Hot Mess Express

Look out 2018,  the hot mess express has left the station and I’m not on it!  As I tinker away in my newly organized apartment I realize for the first time ever that I know exactly where everything is.  Where is my iPad chord? I know.  Do I have AAA batteries? No I do not.  I know what I need and what I don’t need.  The items currently queued in my Amazon wish list are only actual necessities with a purpose instead of something to take up space.  The year feels calmer already!

Now don’t get me wrong, I still intend to buy things I want but currently(for instance) I know that here are cream colored flats about three months from being replaced, so three months I shall wait!  The vacuum found a new home to enjoy.  The keys have a new hook by the door and next Tuesday a special cutting board compartment will be arriving.  Essentially I am a master at this minimalist/organization thing already and we are only few hours in.

New Year, Less Mess

Coming into a new year with an organized life is freeing.  I have no resolutions this year other than to have more fun and to practice living in the moment and for the moment.  In a way doing this exercise to de-clutter clears the mind for other things.  I can continue my quest to become a wine snob.  Maybe I can even finish one of the 20 books I’ve started that are staring at me from the shelf.  What my thirty-ish years have taught me is that it is going to take effort to keep this decluttered life afloat, all the more reason to try.

The problem I’ve always had with resolutions was the expectation of it all.  You force expectations on yourself and failure is always an option but failure isn’t reality.  To me not living up to a resolution simply means that it is time to re-evaluate and change direction.

Tomorrow reality strikes again and I’m well aware that I can destroy a room at the speed of sound but here’s hoping the hot mess express doesn’t come back around so soon this time.

~E

Amazon

My Minimalist Life

I can’t decide if my interest in being a minimalist has more to do with my frustration toward mass commercialism and greed or with the fact that I live in a shoe box and just signed another lease.  I suspect it is the later.

Hours upon hours have been wasted scrolling through youtube, getting ideas about how to purge and declutter my life.  Zero hours have been spent doing any of it.  My resistance to trashing perfectly good stuff is strong, young grasshopper, but minimize I must.  Afterall, I am consistantly told that ‘the state of ones home reflects the state of ones life.’  If this is true then I’ve been a disaster since 1996.

Day 1: Tackle Laundry room/pantry/storage/furnace room

See, I told you I live in a shoe box.  Remember when we all had non wifi enabled laptops with 75,001 chords and MP3 players the size a Chihuahua?  Remember when people were obsessed with Chihuahuas for two years? Yes?  Well then you’ll appreciate that old electronics are presenting my first real minimalist challenge.  They have been nicely sitting in a plastic tub inside approximately seven houses.  They’ve done nothing wrong except play victim to a revolution.

The MP3 (music player…3?), for instance, is certainly donatable but who will want to listen to Micheal Buble on repeat c. 2005; besides a sappy college girl from 2005?  Plus said person would have to magically aquire a mini usb because some genius switched us to micro. Plus again, that MP3 was absurdly expensive so trashing it makes me slightly ill!  I was hopeful that after typing through my dilemma a solution would appear but alas I am at an impasse so this is a decision for another day.

Day
2: Shoes

Last night I sat in the garbage heap that is now my apartment and decided shoes were the next hurdle.  How many shoes do I need.  The idea that you only need 5 pairs of shoes is ridiculous so I settled on 10.  Below is my goal list:

  • Boots/booties (2)- got it
  • Casual shoes- got it
  • Work sandals- need to buy
  • Work pumps (2)- need to buy 
  • Casual sandals- need to buy
  • Sneakers (2)- got it
  • Flats-need to buy

I slept soundly knowing I had new shoes to buy… but reality bites.  These are my trash/donate shoes, does it look like I need to buy anything!?!

The saddest part is that I found a pair of work sandals AND work heels hidden in my closet!  My first thought was “Are you friggin serious!?! I bought a second pair just like this and I like this pair better! What am I supposed to use my christmas gift cards for now??”

Overall I was able to pair down my shoe collection to 12-ish (some not pictured). I have also decided to institute the ‘one in, one out’ rule so all shoes can fit neatly on one glorious shoe rack like this-

But honestly, I need more color right?

Please stay tuned for another episode of ‘My Minimalist Life,’ LIVE from the garbage heap. This is going to take longer than expected.

~E

The End of Book One : Christmas Letter 2017

This has been a year of significant change, not just in location but in the way in which one approaches life.

That sounded like one of the transcendental meditation podcasts I listen to in the car, which means I have been spending entirely too much time in the car but duty calls.

Aside from my Tony Robbins-esque intro, something was profoundly different about this year but this is all I could muster:

I have positive feelings about this year, but I’m too tired to figure out what they are”

Maybe this 2017 in review will help put the pieces together…

December 2016

I began preparing for 2017 in 2016 so that is where our story begins.  One morning in early December I shot up like a bat out of hell, and exclaimed, “It’s time to move.”  For one cosmic reason or another I spent all of Thanksgiving break remodeling my basement.  The murderous dungeon look was getting old and I figured with a few more fixes it would be ready to rent out.

I was ready to rock and roll to RVA but life had other plans.  In early January I lost one of my favorite people and my family was missing a puzzle piece, Uncle Andy.  Cancer sucks so I spent January having a lot of gin in his honor.

Winter 2017

On January 21st my second cousins Tracey and Mary, and my friend MB and I, went to the Women’s March in DC.  I can say without a doubt it was the most amazing thing I have ever been a part of.  The atmosphere was so happy, supportive and peaceful.  The sheer volume of people was overwhelming.  Cell service died the second you crossed the DC line and women were climbing up lamp posts trying to see the edge of the crowd, only there was no edge in sight.  Once we decided it was time to go, we made it to the edge and found a bar, so no worries there.

February started out a little lackluster compared to January so naturally I had to fix that.  I was headed to see my friends in Richmond when my Dad called to ask if I was apartment hunting.  I simply replied, “No, I don’t think I’m ready yet.” The second the words came out of my mouth I felt they were wrong.  The next thing I knew my GPS took me to an apartment building in Downtown Richmond where they offered me a free month’s rent.  I signed the lease that day.  Holy Moly Batman!

My realtor was surprised to get my call but she came Sunday and took pictures anyway.  My house went on MLS at 8:00am and by 1:00pm I had two rental applications!  The hustle was on to get out!

Naturally the plan was to get settled and then examine the job market but right before the moving truck pulled out I got a call for a new job in Richmond…and then I got 3 more calls.  Life was hectic to say the least but I finally found the perfect fit and started my new job in May.

Spring/Summer 2017

Speaking of May, Mom decided to come down for my birthday.  She had come to help me move back in March but the first rule of fight club is you don’t talk about fight club. We went to the beach for my birthday and promptly got pelted with hail and rain for 2 days.  In August, when I went to Northern Wisconsin, winter started early and I had to buy a new wardrobe.  I get that it’s a ‘cold’ state but 45 degrees in August is not expected.  Vacation was not on the itinerary for 2017 apparently.

Work really started to ramp up in mid June and I’ve been running at hyper speed ever since.  It has been both fulfilling and exhausting.  I love what I do now but I’ve made the executive decision to pre plan all 2018 vacations, in different times zones and with limited cell service.  My adventures from a Hut in Timbuktu will be the title of next year’s christmas letter, so be sure to stay tuned (I really am turning into my father).

Final Chapter 

I’m sure by now you’re wondering why I chose to call this letter The End of Book One.  You smarty pants always keep me on my toes!  Well, this year felt like an ending more than any other.  I love and miss all my friends in Fredericksburg but it was time to go.  Richmond was the right place at the right time and now I’ve got a new city that needs exploring, a new career that needs rocking and new zest for life.  Preparations for Book 2 are already underway and I have a sneaking suspicion that we’re all gonna like it!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

~E

Political Science Nerd

“—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

~Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address

So it’s been a crazy news week for politics…yes?  My prediction is that Jeff Sessions resigns within a week and Prebius says peace out by the end of the year.  But mostly I just watch the West Wing and cry “What happened, where’s Jed Bartlet?” into a wine glass.

Its the Political Science nerd in me, I can’t help it.

I have friends who are Republican, Democrat, Libertarian (both part and full time), Green Party, No Party and the I dont give a craps…party?  What’s weird is that the majority of these people agree on like 60-80% of issues. Crazy, I know.  Its like I choose my friends based on basic human decency and common sense or something.  

Unfortunately, when it comes time to vote we all go our separate ways based on the 1 or 2 issues that mean the most to us.  It’s understandable because that’s the system WE created, but I still think its bologna.

“There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.” 

~ John Adams

Now, I don’t have THE solution, but I have a solution and it’s campaign finance reform, starting with overturning Citizens United vs FEC.

Read up if you don’t know anything about the case.  Here is a Mother Jones article but definitely do your own research.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/05/james-bopp-citizens-united/

I happen to think that large corporations should be taken out of campaigns.  You may say, “rich people will still have the power,” and yes, you have to have money to win elections but the problem is bigger than that.  

Corporations are buying elections, votes and platforms, on all sides.

Story Time:

You voted for Senator A of the RunaMuck Party because he believes most of what you believe and you think he’ll do a good job.  Cool.  The Senator gets to Washington and is doing a fine job and voting for what he believes is best for his constituents, and a few times he even participated in bipartisan discussions to solve problems in the best interest of the majority of his people.

What Senator A doesn’t know is that his votes and opinions upset the bottom line of the powerful DidleyWarbucks Corporation.  In response DWC rains hellfire in the form of bazillions of dollars in smear campaigns against Senator A.  Next, they find Candidate B (also of the RunaMuck party), to run against poor Senator A and pour bazillions of dollars into the race.

Senator A likes his job and wants to do well for his constituents, so in order to keep his job he never crosses/votes against DidleyWarbucks Corporation ever again.

The End.

The Supreme Court saying that corporations are protected by free speech is quite possibly the worst thing to happen to free speech or the idea of ‘representation’…ever, in my opinion.  Exactly how are billionaire board rooms in touch with the middle class or reality?

The problem you see isn’t the root, its only a branch of a bigger tree.  We really are in this together so OUR voices should be heard.

~E

No Time to Think

We’re coming up on Memorial Day weekend and my initial thought was to look back at this year and reflect where all the time has gone, but frankly, I don’t have the time!  This year has moved at flux capacitor speed, or at the speed of my new car which is incredibly fun to drive but I digress.

Last year my horoscope/numerology said, “2016 kinda sucks.  Don’t get attached to anything cuz it isn’t staying.  2016 is about closing chapters and taking time for yourself, preparing you for the future…because 2017 is going to be crazy!”

Then I read a book that said, “You have to prepare yourself for the things you want to happen for that is when they CAN happen.  So, I spent the entire Thanksgiving break painting, repairing and fixing everything in my house so that I could leave at a moment’s notice.  I prepped my realtor and  I contacted a friend who was now a career coach and started to prepare myself for a new job once I got to the new city.

Naturally, because I am an extremely patient person, I expected everything to happen on January 1st because it was now 2017 and I threw a big party to send of 2016, and we need to get this show on the road.  Instead, something else happened, my grandma entered the hospital and my uncle entered hospice both before Jan 5th.  My year was definitely off to a start, although not the one I was expecting.  My uncle died on January 9th and I left for home, which made everything seem real.  I’ve decided that as hard as it is to be away, you have the luxury of compartmentalizing your emotions.  However when you are forced to face those emotions, they burst through like a mighty river.  Thankfully my Grandma recovered (as much as a 93-year-old can when a child dies) but she is able to be in assisted living and I am thankful for that.

My emotional haze lasted until about mid February.  One Saturday I came down to RVA for my friend’s birthday party.  On the way my Dad called me in the car and casually asked if I was going to look at apartments.  I said I looked at a building I liked online and figured I would come down another time because I wasn’t really ready yet.  I hung up and thought about it for a few minutes.  Then I called the apartment and made an appointment that day.  I liked the building and the location and the price.  With no intention of signing a lease the agent said, “If you sign the lease today, we’ll give you one month free rent.” SOLD.  I need a pen!

When I got home I called my Realtor.  We listed my house for rent Monday morning and it rented by Monday afternoon!  Perfect rental history..woohoo! They keep a clean house…woohoo!  They need to move in two weeks..wooh..WHAT!?!  That’s what a u-haul and friends are for!

Right away I started getting asked whether I was going to start looking for jobs or give myself time to get settled.  Like an idiot I said,” Oh, I’ll wait until I’m settled.”  Im pretty sure I got called for 2 jobs before I even had the truck loaded.  After a little over a month of interviewing I had a new job, but not just a new job…the job I had been asking for!  I almost doubled my money AND I have the ability to earn travel points so I can essentially take vacations for free now which is my lifelong goal, as anyone who knows me would know.  I’m thinking England later this year and maybe Mexico next year but we’ll have to see where the wind takes me.

So all of that brings me here to May 25th.  I’m chronically tired now but I’m off to WV and Austin so there is no rest when you’re getting everything you want.  Plus, its only May and I have more goals to achieve now.  I’ll let you know when I get those accomplished.

 

Toodles,

~E

Life is a Numbers Game

​Does everyone know that NASA changed the astrological signs?  Well actually they ‘corrected’ the Zodiac because someone once upon a time decided to delete Ophiuchus.  That was rude but’Phiuc Ophiuchus!’  If its not broke, don’t fix it!

People don’t just go from being a Type A Scorpio to a laid back Libra (you know who you are) because someone in NASA’s math department decided to make a name for themselves! In some ways I feel bad for Ophie.  He’s that annoying 13th wheel that no one really wants around because he’s awkward and makes the other signs uncomfortable.  And seriously, I am just not an Aries!  I am a textbook Taurus.  #taurusunite

How are you feeling with this information?  Anger? Saddness?  A sense of loss?  If so then have no fear, I have the solution for you: numerology.

I was first introduced to numerology in college when Montel did a show about Glynis and her numbers.  I had no idea what her last name was but I bought her book immediately.  I have an unhealthy need to have things add up so I was immediately drawn to the use of a calculator to figure out life complexities.  Perhaps I should have been an accountant but, boring, so instead I run other peoples birthdays for fun! Get ready to bust out your calculator for the low down on numerology.

Remember the Pythagorean Number System from Alegbra?  No? Well that’s ok it just illustrates that numerology started a long time ago.  Once you get to the segment of numerology where letters and numbers correspond? the system comes in handy but that is down the line.

Numerology is based on the idea that that every number, or set of numbers, can be added together, then broken down to a single digit.

Life Path Number 

The most influential number is your Life Path Number and that is calculated using your birth day:

7/15/ 1992 

7+1+5+1+9+9+2=34

3+4 =7 

So 7 is this person’s life path number.  My life path number is 4. (Do a Google search, I’m not explaining what every number means)

Now once you have your personal number you will undoubtedly start calculating the life path numbers of everyone you know.  Then you will wonder how the numbers correspond. Good question!  Certain numbers are natural matches, while others present a challenge.  Here is the chart!

Now I wasn’t sure about all this until I checked my two best friends:  2 and 8!  Interesting.  

After checking every single person I know I discovered that, holy crap, I have a TON of friends who are 9s.  Like a TON!  So just because you’re a challenge number doesn’t mean you can’t be friends or in a relationship, it usually means some communication is different or you see the world differently. 

My second favorite number is the house vibration.  After checking the house numbers of places I’ve lived, all of the results were spot on!  I grew up in a 3 house which means always lively and creative, never a dull moment.  Riotous laughter or fighting, no inbetween.  My times in a 1 and 4 house have been focused on self ddevelopment, just like the number said.

Never again will I live in a 5 house or date a 5 person.  Or a 1 person for that matter…. 6s are on the cusp…Not to hurt the feelings of 1s or 5s but we’re conflict numbers in relationships and personal experience has proven that…a few times.

Hooked yet?

Sorry, I must end tonight’s session.  Maybe we’ll have numerology round 2 but for now I’m sure you have some googling to do!

Happy Obsession!

~E

The Birthday Story 

For months, as I drifted off to sleep, I would envision what my 30th Birthday celebration would be like.  It was always magical and perfect.  I would get to the hotel and lounge by the pool, soaking in the Vegas sun!  After we had enough of the sun everyone would go back to their rooms for a nap and dinner prep.  Dinner would be at Mesa Grille (I was in a Bobby Flay Netflix phase) where I would look ravishingly beautiful like I was on an Airline commercial and I would toast my beautiful family with champagne while blowing out the candles of my birthday cake.  We would cap the night off with the Bellagio fountain show.  Everything was very Norman Rockwell meets Sex and the City fabulous.

I should’ve know that doesn’t happen in Erin Land.

The Beginning

Things started off promising.  After taking a flight with layovers (for an unknown reason) I got to Vegas relatively well rested.  Waiting at baggage claim was a man in a Tuxedo with my name on a sign (like the movies). When we pulled up to the black escalade my Dad popped out of the passenger side to surprise me with a bottle of champagne (such a good Dad!).  He missed my birth so he felt the need to go big for 30 and I thoroughly appreciated it!!

Next step was the pool.  When I got there my mom and sister were already sipping their big gulps of vodka so I decided no time like the present to join.

This is where the trouble began.  See it was about 96 degrees by the pool and I was feeling a tad dehydrated from the flight.  After my first big gulp I ordered another from Rachel the bikini waitress (it is Vegas) and then I glided into the pool.

What happened next is a bit fuzzy.  Somehow over the next two hours I enjoyed some more beverages and made friends from Chicago who invited us to the Chippendales show which at the time sounded like the greatest idea ever.

The Middle

The next thing I clearly remember is being awoken by the sound of my Dad banging on my hotel door.

We had 30 minutes before dinner ….crap.

He came armed with a triple shot Latte, pushed me towards the shower and threw a dress in my direction.  It’s possible I tried to curl my hair but there was little evidence of that.  I managed to throw on mascara, a miracle in itself.

When we got to my sister’s door, the scene was familiar only worse.  If you’ve never seen a 26 year old curled up in the fetal position wearing a sequent party dress while her mother yelled, “Get Up!  Enough of this.  Get Up.  Drink your coffee,” then you haven’t laughed.  This night was going down the tubes and fast!

Amazingly we rallied and made it out the door and into the Uber with seconds to spare.  Dinner was quiet to say the least.  I ordered water and a second bread basket.  As dinner was coming to an end my mom shot up from the table, “We have to go to Chippendales.  I already paid and it doesn’t start at 10 it starts at 8:30!”

This, ladies and gentleman, is exactly why you don’t purchase tickets while intoxicated at the pool.

Before I knew it I was running after my mom like a scene from Rat Race yelling, “Why are we doing this?? I don’t even want to do this!  My shoes aren’t made for this!!” 

“You’re late” grunted the oversized bouncer, “sit in the back!”

That’s where I wanted to sit anyway man.  Lose the attitude.  You work security at Chippendales.

All I have to say about the show is that some dancers are better than others and some need more practice!

The End

When the curtain closed, I B-lined for the UBER.  Some might say, “Poor Phil.” Meh.  He spent his night leisurely sipping whiskey in the sports betting arena, infinitely better already.

I was bummed that we missed dessert but to my delight there was a piece of cake waiting for me when we got back.  I didn’t have a fork or a candle but I figured eating a four layer cake with my bare hands matched the evening, so I went with it.  
The End.   My Family is THE best!

~E

PS We went to a better dinner the next night and Dad and I went zip lining!

Emotional Vampires

I’ve had a lot of questions lately such as:

“Where’s your blog?”

“Why haven’t you written?”

I’d apologize but I’m not sorry.  I was visited by vampires.  Thats right, emotional vampires.  Not just one, multiple!  Emotional vampires were thirsty for my delectable A negative juice and there was nothing I could do.  I was drained and exhausted, to say the least.  By the time July hit I threw a bon voyage party to early 2016 in my kitchen.

Pop the cork, there she goes.

Peace out, homie.

 See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya!! 

An ’emotional vampire’ is any situation, person or event that sucks your precious life energy out of your veins, spits it on the floor and does a little jig.  In the short span of 5 months, I was visited by more emotional vampires than I have been in the last 5 years.  

The crescendo hit in June during what I affectionately refer to as ‘the dark week.’ The rain pelted the windows on my already dimly lit living room and I spent every evening sporadically sobbing while clutching a wine bottle, binge watching Canadian TV on Netflix.

I was ready for 2017 in a bad way but as you do in life, I rallied.  Im happy to say I feel more like myself now than I have in years.  Sometimes all it takes is serious ME time.  When you neglect yourself life makes a joke no one thinks is funny (enter vampire).  In fact I’m happy to say that I’m back at the gym for ‘Operation Get My Glow Back’ and I started my Masters Degree in Business.

You may ask yourself, why hasn’t she written anything?  Well, I’ve been selfish.  All my emotions, thoughts and feelings needed to be kept in the vault (except for my therapist of course).  Vampires can bleed you dry so sometimes you have to preserve yourself to stave off evil spirits…and add garlic to everything.  

Writing uses my creativity and I had none to give.  It’s my only excuse, but this short writing experiement was kinda fun so maybe I’ll be back in no time.

~E

  

29 and 354 Days

At this point it seems the slide into 30 is inevitable.  Not that it could have been prevented but it’s difficult to deny the inevitable at this stage of the game.  As I do around every birthday or milestone I took a step back to evaluate things and and see if I could figure out where my life is headed.

First, life headed to the kitchen to get the wine opener and a glass.  That’s as far as life got because basically I have absolutely no idea where my life is going.  At 30 my parents were starting a business and contemplating raising small humans.  Meanwhile I’m laying here contemplating needing a maid service for myself and buying a pet goat so I never have to worry about yard maintenance again.

I’ve also discovered that 30 is the age where you can no longer get drunk and sleep on the ground.  I’m stuck in bed with a sore back, neck, side (aka  everything).  I just took three Advil and rehearsed for my future “Help! I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up” infomercial empire.  Thirty is proving to be quite glamorous already.

What I do know is that I have THE best friends in the whole world.  And THE awesome-ist family, hands down.  For everything else I intend on figuring life out once I wake up from my nap and my hip stops hurting.  I’ve got a week and a half of 20-dom left so maybe I’ll have it all figured out by then.  If not, my therapist is on speed dial.

~E

P*#% Off Winter

There is a moment as one season is ending and another begins where you can step out of your front door and actually smell the difference.  No, it’s not hot garbage, it’s simply a smell or a feeling that something is in the air, seasons are changing and new days are coming. 

A few weeks ago as I stepped out of my door I could see it, smell it and taste it.  Spring was here!  Hallelujah!!

Well, Spring, you’re a big fat liar!  As I sit, trapped in my vehicle enduring a frozen torrential hurricane, my patience is wearing thin.  The heat is pumping out of the vents, making my skin dry, the windshield wipers are cranking to max capacity and the gage on my dashboard says 50 degrees, although I feel like 50 degrees is hopelessly optimistic.  Utterly defeated, I check my phone for the weekly forcast of doom.

Saturday: High of 45 degrees/wintery mix

What!?! 

Excuse me but I have things to do outside.  I have Spring things to do, ok Winter? Spring is a season, in case you forgot.  You have bullied it into Summer and that is not alright.  I have a lawn to mow, deck to stain and beer to drink.  What I do not have is time for is WINTER!  You, winter, have become a toxic relationship.  Get out of my face!  You have already ruined one concert, a multitude of travel plans and my mood!  You’re finished and we are done.

If you need to find me I’ll be checking my ipad for the nearest destination with good weather.  Please feel free to join me. 

Reason #34,598 why I need to move to a tropical island. 

Thank You,

~E