Out with the old.

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So, I’ve basically abandoned this blog for much of this year.

Not necessarily out of disinterest. Because I do enjoy blogging. I’ve just put it on the back burner because a lot of things have gone down in my life. Very good, very bad, and extremely ugly. And I know I should have been talking about them here, but the world doesn’t care to know everything about me — if anything at all.

Alas, I am still here. I’m actually here to say goodbye – for now.

So let’s make that a “see you soon,” yeah?

Do join me on my next blog, chronicling my next phase in life. I promise it’ll be just as exciting (dripping with sarcasm, mind), and I can definitely guarantee you I’ll be just as broke and black.

Thanks for reading.

–Brokie B.

Two Hundred.

200 followers

I actually reached the 200 mark like a month ago, but WordPress has been slackin’ on my trophy delivery. I just got this yesterday.

I always seem to make a post when I reach a certain amount of followers. It’s really just to say thanks, and to reiterate how grateful I am that anyone takes the time to read this thing.

I stopped writing in journals years ago, and so I guess this is somewhat of a replacement for that. I still don’t think my thoughts or my life are all that interesting, but it’s nice to know some of you think so. I’m glad you stopped by, because in doing so, you’ve introduced me to all of your awesome posts. So, it’s a win-win!

I haven’t been posting much lately. I’ll be honest. It’s pure laziness, mixed with a bit of tiredness. I’ll be better, I promise!

Anyway, I said this was a thanks post, and I haven’t actually gotten around to that bit yet…so, thank you.

How the Hulk Helped Me Hop a Horrendously Huge Hurdle.

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Pictured above is yours truly. Looking as though I might crap my shorts at the very thought of riding that thing above me.

I used to fear rollercoasters. Was utterly terrified of them. There is just something so very unnatural in being whisked about every which way at ridiculous heights, with only something resembling a baby’s car seat belt strapping you in to keep you from falling 100 or however many feet below to your messy, splotchy death.

That, and I always feared that even if I did somehow survive being tossed around like a ragdoll, I’d still, at the very least, end up wearing my own vomit for the rest of the day, perhaps until the next water ride.

In short: me + rollercoasters = not happenin’.

But recently, I thought to myself, “It’s kind of silly that you’re so eager to jump out of an airplane at 18 thousand feet — yet you can’t even face The Incredible Hulk — who, albeit petrifying, is much, much closer to the Earth.”

So I decided to conquer my fear, once and for all. My boyfriend had suggested we take a trip to Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure, on one of the few days we both had off work. Perfect opportunity, I thought. He was so eager to get there and ride rollercoasters all day long, which would be a breeze since we had fast passes to every ride in the park.

I was still nervous, but determined to get this over with. It’s only a rollercoaster, after all. And it’s not like it’s that god-awful Six Flags. As far as I know, no one has actually been tossed to their untimely death on Universal Studios property. So that’s somewhat comforting.

First rollercoaster of the day: Dragons Challenge. Two rollercoasters named after dragons that exist in the fictional (but oh-so-totally-awesome) Harry Potter universe.

Aptly named! It’ll be a challenge to get me to hop my ass on this thing, I thought as the already-short line got smaller and smaller. Damn you, Fast Pass.

Two options: Chinese Fireball or Hungarian Horntail. We opted for the former. It certainly didn’t help when my boyfriend mentioned, just as we were queued up to board the ride, how the G forces will have me pressed into the seat. At that very moment, I’m pretty certain I hated him.

I boarded the ride. I can’t tell you how many times I yanked down on the bars across my chest to make sure I was definitely strapped in. You know that feeling you get in your tummy where it feels like someone has somehow reached inside you and tugged down on your intestinals? (Yeah, I just invented a plural. Deal with it.)

That’s basically what it felt like as I saw the metal floor beneath me open and literally sink into obscurity. The ride slowly jerked forward. I felt like I was going to poo myself from all the nerves bouncing around in my gut.

I looked down. I could see the entire theme park below me and my dangling feet. No turning back now…I thought. And then… We surged forward.

I’d never felt such force pressing at my body. I suppose careening down a runway upon takeoff is the closest sensation to what I felt on my first rollercoaster ride. I can’t really put it into words.

I screamed. But it wasn’t that “Oh-my-god-what-the-fuck-get-me-off-this-thing” kind of shrieking.

I think my overall opinion of the Chinese Fireball was summed up in one photograph. You know the ones they snap of you at random points on the ride. I don’t think I’ve ever been captured on camera appearing so thrilled/happy/excited. My face was all teeth — one big grin.

I had to do it again.

Next stop was my biggest hurdle yet: The Incredible Hulk. For years upon visiting Islands of Adventure, I walked underneath this green mammoth of a rollercoaster, with its many twists and terrifying turns. I was always too chicken to get in the queue. Or at least, stay there.

Not today, I thought. I’m ready. Let’s do this.

The blast-off was incredible. I figured it’d just be the same as the Dragons Challenge – a slow creak up to the sky above. Not quite. It started out as such…and then, we jolted unexpectedly forward with such force, I instantly knew it was destined to be amazing. I was not disappointed.

It was just as terrifying as I thought it would be. But once again, a photograph told the thousand-word tale of how I was thoroughly enjoying losing my rollercoaster virginity.

I felt accomplished that day. I felt as though I could take on the world. I told my boyfriend as much. He said “And you can.”

Fucking right, I can. I finally conquered The Hulk!

I really do feel I’ve tackled a major hurdle. Rollercoasters no longer intimidate me. I can enjoy theme parks to the fullest extent. I now know what it feels to be one of those screaming voices I used to hear in the distance as a rollercoaster whizzed above me. And it feels pretty darn awesome.

Next on the list – skydiving. Anyone care to join?

From the Assignment Desk.

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Every morning, this is my view. Throughout the (very early) hours, the newsroom comes to life. Co-workers trickle in. Lights in the studio flash on, producers jog across the room, computer keys clickclickclick as last-minute scripts are added to the show, directors yell over mics from inside the control room, stories are brainstormed and pitched, police scanners compete (loudly) with each other, phones ringringring until someone decides to answer…. I like the noise. The gradual change from quiet to hustle and bustle.

It all feels a bit different now, from here. It’s new, this view.

I’ve been somewhat promoted.

I was part time when I was first hired, and now they’ve decided to bump me up to full time, with the hopes I’ll be producing my very own half-hour (or hour) of morning news by the summer.

Fingers crossed.

It’s definitely a change. I used to hide away at my cubicle off to the edge of the newsroom. Now I’m front and center of it all. More is expected of me. People look to me for updates and the latest information. I feel…important.

Is that silly of me?

I read somewhere that you should dress for the job you want, not the job you’ve got.

So I’ve even decided to step up my work wardrobe game. Hello, smart dresses and heels (when I can be bothered.)

I mean, that’s how a future news anchor is supposed to dress, right?

Speaking of….the other day, one of our morning anchors came over to the assignment desk, my new home. I thought perhaps I was in a wee bit of trouble for mucking up a script. Since I write whatever scrolls across that teleprompter, I can understand how she might be quite particular about these things.

No. Instead she told me that I write very well, and every morning she wants to come from the studio and tell me so. I was flattered. And then she added that it helps that I’m very pretty. I blushed behind my nerdy glasses.

It’s always nice to get compliments on my skills at work. Some days I worry I’m not doing my best. And then it’s comments like that, or the occasional “Great job!” from my boss, that remind me why I love walking into that newsroom five early mornings a week.

So, I’m settling in well to life from behind the assignment desk. And I’m really enjoying the view.

I couldn’t think of a better place to begin my career. I really lucked out.

 

 

….And Red All Over.

So. Another Valentine’s Day has passed us by.

For me it was just another early morning at work. Except every other anchor script I wrote had a tinge of lovey-doveyness to it. “If you’re looking for love online this Valentine’s Day, watch out…”  or “Love is in the air today, so what better day to tie the knot…for free?” Things like that.

Doesn’t bother me. Honestly. I have a Valentine. I’m good. And even if I didn’t, I’d still be good.  Hell, single people can nibble on Whitman’s Sampler chocolate too. (Forrest Gump was right. Those fuckers are unpredictable…)

So yeah. I’m not hatin’. Though apparently, I give off an air of anti-romance, because my boss immediately (albeit, jokingly) looked to me when he discovered someone had written “I HATE VALENTINE’S DAY” on sheets spread across the conference table.

I got a few boxes of chocolates, two bears, and thirteen roses. The dozen was from my boyfriend. Oh, and some Cold Stone Creamery gift cards.

(I’ll go ahead and add those to the chocolate tally, because for the past 7 years, the only ice cream I ever consume there is Chocolate Devotion. Size? “Like It.” “Love it” if I’m feeling daring.)

All the chocolate, and the red everywhere…For a second I thought we were celebrating the first day of my period. (By the way, thanks for getting in the holiday spirit, Uterus.)

So yeah. No one had ever gotten me roses before. In an “I wanna be yours/Oh wait I already am/So this means I’m definitely getting laid tonight, right?” kinda way. It was sweet. I was genuinely touched.

We celebrated a little early in the week. Work schedules not meshing and that sort of thing. That’s okay. I liked it better this way. Celebrating a holiday on the actual holiday is so mainstream.

About the roses — I mean I’ve always wanted a guy I was seeing to get me roses. Or flowers of any kind. It just seems like a thoughtful, kind gesture. But I guess when I think about it…what’s it really saying?

“My love for you is like these roses…Insanely expensive, covered in pesticides, and wilting more and more with each passing day!”?

Though, I guess getting the “WTF?” scowl from your woman when you hand her plastic roses just isn’t worth the trouble.

“But baby, don’t you see? My love for you is like this plastic. It’ll never die.”

“…You cheap motherfucker!”

Yeah…probably not worth it.

It’s the thought that counts though, right?

Fair is Fair is Ferris Wheel.

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I love the fair. Every year it comes to town. Same old (dodgy) rides, same deliciously unhealthy food, same wicked cold weather. (I’m a Floridian — we break out the winter coats as soon as the temp hits 60 degrees.)

I used to go often as a child. It was this big family thing. My grandparents and aunts would take my cousins and me each year. Was some of the most fun I’d ever had. Makes me sad that it’ll never be like that again. Grandma’s gone, and most of my cousins have their own babies to tend to.

So this year was quite different for me. I’ve never gone with someone I was seeing before. It’s nice. When the chilly breeze seems to blow right through you, you’ve got someone tall and warm to wrap your arms around you.

Or to offer you piggy back rides when your feet get tired.

And when you ride the ferris wheel, you’ve got someone to cuddle and kiss…

…and to encourage you to strip on the pole in the middle of our gondola. How romantic.

One thing I never noticed as a child, though (because I never had to), is how ridiculously expensive fair food is. My goodness!

I even wore my special elastic-waisted pants for the occasion (not really.) I was all set to eat loads of corn dogs and funnel cakes and deep-fried everything….but the prices somewhat deterred me. I digress.

Looking down from the ferris wheel, it seems such a magical place. All the bright, flashing colors; joyful screams; blasting music…

Shame it’s only once a year. I suppose that’s what makes it feel even more “special” though.

Ticket Tales.

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wpid-IMG_20140120_065215.jpgI was Skyping my best friend earlier today. He lives in England. We were strolling down memory lane from four years ago, trying to figure out who was right about what candy I was eating and what city we were in when we watched Nightmare on Elm Street at the cinema.

(I suppose what we should’ve been discussing is why we wasted time watching such a crappy film.)

Anyway. None of this matters to you, of course.

He then reached off-camera for something and started rummaging through a desk drawer  while continuing to chat.

He came back and said, “Guess what I’ve got?” He lifted up an ancient train ticket from our very first trip to London in May of 2010. I couldn’t believe he kept stuff like that.

I do too. I wanted to see what old train tickets I could dig up and show him.

I found quite a handful.

It motivated me to write this blog.

I did more traveling in England than that picture shows. I did occasionally toss used tickets in the bin. Not every journey is worth remembering…

I spread all those tickets out and looked at the dates. The cities. Departure and destination. Journey times. Bits, fragments, pieces of my adventures abroad.

Recalled what I was doing. Where I was going. Who I was headed to see.

November 16, 2012. The final weekend trip to Edinburgh before I left my then-boyfriend for two months for Thanksgiving and Christmas in America. We went to Edinburgh Zoo and saw the pandas! It was lovely.

Or January 18, 2010. Manchester Airport to Leeds. My very first train journey in England. Where it all began.

Or October 9, 2011. Headingley to Leeds. I’d woken up, a town away, on a bright red couch in some strangers’ student house. Friends of the friend who’d invited me out drinking the night before.

We woke up late, went to Wetherspoon’s for a traditional English breakfast, and my first hangover and I headed home. Was a good night.

Or February 20, 2012. I slept over at my new (at the time) boyfriend’s house in Sheffield. I’d missed the final train coming back from the Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds gig the night before. I got lost.

He told me to get a taxi to his and stay the night. I skipped my Monday lecture to sleep in his ridiculously comfy bed while he went to uni for a few hours.

I ran my hands over all the tickets. All the journeys. The memories. The stories in the stubs.

It made me cry a little.

The good kind. The kind of tears that are accompanied by a smile.

I’m glad I’ve kept them. It’s nice to be reminded sometimes of where you’ve been. And how far you’ve come.

Reunion.

That’s the cover of my high school yearbook from senior year. I was on the yearbook staff that year.

I loved that theme. Road Trip. It was so fitting for me and my other soon-to-be-graduating peers who’d been on this crazy, awkward, fun, stressful, enlightening, LONG! journey that was high school. I couldn’t wait for it to be over.

And it’s been over for nearly 7 years now. Excuse me if I sound completely silly, but that makes me feel old as dirt.

Nearly a decade has passed since I nearly slipped off the stage after grabbing my diploma? Really?

That means my high school reunion is only 3 years away. Holy shiz.

I can’t help thinking of Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (I love that movie, so sue me.)  How they wanted to seem like they’d done something impressive with their lives in the ten years since they’d graduated.

Admittedly, I feel the same.

I know what a lot of my peers have been up to because I still have them on Facebook. Marriages, babies, successful careers, amazing travels…

But what have I done, really?

I hate this. I’m the one always telling people not to compare yourself to others, that you should only be in competition with yourself.

Such a hypocrite.

So basically I’d better come up with something super awesome and spiffy to do with my life in the next three years, just so I can fit in.

Oh look. It’s high school all over again.

Birchbox.

Anyone getting into this subscription box/bag craze lately?

I was once drooling over the Glam Bag (the company is now known as Ipsy, the bag’s still called Glam Bag).

I want to say this was about 4 years ago. I believe it was, because I was heading off to England to start my study abroad, and Glam Bag at the time didn’t do international shipping. I remember being very bummed….

(My name really should be “ Offona Tangent.”)

Anyway, the Ipsy Glam Bag sends you makeup bags filled with cosmetic samples for $10 a month. I went to register recently, though, and they’re not accepting subscriptions at the moment.

Fortunately, Birchbox is.

That’s another subscription company. You get a monthly box of health and beauty samples for the same price as Ipsy.

Now, there are loads of categories of subscription boxes: Healthy foods, hair care, pets, “adult”… But I’m more into cosmetics and skincare, so companies like Birchbox, Ipsy, Beauty Army, etc…appeal to me.

So I bought myself a Birchbox, but wasn’t sure if I wanted it, so I cancelled it the same day. They informed me they’d still be charging me and sending me the first box. No biggie, I figured. At least I could see if it was worth it.

Christmas Day, and what should I receive other than a year’s subscription to Birchbox from my sister. Unexpected as fuck, considering I’d never even discussed subscription boxes with her.

Unexpected, but very appreciated. No way in hell $110 is coming out of MY pocket for a year’s worth of samples. No matter how cute they are.

Now I’ve got two boxes. Pictured above. I haven’t tried all the products yet, but a packet of tea is missing because I couldn’t resist the sound of peach and passion fruit.

You get some decent-sized samples. Enough to decide if you like the product or not.

I’ve tried one of the nail polishes and it looks pretty good, doesn’t chip easily. I’ve gotten some perfume samples, hair crème, leave in conditioner, moisturizer, lip balm…So far, not too bad I’d say.

“I Found Myself in a Second-Hand Guitar…”

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My boyfriend’s guitar.

He let me borrow it so I could practice on it (after much begging and pleading from yours truly). His grandfather gave it to him. I promised him I would guard it with my life.

So, let’s not mention the couple of bangs and bumps as I turned my back to the car door and staircase the other night, yeah? 🙂 Amazing how quickly one can forget there’s a guitar case slung over one’s body….I digress.

I still have my two pretty guitar picks. Pink and purple. I’d originally had three, but I assume I left one in England.

That’s where I’d purchased them anyway. From some music shop at the MetroCentre just outside of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Nearly two years ago. Time does fly.

I’ve been really wanting to buy myself my own guitar lately, to teach myself. Luckily I have a man who knows a thing or two.

I think I’ll use his in the meantime, until I feel confident that I’ve gotten the hang of what I’m doing. Enough to know that a guitar purchase wouldn’t be a complete waste of money, anyway.

As of now, I’m still rubbish. I’ll give it time…