The Travel Itch

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I hardly know how to start this post. I’m antsy and all over the place at the moment. Frisbee training just got cancelled so now I’m chugging white wine and trying to calm down. Because wine is my answer for everything, wheeee!

I woke up this morning feeling SO thrilled that the temperature was finally below 20ºC. I opened all the windows and sat right in front of the cool breeze wearing a hoodie for the first time since May. As insane as it might sound, I’m fucking done with summer. The heat has made me anxious and crazy and unproductive. I’m ready for autumn. I can’t wait to drink tea and bake pies and be all cozy inside. (It also marks the moment when I switch back from chilled white wine to the red wine I truly desire. Hallelujah.)

It also just started raining for the first time in what feels like a million years, and I am SO fucking excited.

I don’t really know where I’m going with this, so I guess I’ll just get to the point.

As you might have noticed, I haven’t been writing once per week as I promised I would do. At times it has been lack of inspiration, but there’s a bigger (and more positive) reason for my silence.

To paint the picture a little better: my travel itch is really out of control at the moment. It’s gotten pretty severe lately, so much so that even though I have a trip next week, another in mid-September, and another in November, I had to plan yet another in October just to feel like I was actually filling up my calendar. People keep telling me that I travel a lot, and I don’t believe them, because I’m insane and apparently my threshold for traveling is ridiculously high. (Also, I never count frisbee as “traveling,” which I suppose isn’t entirely fair, but I can’t help it. So then I have to plan other trips that are not frisbee just to even it all out.)

The combination of this travel itch, my lengthy unemployment, and me feeling like I’m on the brink of losing my mind all combined in a perfect storm in my brain and led to the following decision: I’m starting a new blog. Eeeep!

This probably sounds really silly to, well, all of you. Because if I can’t even make myself write on this one, why the fuck would I start a new one? But here’s the thing: I’ve spent the last 8 months miserably unemployed, trying to find jobs, trying to figure out what I’m good at, trying to figure out how to market myself as a freelance whatever-the-fuck. And it’s been awful. I’ve hated every minute of it, and I’ve legitimately gotten nowhere.

And then about a month ago, I had an epiphany. I’m already unemployed and have nothing to do. And trying to do things I’m good at (in theory) wasn’t going anywhere. So why not start doing something I want to do, and then see if I can turn that into some sort of career? That was when the floodgates opened and the ideas started pouring out, and I’ve spent the past month trying to sort them out and winnow down and focus and make this thing happen. It’s been overwhelming, but I also haven’t been this excited about anything in over a year, so this is huge. Fucking huge.

I don’t want to get too much into details yet (because, of course, I’m still working them out), but I will be starting a travel blog and launching a travel consultancy based here in Amsterdam. I’ve made a goal to have the blog launched by mid-September, and I’ve already started an Instagram account (you can follow it here, if you feel so inclined). I still intend to use my personal IG account for my own shit, and I’ll still be using this blog for personal stories, but the idea is to professionalise everything and, hopefully, somewhere in the future, actually turn my passion for traveling and writing into a career.

(And don’t worry, just because I’ve professionalised doesn’t mean I’ll lose my voice. It’s still my blog and it’ll still be me writing, for the most part. There will just be less profanity. Because I do realise I curse like a sailor and maybe that’s not the best way to get new readers on board… Fucking losers.)

Anyway. I actually dreamed of being a travel writer when I was teenager. And somehow I lost track of that dream. And it’s kind of exciting to find it again. I feel oddly giddy about the whole thing. Kind of like this:IMG_2439(That emptiness behind me is the life abyss I’m about throw myself into, and I don’t even care!!)

So yeah. That’s what’s up. The life update for the masses, if you will.

And since we’re here, and I’m now slightly wine tipsy and feeling sentimental, I’ll just say one more thing. The past year (as many of you know) has been rough. And losing my old job was a lot more difficult than I anticipated it would be. But, despite the anger and feelings of bitterness I held on to for some time afterwards, I will be forever grateful to that job, because it afforded me the opportunity to travel extensively, meet people from all over the world, and ultimately move to Europe to start a new life on a new continent. And that is fucking rad as fuck. So, I gotta give a little hat tip to Five for giving me fodder and fuel for my absurd travel habit. I’m sure I would have been a travel junkie either way, but I definitely appreciated all those free flights to Europe over the years.

And finally, big love to all the people I’ve met along the way, and here’s to the people I’ll meet in the future. I’ve especially been feeling lots of affection for a very particular group of people this week (@TFTD–you know who you are). Somehow I got the opportunity to put together a frisbee team full of people from all over the place, and they are the most fun and coolest and kindest crew on earth, and every time I think of them or hear from them, I feel warm inside. Thanks for reminding me that communities don’t always live in one place. Y’all are my family. So much love. Can’t wait to be reunited with you all sometime soon ❤

Alright, so that got super sappy at the end there. But if you were here drinking wine with me, I guarantee I’d make you start telling me sappy stories pretty damn quickly. Cuz that’s just the vibe I’m in right now. Also, my roommate who has been away for a month will be home in about 45 minutes, and I’m ridiculously excited to see her. So all the warm fuzzy feelings are happening right now. #sorrynotsorry #bitchdontkillmyvibe

Love you losers. Sailor-mouth Christina will never die, I promise. Mwah.

P.S. Lisa, sorry I’m gonna be kinda drunk when you get home. But there’s some wine in the fridge for you 🙂

 

Summer Slippin’ Away

Well, I’ve failed at my “write once per week” plan. But to be fair, I’ve been really busy and that’s legitimately the only reason I haven’t updated in a while. Lots of ideas for upcoming posts, but in the meantime, here’s a brief taste of recent highlights:

1. Turning a chill “club social” into a 4am rager. Fortunately (for me) there is no photo evidence…

2. Winning Dutch Competition with this badass group of ladies. I’m a fucking National Champion, yo.35653551_650726871943903_1019904353110065152_o.jpg

3. Partying at Europe’s largest ultimate frisbee tournament for 3 straight days. (Yeah, I also did some work. Whatever.)36342048_2121985134757086_9085663557005082624_o.jpg

4. Drinking ALL the scotch in Scotland. (More on this one later.)IMG_3401.jpg

5. Cheering on Belgium in the World Cup quarterfinal and drinking far too much beer. (And gin.)

6. Spending the next day hungover, swimming in the IJ, and watching more football on one of the loveliest and laziest days I’ve had this year so far. (Go Croatia!)

7. Spending a warm and sunny Sunday cycling down the Amstel to drink wine in the cutest little Dutch town.IMG_3459.JPG

8. Packing for another holiday, this time off to France for fancy dinner with my dad in Paris, followed by a music festival on a Normandy beach for 3 days…

So, further updates will have to wait until next week. À la prochaine fois! ❤

Trying

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Today is June 4th. Just two days shy of the 7 month mark since I shared this post about the personal struggles I had been facing of late. In it, I discussed the ugly cycle of my SOBs (or States Of Being) and how they were the overwhelming force in my life and dictated my every action. And in that post, I also said that I would like to blog more, because I thought it would bring me just a little bit of joy. And maybe those tiny bits of joy might help knock me out of that ugly cycle. Just maybe.

But of course, things don’t always work out as planned (or hoped). The SOB cycles got worse and uglier, to the point where they were barely even cycles anymore. Instead, they just melted into an endless cloud of despair and failure that seemed to follow me everywhere. And I couldn’t write. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t bring myself to do anything at all, really. It took most of my energy just to get myself out of bed every day. After that, nothing else was possible. I had no energy left.

And I don’t want to get too far into the weeds here, but suffice it to say that ugly cycles and ugly feelings ultimately lead a person to do ugly things. I’m not proud of myself, and have struggled with excessive amounts of self-loathing over the past months because of actions I’ve taken that I truly, honestly believe are not me. I damaged friendships, and worse, I damaged myself. Perhaps one day my friends will forgive me for what I’ve done, but I will never forgive myself.

That was a breaking point for me, so I decided to take some time away. I love Amsterdam. It feels like home and I hope to remain here for a long time. But it’s also been the site of some pretty severe personal trauma and turmoil, and I couldn’t continue plowing through anymore. I had hit a wall. I needed to leave. So I went back to the U.S. and stayed with my parents for three weeks. I didn’t look for jobs or try to “move forward,” if you will. I just tried to be. To relax. To sleep and rest and enjoy what life might feel like if you had absolutely no worries at all (which, essentially, is what life feels like when you’re at your parents’ home, with a warm bed and free meals and nothing to do but be you).

Unsurprisingly, I went through many emotional cycles during that three weeks. And ultimately, it was good. I rested. I cried. I laughed. I learned. I planned. And I prepared to come back to Amsterdam knowing that a) I’m still not “ok,” and b) this shit isn’t going to be easy. But I made a plan, and while I still feel like I’m barely scraping at the bottom of the barrel emotionally, I’m at least somewhat less tired physically, and I am prepared to fight for the life that I want to lead.

This doesn’t mean I’m coming out guns blazing and full of energy and optimism. No way. I’m still sad most of the time, and every day still feels like a lot of effort. But I made some decisions at home that I intend to follow through on. And I don’t feel the need to list all of them here now, but there is one in particular that makes sense to share.

I intend to blog more.

You have every reason not to believe me, because I’ve said this before. But here’s the catch: this is beyond just a vague thought of “I should do this, it’ll be fun!” but more a “I MUST do this, it is now a requirement.” I’ve made a rule for myself that I have to post here at least once per week. Even if I don’t feel like it. It’s now required. It’s on my list of things that I decided. So, I’ll just have to suck it up.

Additionally, this ties into another “decision” I made at home, which I’m not quite ready to share in full, but hopefully will be exciting to some of you. Which also involves writing. And sharing things. And being cool. Or whatever people on the internet are doing these days.

So this all might sound insane, and that’s fair. I am a little bit insane (and always have been, I feel). But right now, my emotional brain is a mess of bad and ugly and crazy and, worst of all, soul-suckingly self-destructive. So it no longer gets to call the shots. My logical brain is now in charge. And my emotional brain is not going to like it, but tough shit. There are RULES now. This isn’t ‘Nam. (It’s also not bowling, but whatever.)*

Anyway. I don’t want to get too carried away here. I just shared a lot of really real shit and it’s a bit terrifying. Plus, I just talked about how my logical brain is in charge, while I sit here at 11:44 PM on a Monday after having consumed 3/4 of a bottle of red wine and spilling my guts on the internet. But whatever. At this point, you’ve probably already passed some judgment on me, and if the “drinking wine at 11pm on a Monday” is the thing that really puts you over the edge, you’re reading the wrong fucking blog.

See? I might be depressed, but I can still be an irreverent bitch. And somehow, that’s comforting to me. *insert winky kissy face emoji here*

To everyone who made it this far (and especially to the ones who know I’m not actually an irreverent bitch in real life), y’all are the best. For reals.

Thank you.

 

*If you didn’t catch the reference, look it up. And if you still don’t get it after you’ve looked it up, watch the movie. Not my fave but it’s a goddamn classic and everyone should probably see it at some point anyway.

Here goes nothing.

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Ok, so it’s been over a year. I’m great at this blogging thing, for reals. But I think it’s time I try again, for a few reasons. First, several people have asked me over the past few weeks why I stopped blogging. “You were good at that! You should keep doing it!” Well, shucks. That’s pretty damn sweet. Guess I should give the people what they want, right? (Also, thanks everyone. Y’all are the best.)

The second reason is that I really need a distraction. (Warning: heavy content ahead.) I’ll just be perfectly blunt about it: I am beyond miserable and every single day is a struggle right now. It sucks. A lot. The past two years have been incredibly difficult for so many reasons, this past year in particular. Worst year of my life, if I’m being perfectly honest (although 2008-09 comes pretty damn close). And I am not optimistic about anything at the moment, which is a pretty shit place to be existing but hey, so it goes. And while I have no confidence that blogging will fix anything, it can’t possibly hurt. Plus, there is something to be said for taking the time to remember fun times and wild nights and writing them down. At the very least, it’s a short respite from the daily slog.

I’ve been rotating between three states of being over the past many months. I like to call these SOBs [States Of Being] because a) duh and b) it also means “sons of bitches” and that’s fucking hilarious. Because sometimes my state of being is a total fucking SOB and I want to punch it in the face. And the mental image in my head of my SOB being an SOB and me drop kicking it in the ass like a football makes me smile. (Apologies for the violence, but it’s only in my head, I promise. Also, sorry if that was confusing. Acronyms are hard.)

ANYWAY. Back to the point. Three states of being. The first is “meh” or complete and utter apathy about everything. This SOB is also well-represented by the shrug emoji. This is my favourite SOB because when I am apathetic, it’s harder to ruffle my feathers. I also tend to find nearly everything funny. Oh, I just dropped my ice cream on the sidewalk? HAHA THAT’S HILARIOUS. And then I laugh because life is such a bitch, and what else can you do but laugh about it?

Of course, SOB #1 doesn’t last forever, and usually then morphs into one of the next two states. The second state of being is something I like to call IDGAF, or I Don’t Give A Fuck. This is a pretty angry SOB. I also tend to be pretty manic when I’m feeling this way. High energy, low morale, and a complete hatred of everything around me. During these times, when something bad happens, my response tends to be something along the lines of “NOTHING MATTERS” and then feeling bitter while simultaneously dancing around my living room. Because obviously it does matter and I do care, but it just never seems to go my way and I’m not sure how to handle it. I don’t like this SOB because it scares the people around me. Also, my brain is mean. Yikes.

If I’m lucky, I go from SOB #2 back to #1, and I feel better for a while. If not, along comes SOB #3. This one I like to call Fake It Till You Make It, also known as “put a smile on it and no one will notice that you’re miserable!” The problem with this SOB is that it doesn’t really work, but I’ve convinced myself that it does so I keep trying. And then, when I’m in the middle of it, I’m smiling like a lunatic to try and hide my misery, and then I’m pretty sure that if I keep fake-smiling this hard, I will actually turn into a cartoon smiley face, or a deranged version of the Cheshire Cat, and it will be so terrifying that everyone will flee the scene. This is my least favourite SOB, mostly because it only appears when I’m absolutely at my most miserable. But also, it’s no longer working, and I’m not really sure what to do about it. My friends have started seeing through my fake smiles (big surprise there) but I’m still too afraid to explain things to them for fear they will run away.

Despite all of this, there are still moments of joy. Most of these occur when I’m on holiday, or doing something special (going to a concert, or whatnot). Last week was filled with joyful moments, because I was away in Berlin and Paris and blocked out the real world for a while. But the comedown from these manic and happy times is rough. I got back yesterday and today has been unbelievably difficult (hence the swift and brutal arrival of SOB #3).

So, to finally bring this full circle, I am reigniting the blog. It will give me an excuse to relive joyous moments by writing them down, and will also (hopefully) encourage me to try and make increasingly more of those moments in the future. I also suck at documenting things (I tend to hate my phone when I am intoxicated, so then I forget to take pictures) but maybe this blogging thing will encourage me to be better about recording fun moments through some completely shitty and blurry photographs. How could you not be excited about that?

This post got too long, so I’m done for now. But soon, Berlin and Paris. Starting tomorrow.

Joy still exists. I just need to keep remembering that.

I really should put things here more often.

IMG_0145Urban beach party! This shit was the jam.

Well, here we are again. Months ago, I recounted the harrowing tale of my new life in Amsterdam. At this point, I’ve forgotten all about that crap. But at the time, it sucked. A whole fucking lot. (Ok, so I haven’t forgotten. The world and particularly the absurd Dutch bureaucracy spent many months telling me to pack up and go back to America. It was infuriating. I might still be a little bit angry.)

BUT. The point is, it’s over now. And guess what? THINGS ARE SO MUCH BETTER! In fact, I feel like I can basically live my life now and the Dutch government isn’t trying to make each day a living hell anymore! So that’s nice. (I’m not being sarcastic. It really is nice!)

But the REAL point is, I’ve been doing so many things and I haven’t written about any of them! It’s a total disaster. (Not the doing things part, just the failing to record it part.) I guess that’s what happens when you live a fast-paced, crazy, completely unreasonable lifestyle.

(I’ve gotta say, I really never expected to be living this kind of life. It’s a bit mad, really. But I love it, so who’s complaining?)

But here’s the kicker: there are two sides to every story. There’s the “my life is insane!” story (in a good way). On this side are some of the absurd things I’ve done over the past many months, such as:

  • Sledding down the side of a mountain in Switzerland while slightly tispy
  • Pouring honey rum into someone’s mouth from the top of a human pyramid 4m tall
  • Watching my father get hilariously hammered at a Gin Festival
  • Climbing on the roof of a building while very intoxicated against the advice of pretty much everybody
  • Drunkenly running around naked in a children’s playground in a London suburb at 3am
  • Falling off my bike while inebriated. Doing it again a month later.

(If you hadn’t noticed, I like synonyms. But also, I promise I’m not always drunk.)

But, you see, there’s also another side to this story. There are all the very sober, very real “my life is insane!” moments that seem to scare the shit out of my non-insane friends. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard “Um, you seriously need a vacation” or “WTF are you doing with your life?” or “You’re doing WAY more than one might consider normal” or the horrified stares I get when I say my next weekend at home isn’t for 2 months.

And to all those people, here’s what I have to say: you are right. This is totally unsustainable. I’m addicted to having a completely unreasonable schedule and I don’t know how to stop!

IMG_0029This is my “I am trying to be normal” face. Convincing, right?

But with all the bad comes the good, right? And lately, it feels like the good has been even better and more fun, so I don’t exactly want to stop, despite the fact that I am highly aware I might just drop dead from stress at any moment. But it’s worth it, damnit! #livingontheedge

[Cue: wine. I am drinking it now. Because why should I start being reasonable NOW? That would just be absurd.]

So, instead of listening to all the reasonable people in my life, I am doing EVERYTHING and loving it. Who needs sanity anyway? ALSO, I’ve realized I have a backlog of half-written posts about some of the aforementioned adventures, which I am planning to finish right now. Because, why not? Also, wine.

Get ready. The deluge is coming. And this time, I’m not fucking around.*

*She said for the millionth time.

******************

[Next time, on Christina’s totally unreasonable adventures: I’m about to spend a week in Belgium! Let’s see how much trouble I can get into there.]

The Turnaround

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I knew this moment would come eventually. The moment when life suddenly felt right-side-up again. The moment when I stopped “trying to be” and started “being” an Amsterdammer. The moment when, sure, life was still scary and different and I’m still not really sure what I’m doing, but that’s just life so who cares where I am when I feel those things?

It’s been a month since my last post, and it’s not because I was lacking things to write about. There are several half-written posts sitting in my drafts folder that I just never managed to finish. That time I went to Carnival in Den Bosch. The fact that I’ve started cooking good food again. All the craft beer I’ve been drinking. That time I biked 50km round-trip to Haarlem and drank at a brewery inside a church.

But I never finished writing those posts because, frankly, it’s hard to write honestly and sound like yourself when you’re not really feeling like yourself. And basically since I arrived in Amsterdam, I’ve felt a bit like a ghost watching myself try to live this new life. But I wasn’t actually living it yet.

There have been many low points, including one night where I sent my boss a very emotional email at 9:30pm because, oddly enough, he was the only person who would really understand the stress and isolation I was feeling at that moment. That was rock bottom. That was when I thought I couldn’t do this. That was when I was sure I had made a horrible mistake by deciding to move to another country to run a mini-company.

But things got better, as they inevitably do. And this weekend marked the turning point. The moment when I remembered why I came here. The moment when I realized that this is what I was meant to do. And I realized that maybe, just maybe, I’m kind of good at it.

DSC_0083 copyThis weekend, we moved into our new office. That may not seem like a big deal, but somehow Saturday symbolized everything that I’ve been envisioning for the company I’m supposed to guide through 2016. I came to Amsterdam so that my company could actually accomplish something new and great. And moving into a new office was the symbolic starting point. Everything leading up to this point was just preparation.

Saturday was one of the most exciting days I’ve ever had at work. I had an amazing crew of people around me who were helpful and supportive and just lovely to spend the whole day with. The move went so incredibly smoothly that I could hardly believe it. There was so much smiling and laughing, and the only truly stressful moment was when I set the alarm off and thought the entire building was going to fall down from the racket. (Oops.) And after the move was done and the space was clean and pretty, we stayed there for hours drinking beers and eating burritos and simply enjoying each other’s company.

And no, my whole life doesn’t revolve around work. But work is the reason I came to this place, and all of a sudden I feel like I can actually live here and do things and be Christina again. This Christina just happens to live in Amsterdam now.

It’s finally real.

Sure, I got sick (again) after the move. And sure, there are still plenty of kinks to work out, and I know there will be many bumps in the road ahead. But right now, I’m sitting in bed drinking red wine (which is apparently good for colds, ha!), and I am so incredibly happy that I hardly know what to do with myself.

Thank you to everyone in Amsterdam, in Europe, in America and elsewhere who has been there for me over the past 6 weeks. I love all of you.

And to the Wrecking/Building/Moving Crew from Saturday: y’all are rockstars. I heart you like whoa.

*****

[Next time…] I actually go back to talking about the things I do best! Drinking, traveling, drinking, eating, and riding my bicycle.

Two months, four cities, and a whole lot of drinks.

Well, shit. Time sure does fly. Pretty sure it flies even faster when you’re drinking.

There’s a part of me that wants this to be a complete stream of consciousness post, because as I think back on the last 8 weeks, a flood of completely unrelated phrases keep coming to mind. Things like “beer on the pier” and “drunk leopard” and “fuck this bar, let’s go to that other bar.”

Oh wait, I guess they all relate to drinking. Less unrelated than I thought. Damn, I was really hoping I could be the next great 21st century writer. Like Virginia Woolf. Except drunker and not trying to drown myself.

Blogging about drinking is hard, because when you’re drinking you tend to forget to do important things, like blog about drinking. And then days pass by and you feel so guilty about not writing something that you drink more, and then you forget again, and then it just gets harder and harder to do because you’re ashamed and drunk (again).

Sigh.

But how can I simply brush over the fact that in the last two months I have had epic drinking experiences in Los Angeles, Seattle, Honolulu, and Las Vegas? How can I simply move on and pretend these things didn’t happen?!

I can’t possibly do that. Especially because in the next two months I will be having more drinking experiences in San Francisco, Chicago, and Italy! I have to catch up, dammit! These stories cannot be left untold!

And so, dear friends, we are about to go back in time. Over the next week, I will catch you up on all the wonderful things I have been doing since Christmastime. (Yes, I know I did tell you about that one brunch spot, but really, that’s lame in comparison to what I have NOT told you yet.)

Things you have to look forward to:

  • drunk leopard
  • drunk cousin
  • drunk me
  • drunk me and my girlfriend Aiva hanging out with a 60-year-old dude in Ballard
  • drunk uncle
  • (but not really that last one)

Oh, and did I mention I’m wine drunk right now?! Wheeee!!

[Side note: Two nights ago while opening a bottle of wine, I managed not only to break my corkscrew but also break the entire top part off the bottle itself, which resulted in shards of glass all over the place and completely undrinkable wine. So since then, I have been drinking wine with a vengeance to make up for the fact that I didn’t get any wine on Tuesday.]

🙂

Huzzah!

So happy Thirsty Thursday, friends. I might be too drunk to end this post coherently, and so I shall simply leave and write more posts about all the things I failed to tell you about last month.

Hugs and love,

Drunkstina

Always have tamales in your freezer. (I.e. Notes from Drunkstina)

Honestly, I have nothing super valuable to say right now. BUT I’m drunk and I LOVE writing when I’m drunk.

ALSO, I realized that I never wrote about this SUPER AWESOME thing I did once. I.e. That Time I Made Tamales.

Tonight, I went to the movies. I haven’t actually gone to “the movies” (i.e. major cinema showing current films) since I lived in Chicago. So basically, it’s been over 2 years since I’ve been to the movies.

But today, I did that. I went and saw a current movie. As in, I saw a movie that has just been released.

Today, I saw “Don Jon.”

Ok, so I know most of you are going to laugh, but it’s true. That’s the movie I saw, and I have no regrets. It was actually really interesting. Like, I enjoyed it. And it made me think. And…yeah, all of those things.

If you care, go see it. If not, don’t. Whatever.

My point is this. I got really drunk during the movie (i.e. my friend and I bought a fifth of whiskey and poured half of it into our SUPER GIANT soda, which we sipped throughout the film).

And so, I came home drunk.

And then I remembered that I have tamales in my freezer.

THIS IS THE BEST SCENARIO.

At this point, I’ve decided that I should always have tamales in my freezer. Because when you’re drunk, TAMALES ARE AWESOME.

(They are always awesome. But it’s like magic when you’re drunk.)

I made tamales at my friend Rachel’s house about 3 weeks ago, and I’ve had tons of them in my freezer ever since. And yeah, I’ve been eating them, slowly, occasionally, when I have no other meal plans, or for snacks, or whatever. But then tonight, I came home, drunk, to an empty fridge, and I opened the freezer, and it was like the clouds parted and suddenly all was right with the world.

Tamales.

Holy crap.

Nothing could have been better at that one moment.

I have no good way to end this post. I’m drunk and confused. I’m about to go to a party. I have no pictures of tamales. Really, this feels like a fail.

BUT NO. Drunk writing is never a fail. It’s a thing I am very good at. That is a success! Right???

Ok, I will stop now.

I love you all.

Merry Friday to all, and to all a good drunk!

I’m 124 sandwiches away from 125 sandwiches. Yippee!

This week, I read an article about a woman who writes a blog about sandwiches. That all sounds well and good until you find out the terrible truth: she’s making these sandwiches so that her boyfriend will propose to her.

Yeah. I’m not kidding. The title of the article is “I’m 124 sandwiches away from an engagement ring.” You can read it here.

Despite the fact that I have A LOT OF FEELINGS about this, I’m not going to go into them now. You all come here to read about food, not feminism. And you know what? I plan to deliver.

On Saturday morning I decided to seduce myself with a sandwich.

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Yeah, that’s right. I made my own goddamn sandwich. And I ate it MYSELF.

I’m a big fan of sandwiches in all forms, but the breakfast sandwich is a special, beautiful, sensuous thing. I really do love a good breakfast sandwich. Drooool….

I used the patchwork of items in my lovely fridge to concoct a magical breakfast for myself. Yes. FOR MYSELF. (Note: This is not to say I would never make anyone else a sandwich. I probably would. But only if I really like them and they don’t happen to ask for it.)

Here’s how it all went down:

Step 1: Make coffee.

Step 2: Look inside fridge. Discover what you have at your disposal. Put it all on the counter and ponder it.

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Step 3: Concoct sandwich plan in your head. Determine that as much as you want to put bacon on your sandwich, it’s not going to work out this time. Just doesn’t fit the vibe.

Step 4: Make bacon anyway.

Step 5: MAKE YO’ SANDWICH.

  1. Caramelize onions.
  2. Toast brioche bun in the oven.
  3. Fry an egg.
  4. Meanwhile, drink coffee and eat bacon.
  5. Once bread is toasted, ASSEMBLE.
  6. Spread mustard on top piece of bread.
  7. Spread ricotta cheese on bottom piece of bread.
  8. Gently, lovingly place roasted pepper on top of ricotta cheese.
  9. Even more lovingly slide fried egg onto pepper.
  10. Carefully arrange caramelized onions on top of egg.
  11. Top with salad greens.
  12. Admire.

Step 6: EAT YO’ SANDWICH.

All in all it turned out to be a pretty good sandwich, given that I patched the whole thing together with little to no advance planning. Pro-tip for next time: AVOCADO would have made this sandwich amazing.

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[Fast-forward to Sunday morning.]

On Sunday, I woke up close to noon and my first thought was “sandwich.” (Sometimes I think I might just be brilliant.)

But sadly I could not recreate Saturday’s concoction, as I was out of roasted peppers. WHATEVER WOULD I DO???

Fear not, it all worked out. I had kale!

Kale on a sandwich?

Yes. I am telling you now: yes.

With bacon.

And tomato.

It looks like this:

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I’m sure it’s lovely to have someone make you a sandwich. I mean, why would you ever turn down a sandwich?

But here’s the thing, Stephanie Smith. You can go right on making your 300 sandwiches for your douchebag boyfriend. I, on the other hand, am going to make MYSELF 300 goddamn sandwiches.

Because you know what? There is nothing more satisfying than making a really delicious sandwich for yourself.

 

People-watching notes that everyone will understand

Holy shit, it’s June. HALF THE YEAR HAS ESCAPED. I have a lot of beer-drinking to catch up on.

Fortunately, I am about to go to Amsterdam, which is home to some pretty old beer. I don’t know if “old” is the way to go here, but sometimes you need to try new things, right? But seriously, there is great beer in Amsterdam, and it will be stuff I can’t get here. So I’m pretty excited about that.

Other than that, I’m ashamed to say I haven’t done all that much “awesome” stuff in the last month. I’ve been travelling a ton for work, which (to be fair) has resulted in a few great experiences (an excellent cocktail bar in Boston, a wonderful beer bar/gastropub in Madison). But mostly, I’ve been working, and when I haven’t been working, I’ve been sleeping. (Or I’ve been drinking fruit-beer floats at my friend Rachel’s house in the Wisconsin countryside, which was actually pretty awesome.)

But overall, I’ve been neglecting my drinking/eating/writing duties. And for that, I am sorry.

Tonight I decided it was time to start being cool again. (Also, I need to start training for Amsterdam. I am horribly unprepared.)

I am sitting at my favorite neighborhood bar, Hopvine. I started by writing a little bit for my freelance job, and then I got distracted by people-watching. And I suddenly realized that I have seen all of this before.

People-watching is fun because every human being is different, and therefore, every human interaction is different. But I suddenly realized, sitting here alone and tipsy, that my brain is automatically labeling these cinema-like experiences and putting them into groups based on things I’ve seen before. For example:

–The friends who haven’t seen each other in ages even though they live in the same city

–The chill dude who comes here often because it’s his favorite bar, but this time he brought his dad, and he’s super excited about it but also a little bit embarrassed

–The old guy sitting by himself reading the paper and enjoying a brew

–The 30-year-old guy sitting by himself watching the game

–The girl sitting by herself working on her laptop (homework? work? what?) — NOTE: This is probably what I am to everyone else

–The young professionals on a double date (always a fan favorite)

–The old couple on a date (i.e. not married, just on a date) – this is my FAVORITE thing and incredibly adorable (also pretty rare, so you should be excited when you witness it)

–The girlfriends catching up (with the inevitable “So I guess I’m dating him now” conversation and the whole “Is that a good thing?” follow-up question)

–The guy alone at the bar who is friends with the bartender

–The guy alone at the bar because he likes the beer here

–The guy alone at the bar because he actually doesn’t know what else to do with himself

And so on.

(These could easily be “the girl alone at the bar” but I am actually just recording what I see right now. So don’t freak out, I’m not sexist. I (girl) am currently alone at a bar too.)

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to “label” these people. In fact, I feel I am doing the opposite. I might be equating my personal impression of their behavior with something I have seen before, but I am in no way trying to label their character. In fact, despite having overheard some very personal conversations, I still don’t think I know anything about these people. And that, to me, is part of the fun.

Watching a single person is entertaining in its own right. Watching two or more humans interact, however, is a full-on show! And again, I’m not making a spectacle out of other humans here. Instead, I am sitting quietly behind my screen (so to other people I’m probably a loser…or a writer, which would be SUPER cool if people believed that) and I’m just observing their behavior.

My point is, humans are cool.

So yeah. That’s all I’ve got for today. I hope you will ponder it briefly, or at least consider it next time you’re at a bar alone. Because I truly believe that people-watching doesn’t need to be judgmental. It can merely be a form of private entertainment derived solely from the coolness of other humans. And that is a pretty cool thing.