WTF Wednesday- What a Sell Out

I used to think that some people who monetized their blogs were sell outs and/or fake bloggers.

I KNOW

I’m sure you’re saying to yourself right now, “I don’t know about this Fatty McCupcakes chick. She’s kind of a snatch.”

Let me point out the word ‘some’ that I used above. Many of my most favorite blogs are self-hosted and are working on monetizing.

The people I viewed as fake sell outs were those people who didn’t seem like real humans behind their blazing advertisements and affiliate linked half-assed posts glaring with grammatical errors.

After some time pondering the way of the world in Blog Land and doing my own wretched writer soul-searching, I’ve come to realize that there are still a hell of a lot of fake-seeming bloggers and total sell outs, but there are also a lot of people who realized long before I did that blogging can be a full time job and who the fuck with half a brain works for free?

Me, that’s who…

Words, actions, thoughts- if they’re stupid, they’re coming from me.

You might have noticed that my site was down or private for a time a few days ago. You might also have noticed it looks or feels a bit different. (Sorry about that.)

This is because I’m finally self-hosted, ya’ll.

After all those years of thinking that only “real” writers blog for the joy until they magically make it big after a publisher stumbles onto their blog (yeah right), I’ve realized that published writers do it for the joy and because it pays off debt/funds travel/supplements and/or replaces income from a more tedious/sucky/soul-sucking job.

So, because I feel like *maybe* my writing is worthy of a paycheck one day and because I’m a broke ass teacher, you’ll be seeing this hypocrite working to monetize this shizz.

Maybe you’ll be seeing me do some affiliate links (but, I swear I won’t sound like a fucking car salesman).

For pretty sure, you’ll be seeing some ads (sorry, they’re a necessary evil that’ll earn me $0.35 a month, so.)

For absolute sure, you’ll be seeing my brand-spanking-new logo that Oriana from Oriana’s Notes did up for me!

Hopefully, you’ll be seeing some better (perhaps even semi-funny) and more regular content.

So, please bear with me as I learn to navigate self-hosting and (I’m sure) some of the problems that can come from it.

While you’re hopefully still supporting me (or not- whatever then), remember that I was wrong and everyone else who was smart enough to eek out some pennies by doing something they enjoy, were right.

At least I’m willing to admit it.

So, tell me while I continue to work out the kinks on my site, are you self-hosting? What’s your experience? Have you monetized? How is it going? How do you balance being real and affiliate links?

Thanks, ya’ll!

Throwback Thursday to When I Actually Blogged

Strangely, and for reasons I still don’t understand, I gain new followers every day (and here I am, still not rich and famous). To those of you who are new here, I swear I don’t always suck. I used to post religiously every week. Sometimes I posted twice. I was inspired. I was hopeful. I was excited. I was preparing to rule the world.
Something happened, yo.
This post could have been alternatively titled: Throwback Thursday to When I Actually Gave a Fuck.
It’s not that I don’t care about you. Every time I get a notification that I have a new like, comment, follower, a tiny voice inside me says, “Someone loves me. They really do love me.”
(Typing that out makes it sound so profoundly pitiful. *opens Google app to google, “Is it bad to think that strangers love me when they follow my blog even when I know it’s not possible they can love me and I only think it for, like, a split sentence?* Google wasn’t sure.)
I love the essence of blogging. I love writing. I love finding and reading good writing. I love the connections.
But, as much as I’d love to be that lucky bitch in every chick flick who has a mental epiphany/breakdown and leaves everything for a rundown, centuries old house in the middle of France and spends her days consuming goat cheese and red wine while writing her fifth novel on her antique typewriter at a table that looks out on a picturesque lake while wearing an oversized cable knit sweater that doesn’t make her look as big as a house, because she’s maybe a size four, I can’t because I live in the real world.
In the real world, I work a full time job, have debt, and spend an ungodly amount of time wondering how I’ll ever fund my next vacation, a house, or my next overpriced hipster donut.
For some time now I’ve considered the possibility of monetizing my blog. Only recently have I realized that I’ve been working my ass off at a part time gig and getting nowhere in the process.
I shouldn’t say ‘nowhere’, as I’ve actually gained something greater than Ellen hosting me on her show and then surprising me with money to pay off all of my debts*–I’ve gained loyal readers, many of whom I call true friends.
But, it’s finally time for me to put my efforts into ways to better my standing, my life, my writing game.
In the coming months, I hope to move to self-hosting. That’s just the first step in my Make Actual Money From Writing/Blogging plan.
Until then, you’ll have to bear with me and the construction zone mess this place will likely be.
If you are one of my newbies (or oldies, I’m not discriminating) and you’re still reading this mess, here are some of my older posts that I wrote when I was still young and full of writing zest. I hope they’ll keep you going until I figure my shit out:
I love sharing embarrassing personal stories about toilet disasters
Geez, poop AGAIN?
Now farts? Come on…
Because everyone likes to laugh at the inept one
I’m really hairy (Speaking of which, I skipped my mid-week chin plucking to write this. You’re welcome.)
Tell me more about your own writing struggles. Misery loves company and all…
*Well, actually, if Ellen would have me, I mean…I wouldn’t say ‘no’…

Just a pic my grandma took of our family dog taking a shit on our lawn, because I couldn’t think of any other pictures for this post.

Double Caramel Magnum

Since the voting for the blogger awards has officially gotten in my head and now I’m practically incapable of being funny right when it’s the most important, I thought what better way to get back into the groove than with revamping some of my (likely) never before seen early blogging attempts fails.
So, each week on #ThrowbackThursday before voting closes, I’ll be sharing an OG post that I’ve revived and corrected (all of the terrible grammar has, hopefully, been remedied*) just for your reading pleasure.
I truly hope you enjoy this lame, half-assed attempt at showing you what I’ve got.
The post I’m sharing today is nearly three years old and, I believe, the fifth blog post I wrote on Fatty McCupcakes. I think it got maybe three likes. Enjoy.


The rain had stopped, but for a few random drops here and there that danced on newly formed puddles. The air was heavy with moisture and the sweet aroma of grass, wet earth, and grateful flowers. It was the perfect opportunity to throw on the forgotten I’m-finally-going-to-get-serious sneaks and take a walk.
(I’ve really set the scene here, have I not?)
The boyfriend and I set off down the street, dodging puddles and catching raindrops on our tongues. We were child-like in our glee. I felt it the perfect time to start anew. The clean air filled my dusty lungs. My calves felt stronger with every stride.
I made up my mind that this beautiful, hopeful Sunday would be the day I set my mind to certain changes.
(For the 3,567,473 time I was going to really get serious about shit.)
We kept up a brisk pace, and with every step, I felt my muscles grow stronger and stronger still. I imagined my fat melting off. I was practically 20 pounds lighter. It was glorious.
As we neared 7-11, our pace grew quicker still, in anticipation of some healthy water or sugar-free gum. Healthy, responsible options.
(Because, those are the kinds of things that really make me want to break a sweat.)
As we pranced into the store, I repeated my mantra, “We’ve come for sugar free gum and water. That’s all you want. Mmmmm water.”
My eyes were fixed on the gum on the top shelf, but I was keenly aware that one false move would direct my gaze straight to the Kit Kat bars and gummy bears.
“Don’t look down, don’t look to the right, don’t look to the left, LOOK NOWHERE,” I whispered to myself.

I had expert tunnel vision, eyeing only the Orbit Bubble Mint like a good fat girl.
Then, a flash of gold to my right. Gleaming gold. Gold and creamy brown. I knew without looking, it was temptation at its rawest. It was a Magnum Double Caramel.
No. No. No. I came for gum. I came for fitness. I came to say I walked to 7-11 and didn’t buy a donut.
The boyfriend also saw what I was trying not to see, and the devious ice cream bar pulled him in as well. The draw of the Magnum is a force greater than love, magnetism, gravity.
Without actually feeling or knowing, I opened the sliding door, selected two bars, placed them on the counter and then somehow, I was outside, panting, sweating, shaking.
Without saying a word and with only a knowing glance, we both realized we needed to make it home with our spoils in one piece. Walking and eating ice cream like some kind of lame scene in a herpes commercial was absolutely out of the question. One can’t enjoy ice cream while wheezing and sweating. How were we going to prevent meltage?
We.ran.like.hell.
(Never before had we run with such conviction, such determination.)
My lungs burned. My feet pounded the pavement with the force of the gods. My calves seized, my belly shook, and my knees buckled. I can’t be sure what kept me going, but my guess would be the fear that the inevitable melting of the ice cream bar would compromise its integrity. This would compromise my enjoyment. And you absolutely can’t have that.
We made it home in record time to enjoy our ice cream the only way I know how- on the couch in previously ice cream-stained sweats and a good Netflix binge.
#WillRunForDoubleCaramelMagnums

*I’m almost certain that this post is riddled with grammar mistakes and incorrect verb tenses. I tried.

How Fatty Got Her Groove Back-The Journey

I was going to post a satirical piece about how I’d fare in a zombie apocalypse, but I felt that topic and type of humor would be in poor taste in light of recent events. To that, my thoughts are with those who have been forever affected by the shooting in Vegas. 
I will save the zombie post for another time. 
In its place is a throwback post about an experience I had with a friend in a Warm Flow yoga class. 
This is a humorous post, and I’m choosing to share this, because laughter is what gets me through tough times. I wish no sufferers and family members of victims any disrespect, and I only hope that they find again some happiness and humor in this scary world. 
Last week, A and I decided to give yoga at The Studio another shot, as our heated Vinyasa experience wasn’t the shit show we had envisioned it would be. We have a very limited availability while school is still in session, so our time frame in which to subject ourselves to exercise misery is tough to manage. 
We have both admitted that if we went home prior to working out, upon entering our respective homes, the pull of our couches and fat pants would be too great. 
Because we both understand the large scope of our eternal laziness, we felt it best to not even go home, but to drive straight to the studio. Do not pass “go”, do not collect any slurpees at 7-11 on your way, just get there before the tiny, minuscule flicker of desire has died. That’s been the game plan. 
A different class was offered at our preferred time called, Warm Flow. The name calls to mind a nice warm bath, a calm breeze on a summer day, the natural ebb and flow of the tide. In fat girl speak, it sounded easy.
However, we quickly found out it was anything but. What I didn’t notice upon signing up, was the level of this particular class. The level was a 2-3. In case you aren’t yoga literate, that level means: DA-FUQ. 
Yes, we attended a far too advanced-way hotter than heated Vinyasa-I’m glad I’m still alive to tell about it-yoga class. If heated Vinyasa was hot, this was the pits of hell unbearable. To make matters so much more uncomfortable, I noticed halfway through the class that we were directly underneath the heating vent. It was not even halfway pleasant. The only positive thing I could think of was, “At least I’m sweating my fat off. At least that.” 
Now, as this was a higher level yoga class, the moves were embarrassingly out of reach for us both. A faired slightly better than I, but overall we were both sweaty piles of disgrace. With the heat and the impossible contortions happening, I was actually not even embarrassed that I spent 99% of that class in child’s pose, or sitting slumped over on my mat, in a stupor. 
That was, at least, until the “Starer”.Yes, folks, we had an ogler. 
It was always my understanding that yoga was a kind of private experience. I always thought everyone would be too busy “ohm-ing” and listening to their breath to notice the ineptitude of others. Well, the “Starer” did not get that memo.
When there were only 15 glorious minutes of the class left, the instructor told us we would have time to practice our hand stands. After a snort and an eye roll, A and I decided we would just continue standing awkwardly in the middle of the room. The instructor must have thought that wasn’t kosher, because she actually moved our sweaty mats to the wall in a you’re-gonna-still-try-ya-fatties way. 
We tried the downward dog jumps in place of handstands, because, come on, I saw a broken nose in my immediate future. It was after this that we all found ourselves seated (yes!) on our mats, more or less, facing each other. It was at this point, I noticed the “Starer”. 
The way this person looked at me was more “OMG I can’t believe I’ve just seen the rare Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth” and less, “Wow, it’s a fat person attempting yoga.”
The “Starer” seemed shocked, curious, amused, and slightly disgusted all at the same time. What I wanted to say to this person was: “I know I’m not your usual level 3 Warm Flow yoga participant, but maybe you need to worry more about yo’self and your breathing or that really painful looking camel toe you have going on.”
I knew saying that wouldn’t have made me any friends, and I still have eight classes left on my Groupon for The Studio. I would actually like to show my sweaty face there again. 
And…I’ve discovered I actually want to continue this “yoga thing”.  It seems unbelievable, but I used to be a fairly limber child. When I was just learning to get up as a baby, I would do the splits. My mom thought something was wrong with me, but maybe I’m just naturally flexible? 
Before I got super awkward and tall, I did dance and gymnastics. My body actually used to be able to contort into a handstand backbend. I think I lost my flexibility, but Imma get it back. 
So, to the “Starer”, just you wait. Just.you.wait. *fist waving in air*
“How Fatty Got Her Groove Back” my journey will be called. 

Me, contemplating going back to yoga ūü§Ē

Update: I have yet to get my “groove” back. 

Travel Tuesday- The Point Reyes National Seashore 

I was inspired by An Historian’s post on the Aran Islands, and by my continual wanderlust to write about my recent trip to the Point Reyes National Seashore in California. 
Now, it’s not Ireland or anywhere near as exotic as Croatia (read The Wandering Flamingo’s post about her holiday on ҆ipan Island), but if you’re on the west coast of the United States, and anywhere near San Francisco, it’s a must-do! 
My good friend, Holly and I had originally wanted to drive a piece of the Oregon Coast during our summer vacation girls’ getaway. When we realized that our busy schedules and dwindling teacher bank accounts wouldn’t support such a venture, we looked into checking out the redwoods. I’ve been through the Redwood National Park a couple of times, but not Holly. But, again, we were faced with time constraints. 
Before packing it in, and putting off our trip for another time (Don’t do this, ya’ll. Time is fleeting, and you never know if you’ll get around to seeing everything you want to in one lifetime), Holly suggested we head just north of the Bay Area to the Point Reyes National Seashore. 
Being in Reno means quick access to the San Francisco Bay Area. On a good day, with minimal traffic, one can find themselves perusing the funky shops in Chinatown in 3.5 hours. 
Finding our way to the Point Reyes National Seashore took about the same amount of time, and bonus: no crazy city traffic and hobo street sprinters.
Our first stop along the national seashore was the famous shipwreck in Inverness, California. (I loved being in Inverness *again*!) Often described as “Instagrammable”, it was a fun place to stop and take pictures we, of course, posted on Insta. 

Everything looks better after filters. Amiright?

The strange shipwreck was cool to see, but what was most beautiful was the drastic drop in temperature. It was so nice to leave the 100-degree temperatures behind, even if the humidity gave me an insta-perm. 
The first major stop we made was to the Point Reyes Lighthouse. If you plan on checking out the lighthouse, make sure you visit the National Park Service website for operating hours, as the lighthouse is closed after 4 PM Monday through Friday. Also, if the wind is too strong, the steps leading to the lighthouse will be closed.

It’s important to be aware that the climb to and from the lighthouse is incredibly challenging. Not only will you be climbing the equivalence of 30 floors, the wind is intense. On more than one occasion I felt like I could easily be carried off the cliff by the wind.
Read more about my epic climb in my Trail Fails post. 

Be prepared with extra water, walking shoes, wet wipes and a full tank of gas, as amenities are lacking. Speaking of amenities, the bathrooms are not fabulous and there is no running water to wash your hands. 
All that said, the views of the shoreline, surrounding landscape, and ocean are breathtaking. 




After nearly being blown clear off the coast at the lighthouse, we continued along the seashore. As we drove winding roads that cut through tall fields of grasses being whipped around by the relentless wind, the contrast between the wheat-colored grass and the ever-changing aegean and teal blue water was striking. 

I don’t know why, but this view evoked an Eastern European or Middle Eastern feeling in me. I’ve never been to either, so…I dunno?
 
After a brisk hike along an expanse of the seashore that seemed entirely untouched, we continued on to another location that was eerily desolate. 


Maybe it was because it was late in the afternoon, or it was due to the fact that there was no one else around, but the Marconi radio facilities building felt so incredibly creepy to me. I think, maybe, it was also the long, tree-canopied lane that leads to the decades-old building. I envisioned myself alone in that building, at night, watching as my untimely demise came slowly, but assuredly down the road. 
*shudders*

On the second day of our girl getaway we hung out in some huge trees:

Ate a picnic lunch on Stinson Beach:
 

And, got a killer view of San Francisco from reeeeeally far away:

I’ve seen the otherworldly Scottish Highlands, the impossible green that is Ireland, and the patchwork perfection that is the English countryside, but the Point Reyes National Seashore is another kind of beautiful. 
Really, there is no comparing one beautiful place with another. There are so many kinds of beautiful, that no matter how hard you try, you’ll never see them all in one lifetime. 
Point Reyes is a rugged kind of beautiful, and despite the tourists, remains, somehow, wild and untouched. 
Have you ever been somewhere that reminded you of someplace else, even if you’ve never been to that someplace else? Ever been to a beautiful place that feels undiscovered and wild? Let me know in the comments! 

Some Teaching Truths

In honor of Back to School, I decided to drop some fun teaching truth bombs (Also, I’m swamped this week and list posts are the easiest #sorrynotsorry). Even if you’re not a teacher, you’ll likely relate. If your job is high stress, but also high reward, you’ll for sure relate. Because I really should be labeling all the things instead of writing a blog post, let’s just begin:
1. Unless you’re crazily devoted to a fitness plan or you have a superhero’s will and control, you will eat every carb in your house after a bad day. 
2. Forget about the college “Freshmen Fifteen”. There’s such as a thing as the “Teacher Twenty”. Or, sometimes, the “Educator Eighty”. Also, this can happen during year one or year ten. 
3. You will eat your weight in mini-size chocolate candy. Sometimes in one day. 

#goals

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4. If the day after Valentine’s/Christmas/Easter clearance candy has been cleaned out, you can thank a teacher. 
5. You will get fat. So fat.
6. If food isn’t your happy place (congratulations on not being “pregnant” every year), you will drink copious amounts of wine and at some point in your career, consider rehab, but only the facilities that are more like spas and only because it would be the best sanity-saving vacation ever. 
7. If it comes down to toilet paper or a shiny new pack of Expo markers at the end of the month, markers win-hands down. 

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8. You save straws, bits of fabric, tissue boxes, and one 3 inch piece of string, because it all just may come in handy at some point. 
9. They never come in handy. 
10. Your teacher cabinet/closet/cupboard is a portal to Narnia or another dimension, because it’s where all of your supplies go to never be found again. 
I Googled “messy teacher cabinet” and this popped up. Two things: 1. Ya’ll lyin’ and 2. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Maybe someday I’ll be brave and share my Closet o’ Shame.

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11. No matter how poor you are, you always find a way to buy $80 worth of crap from the Target Dollar Spot. 
12. No matter how frustrating your students can be sometimes, you’re fiercely protective of them when they’re criticized by another teacher who doesn’t know them as well as you. 
13. Your students are your family. Your tribe. You love them. Every year, your heart opens up to allow for 20 more spaces. 
14. You crop dust. It’s only fair. 
15. If you weren’t an emotional person or crier before becoming an educator, you can kiss your shyness/pride goodbye. 
16. You will cry over everything.
17. You will have to kindly remind your students that, “Maybe someone needs to go to the restroom” after toxic waste lunch bombs are dropped all afternoon. 
18. If your student’s book order money is short, you pay what they’re missing without a second thought. 
19. You only go to the bathroom during the day once a week, but during that exact time, admin will walk in. It’s basically a scientific fact. 
20. Your teacher look is such a work of art that an eyebrow raise, lip purse, and nose wrinkle can mean 875 different things and no matter the day, the kid, or the teacher friend, the message is always received loud and clear. 
Trainer at inservice day says, “Pick a partner”-Teacher Bestie and I look at each other like…

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Tell me, who was your favorite teacher and why? Or, make me laugh and tell me an hilarious school or teacher story. 

Comparison is a Bitch, Man

We’ve all heard the quote: “Comparison is the thief of joy” by Theodore Roosevelt. If you’ve never heard this one before, you’re welcome. 

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Ever since coming across this six word, seemingly inconspicuous sentence, my view on comparison has been utterly transformed. I think I’ve always known, we all know, that comparison kills the joy you possess for what you have in life. 
But, it’s just a subconscious understanding, only nibbling at your consciousness when you feel like poop after comparing your cracking pleather Target purse with your friend’s (still nice) pleather Coach bag.
So, I’ve always known on a deeper level that comparing myself with others never ends well, but it wasn’t until reading that quote did it marinate and sink in.
But, because I’m me, it was not a quick fix. I still compare myself, despite knowing it’s not helpful. This is akin to eating a donut everyday for breakfast. I know it’s not good for me, yet I still have chocolate cake donut in the corners of my mouth on a daily basis. 
I’m about to be real with ya’ll.
(I think by now you’ve probably gleaned that this isn’t my usual satire post. I hope I haven’t lost any of you from forehead-on-keyboard boredom.)
Lately, despite considering that quote on a regular basis, I’ve been comparing hardcore where I’m at in life, and with my blog with literally everything and everyone I deem “better” than me. 
Here are some examples:
So and so (x 10) bought a house, so now I feel like I’m failing at adulting. Some of my friends and acquaintances own more than one bed and the latest front-loading washer and dryer. The largest appliance I own is a fucking microwave. It’s easy to get down when you aren’t there yet, despite trying really hard to be. It’s especially fucky when you’re in your mid-30s and you’re still not quite sure how to become a real adult. 
So and so goes on luxurious vacations twice a year and I’m just over here like, “I went to IKEA in Sacramento…” It’s too easy to feel anxious and stir-crazy jealous when you witness endless world traveling on Facebook while you sit on your couch with a pint of ice cream and your only door, at the moment, to the rest of the world-Karl Pilkington and An Idiot Abroad. 
So and so can wear a tank top without fear of knocking over someone with their swinging turkey wings. This ones rough, because nice arms can be obtained, but it’s harder than all the effort needed to achieve everything else in this post combined. 
So and so has thousands of followers after less than a year and gets hundreds of likes on their posts in less than 24 hours. When I come across crazy successful bloggers, I wonder what I’m doing wrong. Why have my posts never gone viral? Why have I never been Freshly Pressed on WordPress (and what is that even)? It’s almost scary how easy it is to compare yourself with other bloggers. When I do this (all the fucking time), I instantly feel less than or worry I’ll be completely irrelevant tomorrow*. 
After many discussions with my blogging buddy, An Historian, I’ve decided enough is enough.

Not only is comparing myself to others depressing, it’s killing my inspiration to be creative in my own unique way. 
It’s time I re-read, more than usual, if necessary, my favorite quote. Here are some truths I’ve learned since my comparison-quote-awakening:
1. Apartment-living ain’t half bad. Not only do I never have to pull a single weed or replace window screens with my own money, when I plug up the toilet beyond basic plunger repair with my abundant toilet paper use, I can call the landlord, instead of the plumber. Also, some people live in squalor. I have granite counter tops in my bathroom. Basically, appreciate the shit you have. Also, if I’m ever destined to own my own house, it’ll happen when it’s meant to happen. 
2. So many other less fortunate people in the world would kill to have my TJ Maxx special, but they’d use it to carry food home to their starving family. Buck the fuck up, baby! 
3. Further, it’s not about the material. When you’re dead and gone, your more-than-my-rent-expensive handbag might find its way to a thrift store where some meth head might steal it to store their meth. Or, some careless person who gets pen marks all inside might own it after you. Shit, maybe it’ll find its way onto the giant ocean garbage mountain and some Humpback Anglerfish might use it as its home. Did your bag really matter that much in the grand scheme of things? The answer is “no”**. 
4. Travel is one of the most sought after things in life. It’s worth it to skip the Starbucks to save a few bucks that can quickly turn into a few hundred bucks. All of that can be used to go somewhere that can mean more than any material object (even an Ombr√© Pink Drink). 
5. My body isn’t perfect and never will be. Other than a few freak alien exceptions (Candice Swanepoel anyone?), we all have imperfect bodies. We all have body parts we wish were firmer, smaller, bigger, flatter, etc. Whenever I get to feeling really self-conscious around taught-skinned gorgeous women, I pretend they are hiding a huge skin flap on their butthole (I saw that on an episode of Embarassing Bodies, so that’s a thing now). Also, we can’t all be hilarious and gorgeous. 
6. Comparing myself with other writers, especially those in my same genre is the most detrimental comparing I do. I’ve decided that just because someone else is an exceptional writer and is genuinely funny, doesn’t negate the fact that I can be too. I have my own style and so does the next funny guy. We can all be funny. We can all support each other. Kumbaya and all that shit. 
 
7. Finally, there will always be someone who has better, looks better, and seems to always have all the luck. On the flip side, someone is probably looking at me, thinking, “Why, oh why, can’t I be like that magestic beast?” 
OK, that last one made me choke on my oatmeal cookie Halo Top. 
But, you never know.
Life is mysterious. Live your life in a way that makes your heart sing, your creativity blossom, and your belly feel happy and full without worrying about anyone else.
Fuck yo couch. 
*This in no way denotes that I do not appreciate the massive recognition my blog gets from my amazing supporters. I love you all times one million cupcakes. *muah*
**If you love material things, don’t be offended. I love the shit out of material things. Why else am I at Target every weekend scrounging through the discount bins for my 1,453rd cute pencil/magazine/flower/makeup/whatever holder? I feel you. 

Trail Fails

Historically, I have never been the one who is known for her athletic ability, nor have I ever been loved for my adventurous outdoorsmen spirit. Because I do not possess either of those. Never in my life have I been asked, “Hey, want to snowshoe across Siberia with me this winter?” (Who fucking does that anyway?)
Despite this, I have really been wanting to get into walking local trails for exercise. Well, if we are being completely honest, I just really want to marvel at the beauty of nature while I sit my fat ass on a comfortable rock. Doing this while eating something, like a dripping slice of watermelon heaven would really just be the cherry on top.
Because getting anyone I know to just sit in nature with me, without sounding like a total lazy loser, is a hard sell, I have been trying to be adventurous by engaging in hiking.
Well, I can most assuredly say that hiking don’t want my fat ass. Hiking wants me to just stay at home with my Halo Top ice cream and Netflix. Hiking does not play.
I’m going to detail three times I failed on the trails recently. Really, this could also qualify as a “This Is Why I’m Fat” post, because almost anyone would have given up after the first failed attempt. So, I hope the Trail Gods are listening. Ya’ll have some work to do…
A week or so ago (I’m a teacher on summer break, so I have no idea what day it is), a friend and I went on a much-needed girl getaway to the Point Reyes Seashore in California.

I stand or crouch behind all of my friends in pictures to appear smaller!
It was gorgeous, but strenuous. We did a lot of walking, trailing, and huffing and puffing.
1. The Stair Climb of Doom
Our first order of business was almost dying on the stairs to and from the Point Reyes Lighthouse. The climb is equivalent to 30.flights.of.stairs.
30 flights, ya’ll. 
I just thought I’d reiterate in case you missed it the first time.

It’s like the freaking Wall of China!
I’m 1000% sure my friend didn’t let on to that fact beforehand, because she knew for certain that it’d be a hard pass from me.
Despite the fact that an elderly man passed me on the hike up the stairs (do you see him in the picture?), and I had to stop at every rest point, it was actually totally worth the sweat-drenched pits and rat’s nest hair (it was so windy, that my phone almost blew away several times).
Fat Pro Tip: Stop to take a picture of literally anything every five minutes or so in order to catch your breath. They’ll have *no* idea!
 
2. Cataract Fall-Down-The-Hill-Trail
The day after almost needing to be airlifted from the lighthouse steps, we did some more adventurous trailing. I figured, “Why not? Might as well work on another bunion!”
The first few trails were quite easy, as there was no elevation or climb whatsoever. It was absolutely grand. Because we didn’t have to expend energy on moving our bodies up a steep hill, we had energy to climb trees and crawl into reproductions of Native American dwellings. I felt like an obese kid again (I was actually not obese as a child, strangely enough).
My legs were so sore from the previous day’s adventures, I almost didn’t make it out of that squat.
How I got up in that tree…I still don’t know!
 
It wasn’t until we thought it would be a good idea to try to find the Cataract Falls did we have problems. This is also the part in my story where I’m going to be putting All Trails on blast.
Not only was the following hike not “easy” as it was mistakenly rated, one of the lengths of the “loop” was not a trail at all. It was a grassy hill, and we almost broke our asses more times than I’d like to admit as we stepped/slid at a snail’s pace the whole entire way down. 
(I was also insanely afraid a mountain lion was going to come up behind me. Do you think that was irrational?)
Does this look like a trail to you??
This was a steep mother-effer!
When we made it to the bottom of the hill and the actual trail, we found that our pants, socks, and shoes were positively filled with foxtails and these terrible poky stickers that were absolute bitches to get off of our clothes and shoelaces.
We sat on the ground for a good 20 minutes, plucking shit out of everywhere!
If this wasn’t bad enough, when we got to our first trail marker, nowhere did it say “This way to the waterfall”, and the names of the available trails had nothing to do with the trail we thought we were on. We went the wrong way for 30 minutes before we got service on our phones and could see where we were on the trail.
When we finally found the waterfall, after a huge descent into what looked like middle earth, it was stunning and worth the trials we went through to get there. Well, it was a beautiful experience until I realized that’d I’d have to climb back to the car at some point.
Honestly, at one point during the hot, sweaty, and ugly hike back, I questioned how much it would cost for Search and Rescue to retrieve me from the trail.
It was so bad. And hard. 
The waterfall was a pretty anticlimactic affair, but the surrounding area was beautiful in an otherworldly-way.
3. Jones Creek Loop Trail AKA Call For Help
After being back home for a week or so, I decided that I would try hiking again (Why? Maybe I am a masochist, or I feel I deserve punishment for past transgressions?). So, the boyfriend and I looked up easy trails in the trees. Shade FTW!
We settled on the Jones Creek Loop Trail because it was rated as easy and only 1.5 miles.
We used the All Trails’ directions app, and it took us right to the trail head.
After a little trek that was almost all uphill, we came upon a sign. It said, “Jones Creek Loop”, and it had two arrows pointing to the right and to the left. Considering it was a loop, we figured it didn’t matter which way we went, as it would just bring us right back to where we started.
We seemed to be hiking quite awhile when the boyfriend remarked, “I think 1.5 miles seems longer when we are on a trail, because it’s not just a straight stretch?”
At least the scenery was gorgeous!

At this point, we were getting a little apprehensive. We also realized that our “loop” did not seem to be looping back to where we started whatsoever-we just kept heading further and further away.
We saw a man coming off of another trail (I will get to the myriad off shoots of unmarked trails in a minute…) and we asked him how to get back to the parking lot. He said we needed to go in the direction we were headed in, but for three or four more miles.
HOLD UP.
Somehow we got onto the wrong trail, but we had not taken any of the unmarked trails that veered off of the main trail.
At this point, my stress began causing my asthma to flare up, and I saw images of us, emaciated and half-eaten by mountain lions, in front of my eyes, like a mirage.
We decided to just keep walking and hope the guy didn’t know what he was talking about.
Ten minutes and almost all of our water later, we saw another guy coming off some other trail. I tried to stay calm when I asked him how we could get back to our car. While I was asking him, the boyfriend was off admiring some bark, pretending he didn’t belong to the sweaty girl who was in a near panic.
The guy said he was headed to the parking lot, and we could follow him.
A half mile later, we saw what looked like civilization and our spirits rose. We came upon a parking lot, but we quickly realized, stomachs sinking, it was not our parking lot.
As we were looking at the posted map and trying to look cool, like, “We meant that”, the guy waved us over.
He realized that he had led us to the wrong parking lot. He offered us a ride back to our car, three miles away.
We had somehow ended up on the 9 mile trail called the same damn thing as the 1.5 mile trail.
So, we ended that trail fail crammed into the cab of a tiny truck belonging to a very kind man. The whole way back to our car, I was trying not to reek of sweat and defeat.
We massively failed on the trails again only yesterday, and I was going to write about that fail too, but I have already gone on long enough.
The clouds were epic!

I will say, though, that the most recent fail is not entirely our fault. What in the actual eff is up with All Trails and their “easy” loop trails? Not only are they not easy, whoever is creating trails that feed off of the loop ought to be taken out back and given a stern talking to. In my mind, a loop is just that, A LOOP. Yet, every single trail we have tried is not really a loop, but a maze of deviating trails that go off in every fucking direction.
Really, it is no small miracle that more people do not get horribly lost in the woods on “easy” trails.
Or.
We are just utter idiots, and we need to take a “Trails For Dummies” course.
Tell me: Have you ever gotten lost on trails? Is it just me who can’t seem to find my way on “easy” trails? Help a fatty out! Let me know in the comments.
 
 
 

Decision Made

Well, I did it. I sent the email declining the job offer. Before anyone tells me I just lost an incredible opportunity, let me first be clear about a few things:
1. I’ve learned throughout this process that I need to stop taking to heart how others feel when what I really need to be doing is listening more intently to my own beat.
2. It’s really fucking expensive to move to another country, and until you know my finances intimately, you don’t really know. You know?
I don’t mean to sound rude, but it’s really, really hard to make such a huge decision when left and right you’re told that money doesn’t matter, or that you’re wussing out because you don’t want to be going down the road to bankruptcy town. All of my young adult years I went about my business as if money didn’t matter and it led to serious problems. I¬†cannot continue down that path.
Continue reading “Decision Made”

Yoga and Cupcakes

Hello All! It is me again. I have some exciting news! The pictures I took for the magazine have finally been edited and sent to me to use on my blog! This was way back in November, and I thought the day that I would get to share these on my blog would never come!
These pictures are the ones I wanted to be featured in the magazine. They were not the ones chosen, but, oh well, because even more importantly, I get to share them with my lovely readers!
I believe I shared already that modeling ain’t for no punk bitch. Let me reiterate, I give massive props to models. They are incredibly resilient and strong. I was exhausted after 4 hours of shooting in the same position!
The photographer actually took my crazy venture seriously, and he took some 400 pictures. He spent an hour just setting things up to look ‘just right’. I am eternally grateful.
Because, obviously, I am no model, I assumed he would snap a couple pictures and then move on to more serious projects. No, he was incredibly professional and kind.
Without further ado, I present to you the fruits of my “modeling” labor.

Yoga and Cupcakes
Photo credits go to Michael Artemis of Artemis Photo Works. Makeup and hair done by Michelle Jared.

Yoga and Cupcakes 2
Photo credit goes to Michael Artemis of Artemis Photo Works. Makeup and hair done by Michelle Jared.