You’d grab my head, with your fingers intertwined with my hair and hold me so close- breathing me in like it was oxygen.
You ran down the street as I was coming to pick you up because you didn’t want to miss a moment waiting for me to drive to you.
You got on a plane- clear on the other side of the country, to fly all day, just to drive two hours into Maine after you landed at night to see me in a bowling alley with coworkers you didn’t know.
You’d give me a card, saying the most amazing things.
You’d make the ahi meal I love so much.
You’d try to be creative with my favorite team: rookie cards, car doors, mini helmet, wall banner, tickets to the Missouri game.
You used to stop and purr- just looking at me.
Then you stopped. Everything.
I saw, felt and remember- you didn’t see me:
You’d put your son first, even though he was wrong and abusive towards me.
You’d ignore that I went above and beyond to make every birthday special for him- making his favorite cake or sending him friends money so they could.
You’d ignore that when his clothing didn’t fit, I’d order online the sizes he needed knowing they didn’t sell them in the stores.
You’d ignore when I’d make his or his friends special meals, so he or they felt welcome.
You’d ignore my hurt at his constant entitlement, demeanor and attitude towards me – even when I helped him go to see his girlfriend at the mental hospital, paid for flights, paid for any and everything.
You ignored the fact I tried. Everything.
I saw, felt and remember- the YOU people don’t get to see, ever, aside from me:
You’d walk out of the police department, to take whatever meal, coffee, kiss, or cold drink I’d (sometimes hours coming from work or just waiting for you) out of my way to bring you- because I wanted to give you a kiss or see you- just to grab it and walk away as quickly as you could.
You’d get jealous on every vacation we ever went on.
You’d shush me. EVEN WHILE WATCHING MY GAMECOCKS.
You’d ignore the fact that the house was filled with food, new linens, cleaned, warm, with dinner cooking- and a cocktail waiting on the counter- even though I had a long day too.
You’d ignore every time I got up early to make you something to eat or pack your lunch- because you don’t eat until noon now.
You’d ignore when I was hurting the most, when I was silent for days or crying.
You’d yell at me. Knowing it was too much.
You ignored the fact you went through two academies and college- while I took care of our home, and made sure you were encouraged and supported. Did you ever notice that took place until now?
You’d judge me. Even when you knew it was hard for me to be honest and open up.
You’d ignore the fact I was lonely, even when you were here.
You’d take extra shifts, even after being gone for so many days.
You put me second and third. Every time.
You’d take from me, so many things- and then be frustrated with me for noticing it because I felt unappreciated, used, and unloved.
You’d be in a good mood on your terms, if you felt like it, when you wanted. But if I craved it, you’d refuse.
You didn’t see me, but blamed me for hiding myself- when I was right in front of you.
You ruined it. You ruined EVERYTHING.
I saw, felt and remember- when you refused to show up for me:
You always ignored if I was uncomfortable. I don’t get uncomfortable, so if I do- doesn’t that say something?
I can count on one hand the amount of times you danced with me in the living room when I would ask- for only a moment. It might be a little ironic that the last time you actually did, it was to Garth Brooks’ The Dance. (See Lyrics at bottom of post)
You took voluntary police details WHEN I WAS BEDRIDDEN and my body was so weak and lifeless for 3 months.
You told me you purposely ignored me FOR A MONTH when my animal died.
We’d make love- and all I wanted was for you to tell me how you felt, kiss my neck, and be in the moment, but YOU put YOU first. This wasn’t a result of a *disorder*, this was ignoring what turned me on. But it’s my fault I didn’t let you try? You had the answer and ignored it. EVERYTIME.
I saw, felt and remember- the conclusion:
I have felt like the maid, waiter, whore, cook, servant, assistant, child, bitch, complete asshole, gremlin, sugar momma, and provider- for years. Do you even see how much you took advantage of me? Had you ever stopped, put your ego aside, and considered it?
You’ve said, “this is not a two way street.” I very much agree.
Would YOU try after years of that? Would YOU try after years of seeing, feeling, and remembering all of that pain that hurt me enough to leave? Would you? You ignored the fact I tried, so many times, but my love wasn’t good enough for you.
I gave you me. You said you didn’t like me.
So, I left- because I LIKE ME.
…Fast Forward 1 year.
Thank you for publicly posting our private situation by changing your Facebook status for all to see throughout what has been the most awkward and unsettling year of my life. Because grown men are supposed to care about a facebook status…
(yes, that is 100% sarcasm)
I call this post my retaliation to that behavior. oh, hey.
As a 53 year old man, the lack of grace, tact, taste, and couth you’ve shown is astounding, yet fascinates me- almost to a titillating degree. Then again, it’s the first time you’ve given me any kind of stimulation in the past 12 years. So, I should be thanking you.
In closing, I took your advice most recently that I should “open up to someone for once, cause it might make me feel better.”
You know what. It does!
Guess now I can focus on my poodle* (definition, see below) you so politely told me to go get. The beauty of it is, I never needed a poodle. I only need me.
Bless your heart, Brad.
a type of man who fits all high standards of a perfect man according to katie. he is educated, preppy, pretty/handsome, tall, well dressed, funny, charming, challenges one to make them a better person, enjoys the finer things, successful, maybe has a little bit of an arrogance, enjoys college football, enjoys traveling, will drink chardonnay and eat oysters with me on the water- while completely skipping work, enjoys going out to dinner, enjoys traveling, is strong in both mind & body to an alpha degree, doesn’t mind throwing someone against a wall and kissing them deep and slow, isn’t afraid to use a little (or a lot of) dirty talk, and allows me to have orgasms.
Garth Brooks- The Dance (Lyrics)
Looking back on the memory of The dance we shared ‘neath the stars above For a moment all the world was right How could I have known that you’d ever say goodbye
And now I’m glad I didn’t know The way it all would end, the way it all would go Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain But I’d have had to miss the dance
Holding you, I held everything For a moment wasn’t I the king If I’d only known how the king would fall Hey, who’s to say, you know I might have changed it all
And now I’m glad I didn’t know The way it all would end, the way it all would go Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain But I’d have had to miss the dance
If our lives are better left to chance Oh, our lives are better left to chance Oh, our lives are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain But I’d have had to miss the dance
Social media is that thing no one expected, but now many can’t live without. I have friends who commonly take screen-breaks or detoxes, give it up for lent, suspend their accounts, delete the apps – all in an effort to break the habit of the constant digital voyeurisms that take over their most valuable asset- time.
I get it, but embrace it. In fact, I’d probably do the same, but in being I use it for work- I simply cannot.
I have been working in the world of marketing/advertising/pr for the majority of my adult life- and actually went to school to do exactly those things. The social media element of marketing didn’t exist when I was sitting within the walls of the Carolina Coliseum, aside from AOL Instant messenger. So, I had to learn in real-time, as they happened- over and over again.
This recon came in handy when helping the people in my network. I am commonly asked, “What are the rules of how to make XYZ platform work?” Now, I do not pretend to be the foremost thought-leader in the rules of engagement via social media, but I have done it a long time, successfully.
Story Time/Fun Fact: I ran a Sheriff campaign here in NH a few years ago.
Backstory: The incumbent Sherriff was retiring. The “powers that be” had chosen someone to fill the seat who would not ruffle feathers and also had the backing of the local dignitaries- aka, they would have a puppet. The candidate had a 2 year jump start on my guy and three-times the budget. Looking from the outside in- they had an unscathed path to victory.
Keyword there: Had. My marketing strategy and social media content were so powerful for this campaign, the opposing Sherriff candidate’s team started COPYING my efforts- sometimes verbatim. I’m flattered by the fact they actually had to TRY because they took for granted that sometimes strategy and effort WILL overshadow the connected.
It took a LOT of patience and creativity to come up with content their team couldn’t possibly mimic, but I did it. They kept trying, though. By the end of the campaign, my husband made a passing comment to the guilty gentleman on their team, something along the lines of, “Where should my wife send the bill?” Yeah, you know what you did.
Did we win? No. BUT- we did win 23 of the 27 cities in the county- and only lost by 600 votes. Not bad at all for 1/3rd of the budget AND time on the campaign trail. I call it a win on another level, but that’s also why I’m telling you this story. Also, I didn’t collect one penny; the work made it completely worth it. THE END
I digress. back to the fun stuff.
Here are some good rules of thumb for social media. I welcome your feedback or any additional advice that can aid in my constant desire to become better and learn as much as possible. As always, these opinions are my own and pardon any mistakes. I am human.
Use the formula for posting in a pattern that will encourage engagement: promotional, factual, personal.
Promotional: Sharing information that relates to your company. This is a great tool to get users to go to the website and increase the numbers, but use it on a 33% share of voice. Overusing this one item in particular will encourage people to unfollow/snooze for 30 days/hide your content.
Factual: ANYTHING fact based and not opinion. Weather, upcoming seasons or events, “Did you know” type scenarios, “Top 10”, state of affairs, general knowledge that is interesting.
Personal: Show you. Show behind the scenes, your colleagues, your favorites- encourage people to share their favorites of a certain something, be a human people can relate to.
Remember your posts are ONLY visible to users who engage with your content- unless they go directly to your page.
If users are not engaging, the social media platforms will use the algorithm to hide your content and distribute new content the user WILL engage with- this is a fact.
Try to mix UPBEAT stories with the very depressing/toxic/bipolar media atmosphere that is currently taking over. Posting on the same topic over and over is no bueno.
PEOPLE LOVE LISTS.
USE IMAGES AND VIDEOS!
Make a habit of taking too many pictures and capture :10-:30 seconds of video when you are doing anything and everything that you might share. Mix it up.
Some subjects can invite a flame war. Be careful discussing things where emotions run high (e.g. politics and religion) and show respect for others™ opinions.
DO NOT FEEL THE NEED TO FOLLOW CURRENT EVENTS FOR CLICK-BATE.
...but it is an easy way to get people to your social media pages using the appropriate hashtags.
Know what the current conversations are and what people are saying in order to see if, and how, you may be able to contribute a new perspective.
Always pause and think before posting.
Don’t pick fights, be the first to correct your own mistakes, and don’t alter previous posts without indicating that you have done so. Transparency builds trust- and I think we all agree the world could use a little genuine trust right now.
Try to add value to people’s lives. Provide worthwhile information and perspective. Your brand is best represented by its people, and what you publish may reflect both your company and you.
Speak in the first person. Use your own voice. Bring your own personality to the forefront.
Say what is on your mind. This makes it more relatable- which encourages engagement. Don’t try to use wording you think should be used. Be real.
BE INFORMED BEFORE- not after.
Utilize the “story” feature on your accounts. It’s a fun, quick and dirty way to keep people engaged with you.
Use the animated emojis, music, etc. to make it more fun and entertaining
Remember you can keep these to have as “highlights” on your respective pages
Get a CANVA account and learn how to use it. You will thank me later. This adds an element of professionalism, creativity and buttoned-up look and feel. You do not need to be or hire a graphic designer with this platform/software.
Don’t use it all the time
Learn how to manipulate the layouts to make them your own
Be sure that all content associated with you is consistent with your work and with you/your company’s values and professional standards.
Dishonorable content such as profane language, racial, ethnic, sexual, religious, and physical disability slurs should not be tolerated UNLESS it is part of your brand.
It’s been a while since I have written (you know, life and all), and I promise I am not turning this into a recipe blog, but I do have one that I must share due to popular request.
If you’ve read this post, you’d know my feelings about Halloween. If not, don’t worry- you won’t miss anything. I digress.Â
This year I had a bunch of leftover Halloween candy. Big bars. I pondered what to do with the leftovers (I was shocked to have leftovers, considering I let people take 2), so instinctually I thought of my colligate step son, Gunnar. I feel bad because the moment I text him about mailing it down to him- to which he replied “YES!”- I already had another idea for what I was going to do with it. Oops. Sorry, Gunnar. Next time. Maybe.Â
Disclaimer: it doesn’t have to be “leftover” Halloween candy to make these. You can totally make them on purpose with purchased candy bars from the grocery store.Â I’ll allow it. Â
Ingredients:Â (caveat: I do NOT measure, all sizing is approximate)
Before we begin- preheat that oven to 375. If you have access to music or a Kitchen TV, please put on your favorite background noise. I believe I was watching Nurse Jackie at the time. It very well could have been Gossip Girl, but I’m pretty confident it was NJ.Â
NOW, what you’ll need:
3 cups of Oats (I mean really, start the day with Quaker)
Extra Halloween Candy chopped.Â For mine, I used Snickers, Reese’s Fast Break and Reese’s Outrageous Pieces. Don’t chop them tiny- I suggest once down the center and then in 1/4 inch cuts. I believe I used a bout 4 BIG bars in all.
I like to melt the butter, then blend the sugar until its smooth. Add vanilla and eggs. In a separate bowl- combine flour, salt and baking soda. Then add oats to the powder mix.Â SLOWLY combine the powder to the sugar/butter/vanilla mix until all combined.Â NOW add our chocolate chips, then finally the candy pieces. Should be a nice thick mix of wonderfulness at this point. If I missed anything, just add it.Â
Put tsp or TBS spoon size portions on a baking sheet (cookie sheet silicone is a miracle)- about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 11-12 minutes. Cool on cookie rack. They WILL be mushy right out of the oven, so be delicate about getting them onto cooling rack. That will change to a chewy deliciousness you can hide in a cookie jar or do something a little more adventurous.
I’m in an “accident prone phase” and I don’t like it one bit. Sigh.
I won’t deny that clumsiness runs in my family because it totally does. My father has had fireworks blow up in his face, my mom face-planted onto a sidewalk and my sister used to get into her own bits of accidents. I have done a damn good job of avoiding it, until recently. I have always believed that things come in 3s- and in this instance I REALLY need to believe that the third annoying, painful, frustrating and downright stupid third thing has already occurred. Meaning: I am safe now. Nothing else can go wrong.
Side note: I use to think that if you get pulled over by police for speeding, that you are solid for a while because you had your turn. I thought that, until I was pulled over 3 times, 3 weeks in a row. You might remember my letter (Well, okay, Laura’s letter) to the great state of Maine?
I bring you to the phase: I have sciatic pain in my legs. It gets really annoying when trying to sleep, sit still at all, go to the movies, work, drive, etc. Sometimes it’s downright unbearable. I know, I know “stretch more, Katie.” Yeah, no. Won’t happen. I can lie to you and say I will, but we all know I won’t. Anyway, my father told me to buy this cream: Capsaicin. I have used it and while it burns like hell, typically it’s no issue for me. That is- until the phase started. I took a bath one night after work and applied the cream. No big deal. 15 minutes passed and I found myself standing over the freezer, putting ice on my legs. 20 minutes later- I find myself in the bathtub, with freezing water. All of a sudden, my face is equally burning. Brad walks upstairs because it has been a while since I have been seen. Where does he find me? Butt-ass naked in front of the fan in the bedroom- trying to get the air to blow on my legs that felt as if the skin was burning off of them, bawling. Awesome. And hot. (note sarcasm and the tricky pun I used there) “Did you get it on your face too?” Yes, Brad. I did. Next thing we have Brad on the phone with poison control, trying to figure out how to make it stop. Note: there is no cure. You have to wait it out. Fanfuckingtastic.
Next portion of my phase was this past weekend. This is about 4 days after the Capsaicin incident. I was not feeling well at all, in fact, I even stopped at an urgent care on the way home from work Friday. Well, carry that feeling into the weekend. You with me this far? Okay, so Sundays are Brad’s “Officer Von Haden” days- leaving me home alone. Typically I will go grocery shopping, clean, do laundry, meanwhile binge-watching Netflix. Usually, I like my Sundays. Usually is over; I did not like this Sunday.
Gunnar needed to leave for work and he asked me to move my car, as I was blocking him in the driveway. Sure. No problem! Well, my stomach had started to really hurt me. Like stabbing pain. I tried ignoring it, and decided that instead of moving my car, I would go grocery shopping. That made it worse. I got home and found myself laying down, trying to get it to pass. UGH. My leg pain was making it hard to lay down. I shall wash the dog! This would help.
Washing the dog went fine, but she left a trail of water all over the house- that I could not see. Think black ice on a winter morning, but worse.
Fast forward to me, walking down the stairs, in flip flops… that hit the water, causing my feet to slide out from under me. The entire weight of my back SLAMMED on the stairs, and proceed to fall fast, SLAMMING me against the front door, one stair at a time.
Julius Caesar would have been disgusted, as I did exactly the opposite of him: I paused. I felt. I CRIED. I think I was hyperventilating by the time I was able to crawl over to the phone and call Brad. You know that ugly 2 year old cry you never thought was possible past that age? Well, it is. As I am typing this, I feel the pain of my back, butt and the bruising all up my arms.
Feel bad for me yet? It gets worse.
Last night we got home from back-to-school shopping and dinner, and were all watching TV. I decided to get my bunny to snuggle with me before bed. (yes, an actually pet bunny, this is not a strange nickname I have for Brad). Well, as bunny is being sweet, licking my neck, being the cute little woodland creature he was meant to be, I decide to give him a kiss on his belly. Well, before you think I am giving TMI of my snuggle-session, out of NOWHERE, Mr. Bunny decided to KICK. My face. My eye. I saw stars. Not wanting to draw attention to what just happened- I slowly get up and put bunny back in his enclosure. I then walk upstairs, and proceed to see blood and scratch marks dripping down my face.
Brad had no words when I called him into the bathroom other than, “you want me to take care of the bunny for you?” Nice. And no.
I’m going to go ahead and be more careful for the next few days. You know, until the phase passes. Scarlet O’Hara said it best: After all, tomorrow is another day.
Derek Jeter: His existence hasÂ caused me a couple of frustrations in my lifetime and I should be angry at this guy, but I’m not. Why? I’ll explain it all.
1. For some reason, the University of South Carolina lured many people from the greater New Jersey/New York area. Â Many of them were my friends, and all of those friends LOVED baseball. Â Side note: I also loved and adored my southern friends, but they were more into Carolina football WHICH ANYONE WHO KNOWS ME KNOWS I APPRECIATE, so watching baseball was reserved for the “yankees” of the school. I digress.Â Now, there will always be the rivalry within with The Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. Â This caused for some interesting interactions at Sharky’s (I tried to hyperlink this to the site, but as anyone who has worked, drank or driven by could assume- they don’t have a website).Â One particular evening, I was feeling saucy and decided to take the bet of “whoever loses has to take a shot of the winner’s choice.” Well, we all know what happened during that game in 1999 (ACLS series): Thanks for the shot of Everclear, Jete. Ouch.
A term and nickname created by Southerners and Confederate Civil War soldiers for a personwho is from the North (Midwest/Northeast). It was especially given to Unionsoldiers who fought in the American Civil War, usually havingto go into into The South in order to engage the enemy in combat. The Unionforces invading Southern territory and also incidents where a few groups of soldiers pillaged and destroyedproperty and people’s lives resulted in making this nickname derogatory by some.
Ex. Northerners and Midwesterners get called “Yankees” a lot by many Southerners.
2. During the summer of 2005, my friend Mardi and I found ourselves in the VIP area of Whiskey Park (I guess it is closed down now). Well, us and the entire starting line-up of the Yankees. Don’t worry, A-Rod didn’t stay, as he was leaving as we walked in the establishment. However, we got to bond with some Yankees, as they drank and made strange conversation. Jeter sat with his K-Swiss sneakers and proceeded to try to hook-up with one of our friends, until he decided he didn’t want to talk to her anymore and my glasses were more amusing to him. Mardi and I had successfully avoided direct contact with any of them, aside from conversation, and merely accepted the free drinks (you know you would have too). He asked if he could try on my glasses. Mind you- the seeing kind, not sunglasses; I’m not that hip. I said no, to which everyone laughed. He had a HUGE head, and they were new, so I wasn’t about to have them ruined. “Like he can’t afford to replace them,” I believe came out of Posada’s mouth, to which I snapped back “LIKE I AM GOING TO SEE HIM AGAIN?!” I finally caved, he tried them on, stretched them- tried to fix them and “snap.” Thanks again, Jete.Â Those were Prada.
Frustrations and BAD relationship stories aside (Mariah Carey), I have a lot of admirationÂ for the guy. He is an amazing athlete and has loyalty to his team- and seems to be a regular guy from my interactions. Okay, so there wasthis moment:
Lately, the news (and his PR team) have done an excellent job at showing the “real” him. I gotta say, I respect it. Â In this world of beatings, natural disasters, crazy people with guns and knives, war, and beheadings; I am appreciative of positive/happy and uplifting news. ESPN did a piece on him here. Â But the thing that you know warms my heart is the recent Gatorade ad. My eyes watered. I simply LOVE this commercial. Watch it with the volume on.
His last game of his career in Boston is this Sunday. Bittersweet. It won’t be the same watching the Boston/New York games without #2, although now some of our rookie pitchers will have a chance to get better, without being scared as hell to throw to him.
I wish you the best, Jeter, and if you happen to read this post- can I have the money for those glasses? Â Thanks.
(in Hinduism and Buddhism) the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.
destiny or fate, following as effect from cause.
If I can remember anything from high school, it was the sole value my principal was trying to instill into the student body: integrity. For some reason, this was the one word I remember from every single time he would speak. He was that principal who would make the varsity basketball team practice on one half of the gym, so his spoiled, obnoxious sons could take foul shots on the other half the day before a game.Â I once got yelled at and called to his office for calling him an asshole, during class, for saying to Vanessa Kermick that women were never going to be as smart as men. I’m not even a feminist. I just remember the look on her face when he said it, and the words came out. My point in telling you this is that my principal wasn’t the nicest man, but he did teach me about integrity. Regardless, the word integrity has become part of something I have always admired in people- and the most attractive quality someone can have. Good thing Brad has more integrity than anyone I have ever met. Perhaps that’s why I love him so much.
With integrity, comes living your life well. Brad said something to me once that has always stuck out. “At the end of the day, the only one who has to look in the mirror at yourself is you.” So, for the almost three years we have been together, I have striven to live my life with the utmost integrity. Not for the return on investment, but because it’s true. I’m the one who has to look at myself at the end of the day. I can’t tell you how fantastic it has been to smile every day I do so.
This past weekend, however, I have learned that my actions have resulted in FANTASTIC karma! I shall relay the past 24 hours to you, as it’s insane.
Side note: The history of the name “Lady Antebellum” stems from pre-Civil War, before the north won and celebrating the south. Â A little surprised that name went over so well, especially given the omnipresentÂ racial war. Being I was raised in NH, I didn’t know the meaning of the Confederate flag, much more than that was the decor of the Dukes of Hazard’s General Lee, but I learned very quickly the real meaning of it once college came. Don’t judge my lack of knowledge, my history teacher wasn’t that great- and New England tends to focus the curriculum on Paul Revere and the Boston Tea Party. Interestingly, the Christian flag, a symbol significant to many, might have brought a different perspective on historical symbols if it had been included in our teachings.
First act of good karma: I was looking for a hotel room in walking distance to the venue. Not only did someone cancel 5 minutes prior to me calling, but the woman was so nice she gave me an additional $20 off the room.
SecondÂ act of good karma: It started to rain like something out of a comedy. We got lawn seats, and of course assumed that we would be in the 20th percentile when it said there was an 80% chance of rain. I went to buy us ponchos and of course they had just sold the last one. Well, the woman behind the counter gave me one look, and simply reached into her bag and gave me her own poncho to take. “Seriously? What will you use?” I asked. “I have an umbrella.” I was in awe of her kindness.
ThirdÂ act of good karma: I only got one poncho, so when I walked back to the completely soaked and smiling Brad, I had nothing to hand him, but the plastic bag the poncho was in. He smiled and proceeded to poke a hole and place it around his head. The people in back of us then handed him a brand new poncho to use.
FourthÂ act of good karma: 45 minutes in the pouring rain came an angle in our sight with an umbrella. “I have two extra seats inside if you would like them?” Â So then our luck moved to the 4th row of the upper section- inside, out of the rain.
Fifth act of good karma: I had new earrings in- somewhere in between my dripping wet hair and the slow process of it drying, my earring ripped out of my ear and dropped on the ground. I found it within 3 minutes, directly in front of me.
Sixth act of good karma: I was waiting in a very long line, in the rain, for the bathroom. Upon entering, even though I was third in line to go, the women in front of me insisted I go- for no other reason than I made them laugh.
When things go shitty in your life you can get angry at the higher power or everything around you, even reflecting and blaming within, but it is these little moments of happy that give you hope that good karma really does exist. Either that, or I am one lucky girl. Â If I am being honest, it’s probably a little bit of both.
Recently, Brad and I ventured out of the country to the island of St. Martin/Sint Maarten, for 8 amazing days. Â We stayed on the Dutch side, and only visited the French side a couple of times. We met Wanda, the life-long bartender at the Buccaneer, steps from our hotel, and where we watched a World Cup futball match. I got heat stroke and thought I was going to be kidnapped the first morning of our trip. We swam in the sea and drank rum with the fish.Â I thought I would run through the TOP 10 favorite moments of the trip. Here goes…
1.Â 5pm the day before we left for the trip. I would say 3pm, as that was when I got the “I’m on vacation!” text from Brad, but that was actually a jerk move because it was then I had to stare at the clock for two whole hours until it was my time to shine. HOWEVER, come 5pm, I had absolute joy knowing that I not only worked my ass off at work, but I was about to be on vacation with my love. That was an awesome moment.
2. Our view from the hotel room.
3. The scooter. There are no words really to describe this, but I shall try. Imagine 2 fully grown people- one 6’5″ and the other (roughly) 5’9″ on a scooter built for one. This would have not been a problem if the island wasn’t filled with mountains, but it was filled with mountains.Â Rather than cruising along (which we did just fine going down hill), we ended up in a comical skit, many times, with the theme of “I think I can, I think I can” as we mustered 5MPH uphill. Here is the scooter (and Brad). Â It doesn’t look as small as I describe, butÂ trust me when I say we laughedÂ a lotÂ at this poor little thing’s expense.
4. The morningÂ we decided to be healthy and hit the gym. We weren’t lazy the whole time while on vacation. We paid our “couple’s fee” of $10 and spent a whole hour getting sweaty! Well, I don’t really sweat, per se, but I totally ran 4 miles while looking at the ocean! Brad did a full body workout. Totally forgot to mention that when we decided to do this “athletic” activity, I couldn’t find my workout shorts. I opted for a black pair of Brad’s underwear and one of his huge t-shirts to cover the “obviously men’s underwear” characteristics. They actually worked quite well. Â I found my shorts as I was packing for home. Figures.Â
5. Anguilla and the catamaran. This was so well done I wish I had taken more pictures. $95 for a full day of open bar, snacks (which were amazing with Gouda, apples and baguettes), music, you’re on a freaking catamaran in the Caribbean, a gorgeous sunny day, snorkeling, a boat captain who I am pretty sure was smoking a joint (which was both entertaining to wonder if , indeed, that was what he was doing), a fully catered lunch with grilled and smoked Mahi Mahi, and two stops in the country of Anguilla. One on a little island off the coast called Prickly Pear, and the other on the actual island of Anguilla.
Side note: during the excursion to Anguilla Island (proper), a bunch of friends we had made, swam through a school of jellyfish and got stung. This prompted my panic attack…while swimming. I completely forgot how to swim, so I ended up doing this side-swim-half-dog-paddle thing from shore to the boat. Once on board, Brad let me know that he too was stung. This was the conversation: “I got stung too.” “YOU DID?! WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME?” (him, very calmly) “You were freaking out, I’m fine.” “I THINK I’M GOING TO PASS OUT.” It didn’t even hurt him. Figures. I digress. I will say, I have never seen so many people offer to pee on one another. It was sweet…
As I said, I didn’t take a ton of photos, as there was snorkeling, rum punch, jelly fish attacks, and applying and reapplying of sunblock involved, but I did take a couple.
IMG_1462Â (Video of Brad waving at me after he hoisted the sail on the boat)
6. Bang bang calamari at the Greenhouse Restaurant. I WILL figure out how to make this. Here is the menu for the restaurant, but this is the only thing I’m going to tell you to order, and then order seconds when you are done. It tasted of a Thai peanut sauce with a kick of some spice I want to have over for every meal. I didn’t take this picture, this is courtesy of a blog,“The Wandering Sheppard”Â I found online.
7. When we decided to go to the grocery store and have snacks and drinks in our room, looking over the balcony. This was nice.
7. The beaches. Because of the scooter, we were able to explore little beaches on the island that weren’t very populated. Okay, we might have visited the beach where there are people, but not very many of them have clothes on… but most of the island had these little spots with no one on them. And before you ask, NO, I didn’t take pictures. You weren’t allowed. Brad did have to tell me that IÂ probablyÂ shouldn’t giggle if we were going to stay. Â Brad would sleep and usually I would lingerÂ in the water until he would realize I was no longer next to him- and then he would come join me in the water. That was always a nice surprise.
8. Laughing. We laughed a lot while on vacation. Â That was awesome. I think we both needed that, as we both work a lot. To laugh and just be was really, really nice. One day on the beach, a woman asked what we had done since we had been on the island (this was like on day 6). I had to think about it because I really couldn’t think of anything “exciting,” especially when she kept naming restaurants and a rum factory and all these other notable things. I really couldn’tÂ think of anything (past the scooter), but we just had a really nice time being together. Â I think that is more important that having Clark Griswold’s schedule of stops along the way- don’t you?
9. Brad really liked this moment. He got my phone out to take it himself. We had many moments like this one, but this one stands out as it was his.
Obviously my most favorite I saved for last, as that’s what you do when you provide a top ten list…
10. Being with the man of my dreams on a island in the Caribbean for 8 days. Did I really have to spell that one out?
The last day, we went to breakfast and I saw this sign:
I don’t know that I will race to book a trip to St. Martin again. In fact, I’m pretty sure that we wouldn’t, as there are so many other places to see in this world. I think next tripÂ will be someplace in Europe.
I have never been a great sleeper. Â Even when blessed with mono through high school and into college, I wasn’t a great sleeper. Â If I nap, I wake up groggy- and can’t seem to get out of the dazed state. Â If I am woken suddenly, then I am in a horrible mood (and might just let you know how much noise you are making through the old fashion way of yelling at you). I’m a light sleeper, so if even the smallest noise should grace my ears- I’m up. Â When I wake up, I can NEVER fall back asleep right away, unless medicated. In college, I had a phase where I would fall asleep anytime and anywhere- this includes the following places: while in the front row of a lecture of a CEO from a major NYC ad agency, while studying in the library, during class, sitting straight up (while watching a movie), come to think of it- I fell asleep during every movie I ever tried to watch back then.
Funny story: The first time I saw Braveheart, my college friend Brandon was CONVINCED I was going to watch a movie, without falling asleep. Â I was sitting on the floor and he was in his bed, an arms reach away. Â Every time I would start to doze off, he would WHACK the top of my head and yell “WAKE UP, SCHMIDT!” Abusive? Perhaps. Effective? Definitely. Â End result? Â I have seen Braveheart. Thanks, Brandon.
I think too much, so my mind is never at rest. Â I referenced my picky sleeping needs a while back, but needing the perfect comfort is only half my problem to a perfect sleep. Trust me, as annoying as it is to read this (I realize I sound high maintenance), it is more annoying to live through and experience personally. Â I need the steady sound of my fan (even in sub zero temps outside), the perfect amount of blankets and my pillow just right: soft, but not flat, cold, Â not rough to the touch and cushioned the back of my head into a perfect cup. Â Good God, who the hell do I think I am? Â It’s frustrating!Â
Side note: before all you health nuts go crazy and judge my lifestyle (as I realize that affects sleep), know that I work out almost every day, do not drink coffee, and eat right (by whatever standards “eating right” are these days: no red meat, gluten free, organic, etc). I don’t eat sweets because I gave them up for lent (and slept this way even before giving them up), I haven’t been drinking since Brad gave up alcohol for lent (Okay, I have had some wine a couple of times, but a glass here and there does not make me an abuser of the stuff), and I go to bed reasonably early (8-9pm nightly). It’s probably stress related. Â I digress.
Well, I have a new observation/frustration that I thought I would address: the snooze button. We’re all guilty of abusing it. We set our alarms for that perfect time, with our list of what we must accomplish in order to begin the day. However, come morning: birds chirping (don’t even get me started on nature sounds), cue soft music, and then it happens: the ALARM. Immediate response: snooze. You rest and relax as you realize you have more time to sleep, like finding a $20 in your ski parka, then just as your eyes shut again, ALARM. This process goes on and on for the next half-hour or so, completely debunking your original “get up and at ’em” plan from the previous evening. So I ask this: why not just set the alarm for when you know you will get up? Â Why put yourself through the pain of the ups and downs of the snooze, alarm, snooze, alarm cycle? Â The whole thing seems like torture to me. Then again, we are human and drama is in our nature.
I’m not going to name names, but a certain someone did it for a whole hour this morning. If he were not so damn cute, and if I wasn’t happy about the fact that he was staying in bed longer, I would have complained- or even yelled.
End result: an hour lost of sleep, is an hour of snuggling gained. Â Either way, I’m smiling.
My agency created a new blog called TideSmarticles. It’s a play on words with the company name + articles. Â Get it? We like it. Â Anyway, I wrote one of our first posts and I thought I would share. Mild brag: I not only won this business for the agency, but I was the account lead on the event I am about to describe! We have a full schedule of events for many of their labels for 2014, but this first event for The Seeker Wines was the kickoff to a beautifulÂ relationship.
How Experiential Marketing Made A Simple Tasting Event An Event Theyâ€™d Never Forget
Usually what happens at events of this nature: The participating brands will set up a table, within a tent. Â Attendees of the event will stand in a line to sample a taste, then move on to the next. Done and done.
The Seeker WinesÂ wanted to increase their presence within the event, aside from the tasting table.Â Their goal was to build brand recognition, but potentially grow their customer base within the small ColoradoÂ city– and overall make the most of the weekend marketing dollars.Â Larger advertising options were presented, such as branding theÂ Silver Queen GondolaÂ to the top of Aspen Mountain, but didnâ€™t seem like a fit for the desired goal.Â Â EMG3Â was eager to the task.