of collaboration. So, I started to think about how could a guy write all of those lyrics, written primarily in a woman’s voice, like Natural Woman and Will You Still Love Me. And then I started to think, are they really in a woman’s voice, or are they more of a unisex voice, filled with all of the humanity, introspection and insecurities that I normally, but wrongly always attribute solely women. Or, was Goffin just an excellent fiction writer, capable of writing these tiny one act plays from a woman’s perspective, because he knew the song would be going to the Shirelles or Aretha Franklin, or their babysitter, Little Eva? In any event, it was a great show, and if it comes to a town near you, see it!
- Project Life. This past weekend was my niece’s bat mitzvah. When it came time to fill my pockets, I only had a handful of photos. How strange! I’m so used to being the photographer at life events, it’s weird to be at the mercy of someone else providing photos, as I now have to wait for my niece’s photographer to finish up with his proofs, and for my sister-in-law to post the good ones on Facebook. I feel really awkward and conspicuous at functions with my DSLR, which leads me to question what the future is for my DSLR. We have a tripped planned to England in June, and I know I’m going to take it, but I’m secretly dreaming of a super expensive, lightweight mirrorless Fuji or Sony or Olympus. Ah, one can dream. In any event, while waiting, I did have a few photos on my iphone, and there were some photos already on Facebook, so I made an insert with Ali Edward’s 6 x1 12 Layered Templates, and my nieces’ speech and my brother’s toast. You want to see it? So do I – but my mother liked it so much she took it, and now I’m waiting for another copy to arrive from Persnickety prints. So, I’ll show you when it gets here!
- Batman v. Superman. Of course we had to see this opening weekend. So Ben Affleck was a totally lame Batman. Rather than being dark and mysterious, he was just glum and constipated. And, the ending of this movie was just downright bleak, and a soul suck. This movie was below zero fun. At least the commemorative popcorn bucket is pretty cool, but that’s about it.
- Happy Planners. I want one. I don’t need one. What else is new? I can’t even tell you why I want one. I’m happy with my Traveler’s Notebook setup, and I don’t want to carry around anything bigger. I don’t like the vertical layout of the Happy Planner, I like the horizontal layout of an Erin Condren. But, I like the ARC system dics! I like the idea of being able to remove pages, and adding pages. I have seen people “Arc” their Erin Condren planners – uncoiling the binding, cutting off the leftover fringe, and repunching with an Arc punch. But, that seems like a big risk for a lot of money – these planners are pricey! I don’t even want to decorate it – I don’t get all of those planner layouts. I don’t really get planning to plan. But, I feel like I want something bigger to not plan my week, but to record my daily events to help me out with Project Life. I guess I want to use it like a diary, with minimalistic entries, to jot my stories down as a placeholder for the eventual Project Life pocket. I do carry around a notebook with morning pages in my Traveler’s Notebook, but when I do remember to write morning pages, I don’t write daily memories, I write things like this blog post – random thoughts. There’s a Michael’s coupon today for 40% off one item, and there’s a free shipping offer for four hours, between 4-8 today, so today might be the day. Or not – because I haven’t totally justified it yet.
- State prisons. Tomorrow, I have to see a client at SCI Graterford, and I started to mull over what my favorite state prison is, and then I stopped myself. I really shouldn’t have a favorite state prison. But, if I did – it wouldn’t be Graterford, uch.
And those are my random Monday morning think abouts! Hope you have more interesting things going on!