Monthly Archives: December 2011

Wake Up and Fight


If you’re my Facebook friend/stalker, than you know this already, but those bartenders are my grandparents and that little Shirley Temple on the bar stool is my mom.

SOOOOO 2012. I got a little sick of the Year Plus in 2011, though I liked the concept and I may do it again in the future. 2012 is going to be a little different.

2012 is the year where I’m not sad about my job, I’m not sad about boys, and I’m not sad about any terminally ill people. (Excuse me while I knock on wood three times.) This is the year when I have no commute, no legit worries, and no major responsibilities outside of a job that I love.

So if there was ever a year to take control of my life–all the shit I try to change every year, and somehow come short–this is it. Fuck that stuff. Fuck those struggles. Fuck trying, fuck failing, fuck wishing.

This year, I’m going to F This 2012.

Rather than coming up with something each month, I may focus on the same areas but approach them in different ways. The main areas? Food, Fitness, Friends, Family, Finances and Faith.

I’m kicking my debt’s ass. I’m losing the weight I’ve gained at this new job. I’m running faster, I’m going out more, I’m doing some damn crunches, I’m calling my Grandma, I’m cooking, and I’m even going to church. (It’s cool! It’s Methodist! Don’t worry!)

Nothing groundbreaking this year and no more crazytalk (no cheese? puh-lease), just good old-fashioned resolutions, one topic and one month at a time. Assuming nothing crazy happens (which of course means something will), I’m pretty confident this year.

My ultimate goal is to someday have a list as great as Woody Guthrie’s (click to enlarge; you know how the Internet works):

Tonight: two parties! Look out!


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Gadgets and Glass and Gyros, Oh My

Hey y’all, I’ve been busy and boring, but I have a rare free moment, so I’m writing as many entries as I can before it passes. First up, the Christmas roundup.

Justin’s parents got me a Kindle Fire for Christmas! WHAAAAT

I love my paper books and I’m going to stick with them for bedtime reading (the Fire’s screen is way too bright for my DSPS), but the Kindle is awesome in every other way. HOWEVER: never, ever let me have an iPhone. I’ve spent one night with the Kindle and I ignored Justin all night and got like 4 hours of sleep. Those things make you insane. (Plus, did you know the iPhone manual says you’re not supposed to hold it against your head? Well, it does.)

They also got us 4 (huge) Southwest Airline gift cards and a (huge) wad of cash to spend on a vacation. His brother and sister got one, too. We’re all going on a trip together and I’m excited, though I have the feeling that I’m about to be dragged to somewhere hot and tropical. Not everyone dreams of Iceland the way Justin and I do. Still, isn’t that crazy?

Overall, my Christmas was pretty great. I got some awesome fair trade earrings from my mom, a big jewelry box from Justin (he also got me some Lush bath bombs, which make me feel like the ’94 Riot Grrl I always wanted to be), a USB desktop Christmas tree from Jen, and the most fucking hysterical shirt from my Grandma:

“It’s sexy, right?” she asked when I begrudgingly held it up. It’s no Dalmation Fur Vest, but still legendary. It is from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, y’all it is cultured. She was in rare form Christmas day; I told her to look excited about her new hat and scarf and this is what she came up with:

Perhaps my favorite present wasn’t even a gift, really … I got to be my mom’s date to her company Christmas party at Third Degree Glass Factory, and we each got to make a glass paperweight! I collect glass paperweights, especially round cobalt ones, so this was especially thrilling for me. I’m definitely going back to make more. Look how pretty!

I basically wore pajamas to work today, so I’m hiding. Oh, here’s a picture of me from last week with my Go Gyro Go food truck lunch (a.k.a. THE HAPPIEST YOU WILL EVER SEE ME):

Plus, I got two home alone weekends with all the Redbox movies, bubble baths and Toad Hollow wine I could handle. I missed Justin obviously, but when you’ve been working 50+ hour weeks all month and a spooky surgery coming up, a weekend like that is heaven.

I’ve been writing about working a lot, but it’s not exactly a complaint … I love my job and am madly in love with all my coworkers. I got a billion gifts from them, too: champagne from my boss, a handmade necklace from Kim, vodka-soaked pears from Bonita, and an incredible portrait of Ben and Doug:

My brother and niece are visiting on Friday, so I still have one Christmas to go, but so far, so awesome!

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Outside is Frightful

Yesterday, one of my oldest friends lost her fiance. And their baby girl? She lost her dad. Another pair of my favorite people lost their dog; he was only a few years old and such a sweet, snuggly little puppy.

I’m home alone this Christmas Eve again–and again, I’m having a ball–but I’m holding my new little family so close to my heart and I’m grateful for every second I have with them. If you say prayers, please say them for the four above. That’s about all I can do, but my heart is really hurting for them.


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Make Out Like It Never Happened


Actual writing will hopefully resume this weekend. It’s been 12-hour-day hell lately; thank you for your patience. Maybe I’ll even treat you to a goofy drugged-up entry after my billion-dollar mouf surgery.

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NSFW–but I mean, if you don’t have a pair of headphones at your desk by the end of 2011, I can’t help you.

But the highlight of this week was an SNL behind the scenes video of Taran Killam recreating Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend” video. I’ve watched this 600 times and it only gets better for me:

I also secretly like this song, but mostly because I like to think about Kreayshawn watching this and throwing a temper tantrum:

Yes, I am aware that you hate this. Go watch Taran again.

EDITED TO ADD: OMG! Side by side!!

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An Inspiration! Of Snacking.

Today I was at the Y, and while I was making my way from one machine to another, one of my favorite trainers came up to me.

“I just wanted you to know that a lot of people have been commenting on how hard you work here,” Ed said. “They talk about remembering when you first started coming here, stuff like that. You know, you’re inspiring a lot of people. Really.”

I’ve hit a massive rough patch lately, with SADS and birthday parties and Christmas food and stress. I’ve been feeling like shit about it, too.

Maybe Ed could tell I needed to hear that? Or maybe he really meant it. Either way, I’m going to work a little harder for the rest of 2011. Thanks Ed.


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Up Jumps The Buggy

So, I hung out with the Amish. It wasn’t as much as I would have liked; they clearly like to keep their distance from people like you and I. But Seth, our host for dinner, was so cheery and happy. He had a bowl haircut, blue highwater pants and an adorable nervous giggle. At the end of the night, he shyly but firmly told us it was time to go because, “Well, I have a steady girlfriend and you know how that is.”

My stealth picture of Seth. I didn't want to be a creep.

Okay, here I was a creep. But look! So Amish!

The night was mostly spent with Justin’s family (his mom’s side). I met a few members I didn’t meet last year, including AWESOME cousin Mark and Brazilian foreign exchange student Milene (who was BEYOND pumped for some Black Friday shopping at the mall, haha).  We ended up getting pretty tipsy before the Amish dinner (well, all of us except Milene and her friend), and partied at the family’s favorite bar, Coody Brown’s (!!) afterward. But they managed to behave themselves in between.

Cousin Mark and Jessica

They compulsively play Pull Tabs, I make bouncy conceptual art.

The arteest.

Here’s what I can tell you about the Amish:

  • They make the best food in the world. I’ve never had bread so moist, meat so tender, or vegetables so fresh. Their peanut butter is fluffy and light beyond belief, but I found out later that they just mix it with marshmallow fluff. I bought a recipe book from them for $1.50, and I promised my 85 lb. Grandma that I would make her a loaf of Amish bread every week if she promises to eat it all. Regarding other dishes: the Amish use hella mayonnaise.
  • When I walked into the home, my initial thought was, “OMG GAS LEAK,” but it was just the lamps.
  • “Just leave the money on the table!” they cheerfully said after our $300 dinner. Amazing.
  • The way to Justin’s heart is with Amish noodles. The way to mine? Amish stuffing. We are fat.

  • They have a bathroom with plumbing, though it was never clear if that’s just for guests. It was lit by tiny LED lights, which illuminated the room like a tiny tealight candle and angered the old people.
  • ‘They smell awful,” Justin’s sister Jessica told me beforehand. “They’re pretty into coke, too.”
  • Amish carts do not show up on fancy SUV sensors that turn brights on/off. Justin’s mom has unintentionally blinded many Amish people.
  • They make the best bikes in the world. When I move back to the county in 10 years, his mom’s going to buy me one.
  • Earrings are a sin! Basically, when you spend money on accessories or frivolous things, you’re spending money that could be spent on “food for the hungry, clothes for the needy, and Bibles for the heathens.” Buying earrings = robbing God.  And yes, I wore earrings to meet the Amish.
  • Seth makes horseshoes! I have one on my desk.

  • They don’t use electricity or drive cars because those things separate families, by scattering people around the house or around town. Families need to be together.
  • The reason they all dress alike is because the Bible says to “be not of this world,” which is a verse that people used to drill into my head during Sunday school. In fact, the Amish and Born Again Christians use a lot of the same verses to justify how they live. Eesh.

So that was the gist of my Amish dinner. The rest of the weekend was spent at his dad’s house, eating at his uncle’s mansion, watching their legendary annual family football game (thankfully I avoided dodgeball this year), walking through his mom’s gorgeous lakeside neighborhood, hugging his mom’s dog Tillie (but not her dick sister Molly), teaching Milene about America, eating Rickle’s Pickles and driving through one hundred million corn fields.

Justin's dad has a new puppy or kitten every time we visit.

Justin's mom's neighborhood.

My BFF Tillie. And yes, those are swans in the background.

Heh heh heh "Hoosiers"

I love Justin’s family so much, and they seem to love me, too. His siblings are awesome, his cousins are hilarious (I’ve met 9 out of 10), his aunts and uncles are sweet and his Grandma is cool as hell (last year, she sang “Thank You For Being A Friend” with Justin at Coody Brown’s karaoke). Best of all, his parents instantly took me in and treat me like one of their own. They both even encouraged me to bring my mom with me next year. Every time I go home with Justin, I find even more reasons to feel lucky that he’s in my life, and even more reasons to be thankful.


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This Week In Mental Consumption

Outside, the Muslim Girls Training and General Civilization Class installed silkworm trays. They worked in silence, daydreaming of various things. Ruby James was thinking about how handsome John 2X had looked that morning, and wondered if they would get married someday. Darlene Wood was beginning to get miffed because all the brothers had gotten rid of their slave names but Minister Fard hadn’t gotten around to the girls yet, so here she was, still Darlene Wood. Lily Hale was thinking almost entirely about the spit curl hairdo she had hidden up under her headscarf and how tonight she was going to stick her head out her bedroom window, pretending to check the weather, so that Lubbock T. Hass next door could see. Betty Smith was thinking, Praise Allah Praise Allah Praise Allah. Millie Little wanted gum.

Emotions, in my experience, aren’t covered by single words. I don’t believe in “sadness,” “joy,” or “regret.” Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I’d like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions like, say, “the happiness that attends disaster.” Or: “the disappointment of sleeping with one’s fantasy.” I’d like to show how “intimidations of mortality brought on by aging family members” connects with “the hatred of mirrors that begins with middle age.” I’d like to have a word for “the sadness inspired by failing restaurants” as well as for “the excitement of getting a room with a minibar.”

This is a little belated since I only have 50 pages left, but I am enjoying the hell out of Jeffery Eugenides’ Middlesex.

Lately Sarah (Justin’s BFF’s wife) and I have been trading books like crazy. She owns all the books I’ve ever considered reading and vice versa. It’s amazing and the boys get a huge kick out it. The other night we had a double date at Monarch, and while Sarah and I were gushing about The Virgin Suicides, Brent pointed out that we were both sitting the exact same way: hugging ourselves with our right hands under our chins, like little girls madly in love. In all fairness, we were.

Up next: Ken Follet’s The Pillars of the Earth, which is also my current TV marathon thanks to Jen, Ron, and the bomb-ass breakfast for dinner that Ron made us last night (with farm fresh eggs from Moon Dance!).

Justin and I are in the midst of a new TV club: Six Feet Under and Breaking Bad. It’s no Buffy/Wire, but we’re still having a lot of fun.

Tomorrow night: Melancholia with my work friends Ben and Jim!

I should note that I’ve also been working my ass off at the Y. I’m a sucker for their incentive programs where I win a t-shirt just for working out. This will be my fourth! Plus: I’ve been rocking a standing desk at work. So, uh, not a total sloth. Just like 70%.

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Air Swimmers

Justin’s best friend gave him one of these for his birthday. A shark. Justin’s favorite thing so far is floating it past the treehouse and freaking out the cat.

Needless to say, Justin is already drawing up plans for an undersea-themed room in case we ever move to a 3-bedroom unit.

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“That’s How You Know It’s An Adventure.”

Yesterday was Justin’s birthday! Last night we saw Hugo. Based on the trailer, I had assumed it was a Harry Potter-ish ripoff or a pretty-but-blah kid’s story. I had no idea why Justin was so excited to see it. But it’s really an homage to filmmaker Georges Méliès, the father of special effects in film. I didn’t know what that meant until Justin mentioned the video for “Tonight, Tonight”:

Hugo is pretty amazing. Martin Scorsese directed it, Johnny Depp produced it, it’s a 3D film actually made with 3D film, the sets are gorgeous, the story is touching*, and Sacha Baron Cohen is totally hysterical in the most subtle way. It’s a shame that the marketing for the film, especially the trailer, is so misleading. I can’t gush about it enough.

I know all my entries lately have been videos or  just plain short. I’ve been hit with a case of the SADS, work is kicking my ass, I haven’t been running, and you know what? I just don’t feel like writing right now. I’ll bounce back with stories of the Amish and Jersey Boys and farm parties and Hoosier adventures; I just don’t know when.

Right now my energy is focused on real life and real people (see you tonight, Kendra and Jane!) and getting my muffin top back in the gym.

*There’s a dead dad plot, obviously. As an English major, I knew this was an ongoing theme in literature and film and other stories, but you’re never really aware of it until your dad dies, too. Just wait for it. It’s unbelievable, though once you get there you understand why it’s a story that someone wants to tell.

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