I have to have a cookie

I needs da cookie...I needs it now!

Yesterday I posted a blog in which I saw myself as a cat, today I’m feeling very raccoon-like.

Actually, I randomly came upon this adorable picture of a raccoon and the funniest part about it is that I can identify with  the poor animal’s desperation to capture the cookie that’s floating away.

Ever since I got back from my vacation during which I’ve consumed embarrassing amounts of sweets, I have been trying to break my addiction and restore my taste buds to their normal function. Unfortunately, my brain as well as taste buds have a tendency to not listen to my pleas. As a result, I resemble something close to that pathetic- looking and overweight raccoon when I am in the presence of cookies, candy or any other sweets. It doesn’t help the fact that one of my friends, Beca is a chef-in- training and her fantastic treats that she spoils me with, can send anyone into a sugar coma for weeks.

Now if I were a raccoon, I could probably pull off looking adorable and be forgiven for my addiction, but alas I was born an human. I guess I will just deal with the consequences and hope that any day now my sanity will be restored and I will no longer pick out chocolate chip cookies from the various cloud formations. 🙂

Writer’s Block

You have no idea, or maybe you do, how frustrating writers’ blocks are. I mean, it really shouldn’t be that difficult to grab an idea from your brain and transport it to your computer. I have ions and ions of little ideas zooming around in my head, but when it comes time to organize them in a legible format, I occupy myself with everything and anything BUT the writing of the story itself. I have started about 10 stories that I want to publish, but I can’t seem to finish a single one. The image below represents me quite well, except for the fact that I’m not as furry, or small, or that cute, and I don’t purr.

While I was home in Russia over the holidays, I kept on thinking to myself that I should write about this, that and the other. I wrote down ideas with every intention of bringing them to life. Instead, they are lying somewhere in my room forgotten and quite upset with me for neglecting them. Unfortunate, I know.

From the time I sat down to write yet another story, I have accomplished all of the following except finish my story: drank 4 cups of excellent English tea, ate way too much candy, cleaned my desk, looked at my photos, made an exceptionally fantastic “writing play-list” (defeated the purpose, I still haven’t typed a singly word), did laundry, picked out recognizable figures from the shadows in my room, and eventually gave up and went for a run.

This kind of activity has been going on for weeks. So now I am forced to write about not being able to write. Interesting paradox if I do say so myself. Well, on the bright side of things, writing about nothing is still writing.

As much as I love writing, I don’t think I could ever be a writer. It would be to stressful to know that your publisher, readers, bill collectors, whoever depend on you to finish your work. What if you have a writer’s block?! The stress of it all!

It would be interesting to interview several writers and find out what their remedies for writer’s block are. Hmm, I wonder…..

The Escape Artist

My sister and I are sitting in her kitchen casually chatting and sharing pictures. I have but 3 days left to spend with my family before I head back to the U.S and I’m trying to savor each second.

All of the sudden, my sister looks up smiling and utters, “It’s starting.” I follow her gaze towards the hallway and hear little footsteps carefully coming our way. Out of the corner of the hallway, appears the grinning face of my two-year-old nephew Alexi. Don’t let his age or the cute dimples on his face fool you, he’s a masterful escape artist and has been practicing the ritual of evading going to sleep on a nightly basis.

The first time he makes his entrance into the kitchen,  he wears the mask of pure innocence as he shyly asks his mom for food, “momma, um um.” This cover doesn’t work seeing as we just had dinner an hour ago. Defeated, Lexi gets escorted back to his bedroom.

Several minutes later we turn our heads, and here comes Lexi pressing his body flat against the wall, taking tiny steps, hands spread out as if he’s trying to blend in with the wallpaper. Busted! “Lexi, we can see you, go to bed!” This time I go put him to bed and stay with him until his eyes close. I return with a triumphed look on my face, Lexi is asleep. Exactly 2 minutes pass and here comes Lexi in his pirate hat and a sword in hand. (He’s going through a serious pirate infatuation stage right now) I can’t hold it in anymore. I start laughing to the point where tears begin streaming down my face. My sister joins in as well. Lexi looks pleased with himself. The grownups are finally distracted and will let me stay, I just need to make them laugh a little long, is what he’s probably thinking because he joined in on the laughter.

Exhibit B

This kind of thing goes on practically every night of the week. It is now 12 am and we are still trying to get him to sleep. Some nights he gets really creative and brings an entire cartload of his toys out of the bedroom and spreads them out on the floor. Other nights he snuggles up to my sister who’s trying to do something on the computer in hopes that if he’s sweet enough she will not send him back to bed. I’m pretty sure that he has tried everything from asking to go to the bathroom, demanding food, dragging his mom to go play, to crying and throwing fits, running away and hiding under the table and even crawling in the fridge to pull out his baby food.

I have to give it to him, at the age of 2, Lexi has quite the collection of tricks up his sleeve. I can honestly say that I don’t think I was that creative in the art of trickery at his age. I can’t even get mad at him for not listening when we tell him to go to bed, because the excuses he comes up with every time are brilliant and the execution is impeccable!

Let The Travels Begin

I love traveling, but who doesn’t? The next 24 hours is going to be a bit tough though. I’m flying from San Antonio to New York, then from New York to Helsinki, Finland and from Helsinki to St. Petersburg. Plus, factor in all the in between sitting around, searching for terminals, arguing with the baggage people about extra charges on the already “extra” costs for checking in bags, and of course TSA screening. Oh TSA….I absolutely love thee. Surprisingly, I actually have nothing negative to say about them, this time. I didn’t get molested by a TSA officer nor did I get subjected to the embarrassing screening, that people have been talking about for months now.

My three and a half hour flight no New York was interesting. I was fortunate enough to meet the Klumps family. In fact, they sat right next to me leaving me very limited breathing room. Apparently there is some kinds of hierarchical order that has to be followed in order to obtain control of the armrest. Needless to say, I lost not only the armrest, but probably a quarter of my seat as well, seeing as Mrs. Klump decided to get comfortable.

My neighbor in the row next to me was trying out for a position for one of those people who read the fine print at the end of the commercial. Not only did she talk 100 miles an hour, but she also recited her entire life in the three and a half hours that we spent together. Fortunately, I wasn’t the one she was talking to. I became an amused and at some point annoyed bystander. I’m surprised the guy sitting next to her maintained composure. I snoozed out for about an hour and woke up to the exact same humming sound coming from her mouth. If there were a pop quiz at the end of their one-way conversation, I think the guy would fail. There is NO way anyone could process that much information.

The rest of my trip was was filled with in flight movies, lack of sleep and a cold. Yes… I contracted a cold and by the time I made it to St. Petersburg, I was miserable beyond belief. The good news, is all this was worth it, because when I got off the airplane my best friend was waiting for me. Let me tell you, nothing makes you feel better than your soul mate, whom you haven’t seen in 2 years, jumping in your arms for a huge bear hug. Gosh I missed home.

Once I get some sleep and get adjusted to the 9 hour difference, I will write some more about this incredible winter wonderland.

Twitterpated

In the light of the new Twitter generation, I think it is appropriate to re-think the use of term “Twitterpated”, which was once coined in Disney’s movie Bambi.

Image: Property of Disney

However, this morning my client told me a funny story concerning the confusion some people have with Twitter and all of it’s terminology, which brings me to my next point. I think the new definition for Twitterpated should be as follows:

Twitterpatedadj. Definition: describing a person knowledgeable about Twitter, Twitter savvy. Origin: Twitter– social media website Pated-head, brain. Used in a sentence: “You should ask him what the hash means, he’s pretty twitterpated.

Just so you know, I’m laughing at myself as I’m trying to come up with a reasonable explanation for the above written insanity. 🙂

The funny story my client told me was about a friend of hers who happens to be a school teacher. At one of her parent-teacher nights, she was talking to a groups of parents about this and that and the subject of Twitter came up. This school teacher mentioned that she had an account and that she thought it was the easiest thing to learn how to use. Apparently some of the other parents were saying how difficult it is to keep up with today’s technology and all of the new gadgets and social media sites coming out. So in a very confident tone, this teacher proceeded to announce to this group of parents that her daughter “twats” her all the time and that “twatting” is as easy as text-messaging. …….(cricket, cricket…..cricket…cricket)Now, I don’t know how many of you know what a “twat” is (I beg your pardon for my language), but let’s just say it’s a very vulgar term not associated with Twitter in any way.

Moral of the story? Oh where to start…. First, if you’re going to come forward as an expert on something, please make sure you are familiar with the CORRECT terminology. Secondly, (giggle) if the faces of the people to whom you’re speaking turn either A. bright red w/ laughter or B. bright red w/ anger, evacuate yourself from the room immediately!!!

Happy tweeting everyone!

The Austin Dream

I have been living in San Marcos, Texas for almost seven years now and it really wasn’t until I graduated from Texas State that I discovered the wonders Austin has to offer. I finally got the chance to get to know the city and the effect it had on me was beautiful.

I used to think of Austin, TX as just the home of the infamous 6th street and Town Lake (now Lady Bird Lake), which wasn’t a bad combination at all. Every Sunday morning, our cross country team would go to Town Lake for a morning long run, and even back then I though to myself, “I really love this place, I could definitely see myself living here”.

After I graduated and was done with college track, I threw myself into every sport and activity possible that could take my mind off the fact that I wasn’t a collegiate athlete anymore. Also, now that I had all this extra time on my hands and any risk of injury wouldn’t seem like a death sentence anymore, I went on to explore the possibilities.

I learned how to ride a motorcycle, began rock climbing, bought a mountain bike and fell in love with the sport immediately, then cycling came along, and before I knew it I began training for a triathlon. What does any of this have to do with ATX you ask? Well, most of the things on the list I got addicted to because of the incredible trails Austin has to offer, or the fact that the city is to cycling-friendly, or the fact that after a long ride or run, there is Whole Foods to cure your hunger and exhaustion.

Austin’s amazing culture that fills every corner, every coffee shop, every park, every cafe or restaurant is so appealing, that I can’t help but be drawn into its welcoming arms. The live music scene and the local restaurants further drew me in and now I’m completely on the “Austin” dream. 🙂 In my head, I made a list of all the things I love about the city and why I NEED to move there as soon as possible. So here is my list along with some pictures to prove my point.

The “Why I love ATX” list:

1. Town Lake- 10+ miles of soft running surface, need I say more?

2. Barton Springs– a pool, fed by underground springs…aaammmazing!

3. The Green Belt & Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park – mnt. biking and trail running galore! Not to mention absolutely gorgeous!

Sunset at Mnt. Bonnell (original photo)

4. Mnt. Bonnell– breathtaking view of Austin (sunset pic above)

5. Whole Foods– YUM!

6. All of the outdoor activities you can do: Cycling, swimming, kayaking, rock climbing- to name a few

Cycling Race in ATX (original photo)

My friend Jess and I kayaking @ Town Lake

7. All the races that Austin puts on. Marathons & half-marathons, 10K’s, 5k’s, triathlons, fun runs, cycling and mnt. bike races, all are really well organized and executed!

Valentine's Day marathon & half marathon

LIVESTRONG Challenge w/ my buddy JP

Warrior Dash w/my friends. Best time EVER!

8. TWO WORDS: Music Scene!!!! Austin has some of the best concert venues: Stubbs, Momo’s and Emo‘s to name a few. Also all of the Festivals like SXSW and ACL. It get’s crazzzy! I got to see some incredible performances by some big names like Jay-Z, Colbie Caillat and Passion Pit as well as amazing music by local singer-songwriters artists like Alyse Black!!!

The incredible Alyse Black @ Momo's on West 6th (original photo)

9. Local restaurants– some of the freshest, most delectable food I’ve ever had! Here are several of my favorite spots:Kerbey Lane Cafelove, love love this place; Uchi, Maiko and Kenichiall 3 have pretty awesome Japanese food; Magnolia Cafeit’s like a taste of heaven in your mouth; Wahoo’s Fish Tacosuper laid back beachy feel and yummy food and drinks; Home Slice PizzaI can take out one of their pizzas by myself…it’s THAT good; Brick Oven Pizzafantastic pizza and a great wine selection; The Clay Pitincredible Indian food! It’s a whole lot cheaper if you go for lunch.

 

Home Slice Pizza---can you say YUM?

Ok I can go on fooooorever about food and tell you about all the wonderful places you can go eat or DRINK, but that would require you to be glued to this page for at least another hour.

10. The Night Life– well that’s a given. Between all the concerts, bars and lunges, there is plenty to do in ATX when the sun sets.

11. The overall wholesome and athletic nature of the city. I’ve also had the chance to meet and to work, with some of the most highly qualified professionals in the health and fitness arena. Take Train4TheGame for example, it’s a premiere training facility located in north Austin and the knowledge and techniques that the trainers there employ are mind-blowing. If you’re broken, they’ll fix you; if you need to reach “the next level” they will kick your butt up there; if you’re terrified of trainers, you’ll be amazed at how hilarious and easy going these guys are. P.S all of this is coming from my personal experience. I just shared with you Austin’s best kept secret, you’re welcome. 🙂

 

2 of the trainers: Veronica and Jessica (original photo)

12. Last and certainly not least: The PEOPLE I’VE MET IN AUSTIN! This city does something to you. It changes you, shapes and molds you for the better. I feel at peace and so happy when I’m there and the wonderful individuals, which I’ve met thus so far add to my bliss. I’m thankful for them every single day and I’m convinced that happy, life-filled cities create wholesome and phenomenal people. 🙂

If you’re an Austinite reading this, wouldn’t you agree?

“Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys.  If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it” ~Fyodor Dostoevsky

Halloween Pinkout

Halloween, if you’re curious to know, is one of my favorite, if not the most favorite holiday. Not only does it give you the perfect excuse to eat lots of candy and other goodies that can and will send you into a sugar coma, but it also allows you to dress up and act in rather bizarre ways and the best part is: it’s perfectly normal on Halloween! Allow me to illustrate my point. If you’re a kid, you dress up as your favorite superhero or movie character or anything else your parents decide to make or buy you that year. I’m pretty sure that every girl I was ever friends with growing up was obsessed with the  Disney Princess collection and on Halloween their dreams turned into reality. I still remember my favorite costume and kind of wish they had them for adults.  Are you ready for this? When I was 7 years old I experienced my first Halloween ever and it was even more memorable, because I got to dress up as my favorite superhero- The Power Ranger!!! And not just any Power Ranger, I was Kimberly the pink pterodactyl ranger from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. So basically, I got to jump onto stuff, kick, do flips, and act completely obnoxious in the name of my character, and nobody thought I was clinically insane. Score!

Ok, moving on. So as you get older, and this is true for girls mostly, the rule of thumb is: the less clothes, the better. In fact some “ladies” take this rule to the absolute extreme, which may causes gag reflexes in others. College towns for example, provide ample of specimen for such observations. I was out with some friends last night for Halloween and let me tell you, the costume selection was exquisite. It was like watching the discovery channel, fascinating! I saw a girl wearing nothing but a hand towel wrapped around her neck and a pair of swim trunks. I get the whole creativity thing, it was funny, but really? Just a towel and a small pair of trunks to cover yourself with when it’s about 60 degrees outside is rather odd, even for me.

I’m still trying to decide if my costume was a success or failure. I did not have a costume this year (gasp..) so I decided to run to the thrift store the very last minute to test my luck. I couldn’t find anything and I was about to give up, when walking out the door I saw it….the object that would become the centerpiece of my costume.  There, in the corner stood a manikin wearing nothing but a pink tu-tu. The first image that popped into my mind was Ace Ventura- Pet Detective. That would have been perfect, but I did not have any other parts to the costume, nor the time or the money; so I just bought the tu tu and then a ridiculous pink pair of Elvis-looking sunglasses.

When I threw all of my costume parts together, I ended up looking like a scary version of a Barbie doll or a little princess. I figured I’d throw in a pair of fairy wings and go as a drunken and obnoxious fairy god mother. Side note: I have this unexplainable aversion to the color pink, so the fact that I even wore that much pink was beyond strange and even uncomfortable. 🙂

Well the wings ended up breaking, so my last idea was what I presented myself as for the rest of the night. I was my alter-ego: a pretty in pink, dumb blond, frilly and ditsy kind of girl. Hah… I had to have been girly at some point in my life, I mean I grew up with two sisters. I was pretty excited that everyone would get the joke and laugh right along with me. I was acting as your stereotypical bratty princess or sorority girl and was annoying even myself. 🙂 So instead of pointed laughs, I go “Oh you look so pretty”, or “Awe…Kristina, you’re so cute, you should wear pink more often.” I even got asked out on a date…… This is what I call a costume F.A.I.L .

The best part of the night happened when I was walking back to my car, tired and annoyed, and I kept on getting harassed by these two scronny-looking ninjas. At some point I finally turned around and snapped back at them, but for some reason, whether it was because I couldn’t snap out of my character or just because I was tired, the most profane and intimidating thing I could come up with sounded something like this : “Ok, that’s enough you two. I may be wearing a _____ -ton of pink, but this “Princess” (that’s what they kept on calling me), can and will kick your a__!!!” Of course this sent them rolling on the ground and pretty much into tears, big fail once again. So I stomped off in the direction of my car. Thinking back on it though, I’m pretty sure I would have died laughing too if some blond-haired girly girl in a tiara, lots of pink beads and a tu-tu skirt with lots of make-up on,  told me she could kick my butt.

The lesson of the night? Stick to what you know and if you want to be intimidating on Halloween or any other time, don’t wear a pink tu-tu.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!