This is Halloween

This is the second year in a row I set up a Photo Booth at my Halloween party with my son’s laptop. It is always the funnest thing in the world and my friends really enjoy it. I thought I’d share some with you guys.

Photo Booth 7

The Hero and the Goddess

Photo Booth 6

The Goddess and Star Lord

Photo Booth 5

The Goddess and the Kitty

Photo Booth 4

The Goddess and the Kids

Photo Booth 3

The Goddess and Her Boys

Photo Booth 2

The Goddess and Her Hero together again

Photo Booth 1

The Witch, The TARDIS, and the Goddess

An Open Letter to Chaos

Dear Chaos,

I think that perhaps you and I got off on the wrong foot and I am writing to you today in an effort to rectify that situation. You see, in my world I was taught early on that you were not one of the good guys. You were something we were encouraged to avoid as much as possible. We were taught that nothing good came from you and so we were taught many ways to defend ourselves against you.

I think that maybe you like me because I keep running into you and I must confess, this idea was almost offensive to me at first. I mean, you are supposed to be the bad guy. So when you first moved into my home, I was really pissed off. I didn’t invite you. I felt that was very rude of you and you were definitely not welcome in my home. But you stayed. From what I can see, you seem to have a preference for the living/dining room and the play/craft/laundry room mostly although it appears you also camp out in the kids’ rooms, the kitchen, and my bedroom every now and then. Oh and that hall closet, too. I think you really like it in there.

Anyways, I have been forced to become very familiar with you which is quite hard to do considering that your very nature makes you unpredictable and one needs some sort of predictability in order to develop a familiarity, right? Well, regardless, I feel like I have a better idea of you now and I feel like maybe I know you much better than I used to and much better, I think, than some other people do. After all, if you spent equal time with everyone, you wouldn’t be very unpredictable would you? That would be balanced and you don’t do balanced.

So here is what I think of you. I think that you are quite mysterious despite the fact you seem to hang around a lot. I think that you can come off quite rudely and abrasively at first. I think that it takes a lot of time around you to get used to you and I’m just not sure you really hang out with everyone enough for that to happen. I am sure you hang out with other people way more than you hang out with me and they probably have a much better feel for you but I’m also pretty sure you hang out with me a lot.

I am definitely not used to you, yet. Every time I run into you, I think I run a 50/50 chance of handling our encounter well or poorly. This doesn’t have anything to do with you really, it’s more the way I’m wired and whether or not I’m running hot or cold, you see.

However, it seems to me that I have spent enough time with you to understand something very important– you’re not a bad guy. You’re not a good guy either. You just are. But I guess in this case, the important realization for me personally was that you can result in bad things just as much as you can result in good things. I am trying to shift my focus primarily to good things.

In my culture, there is a lot of talk of paths– the wrong path, career path, etc. There is talk of ladders and of destinations, of goals and benchmarks. In my culture, we are incredibly linear and I am starting to appreciate how futile that sort of thinking is because we can’t vaccinate ourselves against you. You are bound to enter everyone’s lives several times. You are all around us all of the time. We breathe you in, we drink you, we eat you, we hear you, we brush against you, and sometimes we watch you.

This letter is long and this letter is rambly but I think that you appreciate that. I hope at the very least that you appreciate this:

I know you like me. I know you like to hang around me a lot. I’m ok with that. I’m not saying that we should totally be best friends and spend every waking minute together and go on adventures and take over the world or start a cult. I am just saying that I am done trying to push you out and I am done trying to keep you out. You’re here again, and that’s ok. Do what you gotta do and hang out until you’re bored and on your way out again. I’m not even mad because I know that you’re just as likely to bring me some good as you are to bring me some bad and that’s ok. There are some extra blankets in the hall closet– the other one. Help yourself, I need to tidy up in there anyway.

Sincerely,

Mutant Supermodel

Five Years of Mutant Supermodel

Lucky Number 5ive

 

Five years ago, Mutant Supermodel came into official bloggy existence with my lamenting the female characters little girls had to choose from. Five years later, I feel pretty good with the way things are changing and morphing. So much so, videos like this one now exist:

I mean, whoa. But that’s seriously beside the point.

I have been this persona for five years. So many things have happened in five years. Five years ago, I was recently separated. Five years ago, I was working as an office manager at an elevator company. Five years ago, I had two pre-schoolers and one elementary kid. Five years ago, I was under 30. Five years ago, I wore mostly size 2 clothing. Five years ago, I was getting deliveries from Diapers.com. Five years ago, I hadn’t missed a major holiday with my kids. Five years ago, I was pretty much sorting through major rubble not really understanding there was actually way more destruction and chaos down the road. I sincerely thought that I had done the hardest thing there was to do and that the rest would be so very easy.

If you ever happen to click on that drop-down box that’s on the right side of my blog that says Time Traveling, you will see that it lets you go back as far as February 2006 which is when I first signed up with LiveJournal. Before that, I had been writing on Diaryland since October 2002. So yeah, I have been writing about my life online for TWELVE years. Maybe if I had actually stuck to one place and kept it consistent I would be a super mega blogger person. But I didn’t and so I am not. I’m just the Mutant Supermodel with a name that everyone adores but no one really understands which I feel is exactly the right way I would like people to think of me.

So it fits, you see.

Anyhow, thank you for reading my words. Thank you for chiming in with your posts. Thank you for your support. Thank you for your advice. Thank you for your endless patience. Five years.

Another five doesn’t sound so crazy.

Goodbye Coffee

I think that it’s time to say goodbye to coffee. I’ve always battled with coffee, but lately things have gotten really bad. If I drink a regular cup of coffee with a spoon of sugar and some creamer, and I don’t eat anything substantial with it, I get really sick. Sometimes, it’s immediate– less than two hours. Today was one of those days. My stomach is still reeling from a cup of coffee I had five hours ago. It’s not just my stomach either, I sneeze too and need to use my nasal allergy spray so that my sinuses don’t get completely blocked up.

I’ve known this on some level for years now. There are ways for me to drink coffee without having a major reaction and I guess I could do those now and then. The best way for me to drink coffee is one of the Nespresso’s with a LOT of almond milk and something to eat. And then I drink lots of water through the day.

But what I really need is a good replacement. So far, I am leaning towards trying out Teeccino. I like tea but I love my coffee even though it’s very cruel to me. Has anyone tried Teeccino? Amazon has it at $30 for three packs. I wonder if Whole Foods carries it and if so for how much? I’d like to try it without committing to three packs of it, you know? And yet I’m willing to bet if I go to Whole Foods, I’ll find one pack is going to cost me at least half what Amazon has it for the three. Because that’s how Whole Foods works.

Anyhow, if you have some input on some effective coffee replacements I’d love to hear them. My stomach thanks you.

More Happy Research

Last night I watched a documentary on Netflix called Happy. I think it was on someone’s list of really awesome documentaries or something so I had added it to my list ages ago and yesterday we had some time while the kids were at Karate and I was making tutus (something I am doing every single day).

Great little documentary. It’s just over an hour or so long. It was done about three years ago and it goes over all of the research that has been done in the past several years on happiness. Really interesting research. All kinds of scientists weighed in and then their research was highlighted with anecdotes.

What I got from it was that there are some things that have an immediate effect on your mood and that by doing them constantly you are likely to be a happy person. Those things are:

  • Generating dopamine in a novel way (exercising works but fun exercising is even better).
  • Creating gratitude by focusing on what you have and letting go of what you don’t have.
  • Connecting to fellow humans in positive ways such as:
    • Acts of kindness: Doing something nice for someone else reminds us that we are part of something larger
    • Teamwork and cooperation: Working together helps us focus on what we have to bring to the table and makes us feel good for being able to contribute.
    • Socializing: Coming together with people, especially across various generations, feeds into our need for fellow humans and by socializing with different kinds of people we are more likely to learn new things.
  • Intentionally changing it up even if only in small ways (like taking a different route on your morning commute) or trying a new food.
  • Challenging ourselves in some way so that we find ourselves “in the zone”. Being in the zone is really good for our happiness levels.

Watching the documentary and seeing these different kinds of very normal, very humble, very happy people was moving in a way that is quite different from reading about happiness and the research.

It also made something very clear to me and I know that it’s somewhat fleeting in a way but it’s important to try and remember it– happiness really just isn’t that elusive a thing as we are taught. The thing is, there are a lot of messages in our daily lives that tell us we can’t possibly be happy because we are lacking this, that, and the other.

And I think that is what was so prominent to me. We hear about happiness being a lifestyle and I understand that. Happiness means truly turning your back on very powerful dictates and expectations that come from all kinds of places and just relishing what you have, what you are.

I can’t help but think, how wonderful and simple that is and how unfortunate that it is so easy to lose sight of.

Another thing that kept swimming through my head is really how interesting the research is and that I totally could have been a psychologist. Not the kind that listen to your problems but the ones that conduct studies and do research and try and understand why we do what we do, why we don’t do what we don’t, what drives us, what sinks us, etc.

Anyhow, really interesting little documentary that’s worth your time. Hope you all have a great weekend.

Is it ok to talk about Christmas yet?

I mean, it IS mid-October. And yet I am sort of annoyed with myself. I am not even Christian so why I get totally caught up in Christmas is hard for even me to understand. I mean, I love getting together with people I love and I love buying presents and I love sparkly lights and I really am easy to please so I guess it’s not THAT confusing. Maybe harder to accept.

Anyhow, yes I am totally plotting for Christmas right now. I submitted my FSA claims today so that I can get the money just in time for Black Friday which is actually not a thing I ever participate in but this year I just might. Or at least, I am not buying much until the sales start happening. I do sort of feel hypocritical going shopping hours after contemplating how grateful I am for everything that I have. So instead I’ll focus on the fact that I am grateful I can go shopping at all. Yay!

I am pretty sure I am going to get the kids a communal gift this year. One big ticket item for them to share plus stocking stuffers is what I have in mind. They will not be with me Christmas Eve and Christmas morning so I don’t really feel like a bigger Christmas is necessary. They’ll come to my house fresh after opening a bunch of stuff and my whole family will be there with all of their stuff.

I want to make some things for presents for my friends and family. But I don’t know how that will turn out. If I get very busy again with Christmas tutus, I might just go shopping instead.

So are you all thinking about Christmas yet? I am willing to bet at least some of you have been thinking about Christmas for a while already!

 

I need sum edumacation

Nothing exciting to report– thank goodness am I right?

I have been really very buys with tutus and will be very wrapped up with all of that for the next ten days or so. Maybe more.

I did manage to get the Halloween bins into the house last week and let the kids decorate. Now I have to get the bins out of the house.

This is typically a chaotic month for me. My conference is usually looming around the corner, there are holidays, and school gets very busy with lots of activities. But it’s ok, I like this kind of chaos. When you’re always busy, you don’t have much time for silly thoughts and doubts and that works well for me.

That being said, I am really looking forward to December. I just want to get the conference out of the way already. I have a lot of things I really need to actually think about and yes I am primarily concerned with my future. I keep making all kinds of attempts at getting my life on a path of sorts but I just end up all wandering and stuff.

I really do struggle with the idea of, “What am I going to be when I grow up?” and I just don’t really know much. The one concrete thing I have is that I don’t want to work for other people for the rest of my days. I really, really, really don’t. I want to work for me.

And the other thing that is somewhat concrete to me is that I want to continue my education. I do not want to stay with my Bachelors. I definitely want to pursue a Masters at the very least and am interested in a Doctorate if it provides me a leg up.

I’m just sort of ambiguious on what I want to learn more about (why can’t I get a Ph.D. in Everything?) and this is where I struggle. I feel like I’m floundering about and would have much rather toyed with this in college years ago but my life just didn’t allow for that experimentation in college.

Kids, might I just chime in and say that academic experimentation is the MOST IMPORTANT type of experimentation you should do in college. Seriously. I know that you will feel other types of experimentation are more important and/or more interesting but this experimentation is pretty much guaranteed to help you have a much clearer and brighter outlook than other types of experimentation. Not that experimentation is flat out bad and wrong but I’m just saying, life-changing experimenation is a thing and it can go either way.

Right so anyway, I want to have a plan for higher education in place by the end of the year. Whether it’s law school (so back and forth on this, you won’t even believe it), or business school (also back and forth), or computers, or psychology, or numbers, or something else not on my radar right now, I am definitely sure I want more school somehow.

Now, I have compiled a list of things I think I should consider in regards to higher education but if you have other ones to add (I should check NicoleAndMaggie, they may have done this in a post already) please do so:

Growth. Is the field growing, declining, or steady? Is there a lot to be learned still or do we pretty much know most of what there is to know? What is the affect of emerging technology and advancements made on the field?

Investment and return. How much is the advanced degree for this going to cost? If loans are needed, will I be able to get post-graduate employment that allows me to easily repay those loans?

Jobs. What kind of jobs does this kind of degree program lead to? Do I have a good chance at being self-employed a few years after graduation or am I likely going to have to seek employment in organizations? I consider working as a consultant self-employed btw even if it leads to exclusively working for one organization for a specific time period.

Travel. Does this degree allow for easy migration later? In other words, if I get my degree here will I be able to find employment in other places relatively easily? Or what about vice versa? Is there a good local market for this degree or will I most likely have to be willing to relocate in order to secure decent employment?

What else? What do you think are some good ways to get a feel for a field and your compatibility with it especially in a post-college situation?

30/45

As I have been doing every year since I joined up with Goodreads, I signed up for the reading challenge at the end of last year. Last year I set a goal of 40 books and finished with 45 so I thought, ok 45 sounds good this year again. I don’t really kill myself if I don’t make it but the little bar thing is fun to watch.

For whatever reason though, I have been TERRIBLE about updating Goodreads. Today I went in and sort of tried updating but yeah I am sure I am missing books. I updated my little Amazon widget on the right that shows the 30 books I have remembered to track so if you’re not into it, you don’t have to see my literary action on Goodreads.

I am having a trashy year with books. I don’t want any heavy stuff or any self-help stuff. I want light as a feather books. I am in lust with Gail Simone and am reading all of her comic books. I read all four game of thrones books (mostly good but ugh gross). Quite a few young adult novels. That kind of stuff.

I need to get my hands on The Book of Life from the All Souls Trilogy that came out months ago. And really I just want stuff like that. More of what I have been reading. I have lots more comic books and that makes me happy. I am finishing up the Secret Six ones I got from the library and I have Saga waiting for me after that and also Guardians of the Galaxy. I just want to live in pretend land. Far, far, far away from reality land. Can someone just send me a care package filled with pretend land books and maybe fuzzy socks and chocolates? If you can also fit a nanny and a housekeeper and a cook, that’d be totes amazing.

What have you read lately? Anything awesome? Funny? Nothing life-changing please, my life changes more than enough all on its own dontcha know?

A Recap and a Forecast

I am kind of getting into Mondays. They feel fresh and new. They are good days to look back and to look forward at the same time. Ironically, it’s my understanding it’s not a great practice to spend too much time dwelling on the past or the future but I like to use them as guides, you know?

Last week was a good one. Overall, I felt I was pretty up even though I had a really full week. I am really busy with work and with tutus. Figures the high seasons for both of those things would coincide. Things are ok at the office. I like being busy but it’s also in the back of my mind that I really do need to figure out my next move. This job can get too comfortable if that makes sense. I’ve been doing this work for four years, it’s time for the next step.

Besides work stuff, I had a busy social calendar with Wine Wednesdays and the school’s wine and food festival Thursday.

The weekend was a little crazy. It’s always baffling to me where it all goes. I had all of these things in my mind to get done and when I finally collapsed into bed last night, I was surprised at how little got done.

I did have a big project that took longer than I expected it would but I think it was well worth it. I went through the vast majority of my wardrobe and got rid of about half of it. I went and tried on everything I owned with the exception of a couple of my drawers. My significant other is a very stylish bloke so I had him help me. It ended up being a bit emotional because most of the wardrobe went not because it was outdated or worn out, but because it just didn’t fit me anymore. Not even close. That was really hard on me.

It also showed me some disconnects I have.

For example, my favorite things to wear are jeans and pants but they are the things I have the least of. I have a larger selection of outerwear than pants and that’s bizarre considering I live in a tropical climate. I am lucky if I have weather that justifies outerwear four weeks out of the year.

Mentally, I disconnect work clothes from casual clothes. I blame this entirely on my uniform-wearing upbringing. We were in uniforms K – 12 so I dunno, I just see things that way. These things are for work, and these things are NOT. The boyfriend is trying to help me with this part of it. My office is business casual so there is no reason I shouldn’t be able to wear most of the stuff I wear to the office, outside of the office. Like the outfit I put together today would be perfectly acceptable, I think, out and about, but I’d feel weird wearing it. It’s my work clothes. I am a t-shirts and jeans kind of girl but I do covet the style of others. You can probably guess this if you look at my “Looks” board on Pinterest especially.

Anyhow, that closet purge took a LOT longer than I imagined it would.

I also got to spend Friday night with my youngest because his older siblings went to a slumber party at the karate dojo. We played Skip-Bo, he is really good but swears he’s just lucky, and then we snuggled on the couch and watched The Princess Bride. He fell asleep on me and I was in bliss. He still has a little of that baby smell. So faint. Significant other was watching something on the computer so I took the little guy to his bed and climbed in with me because he had said he wanted to sleep with me. I passed out and woke up when I heard the significant other heading to bed himself.

Saturday, we picked up the older ones at the dojo and went to Target to pick up some stuff we needed. My grandma asked me to drop her off at the casino so she could meet a friend and while I was doing that, the significant other and the kids went across the street to explore a tree that had split apart and was filled with honeycombs. Later at home we watched Transformers Age of Extinction and ate popcorn and then all went to sleep.

Sunday, they went to church with my folks. I worked on tutus and super minimal house stuff. When they got back, they played a bit and then we went to see Boxtrolls (it was great, funny and gross and amazingly well done). We went to Barnes and Nobles to get my sister in law a birthday present and then we met my family at her mother’s house for some Chinese food. I couldn’t stay up much later than the kids so I am pretty sure I was out before 11 but waking up this morning was a tough thing to do.

So now I’m here at work and am busy busy with work stuff, just taking a quick mental break from it all.

This week, I need to get things in order big time. My tutu work station needs some major cleaning out and organizing. Laundry is a tad bit behind. Groceries could use a refresher. Tutus need making. I need to keep focusing on the two younger kids who are developing readers– one more eagerly than the other. Halloween decorations need to get put up.

Book Club is on Wednesday, my first one! Saturday, Significant Other and I are driving up to Orlando so he can go to Horror Nights with his daughter. I will be hiding in the hotel making tutus while binge-watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix. And then next Monday it’s the Significant Other’s birthday. Hooray.

Your turn: recap and forecast for me!