Couch Surfing and My Hip Dad

My dad got home from a fishing trip today and saw that there was a random car with an out of state license plate in the driveway.  After putting his gear down and giving me a hug he says, “Are those couch surfers or do you know those people?”  I love that this is my dad’s response, and he couldn’t have said it any more nonchalantly, like it didn’t matter that there could be two strangers sleeping in the extra bedroom in his house.

I introduced my dad to Couch Surfing after living a very active CS life in San Diego.  My apartment was always filled with strangers from other parts of the world.  These strangers, or instant friends, became more than just weekend guests.  They became a part of my world, some staying for extra days, weeks, months, and it was beautiful.  I made some very good friends at the time, by hosting and meeting other local hosts, friends that I still talk to and friends that I will stay connected with for the rest of my life.

This is the part of Couch Surfing that I wanted my dad to see.  I wanted him to see that CS is not a community full of freeloaders and people that want to steal your precious stuff.  It’s about being comfortable with yourself, your surroundings, and letting other people into your life.  It’s about opening yourself up to others which is something all of us should practice.

So, after hosting a frisbee world champion, a couple of dudes passing through trying to avoid the busy city, a couple of girls that just wanted to go on a bike ride in the forest, and many friends of friends of friends my dad has become part of the Couch Surfing community without even realizing it.  He is now used to and comfortable with meeting new people, and his generous hospitality has extended beyond the realm of family members.  He has grown to trust his daughter and her judgements (I hope!).  Above all, he has learned the importance of hydration and making new friends.  Much of my happiness and knowledge of the world comes from meeting new people, sharing lives, and sharing homes.

That is the type of thing a person carries with them forever, whether they are on the Couch Surfing website or not.  We learn to share from the moment we come into contact with other human beings.  Remember what they taught us in school, “sharing is caring”.  Thank you dad for being so open, accepting, caring, and way hip.

Just Another Way To Show My Love For Rod Stewart

Sometimes the wrong turns out just right.

I walked into the yoga studio, and after saying hello, the instructor informs me that class might be cancelled today.  Instantly, I felt a little down.  I had picked out a new place, woke up early, and drove 30 minutes to do a hot power class, and now I was being told it probably wasn’t going to happen.  I knew I should have picked a different studio!  Since I was early I decided to wait around a bit.  I searched Google to see if there were any other studios in the area.  Nothing close by.  The instructor then informed me that she was just a substitute and wasn’t even prepared to teach a hot vinyasa class.  I sunk a little bit lower, but I was still going to wait until 9 am to see if anyone else would arrive.  Just then, three more people showed up and class was back on!  I ended up practicing for free and got to take a mat home with me.  The studio was going to take a bunch of left-behind mats to Salvation Army, and the instructor offered one to me.  What a morning!  And, to top things off, an organic grocery store/deli/juice bar appeared on a map just minutes up the road!

With juice in hand and Rod Stewart’s new album, “Time”, on the stereo I was ready for the rest of my day.  With a little patience what could have been a disastrous morning took a turn for the best and put a smile on my face.

It’s only wrong when you decide it’s wrong, when you give up on making it right.

Rod

Big Kids and Ball Pits

The big kids decided to have a day of fun in St. Louis.  They walked over to the City Museum, the perfect place to have oodles of fun!  It’s like more like a playground for people of all ages than it is a museum.  You can slide into the basement, crawl through underground tunnels, squeeze yourself through holes you never thought you could fit through, climb trees, zip down a ten story slide, chuck balls at your friends or random strangers in the ball pit, climb through wires that stretch out into the air, jump on top of airplanes, and discover secret tunnels and rooms throughout the stretch of the building.  There are signs that read “Please Touch” in the museum-like section on the second floor.  You can touch paintings, turtle shells, and old pinball machines.  Nothing is off limits, except for the gigantic rocking chair which you are left to look at and wish you had one of your own.

I have a ridiculously big smile across my face just thinking about this place.  If you want to go to a magical land where every single person is happy go to the City Museum.  There is nothing like it.  Adults become kids in an instant and kids remember how awesome being a kid really is :-)

Dinos!

Ten Stories!Tunnel!

Robbie!Mickey!Ball Pit!

Oh, I Wasn’t Expecting That. Good For You!

I sat down at the bar and ordered, “something with whiskey in it.”  The bartender asked to see my id.  I fumbled through my bag for my money clip.

ClipI handed my id to the bartender.  He checks it over and exclaims, “Oh, I wasn’t expecting that.  Good for you!”  He hands my id back to a slightly confused looking me.  What does that even mean?  Was he surprised that I was from Chicago?  Maybe I look like I’m from Texas or something.  Wait, I know, maybe he was talking about my change in hair color.  My hair is now bright red instead of the jet black I had in the photo.

BlackAfter a couple of stunned moments it finally hit me!  What do bartenders, doormen, and clerks all look at on ids?  The good old DOB or date of birth.  He was talking about the year I was born in.  After making this profound realization, I immediately asked, “Are you calling me old?”  To which he replied, “No, I just meant that you look good.”

AgeSo it’s official ladies and gentlemen!  I “look good for my age.”  You may be thinking, “That’s a compliment!  What the hell is this woman complaining about?”  I used to look good, plain and simple, but the addition of those three little words – for, my, and age – just make me cringe!  I’m not even 30, and I’m already considered old?  I don’t feel old.   Hell, I’ve been feeling more energized, healthier, and happier in these past couple months than I have been in a long time.  I have been enjoying being me!  And one comment from some random dude throws all that hard work out the window.  I guess that’s what the whiskey is for.  After a couple of pours I forgot how old I was and that I hated the guy who highlighted my age in the first place.  I stopped comparing myself to those around me and let myself enjoy the moment without feeling like it was time to drag my old ass to bed.

Whiskey

As I grow older situations like this are only going to happen more frequently.  Hopefully, they will all be tied up in backwards compliments and cocktails.

Writing a Blog Post

Video

Since I have been working a lot lately, doing things that most of you don’t and shouldn’t care about, I have decided to share an artist that I am currently obsessed with. I haven’t checked to see if he is on Instagram yet, but it’s getting there.

This is Father John Misty and his song, “Writing a Novel”. He is singing in the woods. The only thing better than that is signing naked in the woods.  Damn hippies!  Who said that?

If you dig this like I do also check out:

Father John Misty – Tee Pees 1-12

and

Father John Misty – Well, You Can Do It Without Me

Red Just Got Redder. Don’t Be Afraid to Spice it Up.

I got bored…

…so this happened!

RedIf you want a little change throw some highlights/lowlights/bright colors in your hair.  A small change can make a big look if executed the right way.  Your hair will look healthier and people will notice the new do.  Who doesn’t like a compliment every now and then?

If you are into switching up your hair style or looking for a little trim, next time try http://www.salonapprentice.com.  It is only available in seven cities at the moment, but if you are in a place like, Chicago, you will be able to search the ad page for majorly discounted and free services.  Licensed professionals offer services from free blow dries to free single processed colors.  Ladies and gentlemen, if you want  a change, but don’t want  to pay the big bucks for something you’re not completely sure about, check out the website!

The point of this blog post is, a little change goes a long way.  Just think about it.  How long have you been going to the same stylist for haircuts?  Years and years?  Loyalty also goes far, but just like you, some times stylists fall into a routine as well.  They keep cutting your hair the same way over and over again without suggesting new layers or maybe adding bangs to your style.  Try a new stylist for a few cuts.  If you have a good relationship with your current stylist and have brought him/her new clients over the years he/she will understand.  Who knows, you may even get a recommendation!  If you feel too uncomfortable to ask, try something like, salonapprentice, an Aveda Iinstutute, or talk to a friend.  Yelp! is also a great tool to use if you find yourself in a new city needing a haircut.  Don’t be afraid to switch things up and look fabulous because you deserve it!

Princess, Rock Star, or Just Downright Lucky? You Decide.

To my surprise, I got to spend a long weekend in the penthouse suite of my favorite hotel.  I walked right up to the front desk without a reservation, and said, “Give me the finest room you have available!”  The manager came to the lobby and with one look at my designer luggage he knew the penthouse was the only place for me.  I was escorted by two bellhops up the secret elevator available to top floor guests only and was left with a bottle of Dom Perignon and a diamond tiara…

Ok, ok, ok, that’s not really how things went down.  I walked from the orange line (public transit) to the hotel.  I stumbled through the revolving doors carrying a gigantic backpack (some say I’m toting a midget around with me) on my back, a smaller backpack on my front, and a small case.  I looked as thought I didn’t shower that day and had to sit in the middle seat on my Southwest plane ride to Chicago.  The front desk was unable to find any reservation under my name or the name of my company.  I got a hold of my coordinator whom actually forgot to book a room for me.  At this point it looks like I am shit out of luck when suddenly, a miracle happens!  The hotel manager decided to upgrade me to the penthouse, 26 stories up!  I took the regular elevator and poured myself a glass of water upon arrival.  I felt like a princess!  Well, sort of…

After a few sessions of running down the hallway and flinging myself onto one of the beds, I immediately called my friends to let them know they had a place to crash for the weekend.  It wasn’t long until my fridge was filled with beer, Jack, and orange juice and I had people helping me rearrange the furniture.  We decided the loft, which looked quite empty, needed some additions.  Jack in one hand, kitchen chair in the other, I felt like a rock star back at the suite after playing a sold out show.  I was Rod Stewart and the Faces playing pranks and changing the hotel interior as I saw fit, except my hair wasn’t as teased, and I would have to put all the furniture back in the morning.  Even so, I still woke up to an amazing view in a bed fit for a king.

:-)

View!

I Missed You Guys!

I’m back! After a long awaited return, I am finally here to share smiles with some of my favorite internet people! I’m sorry I left you guys hanging for a bit, but life has been so hectic, in a great way. I am working, a lot, and loving every second of it, well just about every second. I am happy, productive, and making plans that I sincerely plan on keeping. Plus, I got flowers on Valentine’s Day for the first time since my mom passed :-) She was always my valentine no matter who I was dating, and she played the part better than anyone.

After a few days spent at home with my dad and pup, I am back on the road working an NHL tour. Not only am I surrounded by hockey, but I am surrounded by Mickey as well. I will be working along side of a good friend. So far we have learned the Cowboy Bop, scarfed down cheesesteaks, and shopped for khakis together; the perfect start to any tour. Can’t wait to see what is next :-)

Xfinity Sports BarLine DancingIMG_0019

Moving Square Boxes and Oral Hygiene

I need help!  Does anyone have an tricks – mind tricks, meditations, mantras – or games they play in the elevator to make the ride less miserable?  I try so hard to be friendly and smile at people, to think about about anything else, but when you are on the 18th floor and have to stop six times before you get to the lobby it’s hard to keep that positive attitude.  I do realize that my time spent in the elevator is never more than five minutes, which is really nothing in the grand scheme of life, but those five minutes are so agonizing to me especially if some one gets in on floor 15 and out on floor 14.  What the h – e – double hockey sticks!  And, then there are those families with four kids, each one, even the two-year, attempting to carrying their own luggage.  Mom stops the doors from closing with her stroller so everyone can shuffle in.  I love babies, but come on!  Just get in the damn elevator so we can get this over with.

I have come up with a couple of solutions, but these only take me so far:

1.  I take the stairs often.  It’s good for shapely legs and butt, but after a night of drinking or a 14 hour work day the last thing I want to do is climb up 18 flights of stairs.  I usually take the stairs down except when I am carrying luggage or work cases which can weigh more than 50 pounds.

2.  You may say, “Well, Kim, why don’t you just stay on a lower floor?”  Most people think like this which is why those floors fill up faster.  Plus, I have always been a lover of heights, so I think a balcony on the top floor over looking the city is pretty darn cool.  I can spy on people, and they will never notice me.  I can also invent games like trying to fling pennies into the pool when no one is around and then go find them later when I go for a swim.

3.  Facebook, puppy photos, and other funnies.  I check my news feed, browse through those “awwww how cute!” animal photos that I know I’m not the only fan of, and look at other hilarious internet photos such as this:

SiiiiiimbaBut, it’s not long until some one says, “Good morning!  How are you today?!” or “My!  You have your hands full with all of that luggage!”  I know people are just trying to be nice.  I am usually the one being nice to others, but can’t they see I’m in no mood for words when I am staring at a screen instead of looking at them?  Sometimes when I take the elevator down in the morning for breakfast I don’t brush my teeth.  Pants, hoody, glasses: laziness at it’s finest.  Do you really want to have a conversation with some one who hasn’t practiced oral hygiene yet?

4.  I cose my eyes and pretend that I am sleeping.  That way no one can see me right?  WRONG!  “Oh, you must be really tired! Where are you from?”  Even though my eyes are closed I can’t shake the fact that I am in an elevator, stopping at the push of buttons on floors other than my own.

So what do I do?  How do I make elevator rides more pleasant for me and the passengers around me?  How can I block out that little square world?  Or, should I fully submerge myself into it?  I guess I can start by brushing my teeth and go from there.