Birthday Week

I may be the only person I know who celebrates my birthday for more than just one day. I don’t know why this is. I mean, birthdays are supposed to be about celebrating yourself and embracing the unique you and really getting into enjoying your life and the years you’ve been on earth.

This week, I celebrated my birthday quite a bit. It was a concession. If I had been able to truly embrace my birthday this year, I would have been celebrating for the entire month, but… you know… grad school, life, and reality makes you draw the line somewhere.

With the Rents 04.19.14I actually think that for 2014, my birthday celebration is a bit over. To finish it off, I went with my parents to McMenamins Kennedy School to fill out a page of our McMenamins passport and go to a history talk. Well, I was wrong about the history talk (it wasn’t actually on the schedule for Kennedy School but apparently something I made up in my imagination), but we did make it to a movie, Monuments Men, which was pretty awesome.

So there you have it. My birthday week is finished. I can no longer brag about how awesome I am and how wonderful it is for all of you that I am in this world…

I can, however, continue to take random pictures of the numbers 4-1-5 when I see them in the right order.

4-1-5

Tata for now.

Rece

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The Differences Between Turning 30 and 31

When you’re getting ready to turn thirty, things are exciting. You’re getting ready to hit a new decade. You’ve finally gotten used to the idea of not being in your twenties. And you’re okay with it. When you check yourself out in the mirror, you know that you’re looking good. “I’m thirty?” you ask yourself. “And I look this good?” And you give yourself an air five in the mirror. You have a whole decade ahead of you to do amazing things and become the person you want to be. Life is awesome at thirty.

On the other hand, when you’re getting ready for 31, things are different. Suddenly, you’re not entering a new decade of your life. You’re in that decade and you’re able to see all the things you didn’t do yet. (Hurumph!) Instead of seeing how good you look, you realize that you’ve got acne again and there’s a Cindy Crawford style zit a quarter inch above your lip. The next nine years start to close in on you and you realize that before too long, you’ll be forty and your big brother is going to send you a black birthday cake with black frosting and an old maid card as the cake topper if you don’t get your act together.

Oh… you think I’m being too dramatic or pessimistic. You try turning 31!

Tata for now!

Rece

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Cookies and Beer

Mission accomplished. Girl Scout Cookie and Beer Pairing Birthday Party Complete.

The magic set-up (not necessarily classy, but definitely tasty)

The magic set-up (not necessarily classy, but definitely tasty)

I like themes. I also like to try new things. This year, for my 21st birthday (it wasn’t really my 21st, but I hate admitting my real age on the blog so we’ll just pretend it was my 21st), I threw a mini party so my family could come down to Corvallis and celebrate me with fun.

So we did it. We had four boxes of Girl Scout Cookies, four 22-ounce beers, and two big pizzas (this was a lot considering only a small, though amazing, portion of my family came to the shindig).

We paired the Tagalongs with Wells Banana Bread Beer, Thin Mints with Oakshire Brewing Espresso Stout, Samoas with Silver Moon Brewing Snake Bite Porter, and Trefoils with Ninkasi Brewing Vanilla Oatis.

Honestly, this was a genius idea. Thanks beer blogs.

Honestly, this was a genius idea. Thanks beer blogs.

My personal favorite paring was the Thin Mints with the espresso stout, because it made a perfect combination. Not everyone in the crew likes espresso stout and when we had it at my birthday party last year, it wasn’t necessarily anyone’s favorite beverage.

I think the true hit of the party was actually the Marilyn Monroe pizza from American Dream. BACON ON PIZZA = HEAVEN!!!

The party was pretty awesome. After we were all pizza and cookied out, we ended up playing Origins, a game kind of like Malarky where you make up lies about the origins of phrases. My mom came up with a treasure about the origin of “a square meal” which means: a substantial, nourishing meal. Here’s what she said: “Dave introduced this term when he opened Wendy’s – whether you order a single or double you’re guaranteed a square meal – or at least a square burger patty.” Yeah, she’s awesome.

Don’t you wanna throw yourself a similar party for your next birthday? #somuchfun!!!

Tata for now.

Rece

The final five after two of the crew left...

The final five after two of the crew left…

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A Little R. Spektor for the Morning

You know how sometimes you have memories attached to certain songs and musicians? Well this morning, I was really not wanting to get out of bed and then I realized, ugh, if I don’t get out of bed all these people will be disappointed in the fact that I didn’t do what I said I was going to do and also that if I didn’t get out of bed, I wouldn’t do the stuff that I had planned to do for myself. So I got out of bed. My one stipulation – I had to have morning music to get me pumped up for life.

I started browsing through my iTunes and I saw my four albums of Regina Spektor. I was going to pick Far when I decided – hmm, why not go with the first one I discovered. So it was that I decided to listen to Begin to Hope. The first song, Fidelity, took me back to a place called Skala Podilska where I hung out with my Peace Corps friends in Ukraine when my friend Mandi first introduced me to the artist. I remember the layout of her apartment even though I haven’t been there in seven years. I remember the walks we took from her apartment to go cook shashlik in the woods. I remember how the four of us watched Grey’s Anatomy together in that space where the song Fidelity played at the end of one of the episodes. Holy cow. It’s been a long time. And if I’m honest, that grumpy feeling I kept thinking about as I refused to get up this morning started to melt away as all those memories came back. It’s quite therapeutic.

If you’ve never heard of Regina Spektor and you listen to her music for the first time with the video I’m about to post, I suggest you make your own associations with the experience. Perhaps it’ll be like my morning listen, where the sun is shinning outside and you’re waiting for your hair to dry before heading to work. Or maybe you’ll listen to it later this evening when you’re just getting home from a long workday. Either way, enjoy.

Tata for now.

Rece

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Dragons Are for Real

When I was a kid, I learned one important lesson: we humans made dragons extinct. I didn’t know a whole lot about the environment or the animal kingdom, but I knew that we had butchered dragons so that they weren’t around anymore. I figured this out because at six years old, I understood the misunderstandings we had with one another. People get mad and don’t talk about issues so small issues become big issues and suddenly, a mispronunciation of a person’s name causes a war. That’s what happened when dragons started putting princesses in towers and blowing fire at princes who came to save them. Honestly, this happened. Eventually, the dragons that refused to participate in this action retreated to Antarctica where they couldn’t handle the weather and thus they died. The ones that were guarding the princesses in towers were all butchered and thus, no more dragons exist. It’s sad, isn’t it?

Luckily, kids today don’t know all the history I just shared with you. They get to read about friendly dragons that take us on adventures. If I’m honest, I would much rather have a pet dragon than a pet dog. A dragon could take me on a flight to Portland for some Voodoo doughnuts and I wouldn’t have to drive anywhere (I hate driving). A dog can’t do that.

Before you react too strongly to my feelings about dogs, let’s make sure we’re on the same page. There’s a movie coming out really soon called, How to Train Your Dragon 2. It’s coming out on June 13th of this year and I fully plan on watching it. And afterwards, I’d love to catch up with y’all in a local pub to discuss the history of dragons.

Tata for now.

Rece

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Rethinking Adventures in Babysitting

When I was a kid, I absolutely loved the movie Adventures in Babysitting. It was such fun. A babysitter’s friend runs away from home so you get to ride with her to the city to save the friend. On the way, a tire goes flat, you fun into car thieves, get in the middle of a gang showdown on a bus, and use a bathroom at a frat party. Perfect, right? Uh… not so much. When I was watching this movie the other day, I was so disturbed. Not only did Chris (Elisabeth Shue) have horrible taste in guys (her “boyfriend” at the beginning was Jerk – notice the capital-J), but she didn’t really know how to take care of kids. I mean seriously, what sort of teenager in a grandpa coat would take a bunch of kids into the city to save her irrational friend. I’d just call the friends’ parents, I mean, really…

That said, the movie still has a stellar opening sequence with the “Then He Kissed Me” song. But really… I get why movies get “dated.” Just check the trailer.

#cheeseballs

If any of y’all are really “feeling” this movie, you can borrow it from me. I’ve got it on VHS. #what

Tata for now.

Rece

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My First Polar Plunge, DIY Style

You’ve heard of the Polar Plunge, right? If you haven’t, you haven’t been watching Jimmy Fallon lately, have you?

So the Polar Plunge is this activity where people jump into very, very cold water and give the money they raised for jumping into said water to charity. I missed this experience in Corvallis this morning, because it was during the really cold snow days in which everything in town was cancelled.

This morning’s experience was not meant to be a Polar Plunge. In fact, when I noticed that my dad had cleaned out his pool the other day, I’d decided that I wanted to go swimming. It made sense, I mean, I’m the kid who swims in this family; it’s my gig. So this morning, I borrowed a swimsuit that was lying around and got ready for a morning workout. For some reason, my parents woke up really fast and pulled out their cameras and followed me out to the pool.

I started to dip my foot in. It was chilly up top, but not cold. I went to the deep end and jumped in. I shrieked. It was horribly cold. I swam to the shallow end and walked out of the pool and wrapped up in my towel. Then I went to check the thermometer. It was 54 degrees Fahrenheit. Now I don’t know a whole lot about water temp except for 32 and 100, but sheesh, I was cold. So I was finished.

I’m not going to lie, I’m a bit bummed that my first “legit” swimming experience of 2014 turned out to be anything but legit, but you know, that’s ok. I’m sure the pool will heat up one of these days, either that or I can heat up my body with a really intense workout and jump in the pool to cool down…

Tata for now.

Rece

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A Shout Out to Old Married Couples

Old married couples are just what they seem to be. They sit around in their old bathrobes, drink coffee, and talk about the weather. They also like to read to each other. Sometimes, they read out coupons to share what’s on sale. Other times, they read to one another from the newspaper about whatever the politicians or local schools are up to so they can reminisce about when things were better. Old couples wake up early and go to bed after they’ve finished watching their last television program of the night. When they go out for date nights, they go before six or they stay home. Six o’clock brings too many crowds and young people. When they go earlier, they can get their ideal booth and sit in peace until the restaurant clogs up with too many consumers. Old couples are stubborn. Their arguments are ridiculous. The big fights of their relationship have already come and gone, but when one of them giggles at the others’ pronunciation of a common word, they come to the brink of a divorce. Insults are serious when you’re old.

How do I, a young person, know so much about old married couples? Well, my parents fit the description and unlike many of my cool friends and neighbors, I’ve spent a few years in my adult life living with my parents in between the different adventures I’ve been on. Even now, whenever I need a break from life for a bit, I visit my parents. Two days with them shows me that I have much to do and accomplish because I don’t wear a bathrobe and talking about the weather never gets me far because I, for one, don’t have a concept of temperature.

When I get old, I’m not sure what I’ll be like. If I’m single, I fully plan on being a crotchety old lady with one angry cat to sick on the neighbor kids. If I’m coupled, I’m going to be the saucy old grandma with the inappropriate sense of humor that makes her grandkids and their partners blush when they come over.

Let’s be real. This is really what I want life as an old person to be like:

There’s only one thing I’m concerned about. How am I going to keep my skin tight so my tattoos won’t sag? #Yikes!

Tata for now.

Rece

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April 1st!

April first is a strange day. To me, it’s always been about jokes and pulling pranks and my friend Kacie’s birthday. For others, like the Native Americans at the Acoma Pueblo, it is a cultural day for them. This year, rather than focusing on April first being a day to make fun of people and cause a ruckus, I’ve decided to officially declare that it’s the beginning of my birthday month. This means, of course, that I am able to celebrate my birthday all month long by being happy and thinking a lot about myself. (HA!)

But for real, because my birthday comes in April, I get really excited, sort of like how I get about Christmas in the wintertime.

So… happy Sharece’s birthday month, ya’ll!

Rece

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Movie Love: Divergent Rocks

Let’s face it: when there’s a hot guy in a movie, people go see it. Last summer, my brother and I wanted to go see The Host and my mom asked if she could come with us. I said sure. It wasn’t until after the movie when we were getting dessert at the diner around the corner when she admitted to us that she went to the movie to see the hot guys. JAN BUNN!

Tonight, I went to see Divergent with my brother and my parents. Four, Theo James, is an incredibly attractive man. And he has tattoos all over his back. So yes, he is hot. The fifty-seven other people in the theater, who were all teenage girls by the way, agreed.

But let’s be real – Divergent isn’t a movie about a hot guy. Divergent is a movie that was once a book. That book was about a society structured in a way that forced citizens to follow certain rules and adapt to certain attributes in order to keep the peace. It’s a story about the chaos of organization, the dehumanization of humans we produce when we conform.

I read Divergent a few years ago. It was awesome. My brother and I talked about it at our book club and the two of us tried to figure out which faction we’d be separated into. At the time, I was sure I would be dauntless, or candor, or of course perhaps erudite. After watching the movie tonight, I realize that I’d need to get into better shape to truly be dauntless. Grad school has shot all chances of me feeling like an erudite. So I guess my blunt nature will come in handy and I could join candor. But we don’t really get that choice, do we?

If you’re at all interested in (1) Theo James, (2) a movie about a world after the next big war, (3) the word Divergent, (4) tattoos, or (5) knowing what the kids these days are interested in, I highly recommend you head to the theater and watch Divergent.

My rating: 5 stars

Tata for now.

Rece

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