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I’m Moving!

No, I am not moving out of my apartment.  I am a lazy ass, I hate moving, I will stay there forever.  Nope, I’m just moving sites!  Come find me at my new home on the interwebs!  http://wanderinglostblog.wordpress.com/

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Party On, Wayne

“Yes, this is crazy, but soon we’ll be too old to do anything crazy”  – Alan Alda’s character, Manhattan Murder Mystery

So, I missed celebrating my half birthday on my blog.  It’s been a week or two, but I am officially 29 1/2.  Am I too old to be counting my age with fractions?  “I am 8 and 5/8ths!” (Was I the only 8 year old that talked like that?  Likely.  I was also concerned about taxes.)  I’m trying not to be one of those girls (it’s always the girls, we should collectively work on that) that has a meltdown on their birthday, but 30 seems like some kind of milestone that I should mourn commemorate (cue The Final Countdown).  And I have officially decided that I will celebrate and embrace – none of this “first anniversary of my 29th birthday” business.  None of this “this was not where I thought I’d be by 30” kind of crap.  It’s going to be “I’m 30 bitches, watch out!”  As you know, I’m all about that attitude adjustment – seems to be the theme of my blog (and the struggle of my life).    You’ll have to bear with me.

When I turned 29, my boss said “enjoy this year, it’s your last one before you have to act like a grownup”.  Thanks for making the future so bleak (though, at the same time, thanks for ratifying and legitimizing any and all past acts of childishness on my part).  Now, I’m not trying to say I plan to behave like Peter Pan for the rest of my life, but I don’t have a significant other, no kids, no mortgage, no responsibilities outside of my job – why the hell not DO WHAT I WANT?

Now, I have had quite a year so far.  I’ve been to Barcelona, Lisbon, Austin, Santa Fe, San Francisco, and I’ve got plans at the minimum to hit DC, very likely Colombia, and potentially one other fun weekend destination.  I guess I take for granted that I do have the ability to just jet without having to worry about any other responsibilities (remind me this every single time I try to get a puppy).  At the same time, a lot of times I just feel like I sit around at home alone, reading, or worse, watching crappy tv.  (My night tonight in front of Woody Allen doesn’t count.  Woody Allen is cultural.)  So here I am, (even though I know it’s going to be totally exhausting) vowing to have the most fun six months ever before having to officially behave like a grownup (though let’s be real, just because the age clicks over on one day like one of those 80’s alarm clocks, doesn’t mean anything actually changes, right?).  Send all awesome fun event invitations my way – I’ll be there!

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I’m Cheating on You.

I have abandoned you just this once, and have spent my time this evening on my favorite blogger, Heather’s, home space, as a guest poster for her weekly Wine Down Wednesday column.  I shall return to you, but for now, check out my post on some yummy Spanish bubbly here :).  I’m catching up on this week’s Bachelorette, so it is an occasion!

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Learn to Say Thank You

I found this video on Huffington Post (where all good and noble things live), and it is such a good reminder for all women, me in particular.  I have a problem (talent?) with the self deprecating humor (though I just say that people just don’t get me, but whatever…), but seriously, so many women I know have trouble accepting a compliment and simply saying thank you.  Why is it so hard??  (Most) people (unless you’re hanging out with Mean Girls, but then you’ve got more problems than this) truly mean it when they compliment you on your hair/clothes/general badassness.  Be grateful and happy and gracious!  This video is so hilarious, yet really hits the mark.  Point taken.  This is going to be my belated Memorial Day resolution.

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Cool Things I’ve Done in this City Lately

I’m back from once again what has turned out to be a long hiatus.  I don’t really know why it is that I go through such spurts with writing things.  I guess it’s the excuses with everything else I start but don’t finish – I’ve been busy at work, I’m tired, I have too many social obligations, I’d rather sit on the couch and drink wine and be a vegetable.   But as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I lack a creative outlet in my otherwise super TYPE A life, so I feel like this is good for me.  Probably cheaper than therapy.  Like a journal.  With a lot of swearing and ranting.  And fashion.

Anyways, I digress.  In the few months since I’ve last written anything, I swear I haven’t been sitting on the couch (the whole time).  I really have been quite the busy bee.  I had a trip to Santa Fe for a wedding.  Another trip to San Francisco see some old friends from my study abroad days.  And otherwise, I’ve been nerding it up being super cultural.  There have been tons of fun things going on around town these days.  I know most of my three readers don’t live in Dallas, so apologies y’all, you can skip this post and wait three months for the next post if you’d prefer.

D Magazine 100 Best Restaurants

Last week my brother and I went to an event honoring the nominees who made D Magazine’s 100 Best Restaurants list this year.  It was held in the Trinity Groves area of town, which is the new up-and-coming (read: used to be the ghetto is … transitional) area of town (across the awesome Calatrava Bridge).  (In all seriousness though, this place will be hoppin’ soon.)  I felt like Padma from Top Chef.  Wait, I hate Padma.  Gail Simmons on Top Chef – loooove her (though I’d rather be more like Tom Colicchio cause he’s kind of an a-hole and it’s fun).  So, for the price of our event ticket, we were treated to an open bar and small bites from about 30 of the top 100 restaurants in Dallas.  All the big names in town, so great food.  It was a really fun and interesting event, and if you know the Dallas restaurant scene, you’d recognize lots of local celebrity chefs.  I’msuperhipandcool.  I have to say, it must be a lot of pressure to have to make one small plate to represent your entire restaurant/culinary concept/skillz.  Corn chowder though?  From a top 10 restaurant.  Interesting choice, not sure I would have gone that route.  Trying too hard to be breezy.  But overall, amazing food, and it was so great just to have one little bit of everything.  I’m thinking about becoming a foodie.  I will note that I have only been to 3 of the top 10 restaurants.  Good timing that it’s summer recruiting season at work…Firm, get ready to shell out.

Dallas Preservation Society Awards

Continuing the trend, another date with my brother.  He signed us up for this because he knows I’m nerdy and into architectural and historical things.  And he’s a civil engineer so he’s nerdy about stuff too.  I have to say, I was worried I was going to be bored.  But looking at these cool restoration projects and before-and-after pictures and renovations just really rekindled the latent nerdiness.  I left ready to quit lawyering and become an architect.  Dare to dream.

Byron Nelson

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To balance out the nerdiness (or also cause the firm gave me tickets and I got to have the day off work in exchange for drinking beer with clients), I went to the Byron Nelson last weekend.  If you don’t know, the Byron is a Dallas mainstay.  Everyone goes.  Even people like me who would rather watch paint dry than watch a golf tournament on tv (or, is that the same thing?).  At the minimum it’s day drinking and great people watching (you, girls that are dressed to go to the clubz, get the hell out of here) in a beautiful setting.  And apparently if you’re a cute boy, you like to watch golf.  NOTED.

Gastronomy at the Perot Museum

I think this is only partially nerdy, because everyone in Dallas is SUPER into the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science so no one actually thinks you’re a nerd if you spend a weekend night there.  In fact, that’s the way to do it cause they often have events with booze and no kids aloud.  Now, that’s what I’m talking about.  It’d be annoying to have to shove a toddler out of my way of the dinosaur bones without spilling my Cabernet.    Anyways, aside from grownups only event nights, they have another set of events called Social Sciences.  Still grownups only with bars (like I’d go anywhere that doesn’t have wine), but every few months they have a sciency theme.  So when I saw Gastronomy (see above re: me contemplating becoming a foodie), I signed us up!  It was super fun.  We tasted wines (shocker!) and had ice cream made out of liquid nitrogen.  Grownup science experiments.  Super fun.  If you go, don’t let the booze distract you cause science can be super cool.

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Attitude Adjustment

It has been one of my New Year’s resolutions to have a good attitude about everything.  Job, singleness, life.  I’m not going to lie, it’s a constant struggle for me.  Maybe it’s because my job is boring (dangit, self, adjust the attitude).  But really, I’m sure it’s natural for most people to focus on the things that are less than ideal instead of everything good you have going for you.  But you really HAVE to focus on the good things or you’re just perpetuating your unhappiness (AND no one will want to hang out with you – it’s a vicious cycle).

I was whining via text message to my good friend (you know who you are – thanks ladyfrand) and also checking out all my favorite blogs, and I came across this post, on one of my favorite blogs, where she asked all her readers to list three things that they’re thankful for.

So in the spirit of appreciation and not whininess, I present you with my appreciated items, as of right this second:

1.  That I have some wonderfully funny, witty, and supportive girlfriends.

2.  The health and safety of my family.

3.  Red wine (please don’t send me to the Betty Ford).

4.  Weekends when you can lay in bed and read while it’s raining (maybe with red wine – look at that – things overlap) and not have to go anywhere.

5.  Duck Dynasty – this deserves a whole separate post, but it’s such an amazing, hilarious, genuine (tv) show.  A half hour attitude adjustment if I ever had one.  Don’t judge me (love it SO much).  I do own camo, but I’m still a cityfolk.

Look at that, more than three happy things, and those just came off the top of my head.  Lesson learned.

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The Art of Traveling Alone

“It seemed an advantage to be traveling alone. Our responses to the world are crucially moulded by whom we are with, we temper our curiosity to fit in with the expectations of others…Being closely observed by a companion can inhibit us from observing others; we become taken up with adjusting ourselves to the companion’s questions and remarks, we have to make ourselves seem more normal than is good for our curiosity.”  ― Alain de Botton, The Art of Travel

As you will see from some upcoming posts, I’ve recently returned from vacation in Barcelona and Lisbon.  I met my dear friend and long-time travel buddy in Lisbon, but for four days in Barcelona, I was on my own.  I’ve never traveled alone before (aside from flying alone to meet other people), but this was something I’ve always wanted to do.  The freedom to do absolutely what you want to do at all times was so appealing to me.  I also didn’t want to wait for a boyfriend or work around a friend’s travel schedule – it was my trip, just for me, and I was 100% in charge.

For anyone that is considering traveling alone for the first time, and I highly recommend you do at least once in your life, here are a few tips from my experience:

1.  Go somewhere where you will feel safe and comfortable.

Obviously safety is key.  I wouldn’t recommend running around by yourself in the Middle East or some remote locale (though plenty of people do and are totally fine – I just grew up in more of a bubble where the only place I was allowed to go alone was the library – that’s right, I was nerdy at an early age).  You need to be somewhere where you’re not afraid to walk around in the dark (though, for certain people I know, that would be Dallas, the grocery store, the closet).  You don’t want to feel like you’re going to turn into a pumpkin and have to go hide in the hotel at the first sign of sunset.  Though I don’t speak Catalan, everyone in Barcelona speaks Spanish as well (doi), so my understanding of the language was fairly key.  It would be much scarier had I not been able to speak the language – you’re really putting yourself in the hands of (hopefully) helpful strangers otherwise (which is also not necessarily a bad thing – you do find that people are usually amazingly generous and open to helping you – you allow people to show you their humanity).  Barcelona was the perfect choice because it’s really safe (everyone squawked about the pickpockets, but that’s just a factor of being aware of your surroundings and not being a bumpkin idiot – general life rule – write that one down, guys) and easily navigable.

2.  Be open.

Be open to new experiences, be curious, wander.  I’m super type A.  I LOVE lists.  Like, a lot.  A lot, a lot.  You get it.  BUT, while I like to plan vacations, I think it’s very important to have space in your schedule to explore, wander, and just do whatever.  I think that it’s really important not to be overly scheduled on vacation, or you’ll miss out on the real heart and soul of a place.  Sit in the cafe and have a drink and watch the world go by.  Go down the side streets.  Get lost (don’t worry, I did that tons).  Find hidden gems that aren’t in the guidebook.  They make for amazing pictures.  Stop and listen to the random man with the guitar outside of the museum.  You can, because you don’t have anything else to do.

3.  Talk to strangers.

Sorry Mom, I promise you did raise me better than that.  BUT, unless you want to feel really alone, you’ve got to do it.  It probably sounds counter-intuitive, but I think being alone really is the best way to connect with the world.  You can learn so much about other people and places and hear some pretty incredible stories.

4.  Splurge.

This one may just be personal to my situation, because vacation is very sparse for me and I wanted to really make it worth it.  But I think if you can, it’s very important to be comfortable when traveling by yourself.  Stay in a nice hotel, in a good location.  Go to a nice dinner – if you’re eating alone, make it worth it man!  Rent the audio headsets at the museums (nerd!) – if you don’t have anyone to talk to, you might as well learn something.  Do something that is going to make the trip really memorable – I don’t think you’ll regret it.

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