Most things stayed the same

It’s 2015.

I’m not sure how I feel about that. Really, this is a ‘it’s not you, it’s me,’ situation. Odd numbers are creepy, and I don’t know why. The volume is better on an even number, I like to say hello twice, and goodbye twice. My neurosis. I don’t think people notice, but now they might.

I had a wonderful dinner, and fabulous drinks this NYE. Did you know a boozy Arnold Palmer is better with a little sprig of rosemary? Well, it is.

Between researching studies and open records requests, I thought about how much I didn’t want to make any resolutions, and then I thought about how I could be happier with my life. So, I ended up making a resolution of sorts. I hope to be more deliberate with my life in 2015, and beyond.

I’ve been very ‘whatever happens, happens’ the majority of my adult life, and that has served me well when it comes to moving around for work, and not limiting where I might find good opportunities. Yet, it has been a disservice when it comes to other aspects of my life– namely, making plans and never getting around to them. Taking vacations, visiting family, visiting friends, going paddle boarding, volunteering, learning to shoot a gun, watching more plays, more live music, more ballet, doing another Crossfit competition. Most of these things aren’t expensive, I just think about doing them, and then don’t. So, this 2015 I want to do those things I’ve been too lazy to do.

In January N and I are going to watch Book of Mormon in OKC and taking an inversion workshop over the weekend. February, we are catching the ballet, visiting family in March, Hozier in April, and hopefully a, longer than I normally would, vacation in June…

I, like, wrote it down in my calendar, in pen– so, it’s a go. Maybe being more deliberate is a key to feeling increasingly fulfilled. I love my job, but I certainly want my life to be about much more than that.

Anyway, I was bad this morning, and put twice the amount of coffee grounds to make one pot of coffee at work– even though there are signs, many signs, everywhere telling me not to do that. At least the coffee is tastier than ever. You’re welcome World! New year, still me– whatever that means.

Just Laugh

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2014 in review

This little report is neat. I’m glad I moved to WordPress. Anyway, to all my pretty friends and pretty strangers all over the world, a big hug and a big thank you for reading my rambles. I hope you never lose interest or that I write more interesting things– either way, stay with me in 2015. On an unrelated note, as I was writing this a piece of toast I was eating fell in the trash. The trash was empty with a fresh bag, and I thought about picking it out and eating it anyway– but I didn’t. I am a better adult with each passing day. Enjoy champagne and good times, and I’ll do the same.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 850 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 14 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Sorry, I was busy eating

I ate a breakfast taco the other day, but instead of a tortilla there was a waffle. I know right, I’m a freaking animal, but I mean, look:

Waffle Taco

I remember pretty harshly judging anyone that would eat that gross waffle taco from Taco Bell, and I stand by that– mostly because I think my food doesn’t look gross, and also, I am a horrible horrible hypocrite. The OKC food scene has been neat. I’m really digging this waffley heaven called Waffle Champion. The name is really great because it makes me feel like such a winner even though I’m eating a giant waffle taco, followed by a sweet dessert waffle, and a bottle of wine. It was brunch, after all. The restaurant sells boxed water, like water in a box, and it’s expensive. That makes me feel like I’m a budding environmentalist, without actually having to buy it. Hey, I’m not made of money. My budget is stretched pretty thin after my $140/month Crossfit membership, so I can look hot, and my waffle obsession, so I can ruin everything.

I know this probably sounds ridiculous right about now, but I haven’t spent the last couple of months just eating. I’ve done other cool things, I’m pretty sure. High fives all around, pretty faces

Failed Sports Fan: Baseball and Tattoos

    I’m the worst sports fan, as in, I’m not a sports fan at all, but I like to pretend sometimes, and it doesn’t always come off the right way. You need to know that about me before we go watch, well, I guess the Thunder, since that’s what’s cool where I live.
    I can certainly get caught up in the excitement of a football game, I mean, I’m not an animal, but I do need to force myself to pay attention. Case in point, I went to a baseball game a few weeks ago, and what I remember about the outing is unusual. Like most things, I like the idea of a baseball game better than the actual game, but it had been almost a year since I’d been to one, so I forgot.
Logo I borrowed from the interwebs.

Logo I borrowed from the interwebs.

    The Oklahoma City Red Hawks are a minor league baseball team, and I hear they are pretty good, but I was sitting around a bunch of fans, so take that with a grain of salt. I had a good time at the game, eat all the nachos, and even cheered at mostly the right times. I have this bad habit that will eventually get me in trouble, though. I have a tendency to cheer for the other team if they do something especially cool, so I’m waiting for the day someone’s beer ends up on my head.
    Anyway, I don’t know how it happens, but I end up obsessing about things other than the game. Like, right now, a month after the fact, I keep thinking about this woman I saw there. She was sitting to my right four rows up. How I noticed her in the first place, I don’t know. She was about my height, in her 50s, with brown hair, and quite a bit over weight. She was wearing a sleeveless shirt and cargo shorts. She looked like a an average American mother with adult children. Except for one spectacular thing; she had a large tattoo on the outside of her forearm. It was a bright royal blue dragon, and took up her entire outer-forearm.
Visual approximation of tattoo. Thanks Internet.

Visual approximation of tattoo. Thanks Internet.

    I thought it might be fake, but after sneaking several peeks, and maybe an outright stare, I’ve decided it was very real. It looked new, too. So, this wasn’t something she did as a crazy kid, but something she did like a couple of months ago.
    So many questions!
    I find the stories behind tattoos so interesting, and I wanted to hear hers. I’ve had people tell me there is no story behind their tattoos, but I call b.s. You don’t decide to get something permanent on your body for zero reason.
    I thought about the different reasons people have given me for their tattoos. Maybe she wanted a change? Maybe she’s just really into dragons? Maybe she has a friend that wanted to practice and she let them practice on her? Maybe she beat cancer, and felt super mighty– like a dragon. I guess, I’ll never know.
    I know the reason I got my first tattoo is hilarious, and a little stupid, but I remember it fondly.
    Speaking of remembering… remember how this post was about sports? I’m pretty sure the Red Hawks won.

That’s Sea Law

Sometimes things don’t work out the way you thought they would, and that’s how I went from living in Germany to clinging to an aluminum rod and trying to keep down my lunch on a 37-foot sailboat in the Gulf of Mexico.

I’m a journalist, but I put that part of myself on hold, and did other fun stuff for the last year. Now I’m back in a newsroom– or will be tomorrow. Before I moved to OKC, N and I visited his dad and his dad’s sailboat. I get horribly seasick all the time every time, but I’m on this ‘try new things’ ridiculous kick and I convinced myself this time would be different. It wasn’t.

It was my first time on a sailboat and I planned to take cool pictures in my swimsuit and Ray-Bans, sunning myself by the sails. Instagram was going to get slammed with pictures of my face! Actually, I only managed to take one crooked blurry photo of the sails.

Do you know how hard it is to look cool while trying not to puke? Harder still to take good pictures. Apparently, I only succeeded in looking angry, but I always look angry, so whatever. The sunglasses did help fool everyone into thinking I was totally not about to blow chunks.

N’s dad started talking to me about how the helmsman has to keep the wind on his/her face while steering the boat, that the boat should be steered like a car with a loose steering wheel, and that sailboats have the right of way because… I don’t know…it’s sea law or something. I thought he was just making conversation, so I was all, “Yeah…Sure… Obviously… I totally get it.”

Mistake.

Moments later he said, “Ok, we’ll put the sails up you man the boat,” and walked away.

I just clung to this steering wheel the size of my body, and kept repeating, “Face, wind, loose steering wheels, don’t puke, don’t die, don’t knock these guys off the boat, I have the right of way.”

It went exactly as well as that time I played the guitar, that is to say, not well. Be glad you weren’t with me, or maybe be sad. It really depends on how much you trust me to keep you alive while I’m panicking.

I ended up driving in a circle. Seriously. N and his dad got hit on their faces with the sails because I couldn’t go in a straight line, but I didn’t crash or tip over, so… I’m basically a sailor now, no big deal.

I wasn’t the only one having a tough time. N got sea sick too, but he played it off better, or maybe his sunglasses covered more of his face.

He had a lot of fun working the sails and yelled,”I am like an expert sailor…”

Moments later he went to sit down, lost his footing, and broke some thermometer or something. He appropriately yelled, “I belong on the land.”

After a couple of hours we were sailing back to shore, and I was happy I never actually lost it. Then N said he saw a dolphin and he and his dad decide to explore.

What fresh hell is this! I tried to melt his face off with my death stare, especially because this supposed dolphin never reappeared.

Don’t feel too bad for me though, my father-in-law had offered me some sea sickness medication before we sailed way, and I was too cool to take it.

Sailing is fun. I know because I managed to have a great time in spite of my horrible sea sickness. Next time I’ll just take the damned pill.

IMG_1709-0.JPG

Of Course

Could Kill Me, Apparently

Could Kill Me, Apparently

I had an allergic reaction. It was…bad, terrifying, and at the end funny.

I tried to type this a few days ago so I could write: ‘My eyes are swollen shut, and the reason is stupid.’ I couldn’t do that, though, because my eyes were, in fact, swollen shut, so I couldn’t see. Right now my eyes are no longer swollen shut; they are still pretty puffy, and the reason behind that is still stupid.

As a kid I had allergies that manifested in the most annoying ways. No itchy eyes or runny nose for me. I’d get blisters on my eyelid and under my eye about the size of dimes. Normally I’d take allergy medication, put a cold compress on my eyes, and a couple of hours later I’d be good. That happened much less often once I became an adult, and completely stopped about two years ago, until last weekend.

I was doing yard work. I got fancy and helped mow some grass. I felt like a real cool kid when I got my hands on the weed whacker and I didn’t lose any toes or kill the dog. It was because of all that excitement that I didn’t notice my eyes were very itchy. I touched my face and felt two little blisters under each eye, so I ran in to the house, washed my face, popped an antihistamine, and avoided scratching. Ten minutes later, the itchiness wasn’t subsiding, so I walk into the bathroom and looked in the mirror. It looked like I had been punched in both eyes.

I realized that whatever gave me the allergic reaction was probably still all over my clothes and hair, so I quickly jump into the shower. The whole time I’m trying my best to keep cool, but that was difficult to do after realizing that I was having to widen my eyes as much as possible so that I could see at all. As I was showering I noticed an extremely swollen lymph node under my right arm surrounded with blisters…sexy right?

I don’t generally panic until it’s absolutely necessary, so I stood there in the shower barely able to see squinting at my arm, trying to decide if that was going to be the moment I’d panic. I’ve never gone into anaphylactic shock, but I figured since I didn’t think my throat was closing I was probably fine?

Turns out I was sort of fine, but leaving the house was not an option for three days. That’s how long it took to start looking normal-ish.

I’ve been working hard to be stronger and faster, but apparently I can be taken out by a few blades of grass and a dusting of pollen— of course.

 

About Dam Time

I’ve been busy. Busier than I thought I would be considering my life has heavily revolved around Crossfit, freelancing, and resume sending. I’ve started to write this post like eight times over the last two months. Ridiculous. Many things have changed in my life since I went to Amsterdam, but this post is going to be about Amsterdam anyway.

You know what’s difficult? Trying to work and vacation at the same time, but when have I ever been cool with simple? I went to Amsterdam as a tourist and a freelancer. I wish my time there had lasted longer, but who doesn’t wish beautiful things lasted longer.

N and I drove to Amsterdam. You know, for someone who was really excited to travel to different cities by train– I drive a lot. The drive was 2.5 hours from Koeln.

Hotel costs are steep in Amsterdam, especially if you want a decent place. That’s why I decided it was a good time to roll the dice, and try Airbnb. Basically, I joined the social network, and looked up people who live in Amsterdam, that would lend out their Apartment to travelers. I know, sounds a little sketch, but I chose the option where the apartment owner would leave their home, so guest could be alone in the apartment. My experience was great. For half the price of a hotel I stayed in a luxury one bedroom, two level condo, outside of the touristy craziness.

Marco, the owner, met us at his home, did a walk through, gave us a list of local restaurants he was really into, and advice on the metro system. Then, he left.

Marco was really confused as to why we would drive from Koeln to Amsterdam just to hang out for a couple of days, but once he realized we were American, it made sense. I guess, a 2.5 hour drive is a big deal in Europe.

It was strange being in some other person’s home. I was very concerned about cleaning up after myself and not breaking anything, but I wasn’t in the apartment all that much.

Dutch sounds really funny to me. Not like, “Listen to those Dutch people with their Dutch talk,” but in how much it sounds like English. I understood a surprising amount, but only after thinking about it for several minutes, so it wasn’t useful or anything.

Walking around Amsterdam was so lovely. The Museum District made me happy. Art, relaxation, and that sweet I Am Amsterdam sign. I tried to take a coolkid picture with it, but I’m not as fearless as the people that were willing to muscle their way to the top.

I Am Amsterdam

Vondel Park was great to walk through. There were sculptures in the space, including a Picasso. The tulips were all over the place, and I sure liked that.

The bike thing is no joke either. They are everywhere. That’s why I thought it would be a great idea to spend 30 euro on renting bikes. I promptly remembered I don’t know how to ride a bike, but decided to try anyway. As you probably expected, I almost got hit by cars– twice. Strangers gasped, and then laughed. We returned the bikes 1 hour after renting them.

Bad At Easy Things

The Red Light District, was– something. It was interesting in a morbid way, and mostly wildly depressing. Then, I felt like a jerk for thinking someone’s life is depressing because they chose to make a legal act their career. The problem is that I know that for some of those women, it’s not always a choice. Though interesting, that walk was just weird.

Visiting the historic buildings, walking along the canals, and checking out great restaurants was more my speed. My favorite restaurant was called Cau. It was near the Red Light District. It was an Argentinean steakhouse. The women servers wore shirts that said ‘caugirl,’ and the men’s said ‘cauboy.’ I got a real kick out of that for some reason. I also ate two giant milkshakes, and didn’t feel even a little bad.

I never made it to the Keukenhof Gardens, and I’m still sad about that. I guess, I’ll just have to go back. I’m always wanting to go back.

Anne Frank Haus