Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Pandemic Purchases part 1

I am never going to be an influencer. I realize this because I am terrible about hyperlinking and I am old. Of course, those are the only two reasons. However, I have made some purchases that I am glad I did in the past nine months.  Despite H's disdain for all things Amazon, many of my purchases have been from there. I have been slowly weaning myself from the rush of purchasing something and having it two days later, I dont know how that gets to be addicting. I will get addicted to literally anything- annoying. 


For some reason in March I needed to buy ALL OF THE LOUNGEWEAR- my need to do so continues now that the weather has turned chilly again. This was my first purchase upon my quarantining on 3/17 Women's Lightweight Lounge Terry Pajama Pant $18 what a steal!  Only problem with these is there are no pockets, I still love them lots.  All Day Sweatpant $88 a FB friend from high school swears by these pants and insisted it was reasonable to spend any amount of money for these. I am glad I tried them, I think with some code I got 20% off. They have pockets which is great for carrying around a work phone while wrangling children to remote school corners. This long sleeve hooded pullover ($28) was all over my social media feeds for awhile before I decided I must have it. And I gotta tell you, I love it. No pockets in the hoody, but it is cozy and perfect after a workout or a shower or lounging generally.  

Miscellaneous items: 

Sprinkler-$14 with the return of warm weather but not public pools or spray grounds, I began to amass fun water things. Kids were not impressed. We had one fun day when it was 60 degrees outside, but when the weather turned actually warm, they didnt want it. Of course, I thought I should double down on my purchases, and I got this pool ($39) and later this cover ($14). Failures all the way around. I am not the kind of person who will take care of a pool the way it needs to be taken care, this is why I live in a city with a lot of public pools and spray grounds. Alas, the kids spent a majority of their time on the devices and fighting, a good summer.

Working from home had me standing to do work on the computer. I liked it, so when I could return to the office, I got this stand up desk ($92.04). I love it! I find it easy to move it up and down and when my watch tells me to stand up, I can easily continue my work. At some point, but not on Amazon apparently, I got myself a Nespresso Machine ($99). I wanted frothy coffee without going to the coffee shop. This machine delivers. EXCEPT FOR ONE BIG ISSUE, the capsules are ridiculously expensive and one has to send the capsules back to recycle them which in the middle of a pandemic is too much for me. BUT I love the coffee and I love my machine. 

Since I dont have all day to write this post, I will stop now. Next time, I will talk about all the plane tickets I bought...kidding. I want to tell you all about the foot bath, the NuFace Mini ($153.00), the ring light (a dud for me $36), the coffee cup (the one I bought is no longer for sale, but they have great merch), the fun shirt, the silk pillow cases ($32.97), the small dehumidifier ($39.99), nevermind the many totes, books (for me and for the kids and for friends), hats (mine is off-white and I got outside of Wrigley), and shirts (I got the grown up version which is sold out, such a great, soft shirt). 

Monday, November 30, 2020

Hot Take: Last.Fm

Music fans know about last.fm. Alas, I only learned more about music about two or three years ago. Which, of course, is about 15 years after the height of last.fm.  But I still find the platform useful. 

1.  LISTS- of course you know I love lists. This platform allows me to see which songs I have been listening to. 

2. Last.fm gives me weekly reports of the when and what music I have been listening to as well

3. It provides suggestions of new songs to listen to based on the music I have been playing.

It can connect to all of the various music playing platforms, including YouTube and Bandcamp (with a special plug in on the Chrome), so you can always know what youve been listening to. You can also enter in the shows you have visited. I did enjoy this feature for a long time, like when we were able to go to shows, but I have stopped using it as much. 

I wish more of my friends were on Last.fm so I could see to what they were listening, I am sure in the heyday, this was a great social platform that gave some small bands a chance in this hyper competitive music world. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020


Twitter era has messed with my writing skills. I have all of these great topic ideas. I start to write about these topics and while I could talk about the topics, I have trouble putting the words into writing. I could blame the Twitter or I could just keep writing until I remember how to write. 

I do love Twitter, I have been on it for twelve years. Too much has changed on that platform. It used to be a great place to meet people,  but now it seems limited to content generation and audience creation, and I dont mean that in a good way. Authenticity is hard to come by anywhere on social media platforms. 

Many of great friends in Charlottesville have come from Twitter and they dont mind that my writing skills have deteriorated. Still, I will keep writing slightly longer form on the blog hoping I can improve my skills. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Fitness Classes? What am I thinking?

It's always a good idea to do what you want regularly in order to make it a habit, therefore I offer the second post in two days. 

Additionally, this is why group fitness classes worked so well for me, once I stopped ridiculing them (I mean, I grew up in the 80s, and group fitness did not have a good association) and started attending. Like all things, I couldnt do it without my friends and I have a big shout out and thank you to Aimee for that little push, and by little push, the 6AM Body Pump class at the Y almost four years ago. And thank goodness for Aimee and all the friends and help in getting to the gym.  It's never one thing that helps a good routine to start, but there is usually a spark, and Aimee was that spark for me. 

A few things that gave me access to fitness classes: child care at the gym and relative affordability of the gym and location (I walked home many evenings because of transportation issues). 

The first few months of working out, I would do Body Pump two times a week, Sprint (a HIIT Les Mills cycling class) and cycling another time or two. I found the more I did it the more I wanted to do it. Of course, that isnt entirely true, for a long while, I had to self-motivate and it usually involved eye candy ("maybe that cute person will show up" I was not in the dating market), any trick to make the class happen for me, I used it. 

My 6AM Body Pump instructor and I became buddies during this "fitness journey."  She is a solid 20 years younger than I am. Some people didnt find her adorable, but the way she was imperfect, inspired me. Body Pump is already a very intense class, so that she never took herself too seriously (how can you when you teach on Monday mornings, Wednesday and Friday mornings at 6AM?) gave me permission to be imperfect and acknowledge the struggle and celebrate the wins once the class finished.  

I will continue to talk about group exercise classes in some posts because any trick to get me to work out is what I will do, accountability is a critical aspect to starting a routine. 

The point of this post- there are two: accept invitations (and invite!) from your friends and group exercise classes are a good way to introduce yourself to fitness no matter your age or fitness level. 

Monday, November 23, 2020

Nourishing Habits and liberating mindset

I have a list or two, as I create them frequently. 
The most recent list says the following: WHAT TO DO RIGHT NOW? and I list 9 items.

At the bottom of the list is says THINGS NOT TO DO RIGHT NOW! and there are four things. 

What does this have to do with anything? I am trying to explain my reappearance on the blog. #6 on my what to do right now is "write about anything"  since I am trying not to do one of the not to do right now things (eat/Facebook/Twitter/buy shit), well, here I am. 

I have run my last election in Charlottesville. I feel a lot more free to say things that I would not have said over the last decade, actually give me another few weeks and I will feel a lot more free.

As chair of the board the past two years, I have felt a responsibility not to be too free with my personal opinions (at least in public) in order to avoid confusion. 

Much has changed over the past decade in Charlottesville and the pace of change appears to be speeding up now. 

My quaint little blog from before I was elected, when I was practicing law, when I only had two then three kids, and now, I have four, oh and never mind the changes in the state of marriage. It's a lot to catch up on and it's too overwhelming to even consider. 

Today though maybe I move forward and write one thing- anything- and that leads to writing more. And maybe there will be valuable things for the readers to see and read about. Maybe I will be able to finally say things that I have been thinking and saying privately, that the reader may want to hear about. 

And to my poor grammar and punctuation loving friends, I am so sorry. I should make a disclaimer for you all especially, grammar is not a high priority for me. I can do it when called upon, although if you see a mistake over and over again, I am happy to adjust if you tell me how wrong it is! 

I know how much content there is right now. I hope to create something folks might be interested in reading about on the following subjects: motherhood, education policy, local Cville politics and happenings, music, relationships, and other things like mental health/what I am reading and learning/law related things/baseball/sports. Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 23, 2013


I have a few opinions. I keep most of them to myself for I think good reasons. One of the reasons being is my opinion likely wont change anyone else's mind, so I am not willing to get in a back and forth on something where opinions are unlikely to change. I do occasionally change my opinion. I dont think opinions are facts so I am willing to consider additional facts; also I do not assume I have all the relevant information so changing my opinion on a subject is reasonable when new information is considered.

Since we are all innundated with information constantly, I filter out a lot of crap. I am amazed how hardened people's positions are on things when not all information has been considered. I also see a lot of information that is misleading, inaccurate, and/or designed to confuse issues/people. Information is being used against us no matter which side of an issue we are on.

I have been elected to have an opinion on certain issues. I am grateful to have such a position. I take my position seriously (as all of us do on the school board). Frequently, the Board is asked to vote on a staff recommendation on a subject matter. We typically receive the agenda a week in advance and background materials around three days before a meeting. I was reminded last time I asked for more time with the agenda/background material that the school system is complying with the law. I understand, but I find it difficult to truly examine the issue fully when given so little time to review it.

I may be the only one who needs all of this time. I think I may need more time to review because I trust so little information presented to me, and not because the information is untrustworthy, necessarily, but I am a trust, but verify, kind of person. Unfortunately, people providing the information can be offended by my "verification" which I can understand, but I do feel it is a critical aspect of my job. Also, I hope my questioning and review of information makes for better policy overall.

Monday, September 16, 2013

student loans

Soon after I graduated law school a friend asked me to talk to her sister. My friend and I both graduated from our respective graduate programs with more than $150,000 in student loan debt (not credit card debt). We both were paying the least amount possible (hers were income based, mine were based on a 20 year repayment). We continue to pay approximately the amount of a mortgage towards student loan debt. Coming out of undergraduate, both of us had loans. Since I had spent my first two years at PVCC and I worked all through college, I had less than $30,000 in debt from undergraduate loans.

My friend's sister had applied to grad school in social work and was enamored with NYU's social work program. This program at the time was wildly expensive, no doubt even more so today, and at the time the two year program was competitive with what my three year law school program cost. My friend had tried to talk to her sister about student loans and the burden the loans would be for decades to come, but like most a. young people and b. people super excited about his/her future, she didnt want to listen to her sister.

I sat with her one evening at a restaurant in a mall in northern Virginia. I told her the burden of student loans. She really didnt want to hear it from me either. Her perspective may have been it is easy for me to say. I had the job I wanted after law school (working for legal services) and had just gotten married. She certainly could look at me and say I had everything I wanted, so it was easy for me to look back with some regret on the student loan aspect of my experience. I may have made the same choice to pursue law if I had been fully aware of the burdens of student loans, but I may have made other decisions with respect to working during school or part time graduate school. I hope to encourage our young people to be fully aware of the costs over the long term of student loans so that students and their families can make the best possible decision.

My friend's sister ultimately did not go to a social work program or to NYC. She choose a modest graduate program in a field that was in demand and went to a state school. She is doing well.

Pandemic Purchases part 1

I am never going to be an influencer. I realize this because I am terrible about hyperlinking and I am old. Of course, those are the only tw...