October 30, 2014

that time we were a triathlon

in a fit of nostalgia and holiday spirit, i just remembered this picture.  sophomore year, east hall, before any of us drank, when painting your fingernails black was the thing to do, our dorm had a halloween party in the creepy ass basement with a costume contest.  so we dressed up as a triathlon, and we won. (competition was decidedly not fierce.  and we may have only won in one of the categories.  regardless, we won.)

i don't remember why we decided to be a triathlon.  none of us really swam biked or ran very often.  we borrowed 90% of the gear that wasn't tshirts from a guy in my spanish class (thanks, tyler!).  but that's what we did, and it remains one of my favorite halloween costume to this day.  what were you in 2010?  a triathlon!  duh.

VERY IMPORTANT POSTSCRIPT: i was about to hit post and then i was like hang on a sec... isn't there another picture and there IS and it's even BETTER!!

the cool kids, in all our nerd dorm glory.  you're welcome.

October 29, 2014

being deliberate

last night was a nice, deliberate, responsible evening.  it was a don't you dare make plans.  it was a candy crush is against the rules.  bix and i hit up the dog park for a while.  the atmosphere there can be so funny, one of the other girls who i see a lot and i talked about it, how sometimes the dog park can just be plain awkward.  the dogs aren't interested in each other and the people are kind of tense and it's kind of boring and mostly weird.  last night wasn't like that.  there were a BUNCH of dogs, and they all liked to run, and bixby did his (slash my, to be perfectly honest) weird thing where he doesn't know how to be part of the group until he figured it out all of a sudden and like five dogs chased him around the park until he was totally pooped.

then i went for a real actual run!  where i didn't give up in the middle and didn't even take one single bitty break i wasn't required to by traffic laws (i'm really strict about jaywalking).  i was going to run a flat twenty minutes but when the twenty minutes was up i was alllllmost home and it was all downhill the rest of the way so i just toughed it out an extra minute or so to make it a nice even two miler.  when i swapped out my old smashed up phone for a new one, most of my music got lost (how does that always happen?) so when i'd tried to run it was with those spotify "run five miles in fifty minutes!" type stations and they weren't doing it for me cause it wasn't my running playlist so yesterday i fixed that and honestly it just felt so good.

so when i got home i had to recuperate for a while so i made beans and rice and - get this - while it was cooking i cleaned the kitchen!  bingo!  and now my fridge is kind of sad and empty but really clean and doesn't have any old zucchini in it anymore.  after dinner bixby got a bath, which is neither of our favorite things, but now he smells like cucumber melon (i was at the pet store and naturally got caught up talking to a seven year old named skyler who had an incredibly pregnant mother who was probably glad to have a second of quiet while she checked out the dog treat options.  anyway, skyler and i smelled basically every single kind of dog shampoo they had and that was the one she recommended.  so now i have a dog that smells like gum for a few days every week or two.)

after bixby's bath i got all my stuff up out of the living room and ran a couple loads of laundry and swept cause WHOA dog hair and dirt, man.  and then i remembered that the reason i reeeeally didn't want to shower was because i'd already showered that morning, and who wants to shower twice a day (it's no one.  well, not me anyway).  but i dragged myself in there anyway instead of saying i'd just do it in the morning and i really think i might have drowned eloise the shower spider during bix's bath but i really hope not because even though she doesn't eat as many bugs as francisco (the other shower spider), she's done a really good job assisting with ant population control, and she's pretty.

one of my new years resolutions was to be more deliberate.  it was the most important one, and it's also one i've done kind of a lousy job with.  i'm so gogogo all the time that i struggle with making the right choice instead of the fun choice, or even the right choice instead of the easy choice.  and last night was better!  and now i can go home today to my clean dog and clean(er) house with my stronger legs and feel proud of what i've done.  next stop: get my daggum halloween costume together!

October 28, 2014


summer trumps all other season a hundred times over in my mind, but a lot of things about fall are my favorite.  halloween is my favorite.  pumpkin seeds are my favorite.  scarves are my favorite.  but maybe more than anything, the fair is my favorite.

jessi and i went this year, like we did three years in a row in high school, except without garrett or reema or miranda. and it was wonderful.  we rode all the best rides and ate all the best food and flirted with all the cute guys (there were four!)

also  there was a balloon exhibit that was like balloon animals on crack.  it was the coolest.

October 24, 2014

an adventure

last night i powered through the last hundred and so pages of wild and it got me all jazzed up for backpacking.  when ryan and i went camping last weekend, we hiking the tiniest portion of the mountains-to-sea trail, and the whole time we were on it, i was thinking "i could do this, i could do all of this," so every time i got to the end of the chapter, i'd pick up my phone and research the mst and backpacking with dogs (cause obviously bixby would come) and what have you.  when i put the book down for good, i had to get out the big guns so i lugged my laptop into bed and followed the length of the trail using the interactive map on the friends of the mst website, picturing the mountains falling into the piedmont spreading out to the coast.  can you imagine?

we'd start next july, i think, put all my belongings in storage when my lease runs up and hitch a ride (from sarah or someone, not literally hitchhiking yikes) to clingman's dome and bix and i would start walking up and down the mountains.  and it'd be july so i'd need what, shorts, a tshirt, a raincoat?  my new boots <3 and food.  i've talked a big game about hiking the appalachian trail - wanting to, planning it, never doing it, but even though the mst is about half the length, it seems so much more manageable.  at the very farthest, i'd be a five-hour drive from home.  it'd be so easy to find a cafe, charge my phone, meet up with a friend who could hike for a while with me (and maybe bring me more dehydrated food).  it's been a while since i've DONE something - learned to scuba dive, sailed the mediterranean, those big shiny things that make you feel more interesting.  i've been living in the normal adult world for a while, and i'm ready to have an adventure.

October 23, 2014

spontaneity (or, being spontaneous or, the last bison)

yesterday after work i got on instagram and the last bison had posted a picture saying they were playing in durham and of course i love the last bison and sarah also loves the last bison so i texted her at 5:32 and sometimes things just come together because she was all for it.

so we went!  they put on such a good show, they always put on such a good show.  their music is - gypsy folk rock alternative?  it's wonderful.  when the lead singer plays the drums you can feel it all through you, in your heart and your stomach and even the hairs on your arms.  the fiddler is the happiest person on the planet.  the percussionist sometimes plays goat hooves.  i've gotten to see especially the younger boys grow up - i've been following the band for the past couple of years and when you go from 17 to 19 you look different, and it's just neat to be able to see that.  plus they're all connected - siblings and wives and fathers and friends in this happy-heavy-wild gypsy band.  and!!  i found a boy to dance with.  i'm not shy asking about that anymore, and it's okay when they say no, but it's best to find a group of guys and ask which one of them can dance because there's a decent chance one of them knows what they're doing.  so i did that, and one of them said yes, and we danced to one of their slower songs.  he knew how to shag so we made wide circles behind the crowd, swaying and spinning.  and then i went back to sarah and we danced too, jumped and clapped and sang when we knew the words.  live music like that catches me up in a way that nothing else can, and i spent the whole concert just shining smiling.  such a good night.

ps i used to never be able to remember their name, and i always wanted to call them the lost buffalo, teehee

October 22, 2014

exercise gives you endorphins. endorphins make you happy. happy people just don't shoot their husbands.

ballet class monday was taught by a sub named thea.  she had a piercing that went through the bridge of her nose and tattoos all up and down her right arm, and she wore sweatpants and mismatched socks.  when i saw her in the lobby before the class before us let out, i assumed she was a student in another class - not ballet.  but when the broadway class left, she walked in with the rest of us and started fiddling with the cd player.  our regular teacher has been out all semester with morning/all day sickness, so i've been used to the slew of substitutes.  i've liked them all, but nobody has worked us as hard as danielle.

thea did.  thea was cool and used sixth position in the warm up and told us "femurs out!" a million and one times.  she had us pirouette from flat instead of plie and without pressuring our knees out.  we did insanely difficult petite allegro combinations while she spewed rapidfire feedback at us.  she asked if we wanted to stretch or grande allegro two minutes before class let out, and when we chose the latter, she shot a combination at us and we all just did it.  boom.  it was the best class i've had since summer, and i left sweating and happy.

October 17, 2014

last night i broke out a sweater.  it's new, and it's navy with flecks of white on the torso and stripes on the sleeves, and it is cozy as all get out.  i wore that and a wintery scarf and jeans with boots and i was happy that it is fall.

we had our drinks, and when we were finished and when bixby started to get restless, the three of us walked up franklin street and through campus, and it looked like this:


all quiet and empty (the students are home for fall break).  the air was cool and crisp and it felt good to walk down the brick walkways with no one else around.  like we had the world to ourselves.  like everything but us had stilled.  do you remember the part in bridge to terabithia?  the sacred place?  we were walking through the sacred pine forest they found, and the light reflected between us.

October 16, 2014

this is a boring post

last night was the first night i've had in forever when i didn't have any plans.  i kind of didn't know what to do with myself.  plus i was exhausted.  it was pretty boring.

bixby and i went to a new dog park.  we usually go to one near a semi-ritzy neighborhood, so all the fences are green and the benches match and there's a picnic table and this fancy water fountain for dogs and you've got your mulch section and your tree section and your grass section.  the other dog park, the one we went to yesterday, was plain old chain link and the sections were: grass, dirt, swamp.  and all the dogs were less refined looking (??) if that makes any sense at all.  at first bixby was all "moooom this is weeeeird" but he got over that fairly quickly and then he did his awkward thing where he hangs out on the edge of the group and goes "bowowowow."  my dog actually says bow wow!  it's not as cute as you'd think.

then i figured i should probably hit up verizon and get my phone replaced since i smashed it up pretty good and the home button stopped working so i went there and like every experience ever in the verizon store, it was slow and boring and then i got home and the transfer hadn't worked.  thanks a lot, david the verizon store guy.  i will be visiting you again tonight.  please know that it is against my will and yes i know i have a lot of stuff on my phone, sorry?  (i'm not sorry.)

oh, and i hit up barnes & noble and bought wild.  which i will read once i've finished game of thrones el tres.  i think i might hate camping but i desperately don't want to hate camping so i just read books about it and look at pretty pictures (omg this blog) and get all stoked about camping and then i go do it and i'm like "i want to change my pants but i can't stand up."

and that's what happens on nights when i don't have plans.  so now you know.

October 13, 2014


somehow it felt shorter than other times i've been, even though i was there longer.  actually, i've never been the whole time like i was this year - got there thursday and slept in my tent every single night, through the rain and birds and morning communion and fire circle and everything.  there was dancing, but not as much dancing, there were late nights but they weren't as late.  i dunno what i was doing really.  i forgot to eat dinner on saturday until nine o'clock and even then i shared it with someone and didn't even finish and wound up leaving on the picnic table to go listen to someone else play.

i made so many little connections with people.  we've camped next to the same people the last three times, but this was the first year we really talked.  and they're sweet!  and the girl i've known for nine years or something - we bonded, we actually fell asleep during this jam session, someone had hauled a couch out to their campsite and we fell asleep on either end of it (jam sessions are great).  and then this guy from high school that i'd never really talked to - such a sweet dude!  and the guy from the massage tent!  that girl that was training her puppy to be a service dog!  and the guy that led the meditation session (and his girlfriend too)!  that guy that bought me a beer!  the girl i sat with for an hour on a blanket and talked about boys with!  not to sound too hippie-dippie, but shakori is a nice place because everyone's so happy and open and willing/wanting to make friends and form bonds and YEAH let's do this and see them and go here and happy shakori happy shakori happy shakori.

(the first time anyone said happy shakori to me was bobby, and he was eating an apple, and i'd never heard it before, and it was such a perfect little bubbly moment.  so that's what i remember whenever someone says it to me.)

happy shakori, y'all.

October 9, 2014


so shakori starts tonight.  shakori!  finally!!  i'm so excited, i've been so excited for so long, i bought a tent tuesday and practiced setting it up in my living room, ordered flash tats (they are gonna be so. rad.), packed up my twirly dresses, all i need is some rum and pb&j and i am good to go.  i always have the most wonderful time, which often means i completely forget to take pictures and/or my phone has died because that's how shakori goes, so i just have the mud and faded face paint and sleep deprivation and music humming in my head and muscles that remember all the dancing, all the twirling, all the dipping i did.  oh shakori.

bummer part: leaving this dude behind.  honestly, half the time lately he's been driving me up a wall, so it's probably for the best that we have a few days to remember how great the other one is (AHEM BIX, I'M GREAT, PLEASE STOP PULLING ON YOUR LEASH AND BARKING AT THE NEIGHBORS).  it's not as hard leaving him as it was the first time around - because this time i can pretend that he might know i'm coming back, plus i'm really excited to see the happy look on his little doggy face when he sees me again.

but for now let's focus on this:


October 8, 2014

puppy love

bixby's crush lives in this big yellow house.  her name is aspen, and she's a beautiful, blue-eyed australian shepherd.  every time we get close, bix perks up and starts to tug on his leash.  if she's not outside, his eyes search for her: in the yard, on the porch, behind one of the windows.  and if she is there, she gracefully lopes over and says hi and pees underneath one of the bushes that line their yard.  he tries to flirt with her but mostly just winds up jumping around and doing this funny low bark like a big old doof.  oh, the awkward teenage years.  they remind me of john green's mesmerizing female characters and the fumbling boys that fall hopelessly in love with them: i was gawky and she was gorgeous and i was hopelessly boring and she was endlessly fascinating.  so i walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, i was drizzle and she was a hurricane.  poor, poor bixby.

BUT i took this picture yesterday, the one time we've passed when she's been home and noticed us walking by but had no owners to let her out.  if you look very, very closely, you can see her in the front doorway, saying "hi! hi! hi!" and it makes me think that maybe she has a little bit of a crush on him too ;)

October 6, 2014

this weekend in numbers

one free fanny pack (!!!)
"it's october third."
three LITs.
one set of keys locked in my house.
four great neighbors!  one air mattress.
$65 for a locksmith.
two naps.
twenty-five years, happy birthday sarah!
threeee pizzas.
four extra sweatshirts because 60 degrees.
1025 laser tag points.
seven out of eight corn maze checkpoints (we never found #6).
four hours.  eight tired feet - bixby came too.
two grocery stores.
four pumpkins!
two episodes of game of thrones.  one headless ned stark :(

the end.

October 3, 2014

and that's all i have to say about that.

once you have had a white cheddar cheez-it

there really is no other kind of cheez-it.

October 2, 2014

how to teach a dog to run, and other things that should have happened sooner

teaching a dog to run is not as easy as it may sound.

he can walk on a leash perfectly pleasantly.

and he is speedy mcduff at the dog park!

but if you put sir bixby on a leash and start to run, he will freak the heck out.  he will try to run way too far ahead.  he will bite his leash and toss his head.  he will stop abruptly.  he will jump on fellow joggers as if to say, "hello look at us both you are running and i am running and we are all running!"  the joggers are not quite so overjoyed.

but it's silly and time-consuming for me to walk a dog for forty minutes and then jog around for another twenty when i could just run for twenty minutes total and have a tuckered out dog at the end of everything.  so today bixby and i practiced running.

he promptly ran too far ahead, bit his leash and tossed his head around, stopped abruptly, and jumped on a fellow jogger.  it wasn't a great start.

BUT.  it got better.  we tried again down the road when he'd had a chance to get some of that initial WE'RE ACTUALLY ON A WALK out of his system.  and he did slightly better sort of!  so then we walked a little and then we tried again.  and he did very nicely!  so that's what we did the rest of the time: ran a little, walked a little, ran a little, etc etc.  and then we got very very distracted by a squirrel at the brick frat boy house and had to look at that for a while.

but when we got home, buck the maintenance man had still not delivered a dehumidifier, which was incredibly disappointing.

October 1, 2014

fall capsule

here it comes: the enthralling post about exactly what clothes i'll be wearing (outside work, dog walking, exercise, and super fancy hours) for the next two months, because north carolina is bipolar weather-wise and i didn't want to commit to any longer than that.  can't promise i won't get bored, but i'm going to do my best to live out this style experiment until the end of november.

without further ado, here's the lineup.

i am a tights and dresses kind of girl.  i've known that, and figuring out my capsule only cemented this fact.  tights and dresses and boots (and possibly a headband à la blair waldorf for good measure). so these are the first four of seven.

1) striped dress from anthropologie.  it's thicker than i like for summer, but oh man it looks good with tights and boots.  so good.
2) floral dress from target.  this is the only dress i included that has long sleeves, so obviously it's a winter dress, even though the material is thin.
3) aztec dress from charming charlie.  i think i shrunk this in the wash, in the length direction and not the width direction, but i realized just today that i can wear it with tights and have it be perfectly acceptable.
4) black twirly dress from nordstrom.  it twirls a lot.  that's all.

the white-ish dress collection; or, even more things to wear with tights.

5) white jersey dress from banana republic.  this is great with maroon tights and brown boots and a brown belt.  it can also be tied up into a pretend shirt, double duty.
6) pink lace dress from the loft.  i wear this all the time.  all the time.
7) white lace dress from nordstrom.  this dress seems redundant next to the pink one, but i also really love it, and i had one of those "this outfit is so ME!" moments wearing it, so in it stays.

eesh this one came out extra blurry.  welcome to the tshirt section!  they are very neutral.  but none of them are black!

8) maps tshirt from jcpenney.  specifically the young men's section.  this was bought on somewhat of a whim, but it looks pretty dang good with my black skinny jeans.  we'll see.
9) tan tshirt from target.  chosen because it's hecka soft and goes with just about everything.
10) white tshirt from target.  it will be a lifesaver, this one.
11) best friends tshirt from etsy.  this one just says friends, sarah's says best, but i wear it all the time, even when she's not with me to make the joke.  it's the softest shirt.

these are all my loose flowy shirts that are made out of weird thin material.

12) black shirt from nordstrom rack.  this one's suuuuper basic but i anticipate wearing it with jeans and scarves a lot.
13) aztec shirt from stitch fix.  love the pattern a lot lot lot.  this one gets a lot of wear already.
14) black and white shirt from tj maxx.  not sure if i've gotten tired of this one or not.  it didn't get a ton of use over the summer, but maybe that's just cause it looks best with jeans.  i dunno.

all the long sleeves!

15) blue flannel from american eagle.  staple to wear in the fall.  gotta show my appalachian roots somewhere, ya know?
16) tan cardigan from nordstrom rack.  i wear cardigans all. the. time. at work but in normal life i can't quite wrap my head around them.  i don't know why that is.  but here's the one i anticipate wearing this fall.
17) striped shirt from jcrew.  this may not be a wise choice.  it only really looks good with one particular scarf.  we will see how the cookie crumbles.
18) navy sweater from talbots.  yes, i'm probably the only person under 40 (50?) that shops there.  but man oh man, this sweater.  i was way into a book called adorable sunday when i was younger and the main character wore a navy sweater with white flecks in it and that's what i thought of when i tried this sweater on and didn't take it off forever.  so sweet, so snuggly.

this is basically the same skirt three times over.  what can i say, it works for me.

19) blue skirt from talbots.  i know, again.  hush.
20) gold skirt from madewell.  this is something i wear on rainy days when i want to brighten up the day a little.  it makes me happy.
21) striped navy skirt from banana republic.  my friend made fun of me when i got this because it matches exactly the cartoon june girl in a calendar we both have.  i like june, okay?

all the pants!

22) skinny jeans from target, denizen brand.  these were the first skinny jeans i found that i legit loved.  the only skinny jeans?  possibly.
23) destroyed jeans from abercrombie and fitch.  these are a staple in my non-summer wardrobe and i just couldn't leave them out.
24) ankle jeans from lucky.  i always fold these up so they're capri length, but i don't know if that's cool anymore.  looks better than how stumpy ankle jeans make my legs look in my opinion.
25) black jeans from talbots.  last one, i promise!  these are...what they sound like.  they're skinny but not WAY skinny.  i like em.
26) white shorts from express.  like i said, it's unpredictable here, and the forecast is promising us a few more 80-degree days.  here's hoping.

the boots!  boots are my jam.

27) fold over boots from fabrik.  these were underutilized last year.  the problem is that they look better with jeans than with tights.  i'll have to fix that this year because they're really actually cute.
28) tall brown boots from fabrik.  i wear these all the time.  all the all the time.
29) black boots from cole haan.  recent hand-me-downs.  black boots are an annual struggle for me - how do you get ones that don't look like they're trying to be badass?  but i think these will do very, very nicely.
30) low brown boots from forever 21.  these are kind of the backup to the tall brown boots.  they're grayer, so they go with the cooler-colored things better.

home stretch!  these are my sneakers.  oh, i love sneakers.  i don't love ballet flats, i don't love heels, i love boots and i love sneakers.  clearly.

31) nikes from rumors.  rumors is this cool edgy boutique that opened up downtown maybe a year ago.  they have an instagram that they post their clothes and shoes on sometimes, and as soon as i saw these, i drove straight over and snagged them.  they match approximately nothing, but i love them.
32) converse high tops, of course.
33) converse low tops, because double of course.  i've never had white ones before, and i adore them.
34) inkkas in blackbird.  really love these guys.

i'm waiting for a couple things to come in via the mailman, but this is basically it.  see ya in december, all my other clothes!

postscript: i don't have a particular theme when it comes to where i buy clothes.  they're all in the cheapish to middling range generally, but it's not like i got half my wardrobe from one place.  this capsule includes six pieces from target and three from talbots (i'm sorry) and one or two items from twenty-two other stores.  that's not actually interesting, but i kind of think it's interesting.

end postscript.
there is nothing nothing nothing quite like the thrill of excitement i get when i see those three little words:



the trip to duke forest that wasn't

yesterday morning i decided to take bixby to duke forest.  my dad used to take us there when we were little, it's all these hiking trails with a river going through it, really cool, there's a special place we would always stop to eat our subway.  and oh man, i was excited.  i was like a parent who was going to surprise their kid with a trip to disney world.  not to mention it was the perfect way to let bixby test his new backpack out (dogs wearing backpacks slay me.  look how useful you are!  look how people you are!).  so we loaded up and hit the road and pit stopped at subway because that is a crucial part of duke forest and i found the little gravel road and we parked and i got bix all set up with his adorable backpack and we walked up to the entrance and lo and behold, there were these nasty signs.  the signs said CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY SEP 29 - DEC 19, 2014 FOR THE DEER HERD REDUCTION PROGRAM.  if i said i didn't consider going in anyway i would be lying, but i didn't feel like getting shot at and it just didn't seem wise to bring my little deer-colored munchkin into the woods while a bambi's mom situation was going on.  the only other hiking trails i could think of were the eno, but i didn't feel like driving out to the eno, so i was all "whatever, we'll go to duke gardens" but it just wasn't the same, you know?  manicured shrubbery just doesn't compare to rugged dirt trails when rugged dirt trails are what you're in the mood for.  so when i saw a sign that said CITY PARK i pulled a U-ie (ugliest word ever award) and me and bix went there.
it just so happened to be a city park that included a disc golf course, so we plopped down on a log by hole 9 and i ate my subway and bix ate his kibble and i bugged the people trying to actually play.  then since we still hadn't gotten any kind of walk/hike in, bixby and i walked around the disc golf course in order, which was a lot like the world's lamest scavenger hunt.  it kept getting duskier, and the whole course wound through the woods, and i'm not convinced we ever even found hole 16, so at least it wasn't world's easiest scavenger hunt.  and honestly, even though bixby thought i was kind of nuts for going in the exact opposite of a straight line, we had a great time out there in the wilderness that is the durham city park disc golf course.

and then this morning he puked in the road.

the end.