new outfit: errands on a chilly day

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It’s the day before Thanksgiving! Time to do any last minute errands and traveling before the cooking begins. If you have any running around to do, I hope it goes quickly, safely, and that the weather isn’t too bad.

Over the weekend when I was running my own errands I wore my new Michael Kors coat from Macy’s, my scarf from the boys section at H&M, plus jeans, boots, and furry earmuffs that are stables in my winter wardrobe. (Probably they all came from Macy’s too, but I cannot remember.)

I’ve hopped over to Kansas for a few days to see my family, and I’m very glad to be here. Wishing you and yours a great holiday.

let’s talk about sex (criminals)

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When I was reading Sex Criminals, I saw one of my most embarrassing real life moments play out in the pages. But when it happened to Suzie instead of me, it was a lot funnier.

My embarrassing moment happened when I was in college and I went to the student health center. (A lot of stories probably start this same way.) I don’t remember the specifics of what was wrong with me or why I went there, and if I did I probably wouldn’t say, but I do vividly remember the doctor seeing a mark on my skin. And I remember them not knowing what it was.

So they called in a few more doctors. And a few other nurses. And any one else they could find. To look at me, partially dressed, and an unknown mark on my skin. That they must have decided was nothing because I don’t remember being treated for it, or ever finding out what it was.

Suzie’s moment came when she went to talk to her gynecologist about birth control. Instead of finding an irregular mark, Suzie’s young, attractive doctor found her textbook-perfect cervix. And called in every intern at the doctor’s to see it, too.

For a young woman with a questionable sexual event in her own life who gets shot down every time she tries to talk about it, having people line up to look at her cervix probably doesn’t even make her top five biggest embarrassments.

The greatest part of Sex Criminals isn’t the relatable characters, or the funny moments, or even the great art–it’s that this comic takes deeply embarrassing stories that no one ever wants to talk about and turns them into the funny, charming main event. And doing so makes it a little easier to laugh and talk about it in your own life.

Suzie realizes as a teenager that she can make time stop when she orgasms (as if sex isn’t confusing enough for teenagers without a super power). She spends time alone in the Quiet, as she calls it, until she meets Jon, who has the same mysterious gift. Then they spend time in the Quiet together. And that’s when things begin to get (even more) interesting.

Sex Criminals is so fun and one of my favorite comics this year (though the subject matter may not be for everyone, and definitely this is not a comic for kids, if the title didn’t give it away). The first volume is out now, volume two will be out in February, and you can pick up current issues at your local comic book store or on Comixology. It’s also in the final round of the Goodreads Choice Awards. Cast your vote for your favorite comic!

to do lists of the semi-adult: episode 11

to do lists of the semi-adult

In this episode, Jewels and I talk about planning for Christmas. I know–Christmas before Thanksgiving?! But part of being a semi-adult is thinking ahead, so here we go.

Jewels and I love Christmas cards (and most other things about Christmas). Jewels has a Pinterest board dedicated to couple’s holiday card ideas, just in case you can’t find a snowy lodge and perfect winter scene for a photo card before you need to get them printed. Jewels has previously done something like Minted’s Year-In-Review card.

I am really into buying cards because I can’t get it together enough to make them on time. I love Barnes and Noble’s holiday cards on sale. And dollar stores have some good affordable options. I am really, really into the idea of an address stamp (like this one) to make things go faster. Elise Joy recommends the Simon Stamp.

We also talked about making small gifts for our friends (like ugly sweater tree ornaments, coffee cozies, monogrammed coffee mugs and Insta-magnets). I also talked about my family’s cool Christmas camp, which you should definitely do with your family at Christmas. If you have any Christmas planning ideas, let us know!

You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or by using our feed link. You can also always find them on my Podcast page. You can find me right here at Rae’s Days, on Instagram, and on Twitter. Jewels is at Oven Lovin, on Instagram and on Twitter.

#fatcat

#fatcat cisco

Cisco passed away Oct. 27 from thyroid cancer. Thank you all for your comments and cards, it means a lot. 

The last time he sat on my desk to get my attention while I was working on something other than petting him, did I let him sit there, or did I move him so I could finish work? I can’t remember. Does it matter? He’s sat there a hundred times, and I’ve probably had to move him a hundred other times. He still came back, and he still knew he was loved, and welcome.

But that last time he sat on my arms as I tried to type, did I cuddle with him or did I pick him up and move him to the floor?

I go over and over the last day, the last week, in my head. How much pain did he feel? How much love did he feel?

He slept on the bed with me his last night. He woke up sometimes, and I did, too. He sat on my legs, as he did countless times before. I miss that weight.

I can hardly look at his favorite ottoman, but I can’t put it away either because then it would be alone and cold, and I don’t want something he loved to be alone and cold, even if it’s just a piece of furniture.

I know he had a great life. I know in my heart that he was ready to go, I could see it in his eyes. But sometimes your brain fucks with you anyway and you think maybe there was something you missed, maybe the vets were all wrong. (There wasn’t, they weren’t.)

He had a big meow and a bigger personality. He was the friendliest, sweetest, funniest cat you’d ever meet. He liked to drink water from the sink and to play laser with Michael and to eat ham, his favorite treat.

But most of all he liked to love and to be loved. He never got tired of being pet. He would follow you around the house–even when I lived in a studio. He was a social cat who loved to be touched, and you don’t find many of those. He would go to bed when I went to bed. Sometimes next to my head, leaning on the pillow, and sometimes on my legs, but mostly he’d go to his cat bed, on a dresser next to me. He’d curl up, and we’d sleep, and then we’d face the day together in the morning.

Looking at pictures of him helps. I want to drown in memories of him, of how his fur felt and how his purr sounded. I’m afraid I’m going to forget how it felt to pick him up and hold him.

I am devastated he is gone. But I am also grateful for him. Cisco was a true friend, and he showed me a wonderful love. I miss him every minute.

 

weddington way october style challenge

Bright bridesmaid

I love talking about weddings. I am definitely the friend to turn to if you want to talk flower arrangements or bridesmaid dresses, or seating charts, or veils, or just about anything else. Maybe because the weddings I have been involved in have all been chill and wonderful, and maybe because I have never been married, but wedding planning has yet to send a shiver down my spine. I am stoked, always, to talk about your wedding. Especially if it’s discussing what someone is wearing.

So when Weddington Way invited me to participate in their October Style Challenge, I was all in. Designing my own bridesmaid look? Sounds like a blast. You can see their current bridesmaid collection here.

weddington way bridesmaid dress

I started with the Alfred Sung D462 bridesmaid dress in French Gray. I love gray, and I wear it all the time. I love how versatile it is–you can basically dress it up any way you want. And I usually want to set it off with something bright.

In my (fake) wedding, the bride likes classic–with a twist. Her colors are gray and yellow. Her bridesmaids are wearing gray with beautiful bright jewelry and accessories. But their make up and nails are a simple pale pink.

raes day sweddington way bridesmaid illustration

to do lists of the semi-adult: episode 10

to do lists of the semi-adult

What do you want? It sounds like a simple question–but boy is it complicated. In this episode of To Do Lists of the Semi-Adult, Jewels and I begin to tackle knowing what you want. We talk about different ways we figure out what we want out of our lives and careers, and what we do when people don’t believe us. We don’t have too many real solutions, but we think a lot of knowing what you want comes from eliminating what you don’t want, trying new things, and ignoring the haters.

If you have any tips and tricks on figuring out what you want, we’d love to hear it. And if need some cheerleaders for support on something you want that people just don’t quite get, Jewels and I are here for you.

You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or by using our feed link. You can also always find them on my Podcast page. You can find me right here at Rae’s Days, on Instagram, and on Twitter. Jewels is at Oven Lovin, on Instagram and on Twitter.

the magician’s land and a good meal

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The Magician’s Land (Kindle here) is the final book in Lev Grossman’s trilogy that follows Quentin Coldwater and his friends as they first learn magic, and then learn that magic alone isn’t enough.

This fantasy series has magical spells, beasts, and worlds, but what Quentin’s friends must really face is reality. It can be dark, but the Magician’s Land is also a great adventure and can be fun, funny, and touching.

One of my favorite parts was not falling into other worlds or chasing mysterious super-magicians on a magic carpet–though that was all fantastic fun–it was when a character needed to be reminded of their humanity.

And all it took was some bacon. Well, bacon was a start. This character was given freshly cooked bacon, some excellent chocolate, champagne, and more, to help remind them that being human can be delicious, and good, and the food that feeds your body can also feed your soul.

Which got me thinking: What would be on my plate if I needed a serving of love and compassion?

I’d need a hot cup of good coffee to start. It feels good to hold in your hands. It’s a ritual to pour and stir and hold and drink. And it reminds me of my mom, which is a pretty good place to start if you need to feel human and loved.

I’d also like just-baked cookies. Another treat to smell and to eat, the kind that are warm and gooey from the oven. I have only good memories of baking cookies, and I hope that never changes.

And crisp, cold beer. It almost doesn’t matter what kind, but if I could pick, it would Allagash White, or some other wheat beer, with a slice of citrus.

If I still needed reminding that being a human can be a wonderful thing, find me a hot shower, an ocean, and a baby to hold. I’d be pretty convinced after that.

So tell me, please, what would be in your remembering-humanity-is-great meal?