Um, holy shit I haven’t blogged since April. I’m going to tell you why. And if you remember the Great Valentine’s Day Hoax post, you probably won’t believe me when I tell you.
On April 16th, in front of the fountains at the Bellagio, the boy proposed. And I said yes. Kinda.
The story goes as such: we watch the fountains, we go inside, we get a drink, we come back out, watch another fountain show and in the middle of it, he says “so you wanna get hitched?” And I say “Sure?” with a question mark sound at the end, a-la-Ron Burgundy.
“I mean, I’m sure this isn’t how you imagined it going down, some dude asking if you want to get hitched.”
“I’m sure you didn’t think I’d say ‘sure’ with a question mark on the end. Yes, 100% yes, but if you don’t mind me asking, what changed your mind?”
If you’ll recall, we’ve talked about marriage before. We weren’t saying it would never happen, but we had talked about how we didn’t NEED it to make our relationship legit. I wrote about this extensively after we pranked people on Valentine’s Day. In our minds, we’re kind of already married, in that we can’t imagine life without each other, and we know we’re not going anywhere.
As we started walking back to the hotel, he told me why. That he can’t imagine NOT marrying me. That, after his first marriage, he didn’t want to do it again because he didn’t want to ruin a perfectly good relationship with a wedding (like what happened the first time). That I’m his best friend, and that he can’t imagine a life without me in it. That I don’t judge him, and he’s never really had that before. And that he loves me more and more. He also added that this doesn’t change how much he loves me. This doesn’t change how we operate. This is something for us, something that he wants to do now, because this relationship is fucking awesome.
So we get back to California, and after the haze from Vegas has worn off, I say “you know, if that was us being in Vegas and coming out of Vegas-Rage-Bender time, we can totally just pass on that and I won’t think anything of it.” He said he knows exactly what he said, exactly what he meant, and that this will happen. Sweet.
We knew that people wouldn’t get it, especially after we had the hoax. We told family and close friends, but didn’t announce it at all. I was talking to my parents and I felt very weird about it. I came to realize that I didn’t want this to be some big production, and that everyone has their own idea of what marriage is, should be, and what the wedding should be like.
We almost got married that night in Vegas, but the place with the Elvis impersonators that he wanted to go to wasn’t picking up the phone. We didn’t have the necessary documents. Then we thought we should do it on a beach somewhere. So a few weeks later we drove up to Big Sur and Carmel, CA, up the coast. I loved the drive, as a long drive next to the water is ridiculously calming for me. He was sore from being in the car for so long. We checked out Pfeiffer Beach, thinking it would be secluded and majestic but it was 30+ mph winds and a sandstorm and not very calming or relaxing at all. We had been in the car for what felt like forever, we got to the cabin we were staying in, and there was absolutely nothing to do in the town. Nothing. Well, nothing for people like us. There’s big money up there and it was so not our scene.
We drove around trying to find parking and when we finally did, he said “this place fucking sucks” and I lost it. Sad, weepy tears. We wandered into a bar and grabbed a couple drinks and I was still weepy. At the bar. Like a dork. And I was all, “I really wanted this to be awesome,” and thinking I’m totally horrible, we shouldn’t have taken these days off, I don’t know us at all, and he’s like “well the town sucks, do you disagree?” And I didn’t. The town did suck. It wasn’t our scene at all. And then everything was fine. Because it’s not always perfect, but we’re always fine.
He said we’d know the place when we found it. Last Thursday, standing in line for the Ministry show, he looks at me and says, “what if we did it in the wind tunnel? We’ll be there for the Tunnel N Beer trip in October, what if we did it in the tunnel and then did the Great American Beer Festival as our reception?”
And I started crying. Happy crying. The first day of the GABF is October 11. 10.11.12. Best. Date. Ever.
So we’re doing it. We’re getting married (having our friend do the ceremony) in the tunnel. Then we’ll have our “dance” in the tunnel. Then we’ll go get food before the Great American Beer Festival. Then we will party like there’s no tomorrow. It’s absolutely us, it’s absolutely perfect, and I’m beyond thrilled about it.
No dresses. No ties. No fancy food in spoons that is awkward to eat. No monumental bill for my parents. And something that is SO US, that I can’t imagine not doing it, or doing anything else.
Today we announced it, and by announced it I mean we changed our cover photos and made an event page on Facebook. Not surprisingly, there are people doubting whether or not we’re serious this time. I get it. We cried wolf. You have reason to believe that I’m full of shit this time too. But I’m not.
SkyVenture Colorado – 10.11.12, at 2:00 PM. That’s the date I’m counting down to. That’s the date that will be one of the very few dates that I remember and celebrate forever and ever.
We’ll post more details as they come. And now I can write again. Weeee!
Re-reading that post from February doesn’t make me sick, it doesn’t make me hate myself, and it doesn’t make me question everything I’ve ever believed. It shows me that things change, life is awesome, and you NEVER know what it will bring.
I cannot wait to marry my best friend on October 11th. And I never thought I’d say those words.
UPDATE: I had to take down the pictures of the invitations/announcements. The kind lady from the GABF emailed me to let me know I was violating a registered trademark. Hopefully they still let us in come October! HI NANCY! THANKS FOR THE PROMPT RESPONSE AND FOR BEING SO FRIENDLY!
If you’re on Facebook and have any interest whatsoever in skydiving, chances are you “like” the I Love Skydiving page. If not, head (down) over there and like that shiz.
Now that we’ve all done that, let’s chat about how awesome I Love Skydiving is. Andrew created this super sweet blog to share awesome (and sometimes scary) videos and photos from all kinds of air sports. BASE? We got that. Skydiving? We got that. Swooping? Yup, we got that too. And that’s not all! There is tons of amazing happening over on the website (cross posted to the Facebook page as well as the Twitter feed).
So why the shameless promotion of Andrew’s brain child? Because now, some of the sweet blurbs to go with the videos will be written by yours truly! Yes! So awesome! I am beyond stoked to help Andrew with this project, and with super awesome chicks like Melanie Curtis (of highcomms.com) and Shannon Seyb (of Icarus Canopies by NZ Aerosports), I’m pretty sure this team will be unstoppable.
So subscribe to the blog.
Like the Facebook page.
Follow on Twitter.
Or just stay tuned to my news feed. I’m sure you’ll see everything a bajillion times. Bam.
This is the post where I shamelessly promote the Skydive Elsinore pens I’m selling in order to help fund my physical therapy so I can fly again.
Right, so in December I was in a pretty sweet accident, resulting in a compression fracture in L1, and transverse/bilateral fractures in L2, L3 and L4. My lumbar vertebrae aren’t very happy with me. Fortunately, after a three day stay at the lovely “almost serious” ward at Inland Valley (check out my Yelp review for the skinny on that place), the hospital outfitted me with a super sweet turtle shell back brace for the low low price of $642.11 (after insurance knocked it down from $3,568 and change).
So back to the pens, right. I know, $1 per pen sounds absolutely ass crazy, but, when you think about it, the proceeds go to yours truly and after I rock the everliving shit out of physical therapy, then I can start jumping out of planes again.
Now, I know what you may be thinking: “Why the fuck should I buy a pen when I know that skydiving is dangerous? It’s like I’m endorsing Sydney’s crazy ass decisions.” And I get it. But I will argue this: really, you’re helping me dream again. Because when the only thing you want to do in this whole world is what you can’t do because you’re ground-bound for six months, and all you do for a living is plan ridiculously awesome events that you can’t even fully participate in… well, your happy cup starts to get bone fucking dry. And we all know how important it is to keep the happy cup full. Perhaps you’re part of a book club, and that fills up your happy cup. Or maybe you’re really bendy and you like yoga. Or maybe you rock your socks off in the kitchen on a regular basis.
Here’s what I got: I can promise you that if you ever get into a serious accident, and are struggling to find ways to get back to your passions, and you sell crazy ass pens for $1 each, even $2 each, I will buy them. Lots of them. Wanna know why? Because this shit comes full-circle.
Check it out: my boyfriend had neck surgery and was out for six months. I threw a fundraiser for him. Raised like $3,000 so he had some change to live off of while he wasn’t jumping out of airplanes. One of the gals, Missy, donated $100 for the chance to win a new rig. Then I didn’t think I was going to sell enough of the $100 tickets to raffle off the rig and I thought I’d have to refund everyone their money because I just couldn’t get enough people to buy the tickets to break even on the thing. Then she donated $100 more and said that even if we had to cancel the drawing, to keep the money. That she wanted to support the cause. And no shit, guess who won that raffle? Missy did.
Guess who was the first person to send a check for pens? Missy. She is amazing and I love her and I can’t even stand how much good karma she is putting out into this world.
I gotta give mad thanks to everyone who has already thrown down on some sweet pen action: Missy, Crystal, John, Will, Julie, Candice (FROM THE MF’ING UK PEEPS), KC, Spot, Dean, Yong, Jenny, Tom, Adrian, Sarah, Angie, James, Betty, and a handful of random tandem students that saw the ridiculous flyers and bought one – I thank you. Seriously. You guys rock my socks. And if I forgot anyone, forgive me!
So how can you help? Visit bit.ly/SweetPens. Learn a little bit about the accident, why I’m selling them, and you can clicky right there on the button. And if for some reason you don’t really want pens but you do want to contribute, just make note of that so I don’t come stalking you for your address to send the pens that you don’t want.
Can I be done with the shameless promotion now? Okay great.
*Super sweet fangirl shot of me and Trent, the first responder to my accident. He was the paramedic on the fire truck that was leaving the motorcross track and swooped over and saved my life. Okay so I wasn’t like borderline dead or anything, but he didn’t cut my gear off of me and for that, I thank him.
Tuesday is our Saturday here in California. We spent all day in bed like total bums and it was absolutely glorious. Come dinner time, I knew I wanted to make something but I didn’t know what. I was kind of at a loss for inspiration, even after spending an inordinate amount of time looking at FoodGawker. So, I asked Facebook what I should make for dinner. Good lord I love the Internet.
One of the boy’s students, Katherine, is the executive chef at some super sweet restaurant in San Diego, so when I got the notification that she commented, I was super pumped. “Build your own pizza” was one of a handful of her suggestions. If you know the boy and I, you know that we already rock the pizza scene pretty hard. Our buddy DK said “tacos and margaritas”. We were “eh” about both. Then the boy remembered some ridiculously awesome taco pizza that he made once after having it in New York somewhere, with seasoned beef and ricotta cheese. My ears perked up at ricotta cheese.
So, not really having a recipe, we totally winged it. And it turned out ridiculously delicious. You know how ricotta gets a little crispy on the outside and all creamy and orgasmic on the inside? That totally happened with this pizza. We haven’t ventured into making our own dough yet, but we do buy fresh dough from the grocery store, local market, or a little pizza joint, depending on where we’re making the pizza (home, Austin, Illinois, etc).
Just whip it all up according to the recipe below, and it should turn out looking a little something like this:
So, what are you guys up to for the Super Bowl? Last year, Hulu had all the ads online after they aired and we watched the ads in bed, sans football. If you’re going to a party, bring that Spinachy Garlicky Artichokey Super Bowl Dip. Your friends will thank you. They’ll smell like garlic for two days after consuming it, but they’ll thank you.
Note: we paid for our juicer fair and square. Omega is not paying me to write this post. This is me, spewing mad love for my Omega VRT350HD since so many people have emailed and Facebooked me about what’s what and what kind of juicer they should get.
I don’t know if it’s just because we’ve been juicing for a few months now or if it’s the new year or if I’ve always had a bunch of friends interested in juicing and just never realized it, but I’ve had an influx of emails and Facebook messages and tweets about which juicer to get and why we chose the one we did. I figured I’d write a post about why we went with the Omega VRT350HD over the others and talk a bit about the pros and cons of the juicer, now that we’re almost two months into this journey.
Why Did We Choose This Juicer?
When we got to Lake Elsinore, we met two fellow skydivers/staff members that would bring juice to work with them. They talked about it in the mornings and it was fascinating to me. I love juice but I’ve never enjoyed the store-bought stuff because it’s so processed or sugary or full of sodium. When I started changing my lifestyle in August, my doctor recommended a nutrition plan and said that if I ever found myself in a plateau, to do a day where I drink only juice or a day where I eat only protein, nothing else. This worked, and I’d do one protein-only day a week when I needed a metabolism boost. She recommended buying a juicer but I couldn’t justify it at the time, so I supplemented with Bolthouse Farms Carrot Juice, Green Goodness juice and the Vanilla Chai protein shakes.
Given the availability of fresh produce year round here, as well as knowing people (besides my doctor) who had juicers and swore by them, I started doing research. Both of my coworkers recommended a masticating juicer versus a centrifugal juicer, and that is where I started as a basis for the research.
When comparing a centrifugal juicer to a masticating juicer, there are a couple of variables to consider:
- Volume of juice produced
- Dry pulp vs. wet pulp
- Quality of juice produced
- Speed at which the juice is produced (Higher RPM = more heat)
- Noise level of the juicer
- Oxidation of the juice after it is made
We started watching videos, there is site called Discount Juicers and it is full of different information and their YouTube channel is full of comparison videos between different brands and styles of juicers. Some of them show how much volume can come from the same amount of produce using the different machines, and some of them just highlight how they work.
This is the video that got us interested in the Omega VRT350. It’s 30 minutes long, so it’s a bit extensive, but we watched several of these after watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. (In case the video doesn’t load below, click here to view it)
The juicer used in Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead is the Breville Juice Fountain. No doubt an awesome juicer, but after doing research so we didn’t go into the purchase blind, the quality of the juice, the yield and the dryness of the pulp was what sold us. We knew that this could potentially be a big investment, to add juicing to our lifestyle, and to dryer pulp = more juice = more bang for your buck. Obviously the difference isn’t THAT much, because John still lost a ton of weight and is super healthy now, but there are little nuances to what kind of juicer works for what you need it for.
The price is high. We ended up choosing the VRT model over the Omega J8000-series because of the counter space issues. They’re essentially the same juicer but counter space is a hot commodity at our house.
A masticating juicer is also called a slow juicer. Slow juicing = more nutrients because it is squeezing the juice, not cutting it = lower RPM = less oxidizing = more nutrients. And it’s much more quiet than the centrifugal juicers. You can see in the video that a centrifugal juicer sounds like a blender. Not a huge deal, and we definitely didn’t weigh this heavily when deciding what to purchase, but if you have roommates that would be pissed if you were blending all the time, it might be a factor for you.
I think the only thing we would change is that it cleans itself. But, cleanup is done in 5 minutes or less. You disassemble it, rinse the parts, and there’s a brush that looks like an oversized toothbrush that comes with the machine to help clean the basket.
Some pro-tips for the Omega VRT350HD:
- It comes with two baskets that help filter the juice from the pulp. Use the basket with the smaller holes unless you like REALLY pulpy juice. If you don’t like pulp at all, you’ll need to filter it and your volume will decrease significantly. I consider the juice produced by this juicer to be a “well-bodied” juice – similar to the consistency of V8.
- To speed up cleaning time, fill up a glass of water and pour it through the juicer before you take it apart to clean it. It helps speed things up and clear some of the debris from the basket.
- Rotate greens, softer vegetables or fruits and harder vegetables or frutis to prevent the basket from clogging. For example, start with spinach, then do a cucumber, then a carrot, etc.
Things we’ve juiced & they juice well:
- Greens: Kale, spinach, chard, parsley, cilantro, romaine, etc
- Veggies: Carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes (a fruit?), parsnips, bell peppers, beets, jalapenos, serranos, garlic, zucchini, ginger
- Fruits: apples, oranges, grapefruit (a whole one is way too bitter for my taste), satsuma, lemons, limes, kiwi, pineapple, grapes, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries
Things you can’t juice: mango, avocado, banana. But, you can juice whatever you want to juice, then add the juice and the soft fruits to a blender and blend it up. But don’t put avocado or mango or banana in a juicer. We haven’t tried it but I hear it’s a disaster.
One of the biggest things I was concerned about was how everything would taste. This blog helped me figure out what the different flavor profiles are of various fruits and veggies. The formatting on Juicing for Health is enough to give you a headache, but you can cure that headache by clicking through the fruit juicing and veggie juicing links and seeing what the healing properties are of each on the right hand side of the screen. Pretty interesting stuff!
Now, if the peeps from Omega are listening, I definitely wouldn’t mind having a juicer to give away to someone…
Do you juice? What kind of juicer do you use? What are some of your favorite recipes?