Monday, August 19, 2019

The Misadventures of Rissa After Dark Vol. 1

This post is not going to be as dirty as the title sounds. I'm realizing in hindsight any title with "after dark" in it could be construed as salacious but I assure you, this post is not. Does that make this clickbait? I don't think enough people read my blog for any post to be considered clickbait but what do I know? I do know that I'm taking forever to get to the point of this post so I am now officially moving on.

So here's the thing - I feel like as woman, with slightly dramatic tendencies, who does not like bugs and creepy crawlies, I actually do fairly decent with bugs and creepy crawlies. Like, I can take care of myself and smash some crickets and catch a moth from the air with my bare hands to get by when I need to (Moths aren't creepy but I'm trying to sound tough here so go with it). Up until recently this included spiders. Like, normal sized, manageable spiders. I have become fairly capable of disposing of creepy crawlies on my own because all the creepy crawlies wait until Nate leaves for work at night to come out and play. Thereby requiring me to take care of business. How considerate of them.

So on a casual Monday night Nate has left for work and I am alone, drinking wine (yes wine on a Monday), writing in my bullet journal whilst watching Wine Country on Netflix wishing I was as funny as Amy Poehler. A stellar Monday night by all accounts. Until the credits start to roll and I notice something on the wall in my peripheral.

IT IS THIS:
OH. HELL. NO.
RED ALERT
DEFCON 5
THREAT LEVEL MIDNIGHT
ACTIVATE: PANIC MODE

There's a few things to cover here:
1.) As I mentioned before, I can (or at least thought) I could say I am not afraid of spiders. I have never been afraid of spiders before.
2.) I can also say I don't think I've ever seen a spider this big in real life.
3.) I HAVE ALSO NEVER SEEN A SPIDER THIS BIG IN REAL LIFE IN MY LIVING ROOM.

My face is red and I am breathing heavy and I am standing in the middle of my living room deciding what to do. First, I text Nate - who is out working fighting actual crime and saving people from danger but like, I'm also really feeling like I'm in danger at this moment and SOS. I text him, "HELP ME. WHAT DO I DO." No response. I call him. He does not answer.

I google, "How to kill a huge spider" wondering if I can spray it to death with hair spray because I did that to a bee once and it worked. But all Google gives me more or less is, "smash it." NO CAN DO, GOOGLE. I cannot. I can't and I shan't.

I call my neighbor. My neighbor who I say hi to in passing and make conversation with but also probably doesn't even know I have his phone number but Nate gave it to me in case of an emergency AND THIS FEELS LIKE AN EMERGENCY. He does not answer. I try a text, it went something like "Hi it's Carissa next door are you by chance awake?" and then something about, "this is so embarrassing but..." No response. How embarrassing.

I call my dad and he does not answer. I return to Google to see if I can find even one testimony that tells me I can spray hair spray on this thing and it will die (I don't). And then a miracle happens: my dad calls me back. I answer with something like, "hii'msosorrytocallyoulatebutthereisahugespideronmywallandidon'tknowwhattodohowdoikillitletmesendyouapictureHELPME." (exhales). My father, bless his soul says, "ok hold on I'll be right over." He'll be right over. The calvary is coming.

I continue to stand in the middle of my living room not taking an eye off the spider for the entire duration it takes my dad to drive over to my house. He knocks, I answer, he looks at me with a hint of, "what is wrong with you" on his face but he doesn't say it. Bless him. I grab what he tells me and we (lol not me, just him) eventually shimmy the spider off the wall, into a tupperware container and then into a garbage bag. He takes the garbage bag out to the trash can on the curb.

Crisis averted.
Spider extracted.

Am I a 32 year old woman who needs her dad to drive over to her house at 10:30pm to kill a spider for her? Yes. Apparently I am. Am I proud of that? No, I am not. But desperate times call for desperate measures people, and spiders the size of a manatee make me shameless. Nate relentlessly made fun of me the next morning (and all week, really. Will probably again, after reading this post), my mom continued to taunt me by texting me gifs of crawling spiders, and I had to issue a mea culpa to my next door neighbor for my embarrassing cry for help. I sent him a picture of the spider for good measure - so he didn't think I was completely crazy.

Now, please send me comments telling me I was not overreacting and you would've handled the situation the exact same way because what a huge spider! Thank you all for your support.


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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Summer: Still To Do

It is August now and the Calendar of Carissa (this is totally a real, official thing) indicates summer is over at the end of Labor Day weekend, which means we only have four more precious weeks of summer. I think if we're going by the actual calendar that the rest of the world abides by, we have until like, the end of September? My thing is though, if the month ends in any variation of "ber"(September, October, etc.) it just doesn't sound like Summer anymore and thus, cannot be counted as such.

Anyway, I am rambling but my point here is, I made you a To Do list for finishing out your summer strong and savoring these last four weeks (or however many you're counting) of the season!


☐ Go to Sonic for a fountain drink during Happy Hour
☐ Put fancy things in your water (e.g. mint, lemons, cucumbers, berries, or any combination thereof) ☐ Take a picture of a sunset
☐ Buy a new bathing suit if you haven't already
☐ Try all the flavors of Diet Coke (i.e. Fiesty Cherry, Ginger Lime, Blood Orange, etc.)
☐ Get a new pair of sunglasses – the cheap, obnoxious kind that are usually in the shape of something. Often times found at gas stations.
☐ Drink iced coffee in the afternoon
☐ Go to a baseball game
☐ Read a book with a body of water on the cover (e.g. beach, lake, etc.)
☐ Learn how to make a good Frosè
☐ Visit some place in Arizona you’ve never been before
☐ Eat Watermelon
☐ Walk barefoot in soft grass
☐ Make a root beer float (Is there an alcohol that goes well with these? Asking for a friend)
☐ Plant a succulent
☐ Dip your toes (or also your whole body) in a lake
☐ Take a nap in a hammock
☐ Make S’mores (no camping trip required – although they do taste better that way)
☐ Buy a bouquet of sunflowers and put them on your desk, or your kitchen table, or anywhere they will brighten your day
☐ Watch a sunrise
☐ Go swimming at night. In the middle of the week.
☐ Wear a fanny pack somewhere (preferably any shade of neon)
☐ Buy a candle that smells like summer and burn it in your house (burn the candle, not your house)
☐ Buy a lotion/perfume/cologne that has a tropical island in its name
☐ Make a fruit salad
☐ Go for a bike ride at night
☐ Learn all the words to Bicycle Race by Queen and sing them when you go for a bike ride at night ☐ Play life size versions of games in your backyard (e.g. Jenga, Connect Four, Yahtzee, Checkers, etc.)
☐ Brunch so hard
☐ Order something off of the secret menu at In N Out
☐ Write down three things you’re thankful for at the end of every day

Now, go out amongst the heat and sun and live your best summer life before it's gone.
Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose! (-Coach Taylor Carissa Townsend, in this blog post)

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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Summer: So Far

Someday my blog posts will be more frequent than once every two months. ...but that day is not today so let's skip the "oops it's been forever since I blogged" pleasantries and get right into it cause IT'S SUMMER TIME AND SUMMER IS THE BEST TIME. That may be a controversial statement for you but summer > fall and I'll fight anyone who wants to argue differently. Verbally of course. I don't know how to have a physical fight with someone. "Have a fight" is that even the right turn of phrase? Anyway...


Memorial Day weekend fishing

The camping trip where everything went wrong but technically we still camped so does that make it a success?
✓ Dog puke all over the inside of Nate's truck
✓ Spend two hours in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Payson cleaning it up
✓ Leaf spring breaks on the trailer hauling the side by side
✓ Stranded/camp on the side of the road until help arrives the next day
✓ Still take the side-by-side out for a spin BECAUSE WE WILL HAVE A GOOD WEEKEND DAMMIT

The other camping trip where a significantly less amount of things went wrong albeit, a substantially increased amount of rainfall occurred, but was still fun AF.

20th Anniversary House Edition of Prisoner of Azkaban...AKA the best book in the series and I'll fight anyone who wants to disagree with that. Verbally of course, as previously discussed.

An entire week in KEY WEST, FL
More on this in its own post but it was as marvelous as it sounds. Except for the humidity. Humidity is not marvelous.

Summer time road trips.
This particular weekend was 60 to Globe ➡ to 77 (pit stop to see the Salt River Canyons) ➡ to 260 up through Show Low ➡ down 260 to Heber (pit stop for Mexican food for lunch) ➡ to 87 (pit stop at the fish hatchery and the Catch-a-Trout) ➡ to home.

4th of July THE HOLIDAY OF ALL HOLIDAYS BECAUSE AMERICA

Summer sunsets


Not pictured:
⬥ Father's Day backyard Jenga
⬥ Copious amounts of watermelon and popcorn poolside
⬥ My Summer! playlist on Spotify
⬥ Copious amounts of grilled Kirkland hotdogs (Costco hotdogs > any other hotdog)
⬥ Nate and me beating everyone in backyard corn hole (hi mom and dad!)

Up next: Summer still to do!


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Sunday, May 26, 2019

Lil' Catch Up

I have been sitting at my computer intending to blog for the last 1.5 hours but it's taken me said 1.5 hours to even put one word to digital paper.

The thing is, it's been so long since I've blogged (oops) that I needed to download all my photos from my phone so I can put them in this post right? But my computer is full. I would move stuff over to my external hard drive except my hard drive is also full. Which is why I bought a second external hard drive a few weeks ago and began the process of transferring all my photos and videos from external hard drive #1 to external hard drive #2. BUT the problem is, I'm too scared to now DELETE ALL my photos and videos from external hard drive #1 that I thought to myself hey! Upload some of your files to the cloud for extra back up! You pay $10 a month for cloud storage and have never learned how to use it! Learn now! So then I started trying to upload things to the cloud but I'm rolling like, thousands of files deep so it's taking forever. This cloud upload was happening at the same time my photo download was happening, and since my computer is full as we discussed, everything is running at turtle speed. And those are my technology woes for today, Sunday, May 26, 2019. I'm confident we'll get through it guys, but it may just take another seven years couple hours or so.

But anyway, since it has been so long since I've blogged let's do a lil' catch-up post shall we?! (Lil catch up - should that be my blog rap name?) Ima give it to you quick and dirty in 3...2...1

Took the side by side out for a few spins.
Arizona winter/spring is prime riding weather for a few reasons:
1.) It doesn't feel like a hair dryer is blowing in your face on high heat as you drive.
2.) When you exit the machine to do some exploring and then return a time later, the seats aren't so hot that they burn off your butt cheeks and melt the flesh off of your bones into a puddle of liquid skin now pooled on the ground. That could happen, let's be real.
3.) You can wear matching jackets and beanies and be twinsies with your father-in-law
...just need to get him some blue aviators and then you really couldn't tell us apart.

We enjoyed the unusually cold temperatures and SNOW....in LATE FEBRUARY by taking a road trip through Four Peaks (the mountain, not the brewery), up to Roosevelt, stumbled upon the Tonto National Monument, and then back home through Globe. 
 There is something about snow in the desert...
...snow on cacti...
Anything that looks like winter in the desert really. I dig it.

I celebrated my birthday with an entire crock pot of mac and cheese (THANKS MOM),
and also the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Nate took me to the Wizarding World for my birthday because he is the actual best and sacrificed his distaste for California, crowds of people, long lines full of people, and things of the like. It rained all day we were there which was fine for a few reasons:
1.) It kept a lot of the muggles away (hooray short lines and lesser crowds!)
2.) We knew what the weather was going to be so we came prepared with our rain jackets
3.) It made for a cozy day as we sat in the Three Broomsticks drinking hot butterbeer watching the rain fall in the streets of Hogsmeade. I know Harry Potter is not real but that felt pretty damn close.  
FIFTY POINTS TO GRYFFINDOR for the extraordinary and unexpected visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Nate and I celebrated our ten year wedding anniversary in April. TEN YEARS. I feel the need to put TEN YEARS in all caps because like, how have ten years already gone by?!
We had a party, complete with oversized 1-0 balloons, and a celebrated with our family and friends! More on this in another post.

We also celebrated my mom's birthday in April by getting messy at the Angry Crab.
And now that I'm posting this I'm noticing the creeper behind us trying to photobomb. Whyyyyyy.

Nate won another award in May because he just can't stop being so good at his job.
20 points to Gryffindor for the noble receipt of yet another award and the continued efforts to clean up the mean streets of Chandler!

I saw Ben Rector live with my Old Friends when he came to Phoenix for a visit. We sang it loud and hugged each other during the chorus like drunk girls do. Except we weren't drunk because it was a Monday night and we had to work the next day like adults do and we're not that wild. 
Watch this music video and tell me it doesn't make you want to go call up your old friends and tell them that you love them and that you'll never let them go and that you should go drink wine on their parents back porch. 


We got out to some new places in April and May - one we had no idea existed and stumbled right upon it in the middle of nowhere (never change, Arizona),
and others that were more familiar.

And now that I'm rereading this post, I'm realizing I said I would make it quick and dirty and I in fact, did not make this very quick. In hindsight, I in fact rambled on quite a lot. My bad, guys. Also, technology update: I have roughly 9 hours left for my photo library to "compress" so that I can then upload it to the cloud so that I can then have the courage to delete it altogether from my hard drive. Pray for me.


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Sunday, February 17, 2019

Currently Vol. 1 Issue 1

It is Sunday at 2:59 in the afternoon as I begin this blog post, drinking mimosas by myself here at my desk, with my favorite slippers on, and a sweatshirt because it's slightly chilly. And I am not mad about it. It is also not too late in the day for mimosas in case you were silently asking yourself that question (or judging me, either one). It is never too late for mimosas on a Sunday. At least that's what my friends tell me.

I am here to tell you about things I am currently into. This type of post has been a staple in blog world and one I want to get back to because it's the best way to find new things! I love seeing what other people use, are into, listen to, etc. For example, I bought this $8 coffee frother on Amazon after Chelsea posted about it on her blog. Now I use it every morning and it adequately mixes up the cinnamon I like to put in my coffee, instead of it settling at the bottom. Did I know personal coffee frothers were a thing before I read Chelsea's blog? No. Would I be enjoying a personal coffee frother to this day, without having read Chelsea's blog? Also no. I rest my case.

So, currently I am:

Laughing at:
This daily calendar.
I realize it's mid-February but it is never too late to order this daily calendar. It's based on this twitter account which already brightens my Twitter feed on the reg - now, every morning when I get to work it brightens my day as I rip off another page and get to look at yet another adorable doggo. 13/10 would recommend.

Listening to:
Harry Potter-themed ambient videos on YouTube.
Ok so I'm really gonna let my freak flag fly a bit here but, there's channels on YouTube that make ambient mood videos based on Harry Potter-themed things. I think they're called like, ASMR videos? My favorites in regular rotation right now are this cozy Gryffindor common room, this bright and sunny Hufflepuff common room (hint: at the 7 minute mark you can hear Harry and Hermione walk by), and this Hogwarts grounds vibe. Whenever I need to focus on something, or unwind and relax, or need some background noise, I've been putting these videos on. It feels like I'm actually on the Hogwarts grounds prepping for my O.W.L exams, relaxing by the black lake, or cozied up next to a fireplace in my common room...and who doesn't want full immersion into the Wizarding World right?! Just search "Harry Potter ambient music" on YouTube and you'll get a ton of options that will fit your mood. Some even incorporate music from the movie soundtracks!

Learning:
How to bullet journal.
I asked for (and subsequently received - thanks Audrey!) The Bullet Journal Method book for Christmas because I wanted to learn how to bullet journal. I read the book in January and have been giving it my best effort since the new year and I have to say I am LOVING it! There is freedom in bullet journaling that I've never found before in using regular, templated planners. It's flexible, versatile, and customizable, it's literally anything you want and/or need it to be! If you've struggled with finding a planner system that works for you I would definitely recommend looking into the Bullet Journal method and see if it's something that will work for you.

Drinking:
This bedtime tea.
Tea season is fairly short in Arizona - at least in my world it is; but we've had some pretty cold days lately in January and February and I am taking full advantage of a good cup of tea in the evening and before bed! This bedtime tea has always been my go-to, but I just recently discovered they have this caramel one now too and it is delicious! A real treat to look forward to as you wind down your evening! Perhaps with a facemask of sorts. And a Harry Potter ambient music video playing in the background.

Using:
This face mask.
Speaking of face masks, my sister turned me on to Nectar - a store that sells the most amazing luxurious bath treats except they all look like amazing, luxurious baked goods. No seriously, see:
They don't have a store here in Arizona but there's one in Las Vegas and one in California at Universal City Walk right outside Universal Studios park, and you can always purchase online. This face mask doesn't look like a typical face mask but I'm telling you - it is amazing. The squares are super sticky and you get about 4 - 5 uses out of one square. A little goes a long way! It's thick, exfoliating, and smells amazing! Wash it away with their Konjac sponge and your skin will feel so soft, smooth, and glowing! Plus it's like, vegan and all natural, and plant based, and paraben free, and all those other things you organic people care about. A win-win for the granola and non-granola folk alike.

So, what are you into currently?! Tell me so I can try some new things!

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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

My Top 5 Harry Potter Characters

I was casually scrolling through my Blog Lovin' feed this morning when I came across Ashten's post, her Top 5 Harry Potter Characters. What a simple blog post concept and yet, one I had not yet thought of. Bloggers - sometimes we overthink things you know? Or maybe not, that's probably just me actually but whatever. Anyway, Ashten and her friends Erin and Nicole created the following rules to play the game...almost like a  good 'ol fashioned link up. Oh blog world circa 2013 how I miss you.

The rules:
  • Your list cannot include Harry, Hermione, Ron, or Dumbledore 
  • Include 5 characters and 5 characters only
  • Your list doesn't have to be in order (mine is not because picking only five is hard enough already amiright)

1.) Minerva McGonagall

"Is it true that you shouted at Professor Umbridge? Yes, said Harry. You called her a liar? Yes. You told her he who must not be named is back? Yes. Professor McGonagall sat down behind her desk, frowning at Harry. Then she said, "Have a biscuit, Potter."
Professor McGonagall is an OG. She was there since the very beginning, dropping little baby Harry off with Dumbledore on Privet Drive. Her character is so nuanced and carefully crafted; she is tough and stern, yet compassionate and caring. She has no time for your shenanigans (unless those shenanigans demonstrate your exceedingly above average flying skills, in which case she'll buy you a Nimbus 2000 and put you on the House Quidditch team) but politely and methodically crosses the line when the time is right for defiance. She claps back at Umbridge all 5th year long and aides Harry in his return to Hogwarts in year 7. I am simultaneously intimidated by her but would also not say no to a butterbeer in the Leaky Cauldron with this fearless leader.

2.) Sirius Black

"The ones that love us never really leave us..."
I absolutely love Sirius Black, and I love his relationship with Harry even more - part parent, part friend, always honest and unguarded with one another. I'm still salty we only got three books-worth of Sirius and sometimes I like to imagine about what his and Harry's life would've been like had they lived together after Harry's third year. What we should've done spin-off wise in the Wizarding World, is gotten five movies on the Marauders instead of Grindelwald and his creepy eye...Jo, if you're reading this!

3.) Neville Longbottom

"We're all going to keep fighting Harry, you know that?"
Neville freakin' Longbottom. Slayer of snakes, leader of Dumbledore's Armies, keeper of plants, insulter of Death Eaters. I cried reading Deathly Hallows when Neville came climbing out of that portrait hole in Aberforth's bar yelling, "I new you'd come! I new it, Harry!" ALL. THE. FEELS. Neville is a hero and deserves all the points for Gryffindor.

4.) Luna Lovegood

"You're just as sane as I am."
I love Luna's character because I wish I could be more like her. She says what everyone else is thinking. She's unbothered by anyone's opinion about her. She gives grace to those who don't understand her, and she never wavers in her convictions (Nargles amiright). The muggle world needs more Luna's.

5.) Dobby

"Here lies Dobby, a free elf"
When I first read Harry Potter I thought Dobby was so annoying. After I completed my re-read last year however, I realized I had forgotten how integral a part Dobby is to this entire story. He comes in and out of the plot lines but the story doesn't continue, or end for that matter, if not for Dobby. And let me tell you, Dobby is RIDE OR DIE. Ask Dobby and you shall receive because Dobby is loyal, a fierce defender of Harry Potter and his friends, unafraid, and empowered AF from year 2 all the way to the very end. Miss you, Dobbs.

What are your top five Harry Potter Characters?! Tell meeeeee so we can discuss!


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Sunday, February 3, 2019

December: A Blog Post

December started off with a bang because guess what - I spent the very first day of the month in THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER.
That's right, Hogsmeade, Hogwarts, Olivander's, The Three Broomsticks - my mom and my sister and I were all up inside all of it. And, if the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was not magical enough, when you go during Christmas time it's even more magical. HOW can that be, you might be asking?? I don't really have a good answer but it probably has something to do with all the Christmas decorations, the hot Butterbeer, the fake snow that falls from the sky at night, and the Christmas light show projected onto Hogwarts castle after sunset. So on second thought I do have a good answer because it's all of those things. All of the magical Christmas-y things.
You all know by now that in 2018 I re-read the Harry Potter series for the first time since I read through the actual series. As in, since I was a kid and they were coming out and finished Deathly Hallows for the first time, I had never again picked them all back up and re-read them. This year I did just that and I actually finished on Thanksgiving day. So, a holiday trip to the Wizarding World was like an early Christmas present and a reward for myself for finishing the series!
To get ready for the trip I had my mom (and literally all the rest of my family) take the Sorting Quiz on Pottermore to see what House they belonged to. Both my mom and my sister were sorted in Ravenclaw, and so we all got matching House scarves.
Not gonna lie, our matching scarves were one of my fav parts of the trip...they just really make me feel like a real Hogwarts student and I'm really into that you know? Also in case you were wondering, in total - my mom, dad, sister, and her husband are all Ravenclaw. Nate was sorted into Gryffindor and I as you know, am a Hufflepuff. We have some more Hufflepuffs (and Gryffindors) on the Townsend side of the family because believe me when I tell you I also had Nate's entire family take the Sorting Quiz over Thanksgiving. I know, I'm so annoying with it but I can't help it. 

After our journey to Hogwarts December was off and running with all the Christmas-y things! Including baking:
 Christmas tree shopping:
 Decorating:
...And our annual Christmas weekend trip with the fam, this year back to Prescott!

Christmas was here in no time and we celebrated in our pajamas, with lots of shrimp, and Christmas games.
Nate had to work all week, so we had our own Christmas early Christmas morning after he was off shift. After that he went to sleep and I had mimosas by myself, took a nap, and watched lots of hours of the Hallmark Channel in my PJ's. 
You can judge me if you want but I'm telling you, it was a glorious day.

Other December notables include - brunch with my dear friend Stephanie who was in town from the east coast:
As per the usual we discussed at length Harry Potter, Crimes of Grindelwald (and its whack ending), politics, the upside to her moving back to Arizona, and a bunch of other stuff.

My cousin-in-law's baby shower:
PLEASE just look at this precious Winnie the Pooh cake:
And of course, the Reputation Stadium Tour on Netflix:
It was a wild New Year's Eve.

And a wonderful December.

And you guys, that is all of my 2018. Recaps are all done, albeit way late, but done. 2019 is well underway and the slate is clean and ready for new adventures...and new blog posts!


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