It is amazing how much has changed this year. Nine months ago, I was starting the new year off the best I ever had before. I was in Bloomington with my best friends AND my boyfriend, and everything worked out the way it was supposed to. Everything was on the right track. The new year was going to be amazing the whole way through (magically).
Nothing ever works that way, of course. Three weeks later the magic of the new year had worn off and things were worse than ever. School was hard, I was unmotivated, and my relationships were suffering and reaching their breaking points.
I don’t know how people forget how to treat the people they love, but I did. I forgot that I can’t be selfish and I have to pay attention to how my words and actions affect others. This is such a simple lesson, one that we learn as children, but it is easy to assume that everyone knows what you’re thinking. They don’t. The people that know me the best still can’t read my mind. I constantly have to remind myself of that. I think being an introverted extrovert has made me think that everyone is in my head with me.
The path I took was not what I expected or planned, but I think I ended up exactly where I thought I would be this year. It’s interesting, because I could easily have ended up using one of those detours as a road to something completely different.
Every year my coworkers go on a camping trip at our stage manager’s house. It’s just one night, and we grill and eat together and then part ways with our host and head down the hill to the campsite for shenanigans. He has ostriches and goats and all I want for Christmas is that property. Enjoy!
There is a really steep hill behind the campsite that we are forbidden from climbing because 1. It’s about a 70 degree incline, 2. it’s not his property anymore, 3. it’s dark and we’re drunk. Naturally, people climb it anyway. It was fun bear crawling up a dark hill and getting to the top, and not falling down it on the way back! There is a tree that was carved into by former climbers two campouts ago, so we signed it for this year.
For the past few years there has been someone on staff ordained (online) to perform weddings. So naturally lots of people get married and it’s a great bar trick. There were three weddings this weekend, including my own. My wife and I had the first homosexual wedding for the group, complete with a processional with bridesmaids and flowergirls. I hope I get better pictures taken at my real wedding.
A lot of the time when I think about the Grand Canyon, I just imagine a dusty canyon. Not true.
Three things about the GC:
1. It’s. so. huge. My brain can’t wrap itself around how big it actually is unless it’s in front of me.
It’s like trying to describe what you feel when you’re standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon or remembering your first love or the birth of your child. You have to be there to really know what it’s like. -Jack Schmitt
2. Each level is so different. The bottom is a completely different place than the top. I mean, duh, when I hike around Bloomington the tops of the hills seem a lot different than the bottoms, but still. Just from pictures you can’t tell how much variance there is.
3. It’s incredibly dark at night. The parts of Arizona I have visited in general are very dark and have the best stargazing I’ve ever seen. Love it.
Also clouds are awesome.
Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona. Not all holes, or games, are created equal. -George Will
My sister moved to a new house (about three blocks away from her old one) and it happens to be across the street from her boyfriend and some close friends in her cohort. I live about 3 blocks away from her new house (and old house), so we decided to start having family dinners. Amazing what living across the street from people can do for your social life!
Family dinners happen about every two weeks, and this week it was my turn to host. Lauren and I kicked ass. (Actually I’m really proud of us for this one.) Dinner was fettucini alfredo, butternut squash, and zucchini parmesan.
I don’t have a vegetable peeler, so while I was peeling the squash I kept having to remind myself that I could cut a finger off in the process.
I then sauteed it with thyme and butter. (Suggested by this recipe.)
And it was delicious.
Lauren made the zucchini parmesan, and it was magnificent balance of vegetable and fat. I was impressed.
I made my mom’s fettucini alfredo with tofu (no need for extra protein!) and everyone was impressed. Go me! (Go mom!) And I overestimated and there are TONS of leftovers. Score!
Then we had store bought cheesecake with cool whip for dessert. That was an adventure in itself, because the cheesecake we got had four different varieties. So delicious!
So, as you can see, my roommate and I are awesome cooks. And I need to learn to take better food pictures.
I have been a volunteer at the local animal shelter for two years. I’ve been slacking the past six months or so, but they have this great new thing where volunteers can take a dog for an outing so they meet people and get a break from the shelter. I finally got back into the swing of things and Steven and I adopted a dog for a day. His name was Abner, but we named him Peanut. He was perfect. We went hiking at Lake Monroe and took a wrong turn, so we ended up taking a six mile loop. Abner lead the way but didn’t pull too hard, and would have gone swimming in the lake if we let him. He was so much fun, and such a cuddler too. As soon as we got back in the car he crawled in Steven’s lap and fell asleep. I wish we could have kept him, and now I keep watching for him to be adopted. Animals are so comforting. I don’t see how anyone could ever be cruel to them. Getting my furry fix now and then is wonderful for my soul.
I am so lucky to live in Bloomington. Not only do I love IU and the town itself, but the area is so beautiful. I’m so happy that I’m surrounded by beautiful parks-city and state. This picture was taken in a city park. How awesome is that? I hope to live in a town this great for the rest of my life.
Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to be the ocean?