Juicing, Day 5: Going Through the Motions

Day Five – Saturday, August 12th

I don’t feel good at ALL today (SPOILER: I’m on Day 6). I felt extremely low energy since waking up, despite getting sleep, and now I have an excruciating stomach ache. But I said I’d post every day, so here I am! Still hanging in there, but today was a rough one and now I’m going to try to sleep and get to tomorrow. If I stay up, I think it will be too tempting to have pasta or something like that. For now, I will post pics of the juices I drank on Day 5, and write about the whole weekend more tomorrow.

Had the good ol’ apple-ginger shot:

JVD5AGinger

And then for the first time made Rainbow Remedy, which had tomatoes in it! I lovvvve tomato juice and V-8, so this was a nice one. I look forward to more tomato juicing!

JVD5RainbowRemedy

See you back here tomorrow, when hopefully my vim and vigor will have returned!

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Juicing, Day 4: School Supplies & Taco Trucks

Day Four – Friday, August 11th

Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it.
~ Ms. Stacy

It’s been a hot minute since I had the need, but this time of year always makes me nostalgic for school-supply shopping. Everything was new and full of possibility. Each notebook, folder, parrot-shaped pen, and ironic Brenda and Dylan pencil case was a way of expressing who one was combined with whom one hoped to become that year, because the first day of school was fittingly a clean slate.

Without fail – without fail – I repeated the same pattern for most of elementary school through the time I graduated college. The first week of school, I was freakishly organized. My notes were in my best Mary Anne Spier handwriting; nothing was stuffed in, then falling out of desks or lockers, and I dutifully studied and did every assignment each afternoon when I got home from school.

But then, always more quickly than I’d hope, it all fell apart. I’d forget a pen or a book and then it became very “What’s done is done.” I’d make it through and get good grades, but never felt organized ever again like that first week, so I’d fall back into the familiar pattern of quasi-organized chaos.

Yesterday, I forgot a pen.

Or rather, due to lack of planning/alarm-clock ignoring on my part, I had to choose: stop for the specific ingredients I needed for Day Four produce and be later than expected for work, or make do with what I had and possibly run to the store later. That option was limited by the fact that I had to leave early to go to a 311 concert in Denver with Josh and my brother.

Naturally, I began to spin out a little. It felt very much like the times I’d stay up on the phone instead of studying so I’d do that on the bus, telling myself I can try to do my later assignments during other classes and, ugh – what a mess.

But I was prepared for my “first class,” as I knew I had an apple and some ginger among the remaining produce. After proudly consuming that, I realized that was the wrong shot for Day Four. Long story short, I didn’t have the right ingredients for any of my juices, but I tried to do my best with subbing in fruit for fruit, veggie for veggie. I overcompensated by dumping in the rest of the bin o’ kale.

At the end of the work day, I felt good that I’d wasted no produce that work week and still had some remaining apples and sundry. But I knew that I didn’t have enough juice fuel to last, so I forced myself to eat a hardboiled egg. And that’s when I decided that the rest of the evening was going to be about deliberate choices for what I felt would help me stay balanced, both mentally and physically. I had no more juice tools in my arsenal, but there was still an awesome night ahead that I wanted to enjoy and be good company for. If I’ve learned one thing lately, it’s that letting my blood sugar/nutritional energy level plummet is not an option. My stomach was hurting, so I even entertained the idea of having a piece of bread at some point. But I didn’t want to get ahead of myself, as I’m trying to take this journey one juice at a time, literally and figuratively. I ate the egg, and enjoyed the trip to Denver.

Once in Denver, my next juice came in the form of several sips of Josh’s beer, scattered throughout the course of about an hour. The beer did have berries in it! It tasted lovely, but I had no desire to ask for a can of my own.

Then we went into the venue, which was awesome. It felt like concerts I used to go to on Long Island – everyone chilling on a lawn. 311 was great as always. And there were so many fantastic food trucks! I was prepared for yummy-smelling temptation, but not the option to get a chopped mixed green and apple salad topped with avocado! The only thing I wouldn’t have on the cleanse anyway was the lime vinaigrette. I let it go. The salad felt nourishing, tasted sublime (so to speak), and greatly helped reduce my pizza FOMO, as Josh’s and Robb’s slices looked delicious.

My first real gateway-to-cheat-for-the-night temptation came in the form of a taco truck. They had vegan black bean tacos topped with pico de gallo and guac. Omg.

They’re probably huge, I told myself. Definitely monstrosities that would kill my stomach and psyche after four days of juicing. Then Robb got a couple, and they were absolutely perfect! Totally reasonable and extremely nutritious!

I felt my cognitive dissonance kicking in its heels and was SO CLOSE to getting one (or two, as I think they were a package deal). But I told myself “Maybe later,” drank more water, and walked with Josh to meet up with friends, while Robb checked out the merch table.

Then I drank some vodka.

You know how in Hand That Rocks the Cradle, the husband whose name I can’t remember who was the gum guy in Seinfeld, he only smokes cigarettes when he hangs out with Julianne Moore? Well, that is how I feel when my friend Angie offers me vodka, especially when as in the case of last night, it comes in an adorable mini bag! But as with the beer earlier, I took a couple of little sips (not shots!), and passed it to Josh. Later she gave me a couple of inches of fresh Heineken and I took a couple of sips of that too. Heineken has no berries and the concert was over. But it was ice-cold domestic beer in a plastic cup on a lawn post-music, and there was no way I was saying no to that, for myriad reasons.

Long gone at that point were thoughts of procrastinated tacos. The sips were my cheat for the night. I’d thoroughly enjoyed the concert, and despite my proverbial lack of pen and possibly a few other supplies that day, I felt strong about my choices, and knew that MyFitnessPal wasn’t as on point as Days One through Three, but it wasn’t far off either.

THEN! Out of nowhere, an unexpected Final Boss appeared! I did not see him coming, but there he was in the form of the FOMO pizza truck from before, only this time I had no avocado shield or shredded-apple swords!

The voice in my head that’s been guiding me all week returned: You said no to a slice before and you can do it again.

Crisis averted. Thank you, Voice. But as Josh and Robb stood on line, the Colorado mountain air mixed with the scent of New York pizza, making me high when a new voice piped in: You should just have a bite. There is no harm in having one bite of fresh pizza topped with balsamic vinegar. Balsamic vinegar and tomatoes and basil are like salad! Plus, nutrition. Just one bite.

 Normally, that would be that. But something inside me said that this bite-voice was different than the permission-for-sips-voice earlier. Why exactly, I didn’t know – until a THIRD voice entered the conversation!

You mean “just one bite” like the kind Jeff Probst offers Survivors to get them to surrender during crucial individual immunity challenges?

BOOM! I’ve used “Survivor” as mental inspiration for many things before, such as disassembling Christmas tree decorations, but this was a new one. It’s not that it would have been a terrible thing to have one bite of pizza, in and of itself. Certainly it would be more nutritious than vodka. But something felt important about that final yes or no of the evening. Maybe because it was a hot-food cheat. Maybe just because. So I imagined every Survivor who ever stood on a pole in the ocean or held a pail of paint above their head, et al., and pretended that even one bite as making the choice to give up my chance for individual immunity!

To carry on with that metaphor, turning down a pizza bite didn’t make me feel like a superhero, but it did make me feel like I could scrappily last a little while longer in this challenge. Sometimes it’s just about getting to the next tribal council and in the meantime, yay bananas.

Speaking of metaphors, now that I think about it, maybe lack of proper produce on Day Four was more like oversleeping and the realization that I was too poor for pineapple on Day One was the pen. Upon reflection, I think that all week I’ve been terrified of messing up and spending the rest of my cleanse in chaos or worse yet, not finishing at all. After all, that’s how the last two went.

Screw that. For the first time, I’ll seek to pass, not get an A. Most importantly, I’m going for the Perfect Attendance Award. No matter what happens, I’m showing up to write for all 28 days, and I reallllly don’t want it to feel like those nightmares where I haven’t been to class all semester.

With all of that said, I did eat a black and white cookie in the middle of the night.

To Day Five!

Today’s juices!

 

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Juicing, Day 3: No Cookie, Sub Extra Carrot

Day Three – Thursday, August 10th

12:47 pm

Very late start today, due to to various factors including, but not limited to, arising later than I’d hoped. Around 5 am I woke up and couldn’t fall back asleep, but felt like a Final Girl as the sun rose and I’d resisted the temptation to have a black and white cookie. I’m not really even that into black and white cookies at all, but I like to have sweets when I wake up in the night. Probably I should have just stayed up then, but lessons learned. And while I want to keep striving to get up earlier, it felt almost if not more important that I recovered from my disappointment with myself, didn’t panic at the later hour or even the traffic jam, still bought the produce, and am now drinking my apple-ginger shot and writing. Even after subbing half the apple for spinach, it felt like it needed some color, so I added a carrot!

JVD3applegingerspinachcarrot

 

1:08 pm

In an unprecedented turn of events, I remembered to drink water!

JVD3water

2:30 pm

Sweet ‘n Smooth Blend

JVD3SweetandSmooth

 

This doesn’t taste nearly as good as in the past. I think I’m really bad at peeling limes and squished out all the juice. The drink’s fine, just not delicious like last time. Maybe I’ll go ahead and blame the introduction of kale, as it seems to be a popular scapegoat.

 

4:22 pm

Eating avocado, feel very tired. Definitely don’t want to make more juice.

 

5:22 pm

JVD3DigestiveAid

 

Made more juice — Digestive Aid, with a few tweaks. I experienced fennel fail this morning — couldn’t find it anywhere at Safeway, and definitely not within the parameters of my self-imposed game of “Supermarket Sweep!” So I added mint and extra ginger, ’cause digestive. Also I was missing two carrots. But I’m drinking it and despite my low-energy afternoon, I’m starting to feel my body appreciating the discipline of sticking at least mostly to the time frame and ingredients.

 

The Rest of the Hours!

Went home and had the second Digestive Aid, but the two-pound bag of carrots in the fridge was a mocking reminder that I had a knockoff Digestive Aid, free of fennel and missing two carrots.

Naturally, I proceeded to be like “Oh yeah, carrots?” and juiced the entire bag, then shared with my family.

Filled with energy, I suggested to Josh that we go to the gym! This has not been like me these past couple of weeks, and it is never like me at 8-something pm once I’m cozy at home. He agreed, and I only did the elliptical for half an hour then sat in the sauna, but it felt incredible; I felt strong, and it was really positive reinforcement, especially since I thought I’d be down for the count until at least Day Four.

Then I came home and had my last juice, but according to MyFitnessPal, my protein was under even with extra powder, so I ate a hardboiled egg. I did feel better without seeds and didn’t want to mess with any, and hardboiled eggs aren’t exactly one of my triggers, so I bit the bullet, so to speak, to get some extra protein. All my other levels were reached, including calcium, which was a good one to see. And my sodium and fat were under, which isn’t what MyFitnessPal usually tells me 😀

However, after a REALLY good stomach day, it started hurting! So maybe I just need to not eat before bed in general, hard as it may be. But I’m not going to beat myself up over it, as I did consider my choice for like half an hour first.

Also in the interest of full disclosure, I did have a few (honestly, just a few!) pieces of fresh parm in the middle of the night. But those black and white cookies once again did not have their way with me!

 

 

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Juicing, Day Two: Pulp & Fiction

Day Two – Wednesday, August 9th

11 am

Natural Electrolyte Shot

JVD2electrolyteshot

 

Woke up this morning feeling decidedly less up-and-at-em than on Day One, but 10 minutes earlier, so progress! Also, despite yesterday’s 12-hour-long stomach ache, I felt better this morning than I have in awhile — very clearheaded, something I wasn’t expecting until at least Day Four.

Continued with the plan of daily grocery shopping for awhile in order to connect with the life of my food, but remember what I said yesterday about not subbing anything? Well, that was before the reminder that pineapple chunks cost more than my house! Jk, I don’t have a house. And I never will if I don’t wait for sales on pineapple. Until then, apples and pears will suffice and spinach will be moving back into the role of Supplemental Superhero, because it is only $5 for a huge-ass bin. Today’s total: $11.50.

So I was feeling very strong and positive, when suddenly I cried on the way into work thinking about the Veronica Mars/Lilly Kane friendship, so we’ll see what the day has in store. So far, I’ve had a shot that tastes like some kind of bodily fluid, which is to say not as *tasty* as apple. But apparently, it will be very helpful post-workout, should I ever return to the gym again.

1:52 pm

Pure Raw Energy Smoothie

JVD2PureRawEnergySmoothie
I like the Pure Raw Energy Smoothie a lot, but it took me about an hour to make and is now taking even longer to drink! I guess that’s not a bad thing. Also, each serving calls for half a banana and half an avocado which you can eat separately, so I’m going to have the banana now and save the whole avocado for later in hopes of staving off the cheese demons.

 

3:30 pm

Finally remembered to drink my first glass of water since Sunday evening!

 

4:36 pm

Chlorophyll Cleanser

JVD2chlorophyllcleanser

Drinking Chlorophyll Cleanser, and realizing there is a hidden challenge within the challenge, and that is learning how to spell “chlorophyll” without looking it up. Feeling good that the rest of my juice is made and the juicer is clean! Not to mention that today’s pulp reached a new record level!

 

JVD2pulp

 

The Rest of the Hours!

Drank the next Chlorophyll (I DID IT!) Cleanser at my friend Jen’s house. We are doing a Party of Five rewatch, and something about the Salingers’ woes helped me really appreciate my juice/life, and Jen’s treat of frozen fresh blueberries tasted like drops of pure heaven!

I went home in good spirits and on the one hand, couldn’t find the protein powder, but minus that, accomplished something for the first time since I tried this in January: I drank every juice on the day’s list and ate all the “solid” fruit. And I really did try to find the protein powder! Subbed in some sunflower seeds, since they are on the list, if not Day Two’s.

After waiting all day to eat my Big Dinner, the avocado (and now seeds) felt very luxurious. But then! My stomach hurt. Nothing like the first day, but I think for Day Three I will shun seeds and see how I feel. My grandmother couldn’t eat them but she was 91, so I don’t know if that’s it. However, the thought of avocado hurting me is more than I could bear at this time. It is my all-time favorite food, and symbol of hope.

Speaking of which, last night’s Party of Five included the S1 Thanksgiving episode, which reminded me a lot of my cat Dr. von Rockenstein, who passed away a few months ago. Later as I was making “dinner,” I saw the most beautiful avocado pit since 2005, possibly even cuter, so I washed it off and put it in the freezer like I did years ago. While crying, of course. Maybe my tears over Lilly Kane earlier in the day were really about Doc. Regardless, it all felt meant to be in that moment.

Today set another record: I didn’t cheat even once! I wanted a piece of cheese and would have let myself have one if I felt famished, but I was okay and not even that crave-y. It was shocking to feel this good on Day Two, but don’t want to get cocky or kid myself into thinking this is going to be easy. Still, it was great to have such a positive day and I really don’t want to give up.

Thanks so much for reading ❤

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Juicing, Day One: Begone, Eyghon!

This will be my third official attempt at the Jason Vale 28-Day Super Juice Me! challenge. I’ve now watched the incredibly inspiring documentary (you can view it here for free! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aaxa7rxEbyk) and am ready to really fight for my health. I’ll be taking notes each day both to keep myself accountable, and because part of feeling healthy for me means writing again. Not everyone wants to hear about juicing to be sure, but hey! Maybe it will help others. And as I get more in the swing of things, I’ll be less rigid in structure. Thanks for bearing with me as I try to push over this soda machine (TM Seinfeld) once again!

Day One – Tuesday, August 8th

Supermarket success! The total for Day One was about $23 after using my King Soopers card, buying non-organic (sorry, organic — one day!), and not subbing out or reducing fruit. Also I plan to shop every day to be as in touch with the experience and the life of produce for at least a bit, until I get the ball rolling. Usually the beginning of the cleanse is less “rolling ball” and more “reversing direction of zooming Disneyland teacups,” so every bit of inspiration I can get is good, and the produce section always makes me feel healthy already by osmosis and its beauty. But anyway, the $23 included everything and then some, so future days can be shorter and cheaper trips.

 
11:30 am

Apple-Ginger Shot

JVD1AppleGinger

 

Always delicious, but tastes more like humble pie than apple, because it’s a reminder of being back to square (or day) one. That’s okay though, because it’s still healthier than the carbs or nothing I usually have for breakfast. Technically I’m supposed to have this at 9am, but I’m working on getting up earlier and will stagger today’s juices accordingly. I nearly always sub out half an apple for some spinach, but I’m trying to do this as to-the-T as possible, so we’ll see how this goes both financially and blood sugarly.

 

Noon

Protein Powerhouse Smoothie

JVD1ProteinPowerhouse

I often don’t do this one properly, because it is very time consuming and filling. Often I skip it altogether, probably a big reason I cheat later in the day. This time, I doubled the juice recipe to save half for later. I’ll be much more likely to stick with the program if I don’t have to do prep when I get home. And I blended the first serving of juice with everything — no chewing for me yet!

2:00 pm

Threw up my Protein Powerhouse 😥  Wishing the work clock ahead and doubting my determination to stick to the letter of the law, only two juices in! I’m supposed to drink beets in an hour and just don’t really see that happening. Though it was a relief to see small beets in the store, looking less terrifying than usual.

3:45 pm

Breath of Fresh Air

JVD1BreathofFreshAir

Haven’t drunk it yet, but forced myself to at least make the two servings I’m supposed to drink today. Which makes this the first official time I’ve made everything that the day’s directions call for, and I honestly consider that a success, especially since the juicer is clean (a task unto itself!), even though my stomach is still killing me from before. Plus now my hands smell like fresh mint and oranges ❤

Screw it, down the hatch it goes. Warm beets will help nothing.

4:02 pm

There is an episode of “Buffy” called “The Dark Age,” and in it, Angel has a demon jump into him to fight with his older and stronger demon. His face contorts; his eyes bulge out; he jerks around wildly until finally collapsing to the floor, and that is how I feel right now. Only I’m not sure which demon is winning. #BreathofFreshAirversusCarbandCheezLady

4:11 pm

On the other hand, an abiding feeling of revulsion makes food pics on social media look much less appealing and I know if I stick with the program, that feeling won’t last very long at all.

4:32 pm

The true hero of the last 20 minutes: Mint. The stomach pain has subsided; no vomiting occurred, and now my face has a peaceful tingle.

5:01 pm

Hunger pangs! Intense hunger pangs! And I can’t have my next juice for two hours! Oops, forgot to drink water.

 

The Rest of the Hours!

I forced down the second juice, but couldn’t bring myself to drink another throw-up smoothie. I did eat the half-avocado though, which set me off wanting to eat All The Things. I settled on two slices of Swiss and a little fresh parm, as well as a few pistachios. Not ideal, but better than the McDonald’s French fries I kept cheating with the last time. And it really did help me feel a lot better and greatly curbed temptation for carbs. However, there is no excuse for the little black and white cookie I ate in the middle of the night.

On to Day Two!

 

 

 

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We’re Gonna Put You in a Trance with a Funky, Funky Christmas: A Night Seeing the New Kids at 41/Long Last

It was sad to miss Boyz II Men’s entrance and opening with one of my all-time favorite songs, “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.” But it was also awesome, because I heard it with my friend Jackie, who’d brought us to the Pepsi Center in the first place.

“Do you want to go with me to see New Kids on the Block, Boyz II Men, and Paula Abdul next week?” she’d asked me at a graduation party last Saturday, after bursting forth from the ether.

I didn’t have any money for concert tickets but as luck would have it, Jackie had an extra ticket but no transportation, so I drove and this led us to trying to find two seats in 318 after rather lackadaisically making our way to Denver this evening.

I was sad to not be in the stadium (arena?) for this ostensibly momentous occasion, but also felt like it was already epic: fast-walking with a friend I’d only known since moving to Colorado to see friends that I’d known for decades, but only through CDs and cassettes.

Boyz II Men didn’t perform for that long, because it was (SPOILER! Supposed to be) a three-act show. But the time they were on stage was mesmerizing and I’d have loved for it to last longer. Alas, we’d come to the end of the road, which they closed with of course and it was beautiful.

Next up, Paula Abdul! Only wait! “Ms. Paula Abdul has suffered a minor injury and will not be performing tonight,” said a man on stage. I totally thought he was kidding! But no. Paula Abdul didn’t perform tonight and I didn’t realize the level of Jackie’s disappointment until she told me later. Super sad.

On the plus side, we ran into Jen during the impromptu intermission outside!  Jen loves country music, knows more hip-hop lyrics than anyone I’ve ever met, and in general is diverse af. We took a selfie, then moved back inside.

There is no need to discuss how getting back up the staircase was like the Incline for me. I for sure did not stop at any point to catch my breath.

“Oh oh, OH oh oh! Oh oh, OH oh! Oh oh OH oh oh!” (The Right Stuff.)

Once again, Jackie and I were not inside the auditorium(?) for the first song. But then we were and I would have danced of course, but my fear of heights was a little intense.

Tonight was 29 years in the making for me. The first time I ever saw New Kids was in my Baldwin house in 1988 on MTV. I was immediately in love with all five of them, and the rest is a whole rich history for another day. Bate your breaths. However, I’d never seen New Kids live because I gave my ticket away to Mary Kate in 1990, since I was convicted in the heart to shun secular music.

Not tonight though! And it was so worth the wait. I’m hard pressed to think of any artist I’ve seen live who was so engaged with the fans. Don’t get me wrong, Lisa Loeb was amazing when I saw her last month, but that was an intimate setting. To be in this huge coliseum(?!) and make it feel personal somehow? A feat unto itself.

They ran around the entire main floor. Donnie CROWD SURFED. A woman named Summer filled 13,000 hearts with envy when Jon sang Happy Birthday to her and she hugged all five New Kids and took a selfie with them on stage. Donnie did “Cover Girl,” filling my heart with glee, and during it they brought a little girl with big noise-reducing headphones on stage. She was shy. It was adorable.

New Kids also paid homage. Donnie, who’s a wonderful front man for what’s really an ensemble, classily led a “Put your peace signs in the air” song and cheerleadered the audience into defying negativity. Possibly my favorite moment of the whole night. They also did an Oscars-esque requiem for artists who’ve died, starting with Prince.

“They (New Kids) basically do a strip show!” reported a woman with awesome unicorn hair in the Kum and Go where Jackie and I stopped in before the show to get cash, coffee, and as luck would have it, camaraderie.

Tonight wasn’t “Magic Mike,” witness: aforementioned children, but holy cow do the New Kids put on an impressive show, physically. They are so engaged with their present audience, but I can’t even begin to fathom the number of hours it took for their choreography, their mixes, their presence to be what it was tonight. 

Jordan cried at one point. So did Joey. It was beautiful.

Speaking of strippers, I don’t know if this is a thing at concerts now because I’m exactly the OG target audience of New Kids (middle aged), but at one point, they did a Live Cam backstage, and it was the most “Hanging Tough” VHS documentary part of the entire evening. (Oh, U bad!)

It all felt like a Broadway show, in a good way. 120 minutes of nonstop physical performance and the guys ALL brought it. They could have phoned it in. They so did not (TM Ross Geller).

Another song was dedicated to a lost friend. Donnie, Danny, Joey, Jon, and Jordan made it clear that his life was never going to stop being celebrated.

New Kids truncated most of their songs and it felt absent of ego, and all about giving their fans a taste of everything, so as not to leave out anyone.


“It’s always Christmas in New Kids land!” <—— actual words said by Joey. 


Followed by snowflakes on the screen as the New Kids sang a song from their Christmas album because yes there was one and yes it was in my Christmas stocking in 1988 but no, Danny did not sing “Little Drummer Boy” tonight. Nor, sadly, did New Kids perform “Funky, Funky Christmas.”

But it was great to see them poke fun at their past/s, as all their album covers were a continued background theme through the evening. For all the fans who stayed till the end, New Kids put on old videos and gave the elderly women (me) with bedtimes (Jackie) (she is not elderly though) a way to nostalgize without having to dance to physical extremes.

The New Kids were so gracious and loving towards Colorado! At one point, they busted out a 58 jersey and I don’t know who 58 is but recognized it was Broncos, and the crowd went nuts!

Donnie won my heart all over again, decades after saying he hated eggs and loved the color orange, when he raised an eyebrow literally and figuratively: “One or two of you may not have liked us anymore at this time,” as he introduced “Dirty Dawg.”

By the end of the evening, all the New Kids had costume changed into denim ensembles and finally, white suits. Although they’d filmed the first switch, I have NO idea when they made the final transition.

The entire evening was impeccable. Flawless, invigorating, insert all the glowing terms.

Yes, they ended with “Hanging Tough,” and yes, Joey sang “Please Don’t Go Girl,” albeit in a disturbingly low octave because apparently between 1988 and now lies The Puberty. Also, please see: aforementioned crying.

I’m not mocking; I’m still reeling.

Thank you, New Kids on the Block. Jordan said tonight that you guys came to Denver for the first time 29 years ago. Thank you for coming back.

Thank you, Jackie. I never would have experienced tonight without you!

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Back to the Here and Now

I’ve been in the official work force since 1992, and babysitting since 1987. There were a couple of unemployed times after layoffs, but even then, I was always looking for work and still freelancing. The last time I had a chunk of true vacation was on a cruise with my family in May 2006.

I don’t have a career to speak of, but do technically work three jobs, plus aforementioned freelance when I can get it. These past 10 days, I didn’t work at any of them.

In a way it was glorious, in others strange, because I work for family at all three places. One, the office job, is literally my family’s business. The restaurant and the newspaper are jobs I lucked into and at each, have been blessed to find bonus family.

This past week-plus has been about beginning a new family. I didn’t think it would be, necessarily. We took off for the wedding, then to stay put so out of towners could meet up if they wanted. Some did and it was awesome, but then it was just us, my husband and I. Which still sounds so weird to say.

As excited and happy as I was for the wedding itself, there was definitely a part of me that eagerly anticipated getting back to normal. Josh and I have lived together for awhile now, nearly four years in our current place. And it just works. No one gets along all the time, but we get along for most of it, and there is no one in the world who makes me laugh as much as he does, which is saying a lot!

The craziness and the tulle and the presents and delicious chocolate lollipops from my sister in law made our place feel like a grown-up version of kid Christmas morning, and having no place to go the day after the wedding felt like bliss incarnate. We could just chill and enjoy our personal after party. Then everything would go back to normal.

The following days were spent getting there. Loved ones returned to New York, California, Montana, Texas, and Florida. I wish we had more trains that would allow us all to hang out on a…basis, at least monthly.

Josh and I stayed put and did a lot of laundry, and dishes, and organizing. We also watched approximately 7 billion horror movies, and I binged Season 10 of “Grey’s” when Josh ran errands and did his thing.

Some Pokemen were caught and I overtook two gyms, but still can’t figure out how to “put my guys in there.” No eggs were hatched, because as much as I love walking in Manitou, this week was about staying put and getting back to normal.

Only what I realized is that the line of “normal” demarcation has shifted and morphed, much like the humans in many of the aforementioned 7 billion horror movies. But in the good way.

Our bed is teal not purple, for the time being. All I want to do now is cook, because nothing sticks to our pots and pans from Josh’s parents, and there are new gadgets and gizmos aplenty, thanks to other family and friends ❤

Things feel better. I don’t know why. Really, I’d have been fine with never getting married again. Josh is my best friend; we love each other, and dig living together — what more do I need than that?

I didn’t need anything more, really. But I’m so grateful for what I got.

Nothing lasts forever; I know this too well. Including our staycation honeymoon. It’s back to life, back to reality. But both those words mean different things now, and I’m so excited to keep reading this life chapter, because it’s already my favorite one yet and I never want it to end.

Thank you Josh. I’m so grateful to be your wife, and happy that my first day back at work will literally be next to you.

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