I'm Not Your Tinder-ella

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It's been a hot minute since I blogged about dating, but tonight I couldn't pass up the opportunity to angry blog my latest attempt.

I have dabbled in Tinder, I will admit it. I have met only a couple guys in person and neither ended well. But, I just turned 30 and since I realized that I spent more years of my twenties going on zero dates than years I went on dates (seriously, how is that possible with so many years at BYU?! But I have always been like that; it has never been odd to literally go years without going on a single date) I decided I should actually try and make my 30's different.

(and in full disclosure, I did go on an actual date last week--not tinder related--so I guess I have broken my two year hiatus. But he hasn't said anything about another date and is really sporadic with communication so I'm not holding my breath)

This weekend I did a Tinder binge. That is obviously when you make brownie batter, but never cook it because that's too much commitment, and eat your way thru a bunch of terrible profiles while you contemplate the need for a life partner and how many facial piercing and tattoos are too many.

I matched with a few people, but am terrified and terrible at starting conversation, so I waited. A couple guys messaged me and then you have the super fun REALLY terrible back and forth attempt at conversation with a perfect stranger that you find mildly attractive and only know roughly five facts about.

One guy was more upfront and told me he hates texting (which I can get behind. I like texting simple/funny/informative things but I don't like to have long conversations) and wanted to call me. I gave him my number, we texted a little and then we ended up talking tonight.

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Here's the thing, I am awkward. I don't date and have zero confidence in my flirting skills and am very uncomfortable with my weight/how clothes fit, how young I look, and that I have no idea how to come across as a 30 year old woman (i always refer to myself as a girl) with my looks or apparently demeanor. I'm not sexy, I am "quirky" as guys like to keep telling me. And yes, I realize deep down I am none of those things, this is not an attempt to fish for compliments.

The conversation was, for the most part, enjoyable. He is quick witted, funny and seemed genuinely nice, until he kept telling me how nice he was...If you have to tell me I will doubt you. He seemed respectful and wanted to meet me in person, which I had told him twice in text I would do next weekend when I am free (I am freakishly busy right now with work and family). Even though he knew this, he started pushing for tonight. He called me close to 10pm and kept pushing for now. I'm sorry, when was the last time a truly nice guy wanted to meet a girl for the first time after 10pm?

Never.

He also kept changing the story. He wanted to chat. He wanted to get to know me. He wanted to just meet me to see if we gelled. Then it switched to he wanted to give me a foot massage ("every girl wants a foot massage! That is what pretty ladies need, I am such a nice guy, all I want in return is conversation!") but don't worry, we would meet in a public place with lots of people! 

We live in Utah, no place on a Tuesday night has a lot of people...

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I told him no over and over. I have an early flight, I am already in my bed with my cloths on because I was too tired to even change when I got home... He wouldn't stop. Finally I said, "look, if there is one thing you need to know about me, it is that I am fiercely independent and don't like to be pushed. You keep mentioning tonight and I don't want to leave, I can meet you in a week and a half." He denied pushing me, then brought up meeting again and then quickly said, "we both need sleep I am going to let you go."

I replied, "this feels like it ended really badly, its not that I don't want to meet you, its that I don't want to tonight."

After the 30 minute conversation came to an abrupt end he texted me twice quickly.

"i am going to leave you alone now"

"please delete my number"

I called him out on how weird this all was and that next weekend shouldn't be such a big deal. He replied that I shouldn't date if I don't have the time, it's not fair.

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NO. It is not fair assuming a girl should come to you at the drop of a hat. 

The thing that pisses me off is that he repeatedly told me that he wasn't trying to sleep with me; that this was not a booty call. Call a spade a spade, if you want to sleep with someone say it up front, if you are caging about it they will end up hating you or you will end up pushing things too far and being rape-y.

It pisses me off that some women actually go for this type of guy. Okay, he is on Tinder so he obviously isn't the best at dating, but he has a plan that has been tried and tested. He tells girls they are pretty and that he want to give them a foot massage AND IT WORKS! Don't we have more self-respect than that? Am I so cold that I am the only one that has to warm up to touching people? And for the record, I do like physical contact, just when I like know your last name and maybe how many siblings you have and what type of pet you had as a kid.

I am also pissed off because this literally sums up my dating life. Most of the guys that have shown interest have been forceful with sex (luckily early on so I avoid ever going on a date with them and have not been pushed too far in person). Does this tactic actually work for them in real life? Do girls like being talked to like sex is their only gift to mankind? I grew up hearing that the way to a man's heart was thru his stomach, they didn't ask me if I knew how to bake! hahahaha

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And lastly I am pissed because even though I tell myself that I am okay, that I am attractive and smart and successful--that I have things to offer and am a "catch" guys like this break me down and destroy my self-confidence. They don't give me the time of day so I start to assume I don't deserve it, that I am not remotely attractive and all of my good qualities are actually "quirks" that people find odd and not endearing. I know that I am not like other girls, I can't tell you what a fine wine is, I laugh too hard, talk too much, tell ALL the weird stories I shouldn't and would rather make you a pie from scratch than figure out how to be flirty. (in my perfect world I make a pie, show up to a guys door, "hi, I like you, here's a pie" and then they eat it and fall madly in love we never have to do the awkward game of do they or do they not like me and we refuse to actually talk about it because would make things weird--WHICH ISN'T TRUE BY THE WAY, TALKING IS GOOD!)

Whatever happened to normal speed dating? A guy asks a girl out, they talk about life, they maybe make out, they go on more dates etc. When did it start being about sex the first time you talk? Tell me I am intelligent and attractive before you tell me I am sexy. 

So here I sit, back at page one. Back waiting for a guy to text me who may or may not be interested but I can't decide because TEXTING IS THE WORST. Back to trying to get up enough courage to try "swiping" again. Back to trying to figure out how to convince the guys in my life that are resigned to being bachelors with their self-perceived problems no one could look past, that I am worth giving a shot.

I heard growing up that there is a reason everyone older is single. Now that I am here I get it. We all have major issues and the fact that anyone gets together--and some even get married--BLOWS MY MIND.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

also, its super weird that my ex-boyfriend is dating an acquaintance so I see all her posts about him. In a way it is has been oddly good because they are so great together and he seems to be so good to her, it has given me a new faith in dating and humans. He was terrible to and for me but it has been so nice to truly realize that was just us being bad for each other and he is still the good guy I always knew he was.

See? Good guys exist and so therefore I should be able to find one...

 

one day.

 

 

Moving On

My baby blessing outfit. If I have a daughter I still want to do something like a blessing so she can wear this. 

My baby blessing outfit. If I have a daughter I still want to do something like a blessing so she can wear this. 

I have debated writing about my relationship with religion because it is confusing and most of the people I know feel strongly about Mormonism and get sad when someone doesn't want to be apart of it. But, Mormonism is how I was raised, my culture, a constant topic in my family, where I met most of my friends, intertwined with my education at BYU, and will always be a huge part of who I am--so it seems like a topic I have to address. I also have felt very adamant that I talk about my views on how people on opposite sides of Mormonism can better respect each other.

Almost exactly a year ago I walked into church, like every other week of my entire life, but left in a much different manner. Up until this point I had literally never skipped church without a justifiable reason (traveling, sick etc). I had always been on the more liberal side of how I viewed and followed church policy/guidelines/cultural norms but I had always stuck it out and because I am freakishly dependable and was almost always in charge of something in my ward. I also had this view that I could help others that didn't fit the mold, that I could be the breath of fresh air. I think deep down I knew I didn't want this to be my life forever but I am not the type to quit something and I literally did not know how that transition happens. So it took a major wakeup call to force me to walk away. I walked into church like every other Sunday but ran out hyperventilating; I was having my first and only panic/anxiety attack.

Since I had never experienced something like this before I of course googled it. It mentioned how things will flash thru your mind from the past and all compound on top of each other, it leaves you gasping for air, ugly crying, and contemplating your sanity (at least that is what I experienced). So what triggered me? A very nice woman giving a talk about how much she had been blessed and everything in her life had worked out because God answered all her prayers. Sounds like a great talk, right? And it was, except for when things from my past started flying through my mind. Things from my childhood, guys I have dated, unanswered prayers and the most recent issue of my last boyfriend telling me that God had told him to break up with me while all I had ever prayed for was for a decent guy, like him, to be with me.

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I know all the things active members are thinking at this point. You shouldn't let trials destroy your faith and things are not always rosy so grow up. Here's the thing, I also realized around the same point that I don't have faith in this plan. I realized that one of the reasons I didn't really want to get married all these years is because I knew in Mormonism that meant praying with my spouse and I HATE praying with other people and of course the temple--the temple freaks me out. I realized I had a fear of having children because I didn't want to teach them about church. I realized that there are some policies that will never work with my views on a loving God. I realized that I had been pushing things I should want away because I didn't want to do them in Mormonism. And I realized the most important thing; I know absolutely nothing to be true.

Church was always something my family did but didn't really talk about. We weren't the best at Family Home Evening, I can't think of ever doing a family temple trip, we sometimes did family prayer, and we rarely discussed church topics in a frank way. It was expected but not really explained. But somehow this worked, it at least worked in the sense that for the most part we all went as kids without complaining much, we ALL went to BYU (though some of us should not have, ask BYU housing which they wished hadn't attended hahahaha) and the majority of my family married in the temple, are super active and are doing fantastic jobs teaching their kids in open ways about Mormonism. Though you can look at my life and see COMPLETE activity in every way, I never understood everything. If you listened to my talks and lessons in church they were always on being kind and never really focused on gospel principles...

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It took me until my late twenties to realize that I am not a spiritual person. I don't feel things in church or when I pray or when other people are. The only time I feel something is when music is involved and I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the pioneer hymns of Mormonism. When you are not a spiritual person and frankly most religious things make you incredibly uncomfortable, it is virtually impossible to try and gain faith in things you feel nothing for and are super confused by. I deal primarily in logic and not feelings; religion is not logical. When I told my bishop that I was not a spiritual person he tried to assure me that isn't true and of course I am; I do not see this as a fault but just how I was made. 

I don't want to turn this post into things I don't agree with in the church. Everyone has heard them over and over and it is not my intention to try and sway people to "my side." I will say, though my main reason for not attending church is because I don't feel anything when I am there (other than stress) and don't have faith in it, there are major policy, culture, and history fallacies that I cannot support. But that being said, every active member has things they don't agree with or understand and the difference is that they see value in the whole.

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Here is what I do know about Mormonism, it has produced some pretty amazing people. I look at my family and friends and see smart people, I don't think they are "dooped" or or being forced. I see them standing up for their beliefs even when its hard and unpopular. I see their kindness and happy dispositions. I think Mormonism gets somethings right and if I was going to be raised in some "crazy"--non mainstream--religion, I think I would still pick this one. (and if anyone knows how I can have a one on one chat with Elder Utchdorf, let me know! He will always be my favorite apostle; I have appreciated so many of conference talks--he always makes me feel like I am not crazy)

I spent most of my collage years sending missionaries off, writing them letters and welcoming them home.

I spent most of my collage years sending missionaries off, writing them letters and welcoming them home.

And here is what I know about being on both sides of the fence: we need to talk more, judge less and love unconditionally on BOTH sides. Active members tend to not mention when people leave, I think because they don't want to make the individual feel like they are prying and they don't want to make things awkward. But we WANT to be asked! We want to be acknowledged and have frank discussions. And on the flip side, people who leave need to be able to speak about it calmly and without calling it a sham and the believers mindless cult members (think of it as a different religion, if you wouldn't say it about Judaism to a Jew then don't say it about Mormonism to a Mormon. Sometimes people feel like they get to say whatever they want because they were on the inside and "know." Don't do that, it makes you look like a heartless ass who can't let things go and move on). We both need to stay a part of each others lives. Active members need to invite exs to things. Are you giving a talk? Are you blessing a baby? Having a baptism? Putting on the Christmas program? Great! Let us know! And exs need to go to these things! Treat them like a family get together and not a religious event. Go because it is your family (or friends) and you love them and want to support them. Go because you should. And both parties need to treat these encounters like the family events they are not as a missionary opportunity. Don't invite them to try and bring them back, let the exs feel at ease. And lastly, don't judge each other. See the people for who they really are and not what you assume. If they go to church don't assume they aren't thinking for themselves or that they are always looking at you sideways. And if they don't go don't assume it is because they have a drinking problem or want to have sex (and if it is, who cares!) Strip away the labels and see the people for who they are and have always been. 

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And if you go to church, please don't tell me how sad you are for me. If you TRULY believe in agency then you have to let people go. You can't invite someone to read the Book of Mormon and to "pray about it to see if it is true" and reject their truth if it is no. If the church really is true, I am sure this will all be worked out in the after life. The plan I was always taught doesn't make much sense if everyone would feel the same about everything and join the church. Sure we want people to join but we have always known that there are two answers people can get when they ask. Also, I was always been taught that the lowest kingdom is more amazing than earth, so if that is true don't be sad for me, also you can come visit all you want! See? God is kind and thought about those like me!

I worked for the church multiple General Conferences. I wish that the church could see the value in photographing what is REALLY present at conference. They want the typical, BYU dress/grooming standard, people but the real beauty is in the tattooed/bearded/scantily clad people that look truly happy to be there.

I worked for the church multiple General Conferences. I wish that the church could see the value in photographing what is REALLY present at conference. They want the typical, BYU dress/grooming standard, people but the real beauty is in the tattooed/bearded/scantily clad people that look truly happy to be there.

And where does this leave me? 

That is the age old question. I have no idea. I just hit the year mark of living in Salt Lake City and have made half of one friend (we are only friends at work so once I convince him to hangout off the property then he can be promoted to one whole friend). I have been thinking about my lack of a social life a lot lately and I think it is because I don't know where Mormonism left me. I used to make friends at church and school and without either I am hopeless. I am not like everyone else outside of Mormonism (or so I perceive) so I am having a hard time even figuring out how to begin to make friends "on the outside." I have never tried alcohol. I am a virgin with zero dating game. A risqué outfit to me is a sleeveless knee length dress. And I have no idea what my beliefs are in God let alone everything in the universe. I don't feel like I fit in anywhere and it is confusing and hard, but a year without any social responsibility (or church callings!) has also been healing. I have lost a significant amount of weight, I enjoy my work, I do things because I want to, and I am overall the happiest I have been in a long time. But now I have the hardest assignment to do: figure out why I do and don't do things. Do I ever want to drink? What are my boundaries in dating? What are the driving forces behind my decisions and character? Where do I donate my money? (and on a side note, I should have already figured this out because tithing is not really a charitable donation...) And there is still this overwhelming fear of letting my friends and family down if I do change some of my behaviors. 

My brother called me a couple months ago and mentioned something about me not attending church. He said something about how he just wanted me to be happy. I replied with, "I am happier this year than I have been in a very long time." And doing what he should, he said he was happy for me and didn't try to push me into coming back.

I like to think there is a God and his gift to me was a panic attack. He knew I was sad and lonely and that I would never be able to walk away from Mormonism without a push.

Also, it turns out that I actually do want to get married and maybe have kids one day. Now I just have to find someone who preferably used to be Mormon, but isn't bitter, and a decent guy and handsome and smart and can hold a conversation and is okay with my huge family and has a job... not a hard task at all...

Europe

I hadn't been out of the country since 2010 so I decided to jump back into traveling with a bang. In August of 2016 I met some long-time friends in Sweden, went to Denmark, Germany, and Czech Republic by myself and then met my friend's fiance (who I had never met before but now we are legit friends--I even shared a hotel with him and some friends the night before his wedding) in Norway. In May of 2017 I met a friend in Paris, France. 

I keep seeing tickets to Europe for $400-500, so do yourself a favor and go on a trip. Do it. People always stress about trips to Europe costing too much but if you are willing to wait for a cheap flight, do a lot of walking, eat street food, and crash at the less expensive Airbnb's, you can do it for less than you think. My first trip was two weeks and probably cost $1700 total (to be fair, I stayed with my friends for free so I only had to pay for lodging for half the trip but my plane ticket was more expensive, around $800) my second trip was 10 days and cost around $1100 all said and done.

But then I dropped my camera on the plane home and broke my lens--it will cost $1700 to replace, so I guess I failed on that whole economical trip thing...

And then when I was trying to go through my photos to pick which to post I realized my computer has deleted things. I am not even sure how many photos are missing from how many years/events...

So look at some of my photos that weren't deleted and admire that I lugged two cameras and two lens across the Atlantic. (and that is a lot of equipment when you realize that I only took a personal item to France but managed to fit a laptop, extra pair of shoes and all my clothes and toiletries).

Click on the photos to view them larger.  

Orebro and Stockholm Sweden



Copenhagen, Denmark



Berlin, Germany



Prague, Czech Republic



Olso, Norway



Paris, France



Mont St. Michel, France



Versailles, France



And last but not least, all the selfies I saved you from on social media...


Herkie-ing My Way to a Theater Near You

*edit* I started writing this post over a month ago. The film is no longer showing in Utah or Arizona but should hopefully come to a streaming service soon.

This past week I marked something off my bucket list: Have someone look you up on IMDB after seeing you in a movie trailer. 

Okay, so the person already knew me and the movie is currently only available in theaters in Utah, but still, I am counting this as a success! And of course I only have an IMDB because I made it myself (did you know you can edit IMDB with your Amazon login?!) but that is besides the point...

So, in honor of Tim Timmerman's Hope for America coming to a theater near you, here is the comical story of how I came to be cast in a 90's high school comedy as a cheerleader named Chasity.

A few years ago I met my sisters' friend Cameron while in LA. He is in the movie industry and created a hilarious short, She's a Fox (watch it here, its only 18 minutes and so good/funny) that was based on his first crush in elementary school and it starred Hailey Steinfield right before she got her first big break in True Grit. The short did well, winning The Best Short of 2013, and Cameron wanted to take another story from his life and create a feature film, the story about how he was quite possibly the worst Student Body President in Orem High history and was impeached. 

I talked to Cameron a few times about his film and told him I would love to work on it--meaning still photography or something behind the scenes. Then one day I was leaving Cafe Rio when I ran into him the parking lot. They had just started filming (April 2015) and he said, "You should come by, we need more people that look like they are in high school!" I just can't seem to out grow my girlish face...

A few days later I was participating in a 24 hour scavenger hunt with two of my friends. We were in the height of the competition when at midnight I got a call from an unknown number. I ignored it but then got a second call with a voicemail. It was from Cameron's sister and she said, "Hey Bethany, so one of our actresses missed her flight from LA and she is supposed to film tomorrow morning. The part is for one of the main characters best friends who is a bubbly high school cheerleader and we instantly thought of you! Call me back ASAP if you can help us out!" All I could do is laugh, no one, NOT A SINGLE PERSON, has ever called me bubbly or cheer material. But, putting that aside, I called her back and said why not, that sounded liked fun (and they wanted to pay me to boot).

The next day I showed up to a grocery store parking lot to report for my scene. From my 30 second conversation about my part, in the middle of the night, I assumed I would be in the background, you know, that friend that doesn't talk but is there to make the main person feel powerful and pretty. But then they handed me a script. And then they put in my mom jeans. 

At this point Cameron came on set and asked how I was doing. "Oh, you didn't know you had lines? Well have they gone over the dance with you? And you can do a herkie, right?"

Me: "What the hell is a herkie? And, you know I'm a Davis, we are not known for our dancing skills..."

Cameron: "I am sure you'll be great! And if it is terrible, it will probably make it more funny!"

Awesome.

I read over my two lines, had a quick seat in the makeup chair and headed in for my first ever stint in front of a camera. Once I got inside I found Cameron and asked him, "Do you want my glasses on or off, wardrobe didn't say anything," after having me take them on and off for him he asked if I had a preference to which I replied, "Well, the one wanders if they are off and I can't stop it..." to which he replied, "On it is!" We did a quick scene where I walk to the register with Mackenzie (antagonist in the film) and our other nameless friend and Mackenzie complains about Tim Timmerman. I give my two scents (lines) about Tim being good looking  and then we cut. Don't worry that in one of the takes I forgot my second line, "really?" and just stared at Mackenzie blankly waiting for her to say something... Yet, somehow, they thought I wasn't the worst and had me go to a second location to shoot another scene.

We went to a house to film a scene where Mackenzie and her boyfriend are watching a movie with their friends (me and another couple, always the third wheel even in my fake movie life) and then have a pool party.  While we were waiting to film I sat around with the other actors and chatted about how each person got involved. Person after person talked about their acting agency and how they had auditioned. When it got to me I awkwardly said, "Um, they called me last night and told me to come here..." All the sudden I realized that I was WAY more out of my element than I realized. I had zero knowledge of the movie industry and didn't understand at the time that because I had one speaking line and a name I was being paid more than other extras and could join the Screen Actors Guild if I wanted. And you can bet your ass if it didn't have yearly dues and a hefty upfront fee to join I would join SAG just to carry the card in my wallet.

The only time I have ever had my hair and makeup professionally done was to make myself look like a 90's cheerleader...

The only time I have ever had my hair and makeup professionally done was to make myself look like a 90's cheerleader...

A few days later I was called back for my next scene. I showed up at the local high school where I was given the dreaded news, not only was I doing the choreographed dance but also the herkie. We (Mackenzie, actual high school cheerleaders and myself) quickly started going over a dance Mackenzie had choreographed. Let me be clear, I am not a dancer. I am that person that falls over at the gym if I am trying to copy the instructor in the mirror (this has literally happened more than once). Mackenzie tried to nicely tell us that things "needed tightening up" and finally I turned to her and the cheer-leading mom on the sideline and said, "Look, I have NO idea what I am doing. If I am doing something wrong you need to tell me in exact terms and not dance around it. You do not need to be nice, I know I suck." Once I got that out the mom was quick to correct me and it actually got better. 

Once we had the dance as down as it was going to get, we walked to wardrobe where we were handed identical outfits. I quickly turned to the stylist and said, "Emily, I thought we had discussed making sure I had an outfit that fits me, these are all the same size!" She turned to me without skipping a beat and said, "Yeah, about that, we didn't have any other sizes but that's why we bought you these shorts, because we know we will see your butt..." Thanks Em.... After I got dressed I asked about my shoes. With a look of horror Emily admitted that they had totally forgotten to get me any and proceeded to take off her too-big-for-me tennis shoes--that she had been standing in for 12 hours--and handed them to me.  

We walked out to the football field in front of the cameras and bleachers full of actors. We did a couple takes and I kept a pained fake smile plastered on my face to hide the fact that I still to this day cannot correctly do the running man or drop down to my feet and pivot (luckily you can only see part of my leg during this part, it was pretty pathetic--but in my defense I had a half torn ACL and eventually had to have surgery). Once we finished we jumped right into my herkie. I did a couple takes with the last one pulling my hamstring and then limped off set. I am classy like that.

The next night I was asleep when Cameron texted me at midnight to say "Just watched your herkie. So good!!!" A few minutes later I bolted up in my bed with the sudden thought, "oh crap, I wasn't wearing a sports bra!" Since they didn't tell me what I was doing that day I didn't think twice about what underwear I was wearing, now that is all I can think when I see the scene...

I had two other days of filming, one was a short scene in the school office while the other was part of the previous house party scene. In the end, half of my shots were cut--the entire house party and grocery store scenes. But, I can't say that I am sad that I have never had to see the footage of me roughly delivering my lines. 

In March of this year I got the following email from my sister "I hope you're in UT March 2nd for the Tim Timmerman premiere--there are two tickets with your name on them, Chastity. I hope you take a hot date" (she was involved in the finance of the film). So I did what any single girl would do and asked my unsuspecting neighbor to come with me. We had never spent time together outside of our offices and in hindsight, this was probably the world's most awkward first date hey, come watch me do a cheer-leading scene in a movie! Don't worry, I swear I am almost 30 and not a teenager! I told him that I had a brief role in the film when I asked him to come but he didn't ask what it was and apparently forgot. During the movie he would occasionally make comments (he went to the U and they have a few jabs at it) but then my part came and he didn't flinch or say anything. Afterwards I asked him what he really thought of the movie, he replied, "It was good, and it was cool that you had a family connection to it." I looked at him and slowly said, "And I was in it..." He looked so confused. He then asked what part and why I didn't tell him before it came up because now he needed to see it again. I told him I had mentioned it before and it seemed really weird to point it out in the theater but that if he really wanted to see it he could watch the trailer.

We got back to our offices to let our dogs out and I hear his office computer go on. Sure enough he was watching the trailer. It got to my part, he paused, pointed to me and said, "It is you!" He claims that I looked really different with my long hair.... I have longer hair now... but I guess I will let it slide.

And that is the story about the time I was in a movie that actually played in theaters. 

(To view my herkie in all it's glory, watch the trailer below)

 

 

The House of Pooping Parties

This year has been pretty intense and crazy. I started out by having my ACL replaced, then decided to move to Salt Lake, starting dating a guy, moved my office to Salt Lake, got dumped, moved my personal stuff into my office, got the Orem house ready to sell, went to Europe, and now finally moved myself to Salt Lake. Did you notice that moving was in there a lot? Yeah, me too. I started packing up my things in May and just now, 5 months later, have most of my stuff situated in my new house. 

I found a cute and quaint place in June, but after talking to the landlord decided that I would move into the unit he was finishing next door. He said it should be ready by mid July. By the end of July he said the end of August. By the end of August he said the first of October and then I promptly gave up. I looked for new places as soon as I got back from Europe (the one silver-lining of that place taking forever is that I used my rent money to go to Europe for two weeks by myself), found one on a Friday, saw it Saturday morning, and started moving in Saturday afternoon.

This seemed like a match made in heaven. It was the quickest apartment search ever and it had everything I wanted. It is recently remodeled, within walking distance of Trader Joe's and Williams and Sonoma, close to my office, has more than enough living space, a pantry, washer and dryer hookups, a bathtub and new appliances. (the photos below are the new place)

Then I moved.

My U-haul had so many problems that they ended up refunding everything but my mileage.

The previous tenants stopped paying their gas bill so it had been turned weeks before I moved in, so no showers, cooking or laundry for the first 5 days...

Then my neighbor introduced herself. She asked how much I wanted to know about the previous tenants and before I could answer she plopped down on my couch and opened the floodgates about how the guy was a tatted-up gang member who manufactured and sold drugs and the girlfriend only entered the house by climbing through the kitchen window. After she left, I had to check my house for signs of meth... something I never thought I would have to do.

After getting over the shock of living in a drug dealer's house and being assured (well half way, he is not a very assuring type) by my landlord that they did not cook meth I moved in, but so did the mice. 

I saw the first lying in the middle of my floor; he was very much dead. He was surprisingly cute and pretty tiny, gross yes, but not the most alarming thing. A day or so later I found his friend hiding in my laundry room. Naturally, I put on rainboots, grabbed a trashcan (to catch him in if it came to that) and stood at my cracked door until my friend could bring me some traps. After setting it up we sat down to talk. Then, the mouse decided to venture out. After our initial shock, we were determined to get it out. He conveniently ran into a pile of moving boxes and got trapped. Once that happened we were able to make a box exit for him and my friend literally kicked him out the front door. 

I texted my landlord that night and he said that he would get an exterminator. Four days and five huge bait stations later my house was ready for the mice. The bait takes at least 10 days to kill mice so I had to wait. I had to wait through the nights where I would bolt up in my bed because I could hear them in my walls. I had to keep all food stored. I had to vacuum up their poop. But, it seemed like they were going away.

Then last week I did a load of laundry and noticed dropping again. I grabbed the vacuum and went room to room and sure enough there was poop in EVERY room. As I went to grab my shoes--that were on a shoe rack a couple rows up--I found poop. POOP IN MY SHOE! I texted my landlord and he only texted me back after my second attempt the next day saying this was a huge deal (he has a track record for telling me things like, "a mouse here and there isn't a big deal" and when asked if he would fix a baseball size hole behind my oven that I realized mice used as a door he said "no, holes don't attract mice." He is an idiot). An exterminator came out yesterday but the bait isn't working. The mice are getting food from somewhere so they are not interested in the bait and won't until the food disappears. I have never found droppings on my counter and my food has never been touched so they are obviously going elsewhere. The only thing that we can think of is that they are eating at the neighbors (I live in a duplex) and then they just come to my house to poop and party. I can't decide if I should be flattered or not.

So, I basically am living with mice until my landlord hires a contractor to fill in all the gaps from the outside, fixes my unfinished pantry where the plywood floor opens to the creepy stairs that go to the dirt basement (the mice are literally walking up the stairs and straight into my pantry, they don't even have to try with how ill-fitting that plywood "door/floor" is). I am loosing faith in my landlord but the bigger problem is that it is getting cold and if this isn't fixed the mice will not leave until spring, so if he can't get his act together I need to move. 

Moving in my least favorite thing.

Also, I have already totally moved in, had friends instal Ikea shelving (which equals me driving to Ikea no less than 7 times to buy the correct shelves...) bought furniture solely because it fits in this house, and spent DAYS organizing. If i have to move I will require that my landlord lets me kick him in the shins on the way out.

I can tell mice have been in my house because they poop, how awful would it be if that's how I identified my friends or family coming to visit? Thank you for never pooping on my floor or behind my appliances, I mean it from the bottom of my heart. 

Breaking Up (with religion) is Hard to Do

I recently posted on Facebook about my experiences with Tinder and of course it got more likes than an photo where I actually put on makeup or my amazingly perfect tiny homemade pie. I have become known for my dating stories--the bad, the awkward, the uncomfortable, but sadly never the good. Though I like to keep things lighthearted and focused on the ridiculous, one thing keeps happening to me that sucks and I don't know how to handle it. Just last week I stood on a windy corner in my neighborhood as I was told that Mormonism was black and white; the guy I was dating was standing on the white side and I was on the black. "Yeah, that sucks, but its only one boy," you say, but no, this is the third boy with basically the same exit.

(also, let's pause here. Did you catch the part about religion being black and white? Can we agree that it is NOT true and a pretty damaging assumption?  He said that you either do what you are told or you don't, thinking about things is inappropriate...We are all supposed to find out things for ourselves, wade through the gray and find the light. If someone thinks differently or isn't blindly following, they are not automatically on the "black" side.)

Now, getting dumped this time was not a total shock to me. The breakup was the world's longest, hovering at about two weeks--and religion--well I have known for a long time that I am much darker than most. But even though I knew this boy was going to break up with me because I, a very round peg, do not fit in the perfect Mormon square hole, it has not been easy. Being told that you are not righteous and doing things wrong--things that you know in your heart you cannot feel differently about, makes you feel pretty terrible and hopeless. Terrible that somehow this should make sense and it is unfair that it doesn't, and hopeless that you will ever find someone who wants to be with you. 

Here's the thing, in Mormonism there is a right way to do things, a very specified order of how and when. You are baptized at 8, if you are a boy you start on the priesthood track at 12, you don't date until you are 16, boys are expected to go on missions after high school, and then you get married in the temple. We believe heavily in personal agency, but sometimes I feel like we are so focused on how things are supposed to happen and the time frame that we forget that some people use their agency to do things differently or slower. I, am one of those people.

I am wrestling with major issues (like the church's recent policy that bans children with gay parents from being baptized and says homosexuality is one of the worst sins and can result in excommunication--among other issues). I want to be part of a church that embodies love and isn't so much about policies and orientations and laid out plans for when things should be done in your life. I want honest and sincere, nonjudgmental agency. And if you think that disagreeing with a SINGLE policy isn't a big deal, it is literally the sole reason I was dumped. Apparently it is not acceptable to disagree (meaning you feel like it is a crumby thing) with a policy even if you literally cannot obey or disobey it because you will never be a bishop and have the power to say if a person can get baptized...

photos by me, sometime in 2009

photos by me, sometime in 2009

I spoke with my bishop about my dating situation during my two week break up. I asked him if it was wrong of me to date members of the church since I am not what the men are taught to want to marry (questioning things, feminist, not endowed, the list goes on...). He said that he loved having me there and that of course I was welcome and wanted, but he also told me that he would never counsel someone to get married outside of the temple (because I have doubts and don't think it is apprioprate to go with how I currently feel) and that IF I find someone who is similar to me that could work. IF is one of the saddest words to hear in dating. If I find anyone I am lucky, if I find anyone in Mormonism that is okay with my (lack of) beliefs it is freaking miracle. I understand that the temple is important, I really do. But, it is frustrating to feel like all my good qualities are null and void in relationships since I take the temple so seriously that I don't want to go before I am ready. It feels like we preach that church is for the sinners and people struggling, unless you want to get married and then you had better get all your crap together by your early twenties so you can take part in the MOST important part of the religion and get married in the temple. We believe in a God that is full of grace, that promotes agency, that wants us to find the answers, and that will always give you another chance. Why are we so hard on our members to be on a certain timeline?! And why is it so inappropriate to date someone who is totally active (and completely supportive of the partner in all aspects of the religion, even them attending the temple) but struggling? Is telling me I am wrong and a bad member supposed to help me become a better one?

I know I am not the only one in the church that feels like this, but I feel alone all the time. I feel like I don't fit in anywhere. Mormonism is all I know, its how I met 89% of all the people in my life, it is a culture and religion, it is my background and my foundation, and it is becoming my demise. It is becoming a lonely hateful place where good people are told they cannot be members, a place where boys won't date you longer than 3 months (let alone get near marriage) because they don't want to understand that people see things differently. Its a place where I cannot attend a wedding ceremony. It is a place where I cry in my bishop's office for wanting to date the good people I meet but knowing that they are taught to want more than me. It is a place of social stress and anxiety. It is also a place of God and music and laughter and friendship. It is a place that should be totally about personal decisions without the fear of being judged and ostracized. 

photo by me, sometime in 2010

photo by me, sometime in 2010

I was once told that I care too much about people, that I want things to be fair so badly that it hurts. I think this is true. I want people to feel love and acceptance everywhere that at times it gives me anxiety. I'm that person that hates farmer's markets because I want to buy EVERYTHING to show the people that they are doing a great job and not being financially able breaks my heart. I buy homeless people dinner and talk with them about their lives because I want them to know that they are not alone and that I too had to call the cops on my last boyfriend (true story, that lady and I BONDED!) I even left a card for the boy that dumped me because I didn't want him to remember us from our last, horrible and misunderstood, conversation (also, in my defense, I was on steroids for my knee and roid-rage is real people!). I want everyone to feel loved because sometimes I feel so little. So little from the boys that have told me that I have the wrong relationship with God, that cheated on me or used me. So little from the bullies in public school, from multiple teachers that told me my work was horrible and I shouldn't even try. From roommates that made my life a living hell. These are things that are sad and hard, religion should not be one of them. We should support each other ESPECIALLY when things are hard and people don't understand. We should encourage people to find answers for themselves and not follow blindly. We should not only preach that you can think differently and still be accepted, but act on it. And we should help people and not toss them aside. 

Dating has been pretty terrible and adding religion has made is basically unbearable. It's a place where I never feel good enough, literally the only place in my life where I feel dumb. The only answer I have gotten through all of this--from having the most decent and all around good guy not want to date me because of religion--is that I need to break up with dating that is centered around religion. I want to date people because they are kind and funny and happy and hardworking, not because of their religion. I want to find value in others' beliefs and for them to respect my super confusing convictions. I want to love a person and not a laundry list of what they should hold near, dear and true. 

And yes, I completely understand that is not fair for me to date a guy who may feel like he might have to compromise some of his convictions (like possibly a temple marriage). I just wish their was a place for me and that guys could see the good qualities, the qualities worth fighting for, and work through the hard stuff with me. I am not saying that I will never understand more or want to go to the temple, I am saying that at this moment, I need a lot of help to get there and every guy has tossed me to the curb instead of ever asking me how they can help, let alone even talk about the subject with me. I wish that is was okay to be a confused soul and still find a good, decent, Mormon guy. But it feels like we push marriage so heavily that things are checked off a list early on and people are disregarded because they might not be "marriage material" in one aspect, on paper, at that one moment in time... Do we realize that it takes time to get to know people and what they are really like?!

I have been so beat down by dating that sometimes I forget that I am better than this. I am smart, strong, independent, witty, successful, artistic, musical, generous and even keeled. I am a decent cook, master baker of miniature sweets, a conversationalist and debater, organized to a fault and a great gift giver. Yes, religion is important, but so is being a decent human being that can see the value in all people. 

I will not change for anyone, but I would like the chance to grow with someone. 

twenty-eight

Lately, I am a day late and dollar short but I finally managed to do my yearly review. Over all I would say this year was a success. I traveled more, my business grew, I found a few amazing friends, and I only injured myself a few times. Oh and I hit my 10 year mark since the last time I threw up.

During my 27th year:

I found a solid and hilarious group of girls. We celebrated Galentine's Day together in Moab. I traveled to Arizona with one and to NYC with another. I took another's engagement photos, and we celebrated two of their weddings. Whether they like it or not, they are now stuck with me FOREVER. 

I went on 5 dates with the same person. This is a new record, but then in true Bethany form it ended especially weird...

 
 

I went on a 90 mile rafting trip on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. I was of course the only person that managed to get a kayak perpendicular to the water, high centered on a rock, and have to abandon ship. 

I called the cops to come to my house TWICE--almost exactly a year to the day apart, like shitty bookends to my year. The first was to remove an ex boyfriend that was trying to "win me back" in all the wrong ways. On the plus side, the last thing he said--as the cops put them in their car to give him a ride home--was, "Hey! They are giving me a ride because I'm AWESOME!" which are really the perfect last words. The second was for a burglary. Someone broke into my garage on my birthday and stole some things I had for work, unfortunately I didn't notice for a couple weeks so there wasn't anything the cops could do. 

I started making tiny cakes because 1. they are adorable 2. i randomly had the right pans in my kitchen 3. everyone likes tiny personal desserts

I bought a fancy dress just because it was under $20. Then found a party to wear said dress to.

I managed to catch TWO fish at the same time (two hooks, one line) and then had a fish fly out of my nephew's hands and land square in my bag snuggled up next to my wallet...

I went six weeks without having any sugar at all and promptly lost 15 pounds. Then of course I ate all the sugar again (but have not gained back all the weight). Now I am trying to not eat all the sugar once again and get rid of the last 15 lbs. 

I started helping one of my oldest and best friends produce a documentary about him trying to find a wife. Mostly I am doing it so I can add it to my IMDB page, or because I like him and the film. 

I tore the last half of my ACL at yet another church activity. And for the record, I totally nailed a backflip off the trapeze before the lame single jump that tore said ACL. The next week I tripped over a bench on the Highline in NYC which caused me to throw everything in my hands and land on my newly torn ACL with my butt in the air. My shin is still nicely deformed three months later...

I freelanced as a photo retoucher/digital tech over 65 times. Obviously, as the pictures show, I was busy working the entire time and never tried on the ridiculously large hats Sundance occasionally sells or had fun with my co-workers...

I was cast as a high school cheerleader in a feature film that comes out this summer (Tim Timmermans Hope For America). My name was Chastity, I was the awkward friend of the 'it' cheerleader, and I had to do a choreographed dance and a herkie jump. This will definitely get its own blog post because it was hilarious on so many levels. Oh and it is my highest paying job to date and I am eligible to join the Screen Actors Guild.

I bought a new set of dishes from Sundance that serves 20 which is approximately 13 more than I needed for the current number of friends I have in Utah.

I was the best damn assistant at the LDS General Conference (and it is totally appropriate to swear there because a senior missionary definitely said many swears to me about us photographing the priesthood session...)

I hiked Mount Timpangoes, which is way harder and longer than EVERYONE mentioned.

I traveled to North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, Idaho, Arizona, Oregon, and California.

I met my new nephew Hank, held him for a week straight, and took many photos.

I found out that I make a pretty mean gingerbread house. We did a movie theme competition, mine is obviously A Christmas Story. Please notice the turkey hanging out the backdoor, the smoke in the chimney, and the leg lamp in the window. 

And I decided that I am moving to SLC and made some killer Valentine's.

 

The End.

 

every pot has a lid

i bought the card, now i just need the guy to send it to.
Over the past few months I have thought a lot about blogging. Remember when I used to blog somewhat regular? Remember when I had funny NEW stories I hadn't already worn out? Yeah, me too, those were the good old days...

So I started thinking, "self, why are you so lame and can't think of anything to write?!" realized: 1. I don't leave my house super often and 2. I was in a horrible relationship that never seemed to end and therefore wasn't hitting my yearly quota of two perfectly awkward, blog worthy, dates. And with that, I realized I am only as funny as the people I hangout with and I obviously need to get out of my house more.

Technically I have been single for six months but it only feels like a few weeks and honestly has only been a few days of complete freedom. I think because of this super drawn out breakup (I made it clear we were done, but he didn't quite get the memo...) I had a hard time trying to relate to anyone let alone members of the opposite sex. Now I am free and feel fantastic (a friend commented just yesterday that i look the happiest she has seen me in months) i feel like it is time to jump back into that thing we like to call the dating pool, even if I only catch my semi-annual awkward date (which in all honesty, I am very over due for so halfway expect at least 5 in my near future). And this is where I come to my main point: how the hell does anyone find anyone to date let alone marry???

We all are bombarded with social media and see all our friends dating and getting married and getting remarried and having babies. For the most part, I get it. Then I see those people who are of the difficult type and i think, "how is it that you found your one in a million so fast?! I swear that I have at least a handful of options that could work--a lid to my wonky pot--but your pot only has 3 sides and doesn't hold water yet you found that ONE magical lid that fits? HOW DID YOU DO IT?! What pond are you swimming in?!" And yes, I realize I am not a unicorn in the dating world--a girl that is super hotttttt and not crazy. I do have some crazy and I do come with my own bag of issues but at least I have most of my life together and can hold coherent conversations.

i can bake, so maybe i should try it as a wooing tactic.
right now i am just under the impression it tells a guys i am trying too hard.
is it because i do weird things like make personal size cakes?!
So where is this magical pool where you find your match? Because I want to find it! I have grown up my whole life with people telling me it is church but I am beginning to seriously doubt these people. I mean, there are some great guys at church that I would LOVE to go out with, but I haven't figured out how to make that happen (to be completely honest, the last time I was actually 'asked out' was in 2012 by a guy on the New York subway. He turned out to be super creepy, surprise!) My sister Mallory would tell me that I just need to whip up a dessert, take it over and say, "um, I like you... here's a peach cobbler..." I will admit, she did have great success with this but I just can't grasp it. I also run into this horrible predicament of: I REALLY need friends (reference paragraph 2, I never get out and have been involved in crazy lately) so I am terrified of being an adult and saying, "hey I might like you, lets try going out" for fear they will freak out--because they aren't interested--and there sails our friend-ship. So how do I get these guys to man up and take me out? And when I say I am interested it simply means I am interested in seeing if we have anything in common, not I want to marry them tomorrow. I mean come on, I am the queen of the first date--not second date--they really have nothing to fear... I think that we are so afraid of commitment these days that we feel like we have to have our thoughts all put together on a person just to ask them out once.

maybe i should use this photo on tinder, see the wind wiping through my hair?!
and my teeth look so straight!
Then there is the other social media idea that everyone and their dog has been throwing my way as a legit dating service: Tinder. And let me just get this out, "TINDER TERRIFIES ME!" For one, I get super stressed at the idea that I cannot move on to a new profile until I decide yes or no on someone. What if they really are a nice guy but they decided to put a lame tagline like "I promise to make you laugh?" Sir, I make myself laugh, you don't have to provide the service like it's rarity. And then there is my profile, you only get like 500 characters to describe yourself. I have been running this blog for years and it isn't done describing me! Once you get past the profile editing and the swiping you get to the match and chat option. I have only ever replied to two types of messages on any web dating platform: the messages that are so off or weird that I have to set a person straight (then promptly delete them) and the one time I found a long lost friend on Tinder, we reconnected and it was great. All those other messages that start with "run away with me," or "hey beautiful" make me want to vomit in my mouth and change all my photos to dogs with mustaches or unicorns pooping glitter so they will never think of me as a match.

And so here I sit, desperately wanting to meet guys that are normal and boringly stable--that think I am funny and hopefully a little bit attractive-- but not having a clue how to do it. There are slues of guys who are in their late twenties/early thirties in my area but I just can't seem to crack them. Perhaps it is because I am that girl that when nervous becomes annoyingly chatty in large groups when a guy I am crushing on is present or because I don't understand texting and how it relates to dating. I end latching on to texting as a legit form of communication (which it isn't) in a last ditch effort to win them with my wit and end up overwhelming the poor lads. And, no one knows exactly how to read interest levels in texting. I don't know how much you normally text! I don't know if that supposed to be funny or serious! I don't know the appropriate amount of time to wait before replying so you won't think I'm clingy and/or desperate! I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO THINK OR HOW TO READ IT!

The moral of my story: let's go on a date! Or, if you are one of those people that is flooding my feed with photos of you and your perfect fitting lid, set me up with your friends! Even if the only reason is "hey, he is single and YOU are single so naturally this should work" because at least I will get some much needed blogging ammo out of it. And dinner, tell them they HAVE to buy me dinner. Or they can take me to the nicklecade because sometimes that is much better than the food I have been fed on dates.

27 going on 17

For years i liked to do a year review on my birthday--which is oh so convenient since my birthday is in January--but this year i decided to change things up. I have noticed lately that people don't seem to know things about be that i thought i tell everyone. So... this year we are doing the top 27 things about me.

1. Lately, i have been desperately trying to figure out how to look like an full-fledged adult in their late twenties. I have tried wearing lipstick, for real hairstyles, stilettos, non-costume jewelry, and even the daily dose of makeup. It hasn't helped in the slightest. Just last month i was asked how old i was when my sister was buying movie tickets for her kids, THE KID AGE IS 12! This trumps when i was asked if i was old enough to sit in the exit row of an airplane when i was 23 (you have to be 15) or when TSA asked if i was a minor when i was 25. Needless to say it also has totally thwarted my dating life because all the guys i would be interested in are around 30 and are not interested in the barely legal.

2. I sleepwalk. It doesn't happen every night but it does happen. I do it the most when other people are awake and i slightly interact with them in a very creepy non verbal way with lots of hand motions.

3. When i was 19 i ran a bed and breakfast in Nauvoo, Illinois. It was not the ideal establishment and
very poorly run, but it did fulfill a life long dream of being involved in a B&B.

4. Speaking of B&Bs, my new life goal is to save enough money to open my own by the time I am 30. It combines all my odd talents (cooking, organization, business, design, being ocd with details, cleaning) with my insane collection of kitchenware. I have wanted to do this for a decade and i finally decided, why not now?!

5. My sister's refer to my closet as the Bernstein Bears Closet because it creepily mimics their book on organization. I hate closet doors and if my bedroom has them i remove them, it is always the space in my house that is the most esthetically pleasing.

6. I have never been especially good at learning languages except for counting. For years i would count my steps in French, mostly when walking in parking lots.

7. I spoke at my college (BYU) convocation ceremony. I talked about why i am an artist and of course included a smattering of childhood artwork including a piece i entitled, "Girl Dinosaur in a Purple Bra." The administration wanted me to remove it from my PowerPoint because it made them
'feel uncomfortable,' but i of course didn't.

8. I only wear glasses because i have one lazy eye. I can't control its wandering and since most people find it unsettling when you are only looking at them with one eye, i wear glasses. Contacts aren't an option since they won't correct it.

9. I have never been able to picture myself as being married or having kids. This doesn't mean that i am not interested in it, just that i have never planned my life around it or gone into that completely normal phase of life where i am depressed that my eggs might dry up before i finally find a non-crazy counterpart. Even as a kid i knew i wasn't the marrying young type since i once wrote in my journal, "when i'm married, or thirty..."

10. One of my life goals is to be involved in an episode of the radio program This American Life.
Surely they have to find the story about my dad stealing a B-17 bomber as a teenager radio worthy. And if they prefer something about dating, like how a boy broke both arms while trying to flirt with me, i got that covered too.

11. I have a lime addiction. I most likely consumed over 200 limes last year alone.

12. I worked at BYU Recycling in college and drove a forklift daily. I once had a palette of around 20 bricks of crushed pop cans dropped on me by an incompetent coworker which sliced my arm in three places causing blood to run down my arm and off my hand.

13. I have been to: Mexico, Canada, France, Belgium, Holland, Thailand, Cambodia, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia.

14. In the four months i lived in NYC i: lost all my money to the IRS, stayed in six different places, had nine visitors, saw six broadway shows, and survived Hurricane Sandy by fleeing to Philly an hour before the all trains stopped running.

15. I have had surgery on my: eyes, tonsils, wisdom teeth, hip, knees, and ankle. I have also: dislocated an elbow, dislocated a hip (which i walked on for a week at age 10), broken my wrist, knocked out two teeth and had two head wounds.

16. When i was ten i was in a flash flood with five of my siblings while hiking in Northern Idaho. We walked for five miles through--at times--waist deep ice water. We all admitted to peeing our pants because it kept us warm for .475 seconds. I was one of the few that didn't hallucinate but i do think i had mild hypothermia and frost bite.

17. I think i am hilarious.

18. I board-fold (the method retail stores use to uniformly fold clothing) all of my sweaters. I however don't own a board so i use my MacBook Air which is about the same size. So i guess you
can call it computer-fold...

19. I don't spend one dollar bills. It started in high school as a way to prevent myself from blowing what little cash i had in vending machines etc. and so i would have some money to put towards high ticket items like an iPod. I started it up again a few years ago and now call it my Wedding Dress Fund. When i lent it to my sister last year i naturally weighed it first, it came in at just over 4lbs. I think the clerk at the bank thought i moonlighted as a stripper...

20. I was in an opera choir in elementary school. I remember being a street urchin in Carmen and in the children's chorus in The Nutcracker.

21. My more memorable dates have involved: walking three miles barefoot on a river trail, a boy telling me he "usually likes to meet people by the Taco Bell in the Student Union Building," a boy that made up his own name, a boy that never told me his real name, a boy accosting me at every chance asking if he could smell me (he once said, 'you smell so good, you smell just like my grandmother's house' WHAT?!), eating spaghetti covered in cheddar cheese with a set of twins at their house (standing, not sitting at the table) before one of them took me on the rest of our date; I still can't tell them apart, and much, much more.

22. I love coffee table books and request that everyone who comes in my house reads All My Friends Are Dead.

23. I talk to at least one of my siblings every single day. I think we are hilarious and one of the best families to hangout with. We rarely fight, always make fun of each other, are constantly lending money, eat lots of food and quite often make inappropriate jokes. 

24. I am a note writer. I send cards for no reason, love to make heinous valentines, send obnoxiously long emails to boys who i want to date (not all boys, just the select few and i swear its not as creepy as it sounds), wrote 20 missionaries while in my early 20's, send random packages, and seal every single written correspondence with wax.

25. Secretly, my plan is to find a nice normal guy that only has a couple siblings so that when we get married i have a legit chance at winning Best In-Law. If there are only a few children it also ups the chance of maybe getting to go on parent-funded family vacations.

26. When left to my own devices, when others won't judge my choices, i watch terrible reality tv like The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Extreme Cheapskates, Teen Mom etc. All of them make me feel super good about my life. I have so much more going for me that most of these people, try it, its a real self-esteem boost. 

27. I have a decently large record collection. I started collecting them not because it is the cool hipster thing to do or because the sound is superior (i know its not), but because i love music and if i put a record on i listen to the whole thing and can't be ADD and change it after each song. It is one thing that makes me slow down and disconnect from technology which is slowing taking over my life. I blame my iPad, or Netflix Machine, as my brother calls it.
My birthday present to myself this year was The Forrest Gump Soundtrack on vinyl.



And your bonus for making it to the end?

My first ever photo where i look like benjamin button with lobster claws. 
You are so very welcome.

my mojo, its back.

like this awkward encounter. that boy threw me in a pool
fully clothed once too AND then took me on a
hilariously terrible date. 
Lately i realized something horrible--my dating life has been off more than normal. I used to think that it couldn't get much worse but then i realized that no matter how unfruitful my dates were, they were at least HILARIOUS. This fact has gotten me through the last decade of dating, i always know that if i can't count on the guys i am attracted to asking me out i can sure count on a good story from the other ones!

Then this last year my dates started to not be hilarious but instead down right depressing. I actually 'dated' more guys than ever before but i also had: two boys that didn't really acknowledge that i moved across the country while we're dating (not at the same time, one when i went to nyc and one when i came back), one boy that kissed me and then conveniently 'forgot' that he knew me when we were in the same room, one boy that kissed his ex (two days in a row) while we were dating, and a boy i have been enamored with every since we met confess his undying love (i'm going to word it like that because it sounds more dramatic and makes me seem way more awesome) for me while i had a boyfriend and then when i was single again we went on one super awkward date and he 'remembered why he didn't ever date me in the past.' WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN? After that final blow i felt pretty awesome, but in the sarcastic not fun way...

I was out of my groove, my encounters with boys were no longer funny and very much sad.

Then i went to family home evening a few weeks ago in my singles ward (a monday night activity with the people that go to my church).

We were playing a game of basketball and me with my stellar skills did the only thing i know to do: run in circles around the court to tire out the poor sucker that is assigned to guard me and to keep one less person near the basket and therefore more accessible for my teammates.

After i successfully tired out my opponent he began chatting with me about how fast i am. I may not run marathons like my siblings but i can still sprint across a gymnasium like my limber elementary self.

"Man, you are so fast, but i bet i could beat you. We should have a race sometime!"

"Okay, how about now?"

With that we lined up against the back wall, just two people ready for a friendly contest. As a fellow girl yelled "Go!" we took off. The race lasted a mere few seconds as both of us flew across the room. I could see him gaining speed so instead of slowing down when i was a few feet from the wall i maintained speed and busted through the right side of the double doors (and yes in hindsight i know this was a very bad idea, if anyone was in the hall i could have killed them. But no one was there so i'll claim it was a good idea from here on out). I assumed he would aim for the left door...


but no.
this is why i have that other blog

He ran full speed into an exposed brick wall.

He did not slow down.

He did not jump into the wall with one foot.

He ran straight in to it,

and broke both arms.



With this, i feel like i am back in the swing of things. I am back to being the girl that boys do ridiculous things around that end up on a blog. Well played sir, well played.


oh and in case you were wondering, i won the race.


guilty pleasures

my nephew, in the tv zone...
You know the scene. You are sitting alone on the couch with remote in hand, finger on the 'previous channel' button. The show blaring on the screen is one that you shouldn't be watching but you can't break the spell it has on you. You sit with bated breath, ready to hit the button that instantly takes you back to the previous, 'safe,' channel as soon as you hear someone within 10 feet of the room.

This is how i spent my childhood. I wasn't watching racy shows (unless you consider Barney racy...), just ones that i knew would lead to endless shaming by my older siblings.

The Wonder Years
Season 2, Episode 8--Hiroshima, Mon Frere


Recently i was talking to my dear sister jenny, and she brought up the fact that us Davises have one major flaw: We love to ruthlessly make fun of each other. This might not seem that unusual or detrimental, and you might be thinking, 'Every family makes fun of each other. That is what makes the love-hate relationship between siblings fun!' You might think that is why siblings are fun, but it turns out they are fun because you do bad things together that you never told your parents. Indeed, they are your partners in crime. They are not fun when they are in “Hamster Patrol” mode (if you don't get that reference you NEED more of “The Wonder Years“ in your life). My siblings never sucked up my hamster with a vacuum — most likely only due to the fact that when you don't have a hamster it’s pretty hard to suck one up, and my other furry pet, a cat, was too big for the vacuum — but they did like to taunt me and each other about everything from pets to music to clothing to television viewing habits. And if taunting didn't stop you from engaging in the subpar activity they would take it upon themselves to physically stop you, like when my siblings hid my Joy School (pre-preschool) tapes in my underwear drawer so they could have days of peace from the rhyming rhythms (i didn't like to change my clothes or shower apparently as a toddler).
who could hide such a cute girl's tapes?!
Joy School graduation

The funny thing is that i feel like i spent most of my childhood foolishly hiding things i shouldn't have and flamboyantly showing things that truly were in bad taste or odd and were very much worthy of all the flack i got from all of my siblings.


For example, i didn't feel the need to hide:

• Knitting in movie theaters: Not only do my siblings know that dirty little secret but so do a whole lot of other innocent moviegoers.

• Singing show tunes at the top of my lungs in the shower: I'm sure half of the neighborhood could sing all the words to “Honey Bun” because of my frequent exploits.

• My love of infomercials: no explanation needed.

• Thinking a bowl cut was a good idea.




• Having my favorite television event be Nick at Nite instead of TGIF: By the time i was 10 i'm pretty sure i not only had seen every “I Love Lucy” and “Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour,” but i even had a giant coffee table book that i would frequent to brush up on the back stories of the episodes.

• Using all my babysitting money to rent classics from Hastings: What other kid was arguing with the
rental store that a not-rated film produced before 1960 wasn't going to have things inappropriate for a 9-year-old to watch?

• The fact that i not only was a mascot but campaigned for our school to get one.

My extensive homemade doll collection: It was creepy and mostly held together with Pintrest-worthy amounts of hot glue and the occasional staple.

• That i liked gold, so naturally i thought gold braces were a brilliant idea. Why was i so surprised when my siblings started singing “Ghetto Superstar” to me all the time?

• Lifetime movies: They are all about cheating husbands that get murdered by their wives and yet whenever the entire house sneaks off for the usual sunday nap i gravitate toward the terrible acting of Lifetime. Angels in heaven probably weep for my soul every sunday this happens. (did i say sunday, because they definitely have an iPad app so now it can happen anytime, anywhere!)


Yet i did hide such normal things as:
i hid who i liked cleverly under things like taped
down valentine's in my journal

• The fact that i was a girl and heaven forbid actually liked girly things.

• That boys are cute and sometimes i had/have crushes on them.

• Dancing. I might be a horrible dancer but being inept seems pretty universal.

• Writing. Did you know that it took me until college to willingly let people peer review my school papers and i was terrified to start a blog?

• Singing (not show tunes, just the regular type). At my dad's funeral in 2009 i had the first solo in a song that all the girls in the family sang. One of my sisters mentioned afterward that she didn't know that i could sing like that. Even weirder was the fact that most of my sisters are musical but i still never sang solos, especially around my family.
hard to believe she was the ultimate tomboy

• My love for crappy teenage music: Everyone goes through a phase liking something that is popular, but i felt like i had to keep it all secret. And with that i will admit that most of the time i spent on a bus on my way to ski team i was listening to Savage Garden on my Discman.


When i was talking to my sisters about what they hid as children, they mentioned things like riding their bike around the neighborhood with a Walkman so they could listen to Men Without Hats in peace and being total tomboys because 'girl things were stupid.' (For the record, the most tomboy girl out of our family — the one that made me feel ashamed to like girly things — didn't have anyone above her that said girly things were stupid but singlehandedly created this intense anxiety in both of us for no apparent reason. Oh and now both of us work in the cosmetics industry.) Especially when it came to music they got it — some music would be considered subpar and therefore warrant days of torture.

They understood what to hide and why. Apparently i did get that i shouldn't let my siblings know all of my silly habits, but i didn't get the memo of which ones.

tales from the tithing child

i couldn't keep simple things, like how many siblings i had, straight when i was a kid,
why do i assume i can remember things accurately?
there are 16 heads in this photo, my family only had 12 if you count my parents...
The other day i was with my mom and brother and commented about something i remembered as a child. Without even taking 7.3 seconds to comprehend what i said, Levi goes, "there is no way you remember that..." I stopped to think about it and realized, damn, he might be right.

Turns out that i am a bit hazy about the details of my life prior to 1998 or so. 

am i looking at the camera or the guy to
to your right? YOU'LL NEVER KNOW!
mawhaha
As i thought about my childhood i realized that a lot of my 'memories' are in third person--i see things happening to me as if i am a bystander. I'm no psychologist but i think that might indicate that i am making them up. Example--i have a distint memory of being pinned down by nurses and having eye drops forced into my eyes. I know this possible because i have been going to the eye doctor since i was a wee babe (its not hard to tell that your kid needs to go to the eye doctor when they are only really paying attention to you with one eye...) and getting my eyes dilated. But i didn't know until i was at least in high school that i had eye surgery when i was two and that is why i have gray streaks in the whites of my eyes, turns out they are scars. So did i make up the memory? Since when i think of 'that time' the room is pitch black with a spot light shinning on the poor cross-eyed girl that is being pinned down in the giant brown leather chair, i would say yes. My eye doctor's office was only 80% that creepy in real life with his crazy animatronic dog in the corner--AND he didn't have nurses.

mallory and i fight? never.
Then there was that time that Mallory and i got in squabble over where we sat at the dinner table. Everyone agreed with Mallory--my chair was across from the one i was claiming. But i didn't let that stop me! I was positive that i was right (and still am to this day, more so i am just so confused i don't know what to think)! Our fight was so dramatic that my mom left the table and her dinner and told us we could eat on the floor for all she cared.

Or how about the fact that i am 90% sure i once got all of my fingers--minus my thumbs--shut in the car hood, yet my brother who i swear was working on the car can't remember? I would think that if you accidentally shut your 5 year old sister in the car you would remember. BUT i remember that in first person, so did it really happen?!

my life is a mess. or so i think it is?

But here are a few things I KNOW happened when i was a kid.

he looks so innocent and loving. just like wayne before
he became the infamous Hamster Patrol...
Levi once locked me in the car after church because he is an older brother and that is the type of thing they do according to all television shows namely the Wonder Years. I was a 'dumb kid' (according to levi of course) and couldn't figure out the super high tech pull this thing the size of a screw up and it will release the door lock thing. Needless to say, i had to pee super bad and wet my pants all over the backseat--and i highly doubt i sat in one place like a sane person would, more like let's spread pee all over the seat in a panic! Once one of my nicer siblings, most likely a sister, let me out of the car and assessed the wet mess, Levi was summoned to clean it up. Karma, she's a--... you know the rest.

I really liked to run away as a kid. Most of the time i was kind enough to leave a map--though it was rarely accurate in topography or where i actually was--usually it was to my preschool. I would grab my favorite doll, Baby Beth (which ironically is not mine but a doll i swiped from my sister Sarah), a small hot pink plastic suitcase, a set of Baby Beth's cloths and a can of green beans. I would then haul all of this and a small wooden chair out my front door, down the yard, and into the ditch bank. I would sit under our driveway which was a bridge and contemplate the finer things in life--the color pink, dolls and green beans. 

The first time my mom left my alone I was probably no older than 5, she ran to a neighbors or something and wasn't gone more than five minutes (so that none of you assume she was a terrible parent). I watched her leave and as soon as she was in her car I sprinted to the basement where i helped myself onto the play table where i proceeded to dance. Apparently, out of all the forbidden things in the Davis household that i instantly had access to, dancing on the table tops was my top priority. You would think that i would have grown up to be a seductive party girl instead of the loner introvert. 

One of our favorite pass times in the summer was playing on our amazing wooden playground. We only had it until i was 7 so i am a bit hazy on its actual size because well, to me it was HUGE! I do know that the slide was long enough to merit levi hauling his bmx up it to ride down so huge is probably fairly accurate. Anyway, seeing as our father should have been in the circus and we were all able to walk on our hands as children, it is no surprise that we would grab the thick braided rope from the farside of the playground and throw it up to the person perched on the slide. We would then leap off the side of the slide and swing back and forth. I however remember doing this but missing the open space i was aiming for and slamming straight into the support beam where it proceeded to break my glasses and bounce me backwards into a pile of the dreaded sticker weeds. Luckily Jenny was kind enough to get tweezers and de-sticker my palms.
like this only cooler
I also remember the amazing three horse carrousel that my family had. It was on our back patio, was white with primary colors and had a light switch on the box instead of a coin slot so we could ride to our little hearts content. I also remember embracing the Davis, or daredevil--they are sometime interchangeable--in me and climbing onto the horses back, up the mane, grabbing onto the inside lip of the roof while i balanced my feet on the handles coming out of the horses head, and then climbing onto the roof. Then i remember falling off. Or do i? Is this where my problems began? Trauma to the head?                                                   

maybe i did remember being born, i look like
i was pretty traumatized from the experience...
I called Mallory to ask her if she had input on this. Without thinking, just like Levi, she said, "when you were little you used to tell us you remembered being born, that you remembered the doctor slapping your butt or something..."

and i guess that proves it, i have the best-worst memory around.

But i will always stick to the story that i remember laying on the shag carpet in the family room of our house with my pants off and diaper open. I then remember at least two of my older siblings, i think Mike and Katie, coming in, seeing the poopy diaper and turning away because they didn't want to change it. If you know mike and katie or any teenagers you should be able to see the truth in this one...

i always deliver

a smattering of notes i found in my room from jr. high all the way through college.

my tornado of a room
This thursday being Valentine's, i thought i would write about love and sometimes the lack there of. Where is there a lack of love you ask? Jr. High, the hell hole of all hell holes.  A few many months ago i was cleaning out my apartment in provo getting ready for my move to the big apple. As i poured over everything that i owned trying to decide what needed to never be seen by my eyes again, i found a box containing basically all paper proof of my public education. It was full of photos, school assignments, notes, letters, and trinkets (i might have a slight problem of keeping almost everything along those lines...)

Among the many treasures i found this note that i wrote to myself. 



My freshmen english teacher made each of us write a letter to ourselves that we would get back when we graduated high school. The first sentence pretty much summed up how i felt about jr. high (and high school later)--"Where can you start about junior high? It pretty much is the worst of all worlds." (I then go on about how irritated i was with my best friend stephen because he had a crush on this girl and stopped giving me the attention i deserved. i was so dramatic. I probably should have just told him i had a crush on him instead of annoying him to death with my whining about this other girl...)

When i found this note i started to think, what made jr. high so bad? Then i found the following note:


Apparently for me, junior high was full of me picking fights over little things like "the accidental pencil stabbing incident."

I can't remember what i did to make this girl think that i deserved a pencil to the head, but i do remember one incident with her. 

This girl always thought that she was the best at everything. She played sports, was smart, and wasn't an awkward looking pubescent so really she did have a lot going for her. However, she liked to tell everyone how right she was about everything in this nasally nerd voice that made even the nicest (which is hard to come by in junior high) kid want to punch kittens. During one of these rants, probably at lunch or in some classroom when i was confined to the same God forsaken corner as her, she punched me in the arm.
Now this punch wasn't the most forceful--i mean she played basketball and made sure that everyone knew, she had to have had some upper body strength--and i am sure that it didn't leave me with bodily harm but it made my blood boil. First this girl was going to get in my face and now she had the gaul to touch me?!
Calmly i turned to her and said, "you know i will get you back, right?"

She of course shrugged it off and went on to talk about me and how much i sucked and what not and how i would never do anything to her.

i spent most of jr high apparently looking nervous
Now we fast forward to lunch a few days later if not a week. I was standing in a small group of people; this unfortunate creature was across from me and two boys were on each side of us. As calmly as i had delivered the threat of getting her back but with the quick reflexes of a cat (if you have ever been of of the fools that tried to tickle me you know what reflexes i speak of...) i delivered one sound punch directly to her left arm. This was not a weak sauce encounter like the one she gave me, but a decent--if it was a math test i would have hung it on the home fridge in pride--punch. For the first, and quite possibly only, time in my life i felt slightly bad-ass.

As she grabbed her arm with her other hand and stared at me dumbfounded, trying to come up with some snide come back, i calmly said, "i told you i would get you back."

Needless to say the boys were more than a little confused and probably think to this day that i have anger issues.

at least in high school i pretended to be cool by being in the
Homecoming court and stuff
The girl and i had to interact at least a little for the next 5 or so years of school as we both went through the accelerated, AP, church seminary and choir classes. Did we ever make up? Never. In fact she drove me up the wall. the. entire. time. And for the record, i was not the only one bothered by her, just ask anyone from my sophomore chemistry class. She ruined our prefectly sound plan of only reminding the teacher to check our homework on the days that we all actually did it "Mr. Jacobsmeyer, you forgot to check our homework!"--but remember to say it like a girl Steve Urkle and imagine her waving her perfectly done homework in front of her face...

I saw her once in college. I was walking out of my apartment complex back in 2008 when her mom stopped me to ask me how i liked living there. I am pretty sure that she noticed who i was, but just like how i didn't admit to knowing her or her mom, i quickly answered her question and went on my way.

Ironically i have had two friends mention that they ran into her lately and both mentioned that i came up in conversation. One told me that she admitted to feeling horrible for how she treated me all those years ago.

And all these years i thought i was the only one that remembered.

And why would i post this for Valentine's Day you ask? Because not hating someone is almost like loving them and it turns out that after hearing--even if it was not from her--that she is sorry i don't hate her anymore. It is also good to know that no one is the same person as they were in public school.


This proves to me that there really is a God. He might have a twisted sense of humor for letting public school exist, but at least he fixes us in time for our ten year reunion. 


all my Valentine's also get sealed with wax
(like most of my letters...)





But on to real Valentine's Day, i love it. I don't care that i have never been on a hot and steamy date or had a boyfriend during the holiday--it is a holiday where i get to be all crafty and gushy and no one can think it is weird! I crafted it up this year and repurposed my three favorite books, All My Friends Are Dead, I Like You, and The History of Love that met their demise in my recent flood into one-of-a-kind valentine's. The only thing you have to watch out for is when you are making a valentine for your mother and the page that you ripped from The History of Love happens to have a not so good word very prominently placed on the page--we almost had a very inappropriate Valentine fail.

you're only 24 once

I've always really enjoyed having my birthday at the beginning of the year; it makes it super easy to remember how old i was when something happened and keeps everything tidy with my age changing almost in sync with everything else. Because of this, i use my age to judge everything.

like if it is Feb. and i am single--say last year--i know that i will not get married until i am at least 25 (being this year).

or when i say that i want to accomplish something in 2013 i know that i will accomplish it while i am 25.

see? everything is simple.

And since today is my birthday eve, i figured i should reminisce what i learned/did during my year of being 24.

I:

finally have documented proof of how terrifying it is to go bowling with me (and equally dangerous).





caught my third bouquet at a wedding (third times a charm, right? RIGHT?!)


after 8 months of preparation i had over 300 images on display in my BFA final show, 
Tithing Child: A Photographic Memoir



after what felt like a million drafts of my speech were approved--i spoke at my college's convocation ceremony and showed the campus (for the 3rd time) images of my sister giving birth...


learned that i have a problem am the champion of holding grudges against past boyfriends that were asses 
(still working on that, but lets be honest, we will never be friends. ever)


survived the great disneyland flash flood of 2012 (okay, it was just horrendous rain...) while being trapped on small world--now lovingly know as 'the slow-moving torture device from hell.'


started a blog about awkward dates--probably because of that date with that kid that made up his own name, wanted to take me 'fast food shopping' for dinner, and told me about himself using his kindle since he 'forgot his book of photos that he normally uses'.


moved to manhattan--and then kept moving around manhattan--again and again and again...



figured out that peanut butter balls don't have to be boring balls, they can be dinosaurs!
(and filled with chunks of reese's holiday treats...)



went through a hurricane unscathed.


went out on a date with a Turkish American that met me on the subway and thought i was russian.

(of course there are no photos of that...)

figured out what type of guy thinks i am their type: non-white and non-mormon men

(and if i had photos of the guys who hit on me in Harlem or on Canal Street, well, that would just be weird... creepier than the comments they made to me...)


slept on 5 different couches and in 14 different beds in 5 different states in 5 months.


met dan lauria who plays the dad on my most favorite show of all time, The Wonder Years.


gave uncle sam all my money after a tax blunder



went to six broadway shows


graduated from college and got this cool piece of paper as a 'well done, kid'


ate an entire pack of Hebrew National hot dogs in one week in all sorts of interesting culinary masterpieces.


lost the ten pounds i gained when i was dating tucker


succumbed to Pintrest. i say i did it for work purposes but let's be honest, i secretly want to make little crafts and take photos of my fingernails (which two people at the mall today were convinced were fake, they look that perfect and pink right now...)

and i still don't have any followers, so you should help me out so i don't feel like a failure at something so very simple...


'ran' my first ever race


joined a very sketchy dating site that i am pretty sure is only good for hooking up and not falling love.


had the most drawn out graduation ever. 
walk in april
walk/speak in august
actually graduate in december
finally have my name in the program in april of 2013


wore pants to church for the first time (but not the last if it stays so bitterly cold in utah...)


oh and one thing i didn't do was buy a tripod...still...

i have a bfa in photography, that doesn't mean i NEED to have a tripod, right? RIGHT?!





and here's to 2013. 
It has had a rocky start but it can only go up from here. 
I unpacked my kitchen and most my room, that is a HUGE improvement in my life already.


(did i ever mention that i didn't know i had my own birthday until i was probably 6 or so? I always thought that mallory and i had the same birthday because mallory and my dad shared a birthday, my mom's was 4 days later and then mine was 11 days after that so we celebrated once for all of us. This probably is the reason why i always wished mallory was my twin growing up...)

up up down down left right B A start

Sometimes i feel like my life is a video game--things seem to be at the mercy of snotty nosed teenager that is too busy trying to get my avatar to jump over magical rainbows to snatch lofty gold coins that might add up to a free life than actually get me to the next level of the game--one step forward and two steps back. (Maybe I shouldn't have said a snotty-nosed teenager--i doubt God would like being compared to such a creature...)
"hot dogs can last up to 20 years in landfills"
(and obviously i meant 'expiration'...)

I have been working on a number of blog posts over the past few weeks with amazing titles like: 50lbs, 10 miles & 20 flights of stairs (what it was like moving every 1-6 weeks in Manhattan), Dress Pants or was it Dress & Pants? (my response to 'wear pants to church day' and correct misunderstandings of my post about the subject), 6 ways to eat 6 hotdogs in 6 days (cleaning out my fridge in new york made me eat worse than when i was in college), Pin This! (how Pintrest got me a job offer, even though my personal account only has zero followers),  and last but not least--Diplomas, Old People Jobs & Shoebox Living (how 2013 is going to be my year with a move to NYC to live in my own studio and go to a big person job with benefits and everything).

But alas none of those have graced the blogsphere.

Three weeks ago i was sure this was going to be my year. My NYC boss sat me down the day before i left and offered me a full time job because she liked how i handled the business's Pintrest account and she found me very resilient from all my bouncing around the city. Needless to say she was impressed with me. The next week i was back in Utah and successfully cleaning out my closet and getting ready to move. The New Year came and i made one resolution: to spend the 12 months of the year getting back into prime shape so that i can be 125 while i'm 25. Things were looking good, i was going to look good and my career/living were looking good.

Then three weeks went by without the boss calling me to give me the official offer,
       weeks thinking i was moving next month so most of my things stayed in boxes,
              with my boxes staying the photo lab that is detached from my brother's house where i am squatting...
reunited after 4 months.

Now fast-forward to this past Wednesday.

Milo loves that i live with levi because, well, Milo and i love the same thing: sleep (i have always been that weird kid that gets 8-10 hours of sleep every single night). We went to bed around 10 but then at midnight, after a series of attempts by Milo to wake me up, i took him out to pee. In my delirious state i let him out, talked to levi for a minute, and then went back to bed. Levi then yells up at me "You need to come outside right now." To someone who loves sleep as much as me this was one of the worst sentences.

Turns out the next sentence was going to be even more awful...

"The photo lab is full of water, you need to come out now!"

This, is of course, the same photo lab where i have been storing a majority of my belongings in anticipation of moving 3,000 miles. I put on some shoes and a sweatshirt and ran out of the house to fish out my boxes of belonging. The night was abnormally warm, turns out the teens feel like 40 when it has been in the negatives, and all i saw was water cascading from the lab over the driveway--I failed to notice sheets of ice that lined the driveway under the newly formed puddles. As i deliriously ran towards the open door of the lab i hit a sheet of ice and instantly was on the ground wallowing in inches of ice cold water. Spinning like a turtle i turned my body towards the door and kept going.

Within a matter of minutes levi and i were wet from mid calf down and were tossing boxes to each other from my side of the lab. Soon the garage was filled with every towel from the house sprawled out along the floor with the contents of my boxes strewn on them. For the most part all the boxes that were sitting in 5 inches of water contained books which swelled so much that it was impossible to pull the books from the box and instead we had to rip and cut the boxes apart. When levi had first gone into the lab he had fumbled to turn on the lights (they were behind my boxes with a space for your arm to fit which wasn't so hard to do when water wasn't pouring out the door...) and knocked a few things down in the process but at least he was able to grab the top box which was full of the only full set of magazines that my dad was in.

all my friends are dead
For the next few hours we ripped boxes apart, moved stacks of boxes from the lab to the garage, found all spare towels in the house, changed our icy socks and shoes, washed a load of clothes from a suitcase that filled with water, and levi put the wet/dry vac to work. By 4am both of us were thoroughly exhausted.                                    
my dad built this airplane which landed him on
the cover of numerous magazines.
The next morning i was able to asess the damage and start the claim with insurance.

50+ kids books
30+ novels
20 cookbooks
20+ cooking magazines
1 Kate Spade purse
1 vintage suitcase
a few textbooks
a couple antique books
and a dozen irreplaceable books (mostly stuff from my dad) met their demise in a cold watery grave.

Now i sit in levi's family room surrounded by books that are still damp at the core and it turns out that while books possess one of my favorite smells--100 books drying in your family room posses a very terrible smell. This was not the worst thing to happen. Losing 100 books is better than losing a dozen magazines of my dads. Loosing 100 books is better than loosing my camera. Losing 100 books is better than loosing everything from all my boxes in storage. and the list goes on and on.

The thing that does suck is that i was only storing things in the lab because i thought i was moving cross country. Two days after staying up all night rescuing my belongings i finally received an email (not even a phone call) from my nyc boss saying that they have to pull their job offer because it turns out they can't afford to hire me.

i am pretty sure you should check such information before you offer a job.

Now i am almost 25 (this friday!), don't know where i am living (and might have to move in with my mom), am STILL living out of boxes/suitcases for the 6th month in a row, don't know how much of a job i have in utah, and am driving my nephew's car because i can't afford my own. i.am.awesome.

but on the plus side, i finally have the most expensive piece of paper of my life thus far, worth a whopping $32,971.58 (plus books and project cost of course) AND i haven't eaten any hot dogs in three weeks.

point of this story: if i told you i was moving to nyc next month and you could visit anytime because i was getting my own apartment, you might want to rethink your next vacation to visit.

second point of this story: i have been too preoccupied with life to think of something fun to do to celebrate my birthday. At this rate i will probably rent a car since that seems to be the only cool thing that comes with 25. BUT i am still accepting ideas for better options.

Hurricanation

there's a storm a brewin'
(Before the storm hit i managed to get out of NYC on one of the last subways/trains. I thought it would be a better option to wait out the storm with my sister's family. This turned out to be the best idea since many of the subways did not run for a full week and the apartment I was couch surfing in took in 4 other people that lost power.)

I have never been through a hurricane before. I have been through one natural disaster in my life--a flash flood--which i was in the thick of, completely unprepared. But the difference with that terrible storm, even though all of us that were involved thought at one point or another that this might be the last day the Davis family had ten living children, is that only a small portion of people were involved. The storm passed, phone lines weren't down, no houses washed away, no one was looting, and within a few hours we were warm and dry and doing okay.
you also spend a lot of time doing this.
which takes a very long time i might add.
For us Sandy passed relatively quickly and little damage was done. Two trees fell, one knocking out part of the back fence and one doing a little cosmetic damage to the car, and the power went out for a day--but that was it. When it is over and you are unscathed, you think all is well. We couldn't watch tv and our phones couldn't make calls or use data so we had no idea what was going on outside of the community we were in. It wasn't until i would get calls from my family in the west that i heard of cars floating in parking garages of the Financial District (where that apartment i coveted and almost recently moved into is located). It wasn't until i was texted by my boss that i found out that lower Manhattan had no power and she watched water pour down her street, sure it was going to come flooding into her apartment at anytime. And it wasn't until i got back to work a week later that i heard of apartments getting looted, even the baby's clothes were gone. But when you are in an area that wasn't hit very hard, it is easy to have a good time because you have no idea that somewhere else houses are washing away and over a hundred are on fire, until of course you are back in touch with the world and hear of the people that came out so much worse than you.

you spend a lot of time doing this during power outages
what we like to call 'Hurricane-opoly'

The thing that does amaze me though, are the attitudes that i have witnessed in upper Manhattan. These people never lost power and could see the news. They knew that the subway wasn't running because of flooding, they knew that lower Manhattan was out of power. They heard stories of looters. They saw footage of houses burning in Queens. They knew that houses were washing away in the Rockaways.


I heard these people complain that they couldn't get anywhere because of the subway, that they were getting fat from eating so much because they were cooped up inside (with a working fridge and means to cook...), that they wished people staying in their house (because they had lost power/heat) would leave. And then i went to church were someone said that they knew they would be okay even though they didn't prepare at all for the hurricane because God wouldn't let anything bad happen to them.

these are our 'we are sad that the power is out' face. BUT we could still shop at target--as long as you didn't buy any perishables--and play monopoly so all was right with the world. 


Last time i checked the church adamantly preached being prepared.

Not to mention that we are all God's children, are the people that lost everything somehow less so?

I was appalled. 

This week though, that person had a chance to redeem themselves. Instead of having church for the normal 3 hours, we met for 30 minutes in our work clothes and then headed out to the Rockaways to help rip out carpet, tare out drywall, move mounds of soaked belongings, and give hope to people that lost everything. For me, i think it was really good to go. There is a difference between knowing of the destruction and seeing it first hand. 

this is Gloria's house, the one I worked in.

in my family we call these toys Dudes.
this broke my heart a little,
but seeing family photos litter the street broke my heart a lot

Mormon Helping Hands goes into areas after first responders check the stability of structures and after insurance companies calculate damages. It blew my mind that two weeks after a hurricane hit things like fallen trees and soaked carpet hadn't been removed yet, but i guess that just goes to show how bad things are. We found a women who was trying to figure out how to take care of her 90 year old mother's house. She lived down the street and moved her mom to her house during the storm, which turned out to be the best decision. Her house was not damaged in the living area but her mother's main floor and basement flooded. The main floor was a good 5 stairs up from the street and still water poured in and soaked everything. One step on the carpet and your feet were wet clear though, all this after two weeks.


All of these people are still without power and heat. Many of them also lost their cars, some just up and floated away... If you are in the New York/New Jersey area i would highly recommend finding some time to go out and help. There is no feeling like having a complete stranger let you into their home and then give you the biggest hug--like they have know you for years--when you leave a few short hours later. It makes you realize how lucky you are and how much more grateful you should be for your health and basic necessities.


2,480 shake shack burgers


By 9:44 last tuesday night i was wasted. All of my belongings were packed, or gingerly shoved into reusable shopping bags, and i was trying to lighten my moving load by eating the biggest bowl of Golden Grahams with an exorbitant amount of milk. My feet were filthy, my head was throbbing, i was unable to process anymore emotions, and soon i had to lug all my belongings 0.6 miles to the couch i would be inhabiting, on and off, for the next two weeks. Utterly exhausted and eating cereal on the nasty floor should make it clear how i feel about my current situation--it blows.

i took this on the bus a week ago, now just image the rain
as tears on my face and you get the picture.
Last monday i was doing what i seem to do most mondays, ride the bus back from philadelphia to new york (i love new york but i also love that for the first time ever i live within a few hours of my sister and her family). Have you even been that person on a bus crying hysterically to the point where there is no need to hide it because everyone knows that it is you? yeah, me neither, well until monday. 

Part way through my torturious journey, my brother called to talk to me about our taxes. We own a small business together and our last accountant wasn't the best or brightest so levi recently kicked him to the curb and hired a competent one. The only problem with this scenario is that because of things that the old accountant did and advised us to do, we needed to revise our taxes for the last three years. I knew about this and had set aside some money for our favorite holiday, October 15th--the tax extension deadline. Little did we know that my savings would be about $12,000 (just savings, i had some other cash squirreled away in clocks and the like) shy of what just i owed. After one conversation with my brother i went from having enough money to live in nyc for the next few months and buy a decent car to take home, to being completely and utterly broke. All my liquid cash is gone. My grant for my internship is gone. My savings are gone. Now, for the first time ever, i am in debt. 

Do you know what $16,000 can buy?

lets try some different categories of my favorite things:



camera equipment:
-Canon 5D Mark III  $3,199
-Canon 50mm 1.2 L Series lens $1439
-Canon 85mm 1.2 L Series lens $1999
-Canon Speedlight 600EX-RT flash $557
-Profoto Studio Lighting Kit $3280
-Manfrotto Tripod $599
-MacBook Pro with Retina Display $2799
Total: $13,872



Kate Spade:
-purse $498
-dresses $398, $478, $448, $398
-coat $698
-colored jeans (in all six colors obviously) 6x$198
And that was only $4,106, that means there is almost $12000 left for 10 more purses, 12 pairs of shoes, and one more coat. So basically a total kick ass new wardrobe (you know, if i switched out a few purses for things like pants and shirts...)


Cars:

which is a lot newer than the Ford Escape i was planning on buying
or 2,000 bottles of Essie nail polish.
or 1,067 Costco chocolate cakes
or 941 Statue of Liberty cruises
or 2,480 Shake Shack burgers
or probably almost a whole baby on the black market.

or it can pay uncle sam so that he doesn't want you anymore.

After my crying subsided on the bus i transfered to the subway to head to my apartment where my check books lay dorment. Over the next few hours i went to two FedEx locations, printed $107 worth of tax forms--you know, $0.50 seems really reasonable for a b&w print, FedEx, along with your $0.30 a minute computer fee...--ran (literally) 8 blocks to the post office, ran to the drug store for tape, skipped every other stair as I lunged back to the post office, stuffed ten envelopes, wrote six checks, sealed everything nice and tight and said good bye to (most) of my assets. You'd think my night would end there, i mean the clock was abut to toll midnight, but no, since i got kicked out of my apartment i couldn't just go home, i had to then go to my friend's house to get her spare key so that i could move onto her couch the following day. 

saying good-bye to the studio
By the time my golden graham-eating-on-the-floor evening had transpired the following day, i was exhausted, still homeless, and very angry at stupid connie who kicked me out of my sublet. Needless to say i was a bit (am still slightly) a hott mess. But hott mess or not, i still needed to get it together and move all my crap--which has seemed to grow exponentially since i thought i would be in a studio for 4 months. I now hate hangers, food bought at costco, full size sheets, you know, all the finer things in life i like when i don't have to move them around the city in the larger-than-life blue Ikea bags. 
And this is how all my belongings migrated back .6 miles to where they came from only 36 days ago. Back along the same street, past the same cathedral  next to the same homeless man--who when he heard me talking to my sister on the phone about wearing dresses to work said, "God bless you!" (he must think i have nice legs, which obviously is true)--and finally pass the gaggle of rats that inhabit 109th street. When i first did this trip moving to the subleased studio (i walked this part of manhattan 7 times going to and from with my stuff) i walked because i had nothing better to do and i didn't want to draw attention from the co-op with a taxi, this time i was just feeling too poor to hail a cab. But when you have a friend that is willing to drag two bags and you can fit: your camera bag, shoulder bag, larger-than-life ikea bag, and hat on your frame and STILL managed to drag a suitcase that is 4 feet tall with all your food strapped to the back, why not just walk?

and that brings me to the present.

i still have a reeses problem...
but i did mangage to fit all this in that green bag and strap it to my suitcase.
win.
i am currently sleeping on a very comfortable couch in my friends room because she is very kind. But because i have vistors coming to the city i also spend time in sketchy hotels in Brooklyn and a friend's studio in Harlem. But those, those times are for a different post. But i will tell you that they involve christmas hams, trains so loud you can hear them in the shower, fish heads, duvet covers finagled into window sills, oh and Ricky Martin.

**and if this post worries you, don't be. I am not homeless in the sense of being on the street, i just don't have a place to call my own, and i have a thing called a credit card (and a loan from my business) so i am fine. I might not have any spare change for the next year, or a bed to call my own or the next two months, but i think i can survive that.**






what was i thinking?

First of all, a little plea on the blogsphere:

remember that one time when i posted a blog about photos and a girl de-friended me on facebook because she was so offended why what i--mostly sarcastically--wrote?

at least she gave me feedback.

and you don't want to be outshone by that mean girl, so you should give me feedback too with my new little gadget at the end of each post:


she choose to post on my facebook link
 'I just have to say that I read this and I am really disgusted by some of the things you said. I mean, utterly appalled. I'm practically speechless, I am so sickened by this.' 
but I assume she ment to click the box 'offended,' so i did it for her.

anyway, its takes .986 seconds to do, faster than a comment (which only like .2834 of you do) and it makes me feel like people actually read this thing. 


and now for my real post:

What Was I Thinking?

On days like today i sit back and think, 'why did i think it was a good idea to move to Manhattan?' You see, my day started at 7:30 when i checked my email (not a normal thing by the way, i loathe the fact that everyone assumes you should respond to emails within a fraction of the day, if you want to get a hold of me, make it pop up on my phone without having to go look for it...) and found a message from a girl that said i could come look at her apartment before work.  It was amazing I found the email in time, i don't normally get up until 8 or so.

Backstory: 

      You see, this one time i subleased a studio apartment from a girl who owned a studio in Harlem but moved to Utah. We agreed that i would sublease it until the end of the year, well, that is until she called me on Monday, only 3 weeks into me living there, to tell me that her, her husband, and her baby were moving back into said apartment on the 17th. 

      lets just pause for a moment here so you can take it in like i did.

      she is MOVING back into the apartment in 15 days (now 13...). Something she never mentioned to me. Please note that said apartment was for sale and i had to have it show ready every Sunday. Like she had no plan on moving back because she was trying to SELL it. (which by the way, if it had sold while i lived there it would have taken at least a month if not two before i would have to move)

        this girl sucks.

        a lot.

        and i sent one scathing email that might have mentioned that.

Any other day before work would have been fantastic but today i am going to Philly after work so now a HUGE 50lb suitcase is involved--i need to do laundry and store some of my belongings at my sisters in the event i do become homeless or sublet hop for the next two months. The girl failed to mention the address of the place and didn't get the memo where i asked for her to text me if she wanted to come, so i quickly sent her an email saying i was jumping on the train and to text me so that when i got service randomly in the underground i would know where the hell i was headed.

i then lugged my suitcase 0.3 miles to the subway, down two flights of stairs and then onto the full train. I finally got a text telling me where to get off, hauled my suitcase (and camera bag and purse with laptop) up two flights of stairs and then another 0.3 miles later, i had finally made it... to paradise.


The apartment is beautiful. It has a huge lobby, doorman, gym, lounge, roof with amazing view of everything you would want to see and a place to have bbqs and fires, and it is one stop away on the train from my office in SoHo. Nothing could have been better, nothing except for the fact that they need someone to sign a lease and if I did that then I would have to find someone to take over my lease after only two months AND i would have to shell out $2000 for the security deposit (which the subleaser would pay to take over the lease).

Is this a terrible idea? Am i so desperate that I am ready to shell out $2000 and sign a year lease in the city just to have a place to stay for 6 weeks to 2 months (I can't move in until Nov. 1st)?!

      and now i am back to hating the girl that is kicking me out.

So now i leave for work, which i am already late for, and walk out the lovely building that i want to house me. This is where things get worse.

pretend instead of rain that is sweat.
THAT is how sweaty i was.
and i looked THAT unhappy too.

First i get lost and go an extra .1 miles,  not a big deal if 80 lbs of luggage was not involved.

Two turns later (and one walk of shame past a man who saw me go the wrong way .765 minutes ago...) i find my correct route.

And now, one of the wheels fall off my suitcase.

Like a beacon in the night i finally see the J subway line. Two flights of stairs later i realize that it is headed to Brooklyn and i have no earthly idea where the uptown station is. 

Back up two flights of stairs, utterly defeated.

Finally I decide to use what the good Lord gave me and hail a cab with beautifully manicured orange nails (he gave me good hands, not the nail polish--obviously)

Old Navy Rockstar Jeans
$10 later i am finally at work. Everything i am wearing is sopping wet, the sweat cascading off my forehead down into my eyes. 

Rachel's 'birthday cake' made out of cookies the size of your head.
almost a week later, they are still a pretty good breakfast.
Then i realize that i never ate breakfast and my beloved protein shake is still on the counter at home, but don't worry, i have a GIANT black & white cookie in my purse, the breakfast of champions.  (there was also a half a piece of pizza in there, but i didn't want to be that smelly co-worker)

Did i mention that the entire time i was sweatily trudging down the street in the Financial District--constantly backtracking and passing the same people for a second time--that i was wearing bright orange pants? There was no mistaking me.

Especially since you could hear me coming for miles with the wretched scrapping plastic sound screaming from my one-wheeled suitcase.



judgy mc-judgerson

it is a well know fact that i am a slightly (that is me being kind to myself) judgmental person when it comes to the finer things in life like:

music


evanescence vs stars


food

mcdonalds vs pizzeria 712

being hipster

that vs me

parenting


child as a cart vs bedtime stories


literature


twilight vs anything i'm reading


and of course...

photography


the worst olympic photos ever vs the new york skyline

As i paroose the interwebs i am bombarded with things that send my judgmental mind into a tizzy. Why would you put a flower that is bigger than your kids head on it? and MORE importantly, HOW did you get the kid to stand up straight afterwards and not fall over?! Why did you take your engagement photo like that? and MORE importantly, WHY did you post it on facebook for everyone to see?! Why did you take a photo of your newborn when it looks like an alien and HOW did you not notice that your stretch-marked thighs are also in the photo?!

i mean i could go on for hours about my other judgmental obsessions but for right now we are going to do a quick little session on: This is what looks good in photos and what you did does not.

Newborns:

1. only about 10% of babies look as sweet as they really are in photos when they first come out. If your baby is scaly and miss-shaped from the traumatic delivery into this world, wait a few weeks to have photos taken. I really like babies, don't get me wrong, and i love that people are starting to hire photographers to document birth stories, I'm just saying that some things are better up close and personal later.

2. a babies head is only so large, lets not try and steal the show by placing some (usually terrible and cheap) GIANORMOUS flower on its head. It is a baby after all and not a flower pot. Remember when mom's used to stick little bows on girls head with syrup or honey? Lets just go with the rule that if you had to use honey to stick someone on your kids head, you would only want to use enough to make it smell sweet and not draw swarms of animals that want to lick it off. The sheer amount of stickiness that it would take to attach the flower--if it was not on a headband--would be child abuse. Use that as a guideline.

3. If you are taking photos of your child, pay attention to what they are around. For example, if the baby fits between your legs when you are sitting on a bed, maybe you should not take a photo straight down that involves a cute baby surrounded by your stretch-marked naked thighs.

4. if you like anne geddes, look at this and think again. Your baby is not a snap pea. (and if you don't like anne geddes look at the link anyway, you will thank me, or punch me...)


Engagements:

1. No one NOT EVER wants to see you ravishing each other on the grass. Keep things classy and probably at least partly upright.

2. People already start to look alike when they get married, do you really need to dress exactly the same too?

3. Kissing can be cute when the photographer tells you to do so (they are in the right place, catching the right angles and all that good stuff), don't just kiss through your entire session, it does not look right.
*this happened to me as a photographer, the photos were weird but i felt like i had to keep shooting because they weren't do anything else... but once she started whispering (but loud enough for me to hear) about what she was going to do him once they were married--me and my virgin ears stopped photographing in sheer horror. It did not help that they were a very awkward couple...*

4. Sometimes, go figure, people want to see your face and that you are truly in love. I can understand one photo of you standing an awkward distance apart, but do you have to cut off your heads too?

5. oh and once you are married, no one wants to see most of the photos from your honeymoon--like how cute the cruise staff decorated your room that you are about to defile.


Maternity:

1. Wear shoes. Do you realize that you look like knocked up teenager when you are sitting on bridge holding your giant belly with no shoes on? Can we say "this is Where the Heart Is?"

2. Take your photos when you are cute and small and not about to pop, things look so much more natural at about 7 months than 9 and 3/4. And it makes people like me who are TERRIFIED of childbirth a little less scared. (I'm talking about your maternity photos, not your weekly 'I'm this many weeks and this much bigger' photos, those obviously need to continue until the baby comes)

3. Stand up, if you can't get off the couch by yourself you should probably realize that you don't look so awesome stuck on the ground in that position where your legs shoots straight out because there is no longer room to sit comfortable on them.

4. We all know you love your baby, a photo of just your stomach with little hand hearts doesn't convey that any more.

5. Wear clothes that fit, if you want to show off your belly, wear a tight shirt, don't wear a normal size shirt that only buttons over your boobs and that is all.


I have seen all of these things on facebook. I only have 500 and some odd friends, WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?! I would include examples but that couple make me loose a couple friends.

And don't think that you don't judge others too, you do. You just might not take screen captures of terrible wedding photos to show to your friends once they get off their missions or google 'ugly babies' after you have exhausted the ones you and your sister know on facebook. (and for the record that means usually parents dressing their children in awkward ways or in costumes all the time, not that the actual child was ugly, i don't really believe that children are ever ugly.)

i still have friends?!

when i look like this you might want to hack into my
blog and change the password until i recover.
I just re-read a bunch of my blog posts and the general consensus: how it is that i still have friends?! Seriously people, the next time i am a hot mess for so many months, please, PLEASE, douse me with a bucket of water (or lemonade, i really love lemonade) and tell me to snap out of it.

Sure, the last dumping i received sucked a lot, but what was i thinking? If the boy wasn't interested in dating me in November he sure as hell wouldn't be interested four months later after multiple ranting blog post (forget the letter, emails and one scathing text--all with purpose, i don't just contact exes out of the blue...).

For all of you that lasted those months--still hanging out with me and reading my blog--karma has something good in store for you. Or if karma takes too long to pay you back you can venture on over to my adorable abode for a home cooked meal because, well, you are a saint and deserve it.

And because of that, i decided that i need to cleanse my blog with some new topics.

For the record, this post will be written in less than 1/2 hour (most take me hours, yes hours--lots of proof reading and rewriting though you probably wouldn't notice due to my intense lack of spelling/grammer talents) and it is past 10 o'clock at night which might as well be the wee hours of the morning for me. All of this just to cleanse my blog palette.

Though i don't have time to construct a witty essay of my latest awkward encounter with the male species, showcase photographs of my latest project, or read to you from my childhood journal where i could spell EVEN fewer words correctly, i do have time to mention what is coming in the future.


This blog will soon contain:

Comparisons of: The Biggest Loser, Teen Mom, and Real Housewives of New Jersey. How are they related you might ask? They all make me feel like a million bucks because I am not: 400 lbs, a teen, a mom, and totally classless. I might (meaning i will, of course) reveal just how crappy my taste in television is and yet why i judge all other human beings to no end for their choice of media.

it is softer than a babies butt
How i am going to land myself a trust fund baby in the big apple. I am moving to NYC at the end of the summer and Gossip Girl has been kind enough to teach me the ropes. It also taught me that buying a leather jacket that full price was more than my rent was a good idea (no, i did not pay full price). Could it be possible that crappy teenage dramas are influencing me to make terrible decisions?! Tell me it ain't so! They are only full of moral examples and teach you how to be an upstanding individual!

typewritters are so hip right now.
i had one before hipster's realized it was cool...





The reasons i am not on Pintrest. It probably has to do with the fact that it would be equivalent to giving a crack whore crack (or a brothel?). And did you know that i am just as cool as everything on Pintrest? Oh just you wait, this post will be full of photographs that PROVE i am right. I am the right mixture of Martha Stewart and hipster, i'm going to coin it Stewster.


AND:



that i am starting a new blog and need your help. Currently all i have is the blog layout (the tandem photo shoot is coming this weekend!) but at least its a start. Alone on a Tandem will be submission only blog dedicated to awkward dates. Start bringing back those dates you repressed all those years ago and share them with me. I will photo illustrate them and put them up for all to enjoy/sympathize.

it will also probably have some incriminating photos and possibly a few stories from my childhood like the infamous Loon Lake flash flood where everyone peed their pants and hallucinated.

Until then...