Now, at this point in your life you’re probably 21, kinda floored by adulthood (leases, relationships, jobs, oh my!) and vacillating a bit between dumbfounded panic and finger-tingling excitement.  You probably are stoked to make healthy foods, to ride your bike, to learn about God and love and family.  And you’re also probably learning about alcohol.

Now, I know you are a reasonable person, an intelligent and motivated individual.  You never drink to get drunk.  You don’t actually even “go out”.  You certainly don’t need a drink (or three) to be fun.  And you would never, ever, drink your stress/anxiety/insecurity away.

For the sake of a blog post more humorous than family crisis, however, let’s pretend you’re curious about how to not be hungover on a Tuesday.  (Abstinence? Cute.  You must be new here.)

First off, once you realize you’re more exuberant on the Blue Martini Dance floor than usual, or that you’ve moved the dance party to your own private rain dance outside, here’s what you need to do; pop a vitamin B12, and fill your pretty pink nalgene to the brim.  Now down it.  Don’t throw it up, but do drink it all.

If you don’t have a nalgene, you’re silly.

Now, you probably forgot to charge your phone because, well, forgetting normal life things comes with the territory of being such a big fan of alcohol, which means you had no alarm clock the morning after your debauchery.  Once you’ve awakened (and realized its ten in the aye-em and you’ve blown off your morning plans with people you care deeply about) you need to refill that nifty nalgene.  Drink that mother.

Although its acidic and you give up drinking coffee all the frickin time, you’re probably craving it.  So walk to the nearest coffee shop, all bloated and groggy, and get yourself the largest iced java you can afford.

Once at home (because I still respect you as a person, Dear Reader, and have given you the credit of sleeping over at someone’s house rather than driving home intoxicated) ignore the judgmental gaze of your dog 

and make yourself an alkalizing elixir with this stuff:  Your body needs some healing and this stuff will help.

However, it tastes like your lawnmower smells, so dose it with Arbonne’s energy fizzy drink mix.  Then its not only bearable, but delicious, and even more alkalizing!

Also, breaky ought to consist of something nutritious and dry.  Viola; hearth-thrive energy bars!

Keep downing that water, turn up Youtube’s Fun playlist (you’re probably a big fan of the song “Be Calm” lately.) and prepare for your day.

This day, in particular, involves bringing Chris to In’n’Out for an interview (ohpleaseohpleaseohplease), dropping off your resume at places (I was fired on Sunday, guys.  And I quote; “you’re a waitress, not a fucking comedian.”), exploring more housing options with the new roommates, and getting Michael’s car washed, as he’s been generous enough to let me use it while he goes off and gets engaged in Europe.

Anyway, here’s to twenty-one.  Cheers, friends.


My little brother is in town…and we’re not letting him leave.

There’s something about siblings that can churn your insides and break your heart.  Really they’re just these people, these completely individual beings with their own quirks and hopes and character flaws, and maybe you wouldn’t even chose to know them.  They helped form you, though, maybe even more so than your parents.

The boy got a ride out here with another boy, the one who’s game for South Am travels, and upon his complicated arrival and confession of the lifestyle he’s been slowly killing himself with, my older brother and I turned into momma bears and formed a two-part shield around him. Well, three-part, because how do you deal with this much damage without the Holy Spirit?

The plans for this year, the whole not-buying-a-car and saving for South America, has radically changed. This is bigger than  my travel dreams. This is my baby brother.  Remember my baby brother?  Remember catching snails and pretending we were X-Men? Remember when we’d fight, and he’d tell on me, but as soon as my parents tried to punish me he’d throw a fit about how he’d made it all up, how it’d been all his fault, and please don’t punish Jessie.  Remember how you found him on horse tranquilizers that day and he was more of a zombie then than when we’d first put him on Ritalin as a child?

And remember how you wouldn’t hold his hand during dinner time prayers, because ewe.  Don’t tell me you forgot your cutting remarks, your disdain your undisguised disgust at him as he grew up and found more and more illicit escape routes.  Because he certainly didn’t forget.

I’ve never seen such wounds.  I’ve never seen such need.

In this unexpected turn of events, it looks as if my older brother and I will be playing house the best we can and praying for healing and detox.   And don’t give me that crap about how its not our responsibility, how its unfair or how we can barely take care of ourselves.  The Bible says in 1 Timothy 5:8 “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

I don’t know what to say except that the three of us have lived separate, “big kid” lives long enough.  Now we need each other, and we love each other fiercely.

And somehow, amidst all the problems, all the complexities, it somehow feels so safe and right for the three of us to be in the same room.   I can’t speak for the boys, exactly, but man, it is home when we’re together.  And we three will build a sanctuary for each other, a retreat from the chaos and bitterness the world so lavishly dishes out.  We will wear compassion.  We will experience and exhibit grace.

And sentiment aside…friends, you’ve never met a boy as fun as my little brother.


Halelujah, I’m free at last!!!!!

From debt, that is.  It feels so good.  I don’t know how people go long periods of time with huge amounts owed to school or hospitals; I felt like it was looming over me this entire time.  I felt almost criminal not paying it, like everything I bought was just borrowed and everything I earned was really for someone else. When the Bible talks about the borrower being servant to the lender, this is what it means.

And if you’ve ever lent a friend or family member money, you know first hand how the dichotomy of the relationship changes. To avoid the resentment, bitterness and awkwardness that usually follows, I’ve made a point of not loaning money anymore.  If I pay anything for a friend, that’s it; its a gift.  I’d rather lose money than a friend.

I know my debt was miniscule in comparison to so many others struggling with debt in America, so if you’ like to be inspired by someone truly tackling their debt and dealing with finances in a mature, Godly, and gazelle-intense way, check out my friends Brian and Stephanie’s new blog, The Debt Free Adams Family.  These guys are newly married and awesome, and I’m certainly looking forward to keeping up with them along their journey to financial freedom. Encourage them, friends, and when they’ve paid this debt off by Steph’s birthday next year, lets celebrate with them.

On work ethic and margaritas

Happy Margarita Monday, friends!

I apologize in advance for typos. :/

I wanted to explain why, though it was a slow and trying day at work, I ain’t mad.  See, tips were sub-par and I even had the serving nightmare of a table exiting the building sans payment.

They cost me $20.13, plus whatever 4% of that is (which I tip-out to the bussers, AKA the most important men in my life.)

Anyway, I wanted to tell you, over homemade margaritas we decided to dose with more tequila (because, God love her, Steph makes such a cute margo) why I’m not upset about this shitty day.  It has very little to do with MGMT radio on Pandora and the alcohol.  It actually has to to with integrity.

See, I like, when I get a shit tip, to recount the entirety of the party’s meal and judge whether or not I earned their pathetic 10%.  If I can replay the greeting, the order-taking, the meal presentation, the coffee refills and the check-dropping, and see that their experience was not found (legitimately) wanting, then I can accept that shit tip and carry my pony-tailed head high.  If I haven’t earned a person’s ill-will, I feel fine with their two dollars on twenty-five.  They’re either clueless or assholes, so who cares?  If I’ve earned it, I’ve no right to complain anyway.

I work very hard.  I genuinely want my restaurant’s guests to enjoy themselves and to be satisfied.  I don’t only recommend the pricey items.  I cater to their neediness, as if they’re my only table and I’m not running on five hours of fitful sleep and caffeine.  I read once that “work” is “a productive interaction with His creation that provides for our families and allows us to use the personal gifts that God has given us.”  I read this in the back of the free bible a church in California gave me a few years ago.  While I’m only providing for myself and my dog, and not necessarily using the “gifts” God has given me (and what are they, anyway?) in my work life, I sure as hell ought to use the grace, interest, and affection he’s bestowed upon me with my customers.  They ought to enjoy being served by me.  I am personally cherished by the creator of the universe; how dare I not engage with my customers in the same, individual way?

This brings me back to my conviction about bad tips.  More-so my attitude about them.  If I’m a shitty server I deserve bad tips and have no grounds to stand on to complain.  However, if I am a friggin awesome server and still get a shit tip (or, you know, a twenty-dollar stiff), I still have no ground to complain on.  I did my best, ok?  I did everything I could.  I was multi-tasking.  I was distracted.  I still remembered your refill.

All this to say…I don’t feel bad about this wretched day.  I feel like this.

Hope your weekend was awesome and you’re feeling patriotic.  Be nice to your waitress.




I foreshadowed this post yesterday and am actually very curious to hear your perspective at the end of it.  I want to clarify some things right off the bat, however.  One; I like being a woman.  I like wearing pretty earrings, I like being relationship-focussed, I even like that I cry during sentimental commercials.  Two; I like men.  I don’t think they’re bad or ignorant or trying to repress me.  I even want to spend the rest of my life living with, and loving, a man.
Three, I wear a bra*.

This being said…I effing hate being a woman sometimes!!!!!!  Let me explain.

The other day I was eating with a coworker, the expeditor, and he let me know that one of the cooks (who’s since been fired for reasons unknown) used to tell everyone at work that he and I were hooking up.  He had pictures to “prove” it.  Those pictures were actually from the night we of the restaurant were all really defiant and went out for sushi together.  My big brother was with us, in fact.  The cook in question took heaps of pictures.  Of me.

I blew it off, like “good riddance to that creep”, and went on with my day.  The day following, at the coffee shop next to work, a gentleman approached me to ask if he’d done anything to upset me.  This gentleman is in his late fifties or early sixties and is on the same bus route as I, and he wants to be a writer.  (He’s also kinda a conspiracy theorist and won’t let a paper publish his articles for free.) Anyway, we used to talk about writing, politics, riding the bus, etc. and I accidentally gave him my email.  It was an accident! I’d meant to give him this blog domain but my hand wrote out the email on default.  (Yes, he has this blog domain too, so he’s probs reading this.  I don’t care.)

He had promptly sent an email, in which he described what kindred spirits we were and referred to me as a “babe”.


I didn’t respond.  Didn’t know how to.  I’m not good at conflict I don’t initiate, so I went all Scarlet O’hara and resolved to think about it tomorrow.

I’d pulled back from our quirky friendship and this is what he was referring to at the coffee shop the other day.  I explained that I was uncomfortable with his use of the word “babe” and that I don’t engage in close friendships with men.  He swore that while he thought about sex “probably every hour”, he only wanted my friendship.

I nodded.

This sent me on a two-day lament on the frustration of being female.  I resent being a woman because

  1. Don’t let them fool you, its all about your body.   Your weight-loss or gain is noticed.  Your breast size and ass oomph is noted.  If you have a pimple, you’re expected to cover it up.  As a young American woman, the worst thing you can possibly do is not be hot.  People despise ugly women.
  2.  If you’re nice, as my coworker Rafa explained, men think, “Oh, she wants to have sex with me.”  You, men, make us be mean.  We’re not mean because we’re bitches, we’re mean because we’re protecting ourselves.  And in Jesus-loving cultures, we’re standoffish or even rude because the burden of protecting our hearts and yours falls on us.
  3. I’m not tipped as well when I don’t wear makeup.

Appearance.  Sex appeal.  Being nice.  I’m sick of catcalls.

The worst thing is, being catcalled beats the alternative of not being desired.  Women are faced with this crippling paradox every time we get dressed, every time we eat, every time we decide whether or not to smile back at someone.  We want to be desired and we want our personal space respected.  We want to be treated as human beings.  We want to be pretty.  We want to be the girl in the song, but we also want to just be another person.

This is coming dangerously close to a vent, so I’ll hush up.  I have no resolution.

Girls, here’s some tips, though, on how to avoid being objectified;

  1. 1. Don’t dress like a porn star.  You don’t want to be jeered at, catcalled, “misunderstood”? Don’t dress like a man’s wet dream and he has no right to treat you like it.
  2.  Don’t purposefully arouse desires in a man you have no intention of fulfilling.  There’s a fine line between innocent flirting and being a little tease.  And I think the line is just before the eyelash batting.
  3.  Don’t put up with “hey sexy’s” from men you work with.  Tell them to knock it off.
  4. Have a personality.  If you’re a real person and not a pretty little space-filler, men are less likely to be assholes.
  5. Have girl friends.  Hang out with your ladies and encourage each other to be human beings.  I have a hard time making and retaining solid girl friends, I think because I used to be that girl who was all competitive and distrustful.  However, I’ve learned other women are the most valuable asset in dealing with a world that isn’t always very kind to women.  To do this, girls, you need to stop being competitive and jealous and just enjoy your friends.  Build each other up, encourage good behavior, kindly tell each other when you’re dressed like a ho.
  6. Finally, don’t discourage casual friendships with guys.  You have a lot to learn from them, and they have a lot to learn from you, and both parties are blessed by friendships with one another.  These guys probably aren’t to be your BFFs (there are exceptions), but FFs are totally fine.

That’s what I’ve got so far.  Anything to contribute to the list would be greatly appreciated.

On a final note, do you want to know my favorite thing about the email situation? Upon confrontation my old buddy explained that he hadn’t meant “babe” in the way that “other men do”.  He wasn’t objectifying me.  He’d meant I was an “interesting, intelligent and studious young woman.”

*Not to sleep, because ewe, who does that?

Publicly eyed

Welp, CST is publishing round two of my Aussie Adventures.  I feel like if I wasn’t so tired form work and wrestling with things (things being the charismatic movement, the burden of being female, etc. etc.) I’d be ecstatic.  Instead I’m relatively subdued.  Pleased, but subdued.












Also thinking about being “public”.  If some Scottsdalian reads CST, finds my little Aussie quip interesting, and finds this here blog, how much of what’s up here reflects on the newspaper that so generously lets me learn the writing business from them?  And what if the Jr Highers I used to mentor at church find it? Will they be disappointed, or will they be glad?  Do I actually want to be public?

And if I can’t “be public” with my life…what kind of life am I living?  Eek.

I should probably grow up a bit, clean up my language a bit, and get on a posting schedule.  My intentions were so awesome in January, I’ve just gotten…lazy?  Lazy.  What a gross word.  Ugh, sloppy is even worse.

Anyway, sorz for the lack of entertainment and information the last two months.  I’m boring myself to tears just thinking about it.

And I’m pinky-promising to post thoughts on the spiritually weird and the annoyace of being a girl.  In the meantime, enjoy this piece on not joining the vegan cult;

I’m being serious; it rocked my world.

Lovin’ you, faithful reader.

P.S. My disaster of the day was when I set a tray on the stand, lifted a plate from one end, the the entire thing crashed onto the restaurant floor.  Plates shattered, baby wailing, yours truly awkwardly trying to joke.  “Hey, you’re awake now! No coffee refill necessary!”  #gerdamnit

Quit being a wussy.

margaritas^Being attractive.

I’ve decided to quit being a wussy and come back to the blogosphere.

There’s only so long a person can go wallowing in disillusionment of Self and blogger’s block.  Life is still interesting, it is still good, and we’ve got stories to tell, so I’m back.

“Heeeeeeeere’s Johnny!”

^That’s how I feel.

And, hello, what’s the use of going through realizations and learning experiences if you’re going to play like its not happening?  And then there’s the trouble of wanting to explain something no one explained to me, like credit cards and insurance in foreign countries, but I can’t very well pretend I didn’t make this Beatles Farewell Tour of a last post and move on all nonchalant.

So here we are.  I just wanted you to know I’m still around, still figuring out food, relationships, how to travel (and if its ok to travel for fun), God-stuff, etc.

The past couple weeks have involved neglecting my worshipful dog, humming M.I.A’s Paper Planes all day at work, Margarita Mondays (and Wednesdays, and what’s wrong with Thursdays?) re-discovering the Psalms, and paying off half my debt*.  There’s been much psychoanalysis (mostly thanks to my brother, who’s tripping at his own self-realizations) and much Justified watched. I’m officially visiting my newlywed friends in Nebraska in September and my brother and friend are officially visiting me in a couple weeks.

And work? Its not as crazy as it used to be, and judging by my schedule (I open every day I work…like a pro…which causes me to realize I am their 2nd longest-running employee these days) I am loved and needed.  Woop woop!

Consider yourself updated.

On a sidenote, remember disasters?  I had a disaster riding my bike home from Safeway the other day; I crashed into a pole, shattering the glass olive oil bottle and eliciting laughter from the guys at the bus stop.  I was cool though.  I finished the ride home, returned for the oily shards of glass, and pouted at Safeway.  Safeway has the best customer service ever and got me another bottle, which I did not shatter on the way home.  How ’bout them apples for entertainment?!?!

*Fist pump!


Hey guys,

please excuse the Quiet for the next little bit.  I think its finally sinking in that I’m back in America and in debt for the foreseeable future, and I’m having a rough time adjusting.  Its not surreal anymore, its just kind’ve a sad detachment, which is why the past few posts have been shit writing.  And I’m realizing sad things, like how I’m still selfish and still take advantage of others, how I’m so stubborn I embarrass the ones I love, and how I’m actually only vegan because it “saves” me from that pesky old eating disorder.

In lieu of the soul-work and stillness I’m craving, I am not going to post anything here until I have something of value to say.


What I’m eating these days

After paying rent and getting my Savings account in check, I went out and invested in twenty-four pint-sized mason jars, some sprouted quinoa, various veggies, bulk legumes,  and the “supplies” necessary to brew my own kombucha.

The kombucha is the big splurge; a bottle at the store runs form $2.99 (at Safeway) to $3.99 (at AJs), and the stuff is addicting. If you’ve never tried the effervescent nectar of the gods, you must.  I recommend you try GT Dave’s “Trilogy”, as its juicier than, say, the Original.  Kombucha is a fermented tea with millions of probiotic microorganism awesomes hanging out inside.  People swear by kombucha’s “healing” properties.  I won’t go so far, however, when I’m drinking kombucha consistently I do fancy myself feeling better.

Drinking kombucha consistently means spending three to four dollars every other day or so, and that, friends, is not feasible for me.  I want to spend my money wisely, and while I’m into investing in oneself, I’m not into waste.  Especially if there’s a better way.

The better way here is brewing my own kombucha, so with this woman’s step-by-step plan, I’ve begun the SCOBY-growing process!

When I imagine what being “home” is like, I imagine my dog lounging somewhere, chickens strutting around outside, a veggie garden, and kombucha fermenting in my pantry.

Two down, right?

So that’s that.

The food I invested in is just that; an investment.  Your diet affects the way you feel and think, which affects he way you interact with and experience the world. The way you treat the machine, my old man was fond of saying, is the way the machine will treat you.  I soaked black beans last night, froze half the soaked beans, and simmered the other half for two hours this arvo.  I sauteed onions, mushrooms, and bell peppers with garlic in coconut oil and steamed some broccoli.  And that Tru Roots Sprouted Quinoa Trio I splurged on? I made that, and threw everything together in a huge pot.  That’s what I’m eating these days.

And I’m storing the remainder in portion-perfect mason jars, along with the cut veggies I didn’t use tonight.  This way my lazy ass can just plop everything together in a pot without even thinking, and ten minutes later I’ll have a meal!  And look how prettay this all looks!

I wanna hash-tag this as gettingstokedabouthealthfulliving.

Bon appetit!

BrewingSoonThe suppliesCompletionStorage

A cynic hops on the bandwagon.

Or, why I am an (almost) official Arbonne consultant.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a gluten-intolerant vegan with budget and time constraints, and I intend to travel a good many places and help people along the way.  I’m a huge believer in Chris Guillebeau’s main blog premise;

You don’t have to live your life the way other people expect you to. You can do good things for yourself and for other people at the same time.

I want a vibrant life and believe vibrancy and service are not mutually exclusive.  We can be happy and helpful.

I also believe in not ravaging the world He so lovingly created. I don’t believe the command to “subdue” the Earth meant abuse, genetically modify, and disregard the animals here.  Or the environment at large.  I believe everything ought to be treated according to its kind, and I’m learning how to live consistently with these truths.

This matters for are cosmetic products, for the food we eat, for the way we commute to work, etc.  It matters whether or not are eye-shadow was poured into animals eyes before being put onto the shelves, and it matters where the packaging for our protein shakes wind up when we’re through.

My friend Lisa is an Arbonne consultant, meaning she joined Arbonne and now goes around coaching people on the toxins in our everyday products and how to live healthfully.  She’s been my supplier of free Arbonne awesomeness for almost a year, be it the gluten-free, vegan protein shakes or the miracle night cream I use that makes it look like I’m well-rested at work.

Arbonne products are 100% vegan, gluten-free, plant-based, and actually have a neutral carbon footprint.

Lisa has been trying to convince me I could make a living doing what she does, but I am a cynic and I am lazy, and kept telling her no and waiting until she offered more samples.  I love this stuff; the idea of selling it though seemed like a scam.  Or kind’ve a sell-out.

Long story short, I came home from Australia with a new-found appreciation of quality products.  I don’t want to hurt anything, not in the makeup I wear or the food I eat.  I found my mom’s old stock of Arbonne energy fizzy tabs, pocketed them, and brought them to Arizona and live off of them at work. (Sorz mom.)  Lisa is an amazing person and, upon hearing of my destitute self sleeping on my new roommate’s couch and wearing the same rotation of clothes every other day, pooled her resources and got her friends to donate clothes, bedsheets, a lamp, kitchen supplies, etc.  She brought everything over, along with (bless her heart) Arbonne samples, and it got me thinking.

It got me thinking that, hey, Arbonne is a legitimate company.  All organic and certified vegan, PH-correct and delicious.  And like I said, I’ve been a closet-user for a year.

All this to say…hey friends, I’m starting a business!  I’m going to be coaching whomever in the health and wellness department (Nutrition Communications is a degree at ASU!!!) and incorporating Arbonne products in my quest to better the world.

And, lets face it, making money on the side is not a negative thing. Especially since I would continue making money even whilst traveling abroad.

Friends, this is a company I genuinely believe in and am excited to share with you.  I’ll post links so that you, dear reader, may shop Arbonne online and see what I mean.  Also, contact me if you’re curious about a product and I’ll send you a sample.   And if you want to make some money on the side (because like, who doesn’t?) don’t hesitate to contact me. Arbonne has something for everyone; men, women and children, and its all the best quality possible.

I’m just getting started, so bear with me. I haven’t officially signed up yet (because you make more money signing up with a few friends!) but when I do, I’ll share more info about it all.  Also, if you have any advice, I’d love to hear it.

Bandwagon…sheesh.  I’ll be driving this wagon in no time. 😉

On another note, CST published part one of my Australia/wwoof memoir!  Woohoo!!!  Page 38.



*I’m not 100% sold. I’m reading other consultant’s experiences and trying to make an informed decision. Just…fyi. I haven’t downed the cool-ade quite yet.