Guys, I used to be “that person” who said things like, “Oh, I don’t watch Game of Thrones,” or, “I guess it looks like ‘Winter is Coming'” when everyone else was freaking out about the premiere of a new season or finale of another. I went years and years not understanding what the obsession was all about and completely ignoring just about everything GoT related, other than picking up that people love Jon Snow and he’s obsessed with the colder months of the year.
Now, within a few short weeks, all of that has changed. I dedicated much of my free time — and other time that probably should have been spent being more productive — catching up on all 7 seasons to watch last night’s premiere, and it was all worth it. I am so excited to be able to chat with anyone and everyone about this final season now that I’m so invested in it and the characters. I love that we’ve all been talking on Instagram so much about the upcoming season, and it’s been quite the journey I feel like I’ve taken with many friends now. The only thing that absolutely sucks, is that I have to wait a week until the next episode. This is going to drive me nuts! I was so spoiled being able to unearth every cliffhanger right after it happened, and although it would have been nice not being so incredibly rushed with the first 7 seasons, I took for granted the fact that if I really wanted to know something, I could Google it or find the answer in the next episode. Now I will experience GoT in all its glory the final season.
I’m going to talk about last night’s episode now, so if you haven’t watched yet, SPOILER ALERT!!!!!
First, I have decided that I officially do not like Daenerys Targaryen. I was surprised with how much I posted about her on Instagram this episode, but honestly she gets on my last nerve. I loved her the first few seasons when she was coming into her own, but I feel like she’s become so hungry for power and for every person alive to “bend the knee” that I can’t root for her any more. I don’t want her to be the queen because I think she just makes decisions based on whether or not someone will accept her as being the most powerful person alive, and kills anyone who gets in her way in the slightest. A good ruler who wants what she initially wanted — to let people be free — would be able to take some criticism and not be so obsessed with their own image and title. The scene with Sam made my heart hurt for him. She just doesn’t have any empathy left and I am d-o-n-e.
I like Jon Snow a little better again, though. His conversation with Sam made me remember that he isn’t obsessed with being recognized as having more power than everyone else, and is merciful when it comes to punishing people. He takes each situation as it comes to him, and often airs on the side of being generous and giving people the benefit of the doubt, more often than not. I still would prefer the Stark girls taking the throne, but he’s not a bad option. I just think Sansa as queen, Bran as the hand, and Arya as an advisor/possibly a knight would make for a really awesome kingdom. We shall see what happens, though.
My favorite moment of all time was with Brienne’s wildling. When they were searching an abandoned castle and came across other people in the army and someone shouted, “HE HAS BLUE EYES!!!!!” thinking that the wildling was a white walker, I DIED. I was crying I was laughing so hard. I need to find a clip on YouTube to add to this later, because it seriously was so funny.
I am still so invested in his love story with Brienne, and I think it’s funny how many people have agreed with me in my Insta stories that this is one of the funnest story lines to follow. I was shocked to wake up to a few tags this morning, only to find that Mindy Kaling must feel the exact same way I do about their budding relationship! Please tell me there’s a wedding at the end of all of this.
Anyway, I don’t know how in the world y’all waited over a year for the final season. I’m glad I started when I did and didn’t have to do a bunch of these crazy waiting stints. Even just waiting a week now to find out what Bran will say to Jaimie is going to be so tough! I have had so much catching up to do that it’ll be weird to have the full week off of GoT now. I might rewatch the last two episodes of season 7 since I had to rush through it to be done by 9 last night, but other than that I will have to find something new to post about on my Instagram stories, because I loved having so much to talk about. Please message me with any and all thoughts you have! I’m always game to chat in depth about this series now.
Guys, I’m almost there! I have season 7 to finish today, then I can watch the premiere tonight! I’ll definitely have to rewatch the series one day because I’ve been rushing a little the more I am running out of time, but I’m so glad I’ve been able to get this far. I am currently watching the start of the most recent season as I am writing this, so I have faith I’ll finish it up.
Everyone has been really active about messaging me on Instagram, which has been so much fun and a good way to get all the necessary information for the premiere tonight. Instead of recapping everything I learned or water in this post, I’ll share one of my Instagram highlight reels about Game of Thrones. Surprisingly people have said they’ve been a good refresher of the earlier seasons, but I feel like I put a lot of unnecessary information in there. Like my excitement about Brienne’s love story.
Currently, I have a lot of favorite characters. The biggest ones are Arya and Sansa Stark, Tyrian, though we haven’t seen a ton of him lately, and Brienne because I am so invested in her budding love story with the wildling. I was disappointed that Margaery died, and the way the youngest Stark boy died was really upsetting. I’m glad Ramsay is gone, though, despite not wanting to watch a lot of that episode. Cersei is literally the most terrifying person I can think of to be on the throne, but I had a feeling she’d take over for awhile at some point. I am fully invested in all the battles that are about to happen, and I’m hoping a Stark will be next to rule, though if I had to make a prediction, I’d say Daenerys Targaryen will be the next person to take it.
I’m not a huge fan of Jon Snow or Daenerys right now. I wrote out why, but I want to wait to share my opinions until I am a little more sure of them. It looks like they’ll be working together some in season 7, and I hope they become my favorites once again because they started out being in my top 3. I just don’t feel like they’ve been as dynamic as some of the others, and have both become a little too blinded by power.
I would love to see one of the Stark girls as the next queens because I think they’ve had so many hurdles they’ve had to jump over and they’ve grown so much. I never liked Sansa when Joffrey was around, but now she’s one of my favorite characters. It’s crazy how this can happen in this show. Same goes for Jaimie Lannister; I really didn’t like him when he pushed Bran out of the window and was all creepy with Cersei, but now I think he’s hilarious and a pretty decent guy. I’m hoping he won’t die this season, but I have a kind of bad feeling season 7 is going to be his last. Anyway, I feel like Arya and Sansa would be an incredible team. Sansa has become fair and just, and knows what kind of ruling can completely ruin a kingdom. She isn’t full of herself and is firm in her beliefs but willing to listen to others, not just hear what they’re saying. I don’t know, but I kind of think she and Arya would make a great team. The beginning to season 7 was so badass and Arya is honestly one of the coolest characters. She literally has no one backing her but has made it so far all on her own. She’s met every kind of person along the way, and I think she’s learning how to read others really well.
Okay, I should really start paying attention so I can be ready for tonight.
Oh my gosh. I am on season five of Game of Thrones. This has been quite a wild ride, but I’m powering through and think I’ll make it by Sunday. I don’t think you can catch up in time if you haven’t started already, but if you’re only a few seasons behind — like I am now — I’m kind of an expert on how to get it all done in time for the final season’s premiere on Sunday. I didn’t think I could do it, but based on how fast I’m getting through now I think I’ll be all caught up and able to enjoy season 8 with all the people who have been fans for almost a decade now.
Here are my secrets:
Download HBO Now and learn to multitask. They have a free week trial and that’s all you need, then you can switch to any other HBO source or watch parties for the rest of season 8. I like watching on my phone, and this has been key to catching up efficiently. Here are the places I have watched GoT:
In bed. I watch it when I wake up or when I go to sleep. Basically whenever I can; I’m all for cramming any chance I get.
In the kitchen while I’m making dinner, eating cereal, and when I’m cleaning up.
I watch in the shower. I take my iPhone and turn the volume up full blast, and tilt the screen so I can watch it while I shampoo and condition. This is a crucial step, because it shows just how important it is to watch literally every chance you get. Just because you’re taking a shower does not excuse you from the throne.
At the gym. Thanks for making me feel right at home, Planet Fitness! Your lax attitude towards us working out makes me feel less weird about spending 50 minutes biking and watching people fight with swords.
Any errands you run can be made into a GoT session. For instance, I went to Giant to go grocery shopping and put my phone on the little seat in the cart to watch as I picked out vegetables for dinner. Granted, I came home with onions instead of carrots, but I still consider it a win, because I got through the rest of the episode while I was out.
You can even just listen to some of the slower parts of the show. This is good for activities that require a little more attention, but when you aren’t using too much brainpower.
Recruit someone to watch with you. It’s been nice having a husband who is also invested enough in the show to watch the older seasons with me, but I also have a big group of friends who like chatting about it. Talking all about the show and nothing else has helped me catch up quickly because I have a duty to fulfill. I have to be able to keep up with everyone else in season 8 so we can all talk about it. Life isn’t just all about me anymore. I have people counting on me, and I don’t intend to let them down.
Post about it. A lot. If you follow my Instagram you’ve maybe seen my 30+ posts a day about the show. I’ve asked questions and made goofy observations, and talking to everyone about it helps me absorb more information in a short amount of time. I can’t pay complete attention to the screen while I’m multitasking, so asking things like, “How is someone going to be worse than Joffrey?” (Oh, Krista, you had a lot to learn) or, “What the heck is a stone man?” I still don’t know the significance of stone men, but I have a feeling we’ll barely ever see them again.
Don’t prioritize anything above watching. Sure you’ll be invited to social events and maybe you even have an important appointment. Any free time you have, though, has to be dedicated to Game of Thrones. Have a first date on the books? Cancel it. Or, see if he wants to watch with you — as long as you didn’t meet him online and he could be potentially a major creep. Your excuse is that you have to go to the dentist? Reschedule. They’ll understand; after all, winter is coming, and you have to prepare.
Spoiler alert: don’t read this if you don’t want to know anything that happens in Game of Thrones.
Okay, I’m almost at season 5, so only 3 seasons to go until the premiere on Sunday! Do you think it’s at all possible for me to blow through the rest to be caught up? I’m certainly going to try. I just have a hard time watching that much TV. Luckily I can slap it on my phone now and listen while I’m doing chores and doing my workouts.
Right now I am on season 4, episode 7. I am almost at the trial by combat for Tyrion, and I heard that’s pretty awful. When I posted on Instagram the other day, I was upset that I accidentally watched a pretty gross, quick death in a sword fight. Someone said that it was nothing compared to something that was coming up. I chatted with a few people so I could figure out when I really need to close my eyes, and I guess it’s during this scene. I can see why now that I’ve been introduced to the huge dude who Cersei found to fight against Tyrion’s swordsman. I really hope Tyrion doesn’t choose Jaimie, but I have a really bad feeling J might fight to spite C and protect his brother. I’ve gone back and forth about whether or not I like Jaimie. On one hand, he’s kind of a creep (i.e.: the way he treats his sister). He’s proud and kind of a jerk to people sometimes. On the other — ironically enough he lost his hand while he was held prisoner — he is witty, funny, and seems to have a soft heart sometimes. That’s saying a lot for someone has power in this series. He was humbled when he lost his right hand, and seems to care more about people now. I really don’t want him to die, but that hasn’t worked out for me in the past.
Ned Stark was my first favorite character. He was beheaded. Then I moved on to Robb Stark. He got killed, as did his wife, another one of my favorites. Currently, I think Arya Stark is one of my favorites. She’s a really underrated character. She doesn’t have dragons and powers that give her the numbers to back her up like Daenerys. She doesn’t have a ton of formal training in swordsmanship and warfare like Jon. She doesn’t have money and power like the Lannisters. I like all the adversity she’s had to face and how she has courage and bravery despite not having any advantages. I am excited to see her in the eighth season, and hope she remains one of my top characters throughout. Sadly, I remember her from the seventh season, but I also think this is good because I think I kind of liked her when I watched those episodes too!
This is a cool show because they’re amazing at character development. I like how you can go from absolutely hating someone to growing to like them, and I like how you can kind of predict some of the actions of characters because they remind you of real life. Daenerys and I have a similar heart for people, so I’ve been able to predict a lot of what she is going to do in the series so far. Lord Baelish, on the other hand, is an untrustworthy man and known for upsetting people. He reminds me of a politician and is the kind of person you can never predict. The author of this series is very consistent with his characters, but gives them room to grow. He is realistic about showing how big events can really change people, but also realizes that someone’s heart takes a whole lot to be changed.
I’m going to wrap this post up with a few predictions:
Tyrion is going to live. Whoever fights for him will do him justice. I know this because I remember him in the seventh season, so he won’t die in the trial by combat. I think maybe Jaimie will fight on his behalf, but like I said, I hope he doesn’t. Maybe that other guy who fought for him last time will come through for him? I’m still bad with some of the names.
Apparently Ramsey is going to be worse than Joffrey ever was. I don’t know how that’s possible, but after a few episodes with R, I can kind of see it. I hope Ramsey isn’t in too much more. I can’t take the people who are obsessed with being so terrible.
I think Sansa and Arya will reunite soon. I think whenever they do, it will be in Winterfell. Could one of them be the Queen of Winterfell? Please actually answer this for me, I’m curious. Many of the Stark’s have been killed now, so I wonder who’s next in line.
Margaery will become the queen in King’s Landing. I forgot about her until now, but she’s one of my possible favorite characters too. I hear she gets better, and I can see that she’s a strong young lady who is a force to be reckoned with. I think Joffrey’s little brother will be a lot more normal than he was, but I think it’s super weird if he ends up marrying M.
I don’t really care about Jon Snow’s storyline right now, nor do I Bran’s or any of the wildlings. Currently, I like watching anything with the Lannister’s or Stark family best. I think they’re all the most dynamic characters, and am dying to know what season 4 is going to finish with! Also, does one of Daenerys’ dragons die soon? I think I only remember two in season 7, but I could be wrong. I’m thinking one of them will die fairly soon while they’re still little teenager dragons.
Okay so that’s all I’ve got for now. I really hope I can keep powering through and catch up in time for the premiere on Sunday! I will probably be doing more writing about it, in hopes of feeling a little more productive while watching TV. Is anyone else just now getting into the show and trying to catch up before this weekend?
Spoiler alert: don’t read this if you don’t want to know anything that happens in the series.
I am currently on season 3 of GoT, and I have a million different thoughts about it. I will save why I think this series is also problematic for another post, but today I want to just enjoy it and talk about why I like it so much so far.
It’s difficult trying to get caught up before the final season’s premiere. It’s almost like being given an enormous chocolate cake and being told, “Here, you have 24 hours to eat as much as you want, then we’re going to throw it out and you’ll never have a cake quite as good again.” I don’t want to completely binge and gorge myself, but at the same time I want to be able to watch it while it’s still unspoiled. I want to be able to enjoy the premiere the way everyone else will, and absolutely cannot jump ahead and then go back to watching. Too much happens in this show, and I already regret watching part of season 7 when it was premiering. I watched a couple of episodes of season 7 when it was going on, so I already have a hunch about a few things I can remember from that. It ruined some of the giant surprises like at the end of season 1 when Daenerys holds her baby dragons. Everyone was shocked when they initially saw this, but I saw the giant dragons in season 7, so the babies really aren’t that impressive. Same goes for seeing the white walkers for the first time. I think I remember Jon Snow, Arya, Daenerys, and Tyrion are in the seventh season, so I don’t believe any of them are going to die. I could be wrong, as I forget a lot from television shows, but I’m pretty confident about this at least. I really don’t remember Jamie Lannister or Robb Stark, my favorite character, so I think they might not make it. Those are the only guesses about people, but still — I know GoT is notorious for getting rid of really big characters, so it’s a pretty big spoil if I know 4 of the main characters do make it.
Here are some of my predictions of things that are going on right now:
First, I think Margaery is going to kill Joffrey. Towards the beginning of this episode she said to him, “Would you like to see me kill someone?” If this isn’t foreshadowing, I don’t know what is. One spoiler I got was that I’ll be able to watch Joffrey’s death. I close my eyes or put my hands up to the television any time there is fighting, so I never watch when people get killed (When I can help it). I think he’ll be poisoned. I speculate it will be Margaery, and I think it will be because Joffrey mistreats Sansa. If that’s not what happens, I think Sansa kills Joffrey for mistreating Margaery. I don’t know if it’s their slight resemblance or if it’s because they both seemed to get along well when they ate lemon cakes together, but something tells me they’re going to be unlikely allies. My final theory is that Margaery’s grandmother is the one who poisons Joffrey, but that’s the third likely one in my mind. We shall see; please don’t spoil it for me! I have already been told this king does die at some point, so I don’t want the entire thing to be ruined.
I was also told that there would be a character I will dislike more than I dislike Joffrey. I think I met that man today. He kidnapped Theon, and something is really off about him. Edit: I watched more after writing this post, and it’s definitely Ramsay. He SUCKS.
Throughout all of this, I’ve been texting my dear friend Danielle. She’s seen the series many times before and thinks a lot of my theories are funny (I am really good at predicting some things, but also have some really terrible predictions). I’ve been shocked at how almost everyone I talk to about this show has seen it. For something that’s not on regular programming, almost everyone I know watches — and loves — the series. For many reasons, I can see why, but that doesn’t mean I love every single thing about the show. The story line is amazing, but I think a lot could be cut and it would still have the kind of flow a show like this needs. I’ll probably do a few posts about my thoughts as the seasons go on, so feel free to check back in if you’re a fan and want to see some bad predictions and theories. In the meantime, I need to get ready for all the different weddings that are coming up!
Gosh, I never realized how little Robert knows about basketball until we watched one of the Celtics’ biggest games of the year on Friday.
Alright, alright. I mean me. Sadly, I am married to someone who loves watching sports, and I don’t keep up with them in the least. I made my first bracket for the NCAA March Madness tournament (College basketball, for those of you who know even less than I do) and failed miserably. I got 12th out of 13 teams — and the 13th person didn’t fill out theirs at all. Apparently, though, most of the people probably cheated, as there are little numbers telling you who is in what seed, but I didn’t know that when I chose my teams. So you can basically look at those and guess who’s going to make it pretty far. Instead, I had to choose based on who I had heard of in the past, what team sounded cooler, which mascot I liked best, or which had better colors if everything else was tied. Basically, I didn’t get the little cheat sheet that would have hinted that Gonzaga is actually a good team and shouldn’t just remind me of Gorgonzola cheese. I think I would have kept them past the first round had I known they were a one seed. The only plus was that I kept one bad team in that had an upset, so I got a lot of points for that. I don’t remember which team it was, so please don’t ask. Maybe a Texas or Tennessee team? Is one of them kind of bad but made it far?
Back to the Friday night game, though. I strongly believe in the “fake it until you make it” method, so I wasn’t about to seem like I didn’t know what I was talking about during the game. So in true Krista fashion, I joked my way though the entire thing. I either got a few good chuckles, an “I’m impressed with your extensive basketball knowledge” comment, or a look of complete horror that I could possibly be that unaware of what’s going on in the game. Each of these were completely worth it since we laughed a lot more and I felt surprisingly entertained during the whole ordeal.
Here are some tactics I used, and how well I think they worked in making me sound like a sports genius:
Rambling about the players’ personal lives. 8/10
“Yeah, he’s got several siblings, so I’m sure they’re proud of their brother for playing professional ball.” This statement gives me a ton of credibility. First, by giving a nonspecific fact that has a good chance of being true, you are building your credibility while not being questioned very much on the legitimacy of the fact. If Robert questioned me more I could Google the answer and would likely find that Jaylen Brown would have at least a sibling or two. Using more obscure players — perhaps on the bench — would give a lower likelihood of questioning, as people will be less curious about their personal lives. Next time I need to pay closer attention to the benched players and focus on them a little more.
Second, calling “Basketball” just “Ball” makes me seem like a super-fan. You can shorten a lot of different words to sound cooler and like you’re in the know with the sport. “Double dribble” suddenly becomes a “Double,” “Three pointer,” turns into shooting a “Three,” and so forth. Also, I have noticed a lot of moves in sports are shortened to just a few letters. “Touchdown” is “TD,” and “QB” for “Quarterback.” This tells me that saying something like, “Man, LeBron needs to work on his FT’s!” would be pretty cool. Maybe “free throw” isn’t typically called “FT,” but whoever you are watching with will surely not correct you because it just sounds legit, and they won’t want to risk look like a fool schooling you on something that may or may not be expert lingo.
I’ve seen several Celtics games now, so I know that Al Horford seems like a really nice guy, and that he’s a married man. I don’t know anything about his wife, though I should probably begin studying because I do actually like learning about the players’ stories, and am much more interested in that than their stats on the court. I took what I knew and ran with it. I talked about what a nice guy Horford is and how cute his family is. I wondered whether his kids would eventually be pro basketball players, and Robert completely tuned out as I rambled about generalizations you could probably make about most good families. I wouldn’t say he was impressed by my knowledge, but it definitely didn’t hurt being an expert on something that he knew nothing about.
Making observations based on the players’ appearances. -2/10
As soon as I saw Brian Scalabrine, I had a sneaking suspicion he was Irish. There were a few standout features that gave me confidence, so I went for it. “Did you know Brian Cabrini is Irish?” I asked without letting on that I had never seen this man in my entire life. Sadly, I misheard his name, but Robert didn’t seem to notice. He was just slightly unimpressed and more interested in watching the game than talking about one of the announcers. Noted.
There was a man playing basketball with something that looked like a delicate fabric cast on his left arm. It looked like it would be for managing sweat, but why wouldn’t he be wearing it on both arms then? That logic is pretty good, so it must be for an injury of some sort. I decided to call it a broken elbow, even though it didn’t even touch that part of his body. For some reason I found this to be more entertaining because I figured it would be funny if Robert didn’t notice that and it would just be hilarious for him to think I was that much of a noob. I had to keep going with it to sound legit, so I said, “Yeah, it’s great he’s recovered so well from the break. I was afraid he’d be out all season!” I got a look of complete confusion, followed by a, “No he didn’t, and that isn’t even touching his elbow.” Darn! The reaction was worth me looking like an idiot, though.
I’m going to go ahead and give this method a negative two because if anything it hurt my credibility. I talked too much about people that didn’t matter and made inaccurate observations. I think if I had taken it a little more seriously I could have actually made myself seem like a basketball nerd, but I wasn’t in the mood to be serious. I’ll try it again next time.
Changing the subject if you don’t know something. 4/10
My methods must have worked pretty well, because Robert quizzed me on things during the game. Some of the questions he asked were insultingly easy. “He’s wearing green shorts,” I answered. “The sky is blue.” Okay, so none of them were that easy, but it basically on that level, as I know the very basics of basketball. After all, I was the knockout champion of gym class my sophomore year of high school. Anyway, he realized I knew random facts, so figured he would quiz me on the game more. When he asked me what an “and one” was, for example, I mumbled something too softly for him to hear and changed the subject.
“Wow! I forgot that Kyrie might get MVP this year!” Apparently, they don’t have an MVP for each team, though, and there’s only one for the entire NBA. That makes his chances of getting it really slim, and I can’t remember for sure, but I don’t think he’s really in the running for that right now… It would have been wise to have memorized a few facts ahead of the game, but I’ll remember that for next time.
Unfortunately, my plan might have worked if I had a more interesting fact in my pocket, but it just hurt my credibility. He asked again what the “and one” was, so I said it was Michael Jordan’s basketball clothing line. Sadly, I should have kept it a little less specific and I think that would have impressed him. Apparently Michael Jordan’s line is called the “Jordan Brand,” and is a part of Nike’s collection. And One is its own basketball brand. They claim to be “the greatest basketball brand EVER,” and I believe them. There is a move in basketball called “and one,” though, and it means you get an extra free-throw shot after you make one while getting fouled. I hope I explained that well, I just learned about it on Friday.
I gave this method a 4 out of 10 because I think it could have worked better if I had some real facts to throw out during the game. Changing the subject is a little annoying, but if you have something more impressive and more important to say, why not? This will go better the next time around, I just know it.
What are some good basketball facts I should know for the next time we watch? Where did you study to learn more about sports? I think I’m learning just from watching the games, but there is a lot to remember and are a lot of players who look like they’re doing the same thing on the court, even though they have completely different jobs.
Something I like doing on occasion is reading books of people I am not a huge fan of, but I’ve seen glimpses of things I really like about them. The reason I like doing this is because I think writing can humanize people and gives you a little peek into their soul if they choose to be open with their audience. You can learn a lot from people who are different than you are, and I do believe that the large majority of people have good intentions; they just have different ideas of what will make the world a better place. Getting to know someone’s heart, rather than judging them on their political opinions or differing beliefs can open your mind to a whole new beautiful world.
One of my favorite quotes of all time is,
“There isn’t anyone you couldn’t love once you’ve heard their story.”
There is so much truth in this. So much.
My most recent example is Amy Schumer. She has a pretty raunchy sense of humor that I just don’t really find funny. I’ve heard some jokes from her that make me cry I’m laughing so hard, but I can totally do without all the crudeness and language. So, you would think that when Audible suggested I listen to her book I would immediately be turned off and go to the next suggestion, but I was open to giving it a try. After all, this is not the first time I’ve changed my mind about a celebrity after knowing more about them.
I’m more than halfway through her book and my idea of her is forever changed. Amy has been through a lot in her life, and her sense of humor is what saw her through a lot of her challenges. She uses it as a defense mechanism, and a way to cope with hardship. Don’t get me wrong, there were pretty decent chunks of the book I wasn’t really into and wanted to fast-forward through. I felt myself cringe and wasn’t interested in hearing some of the details that were divulged, but I know plenty of people laughed out loud at the pictures that she painted for us.
Reading this, though, made me really like Amy Schumer as a person; now I would say that I just don’t like every single one of her jokes. She’s strong, independent, and doesn’t take crap from other people, and she also doesn’t let things get to her as much as I would. She knows her worth and that she can’t please everyone, but is herself anyway. I respect the heck out of that! It also indirectly introduced me to one of her newest movies, I Feel Pretty, which was possibly one of the funniest movies I’ve seen all year. I was rolling at some of the jokes towards the beginning of the film, and I think Schumer captured what it’s like being a woman so, so well. I love how open she is about her insecurities and how she says what every girl thinks at one time or another. She is just so darn relatable, despite being a wealthy celebrity (Side note: I guess I’ve been living under a rock because I was shocked to hear she’s worth over 37 million dollars. What?!).
I still don’t think I’ll be Amy’s number one fan, but I definitely won’t shy away from her completely. Maybe every once in awhile I’ll check out her Instagram to see if she has any fun content, or even listen to her podcast on Spotify. Amy and I will never be the same — in fact I think we’re polar opposites in almost every regard — but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy her for who she is and learn some important life lessons along the way. I want to have her fearlessness and strength! I want to care less about what other people think about me, and I want to do more of what I love and prioritize myself without feeling guilty about it. I think those were valuable enough lessons in themselves to make The Girl with The Lower Back Tattoo worth the read for me, and I was glad I chose it as my “book of the month” for February.
…Thoughts? What are some books that you’ve read that have shaped you? Who has changed your mind about them by just sitting down and getting to know them more? I am making it a goal of mine to keep learning more about people who think differently than I do because I think this is an amazing opportunity for me to grow as a person. I’d love more suggestions on books to read and podcasts to follow this month!
Ideas for blog posts come from all different places. Today, my inspiration comes straight from the gynecologist’s office. I initially called in to ask a question about an annoying little symptom of my birth control, so the receptionist had a nurse give me a call to chat. I told her what was going on, she asked what kind of pill I was taking, and I mentioned that the only other thing I noticed with it was that I had gained a few pounds. We both jinxed each other when we said, “Well, maybe that was just getting married, though.”
So accurate! Even if I wasn’t on the pill, I think I’d have gained a little bit of weight from moving in with a guy and trying to keep up with a healthy diet. We laughed a little and she reasoned that I was probably eating a little more now that I was living with a man. Yep. Not only am I eating more, but I’m also not eating as well. Salads with grilled chicken used to be a pretty big staple in my diet, now I order Dominos enough to get a free pie every other month from the rewards we’ve collected. Basically, almost every Friday I like to take the night off and get delivery. I think the pizza joint has figured out this pattern, because every Friday evening like clockwork a notification pops up on my phone saying, “Let us make dinner for you tonight!” with a little pizza emoji and “swipe to open” to the Dominos app, where I can just go ahead and click two buttons to order our favorite things. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to refuse someone else cooking dinner. Also, I’m not insane, so I absolutely love pizza and it’s probably a good thing for my emotional wellbeing to have it once a week. A couple of pounds is a small price to pay for this new lifestyle.
Marriage has been great. I love living with my best friend, and doing nothing together. We often watch Judge Judy or Family Feud while eating dinner, and enjoy shows where we can solve crimes and show off how smart we are to each other. I do notice some funny differences between both of us, though, and I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we are a man and woman living together. I always laugh when I say that I think that God must have a pretty twisted sense of humor since He made the existence of mankind based on men and women getting along, living together, and reproducing. Like, think about it. We have to get along with the opposite sex and have made it a practice of living with them, even though sometimes it feels like they’re a different species. It’s kind of hilarious and must be so funny to watch from the outside. If one couple isn’t having a complete misunderstanding, you just tune in to another and BAM, hours of reality TV-style entertainment.
Okay, so the first thing I’ve noticed from living with a guy is that men and women are scared of different things. I am terrified of bugs. I freaking hate them, and as much as I love animals, I want my husband to get rid of them by any means necessary. I just don’t want them in my house. The creepy crawly legs — especially on centipedes — freak me the heck out. I always picture them crawling on my arms or down my spine and shiver. It reminds me of the one time I actually tried to catch a spider to get rid of, and he decided his best escape route was diving deep down into my shirt. I will never forget the bone chilling scream that came from that incident, and how it felt having a bug violate me like that; I just can’t handle having it happen again. Men, on the other hand, have an irrational fear of laundry baskets. I don’t know if it’s the polyester fabric that freaks him out or the fact that we have two — one for whites and another for colors — but my husband’s clothes rarely touch the inside of the basket unless I place them there. If we’re lucky they’ll go right next to the correct basket instead of in the monstrous pile in the corner of the master bedroom, but 10 times out of 10 they don’t make it in the proper receptacle. I hear this is a very common thing amongst males, and seems to be a number one complaint of wives everywhere. I don’t really understand why I’m afraid of bugs that are a million times smaller than I am, and I bet he doesn’t really know why he’s afraid of the laundry basket either. It’s just something that’s wired into our genetic makeup I guess.
Another funny thing about living with a man is the emotional aspect of it all. I am going to make another big generalization and say that guys don’t really get what it’s like to be a basketcase of emotions once a month for absolutely no reason. Unless you’ve gotten a visit from good ol’ Aunt Flo firsthand, you probably have no idea what it’s like crying over literally nothing and feeling cranky for two days straight. Sure, part of it is the horrendous cramping of your uterus, but the other part is just the sudden influx of hormones that overtakes your body and dictates your emotions for a few days. Remember how Karen from Mean Girls can tell whether or not it will rain by *ahem* how she feels? Our periods are the exact same way. I’ll feel really funny and off for a few hours, maybe snap a time or two, and then realize it’s because my uninvited — and frankly, unwelcome — Aunt will be there any day now. The funniest thing about it all is that I think he’s starting to catch on and sometimes can sense when this is coming before I even know it. This is either because he’s become in tune with my feelings, or it’s the one time of the month that I actually sometimes snap about the previously mentioned laundry basket. Either way, men will never completely understand women, and I think this is a pretty big reason why. The one thing I am thankful for is that I am the one who has a monster overtake my body for a few days, so he’s the one who really has to deal with tiptoeing around the beast, while I just ride it out.
Having to guard my food at all costs is somewhat new territory. I grew up living with two men — my dad and brother — so I know that writing my name on the box of leftovers is a must, but I am not used to living in a space where every room can be infiltrated by a hungry man. I will tell you my secret to keeping chocolate stocked in the house at the risk of my own husband reading this and learning my secrets. It’s a big sacrifice, but I hope it helps other women out there figure out how to keep their daily chocolate stash safe. I hide my dark chocolate in my desk drawer, under a pile of really boring bills. I know, I know, when you get married everything is supposed to be “ours” now, but in all honesty this is just a base for a healthy marriage. I get very rage-y without my chocolate fix, and it’s just best that we always know that there is some emergency chocolate close by. You never know when you might need it, and if I kept it in the kitchen where it belongs it would just get eaten up as soon as I brought it home. I need. My emergency. Chocolate.
Living with a man keeps life interesting and has had some of a learning curve, but we do have some things in common, too! A big similarity we have is the fact that we both lose things on a very regular basis. In male and female fashion, though, we lose things very differently than one another. I keep a messy purse. Between my chapstick, snacks, my wallet bursting with gift cards I’ll probably never even use, and an abundance of other “necessities,” I can never find my car keys or drivers license quickly. It takes a good purse overturn to retrieve anything, which in turn, messes up it up even worse for the next time I go in there to find something. You would think I was a descendant of Mary Poppins with all the junk I keep in there! It takes just under an hour to find anything, and this can be irritating when it’s below freezing out. My husband, on the other hand, loses everything at home. I laugh at how often I see women posting memes on Facebook about the way their husband looks for things. “Krista, have you seen my (insert item here)?” This is often quickly met with a, “Never mind, I found it!” Most of the time the shouting from the other room indicates that said item was in the exact place it was supposed to be.
Luckily, all of these silly scenarios help keep life lighthearted and interesting. Getting married has given me a whole new world of things to write about, and made me realize just how similar of experiences we all have to one another. That’s why memes and relatable posts on Facebook go viral. How boring would it be if we lived with an exact replica of ourselves?! Plus, having different strengths and weaknesses is super helpful, especially when there’s a bug in the house. Instead of having 2 people jumping on furniture and screaming, one of them is able to keep calm and take action.
What do you think is a funny difference between men and women? I know some of these were silly generalizations, but I think — generally — generalizations have some truth to them! At least when it comes to marriage they do. I have yet to meet a wife who has not brought up the laundry basket when they ask me how life is as a newlywed.
One of my best friends, Nicole, called me from Trader Joe’s the other day because she knows how much of a TJ’s fan I am. She wanted to know about a few of the items there, and after chatting for awhile I decided she would probably love to try my crispy pesto salmon. It is absolutely delicious and has the perfect little crunch over a creamy basil pesto sauce. Hungry yet?
Gluten-free Crispy Pesto Crusted Salmon
Okay, so here are the ingredients:
-Wild Caught Salmon (Boneless)
-Corn Flakes Crumbs
-Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Step 1: Preheat oven to 400°F. I almost always do 400 because it’s just easy to remember and 50° above or below 350° and 450°, so I figure it works no matter what.
Step 2: Chop up the sweet potatoes and broccoli florets and put them on a cookie sheet. I always do the veggies first so I can use the same cutting board and knife for the meat. It makes cleanup so much easier having fewer dishes! I also always use aluminum foil because it’s easier to clean off a pan this way.
Step 3: Drizzle EVOO, salt, and pepper on the vegetables. Feel free to get crazy and add spices like cinnamon or turmeric to them if you’d like! They’re known for regulating blood sugar and helping with inflammation.
Step 4: Pat the salmon dry, and cut it into however many servings you’d like. It doesn’t matter how large or small the fillet is.
Step 5: Put the salmon on the same pan as the veggies. You can drizzle a little EVOO on the pan before placing it there, and then cover in salt and pepper.
Step 6: Make the pesto sauce. Mix 4/5 parts pesto, 1/5 parts mayo. It doesn’t really matter how much mayonnaise you decide to use, but I always like the pesto to still have a very green color. It just looks a little more pale when you put the mayonnaise in. I should note that I hate mayo in everyday life, but it adds a good creaminess to this dish!
Step 7: Spread as much of the sauce as you’d like on top of the salmon filets. I usually make it a little thick so there’s more flavor, but if you want it super-crispy, be more conservative with the sauce. Then, sprinkle as much of the Corn Flakes as you’d like on top of the mixture on the salmon, and put it in the oven to cook.
Step 8: Bake until the salmon is ready (It depends on how well done you’d like it), and the vegetables begin to brown.
Step 9: While your food cooks, make the extra pesto sauce. Mix the same ratio of pesto and mayo, then add a few squeezes lemon juice, a pinch of salt, and a few pinches of pepper.
Once everything is done cooking, take it out of the oven and top with as much of the extra pesto sauce as you’d like. Robert likes it on his veggies too, but I only eat it on the salmon because I think that’s kind of weird and I like the vegetables just the way they are.
Post a comment if you decide to try this how you like it! I didn’t post a picture of the end result because 1) I was too hungry and took a few bites before I realized I probably should have gotten a pretty picture and 2) I don’t know how to make brown things look appetizing. The end of this reminded me of Thanksgiving dinner — it tastes amazing but no matter how hard you try to make your plate look good, it never in a million years will.
Each period in my life has had something memorable that I can pinpoint and think back to. Except when I got sick with POTS. I remember very vividly how scary the first few days and nights were, but I don’t remember some kind of big details that were during that time period. Other than my family knowing what was going on from being there, I don’t remember telling anyone that I got sick overnight. I don’t recall even sending out one message saying I felt like I was dying and that I had gone into some sort of shock; I don’t think I did. I was so focused on how my body was completely giving up on me that I didn’t think to message anyone about it. Looking back, that was really strange and unlike me, but I think I was just too focused on the problem at hand to think straight. I’ve asked people who were close to me at the time what they remember about me getting sick, but I don’t think there was a monumental moment that anyone could recall. I don’t think the people who were really close to me understood how big of a deal this was until a few months later when I was still somehow sick.
I decided to do some digging and show you a little bit of my life pre-POTS, and then few things after getting diagnosed. So much of this time is so foggy to me because I was just in survival mode and trying to navigate life with a new collection of health problems. I don’t really remember living the first few months, with the exception of some pretty life-changing doctors appointments. Even those are a little bit foggy, though. I couldn’t stand very long when I went to my appointments, and often had to retake my blood pressure several times because I couldn’t stand very long without passing out.
One thing that is absolutely crazy to me is that my husband, Robert, never knew pre-POTS Krista. He’s heard about what I used to be like and the hobbies that I had before getting sick, but he didn’t experience going running with me or seeing my hilariously serious work ethic in school. He never held my hands before they were always hot or cold, and didn’t get to see how vicious I was in even a casual game of volleyball. This is something I wish was different, and that I feel sad about on occasion. It’s a big enough deal that my best friend Audrey included this tidbit in her maid of honor speech at our wedding — though she said the kindest things and that he didn’t need to know what I was like before I got sick to love me for my heart. It’s weird feeling like there are parts of me that are just gone completely now that I can’t be as active as I once was.
That was the Krista I felt proud of, and miss a lot of the time. Don’t get me wrong, I still think there are so many wonderful traits I have after getting sick, but work and sports are not a big part of my life anymore, and these were such a large part of my identity for so long that it’s been hard trying to recreate myself and figure out what I can do with my new restrictions. Since getting sick I lost so many things that brought me joy, and am still trying to find a balance between having experiences and continuing in my journey to getting better.
I got sick with POTS in August of 2013. Up until then, I loved working. In college I always had some sort of job in writing, and made money babysitting a few days a week after school. I worked for the school newspaper almost every semester as a columnist or editor, had several in the journalism field, and was involved in a few different clubs on campus. I loved being busy and whenever I had free time, I tried to find something new to occupy my time with.
2013 started off getting a phone call from my number one internship choice. After several interviews, I had snagged the editorial job at Seventeen magazine in New York City — my favorite place in the entire world. I was on top of the world, and although I wished a little bit that I had been able to enjoy the previous semester at college knowing it was going to be my last, I knew this was the step I wanted to take. I was ready to get out into the real world and start working. It had always been my dream to be a journalist, and I would finally get to do what I loved! Granted, I had a full course load I had to take online, but I knew it would all pay off when I could move to New York and continue working for a magazine with the Hearst corporation after completing my internship there. I was confident in my writing, and I knew someone would want to hire me full-time when I was done working for free. It turns out they would, but I wouldn’t be able to accept an offer to my dream job just two months after completing my time in the city.
Rewind to 2012, right before I got the phone call and moved to New York City. This was my last year without having POTS.
I celebrated my 22nd birthday at a Japanese steakhouse that had the most hilarious birthday ritual. They kicked the night off by bringing a balloon and a flaming shot. Then, all the lights in the restaurant went off and a disco ball came down from the ceiling. Five servers with different instruments began to play, and sing “happy birthday” at the top of their lungs. I cried I was laughing so hard. They spoiled me for the rest of the night and kept bringing little free dishes in between our stay there. I got sorbet, cheesecake, drinks, and little appetizers throughout the meal. Every time someone different came over and said, “happy birthday!” and delivered some sort of new surprise. They ended the night by putting a $3 charge on the bill titled, “Birthday Party.” It just made the night that much more funny, and this experience was what prompted me to take Robert to this exact restaurant after just a few dates with him to “celebrate his birthday” there too (Please read that link; to this day it’s one of my favorite posts on this blog. Thanks, babe!).
A few days after that, I ran my first half marathon. I had been training for it several months prior and was excited to set a new distance record for myself. Running had always been an activity that I loved and was a big part of my routine. I ran at least 4 days a week, usually more, for all of my adult life. I miss feeling my lungs burn from the cold, and running until all my thoughts just evaporated into the wind behind me. Running was one of my favorite stress-relievers, and I wish more than anything I could feel what it was like again.
I got the time I had hoped for and finished the race without having to stop. I was exhausted, but proud of myself. I wanted to run another one to see if I could beat my first time, but I was happy to be done for the day.
A couple of weeks later, I spent the new year out of town, and got an a call from one of the hiring managers at Seventeen saying that I got the internship I had interviewed for. It was a little bit of a shock having to pack my things, find someplace to live, and move to the Big Apple in the span of a week, but I always loved adventure and was so giddy with excitement that I didn’t really have enough time to think about anything else.
I packed up my life into a few suitcases and took the bus with my mom to move me into my new little 9X11 apartment and explore the city that was going to be my new home for the next several months. Lugging my bags up and down the stairs across town and learning how to use the subway is a memory I’ll never forget. It was so much fun moving to a place filled with so many of my dreams and endless possibilities.
The Hearst Building was the home of the Seventeen magazine office. We worked on the seventeenth floor, and I loved every day of work — so much that I often stayed late into the evening to keep working on projects because I enjoyed what I did and wanted to take on as much as my boss would allow. I was an editorial intern, but ended up being able to do some of my own writing for the magazine. My work involved a lot of research, interviewing, editing, and even helping pitch ideas to the executive editor. I got to go to business meetings all around the city, and had a few errands to run on occasion, but it felt a lot more like a real job than it did an internship. The better I did, the more they trusted me with real assignments, and I thrived in the high pressure, short-deadline world of journalism. I loved it so much that I knew I had picked a career where I wouldn’t hate going into work every day.
One of my favorite things about New York was that it truly is the city that never sleeps. Barnes and Noble became one of my favorite places to spend my free time because it was just the right amount of chaos to get work and studying done. My apartment was so tiny it felt like there wasn’t enough room to set up my books and laptop along with the rest of the things I had taken to the city. I took my textbooks and a snack to the store, and read and worked on papers for hours at a time. I enjoyed the classes I was taking, and only had 13 credits to complete that semester since I had packed my schedule the previous year.
New York offered the kind of life I loved. I was independent and worked hard at my job, and exercised regularly. In the past I hadn’t enjoyed being alone a lot, as I was an extreme extrovert, but I felt really comfortable being my own company in the city that felt so alive. I loved going on adventures, exploring, trying new things, and meeting new people. My favorite thing about New York was that every day was so drastically different, even if I began with the same route. I never knew what adventure would happen next, and I loved my life that way. It was exciting and fun learning how to constantly adapt to new things.
Going back and reading through my Tweets, Facebook posts, and journal entries from that time makes me so happy. Living in New York was truly one of the best times of my life, and I feel so thankful that I was able to experience it before I got sick. I used to often feel frustrated that I would never get the taste of working overtime in the big city again, but I am incredibly grateful for all the memories I have from that time. I have a million different things I could post on here, but will just share my favorites.
I found a Trader Joe’s across town and enjoyed “cooking” microwaveable food for lunch and dinner. I would walk if it was nice enough out, despite being almost 2 and a half miles from my apartment each way, and always stocked up on my favorite things. It’s actually kind of shocking looking at how much I could carry back then (and it wasn’t a difficult task for me either!).
Living in New York was so surreal. I always looked at the new world around me and would daydream about what it must be like to get to stay there forever. Valentine’s Day — my favorite holiday — was so much fun because I saw so much joy and happiness around me.
Some of the funniest moments happened in New York and I wish I had documented them better. Friends came to visit and we would go dancing on the weekend, our favorite place being “Turtle Bay,” a dive bar with an impromptu dance floor and crazy bartenders. I loved that I made new friends everywhere I went, and that they all seemed excited to see me too. I talked to anyone and everyone, and to this day I think New Yorkers get a really unfair bad rap.
I loved all the random people I met, but I also made some lifelong friends at my internship and in my apartment building. We still talk on a regular basis, and I feel so blessed to have those memories to share with such great people.
Fast-forward a few months after graduating in May and then leaving the city, this post was made two days before I got extremely ill overnight and began my journey with POTS. We were taking our last family vacation to the beach, and it was one of the final days there. I remember this night vividly, and the meteor shower is still one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.
August 14, 2013 was the day I really started being terribly symptomatic. I’ve described that night in great detail before, but I don’t think I can put to words exactly how I felt. A few weeks later the doctors had an idea of what was going on, but it took several months to really get into a rhythm of realizing what my new life was like — and that it wasn’t just something I was going to get over quickly.
I’m someone who always minimizes things. I am not the best communicator sometimes because I hate inconveniencing others, and I don’t ever want anyone to pity me. When people feel bad for someone I feel like it makes them seem less of a human being, but I want people to understand. This is why I have always been very vocal about what’s going on in my life — even if I do make light of it all.
The tests I had to take since I got sick with POTS were awful because it took all week to recover afterward. I still have to prioritize things on my to-do list, and decide whether or not something is worth the energy and recovery time, but luckily I am able to do a lot more and a doctors appointment won’t keep me down for the rest of the week.
I’ve always loved writing, and blogging was a really nice way to get to express my frustration about the lack of knowledge people have about POTS — including doctors. I am so lucky to have a wonderful cardiologist who specializes in Dysautonmia close by, and have coping tools to enhance my quality of life. It’s amazing what a difference lifestyle changes make, but there is still so much for people to learn about this not-so-rare, but rarely diagnosed condition.
During the first couple years when my POTS was a lot worse, I consistently posted about my adventures on the recumbent bike, dogs, and television shows I enjoyed watching. Other than having friends come over, there was a time where I remember not being able to go anywhere I couldn’t elevate my feet. I went out to a movie night with a big group of my girl friends, and had to get driven home because I couldn’t sit upright without blacking out. I had to raise my feet above my head at the grocery store sometimes because standing upright to shop was often impossible for my autonomic nervous system to handle. Basically, it was really hard to even just get out of the house at one point.
Dogs were a huge part of world — and let’s be honest, they still are. Gracie and Macy were some of the most healing little creatures, and brought me joy every day, even when I felt my worst. I really do think dogs are little angels God sends to the world to bring us comfort, joy, and much more love than we even deserve.
I tried to make the most of everything I had to deal with. Some of the best advice I’ve been given is that even in my most trying times, I should write about my experiences. It gives me a more concrete reason of why something unpleasant might have happened, and more life experience. It also brings more of a purpose to this illness by helping spread awareness for other people suffering with Dysautonomia or invisible illnesses. My writing and ability to connect with others are the two things that keep me positive throughout all of this.
A lot of my writing about chronic illness is to educate people who maybe haven’t had to deal with anything like this before. It’s so weird looking like a completely normal, healthy twenty-something when your body isn’t working properly. I think there are a lot of people who mean well, but maybe just don’t understand that there is such a thing as invisible illness and you wouldn’t know someone was feeling terrible unless you talked to them.
It’s crazy thinking about all the time I’ve spent in the life of having a chronic illness. When I first got POTS I was terrified hearing that I would have it for the rest of my life. Then, I was optimistic that I would be better within 5 years because of some studies I had read about the condition. I reached the 5 year mark this August, and have felt frustrated at times that things still aren’t where I want them to be, but I am going to keep fighting to get a more normal life back, and I so appreciate how much I have improved since August 2013. It hasn’t been easy turning my everything upside down and learning to be positive though pain, but I have more faith that God has a plan for my life and will make something beautiful out of even unpleasant circumstances. After all, if I hadn’t gotten sick with POTS there is no way I would have met Robert, so I trust that God knows what He’s doing, even when it doesn’t always feel like it. I just might not know why everything is happening the way it is right now, but maybe one day I will.
Thanks for reading if you made it this far! I know this was a much longer and more informal blog post, but the old versus the new me is something that I think about often because it is just so freaking weird having this as my life. I still feel weird sometimes telling people I have a chronic illness, and it isn’t anything I ever imagined would happen to me — especially at such a young age. I just think it’s important to remind people that I have had a really normal life up until getting sick with POTS, and despite being different now, I still can relate to so much to normal people as well as the “new” community I’m a part of.