she’s a blogger.

There is this life that would be super fun to live. It is one where I sit on my MacBook, listen to Pandora, drink Starbucks, and upload Hipster photos with catchy subtitles like “SMILE” or “LOVE MY LIFE”. It is one where I have to start using the giant mirror in our cracker box apartment to take posed side profile pictures and bringing my $49 digital camera to restaurants to document everything that I will poop out later eat. I would have to start brining my camera with me on runs and holding it in front of me at the right angle so the sweat on my face doesn’t illuminate my mustache hairs. Also, I have to start to make sure I take staged photos of me holding yoga poses such as big toe or dancer in front of unambiguous back drops (think Total Wine or Mr. Kim’s Cleaners) wearing the tightest jeans I own. I would have to wear sunglasses inside because I wouldn’t want to be inconvenienced by adorning fans.

Let's do this.

Have I painted this picture yet? If I want to get serious about this blogging world, I need to adopt the tendencies of the cyrebrity (equivocal to status updates of “cyber blogger celebrities”). So consider this post my proclamation in attempt to blog about my life. You might want to subscribe. I have heard that commitment is a good thing.

 

One would call me a blogger now.

 

 

adios.

meet my ARs. adult roommates. the legendary “pete the meat” and his way better equal half notorious “lise the meese”. also known as my rents. short for parents. short for they did it almost 25 years ago. got lucky. their child grew up awesome. genetic anomaly. completely vain. oh wait! thats me. duh.

 

dad PG-13 please with that hand

for the last year and some way heavy change i have lived with these kooks. its been great. free laundry. the best packed lunches in my whole grad program. DVR TV. a merlot chugging partner. and an occasional 20 spot slipped my way on a saturday night with the encouraging words from my mom no monkey dancing tonight, or my personal favorite if you are going out in the rain, where a raincoat. duh mom. and rain boots too silly. :)

but so long, peace out, adios, buhbye…… i am moving out. this weekend. big moves.

i felt like it was the right time to move. test the waters. see if i crumble. see if i grow. all that life transition shit that is super annoying to hear and anticipate. i just need to do it. so charlotte bring it on. i think we could get along just fine.

buhbye.

a whale of a tale.

so 2 of my 4 readers have asked why i hate whales. and opposed to acting like a celebrity blogger and responding individually i felt this was strong enough of a topic to post directly about it. or shall i say them.

in third grade i sat in ms. debo’s classroom probably starring at the wall or scratching the side of my trapper keeper with my yikes! pencil top attempting to learn about the ocean.

i should disclaimer. i grew up near lake erie in a town called hudson, ohio. a lake. not just a lake. but a lake that caught on fire twice and has enough pollution to cause birth defects in a population comparable to the city of charlotte type lake. no whales. no sharks. in fact nothing living because of the stark toxicity and potency of the “mistake on the lake” cleveland.

anyways without digressing. in 3rd grad we were asked to measure some lockers the length of a blue whale. simple task. sure. i owned a neon clear ruler and was precise in my measurements. it wasn’t until i was the length of the entire freaking hallway that i realized “holy shit whales are huge, i hate them”. but it wasn’t until our teacher announced whales are bigger than school buses that i realized i really really despised them. i am sure at the ripe age of 10 i said those exact, if not worse words.

that was situation #1. in flies #2. you know in auroara, ohio there used to exist one of the only sea worlds in the US? no? well now you do. 10 minutes from my house, shamu, nanu, and all the rest of the meaningless animals laid their cold blooded heads down next to the flat land of corn and amish of central ohio.

every single school trip was directed to sea world growing up and ironically in 3rd grade we went to sea world to learn about the beasts of the deep. while posted up in the splash zone i was feeling guilty about my premature hatred for whales when i saw shamu doing all sorts of tricks and smiling at me. i was giving him and the rest of his slippery schoolbuses a second chance. until this happened….

ok that is an exaggeration. really all he did was get spooked and pin his trainer underneath his razor sharp devil teeth nose and carry her to the bottom of a 50 yard tank. being in the splash zone you get the full view and the panicked look on her face said whales are the enemy and they should be locked away in the deep ocean. being 10 years old, i was officially scarred.

for the next 3 years my mom would play free willy on repeat to break my from my fear of whales that lead to my distrust of the ocean (while harbors these schoolbus human eaters). the only thing i gained was an affinity for the soundtrack and a personal identification with the theme song by the late michael jackson.

over the next 15 years i have convinced myself of the following:

  • the ocean is too big and needs to be resized
  • all whales need to be put on a diet and shrunk to the size of dogs
  • i am convinced i am the size of krill and therefore vulnerable to whale consumption
there you have it. freud would agree my repressed emotions towards whales causes insecurities with my current relationship of the ocean, i am stuck in the oral phase of development fearing i am krill, and i have whale penis envy. but really who doesn’t ;)

hold up.

if there is one thing i hate in life it is disappointment. not as much as i hate whales. but it is up there.

as some of you know i was about to embark on yoga teacher training this fall (in fact it was going to start tonight), however, it was cancelled. postponed until january. but like many disappointments in my life, i will break down for a week, flood the studio with my tears, binge eat all candy corn pumpkins CVS will sell me, and run a marathon. and then… just then i will be okay and regain some sort of super twisted super busy homeostasis in my life.

simply put i am running a marathon. haven’t picked one. but it will probably be disney. nothing happier than running 26.2 miles through a sea of overweight, Teva strapped, fanny pack toting, funnel cake eating tourists. sweet America. which is an excellent time for my to announce my relapse of  overtraining, calorie counting, denying myself of fatty foods running distance. i had initially taken off running this fall to focus on my yoga practice. but just like a see-saw, when one goes up, the fat kid usually falls to the ground. did that even make sense.

my old calendar, from a year ago, when training for the thunder road half  marathon. it will feel really good to write my training program into my calendar again. this time i will write in pencil, i learned the hard way writing in pen means commitment. and you know i hate that shit.

either way i felt it was important to let you know (tammy) that my life has taken a reroute for the next few months. instead of telling you how i am bending my body into a pretzel, you will learn how i am slowly degraded the integrity of my IT bands and shortening the length of my hamstrings by accumulating miles upon miles. stay tuned gypsies.

there once was a girl.

there once was this girl named ashley.

ashley was an OCD, type-A, narcissistic, over-achieving, ambitious young lady with dreams of becoming a doctor and finding a cure for cancer. in her past life ashley was a college athlete, and believed that her “me” shaped bubble would guide the trajectory of her life with self-controlled dignity and grace. she would graduate with perfect grades, move to the best city, go to the best med school, find acknowledgement in her accolades and be a template for perfection. she would have beautiful children, be wealthy, marry a dreamboat. shit she would even own a boat. just because she could.

that ashley wouldn’t need to learn to manage stress. she wouldn’t need to learn flexibility or adaptability. she wrote in her planner with sharpie because she was that certain of her decisions. she was above accountability, responsibility and compromise. she never got disappointed, because disappointment means she would have depend.

thank god that ashley is growing up and out. life is not fun to plan that much.

 

 

 

 

big kid.

Yeah yeah. It takes me 2 weeks to write one blog. I keep saying “I will blog more”, or “I will get good at this”. I think I need to take my mom’s advice for everything including men, and just lower my expectations of blogging. I will blog when I feel like it, have no schedule or routine, and usually include any material innapropriate and beyond. :)

I should also start by sharing that I am setting personal goals for the month. My goal for August: breathe. I just felt like sharing that.

So in the past 3 weeks some monumental decisions in my life have occurred also occured. I guess I can just spell them out.

  1. I have decided I love mountains. I am moving to Denver after graduation in May 2012 (assuming thesis is defended and all that jazz, and cross your toes I have a job, that could be a wrench).

    Not Colorado mountains but still fun! Crowders in NC with Anna, Kat, and Mickey man!

  2. Number 2 has nothing to do with anything. I just recently went to Chicago and had one of my favorite days of the summer sightseeing with 2 of my best buds.
  3. I am finally feeling at ease about my time spent in grad school. I am finishing up writing my internship report for time spent in Kenya and had that epiphany the other night that this decision was good. I am going to do some big things in life. I know that, you know that, now we need to convince non-profits and hospitals in Denver of that too :).
  4. I got a job. Its unofficial, but OFFICIAL I guess. I haven’t had my first day, turned in forms, or signed anything so maybe I should keep this one a surprise. NOPE. I am now working full time for lululemon athletica in Charlotte. Eat your hearts out.
  5. I also decided to take a big RISK and enroll in yoga teacher training this fall. This is a risk because I have to give up coaching during the November weekends (which makes me bank, because my mom is my boss) and also sacrifice my hopeless booming social life. I will in the training 2-3 weekends every month all weekend (think 8-6). But on December 17th I will be certified to instruct yoga, have a deeper personal practice, and super skinny. I have thought about this for months, shared with a few of you, and am happy to say this is honestly the first thing in my life I am doing solely for myself and nobody else. VICTORY.

So there you have it an abbreviated version of my life decisions and moves recently. Classes start in less than 2 weeks, I haven’t bought my books, I forgot how to read this summer, and I just got feathers weaved into my hair.

There will be another post soon which I meant to do forever ago that my friend Katie from KeepingUpWithKatie linked me out too! In the mean time check out her blog. She is such a strong woman with a great story, AND not to mention fabulous recipes.

And also in the meantime. Hug an important woman in your life. An important person to me is battling breast cancer and could use some prayers, thoughts, energy, etc. But in her honor, just appreciate all the women in your life (and the men too, they too can get breast cancer: fact), public health nerd I know.

get after it.

The last two weeks have been the first time since senior year of high school sometime last fall that I have slowed down. I had no obligations. No work commitments. Zero work due. And my few friends in Charlotte were out of town, with the exception of Kat. Let’s be real Kat and I are inseparable she wouldn’t leave without me. So what did I do?? Write my internship paper? NO. Edit my internship report? NO. Cultivate a thesis topic? NO. Sleep in until 10:30 daily, watch re-runs of Project Runway, and frequent Target six times in 3 days? DUH.

But let me back up. It has been a crazy summer. After I got some brain cells back from Vail, I headed up to upstate New York for my friend Jenna’s wedding!

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Porter!

I will say this and have been saying this since I returned home. And if you are somebody who gets offended by inappropriate comments I would stop reading now, and now that I think of it we may want to terminate our friendship :).

I will marry a black man. Or at least hire a black bridal party. Or just have a step team at my wedding (assuming I ever get hitched). Like seriously, who doesn’t want shots of Patron, aggressive dancing to Nelly’s “It’s Getting Hot In Here”, and random outbursts of “Get After It” being yelled by all family members ages 8 months to 75 years old? My point exactly.

In all honesty, I will expand on this. Living in the dirty South now where Confederate flags still wave rampant, it is so refreshing to see love in this capacity. Attending the wedding was such a victorious feeling for humanity and this couple was beaming. They poured white and brown sand together in unity, and I just LOVED all that it represented. You go Jenna! “GET AFTER IT!”.

So back from New York, I got to catch up with some lovely ladies here in Charlotte!

I really did luck out with grad school. Our program is all women with the exception of one guy (poor thing ;)). It is really fun to have a group of funky and unique girls around my age that I can grind out this work with and on the side drink lots of beer, cut up dance floors, and just share some great memories. And most of us have the same mentality; work hard, play much harder, and I will do THAT assignment tomorrow.

After Charlotte, I had another coaching gig up in Richmond, VA which proved uneventful. Back in Charlotte for the last 2 weeks and feeling extremely lazy, unproductive, fat, unmotivated, tired, and completely grounded for the first time in a long time. It really is nice to slow down and take some “me time” even if it does include Chipotle, Ben & Jerry’s, extended pajama time, and not shaving my legs.

This last weekend amidst my sloth like behavior, there was a sad moment when our beloved family wildebeast chocolate lab, Sammy, left for heaven. We had to put her down after 14 years of eating McDonald’s cheeseburgers, sleeping on the kitchen table, and being the 4th child of our family.

Chocolate Thunder Samantha Jane. Her birth name.

I have a super exciting post coming up in the next few weeks days, so if you are one of my 5 loyal readers, keep checking! As long as I can keep my binge drinking at bay in August (unlike July), I will get on the ball with blogging. I know you love it, so I will keep serving it up.

Amani.

give me a break.

It is comforting to know that I am not the only one who feels like blogging is a big commitment and that it takes time, energy, brain cells, and a computer; things that are not usually with me….

It will take me some time to develop a consistent routine for my blog. It may start with me being in one place in the world for longer than a week, waking up before 11 AM, and shedding my obsessive compulsive workout habits such as endless hours of hot yoga, interval running, and binge drinking.

So where have a been in the past two months? If you can read; CONGRATS than you know I got home from Kenya about 3 weeks ago, coached some lacrosse in Philly for a week, headed to Colorado to coach again and play….

Being in Vail, CO is like being in a candy store with your dad’s wallet. Except this candy store houses Jack Daniel’s Honey Whiskey, and who doesn’t love it when sugar and booze (my two favorite food groups) meet? In all seriousness having such a great team in Vail is a blast. We have played together for 4 summers now and it keeps getting weirder! And this summer my best friend Leah made the trip!

Leahtard.

I can’t really recap Vail for a few reasons.

  1. Most activities were against the law.
  2. Most activities would offend the average reader.
  3. Most events were captured in embarrassing wordless photos.
  4. I am trying to get a job.
  5. Frankly, I don’t remember the majority of it; which is a wonderful thing ;)

My butt asks "what's for dinner", my shorts answer "all you can eat."

Leah and I naturally l found a driving range….

True athletes drink Michelob Ultra.

True athletes also eat 1/2 pizzas as a midnight snack. Thank you camera for this incriminating evidence of my ogerness.

After our Vail craziness we headed down to Denver to have a BBQ on the 4th with friends and watch fireworks. We also met this cute little man, Jack. Jack MUST have been a theme of the week…

 

We also had a mini UCONN reunion at the BBQ. Who doesn’t love that!

After Colorado, I headed back to Charlotte for 2 days before another trip up to New York for a fun filled, Gin and Tonic filled weekend!

Some older UCONN alumni played in a tourney outside of Syracuse and my past teammate was getting married in Rochester. Two for one special! I got to catch up with old coaches, teammates, friends, family and dogs in the past month and it has been great to see some old faces.

I got a little depressed nostalgic at the wedding and feel remotely exhausted. I want to feel grounded this summer for more than 72 hours and stop living out of a suitcase. I think my trip to Kenya is surfacing emotions in my sub conscious and I feel anxious about school, work, and life in general! I am so grateful to see many friends, it is rare I get to see them during the academic year. In a mini reflection the other day; I thought to myself “damn my friends are the shit”. So if that is you (roughly 6 and 1/2 people), I love you and you keep me grounded.

Amani and whiskey love.

 

guess who’s back.

Hello! I know I haven’t posted in quite a few days, but I swear I am back in the routine. Although my posts won’t be filled with African adventures, my normal life is probably not as cool, better!

I have so much to catch you 5 people, I mean 10,000 readers, up on!

I arrived home safely, which was bitter sweet. While in Kenya, I had the opportunity to stay with the most amazing family and I miss them so much! I will post later about KIACOB, their vision for HIV+ youth from the slums, and you will love them too!

Family.

As soon as I got home, I hit the ground running literally. It felt so good to breath clean air, but also I had my summer gig of robbing rich HS girl’s parents coaching to jump right into. My mom runs a very successful lacrosse club, and as her best employee I have the great opportunity to sort and send over 250 uniforms out before the summer season. Clearly fat ass Sam was helping.

Snap back to reality.

After coaching LAX for a week, I got a quick 3 day transition in Charlotte, to wash my clothes, sleep, booze with Kat, and shred through SouthPark mall, just to take off to my favorite place in the U.S.A, DENVER! I headed out this week to visit my bud Ike from college, and also play in the Vail tournament over the 4th of July!

I am in DENVER!

I landed in Denver and was snatched at the airport with 2 HUGS from Ike and than we binge ate fruits, vegetables, oats, and rice cakes. I love healthy friends.

Big melons.

Ike made me dinner and did some laps in the kitchen whipped out her “onion goggles” from the drawer. Although she is a smart cookie, she saw this from Phil on Modern Family. She shouldn’t have told me that because I would have bragged about her ingenuity forever.

Onion goggles.

I proceeded to snuggle with Box the cat. She always wears a tuxedo. So weird.

Ike is a super great triathlete, and I was able to be in town for an olympic distance event she crushed in Loveland, CO. The day before her race we drove her 30 mile bike loop, that basically ascended Mt. Everest (that is in CO right?) and picked up her race packet. Fortunately for our weird friendship, there was the Loveland Sculpture Garden conveniently located across the street, which only means one thing PHOTO OP!

Great form.

 

 

After our photo shoot, we headed home so we could go to bed at 8 PM, for Ike’s TRI the next morning. We made overnight oats (THANKS Katie C!) for dinner and I passed out with the help of Cooter, a glass of red wine, and a travelers’ haze. The next morning we woke up at 3 am and headed back to Loveland so Ike could make people feel bad about themselves.

Hug number 3. So sweet.

The legend. Cooter. Pit Crew CHIEF.

Swim Ike Run Pit Crew.

Ike headed out into the water and Cooter and I made friends with all of the dogs in the area. We also talked shit about her competition, pepped each other up and put on running shoes for transition. We also shared an equally emotional and moving moment when watching a dad compete with his son who has CP. He swam a mile with him in a raft behind him, rode 30 miles with him on a bike in the mountains, and pushed him for a 10k. Love doesn’t get stronger.

 

Because, Ike loves attention, I opted to ground her and not expand on her performance, however, she did after all WIN her age division. I may or may not have mentioned but she is the “pants pajamas” and I want to be like her when I grow up.

So yesterday I headed up to Vail, where I reside for the next 8 glorious days! I have gotten two long runs in (think more than 1 mile) and my life is starting to feel balanced again! Read my blog this week and it will explain what I plan to do with my life next.

Peace. Love. Mountains.

 

 

 

feels like home.

I am HOME! :)

In the next few days I will be reflecting on my experiences in Kenya and you won’t want to miss it! Obviously.

A quick re-cap of my journey home;

  • My flight from Nairobi was at 2:50 AM. HORRIBLE. I arrived at the airport in the pitch black dark at 10 PM and was too early to even enter the airport, so I posted up outside. Obviously not ideal nor safe in any way, shape, or form but I figured I would walk to an outdoor beer and grab my last Tusker in Africa for awhile. Again probably not safe. Drinking with a giant backpack and laptop in tow? Safe. No. Did I care? No. Good.
  • While there I proceeded to use my last few minutes of airtime to call home and some friends etc. I was sitting next to three presumably American girls, (given by the fact they all sported Northface backpacks, new African scarfs, Teva sandals, and iPhones). Not European. They left an hour or so later and one of the girls had overheard me talking about my late flight informed me the gate to Istanbul had opened. She was and is super nice.
  • So I made my way into the gate, found the Americans and immediately struck up a fluid English conversation. Thank all that is holy.
  • Two of the three girls, Blair and Sarah were super nice, recent grads of Penn State doing health care accessibility work in Kenya, and the third girl, well she sucked, so blah to her.
  • We hung out all night waiting for the flight, I incurred my last vanilla milkshake, which would be the death of me, and we exchanged stories of people who are terrible to travel with, mainly smelly characters. Thank God for comfort on this long journey home.
  • The first flight, I passed out the whole time. Thank you Ambien/Xanax cocktail.
  • The next morning I woke up ready to face my 9 hour layover in Turkey when I was informed by Sarah that she was on a flight to NYC with an hour layover! WTF why didn’t I know about this!?!? So I sprinted off the plan to customer service, where everyone still smelled and didn’t speak English, and to my surprise and endless persistence was switched to the flight! I was informed my bag wouldn’t make it, but I would rather wait in the NYC airport for hours than Turkey. Check.
  • On the flight, there was nobody. So I got 3 seats in the middle row to myself, made a nest of terribly constructed pillows, drugged myself, and BAM 11 hours later, I was home. Only problem on the way home….remember that vanilla milkshake I chugged in Nairobi…..well it found its way out terribly for a few hours on the flight. Sorry about the graphicness of that, but man at least vanilla barf sort of tastes okay? It is better than my usual Jack Daniels puke. Ok I took it too far. Sorry i’m not sorry.
  • I waited in line with a few hundred green card holding Chinese people, and made it through customs sneaking Nanners a few mangoes (JK), and there she was, MY BAG! It made it! Yay for things working out!
  • So I hopped on the train to Leah’s place in NYC, where I currently sit in her bed for the day watching episode after episode of Glee, Biggest Loser, and the Voice while she is saving the world at the UN. I used my $50 gift card to walk downstairs braless to McDonalds and have hash browns for bfast. So skinny. TV day! :)
  • Because I got in early I got to spend time with Emily last night and eat Mexican food and rest. NYC is about 100 degrees today so I am going to fry myself on the roof and hopefully take away the translucent nonexistent color from my stomach.
  • Off to Philly tonight to have a great week with my best buds and see my momma!
So there is my update. I am no longer in Kenya. You know the air quality is terrible in a country when you start inhaling as deep as possible in a NYC subway because you are grateful for the improved breathing abilities. I can only imagine how great my lungs will feel soon! Goodbye burning trash Kenya, hello oxygen!
Stay tuned!
Amani.
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