Dirty 30

That headline alone should get some clicks, don’t ya think?

It’s not what you think. Or maybe it is. I don’t know how your brain works.

Today I turn 30.

Holy shit.

I thought that was old, once upon a time. And I still feel like it’s old every once in a while. But I am also at the point where my friends are hitting that age first (I’m the baby of one group of friends). And I haven’t seen any major “OMG” moments happening because the 3 is the first number now.

I don’t know what I expected…but when you’re younger, 30 always seems so far, so significant. Like, “by the time I’m 30 I’ll have this and do this and blah blah blah” and that’s not how it is at all when you get there.

Within the past few years or so I have, I’ll admit, had the momentary freak-outs of “Is this where I’m supposed to be in my life, at this age?” And, well, that’s kind of dumb.

Do you know who decides who you should be and when you should be it? YOU.

What a concept, right? Took me a bit to figure that out, but I got there. Eventually.

And, believe it or not, I think I’m right where I need to be. Recently I’ve been reminded of that, because as I got even closer to that “milestone” of turning 30, things have been getting better and better.

I am closing on a condo in the next month. I might will be getting a puppy. I got a raise at work. The photography thing is picking back up and I have a couple other things in the hopper (HOPPA – friggin’ love that commercial and that accent so much) in the near future that could mean even more big changes. Hopefully. I am where I want to be in my relationships – I am beyond blessed with friends and family that I am grateful for every second of every day.

I am happy. I am happier than I’ve been in a long while. And for someone like me who has struggled with the four flat tires of depression for as long as I can remember and who even got pretty low a couple months ago, that’s HUGE.

The happiness thing has made me want to share that feeling with others..but, how should I do it?

I had a grand plan a few weeks ago to do this big thing for my birthday. Remember the girl I told you about we saw in New York? That got 2,900 flowers donated to give out for her 29th birthday and used them to urge others to be kind and pass along her kindness? I wanted to do something similar. And silly me thought with little planning I could make it happen and get it all done in a day.

Change of plans.

This year, in honor of 30 awesome years behind me (some more awesome than others, of course), I am going to do 30 awesome things. That could be anything – from spending an entire day doing acts of kindness to a trip somewhere to taking part in an experience I’ve never had before. It may include checking some stuff off my list.

The possibilities are endless. I want your input – your suggestions, your help, and, if possible, your company on some of these! Thoughts?

There is absolutely no reason not to make 30 (and every year after it) something great. So. Leggoooooo.

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Start spreadin’ the news…we’re leavin’…in three weeks.

In a few weeks, my sisters and Chuckie and I will reunite in Boston for the first time since this time, but for a different reason entirely.

You see, once upon a time, when Rachel and I were young and thinking our jobs would pay us well enough to do such things – we told Sami, “Yeah! When you turn 21, we’ll celebrate by taking you to New York City!”

And all these years later, she remembered, although I’ve heard it was with a little help from one of my roommates. Whoops.

Don’t get me wrong, we always wanted to take her. But there was that whole paying to get up there and having a place to stay.

Well fate intervened in like 12 different ways – including the fact that one of the three of us would be a short drive away from NYC by Sami’s 21st birthday. That meant we could split our time in Boston – where we could stay for free – and NYC.

Add in the most amazing, awesome, wonderful parents and Santa Claus, who gifted us for Christmas and birthdays the plane tickets to get up there, and well, we’re making it happen.

Over Rachel’s actual birthday and St. Patrick’s Day, the four of us (and hopefully a couple cousins that live close by) will be celebrating in New York! Sami turned 21 a little over a week ago, Rachel will turn 27 while we’re there, and a few weeks after we get back I’ll – gulp – turn 30. ACK.

So anyways. As part of this trip, the great Itinerist (is that a thing? or is it just itinerary maker? or tour guide) – Rachel – is making a list of stuff for us to do while we’re in town. We had to send her some ideas and mine ended up pretty doable, I think – an NBC tour and a visit to the World Trade Center Memorial, and as is always on my wish list for a Boston trip – going to see the Sox play.

(I’m one for three. They aren’t doing NBC tours while we’re there. And there aren’t any Red Sox games. I DON’T ASK FOR MUCH, PEOPLE.)

Well, actually I do. Here’s my ENTIRE list of stuff I actually want to do in New York and in Boston during our five day trip.

• Be the one to say “LIVE FROM NEW YORK, IT’S SATURDAY NIIIIIIIIIGHT!” during SNL’s cold open.
• Ice skate at Rockefeller Center (because, let’s be real, it’ll still be winter when we are there because winter will never end)
• Have this happen to me:
-1
• Hop in a cab and tell them to “FOLLOW THAT CAR!” just to see what they’d do.
• Speaking of cabs – find the Cash Cab and be on and win that show.
• Convince somebody random to fake propose to me at the top of the Empire State Building and cause a ruckus on FB when I post the picture after we get home.
• “Good game” a famous person.
• Be an extra in whatever show is filming there at the time.
• Find out where the Central Park Rangers are and see if they’re as mean as they’re portrayed in Elf.
• Instagram the shit out of everything.
• Buy fake sunglasses out of a suitcase in the park like I did when I was in seventh grade (the only other time I’ve been to New York. Also, moments after it happened we saw the people we bought them from get arrested.)
• Go to Times Square and ask someone where Times Square is.
• Visit FAO Schwarz and play something on the floor piano like in Big. It’s still there, right?
• In Boston: go to Wahlburgers and meet Alma Wahlberg and become best friends with her.
• Also in Boston: find Big Papi (David Ortiz for those not in the know) and become best friends with him.
• Have an awesome five days with my sisters and brother-in-law.

I think I’ll be able to check all those off, no problem.

Ch-ch-ch-changes. Little ones.

Quick, take a look around this page. Notice anything different? I’ll give you a second to look.

Yup! Up there ^. Or way up there (or waaaaaaaay up there or on the home page) depending on how many posts I’ve written since this one..

It’s a new page!

I decided to go ahead and separate out my Life List, because it’s a lot easier that way and it reminds me that I need to be checking stuff off.

Now you can keep up with me as I try to accomplish the things on that list – and everything in between, of course. And I also will take any volunteers to help me accomplish any of them.

A couple of them I plan to get done soon – as in the next six months, hopefully. And for the rest, well, ASAP!

What’s on your life list? Anything you think I should add?

My favorite posts this year – 10, to be exact

In honor of another year of blogging with double the amount of posts, comments and followers from the year before (really? What??!?) I have rounded up my personal favorites from what I’ve shared with you on this site. Some are one-hit wonders and others are part of a series. Because it’s too awesome not to, I’ve included all things Bourbon Boys, also known as that time when I drove my dad, uncles, and other awesome guys in my life on a tour of all the bourbon distilleries in the state (except one).

1. The first time I did yoga – WHAT was I thinking??

2. I wrote about when I got motivated.

3. Apparently I look like Paul McCartney?

4. Guys, I am not a painter.

5. Twice in one year I’m in a hospital because of an organ.

6. Bourbon Boyzzzz – six for the price of one.
One, two, three, four, five and six.

7. Saying goodbye to Grandpa.

8. Mission accomplished

9. Wherein my love affair with PIMM’S begins. Oh and Ashley and I went to England for a week.

10. I shared with you the story of my depression and anxiety. And it made me feel so much better.

So if you haven’t already, please read and enjoy. Or re-read and re-enjoy. Or tell me in the comments if I left any off you liked.

And thanks so much for reading!! I don’t really know why you do, a lot of the time, but I sure am grateful for it!

Obviously the best idea ever

OK, so my thoughts are when you pick your five you should also be allowed an alternate, should one of your choices do something as horrible as get a bad haircut or date Scarlett Jowhocares or something equally as horrible to taint their amazingness.

If that’s the case, then I know who mine is. Ryan Gosling. Obvs.

Why is he not in my five already? Well, because that’s just too easy. He’s in everyone’s five. Except for my friend Stephanie. Her type is completely different, meaning the number one on her list is the guy from the All-State commercials.

However, I do have a bit of a crush on Mr. Gosling as well, which is why I find the following so awesome.

It’s from a tumblr I follow called, appropriately (earmuffs, kiddos) Fuck Yeah, Ryan Gosling.

Because really, who doesn’t look at him and think that? Besides Stephanie.

Someone has found all these photos of him and puts text on it that is more often than not as funny or funnier than the one I posted above. They all start out pretty much the same: “Hey girl…” It’s so easy, and amazing. And hilarious. Why didn’t I think of it?

Foiled again.

Diary of a hypochondriac, day 10066

7:30 a.m. I can’t get out of bed. My body physically rejects parting from the flannel sheets. Too. warm. and. cozy. to. move.

8 a.m. Step out of bed, left foot first. Still hurts. Something’s gotta be broken or bent or something in there. On account of it was stepped on. By a stiletto. Almost two weeks ago. Something’s not right.

8:15 a.m. Arm hurts. May or may not have something to do with the fact that I slept on it the whole night, but could also be cause for alarm. Bone islands are back?

8:45 a.m. In the car on the way to work with heartburn. Side effect of anti-anxiety medication. Which is worse, anxiety or heartburn? I’ll get back to you on that.

9:15 a.m. I heat up my breakfast and lift the heavy-ass water bottle onto the dispenser thing. Back hurts now.

9:22 a.m. I get overexcited about breakfast and take a bite, burning the roof of my mouth. I have lost all sense of taste.

9:39 a.m. Throat hurts. Probably because I’m getting sick. It is Bronchitis November, after all. Not to be confused with Sinus Infection December.

10 a.m. Is that a cramp or do I need to get my kidneys checked?

10:12 a.m. I just yawned a little too hard and might have hurt my back even more.

10:25 a.m. Arm WON’T STOP ITCHING. Welcome back, eczema, you asshole.

10: 37 a.m. Still have heartburn. Anxiety sucks, but it doesn’t hurt.

10:41 a.m. Notice a paper cut on my knuckle. When the hell did that happen? I should get a band-aid.

10: 43 a.m. Notice I’ve been bouncing my legs for the last 10 minutes. Cause they feel tingly. Another side effect from the anxiety pills.

10:52 a.m. Ribs kind of hurt. Could be because, again, I sleep like a weirdo, or also because my bra is too tight. Damn you, Victoria’s Secret.

11:15 a.m. My left ear is always stopped up. Q-tips have done nothing, so it has to be partial hearing loss from the iPod.

11:25 a.m. In addition to the eczema, it’s also that time of year when my eyes start feeling like cotton swabs. Meaning they are dried out and my contacts are suffering. I’d wear my glasses but they are a prescription behind. #firstworldproblems

11:38 a.m. Some skin has scraped off on the side of my foot from shoes I wore earlier this week. It’s ’cause I walk on the insides of my feet. That can’t be good.

11:49 a.m. Headache’s setting in. I need one of four things – caffeine, a nap, Ibuprofen or neurosurgery. Speaking of neurosurgery, I haven’t watched a single episode of Grey’s this season. Not upset about it.

12:02 p.m. Is that a spider bite?

12:03 p.m. False alarm. A zit. How old am I?

12:13 p.m. Today I’m wearing the shoes Sami got me in Spain. They rub the bottoms of my feet when I walk long distances and it kind of hurts. But they’re cute, and otherwise comfortable and also the only shoes that match what I’m wearing today.

12:19 p.m. I would never wear shoes if I could help it. But then I’d probably get some weird foot disease and they’d have to be amputated or something crazy.

12:46 p.m. Was working on other stuff for a while so my mind was on other things. Now, it’s back to tummy troubles. It’s rumbling and I am STARVING.

1:30 p.m. Post lunch sleepiness. Or the sleepiness is because I have insomnia sometimes lately.

1:45 p.m. Verdict is still out on whether or not permanent damage was done to the roof of my mouth from this morning’s breakfast hot pocket.

2:03 p.m. Wrist hurts. I think I have carpal tunnel. Just on the one side though.

2:06 p.m. Actually now the other wrist is hurting some.

2:24 p.m. Bone islands must be back. I can feel them. I think.

2:35 p.m. Tummy feels a little funny. Lunch may not have agreed with me.

2:50 p.m. Shoes made my feet hurt.

3:03 p.m. Foot slipped and I accidentally kicked my cubicle wall with my bare foot. Big toe on the right foot is probably broken.

3:24 p.m. Leg cramp. Probably from bouncing my leg all day. Nothing to see here.

3:37 p.m. I think I’m missing eyelashes on one eye. On account of the fake eyelashes I wore the other night. Those babies hurt when you have to pull them off. And I think the left one took some of the real ones with them.

3:46 p.m. We are now up to 5 possible broken toes, but they aren’t all on the same foot. I may need a wheelchair.

3:51 p.m. It’s cold in the office. Starting to be unable to feel my fingers. How long does it take to become hypothermia?

4:07 p.m. Pinched my finger in the drawer. It’s like that part in Elf where Buddy is in the doctor’s office after his shot. “My finger has a heartbeat.”

4:21 p.m. Starting to get sleepy. Need a nap after work. That should help, right? Oh wait, no, that’s why I have insomnia sometimes.

4:35 p.m. Yeah my wrist still hurts. I’m done.

The Five

There’s been a lot of talk about The Five lately. And by a lot I mean it’s come up twice in the past week or so, one of which was over on dooce.com, one of my favorite blogs I follow and if you’re not reading her stuff yet you should be.

Then there was that time earlier this summer where Liz, Shane, Star and I spent an hour at Taproom coming up with our alternate five.

Know what I’m talking about? If not then it’s probably better you don’t.

In case you’d like to educate yourselves, though, watch this clip from FRIENDS:

My five?

1. Jason Segel – On account of the funniness. And adorableness. And he loves the Muppets. Plus, we’re soulmates, remember?
2. Robert Downey Jr. – DUH.
3. Michael C. Hall – I just want to hear his voice. All the time. And he’s not too bad to look at, either.
4. Ryan Kwanten – Not watching True Blood? You should start. If for no other reason than Jason Stackhouse, played by this guy. He’s got the Southern accent, the Australian accent and a ridonkulous six-pack.
5. Bradley Cooper – Because he’s beautiful, and hello, have you seen him speak French fluently? Yeah.

And while I don’t have a significant other right now that has to be OK with this list, when the time comes, he better be.

Who are your five?

One year closer to 100.

Today’s my birthday. 27, which means I’m now THAT MUCH CLOSER to 30, which then means I’m even closer to 50. That reminds me, I need to take a break real quick for my osteoporosis meds and to put my AARP card in my wallet.

OK. So 27. Haven’t heard much about it – that’s good, I suppose, there’s nothing too out of the ordinary I can expect for this year (of course I said that last year then my appendix revolted). There’s no specific things you only get to do once you turn 27, none that I know of anyway.

I can’t really complain about Year 26. It treated me well and I’m hoping 27 takes a clue from its friend and does the same.

To ensure its continued awesomeness – so far, so good, people, and it’s been less than 24 hours – there are 7 things I want to accomplish before 28 rolls around. And these have nothing to do with that other list I’m supposed to be working on.

Why 7, you ask? Because it’s my lucky number. Seriously. Don’t believe me? Well, that’s a pretty silly thing not to believe and besides, have I ever lied to you? Also because in my old age my attention span is entirely too short to come up with many more.

In no particular order, this year I want to:

1. Give up sodas completely. I’m trying this right now and somewhat succeeding. Do you know how gross Cherry Coke tastes after you haven’t had it in a month? Then there’s the throat burning and the sexy burping that I tend to only do around my roommate because if I did it in front of a gentleman I was actually trying to impress, he’d probably run in fear. It’s not the caffeine – God knows I still need that to make it through the day, at least until America takes a clue from the Spaniards and institutes an afternoon siesta. Nah, it’s the fact that it’s just kinda gross when you think about it, especially if you’ve watched it be poured over your ailing car battery on the side of the road and it TAKES OFF THE GROSS STUFF. How does it not eat through your stomach?

2. Go to Waverly Hills. I ain’t afraid of no ghosts. And I’m pretty sure there’s one currently roaming around my apartment – but more about that another day. I’ve always wanted to go to Waverly and you have to book those tours ASAP because they fill up about 10 minutes after they’re opened. This year, I’m going. I just need someone who will hold my hand every once in a while.

3. Learn how to cook at least five new things. Currently, the only thing I can really cook is this dish a former roommate used to make called Poppyseed Chicken. I can only make it because it’s damn near impossible to screw up. Of course, so are quesadillas, but I managed to burn those into oblivion last time I tried that. I’m about as undomesticated as they come in that respect and it’s actually pretty sad. I’m envious of people who can just throw stuff together without directions or make things from scratch while I follow a recipe to the T and still manage to forget something.

4. Do something crafty. I’m kind of cheating with this one because I already have a plan in mind, I just have to make it happen. I have a big, empty wall behind my bed and it needs a little something. So rather than keep it that way until I move out or save up for some big art piece or something, I’m gonna make something. It will involve not a lot of money – hopefully – as well as my amazing photographic talent.

5. Conquer a fear. I’m going to London this summer. One thing the bff and I know we’re going to do for sure is take a ride on the London Eye – the GINORMOUS ferris wheel that overlooks the city. It’s huge. And glassed in. And the thought of it kind of terrifies me, because it’s so damn high! But I need to realize that when I’m in something enclosed that’s been proven safe waaaaaay too many feet off the ground, I need to check myself. There’s a 99-percent chance whatever it is won’t kill me. I think. That’s the only fear I can think of to try and get over. Because there’s no way in hell the clown thing’s going away. And submarines? HELL NO.

6. Mail a secret to Postsecret. Went to a Postsecret event recently and I know of at least one friend who’s actually sent one to the site. One of the things they allowed people to do at the event was to come up to a microphone and share their secret. I am in NO WAY that brave, but once I can figure out a way to design the postcard, it’s going in the mail. It was really cool to see those people share though. Very freeing.

7. Go camping with my friends. My family used to do the camping thing all the time when I was a kid. That’s right, I was an outdoor-sleepin’, fish-catchin’, s’more-cookin’ lil lady. And still would be, if anyone ever wanted to camp with me. I mean, I’m sure people do – I’m a delight – but it just hasn’t come up yet. I think a CKR camping trip would be hilarious, because as it was shown by our attempts at canoeing a couple years ago, we’re not exactly the most outdoor-savvy of people. But we know how to light a fire and there’d be plenty of beer and food. Going with the game night crew would be equally exciting and a lot easier to get organized, as we all live in the same city. And a couple of the boys in the group were in boy scouts, so there’s that.

I’ve got stuff to do

So I’ve had this list – inspired by one of the bfs, and I’ve kinda sorta sucked at accomplishing much of anything on it.

I mean, I’ve crossed off a few things, but really, I need to get on it. Especially if I want to keep adding to it, which I plan to. But my goal is for this time next year to have a lot more of these marked off as done. Any you’d like to help with would be greatly appreciated!

• Ride in a hot air balloon.
• See the Red Sox play in Fenway Park.
• Get tickets to a concert within the first 10 rows.
• Read the Bible all the way through.
• Volunteer with an organization.

• Visit five countries I’ve never been to.
• Visit five states I’ve never been to.
• Buy a house.
Buy a car on my own.
• Swim with dolphins.
• Go to the Derby.
• Learn how to throw a football – the right way.
• Take a cooking class.
• Learn how to play golf.
• Take better care of myself, in every sense of the word.
• Make a considerable donation to a deserving organization.
• Go to a taping of either Ellen or Conan O’Brien.
• Get a tattoo.
Go tubing.
Go to a spa and get a full body massage.
• Play paintball.

• See a Broadway show. On Broadway.
• See a taping of Saturday Night Live.
• Be an extra in a movie.
• Start a book club.

• Host or attend one of those murder mystery parties.

• Try 20 new foods

• Buy one of those paintings done by an elephant.

• Stand in a celebrity’s footprints at Mann’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood.
• Drink green beer.
• Learn how to juggle.
• Learn how to sew.
• Meet Stephen King and tell him he made me scared of clowns but I still think he’s an amazing writer.
• Have something I’ve written/photographed published in a major magazine – preferably Rolling Stone.
• Write a book.
• Try and become more of a morning person.
• Be conversational in another language and able to speak a third.
• Meet Robert Downey Jr.
• Go to the Olympics.
• Be a part of a flash mob.
• Learn CSS.
• Get a dog.

Progress report

I tell you enough about that list I made a year ago – the one with all the stuff I want to do at some point in my life, preferably before I’m 30. Why 30? Why not?

So instead of telling you what I want to do, here’s an updated version, complete with stuff I’ve already done that if you haven’t already, you can totally read about. Get excited.

• Ride in a hot air balloon – This is still on the list only because it’s so damn expensive! Also, you may or may not have to be in love to take a hot air balloon ride, on account of every site I looked at when you bought the package for two people (no way I’m doing it alone, someone’s holding my hand, fear of heights, remember?) you get champagne at the end. Romantic, eh?

• Learn how to play guitar – First I need to get/borrow a guitar

• See the Red Sox play in Fenway Park – I’ve got an aunt and uncle who live near Boston who keep inviting me up. And may know someone else living there in the next couple years. It’s getting possible.

• Get tickets to a concert close enough to the stage I could catch something if they threw it.
 

• Read the Bible all the way through – Still in Genesis. Gonna work on it.


Volunteer with an organization.
 Babysitting every Wednesday morning for kids who speak a different language. Check back for some stories about that soon.

• Go to Europe – specifically Ireland, Greece, Italy…


• Visit a state I’ve never been to – California, Louisiana, Maine..


• Send an application to Rolling Stone or Entertainment Weekly about a job.
 – Will be doing soon. Just to see what happens.

• Buy a house.


• Buy a car on my own.


• Swim with dolphins.

• Go to the Derby.


• Learn how to throw a football – the right way. No I don’t have pictures.

• Take a cooking class.


• Learn how to play golf. – Waiting for someone with the patience to take me/teach me.


• RUN a 5K. 


• Make a donation ($50 at least, more if possible) to a deserving organization. – Haven’t done this yet, but I have been giving a semi-regular offering at church, which I’ve never done before. 


• Go to a taping of either Ellen or Conan O’Brien.


• Get a tattoo. – I know what it will be and where. Now for the when….


• Go tubing.

• Go to a spa and get a full body massage.
 AWKWARD.

• Play paintball.

• See a Dane Cook show.
 Haven’t done it but I no longer care if it happens.

• See a Broadway show.


• See a taping of Saturday Night Live.


• Be an extra in a movie.


• Start a book club.


• Visit Australia.

• Host or attend one of those murder mystery parties.


• Try a few new foods

Tried:
1.Three new types of sushi.

• Buy one of those paintings done by an elephant.


• Stand in a celebrity’s footprints at Mann’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood.


• Drink green beer.


• Meet Robert Downey Jr.

So see, I’ve checked a few things off. And hopefully, by the end of the year, it’ll be even shorter than that. Still looking for help with a few of ’em, if anyone’s interested..