♪This Christmas, I gave♪ up my life!
This Christmas, was the first year I actually had to grown up, being 20 now. So, not only did I have to spend actual money that I don't have (although, I suppose that is the expectation), I had to book my own flight, I had to work and still I spent a lot of time by myself.
That first week, December 8th through the 14th. A lot of people left campus. It was supposed to be finals week but nearly everyone got there's done early and by the end of the day Tuesday, everyone I knew had gone home. I spent that week, doing and redoing my hair, working out, writing, doing some volunteer work, oh, and watching an abundance of NetFlix. But for the most part, I spent nearly 8 hours by myself everyday. And don't get me wrong. I don't mind being alone. I can get a lot work done when my boyfriend isn't singing at the top of his lungs, or when my friends are pushing me to go out with them. But I was kind of used to it. And I quickly got pretty lonely... If I had known it was going to be so empty up here, I would have scheduled flight for earlier. But if I had, I would had to leave my car at the airport and spend upwards of $200 on parking. But because I decided to wait, my boyfriend's father was back in town - from Missouri where they went to see his sister graduate - and said I could leave my car at his place. His father also said that I could stay the night before the flight, in my boyfriend's old room, so I don't have to wake up at the ass crack of dawn to get there on time. His parents are so nice. I ended up getting them Christmas presents. His father is a lot like him with all the jokes and goofiness, so I got him a gag mug with yo mama jokes on it. For his mother, who LOVES to cook, I got her a cutting board. Or a cheese platter. I could be interpreted a couple ways. But I got her name inscribed into it so that it was personalized. But when I got it back, they just cut her name into it, which left gaps that food and bacteria could get stuck in. So I choose to fill it in, sand it down smooth, and add a waterproof sealant on it so that she could actually used it. It was process that took about four days, but it filled my week. I hoped they liked them.
The morning of December 16th, my boyfriend's father dropped me off at the airport to catch my 9:38am flight. But when I got on the plane, it was delayed. And delayed again. And delayed some more. I spent probably two hours on that plane, just sitting in the runway. Apparently, the guys they got to come check it were not qualified and didn't fill out the proper paperwork. They checked off a few random boxes and they had to have someone else come in and really check the plane. The plane wasn't at all qualified for takeoff! So, they made us get off and get on a different plane that left at 12. But by that point we were flying into a snow storm and I was definitely going to miss my connecting flight. So I rescheduled it 6:30, which then meant that I wasn't going to get to North Carolina until 9:30. But finally, I was back with my mom.
That first week wasn't eventful. My brother was still in school and my mother was still working. So, again, I spent a lot of time at home alone. I thought about maybe going out and exploring but I din't have my car. So I resorted to walking around the neighborhood. It was nice. North Carolina is a lot more humid than Arizona but at least t wasn't cold. Small victories.
The next week, my mom had off and we did a couple of different things. We went to the Christmas light, had a mini Christmas party. And I finally had a crab boil! Yum! I loved it. And, we went to Jumanji 2: Next Level.I was told repeatedly not to see it but my love of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson pulled me! And I loved it. Which is why I often ignore the opinion of other people. Well, for that and a mix of other reasons. And on Christmas morning... I slept in until noon. My brother as well. But my mom had gotten up. When I finally a woke she and I made a last minute trip to WalMart for some crab legs. Yep, we had a seafood boil for Christmas dinner! It was so delicious. Just thinking about it now is making my mouth water. Boy, I wish I took leftovers. But after dinner we finally opened the presents around 6:30. My dad got me calligraphy pen! Oh my goodness, it's so beautiful! I love it so much! And my mom got me a, well needed, printer. Let me tell you how many times I have been late to class trying to print something off last minute at the library. Now I can be later for trying to print something off last minute in my room. BABY STEPS! I got my brother a toilet light for his 3am bathroom runs. The kid seems to never sleep. And I got my mom a personalized necklace. It was a good day. I had a lot of fun.
But I would be remiss not to mention that I was immensely happy to be back in Arizona, in the arms of my boyfriend, the next day. Yep, my flight back to the AZ was the next day. There were a series of miscommunications and I left a few days earlier than I originally intended. But I did have a lot of fun. I hung out with my boyfriend and ALL of his extended family. I won't say that that it was a tad overwhelming. I will say that it was very overwhelming to meet all of his family all at once having that ask me what I was doing with my life and what I was planning. They were very nice and probably didn't have any idea how I was feeling but boy was I drained by the end of the day.
That night was fun though. We had a massive dinner and played a plethora of Christmas games and made many jokes at the expense of my boyfriend. It was a good time and I'm glad I went.
The very next Monday, though, I had to leave my boyfriend again. I had to go back to the summer camp to work. Or winter camp as it were. It was just for a week, and oh so fun. I had a lot of the same kids I had over the summer and some new ones. It was just two of us working at any given time and a lot of times just me, with ten sometimes fifteen kids but they were well behaved. They just wanted to play and talk and I did too so the week ran smoothly. Most of the time. The day after New Years, where all the kids stayed up the night before, was kind of hard. They were cranky and tired and a little hard to manage but after lunch they regained their energy. And the snowy fun resumed.
When that week ended, I decided to drive back up to campus on January 4th. I thought I had to be a work that next Monday (today) at the elementary school and I kind of wanted the Sunday to get settled in. But turns out I had another two weeks to settle in. So I stayed a few more days and left today. Now I'm back on campus. And my boyfriend decided to come up with me. But there is no one up here but us and a few other students. Classes don't resume until next week. So maybe I'll get some work done though. Maybe flesh out the cover of my next book. Hehehe!
I will say though, I did have a lot of fun in the chaos. But I'm ready to get back to a routine!
Also, I'm sorry that my post frequency has slowed down. When the last semester began, I didn't really have time to write a lot. But I'm hoping to be better this semester. Happy New Years everyone!
I think I know myself pretty well. I have had 19 (nearly 20) years to study, after all. And I know I have a fragile heart. I know when I fall, I crash. But my heart is like the last domino in the line. So many things have to fall into place within me before all of me goes crashing down. I mean, I have myself guarded up tighter than Fort Knox.
So these words have always been so hard for me to say. When I meant it anyway. When I didn't it just kind a rolled off my tongue. "Oh girl, I love you!" "I love you! You're so funny!"
But in the context in which I'm opening my heart, it always making me nauseous. Not because I didn't mean it or didn't want to say it. It's the fact that I'm actually exposing myself.
It's like your teeth. You munch and munch on them all day without a care. Then you get a cavity. At first it doesn't hurt so much. Just with sugary foods. Then with all foods. Then whenever you move your jaw. But by that point the nerve ending is exposed and you start to favor the other side of your mouth. Or if you are hygienically wise, you go to the dentist before it gets that bad.
It's the same way for me with those words. As they become more real, the harder they are to say. So I start saying other things that imply or allude to what I'm trying to say and still get the job done. Backwards, I know.
But now I've come to like it. In this way, I know it's real. I mean, I still have trouble telling my mom I love her and I've been doing it for nearly twenty years. It just feels weird in my mouth. So when I feel this nausea - as scary as it is - I'm more incline to just say it. Because it's true. I've got only one life and it's a pretty short one so I'm not gonna waste my time not telling my truth, not telling my feelings.
Yes. It is just one phrase. Three simple words, I know. But to me it is the second most important phrase a person can say. When it's true.
I am a delicate little bird
Not to be pushed
Or I might fall
Carefully protected by his guard
I am as fragile as thin glass
Not to be dropped
Or I might shattered
Safely carried in his embrace
I am as sensitive as creaky wood
Not to be jumped on
Or I might splinter
Polished by him regularly
I am a gentle warm breeze
Not to be ignored
Or one might miss it
Laying in my comfort
I am a soft blanket
Not to be tugged
Or I might rip
Shared only with him
But to Me
He is the delicate little bird.
Fighting against the winds of a stereotype
To be a man,
To protect at night,
To provide at day.
But I can see through
His chirpings of fake laughs.
His songs of forged reassurance.
Oh, delicate little bird.
I will sing for you.
I will house you within my nest.
I will swaddle you in my warmth.
Oh, delicate little bird.
I will protect you.
I know for a lot of people school has been going on for a month already. But for me, I'm just starting into week 3. One might think that I've been coasting so far. Just chilling in the start of the year. But false. In the last two weeks I've had 9 homework assignments due, 7 quizzes, a full book to read along with 9 full length textbook chapters, and I have a job.
No rest for the wicked.
But don't mistake this for me complaining. I love it. Sure, I have a full schedule with 19 credits and a job that I go to immediately after class, and homework that I need to attend to as soon as I get back... Wait, I wasn't complaining? No, because I have only one class on Friday and I don't work on that day or the weekends so it's like I have a three day weekend every week. Plus, my friends are the raddest cats. They're not cats. They're cool dudes. And every single weekend they have something new that we need to. Something fun to break from the intensity of a lecture filled week. And it works for me. If didn't, I wouldn't be feeling so light right now.
Now don't get me wrong I do have a pretty heavy load to deal with. But I'm dealing, you know? Look at it like this. I get to have a break. I get most - if not all - of my homework done over the week so when Friday rolls around I can do whatever in the Bloody Mary I feel like doing. This morning, I pulled the doors off of my closet so I could see all of my clothes. Honestly, don't ask why I thought that was the best way to go about that. But I could. Because I have the time and energy. I just got to keep pushing myself to get where I want to be and I'll always find myself there.
That's my motto in life. "If you can't run, then walk. If you can't walk then crawl. Just get to where you wanna be."
The Twisted Secrets of the Leadership is now officially in stores. Well, it was in stores officially three days ago, on the 31st. But I post on Mondays so now I'm announcing it! I really hope you guys like it. It's a little bit of insight to the minds of those that carried Evangeline through A Twisted Fate. Maybe we'll discover why Loyce was so mean or why Benzi was so angry.
Oh and here's a link to the book:
That's all for today, folks!
People say the worst thing you can to do a woman
Is break her Heart.
That stems from the verse,
"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!"
Some correct it as
The worst thing you can to do a person
Is break their Heart.
Which is still incorrect.
They get that from
How much it hurts.
The ultimate change in perception that it causes.
It's devastating, yes.
But the worst thing to a person
Is violate their body.
"Your body can heal itself,"
You might say.
Sure, but your body is the one thing that you will have
For your ENTIRE life.
You grow out of clothes.
They throw them away.
You buy new shoes.
You buy new cars.
You buy new homes.
The only thing that you carry from birth til death
Is your body.
Yet to be violated by another human being?
The only thing that you can really call your own?
Has been taken?
Have your heart broken a couple of times.
And watch how you survive.
It may seem like you won't.
It may seem like you'll die tomorrow.
But many people actually cannot live
With being violated.
Some people cannot recover.
Their souls unable to cope.
And they need to find an escape.
People should say the worst thing you can to do a person
Is violate their body
A few months ago, way back in April, my boyfriend and I went on a drive around the city. It was one of those slow laid back days where we didn't want to do anything but we didn't want to stay inside. It was getting kind of late in the day when we decided to head back to campus but the sun was still out. And on that drive back a woman started honking and rides up on us. Then she pulled around us, screaming and shaking her fist out out the window. When she saw me, shock took her face briefly before returning to anger. For a moment, I thought that maybe we cut her off, or was driving too slow. But that couldn't have been the case.
Now, what I failed to mention was that my boyfriend is a proud Trump supporter. He has the hats and the stickers and any other memorabilia he could get his hands on. Including bumper stickers. We later put together that's where the woman's sudden anger and hatred stemmed from.
Then, not even a week later, my boyfriend decided wear his MAGA hat around campus with some of his friends. It was a great accessory to his outfit, if I do say so myself. But that's beside the point. The point is that because I was holding his hand, I received a lot of disgusted, sad and even angry stares. Me, a very brown girl, with a Trump supporter. How degrading! How repulsive! How deplorable!
No, what was deplorable was a group of girls, stopping me at the salad bar to ask if I was okay, as if to suggest that I was in some undesired captive relationship. I know, it's a big step from "are you okay?" to "is he holding you hostage?" But their line of questioning would prove their intent. Questions like, "how long were you dating before he told you?" "Would did he say to make you okay with that?" "Does he let you watch the news?" Does me let me watch the news?!? How was he gonna stop me? It's not like he had me tied up a basement and sang to me about the wonders of Trump. Not to down play such situations. Except, they overplayed mine.
I understand that people are not really big fans of Donald Trump right now. I understand that some things that he says and does are not going to make everyone happy. But someone put him in office. A lot of people wanted him there. A lot of people want to keep him there. I might not agree with everything my boyfriend does in relations to politics but he hasn't once disrespected me, my moral standings, or my ideologies. And he isn't going around grabbing women's yahoo either.
Now, I'm not trying to sway anyone into living a life like my own or glorify dating someone with opposing views, because sometimes it's hard. But I am just asking that we just respect each other's lifestyles.
Also a co-worker of my mine, from the Lumberjack Newspaper, wrote a great article about her relationship. And another co-worker did an illustration of me and my boyfriend for the story. You can check it out and read the article, here.
You know how in those diner movies or the ones where the main character works at a diner, there's always that one guy - who's usually old - who comes in every single day and orders the exact same thing.
Yeah, that's me. I'm a regular!
You see, there's a McDonald's on my way to work. Right there, just before the turn into my workplace. It was tempting me to spend money that I don't have! How dare they taint the air with the delicious smell of hash browns!
And one day, about two weeks into working at the summer camp, I had about twenty minutes of extra time before I needed to clock in. Surprisingly there was no traffic. And looking at my clock and smelling the delicious smells, I figured that I had time for a detour. That day I went through the Drive-Thru and ordered a Bacon & Egg McGriddle hold the cheese, with hash brown and a Strawberry Milkshake. Their ice cream machine was broken - go figure - so I didn't get the milkshake. In hindsight, I guess my lactose intolerant butt should have been happy that I didn't get one. But I wasn't. Nevertheless, that day begin six more weeks of McDonald's breakfast stops, and without fail every morning til my last day of work, I went and got something. Some mornings were different than others. Like when I was heading to work straight from my boyfriend's house, I would order a small French Vanilla Latte. I hate coffee, but I was in desperate need of the caffeine. Or on days that I knew I probably wouldn't eat lunch, I'd order three hash browns. And when they fixed the machine I started getting my Strawberry Milkshakes. Which would catch up to me in no less than a hour.
I'm not sure why but I have a strange love for milk.
Anyway, because I was going so often I became pretty familiar with the morning staff. Some morning I would roll up and as I began my order they would already have it punched in. Or they knew the size of my drink if I forgot to say it. I mean I went pretty frequently and I ordered the same things almost every time, so it was bound to happen. What can I say? I'm a creature of habit.
Now I only wonder if they miss me as camp is now over and I have yet to return to McDonald's.
I went to summer camp every summer every until I was fourteen. Then my mom made me volunteer there. Well, she didn't make me. I thought I was going to get paid. I didn't.
With all that being said, those summer were the best of my life. I made friends I would have never otherwise met. I tried things I would have never otherwise known about. And I went on adventures that were once in a lifetime experiences. Each summer was a different one. Which was why I was so excited to start working at a summer camp this year. But first all, let me say working at a summer camp and playing at one are two very different experiences. Working there you get to see all the behind the scene events and running around that make a summer camp so cool. Besides the very obvious aspect of it being super stressful, it was crazy fun.
I worked at a country club summer camp where the kids were broken up into two groups. Bigs (age 7-10) and littles (3-6). I worked with the littles mostly but occasionally with the bigs. Just depended on who was there that week. And each week had a different theme! Overall, we were looking for Tinkerbell. She had gotten lost. Again. So we were visiting all the Disney characters across the world to help us find her. The first week we went to Greece to talk to Hercules and Phil. Herc was little help. He was too busy trying to impress Megara. However Phil was able to point us the right way. So week two we find ourselves in Ireland with Merida! She sent us to Build-A-Bear so we could all get our own animal guides. Once we had our bears she was able to give directions to China to talk to Mulan. She was pretty busy saving all of China from the Huns and stuff but she did take to the time to point out Tink's path. Apparently, she saw a trail of pixie dust headed to France! So we went to Paris to talk to Remy and Alfredo, and of course have a big plate of
Ratatouille. It was weird eating with a rat but he heard that Tink was Hawaii. She headed back to the ol' US of A. We caught a plane to Kaua'i and sat down with Nani. Lilo was busy trying to keep Stitch out of trouble. It didn't work very well. But Nani heard something about Tinkbell being in London. So we jumped on another plane and wandered into Hundred Acre Wood. Christopher Robin just so happened to be there pulling Winnie the Pooh out of yet another honey jar. Fortunately for us, along with the last drop of honey at the bottom of the jar, Pooh also spotted Tinkerbell headed to Germany. So for week seven we went to talk to Rapunzel. We didn't stay. She had a lot of princess business to catch up on. (You know, from being locked in a tower for most of her life.) So Eugene - a.k.a Flynn Rider a.k.a Prince Eugene Fitzherbert - sent us to Africa. I won't lie, talking with a full grown lion was scary for some of the kids, but while we were there we got to see Simba's epic story on the big screen the day it came out! That really warmed us up to him. Then he sent us Denmark where we spoke the littlest mermaid, Princess Ariel. My my my! She truly helped us. With her aid we were able to find a map to Tink! First we had to fight off pirates and tick tock crocodiles but we were able to make to Neverland. And low and behold! There she was locked in a trunk by those pesky pirates! One of the kids told me that we should have just started here, it would saved us a lot time in hindsight. Did I mention these were really intelligent for their age. But anyway, we had finally found Tinkerbell and we threw a huge party in celebration. I was a fabulous time.
I remember when my imagination was that grand, so immersive that even now in my memory it registers as an actual fairy flying around my head. It was so beautiful to see all those kids so crazy happy and excited. All the work we did to make it happen, however physically grueling and and tiring it was, I would do it all again. Sure, my feet, back, arms, hands and anything that moved on my body ached by the end of the day. And by the end of the week all I wanted to do was sleep. Yet, just to see the glow in their eyes, I could find the energy to do it again.
Friday was my last day, and I was so sad to go. But I'm really glad I have the memories. Oh, and thanks to all my co-workers who were working just as furiously hard as I did! It's been great guys!
Until next summer!
A weeks ago my brother was eating a pie. One of those mini personal ones that you get from Walmart or Safeway. I thought very little of it and continued what I was doing. But a few more bites in, it occurred to me that I've never really eaten a pie. I mean, once like 2 years ago at Thanksgiving but I don't think I've had one since then. So when I found myself in Phoenix, I jumped at the opportunity to try something new.
While on a trip with my boyfriend, I roped him into going to a pie shop with me. It was Mamma Toledo's The Hole Pie. It's a little place located on the corner of a strip mall on 7th Street. It's a family-owned, hole in the wall type. The interior was that of a 80's diner. Polka dots everywhere. But the best part was getting to sit down with the owner's daughter, Sarah Saidi.
According to her, mamma wasn't much of baker at the beginning. But after having to change her career goals, she started baking and selling out of her house. When she started garnering popularity, was when Sarah and her sister were recruited to help out. Now, with so much attention they needed a name to put on the pies. A title people could come looking for and they settled on Mamma's Toledo's. "Why Toledo's?" You must be wondering. "Where did it come from?" Well, they made it up! Mamma was thinking about changing her name for a half minute and from the brainstorming came their family business. And not long after, a food truck was carrying the name all around town. A few years after that so did their current shop. Two before this one.
Of course, there was one final question that needed answering while I was in the shop. "How was the pie?" So before I wrapped up my interview, I asked Ms. Saidi two things.
1. Let's say, for instance, that I've never eaten pie in my entire life and I just find myself here, at Mamma Toledos', what would recommend me?
2. And on the opposite end, let's say I eat pie everyday all day, do you have anything unique that I should try here?
She recommended me their fan favorite, the Brown Sugar Peach for the newbie. She told me to eat it warm with a little bit of ice on top. She also suggested I try the Banana Cream and Raspberry Cream Cheese, which were the two that I got. And for our experience pie man, she suggested their signature Green Chili Apple and Mango Chili Lime. I got the Green Chili Apple and ooh boy! I was excited.
First, I tried the Green Chili Apple. With apple being the only pie I had a reference for it only made sense that's where I begin. Of course, with the spice of the chili it transforms the tradition. One can really catch the inspiration as new age. Something different than what the average pie eater might find. The filling is gooey and soft when warmed up. The crust is a delicious crisp contrast to the soft center.
Then I tried the Raspberry Cream. It's very familiar to Raspberry Cheesecake. It's light and fluffy. It's surprisingly refreshing for being a pie. The whipped cream drop on top is to dir for! It's a nice sweet interruption from the tart raspberry. Now, I must say that I'm not usually a fan of raspberry and I might have came in a little biased. But my mind had been changed. Next time I get a raspberry anything it will be from Mamma Toledo's!
Then finally, I tried the Banana Cream. I knew I was gonna love this before I even saw it. It had a soft pudding-like interior with chunks of banana. The crust was light but spectacularly firm. It held its shape well (even after my boyfriend's job of cutting it).
Overall, the stop is worth it. Two pies up!