In the Room Where It Happened OR 59 thoughts I had while seeing Hamilton on stage in Chicago

Note: Gifs are from Original Broadway Cast version in New York.

1. Why are my hands shaking? I’m not performing.

2. I’m SO FUCKING EXCITED.

3. What if one of them has a sub-par voice? I’ve been spoiled by the original Broadway cast recording.

4. Wonder if they’ll have a female Burr or Hamilton ever… I could totally do either part.

5. Don’t sing along, don’t sing along…

6. What’s your name, man??! ALEXANDER HAMILTON.

7. OMG OMG OMG OMG.

8. Lin-Manuel Miranda is a fucking genius.

9. Low-key have a crush on this Hamilton.

10. They need more people in the company I think. Katie and I should go volunteer at intermission.

11. Oh, yeah, I couldn’t dance like that though, so if that’s a requirement…

12. This King George is pretty great.

13. George Washington!!!!!! I think I wanna read a biography about him now.

14. True Life: Hamilton made me more interested in American history.

15. The conundrum of me listening to/daydreaming about being in this show. Do I play Eliza or Angelica?

16. Got-dang, this song (Satisfied) gets you right in the feels.

17. She’s giving up her happiness for her sister’s. She loves her sister. I’m crying. I have sisters. I LOVE MY SISTERS.

18. This is so much better than just listening to the cast recordinggggggg.

19. Wait For It. I think I feel bad for Aaron Burr.

20. This song might make me cry too. I don’t know. I’m just really emotional about being here, y’all.

21. When I do concerts in my car I KILL IT with this song.

22. So this part in the recording always gives me goosebumps, when Hamilton and Washington are arguing……. oh, yep, THERE THEY ARE.

23. My God, I am a nerd with this shit. Sorry not sorry.

24. Stop singing along.

25. Must also stop smiling… my cheeks hurt and my face will be stuck this way at the rate we’re going.

26. BUT IT’S SO GOOD.

27. Is it too late to start a second career in theatre?

28. How do I get into the cast of this show?

29. Maybe I could just do their social media…who do I talk to about that?

30. Dude in front of us just got up for the third time for a bathroom break – HOW CAN YOU LEAVE THIS?!

31. Oh shit, Nonstop. My other great car concert performance piece.

32. Intermission? Already? How is it already halfway over? It seems so much longer when you listen to the cast album multiple times in a row!

33. OK, I changed my mind, if they had women taking these parts I’d be Jefferson. He’s having the most fun.

34. He also gets the most reactions from the audience…interesting.

35. OK we’re to the Cabinet Battle. I wish I could freestyle rap. Just once I want to go up to someone, rap some insane verse I just came up with off the top of my head and drop the mic and leave.

36. Who am I kidding – I just want to be able to drop the mic one time. On, like, anything.

37. Did. he. just. do. the. Carlton. dance. YES.

38. OK we should be real mad at AHam in this song but it’s a good song. And I’m low-key jealous of the girl playing Maria Reynolds. Katie is too.

39. Room Where It Happens – this is what I’ve been waiting for. Don’t disappoint me, Chicago Burr.

40. This song is about FOMO. I know that feeling. I feel like I kinda have it for being a part of this show somehow. Does that make sense…

41. This is the best song in the show. Don’t @ me.

42. This is living up to all of my expectations and more omggggggggggg.

43. CLICK BOOM. (It took everything I have not to shout that just now…)

44. France.

45. May or may not now be obsessed with George Washington. He’s so fucking good. One Last Time gets you right in the feels. I feel like we should all be saluting him right now.

46. Shit’s about to get real bad. Where’s the handful of Kleenex I brought?

47. Secondhand embarrassment for Hamilton telling everyone in the country about his affair and thinking that was doing the right thing. Yeesh.

48. Burn that shit, Eliza. But also – um, hi, stage people? How do we make sure that doesn’t all catch on fire because it’s looking precarious AF.

49. Yep, crying. And also still slightly worried about the fire in the bucket on stage.

50. Stay Alive Reprise/It’s Quiet Uptown – I am realizing I did not bring enough Kleenex. #feels

51. Can we get back to politics? PLEASE. I feel you, Jefferson.

52. I’m obsessed with this Jefferson. Christopher Lee, you the real MVP of this show.

53. Your Obedient Servant is highly underrated. And, I wish my name was cool enough to be abbreviated like A.Ham. It’s L.Hag. HAG. NO.

54. NO, don’t go, Alex! Stay home!

55. So this kills me. Nobody gets a happy ending in this thing, really. Hamilton? Dead. Burr? Only remembered for killing Hamilton. Sucks all around. I think about this musical far more than I probably should. Nerd. #nolife

56. Chills. Chills. Chills.

57. Oh damn, ok. I didn’t realize that’s how it would end. You got me, Eliza.

58. HOW IS IT ALREADY OVER?!?!!

59. Um, yeah. When can I see this again?

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Conquering Everest

I have climbed a mountain before. A few of ‘em, in fact. Some Smokies and Pine and some others here and there that were either pretty decent or gave me what I dubbed “Climbing Asthma” before I started going to the gym more often.

And then there was Rocky Mountain National Park last year where Sami made us climb a mountain and there was like 8 feet of snow but we were in T-shirts and I couldn’t breathe because of altitude but it was worth it because the views at the end and on the way up were so beautiful.

Anyway. I can climb shit. Especially if it doesn’t involve my arms (I’m working on the upper body strength at the gym, too, so…someday). But one thing has always intimidated me when it comes to climbing.

Seriously. I’ve always been nervous to try that machine. I’ve tried almost every other one at the gym (except a couple of the ab ones because I literally can’t contort my body in the necessary way to use it) but that one has eluded me, even as I got braver and further out of my comfort zone when it came to working out and stuff this year.

I equate it to the furnace in the basement in Home Alone that Kevin is scared of and avoids most of the movie because it looms there, big and frightening.

It wasn’t that I thought I like, couldn’t climb stairs… I can do that just fine.

Aside: In middle school once, on a band field trip, a group of friends and I rode the elevator up to the top floor of the Galt House Hotel (there’s about 25 or so) and decided to run back down the entirety of those floors via the staircase in the 4 minutes we had to get to our bus. (Middle schoolers – they ain’t the brightest…) They need a machine where you can walk down lots of stairs too. Basically an up escalator you walk down the whole time. Is that a thing? I don’t know. The gym is big. They may have it. If not – I’ll email Planet Fitness.

Back to our story – I was afraid that I’d fall off the thing. Isn’t that ridiculous? I realize it now but for so long I was like, “Yeah, my coordination isn’t good enough for me to get on and off that thing without busting my ass.”

Speaking of my ass, though, that’s what ultimately ended up getting me on that machine and over my fear.

You see, this is the general shape of my butt.

So you can see where it leaves something to be desired, no? I need to do more machines that help fix that.

I’ve been in a routine with the gym where I do a couple miles run/walking on the treadmill and then a few machines (usually for my arms because of the aforementioned lack of upper body strength). I don’t know why, but I haven’t done the arc trainer or the elliptical in a long time either, but the other day, the treadmill didn’t seem as appealing as usual. I didn’t give myself too much time to think about it, and walked straight over to the stair machine.

I don’t know what had come over me. The need for change? The second cup of coffee I’d had that afternoon? The months of watching Kourtney and Khloe’s workouts on Snapchat that often included this machine? (Aside. I need to hire a trainer probably. One who I can pay in like, hugs – and maybe my HBO/Netflix password.)

Whatever it was, I put on a brave face and climbed aboard. Luckily when I got on, there was nobody on the other two next to it so I didn’t have to feel like I was already behind. I set all the things and got started.

You can see the whole gym from the top of that thing. Which brought about another fear for a minute – everyone in the gym could see me. Cool.

Here’s the thing I’ve learned though about the gym, and Planet Fitness in particular. Nobody’s paying attention to you. They’re worried about themselves. And how good/bad/silly they look at any given moment.

33 “flights” later, I was done. And not dead. And hadn’t fallen off. All that worry, for nothin’.

I felt good, and accomplished, and basically like this:

I’m adding it into the rotation now when I visit the gym. Fear = conquered.

Just don’t ask me to conquer any others – clowns and heights are the ones I have left and I have no interest in dealing with either one yet. Baby steps.

Lost and found

Five years ago this week, I signed up as a volunteer for the Special Olympics Kentucky State Basketball Tournament.

Next weekend, I’m going to be watching a team I coach participate in that tournament.

Four years ago, I was starting to get more involved with the organization – but hadn’t yet found my place. I also jumped in the freezing Ohio River that year for these guys and girls. Brrr.

It wasn’t long after that I met an athlete that got me where I am today with SOKY.

This is Dallas. He’s the first athlete I met/saw numerous times as I got more and more involved at Special Olympics events. He was/is EVERYWHERE. He’s kind of a big deal, you guys. Everyone knows him, everyone loves him.

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It was through Dallas I then met his mom, Cathy, the head of the Louisville Royals sports delegation – who heard me mention an interest in softball and brought me on to help coach the summer of the 2015 (which you all may remember as that time in my life that everything fell apart but fell perfectly together).

And the rest, as they say, is history.

I’ve said this before about Special Olympics, but it bears repeating: Have you ever found something you didn’t know you were looking for? Something you didn’t know you needed? That’s this, for me.

In the Spring of 2015, I was the unhappiest I’ve ever been. The highlight of my week was Thursday nights spent keeping the scorebook for SOKY’s basketball leagues at Fern Creek High School. It’s where I ended up talking more to Dallas, and to Cathy, and it’s because of them I am where I am today.

I quit my job that year on June 1 of 2015. Two weeks later, I became a coach for the Royals softball team. Not only was I getting to work with some amazing people, but it took me back to all those summers spent as a kid with my family at the ballpark – playing, umpiring, watching my younger sisters play… it also distracted my from my anxiety about unemployment, which was much-needed. (The distraction. And the unemployment was much-needed, actually. Not the anxiety, though. Never the anxiety).

After that I was talked into coaching football (which is hilarious because I don’t know enough about it to do anything but watch and also I suck at throwing a football). Luckily, the two guys I coached with had that covered so my job was being the sideline mom. I bandaged scrapes, gave hugs and occasionally chased/cuddled our littlest player, Griffin, who was determined to run off in the middle of the game. My presence was very important, obviously.

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Then there was basketball. Friends, if I shoot 10 baskets I’m lucky to make 2 of them. So I’m a natural choice to help coach, right? Right. Something worked, though, because our team made it to the state tournament and won gold medals.

Last year was my first time as head coach of anything. I started with softball. And just FYI, head coach can simply mean you get the practice space and do the paperwork. And get dibs on making the lineup if you want. Apparently last year it meant piss off a man who was assisting you by doing nothing more than just existing, but that’s a story for another time. Over a beer.

So many positive things have come out of my time as a coach, though. Almost too many to mention. I’ve made some great friendships with those I’ve coached with – Cathy has become an invaluable part of my life, Gus has been so awesome to coach alongside (the two of us are old pros at this point) and then I’ve also been able to spend more time with my cousin, Aaron, who lived out of town for a long time, but who has joined all of us as a Royals coach.

One of the guys in my youth group helped out during softball season and will be back as a coach this year. Several members of my youth group have volunteered at the state tournaments for basketball and bowling for a few years now. My best friend’s son, who is 13, heard about what I do with SOKY and thought it sounded like a cool way to get Beta Club service hours, and who has since come to a game and three practices and loved it as much as I do.

And that’s just the coach stuff.

I’ve also seen enough athlete moments to make my heart explode.

– Athletes scoring their first basket, run, touchdown.

– Athletes helping each other out – passing a ball to someone younger/who doesn’t always get to score so they can get a chance.

– At skills for softball last year, the entire team cheering for each other as they took turns running the bases as fast as they can.

– The smiles and hugs during and after games win or lose, because they just love to play.

– The encouragement of athletes on other teams.

Special Olympics and those involved – athletes, parents, coaches – have given me so much. More than they’ll ever know. And I cannot imagine life without any of it.

Now please enjoy some pictures. Warning: Your heart might explode.

310 seconds. Give or take a few.

Last year, on my 32nd birthday, I decided to start recording a video. More specifically, I’d heard about an app through my cousin, called 1 Second Everyday. The plan was to end it on my 33rd birthday and try and get as much cool stuff in it as possible.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

But then…roadblock. This past week, I had finally had enough of my storage notifications popping up on my phone. I couldn’t download any new apps, podcasts, was constantly having to delete photos, just to make room for this thing.

Yes, I realize I could just have not gotten the iPhone with the least amount of storage ever, but it was the cheapest!

So my self-imposed challenge to take at least one second worth of video daily for the past year came to an end about 55 days early.

I’m still pretty proud of the effort though. That’s a lot of videos.

So here it is, for your enjoyment. And I realize it seems like I watch a lot of TV. It’s because I do.

(It’s also because that’s where I was on some of the days that I realized I hadn’t taken the daily video yet, most likely. And my mild OCD would not let me skip too many days in a row.)

I did it all for the banana. And the Thanksgiving sides.

The night before, I got nervous.

The morning of, I got real nervous.

I think I went to the bathroom 11 times.

And then I was nervous about being nervous because nervous poops.

This is my life, y’all.

I wore my new running leggings. I congratulated myself for choosing the long-sleeve shirt because it was cold as hell. I got my free shirt. And my number.

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My friend Jennifer decided the night before to run the race as well, and she was giving me a pep talk. My cousin Anna – my running buddy – got there and we found our places in line. After one more bathroom trip.

I saw a few more friends lining up and silently cursed at/judged the people who were running before we had to run – you know, those people who will do the course before, just because, or will do a few laps around the parking lot to get warmed up. I was praying I’d just finish before the people with the strollers and the old man with the ski pole.

And then we started.

It felt good, at first. And I told myself I’d run as far as I could, then walk, and then run, and it was OK if I walked some, people do that in races.

I made it further than I thought I would before the cold outside air (this is where my training being indoors became an issue) literally took my breath away. I stopped to walk and told Anna to keep going.

“Save yourself!” I said. “I’m gonna screw up your time so badly.”

But she refused to leave. And I love her so much for that.

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I walked until I’d caught my breath. Then I ran again. And that’s how we did it – walk, run, walk, run, walk, run. My achilles was pulling, I was a full-on mouth breather and I needed Chapstick. I kept apologizing to Anna.

She assured me she did not care about her time, she was doing this with me, start to finish. On our walking breaks we looked at/smiled at/talked about all the dogs running with their owners.

She made note of our distance for me with a smile and kept me going. I saw one of my athletes halfway through and when he and his dad smiled at me and said “Hey Coach!” that was a boost of energy I needed then.

I tried not to look at the time on my Fitbit, reminding myself that this was the first one I’d done in years, the first one I’d actually “TRAINED” for, and any time would be acceptable, because I was doing it.

And when I saw the home stretch, I told myself, and then Anna, that I was going to run the rest of the way, even if I wanted to stop. So I did. Not far from the finish line I saw Jennifer, cheering me on and taking a picture (I was hoping I didn’t look like I felt – which was cold and a little achy). And I kept running through to the finish.

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My time was under an hour (which is really all I wanted for my first one). And I finished way ahead of the old man with the ski pole. And I immediately felt like crying because I’d actually done it. It didn’t look like I thought it would, but I’d done it.

I’d gotten 10,000 steps in for the day, done 3.1 miles, and was still going to make it home in time for the Dog Show. Oh, and all the food.

I could not have done it without Anna that day. She kept me going, never made me feel bad about stopping to walk, and was by my side from start to finish.

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I smiled like a goofball because I was so damn proud of myself. I’d set a goal and completed it. And I wasn’t lying on the side of the road in the fetal position (which I’d wanted to do last time I ran a 5K).

I got my banana, posed for some pictures, and smiled all the way back to my car. Later that morning, I looked up other 5Ks in the upcoming months.

2016 was the year I conquered Couch to 5K, and it changed everything.

2017 will be the year I am a RUNNER.

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

I do not judge those people who fill the gym on the first few days of January. Yes, it’s harder to find a spot and you may have to wait a minute for the machine you want, but good on them for making a change. And I hope it’s a change that sticks. For all of them. Except that one girl who was on the leg press way too long the other day. Rude.

Y’all that was me not so long ago – me trying out the gym and doing my best to begin a habit that hopefully would last. I made a resolution and stuck/am sticking with it. Just did it early, because as my dad always says, early is on time, but on time is late. I know that doesn’t really apply here but it could. Use your imagination and vast knowledge of metaphors.

When you last heard from me, I was at the beginning of the Couch to 5K running program. I was terrified because I had started (and stopped it) about 6 times previously. However, this time, I had the added benefit of extra energy via finally being on the right medication dosage, so it got less and less daunting the farther I got.

And wouldn’t ya know it, I FINISHED THE DAMN THING.

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BOOYAH.

And I ran farther than I thought I could.

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And even got FASTER. Slightly. Some weeks.

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WHAT THE HELL??!?!

To insure I wouldn’t quit this time, a few weeks in I registered for a 5K. My awesome cousin (who had just completed her first half marathon) said she’d do it with me. And so did my best friend (until she fell off her deck and messed up her ankle, but she’s promised me we’ll do one together soon). So there was no backing down. I don’t like to waste money, I was now accountable to two other people, and I was actually (GASP) enjoying my three days a week running on the treadmill at Planet Fitness.

Aside: I realize it may have been more helpful for me (for the 5K anyway) to do my training outdoors. Here’s why I didn’t.

– My schedule didn’t allow for it before dark.

– Nobody that could run with me was on the same schedule so I would have been doing it alone.

– Lone joggers get kidnapped a lot.

– Lone joggers also find dead bodies a lot.

– At least half of my neighborhood is pretty sketch.

– I wanted to learn how to breathe while running first because that was my struggle the last 8 times.

And week by week, I ran farther. Sometimes faster. Sometimes I had to stop in the middle of it to go to the bathroom. Sometimes I was counting down the seconds until I was done. Sometimes I didn’t realize how long I’d been running until the voice prompt told me to stop.

Running, for me, is the ONLY time my brain is completely calm. I guess since my feet are racing my mind cannot. I felt really good. I also felt pain in parts of my body I did not realize could hurt so bad. Namely – my achilles and my IT bands.

There were a handful of days I felt like this as I stepped off the treadmill.

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Also this.

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And little by little, I conquered the program. I got more and more confident about how I’d do the day of the 5K – conveniently the morning of Thanksgiving because ALL THE FOOD.

But that’s a story for another time. Next time.

Wherein I learn a lot about history and once again consider my dreams of being in a musical

You guys.

I am going to go ahead and call for my own intervention. I can’t stop listening to Hamilton.

Trust me, I have tried. There were a few days where I listened to Lemonade on repeat just to remind myself there is other music out there. But it didn’t last.

I mean, look at this:

http://video.vulture.com/video/Alexander-Hamilton-at-the-2016

That’s the first song of the musical. How could you not want more?

I blame my sisters. They were like, “Oh hey you should listen to this Hamilton musical. It’s all hip-hop and so good and stuff.” And now I have at least the first half (before intermission) memorized. Probably. Their fault. Just like the cheese incident of 2013.

This Buzzfeed article sums a lot of it up..

I bought the book Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote about putting the musical together and haven’t read it yet and it’s taking all kinds of willpower to not start it before I’m finished with the other one I’m reading right now.

Speaking of – I’m kind of in love with him now. I think I like every Tweet he writes..

But anyway, all of this musical theatre has reminded me of one of my kind-of-secret-but-not-really-secret dreams, which is to be in a musical.

We’ve grown up listening to or attending several musicals  – Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, Cabaret, Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jersey Boys, Chicago, Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma, Hairspray, Evita, Guys and Dolls, Newsies, Wicked…

I’ve always appreciated them from an audience perspective. But after a while I started wanting to be part of the show.

It started with the chorus. I wasn’t ready for the spotlight, but did want to be on the stage. I wanted to be part of the company in a show, any show.

It wasn’t until Les Mis that I really wanted to be front and center-ish. At first, I wanted to be Madame Thenardier, because the two of them had the most fun song in the whole show. Then I got into a little funk and wanted to be Eponine, because unrequited love and all that. And because ‘On My Own’ is maybe one of the best songs ever.

For Chicago, I started out wanting to be another girl in the jail because ‘Cell Block Tango,’ yo. Then Mama Morton. Because I wanted the best songs.

For Wicked, I would obviously be Elphaba. Because I can hit that damn note in Defying Gravity – mainly when I’m in my car alone, giving Broadway concerts to nobody.

I want to add here that these are singing company roles only because yo’ girl can’t dance. That’s part of why I quit dance when I was 9. (Also ‘cause softball was much cooler and more fun.)

So who do I want to be in Hamilton? Probably Angelica. She’s got some good songs, a good rap (and we know how good I am at rapping) and there’s that whole Eponine quality in the show – going back to my Broadway roots, if you will.

My life is so exciting…

Please help.

Sounds familiar

It’s been a minute since I’ve done one of these..

For those who might be new to the party… I am in about three different group texts that I communicate in regularly, with my very best friends.

These texts aren’t from them, they’re ones that got submitted to textsfromlastnight.com, but they very easily could be from one or more of my friends.

Enjoy.

(816): I just bought myself an edible arrangement for myself and had it delivered to work. I even wrote myself a note. This is a new low for me.

(727): He totally sucks at sexting. He sent me a clothed shot of his ass captioned “I know this gets you going.” What?

(516): He used a trumpet as a funnel, said something about valve oil, and puked all over the garage.

(281): I’m slowly getting to where I don’t hate people anymore.  (281): Never mind. Some random dude just walked past me and asked if I was having fun. I snarled at him. I might still kinda hate people.

(978): I also need to get my life together but instead I just eat spoonfuls of Nutella. We can’t win ’em all

(585): There’s just something so liberating about drinking a beer with no pants on

(203): So we hooked up and then instead of texting me, he endorsed me on LinkedIn for Microsoft Word a few days later

(508): I just said “I love my cat” as a hobby.

(307): All im saying is that my face might fall off.

(425): Please don’t throw the wedding bouquet at me

(815): All I know is if i get a free preview weekend of HBO then I am recording Kindergarten Cop.

(423): But no. So do not give him one damn penny. Unless they are in a sock and you are hitting him with it.

(720): This is why you are going on a date. To see if he is fun or if we need to shank him in the parking lot.

(540): Chipotle farts are not good for seducing boys.

(319): Some days you ride the struggle bus. Other days, it gets a flat, the AC breaks, and you run over a bunny.

(303): I met his parents. We played twister. My boob popped out.

(757): Why is “Oprah of drinks” written on my arms?  (540): You said to write it on you, after you kept saying, “You get a drink, you get a drink, everyone gets a drink.”

(910): It’s sad that I’m more proud of my Twitter account then my resume

(219): are you listening to the theme from Jurassic Park whilst pooping?

(860): I tried to find an emoji but none convey my excitement for receiving good sex soon

(240): Also, I found this app that is basically a tamagochi from the 90’s and now I finally have something to keep me busy at work!

(813): Timehop reminded me that 4 years ago today I helped a one armed man do the YMCA by being his other arm.

(845): If a treadmill opens up I’ll run next to him and then fall off so he has to give me mouth to mouth

(387): It’s astonishing how many Ludacris lyrics you know

(215): Yo making cake in the shape of a penis is no easy feat

(415): I WOULD NEVER LIE ABOUT SOMETHING AS SERIOUS AS SABADO GIGANTE BEING CANCELED

(502): I mean, it’s just pathetic when the standard is tinder and he can’t live up to it.

603): omg how embarrassing to not hear the delivery person knocking because you’re singing “where are you Pizza” to the tune of “where are you christmas” too loudly

(321) YOU IS KIND. YOU IS SMART. YOU IS IMPORTANT. YOU IS CLEANING YOUR OWN VOMIT. 

(847): You texted me the words “butt stuff” 53 times in a four hour period last night.

(608): I’m just gonna put on a documentary and throw up

(207): I sexted him with a GIF from titanic and it worked….

(813): This whole having a new phone thing is like starting all over in life with a clean slate! (My old text convos are gone)  (863): New phone new life!

(603): Best part about losing weight and not fitting into your pants any longer? They come off quick for chipotle emergencies.

(978): i just had diarrhea that people from the 1930’s would have died from

(248): Grilled cheese and shark week. Unemployment done right.

(360): All I’ve had to eat today are potatoes…and by that I mean vodka and chips

(216): Those nachos came to me in a dream

(425): I feel sorry for the person who’s phone number is 704-1776 cause from now on I’m giving that number to every guy I never wanna talk to again. Happy Independence Day

(707): So then we ended up at a bar full of navy SEALs and I got one of them to take his shirt off, then I felt him up

(707): I feel like 31-year old me is 21-year old me’s hero

(519): Do not try to steal a picnic table from a park, all you will end up with are sore arms and broken dreams.

(225): You tipped the Uber driver extra for taking your phone away while you were drunk texting

(585): I just watched videos of people getting puppies and crying, I cried too. Definitely still drunk

(716): So how does one go about leaving their family vacation to hang out with someone they met on tinder

(575): Apparently I was telling them, “I AM A STRONG INDEPENDENT WOMAN AND I DON’T NEED YOU TO HOLD MY HAIR,” and I pulled my hair back and puked.

(516): People are talking politics and I have had 9 mimosas

(814): The important thing is that she is gone, presumably back to the depths of hell from whence she came.

A few more of my favorite things

Last few months have been busy. But I’ve seen some awesome stuff here and there that y’all should see.

Guys solve girls’ problems:

Q: “Painfully tight bra straps?”

A:Put sponges under them, like those things you put on car safety belts.”

Q: “There’s a weird gap between my bra and my boobs.”

A: “Again, I feel like paper towel or sponge could solve this problem.”

When I have children I will possibly buy this audio book and this one of course:

Think I want to print/buy the one for my kitchen that says “Are you cooking a frittata in a saucepan? What is this? Prison?” 

I basically love anything Kevin Spacey says or does at this point..

This. Just…this. We have to take mental health seriously. It’s so important.

I miss Breaking Bad so muuuuch.

Current/recent/near future mood:

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I want to adopt all of these dogs and to take pictures of puppies all the time.

You can totally get this for me for my birthday. I won’t be mad.

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Friggin’ brilliant.

Hearing “Stop thinking about it” when you have anxiety is like being told not to breathe. Works for about 3 seconds and then you have to because it’s all there is and there’s no way around it.

I would invest in like 89 percent of these ideas.

A thousand times yes.

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#writinggoals

90s dramatic television FTW..

This is currently fighting for first place with the video of the old ladies smoking weed for favorite recent video.

Wild Man Charlie

So the last time I actually sat down and wrote something for this blog was in September. And it was about my family’s dog, Lucy.

The reason I haven’t really written since September also has to do with a dog. Only this time it’s my dog. That I am solely in charge of.

Yes you heard that right. Let me start at the beginning. But first, here he is, Charlie, the monster. Note the resemblance to the dog from “Up.”

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There hasn’t been a time in the past few years, that I haven’t been searching for a puppy. Especially before I moved back home with Mom and Dad, and again when I moved out. I can’t tell you how many times I visited the Kentucky Humane Society website and imaginary-adopted puppies/dogs.

I had to stop after a while because I was saving money and they were looking more and more affordable and I wasn’t ready for all that yet. Home first, then, once I figured out how to be a homeowner, I’d be a pet owner.

But life doesn’t work that way. And I’m so glad it doesn’t.

Late in the summer, I puppy-sat for my cousin, Blake, and his girlfriend, Amanda’s dog, Molly. She’s a black lab and she’s adorable and crazy and I had her for a week while they went to the beach.

Despite the two days she peed in the house and the night she tore her entire bed into tiny little pieces, I realized I really liked having some company in my house, especially the four-legged kind.

I told Amanda and Blake as much when they got back to pick Molly up, and mentioned if they knew anyone looking to give up a dog to a good home, to let me know, meanwhile, the trolling of the Humane Society site and the imaginary adoptions began again.

Fast-forward to mid-September. Amanda texted me, wanting to know if I’d be interested in a 9-month-old Golden Retriever puppy. Golden Retriever, as in the only kind of dog I’ve ever had, the kind I one day wanted, no matter how much I looked at other breeds of dogs and tried to convince myself otherwise.

The puppy was a boy, named Charlie. And he’d had a rough time. His owners, a young couple, had gotten him around the same time they had a baby. Now they’d broken up, and the girl couldn’t keep him. And she didn’t want to leave him with the guy, because he’d been beating up on Charlie with a belt.

I didn’t hear anything after that. I said I’d take him. I think she mentioned he was free, and house-trained, and they’d bring his food and a crate and his leash to me Sunday if that would work and he’d had his shots….

Gone was the idea of getting this tiny little baby puppy and naming him Hank, because I’d for some reason gotten stuck on that name, and no it’s not because of Breaking Bad.

Also these are the three pics she sent me to “try and convince me” and honestly after that one with the snow came through I may have passed out:

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So the day we met…

On our first walk, Charlie tried to choke himself. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever witnessed and I am really glad I wasn’t alone because I would have lost it.

You see, in prep for him to come live with me, I didn’t get him a new collar. I figured he had one, and he did, but it was a shitty one. It was one of those chains and since he’s a puppy and he was anxious and he didn’t know better yet, he pulled and pulled and it got too tight. He started walking like he was drunk and sat down hard on the ground and that’s when we realized it and loosened it up. That’s also when I felt like the shittiest dog owner ever. Great start, right?

We tried the crate for a while, and he hated it. It lasted approximately two weeks.

He only pooped in the house once that first week, and I blame Rachel. She got him too excited and he started going and then we yelled for him to stop and he ran, while still pooping, and like it often is with gross stuff that happens when Rach and I are together, I cleaned it up while she kept him occupied.

Those first few weeks months were more hard than not. I was dealing with a dog that had been through some bad stuff, and didn’t know how to handle it. He was taken to a new home, completely different environment. Was still a PUPPY. I think that was the hardest part. I was a kid when we’d first had both of our dogs at Mom and Dad’s. Mom handled the training and we just got to play with the puppy. I had no clue.

He chewed so much stuff. He jumped on the couch, which I first tried to stop but then gave up on. #chooseyourbattles

Like I said, he hated the crate, so when that was no longer an option, he stayed in the part of my house that has no carpet, because it was easier to clean. Then we dealt with his separation anxiety – I was in my bedroom where I wasn’t allowing him, and he was pissed and stressed. So for a while, I had to set up this elaborate thing that kept him out of the living room while I put the gate in front of my bedroom because he could PUSH IT OPEN.

Did I mention he’s just turning one this month and came to me the size of a bear? So, reallll easy to control…

Yeah.

So this all sounds like he was a pain, doesn’t it? Well, most — 98 percent — can be attributed to me, having not been a puppy owner. I had no idea how to train him. Add to that all his other anxieties and fears from his last home and, well, yeah, there were many frustrated texts to my mom.

And thennnnnn we got training. Once a week, we’d meet at the pet store with other dogs and learn manners and tricks and how to behave, kind of.

The first two nights at training I cried after. He was so scared, and I hated it for him. He doesn’t like other dogs and it took all my strength to keep him from running at them, even on his leash. He didn’t sit the entire first two classes either. He stood, and panted. I thought he’d never feel or do any better.

And then he did.

Every week at that training he got better and better, learning things so fast and one week, he was the only one who went through the tunnels on the first try. I was a proud momma. We got “Most Improved” at the end of our classes.

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And things got better and better at home, too. He got more used to me and his house and what he was and wasn’t allowed to do and we worked on things.

Some days are still hard, because he’s still a puppy and still had a hard time before me. And because I’m the only one who lives with him and have to be gone some weeks more than others.

But the good outweighs the bad now and I cannot remember life before him. And don’t want to. There was one night that was particularly hard. I ended up crying on the floor of the entryway after a call to my dad about how hard it had been that day with Charlie had resulted in him saying “If it’s too hard and you need to give up, people will understand.”

So I sat on the floor, crying and petting Charlie. And he licked the tears off my face and I kept saying “I’m NOT giving up on you.”

And I won’t.

Now, he sleeps at the end of my bed – sometimes on the floor, sometimes on my feet. He doesn’t pull on walks, he listens (most of the time). He cuddles in the morning. He watches shows with me. He’s a different dog than when I first got him. But so much is still the same. I don’t want to change him, I just want him to feel better and more comfortable and happy. And we’re getting there, every day.

I miss him when I’m not home, and I kind of want to get him a vest to take him everywhere like a service dog, but he behaves NOTHING like a service dog, so that would last about 3 seconds.

He came to live with me at a time when my depression was starting to get a little bit bad again and despite the stressful parts, he helped me, so much. Nothing gets you over and distracted from your own anxieties and bullshit like having to take care of another living thing.

If you want to see an obsessive amount of pics, follow me on Instagram. And look at the pictures in the slideshow at the bottom of this post.

But for now, some important lists, because, do you remember who’s writing this?

Things Charlie has chewed up and/or chewed a hole in:
– Two comforters
– Part of a mattress pad
– Carpet
– Pair of yoga pants
– Three shirts
– A pen
– The curtain that hangs on the window on my front door and all the pieces that hold it up
– A pillow
– Two towels
– $10 cash

Nicknames he has accrued:
– Wild Man Charlie (From his training class teacher)
– Charles
– Chahles (said w/British accent)
– Charlie (also said with British accent)
– Babe
– Baby
– Bubbie
– Bubba
– Bub
– Buddy
– Turd

In all seriousness though, he’s the best. And he’s my buddy, and I will forever be grateful that I was thought of when he needed a new, good home.

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