In Which I Drink Coffee With A Celebrity

Did that really just happen?

It did.

My ordinary life took an extraordinary turn this week!

I can hear your skepticism now: “You mean OTHER than quitting your full-time job, packing all your earthly possessions into boxes (that remain only half unpacked), establishing residence in a dungeon-esque basement replete with warrior arachnid foes, and pursuing the world of network marketing in all it’s crazy chaos while sharpening your customer service skills in the hospitality industry?”

Ok. Touche. Life has been rather extraordinary in general lately–but engaging day by day in all of life’s mini routines and practical monotonies, it’s easy to lose sight of just how amazing life has been– how amazing life IS– how much opportunity lies ahead, and how many open doors are waiting to be walked through! It’s easy to trap myself in my own mental cages with my own lack of belief in the potential for wonder that each day holds.

Until a stranger messages me to remark that he enjoys when I pop up in his newsfeed.

[And not just ANY stranger, but a stranger who is the closest thing to a celebrity I’ve ever encountered! ^_^]

YOU GUUUUUUUYS!!!!!!
MICK LUNZER (AKA “Bald Guy”) of THE DANGER COMMITTEE sent ME a  message!!! 

(If you’ve never been to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, The Danger Committee is one of the best reasons why you should go this year! ^_^ Pick a weekend in September, drive to Shakopee, and catch as many of their performances at the Bakery Stage as possible–or just catch a performance at the Brave New Workshop.)

I’ve been a Danger Committee facebook stalker fan since I saw one of their shows at the Ren Fair in 2013, but always with the acknowledgment that I was merely one of thousands who had clicked the little thumbs-up button on their fan page. Actual interaction was not even on the radar, much less HOPED for.  Mick and I became Facebook friends when I posted a video to Facebook of a super cool flaming knife stunt, and he requested the ability to share it. But that was it– Permission to share video–you know, legal stuff. I never expected anything further. I mean, come on, in what universe would a well-known performer have any reason to take interest in anything I post about, much less message ME? (And we all know from my days of online dating that  I am NOT the type to send the first message.)

But message me he DID (for reasons I still can’t fathom), and a compliment turned into a randomly fun conversation which became plans to meet for coffee when I came home to visit my family for Mother’s Day.

Yeah–that REALLY happened.
Never underestimate the potential for extraordinary things to occur.

I’ve always assumed that I wouldn’t like spending time with an entertainer after having formed any kind of attachment to the character they represent. After all, if the guy who stirred my heart as an adolescent with a soulful rendition of “Santa Fe” is reported to be a jerk and a horrible person to work with, what point is there in shattering the illusion? Isn’t it easier to continue enjoying great performances if you don’t have to acknowledge that the person who projects that persona may not be even half as awesome as the character being played?

Don’t get me wrong, Mick was perfectly charming in the online dialogue we exchanged preceding our meeting. But online dating teaches a gal pretty quickly that the ability to write a charming chat message doesn’t always equate with adequate social skills.

Thankfully, the world isn’t always as disappointing as I might expect it to be. It even occasionally surprises me with awesomeness. And though “Bald Guy” is a fun persona, Mick Lunzer was even better as a three-dimensional human. (Seriously, y’all, If you ever have the opportunity to meet up with him for coffee–DO IT.)

The whole scenario was just completely –I don’t even know–Had you told me a week ago that this would happen, I would have scoffed.

REALLY scoffed.

I mean, come on–An invitation to go dancing fell through while I was visiting home because my would-be dance partner didn’t consider my company worth a 13-minute drive to pick me up; but I’m supposed to believe that a guy with thousands of fans considers meeting ME for coffee significant enough that he’s willing to plan a place along my route home to make it more convenient for ME to meet with HIM? Inconceivable. But it happened. And the whole scenario challenged me to re-evaluate the mental framework I had created regarding value in the first place.

There are few things as crushing to one’s vanity as feeling undervalued, few things as soothing to one’s ego as being made to feel significant by someone you admire, and few things as liberating as realizing at the end of it all that your own value is determined neither by the man who didn’t find your company worth the inconvenience of a short drive NOR by the man who made a conscientious effort to work you into his busy schedule.  I’ve always placed an inordinate amount of weight on OTHER people’s perspective; and let me just tell you, it’s an exhausting way to live–constantly walking on the egg-shells of imagined perception and the endless quest for affirmation.

But there comes a point where someone remarks, “Why would I give someone else that kind of power over me?” And though the comment is made in a context addressing anger, a dim light bulb flares to life and illuminates a host of self-constructed mental cages.

Our coffee chat was an experience of inspiration that provided a new friend (I knew I had found a kindred spirit when in answer to one of my questions, he drew a Venn diagram ^_^), a fresh perspective of possibilities,  and a host of ideas for growth and personal development. Landmark Forum, Fish philosophy, the difference between what happens and the story we construct about what happens– it was a fascinating conversation that ended far too quickly since we both had other things to get to.

I am now back to the chaos of the normal. The mundane. The day – to – day. But I bring to it a fresh perspective of possibility and renewed awareness that the extraordinary lurks in unexpected places, disguised as ordinary doors just waiting to be opened.

May you find a few of your own to walk through.

mick

In Which Nail Art is About More than Manicures

In the year since the physicist and I parted ways, I attempted online dating again, but didn’t really have the heart for it. In stepped Jamberry.

On June 6, 2014, having forsaken the realm of online dating and eager to afford my new-found obsession with durable nail art [what? It lasts more than a week even though I work(ed) full time on a loading dock???? Crazy, right??!?!?!!], I decided to join Jamberry as a consultant, throw a Facebook party, and see how far I could go.

9 months of fabulous jammicures, facebook parties, and team building later, I am overwhelmed by the blessing that one single step has been.

In February, I promoted to Executive consultant and quit my job on the shipping dock to pursue Jam-opportunity in the Wisconsin Dells while working as a receptionist at the top-rated motel on Trip Advisor.

I enjoy having beautiful nails, but Jamberry is about so much more than a mere manicures.

*It is so much more than a mani when over 120 precious souls are part of an amazing encouraging team of vibrant woman.

*It is so much more than a mani when it is my privilege to daily observe their growth in confidence and belief in their own capabilities.

*It is so much more than a mani when bonus day evokes tears of humble praise and stories about impossibilities being overcome.

*It is so much more than a mani when it has allowed me to give my two weeks notice because this month’s [February’s] bonus is three times more than I made in a month at my full time job.

*It is so much more than a mani when Facebook has turned from a war of words and/or jealousy cultivation into a sisterhood of support. (And yes–I love being able to say that I get PAID to spend time on Facebook ^_^)
butterfly effect
It is more than a mani – it’s an opportunity. A leap I never would have imagined even a year ago! (A year ago, I would have been horrified at the idea of investing myself into direct sales.)

I’m #sothankful that Jamberry has been so much more than pretty nails. Don’t get me wrong–I love pretty nails. But even more so, I love all the benefit that came from them.

All praise to Him who opens unexpected doors and plans paths so insanely unpredictable that all you can do is continue stepping forth into the unknown with faith in a Father whose crazy grace turns manis into so much more!more

In Which Customer Service Lacks the Service

Customer service gone awry.

I joined the world of direct sales and Multi-level marketing back in June. (Wondering what happened to the blog? pretty much that. A mani changed my life. And I still love to write. But I went from spending lots of time online without getting paid to making money by spending time online. So I put my blog on hold for a bit. So now I just have to work out how to phase some writing back in because I REALLY miss blogging.)

Being new to the world of consultantship, I have come to realize the critical role of customer support. My company’s home office has been my savior on more than one occasion. Let’s face it–Mistakes happen, but one reason I REALLY love my company is that they fix their mistakes WELL.

Not all DS companies are created equal, however.

Oh, friends, beware the company that has a great product but poor customer service.

It began with an odyssey of scent. I have fallen in love with a particular particular product that provides a customizable candle-esque experience. It makes my nose happy. So I placed a sizeable order beneath a dear friend who is a consultant for this company. Let it henceforth be known as order ABCDE. This order contained items for myself as well as items a sweet gal from work picked out as her housewarming/Christmas gift.

When I placed order ABCDE on Sunday, I did not pay attention to the shipping address. I assumed that if the billing address was correct, shipping would be correct.

Never assume.

Several months prior, I had placed an order (order FGHIJ) as a gift to be shipped to a dear friend who lives in Georgia. I had not placed any orders since; thus, her address was still listed as my default shipping address.

A convenient order confirmation email is supplied upon the conclusion of the order, so within 10 minutes of placing my order, I realized my mistake.  I already knew there is no way to edit or cancel orders online with this particular company, and my consultant confirmed that any altering would have to be done by customer service. Unfortunately, customer service was not opened on Sundays.

Whatever, I would call in the morning.
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In Which I Spend All Day in My Jammies: Jamberry Review Day 2

Today, I did what few twenty-somethings admit to publicly when they are trying to present themselves as individuals who have become successful at adulting. I spent the entire in my Jammies.

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In Which I Review Jamberry: Day One

I should begin by saying that I work on a shipping dock.
I handle shipments of boxes and pallets and mail, and sometimes I even drive a fork lift. It’s rough work that can be gruesome on a girl’s hands-—especially in winter.

Rarely do I paint my nails. It’s time consuming, messy (I never did master how to apply nail polish well), and pointless—-because, on the rare occasion that I can get it to look nice for more than thirty minutes, the polish lasts one, maybe two days max before it starts chipping and looking awful.

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE pedicures, but alas, they are too pricey for me to afford more than two or three times a year.

Enter Jamberry.

Jamberry produces non-toxic vinyl nail wraps that give nails a flawless finish, last without chipping or fading for a general minimum of two weeks, and come in all manner of designs and colors.

Being the girly girl at heart that I am, once I heard of Jamberry, I had to try them.

I decided to put Jamberry to the test by seeing how well the wraps survived my job on the shipping dock in comparison to OPI nail polish and a similar nail wrap product of questionable quality…

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Jamberry vs. Edge

These are the results:

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Worst Case Wednesdays: Sounds Legit

And We’re Back with Worst Case Wednesdays, your weekly dose of Worst Case scenarios from the online dating world.

 
This specimen comes from Craigslist, in which a hopeful landlord attempts to kill two birds with one stone by acquiring a renter AND a girlfriend with the same ad.
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In Which I am OK With Killing Mothers and Allowing Babies to Starve

Spring came exceedingly late to Minnesota, but it finally came.

One moment, it was endless snow, then dull brown barren nothingness.
Suddenly, the bleakness was transformed into glorious green lush, leafy loveliness and verdant freshness!

For two perfectly golden days, I enjoyed the warmth, basking in the glow of sudden spring. I went on long walks, reveled in the wearing of short-sleeved shirts, and gleefully pulled my capris and sandals from their long winter hibernation deep within the bowels of my closet.

It was amazing enough that my heart began to soften towards Minnesota, and I almost forgave the arctic vortex that this past winter had been.

Almost.

But on the third day of warm bliss, I arrived at the unfortunate realization that this land of ten thousand lakes was also the land of ten bajillion hungry mothers seeking food for their proliferate offspring.

Bella Swan had blood that the sparkly Edward Cullen found irresistible. Unfortunately, my blood is irresistible to blood suckers of another kind.

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In Which I Reblog: Bridging the Gap Between #YesAllWomen and #NotAllMen

I don’t often post here about current events, but this blog post is worth sharing.

In the communal effort of bringing attention to the victimization of women, it seems that men who are making every effort to respect and elevate women are getting tweet-trashed by the very women they are trying not to wrong (simply for attempting to remind the outraged masses that there ARE a 65% of men who are APPALLED that 35% use nothing more than arousal to justify rape).

I really like that this blog post emphasizes the necessity of the WE rather than just the US or the THEM. It is not a matter of us vs. Them.

Rather than #yesallwomen or #notallmen, the focus should simply be #yesall.

#yesall have the responsibility to choose actions that respect the human dignity of those around them.

End of story.

In Which I Reblog: Priorities

Charity:

In both of my online dating profiles, I mention plans for world domination; so I couldn’t resist sharing this when I saw it in my reader ^_^

Originally posted on Dammit! Where's My Chocolate?:

122.WeNeedToLearn

We need to learn to be patient.  Not just with our friends, family and partners, but with our plans for world domination.

Evil can wait – what have you done for you today?

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Ex-Files: Female Dogs and Feigned Faith

Once more we have jumped back into the world of online dating.

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This time around, due to the pleas of my mother, in addition to the free dating site on which I’ve re-activated my profile, I decided to also try a paid service.

Thus far, I’ve been underwhelmed by my investment in Match.com.

It seems that there are three main types of men whom I have encountered so far through this site:

  1. Men every bit as equally unsavory as the unsavory sorts I encounter on the free sites. (Not all the men on the free sites are unsavory. I’m just clarifying that I seem to encounter an equal number of them on the paid site)
  2. Men who believe that since they have paid money for a subscription to Match, they deserve a return for their investment without actual effort on their part.

  3. Men who are (or think that they are) the entire package and thus, expect to find someone as equally excellent and beautiful and worthy of the excellence that would be bestowed upon them should the gentleman in question deign to grace her with a date.

But that is a post for another time.

Today’s post examines the self-righteous perspective of an online dater who went through the effort of sending a personalized message only to have it remain unacknowledged.

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In Which We Ponder: Craigslist–Friend or Foe???

Here I am adulting again–or attempting to. The latest pursuit? Finding living arrangements I can afford on my meager hourly wages.

The prospects aren’t pretty, but I’m far more likely to find a better job if I’m closer to where the better jobs ARE (While still remaining close enough to my current job to have a reasonable commute HERE, because let’s face it, I need to plan according to the job I HAVE and not the one I HOPE to have).

The answer to every twenty-something’s accommodation-finding dilemma?
Craigslist, of course!

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Ex Files: In Which Rescheduling Hurts

Some back story:
T***** and I have been messaging since Monday, when I re-activated one of my online dating profiles.
Tuesday morning, he decided he wanted to meet me.

We settled on this evening in a town about twenty minutes away.
Between 8 and 10 this morning, he confirmed twice that we were still on for meeting up tonight.

At 3 PM, I received the following message:

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Worst Case Wednesday: The Bathing Beauty

How bad is it REALLY?

Yes, people have asked me this. They have scoffed when I have written of the messages I’ve received. They’ve speculated about  how much of what I write is true and how much is exaggeration.

Rest assured, dear reader, that there is no way to overstate the awfulness of some of the encounters one has in the realm of online dating.

Some of it is so awful that it’s funny, and in the interest of this dark, twisted humor, I have decided to start a scheduled feature.
Though I will still post ex-file snippets as they occur (or as I have time accompanied by the ever-elusive motivation), I will also post  a series called “Worst Case Wednesdays. Every Wednesday, I will summarize the most disastrous online dating encounter of the week.

Disclaimer:
To read/see the Worst Case of the week, you will have to follow the “Click to read more” link.
DO SO AT YOUR OWN RISK. There are some things you can never unsee.

(You can’t say I didn’t warn you.)

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