Until We Meet Again…Goodbye.

I am shutting this blog down.

I started this blog just a little over two years ago, and had moderate success with it when I first began.  I probably wrote better back then.  Or didn’t get so distracted. Or worried about it having a purpose. Whatever the reason, my readership/comments have slowly declined into almost nothing and I can’t really blame anyone but myself.  I haven’t been dedicated enough to write anything interesting or even well. Frankly, I’m bored with this. If I’m bored, I can’t expect people who read this to be anything but bored either.

This isn’t to say this ends my blogging days.  I will keep this blog up until I’m done creating my new project.  I can’t say the same type of people who read this blog will be attracted to my next blog, but I’m more excited about it and I think that’s what matters the most at this point.

Thanks to the loyal few who have stuck around to read, hit “like”, or comment. I hope you stay tuned for what’s next.

xoxo,

B.

Looking Through the Window.

When I was about four years old, my dad started building our new house.  The land he built it on was given to us by my grandparents, who lived just in front of us.

When I would walk to school in the morning, I could look through the large picture window, into the dining room of the house my grandpa built, to see them sitting at the breakfast bar.  My grandpa always sat at the far left, next to the radio, hunched over his ceramic mug of coffee that never seemed to leave his side throughout the day.  My grandma was always in the bar stool next to him, most likely eating some health granola or grape nut cereal with a small glass of juice.  The two empty stools next to her were what remained from my dad and aunt’s childhood.

My grandparents and I when I was 5 or 6 in my grandpa’s meticulously tended garden. Said “picture window” in the background.

When I played in the yard at night, I could look through the same window and see my grandpa sitting at the head of their long dining table just behind the breakfast bar, with my grandma sitting to his left, eating dinner.  She would gaze back out the window, and you could see in her expression that her mind was in past thoughts or new ideas.  There was probably always something exciting going on in that brain – after all, she was an incredible writer.

Four years ago, my grandma passed away.  It was hard on our family, but probably harder on my grandpa. Sitting, even more hunched, over his coffee cup, alone.  Eating dinner at his enormous, hand-made dining room table at night, alone. It was a heartbreaking sight after a big loss.

Last weekend, after a battle with a failing system, my grandpa passed away.  I can’t tell which is more sad — Looking up and seeing my grandpa sitting alone with his radio, or looking up and seeing no one.

I keep thinking that the pang of sadness that hits me every time I look through the window on my way out the door may not have been so bad if my grandparents weren’t such creatures of habit and schedule; If I hadn’t counted on them to be within the frame of the dining room window into my adolescence and adulthood.

All week, I’ve been dealing with a roller coaster of emotions on dealing with the death of my grandfather, and with it the reminder of the death of my grandmother.  Pride, guilt, sadness, fondness, wishing that time could go back.  I keep thinking if I knew what I know now, I would have been a better granddaughter, I would have tried to learn more from them, cherish the time I had with them more.  But I don’t, and that’s a frustratingly hopeless feeling.

This probably won’t be the last post about my grandfather. Or my grandmother.  And I hope as time goes on, and I write about these two truly incredible people some more, I will stop feeling so sad.

xoxo,

B.

Saving Seattle One Game at a Time: An Open Letter to Pete Carroll & The Seahawks.

Dear Mr. Carroll,

According to my parents, I have always been a sports fan. Their first clue came when they figured out that the best way to quell my infant fussing was to put me in front of a ball game (see: perfection in parenting 101!).  As a toddler I would wave my hands wildly about, my feet scrambling underneath me in various directions, better known as “dancing” while Hank Williams wailed “Are you ready for some footbaallll?!?!” over the TV set speakers.  If I wasn’t doing that, I would cheer for the “He-Hawks”, clad in my gray Seahawks dress, toting plastic-stringed pom-poms that were half the size of my body, and professing proudly that I was a “He-Hawk Girl”.

A large portion of my childhood nostalgia also centers around watching the Mariners from behind home plate in the Kingdome; looking behind and above me to see Dave Niehaus perched in the press box announcing the game, catching whizzing bags of peanuts from “Rick the Peanut Guy”, and watching Griffey slide into home to help us clench the title of A.L. Divisional Champs.

Sadly, in my 2.5 decades of living, Seattle sport fans and I have had little to celebrate. A declining MLB franchise, our historically bad NFL team, and the loss of our NBA team has done nothing but deflate our optimism.  Sure, we made it to the Superbowl for the first time ever in 2006 and it was a huge deal, but did anyone expect us to get there? No. Did anyone want us there? Definitely not.  Was our whole city behind us?  Not like it is now.

Four years ago, it was announced that you would be the new head coach of the Seattle Seahawks. I remember feeling a rush of optimism, knowing all you had done not only for the team at USC, but for the community surrounding USC.  You had a history of winning and a decidedly strong character.

My dad, not so convinced, rambled on about how NFL players were much different than college players.  More weathered. Less easy to energize.  Harder to discipline. Not only have you proven him wrong, but you’ve surpassed my most optimistic expectations.

Over the course of four years, we have watched you rollover the team and rebuild.  Each year we have watched you create a more powerful force.  We’ve seen you adding more and more essential characters to assemble the young, energized, and disciplined group known as the Seattle Seahawks.  Us 12’s have been proud and loud for years, you’ve just given us something to back up that pride and enthusiasm.

Your success has created something hardly ever seen in Seattle: Community. Brotherhood & Sisterhood. Faith.  People who have never watched football are now tuning in to see what the Seahawks are going to do next.  Together these things are joining this little-big city of ours together and melting the face off our so-called “Seattle Freeze”.   High-fives, hugs, laughter, and even photos are being shared together among friends and strangers alike, all in celebration of this team that you’ve created. That you’ve put every fiber of your being into.

You, sir, are saving Seattle.  And I think in some ways you already have.  You are putting us on the map.  You are making the non-believers, believers.  You are turning strangers into friends.  You are finally pulling the heads of football fans, commentators, analysts and general nay-sayers out of the sand and forcing them to pay attention to us.  To see what we have and to fear it. To reckon with it.

In just hours, this sport fan along with thousands of others in Seattle will be halting everything else to watch the most important game of this season yet. To support you and these dreammakers and wishgranters lovingly known as the ‘Hawks and hopefully watch you all carry us into that really big game a few weeks away.

No matter what happens now and what happens in the future – this group will always be remembered, celebrated, and loved for what they’ve done for this city.  You will always be regarded as my hero. Seattle’s hero.

Good luck, and GO HAWKS!

xoxo,

12th-woman-B.

Is This What Growing Up is Like?

There is currently a list of foods stored on my phone that looks like this:

1. Milk
2. Spinach
3. White bread
4. Sugar-free Syrup
5. Sugar-free Red Bull
6. Black coffee
7. Chocolate
8. Vodka

No, this isn’t some sort of really odd grocery list of a diabetic, caffeinated, processed-food-loving drunk that is attempting “health” by adding spinach to the mix.  This is a list of foods that I can no longer eat (or I shouldn’t eat).  Whether it brings heartburn or an angry stomach, all of these things are bad news for B.

I found out as a teenager that I was lactose intolerant.  It wasn’t until recently when I was in the middle of a green smoothie craze, that I found out I’m also intolerant of spinach.

Spinach? Really?  But it’s a whole food! It’s healthy! Chock full of nutrients! Unprocessed! I should be fine, right? In fact, I’ve eaten a generous amount of spinach my entire life.  But now.  Now, my stomach says otherwise.  It took three instances in which I was keeled over with horrific abdominal pain (no other additional symptoms, just horrible pain) for hours after I consumed spinach for me to finally figure out what the deal was. I’m not allergic. I won’t die. I’m just intolerant. Just like milk and all dairy products; however the effects of spinach are far more painful and disruptive to me.

I remember fondly the days where I could eat basically anything without my body feeling pain or discomfort. Is this a sign that I’m not the spring chick I used to be?  That, like my glory days of being tennis team captain superstar (hah.), these foods need to just be let go?

Being that I feel perpetually 12, I have a hard time growing up (I’m already dreading my looming 26th birthday) so the fact that my body just can’t eat and drink like it used to is something I’ve tried to ignore.  Mind over body!  Nope.  I just can’t ignore it anymore. I feel like there’s a fire in my throat after a few sips of coffee and I just can’t deal.  Not to mention how hard this is on someone who regrettably has referred to herself as a “foodie”.

I’m also kind of hippie-dippy when it comes to stuff like this and refuse to take medications to help me consume these foods.  Sigh.

Since one of my resolutions was to focus on my health, I decided creating a list of things I eat before I have a bad reaction will help me pinpoint exactly what causes it, and then I can eliminate whatever is causing me discomfort (or take it to my GP so that he can help me figure it out).

It really puts a damper on that whole “living in the moment” thing that young people do, you know?

Is there anything you’ve loved to eat that ended up being your body’s worst enemy?  I’m still mourning the loss of spinach, myself. Please share your food woes with me!

xoxo,

B.

Another One of Those Damn Lists.

To be frank, I hate New Year’s resolutions.  I’ve always hated New Year’s resolutions.  I’ve adamantly tried to avoid having them; or I give it a different name like goals or hopes or something else equally stupid.

Part of me wonders if I’ve avoided them because I’m inherently defiant and rebellious.  I’ve tried so hard to not be the conventional brown or red or blue crayon, but the type of crayon you only get in the special jumbo packs like razzmatazz or Screaming Green or Jazzberry Jam. But the truth is, sometimes I do want what everyone else likes or or I do want to do what everyone else wants to do: like making a list of resolutions.

The thing about resolutions is that if you never tell a soul, you never have to be held accountable if you don’t resolve it.  I figure if I share this list on the world wide web, I’ll feel a little more accountable. Or maybe not at all — because somehow, telling the internet and telling no one can oftentimes feel like the same thing, right?

So, without further ado, I present to you my list of resolutions for 2014.

1. Get more fit. Focus on Health.
I know this one is vague.  Of course “lose weight” and “exercise”  are popular resolutions but I feel like that suggests as if I don’t make those daily goals already.  I’ve been on a better eating/working out mission since last spring, so this is just a continuation of that. The holidays are always a difficult time to keep on track, and I’ve admittedly fallen into that gap;  Too many sweets and not enough exercise with the excuse it’s too cold to go outside to run (my main form of exercise). So the resolution is to get back into my groove and keep going.  I also have a trip to El Salvador next thanksgiving to work for.  I’m not trying to be the only rolypoly taking surfing lessons!

I was so stoked to get this as a gift: FitBit Flex! It will sync directly with MyFitnessPal!

2. Budget better. Save more.
I used to be a shopaholic. Ok, I wasn’t really a shopaholic but I did spend a lot of money I should have on clothes/accessories. These days, I’ve managed to displace my over-shopping of clothes and accessories onto coffee & espresso…aka Starbucks and the stand down the street from my office. A few months ago I signed up for this website/app called mint and was horrified at the budget they gave me each month for my caffeine addiction based on my previous few months of spending.  The thought of what I could be saving! For someone who was forced to move back home temporarily to be able to swing also finishing my bachelor’s degree, it caught my attention.  A lot of future goals I have revolve around my available funds, so I want to seriously pay attention to that.

3. Read. Read. Read.
Like I mentioned in my last post, I read a decent amount during the year, but being in school it’s usually stuff I don’t necessarily want to read.  When you have to read something you don’t choose, it almost always seems like a chore and takes forever. When I do get to read at my own leisure, I’m surprised at 1) how voracious of a reader I can be with a good book in hand 2) how inspiring it can be to read a good book and 3) how I can be reminded at how utterly in love with words I am. Especially when put together in a way I’m not used to seeing reading Mass Media Law during my spring quarter of classes.

I started and finished this book on Christmas Day. SO good! I recommend it to everyone and their mother. Don’t wait for the movie!!

So there you have it, folks. My three resolutions for 2014.  There are, of course, a lot of goals and hopes (ugh) revolving around these three resolutions, but none of which can be fulfilled until after these are satisfied. I hope you can keep me to it.

I hope you all had very happy holiday, and will have an amazing  (yet safe) New Years Eve.   I’m raising a proverbial over half-full glass of optimism to a fantastic new year filled with memories and accomplishments galore.

xoxo,

B.

The Christmas Hangover.

I’ve never been married which means I’ve never had a wedding. But each year after Christmas passes I wonder if this is what new brides feel like after 6 months to a year of planning a wedding.

I love Christmas, and I spend a good solid month trying to celebrate it in any way possible. Eggnog lattes, decorating the house, shopping for the perfect gifts, looking at lights, having holiday parties, watching Christmas movies, baking Christmas cookies, listening to Christmas music, spending a good deal of time finding the perfect wrapping paper for my gifts, and sometimes attending PNB’s Nutcracker. However so much preparation is spent for the two days of Christmas Eve and Christmas, that it seems to come and go in a flash.  Enter: Hangover.

If you’re anything like me, here are the 3 signs that you’re in the midst of a holiday hangover:

1. Fatigue
You’ve just spent the last month or more running around town to shop, running around your kitchen to bake or cook, dragging the boxes containing all your Christmas decorations out from the hole you stuffed them in last year and putting them out all over the house, attending holiday parties and dealing with all the traffic Christmas brings. After all that, what would make you even want to move during Christmas?  Not to mention all the weight you’ve put on from holiday goodies make you even less agile as you busy from place to place.

2. Depression
You’re so excited about the gift you bought so-and-so you just can’t wait to open it.  You’re so excited to see what you’re significant other picked out for you. You’re so excited to try out this new holiday recipe.  You’re so excited to look at all the holiday decorations. You’re so excited for the feeling of Christmas all month long. So once your friends and family members have opened your gifts, after you’ve opened yours, after you’ve eaten all the fruits of your labor and had all the joy and cheer you can bear, you wonder what’s next?  How could anything possibly measure up to Christmas and all it’s glory after you just spent a month putting work into it? Nothing can!  Enter post-xmas depression.

These definitely contributed to my holiday weight gain.  My favorite Christmas cookie!  We call them Russian Teacakes.

These definitely contributed to my holiday weight gain. My favorite Christmas cookie! We call them Russian Teacakes.

3. Bloating
You know how you feel after having a night of too much to drink?  That’s kind of like Christmas, but it’s like a full month of having too much to drink. and eat. And with all those Christmas movies to watch, there isn’t much time for movement!  You wake up the day after christmas with the same sick and bloated feeling but with an added amount of dread because it wasn’t just one night, it was a lot of nights! A lot of cookies! A lot of mashed potatoes! A lot of eggnog! A lot of everything you normally wouldn’t let yourself consume on a regular basis! Damn you, holidays.  You made me depressed, tired, and now fat.

The one redeeming quality of the Christmas Hangover, is that you have New Years a week later, which is where all of us on the Christmas Hangover can attempt to right our wrongs of the holiday season.  You know, quit eating sugar, get back into our workout routines, and start seeing a therapist for all that depression (wink).  New year, new you, right?

Hope all of you had a very merry holiday, nontheless!

xoxo,

B.

Oh, and I’m never having a big wedding.

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things.

Last weekend, I blogged about my crummy week and consequently regretted it.

Perhaps it’s the catholic perma-guilt my mom has instilled in me (she actually isn’t catholic, but her family was when she was born so I’m guessing that’s where it came from) or the Scandinavian heritage that suggests I never talk about myself or complain too much that made me think to myself, What a sore loser you sound like! Wah-Wah. Get over it, and for heavens sakes don’t whine to the whole internet about it! Do you know HOW much worse it could be?!

So I apologize to readers out there.  That was one big pity party that should have been avoided.

In an effort to move this attitude around, I wanted to talk about the good things in my life. So I want to get my “Julie Andrews” on and talk about my favorite (mostly non-materialistic) things.

1. My bestie and my boy(friend)Every girl deserves a life-long best friend who will listen to you when you need to vent (or complain) and will celebrate the most with you when things are good. My bestie has been doing these things with me for the last 19 years and I appreciate when she recognizes when I’m having a rough time and makes sure I get out of it.  Same goes with the boy. They’re always there for me when I need them.  In good times and in bad.   If this were an Oprah-style favorite things, you and you and YOU would not get these two. Sorry.  They’re mineallmine.

2. Christmas
I love Christmas even more than pumpkin in the fall.  Christmas movies, Christmas music, Christmas cookies, Christmas TV, Christmas wrapping paper, Christmas lights. Christmas Christmas Christmas!  I love shopping for gifts.  I love trying to find the perfect thing for each friend or family member.  Usually each year, I organize our holiday giving program at work because it means I get to use other people’s money to shop for less fortunate kids, which is so fun! This year I decided to take on a new challenge by signing up for Reddit’s Secret Santa which is a totally cool way to give a gift to a random stranger somewhere across the country (or world!) and you also get one, too!  This year, the Secret Santa exchange made the news when Bill Gates decided to join.  My giftee ended up being really hard to shop for, but I hope he likes it anyway!

3. Cool Instagrams and Blogs
I happened upon this blog and have fallen in love with it, the writer, AND her instagram.  Seriously, nothing she publishes to the internet is ugly.  All the beauty and color from this one person inspires me so much to get creative. Check it out!

4. Books and writingI’ve been using my break from school to get some reading in, which in a way sounds kind of masochistic since I spend my time in school reading. But fun reading is different because I actually absorb the book as opposed to skimming it looking for the answers my teachers want.  I’ve just finished reading Gone Girl, which I highly recommend. I usually do a decent job of predicting how books will turn out but I didn’t predict this one at all which made it that much better for me. I’m currently reading Friday Night Lightswhich if you’re familiar with my recent obsession with the TV show, you’d understand why.  It’s different from what I usually read being as it’s non-fiction but nonetheless it’s a fascinating read about the way of life and football in west Texas in the 80s (I only imagine it’s even crazier now). Still on my list?  Where’d you go, Bernadette? and The Interestings

I’m also trying to write more. Privately, anyway. It’s always been on my list to attempt novel writing.  I doubt that I’ll be able to really start writing during this break, but I’m trying my best to brainstorm and just blindly write to see if I can come up with something of substance.

These are all things that will get me through December and get me through my pity parties. Y’know, the things that actually last when the crummy days come and go.

xoxo,

B.

 

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