Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 in 38 Questions

So, apparently I thought I'd have some more holidays lessons learned to share. And I do, but I came across this blog that had some great reflective questions for 2010...so I've decided to do that instead. It sounded more fun. Sorry, thematic ADD I suppose.

1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?

Left my first professional job.

Moved to another state/district.

Attempted wakeboarding!

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I never make hard and fast resolutions. And honestly, I cant remember what my resolution was from last year! So, I guess I didn't have one to break. I will be making a resolution this year: live healthier. In all aspects - body, mind, spirit etc. I need to get to the gym more often; I need to get outside more often; and be kind to my body (sleep before midnight is supposed to be the best!). This applies to my mind too, so I need to write more, read more and overall have some more creative outlets. So 2011 = healthy bod/mind year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes, a good friend had a baby and it was surreal! I believe I summarized meeting the baby in an earlier post (that's a whole other story), but babies are starting to grow on me..and his sure is a cutie!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Unfortunately yes. It was someone I had been closer with many years ago, but I'll never forget him. He was so full of life and taken far, far too young. His passing brought back some crazy memories and encounters with people I never thought I'd see again. But in the end, strangely enough, that brought me a peace that I'd never had before. And I'm sure he was looking down and laughing the whole time.

5. What countries did you visit?

Sadly 2010 was not a big travel year for me...the good US of A got all of me this year, greedy ho.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?

Money and man love. Basically I guess I'm looking for a sugar daddy? Haha ;) And just more relaxation time. I think I spent 2010 always on the go. I need some down time in 2011.

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory and why?

June 24 - the last day of work at my first "real" job. I loved working there and the people I worked with. But it was time to go, so it was a very bittersweet day that I will always remember. Somehow I managed to keep it together and then once the happy hour started, it was all smiles.

September 11 - the day an underdog college football team kicked a rival schools ass. People refused to even bet me in this game - please.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Getting a new job in June and a potential offer for another.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I dont think I took care of myself like I should. Too much partying and lack of sleep is actually catching up to me. I need to find a better balance.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Despite a minor incident of a faux-heart attack turned heart burn (yes, I called my doctor, family members and multiple friends), I was relatively illness free. Just the usual wear-and-tear from question 9 and seasonal allergies. And the last few weeks of pumping my immune system with airborne. Damn I sound very sickly, gotta change this for '11.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My new MAC!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My old boss. She couldn't have been more gracious when I gave me two-weeks, and she continues to help mentor my career and personal path. She is definitely my role model.

My friends (especially those who went on a certain summer camping trip) and my parents.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

It always shocks me when you think you know someone and then they turn out to not be who you thought. And more so, they turn out to be selfish, cruel and heartless. There was one person in particular this year that "appalled and depressed" me. But now looking back on it, I just feel sorry for him, and those close to him.

There have been others, but I think overall, people just need to be kinder to one another, in every aspect.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Rent, parking tickets, replacement retainer (ugh).

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

My new job! My new apartment in a new city! Summer and spending it with friends and family at the river.

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?

Ah soo many. Right now that Enrique Iglesias song is coming to mind. Also, countless Lady Gaga songs too.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?

a) happier

b) hmm, I'd like to say about the same, but might have packed on a few pounds this holiday season.

c) again, probably about the same, sadly. at least its not poorer!

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Game nights, writing, traveling.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Drinking and staying out late.

Obsessing about things that really don't matter.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

I spent Christmas with my family in Richmond. I recovered from a cold and laid-low most of the time. I did enjoy myself at my families Christmas Eve party and caught up with some good friends.

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?

No, but I think I fell out of love/lust/infatuation with a person that I needed to.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

How I Met Your Mother. Also recently got hooked on old seasons of Dexter and The Tudors, thanks to Netflix.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No.

24. What was the best book you read?

Little Bee by Chris Cleave.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Eric Church

Ingrid Michaelson

Phoenix

26. What did you want and get?

A new job in an environmental field.

27. What did you want and not get?

A boy toy (to keep).

A trip to Ireland.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Oh my, this was tough. My mom always gets me a DVD for Christmas and I had a tough time coming up with one this year! I chose Eat, Pray, Love but now that I think about it, I think my favorite was this kinda unknown moving called Young Victoria. Love historical stuff like that.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 26 in June. It also happened to be my last day at work. So I spent it with coworkers who had become some of my closest friends. Then we ended the night with a going away/birthday happy hour. Another good food threw me a dinner and made the BEST CAKE EVER. (It had dolphins on it). And yet another friend threw me a party out on the town and friends from here and out of town came to celebrate. I definitely felt the love this year for multiple birthday celebrations :)

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

To have some of my friends and family a bit closer. They aren't that far, but sometimes a few trips a year just isn't enough.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?

I think 2010 was the year of: Dress for the Weather. Winter was unusually ridiculous with multiple blizzards, so I dressed warmed for that. Summer was effing hot as hell, so again, I found myself picking outfits that would keep the sweat at bay. Not really stylish, but what can you do?

32. What kept you sane?

Wine with friends. Laughing with friends. Going to the river to get away and chill out with friends and fam.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Derek Jeter still hasn't tied the knot yet...

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Oh politics. Considering where I live, I guess I should care more...but I don't. I guess I had a professional stake in the passing of the Dream Act, but that didnt work out.

35. Who did you miss?

Friends and family.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

This is a hard one. I'd probably have to pick one of my new coworkers who started a week after I did at my new job. It's always scary starting somewhere where you dont know anyone, but we got to do it together, and she's just a hilarious nut.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.

I know I keep bringing this up, but I think 2009 and 2010 both taught me how valuable health is. It's something I've personally always taken for granted, but to be healthy is a blessing. And happiness can stem from a healthy lifestyle.

I've also relearned that some people can suck, some make mistakes, but life goes on. People are also good and can surprise you. Be grateful. Things can start looking different.


38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

When I get home tonight
I’ll open the window an’ let whatever roll in
An’ if there’s no breeze, that’s cool with me
I’ll just raise my sail, an’ wait on the wind, yeah

Yeah tomorrow I'm takin’ me fishin’
Hang a sign on the door of my life
Tell the world that I’ve gone missin’
An’ I won’t be back for a while
I’m so tired of only wishin’
I could leave my troubles behind
I wanna be front porch rockin’
With a big sun droppin’ in a blue sky
Kick back an’ get high
Kick back an' get high
On the livin’ part of life

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holiday Lessons Learned: Part 1

I've only been home for the holidays for a little over 24 hours and I'm already picking up some valuable lessons for the holidays, and well, life in general. Since I have a good 5 more days at home (including the actual big day, including family christmas eve party with massive amounts of alcohol), I'm sure there will be far more lessons to be gleaned this festive time of year. But for now:

1. Do not go near a Bass Pro Shop within one week of Christmas. I never really understood my brother's obsession with this place, but not knowing what else to get a 25-year-old grad student for Christmas, I thought a gift card would hit the I'm-extremetly-into-fishing spot. The first obstacle was finding the damn store. Its highly visible off the highway, but is there an exit pointing to it? No. Did it show up in my GPS? No - but a Bass Pro Shop 145.7 miles away did; helpful. After driving around an industrial park for about 15 minutes, screaming profanities in my car and finally 411-ing the hell-hole of a store, I found it was right across the street. Maybe the MASSIVE fish monument (I think that's appropriate, given the size) chilling on the side of the rode should have been a slight indicator. Everyone and their brother, sister, uncle, cousin, grandma got run over by a reindeer were there. I'll admit, my hometown probably enjoys this place more than the typical average city-goer would, but wow. This place is an experience. They freakin' sell popcorn outside like you are going to the movies. I got my gift card, and got the hell out of there. Brother, you better appreciate this gift. OMG I shit you not, a f*ing Bass Pro Shop commercial just came on TV. It's taking over.

2. If you drink enough Airborne, you'll begin to enjoy the taste. I'm fighting a cold, and am hell-bent to get rid of it before Christmas if at all possible. So, I've been taking Airborne: Very Berry flavor, every 4 hours, on the hour, since I got home. At first I was all "gulp, gulp, gag, gaaaag, ack, blach, gulp". But I'm sitting here sipping on a nice cold class right now and almost forget I was taking a nasty medicine. According to their website this is their "newest taste sensation". Love it - gotta try Pink Grapefruit next. Only four mor hours until my next dose! :)

3. Remember the movie The Santa Clause? It's been on ABC Fam a lot this season and I sat down to relive the magic of this classic movie with the dude from Home Improvement. Um, this movie came out 16 years ago!? I was like, did I do my math right? I was 10 when this movie came out?? That just doesn't seem right does it?? Oh my.

So that's my little gift to you this season....the wisdom of knowing that Bass Pro is taking over the world and Airborne is taking over my immune system b/c I'm sick and old (considering the decade+ that has past since this old Christmas classic came out). Like how I tied all that together?

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Five Minutes

Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010. (Author:Patti Digh)

Summing up 2010 in five minutes? Challenge accepted!

Ringing in the New Year with best friends - resulting in some amazing memories (see post entitled Scarf), new friends and minor injuries. Mother nature at it's best, resulting in the (2-3?) biggest snowfalls I've ever seen; a week off work and major alcohol consumption followed by many, many, game nights. A new job and a move to a new city/district. A memorable camping trip that was a true combination of the good, the bad and the ugly (if my friends are still friends with me now after that disaster, they are true, blue). Dates with some nice guys, dates with some crazy dates, dates with some unbeknownst married guys, and the wrath that followed when found out. Many wonderful weekends at the river with friends and family, soaking up the sun, chilling on the dock and generally enjoying life at it's best. Making it to not quite 10 Nats games and rooting on the Yankees to another almost world series appearance - next year boys! Losing a good friend, and facing the inevitable ex that I'd yet to confront. Strengthening friendships and being reminded that while there is a lot of I still want, I'm pretty damn lucky.

5 minutes is not enough, but that's a snapshot ;)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

One word: Movement

Well, I certainly was on my high horse that last few posts - going off about how I love to write and proclaiming to write something every day in November. Hmm, did real well with that one. 2010 is wrapping up and my blog posting the second half of the year has been just abysmal. But, I came across a site today that has inspired me: Reverb 10 is an online initiative that encourages participants to reflect on this year and manifest what's next. They post a new prompt each day; now I'm not promising to keep up each day, but for the prompts that inspire me, I hope to see a few more entries under December. So, to begin this project, they ask you to encapsulate the year 2010 in one word...then, to imagine it's one year from today and describe the word you hope captures 2011.

I think the word the best encapsulates 2010 for me is movement. This year has highlighted by two major changes: I moved from a comfortable job to a new job in a field I'm passionate about. I'm currently in the process of pursuing another opportunity that will continue propelling me forward. I also moved from the state I've lived in my entire life. Granted, it was just across "state" lines, but it's still a move.

I contemplated using change, but I think movement is a better term. Change seems very black and white; it feels like you have a start and end goal. But my life over the past year continues to propel me forward, to an ultimate goal of fully finding myself, and complete, overall happiness. To me, movement, "a series of organized activities working toward an objective" defines my past year. These outside changes (new job, new place) has only further fueled internal changes and opened more questions for myself. 2010 was a great stepping stone; I'm still not unsure of my final destination, but I feel like I'm on the right path.

For 2011 I want my word to be: love. There were a lot of words that popped in my mind: decisiveness, spice. And these are things I want, but ultimately I'd love (see that?) to describe the year as love. A friend asked me how I'd describe my life and I said I was content with my life. But, he made the absolutely correct point that i should LOVE my life. So i want that for 2011. I'm ready for a relationship with a nice lad (where are you boys?). I want to love my life everyday when I wake up, grateful for my friends and family and all the awesome people in my life. I think I get overwhelmed with all the amazing choices in my life and I get blinded to the point that I stop appreciating what I have. I need to love the decisions I make. I need to accept my life is continually moving, and changing, and love all the craziness that comes with that!

Movement and love. Sounds like a a bad romance novel/porn fail :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Scarf

In honor of NaNoWrMo, I've decided to try and compose the next great American novel. But, to keep it from my loyal readership for an entire month is just wrong. So I will attempt to write and post a chapter of my masterpiece each day of November. The goal of NaNoWrMo is write 50,000 words in a month. Now I dont know if I'll reach that goal, but my personal goal is to entertain. This is more a sneakpeak into a group of friends. Each "chapter" will be a snippet of their lives and the chaos that typically ensues. Enjoy.

It was the eve of a new year and "the gang" was gearing up to ring in 2010 together at Blackberry's NYE party. Having just really formed a strong group bond a few months before, this was to be the first NYE they would ring in together. Being the Italian Mother (IM) that she is, IM offered to help set up and make some food for the occassion. Not wanting to look like a total bum, I agreed to help and even attempt to cook. The night began innocently enough with the three of us whipping up culinary delights, including a fruity but sensibily spiked juice, and awaiting the guests, and inevitable craziness.

Just like any other night, it began innocently enough. I was sipping on said juice, as were many of the other guests. The hours slipped by as drinking game were played and we tried to wash 2009 down, along with our livers. At some point, the juice - once equal parts juice and alcohol - became a dangerous ratio of 1 million parts vodka to 1/4 of a teaspoon juice. Our friend Italian Stallion learned the hard way that colds and spiked juice, coupled with love, jealousy and apparel loss leads to a shitstorm of miscommunication and broken hearts.

I will say, for his part, Italian Stallion held his own for most of the evening. Forced to witness the loving boyfriend of an ex-conquest, he sucked it up and enjoyed the party. Until he hit the wall. And when you hit that wall of emotions, there is just no going back. And then the little comments started flowing. Reason left the premises and anger entered. Believe me, we all had enough regrets for one year, but alcohol-induced resentment was not what anyone was hoping to see that evening, especially not Italian Stallion's (IS) ex-love, also known as the host of the party.

Blackberry handled the situation with class and kindly told IS to leave. Even his friends knew it was time that they lock that horse up for the night. So, like true friends would, they helped him downstairs to grab his coat. Blackberry made sure he was doing OK too. But it was a really cold night, and Italian stallion could not seem to find his scarf! At that point, etiquette contends that you forego the scarf, go home, and recover your dignity. But he was not leaving without that scarf! All other lucid thoughts of the night had long since left him, but he knew he could not leave without his beloved scarf.

Blackberry had had enough, and rightly so. She again, urged them to leave and asked It. Stallion what could possibly be holding him up. He thought back on all the good times they had spent together after kickball and game nights. He was hurt. How could she not know what he was looking for. The audacity! They had spend 3-4 good dates/slightly drunk makeout sessions together, this was outrageous. He looked at her, and as serious as he'd been all night, said with authority, "YOU know what my scarf looks like." I mean how could she not know what his scarf looks like!? How dare she not be able to pick it out, amongst the many other dozens and dozens of scarves worn that night, strewn across her room.

In the end Italian Stalian got his scarf back. And it's a good thing, he had a long walk of shame home.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I'm baaack!

As is "customary" for this blog (I think customary refers to more than a blog that has been running for slightly longer than this here guy ..but go with it...) I tend to grab summer and all it's glory and run as far from my computer as I can. Which is actually sad because, just this summer in fact, I got this brand new shiny Mac - which I loooove. But, my point being - I'm a little rusty, I need to get back into this ole' blogging thing.

I also want to get back to this because this is my roots. I am a writer. And lately I've been in a rut. Nothing wrong, per say, just not particularly enthused/excited/ecstatic with life. But I think it comes down to my creative release, or lack of one lately. Writing is my release. And writing in this forum, where, even if no one reads, I can still put my words out to the world. "Open my heart to the universe" as a wise friend once said (or a hippie yoga-freak, more likely).

Someone recently responded in shock when I told them what I did for a living. I said with pride, that i was an editor. I write. This person laughed, and then, with a look of absolutely astonishment on their face said, "What!?! You can hardly utter a coherent sentence!" 1. You are an ass. 2. That might be true, but when I sit in front of my computer (old school pen and paper, the machines change, the method does not), I'd like to think I can change that perception. Yes, I have my awkward moments in life. I've accepted that, and I think that lead to many a funny story in my life. Maybe verbally expressing myself isn't my forte. But bottom line is that I'm a writer. I love words. I love telling stories - or re-telling stories.

So this is my way of getting back to who I am. Maybe no one reads this, and that is fine. Maybe if you met me IRL (!!) you'd be shocked at the poetic lyricsm that flows from these fingertips (wink ;) har, har). But as my yoga instructor told me last night, as I nearly fell over for the 5th time during "tree" pose - you have to let the energy flow all the way through, out past your fingertips.

And that's what writing does for me. I take all these crazy, insane thoughts in my head, and I push that energy out through my fingertips, through the keys of this sweet-ass mac, to your screen. My oratory skills my be lacking. Hell, my social skills may need some work. But, damn it, I will write you under the table.

Take it or leave it people, I'm back!

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Memory

It's been months, you've moved on - at first it was a hopeful quest, and then it became something you had to do for your sanity. You tell yourself, and honestly believe that it was for the best. This is how it was supposed to be. Some have even said you "dodged a bullet." You see him pop up on gchat every one and a while. And while it sometimes, still pulls at your heartstrings, you no longer feel what you used to - you no longer feel much at all. And again, you internally pat yourself on the back, thinking of how far you've come. How far the circle of it all has come - from intrigue, to juggling, to the realization to feelings, to slow heartache, to friendship? Or whatever it is that you are now at.

And you go on with your life. You go out with your friends, you have new crushes, get excited about new boys. You are very content, happy in your life. One night you have a lovely birthday dinner with a friend - mac& cheese and a couple glasses of sparkling white on a beautiful and a surprisingly cool night for this hellish summer. Maybe it's the nostalgia a rainy summer night can bring, or that its the same time of the year when you first begin that fun, crazy summer romance, once so carefree. Maybe its in the face of another budding romance that you remember the potential it all once had, but you stumble on a photo. Or a conversation. All those feelings, you long since swept under the rug, come rushing out.

You have the intense urge to talk to him, but know you cant. You know that whatever it was you shared all those months ago, is long since gone. You wonder what he is doing right now, but realize that will get you nowhere. With those that have come in between, there has not been anything close to what you didnt know you had, at the time. You're not comparing, just realize that was something special that wouldnt be as much, if it was so common. Though you sometime question it, you firmly believe everything happens for a reason. Sometimes, those reasons take longer to figure out, and sometimes you never really do. So, you suck it up, remembering the time you never though you'd get to where you are now. You're still surprised by your emotional flashback, but remember it's just that: a flashback. A memory.

"There was a midsummer restlessness abroad - early August with imprudent loves and impulsive crimes. With little more to expect from summer, one tried anxiously to live in the present- or, if there was no present, to invent one." - F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Last Tycoon

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Guest Blogger: Chuck Norris!

(Editor's note: I am happy to bring you the first of what I hope are many guest blog posts. This guest blog is written by a good friend who will be known a Chuck Norris. This codename has a variety of ties with his actual personality, not least of all that he hails from the great state of Texas. Anyways, without further adieu, I give you Chuck Norris.)

Hello. How has your day been going? Never mind that. Now I know we don't know each other, but I want to ask you something. Can you please try to remember this in the future? I mean, try to remember the first time you read this. I ask of this because I don't want you to forget. Not that I don't want you to forget me, but I don't want you to forget the first time you read this. I'm serious. Look at the time. What time is it? Is it 9:09 am? Is it 4:59 pm? Is it cold where you are at? Is it really quiet, or can you hear your obnoxious co-worker going on and on about their weekend trip to Kennebunkport, Maine. Hey, I don't have a problem with New England adventures and cold air coastlines. But when they are visited by and then told of by someone I don't care too much for, I find them hard to like at that moment. Now, if the trip had been revisited by a friend or someone whose company I enjoy, then perhaps I wouldn't say such things. After all, what are friends for?

Surely you can appreciate friends or the company you keep. See, the company you keep at one point or another, must have been a worthwhile endeavor. Can you remember the first time you met a good friend? Your neighbor? Your brother? Your sister? I'm beginning to sound like that guy in that
five-hour energy drink commercial.

Well, let's see, where do I begin?

Let me tell you about the first time I met one of my good friends
(editor's note: me!). I, well I was eating a really boring meal. And she, well she was reading F.Scott Fitzgerald , I think it was This Side of Paradise. I know it wasn't The Great Gatsby, for had it been, I would have been able to talk about Gatsby. Instead it was, "yeah I like Fitzgerald, but not as much as the one who wrote The Snows of Kilimanjaro. Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah." I'm sure if God were watching this unfold, he/she would have been asking, "What day is it? Sunday?" And one of his/her little helpers would have answered, "It's more like Monday."

It's not that listening to the bs or small talk that came out of my mouth wasn't a worthwhile exercise, but anyone reading F. Scott Fitzgerald in the school cafeteria would certainly be able to see right through my bs. And I know you may think BS is bad. But let us examine if by viewing BS from the bigger frame, we can see how much of a good or a bad thing BS might be.

Think.

What if BS never existed? Politiks and perhaps prose would be shown the door immediately. Sen. Joseph McCarthy and the red scare? Nope, as Edward Murrow would have said something much earlier. Christopher Columbus discovering what is now known as the West Indies? Nope, as the Queen would have rejected BS. She knew BS when she saw it. And the Trojan horse? Well, you can forget about that too. So you see, without BS, very important circumstances in our world's history would have been nullified. Instead, they are now vilified! Well somewhat. I don't think shooting the bs with a bound-to-be-friend acquaintance is so bad. I mean, it eventually led to in-depth conversations about life, liberty, and the pursuit of romance. She calls them "heart-to-hearts." But if held after having a few drinks, I call them reality checks (we can talk about reality checks at much later night).

But reality isn't so bad. Once you know that we are all in this together, then you know that BS can be quite fun. If you haven't done it, I urge you to try it. But beware, sophistication doesn't come overnight, and even the best of the best have slipped. Just ask Bill Clinton, Tiger Woods, and Winona Rider.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Saved by the Sea

What are springs and waterfalls?

Here is the spring of springs,

the waterfall of waterfalls.

A storm in the fall or winter

is the time to visit it;

a light-house or a fisherman’s hut the true hotel.

A man may stand there and put all of America

behind him. ”

- Henry David Thoreau


Sometimes, when the week has been too long and you realize that even the nicest people are starting to get under your skin, it's time for an escape. I had one of those types of weeks last week. I am lucky to live in a culturally rich city. People flock to cities to cultivate their intellect, open their minds to new people and experiment with foods, art, music - enrich themselves. But people are drawn to nature when they need to clear their mind of the clutter, refresh their energy and come back "home again." For me, the ocean, the waves crashing on the shore or and the sand beneath my feet, takes me to this place. I feel at peace near water. Or sitting on a boat, feeling the lull of the tides, I am both at ease and rejuvenated.


Unfortunately, I can't get to the beach as often as I'd like. I'm lucky when I am able to make it down to my families river house, something I hope to do much more of this summer. But it is because of this effect water has on me that the BP oil disaster is especially devastating, in addition to the environmental and economic havoc it is reeking. How can we be so careless with something so important and fragile?


This is what David Helvarg explores in his new book "Saved by the Sea." Helvarg is a journalist who has covered many international issues over the year, but truly made an impact when writing on the environment. This latest book recounts how he transitioned from a journalist to dedicating his life and work to preserving the world's oceans.


Below is a short excerpt. I've never read nay of Helvarg's stuff, but I plan on reading this book this summer, hopefully somewhere where the waves can reach my toes.


"We broke up, but not cleanly. I moved to D.C., away from her and my other love, the sea. Right after I started writing the ocean book I’d always wanted to, she found a lump in her breast. I was with her through the chemo, which was awful but seemed to work. I finished Blue Frontier (W.H. Freeman) and was on the Deep East Expedition 100 miles off Nantucket when Al Qaeda hit the twin towers. When I got back to land Nancy told me her cancer was back. I was with her for the last few months, in the hospital and home hospice, where we could watch the waters of the bay flowing in and out with the tide. After she died at 43 we had a memorial service on one of her favorite beaches. It was a gusty day, feisty like the gal, with the winds whipping the sand and frothing the cold translucent waves. She used to say I never looked happier than when I was coming out of the water after getting beat up by the waves. But the ocean can also provide solace, give you a sense of being part of something larger, even when large parts of your own soul have torn away."

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Babies, Babies, Babies

This post is something I just can't ignore. Too many random things have happened in the last few days that make me feel the need to write this expose.

I am not a baby person. Never have been, never will be.

Ok, I lie. I actually do hope, that one day, I may meet a nice fellow, settle down and pop out a few (no more than 3 MAX) kiddies at some point in time. My whole mindset is somewhat skewed but whatevs: I dont actually look forward to the baby through pre-teen years of the kids' lives. However, I think it would be nice to have grown children, when I am an old gieser. Judge me as you will, people have kids for all different types of reasons. This is mine.

Anyways, I guess I'm not really a baby person because I havent been around that many babies. I dont have that many cousins and none of them have had babies. So yea, there is that.

But lately, my life has been all "babies, babies, babies".

Ok, not really but babies/kid things have been occuping more of my time in the past couple weeks than has ever my entire life. Case in point:

Incident #1: This past weekend we went to meet our friend's new baby. Although slightly scared, I was excited to see what kind of offspring our goofy friend had produced. On the drive over there, Blackberry and I stopped at a stoplight and looked over to see the second cutest puppy ever (first being my parents') sticking his tiny little adorable head out the window and looking directly at us. Squeels of delight ensued and then Blackberry said the most honest quote of the day, nay, week.

"I wish we were going to meet a puppy instead of a baby."

I was thinking the EXACT same thing. We can pet a puppy and play with it with less fear of killing it or damaging it psychologically. In the end our friend's kid was pretty freakin' cute, but there was no petting or playing. And certainly no holding, on my part of least.

Incident #2: Yesterday during lunch I went to a coworker's place (aka her sister's sweet apartment that we jacked to watch TV) and watched a show called Little Miss Perfect. This show follows pagaent constestants as they compete. And the contestants are like 5-year old little girls with mostly (and i apologize this i mean but,) "ugly as sin" parents who are trying to live vicariously through their children. Or are just demented. Anyways, I found it appalling that the name of the contest is "Little Miss Perfect." WTF is this supposed to teach little girls. First of all, nobody is perfect, and you should not strive to be. However, that is the title you win if you win the "Little Miss Perfect" pageant. So, basically this is telling all these little immpressionable girls is that since they did not, in fact, win the coveted crown, they are clearly far, far from perfect. Actually, they are what we would like to call IMPERFECT. Gasp.

Incident #3: Last week I went to my volunteer reading. A couple of interesting things happened during this little visit. First, I needed the manager to let me into the room where we hold the readings because it was locked. We got to talking and when I told him my name, he seemed shocked. My last name is, weird and long, to say the least. The man looked at me and goes "Is that your married name??" Um, no sir, no it isnt. I've never seen someone look so relieved. "Well, we better get you married off with an easier name. There is still hope for you child!!" I looked at him and said dead seriously,"I know. That is why my future husband can only have 7 letters or less in his last name." He knew whatsup.

After he asked he tried have me relive my childhood by skipping around the room, to which i politely declined, I got to readin' to the little kiddos. Only two kids showed up and the one girl was intent on reading the My Little Pony book. I think I enjoy going to reading because the kids innocent delight in reading such a simple and clearly outlandish book still amazes me. I guess I loved My Little Pony at some point as a kid, but how did I forget the names of the characters in this!?

I read to them the story of Rainbow Dash and the costume party. All the other little ponies gave her their costumes when hers sadly ripped and she couldnt go on. And then there was Minty who had severe stage fright when she had to walk in Sew-and-So's fashion show, but of course Sunny Daze was their to encourage her and give her the confidence go on. And of course I'd be remiss if i didnt mention Sparkleworks and how she came across the magical Pegasus pony who granted her greatest wish. Ah, I could go on all day about Pinkie Pie and Kimono, but I dont wan't to spoil the endings.

Overall, I've had a big dose of baby/kid stuff this past couple weeks. And while it's all fun and games for now, I think puppy adoption is a little more up my ally for now. However, clearly I am great with kids and available for babysitting purposes. (Disclaimer: As long as the kid is above the age of 13.)

Monday, May 10, 2010

How Green Is Your Summer

Alright so my going green has somewhat failed so far. And, I used my car more than I had anticipated this week as well. I’m a work in progress right now, but I figured those that can’t do…teach! While I’ll still do my best to “go green,” I can still spread the gospel…what else is the Internet for if not repurposing material posted by others? I came across this Green Guide on National Geographic’s Web site and found a fun little quiz, “How Green is Your Summer.” Being the overachiever that I am, I cannot resist a good online quiz. I began this little quiz with some trepidation, what if it revealed that my summer activities were the antithesis of green? But I clicked on with confidence. Here were the results:

Question 1 : “It’s time to barbeque! What kind of grill do you use?” (Nature gas/propane; charcoal; electric).

Hmm, I don’t even own a grill, does that mean I automatically win the green quiz? Off to an excellent start

Question 2: When you throw a clambake or a summer garden party, how do you ensure that you’re having an eco-friendly fete? (By using reusable dishes and utensils instead of disposables; conforming number of guests, and cooking just the right amount of food; buying vegetables from the farmer’s market; all of the above).

Come on Nat Geo, c’mon! Obviously when I throw my semi-annual clambake I bust out the reusable china. What else would be appropriate to serve clams on. (Really, who has a clambake??)

Question 3: Your body is beach ready, but is your swimsuit? How will you choose what you’ll wear to the pool this summer? (Check online for that eco-friendly bikini or pair of trunks you’ve been reading about; Go for the newest, hottest styles..never heard of an “eco-friendly swimsuit”!

First of all, NG you are just too sweet. However, we are a long ways from having a beach ready body. This fact may help answer how I will choose a swimsuit (full coverage, thanks very much). But in all seriousness, unfortunately, I’ve never heard of an eco-friendly bikini, but apparently “women’s swimwear designers like Aaron Chang for Urban Outfitters and Rogan Gregory for Target, and men’s swimwear designers for Billabong and Patagonia are now making eco-friendly swimsuits from recycled plastic bottles, recycled suede and recycled polyester. Alright, I will maintain an open mind. As long as none of these materials attract barracudas, I’d be down. (Since when was suede waterproof BTW?!)

There were a few more questions, but you’ll have to check out the quiz for yourself to learn some sweet summer greening tips. Overall I scored 67 and was told that I am “off to a good start.” Awesome. Now I just need to make sure Mr. Chang’s swimsuit wonders come in separates…

Sunday, May 9, 2010

One Art

One Art
By Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn't hard to master;

so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster,

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three beloved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

-- Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) a disaster.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Melting Pot of Tequila

"Well, let it pass, he thought; April is over, April is over. There are all kinds of love in the world, but never the same love twice." - F. Scott Fitzgerald

So my last post made it seem like my life should be submitted to Fail Blog or something. But really, April was a pretty great month. But it's out with the old, in with the new. I've been really busy lately (which is unusual for a typically mildly lazy person like myself), but what can you do? (This is also my excuse for lack of postings and this super short post I'm whipping up right now.) Some potentially exciting things are happening (moving into a new apt this summer, more detes later if my damn application gets approved), but most importantly, it's almost summer! And we all know what that means. Outdoor Drinking. It should always be written in caps because it is that special.

I'll be participating in some Outdoor Drinking tonight, in fact, as I watch that Nats try and hold on to their above .500 average (GASP). I thought I may be missing out on some good Mexican tequila, but alas, what is baseball if not America's pastime. And what is America if not a melting pot of cultural awesomeness. See photo. That's a pot full of America's diverse citizens and a couple elf-like characters. It takes all kinds, folks. I'm not really sure what's up with the guy holding the ginormous pencil and umbrella. Let's just pretend he is welcoming the homeless masses and illegal aliens (remember, I don't judge).

(Side note: I once edited an article which likened the cultural meshing and richness of NYC to a tossed salad. Um, not that everyone else's mind would immediately go to the gutter, but I felt the need to grab the red pen, mark that junk out and replace with the more socially and non-sexual, yet slightly overused 'melting pot' term. But maybe I should have let it go to see if anyone else noticed. Or sent me hate mail.)

Anyways, what I'm really trying to say here is that they serve frozen margs at the baseball game.

Happy Cinco De Mayo, indeed.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines

The last week and a half has been pretty busy and basically just shameless fun, which is not the best excuse for my not following up on the empowering “lets change the world post” from last week. And yet, apartment hunting, drinking, kicking a ball and redneckin’ it up at a NASCAR race (yes, you heard me right), are the exact reasons it has taken me until May (!?!) to post. Soo, here’s what’s been happening (note the pattern):

Environmental Fail
I proposed to only use public transportation (no cars or cabs) for a week. I did not even come close to reaching this goal simply because I am an idiot. In fact, I probably used my car more this past week then I normally do. Why? Well, I can’t read. I could have sworn my annual gyno (so fun) appointment was schedule for this past Monday morning. So, I made sure that my bosses knew I’d be late Monday. I was so about this that I actually logged into my work email Sunday night to remind them (employee of the year right here). Anyways, I am running late to my appointment. I get all sorts of lost in the hospital trying to find the medical offices. Once I am finally there, frazzled but ready to get this shit over with (not a big fan of going to the doctor), the receptionist calls my name and informs me that my appointment is actually tomorrow. UGHH. So, long story short, I repeated the same process on Tuesday. Drove my car to work for the first time in months, twice. Nice.

Since this was a major fail, I’m going to retry this week (although I already know of two occasions I will have to drive). I’ll find something else environmentally awesome do to and have a better report next week.

NASCAR Fail
This title is a bit deceiving. I did have the pleasure of attending my fourth or fifth NASCAR race this weekend. I say 4th or 5th because this was the topic of a good 15-minute drunken conversation I had with my friend Polonius after the race ended. And, does it really matter? Am I proud of “my number”? Could it be higher? No, yes and yes are the answers to that my friend.

No, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been to 1 or 500 races. You will see the same shit each time: white trash old women in bikinis, hot firemen who ignore you to talk to skinny girls with small boobs (no we weren’t jealous), and old dudes from Syracuse offering you free, and likely roofied shots of Syracuse Punch.

Yes, I am proud to say I have attended numerous races. This is a little understood sport, which, to be honest, I don’t really understand. Watching the cars is exciting for about the first lap…and the last lap. The stuff in the middle….ehhh. But tailgating is what it’s all about. Oh, and people watching (see above). You really see all types there. And most people are uber friendly (Syracuse boys and roofies, how much friendlier can you get). But we had a mega B-word sitting in front of us at the race. She was a big woman who had hit up the tanning bed one too many times. And she was with a dude. Not sure if this man was her husband, but one thing is for sure….she was the one that wore the pants in that relationship. I have never seen a woman manhandle a man the way she did. I guess she thought our friend was going in for the kill when she grabbed a napkin out of a bag they had to wipe up something. The woman got PISSED, shook her head, snatched the bag and moved it far, far away from my napkin stealing friend. I thought we might have a fan stand rumble for a second. Our friend wouldn’t have had a chance against this best. But, again, it takes all kinds.

The fail came in the fact that not a lot of our favorite drivers drove in the Friday night race. I understand this isn’t the “big” one, but a certain racecar driver went to my high school and is from the hometown of this race. Doesn’t he owe it to his friends to be in this race? But noo, he is too cool for school, which honestly doesn’t surprise me.

I met this NASCAR "sensation" a few years back and while I still root for him as an athlete, I simply have no respect for him as a person. He is a true duck (read: dick, but less vulgar sounding or if you happen to text it wrong this is how it comes out and its funnier this way, just go with it…)! Flashback to oh, 6-7 years ago? We are all hanging out at a friend’s house and Mr. NASCAR is there. Mind you, he is a good up and coming talent, but he’s not at the top of his game yet. It’s getting pretty late and everyone is talking about plans and the possibility of going down town. Downtown is a good 30 minute drive from where we are at and its past 11:30 at this point. Now, if you ask any of my friends, I am never one to turn down a good time or a party. But I am also realistic, damn it. And at 11:30, going downtown was just a dumb idea. We wouldn’t get there until midnight-ish and last call is probably a little after 1. I say this, as nicely as I can. Mr. NASCAR turns to me and goes “Don’t you know who I am?” Not joking, dead serious. DUCk! Now, I can appreciate a good joke or witty humor just as much as the next guy. He could have made that funny, in fact. But no, because he is a duck, he had to be a jackass about it.

The best part of the race thought, was finding out what happened later in the night. It took her 6 years to let the truth out, but Friday night the beans were spilled. On that same fateful night years ago, Polonious, whom I warned not go, got swept up in Mr. NASCAR and followed him downtown. And, it was just revealed that she made out with him! She said she was so embarrassed she didn’t tell anyone for a year. BAHAHAHAH. As much as I still contend he is a duck, this is just too awesome to not mention. And sad that this is my biggest celebrity story to date. But that’s how we roll down South.

Boy Fail
Why, whyyy do boys not understand that: 1) girls have heard the “I got scared” bullshit line? We have seen the movies. We realize that I got scared = I have no better, nicer, more polite way to break up with you. What I do not understand is why a boy would bring this up months later and remind me. I heard your lame ass excuse the first time buddy Furthermore, when I say, I don’t understand what that means, you are not supposed to say, “Yes, you do” Fine, it means you are chock full of BS. 2) “I would like us to be friends” is re-tarded. Well, if we are talking right now, and have been for the past half a year and we aren’t getting it on, I presume we are already friends. Why get all formal about it now? And, if you want to be friends, then you shouldn’t inquire or care if I made out with the bartender. (Sidenote: No, I did not make out to the bartender in which the lad in question was referring. Does that mean I haven’t made out with another bartender recently? No, no it doesn’t.) But, none of my other friends care if I do, why should you? 3) It is hard for someone who still has feelings to “be friends” with said person. If they could get rid of those feelings, they sure as heck would. But, if you are going to be nice and want to hang out and be BFFs, that could make it a bit more complicated. 4) girls don’t appreciate it when you bring up an in-depth topic after consuming massive amounts of alcohol and then abruptly runaway mid-conversation.

I think the bottom line here is that talk is cheap and that I need to stick to Southern boys, they are far less complicated. This story was relayed to a few friends and each had a different reactions. My favorite so far came from Polonius at the race. Her take? “He’s either a player, or he’s gay.” Aren’t they all.

The whole exchange was fine except for the drunk texting that occurred after he left. Now, none of it made any sense, but it solidified my status is awkward person of the year. Actual text I sent:

“But you have succumbed to the ‘believe what you wanna believe’. Just miss you, omg! Inappropriate, but we are cool ;)”

REALLY? WHYYYY. First of all, that doesn’t make any sense, whatsoever. I have no idea what I was trying to say with that first part of nonsense. Secondly, just saying I miss you wouldn’t have been that bad considering I do miss our friendship and could have just gone with that. But by stating the obvious I just make it THAT much more inappropriate and awk. And then, of course I had to make sure it’s all good by following up with the we are cool. No, we aren’t cool, I’m confused but I’m going to pretend bc this just past into a new realm of weirdness, gracias to me. And the winky face? That is just so, so wrong. In case you were wondering (not sure why you would) there was no response text. Which I can respect, I wouldn’t respond to that chaos either ahhhh, wow.

Sleep Fail
After the race I got to relax down at the river. It was perfect weather and a great time despite the fact that my parents brought their new puppy. This puppy is the cutest thing ever…until you have to put her in her cage for the night. And she will.not.stop.barking. I was put up in the loft at the river, so actually didn’t even had a damn door sound barrier (not that it did a lot Friday night when I was trying to sleep in my parent’s house 2 rooms away from the dog). Luckily I still had my $2 earplugs from the race the night before so I stuck those suckers in. I could still hear the howling, but somehow I got a little sleep.

I was looking forward to a nice noise-free sleep tonight until I remember my landlord still hasn’t brought by my new AC that he promised me a month ago. I’m pretty sure it was in the 80s-90s today. WTF, man. It is hot as balls in my room and I can’t sleep in these conditions. Awesome. But it sure is quiet! I just cant win.

Sigh, well guess it’s off to the futon in the main room in front of the AC that actually works. I’ll be dreaming of cool air and my dignity. G’night!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Happy Earth Day 2010!

“We must make the rescue of the environment the central organizing principle for civilization.” – Al Gore.

In honor of
Earth Day, I’m hoping to take a break from boring you all with my extremely exciting life (I know, reading about every season I’ve played kickball is truly enthralling) and focus on some environmental issues. There are tons of exciting Earth Day activities going on in DC today and this coming weekend. One of the largest displays will be the Climate Rally held on Sunday, April 25th. I’m hoping to get out and check it out for a bit (you should too), so look for a recap on Monday!

So what exactly is Earth Day?
Earth Day is a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment. It was founded by US Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in held April 22, 1970.

How can you help?
Just as there are numerous ways we destroy the planet, so are there a plethora of ways we can help. These are a few simple things we can do as suggested by the Earth Day campaign:
  • Educate people to use solar power
  • Recycle
  • Shop at the local farmers market, using your own bags and eat as many locally sources meals as possible
  • Ride a bike
  • Reduce your electricity usage
From now on, each week, I will try and focus on one thing we can all do to help make a positive impact on the environment and life more sustainable lifestyles. Maybe it can be our weekly goal. So, since the weather is getting nicer, I propose we try and not use our cars (including cabs) for a week. If you live in a public transportation rich city like DC (despite the sometimes malfunctioning metro system) this shouldn't be that hard. While it's not always possible, it's something to strive for. I hope to post these each Sunday or Monday as a challenge for the week, so I'll update you on my progress.

Why should I care?
When Earth day began, pollution was rampant and it was visible. We could see the smog and the gross rivers. And while we've made lots of improvements along the way, there are still major problems that are going undetected and unnoticed because, while not as visible, are equally as damaging.

Right now I’m reading Simple Prosperity: Finding Real Wealth in a Sustainable Lifestyle by David Wann. I’ll share some of the interesting and sometimes shocking highlights. Wann explains that not only is it essential that we change the way we live in order to survive on limited natural resources that are naturally depleting, we will come to find that this lifestyle is even richer and more fulfilling than our crazy, fast-paced , yet wasteful current lifestyle.
“Real wealth is the calmness and contentedness that comes with feeling good, physically; the sense of well being that makes anything seem like an event. Real wealth is finding the rhythm of natural cycles and jumping in. It’s understanding how the world works and substituting information and brilliant design for resources."

Now, for some alarming facts:
We are already experiencing environmental catastrophe. We can fix this, but we have to accept that there are major problems. “For example, some eastern cities ran out of landfill space years ago and are now begging neighboring states to take their waste. (New York City alone ships 600 tractor-trailers out of state every single day.) “ I mean EW, that is just gross. Not to mention holy shit, I can’t imagine that much trash, what are we doing!?

“The average American’s ‘ecological footprint’ (the land needed to provide the materials supporting his or her lifestyle) is 30 acres, or roughly thirty football fields of prime land and sea, year after year—which is roughly twice what the average Italian or German thrives on.” If others can do with less, obviously we can do. And also, since land and seas are finite. We are basically using up in a few generations the resources that have taken eons to produce. Wanns likens this to temporarily going insane and gambling your life savings in a single casino spree. And that is exactly what we are currently doing.

Just some thoughts to ponder on this Earth Day. Now get out there and plant a tree! Or take a ride on the Orange Line (note to self: must leave kickball early enough to catch mass transit this week). This will both save the environment and my death-warmed-over-due-to-lack-of-sleep appearance tomorrow at work as well. Win, win!

The Queen City


This past weekend I went to visit my good friend in Charlotte, NC. My friend, whom I will refer to as klutzy, showed me a great time. Since I’m a little under the weather due to lack of sleep (gladly exchanged for fun times) and allergies, I will recap my weekend in bullets (lazzzyyy).


  • It is truly a miracle that I even made it to the airport. Since the universe likes to laugh at me, I guess someone thought it would be a greeeat idea to have me fly out of an airport 30 miles away. This was the chain of events that followed: Attempt to enter address into GPS. Find that GPS needs to be charged, but cannot locate charger. Say eff it and print directions. Get up at the crack ass of dawn and drive through the city with said directions. Freak out at 6:30 am when I realize I’m super confused and why in the world have I ended up in the district?!?. Call my friend who somehow answers at this ungodly hour and tells me to turn around. Find out from her boyfriend that I was actually going the right way to begin with. Turn back around. Flip out/have minor panic attack and accept I will miss my flight. Somehow make flight despite waiting outside for curbside check-in for 15 minutes only to find that “Miss, you are too late for this go inside and check in and hurry!” Uh, that would have been nice to know as I waited for you check the families 25890 bags in front of me.

  • Once in Charlotte my stressful morning disappeared and we went out on the lake in her friend’s boat. It is April and we were cruising around on the lake. Pretty awesome, right? I had a couple brewski’s and couldn’t hold it in. I had to lower myself off the ladder and relieve myself in the frigid cold water. Needless to say I got to know her friends pretty fast.

  • I hate to admit but a highlight of the trip was after the boat trip. We were all hanging at her friend’s house and about to go outside to the porch. Klutzy was sipping on some coffee (I myself, had a tequila/pineapple juice concoction) and was following her outside. I guess she was concentrating on not spilling her coffee, but the girl ran straight into the screen door. She ricochet off, and coffee went everywhere. It was hilarious. But she brushed her shoulders off and enjoyed her cup of coffee in style. Moments such as this are just something we are used to with that chic.

  • Went to see a sweet 80s cover band. They were no Legwarmers, but they still rocked out.

  • I went to church with her on Sunday and I really loved it. I haven’t been to church in years, but if I could find a church like that here, I’d totally go. Instead of the “thou shall not” the church was all how we can give back and make the world a better place. When I asked my friend if I’d have to stand up and announce that I was new she looked at me like I was crazy. Not having to do THAT, along with the yummy cinnamon cakes they had available really hooked me.

  • I just need to remind everyone that I don’t think brunch is truly brunch without some type of bubbly alcohol ...or tomato juice if that’s your thing (it’s not mine). Klutzy learned this lesson when she ordered a single mimosa and got a double.

  • I sure do love the south. It’s just a different lifestyle down there. People were talking about their home repairs and buying condos…things that only the elite rich can speak of in these here parts. Friend’s stop over for dinner or just show up randomly and are always welcome. Long live the south!

Sadly, I had to head home and back to reality sooner than I wanted. I’ll not bore you with details of how I got slightly lost coming home from the airport as well. All in all it was a great weekend and I look forward to visiting again.


Next time though, I’ll charge the GPS.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Time Has Come For One and All...To Plaaaay Kickball!

The ice has melted, the pollen is freely floating/slowly killing us and the smell of cherry blossoms and mischievousness is in the air. That can only mean one thing: it’s kickball season once again!

Throughout my seasons (and years) of kickball there have been highs and lows, random make outs and dance parties galore. There are ugly parts I’d rather forget, parts I did forget after blacking out and things that I never, ever want to forget. Since we have our first kickball game of a new season tonight, I thought it only appropriate to take a trip down memory lame and recap some of the highlights from previous seasons.

Without further ado…

Season 1

This was our inaugural season in kickball. I was new to the area and had heard kickball was THE way to meet people. So we rounded up some coworkers and a couple other friends and joined the league. Since we were a small group they mixed us in with another group of people to form one team. I was so excited to get to meet new people, maybe some cute boys and drink my face off. For some ungodly reason that I can’t recall, we decided to play on Sunday afternoons (whaaaa?) Once I got over my initial nerves (OMG, I’m going to whiff, ah athletic prowess being displayed in front of strangers, I’m sooo nervous), the season turned out to be pretty fun, despite half of our team never showing up for games and having to forfeit.

The good: We were all dismayed to find out that our flip cup tournament fell on the day that I was going to move. Now, not wanting to let the team down, my friends rallied and vowed to not let this deter us. They helped me move the majority of my crap ahead of time so that on actual move in day, my parents could help me quickly move the rest of my junk so I could make the afternoon tournament. I mean, priorities people, priorites. It worked (basically), but my parent’s may still be wondering why I placed so much importance on getting to that damn flip cup game. I, myself, still wonder the same.

Oh, also the fact that everyone knew us as team name (kid tested, mother approved), and we ate a lot of our team namesake’s cereal at games/drinking occasions was another bonus.

(And my really good friend met her current boyfriend at the pre-season party. We kept saying how we’d totes find our bfs through kickball. At least one of us did, you go girl!)

The bad: Although I was able to move in lightening speed, my dad attempted to drop me off at the tournament in his pickup truck, navigating the treacherous roads of DC in the middle of a tsunami. It was not a pretty sight when my dad, the I-have-no-time-for-this-BS, and I, the directionally challenged, were trying to find Cheers. Somehow, we managed to find it, I grabbed his bright yellow poncho and bolted, profusely thanking my parents for helping me move, almost crashing by taking me into city and accepting their questionably alcoholic child.

The ugly: Since I was in such a frenzy to complete my move in time, I forgot to eat breakfast…or lunch. Sure, I think I ate a random granola bar or popsicle at one point, but that, in combination with hours of flip cup and shots = a drunk mess. I made out with a kid on the winning flip cup team, wondered around DC for a few hours and finally had to ditch this kid in an alley near Pentagon City. It wasn’t my finest moment, but lesson learned: Eat before playing flip cup (or participating in a tournament!?!).

Season 2

For our second season, we made the best move ever by switching to the Thursday night league. We only retained players from the prior season who actually showed up to games. Again, we needed to join with another team and we were semi-lucky in getting what we thought seemed like a pretty great group of people. In truth, most of them were really fun people. This season wasn’t anything remarkable but it was a good time and Thursdays were the way to go. It was especially nice having every other Friday off in the summer. In fact, I think this is the season that I didn’t work one single Friday in August. It was glorious. I had also just moved into a big house, so all my coworkers would just crash there afterwards. It was just one big sleepover!

The good: We met our good friend BlackBerry on this team. She was one of the first people I met at the pre-season party and we instantly got along. Although she wasn’t able to make it to that many games, we became good friends regardless and today she is one of my closest friends in the city.

The bad: Not all the girls were as cool as BlackBerry. A couple of the girls were, in fact, straight up B-words. Or maybe they were bi-polar. They’d generally seem cool and chill and then start acting all aloof and crazy/weird. I think the breaking point came when I left one of the chick’s bday parties because I had another obligation (or more fun people I actually preferred to hang with). Upon my departure, which was obviously the end of the world, she looked and me and said, “Why don’t you just go slit your wrists.” Um, ALRIGHT DRAMA QUEEN. Or PSYCHOPATH. Needless to say, we don’t hang with those girls no mo'!

Oh, and one night the staff decided to literally hose us down. That was kinda bad/kinda awesome.

The ugly: I made out with a bald dude (shaved, but still). Do I really need to say anything else? Alright, to make myself feel less like a loser, I will say that he was actually smart (had a PhD), but Baldy was a serious stage 5 clinger. In the interest of full disclosure, I will say that I did go out with a fellow teammate one night. I’m not sure if it should be classified as a “date”, but he was a cool dude and we are still friends today.

(Note: This is for Italian Mother. I’m not sure how we would classify a certain other member of our team who was in love with my friend. I think Italian Mother’s sentiments were accurately described when she said this: “I felt like I had to shower every time after I hung out with that kid.” If only she was joking bahah...)

Season 3

Season 3 could be more accurately described as the rainy season. For some reason, that spring, it would rain every single Thursday. I’m not sure if April/May/early June were more rainy than normal overall, but without fail, if it was Thursday and we were supposed to play kickball, it would thunderstorm, pour cats and dogs or otherwise cancel our beloved kickball. As a result, we spent a lot of time just drinking at Cheers, getting to know the wait staff. Our season lasted well into June because of our many delays, but overall, it was another successful season. We joined with another random team, but met some cool people who are on our team currently.

The good: This was a pretty chill season with a good group of people. We had coworkers who actually showed up to games and/or nongame drinking fests, and we had a good group of randoms join our team who were fun and a good time. We also went on an end of season boat cruise which was pretty freakin’ awesome (despite me and BlackBerry getting locked in the bathroom. We’re on a boaaaat!). We also met another team who we joined with in season 4, so that was another gain on the season.

The bad: There honestly wasn’t much bad about this season other than the shitty, shitty weather. As a result we were forced to spend way more time at Cheers then we ever intended. A low point may have been when we thought it was acceptable to bring jell-o shots into the bar. While they were delicious, obviously you can’t bring your own alcohol into a damn bar. They should have thrown us out and banned us for life, but luckily we just got a little scolding.

I also met ATM here, thanks to Italian Mother’s urgings. And he left me at the bar stranded one night. And I sobbed on the street corner to my friend on the phone as I desperately searched for a cab. How the tables have turned…

The ugly: My ugly moment involved wine, jell-o shots and Irish Trash Cans and resulted in my first blackout. I relived the harrowing experience on this blog once, but as a recap: 1) I was calling people names from Harry Potter. Seriously, I referred to our coach as Lord Voldemort. Why that dude still even speaks to me is beyond me. 2) I hit on the very married waiter, who I have to see every week and who never lets me live it down. 3) Apparently on the metro I was acting all shady and then simultaneously expressing my love. At one point I turned to my friends and screamed “I f*ing love you bitches!” Well, at least my true feelings came out :) But no, no more Irish trash cans for moi. Bring on the cherry bombs instead!

Season 4

My, my, my. Where do I even start? Some have described season 4 as epic. Others have called it a shit-show, incestuous dance party. But, if I could be so bold as to borrow a term from my favorite TV show, HIMYM, they only way to give due justice to season 4 is to refer to it as LEGEND - wait for it - DARY.

I’m not sure why this season tops all the rest. It could be a combination of many things. First, we had a core group of hardcore kickballas/flipcuppas. Then we met another team in season 3 who were equally as awesome (albeit a little creepy with a paparazzi who documented our every move). When we combined forces it was like atoms and molecules fusing together to create new energy. We became a team of pure awesome. And we all loved each other. Maybe a bit too much.

The good: In addition to being fun, our team was actually pretty good on the field. I knew our competitive nature ran deep when the pansy dude from another team bunted the ball and Italian Mother shouted in disgust, “And you call yourself a man!“ Indeed sir, or should I say madam? Our ultimate goal for many seasons had been to beat our rival team. They were ridic and actually recruited players for their team. I searched high and low, far and wide to find this email, but I just must reprint a few words from a wise kickball teammate whose pep talk must have steered us towards victory.

“For those of you who are new, you may not know the eternal wrath against this team, probably stemming from the beginning of time (at least the beginning of KICKBALL), the kind of wrath that makes your blood boil, the wrath that makes you throw up a little in your mouth, the wrath that has been brought on by the undeserved greatness of the team that is called "A"

Bottom line. WE gotta Drink Hard. then Play Hard. Then Drink even harder as we reminisce over their dead bodies......I mean, beaten bodies, heavily maimed. (in a kickball sense of course)”

And drink we did. To celebrate not only beating this despicable team, but kicking their asses!

The good keeps coming with season 4: I met some of my now closest friends on this team. I met Mr. Clean, which for a time, I had a lot of fun with. And we truly earned our spot as favorite team of Cheers by closing the bar down every single night. Oh and I can’t forget our incessantly long email (100 +) chains that helped me get through my workday.

The bad: As I’ve mentioned before our team really loved each other. As in, we dated and made out with other more than a backwards family from West Virginia. I was not immune from this phenomenon. Though I did have a longer-lasting affair with one particular highly coveted player. At one point there was a little drama between me, him and another girl that wanted him BAD. She actually stuck her claws into him first, so I let it be and figured I’d cut my losses. If she was his cup of tea, I probably wasn’t. But then, he pursued me and I went with it. I didn’t want to offend this girl, but now, I’m so glad I saved him from her she-devil ways. If this were survivor, we’d probably have to vote this chick off the island. But that’s a whole other story.

There was another bad apple on our team, who had a scary poker face. His true character wasn’t revealed until much later. But again, a story for another time and place.

The ugly: This season was by far my favorite. The ugly is only in the fact that the season ended. There are things I wish I could change. I wish things had worked out between Mr. Clean and me. But they didn’t, and we are both adults enough to be able to still play on the same team and enjoy it. I wish a certain someone on our team hadn’t turned out be such a douche bag. But, it was all a learning experience. I wish I hadn’t spent so much damn hard earned money at the bar, but what’s kickball without flip cup, and beer… lots of it.

So tonight, as we don our neon bright t-shirts and another season awaits, untainted and pure as a little baby, I like to give a little nod to our kickball past. These shenanigans helped make our team who we are today. In all seriousness, tonight, I’ll be taking the field with best friends, coworkers, a boy I gave my heart to and people who have been there through the tough times…and hangovers. And I can’t wait. TO KICK SOME BALLS!

If my liver and dignity survive (c’mon, who am I kidding), check back again in about 3 months for a Season 5 recap. (Kick balls, flip cups, hoorah!)