Thursday, November 13, 2014

Red tent.

If I could describe in words how unlike myself I feel today, and the past few days in general, it would be welcome relief.  However, I can't.  I feel totally and utterly out of sorts.  I don't generally have to question where this kind of mood comes from; fortunately for me, I always know.  Usually, I don't have unexplained moodiness, it's the uterus, it's an especially bad case of PMS.  One that has me crying as I write this.  Please don't feel bad, I don't even have a legitimate reason to be crying, but alas, I cry.
  

During all of this crying, I found myself thinking, "If I only had a place to go where I could cry and no one would question it.  If there was a place I could go to get away from the world and just feel crappy PMS ass."  Then I cried even harder wishing that my world had safe places for women who need support before and during menstruation; I want to go to the red tent.  Sure, the red tent is reserved for women who are actually menstruating but I'd kill to be able to go to one today.  I am craving escape, understanding, comradery, a nap, a good laugh, distraction, and the empathy of other women.

Many cultures around the world currently have menstrual huts as part of life.  Native American cultures are famous for the menstrual huts that women would go to during menstruation to bond, celebrate femininity, and encourage creativity during a time where women were believed to be more connected intuitively. 

It's clear as to why we don't have these special places in the Western world now.  Our periods are something that we are supposed to hide.  Our periods are something we are supposed to be ashamed of and feel is "disgusting".  A menstrual hut would not only blow these bullshit beliefs and habits out of the water, but would encourage the beauty and special nature of this time, the connection with our womanhood and our sisters, the celebration of all things feminine.  Celebration?! That's right.  

Rarely do I feel this out of sorts.  Perhaps it can be chocked up to the fact that the weather is HORRIBLE these past few days and I'm likely mourning the arrival of ultra-wintry weather, but fuuuuuck I feel awful.  I even got into a Facebook fight with a dear friend in Egypt.  Then I cried.  Then I texted a friend.  Then I cried.  Then I listened to music.  Then I cried.  This is madness, nobody should be forced into society in this condition.  I want to be locked up in the red tent until emotionally functional Sarah returns.

       

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Saving Private Daylight.

Today is a day that many folks do not look forward to.  Today at "2am" it suddenly went right back to 1am.  I literally watched my phone change time from 1:59am to 1:00am.  An extra hour of sleeping, or other extra curricular activities..., don't mind if I do!!  I love it, I love the time change.  

Sure, I think it's stupid that we change the clocks in some sort of human attempt to control the uncontrollable; time is relative anyways and, what difference does it truly make to change the clock?  Though most of the world does not practice "Daylight Savings Time", and even some states in our country, alas it is here:  Five months of darkness.  

Now, I'm no ignoramus, I understand that it is, in fact the orbit of the Earth around the Sun and not the changing of the clocks that makes the daylight fleeting.  But the fact that we change the clocks, in turn, makes the sunset happen earlier bringing what I call "The Darkness".  I LOVE The Darkness!

For a lot of my life, I struggled with the lack of sunlight in the winter.  I had the typical seasonal depression, hated the change of seasons to cold and dark, and the nights that never seemed to end(I still hate the change of seasons to cold).  Spring eventually worked it's way back into life and the daylight increased after what felt like years of darkness.

About eleven years ago, I decided to make a change.  I consciously decided that instead of choosing to loathe The Darkness, I would embrace it; I would enjoy it, love it, need it.  I decided that I would fool myself into liking The Darkness by telling myself that I needed it to do certain things; for example, if I wanted to watch a movie I would need to wait until it got dark.  If I wanted to make a phone call or smoke a bowl or clean my house, I would need to wait until it got dark.  Pretty easy to do really since the sun goes down at like 4pm for a good part of winter.  But the seemingly magical part is that it worked like a charm!  By simply telling myself that I needed The Darkness, wanted it and loved it, I found that I did need it, want it and love it.  Yay for The Darkness!  My personal mind game proved fantastic results and I've never been the same since, almost looking forward to this time of year as opposed to dreading it.

There is so much that is mysterious and magical about the dark hours of the day, especially when there are so many dark hours in one day.  Darkness is when we rest and rejuvenate.  Darkness is when we feel more comfortable with intimacy and, darkness beckons love making.  The Darkness allows for for much of the external world to be unavailable for viewing thus allowing introspection and self reflection.  The Darkness is when we escape the hustle and bustle of the daylight hours.

So as the season of The Darkness is upon us, I reflect back on that day when I changed my mind about it, and I feel really grateful.  I will embrace and enjoy the many lightless hours of night in the next few months.  Now if I could only convince myself of the same when it comes to the cold temps, I'd be set...




          

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Branding.

"My soul is not contained within the limits of my body, my body is contained within the limitlessness of my soul."

"You cannot define yourself in reference to other external coordinates, you must define yourself internally with your relationship with a higher entity.  Think of yourself as a manifestation of some higher thing, some higher frequency.  This is the visible realization.  And you know that because you can't see atoms, can you?  And you certainly can't see the forces that hold atoms together.  There in the micro-quantum world lie the answers to everything.  We can't understand it with our biological, rational minds, but we feel it intuitively.  Get yourself in line with that stuff and you'll beam like the sun."

If I challenged each and every one to guess who quoted the above listed quotes, I am certain that nobody would come close to guessing who the two men are that said those two things.  One is Canadian, one is British.  Both are extremely famous comedians, movie stars, funny men.  In fact, both are known as complete goofballs, guys who push the limits of comedy.  

Jim Carrey and Russell Brand, in that order, are the two men who said the two profound, deeply meaningful things that are quoted above.  How is it possible that those kooky guys, whose mission it is to make us laugh, can come up with such substantial, spiritual inspiration?

As a society we pay attention to, only seem to take notice of, the superficial.  We are more obsessed with what someone is wearing than the actual composition of their character.  There is no doubt in my heart that both Jim Carrey and Russell Brand have lived multiple lives before this current one and the wisdom of their old souls knows full well that in our modern world we do not acknowledge and value spiritual strength.  So, in order for these messengers to be able to deliver the real message they are intended to deliver, they must first earn our attention with silly antics.  If Jim Carrey did not grab our attention with Ace Ventura and Dumb and Dumber, would we ever have listened to his true wisdom?  If Russell Brand wasn't touring the world with stand up comedy in order to make a name for himself internationally, would we be willing to sit and listen to his penetrating, almost uncomfortable ranting about the state of humanity and the power of connecting spiritually?

Both of these men have used their gifts first to make us laugh and now to challenge us to look deeper within ourselves, beyond the laughter behind which so many of us hide and to truly begin to understand something greater; that of our true selves.  Looks like they are good for more than a laugh after all...  

Monday, July 14, 2014

A period of mourning.

I walk with no skip in my step, my head hangs a low, my eyes are dull and lifeless, I can barely muster a half-smile... The FIFA World Cup 2014 has ended.  *sigh************* And stupid Germany won.  Whatever, they kicked butt and were a very strong, well organized, and disciplined team.  Part of me feels like Germany shouldn't be allowed to win anything for at least a few more centuries.  I guess they have to prove they can win World Cups since they can't win World Wars.  BOOM!  

I'm in mourning.  

For the better part of four years I waited for World Cup 2014 Brazil.  I talked about it with every foreigner I encountered(lets face it, Americans don't know shit), I dreamed of going to Brazil for the event, and a few months prior I began counting down the days.  I was pre-obsessed in preparation for the true obsession that I knew would take over once the matches began.

Out of the 64 matches, I think I missed two or three.  Sure a lot of them I wasn't able to fully watch, but you better believe they were on the televisions at work.  I spent two weeks of absolutely gorgeous summer days indoors, watching three games in a row during group stage.  In fact when group stage was over and there was a day off, it was strange, I felt lost.  

From the beginning I found myself very emotionally connected to the Colombian team; to this day and for the rest of my life, I will feel emotionally connected to Colombia.  In a country so conflicted as Colombia, soccer is the one thing they all agree on.  The Colombian team went further in the tournament than ever before and one of their young players received the honor of the Golden Boot, having scored the most goals of any individual player in the tournament.  Not bad for a team that went out in quarter-finals.  I cried when Colombia scored their first goal and I cried when they exited the tournament, heads held high.

Another team I ached to see do well was, of course, the formidable and famous footballers of Brazil.  Who wouldn't want to see the home team win a World Cup?!?  But destiny had other plans and Brazil exited the tournament with their worst loss ever.  The 7-1 lashing by the Germans was the only game I deliberately turned off.  Some things are too painful to watch, and being able to literally watch dreams of players and fans alike be crushed in such a ruthless manner was rough.  It was one of those moments that made me very glad I had chosen to not go to Brazil for the tournament. 

As the knockout rounds left fewer and fewer teams, my obsession with each team, each game grew that much stronger.  With fewer teams and games to enjoy, I found myself practically talking to strangers about the tournament.  In the final I was able to watch Argentina, another team I was pulling for, but they couldn't hang on long enough and lost to Germany to accept second place.  And then the mourning began.

I'm not sad that Germany won(sort of not sad), I'm not sad about any one thing in particular.  I'm just sad that it's over.  The anticipation, the excitement, the anxiety of extra time and penalty kicks, the needless obsessing, the Uruguayan biting, the players' goal celebrations, the face painting, the Spanish speaking announcers screaming "Gooooooooooooool!", the emotion, the love, the beautiful game.  *sigh, again*  

I feel like a part of me is gone.  I find myself scouring YouTube and fifa.com for videos, interviews, articles.  I even was on Wikipedia looking up historical facts about the tournament and current player statistics.  It's not the same, but hopefully it can ease the pain of withdrawal.  Even while writing this, I went back and forth to YouTube at least six times to watch goal scoring videos and player interviews...

I will get through this hard time in my life.  It hopefully won't take too long to recover from Post-World-Cup Depression, or as I call it PWCD.  The countdown to Russia 2018 begins today.

                

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Rental car.

Being on some kind of permanent rebellion against "the man" I have gone the vast majority of my life without owning a car.  As a teenager I had a couple of cars, both of which ended up in a junk yard, totaled.  And before you ask, neither was my fault.  When the second car was totaled, I was too poor to be able to afford a new one, so I simply began using the public transit in the small mountain town I lived in.    

In my early twenties I took up bicycling as a hobby, pastime and way of life.  I lived, worked and shopped all within a small radius, making bicycling the only thing I needed for transportation.  I thought I'd never need a car!  

Years later, living in Los Angeles, did it become clear to me that having a car would not only help me get around significantly easier, but improve the overall quality of my living experience in that vast, car-dependent city.  Alas, I bought a car for the first time in my adulthood.  I bought a 15-year-old Subaru from my mother with 180,000+ miles on it and that thing got me around LA just fine!  When the road called to this gypsy again, I sold the Subaru to a dear friend and embarked about the globe again, carless.  

Upon returning to Denver last year, I was like, "Sweet, I'm gonna live on Capitol Hill and walk and bike everywhere just like the good ol' days!"  A few months passed and I quickly realized that I was over the good ol' days and I felt trapped in Denver, unable to get out and enjoy the tremendous amount that living in Colorado has to offer.  I knew I wanted a car.  I wanted to feel like and adult, to be able to go where I want when I want, not having to "borrow" someone's car.    

In order to skip over a bunch of details, I got a car, a brand new car.  Brand new was never the intent, but having a car guy for a dad, he convinced me that for what I wanted(another Subaru), that it was best for me to go with new since used Subarus in Colorado are as rare as diamonds and cost about as much(due to demand).  

I am quite enjoying having a new car; the new car smell, the shiny new everything, the fancy dials and buttons.  But I have to admit, it's a bit strange.  I keep wondering when I have to give it back.  I've been so accustomed to cars that I drive not actually being mine, that it feels like I need to give it back eventually.  I've used lots of rental cars, and borrowed friends' and family members' cars so many times, that it still doesn't feel like the new Subaru on the street is mine and I don't have to give it back.  My mother even  made a comment along the lines of, "It'll feel like yours when you start getting the bills for it", and honestly it's not even that.  It's going to sink it that it's mine when I can literally go wherever I want, whenever I want without having to call someone and ask, and without having to pick it up at a rental office.  It took nearly 35 years, but I just may be starting to act like and adult.          

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sleep like a baby.

As I laid in bed for an hour before getting up yesterday(and for 2.5 hours today)I had a thought, "I was born to lay in bed."  As I chuckled to myself about this ridiculousness, I then realized that in fact it's true, I was literally born to lay in bed.  Isn't that what all babies do, lay around in bed?  Lazy babies, they don't even get up to go to the bathroom.

My personal, internal comedy routine continued as I also realized that I was born to lay in the arms of someone else; also something all babies do.  So why do we think that as we get older that we need to sacrifice these essential pieces of happiness and health?  I personally have zero guilt when it comes to laying around, whether asleep or awake.  Fortunately, I do not suffer the same complex as so many Americans of needing to constantly be productive, constantly be doing something.  I will lay around with the best of them!  Guilt is not invited to this lazy party.
I understand we all have lives, jobs, and some crazy people even made kids to take care of, but time for ourselves, just spacing out and laying around is essential for recovery and to process our lives' events and responsibilities.  So next time you're feeling like you "should get up and do something", just remind yourself that you were literally born to lay in bed!  And do your best to have it be in the arms of someone loving :)


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Realistic realizations.

Yesterday, I didn't write here.  That means I made it five days into my projected 100 days that I was attempting to write.  Honestly, I didn't even think about it until it was "too late", and I was home late by myself after a night out with a friend, commiserating about our life's recent circumstances.  Quite frankly I came to this conclusion: I can't and shouldn't force myself to write, nor should I feel bad if I can't make it to 100 days consecutive.  Done and done.  Perhaps I can think of a more realistic challenge as not every single day permits a time to sit and write.  As well, oftentimes I find myself frustrated to feel like I'm writing something worthwhile, adding to the stress of the self imposed personal challenge.  This shouldn't be stressful, this should be fun and challenging, but not guilt inducing.  

At least five times each day, a great idea for writing crosses my mind.  However, it's usually at a time, fleeting moments of inspiration, that I cannot immediately stop what I am doing to write down the idea or to even think much further on it than it being an idea at all.  And isn't that what this is all about; simply finding that inspiration in the everyday "normality" that is my life?  I do not need to expand on every single idea I've ever had to write.  I do not need to put into writing any and every life experience I'm having or have had.  What I do need to do is look at life through the eyes and heart as though I intend to share them through writing.  It makes for richer moments, while I'm having certain experiences that trigger the inspiration; somewhere in the vast expanses of my mind, there is a memory being forged, thus being "written" in my life's tale.  Finding that inspiration is far more important than the act of turning it into some form of data to be stored on the internet.



    

Friday, March 21, 2014

Recipe for disaster.

I had a moment yesterday that was the biggest decision that I had made all day: Do I sleep on my couch or do I sleep in my bed?  I literally stood between the two, looking back and forth for minutes, all the while at a true loss for where to lay my tired body.  Ultimately the couch won over; wise choice.  Gotta love a day where "couch or bed?" is the biggest decision of the day.  

Thursday, March 20, 2014

MIRACLES!

I saw something yesterday that I have not seen in about six months.  I saw green leaves on trees.  YES!  I also saw flowers blooming, bees buzzing and heard birds singing.  I have done it.  I will toot my own horn about it for a while though everyone else I know also did it; I survived winter.  And I hated probably only about half of it, another grand feat.  Now as a disclaimer: I am aware that the cold, snowy, shitty weather has yet to fully cease until summer comes with her heat, her minimal clothing, her long days, and her cruiser rides, but winter is over!  Nine months winter free begin today.

Poor pathetic winter.  Must be hard to be so cold, so harsh, so dark and lifeless.  Imagine being something that drives people indoors to avoid it, that makes depressions more pronounced and whitens the skin of Caucasians to an impossibly pasty shade the world over.  And all of this in three measly months.  

I have run away from winter and its cold weather for seven consecutive years.  This most recent winter happened sort of by accident as I would never intentionally put myself through the woes of a Denver winter.  But, alas, I made it through and surprisingly, it went faster than I could have expected.  I also know for a fact that I won't do it ever again.  This snowbird will migrate, likely to a Mexican beach for month or two every winter until I die or decide to stay permanently on that beach.


Spring is here with all its new beginnings, life sprouting on every patch of dirt and winter's pasty whiteness being displayed on the chests of men and the legs of ladies in parks all over Denver.  May the longer days drag on and on and on so that the next nine months feel like another seven years free of winter's bite. 

  

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Barber Theory.

I have a long standing personal belief/theory about what will
happen to the earth, how it will heal, when humans are long gone: insects.  When humans are wiped out from pillaging every last natural resource we can, and we have heated the planet to a degree that kills us all as fragile, needy mammals, the bugs will be waiting in the background ready to clean it all up.

I was reminded of this today when I saw an article posted explaining that corn worms have evolved to be able to eat the genetically modified corn designed to kill them.  I was honestly elated at this news as it goes to show that us as humans are extremely foolish to think that we can fool nature with science.  Well, insects have much shorter generations than humans, thus evolve at a much quicker rate than we do and it sure didn't take more than barely ten years for these corn worms to evolve past robo-corn.  That is some tough shit.

I remember hearing one time that there were termites discovered that eat fiberglass insulation.  Ouch.  Sometimes I feel that way after eating something too spicy.  Whether this is true or not, someday I'm sure termites will evolve to be able to do so.  And we all know that cockroaches survive nuclear bombs long after we have been vaporized.  Incredible little creatures these bugs!  Six legs and wings!  Lucky!  

I truly believe that insects will evolve to eat everything from Styrofoam and plastic bags to concrete after humans are decimated.  And who can possibly imagine what other toxic remains we leave behind that these critters will evolve to feast on, turning it all back into perfect nature in the form of insect poo.  I love to think about billions upon billions of tiny bugs fixing all the damage that we have caused as a species, one bite of fiberglass at a time.

The reptiles had their day, well more like their eons of years, reigning supreme in the form of dinosaurs.  Mammals currently hold the top spot on the food chain, and have for a few millennium now.  But the common thread intertwined throughout the history of life on Earth is the presence and necessity of insects to clean up messes.  A bit easier for them when it was something actually organic; a dead dinosaur, a fallen tree.  It will be quite the sight when empty skeletons of skyscrapers come crumbling down because thousands of generations of concrete eating insects have had their way with it.

We generally think of insects and their presence in something as dirty, gross, infested.  The world would be a much filthier place without them; they already clean up so much.  Little do we know that they are waiting in the wings(not to be punny)for us to die off so they can eat our flesh and then our civilization.  I'm sure they will be helped greatly by various fungi and bacteria that also evolves to decompose the pestilential leftovers of human existence.  And the circle of life will be complete

I crack up at the thought of us "all powerful" humans thinking that we are so much more than a stupid bug. Insects have capabilities to withstand extreme temperatures, as well as far harsher environments than us weakling humans.  They reproduce extremely efficiently leaving literally thousands of their offspring in their wake.  Insects outnumber us, they eat us, they kill us, they eat our houses, our food(which they also pollinate), our trash, they keep our soil healthy, they rapidly evolve to outsmart us, and we must accept that they are going to survive long after we are gone. 

Congratulations you sneaky bugs, you have proven throughout billions of years that it doesn't matter what goes on, you'll continue to survive and proliferate life on Earth.  I hope you 
enjoy the taste of plastic.  Thanks for cleaning up the shit.

      

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Right reasons to write?

Looking like a fat lady in a moo moo.  Writing in
Santa Catalina, Panama.
The question of why I write publicly(on this blog)was posed to me today and I have to be honest that it really, really got me thinking.  My initial thoughts were, well I do it for myself, not necessarily for the public.  Then I was asked why I don't just write privately.  I have written for myself privately since I was 16 years old.  I was filled with teenage angst one day and being unable to escape the frustration, I pulled out note paper and just wrote my feelings and thoughts down.  I could not believe how much relief I felt after that first time and I have not quit since.  I have written six "books", notebooks filled with handwriting, my life's work, my life. 

Back to the point of this specific post.  This blog began as a way to easily share my travel experiences with my family and friends and whomever else accidentally happened upon this page during their Google search.  I would post photos, share stories, cultural events, and everyday life as I lived abroad in various countries.  This blog has the few precious photos of my time in Guatemala that I posted before my camera became the property of a thief, breaking my heart into pieces.  I also have used Barbers Without Borders to document any other shorter trips I've taken as well as write about everyday life in USA.

But why do I write now, publicly?  This has had my mind going all day...  I am living in Denver, I am not taking any exotic trips anytime soon, so why am I so inclined to write, to randomly ramble about whatever the hell is in my head?    

I do, definitely, do this first and foremost, for myself.  Typing allows things to come out in a way that handwriting does not(and vice versa).  I do this to preserve memories.  I do this to be goddamned hilarious(haven't you read some of this shit?!).  I do this in order to challenge myself creatively.  I do this to challenge myself to be committed to something that is 100% good for me, for so few things are.  And of those few things, I struggle to remain committed.  

Writing is something I can do everyday regardless of the weather.  Writing is something I can do to express things/stories/situations/feelings that might otherwise become forever lost in the vast expanse of my overactive brain.  The internet is a mighty fine storage facility after all.  I have nearly 200 posts on this blog and when I return to the years past to read them, I have completely forgotten about a lot of them and am delighted to be reading my own story.  First and foremost, for myself.

The question remains: Do I truly care if no one ever reads this stuff?  That is difficult to answer.  I am, ultimately, publishing this stuff on the world wide web so some part of me must care if someone reads it. There is something unique in that literally anyone can get at it.  They can judge, they can laugh, they can do whatsoever they please with my voluntary vulnerability.  Because of this, I have been careful writing mostly fun and silly things.  But as of late, I have been more and more bold, truly not caring what others may think of of my overuse of the word fuck.  I suppose part of my reason to write publicly is to see just how far I will go, just how free I will allow myself to be, all the while knowing that the internet and its freedom can and does seriously backfire for many people.  I have had at least one situation where what I wrote was taken out of context, manipulated and used against me.  I won't go back, I will continue to push my own limits, create my own personal writing challenges, see just how far I will go, how deep I will pull from to write something of substance(or not)according to my own standards.

The right reasons to write don't come down to right or wrong.  I have the right to write which in itself makes it right.  I write right handed, does that count?         
My notebook on the sand.  Full moon walk, Egyptian Sahara.

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Fake-holiday.

Having been out of USA for most of the past ten St. Patrick's Days, I didn't realize it was such a big deal to so many douchebags.  I mean I had people asking me last Thursday what my St. Patty's plans were.  I'm like, "It's next week, and no I don't celebrate fake holidays."  Frankly, I don't celebrate most real holidays. 

I sort of can't believe that people give a shit about it, at all.  But then again, I realize that it's not St. Patrick that these people care about, it's drinking that they care about.  I always chuckle when the general public is like, "But it's an excuse to drink!"  To which my response is always, "You're an adult(albeit a pathetic excuse for an adult), why do you need an excuse to drink?  If you want to drink, then fucking drink."

The barbershop was SLAMMED tonight.  A few of the guys I cut mentioned that they were surprised at how busy we were since it was St. Patrick's Day.  Seriously?  It's because not everyone's life revolves around drinking holidays(somewhat surprising in beer-soaked Denver), and when you need haircut, you need a haircut, green t-shirt or not.  Maybe I'm just getting old and bitter, or maybe in all my time away from USA I am finding myself more and more shocked at how much dumber Americans get by the week.  So damn dumb in fact, they believe that they are Irish.  Durrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! 

  
  

Here we go again.

I just wrote a big post, decided not to publish it and then proceeded to read a bunch of posts I wrote during my 100 day challenge, that turned out to be about 80 days by the time life consumed me and I had to stop for while.  I sort of can't believe I wrote all of that stuff and I'm feeling quite inspired to write again, to do another challenge, probably 100 days again.  Mostly so that when it ends, no matter how many days it was, that I'll have a bunch of stuff to go back and read.  Boom!  That was the starting gun. . .

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Lessons of winter

*siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh*

The lessons of winter:

1) I fucking hate winter.  Still.

2) Winter fucking hates me.  It's mutual.

3)  No matter how much I try to convince myself I don't hate winter(in some foolish attempt to get through it slightly less painfully), I hate winter as much as ever.  Probably even more.

4) As Cassie and God are my witnesses, I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever do a full winter ever, ever, ever, EVER again.

5) 65°F days in January and February are great, until it snows later that same night.  

6) No amount of down filled clothing will make me think winter is okay or survivable.

7) The only kind of winter I want is the kind they have in Mexico, Bali, Brazil, and Southern California.  Hot and sticky.

8) Winter makes me feel like I'm 80 years old with all the aches and pains that suddenly show up when it's below freezing.

9) Snow is beautiful, in the movies.

10) Winter is what has driven me to travel the world, and for that I am grateful.  Sneaky winter!  It continues to fuel that ambition. . .

Thursday, February 13, 2014

My day.

Sucks to be sick today.  Today is my special day and I spent it mostly at home trying to feel better.  I just watched The Biggest Loser Finale on Hulu and cried over all the inspiring people who have decided to take their lives back by committing to health; overcoming tremendous obstacles, suffering through pain and self doubt, facing demons.  Then I remembered that this is my special day and I have arrived here fourteen years later because of my own personal battle, overcoming my own tremendous obstacles, suffering through my own pain and self doubt and facing the biggest demon of my entire life: alcohol.

Fourteen years ago today was the last time I ever drank alcohol.  It wasn't a disastrous night like so many that preceded it, in fact it was quite a mellow evening, a few Red Bull and vodkas at a a neighbors party.  I had even stopped drinking for about a month prior to that night(because of a disastrous, blacked out night), but for some reason thought I could "treat myself".  The next day, February 14 is the first time I met Dr. Carpenter.

I was first told I was an alcoholic by a psychiatrist when I had been checked into a psych ward after an awful night in detox followed by a suicide threat and accompanying ride to the ER for what everyone thought was an attempted overdose.  I never swallowed one pill that day, but nobody believed that and I was checked into the hospital.  Things were very ugly for me, beyond ugly.  

Upon hearing the words, "You are an alcoholic", I didn't really know what to think.  I did not grow up in a family where alcohol was present and I did not know what "normal" drinking was, therefore I did not know that what I was doing was not normal.  I had only ever been told that drinking was wrong and that we don't do it.  Period.  Not really helpful advice for a strong-willed, rebellious teenager with her own agenda.  I thought I just liked to get drunk, not coming close to realizing my behavior and alcohol consumption was abusive.  I was 17 years old.

I spent some time in an outpatient rehab after my week in the hospital and managed to stay off the alcohol for almost a year.  I decided at some point in my then 18 years of maturity that I could start drinking again.  It only took a year and a half before the downward spiral hit bottom and I was forced to face the fire and decide between life or alcohol.  It was some legal trouble I got into while living in Vail, Colorado that forced me to admit once and for all that I have a devastating problem with alcohol and that it was going to continue to destroy my life.  Sitting in front of the judge, he told me I was going to go to jail for 30 days for what I had done...unless, I got help for  my alcoholism.  

I had contacted a few other resources and done an alcohol evaluation with some stupid government agency and was sorely disappointed, knowing that none of these would be the help I needed.  I then just opened the phone book and started calling psychologists.  I did not want to see a psychiatrist because I knew they would just put me on medication.  I called a few different psychologist offices and was told the wait was anywhere from four weeks to three months to get an appointment.  Knowing I needed to return to the court within two weeks with something to convince the judge that I was going to get better was pressing. 

I called one doctor's office and the voice of the doctor on the voice mailbox sounded strange and daunting, and I hung up.  But after calling the others and realizing that there was nowhere else to turn, I called Dr. Carpenter back and left a message.  He returned my call, and as we briefly discussed my needs he told me he could see me next Monday, Feburary 14.  I was thrilled to be able to see someone in time to go back to the court.  Dr. Carpenter then mentioned that, "Sarah, I'm old, I'm really old.  And I'm blind".

The night before my first appointment with Dr. Carpenter was the last time I ever drank.  At that point, I was "just on a break" thinking that I would drink again on my 21st birthday, coming up a few months from then.  As I met and sat with this old blind man for the very first time, we cut right to the chase and began discussing my alcoholism, my legal troubles, and my desperate need for help.  Dr. Carpenter asked me when the last time I drank was and I told him, "Last night".  He then said something so simple and so clear to me and I'll never forget it as long as I live.  He said to me, "You can't do that".  At that moment I knew that he knew.  And I also knew that he was right. 

Dr. Carpenter was my soft place to land for that first fragile year of my sobriety and I don't know if I would have made it without him.  I was there every Monday.  The fact that he never saw my face, only listened to my voice, made for a special relationship.  He retired on my one year anniversary, and we both knew that I would be able to stand on my own two feet.  

There has been no decision with more profound impacts on my life than that of my decision to quit alcohol.  I know with all my being that I would be dead or in jail long ago if I had continued down that path.  I am so grateful for everything in my life that happened to lead me to sit me in that chair, that day, in that office with that old blind man.  It was my destiny.  I have my life today as a direct result of quitting alcohol and remaining committed to that decision every day that I live. 

I never lose sight of the fact that my life is what it is, and I have done the extraordinary things I have done because I am not a slave to alcohol.  When I see people suffering on the streets, alcoholics at their rock bottom, I thank the universe because I know that could very easily be me.  Don't think so?  Then you never saw me drink.  It was a short and very fucking ugly two and a half years I drank, but it was enough to know, and I have no desire to find out again if I can "drink normally".  I know that, contrary to what so many think, that I am not missing out on anything by not drinking at parties or bars or weddings.  In fact, I know I have a lot more in my life because I do not drink.  In fact I find it hilarious that people are so blown away when I tell them I don't drink, ever.  Not even one.  There is no such thing as one drink for me.  

Every day on this year, I reflect on the turning point that it was for me.  This year celebrates fourteen years.  Fourteen years!  It's nearly half my life, but it is also my entire life because my life truly began the day I put alcohol down for the last time.  I was chatting with a friend a few weeks ago and we discussed my upcoming anniversary.  I told her that this would be one of the first years in a while that I was going to spend my anniversary in the United States.  I then realized I have spent my anniversary in Egypt, Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Japan, and Argentina.  C'mon now!  Six out of my fourteen anniversaries have been spent in other countries.  As if that would be possible for me to have gone all those places drunk.

I am eternally grateful for the awareness and support made available to me as I came to accept my destiny as an alcoholic and the strength to get and stay sober all of these years.  Being an alcoholic is one of the greatest blessings of my life.  I have learned more and gained more by overcoming alcoholism than any other thing I've lived with and it has given me gifts beyond imagination.  

So just like those inspiring fat fatties on The Biggest Loser that I was looking up to today, I realized that I deserve my own special pat on the back and my own personal celebration for my own commitment to life, when I took the first step towards it and away from the fire, fourteen years ago today.  Congratulations Sarah, you are an inspiration to so many.

     

Friday, January 10, 2014

Meter maid.

I never cease to be amazed at how fucking stupidly people park at parking meters.  I mean, there's a graphic right on the meter showing how to park and apparently drivers are blind.  Scary.  Really though, at the rate with which I see people painfully misparked at a meter, it's as though it's everyone's first time.  There is not only a picture on the meter showing how to correctly park, but there are usually other cars parked correctly in the general vicinity of the grossly out-of-place car.  

Take note:  Front bumper aligned with the meter.  Pay the meter.   
Difficult stuff for some to grasp I know, but WTF? 

Third time's a charm?

Admittedly I'm a bit overwhelmed with other projects in my life and I forgot to write again.  Perhaps I'll just round it out with another forgotten day and three strikes I'm out!  

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The legend of the Puffy Puppy.

For those of you that don't already know, I have the greatest couch in the world.  Doubt me?  Then you haven't seen it, or sat on it, or slept on it.  I purchased this wonderful couch over ten years ago when I only had a crappy futon functioning as a couch and had too many people over, too many times and realized I needed a real couch.  Little did I know that I would buy practically the biggest couch that was in the entire store.  I couldn't help myself.  As my brother and I sat on the floor model and looked at each other from nearly ten feet away, we both knew.  

It was one of the first times I had a few friends over to enjoy this enormous beauty of a piece of furniture that someone said, "It's like a puffy puppy!"  She was right, it was very soft, puffy and puppy like.  Since that fateful night, my couch has been known as the Puffy Puppy.  It was also decided at some point that the Puffy Puppy eats farts and requires a certain dose of them.  Thankfully, everyone I know has obliged.  The Puppy will not starve!

Now, being a barber without borders, I have spent a lot of time away from Colorado.  The Puffy Puppy has never spent time away from Colorado, so for years it sat at my mom's house, getting farted on there.  My mom is gassy, as is my entire family, so I know the Puppy ate well there also.  

Last year when I decided to stay in Denver and my mother decided to leave Denver, I knew it was time to take the Puffy Puppy back into my own possession.  It was a bit of an arduous task getting that thing out of my mother's basement, but alas, it's out.  Looking for an apartment that can fit the Puppy was the other arduous task.  I'm not made of money, so I'm not able to get an enormous place, but I'm sitting comfortably on the Puppy as I write this, so all is well.  

The Puffy Puppy is the best couch a girl could ask for.  I have resisted selling it all these years as I've traveled because I knew that someday I would regret selling it.  I have slept probably the total of one year's worth of nights on the Puppy.  I have had many a friend over, eventually giving into its powers of relaxation and staying the night.  My friend Cassie even called it an abyss.  She's right.  I have nursed the flu on the Puppy.  I have smoked pounds of weed on the Puppy.  I have had killer make out sessions on the Puppy.  I have laughed, I have cried, I have eaten and I have cursed sports teams, all on the Puffiest of Puppies.  Though I would not consider the Puffy Puppy a rescue animal, it has certainly rescued me.   

Blondes have more dumb.

Clearly I am not a creature of habit since I totally, completely and entirely spaced out writing a post yesterday.  It's been nearly eighty days and it still hasn't sunk in.  Bah!  I remembered today in like the afternoon that I forgot to write yesterday.  So this is the first of two posts today to make up for my expertise at spacing out. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Home improvement.

I'm really glad that I rent and anything that goes wrong is for someone else to fix.  

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Look at me!

Do not be fooled people!  That photo is actually me, enjoying the snow and cold!  It is not an impostor(as if that's actually possible).  Today was a big day for me.  I intentionally played outside in the snow.  You see, I have come to this conclusion: I must not allow myself to believe that I hate winter.  I  must find reasons to enjoy it and to sort of "want" it.  I even spent $200 on pants and gloves today so that I could be fully geared up and not allow the cold to touch me.  Yes, I am a gear snob. 

Sledding today was AWESOME!  The hill was huge, and kept me plenty warm walking up it many times in order to slide down it.  It snowed the entire time and I'm pretty sure I have a bruise on my ass.  I laughed so hard that I cried.  They were not tears of sadness of being stuck smack in the middle of winter, they were tears of the cold and snow stinging my eyes as I barreled down the hill and tried my best to steer clear of kids whilst whooping aloud out of sheer joy. 

Maybe I can do this, people can change!  

Is it July yet?
      

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Adjusting the thermostat.

I've been to one of the world's smallest and certainly obscure countries, Bahrain.  A tiny island in the Persian Gulf, Bahrain is one of the first places in the Middle East where oil was discovered, ushering in a new era for our planet.  I went there in 2006 to visit a friend I had made during my first trip to Egypt.  Other than that, I would probably have no idea where it is or that it's even a country.  It came up on New Year's day, my trip to Bahrain.  These last few days I have been thinking about Bahrain quite a lot.

I thought of Bahrain on New Year's because I got caught in a snow pellet blizzard while riding my bike to the lightrail station with my friend Lesley.  It was a baptism of sorts since it was the first time I've been subjected to such harsh weather conditions in years.  We eventually made it to Golden, got in the car and b-lined it for the Indian Hot Springs.  We sat in those hot caves until we literally could not stand it anymore.  The water, the steam, the heat, it was a real treat on a shit winter day.  We knew it would be an injustice to not stay as long as physically possible since it was so blessedly hot in those pools and so freakin' cold outside.  We had to stay until it was dangerous to our health.

As we soaked in the hot mineral waters, I told Lesley a story about Bahrain that was the opposite of what we were doing.  I was in Bahrain in August, one of the hottest months of the year in one of the hottest locations on the planet.  The daytime temperatures hovered around 125°F and lowered to around 100°F at night.  Being an island in a shallow body of water, the humidity averaged 95%.  It was oppressively brutal.  I could walk around outside for about ten or fifteen minutes before having to dip into a store or restaurant for a few minutes so that I was not overcome with heatstroke.
  
I found myself terribly bored during my time in Bahrain and had to find anything to do to pass the long, hot desert days.  I followed the Arab schedule of sleeping during the day and staying up very late at night.  My little hotel was on the edge of the main souq of Manama, the capital of this wee country.  In order to beat the heat, I would walk through the souq at about 2am when almost everything was closed, and make my way to the Dairy Queen on the other side of the sprawling market.  Open 24 hours a day, this was my sanctuary.  

Dairy Queen was air conditioned to about 60°F and it felt like the arctic in there compared to the thick heat of the outdoors.  I would order a big Oreo blizzard and sit there and eat it.  Then I remained in the Dairy Queen, belly full of cold ice cream, until my teeth started to chatter and I could no longer take the overly air conditioned confines.  That's when it felt really good to go outside where it was 100°F.  I had to do anything to make the Gulf heat seem desirable and my late night trips to Dairy Queen were the ticket.  It worked, for about thirty minutes, but any reprieve was welcome in that extreme heat. 


Dreaming of the desert on another cold and snowy Denver day.


Friday, January 3, 2014

Weeds grow in the garden make pot pie.

I could literally write a novel about my relationship with marijuana.  It's one of the longest and healthiest relationships of my life.  It began when I was 16, but before I buzzed my head.  I go on the weed, and I go off of the weed in my life.  I've smoked in many countries, many cities, many houses, cars, and more nature scenes than anyone can imagine.  It's put me to sleep and it's kept me awake; it's dulled my dreams as I sleep and amplified them when I'm awake.  Weed has calmed me down and sped me up.  It has expanded my consciousness.  I've smoked it in joints, pipes, bongs, apples.  I've eaten it in chocolate, honey, candy, and cookies.  And it's all basically been illegal to some degree, until now.

Weed, for me, and virtually every user out there, is not some grip-me-with-addiction substance.  It's herb.  And now it's legal in Colorado, what a huge step.  I don't know if I'd ever consciously considered the actual legalization of marijuana anywhere in the United States, let alone my home state.  Rocky Mountain High, Colorado.  I remember when Denver was the first city to legalize less than an ounce of marijuana for people over 21.  Naturally the Mile High City would be first in line to do so in United States and it began something that is becoming more and more accepted; the legalization of pot.  It's sort of surreal, but then again I've been stoned a few times since the new year when it was "for sale" official, soooooo, yeah.  

Every now and then I get sentimental about weed and all the awesome stuff we've done together.  These past few days it's been sort of in everyone's face here in Colorado so I've been thinking about it a little more and realizing what a huge horizon we've finally come to as a people to legalize a fantastic and useful plant here in Colorado that causes so much violence because it's widely illegal the world over.  Other than that, folks are just want to get stoned and live their lives accordingly.  Why all the violence?  

One more reason Colorado will always be at the top of my favorite places on Planet Earth: bringing legalized weed to the USA.  I hope my years of smoking weed here somehow contributed.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Ocean ID.

Tonight as my brother and I had our weekly ice cream and Hulu binge, we decided that of all the creatures in the ocean, I am the sleeper shark.  You may think I'm joking, but it's true, there is actually a sleeper shark.  We were watching Blue Planet and when a pod of killer whales hunted and killed a baby grey whale, its body sunk to the ocean floor where the sleeper shark got to pig out on it.  So perhaps I'm a bottom feeding, slow moving sleeper shark, but at least I wait for the feast!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Hot and cold.

Headed to the hot springs to soak in the new year.