Awkward & Awesome

Happy Labor Day! I am coming fresh off a long weekend and hope you had a good long weekend, too (if you’re in the US or Canada, AND if you got the day off, that is. I feel lucky to get most holidays off.)

Today I am reviving an old feature post. I used to regularly post this kind of post, but it’s been (almost three) years since I last used this format and I thought it would be fun to bring it back. See the archives here.


+ I must have jinxed this year because I foolishly mentioned a couple of weeks ago that the summer temperatures hadn’t been too bad this year (there are some wildfires currently burning, but we haven’t been impacted by smoke either, while last year around this time was really bad).
Well, now we’ve been experiencing record-breaking heat here on the West Coast over the last few days (and continuing until Friday). We already had “power alerts” with the potential of rotating outages to meet power demands over the next few days. We’ve been trying to minimize our power usage, but it’s hard to not use the AC (at least temporarily) when it’s 114F (44C) outside. World meet Climate Change. No, it’s not a hoax.

+ I was lying on the couch yesterday afternoon reading my book (because what else is there to do during a heatwave when going outside is inconceivable?) and when I glanced up, it struck me that I still have all the Christmas cards displayed on one of our walls. Awkward to confess this in September? Maybe. But did it put a smile on my face? Absolutely yes.

+ Teams meetings (no video) with awkward silences when nobody says anything. Does this happen to you? There is this one particular weekly group meeting with our project chief where all of the other participants (three) mute themselves when they’re not speaking. I understand the need to do that in very large meetings, but I feel that it is not necessary for such a small group, and it always turns into very awkward moments when the project chief throws out a general question and nobody responds (except for me, because I usually don’t mute myself. Some verbal responses, even an “aha” or “sure” will let the other person know that you’re listening on the other end, even if you’re not in direct conversation.

+ Random spam calls from around the country (I can’t keep up with blocking all those numbers!) How do I make this stop? Do you get a lot of spam calls, too?


+ Long holiday weekends. I had almost forgotten that yesterday was a holiday (Labor Day) and was pleasantly surprised when I realized that I was going to have a long weekend! You bet I spent some extra time reading in bed in the morning.

+ Yep, I am back into reading mode, and cautiously optimistic that I can keep this up for the foreseeable future. I am not going to break any reading records this year (not the least because I am still working on the Outlander series and the books are just so freakin’ massive – although I love big books!), but I am okay with that because reading should never be about stats (and you know I am usually all about stats!).

+ I got some wonderful feedback from my colleague last week when we were out doing fieldwork. We’ve been working together since my internship days (which was 18 years ago!) and I love how generous he is with the compliments and positive feedback because he still always reminds me how much he loves working with me, my attention to detail, and the thoroughness of my work.

+ Scoring a new pair of running pants. I had been eyeing these running pants at Kohls but didn’t buy them because frankly, I have enough running pants (not with side-pockets though, and these have side-pockets!), but then I had to use up some Kohls cash + a Kohls reward at the end of August AND I had a 20% off coupon, which made the running pants free. I am so glad I waited. Win-win!

+ I wanted to give a little shoutout to our little blogging community that has emerged over the last year or so (I think you probably know if you’re in it). I’ve been around for a while (blogging since 2004) and let me tell you, there are so many “dormant” blogs out there and URLs that go nowhere anymore. To have stumbled into this new group of active bloggers, it feels a little bit like in the old days of blogging where everybody was reading everybody else’s blog and the same people “knew” each other and were genuinely building friendships.

I love how people in our little community are checking in with each other, leave very thoughtful and supportive comments, and even share private email conversations. In a world where TikTok and Reels run the show, this makes me feel connected on a deeper level. That *this* is still possible on the WWW is just wonderful and AWESOME.

Your turn: tell me something awkward or awesome.

  1. I have been getting so many spam calls – upwards of a dozen a day! It’s so inconvenient. I wonder if there was a recent law change or something that made it easier for spammers to call because I don’t remember this being an issue until a few months ago.

    We live in a neighborhood close to a middle school and it’s been AWESOME to see kids walking/riding their bikes to school and coming home afterwards. They’re having so much fun with their friends and I just love seeing kids outside. It’s not quite as busy as it was pre-COVID, but it’s getting there and I love to see our neighborhood bustling with activity.

  2. I love our little community as well. It is really special to me. I’ve been blogging since 2008 and so few of us who were blogging then are still blogging! I just wish I found you sooner, but better late than never.

    Re: climate change. Calgary has had the hottest summer with the most extended stretches of heat (but, Calgary “heat,” so in the 80s) that I can remember. On the one hand, I love it because it’s so beautiful and the growing season has been wonderful. On the other hand, I feel kind of nervous and really scared about the state of the world. 80-90 degree heat sounds like nothing to people in California, but it is a huge thing for here. I’m just thinking of 114 degree heat and wondering how anyone can live like that! I’m dehydrating just thinking of it. So climate change is terrifying.

    SIDE POCKETS! Best thing ever.

  3. Workout pants with pockets – amazing!
    Love that you got such great feedback from your coworker (but I’m not surprised!)
    Today, for the first time it felt like fall is around the corner – I’m so sad!
    👏 to all those who have been blogging for years and years !

  4. Exactly! I just want to read about real people doing real things. It’s not too much to ask is it??????

    Christmas cards still up in September? Yep we do that too;-)

  5. In addition to the spam calls, which my carrier (Verizon) usually detects/screens, I’m getting spam texts now, too! It is very very annoying!

    We mostly all mute during our team meetings but our team is sooo big. But I think it’s less about mute and more about people just not contributing/participating in calls… or not wanting to speak up and extend the length of the call. We have a weekly call and I have a side chat with 2 coworkers and we are always thrilled when it gets cut short. It’s scheduled for an hour, though, so can be quite a long meeting, plus it’s on a Friday.

    I have loved getting to know new bloggers this year, too. I miss the old days. There are so few of us still around. Basically you and Stephany are the only ones still around. I miss knowing what is happening in other people’s lives, plus I’m off social media! I do wonder sometimes if I should stop blogging. But it’s been such a great way to meet people and I really like documenting my life.

  6. I’m new to contributing to the blogging community, but have followed blogs for over a decade and you’re right – so few are still active that I used to follow regularly. I guess everything has a season? But I’m so encouraged by the kindness of the online community (and know we have quite a bit of overlap in the blogs we read/comment on). And you do a great job of fostering connection – from leaving insightful comments to hosting a Santa Swap.


    Awkward? How bad I am at “ball” sports. Today after the kids first day of school we went to a nearby tennis court and it was laughable how terrible I am. We went to courts on a university campus so these 20-year old’s kept walking by and got to see a very awkward not-20-year-old attempt to play tennis with her kids. But it was still a lot of fun!

    Awesome? Two shout-outs in the last 24 hours (one in a book! and one on a podcast) from bloggers I follow. They were little celebrations that made me smile. And our Saturday. It was practically perfect in every way.

  7. I’m one of the people who tried a couple of times to blog, but it’s just not sitting right, however I have enjoyed some topical blogs of others and yours, San, over many years now.
    Thanks for keeping it up and interesting, and I sure feel the connection.
    I do regular journaling, and that fits for me.

    Climate change is scary here in the UK too. We’ve had a few days near 40 degrees and it’s something we never had here. It feels like such a big time of change.
    I’m looking forward to autumn, with its bright colours and cooler temperatures, crafting with my daughter, cooking wholesome meals.
    I’ve had a recent promotion at work and try to find/ mark my way into the role. That can be both awesome and awkward to me.

    I wish I would run, attempted many times. I do get hip pain afterwards though, and it’s enough to justify my “not running”. I’m up early this morning though, maybe I can motivate myself to do a little morning jog walk (instead of dog walk- my bear is no longer with us).
    Keep running/ reading/ crafting and blogging San!

    Much love from me! Manja

  8. So glad for the active bloggers out. I sometimes wished I had more time to read more of the great stories and reply in longer comments. But I appreciate them all. How great would it be to all have a coffee in real life.

    On the other and the Awkward teams calls. I have had one experience early 2020 when I had a weekly call where I taught marketing basics. after a couple sessions I was asked to not ask questions in the group because it showed how they don’t know anything (this is so German!!!). Anyhow so I did my 60 min talk no camera, everyone muted. When I was done and ask if there is any feedback. Nothing. So I sighed of. Turned on my phone and email to read that the connection was lost after 15 min. So I talked to no one for 45 min. So yes I am hating this situation because its in my opinion (and experience) disrespectful for everyone trying to host the meeting. So in small group I try to always put the video on at least.

  9. We have the same thing of everyone muting during meetings, even our smaller meetings! And then when someone does speak up, it takes a good 15-20 seconds for them to find the button to unmute and it all feels very silly.

    Every summer, I get really scared of what we’re going to experience! For us here in Florida, it’s been pretty mild surprisingly! It’s been hot, of course, but pretty usual for us: very humid, high UV index, in the low hundreds in the hottest part of the day. We’ve gotten a LOT of rain, which has been great, and no hurricanes/tropical storms to worry about! I’m amazed that we’ve almost made it through hurricane season without a single storm!

  10. San, I love this! I didn’t know you had this series before but what a fun idea.
    I also, as you know, love our community of bloggers, and I am so, so glad that we all found each other. You’re right – it makes a huge difference in the vast world of blogs-I-used-to-read-that-are-no-more. Finding all of you – knowing that you write regularly – and that you ENGAGE is so heartening. <3 Thank you for doing all you have to build the community.

    I am laughing, though, at the cards. I, um, recycle mine. I'm terrible (hangs head).

    Climate change is real. I don't know how much MORE real it has to be to silence the doubters. There is probably nothing that will, sad to say. I know you are getting/have gotten rain, so I hope things are more comfortable there now.

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