Tag Archives: life

Friendships and Weddings

29 Jul

I’m back from my hiatus, both refreshed and exhausted. Oh, and I’m feeling ridiculously sentimental.

weddingI watched my first college friend get married this weekend, and wow. She set the bar high. The couple was lovely and happy, the venue was in the gorgeous Malibu mountains, the weather was warm and perfect, the drinks were strong and the dance floor stayed crazy until 2 AM. Oh, and the venue had a ton of exotic animals. You know, bison, llamas, camels, zebras, emus and parrots. Your normal wedding animals.

And, amazingly, about 20 of my best college friends were able to make it. This meant there wasn’t a whole lot of time to sleep, as it was more important to chat, gossip and play in the pool and hot tub.

This weekend,  I remembered how lucky I am. I met this whole crew of friends when we were all randomly put on the same floor my first year of college. We became so close, our RA called a special meeting to tell us to get out of the dorm and make other friends so we wouldn’t get sick of each other. No one understood it. Why would we do that when we had all the best people just steps away?

Now, ten years later, we are still ridiculously close. We have been there for each other through the ups and down. We’ve supported each other through break-ups, arguments, job losses, bad fashion choices, even worse facial hair decisions and really nerdy obsessions. We have celebrated each others grad school acceptances, career advances, new cars, big moves and new romances. I can’t hide who I am from these guys. We lived together. We know each others life stories and childhood pets’ names. Too many of them have seen me in my underwear (sorry, guys). I’ve traveled internationally with some of them. I’ve crashed on their couches. I’ve had them crash on mine. They have introduced me to great music, movies and TV. They’ve been my baseball game buddies, IM sports teammates, and football explainers. They have been shopping buddies and saved me from some horrible wardrobe malfunctions by being safety pin gurus. And, of course, they have given me some of the best life advice, even when I’m not ready to hear it. I don’t talk to all of them all the time, but I do know that if I ever need help, day or night, my crew has my back. I’m very lucky to be able to say that.

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As I watched my beautiful friend dance with her new husband on Saturday night, surrounded by friendly faces and candlelight, it struck me just how much love I have in my life. I need to remember that more often, because it is a rare thing.

Skills.

15 Jul

Skills to pay the bills yellow dear colleen poster

I am a fairly competent person, I think. I have jobs, I go to school, I have friends, I date, I manage to not kill myself with my own cooking…not too shabby. And then there are all the little things I can do, that no one ever appreciates! I’m sure we all have these secret talents, so I’d love to hear about yours! Here are mine!

  • I can quote Peewee’s Big Adventure like no one’s business. You mention the Alamo? I tell you there’s no basement. You say but…, I say that we should talk about your “big but.” And of course, I know you are, but what am I? I have a much harder time remembering quotes from other, more dignified movies though.
  • I can fold my tongue into a weird clover shape. This can also go into the list of things I can do that SOUND sexy, but are really, really not.
  • I’m not a very good dancer, but I am a TOP NOTCH car dancer. It generally involves a lot of hand movements and chest popping. I get stares every so often, but I know they’re just jealous.
  • The bachelorette party I went to this weekend was at a house with two awesome goats. Apparently, I’m good with goats. Who knew?
  • You know those horror movies where someone all of a sudden sees a figure behind them in the mirror and then they turn around and no one’s there and it’s terrifying?!?! I’m really good at convincing myself that there will be someone behind me if I look in the mirror. This is the worst skill to have…ever.
  • LA is a hellish parking city. There are way too many cars and too few spaces, which leads to many parking lots to charge ridiculous prices. I’m really, really good at being stubborn and finding parking for free…even if it involves walking a million blocks. I’m sticking it to those parking lot guys! SUCK IT!
  • The Nicki Minaj verse in the song “Monster”? Nailed it.
  • I grew up and learned to drive in a small town with lots of unlit, windy roads. This has led to me having awesome turning on/off the brights on my headlights skills. No one around? BAM. Brights on. See someone coming up way in the distance? BAM. Brights off. You guys don’t even know.
  • Last but certainly not least, I’m really good at the hip shimmy/roll part of Zumba. The rest? Eh. I’m fine. But when it’s time to shake your ass using your hips…oh. I’m Shakira.

Please tell me you guys have some useless skills! Don’t leave me alone in this!

29 New Things!

8 Jul
Image from the awesome http://48savvysailors.com/.

Image from the awesome http://48savvysailors.com/.

As I posted last week, it’s time for me to come up with a new list of new things to try in year #28. I was very happy with how last year went with the list, but I think I learned a few things about how to construct it. Goals can’t be vague. They have to have a very clear end point (this is why “eat healthier” is the worst goal on the face of the planet for something like this).

Also, they have to be at least somewhat fun to write about, because, I’ll be honest, this is one of my shortcut ways I get blog post ideas. No one really wants to read about me updating my paper filing system, even thought that really should be one of my goals.

Lastly, it’s OK to have some things on the list that I know will happen no matter what (this year, see numbers 19, 21, 22, and 25…all of those tickets have already been bought). There’s no shame in making the challenge a bit easier. And there’s also no shame in re-using some of the goals from last year that I didn’t complete (numbers 1-6).

I am experimenting with a few goals that have more parts (number 8, 9, 27), but those are basically my ways of trying to make “Watch more classic movies!” and “Cook more new foods!” actually attainable. I realize that there are more than 70 Newbery Medal winners, so as much as I’d like to read them all this year, I’m not sure if it will happen. Still, I’m going to try!

So, here we go! I’ll post the list without my commentary as a new page on the top of my site. Do any of you have similar lists? I’d love to see or hear what new things you want to try this year!

1. Bake a cake

I fail at this perpetually year after year after year. Why are cakes intimidating when cookies and pies aren’t?!

2. Volunteer! (Can’t be school or work related)

Austin Pets Alive has a program where you can walk their shelter dogs around Town Lake. I keep meaning to do that. I mean, cute dogs, good cause…how have I not done this yet?!

3. Attend a Nerd Nite Austin event.

Nerd Nite. These are my people.

4. Go to a UT football game. Hook em!

Football in Texas is really, really important. I live close enough to the stadium that I can hear the announcements. Um, I should go.

5. Go to a rodeo

I have been to small town rodeos before, but I feel like I need to see a big, Texas rodeo before I leave.

6. Buy real cowgirl boots

The ultimate grad school souvenir.

7. Find a red lipstick that I actually like. Wear it somewhere that isn’t my house.

I love red lipstick on other people, but always find it really intimidating to wear it myself. Time to stop being afraid and start being glamourous.

8. Watch 12 classic movies I haven’t seen from this list (and definitely The Godfather and The Godfather Part II. How have I never seen those?!)

Working at the the Academy this summer has really made me realize how ignorant I am of a lot of classic films. I think I have a good base…but I haven’t seen any of The Godfather films. Or any Stanley Kubrick films besides The Shining. I really should see these so I can stop nodding along during conversations where they’re being discussed. And I live within walking distance of one of the best ever DVD rental stores in Austin. No excuses.

9. Read ALL the Newbery Medal winners.

This may take more than one year. I’ll do my best. And hey, it counts as taking a children’s literature course, right?

10. Dance in Greune Hall, Texas’ oldest dance hall.

This hall looks so beautiful, and I love two-stepping. This has to happen this year.

11. Swim in Big Stacy Pool.

Big Stacy Pool is a completely spring fed pool in South Austin. I’m going to have to take some time to lounge there on one of these triple digit summer days.

12. Eat sushi at Uchi!

It’s expensive, but it’s so Austin. I have to do it. 

13. Try three new BBQ places in Austin.

Duh.

14. Visit the California Presidential Libraries – Reagan and Nixon

15. Visit the Little Rock, Arkansas and see the Clinton Presidential Library.

16. Visit the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

Um, yeah. I have a thing for presidential libraries. I’m going to try to see all the local ones this year.

17. See a Texas Rangers game.

Gotta hit up all the MLB stadiums in Texas while I’m there! Saw the Astros this year, so it’s just the Rangers left!

18. Try molecular gastronomy type food at Ink.

Molecular gastronomy! Top Chef connection! Need to try!

19. Hang out with a bunch of my college friends in a mansion for a weekend.

This is already happening for two weekends this summer – at a bachelorette party and during the weekend of the wedding. Yes, this is a cheating goal…but it’s going to be awesome nonetheless.

20. Visit the Museum of Tolerance.

I tend to put off visits to Holocaust museums. I always end up in tears and angry. The MoT though is a big one that comes up in my studies an awful lot, so I’m going to do it, even if it kills me.

21. Get a body scrub at a Korean spa.

A friend gave me this gift for my birthday, so it’s kind of cheaty…but I’m still into it. Apparently a ton of your skin gets sloughed off and you just feel amazing. Let’s do this.

22. Do a bunch of touristy stuff I haven’t done before in NYC (The Tenement Museum! The Highline! The Cloisters! The Guggenheim!)

A have a long, long overdue trip to NYC booked for the middle of September. I have a few good friends there, and yet, I’ve been so lazy about going. Now’s the time!

23. Go to Schlitterbahn!

Massive, crazy Texas water park. Oh my God yes.

24. Go to Knotts Berry Farm!

I’ve never been to Knotts, and I have some friends here in LA who are dying to go. I’m ready for a day of bad amusement park food, roller coasters and laughs.

25. Go to a music festival.

I already have tickets to ACL, so again, this is somewhat cheaty. It’s still my first music festival ever!

26. Learn how to do the splits.

I am so not flexible, and I’m always jealous in my dance classes when people can do this. I’m going to stretch all this year with the splits as the end goal.

27. Make 12 new dinner recipes from my Pinterest boards.

I’m the worst about making new foods, especially since I’m usually just cooking for myself. But I have these great Pinterest boards with all sorts of delightful recipes. Handling one a month shouldn’t be too bad, right?

28. Make some sort of boozy popsicle.

I am constantly linking to boozy popsicle recipes. I should probably just do this.

29. Memorize a poem that I love.

I love it when people have poems memorized, and I haven’t had to do it since my English major days. It’s time to try it again.

Alright 28. Let’s go!

28 New Things…well…19 New Things.

1 Jul

Happy birthday to meeee! I am officially 28 today. What an adult sounding number! Year 27 was weird, tough and very different than the five years before. I have a feeling that it’s a year I’ll look back on as a big one.

To A "Big" Little Lady On Her Birthday

Last summer, I pledged to do 28 new things. I actually did pretty darn good at doing them…I completed 19 of the goals! Of course, I was too lazy to write about a bunch of them (whoops), but still. I’m pretty proud of myself.

I’ll make a new list for this year soon, and I’d love to hear if you have any suggestions for new things for me to try! I’m off to celebrate the start of a whole new year. Woo!

How I did!

1. Go to a Meet-Up Done!

2. Swim in Barton Springs. Done!

3. See the Congress Bridge batsDone!

4. Go to at least three concerts. Done and Done!

5. Buy real cowgirl boots.

6. Go line dancing.

I didn’t do this, but I did learn how to two step and did that an awful lot. I’m calling it a win. 

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A live band at a two step bar.

7. Go to the LBJ Library. Done!

8. Go to the San Antonio Riverwalk. Done!

9. Eat BBQ in Lockhart, the BBQ capital of Texas! Done!

10. Swim in a natural lake/creek/swimming hole. Hamilton Pool, perhaps? Or Krause SpringsDone!

11. Run a 10k. Done!

12. Take a road trip to a yet to be determined Texan destination.

Did it twice, but never wrote about it! Hit up a tiny town in West Central Texas for a night of relaxation during the fall semester with a couple friends, and then did the whole Museum/Astros game thing in Houston as soon as school got out!

Astros Stadium! Beautiful, but it'll never replace the less ritzy Dodger Stadium.

Astros Stadium! Beautiful, but it’ll never replace the less ritzy Dodger Stadium.

13. Write snail mail to friends and family.

Welllll…. I did this sometimes, but probably just as much as last year. I need to make my goals more concrete for this coming year.

14. Take my fancy camera out for a day in Austin.  Done!

15. Explore the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Take photos.

Done…and I even took a ton of photos, but then was too lazy to take them off the DSLR. You’re just going to have to take my word for it!

16. Bake a cake FROM SCRATCH.

17. Run one of those goofy themed 5ks. A zombie run? A color run? A mud run? They’re all good. Done!

18. Volunteer (can’t be library/school related!)

19. Eat a breakfast taco! Done! And it was delicious!

20. Join a rec sports league. Kickball, perhaps?

21. SXSW!   Done!

22. Attend a Nerd Nite Austin event.

23. Attend a special movie event at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Done!

24. Go to UT football game. Hook ’em!

25. Grow fresh herbs aka don’t kill all the plants that come into your possession.

26. Try three new fitness routines. Pilates? Belly dancing? Barre? Biking? Boxing? So many options!

I actually tried out a ton of new exercise classes. The weirdest? Belly dancing taught by two kind of kooky old ladies. The most rocking? “Pound” at Crunch Gym, where you pound the ground with weighted drum sticks as hard as you can while doing a ton of different crunches and lunges. The most TV inspired? “LABlast” at Crunch Gym, a dance class based on Dancing With The Stars. I also got more into biking, hiking, spin, and dance in general. It was a good year for working out.

27. Go to a rodeo.

28. Hike the Barton Creek Greenbelt.

I did this twice. Apparently it’s what you do on Austin dates, because I had two different guys suggest this as a date. It’s a really pretty place, but I’ll never get used to Texas hiking. It’s so flat! In California, I swear you’re always aiming for the top of a hill. Not so in Texas.

 

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YES 2 LOVE

27 Jun

Yes 2 Love

Daddio.

17 Jun

There are just a couple things you need to know about my dad in order to fully grasp how awesome he is.

1. He wore plaid, a crazy beard (still has the beard, in fact) and played the banjo…all before hipsters made those things cool.

70s 10
2. He taught me all I know about effectively teasing cats.
1983 6
Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

So…I bought a car…

13 Jun

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8714_10102358853949596_2085678093_n

My dad bought me my first car when I had just turned 17. The car was a cute, but super basic white Honda Civic that was already five years old. I thought I’d use it through college. Well…I used that car through high school, college, my first job AND my first year of grad school. ELEVEN YEARS. That car saw all sorts of road trips, drive thru runs, and tight LA parking situations. Although it was a good little car, in the last year it’s started to show its age, mostly by needing repair…after repair…after repair. After the A/C went AGAIN and the transmission looked like it was on its way out, I knew it was time for something new.

Welcome, shiny red Honda Fit! I hope you prove to be as loyal as my first little car, but maybe with a bit more A/C.

Oh, and the sweetest words an independent lady like myself can here? “You have good credit and a decent down payment. You can have this all in your own name.” How grown up am I?!

Name suggestions for the new red beauty welcome!