Tag Archives: 28 before 28

30 Before 30: Go to a Live Taping

24 May

In my 30th year of life, I’m attempting to do 29 new things. Full List Here. All Bucket List Adventures Here.

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I’ve been wanting to do this for years! But it’s not as easy to score tickets to these shows as one might think. The tickets themselves are free and are often snatched up by tourists. Over the years, I’ve tried to get tickets to the Tonight Show, to the Daily Show, to the Colbert Report, and of course, to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. All to no avail. It seemed such a fruitless endeavor that I kind of gave up.

As far as television goes, other than the occasional Netflix binge (currently obsessed with “Jane the Virgin”), the only shows I watch on a weekly basis are “Walking Dead” and “Last Week Tonight.” But I recently added a third show to my weekly, lazy tv time: “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.”

I was interested by the first late night show hosted by a woman. (Really? It took till 2016 for that to happen?) But I already had my hands full with number-one-love-of-my-life-John-Oliver. I wasn’t looking for any more political satire in my life. Go women and all, but do we really need another one of these shows?

Yes, yes we do. While she tackles major issues like the presidential election and the Syrian refugee crisis, she doesn’t shy away from dedicating major chunks of her show to women’s issues. Abortion laws, fraudulent pregnancy centers, unprocessed rape kits. She makes my feminist heart pitter-patter.

So I added my name to a list of hopefuls for tickets to the show, not expecting to ever get a call. But a couple weeks later, on a Monday morning, I got a phone call from someone who works for the show. They had a bunch of cancellations and had tickets available. I dragged my friend Lauren with me, and we went to the live-taping.

It was quite unglamorous, although I didn’t expect it to be much. We sat in a holding room with about a hundred other people, until we were ushered into the studio. After 30 minutes or so, Samantha Bee came out to greet everyone and answer a couple of questions. She also introduced some personal friends she had in the audience including her father and her gynecologist. Of course she would invite her gynecologist. Of course she would.

Once the show got underway, it was a bit odd, to be cued on when to clap, and to watch most of the pre-recorded show off a screen. But I was starstruck to be in the same room as that tiny, feminist bastion of hope in her signature blazer and high heels. In between taping and setting up for the next segment, a DJ played “Bad Girls” by MIA, as Samantha Bee danced around while assistants fixed her hair. What. A. Boss.

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30 Before 30: Ride a Mechanical Bull

8 Dec

IMG_3103In my 30th year of life, I’m attempting to do 29 new things. Full List Here. All Bucket List Adventures Here.

Every year my alumni group along with the other alumni groups in the Pac-12 athletic conference rent out a bar in Rockefeller Center across the street from the Christmas tree lighting. We get special tickets that get us past the police barricades and our own special stretch of sidewalk to see the lights of the tree go from off to on. This is my fourth year going and for the last two I’ve stayed in the bar when the tree lights up. It is kind of anticlimactic.

You know what’s also anticlimactic? Mechanical bulls. The bar we rent out is called Johnny Utah’s and, as far as I know, is the only bar in the city that has a mechanical bull. After I had enough Bud Lights in me, and I saw my friend Josh do it, I finally decided to give it a go.

The first time I attempted to ride a mechanical bull was actually eight years ago when I lived in Seattle. I went to a Seahawks preseason game and afterwards went to a dive bar with my friends. They wanted me to ride the mechanical bull they had there, but I kept saying I wasn’t drunk enough. So they bought be shots and beers until I decided I had enough liquid courage to go. As I stood in line with my friend Jess, the room started to spin, and I felt ill. I left the line to ride and told my friends I was TOO drunk to ride it. Needless to say, they were disappointed.

Back to my successful ride last Wednesday, I think my face says it all. I was nervous about getting whiplash or hurting myself (injury-prone lady that I am), so I told them to go easy on me. Alas, I under-estimated myself. I’ve ridden horses through the desert of New Mexico, up steep cliff sides in the south of Spain, along the glaciers of Iceland. This was nothing.  I felt a bit bored and uncomfortable that everyone was watching me. Bull riding also has this weird connotation of being a sexual display which made me feel icky. So after a minute or two, I let myself slip along the side and fall to the mat. Maybe I’d do it again, but I definitely wouldn’t tell them to go easy on me. My inner cowgirl is too strong for that.

30 Before 30

29 Sep
Don't entirely remember this picture from our bday celebration.

Don’t entirely remember this picture from our bday celebration.

It’s a bit unnerving to see the number 30 as the title of this post and looming ahead of me. But I remember being 26 and talking to my amazing co-worker, Kristina, when she was turning 30. She told me how excited and happy she was about life, her career, and dating. She told me that at that age, she knew what she wanted out of life and had a confidence to go after it that made things so much easier. But me, at that timid, mid-twenties age, I doubted what she told me and looked at my future with anxiety and fear.

But she was so right. And I leave 28 for 29 feeling the happiest and most secure of my life. This last year brought a lot of things that have done wonders for me. I got serious about kickboxing; I buckled down about school and finished my tech degree; I started listening to podcasts by Tara Brach about Buddhism. I went on adventures big and small. From riding horses through the New Mexican desert to stand-up paddle boarding in Maine to learning the Lindy Hop in Lincoln Center. I had an awesome year, and I see no reason why the next one won’t likewise be fantastic. I managed 10 last year, so here’s hoping I can expand that a bit.

THE STANDARDS

  1. Visit a new state 15 down, 35 to go.
  2. Visit a new country 12 down, 183 to go.
  3. Visit a new baseball stadium 7 down, 23 to go.
  4. Read “The Year of Magical Thinking” by Joan Didion I have writerly friends who worship at the feet of Didion, yet I haven’t read a single book by her.
  5. Watch “The African Queen” I’ve added watching a classic movie to the standards.
  6. Make an Indian meal I order in Indian food quite a bit, and one of the new receptionists at work (who is Indian) likes to tease me that it’s a waste of money, and I could make it just as good at home. Challenge accepted.
  7. Eat a Ramen Burger There’s a place in NYC that serves a burger between two grilled ramen noodle loaves. I’m in.
  8. Visit One World Observatory 

THE LEFTOVERS

  1. Take a Sailing Lesson
  2. Go Scuba Diving I WILL NOT GIVE UP ON THIS.
  3. Go to a Gun Range
  4. Do a Juice Cleanse
  5. Visit a Whiskey Distillery
  6. Go to a Live Taping
  7. Ride a Mechanical Bull
  8. Take a trapeze class
  9. Go to a Monster Truck Show
  10. Sing at Live Band Karaoke I went on a first date a couple of months ago to a live band, rock and roll karaoke. It was amazing, and I regret not getting up and doing it. No chemistry with the guy. But SO MUCH chemistry with Arlene’s Grocery. Proof that dating can be rewarding.
  11. Go Sky Diving
  12. Learn to Play the Ukulele 
  13. Do a Knitting Donation Project

THE NEW CLASS

  1. Go Cross Country Skiing It sounds so New England to me.
  2. Compete in a Crossword Competition I am a nerd. I do the New York Times crossword every day and time myself. I think I’m ready to take my skills on the road.
  3. Take a Flamenco Dance lesson The fan! The little finger things! The stomping!
  4. Go Windsurfing When I was in Canada, I saw a couple of windsurfers on Georgian Bay. It looks terrifying and kind of cool.
  5. Get my aura photographed Sounds like bullshit, but I’m a sucker for these things.
  6. Go on a Ghost Tour I recently signed up for the New York Obscura Society, and they often have graveyard events.
  7. Go parasailing I can’t believe I’ve made it this far into my life without doing this!
  8. Run a 5K My boyfriend is deferring his NYC marathon eligibility to next year and wants me to train with him. But I don’t run. I hate running. I only run when I’m being chased. But he has convinced me that there are some fun 5Ks out there, and he seems to believe I am capable.
  9. Do an Escape the Room There are so many different kinds of these in New York. Ones with zombies. Ones for groups. Ones for couples. Basically they lock you in a room for an hour or two with a variety of puzzles that leads to the key to get out. I love puzzles! See #23 for proof.

29 Before 29

15 Sep
Birthday girls

Birthday girls

I happen to share my birth date with one of my closest friends in New York, Quincey. A while back the two of us were talking about possible ideas for our birthday. We laughed and said we should do a week-long celebration dedicated to the amazingness that is us. But the more we talked about it, the more it made complete sense.

Our birth date happens to be marred by a national tragedy which over time has affected celebrations negatively. In addition to that, we both moved a lot as kids and spent many childhood birthdays in a new town without friends. So this was the year to make up for it. Cabaret, Karaoke, Softball, $1 beers, Ice Cream Cake, Cupcakes, Shake Shack, Happy Hour, Czech Beer Garden, Dancing. This was a week-long celebration for the ages, and my liver, stomach, legs, vocal chords are still recovering.

Now that life is slipping into normalcy, it’s time to embrace the new year’s list. I dropped some things that just weren’t happening. I brought back some recurring standards. And as far as new items go, I went big and small. Some overly ambitious and some devastatingly simple.

THE STANDARDS

1. Visit a new state- 13 down, 37 to go!

2. Visit a new country- Due to my supposed risk averse nature, I was unable to travel last year. But this year my goal is somewhere in Central America. I have to break in that new passport.

3. Visit a new baseball stadium- I’m so close to so many stadiums, it’s a crying shame that my number is so low. 7/30.

4. Read Catch-22– Every year I dedicate myself to reading one classic that I’m embarrassed about not having read.

5. Make Jambalaya- My new recipe challenge for the year.

6. Eat Ox Tail- My new adventurous food choice of the year.

7. Eat Ethiopian- You really can’t have too many adventurous food options. I’d be happy with doing an entire list of food.

LEFTOVERS FROM LISTS OF YESTERYEAR

8. Be an extra in a TV show or movie***

9. Go Scuba Diving***

10. Go Sailing***

11. Go to a Gun Range***

12. Do a Juice Cleanse**

13. Go to a Dog Show**

14. Visit a Whiskey Distillery**

15. Go to a Live Taping*- My new goal for this is to see “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver. I have such a nerd crush on him.

16. Ride a Mechanical Bull*

17. Take a Trapeze Class*

18. Eat at Serendipity*

19. Go to a Monster Truck Show*

THE NEW LIST

20. Sing at Live Band Karaoke- I love singing karaoke. Some might even call it a passion. A week ago, I delivered a drunken, impassioned performance of “All That Jazz.” I’m ready to step up my karaoke game.

Duet with Quincey

Duet with Quincey

21. Paint Nite- I know this is suburban and faux-creative, but I want to do it. I want to somehow paint a pretty picture and pretend I’m an artiste.

22. Go sky diving- I hesitated putting this on the list. I’ve hesitated putting it on for years. I’m concerned I might pee myself or have a similar humiliating experience.

23. Fencing Lesson- I took an archery lesson a couple of months ago. If the place wasn’t so far from me, I would have considered going back. Something so fun about medieval weaponry.

24. Learn to play the ukelele- I learned that my paternal grandfather used to play the ukelele. It’s a family tradition I’d like to carry on.

25. Go whale watching- I didn’t realize how much I wanted to do this until I missed an opportunity last week. I want to experience the majesty of those mammals.

26. Do a knitting donation project- I took down my “Pay for someone’s meal” item, because I’m just too shy. But I wanted to replace it with something charitable.

27. Go white water rafting- I fear this will go the way of my go scuba diving item. It’ll never happen.

28. Visit a horse ranch- I’ve recently started working with horses, and I forgot how deep my love for them runs.

29. Visit the United Nations- I had to add one New York touristy option.

 

 

28 Before 28: Visit a New Baseball Stadium

10 Sep

In my 28th year of life, I’m attempting to do 28 new things. Full list here.

Citizen's Bank Park

Citizen’s Bank Park

My, oh, my, the Mariner’s this year! I’ve been an avid fan since 2007 and have witnessed dismal seasons. But as I write this, they are in the second wild card spot for the American League and only one game behind Oakland. AHHH!! Back in February when the Seahawks won the Super Bowl, I joked that the Mariner’s were also going to win the World Series. It’s still a long shot, but it’s possible! We COULD do it.

So I was browsing their schedule a couple of weeks ago to see which teams we’d be facing in this epic playoff berth. The day I checked happened to be the first day they were playing the Phillies in Philadelphia for a three game series. I had the following day off and wanting to escape some personal drama, I made a last minute decision to hop a morning bus to Philadelphia the next day to spend the day there. I convinced my friend Quincey to go with me, and we were off!

Citizens Bank Park is beautiful! The people are so nice! I’m used to going to Mariner games at Yankee stadium where I’m harassed at least a couple of times by obnoxious Yankee fans. But the city of brotherly love lived up to its name. This is how a typical conversation with a Phillie fan went:

“You’re a Seattle fan?”
“Yeah, I went to college in Seattle and have been a fan ever since,” I say with hesitation, waiting to be berated.
“That’s great! Beautiful city! You sure have a great team this year.”
“It’s about time we have a good season!”
“Yeah, I wish the Phillies were playing that well. Enjoy the game!”
“Why thank you! You too!”

How nice is that?! Sometimes spending enough time in New York makes one forget that there is the possibility for human kindness and compassion in the world. But it’s out there.

One Mariner fan and one Mariner/Met fan.

One Mariner fan and one Mariner/Met fan.

It was a fun day trip. We ate Philly cheesesteaks north of the stadium before we arrived so I didn’t get a chance to try any of the ballpark food. But I loved the game there. Best part was the Phillie Phanatic. What a great mascot! He had an ATV that he drove around the field with abandon and even got into a play-verbal argument with the Mariner dugout. The Phillies might have a disappointing lineup this year, but they’ll always have the phanatic.

28 Before 28: Take a Boxing Class

8 Sep

In my 28th year of life, I’m attempting to do 28 new things. Full list here.

My gloves. They also came in pink, but I'll always prefer black.

My gloves. They also came in pink, but I’ll always prefer black.

A couple of weeks ago, I broke up with my significant other. It was something I knew had to happen and felt confident that it was the best decision to make. Between making the decision and when I actually got to sit down with him to do it, I had a span of four days to stew it over. In classic type A fashion, I spent a good amount of time researching tips to getting over break-ups, moving on, letting go, emotionally healing.

Did you know that science has shown that what happens in the brain of someone who is going through a break-up is nearly the same thing that goes on in the brain of an addict going through withdrawals?! The brain begins to lack the pleasure-inducing endorphins that it was getting from the companionship. It causes depression, feelings of sluggishness and even physical pain. One way to combat this is with physical exercise. So I found a boxing gym close to me and signed up.

My last couple of weeks have been flooded with work and amazing friends buying me booze and listening to be complain/cry. But I have managed to attend two boxing classes. The first one was with five middle-aged Hispanic ladies. I felt right at home. None of them were exceptionally athletic, and we were all sweating profusely and making ugly faces while doing something like 100 squats. It was 20 minutes of cardio, 20 minutes of strength training, then 20 minutes of freestyle one-on-one time with a punching bag. The instructor showed me a couple of basic punches, and I worked on perfecting them. The class was perfect. I left exhausted and sore but with a clear mind and heart.

The second class I went to was me and three dudes. It was the same instructor as before and, and he spent a lot of time focusing on helping me while the guys did their own thing. We did a lot less cardio and strength-training and spent over half an hour with the punching bags. I was happy just bouncing around, jabbing and hooking to my heart’s desire. But the instructor honed in on me and lectured me on self defense. At some point it wasn’t even about boxing anymore as he told me to punch with my nail’s facing my attacker so that I could get his DNA under my nails?!?! Whoah! I was just there for stress release, not to learn how to avoid getting dragged into an unmarked vehicle. I found myself biting my bottom lip to keep from laughing as the scenarios got more intense. I mean, I’m glad I have an idea now of what to do if someone tries to stab me from the side, but I don’t expect that to be happening any time soon. I guess no one does though.

28 Before 28: Eat at White Castle

17 Jun

In my 28th year of life, I’m attempting to do 28 new things. Full list here.

20140617-171043-61843208.jpgA couple of weeks ago, I used a personal day to take a Saturday off and hang with my boyfriend. We decided to spend a day being kids at Coney Island. As we approached the boardwalk of rides, games, and oddities, he pointed out a small stand and the opportunity to knock another thing off my list.

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We made sure to ride all the stomach-churning roller coasters first before we dug into fast-food. I ordered three little sliders and a side of onion rings whilst the boy ordered sliders and a sack of something called chicken rings. In an unexpected turn, the chicken rings stole the show instead of the sliders. The sliders were good, cheap, little fast food burgers with a thin patty and oddly sweet tasting bun, but the chicken rings were delicious little chicken fingers in a perplexing shape.

All in all, I enjoyed it. But I’m not a fast food person, and I don’t know where the White Castle obsession comes from for East Coasters. It probably has more to do with childhood memories and habits. I don’t get it in the same way I never got people’s obsession with In N Out. On the other hand, my raging obsession with the Veggie Works Burrito from Del Taco is something most people don’t get either. It brings me back to my days being 16 in my new car, late at night driving around the desert, grabbing a sloppy burrito before heading home. Oh youth.

28 Before 28: Get a Facial

16 Jun

In my 28th year of life, I’m attempting to do 28 new things. Full list here.

facialFor the “Get a Facial” item on my list, I didn’t think much about it other than knowing that it is supposed to be relaxing. I bought a Groupon, and after weeks of working a ton of overtime and dealing with general life stress, I decided to treat myself. I had picked a small Asian spa in my neighborhood about two blocks from my apartment.

I show up to a spa which is a renovated office. Each spa room a former cubicle. As the tiny Asian girl leads me into my room, I realize I have no idea what a facial consists of or what is about to happen to me. I lay down on the cot in my cubicle and wait. My mind drifted to an existential state of “What am I actually doing here?” and “Why do people get facials?” and, of course, “I’d rather be reading my book right now.”

Eventually the lady came in and began my facial. Soooo, it’s just a face massage. They put lotions and whatnot on your face and then massage your face. It felt nice, but I’ve never been stressed or tired and thought that I wanted my face to get rubbed. On this particular day, my shoulders, back, and legs were killing me from working a 55 hour work week on my feet. But my face felt fine. After the face massage, she put some sort of lotion and mask on me and told me to wait there for about 20 minutes. She went to the next cubicle over to call someone on speakerphone. I listened to them yell at each other in some Asian language, worried that in the midst of relationship drama, my facial lady would forget the poor white girl in the cubicle over.

She did return, though. And it was about five more minutes of her trying to sell me a gamut of different facial treatments.

“I guess you have fine skin.”
“Yeah, I guess I do.”
“I can put some sunscreen on? You very pale?”
“Okay.”

I tipped her and left. I feel as though I found yet another thing that is something most girls enjoy that I consider a waste of my time and money. That’s an hour of reading I could have gotten done. That’s money that could have bought beers and some jalapeno poppers at a bar with friends. I doubt there will be any more facials in my future.

28 Before 28: Visit the Statue of Liberty

27 May

In my 28th year of life, I’m attempting to do 28 new things. Full list here.

20140527-123909-45549125.jpg I continue my bucket list of touristy things to do in New York with this classic gem.

In making the journey out to Liberty Island, I wanted full access to the statue which has been closed on and off since 9/11. Access to the crown has become limited, and they only allow 200 people up per day. Lucky for me, my boyfriend knew about this, and we went online to buy tickets…in February. The demand for crown access includes about a three month waiting period.

Finally our day arrived. It was a perfect May day to spend out on the water and in the sunlight. The boat was, of course, packed with tourists, as was the island itself. The park is spread out and there is plenty of space to enjoy the nice weather and the views.

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View of Manhattan from the base of the statue.

We made our way through security and handed the park ranger our tickets.

“Wow, crown access!” he said, pulling us aside. We weren’t allowed to bring anything with us except for our phones in our pockets. I was nervous about the stairs to the top, so I insisted on taking the elevator to the pedestal. The 360 views from the pedestal are impressive, but we were anxious to get up to the crown. We went to the park ranger guarding the staircase to the crown and handed him our tickets.

“No more access to the crown today,” he said before his mouth broke into a smile and he started laughing. “Just joking with you! The question IS who wants to stare at whose heiney?” I offered to go first.

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View of the staircase up to the crown.

The staircase is narrow, and being the weak sloth I am, I was nervous about making it all the way up. But it really wasn’t too bad! I had been told it was 300+ stairs to the crown, but that count must include the stairs to the pedestal, since I only counted around 200. It went by quickly, and we found ourselves in the crown. The nice thing about the limited access is that we had the entire crown to ourselves and two park rangers who were happy to give us information, show us where to take the best pictures, and take pictures of us.

In the crown

In the crown

It’s rare to have a touristy experience without being smothered by other people, their cameras, and their crying children. But this felt like an amazing opportunity. It was a fun day and I’m glad I did it. My favorite picture of the day is from one of the windows of the crown, looking out at Manhattan, one of the spikes of her crown pointing the way.

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28 Before 28: Do a Circle Line Cruise

19 May
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In line to board the boat.

In my 28th year of life, I’m attempting to do 28 new things. Full list here.

I love having friends and family come visit me in New York, because it gives me an excuse to do all the touristy things I have never done. The circle line cruise is one of the most touristy things to do in New York, other than those obnoxious double decker buses. My parents were in town and wanted to see the sights. It was a gorgeous May day, not too hot or cold, and no clouds to be seen after what felt like weeks of heavy rains.

View of Lower Manhattan

View of Lower Manhattan

The views were spectacular, and I enjoyed being able to see the city from the water. The guide on the boat provided a steady amount of commentary on what we were seeing and fun facts about the city. To his credit, he tried to warn everyone to stay seated and not rush from one side of the boat to the other, as this would block other people’s views. However, tourists are tourists and once a couple of people started doing it, everyone started doing it. I’d like to say no one in my party was guilty of this, but my father insisted on getting up a couple of times.

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

There are a couple of different options for the cruise, and we opted for the 2.5 hour, full island cruise which makes a circle around the entire island of Manhattan. If I had to do it over again, I would have opted for one of the shorter cruises. The northern tip of Manhattan doesn’t have all that much to see or note other than Yankee Stadium (barf) and the tree-filled hillsides of New Jersey. Oh, and this giant “C” painted by students from Columbia.

C for Chrissy

C for Chrissy

I had a blast on the cruise, but I attribute a lot of that to the fact that it was a beautiful day to sit in the sun with my loved ones and cruise along a river, admiring the incredible city I’m so lucky to call home. I also managed to acquire my first sunburn of 2014. Due to the jacket I was wearing and the way I was sitting, I was only burnt on my right hand. The newest in my collection of awkward burns I’ve acquired in my life.

First sunburn of 2014.

First sunburn of 2014.