no pants workday

Now that I work from home full-time, my entire routine has changed. There’s the obvious–not getting up to a squawking alarm, not packing a lunch, not sitting in traffic, not making small talk. But there are a lot of other changes I hadn’t anticipated. Like the view.

My desk is situated between two windows that look out on our backyard. Through one window are a huge pink rose bush and something called monkey flower. The other window looks toward our garage and a stone fence topped with potted plants. Each day is a parade of hummingbirds, golden crowned sparrows, scrub-jays and blackbirds. The cat from across the street. Invisible gophers that make our grass move. Winds blowing in off the Pacific. Bright blue skies and gray mist.

The view inside is nice, too.

This was an easier transition than I expected, thanks in part to the fact that it happened at the same time as our move. Change one thing, change everything.

There’s a running joke among my friends that those of us who work from home don’t wear pants. That’s not entirely accurate. Most of us wear *something*, it’s just not something we’d wear outside the house. Okay, maybe a quick trip to the mailbox. Or the garage. Or to get something out of the car. But that’s as far as it goes.

In honor of the people whose commute is to the other side of the house, I created no pants workday. It’s a place to share images of your home office, the view from your window or the questionable outfits you wear. I went first and hope others feel moved to join in. Maybe it’ll provide a small sense of community among those of us who are floating on an island. Not wearing pants.

thangs is strange in the PG

– Mexican food. Eating at the bar to avoid the 45-minute wait for a table. Nearing the end of our small basket of chips (these people may not have queso, but their guacamole is the tits), when the guy sitting next to us pushes over his basket. Says he’s done with them. Oh. Thanks? Stranger chips. He could have sprinkled poison on them, or rubbed his hands on them after a bathroom trip that didn’t include the sink. But he was being so nice about it, so eager to share even though we hadn’t reach chip crisis mode yet. We ate that dude’s chips. And didn’t die.

– Gas. Last time I filled up was March 11, and I still have about 3/4 of a tank. And it’s not because I’ve been holed up in the house. We’ve gone somewhere almost every day…ON OUR FEET. Yeah, son, we’ve walked to dinner, drinks, the water, the water, the water.

– Security. My mild OCD manifests itself in mostly two ways. I obsess about whether my car’s parking brake is on, and I check to make sure doors are locked. Sometimes having to get out of a warm, comfy bed to go around and check the doors again. Not since we moved here. We came home the other night to find we’d unintentionally left the windows open. That’s something that would NEVER happen in Houston. I don’t think we moved to Mayberry, and this wasn’t a conscious change on my part, but I welcome the freedom.

– Entertainment. We’re going to “The 57th Annual Good Old Days Celebration” tomorrow in downtown Pacific Grove. It’s your typical small town fair, except the featured musical act both days is Moonalice. A band featuring former members of Jefferson Airplane, Bruce Hornsby and various Grateful Dead offshoots (Jerry Garcia Band, Phil Lesh & Friends). They live-stream their shows here and are playing at 1PM Pacific tomorrow. You’ll see James and me hanging out near the funnel cakes.

– Proximity. The houses in PG are generally very small (under 1,000 square feet), and the lots usually provide just a sliver of green on all four sides. James and I were standing in front of our house the morning our trailer full of stuff was to arrive, talking (not loudly) (it was just after 7AM) about where the trailer should park when not one but two neighbors came out. One silently moved her car, and the other (in his robe and slippers) asked if he needed to move his. This was our first indication that I need to not run my mouth like usual. The hills have ears.

– Amity Island. James is convinced we’re living in a version of the place where JAWS was set. And that it’s still the ’70s here. We haven’t been able to put our finger on it quite yet, but there’s something…everyone is so friendly and nice and eager to share their chips…I don’t trust them.

– Actually, that’s bullshit. I think there nice people in the world, and they’re easier to run into when you live in a town of 15,000. And it’s hard to be unhappy when surrounded by so much beauty and so many opportunities to experience it. We walked through a forest this morning, had a picnic lunch and then hiked to a cliff over the Pacific, all within about a 10-mile radius. I feel free. Free enough to be a middle-aged woman wearing braids and a v-neck t-shirt.

this is where I'm at these days
I suppressed the shit-eating grin for the sake of my homies but trust me, it’s there

PS: We saw an otter today.

lil hos

This weekend, while other people were clogging the arteries of grocery stores buying food for Thanksgiving, I was hitting other stores buying gifts for Christmas. I do most of my shopping online because I don’t like doing it in person, but there are some things I like to buy in real time. Like clothes for my niece and nephew. I’ve got to see how shit looks together, and that’s best accomplished by holding things up to one another.

I’ve had this battle every time I’ve gone clothes shopping for Rowan and Molly, at least at Target. There are great options for boys. Different colors, cool designs, etc. But for girls, it’s like we’re bringing up a generation of hoochies just waiting for their fake tits and fake tans. All (and I almost literally mean ALL) baby girl clothes have lace and sparkles and shit. I had to look for AN HOUR to find three shirts for Molly that didn’t look like pole-dancer-in-training material.

Of course, I could get Molly clothes from the boys’ section. She could have her pick of dinosaurs, motorcycles, super heroes, tools, dogs and more, with nary a ruffle, feather or shiny bit to be seen. But Molly is pretty girly (as was I when I was little – obviously some of us grow out of it and never return), so it doesn’t feel right. It’s not that I don’t want to get her girly stuff. It’s pretty fun to buy (hence, the tutu I got her for her 2nd birthday). I just want them to turn down the volume on the whorish stuff, at least for the under-10 set.

Molly in her tutu – sweet, sassy and tough as nails

As for Rowan, I’m most excited by this purchase:

okay, you’re thinking “Darth Vader tee shirt, big whoop,” and I feel you but look at the mother loving back of the thing…
…it’s got a fucking CAPE attached to it, son

I realize that young Rowan probably has no clue who Darth Vader is, but I’m hoping he’ll dig on the fact that it has a freaking cape attached to it. If it weren’t socially frowned upon, I might consider wearing shirts with capes. Because sometimes you just want to fly.

And because sparkles and rhinestones weigh you down.