Guest Ghost

I am back — well sort of. A handful of people have asked why I haven’t been blogging recently, and to be honest I don’t have a good reason. I have been lackadaisical¬†in my approach and one of my dear friends wasn’t impressed. So (s)he who shall not be named decided to inspire and rewire my thinking with a surprising alternative — ghost writing. No no, not when a person moronically hops from their vehicle and dances around their car (this is ghost-riding – although it sounds a bit fun, right?), but rather to write a blurb that I can ultimately take credit for. But since I enjoy giving credit where credit is due, consider this to be a hybrid between guest post + ghost writing. Something that I can definitely consider being done more often. Or perhaps it will be the vehicle to get me to start writing again ūüôā Enjoy.

If you are anything like me, you miss the occasional ramblings Natalie has shared here.¬† Unlike me, however, you probably did not offer to write a post in her stead.¬† I am going to guess that is mostly attributable to you not realizing how fun it is to say, ‚ÄúGuest Ghost‚ÄĚ ‚Äď or maybe you know the definition of ghostwriter better than I do, which apparently is supposed to seem like it is written by the expected author, but secretly written by someone else.¬† Nom de guerre is likely technically more accurate for what is happening here (as I am just hiding my name), but it feels pretentious in even knowing how to spell it ‚Äď and if I said it aloud, you‚Äôd punch me square in the mouth if I didn‚Äôt beat you to it.¬† Anyway, I wrote this.¬† And the views and opinions expressed below are not necessarily shared by Natalie.

This is Natalie‚Äôs blog.¬† It‚Äôs labeled a ‚Äúcandid representation of life‚ÄĚ, but that is not totally true.¬† It is a candid representation of Natalie‚Äôs life.¬† She is always going to be the best one to comment on that.¬† What I can do is tell you what it is like to be the occasional interloper in her journey.¬† I‚Äôd venture to guess that time and distance have kept each of us from Natalie more than we would like, and hopefully my share helps bridge that gap, if only for a moment.

This is not a primer on Natalie ‚Äď that would rob you of the joy of discovering her for yourself, and I am certain my experience would not be yours.¬† This is best described as what it is like to know one small sliver of her today.¬† Nearly 25.¬† Confident and doubting.¬† Up for anything and quick to say no.¬† Boisterous and demure.¬† Mercurial ‚Äď and worth the trouble.

Natalie likes to take it all in.  In a new environment you can feel her drift away, but it is not really away, it is actually in deeper, just on her terms.  The first time she visited my home, conversation quickly trailed off as she began rifling through shelves, dragging her hands across various surfaces, scanning the rooms, assessing furnishings, imagining the life lead there.  She is an anthropologist of what is easily ignored as the mundane trivialities of modern life.  If you wait for it, however, she snaps back, as if from a trance, present but with a deeper understanding of her environs.  And given enough time, she will circle back to something she saw, even days later, incorporated meaningfully into that new sincere moment.

Her anthropological ways are not limited to the inanimate.¬† She treats people, all people, similarly.¬† She moves without pretense ‚Äď ‚ÄúI shared a meal with my Lyft driver‚ÄĚ, ‚Äúthe woman at TaskRabbit is going through a tough time‚ÄĚ, ‚Äúhis daughter just moved here, I met him in the elevator‚ÄĚ.¬†¬† Natalie‚Äôs questions are never perfunctory.¬† She is always hungry to know what someone else‚Äôs life is like, what it was like, what it will be like.¬† I have watched her stop her whirlwind of motion to engage and connect with a stranger on the street merely for the sake of knowing them and honoring them in the moment.

I am never quite sure what Natalie does with all this information, but her deliberate collection of it makes it all feel important.¬† My guess is that it is part of her own process ‚Äď understanding the world around her and what she wants to make of it.¬† And if you know her, you know there are no limits to the possibilities.

Let the River Run

I finally got around to watching Working Girl. I had heard about it for years, but really didn’t know the premise.

It struck a chord with me. A gal trying to make a name for herself in the male-dominated world of Wall Street. Hmm sounds shockingly similar to the startup world. I loved it.

I hope this song inspires you to be inspired. Your goals and dreams are yours for the taking, so dammit, go get em! And nab a dashing Harrison Ford while you’re at it ūüėČ

Chance Happenings

I hadn’t been feeling well during the week and decided to have a low key weekend. Perhaps I would run some errands, and catch up on some sleep. I love lazy weekends, and this one happened to have a lot of activities by chance.

Office Run. My day started off typical. I always run to the office on the weekends to check in, even though no one is there. It is habit, and sometimes I get caught by one of my co-workers who happens to be popping in at the same time. Workaholics at their best.

Gym was next. We just got memberships for the entire office, and by golly I was going to work out for the first time in months. Oh wait. I forgot my gym shoes. Fantastic. Well, I guess I can take a shower? A shower will give off the impression as if I worked out. I took an extra long one so the cycle of women who had seen me pop in were gone by the time I got back to my locker. You can call it a shameful shower.

Returns! Some people dread returns. I love them (most of the time). I get some money back on superfluous items: A too tight skirt, a too short shirt, and a too expensive blouse.

I am turning into my mother more and more. She is a ruthless returnee, especially around the holidays. She would buy things in good intention for family members, but realize they are either unrealistic or in realization that she had bought the same item, just 3 weeks earlier. Then when would opt for me to make a returns run to the mall for her. I would literally have bags galore, 3 credit cards, and an ignominious grin on my face, hoping I am not challenged when I give them a full receipt of items to take back.

Alongside the clothing, I also returned a hideous rug that I somehow believed would be gorgeous in our office. It literally looked like thousands of eyeballs glued onto a piece of carpet. I took a picture of it and texted our designer who literally said “Nat, I think that is a bit too CRAZY for our office. Nice try”. Welp.

I will say the store associate, Michael, who helped me select this rug was a charming fellow. We chatted on life, our families, travel, and love. He and his partner would literally wake up one day and decide “Let’s go to Spain”, and the next thing you know they were in Spain for two weeks. No planning, just doing. Something I long for dearly, yet am too indecisive and scared to leave a stable job for. I need to grow some balls. Like yesterday.

Brunch for 1? Yes please. After my pleasant chat with Michael, I was famished (probably a bit too dramatic of term, but I was definitely working up an¬†appetite), and in need of some food. I smelled something glorious across the street and stumbled into Citizen’s Band. I sat at the counter and ordered the best flipping hash I’ve ever had that looked like a piece of art (but I managed to scarf it down!) I also had to have a Mimosa — it has become a tradition for brunch time festivities.

 

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My counter friend to the right of me struck up a quick convo while he was on his lunch break. He told me my hair was absolutely fantastic. It was like a cup of noodles at their prime. It was hilarious coming from an older gentleman who had an unassuming presence: leather jacket, tattoos, withered brow. Fine fellow.

I also got to chatting with server, Florie, who told me I should start modeling for her friend’s clothing company and I jotted down about 4 vintage shops I should check out. I also managed to check out her rockstar nails and she gave me the number to her salon. Next stop getting my nails did.

Glitter me Gold. I headed to Polk Street and strolled into the nail parlor. Your typical salon, with some funny characters:

-A woman who looked as though she had everything from her chest and up rationed off by surgeons, including the nails she was getting glued on. I tried smiling at her but she was immersed in reading the Us Weekly that addressed some really pressing issues.¬†Gah I’ll stop there. I am judging, and this blog is a judgment free zone, except to judge myself ha.

– A woman who brought her pet poodle that was dyed pink, and had pink nail polish on her toes.

-And me. So I guess I would be described as that girl who giggled too much, whipping her hair back and forth every few minutes as it continued to drop into my face and I couldn’t use my fingers.

I managed to not take a picture of my nails. But they looked badass! A reverse french manicure with gold and dusty rose. Sounds crazy and confusing? ¬†Perfect — that’s what I was going for!

Beautiful Stranger.¬†It was turning out to be a beautiful solo day. I decided after nails I would get a much needed eyebrow wax. I was yelping the nearest salon (I yelp everything!) and apparently looked quite lost. I popped my head up so I wouldn’t run into ongoing traffic and I catch this beautiful man smiling at me, shaking his head. I thought little of it, as I continued to fiddle with my phone. He proceeds to cross the street and strike up a conversation with me. I am caught off guard but am pleasantly surprised. He was tall, with a bit of scruff, and a beautiful smile. We chat, we laugh, and then decide to venture the streets of SF together in search of a salon.

I loved the¬†spontaneity — one of my favorite things to do. Have a plan without planning with a handsome gent by your side. Typical day for me ¬†ūüėČ ¬†We managed to talk about family, SF,¬†restaurants, dancing, tech, and all of the in-between. I never felt threatened but rather as if I was talking to an old friend. We ventured into vintage shops, peeked in restaurants, and were rejected by 3 salons that were already booked with appointments.¬†¬†So much for my¬†caterpillar¬†eyebrows getting spruced up.

We walked and stopped and chatted some more for about 2 hours. It was wonderful. He asked to grab a drink as the sun was starting to set, but I respectfully declined. I felt very content with where I was. In that moment I knew I wanted to be alone. But he was such a wonderful surprise on a sunny afternoon. He cleverly gave me the vintage shop card that we meandered through and managed to put his number on it.

I never did hang out with him again, but I will always remember that day. I realized you should never put expectations on life, but rather expect to live it vicariously through your best self. Uninhibited and open for any and all possibilites. Great moments can come from this and I feel like this Saturday was a good indication of just that.

L.I.F.E.

Who’s Playing?

I’ve realized I am pretty ignorant when it comes to music. You could assume I lived in a time capsule that only exposed me to one-hit wonders and pop divas. I am embarrassed to show friends my sparse music collection. I have a total of 43 songs on Itunes and it consists of a bunch of Top 40 pop/alternative music, a sprinkle of country songs, a pathetic R&B mix, and a string of instrumentals. Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some One Direction (I have been publicly criticized on fb for this already so don’t shake your head), but I think I might be lacking some depth and musical maturity (now you can shake your head in agreement).

I have never been against listening to new music, but am also comfortable listening to the same song over and over again, until I officially become sick of it, exile it for 6 months, and then re-create an undying love for the song all over again. Take for instance Train’s Meet Virginia. For some reason, I can’t let it go. I have¬†taped myself singing the song on my way to work numerous times, and thankfully deleted those videos numerous times. I am waiting for the day to sing it at karaoke, or at a wedding, or in the shower (confirmed: it happend tonight). Vicious cycle? Perhaps, but here it is for EVERYONE to love all over again as I did:

 

Or what about Celine! You can’t help but LOVE Celine right? Celine, if you are reading this (which you probably are not), I am coming to watch your show in Vegas, bedazzled shirt and all!

 

Now this one might make me lose credibility, if I haven’t lost it already. But it is a classic.

 

I would have played Whitney, but I feel like she deserves her own post. I Wanna Dance With Somebody is my ALL TIME favorite song. But now that I have told you I suppose I HAVE to share it with you…

 

Ok after my shameful attempt for everyone to enjoy some of my favorites for no rhyme or reason, let’s bring it back.

Last week I went to a concert in the city, and boy was it fun! It made me remember how wonderful live music can be, how songs can unify an entire¬†amphitheater¬† and how you embrace the moment. The band was Passion Pit and I fell in love. I have managed to download all of their albums, listen to their tracks on repeat, and watched all of their music videos and live shows. It has been 5 days of Passion Pit mania. I feel a bit like a crazed fan, thankfully, I haven’t scanned the interent for¬†memorabilia¬†to plaster my walls with…yet.

After the concert I came home feeling liberated. Now this may have been from a culmination of things: good company (thanks for the invite Louis!), drinks, dancing, the Mexican food I shared with my Uber driver when we made a pitstop at El Faralito on the ride home. But it felt good. It felt good not knowing what to expect when I went to the concert and being pleasantly surprised to hear something I had not been overexposed to (I know some people might think I am crazy, as Passion Pit is a well-known band, but to me they were fresh. Something different. Something inspiring.) The experience made me wonder what else I have been missing out on in regards to music? There are so many beautiful artists out there that just want someone to listen.

The next day I went walking down Haight Street to run some errands, and noticed all of the street performers that were making an appearance. I do not know if it was just a particularly busy day for singers or if my perception was a bit heightened since my concert experience, but in any case I managed to stop and listen to a handful of them. They were all quite different:

– A couple who was singing folk songs, looking completely enthralled with one another.

– A man singing for peace, with an old guitar and a husky voice.

-A boy strumming a banjo, while also selling a collection of crystals and rocks. Interesting combo.

-A band of naked bikers who were singing a song protesting the nudity ban passed in SF. I do understand the protest, but do not understand the protest on bikes. That does not sound comfortable…

-A crew spitting rhymes, and handing out CDs. Something I haven’t seen in awhile. It is crazy how obsolete CDs have become.

The artistry on the streets was beaming that day, and so was I. Music can truly enrapture you, and my exposure to new genres only confirmed that there is a lot more life to live through music. Now this is not saying I am going to become a musician; start strumming a guitar and making sweet music — I am fairly certain this isn’t possible. (I tried playing guitar months ago and it was pretty rough. But I suppose I should say turtle steps, right?) But for what it’s worth I think music can help people get through many things in their lives and is necessary for personal sanity!

Whether it is Whitney, or Passion, or that street-corner harmonica playing hippie, music is pretty powerful. It can make you smile, cry, laugh, shake your tail feather. Never underestimate who or what you might find when you are listening to something new or old. You’ll probably surprise yourself with your selection, and should be very happy when you do. It is the soundtrack of your life after all, and your personal mix is the definition of you. So turn the volume up and enjoy it!

L.I.F.E.

Big Hair, Don’t Care

I felt inspired to blog today because someone approached me and said “You’re hair makes me happy!” It caught me off guard and made me giggle. I reflected on the trials and tribulations that is my hair. I can proudly say I have come full circle and can completely embrace it’s ridiculousness since moving to SF. But the road has not been a¬†particularly¬†easy one, or maybe not an easy one for my mom when I was growing up. She had to deal with the curls, the frizz, the thickness that you couldn’t comb through. I decided a photo montage was only fitting, even if the pictures may destroy your perception of me — oh wait, I’ll manage.

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Err. I was totally going to be the next Gerber baby, but they gave it to some other kid. Damn! I brag (hmm maybe not the right word for this winning picture) to friends that my head, and my hair, and my face were a bit distorted when I was a baby. I managed to have a full head of hair, but most of it just happened to be at the top of my head as if my mom decided to buzz cut the rest — a receding hairline at its best. A friend once told me “Well at least we know you couldn’t look any worse” HA. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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Well it didn’t necessarily get worse, but did it get much better? Young, wild, and free…

Bam Bam

Bam Bam

Then came the infamous high ponytail, and THAT face. Both are staples in my life now.

In second grade, my teacher had requested I have my hair in a high ponytail for pictures because she LOVED it that way. I promised her I would. I was so pleased to receive such a request from my favorite teacher. But little did I know that my mom would be out of town and my dad would have to style my hair. What a disaster. The ponytail wasn’t high enough, wasn’t big enough, wasn’t anything I wanted. I cried, and cried, and cried some more, thinking I would disappoint dear old Mrs. Khininsky. In actuality it looked just fine, and I made it through pictures.

It is the laziest hairstyle that I manage to use every week, and it is not going anywhere. So thanks mom for not having a clue what to do and just sticking my hair in the highest possible position on my head  like a palm tree and calling it a day.

Oh and here are a few other high ponytail highlights:

-Airport security: Apparently they thought it was a security risk. Think this is a joke?  So did I, until they literally patted down my hair, and not my body.

– Bar: A drunk girl pokes her straw through my hair and gasps when it actually stays in.

-High School: My friends poured water at the top of my hair and I did not notice anything until 15 seconds later when it finally hit my scalp. But being a paranoid teenager, I thought I was just sweating and didn’t have the balls to ask why my head felt so wet.

-Running: My coach told me I should shave my head as my hair was definitely holding me back from running a PR. I needed to be more aerodynamic. “You can be like that actress, err, Holly Berry? But just a runner, and not quite as pretty”.

-Physicals: “You are 5’11 with your hair, and 5’8 1/2 without it. Which height do you want to put down?” I rounded up to 5’9.

-Homeless man in SF: “Girl, your hair is like a pom pom, and it makes me want to cheer!” I couldn’t help but smile when he said that.

Hamming it up

Hamming it up

One of the few times I could actually wear a hat without cutting off the circulation to my head. Sometimes people mistaken my hair for being the big part, but really, my head is just as guilty. You know those tags on hats that say ¬†“Fits Most”? Well I am the exception to that rule. Actually, I am probably the reason they had to change it from “Fits All” to “Fits Most”.

Be Weave Me

Be-weave me when I say that this was a mistake of a hairstyle

Every summer I would get a different hairstyle for the national track meets. Usually each style consisted of me spending 2 days in a chair while a woman would twist and pull and add an impressive amount of synthetic hair to my real hair (as if I didn’t have enough already!), adding about 10 pounds to my head. In one instance, my braids kept falling out (picture above). We managed to find hair from our hotel room out to our car, and onto the track. ¬†It took me 6 years to realize braids did not look good on me, nor did scrunchies.

Not impressed

Not impressed

There is a time in one’s life where you decide to put your hair into the hands of a stylist, who have said they HANDLE curly hair. They LOVE curly hair. They will make your curly hair look BEAUTIFUL. I literally walked out looking like this, and paid for it.

Curls for days. I love them. My friend once told me this is how she describes me and I find it quite fitting: Big hair, kind of out there.

My hair doesn’t necessarily fit into any category. I feel as if I have never fit into one category ¬†in any aspect of my life. I enjoy being different. I once thought my hair defined me, but in actuality my hair is just one characteristic of who I am. I have been shaped by the experiences, interactions with others, and relationships I have had over the years. It just so happens that my hair has enticed some funny and unique situations.

It took me years to realize that I should just embrace my hair for what it is: exciting, vivacious, odd, unpredictable, ridiculous, big. Oh wait, that’s not hair, that’s life ūüôā

L.I.F.E.

 

Turtle Steps

Welp. That was fun. I officially took a 2 month hiatus from this page, not necessarily because I wanted to, but essentially because I got burnt out. My ideal self took over and said “I am going to blog everyday, what a great way to release ideas, stress, thoughts”. That didn’t work. “Ok, I am soooo busy, let’s blog every other day”. That worked for a bit. Then it slowly diminished to every other week.

So I am back! And instead of proclaiming to do this every day I am taking turtle steps. My aunt told me about the idea, and I really like the concept. Be realistic. Whenever you start something, don’t just jump into it and expect that it will stick. Think about that terrible diet that you swore by that ended up lasting 1 month, and 3 pounds heavier. Or that karate class that seemed kickass (no pun intended) but was too far away and too much money. Or when you said you wanted to cook more, and chose a meal that was not cost effective, took 3 hours to make, an hour to clean up, and you were too tired to be hungry. Hmm maybe this is my life? I digress.

Therefore I am taking small, manageable steps. For instance to even get to this point of writing my first post I did the following:

1. Talked about my blog to a few friends.

2. Typed the URL into my browser.

2. Scanned past posts. Read a few. Giggled. Repeat.

3. Typed a few words, nothing crazy.

4. Typed a few more words.

5. Finally posting!

* This process took 2 weeks! Which may sound like a long time, but I wanted to be in the right mindset  to post, and not feel obligated to write.

It is nice to start this up again, but I also missed posting about all of the hooplah around the holidays. So here is a summary of the last couple of months:

-Unorthodox Thanksgiving in LA: Took a Vietnamese bus, where they serve you a Banh Mi, you watch American Idol in Vietnamese (for 6 hours!), and drop you off in apparently one of the roughest areas of LA. It was soo fun! But much easier to take a plane. Depends on what type of adventure you want. Once I arrived, my friend and I drank cocktails on the beach and toasted to being “grown” and having a superb Thanksgiving, just in an uncommon way.

-ND-USC Game- GLORIOUS, this would turn to bite us in the butt…

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We were so happy after the game, we hugged/high-fived all ND fans like this kind gent

-Weekend with my mom! This was such a treat! I had been counting down the days for her to arrive, as it would be the first time she would see my tiny room, living on my own, and making a life for myself in this great city. She wanted to do something special, and decided on the SF ballet, as well as some tasty meals, the Alameda flea market, a house/wine tour and lots of laughter.  I felt like a young girl again, as we walked the halls of the beautiful War Memorial Opera House. The show was wonderful, but it made it that much sweeter that it was with my mom. She has always been my rockstar supporter and I was so happy she came to visit.

-Last work party in a wonderful office! One of the companies I work for moved in December and they went out with a bang. It was an all night affair, ending with me leaving at 9am the next morning. Still in my dress, heels, and makeup, I proceed to walk out right as my boss is walking in. I get a chuckle, a head shake, and a thanks for throwing a great party. It was totally worth it-I think.

-Christmas with my family- just not my immediate family. I ended up staying in SF for the holidays, and spent time with my grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. We spent Christmas Eve Eve packing lunches for the homeless, and distributing to everyone on Christmas day. Very humbling experience. I really want to do this more often, not just a holiday affair. And then finished off Christmas here, snugging with all of the cousins. Family is the best!

A cousin affair

-First time skiing in 20 years! I managed to make it down some greens, and a blue! I will say I ran into a 10 foot snow bank, and was cackling down the mountain the entire time. My sister and I teamed up with an Argentinian couple in ski school who said we HAD to stay with them for the entire trip because we were “the giggle girls”. I’ll take it! And no one told me skiing is so tiring. Every day I conked out on the bus.

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Snooze Fest

-Hanging out with this nugget. We discussed dinosaurs every day, who had a bigger butt, and snuggled. I love him to pieces! This video, although in poor quality, defines our relationship ūüôā

-Sick for 3 weeks! Damn you flu season. Damn you Natalie for shrugging off getting a flu shot.

-Spent New Years in bed, which I find totally acceptable. I was sick and quite frankly didn’t care about the drunk mess that is NYE. Call me old fashioned, but I would rather have a delicious meal, a glass of wine, and a good movie. But don’t quote me when you hear me heading to Vegas next year! This is a situational thing of course.

-ND/Alabama Championship game!! Errr how about that USC game?! How bout that Manti Te’o. Err. Nevermind.

That was just snapshot of some random moments while I was gone, and I know there will be even better ones ahead. I just have a feeling it is going to be a great year!

But in order to start the year off right, I need to come up with a new motto! Why Not had treated me so well in 2012, but I couldn’t keep this up. I was first thinking I would choose “Don’t sweat the small stuff” but instead am going with “Don’t forget to be awesome!”. It is positive, classic, and true. So, here’s to turtle stepping my way into blogging again, and ultimately be awesome in all aspects of my life. I suggest you do the same!

L.I.F.E.

Ride that Bull!

I went to a bull riding bar last night. SO FUN! I had always wanted to head to a country bar. I thought it would be a great change of pace from the regular scene of SF (which I love). Therefore, when a friend came to me with the idea I immediately said yes.

We ended up heading out to Saddle Rack– a good hour away from the city. This is called dedication! But once we arrived I was not disappointed. Here is how the night went:

ID Check. Asked for my license and a sign that asked for any/all pocket knives to be discarded. My face was obviously bewildered by this request because the bouncer then eyed me and said: “Oh it happens!” What happens? Pocket knife brawls? What am I getting myself into? All of those years of being in a bubble…

First beer of the night. A man approaches me and asks if he can buy my a drink. I politely decline, in which he tips his cowboy hat, says “Your loss little lady” and walks away. This was by no means a monumental moment, but just the idea of being picked up a cowboy was kind of fun. I wanted to reply “See ya around kind sir!” But realized I would have sounded ridiculous (which is my daily life), and not country at all.

Learned some line dancing. Or proceeded to spin in circles and tap my feet the wrong way. BUT I managed to get through the electric slide when it was chosen as the dance number. Dancing has never been my forte, but line dancing was a treat! I recommend everyone to do it. We should see if it picks up in a club, instead of all of the hip-thrusting moves. Anyone, anyone? Bueller? 

Watched everyone ride the bull.¬†Only a few people in the group had been to this venue, but everyone was amped about riding the bull. One of the guys was tapping the bull’s ass while he rode, another had his own ass showing the entire time, and one of the gals had to be hoisted up by the staff to get in riding position.

The crowd was pretty hit or miss. People would clap for the seemingly “professional” riders, as well as the lowsy ones (the pity clap). I started to get more and more nervous because I didn’t want to be the pathetic rider. My competitive self wanted to be the BEST (or at least last longer that 10 seconds).

Bar Fight. This is what the bouncer was talking about! Two girls. Tons of slapping. Hair pulling. Immediately behind me. I was so amazed that I nearly got clocked. I had never been in such close proximity, and between two girls no less. We still have no idea what they were fighting about. My conclusion: One gal accidentally bumped the other, gave the girl the stink eye, the other called her a hooker, she proceeded to call her another displeasing name and dissed her unflattering shirt, and then proceeded to fight. Cliche? Perhaps. But not ruling it out! They need to watch Mean Girls again to learn how to act since Lindsay Lohan is such a great example nowadays.

-Dancing Machine.¬†I left to head to the bathroom and ran into an 80 year old man (give or take a few years). He took my hand and said “Dancing time!” I mean, how can you say no? We twirled and twirled and twirled some more. After our 2 dances he said “Picture time!” I mean, how can you say no? He whipped out his old school camera and we took 5 pictures of the same thing. I managed to take one my self.

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-My Turn.¬†¬†After being heckled for not riding the bull, I was persuaded to join the line with a few other gals. We were surrounded by all women, as no men were attempting to ride the bull. One gal in front of us was jazzed by this and said “Girl Powwweerrr!” (She didn’t make it for every long on the bull. Might have had one too many long islands). When I headed into the ring, I immediately thought “Oh Shiitake! Just don’t suck”. I hopped on the bull and it began. It started out slow, and proceeded to get faster. My hair was spastically flopping up and down, and my facial expressions did the same. I have no idea how long I was going but eventually I heard cheers while I was still on. YES! Success! I don’t suck. I was finally thrown off and more claps erupted. I made that bull my bitch! Bull: 0 Natalie: 1 Zing! Until I felt a breeze, above the knees. Yep, that’s right. I ripped my pants. Badly. This is just a teaser of what I had to deal with (And believe me it is far worse, just not appropriate or appealing. Just¬†embarrassing):

ImageI literally looked as if I was in Pamplona for Running of the Bulls and had been gouged, the casualty being my pants, and my pride. I went from such a high to definitely not a low, but a rush of embarrassment. However, this lasted about 2 minutes and then laughter arose. I waddled around for awhile after that not to expose too much to anyone. So much for all the cheers. They were probably pity clapping because I had no pants. Bull: 1 Natalie: -1

-Gangham Style, Country Style. I highly recommend dancing to the song while in a country bar. You get a little southern twang in the steps, cowboy hats galore, and pretty good synchronization (That line dancing comes in handy!) It was highly entertaining.

-Twas a Good Night! Exhausted by 1:30, we opted to head home. Successful, classic night.

I managed to sing a little country, dance a little country, and get a little country.¬†You can’t get much better than that.

L.I.F.E.

What’s my Purpose?

This weekend I was pondering about what I am doing with my life. Am I working the right job? Am I dating the right person? How can I make my life more enjoyable than it already is? What am I called to do in this life? What am I supposed to make for dinner? Well…that last one is less pondering life’s great questions, and more my stomach telling me I will be hungry for something hearty and heavy later. Perhaps homemade mac n’ cheese? (I feel as though reader’s are coming to understand that I love to eat. This can be deemed as a positive or a negative)

Growing up, I thought my calling was to be an artist. That lasted a few years. The next stint lasted for a long, long time. I always thought my purpose was to run. I started when I was 8 years old and fell in love. I didn’t want to do anything else. It calmed me down, hyped me up, even made me puke a few times. I loved running and running loved me. But the significance of the sport gradually changed over time. After losing my coach in high school and starting college I started to see it as work, not my passion. Although I loved my teammates, the traveling, winning my first major race, I realized something was different. Injuries ensued, disagreements with coaches arose, and I became unhappy. ¬†Unhappy that I no longer felt the same way about this true love of mine. Unhappy that there was an obvious void in my heart. Unhappy that I was stuck in the trainer’s quarters rather than out on the track. Unhappy that I was not making a difference for my team (this sounds a bit emo! I was super happy in college. This happened to be one aspect that I had a love-hate relationship with. No negative Natalie here!)

Well needless to say I do not run anymore. I take the occasional stroll in Golden Gate Park. Run to catch the next MUNI. Or running to any public transit for that matter-since I always seem to be a few minutes behind. And it is a bit sad. I question whether I should start up again. Running makes me feel great, of course, after feeling terrible first. But once you get into a routine it can feel like home on the trails. I hope I do. I spent so many years on the track that it isn’t worth giving up completely.**

It might not have been my life’s calling. Or maybe it was. Maybe it was my calling for that specific period of my life. Everyone goes through phases in life, right? Those fleeting thoughts are especially important as a child as a means for growth, for an expansion of creativity and ideas in a young adolescent. Running obviously helped shape me into the woman I am now: results driven, eager, worldly, competitive, independent, stubborn, lover of carbs and spandex (which don’t naturally tie together, but are both lovely).

So that purpose in life is open again. I am trying to figure out where I should go from here. I am adamant about trying a few intro classes of things that peak my interest (A few I have already done):

-Flying trapeze. Cirque de Soleis?! If I had not been nicknamed ‘Crash’ in college for my fluke accidents this could have been a winner. Check out my sweet video of my attempt:

-Cooking class. I took a handful of classes years ago with my Mom, and it was super fun. My good friend has inspired me to start up again, as she is currently an assistant at a Culinary school. While working a full-time position elsewhere. And volunteers on the reg. I need to get on her level. She is AWESOME.

-Creative writing course. A professor in college once told me my writing was “awkward”. Obviously I haven’t recovered. But I suppose I started this blog, so that is taking the bull by the horns, right? Or maybe one horn, while the other flails in the wind. WIP.

-Book Club. I enjoy reading, yet like to find an excuse to do something else when I get the time. I want to find a group that has novels that I don’t want to put down. Sometimes I find it overwhelming to pick just one book in a store. I usually end up grabbing $50 worth of merchandise and one book is usually something silly like Everybody Poops. One of my favs by the way! So honest and so gripping HA!

I want to leave on this. I stumbled across this piece and it resonated with me. It is entitled: How to Let Your Purpose Find You. Take a look. I really don’t want to give you a synopsis. It is just a great piece, and has some impactful points made. This was a favorite:

“Finding your purpose is not a phase of life ‚ÄĒ but a way of living”

I urge everyone to challenge themselves. Leave that place of comfort and embark to the streets of vulnerability. You might discover something new about yourself. The outcome will surely make you happy, and make for one hell of a life. Your life, purposely fulfilled.

L.I.F.E.

*** Sidenote: I am running again! I signed up to run a 5k with a elementary school gal for this running organization in SF called Girls on the Run in the Bay. It helps¬†underprivileged¬†girls learn and gain the confidence needed in life through non-competitive running programs. It is right up my alley. Running for a great cause and running with someone who is probably the same age as when I started to run. Might be the perfect segway to run consistently again. If not, I will have met an awesome girl, who I hope won’t think too much on the fact that she may very well be faster than me ūüôā

Sneak Peak at the Week

I have not written anything for the entire week, but a lot has happened.

Sunday: Birthday celebration with the fam bam. Got to celebrate with this munchkin. Best Birthday partner. EVER. I may or may not be crying by all of the love I consumed that night. So don’t judge those puffy eyes-happy tears!

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Monday: Birfday! A day I dread every year. The attention, the pressure to celebrate, the realization that you are growing up. One year older, but hopefully one year wiser? Alongside some good cake, laughs and booze. I have realized that birthdays are meant to celebrate anything you want to celebrate. It is the one day you have the get out of jail free card (unless you quite literally go to jail). I decided to celebrate to good health, having a job, and great people that have walked into my life over the years.

The cards I received this year varied. All spawned such different messages. When I put them up in my room, I can only smile by the eclectic nature of the bunch: Funny, typical, sweet. I love the people in my life. Thank you for the warm wishes. I am truly humbled by everyone and their kind words.

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Tuesday: OBAMA!

Wednesday: Bought new headphones! Okay, not that exciting but I was really struggling for awhile. I hadn’t bought any for 2 weeks, because I thought they would magically reappear in my room (to no avail). I was the only person on the entire MUNI who did not have headphones while riding in to work. Which in turn made it so much more interesting to people watch.

I managed to see someone pick their nose and eat it-repeatedly, listen to two girls talk about their high school Spanish teacher’s hairy back, have a man ask how old I was, then ask for my number (fail), then ask for two dollars (I gave in-typical), and see a man get reamed out for not giving up his seat for an elderly woman. I swear someone needs to make a documentary on the public transportation system of SF. I’d watch it. Daily.

Thursday: Ethiopian food. Delicious as always. A belated birthday gift that might be my favorite gift for the year- orange cones! This might sound silly, but will explain in a later post.

Corny cone shot

Can’t wait for what this weekend brings! Crossing my fingers that I get back to posting on the reg again!

L.I.F.E.