Mighty Life List
Jul 29 2015

Reader’s Digest

Every few weeks, I check in with Tina’s site, Swiss Miss, and feel an urge to repost everything. Some recent highlights.

Same Song in 15 Places is beautiful. I’d watch a dozen more:

the Wikisinger from Touché Videoproduktion on Vimeo.

A tea bag that’s also a marionette.

Wowwowowow. Abandoned Soviet Space Center with two unfinished shuttles inside.

Getting Past Status Anxiety got me thinking.

Jul 28 2015

The Beach Ball

Such a fine line between art installation and theme party thrown by your awesomest Mormon friend.

The Beach is an interactive installation by Snarkitecture, with photos by Noah Kalina.

Jul 27 2015

Nuclear Mutations? Shrug

Random plant mutations, or a result of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan? We’re not sure.

Jul 17 2015

Blackout by Sarah Hepola

Sarah Hepola is a friend, one of the early writers over at The Morning News, where they just did an interview with her. I haven’t seen her in years, but I always hoped she would write a book one day. Here it is! And it just made the New York Times Bestseller List. Fucking-a-right it did. Huge Congrats, Sepola. You moved all those bricks into a very pretty pile.

The best parts of Sarah Hepola’s Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget:

…if you’re like me, you know the thunderbolt of waking up to discover a blank space where pivotal scenes should be. My evenings come with trapdoors.

“I’m not angry,” I told her.
“Then what are you?” she asked.
I thought maybe I was bad.

Even my food co-op mother bought a book listing calorie counts, and I memorized those entries like Bible passages. I couldn’t tell you much about John 3:16, but I knew Blueberry Muffin: 426.

I’m not going to say I faked orgasms. That sounds intentional. As if I knew what an orgasm felt like, and I purposefully pretended to be having one. It was more like: Orgasms happen when you’re with men. You’re with a man now. Are you having an orgasm? Probably so! I learned in to these swells of pleasure with loud gasps and moans as if, by moving my arms and legs frantically enough, I might somehow learn to surf.

I knew online dating would come for me someday. It was the fate of all single women in their late 30s to stare down a personal profile, and as far as punishments go, this was fairly benign. Once, my type faced spinsterhood and destitution. Now I had to walk into the gallows of OK Cupid and drum up a good attitude about emoticons.

“You’re a contrarian,” I told him, licking grease off my fingers.
“Is that good?” he asked. “I want to be the thing that you like.”
And it was the first time someone had said this to me, but I recognized it as my driving motto for the past 25 years. It was nice to be on the other side for a change.

I liked talking about writing much more than actually writing, which is an unspeakably boring and laborious activity, like moving a pile of bricks fro one side of the room to the other.

…a glass of champagne, throwing its confetti in the air…

What mattered was that I was doing something I wanted to do instead of merely talking about it.

I wish belief didn’t feel like a choice between blind faith and blanket disavowal. I’m a little freaked out by the certainty on either side.

Jul 16 2015

Molting

  
When I was pregnant, I stopped losing hair. I’d shampoo or comb it, and every strand held steady.

Then Ozzy came along, and now I’m shedding like collie on a hot summer day. I leave a wash of hair in my wake. I find strands in the baby’s fists, between my toes, joining forces on the hardwood floor. My head feels lighter.

Jul 14 2015

Johnson’s Beach in Guerneville, You Should Go

We headed up to Johnson’s Beach in Guerneville yesterday, and had a great day.

The Russian River beach has been in operation for nearly a century, and it feels exactly that quaint. They have everything you need for a day by the river, so you can just show up in with your suit and a towel for a day of swimming. We’ve been going for years.

There’s no charge for admission, but we rent a beach umbrella, chairs, and a couple of tubes for $5 each. You can also get paddle boats, canoes, and kayaks by the hour. The beach is rocky, so one of the guys comes out with a mallet and pounds the umbrella in for you. They also dredge out a shallow area where the tiny kids can wade.

You can bring a cooler, or visit the snack bar for lunch. It’s so chill, and easy, and Hank always finds kids to play with when we bring a little collection of squirt guns. If you’re a river person, it doesn’t get any more perfect.

Johnson’s Beach
Open Mid-May Until the End of September
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Parking is available ($5/car on weekends and special events).
Directions

Jul 13 2015

Auto-Filling, Self-Tie Water Balloons Are Epic

This changes everything. Everything, I tell you!

These are the genius Bunch O Balloons Self Tie Auto Fill Water Balloons.

Last year on Independence Day we spent several tedious hours filling and tying water balloons much more slowly than the kids went through them. That meant hovering kids fighting over the next balloon, hurt fingers, and no chance to actually participate in balloon throwing. This year, filling 100 balloons literally took a few minutes. Here’s the video I took:

Can you believe it? Amaaaazing. I immediately tried to figure out how to make my own, and the answer is “not worth it.” The balloons auto-seal with one of those little rubber bands that come with mouth braces. Each balloon works out to about 17 cents, which I’ve decided is a small price to pay to get back to my frozen beverage.