We Were Stupid AF

“Um. Dude. You might want to leave work…” 

“Uh…why?”

“Well, we have to be out of the apartment by five tonight, or they’ll be calling the police to escort us out…”

At some point in everyone’s lives they’ve had a stupid-af-era. If you’ve never had one of those, you’re the exception, not the rule. Count yourself lucky, too, because you probably have minimal debt, own an appliance larger than a blender, and you know what an annuity is, and you likely have one. 

So, none of the above is me. I’ve had my stupid-af-era, and to be quite honest, I’m not sure I ever left said time in my life. 

Back when I moved out of my parents’ for the first time, I lived with two of my best friends. 

We were all almost 21, and so idiotic it was a wonder anyone was brave enough to give us our own apartment. 

We apartment hunted for a long time, wanting a cheap apartment in a not cheap neighborhood. Finally, we had to settle on a two bed, one bath. Best Friend #1 and I had to share a room, but it was worth not being woken up by my dad banging on my door, looking for the crusted-over bowls hiding under my bed. 

Living on our own was better than I had ever dreamed it would be. On the first night, I overflowed the toilet. The second night, our secondhand dryer broke. On the third night, we spilled Sour Apple Pucker on the carpet. Really, we should have stopped while we were ahead. Yet, every moment was magic, because independence was a beautiful thing. 

It was simply glorious being footloose and anal-retentive-parent-free. 

We stayed up till all hours, drinking Bartles & Jaymes Wine Coolers and watching Santa Clause 2. 

No one (Mom) ever yelled at me for hogging up the phone line so I could change my AIM away message twenty times in one day.

If all we wanted in the fridge was a jar of questionable pickles and eight varieties of Boones Farm, so be it. 

We were independent ladies, forging our way in the world. 

Along with the wild 8-and-up card game nights, we also had nights when we fought. 

My two best friends, while being my good friends, didn’t exactly love each other. 

One was too over-bearing and motherly. The other left her thongs, crotch up, in the bathroom. 

Some nights, we’d throw keyboards, curling irons, or said thongs at each other. 

Other nights, we’d drown each other out with loud mariachi music. 

During the six months that we lived in the apartment, we never once got a complaint from a neighbor. I’m not really sure how that was even possible. Maybe our downstairs neighbors were as loud and obnoxious as us? Or, they were stone-deaf. 

This gorgeous chaos soon came to a head after Best Friend #2 brought home a cat, which was against our lease agreement (it also didn’t help that the little fucker’s favorite thing to do was hide under the couch or behind the bedskirt and then attach itself to our flesh when we least expected it). 

Best Friend #1 and I were a lot of annoying, juvenile things, and one of those things was we were big rule followers (I guess that didn’t apply to underage drinking, though). As soon as we could, we returned the cat to the humane society.

Obviously, hijaking someone’s cat and taking it back to the cat store doesn’t sit well with some people (most people). 

This single act started an epic war between three extremely petty, passive-aggressive bimbos.

Because living at the apartment was becoming awkward as fuck, Best Friend #1 went back home and I sought refuge at the new boyfriend’s house.

When the portion of the power bill owed by Best Friend #2 wasn’t paid, we snuck into the apartment and removed every single lightbulb. Our not-quite-fully-developed brains figured this was the obvious solution to an issue that could have been handled by simple communication.

Best Friend (or Enemy, at this point) #2, went to management and told them all about our drama. 

Turns out, shady apartment managers don’t like dealing with dumb college girl drama. 

They didn’t even want to hear it and told us we all had to be moved out before 5 PM that same day. 

After quite a few years under my belt, and some serious renting experience, I realize now that what they did was likely illegal. 

Well, after the phone call from Best Friend #1, suggesting I maybe come home to completely vacate in less than 5 hours, I called my mom. 

(Shamefully, I’m pretty certain that every gray hair and wrinkle on my mother’s body is thanks to my brother and I.) 

Her response was: “Well, that’s just fabulous. You better call every Goddamn person you know to help you. You also better call your father, because I’m not. Good luck with that and goodbye.” 

At some point during the Great Pack Up, Best Friend #1’s mom was on her hands and knees, in the kitchen, frantically throwing kitchen items into a box while simultaneously yelling about how disgusting we were. 

My brother was vacuuming for the first time in his life, going over and over every square inch of carpet like his life depended on it.

My aunt was asking what she thought we should do about the moldy towels in our 6-months-broken dryer. 

My mom was yelling orders at all of our family and friends, and even some random people she caught walking down the street. 

My cousins were hauling loose items like lamps, throw pillows and towels to our cars, while cursing us under their breath. 

Best Friend # 1 and I were throwing belongings into boxes, not caring whose crap it was. I think there’s still some random storage shed somewhere with our priceless Anne Geddes art and plastic blow up lounge chairs. 

And, Best Friend #2? What was she doing? At precisely T-Minus two hours, she was still crying in her room. 

After attempts by my mom and Best Friend #1’s mom, my dad had to finally pound on her door and threaten her with his dad voice. Eventually, she appeared with 85 garbage bags, filled to the brim with her stuff, ready to be hauled out.

Somehow, we all (Mom, Dad, Brother, Best Friend #1’s mom, dad, and brother, Best Friend #2, a handful of friends, my cousins, and random passerby) managed to leave the place looking spotless (not even a random hanger or a half-used roll of TP was left) with only two minutes to spare. 

I learned a lot of lessons from my first time living on my own. Namely, don’t live with friends and don’t leave bitchy notes for your roommates that read, “I love waking up to your bowel movements everyday. Can you please run the fan and courtesy flush? Also, the phone bill is due. K thanks.” 

I’m still learning. 

I just learned the other day that disposals aren’t made to mash up large quantities of food. They are just for those odd bits. Who woulda thunk? 

Also, don’t prop up your feet that have been in your sweaty shoes all day on the coffee table within five feet of someone. Especially when they’re eating. 

So, even though I’m doing slightly better than I was when I first lived on my own, somedays, I think I’m still firmly planted in the stupid-af-era. And, some days, I change the batteries in the smoke detector all on my own. 

These days, Best Friend #1 is winning at life. She owns her own home and seems to always be jetting off on some trip. The bitch. 

Best Friend #2 is married with two beautiful children. I don’t think she owns a cat. 


For some reason, this is the only picture I could find of our first apartment. Notice the message board, where super friendly (bitchy) messages were written. I have no idea who the half-naked guy is, but a poster of a wet/greased up/sweaty guy in the kitchen is always a good idea. Also, WTF is happening with my “bangs”? 

Trail Fails

Historically, I have never been the one who is known for her athletic ability, nor have I ever been loved for my adventurous outdoorsmen spirit. Because I do not possess either of those. Never in my life have I been asked, “Hey, want to snowshoe across Siberia with me this winter?” (Who fucking does that anyway?)

Despite this, I have really been wanting to get into walking local trails for exercise. Well, if we are being completely honest, I just really want to marvel at the beauty of nature while I sit my fat ass on a comfortable rock. Doing this while eating something, like a dripping slice of watermelon heaven would really just be the cherry on top.

Because getting anyone I know to just sit in nature with me, without sounding like a total lazy loser, is a hard sell, I have been trying to be adventurous by engaging in hiking.

Well, I can most assuredly say that hiking don’t want my fat ass. Hiking wants me to just stay at home with my Halo Top ice cream and Netflix. Hiking does not play.

I’m going to detail three times I failed on the trails recently. Really, this could also qualify as a “This Is Why I’m Fat” post, because almost anyone would have given up after the first failed attempt. So, I hope the Trail Gods are listening. Ya’ll have some work to do…

A week or so ago (I’m a teacher on summer break, so I have no idea what day it is), a friend and I went on a much-needed girl getaway to the Point Reyes Seashore in California.

I stand or crouch behind all of my friends in pictures to appear smaller!
It was gorgeous, but strenuous. We did a lot of walking, trailing, and huffing and puffing.

1. The Stair Climb of Doom

Our first order of business was almost dying on the stairs to and from the Point Reyes Lighthouse. The climb is equivalent to 30.flights.of.stairs.

30 flights, ya’ll. 

I just thought I’d reiterate in case you missed it the first time.

It’s like the freaking Wall of China!
I’m 1000% sure my friend didn’t let on to that fact beforehand, because she knew for certain that it’d be a hard pass from me.

Despite the fact that an elderly man passed me on the hike up the stairs (do you see him in the picture?), and I had to stop at every rest point, it was actually totally worth the sweat-drenched pits and rat’s nest hair (it was so windy, that my phone almost blew away several times).

Fat Pro Tip: Stop to take a picture of literally anything every five minutes or so in order to catch your breath. They’ll have *no* idea!

2. Cataract Fall-Down-The-Hill-Trail

The day after almost needing to be airlifted from the lighthouse steps, we did some more adventurous trailing. I figured, “Why not? Might as well work on another bunion!”

The first few trails were quite easy, as there was no elevation or climb whatsoever. It was absolutely grand. Because we didn’t have to expend energy on moving our bodies up a steep hill, we had energy to climb trees and crawl into reproductions of Native American dwellings. I felt like an obese kid again (I was actually not obese as a child, strangely enough).

My legs were so sore from the previous day’s adventures, I almost didn’t make it out of that squat.
How I got up in that tree…I still don’t know!
 

It wasn’t until we thought it would be a good idea to try to find the Cataract Falls did we have problems. This is also the part in my story where I’m going to be putting All Trails on blast.

Not only was the following hike not “easy” as it was mistakenly rated, one of the lengths of the “loop” was not a trail at all. It was a grassy hill, and we almost broke our asses more times than I’d like to admit as we stepped/slid at a snail’s pace the whole entire way down. 

(I was also insanely afraid a mountain lion was going to come up behind me. Do you think that was irrational?)

Does this look like a trail to you??
This was a steep mother-effer!
When we made it to the bottom of the hill and the actual trail, we found that our pants, socks, and shoes were positively filled with foxtails and these terrible poky stickers that were absolute bitches to get off of our clothes and shoelaces.

We sat on the ground for a good 20 minutes, plucking shit out of everywhere!
If this wasn’t bad enough, when we got to our first trail marker, nowhere did it say “This way to the waterfall”, and the names of the available trails had nothing to do with the trail we thought we were on. We went the wrong way for 30 minutes before we got service on our phones and could see where we were on the trail.

When we finally found the waterfall, after a huge descent into what looked like middle earth, it was stunning and worth the trials we went through to get there. Well, it was a beautiful experience until I realized that’d I’d have to climb back to the car at some point.

Honestly, at one point during the hot, sweaty, and ugly hike back, I questioned how much it would cost for Search and Rescue to retrieve me from the trail.

It was so bad. And hard. 

The waterfall was a pretty anticlimactic affair, but the surrounding area was beautiful in an otherworldly-way.
3. Jones Creek Loop Trail AKA Call For Help

After being back home for a week or so, I decided that I would try hiking again (Why? Maybe I am a masochist, or I feel I deserve punishment for past transgressions?). So, the boyfriend and I looked up easy trails in the trees. Shade FTW!

We settled on the Jones Creek Loop Trail because it was rated as easy and only 1.5 miles.

We used the All Trails’ directions app, and it took us right to the trail head.

After a little trek that was almost all uphill, we came upon a sign. It said, “Jones Creek Loop”, and it had two arrows pointing to the right and to the left. Considering it was a loop, we figured it didn’t matter which way we went, as it would just bring us right back to where we started.

We seemed to be hiking quite awhile when the boyfriend remarked, “I think 1.5 miles seems longer when we are on a trail, because it’s not just a straight stretch?”

At least the scenery was gorgeous!

At this point, we were getting a little apprehensive. We also realized that our “loop” did not seem to be looping back to where we started whatsoever-we just kept heading further and further away.

We saw a man coming off of another trail (I will get to the myriad off shoots of unmarked trails in a minute…) and we asked him how to get back to the parking lot. He said we needed to go in the direction we were headed in, but for three or four more miles.

HOLD UP.

Somehow we got onto the wrong trail, but we had not taken any of the unmarked trails that veered off of the main trail.

At this point, my stress began causing my asthma to flare up, and I saw images of us, emaciated and half-eaten by mountain lions, in front of my eyes, like a mirage.

We decided to just keep walking and hope the guy didn’t know what he was talking about.

Ten minutes and almost all of our water later, we saw another guy coming off some other trail. I tried to stay calm when I asked him how we could get back to our car. While I was asking him, the boyfriend was off admiring some bark, pretending he didn’t belong to the sweaty girl who was in a near panic.

The guy said he was headed to the parking lot, and we could follow him.

A half mile later, we saw what looked like civilization and our spirits rose. We came upon a parking lot, but we quickly realized, stomachs sinking, it was not our parking lot.

As we were looking at the posted map and trying to look cool, like, “We meant that”, the guy waved us over.

He realized that he had led us to the wrong parking lot. He offered us a ride back to our car, three miles away.

We had somehow ended up on the 9 mile trail called the same damn thing as the 1.5 mile trail.

So, we ended that trail fail crammed into the cab of a tiny truck belonging to a very kind man. The whole way back to our car, I was trying not to reek of sweat and defeat.

We massively failed on the trails again only yesterday, and I was going to write about that fail too, but I have already gone on long enough.

The clouds were epic!

I will say, though, that the most recent fail is not entirely our fault. What in the actual eff is up with All Trails and their “easy” loop trails? Not only are they not easy, whoever is creating trails that feed off of the loop ought to be taken out back and given a stern talking to. In my mind, a loop is just that, A LOOP. Yet, every single trail we have tried is not really a loop, but a maze of deviating trails that go off in every fucking direction.

Really, it is no small miracle that more people do not get horribly lost in the woods on “easy” trails.

Or.

We are just utter idiots, and we need to take a “Trails For Dummies” course.

Tell me: Have you ever gotten lost on trails? Is it just me who can’t seem to find my way on “easy” trails? Help a fatty out! Let me know in the comments.

 

 

 

Aerial Antics

This week’s #fbf post is one of my favorites. I wanted to post it this week as I’ve been considering getting back into aerial yoga. For those who’ve been following me long enough, you might know that I had to quit my aerial hijinks, because it messed up my equilibrium. It was terrible. Well, I’m now armed with Sea-Bands, non-drowsy Dramamine, and I know how to perform some head maneuvers that will hopefully help me regain equilibrium if I’m struck with vertigo again. Now all I need to do is get my arse off the couch…

“What’s the weight limit?”

This is the first, most important question when you’re a curvier-than-most kinda gal, and you’re about to suspend your glorious bod on a silk hammock hanging from the ceiling. 

I mean, right? That was the very first question that popped into my head when my friend first mentioned aerial yoga. 

Aerial yoga. 

I can’t even type that without chuckling. 

Yes, I did aerial yoga. Not once. Not even twice. Three times. I’ve done aerial yoga three times, and for the hesitant, I have yet to yank the silks from the ceiling. That’s winning. 

When I asked the instructor (who looked like she was freaking twelve and 100% for sure didn’t have a trace of cellulite any where on her body) what the weight limit was, this was how the exchange went:

Me (whispering): “Oh, um, hey. Uh, what’s, like, the, uh, (voice even lower) weight limit?”

Her: “Oh”

Freaking, “oh”? This chick is trying to give me heart palpitations before we even start doing hard stuff. Bitch.

Me: Just staring, sweating profusely.

If there is a weight limit and I’m over it, I’m just going to go drive my car into a vat of Rocky Road, because, fuck it. 

Her (finally): There’s a weight limit, but it’s like 600 pounds. You’re good. 

Could you have maybe led with that, so that I didn’t have to spend 20 excruciating seconds thinking I’d have to leave because I’m too fucking large for hammock yoga?! 

Some people’s kids…

So, I thought I’d, for ease of reading, write three sections, each devoted to my three attempts at aerial yoga. Not only would it be easier to just skip to the part that has the most swear words, thus the more humorous of tries, but each event has been so incredibly different. Each time I was spastic in such varying, unusually interesting (in a I-want-to-study-your-ineptness-because-I’ve-never-seen-someone-not-know-how-to-work-their-adult-body-so-profoundly) ways, it’s almost sad. Except it’s fucking hilarious because it wasn’t you. It was me.

Attempt 1: 

A friend from work first asked me to join her and her sister-in-law in aerial (every time I attempt to type “aerial”, my phone autocorrects it to “areola”. What the heck, phone?) three weeks ago. I was totally down, because, at the very least, I’d have great blog material. 

Good Lord Almighty. 

I thought my friend would be more like me. As in, ridiculously inept and inflexible. In fact, I’m fairly certain she said she wasn’t very good at being limber on a yoga hammock. Liar! 

For the umpteenth time, I was the fattest, most incapable person in the room. It was OK, though, because I just laughed through the whole thing, so I wasn’t seriously trying to be an agile acrobat. It was all just for the laughs. 

I laughed when the instructor modeled some impossible pose that involved wrapping yourself up like a 7 Layer burrito and then flipping yourself over like no big deal. 

Ha. Yeah, that’s not happening. 

I laughed when everyone was doing aerial planks, and I face planted. 

Ha. I meant to do that. 

I laughed (with relief) when it was finally time to lay in the hammock like an obese caterpillar in its too tight cocoon. 

Ha. I made it to the best part of class; the lay down part.

It was a fun class that was spent trying not to look like I was seriously trying to be a real aerial yoga-ist.

Attempt 2:

The second time, I went with another friend from work. This friend has the body of a gymnast and the ass of a Kardashian. She’s uber fit and moves her body like a ballerina. The bitch. I don’t know why I continually put myself in situations where I’m suffocating myself with my stomach fat while she’s glistening gold sweat from her abs. Oh, I know. Because she’s hilarious, and no matter what we do, I get a good ab workout from laughing. 

One of the first moves in this particular class involves falling gracefully sideways (while suspended with the silk, obviously), on your tippy toes, as you circle back around. 

UH. YEAH RIGHT. 

Little Miss-I-Can-Do-Anything-With-My-Body-and-Look-Fabulous and I both were circling around like drunks trying to look sexy on a stripper pole. It was ridiculous. 

We could not.stop.laughing. I’m fairly certain that I tinkled a tiny bit at one point. Oops.

The rest of the class was actually more success than failure. It was amazing. Some of the poses that I didn’t even attempt the first time, I could almost do. I attempted hanging from my fat this time because I realized halfway through that I was actually a tad bit better than the first go-round. It was at this point I realized that I’d continue, and that this was more than just a stunt to get some good writing material. 

My friend, of course, rocked the class like an expert. The bitch. 

Attempt 3:

This time, my friends and I made up the majority of the class. I went with the friend who originally invited me, Khloe Kardashian, and another teacher friend (another lithe, surprise yoga star).

This was the class where all sorts of hell broke loose. 

First, it was a different instructor. Right off the bat, that made me nervous. I had just begun moving past elephant-on-a-tightrope-graceful, into beginner stage. 

This new chick is gonna eff it all up. 

And she did. 

The new instructor was way harder. So.much.harder.

Who does she think we are, Cirque du Soleil performers? Come on! 

Not only were the moves she had us do harder, they required way more ab and arm strength than I have in my entire fucking body. 

Ridiculousness.

At one point, she had us bent over the silks, hanging from the spot right below the hips. For future reference, this is a tender area. It hurts to hang with all of your body from this area. Maybe I’ll build up some calluses, or something. That’ll be sexy. 

Well, it was at this point, I lost all control of my center, my body, my pride. 

I don’t know how it happened. Maybe it was because my giant head weighs so much, or what, but somehow I ended up feet over head, and I just started flipping over the silk, like you see young children do on the monkey bars. 

One flip that resulted in really no one noticing did not suffice. Two flips that I could have played off as on purpose was not enough. No, I flipped…I don’t even know how many times. 

There was a point at which I genuinely thought I would die. Or, at the very least end up seriously injuring myself. 

I kept picturing myself finally coming to rest flat on my face, breaking my nose and glasses into my stupid face. 

Eventually, I ended up flat on my fat ass, with a large thump. Or was it more a messy schlop? I don’t know. 

What I do know is my asshole friends were peeing their pants laughing. Everyone was. Even the instructor felt compelled to laugh before asking if I was OK. 

Assholes.

I was totally fine, so I started laughing too. If you can’t beat em, join em (while deviously planning your revenge). 

I bumbled through the rest of the class fairly competently until it came time to do assisted handstands. 

The last time I could actually do a handstand I was in the 4th grade. 

The last time I attempted a handstand was about a year ago when a friend and I accidentally attended an expert level yoga class. We laughed our way through the crane pose, the eight-angle pose, and all the other impossible yoga poses, not being able to do any of them. When it came time to do a handstand, we just flat-out refused and sat on our fat asses, watching the others stand on their hands with ease. The instructor took it as a personal affront and actually dragged our mats to the wall and pointed at them, like a pouty child. We half-heartedly made for the floor with our hands in position, chickened out, and just sat on our spreading asses again. That was my only adult handstand attempt. Until this class. 

Somehow I found myself suspended by the silks, my legs high in the air, and my forearms resting on the floor. This was a feat in itself. Then, the insane instructor told us to take it to a handstand. 

By pure miracle, I pushed myself up with my weak jelly arms, and I was in an assisted handstand.

Blood was rushing to my head. My arms were shaking impossibly, but I was doing it. 

Then.

We were told the way to get out of the pose was to let go of the ground and pull yourself up the silk. 

At this point I’m pouring buckets of sweat onto the floor. Even if I wanted to let go and pull myself up, my hands were far too sweaty and I simply did not have the core strength. 

Shaking like a leaf in the wind, I looked around and most of the asshole people in the room had pulled themselves up and they were out of their silks, standing. 

Me: “Um. Help?”

Instructor (still laughing at me): “Hun, you’ll just have to kind of fall out of it.”

Wow. Really? How does she fucking figure that? 

Me: “Uh. OK…”

So, with everyone’s eyes on me again, I somehow untangled my sausage legs from the silks, and my behemoth body just schlopped onto the floor for the second time that night.

Ta-da! 

And, there you have it, folks! Fatty McCupcakes does aerial yoga! 

Despite my utter ineptness, I’m going again. It’s fun. When you’re tired you get to make the silk into a hammock and lay in it. AND my arms and abs are getting stronger. 

#win

Straight outta any yoga

Source

Monday Musings: What Are Your Blog Reading Requirements? 

I was just talking with a friend about the purpose of reading blogs. She’s a devoted reader of mine and, apparently, I’m the only blogger she reads. She was saying that unless she’s friends with or related to the blog writer, she’s probably not going to spend her time reading their personal stories. I can totally respect that some people have to know the blogger/writer to want to read about their embarrassing encounter with the Porta Potty or their personal preference when it comes to stand mixers. 

I totally get that. 

I’m pretty much the opposite of my friend when it comes to online reading preferences. 

I love reading about someone’s awesome vacation to some exotic locale or reading about how they make a mean enchilada casserole with a recipe they got from their crazy Aunt Marge. 

Maybe that’s totally weird? 

Maybe I’m entirely too interested in complete strangers’ fun family stories or how they studied abroad in Ireland (read about one of my favorite blogger’s experiences doing just that here)?

Whatever it may be, I can definitively say that I’m a devoted blog reader, and I appreciate my committed readers more than words can express.

Throughout the last two years and some odd months, I’ve connected with, gotten to know, and enjoyed reading so many bloggers. 

I love you all. I truly do. We are a tribe, and I’m so fortunate to be a part of it.

Just like my friend, however, I have some requirements that must be met in order for me to spend so much of my time reading blogs. 

These are some of them:

1. You’re a real person who responds to comments and engages with your readers. If you never respond to comments, or it takes you far too long to respond, and I’ve long since forgotten about your post, I will grow weary of dedicating time to read and comment. 

2. Posts are well-written and purposeful. We all make grammatical errors (like that one time I made a massive one in the title of a post *cringe*), but if the mistakes take away from the message, this teacher can’t even. 

3. The topic is one in which I can relate to in some way, shape, or form. This is a pretty straightforward one. If you write about something I can hardly come up with a comment for, then your topic is best left to those who can. There’s nothing wrong with that. I write about back fat, rogue chin hairs, and how I have a tendency to inhale baked goods. Those topics aren’t for everyone, either. 

And, that’s it, really. If you respond to comments I spend time crafting, you don’t have grammatical errors every line, and your posts keep me wanting more, I’m hooked. 

So, I’m curious-what are your blog reading preferences and requirements? Let me know in the comments. 

WTF Wednesdays: Travel Tag Edition

The lovely An Historian About Town nominated me for the travel tag. I was so excited to be nominated, because I love to travel and I love An Historian. Not only are her posts well-written, interesting, and positively filled with gorgeous photos of beautiful places and things, the girl behind it all is just fabulous. Go check out her blog-you’ll love it!

Now, without further ado, my responses to some fun travel-themed questions:

What is your favorite place that you have visited?

Hands down, the U.K. and Ireland. My trip was seven freaking years ago, but I still think about it everyday, and I have tried to get back to the U.K. on several different occasions.

Is it possible to look any more touristy?
My ancestor-Lady Godiva’s statue was dwarfed by a Primark. I felt equal parts let down and excited. I really wanted to buy a pair of £8 jean shorts.
 

I also loved NYC and have always dreamed of living it up a la every.single.chick.flick in all creation, as a Big Apple girl.

(All of my NYC pics are stored away on my external hard drive. Sad face.)

Large cities, with tons of energy and culture, are definitely my favorite places to visit, but I loved being in the middle of nowhere, amidst rolling green hills in England. I also adored driving through the otherworldly terrain of the Scottish Highlands, and even though the road to Dingle, Ireland is crap-your-pants scary, the beauty of the Dingle Peninsula is unmatched.

I feel like there should be an “I Survived the Road to Dingle” badge.
Somewhere between Inverness and Edinburgh

If you could visit anywhere tomorrow where would you go?

100% the U.K.! But, I mean, if someone wanted to take me to Japan or Italy or Brazil, I’d not argue one bit. *spastic winking*

Would you rather go on a city holiday or a beach holiday?

I’m such a city girl-the energy, the eclectic culture, the myriad languages, the food, the history… Also, I’m not a huge fan of sunburnt fat that turns into one big, ugly rash, because too much of my skin was exposed and rubbing together. Give me chilly weather, layered clothing, a coffee, and a walking trip around an historic city ANY DAY.

Buuuut, I won’t say ‘no’ to a beach holiday!

Just embrace the sand in your crotch and the sunburned everything!
Alcohol helps!

My top three travel essentials are: 

  • Obviously, my phone/camera is my number one travel must have. The best souvenirs I’ve ever gotten on a trip are the insane amount of pictures of every noteworthy (and, not so noteworthy-I have been known to photograph a random bench or ugly pigeon, because it’s a foreign bench and a foreign pigeon) sight and experience.
  • Hand sanitizer, wet wipes, and a travel-size hand soap are essential. I’ve never traveled somewhere exotic enough to encounter squatty potties or lack of running water, but you just never know what kind of facilities or amenities a restroom will have. Also, the very first hostel I ever stayed at did not provide hand soap or even paper towels. You just never know what horrors you’ll encounter. You.never.know.
  • A versatile scarf and a pair of Wayfarers. I know these sound like lame “essentials”, but when I’m feeling ugly as hell on the 6th day of crap hair, because my flat iron refuses to work with the expensive adapter I bought, a scarf makes me feel a little more put together.


Can you even tell my hair is greasy and I’m wearing zero makeup? See what I mean? 

Are you an over packer or an under packer?
Literally, I used to bring three full suitcases for a weekend trip back home when I lived in Elko. The pressure that exists when you have to decide what you want to wear before the day(s) in question is just too much. I can’t even. Also, sometimes my favorite piece of clothing looks hideous on me for various reasons. You just never know.

Before the trip I took to the U.K., I obsessively researched light packing tips and practiced packing the one bag I took. It was a real trial, and it took a huge leap of faith to know I’d survive if I wore the same jeans two days in a row.


So, I lied. I took three bags…

What is your favorite thing about going on vacations?

When I’m on vacation, I feel whole. It’s an indescribable feeling of just being. When you’re on vacation, you get to live a life that would exist if daily stressors, like bills and other lame adult responsibilities didn’t exist.

Edinburgh
Edinburgh, my love!
I also love completely immersing myself in the culture and the history of wherever I am. There’s nothing more humbling than standing in a church built before your own country even existed.

Said church-St. Margaret’s Chapel

Would you rather go on vacation with family or friends?

Yeesh.

Either choice has its share of positives and negatives. Traveling with family means that there’s a pretty good chance your mom might pay for some of the travel expenses. There’s also a fairly good chance she might forget you’re a grown adult and remind you to thank “the nice travel guide”. Or, she might feel the need to chastise you about your frivolous waste of money on name brand deodorant.

Traveling with friends has its benefits in that your friends are usually more in tune with your level of fun. That might mean an adventurous competition to see how many museums at the Smithsonian you can visit in one day.


This was the day after our Smithsonian challenge. Someone had a museum hangover #8thgradeugly. 

Or, maybe, that means buying every kind of foreign candy in the convenience store and then going back to your hotel room to see who can get diabetes first.

Diabetes!
When you travel with your friends, there’s also the potential for a complete WWIII, nuclear fallout, because after being together 24/7 you can’t stand the way they chew their food or breathe.

Whether traveling with a friend or family member, just drink. Their mouth breathing won’t matter near as much. 

Either way, memories are made and that’s all that matters. Right?

What is the most adventurous dish you have ever tried from another country?
Abso-freaking-lutely that would be haggis with ‘neeps and ‘tatties that my friend and her Scottish husband made for us while we stayed with them in Edinburgh.

It was actually amazingly delicious. No shit, I crave that dish on the regular.

My amazing Scottish friends! 

I’d like to nominate the following bloggers (please don’t feel obligated to participate):

The Wandering Flamingo
This girl is an amazing photographer, writer and blogger friend. She also lives in my favorite country, so I always feel I get to live vicariously through her photos and posts. Also, she is an avid traveler, so I’d love to know more about her envy-worthy travels. Please go check out her blog and beautiful photography-you won’t be disappointed!

A Walk and a Lark
Here’s another blogger bud who lives in one of my favorite cities-London! She’s become an amazing blogging supporter and friend, and I simply adore reading her blog! She is well-traveled, so I’d love the inside scoop on some of her favorite places! Check out Josy’s blog! I promise you’ll love it and her!

All Thoughts Work
This chick cracks me up. Every time I get a comment from her, I know I’ll end up practically peeing myself from laughter. I’ve gleaned that she’s an avid outdoors-woman and talented writer, but that’s all I know. I need to know more! Head on over to the funny lady’s blog-you won’t regret it!

WTF Wednesday #3

For this installment of WTFW, I’m coming at you with a rant. Brace yourselves, people. It’s gonna be a doozy.
I don’t even care how lame this rant makes me seem. So, I’ll just come out and say it: WTF is so hard about hitting “like”? 

Now, if you literally don’t like a post/page/status update, if you’re offended by it, if it displeases you, then, by all means, keep scrolling. 

But, what could possibly be offensive or displeasing about a Michael Scott meme? Or, a humorous and relatable tale of woe? Or, my EFFING FB BLOG PAGE? 

I have almost 400 Facebook friends. I have 180 some likes on my Fatty McCupcakes page and the majority of those likes are from the good people of WordPress. 

I just can’t even anymore. 

This is why I think it’s just plain salty to not have “liked” my blog page when you’re a personal friend of mine:

1. What happened to supporting your friends in their personal interests and ventures?

2. I’m not overly offensive. 99% of the time I’m making fun of myself, people.

3. Hitting “like” takes you, literally, a fucking nanosecond.

4. I rarely even post on my page, so you wouldn’t be inundated with crap daily. Only recently have I been actively publishing post updates.

5. Whether you like it or not, social media is how the majority of the world communicates. Thus, not liking my blog page after I’ve politely invited you is like ignoring me when I wave at you on the street. I think it’s rude. 

6. Don’t even try to lie and say you’re busy and it slipped your mind. I know you’re laying on your couch, binge watching Japanese panda videos on Facebook. Don’t even give me the “I’m busy and too important” speech. 

Now, I would understand if the majority of the topics I posted was on the furry fandom, or my blog was called The Freed Nipple and The Unleashed Vagina, but NOPE. And, nope. 

So, why the lack of support? 

Maybe if those 350 friends knew how much it would mean to me for them to take 20 seconds out of their life to show support in the form of pressing down on (while not even needing to look) a square millimeter space on their phone, while they watch Gilmore Girls reruns, it’d be different. 

But, I’m not about to act like I need the likes. 

It’s just the damn principle of the matter. 

Like Karl Pilkington, I have a lot of important things to say. You’re missing out when you don’t hit “like”.

On the same topic, has anyone else noticed that you are now able to see how many people saw your post on Facebook? 

I’m part of a mom group (don’t even ask how that came to be) and the moms post hilarious memes and real life experiences that always make my ovaries shrivel up on the spot (I have magical, regenerating ovaries). Many times, these harried moms, just looking for recognition, get a dismal five likes when 85 people viewed their post.

You already saw it. You viewed it. YOU LOOKED. 

You seriously can’t hit “like” and THEN be on your merry way?!

Why is this even bothering me? 

OMG. 

My eye is twitching and I can feel the blood pulsing in my temples. 

I think I’ll go now, before I have an aneurism. 

What annoys you about the world of social media and blogging? Rant away in the comments. I promise I won’t just glance at your comment, without responding, before I continue my über important creeping of random people’s Facebook pages. 

21 Minute Survival Challenge

It all started with this picture:


Actually, it started with Silver Donkeys at The Depot. Day drinking never, ever makes for a dull time.

Add some binge watching of Naked and Afraid, mix in my crazy friend, Alyssa, and you have our insane 21 Minute Naked and Afraid Challenge in the wilds of Oxbow Park, in the heart of Reno. It was intense. 

In all seriousness, this started with her idea to spoof the above picture. Obviously, the woman above is quite talented and lithe. We are not. We are the direct opposite. She thought it would be hilarious to go out into nature and take ridiculous pictures of our pudgy bodies, attempting to contort into serious yoga positions. It was insanely entertaining. Either we are hysterical, or just really, really immature 30-somethings. Well, here are our yoga spoofs:

 This is Alyssa’s version of the tree pose. It’s called, “Ride Em Cowboy”. 

  This one is called, “Smelly Poop Lip”. 

  I’m becoming one with Mother Nature. I need to work on my “serious face”, because it’s the same as my “pooping face”. 

 

  
 These are called, “We Can’t Believe We Didn’t Break the Bridge!”

  
 These are “The Warrior”, but because it took us 10 minutes to get to the rocks we stood on, these have been renamed, “Take the Damn Picture, I’m Done, and the Rocks Are Burning My Fucking Feet”.

Now, at this point, we are incredibly winded and tired, but we have more poses to do, so we forge on. Along the path, we are accosted by flying insects and there are red ants everywhere. It’s hot, we are sweating, and our mouths are parched. Suddenly…it turns into Naked and Afraid (Except we didn’t get naked. Getting arrested for public nudity is frowned upon in the teaching community).

We decide to make shelter, find weapons, and pretend to make fire, all in the name of survival. We know we would hardly make it an hour in serious wilderness, so we named our wilderness attempt, the “21 Minute Survival Challenge”.

We took photos of our attempt to survive our harrowing journey through a city park. Enjoy.


Just chilling in our shelter. We scored and found a busted guitar. It will provide great rain coverage. Two minutes in and we are really feeling the effects of dehydration. We are sweating too much. It must be 88 degrees, and the walk-in was exhausting. I don’t know if I can do this. 


Attempting to make fire and I break a nail. I was close to my breaking point here, and if it wasn’t for Alyssa’s support, I would have tapped out. It was that close. 


8 minutes in and we are still in search of food. We are dying of hunger. The energy we are exerting in search of nourishment is depleting our fat stores. We can feel our body eating our fat. We also almost died crossing this dangerous canyon. It had to be at least 2 feet down. It was the most terrifying moment of our ordeal. 

 Alyssa’s breaking point. Crotch sweat. Unacceptable! 


We decide to not expend any more energy in search of water and food. We cuddle in our shelter to stay warm. Except, it’s almost 90 degrees, and what was that? Your walking stick? 


Red ant attack! Additionally, cuddling proved awkward. 


Desperate for protein, we shamefully, hungrily consider the used condom caught while fishing. That was our low point. 12 minutes in, and things are bleak. Morale is low. Our stomachs are growling and our lips are cracking from dehydration. 


Success! Alyssa catches a water-logged, half-eaten hamburger encased in its wrapper. It looks to be only a few days old. In desperate times, one must take desperate measures. We still have diarrhea, and we are afraid we have caught a sexually communicable disease from the river. This survival shit isn’t for the weak. 


Weak from exertion and lack of food and water, I cannot make it back up the hill from the river. Alyssa uses her last bit of strength to rescue me. I thought she was a bossy bitch at first, but we have built a bond that can’t be broken through this experience. 


Operation Retrieve Flip Flop was a success. We really needed this win for our morale. 


Silly times! Look! We’re dirty!


Due to vicious red ant attacks, we resort to resting on a log. Lesson learned: red ants live in logs too. Only 6 minutes left. We are running on empty and are motivating each other by reminiscing about our favorite meals. What I wouldn’t do for some ribs! 


My joints are stiff from lack of water, and it takes me almost 3 minutes to exit log. We are almost late to hike to extraction! 

 
 I have never been so happy to hear a train in my life! We are so ecstatic, we cry, and hug, and cry some more! 

After our grueling 21 minutes in the wild, Alyssa and I have learned a lot about ourselves and nature. First, nature sucks, and it messes up your manicures and pedicures. It also makes you sweaty and dirty. Ick. Second, we are both confident that given an opportunity to travel to some remote location as a part of the show, Naked and Afraid, we would survive for precisely 10 minutes. Nature isn’t for the weak or lazy, and we are lazy as fuck.

 The chick at Starbucks acted like we were rabid, or on crack. We forgot we smeared charcoal on our faces. Oops. 

Memories

 

Holly
One of the crazy bishes I lived and loved with. Also, back before I shaved my man arms!

“Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose” The Wonder Years

We all remember our first taste of freedom-that time in your life when the tight grip of the metaphorical fist loosens up and you break free. The time in your life when you feel no fear in saying goodbye, because what awaits you is too exciting to feel homesick. I remember that time vividly, and wish I could relive it on a daily basis. It was a time of momentous change in my life. I was single for the first time in years. and my life was decidedly going to be all about me for once. I was young, carefree and I no longer had to hear my father say 100 times a day, “Rinse your dish when you are done.” If I didn’t want to rinse my dish, guess what? I didn’t have to (I did, however, come to find that a sink full of dirty dishes pretty much smells like death, so I ended up just rinsing the damn dish). It was an indescribable feeling to be on my own for once. I don’t think I could properly explain in words the way it felt, but you all know. You know.

My first roommates were my two best friends. The first night in our apartment was spent drinking vodka straight out of the bottle while we watched Santa Clause 2. Oh yes, we knew how to party. The next night was spent drinking half a bottle of watermelon Pucker, because the other half I spilled on the carpet. Best friend number dos made her famous waffles and poached eggs for dinner. We ate A LOT of waffles and poached eggs. I am 100% certain it was not because waffle ingredients and eggs were cheap; it was because those were the only two things in the world she could make (pretty impressive if you ask me. I still have to read the macaroni and cheese box for instructions). To this day, I do not know how we survived on our diet. The only liquid in our apartment was the alcoholic variety and the only food found in the fridge was an odd jar of pickles and some butter. Nutritious, yeah? The third night in our first place I found out that a whole roll of toilet paper generally does not flush well. I also found out that if Daddy and his plunger aren’t there, you have to do it yourself. Also, an over-flowing toilet travels fast…The fourth night in our apartment we broke our dryer. Let me tell you, a panty chandelier is quite the conversation piece.

Oh and…we thought we were so damn cool. We found a convenience store that would sell us booze and then we would go home with our prize and play drunk Skipbo. We would drag main in my ‘86 Mazda 626, with purple tinted windows, blaring Adam Sandler’s “Piece of Shit Car”. We thought we were hilarious. We would blast music and dance half naked on the coffee table (Poor coffee table, RIP). We would get in huge fights, throw clothes, keyboards and play mariachi music to piss each other off, and then the next day we would laugh at our stupidity. We would forget to pay the bills and rack up the credit cards. We were young and stupid, but we were wild and liberated. Yes, I still feel the brunt of my young stupidity, but, damn, was it the time of my life.

As I said before, I was single and ready to mingle. I met new love interests and had fun going on myriad dates. I began to feel like a new, sexier version of me. I developed a swagger that said, “Yeah, you can’t touch this!”  I got inked and pierced and said, “How do you like this?” to people who told me I couldn’t be me. I rebelled. I danced. I lived.

I recall, vividly, a walk around the marina on an early spring day, a few months after day 1 of freedom. The air was cool and crisp, but the sun was warm. I was recalling all the good times spent with my new self, my friends-my roommates, and I felt this overwhelming feeling of complete, total, utter, unadulterated happiness. So, this is what it feels like to be independent and fancy-free!

I can thank my wild ways during this time for being a college graduate at the ripe old age of 27, but with no regrets. It was worth it. I still love the girls I shared that time with. They belong to a time in my life that has a special place in my heart, right up on the shelf full of “never forgets”. I still can’t help laughing whenever I hear “Everybody in the Club Gettin’Tipsy”  by Chingy, and think of how we would shake our bums to that song in our socks and panties, with twinkling eyes, full of big dreams.