(wo)man up

Hello friends/lovers/non-humans (sometimes I wish my cat could read, okay?)

I know it’s been a while. I thought I’d let my last post sink in to the world a bit before posting again. That being said, there have been some changes in my life since the last post, and I wanna address them, k?

If you have a problem with my lifestyle, then we aren’t friends.

This means:

  • if you call me homophobic names thinking people won’t tell me
  • if you text people about me
  • if you ask my friends rude questions about me

then you can leave my life promptly.
THAT BEING SAID: big ups to the rest of y’all who are on my side (my side being the one of polite question-asking out of need for clarification/understanding, love for me, love for Exhibit A, etc.) You are great. You are my friends.

(insert page break and deep breath here)

In other news, ’tis the season! I’ve been gearing up with excitement all around! I spent the holidays with Exhibit A’s fabulous family in a fabulous southernly-Midwestern city and we had a blast. We’ll be spending Christmas apart (tear) but then I’ll get to spend the ever-fantastic new year with her….PETS. Not her. I mean, cool life, right?

More importantly, y’all, I’ve come here to write something important for you. The year is winding down, and I want you to all know something important about me. If you’re lucky enough to read this and know who I am, then you know I love a good list. It’s the Type A in me. I just. love. listmaking. And so…drum roll please….

My Top Ten Favorite Things of 2011 List EXTRAVAGANZA!

I'll obviously live in this high rise very soon.

10 – Fake apartment hunting
This is a new one. New as in I took a break from writing this post to do this for like, hours. Have you ever fake apartment hunted? Ohemgee, DO IT. Game changer.  Searching for apartments that accept cats (normal) and dogs (psycho current girlfriending) and are in ideal neighborhoods (as if it gets any cooler than City Park, but I digress!) I have to say that this started off innocently enough. I was looking for something in a logical price range, cause hey, my lease is up in six months, okay? It has since turned into me searching extravagant Cherry Creek and Wash Park townhomes. SO WHAT, a girl can dream.

9 – Bluegrass/folk music
I’ve mentioned it before. I just love bluegrass/folk (as in the two mixed together) music. Nothing makes me happier. I really really like bluegrass/folk infusions. I don’t understand how I lived life before it, but I surely know it’ll be in my life forever and ever. Cheers, y’all, and enjoy the following songs while you scroll through this list enjoying more things about me:

Seriously. It's amazing.

8 – Tea!
If you at all can tell by my sporadic/erratic ramblings OR if you’re blessed enough to know me in real life, you are at a clear understanding that coffee runs through my veins. Preferably black, and preferably iced. But, times is tough, and food stamps (see below) might buy the coffee, but it doesn’t buy the filters. I’m aware of how ridiculous that sounds…maybe let’s say that I could use a little “calming down” in my day. I have slowly begun a transition to hot tea, and I gotta tell ya, I feel more and more like the grandma everybody claims I dress like with every passing moment. I just enjoyed a cup of Comfort & Joy holiday tea, in fact, and I am now filled up with good tidings and sort of want to bake cookies or hang candy canes from a tree. ALSO, have you seen those crazy pint-glass tea dispensers?  GAME. CHANGER. If you haven’t, get yourself to your neighborhood hipster coffee shop and get your eyes fixed on one of these. Think about how glad you are that I told you about it, then ship one to me. You can even use it once, I don’t care, I just want it.

7 – Documentaries
Living with my crazy roommates last year and then taking one with me forever has left me with the following problem. I hate movies (who has time to sit for that long staring at a screen with moving pictures after staring at a computer all day for work?) but I love books (mmm, reading.) Lately, though, I fall asleep within like 15 minutes of putting my eyes on a page. Then…documentaries came along. Now, I’ve seen documentaries. Obvi. But we choose the weirdest/prettiest ones we can find.

Weirdest? Catfish.

Prettiest? Life in a Day

Exhibit A's dog and I getting our protest on

6 – Exercising my Rights
This year has been kind of an eye-opener for me. Wisconsin is lovely, but the land of cheese and beer doesn’t lead for much protesting. That being said, I left before Scott Walker messed it all up. But, I have to say that doing national service has shown me stuff. This stuff is that though we are in fact the 1% (sorry, “we are the 99 percent!!” chanters, we’re still in the US), I still think there should be changes in our own country. I go to the Occupy Denver area on a semi-regular basis so I can keep up with what’s happening (even though I don’t fully agree.) I vote in local elections. I do my part. And I think it keeps me in check with what’s going on in the world today. I just like being aware of my surroundings, especially because A – we’re the ones who are living it as adults now and B – I’m teaching the youth who are about to come up and take over things behind me. And let’s be honest, I’m a supergenius and I want them to want the same things that I do. Duh.

Look at how much fun they're having!

5 – Food stamps
There’s such a stigma with this: food stamps are for poor people. Food stamps are used by lazy people who should learn how to budget better. Food stamps are literally stamps. Y’all are wrong.  Here’s the great news about my life: I am a professional, full-time volunteer. This leads to me having enough money to pay my rent and other home-care bills. Food? Not so much. Good news, though. Food stamps are great. I can buy the healthy items my body needs to function and not worry if I’ll go hungry. Plus, whatever I don’t use rolls over. And if I don’t use that in six months, the money goes back to the government. Boom. It’s also nice to show up to a dinner party with something other than day-old Jimmy John’s bread, knowwhatI’msayinnnnn?

Homemade black bean burger? OH YUP.

4 – Cooking
You had to see this coming. I mean, come on, it’s what I love to do. It’s involved in the title of my blog. I just love food, okay? And in this past year, I’ve become a little self-aware of what I put in my body and how it can exert the right energy for me to run and nourish me so that I can, in fact, have that extra beer. (Again, my blog title gives this one away.) I have been a vegetarian for going on three and a half years (I know, right?) and I have to tell you…when I first became one, I gained ten pounds in a year. I was like, what is happening, I gave up the meatz?! Then my roommate (not so) politely reminded me that I would go to McDonald’s and get a Big Mac sans-two all-beef patties. Don’t judge. A girl’s gotta eat, right? Wrong. Judge away, in fact. That was grosstown. I have to say the big diet change came last fall when I entered AmeriCorps. I learned that beans are in fact delicious (my family didn’t grow up going hard on the Mexican meals and such, so black beans didn’t happen there) and there are grains that aren’t white bread! Whoda thunk!? I have since gained a new appreciation for the food I make for myself and others and regularly cook meals and host dinner parties themed on them. I force my weird foods on people and they all say they like it…so I’ll keep it up.

Delicious, delicious beer from gorgeous Fort Collins. Daddy don't mind.

3 – Beer, dude. Beer.
Can we talk about something? I am from Wisconsin. This is obvious as I talk about it all the time. But more importantly, beer is kinda in my blood. My stepdad works for Miller, I chugged a Spotted Cow post-race this summer, I have been known to put the golden delicious stuff on my wrists and wear it as perfume (so? THIS IS A JUDGMENT-FREE ZONE.) But…Colorado…holy canoli, this place knows their beer! I was lucky enough to get to attend the 2011 Great American Beer Festival, and let me tell ya, it rocked my world. Well over 2,000 beers to try from across these great United States, and I sampled a mere 49. But I mean, I went hard that night, give me a break, okay? I have learned things about myself that I never expected, such as there is, in fact, a beer I don’t like (Hefeweizen, ick) and that I can take part in brewing beer (and it tastes just so effing good! Batch number 2 is in our closet for one more week, getting all hoppy and such!) Overall, I think I just drink slower and appreciate flavors more and enjoy beer pong and vomit a lot less. Yes, Blink-182, I do guess this is growing up.

2 – Outdoor stuff
Again, if you actually know me, this might come as a surprise. I’ve always been into fitness, but that meant a treadmill and some Real Housewives of _________ at the air conditioned gym. Ever since a weird camping trip that left me with bloody hives in the hospital my junior year of high school (overshare, holla!) I have hated the outdoors. Loved to look at ’em, hated to be in ’em. Then I did AmeriCorps and learned that if you didn’t enjoy the outdoors, you went home. Plain and simple. I only had one environmental project and it left me scarred (I cried when I cut down a tree) but I have slowly started to gather a hefty appreciation with my one Earth Mother. I even camped this summer! I didn’t get any weird hives, but I got bit by something crazy that left a weird mark on my leg for a good month. I’ve hiked, run, climbed, swam, and truly enjoyed the outdoors in the past year and I have to say that planning for the spring and summer with the outdoors is making me want to pee my pants a little.

1 – Live music
I can’t even take part in my new favorite jam of 2011, but I love it so much that I can’t stand it. I was real torn up about missing Summerfest this year and assumed I would never know live music again. Then I lived in tons of different places across the US and realized that live music is everywhere and it’s just fantastic. I heard some amazing stuff in New Orleans, like Kermit Ruffins playing some sweet NOLA jazz while being asked if I wanted to join the mile high club and wear all white on a sandy beach (the weird things I’ll let people say to me for a High Life…)

I also got to hear some music in Arkansas. I effing saw BB King! Granted, he did a ton of rambling, but it went a little something like this:

Most importantly, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the Denver music scene. I went to a great open mic here in July to see my friend Eric play and got to see things I’ve never seen. Loops? BAD. ASS. Most importantly, last night I went to watch Exhibit A herself do her first open mic here in Denver, and as if she couldn’t have stolen my heart any more, she did like thirty times over. I also got to see two people that I saw at the previous open mic (Loop Girl included) and just enjoyed the fact that there’s a bunch of talented twentysomethings who want nothing more than to make music and have people hear it free of charge. I think the culmination of enjoying a $1.50 PBR with the good vibes of banjos blasting and people dancing while hanging out with my lady led for this to be my absolute new favorite thing to do.

So if you’re wondering where I’ll be come 2012, come on and find me hopefully at a lot more live music places. I’ll be the one silently praying for talent in the corner.


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