Monday, November 2, 2009

Me, Tamra

My name is Tamra. This is me:

I took this picture just now, just for you!

Some important people in my life include my mommy:

Also, that's my dog! Her name is Zoey and I love her.
Aren't my pink and orange walls awesome? They have
since been painted red.

My dad:

He died when I was nine as a result of being an
alcoholic and having diabetes. This did not make my
mom a single parent, however, they got divorced when
I was tiny. I can't really remember him that much,
but I do know he was a really fun guy. I also know that
he wasn't an amazing father, or he would have ditched
the booze like my mom asked him to before the divorce.

This resulted in me having sort of a surrogate father, this guy:

Uncle Mikey. Well, I don't think he prefers to be called
that. Actually, I think he does, only secretly. And only
by me. This guy did what my dad couldn't do, and
without being asked. He quit drinking after he realized
what it was doing to his family, namely his only son,

This is Jordan:

The older one, on the right, not the one in the middle.
I'll talk more about that little guy in a minute. Jordan is
kind of a scaredy cat, as a result of who knows what.
He is ten now, almost eleven. He is afraid of rides at
Disney Land, for example the It's a Small World ride.
He and I don't have a very good relationship anymore.
This makes me sad, because we used to.

This is Jordan's mom:

This is a terrible picture of her. Sorry Gabby. She's
actually gorgeous, but I guess it's hard to be gorgeous
and a mom to two boys. Now who's that adorable thing
in her arms?

Him? Oh, that's just the love of my life, Kyler:

Cute little guy, right? He is also hilarious.
He's four now. I named him. And I love
him more than any one person on this
planet, I'm pretty sure. To clear things up:
he is Gabby's son, but not my uncle
Mikey's. This complicates things, because
my uncle Mikey can seriously be a jerk.
I'm not kidding. He once helped raise his
wife's son, Jesse, who was also not his son.
And Jesse turned out to be a not-so-nice
person (he's my age now) and also rather
needy, financially speaking. Even after my
uncle and his wife got divorced, Jesse
kept being needy, and a not-so-nice
person, towards my uncle. SO in closing
my uncle is kind of wary as far as the
helping raise other peoples' kids thing
goes, and is determined NOT to be a dad
to Kyler at all.

Except sometimes I catch him. Doing stuff like this:

And even sweeter, this:

Also, that lady on the right is not just some random castle-watcher. She's my grandma, Cece:
and I decided I didn't want to put a picture of her up. Mostly because she is an amazing, highly regarded lady in our community, and I want to tell you about who she really is. My grandma is an alcoholic. She passed down this little trait to my mom and my mom's little brother, my uncle Mikey. They both decided to end the cycle (my mom when she was pregnant with me, and my uncle when Jordan was 2) and are incredibly strong people. They wanted to be good role models for their children, and they are. Which is why my mom was so shocked when I did this:

Why yes, that is me with a bottle of Bacardi Orange in
my hand, thanks. That was my 17th birthday. My mom
put a lot of effort and money into this party. We happen
to be in the nicest limo in Anchorage, Alaska, a stretch
hummer limo to be exact. We were on our way to a foam
party at a local underage club. We ended up getting
caught, and we all got in a lot of trouble. Since then I
stopped binge drinking.

A couple other important people in my life:

My best friend in the entire effing world, Kelsey. I
usually call her Kels, because that's what I've called her
since we were little. We've known each other since our
mothers met in Lamaze class (and we weren't born yet)
and I was born on Kelsey's due date and she was born
on mine.

I remember her looking more like this:

And not such a hottie like she is now.

This is my best friend in Anchorage:
(I moved to Anchorage when I was 14, from Juneau. Juneau is where all my family but my mom lives).

This is Gina. We're really good
friends because we have so much
in common, sometimes it seems
like we're the same person. Gina
partly inspired the title of my blog.

This is my best friend at Northern Arizona University, where we're freshmen (and roommates):

Christi. We're good friends I think
because we both have deeper opinions
and thoughts than others our age,
and we usually agree. We also both
like to complain a lot, and we're messy.

I mentioned earlier that Gina partly inspired the name of this blog. That's because of this:

That's Gina and I being goofballs on a Tuesday. How do
I know it's a Tuesday, you ask? Well, that's because we
go to McDonalds EVERY Tuesday. Before I left for
college, at least. We order the same thing, every time. It
is pretty silly, but it's a tradition and it's fun. So I love
Tuesdays because of that.

Have you read the book Tuesdays with Morrie? I love that book. It is about a journalist who learns a lot of lessons from an old man. My life, well at least I hope one day it will be, revolves around teaching. I love working with children, and I am currently majoring in Elementary Education. I am also a nanny (a currently unemployed nanny, nonetheless I am a nanny). Working with kids and sharing my stories and experiences (maybe even wisdom!) is the best feeling ever to me. I'm not saying you are going to learn anything extremely profound from my blog, but that's why it's called Tuesdays with Tamra. Oh, also because I'm going to try to write every Tuesday. That's not a promise, maybe I'll miss a Tuesday or maybe I'll feel the need to write something on say, a Sunday. I am going to try to write at least once a week though.

Numba One

Recently, I have become an avid blog reader. Mainly because I like to read stories, and I have an unnaturally light schedule as a freshman in college with little to no friends, which equals a lot of boredom/free time. So, when I started researching scholarships for students with plans to study abroad, the very first one I found required a blog. SO here we are.
I want to study abroad because I grew up i
n Alaska, and though a lot of people think that is super sick, I didn't get out of the country as much as I would like. I want to be one of those people who, while at dinner with people they have never met, can say, "Name ANY place in the world. I betcha I've been there."
Then my new friends will say
..."Umm, well how about Yorkshire, England?" I'll reply smugly, "Yup." "Fairbanks, Alaska?" "Yeeah, before I was able to talk!"
"Sydney, Australia?"
"Yes ma'am!"
And then they'll realize how amazingly awesome I am, and how they want to be my best friend. The truth is, I actually HAVE been to all those places. Yes, I probably have traveled a lot more than you had at age 18. Until I was 14, the only countries I had ever been to were Canada (like 75% of Alaskans) and Mexico
(like many upper-middle class Americans). Then I went to Australia with a pretty sweet group called People to People.
We spent time with some kangaroos,

That's me, on the right, in the pink!

went surfing on real Australian beaches,

Okay, actually I was deathly ill that day and so I took pictures of other people surfing (and being taught by a former model named Paul).

and my favorite part, stayed with an Australian family!

Oh, Pam and Dave. They called me Treasure, put snacks in my bag, and had tons of cute questions like "Did they just place an African American in your group to fill a quota, or are there actually REAL African Americans in Alaska?"

It was a really amazing trip.

Our bus driver stopped at this amazing park so we could take cool pictures like this. There were a lot of newlyweds taking pictures, too.

After that trip, I got what you might call "wanderlust." I got a job, hoping to save enough money to travel the world, and instead spent all of it filling up the tank of my Jeep Grand Cherokee and clothes from Abercrombie and Fitch. (Side Note: I have since gotten better taste in clothing and sold most of my Abercrombie clothing to Plato's Closet) The next big trip I went on was to the UK with my best friend, Kelsey. The idea started as a joke, she asked if I wanted to go to Europe over the summer with her and her friend Sara (I had never met Sara, and I haven't since. I kind of don't think she exists). In the end, Sara apparently spent all of her money on a new phone so we went alone. I ended up planning the entire trip, which was fine, because if I had left it to Kelsey we would have been wandering Dublin, hitchhiking to London the whole time. In the end, it was a super fun trip (and we didn't hitchhike once).

This was the Avalon House, dumpy place number one we stayed at. I ended up liking it quite a bit though. It had... we'll call it character.

The Cliffs of Moher! I almost passed out here because Kelsey insisted that we try and hike to the cliffs. Let's just say that's impossible, even when you have more than 2 ounces of water between two people. By the way, I'm taller than her. I was slouching so you could see the cliffs.

This castle was sah-weeet! Mostly because we were allowed to climb around inside it with no extra charge. It's the Urquhart Castle.

This might be the coolest picture I have ever taken. That's Neil Young and Paul McCartney for those who (leave now if you) don't know. They sang "A Day in the Life" together. This was in London.