Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall

Technically, today is the last day of summer, even though the forecast is telling me to expect 80 degree days the rest of the week. And even though it’s been a pretty awesome summer 1, I have to admit that I am pretty damn excited for this fall. Well, if I’m honest, I’m always excited for fall, it’s been my favorite season for as long as I can remember. But this fall stands out a bit more due to some very recently finalized travel plans.

I try to travel as much as I can throughout the year, but you may notice that I rarely am able to get away for more than a long holiday weekend at a time. However, with a little begging and some good fortune, I’ll be taking two extended trips this fall. The first will be a week in Utah in October to climb some long, hard routes with Evan. Getting a couple of classic desert towers under our belts seems like the perfect way to wrap up our first season as trad climbers, and I can’t wait!

Then, in November, I’ll be packing my bags and jumping on a plane to cross the big pond and visit my sister in Paris! And not one of those backwoods, middle-of-nowhere towns named Paris, of which there seems to be one in almost every state in the US, but Paris, France! My sister has been living in Paris for a little over a year now, first as an au pair and now as a graduate student. She’s been harassing me to visit while she’s there, but I’d pretty much given up hope that I’d be able to afford to come since I couldn’t find any plane tickets for less than $1000…and then something magical happened. I found tickets for less than $1000. SIGNIFICANTLY less than $1000. When I finally bought my tickets, the round trip price had dropped to $407. It was a chance I couldn’t pass up.

I’m so excited I don’t even know what to say, other than “I. AM. SO. FREAKING. EXCITED.”

If you have any suggestions for must-do climbs/eats/sights in Utah (we’ll probably spend most of our week in the Moab area) or off the beaten tourist path things to check out in Paris, let me know! Does anybody else have plans for this fall that they can hardly wait for?

Thank God It’s … Thursday

Which means it's almost Friday, which means it's almost the weekend and GLORY, HALLELUJAH I am glad it's a long one!

I don't have a 'real' blog post this week with cool pictures or anything since 1) I failed to take any pictures of last weekend's shenanigans in Rifle, and 2) I've been really busy with boring day job stuff.

I had jalapenos and beer for dinner last night and was answering work emails at 10 pm. Which I greatly regretted at the gym at 6:30 this morning. It's that kind of week.

Since I don't have any pictures of something awesome, here are a couple of a ninja in my weird turtle planter. Becomes sometimes life's journey is harried, mundane, and weird all at the same time.

Ninja in bamboo
Ninja in turtle planter

Ok, ninjas and houseplants and work aside, I'm super excited to be heading to Ten Sleep, WY this weekend! Our previous trip to Spearfish was originally supposed to be to Ten Sleep, but changed at the last minute-ish due to a wildfire. Thankfully, Ten Sleep appears to be less on fire now and I can't wait to get there!

Things Are Changing

As I mentioned in my last post, I took a mini-vacation and spent a long weekend climbing in Spearfish Canyon, SD. It was a fantastic trip and I swear I’m working on a post with pictures of pretty things, Evan making weird faces, and some insights on what it’s like to be in the area while Sturgis is happening. But in the meantime, this is a post about how, and why, things are changing on this blog.

First, there are going to be footnotes! Woo! Because I’m a dork and I think footnotes are fun, and also because random thoughts run amok through my head and sometimes I want to share them but they don’t fit well into the flow of whatever it is I’m trying to put together. Just click on the these little numbered bubbles 2 and you should see a little text bubble appear.

Second, I’m going to start writing more often. I’ve said this a thousand times before (to myself at least), but this time I really mean it, I swear! And I think I’ll actually do it, not because I’m going to grit my teeth and set a schedule and really stick to it, but because I’m going to change the way I do it. And below is the thought process that led me to that decision.

I don’t recall what initiated this monologue in my head, but I got to thinking about why I have friends. It looks weird when you write it out like that, but seriously, have you ever thought to yourself, “Why the hell do people even hang out with me?” And after some mental hemming and hawing, I came to a couple of conclusions.

First, it’s probably not because of my smashing good looks 2… And it’s also probably not because of my dainty sense of professionalism. Because professionalism, while it has it’s time and place, is kind of boring and stuffy and generally feels less than sincere or authentic. 3 And also, that’s just not how I generally behave, especially with my friends.

I think, maybe, one of the main reasons I have friends is because I say what I damn well please 90% of the time. 4 Sometimes it’s outrageous, it’s regularly inappropriate, and occasionally it’s funny, but it’s always very authentically ME. And I think people might like that. So I decided, maybe if I just write the same way I talk, it will be 1) easier to write more often since it will come more naturally, 2) people will actually like reading what I write. 5

So why didn’t I just start doing this sooner/from the beginning?

“Because I’m scared.” If you click that link it will take you to an article, written by one of my favorite bloggers, that talks about how most of us make excuses not to do bold things when the the real reason is usually just that we’re scared. Putting myself out here on the Internet as myself, instead of hiding behind a veneer of PC politeness, has its risks. Maybe I’ll continue to be mostly anonymous and only my dad will read these things and probably still love me anyway, or maybe all of the world wide web will descend on me and tell me I suck and I should just go away. The Internet is kind of a scary place like that sometimes. But odds are that’s a pretty unlikely scenario, so it seems silly to let that stop me from putting myself out there.

The other thing I’m scared of is my grandmother reading these things and being embarrassed by my bad language and occasionally crude sense of humor. But I’m really hoping that if she’s reading this she knows I love her and appreciate everything she’s ever done for me and that despite my bad language I’m actually a lot nicer to people than I used to be and I hope she’s proud of that part.

But anyway, hello world. Welcome to Natasha minus the filter.

I did that thing again.

You know, the one where I go a really, really long time without posting an update. Also that thing where I completely change the way this site looks. I’m really going to try to stop doing that first thing, but I make no promises regarding the second. Even as I write this, I’m resisting the urge to delete all my previous posts and just start over from scratch. Again. But I’m not, because one day supposedly I’ll look back and be proud of how far I’ve come and how much I’ve improved, or some jazz like that. Or maybe I’ll just be embarrassed. Whatever, for now I’ll leave all that old stuff up.

Anyway, long story short, I let my Job-with-a-capital-J turn me into a frazzled human stress ball for the last couple of months. And when you’re feeling like a frayed welcome mat it can be difficult to find the motivation needed to produce anything, let alone anything creative. I’ve been working on accepting that my Job-with-a-capital-J might pay the bills for now, but I don’t have to let it steamroller over my entire life and turn me into a sad pancake. So, I’ve spent this week working not only on this blog, but also another side project that I’m excited to unveil soon. Oh, and also getting ready for a much needed mini-vacation. After work tomorrow I’ll be skipping town for a long weekend of climbing, and when I return, hopefully it will be with a tired body and a refreshed mind. 

Updates soon! I promise this time!

New Year, New Blog!

I’m a bit late jumping on the New Year’s bandwagon, but I’m happy to announce the blog is back online and has been rebuilt from the ground up! In addition to a new look, you might also notice a slight change to the url. If you had the previous site bookmarked or were subscribed to notifications, you’ll (hopefully) want to update those settings to make sure you’re getting all the new stuff.

You’ll be seeing much more of a focus on photography this year, and I’ve already loaded a few small galleries for you to check out. Stay tuned for more, and don’t be too surprised if you continue to see the blog evolving in both design and content.