get it in gear

wow. Well I guess with labor day this weekend, the summer is officially over. I, for one, had the best summer of my life. I learned so much about myself, conquered some really big personal mind-blocks, and did a bunch of cool shit. Plus I let go entirely of the control I felt I had on my life and in doing so was surprised to find what I’d hoped and dreamed for all along.

I’m a fan of lists so I guess I’ll just do a little list of the things I experienced this wonderful wonderful summer.

1. Rode 1000 + miles on my bike – yep from memorial day to labor day. I hit the 1k. SO RAD.

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2. Learned to brew my own Kombucha, make my own Kale chips, and can my own shelf stable foods.

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3. Celebrated 1 year sober.

4. Joined Title Boxing.

5. Ran the majority of days during lunch – with awe inspiring views.

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6. Let go of bad self-esteem and closed the door on relationships that make me feel badly.

7. Opened an Etsy Store! Weeeee!

custom cake

8. Got tattooed.

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9. Did the Whole30 Challenge with Lois.

10. Embarked on a new adventure with lots of motorcycles, antiques, and laughs.

It was a damn good summer. Now that it's over I need to focus and get it in gear for a productive and great Fall. That means, tightening up the budget, dedicating myself to 3 days of boxing a week, focusing at work and hustling for a promotion hopefully, and giving GFK + the etsy store my undivided attention.

lesssss dooooo this.

xxx
GFK

I’m BAAAAAAAAAACK.

Sorry for the super huge delay/hiatus here on GFK. I had a wonderful wonderful wonderful trip in Thailand. If you haven’t seen, I was able to upload my photos often onto my Flickr account which you can access on the lower right sidebar. I think maybe I’ll talk in more detail about certain things, but honestly I think some of my favorite photos will highlight my best vacation moments. I just want to stress that my little sister was just a wonderful host/tour guide/honorary Thai. We have already agreed on future travels together because we just had such a blast traveling. Sister-win!

I think I’ll do some bullets about general descriptors too:

Shopping – EPIC. I mean Thailand is right next to China, so the amount of ‘stuff’ to buy is just unreal. I ended up with a real leather Tokidoki purse, tons of Hello Kitty merch, a “LV” wallet, loads of awesome tees, some fun knickknacks/trinkets. We went to two giant nice malls. I’m not kidding like 8 stories of shops. We also went to a more ‘bazaar’ shopping place called JJ Market that was phenomenal. That was where I got my “LV” wallet for 450 Thai Baht (around $12).

Food – NOT WHAT I EXPECTED. Obviously Thai food is delectable. However, the whole choosing what to eat made this kind of hard. See – when you think of Thailand as ‘street-food’ wealthy, you must also acknowledge that a lot of that street food is not being how shall I say….. used/rotated out/disposed of. My sister lived in a more ‘residential’ Thai neighborhood (no tourists AT ALL) and I noticed after a few days that the food was not moving. Raw chicken/beef/mystery meat just sat there day after day. MMMMMMMMMM NO. Now at the Krabi Beach Resort the Thai lady could cook some EPIC food. I was obsessed with a chicken, pepper, onion, and cashew dish (drool). Other than dishes like that I ate yogurt from 7/11 and loads and loads of coffee and candy. We did get food poisoning on Thanksgiving from a ‘boil your own’ meal place. I guess we did not boil the wontons right? (BERRRF) Plus the eggs were ‘gamey’ or funky all the time. It was interesting and unfortunately I did not acquire a taste for the funk egg.

Thai peeps – INCREDIBLY NICE. I love Thai people. They are so accommodating and lovely.

Weather – HOT. It was even the ‘nicer’ months, but it was always 90+ degrees and very humid. I wore jeans/yoga pants the entire time and it wasn’t unbearable. I always had a sweaty sheen on me though – it complimented the smell of sunscreen that permeated off my body 24/7.

Sunset in Krabi. Gorgeous.
Sunset in Krabi. Gorgeous.
At the Krabi Beach Resort.
At the Krabi Beach Resort.
Iced Coffee - What makes Thailand Work.
Iced Coffee – What makes Thailand Work.
I LOVE this brand. I'm on a hunt here in the States now.
I LOVE this brand. I’m on a hunt here in the States now.
The Grand Palace.
The Grand Palace.
Gold Leaf Art work at the Grand Palace.
Gold Leaf Art work at the Grand Palace.
MMMM. Mister Donut.
MMMM. Mister Donut.
The Bus. Funny because to get on and off is quite the ordeal. You have to make sure you are standing in the street ready to run!
The Bus. Funny because to get on and off is quite the ordeal. You have to make sure you are standing in the street ready to run!
Gorgeous Dusk Temple.
Gorgeous Dusk Temple.
Ferry ride from one side of river to the other.
Ferry ride from one side of river to the other.
Aran Bpom and I after my tattoo.  He was such a 'G'.
Aran Bpom and I after my tattoo. He was such a ‘G’.

The only ‘downer’ parts of my trip were about 8 hours of food poisoning (it happened at night so it was not a waste of time), the flight to/from Bangkok – I discovered that I definitely have circulation problems in my ankles/legs which was scary when I think of my age/lifestyle.

The verdict. Thailand is amazing. There is something about it that just immediately hooks you. I will most assuredly get back there at some point.

Television

Even though I try to be an interesting and well-rounded individual I spend a lot of time in front of theTV.  Don’t get me wrong – I read a lot and do lots of crafts, but sometimes I just need to watch TV and be entertained that way.  Here is a list of the top 10 shows that are always on my Netflix, Amazon and DVR queues.

1.  Arrested Development

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By now the cult notoriety of this show has permeated lots of markets and there is a good reason.  This show is so funny and meticulously intertwined it’s insane.  The humor is sometimes dark – the characters selfish and brooding, but overall the story is about family.  Tobias’s one-liners (I think I blue myself) would be enough to keep the show afloat even if the rest of the characters stunk – but they don’t.  Each one has been cast and developed so perfectly it’s like watching the most well-planned train wreck ever to happen. (Netflix – new season began May 26th on Netflix)

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2.  Bob’s Burgers

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I started watching this show at the beginning of the 3rd season and I’m bummed I didn’t know about it sooner.  Bob’s is hilarious.  It doesn’t have a consistent plot, but the reoccurring characters and miss guided situations always crack me up.  Plus Tina, Bob’s oldest daughter, is the awkward highly sexual female version of Napoleon Dynamite complete with the strange deep voice and socially unacceptable noises. His wife Linda’s enthusiasm mirrors my own and I’ll start singing one of her spoken words songs without skipping a beat. (Fox, Sundays)

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3.  Metalocolypse

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I just started watching this Adult Swim show on Netflix.  It’s amazing – being a metal poser as The Dude describes me – it really plays off great metal band/fan stereotypes.  The riffs and metal scores of Dethklok are really catchy – and it’s embarrassing to admit, but they are.  Make sure your closed captioning is turned on or else you’ll miss great lyrics like:

“They’ll have their:
Shiv, check
Pipe, check
Hammer, check
Axe, check
Subject, check
Location, check
Desire, check
Vengeance, check

Hold your breath
And swim and strain
Smell the death
Can’t escape
Blood will cloud
And drift away
Attract the
Murders of mermaids”

Netflix and new season in the works on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim
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One name: Phil Dunphy.  The clueless dad in this show really has the best quotable lines and it’s easy to relate to his good-hearted, yet so misguided parenting approach.  The gay couple Cam and Mitch are the best example of modern day relationships – supporting, regretting, but in the end loving your partner no matter how insane/weird/embarrassing they really are.  Sofia Vargara’s voice is sometimes like nails on a chalkboard, but her accent-based misunderstandings are pretty comical. ABC Tuesdays
When I like to spend hours ripping my own heart out and weeping like an uncontrollable baby I love watching Downton Abbey.  The cast is great – the story is unique. I love that it uses historical dates to coincide with the Downton events and calendar.  It is always heart-breaking and the grandmother figure takes the cake with her snide and evil quips. Sunday PBS, Amazon Instant Video
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Pretty….pretty….pretty good.  Larry David makes any situation so awkward and between Curb Your Enthusiasm and Seinfeld I cannot get enough.  It’s hysterical to see just how many people hate Larry on Curb, and how his own wife (then ex-wife) have to deal with the tidal wave that is David.  Seinfeld of course speaks for itself and it will never ever get old hearing the words “yada, yada, yada…..” or “FESTIVUS FOR THE REST OF US!”
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Seth Green, that tiny wise-cracking red head, has the best skit show on TV.  Using stop animation and thousands of clay and plastic doll pieces he creates hilarious short skits that fill a 15 minute spot on Adult Swim.  There are countless inside and current jokes being fired off rapidly.  Often times we have to rewind a clip to hear and see something because it almost squeaked by unnoticed.
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No Reservations, The Layover, Parts Unknown, and other CNN segments staring Bourdain are always entertaining.  I’ve tried countless of his recommendations when traveling to new cities and I 100% agree that Chicago is the only real city in the US aside from NYC.  Although towards the end of NR he became more of a suck-up, giving kudos to the ‘best of the best,’ his smart alleck humor and ‘no-regrets’ decision making habits always make me wish I was his girl-friend from Chicago.  Also kudos to the random Zymir episodes.
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You know what go ahead – think UGH! “Brianna how could you?!”  I love Dog and Beth and Leland and Baby Lyssa.  I love that it takes place in Denver and most often in the neighborhoods I grew up in.  I love his terrible extension blonde mullet (and Beth’s), but most of all I love when they really do get through to someone who has finally hit rock bottom and signed the camera disclosure documents.
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Absolutely the best show, because it is an amazing story.  Think of Lord of the Rings as a TV show where Frodo is hot and there’s a lot more backstabbing and gold.  Each house trying to claim the Iron Throne as their own has power players that make the hair on your skin rise and your blood boil.  My favorite character is ‘the half man’ Tyrion Lanister – because he is the only character to repeatedly slap Geoffery across his face and pride and live to tell about it.  It also ensures HBO will continue to make money off me for the foreseeable future.
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What are your favorite shows?  Do you have any recommendations for me?