In honor of our finale and because I felt like I was drowning in negativity this year, I decided to write something nice about about this group of friends. This is pretty boring, and given some things that transpired this year, it will be especially hard for some, but I must do it. Mostly for selfish reasons, I suppose--a mini cleanse. Like a little warm bath of positivity. There's room for you, too! You'll find that it feels nice and rejuvenating. It's just temporary, too. We go back to haterading right after, I promise. Shall we?
Me: I always try and bring levity to Sigatoka (That's supposed to say situations, but autocorrect insisted on Sigatoka. Is that even a word? I like it, it seems like a proud word.) when possible and help keep perspective. I learned a lot from my indiscretions. A LOT. Quick to forgive. Experienced feelings/emotions at ends of spectrum I only knew through movies. So many feelings. Able to see silver linings. I said silver linings like 400 times in the past year. If there is one word I'll give myself credit for being, it's original.
I love her more than ever and can't wait to see what the future holds for us.
Katie: She showed a new confidence and assertiveness that looked great on her. Didn't freak out and try and sever my genitals. In comparison to the old Katie, she has grown so much and learned to keep her composure. I love her more than ever and can't wait to see what the future holds for us. She's sexy and goofy, and I fear I've set both of our conversational skills years back due to incessant baby talk. She continues to love a vaguely ambitious man-child (me).
Jax: He's capable of being an utter ---hole (I know this better than anyone), but he's also capable of going out of his way to be there when you need him. He's always fun to go out with and has a real drive/hustle that's admirable. He's a natural networker. Very hospitable to new friends or when he meets new family members. Still doesn't think before he acts or talks. That's a compliment tailored to him and, admittedly, somewhat backhanded. It's one of his greatest weaknesses that is also a strength at times. He compensates ---hole behavior with sweet headphones and swag.
Ariana: She's witty and unique, has great commentary and a solid sense of humor. Composure level: wizard for having to deal with Kristen's antics and the proverbial crazy ex-girlfriend. She would get even more praise, but she went to UF instead of FSU. That's automatically minus two compliments. Just knowing she's done the gator chomp casts a dark shadow over her. Kidding. All love for UF.
Sandoval: My dude ran the damn gauntlet all year. Having to deal with the Jax/Kristen combo will put any sane man to the test, but he passed with flying colors. He's got killer style and is truly hilarious. He was able to make me laugh when I was at my lowest point this year. Dude can talk about just about anything with sincerity and full attention. He can riff with Ariana about a customer at work in depth for like two hours where I would just be like, "Sh-- happens." He is always there when I need him. Unless it's before 2 pm, then he's not available. Bonus points for referring to me as The Last of the Mohicans because Katie and I are the only ones left out of our original volatile sh-- show of a group couple friendship (Jax + Stassi, Tom + Kristen, me + Katie). I wish we could go back in time and have a spin-off of Vanderpump, the early years. You thought shit was crazy now...
Scheana: She is a great friend and cooks the best food. She's bubbly but also capable of having deep, meaningful chats. Still accident-prone, but it's endearing as hell. She's probably stubbing her toe as I write this. Style stays true to herself.
Shay: Is there anything bad to say about this lovable teddy bear? Love him. He loves Scheana so much and vice versa. Beautiful couple, so huggable. But, still a bear, so don't f--k with him.
Stassi: She laughs easy and is punchy. She is outspoken, charismatic with good camera presence. Froze over but will thaw out again someday. Needs lessons in humility to accent her bold style.
Kristen: She has a determination and perseverance, albeit sometimes misguided. Once redirected, it will be a powerful asset. Great at splitting up tabs in restaurants when no one else will. When not in self-destruct mode, she can be a good friend.
James: strong jawed and burgeoning DJ career. Eager.
Peter: hard-working, unique man. Sexy as all hell. "Big Sexy" they should call him. He's interesting! Loves in-depth film chat and laughs easily. One of few people I know who can pull off cowboy boots without having to have a sense of irony. Always fun to grab a drink with.
Lisa: She is the total package. Smart, witty, wise, ambitious, successful, caring, has a beautiful family, drop-dead gorgeous, tasteful, great entrepreneurial spirit, forgiving, elegant...should I go on? This is sincere. Hope she sees it, because I plan on working with her again! Ken is also a big inspiration for me. He's got the Midas touch and a killer wit. Dapper and wisdom to spare.
Special shout outs to:
Production and evolution and everyone working behind the scenes to make this happen, the great state of MN, FSU, my amazing parents, and all of my truly great friends I've made all over this beautiful country.
Poker gods, if you are listening, I'm ready for a first place finish.
GORDO, the best damn dog there ever was. He makes me laugh and smile every day.