Thursday, April 30, 2015

(So much) STUFF.





Greeting at church.

Writing essay to submit for publication.

Fact checking article.


Training for race.

Apartment hunting.



Reviewing books.

Requesting more books to review.


Delivering gifts from Hawaii.

Petting cat.

Smooching boyfriend.



Alumni social event.

Writing memoir.

Cashing freelance check.

(Now that I'm up with the times), texting.



Dates with friends.

Watching Kimmy Schmidt.

Watching 30 Rock.

Syncing my iPod shuffle (that's new and purple and so pretty and my first Apple product which I have mixed feelings about).

Planning the 30th bday celebrations.



Gathering things for Goodwill.


Going to outdoor movie events where there are drawings for flights to London and Australia (these events I must attend).

Cleaning litter box.


Am I scheduling any sitting in here? Breathing? Praying?

Maybe I should start.

At least I'm still making sleep a pretty high priority.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Things I need to do

I think I beat my body up. Not literally, but I mean, I may have over-exercised it.

My legs be tiiiiiiired.

And my feet.

My willingness to move is not exactly there.

Also I need dental floss.

And Drano.

And a whole mess of other things.

I need to shop.

I need -- OK fine, want -- to shave my legs.

And clip my nails.

I want to put lotion on my skin. Have a general grooming session, really.

I want to clean my apartment and clean it some more and then clean it again.

I want endless energy to do all these things.

OK not endless. But some energy that would last for a long time.

I want to freeze time to get all these things done.

I want to read, and cross stitch, and sort through those papers that are mostly trash but that need to be sorted through.

I need to pay my utilities bill.

And then rent.

And then I need to search for a new apartment with my future roomie.

I need to rinse this sunscreen out of my eye.

I want to scan pictures.

Revise an essay. Snuggle with my boo. Smooch on the cat.

Go for a hike.



I just need to breathe. Breathe through it.

And maybe get a cocktail after work.

Xo, y'all.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Who says you can't be happy on a Monday?


I am high on life today.


My apartment is quite clean!

I might be able to review books on my blog soon! (Well, I can do that any time, but I might be able to get books for free!)

My apartment is clean!

I went to the grocery store last night, so I don't need to go tonight!

I might cook chicken!

And green beans!

Or just eat a popsicle!

I've got it all!

My apartment is clean!

Seriously, though, I'm just in a great mood. Wheels are churnin', thinking of all the different places I can write in the world. Thinking about how my benefits at work are soon going to start accruing me extra vacation time, so I can travel to Europe/South America/Australia/Asia/San Diego/Santa Barbara/Yosemite/EVERYWHERE. Thinking about my clean apartment, my sweet kitty, my adoring boy toy.

Thinking thinking thinking, happy happy happy.

Thinking about how my new style is to braid my hair at night so I have elementary school/hippie waves each day.

A coworker and I have a little something we call "squirrel mode," which is meant to describe when we are hyper and doing lots of work things in rapid succession, or with much nut-hoarding type focus.

This afternoon I yelled out "Squirrel mode!" and then told her how happy I am and she said she was, too. In fact, we said "happy" at almost the exact same moment, during our confessions of happiness.

Which made me happy.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Taking a day off (maybe)

I'm not sure I could be much lazier on this Saturday.

I've already pretty much officially cancelled my workout for the day.

I would desperately like my apartment to be clean, but while I can happily think about that happening, I can't seem to get the body to follow suit to take action.

I don't even want to take a shower.

Depressed? I hope not.

Bored? Probably.

Lazy? Yes.

I texted Alex last night about how I was being hard on myself, and he called me right away to chat it out. He told me it's OK to take a day off, to quit being so hard on myself.

So I might be taking a day off.

I mean, let's be honest, I may very well finish typing this and do laundry, or work out, or clean my apartment (oh man, if my friend Laura was here, she would keep me in line until this place was sparkling).

But right now I'm trying to ease in to nothing.

Even making coffee was a chore.

I talked to Daddy Dearest over the phone waves. That was something.


I put a new thumbtack in my map of places I've traveled. Maui is now covered by a polka-dotted circular pin.

I have mucho presents for family and friends from the island that need to be mailed.

My running shoes -- when I'm using them -- are treating me well. The $300 orthotics inside I think are fending off some plantar fasciitis symptoms, which is also great.

Earlier I was petting Max, and saying over and over, "Are you the sweetest?" and then he did that thing that cats do, without warning, when they've had enough, and he nipped at me.

It was kind of funny.

I kind of want to read, but not sure I have the concentration level.

What I should do is get off my arse and take my laundry downstairs. Because I love clean laundry.

Speaking of things I love, I'm continuing to work on my list of 1,000 things I'm grateful for. I'm creeping towards 500 things, which is exciting!

What color should I paint my nails?

Should I add little polka dots or swirlies to the nails?

Does anyone else love the satisfaction of vacuuming like I do?

See? All these happy thoughts about cleaning, but no action.

Anyway. I'ma let you all get back to your Caturday and stop boring you with my whining.


Friday, April 17, 2015

John Le-t her sing

I say this as someone who has possessed two of his albums.

I say this as someone who was transfixed on that morning of Spring Break during sophomore year of college when I first heard "Ordinary People" on MTV.

As someone who then tried to find that video on MTV's website and listened in vain to the choppy, buffering version of the song, wanting oh so badly to hear it again.

As someone who sat on Samantha's bed in Africa, talking about the structure of the whole Get Lifted album.

"It's like a story," Samantha said. Start to finish, each song weaves together to tell of a journey. The couple breaks up, then gets back together, in song.

As someone who has been known to practice her signature phrase, "Holla!" in song version as she stole it from the start of his song "Used to Love U."


...I'm kind of tired of John Legend's -- oh so unique!! -- voice.

I know!! It's terrible that I feel this way!


His more recent single, "All of Me"? I want it to be slower than it is. So it could be due to his songwriter, not him, that I am irked by the song, but ultimately it's making me want to take a break from him.

And then, final salt in the wound, is his new duet with Kelly Clarkson.

Probably my favorite song on her album so far, "Run Run Run," is great.

And then John comes in to accompany.

And I kind of just want it to be a solo piece.

Is that so terrible?

It might be.

Because his voice is so original, and pretty, and soothing. And his songs are so fun, or beautiful, depending. And at least one of them incorporates my signature word.


I'm sorry, John. If you invited me to party on your yacht or go backstage at your concert, this would all be water under the bridge.

'Cause we're just ordinary people.

Maybe we should take it slow.

Slow oh oh.

The difference between writing a book and writing a blog

Writing a blog post: I've done that. 1,000+ times.

Writing a book: I've only just started that.

Writing a blog: My essays are wrapped up, sometimes without conclusions, but wrapped up with endings of some sort, in less than 3,000 words, usually.

Writing a book: Books are long. I'm only 13 pages in and I've already tried to jump ahead and begin all the deep life analysis several times, which kind of gives away the ending.

Writing a blog: Fun! Light! Airy!

Writing a book: Long. Hard. When will it end???*

*I'm doing a great job on the pre-release marketing of this not-yet-written book.

Writing a blog: I have a (small, but existent) audience.

Writing a book: I have no audience. Will anyone ever read it??? Why am I writing it, then???

Writing a blog: "I have something to say, let's say it before going to bed this evening."

Writing a book: "I have something to say, but I forgot what, exactly. Something vaguely about mental health and spirituality. Where does my story start? When do we get to the exciting part? Should I be writing a novel instead? Maybe I should dabble in short stories? Poetry? Can I go to bed yet?"

Writing a blog: Something I do when I'm bored. Sometimes the words just flow effortlessly from my fingers. It's delovely!

Writing a book: When I'm bored, this is one of the last things I want to do.

Writing a blog: I love it.

Writing a book: Despite all the struggles, I'm still glad I'm tackling it. Even if it all has to be scrapped after the first draft. And I've got at least a couple of great writing coaches/cheerleaders behind me in my effort.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

I've got this

I am having a life lesson in patience.

How am I doing? Got any results yet?

I have just exhausted all my vacation. I am nearing my credit limit (a dear coworker recently told me, "That's a limit, Bailey, not a goal"). And I want to go to, in no particular order:

South America
New Zealand
Chicago for a wedding
Indiana to meet my nephew

So these things all work together in harmony, yes?


I must be patient. I must refocus on the little things I love. Each and every tiny cross stitch made to slowly create a full pattern of color.

Mailing my Hawaii souvenirs to friends and family, with notes about how awesome snorkeling and whale watching was.

Walking around the office twice a day, soaking up that vitamin D.

Listening to Celine Dion Christmas music in April.

Sending friendly emails at work.

Lunch breaks.

Freelance writing.

Writing my memoir (oh wait, that is proving to be boring. But I will soldier on).

Watching Netflix with my boo.

Petting the smooch poo kitty baby.

Putting lotion on my feet and hands.

Getting ice cream at the grocery store and chowing down on it after my runs.

I've got this.

Will be dreaming of New Zealand.

But I've got this.


Oh yes, and reading! I will read. I will read like I've never read before!

I've got this. [Gulp]

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Sigh. Chai.





All I want to do is read.

And nap.

I keep looking at the row of books on my shelf and thinking, "I want to read that one, and that one, and that one."

And then I want to pop a magic caffeine pill and read them one by one until they're all done! And then, before I finally slip into magical slumber, I want to go to the magical candy store (read: the library) and check out a bunch more books.



The last two nights I've made it through about 3 - 10 pages, depending, before deciding sleep must happen.

This is pathetic.

Once upon a time before I started dating a darling cutie pie who also loves to read, I read all the time.

Now I guess I have a life?
I mean, beyond the reading life. Because that, my friends, is a life. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise (though if you want to have relationships with humans -- beyond the friendly library staff, of course -- you must, I'm afraid, get off your tush every once in a while and go mingle).

Amazing how intoxicating words can be. Particularly because written language is an invention. It isn't natural. Communication, sure. Words, of course. But writing and reading? Made up.

It also amazes me how instrumental musicians can be so talented at using a device that was invented. Does this baffle any of you?

Ah, but yes. All I want to do is read.

And run. And bask in the sunlight.

And nap.

I'm reading Sara Gruen's "Riding Lessons," and Ann Patchett's "This is the Story of a Happy Marriage."

I have Donald Miller's "Scary Close" cracked.

Same with Jonathan Tropper's "This is Where I Leave You."


I have problems.

Or no problem, depending on how you look at it.

As I see it, my problem is not having enough time to read!!

I'm drinking some tasty chai right now. It's the powdered mix from Trader Joe's. I have mixed -- mostly negative -- feelings toward TJ's, but it is growing on me and I quite enjoy their chai.

I am working on another freelance assignment; super grateful for the work. Me love to write.

Did my first interview for it this afternoon, and my source was an absolute delight. Southern accent and everything.

LA -- probably like your city -- shows outdoor movies in the summer, and I got an email about the nights that they're giving away flights to London and Australia. You best believe I marked my calendar.

I've got the travel bug! Hawaii, take me back!!!! Take me back into your sunsetting, snorkeling, whale breaching arms!

Sigh. Chai. Books. Naps. Hawaii.

These are the things on my mind.

What's on yours?


Monday, April 13, 2015

More Maui moments


Peeing in a port-a-potty.

I hear giggling next to me, through the plastic wall.

I wonder if something particularly amusing is happening inside Alex's private toilet.

I exit, ask him what all the laughter was about.

It was because he could hear me peeing.



After a day by myself, touring a lavender farm and a winery, I watch the sunset at the beach and then treat myself to dinner.

I tell the bartender to make me "something fruity, islandy. I'm turning 30, so something that captures that."

He comes back with an orange and pink icy blend, topped high above the rim of a martini glass.

"It's like the sunset," he says.

Later he brings me breaded monchong fish. I devour it in about three minutes.



Three kayaks are available for five of us. One is a single-rider. I volunteer for it, boasting to my crowd that I am strong.

In the ocean waves, I discover I am not too strong.

But I make it.

When we rest from our paddling to snorkel, I swim with sea turtles. They swim slowly, so I follow them until they surface. I surface with them, then immediately go back under to watch them some more.

Fish swim with them, chewing algae off the shells.

I try to dive, get very upset with myself for being unable to get deep enough to hear the whales. Begin to have existential crisis therapy conversation with my brother.

Brother's father-in-law swims over. "I see you chose to leave your life jacket on. Would you like a lesson in buoyancy next?"

Brother loses it laughing.

In the good news department, my existential crisis was averted.

Swim back to kayak to return life jacket.

Peel off snorkel mask temporarily.

Immediately drop goggles into ocean.

Kayak instructor makes comment about how he is willing to dive for my gear because I am "good looking."

I tell Alex this later.

"That was his pick up line?" he mocks.


Don't remember which day.

Lots of screaming in hostel.

Mouse in bathroom.


Sunday. Easter.

On the way to Molokini to snorkel, we are fed cinnamon rolls with liquidy icing. We grab them straight off the pan with our fingers.

I treat myself to a second cup of coffee.

On the way back, we eat one of the best meals I have during my vacation -- teriyaki chicken and rice.

A mama whale and her baby swim around our boat. We can see her dorsal fin.

Further out, we see a fluke, blowhole mist, and babies breaching. It's so cute to know they are playing.

My Mai Tai is empty. Boat staffperson asks, "Is this an acceptable situation?"

He gets me another.



Alex offers me his goggles to look at some fish in maybe the stillest ocean water I've ever experienced. It is like a cove yet not a cove.

Under the water, I hear giggling.

I surface and inquire.

"Your butt. It was up in the air."

I stare at him.

"What? I like your butt."



After eight (or more; we're not sure who to believe, the steptracker on A's phone or the promotional flyer at the hostel) miles of hiking, our tour guide tells us we have just a few switchbacks to the end of the trail.

Four miles later.

It was more than a few switchbacks. Though I have to say I maybe thank him? for not letting us in on the reality of the situation, at a time when our legs were fragile and vulnerable. At that point I am game to say our legs were even emotionally spent, having already exhausted their physicality.



After playing a game of hot-and-cold with Alex on the phone to locate each other, we meet in the underwear section of Sears.

We kiss.

He gives me popcorn.

He puts a pink plastic lei around my neck.

We go next door for margaritas and tacos.

He smells like sunscreen.

He ribs me for being grumpy (after waiting a very long time for a rental car).



I almost urp for the first time in nearly 10 years. My mouth waters and everything.

With hairpin turns and continually changing altitude, the bod just can't take it.

Alex rubs my hunched back on the side of the road.

Riley turns on Taylor Swift nice and loud in the car to drown out any sound that may -- but ultimately does not -- come from me.

I am upgraded to a ride in the front seat upon my return to the vehicle.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Maui memories

Is it terrible that I just want someone to feed me baked goods and let me whine/cry about my state of too-tired-to-accomplish-tasks-yet-too-awake-to-successfully-nap?

I know none of you will feel sorry for me, but I'm experiencing just a touch of post-vacation blues today.

Because I recently came back from the beautiful island of Mauiiiiiiii!!!!

It was beautiful. And full of adventure and exploration. And I saw a chameleon crossing the road.

So yes, I'm a little sad to be back. Though happy to be reunited with the cat.

I usually quite love vacation, and then quite love being back home, but I believe because this vacation was so special that I am not quite loving the being home thing. Though I loved my 1 a.m. shower upon my return.

Because the hostel -- which will remain unnamed -- was a liiittle grody. But it was a place to sleep, and I'm so glad I didn't spend money on a fancy hotel because I was hardly at the hostel.

Wow. OK. So I'm rambling. Where to start to tell you about this adventure I just had???


Well we could begin here: I saw an octopus!!!

We were snorkeling (at the mostly sunken volcanic crater island called Molokini), and all of a sudden I spotted this wiggly purple thing near the coral. I pointed it out to Alex, and he let slip an expletive of excitement and shock. Under water, through his snorkel mask, so it was mixed with bubbly sounds, which made it extra entertaining for me to hear.

We also shared a kiss with our snorkel masks on, which was a little rogue and made us chuckle. But we try. Affection everywhere, I say, even in the ocean!

Let's rewind a little. Why Hawaii? Besides the obvious, because duh, Hawaii. Welllll, it started as a trip my brother Riley and his wife Caitlin had planned for themselves. Then Caitlin's parents added themselves to the mix, and then I got invited (or invited myself, I can't fully remember), and voila! Hawaii!

I decided it was OK to spend (a LOT) of money on the trip, because I would see the trip as a way to celebrate my 30th year.

And thennn, less than a week before I left the mainland, someone named Alex, who is cute as can be, surprised me with his own flight itinerary to Maui.

He's the cutest. And I'm so glad he could come.

Everyone's travel schedule was a little different, but between Alex and myself, we did the following:
  • Snorkeled
  • Hiked a 12 mile trail through the Haleakala volcanic crater
  • Kayaked in the ocean (super hard, by the way -- I thought this was physically more rigorous than the hike)
  • Swam with sea turtles!
  • Saw whalessssssssssssssssssss
  • Heard whales underneath the water
  • Visited a lavender farm
  • Went to the Maui Winery (delicious, particularly their house red and their sparkling pineapple)
  • Walked around in beds of (cooled) lava
  • Drove "The Road to Hana," which is essentially driving through the rainforest along the coast
  • Saw the islands' largest banyan tree
  • Swam at three beaches in one day
  • Had some beers at the Maui Brewing Co.
  • Visited the Iao Needle
It was jam packed, tiring, fun, breathtaking, and worth every pretty penny it cost to get there and feed ourselves while we were there.

I loved being outside, I loved all the animals (I even found a kitty at the winery). I loved sleeping not that much and waking up every day and immediately heading out for another adventure.

Come to think of it, this was the youngest I've acted in a while. Except I didn't join in the raucous beer drinking at the hostel.

But people. This was a trip to mark my 30th, and I must show my maturity at some point, right?

Says the girl who lost her keys one day and had to crash on the floor of her brother's hotel room because she couldn't get into her room at the hostel.

Yes, yes, I lost my keys. And some snorkel goggles, which my sister-in-law dove for to snatch them back to the surface so I could look at more turtles. Good thing one of the Brewers married a former swim team member. Phew!

I did one solo day on the island, after Alex had flown back to LA and my brother and company were planning to do a hike I had already done. That was liberating, and fun, and peaceful. And then crabby, when I got hungry.

I went to the lavender farm that day, and the gift shop smelled so good. All the people working there were super peaceful, probably because they were high (or should I say low) on lavender scent, and I dropped an easy $40+ on delicious smelling products. I also heated up a lavender scone, and even though I followed the directions on the toaster oven, I discovered that even in Hawaii, I struggle to operate toaster ovens.

I picked off the burnt portions and enjoyed the scone with butter and honey and lilikoi jam. It was quite lovely.

The winery tour was quite interesting, and the samples of wine were delish. I had plans to finish off the day with a trip to a vodka distillery, but then hunger got the best of me and I decided a burger would be better for my bod than some liquid potato.

Is this blog post boring? I feel like Hawaii was so exciting, but I don't know how to express it!!!

Perhaps it's that post-Maui fatigue/melancholy that has me unable to muster all the excitement. Also sooooo much happened and was seen while on this epic vacation, that I could be experiencing some amnesia of all the details.

So I will bid you aloha for now and perhaps type some more details when I have caught up on my sleep and am a little more with it.

Much love,
Bailey (who is not quite 30 and who has made it to Hawaii in her lifetime. Yay!)