A Relatively Unorthodox Way of Approaching the New Year

Today is January ninth which means only about 76% of us have bombed our New Years promises so far. Many of us promise to hit the gym only to not meet that goal and that’s when we find ourselves drowning our sorrows in a salty, fat-laden bag of remorse behind the couch at two in the morning. Maybe it doesn’t always go that far, but I’m here to discuss a more practical way to love on yourself.

I’ve had several people come to me the past few years with questions on nutrition and fitness. Those people from my speech class may remember me getting a little heated about the evil of Doritos. It’s getting me a little peeved right now that the word pops up on my iPod after typing “d-o”. MSGs make your brain cells expose guys.

Anyway.

The first thing we could all use a little more of is self-respect. Now the first thing that comes to mind for some is dressing “decently” for women or being a “man’s man” for dudes. No no no guys, I’m talking self esteem. When you finally stop putting emphasis on the drab opinions that others have through the very tiny keyhole they have to see into your life, well…your free. If your goal is to lose a few pounds, that right there will take off the weight of the world. (On the same note, stop giving so many shits about how other people live!) That’ll take off the weight of the universe.

On the same note, like what you like. Get into it, be you. Respect it. Like makeup? Know your stuff. Video games? Tattoos? Zodiacs and ventriloquism? No shame. Don’t put yourself in a demographic. That’s just a set stereotype someone somewhere uses in developing statics. Individuality is what makes this world a fun place. Like your music, your style, your ideas. Do you.

The second point I come to is brain drugs. Not to be confused with street drugs. Which you really don’t need when your brain has this amazing ability to make its own. Your brain produces four “feel-good” chemicals and releases them depending on your activity. Did you know when your parents kissed your bruises and broken bones as a kid, it really does make it feel better? That’s those brain chemicals for you, guys.

The big four are oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin and endorphins. Endorphins are our exercise motivation. It’s that beautiful feeling you get when you’re participating in your cardio of choice. Not the entire time, just when your starting to feel like your about to die but you keep on going aannnddd boom! your brain releases euphoric endorphins and everything’s rainbows. Dopamine is our “high on life” drug that you get from doing what you love. I get this from crafting and painting. Another reason to do you. Dopamine is what we get from exploring ideas and learning. That’s why we get addicted to a good book or really enjoy a class. Want to explore oxytocin?  Go hang out with some friends.  It’s what we get out of socializing.  Hanging out with your peps is good for your brain! Serotonin is an example of why we should be nice to the little ones of society.  Serotonin comes from the feeling of confidence, or doing something right.  It’s the feeling we got ourselves as kiddies when mom or dad stuck our stick figure portrait on the fridge.  It’s as good a reason as any to take a reading break right now and go hug somebody special. Both arms now.

The third point I’d like to discuss is a favorite for all of us, whether we admit it or not. POOPING. Did you know, not only do diet and exercise reign over our ability or the “healthiness” of our deification but STRESS and emotions play just as much of a part. When your body AND your head is in check, I argue that a good healthy poop at least once a day is in the top three reasons to smile.  So if your feeling stressed, just invert for a minute, analyze why you might be feeling a bit anxious, and address it.  Do it for poops sake.

In retrospect, repect yourself, others will do the same. Respect your body, because you only get one.

Here’s to wishing you years of good health to come.

Thank you for again reading my nonsensical blog again, and may the force be with you.

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Bye-Bye Covington.

This week I’m saying goodbye to my first time living in a city.  I moved here in July, so it was short lived indeed.  But I really loved living in an urban scene.  For those of you that don’t know Covington, Kentucky it’s directly across the river from downtown Cincinnati, Ohio.  While I lived here, I had one of the chillest jobs I’ve ever had working at the Great American Ball Park.  Seriously, I pretty got paid to eat popcorn and talk to people.  Two of my favorites.

Covington is one of a few cities(sometimes considered neighborhoods) around Cincinnati, but to my knowledge, it’s the biggest with a population of around 40,000 people.  If you didn’t know any better, you’d think it was all Cincy, since it all runs together.  Covington has so much potential, and it’s moving towards at becoming a more creative, earth-conscious area with community gardens, downtown renovation, forming festivals, youth programs, and community restoration.

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I will certainly miss walking around downtown Cincy with my music.

You Know I’m Here For The Food.

If you come to visit, definitely checkout Mainstrasse Village.  If you’re looking for a date night spot or sunday brunch, Otto’s won’t let you down. They have an exceptional wine list, and the food will not disappoint. Goodfellas Pizza is the place to go for a breadstick the size of a baseball bat.

If you’re headed across the bridge to Cincy, I recommend Gilpins or Currito for lunch. Gilpins features american cuisine with a little twist; they steam everything.  Meats, buns, veggies, the works.  Check it out if you’ve never had anything like it, BECAUSE ITS SO GOOD.  The staff is super friendly and helpful too. Currito is a chain of delicious burrito spots that’s set up cafeteria-line-style.  They have great selection, it’s quick, and the prices are reasonable.  It’s without a doubt a staple of downtown Cincinnati’s weekday lunch rush.

An excellent dinner spot, if not just for the view, would be the the Incline Public House. It sit all the way at the top of the banked in hills, which makes since considering it was a rail house at one point in time.

 

Hate to cut it short, but I gotta go shove some belongs in boxes.  Tomorrow is the big day.  But if you’re thinking about adding Cincinnati and surrounding cities to your travel itinarary, do it.  So many cool neighbors, like Clifton (home of University of Cincinnati), Hyde Park, Newport to check out the aquarium, and Over-the Rhine in downtown Cincinnati for drinks, to just to name a few.  I leave you with a photo recollection of life living on the Cov-Nati border. Enjoy yo’ self.  Thanks for stopping by, and if you ever want some recommendations of the city, hit me up.

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The banks of Covington tell a vivid visual story of the areas history. If you’re parting in Covington for a game, you gotta check it out. It’s between the highway and the Roebling Bridge.

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Yet another swell water feature in downtown Cincinnati.

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If you’re headed to a game, don’t forget to hop on a ferry!

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Both cities have a fantastic array of murals are all over the downtowns.

 

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Check out the park right across the bridge in Cincy! It’s under construction, but it already has great aspects, like a walking meditation labyrinth, unique water features, and rent-able bikes. Plus, it’s right along the Ohio.

Quick and Dirty

Okay, good tootin’ grief. I haven’t posted a single thing in ages, AND SO MANY ADVENTURES HAVE BEEN HAD!

I’m so bad about keeping up with writing, even though I love it.  Even though I want to share my fun times with you guys, and maybe pass on some adventure ideas.  But good golly do I have a distraction problem.  I have at least 7 blog posts started that are unfinished.  Welp, looks like we’re in for a long post.  Posts will be photo-scarce after a little(big) break in we had. Bye-bye camera/laptop/memory cards.

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I do have this one! Lawl.  You know what it is, Fun Boat.  I feel the distraction building up.  Maybe if I quickly list everything fun, I won’t forget.

So recently I…

learned to longboard.

Fell off a longboard and broke myself.

Returned to Indiana, after road tripping with Cammy, and visiting my dear friend Brian in Chicago.

I moved to Covington, Kentucky.

Enjoyed a few months as an employee at the Great American Ball Park.

Went to Florida, now I’m in South Carolina! Travelling the slow, fun way.

I’m working as hard has possible to become a full-time artist.–(Art news!  I’m super excited to say that I’ll be the displaying artist for Cornerstone Center for the Arts in Muncie, running from December 4th, to January 1st!  Speaking of art, I’m also excited to share that I’ll be moving towards commission and one of a kind paintings.)

Soon I’ll be living back to Indiana to live out in nature, and advance to a easier, greener lifestyle.

Soon after that I’ll be traveling and exploring with the taller half of LDuo.

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Man, I miss those sunnies. May they rest in peace at the bottom of Davie Jones’s locker.

Well, that’s it for now.  I’m using this post as a grounding factor to reacquaint myself with my blog.  Hello blog, please don’t be anger at me for neglecting you. Okay be back soon, swear.

Why I decided to quit my internship, and travel cross-country with my new friend Cammy.

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I think the title of this blog is a sustainable enough reason. An adventure back across the country? Heck yes. But, it would have been incredible irresponsible for us to have landed on such a decision without facets of indescrepencies. Let me explain.

My Idaho life was fantastic. I met so many wonderful people, and I have stories for a lifetime. I saw so much beauty in the landscape and in the hearts of people that crossed paths with me. But I’m against living uncomfortably. I’m aware of my mortality, and I believe life should be lived to the absolute fullest. The requirements of my internship were fulfilled, and I was decisively not fulfilled in sticking around. I believe in finishing what I start, but more importantly, I believe in living to the full capacity of creativity and enthusiasm. I was in a place of good intentions, but with a lack of resources of carry out full intentions. I was also diverting my attention away from my business to do lots of sitting. Cam had his own legitimate reasons, so we decided to continue our education on the open road. Without further ado, here’s some of the awesome that happened. Yeah, I know you just look at pictures….

FB album because WordPress won’t.

Mountain Gazing and Potential Demise with my Best-Good-Idaho Friend, Cammy.

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What’s the most terrifying animal imaginable in the deep wooden mountainsides of Idaho?  If you don’t know Idaho well, it’s lush with pines, incredibly dry, and HOT.  Crystal clear waters, and dense with wildlife.  As you probably know, these are prime conditions for exotic and ferocious creatures.  With that in mind, let’s begin this story.

Once upon a time, Cammy and I decided to go for a walkabout to spectate the land and ponder life’s greatest questions, and to eat a bag of carrots.  

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We found the perfect spot, complete with ghostly winds, and a sun approaching dusk.  What a sight!  So breathe-taking, it made me re-contemplate just what exactly is important in my life.  I came up with the same conclusion I had before.  Anyway.  So carrots finished, we stand up from our rock couch to take in the view one last time. SNAP, CRACKLE, POP!  We freeze, and stare at each other with bug-eyes.  What was that?  Probably a chubby squirrel landing on a branch.  CRACK CCRReeeeAACCKK.  Chills surge up my spine.  Cam investigates a few feet back. The sound is getting closer and Cams creeps quietly back to my side, both of us holding our breathes in frightened anticipation. it’s time to make a decision; fight or flight. Weapons? Do we have weapons? It’s too late. At this point, I’m immersed with dread.  A giant brown figure emerges from the evergreens! It’s massive! What is it? My heart is in my throat and I’m preparing to be eaten alive.  It’s becoming more visible from behind the brush! It’s…it’s….it’s a cow. Oh. A cow. In the woods.  Of course! A cow’s nature habitat.

Thought it was going to be the end of me, eh?  Eh? Not this girl.  I shall live to tell another tale, my friends. 

 

 

 

By the way, check out Cam’s blog, walkwithmywanderlust.wordpress.com .

A Painter’s Paradise

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Idaho. I’ve been here about a month and a half, and I can already declare this summer as notable in my life.  If the scenery were the only draw, I’d consider this a wonderland.  Giant hills, storybook blue skies,  mineral-specaled whitewater, cottonwood seed rain, and big pines. Everything smells like lavender, sage, lilac, and pine needles. And sunshine.  I live right on a river, and the sound of the flow is one step up from going to sleep to the sound of steady rainfall.  Every time I walk out my door, I discover something else magical.

When I accepted an internship at small lodge located on the map right at the emergence of the Idaho panhandle, I had no expectations.  As a Midwestern girl, I indulged in traveling around the east, but had never been passed the Mississippi. I drove 2200 miles and 36 hours to anchor at a town of 410 locals that booms to thousands during the summer.  The tourism focus of the area is, without a doubt, rafting.  Many of the natives eat and breathe the rafting life.  And I found out why.  It’s crazy fun ya’ll.  I was given the opportunity to join guide training trips for the rafting company directly affiliated with the lodge.  By no means do I relate this experience of rafting to the potential fun it could be.  It was frigid, rainy and bleak.  Theoretically, it sucked hard.  Lucky for me, I was on the Fun Boat.  What is the Fun Boat you ask?  Why, the Fun Boat is where friendships bloom and laughs are shared.  A place of sing-songs, and movie quotes.  Stories and are exchanged and dreams are pondered over.

Pandora is so needy.  It needs your full attention to play.

Anyway, let’s talk about my first few rafting trips.  Notable, indeed.  The very first time I found myself in an inflatable tubular flotation device with a presumably fiberglass paddle in hand, I also found myself treading water in white water rapids a short time later.  Well, let’s back up a bit.  I arrived in Idaho about a month before my internship officially started to work and explore all of the beautiful.  The first couple of weeks I was there, some of the local raft guides invited me on a rafting trip.  And so this story begins.

I gained an entirely new understand for the phase “in the blink of an eye” that day.  I literally didn’t know what hit me.  Well what hit me was a wave. To the face.  And in I went.  I vividly remember the only words that fluttered through my mind were “Oh, shit.”  Being my first time rafting, and really just there for the fun of it, I hadn’t yet been given the run-down of what to actually do in such a case that I was up to my chin in alarm.  But, bitterly cold waves engulfing my body motivated my instincts to kick in.   Paddle still in hand, I jetted for the boat as fast as my numb extremities would allow.  That was the moment I learned of a “Flop and Giggle”.  1, 2, 3, dunk down, pull up by the life jacket straps, and in the boat ya go!  A humbling experience, indeed.  Such an event set the mood for a few week later, when yet again, I found myself in the water after being smacked in the face by a wave.  Even though I was trapped under the boat for a few seconds, I was quite confident in the crew I was with.  And not to my surprise, Dylan gave me concise and direct instructions on getting my fanny back in that boat.  Oh shoot, did I forget to introduce the crew?

Well, Dylan is my new friend born and raised in Vegas.  A paddle rafting guide for the previous three years, he enjoys turtles, and only drinks milk juice and water.  Next me have Miles, who is back for a second year at Epley’s to guide rafts.  Living in town for the summer, very rarely have I met anyone that rivals this one’s ability to mimic and quote movies, standup acts, and songs.  Moving forward in the fun boat lineup, we have Erik.  Wonderful taste in music, this one.  I’m honored to have been able to celebrate the 19th year of his existence his passed week.  So much so, I decided to make this fiasco.  Meh.

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And then my dear housemate, Cam.  A rookie to the west just like myself, it’s nice to have someone to indulge in all of this gloriousness with me.  He’s been around the map a bit, and I’m honestly rather jealous of how travelled he is.  Australia, Fiji, bunch o’ states, what, what?  He’s got that wanderlust and I can relate.  If you don’t speak Bridesmaids, it’s probably confusing to listen to our conversationing.  Welp, that’s the Fun Boat crew, but the fun doesn’t stop there.  Hunter, Sara, and Ivan continue on the legacy of awesome.  All three educate their brains in Moscow, all Recreation focused. Sara has  a refreshing view on life, and the more I get to know this lovely lady, the more I feel we were destined to be friends.  Such a wonderfully positive and open individual!  Who happens to enjoy hugs and scavenging I think as much as I do.  She’s also back this summer to raft it up.  Hunter is one that’s always down for adventure and a laugh. And I have another roomie with Ivan.  It’s nice to meet someone that enjoys analyzing one’s own mind and our existence with me.

All of these cool cats are going to make my summer an entirely new level of awesome, I know it.

 

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What a wonder group of people I have met.  Although I sometimes find myself missing summertime in Indiana, these guys sure do ease the pain.

Have you ever been dumpster diving?  W’ll you should, because you’ll discover the world of fo’ free.  More on that next time.  I have so many stories to tell you, so stay tuned for new terminology, fishing, irrigation, star gazing, and community. Oh, and how the heck I got here.  For now,  th-tha-that’s all, folks! -LB

How did I come …

How did I come to know
so many lonesome cities
with only pennies in my pockets?
I smiled a lot
and Rode a lot of trains
and got to know conductors
and railroad bulls by name.
From Alamo to Naples is a ride
that took me nearly twenty years
But here I am,
my cardboard suitcase traded in for leather.