‘Twas a day of teaching and emails and a good songwriter hang, and there was not chance to make a bar graph. They can’t all be bar graphs, anyway. I found out through the social medias that Taylor Swift, after sorta disappearing for a year, won the CMA Song of the Year award for writing “Better Man,” recorded by Little Big Town. In the nominee list, this was the only song written by one person It’s kinda cool that on the eve of her pop album release, she wins a CMA award. Go Taylor, dominate like you do.

I got to hear this song performed live by Taylor all acoustic style in February in Houston, hence the awkwardly angled photo.


I thought I’d make a little stress chart, as today I was sitting on the floor, changing my guitar strings, and a little stressed out as I am EVERY TIME I wind the new strings for the first time. They stretch and they pop and every time, I am pretty certain I am about to lose an eye. After 18 years of changing my own strings, I still have 2 eyes…but I still freak out. ANYWAY, that scenario didn’t make the list…but plenty of other things do.

You’ll notice this chart is an horizontal asymptote, so there’s never really a “no stress” situation, but things can get pretty chill.

Also, when AI becomes sentient, I’m out of here.

I have been fortunate to see lots of places…many around the United States and now I’m starting to check off some international destinations as well. Someone asked me where I’ve been that I’d never want to go back, and I can’t say I have an answer for that yet. Of course I did connect with some locales more than others, I haven’t hit a complete NO yet. Maybe I never will…or maybe Antarctica will be really boring (yeah, right).


I get this question a lot, and then I stutter and stumble on the answer because

a) it’s a long, complicated answer
b) it varies by week/month

so then I figure people think I sell drugs and am just being coy about it.*

*I do not sell drugs.

Here’s what I do! I’ve been livin’ the freelance 1099 life since 2008 when I quit my job as an admin at the 4H department with Travis County. I took my One Year County Coffee Mug (TM) and got out of there. The cycle is real…lots of work, work gets done, freak out about work, work comes, lots of work, work gets done, repeat. It’s still stressful but time and time again I have learned that worry doesn’t help and it always works out. (Note to self: read this next month when it’s slow).

Here’s a general chart of what I do, on any given week, and I left some random stuff off (*not drugs) to keep it fairly neat and tidy For instance, sometimes I flip stuff on Ebay, but that’s not reliable, that’s just fun.



I really do like to learn…I am always up for a skim of a bevy of internet articles to say “I know a little about…” whatever it is I am trying to sound educated about. It’s a throwback to my history degree, where in the culmination of our Historiography class project our professor would not let us use The Google as a source (we had to use books and journals and stuff), and now my backlash means I ALWAYS use the Google. (But check your sources 8 times, people).

Deep learning takes a lot longer, obviously. In a life where it seems hard enough to keep up with things like learning new songs, teaching new classes, keeping tabs on the newest in social media trend, and a general scan of our political landscape every day…deep learning gets shoved aside.

I probably won’t jump into any of these tomorrow, but it’s nice to have the list. I probably won’t EVER try to skateboard but maybe I could get a giant padded suit and give it a try. It’s always looked fun. French…well, let’s say the Duolingo app gave up on ME before I gave up on it.

It’s good to dabble, but it might be time for a deep learning project in 2018. Maybe.


We’re at that weird time where people no longer want STUFF as much. I just had a friend get rid of a few crates of CDs (example A) and he kindly offered me first look to see if there were any I wanted. I took NONE (example B). This is unprecedented for me, as I am a music hoarder. But, truly, I have shelves of CDs I don’t touch because most are digitized or streaming. It’s easy. So is reading the news on my phone as opposed to gathering a potentially soggy newspaper from the porch.

We’re also at the point where we’re NOT QUITE SURE if we want to pay for these things because they no longer exist in physical form. Were we paying for the disc and the plastic jewel case, the pulpy gray paper and ink? Or were we paying for the musical compositions and the journalistic research?

I hope we come around and step behind the paywall again. Good art and research takes money to do.


I have joked that it’d be hard to move because I have too many books. This isn’t true, they’re not overflowing their shelves or a threat to my well-being should we get a random Central Texas earthquake (no heck please no), but I do have quite a few shelves full, many which have been with me for decades. I noticed none of my leftovers from my time as a history major at UNM made the list, which means maybe I could think about finally getting rid of some- no nevermind I need them.

Anyway, some highlights in case you’d like to check them out!

Bird By Bird – Anne Lamott: one of my favorite books on writing by one of my favorite writers

Writing Down the Bones – Natalie Goldberg: another brilliant book on writing, from a New Mexican

Jurassic Park – Michael Crichton: THIS IS A CLASSIC NO ONE WILL CONVINCE ME OTHERWISE. Iffy science bedamned. I read this once a year as a kid.

A Moveable Feast – Ernest Hemingway: Dan and I had a Hemingway book club for a minute (total members: 2) and this remains my favorite, though I loved them all.

Tools of Titans – Tim Ferriss: Smart words about just about everything in one giant volume that’s good for just flipping through and grabbing some inspiration.

Others Listed:

Beat Reader
The Soul of Rumi
Steal Like An Artist
T.S. Eliot: Complete Works
Red Sky At Morning
The Elegant Universe
Yes, Please!
New Mexico Ghost Stories
Frida Kahlo
O’Keeffe (Portrait of an Artist)

Here we go! Day one of making…something every day. Blog posts, videos, lists, and apparently bar graphs are all fair game.


This is a current chart. It will probably change, though some items are evergreen. The coffee+daydreams+writing are always there. The Tricuits are kinda new. It’s like eating fiber cereal but less gross. I feel old.


November is Birthday Month. Scorpio Season. Ideally, when it actually gets cold in Central Texas. It’s always a month of assessment for me, and I realized I have been neglecting this blog lately. I always come back to it, and there was my vlog obsession of 2016 that has tapered off (but is also not dead)…but as a personal log or a thought journal, this spot has languished. Part of it is the internet as a whole — we all out our micro-thoughts on Facebook and Twitter instead, where we get immediate feedback and hearts. Blogs are the dinosaurs of the early 2000’s…but, in a way…the old reliable. I can scroll and watch my life go by here, and that’s kind of hard to do on Facebook sometimes. I can also do it without reading comments from life bystanders, as social media is wont to provide.

So, on this All Hallows Eve…I prepare for a post a day. I’m sure I will learn a lot this month, but I’m not quite sure what yet.

My good friend Carrie asked to chat with Susan and me for her podcast, and chat we did! This was a blast…and here’s a podcast for your list. Subscribe to Carrie’s show, too!