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You don’t need to see my face

August 22, 2014

Although I am far from being what I consider ‘old’, I realize I am becoming more and more persnickety as I age.

And even though I spent the last five years of my life developing a name for myself as a consultant in social media, all that time spent on social media has made me HATE certain outlets, like Facebook.

Why?

Because too much time on it day after day after day has made me dislike people.

People I would otherwise enjoy in real-life, face-to-face time can often become SO annoying on Facebook.

I actually think I have more people ‘hidden’ on my Facebook feed than those that show just because I didn’t want to start hating them in real life simply because they are super annoying with their posts, comments, photos or combination thereof. And then there are those that I purposefully don’t hide because I get so much pleasure out of saying “can you believe they posted this?!?!” or “what is wrong with her?!?!”

There are many types:

1) The wannabe politician: this person argues about all things politics with anyone and everyone and is ALWAYS right. Because even though it’s all a debate about opinions, theirs is the only right one.

2) The recent divorce: this person has gone through a recent breakup (whether a marriage or just boyfriend/girlfriend) and has taken to social media to make themselves feel good. Tons of posts taken in the bathroom to show how hot they are, along with self-help memes about how they are stronger than you know constantly fill this feed.

3) The over-sharer: this person re-posts stupid crap constantly. And a lot of it is memes with mis-spellings produced by radio stations.

4) The selfie poster: pretty self explanatory. Just absolutely OBSESSED with posting pictures of themselves taking pictures of themselves. There is an important distinction that needs to be made here however, because I don’t mind seeing photos of people that someone else took – but there is just something about a proliferation of photos taken by the hand of the person posting that niggles at me.

5) Tommy or Toni Tough-nuts: this person has a life full of first world problems which they use Facebook to complain endlessly about. However, they would never think to go politely ask the neighbor to turn down the music when they can instead passive-aggressively complain on Facebook. That’s where the sympathy is at.

6) The person who grew up in the United States but has a thin grasp on the English language. Simple words like ‘their’, ‘they’re’ and ‘there’ befuddle them. While I know we all make grammatical mistakes these people don’t even bother to try not being idiots. They may simply omit punctuation consistently, or not care that ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ are totally different. Or even know. All I know is that it drives me crazy.

7) The chain-mail pusher: there seems to be an increasing number of ways people use Facebook to peer pressure others into doing something (most brought on by the infamous ‘tag’). The most obvious one right now is an ice bucket challenge, which also has the great side effect of people lecturing others on why THEY should think it is important too, just because they are doing it.

Now isn’t that just what I need, someone who is supposed to be a friend lecturing me because I don’t want to be peer pressured into donating money for their cause? (Far be it from me to lecture them about not donating to the charities I find important!)

All this is to say that I am taking a big old break from Facebook.

I don’t want to be a person that judges people based on their online ‘persona’ which is really what it is! I am a horrible, rotten person that then complains about people on Facebook and I don’t want to be like that anymore. What a ridiculous waste of my time!

I want to enjoy people in real life, and stop making decisions based on Facebook posts.

I want to be a better person, and I hope getting off most of social media, but primarily Facebook, will help me do that. I will still be on Instagram though, since I never get sucked into the comments on there, and mostly don’t know the people I am following.

I am also spending more time publishing silly things on http://trackingmaija.com/ – for some reason, I feel more pressure to write in-depth blogs on this site. Yeah I know, I am a total weirdo!

Ironically, this post may automatically show up on my Facebook feed. I have to see if I can turn that off from WordPress. Happy weekend, everyone!

One last thing. Just to be a hypocrite, here’s a selfie for ya!

Haha, #selfie

Haha, #selfie

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Living on a lake

July 18, 2014

I know there are at least two people who have been waiting patiently for me to update my blog on what it’s like to live on a lake.

I’ve tried to write this post at least 18 times, but it always ends up with me coming off as a total asshole.

Why?

I can’t lie.

It’s freaking AWESOME.

More awesome than I could ever put into words.

More so than I ever would have imagined.

I mean it is so, so fun and beautiful, I feel like I am living in a dream. I honestly don’t know what on earth I did before I lived on a lake?

How will I EVER not live on a lake again?

I am ruined. For life.

And we don’t even have a boat yet! Imagine what the jet ski and or tubing shenanigans will be like.

Here is the best way for me to show you how it is to live on a lake. And this doesn’t even really encompass my new favorite activity: longboarding. I just LOVE doing this every night around the neighborhood as the sun starts to get lower in the sky. My neighbors thought it was weird at first, but now they all wave at me as I cruise by. I think I may even get a few of them riding soon, too!

 

Anatomy of a SUP cannonball:

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The haul up onto the board is so graceful. Thanks, boy, for capturing this for me.

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Make sure you put on your best howler monkey face!

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Entering the water butt first is always preferred.IMG_2994

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I love to go paddling in the morning as the sun rises. I have too many of these to choose from:
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We have even gone paddling at night under the light of a full moon:
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I have even taken up SUP yoga:
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And if you believe that statement is true you don’t know me at all!

OK, we do like to hang out in the floaties, and jump off the dock:

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This is the photo I have assigned to the boy on my iPhone.

It makes me laugh every time. He has no idea (well, he will after he reads this).
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We are lucky to have lake access on the front and back side of the house.

The boy is showing off his new longboard on the driveway, you can see the lake behind him.
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This is the beach just on the other side of the road:
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There is a lot of wildlife here at the lake.

Almost every morning I see bald eagles. The other day there was a lot of lake fog and they were flying just inches above the water. It was SO cool. There are also blue herons, ducks, swans, geese and other assorted waterfowl.
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It can be exhausting to have so many things to do…

which necessitates some mid-day weekend napping:
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I have a million other pictures I’ve taken since we have moved here, but I think you get the picture. Living on a lake is the luckiest thing I’ve ever had happen to me! I plan to live it up as much as I can while we are here at Bragg, and research a good retirement lake spot too ;)

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$h*t Show

June 16, 2014

A couple of weeks ago we moved to North Carolina.

To a house on a lake!!!! Which believe me, it’s SUPER fun to live on a lake.

But I need to tell you about my move which was a total shit show from beginning to end.

It all started back in March. Or maybe before then, but this is when weird things started happening.

The boy was assigned to take a certain job here in North Carolina. In order to do that he had to come out and take some tests so they could make sure he wasn’t an idiot, or retarded, or both. So he’s at the airport getting ready to fly out – I am due to follow in a couple of days so we can look at a few houses and try to decide on an area where we want to live. Most people say Fort Bragg is THE WORST place to move, so we wanted to be really careful especially since I don’t have a ton of really close friends that can give good advice on this place.

At the airport the boy’s boss’ boss came up to him to tell him “surprise!” he was going to take a different job in North Carolina. Not a job that he needed to interview for. Which was weird to find out in such a happenstance airport ‘oh hey there!’ kind of way because he was literally on his way out of town. The boss’ boss told him to still go to North Carolina anyways though, so he did.

Now believe me, I understand the jerking around bit that goes on with jobs in the Army, but this continued for a few more months until it was finally decided which job he was going to take. All this jerking around meant the one thing that wasn’t getting done were orders to move. For those not associated with the military you cannot do ANYTHING as far as move prep without orders. Because without orders you aren’t actually going anywhere. Finally the orders started getting worked on but of course the boy needed a special paper signed because we had been in Tennessee for less than a year. I swear, it was more bureaucracy than getting married in Italy! But we hired a lady to deal with all that, which we couldn’t do here.

Finally the boy got his orders and he immediately called transportation to arrange for the movers to come pack our things into boxes, load it onto a truck, drive it to North Carolina, and then unload it into our new lake house. Buttttt lucky for us they wouldn’t even TRY to call a moving company to move us because it was the “busy season.” And they are government employees and don’t have to do anything they don’t feel like doing.

Suddenly we were in full-on DITY move mode, which the Army has now cleverly started calling a PPM, personally procured move because everyone knows DITY moves are the worst. And a distaster.

So I made the first of 10 trips to the U-Haul store to buy boxes, tape, paper, bubble wrap, and spent the next two weeks packing up the house one room at a time and staging it all down in the garage. By the time moving day came the only thing in the house was our furniture, which definitely helped speed things along. So did the two guys from the boy’s work that came over to help. They were good mediators for how to solve the Tetris problem that is packing a moving truck from the floor to the ceiling since obviously the boy and I each have different ideas on how to do it and neither of us is ever wrong.

On the day we loaded the truck the ’99 Saturn was away in the shop for some rattling noise. The shop said it was just a loose piece of material near the exhaust, so not a big deal. They did however recommend replacing some hoses and crap, so we paid them to do that. Thank goodness we got it taken care of before we drove away, right? Ha.

Saturday morning we shove our last remaining bits into the cars, along with both cats in mine. Dante is a good car rider after the first 20 minutes when he is afraid you are taking him to the vet. When he realizes he’s not going, he totally chills out. Baby Ooosh is the worst car rider ever. I have driven him on every single move and he’s such a disaster. I tried to put him in a carrier this time, but before we even GOT to the interstate he was practically pulling his own nails out clawing at the carrier to get out and sit on my lap. So, I pulled over to do that.

Dante is not amused with Baby Ooosh freaking out. Dante is also the only cat I've ever had that has not peed or pooped directly on me.

Dante is not amused with Baby Ooosh freaking out. Dante is also the only cat I’ve ever had that has not peed or pooped directly on me.

A few blocks later the boy signals that he needs to pull over now. Weird. His car says there is low radiator fluid. This happens to be the one random bottle of car fluid we keep in the Saturn, so he fills it up and we get on I-24.

Oooshey is fully worked up and totally freaking out. He marches back and forth on my lap, looking out the window, panting, and HOWLING. Like you are skinning him alive, howling. This is all normal Ooosh behavior, except about 20 minutes later on the interstate he starts dropping little kitten turds on my lap. I don’t even think he knew he was doing it. He’s a bit of a stress pooper, I’ve seen him do it at the vet, too. So out come eight little steaming kitten nuggets on my lap. I frantically call the boy to tell him I need to PULL OVER NOW. So we pull over on the Interstate so I can throw cat turds out the window. At least they were good and hard, so thanks for that Baby Ooosh.

We start driving again and are approaching the Nashville airport when the boy calls me and says the low fluid indicator is on again. He starts to pull off on an exit but then doesn’t because the light goes off. So we continue on to the far side of Nashville when his light comes on again and we pull off and go to a gas station. At this point I need a break from Baby Ooosh who is acting like the world is coming to an end and shrieking at the top of his lungs. I Google a car repair place and then lead the boy to it so he can get the car looked at.

So there I am with a car full of crazy cats. The shop can look at it in maybe an hour, so we decide it’s best if I continue on my own. Neither of us want to do that since dealing with the cats is very difficult in many ways. Getting gas and not having them run out of the car is just one example where it helps to have another person’s hands available.

I get on the road and we drive and cry and pace up to the mountains in Asheville. By this point Baby Ooosh has started getting weak. He will maybe only howl 6x/minute instead of 18x/minute. So it feels like a huge relief and I don’t want to stop but I have to get gas. I stop and get gas and look at all my tires while I am out doing so, because that’s what I do. Everything looks fine except I have a headache that is making me mad I didn’t drink 1/5th of vodka the night before and have a really fun time, because I am totally paying for that kind of feeling on this day. The only solution I can think of is to get the biggest size of gas station soda fountain Mountain Dew.

Back on the road I am enjoying my Mountain Dew when I hear an explosion and look in my rear view to see debris shooting out behind my car. I also see the car behind me swerve to NOT be behind me. Instantly I feel the telltale ka-THUMP, ka-THUMP, ka-THUMP that is a flat tire. So I brake as quickly as I can and pull over. Unfortunately this is just before an overpass with no shoulder. So when I get out to see how bad it is I am already over the white line and not feeling good at all. The tire has freaking WIRES sticking out of it, which is a first for me. I call USAA because I can’t deal with this disaster on my own. The guy on the phone asks me if I am in a safe place and I tell him I am most certainly NOT. He then says he can dispatch police. Well, I think that would be silly. There *was* an exit off the Interstate not too far back, so using literally every faculty I have I continue talking to him on the phone, keeping Baby Ooosh from jumping out a window and drive in reverse until I can take the exit.

Because why wouldn't my tire explode today?!?!

Because why wouldn’t my tire explode today?!?!

Off the Interstate I felt much better. It makes a difference when every car zooming by isn’t shaking you like a B15 bomber. USAA sent a guy to change the tire for me, and my car has a full-size tire in the trunk. Unfortunately, also in the trunk is my vacuum, my booze, my dishes, my bedding, and 800 other things. Tire changed, shit back in the trunk and we are on our way, now just maybe 2 hours ahead of the boy who had extensive (and $$$) repairs done to make the Saturn work again.

Our new landlord was out of the country without a cell phone this week we were moving. Since we were moving into a gated community with checkpoints we had to find a way to get INTO the community, and then get the key. Thankfully, the lady that was renting the house before us was still in the neighborhood (she loves this lake so much she built a house on the lake!) so she was able to procure a key, get us into the gate, etc. etc. I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal compared to cars with exploding tires, but it was just one more kink in the process.

Alas, we all eventually arrive at the house. I go to help the boy unpack his car and pick up a box of dishes, the only dishes we have to eat off of and the bottom literally falls out and all the dishes crash down onto the driveway while the box is still in my arms. I could only laugh at the disaster this day, the 31st of May was turning out to be.

But, at least we all made it. I wasn’t so sure Baby Ooosh was going to. First I thought he wouldn’t make it because I would throw him out the window. Then, I thought he wouldn’t make it because he was going to get killed jumping out of the car with the exploding tire debacle. All this is aside from him dying of a self-induced heart attack of course. But, he made it. Now we just needed to get our stuff.

The trailer company we worked with expected we would get it no later than Tuesday. When we called on Monday they were already having a problem because of a “compatibility” issue with the credit card. This was in addition to our trailer taking a scenic tour of the southeast by going to Atlanta, Winston-Salem, and somewhere else before it even ended up in Fayetteville to get delivered here. Every day we would call to try and get delivery after a horrible night of sleep on our camping pads on the floor, and every day they would throw their hands up in the air.

Finally, we got a confirmation for a Friday delivery. I was so excited to get my bed back! I called around noon to see when they would actually drop the trailer off, 1-3 p.m. was our estimated time. Perfect. By 5 p.m. there was still no trailer. Just before 6 it showed up. But it did not come with a ramp. Nor did it come with the weight tickets we need to file the claim with the Army to get paid for the cost of the trailer. Then, when the driver told me he didn’t have a ramp for us to offload it, I literally burst into tears.

If you have never loaded a moving trailer, the bed is at least 4 feet high, which is why you need a ramp to get up into the trailer and down aside from crawling one step on the side.

The driver felt real bad that he made me cry, and I knew it wasn’t his fault, but I didn’t understand why you’d even bother bringing a truck on a Friday night with no ramp. So we could stare at our shit all weekend? He told us their office had been having problems since some lady got fired. She got fired because she messed everything up. This other guy the boy had been dealing with all week was trying to fix things, but when someone makes a mess it’s not always easy to clean up.

The other guy assures the boy he will have a ramp dropped off in the morning. On Saturday. I think he’s a liar. And a mean one for pretending he’d do that. I have no more patience for moving.

Yeah, we rule at this DIY moving thing.

Yeah, we rule at this DIY moving thing.

We start to offload what we can, but the poor boy is trying to set things from the bed of the trailer down on the ground and killing his back (my relatively easier job was to grab things from the trailer bed to take into the house). We at least get the kitchen boxes off and I unpack all of it before we go to bed.

The next day some guy actually DOES show up with a ramp. Actually, he has about a half-dozen in the back of his truck. I guess we got ours delivered first because I cried about it.

Then we start to uncover how horrible we were at packing the furniture.

I think there isn’t a single piece of wood in our house that now does not have a scratch, scuff, ding, what have you – from US on this move. We immediately broke a bed frame and also took a book shelf out as well. We gouged a leather chair and have black scuff marks all over the kitchen chairs. We are the worst packers, obviously. I am thinking it’s an artform, or else we should have had more blankets to wrap everything in.

At the time, stacking the chairs on top of the coffee table seemed like a GENIUS idea.

At the time, stacking the chairs on top of the coffee table seemed like a GENIUS idea.

With the help of a gracious neighbor, who heard us struggling with our one crux piece of furniture (the couch) we have the trailer offloaded by noon. By Sunday night we had pictures on the walls and no more boxes in the house, since I arranged for the trash guys to pick up EVERYTHING on Monday morning, which they did. By Monday night the trailer had disappeared too.

So that was pretty much the worst move ever. We figure it’s because we were moving to such an awesome lakefront location that we had to pay a steep price to get here. Who knows if we will make any $$ on the do-it-yourself aspect of the move once we take out the cost of the new engine in the Saturn and four new tires on the Jetta (I just went to get the one replaced and they showed me how another tire was all set up for an imminent Interstate explosion!!! So obviously I replaced them all.)

But we are here, living on a lake. I have a dock in the back yard and a sandy beach across the street where I put in my SUP every morning and can find Bald Eagles hunting at 7 a.m., sorry to be a dick on Instagram and post sunrise pictures every morning, but it is just magical to be out at first light with all the wildlife here. I LOVE IT.

Sunrise view from the SUP.

Sunrise view from the SUP.

Cooling off after an afternoon SUP.

Cooling off after an afternoon SUP.

Just 'ol SUP-ing.

Just ‘ol SUP-ing.

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Cray cray

May 27, 2014

I had an adventure of the more unusual quality last week.

It was a special week of events for the boy’s unit, which always concludes with a formal dinner. I have gone to this formal here in Tennessee in the past (well, actually in a cornfield in Kentucky), and down in Savannah. Every year I wore the exact same brown dress that I bought on clearance from J. Crew seven or so years ago. It’s nothing special, a bridesmaid dress I believe, but I always thought it was funny to wear it every single year because it’s kind of ugly and I don’t care about dressing up or looking fancy. I also never take pictures at these things. Which is why this is the only photo I can find that ‘shows’ my dress in any capacity. And my friend Stephanie is totally NOT naked in this picture.

Savannah formal fun. The formal part is way drink-ier in Savannah. What a surprise. Ha.

Savannah formal fun. The formal part is way drink-ier in Savannah. What a surprise. Ha.

Anyways, some of my friends ‘encouraged’ me to try something different from this website ‘Rent the Runway’ where you just rent a dress for the night. It’s actually pretty awesome. You pick out a dress you want and they will send it to you in two different sizes the night before your event. Before you ask let me tell you – they are dry-cleaned before they get to you. Then, you wear whatever dress fits you and the next day, stick them all back into a UPS envelope and send them on their merry way. It could NOT be easier. Also, you are seriously only in your dress for three hours TOPS. Totally not worth buying!

I found a dress on this website that I thought had a perfect cut for my body, which is to say there was room to breathe in the shoulders and hips, which is right where I need it. The only thing was… this dress was LOUD. And by that I mean bright pink.

Here’s the deal with pink. I don’t have a problem INHERENTLY with it as a color. But I hate the fact that products, especially in the outdoor industry, are marketed to women by being colored pink. I fucking resent that, actually. Just because I am a female doesn’t mean I need everything in my life to be pink. It’s just dumb. So, at times I definitely go out of my way to avoid pink. But this time, I did not. Also, it helped that it was raging fuschia and therefore better than a pepto-pink or baby girl nursery pink. Barf.

My friend Erika, who knows a thing or two about make-up offered to put some on for me. I thought this was so sweet of her because otherwise I would have only worn mascara, which is the only makeup I have. So she came over to my house and did my hair AND make-up and believe me I was worried because here’s the thing… Yes, I have very visible tattoos. But I am not a tattoo person with weird-colored hair, piercings all over my body, or black eyeliner. I am otherwise pretty suburban-mom looking aside from my arms (well, at least that’s how I view myself without the rug rats screaming in the back seat). And that’s my “look.”

If you can’t believe that even MAIJA has a ‘look’ well, think about it. If you saw me in the winter with long sleeves you wouldn’t think I have another kind of sleeve under that, and that’s EXACTLY the look I’m going for. I was inspired by a tattoo artist in Savannah that always had nice clean-cut hair and clothes. Obviously, he’s not ugly and all my Savannah friends with ink know exactly who I’m talking about.

So, the makeup. Erika promised that I would not look like a $2 whore but I was still very shocked when I saw what I looked like.

All maked-up! I feel weird.

All maked-up! I feel weird.

Erika, I know, did an AWESOME job. So how she did the makeup has nothing to do with the way I felt. Which is like a drag queen. She warned me that I would probably be shocked every time I look in a mirror because I never wear any makeup so it felt VERY dramatic. I was too embarrassed to go into the gas station to get a drink!

By formal time and with the dress on I felt a lot more normal, also because I stopped seeing myself in mirrors. The formal was at a hotel in downtown Nashville. There’s not a lot to say about the formal part except ALWAYS order a double. Especially when they are ‘closing’ the bar to herd people inside. This one guy just filled up a pint glass with vodka and gave me a splash of tonic. Man, he rocks.

Here's what I looked like in my dress. Thank goodness Joel took a picture because some people were very anxious to see this.

Here’s what I looked like in my dress. Thank goodness Joel took a picture because some people were very anxious to see this. Also, Reagan had legs for DAYS in that dress!

After the formal we had to change to go out downtown. I have to laugh at how the boy thinks people who have been drinking will ever be on time for meeting in the lobby. Or even within 30 minutes of said time. But, he is a NS and being on time is VERY important to him. So after almost falling asleep in the lobby we went downtown.

Here’s where shit got weird.

In the first bar some guy came up to me, got all up close and personal (which I don’t do with people I actually LIKE) and proceeded to ask me why I couldn’t put my tattoos in a glass and shake them. He even grabbed my vodka and water glasses to use as props while he pleaded with me to do this. Granted, I was not sober but this guy was completely off his rocker. I thought at first it was just me – being dumb – not understanding what he was talking about, kind of like the song “Turn Down For What”. One of the guys then hauled him away from me and we went back to normal, which is to say loud and annoying as bars tend to be. Oh, I saw that loser get thrown out of the bar shortly thereafter.

We then went to another bar that was also loud and annoying. There was a girl there who only made one smart decision in the previous 8 hours and that was to put on underwear. All her latter decisions were dumb. Like getting high. And then getting drunk. And then practicing her stripper moves and lap dances in the middle of the dance floor to country music with some guy who could not believe his luck. But, hey, at least she had on underwear.

Striped underwear girl proceeded to come up directly to me in a large group of 15+ people to tell me, personally, that her brother and her boyfriend were going to come beat the shit out of me.

Um, OK.

CRAZY! I told her to bring it on and she went out and tried dancing in the middle of Broadway Ave. She then came back inside to tell me how ‘fucking hot’ I was. I stared her down and she told one of the guys standing near me that it was his fault I wasn’t smiling. And I threw in my chips at that point, fully blaming the makeup. Because while it isn’t unusual for me to have others randomly come up and talk to me about my tattoos these crazies were way beyond the norm and I was done. Because of course I can’t even walk up the street at that hour without freakos coming up to ask me ‘what does your fox MEAN???’ Nothing, asshole, I just like foxes.

Yesterday I saw the funniest thing at Publix. This little guy had a brand new Dodge Ram pickup truck. He was so little he couldn’t see very far over the dash and just plowed up onto the curb where the cart return is in the middle of the parking lot. I burst out laughing so goddamn hard. He totally saw me, too. I hope he felt like a jackass because he sure looked like one. I then thought ‘is this why some guys have to drive huge pickup trucks?’ Think about it. You can’t get away with jacking your little Jetta on the curb like that without ruining something underneath. But a truck? No problemo. Just a working theory I have that those guys are HORRIBLE drivers.

Also, totally unrelated. Today I finished up a (self-induced) 30-day rowing challenge. I had to row on my Concept2 as a separate workout every day for 30 days. This was harder than I thought (for many boring reasons I won’t get into here). But I did it! I added up all of my stats this afternoon and discovered that I rowed a total of 237,760 meters over the past 30 days, which is 147.7 miles. I think I need a sticker for my car now.

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36 was pretty cool

May 12, 2014

With the turn of the year I always think it’s fun to take a look at all the awesomeness that made up my one chance at being 36 years old.

I learned how to fight.
– There were a lot of firsts that came with me starting MMA training this year including: first time being punched in the face; first time being kicked in the head; first time getting kicked in the liver and having it spasm forcing me to involuntarily make heaving noises like I am about to puke. I think this training has been especially fun for me because it requires reflexes and reactions that can’t be predicted. I can’t turn my brain off at all, which I think I have a greater tendency to do with lots of other forms of exercise (ooops!).

The boy and I sparring on the day after Christmas.

The boy and I sparring on the day after Christmas.

I cracked a rib.
– So this wasn’t awesome (obviously) but now I can say I’ve checked that block. How on earth did it happen? Duh. See point above.

I went to a chiropractor.
– See two points above. I had grown up swearing I would never, EVER go to a chiropractor but when something gets knocked out of place (like a rib) then you just go. And they jam it back in again and again and again. Which leads to:

I taught the boy how to put a rib back in place.
– This was essential at surf camp after a couple wipe-outs where you get tossed around like you’re a rag doll in a washing machine. And also because it’s expensive to go to the chiropractor all the time.

So obviously, kind of gave it away that this year I also learned how to surf!!!
– This was a major highlight of the year. After a cold trip to Canada ice climbing in 2013 I decided I wanted to try something warmer for playtime. So we decided to give surfing a try. I loved it. So much so that I was ready to go back before we were even home the first time. So we went back. And had an even better time, even if I did break a tail fin off the board with my ASS. I hope to get back again this fall because I am making GREAT progress with starting to walk up the board. I love long board surfing and my goal is to walk to the nose some day. And surf in Nicaragua. People love to ask about sharks when you tell them you went surfing. One morning I was out with my instructor and he yelled “shark!” and you wouldn’t believe how fast I had all of my appendages up and balanced on that board. Turns out it was just a rooster fish, but I was glad to know I have a fast reaction time there, too. Plus, there are usually kids in the water and I figure the sharks will go for kids first before trying for the adults. Kind of like how they attack baby seals.

I also finally learned how to walk on my hands this year!

I also finally learned how to walk on my hands this year!

Things are quickly going south right about now...but eventually the ratio of wipeouts to rides starts to turn.

Things are quickly going south right about now…but eventually the ratio of wipeouts to rides starts to turn.

That's when it starts to get really fun.

That’s when it starts to get really fun.

I discovered Athleta.
– This is an accomplishment I am sure the boy wishes would have never happened. I discovered how perfect the Athleta knickers were to many of my sports because they don’t move and keep me nice and covered. Then I discovered how much I like wearing their swim suits to surf in, and skirts, sweat shirts, tank tops, … you get the picture. I am teased incessantly at home for the vast amount of Athleta I now wear in my everyday life but hey as they say, if the “ATHLETA” fits…

I even learned how to pole dance!
– Don’t knock it ’til you try it! I’d seen this class that didn’t look easy and we had a private one of our own with some girls from the gym and trust me, this was a ton of fun. And silly for someone like me – of course – but fun. I mean who doesn’t want to be able to hang upside down hands free on a pole?!?!

The only major downer to 36 was having to say goodbye to my sweet little Beatrice. She taught me a lot about loving unconditionally and even in passing has helped me to grow into a better person.

Beatrice how she mostly was, which is to say sleepy.

Beatrice how she mostly was, which is to say sleepy.

With so many new ‘firsts’ in 36 I wonder how can I top it with 37? But, with a move in a few weeks to another NEW place I’m sure we will have plenty. In fact, we’ve already got the SUP boards in the garage ready for the ‘first time we live on a lake’! Which also makes me realize we will be at least 40 years old before we move again. 40! Crazy how I feel nowhere near that number, as if I am still just 22 but not nearly as dumb as I was then. Seriously dumb.

Anyways, thanks so much to everyone for the birthday wishes (and especially my sister for the funny cat lady T-shirts!), it’s always fun to have a day where you get to feel special like that.

P.S.
– If you want to train MMA and live in the Clarksville area you must go HERE: SSF Submission Academy.
– If you want to learn to surf you must go HERE: Witch’s Rock Surf Camp (anyone want to join me for some rainy season surf in September???)
– If you want to do CrossFit in Clarksville go HERE: CrossFit Clarksville!

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My knife for stabbing people

May 6, 2014

Sometimes I am amazed at the people I cross paths with in my life.

Maybe as I have gotten older I take the time to be aware of these interactions? I don’t know for sure. But, here is an example: a couple of weeks ago our shiny, brand new SUP boards (for the LAKE HOUSE!!!) were delivered. The delivery driver called me as he pulled up and I went down to get on the truck and open the boxes up to make sure they weren’t damaged in transit, as instructed by the company I bought the boards from.

I brought my favorite knife with me to do this, which I affectionately call “my knife for stabbing people.”

This is my knife for stabbing people.

This is my knife for stabbing people.

I am not sure when I acquired this knife, but I have had it for more than a decade in my darkroom for processing, and on every hike and camping trip in case I need to stab someone or something. You never know, truly, when something may need a sharp poke.

Packing in a carry-on to go to Costa Rica is AWESOME but sucks because I can’t bring my knife for stabbing people. Maybe I could risk getting it through but on my way home I hid a bottle of Aloe Vera (it was $11 and I hadn’t used that much of it!) in the middle of my super wet surf clothes in a plastic bag in a Army laundry bag and TOTALLY got busted. I was all “oooops!!!” and that TSA guy was so onto me but was gracious enough to ask me about my tattoos instead.

Anyways. My knife for stabbing people is very special to me. As I cut open the boxes in the truck I set the knife on top of another box. When the driver went to move a box this one slapped against the wall and my (open) knife for stabbing people slid into the abyss.

Well actually it was into a crack along the side of the truck where someone had screwed a piece of wood with about 8 million screws so there was a tiny gap between the wall and this board.

I was obviously distraught at the loss of my precious knife for stabbing people but pretended it was OK. The driver assured me we would retrieve it after we carried the boards up to the house.

Now on this delivery day there was some severe weather predictions here in Tennessee. I mean people were FREAKING OUT. They let schools out early because it was essentially going to be the end of the world. Apocalyptic I tell you!

In fact, while the driver was there his girlfriend called and urged him to hurry up so he could get home before the storms hit.

But he wasn’t going to leave until we got my knife for stabbing people back.

We spent the next 30+ minutes on the floor of that slimy truck with an assortment of sticks and styrofoam boards (to catch the pointy end of the knife) and lift it the 8 inches past the board drilled to the wall. I tried to give up on multiple occasions but he wouldn’t let me. He was going to get that knife if we got picked up in a tornado in that truck while trying to get it. Because maybe then it would slide out!

Finally, FINALLY we got it wedged into a corner and as I pressed it up with two sticks he used a pliers to grab it and save my knife for stabbing people!

And that’s pretty much the end of my story.

But my point is that this guy, whose name I didn’t even get, spent so much time trying to help me retrieve this dumb knife. He didn’t have to, he could have dropped off his shipment and gone on his way well ahead of the storms. But he didn’t. He stayed and played a weird game of fishing for a knife with me instead. I thought that was really nice of him because he didn’t have any idea how much getting that knife for stabbing people back meant to me.

Thank you, delivery guy!

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Stop peeing on the seat

April 28, 2014

Ladies. Why do (so many of) you insist on peeing ALL over the seat and floor in a public restroom?

PLEASE help me to understand why you can’t just build a little bird’s nest with TP and sit your ass down.

Some public toilets even make a handy little tissue cover to speed up the bird’s nest build time! All you need to do is pull it out of the box mounted to the wall, and set it on the seat. Even if you are so dumb you can’t use a turn signal in your car, you should at least be able to follow that basic movement pattern, right?

I’ve even been to countries where they have a little fresh plastic cover that you can spin on out by simply pressing a button. A button!

Now obviously, none of these are really necessary if everyone can just SIT their ass down and not spray their pee everywhere.

But it seems that here in the U.S. this is not possible. There are many other countries I have visited that have a better system in place for their women’s public restrooms. It is basically a hole in the floor. There are little spots for you to put your feet and then you just crouch and go. No need to worry about peeing all over the seat because it is simply not possible. Back in the 90s this was definitely the model that the Japanese were using, and quite frankly I think it’s pure genius.

I think maybe they should just take ALL seats off toilets since no-one ever sits on them. Literally, and I mean LITERALLY every public toilet I had the pleasure of using in the last week was covered in urine. And in airports there are people constantly cleaning the bathrooms, so it’s not like it is a neglected hovel, there are just that many people hosing down the toilets.

I think without the seats there would at least be less pee splashing onto the floor where some SUPER gross people set their purse (which will then later sit on top of the table where your FOOD is (and infinitely grosser!!!).

If you really cannot fathom wiping off someone else’s pee and then building a nest to protect your own butt then maybe you should just lift the seat up. Save it for someone who DOES want to sit down. The worst offenders are obviously people who do the spray pee all over the seat in the handicapped stall. There are some people who have no CHOICE but to sit down, and I’m pretty sure they don’t want your nasty pee on their bum.

So women, really. Let’s get it together. I am not even going to get into the other horrors of public bathrooms including: how some people do not know proper ‘flush the toilet’ protocol, or how to dispose of your sanitary products in the provided bin, and why not to leave your half-eaten egg McMuffin on the toilet paper container etc., because frankly, that’s fodder for at least three other blog posts.

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