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Spring is very confused today.  The wind chill was 35 degrees this morning.  I had my air conditioning on yesterday.  Technically, my AC might have still been turned on this morning, but since it was 64 degrees in my apartment when I woke up, and the AC was set on like 75, it wasn’t blowing.  Now I have the heat on.  I’m sorry I’m not sorry.

One thing spring is not confused about is raspberries.  I am normally more of a blueberry/banana/apple fruit consumer, but they were out of blueberries, and my mom always says the important thing is to eat colorful food, so I bought raspberries.  I’m not sure if these were particularly amazing raspberries, or if the fact that I ate nothing but white bread and mayo last week had something to do with it, but I can’t remember tasting anything so delicious.  I felt like the kids from Lord of the Flies who are starving and find the tropical fruit (mangos maybe?) and can’t stop themselves from gorging.  But then I remembered that those children felt very sick afterwards and that each raspberry cost about a dime, and I tried to limit myself to no more than a $1.50 in raspberries in that first sitting.

In other news, I ran out of flonase this morning, and I called the pharm for a refill.  The nice lady at the pharm said,”Goodness!  You sound terrible!  Rough time of year, huh?  I figured while I was out of allergy medicine, that I should sweep all the pollen off of my front porch.  Not like, the yellow gritty dust, but the hairy oak pieces.  I’m grasping for a better way to describe the oak debris, it sort of looks like mini caterpillars?  Or maybe a yellow dust bunny? Debris is one of my favorite words.  Spring time brings a lot of extra debris.  My car looks like it hasn’t been washed in two years.  It’s been more like ten days.  Even Briscoe is sneezing.

Despite the fact that there is a windchill today, yesterday was hot and muggy and rainy and the mosquitoes were having a grand time.  Briscoe and I went for a walk around 8 yesterday morning, and we sat down on a bench by the water, and I looked down, and there were at least five mosquitoes trying to bite Briscoe through her fluffy hair.  We came home immediately.  How do you keep mosquitoes off your dog?

I was home in Augusta last week for the Masters, and it was a whirlwind of friends, family, flowers, sandwiches, beer, and pollen.  I attempted to see as many people as possible, and I still missed some important people.  The amount of white bread and mayo consumed was upsetting, but necessary.  My friends from home (The “A” Team) and I discussed how the Augusta National is like Narnia, how the grass is greener, everything tastes better, life seems crisper.  But you can’t take it home with you.  Egg salad does not travel well.  The pairing sheet is just a dirty piece of paper when you get home.  And this week, apparently, the end of the Masters means the return of the endless winter.

My childhood buddy, Lilibet, has written an excellent book – Box Girl: My Part Time Job as an Art Installation.  Check it out, it’s totally hilarious.  And if you need any other book recommendations, The Goldfinch was insanely awesome.  And The Circle was an engaging and terrifying look at social media.

Briscoe and I happy to be back in sunny Charleston, but it was hard to leave home after such an amazing week. The first couple of days after the tournament are pretty rough, but I think I’ve made it through the worst part.   I hope that you are all surviving this STUPID cold snap.  This has to be the end of it, right?   It’s not fair to have pollen and a wind chill.  Winter can’t last forever.  Until them, I recommend hot coffee and zyrtec, and a fuzzy dog if you can find one.

*I also posted a post below that I wrote about a month ago, but forgot to actually post.  Finishing the drill is hard sometimes.

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I swear, I have the very best of intentions when it comes to blogging, but the worst follow through.  The truth is, 2014 has turned out to be a bit of a whirlwind, and it’s difficulty for me to believe it’s almost the end of March and I haven’t blogged since January. February was a big month. The old Blog had it’s tenth birthday in February, and I didn’t even mention it!  So, Happy Belated Birthday Blog, I’m sorry we don’t spend enough time together, you deserve better!

Back to February. February 2014 ended up being unbelievable, and I want to preface this by saying that it is an inaccurate representation of my real life.  I spent most of 2013 halfway crippled, and I vowed that as soon as I was able to do fun things again I would take advantage of any and all opportunities, because you really don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, YOLO.  Thanks to some amazing friends, I had some awesome opportunities, and I feel extremely lucky.

First this happened – (THANKS LIBBY AND CBS!)

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Super Awkward

Super Halftime with Bruno

 

The football didn’t end up being all that exciting, but I got to hear Queen Latifah sing America The Beautiful with a children’s choir, and I got to wear a ski cap that had lights on it that was part of the half time light show.  I freaking love light shows.  And fireworks.  And Bruno Mars.  It was a really great day, the Broncos notwithstanding.  We had to go through airport style security that was pretty intense, but it’s nice to feel safe.

The second spectacular occurrence in February 2014 was that I went skiing in Austria with a group of 15 great friends. I mean, the ALPS! Who knew?  The mountains were breathtakingly impressive, the snow was exceptional, the company was first rate.  I will admit that the combination of jet lag, altitude, and apre’ ski was aggressive, and not for the faint of heart, but it was all worth it.

Good Morning Zurich! ImageImage

 

ImagePowder Day!

 

Austria was an epic experience.  We spent three days in Solden, which is a giant ski resort comprised of three mountains connected with extensive gondolas.  One day we skied in Ishgl, where we had the pleasure of skiing from Austria and into Switzerland for lunch.  We spent a day in St. Anton, where the snow was less impressive than Solden or Ishgl, but the apre ski was amazing.  We stayed in this great solid house with a big basement that had a pool table, ping pong, and foosball.  When we weren’t skiing, we cooked a lot of food, drank beer, ordered pizza, and laughed.

 

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These Twenty Dash years are speeding along rapidly, although I have to admit that I was happy to see 2013 exit the stage.  My ankle surgery in October and the government shutdown were rather disruptive forces, and then in mid November I developed what was inconclusively walking pneumonia or a vicious viral infection.  Either way, by the Friday after Thanksgiving I was in the bed.  Two and a half weeks of antibiotics, a steroid pack, and five sick days later, and it was almost Christmas.  Seriously, I didn’t drink alcohol or coffee for almost three weeks, in December, to give y’all an idea of how ill I truly was. Obviously, ankle surgery and a terrible hacking cold with a racking cough that last a month is not the worst thing that could happen, but it did make me appreciate all the things I take for granted.  Like walking, and breathing.  It made me a little more compassionate towards the subjective complaints of the claimants.  Additionally, in the instance of my ankle and my respiratory difficulties, I was required to see more than one doctor and be my own health advocate to fight for additional treatment options and testing.  Not because my doctors aren’t competent, but because many of them are overworked and jaded and under appreciated, and lacked the time or effort to waste on an otherwise seemingly healthy young person with no real health risk factors.    I’m not going to get into all the nuances involved in health care, suffice it to say, being sick or injured sucks, and if you don’t like the answers you are receiving, keep asking your questions, find additional opinions.

When I woke up from being sick and realized that it was almost Christmas, I had to play catch up on the festivities.  My friends and I threw an oyster roast/skeet shoot, which we’ve decided will be known as the First Annual Christmas Clays.

Here are my friends shooting skeet.

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They were some of the best oysters I’ve ever had the pleasure of destroying.

We had a blue grass band, oysters, skeet, venison chili,ham, Frog Island Punch, koozies, and a lot of fun with all of the frogs.  The party was held at my friend Zan’s family’s property, and Zan and his father are sculptors, and the property is littered with artwork.

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Shannon and me playing in the froggy scrap yard.

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Me and my favorite frog.

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This is Jack, and Briscoe was a really great sport.

Christmas brought the arrival of a new family member at my parents house –

Christmas Day with besties from home.

Christmas Day with besties from home.

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Polar Bear Plunge with some of the greatest friends ever!

Christmas was great, and I got to see a lot of old friends.  New Year’s Eve was Alicia and Bryan’s beautiful wedding.  And New Year’s Day, we all jumped in the ocean to celebrate 2014, and then we ate hoppin’ johns and collards, with mac and cheese, and the best wings in america, washed down with a game changer at Home Team.

Overall, the last two weeks of December more than made up for feeling like I was on restriction from the beginning of October until the middle of December.  And 2013 will always be the year that I really found a home in Charleston, with amazing friendships, a job I love, and an unrivaled picturesque natural setting.

As a side note, I do have to admit that I’m currently freezing to death at my house, whilst wearing an obscene amount of clothing and my uggs, wrapped in a blanket, with my arm warmers.  My power still works, but my house was not designed for the cold, and it’s all my little heater can do to keep up.  This is the coldest weather I’ve experienced since I moved to Charleston in Fall 2010.  The upside is that it’s suppose to be in the 70s this weekend. I’ve started running again, and yesterday I ran two miles, which is the furthest I’ve run since I stopped running in December 2012.  I’m looking forward to my first yoga class since September tonight, and can’t wait to be in the suffocating heat, after this freezing day.

Speaking of freezing, this weather has brought to my attention that I only have the bare minimum of cold weather gear.  I’m going skiing in February, and I think I need some new gear.  You know, like gloves with fingers.  None of my gloves have fingers.  Suggestions?

You kids try to stay warm out there, and if winter ever gets to be too much, come on down to Charleston some weekend, the cold weather never lasts for more than a couple of days.  I promise to take you to Home Team and to an oyster roast.  My new year’s resolutions are obviously to blog more, and to get back into fighting shape.  I’m going to get back on the mat, back on the tennis court, and take some things out on the pavement.

Cheers to 2014 being the best year yet!  Happy New Year!

The Big Bridge

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Getting back to real life has been more difficult that I anticipated.  It’s been six weeks and one day since my surgery, and I’ve been back at work for more than three weeks.  I may have hit the ground a little aggressively, but there were some things I could not help. I could not help that I HAD to go see Libby run in the New York Marathon the first week in November.  It’s not my fault that it got cancelled last year. Libby had to train twice, and the least I could do was rebook my trip.  Plus, I really wanted to go, and I needed to see Betsy and Andrew and meet sweet baby Cash.  I can’t help it that being in New York necessitates a lot of walking.  Going to New York left me in the Boot for an extra week, but I was able to get around surprisingly well, and I don’t think the extra boot walking caused any lasting damage.

I’ve had the opportunity to see a lot of music this month, which I was not expecting.  The first weekend I was back in Charleston, someone gave me a ticket to the Robert Earl Keen show at the Charleston Music Hall, at the last minute, so I had to go to that.  Then Michael Franti was at the Music Farm and I went with my sweet friend Anita.  Finally, The Avett Brothers played at the Coliseum last week, and those tickets were purchased this summer.  All three shows were fantastic.  I’ve seen REK and The Avett Brothers at the Georgia Theater, and it’s hard to compare any show to a Theater show, but the Charleston Music Hall is a really cool venue if you ever get a chance to see it, and the Avett Brothers are a completely different band than they were in the Georgia Theater days.  When I first saw the Avett Brothers in 2007, it was three guys, and the entire show was high energy Bluegrass Ska music.  Now there are seven or eight band members, and it’s a much more professional production.  It’s nice to watch a band grow up.  The show last week was one of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time.  It was well paced, with lots of old music, and lots of new music, and we stood up the entire time.  The only thing I did not understand was the couple with the baby in the Bjorn in front of us.  Or the other couple with the two boys, aged maybe four and six.  The two boys were clearly miserable, with the four year old plugging his ears the whole time.  How is that fun for anyone involved?  And they stayed almost the entire show.  It’s not normal for kids to stay out til 11 on a school night, right?

Speaking of music, I’ve been enjoying the new Katy Perry album.  Hate all you want, she’s fun.  Also, I love Eminem.  I tolerate Rihanna when she is playing with Eminem.  I love that this new song is about seeming crazy.  I realized the other day that a casual observer would think I spend all day talking to myself.  But the reality is that not I’m talking to myself, I’m talking to the inanimate objects around me.  Example, I’m pulling sheets out of the dryer, and they are not dry,  “Dude!  You aren’t dry at all!  Look at this, you’ve gotten all wadded and tangled up, you are never going to dry that way.  Get back in there.”

The weather has been crazy, yesterday it was 83 degrees, 90% humidity.  This morning it was 50 degrees, 60% humidity, with winds 20 mph.  The former is a lot hotter than you’d think, and the latter is a lot colder than you’d expect.  I’ve completed all of the levels of candy crush, and now we wait for an update.  In television news, you should be watching The Blacklist.  That is the only new television show I can definitely vouch for as amazing.  If you watch Homeland and Scandal, you should be reading this weekly blog series The Heroine Watch.  It definitely enhances what otherwise has been a season of extremely depressing and upsetting story lines.

I can’t wait until I can run and go to yoga and play tennis again, I’m hoping to be able to start doing more in the next couple of week.  I’ve been walking a mile in the morning and a mile at night, and standing up at my desk during the day, and I’ve been able to do that with occasional pain.  The range of motion in my ankle is limited in all directions, but I believe that it is getting a little better every day.  I still have some numbness in my big toe and on the outside of my heel, but the scar is healing well.

Until then, Briscoe and her pink gorilla are making sure my yoga mat feels loved.

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Adelante is a Spanish word that means to “go forth” or “forward” and can be used as an interjection to mean “come in” or “go ahead.”  The Adelante is my friend Dan’s sailboat, and Dan has been gracious enough to invite me sailing on several occasions.  The Adelante has provided many long afternoons of laughter and happy times out on the water.

The Adelante, Race Week 2008

An intact Adelante being transferred from land to sea in 2012.

I love this photo of Meghan!

I think this is my favorite Adelante photo, complete with Meghan looking good on the mast.

High times on the high seas, Memorial Day, 2013.

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The Happiest Hour

“Have you already left your house? Slight change in plans, I’m going to come pick you up, be outside in five minutes.” Five minutes later, I was sitting on the curb on the corner of my street.  It was Friday afternoon, and I had escaped work early to join in a happy hour sail for Edie’s birthday.  Dan had the Adelante all ready to go at the city marina on Lockwood, and we were going to leave Edie’s car at the Yacht Club on East Bay.  The plan was to sail around the harbor, and dock at the Yacht Club.  It was a perfect day, with a perfect breeze.

Friday, August 8, 2013, the Adelante is ready to set sail.

Friday, August 9, 2013, the Adelante is ready to set sail.

When Dan picked me up, I suggested that we stop at the Harris Teeeter and pick up some champagne for Edie’s birthday.  He assured me that he already had two bottles in the cooler on the Adelante.  Dan is smart like that.  Edie and her brother, Brooks, were waiting on us in the parking lot of the yacht club.  I was wearing my favorite patagonia dress, and Edie said she was glad I decided to go with “sailboat cocktail” attire.  In no time, we were at the city marina, setting sail with a cold beer and a perfect breeze. I’m very much a sailing novice, but it is something I would like to learn to do.  There are a list of things I feel like you should know how to do, most of which I do not know how to do.  Drive a stick shift, sail a sailboat, clean a fish, apply a tourniquet, start a fire without matches, land a plane.  You know, life skills.  I do know how to call 911. 

When it comes to sailing, I have this fear of over correcting and knocking the sailboat over, which Dan has repeatedly assured me is not going to happen.  He says the worst that would happen is that I could knock some people into the water.  I related a story of my mother requesting that I use a life vest at all times, and Dan assured me that we had plenty of life vests in the cabin, but that he did not anticipate anyone needing one. The cooler had a couple cans of Gosling’s Dark and Stormy, and I remarked that Dan was the first person to introduce me to the Dark and Stormy.  Brooks assured me that Dan introduced the entire city of Charleston to the Dark and Stormy, and that Dan single handedly convinced all the bars that not having ginger beer available was unacceptable, and that we all have Dan to thank for the availability of this summertime staple. The conditions were perfectly breezy but the water calm, and I ended up at the helm, steering.  Everyone tried to talk me through how to head into the wind, or fall off, and a lot of other terms I still haven’t grasped, but I’m working on it.  I tried to “feel” the wind and to watch the little arrow at the top of the mast, and I tried in vain to catch the giant cargo ships in the harbor.  I was instructed on the optimum amount of boat tilt, and tried to get my sea legs.  

The trick to being at the helm, is figuring out a way to not get distracted.  It went something like this – I would get comfortable in my abilities, and start feeling confident –

Edie:  “Did you see that?  Over there?”

Me:  “Where?”

Dan:  “Charlsie!  Look Alive! What are you doing?!  Head up!  Fall off!  Agghhh!”

Me:  “Gah!  I got it!  I think, wait, I’m doing it wrong, hang on, I just spilled my beer everywhere.  Are we going to hit that boat in front of us?”

Regardless, I did well enough where no one took away my steering privilege, and when we got out past Fort Sumter and turned around, I got to yell, “Prepare to come about!  Coming about!”

Fort Sumter from the Adelante.

Fort Sumter from the Adelante.

And we turned around with no problems!  Sailing back into the harbor was easier, and Dan handled the docking of the Adelante.  It was all in all a very successful sail.  After the sail, we walked across East Bay to Edie’s friends Bo and Anne’s  house, and participated in some porch sitting, and then some kitchen congregating.  Edie left with her car to go to the mexican restaurant for Birthday Dinner, and Bo was nice enough to take Dan, Brooks, and me to the city marina to get Dan’s car. When we got to Dan’s car, we realized the keys to the car were on the boat, so we had to go by Dan’s house and get his spare set.  This was no big deal at the time.  Once we had Dan’s car, we met Edie and company at the mexican restaurant for a delicious meal.  We all went home happy and full of good food and good times.

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“If You Haven’t Run Aground, You Haven’t Been Around.” – Old sailing maxim 

Saturday afternoon, Brooks and Edie were at the beach out on Sullivans, around station 28 1/2.  Dan appeared seemingly out of nowhere, from the tidal pool.

Edie:  “Dan!  What are you doing?  Where did you come from?  Who are you with?”

Dan:  “See that commotion off shore?  The fire and rescue boat?  I was out there, and now I’m here.  Can I use your cell phone to call the coast guard?”

Turns out, the Adelante set sail on Saturday with Dan and three other friends for a fateful final voyage.  Through a series of unfortunate events, more than half a mile of the coast of Sullivans, the Adelante hit a sandbar, and the rudder broke off, and in the process of escaping the sandbar, an unknown structural imperfection was exploiting in the 35 year old boat, resulting in a crack in the keel, and a short time later the Adelante went down. Dan says that there is a persuasive technical argument to be made that the Adelante did not, strictly speaking, sink.

She just fell over.

She just fell over.

And took on some water.

And took on some water.

All crew members were left on the sandbar, in four feet of water. It was too far to swim, but a kiteboarder was able to drag all four crew members to the beach.  The news picked up the story.  I’ve been singing the Gilligan’s Island song for days.  A three hour tour, a three hour tour. http://www.wistv.com/story/23117498/stranded-boaters-saved-by-kiteboarder-off-sullivans-island?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=9191035.  

The important thing to remember is that no one was seriously injured (one crew member required stitches for a leg injury), but it was a sad day. Remember Friday night when we went to get Dan’s spare set of keys from his house?  Um, yeah, so that meant that on Saturday, both sets of Dan’s key were on the Adelante.  And the Adelante was upside down, drifting into Breach Inlet.

The tourists in this photo are classic.

That’s not Dan in the foreground, in case you were wondering. Those are classic, unidentified tourists.

Shockingly enough, the dry bag washed up on the beach, along with several other personal possessions that went down with the boat, and the keys were recovered along with a couple of cell phones.  The water bottle I left in the cooler of the boat on Friday did not survive the wreckage.   Sunday, Dan and George were left with the grime task of watching the recovery of what was left of the Adelante.

Sunday recovery of the Adelante.

Sunday recovery of the Adelante.  George was there for emotional support.

Presumably a bad time to ask about the sunglasses and water bottle I left on board Friday afternoon.

The former home of the 1200 lb keel.

The former home of the 1200 lb keel.

The Friday after her last sail, the many friends of the Adelante gathered at Salty Mike’s for a farewell happy hour in memory of all the great times, and to thank Dan for sharing her with us. We all raised a Dark and Stormy in tribute, and felt lucky to have spent time on such a beautiful old boat!

Salty Mike's D & S

Salty Mike’s D & S

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I was suppose to work all day, but then Jennifer called and said she was on the boat and for me to come lay out with her. There is this unwritten rule, when your bestie who recently had her second child, wants you to come hang out and drink beer during the work day on the water, you have to go. Holiday weekends strengthen the enforcement of this rule. Sort of like all the other laws. Giant perk of working for the federal government at the beach.*

Last night Catie and I were walking down Broad Street and East Bay, and we ducked into a bar, and these guys behind us called out to us and said – “where are you going? I’ve been following you for blocks checking you out!” (This is the pg version of his comment, it was actually a much more body part specific) Guys, this is the greatest way to make SURE to scare a girl off. Don’t tell women you don’t know that you’ve been following her for blocks, and specifically comment on the part of her body you noticed. Just FYI.

In other ground breaking news from the coast, coppertone kids 70 SPF sunscreen will destroy your nail polish.

Get excited for a holiday Spoleto weekend full of art, dance, music, family, friends, great food, and the prettiest weather in everyone’s favorite city. As soon as someone dries my hair for me, I will be ready for tonight.  Kate and Trav are on their way, and we are going to act cultured all weekend.

Cheers!

*BTW, the reason I can leave early on Friday is because I worked 10 hour days ever other day this week, not because federal employees don’t do work.  Y’all don’t get crazy.  I was with a bunch of Republicans. I have no political affiliations beyond YOLO.

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I have horrible dreams on a regular basis.  Sometimes they include people I know, and sometimes they include people I don’t know.  Some are worse than others.  But they have a couple recurrent themes.  Anxiety – like the one where I’m running down a gravel road in a dress and high heels trying to make it somewhere for something important.  I’m normally in Colorado in that dream, which is weird, because Colorado is the place I am least likely to wear a dress or heels in real life.  Right now I would be really pumped (seriously, stop) to wear heels anywhere, but my foot refuses to comply with these desires.

My other recurrent dream involves disasters.  Sometimes it is natural disaster, and sometimes it is horrible accident, and other times it involves serial killers dressed as cops knocking on the door of the cabin in the woods in the middle of the night.  Did you see the movie Secret Window?  Cause I did.  I’m starting to think maybe I watch too many movies and entirely too many crime shows.

When I was in the ATL last weekend, Christy’s neighbor got locked out and came by her apartment to get a spare key.  Because she is someone important in the HOA, she has the keys to all the condos in her building.  I’m sure I knew that there was a person like this in most condo associations, but I had two immediate thoughts.  1.  Damn, she is trusted and responsible, this is what happens when you are a lawyer.  2.  If anyone is ever murdered in her building, she will be an immediate suspect because she has everyone’s spare key.  And then I had a third thought, which was, what is wrong with you that you think about this sort of thing?

Wish me luck, I’m off to test the ole foot out in Drew’s yoga class.  I may be crying tonight, but right now I’m really excited.

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