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.”
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. (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.
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.
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.
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.
Colorado 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.
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.
I’ve finally finished all of my shopping; wrapped all of the presents (to the best of my ability;) and successfully watched Serendipity, The Truman Show, The Jerk, Zoolander and Stardust- just a few of my favorite “non-holiday” movies to watch at the holidays.
What can I say? Even when I make an intentional effort to avoid getting caught up in the sappiness of the holidays, my heart still seeks comfort and familiarity.
In fact, my brain is already at home with my family-eating homemade beef jerky and threatening to kill my mom’s annoying cockatoo. But since I’m trying to get back in the habit of reflecting little bits of my life, I’ve decided to offer you a few of the highlights from the last week.
I’m such a wuss. And this one got me good. I don’t even know even think the commercial pulled at my heart strings the way it was supposed to. Rather than make me identify with the “misunderstood” teenager that can’t get his face out of his video game, I just get all teary at the site of happy families.
Nick happened to see me watching the video and got my reaction on camera. Just a little embarrassing. Mostly because mid-sob I spit out a giant chunk of chicken.
Then of course there was this little ditty in the NY Times about a gal and her dog. To be more exact, it’s about her therapy dog that helps her deal with cancer. And the dog looks exactly like Stevie Ticks. Of course, it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside about how happy I am that little Stevie puppy face came into my life this year. I honestly never knew how much happiness this little mess could bring into my life. Even though she still chews up all of my socks.
THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE:
I know I’ve already gushed about it on my facebook page, but you guys really have made my year. Our Winter Dudley Fest went off without a hitch, and I had such a wonderful time meeting listeners and getting hugs. I didn’t even get the flu! But seriously, I’m so thankful for every person that has come into my life, even those of you I only know digitally.
Our pitiful Christmas Cactus:
Unfortunately, we lost quite a few cacti in the big freeze we had a few weeks ago, but my favorite survived. I remember when he was just a tiny little prick.
Since our family has a tradition of pitiful Christmas trees, my sister and I decided to decorate him this year instead of going all out with a Christmas tree. It’s not much to look at, but it reminds me of home.
This was my family’s tree a few years ago. I’m excited to get home and see what we have in store for us this year.
Lastly, I’m happy that this year has been a year full of new beginnings. I feel like I’ve been granted a fresh new life, and I’m enjoying every minute of it. I started running, I stopped drinking, and I’m STARTING to really look at what kinds of things I want to get into next.
One of my favorite things I’ve started this year was a podcast with my good friends CJ and Chuy. It’s always the most refreshing part of my week to sit down with these guys and laugh our faces off. We’ve recorded one last one for you to end the year out right. Click here to listen via Darkives!
I hope all of you have a wonderful week with your family, a beautiful Christmas, and may you not get diarrhea, because that would suck on Christmas. I love you!