Apply yourself, Stupid.

What feels like a lifetime ago, but was, in reality, only a couple short months ago, at a restaurant (remember those?), the Manfriend told me I don’t apply myself. (Was that a run-on sentence? Er, question?) Anyway, it struck a nerve. And I totally let it ruin what would turn out to be one of our last visits to a restaurant. (Dang, I miss restaurants. And leaving the house.)

But this totally isn’t about restaurants (although, I miss them so much, it might turn out that way). No, this is about the truth of what he said. I don’t apply myself. I’m not sure a day has gone by (at least during the last 58 days I’ve been “temporarily” unemployed) (quotes because it’s only a matter of time that “temporary” becomes permanent) that I haven’t thought about that statement.

AND ABOUT HOW TRUE IT ACTUALLY IS.

I don’t apply myself. Oh, let me count the ways.

1. I hate my job. But I haven’t applied myself to finding a new one. (But, I mean, come on. Why bother now, amiright?)

2. I want to create digital embellishments for scrapbooking. But I haven’t applied myself to even figuring out how that’s done.

3. I want to start working out at home. Because walking is getting motherfucking BORING. But I haven’t applied myself to that, either. Never even done it once. IN 58 DAYS!

4. I want to learn how to bake bread. (And, no, not just cuz everyone is doing it!) My mom started baking her own sourdough years ago and I’ve been intrigued by the process. But applied myself I have not. (Like Yoda.)

5. I want to volunteer at church. Because serving others and, also, I HAVE NOTHING BUT TIME ON MY HANDS. But nope.

6. I want to learn Spanish. Now I could argue that with this I actually have applied myself (I’m on a 19-day Duolingo streak, thank you very much), but in reality? I’ve been wanting to learn Spanish since I started working in a 99% Spanish-speaking department. 8 YEARS AGO. Apply myself to that? Of course not. Of course I would apply myself to that only when it becomes unnecessary.

7. I want to lose weight. But, like, for good this time (LOL). Apply myself? No, instead I bought cookies while at Trader Joe’s. (Applying myself to cookies has never been an issue.)

I want to start a gratitude journal. I want to take more pictures. I want to learn a new skill. I want, I want, I want. But do I actually do any of it? Say it with me: No.

I apply myself to Instagram. I apply myself to Yahtzee and Scrabble. I apply myself to reading (but even then, not so much… I mean, I read one book this entire year until, under stay-at-home orders, I finally started reading Harry Potter). I apply myself to scrapbooking… sometimes. (You’d think with all this time on my hands I’d be all caught up, but no. So, even that’s kind of a fail.) I apply myself to watching Gilmore girls.

So, basically I apply myself to laziness which is really not applying myself at all and nothing whatsoever to be proud of. And, in hindsight, the Manfriend’s words struck a nerve because they were so, so true and, honestly, how dare he attack me like that.

Now, truth be told, I have no idea how to end this because I have absolutely no idea what’s to be done about any of it except to finally start applying myself. (Obvi.) But what does that look like? I’m going to have to think about this for a minute. Stay tuned. (I really freaking hope there’s something to stay tuned for.)

Oh, and also? Scrapbooking, Yahtzee, Scrabble, and Gilmore girls? When did I become such an old woman?

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Zion

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The manfriend and I spent last weekend in Zion. And dude. Amazing.

I’ve been there twice before. Once for a quick day hike with family and a second time for a spur-of-the-moment solo trip after my sister (who promised we’d go hiking when she got home) bailed on me. I still wanted to go, so fuck it. I went.

Even after two visits, I had no idea what Zion was really like. It’s gorgeous. And hot. Vast. Green. Dry. Wet. I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore.

We hiked all day for two days. We hiked Angel’s Landing which was scary and awesome and exhilarating and like nothing I’ve ever done before. The manfriend, who stares death in the face and laughs, was like a kid in a candy shop… if the candy shop were a 1,400-foot drop to your death if you make one wrong move in any direction.

Before we started the hike, I told him, “I need you to have just a little bit of fear for your life right now.” Because he doesn’t. He’s zero percent afraid to die. Because the boy is stupid excited to go to Heaven. I’m excited, too, but like, within reason.

I googled pictures of Angel’s Landing (because I was too scared to take any while I was actually doing it) and holy shit, I did that?!

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This is so not Financial30.

That is exactly what I said to the Manfriend yesterday after he purchased a grill that cost as much as a new cell phone. And you know what cell phones cost these days, right? A LOT. Like, I think I spent more on my new cell phone than I did on my laptop. (I may be broke now, but at least I have things.)

On May 7, the Manfriend and I embarked on what we are calling Financial30. Which is just like Whole30, but with money instead of food. On Whole30 you can’t eat. On Financial30 you can’t spend. Get it? We said no frivolous spending for 30 days. (We also said it’d be fun. Ha.)

I knew I had bad spending habits (I need all the things!), but it was pretty eye-opening those first couple of days when I suddenly could not buy all the things. And after having just moved into a new place, I easily could have bought all the things on Amazon with a couple taps on my new phone. (They make it so easy.)

First we failed Financial30 by buying new cell phones. We didn’t consider this a fail at the time, though. The monthly credit for trading in our old phones meant we’d actually be paying less per month. JUSTIFIED.

Then we failed Financial30 when we went to see Solo. This was already in our financial plans for the month as the Manfriend had bought tickets as soon as they went on sale. (Tickets that were wasted on me as I feel asleep halfway through.) Dinner with friends was part of the plan, too. Not part of the plan were the drinks, snacks, and candy we bought at the theater. (And theater snacks cost almost as much as this new cell phone.)

Then, yesterday, he bought The Grill. Technically, this isn’t my failure as he’s only my Manfriend and not my Husfriend, so this was his purchase with his money. Not mine. (I would have spent the money on something else. Like another gadget. Or a small island.) (And maybe it’s not even a failure at all. He spent so many months researching grills, reading reviews, and talking my ear off about it all that I’m not entirely sure I’d call it “frivolous.”)

So I couldn’t give him a hard a time about buying it. He looked so freaking happy! And his happiness made me happy! (And, plus, now he can cook all the dinners! Holla!) But I laughed as we drove off to Costco (to buy all the meat) and said, “This is so not Financial30.”

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Five. It’s been a while.

Don’t expect this to last long. Regular posting, that is. Cuz it won’t. Trust me. We’ve been here and done this and IT DOESN’T LAST. So don’t expect me to stick around very long. But since I’m here, updates.

1. Back in I-don’t-know-what-month, I imported every blog post from every blog I’d ever created. And then I proceeded to comb through every post to ensure there were no broken links or missing images. And it proved to not only be a daunting and time consuming task, but one that would make me want to punch myself in the face OVER AND OVER AGAIN. Because 25-year-old me was painfully immature, selfish, and actually kind of bratty. And I probably wouldn’t be friends with her.

2. During this process, I finally hit “publish” on a few draft posts. I’m not entirely sure why I never published them before, but I have a feeling it’s because I have completely forgotten (or maybe never knew) how to end a post. Seriously. I get to the end and have said everything I want to say… and I just can’t wrap it up. So I hit save and walk away. But I read these posts for the first time in, like, years and decided they sounded pretty good as is. So, you can read this post about how scary it was to be an Uber driver. This one about my divorce (which was painful to read with all it’s hurt feelings and angst- especially now that I’m over it and happy). Or this one about how I’m a huge asshole and in which I apologize to both an author and an MLB pitcher.

There’s also this one, but it’s not a “post” so much as two sentences about why I hate young people. I came this close to deleting it (cuz it’s dumb), but I still hate young people, so.

3. During The Great Blog Compilation of 2017, I came across a post in which I declared my weight of 219 pounds. 219!! (Not a typo!) Um, did you know that’s OBESE? Happy to report that on any given Thursday (weigh-in day! holla!), I’m within a pound of 160. Haven’t decided on a goal weight yet. The thing is, I don’t feel like I’m trying. And if I have to pick a goal, then I have to actually start trying, right? I’d rather just keep eating and figure it out when I stop losing. Seriously, this has been the best most not-deprived way I’ve ever lost weight. I mean, sure, I had to basically stop eating everything I loved but once I got used to it and stopped crying, EASY PEASY.

4. Some things don’t change. I still don’t know how to end a post. In fact, I started writing this one (yes, this one, the one you’re reading) back in April and every time I come back to finish it, I scratch my head in confusion. What were my plans for numbers 4 and 5? After reading a lifetime’s worth of old blog posts, especially the ones where I spent TWO YEARS dragging my sad corpse of a marriage through divorce, there was so much I wanted to say, so much that has changed, so much that I needed to tell the world! Alas, I can never remember so I close the draft with every intention of coming back to it later. Here we are, a month later, WRITING ABOUT NOTHING. Still can’t remember.

5. I’m sure I could go back and read through some of those old posts to try and trigger my memory, but honestly? You couldn’t pay me enough. They’re either sad and pitiful or young and immature (see comments above about hating young people). And they’re not at all a good time. Right now, there are 15 old posts sitting in my draft folder waiting to be re-published once I find their missing images (where do images go, anyway?) and every time I start to work on them, I feel my 35-year-old spirit slowly dying inside.

(Dying spirits. How’s that for ending a post?)

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Whole10

This morning the manfriend and I woke up and high-fived each other on a successful Whole10. (Except that I’m lying about the whole high-five part. Because mornings are rough and I felt like death when the alarm went off.)

And I know what you’re gonna ask. What’s Whole10? Is it anything like Whole30? To which I would reply, yes! It is exactly like Whole30! In fact, it’s so like Whole30 that it IS Whole30 except for, you know, it’s only 10 days. Which is kind of silly because it’s basically all of the awfulness of Whole30 and none of the benefits.

So, why did we do this? Because despite maintaining our healthy, Whole30 ways since September, the manfriend and I have slipped a bit. We used to treat ourselves on one weekend day… which, over time, became both weekend days… and then Friday nights… and then Friday morning for my one weekly latte… and then all the sudden we were, like, the worst Whole30 spokespersons ever. (I don’t think that’s actually a thing.)

Then we moved and I swear the only thing I packed was the kitchen so I’d have an excuse to eat out every night. Because FUCK. COOKING. (I’m only slightly resentful of all the cooking I have to do to be healthy. Some days I’m not even sure why I want to be healthy at all! And I think that if I were one of those girls who could eat whatever she wanted and still be a size 2, I’D BE THAT GIRL. And Whole30 wouldn’t even mean anything to me! Because I’d be too busy eating and being thin. Except I’m not that girl. I’m the girl who looks at food and gains weight. No, really. I sniffed a donut yesterday and my pants got tighter.)

So, after all the sweets (oh, the sweets) and eating out, I asked the manfriend to participate in a reset of sorts with me. Just 10 days, I said. And he halfheartedly (at best) agreed.

And while 10 days may have been all I needed (we’ll see), I’ve been arguing with myself over just finishing the full 30 days because I know it’s about to get SO GOOD. All the energy and other good stuff kicks in halfway through and it’s awesome. Seriously, I tell my manfriend often that I don’t really want to do Whole30 again, but I totally miss the way it makes me feel.

Then he reminds me of our plans tonight which include a glass of wine and I’m like, 10 days was the perfect amount of time.

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6 Tips for a Successful Move

1. Procrastinate! Why bother packing today when you can put it off until tomorrow! Or, in our case, until the day of the move! Easily accomplished; just make sad, tired eyes at your Manfriend and remind him what an eventful and exhausting weekend you had traveling to and from freaking Texas and that if he lets you go to bed early tonight you’ll be totally ready to pack tomorrow. This argument can easily be used 2-3 nights in a row. Maybe even more.

2. Be optimistic! Take four days off from work to make the move. Then tell yourself how great it will be when you get everything finished in one day and still have three more to relax! This will not fail to make you feel utterly foolish and defeated when you spend the entire four days moving.

3. Enlist help! Like your annoying little brother! Because even though you’re paying him $10/hour, he’ll still drag his feet and complain every change he gets. And it. Is. Awesome! (Annoying little sisters will also work.)

4. Fight! One good fight in which you cause a scene and someone cries is a necessary part of any successful move. It will also ensure that the 45-minute drive to your new home is silent and uncomfortable while both parties stew. Fun!

5. Fall down the stairs! All you need is hard wood floors and slippery socks, the perfect combination to send you sailing! The key here, of course, is to not break anything, but to fall in such a way that you hit your head and bruise various parts of your body. Because who doesn’t love a good bruise or two? Great for garnering sympathy and attention!

6. Cry! Yes, again! You might think that twice in one night is overkill, but trust me, it’s not. This can be combined with No. 5 above (just a little tip from me to you), or accomplished on its own at the end of the day when your body is exhausted, in pain, and you’re just had enough.

Follow these 6 easy steps and you, too, can have a successfully miserable move! You’re welcome!

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Every of the dress.

My brother is getting married this weekend. In Waco, Texas. Which means, once again, I am spending my hard-earned money traveling to the Lone Star State. As if flying to Fort Worth once a month for FIFTEEN MONTHS wasn’t enough. But I digress.

One weekend about a month ago, the Manfriend and I were out shopping. And when I say “we were shopping,” I really mean he was shopping and I was tagging along for the Starbucks coffee BECAUSE SOME THINGS DON’T CHANGE. I still love me some Starbucks coffee. It’s not as sweet these days (cuz sugar is pure evil), but still amazing.

Anyway, we were in Banana Republic and I was waiting/browsing and stumbled across a dress. A cute dress. And it was on sale! I tried it on, not really expecting it to fit because thin-ish people who used to be fat never get used to clothes fitting, but IT FIT. It was snug yet flattering around all the hills and valleys. The quality felt nice. It was simple without being too casual and dressy without feeling too formal. The perfect wedding attire! I bought it immediately.

Fast forward a month to this past Sunday night. FIVE DAYS BEFORE THE WEDDING. Little brother sends the family a group message informing us that “the wedding is garden party attire” and, even better, their colors are “mauve and green” and “it would be great it you tried to match for the motherfucking family photos.” (He did not say “motherfucking,” I added that for effect.)

Cue stress.

Cue not being able to sleep.

Cue nightmares of me embarrassing the entire family.

I’m not a girly-girl! I didn’t even own a dress before the trip to Banana Republic! (I can feel you judging me.) I wear jeans! That’s all I want in life is to wear jeans!

I’ve spent the last two days shopping, trying on countless dresses, and stressing the fuck out. I came home with two dresses. I thought both were The One. Until I tried them at home on and decided they weren’t. (I have a terrible problem buying clothes that are too big. It’s a former-fat-girl problem.)

Last night, after bringing home dress #2, I was continuing to stress the fuck out (I need SHOES! and a CARDIGAN! and JEWELRY!), when I finally said- Fuck it. I’m wearing slacks.

HEAR ME OUT.

I have nice gray slacks. I have a super cute, super feminine, super flattering, super Spring-y/Garden-Party-Attire-y blouse in different shades of pinks and greens THAT WILL WORK JUST FINE. I have cute shoes. I will buy a cute cardigan. IT WILL ALL BE FINE. I’m sure I won’t be the only girl there that’s wearing pants (to which Manfriend replied, “maybe the only straight one”) and I’m sure I wont embarrass my entire family.

This has to be okay. I need to sleep.

Today, a good friend/co-worker brought me a bunch of dresses to borrow. I will try them on because the girl in me still hopes I’ll find a dress that fits (and is comfortable and flattering and jeans), but if none of them work? I AM GOING TO BE OKAY WITH THAT.

And that’s the end of the great 2018 dress fiasco.

(At least until the next wedding in October.)

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Project: Hair

Not to get all girly on you, but last night I started a hair strengthening project in which I am attempting to do exactly that: strengthen my hair. Because holy breakage, Batman.

I invested in a quality shampoo and conditioner and committed to blow drying from here on out. (Did you know it’s now bad to let your hair air dry? I didn’t either.) And last night I doused my head in olive oil. Because the internet told me to.

Today, despite the normal breaking of hairs while I brushed it this morning (I can’t expect miracles to happen overnight, right?), my hair feels softer, lighter, and smells amazing. So maybe I’m on the right track?

Now I just need a good haircut. Because I haven’t had a good (or bad) haircut since 2015. I know! It was like my boyfriend moved to Texas and I just gave up on life.

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Remembering Mumford

I saw Mumford & Sons in concert four weeks ago and, blessed as I am with my mother’s memory, I’m already starting to forget. I’m not a concert-goer. No band or group or duo or person has ever moved me enough to see them live (at least not in the last few years). Until Mumford. Don’t know what it is. Maybe the voice. Maybe the man. Maybe the combination. Maybe the music. (Despite singing along at the top of my lungs, their intricate lyrics and hidden meanings are lost on me and I don’t usually know what it is I’m singing about.) (Please don’t tell Marcus I said that.)

Whatever it is, I love him. I mean, them. Obviously I mean them as the whole band is awesome, but really I just want Marcus Mumford to sing for me on command and then maybe do unspeakable things to me in private.

But I digress. Here is everything I remember about the concert (because I forget everything and blogging is nothing if not a way to keep my memories alive).

It was Saturday, June 24, 2017.

At The Joint. In the Hard Rock Hotel. In Vegas.

Where it was 112 degrees.

We spent $150 on a buffet at Caesar’s Palace the morning of the concert. Which was wasted on my Manfriend and I as neither of us eat seafood and I’m convinced that’s where you get your money’s worth.

Stuffed to the point of bursting, we walked 2 miles in 112 DEGREES to the Hard Rock to scope out the venue. All tickets were “general admission” and “standing room only.” If a line was going to form, I was going to be at the front of it.

The doors opened at 7. The concert started at 8. We were told they would allow people to line up at 6. Someone else then told us 5.

We went back to our hotel to throw up, shower and get ready and got back to the Hard Rock at 4. Just in case.

Security told us we had to at least look like we were doing something other than waiting to wait so we walked back and forth a few times.

At 4:30, the official line formed.

Periodically this chick security guard (and a major force to be reckoned with) would walk back and forth to explain the rules. You know, the basics. No pushing. No shoving. No drugs. No weapons. The young people behind us were super critical, but at 34-years-old-almost-35, I really appreciate rules.

We stood in line for almost 3 hours and it was TOTALLY WORTH IT. When we finally got inside the venue, I about peed my pants when I saw how close we were to the stage.

And, when I say close, I mean WE WERE 10 FEET AWAY FROM INAPPROPRIATELY TOUCHING MARCUS MUMFORD.

At 8, people walked on stage. They called it an opening act, but I don’t know who it was and don’t ask me what they were doing up there. All I could think about was how maybe Mumford wasn’t worth it because OH MY GOD IT’S HOT. There were so many people and we were practically on top of each other. At one point, I could feel a drop of sweat slide down my back. Also, I could feel the arm of the dude next to me pressed shoulder-to-wrist up against mine. Gross.

But he wasn’t moving and neither was I.

Jason said, don’t worry, when the band gets on stage, you’ll forget all about it. But, in the midst of my miserableness, I wasn’t convinced.

Despite not knowing each other, the crowd acted as a close-knit family or sorts. Mumford was bringing us together. People were sharing stories of other Mumford concerts and I quickly realized I was amongst die-hards.

I saw more than one person with a tattoo of the band’s logo. (Although, I’m still not convinced it was the band’s logo and not actually the tour logo, but who knows.) (Even Google isn’t totally clear on this.)

Jason was right. When Mumford finally came out, I forgot all about my discomforts.

The crowd (myself included) went nuts. We were so loud. Cheering. Singing. Not getting enough.

But, super-duper honesty time? I was expecting more than just singing. They hardly spoke to us at all.

They seemed tired. Or sad. I’m not sure which. (Maybe Marcus needed a hug. Maybe I should’ve given him one.)

They performed the next night at a festival in southern California (which would have been way closer to home, but I wanted the intimate setting The Joint provided). Jason’s co-worker went. She’s seen them live 5 times already (not fair) and said the same thing. They weren’t themselves.

Don’t get me wrong. They sounded amazing live. It was incredible to see them and see them so close. But I wanted the Mumford that sang at the Grammys back in 2011 and fucking rocked out hard with a look of pure joy on their faces like they knew they had tapped into something so fucking precious and right. (Which is exactly the same look I had on my face as I watched them.)

Also? I wanted the Mumford that took one look at me and fell madly in love. Where was that Mumford?

The concert only lasted minutes. At least, that’s what it felt like. I can hardly remember now what songs they sang, but I know I sang along to every single one.

After, I grabbed Manfriend’s hand and said, please, can we just go sit somewhere quite for a minute? Because holy crap. The people. The heat. The noise.

We found a bar around the corner that was blessedly empty and surprisingly quiet (except, of course, for the ever constant jingle-jangle of the casino). We drank overpriced beer and dissected the concert to within an inch of its life and, once we had taken the edge off, we were ready to party.

Originally, when Manfriend told me about his co-worker (the bitch who attends all the M&S concerts?), my reaction had been one of disdain. I mean, why would you see the same group over and over again? Aren’t there any others you’d like to see live? But now I get it. ‘Cause if Manfriend and my finances would allow it, I’d quit my job and follow Mumford around the world (mostly in hopes of him doing those unspeakable things to me, but I suppose I’d go just for the music, too).

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18 Things on Day 18.

1. I knew time would fly by, but wow, it’s already Day 18.
2. Only 12 more days!
3. I know you could’ve done the math yourself. I’m sorry.
4. No tiger blood yet.
5. No benefits of any sort, really.
6. Except that I feel great about my choices.
7. And that’s way better than feeling guilty and remorseful.
8. Also, I may be sleeping more soundly and waking up less often.
9. But that could be because I’ve been going to be late and I’m tired.
10. I’m still craving juice.
11. And Wilson’s Creek Almond Champagne. (It makes the best mimosas.)
12. I experience this weird energy lull between 9am and 11am every day.
13. But maybe I just don’t want to be at work.
14. I don’t feel like I’m losing any weight, but I never do even when I am.
15. I always just feel like a fat blob.
16. My goal? Is to lose weight naturally eating a whole foods diet.
17. Which means no more counting. Points or calories or grams or ounces.
18. And whatever weight that is? Be happy about it.
19. But can I be happy if I never fit into my skinny jeans again? I guess only time will tell.

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