The Astromaid Chronicles

Slow Travel, Creative Living, and Speculation

Page 3 of 25

Farewell, 2015!

Welp, it’s basically the end of the year. Are you all as curious/chagrined/baffled/excited as I am?

Looking back at my blog, all the way from its incipiency (looking at Phil) in 2012, I see that in December 2012 I wrote nothing about the year behind, or the year upcoming. At the end of 2013 I didn’t either, but at the beginning of 2014 I did write a small list of resolutions (which I can verify were ALL achieved…though I might have made them highly achievable on purpose). At the end of 2014 I wrote nothing, and also in early 2015 remained silent on the matter.

In summary, I’m basically saying “I never write about year end’s or resolutions, except for those couple of times I did”.

So what’s different about this year-end? Well, not much. I don’t feel particularly inclined to wax poetic about the challenges faced, the cherry-picked memories—both good and bad—that dapple my little fruit tree of life. I mean, I definitely could wax poetic. I’ll wax your poets as hard as the next girl, don’t get me wrong.

What’s different is that I want to make a little mention. Not a full blown “grab the wax and the sun screen because I’m gonna be waxing this poet until I get a sunburn”-style, but just, hold a little memorial.

I want to lay 2015 to rest; say a few words over its grave, if you will. Because a year so highly awesome and strange as this one deserves it.

(But, see? I think all my years are awesome and strange. So this has no bearing on previous years, and my lack of mentioning them. What I’m trying to get around saying is that I’m an erratic blogger and sometimes I just write these posts in my journal instead of online. Moving on.)

2015 was a baller year.

I got married to the most incredible, sweet, delightful, and loving man I could have hoped to meet. I moved back to the United States. I went to India. I published a story about my poop, and got paid for it. I rented my first house in my hometown. Jorge and I applied for his residency and hired a lawyer. I lived in Peru, and left it. I climbed Huayna Pichu, which finally laid to rest any residual qualms about my post-surgical recuperationI studied with two Ashtanga teachers, both of which impacted my personal practice in a huge way. I sat in ceremony again, under a different shaman. I paid for my wedding reception in mostly cash, but also slipped further into credit card debt. I came home in a very significant way that involved re-connecting with so many people, re-integrating in a serious, lovely, much-needed way.

Thinking about January 2015 feels like it was just a couple weeks ago. That’s frightening (though not uncommon); before we know it, we’ll be in this spot again, feeling like December 31st, 2015 wasn’t that long ago.

I don’t have a problem with waxing poetic about life; really, we all should do it more often. Though I bristle that it’s typically year-end’s that prompt the introspection (whereas I think it’s helpful to maintain this introspection throughout the year), I also recognize the beauty and ritual of our need to reflect at a designated mile-marker.

Sometimes we get caught up. Or maybe we forget. Any reminder to pause and look back, and then also look ahead, is a welcome one.

I’m excited for 2016, as I have been for every other year. I expect the greatest, the best, the most meaningful, the most loving, the most challenging, the most trying experiences. And I expect I shall find all of them contained within the messy, sparkling, infuriating, perpetual yet fleeting gem that is the upcoming year.

How was 2015 for you guys? What stood out–and what didn’t? What do you hope for the next year? And what are some resolutions or intentions you have for 2016?

Who Wore It Better? A New Series!

Somewhere around the 1-year mark, Jorge’s and my wardrobe fused into one cohesive unit, likes bones healing from a break. Now that it’s awkwardly reconstituted into one weird, lumpy mass, I just can’t for the life of me recover some of the clothes he’s claimed as his own.

To be fair, we don’t usually share underwear or pants, and he’s only worn my leggings once, during an emergency bathroom run when an old roommate’s guests were around. We’ve all had crazy moments of desperation, OK?

But it’s gotten to a point where he has effectively subsumed a lot of my clothing into his own rotating rack–too much of my clothing, in fact.

(Author’s Note: I love the word subsume. Please try to use it today, if at all possible.)

I can’t quite cry foul play on this, though, because I wear a lot of his clothing. In fact, I wear his clothing daily. I think what the culprit must ultimately be is that we have the same taste of clothing. Like, he dresses as I would if I were a man, and I must dress how he would if he were a woman, though I feel bad for him because I literally have the most boring clothes and still only wear leggings.

You guys might think I’m joking, but I’m not. I dare anyone who knows me in real life to recall the last time I wore pants.

That’s right.

There we go. You can’t remember, can you? Thought not.

Anyway…being that the tectonic plate of my wardrobe has been effectively consumed by his own bigger, more aggressive tectonic plate (what?!), I am forced to take my case to the internet and pose my appeal to the world.

WHO WEARS IT BETTER BETWEEN US? There must be a victor, obviously. And occasionally, I will share with you all the evidence of our rampant clothing swapping so we can decide who it looks better on.

And unfortunately, or maybe inevitably, Jorge will probably win. I married this guy, I know how stinkin’ cute he is. And he just looks good in anything. So I’m already starting the race with a twisted ankle.

But all that my husband is prettier than I am whining aside…let’s see who wore it better this week!

Shannon in Puerto Varas, Chile

Here I am, crouching in the woods in southern Chile for no apparent reason, wearing the token green sweater! Jorge tries to claim it for his own, but I resist his advances.

Jorge in Potosi, Bolive

But on more than one occasion he’s been able to steal it from me, and it looks like this when he does.

What do you guys think? Comment below, or tell me to my face, which of us wins this round of WHO WORE IT BETTER, the Jorge & Shannon edition!

Reception Re-Cap (Wedding Woes & Wonders Pt. 6)

So in this Wedding Woes & Wonders series, I skipped right from making the centerpieces to standing triumphantly on the other side of the whole damn thing.

That’s right. It’s over! It happened! It has now become an extremely fond memory instead of a pending, distant, anxiety-producing event!

WHOOOOOOO!!!

And not only did it happen, it was awesome. I had so much fun. My guests had fun. The main objective of gather people in one spot HAPPENED, and with SUCCESS!!

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Our venue, Vermilion on the Lake, prior to the festivities. Please note the cloud lamps, which hover on the fine line between Pintrest Fail and Functional Decoration, and the accompanying planes.

It was so fun that I bust my foot open and bled all over my dress and didn’t even notice until five hours later.

It was so fun that time went by in a frightening vortex whirlwind and suddenly it was over.

It was so fun that by the time I got home, I realized I hadn’t taken a single picture with my father, or my wedding party (oops!).

It was so fun that I didn’t eat a single bite of food–and only ate some of my cake because a friend snagged me a piece.

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Originally three-tiered, we had to move the top tier to the side due an unfortunate leak in the dulce de leche. This meant we had on offer a regular cake, a vegan cake, and a leaking cake.

It was so fun that Jorge didn’t eat any food OR cake at ALL! (How sad! He really missed out.)

I’ll stop there. Do we get the gist yet that it was fun?

That said, nothing went according to schedule. The meticulous “flight plan” I had laid out (according to the travel theme) didn’t go down as I thought it would. Our dinner was almost two hours behind schedule, due to some problems beyond our control. Despite that, we still ate at a decent time–around 7:30PM–and the food was DELICIOUS, and WAY better than the regular catering fare found at most reception events, letmetellya. My best friend’s husband and my buddy, Matt, was in charge of the dinner, and he finagled a wild success despite all the setbacks that might have had any other chef crying limply in the corner.

Being behind schedule, however, meant that my previously-envisioned “down time” during eating never occurred–which meant that I nixed the slide show presentation I’d been saving to regale our guests with during dinner. That was fine, because eating later meant that the band began playing once people had eaten. And live music is always the best answer for anything!

We did manage to fit in our surprise passport game, which was super fun and a great distraction as people waited for dinner. The game didn’t appear on our flight plan, so people checking the timeline probably wondered why almost nothing on the itinerary was happening as written.

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Looking for volunteers for our passport game where they raced to collect the most passport stamps in 60 seconds. The passports were to Pangaea and Hell. Whoever won meant that either Jorge or I would decide how to spend they money we had raced around to collect.

My Takeaways (or, things I would do differently if for some unimaginable reason I had to do this over again):

1.) Don’t print the schedules. They were a cute idea, but being a former-reception-virgin, I didn’t realize just how far the party train can careen off the tracks. Now, it just serves as a reminder of the way things didn’t go. Plus, I have WAY more left over than I thought I would. I could have saved probably $20 not printing as many.

2.) Remember to take pictures with your family and wedding party. I am still kicking myself for this one. I even had TWO photographers and we didn’t get a group shot with the wedding party, or with my father or his side of the family. My mom’s side of the family was there, and we managed to snag a shot with that side because one of my aunts gathered us all together on a whim. To be fair, my main photog Fenna was also being used as a chef in the kitchen, as well as a cake slicer, photo op presenter and overseer, general announcer, and many other roles. She wore ALL THE HATS that night!

2015_12_05 Shannon and Jorge Wedding Celebration (45)

Gotta give mad props to your photographer when she takes pictures AND does all the other stuff, as well! She wore all the hats–including an actual tiny hat with some sort of squirrel on it, which I’m sorry I didn’t steal from her!

3.) Buying extra cups is good. Spoons, not so much. Per the suggestion of my friends, I went back and bought extra dinner plates, cake plates, dinner napkins, cups, forks, and spoons (I decided last minute not to get extra knives because nobody ever uses those, pfff.) I had originally purchased enough for 150 guests, which was overshooting my expected number by maybe 20-30 people. I thought buying 150 of everything would be fine. But then, per wise recommendations, I bought an extra round of almost everything, and THANK GOD I HAVE PEOPLE WHO KNOW WHAT THEY’RE DOING IN MY LIFE. I have 4 cups, 3 dinner plates and about 5 forks leftover. On the flip side, an entire unopened package of spoons AND knives leftover (even after NOT buying extra knives), as well as a frightening mass of cake plates and cake napkins. The cake definitely disappeared, so I’m not sure how they moved it from stand to mouth without any of those cake plates or napkins.

4.) Expect strange shit to happen. Anxiety runs high on days like these. Big events in general tend to coax whatever sort of Murphy’s Law gods from their caverns in the mountains so they can peer down and provoke mischief. We certainly had a few of these instances. Like the eerie mist that hung around the city for the entire day–very strange, since most mist or fog scenarios clear up by mid-morning. And then there was the lighting in the food room–for whatever reason, the lights kept turning off, which made it hard for people to find the appetizers, mingle, etc. We had to flip the breaker switch four times. We also had a near-electrical fire, a keg incident, and empty gas grills.

I point out the things that veered off course only in the spirit of talking about the woes. Really, these were no woes at all. They were mere bumps in the road–or turbulence in the air–during our journey to a really great December celebration of our August wedding.

What’s more, I didn’t realize how FUN it would be to have a large majority of my loved ones gathered in one place. I never expected my stepdad to regale friends with stories from my childhood; I never expected my family to be so in love with the live music of my hometown buddies; I never thought so many people would come up to personally tell me how cool all my friends are, and how nice the evening had been.

This evening reminded me how much love is in my life. How much love surrounds me, at every turn. How incredibly blessed I am to have so many wonderful friends and family members in my life.

I just hope I can shine love back as brightly to all those who share this life with me. God, I hope I do.

I hope you all can feel it.

I hope you all know that when I say thank you it’s coming from a frighteningly deep place inside my heart.

We’re so thankful for everyone who came to share in this day with us; thankful for our friends and family who helped make this day what it was.

We’re so thankful to know you all, to share our lives with you all.

And at the end of it, this day was exactly what we’d been hoping for: one grand moment to celebrate, revel, shriek, smile, scream, move, and sing with each other. A day to show you all how much Jorge and I love each other, and how much we love you all. A day to get silly and dress up and eat yummy food and snap pictures and feel good that we all know each other, that we have each other as friends or family or passengers on this wild airplane ride called Life.

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Feeling Centered…about the Centerpieces (Wedding Woes & Wonders Pt. 5)

I’ll be honest, I don’t really know what the hell I’m doing when it comes to planning this reception. My main MO is to make it as cheap as possible, as I’ve mentioned before, while not compromising the basic essentials of what I want this celebration to be.

That said, it’s coming together extremely well. It kind of feels like wandering into the forest for a routine camping trip, and then something happens and all of your important gear goes up in flames, and you have to figure out how to survive really quickly because it’s getting cold at night and there might be bears. At first, it really sucks to learn how to survive in the wild and forage for your berries and keep the fire going, but then you get the hang of it and by the time the rescue helicopter comes you leave the forest feeling like a legit survival expert.

That’s the only apt analogy I can come up with for how this reception planning process feels to me.  I’ve been doing things mostly my own way (which is also sort of just the way that my best friends suggest it to me). I don’t have a robust arsenal of survival skills–I mean, party planning skills–and sometimes I feel like the bears have sniffed out my location and will tear us to shreds. While this  means overseeing a lot of extra details (like, furnishing my own table covers, and making all my decorations from scratch, and figuring out real quick whether these leaves are poisonous), it also means that I am a little out of touch with what the rest of the world is doing when it comes to wedding/reception planning.

And after a visit to my local craft store the other day, I realized I’m actually way more out of touch than I realized.

After some very goal-oriented browsing at the store, I stumbled upon their bridal aisle. Ah yes, I thought. Most craft stores have these! I wonder what treasures they hold? I took a gander for posterity’s sake. And to see if there was anything I might “need” for my current mission.

To wit, there was not. But I did stumble upon this:

The $6.50 bouquet cover!

The $6.59 bouquet wrap!

Holy shit. Hang on. A bouquet wrap? I don’t know if my consternation upon viewing this has to do more with the wedding industry or just consumerism in general. A bouquet wrap is, to me, a useless product, as I’ll explain below. But at the same time, I can see lots of brides out there really getting into the details, all the way down to the color of the lace on the bouquet cover. So, hey. To each his or her own bouquet. 

On my wedding day, I used a bouquet of hand-picked flowers from my friend’s garden. I went to her house and we picked them out together. Then, I took the bunch of flowers to my house in a mason jar full of water. When the time came, I picked up the flowers, grabbed a rubber band, and tied that sucker around the stems.

Before we left for the courthouse, one of my friends said, “Do you have anything to wrap around the flowers? So it looks nicer.”

The question dumbfounded me. The flowers didn’t look nice enough already? I said, “Uh…no, actually.”

So someone in my intimate friend’s group looked around the house, and snagged a piece of ribbon attached to godknowswhat laying around.

There you have it. Bouquet wrap. On-the-go. Last-minute. Totally free.

did not know prior to that moment that bouquet covers were even a thing I’d have to think about when preparing for my “big day”. In fact, I still maintain that it is NOT a thing one should think about. Having a rubber band around some flower stems is totally fine. Because who actually cares?

I was grateful that my friend thought to snag the ribbon and tie up the flowers. It did look nicer. And I think that most people, if given the opportunity, could find some subtle, easy replacement for these “necessities” as posited by the wedding machine.

If I could save close to $7 on a bouquet cover that is, by all rights, unnecessary, what else could I save by looking around my house and using things more readily at my disposal? Instead of buying pre-packaged solutions that aren’t “solving” as much as creating a false problem?

The limits of this approach are totally self-defined, especially in an arena such as wedding and reception planning. How far can I take it? Well, I won’t be furnishing my own tablecloths by sewing together worn-out leggings, that’s for sure. Nor will I be only using recycled paper for my craft projects, or borrowed cutlery, etc. I’m buying lots of things new, and receiving lots of used things as well. Each bride/person is responsible for deciding what the important parts are, what deserves a higher percentage of the budget.

My centerpieces are a good example of this. I wanted 1.) attractive 2.) personal 3.) cheap, in that order. Being that our party centers around travel, I decided to make centerpieces that reflect places Jorge and I have traveled together–a way to showcase our travel photos, share information with guests, and create a unique table naming system.

Here’s the cost breakdown:

$1.87 per sheet of poster board needed to create the centerpieces. Each sheet makes 3 centerpieces, and we need a total of 16-17. So, we’ll get 6 sheets of this stuff. TOTAL: $11.22

$0.50 per print of 4×6 photos. I’ve printed about 40 photos for this centerpiece project. TOTAL: $20.00.

$0.10 per copy of black/white documents, printed at the library. I was doing this to print out the copy used for the centerpieces, but then switched to a printer I already owned but was at my father’s house. I made about 15 copies of various things. TOTAL: $1.50

$0.25 per copy of color documents at Staples. I printed a large variety of maps, which were used as part of the centerpiece design. TOTAL: $3.75

CENTERPIECE COST TOTAL: $36.47

Like I said, I’m pretty out of touch with what things cost and how other people are doing their parties. But this seems like a pretty good deal to me, especially since this accounts for 16-17 guest tables AND blends function with personal meaning. It doesn’t count for labor, but let’s just say it’s free, because I enjoy doing it, and I’ll only have to put in this time once in my life.

What do you guys think? Anybody know what regular centerpiece prices are? What do other people even use for centerpieces? Am I crazy, spot-on, or something else? 

Planning The Reception (Wedding Woes & Wonders Pt. 4)

Here’s how the story goes.

One day, as my girlfriends and I were unamusedly browsing the consumer-bereft Sandusky Mall for a wedding-appropriate dress for my upcoming ceremony, one of my best gals, Annessia, suggested a venue. She’d attended a friend’s wedding at a place called Vermilion on the Lake. I had never heard of such a wildly-hyphenated locale, but after her eloquent and vivid description, I fell in love.

“I want this place,”I told her. “I want it now!”

We pulled up pictures on a cell phone and gawked at the gorgeousness. It seemed perfect. Almost too perfect. Like, this is exactly what I’ve been dreaming of and didn’t know it actually existed perfect.

Vermilion-on-the-Lake, OH.

Vermilion-on-the-Lake, OH.

And then I pulled up the calendar of available dates. My original pair of dates, either of the middle weekends of November, were already booked. And with no surprise! Who can call only five months prior to a reception date to reserve a locale that is one of the most desired locations in the region for weddings and gatherings?

Apparently, it turns out I can. By a stroke of luck, the first weekend in December was open, only two weeks after my originally-planned reception date. And the next day by noon, I had that sucker reserved.

“You sure scooted in at the last minute,” the raspy-voiced volunteer told me on the phone that day. “It’s only July, and we’re already accepting reservations for through 2016!”

Damn straight.

Before Jorge and I got married, one thing was certain. We wanted a big ass party on both ends of the world, and both parties would feature live music, awesome food, and red wine.

Those were basically the only stipulations. But then other factors entered in, like money. Our venue alone rings in at the cheaper end of the scale (or so I’m told) at over $1,200. Throwing a big ass party anywhere involves a hefty chunk of change. And if you want to avoid hefty chunks of change, you need to either have immaculate planning capabilities, extremely wealthy investors, and/or best friends/family members involved in all the businesses you plan to hire.

Of course, Jorge and I don’t have immaculate planning capabilities, nor do we have any wealthy investors (BUT IF ANYONE WOULD LIKE TO APPLY FOR THE POSITION…), or even family members that work in any related industries. The deeper I delved into planning the reception, the more I realized there exists a  sharply inverted relationship between low cost  and level of involvement in planning.

As in, for someone like me who doesn’t really like to get messy in the details of planning an event of this size, saving money means that I’d have to oversee every detail myself. Instead of relying on hired companies to connect the dots for me, I’d have to bring my own pen and coloring book and fill in all the spaces on my own. 

But things have been working out spectacularly well. And it has a lot to do with the amazing friends and family in my life.

Painting Planes and Taking Names

Planes…planes…and more planes.

My best friend Becky and her husband have become my wedding reception planners, helping me with all manner of details from centerpieces to even cooking for the event. Other friends have stepped up with decoration help, especially in the detail-focused areas that pain me most (*cough cough* painting those damn airplanes). My best friend Jamie is arming my bridal party (yes, I needed to outsource that), my mother has offered to take on the role of in-flight captain announcements (more on that later),  and my friends from within the community have cut me quite a deal for their super-talented performance at the party.

Other details swirl in the background; my dad’s recommendation to make the invitation a boarding pass, and the miraculous discovery of such a design online weeks later; another friend’s recommendation to stop by a graphics place in town to have a project dream realized, which may save me $400.

I could go on and on.

It turns out, I have a lot more help and creative input than I originally imagined. I am not doing this on my own. Not by a long shot. And between all of my friends, family, and community at large, we are arming one helluva party that will be, at the very least, a fun and  tasty time.

When asked how things are going and I answer with an honest, “Oh, a little stressful”, a couple people have responded with the following:

I wish I could tell you not to stress about it, but you will anyway! So just know that it’s gonna be fine.

I love that response. It’s true, it’s real, and it’s a direct nod to the feelings that are very inevitable and wrapped up in this whole experience.

It’s been stressful to plan the thing in the first place, and more stressful to oversee so many details that I wish I actually did have the money to just outsource. But at the end of it, I know it’s gonna be great, and worth all the stress.

And then…we’ll have a second one to plan. Except that time, Jorge’s gonna be the one behind the wheel. Just as most of the planning duties fall on my shoulders here since I’m the native gal in this region, he’s the one who will know how to navigate the system down yonder. And that means I can just relax and enjoy the February summer in Argentina…sipping red wine and wearing all my dresses for their second go-around.

#LifeHack: Go To Bed…With A Calculator

My whole life I’ve been a night owl. During the middle and high school years, I would hit my creative groove somewhere around 10PM and sit hunched in my bed, scribbling furiously into notebooks until 1 or 2AM.

As an adult, it’s not much different. Though I might not be writing until 1 or 2 AM every night, I certainly get my second-wind around 10PM. Once midnight hits, creativity blooms. I want to finish all the random tasks I’ve left undone from throughout the day; I want to start a new story; I want to finally organize all those pictures I’ve been meaning to consolidate for years. I want to purchase plane tickets and start a family. I CAN DO IT ALL IN THE WEE HOURS!

It’s like my To-Do list in the wee hours is a single-celled organism multiplying endlessly, simply by dividing in half and floating off to find more of its newly-spawned kind.

My To-Do list is floating somewhere between the ribosoom and cytoplasma.

And for as long as I’ve hit the creative stride in the nighttime hours, is as long as I’ve struggled with waking up in the morning.

Some people are natural morning people. I am NOT.

Let me repeat this–I DO NOT ENJOY WAKING UP EARLY.

I’m not one of those crusty colleagues who rolls into work at 8AM, bleary-eyed no matter what, and denouncing the fact that “mornings exist”. Trust me–I’m not that type of averse to mornings. I can make it to early morning obligations just fine.

The problem is the waking up part. Like, it physically PAINS ME sometimes to wake up if I haven’t snagged a solid 7-8 hours of sleep. But if I’ve gotten my fair share? Totally fine to wake up…provided it’s not before 7AM.

But these days it’s been more of the painful kind of waking up, and it’s been downright confusing. I listen to my body, and when it tells me to sleep more even though I’m getting what I assume is good sleep, I listen. I notice. And I wonder what the hell is going on.

International travel tends to take a certain toll on me. Multiple late nights/early mornings tend to require a solid sleep-in day somewhere down the line.

But recently? I’ve been getting to bed by 12:30AM most nights, and struggling to wake up by 9AM. What’s the deal here?

It’s a perplexing situation that makes me feel like a total loaf. One of my best friends, Heather, and I frequently update each other on the status of various bodily functions and biological systems, so this came up in a conversation recently.

I mentioned that despite allowing myself seemingly enough sleep time, my body still wanted to sleep way past 9AM, even though I was getting into bed around 1230AM. It seemed like, if left to do its own thing, my body would wake up (and crawl out of bed and leave my head behind, because the way I’m describing my body sounds like it acts of its own accord) at 11AM. WHY DO I NEED MORE THAN EIGHT HOURS OF SLEEP?

I also mentioned that every day, I get woken up with Jorge at 7:30AM as he prepares himself for work.

Upon reflecting further, I realized that historically, when I get woken up before my proper wake time, I seem to then sleep much longer than I wanted or even planned. But if I can sleep all the way through, I’ll only need roughly 8 hours.

Was there something to this? Heather did a little savvy internet searching and came back with this: THE SLEEPY TIME CALCULATOR.

This site will calculate what time you should wake up, based on your bed time (or vice versa) in order to obtain full sleep cycles and wake up feeling more refreshed.

What I found out from this calculator is that if I’m going to bed at 12:30AM, I should be waking up at either 6:30AM or 8AM. Waking up at 7:20AM, like I have been with Jorge, is kind of smack dab in the middle of a sleep cycle. And, as it says on the site…

sleepyti.me works by counting backwards in sleep cycles. Waking up in the middle of a sleep cycle leaves you feeling tired and groggy, but waking up in between cycles wakes you up feeling refreshed and alert!

Ah-ha! This may be the reason for my extra-sleep-needing, and not, as I had feared, a strange and pernicious symptom of an upcoming rare disease that manifests by total morning sloth. 

I don’t mean THIS sloth, but rather the deadly sin sloth. [Photo Credit: www.worldwildlife.org]

Armed with knowledge and a buoyant sense of wellness, I checked the calculator to see what time I should go to bed from now on. If I want to wake up with Jorge in the morning so that my sleep cycle is not interrupted, and then catch one more cycle just for shits and giggles once he’s off to work…Sleepy Time Master recommends that I go to sleep at 11:50PM OR 1:20AM.

Perfect.

My night owl innards are rejoicing, and science supports my need to stay up later. See, world? I can’t go to bed at 12:30AM. Pff! I’ll interrupt my sleep cycle in the morning!

And if there’s one thing I don’t want to do as I’m nearing 30…it’s fuck with obtaining my 5-6 recommended sleep cycles per night.

Wake Up And Smell The New Release!

It’s time, folks.

My fabled Cordoban saga has rocketed to immortality on the coattails of the shining comet that is the Travelers’ Tales anthology!

Listen, pooping is basically one of my hobbies. And the fact that I live in a world where I can not only write about poop, but also publish that story AND get paid for it?

This is unreal. My life’s dream.

Because maybe I HAVE been waiting my whole life to publish a poop story. In fact, this may be my culminating moment. If I die tomorrow…it will happen with the knowledge that somebody in the world paid me for a story about my bowel movement. 

Unreal.

And guess what? Wake Up And Smell The Shit is now available for purchase! Not just online, but also in real bookstores (if any still exist near you). My story is alongside plenty of other HILARIOUS and amazing tales, not all of which are about poop, mind you.

The front cover proudly displays some of the best praise I’ve ever seen in the English language–“Kirsten Koza is like Judy Blume on acid”. When your editor gets that sort of feedback, holy crap, you know it’s gonna be good.

I’m off to see how many copies I can find (and take pictures next to) in the bookstores near me. If you find one, send me a picture of you with the book…preferably pointing like a goon to my story or at my bio!

Buy it here: Wake Up and Smell the Shit: Hilarious Travel Disasters, Monstrous Toilets, and a Demon Dildo (Travelers’ Tales)

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