What a Crazy Random Happenstance

That’s right. Starting off the BLERG with a sweet Dr. Horrible reference. You know Neil Patrick Harris makes my heart go pitter-patter. So don’t sip on the hate-orade.

ImageSeriously. Adorable. How can you not find him charming?

For being spouted as the “big city” in Utah, Salt Lake is a small town. I saw one of my previous students at the grocery store; realized I knew most of the contacts on my “meet and greet list”; and found out that I am not only a part of the notary posse at work, but also on the FUN committee.

ImageThat -ish is legit.

I think the most interesting moment of serendipity was in speaking with my new CEO. We were driving to one of the housing authority’s new projects (it’s amazing, and you can see it here) an we were talking about living in the city, people we both may know, etc.

I told him about how I used to live up by the University, and that I had just bought Castle Graystone. I mentioned how much I loved my old neighbors/landlords. He mentioned he had family in the area, and that his sister lived really close to my old apartment.

ImageAnd by close by, he meant my neighbors.

As luck would have it, Sarah and Virgil were my friends and neighbors for six years when I lived in the little cozy greenhouse. They always said hello, they were incredibly kind, and there were always Christmas goodies. I was so struck by the coincidence that I left a voicemail to that effect for my old friends, and told Sarah that her younger brother said hello.


So the moral of the story there is to be good to one another, because you never know who you know. If that even makes sense…

To everyone out there, have a safe and happy weekend. May the sun stay out, the grills gleam, and the cold bevvies delish. I plan on moving furniture and partying it up Ogden-style. Which is kind of like Gangnam Style.

ImageSlightly less… diverse though.

Stay classy Salt Lake.

Love in the time of Cholera

It was inevitable. Things were going a bit too well for me, and as such, karma and the other powers that be conspired to knock me down a peg. I mean, really. The weather has been decent. I have a place to live that I co-own with Fanny Mae. I have a new job that I really enjoy. Everything was coming up roses.

ImageKudos to those that get the reference.

So when my slight headache and runny nose began a couple of weeks ago, I shrugged them off. I mean, I know that I get sinus infections on  quarterly basis, and I had made it through the summer relatively unscathed. Thusly, pride doth come before the fall, and like Icarus, I flew too close to the sun, and burned my wings.

ImageI played this game in my tweens. I was terrible at it.

Crushed it on Metroid, though.

So this morning, when I woke up and realized that I couldn’t really smell anything and that a baby panda had taken up residence inside my skull, I sighed, got dressed in my work clothes (which I ironed. I ironed.) and went to work. Two DayQuil and a lot of peppermint tea later, I took a short lunch to hit up the grocery store where I signed over my life and progeny for a ten-pack of Sudafed.

ImageBecause I live in one of the Meth capitals of America.

Work was still ok, though I was only firing on three cylinders, and I came home to an hour of housework (“deferred maintenance” = lazy queen of the couch), changed into my jammies, and began wading through my inbox, which was exploding. I am hoping that if I rest up during my three-day weekend, which is now marred by tuberculosis, I can beat this bug.

ImageAnd I’mm-a look good doing it too.

Stay classy (and healthy) Salt Lake.

My Centennial

Whoddathunk it in January that 2013 was the year that I would actually stick to a New Year’s resolution. And don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. Typically we all make big promises for the upcoming year. Quitting smoking. Cutting down on fast food. Losing half of one’s body weight.

ImageWhere the hell is my tiara.

Now, I still have another 40ish to go, but I can’t believe I met my initial goal of losing 100 pounds by my birthday (which is October 6, 198-none-ya-business) almost six weeks ahead of schedule. If I do get to my goal weight by then, I am pretty sure I am going to make something outrageous to feast with (things like this, or maybe this) to celebrate.

ImageWho am I kidding; what’s not to love about sandwich cake?

So I’ll leave it at that. I am happy. Work is great. When my ice-maker works, life will be good.

ImageWe call these the fatty pants.

Stay classy Salt Lake.

BASE Jumping, Pinterest, and The Moth Radio

Yes, it’s a hodgepodge, ladies and gents, and I couldn’t settle on just one topic so I decided to post about three random things that have engrossed me in the last twenty-four hours. First, let’s go to BASE jumping, where seemingly sane people throw themselves off of buildings and out of airplanes like flying squirrels, hoping that they land with a thud and not a splatter.

ImageYeah, no. Totes safe. I mean, the fatality rate is 10% annually, but still.

Here’s where I go.

If you want to be insane, that is, of course, your business (boom, South reference). But when I hear NPR talking to someone defending BASE jumping as a safe sport, I cringe. I am okay with people doing stupid things while they seek thrills and attention. That’s their right. It’s not smart, but hey, to each his own.

Which brings me to Pinterest.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am all for the time-suck that is the interwebs. So I have flirted with joining yet another social media network. And I tried really, really hard not to succumb. I toyed. I dabbled. I looked surreptitiously for low-carb crockpot recipes, secretly thumbing through recipes while feeling guilty that I was “just watching”. And then I found the ultimate vegetable lasagna crockpot recipe of all time.

ImageThis. This is the gateway drug.

So I started an account, and while still being somewhat of a voyeur (which you can find here), I have slowly, slowly started pinning, I worry about my own sanity, especially after the defunct Twitter catastrophe. Though, who knows, I might revisit it as I work through the social media morass for work.

ImageWhich doesn’t provide a very good tie-in to my third rant.

As I was driving home from moving Newbs into his new digs at the Ben Affleck Apartments, I turned the radio to NPR (obvi) and the Moth Radio Hour came on, and as usual, I started crying like a baby. And I decided that, if and when they come to Salt Lake, I want to try out to do an open mic. Which is terrifying, but something I think that would be an incredible experience.

ImageSeriously moving radio. I own stock in Kleenex at this point.

So as I sit here, in my severely discounted Kohl’s sweater (that I LOVE), watching Friends reruns, I look forward to learning more in my new jerb, practicing the spoken word like a BOSS, and contemplating EMT training. You know, for fun.


I’m all about occupational hazards and all.

Stay classy Salt Lake. -M

The New Normal

I’ll try not to be that guy that gloats about how their life is changing for the better, and how I am super optimistic about the future, and blah blah blah, because frankly, having lived in flux or in a bad situation periodically in my life, I find those types of people annoying at best, and cloying at worst.

ImageOh Stuart. You complete me. Love the sweater.

Having lost 25%-ish of my body weight since New Year’s Eve and starting a new job, 2013 has been a doozie of a year. I feel better, I fit into my older clothes (which, you know what, may be dated, but make me feel fierce), and I’ve been able to get rid of the more toxic routines and people in my life.

ImageI’m addicted to you, don’t you know that you’re toxic?

I woke up this morning, bargain-shopped at Kohl’s (aka Mecca) and fed the ducks some super-stale bread at the park. I’m now couching with the windows open, listening to NPR cooking shows and trying to figure out how to can 6 pounds of peaches I was told I could pick at my new friend Em’s house, where she has two prolific peach trees that would otherwise rot on the branch.

This is a job for Pioneer Matt.

So I am at peace. I am happy. I am getting healthier. I am spending more time with my friends and family enjoying the simple things. Had you asked me 7 years ago whether I would be a homo-wner in Utah (UTAH), canning fruit and vegetables and feeding ducks in a 90% discounted sweater, I would have looked at you like you were from Mars.

ImageSuch a pretty red planet.

So I am happy. I am fortunate. I am invincible. I am woman?

ImageOk, drop #4. Insert “fierce”.

Stay classy Salt Lake.


The Inner Madea

I will never be accused of being too macho. Other than nailing things to other things (typically manufactured by IKEA, my mecca) and occasionally helping someone else fix something by hunting for and finding a variety of tools, I am hopelessly not handy. I don’t dig monster trucks, demolition derbies, or televised sports.

ImageSeriously. What is the appeal. Someone tell me the appeal.

So when I went to run a quick errand, I noticed a car in the neighborhood with two little old ladies waiting for a friend. And the driver, who must have been at least 70, was decked out like she was getting ready for Easter Sunday. The pièce de résistance (I know, boojie word choice, your welcome) of this fabulous outfit was an incredible, outrageous hat she was wearing. Epic doesn’t begin to describe the taffeta, the ribbon, and the brim.

ImageI will wear an outrageous hat to Easter. Someday.

Which of course ties this all neatly together with one of my favorite characters, Mable Simmons of the Tyler Perry franchise, who I ultimately believe is my spirit guide. Her ridiculousness reminds me that people need to relax a bit and let loose every once in a while. Which I try to do, through hanging out with friends wearing my pretty blue wig and hitting up the farmer’s market tomorrow so that I can jar some more stuff.

ImageMadea is none to thrilled with y’all, heller!

So as I prep 4 pounds of pork loin to slow cook over the next 18 hours, I look forward to a quiet night in my jammies, watching Arrested Development on the couch while catching up on emails. Today at work was a repeat of yesterday: fabulous. Now, where did I put the Fresca…

Stay classy Salt Lake.

My First Day at HACSL

And for the record, it’s pronounced, “Haxxle.”

And I love it. I am only one day in, and I know that this was a good decision. The people are beyond friendly and helpful. The building, while quirky in some places, is generally navigable. And I know a lot of the people through shared programs not only from Fourth Street Clinic, but even the Utah AIDS Foundation. The cherry on top is something I’ve longed for since I left VC in 2006…

ImageThank the sweet lord baby Jesus, I have a door.

My office is big enough to host meetings in. It may not have a window (the building was built in an unfortunate time in architecture), but it’s got four walls, a door, an L-shaped desk (!!!), a place for visitors, and enough storage space that I will probably use 1/5th of it.

ImageOh, and this is Oki. My printer. My own friggin’ printer!!

This is big, kids.

So while I wade through the paperwork and read all of the grants tomorrow, I am on cloud nine right now, knowing that I will be well resourced and in good company (much like at Fourth Street). And tomorrow, after I go cross-eyed from the new acronyms (HUD, HOI, ADR3, FUBAR), I get to go tour some of the housing sites to meet more people.

ImageInsert gratuitous shot of my office, already building the piles.

And, AND the drive to and from work has gone from a nailbiting 15 minutes of angry interstate jockeying to a leisurely trip down the surface roads. Put simply friends, life is good.

ImageOh, and my business cards are embossed. W H A T ! ? !

Stay classy Salt Lake.