2017 Firsts and Finallys

I know, it’s been almost three months to the day since my last confession. Can’t say that I’m very sorry for not being active here… I’ve been enjoying the Me, Only life. but I am about 30% remorseful, I miss the feeling of accomplishment that comes from thinking up something to write about, or even taking up the Daily Prompt, and then actually scraping my thoughts together.

Anyhow, here’s something that I completely forgot to share here on December 31st.

While 2016’s big thing was relocation, 2017 kept with the theme and became my biggest year of travel yet – but you’ve already read about that. Cheers, 2018, here’s to many more miles.

2017 Firsts and Finallys

– Finally became roomies with my best friend
– Became Auntie Bethy for the first time
– Finally got a passport, and promptly
– Crossed the Pond, backpacked the U.K. solo, then promptly
– Got literally lost in a foreign country for the first time
– Saw my first musicals on Broadway and at the Globe Theater
– Finally broke down and tried mussels. Ain’t so bad.
– Finally saw my first Degas!
– Saw my first Rick & Morty episodes. Not sure why I waited so long.
– Saw some celebrities in the flesh for the first time: Jimmy Fallon, Ben Platt, David Tennant, Parker Stevenson, Pamela Sue Martin (and attended my first ND convention!)
– Finally went to IKEA
– Joined my first non-profit organization
– Attended my first ACL, first Austin Celtic Festival, and first UT football game
– Finally got to New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Alabama, and Florida, and laid eyes on Canada
– New beaches: Old Orchard Beach, South Beach, Gulf Shores, Perkins Cove, the cliffs of York, the English Channel, and the North Sea
– FINALLY went to 221b Baker Street, crossed Abbey Road, and Saw Plymouth Rock
– Threw my own shows for the first time
– Finally saw ZEDD, Vulfpeck, Haken, The Killers, Gorillaz, and the Cult
– Planned travel specifically for an art fair for the first time (and first Art Basel!)
– Talked a New England venue owner into bringing in BÖC
– FINALLY ran around Harvard. Bucket list item for as long as it was Rory’s
– First dog vs. skunk encounter
– Toured my first castles in Wales, Scotland, and England
– Attended my first Vegas wedding
– Saw my first polo match
– Air traveled with an instrument for the first time
– Was finally told about Steam! Why’d y’all wait so long?! Got no less than twenty ND PC games for no more than 24 bucks total
– Finally rode a/some subway(s)
– Saw Ernest Hemingway’s, Orson Welles’, Ray Bradbury’s, and John Lennon’s typewriters. They live.
– Gave in to chicken and waffles. Not half bad, but only half great.
– Finally walked the halls of the Blanton Art Museum, Harvard Art Museum, London National Gallery, Tate Modern, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, National Gallery of Scotland, Museum of Fine Arts, Dallas Art Museum, and Pérez Art Museum Miami
– Had my first real Christmas tree


10 Things That Could Crescendo Forever

It’s the simple things that keep this life pleasant – like a musical crescendo to satisfaction. If these things were looped to crescendo forever, I’d have zero complaints.

Screen Shot 2017-09-08 at 3.58.08 PM.png1. Hearing a song I used to love and completely forgot about. Recently: “Fernando,” by ABBA. I then fell down a rabbit hole which revealed that Benny Andersson is still putting out music! If all my favorite artists could just suddenly resurrect ten years from now, I’d be okay with it. “If I had to do the same again, I would, my friend.”

2. The sound of a baseball smacking a bat. Not the other way around, and whether it’s destined to be a home run or not. Yes, there’s a degree of nostalgia, probably, but still.

3. Seeing someone walking alone randomly smile at their phone. I’ve done this while alone in public, and there’s something about that feeling of being unable to hold in that smile because I don’t want to look like a loony. Pure pleasure. I’d wish that particular smile on anybody.

4. Wildflowers across the fields of Texas when spring arrives. Likewise, the first really wintery day of the year. Just bring me some very grassy daisies and buy me a new coat, and I’ll love you forever.

5. Hearing that my friends landed a desirable gig. Even better: hearing that my favesies band from another state landed a desirable gig in my town and I finally get to see them play live. AND they’re sharing a bill with more friends of mine. To make this paragraph even longer: finding new music, stumbling across a new band, and then finding out that they’re going to be in my town later that month, is the best in the world. Totes meant to be.


6. Getting to visit little-known vinyl/book stores. Maybe it’s the things I’ve filled my newsfeeds with… but hearing about such great, semi-invisible indie book and music stores and then finally getting to visit them in real life is the literal best.

7. Late-night showings at off-the-beaten-path movie theaters. It’s like I get the whooooole couch AND the remote to myself. Even better if I’m lucky enough to score a long-distance movie buddy and our cities are showing the same thing at the same time. Group text has never been more fun.

8. Turning a corner and being faced with something I didn’t realize I was going to get to see that day. Like stepping into a new room at a museum and being smacked in the face with a work by my favesies artist. Or, waking up in a new city and realizing that you’re literally across the street from the best music school in America. And then, being unable to move.

9. Coming home to a clean house after a trip. Even if I have to stay up late the night before a flight, cleaning my house so I can come back to a clean space is one-hundred-percent worth it.

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10. Eating dessert out of a stemmed wine glass. Here’s my life hack gift to you: Bake something that’s yummy when it’s warm (brownies, cupcakes, muffins, cookies, basically everything (realized that after I opened that parenthetical comment)). Scoop a few forkfuls of your warm yummy into a wine glass, or champagne flute, if you’re real fancy. Scoop some ice cream on top of that. If you’re so inclined, pour a little wine over your fruity yummy, or a little Scotch over your chocolate yummy. It’s basically like getting away with ALL the things… and SO yummy.

8 Things To Do On Eclipse Day


  1. Begin your morning with eclipse sweeties, and drink your coffee from a mug depicting a near-eclipse.
  2. Wear tennis shoes, in case the eclipse turns out to be an alien attack, and the Doctor urges you to RUN.
  3. Ponder the word, “eclipse,” so as to perhaps discover your inner poet by suddenly penning an eclectic eclogue about eclairs.
  4. De-stress by giving into your perpetuating earworm by ending every sentence with, “… total eclipse of the heart.”
  5. Wonder if poking a hole into a piece of cardboard to see the effect on shadow during an eclipse actually works total eclipse of the heart.
  6. Catch yourself fifty times before mentally concurring that “eclipticals” are for leg workouts, and THEN learn that “ecliptical” is actually a real word. Well, a real Urban Dictionary word.
  7. Appreciate the precision that is the Creation of our universe to not lurch idly about, spurring reality of your favorite dystopian sci-fi which may or may not include multiple angry and lingering eclipses.
  8. Go out and enjoy the eclipse, for it shan’t happen all too often, though the rain, it raineth every day.


Twelve Months’ Adventures

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Today marks exactly one year since the start of my first big excursion: road-tripping up the California and Oregon coastlines to Seattle, the oldest city on my bucket list. In the twelve months since then, I’ve found ways to achieve so many of my personal goals that it’s almost hard to really understand why anybody would let their dreams go unrealized.

Your only excuse for not achieving your goals or fulfilling your dreams is exactly that – an excuse. If you really want to do it, then make it happen, do whatever it takes, set a specific timeline for yourself and don’t let anything or anyone stand in your way.

July 2016: Road-tripped up the West Coast from California through Portland to Seattle

August 2016: Solo-camped Big Sur

September 2016: Road-tripped from California to Texas via Las Vegas run-ins, the Grand Canyon, and Route 66

January 2017: Saw musicals on Broadway via Grand Central Station before pie in Brooklyn

April 2017: Ran around New England for libraries in Boston and lobster rolls in South Maine

May 2017: Solo-backpacked the United Kingdom for sights across the North Sea, the English Channel, the British countryside, and, best yet, the Doctor’s tenth regeneration in the flesh (swoon!)

July 2017: Road-tripped from Texas to baseball in Florida via watermelon on an Alabama church lawn and beignets in the French Quarter

Twelve cheers to what the next twelve months have in store! Do something for yourself.

2016 Firsts and Finallys


Obviously, relocating 1600 miles from Fresno to Austin was the biggest thing I did this year, but some of these are just as important to me. Cheers, 2017!

2016 Firsts and Finallys

– Finally stepped foot on the PCT
– First and second long-distance road trips, 4800 miles (and partially along Route 66!)
– Finally absorbed Powell’s Books
– Played my first Cali gig (opened for Rin Tin Tiger!!)
– Performed solo for the first time, at an ATX open mic for the first time
– Finally owned a Ford Ranger
– Finally ran around Venice and Cayucos beaches
– Camped Half Moon Bay, Tahoe, Big Sur (first solo camping trip!), Crescent City, Portland, Seattle, and Mt. Shasta
– Finally saw the Pike Place Fish Guys, Safeco Field, and went up the Space Needle
– Finally learned how to throw a knife
– Had Cajun seafood in New Orleans (and alligator for the first time, mmmm)
– Finally started up a book review blog
– Finally saw the Grand Canyon
– Roasted my first campfire kolache
– Had my first official roommate  (and brought home three gallons of cole slaw for the first time)
– Finally found the TARDIS
– Navigated to an out-of-town concert the old-fashioned way (no GPS, an unexpected first)
– Finally caught Devil You Know, Dream Theater, and Yellowcard
– Finally became a future sister-in-law
– Hung outdoor Christmas lights for the first time!

29 cents

That’s all that’s currently in my bank account.

Quite literally. This year’s been tough, but! I still have a roof and warm water. I don’t like to be cold.

Things I can do with 29 cents:

  1. Check how deep my tire tread is
  2. Host a coin spinning contest with 28 other people
  3. Buy 1 3/4 packages of Ramen
  4. Support a busking musician
  5. Ingeniously repair more than one wobbly table or chair
  6. Open a small savings account between the sofa cushions
  7. Come up with a list of things to do with petty change

Anything else you can think of that I perhaps missed?