drinking at spangles!

I definitely need to have the occasional lj entry about the unique party that is wichita, kansas.

this month: enter the spangles margarita.

spangles is a local fast food chain. hamburgers, fries, "breakfast bowls", shakes, 50s decor, statues of Elvis and Marilyn Monroe, cars and records used in decor. Owned by an eccentric local family that we enjoy gossiping and speculating about. The commercials can be weird, but the fries really are the best. They're all over the city and they even opened one in topeka last year. maybe 20 locations?

Anyway I guess somebody got them a liquor license and this month they changed all their signs to advertise 99 cent margaritas and screwdrivers. their featured breakfast drink has always been the orange juice slush... they don't have regular orange juice, just the frozen version. I guess somebody decided to throw vodka into it. at a place where you normally take your kids for ice cream or grab breakfast through the drive through.

I'm sure there's been drunk people at spangles before. We just didn't think they'd start serving the drinks there.

So! Last weekend marc and I were kid-free, went out for a nice dinner and then a drink or two at a club he DJs at. We were driving home and passed by our local spangles, with the sign, and both said hell, how have we NOT tried the spangles margarita yet? Their dining room closes at 10pm and it was like 9:55 - we came in behind several other people just as they were locking the door. Apparently they normally try to do a last call at 9:45 but we were all there for the margaritas so they let us in. It was marc and me, another couple, and three young women, all giggling about wtf was going on with drinking at spangles. Marc and I ordered boneless wings (aka chicken nuggets with buffalo sauce) to pretend like we were NOT just there to try the drinks - everybody else was margaritas only. We all sat at adjacent tables and struck up all the conversations! Browsed through free copies of SPLURGE magazine - a wichita publication that features ads for cosmetic surgery ("this some andover shit!") and society people at their fancy parties. our local spangles is not in what you'd call a nice part of town... none of us were going to be in fancy party photos, lol. unless splurge wants to come photograph random couples drinking at spangles. nope, that's not going to be a splurge article. showing each other kid photos, asking where the afterparties are, then we all jokingly agreed to meet back up at the same place next saturday.

verdict: pretty good margarita! goes well with the boneless wings.

Everybody knows spangles brings out the shamrock shakes made with real girl scout thin mints in march.

I'm thinking schnapps, guys!

digital detox day 15

I'm halfway through my 30 day trial of less cell phone use.

This is not going to be my newfound way of life. It's good for me to use the phone less, but I miss my apps. I miss reddit because it made me laugh and there were photos of puppies. I miss facebook, giving advice to people in the communities. I miss getting a quick linkedin notification and just freaking clicking yes instead of making a mental note to remember to check it later.

There's a lot of remembering, I think that's the worst part. You think of something to check on, but there's no phone, so you just try to keep it in your brain until you get to the internet again somehow. That's mental work I could do without.

I think I could use my phone less, but add the apps back. I like that I am going to lunch and the bathroom and walks without my phone.

My husband still has pokemon on his phone but rarely logs into it... I think if I could play that way, it'd be worth it. I think back to work trips to foreign cities... pokemon showed me things to walk to, got me out of the hotels and motivated me. that's a happy memory.

I'm going to stick with the 30 days just to see if I change my mind, but it'll be really interesting to add it all back and see if I suddenly feel overwhelmed.


I checked out "the little book of hygge: the danish way to live well", all about how everyone in denmark loves their coziness. As a book there was no substance to it, some surveys and sketchy research about how the danes are the happiest comfiest people in the universe.

it is pronounced "hoo-ga" but as an american my head wants to call it "huggy".

the gist:
1) light some candles
2) wear a comfy sweater
3) make a hot beverage
4) set out sweet breads and snacks
5) invite some friends over to read or play board games
6) enjoy the simple things and talk about how great your hygge is

I gave the book a hearty scan so I am not well versed in how to use hygge as a noun, verb, or adjective, sorry. you can make other words from it. but mostly I just noticed how my world is already pretty much there. I come home in the evenings, cozy upstairs in my room with a book, wearing wool socks and a hoodie.

saturday night we went over to my friend el's house, which I decided is the most hygge place I can think of even though she's a multi-generational wichita lifer and her husband is of southern european, maybe middle eastern descent. nothing danish. her house is full of art and plants. browns and greens. there is always an ample amount of food served at seemingly random times, a dinner invite is more like an invite for several hours of heavy grazing. I always somehow drink too much. she talks in circles about abstract ideas that I listen to more and more throughout the night, even if I understand less and less. she goes off on gardening, astrology, activity concepts. we both have first grade daughters and they love each other and are best friends for life.

hygge is a nice idea but you don't need a book about it, I guess either go to denmark and spend five years making perfect new friends, or make your own friends wherever you are, wear your comfiest clothes and declare yourself there. nobody has a monopoly on happiness and it's not that hard to figure out.

friday five: life skills!

Answers to this week's friday five

1. Can you do simple sewing repairs, such as replacing a button or rejoining a straight seam?
Yes I can, but my sewing machine is now packed away in the basement because I go to the makerspace and use their aresnal of sewing machines, scrap fabric, sergers and good company. And BUTTONS, omg they have a mega clear storage bin of buttons that you can run your hands through like scrooge mcduck's coin vault! Well - okay, for buttons, I'd steal them from the makerspace but then sew them on at home, that's easy. For seam repairs, makerspace serger.

2. Can you change a flat tire?
I don't. I have tried, but I proved to myself that I don't always have the brute strength needed to torque the lugnuts down tight enough. I also had a bad day with a ford where nobody could get the damn wheel OFF - even after the bolts were off, the wheel was stuck as hell, I tried, MENZ tried, a neighbor tried, we beat it with a 2x4, we called AAA and he couldn't get it, so he towed it in. Those are the experiences that have made me say fuck it to changing tires.

Things I will do: inflate my tires, change windshield wipers, add various fluids, change air filters. I have changed oil before but it's a real pain in the ass so I don't do that either.

3. Can you plan and cook a simple meal?
Getting better. A new years resolution was to cook real meals for my family when my husband is gone. He does all the cooking, so whenever he left the kids learned it was "mom cooks" aka "box mac and cheese" night. Two weeks ago he left, I made sweet potato tacos with black beans. I did okay cutting up the sweet potatoes but my nine year old said I botched the hell out of dicing an onion. Kid watches too many damn judgy cooking shows. Next time she can do it.

4. Can you rewire a lamp?
I haven't, but I'd give it a try. I've never had too. I bought several lamps for my first apartment when I moved here 20 years ago and none of them needed rewired. I replaced a plug on my vacuum cleaner, that worked.

5. Are you a spender or a saver? Are you able to switch from one to the other on occasion?
Saver. I can only switch to "spender" mode with my husband's help. He is in charge of booking all hotels for our vacations now after a bad family experience we had at a red roof inn plus that I swore would be a great idea since it was such a good deal... I mean, it was a PLUS. Now I have to listen to my terrible bourgeoisie first grader go off about how she hopes she never has to stay at a "motel" again.

If it wasn't for my thriftiness we'd be broke as hell, if it wasn't for him we'd be eating ramen every night. I would change every paycheck into a game of how much we can save.

rodents vs. weasels

FRICK I saw a mouse run across our kitchen floor early in the morning when I was trying to make coffee. THIS MEANS WAR.

And speaking of pests we also have ferrets.

I've read that this can even out though, ferrets used to be used for mouse hunting? I told our chunky guy, watson, that I read this on the internet, and told him to find and kill the mouse. He was looking me dead in the eye when I said this so I assume he got it.

Then he attacked a plastic bag.

Hopefully that's a warm up, but the ferrets are always attacking something so I could see this panning out. We can't set as many traps as we did years ago when we had a mouse, because the ferrets run around behind the fridge sometimes... we'll have to be very careful. I think there's a cabinet that mice liked before but we can child lock it so the ferrets can't get through the doors, if they're a tiny bit open they get into everything. They're very busy. They run around with intention, stealing what they can, like they're on a mission. I can't figure out what it is.

My dog's mission is to smell every tree for as long as caninely possible. The guinea pigs' mission was to eat all the lettuce, or hide from being eaten. My kids mission is to create all the tiny worlds out of legos, paper, play-dough, or pixels in fortnite.

my mission is to kill this damn mouse.

gym visits

during some election cycle when people were asking questions of the makerspace board candidates, someone asked what we'd be doing with our time if we weren't absorbed in makerspace. I don't know where the question came from, but I did not answer the question. thinking of the answer made me unhappy, because the list of things I'd be doing was basically all the health and self-care I'd been neglecting. if I wasn't running this crazy non-profit on the side of a day job I also work at too many hours, you mean? I was HAPPY, don't get me wrong. I loved being president of the board. but sometimes when marc and I were tag-teaming to meet friends, attend a charity event, speak at a protest, and shuck girl scout cookies, the evenings and weekends got kinda full. okay we jokingly called it the "community involvement death march". I really do mean jokingly, because even when it's exhausting we are still happy, I am not someone who's happy just watching TV and staring at my three family members and rotating assortment of pets. a MILLION years ago I was on the board of a gay rights organization during an insane national election cycle, and I asked an activist mentor about being tired. he shrugged, said "I'll sleep when I'm dead!" and grabbed our next list of 100 phone numbers off the printer.

In life I have meandered from one leadership role to another, never just going home after work. but some years it's tougher than others. and this year is going to be a light one. I need to get in shape for one thing. it's not good to neglect health.

so I go to the gym. that was my goal. I screwed myself up in 2018 trying to do youtube yoga, but I thought maybe if I do group yoga at the YMCA, I'll get more pointers.

the difference I think is that when I did youtube yoga I was always drawn towards the quicker, easier, 20 minute workout. then 15 minute workout. then 10. there's got to be a 60 second video out there.

the gym classes are one hour. I must take one hour to slow down and reflect. everything is gradual. you don't jump into some big stretch right off the bat.

and I like it better if I'm already warm, so I jog around the track. I'm up to 15 minutes now, I can keep running.

In yoga, the teacher always says to modify as you see fit. listen to your body. do as much or as little as you like. do what works for you. but she's doing a half-inverted-lizard or whatever, and you realize that it's not so easy. what you want to do vs. what you should do, what you'll be proud of later, all different things.

much like every other activity. looking back, you're always happier when you did more. so... don't listen to your body.

a coworker was ranting that she refuses to do volunteer work because she thinks all work should be valued and all her time is her own, so she is not interested in clubs or community events, and again... thinks my weekends are crazy. But I don't know what else is so great to do. I guess she's listening to her body.

friends poll

In my lj profile here I have this bit about how people should take my annual friends list poll so I get them in the right friends groups - but now apparently "annual" means "every five years" because I haven't had a fresh one since 2015! And that year I put a lot into making new friends on livejournal, which was great... now I have a ton of friends who I don't think have logged in since 2015. The lj friends lists just seem unmanageable!

So a poll it is... it's a test to see who is still alive, who am I missing, who should I be reading. I really don't unfriend anybody, I just add new ones, and make more of an effort to read the journals of people who comment. that works for a while.

Speaking of comments, feel free to comment on this post with your thoughts on the "state of livejournal". How is your friends list? How do you keep your feeds interesting? Any great new community recommendations for me? Why is rose the trendy color this year? It's really kind of peach, isn't it?

What interests do we have in common?

career development

What do you post in your journal?

Thoughts on my life
Thoughts on the world
Auto-export of my tweets

Have we met in real life?



I haven't had a "migraine" since I was pregnant - and that kid is six! but it happened at work last week.

I feel like I have to use the term migraine in quotes because mine are so DIFFERENT I can't believe these conditions all fit in the same diagnosis. mild headache. I took a couple Tylenol that evening. this always make me feel very lucky because so many people have debilitating migraines that strike them down with intolerable pain for days.

I don't have unbearable pain migraines, I have dysphasic aura migraines.

So I was at work in my office on a teleconference, when I noticed something "off" with my peripheral vision. then it got worse, then sparkly. I texted marc that I was getting a migraine, he knows the drill. then I IMed a coworker to cover for me in the meeting because they were asking me questions and I was starting to lose focus, I was testing my handwriting and wondering what letters to write. My colleague/backup engineer came in my office and I explained to him what was going on and how this all works and I totally freaked this poor guy out, but I was like just go with it! I can fake my way through a lot, but I was mispronouncing the technical words and supplier names and needed him to do the talking.

After the meeting I left my office to sit at my other desk out in the cubes so I wouldn't be totally isolated, but I was getting weirder and weirder so I texted marc the best I could... reading it later, I seriously sent him: "when do you kids thing get me?" which was my way of saying come get me after you get the kids, but again... the brain thing! you hunt and hunt for the right words and you know it's not right, so you just try and hope for the best. And that's why I texted marc as soon as I knew the migraine was coming - because then I didn't have to make sense 20 minutes later, he was expecting it.

I went home and napped for a bit, and had that headache most of the evening, but ate a nice dinner and hung out with the kids. I regained my speech capabilities after about two hours.

The next day I called my doctor and asked for a maxalt refill because I tend to get these in clusters. 3-4 in a year, then none for years. I think they're in the winter more.

three things olive, age 6, is into now

1) HAIRSPRAY The Musical! John Travolta, Queen Latifah - she dances in front of netflix the whole time. and when we're not watching it, she wants me to play "you can't stop the beat!" on my bluetooth speaker and we dance in my room until we're out of breath. she was also inspired to learn how to snap. and she's nailing it, she can totally snap!

2) sweater dresses. I got her a christmas dress and she wore it waaaay past christmas, so I got some deals on a couple non-christmas ones and now that's the wardrobe staple. it's a dress, but it's warm, and you never have to pull it down, and you're cozy all the time. she's addicted.

3) oregon trail! we got the card game, and I mentioned that it was a computer game we played at school to learn about history. thanks to google, it can still be found and played online, and it's so much better than the card game. a true class. just like I remember - she delights in naming the wagon party after her friends, then laments their demises. she's learned about the measles, dysentery and typhoid. she's bad at hunting so her party always dies. we'll work on that. I was awesome at it. I didn't even buy food at the forts, just bullets.

digital detox day 3

I decided to do the digital detox thing. I deleted all "optional" apps off my phone... facebook, reddit, pokemon go, bejeweled, pinterest, etc. I am making a conscious effort to leave my phone behind when I can. I'm kind of surprised I haven't lost my phone yet - that's really where I see this going.

I have not yet achieved inner peace.

The book says humans need time spent in quiet solitude, so I'm trying to appreciate the new moments I have to myself. most of them aren't that interesting though. I stopped taking my phone to the bathroom. I have to sit by people in the cafeteria - although I usually did before.

I look around the office breakroom while my lunch is microwaving. Today I had to search far for an open microwave, and that breakroom had a printed sign on the fridge that said "DO NOT USE ITEMS IN THE REFRIGERATOR THAT DO NOT BELONG TO YOU (THIS INCLUDES MUSTARD)"

of course I was like oh man that's funny I should take a picture with my phone and post it on reddit but eh, no phone, and even if I did have it, no reddit. then another guy came in to use the microwave after me and I was going to ask if he thought it was funny but he was on his phone.

most of the time my life isn't that different. I don't *feel* an extra 15 hours a week yet. but it's early.