Hey there, loves! Wow, so my friend Marissa had sweetly pointed out to me via facebook that I had not posted on my blog in a while… She was definitely correct in that, since my last blog post was June 30th! Yikes! Looks like it’s time for a hefty update, and needless to say, because of the ever-so-clever name of this post (haha), there have been many changes since last time I was on here.
Let’s start where we left off (with the beginning of July), naturally:
On the 4th I went to a Round Rock Express baseball game with my Mom, Dad, DonNell (sister), Vladimir (brother-in-law), and Chris (good friend, also known as Cuuhhrriiiiisss, haha). We had a drunkenly good time and watched fireworks at the stadium when the game was over. I think this is one of the most “American” 4th of Julys I have ever had. :b
At the end of July I moved into a new apartment (thankfully, with the help of family)! Oh my goodness, it is so very nice living on my own again! I never have to worry about roommate drama, and for those of you who know me or have read my previous posts, you know that I am extremely grateful to not have roommate drama anymore, haha. A few reasons why I picked this place are 1) the price was right, 2) the entire thing was remodeled right before I moved in, so it came with all new wood floors and new carpet, 3) it has nice updated appliances in the kitchen, and 4) it came with a laundry room, so now I have my very own washer and dryer to use, which is awesome! Plus, this apartment is so me. <3 My old apartment was furnished with furniture owned by the complex, and my new place is completely decorated by myself (but my sister, DonNell, did let me take her sweet futon/couch that is now in my living room). I love the way my apartment reflects who I am. All of the art decorating my walls are original pieces made by myself or by friends of mine, & constantly being surrounded by such beauty and creativity and friendship is a wonderful thing. (: Another perk about living alone is I can keep the apartment at whatever temperature I want and wear as little clothing as I want. Haha, isn’t that always a benefit of living alone… being able to roam around your home with no clothes or cook in the kitchen with only an apron on? :b Here are some pics for your viewing pleasure:
On August 24th I had my first Roller Derby experience & loved it! Haha. My friend, Marissa, and I went to a game to support my friend, Lani, who plays for the Cherry Bombs! We went and met up with a bunch of TCE friends (Lani is the office manager for TCE) and had such a fun time! They played at the Palmer Event Center and totally kicked ass and won the game! If you have never been, it is definitely something to add to your “bucket list.” :D
On the 25th of August, I went to Austin’s Hot Sauce Festival with my friend, Jon. This was definitely a HOT experience, but unfortunately, I am not referring to the salsas that we tried, haha. It was over 100 degrees outside and there was no shade or breeze to cool us at Fiesta Gardens (the venue where it was held). Also, Jon and I tried to use the ATMs 3 times (we did not come prepared with cash on hand, note to self for next time) and never got one to work for us… they were either out of order or out of money. This killed our plan of drinking cold beer while we waited in a 30 minute line to try 15 to 25ish salsas, which to my spicy-loving standards were not nearly hot enough to even be considered entered at a “Hot Sauce Festival,” but I am kind of insane when it comes to spice tolerance. Meh, maybe next year it will be less hot outside, hotter in spice, and more cold beer available for me. Haha, a girl can hope, right?
August 31st, my friend Keaton and I went to see the band, Article play a show at Maggie Mae’s! They were really good and I like the Maggie Mae’s venue. I had heard about the group because one of the members also works at the Freebirds on Riverside I used to go to quite often. Their music is like The Black Keys, mixed with Sublime, mixed with Reggae, mixed with some other stuff, so if you enjoy any of those, you would probably enjoy their music. Plus, they have this bunch of cute girl groupies that are friends with the band mates, which makes for a sight to see when they all get up and dance, haha. (;
I went to the Austin Pride Parade on September 7th and had a fabulous time with some of my friends from TCE! I showed up a little late, but I got to see the second half of the parade, which was loud and colorful and amazing and took up so many streets of downtown! I love that Austin has a Pride Parade and that it was glorious! Haha. :D I also enjoyed a few shows at a little venue, one of which was performed by my friend, Mel, with her adorable band.
The following day, on the 8th, Mel and I went and got professional massages at Massage Harmony off West Gate. This was a much needed experience for the both of us and I am so glad we made/ went to the appointments!
On the 11th of September, I caught up with my good friend, Amanda! It was her 24th birthday and I had not seen her in over a year. She was one of my first friends when I moved to Texas back in 2001 and I am so happy we are still in contact with each other. We went and celebrated with drinks and dinner at El Alma off Barton Springs and then came back to my place for a few more drinks before we called it a night. I love her so much and I am so happy she is enjoying her life. (:
September 16th was my first day at my new job! I am now an assistant for two attorneys and a paralegal at an office in West Lake. They practice Family Law, so we mostly deal with divorce and child support cases. I love my new job so, so, so much! :D I enjoy the work, the people I work for, the professional atmosphere (I get to wear such cute business dresses and heels every day and I loveee it; feeling pretty at work is a fantastic thing), the hours, the pay, and everything else about the job! Well, the only small down-side is I had to get rid of my nose ring, which I had for over five years, so that was like ending one of the longest relationships I’ve ever had, haha, but it was more than worth it for all the positives that come with the job. Since I have started the job, my boss, Lawrence, has treated me to lunch at least once a week, which has been very nice, as well as become a Notary Public! So if you ever need something notarized, you now know who to contact, haha. (: Also, I want to say I definitely loved working at my old job, TCE. I was there for 18 months for good reason, but it was definitely time for a change. Environmental advocacy is something I will always have close to my heart. I know that when it comes to environmental policy in Texas (and in other states), there would not be anywhere close to the amount of progression if it weren’t for grassroots non-profits finding support in all communities, holding business accountable to taking responsibility for the end-of-life of their toxic products, and holding senators and representatives accountable to making responsible decisions when it comes to passing legislation (or not passing horrible legislation) during the legislative sessions. I am so grateful I had to opportunity to work for TCE and that I had the ability to travel all over the great state of Texas, as well as New York (twice!) and New Jersey. Not only was this an amazing job experience, but through it I have found so many friends that will forever be my life. <3
On September 24th/25th, I bought a new car! I now own a 2008 Mazda 3i! It’s adorable and red and has a sunroof and I love her so much (haha, yes, her, but she doesn’t have a name yet)! I found her on craigslist through a guy who is now retired and buys cars at auction to repair and sell, so I got a great deal. I had my dad and my brother-in-law, Vladimir, to come look at the car with me just to make sure it was a legit deal. Vladimir is a mechanic and gave her the thumbs-up after looking her over and going on a test drive to check out everything. She is so wonderful and I am so grateful to have a car again! I have been sans-car since last November when I lost my old Honda Fit due to a large deer committing suicide, haha. Honestly, I am happy I got to live the car-less life for almost a year. I now have an appreciation for the Austin public transportation system that I would not have had if I didn’t have a car for so long, and I can truthfully say I will continue to use it when needed. And since I talked her up so much, I have to post a pic or two of her:
My friends, Marissa, Sarah, Kara, and I went to the Roller Derby Championship on September 28th! It was bad-ass! The Cherry Bombs (Lani’s team) won! They took the title from another team that had held the Championship for the last four years, so it was a huge victory and was a great game to watch!
On the 1st of October I celebrated my two-year veganniversary! Haha, yup, I have now been vegan for two years! Of course, there have been a few meals along the way that weren’t 100% vegan, but I would estimate 95% of my last two years of eating has been vegan, and I have loved every second of it. Going vegan was one of the smartest and healthiest choices I have ever made in my life. I would like to thank my Business Ethics and Philosophy of Ethics professors for giving me the knowledge and the passion to do more research as well as my friends Jessica and Kelly for giving me the initial consideration and inspiration for making the transition. <3 I love y’all and am so grateful I have you in my life!
This last weekend (October 4th through to today, October 6th), was spent with my friend, Ethan. (: It was his birthday weekend, and on Friday night we went to House of Torment! It was entertaining, but not nearly as fun as I remember it being in years past. It probably had something to do with the amount of annoying high school kids that were in front of us the entire time, oh well. Saturday we went down to the Rainey Street area to go to the bar, Bangers. He and his friends had never been there before. It is pretty sweet if you are a beer drinker – they have 101 beers on tap and a few bottles to choose from as well! They also had a cool live band playing; possibly German music, not too sure, but they were keeping us amused. Haha, I think the funniest part of this weekend was us trying to go to Kerbey Lane Café, twice. Saturday morning and Sunday morning (today), we went, asked how long the wait was, and left both times because it was “too long” for our impatient and hung-over selves. However, we ended up just driving around looking for a place to eat during the time we would have been waiting and both times we settled for places that were not nearly as good as I know Kerbey can be. Ethan has now been there twice and has never eaten there, haha, but the food is delicious (& they have vegan options), so next time we will just wait out the wait!
Finally, I’ll end with a preview: at the end of the month, my sister, DonNell is having a baby shower! She is having a little boy and I am so excited to bring my new little nephew into this glorious world with so much love and fun with all of our family and friends getting together to celebrate his arrival!
Well, I guess that brings this update up-to-date and officially makes this an odyssey of a blog post, haha.
Here’s till next time, my loves! Best wishes and good vibes to all of you in all that you do! XOXO Love you and so grateful you are part of my life! <3
So here’s what has happened since my last update in May:
FM Retreat with TCE!
The Dallas, Austin, and Houston Field Managers for Texas Campaign for the Environment had a retreat weekend in the Piney Woods! This was a relaxing weekend of doing a whole lot of nothing.. such as reading, meditation, and chillin in the woods. <3 Lovely, and much needed.
I won some free vacations!
Last month, I went to the Pecan Street Festival with my friends Jessica and Kelly. While we were there, we all filled out a slip to enter in a “win a car” contest. A few weeks later, I got something in the mail saying I had won a guaranteed prize from that contest if I go claim it at this time-share/resort located in New Braunfels. So, I dragged my parents to go to New Braunfels with me.. Yes, there were sales people trying to sell the time-share to everyone, but in the end, with out purchasing anything, I won two vacations! One of them is a 4 day cruise and the other is a 4 day island vacation! So excited to use them!
I served jury duty!
Honestly, this was really cool. On the first day (a Monday), there were 55 potential jurors who showed up and both sides of the case had a chance to ask us all questions. Then each side chose 6 people and that was the final 12. Obviously, I was chosen out of the 55 and served on the panel for the next 4 days. It was a bland civil case between shareholders of a company, nothing crazy. One of the shareholders was butt-hurt about how the business was being run even though he was supposed to be a “silent investor” and everything the other 2 shareholders were doing was in accordance with the law, though it may have seemed a little sneaky and under-handed in some of their decision-making. It took 2.5 days to show us all the evidence and 1.5 days for us to deliberate the settlement. Naturally, I decided to be the mediator for the jury panel! (: And damn, do 12 strangers have strong opinions. Haha. In the end, we used analytic thinking based on the evidence to come to terms in the settlement instead of using emotions like the one particular shareholder was using. I am so grateful I was chosen to serve on this jury panel and that I decided to be the mediator, because I am not so sure it would have turned out the way it did if I was not there. I definitely feel like I did my civic duty to serve on a jury and I hope if I’m ever in need of a trial by jury I have a set of people who look at the evidence and think with their minds and not their emotions because when it comes to settling a case based on the evidence presented, that’s what needs to be done.
TCE Staff Retreat!
All of the staff from the Austin, Dallas, and Houston office got together for 3 days of drunken debaucherous fun at Colorado Bend State Park! I spent most of this time the same as the FM retreat.. chillin. Haha. It was also very lovely and much needed. (:
Spending time with friends and family!
Every chance I get I’ve been trying to spend with friends outside of my work circle (it is important to keep up with those relationships, though my work friends are very fun). Also, almost every weekend I’ve been spending with my parents/family. They are so very awesome and I love them so much and want to make sure I don’t look back on life wishing I had spent more time with them. <3
I read some books!
The first book I finished was “Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn. This book is a must-read. For anyone. Yes, it is philosophy based, but it gives a big picture of how we have just been completely depleting our planet of its resources, raping it for what we can, when we should be living in harmony with it (or doing as much as we can) so that it will be here for more generations to come. <3
The second book was called “For Fucks Sake,” written by Robert Lanser. This is a funny and fucked up book about multiple horrible relationships this one man has. Makes me feel grateful for what I do have.
The third, the one I just finished over staff retreat, was “Paint It Black” by Janet Fitch. She wrote “White Oleander,” which is one of my favorite books of all time. I really love the way she writes. Her books are all very messed up when it comes to twisted plot, but she creates it so beautifully with her use of imagery and metaphors. I will probably end up reading this one again at some point because the last few chapters were read in quite a haze. Haha.
I’m looking for a new place to live!
My lease is up at the end of July and I have contacted some apartment locators to help me find a one bedroom apartment in Austin, but none have them have contacted me back so far.. I’ve also been looking on my own, but it’s been a slow start to finding what I’m looking for. I do have multiple options though.. one of my old roommates, who I love dearly, would like me to move into a house with her and her friend. I am deeply considering this even though I do very much so want to live on my own again. Also, I am being offered to live in an apartment that is paid for in full till February and is located right next to my work, but it does not have the amenities I am looking for, though it is convenient and I would be saving money by living there. Blah! Choices, choices. I have 4 weeks to find something or decide on those options. Wish me luck!
This is the bare-bones update on how things have been going. I’ve also been sorting through lots of thoughts and feelings on some personal matters that I don’t feel are appropriate to mention on here, but don’t worry y’all, things are great and I’m happy to be alive and grateful for all I have. <3
XOXO Till next time. I love you lots! (:
Hey lovies! <3
Sooo, I received some
good GLORIOUS news last night!
My cray-cray roommate situation is OVER! She moved out! And the apt mgmt is changing the locks!
I can finally have peace in my apartment again!
My place of rest.
It’s drama-free again!!
Also, I woke up to a beautiful thunderstorm this morning. <3
Have a wonderful day y’all!
Sending all of you much peace, love, and happiness! XoXo
Hello lovies! <3
So, for those of you that don’t know, the last few weeks have been a roller-coaster of emotion for me. And I finally figured out why. And thank the fucking goddess of the universe because I thought I was going insane.
Things really haven’t been that intense, but I have been feeling over-whelmed with my over-flowing cup of life.
Mostly it’s been stress about work, roommate issues, quote-un-quote relationship unsureness (wow that is some horrible English, haha), and the unknown future of everything.
I am normally very level-headed in my life and can take on each day as it comes.
However, the last few weeks have been full of tears and stress and old habits that I should not be practicing because they are not cool and harmful to my body and mind.
I was thinking yesterday “why the fuck have I been freaking out?!”
I have been writing things down more and looking at them and thinking “these things are not a big deal and mostly out of my control, so why are they bothering me so much?! What is causing me to think these thoughts and do these things and have emotional mood swings like I am going through menopause or something?!”
I was sure (sorry if this is t.m.i. (but not really sorry because this is my blog and I can post whatever I want to)) it was my period that was making me cray.
I am a girl, duh. Periods happen. And they usually come with some waves of estrogen that can cause some various mood swings.
But mine only last for like 4 days and these thoughts/actions have been occurring over the last 3 to 4 weeks.
Then it clicked!
I started taking “Women’s One-A-Day Vitamins” about a month ago… and obvs, it was a bad fucking idea.
Why did I start randomly taking vitamins? Well, I’m vegan. I have been for around 19 months. When I bought the vitamins I was thinking “well since I’m vegan I’ve probably been missing out on some needed nutrition and vitamins are good for you and I should take them so I can have a balance… blah blah” .. WRONG!
Also t.m.i.: I haven’t been on birth control since I was 18 because it gave me cray mood swings and caused depression and I got in my head about too many things that didn’t really matter and I over stressed myself out way too much and did some really stupid things to myself (yikes, horrible ranting English, haha). Unfortunately, in the last few weeks I had been falling back into those bad habits and thought patterns.
But I figured it out! It was the vitamins! They are meant to “balance” women. Give EVERY woman (even though we are all completely different) the “balance” they need mentally and physically. Haha. NOPE.
So, I threw them out! :D
I don’t need to take some artificial shit to feel my best.
I need sleep, exercise, and good-for-you food. Like I have been doing. And everything has been fine until I decided to change things for no apparent reason.
Stupid “Women’s One-A-Day Vitamins.” So glad you are out of my life so I can get back to normal.
So glad I figured out what had been happening before I ended up in a destructive hole of a life like I did for a few months when I was 18.
So grateful I am 23 and everything is ok and I know that the universe is unfolding perfectly in every single moment and I have nothing to worry about and so much to be grateful for.
So grateful for contrast so I can see things clearly.
So grateful for all the support I have in my life with my family and friends and myself.
I love ya’ll so much! <3
(Disclaimer: This is not to say that birth control or vitamins are bad.. they just work for some and not for others. BUT I definitely recommend doing some research before you take some artificial pills packed full of things you possibly don’t need in your life.)
Sending all of you much peace, love, and happiness! XoXo
“In The Miso Soup” by Ryu Murakami
This book was awesome! It’s a gore-tastic tour of Tokyo’s underground sex realm. If you like gore or writing that makes you say things out loud like “what the fuck?!” then this is a must-read. Hahah. I did not know this novel would be so intense until I started reading it, but all 216 pages kept me on my toes and helped produce some cray-cray dreams if I read it right before bed. In short, it’s about a psychopathic serial-killer American tourist that hires a “tour-guide” for Tokyo’s dirty districts and ends up slaughtering many people in various elaborate stomach-churning ways.
Hey there, world. (:
Damn, I’ve missed blogging.
For the most part, I’ve been tweeting my face off through my smart phone.. but nothing compares to sitting down at a laptop and typing out your thoughts and feelings in length for the general public to view and judge at their will. Haha.
To be completely honest, I’ve put off blogging because my laptop is hella slow. When I say slow, I mean it took about 10 minutes for me to get the internet up and this page loaded. Quite annoying when you’re a spoiled american used to instant gratification. #firstworldproblems <- See, I even hashtag outside of twitter now.. jeeze.
Well, over the last (or first, rather) quarter of 2013, a lot has happened. There have been many ups and downs on this roller-coaster and I have loved every second of it. Contrast keeps life fun and interesting. Even when it sucks, it makes the good so much better.
In chronological order (for the most part) this is what has happened:
I read some books! Yeah, I know I normally do a little book review with every book, but I would have to back-log quite a bit, so I will just say you should read more and these are some options for you:
“The Particular Sadness Of Lemon Cake” by Aimee Bender (a light read)
“Secret Daughter” by Shilpi Somaya Gowda (will give you some heart-warming tears)
“Sophie’s World” by Jostein Gaarder (if you like philosophy, read this)
“Water For Elephants” by Sara Gruen (also a light read, but I liked the story better than the “Lemon Cake” book)
“Diary” by Chuck Palahniuk (great read, but “Fight Club” is still my favorite of his)
Ok, now that the quasi book reviews are done, I’ll start this review of life-happenings by backing it up a bit to give you some reference for what has happened over the last few months..
I jacked up my ankle while on an amazing vacation over the 2012 holidays and was out of work for the first three weeks of the year.
While my ankle was healing, I was also getting over a break-up with my ex, Luke. Things happen for a reason, I guess. Considering we work for the same organization, it was nice not going through the emotional cray of angry break-up blah blah in front of my co-workers. Instead, I did it rather gracefully in front of my parents while my ankle was in a cast. (I stayed with them because it turns out crutches and apartment stairs are enemies, not friends.)
Have I mentioned how grateful I am for my family? I love my parents so much. <3 <3 <3 Gah, they are so amazing! It literally brings tears to my eyes when I think about how much they have done for me and how much I love them and wish I could give them everything in return, times 4958729845, to be exact. :b
Also, while stranded in the Cedar Park suburb, I was able to spend a lot of time with my lovely long-time friend, Marissa. <3 Her little girl, Aja, is growing up so fast. I really need to spend more time with them..
So February came and went and I turned 23! (: I spent my birthday in Corpus Christi, on a work trip, with a few other really awesome TCE folks. Hooray for project 181! We were there for a week and had a blast staying in a legit cabana of a long-time supporter/activist that lives right off the beach.
Also during February, Mark Seyer came back into my life. <3 Oh the love I have for this man… I’m so glad he is back in TX and out of war. <3 I’ve known him since we were 17/18 and I am just smitten with him as a human being. Can’t wait till he moves to Austin this summer!
The end of February/ beginning of March was very sloppy and filled with too many drunken and dosed nights, but it’s all part of the fun.
Also, I lost a dear friend, Michael, suddenly. He was found in his apartment .. and I was called by my sister with the news while I was at work. This really sucked. There is no other way to describe it. It did bring together some friends I haven’t seen much over the last year, which was very nice, but the circumstances were horrible. Yes, everyone dies eventually, but it is never fun to deal with the loss of a loved one. Bah, enough on this, it’s too sad. Rest in peace, Micheal. Miss and love you tons. <3
I spent a lot of March hanging out with a new guy in my life named Peter. He is very sweet and we have done some pretty awesome things together, like SXSW, riding his motorcycle, trying new foods, and riding a tandem bike (after not being on a bicycle for 18 years, this was fucking amazing)!
So, the end of March brings me to the beginning of April, where I spent 2 weeks on a cross-train in White Planes, New York! It was ridiculously cold there. Haha, also fun, but very cold. I am so grateful that my work gives me the opportunity to travel all over the country. (:
After my cross-train, all of the field managers across the non-profit network I’m in (about 60 of us) met up for a 3 day weekend/conference in Pittsburgh. It was very cold and rainy there too. Haha. This conference came at a great time though. I was able to see some faces I haven’t seen in a while and it was so good to get rejuvenated by the meaning of what it is to be a field manager and the passion behind why we do the work we do to make a better world for future generations. We are the movement. I am the movement. This is powerful. <3
Then after a great week back in Austin, I was sent on another project 181! I was the one who ran it this time though, and I thought it went pretty well. (: We just got back on Friday .. and yes, ’twas great to be the one in charge. Haha. We were in Kerrville, Fredericksburg, and Lampasas. We camped out at the Kerrville-Schreiner Park, and Enchanted Rock. Both lovely areas, but both cold and wet. Haha. What is up with the weather?
Ah, yes, the lack of nice weather.. perhaps this correlates to my moods lately? I’ve been vegan for about a year and a half now, but the last month or so I’ve been pretty lack on the strictness of my vegan choices… eating about 75% vegan, 25% vegetarian. And this has definitely been altering my moods. I feel “heavier” (closest feeling I can describe it as is depression, but not really, maybe guilt?) when I eat dairy products. As a result, I have decided that for the next month I am going to go mostly raw! I’m thinking raw for 5 days of the week. It will be a nice “cleanse” and still allow for drinking and processed food every now and then. (; Oh, and definitely no more dairy. Fuck that noise.
Also in the stormy weather category is one of my roommates being evicted. I have been dealing with some cray tension in the apartment and the court room.. The sooner this is over, the better. Coming back to negative energy in my own apartment is not cool. How are you supposed to unwind after a long day when your home is filled with drama and lacks love and peace? Yeah, difficult. Patience is key in this matter though.. I can’t do anything but wait ’till it all works out. And it always does.
Oh the universe, how you mysteriously unfold perfectly. Every time. <3
Well, that about sums up everything that’s been happening in the last few months. As I mentioned, lots of ups and downs. In the future, I promise to blog more.. I am going to be getting a new laptop with my ballin’ tax return that should be hitting my account here soon! So excited!
Sending each and every one of you much peace, love, and happiness! <3 XOXO
“Welcome To The Monkey House” by Kurt Vonnegut
Vonnegut, the crazy man he is, wrote some pretty amazing short stories. This book is a collection of 25 said stories; all very weird and very different from one another. Some of my favorites:
“Who Am I This Time” – a couple fell in love through theater, acting together in a play, and lived their lives from that point on only by performing different skits with each other. For example, one week they would be “Romeo and Juliet” and the next week another couple, then the next week another couple. You get the picture.
“Welcome To The Monkey House” – far into the future, when the Earth is densely crowded with a population of 17 billion, there is a new required form of “birth control” … by making people numb from the waist down, sex is no longer something to crave, therefore ending reproduction. Billy the Poet, man gone rogue, wants to show women what pleasure is all about, so he captures them, weens them off their drugs, and gives them what they deserve.
“Unready To Wear” – a battle between jealous humans and those who can separate soul from body, able to live through many different skins, indefinitely, leaving worry, fear, anger, etc, all behind in the sack of flesh and bones.
“A Trip To The Beach” by Melinda Blanchard and Robert Blanchard
A sweet and light read telling the Blanchard’s transition from the country life in Vermont to the island life in Anguilla. It was the perfect story to enjoy while vacationing in Anguilla, allowing plenty of day dreams to surface about what it would be like if I lived on the island. The book is written from Melinda Blanchard’s perspective and I feel like I came to know her very well while she explained the trials and tribulations of setting up a very successful (and delicious) restaurant. I not only recommend the read, but also a trip to Anguilla and the Blanchard’s place of business!