Wednesday, September 23, 2015

everyone here, hates everyone here for doing just like they do.

In light of the misogynistic coffee scandal (if you are not in the know, just google Waking Life podcast) I have decided to not only stop blogging about my latest experiment into online dating, but to stop it all together. Although, I am by NO means comparing what I'm doing to what these jabroni's did, it just made me second guess my motives for doing it.

I have answered a few messages and I found myself being very short, sarcastic, aloof and felt like I was heading straight to Mega Bitch Town. From the get-go, I was hesitant, but said I was going to be open-minded about online dating even though it totally creeps me out. Well, it still makes me very uneasy and I'm not being as open-minded as I could be... and honestly, I don't want to be. I wish I could take it as flattery and have a fun, flirty time with it. But I don't and I'm not. It's just not how I am built. Although it's lovely this time of year, Mega Bitch Town is not a place I want to live.

I have written about how bored I am with these messages and how some of the screen names are ridiculous... but I would never publicly shame or exploit someone via my personal experience with them. I never would intentionally hurt someone's feelings... and I don't want to unintentionally do it either. I suppose me and my high expectations were just hoping for a bit more originality. For someone to stand up and prove me wrong. (Contrary to popular belief, I do sometimes like to be proven wrong. That means someone went the extra mile to knock down a wall and in the end will gain a lifetime of mad respect from me.)

I know there are some super cool dudes online dating... as I'm sure there are some real big douche-bags too. The thing is, I believe you are guilty until proven innocent. So it would have taken a pretty hefty effort to have changed my mind and I wasn't even giving these dudes a chance. I had already decided they lost the race before they were even outta the gate... and that's on me.

We all want to be special and to feel special. But how special can one feel, when you are receiving and sending messages to multiple people with the same intention... and sometimes with the exact same words. It's like aimlessly floating in a great big ocean fishing for something to bite. Will you catch the most spectacular fish you've ever seen or just an old tangled mess of garbage? Probably the tangled mess of garbage because your're using the same ole used up bait for all your fishing trips. Effort is minimal, therefore the reward will be minimal. (I think the "other fish in the sea" saying just finally made perfect sense to me.)

So this short, albeit entertaining, chapter has come to a close... and I'm so relieved. I've felt so exposed and anxious knowing that people are out there shopping for a potential mate and I was one of the many faces in their buggie. It's just all so disingenuous to me... or maybe I'm just full of shite and needed a justifiable reason to throw in the towel. (One of my besties is likely to argue this point - you know who you are!)

So yes, Netflix... Yes, I am still watching yet another episode of [insert show title here] - Please Continue... indefinitely.

Back 2 Good - Matchbox Twenty

PS: A sincere thank you to the 163 dudes that "liked" me and the 30 of you that took time out of your busy day to message me. I'm sure you are all great guys and best of luck in all your future endeavors. Except the one dude that was married, looking to have an affair - I hope your wiener falls off and your balls shrivel up into little raisins.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

a new fool in an old game.

It's official... I'm online dating. After carefully selecting my simple and sarcastic answers, deleting my profile and all my questions I had answered... [Caution! Rant Ahead! because you can't make certain changes once you set up an account. some things are private, some are public. I just didn't know who could read or see what!? So I just deleted my original profile and started over - this in itself almost made me throw in the towel. Why are so many people single? Maybe because your website sucks! End of Rant!]

...I debated between two pictures - one of me in Cusco with a baby sheep (you know, to show I'm sweet with an adventurous travel side) or one with me and two attractive friends. I chose the latter. Mainly because if I had these dudes guess which one I was and they were wrong... then I would send them directly to jail. They would not pass go, most certainly not collect $200 and that would be the end of them. Easy, Peasy. Lemon, Squeezy. So at 11:40pm, I posted the picture and just like that, I was finally circulating in the online dating pool. (hmmm, I feel kinda dirty now.)

The next morning at 8:45am, I logged in to see 53 visits, 54 likes and 10 messages. Pretty decent I thought having nothing to compare it to. (seriously though, my all-to-hesitant ego actually appreciated this.) My friend who is also single and online dating (who will now be referred to as "Stephanie" in all future posts) said that it's normal to be bombarded with people contacting you when you first get online. It's like they can smell the fresh, untainted meat over the interwebs and their loins race to be first at the trough. (uhhh, it just got a little dirtier up in here.)

I quickly read through the messages... and well, to say that I'm underwhelmed would be an understatement. I mean this whole scrolling through peoples faces is still creeping me out... and to know these dudes were "checking me out" is weird. I'm just not wired to receive compliments or attention. I have a touch of social anxiety and although, I'm not an introvert (I'm more of a shy extrovert - I read a book about it in college, ok?) this whole putting myself out there and talking to strangers is completely out of my comfort zone... which truth be told, is probably going to be good for me.

I will answer every single mundane message sometime this weekend with an open mind and witty sense of humor. (even to lvswomensfeet and i hate my feet being touched... EW!) If you don't hear from me in the coming week, don't send out a search party. I've just died of boredom via small talk. No worries though, I died where I was meant to - alone in my living room next to an empty bottle of wine... or two.

*Disclaimer: Male egos might be harmed in this process.

A New Fool In An Old Game - Reba McEntire

Saturday, September 12, 2015

friday never hesitate.

I wish I had a funny story to tell you (and I sincerely apologize if there is any disappointment) but there is absolutely nothing to report from the front lines of my little dating experiment. Instead of setting up my profile tonight, I chose to eat an entire package of salami with a side (bag) of chips {Disclaimer: they were 40% less fat* than regular chips... I mean, I'm putting in some effort}while watching Jeremy Renner, Bradley Cooper and Andrew Garfield on back-to-back episodes of the Late Late Show with James Corden.

If someone told that is what they did on their Friday Night, I would totally be jealous. Honestly, where do you go from there? Mtn420Lvr? Um... no thanks. I'll just die alone.

*so they say.

Friday I'm In Love - The Cure

Thursday, September 10, 2015

lookin' for love in too many faces.

So after years …and then some more years, I’ve finally given into peer pressure (what a bitch that can be) and have reluctantly joined an online dating site. This year, two of my best friends got married within two months of each other. Which might also have something to do with this decision. {Disclaimer #1: it's not like I'm now desperate for a relationship, it just means they will have less time for me. No hard feelings, I share in their happiness... it's just a fact of life.} No offense to anyone who is actively seeking or if you found your significant other online, but it’s just not for me… or maybe it wasn’t for me and now it is? Who knows? That’s what I’m about to find out and I’m going to document this journey every hilarious and I’m sure, very awkward step of the way.

This actually isn’t my first dip into the online dating pool. About a coon’s age ago, after a few glasses (bottle) of wine one night, one of my now newlywed best friends and I set up a profile so we could scroll through my options. Of the few guys we clicked on, the ONLY thing I found interesting and/or funny was when asked, “What is the last thing you read?” He answered, “The back of a cereal box.” That’s funny. We laughed a little bit, talked more about how there are way more decent and available woman than men on the dating scene. I drove home and went to sleep. I woke up the next morning, deleted the account and never looked back.

The most annoying thing about being single is when people ask you why you are single or are if you’re dating someone. Do I ask you why you are married or if you’re thinking of getting a divorce? Nope. So why do you care so much about my choices in life?  {Disclaimer #2: it may come across like I’m hating on marriage, and I’m not. I just don’t fully understand the attraction and concept behind it. The older I get and more divorces I see, the less I understand. I know a lot of happily married people.}

So instead of giving everyone who asks, the 500-page dissertation of my life, my answer is simply - I just haven't found someone. Not the one (because how boring would life be, if you only get to be in love with just one person in your life) - just someone who is worth it. I won't go into detail about my many great and attractive qualities - this isn't the dating site after all. But in a nutshell, I have my shit together and only have a small carry-on for baggage, which can be safely and securely stowed away during flight. I do what I want, when I want to do it. I can’t tell you how much I love and need that freedom. I'm not going to settle for some Joe Smoe (no offense Joe, I'm sure you're a nice guy. It's not you, it's me. Can we just be friends?) just because I'm almost 40 (yes, mother... it's almost here for realsies) or afraid of being alone, which I am not.

After staring at the computer screen last night for 30 minutes deciding on a screen name, I took the plunge and set up an account.  Scrolling through pictures of random people talking about themselves (alone and sober) just gave me the creepiest feeling. {Spoiler #1: I didn't find cereal box guy.} I'm attracted to people upon hearing something interesting about them from a mutual acquaintance or having some funny interaction with them... not some glamour shot and them talking about how [insert generic trait here] they are. Snooze-fest! So I texted my friends (two being the other newlyweds, the other being a online dating singleton like me) and was like, "Hey guys, what the hell am I doing? I just saw a guy whose screen name is eatscheese ...this is not for me." They still encouraged me to give it a shot. I thought maybe they didn't understand what I said... it's not like I wanted to eat cheese? But given my Celiac Disease and strict diet, I can see how they would think that. But I listened to them anyway and didn't delete my still non-existent profile (at press time, I still don't have a profile picture and haven't answered any questions) and went to sleep.

However, this time when I woke up, I said to myself, "Self. What do you have to lose really. This could be fun... and funny. You could run circles around these guys." {Disclaimer #3: because I think I'm funnier than most people I meet and sense of humor is numero uno on my list.} So here I sit on Day 2. I will begin to develop my profile in the next couple of days and keep you updated if Jocklife76's abs are worth the meaningless conversation. {Spoiler #2: they're not.}

Wish me luck!  ...and if I end up dead in ditch somewhere, be sure to thank my kick-ass friends. They only wanted what was best for me.

Lookin' For Love - Johnny Lee

Thursday, August 6, 2015

no cake necessary.

one year ago today, i got THE CALL from my doctor's office... the nurse, not the doctor, told me that i had Celiac Disease. she followed up with "stay off gluten" and then she hung up. that was it. i was just diagnosed with a auto immune disease and that's all the direction i had. thankfully, i was at home when i got the call because i just broke down and cried. alone in my apartment, i just cried. it's a very lonesome disease because you're the only one who can "see" the disease.

over the past year there have been many more tears and many more doctor's visits and procedures with the unfortunate result of me feeling physically feeling the same. mentally... i'm light years away from where i was. that's the real kicker about this disease, it doesn't just affect your digestion (in some folks, they don't even have any digestive disorders) it affects your whole body. 90% of the serotonin in your body is produced in your gut. so obviously, if it's not happy, you are not going to be happy... and i had no idea how unhappy i really was.

i eat a very restricted diet. besides gluten, i don't eat dairy, eggs, soy, tree nuts, peanuts & other legumes and other various foods here and there. i stay away from processed foods and can't tell you the last time i had fast food. so the most common question i get is what food i miss the most... but it's not food i miss.

i miss being able to eat anything i want, anytime i want to.
i miss looking over a menu at a restaurant and deciding what to eat, not looking over a menu to see if there is anything i can eat.
i miss not cooking 99% of the food i eat.
i miss my disease not being a topic of conversation whenever i eat with family and friends.
i miss not spending a fortune at the grocery store.
i miss not spending most of my time at the grocery store reading labels.
i miss not getting eye rolls when i ask questions at restaurants.
i miss not having to ask questions at restaurants.
i miss not having to worry about food and carry my own food when i travel.
i miss not having to think about every single bite i take out of every single meal, every single day.
...but i do not miss not knowing what was wrong with me.

thankfully, in the past year i've found some pretty kick ass people (through books and blogs) in the Celiac community who have helped me more than a doctor ever could. people i've never even met but i'm forever indebted to them. we are the 1% who have this disease. a disease that has an obnoxious bias thanks to those who eat gluten free because it's the latest fad diet. well, to us it's not a fad or a diet. it's our life. a life controlled by food, but the disease does not control us. all those things i miss in my pre-Celiac life and trivial and insignificant to what i have gained in my new post-Celiac life.

i'm glad i'm eating more healthy now.
i'm glad i know exactly what is going into my body by reading labels and cooking 99% of my food.
i'm eager and happy to educate those who are ignorant about the disease. (maybe too eager sometimes...)
i like discovering and trying new foods i would have never eaten before.
i like being pleasantly surprised when i find something unexpected that i can eat at a restaurant.
i'm thankful i live in a city with gluten free options at many restaurants and grocery stores (we even have a dedicated gluten free restaurant... everything on the menu is gluten free!)
i'm thankful i have a great job so i can afford the extra costs of living gluten free.
i'm thankful that my family and friends are considerate and compassionate and who go above and beyond for me.

like with most diseases, every day is a struggle. you get frustrated and you have victories, however small they may be. you have good days and you have bad days... then worse days. but like i told myself on the Inca Trial - you just have to put one foot in front of the other and move forward... because going back is not an option.

so happy 1st celiaciversary to me... there will be no cake, as it's Thursday and i am off to pick up my weekly CSA veggie box. i think tonight calls for some local roasted squash smothered in my homemade tomato sauce from fresh local tomatoes ...and for dessert, blueberries.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

not another blog about Machu Picchu

upon researching my trip to Machu Picchu, i found a lot of blogs about the trek... but i realize, now that i hiked the 26 mile Incan Trail, that none of them really let you know the truth. they told you what they recommended you take as far as supplies, camping gear and that it was a great experience, yada, yada. which is all fine and dandy, but it's not about what you take, it's about what you give. it's not just a great experience, it's a life changing moment.

you can feel as prepared as possible and will probably will be over prepared. i didn't use half of the stuff that i packed or that was recommended. because at the end of the day, you're just trying to put one foot in front of the other... just trying to climb one more step up or one more step down. there's a place where you descend after Dead Woman's Pass, called 3,000 steps... yep, all the way down the mountain you just spent all day painstakingly climbing.

you have a lot of time to think when you're hiking 8 hours a day... and not just meandering through the mountains hiking, but strenuous-i-don't-know-if-i-can-make-it hiking. you start the morning being cold and by the end the day, you're sweating like a banshee then back again to being cold. at times i felt that i was stopping more to take off/put on layers than stopping because i couldn't breath or go up/down one more step... [spoiler alert: i took every step.]

the Incan spirit is alive and well in the Andes Mountains and i felt it every breathtaking step of the way. open your mind and heart and let them speak to you. i left more than a relic on the trail. i left my soul. my heart. my grudges. my heartaches. my regrets. my past. my pain. my loneliness. my spirit.  i gave everything i had inside me to the Incan Trail, so when i got to the Sun Gate, i just let go. let go of it all. all of the worry. the mistakes. the stress. the fears. the what if's. the what could be's and could have been's. it all went away. i will never be the same person again. it was like a 3-day intense therapy session free of charge from the Incas. so for that, i'm eternally grateful and i will spend the rest of my life living the lessons they taught me. 

do i recommend it? should it be on your bucket list? heck yeah! but no matter how well you train, nothing will prepare you for the journey you will take. words and pictures will not even come close to capturing the moment that will live inside your heart forever. your family and friends will not fully understand what you went through, even if they are there with you... simply because the journey is your own.

...but while i have your attention. i do have some suggestions about the trek. hey, it's just not an emotional journey, you have to be physically present too. the llama's are not going to give you a ride.

1. invest in a good, quality, warm sleeping bag. if you spend money on one thing, a sleeping bag is it. sleeping warm is one of the best parts of your night.
2. good, broken-in hiking boots... ok, spend money on these two things. 
3. two trekking poles. i felt like a right twat for only having one. you need two. 
4. when they tell you that the porters can carry 13 lbs of your stuff, let them. you'll need your pack to be light as possible. the porters are the hardest working people you will ever meet. they are so kind and so thoughtful... and so fast up and down the mountain. tip them well! i was constantly amazed by them and only wished the hardest working people would get paid the most in this world, but i guess that's a different blog. 
5. dress in many layers (including hats and gloves) you go through so many different climate changes. at one point i was in my lightest layer, but i had on my gloves and a hat because it was cold and windy. you just never know what could happen. 
6. they feed you well 3 times a day... the Chef was amazing. you will not go hungry. 
7. i bought 3 different kinds of water purification systems. didn't open a one. they will boil water for you... that is all you need. us Americans get so caught up in so many uneccessary luxuries.
8. bring toilet paper... but don't throw it in the toilet, throw it away. (it's a Peruvian thing)
9. you will stink more than you ever have or thought you could... get over it. 
10. let go... of everything and everyone holding you back from being happy- from being you.

"turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you."

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

in hindsight

I woke up this morning wanting to punch someone in their kidney's... and I spent all day writing and perfecting a seriously epic rant. (It was about racism, by the way.) But at the end of the day as I was about to hit Publish, I thought how I didn't want to hit anyone in their kidney's anymore... I just wanted to hug someone. So what good is this rant going to do to? 

I'm not going to convince people to see the light and to not be close-minded or racist anymore. I have to accept the fact that we live in an age where anyone and everyone has an opinion and they can talk out their ass about it on social media without any real consequences or courage. And truth be told, no one will probably ever even read this, but I'm leaving it here as a lesson to myself.

So self, when you have the urge to kidney punch again (and it will happen again), look myself in the mirror and repeat after you:

"But in the end, what helps me sleep at night is the knowledge that I’m on the right side of history and I’m on the right side of morality. I’m open-minded, compassionate and accept those who are different than me, in fact I welcome it. I feel like they make me a better person. I am truly comforted in knowing that you get out of this world, exactly what you put into it... and I am the change I wish to see in the world." 

...for the record, that was the last paragraph from my epic rant.