Ups & Downs

Bonjour blogosphere!

It’s been awhile since my last update (4 months to be exact) and I wish I could say it was because I’ve been living this fabulously exciting life…but it’s been quite mundane and quiet. Not that there is anything wrong with a little normalcy in one’s life, but it also doesn’t provide a lot of fun things to blog about either.

Work remains a bright spot for me. I’m a few weeks away from hitting the 6-month mark since I began and I’m still happy as can be. The fact that I’m able to write this update from the comfort of my bed, in my sweats, on the weekend, is pure bliss. I can’t even imagine having to work my old job with it’s chaotic schedule. What makes me happiest though are my awesome co-workers. You’d think hanging out 5-days a week, 8 hours a day would be enough “bonding” time but we still find ourselves hanging out after work and doing lots of weekend brunching. And I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but us 20somethings LOVE brunch. Like… a lot.

Everything is solved by brunch. 20-somethings love brunch. Post-break-up brunch, post-night-out brunch, before-flea-market brunch, before-shopping brunch, happy brunch, birthday brunch, gossip brunch, ‘wanna go to brunch and catch up’ brunch?

And when it comes to brunch, I proudly model myself after the legendary Ron Swanson:

Now if only brunch could solve my crazy mood swings, then all would be well in Brandon world. I don’t know what’s causing my emotions to be so all-over-the-place lately, but I’m a bigger mess than an infomercial gone wrong.

Womp womp. I am the soda fyi

For real though, I’m riding a rollercoaster of emotions lately. Let me illustrate for you (because everything goes better with .gifs) how a day in the life of me goes:

Stage 1: Happy. Usually I start out the day chipper and optimistic. I wake up, try to look at the day as a fresh start, and think “I’m going to rock this day more than Jake Gyllenhaal rocks a sandwich!” (see awesome infographic below)

I agree, Jakey. ‘sammichs are wonderful.

Stage 2: Anger. Usually this happens from road rage during my morning commute. I’ve been trying really hard to subdue this, but….it remains a work in progress. I mean…if slow people would just move out of the left lane, the world would run so much smoother. Amirite? Sometimes though I think my spirit animal really is Serena Williams. Gif #2 is how I look when I drive past you for driving too slow in my lane.

Stage 3: Sadness. Lately, anything and everything makes me a blubbery mess. I think I hit a new low this week when I got “emotional” watching an American Idol contestant with a stutter overcome his disability by singing. Perhaps the bigger low is that I’m still watching American Idol in the first place. The same goes for movies though too. I saw Silver Linings Playbook recently and by the end I was a disaster. Although, that’s partly because Jennifer Lawrence is perfect, and I love her, and she needs to win all the awards.

It really was beautiful, wasn’t it Alex? This is also a pretty accurate depiction of how I looked at the end of that movie.

Realistically though, the sadness probably comes more from the fact that I am 28 and still single. Sure, I’m still “young” and have plenty of time to find someone..but when all your friends around you are in relationships and you’re always the “odd one out” it becomes a little old.

But not to worry, I know I won’t be alone forever. I mean, I always have my friend Vino to spend time with, right?

This leads me to Stage 3.2: Sadness, comforted with food. No more words are needed, Mariah sums it up all in one glorious gif

Need I repeat Ron Swanson’s mantra?

So yeah….to wrap it all up, you never know what kind of Brandon you’re going to get with me lately. Could be happy, could be sad, could be mad. Or maybe you’ll get a mix of all 3 all at the same time!

All drama aside (and really, I’m doing pretty ok, it’s just fun to tell a narrative through gifs) I do have things to remain peppy about. Winter has been relatively mild so far (although as I write this we’re supposed to have an ice storm tonight -_-) and hopefully Spring is right around the corner. I cannot wait to spend more weekends up at our lake cabin and enjoy the sun, water and warmth. I also did something last month that I’ve been putting off forever, but I finally got my passport.

I don’t have any plans (and by plans, I mean have the necessary monetary funds) to go anywhere yet, but the fact that I have it is more than enough reason to be excited. London and Paris are the two places I want to visit most and I’ve set a personal goal to go before I turn 30 in a year and a half. At this point I don’t even care if I have someone to go with, I’m ok with having my own “eat.pray.love” moment and going by myself. I need to work on being more independent anyway…that’s something I’ve lost and haven’t really had since I lived in New York several summers ago. Fingers crossed I can make it happen.

So there you have it…that’s all there is really. Congrats if you’ve made it this far. I always feel weird writing about myself..but I do enjoy the .gifs and people (for some reason) seem to enjoy my crazy and random thoughts. Hopefully inspiration strikes a bit sooner for my next update so it’s not another 4 month lapse. We’ll see :)

New Beginnings & a Fresh Start

Well…the Olympics have come and gone and so has the original purpose of my blog. I have two options: 1) Wait an agonizing 18 months until the winter olympics occur in 2014 or 2) Continue to write and have fun along the way. And considering my love for all things .gifs, puns and blogs, I think option 2 is the best fit, don’t you think? So sit back, relax and let me tell you a little bit about my life.

The first (and most important news) is that I GOT A NEW JOB! Ahhhhhhhh! It’s like every day is Oprah’s Favorite things day for me. I honestly haven’t been this happy in YEARS. Who knew a simple career change could make such a drastic difference in my life? I feel like I’m Katniss from The Hunger Games. Every morning I wake up for work and I want to scream “I VOLUNTEER! I VOLUNTEER AS TRIBUTE FOR WORK TODAY!”

I suppose at this point I should tell you a little more of the background story so you don’t think I’m a complete nutjob. Long story short, after Uni (that’s what the Brits call college, I KNOW THIS BECAUSE MY OLYMPIC POSTS ATTRACTED READERS IN EUROPE AND I FELT REAL COOL) I ended up wasting 4 years of my life in retail management and it was just the poops. That’s not to take away from the awesome people I met along the way, but it is one of the most selfless jobs I’ve ever had. Day in, day out, people walk all over you, destroy the store and have no consideration or care for all the hard work you do. You’re nothing more than a face to make money for the corporation. Honestly, everyone should have to work a customer-service based job at least once in their lives. It teaches you a lot about compassion, humility and empathy towards others. Needless to say, I was beyond miserable.

^Re-enactment of me going to work every day before the intervention

Just when I thought I was at my breaking point and that I’d never find a way out, one of my bff’s (whom I’m extremely grateful for) finally snapped some sense into me and had me apply for a job that I never thought I’d be qualified for (let alone find interesting). Thankfully I took their advice and had an interview set up 3 VERY short days later.

Trying to prepare for an interview in 3 days is not something I enjoyed if I am being quite honest. First off, I needed a new suit. I had one from my college days but not only was it ugly, I couldn’t get the pants to fit. That’s right, I had gotten too big to fit into my stubborn “slim fit” pants. I felt like I was in my own personalized Yoplait yogurt commercial from hell – the one where I’ve thrown myself on my bed trying to pull my pants on to no avail while that damn Yellow Polka dot bikini song plays in the background. I tell myself it’s because I accidentally threw the dry-clean only pants in the dryer one time but I felt like Regina George from Mean Girls. Sorry, we only carry sizes 1, 3, 5, you could try Sears. Too many Kalteen bars </3

Thankfully I was able to find an acceptable Calvin Klein replacement on sale and I spent the rest of the time obsessing and over-analyzing every detail of the upcoming interview. Before I knew it the day of the interview arrived and it was go time. And you know what? The interview went awesome. It went on for about an hour and 20 minutes and the entire time it was conversational. It just felt right. Walking out, I knew I had given it my all and that whatever happened was now out of my hands. Four agonizing days passed by before i heard my fate. I knew that there were handfuls of other people who interviewed for the same position so I didn’t want to get my hopes up……BUT then they called and offered me the job! :D

After running around like a banshee screeching sentiments of excitement, I called my mom who was equally ecstatic and extremely happy for me. Then I called my dad. Things were … how do I put this nicely…slightly more mundane with good ol’ pops. While he too was happy for me, he also told me not to get too excited because I still needed to pass a background check. THANKS DAD. Talk about a Debbie downer. But of course, I passed it with flying colors.

All I had left to do was get fingerprinted for the new job (you’ll find out why later, it’s a standard security measure when you work with $$) and fill out my new-hire paperwork. You’d think it’d be easy but of course nothing with me ever is. I went to go get my prints done and all I had to was put my darn hand on a thermal imaging machine. For the prints to be “readable,” you had to score a 14 or higher on the machine. I don’t know what 14 means, all I know is that is the minimum # you need. So I put my hand up and what happens? I score an 8. AN EIGHT. The lady was like “Well…that’s not right. Let’s try again!” Same thing. Another 8. Then an 9. Then an 8 again. At this point I start to freak out. Anyone who knows me knows my hands get clammy and gross when I get nervous and I instantly begin to psych myself out. What happens next is even worse. I SCORED a SIX. A SIX. 

Her response? “In all my years, I’ve NEVER seen a reading that low.” COOL. GREAT. AWESOME. Here I am thinking I’m going to lose this job before I even start it because my palms are too damn sweaty. The highest I ever achieved on that stupid machine was an 11. So what did I have to do as an alternative? TAKE INK HANDPRINTS THE OLD SCHOOL WAY.

I still want to bury my head in SHAME when I think about that awful moment. But it’s over, I got what I needed done and I was able to move on. Needless to say, I ran away as quickly as possible when it was over.

That little moment of delight aside, everything else has been just fantastic :) Flash forward 1 month later and I’m happily employed in the…..(drumroll please) FINANCIAL INDUSTRY. That’s right, me, of all people, works in the banking and finance industry. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT. Clearly I’m putting that journalism education to use!

I still find it hard to believe but I work for an awesome organization (U.S. Bancorp) and work with an equally awesome group of people. I work on the corporate side so I get a cushy little cubicle in an awesome Downtown office, 8-4:30 monday-fri hours and best of all….EVERY NIGHT, WEEKEND AND HOLIDAY OFF! I’m not sure if it’s still the “honeymoon” phase but I really do love going to work every single morning. I’m learning so many new and exciting things and most importantly, I’m happy :)

So there you have it. I know this post is kinda self-serving but it’s a big change in my life and lot of people have been asking what I’ve been up to. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for following along. I hope to write about the fun adventures that come along in the future…or at least until 2014 when my beloved Olympics return to us once again ;)

k, I’ll finally stop blabbing on now :)

The Best Moments of the Olympics Through GIFS (so far)

Today is day 13 of the games…THIRTEEN! They have gone by so fast and they are already almost over :( I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself when the Olympics have ended. I’m not ready to let go.

That being said, I will try and compose myself as there have been plenty of highlights (and a few lowlights) to share. Let’s start with one of my favorite events of the games, SWIMMING. We all knew the men’s competition would be about Ryan Lochte (JEAH!) and Michael Phelps. But no one expected the flawfree Nathan Adrian to swim into America’s hearts. I mean, look at that face! He’s like a little chicken nugget, don’t you just want to pick him up and put him in your pocket? Adorable.

Now I know a lot of people feel strongly about Phelps. Some people love him, some people hate him but there is no doubting his incredible athleticism. After a slow start he came back to win enough medals to make him the most decorated Olympian EVER. 22 medals, 18 of which are gold. Amazing!

You’ve made America proud, Michael. Four for you Michael, You go Michael Coco!

That leaves us with Ryan Lochte, JEAH BOY! I don’t know why he loves the word so much but it has caught on and I can’t stop saying it. However, Ryan (and I’m sure you’ve noticed) is not the brightest crayon in the box. I like to compare him to Karen Smith from Mean Girls. That one there, that’s Ryan Lochte. He is one of the dumbest guys you will ever meet. Michael sat next to him in English last year. He asked me how to spell orange.

No..really though, have you seen his tweets?

And let’s not forget this gem..true words of wisdom!

Oh Ryan…just stand there and look pretty. Jeah!

Ok, moving on…Everybody loves gymnastics, myself included. I’m not here to talk about the flop men’s team (FAIL) so I will continue to focus on the women’s team. HOW AWESOME WAS IT THAT WE WON TEAM GOLD. And sorry that I’m not sorry that China tanked this year and didn’t even medal in the team event. Cheaters never prosper!

Not only did we slay in the team event, America’s sweetheart Gabby Douglas captured gold in the all around! She was my favorite since the Olympic trials and I’m really happy that she was able to go all the way.

Props to Aly Raisman for snatching up medals on the beam and floor in the individual events but I have to end gymnastics with the queen bee Mckayla Maroney (I don’t know why everything turns into a Mean Girls reference, deal with it). While her vault was literally perfect in the team event (see my previous blog post) she slipped on her vault in the individual final and her silver-medal winning face gives me so much life.

If looks could kill, her’s would murder everyone. In fact, there is even a tumblr page dedicated solely to her! http://mckaylaisnotimpressed.tumblr.com/

It’s okay Mckayla, Beysus does not impress me either.

Alright..moving on, here are a few other highlights thus far:

1) Serena “Crip Walk” Williams

YOUR FAVES COULD NEVER

2) Crop top couture racewalking!

So chic!

3) The Le Clop Bromance (Phelps+LeClos = true love)

They’re going shark diving together. Definitely love

4) Womp womp

That’s gonna hurt

5) And last, but not least, we have synchro swimming

NIGHTMARES FOREVER. It’s like a mashup of Black Swan meets Ursula from the Little Mermaid. NO THANKS.

So there we have it..13 days down, only 3 more to go! There’s still some good competition ahead and hopefully USA can retain it’s overall count in the medals and overtake China in the gold count too! GO USA :)

Quiet Tiffany!

Oh London…

All day long I was looking forward to the opening ceremonies. I woke up early to watch the Today show from London, watched coverage all day long and only left for a work event. Then I sped as fast I could to get up to our lake cabin for a weekend vacay and made it in record time (4 hours flat!…going 80+ mph lol). I made it with 6 minutes to spare before the ceremonies began so needless to say I was EXCITED..and not just normal excited, we’re talking Oprah’s Favorite Things audience member excited.

I was here for all of it – the Olympic music, the opening montages, the countdown…And then the ceremonies began. I should have known from the beginning that the lackluster start would be a precursor of things to come. That’s not to say there weren’t some beautiful moments, but I had gone from a kid at a candy shop birthday party like this:

To this:

Oh Lizzy, I felt your pain too. Again, I need to reiterate that it wasn’t all bad. I liked the early part of the show during the “Industrial Revolution” phase, especially when they had the ring of fire that formed into the Olympic rings…that was beautiful

I even liked the cool yet creepy literature part of the show where all the famous characters from British Lit came to life and filled the arena. The flying Mary Poppins were also pretty neat. But then that too got a little weird..

I mean..It looks like Voldemort wanted to Avada Kedavra all the little Mary’s. (If there aren’t any Harry Potter readers in here SHAME ON YOU, but that’s the killing curse). I loved that JK Rowling made an appearance too. She looked and sounded awesome and I want her to read me a bedtime story to be honest.

I think my favorite part was that the Queen herself teamed up with Daniel Craig (the best Bond fyi, deal with it) for a little cameo. Plus, WHO DOESN’T LOVE CORGIS

 

 

The only thing that could have made this part better was if the queen herself actually did skydive out of the helicopter into the stadium. BUT as you saw above, it seems that she was NOT HERE FOR ANY OF THIS. Let’s revisit her happy face one more time:

Simply splendid!

But then it just got strange. I’m not quite sure why Danny Boyle thought the whole teenage love story segment featuring awkward dancing and even more awkward on-screen texting was appropriate for an Olympic opening ceremony but I just didn’t get it. The music they chose was awesome but overall I just side-eyed the whole thing

Equally silly was the dedication to Mr. Bean. Is that really the best figure/celebrity you want to show the entire world with 1 billion people watching? The Chariots of Fire montage was kinda cool I guess but overall I was left scratching my head again and wondering what was going on.

Finally we came to the Parade of Nations which some people find boring but I actually enjoy it. I love seeing all the different countries, their flag bearers and the costumes/outfits they chose to wear. Granted, some of them were a bit odd i.e. Germany who perhaps thought they were coming to the Winter Olympics with their Hello Kitty color inspired getups?

I could have also done without Bob Costas and his endless jabbering. I get that he is the Olympic commentator but he annoyed me last night and there were way too many commercial breaks. I of course was happy to see USA’s entrance and I equally enjoyed seeing the independent athletes march in under a united Olympic flag.

That leaves the last 2 parts of the show – the torch lighting and the fireworks. I think my tepid response to the opening ceremonies is hampered by a disappointing end. Of all the cool things London could have done, they had one of the most underwhelming torch lightings I can think of. What is the point of lighting a torch that only rises a few feet and sits on the floor of the arena? The whole point is that it should rise above the stadium as a beacon for all the city to see. (Wow, I’m heading into nerd mode at this point). If you want to see cool torch lightings, see Barcelona.

At least the fireworks were cool and I think I’ll leave it at that. While I didn’t love the opening ceremonies, I’m more excited for all the great athleticism to come. And it starts right away today! Swimming, gymnastics and many other events will set up for a great opening weekend.

I plan on laying cool the next few days as I’m going to enjoy my vacay up at the lake. Have a great weekend everyone and go USA :)

I’M SO FREAKING EXCITED

THEY’RE HERE, THEY’RE HERE. The London Olympics are finally here! I feel like Paul Revere right now, I could shout the news from the top of my lungs! (Ok, perhaps he’s not the best example considering the USA and England weren’t exactly bffs at the time…BUT WHATEVS, we love each other now) I’m JUST SO EXCITED

In preparation for this monumental day, I have already pre-DVRd any and all Olympic related coverage for the next week on my TV. I will also be waking up at dawn so I can watch the Today show LIVE from London. The fact that Meredith Vieira is coming back to co-host the games is just the greatest (douchebro Matt Lauer can suck it though, I’m not here for that. I’m also not sure who the bigger diva will be, him or Ryan Seacrest, who sadly will also be a part of NBC’s coverage this year)

Tonight’s opening ceremony is one of my favorite parts of the entire games and I’m hoping London can put on a great show. As much as I hate to admit it, it will be hard to top Beijing. If you read my previous blog post, you know how I feel about China and their cheating ways… But I digress, they really did put on a beautiful show and I hope London can make it their own. My only hope is they don’t have the kind of epic failure that Vancouver had in 2010. Remember that awkward moment when Wayne Gretzky tried to light the torch and nothing happened? Because I do, and I was so …. “disappoint”

My other favorite thing about the games starting today is the Olympics always bring everyone together. For 2 short weeks we are all united in our support of our awesome (and clearly superior) athletes. And to be honest, as much as I LOVE America (and you know I do) the Olympics are truly about the human spirit and all the inspiring and uplifting stories that come with it. Take for example the story of Guor Marial, a former Sudanese refugee who doesn’t have a country to call home. He petitioned the IOC to compete in the games and will march under the Olympic flag. That’s what it’s all about. So whomever you are cheering for, put on your warpaint and cheer on your country.

So there we have it. After the long wait, the Olympics are finally here! I’m so excited for all of it…They gymnastics, the swimming, the diving, the track and field events…even the fencing! (Alright, I don’t really care about the the soccer, sorry Jeff, but I’ll still obviously cheer for USA). BRING ON THE GAMES, MY BODY IS READY

 

p.s 2, this just happened :)

Oh my gosh

One of the reasons why I started this blog was because several people suggested I blog for my insane and (borderline crazy obsessed) love for the Olympics. While I will attempt to portray my excitement for the games through words, sometimes pictures (or in this case, gifs) do a much better job. Let me present for you gif #1. It doesn’t matter if I hear someone talking about the Olympics or I see a commercial for them, whenever I sense something Olympic related I tend to look something like this:

I’m not quite sure where my love for the Olympics started, but my earliest memories take me back to 1992 when I was a wee lad. I was 8 years old and I can distinctly remember watching the Albertville Winter Olympics with my mom. (fyi, I can name every Olympic host city from modern times. If Jeopardy had a category I would run the board, get a pat on the back from the pompous Alex Trebek and get a standing ovation from the audience. Someday…) It was late at night and my mom let me stay up with her to watch the figure skating competition. I was decked out in a blue bathrobe, matching slippers and team USA pajama pants (my fandom started early, ok?) and I pretended to skate around my family room doing my very best attempts at double axels and triple salchows. Looking back, my parents should have enrolled me in skating lessons or some other Olympic-worthy sport. Thanks for setting me up for a life full of failure and broken dreams mom and dad!

I think the other reason why I love the Olympics so much is that I become an insane and crazy patriot. I LOVE AMERICA and I cry and weep tears of freedom. During the games I become “that guy” – the egocentric, ethnocentric d-bag who will attack anyone and everyone who dare tries to take away an American’s chance of winning gold. I can clearly remember in ’08 during the men’s 4×100 swim relay when some idiot from France (Alain Bernard to be exact) told the American’s before the race that they would “smash” the US. HA! You stupid imbecile, don’t dare try to taunt America because we will CRUSH you. Let me sip my sweet tea and eat my freedom fries and revel in this moment once again…

Then of course there are the dubious cheaters and I am not here for that. I’m just going to tell you all now, China better watch their back this year. Some of us have not forgotten the gymnastics scandal of 2008. I’m watching you China

So here we are, a mere 13 days away from the games! The only thing that would make me more excited was if I could be there to witness the games myself. I don’t even want to talk about how crushed I was when Chicago lost out to Rio for the 2016 games…but SOMEDAY I will make it to an actual Olympics – it is my biggest and most wonderful dream. But for now I will pour myself into the endless TV coverage, download every app available and ignore the rest of the world for the next several weeks. This really should be a national holiday.

Last but not least, if you still don’t understand my passion for the Olympics, do yourself a favor and watch the best 2 minutes of your life. I AM THIS WOMAN (except in male form obviously…and substitute sponge painting for the Olympics) Oh my gosh…