Sunday, July 22, 2012

Why I haven't been posting...

The perfect storm of no clay posts:

It's been really, really hot out.
I don't have air conditioning.
Clay melts when it's hot.
My arms keep falling off.




It's starting to cool down, though, so I hope to be back to weeklyish stories again soon. In the meantime, JP's been away for the past month and I'm currently between contracts*, so I've been keeping busy doing other things.

* unemployed

I've been procrastinating and writing and procrastinating. I'm working on a young adult science fiction horror novel. It's basically the polar opposite of anything that I write here. I hope that someday I'll publish it and you'll buy it anyway. Just don't complain too much if it's decidedly unfunny and you feel ripped off.

I've also come up with a fool-proof* system for getting my house organized.

* not really fool-proof

For the past four days, I've been setting my phone alarm for every hour, on the hour, and then again 10 minutes later. For those 10 minutes, I have to do something that I don't want to do. It's amazing how much I can get done in 10 minutes! And if I do it 7 or 8 or 9 times, then all of a sudden I've spent an hour and a half cleaning and organizing. For the first time in a very long time, I'm happy with the state of my house. I feel like I'm accomplishing something, and I spend less time internally curled up in shame at the fact that I spend most of my time wasting time.

I thought about writing a self-help book with my new hourly cleaning system. I'd call it something like the Easy-Breezy Super Patented Ten Minutes Doing Stuff That Makes Me Miserable system. Catchy, right? It would really only be useful for people who live alone, have no outside responsibilities, don't have jobs, and yet still can't seem to get their crap together. That's a market, right?

I also have a new TV show addiction on Netflix: Lie To Me. Lie To Me features Dr. Cal Lightman, an obnoxious but brilliant man who studies unconscious facial microexpressions to determine if someone is lying. These microexpressions can be really subtle, and most people won't catch them.

Here are some examples of microexpressions:
















Like I said, these microexpressions are really subtle. Don't feel bad if you can't catch them. We can't all be naturals.

Enjoy the sunshine, lovely readers. And thanks for your patience.

73 comments:

  1. I always get so excited to see you in my reader Stephanie! I'm really sorry about your arms though. That blows. As you can see by my immediate response, I was busy wasting time on the computer. This happens a lot lately. I might have to give your Easy-Breezy Super Patented Ten Minutes Doing Stuff That Makes Me Miserable system a try. How much does the license cost? I don't want to get into a legal battle.

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  2. Lots of bloggers have far less impressive excuses for not posting than having their arms fall off. I think you definitely deserve a pass, Steph. Don’t sweat it (oh dear...possibly a poor choice of words...)

    I found myself completely immersed and thoroughly mesmerized by your deeply emotive microexpression portraits and able to detect every subtle nuance. :)

    Looking forward to your weekly-ish posts! :D

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  3. Your subtle clay microexpressions are incredibly well done. I am super impressed.

    Also, I think you should write a whole self-help book. Just use big fonts and lots of pictures to make up for everything being sum-uppable in about 1000 words. You'll be a gazillionaire.

    I will be the very last person to judge another for not posting (see the month of June, and my entire inability to keep a schedule).

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  4. Hahahahaha. This was a funny post. I love your sense of humor. If it makes you feel any better, I've been procrastinating a lot lately too.

    I looove Lie to Me! Watched through all of the episodes on Netflix earlier this year!

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  5. i actually think there's a huge market for that book (alone, no job, no responsibilities). I love seeing your posts, however infrequent. Though frequent would be better!

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  6. No worries - I understand completely, although my arms have remained intact. I've been pushing furniture around my house and living in what amounts to a garage sale while the interior's being painted. I haven't been around either.

    Wow - what a cool system for organizing! I probably need to do that because I can so relate to procrastination. Or I just have someone come paint and it forces me to dig into all the dark corners of piles and piles of junk that I have decided not to 'see'. It is cathartic, cleaning out. I may try your method and see how it goes!

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  7. "People who live alone, have no outside responsibilities, don't have jobs, and yet still can't seem to get their crap together." That pretty much describes me. Well, I do sort of have a job, but I only work 25 hours a week. I might need to try your 10-minute method. (See? There's what you can call your book! The Ten Minute Method!)

    Take advantage of this time to work on your novel. I was unemployed for 6 months last year, and I've always wished I'd set aside some of that to write a book, instead of desperately floundering around trying to find a way to make money.

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  8. See, that's why I'm no Dr. Cal Lightman.

    I see those pics and I just focus on the missing arm.

    A person with one arm could probably really get away with murder with me, because I'd be unable to perceive his or her lies.

    Brilliant!

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  9. Have you tried the new

    TEN MINUTE DUST DASH

    AS Seen in Cyberspace

    Yes the new all inclusive cleaning and weight loss program that will not interfere with your day, lets you eat what ever you desire and works with you ensuring a house you can be proud of and the weight just falls of.

    Scientifically proven to be entirely armless

    As developed by Professor Stephanie Who said "People will find they will be unable to pick up that extra little treat even if they want too.

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    1. "Scientifically proven to be entirely armless" <-- bahahahaha!

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  10. Love it (as usual)! Always great to see you post, whenever. ; )

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  11. I don't know how you haven't sweat to death without having an a/c this summer! It's been crazy hot here, even though this past week has been cooled down. Hopefully it'll cool down so you can post soon. We all miss you!

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  12. Yay! glad to see you back even if you're melty. I like your ten minute cleaning system, you know, minus the ten minute part.

    xxo
    MOV

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  13. I get so excited to see a post in the dashboard but I am sad that you are suffering with the heat and the loss of your arms. I would buy the book and not complain one bit because honestly how can we hold you accountable when you can't hold back due to your arm being gone?? I love the expressions lessons that the show tells us, but now I seem to look everyone right smack in the eye saying "go a head punk lie to me so I can see it" yay people are starting to avoid me so I guess I will get to the ten minute dash.

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  14. yay~ you're back!
    I am also currently addicted to Lie to me.
    I am also home all day and can't get crap done. SO I AM YOUR MARKET, I demand you sell me a book on your system!

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  15. I've missed you, Stephanie! Will totally subscribe to your new home cleaning system.

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  16. I think my actual arms would have dropped off if I didn't have air conditioning. I think I've lost my mind, because I looked at the temperature reading in my car, saw 90 degrees (F - 34ish C?), and thought "Oh, that's not bad - much cooler than it was supposed to be!" Must've fried my brain.

    I liked Lie To Me, but it was a little unnecessarily Too Dramatic sometimes, so I didn't feel compelled to watch it every week.

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  17. I always look forward to a new post from you Stephanie...even if you're all "armless" when you finally post it. ;)

    I also agree with areyoukiddingme above. Here in SC, we've been suffering through 100 degree heat with a bazillion percent humidity. (Note: that may have been a slight exaggeration.) Without AC, I'd just be a melty Abby-sized puddle on the floor.

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  18. Lie To Me has that guy who was the stick-up man from the diner in Pulp Fiction...right? Kept calling his partner in crime girlfriend "honey bunny".

    It looks like a good show but had too much on my plate to get into one more TV show.

    Hope you get your arm(s) back soon!

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  19. GAH! Your ARM! (I can only imagine your horror novel. ;)

    And: just because people are gainfully employed doesn't mean they can't use your system. In fact, weekends would be even MORE productive. I think you should sell it in the form of coaching services. With personal consults to customize.

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  20. Bahaha Awesome. I can't wait for your weekly posts to start up again soon. Hopefully the weather stays cooled off enough not to melt your arms off.

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  21. haha, your micro expressions are cracking me up. I like your system with the alarms- perhaps I'll give it a shot and every time it goes off I have to tidy up for 2 minutes or something.

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  22. Hahahaha! Love those microexpressions pictures!
    Glad to see you back. You have been sorely missed. :D

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  23. Hahahaha on the micro expressions! far out! best laugh I've had for ages and ages.
    Your book idea's a winner and I'm horribly jealous of your ability to take the time for the things you like to do. I would have to set the timer every hour for ten minutes to make myself have fun OMG how sick is that? Is it the Catholic thing? Is it a sense of over importance? Is it manopause? FIA - I'm gonna paint! :(

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  24. Perhaps Poor Stephanie is experiencing all of those emotions because HER ARM FELL OFF!!!! I love your system. Could you teach Ralph...he really needs it!! Missed you!

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  25. that 10 minute system is pure brilliance, stephanie...you are on to something here!
    welcome home to jp!

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  26. With as much makeup as I wear, my face looks a lot like your arm.

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  27. Clay and heat don't mix and we don't want you without your arms. That 10 minute plan seems successful. If I didn't have to come to work everyday I'd test it out.

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  28. Aww, your poor clay arms. I have missed your posts, but totally understand. Also, once you get in the habit of not blogging, it's hard to get back into it!

    I love that you are writing a book. You better believe I will buy it, and I will read the F out of it.

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  29. You don't have AC?!?! But it's been sooooo hot!

    I love the idea of doing something you don't want to for 10 minutes.

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  30. Love your posts! They are always smile-inducing! I found your page when searching for infertility humor. I was brought to the post you did about some random acquaintance saying all sorts of "enlightened" things about infertility! Oh so true...I've sadly heard them all. Anyway, after that I was hooked! LOVE your blog, keep it up!

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  31. I'm laughing out loud at your melting clay person. Here's hoping for cooler days and I would so buy your 10 minute method book. :)

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  32. I see you have enrolled in the Kristen Stewart School of Acting...

    Great idea for the alarm of pain!

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  33. It has been disgustingly hot! I sorry your (clay) arms fall off. I will say that I need to try your method of doing something you don't want to do for 10 minutes. Thanks for that idea!

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  34. There's certainly a large portion of the population in the target demographic for your self help book, but none of them have any money.

    I'm sorry to hear about your arms :| <--- this is what sorry looks like

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  35. Yay, a new post. Sorry it is so hot that your arms are melting off. It's so freakin' cold here that I almost turned the heat on last night, but grabbed the cat instead. LOL. I totally think there is a huge market for your self-help book, but then again, those folks would probably need the timer just to go out and buy a self-help book telling them to get a timer to do stuff they don't want to do.
    Glad to hear you are working on some writing. I just added one of those progress bar thingees to my blog to track my WIP and it's seriously motivating. You might want to try it. It's like a mini-nanowrimo. Keep writing because I want to buy your book when it comes out. I know it will be awesome.

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    1. That's a good idea! I'm definitely a person who needs external motivation.

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  36. Good morning Stephanie!! You did it again...You blessed me with a great morning laugh with all it's medicinal benefits!! I can so relate to the house issue...not being able to use my arms for a year did wonders for my house...not :( I'd buy any book you'd write and I don't read fiction but I would yours !

    Go easy on yourself.....can't take the clutter to heaven but all the laughter and loving coming out of you has wings to bring so many with you! Have a great day

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    1. Awwww...Daisey...now I feel all warm and fuzzy. Thank you! :)

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  37. I feel like you have a great opportunity to use your "my arm melted off" clay avatar as a "zombie" you.
    Sadly, in my quest to get organized, I developed a slight addiction to reading about organization systems in the belief that buying/reading the book was helping me organize (ie, "counted") when all it did was give me another book to have to organize/say that I want to consult when I want to organize. But, I'd totally buy your 10 minute book

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  38. I think that is a great idea! I don't work and still can't get it together. My house was always the cleanest when I worked because I did things before and after. Now, I have no pressure, so that is how that goes.

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  39. Loved this! Thanks for the entertaining post Stephanie!
    The self-help book sounds great! You might just be onto something... you never know...

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  40. Oh missed your posts, I think the first post I read of yours was a desk organizing project. I like the 10 min system. I am doing a half hour of blog reading now and then 1/2 hour of bill paying, glad I'm not the only one who needs to schedule these things. Glad I'm not the only one who doesn't always feel like posting.

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    1. Oh, you've been reading me for a LONG time!!! :) I like organizing my desk so much that I make sure I let it get really really messy every few weeks so I get to do it again.

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  41. "Like I said, these microexpressions are really subtle."


    HAHAHAHAHA :)) That made me laugh out loud!

    Btw, glad your back and that you came back with cute clay figurines again. :)

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  42. Why, I'd recognize Gassy from clear across the room.

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  43. o I love the micro expressions! I watched Lie to Me when it was on TV and my husband would always say things like o you can clearly see he's lying and I wasn't sure. I was kinda convinced HE was lying. Missed your posts, but then again, I'm not really posting either... I think the heat is doing to my brain what it's doing to your clay.

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  44. Don't feel bad, I often torment myself with the knowledge that I'm wasting time, but then I still don't do anything about it. I love your cleaning plan. It would work for me...if I could just muster the energy to program my alarm.

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  45. The "gassy" expression made me laugh! :P x

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  46. Missed your posts Stephanie, good to see you back, arms or not!

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  47. I think your ten minute system would work for anyone. I love it. I think I'll start it with my kids-- ten minutes for them to work while I sip a diet Coke. Nice. Thank you.

    (I just looked in the mirror- I'm either surprised or gassy.)

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  48. I think you're really onto something with your 10-minute cleaning scheme, although it's hard to clean with your arms melted off, right? Love the microexpressions.

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  49. My wife does that for fifteen minutes a day. God help me if I'm in her way. It's like being in the middle of and aerobics class. She asked me to participate and I promised to try not to get mustard on my shorts.

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  50. hey you won! I nominated you for a Liebster Award! I know you already had this before...but sorry, I like you :) http://thecoffeeblogs.blogspot.com/2012/07/40-i-won.html

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  51. Wow, Stephanie, you are doing awesome on the word count. I'm jealous. I haven't added to mine since last weekend. Today, I'm totally going to write.

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  52. Good luck getting contracts!

    I have to say that it made me crack up seeing the arm fall off and made me laugh even harder that you used the armless one to show the facial expressions.

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  53. I love Lie to Me and your one armed clay microexpressions are amazing!

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  54. Shame about your melting arms :( I hope they fix back on again soon! So glad to here your blogging voice again!
    This post made me laugh. A lot. As they always do.
    M. x

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    1. oh and btw, I've given you an award, posted on my diary blog: http://ignorantbloggerdiary.blogspot.co.uk/
      :D
      M. x

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  55. Condolences on the loss of arms :(
    Glad to see you back :D

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  56. Still rockin' the word count, I see. Good on ya!

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  57. Do It! The book idea is awesome and a dream of mine as well. BTW i want to say i just started following your blog and I like the clay, different, funny. reminds me of Mr. Bill on SNL. Also, no AC, my sympathy goes out to ya.

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  58. Hey! I've been crazy with work so I haven't been able to keep up. Welcome back (sort of)!

    And sadly, I don't think you can patent the 10 minute cleaning/organizing thing because Brook Noel did it in her Make Today Matter® system. Sorry. :(

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  59. Hello Miss Stephanie..... Just thought I would pass by and say hello as there are a handful of blogs I like to keep an eye on. When I say eye on I don't mean I like to put my eye on top of your blog, although that would be a rather cool trick... OK yes a bit scary and YUCK too I accept that, put no worse than dropping ones arm on the floor just because it is hot.

    Anyway that is not why I am here. I have come to say YO WHATS COOKING MISS STEPHANIE? is it time for another small post or are you now away, off doing new and adventurous things in the real world of reality (I tried that once but that place really is scary, much worse than finding an eye on top of your blog).

    Hope you are well, and I hope to see you back with another post soooooooooon......ish

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  60. Hehehe nice microexpressions! I'd lose it without ac right now.

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  61. I thouroughly enjoyed this post. I have a friend who is feeling under the weather about being unproductive because the things he should be are such intimidating tasks to him. I sent this to him in hopes that it might jog his stalemate. It's a great idea and I hope it helps him, if not, I could even see myself doing this sort of thing at work. I hate filing stuff. But if I commit to it for 10 min at a time a few times a day, I'll probably not even notice.

    You are inspiring.
    I thank you.
    Tina

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  62. I can appreciate the subtleties between ambivalence and gassy... *chuckle* I thought I was the only one whose arms melt off in a heat wave - you can't possibly know the relief I have found in reading your post today! :)

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  63. Wow. I've never known a clay figurine to be ambivalent at having an arm fall off! XD

    (Come back soon to the blogging world!)

    -Barb the French Bean

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  64. That's why I haven't been posting either...uh, my drawings melt. Honestly, I think that your system is actually genius! I should try it myself. Except at work. 10 minutes doing work, 50 minutes checking the internet. Just kiiiiding. I work. : )

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  65. Ten minutes. Hmm. It's like a version of a twelve-step program, right? "I can do anything for ten minutes, even mop the kitchen floor." (My least favorite task in the world, even when I had a "floor" that was so small my entire body wouldn't fit lying down on it. Which I wouldn't want to do b/c usually the damn thing was filthy (floor, not body. Although that too, sometimes).
    Here's to cooler weather coming soon b/c we're missing your clay stories out here in interweb land. And I would TOTALLY buy your book.

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