Vacation in Michigan – Expectation Vs. Reality

Standard

Sometimes realizing you’re all grown up (or at least headed that way) is a weeeee bit depressing. 

I recently spent vacation time in Michigan visiting friends and family. The first weekend of my vacation was spent in my college town, Grand Rapids. I spent 3 1/2 years in Grand Rapids, but probably only really appreciated it the last year, when I was able to live in the heart of downtown. It truly is an amazing city and I’d recommend it to anyone….BUT…. sometimes going back isn’t what you remember.

Let me clarify, first, that I had an amazing time with my friends. Cory, Alison, Stephanie, Ashley, James and Lien – it was SO wonderful to see/spend time with/explore/drink/eat/talk/etc. with all.

I went in to the trip ready to visit all the old favorites and the new cool spots that have popped up since my move to NY nearly 3 years ago. 

Expectation:

– My favorite bar from college will still be awesome. It will still be full of the same regulars, even if that means those uber judgmental hipsters eastown kids. The same bartender will serve me. People will know my name. The same hipster music will play throughout the bar. Finding a table won’t be hard; someone we know will end up having the corner booth and we’ll all have a night to remember, drinking those same one-of-a-kind shots as in college.

 

Reality:

– Those that are recognizable have visibly aged and not progressed at all since my last visit. My bartender is off for the night. Only a handful of original staff; many newbies. Club music playing throughout the bar. Mainstream scene. Too busy with people you don’t know and don’t want to hang out with. The change that has happened, not good. Things that should have changed, didn’t. DEPRESSING.

 

Expectation:

– My favorite pizza place from college will be just as good as I remembered it. We MUST have dinner there.

 

Reality:

– What did I like about this stuff? Its sub-par pizza at best. Next.

 

Expectation:

– I will rage with the college kids for “Irish on Ionia” while wearing my least favorite clothing color, green. All in the name of St. Patrick’s Day. And, cuz, yolo.

Reality:

– There are way too many people. Those people are way too drunk. Those girls look like idiots in shorts when its 10F outside. Wow, those people are too old to be so sloppy. Keep me away from the mess. And, cuz, I’m not really going to be caught dead in any shade of green besides mint. 

Expectation: 

– Going out with my college friends, we’ll do shots and stay out until the bar closed. Maybe we’ll make out with randoms (or each other) for “old times sake.” We’ll get cray-cray!!!

Reality:

– After two drinks we’re too tired to deal with the bull shit of the bar and everyone is ready to go home and go to bed. We’re old.

 

 

One can conclude I might be slightly delusional with my “expectations”, but hey… I don’t know. 

Highlights of my trip:
-Dive bar wine with Alison and Cory

Image

Image

-Day with Stephanie… tea at Global Infusion, Haitian food, and GR downtown market

Image
– Dinner and Bar with Ashley, James and Cory

Image

Image
– Brunch with Lien and friends

– Seeing Alanah and baby Paxton

Image

Image
– Seeing my grandparents
– Quality time with mom and dad
– Shenanigans with Andrew

Image

 

 

 

Advertisements

Meeting Courtney Kerr!

Standard

First, this blog post is LONG overdue. It’s been 6 weeks since I had the opportunity to meet the fabulous Courtney Kerr of Courtney Loves Dallas and previously, Most Eligible Dallas. If you’re unaware (THEN GET AWARE) Courtney is fashion blogger and overall fabulous human being. Proof is in her show, and over at her blog What Courtney Wore

I was a casual viewer of Most Eligible Dallas, if I must be honest. I wasn’t a die-hard, tune in weekly fangirl. Bravo is known for replaying episodes over and over, which is awesome if you don’t have a DVR like moi! 🙂 So, I did eventually see the entire MED season (it ran for only one season). While I wasn’t a fan of all of the “stars”, Courtney was fabulous. Her relationship with playboy Matt Nordgren was enough to keep any girl coming back. What twenty or thirty-something female hasn’t had a MATT in their life at some point? A confusing, best friend type…with an even more confusing relationship title? None. At least none that I have found. Anyways, if you’re anything like me (you’re probably not, and I’m sorry if you are ;p) you were definitely wondering what the status of Courtney and Matt was, post-MEB season 1.

After what seemed like forever, Courtney popped back up on Bravo. With her own show. This is where I became a bit of a fangirl. Week after week, Courtney was on my TV as a hilarious and very REAL female I could relate too. Sure, her life is a hell of a lot more fabulous than mine, in some alternative universe… we’re BFFs and I’m getting botox with Courtney and Tori (Courtney’s real-life BFF and co-star of CLD). 

While on Twitter one day, I noticed Courtney tweeting about an event at The Empire Hotel for Valentine’s Day. Courtney, along with famed astrologer Susan Miller, were hosing the “BFF Valentine’s Party” at The Empire Hotel. As a single twenty-something with a penchant for Courtney Kerr, fabulous nights out and dressing up for drinks at ritzy bars – I was sold. Selling my numero-uno, Beka, on the idea was cinch. She girl crushes on Courtney as much as I.

The excitement for the party was only momentarily derailed by work schedule problems. But after a glass of tea and a few minutes of talking Beka “off the ledge” (or, rather, talking her into the car to go see Courtney!!!), we arrived. Albeit, very late, but with 30 minutes of the event left. Luckily, since we had RSVP’d, we had no trouble getting in – even as ridiculously late as we were. First things first – a drink. My drink of choice? Champagne and St. Germain. After my first drink, I was still a little nervous to approach the always friendly Ms. Kerr. Earlier in the evening, however, Courtney had RT’d (retweeted for all of you boring, non-tweeters) my tweet about seeing her at the party. That gave me an idea. I tweeted: “Made it to the #empirebff party… @thecourtneykerr is here but @Bekkkahh & I are trying not to be too fan girly… We haven’t said hi yet!” Almost immediately, Courtney responded: “@thatxgirlxjess @Bekkkahh Get yo asses over here ;)” YEP, she’s a sweetheart! Halfway into my second drink and with an actual invitation from Courtney herself – we headed over to her table! She jumped up to hug and greet us and was every bit the authentic Texan you see on CLD! Courtney graciously talked to us for more than 10 minutes about everything – her show, fashion, Texas, guys…. everything! Then, of course, we took photos. She’s just too perfect in real life – let me say that much.

Anyways, Beka and I managed to wait until we left to start freaking out. BUT, it was awesome! I want myself to feel embarrassed about being such a fangirl – but there’s no better female on TV to girl crush on! 

If you’re not familiar, get familiar. Season 1 was actually filmed way before it aired – I think something like a year and a half. Courtney has blown up in the fashion world since…most recently she attended fashion shows for all the top designers during NYFW. As of February, Courtney was getting ready to film season 2 – which will portray her now FLOURISHING career in fashion and her new relationship with the love of her life, and of course…shenanigans with BFF Tori. 

 

Myself and Courtney

Image

 

Beka and Courtney

 

 

 

Image

 

Screenshot or it didn’t happen… 😉

 

 

Image

 

New Toy – Jawbone UP

Standard

Image

 

Finally received my birthday present in the mail today – yes, today. I, for one, was totally shocked to find out the USPS delivers Amazon packages on Sunday – hallelujah! I have been looking at workout bands for months. I was back and forth between the Jawbone, Fitbit and briefly, the Fuelband. Ultimately, one review stuck in my mind – the Jawbone stood out for me. Plus, I had personal recommendations from UP users (lovers)! I have only had mine charged and of use for the last 8 hours and I’m completely obsessed!!! My raving even convinced my mom to purchase one for herself! 

I work out most days – but I think this will push my physical activity to a whole new level. I am very competitive. I have already found myself going out of my way to stay moving on day one. I definitely need a new pair of sneakers though – mine are not providing the type of support I need for over 18,000 steps a day!!!!! 🙂 

These are my current totals for Day 1:

Image

Unfinished Draft 5/17/13 – Life Changes (At the Time)

Aside

**I WROTE THIS LAST MAY, IT WAS LEFT, FORGOTTEN AS A DRAFT UNTIL TONIGHT. I NOTICED IT AND DECIDED TO POST IT – AS IS – UNFINISHED. I WILL TRY TO WRITE AN UPDATE TO THIS UPDATE 🙂 **

 

I was thinking of all the new things I’ve been doing since the start of the new year!

One of my big goals was to continue trying new things.

Health and wellness are so important – and it’s so much easier than I have ever imagined.

In my last year of college (just a couple years ago!), I found myself eating once a day. I was smoking, not terribly heavy, but a pack every few days. I was drinking entirely too much Pepsi Max. I had a schedule that allowed me to sleep in and start my mornings off slow. I’d wake up and having a cigarette and pour my first big glass of pepsi max. I’d enjoy my morning on the porch and read/study/mess around on my phone. This was my morning. In the afternoon, I had class. I would drink pepsi max, sugar free red bull or water through my classes, smoke in between and occasionally have a Fiber One bar. At the end of the night when I was finally done for the day, I’d go grab a big meal. Because it was late, I rarely cooked. I would eat frozen foods or pick up a large sized meal from a local fast food place. UGH. I’m disgusted by it. I was losing weight so I continued with it. I was aware, although not to concerned, over my weight loss also coinciding with my muscle loss. And, my lifestyle choices took their toll. I was frequently sick. Bronchitis was a regular occurrence for me. I was suffering from some pretty severe joint and muscle pain throughout the winter as well.

When I moved to NYC after I graduated, I slowly started picking up healthier choices. Growing up, I did not like a single vegetable except for raw carrots. That’s it. None. But I also never gave food a chance. I never gave supplements, vitamins or herbs a chance either. I had been raised the way many are in Western Medicine – which pill can make it go away? After my first 9 months in NYC, I was still eating junk occasionally and the fibromyalgia pain was still around and I was generally not happy with my job and life. I took 3 months back in Michigan. I stayed with my parents. I saw family. I enjoyed time with friends. I really just enjoyed a “time out”. I’ve never been one of those people whose been sure of what they wanted to do for the rest of their life. I have so many interests and they chance quickly. I had always realized I was a bit unhappy at times but someone mentioned it to me – this person was unfamiliar with the extent to which I had allowed myself to suffer and not take control of life. I knew something had to change. I was not going to spend the rest of my life sick and miserable. I got outside and walked or ran everyday in the beautiful fresh Northern Michigan air. Enjoyed the earth. I began getting interested in leaving behind the bad habits and focusing on the positive in my life. I became addicted to the site MindBodyGreen and it led to my interest in Traditional Chinese Medicine. I briefly considered (and was accepted into a Masters program for TCM, but I realized while it is a lifestyle choice I want to follow, I am not ready to be a practitioner). When I moved back to NY, I cut out the junk and became a regular user of herbs. I was still working too much to exercise but I was moving so much in my job. I way less stressed until the end and I was healthy all summer. It was incredible! Since my work schedule has changed, I have had more time to study and learn about nutrition and TCM.

While I admire many aspects of the traditional vegan diet and the paleo diet – I think that people should follow what works best for them.

My diet is very plant-based, although I do eat meat (mostly just chicken). Greens are now the staple of my meals. I avoid wheat and gluten, except for the occasional Ezekiel seseame slice or Ezekiel english muffin. I don’t eat products with high fructose corn syrup or …

The Kings of Summer

Standard

Tonight I rented the iTunes weekly rental special, “The Kings of Summer” – Must see!

Not sure if these quotes are able to portray the hilarity of these scenes – and they are just a few of many!!! Biaggio, played by Moises Arias, was especially hilarious! Still laughing reading these quotes!

1.
Biaggio gives his faux kidnapper letters to Joe to read.

Patrick:”Jamal Colorado?”
Joe: “Anferneee Texas?”
Biaggio nods
Joe: “D’Sean Utah?”
Biaggio: “Yeah, I decided on the format of Denzel Washington, a black first name followed by a state.”
Patrick: “Yeah, fuck that, we’re not using those.”
Joe: “Okay, Biaggio, good effort, although very poorly planned out and … um… savagely racist.”

2.

Joe: “Have you ever felt this at one with yourself? With your instincts, with nature? This… this masculine?”
Biaggio: “I don’t know. I don’t really see myself as having a gender.”

 

3.

Joe: Vicky’s making eyes at you. Go talk to her. She’s so into it.
Biaggio: There’s no point in me talking to her anyways.
Joe: Why not?
Biaggio: Joe. I’m gay.
Joe: Are you sure?
Biaggio: Yes. My lungs fill up with fluid every time the seasons change.
Joe: That’s not being gay, Biaggio.
Biaggio: What?
Joe: I’m pretty sure that’s cystic fibrosis.
Biaggio: Oh. (Smiling)
Joe: Biaggio, I don’t know why you’re smiling. Cystic fibrosis is not a walk in the park. It’s actually a very serious medical..
Biaggio: Hey, what about Kelly?

People…

Standard

I’ve been thinking a lot the last few weeks about the inability of the current generation to discuss feelings. Sure, I know plenty of people from older generations who are guilty of the same. BUT, it seems like our generation’s ability to hide behind cell phones and computer screens has resulted in an abundance of passive-agressive behavior and complete and utter avoidance. 

Call me old school, but I think when you have an issue with someone – you should have a conversation about it. I’m not suggesting a long, drawn out, talk-it-to-death situation. But, an actual conversation, whether in person or over the phone (voices, people), where you’re forced to deal with the issue in real time, confront your feelings and accept the feelings of others.

I honestly feel our inability (or refusal) to be a part of this human process is weakening our connections. Friendships seems less and less true. People jump from “best friend” to “best friend” with little regard for the concept. Take a second to think about your actions, your “friend’s” actions, your emotion, their emotion, your perspective, their perspective – the world is far more harmonious this way.