Sunday, February 7, 2016

Beings

Seattle was chilly, but it wasn't anything we couldn't handle. I learned that day that Urban Outfitters has a lot of really basic clothes I would like to have but for pretentious prices. It was my first time in there, and it will probably be one of my last. I waited for Savannah to try on a pair of jeans and stood outside of the dressing room listening to very thin, teenage girls giggle about something they saw on Snapchat--I felt more out of a place at 25 than I can remember ever feeling.

Savannah and I escaped the three-story fashion mania and wandered into a bookstore on the way to food. I bought a feather quill because I could. We found titles to books that looked interesting and some that just made us laugh. I warned her that the graphic novel collection of Buffy the Vampire Slayer she found may be hers for her birthday, if she's good. She looked at me with a look of warning as if I wasn't allowed to spoil her. When we walked out of the store there was a group of three homeless people bundled up together loving on a dog who was wrapped in blankets with them. They were exchanging nose kisses for chin kisses. It's one of those times that I think about how much we don't deserve dogs, but perhaps they do.

We ended up in Honey Hole, a sandwich shop near Capitol Hill next to a sex shop named Babe Land. The bartender seated us in a cozy spot towards the back by the bar, and we plotted ways that I could feign illness or act like an alcoholic to get his attention so they could fall in love over taking care of me. We laughed and blushed about all of his tattoos and his nice beard and how surprisingly deep his voice was. We both got some of the best sandwiches and topped it off with cocktails--I found one called a Southern Belle (whiskey, strawberry syrup, ginger beer and a few other ingredients) and laughed at how "me" it was/wasn't. I remember at some point putting my pinkie up as I sipped, feeling fancy, and then slopped some more over the sandwich. Our receipts came with Dum-Dum lollipops.

It was late in Seattle when we walked back through to get in the car and come home, and I felt stronger than I had since I started this new work schedule. There was a guy who, as Savannah described him looked like he raided through Kurt Cobain's closet, held his arms open to us and said, "This guy is a human jackhammer," and kept walking. I would have felt offended if it weren't for the debate between us that ensued: "Is he talking about himself, or could he be opening his arms up in astonishment about the jackhammer-ing he just had?" We passed a lit up sign that read "Gay City" and wanted to check out the gay lounge--a nook-like area that looked like booze, music and books--but remembered our Cobain-ish friend and took it as more of a warning. A woman inside, I think I only noticed, kept eyeing one of us with a smirk.

Two older men passed us shouting loudly at one another about how large their penises were; they amazingly didn't take a poll from the street. I appreciated their reserve--sure they were being offensive, but they were keeping it to themselves. They weren't trying to accost me with their genitalia, they were really just excited about the news.

On the way back home we listened to Savannah's new favorite song, "I Don't Want to Be Funny Anymore" by Lucy Dacus, and I remembered how happy and lucky I am to be here... To have a friend who sees me as a whole human being, not just a face or voice or body--y'know, the way the rest of the world tends to do.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Superbowl

Game day around here is serious business when you live around Seahawkers. Because of the Falcons' careful consideration to always disappoint Atlanta residents each season for most of my existing memory, it's hard to imagine, still, living in a world where someone cares about their state's NFL team. But it's true--people are nuts here.

I've always personally loved football and baseball, but when it comes to football: I got jazzed in high school when our team was great, I was crazy for my college team, and I kept up with UK (Kentucky, not across the pond) FSU and UGA religiously and that's where the list ended. I always watched the Superbowl, but I didn't care in the end how it turned out because the real show was the Peach Bowl and anything SEC, really.

Since I moved out here, I've ended up working during the Superbowl every year. This was especially hard considering what happened at last year's. But that also meant that I was front and center with everyone watching Katy Perry and that stupid shark on stage, and then only cheering once Missy Elliot came out and wanting Katy to step off stage forever and let Missy have it. (Was that just me and everyone else I worked with that day? Hmm...) If you thought that eating healthy while at work was hard (if you're a poor planner for your lunches like some of us are here), then perhaps a snack buffet for the Superbowl would be even more difficult.



The rule for work is--first and foremost--BYOF: bring your own food. For any full-time working adult, we'll all tell you that this rule is broken OFTEN despite knowing it. And if you're some well-to-do adult who never buys their lunch while at work, I don't think we can be friends. You'll make me look bad. But occasionally I get it right in terms of lunches and snacks. My favorite things for heartier snacks are things with protein or lots of vitamins. Bananas and nuts/dried mixes come to mind a lot! I like to make my own, personally, with dried fruits, nuts, and sometimes lower-sodium pretzels, too.

One of my favorite salads is actually pecans, fresh strawberries, a little bit of mozzarella and a lot of spinach. I might throw in some chicken, but sometimes all I really want is just the few ingredients I mentioned there. Munching on that always makes me feel better and less weighed-down and guilty than if I eat an entire bag of Doritos--which I'm prone to do. The other day I actually made a vow to start using as much of a vegetable as I can to avoid throwing anything away. I made a salad with celery leaves, orange grape tomatoes and lemon juice.

Nuts.com actually has a pretty great section about the kinds of recipes and snacks that can get you through Game Day without regretting the amount of salt and carbs you took in while sitting on the couch with your friends for the duration of the show. I guess the point is, I'm not always that great at making the best choices day-to-day, but I'm going to at least be better Game Day and bring my own snacks. 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

AM

When your body is at a loss for sleep, but you still keep fighting on, I'm not sure what that is, that perseverance, but I'm thankful I have it.

If you haven't guessed by now, the lack of sleep has definitely been getting to me. Granted, I've been getting somewhere in the range of 5-1/2 to 7 hours of sleep each night--forcing myself to actually go to bed--but I've lost my luster to do much else on these days. If this is what my next month is going to be like (exhaustion and lethargy) then I'm not so sure I could ever do this again.

Despite his whining, though, I'm incredibly grateful to have a husband who cares enough about me that he'll stay up at 4 a.m. (which is something he does already on the weekends) and take me to work so I don't have to go to the bus stop in the cold. I'm incredibly grateful for the friends who recognized that my body isn't accustomed to what I'm putting it through and just giggle and say, "Go take a nap," if I'm feisty. I'm incredibly grateful for everything these days.

I'm not saying I have clarity in the wake of my exhaustion, but I'm saying that it hasn't hurt, either.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Roaming With Daywalkers



I work 40 hours (y'know, full time adult stuff), four days out of the week. That's 10 hour shifts from 2:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. It's our PM shift. For the next month, that's changing, though. Because of some structural changes with our staff, we needed coverage on the AM shift, so I decided to step up and help. (I'll admit that a part of me is hoping this will earn me brownie points later, but it's not all selfish--our team needs all the help we can get right now, and I owe a member of AM shift for stepping up and joining PM shift for a week some time ago when we needed it.) This means that for four days I've prepped my body by taking ZzzQuil at 7 p.m., passing out around 8 p.m. and waking up at 4-4:30 a.m. No more getting home around 12:50 a.m. and staying up until 3 a.m. for me. My new shift, for at least the rest of February is from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Have you ever been up at 4 a.m., not because you were still awake but because your alarm just went off, and you were suddenly struck with the sensation that there shouldn't be a 4 a.m.? I don't think there's enough coffee in this world to make me see otherwise. But if there's anything I know about being awake but feeling like you're dead, it's that chugging iced coffee is a sure-fired way to both puke and wake the heck up. So, I guess that's what I'll be doing for the rest of January and February. I have no idea what this means for my routine--writing, exercise, working on projects, reading, etc. I guess we'll find out together. Wish me luck! 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Timing

I was talking to my friend Lyndsey, and she confided in me that she has a hard time understanding why God would allow some of the things He does to happen to our lives.

That's a question, complaint, fear that I hear from many believers, and a criticism I hear from many non believers. "Well if God was real, why is there cancer? Why is there murder? Why is there 'x'?"

The truth is, this argument is one of which the rebuttal takes faith to grasp, and that's just a matter that many naysayers will have a hard time understanding. You have to have faith in God's timing.

Romans 5:8 (NLT)

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
It's so easy to forget that when God sent Christ to us, He did so to release His hold on the world. Before Jesus' sacrifice, God was a being of wrath--a God who would flood and plague people for their wrongs against Him and others. Jesus served as a living reminder of God's love, not his wrath. Christ was there to be the one to spread his Love, show others what it looks like to live in Him, and have faith in what God has planned for us.

We may not always know of God's plan, but we know if we trust Him, He'll share it with us.

Romans 8:34 (NLT)

34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
Just because something doesn't go our way--whether it be something small like a job interview or class project, or something big (maybe tragic)--it doesn't mean that God isn't always looking out for what's best for us.

We have to believe in His timing, not ours.

Have faith in what He has planned for you, when something doesn't pan out. Don't fall to the fate that it's because He doesn't care--humble yourself and remember that it's because God is constantly watching out for you. Something big is happening in your life. Nothing comes easy, but His Love endures.