One Year Later

In May 2013, I moved to Colorado Springs for a three-month internship. Seven months later, that internship ended and I had no choice but to move back home to New York to ride out my unemployment.

In January 2014 -- only a month after I moved home -- I moved back to Colorado springs for a four-month job. Five months later, that job ended. Then I was unemployed for a month and a half, and then I got another temporary job. And five and a half months into that job, here we are.

A year ago this week, I moved into my apartment. My roommate was initially hesitant about letting me live with her because I was only here for a temporary job. I assured her that the goal was to find something permanent, that I may be moving back "temporarily" but that it was 100% my intent to stay.

And a year later, I'm still here. Temporarily.

Over a year and a half after first moving out here, and with no imminent plans to move anywhere else -- permanent by most standards -- I'm still here temporarily.

...Yeah, when I pictured my life post-graduation, this wasn't quite part of the plan.

I'm struggling to even find something to say about it, because my feelings are extremely cyclical. I go from "hey, everyone has their own path and this is mine! It's an adventure! I can roll with it!" to lots of bitterness and frustration and expletives that I'll keep off of the internet. And right now I'm definitely on the down end of the cycle. I just have to tell myself this'll be a good story to tell when I'm no longer a temp (which will hopefully be by the time I'm 30, but y'know, no guarantees).

But I guess what all this has taught me is to just loosen up and have a sense of humor about life. I used to take everything so seriously; I hated not knowing where I was going to go to college, I hated not knowing where I was going to be after graduation, etc. Of course, I'd still obviously prefer to know what my life is going to look like several months down the road. But my current job still has no definitive end date (could it be February? May? Some point in between? Later in the year? The world may never know!), and I've gotten to the point where my attitude is "well, whatever, I'll just keep coming to work until someone tells me not to."

Everything's worked out in the past, and it'll continue to work out in the future. And if I've survived unemployment twice, I can survive it again. (...I mean, I don't want to have to. But like, I could.) So if nothing else, I guess I need to be thankful for this long, winding, bumpy journey of mine because it's showed me what I can handle.  And that's a good thing to learn while I'm 23 rather than 43.

Ha, it's unfortunate that we had to hit the one year mark while I'm feeling so grumbly. But maybe that's fitting. My relationship with Colorado Springs has been pretty love-hate up until now, so why should today be any different? But I'll keep fighting to stay here as long as there's hope for me to.

At least I get to look at some pretty sunsets in the meantime!

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Olympiastadion Berlin

The good thing about blogging about trips you took two and a half years ago means it doesn't matter if you write the post a week later than you'd planned to. How's that for a silver lining? :)

After having such a great time at Munich's Olympic Park, I was beyond excited to see Olympic Stadium in Berlin. It certainly didn't hurt that the Berlin 1936 Olympic Games are kind of a big deal -- Jesse Owens? Louis Zamperini? Pretty historic, yes?

We went right after taking a bike tour around the city. That tour was NOT good to me, and my pelvis was bruised to the point where it hurt to bend at the waist. And if I remember correctly, the U-bahn line we needed was closed that day, which made for a little bit of concern about getting lost. But the stadium did NOT disappoint! It's beautifully classic on the outside and a giant, imposing structure on the inside; it's been renovated in recent years, but it still very much looks like a Nazi creation. We spent a good chunk of time in the stadium before walking around the complex (the grounds are free for exploring, but the stadium costs several euros to enter). You can peek into the open-air aquatic center, and there's a whole walkway of memorial statues for each Olympic Games, and those giant Olympic rings? It's such an incredibly cool place! There's also a little museum space/gift shop, where I bought a little bag of rubber shavings from the track. Because WHY NOT?

Sigh, I loved Berlin. Give me currywurst and a few hours to run around in this stadium and I'd be happy as a clam! (But seriously.)

Travel Tuesday

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Miracle Monday: USA vs. Finland

Miracle Monday

This is it, the gold medal game! Are you excited? Because you really should be. The journey did not end with the Soviets, which a lot of people tend to forget, but this game 100% deserves to be remembered.

Lake Placid 1980 Olympic Winter Games miracle on ice team usa vs. finland


What: USA 4 - 2 FIN

Who: Steve Christoff
         Phil Verchota (assist: Dave Christian)
         Rob McClanahan (assists: Mark Johnson, Dave Christian)
         Mark Johnson (assist: Steve Christoff)


+ As this game got underway, viewers were provided with some fascinating stats about the U.S. team. In the first six games of the Olympics, the U.S. scored six goals in the first period, 10 goals in the second period, and 13 goals in the third period. As for goalkeeping, Jim Craig gave up eight goals in the first period, two goals in the second period, and three goals in the third period. They literally got better the longer they were on the ice. Is that not amazing?

+ Another game, another bad first period. Actually, this first period wasn't so much bad as it just ended with the U.S. down 1-0. They had a lot of good scoring opportunities but didn't convert any of them, and eventually lost that momentum. But at this point, Al Michaels and Ken Dryden were basically like "lol whatever, been there, came back from that." And even back in the studio, Jim McKay talked about how they'd trailed in every single game but one. Everyone was so utterly unconcerned, and it really felt like only a matter of time before the U.S. took the lead. So when Phil Verchota scored to tie the game at 2-2, Al Michaels was already writing the amazing come-from-behind narrative.

+ Okay, we need to talk about how on-point the U.S. penalty kill was. They were so effective and played so offensively that I often found myself forgetting they were playing a man short; Finland had a lot of trouble getting out of its own zone. As a matter of fact, the first goal of the game was essentially short-handed; Steve Christoff scored just as Mike Ramsey was getting out of the penalty box. So, while the teams technically were at equal strength, the goal was off of a short-handed play. And in the third period, the U.S. had to kill two back-to-back penalties, plus another one with just a handful of minutes left. And the final goal of the game was scored short-handed (leave it to Mark Johnson, honestly). Finland did score one power-play goal, but let's not split hairs.

+ After struggling to score for the entire tournament, Steve Christoff finally found his game against Finland (and with the gold medal on the line, what perfect timing!). He had only scored a single point before now (a goal against Romania), and promptly tripled his total points with a goal and an assist here. Steve was the leading goal scorer of the pre-Olympic season and third in overall points, so it was really great to see him get back to his old self with a bunch of really great scoring opportunities.

+ Probably my favorite bit of commentary from the whole tournament came after Rob McClanahan scored to give the U.S. its first lead: Al Michaels said, "If you had taken this whole script to Hollywood and gone into a producer's office, you'd be thrown out on your rear. Completely." And now here we are, 35 years later, with two scripted movies and two documentaries (in addition to a whole avalanche of books). Amazing.

And here's a fun bonus: what happens when there's a minute left on the clock and you're up by two goals?

Answer: probably a little bit of excitement. :)


As much as I wish this full game was available online somewhere, it isn't. However! You can watch Rob McClanahan's game-winning goal HERE, the final minute of play HERE, and highlights of all the goals HERE. Not too shabby!

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A Semi-Serious Guide to Handling Stress

Last week I mentioned that when it rains, it pours... and holy cow, did it pour this week. We may've had a day off work on Monday, but I spent most of the day worrying about how I was going to survive Tuesday. Most of the week followed in an equally as stressful fashion, and I staggered home from work on Friday waving the white flag. Nonetheless, I managed to survive without crying, puking, passing out, having a heart attack or giving myself a stress ulcer, which I consider a major win. Here's how I did it, for the next time stress makes you want to crawl into a hole.

1. Get stuff off of your plate. I was planning on writing a blog post on Monday evening, but by the time I got to that point, my heart was going a mile a minute and I was full-on freaking out about the next day. So instead of killing myself for my blog, I made myself tea and curled up under a blanket on the couch. Your mental health is more important than pretty much anything.

2. Trust yourself (and other people). If you've prepared to the best of your abilities, that's really all you can do. Don't worry about stuff that's out of your control, and concentrate on the fact that you can handle whatever the situation is. And stop thinking of all the worst-case scenarios, honestly.

3. Treat yo self. In the middle of my monster Tuesday, I bought myself Chipotle for lunch. I normally bring my own food for lunch, but a burrito bowl is far more enjoyable and it gave me a happy boost going into the afternoon.

4. Book a trip to Lake Placid. Uh, I mean, what? ;) The 35th anniversary of the Miracle on Ice is coming up, and the team is reuniting in Lake Placid on my 24th birthday... and I'm going to be there. I'm pretty excited about it. (And by "pretty excited" I mean that while booking tickets I was basically incoherent with joy and will be absolutely beside myself for the next month.)


But in the event that you can't go to Lake Placid or book a trip elsewhere, give yourself something to look forward to. A light at the end of the tunnel is infinitely helpful. (As in, I must survive this week so I can die happy in Lake Placid. There's no better motivation.)

5. Go to sleep. Last week I went to sleep WAY too late on WAY too many days, and it was miserable. But on Wednesday I decided to change things up and went to bed at 9:30. AMAZING.

6. Get a change of scenery. On Wednesday night, the roads were a snowy, icy mess, so on Thursday I decided to work from home. I was also just feeling sluggish and un-motivated in the office, so I thought having some space to just work would do me good. And it was the most productive day I had all week! (And then on Friday I found out that the internet in the office had been down all day on Thursday. Again, AMAZING. [praise hands emoji])

7. Shake up your schedule. I had a bunch of really enjoyable meetings on Friday, and it was so good to spend some time away from my computer and the frustration that comes from sitting in front of it.

8. TREAT YO SELF. Normally I don't buy food even once a week, let alone twice, but I stopped by Chick-fil-A and grabbed myself dinner after work on Friday. I've watched The Biggest Loser for long enough now to know that this is a CARDINAL SIN, but I'd been craving French fries for like two weeks. Sue me. (And leaving Chick-fil-A, I managed to completely forget the drink I'd ordered. So the poor guy behind the register literally ran out after me, calling my name and holding my Cherry Coke. It was that kind of day.)

And now it's Saturday afternoon, I'm still in my pajamas, and I'm flipping between the X-Games and U.S. figure skating national championships on TV. This, my friends, is what survival looks like.

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Miracle Monday: The Miracle On Ice

Lake Placid 1980 Olympic Winter Games USA hockey miracle on ice

Well, looks like it's about that time. Are you ready??? This game doesn't really need much of an introduction, as I'm pretty sure everyone that calls themselves an American citizen knows what it's all about. So let's just get on with it, shall we? :)

Lake Placid 1980 Olympic Winter Games USA hockey miracle on ice


What: USA 4 - 3 USSR

Who: Buzz Schneider (assist: Mark Pavelich)
         Mark Johnson (assists: Dave Christian, Dave Silk)
         Mark Johnson (assist: Dave Silk)
         Mike Eruzione (assists: Mark Pavelich, John Harrington)


+ The first goal of the game was scored by the Soviets after Buzz Schneider lost the puck in the U.S. zone. But then about six minutes later, Buzz made up for it by scoring a goal himself. It was on a long slap shot that normally Vladislav Tretiak should've been able to save, but Buzz had a long, glorious history of being able to score on Tretiak when nobody else really could. And the assist went to Mark Pavelich, who casually stripped the puck away from a Soviet player at center ice and fed a pass to Buzz. In Ken Dryden's exact words, "Well, once again, it's Pavelich to Schneider." The Coneheads were kind of a big deal. :)

+ When the U.S. was down 2-1, Al Michaels makes a casual mention about how the U.S. had yet to have a good first period in any of their games thus far. And with a single exception, he really wasn't lying. (Heck, I feel like I talk about this every single week. Probably because I do.) But funnily enough, this ended up being one of the team's most successful first periods, as it ended in a 2-2 tie. Of their five previous first periods, they were trailing after three, leading after one and tied after one. So this was an improvement! And Mark Johnson's masterful goal with one second remaining was the highest of notes to end on. Seriously, I cannot overstate how important that goal was. It took the wind out of the Soviet sails, prompted coach Viktor Tikhonov to bench Tretiak, and gave the U.S. all sorts of momentum. (He scored again in the third period, and it was another goal that literally came out of nowhere. They called Mark Johnson "Magic" for a very good reason!)

+ The second period was actually worse than the first, in a strange twist of events. The U.S. had to kill several penalties (and gave up a goal on one of them), wasn't able to score, and Jim Craig got knocked out. (Wish that didn't happen so often.) But yeah, he got knocked over and blacked out for a few seconds, and then got back up, continued playing and didn't let in another goal the rest of the game. Actual real-life superhero? Yes.

+ For most of the game, the crowd was pretty quiet. Everyone was a little tense and nervous about getting too excited. It wasn't until Mark Johnson's second goal that the crowd started to come to life. And, of course, after Mike Eruzione's goal, it was complete bedlam for the rest of the game. Even the lady announcing the goals couldn't keep it together! All previous goals were announced very monotone and flat, but when she was reading out "assist by number 16, Pavelich," her voice cracked on the 16. Everyone was a little bit emotional. :)

+ Of all the U.S. players, only four of them went undrafted by the NHL: Steve Janaszak, Mike Eruzione, Mark Pavelich and John Harrington. And the winning goal against the Soviet Union -- one of the most famous accomplishments in all of Olympic history -- was a goal scored by Mike Eruzione and assisted by Mark Pavelich and John Harrington. If that's not the coolest thing you've ever heard, I don't even know what to tell you.


If you didn't already know, this full game (more or less) is available on YouTube. So if you haven't already watched it, you probably should. Find it HERE or HERE!

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Things That Made Me Happy + A Confession

Do you ever have one of those weeks where you get to Friday and you should really be writing a blog post but you're just like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ?? Because that's where I found myself this week. And last week. And the week before that, probably. I've felt pretty off my blogging game since around Thanksgiving (though I think I've been hiding it pretty well?) and I really need to get my mojo back.

So anyway, in light of my ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ status, I'm going to borrow a post idea from Amanda at Rhyme and Ribbons -- she writes weekly recaps about five things that make her happy, plus one confession. And I dig that idea. So let's do it!

Five Things That Made Me Happy This Week (And One Confession)

1. My Friday did NOT start out the way it did last week. And I realized a way to prevent myself from ever locking myself out of my car ever again! Buzz is an old car, which means a) there's no remote to unlock him with, and b) he has two keys; one for locking/unlocking and one for the ignition. So from now on, whenever I get out of the car while it's running, I'll take the lock key with me! I'm SO relieved about this, you have no idea.

2. Miami basketball (unranked) beat Duke (ranked No. 4) on the road by like 20 points, NO BIGGIE. Oh man, it was so beautiful. I spent the whole game cheering from my couch and feeling nostalgic for the time I got to witness an eerily similar event back in 2013. :)

A photo posted by Darci Miller (@darcisays) on

3. I got to exercise my journalist muscles this week for the first time in over a year (omg). My awesome friend/former boss Brandon (this guy) needed someone last-minute to cover an event in Colorado Springs and he knew I could write, so he asked me if I could help him out. Uh, twist my arm? Hah. Three-time Olympic fencer (and 2008 silver medalist) Tim Morehouse runs an organization called Fencing in the Schools, so I got to go to an elementary school and watch him tell kids his story and teach them about fencing. It was adorable, and Tim is incredibly nice, and it means I'll be published on!

4. Internet friends. Honestly, I never thought that being a fan of a team that competed 35 years ago would lead to me making friends because of it. But Tumblr is a magical thing, and I've met some incredibly awesome girls in this tiny little fandom! (And if we want to talk about more Miracle on Ice things, this webisode. I'll be laughing forever.)

5. It's a three-day weekend and it's going to be 50-something degrees today and tomorrow and Miami basketball is currently leading No. 13 Notre Dame (on the road) in the second half. I am ALL ABOUT ALL OF THIS.

And a confession: when it rains, it pours, and this week has definitely involved some pouring. I've had a lot of extra things I had to work on (and stress about), and there's going to be even more stress on Tuesday. And I'm already stressing about all the stress. BUT it's the good kind of stress. Potential new opportunities and getting out of my professional comfort zone and all that stuff that's, y'know, positive... I'll just be super anxious about all of it until it's over.

(And the Canes just lost to Notre Dame. YIKES, I ruined it. Sighhh. Either way, have a good weekend, everyone!)

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Olympiapark München

It's really hard to come up with travel posts when you can't really remember the last time you traveled for a reason other than work. But you know what's strange? In all of the blogging I've done about Eurotrip 2012, I've never done posts dedicated solely to the Olympic stadiums I visited. That's... pretty absurd, considering how many pictures I took at each of them. And considering this is me we're talking about. So I am going to rectify the situation! Travel Tuesday, I'm so happy to see you again!

First stop: Munich.

Munich was put on the trip itinerary mostly because Amanda wanted to live out some literary fantasies there, and we went without much of an agenda. But I told everyone that I was going to see the Dachau concentration camp and Munich's Olympic Park; they could come or not come, but that was what I would be doing, no questions asked. Luckily I traveled with some awesome friends, and while Jen split off to go to the BMW museum nearby, Amanda accompanied me to Olympic Stadium.

Entrance to the park is free, and it's such a cool area. It's a great example of Olympic legacy done right; there are restaurants and tons of green space and a pond, and you can pop into the aquatic center (where Mark Spitz won a whole bunch of gold medals, no big deal). You do have to pay a handful of euros to get into the stadium, but once you're inside... well, have you ever had free reign to run around in an empty stadium before? Because it's wonderful. And Munich's Olympic Stadium happens to have some of the coolest architecture I've ever seen in my life.

I'm pretty obsessed. I wish the day was less gray and drizzly, and I wish the field looked a little prettier when we were there, but beggars can't be choosers! It's just the absolute coolest place. If you go to Munich and don't visit Olympic Park, you really missed the boat!

Travel Tuesday

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