Embracing The Suck, One Day At A Time

So I’m sitting here at 12:06 a.m. on a Saturday night/early Sunday morning trying to crank out a research paper, wondering why-oh-why I ever decided to go back to graduate school. It’s not so much that it’s all that hard, but it’s that I’m such a procrastinator that I wait until the day before my shit is due to actually do my shit. It’s a bad, bad, BAD habit. I’ve never been much of a procrastinator before, but evidently graduate school has turned me into one. (Note: I’m procrastinating my tasks RIGHT NOW to write this blog about procrastination. I’M THE MASTER OF PROCRASTINATION, FOLKS!)

Tonight’s been a weird night anyway. I have friends in town and I want to hang out with them all night. I’m really, really, really missing my family. I’m really, really, really, really missing my girl friends. And I’m so, so, so stressed out. This is causing me to be a major sad panda. When I got home from ditching my friends early, I just burst into tears. Like, the Kate-Winslet-in-the-Holiday-when-she-gets-home-after-discovering-her-unrequitted-lover-was-engaged tears. I’m not much of a crier and I never know what to do when I cry, so I tried crying on my bed for a while, but it didn’t feel right. So I went into my closet and stood there for a while. Then I decided to sit down in my closet. The floor felt awkward, so I got up and sat in my laundry basket. Bad idea. I guess it wasn’t as full as it appeared (probably because I’ve been doing a shit-ton of laundry lately to procrastinate this f’n paper) and I hit the bottom of the basket. That caused me to really cry, but more of a laugh-cry. In my dramatic moment of downward crying spiral, I asked God to send me a sign. I looked up and saw a pair of rusty scissors.

“This is it,” I thought. “This is where I scissor my wrists until I die.”

“No wait, I should probably just stab myself in the chest and get it over with,” I rethought.

Then I decided that I’d probably die of lock-jaw before I’d ever be able to kill myself with those dull scissors. I began laughing uncontrollably, pulled my ass out of that damn laundry basket, and pulled my ass out of that damn funk I was in. Then I happened to catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and, surprisingly decided that I’d be great in a really sad movie. I cry quite prettily. Then I looked down at my cell phone and noticed a long strand of snot sitting on the screen and though, “Maybe I shouldn’t cry in public after all…”

Life’s not that bad. Stress is manageable. I’m not living in a cardboard box. I have a warm place to sleep at night. I have amazing friends who I can call or text or Facebook message at the drop of a hat and tell them I’m having a rough day and they respond within seconds (Here’s lookin’ at you, Maggie, Heather, Jacy, and Kylie). I was given the opportunity to go back to school, so I need to embrace the suck.

This whole blog was to mostly say that I miss you, my readers. I’m sorry I don’t have the time to blog as much, but next time I find myself at the bottom of a laundry basket, I’ll be sure to think of you. And I hope you’ll think of me, too, and send well wishes my way as I get through this treacherous time in my life. If you ever find yourself at the bottom of a laundry basket in your closet, get out of that closet and phone a friend. Feeling loved never hurt anyone.

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Remember, Remember, the 5th of November

A few months ago, I took a trip with my boyfriend to his hometown for a wedding. His hometown is the kind of place with a church on every corner – quite literally. I think there are 36 churches or some crazy number like that around the area. On our way to his dad’s church for a Sunday morning service, we passed another church with a graveyard nearby. The graveyard had the neatest little marquee that poked out behind the trees. The marquee said “Don’t put a question mark where God already placed a period.”

I wish someone would have put that on a marquee for me to see years ago.

***

My brother would have been 34 years old today. He was born on November 5, 1979.

Ever since I was born, I’ve always known I had a brother. In my family’s old trailer house, a long, narrow hallway separated the living room from my bedroom. The hallway walls were smattered with pictures of the past. One picture in particular always caught my eye. It was a photo of my mom, dad, sister, and a young, blonde boy with a half-hearted smile and a sweater vest. Somehow I knew – and I don’t ever remember being told – that the blonde boy was my brother.

My brother’s death is not something my family talked about. In fact, it took me years to piece together the details of the day of his death. To this day, I don’t know everything. I know it was a snowmobile accident. I know it was a life-ending head injury. And I know that his organs were given to other little boys and girls so they could live. Asking about his death was so hard. I could see the pain in my parents’ and my older sister’s eyes whenever they would see a picture of him or when we would go to place flowers on his grave. When I was born, they were still fresh to that pain. He had passed in 1984 and I was born in 1987.

I figured out very early in life that one of the only reasons that my younger sister, Jacy, and I were even born is because of his death. See, my parents had my older sister, Gina, in 1977. Then my brother, Jeff, was born in 1979. They were done having kids. They already had two cute, blonde, ornery little kids, to complete their family.

But tragedy struck the family in December of 1984 and three years later, I was born. Two years after I was born, then Jacy was born. Jacy and I were not in the plan. I’ve been told that Jacy and I saved the family. I’ve been told that most couples who experience the death of a child get divorced, but my parents didn’t – because of us. I’ve been told that we gave the family hope again. I’m not sure if that’s true or not. Part of me thinks that people say that so I don’t feel so guilty about his death. Guilt? Yes, guilt. I feel guilty that I wasn’t there. I feel guilty that I wasn’t born yet to experience the pain that the rest of my family had to go through. My mother, my father, and my older sister have a pain in their hearts that Jacy and I could never, ever experience.

I think that’s why Jacy and I are so close – we can relate to the pain, but we weren’t there. We have a whole other take to the situation. We are the A.D. (after death). We weren’t supposed to be here, but yet we are. If Jeff wouldn’t have died, we might not be on this earth. Do you know what that feels like? It’s almost a feeling of hopelessness, like we’ll never be able to do his memory justice. Jacy actually texted me last night and told me how she feels this need to do crazy important things after she graduates because we are meant for something. We’re here for a purpose. WE SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN HERE. She gets a fire lit under her ass – like a “travel” bug. Jeff didn’t get to see the world, but she sure can travel the world for him. And me? Well, I feel this constant pressure to be perfect. That my every move is calculated. That if I disappoint someone or something, I’m disappointing his memory. The older I get, the more prevalent his death has become in my life. The more tears I shed on the day of his birth and the day of his death.

Also, the older I get, the angrier I get about Jeff’s death. Why MY family of all families? Why did they have to go through such horrific pain? Couldn’t it have been some other family? My parents were no older than I am now. My sister was just a child and she lost her best friend. WHY THEM? WHY US?! Jeff would have been 34 years old today. What would he look like? Would he be married? Kids? WHY?

I haven’t really read much or found a lot of people to relate to our situation. I find plenty on grieving or death of a child. But where’s the stuff out there for kids who were born (who shouldn’t really even be here) after their sibling died?

***

Thank GOD for the person who put up that marquee in Stilwell, Oklahoma. It changed my life. It changed my way of thinking. While I’m not a “Good Christian,” (i.e. meaning I don’t go to church all that often) I have a very, very strong faith. And my faith helped me finally come to terms that God put a period at the end of Jeff’s life. God put semi-colons next to mom, dad, and Gina’s lives. And then, a few years later, he added some ellipses when Jacy and I came along. Sure, every day I’d like to put a question mark next to Jeff’s death, but I can’t think like that. I’m here for a reason. Jacy is here for a reason. We are all here for a reason. Do I still feel that pressure to be perfect? Yes, but it’s getting better. Does Jacy still have that need to do great, unimaginable things? Sure she does. But we’re learning. We’re growing. We’re slowly finding our own purposes. Question mark? Nope. Exclamation point!

My brother’s beautiful gravestone…

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Without Challenge There Is No Change

First of all, I just have to share my friend, Emily’s blog with everyone. Please take a moment to read about her cancer-free journey. She is 10 YEARS cancer free. Emily is such an inspiration – and I don’t mean just about the cancer thing. Emily inspired me MONTHS before I ever even knew she had cancer in high school. I mean she’s an inspiration in the way she lives. She’s real. What you see is what you get. I know she gets down on herself sometimes – shit, we all do that – but it’s the way she turns those negatives into something so hilarious I nearly piss my pants. That gal is one resilient broad. And I love her to death. So please, go read her blog.

http://emilylatka.com/2013/09/25/what-it-means-to-be-10-years-cancer-free/

There’s so much I took away from her blog, but there is one thing that absolutely speaks to me – it’s the part when she wrote, “Learn your patterns, see your negative tendencies. Fix them.”

That statement, right there, is the main reason why I’m embarking on a crazy journey for seven more weeks and hopefully my whole life. What is this journey? Please, keep reading.

Last Monday, I posted something on my Facebook account about how I was participating in the Lurong Paleo Challenge through my CrossFit gym (Koda CrossFit Norman) and asked my wonderful friends and family to support me in my decision. The amount of support was unfathomable. So many people reached out to me to tell me how proud they were and how excited they were to see my results. These people also had questions about the diet, so I’d like to share.

What is this paleo challenge exactly? I feel like paleo is the new “it” word. It’s been around since the time of the caveman and I’ve known people on the diet for years, but it’s really gaining popularity in recent months. Basically, the paleo diet consists of eating meats, eggs, good fats, veggies, fruits, nuts. It excludes things like grains, legumes, dairy, refined sugar, and processed oils. This diet is all about eating real, unprocessed foods that are rich in nutrients.

This particular challenge, the Lurong Paleo Challenge, really kicks things up a notch for people getting started with the paleo lifestyle because it includes prizes. I’m a sucker for prizes. Not that I’ll win anything, but I like to think I’ll have a chance. With the challenge, I have the ability to earn points for my good eating. Anytime I cheat and eat something that is not within the paleo plan, then I lose 3 points. There are also CrossFit workouts involved and LOTS of support from fellow challenge participants.

So why this challenge? “Without Challenge There is No Change” is the slogan for the Lurong Paleo Challenge. And it’s true. Without an external reason or purpose to change my eating habits, there really is not a lot of motivation for me to change. I’m not exactly intrinsically motivated with this shit, even though I try to be. If I hold only myself accountable for this challenge, I would have eaten Chick-Fil-A on the first day, but knowing that my gym and my friends and family are looking out for me keeps me on track.

Has it been hard? I’d be completely lying if I said it hasn’t been hard. Of course it’s been hard. Things that appear healthy on the outside are not so healthy on the inside. Canned veggies are sometimes full of sugar and strange, unpronounceable ingredients. Despite the hundreds of “Got Milk?” advertisements, milk actually turns out to be pretty awful for you because of the hormones floating around in it. And gluten is bad on your gut. Relearning everything I thought I knew about nutrition is difficult. Going out to eat with my friends and having to order a side salad a piece of chicken is difficult. Watching my boyfriend eat Ghirardelli chocolate in front of me is difficult. Not reaching for a TV dinner when I’m in a rush is difficult.

“Learn your patterns, see your negative tendencies. Fix them.”

I haven’t just benefitted from learning new information about foods, I’ve learned a lot about my patterns and negative tendencies and I’m slowly, but surely, fixing them. I binge eat, a lot. I’ll go a week without eating healthy and then I lose my shit and go crazy. I’ll drink a bunch and decide McDonald’s is a good idea. Then, the next day, I’ll think “Oh, I just had McDonald’s last night. Might as well have something else shitty today. I’ll start my diet again Monday.” And then I’ll binge the rest of the weekend. Granted, at least I was eating semi-decent during the week. Back in college, I’d hoard fast food in my car and shovel it down my throat between class and work. So things have gotten better and hence why I’ve lost 30 lbs since college.

This challenge has allowed me to see my binging patterns and now I’m working to correct them. I did binge on a couple of meals last weekend, but got right back on track. It has also helped me track my drinking patterns. Last week alone, I had the opportunity to drink nearly every single night of the week. Monday night, I went to a local bar to see a music show. Tuesday, I went to a Chamber of Commerce function. Wednesday, I was at a bar again to watch my boyfriend play in his band. Friday night I went to a show in Tulsa and Saturday I went to another show at a casino. Alcohol is everywhere. And typically, I would have had something to drink every single one of those nights. But I only had a couple of glasses of red wine here and there (which is allowed) and then drank on Friday night. That’s it. Not bad for someone who drank nearly every night of the week.

This weekend, I’m making my goal to not go overboard with anything. My teammates are watching. I can do this.

For at least the next seven weeks, I’d really like to have you lovely people – my blog followers – along on my journey. I know there will be horrible rough patches, but knowing that all of cyberspace is behind me is definitely going to encourage me to get my ass to the gym and eat some healthy freaking foods.

Bottom line: Weightloss is fucking hard. It’s downright terrible. I loathe the naturally-skinny folk out there. But if I can find something that works for me – not just for the next 7 weeks, but for my entire – then I’m giving it a try. Already, I’m down 6 pounds. Six pounds in 10 days. I’m pretty damn proud of myself. I can’t wait to keep you all updated on my progress!

How to Avoid Looking Old

We all know I’m a Chanel snob by now, right? Not, like, Chanel clothing. Or even Chanel perfume. I’m not a millionaire. But I am a Chanel makeup guru. It’s sad that the ladies at the Chanel counter in Norman know my first and last name and can even pronounce it correctly. ­­Today, when I stopped by to pick up a couple of items, I had to show one of the new gals around the counter. I knew exactly what it was I wanted. My regular makeup gal, Brittni, and I were talking a few weeks ago about how glamorous Chanel makes us feel. She said how she could leave the house in a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt, but have her Chanel makeup on and still feel like a queen. It’s so true.

I have gotten a few comments on how expensive Chanel is and how I possibly afford all of my makeup. Here’s the deal: I’m not big on clothes shopping. I have a lot of clothes in my closet, but most of them are hand-me-downs. However, I do make sure to set some money aside every month for something Chanel. It’s been a long process and a test of my patience (mostly because I wish I could just buy everything I wanted at one time), but here’s finally what my makeup repertoire looks like and I’m so proud of it:

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I really just don’t think there can possibly be a price on beauty. A couple of weeks ago, I finally got the money together to afford a few items from Chanel’s skincare line. I have never, ever been one for skincare. Thankfully, I’ve never really had bad skin. I’ve never had skin that’s too oily, or skin that’s too dry, or even skin that’s too pimply. It’s always been average. Freckly, with some unevenness in my skin tone color. It’s the kind of skin that can’t really be seen in public without makeup, but it wasn’t horrible. I didn’t have much of a beauty regime. I’d typically just wash my face once a day in the shower with Noxzema face wash, then clean up my eyes with some Neutrogena face wipes, slap on some lotion, and then put some makeup on.

However, last week I went to a Chanel seminar that taught me how I was doing everything wrong. And these ladies aren’t just telling me that I’m doing everything wrong to make a quick buck on me. They are truly invested in their clients’ skin. Everyone teaching the seminar had beautiful, flawless skin. They were proof that the products worked. Since I realized I knew so little about skincare, I told the Chanel ladies that I’d share some of their skincare tricks with my blog’s readers. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

Insight #1: Use a makeup remover AND a face wash.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m lazy. Like I said, I’d wash my face with just Noxzema in the mornings, thinking that it removed my makeup. It didn’t at all. So here’s the dealio: Make sure you’re removing all of your makeup AND then wash your face. Don’t just choose one or the other, like my lazy self did. Because I am the laziest person on the planet, I decided to invest in Chanel’s Lait Confort Cleansing Milk, which serves as both a makeup remover AND a face wash and an anti-pollutant (which is my favorite part). The atmosphere and air is fucking disgusting and I don’t want that shit clogging up my pores. To use: simply rub some of that stuff all over your face and eyes and wipe off with either a warm wash cloth OR follow up with Chanel’s Lotion Confort Toner. I just bought the toner today. After using it last week at the Chanel beauty seminar, I fell in love and had to have the duo. The pair costs $90 together ($45 each), but they are freaking HUGE. I bet both will probably last me a year, if not longer.

LaitConfortLotion confort

Insight #2: You’re probably scrubbing too damn hard.
Probably the most embarrassing part of the seminar is when we were all told to remove our makeup. I took some of the Lait Confort Cleansing Milk and rubbed the shit out of my face and eyes. The seminar’s leader looked at me in horror then said, “JESSICA! WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO YOUR EYES?!” Oh, I was just scrubbing the hell out of them to remove my eye makeup. Yeah, that’s not necessary. And chances are, if I’m doing it, you’re probably doing it, too. Let’s face it, I’m trying to get ready in the mornings as quick as I possibly can. Taking time to gently remove yesterday’s eye makeup isn’t really an option if I need to get out the door in 20 mins.

However, the skin under your eyes is way thinner than the skin on the rest of your face. Every time I tugged and scrubbed my poor little eye sockets, I was making that skin looser and looser. I’m SO glad I learned fairly early in live that I need to be more gentle.

Insight #3: Treat yo-self to some good eye cream.
Did you know that your eyes really can’t handle the same moisturizer that you put on the rest of your face? Since the skin under your eyes is so much thinner and much more sensitive, it requires special care. I mean, really, what’s the first part on a woman’s face that signals she is aging? It’s her eyes, isn’t it? If we 20-something year olds start treating our eyes with much more respect, they’ll keep us younger looking for years to come.

Surprise, surprise, I went ahead and got Chanel’s eye cream, the Ultra Correction Line Repair for Eyes. This shit does run about $85 bucks, but I was told it lasts forever. And it really should because I only use a tiny amount every day.

Ultra Correction Line Repair - eyes

Insight #4: Face cream is freaking important.
I’m 26-years-old and I’m seeing the first signs of aging on my face. Age spots, lines on my forehead, and tiny little wrinkles on the outside of my eyes. To be honest, this whole aging thing is scaring the shit out of me. The fact that I can look in the mirror every single day and seem to look the same really freaks me out. Then I’ll compare pictures of myself today to pictures in high school and I can definitely tell a change in my skin. It’s terrifying. High school doesn’t seem that far off.

So, I decided to invest in some really terrific skin cream. I’ve been using samples of the stuff for about 2 weeks now and I’m a different person. I’m actually very excited since I’m one of the first people to actually own the product because it was in limited supply. I should be getting my full-sized jar tomorrow.

Le Lift

What is this miracle face cream? It’s called Le Lift by Chanel. The stinkin’ cool part about it is that it caters to every woman’s individual skin care needs. Whatever mad scientist invented this stuff was genius because it is somehow a “smart” product, meaning it figures out your skin’s firming needs and it adjusts appropriately. All sorts of different-aged women can use this product and it’ll work for everyone.

Don’t believe me? Here’s what my skin looks like after two weeks of having a real skin care routine and using the Le Lift. The first picture is me AFTER using the products, and the second picture is the BEFORE. Sorry to switch these around like a moron. But seriously, now I really will go out in public without makeup!

Before and After

Insight #5: Don’t forget your neck.
Ever see those really young-looking women with turkey necks? That’s my worst nightmare. Neck care is SO important. Be sure to include your neck in your face wash routine, then wipe some toner on it and some face cream.  I don’t really care to use my $165 Le Lift cream on my neck, but I will use my left-over lifting cream.

The Bottom Line
Making sure you start with a nice, clean palette really does make a difference on how your makeup will appear. Not only do I use less makeup now because my skin is perfect and primed for the product, but I appear flawless and airbrushed. It doesn’t have to be Chanel, but I’d really recommend you take time to figure out a good beauty regime for you. Life is too short to look old and haggard. Look fabulous instead!

I can’t wait to share with you new makeup tricks I learned at the seminar. Here are a couple of examples. The first look I learned below was a soft, subtle, smokey-eye for every day and the second was a bold lip. Stay tuned!

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140 Characters or Less

Spiders
If a spider gorily killed a human and left it dead in my apartment, surely the apartment would be condemned, right? No other human would ever enter that apartment again for fear they’d be killed by this ferocious spider. So why, when I murder a spider and leave it in the middle of my floor, doesn’t that signal to the other humungous spiders that I’m a crazy spider killer lady? You’d think they’d be terrified to hang around my apartment if one of their spidey friends got killed. But nooooo, instead, they carry off his body and continue to haunt me.

But really. I did kill a spider and I left it on my floor and now he’s gone. What happened to him? Did another spider carry him off? Or a bigger, rodent-like animal? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Wine
I spent almost 30 minutes trying to open a bottle of wine last night because I couldn’t find my wine opener. By the time I finally got into the wine, I didn’t want any of it. Mostly because I was pissed at it. I ended up pushing the cork into the wine and it exploded all over my face, kitchen counters, walls, etc. Later on in the night, I thought I had developed a new freckle on my arm. Then I licked the freckle and it came right off. It was wine. Thank God. I’m freckly enough as it is, like a dark-haired Pippy Longstockings.

I don’t often lick my freckles, but when I do, I’m glad they taste like wine.

Girls
I started Season 2 of Girls on Wednesday night. I also finished Season 2 of Girls Wednesday night. I didn’t feel great all day at work, so I went home after work, vomited, and crawled into bed and didn’t leave my bed for 390 mins. I think my body was signaling to me to hurl my guts out so I had an excuse to stay home and watch Girls all night. Thanks, body and Girls, for making me realize that my life is way better than other people my age. Like, some people have real problems besides spiders and wine openers.

I'm Alive

 

Powwow
I went to a powwow last weekend and I left the powwow being pissed at my parents for not being Indian. That’s a good reason to be pissed at your parents, right? I think so. I really think I’d be a good powwow dancer. Plus, I’m great at making costumes, so I could totally make a LEGIT costume full of beautiful flowers and beads and leather…. I wish I could, like, become American Indian somehow. I’d like to think if one of my friends wanted to be German, I’d totally let them.

Juan Pablo
We all watched this season’s Bachelorette on ABC, right? Because there is nothing better to do in the summer. Was anyone else totally bummed about what went down in the series finale? I really liked The Bachelorette’s choice, but I’m not so sure she even liked him, which makes me sad. She (Des) was in love with this other guy (Brooks) and she professed her love to him, but he rejected her. So then she was left with two guys, Drew and Chris, and she chose Chris. I totally get that you can THINK you love someone, but it takes someone else that you love wayyy more to enter your life before you come to your senses. Helloo, I’m there right now with my boo.

But the whole Des and Chris thing happened FOUR DAYS AFTER BROOKS LEFT HER. And she had already MET Chris. It’s not like he miraculously walked into her life at the right moment. He was already there all along. There’s just no way in shit you could get over someone in FOUR DAYS and accept a proposal from another man. Everyone is like, “Yeah, but it’s reality TV and that could totally happen given the circumstances.” I’m sorry, it can’t. I have faith that Des probably loves Chris now, but to accept a proposal only days after getting rejected is just nonsense.

But do you know what isn’t nonsense? Juan Pablo as the next Bachelor. Don’t tell my boyfriend this, but I kept having dreams about a shirtless Juan Pablo telling me that he was the next Bachelor and how I should apply. It was the same dream, over and over again, but we were at different locations when he’d tell me. I’m so thankful my dreams became reality because I’m so excited to hear his hot Venezuelan accent for 3 months.  ¡Ay, caramba!

I wanted to post a really hot picture of Juan Pablo in this post so we could all drool together, but when I type Juan Pablo into Google, this pops up. I’m pretty sure the Pope just Rick Rolled me.

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Twitter
Twitter is ruining me. I can only think and write in short thoughts and sentences (140 characters or less). Clearly, because this post is horrendous. I know your faces be like, “The hell did I just read?” Whatever. It’s Friday afternoon, baby, and I’m alive.Capture

All Sorts of Random Stuff

I have no idea where to even begin. It’s been a month since I’ve touched base and I feel so ridiculously out of the loop. For this blog, I’m just going to be as random as I feel.

NatureBox is the devil.
You’ve heard of this before, right? NatureBox is ALL over my Facebook all the time, so I figured it’s all over yours, too. In case you haven’t heard of it, NatureBox is a subscription-based natural food company. In a nutshell (pun definitely intended), you pay $20 a month to receive a health foods box every single month. Each box contains five full-sized snacky products.

NatureBox sounds healthy, but it really is the devil. “Why?” you may ask. Because the snacks are SO FREAKING DELICIOUS. I call them my “crack snacks” because once I start, I can’t stop. Today, I finished an entire full-sized bag in one sitting. My mind always tells me I shouldn’t, but my tongue is like, “Damn, bitch, keep eatin’ this shit. Shovel that food in faster. FASTER.” The bag that I inhaled today was called “Cherry Crumble Granola.” I love, love, love granola, but it’s so hard on my jaw. This Cherry Crumble Crack was soft granola. It didn’t hurt my jaw at all and it tasted like those Cherry Pie Lara bars, which are also freaking delicious.

I looked at the calories and nutritional value of this particular NatureBox product after the fact, and it really was horrible for me. So horrible that I’d rather not share the facts. I mean, I could have eaten two Snickers bars? It could have been way worse, right?

Nope, nevermind. Just did the math and the Snickers are still better. SHOOT MY FACE OFF.

Bathroom Etiquette 101
This whole NatureBox thing would probably lead you to believe that I’m on another healthy kick, which isn’t entirely untrue. I’m really just trying to consume more water. I mean, like, a gallon per day. That’s 128 ounces of water each day, which is 16 glasses of water a day, which is making me piss every 10 minutes. I always read in magazines that your body will eventually adjust to the excess amount of water you intake, but evidently my body isn’t getting the memo. Does anyone know how to hook up a catheter?  Because I can’t handle this get-up-from-my-desk-every-10-minutes lifestyle. It wouldn’t be so bad, but there isn’t a bathroom on my floor, so I have to go downstairs to do my business. I know that is supposed to promote a healthy lifestyle, ya know, by walking up a flight of stairs every 10 minutes. But it’s soooo inconvenient when I’m working on a project. And it’s inconvenient for my fear of peeing in public.

I know I’ve discussed my fear of peeing in public before, so we don’t really even have to go there. I just really hate people listening to me urinate. Stage fright, I guess. In high school, I’d always turn on the tap water so no one could hear me, but evidently that’s wasteful so I stopped.

There have to be more people like me out there. People scared of their own piss. Right? RIGHT?! Well, in case there are, I’d like to share my top-two bathroom etiquette MUSTS for all of my friends who are scared to pee in public and those who are not scared to pee in public (this especially applies to the work place).

  1. Assume everyone is scared to pee in public. When someone is in the stall next to you, assume they don’t want you listening. And don’t listen.
  2. If there is someone in the bathroom with you, get the f*ck in the bathroom, get the f*ck out. Don’t dilly-dally. I know that you’re supposed to sing the birthday song twice while you wash your hands, but don’t. Please, for the love of all things holy, DO NOT SING THE BIRTHDAY SONG TWICE. I’d like you to sing, “happy birthday to you…” and then turn off the water, dry your hands, and leave. Don’t apply makeup. Don’t take out your contacts, don’t comb your hair. Just don’t. Get in the bathroom. Get out of the bathroom.
  3. Don’t talk to people in bathrooms. Ever. This goes along with the whole “get the f*ck out of the bathroom” thing. No one wants to have a conversation about your dog while they pee. No. NO.
  4. When given the choice between three stalls, choose 1 or 4. Never, ever, choose 2.

Wow, now that I’m writing this down, I think this could have been a blog of its own. But seriously. Abide by my rules and nobody gets hurt.

Nebraska, Arkansas, and Texass
The last four weeks really have been a whirlwind. This will be the first weekend in a month that I’ve had absolutely nothing going on. I went to Nebraska for a week at the end of June. Immediately when I got back, I then went to Eastern Oklahoma/Arkansas with the boo for a mini-vacation, then last weekend I went to Dallas with my Nebraska friends to meet up with my Dallas friend. I’ve recently discovered I’m an introvert thanks to my friend, Makayla’s blog, so all of this activity has been fun and I really love seeing people, but I’m so mentally and physically exhausted it’s not even funny. I need a night where I just stay in and talk to no one and read a book or something. I just want to apologize now if I completely shut down for a few weeks and ignore everyone. I mean nothing by it. I just need some quiet.

But my trips to Nebraska, Arkansas, and Texass really were fun. The highlight of Nebraska was my parents’ hot tub. Well, it was the highlight and the lowlight. Highlight because I got to use it every day I was back in the ol’ Cornhusker state. Lowlight because I got pissed they didn’t have one when I still lived under their roof. Lame parents. Lame.

Arkansas was really stinkin’ fun. The boyfriend and I went to Eureka Springs for a night and got to see the most haunted hotel in America. Note: We did not sleep in this hotel. But we had a drink on the roof top and heard some creepy-ass stories. The boyfriend’s college buddy works at the hotel as a chef and had some freaky ghost stories. Yeah. Never staying at that place. I did feel good about the Arkansas trip because we did so much walking. Eureka Springs is one giant hill, so everywhere we walked was uphill. Then we went disc golfing in Fayetteville and walked 18 holes. Look at us, being all healthy and adventuresome!

The healthy part kind of went downhill in Texass. Hellllloooo Sprinkles, Pinkberry, alcohol, etc., etc. I guess we did spend 3 hours walking around IKEA, so there’s something. But then I bought a huge container of Pinkberry and ate it in two nights, so there’s the unhealthy part again. STUPID DELICOIUS FOOD. I kind of wish I didn’t have taste buds.

Big Brother
It’s Big Brother season. And we all know how much I love Big Brother. Have I missed an episode yet? Nope. Because I’m crazy obsessed. Are you a crazy BB fan? If so, who do you like? I’m in love with McCrae and Amanda. McCramanda is what I call them. If you’re not into Big Brother, get on that shit now. You have three opportunities in one week to watch. Do it for me NOW.

 

 

Well, it’s almost 6 o’clock and there are drinks to be had.

Oh shit, I just went down to the bathroom to check my reflection before those drinks and found a giant hunk of granola waiting for me on my shoulder. The hell? How would that delicious granola have gotten on my shoulder and how long has it been there?

If you’re wondering…yes, yes I ate it.

Behind The Music

Last Friday night, I went to a local bar to listen to my boyfriend’s band’s blues jam. A few songs into their set, the wife of the lead singer (Chris) whispered in my ear, “I still can’t believe you’re a musician’s girlfriend. You’re just not crazy enough to be a musician’s girlfriend.”

As much as I hate to admit it, Chris was right. There really isn’t an ounce of crazy in these bones. Bitchy, yes. But not crazy. I’ve done, like, three crazy girlfriend-related things in my life and those things were either alcohol or hormone-induced. I’m pretty much on the straight and narrow.

But I didn’t always want to be a non-crazy. Long ago, I tried to be a crazy musician. See, a handful of years ago (1998), I belonged in an all-girl band called “The Sunflowers.” Since it was 1998, my bandmates and I decided to channel our inner Spice Girls and have really stupid nicknames.

Jacy a.k.a Sally Sunflower

Brienna a.k.a. Suzy Sunflower

Jessica aka Sadie Sunflower

Or was it Jacy a.k.a. Sally? Brienna a.k.a. Sadie? I swear to you that I have zero idea which of the Sunflowers any of us were. Jacy – with your memory like an elephant – can you help? Please?

No matter our stupid nicknames, the Sunflowers were legit, yo’. Just look at us.

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Before we began writing songs, we started out just choreographing dances. You may remember us best from our four-year Fourth of July stint at the Chambers talent show. Eventually, we took our talents to O’Neill, where we won $100 dancing to Greased Lightning.Oh yeah, we even made the front page of the Holt County Independent.

grease

Soon, we weren’t just dancing, but composing the greatest lyrics of all time. “One moment, one time,” was one of our greatest hits. It went like this:

“One moment, one time,
One moment, one time,
One moment, one time.”

Another hit, “Impossible,” nearly topped the charts. You may remember it:

“Impossible…. For a green little giant to turn blue. Impossible…for you and me to be together even though we’re separated. IMPOSSIBLE, IMPOSSIBLE, IMPOSSIBLEEEEE.”

Brienna just reminded me that we had ANOTHER hit called, “Jam Babies,” that I completely forgot about. Here’s how that tune went:

“Jam babies, jam babies, oooooooo, oooooo, oooo, ooooo ahhhh. Jam babies, jam babies, eeee, eee, eeee, eeeahhhhh.” Thanks, Suze, for that.

(I literally want to slam myself in the head with a frying pan just thinking about how f*cking dumb we were. “For a green little giant to turn blue?” What the hell kind of trippy Frank Zappa lyric is that?! And “Jam Babies?” The F?!)

When lyrics became too easy, we decided to add instruments to the mix. Brienna a.k.a. Sally a.k.a Sadie a.k.a. Suzy chose the drums, while Jacy a.k.a. Sally a.k.a Suzy a.k.a. Sadie chose the guitar. And I decided to slap the bass.

Only thing was, none of us had instruments at first. But slowly, the instruments started trickling in. Jacy received a guitar for her birthday and Brienna got one for her birthday. And I got nothing for my birthday. I learned to slap absolutely nothing. No bass, no band.

A few years later, we broke up. I was way too uncoordinated to do Jacy and Brienna’s dance moves, so they started their own dance troupe without me. They even went off and spent our talent show money on new costumes for the group.

But a dream, no matter how big or small, is still a dream. And I’ve kept dreaming about that bass guitar. Just 16 short years later, I met a boy who plays guitar and he opened my eyes to the wondrous possibilities of creating music once again. His whole dang family is musical. A few weeks ago, we went to his hometown and he let me bring his dad’s bass to practice on in my living room.

Just last week, I was surprised with a new set of strings and a bottle of finger ease for my birthday. His dad GAVE me that base guitar as a gift – one of the absolute nicest and thoughtful gifts I have ever received in my life. And, I know this sounds completely crazy, but the blood of my my giddy, creative, wannabe childhood bass guitarist is running through my veins again. It feels so wonderful.

bass

Granted, after only one month, I can only play a scale in open E and I can sort of play Seven Nation Army.  But it doesn’t stop me from turning on my favorite playlists on iTunes and trying to jam along. Don’t worry, I’ll get there. I’ll be that awesome bass guitarist. I’m determined this time around.

Sometimes in life, it is so easy to lose sight of those little dreams you had so long ago. I dreamed of being a bassist and an award-winning author. As cheesy as this sounds, that bass guitar assured me that all hope is not lost for me. It gave me a glimmer of hope that those childhood dreams and aspirations might just come true. I actually have a plan now. First I’ll master bass guitar, then I’ll start working on my novel.

I’d really encourage you to take a look back into your childhood and recall your dreams. Feeling like a kid again and looking through rose-colored glasses isn’t so dang bad.

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