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

A Letter to Hipsters

Dear Hipsters,

I would like to start by saying that I am not one of those people who hates hipsters because it’s ‘cool to hate a hipster.’  That’s not how I operate.  I like to meet people on an individual basis before I decide if I want to hate them or not.  I am merely a regular person with a few issues I would like to address, as well as some suggestions for us moving forward in a positive space.

There are many things that I like about hipsters and that I would like to applaud and encourage.  First, you promote clean and healthy eating, always a plus.  Sure I could go to McDonalds for $1.99 but sometimes I like to think that the food I am eating is healthy instead of slowly killing me.  This is why occasionally I am willing to spend $30 on a non-alcoholic breakfast.  Now, I need to point out that I said ‘occasionally willing to spend’ because I do feel that you need to examine the need to charge more than Starbucks for coffee.  Charging $6 for plain coffee means it better be gold-plated.

Second, I actually do not mind that you have man buns or that you purchase man buns online.  I do not mind that you wear brightly colored pants that are so tight that they could interfere with your child rearing abilities.  I do not mind these things.  Fashion is personal and I don’t have to date you.  For that matter I applaud your artistic work and the colorfulness you bring to the world on your bikes, on your pants, in your hair, etc.

Thus far I have been a supporter of the hipster’s quest to improve the health and wellness of the planet while charging obscene prices for everything.  However, last week my feelings changed.  Typically I don’t mind some cauliflower in my omelet or kale in my juice but you’ve taken it upon yourself to redefine basic food guidelines and enough is enough.

Last weekend I went out to eat at a nice restaurant.  I knew going in that my meal would be expensive and I didn’t even mind that we were eating on benches and not chairs (FYI totally not the same thing nor acceptable!)   As I am looking over the menu at the different options I plan my budget and choose wisely.  For starters, I limit myself to 2 beers for $7 each and 3 oysters at $3 each; expensive but anticipated.  For my entrée I chose a fancy chicken sandwich and because I had been eating like garbage disposal all week I decided to choose the salad over fries.

Salad, have you heard of it?  At its core salad contains lettuce or spinach, maybe some spring greens or arugula.  Once the creator of said salad has chosen their leafy vegetable they decide on appropriate toppings like vegetables or nuts and select a nice dressing.  It’s not that hard.  There are a million different variations on salad that are deemed appropriate but it is here, my hipster compadre, where you have failed me.  Parsley is NOT an appropriate mixed green or leafy vegetable!  Neither is cilantro and worst of all, you rounded out my salad with…wait for it…mint leaves.  These are all delightful garnishes that might accompany a salad but they are certainly not THE salad.  I was served an entire ‘salad’ made out of parsley, cilantro and mint leaves.  Not even a dressing, noooooooo, just a few sunflower seeds on the side.  This is ridiculous!!  This is NOT appropriate and this is completely uncalled for?  What did I ever do to you to deserve this?

So, dear hipsters, just because something is ‘redefining’ or ‘imaginative’ that does not mean that it is a good idea and that people actually want to see it or eat it.  This is why people hate you.  Things have gone a little too far in the creativity department and I’m going to need you to pull back a little for the sake of humanity.

Sincerely,

~E

PS In case you need some direction, here is a link to a salad cookbook and kindle if you need convenance!