Birthdays, IKEA, creative collaborations, stilted exercise streaks & dreams of Eurail

Gamma and Rami, photo
Gamma and Rami, photo

Raise your hand if you've ever tooled around Europe on a train. No? Me neither. But it's on my mind a lot, these days. About how it doesn't matter that I never did such travel as an early-post-collegiate twenty-something. About how I have the freedom to do it now, and a lot more smarts. The last part will be helpful in paying for such an adventure.

Still? There's so much more going on in my life. And by "my life" I mean the part of my world that other people are participating in. That doesn't have anything to do with this internal voice that talks to me daily about how badly it wants to plan a big honkin' travel adventure.

These aren't linear, choreographed times, and so why don't I just highlight for you some of the things that have been going on around here? Behind the scenes of Melody Watson Dot Com:

  • Today is my Daddy's birthday. Happy Birthday Daddy! The longer I'm in the world, and the longer I meet the lovely people I meet who tell me snippets from their lives and their stories about their relationships with other people, including their own daddies, the more I realize just how special you are. How loving and kind and generous and honoring of each of us for who we are, that you are. Also? Every woman in the world should be loved the way you love our mom. 
  • Speakin'o'which... That's my mom and my nephew in the picture. It was great fun meeting up with my parents yesterday. Sister, in all her wisdom, came up with this Big Idea that had to do with us (her, the 4 year old she brought into the world, and me,) driving from Greensboro to Charlotte yesterday. And, simultaneously, our parents would be driving from Greenville, SC to Charlotte. Guess where she came up with for us to meet? Yea. That'd be IKEA. Because IKEA's fun, we don't have one in Greensboro, our parents have never been... y'know, all kinds of clever reasoning went on behind her big idea. I mentioned that there was a 4 year old, right? In a huge shopping extravaganza? Yea. Okay.
  • So it kicked my booty. Which is fine, since it's good for us to get up off said booties and move around the world.
  • About that... A while back, I announced that I was 12 days into the biggest exercise challenge of my life. All the details are over here. How it works. My personal rules. Why I was making such a announcement... That streak ran for 21 consecutive days. And I'm pleased and proud of that run, oh yes I am. However I have to start over now. 
  • It's IKEA's fault. Of course it is. That and the fact that I carried a 4 year old around for part of the day. (My dad was not in favor of this activity. He's watching out for me. Trying to, anyway. Thank you Daddy. That was sweet. And I know you're right. I'll probably have to stop that business sometime soon. Even the piggy back rides...) In spite of the fact that we walked around this gargantuan place for hours, and some of the time I had a kid on my back, that doesn't count toward my 100 Days of Exercise Challenge. And when I got home? I kind of couldn't motivate myself to move. Let alone aerobically for 20+ minutes.
  • But long-time readers of this blog already know that I believe stories tend to be more interesting when things don't go according to the well-scripted plan. Even though I generally wish they would... So yea. I fell off my streak. And will probably give myself another day's break today, too, and start back tomorrow. Although maybe not, because you don't want to miss too many days, or y'know, another year can pass without one noticing...
  • Meanwhile, I am working on some of the most fun website projects. My clients are interesting and kind and funny and passionate about their work. And I am thrilled to be working with every one of them. Actually, this is generally the case, because life is just good, isn't it? But it still had to be said about this time, right now, and these collaborations. I sat in a coffee shop a couple of days ago with an artist I first met at the beginning of the year, and was just riveted by the discussion and the possibilities. It's been a long, long time since I've worked with this kind of artist on a website project. This is going to be fun.
  • Incidentally, my first online collaboration ever, with an artist, was with Adam McGalliard, all those years ago, before I had a clue about what I was doing. A couple of years ago I tried to sell him on a Squarespace website upgrade. I did not close the deal as he's happy with what he has. Still, see how I worked him into my blog today? Because I just think his art is amazing and I hadn't looked at it in a while. He lives in New York now - for a long while now, actually - and it's not so convenient to pop in to his openings. You, too, should go check out the art of J. Adam McGalliard. His paintings render me speechless, unable to even imagine using oil on canvas to achieve what he can.

These are the main topics swirling around here today. The other thing is that I've been avoiding the cleaning project that awaits. There's a vacuum cleaner in my future. But after that? I heard a rumor about fish tacos. And since I'm the one whose recipe we'll be using, and who always makes the sauce? Maybe I'd better wrap this up and get on with that little tidying experiment I've been putting off. I'll be scheming in my mind, though, all the while. About trips that start in Ireland and weave themselves all over the continent with the help of some trains...