Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Veganism

I went to my very first vegan restaurant a couple weeks ago.

It mostly happened because my friend wanted something somewhat 'healthy' and I figured the local Dairy Queen wouldn't qualify.  It was his birthday, after all, so I pulled up Yelp to try to find something that wouldn't taste like dirt.

The place I found had rave reviews.  I was sold: the citizens of Yelp made me feel secure.

But boy oh boy, did I lose my trust in humanity that day.

Walking into the restaurant felt foreign to me...the walls were too clean, the employees too hipster.  Yet, I continued on.  The man at the front was very helpful when I told him I was new to this and that I needed some suggestions.  He mentioned a few things but quickly added, "But seriously. Everything is so good here".  I picked one of the specials-one of the dishes he said by name.  He had a pretty killer beard, so I wanted to believe him.

Moments later, our meal arrived.  During the wait I had been sipping on some of their lavender lemonade, which was actually pretty delightful.  It kept my hopes high and my hunger even higher.

I don't remember the name of the food I got, but it was some kind of food.

I started eating and kept asking myself if the food was the problem, or my taste buds.  At what point do people start thinking flavorless food is delicious?  I didn't get it then, and I don't get it now.

Unusually, I didn't finish my meal but offered the second half to my friend.  He liked it.

And since I signed up to be a part of their 'club' in order to get the lemonade for free, I had to instantly unsubscribe to their emails as soon as I got home.  Because homie ain't got time for that.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

To the Deer

Today.

I decided on my way to work this morning that I would go to one of my favorite little trails after school.  To celebrate both summer and autumn.  And to savor the days of warm weather without any chance of snow.  Because snow will soon come.

Just moments into the trail, I make eye contact.

I break only to look around and find two other deer, all three of them intently staring at me.  

It was on.


We stared.  I walked, they jumped, we stared.



And in that moment, during our intense staring contest, I did what any normal human would do:



I started to dance.



I mean, my reasoning was that they obviously wanted a show.  So my headphones were in and my groove was coming out.



The deer just kept staring (like most humans) and I'm sure they were trying to figure out if I was going to strike or strike a pose.  In the end, I was the one who ended up losing interest, and continued my evening.

But then, instead of walking, the rest of my time was spent walking/dancing.  On the trails, in the meadows, by the creek.  It was a dance party.


And my heart was full.


I instantly just became focused on the good in my life.  The goodness of that exact moment between me, the deer, the music, and the world. I laughed.  Then I saw a stranger and wondered how long they had seen me dancing.  And I glad about that, too.

I drove to dinner and was glad for the handlebar mustache on the man in the car next to me.  And the woman who had love tattooed on her wrist.  I was glad that it was taco Tuesday and that I had made a new friend recently.


There are so many things to be glad about, and I'm glad the deer reminded me.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Summer Recap 2: Camping

I love camping.  


I enjoy the mountains and waking up to the real world.  Aka nature.

This time around was really good, too, because I mastered the art of peeing outside.  It only took my whole life, but I rocked that urination.

I also tried driving one of the quads and I got stuck on a log.  I had to be rescued by the boys and I never felt so hopeless.  I hope they didn't judge me too much but I know they did.  



But seriously, this world.  It's so great.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Summer Recap Part I

This summer was delightful.  And full of adventures.  But more importantly, it was full of good humans.  I seriously have the best friends.

My first stop of the summer was a little place called Jackson Hole.  I love it there.  


Jackson included some delightful entertainment by some old guys who sing country.  I ate a whole tray full of meat.  It was disgusting and delicious and maybe a mistake.  Also, we hugged a bear.


(But seriously.  So amazing.)
Fun fact: I may or may not have sung a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner on the ferry ride to our hike.  And some Asian tourists might have loved every minute of it.





 Married people are so cute sometimes...I guess. 


 Some of you might recognize this middle picture of Janna.  It got pretty big on the ol' FB.


Most importantly, I ate waffles at the top of this mountain. 

And we saw two movies and one of the Asians at the nail salon spent a good amount of time hula hooping outside the front doors.

All in all, I'd say it was a pretty good way to start the summer.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Current Obsession

You know what I really love?  Making eye contact with other drivers while driving.  I think it is the best.  I don't even know why.  But tonight when I was turning a corner, I made eye contact with the guy waiting to turn and didn't look away until distance forced it.  


Sometimes this turns into car flirting.  I don't mind that either.  Neither did Mystery Matt.  
(oh what could have been...)


But really, this post is all about a man named Sam Hunt.  

Here he is: 

  

First things first, I think I love him.  

I don't know anything about him except he has ridiculous pop songs that are kind of just bad but I also can't stop listening to them.  They are full of awkward voice overs and cheesy lyrics but maybe that's why I relate to them.  I mean, when he says, "If you wanna be a homebody, we gonna have a house party" - I get that.  I'm lazy.  He sings about snapbacks...my friends and I just got matching ones.  I don't know if it's more embarrassing to just like Sam and his music or genuinely feel like I can relate to it.  I won't claim which is more pressing to my heart.

If you want to see him in real time, here is an option:

Please don't judge me.


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Santa Fe

Oh, it's the end of June?  And I'm about to post about Memorial Day?

I do what I want.
It was a pretty excellent weekend.  The drive wasn't horrible (it gave me a good excuse to drink all the Mountain Dew I wanted) 

(p.s. i love mountain dew baja blast (thanks taco bell!) but now that they sell it in stores normally i feel confused...because every time i drink it i instinctively want to eat a chalupa.  life is hard)

Anyways.  I really loved Santa Fe.  And Taos.  They were both delightful little places with delightful people.  We also stopped by this weird little place called Earthships.  It was weird/cool?  

       

      

      

I really wanted to buy a turquoise ring while I was down there and after searching through several shops and streets, I ended up buying one from the very first place we went.  Which was helpful because I flirted a lot with the guy working there.  It did get me a pretty decent discount, but in the end he rejected my invitation to hang out after his shift.  Love is pain.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

10.

My 10 year high school reunion is tonight.  It's actually in less than two hours.  I keep going back and forth on whether or not I should/will go, but I finally just bought the ticket so I think I'm pretty much locked in.

I reflect on the last ten years and can create a list of all the things I've been able to experience, all the heartbreaks and successes.  Some people can't believe its been ten years.  But to me, it feels just right.  It feels like its been enough time for me to grow up a little bit (not a lot) but also it feels like there is so much more life to go.  I like this feeling.


When I reflect, I also feel like not much has changed in regards to me as a person. So now I will provide a list of things that are different but also the same:


Different
Don't live at home
Have my own car
Well-loved passport
Queen size bed (this recent upgrade from a twin has changed my life)
Go to the movies alone more than with other people
I wear makeup now (ya welcome)

Same
Still do my laundry at home
Love the Backstreet Boys
Hang out with 21 year olds 
Temporary tattoos 
Dress-up box
Lack of interest in the World Cup
Hate showers and dogs
Have a hard time saying no to a dare
Fan of no pants

In conclusion, I am mostly the same...but hopefully a little bit better.




Thursday, March 6, 2014

Taste Test

I went to a Red Robin taste test tonight.

How did this happen, you ask?  Well, it started with just an email, and it ended tonight with me going to the grocery store to buy 10 lbs of fruit and veggies to forgive myself of this decision.

Ok but really, somehow I ended up on their email list forever ago and every few weeks they email about a taste test in the Denver area.  And I finally just did it.  Because a.) free dinner and b.) a $50 gift card for Red Robin just for doing it.  A win-win in every sense of the word.

But also, still, maybe a loss for my future and America. 

I walked into the location where the taste test is, hoping I'd make a new friend and get some french fries with my burger.  

Nope.  I walk in and there are just a few chairs with sad humans sitting in them.  No one is talking to each other; you know the only reason these people came was for the burgers. And burgers they got.



After a short wait, you file back into a room with five booths.  Each person gets their own private booth, as to not let anyone sway their opinions on the burgers they were about to consume.  There is a little sliding window and someone gives you your first burger.  All you do is take a few bites, answer a few questions on an iPad, and then return whatever leftovers before getting the next burger.  Four burgers later, and I never wanted Red Robin again.  But not really, because I got $50 to spend there now!


It was both beautiful and disgusting.  And also, just kind of weird.  


 I, of course, gave really profound and welcome feedback.  Because that's how I do.


YUM.

Monday, February 17, 2014

DENTIST

You guys.  I legitimately love the dentist.  It's one of the few situations in my life where I feel like I can accept and take any and every compliment given to me.  

Today the lady cleaning my teeth asked me, "You floss, don't you?" and I told her I do my best.  She said she could tell. BAM.

Then she asked me if I used an electric toothbrush...I said no (old school).  She was flabbergasted.  She told me I was a real good brusher.  BAM.

Lastly, she commented on how I must have had braces.  Nope.  Triple whammy.  BAM.

And to top it off, they had marshmallow flavored toothpaste.  And it was good.  Slash I want it now for my every day life.

These are the reasons I love the dentist.



Thursday, February 13, 2014

Haircut

So I got my haircut last Saturday.  I've been needing one pretty bad, and Saturday I had some time so I called around to a few places and booked an appointment for whatever salon had the next available opening.

Turned out a salon just down the street was the winner!  They had an opening a mere 20 minutes after I called.


I hadn't decided what I wanted to do with my hair, I just knew that something had to be done.  I've been having a lot of anxiety with the lack of change in my life, so a big part of me just wanted to chop it all off. 



Jane had other ideas.



I walked in to a petite Asian woman ready to cut my hair.  But wait!  The first thing she said to me was that she was hard of hearing (she seemed pretty deaf) and could only hear me if she was directly looking at my face.  Perfect! I thought this meant I wouldn't have to endure awkward salon conversation where I pretend to reveal personal information about myself but really just make most of it up because I don't open up to strangers-they open up to me.  Alas, this did not deter her from talking...for pretty much the whole time.  


Then Jane asked me what I wanted done with my hair.  I told her I wasn't sure and thought we could have a conversation about a couple possibilities.  You know, with usual questions like "how much time do you spend on it every morning?" or mention of my face shape.  No, she went right for the jugular.  "Are you married, single, dating?" ..."um, single"..."OHH then we must keep it long.  Long layers.  Men like layers!"

Silly Jane, if only it were that simple.  

The rest of the time I was sitting in that chair, Jane was talking to me about eharmony.com and all the men she met on there.  The one guy she has gone out with her a couple times really, really seems to like her, but she doesn't want to commit to him.  She wants to see what else is out there!  Her first marriage only ended two years ago, after all.  She deserves some freedom.

In the end, she did cut my hair into long layers and then teased it into oblivion.  So that's good.  Also, I can write her entire biography.  

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Some Important Things

The last month has flown by, and I have some pretty good updates for you to enjoy.

Also, I just washed my car and I exerted a lot of energy doing that, so forgive me if I make mistakes typing.  

(fun fact: i got home from work not more than 15 minutes ago and I am already not wearing pants)
(good day great day)

So, one of my 'tough' students was trying to hold the door closed the other day, preventing some girls from entering the classroom.  I went up and easily opened the door.  Not missing an opportunity to rub this in his face (i'm a good teacher), I told him "Don't even try-I'm so much stronger than you".  This eventually led to us arm wrestling to prove the strongest of them all.  He was immediately disappointed when he lost to me (twice) but today he declared that he wasn't trying all the way.  Yeah yeah...whatever, kid. I am the champion. 
 I need this win. 

It was pretty cold last Wednesday.  And somehow, the heating went out in our school.  Which meant school was cancelled!  It was a glorious day.  My coworkers and I decided we couldn't go a day without seeing each other, so we met up for some brunch and shopping, split up for awhile, and reconvened for some pho for dinner.  Pho is delicious.  The restaurant was packed that night, and we ended up sharing a large table with another party.  They were a little bit more...interesting...than us, and Mark, the larger gentleman with long hair and hippie-like exclamations, was very generous, even sharing his chicken with us.  Turns out Mark owns a karaoke business.  Turns out Mark is my new best friend.  
(ok not yet, but he will be).

Also, this happened, which is a real reason for a sadness in my heart:

Seriously one of the saddest days in recent history.  Why, Peyton, why??

But then this was a pretty accurate quiz result.  Thanks, internet, for being so true.



Monday, January 13, 2014

Mondays

This is what I look like after a long, hard Monday.  When your teachers used to tell you that they loved the weekends/vacations more than you, they really meant it.  Like, really.

On a related note, I really need to start brushing my hair sometime during the day.

Isn't it interesting that we, as a society, get really excited every December 31 to make goals and resolutions and (sometimes empty) promises, but we essentially get a new start every week when Monday rolls around and WE ABSOLUTELY HATE IT.  There is no excitement in the newness of a week or seven days of endless possibilities.  

Monday comes and we despise it.  
We want it to be Friday already.  We want to skip ahead and forget about potential and just be done with it.  But seriously, how depressing would it be if we did this every December.  If all we could talk about in January is December?  Ugh.  Just thinking about it makes me feel sad.  I wouldn't want to hang out with that guy.

(actually, knowing myself, i'd probably end up dating that guy. #issues)

I do this.  I totally fall into this trap.  I go to sleep Sunday night dreading the responsibility that comes the next morning.  Waking up at 6 am?  I'm not excited about that.  But I mean, I probably should be.  Because it is also a fresh start, with moments to be made and goals to be reached.  After all, we have to do those New Years resolutions sometime...probably on a day or two.

So really, while I'm not encouraging all night partying and kissing strangers at midnight every single night (but hey, do what you do), I don't think it'd be so bad to just love Mondays a little more.  They're aight.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Hair Quiz

You guys.  

I'm having major problems trying to decide what I should do with my hair.  For so long I simply did whatever I wanted with it (with no regard to what actually looked good) and now I feel like I'm ready to get something real done.

So, in the words of Christina Aguilera, I turn to you.

Please direct me.

Very Important Hair Decision


  1. What should I do with my hair?
  2. Nothing.  Keep it long and natural hair color
    Keep it long but go lighter
    Keep it long but go darker
    Chop it short but keep the natural color
    Chop it and go lighter
    Chop it and go darker


    Thursday, January 9, 2014

    This one is just mediocre

    A selfie is not going to happen tonight.  For several reasons, but mostly because I've already removed all makeup and unnecessary clothing from my body and therefore there is no angle or lip puckering that can save this face.  So, I give you this photo of me asleep on a train in Korea.  And another shot below with the fellow party animals from that night. This was an informative night in Korea, when some of the locals cleared up whether or not some stereotypes are true.  That's all I'll say about that.

     

    I haven't quite figured out what direction this post will take, but I wanted to get something down tonight.  I made a goal of sorts to write on this more, but I'm not disclosing the specific goal I made so you won't know if I make it or not.  All that accountability crap??  I'm not into it.  I don't want anyone to know how unsuccessful I am. Also, it's a big buzzkill when you start the year off sick.  Because then you justify not doing things more.  Gym?  Not gonna happen if I can't even breath (that ended a couple days ago but i'm still holding onto it).  Basically anything that requires extra effort/movement?  I'll talk myself out of it and take a nap instead.



    Which is why "take more naps" is on my 2014 list.  Boom. Win.

    Also, it is 9:25 pm and this is the latest I've been up all week.  Am I proud or ashamed?  TBD.

    Monday, January 6, 2014

    Sometimes

    Sometimes you just gotta eat some pizza in bed.  And not even be mad about it.  And then think about how you're eating the same foods you ate in college...and then you realize you're still a child who only makes adult decisions sometimes.

    In conclusion, I'm a poser.  I'm posing to be an adult.

    But also, it is only 8 pm and I'm already ready for bed (no pants!).  I love that this is an option in my life anytime I want it to be.

    Here is my story for the day.  I went to Utah over the weekend because little bro had to make it to BYU (go cougs, rarr) and while I was out to dinner with a couple of my besties, spying on our other bestie who was on a date, we had a very interesting conversation with the manager at the restaurant.  We'll call this manager...Malcolm.  Mostly because he had pretty sweet glasses and reminded me of Malcolm Gladwell, but also because his name was Malcolm.  He told us.

    Malcolm was an interesting man.  But he did hook us up with free desert so weird is acceptable.

    Turns out this guy was raised in England and studied ballet (normal?).  When he wanted a change, however, he decided to move to Japan and lived there for ten years.  TEN YEARS!  That's a long time.  Even better than that, Malcolm was a TV personality in Japan.  (aka my dream job). Totally jealous of that.  Since being back, he has studied for and taken the LSAT and was going to start law school last fall, but instead took a job offer as a manager at a restaurant.  Interesting choice, good sir....

    Anyways, this whole interaction just reminded me that every human has a story.  Sometimes the stories are weird and terrifying and some are depressing and sad.  But mostly they're real and human and relateable in surprising ways.  And that is why I love humans the most; you can always find something to connect on.



    Friday, January 3, 2014

    Systems slash goals

    You read that last post and only wanted more, didn't you?


    I respect that.



    What? You also want a selfie with every post this year?  Ok, fine.  I'll oblige.  Good thing one of my goals for the new year is to shower more (also, surprisingly, not the first time i've had to make this goal).  Everyone wins!  Except me.  Showering takes so much effort.

    Anyways.  You're probably wondering what kinds of goals or systems (insert: i like the idea of making systems rather than goals; this article really resonated with me) I want to put in place for this upcoming year.  I mean, after 2013, what more could a girl want in her life?  

    A lot. 
     (I'm so selfish, aren't I?)

    Instead of wanting to only make big changes in my life, I want to really focus on making small, positive changes to my world.  Those are always the hardest, though, so I'll probably also make some ridiculous goals so I can win at something.

    I really want to work on being actively aware of those around me and to take action when necessary.  Too often I feel like I ignore these kinds of opportunities and make up excuses.  I'm really good at making up excuses or justifying things.  I'm going to try to make this happen less.  And love people more.

    Ugh.  Another thing I'm going to work on?  Being emotionally vulnerable.  I bet you're wondering how I'm going to do this, or what system I'm going to try to put in place to achieve this...I am wondering the same thing.  I've been feeling a lot of emotions recently and instead of ignoring them, I've been trying to address them.  I think that's a good start for now.  Also, this blog?  We gonna get real up in here.  This scares me.

    I also want to start making grocery lists when I go shopping.

    And have brunch more often.  Denver is all about brunch and I want in on that mid-morning party.






    Thursday, January 2, 2014

    2013

    What?  You want to read another New Years post that includes a summary of the year prior and hopes for the year ahead?

    I thought so.


    But first, let me drive to the nearest 7-11 for a beverage.  I've never wanted anything as bad as I want a beverage from 7-11 right now.  At 11 pm.  On a Wednesday.  (it's Wednesday, right?  I'm not so sure any more).  And I want this to be good.  BRB.


    Ok. I'm ready now.

    (me, James Dean, my drank, and some cleavage (yawelcome))
    (not pictured: Pringles)

    Generally speaking, this past year was the most normal, average year I've had in awhile.  For the first time in several years (like 10), I did not move to another state or country.  I stayed living in one place for an entire 365 days (well, i did move to a different part of the city, so technically i did move, but 15 miles is nothing). I feel like this is probably normal and expected for most people, but as I've learned, I am not most people.

    If I'm being honest, it was terrifying to me.  Staying in one place, where I have to face real life situations, fears, and insecurities, was the last thing I wanted to do. Which is why I made 2013 the year to do it.  I became so comfortable packing up my life and creating a new one that I think I was forgetting how to nurture myself, deep down.  Not to discount the growth I experienced in the last few years at all (because, let's be honest, the last few years were ballin'), but to allow myself the chance to really approach life in a way I hadn't.

    Those feelings of running away haven't been easy to suppress.  Every few months I get a little antsy and I think that it would be so much better to just get up and leave again. For the first time in my adult life I don't need to look for jobs and send out resumes, but I still find myself on job boards looking at what else is out there.  And you guys, I really actually love my job right now.  I've never really loved a job like I love mine.  It's so weird.  I'm so weird.  

    I'm fighting the urge to leave because I'm finally beginning to learn the power of consistency.  I'm learning that some things take time and that's ok.  I don't need to change everything in my life to find an answer because sometimes I just need to wait.

    The power of waiting. Some call that patience.  I call that very difficult.

    I went through 2013 without chopping off my hair or going to another country, and I survived the consistency.  I don't know if I can say that I loved it. But I did it.  And that is a big deal to me.

    Now for 2014: