IMG_1735I wrote an entry on my bullet journal blog yesterday to concisely discuss why I love the bullet journal system on the day my bullet journal instagram crossed 10K followers. And I stand by that post, but I feel like it was really way too tame so today I’m going to use this safe place to fangirl over my own bullet journals.

I LOVE MY BULLET JOURNALS!!!!1!11111!111!!!!!!

I got them all out yesterday for a photo session (like you do) and I just was flipping through them and reliving memories from ticket stubs or childhood phases with their drawings or projects at work and grocery lists and zendoodles and I just love them so much. Even this morning I was writing my weekly page and I could feel the raised impression on the opposite page from the drawing from yesterday and I was just running my fingers over it and thinking, “I LOVE THE FEEL OF THIS PAGE” and that is when I thought to myself Zoot, you might be taking this too far.

But I really do love flipping through my pages, I love looking at it open on my desk all day, I love taping in race bibs or notes from teachers. I’m just such a dork about my bullet journal and I try to contain that dorkiness but since my instagram passed 10K followers yesterday I have been validated so I AM OWNING MY DORKINESS TODAY TO CELEBRATE.

And that’s all you’re getting from me today. Because on Mondays I have to do my weekly page and my daily page and since tomorrow is March 1st I have to do my Monthly page so there is a LOT of bullet journaling that needs to be done this morning.

The Time Zoot Out-Dorked The Entire Internet

Before the internet, it was easy to find yourself feeling alone in your unique interests. Especially if you lived in a small town and maybe didn’t have time to meet a lot of people. Like, is there anyone else addicted to Harry Potter? Or musical theater? Or Superhero television? But the internet removed Geography as a barrier and allowed fans of many things to find each other across the globe to discuss their interests and their fandoms.

But this entry may be the one combination of fandoms that filters out the entire internet leaving only me behind. Are you ready? Let’s see who all is still with me by the end of this.

Let’s start with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Season 6 featured a musical episode called “Once More With Feeling” (which you can watch here if you have Amazon Prime) where a musical demon (Sweet) overtook their community and basically ever scene played out like it was part of a stage musical. Even a background character (who was actually a producer on the show) sang about getting a parking ticket. It was a GENIUS episode that I memorized completely. One of my favorite episodes of television EVER.

Now. Let’s move on to Harry Potter. I discovered the Starkid production of A Very Potter Musical (AVPM) soon after it was put on YouTube and LONG BEFORE anyone else knew who Darren Criss was. I remembered FREAKING MY SHIT OUT when he was cast on Glee because I knew him as Harry Potter. Now…just hold on to that name: Starkid. I’ll be brining it back up.

Speaking of Glee – I was a huge fan of the show for several reasons. I loved the song and dance numbers and I loved their ability to bring LGBTQ issues into the mainstream. I researched a lot of characters on the show because if they were really talented I wanted to know their background. That’s how I knew that Grant Gustin – who was cast to play a gay character who was hot for the previously mentioned Darren Criss’s character – had been in a touring company of West Side Story.

OKAY. So those three fandoms (Buffy, AVPM, and Glee) provide my background to this current television season where Grant Gustin (from the previous paragraph) is starring in his second season of The Flash which is one of my favorite shows right now. I’ve already explained his musical background but he has several interesting co-stars with similar backgrounds. First is Carlos Valdes who plays Cisco Ramon and was part of the Starkid universe that produced AVPM. He had his hands in some of the music in that show but also with some of the other Starkid productions. Then there’s Jesse L. Martin who plays Joe West and previously starred in Rent on Broadway. The two of them along with Rick Cosnett (who played a character that they killed off) won my heart hear by singing the song from Firefly which was PRODUCED BY THE SAME GUY WHO PRODUCED BUFFY (Joss Whedon).

Okay. So there I’ve established the musical talents of the cast of The Flash so let’s move on to another one of my new favorite shows: Supergirl. Supergirl stars Melissa Benoist who ALSO starred on Glee (although I hated her character) so has a very strong musical background. Then there’s Jeremy Jordan who I know was in Newsies and the movie production of The Last 5 Years. It’s also produced/written by Ali Adler who played a HUGE part in writing Glee. You know who also wrote some on Glee? Marti Noxon – who was the PARKING TICKET GIRL from the Once More With Feeling episode of Buffy I started this whole dorky post about.

OKAY. So all of that to establish connections and musical backgrounds of characters and writers on The Flash and Supergirl as well as their connections to the Buffyverse. NOW…in a few weeks there’s going to be a Flash/Supergirl crossover episode and if it goes well there will obviously be more so here is my point to all of this.

There needs to be a musical crossover episode where a musical demon named Sweet is the target villain of the episode. HOW AMAZING WOULD THAT BE? Put all of that musical talent to work AND give a big old dorky shoutout to Buffy fans of yesteryear!

Is there anyone left reading this? Is there anyone who followed along with me enough to agree that this would be the MOST AMAZING THING EVER? SUPERHERO MUSICAL!

(Betsy. Please tell me you’ve followed along and agree this is the BEST IDEA EVER.)

Voter Apathy

I’m going to vote, DO NOT THINK I AM NOT, but I have become very disgruntled with American politics. I know my conservative friends think Obama took the country down the crapper but I feel like the liberal supported mandate got not traction in 2008 and I started looking into how he ended up getting thwarted at every turn and over the last 8 years I’ve decided shit never gets done in our Congress. We are making history in how unproductive we are. For anyone who understands the 3 branches of government you know that the President doesn’t really have as much power to “change” things as you may think, but especially if you have a Congress that love obstructionism (yes, from both sides) and is terrifying of angering their base.

SO. The only way I’m ever going to actually get excited about a Presidential election again is if we ever find a way to get to these three problems which cause HUGE issues ON ALL SIDES. Seriously. If I could focus on issues that might actually have an impact on the extremism that is guiding our politics, these are the issues I would choose. Until then? I will be an apathetic voter. I’ll do my part, I’ll listen, I’ll research – but I’ll know these three things continue to distort our entire system.

Gerrymandering and/or the single-rep districts. They both create environments where electable officials pander to the extreme end of their parties, but some debate which is the problem/solution. Is it the district lines themselves (problematic because of gerrymandering) or is it the single-rep system. Would we solve the breeding ground for extreme politics by redrawing district lines or by creating larger districts with multiple representatives? Who knows. Either way people from both sides agree: DISTRICTS ARE THE PROBLEM. They are drawn and represented in such a way that moderates get lost in the shuffle and states of political representation that does not match the split of the popular vote.

Term limits for Congress. Without term limits we create career politicians and with horribly drawn districts (as mentioned above) those career politicians can keep their jobs indefinitely if they spend their time pandering to the extreme ends of their political party.

Citizens United. One of the few Supreme Court rulings that Americans on both side agree has had a terrible impact. Unregulated campaign finance in all of these extreme districts with lifelong politicians pandering to extreme voters seals the deal on our fate in this country.

Finding Value in Moderation and Learning Self Love.

I got up kinda late this morning. 3:10am. I had almost everything packed up to run at the Y today but that 40+ minutes of extra sleep kinda throws off my schedule and I also kinda needed to get into work early to make sure some equipment is charged for today. On top of that I ate terribly yesterday so my stomach is angry and I just don’t want to run.

I didn’t run yesterday either. For an assortment of unimportant reasons. That’s why I ate horrible yesterday.

I hate that I have settled into this weird existence where if I don’t start my day off at the gym, I eat 4000 calories minimum before it’s over. Whereas if I get my run in, I can hang around the right amount. This is horrible because some days I just don’t want to run, but then it all goes to shit because it’s like I have no will power when I haven’t started my day with a run.

And then I feel shitty because I didn’t run AND I ate 14 cadbury creme eggs.

Driving home last night I was thinking about these decisions I make that allow me to achieve some sort of temporary happiness but then leave me with lingering shitty feelings for hours or days, depending on the streak I’m on. Why do I do that? Why do I keep stuffing my face with candy even though I know I’m going to feel terrible later?

I hate that I can’t just have a normal morning, NOT go to the Y, have normal eating habits and not hate myself. It’s like the only way I don’t hate myself at the end of the day is if I run at LEAST 5 miles (because I only managed 3 on Monday and the day fell to the crapper bad) and if I stay under my restricted caloric intake. THEN I got to bed thinking, “WAY TO GO, KIM!”

Why can’t I allow myself love and validation for the 9 million other good things I get done. I carry way more than half the burden of keeping our house running and raising our family on top of working full time at a job with a devil’s commute and hold two volunteer positions that require various levels of attention and being a member of two women’s groups that each meet once a month on top of TRYING TO GET MY DAMN HOUSE READY TO SELL.

Why is all of that not enough? Why can I do all of that in one day but – quite literally – HATE MYSELF for binge eating and not running.

Part of me says, “DAMMIT, KIM! That is why you MUST RUN in the mornings! Don’t skip today! You’ll feel better if you run!”

And that voice is right. I will feel better. But some days I should be allowed to skip (like when I kinda need to get stuff done before 8am and I slept late) and still maintain some level of control over my eating habits and still manage some self-love for the 19 million other things I do that I should be proud of.

So – today I’m not going to run. My stomach is too upset this morning and I have too much stuff that needs my attention in the pre-dawn hours. But my goal is to not let this VERY NORMAL DECISION catapult me into some sort of Forest of Gluttony that only ends in the Swamp of Hatred. I’m going to try to spend today thinking about all of the amazing reasons I deserve self-love that have nothing to do with miles in my run log. I should eat right today, not because I ran this morning, but because I love myself and I want to treat myself with the kindness I deserve.

I was listening to an interview with Chris Hardwick the other day and he’s the busiest man in the world, quite possibly. He was talking about how to get started in getting your health in order and he casually said something like, “If you can’t work out an hour a few times a week just do what you can” because I guess that’s his schedule. And it reminded me – that to be “healthy” you can do moderate exercise. This shit I was doing to prep for my 100K was like a part-time job. That’s certainly why I collapsed so terribly after it was over and have gained 8lbs in weeks since. It’s like I can’t do running/healthy moderately. I either love myself for running 10+ hours a week training for something insane, or I hate myself for binge eating donuts and easter candy all day.

I tried to write a list of Things Kim Does Do She Should Feel Proud About (because I’m a chronic list-maker, that’s what I do) and it was TERRIBLE. Everything I wrote I just argued with. I found myself saying things about what OTHER people do that are BETTER and MORE IMPRESSIVE and then another side of myself counterbalancing all of the negative things I do, “Yeah – you did laundry, Zoot. But you also let Wes play screens all night.” Now, if one of YOU guys was doing it – a friend? I’d be like, “YOU ARE AMAZING. DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS. AND DO NOT BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF! YOU ARE HUMAN!” But to myself? I’m not that kind.

Today: Self care. Moderation. And maybe consider the things I do that give me worth that don’t have to do with running or eating. Be as kind to myself as I am to others.

And maybe stay away from Easter candy.

Learning About Photography and Staging

So you know I’m doing real estate photography as part of my job now, right? And I’ve gotten kinda good at it – in my humble opinion. Not only have I learned a lot about real estate photography in general – but I’ve learned a lot about staging as you can see by these two before/afters taken in my own house. Before photos on top, mine on the bottom. I didn’t choose the obvious rooms with the huge wall color changes because I wanted to highlight my staging skills and my photography like a modest person. (We are SO CLOSE to getting the house listed again! I’ve taken 90% of the photos and we’re just waiting on parts to get two sinks working and a day to do nice outside shots!)

masterbed1 (1)

This is my bedroom. The only thing different we did was buy a new (and smaller) bed. So, of course, this gave me the excuse to buy new bedding and I really thought hard about what I wanted in the future and what would tone down the color of the walls. We couldn’t afford to repaint EVERYTHING so we only repainted the rooms/walls that had wall paper or really BRIGHT colors. I also framed the photo differently, and I have a wider angle lens, in a way I think shows the size of the room better because it is a HUGE bedroom. I spent weeks shopping for pillows (because we needed them on several beds and couches) all over town vowing to only buy ones on sale. These were all clearance from Target except for ONE that Nikki and I loved too much to pass up. We also made sure to only buy stuff we love so we will enjoy using it in the next house. I bought a cheap comforter (not a set) so the big pillows in the back are just pillow cases.

Next up – our living roomm.

livingroom2 (1)

Part of this room got repainted simply because it’s upstairs and we repainted everything else, but it was not much of a color change. It did require me take most of the pictures off the walls and I just did not put them back up. I also got rid of three pieces of furniture in that room AND I took the picture in daylight so the lighting was much better and I didn’t need a flash. Finally – the wider lens allowed me to get a better shot. I’m certain the last guy and I were standing at the same spot, my angle just gets more in the frame. I also got different pillows that were more subtle and lighted up the couches more.

This post is really just an excuse to brag on myself and the things I’ve learned about Photography and staging.