10 Books

Facebook is pretty infamous for the weird trends that leap from one person's page to the next...10,000 pages.  Just last week, the ALS Ice Bucket challenge was blowing up everyone's feeds, this week, along with the Ice Bucket stragglers, I've noticed people posting the 10 books that have "stuck" with them.  This is a band wagon I was more than happy to jump on.

Quick disclaimers before viewing the video:

  1.  I say "um" a lot.
  2.  I didn't edit anything.  Those "ums" are all me, baby.  Plus the sniffles.  And the rambling.  And the moment where I get distracted by my computer screen.
  3. My turban is awesome.
  4. This was literally filmed in one-take on a computer before bed.  I'm not going for an academy award here.  I told my dad about a month ago that I wanted to occasionally vlog, so here it is.  The first is always the worst, but better done now than waiting for perfection.
  5. Enjoy it.  Can that be a disclaimer?  The disclaimer should actually probably read more like "Enjoy it or suffer the consequences."  What consequences you ask?  Well, when people are dumping ice on their head for fun (read: charity), the possibilities really are endless. 

Delayed Dreams

Today marked my first, full day in college in nearly four years.  In the past, I've worked full-time and would do my best to work a class or two into my schedule...some years I'd forget about taking a class altogether.  Last year I attempted to balance school and work as I spent most of my time at my dream job (though I had no idea it would turn out to be that when I first applied and accepted the position at a local alternative high school).

I worked for a year as a paraprofessional in the library and after seeing how hard the kids worked (or in some cases didn't work), I realized that it was because of students like them that no education position has ever 100% seemed right for me.  I'm supposed to work with the kids that cannot succeed in a typical high school setting.

It was with the heaviest of hearts that I left those kids and my position after only a year.  I left because I want nothing more than to work with them.  I want to teach them.  I want to let them know that they can succeed and English can be awesome...or at least not terrible.

So I find myself enrolled in school full-time this year and it's slightly overwhelming.  I'm taking the heaviest class load I've ever attempted and keep telling myself that it'll be worth it to be in a classroom sooner rather than later.  The homework I have after only a day of class is impressive to say the least, but I'm not going to let it get me down.

They say you have to work for your dreams and with being that awkward, older-than-average student, I can definitely attest to that.  I'm going to be busting my butt so that I can bust the butts of high schoolers in a few short years.

This outfit post is what I wore on the first day to try and fit in with all the young-ins because you never know when you're going to need a study buddy (and I don't want to be the creepy, mom-type student that everyone avoids).  Today a boy in my Creative Nonfiction class, upon learning we both have birthdays in December, asked if I was also turning 21 this year.  Bless his poor, naive heart.

Sandy and Danny at the Drive In-Without the Awkward Boob Grab

Sure the title of this post might be confusing, or misleading, but I was finally able to go to the drive in theater about 40 miles from town and the one thing that kept repeating in my head was the movie, Grease.  My experience was, fortunately, nothing like the hormone-pumped scene that replayed in my mind over, and over again.

They say blogging connects you to people.  In the short period of time that I've made my blog "public" to friends and family via Facebook, I can definitely agree with that statement.  It is because of connections made that I was able to cross "Finally go to the drive in theater" off of my 25 list.

Working in the mall, you form unique friendships with employees in stores around you.  Maybe it's because you see each other almost every day, or maybe it's because you see the life and joy drain out of each other's eyes every day.  Whatever the reason, I became conversation pals with this gal, Caitlin, who works next door to us at the coffee shop.  We'd share snippets about our lives as I made uncreative beverage choices (Diet Coke...I always get a Diet Coke).  We exchanged phone numbers and half-hearted, "We should hang out!"s.  Nothing much developed from this until she read my blog.

I was making yet another Diet Coke purchase when she told me that for the past two summers her goal has been to go to the drive-in theater.  I was ecstatic.  It's always easier to plan something with someone who wants to do said activity instead of harassing other people and trying to convince them that they'd enjoy it.  We made a plan.

We asked a few other mutual, and not so mutual, friends if they'd like to join, but Caitlin and I were committed.  I didn't care if it was just me and the coffee shop girl traveling in silence, I was going to cross the drive-in off of my list, awkward experience or not.

Our third ended up being a gal I know from many things, but not one thing.  I cannot even venture to guess when I first met Hannah, but I do know that she and I have exchanged many short conversations over the years, so I was thrilled to be adding her to the Sandy and Danny date adventure!

Had to bring a blanket, because I get cold more easily than most human beings
The three of us met up in a parking lot, as all shady and wonderful adventures begin this way.  We grabbed coffee where I made a teenage boy uncomfortable and then we hit the road.

Coffee, coffee, coffee!
Luckily, there was nothing awkward or weird as far as the other two girls were concerned.  We all kind of clicked in an easy sort of way.  Before I knew it, we were at the drive-in.

The man who greeted us and took my hard-earned garage sale money from my hand informed us that the only rule was to have fun and if we didn't have fun, he didn't want us back.  Okay, that actually makes him seem like a jerk as I read it, but he was super friendly and helpful and he made me even more excited for the show.

Obviously no movie experience is complete without a trip to the snack bar.
Despite the mist and Caitlin's broken windshield wiper.  Despite the fact that I smuggled in about $20 worth of snacks (I didn't know if they were allowed or not) and no one ate much of them except for me.  Despite the movie being horribly cheesy and ridiculous, it was the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles flick.  Despite all of these little things, I had a blast.  I had so much fun and know that I will be back, hopefully, before the "season" ends.

This iPhone pic does not do the view justice.  We actually had a great spot and everything was easily visible.
I told the man friend about it and how the next time I go, we need to bring his truck and fill the back with blankets and pillows, and make the experience even lazier and more comfortable.  I would recommend to everyone in the local area to try and make the trip out to Sky Vu if they have an opportunity this year.  If we don't patronize this amazing place, eventually, it will go extinct, and that will just make me sad.

Antiques (Grandma and Other Old Things)

There are certain tasks that people do that let us know, 100%, without a doubt, that they love us.  When my Grandma goes antiquing with me, it's one of those things.  I love the woman to death and she definitely makes digging through garages, displays, and attics, an interesting task.

The great thing about my Grandma is that she's up front.  She's blunt.  Sometimes, you'd even call her mean if she wasn't an adorable, little Italian lady.  We went to an Estate Sale this weekend and when the woman asked us if we were finding anything, my sweet Gma replied with, "I threw a lot of this junk away a long time ago."  Luckily the woman took the comment with a grain of salt, remarking that everyone has different tastes.

Below are a few of the cool things I found that I'll be bringing to the Vintage Carnival in November where I'll hopefully have a booth (currently submitting my application, so fingers crossed!).  I'll be sure to post a few more updates as it approaches.

One of the places we were at had boxes and boxes of great afgans and blankets.

I had never seen anything quite like this wig transporter (it has a dummy head inside), so it had to come home with me.

Not super old, but thought it was super cool.

Love the old rotary phones!

This hollowed out, old TV was my favorite find of the weekend.  I got it at the White House Boutique in Thief River this past weekend.  Unfortunately, I will not be selling this TV because I'm currently obsessed with it.  They showed it as a bar of sorts, but I'm thinking bookshelf/nightstand.

Another goodie that I'm keeping.  Figured I needed someplace to keep my business cards other than floating around at the bottom of my purse.

Couple, cool old pairs of skates.

And of course, some cool postcards.  These will probably be going out to friends in the next few weeks.

Lies Oprah Told Me

We can all agree that, generally, Oprah knows what's she's talking about.  It's this wide-held belief that Oprah-ness is next to Godliness which led me not to wear jeans with button flaps for years.  Oprah told me girls with big butts don't need the extra attention/height that buttons add, so I avoided 50% of all jeans out there.
Then one day I decided that I didn't care.  I put on a button-pocketed pair of jeans and asked myself what harm could one little button do to an already ample rump?  I threw caution to the wind.  That's how I feel about white pants.

I am not a small girl.  I do not have legs that go on for miles.  In fact, I've been know to affectionately refer to my legs as "little sausages."  They are mine and I love them because they are beautiful.

However, when I first saw some of the pictures I took in this outfit, I thought "Holy crap!  Do my legs really look like that?"  After a minute of self-deprecating thoughts though, I threw caution to the wind.  My legs may be thick, but they're still pretty awesome.

That's when the fun photos started.  The ones with stupid faces and stupid poses because life is too short to focus on this flaw or that one.

Plus, chances are you wouldn't have even noticed my legs if I hadn't made them the real subject of this post.

You're more likely to have noticed that when I stand in direct sunlight, I turn the color of my pants.  I'm pretty white, even by North Dakotan standards.

So this is just a love note to my thighs.  They love each other so much that they constantly feel the need to grind up on one another like 9th graders at a high school dance.  They sweat a little in skirts and dresses, and are usually hanging out in a pair of spandex shorts that I've snuck under whatever bottom choice I've made that day.

But they work and do whatever job thighs are supposed to do; so you can't really get too mad about them, right?  Dearest thighs, I love you.  You're my second favorite type of thigh, but it'd be hard to beat out Original Recipe even on a good day.


The title of this post may be a little melodramatic, but I thought I'd quickly share with you guys that my Etsy shop is officially "live."  Sure, I've only got two things listed, but I'm still pretty proud of the fact that I'm following through on one of the goals that I didn't necessarily think I'd follow through on.  If you're interested in checking it out, just click on the Etsy tab on the right hand of the screen!

Feelings: Fear

Fear.  I was sitting at home the other night, avoiding my final Spanish homework assignment, when I heard a couple loud booms in the distance.  I didn't think much of them until Crookston took off, terrified, to hide behind the toilet in the bathroom.  Thinking of my little dog in the bathroom and how outrageously he reacted to the noise made me think about fear and how I sometimes let it control my life.

People most often seem to couple the word "fear" with something negative; this turns fear into a good thing.  If you're afraid of a barking dog, your chances of getting attacked are pretty slim  If you fear heights, you're less likely to die, or get hurt, falling from a great distance.  If you fear clowns...okay, I don't know what people think they're avoiding with this one...maybe being murdered by a clown.

So I thought about my fears, the ridiculous ones that rarely impact my life (escalators), and the more typical ones (needles).  Then I thought about fear of the unknown, which led me to remember this quote by Chuck Palahniuk:

And then I thought about how that's what fear is really about: lack of control.  There are times when I will stay home because all of my friends are already out and I'm worried about finding them in a crowded restaurant or bar.  I let my fear of looking stupid as I wander around keep me away from what could be a great time.  For years, I hung out with great guys who treated me well, but instead chose to hang out with crappy guys who didn't respect me the way I deserved because I was used to the subpar treatment and didn't know how to handle the positive (and healthy) attention.

Sometimes I think that we get stuck in who we are and how are life currently is and don't want to take the risk of happiness.  We settle for contentment because we're worried that if we strive for happiness and miss it, we'll be in this no-mans-land that we've never set foot in, and what if it's worse than our current situation?  But what if it's not?
i agree with this SO much.
As I've gotten older, I've noticed that when things didn't go the way I'd hoped (or planned) they would, it has eventually led to something bigger, something I was afraid of wanting.  Failing big lets you succeed big.  Sometimes when things go astray, they turn you into the person you were meant to become.  With every mistake, heartache, wrong turn, major fuck-up, or variation in the plan, I tell myself that it's all happening for a reason.  The unknown is scary, especially for us "planner people."  But a lot of times when I throw the plan out the window and "go with the flow," I end up learning something new about myself.
The unknown is scary because we can't have our tidy plans there.  They just don't work in that intangible future scape.  Life wasn't meant to be lived with neat ideas that always go perfectly.  Life is for dreaming, and messing up, and laughing, and crying.  Life is supposed to be scary and exhilarating because it's a lot better than the alternative.  Safety is for bomb factories.  Live a little.  Branch out.  Embrace the unknown.

July Goal Review

Can you believe we're already in August?  I'm not shocked in the "Summer is almost over!" way, but more in the "Holy crap!  2014 is winding down crazy fast!" way.  I have four months left to attempt to finish all of the items on my list of 25 things I wanted to have completed by my 26th birthday.  Now that the end is near...well, near-ish, there are a few things I don't see happening and a couple that I know will require a bit more planning if they are going to happen.

1.  Etsy shop- vintage
Okay, I'm actually super excited about this one.  I recently acquired quite a few old, drop-down maps, you know the kind that our teachers were so proud to use back in the 80s and 90s?  I'm going to list those by the end of August and then go through my shed to find all of my vintage clothes so that I can photograph those beauties and get them listed as well.

2.  Collection of short stories- ready to submit

This has been on my mind more and more lately.  I'm the worst kind of writer because I am constantly waiting for inspiration, and not so good at the working for it part.  I'll be excited if I have a few new short stories by December.  I'm not foolish enough to think I can churn out four/five fantastic pieces and have everything properly edited by my b-day.

3.  New tattoo
Done (2/21/14)

 4.  Finish framing prints

The man friend actually took about half of my prints to hang in his apartment so I now have storage space for the rest of mine if (and when) I choose to frame them.  I need to remeasure and then start visiting Michaels again, a place I try to avoid because it's my kryptonite.

5.  Blog redesign

Done (6/20/14)

6.  Buy nice camera
Still too poor, ha ha.  I've broken my old one out, so I need to make sure I'm using it enough to justify a new and nicer one.

7.  Learn how to do my hair
Instead of learning to do my hair, I've just been drastically changing it.  Obviously, I cut a bunch off last month, but yesterday I introduced a color that my hair hasn't seen for awhile...red.

8.  Go on a trip somewhere new
Done (7/24/14) and blogged about here.

9.  Bring Crookston to dog training class
 Done (3/11/14)  I sha
red this graduation announcement (as a joke) here!

10.  Figure out Spanish creds
Done (5/23/14) and I'll have all the credits officially on my transcript by next weekend.

11.  No credit card debt
I'm actually going to have my car paid off by my birthday, sure that's not what the goal is, but I figured it's the only positive news that is semi-related to this one.

12.  Send more letters
 Total: 2 package, 3 postcards, 20 letters.

13.  Create realistic workout plan
Nothing.  I keep telling myself that once the school year starts I can hit the gym on my way home.  A few years back, that's how I had success.  I drove past my gym every day after work, so I stopped and worked out, even if it was only for 20 minutes.  It's a habit and I need to start it up.

14.  Learn to crochet
No progress.  I don't feel like I have the time for this one.  I've looked at videos on YouTube and they are too confusing for me.

15.  Grow closer to God
This is a goal I need to revisit.

16.  Complete a 5K
No progress.  This fall!  Once the workout starts again.

17.  Volunteer
No progress.  I need to find an organization that I'm passionate about.

18.  Finally go to the drive in theater
August 24th is the last day that I can go.  I need to kidnap my sister or a friend and go during a weekday because I get off work too late on the weekends.

19.  Renaissance Festival 

September 28th is the last weekend they are open.  This means I have about a month and a half to try and make it work.  If I go, I'm shooting for September 20th or 21st because it's Oktoberfest weekend.  I don't see this goal happening this year, which means I'll probably recycle it onto next year's list.

20.  Read 40+ books
I'm still at 34, but I'm in the middle of Kelly Oxford's Everything is Perfect When You're a Liar.  I bought it for my Kindle about a month ago when it was the Kindle Daily Deal.  It was a bit of a slow start for me, but it's rapidly become more funny as I've gotten into it.

21.  Print more photos
No progress.

22.  Create more
I have fabric to make a friend's baby gift...but so far it's still just fabric.

 23.  Go camping
 (7/24/14) and blogged about here.

24.  Make a quilt
 No progress.

25.  Get my passport

I'm going to be stuck in the United States FOREVER!