The City Museum: No. Just ... No.

Once upon a time … a serious case of sensory overload almost killed me. Seriously, you guys. I. Could. Have. Died.

Have you heard of the City Museum in St. Louis? If you like feeling claustrophobic, having children crawl above, under, and around you through metal cages, and being surrounded by chaos … this place is for you. If the combination of those three things sounds miserable to you … STAY AWAY. I’m in the “stay away” group, and wish I had known this before putting myself through what I've decided was a casual get together in Satan's backyard.

Here's a little teaser: Can you tell who enjoyed this experience, and who couldn't handle it?!


How (not to) Skydive Like a Pro

I hate heights. Absolutely hate them. But for some reason, I enjoy putting myself through emotional turmoil by doing things like riding roller coasters and bungee jumping. Skydiving has been on my "things that will terrify and possibly kill me but could end up being decently fun" bucket list for awhile, and Australia sounds like a pretty great place to do it. If I'm going to die by slamming my body into the ground, at least it will be a very pretty piece of ground.

I book skydiving a solid month before my Australian adventure, mostly so I am forced to pay my credit card bill before leaving for my trip and therefore would have to swallow the fact that I willingly threw away hundreds of dollars in the event that I decide to wimp out. I receive two different confirmation emails after clicking the "purchase" button. Both of them remind me of the astronomical amount of money I've invested in voluntarily ending my life and the second email says ... wait, what's that word?

WTF is a heli-skydive? Am I jumping out of a HELICOPTER? Cue frantic attempts at contacting the skydive company. After two emails go unanswered, I resort to Twitter, Facebook and lastly a phone call that tells me I have a wrong number. I. Am. Panicking. Skydive Australia, you're on my list.

The problem is, I've never been in a helicopter. One "first" for  the day (that first being shaking hands with death) is about all I can handle at a time. I realize that it really doesn't matter what aircraft I choose. Helicopter, plane, hovercraft or flying pig: I'm still free-falling at 14,000 feet toward my own demise. By choice. But still. A girl can only handle so much. Planes, I understand. We go way back. Helicopters ... I just ... no.

I eventually hear back from Skydive Australia (it really didn't take that long; I'm just a paranoid freak), and, just my luck, they don't have a plane anymore. Just two helicopters. Two "firsts" it is.

My skydive adventure begins at 6:40 a.m. outside a Holiday Inn in Kings Cross, where random drunkards are still piggyback riding through the streets and slurring karaoke songs. A small van pulls up to take us to the jump site. Our driver, the quintessential Aussie who would make a career out of skydiving, ushers my friend, Julia, and I into the van along with six strangers. We arrive at the jump site an hour later without incident and confirm our bookings, then I slip away to the bathroom to ward off the possibility of peeing on my tandem jumper when he hurls me out of a helicopter.

Also, yes. I brought Safari Sam with me for support. No, he didn't really help calm my nerves.

I return from the bathroom to hear my name being yelled repeatedly. I've been here for approximately 10 minutes, but it's time to get dressed for my jump. Oh, and by the way, I'm going in the first load.



No Pictures, Please (part 2)

I really wasn't kidding when I said I can't pose for pictures alone. Boredom recently led me to reach back to the depths of my Facebook past and discover that I've had this problem for as long as Facebook can remember (meaning since 2006 when I first jumped on Mark Zuckerburg's bandwagon). I truly was a solid solo photo poser up until about age 10, but then puberty hit and my preteen years just went to pieces as awkwardness took over in all my solo pic situations. And still the awkwardness remains.

Please see below for further submissions to my solo pic failures, featuring the faces first highlighted in this blog, plus a few additional faces that have popped up in my research.

1. The "you're taking this picture against my will and I'm not happy about it" face


New Year, New Nonsense

Oh, hello!

Let's all take a moment to relish in the fact that I am now embarking on my fourth year of ranting on this little piece of the blogosphere. From small beginnings involving way too much mayonnaise, a CAT-astrophe of epic proportions and treadmills, we've blossomed into lame pick-up lines, apartment lock-ins and my inability to be photographed alone.

Ah, sweet memories.

Moving on to a new year. Here are my 13 goals for 2013:

1. Convince one of my friends to buy a hedgehog. I would buy one myself, but I'm already in charge of one life, and that's about all I can handle at the moment. Therefore, if you are easily impressionable, please click here to see pictures of Buckley the hedgehog going shopping for a bed. And now you want a hedgehog, right? Please. Make my dreams (and yours) come true.
Want. Need. MUST HAVE. The mini bed and the hedgehog.
2. Go on the greatest vacation ever to Australia. Eat Pancakes on the Rocks. Swim in the ocean. Avoid being eaten by a shark. Learn to surf. Jump out of a plane. Etc. Etc. Etc.
2a. (Optional but preferable) Find an Australian husband.
Guess who will be in this exact spot in exactly one month? This girl.
Pancakes on the Rocks, get in my belly. If I can't have an Aussie husband, I'll settle for this.
3. Finish reading The Three Musketeers. Christmas 2011 I decided to be cultural (and cheap) and downloaded this literary classic for free on my Kindle. Since then, I've read 6 percent of the book. Off to a bit of a slow start on my cultural conquest, but 2013 is my year!