I Jumped 855 Feet - Twice

I just got back from Vegas, and have a LOT to talk about--some good, some bad, some ugly--but I have to mention the Skyjump first and foremost.

Video will be linked here asap; it is taking FOREVER to upload to YouTube.

Back in 2014, I leapt 855 feet from the Las Vegas stratosphere.  I never thought I'd experience the feeling again, but after getting back to the Strip and watching little bodies fly off the edge over and over I knew it was something I needed to do again.

It's not a bungee jump, but an actual free fall off the tower's edge.  You're hanging onto a safety rope and it slows about fifty feet from the ground, so it's full speed until you hit the bottom (and if you're me, trip all over the attendant who catches you.) 855 feet is no joke; it's taller than Hoover Dam!  The actual fall is somewhere between 14 to 17 seconds, which is a looooooong time to fall. Since my original blog entry about the jump was eaten, I'll summarize how it felt.

It was terrifying the first time.  From the moment I checked in, all throughout getting my equipment checked and re-checked, I was absolutely petrified and time seemed to move in liquid-slow motion.  I heard one great bit of advice, I forget from who--the attendants give a countdown. DON'T hesitate after the countdown, just use that as your 'sentencing' and go.  I did just that, and even though the half hour leading up to the jump I felt like I was walking to an electric chair or some other gruesome death, the moment my feet left the ground I felt amazing.

It's hard to explain why but I've always felt and noticed that adrenaline-kickstarts or near-death experiences really seem to 'readjust' my brain and make me feel happy for weeks, or even months, afterward.  I noticed this first in 2012, when my friend Brad and I went on this terrifying drop thing at a theme park in Utah called the Skycoaster.  He had to unhitch our cable and send us dropping several hundred feet. At the time he had been suffering really crippling depression and nothing I could do or say made the kid smile, but letting us loose in air seemed to make him actually happy--he talked about it for months and how nothing compared to the feeling of almost dying.  Chase, who has combat-related PTSD, has flat out told me the same thing: he's like me and loves the unnecessary brushes with death...like me, they make him feel alive and happy. I seriously wonder if someone should start funding skyjumps for therapy or something.

So for this jump, I was prepared.  There was still a bit of fear, but seeing the other jumpers and remembering that exuberant feeling, loving being alive, made me strengthen my resolve.  When the time came, I was putting on my clothes and heard my partner jumper ask a question to the attendant.  I immediately halted, recognizing her accent.  "Where are you from?"

"Sweden," she said.

"Ah...jag pratar svenska."

Her face lit up, she couldn't believe it!  This girl was jumping for her first time, in Vegas for the first time, and she was scared and petrified and not only could I guide her through what to do and how to prepare for the jump, but I could even speak her language and discuss her country with her! The 108 floor elevator ride was full of Swenglish and exchanging our ideals on the quirks of socializing in Sweden versus America.  Everything transformed so quickly into being supportive and chatty that I almost forgot what awaited me, until I stepped out onto that blue little ledge.

And then I was like "oh...shit." HAHA.

But it was beautiful.  A wonderful, lengthy flight, an actual leap of faith.  Sailing down alongside the tower and drinking in all of Vegas's night lights.  I would recommend it to anyone.

Would you jump?


Should You Get an Undercut?

A coworker asked me the other day, "why do you shave the bottom of your hair?" I was taken aback by the question and realized it's not something I really talk about.  Why not give a little insight on it?  When I researched female undercuts there was a hilariously small amount of information online for those of us that weren't going full Furiosa under there.

My story
I LOVE undercuts.  On men, they look absurdly handsome, and on women, they look SO badass.  I am glad they've made a comeback (on men) and are a new trend for the ladies.  But it's one of those "things" --- even though I think it looks great, I'd never shave off a huge chunk of my hair on the side, or sides.  It's just not me, and though everyone says "it's hair, it'll grow", it's not that simple when you have hypothyroidism.  For me, half an inch of growth is a damn miracle and to get that half inch without it all being split ends is twice the miracle.

A Small Jump
So I thought I would just have undercut envy forever, until I saw a post on /r/fancyfollicles where a girl had taken a small leap, like an Alex sized leap, and got a tiny little triangle nape of the neck cut.  From there I spoke to a few others who sang praises of the wimpy undercut and I was sold.  Went and got it that day.  I've now had my undercut for over a year.  Here are my thoughts--the good, the bad, the ugly!

1.  It's supposed to help with tangled hair.  It didn't, for me.  Not sure why, but what a bummer, because this was a huge selling point for me.  I have fine, thick hair and it tangles like a barbie doll's hair.  I wear collared shirts at work and this just won't do if I choose a down-do, so I was pretty disappointed when the shave made absolutely no difference in the amount of rat's nest my hair can produce in half an hour.  However, other girls on reddit said it did help with their tangles.  Believe who you will, maybe it has to do with different hair textures.

2.  It's supposed to be cooler.  It's not.  I don't notice much of a difference, to be honest.  This is another selling point that other girls on reddit claimed worked.  Maybe it has to do with thickness of the hair shaft, but my hair is superrrrrr thick, with a very fine shaft, and this didn't help one way or the other.  Thick, fine hair is prone to tangling anyway, so maybe we're just cursed.

3.  It looks pretty nifty.  I have to admit I like the look, when I wear my hair up.  It gives me incentive to wear it up more often and it shows off my neck tattoo.  Me gusta.  As a fashion statement, it's very appealing!

4. It caused ingrown hairs.  Is this something that's common for everyone who shaves their head?  I never have had a problem with acne on my scalp, but after getting this it got rampant.  But it wasn't pimples, it was all ingrown hairs.  That was frustrating and gross.  I still have them now and then when I get it trimmed.

5. It requires upkeep, frequently, and it's not something you can do yourself.  Maybe with a double mirror, but especially when it comes to keeping the shape up, I wouldn't trust myself to do it.  If you let it go too long, it gets soooo aggravating.  Again, I can't imagine what men go through with short haircuts their whole lives.  What a pain! (Maybe that's how they feel about heels and makeup)  I originally wanted one of the cute little designs like in the above photos, but honestly I would never see it and I am too lazy/busy to spend time in the salon for something like that.  If it's you to be more high maintenance than me, go for it!

6.  It might give you the courage to go full throttle.  If you're one of those badasses who wants a real Mad-Max apocalyptic 'do, maybe try this first and see how it feels.  Honestly, mine was very small when I started and I've gradually enlarged the surface area of the undercut (in the hopes it would help with detangling, but nope.)  So do consider that, feisty peeps!

All in all I keep the undercut because I really do like the bit of edge it gives my look (despite being a conservative, Mormon-looking beauty minimalist, I am still a tough bitch dammit) and I would rather deal with the issues above than wait for the shit to grow back out.  So there you have it.  Hopefully this helps anyone looking for answers, and if anyone has other experience or details (or questions) about undercuts, please let me know!


A Dramatic Story

So, I thought about making this a vlog, but truthfully, it would have been a good 20 minute speech, and more importantly, I am so busy lately I barely have time to write, much less sit down and talk and then edit, etc.  But it's still a good story (and cautionary tale!) so I wanted to share. Since I'm not videoing, I'll throw in some expressive gifs to help tale the tell.

I did some lame contract work for a few months, while I waited to start my awesome current job.  It was grave shift security, looking at monitors and thinking about things like sunlight. It wasn't difficult work at all, mostly just boring, but I am creative!  Within a few weeks I'd made friends with the night shift lead officer.  For the sake of privacy, let's call him Bob.  Bob was a pretty wise, philosophical dude who had done and seen a lot.  Within the first day of meeting him we were laughing about our mutual dark secrets.  (As a side note: he was, and is, currently married.)

Now, I'm pretty naive, and I never know if someone is being nice to me for niceness's sake (I always assume so) or if they conversely, like me, or are interested in more.  So what ended up happening is that one day after work, Bob came over to chill out and check on the RAM in my computer.  Innocent right? Until he randomly took my hand and started stroking my arm and commenced with some drivel about how he cared for me.  



Utah Lake

Warning, pic heavy post!

I think all I keep saying anymore on this blog is "haha I'm busy doing things with people, that's so weird!" Well, here we go again--this time it was a celebration of Derik's 30th....THIRTIETH!!!!! birthday, which was Friday.  I secretly planned shooting after a Ruth's dinner with my awesome friend Roy, who is a weapons instructor, swordfighter, and lover of julmust, among other things.  Between Roy and Chase I figured we would have enough guns and ammo for our own group of Minutemen, and they didn't disappoint!  Even better, we kept it secret from Derik until the minute Chase arrived with all his guns and tossed Derik a round.  It felt great to get out in the sunshine and have some lead therapy, but it felt even better to do something for Derik that I knew he would enjoy.  And what feels best is having people in your life that you can call or text and say, hey, let's make this thing happen.  I am in the middle of three overnight 12 hour shifts, so I couldn't do much of anything except beg for help.  And everyone helped!  What kind of magic is this?  Where I can give up control to friends and let them help me do something?

Maybe I'm not as dysfunctional as I think I am.  Or maybe things are changing for me.  Or maybe it's summer and I'm caught in a fantastic dream of what I want my actual life to look like.  The latter is probably reality, especially since I took these photos and they actually look pretty good!  I'm still such a dummy with my camera, I was shocked to see that a massive overhaul of editing wasn't needed.  So yes, caught in a summer dream of life seems to fit.

My favorite! This little red legged grasshopper was not shy about eating the piece of tomato I offered him.  I thought it was adorable!!!