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Posts Tagged ‘florida’

Once again, I’ve nearly made it through an entire year.  As such (and to continue the tradition from last year), here are the accomplishments, triumphs, failures, and events that marked my past year.  Feel free to make your own to share!

  • I made it through my first year of university at Truman, finishing off with a decent GPA and tons of friends to boot.
  • Three and a half inch heels and four inch heels–I made them my bitch.
  • I went on an aeroplane by  myself for the first time to visit my dad in Florida for two weeks, where I tried Sashimi for the first time (practically raw tuna with wasabi and pickled ginger), visited Key West and some other nifty beaches, and got massively sunburnt.
  • If you caught that part about Sashimi, you’ve probably figured out that I became a pescetarian over the summer.  Half of my just didn’t care any more about avoiding fish while the other half just kept nagging about all of the great omega-3 oils and brain-helping nutrients.  This has allowed me to become pretty damn obsessed with sushi, by the way.
  • I started a pretty shitty fashion blog about Midwest fashion.  Now that I have a new camera, I plan on taking more pictures for it, though.
  • Which brings me to a creeper moment for this year: I definitely worked up the courage to ask random people to be models for my fashion blog since they were wearing cool outfits.  I’m actually pretty proud of myself for having the guts.
  • For a failure, I definitely had a big falling out with someone who had been my friend, leaving us in some kind of acquaintance limbo.  And I’m not too proud about playing dirty and being really bitchy about it, but my life had gotten to a major point where I had to either step up or drop into obscurity, meek and silent as I get walked upon.  You all know I’m not really the type to allow the latter.
  • I got a sewing machine!
  • And I’ve sewed all kinds of really crappy things; mostly for work.
  • Oh!  So, I got a volunteer job down on Main Street, Saint Charles at the First State Capitol State Historic Site in June.  I get to dress up in 1820s clothing, teach people history, give tours, work with kids, all kinds of fun stuff.  After a month and a half of volunteering, I managed to get a position with the Missouri State Youth Corps so that I could get paid for my volunteer work.  It’s been an absolutely amazing experience, and if all goes as planned, I will be working there next summer as well.
  • Over October, my dog, Teddy, passed away after a year and a half of massive heart problems.  I had spent the entire summer preparing for him to pass away, which helped me when it actually did happen, but that doesn’t make it any less sad.  You probably already know that he meant a lot to me, but I don’t feel very burdened.  So that’s a start.
  • My grandparents are still somehow making it.  My grandma was diagnosed with cancer last year, and she’s finally made the decision to quit treatment and just last these months out.  My grandpa, meanwhile, had a quadruple bypass that didn’t go as well as it could have, though he’s recovering now.
  • The rest of the family is decently healthy (or at least in comparison to my grandparents), though there was a lot of tension when my brother was kicked out for his misconducts that he’d been warned for years to cease.  He now lives with my dad in Florida, which seems to be working out better for him.
  • This past year, I’ve been building up a second family up in Kirksville (or at least it feels like that).  I signed the lease for a house for next school year with Jess and Noah, which is pretty damn exciting.  And we’re right next door to Ann, Ginny, and James, which means we’ll share a big side yard and have dinner parties.  Huzzah!
  • This implies that I’m still friends with everyone up at uni, as well as some new folks.  I also finished up my first semester of sophomore year and started my new studio art minor.  It’s been really neat to see my artwork improve over the semester, and we’ll see how much better it gets by the end of next year.
  • I went to Iowa for the first time.  No worries, it was as mundane as the sentence seems to convey.

New Music for this Year (or at least music I was exposed to this year):

  • Kate Havnevik’s Melankton
  • Emilíana Torrini’s Love in the Time of Science and Fisherman’s Woman
  • Kingdom of Heaven Soundtrack
  • Loreena McKennitt’s The Book of Secrets and The Visit
  • ALL CAPS’ Bmin/E
  • Amy MacDonald’s This is the Life
  • Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs
  • Broken Bells’ Broken Bells
  • Coldplay’s Parachutes
  • Florence + the Machine’s Lungs
  • Fiona Apple’s Extraordinary Machine
  • Imogen Heap’s Ellipse
  • Joanna Newsom’s Have One on Me
  • Joe Purdy’s This American
  • Kate Miller-Heidke’s Curioser
  • KT Tunstall’s Eye to the Telescope
  • Modest Mouse’s Good News for People Who Love Bad News
  • Natacha Atlas’s Halim
  • Patrick O’Hearn’s Glaciation
  • Sigur Ros’s Takk…
  • Vampire Weekend’s Contra
  • White Lies’ To Lose My Life
  • Yael Naim’s Yael Naim

New Books:

  • Robert Cialdini’s Influence: The Science of Social Influence
  • Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451
  • Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations
  • Dude, I can’t remember the last time I read a new book for pleasure.  Aside from text book reading, I’ve been chilling with the old favourites: Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress, Memoirs of a Geisha, Dragon’s Bait, et cetera.
  • But, I’ve gotten into some web comics: Questionable Content and xkcd.

New Films:

  • HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS
  • Love and Death (a quirky Woody Allen film)
  • Troy
  • Darjeeling Limited
  • The Losers

I really haven’t done all that much this year aside from lots of music listening (shit son, way more than I thought after making that list), working my butt off, chilling with friends every chance I get, and finding some new hobbies (such as interior design/décor, art art art art art, reading webcomics, et cetera).  I’ve learned to love libraries and sushi and appreciate some of the people around me a lot more.  I hope that you all have had an interesting year with lots of learning and events.  Hope to see you all next year!

Missi

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Day 1 of my Floridian adventures comprised of a relaxed day at the pool and later walking around the beach with my dad.  We cooked food, and I once again ate fish.  And, again, I’ll keep on eating it, even though it makes me feel sluggish and weighty.  Day 2 was filled with grocery shopping and a day at the beach to not just walk around but to swim and sit under our half tent.  Unfortunately, I’m slightly sunburned, hungry, and headache-y.  I’ll be pink for the next few days, and my freckles are getting darker by the minute, I swear.  But, that’s the price I paid and will continue to pay for being outside without sunscreen while being a redhead.  Luckily, there won’t be any blistering or skin damage at this point.  Just some irritation at myself when I look in the mirror (but hey, that’s not uncommon).  I jest.

Anyway, as I like to talk about food as much as possible, here are some of the great things I’ve been eating:

German style buttered bread with Swiss cheese.  It makes the best breakfast.

Sushi.  Yeah, I tried it and found that I’m a fan of the wasabi.

Fish with steamed vegetables, rice, and salad.  Speaking of salads, I’ve been making the best cucumber, avocado, tomato, onion salads.  Add some bleu cheese dressing, and it’s awesome (and that’s coming from the girl who usually doesn’t like to have dressing).  My dad also makes a great Greek salad from just cucumbers, tomatoes, and black olives mixed with this dressing that he makes from combining Greek dressing and Greek spices.  I could have said Greek more times in that sentence, but I didn’t feel like it.

Anyway, here are some photos from the beach as proof that I’m actually down here.  Meanwhile, it’s time to make some asparagus pesto and watch the rain fall down–even if I’m doing more watching than actual cooking.

Day 2 ended by me realising that I’m incredibly sunburned.  Day 3 began with me throwing up and rolling around in nightmares—probably because of the sunburn.  What a stupid, stupid idea to think that I could go out into the sun for four hours without any protection other than shade.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.  My shoulders, arms, chest, knees, and even feet are bright pink, and it hurts to even move.  Luckily, though, I bought some Sarna this afternoon (as recommended by my friend Jenn, who had supplied the stuff to my roommate for a sunburn this past spring) and kept mostly inside.  Then again, even staying outside wouldn’t have been too awful, as it’s been raining all day.

As always, I ate fairly well today.  We went to a fruit stand and bought some mango butter and orange-coconut marmalade and later went to Sweet Tomatoes—a fabulous salad and soup buffet.  I’d been once before in Saint Louis a few years back, and the second time was just as good.  I recommend the split pea soup and triple berry green tea while there.  Both are delicious.

The rest of day 3 was spent driving out to a bird sanctuary, only for it pour once we got there.  I still took some pictures and had a bird talk to me (see last post), but we spent an equal amount of time at a local fruit stand, buying the previously mentioned jam products and questioning what fruit was what.  The good of that came with me now knowing what a lychee is.  Yay.

Day 4 was rain.  Lots of rain.  And a very itchy sunburn on my shoulders and chest.  I spent a good deal of the day trying to relieve the pain and itch with Sarna, lotion, et cetera, none of which did the job as well as simply distracting myself—which came in the form of eating super hot peppers.  My dad was cooking up some ceviche when Olga and I heard a mighty WHELP come from the kitchen.  There stood my dad, flinging his hands and trying to get the pepper from his mouth.  Even a tiny sliver had turned his mouth on fire.  He gave me a piece the size of an ant (literally), and I didn’t think much of it.  So I ate a slice the size of two ants, in which my dad gave me an odd look.  Olga came and took a similar bite, which immediately found itself on the kitchen floor along with a slew of Russian in complaint.  So I ate an entire sliver.  Still nothing.  It was a little spicy, but about the same as any salsa.  I wondered what was broken with me since I felt practically nothing from the pepper but decided not to care because I had finally stopped itching.  I would try the same thing the next day by just taking a bite out of the pepper.  The pepper then immediately found itself not on the floor, but in the trash, along with the remnants that were in my mouth.  OH GOD!!  My mouth wasn’t just on fire.  It was the most painfully spicy thing I have ever felt in my life!  I immediately poured orange juice down my throat as it was closest.  Then tried to immediately stuff a banana along with it, then two cups of milk, then an ice cube, then tea, then anything else I could find to stop the burning.  And it still burned—for a half hour, actually.  My dad got home after fifteen minutes of my burning adventure and found me sucking on an ice cube on the couch, not even paying attention to Anthony Bourdain in the background.  He told me I should do it again and let me film him; it would be a hit on YouTube.  I declined the offer.

Much of day 4 was rain, though.  Heavy rain that ended our plans of seeing fireworks for Fourth of July.  We would have gone to the beach, two miles away, to see a wonderful display from the pier.  But, it rained, and we stayed at home, watching the telly and eating leftover asparagus pesto, mushrooms, and berries.

Day 5 was even more rain, but we didn’t know about it until we had reached the riverfront in Fort Lauderdale for fifteen minutes.  Then it poured.  Poured until you could barely see anything, and we were trapped under trees and awnings, shoes saturated, my pants and vest completely saturated, hair sticking to my face in wet tendrils.  Miserable weather, and I was still wet even after a full hour of lunch at a café (where I had marguerite pizza—so good).  As we were still wet, we braved the rain a little further with our umbrellas to see shops selling shirts for 300 dollars and ice cream for an equally ridiculous price.  Though, even with the price, it might have been worth it: think roasted coconut rolled in chocolate and then put into vanilla ice cream.  Absolutely freaking delicious.

Later in the afternoon and evening, my dad and I made some tea and chatted it up on the porch, watched Anthony Bourdain (as I only realised today that there has been a marathon because of the new season starting Monday), and ate ceviche.  I also tried stuffed tea leaves (interesting with a lot of vinegar and a very earthly flavour from all of the tea) and Mediterranean/Russian olives (so salty, that I had to run for some orange juice to wash my mouth out).

Any times in between have been spent lounging about with my computer: playing Sims or internetting or reading Great Expectations (surprisingly good) and my favourite fanfiction which I saved into a Word document (the only fanfiction I’ve ever enjoyed and a secret guilty pleasure).  I’ve been trying to update my wordpress for days, but I’ve only managed one little post from when I went to a bird sanctuary that we quickly left from because of the rain.  I certainly brought the rain with me; suppose I’ll have to go back up to Saint Charles to get rid of it.  And here I leave you.

Leave you with a picture of Anthony Bourdain–love of my life, right after Chris Thile.

“Missi is fucking awesome and has great taste in food.”

Really, Anthony?  Aw, love you, too.

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Quick Update

Me: Hello, bird. Hello!  Hello, pretty bird–
Bird: HELLO.
Me: Ah!  It said Hello to me!!  Say it again!  Hello!
Bird: HELLO.
Me: Ah hahahaha!
Bird: HA. HA. HA.

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This morning started at 6.30 with getting all of my last minute preparations finished before setting out for Florida, and by 8.00, I was being dropped off in front of the airport with my bright red suitcase and leather carry-on bag.  And I’d like to say that I did all right, thank you very much.  Granted, I spent the first twenty five minutes waiting in the wrong line for Delta, and I was clueless as to where to pick up my ticket after finding a more correct line, but after an hour of lines and security, I was finally sitting in the correct terminal and waiting for my 10.05 flight to Atlanta.  The first leg of my journey was from Saint Louis to Atlanta and went quite well.  Window seat.  Hardly a cloud in the sky.  No turbulance.  Even with sitting right next the engine, I could still listen to my iPod at half level and be just fine (which, by the way, my Florida playlist is pretty kickin’: Vampire Weekend, Imogen Heap, Arcade Fire, Nickel Creek, and a plethora of just about everything.  No really, I even have some Backstreet Boys and Spice Girls on there.  Eat it!).  The Atlanta airport was the only thing I was worried about–mostly because my first flight had been delayed by an hour, which meant that I had missed my second flight to Fort Lauderdale.  On the bright side, the second leg of my journey had also been delayed, so I ended up at the correct terminal in plenty of time.  Definitely beats my similar experience two years ago.

And that was something that really struck me.  Exactly two years ago, to the day no less, I was in the Atlanta airport, running back and forth between terminals that didn’t even exist just to get to my aeroplane for Germany.  It had been a total mess, with my friend and I running between trains and construction to get to the right spot just in the knick of time.  So, it slightly amazed me that I should have almost the exact same experience today, only not.  It was the same connecting flight, the same terminals.  Everything the same except that I found where I was going quickly and easily.  Maybe it’s the lack of construction.  Maybe it’s the fact that now I’m an adult and could trek there on my own without having to be with a group.  I’ll never know, but if things are going to work this well, then I don’t care to figure it out.

The second leg of my trip was terribly bouncy, and I was stuck in an aisle seat next to a very bored five year-old.  Half way through, I pulled out a National Geographic and began to flip through the pages of wonderful photos, being sure to tilt the magazine so that Xavier (yes, I learned his name while on the flight) could see it.  Later, I nonchallantly flipped through photos on my laptop for him to see.  And I’m not sure if it completely was enthralling, but he did look over quite a bit.  So maybe I made his trip a little less monotonous.

Anyway, I finally reached Fort Lauderdale after a long day of travelling and delays and no food, and my dad was there waiting at the exit for me so that we could fetch my luggage.  We drove to his house in Pompano Beach, had salad with fish–

WAIT.  Fish?

Yes, I ate fish, and will eat fish over this holiday.  It’s hard to avoid, and I’m not picky enough or a bitch enough or even someone who cares enough to refuse.  So, yes, I had fish.

–sat around on the porch and chatted, et cetera.  He mentioned that I should blog about my trip as a start to my dream career of being on the Travel Chanel.  As ridiculous as it is, I thought I’d do that.  So, expect some blogs from me over these next two weeks.  Hopefully nothing daily; I wouldn’t want to read that, and I’m sure you wouldn’t want to, either.  And, who knows, maybe this will be the start to my fabulous life as a professional traveller.

Or maybe I’ll just share with you my adventures.  You know, same same, but different.

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…but not too much in the sun.  Just enough for Zooey Deschannel to be proud of me and sing along, being adorable and such.

Tomorrow morning, I take out on a flight to Florida to visit my dad for nearly two weeks.  We’ll probably head the beach (Atlantic side, thank goodness), visit some family down there, and meander around the state.  We were thinking of the going to the new Harry Potter park in Universal Studios, but between the 100+ dollar ticket price and the massive lines and waiting times from it being just opened a week, I’m thinking NO.  I’ve spent my fair share gushing over what house I’d be at Hogwarts (Slytherin), wearing my Hogwarts messenger bag, reading the books, and dressing up as Hermione Granger, but I just can’t see myself forking all of that time and money over for a mediocre time.  I told one of my sisters today that I might as well just plan something out with friend for after university, when the lines are shorter and we can plan a multiple day trip down there and stay at a resort.  Personally, that would be much more enjoyable.

But I shall be off and about until the middle of July, so don’t be expecting me too much on Facebook or the like.

On a completely separate note, I gave my first official tour at work yesterday, and it went really well.  I felt like the seven year old artist afterwards saying, “I did such a good job!  Look at what I did!”  Yeah, I was that kid in my head and for the first five minutes after I got back from the tour.  Great day, great group, great conversations about politics and cooking, and great times spent reading National Geographic and sipping lemonade.  Unpaid labour has its upsides.

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