Maybe I shouldn’t have tried that oyster?

I had been planning a birthday dinner for months.

There were a few of us from work who had accumulated quite a stack of gift certificates to our restaurant, and we decided to take the night off and come in to treat ourselves with some great food.

As the day approached we grew more and more excited to be the ones waited on. We even had hotel reservations at the swanky JW Mariott, downtown. Upgrade to the concierge level with access to the lounge for free cocktails, breakfast, etc.? You know that happened.

The day finally arrived.

I treated myself to a massage earlier in the day and a bubble bath shortly after checking in to the hotel. The room had a killer view and everything was going perfectly. I wasn’t just happy, I was elated, complete with a perma-smile playing on my lips.

We all got dolled up (we go big when we aren’t wearing the bow tie) and met for a pre-dinner cocktail in our concierge lounge. After a glass of wine, we strolled over to our place of work to be wined and dined upon.

Around the time we ordered our appetizers, I began to feel a little off. Something was weird. My stomach ached and I began feeling light-headed.

NO! I thought, as it continued to progress.

I went out to get fresh air, I tried drinking gingerale and water, I tried to barf, nothing was working.

After the salad course I informed my friends that I would not be able to tough it out, and had to go back to the hotel.

I spent the rest of the night curled in a ball and occasionally sprinting to the bathroom to yak.


This is something that would happen to me. I am not even surprised.

However, when every single person asked if it was alcohol induced, I was very happy to say that it was not, but thank you for assuming the best in me.

That was one great night gone quickly awful.

Last night? It was good from beginning to end.

I met up with my best friend for dinner at a precious little restaurant that sits right on a lake in East Grand Rapids. Fireplaces, warm lighting, birds chirping in the enclosed patio – it was wonderful.

When I arrived, I pulled up to their complimentary valet parking. The guy that approached was striking. I rolled down my window to inform him, “My dog is in here, are you okay with that? He’s super friendly.”

“Fine by me, I have six at home.”

“It’s six dollars?”

“No, it’s complimentary.”

“Really? Sweet. Oh, six dogs, wow! Sorry, I think I’m borderline deaf.”

And then I trusted the handsome stranger with my most beloved four-legged friend.

We ate pizza, drank sangria, laughed and laughed, and decided to top the night off with some after dinner drinks at my house.

After stopping at the store and dropping off Ashley’s car, I decided I had to go back to see if the handsome valet guy was single.

Now trust me, I have seen several attractive men throughout my life, and every other time, I continue on and merely think about the adorable stranger I saw. I was tired of being such a wimp.

We drove back to the Valet Parking, and the handsome guy approached once again.

“Hey, it’s me again.”

“How’s Coop doin’?”

“He’s great! Just ate all my pizza leftovers while I ran into the store. Hey listen, I don’t usually do this, but I grabbed my friend here and decided that I just had to come back and ask you if you’re single.”

“I am.”

“You got me when you told me you went and checked on my dog while I was inside”

(smirks from both ends)

“Any way I could get your number?”

“Yeah, of course.”

And that’s how I grew a pair and asked a guy for his number.

My dog is great for getting me out of speeding tickets and picking up guys, apparantly, because I’m positive it’s not my awkward pick-up lines.

I highly recommend doing something outside your comfort zone today. It’s exciting.

To all of you, because I’m really happy you read this on occasion,


Birthdays are a great excuse to buy yourself stuff

I asked a friend of mine what she did on Valentine’s Day:

“I walked to the corner store at 2 in the afternoon in pajamas, glasses, no makeup, hair in pigtails.  I went to the counter and asked the guy for some R&R Canadian Whiskey.  He handed me a fifth and I said, ‘Ohhhh yeah, I’m gonna need a half gallon.’  And then he just stared at me really sadly.”

It was my favorite love story of the day.

She isn’t sad or depressed, and I know she has guys swooning over her because she is a smokin’ hot babe and funny as shit, but let’s be real, that’s hilarious to envision.

My Valentine’s Day was a bit different.  I took care of two little kids (as I do each week) for the day.  When I arrived there in the morning, my 3 year old buddy was holding up a pink plate of heart-shaped goodies and yelled, “Hannah, will you be my Valentine?”

Simultaneously, every cookie and brownie slid off the plate and onto the floor.

He was stunned, I couldn’t stop laughing.  I replied with a “yes,” of course, and then ate all of the treats, floor grime and all.


Then I went to work and helped others have a magical and romantic evening out. Afterwards, I drank gin.

I’m not a Valentine’s pessimist.  It’s a fun Hallmark Holiday where we can finally show and tell people how much we love them.   I just can’t handle how cards are $4.99 a pop for red paper that says “I love you.”  I’ll fold some computer paper and ink out my weird emotions and hand it to you.  That shit’s free!

I also like the day because it’s my dog’s birthday.  He would be a Valentine’s puppy, that little lover.

As for today, it’s my 26th birthday.

Twenty six.  If you asked me ten years ago where I thought I’d be at the age of twenty six I would likely have said, “Married, maybe a couple kids, working, using my degree.”

Funny how life can demolish any plans you make. Hahaha! Oh life, you are hysterical.

In actuality, I could be married, I could have kids, I could have a degree, but when those opportunities began to creep up on me, I decided to run for the hills.  Today, I am a self-proclaimed commitmentphobe (one with a fear of commitment).

I have a friend who is constantly infuriated with me because I can’t make plans.  He’ll ask me days prior if I want to catch a flick, or at work if I want to grab a beer afterwards.  I always respond with “maybe” and if I do happen to commit, I usually freak out at the last minute and decide I don’t want to do anything at all and cancel.

Maybe twenty six will bring about a sense of calm.  I already feel more relaxed about it.  I love saying, “I’m twenty six,” it feels like almost a mature age to be.  I may even start taking myself seriously. (Bahahahahaha!)

I realize I tend to cling to youth like a decadent dessert that I just don’t want to finish.  I leave one more bite because I can’t stand for it to be gone.

Now trust me, I don’t think that because I’m now on the upper end of my mid-twenties that suddenly I’ll be bereft of my youthful antics and must become starchy and boring, because I’m pretty sure I’ll be overly immature for many years to come.  Instead, I feel a bit of assurance.  I’ve survived what could likely be the first big chunk of my life.  That’s a pretty big feat!

It may be safe to say I don’t have to be such a spaz about planning my life, because clearly, none of it has happened the way I foresaw, and it’s still turning out to be pretty rad.

Besides, I may not have a degree, but I am freaking amazing at polishing glasses.

So bring it on, twenty six!  I’m already very comfortable with you, so let’s boogy.

To Cooper, To Love, To Black History Month, Michael Jordan’s birthday, and clearly to me,


and the award for the best blog ever goes to! …..

I’m not much of an awards show person.  I really enjoy going to see movies, I am learning that I find theater borderline fascinating, and when someone asks what kind of music I like I almost want to laugh.  Country? yeah.  Rock? I’ll jam.  Folk-rock? true genre. Pop?  Totes.

But the awards shows? I usually forget to watch them.

The Grammy’s award show tonight, for some reason, was my #1 priority.  I rushed home from Sunday night pizza with a bit of my family to ensure I didn’t miss too much show time.  I sprinted into my home and my dad happened to be in the kitchen.  He welcomed me with, “Grammy’s are on, holla!” (yes, he was mocking me, he could care less).  I ran passed him holding up a bottle of wine and a glass squealing, “EEEEEEEE!” down to the t.v. room.

I literally have been blown away by this entire show (no, that’s a lie, I am still on my couch, not “literally” blown anywhere, so I should have said figuratively.  “I figuratively have been blown away by the entire show”).  There has been such a wild variety of genres.  From Taylor Swift to Fun. to the Lumineers, to Gotye, to an incredible compilation from Elton John, the Zac Brown Band, Brittany Howard from Alabama Shakes and Mavis Staples, to a super rad tribute to Bob Marley by Bruno Mars mixing his talents with Rihanna, Bob Marley’s own sons Ziggy and Damien (thanks for the save Betsy Krikke), and Sting? What?! I don’t know who thought to invite him into the mix, but I suppose that’s why I’m not in charge of those decisions.  Do you feel like an ass for not watching yet?

One thing I noticed that’s really wonderful about this year’s Grammy’s is that no one was sickly thin. Amen to my curvy broads!  Do what you need to do to stuff those love handles away, ladies!  No matter what, I like your style.

Also, I need to give a quick shout out to Taylor Swift.  She has 9 billion haters and yes, many, many fans also, but seriously, 9 billion haters.  Even her fans are oftentimes defensive, “What?! No! I don’t like T-Swizzle! No way!” (their iTunes “recently played” list suggests otherwise).  And yet, she’s opening for the Grammy’s and still being super sweet to everyone and then singing every lyric to every artist performing on stage.  She and I must share the affection for the same quote, “haters gonna hate.”

We can bash on Frank Ocean a bit.  What the shit? Forest Gump song?  He had a sweat band around his head, pretend legs running on a screen where his real legs should be, key was weirdly off, and then he just started whistling.  Don’t worry, my opinion is the last he cares about.  But, really?

We all knew Mumford & Sons would win for album of the year, right? Still, my entire heart wanted Fun. to take that one.  They are just the bees knees. (they did win song of the year, yes and hurray)

Do you have a case of award show hatred?  That’s fine. We’d hate for anything to bring you entertainment outside of your daily life.  Yeehaw!

Good news: My bottle of wine is not gone yet, but I’ll keep working on it.

To Italy and their grapes and to all those vocal ranges that encourage me to belt in the car,


P.S. Gentlemen, it’s Valentine’s week.  Don’t eff up and not do anything for your lady.  At the very least, get her a card, or chocolate, or a really great high five. I beseech you.  Do something, even if she asked you not to.

And then thank me later.

Dear Blog…

This morning, the West Michigan world woke up to a shit ton of snow.

We are talking “probably stay in with coffee and blanket all day” kind of snow.

And I mean the “you likely won’t be able to get out of your driveway” snow.

I’m serious, so much snow.

Especially compared to the zero inches of snow that fell last year.

I had a breakfast date with my best friend, however, and a mere 17 feet of fresh, powdery snow wasn’t going to stop me. Besides, I drive a spaceship with brand new tires, she can handle anything.

As I braved the icy highways at a daring 35 mph, I found myself talking to the roads.

“Really road? I can’t even see which lane I’m in.”

I also spoke with my car washer fluid.

“Seriously? You’re frozen, car washer fluid? I can’t see out my window and could really use you right now.”

To fellow highway brave-ers, driving more boldly than myself,

“Dude, really, you’re passing me right now? If you cut back into my lane and hit your brakes so help — asshole! I knew it! Learn how to drive!”

Do you know what, my sweet little readers? No one responded to me.

That’s the thing with inanimate objects, they are incapable of conversation. I still find, though, that I’m not the only person who does this. Have you noticed (or perhaps done this yourself) that people love to write letters to things that are incapable of a response?  Social media statuses everywhere have become angry letters to things that have no control over anything. It’s a venting mechanism, right? But what if those things could write letters in response? I got to thinking about this on my commute this morning.

Dear Leaky Faucet,
What the cuss? Thanks for leaking water all under my sink and ruining the entire baseboard of the cupboard, because I really have time to clean all that up and mop the entire kitchen. Seriously, you are a morning-ruiner.

Dear Kate,
I’m sorry for dutifully providing you with your daily water supply over the past fifteen years, despite your negligence of necessary maintenance. How dare I! Maybe this small inconvenience will remind you how great it is that instead of having to collect and purify water yourself every day, you have me to provide that luxury for you.
with drops of love,
your faucet

Dear Liver,
I apologize for last night, please forgive me for drinking all that whiskey. I promise I’ll take better care of you.

Dear Jim,
You’re a liar, and I look forward to hearing this same sob story next weekend.
Damaged forever,
Your Liver

Dear Snow,
I can’t even see the road! Why so much at one time, Snow? People need to go places, do things, accomplish tasks, and you are really slowing us all down.
Safely driving without texting,

Dear Hannah,
Sadly, I’m not in charge of how much or how often I fall on your territory, but did you forget? It’s winter! This happens! Have you become a soft little pansy, my tough midwesterner? Please remember to enjoy the beauty of each season before you become a nasty pessimist that bitches and moans about everything in life.
Good thing you have new tires!

It’s fine and very necessary to be able to vent, but sometimes, let’s remember to shut our stupid mouths for a little bit, because all that negativity can create a thick and dark blanket over our eyes that are already clouded with seasonal depression. Let’s be honest, we need all the light we can get during these gloomy February days.

I hope you go look at pretty snowflakes, and remember that there’s a lot of beauty out there, and I’m going to try to write more positive letters to things in my head.

Breakfast was pretty wonderful. Finnish pancakes and turkish coffee? Yes. Conversation with my best friend? Yes. Eye candy compliments of the tattooed man with the floppy knitter? 100% yes.


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