Near Life Experiences



This last month has been insane.

But I’m not letting a broken phone, 4 automobile accidents, an injured back and a terrible cold get me down.

At least not anymore.


Today is the day I get back on my work-out regime. Today I will spend at least twenty minutes meditating. Today I will do something nice for someone, just because I can. (Also I’m trying to get on karma’s good side. ) Today I will spend 3 hours finally catching up on all the Dr. Who I haven’t had time for in the last year. Today I remind myself of how many people are around to lift me up when I’m down, how many great opportunities and experiences that I’m lucky enough to experience.

It’s so easy to let bad habits creep back in. I know at least for me, whenever one bad thing happens, I tend to think that I have lost complete control of life; throw my hands in the air; and then the rest of the world turns to chaos.

I want to stop living in fear.

I want to quit being scared that every one is judging me. That I will fall and break my neck every time I step into a shower. That I will suffocate to death while trying to remove a tight sweatshirt.

But then again, I almost died this week by suffocation.

My boyfriend bought me a super light-weight sleeping bag to take on our upcoming backpacking trip. He wanted me to try it out and make sure I fit in it comfortably. Once I was zipped in real tight, he proceeded to pour fried rice on my face and let the dogs go crazy on my face.

Looking back, I should have just sat back and taken in the joy that only a multitude of doggie kisses can bring you.

Have a good weekend!



Sixth Grade Me Was an Idiot.

This month has been so busy, that I almost forgot to take a moment to remember the death anniversary of one of my all-time favorite actors.

Brad Renfro’s Big Bopper pics  were once plastered upon all of my walls. He was the object of dozens of diary entries. He gave me hope that I would one day be discovered while shopping for peace sign earrings at Claires. His performance in Sleepeers was the reason I never tried to steal a hot dog cart from a vendor.


He first gained my attention as the kid who befriended an AIDS kid in “The Cure.”

He stole my heart as Huckleberry Finn starring opposite of Jonathon Taylor Thomas in the 1995 film “Tom and Huck.”

brad renfro 2

In 1998, when he began showing up in the news for accounts of drug use and theft, and he caused my heart to ache. By 2000, the tabloids portrayed him looking skungy and bloated-and helped to provide me with evidence that drugs could actually be really bad for you.

Mug shot of Brad Renfro.

Mug shot of Brad Renfro. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By 2005, it was pretty much common assumption that Brad Renfro had gone full-blown heroine junky.

It shouldn’t have been a huge surprise to me when he was found dead on January 15, 2005 from a heroine overdose-but it still affected me more deeply than any other celebrity death had at that point.

I felt that he had really let me down. I always hoped he would eventually turn things around.

He also proved that I haven’t always been the excellent judge of character that I pride myself on these days.

I recently found this tribute, written by me in the 6th grade.


I also realized that sixth grade me was a giant dorkous. Not much has changed.

Let’s make this a thing in America so I can pay to get my car fixed. (WATCH ME EAT)

Hope  everyone out there on the interwebs survived the latest 12-hour ice-age scare.

I know that, at least for us Austinites, it was really terrifying out there. I mean there was ice on my windshield… A few spots of ice on the sidewalk… and I had to wear two pairs of pants, which I find to be terribly uncomfortable.

And for those of you Northerners saying that we’re a bunch of pussies for not being able to drive a tiny layer of ice, you are only partially right. While we do display extremely pussy-like behavior and excitement when precipitation  meets freezing temperatures, it was actually quite “treacherous” out there for a few hours this week.

I was lucky enough to escape most of the treachery, at least as far as this morning was concerned.

My brain has also reached it’s limit for hearing the word “treacherous”for the next year.

Last Friday morning though, my new (to me) little Ford Ranger was almost met with destruction for the second time in a week. I attempted to drive to work at 4:45am and ended up floating on a patch of ice for 15 minutes, until I finally gave up and called my boyfriend to come rescue me. My truck just didn’t have the energy to fight any more battles this week.

Only 24 hours before, I had awoken to find my truck had been smashed along with my boyfriend’s mailbox by, what I can only assume, was a drunken driver. Either that, or someone mistook my car for a giant pinata. I’d like to imagine it was the latter, because what kind of person smashes into a car as dirty as mine without at least writing a simple “I’m sorry” on the windshield?

So now I find myself, almost a week later, and still missing a taillight. I know, I know. I probably shouldn’t have splurged on a new pair of hiking boots and should have made safety my first priority… But I’ve gotten completely obsessed with collecting backpacking gear and my feet simply couldn’t wait a second longer.

Things are looking up though. I think I’ve found a way to pay for a new headlight, bumper AND the 50 liter Osprey backpack that so desperately calling my name. We just have to make this a thing in America.

eat this

For those of you too lazy to watch- apparently, “Gastronomic Voyeurism” is a thing, and it’s very popular in South Korea.

Basically, it’s like live cam-girls except with food instead of vagina and boobs.

While I don’t completely understand the why, or who the audience would be, (I imagine it’s a bunch of people on diets or people connected to feeding tubes) I definitely understand the how.

And I think could totally do this.

Eat? I’ve got that down.

Web Cam? Check.

Attention and money from the internet? Totally need both.

I’d even be willing to get fat again,  if that’s what it takes.

I decided to give it a try, just to see what it felt like to eat in front of a camera. Warning: there is nothing remotely interesting about this video. It’s  just me eating a slice of Digiorno pizza. For the good stuff, you’d have to pay the big stuff. Or at least enough money for delivery.

What do you think? Is America ready to pay money for stuff as thrilling as this? Do I need to smack more?

Maybe I should just sell my laptop. It has a shitty camera anyway.








Colorado Bend State Park

I recently decided that I have a new life-hobby. That means that it will be a hobby for life, or at least until I’m too old to continue, and I’m really excited about it.

Last year, Matt and I started to really get into camping and hiking.

We visited several state parks, including  Pedernales Falls and  Palo Duro Canyon, and trekked our way through Guadalupe Mountain National Park and Big Bend.

This year we want to step things up a bit. That means more trips, better gear, and eventually (spring) we want to try our hand at backpacking. The goal is to return to Big Bend in the spring and then a big trip to the Grand Canyon in the fall.

In preparation, we’re planning on taking as many smaller trips as possible.

We decided to start the year out with a weekend trip to Colorado Bend State Park.

One problem that we’ve run into is that there aren’t many local places to go where you can hike for extended lengths. As much as I love the Greenbelt, sometimes a gal wants to hike more than 4 miles at a time.

IMG_8385 IMG_8389 IMG_8447Colorado Bend State park has over 30 miles of  trail systems, is right on the river, and offers a fairly remote atmosphere. By “fairly” I mean that there are no showers, no sinks, and only composting toilets…. but I was able to log on to a weak signal of WIFI from our campsite. On the other hand, there was absolutely no phone service or electrical hookups, which to me, is pretty ideal.

We didn’t arrive to the site on Friday evening until nearly 7:30, so it was dark and difficult to get a real feel for our surroundings. The park ranger had already left for the evening, so we were also not able to light a fire. We set up camp, heated up some turkey chili, and went to sleep fairly early.

carissa cave IMG_8439 IMG_8442

Saturday morning we woke up early, took our time making breakfast and exploring the site, and were still able to fit in a good 7 hour hike. We didn’t add up our mileage until we got home, but I wasn’t surprised to learn that we put in 15 miles that day, which is pretty good considering the days are shorter when you’re in a canyon. We also managed to find a few geocaches (our other super nerdy hobby) and hide one of our own.

We actually cut it pretty close. The last 2 miles of our hike were done in complete darkness. For a few minutes there I was pretty sure I would become coyote dinner.

The highlights of the weekend were the numerous caves that you could walk in, some that have never even been explored before; the perfect weather during the daytime (nights were a little cold); the beautiful Colorado Springs, and the fact that my phone didn’t work for over 36 hours.

The only downfall is that we both came home feeling a little under the weather and completely exhausted. I would write more, but my eyes are swollen from allergies and my stomach has seen way better days.



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