Life Update #6: A Mouse Can Make A Big Difference

Let me set the record straight. I’m not about to go off on some philosophical, metaphorical tangent about how small things can impact your life in massive ways.

I’m being much more literal here.

I got a computer mouse.

Now, some of you guys are probably wondering what the big effin’ deal is. It’s just a computer mouse, right?

I own a laptop, have owned it for about six years now. Ever since I got it, I have used the touchpad below the keyboard to navigate. Sure, my hands got cramped more often than not and my fingers awkwardly hovered over the keys, but I managed.

But I recently got another freelance job editing, so I figured I’d be a big spender for once. I went to Best Buy and got myself the cheapest-ish mouse available, called it Jerry, and then took it home. With a job like editing, I wanted a little more finesse than a touchpad. Know what I mean, jelly bean?

You guys, it’s like I forgot how to breathe. Having a mouse is addictively pleasurable. I can’t stop using it. I know material things shouldn’t amount to happiness, but I’m goddamn ecstatic.

To make a good thing even better, my boyfriend bought me a mouse pad with an image of Froley on it to celebrate.

This mouse is the best purchase EVER.

Huh.

You know, now that I think about it, this is a post about how a little thing can have a massive impact on your life.

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Life Update #5: Origami Joys

Okay, so some of you might remember my previous life update where I berated the trials and tribulations of origami, the art of paper folding. (I was trying to pick up a new hobby.)

You can verify my annoyance by checking out that life update right here. A brief summary in case you’re too lazy to click on the link (which I totally understand) is that I was not pleased with origami. The instructions were obtuse, the folding paper unmanageable, and my fingers clumsy.

I thought I was going to give up origami as a lost cause.

I have to eat those words now.

Recently, during my free time, I’ve been fiddling with those square bits of paper, and call me a flubbing chicken-head if I’m not starting to enjoy it.

I’ll finish whatever work I have to do, put Star Trek: The Next Generation on the television, and I’ll fold up little chairs and tables, boxes and balloons.

I’m about to leave those kinds of folds behind and start practicing vehicles, like boats and planes. Then I’ll move on to animals. I’m really excited for that.

I am pleasantly bemused by this change in the status quo.

Origami initially irritated me. Messing up a single fold caused the creation to look sloppy, and I hated to look at my childlike fuck-ups. Nothing makes you feel so uncoordinated as failing to do origami properly.

But it’s like my brain did a total one-eighty. After that one day of idly picking up a square sheet and trying a few folds, I began enjoying the process.

If you take your time and don’t sweat your mistakes, origami can be really relaxing. And the more relaxed you are, the fewer mistakes you make. The instructions make sense if you spend a few moments studying the final diagram. The instructions end up feeling incredibly intuitive. Plus, it tickles my fancy when that light bulb in my head flicks on and I suddenly know what I have to do to turn that flat piece of paper into a three-dimensional shape.

I suppose there’s a lesson somewhere in all this. Something about giving things a second chance. Or maybe it has to do with perseverance.

Whatever. I don’t have time for the moral of this story.

I need to go to the store to buy some more folding paper.

Being Alone in the Morning

Mornings are my favorite time of day.

I like waking up to dim morning light peeking through my window slats. I stay in bed for a few minutes, reveling in the warmth of the blankets bundled around me. Eventually, the need for my day to begin presses against my consciousness, so I get up and make my bed.

Brushing my teeth, cleaning my retainer, and peeing are the first activities I do every morning. Afterwards, I head to my writing table. I start up both my desktop and my laptop and prepare myself for tackling the day’s work.

I love these first few hours before the morning melds into noon. It’s just me, my pencil (or keyboard), my thoughts, and the morning.

Coffee becomes a priority about an hour after I wake up. The sound of the coffee machine burbling away has now become as integral to my routine as that initial burst of caffeine. The feeling of a warm mug of coffee in my hands, even if it is a blazing-hot summer day, is an utter joy to me.

The solitude of it all is magnificent.

The phrase “being alone” has some unfair connotations to it. People equate being alone with being lonely.

I think being alone gives you time and space to think properly. The focus you lose when people are around you, taking up your attention, is sharpened when you are by yourself. My head clutters up very easily with runaway trains of thought and daydreams, so being alone lets me tidy up my mind.

Or, on occasion, lets me take a ride on one of those trains.

My mornings aren’t always spent in the solace of solitude. And if that’s the case, I just make do.

But when I get the chance, I enjoy being alone in the morning.

We Halt Your Regular Programming…

So, as some of you guys may or may not know, Game of Thrones officially starts this coming Sunday. Lately, I’ve been debating with myself on whether or not to devote entire posts to each episode as they come out.

The cons of this scenario all have to do with scheduling. I normally write my posts in advance and then set them to be published every four days. This way, I can write a bunch of posts during my free time, allowing me some breathing room when other work has me feeling hectic.

If I decided to do a weekly Game of Thrones review, for about the next month, my scheduling would be out of whack. I could either write my regular posts, scheduling them in advance, in addition to the Game of Thrones posts, or I could forego my regular posts in favor of the GoT ones once a week.

So basically, I’d either be overworked or lazy.

Honestly, I still haven’t decided what I’m going to do. But fuck it all. This is my bloggy thing, and I can do what I want with it.

Fair warning, my friends. Expect SPOILER-FILLED reviews for the final season of Game of Thrones in the next few weeks. You’ll figure out if I kept up with my other posts in the future, I guess. 😉

But rest assured, once Game of Thrones is over, I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled posts.

Life Update #3: Snow in the Desert

I went to visit my sister for a bit, and the unthinkable happened.

It snowed.

My sister lives in the arid Arizona desert near Tuscon. Deep-red rocks layer the mountains surrounding the region. Cacti and cholla line the dried-up wash behind her house.

And this past weekend, a healthy five inches of snow settled upon her neighborhood.

It was so unreal. Even though I saw snow fall during my Christmas cabin trip, I’m still not used to the sight. I felt like Alya’s sliding glass door opened onto an alien planet, a planet where a saguaro cactus could be hooded with an ice-cold powder. I spent a long time just staring out the window, watching fat flakes pile up into frozen mounds.

The funny thing is I wasn’t even supposed to stay at Alya’s this weekend. I extended my stay at the spur of the moment (with my sister’s eager consent). So it felt like the snow was destined for me. I was meant to encounter it. (Pretentious, I know.)

My sister and I stayed indoors for the most part. We bundled up with blankets and clasped mugs of hot coffee in our frigid hands. We let Alya’s dog, Ushi, outside to frolic through the meager snow drifts. She pushed through them with her paws as if they were the most diverting things she had ever seen. Her white fur, normally so bright and eye-arresting, looked dirty next to the pure white of the snow.

Despite the novelty of the experience, stirrings of uneasiness shook my heart. Climate change is real, people.

The snow falling in the desert might have had nothing to do with the effects humanity has wreaked on our planet’s climate.

But it sure reminded me of the fragility of our biosphere.

Life Update #2: Origami Woes

I don’t really believe in New Year’s resolutions.

I mean, I believe they exist. I don’t think they’re imaginary unicorns.

But I don’t believe they’re practical or logical.

In my opinion, making some kind of life-altering promise at the beginning of a calendar year is wasteful. What makes January 1st so special? Why not resolve to do something on any other day of the year?

Well, this year I’m doing a New Year’s resolution.

My friend Andreya came up with one for me, and I came up with one for her. And we are sticking to them.

Hey, it’s for fun.

The resolution Andreya gave me was to learn a new skill by the end of the year. She and I went through a bunch of potential new skills to learn, and we lassoed the ones we thought were the most interesting/doable.

I decided to spend January and February picking a skill, browsing through my options. The other ten months of the year would be committed to mastering the one I’d chosen.

The first skill I decided to fiddle with is origami.

I’ve always thought that those delicately folded paper constructions were soothing and endearing.

I now realize they’re a pain in the neck.

Origami folding instructions can be incredibly obtuse. I called my other friend, Mia, to help me out, and together we were barely able to cobble up some basic folds. It probably didn’t help that the instruction manual had teeny tiny diagrams.

It was funny though. Mia is OCD when it comes to folding things (paper, laundry, dough, etc.), so origami became this mountain-high endeavor for her. Needless to say, her folds turned out better than mine.

Overall, I’d say origami is a great activity to do with a friend. It helps to have someone alongside you to help you figure out the next steps in folding your paper table.

I don’t think I’m going to end up choosing it for my skill of the year, but I’m happy to have spent some time with it.

My origami samurai helmet
A table, chair, and piano