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That Time I got Blocked from Match.com

I have some bad new, you guys.  Your fair heroine (moi) is unfortunately no longer a member of Match.com.  I’ve been blocked!  Terminated!  Unfairly banished from a pool of misunderstood singles just searching for love!!! I’ve never felt more wronged.  You might think that I was blocked because of the blog, but since no one reads it, THAT’S not the case.  Instead, I was “blocked” (and that is the term they used) because a picture I uploaded violated their Terms of Use.  What picture, you may rightfully ask?  I HAVE NO IDEA BECAUSE THEY WON’T TELL ME.

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It all started Tuesday night.  I decided that since I still had two months, one week, 3 days and 14 hours of my membership to go, I wanted to add some photos that showed a little more personality.   So, I uploaded  one of me after a run (look how sporty I am!), one of my last Halloween costume, which was a Cat Caller (look, I know puns!) and then another group shot of some friends (look, people like me!).  After that, I really didn’t think much of it other than to wonder how many more messages Mr. Wang was going to send me when he saw new activity on my page (last count pre-termination was 37).

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NO ONE WANTS 37 MESSAGES FROM ANYONE, WANG.

I woke up the next morning and checked my email, as one does, and saw a message that said, “You are no longer a Match member. Rules are Rules.”  Okay, FIRST OF ALL MATCH.COM, what are you trying to do, ground me?  Did I stay up past my bedtime or not eat all my vegetables? Rules are RULES? The email also told me if I wanted to appeal the decision (like the Match.com court of law?) I could email customer support.  AND EMAIL CUSTOMER SUPPORT I DID.

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Actual footage

My first email was very cordial, I just said something along the lines of, “Hi, I uploaded some new pictures last night and you terminated my account – just curious as to why? Thanks!” And then later, when I really started thinking about it and getting pissed off, I fired off one that said, in essence, “Okay, you let guys named ‘DarthButtMunch’ and ‘BabbieDaddie03’ on the site, but the pictures of my face were somehow offensive?” They finally responded and told me that my inquiry has been escalated to a different department.  Probably meaning the crazy angry single lady department.  They also told me they would have a response for me within 48 hours, but as of press time, I have received no restitution in any form.  Meanwhile, the love of my life is probably sending virtual winks over to “MustLoveDogs42.”

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I will update you if I hear back from them and get reinstated, but, otherwise, if you’re keeping a tally:

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Week in Review

It’s been kind of a crazy week here at Dammit Suzanne, meaning there were like 3 things that happened.  So I thought I would do a little week in review.  Plus I KNOW everybody wants a Match.com update, and LET ME TELL YOU.  It’s pretty lame.  But still funny.

First things first.

THE SOLAR ECLIPSE:  HOLY SHIT Y’ALL THAT WAS COOL.  Next time it happens, if I am still alive and haven’t completely pickled my liver, I am definitely going to see the eclipse in totality.  I LOVED seeing all the videos and pics of when totality actually occurred.  It was amazing and super weird and freaky all at once.  Plus it was kind of cool that everyone across the country was on the same page about something for the first time since the LOST finale.  Except for the Eclipse Conspiracy Theorists.  Which are only the BEST conspiracy theorists, everybody knows that.  According to the linked article (which you guys never click on, and yes I can tell) the world is going to end 33 days after the last solar eclipse when a secret planet called Nibiru collides with Earth.  Bummer.  That would make the end of the world scheduled for Saturday, September 23rd.  Unless – okay wait, so when you count for the apocalypse do you count the day OF the eclipse as day 1?  Or is the NEXT day day 1? Ugh, counting is hard.  So, the end of the world is either on the 22nd or 23rd depending on how you personally choose to count for the apocalypse. Anyway, this dude, Andrew Meade, who has zero chill, apparently determined the date of the end of the world based on a weird obsession with the number 33, which he calls the 33rd Convergence.  To quote:

“The eclipse will start in Lincoln Beach, Oregon — the 33rd state — and end on the 33rd degree of Charleston, South Carolina. Such a solar eclipse has not occurred since 1918, which is 99 years — or 33 times three.”

So naturally, 33 days after the eclipse is when it’s all over.  For a more in depth look into this batshit crazy theory, please click here.  On the bright side, that means I don’t have to worry about losing weight before my cousin’s wedding or getting my life together, like EVER.  On the minus, we miss football season, and oh yeah, the world ends. ????‍♀️

Related image If somehow this crazy world keeps spinning on into October, I think we can all agree that the eclipse was just cool. I got some glasses and totally geeked out when it got hazy outside and the temperature dropped.  Personally, I would be fine with the sun being blocked MORE often because give me those sweet sweet 70 degree temps any day, but a friend wisely pointed out that come winter I would probably be singing a different tune if our source of light and warmth was blotted from the sky.  Twitter was also on fire about the Eclipse (get it? Bc the sun?) so I’ve included a few tweets below that made me laugh:

        I just hope nobody went blind, including the President.  Also, if you want to see Sarah Jessica Parker absolutely lose her GD mind over the Eclipse, here you go.  You’re welcome.

MATCH.COM UPDATE:  I have been on Match.com for approximately 17 days, 3 hours, 17 minutes and 34 seconds.  That’s using apocalypse counting.  That also means I have 2 months 7 days and some odd hours and seconds until this science fair experiment is over.  I KNOW I said I would have a good attitude about it, and I do!  I promise!  And don’t worry I am being checked left and right if I start to even think about canceling my membership or not messaging people back before my 3 months is up…but, DAMN, people, this is brutal.  So let’s go to the update…

Mr. Wang has impressively persisted in his quest for my hand, this week telling me he knows I am taller, but he does not mind it, which was sweet.  He also informed me that I have two smiles, one with teeth, and one without, but both are pretty.  And even though I am introverted, the intelligent conversation is what he likes.  Keep in mind, I have not responded to this guy once.  He again asked if I wanted to date for marriage and a family, given our age.  That’s the way to get me, Wang, keep reminding me  of my aging uterus.  Sometimes he just rapid fires questions, like if I like seafood, and where I live.

There are a few people I have chatted with, so all is not lost!!  However, one of them messaged me recently saying “Good luck on here!” because he was getting off the site.  When I asked him why (for, you know, research) he said – talking about himself – “If I can’t find someone otherwise, then I deserve to be alone”, which is like, WAY HARSH, Tai.  Oh well, he was a coach at a Christian school and he couldn’t drink in public, so it probably wouldn’t have worked out anyway.

The bigger concern with that last interaction is that it’s a touch manipulative.  Hear me out…this is a guy who, if I didn’t message back promptly, would message something passive aggressive that would make me feel bad, so I would in turn respond immediately.   Case in point – even the “good luck on here” made me respond sooner than I probably would have otherwise.  LADIES.  We have to be careful, myself included.  I know it seems like this may be a bit of an overreaction, but this is potential red flag behavior.  Dating a manipulative man OR woman is not fun, and should be avoided at all costs. There, that’s my daily PSA.

Image result for the more you know gif Finally, here is a picture of my latest daily match:

What???


billionaire Italian playboy/model/DJ which I know because, duh, I read Buzzfeed. That’s like if I had a picture of some random model as my only photo.  It’s the Match.com equivalent of keeping the stock photo in the frame.   Against my better judgment, I messaged him asking why that was his profile/only picture – it was just too weird of a deal for me to leave it alone.

Like I said, I have 2 more months plus before I leave this site forever, but by God, while I’m here, I’m going to make the most of it.   I even decided to turn inward, in case GASP!, I’m actually the problem here.  Friend Catherine, who is sort of like my personal guru (Hi again, Catherine!), has been recommending I listen to this podcast called Lady Lovin’ by Lo Bosworth, et al.  Yes, Lo from The Hills, who,  I think we can all agree was the unsung hero of that show.

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Preach, girl


the book of the same name by Laura Lane and Angela Spera with my extra Audible credits.  I like it because it’s more, “oh man, dating is the worst, but here are some funny stories and the tips we learned from them” as opposed to The Rules, which was the dumbest shit ever written.  OR, He’s Just Not That Into YOU, which just made me feel bad about myself.  Plus the are both comics and sketch writers, which is totally up my alley.  I just started listening, so I will keep you all posted on my Facebook page if I learn anything good!

And finally, I spent a good portion of my free time this week obsessing over the last episode of GAME OF THRONES.  I won’t go into any spoilers here, and I know there are several of you who don’t watch it, so this will be short.  All I am saying is I cannot wait to watch the season finale on Sunday night.  I don’t even know what I’m going to do with myself.  This season has been SO good, and if you don’t watch I IMPLORE you to start from the first season ASAP.

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You need to TREAT YO’SELF to this show


here.  That’s it from the Queen in the North.  See you guys next week!

Dating in Your 30s, aka HELL.

I was recently on a family vacation, when my Dad asked me if I was still on my dating sabbatical.  In his defense, I did say last fall I was going to take some time off from the Bumbles and Tinders and just relax and maybe try to meet someone “IRL.”  What I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I wasn’t so much on a sabbatical as just a really long dry spell.

Y’all, dating is HARD.  And it’s even harder when you are in your 30s.  I remember being younger and thinking I had all the time in the world to find “the one”, but anymore I feel like “the one” done ran off with someone else, like in a sad country song.

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Bumper knows

Plus, I haven’t had the best luck in the love department.  You’ll remember the post about Mr. Paleo who ditched me after I had carbs at dinner, correct?  Then there was the time I got cheated on at a Christian sports camp.  I found out by running into the guy and his actual girlfriend on my day off at a JCREW Outlet in Branson, Missouri.  I still remember the ugly bright blue flip-flops he was holding.  Sigh.  Another time I got broken up with by being told that I would be the “one that got away.”  I was like, wait, what?  We are sitting on my couch, I’m literally not going anywhere, I live here.  And finally, falling in love in my twenties only to have it end by being told I was too good at expressing my feelings.  Maybe he was right, I mean I do have a public blog.  So, needless to say, it’s been a little rocky.

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Not to say for one second that my singledom isn’t partially my fault.  I am (clearly) kind of a lot to handle, a little lot awkward – and I went through a really unfortunate phase in my past of immediately disliking anyone who was nice to me.  So there are a lot of stories I could also tell you about really nice guys wanting to date me and me running the other way like an idiot…but those are less fun.  And I also went through a great phase where I LOVED being single.  I was actually really happy with doing my own thing.  I had the cats, a place to live, food/wine, and a Netflix subscription (why yes, I’m still watching, how kind of you to ask!).  And I really LIKED spending time with myself, doing what I wanted to do.  Don’t want to do the dishes tonight?  Fine!  Laundry needs to be done but, hey, remember you have those boxers from that one guy you dated back in law school you can wear under your pants tomorrow…PROBLEM SOLVED!  You want to have cheese and crackers standing up in your kitchen for dinner, and cold pizza for breakfast?  Done, done and Done.  Man, my life was kind of set.

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True story.

But in the last few years, I have to admit I’ve been hearing that little, sentimental voice, nagging whispering in my ear, “Hey girl, don’t you want to have someone responsible’s retirement fund to live off of when you’re older?”  And you know what? Yes.  Yes, I do.  All of that adds up to me being almost 40, single as can possibly be, and kind of wondering what the hell to do next.  So, after the conversation with my father, and subsequent conversation(s) with my therapist, I decided to join Match.com.

YOU GUYS.  It’s only been one week, but things are not OK there.

Look, I’m sure it’s not all bad, and I have a friend in Tulsa who is actually having really good luck with it right now, which is part of the reason I joined, but I have come to the conclusion that what Elaine said is true: 95 % of the population is undateable.

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Honestly, I could have done this entire post in just Seinfeld gifs.

Whether I am in that 95% or not remains to be seen.

Let’s just start from the beginning.  I filled out my profile but kept it pretty simple – like, I didn’t even mention the cats – then uploaded a few pics from Facebook.  I couldn’t really figure out how to work the interface at first (bc OLD), therefore I accidentally “favorited” somebody I hadn’t even matched with or had a conversation with yet, so that was super awkward, but I couldn’t UN-favorite him, because that seemed even worse, so I just left it.  Honestly, that wasn’t even the most embarrassing thing I did THAT DAY,  so I just moved on.  A few hours later, I got a notification that someone had liked me, and I pulled up his profile:

So…is he higher or lower than Lord Butt Munch?

Darth.  Butt.  Munch.  Maybe it’s just me, but one would think that on a site where you are paying actual money, these people would either get weeded out, or offered the gentle suggestion that if you are on a dating site to meet women, maybe changing your profile name is a good idea.  Needless to say, I did not return his interest.  However, I did blast it on Instagram.

I also received about 11 messages (unanswered) from a man named Mr. Wang who inquired, among other things, how many children I would like to have and if I was interested in a long-term romantic relationship with him that may lead to marriage because given our age, he would like to build a family.  He also quite accurately pointed out that my smile was like a rainbow.  One just messaged me “Hey Blonde, what’s your drink?” (ummmmmmmmm, poison?), and another said something about wineries (thumbs up), then said he hoped my Cinderella complex wasn’t too strong (thumbs down).

Finally, there was Michael, who was a “Daily Match”.  It was love at first sight.

THE SIDEWALK ISN’T EVEN CENTERED FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

Like I said, it’s only been a week, and I’m not sure how much more I can take, but I promised my friend Catherine that I would give it the 3 months THEY MAKE YOU PAY FOR BECAUSE 1 MONTH ISN’T AN OPTION. So, I’m going to give it the old college try and even try to have a good attitude about it – at the very least it will give me good blog stories and witty banter I can employ at real people parties.  But if this first week is any indication, at the end of the day, I’m just gonna be like:

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Stay tuned, everybody.  I feel like this is going to give me a LOT of material.

Love,

Mrs. DarthButtMunch

Amazon recommends…

Newsflash: Amazon knows everything about you. Wait, correction.  Amazon THINKS they know everything about you.  And in my case, they apparently think I’m an adult male who buys all of the paper products for what they must be assuming is an entire fire station.  Otherwise I can’t imagine why would they suggest I need 48 rolls of paper towels and 3 cases of toilet paper every time I log in. Admittedly, I buy almost everything on Amazon.com.  EVERYTHING.  And YES, I account for online shopping on my state taxes every year, so get off my case tax nerds/David from my old law firm.  But it’s just SO MUCH EASIER to have things shipped to me as opposed to going out in public and dealing with people.  Plus, I live in an apartment complex and sometimes schlepping everything from my parking garage to my place is unmanageable.  And don’t you dare suggest I take more than one trip – these arms were built for two things: hugging cats and carrying 15 bags of groceries at the same time.

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Debatable

I digress.  Anyway, I got an email alert yesterday that my Amazon.com order had shipped and I got that sinking feeling of, “Oh no, I went online shopping after drinking a box of Cabernet AGAIN.” (You know the feeling right? No? Just me?) So, I hesitantly clicked on my order, just hoping it was something I could afford,  but thankfully it was just some laundry detergent and toothpaste on autoship.  Whew.

Accurate

But, after I logged in, I started looking at all the additional things Amazon suggested I buy.  Granted, most of it is cat food, nooks, and as previously mentioned paper towels and toilet paper (in bulk), but some of it was pretty out there, so I decided to do some research into why Amazon believed I would be interested in Dove Men’s Deodorant, an LSAT prep book, and one single mouth guard.

You buy ONE self-help book and I swear…

Apparently, Amazon uses a user’s purchase history, items in their shopping cart, items they’ve rated and liked, and what other customers have viewed and purchased to determine additional products recommended for you.  According to an “Amazon spokesperson” (I’m curious if that is the actual title is on their LinkedIn profile), the mission is to “delight our customers by allowing them to serendipitously discover great products.”  You guys  KNOW the person that came up with that line was immediately moved to a corner office.

 

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Amazon execs be like

But then I was all, wait, I thought the whole point of serendipity is that it’s kind of accidental?  Otherwise why the hell did they make that John Cusack/Kate Beckinsale flop about fate and gloves and ice cream or something?  I was going to go on a tirade about the plot of this movie and how terrible it is, but fortunately that’s already been done for me here.   Time well saved for you and me both.

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Hey girl, want to make out in the rain under a really big creepy clock, cuz I do.

So, Amazon spends all this money developing research on this fancy algorithm that places something I never knew I wanted in front of me, and then if all goes to plan, I see it and think, well gosh, how fortunate that I stumbled upon a Camouflage Outdoor Waterproof Speaker and Men’s Bodybuilding muscle pants today.  I never realized how incomplete my life was until now.  SERENDIPITY!!!

Who knows what search term triggered these sweet ass pants, but my life is better for it.

It seems kind of bizarre to me – and more than a little annoying, but it must work, since Jeff Bezos’ wealth has surged in the last two years, making him arguably the second richest man in the world.  It’s not just Amazon either, if you are on social media at all you must have noticed that Facebook and Instagram are really into targeting their ads these days.  Facebook is pretty open about it, in fact, for some light reading, you can find out all about their advertising here.  Not surprisingly, most of the ads I see on Facebook are animal or politics related, with a hefty dose of “You won’t believe what these celebrities look like NOW!!!” click-bait articles, but if you go to your log on to Facebook and go to your preferences you can actually see what the algorithm “thinks” you are into.  This is when it gets a little hit or miss because, while yes, I am into endangered species, animal welfare and nature, I am not into Fish (not fishing – just fish), Vultures, Motorcycles, or… Mesh(???).  Can’t win em all Amazon! However, I have to admit they nailed it with Cat Communication and Leisure.

Instagram is no better, but their ads seems to be a little less obvious.  In fact, sometimes I’ll scroll through and see a group of attractive people frolicking on the beach and my first thought is, okay, which one of these assholes didn’t invite me on vacation? Then I realize it’s an ad for a low-calorie malt liquor, which I immediately want to go purchase.  Don Draper would be so proud.

This stuff is actually pretty good. #sponsored

I guess the only way to avoid targeting by social media or online shopping advertising algorithms is to go off the grid, but I picked the blue pill long ago, so that’s probably not an option for me now.  Btw, that’s a Matrix reference for those of you who were having sex in college instead of watching sci-fi movies with the other nerds…

Speaking of, somehow the extended director’s cut of Dune just end up in my shopping cart, weird.  Can’t wait to watch it in my new Men’s Bodybuilding pants.  SERENDIPITY!!!

Confessions of a Sweater

I HATE Oklahoma summers.  Hate them. I spend most of my time bitching and moaning about the heat and the first thing I do every morning is go to my favorite weather app to see what fresh hell the new day has brought.   And it’s not just that I dislike summers because I am mildly uncomfortable, it’s that my physical response to heat is extremely aggressive.  Hence, Confessions of a Sweater.

Me. Always.

I sweat.  A lot.  Not necessarily when I am nervous, so I got that going for me (which is nice),  but anytime my internal temperature or heart rate raises I turn into a liquid.  It’s just the way it’s always been.  I could go for a 20 minute jog and look like I just ran a marathon.  When I was in high school, 15 minutes into basketball practice I would get a round sweat circle in the middle of my shirt and my coach would say to the other players, “there’s your target – pass the ball there.”  It was totally normal and not traumatizing at all for a 16 year old.  So summers for me, are a bit of a challenge.

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Blanche gets it.

For my Italy trip (drink),  I only packed in an expandable carry-on,  because one, I don’t have any other sizes of suitcases, and two,  everyone kept telling me I could pack light and re-wear certain items of clothing.  FAKE NEWS.  I couldn’t wear anything more than once because after a few hours of walking around in 88-degree heat, everything on my body needed to be burned.  I was disgusting for like 17 straight days.  I had to do laundry TWICE.   After visiting the Coliseum, I walked into a little sandwich shop in Rome with a male coworker to grab a bite to eat.  The place was small, hot and stuffy with zero A/C.  To make matters worse about 8 people filed in right after me so it was small, hot, stuffy AND crowded.  I immediately started profusely sweating to the point where my arms and face were covered in actual spherical drops.  My coworker (who was cool, calm and collected), looked at my arm and said, recoiling,  “Oh my God, is that sweat?” and then I promptly died of humiliation.  Look, I’m as shocked as you are that I didn’t find an Italian boyfriend.

Oklahoma is even hotter, so it’s more like the surface of Mars.  Or Hell, which is what you would assume if you saw our educational system.   I can’t sit on patios. I can’t walk anywhere unless I am planning on going with the “oh me? I just swam here” look.  My wardrobe is limited to white and black.(NO GREY is allowed.  NEVER grey).  My hair is in a bun by 2:00 every day.  My electric bill is through the roof from the beginning of May to the end of September (BECAUSE THAT’S HOW LONG SUMMER LASTS HERE), and I  have to put ICE in my wine, like some kind of animal. I know, I know, first world problems, BUT SERIOUSLY.

With that being said, in honor of the hottest week of the year so far, I give you the Top 10 Reasons Why Summer in Oklahoma is THE WORST.

10.)  Summer programming means  terrible reality shows on every channel.  For the love of God, please…no more Duggar shows.  19 kids should not equal 19 spinoffs.

9.) Cost of the increase in water usage for excess laundry and showering.  Bonus points if you start sweating FROM taking a shower.  I can’t even talk about using the hair dyer…too many painful memories.

8.) June Bugs – WHY ARE THEY STILL HERE IN JULY???  I really want to understand this.  Somebody ask science and let me know.

7.) Turning into a psycho if I see someone leave a dog/child in the car.

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And when I do, I will Liam Neeson you. And not like in Love Actually.

6.) Mosquitoes – The real punishment for original sin.

5.) The inability of anyone to discuss anything other than Game of Thrones or the weather (although, for the record, I’m fine with the former).

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From your lips to God’s ears, Ned.

4.) SKIN CANCER – One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.  LATHER UP PEOPLE.

3.) Pit Stains.  RIP favorite new LOFT Utility blouse.  I hardly knew ye.

Halle Berry Excessive Sweating

Not all heroes wear capes, guys.

2.)  The excruciating pain of legs stuck to a leather seat.  If you ever need my DNA, that’s where you should start.

And drumroll…..

1.) BOOB SWEAT/BODY-PART-I-WON’T-NAME-BECAUSE-THIS-IS-A-FAMILY-BLOG SWEAT.  But, I hear Gold Bond sales rocket in the summer.

Runners up: Sweaty people smell, when people say, “ladies don’t sweat, they glisten”, water park commercial jingles, wearing clothes, and those summer people who ask you to do things outdoors all the time because it’s “such a pretty day.”

That’s it for my list!  What are the worst – or okay, I’ll allow it – best parts of summer for you?

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I guess?

Author’s note: Feel free to turn any mention of my Italy trip into a drinking game, you wouldn’t be the first.

You may have wondered what I did with the cats while I was in Italy* (????) since this was the longest amount of time I have been away since I adopted them.  In the past, if it’s just been a few nights, I have a local service that comes in, feed/waters them, changes the litter, and plays with them for a bit.  OKC area people, Savvy Pet Sitters are AWESOME if you are looking for someone to help with your pets.  I cannot say enough nice things about them!  They even let me into my apartment one night at like 12:30 AM,  after I left my keys in an Uber ????‍♀️.   For this trip, however, I knew I would need someone to physically be there in the apartment with them during the entire time I was gone (to Italy ????).  Cats don’t do well being boarded or going to someone else’s home, because, you know, OTHER SMELLS, and it would have been pretty expensive to hire my professional pet sitter for that many nights, so I started asking around a few months ago to see if I had any friends, family members or coworkers that would offer to stay in exchange for some cash and the use of my pool for a few weeks.  I was getting a little worried because for some reason no one had taken me up on my offer, then a coworker told me she had a friend in grad school who needed a place to live for a few months while she finished her summer school classes.  My coworker had good things to say about her, so I thought, okay why not check out this option.  I texted the girl, who we will refer to henceforth as “cat-sitter” and we made plans to meet up for coffee and go over everything she would need to know about staying with Jules and Gigi.

We chatted several times before meeting up and I stalked her pretty hard on her Facebook, so I was feeling good about the situation.  In addition, I would be helping her out too because she wouldn’t have to couch surf all summer, and at my apartment she had cable, internet and a pool, plus endless cuddles from J.  We met up and she was adorable and sweet and I thought, YES – this is going to be great, I was immediately at ease.  She came over that night and met the cats  and a few days later I took off for Italy* (????????).

Let me go ahead and spoil part of this story for you – the cats are fine, and my apartment is fine, so don’t worry too much about the ending here, this story is just funny more than anything.  And I mean funny haha AND funny strange.  My flight from OKC took off on a Tuesday, but I didn’t arrive in Italy* (????) until Wednesday morning.  Cat-sitter texted when she arrived in the apartment that evening and let me know that everything was all good.  A few days later I checked in again, but didn’t hear back for well over a day.  I was starting to get a little worried that maybe something happened to her, so I called my back up in case I didn’t hear back in the next few hours (one must always be prepared).  Then I checked cat-sitter’s Instagram as any clinically insane person/brilliant genius would do.  Turns out she had gone camping for a night and didn’t have cell service, which was totally fine, but then I noticed in her pictures that she was wearing one of my tank tops.  My first thought was, “hey I have that tank top”  but that quickly gave way to, “wait, is that my shirt?”  I was like, okay fine, whatever, maybe she didn’t have any grubby clothes to take camping.  Weird, but moving on.   I spoke with her when she got home that night, and by that point in time, I had put the whole shirt thing out of my mind.  I spent the rest of my time in Italy* (????) without incident and I came home and everything seemed fine.  Cats were great, happy to see me, etc.  BUT, I started looking around my closet, and I couldn’t find that tank top.   A little strange, but I’m thinking maybe she put it back where she found it, which really could have been anywhere – my closet can be described as organized chaos or a total shitshow.  The same could probably be said for my personal life.

I was slowly starting to obsess over all of this, so I looked at her Instagram again a few days later, and upon further review, I find a video blog (or “vlog” for all you social media hipsters) she posted during the time I was in Italy* (????)  and in the vlog she’s wearing an entire outfit of mine, including my earrings and an Ann Taylor Loft utility shirt, which I own in about 10 different colors. (They’re just great for work AND play!!!)

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This girl’s face is like, seriously, get some new outfits.

There’s also another pic with a shirt on the bed behind her, that I KNOW was in a drawer before I left.  Meaning: SHE. WENT. THROUGH. MY. DRAWERS.   Yes, dear readers, I’m assuming even THAT drawer.

This is where I think it gets even more weird.  Cat-sitter is a tiny, tiny girl – there is no way that any of my clothes naturally fit her.  For a visual comparison, I’m Brienne of Tarth and she is Arya.

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A girl is very short.

Regardless, there she is, preaching a Sunday gospel vlog in my Ann Taylor Loft utility shirt and the earrings my friend Catherine gave me for my birthday.  Give her the benefit of the doubt, you say?  Maybe she, too, is a lover of functional work clothes at affordable prices?  I thought the same thing for half a second until I saw yet another video – this time she’s wearing my 2014 Ryan Adams concert tee which says “CHOOSE CATS” in huge letters across the front.  The only other person that has that T-shirt is my friend Corey, because we bought them together at the show and she is also a crazy cat lady.  And again, she’s sporting a pair of my earrings.  All of these videos were filmed in my bedroom, by the way.  Where were the cats, you ask?  GOOD QUESTION.  Probably trapped in the bathroom.  I mean, I know Jules wouldn’t miss an opportunity to be on camera.

So, I mention this to a few people at work, kind of all, “sooooo, this weird thing happened while I was in Italy*(????), what do I do, etc…” and the immediate response is that I have to confront her, this isn’t normal.  But I hate conflict, and also she still had a key at the time and I didn’t want her to Single White Female me in the middle of the night.   We decided I would go home that evening and check to make sure all my belongings were accounted for and she wasn’t halfway to Mexico with my Kendra Scott earrings and half my wardrobe.

I get home and from what I can tell, nothing is missing (except the tank top), but I start going through my closet and I can tell that she either wore or tried on seven or eight other shirts because they were buttoned all funny, i.e. the sleeves are both rolled up AND buttoned at the bottom, which is just NOT how you wear a utility blouse.  Then it hits me.  She could have tried on or worn ANY piece of clothing I owned, because clearly my size was not a deterrent. YOU GUYS, WHAT IF SHE JOEY’D ME???  I mean, okay, probably not, but see the previous post re: irrational anxiety.

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Could I BE wearing any more clothes?

I spent the next few days doing several rounds of laundry because it just weirded me out thinking someone else had been wearing my stuff.  I’m also a germaphobe, so the whole thing probably bothered me more than it would a sane person.  The worst part of the whole thing is wondering if there is anything I missed – and if there is anything (else?) she possibly took.  I don’t really believe that this girl is an actual thief, but ever since this happened, if I can’t find something, my immediate reaction is to think, what if?

And I can seriously NOT find that tank top.  Maybe it’s where all my socks and youth went.

Also, my purpose in posting this is not to shame her, or roast her on my blog.  Cat-sitter and I are not connected at all other than through my coworker, who already knows about the whole ordeal.  But since she posted a vlog in my clothes, I feel like it’s only fair that I write a blog post about her doing said vlog in my clothes – it’s really all very meta.  I do not plan on revealing her name or posting any of the screenshots I took – but I will totally show you in person if you ask.  Nor do I plan on confronting her about it, even though I know I probably should.   I just feel like she is going back to her home state in a matter of weeks and it’s now it’s kind of a moot issue.   I did entertain the idea of writing “NICE SHIRT” under  one of her posts, but at the end of the day, I am just happy the cats were safe and well cared for and my apartment is still standing.  Besides, she left a half-eaten jar of peanut butter, 3 eggs, and 2 LaCroix, so maybe at the end of the day we are even?  I don’t know, the ethics are kind of grey here – kind of like the T-shirt she borrowed – while I was in Italy* (????????????????????????)

*By my count you should have at least had 3 bottles of wine by now.  You’re welcome.

Can I-talia about my trip?

I’d like to say that I am sorry for that terrible pun in the title, but… I’m just not ????‍♀️.  So, the best thing about secretly keeping up your blog even though you haven’t written anything in two years is when you have one of those experiences that you just cannot wait to get write about, you have a place to do it.  So in other words….I’m baaaaack!  Again.  At least for now.  I miss writing and I miss having a creative outlet, so what that means is YOU are now invited back inside my weird little mind.  I know, I know, don’t everyone get too excited.   My main impetus for blogging right now is to discuss my AWESOME and amazing trip to Italia!  But this is not just a humblebrag, “look at allllll my vacation pics”, post (although you can do that over on my IG @dammitsuzanne – be sure to check it out, and give us a follow while you are at it!),  it’s more of a post about my first true trip abroad and out of my comfort zone, and what it taught me about myself.

Most of you know that this was partially a work trip, and I am forever grateful for the experience I had with the faculty and students I was with whilst traveling about in the most amazingly beautiful country, but other than to say I had an amazing time with an amazing group of students that I won’t soon forget, what I want to focus on in this post is the ALONE TIME I spent for a few days in Cinque Terre.  Alone time.  SHUDDER.  To some of you  this short phrase probably sounds like a dream come true.  You think, “if I just had some alone time, I could get X, Y, and Z done”, but instead you have work, and side gigs, and kids, and a spouse, and all these other things that prevent you from really having that pure unadulterated time to yourself.  And I know that you are all grateful for those distractions, but I also have enough friends who if given the chance for 4 days alone in a country where they don’t speak the language  would sign up yesterday.  BUT, alone time for me is sort of terrifying.  I always think it’s what I want until I get it, and then my little mind starts whirring and instead of thinking about how relaxed I am, I’m replaying a conversation I had with a friend I fell out of touch with 14 years ago and wondering why she didn’t invite me to her wedding.  I think the word on the tip of all our tongues is “ANXIETY.”  I have the type of anxiety that likes to wake me up in the middle of the night to worry about retirement and global warming.  I have the type of anxiety that when I hear “nothing is impossible” I think about zombies coming through my window.  My anxiety is the type that  if someone says “we need to talk” I think they are firing/breaking up with/planning on murdering me (but giving me a heads up).   Or my favorite, my constant worry about slipping in the shower and dying alone in my apartment and then my cats eat my face off and I have to have a closed-casket funeral, which would mean that at the service no one could gaze adoringly at my face before breaking into  sobs and screaming “WHY GOD, WHY?” with their fists in the air.  It’s often not rational, and it even more often borders on ludicrous, but my mind is all about it.  Look, I even included a cute lil’ info-graphic for you.

If you haven’t checked out the Awkward Yeti comic strip yet, please do so here: http://theawkwardyeti.com/

My anxiety is the BEST of the BEST.  It got tops marks in anxiety school, like a little worry laden, hand-wringing Hermione Granger.  I mean I have anxiety about writing a blog post about anxiety, tbh. The bottom line is, when given 4 days to myself with nothing but my THOUGHTS, shit got kind of real.

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I am also an extrovert (ENFP, FTW) so I really need to be around people, but like, also alone, but like, you know alone around people, so solo trips can be kind of a challenge for ENFPers, especially in a country where you don’t speak the local language so you can’t just run around the corner to a local bar and make a friend.  A friend on Facebook posted this article about the ENFP personality the other day and it pretty much hits the nail on the head.  The ENFP personality (if you buy into Myers Briggs/Jungian Theory of Psychological Types) is kind of the hot mess of the personality types – in a good way.  Like your hot mess friend, Charlene, although maybe with better intentions.  (But YES to videos of baby goats, amiright??  Also, that little girl is basically my child if I were to ever have one.)  The ENFP always has about a thousand things going on inside their head and we just want to talk to you about all of them all at once.  Until we are bored with those things and then we want to move on and talk about 500 other things.  And we can go from being perfectly content recharging on our own to being unbearably lonely in about 30 seconds.  So I was really excited about this little solo excursion until about 5 minutes after I got to my first hotel.

Let’s start from the beginning.  Cinque Terre is about 4 train rides away from where I was originally staying in Arezzo.  After extensive research and freaking out and booking 6 different hotels online (decisions, UGH!) I decided to stay the first two nights in Vernazza, and the second two in Monterosso.  I took the train first to Florence and spent about 3 hours walking around, then took 3 more trains to Vernazza to check in to my hotel. I am not a travel blogger but if you ever want to know where I stayed and ate and what I did in detail, let me know and I will happily set up a slide show at my house and go into excruciating detail about it.  The advice I will give now is that if you are a solo traveler, it’s best to make a reservation in person for the first dinner seating at some of the more popular restaurants. Because the villages have become pretty touristy, a lot of the restaurants seemed to view seating only one person as a waste of a table.  And it was hard to explain in my broken Italian that I would probably eat and drink enough for two people.  I was already starting to get a little lonely and homesick for the face-eaters, so the next morning I knew I needed to keep myself busy.  I got up and grabbed a croissant and espresso and decided to go for a hike from Vernazza to Corniglia and back.  I thought because I had been working out and walking all over Italy that I was ready for this hike.  I. WAS. NOT.  It was hard, and beautiful and humbling.  My legs and lungs were on fire for a good part of 6 hours.  But I met a lot of really nice and interesting people along the way, including a few who asked me if I was going to be okay in what I think may have been German.  I arrived back to my hotel exhausted but invigorated and decided to go for a dip in the Ligurian sea off a hidden rock beach close to my hotel.  Again, I thought I was a pretty good swimmer.  I. AM. NOT.  But when I got into the water, I realized pretty quickly I was out of my depth (HA), so I didn’t swim out too far from the rocky beach.  Regardless, by the time I tried to swim to shore, the tide was coming in and I was getting slammed around pretty good.  I saw a woman cautiously watching me from the beach, but I waved her off with a little, “I got this don’t worry” wave and then I finally pulled myself out of the water.  I stood up, proud that I did it, and that’s when I looked down and realized that my swimsuit had come down, and I had popped out a boob.  I covered up and said “mi dispiace” as loud as I could to all the onlookers, but since it’s Italy, everyone kind of looked at me like, “meh.”  Only now that I look back on that moment, I realize it was a bit of an insult.

Italians, basically.

The next day I took the train to Monterroso to stay at this little refurbished bed and breakfast tucked way up in the hills.  This was going to be “The Time That I Reconnected to Myself Like All Those Wellness Blogs Say To Do.”  I checked in, grabbed my book, found a lawn-chair looking out into the woods, and promptly had a minor panic attack.  It was only noon.  I was suddenly so lonely and homesick and had no idea what I was going to do with myself until I met back up with my group in Rome a few days later.  If you have ever dealt with anxiety, you know the symptoms – restlessness, tightness in your chess, an uptick in your heart rate, the impending feeling of doom, etc.  I can describe it best as feeling like you are a can of soda pop that’s been shaken up, and someone is about to crack it open, but if you crack it open the world ends.  It’s a real gas, let me tell you.

Fortunately, after dealing with anxiety for many years I am well versed in self-care and knowing the things I need to do in order to get out of my head and back on track, like exercising, eating a good meal, and reaching out to loved ones, but I have to admit that despite being surround by the most beautiful scenery I’d ever encountered, there was one day I kind of just wanted to hide in bed.  I guess my point in saying this is that anxiety can hit you no matter who/where you are and at the most unreasonable times, even when you should be happy and relaxed.  And maybe sometimes it even hits you harder because you SHOULD be happy and relaxed, and then your mind is all “UGH just be happy and relaxed already!!!”

It was still too early in the day to call text home, so I chucked the book, and made plans for another hike .  This time I took the train to Riomaggiore and hiked to Manarola.  Again, the fresh air, endorphins, and shocking realization that my heart may give out at any minute were enough to ground me.  I came home that afternoon, took a hot shower and made plans for the rest of my evening.  I decided that while in Italy I was not going to take any cabs or shuttles unless I absolutely had too, so I walked all the way down to the “New Town” in Monterosso for dinner.  By the time I got there, I looked like a hot sweaty mess so much so that another couple sent me over a glass of their sparkling water.  It may have been the same German couple who were concerned about me on the hike, but I couldn’t tell for the sweat in my eyes.  Post dinner I walked home, and then had a rousing conversation about gun control with some Australians that were staying at my B&B (because of course I did) and went to bed, feeling stronger and more emotionally connected to myself than I had in weeks.  The rest of the trip sailed by with more of the same, hiking, eating and talking to Australians – seriously there were tons there, and then I left Cinque Terre and headed back to Rome to meet up again with my group, excited to see them, but also thankful for the time I spent alone, even though it was scary and a little lonely.

I like to very importantly note that this is a pretty minor interaction with anxiety – and I have worked HARD in my life to get to the point where I can handle little panic attacks in this way.  This is by no means a complete description of anxiety, nor should it be taken as a prescription for what will help YOU with anxiety.  This was just an experience I had that I felt like sharing because people are so afraid to talk about anxiety and depression and mental illness and I just think it should be talked about, even in my silly blog.  Because it can happen to anyone at any time in any location, even off the coast of Italy.  Also, I don’t mention medication here because I could write another ENTIRE blog post about that and this one is already too long, but let me just say, one day you will have to pry the Prozac out of my cold, dead hands.  And if you ever WANT to talk to me about this stuff, I am all ears.  I think mental health is no different from physical health and it should be treated with the same importance. Okay, okay, off my soapbox. #mentalhealthisphysicalhealth and #physicalhealthismentalhealth.

Moral of the story – Italy is amazing, anxiety is real, and I’M BACK PEOPLE!!!

Apartment Living in the 405

When I moved to Oklahoma City, I moved into an apartment complex.  I’d been living in houses since about 2009, so apartment living came as a bit of a shock.  First, I had accumulated a lot of crap in the last 6 or 7 years, so downsizing was a challenge.  I am one of those girls that keeps everything.  People like to throw the word “hoarder” around, but I prefer to call it sentimental.  In fact, I still have a baseball some guy gave me in college.  Do I remember who gave me the baseball and why?  No.  But it was important to 18 year old me, so it goes in the keep pile!  Literally, I’ve spent almost two decades holding on to a baseball that no longer has any meaning….wait, maybe someone should put a call into A&E.  Or is it TLC that does the hoarder show?  I don’t remember, let me go check my stack of TV Guides.

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Proof. Also, Jules would make an excellent shortstop.

The point is, it’s been a while since I’ve been in a communal living situation.  No, Dad, that doesn’t mean a nude artist’s colony, don’t worry.  I’m saving that for retirement.  And truthfully, the only thing communal about my apartment is the gym area, pool, and parking garage, but this is the first time I’ve shared any space with other people in a really long time, so…there have been some growing pains.  Lucky for you I put together a pro/con list.  First off, the pros.

1.) I don’t have as much space to hoard.  (They say admitting you have a problem is the first step, right?)  When I moved I had to get rid of what felt like EVERYTHING – except the baseball, don’t be ridiculous.  I sold a lot of stuff, but finally resigned myself to leaving a few things on the curb, or just shoving items into the hands of random passerby.  I also paid a restoration company several hundred dollars to come take an entire garage of junk that had been ruined in an unfortunate flooding scenario.  I wish I could hire those guys in general for my life.  For example, my relationship is a mess, can I give you guys some money and while I’m inside you can just make it all go away?  Legally, of course.  Wait, we’re getting a little dark here, but seriously if there is a service for that, let me know.  If not, then, trademark pending, y’all.  Anyway, I don’t have a lot of space, so even a hoarder has to make some cuts.  Which has sort of simplified my life. I guess.  But sometimes, in the dark of night, I miss that stack of bills from 2003.

2.) The Gym.  I am lazy.  So so lazy.  I try to act like I’m not, but I am.  Honestly, from the second my eyes pop open every morning the first thought that comes to mind is “NO NO NO NO NO NO NO .”  My alarm goes off, and I am literally this dog.  So, naturally, working out has to be EASY in order for me to even attempt any type of fitness regimen.  As I mentioned in my earlier post, I have actually been able to find a workout groove since I’v moved to OKC.  That’s because the gym is in the same building in which I reside.  Otherwise it wouldn’t happen.  That, and Spotify.  OHMYGOD Spotify.  Spotify is my jam, or my spirit animal, or my bae – whatever the kids are saying these days.  When I like a song, it’s like a 14 year old girl that just discovered One Direction.  It’s all I care about for at LEAST 5 days.  And I listen to it obsessively until I cannot hear it again.  Enter Spotify.  Not only do they have other people’s playlists you can listen to, but you can also hear any song you want to AT ANY TIME.  Like, just now, I wanted to listen to Irene Cara’s “What a Feeling” and I did.  I also listened to a weird cover of the same song.  Heaven, I tell you.  (They have that song too!)  The other best thing about Spotify is you can listen to music based on the activity or time of day.  So for me, I go to the workout section and find a playlist that looks fun and off we go.  I have extended several workouts since living here just because I wanted to finish out a playlist.  You can, of course, make your own list too.  My current favorite playlist consists of Ryan Adams and Taylor Swift both performing 1989.  Taylor for the workout and Ryan for the cool-down. And no this post is not sponsored by Spotify, but I wish it was.  #squadgoals.  So the lesson here is, a centrally located workout facility + streaming music = Fit and Fab Dammit Suzanne.

Will someone please buy this for me?

3.) It was new.  Nobody lived here before me.  The OCD in me was doing Beyonce hair flips when they gave me that bit of info.  No germs!!!  Let me get a pen real quick to sign that contract…oh, you want blood?  No problem!

4.) The Pool. This one goes into both the pro and con category.  Pro: IT’S A POOL AND WE LIVE ON MARS.  So it’s nice to have a body of water in your vicinity.  Con:  The people at the pool.  Seriously, why are they still filming MTV Spring Break? Is that still even a channel?  Every time I’m there,  I feel like I’m periscoping Las Vegas.  FYI – That link is ALMOST NSFW, but you should be okay as long as a coworker doesn’t walk by, in which case, you’re going to HR.   And if you clicked on that link anyway, something tells me it’s probably not going to be your first time.  You rebel, you.  What I’m saying is, the pool is a major party scene.  Which is fine and all, but I am pretty sure that at least 79% of the people at the pool are people that don’t live there.  And they probably pee in it, let’s be honest.  It’s just gross.  At the beginning of the summer, I asked one guy what floor he was one, and he said “Naw, man, I just got the key code off a Facebook post.”  Great, don’t mind me if I steal this lawn chair since I’m paying rent for it.  GET OFF MY LAWN YOU DAMN KIDS!  But, if you’re looking for a new pattern for that tribal tatt you were thinking about getting, or you want to talk about the Cross-fit WOD, you should swing by.

#truestory

Other Cons:

5.) Neighbors.  But seriously, IS that a bowling ball?

6.) Being Nickle and Dimed.  You pay rent, which you think is going to include the basics – stuff like trash, water, parking,  and YOUR ANIMALS.  But alas, that is no longer the case.  My complex charges extra for allllll that ish. Including pet rent.  Yes, you are correct, Gig and Jules pay rent.  And since they are animals, and Jules still hasn’t made it famous on Instagram, that means I pay that money.  It’s not cheap either, but since I love them, what’s my option?  (Don’t answer that, Dad).  Unfortunately, most apartment complexes in even slightly large cities now charge a pet deposit and pet rent.  So unless your furry pal is that monkey from Friends, you might want to take that into consideration when thinking about moving into an apartment.

Despite my diatribe, I guess ultimately the pros outweigh the cons.  Also, moving sucks, so I will probably live here at least until the zombie apocalypse.  Until then, if you’re in the mood to get an STD from a body of water, call me and we’ll go swimming.

Ch-ch-ch-changes…

Well…first, I should apologize for being a terrible blogger. But WAIT, before I get  people yelling at me in the comments, or on text or Facebook posts or emails (or not at all because who am I kidding, like 3 people including my parents read this blog) I have a pretty good excuse.  Or at least I think I do.  Since my last post, a lot of things have changed in my world, and admittedly, it was hard to keep up with them all and write them down at the same time.   First, I moved from what has been my hometown for the past 20 years to a new city,  changed jobs, and ultimately downsized from a house to a really tiny apartment.  With 2 cats.  So it’s been a little crazy the last few months and I didn’t know how to put all that into a blog post.  I think I would have had an easier time conveying it with emojis (????????????????????????????????????????????????????????). Yep, that WAS actually easier. But change is supposed to be good, right?   So, now that things have finally settled down and I’ve found my groove again, I wanted to give you guys a big update!  Because you miss me!  Awww, that’s sweet. I can practically hear all 3 of you nodding in agreement, thanks guys.  Anyway, here is a a short list of fun, weird and unexpected things that have happened to me since I moved.

1.) Moving.  I’m fully convinced that the moving process is a pretty terrible experience on the whole.   Right up there with a root canal or getting a flat tire in the dead of summer when it’s 105 with a heat index of 1 million.  Which is basically every summer day in Oklahoma, but I’ve learned that complaining about the weather is pointless (although satisfying). But, really, OH DEAR LORD why is it so hot???  I mean, I didn’t even have to look that hard for that link, I just googled “Oklahoma” and before I even got the whole state typed in, Google was all, “oh you mean the forecast for the surface of Mars?  Here you go.”

But, anyway, I moved on a Monday morning and started my new job on Wednesday, so it was kind of a super rushed and mostly stressful situation.  Thankfully, I had a lot of friends helping me pack over the weekend, but still, that morning one of my girlfriends had to come over and basically just stuff crap into baskets and wrap them with plastic wrap.  It looked like my whole house was a gift from Harry & David’s. I’ve moved several times in my life in the past decade, but this was the first time with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb, which added a whole new level of torture to the experience.  The movers came at about 8 am, and  I put Jules and Gigi in my bedroom so they wouldn’t get too freaked out before we got in the car to drive to OKC.  Jules decided the way to be the most helpful was to stand at the door and sing me the song of his people for 4 hours.  Then, they got moved to the bathroom, which worked out well for Jules because the acoustics are much better in there.  He pretty much sounded like Celine Dion.  If Celine was on fire.  It took about 6 hours to load everything up – oh wait,  did I mention it was raining?  Because it was.  Literally, pouring the whole time.  But, we finally hit the road with the cats in their carrying cases, which were carefully researched and purchased weeks before the move to make the entire process as painless as possible.  Naturally, they revolted like the kids from District 13, so to save my own sanity, I actually let them out.  While going 85 down a turnpike in the pouring rain.  Probably not the smartest decision I’ve ever made, but I was pretty frazzled by this point and it was either let them out, or pull over onto the side of the road and cry.  Fortunately Jules just curled up on my lap and Gigi found a spot in my bedding in the backseat where she could lie down, but still stare daggers through the back of my head, so it worked out okay.  We got to OKC, unloaded, and we were finally at our new home.  I made sure everyone was settled and went to a nearby restaurant and ordered the biggest cheeseburger I could find and drank about a pitcher of beer. Then I came back to my apartment, surveyed my new surroundings, and thought, what the hell have I gotten myself into this time?  Fortunately for all parties involved, we seem to be adjusting just fine so far, and loving the OKC life.

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It’s almost like the trauma from the move actually made them LIKE each other.

2.) Meeting famous people.  A few kind of fun and bizarre things happened in rapid succession when I came to OKC.  First, I went to my neighborhood bar the weekend after I moved and ended up chatting with a few Thunder players over a plate of nachos (I was eating my feelings, okay?).  I’m a pretty big fan of these guys, so even though I was trying to play it cool, I was actually kind of freaking out.  Like, “oh I’m just really interested in this article I’m reading on my phone”, but I was actually texting everyone I knew, and trying to figure out a sly way to take a picture.  I was especially excited to be sitting by Nick Collison, since I’ve had a crush on him since college when he played at KU.  I came home from dinner and told the cats I met their new daddy, but I haven’t seen him since so I guess that was not the future he’d envisioned.

Next, I met Lindsey Buckingham on a downtown street in the middle of the day while waiting for a cheeseburger with my uncle and cousin (see above re eating my feelings).  Being the classy broad I am, I yelled LINDSEY at the top of my lungs and ran and took and picture with him. Then I told him that Fleetwood Mac was one of the top 5 concerts I’d ever seen.  At the time it seemed like a huge compliment, but I’m pretty sure he was thinking, “Seriously?  We’re one of the greatest bands of all time, but glad we made your top 5, lady.”  But he would say it with a British accent and it would sound charming instead of sarcastic.  Anyway, picture proof below. Please don’t comment on the fact that it looks like I’m about to eat him.

He seems pleased, don’t you think?

3.) Changing my habits.  So, I’ve managed to lose 12 pounds in the last 2 months. Seriously.  After literally eating my way through OKC – see picture above – I finally got a grip and started leading a much healthier lifestyle.  My blood pressure even went down 20 points! And yes, I am at the age where BP counts.  The nurse who took my last reading must have thought I was insane because I made her take it twice to be sure it had really gone down that much.  Having said that, one of the things I want to start doing with the blog is to feature some posts that focus on healthier living…or at least what that means to me.  I’m going to start posting workouts I’ve either found online or cobbled together from Pinterest, or maybe even exercises I remember from old basketball practices. (Suicides and defensive shuffles anyone?).   I also want to post some recipes I’ve found that have helped me stay on track, although I’m not much of a cook, so don’t expect miracles.  But I can make a mean overnight oatmeal!  I still have a long way to go to becoming fit and healthy again, but I’m happy I’m at least on the right track, and I know we could all use some extra tips and tricks that can work for real people.

12 pounds down! Also, loving getting to spend time with this girl now that we share the same zip code again!

Plus blogging about healthier choices will serve as accountability for me.  And since we all know I like to pound grape* with the best of them, I need all the accountability I can get!

Glad to be back kids, and for those who have asked (Kristin), LA Story Part II is coming up soon!

*I’ve been watching a lot of Cougar Town reruns lately.  Just wait…it’s in there.  And stop judging, it’s funny.

But really, who wants wine???

LA Story (Part I)

While most of you were busy watching the basketball games over the weekend, I know there was probably a pretty large percentage still trying to knock out the new season of House of Cards.  I’m about halfway through, but I keep falling asleep toward the end, which I do with MOST shows at this age, so I have to go back and re-watch about 1/2 of it, and it just becomes a whole thing.  But my favorite part of House of Cards dominating my newsfeed again is the fact that I get to retell my Kevin Spacey story.  (I just heard an audible groan from my friends who have heard it 50 times, but when you get to the end, you’ll be surprised I didn’t make T-shirts).

Back in 2006 I was still working in sales and my friend Sara* owned a clothing boutique.  One summer Sara was going to “Market in LA” (whatever that means, I’m still not sure ) and we decided to make it a long weekend and stay out there to see my little brother.  It turned out to be the best, most ridiculous weekend ever.  And I do not say that lightly. We spent the first two nights in Santa Monica eating amazing Italian food and shopping, then we headed into LA to stay one night at the Chateau Marmont, because even after scraping together all of our pennies, one night is all we could afford.

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View from Sunset Boulevard. Photo cred: http://offroaduruguay.org/img/chateau-marmont-history.html

View from Chateau Marmont

Th Chateau boasts some pretty amazing views, especially at night. Photo cred: http://simonbatters.com/chateaumarmont.html

One we checked into the Chateau,  Sara and I immediately put on our swimsuits and went to the pool to scope for celebrities and enjoy the LA weather.  My brother and his former gf met us at the pool, and we started ordering drinks and “charging them to the room”, because why not?  They can’t be that expensive, right?   Wrong.  I don’t remember exactly how much the tab was, but I do remember it was more than the cost of our entire room.

One of the main reasons we wanted to stay at the Chateau was because at the time the bar in the hotel was the LA hotspot, and Sara and I had an unhealthy obsession with all things US Weekly.  Our plan was to get a room, because then they would have to let us into the bar area.  Brilliant! Problem was, the bar and restaurant were completely shut down because of the wedding of some studio big-wig.   We were understandably devastated.  However, we decided right then and there (or maybe the pool margaritas decided for us) that we would go back to our rooms, change into our fanciest clothes and try to sneak into the reception, which was being held out in the garden area.  Where, incidentally, we had seen Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz eating a few hours earlier.  I use the term “eating” loosely, Cameron was more like angrily pushing her salad around and cutting it into tiny pieces like the lettuce owed her money, and JT was just staring at his phone.  Celeb love is so romantic.

Terrace at Chateau Marmont

The scene of the reception and JT and Cameron’s super tense lunch. Photo cred: http://simonbatters.com/chateaumarmont.html

Back to the reception.  I’m petrified because I’m 6’1 and don’t do a very good job of sneaking anywhere, but my brother was convinced it was going to be fine.  Plus, he and his ex were both models, so they looked the part.  Sara was also in wedding attire, but I was basically wearing a pin-striped shorts version of a “smart pantsuit”, so I stayed in the back until we made it all the way in.  To this day, I have no idea what we were thinking, but I guess we thought – worst case scenario, we get kicked out, or not let in at all, and we go back to our rooms.  This was shortly after the movie  “Wedding Crashers” came out, so naturally I blame Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson.

 We made it in and honestly, no one even seemed to really care or notice.  There were approximately 400 people milling about, and Jackson Browne  was playing and singing on the piano, so I guess it’s not crazy that the bride and groom didn’t notice four kids from Oklahoma standing in the corner.  At first we didn’t branch out much – we didn’t want to be even more rude than we already were – so none of us drank the champagne or ate the food, but as the night wore on, we got a little braver and all of a sudden we were mingling.  With all these studio execs and Hollywood people in the middle of the Chateau Marmont lawn.  Then, I spot him.  Kevin.  Spacey. Talking to my brother.  Lester Burnham from American Beauty, John Doe from that one movie I don’t like to talk about because it scared the crap out of me, Verbal Kint from The Usual Suspects (one of my all time faves), and finally, now all these years later, the greatest character he will ever play, the formidable Frank Underwood.

Frank is cool with wedding crashing, obv

 

Of course this was years before House of Cards, but Spacey was no less impressive.  He was talking to my brother in casual conversation, so I walked up and asked him to light my cigarette.  Partly because I wanted to come home and tell the story about how I asked Kevin Spacey for a light, and partly because I couldn’t find my lighter and I really wanted a cigarette (sorry Dad, yes I smoked a cigarette with Kevin Spacey).  He looked at me a little surprised, lit my cigarette, then I introduced myself as Justin’s sister, and he continued to chat us up.  He had obviously figured out by then that we didn’t belong there, but he apparently didn’t care, and proceeded to take us under his wing for the rest of the night.  He brought all of us champagne and asked us about Oklahoma, and our jobs at the time, etc.  He would even get up to use the restroom, or talk to someone, then come right back with more champagne and sit back down on this little couch with us.  It was so surreal, and he was just so nice.  I’m glad that he wasn’t Frank Underwood yet, because honestly, even though it’s just a character, there is no way I would have had the guts to talk to him after what I’ve seen him do on that show.

At the time he was the artistic director at the Old Vic in London, and also acting on stage in several productions.  He told us all about it, and talked about how much he enjoyed being back in London and acting on stage.  I was all, I know, right???  Then, and this is the best part, he asked me if I’d tried any of the sushi at the reception.  I said no, because I didn’t really want to eat these people’s food, but he told me it was incredible and that I had to try some…then he offered me a piece of sushi from his own chopsticks.  Although it was probably only a few seconds, I felt like I sat there contemplating that strange turn of events for several minutes.  Look, I am a grade A, certifiable germaphobe.  I’m not as bad now, but back then, I wouldn’t eat or drink after anyone, not even a family member or someone I was dating.  I just wouldn’t do it.  So, I was sitting there, at the Chateau Marmont, with Kevin Spacey offering me sushi, and I’m staring at this piece of fish on his chopsticks and finally I just said to hell with it and dove right in, to everyone’s complete shock.  Later, towards the end of the night, as everyone was saying their goodbyes, he handed me a big candy heart like the ones from Valentine’s day with a little message on it.  It said Be Mine.  I kept it for a long time but it finally disintegrated in my drawer, as candy hearts most often do.

Sara and I went back up to our room going over and over what had happened so we wouldn’t forget. It’s too bad we didn’t have smart phones or Facebook in 2006 or there would have been photos and status updates, but instead I have to remember that night the old-fashioned way, by telling and retelling the story until everyone wants to punch me in the face.  The next morning Sara and I both woke up really late and really hungover, put an exorbitant amount of money on her credit card, and almost missed our flights back home.

Stay tuned for LA Story Part II – it involves talking our way into a party at Paris Hilton’s house, knocking over someone’s really fancy motorcycle, riding in Allen Schwartz’s Bentley, and smoking cigarettes with Courtney Love.  I told you it was the best weekend ever.  Maybe I will make a t-shirt…

tshirt

Thanks Imprint.com!

*Different Sara from St. Patrick’s Day – you can tell by the missing “h.”

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