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Every 4 seconds a girl speaks her mind to an uniformed guy
Every 6 seconds an uniformed guy is speechless
Every 10 seconds a girl proves something wrong
Every 60 seconds a girl comes to the aid of a girlfriend in need
Every 3 seconds a girl gets the last word
Every 5 seconds a girl gets the last laugh

Every 10 seconds a guy thinks about how to get a girl
Every 7 seconds a guy tries to prove his manhood
Every 30 seconds a guy looks to his friends for advice
Every 12 seconds a guy embarrasses himself in front of a girl
Every 15 seconds a guy wonders why it is always his fault
Every 2 seconds a guy wonders how a girl’s mind works

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The five of us sat there. The clamor and excitement surrounding us was deafening, yet as if we were sitting pleasantly, chatting in a peaceful coffee shop. It was obvious none of us were paying attention to what should have been the game of our lives, but we were too enthralled with the debate that was being thrown back and forth across the bleachers. Every once in awhile our “intellectual” conversation was broken by screams and hollers when the timing was right. The fact is, our innocent conversation merely consisted of ideas elders would find inappropriate for “children” of our age to be discussing. But whether or not they wanted to admit it, dating, sex and interest in the opposite sex were topics of our generation. It was that simple.

“You’re too young to be thinking about boys.”

“When I was your age, I didn’t have time to worry about dating.”

These were ever-common phrases heard by my ears time and time again. I hate to break it to everyone, but I think about boys all the time. It is reasonable to say that every girl my age does. How does a guy’s mind work? What do they truly look for in a girl? Questions like these arose in my mind constantly. That was the common factor that led us to delve into the minds of one another, or teenagers in general, that night.

Two girls and three guys, sharing their thoughts. It was perfectly harmless, even with the curious glances coming our way, even with heads tilted, directed to catch a tidbit of our heated controversies. We smiled, we laughed and we gapped in awe at some of the amazing truths we were uncovering. Frankly, we weren’t ashamed or embarrassed of what we said and wanted to know, but were instead intrigued by the knowledge each of us were gaining from one another.

You learn something new every day, the saying goes. Guys actually do look deeper into a girl’s appearance, and as much as I didn’t want to admit it, we are attracted by looks, too. It felt like an episode of Love Line, with all the advice and theories that were being tossed our way. It was as if our good guy friends, staring as “Dr. Love,” knew exactly what us girls were thinking. After that, I questioned my stereotypical opinion on men being chauvinistic pigs who don’t care about anything but food and women, women having the likeness to a piece of meat. I realized that I was blocking out the notion that in my case, a guy would have to appreciate me for who I am personally, rather than for looks, or lack thereof.

That night was great. I learned a lot more about the opposite sex in that fascinating thirty minutes than from months of sitting in a boring health class. Surprisingly, guys and girls think quite alike when considering this touchy topic. As much as as I hate to say it, we all have a lot in common. So, even though my fellow female friend was the lucky one and ended up with what appears to be the blooming of a beautiful relationship, I came out with further understanding of the complicated mind of a being I once knew as having cooties.

I rarely get caught up in cheesy online quizzes that have little basis for their random results, but I go sucked into three: which country do you belong in, what career should you actually have, and which movie is actually based on your life. Here are my results, which I have to admit came out pretty darn accurate, in my opinion.

Country: New Zealand
You are an adventurous individual who enjoys being outdoors and spending time being active. You are a risk taker and have no problem striking up a conversation with a total stranger. When you travel you love to get to know the locals, and their customs, and are always up for a challenge. You thrive in a culture where others share your deep appreciation for land, and believe life is best lived outdoors. You love a hard hike, but also love the water and are happy to spend a day beach side. You thrive in a society with diversity and appreciate a simpler way of living. You are keen on learning about cultures and customs that are different than your own, and enjoy a deep conversation, whether it be philosophical or spiritual. You are not a city dweller by any means, and definitely believe that life is something to explore and experience firsthand. This country gives you endless opportunities to live both an active lifestyle and enjoy the company of newfound friends.

Career: Social Activist
You are a very emotional, ambitious and stubborn person. In the past, these traits got you in a lot of trouble, but now you can actually make a huge difference in this world thanks to them. You were meant to take what you’ve learned so far in life and use it to help others in need.

Movie: Stand by Me
The movie “Stand By Me” is based on your life! You’ve had the most amazing childhood imaginable. Although you’ve had some problems at home, your friends were always there for you. You played together, studied together, and ventured out during the summer. Remember these moments, they are priceless!

 

pierAt the end of January, my little cousin’s Flat Stanley unexpectedly arrived at my door. Having just spent two weeks with my friend and her nephew’s Flat Stanley in Kenya, I was elated to have a turn with him and show him my life in Los Angeles.

Flat Stanley and I had such a great time when he came to visit. He was with me for a couple months, so we visited a lot of sites in Southern California.ferris wheel

 

I live in Santa Monica, so I had to take him to the famous Santa Monica Pier, which is known for its lighted Ferris wheel. Santa Monica is also known for its wonderful beaches, shopping and dining on Third Street Promenade and frequent movie star sightings.

city hall

 

 

 

 

He happened to be visiting me during a week I was summoned for jury duty. It’s against the law to take pictures inside the courtroom, so here is Flat Stanley outside Santa Monica City Hall. After two days of juror selection, I was dismissed. I was not selected to be a juror for the case.

broncos

 

Flat Stanley also happened to be visiting when our Denver Broncos played in the Super Bowl. We cheered them on during the game. Unfortunately our cheering didn’t do any good because the Broncos lost pretty bad against the Seattle Seahawks.

The last bit of fun we had was up in Big Bear, California, which is a two-hour drive from Santa Monica. Big Bear is a small mountain town with a couple ski resorts, similar to some of the mountain towns in Colorado. There we did some snowboarding in warm spring weather at Bear Mountain Resort. It’s not as nice as Colorado ski resorts and the snow wasn’t as good, but it was still fun. Here Stanley is on a ski lift with me; he wasn’t afraid of heights at all.

chair lift 2

 

Flat Stanley’s last day in Southern California was spent with me at work in West LA, which is about three miles from my apartment. I am the Editorial Manager to a team of six editors and designers at a market research firm. Stanley got to see our big, 11th-floor office that we moved into just this past November. While I worked, he hung out with me at my corner desk that has great views to the left and in front.

 

Thanks for visiting Flat Stanley! And thanks to Tim and Ms. Dunn’s class at Traylor Academy in Denver for letting him spend some time with me in Southern California. I hope you all learn a lot!

desk

 

Thanks Adi Zarsadias for a great piece that totally resonates with me.
I took your words and came up with some of my own.
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She’s the one with the messy unkempt hair colored by the sun. Her skin is now far from fair like it once was. Not even sun kissed. It has tan lines, freckles, scars and battle wounds. But for every flaw on her skin, she has an interesting story to tell.

Don’t date a girl who travels. She is hard to please. The usual dinner-movie date at the mall will suck the life out of her. Her soul craves for new experiences and adventures. She will be unimpressed with your flashy, new material things. She would rather climb a rock or jump out of an airplane than to spend money on “things” that will be outdated in five months. She would rather reminisce about past adventures and dream about those to come, than hear you brag about your penthouse on Wall Street.

Don’t date a girl who travels because she will bug you to check the latest music festival lineup. She will ask you to see another Dave Matthews Band show, because 25 isn’t enough. She doesn’t care about partying at Rehab or getting into the latest clubs because she knows that one weekend of clubbing is equivalent to one week somewhere far more exciting.

Don’t date a girl who travels because she will be gone with the next airline seat sale. She lives paycheck to paycheck to fund her jet-setting ways. And she only works so she has the funds. She doesn’t want to keep working her ass off for someone else’s dream. She has her own and is working toward it. She is a freelancer. She makes money from designing, writing, photography or something that requires creativity and imagination. But she doesn’t work like a robot all day, she goes out and takes what life has to offer and challenges you to do the same.

Don’t date a girl who travels for she has chosen a life of uncertainty. She doesn’t have a long-term plan or a permanent address. She goes with the flow and follows her heart. She dances to the beat of her own drum. She rarely wears a watch. And when she does, she never checks the time. Her days are ruled by the sun and the moon. When the world calls, life stops and she will be oblivious to everything else for a moment.

Don’t date a girl who travels because she will never need you – or at least will say she doesn’t need help. She knows how to change a flat tire, pitch a tent and can carry all her own gear. She eats well and doesn’t need you to pay for her meals. She is too independent. Although she hopes you will travel with her, your absence won’t keep her from booking that flight. She will forget to check in with you when she arrives at her destination. She’s busy living in the present. She talks to strangers. She will meet many interesting, like-minded people from around the world who share her passion and dreams.

So never date a girl who travels unless you can keep up with her. And if you unintentionally fall in love with one, don’t you dare hold her back. Let her go.

 

Please note: Portions of this post were written by Adi Zarsadias.

Just Married: Josh & Jodie Ruyle

Just Married: Josh & Jodie Ruyle

Before I can talk to you about Jodie and Josh’s relations, I want to tell you a little bit about each of them as individuals.

If you knew Jodie and me when we were younger, you can probably remember how much we fought and hated each other. Well . . . it was probably just me doing all the hating; Jodie was just being a typical younger sister who looked up to her older sibling. But I couldn’t stand how much she copied and bothered me, especially when I was trying to act cool in front of my friends.

No doubt you’ve heard my story about the California Rollin’ girl, a doll I wanted so badly for Christmas. When I discovered it hidden in the crawlspace, I was elated, just to have my dreams crushed when “Santa” gave it to Jodie. She didn’t even want it!

And I’m sure Jodie has told each one of you how my idea of playing Barbies was having her set them all up, just to decide I didn’t want to play anymore. I think you get the point: Jodie and I didn’t have the greatest relationship when we were kids.

Fast-forward a few years, after each of us had grown up just a little, and our relationship took a turn. Instead of us fighting with one another, feisty Jodie was fighting off anyone who did me wrong. When a guy grabbed me at a bar, Jodie was right there to slap him across the face – and not once, but twice. On another occasion, she reamed one of my supposed friends for ruining my birthday.

Fast-forward a little more to the Jodie and Lindsay today: And the only issue between us is 1,036 miles. It’s hard for me to believe that I ever wanted to rip her head off. She truly is my best friend and I can’t imagine what life would be like without her.

I think that might just be the way Josh and Jodie feel about each other today – not the part about wanting to rip each other’s heads off, but the part about being best friends that couldn’t get by without one another. Josh confirmed these thoughts when I recently picked his brain about how well he knew his fiancée. In May 2007 when Jodie told Josh he “needed to commit or lose her,” he says, in his own words, “I couldn’t stand the thought of losing her, so I decided to commit. Best decision of my life.”

In the early days, I might have been a bit hesitant about Josh, being the protective older sister. But once Josh became a more permanent fixture in Jodie’s life, I was finally able to get to know him. Although Nick will do a better job of telling you all about Josh, I am sure on a few things . . .

He gives the best hugs. As long as I’ve known him, he’s always given genuine hugs that make you feel like you’ve known him all your life. Most of you have probably experienced them, but if you haven’t, I highly recommend hugging Josh at some point tonight.

He’s also one of the smartest people I know. Jodie says I shouldn’t say that around him because it might go to his head, but it’s true. Josh is a bundle of knowledge who always has a different or unique perspective on everything. I always leave a conversation with him feeling smarter.

Lastly – and most importantly – he is an extraordinary man who is perfect for my sister. He balances her out and makes her happy. He’s kind, thoughtful, welcoming and most of all patient. And he assured me that he knows full well what he’s getting himself into by marrying into the Holloway family.

Josh, Jodie, just keep doing what you’re doing. Because as individuals, you both are amazing. And together you shine even stronger. Saying each of you is marrying your best friend sounds cliché, but it’s true. You truly are perfect for one another. I wish you both the very best in your life as a married couple. And I love you both to the moon and back.

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Personal Life

Los Angeles: Pros

  • friends are here
  • Chris just moved back
  • great roommate situation
  • cheaper flights to Colorado
  • part of a fun kickball team
  • I’m partial to SoCal fashion/style
  • I love my life up here, maybe I’m not ready to give it up


Los Angeles: Cons

  • been in SoCal a long time
  • hard to meet quality guys in LA
  • I don’t have many single friends here anymore


New York City: pros

  • new city to explore
  • new city for friends and family to visit
  • closer to Ottawa, where Melissa may live one day 😉
  • meet new people, make new friends
  • a change from SoCal’s life-long bachelors
  • ready for a change
  • lots of city kickball leagues


New York City: cons

  • no friends there, leaving friends
  • leaving Chris, who just moved back
  • no family there, and family would be further away
  • flights to Colorado are more expensive
  • it’s hard to feel attractive in winter clothes
  • I’m terrified to uproot my great life in LA

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While this post is exactly what it seems – a comparison of the country’s two most-popular cities, a battle between West Coast and East Coast – on a deeper level, it’s a personal struggle I’m trying to work through as I decide which city I should live in. I’ve been offered two opportunities at the company I currently work for: 1) continue as editorial manager in the same business, but with a new team and in a new city, or 2) continue as editorial manager of the same team and in the same office, but for a new business that could grow exponentially.

Both options sound very appealing to me, and both are equally great opportunities for me. Similarly, I would be an asset to my employer in either position. So I stand at a crossroads, one foot pointed in each direction, with a very difficult decision to make. This potential multipart post is an attempt to sway myself one way or another.


Lifestyle

Los Angeles: Pros

  • great weather
  • beach
  • access to outdoors/nature
  • bigger apartments
  • walk to work
  • walk to many amenities
  • laid back
  • access to snowboarding
  • less expensive than NYC
  • great food
  • great music scene


Los Angeles: Cons

  • poor public transportation
  • horrible traffic
  • takes forever to get anywhere
  • very spread out
  • still an expensive city
  • potential for earthquakes


New York City: Pros

  • good public transportation (and I love public transportation)
  • I always wanted to try living in a big city (it’s on my bucket list!)
  • walk to many amenities
  • could sell my car
  • save $75/mo on car insurance
  • save on gas money
  • new city to explore
  • great, accessible food
  • great music scene


New York City: Cons

  • limited access to outdoors/nature
  • going snowboarding would be difficult
  • limited 24 Hour Fitness gyms
  • very expensive
  • small apartments
  • probably wouldn’t be able to walk to work
  • couldn’t have a car (limited parking, wouldn’t want to drive there)
  • no Target, Home Depot, Best Buy, etc.
  • grocery shopping is more difficult
  • limited grocery choices, limited produce
  • potential for hurricanes