On A More Personal Note- Frisco, Texas

It’s been about oh, a month or so since my last blog post and while I don’t have quite a high enough readership for that to cause a stir, it’s only polite to put a cap on the silence considering I was about 10% through the blogging of a whole trip.

Though I love the process of going through photographs i’ve taken on trips, editing and tweaking them and then putting it all together as part of a blog post, it does take a bit of time and lately thats been in high demand around here. Between my day job as someone who’s main responsibility is putting out fires on a team of 1, studying for the advanced Salesforce Admin exam (because why not push for something just that bit of extra), taking an online course on how to become a full stack web developer, working on a couple of art projects for friends, keeping up with letters and penpals, pushing myself to keep a weekly workout routine that will hopefully one day allow me to unironically wear a shirt that says, “Suns Out, Guns Out” and a few other items…some things have had to be put on the back-burner. Things like baking up cool and complicated recipes (almond shortbread raspberry thumbprint cookies are a frick-ton harder to make than expected), reading books about medieval manuscript and of course, this blog.

I’m really hoping to get back into the swing of things before my next trip in May (headed to Greece and Spain) but, no promises just yet.

Only slightly drowning in my coffee cups,

p.s If anyone has a good thumbprint cookie recipe that doesn’t end with the baker in tears at the sight of their crumbly cookies, do share.

Whats Up? (aka the past 4 Months)- Frisco, Texas

Back in April I started posting about the trip me and the bf took to Europe together at the end of March and since then it’s been pretty much all i’ve posted about- both because I had so many photographs I wanted to share and because I do like providing a more linear kind of blogging experience vs sporadic postings all over the place. But, because of that and my reigning title as Exemplary Blogging Procrastinator, it’s now the middle of August and i’m just now finishing up posting about the trip (which isn’t even counting the fact that I didn’t do my usual Outtakes post but lets not get into that…)

So whats up?

A fair amount of stuff actually. Here’s a handy numerical list of things :

1- House sold. The bf and I decided you know what, as has probably been apparent for a good while, living in the suburbs isn’t for us so we decided after 3 years of living out there in a house much too big for just the two of us, to sell it and move closer to civilization. We’re now renting a 3bd apartment in the city of Frisco, Texas and it’s honestly been fantastic.

3- Fantasy books bought because my co-worker suggested them as we have the same taste in books. I still haven’t read the first one because this guy promised me they were a complete trilogy but a frantic late night discovery on his part reveled that nope, it’s an ongoing series. I didn’t commit workplace violence by throwing one of the books at him but, it was a close thing.

2- New places visited and marked off my bucket list- Washington (specifically the Seattle and Olympic Natl. Park area) and Vancouver. To put it simply- I loved it. Like no exaggeration here, i’m already making plans to figure out how to move out of Texas and live somewhere in Washington permanently.

1- Work related goal completed. I doubt i’ve mentioned this before but my day job (the one that I was offered last year while I was on vacation in Germany) consists of working in Sales Ops as a Salesforce Administrator and in June I finally put  my money where my mouth was and took the certification exam- and thankfully passed! Its not the first certification i’ve gotten for a job but it certainly felt like the hardest.

8- parcels/letters sent. Outside of work and traveling, i’ve a giant procrastinator. This definetly applies to my love of snail-mailing and after coming back from the aforementioned trip to Seattle and Vancouver, I sat my butt down and put together a bunch of packages to send to friends and realized as I always do when I get back into it, that I love and miss snail-mailing.

2- Unexpected work related things that happened in June. My director ask me if i’d be interested in going to the yearly Salesforce conference  (Dreamforce!) thats held in San Francisco and after I said yeah sure, why not? got issued a company credit card. Neither of these should be taken as a not-so-subtle humble brag though, because after that happened I had a deep existential crisis about what the heck i’m doing with my life and decided escaping to the PNW for a couple of days with the bf would be a good way to clear my head.

4- Pairs of weird and cool pj pants bought- one has whales, the other dancing cactuses and the third happy ice cream cones. The last one had otters on it that I sent to my friend Julia (the one who is amazing and let me stay with her when I visited her in Germany last year) and if thats not a sign of affectionate friendship that transcends international borders, I don’t know what is.

Countless- Cheeseboards eaten (because thats what you get when you realize you can either make them yourself or easily order them in place of a meal especially when you’re stressed as all heck)

And so thats, more or less, a compendium of whats been up in the last 4 months. Ideally the goal is to start posting about the trip to Seattle + Vancouver here sometime soon, but at this time i’m also navigating work (and studying up for my next Salesforce certification that I want to take in September at the conference), working on polishing up a manuscript to shop around to agents (query letter hell here I come), trying to get back into my art and snail-mailing, oh and also planning my next trip to Europe at the end of November. I think I forgot to mention that in the list above so here-

2- Plane tickets about. One roundtrip ticket from Dallas–> London and one from Budapest to London. 3- Hotels booked so far- cities include: London, Prague, Budapest.

Yup. Life has not slowed down and if anything it’s looking to just keep getting more and more interesting but apart from needing cheeseboard and coffee breaks here and there, i’m enjoying it.

Not drowning in my coffee cups yet,

Happiness In Black and White- Oy, Absence!

happiness in black and white, ms Fables and Coffee

I’ve been away for a bit… which should surprise literally no one at this point honestly, but for those who weren’t expecting the occasional absence when they signed on to follow my ne’er-do-well adventures, erm… apologizes. I’m a massive flake when it comes to a lot of things and this is one of them.

On to some news! (good and bad) ….(mostly good though)

-I got recruited out of the mother-flippin’ blue for an amazing position working for a rather huge pharmaceutical healthcare company (don’t want to mention their name here but considering i’ve had plenty of friends give me blank looks when I told them who, it’s probably to the same effect here) . The position comes with a substantial raise, lots of vacation days/benefits and other lovely things BUT you know what the best thing is?? It cuts my daily commute from about an hour to 20 minutes. Maybe the raise would have been the best thing for most people but if you’ve never sat through morning rush hour traffic going into Dallas, I promise you that you’ve not experienced true hell. Unless you’ve sat through afternoon rush-hour traffic into Boston, in which case I bow down to you because THAT is truly an exercise in futility and aggravation.

– Me and the boyfriend bought a new car, finally saying goodbye to my beloved Toyota Corolla DX. It was a sad parting for me as i’ve had that car since when I lived back in California. It’s the car I learned how to drive in back when I was still 13 and just… lots of good memories tied in that car and I had honestly not been expecting to part from it (mostly because at this point it was really bloody old and had a good few problems with it) but the dealership offered to take it as the downpayment and well, at that point I waved goodbye to it and grabbed all my stuffed animals to move them to the new car. The new car btw is a stupidly awesome 2016 Jeep Renegade Latitude. It’s a compact SUV (whatever that means honestly)  and i’m quite in love with it. There are plans for a roadtrip in the near future and I couldn’t be more excited for that.

– On a more personal note, the depression that i’ve been battling for the past 8 months has seemed to fully dissipate back into a more sedentary thing and while there are days that I spend what feels like hours looking down at the lines of my hands and pacing very dark corridors of my mind…overall i’m learning how to kick myself out of them and pushing myself to move towards creativity instead. I still haven’t quite gotten around to talking about the mess i’ve been with all the friends I abandoned these past few months (and maybe a part of me feels like a massive coward hoping one or two of them will read about it here and save me the truly awkward conversation) but I feel ok finally acknowledging how very much not “ok” i’ve been and thats sorta kinda huge for me so…cheers for that?

Anyways….things are good right now, is what i’m trying to ramble towards. My to-be-read pile has increased by another 5 books as I went on a bit of book buying binge at Half-Price Books and bought waaaaay too many economic/economic theory/economic policy books and it couldn’t feel better to have them all piled up on desk just begging to be devoured and poured over. I’m finally getting to watch season 3 of Elementary and falling in love yet again with Lucy Liu (not a girl-crush thing btw, this a full on “I would lay down the world at her feet” thing) and i’ll be back to regularly scheduled posting on here soon enough.

Song of the moment? Bit of a gimme, but here you go :

Not drowning in my coffee cups yet,

Etsy Sales and Other Thoughts- July Musings

sewing it all up
Fablesandcoffee art

mountains, untitled-1 fablesandcoffee

I had an Etsy sale a couple of days ago (or was it a week ago…damn these summer days are blending together) and it was a pleasant surprise. I don’t promote my shop on any social networks and apart from renewing listings sporadically in tune with the tides of the ocean (or something just as useless and esoteric) I honestly do nothing with it, besides just enjoy the thought of having my things up there. Every few months i’ll have an unexpected sale from some part of the globe and it’ll light me up inside, spark that interest to actually do something with said shop; to participate in local teams and attend craft fairs. And while those thoughts usually fade by the time i’ve dropped off the sold items at the post office, the high of the sale lasts a couple of days.

Recently, I put up a couple of my original pen&ink mountain landscape artworks, as well as a some of my colored pencil/watercolor ones. I doubt they’ll actually sell, as i’m not offering them up for pennies (though I don’t think i’m overselling them either…pricing your own artwork is the worst job for any artist out there, seriously, I dare you to tell me otherwise) but it feels…nice, to have them up there. Rounds out the shop, I think.

Anyways, on the totally off chance you’re reading this, thank you lovely person in Tennessee who bought my Go, Explore pencil pouch! You’re an angel.

Not drowning in my Coffee cups yet,

If anyone’s interested, you can use the coupon code ” SLEEPYCOFFEE “,to get free shipping on any orders (domestic and international).
The shop:

June, The Month I Turned Into An Adult? – Musings

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with c2 preset

the light through these here windows
the work area

Owning a house is…weird.
And I mean that in the best way possible…ok, no I don’t but, let me explain.

On the one hand, there’s this odd sense of pride, which I guess comes from  completing a portion of the American Dream, owning property. And you’ve got to wonder, as off-the-rails-out-of-fucking-control as my life seems sometimes, I’ve got to be doing something right, right? But the thing is…I know that a whole bunch of people, all over the world, work excruciatingly hard to get to the point of home ownership and it’s not an easy process to go through, much less to get to. And then there’s me.
And how this whole thing just fell into my lap on a Sunday morning when I crawled out of bed still wrapped in my fluffy blanket, came out to the living room where my boyfriend was sitting in front of his computer researching local apartments cause our lease was up in 2 months, and he turned to me and said, “Hey so, I was thinking…what if we just bought a house instead?” and I mumbled something about coffee first, please.

We’re not well off people, not even close. We don’t live paycheck to paycheck but… we’re not exactly making it rain on a daily basis kind of deal. Circumstances just sort of… aligned, I guess would be a good word to use, in a perfectly weird way to get us to a point where we had the money for a down payment for a house, two months before we had to move out, and a friend who knew the best and most hardworking realtor i’ve ever had the good fortune to encounter.

Of course, the boyfriend decided that we should buy a house the exact week after I had put in my two weeks notice at work, so let me tell you, when I say my life is one big grab-bag of messed up luck and chance, I really do mean that. Because oddly enough, the fact that I didn’t have a job while we were looking for a house was the only reason we actually managed to get the chance to purchase the house we did. The way it works right now in North Texas, given the booming economy here, it’s truly a seller’s market. Listings our realtor would forward for us to look over would be Under Contract (two words we REALLY came to hate with a fervor) the very next day, before we could even decide whether to go look at them. So, with the boyfriend working 10-12 hour days with no chance of taking time off, it fell to me to go shooting off to look at multiple listings with our realtor, in the weirdest and most super stressful parody of Monopoly ever, both of us getting over-caffinated and picking apart each listing in her car while driving to the next, print outs and prices flying all over the place.

The house we picked, or I should say, the house I picked, ended up being a rather huge two story, beautiful house just a block away from the neighborhoods recreational lake and trails area of the neighborhood. And when I say that I picked it,you have no idea how very literal that is. I went to see the house, I fell in love with it (and the neighborhood cause good god man, the whole area is like this insanely idyllic, ducklings crossing, Wisteria Lane kind of deal that was just enchanting to me) , after which we raced back to the realtors office to put a bid on it, as it had only been on the market for a day at that point, so maybe we still had a chance at it. The boyfriend met us at her office, asked me if I liked the house, looked over the print out for it again, and put in a bid, sight unseen. I don’t know if he either trusts and loves me that much, or if he was just caught up in the house buying fever, but the fact that the decision to buy the house fell squarely on my shoulders, the person without a job currently, that was all kinds of surreal. But well, since my names on the title next to his and since he ended up loving the house, i’m going to call it a win.

Anyways, more than a month later, we’re here, in the house, and I still don’t have a job. That’s mostly been a conscious decision on our part, since somebody needed to be free to deal with closing issues, and then the whole moving and unpacking thing, and then being home so the house painter could come in and do their thing. But, now that it’s all done, I finally started looking for a new job in earnest. And, after some working my way through online assessments and questionnaires galore, a couple of interesting phone interviews, and exchanging some nerve-wracking emails (how concise is too concise? And do you send back a smiley back, if they sent you one first?), I have three interviews scheduled for next week, with three different companies, and no idea which one I actually want. And hoping no where else I applied to calls me back, because my head might just explode at that point.

But the point is, I’ve stopped wandering the house in my pj’s, drinking Dr. Pepper and binge watching Criminal Minds when I don’t feel like being creative. The point is, as much as the idea of sitting down for whatever the fudge a “behavioral interview” is, i’m putting on my big-girl pants and heading to the mall this weekend to buy shoes that don’t pinch my toes and put me on edge. I’m practicing my “trust me, i’m very responsible and don’t at all consider coffee a main food group” calm smile, and i’m practicing answering those annoying as-fuck “tell me about a time when…” questions. This, I think, is called progress. And while I don’t think it makes me an “adult”, I think i’m actually kind of somehow… adult-ing successfully.

For now, of course. There’s always the chance i’ll bomb all the interviews and end up selling everything to move to Alaska as was my original plan a year ago but… i’m gonna stay positive for now.

Not drowning in my coffee cups yet,