my life in my words

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I Know Where I’ve Been

This has been my FIRST full year living in Seattle!

I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some amazing things that have happened in my life this past year. I decided to give a month-by-month illustration of some highlights of the year. There were seriously SO many things that happened, but I could only choose one per month. So, without further adieu . . . cue the indian:

I’m seriously so excited for all the awesome things in store for the next year!


Sleigh Ride

Hey everyone! Well, I’m finally here, home in the ATX! I kept a journal while I was on the trip, so that I could share the memories with you! So here they are:

I’m sitting here at the Greyhound Bus Station in Billings, Montana, happy to report that everything went well on the first leg of the trip! I got halfway through reading SLEEPERS and when we get back on the road, I’ll read some more. Aside from some random texts to my dad to update him on where I am, I’ve been ‘tech free’ for a whole day! ๐Ÿ˜€

It’s amazing how freeing a lack of technology can be. Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to reconnect . . . see what I did there?!? ๐Ÿ˜‰ but in the meantime, I’m enjoying reading, writing, and drawing on the bus.

I’m actually quite proud of my on-the-road eating habits. I’ve predominantly been snacking on Granola and Clif bars. I slept most of the morning away, but when we stopped for lunch, I had a hot dog and a big container of fruit, and lots of water! It’s been really nice enjoying the countryside. Mostly it’s been mountains and snow, neither of which I’m a huge fan of. Most people on my bus have been really quiet and have kept to themselves. Even the little baby on board has been seemingly chill. I think she cried once, for 5 minutes ’til she got her bottle . . . of course she could’ve been fussier and I could’ve just slept through it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

One funny thing I saw on the ride from Seattle to Billings was a TACO JOHN’S . . . one simple name, SO many jokes! ๐Ÿ˜‰ But the slogan was: THE BEST WEST-MEX! I really don’t even know what to think. Growing up on Tex-Mex has spoiled me. I cringed and laughed all at the same time. I imagine it tastes really fishy and like it’s trying too hard, much like most Mexican food I’ve had in the Pacific Northwest. But once again, I’m biased and spoiled.

The next leg of the trip leads me to Denver, Colorado. I know it sounds silly, but I can’t wait to get back on the bus. Each leg of travel brings me closer to homeโ€”to the friends and family I miss and love so dearly.

Well, my hand is cramping up from the writing, and it’s almost time to load up for Denver!

. . . UNTIL NEXT STOP . . .

The Denver Greyhound Station is what nightmares are made of. The people working the station are so unaffected and rude. A simple question is seen as insubordination of sorts, as if every passenger should already know the inner-workings of the Greyhound system.

I was sitting at the phone charging counter and there were 2 metal chairs already at the little bar lined with power outlets. After sitting there for about 10 minutes, one of the station guards came by and demanded that we get off the chairs because they weren’t to be used at the charging station. So he took them to a nearby table, where no one sat in them.

The good news is that I’m now on the bus, on my way to Dallas to see Chad and Katie . . and thenโ€”HOME TO AUSTIN!

Dear Denver Greyhound Station,
Love, Amanda

PS: There’s a guy on my bus that is originally from Louisiana. His voice reminds me of Remy LeBeau’s! It’s quite awesome! ๐Ÿ˜€

. . . UNTIL NEXT STOP . . .

I finally finished reading SLEEPERS! I love the book just as much as I love the movie now! Though I DO wish the movie had included the Pizza Parlour scene. This mentally handicapped kid comes into the pizza parlour and, out of habit, puts all this pepper on his pizza, and this tough older guy comes in and picks on him and teases him. Then the guys (Michael, Tommy, John, and Shakes) all gang up on the bully and totally rescue the kid. It’s sweet ๐Ÿ˜€

Well, I’m here in Amarillo, TX and I finally caved and got some ‘crap food’ to eat. I know, I know, sad. But I DID hold out for a while. And although I know I shouldn’t have dipped my chicken strips in that nasty thick truck stop gravy, I did. I’m 99.9% sure I’m gonna regret it, but oh well. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The people on my bus have been quite interesting! This one guy on my bus keeps reminding everyone that he’s a “JUGGALO” . . . which is a reference to the Insane Clown Posse, for those who don’t know. The only thing that sucks is that this one guy who sat next to me on the last leg of the trip totally farted halfway through the ride. It was RANK! ๐Ÿ˜ I mean, even compared to some of the MC van rides with the guys . . . it was nasty! So, he claims the farts, and then proceeds to pull out a medical mask to protect HIMSELF from the stench! Un.real. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I guess he never heard about bringing enough for everyone. Needless to say, I’m going to search for a new riding buddy for the next leg of the trip. All in all, things are going well. I’ve been sleeping A LOT! I guess I needed it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

. . . UNTIL NEXT STOP . . .

I got an early Christmas present, in the form of Chad Sherlock and his girlfriend, Katie, meeting me at the Dallas Greyhound Station dressed up as Santa and an Elf! LOVED IT!! We got to hang out and eat some McDonald’s . . . after driving around for a while trying to find this elusive cafe I found on Google Mapsโ€”YOU FAIL, GOOGLE MAPS! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I was really hoping to get some breakfast, but after ordering a Sausage, Egg and Cheese Meal (the #4), the lady asked if I wanted large fries with that and I was like, uhmmmm. . . then we realized they weren’t serving breakfast at 3 a.m.โ€”who knew? ๐Ÿ˜‰

I had SO much fun hanging out with them and hearing all sorts of fun stories and just sharing with them about life in Seattle. They reminded me of just how blessed I am to have amazing friends, with such big hearts and the ability to just warm your heart with a simple smile! I love them! ๐Ÿ˜€

The only thing that sucked is that I thought my bus was leaving at 5:25, so I was like, frantic about being back at the station at 5:00. But in reality, my bus wasn’t even scheduled to leave until 6:45. BIG DIFFERENCE. Well, I just waited in the station, and did some reading from my Creative Screenwriting mag. I was really excited cause they did a feature on THE LOVELY BONES, which i want to see SOOOOO bad! It’s one of my favorite books and I can’t wait to see what Peter Jackson makes of it! Also, they mentioned a blip about how Peter Jackson and his team are joining up with Guillermo Del Toro to make THE HOBBIT. I’m so JAZZED! Man, if I could intern under someone in the film industry, it would DEFINITELY be Guillermo Del Toro. His creativity and style astound me. So yeah, THE HOBBIT is a must!

My dad met me at the station and it was SO good to hug him and to just get re-acquainted with Austin, this city I love ๐Ÿ˜€ Now I’m home and just chillaxin, having taken a shower to get that Greyhound stench off of me, and for dinner, we’re going to RUDY’S BBQ! Then, tonight I get to go have coffee at Mozart’s with Stephanie Bailey Cole, who I haven’t seen in years! ๐Ÿ˜€ This is gonna be a great vacation!


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Last Train To Clarksville

Alrighty folks!

It’s time for me to officially hit the road! That’s right, it’s me, all this stuff, and a bunch of Cliff Bars and Yogurt Granola Bars heading to the ATX on the Greyhound over the next 3 days!! Whee!

Look at all the stuff I’m bringing with me to keep me occupied on the bus:

My first stop is in Billings, Montana. From there, I hop on over to Denver, Colorado. Then, I’ll get to have a long layover in Dallas, Texasโ€”Chad and Katie are meeting me there and we’re gonna get to hang! The coffee and laughs will be flowing! And from there, I head on to Cedar Park/Round Rock where my dad will meet me at the station and I’ll finally be HOME SWEET HOME!! I’m soooo looking forward to hugging all my friends & family! ๐Ÿ˜€ I miss them a lot!

I’ve seriously got to find a way to make 3 trips home per year, instead of 2 . . . but we’ll see how that all pans out. One of the first things I’ll probably do, aside from tackling my family with GIANT hugs, is to eat my weight in Chick-Fil-A! Just kidding, but that WILL be my first meal! ๐Ÿ˜€ Oh sweet sweet #1 with Large fries and a Sweet Tea and some honey mustard sauce, how I have missed you!

Between here and there, my tweeting and facebooking will be minimal because

1. there are no outlets on the busses and i they don’t guarantee power stations to charge electronics.

2. i need to take some time to take a step back and disconnect for a bit. This trip home will be a great time for me to reflect on life and to dream new dreams ๐Ÿ˜€

So I’ll have my phone off while I’m on the bus, but I’ll turn it on when I get to each station. If you NEED to get a hold of me, you can text me or Twitter DM me or email me and I’ll get back to you faster ๐Ÿ˜€

In the meantime, pray that it’s a good, safe trip for me!! ๐Ÿ˜€

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In Your Atmosphere

Yesterday was PRETTY hectic, but the joy of knowing it’s (1) SATURDAY! and (2) only 1 more day before I make the trip home on el greyhound made it all worthwhile ๐Ÿ˜€

In other GREAT news, yesterday I was on Twitter and I discovered that Rudy’s BBQ (my hometown favorite BBQ joint) was having a contest to see who could make up the best 140 character or less tweet of a holiday rhythm mentioning @rudysbbq. And i WON!!

I won a $25 gift card to Rudy’s BBQ! ๐Ÿ˜€

That’s like, one of the most amazing presents ever! Especially since I leave tomorrow night to make my way to Austin, the land flowing with Rudy’s BBQ, Chick-Fil-A and Chuy’s! ๐Ÿ˜€ I love Texas food!

The good thing is that my time at home will be a healthy length of time (8 days) and I’ll get to spend one full day of quality time with Vanessa and I’ll get to have some down time to just slow down, before I head back home, to this BEAUTIFUL city I also love!

Yesterday I was riding the bus and I was looking out at the water and then at the city buildings and all the people swarming around the streets and hanging out in Westlake Plaza, riding the carousel and enjoying hot chocolate and it just reminded me how wonderful and diverse and fun Seattle is! I’m definitely going to miss Seattle when I’m at home, but knowing that I have lived here for a year and a half and that I’m still so madly in love with this city is very comforting, and will help balance out the times I will miss it.

Tonight is all about cleaning and packing and then tomorrow is picking up last minute gifts.

I watched Inglorious Basterds again last night (LOVE that movie!) and it made me want to learn German and French more! So much so, that I might pick up a phrase book while I’m at Barnes and Noble tomorrow! We shall see . . . in the meantime, here are some photos I’ve taken as of late:

shoppers at Pacific Place Mall downtown

I’m afraid to try them . . .

Going up the escalator at Convention Place Bus Station

One might wonder what’s so exciting about this pic.
Well, let me just tell you, it’s not everyday that the Seattle sky is so clear, or so blue! ;D

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Joy To The World

Okay so if you haven’t been following me on twitter (ps: all my ‘tweets’ are on the right-hand side bar . . . over there ——->) then you know that every day since December 1st I’ve been sharing one random Christmas fact about myself. Well, since I needed to 1. get back into the blogging habit and 2. embed a video for this fact, I decided to carry it on over into Blogville. ๐Ÿ˜€

So here it is: Amo’s Christmas Fact #20: I made up a Christmas Rap once.

Okay, so really it’s just a funny beat. But what happened was, I was carrying around this ring sizer thing one day and started shaking it and I thought, “Man, this sounds like sleigh bells!” So I figured I would capitalize on that and use it to aide me in making a ‘phat rap beat’ and adding in my own HO HO HO/record scratch ๐Ÿ˜‰

It’s 100% real and 150% ridiculousโ€”just the way I like it! ๐Ÿ˜€

PS: 3 more days till I leave for Austin! crayyyyyzaaaayyyy! ๐Ÿ˜€

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Today is a big day for me! It’s my first ever Holiday Party at my new job! I’m really really excited. ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m doing a lot of new things today. I made a baked squash casserole thing for everyone and I hope it tastes really good. Also, as part of tradition for the office party, everyone does a “show and tell” thing. I WAS going to sing Winterlove by Parachute, but when I met with the entertainment coordinator, she said that it would be really cool to perform something I wrote myself. So I am. I’m going to be singing one of my favorite songs that I’ve written. It’s called Mayday. It’s all about how we get to choose whether we are going to see life and its trials as positive or negative and that we get to choose our response accordingly. Hopefully I will get someone to record it so I can share it with you all, but if I don’t, you can at least see the lyrics to it below:

Mayday. Mayday.

You say
Everyone’s as comfortable as you
But baby

You’ll see that tomorrow is up to you

Fingers on the smoking gun
Everyone is trying to run
Let the rhythm take control
Take you to a place where you know
There’s a star, a ray of hope
and everyone’s the same

Mayday. Mayday.

You say
Everyone’s as comfortable as you
But baby

You’ll see that tomorrow is up to you

Laser lights and telegrams
Try to define who I am
Alright. Alright.
Let the damage take it’s toll
Move beyond and then you know
There’s a goal, a common thread
and everyone’s alive

The tracks for trains
racing away
They call you melancholy

But every day is a brand new way
and your chance to sway and

Mayday. Mayday.

You say
Everyone’s as comfortable as you
But baby

You’ll see that tomorrow is up to you

Tomorrow’s up to you
And you know just what to do.

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Brick By Boring Brick

For the record, i disgust myself with the lack of bloggage (ew . . . what a terrible word).

Alas, I am here! I am still alive! Wheee! (and there was much rejoicing)

Things have been super busy lately . . . no lie!

It’s officially 10 days until I embark on the 3 day journey back to Austin for Christmas!! I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am to see my familyโ€”they are COMPLETELY worth every single crazy encounter I might have on that bus!

A lot of people are a bit concerned that I’m riding greyhound, but I see it as an opportunity ๐Ÿ˜€ It’s an opportunity for me to sleep (which i REALLY need) and to write (which i REALLY need to do)!

I’ve been really excited about some of the songs that I’ve written lately and the melodies that keep me company while I do. Here is a snippet of some lyrics I’ve written lately about a friend of mine who has been going through some stuff lately:

and I will do the unthinkable
oh I will feed this chameleon.
I’ll be whatever you want me to be
but when I get lost don’t come after me
you might lose yourself between the thorns
I’m gone
and I’ve never missed me more

I haven’t recorded it in Garage Band yet, but the story is really teaching me a lot personally.

In other news, tomorrow I get to be part of an AMAZING movement! It’s called Help-Portrait and we’re going to be taking pictures of people at a housing project in Lake City and I’m SOOO excited! I’ll be sure to post pics here tomorrow! ๐Ÿ˜€

PS: I called my niece on her birthday a few days ago and she said the cutest thing:

“It’s my birthday, but don’t tell anyone, okay.”

They were having a family only party and they’re gonna have her main party in January as a double party with her sister, Annabelle. I guess she doesn’t want anyone to know they weren’t invited to the family party ๐Ÿ˜‰ too cute!