02 November 2012

Why you should join my clan in preparation for the Zombie Apocalypse

So today was the third time in recent memory when a friend proclaimed, "If the apocalypse ever happens, I need to make sure I'm near you, because then I'll survive."

And so, I thought I'd elaborate about why I'm awesome in general (and also to make myself feel better for staying in on a Friday night because I'm getting over a cold).

So why would you want me to lead you through the Zombie Apocalypse? (Or, maybe a bit more timely, why should you seek out my company before an impending natural disaster?)

Well, friends, here are a few reasons:

1. I grew up on a farm. Big deal, you say. So what does this get you? Should the McDonalds and Chipotles of the world close down, Not only can I cook whatever food we can find, I can also grow delicious veggies to eat, should the world come to that. I also know how to butcher chickens and grind wheat to make flour. I think now all I have to do is learn to brew beer and distill spirits and I'll have all those sustenance-related bases covered. And I'm not afraid to roll up my sleeves and do the heavy lifting.

2. I know how to sew, knit and crochet. So I can mend the inevitable holes in your jeans, and make hats, mittens, sweaters and blankets to keep you warm. If we find a sheep to sheer, I could probably also figure out how to make my own yarn. I've seen a few demonstrations in those historical village things... Also, if we find sheep, well, we'll have mutton for dinner.

3. Contrary to the popular female gender misconception, I am actually quite good with maps and directions. Also, I know how to read an old-fashioned map (not just turn on the GPS on my phone). I even know how to use a compass! I can figure out where we are and get us where we need to be.

4. (This one was new today) - I work in tech, so should we come across any sort of electronic device that may provide information, I could probably figure out how to procure said information from said device. Ok, ok, I know that one is a bit of a stretch, but hey, worth a shot.

5. I can drive stick shift. Remember that scene in Independence Day when Vivica A. Fox finds the big truck to drive around and then meets the First Lady? Yeah, that'll happen. "You're a dancer? Oh, I love the ballet..."

6. I know stuff about cars. I've changed oil, batteries, tires and alternators on several cars. If the big truck we commandeer breaks down, or if we find an already broken-down jalopy to steal, there's a 50% chance I'll be able to fix it. Which is much higher than the 0% odds you'll have with some other people.

7. I become multi-lingual (when intoxicated). I can speak Spanish (poorly) and German (poorly). In the event we need to count to 10, ask for beer, or check in to a hotel with someone speaking either of these languages, I will provide some (very little, actually) value.

Cool, right? SO. Should you find yourself wondering what to do the next time a tornado/hurricane/herd of zombies is approaching, head my way. If I like you enough, I'll guarantee your survival. If I don't like you that much, I might still help you, but you may have to pay me. In the event that commonly accepted currency becomes worthless, or the power goes out and we can't get money out of ATMs, we can barter.

27 August 2012

T-Minus 4 Days

...till I turn 29. Not that excited about it. But hey, more adventures, right?

So. Where am I? This past month has been... I don't even know. Crazy. I came to a few conclusions about life, hosted a good friend while she was back in town and said farewell to my bestie who shipped out to another hemisphere. So where does that leave me now? Not entirely sure.

So, first things first. What have I learned recently? Two things:
1. Life's too short
to worry, to feel bad, to be upset, to dwell on things. There are an infinite number of things in the world that I have absolutely no control over. It does me no good to worry about them, or to get upset about the way they think or act, or to lose sleep over it. A few weeks ago I went to a Brewers game and wore my Rickie Weeks jersey because Rickie is my fave. I went to a bar after the game and a mean old man blew past me in a huff on the sidewalk and turns around and yells back, "Weeks? I can't believe you'd even leave the house with that shirt on!" Rude? Yes. Worth me getting upset about? No. Sports teams are like politicians. Nothing I say or do will ever change a Cubs fan's mind, so it's not really worth arguing about. Was the man rude? Yes. Should he probably have kept that comment to himself, given it was bar time? Yeah. Is it going to keep me from wearing my Rickie jersey any more? NO!

I have encountered a few other rude people in the last few weeks. I won't bother to recount them here because people like that don't need recognition. I'm not letting me keep it up at night.

I have also come to the startling conclusion that neither I nor anyone I know seems to have access to a time machine (at least that they're willing to admit... and let me borrow). I have a coworker who keeps wanting to rehash past events in hopes of changing the present. It won't happen. I'll work on fixing the problem for the future, but getting upset about something that happened in March doesn't mean that the project isn't still in the toilet. I've moved on. Everybody else needs to as well.

2. Everybody hates their job.
Ok, hate is a strong word. Everybody has something they don't like about their job. If it's not an annoying coworker one place, it's a stingy benefits package or long hours at another place. No job is perfect. The key to dealing with it is to find a place where the good outweighs the bad. I'm still confident that my job is a good fit for me. I really enjoy most of it. There are a few things that I don't like about it, but for that... refer to #1.

In other news...
It's been an emotionally reeling month. In addition to realizing #s 1 and 2 above, I spent the last few weeks with my bestie on his farewell tour of the US. Well, it sort of started in Pittsburgh. When we got back, he quit his job, released his apartment, cleaned out his safe deposit box, threw a "Depart-y", and "stored" his TV to my living room (because really, why would someone want to keep it in a damp, dingy storage locker?). Well, he finally got on the plane on Saturday. I talked to him on Gchat today from Hanoi. Apparently his socks were rancid after 36 hours of traveling... what a surprise. I'll miss him. But he's always just a click away.

Also over the last week, my good friend Bridgit was visiting from Germany, where she moved 3 years ago. I love when Bridgit comes back because I miss her and I really enjoy catching up with her, and also because we get to do all of the "American" things that she misses - namely Red Lobster and anything at Mayfair Mall. This year we caught Batman on the IMAX screen there (better than the Ultra Screen at Marcus, IMO), and did a whole bunch of shopping. It was a great (although exhausting) time.

So the Depart-y, plus Bridgit's triumphant return, plus salty popcorn at Wolski's, combined to form an amazing, beer-filled, low-sleep weekend. Top it all off with a postcard from Cape Cod, and I was pretty happy.

And sad, and bittersweet, but mostly happy. And grateful for all of my amazing friends here, there, and everywhere. I hope 29 will be just as good.

15 July 2012

7 Days of Music

Wow, 2 posts in less than a month!

Summerfest was exceptionally good this year. So good, in fact, that I went 6 times. I only paid $36 for tickets so I think that's a win. Here, in calendar order, are my reviews:

June 27: Steve Miller Band. I only paid attention for 3 or 4 songs (woo hoo fireworks!) but was pleasantly reminded that they sing Dance Dance Dance, a song that I always loved growing up. Here you go:

I'll admit, I'm not the world's greatest SMB fan, but it feels good to say that I've seen them.

June 28: After a moment of brief fear over who would accompany me, I went to see the first show in 12 years from Ben Folds Five. It. Was. AWESOME. They jammed, they goofed around, they covered surfer rock songs, and just looked like they were having fun. Ben Folds Live was great a few years ago because I really like Rockin the Suburbs, but it was good to hear the old stuff performed by the whole group. Cuts off their new album sounded good too, so I'm looking forward to getting my hands on that. On a side note, Summerfest needs to do a lot better next year in communicating how the BMO stage works. When/where to get tickets, traffic flow with the hand stamp folks, etc. It was frustrating at best. Hopefully they'll figure it out next year!

After 2 days of Milwaukee heat, I hopped a plane to Pittsburgh with my bestie to see Roger Waters perform The Wall. Hands down, this is the best show I've ever seen. Growing up, I always knew that there are social undertones to this album. Seeing it in person was actually very interesting  and moving because it brought the feelings of the 70s to life in 2012. I have always wondered what the world was like during those pivotal years - the Vietnam War, the Watergate break-in and all of the other things going on causing distrust in government. The show was visually stunning and acoustically perfect. It was really more like seeing a play at a theatre than seeing a rock show in an arena. If they ever tour again, I'll be there.

A quick note on Pittsburgh: it's a great city. I'd love to take a long weekend there and catch a Brewers-Pirates series. The Carnegie Museum is one of the greatest museums I've seen in a long time. There is a great permanent exhibit on minerals and gemstones, and there was an absolutely gorgeous Impressionist exhibit that was curated amazingly well. The Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh was awesome. It looks like Harry Potter (I can't lie). Very cool that something like this exists stateside.

Ok, back to Milwaukee.

July 5: The Avett Brothers. I made some new friends at this show, and I'm looking forward to seeing them again this Friday. Oh, and the show was great too. The band rocked out. I've been listening to them nonstop ever since.

July 6: OAR (attempted). Stopped in by AWOLNATION to see Dave. He's invented a new dance. Look for it at the next wedding you go to, right in between The Sprinkler and The Shopping Cart. Was going to swing by Paul Oakenfold but I ran into some coworkers.... I gave Matty a tattoo with a Sharpie and Kiran and I decided to go and get pierced. Made it over to OAR for the last 2 songs. Almost got kidnapped to the south side of Milwaukee.... but walked home instead (probably a good idea).

July 7: Cake. I've always wanted to see these guys. I thought the crowd would be mostly my age since I listened to them a lot in college but there were a lot of people in their 30s and even 40s there, which was cool. They were very good, but did not play Italian Leather Sofa like I was hoping. It was also a much more mellow show than I was expecting. They played a few songs of their new self-released album that just sounded great. I'll be picking that one up too.

July 8: Neil Diamond. 'Nuff said. Work treated us again this year, and many of my older colleagues were surprised to find out that yes, I know who Neil Diamond is, and that I know most of the lyrics to his songs. And not just because of Saving Silverman.

Overall, it was a good few days. Next year I'm getting the Summerfest Power Pass so I can relive it all over again (hopefully 2013 has another quality lineup!).

Other than that, I've been coming down off of a 3-week bender. I've been trying to eat healthier, which is sort of working, but not as well as I would have hoped. This next week should be more calm so hopefully I can get started. Again.

I've been emotionally drained lately. There has been a lot going on with my family and my friends and I've been going a bit out of my mind trying to be supportive of everybody. I love y'all a lot.... but I'm gonna take a few days for myself, so nobody do anything crazy, ok? thanks.

15 June 2012

Hey guys, remember me?

And remember when I used to keep a blog? Yeah, that was a long time ago. Well, this is mostly for Tony, since he's the only one who mentioned this tiny section of the intertubes in the last few months.

A few things:
1. I am a closet Gallophile. Despite my country girl persona, I really love the language (even though I can't speak it), and the food, and the culture, and the propensity towards evil ( seemingly delicious?) cigarettes, and their mother-f*$#^$% croque monsieurs. And their delicious Bordeaux. There, I admit it. Now you all know. And I want to go back. SO BAD.

2. I kind of have a crush on Harry Connick, Jr.

3. I've been to 9 Brewers games so far this year. 1 more scheduled before the All-Star break. Odds are 50/50 that I will beat last season's record of attending 21 games (including playoffs). Now taking bets. Is it legal for me to be the bookie on this?

3. (a.) I discovered yesterday that I remembered how to keep score in baseball. I haven't had the opportunity in 3-4 years (mostly because I don't get in to Miller Park until the bottom of the 2nd), but I was appointed official scorekeeper for Ben's softball team this week and it was quite rewarding. I did a stellar job, if I do say so myself.

3. (b.) I'm on a mission to find the nail polish that most closely resembles 1982 blue. I found one at Metro Market that's about 80% there, but it's not perfect. Only the best for THIS superfan. Suggestions appreciated!

4. I'm going to Pittsburgh next month. What's cool to do there? Also, is PNC park worth seeing?

06 December 2011

Time Flies

...and seasons change. Funny looking back on my last post... Sept 19. A few days after that, my life changed a lot. I was feeling pretty good about everything, I had started running again, the Brewers were winning, and I was looking forward to fall (my favorite season) and eventually snowboarding. Now, um, well I guess I'm still looking forward to snowboarding. I've been through a lot. I've learned a lot, both about myself, about others, and about trust. I'm getting through it. Thanks to those who were there for me, and those who put up with me when I may have been less than pleasant. Your patience is appreciated more than you will ever know. 

19 September 2011


A few things:

Last Wednesday (Sept 14) was the 2-year anniversary of my tattoo. I'm still in love with it.

19 days ago, I turned 28. I have decided that there are two phases of one's twenties: twenty-baby and twenty-old. Guess what that makes me. Not feeling my age though... will take it as a good sign.

I broke the "o" key on my laptop... drinking accident. Now it's just the little plastic bubble thing underneath. It's odd. $5 for a new one. FIVE BUCKS! I'm considering going without it.

After a 2-month hiatus, I started running again. Funnily enough, almost exactly 2 months ago, I wrote that I was going to run more. Oops. I also decided that I'm not going to feel bad that I'm not training for a marathon. It's not for me. I'm done worrying about it.

After I went for a run today, I ate a bunch of cheese. Oops. On a related note, it's nice that it's getting cool outside again, so hopefully I won't put off running in the nice cool 50s and 60s.

In general, I feel pretty good about life right now.

23 July 2011

Hot Hot Heat Update

In case you've somehow missed the news, it's HOT outside.

Actually right now it's somewhat tolerable. But in the next few hours its going to heat up again and become gross. I've been up for an hour now so I should probably start working towards my run...

At any rate, I'm making some new rules. I think I should be able to stick to them. I find that posting on my blog makes me more accountable to the 2 folks that might stumble onto this. So here goes:

1. I will no longer become upset when I find out that people who are generally in the same friend group as me invite people to do things and exclude me. If they have a problem with me and aren't mature enough to address it with me, then I don't need to be friends with them. If they just happened to forget, I will realize that mistakes happen and get over it.

2. I will run more. Even if it's hot.

3. I will work to find out why I'm having issues sleeping and do stuff to change it. Yes, I may even go and see a doctor.

So... we'll see how this all goes.