It’s Here!

All this hype for a year to begin and then you realize, you may not be sure about things you would like to accomplish with it? Here are some suggestions to help inspire you.

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  • Don’t wait for Spring for “spring cleaning”. Why wait? Start the year off with a clean slate, literally!
  • Take advantage of the sales and get yourself some new, crispy bed sheets.
  • Delete profiles and accounts from websites you no longer frequent or use.  Less e-mail!
  • Pay it forward, that small gesture can be a game changer and not just for the recipient.
  • Stop hoarding bullshit. You know what I am talking about.
  • Say goodbye to relationships that do not reciprocate what you give to them. It is better to be alone than in company that doesn’t give you the place you deserve.
  • Do something completely out of your element.
  • Put your phone away from time to time. Documenting everything is taking away from your truly enjoying the moment.
  • Have a bunch of e-friends you have never met in person? Bite the bullet, travel somewhere new and meet them!
  • Take a road trip and stop in kooky spots to take photos.
  • Cancel your cable. Less tv time and you have extra cash!
  • Start a new journal for art, writing or scrapbooking.
  • Do a 365 project. If it’s too much commitment, do a “once a week” project. Have the photos bound in a book and you can re-live your year in imagery.
  • Speak up. You are your biggest advocate.
  • Learn the freedom of leaving the house without make-up.
  • Sign up for Postcrossing and exchange postcards with strangers from around the globe. Or do it with your friends.
  • Tell those you love why they’re wonderful. We all need to hear it and life is too short to be holding it all in.
  • Have a wishlist on Amazon or somewhere else? This year pick at least one thing and buy it for yourself. Stop waiting! If you want it, buy the damn thing.
  • Call people out on their garbage behavior. In this day and age, we have to look out for each other.
  • If you ever find yourself in a drive thru and some extra cash, pay for the stuff for the people behind you. Unless they have their brights on, they get nothing. Kidding! Well, not really.
  • Save a life. Rescue or adopt a critter and gain a new love. Just make sure you’re ready forever, not till your next landlord doesn’t accept pets, ok?
  • Take up a new hobby that is totally outside of your comfort zone: gardening, knitting, painting in a new medium. Subsequently, be that one guy in the knitting circle boys! That’s an untapped resource of ladies. HOT women knit! I know a few of them.
  • See that massive influx of garbage in your email box? Yes, all those mailing lists you signed up for (or didn’t!)? Do yourself a favor, unsubscribe from all of them.
  • Go through your closet and if you haven’t worn it in 1-2 years, get rid of it! Clutter is toxic! Sentimental value items like wedding garb and the sweater that belonged to your friend that passed away do not apply. Also? Replace all your wire and plastic hangers with wood ones. We’re adults now.
  • Tell people how you really feel. Even the things that hurt to say.
  • That print or piece of art you always admired? Get it, frame it and put it somewhere you can revel in it daily.
  • Pay compliments. Tons of them. A small set of nice words in any form can make someone’s entire day… and not just to people you know, do it to complete strangers. Good slices of honesty make everyone win.
  • Have breakfast for dinner, in bed. You’re an adult now! You can be irresponsible and nonsensical from time to time. It isn’t going to kill you.
  • Buy yourself fresh flowers. Stop waiting for people to do it for you. Buy your dude flowers.
  • Get yourself a Q&A Journal. Anyone can fill in a blank once a day. Journaling with a shortcut.
  • Stop hoarding recipes on Pinterest and actually make one.
  • When you want to gripe, bitch and complain on Facebook posts, stop yourself. Type it and delete it. You’ll feel a lot better when you realize you aren’t *that person* we all can’t handle.
  • Go to new restaurants. We all have our “go to” joints but there is a lot of untapped gold you aren’t giving a chance.
  • Start a piggy bank and every day when you get home put your change in it. When it’s full you will probably have a good $100+ in it. Take that money and do something nice for yourself with it. Yes, I am encouraging you to not pay bills with it. No point in busting your ass if you never do anything for you.
  • Recycle. In this day and age it’s a responsibility. Sorry. Wait a minute, I am not sorry. You should be doing this shit already.
  • Buy used, handmade, support the mom & pops, support artists, buy local.
  • Write a really nice quote or love note and leave it on the cork board of your local coffee house or grocery store.
  • Dance around your house shamelessly, in your underwear, while singing your favorite guilty pleasure at the top of your lungs. Don’t give a fuck who sees you. It’s your house dammit.
  • Get that heavy burden off your chest. Send in a postcard to Postsecret and liberate yourself a little.
  • Listen to music, anytime, all the time. Build a soundtrack to your life.
  • Take risks. The only thing you have to lose is the fact you didn’t TRY.
  • Make your bucket list and scratch off at least one of those things by December.
  • Don’t let people dismiss your feelings. They’re yours, they’re valid and mean something.
  • Tell people you love them ALL THE TIME. We may know, but it’s also nice to be told.
  • All those people on Facebook who do nothing but piss you off or irritate you? Hide or remove them even! Seriously. We all have differences of opinions and not everyone is going to jive with you. IT’S OK. Your reading their feed does not equate friendship or love.
  • Snail mail! I cannot stress this one enough… That note or postcard you send means a lot more than your e-mail, text or Facebook wall birthday post.
  • Do something for someone who cannot repay you. Revel in the magic that is giving without receiving.
  • Carry a pocket sized journal on you, write down the good you experienced that day. Go back and read it when you are having a bad day.
  • Speak the truth. Dishonesty is toxic… no one likes that business.
  • Don’t wait anymore. You may never get that chance again. Use this rule wherever it applies best.
  • Revel in nature. Hike, climb, skip stones on ponds, stare at the sea, collect rocks and leaves. The outdoors is the best therapy you can get… and it’s FREE.
  • Get a library card. You would be so surprised how many people don’t have one! Make it a habit to go and check out some books, real ones, none of this Kindle bullshit.
  • If your health permits, sign up to be a marrow donor with Be The Match. Donate some blood. Make sure you are on the organ donor list. Life is a gift! As a recipient of a life saving transfusion, I thank you in advance.
  • Avoid the comments sections to news articles online. Let’s face it, they’re always full of trolls, stupid and ignorant people. Spare yourself the rise in blood pressure. Arguing with strangers on the internet is about as useful as giving a fish a bicycle for xmas.
  • Put more value in your health. Not everyone may be as lucky and they would probably kill to have the health you complain about.
  • Listen to music on your headphones while errand running & grocery shopping. The grocery store is a whole new place when you are blasting some Prince or Cameo in your ears. Word up.
  • Humility, humility, humility. It’s great to like “you”, like what you do, but don’t be a dick about it.
  • Pay attention to those who love you, forgive those who have hurt you, remove those who do not serve or benefit your existence.
  • Stop saying “I’m Sorry” for things you really have nothing to be sorry about.
  • Learn and master the art of saying NO. So many times we find ourselves living to please others, and at our own expense no less. It’s time to say yes to yourself. And don’t feel bad about it either!
  • On the other side, learn and master the art of saying YES. Yes to invitations, to blind and new situations… sometimes we end up having the best experiences over things we second guessed
  • Work on putting the fear away
  • Have some free time? Volunteer it! Be it with critters, people, helping a non-profit.
  • Do not underestimate the power of a candlelit bath, in silence or with your preferred music of choice.
  • Practice intention and be present.
  • Honor your feelings. It’s ok to have moments.
  • Own your truths

About the end…

img_36002016
Moved back to San Diego, CA
Reacquainted myself with legit Mexican food – Sorry NorCal and East Coast, SoCal wins #notreallysorry
Participated in 19 art shows and sold a lot of work
Celebrated 12 years of marriage
Took up Pilates again
Got bangs
Visited Chicago for the first time
New friends
Cried in front of a Monet at the Getty Center
Got my ass in therapy
Fixed a broken bridge and burned others to the motherfucking ground where they needed to be
Found a way to speak up for myself that was more productive
Wept like a baby when The Cure played A Letter To Elise
Turned 42
Cried with friends
Got in my first fender bender (not my fault!)
Took large risks that paid off
Shows seen: The Soft Moon, Chvrches, The Cure, Black Marble, Cold Cave, Deftones, Health
Many exquisite conversations that really broadened my perspective about so many things
Listened to a lot of killer music  (not all came from 2016, bite me)
Come to think of it, that was a lot of crying. What can I say? I am more of a softie than I care to admit.

2017 
Make an effort to close drawers and cabinets all the way. This isn’t a metaphor. Like, actual cabinets and drawers. Josh’s shins will thank me.
Keep working on OSA (aka Operation Shelf Ass)
Say what I mean, mean what I say
Give time to those who really want it and make an effort to return it
Write devastatingly beautiful letters
Speaking of, more emails and less texts… or how about longwinded texts? Fair compromise.
Learn a new skill
More snail mail
Procrastinate less and manage time more efficiently (HA!)
Stay away from pay to play situations
Practice the fine art of gratitude, surrender and vulnerability
Be a pillar, wall or shoulder to those who need it
Pay compliments
Smell good, well, better than I already do (no shame in this game)
Be present in the company of others even more by putting away my phone more
Call people out on their garbage. No being a bystander to garbage.
Read
Visit homies who live far (time and money permitting)
Elevate the levels of giving no fucks to the things that don’t deserve my fucks.
Speaking of fucks? Fuck. Nuzzle. Cuddle. More. I like this plan.
There REALLY needs to be more tattoo work this year
Dust off the Nikon and take more photos
Hug and kiss my people hello and goodbye. Honestly, more physical contact period. No more of this sterile ass whatnot, so prepare
Drag some of those hugs out more as required
Continue to say things like: I love you, thank you, I appreciate you.
Use my own words to convey a thought, this “memes and quotes of others” as a method of communication is no bueno
BE MOTHERFUCKING PRESENT

Now Playing

I decided I would start a list segment in which I share the more recent inspirations…

Reading
: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty.
Confession time: I don’t read nearly as much as I should. I get distracted easily, need silence and well, I have the attention span of a small child. If the writing doesn’t suck me in, I put it down and on to the next. Cailtin’s book was not the case, maybe because I find the whole funerary process fascinating, even more when it is coming from an insider. It has some very interesting insights and anecdotes about death, how we view it and how wrong we are about it. I enjoyed this book very much and if you aren’t squeamish about gory corpse details, then I recommend you pick it up. Techinically I am not reading it anymore since I finished it last week, it was a rather quick read as I could not put it down.

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I am making a sincere effort to read more books this year because honestly, it’s a travesty and people who don’t read don’t deserve sex. You can thank John Waters for that awesome logic.

Currently ReadingWhere the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye: A Journey by Marie Mitsuki Mockett. As you can tell, the subject has been on my mind. I will let you know how this one goes.

Eating:
Lately, Josh and I have been making efforts to skipping on so many meat-centric dishes and in turn, I am being forced out of my comfort zone and am looking for recipes to try.  Quality meat shopping can get expensive for one and we have also been working out more so cutting caloric corners is a plus. I came across this one on Pinterest: Roasted zucchini, black bean and goat cheese enchiladas from The Sprouted Kitchen. To say it was a hit is an understatement. I approve. Go make it!

Also, I seem to have taken up a hot chocolate kick. Just in time for another 5 day storm we are about to get.

Wearing: Some Strangeness In The Proportion by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab.

10612575_339230029581425_7050001566437258625_nYes, this comes off as some shameless whoring since I drew the art on the bottle but it is one of the two scents from the Ligeia collection that really stuck with me and I keep going back to it. This one contains: “Rich vanilla sandalwood elegantly distorted by oudh, labdanum, scarlet saffron, and pink pepper.” – On me, since I have wacky chemistry, smells like amber. Either way it’s warm and awesome sauce. I do have a feeling that this may be replaced soon by one of the highly anticipated Lupercalia 2015 collection cause who doesn’t want to smell like something called SMUT or Ivory Vulva. I know I do. Heed with caution, BPAL IS ADDICTING. You’e been warned. (EDIT: All of the limited edition Ligeia are now off the site. Limited edition fools! Snooze and lose)

Also wearing Back To Black By Kilian. I was lucky enough to have this gifted to me for my birthday and my god it is a One Way Ticket To Sexy Town. And yes, it is worth every single penny.

Listening: Lately I have been all about classical and soundtrack music. There really haven’t been any new releases that made me salivate so I am going back and revisiting some beautiful compositions for movies. It’s nice to switch it up to a more classic sound from time to time. I made a small playlist on Spotify of some good ones if you are inclined. You can find it here. Note to self: add more.

Watching Watched: The Fall and Peaky Blinders

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I got to give it to the Brits and their TV because they have been churning out all kinds of awesomeness, in better ways than all the shit that is being spat out this side of the pond. These two were so good we could not help ourselves from marathoning all of it. The Fall is just a good serial killer crime drama and Peaky? Crime family, lots of eye candy in perfectly tailored suits and a rad soundtrack to boot.

Both are on Netflix, have at it. Ok ok not all gringo tv is bad, I shall give an honorable mention to Transparent on Amazon.

I also saw Parenthood through to the end. I am glad it went out with some dignity and JFC I am glad it’s gone cause one can only ugly cry so much while watching TV and folding laundry.

What are you reading, eating, wearing, listening to and/or watching? 

 

the little things…

Here we are, another year out from under us and a hotel hallway of doors full of possibilities within our view. We approach a new year with hope, intentions and in some cases, superstitious juju rituals. Maybe we don’t have that form of clarity and things are still in a state of limbo. If your intentions aren’t as clear, here are a few ideas to help you jump start another year full of wonderful.

2015

  • Don’t wait for Spring for “spring cleaning”. Why wait? Start the year off with a clean slate, literally!
  • Take advantage of the sales and get yourself some new, crispy bed sheets.
  • Delete profiles and accounts from websites you no longer frequent or use.  Less e-mail!
  • I say this one every year because it is a good one: Learn and master the art of saying NO. The sooner you learn how to do it, the happier you will be.
  • Pay it forward, that small gesture can be an game changer and not just for the recipient.
  • Say goodbye to relationships that do not reciprocate what you give to them. It is better to be alone than in company that doesn’t give you your worth.
  • Do something completely out of your element.
  • Put your phone away. Documenting everything is taking away from your truly enjoying the moment.
  • Have a bunch of e-friends you have never met in person? I know I do. Bite the bullet, travel somewhere new and meet them!
  • Take a road trip and stop in kooky spots to take photos.
  • Cancel your cable. Less tv time and you have extra cash!
  • Make an effort to reduce your phone time and have more “me” time.
  • Start a new journal for art, writing or scrapbooking.
  • Do a 365 project. If it’s too much commitment, do a “once a week” project. Have the photos  bound in a book and you can re-live your year in imagery.
  • Speak up. You are your biggest advocate.
  • Learn the freedom of leaving the house without make-up.
  • Sign up for Postcrossing and exchange postcards with strangers from around the globe. Or do it with your friends.
  • Write out your bucket list and put it somewhere to remind you of all the things you want to do. Scratch off at least one this year.
  • Tell those you love why they’re wonderful. We all need to hear it and life is too short to be holding it all in.

*****
Want more ideas on how to make the best of your New Year?
You can visit previous lists from 2014 + 2013

the shit I do

The other night I heard Josh get out of bed. I am a light sleeper thanks to the kiddo, so I hear it all. Josh gets up and makes his zombie way to the bathroom where all of a sudden I hear a thud promptly followed by what sounded like “Shitfuckgoddamit!!! “. I might be wrong about the exact words but one thing I did know, he wasn’t happy. I immediately knew what it was.

I have said this before but I will re-share for posterity. I have a horrible habit of leaving doors, cabinets and drawers in their open position and no doubt that Josh, in his half asleep stupor, walked into something I left open, this time a drawer. I am glad it was his foot and not his balls. Just now I looked over to the kitchen and this was what I saw: 3 cabinet doors, the door to the laundry room and a drawer. Josh is a saint for putting up with it.

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More weird tidbits about me…

If a stranger sneezes within my general vicinity, I can’t help myself and spontaneously say “bless you”. I am not in the business of blessing people, I am not even religious. This is something I have just instinctively said for the longest time and can’t seem to break it. Most of the time people look at me like I am a complete and total weirdo.

I do not wear mascara on my lower lid and haven’t since my 20’s. It grosses me out and it ends up flaking and making me look like I got punched in the eye. Contacts gross me the hell out too… there are so many things I would rather do than stick slimy shit in my eye.

When I clean the house I don’t focus on one room at a time. I just do little things across the house and at some point, most of it is done. I’m like that with a lot of things, a spoon in everything. It will all get finished, eventually.

Not sure where this one weird spoon came from, but there is one metal spoon that doesn’t match the rest of my cutlery. It just showed up in my house. All I do know is that it is my preferred spoon for yogurt consumption and coffee stirring. Funny enough, my Dad has the same habit… he has this one spoon he loves and he has gone as far as to travel with it. I think I am not like him and then stuff like this happens.

Sometimes when I have had enough caffeine, I may send my friends videos on their birthdays of me singing “Las Mañanitas” with mariachi backtrack. That’s the Mexican Happy Birthday. It always goes over well cause who can’t laugh at me making a fool of myself? It helps I curl my lips in really kooky ways and gesticulate a lot when I sing and talk.

When I was a kid I wouldn’t eat strawberries or anything with edible seeds because I believed that plants would grow in my stomach.

I know what a full body cast feels like: itchy as hell

I know what drowning feels like: Yes, your life flashes in front of your eyes

I had my wisdom teeth removed with only local anesthesia. I heard every rip and crunch. I don’t advise anyone do this, ever. Unless you are a complete and total masochist.

I have had to learn how to walk twice.

Tequila and I do not get along and yes, it is for the very reason you are probably thinking.

I have never received a speeding ticket despite my bat out of hell ways. I have been pulled over, had warnings, got an administrative fine but nothing on my record. Can I make it to 40 without one? We shall see!

Tell me something weird, kooky or eccentric about you! 

weekend recap

This weekend was lots of goodness which included the following:

Quiet morning at the shelter with nine kittens and Morrissey in my headphones. Lunch with my Mr.

Laughing on the couch to Louie CK stand up. I will never tire of a good “taking a shit” joke.

Rain. CA is lacking it so whenever water falls from the sky, it is always welcome.

Driving through freshly watered, Fall colored, wine country landscapes.

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Playing Bean Boozled with Reza who has been bitching about this game for months. I ended up with a moldy cheese flavor that I promptly spit out and declared game over. Sorry but I can’t even fathom the concept of willingly putting a dog food/vomit/booger/ear wax flavored anything in my mouth.

Walking around SF/Golden Gate Park with these handsome mofos, getting rained on, followed by delicious sushi dinner. Living so close to SF always allows us opportunities to hang out with many visiting friends and Jason & Eryc are some of our absolute favorites. photo 2
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My dude who makes me feel like every day is Christmas morning

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The smell of cinnamon swirl bread in the toaster.

Hearing from friends who were having a great time jamming to compilation CDs I made them. Totally makes my day when peeps tell me how much they’ve enjoyed the treats I have shared with them.

Reza absolutely handing us our asses in Dr Who Monopoly. Girl absolutely ruined us both. RUINED.

Crispy Sunday weather that very much felt like Fall should feel. Crispy day was followed by chicken enchilada soup in the slow cooker.  Such an awesome soup… with my personal tweaks of course, I can’t seem to follow a recipe to a T.

Awesome snail mail in my mailbox.

And of course, in the “huge life event” department. After many years of trying, Reza rode a bike for the first time yesterday. It was the one thing we just couldn’t get her to learn and rather than push too hard or embarrass her, we decided to ride it out. Yesterday Josh decided to give it another go to which he said, “Today is the day” and well, she did! We couldn’t be more stoked cause now we can take her with us on trail adventures. It’s such a rad feeling to see your kid turn a corner from insecure/doubtful to “I got this”. Josh was the one helping her while I watched from afar. At one point she stops, drops her bike and runs to him, “Daddy! I DID IT!”. Oh man, the tears and all the feels. Here is a small clip.

Songs on heavy rotation:
“Gods and Monsters” – Lana del Rey
“Memorial” – Russian Circles feat. Chelsea Wolf
“Jack The Ripper” – Morrissey

an ode to Friday

Everyone loves to rag on about the horrible day they’re having. It’s true. And you know what is true? I am having a good one! Actually, I have been having a good week. Instead of posting a cliche ass quote in script font, that someone else probably didn’t even say paired with a sunset photo… (say that in one mouthful). I am going to talk to you about my week and why it rules.

Kitty Therapy: I went to volunteer at the animal shelter and hung out with the kittehs. Seriously, this is one of the best things I have ever done. Getting one of the most terrified cats to come around for me was so fulfilling, I cannot even begin to tell you. And the therapy is FREE.

Operation Health: we have been eating really good for a couple weeks now, it can be felt and seen. Well, save for the stress that decided to park itself on my face. But it’s ok… I am handling that.

Kitchen Magic: Because we are seriously having to watch our diet, I have been cooking at home A LOT more. Trying new things, getting out of the comfort zone. At the moment I have this curry simmering and the house smells fantastic. UMPHHH

The Car: We finalized the hunt and purchase for the car last Sunday. I am SO RELIEVED to have that out from under us. I found a really nice, used 2013 VW Tiguan that had only 2200 miles on it. And it was black! HOLLAH. So we drove to SF to give it a look see. We got a really good deal on it and although I know Josh is mourning the loss of his Volvo and the balls it had under the hood, this needed to happen in a big way. Reza declared love at first sight the minute she saw the panoramic sunroof. Can’t say it isn’t awesome, it totally is. We christened our maiden voyage the way it should be done.

Califuckingfornia: Sure, it has been raining but Sonoma County is turning greener by the day and all the trees are sporting flowers. The weather is glorious. SO SO grateful to be back on the West Coast.

Road Trip!: You read correctly! Carley Triangle, coming to SoCal VERY SOON. This was plotted in the past couple days and while we are hashing out details, arrival is imminent.

Art Class: I am taking a lino printmaking class tomorrow (been wanting this for months!) and while that isn’t today, I am PUMPED! I am really looking forward to learning some better techniques.

Hair Metal Playlist: Cause everything is more awesome when you’re listening to “Smooth Up In You”. Want in on my goodness? You can listen to my HAIR playlist on Spotify.

This Kid: Sure, she has been testing us but just as she is turning a corner in her growth, so are we with this whole “how to parent” whatnot. It’s a learning curve yo! She has had a particularly rough past two weeks so I cut her some slack, treated her to a smoothie, some arcade game playing and let her watch Adventure Time even if she got in trouble at school. This morning when I went to wake her up, I was laying in bed with her, she grabs my hand and says, “Mom? What you did for me yesterday was really nice”. Damn. We forget she’s only 7 and has a long way to go. So maybe we need to lighten up a little. I just couldn’t imagine our lives without her goofy, morbid and twisted little outlook. This was at her follow up appointment for her toof extraction…

††† : YES. This morning I secured tickets to see CROSSES and I am sporting a big ole boner over it cause I am a total Chino Moreno fangirl. The man could sing church music and I would be all melty. Stupid hurricane came in the way of the Deftones show in Philly, I have been waiting a long ass time! I fear my husband may be embarrassed by me that day.

Grown Up Shit: other than your pants feeling too loose, the other best feeling in the world is paying off and reducing debt. We did that this week thanks to Uncle Sam not impaling us this year. So glad to be reducing that BS.

And well, it’s Friday. Which means time with my dude. Cause well, he’s the best person on my planet.

Do you have any exciting plans this weekend? What are you looking forward to?

the little things…

Happy 2014 friends! I know a lot of people come into the new year with high hopes that it will only be better than its predecessor. Some will come into it with clear intention, some not so much… so I made a list that could help kick start your thought process!

  • Learn how to do something new. Hobbies, recipes, languages, you get the picture. We are creatures of comfort, break out of that mold.
  • Have some free time? Volunteer it! Be it with critters, people, helping a non-profit.
  • If your health permits, sign up to be a marrow donor with Be The Match or donate some blood. Life is a gift! As a recipient of a life saving transfusion, I thank you in advance.
  • Tell people you love them ALL THE TIME. We may know, but it’s also nice to be reminded.
  • All those people on Facebook who do nothing but piss you off or irritate you? Hide or remove them even! Seriously. We all have differences of opinions and not everyone is going to jive with you. IT’S OK. Your reading their feed does not equate friendship or love.
  • Unsubscribe from websites and mailing lists you no longer or rarely patronize. It’s a pain in the ass at times but think of all the bombardment you will be avoiding!
  • Do not underestimate the power of a candlelit bath, in silence or with your preferred music of choice.
  • Snail mail! I cannot stress this one enough… That note or postcard you send means a lot more than your e-mail, text or Facebook wall birthday post.
  • Do something for someone who cannot repay you. Revel in the magic that is giving without receiving.
  • Carry a pocket sized journal on you, write down the good you experienced that day. Go back and read it when you are having a bad day.
  • Speak the truth. The only person you fool is yourself and lying is toxic… no one likes that business.
  • Don’t wait anymore. You may never get that chance again. Use this rule wherever it applies best.
  • Revel in nature. Hike, climb, skip stones on ponds, collect rocks and leaves. The outdoors is the best therapy you can get… and it’s FREE.
  • Get a library card. You would be so surprised how many people don’t have one! Make it a habit to go and check out some books, real ones, none of this kindle bullshit.
  • Avoid the comments sections to news articles online. Let’s face it, they’re always full of trolls, stupid and ignorant people. Spare yourself the rise in blood pressure. Arguing with strangers on the internet is about as useful as giving a fish a bicycle for xmas.
  • Put more value in your health. Not everyone may be as lucky and they would probably kill to have the health you complain about.
  • Listen to music on your headphones while errand running & grocery shopping. The grocery store is a whole new place when you are blasting some Prince or Cameo in your ears. Word up.
  • Humility, humility, humility. It’s great to like “you”, like what you do, but don’t be a dick about it.
  • Pay attention to those who love you, forgive those who have hurt you, remove those who do not serve or benefit your existence.
  • Learn and master the art of saying NO. So many times we find ourselves living to please others, and at our own expense no less. It’s time to say yes to yourself. And don’t feel bad about it either!

Need more ideas? You can read last year’s list as well.

signaturesmlres

the little things…

You always hear the phrase, “it’s the little things” and you know what, those little things really do make the world go ’round. You want this year to rule? Here are a few things you can do!

  • Have a wishlist on Amazon or somewhere else? This year pick at least one thing and buy it for yourself. Stop waiting! If you want it, buy the damn thing.
  • If you ever find yourself in a drive thru, pay for the stuff for the people behind you. Unless they have their brights on, they get nothing. Kidding! Well, not really. 🙂
  • Save a life. Rescue or adopt a critter. We did this last year and you would not believe how rewarding it is. Just make sure you’re ready forever, not till your next landlord doesn’t accept pets ok?
  • Take up a new hobby that is totally outside of your comfort zone: gardening, knitting, painting in a new medium. Subsequently, be that one guy in the knitting circle boys! That’s an untapped resource of ladies. HOT women knit! I know a few of them… NO, REALLY.
    knitting: not just for old ladies yo!

    That’s a whole lot of gorgeous in one strip of photos right there. (PS, if that’s you, I stole your photo. I had to prove a point with your hotness, sorry!)

    Shameless pimping: The wares of 1 and 3

  • See that massive influx of garbage in your email box? Yes, all those mailing lists you signed up for (or didn’t!)? Do yourself a favor, unsubscribe from all of them.
  • Send tons and tons of snail mail. Dude, the art of letter writing is DYING and yes, postage keeps going up but it’s no excuse! The lid on your latte probably costs more. Do you remember the last time you got an amazing, unsolicited letter in your mail box? Do you remember how it made you feel? I rest my case.
  • Go through your closet and if you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it! Clutter is toxic! Sentimental value items like wedding garb and the sweater that belonged to your friend that passed away do not apply. Also? Replace all your wire and plastic hangers with wood ones. We’re big people now.
  • Tell people how you really feel.
  • That print or piece of art you always admired? Get it and put it somewhere you can revel in it daily.
  • Pay compliments, lots of them. A small set of nice words in any form can make someone’s entire day… and not just to people you know, do it to complete strangers. Good slices of honesty make everyone win.
  • Have breakfast for dinner, in bed. You’re an adult now! You can be irresponsible and nonsensical from time to time. It isn’t going to kill you.
  • Buy yourself fresh flowers. Stop waiting for people to do it for you.
  • Make your bed every morning. I am a supreme slacker with this one but I have noticed my room is just more sanctuary-like when it’s orderly.
  • Buy yourself a Q&A Journal. Anyone can fill in a blank once a day. Journaling with a shortcut.
  • Stop hoarding recipes on Pinterest and actually make one.
  • When you want to gripe, bitch and complain on facebook posts, stop yourself. You’ll feel a lot better when you realize you aren’t *that person* we all can’t handle.
  • Go to new restaurants. We all have our “go to” joints but there is a lot of untapped gold you aren’t giving a chance.
  • Start a piggy bank and every day when you get home put your change in it. When it’s full you will probably have a good $100+ in it. Take that money and do something nice for yourself with it. Yes, I am encouraging you to not pay bills with it. No point in busting your ass if you never do anything for you.
  • Recycle. In this day and age it’s a reponsibility. Sorry. Wait a minute, I am not sorry. You should be doing this already.
  • Buy used, handmade, support the mom & pops, buy local.
  • Write a really nice quote or love note and leave it on the cork board of your local coffee house or grocery store.
  • Dance around your house shamelessly, in your underwear, while singing at the top of your lungs and don’t give a shit who sees you. It’s your house dammit.
  • Get that heavy burden off your chest. Send in a postcard to Postsecret and liberate yourself a little.
  • Listen to music, anytime, all the time. Build a soundtrack to your life.
  • Take risks. The only thing you have to lose is the fact you didn’t TRY.
  • Make your bucket list and scratch off at least one of those things by December.
  • Live. Life is short and we spend far too much of it on trivialities.

closure: 2012 ends and not in that Mayan kind of way.

Another year came and went. Holy shit. It felt longer than ever but on the same token it passed by like a breeze.

Notable Moments:
Adopted two rescue kittens: Gomez and Judas
Made a bucket list
Got off my ass and launched my etsy store. And stuff sold!
Discovered my love of the bike and got over my fear of being near moving cars
Found a lot of cool dead things for my collection
Learned how to pin bug specimens
Found and returned a wallet
Rescued a baby bunny and moved it to safety
Watched someone get engaged under the LOVE sign in Philadelphia
Got fitted for and bought a GOOD bra. My tits felt like they could conquer the world. Why did I wait this long? Who the hell knows.
Sent out a metric TON of snail mail.
My kid graduated from pre-k and started K. (finally!) – She also started Karate.
Reconnected with a friend I had not spoken to in over 10 years.
Crazy ass weather… Hurricane Sandy was some scary shit.
Cut off a friend I love very much due to substance abuse – I miss him.
Getting to spend Reza’s birthday in San Diego, seeing all my old friends and finally getting some real Mexican food.
Another successful collaboration with Cupkozy (Buy one here!)


(this was our xmas postcard this year… figured since most people already got theirs I can share it now)

Stats: Josh and I celebrated 11 years together and our 8 year wedding anniversary. Reza turned 6, Josh and I turned 38…. buncha geezers.

Met For The First Time: Diana, Angie and Bianca, both who I have known online for a while but never in person. Both were awesome. Can I say how awesome it is to meet e-friends in person? It’s awesome. Oh and my nephew Ari.

Firsts:
Painted my first vinyl figures
Created a print for fabric (note to self: DO MORE)
Painted a lot of watercolor art
Sent out more mail this year than I ever have.
Got backstage at a hair metal show
Discovered my love for riding my bike
Rode over 100 miles on said bike in one week
Rode a bike through a cemetery
Sent a very heartfelt email to someone who didn’t know me but needed it.

Visitors: Tom, Chris, Bret & Gayle, Diana, Griselda, Bee + the kids, Liz, Mom & Dad

Traveled to/places seen: New York City, Sleepy Hollow, New Hope, Philadelphia, San Diego.

Shows: The Black Keys, Lita Ford – Poison – Def Leppard (on one bill!), Sigur Ros, Dead Can Dance, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Amon Tobin – Amon Tobin is hands down the best of the year.

Lost: Nena. After 13 years of companionship we said goodbye to our little chi-hoo-dog. That was a really rough couple of weeks for me cause she was there before Josh and Reza… Still feels like a punch to the gut.

Addicted: nail polish, antique hunting, Spotify, cycling, finding dead things, Pinterest, watercolors, smoothie making, oil cleansing method for the skin,

Music I listened to on repeat:
This is the thing about the “end of the year” playlist. Technically they’re supposed to be the best of 2012. Some of these did not come out this year but I got into them late in the game. They make my playlist anyway, I make the rules here. It’s a whole lot of songs that don’t belong together but whatever. If you are on spotify, you can listen to my fav tracks here.

Prurien† – ††† (Crosses) <--- the best new release this year as far as I am concerned. Warrior - Kimbra Cut It Out - Kitten Violent - The New Division Kill Your Heroes - AWOLnation Terrorbird - Author & Punisher Spheres Of Fury - HECQ + Exillon Professional Griefers - deadmau5 + Gerard Way L'amour - Bingo Players Kick Out The Epic Motherfucker - Dada Life The Night Out - Martin Solveig Vescath - Enabl.ed Rosemary - Deftones Memories Of The Future - Handsome Furs Baalbek - Trifonic (Hecq remix) They Disappear Into The Palms - Lights Out Asia ...For A Void - Bitcrush 4 Days - Snow In Mexico (not available on Spotify) listen here
Starfield – The New Division (not available on Spotify) listen here

The last two are amazing, shame they are not on Spotify to complete the playlist but they needed to be mentioned

And about me…

The Good…
All things considering, I was pretty inspired. I made a lot more art this year than in previous years. I also sold a lot of it too which is always flattering that people feel it’s purchase worthy. I did not make enough but right now there is a high tide and I am riding it as long as it will let me. Here are just a couple of pieces I did that stuck out…

I came to a realization that there are things that really stimulate and make me feel whole. Things that agree with me and things that don’t. It’s nice to be that intuitive with yourself that you can see those things instead of having them pointed out to you. Instead of sharing it all, I am just going to do. No one likes preachy types and lord knows there is A LOT of that going around these days.

I switched up my approach to social media and how I use it. Trimming the fat was so necessary.

Last year I said I was going to stop writing and living for others. Do I feel like I accomplished that? Absolutely.

My family? Awesome. Our marriage? Stronger than ever.

The Bad…
Josh and I had a small rough patch this year but it was sorted out.
Reza’s school schedule is the biggest joke and 2.5 hours doesn’t allow me much personal time.
Last year I said I was going to lose weight. I did… and gained it and lost it, and gained it…

The Ugly…
Realizing that people are not who you thought they are/were

I will say it. I try to see the good in everything, that there is a lesson to be learned but that outlook can be exhausting at times. We pretty much came to the conclusion that we need to get out of NJ and the day cannot come soon enough. It’s hard to feel that lightness when you have that heavy anvil on your shoulders. Being somewhere you don’t like or thrive is not something I wish on anyone.

Conclusion…
So what will 2013 bring? No resolutions, only goals and hopes…..
Get out of NJ
Acquire strength in the body and peace in the mind
Travel
Write more letters
Speak with freedom and honesty
Drive less, ride hard
Make more art and put it out there. No more comparing, fearing criticism.
Admit and accept that there are things I do well and stop being a pussy about it.
Step out of my comfort zone.

2013 is going to be a better year, hopefully a very exciting one. I have a feeling. Catch you on the other side.

oxoxox

I.