Sometimes, I’m So Cheap

How long has it been since I wrote a blog post? I was having a classically nonsensical conversation via Facebook Messenger with my husband, and guesstimated that it had been a solid year since I put fingers to keys for fun. Turns out it hasn’t been quite that long, but it has been a long while either way. I wish I could say that I forgot I had a blog. That my life became so whirlwind busy, that I just forgot. My life is busy, who’s isn’t, but I didn’t forget. In fact, I still occasionally checked to see the number of readers my posts were getting.

I’m sitting here now, though.

I don’t write a whole lot about work, because I talk a lot about work, and that seems like overkill. However, it feels appropriate to say that I have made a step I am proud of in my career. I accepted a promotion at work, and starting in July, I will officially be the weekend anchor at my station. This means I will be working weekends for the first time in my career, but I’m ok with that because this is the right step for me. During the other three days of my work week, I will continue to be a consumer reporter. I get the best of both worlds, and that’s pretty cool.

I could go on and on about all the exciting and serious ways this makes me feel, I could go on and on about my thoughts on where journalism is going, and how I want to steer my little ship, but what I will go on about, at least right now, is how sometimes, I’m so cheap. I’m no financial guru, but doing as much consumer reporting as I do now, has made me see how I handle my finances in a different way. However, I still eat out too much, like way too much, and to make myself feel less guilty about it, I try to save in the most ridiculous ways. For instance, I have had the same make-up brush for the last five or six years. The same brush. I wash it semi-regularly, but it is outright falling apart. It’s not even an especially nice make-up brush. It’s the kind you get for free when you buy one of those Bare Essentials foundation and bronzer packs.

I used it for foundation, and highlighter, and bronzer, and blush. I went to a MAC make-up class with friends once, and the instructor totally said that was a smart thing to do, so you can stop gasping. Anyway, the thing has been on it’s last legs for a while, and I have started breaking out a little after using it, so I finally, finally, bought two new brushes.

At nearly 32, with my newly minted title, I decided I was going to buy more than one make-up brush, and they were going to be fancy. However, after heading to the beauty store, I was astonished to see how expensive make-up brushes can be. I opted for two different NYX make-up brushes, because the cost seemed less ridiculous to me.

It’s so strange to me that, considering what I do for a living, I don’t flinch at a one-hundred-dollar bill for dinner and drinks, but a fifteen-dollars beauty buy gives me the vapors. So, now I’m about to pull those little suckers out of their cases, and get my make-up on before tonight’s newscast. I expect to look thirty-dollars prettier for the next six years.

Mireya Desk

Don’t Punch Teenagers

I hadn’t had a long weekend in a while. I love my job and the media consumption that comes with it, but after report after report on political craziness, dead people, crime, animal abuse, and statewide financial problems— I needed to unplug. Cue a four day weekend that coincided with N’s spring break. If I could do I back flip, I would have done one.

My excitement translated into social media posts counting down the hours to my mini-vacation. It is, after all, the fastest way to let the world know about my sunny mood, whether or not the world wanted to know. Every time I told someone I was headed to Lawton I was met with confusion. I’m not sure what’s in Lawton, but people’s responses didn’t do a good job of selling the place. To be more clear, I wasn’t going to Lawton, but to the Wichita Mountains near Lawton, and that seems to make all the difference.

In the car on a Saturday morning we loaded supplies, the dogs, and plugged in the address into the GPS. Ninety minutes to nature– not particularly far, but the flashing 90 minute trip estimate took me back to my time in Colorado where I lived 15 minutes away from Pikes Peak and countless trails. I was uninterested in regular hiking trips when they were easily accessible, but now I daydream about it. The whole thing makes me sound like a walking stereotype, but really it’s my dogs’ fault.

The majority of my time in Colorado I had cats. They were happy to just chase lasers indoors, and continue to be. My dog Mila is from Colorado, but I didn’t get her until a few months before we moved away. I do remember my interest in hiking picked up after getting her. Now, we have Magnus, a 100 lb ball of energy, and he only knows how to relax after a long walk or day of sprints at the dog park. I think Mila misses the mountains because she really comes alive when we get to play in Oklahoma’s version.

That Saturday was a really great day. I couldn’t get online much because the service is spotty out there, so relaxing and enjoying the moment was really my only option. The company was good, the weather was crisp, and the bathrooms in the visitor center were clean. No matter how much I’m starting to like being outside, going to the bathroom next to a tree is never my idea of a good time. That day will remain in my thoughts for some time, not just because it was peaceful, but also because it was the same day I almost punched a teenage girl.

Man, that sounded intense, didn’t it? What I mean is that I was filled with the overwhelming urge to punch a teenage girl, though I doubt I ever would. I’m more the ‘wound with words’ type. Besides, she was far too tall for me to actually reach her face, and punching people in the stomach seems like such a waste.

To be fair, at her age I was probably an insufferable jerk too. Here is what happened…

I was wearing a jammy pack. It’s basically a fanny pack with the added cool factor of allowing you to play music from your phone through a little stereo system. I did look ridiculous, but the unbelievable convenience won me over. Also, I wore it backwards because I vaguely remember that being the cool way to do it in the early 90s. Anyway, I was walking into the Visitor Center, and this six foot tall pretty girl wearing skinny jeans and ballet flats to hike looked at the jammy pack and started laughing. We make eye contact, and she walks off with her parents. You might be thinking, ‘Mireya, why would this girl’s minor outburst get in your head?’ Good question dear reader. I don’t think that’s what happened exactly. That brief experience, that was such an unimportant part of my day, remains memorable because I wasn’t sure how to react.

I have few problems with confronting people, and can clearly tell a person how what they have done has made me feel. If that exchange were with another adult I would have likely said, ‘What’s your bleeping problem,” but the person was clearly a minor, perhaps even half my age. In that split second I went with an emphatic eye-roll, and went on my way. The main take away for me is that I have no idea how to act around teenagers. I think there is no world in which I could have told this girl she was rude, and not looked petty. My husband often says teenagers, “are playing at adulthood.” Older teens like to pretend they are grown-up in the way they act and talk, but can really just be snarky jerks. Tip of the hat to those people that have to deal with teenagers regularly, and my apologies to those who had to deal with me at that age.

I find the experience, and thoughts that came after it comical, which is why I’m writing about it, but I sincerely hope that girl, and any other jerk teens, turns out to be a decent human with a good life.

In the hours that followed, I went on to see some longhorns, roadrunners, and even elk. We picked a trail, and explored. Mila and Magnus had the chance to play off leash at the top of a small mountain, and almost had a Looney Tunes moment when they caught sight of some wild animals, and seriously thought about heading off the side of a cliff to catch them.

After all of that, I had a belly full of tacos for dinner, and drove back home with the sleepiest dogs I ever did see.

 

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Take a Leap

It might be might my job, my age, or my disposition, but general holidays have lost their luster. I work every Thanksgiving, haven’t partied on the New Year since I had too much champagne at age 24, and one time I forgot it was Christmas.

It’s no wonder then, that today I forgot it was Leap Day. Luckily the internet reminded me with Facebook alerts, clever/not so clever tweets, and articles about the whole thing. I don’t think Leap Day is an actual holiday– just a calendar playing catch-up– but I was intrigued by the articles advising people on what they should do with their extra 24 hours.

Apparently, on this day, women can propose to men. I guess they might melt into a puddle of goop if they try something like that any other day of the year. You can also celebrate that one friend who insists they are six years old because they were a leap year baby. The rest I saw in passing talked about how you should take the day off to relax or maybe do some charity work. I opted for charity work– but only coincidentally.

Today– probably while you are reading this– N and I will be sitting in the Oklahoma City Humane Society taking a short course on being a safe and effective volunteer. I had this type of volunteering on my to-do list for years, but I never followed through. It wasn’t out of laziness, but fear. I thought it would be too difficult, because I would want to take all the dogs home or that I would be too sad about the ones who aren’t getting adopted. I still think I’ll feel this way, but there is now an overwhelming feeling to do some active good, and this is good.

I am lucky my dogs, Mila and Magnus, can’t talk. If they could, perhaps they would point out the irony in me leaving them for hours to spend time with other dogs. When I return, I expect the will sniff my hands, look at me as if I have betrayed them, and promptly forgive me when they are ready for dinner.

 

mila and magnus

Mila and Magnus and Mireya. Causing trouble, but in a cool way.

 

 

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.

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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.