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.
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.
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. I’ll allow it.
Katie’s Left-Over Halloween Candy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients: (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.
NOW, what you’ll need:
3 cups of Oats (I mean really, start the day with Quaker)
Extra Halloween Candy chopped. 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. SLOWLY combine the powder to the sugar/butter/vanilla mix until all combined. 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.
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.
On this very cold March day, I decided to create a meal that isn’t very diet friendly: tomato basil bisque & grilled cheese with truffle butter. I’ll start planning for bikini season tomorrow.
After a first tasting, I decided I would share my recipes for all to enjoy. They are that good.
I used a crockpot and a Ninja for the soup. A stove with a frying pan for the sandwich.
Spices needed: pepper, sea salt, garlic powder (or save yourself some time and just buy Camp Mix)
When you hit the grocery store, this is your list for the soup:
1 bunch of fresh basil
2 cans of 14oz organic diced tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes diced that would equal 28oz- if you have the time)
1 CAN (yes, can-not a jar) of organic tomato sauce
either a block of parmesan cheese or a bag of fresh grated parmesan
1 container of organic chicken broth
butter (I like the sea-salted)
1 small container of heavy cream (I went with Hood).
And for the sandwich:
1 block of cheese (I went with gouda, but you pick the kind you like best)
truffle butter (most Whole Food-like grocery stores will carry this, if not, then find a nice truffle oil and we can melt down the butter and mix this in)
bread (Listen, we NEVER have bread in the house, so you know this is a big deal. Anyway, I went with a gorgeous Tuscan Pane White)
Optional ingredients I know my husband will request: tomato and/or any kind of meat.
As far as how much of what to add for the soup- I never follow recipes to a T. I always wing it for taste. Gordon Ramsey would be pleased. The only ingredients I actually “limited” before throwing into the crockpot were of the dairy and spice categories. I used 4 tbsp of butter and a good pour of the cream that probably amounted to 3/4 a cup. The parmesan cheese I did a healthy handful…and then added some more. As for the spices, just add to taste. It’s all up to you, really.
To cook soup: add ingredients to the crockpot and set on high for 3 hours. I went ahead and blended all the ingredients (to make it a more smooth consistency, but you can keep it chunky if you like) in my Ninja after about an hour, and then added it back to the crockpot to continue to simmer. Add fresh basil on top to garnish.
For the sandwich, I would start by truffle-buttering one side two slices of bread. I might even use the truffle butter to oil the pan. Hey- I love truffles and butter, don’t judge. I think by this point if you don’t know how to make a grilled cheese from here then I certainly would be delighted to help you: butter-side-down bread to pan, cheese (add as much as you like), bread-butter-side-up. Heat on medium. I would do 3 minutes and then flip, making sure the butter side is again down (but you keep checking to make sure it gets a nice brown, not black). My husband would have me add two slices of tomato with the cheese, but I go with the basics.
I suggest making more than one sandwich. Don’t worry, it will get eaten. Now serve, dip and enjoy.
Intolerance. When you look above at the definition- it’s horrible in orientation. Just the reading of it makes people immediately defensive, at least that’s what I think. No one wants to admit that they could be intolerant- quite the opposite. The irony is that every person I have ever met who preaches against “intolerance” of their fellow man is, in fact, the intolerant! (I felt that sentence needed an exclamation point) Unless you believe exactly what they believe, how they believe it, to the degree and manner of such belief, then they are intolerant of YOU. The Mad-Hatter has nothing on these crazies.
I hate to say this to my preachy friends, but they then become the exact synonym of their very own dictation. It’s kinda funny if you pay attention to it, or it will equally drive you mad.
I have been in conversations where someone(s) claimed to be of the utmost liberal, free-thinking, open-hearted human(s) on the planet. I warn you, these are the worst of the “intolerant” thinkers. When you speak to them, they will yell. Instead of fact or logic, they revert to name-calling and lots of adjectives. Their ability to reject, block and resist, with the force of the Heisman Trophy, even the sound of your voice as you try to interject even the smallest opinion is a gift worthy of that aforementioned award. “You can’t possibly have an original thought! Just agree with me, or I shall continue yelling until you concede! It’s my way or the highway, pal!” It’s these aggressive, knee-jerking, illogical reactions that should clue you into this strange being.
If you are an educated person, then this rigmarole will be clear. If still in the “vulnerable” category, then I give you this caveat: be careful not to fall victim of the persuasion into this dark hole of punitive behavior.
Not to sound like an old fart, but I feel bad for the youth of today. The voices that are carried the furthest through social media are that of the intolerant. The majority of them do not have an interest to believe in God, or any sort of a faith, yet will boast of the anti belief. The voices speak more of hate, fear and insubordination. They guide the masses to gather in support of criminals and push hate and intolerance on those who protect us- without bothering to pay attention to any of the evidence or facts. I don’t know about you, but this scares the shit out of me.
Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit. – Mahatma Gandhi
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.
The first 24 hours of owning a home were certainly not boring. I’ll explain in 6 instances.
1. It rained the morning of the close. I had this theory, like some people do with weddings, that if it rains, that must be good luck! Well, it rained. It eventually cleared up, but it was a wet start to the day- which ruined my “really good hair” I had planned on sporting when signing the dotted line 50 times- and also put a little damper in not getting our stuff wet. Bring on the good luck!
2. Most the documents had “Kathleen Schmidt” on them. I pointed out that it wasn’t my name, and I guess this was a big deal. So, other than the fact the closing went smoothly, there was a small delay as they fixed the name. Apparently, Siri has a cousin in PC computers, making typos for all the world to enjoy.
3. There is a random sheet you have to sign that lists your public aliases on it. Interesting. I signed, but I am pretty sure that I am not the only “K Schmidt” out there, nor did I know I went by “K.” Guess my Men in Black career is done. They know who I am.
Okay, I will stop boring you and get to the good stuff:
4. The oops I made. We ALL have dealt with service providers before and the complete road-rage-esque feeling when you have to get an actual human on the phone, a bill to be correct or an appointment to be on time. I’m always the one to set up utilities, so let’s call me a pro at dealing with these people and getting a desired result. OR I just yell until they fold. I was on the phone with 3 different people, 2 different times to get my wifi/cable/landline set up, initially. I thought it was set. Done and done- got an appointment for the next day between 8-10am. I was mistaken (kinda).
Fast-forward to next morning. I decide to call and make sure that we were on schedule. I call and get some guy who can’t pronounce my name, barely speaks English, and has no clue where New Hampshire is on a map. He couldn’t find my phone number in their records, so I gave him the address- while also going up one side of him and down the other with frustration. I’m right, dammit! This is preposterous! There is a pause and the man on the phone gently states, “ma’am Time Warner Cable actually does not service that part of New Hampshire.” Oops.
I’m quiet. “oh. Time Warner Cable, you say? Ha! I have the wrong number.” I hang up, feeling like an asshole. Why, you ask? My appointment was with Comcast.
oops o͝ops,o͞ops/exclamation informal
used to show recognition of a mistake or minor accident, often as part of an apology.
““Oops! I’m sorry. I just made you miss your bus.””
5. Karma in the form of the totally paranoid and insulting Cable guy. Now, while I will forever and always immediately say the title “cable guy” in my head exactly as Jim Carrey says it in the movie, I don’t ever expect Chip Douglas to be standing at my door. That being said, I also don’t expect the super insulting, paranoid Comcast man either. Where do I begin? Well, he walks in and only actually seeing the staircase and one room states “Well, this house looks a lot bigger from the outside.”Thanks, jackass. You have seen one whole room, but I appreciate the judgement. He said some other comments while he was there, but I am withholding those, as I am still wounded. Bottom line: he was rude.
“Joe” goes to install the cable, wifi and phone. When he is done, he gave me this very long and angry nervous schpeel about how if I have an issue PLEASE call him and not Comcast. Something about how they dock his pay and black marks on his file. I got the feeling this guy gets more than a few complaints about him. He went on and on and on and on about it for a good 15 minutes. “Put my number in your cell phone” he commanded. “Uh, sure…”I put it in the “notes” section and not the address book. Take that, JOE.
6. The million dollar dog strikes again. This is how it went: I got home from bringing Brad a snack and running at the gym. All good. I let the dogs go out to pee. All good. I let the dogs in. All good. I fixed the dogs dinner. All good. I poor myself a well-deserved glass of champagne. Alllllllll good. Buddy starts doing the throw-up dance. Not good. I open the door to let him out. Not good. He comes back in. Better. He starts scratching something on his person. Not bad, but not better. I check him out, nothing. Better. I look at his face. Shocked. HOLY SHIT WHAT HAPPENED TO BUDDY! REALLY BAD. His face looked like he was the victim of getting hit in the face during a baseball game.
I race to the store to get Benedryl because Brad thought he must have been stung by something. I look like I’m abusing him in the parking lot, as I am not only trying to hold him down, hold his VERY swollen head, but also open his clenched jaw to put pills down his throat. Took me about 10 minutes, but I was successful. PoorLittle Buddy.
In conclusion: I’m having friends over for dinner tonight to show them the new house. Let’s hope the next 24 hours go a lot smoother. Can I please have a glass of champagne now?!
By the way, does anyone remember which boxes I put my clothing in? 🙂
So, as I have divulged previously, I am a reader. I picture the story as a movie in my head and get lost in the words. However, I get nervous when filmmakers decide to cash in on a best seller. Don’t get me wrong, the movies basically raised me. While my parents were working, I was watching movies- yet I just can’t handle a bad adaptation from book to silver screen.
There is one exception: Fifty Shades of Grey. Now, I know I wrote about my experience reading it, but I never told you my honest opinion on this work of fiction.
Putting all of Stephen King‘s work aside (because there is no need to explain how his cocaine-infused brilliance could never be depicted in film- you all know the films are a shy comparison), and forgetting how most of the fun plot lines in J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter franchise were omitted (where is Peeves?!), I actually put effort into forgetting the horrible prose of E. L. James in the hopes that the movie MIGHT be halfway decent. This would be the ONLY instance where the movie could be better than the book. I was wrong. BOTH are horrible.
It has been a while since I read the books. I read all three of them in a week, with the last book taking the longest. I remember actually wishing it would end, but refused to be a quitter. I read until the end and believe I threw it. Done, I say! Be gone with you forever!
Side note: I have a strange memory, where I remember mundane details that no one else would bother. I’m fantastic as a trivia partner, but it makes it hard to slip anything by me. I know they compare “50” to Twilight, but she literally steals scenes and lines verbatim from the Thomas Crown Affair (circa 1999, not 1968) too. It drove me insane reading it.
This morning Brad had to work early, so I decided to get up and be productive. What shall I do today? I shall go see a movie! I saw that there was a 10:05am viewing of “the film.” Fuck it, I’ll go. I saw Sex and the City and Pitch Perfect by myself, why couldn’t I see this one? I shot a text to Brad- announcing my plans and off I went!
I walk in to the movie theater and immediately feel like a pervert. Instead of going to the teenagers in the little box to buy my ticket, I go to the kiosk. No shame if no one knows, right? Now the thinking begins: do I get popcorn for a 10am movie? I haven’t had breakfast yet, so this counts? I walked towards the ticket-checking chick, who then lets me know that she doesn’t know if it’s good, to which I finish for her “because you are not 17 yet are you?” Inside thought:ahhh, I’m old. I’m that old 30something chick going to see the mommy-porn movie and I’m not a mom!
I have to say that the previews were better than this movie. There was no chemistry between characters and about 45 minutes in I wanted to leave. I decided to stay. I waited a little longer- this hurts. The casting was bad. The acting was “acting” (you know, when you can tell they are acting) and I just wasn’t lost in the movie. I didn’t expect to be running out- grasping for Brad to take me after, but I expected to feel something. Nothing. Watching this made me feel bad that Brad wasn’t staring in this movie! Why would I want to watch this cold, young horribly cast character, when I have the real deal at home?
I finally looked at my phone: 12:05! I had sat here for two whole hours and this flick is nowhere near done! I stood up, grabbed my water and left. I will NOW be a quitter with this franchise. This is two hours of my life I cannot get back.
Lesson learned: When every single one of your friends tells you they have no desire to see a movie, listen to them. There is a reason you are sitting in there alone!
I shall now finish my weekend Fifty Shades mortified, ashamed and appreciative that this book is finally behind me.
This might be a long one, but if you are a 30-something woman reading this, bear with me because you just might relate.
Through the years, I have always tried to stay fit, but occasionally, I will spice up my routine with a new fitness craze. I’m not trying to channel Patrick Bateman or anything, I just get bored with my usual running/bike/elliptical routine. I’ve tried barre, spin, step, Tae Bo, plyometrics, YouTube videos for problem areas, weights, zumba, and yoga. Well, today I tried something new: bikram yoga.
Note, I will NEVER do the following trends: Cross Fit, Strip-aerobics, jazzercize, aerial yoga, or any kind of a boot camp. This list will probably grow in time.
Barre was awesome in theory. Every article I had read basically told me I would look like a supermodel by the time I was done. So, I went three times, until plantar fasciitis made its home within my foot. Anyone who has had the pleasure of that ailment knows the pleasure it brings. Next. I’ll be a supermodel another time.
Spin I love. I began my love affair with spin in Chicago. It was the teacher, really, but I also liked the physical results. Then, I found a teacher here who used weights during, and was equally as fantastic and energetic as my Chicago spin instructor- so I was hooked again. Lately, I have not been because I’m just too damn tired to get up for the 7:30am Saturday class. I attempted to go this weekend, but having just got back from a trip- I opted for laundry instead and hit the gym around 11am. Hi treadmill, I missed you.
Step was a college thing. I used to do the advertising for Campus Recreation, so I took the classes of my friends who were studying to become instructors. It was fun. I fell a lot.
Tae Bo I don’t even remember when I did this, I think also college. Double and triple time killed me. Where is Billy Blanks these days anyway?
Plyometrics was awesome until a friend of mine broke his foot mid-class during one of the jumps. Yep, next.
YouTube I still do sometimes. I’m most recently in some pain because of this inner thigh workout. I did it twice this last week. Try it, you’ll see what I’m talking about. Then try it two days in a row. Ouch. I will probably do it again this week once I stop limping.
Weights are an “every once in a while” thing. I know I should do them more, but I also know that when I do them too much my arms make some smaller men jealous. No, thank you. But yes, I can probably beat you in an arm wrestling match. Sorry, I’m German- it’s natural.
Zumba: I was laughing at my lanky body in the mirror the whole time. Seriously. I just kept laughing. There are mirrors everywhere! While I did find this fun as hell, I don’t think I would waste another hour of my life humiliating myself with just how white I really am.
Yoga was something I REALLY wanted to get good at. A lifetime of running without stretching has left my body a knotted mess of lactic acid. I have tried with individual instructors, small classes, beginner and advanced teachers- I just don’t think my body was meant to bend that way. I also got really creeped out when they touch your feet. I’m all set with their bendy ways. That is awesome that you can touch your toes- show off.
TODAY was going to be different. Today was the day I was going to do BIKRAM YOGA and be good at it! I would go to the whole 90 minute class, love the heat, sweat and feel amazing. I even convinced my friend Beth to go with me- which is a feat, getting her out of bed early, on her one day to sleep in. Sure, she gave me a few caveats: “Katie, it’s really hot.” “Katie, it will smell.” “Katie, when I pass out, you are carrying me.”
I lasted 34 minutes before starting to see stars and black out.
We left. Fuck you, Bikram Yoga.
Guess I better update my iPhone with some new songs cause tramps like us, baby, we were born to run. So true, Bruce, so true.
Derek Jeter: His existence has 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. Many of them were my friends, and all of those friends LOVED baseball. 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. Now, there will always be the rivalry within with The Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. 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). 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. Those were Prada.
Frustrations and BAD relationship stories aside (Mariah Carey), I have a lot of admiration 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. 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. 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? 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. 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. A little surprised that name went over so well, especially given the omnipresent 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.
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.
Second 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.
Third 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.
Fourth 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?” 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. 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. 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. I thought I would run through the TOP 10 favorite moments of the trip. Here goes…
1. 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. 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). It doesn’t look as small as I describe, but trust me when I say we laughed a lot at this poor little thing’s expense.
4. The morning 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. I found my shorts as I was packing for home. Figures.
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_1462 (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” 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 I probably shouldn’t giggle if we were going to stay. Brad would sleep and usually I would linger 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. 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’t think of anything (past the scooter), but we just had a really nice time being together. 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 trip will be someplace in Europe.