Jesus take my saw

I cannot accept credit for the title of this post. It was texted to me and made me actually laugh out loud at the coffee shop. Thus, the tone is set for my day. It’s gonna be a silly one.

My new job has been nothing short of awesome, I have to say. Working with this crew of women all close to my age and from similar walks of life is extremely refreshing. It’s also pretty cool to work for an all-female veterinary hospital for the first time. There are a lot of really tough women [and men, of course] in this field and this is one of the better groups I’ve come across. Bonus points for our ridiculously cute Instagram page filled with daily photos of the dog daycare regulars! Quick plug for @petvetdaycare. Toss us a follow! You will not regret it!

We got a little hint of warm Spring weather here this past week and the Ashevillains came to life with the promise of sunshine. It’s amazing how quickly flip-flops resurfaced. It’s amazing that they’re still a thing, actually. Having your toes mercilessly exposed and isolated by sticky, low-grade rubber footwear named for the sound it makes when you walk? Who’s the genius behind that? [Google search to be conducted later…] There were loads of jorts and sundresses, hairy legs for days, and I even got an eyefull of some woman’s entire breast hanging out the side of her cut-off tank so it’s really happening, y’all. Spring has sprung in the mountains.

Last sunny Tuesday, I spent some time at Carrier Park, my best local recommendation for being outside while also catching an authentic glimpse of all things Asheville. In past visits to Carrier over the years, I have witnessed partial nudity/nude yoga, LARP’ing [live action role play], mountain family meth-picnics, avid unicycling, a river-floating Bachelorette party, and several super cute old people playing in a bocce league, among other fascinating sights. It’s honestly just a really beautiful park with some of the greenest grass and best hammock trees I’ve found. A park visit for me is usually just hunkering down to catch some sun and fresh air, but I do try to at least honor and acknowledge the hoards of healthy, motivated people jogging and being otherwise active while I nap in the middle of a field.

…Y’all…the coffee shop distractions are seriously copious today and I keep getting off-track. There’s a really cute [Spanish? Portuguese? I cannot figure out what language they’re speaking…] father/son pair that is excitedly discussing all of the items on the community cork board. The son has one of those dread hairdos where his head looks like the top of a pineapple and his father is wearing a flaming yellow bicycling jersey with skinny jeans…I love them. The older gentleman next to me is basically sitting atop a throne of crumpled receipts and papers but emphatically swore to me that he was doing accounting work when I asked, with empathy, “Are you doing your taxes?” Nosy, I know. I was born this way. [Update: thirty minutes later he is getting SO mad at the receipts….He keeps moaning and shaking them violently– I can’t make actual sense of the conversation he’s having with himself. It’s escalating though and I feel like he may flip the table at any moment– Who doesn’t love a dramatic tax season?]

Anyway, just for fun I’ll wrap this up with my to-do list for the next few months because it’s quite funny to actually write down and share:

*Join a co-ed adult softball league   LIKELIHOOD: Mild to Medium. Sports.

*Attend classes at the gym near work 2-4 times per week   LIKELIHOOD: High. Not as high as Mexican food and beer ending up inside of me.

*Begin and then complete more art/D.I.Y. projects   LIKELIHOOD: Not good, yet currently experiencing crippling anxiety which is sometimes weirdly great for inspiration.

*Cook more healthy food/just cook in general   LIKELIHOOD: Medium. I still have a deep fear-based hatred of grocery stores and never plan my visits so the Asheville bring-your-own-bag shamers come at me hard. Nah.

*Float the French Broad more   LIKELIHOOD: High! I can do this one! I just need the river to be poo-free this summer and last year’s feces/e-coli situation went a little haywire. She’s just another dirty broad.

 

Anyhoo, that’s all I’ve got on the list so far. I’m hopeful that with warmer temperatures, longer days and general optimism things can start to get on the right track around here.

Let’s March on, shall we?

xo, KHT

 

 

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Oh, hello.

Well, it just took me a solid thirty minutes to log in to my blog site– Yes, it’s been a little while, hasn’t it? I forgot about the damn thing. That and I lost my voice, but I’m trying to find it again. If I can discipline myself to resurrect this ole’ blog, she will be filled with the cunning witticisms and self-deprecating filth [all three of] you know and love, fear not. Gotta recharge the batteries, first, though….

LIFE RECAP//    2017 seemed endless and often pretty darn challenging. I took some desperately needed time away from the veterinary world, learning quickly [and at times painfully] which other working skills I do and do not possess. I struggled a good bit with finances, emotional wellness and personal relationships [also known as the Kiri Herrmann-Tross Experience.] It sucked, I’ll be honest. I’m slowly building some haphazard “foundation” for 2018 so it isn’t a woeful repeat, but I’m sure as hell stronger today than I was when I quit my job with no plan.

You know when you knee-jerk make a decision under duress and then you regret it and try to quietly change your mind later? Of course you don’t. Me neither. [Nor did Britney when she shaved her head in 2008 and attacked the paparazzi with an umbrella…]

…I made it six months into the Great Job Experiment of 2017 and couldn’t be without the animals anymore. I’m not built for retail [too grumpy] and certainly not built for residential and commercial cleaning [too weak.] Sure, I got some exercise and worked with a handful of wonderful people, but my heart is forever drawn back to pets and their people, so here I am. Being at the front desk of two fantastic hospitals since last June has made the more uncertain parts of my heart happy again. [Note: My most recent shift in December was due to transportation and proximity. I’m now happily working just a few miles from my house.]

I look back and quietly hope that maybe all of the trials and transitions I’ve experienced were for a reason.

Since turning 30, it certainly feels as though everything is a constant unknown. The most complex shift has been in my relationships with those close to me. I’ve decided that it has to be okay to limit time and emotional investment in relationships that are not particularly healthy for me/do not feed my soul. It can feel and appear selfish, but as I grow older, it finally isn’t about everyone liking me all the time– It isn’t about counting my friends among dozens of people and I know that not every family fits together like a Norman Rockwell painting.

—It’s important for me to be accountable, here, and to note: There’s a balance that needs to be found and I am the only one to do it. Avoidance and neglect are terrible habits of mine when it comes to relationships that require more love, understanding and effort. It’s hard to pinpoint where that began as I believe myself to be a pretty loving individual, but it seems the ostrich with her head buried is my spirit animal for the long haul. I’m taking the tiniest of baby steps to realize and practice that my presence and advice can be useful to people. I hope to eventually open back up to the possibility of mutually beneficial bonds with people who may actually need me. I already know how much I need others.—

I think it’s wonderful that lots of people I know are able to effortlessly foster strong relationships within their lives, but maybe we can’t all be that way and that’s alright. Everyone’s path is different and the trusted tribe we choose sometimes takes some editing, triumphs and failures before it’s solid. Another work in progress for me.

Anyways, I sure hope some funny sh*t happens in the coming weeks because this has been a real snoozer to write. It’s more of a journal entry than the way I want the blog to sound, but screw it. We’ll see how it goes this time around…

Thanks for having a look.

Love, KHT

 

A “local’s” guide to Tourism…

I grew up in a pretty small town in New York. I’m talking no sidewalks, one gas station, the Juvie and a golf course and that’s about it. Somers, New York is known as “the cradle of the American circus” so everything is elephant-themed. Hachaliah Bailey (Barnum & Bailey Circus) spent a good bit of time housing and training one of his first elephants in Somers, so you’re hearing from a loud and proud member of the Somers Tuskers varsity volleyball team, thank you very much. Because nothing says athletic prowess quite like a tired, lumbering pachyderm.

Asheville is a big change for me. Aside from a quick stint in Burlington, VT, I’ve never lived anywhere that people actually want to visit. I recently acquired a job on North Lexington which puts me in the heart of downtown, so with our crisp leaves turning every shade of #pumpkinspice, Here! Come! The Touristsss! 

[Readers of my blog may start to notice that instant gratification is very important to me, so I like to get to “The Meat” of my post in a hasty, yet organized fashion. I make lists.]

So here, for my Asheville Grit debut, is my first list:

HOW TO LOSE YOUR ASHEVILLE TOURIST STATUS IN TEN DAYS:

  1. Your Kia Sorrento crests over the misty mountains as you enter Asheville and you. are. PUUUUMPED! Gonna get high as f*ck on that dank mountain air! You’re so distracted by the beautiful scenery that you fail to realize you are driving thirteen miles per hour and every Asheville native stuck behind you wants you dead right now. SPEED IT UP, KINDLY. We have jobs to get to. We need to spend valued parts of our morning circling downtown desperately seeking parking with you. Let’s tap that accelerator and do this! Together, friend. Welcome to Ashevegas!
  2. Day 2: Today you should definitely peel back the sheets in your reasonably-priced-yet-questionably-safe Air B&B and immediately obsess over where you’ll eat. We’re super sorry that there are so many choices. Please don’t ask us the hours/location/how to pronounce Curate– We’re too broke to eat there and we really believe in your ability to use Google on your own. Yes, Sunny Point is good. No, the “wait’s not long.” They now have a house band and coffee/drink menu for people who are congregating outside–What does that tell you? Definitely be sure to stand in the crosswalk in front of SP whilst you rip selfies and block traffic. We’ll wait!
  3. Starting to get settled into our sweet city, you head downtown to do a bit of shopping, a little croissant-noshing, definitely gonna take some dope pics for Insta. But wait! Where will you park? How will you park? Aside from pulling into one of the clearly-marked parking garages or looking for a street spot like literally every other human, we know the struggle. For sure pop into the boutique where I work once hourly and ask me questions about feeding the meter. I’m here for ya!
  4. Brewery Tour Day! Do you think you “love hoppy craft beer” and you’ve got the overpriced hoodie to prove it? We’ll see you at one of the mega-breweries! Southern Living Magazine probably told you to stop in there and you’re a dutiful visitor with a knack for convenience, so definitely avoid checking out other, smaller breweries like The Burial, Sweeten Creek and Oyster House, all of which are adorably cozy and boast epic, flavorful brews. Be sure you audibly yell “THIS ONE’S TOO STRONG” or “THIS JUST TASTES LIKE SHOCK TOP” while the bartender patiently hands you sample after sample. Don’t forget to tip very little! Everybody’s just working because it’s fun.
  5. You’re leaving tomorrow so throw on your very best plaid-scarf-knee-length brown boot combo and head on over to the Biltmore. Yaaaas, Queen! You look good. We don’t want you to suffer through free or cheap options like the Blue Ridge Parkway, Carrier Park or a drink during sunset at Sky Bar, so throw them dollars down to see a big old house. [It is actually insanely gorgeous but I choose to save my money and Google photos of it when I feel an urge.]

 

I sincerely hope the information I’ve shared here can be taken with a satirical grain of salt as you must understand, I LOVE ASHEVILLE!  It is my home. For four years now, and likely a few more to come. Without the tourists, many of our local businesses wouldn’t survive and most of wouldn’t have jobs. We’re grateful! Just be cool, man. Be cool.

Thanks for reading y’all!

Kiri

 

 

september synopsis.

Since August, I’ve been trudging through semi-sudden job transitions, another relationship dissolution, moving to a new home and continuing to extinguish small fires to the best of my ability. I’m exhausted. Overall, it’s good things, though.

I’m thrilled to no longer be a part of the animal hospital, though the hole in my heart that was filled by several close friends there is still quite deep. I’m in awe of the brilliance, dedication and complete selflessness exhibited by those techs and receptionists-even a few [VERY few] of the doctors. It’s hard to get in the lifeboat and paddle away from the Titanic as her lights slip underwater. I hope you guys all find what you deserve, be it there or elsewhere. Many of you are worth so much.

My relationship fell apart. It’s not so surprising to me anymore. To honor myself as well as the person I spent 9 months with, I don’t feel the need to share details. I thought it was “it.” It wasn’t. [I’ve typed almost that exact phrase on this blog before. Damn it.] I’m getting pretty tired of putting my heart in an incubator for the better part of a year and then watching it get drop-kicked into the cold. It’s okay though. This needed to happen. It’s time to fiercely love myself and hopefully become the best version of Kiri I can. I’m choosing the wrong men for a reason–It’s time to hold myself accountable for that. (Read: I’m rather f*cked up and can be quite difficult to manage, so I am not claiming innocence in any of this…)

I moved to a great house in my same neighborhood with a male friend of mine and it’s lovely. It had been over two years since my last move, so silly details like deciding which order to hang clothes in the closet has been a lot of fun. I bought this fantastic antique trunk at the Habitat for Humanity store and–yeah—It’s baller but I’m not sure why I’m writing about it. Let’s remember that this is my journal–It’s just public. My condolences to you all.

All of this is basically a long intro to talking about how I have nothing to talk about. Writer’s block is pretty severe again. I’m hoping for a more regular writing schedule come winter, but realistically I’ll probably just make casseroles and watch Teen Mom. I really have no friggin’ shame.

Short and sweet. I’ma keep it at that for today.

Feel free to comment with topic ideas! However, a gentle reminder that requests for religious, political or feminine rights commentary will be swiftly rejected. I don’t want the blog to take on such a serious tone–All lives DO matter. And there’s nothing else to say about that.

Love & Lightness,

K.

IMG_6005

 

Eat my [organic] nuts

It’s been another four months of psychological hell, but I’m not in that kind of mood today, so  let’s talk about downtown B.S. and FOOD, okay? Food fucking service, babes.

As some of you know I recently quit my entire veterinary medical existence and chose a life of retail, beauty, and [attempts at] sleeping until 8am. It’s going quite swimmingly so far. I get to wear my own clothes and jewelry and no one bitches at me for having my food on the wrong shelf in the fridge. It’s pretty nice wandering to the bank and getting to people watch and see all the crazy shit Asheville spews out– This place is f*ckin’ wild. I love it!

Then there’s the cons–And it’s me, so there’s always a list:

  1. FUCK PARKING. Seriously fuck you. You’re charging $8 per day for me to put my mobile toaster made of metal and rubber into a sliver of space in a giant, ugly smelly building that gives me vertigo? EAT SHIT! I’ll park in the skate park and walk past toothless (yet friendly) homeless men with PVC digeridoos. Oh yes. I will do that.

2)  TRY and order food or coffee downtown. Just try. I dare you. WELL I HOPE YOU’RE VERY PATIENT because sweet jeeeeesus nothing is simple anymore. An actual exchange from earlier this week:

Me: “Hi! I’d like a cold brew, please, with some room.”

Thigh tattoo/Asymmetrical Haircut: “Okay. Wellllllllllll, we have the nitrous-infused cold on draft. Would that be okay? And would you like ice?”

Me: [Is this chick for real? Of friggin’ course I want ice] “Um, yeah. Sounds good. And yes, ice.”

Four house-fermented syrups and six organic napkins later, my $5,  7.65-ounce coffee was finally PERFECT. F*ck. They have some really goddamn delicious cream cheese though, so I can’t even get that upset about it.

3)   Dealing with bums on a daily basis is bullshit. I’m not talking like 20-somethings with dogs and giant backpacks who just want like half a sandwich. I’m talking methed-out, skin-scratching, hollow people with yellow skin swigging out of paper bags at 11am. They holler at me, bark, follow at a distance–It sucks and it seems like the problem has outgrown the city at this point. They’re just–everywhere. It really makes the city a spooky place, even in the daylight.

4) GROCERIES. Eat d*cks, Earthfare. I spent SIXTY DOLLARS this week on enough food to fit in a 12-pack box. It was like FOUR THINGS. Just navigating the olive oil section was riddled with anxiety and caused me to sweat through my jorts. I’m going back to goddamn generic f*cking factory farm rotisserie chickens from now on and I DONT CARE WHO KNOWS IT.

5) It has taken me three days of automated messages, ill-timed voicemail and internet problems to make a doctor’s appointment. For a lady exam. That is unacceptable and all I wish to say on the matter. #savetheclams

 

Well, this was a quickie but I need to ready my retail balls for another rockin’ Friday. Gonna sell the everliving F*CK out of some crop tops that I’ll never wear. YASSSS.

Love to y’all–Spread the blog love if you want. I’m off the Facebooks until 2017.

Deuces,

KHT

 

 

Therapy.

People have been talking to me a lot about my writing. It’s nice, but it also feels like a lot of pressure. I don’t proof-read. I don’t spellcheck. My sentence structure is crap. I’m not doing this to be Carrie Bradshaw. I’m doing this because there’s nowhere else for these items in my brain to go. I’m swimming in thought. It’s physically exhausting. I’m tired and hungry. This is me now.

A few months ago, I started taking generic Zoloft for my panic attacks. They were debilitating. I had to leave or avoid my job for days at a time to try to process what was happening to me. I couldn’t think or drive my car or stop crying. Something simple like getting dressed or finding my keys would send me into a spiral. I’ve never really had true suicidal ideologies, but I had such a severe attack one day, I stared at the ceiling light in my room wondering if it would support my weight. I often stop and wonder why my brain has taken this on. I’m intelligent. I’m headstrong. I love people ferociously. Why do I have to experience such pain? Have I done something wrong in my life and this is punishment?

No.

I’m not the only one going through this. I am NOT the only one going through this.

I’ve decided to open my book because I’m trying to help others. If I can’t be understood, then at least I can cut myself wide open in an effort to help others to feel a bit more free. Well, that is my hope. This feels pretty vulnerable.

I’m also very sure some people think I’m doing this for attention. That’s okay. It’s important for me to continue to write and process this unexpected journey. With honesty.

Zoloft is pretty much horrible. I feel incredibly foggy. I say or do very strange things, often without remembering or with regret. I can’t take it back once I’ve done it. I’m shaky all the time. Fireworks and people splashing each other in the pool on 7/4 almost set me off. This coffee shop I’m in is playing trigger song after trigger song and I’m trying not to cry in front of the random girl sitting next to me. It’s music. I’m rarely hungry, so I’m losing weight I never tried to lose. I just can’t fathom food that excites me. I look at myself in the mirror and sometimes feel like I’m looking at my skull without skin on it–Not because of the weight loss, just because that’s how I see my face. It’s like a fun-house mirror. Except it’s every day.

[Comic relief: Coffee shop Playlist so far includes, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, “Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley and now “Mad World” by Gary Jules. I CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP YOU GUYS.]

Before you ask, yes, I am in frequent contact with my doctor. He’s very supportive and I’m able to tell him the truth. I’m also slowly working on curbing my alcohol intake so that my medication can work more properly. All of this is the hardest hill I’ve ever climbed. I’m afraid I won’t survive this. But I will. It’s just a constant fear that I might want to give up. Anyone would. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to be bipolar or have multiple personalities. This is just anxiety. I can get through this.

Someday soon I’m going to try to call a therapist. My doctor wants me to so that I can try to drudge up some of the pain I’ve shoved deep down that might be contributing to my anxiety. My mom told me recently that I never talk about my past. I won’t. I am stubbornly opposed to discussing painful events. I have to, though. I can’t keep using my friends, boyfriend, loved ones as therapists. Nobody signed up for that.

One of the first people to ever comment on my blog and offer support was a new friend, Drexler. He was a food critic and blogger and [I think] a musician. He had an amazing mind. I attended a clever and whimsical Halloween party at his house with some friends. Then he came to our Christmas party and it meant the world to me. His wife is a beautiful, kind woman. Drexler took his own life over a year ago because he was too consumed in his own pain. There’s a longer list than I’d like to admit of people I’ve cared for who have suffered the same fate. Family. A Boyfriend. New friends. I won’t end up that way. I would never leave all of you behind. But for anyone who thinks that depression or mental health issues are “fake” or “for attention,” tell that to my friend Drexler. Tell it to my list of loved ones. They’re not here anymore.

I’m deciding to not let this post be my day. I cried a few times writing it, but I guess the blog is kind of becoming my journal. I feel a little bit better now. I’m going to go enjoy the sunshine a little bit. Grateful to live in this beautiful city.

Love.

K.

 

 

 

 

Much Ado About Err’thang

 

MPP

 

After another beautiful weekend of river-floating, beer-swigging and the many adventures between, it was time to pack the picnic basket and head to see our good friend Stu Moore in Much Ado About Nothing at the Monford Park Players. MPP calls itself “North Carolina’s Longest Running Shakespeare Festival.” They do one thing, but they do it well. Stu took an admirably bold leap of faith in deciding to audition for a live show, featuring a diverse blend of amateur and professional actors, but knowing him, we were confident and excited to see *The Stu Debut* as he became Don John, the villain.

Ten of us grabbed our adult bevs of choice and easy snack foods–(it’s BYOB and the show is FREE, can’t beat that)–and tucked our cars away on a twisty road somewhere in the forests of Montford. It’s satisfyingly intentional how they built this beautiful, open stage, but seemingly left the thick vegetation around it mostly untouched–it’s almost impossible to find if you don’t have someone in your group to lead you down the little goat trail to the stage– A true hidden gem! We brought blankets and lawn chairs and spread out in the top corner where we had a great view of the whole stage and crowd. We were later told that Sunday night was their biggest turnout for the month of June, with well over 300 people in attendance! It never once felt crowded or stifling, though, like a baseball game or concert. Ahhhh, sweet Sunday relaxation ::sips craft beer [of course]::

I’m by no means a Shakespeare enthusiast or expert, so I won’t lie, much of the prose was lost on me. I wouldn’t have minded CliffNotes handed out for the likes of my simple self, but maybe they’ll note that for next time (Shakespeare for Dummies?) Anyhow, the gist of it seems to be a love story wrapped in a comedy, wrapped in an epic thespian game of ‘Telephone’ in which everyone has something to say, but none of it is very accurate. Several good laughs are definitely present. One of the most fun surprises is that some of the characters creep out into the audience and snatch bottles of wine, snacks or just pick at certain people in the crowd– You’re made to feel like you’re part of the production, which isn’t something you’ll likely find in a traditional theater setting.

The lighting seems naturally timed with the sunset. Cleverly, there are less artificial lights once it’s dark, which is following the 20-minute intermission. The second half was easily my favorite– I was sitting with friends under an awesomely star-flecked sky, watching a hilarious mess of young lovers trying to find their way.

Stu plays Don John, who goes missing for much of the second act, but is nonetheless distinctive and looming when he does appear. [He’s one of the kindest people we all collectively know– It was hard to believe he could be so manipulative and evil in this role!] Among a slew of vibrant dresses and jovial set pieces, Stu’s diabolical black costume is easy to pick out, even from a distance. The actors aren’t mic’ed, so some of them have to almost yell to be heard. Stu’s booming voice works to his advantage here–We didn’t miss any of what he said! We did, however, loudly bellow “Stuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu” at one point as he exited the stage, which, unfortunately, one of his cast-mates mistook for “Boooooooooooo.” Oops? We were just whooping and hollering for our friend.  There is truly not a single “boo-worthy” performance in this awesome, engaging show.

ACTIIIINNNNG! It’s cool stuff.

Final performances of Much Ado About Nothing are:

Friday, 7/1 at 7:30pm and

Saturday 7/2 also at 7:30pm.

Carpooling is encouraged and like I said, blankets, booze and snacks. Also bring a bit of cash if you can. There are hats passed around by the cast at intermission–All funds go to keeping this beautiful gem of Western North Carolina shining!

Sit back, cuddle up to a friend or two and enjoy the show. WAY TO GO, STU!

(Connery couldn’t have done it any better himself…)

Montford Park Players