America is fat. Here’s a statistic for you: A KFC probably has a lot of people in it whose BMI is over the normal level. Which I believe is something like… 20? Ok, obviously that isn’t a real statistic and I’m assuming my ignorance about health facts is showing. Anyway, whether you’re big boned, fat, curvy, skinny, thin, fit… I hope you’re happy with your body, because I believe everyone deserves that. Especially because body acceptance is something I have struggled with since I looked back at my 2nd grade yearbook picture and compared it to my new, much chubbier 3rd grade representation of myself. That’s sad and says something about our society, blah, blah, blah but that’s not what this is about.
My weight has fluctuated a lot and recently was at a record high. Well… a record high for me. The number doesn’t matter but the way I feel does. I was pretty disappointed in myself and most of all feeling pretty terrible about myself and just terrible in my health. Thus, it was time to DIET. And EXERCISE. Oof.
My diet has always been weird. Sometime in middle school I decided being vegetarian would be a hoot and my general dislike of meat pretty much helped guide and keep up the lifestyle. I was vegetarian for a long time, and was vegan for nine months in high school. Do I sound like an asshole yet? It’s getting close if I’m not there already.
I started eating diary and meat sometime in late high school after being pressured to eat some glorious pie and then just eating some delicious chicken. A lot of years went by as a herbivore and then a tad after our honeymoon, after watching Food Inc, Mike and I decided to became
So as of right now, I’m a dieting, exercising vegetarian. These are all shaky subjects around mixed company, I find. I don’t mean to sound like a jackass when I say “Oh no, not pizza, I can’t have any!” or “They don’t have any vegetarian options, I don’t want to go there.” or my favorite: foursquare check ins at a gym. Yikes. Nothing is worse than trying to plan your day around working out when you’re unemployed, people must wonder why the hell it’s taking me forever to decide when to hang out. It’s complicated.
Not only am I being looked at as some sophisticated jack ass for being a vegetarian, but there’s the questions that come with it. Why, how long, what do you even eat? Fun times like that. The concept of why gets real weird when you tell a meat eating friend that their hot wings look delicious, but that’s another story. The worst part about the questions is I feel I have the worst answers. “I don’t really like meat.” “The meat industry is terrible and I can’t afford organic, humanely raised meat.” That last one is probably the most stick up the ass, nose in the air comment I’ve ever heard… with a hint of “woe is me” for the being poor part.
Dieting and exercising is new to me, refusing ice cream or not just picking pepperoni off pizza to please party hosts is taunting me. There’s also always the wonderful joining of the assholes when some one mentions their on a diet. Another asshole comes in with all kinds of advice, what they’ve tried, what works, what doesn’t and what Dr. Oz (the king of assholes) says about it. It’s always wonderful to get advice and I have learned things from people and people have learned things from me, but we all sound like know it all freaks when we do these sort of things. (The same could be said of anyone doing anything, people always love to jump in and put their two cents into anything that they knew the most about… which is everything.) When I talk about a great or shitty work out or how I want to buy some new exercise clothes, it just feels odd. But my body feels pretty great so is it worth it? Sure.
I know that all these things I’m talking about – that I’m obsessively concerned over – are pretty common. All kinds of people are vegetarian and it’s easier and easier to find options when eating out. So many people are on diets or are just starting a new one, and I bet even some of the laziest people walk their dogs. All I’m trying to do with this is say… hey, I’m not an asshole, I just have traits like one.
As our one year wedding anniversary was drawing closer and closer it became apparent that we had… no money. As they say, life happens and it sure was happening in full swing as we wracked our brains on what to do for our anniversary. Our options were pretty scarce and our usual vacation ideas (Disneyland, camping, Tahoe) just weren’t feasible. So we had to do the inevitable – staycation.
Sure, this decision was a disappointment, I’m not going to sit here and lie and say “LOOK HOW COOL WE ARE, WE DON’T NEED YOUR HOTELS OR NEW PLACES” because I was really bummed. Maybe because it was our first anniversary as married humans or because I can be a sour puss, but Mike, with his ultimate optimism when it comes to us, reassured me it would be fun.
And he was right! Luckily for us, we enjoy pretty normal and every day activities. Like food. Or grocery stores, or impromptu trips to Target. Or my personal favorite… sitting on my ass. So we did all those things and more.
Mike took five days off (the first one reserved to my brother’s elopement in San Francisco), we kicked out our roommate for a few days and dedicated our lovely little home as our new and fresh hotel.
When I planned our little staycation, not much need to be set in stone as we didn’t even have money to do much locally. However, I did have one, mega important plan: paint an accent wall in our living room. We were still pretty broke for this, but we decided to just try to find a gallon of oops paint at Home Depot that we liked (for those of you who don’t know what oops paint is, it’s the cans of paint hat Home Depot mixes but some how turns out wrong so they sell it for like $5). That… never happened. All weekend we only found off white and grey colors and that’s not how we roll. It just goes to show you, things can even go wrong during a staycation.
So what went right? Everything. We ate all kinds of food that we love… did I mention we love food? We went to a different town’s Farmer’s Market for a change of pace. We ate brunch at a restaurant we had never been to and were very curious about (it was delicious). We ate (lots of) food from restaurants we had been to. We spent lots of time at hardware stores looking at paint and plants. We went to our favorite place to kiss and run around: the grocery store. We drove too far for a Yelp! event that was too boring (we don’t drink I think was the problem, the cause was great), and laughed at an improv jam. We ate FREEZER CAKE. We even had friends over and busted out a brand new fire pit we found on clearance (frugality never sleeps!). Too many things to list and talk about, really.
I’m not trying to sit on my high horse and say that I staycationed and was a hipster and have cute pictures of my husband in a record store (mmm). I’m just simply saying that yeah, I was pretty butt hurt on the lack of a “real” vacation for my BIG DEAL OMG first year anniversary, but it turned out fun. And like our wedding, it embodied us.
So the strangest thing happened this week. On Tuesday morning, Ashley and I found our selves in Southern California, Anaheim to be specific, and were dawdling about with no particular purpose in mind. Without warning, we were whisked away on the most fantastical of adventures, that I will now do my best to describe to you.
After being sucked through a magical gateway, we found ourselves in a strange futuristic land. It was some kind of world of tomorrow! We knew we had to get out of here, so we booked passage on a starship that would take us over the highest peaks of the Space Mountain. The trip was thrilling and perilous, and unfortunately we crashed and found ourselves trapped on a terrifying junkyard planet. Ash and I were so scarred we didn’t know what to do, luckily, we were rescued by the brave Captain EO who led us to safety and liberated the planet from its evil trash overlords. Captain EO told us that to escape we needed to change the world by helping the Space Rangers defeat the evil Emperor Zurg, so we got in our space cruisers and blasted our way out of that space-hell hole!
Unfortunately, we didn’t make it home just yet. Our cruiser crashed landed in some kind of world filled with Fantasy, where we met many strange characters! We tried flying out, escaping through a mine, hiding on pleasure island, and riding out on horses, but nothing worked! Finally, we borrowed a car from this crazy frog, but since Ash isn’t a very good driver, we died and went to Hell. But we made a deal with the demons and he let us escape through a whale’s mouth… weird right? After that, we took a really long boat ride that went around the whole world, but we still couldn’t find our way home! This was getting annoying!
So, me being from Hawaii, I figured we could go ask some Tikis for help. We found a room full of enchanted tikis and the told us that we could find the way home through the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. So we went there, but it was just a stupid tourist trap where some jackass in a fedora kept trying to sell us golden idols. We figured that we’d never find the way home in this land of adventure, so we found the nearest port and set sail.
That was a mistake, because we got attacked by PIRATES! It was nuts. Luckily, with Johnny Depp’s help, we managed to escape in one piece (even though Ash did get shot by a drunken pirate riding a canon). We got off the ship and walked through a Wood that I’d say had to be at least 99 acres. We saw a bunch of animals before we got caught up in a flood and had to eat some mushrooms… Things got pretty weird here so I’m just gonna skip forward.
Next thing I remember we were in the wild west, which is weird (alliteration). We found an old abandoned mine train, and we knew that this was the way home. We hopped aboard and took the wildest ride in the wilderness where we saw some wacky stuff, like a DINOSAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUR.
Once we passed the dinosaur we were whisked away through the magic gates again and found ourselves at the Quality Inn off of Katella. It was the strangest thing thats ever happened to us, and I hope it never happens again.
After a pretty disappointing 2009, I was ready for a turnaround in 2010. Luckily 2010 delivered with an assortment of fantastic titles. Some of these became instant favorites and hopefully next year will bring another crop of awesome flicks. Here are my favorite film from 2010 in no particular order.
Inception: This is probably the most obvious choice, as most 20 something males swoon at the sound of Christopher Nolan’s name, but I just wanted to reiterate what a fantastic film this was. Nolan found away to take something thats been done a million times and make it totally fresh. We’ve seen heist movies over and over, but never one quite like this. Nolan combines incredible imagery with complex narrative and intensely emotional characters to create one of the most intense, creative films of the year. Mix that with an ending that will have people debating for hours on end and you’ve got a movie that people will love for years.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: Edgar Wright is the man. Every one of his films have delivered in such a satisfying fashion that it makes me sad he’s only done three movies. Now I’ve never read Scott Pilgrim, but I could instantly identify with the ADD-Super NES-bubble gum-electronica-canadian-utopia Wright and co brought to life on the silver screen. The perfectly cast, super fun, visually striking film struck a perfect chord and its a pity that for some reason, no one went to see it. I hope this doesn’t cause movie companies to avoid taking chances on movies of this caliber. Scott Pilgrim was a perfectly irrelevant romp and a fresh of breath air.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 1: We’ve watched JK Rowling’s work come to life for a decade, and now the first part of the epic finale has finally arrived and I’m glad to say it was well worth the wait. Director David Yates casts his moody vision over Harry and friends and we follow them on a breathtaking romp through paranoia, danger, and inner conflicts. The cast is pitch perfect and its nice to see that all of the kids have fully grown into their second identities as the beloved characters of the wizarding world. Pt 1 is a perfect set up to the undoubtedly epic to be Pt 2. Can’t wait to see Harry and Voldemort finally duke it out mano a snakeface.
Toy Story 3: Toy Story 3 was perfect. There’s not much else to say. It was funny, emotional, beautiful, innocent yet immensely deep, powerful, nostalgic, beautifully written, remarkably shot… I’ve run out of adjectives. It was the perfect conclusion to the perfect film trilogy. A flawless film.
The Social Network: David Fincher has the phenomenal talent to take something that should by all respects be a total snooze fest, and make it fantastically intriguing. In The Social Network, Fincher gives us fascinating character drama full of atmosphere and intrigue served alongside some of the most compelling characters ever to grace film. Trying to understand the motives of the protagonist, and I use that term loosely, is like trying to decipher ancient sanskrit after drinking half a bottle of Nyquil. The film is full of such complexities its mind boggling. Social Network will stay with me for a long time.
I can’t wait for 2011 and I hope it brings as many great flicks as 2010. I’ll leave you with some of the movies I’m looking forward to seeing.
The Kids are Alright
Harry Potter Pt. II (duh)
Ong Bak 3
Winnie the Pooh
There’s a stigma that comes with getting married, no matter how old you may be or your financial situation. When a person (in America, anyway) thinks of a couple who is newly married, many things pop into their heads. Let’s not even discuss the baby talk and skip right to one that seems to be a no-brainer: a home. I’m going to give society credit and say that having a home no longer means that you must buy a home, just have somewhere to live. This place is yours, a place for you two to run around the kitchen throwing flour at each other while baking cookies for your neighbors. A big, comfy couch in the newly painted living room where you can watch your Blu-Ray movies. Don’t forget the breakfast nook for coffee and the morning paper.
So maybe I’m being a little pessimistic and my view above may be a bit 1950’s. I guess that’s a bit right, but in a way I still think some of these ideas (while modified) are true. Being married is wonderful, but the expectations are scary. These expectations can just be the ones I am putting on myself, the old high school friends who tell me congratulations in the grocery store, or in the family members who start any question with “So…” Yikes.
You can imagine what this means for Mike and I because well, we live in a basement. That’s right folks, watch out Eric Foreman, new basement dwellers are in town. Basement dwelling is an art all it’s own, but doesn’t go hand in hand with marriage. Living in a basement can be arty, the all so awesome hipster probably would love my living situation (besides it not being located in the middle of a just as hip city) and it’s also ideal for any son who decides that video games are better than working and beer is better than water. It has it’s many connotations but in the end, this is our basement, and for now it is our home.
Our basement home may have more negative or positive vibes behind it due to the fact that Mike’s mom lives above us. Yes, this is his mothers house and his converted basement/garage is where we live. We have a bathroom and a bunch of kitchen appliances plugged into a shady outlet so we can eat and the rest of our kitchen is in boxes. In our “main living area” we have all the essentials. A bed, a couch, a TV, our movies and video games, and of course, a couple Mac computers. But our home also has a lot of love, a lot of laughter, tons of friends (seriously, what’s a night in alone?), and happiness. Ultimately, there’s some things a lot better with our living situation than what it could be. And well, I’m thankful for that.
To see more photos of our home, check out our Flickr.