Thursday, September 8, 2011


Over the past few weeks, I've come to quite a few realizations. Some of them big, some relatively small. Some joyful, some heartbreaking. Here are a few of them.

I really, really love baking. I recently got a cupcake pan (finally!) and a pie dish and a cake pan. So far I've only made cupcakes, but they were beautiful and delicious and consumed before a picture could be taken. Next time, internet.

Friends aren't always what (or who) you want them to be. The person you used to tell your biggest life secrets to sometimes turns into a stranger. The person who used to be in the periphery can end up taking a leading role in your life. Someone you considered a best friend might not feel the same way about you. It's all very dependent on where you are in life and what you consider important.

Not everything is a personal attack. This is a realization I had to come to while job searching, and it's a realization I had to come to again, more recently. Things aren't really going the way I had become accustomed to, but it's not my fault. I feel like some of it is happening because I didn't do something right or failed to meet some expectation, but the reality is, that's not the case. Things are changing because things change. Things happen one way because that's the way one person decided it should happen.

Communication is key. I'm really bad at communication sometimes. I avoid confrontation like there's no tomorrow and will put off unpleasant conversations until the situation is worse than I could have ever imagined. No matter where you are or what you do, being an effective communicator is the most important skill you will ever need.

Some things just don't make sense. And probably never will. But it is pointless to try to find sense in senseless things.

That's all for now. I'll try to be better about this. And more happy. We'll see what happens.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Crazy Thoughts When I'm Alone

When I'm alone is when I start thinking crazy things.

Thankfully I'm not alone very often (otherwise who knows what could happen) but on nights that I am, I usually forget to eat dinner and have super crazy thoughts. Maybe it's the hunger talking, or maybe it's my brain trying to process the 14 different idiotic things I see every day.

Here, in no particular order, is a short list of my crazy thoughts from tonight:

1. Tattooed grandmothers. It just hit me that my grandchildren (should I ever have any), will be among the first to witness tattooed grandmothers. Men have been getting tattooed since the dawn of time, so Grandpa with a saggy anchor on is arm is really nothing new. But grandmothers with stars on their feet? Birds on their ribcage? Flowers on their arm? A giant horse in the middle of their back?* Now that will be bizarre. I realize that in other cultures, tattoos are not a new concept. Heck, even in America tattoos are not a new concept. But the amount of tattooed grandmothers patronizing Old Country Buffet at 4:30pm for dinner will be astounding. I can promise you that.**

2. Horns honking. I live right off Lake Shore Drive and I hear horns honking all night. My office is also at a busy intersection in Skokie where it is not unusual for someone to lay on the horn for a full minute and a half (I've timed it) if the car in front doesn't take their right on red. Who invented the horn? Who decided that it would be a good idea to put something so obnoxious on something already so obnoxious?

3. Forgiveness. I read the "Dear Sugar" advice column every Thursday and today it was about forgiveness. Granted, the act that this woman was trying to forgive was far more terrible than anything I've ever had to forgive. But it taught me a lot about not letting that small dark, twisty place (the one everyone has, and don't even try to deny it) become a large, dark, black hole that consumes my happiness.

4. Reading. I LOVE to read. I just finished a book that I started yesterday (and I may have skipped dinner to read). It was the kind of book that makes you wish your commute was longer so you could read more. And now that I have my Kindle, I read constantly. Why didn't I read this much for the last 8 years of my life?

Well, I guess that's it for now. It's weird to see my random thoughts spelled out. And now that they're out for me to see, I guess they're not so random anymore.

*I really did once know a young woman with a giant horse tattooed in the middle of her back. She was one of my babysitter's friends when I was about 7. She's close to 30 now, probably with children of her own.
**I'm in no way knocking people who have tattoos. Just a random thought I had, and I really don't mean any harm by it at all.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

4 Reason I Hate Social Media

Now don't get me wrong. I love technology. Love it. While I'm not an early adopter by any stretch of the imagination (I just got a smart phone in March) but I'm not a luddite either. I love that we have ways to reach out to people, learn an infinite number of new things every day, and can look up new and exciting things to do on any given day.


I hate technology. And here is my list of reasons why:

1. Social media (mainly Facebook and Twitter) has an amazing way of making me feel excluded. I can see everything everyone else is doing. Everything I wasn't invited to. And while my social life is far from empty (I rarely have a free night), it stings sometimes to see things that I wasn't invited to. I can only imagine how much more damaging this could have been in junior high or high school, to see sleep overs and parties to which I was not invited, because it's somewhat damaging now when I have a healthy self esteem.

2. Facebook and Twitter often bring out the most annoying sides of people's personalities. These social media outlets have given people a way to be more narcissistic than they normally are. They post millions of pictures of themselves, taken from an arm length's away, write "statuses" complaining about problems that aren't problems, and have a forum to vent all of their political, religious, and personal beliefs. (The irony of blogging about this is not lost on me.)

3. With the advent of smart phones, most people have become slaves to technology. They're like zombies, walking around with a small, touchscreen device in their hands. (I jokingly call my little sister's phone her "connection portal.") People are so plugged in that they feel lost without their phone. It's really frustrating to try to have a conversation with a person who is texting, checking Facebook, or tweeting, but it's more frustrating that it's become normal to constantly be holding four or five conversations at once (virtually and IRL).

4. It's so time consuming. I can't even estimate how many hours a week I'm on Facebook, reading my google reader, or checking out the Twitter world. But I do know that it could easily take over my life if I wasn't careful. And I do know that it has taken over other people's lives time and time again. Also, it's incredibly time consuming to manage my online profile. In the past, all I had to worry about was if I looked presentable and wasn't a socially awkward person. Now I have to worry about that, as well as if my statuses/tweets are in line with the online persona I've worked so hard to create. Do my "Facebook beliefs" match my "real life beliefs?" Do I admit that I love watching terrible television and eating peanut butter m&m's on a 70 degree day? Or would that make me look like a fat kid who doesn't play outside? See? Complicated and time consuming.

Does this mean that I'm going to cancel my Facebook, delete my Twitter, get a flip phone, and clear out my Google Reader tomorrow? No. Not even close. Because I love technology. But this does mean that I'm going to care less about my phone, my facebook page, and my twitter account. Because I have better things to worry about than if someone invited me out or what people really think about Sarah Palin.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

4 Goals for Summer 2011

Summer is (hopefully) officially here in Chicago and here are a few goals for my first full summer in this awesome city.

1. Play outside. I find it far too easy to hide inside (where there is AC) and not go outside. I mean, I have a Kindle FULL of books to read, a couch to sit on, and cold beer. Why do I need to go outside? Probably because I live in one of the best cities on earth and my skin can use some sun.

2. Wear sunscreen. An hour at the beach on Monday left my arms and legs and chest as red as Pantone 195c (see above), and Jimmy said that sitting next to me felt like sitting next to a space heater. I am RADIATING heat. I am in skirts and dresses until my thighs fade enough to put jeans on again. So, for the rest of the summer, I will be SO MUCH BETTER about sunscreen.

3. Run more 5Ks. I ran the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge last week (well, I ran some of it and walked the rest with a coworker), but I want to run more and be better.

4. Find a local farmer's market and go. Pretty self explanatory, but this is one thing I want to do.

What are your goals for Summer 2011?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

4 Things I'd Do If This Doesn't Work Out

I often think about what I would do if my current career aspirations didn't work out. You know, if I can't hack it in the cutthroat world of marketing and PR (but let's be serious, I can). But it's always good to have back up plans and dreams.

1. Hooters Girl. Anyone who knows me knows that I can do this. And I heard once that you make hundreds in tips. So, there you go. Plan A.

2. Freelance Writer. I love to write. And the only reason I don't write more is because I simply don't have time. So if I could figure out how to make that pay the bills, I would. I know there are a lot of people (probably more talented writers) trying to make this work as well. But I do love writing.

3. Dolphin Trainer. I went to the aquarium with Jimmy last weekend for my birthday, and I decided that I want to be a dolphin trainer. How hard can it be?

4. Baker. I love to bake, and even though I don't have a scrap of artistic ability, I'd love to learn how to decorate baked items. I think that would be so much fun.

Realistically, I could end up anywhere, doing anything. But these are four things (some tongue-in-cheek) that I could do. Who knows? Maybe I'll end up being a dolphin-training, freelance-writing, baker who moonlights as a Hooters girl.

Monday, May 16, 2011

5 More Things I've Been Up To

So again with the not posting. Sorry guys. Here's a list of things I've been up to lately.

1. Baseball. Ah baseball, the great American sport. I've been to four games in the past month or so...three Cubs games and one Sox game. All but one were pretty cold. The Cubs won 2 of the 3 games I went to. The Sox were not playing very well when I went, so they lost. I'm starting to love baseball!

2. Visitors. My dad came to visit in the first weekend of May and we had a blast! We went to a baseball game (Cubs vs. Reds) and an AMAZING dinner at The Purple Pig. We also checked out the Bodyworks exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry and a show at Second City. Then on Sunday we took Paige and Kate to Tweet, my new most favorite brunch spot.
Sidenote: Seriously guys, Tweet is amazing.* It's a gay bar by night and the best brunch ever by Saturday/Sunday mornings. And just as seriously, brunch is my new favorite meal.

3. Work. Well, this is a given. But I've been working a lot lately. I've started this new thing where I go in at 7:30 so then I can get a good day of work in and still be able to leave at 5, and then I have a little free time and can enjoy the sunshine before my body starts to cry for sleep. But I've really been enjoying work and I'm trying to learn as much as I can as I go along the way!

4. Yoga. I finished Beginners 1 (aka Yoga for Dummies) and signed up for Beginners 2 (aka Yoga for the Dummies who finished Beginners 1). I'm still not very good, but I really enjoy it and am starting to feel more comfortable in the difficult positions like shoulder stand, plough, and crow. I love it because there are only 12 asanas (poses) and it's easier for me to remember exactly what I'm supposed to do for each one, rather than trying to follow along with new poses each week. (We don't do the pose pictured above, btw.)

5. New friends. I've made a few new friends since moving here and have been spending a bit of time with them lately. I recently went and saw "Bridesmaids" with the ever lovely Anna and have been doing all sorts of fun things (such as bowling at Southport Lanes, seeing shows at iO, and wandering the city) with my new boyfriend Jimmy.

That's about all I've been doing lately, and it keeps me pretty busy! I'll try to get back on here a bit more regularly to post about the random thoughts I have throughout the day. Unfortunately, I'm feeling a bit under the weather right now but I've been to the doctor and should be all fixed up in no time!

Some projects for the next few weeks are finding more recipes that I can make using my square foot of counter space, actually making the cookies I've been wanting to make for a while, using my black bananas for banana bread (my coworkers will love that!) and keeping the chaos in my apartment at a more manageable level. Oh, and figuring out my Health Insurance, paying off my credit card once and for all, and celebrating my birthday!

*If you ever go to Tweet, you have to try the Chilaquiles. Trust me. It's amazing.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

8 People You'll Run Into In The City

Now that I've been living here for a little while, I'm starting to notice some characters that come through my life every once in a while. This post was originally going to be much snarkier (if that's possible) because I was very, very frustrated today. But then I went to yoga and relaxed and didn't feel like being so mean anymore.*

So anyway, here are 8 people you may run into while traveling around the city:

1. Young men with neck tattoos. Your mother must be so proud. The same goes for those young men with tattoos all over their face.

2. The homeless woman outside of the train station. I don't purposely avoid eye contact and ignore you out of the meanness in my heart. I find it easier to avoid contact and communication than repeatedly say no every day. And I don't say no because I'm judging your lifestyle. I say no because I, too, have very little extra money besides what I use for rent, food, and the necessities.

3. The lonely looking person waiting for a train or bus. Sometimes you look so sad. I just want to give you a hug and say, "Hi! You're not alone in this world!" But most of the time you look like you want to be left alone. Sometimes this person is me.

4. The slightly crazy looking person on the sidewalk. (Or the train, or the bus. Most of my interaction with crazy people happens during my commute.) Please stop flipping me off. Please stop singing Michael Jackson on the train (ok, don't stop doing that. I loved it). Please stop following me down the sidewalk. But mostly, please don't try to talk to me when I'm reading my book.

5. The "socialite." Don't you ever get tired of going out? Do you ever wake up and say "What am I doing with my life besides partying?" I'm hoping you find your bliss in hangover-free mornings, and soon.

6. The cute guy walking a dog. Yes, I realize you're married. But you should know that I'm not staring at you. I'm thinking of a way to become friends with your dog.

7. Suburbanite teenagers on the train. (Or bus.) Yes, the city really is the big, scary place your parents warned you about. And yes, this means you should act terrified on the Yellow Line** and the northern half of the Red Line. Oh and PS, the seats on the train aren't all covered in urine***. I promise. But if you're really worried about it, take a cab. Those are mostly clean.

8. Me. Well, I'm a 22 year old woman who's apartment is always teetering on the brink of disaster. I'm getting into yoga, addicted to my phone, and starting to learn as much as I can about marketing banks. I love my Filofax, chocolate, and my family. I'm trying to figure out how to leave my mark on the city, but thus far I'm quite content with my (mostly) quiet little life in the big city.

Which one would you most like to meet?

*Sorry, Heather.
**I'm of the opinion that the Yellow Line is the tamest CTA line there ever was. I mean, it goes to SKOKIE for goodness sakes.
***I like to think this. I'm sure there are a lot more urine covered seats than I want to know about.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Things

My loveliest friend Heather requested a blog. Being the entirely reasonable person she is, she gave me until Wednesday to write it. However, being the entirely too busy person that I am, I don't have tomorrow night or Wednesday night to write it. So tonight it is.

Unfortunately, I cannot for the life of me think of an interesting thing to make a list about. So this will be a "favorite things" post. Also unfortunately, I can't afford to get everyone a KitchenAid Mixer or a trip to the Bahamas*, so you'll just have to read about my favorite things!

1. Puppies! I met my uncle's puppy, Bedlam von Chaos, this weekend. He's a weimaraner. And he's adorable. And did I mention his name? Bedlam. What a great name for a pup! We spent a rainy Saturday afternoon napping and reading on the couch and, let me tell ya, if that's not heaven then I'm not sure what is. (Also, a google image search of "weimaraner puppies" produces the cutest page of results on the entire internet. In fact, I did it for you. Click here for awwwws.)

2. Girl Scout Cookies! I finally got my Girl Scout cookies in the mail and the first thing I did was devour a box of Caramel Delights (formerly known as Samoas). Then I put my Thin Mints in the freezer, as that is the ONLY way to enjoy Thin Mints.

3. Sisters! I drove back to Monmouth this past weekend with Paige for the 118th birthday of our beloved fraternity, Alpha Xi Delta. While there, I was able to see my lovely sisters and spend the weekend celebrating Founders Day.

4. New music! Over the past week I've discovered Brooke Fraser (LOVE) and Lupe Fiasco (LOVE). Also over the past week, Lady Gaga released Judas, which is a really awesome new song.

That's all for now!

*I really wish my favorite things right now could be KitchenAid Mixers and trips the Bahamas. I just got my car insurance bill, so my favorite things next week will probably be cereal and ramen noodles.

Monday, April 11, 2011

4 Really Great Decisions I've Made Lately

I'm just going to come clean and say that I'm not sorry for not posting more regularly. Because if I was a slave to the blog, then I wouldn't have anything to write about. Plus I really don't like apologizing in every single post I write. It makes me feel guilty.

So, in my free time when I find myself not tethered to a computer*, here are some really good decisions I've made:

1. Started running. This was a good idea for multiple reasons**:
a. I just feel generally better.
b. I enjoy the feeling of camaraderie I have with my fellow Lake Shore path runners.
c. I just feel like there should be a third list item. (Lists should be comprised of more
than two things, or so Mrs. Soderberg taught me in the 7th grade. Or was it one thing?
Who knows.)

So, even though I can feel the shin splints coming back with a vengeance, I think this was a good decision. So far. I've signed up for a 5K at the end of May and have tentatively (ok, not tentatively) decided to run a half marathon in September. Training during a Chicago summer, however, may not end up being a great decision. Time will tell.

2. Read. Read, read, read. I've read more in the past few weeks than I've read since I graduated college. In fact, just tonight, I read Bossypants by Tina Fey in one sitting. Added bonus of reading: I don't rot my brain with the same reruns of Criminal Minds and SVU. Although I just realized that my reading caused me to miss tonight's brand new episode of How I Met Your Mother. Oh well.

3. Bought an awesome shirt. My friend Tynan started an awesome clothing line called Namesake Apparel. {Tumblr & Etsy} (Just so you all know, and so you all can be just like me, I got the white shirt. I'm wearing it tomorrow.) Anyway, you should go look at this stuff because the designs are awesome. And my friend is awesome. So, go forth and spend!

4. Stayed up all night. Because you're only 22 once. And my sources tell me that once you get old and arthritic, you can't do that anymore.

Anyway, those are the great life decisions I've made in the past few weeks. My next post will tackle the adult tasks I've been procrastinating on. These include things like figuring out my health insurance and....figuring out my health insurance. Stay tuned!

*I manage two computers at work, so, not surprisingly, I don't really feel like dealing with my computer when I get home from work.
**A list within a list. I'm committed to this concept. Don't judge.***
***I work for a bank now. I'm being brainwashed into the idea of disclosures. No minimum balance required to read, must maintain $5,000 in total relationship with me to avoid a monthly service fee of an $18 Starbucks Gift Card and an Almond Joy candy bar. © 2011 Confessions of a Listaholic.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

5 of the Most Egregious Errors in Online Dating

Well, it's April in Chicago. I'm hoping that spring isn't too far behind.

I'm starting to grow my bangs out, so needless to say, I'm entering kind of an awkward stage in my life. So naturally, I thought it would be a good idea to start another profile on OkCupid. I know I quit my last one because I was spending far too much online and I found the whole process to be a little creepy. But I'm giving it another try, but this time with limits. I try not to check it too often and delete messages that give me the creeps. However, I have found quite a few common errors on these gentlemen's profiles:

1. Zoolander face. No one looks good with the Zoolander face. Not even Ben Stiller.

2. Wildly inappropriate messages. I'm sorry, but messages saying "Your really hott" are not only completely grammatically incorrect, but they're also incredibly creepy and not productive.

3. Creeping. The same people look at my profile over and over and over and never message me. That, sir, is creeping.

4. Not asking questions. When you actually do message me, ask questions. Don't just talk about yourself. How am I supposed to respond to that? With the same level of narcissism?

5. Generic profiles. I'm pretty sure every guy on OkCupid is a world traveler, an adventurous eater, and really good at making people laugh. But I already assumed that, so tell me something else about yourself.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

4 Things I've Realized Lately

As I move through life and become older and (hopefully) wiser, I'm realizing things about myself that I didn't see before. This doesn't need much buildup, so we'll just go right into it.

1. I'm more like my mom than I once thought. I was talking to my dad today and said something that I've heard my mom say, and I said it with my mom's tone and inflection. It made me take pause and think, "Oh crap." But a good "oh crap," not a bad one. I'm realizing that I have a lot of my mom's personality traits. I'm fiercely loyal, crazy efficient, and extremely persistent. But I'm also a little impatient and I don't suffer fools gladly. But my mom is an amazing woman and I can only hope to become half the person she is!

2. I really value my "me time." I'm very thankful that I live alone because I'm starting to see the introverted side of my personality come out more often. Please don't read "introvert" as "shy." Introverts aren't necessarily shy, and more often than not, they only seem shy to extroverts. I enjoy talking to people (maybe a little too on for explanation) and love hanging out with groups of people. Conversely, I also find those two activities to be extremely draining and after a particularly busy weekend, I usually need to sit on my couch and stare at a wall.

3. I'm turning into an old woman. I go to bed at 10 pm and wake up at 5:30 am (ok, closer to 6:30 am). My free time finds me paying bills, balancing my checkbook, and worrying about laundry, cooking, and dishes. Well, I guess instead of "old woman," I should just say "domesticated."

4. I talk WAY too much sometimes. Remember how I mentioned I was going on a date with a guy named Jon? Well, I went. And it was a nice time. But then he never called. I was reflecting on the evening and I think that I may have scared him. I drank a little wine and started talking. And talking. And talking. I'm afraid I did the same thing with a new acquaintance at a party on Saturday. I never thought I would be the one to talk too much, but I guess I am.

That's all for now. Have a lovely evening, friends!

*I know the picture is random and that I usually try to make my picture match the subject. However, how can you resist gerbils in teacups? That's right. You can't.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thursday Thank Yous

Really quick one tonight, guys, because I *need* to clean and go to bed! Anyway, here's what I'm thankful for at the moment (and always)!

1. My friends. I know I've been thankful for this in the past, but it's always good to have a reminder. My friends are the best people in the whole world and I love them SO much. Added bonus: I get to see my darling Morgan tomorrow! (Hence the necessity to clean clean clean..)

2. Daylight Savings Time. While I bemoan the lack of sleep and the inability to wake up on time, I love having daylight left when I get home from work! When I started work, I was leaving for work in the dark and getting home in the dark. This is much better.

3. Community. I love the communities I'm creating. I can't really define it, but I'm so thankful that I have the ability to live in community with people I care about.

What are you thankful for today?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Top 5 Things That Have Happened To Me Recently

Wow guys, sorry. My name is Melissa and it has been 17 days since my last confession (of a listaholic). Life has been so busy! But here's a fun post to catch you all up on my life. So without further ado, the top 5 things that have happened to me in the past two weeks and a few days:

1. New phone! I got a smartphone, but it is very capable of making me feel dumb. It's an HTC Incredible and I'm still figuring out how to make it work.

2. Online dating! I had a brief adventure into the world of online dating and found it creepy and time consuming. However, I did go on two agreeable dates with a nice guy named Alex (who I decided I wasn't interested in) and I have a date tomorrow with a guy named Jon. I have deleted my account, though, because I was spending so much time online creeping profiles.

3. Work! No, seriously. I love work and it's exciting. As of today, I have worked there an entire month. It's lovely. We go bowling and to hockey games and to Cubs games (in April) and spend a lot of time hanging out. Oh, and I guess we work too.

4. Parties! I had my housewarming party last weekend and I had fun. I think everyone else did too. And then this past weekend I partied myself out and had to lay low on Saturday, one of the biggest party days in Chicago! Oh well. I don't think I'd like green beer anyway.

5. Starbucks! In celebration of their anniversary, they decided to give away treats between 2 and 5 on March 10-12. I went on the 11th and the 12th. I've also decided that my new goal in life is to get a Starbucks Gold Card, so I've registered my gift card (and I may have purchased a gift card solely for this purpose) and am only using that at Starbucks!

Well, those are the most exciting things that have happened to me in the last two weeks and a few days. I'm off to celebrate the birthday of Enrique the goldfish, who is turning 1 today, with Paige, Kate, Ashley, and Ashley!

PS-I love this picture! It's so adorable!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Guilty Pleasures

After a long day of work, there are few things that comfort me more than my guilty pleasures. I walk in to my apartment, plug my lights in (because I don't have overhead lights...) and out comes the:

1. Cosmopolitan magazine. This is my ULTIMATE guilty pleasure. I know it's smutty and trashy and [most of the time] not true, but I love it. I just turned in a subscription card because I finally have a permanent address. And I'm so excited to get my Cosmopolitan magazine in the mail every month because then I don't have to deal with disapproving glances from cashiers as I purchase my magazines that claim they have the power to "melt a man's boxers off."

2. One hit wonders. I'll admit it. I've admitted it before. I like music that has the relative worth of ABC gum. And one hit wonders fall into this category. So imagine, if you will, my glee when I found a 69 cent/song playlist on iTunes comprised entirely of one hit wonders.* I'm not sure why I love them so much, but I think it has something to do with the idea of these people having one, singular flash of genius. I mean, these are all songs that EVERYONE knows. But we can't name the artist. Or any other songs by said artist. Who actually knows who wrote "Stacy's Mom"? (Without Googling it?) Or "Right Here Right Now"? (Again, without Google?)
...My point exactly. Check and mate.

3. Wine. I love wine. And as I pointed out on twitter earlier today, "Who needs friends when you have wine?"

4. Crime TV. I love it all. Law & Order. Criminal Minds. Without a Trace. Bones. Psych. Monk. And I'll watch it whenever it is on. Although I don't really like reality crime TV.

5. Junk food. I have the worst sweet tooth in the history of the universe. And I do feel bad about it, but not enough to stop eating my junk food. Sorry, health nuts.

What are your guilty pleasures?

*Because I know you're curious, here is the list of one hit wonders on my playlist:

Butterfly Kisses Bob Carlisle
(I Just) Died In Your Arms Cutting Crew
Ghostbusters Ray Parker, Jr.
I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) The Proclaimers
I'm Too Sexy Right Said Fred
Ice Ice Baby Vanilla Ice
Jump Kris Kross
She Blinded Me With Science Thomas Dolby
Right Here Right Now Jesus Jones
Stacy's Mom Fountains of Wayne
Too Shy Kajagoogoo
Unbelievable EMF
Voices Carry 'Til Tuesday
Walking on Sunshine Katrina & The Waves

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thursday Thank Yous

I'm having a sassy-pants kind of day, so I apologize if these thank yous sound more bitchy than thankful. But don't misread this! I am very thankful today and every day for what I have.

1. Allison. She let me whine for 10 whole minutes and then gave me awesome insight when my 10 minutes were up. Which is just what I needed today.

2. Wine. Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reisling...I don't care what it is as long as I have a bottle to crack open when I get home from work.

3. Trivial Pursuit 1981. Last night, a friend and I went through some Trivial Pursuit cards from 1981...and here are a few sample questions that are now incorrect or contain outdated cultural references:
Q: Which country has 11 time zones?
A: The Soviet Union (Which doesn't exist anymore. There were lots of questions about
Soviet Bloc countries.)

Q: What does VDT stand for?
A: Video Display Terminal (What the heck is this?)

Q: What's the only man-made structure visible from space?
A: The Great Wall of China (Not true.)
Anyway. I'm thankful that I was able to find this game for $2 at a thrift store, because it has proved to be entertaining more than once now. I also got Operation and Pictionary. Game night at my apartment!

4. First World Problems. Tonight, as we were trying to watch NBC Thursday (aka: Community, The Office, Parks and Rec, and 30 Rock), the cable kept going out. Which is a first world problem. Just like not being able to text because I just painted my nails. Or being mad because I lost the back cover to my cell phone. I'm not thankful for these problems, but I'm thankful that they aren't big problems like finding clean drinking water or having reliable healthcare. I'm thankful that I was born in the first world and lead a blessed life.

5. Moving forward. Life is ever changing. And while it may not be fair or fun today, it can be tomorrow. So here's to moving forward and being the best "you" you can be. For me, that means being a good daughter, a good sister, and a good friend, as well as a good citizen.

Also, here's some advice: Life is hard. Wear a helmet. Take it. It's on the house.

What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thursday Thank Yous

Well, it's been another week and now it's time for my Thursday thank yous!

1. Friends and family. I am constantly reminded of how blessed I am to be surrounded by the friends and family that I have been given. This past weekend, my little sister went through something awful and it has made me want to reach out and tell everyone I know that I love them. So, friends and family...I LOVE YOU ALL. And even the strangers that stumble upon this blog...I love you too.

2. People at work. I started working on Monday and the people there have been very nice and helpful. I'm starting to get settled and figure out where things should be saved, how managers like to receive updates and documents (email a PDF? print out and put it on their desk?) and I really enjoy my job!

3. Street parking. I'm getting scary good at parallel parking. And I found an AWESOME spot right outside of my apartment building. I'm never moving my car ever again.

4. Valentines Day. An odd one, I know, but I can safely say that Valentines Day 2011 was the best one ever. A few girls came over and we had sushi and wine and chocolate cake and champagne and talked and laughed and had a grand old time.

That's all for tonight! What/who are you thanking today?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

5 Things I Would Buy from an Infomercial

Infomercials. You either love them or you hate them. Depending on the day and the product, an over produced Billy Mays commercial could inspire me to call 1-800-BUY-MORE-STUFF and recite my credit card number from memory. I've fallen prey to their predatory persuasive techniques, and here are a few of my most favorite "As Seen on TV" products.*

1. The Snuggie. It's as ugly as sin, but I love it. Also, it's so basic that I'm surprised people (including myself) will pay $10-$15 for it. A blanket with sleeves, while awesome and, dare I say, life altering, is far from necessary. But it is a simple luxury that I indulge in on a daily basis. Currently, I'm wrapped up in my Snuggie and loving life.

2. BumpIts. Yes, dear friends, I own a BumpIt. And I'm not afraid to say it. The "bump" or "poof" has become ubiquitous in today's hairstyles and for girls with hair like mine, reinforcements are always appreciated. I haven't used them lately because my hair is so short, but once it is grown out to an appropriate length, I will bust them back out.

3. The Ove Glove. While I don't own an Ove Glove, my grandparents do. And let me tell you, these things are awesome. Now, I wouldn't be putting my hand through open flames while wearing it (because fire is SCARY, people...) but it is so nice to have the use of all five fingers while taking items out of the oven. Have you ever struggled with an oven mitt and been afraid you'll drop the pan or casserole dish? Ove Gloves solve that. Genius.

4. Pajama Jeans. I'd never buy these. And if I did, I'd never wear them in public. But I don't have to worry about that, because I'd never buy them. Still, these go on my list of favorites because the existence of this product shows how pathetic we are. Because jeans aren't comfortable enough, we have to make sweatpants that look like jeans.

5. OxiClean. Maybe I just have a soft spot for Billy Mays (rest in peace), and his cocaine induced excitement, but I think OxiClean is amazing. It really does make your whites whiter and your colors brighter. I'm not sure how it works and I don't really care how it works. But it works. And that's all that matters.

What "As Seen on TV" products do you love (or love to hate)?

*Please note, these are my favorites. I don't necessarily own all of them.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thursday Thank Yous

I'm starting something new. Although, this isn't a very well established blog so we can just pretend like I've always been doing this.*

In case you've been living under a rock, you should know that I've moved to Chicago. I got here on Tuesday and have been in the process of getting settled. And oh my gosh, ya'll. Apartments are expensive. But I'm very excited to be living here and even more excited to start work on Monday!

Here are all of the people and things I want to thank today:

1. The man who helped me push my car out. Chicago got several feet of snow which makes street parking very interesting most days. I managed to park myself on top of quite a bit of snow and was really struggling to get out of my spot. A man walking by told me how to put my wheels and gave my car a good shove so I could get out.

2. Paige. If not for Paige, I would probably still be wandering around Target muttering, "I don't even know what I need!" and I most definitely would have gotten very lost in IKEA. She has been very helpful in my settling in process and even cleaned my bathroom for me. What a sweetheart!

3. Linksys. Someone in my vicinity has not protected their wireless connection so I am able to use that to connect to the outside world. It's a little spotty and I have to sit on my coffee table in the corner of my apartment to use it, but it works!

4. IKEA. Oh my gosh. Everyone should be thankful for IKEA. The only problem I've found with it is that my car isn't big enough to fit everything I wanted to buy. But perhaps that's a blessing in disguise.

5. Starbucks. On every corner! Thank you, Starbucks, for always being there when I need chai. (I was informed today that chai means tea in Hindi, so when one says "chai tea" they are really saying "tea tea." I won't be making that mistake anymore.)

Who are you thanking today?

*I'm going to try to make this a weekly occurrence. Stay tuned.

Friday, February 4, 2011

7 Things I Did Tonight

Ya'll are in for a treat. This right here is a rare glimpse into my oh-so-exciting life. A chronicle of what I did with my Friday night.

1. Watch a movie. I went to campus and watched Serendipity with some sorority sisters. And even though I've seen that movie before, I was riveted throughout! I worried about how John Cusack would ever find his soulmate and was scared when I thought they would never find each other. I can only hope for such a serendipitous life.
Sidebar: I'm not a big believer in fate, but the idea that I could meet someone, have a life changing few hours, and leave the rest up to the universe sounds so amazingly wonderful. Although in today's super connected life, a number wouldn't be written on a $5 bill or inside a book, and then thrown out into the world. It would automatically be programmed into a cell phone, which, while convenient, is quite unfortunate. How are you supposed to know what the universe wants if you never leave anything up to the universe?
2. Eat pizza. If you're ever in Monmouth, order a college special from Pepperoni's Pizza. It is the best pizza in Monmouth and a college special gets you a large pizza and breadsticks for under $10. Awesome.

3. Clean my room...kinda. I started to work on tidying up my room and throwing away more stuff I don't need or haven't used, but then I got distracted. Typical.

4. Paint my toenails. My toes were lookin' rough. So what do I do? I paint them at 10 pm, thus ensuring that I won't get into bed until at least midnight in order to keep toenail polish off of my sheets and blankets.

5. Watch CSI. Usually I scare the crap out of myself when I watch these shows until all hours of the night, but tonight my cousin is staying in the house with his doberman. No one's getting in here without someone knowing.

6. Think about packing. I took a wayward glance at my piles of clothing and thought about going through said piles to weed out more clothing. Quickly forgot said task.

7. Talk to my sister. We chat almost every day and tonight was no exception. Topics of discussion ranged from our hatred of the Lord of the Ring series to cute boys to reasons why she hates white trucks that are Dodge Rams and have four doors.

Well, that's what I did with my evening. What did you do tonight?

*I'm totally doing this to the next "dip" sign that I see.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

5 Qualities in a Man that Make Me Weak in the Knees

Let's talk boys. Since I was about fourteen, I've had crushes on boys and in the past eight years I've found out what makes me weak in the knees and what has me walking out the door faster than you can say "But baby..." This is a non-exhaustive list of qualities in a man that will make me weak in the knees.

1. Chivalry. No, it's not dead. Chivalry is opening the door for me (and if you're feeling extra nice, the car door). Chivalry is being generous (and I don't mean buying me lots of stuff, although that always helps.* I mean being generous with your time and affection). Chivalry is being courteous to me and the little old grandma taking forever to cross the street. Chivalry is being a gentleman in every sense of the word. But mostly, chivalry is about respect. Respect me and you'll be deemed a keeper.

2. A quick wit. On occasion I can be quite witty and a man that can keep up with me is always the best. Please note though, there's a difference between witty sarcasm and mean sarcasm. Also note that I have my slow days, so a man that is patient with me on the days that I can barely string together a coherent sentence is just as apt to make my legs feel like jello.

3. Adorable. As my friends know, adorable for me comes in all shapes and sizes. I don't really have a type. But adorable does have a mentality. It's confident without being cocky and helpful without being overbearing. An adorable boy would text me in the morning to say good morning and text me at night to say goodnight. Adorable boys are just adorable...plain and simple.

4. Cook for me. Even if it's the most basic dinner ever, it will make me swoon. Boil a pot of noodles, heat up a jar of sauce, and put some garlic bread in the oven. That's all it takes. Sidebar: moving take-out from the container to the plate does not count as cooking.

5. Know when to be good and when to be bad. A man with a good sense of judgement about situations is a definite keeper. But if it's unclear, here are some examples. Times to be good: church, family gatherings, public places. Times to be bad: all other times. But really, use your best judgement.

As I mentioned, this list is not exhaustive. I also enjoy a man who is good with his hands (in more ways than one) and a man who will send flowers just because. I will also get jello legs if a man takes me out on a real date, especially if he took the time to plan it all out.

What qualities in a man makes you weak at the knees?

*Joking. Totally joking.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I'm feeling very crabby today, and my best guess for it's cause is the impending doom of "Snowmageddon 2011" (as the dean of faculty called it). I tend to get anxious about bad weather because I'm a decidedly fair weather person, and the last time a snowstorm was hyped this much (in my recent memory, at least), it snowed for five days straight and Spokane ended up with five feet of snow. I'm talking about the kind of snow where you have to shovel every few hours to stay ahead, don't even think about driving anywhere, and oh hey, if you don't shovel off the roof, you'll probably end up with shingles and snow in your living room.

So, long story short, I'm anxious about the snow. This anxiety is compounded by the fact that I have to move to Chicago next week, and the thought of carrying all of my belongings over berms and through multiple feet of snow is starting to make me feel like I'm developing ulcers and having a heart attack at the age of 22.

This anxiety is being repurposed and redistributed to the epicenter of crabbiness in my brain. My day started reasonably well. I tried out a new alarm clock (the appropriately named "iTunes Alarm Clock." Find it here. Macs only, sorry.) and woke up on time to my favorite playlist. Because I woke up on time, I was able to enjoy my shower. The shampoo I bought to replace the previous crap worked wonders and my hair is once again loving life.

Then it started.

In anticipation of the snow, I picked shoes I don't particularly care for. Fail #1. Then I had to scrape my windshield. Fail #2. Then I drove to work, only to find that there are some people who cannot and will not even try to deduce where lines for parking spots should be, and had to park far enough away that I may as well have just walked to work. Fail #3. And to top it all of, the waffles that I had coated with peanut butter were neither warm nor crispy by the time I got to work. Cold, soggy, peanut butter covered waffles. Fail #4.

So there you have it, my dear friends. How to ruin my day in four simple steps:

1. Make me wear shoes I hate. These shoes don't give me the silhouette I like, and aren't really all that comfortable. In fact, I only bought them for one outfit (ridiculous, I know) and should probably get rid of them. But I won't, because they're shoes.

2. Bad weather. Ice, snow, sleet, freezing all makes me anxious. And anxiety turns into crabbiness real quick in these parts.

3. Don't be smart or courteous. I realize that when it snows, there is an "every man for himself" mentality, but really? Not necessary. What happened to the common courtesy and decency I have become accustomed to in the Midwest? Just because snow is falling doesn't mean you get to act like a jerk.

4. Ruin my breakfast. Do you like it when someone ruins your breakfast? Not the time, but the food? No, I didn't think so.

What could the universe do to make your day bad?

Also, to all of you teachers and students who are absolutely giddy because of the snow days, go away. Nobody likes a braggart. I'd like to be home watching movies and eating bon bons too.

Monday, January 31, 2011

4 Things You Should Never Keep

I'm going to be moving soon, and while the majority of my belongings are still packed away, I have been wearing all of my clothes (duh) and using everything else besides my kitchen stuff. Of course, now that I'm moving, I have started to go through my stuff and get rid of things that I haven't used since I moved into this house. Throughout this purging, I've devised a list of things you shouldn't keep...ever.

1. Old medication. If you have prescriptions you didn't finish (and if you do, tsk tsk! Finish your prescriptions!), don't keep them. Medication has an expiration date for a reason and do you really want to run the risk of taking old drugs in a fever induced delusion? No. Please note, my expired pills include ibuprofen and aspirin that I bought a long time ago (because I always finish my prescriptions). Also, as a water guy's daughter, I feel compelled to tell you this very important fact: don't flush old medicine down the toilet. The waste water treatment plant isn't designed to treat water for drugs, it treats water for sewage. Talk to your local pharmacist about getting rid of old drugs.

2. Shampoo that didn't work. I just recently bought new shampoo that did not work miracles for my hair. In fact, it made my hair really gross and not good. So I got new shampoo again. And I'm not keeping the old shampoo. Even though it was really expensive and the bottles are basically full, I'm going to throw it away. Because it didn't work and made my hair gross. The same goes for other hair products that didn't perform as promised. Why would you want to keep something around that doesn't do what it says it will do? And why would you keep something around that makes you feel gross?

3. Old phone numbers. All of this "spring" cleaning has inspired me to go through my phone too. I have so many unnecessary phone numbers. Phone numbers for jerky boys from the past, phone numbers for people that I never talked in the first place, phone numbers for people who probably don't even use that number anymore. I've gone through my phone and have deleted extraneous contacts. Now if only I could apply this logic to my Facebook friends list...

4. Clothes that don't flatter. I have a lot of shirts and pants and some skirts that I rarely wear because they aren't flattering. I'm not sure why I keep them. Clothes should make you feel good and look good, and if they don't accomplish those two simple tasks, get rid of them. However, if you even THINK about suggesting that I get rid of any of my shoes, you should probably back off. Even though I know I have far too many pairs of shoes.

Other things I've thrown away that don't merit a bullet point include: a bad wig from Halloween, a ridiculously slutty Marilyn Monroe dress that went with the horrendous wig, and some jewelry procured in a White Elephant gift exchange. What can I say? I'm not a sentimental person.

What do you toss in the event of a move? Or what would you get rid of if you had to move?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Few More Things I'm Thankful For

Coming off of yesterday's snarktastic post, I thought I would list a few things I'm thankful for today! Because, as you all should know, I'm made of sugar and spice and everything nice (even though the sassy me comes out every once in a while).

6. Sunshine! After more than a few gloomy, winter days, the sun is peeking out through the clouds! It's making me want to burst into song, but for everyone's sake I'll refrain.

7. Sisters! By birth and by choice. I love talking to A and K, my biological sisters, and I'm so thankful for friends like M and P and L and E (keeping with the no first names theme...) who are also my sisters, except by choice.

8. Twining's English Breakfast Tea. I can't start my day without tea, and this tea is the best!

9. My car. I've put a lot of miles on my car since I got it, but I love it and it loves me back. I still don't have a name for it though.

What are you thankful for on this lovely Thursday?

Help me name my car! She's silver and very pretty.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

6 Things That Really Grind My Gears

There are a few* things I really dislike. Now, mind you, these are different than pet peeves. A pet peeve is, by definition, a minor annoyance that is only really annoying to one person. These things are more than minor annoyances, and you really don't want to get me going on these subjects in polite company, because you're likely to hear me utter a string of curse words that would make a sailor blush. Or, you know, sassy commentary like this.

1. ASPCA commercials. These commercials make me so mad. How dare they interrupt my time to be a vegetable on the couch and yank on my heartstrings? First of all, they play the saddest song ever. Then they go and show pictures of abused animals. Like that thought doesn't make me mad enough, they have to go and put it right in my face, during my relaxation time. Finally, these commercials are LONG. Even if you change the channel, you run the risk of underestimating the length of the commercial and switching right back into the middle of a montage of maimed kittens and injured puppies. But I think the thing that makes me the maddest is that they overuse ethos in their persuasion techniques. Shame on you, ASPCA. Shame on you.**

2. Reality shows. As if we don't publicize enough the fact that this country isn't smart, now we have to go and give the nation's biggest idiots their own TV shows. Jersey Shore, The Real Housewives of {Orange County, NYC, Atlanta, DC, Spokane}, Bridalplasty, Teen Mom - all of these shows have one thing in common. They glorify stupidity. Oh, and the best thing? Snooki, Mike "The Situation," and JWoww have all written books. All of these people should go back to their normal lives and quit polluting the minds of America with flashes of genius such as "GTL." (That's gym-tanning-laundry, for those of you who are fortunate enough to not know.)

3. Rude boys. (And no, I don't mean the Rihanna song. I love the Rihanna song.) I'm talking about boys who think they're all that and a bag of chips, and boys who leave girls with jaded, cynical hearts in the wake of their paths of destruction. Nice boys, your day will come. Please be patient. Mean boys can only make a girl cry so many times before she wises up and realizes that a nice boy has been there the whole time.

4. 24 hour news. Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC...seriously? Stop it. These news channels have a need to be talking about something all the time. Every day. So naturally, during slow news times, these channels latch onto something seemingly insignificant and make it big news, providing expert opinions and spirited, one-sided debates. Remember the Prius debacle? With the cars that wouldn't stop? Yeah, not a nationwide ordeal. I don't doubt there were some Priuses (what is the plural of Prius? Priuses? Prii?) that didn't stop, but for every one that sped uncontrollably down the freeway, there are a million that function perfectly. It was a slow news week and because CNN was talking about it, Fox News et al. needed to pick up on it too. Oh, and while we're on the subject, let's focus on Fox News for a minute. Fair and balanced? Who do you think you're kidding?***

5. Family Guy. I'm not sure why I dislike Family Guy so much, especially because there are some pretty decent quotes (which I referenced in the title of this post), but I think that the writers of South Park had it right when they suggested that a manatee picked out random balls with random subjects written on them to come up with ideas for the show. But really. Honesty time. Family Guy? Suck.

6. Kanye West. No tirade necessary. If you don't get it, visit Then you'll get it.

What makes you mad? What grinds your gears?

*More than a few.
**Mostly I hate that I don't have money to donate to the ASCPA.
***Please note, I am not a political person at all. My political stance is usually "huh?"

Also, please enjoy this sass while it lasts. We'll be back to regularly scheduled programming in a little bit.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Collection of 5 Thoughts from Today

A collection of thoughts from the day. I spend my day talking to my dear friend HW on and off, in short bursts between her classes, so sometimes for fun I go back and look at the short back-and-forths that make up our conversations. I usually prattle on about myself and she listens to me, making her that much closer to sainthood in my book.

1. My hair is being really awesome. I don't know what's gotten into it, but my hair has been strangely cooperative lately. It does exactly what I tell it to do (after I beat it into submission with my straightener) and stays where it is put! This is a big deal, people.

2. Whoa. That person is engaged? It shouldn't come as a surprise to me, because I'm at the age where people start to make baby families (and babies, sometimes), but it still shocks me when people I knew in high school get engaged! I guess I still remember them at age 18, when we graduated.

3. Oh, shiny. A blog I follow is doing a giveaway and the beautiful bracelet being given away is from Erstwhile Jewelry Co., so I had to go look...and oh my. Those rings and bracelets and necklaces are to die for. I would literally die for this ring. Diamonds AND emeralds? Lord have mercy. (I wouldn't actually die for that ring, because then I wouldn't be able to show it off. I would probably do morally questionable things for that ring, though.*)

4. Designing is fun. I'm making HW's wedding invitations. I've already created the save the dates, and it came in the mail yesterday! I probably don't have a career in design, but I love small projects like this.

5. Chicago Chicago Chicago. I'm moving soon but I don't have an apartment (yet). I'm going there this weekend for a few days that promise to be full of fun. I start my job in less than three weeks. I've got Chicago on the brain. Enough said.

What was on your mind today?

*Joking. Totally joking.....................................mostly.

Monday, January 24, 2011

6 Things I'm Really Good at in the Kitchen

One of the things I really like to do is cook. And bake. And I'm pretty good at it, if I don't say so myself. I like to experiment in the kitchen, but I also have some standbys that I'm pretty darn good at. As the Dalai Lama says, one should "approach love and cooking with reckless abandon." Tonight's post is about cooking...I'll save love for a different post.

1. Macaroni and Cheese. Not the kind from the box, but homemade macaroni and cheese. The nights my mom made this for dinner were always good nights, because it is so good!

2. Pumpkin pie. I have my great-grandma's recipe for pumpkin pie and with a cup of heavy cream, it tastes as good as it is bad for you. I've made it for the past three Thanksgivings and also around Christmastime. I would feel weird eating pumpkin pie when it's not a holiday.

3. Salmon. It's hard to find good salmon in the Midwest, but I'm hoping Chicago will have better salmon than Monmouth! I'm sure it will, and then I can make salmon all the time.

4. Spaghetti. I know it's not hard, and I usually don't even make my own sauce, but I'm pretty incredible when it comes to boiling a pot of noodles. And I doctor the jar sauce to make it better. I haven't had any complaints about it yet.

5. Chocolate Chip Cookies. I have the Toll House recipe memorized and could make these cookies in my sleep! 1 cup butter, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup white sugar, 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla... These cookies are the best when they're right out of the oven and you have a glass of ice cold milk to go along with. Don't eat all of the dough before you can make cookies though.

6. Full meals. Ok. I know this isn't anything specific, but I'm good at making all of the dishes come out at the same time. When I was home for Christmas, I made a pot roast with mashed potatoes, a green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie. It all turned out wonderfully (with only a few slip ups here and there...but I took them all in stride. Ok. I cried. But we're going to pretend like I didn't.)

Of course, I'm good at making other stuff too, but this isn't meant to be an exhaustive list!

Are you any good at cooking? What's your favorite thing to make?

Only a few weeks left in Monmouth! I start my job 3 weeks from today!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Things I'm Thankful For (A Running List)

This will be an ongoing list, of sorts, as I'm sure I can come up with various things, small and large, all the time that should be added! Seeing as 2011 has just started, we'll see what number I'm on come December 31. Sound good?

1. Friends. I'm so thankful for my lovely, wonderful, beautiful friends who are always able to talk me off of whatever ledge I've managed to situate myself on. They also let me know when my crazy is hanging out, which I greatly appreciate.

2. Seriously. I LOVE this website. I can type (almost) anything in and get a variety of reviews about it. Take most of them with a grain of salt, because there will always be the overly chipper ones and the depressingly bad ones, but by reading the reviews I can generally get a good sense of whether or not that company deserves my money or time! Check it out here.

3. Fridays. I'm so glad it is Friday. It's been a whirlwind of week for me, and I'm so glad I could throw on some jeans today and come in for a more relaxed day of work.

4. My winter coat. Temperatures in western Illinois have plummeted to the negatives, so I'm happy I have my new Columbia winter coat. I generally overheat when I wear it, but on days like today, I'd rather be too hot than too cold. Because, as I mentioned in my last post, I intensely dislike cold.

5. Eyeshadow primer. One of those small things, but eyeshadow primer has changed my life for the better! I no longer worry about my eyeshadow creasing or fading or ending up all over my face throughout the day.

That's all for now! I'll be adding to this list periodically, and will keep a running tally going. :o)

What are you thankful for today?

The picture is awfully random, I know, but it's a gloomy day in Monmouth and that looks cheery! (If not a bit strange...)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

3 (of the many) Reasons Why I Hate Snow

I know my friend HW isn't going to like this. But I'm just going to come out and say it: I hate snow. That fluffy, white stuff makes me mad. Even though it has the potential to cancel school or work, I still hate it. Anyway, here are some of the reasons I hate snow. (I can't list them all, or we'd be here all night.)

1. Footwear. I am the QUEEN of inappropriate footwear. I love my ballet flats, my pointy heels, and my flip flops (only during the summer, sadly). I own "sensible" shoes, but I don't enjoy wearing them.

2. Cold. I dislike the cold. Especially the kind that chills you to your bones. The kind where it takes you 10 minutes to warm back up inside. The kind where, no matter how many layers you're wearing, you always get cold. Snow is cold.

3. Driving. I really enjoy driving, and snow makes it next to impossible to safely drive. Even though I learned how to drive in the snow, not everyone else did and people drive like morons when there is even a small amount of snow on the road. Also, I hate cleaning off my car. And I really really dislike it when it never gets warm enough to melt the small amounts of snow that end up in the car.

Do you like snow? Do you hate snow? Rant or rave.

25 days until I start my new job! Getting excited, people!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

5 Things For Which I Have No Natural Talent

There are a lot of things I'm awesome at. Like...baking. I'm really good at baking. And making lists. I kick ass when it comes to writing (or so I've been told...) and apparently I give really good back massages too. However, there are some things I wish I was better at. These are things for which I have no talent, whatsoever. No amount of time or practice will make me better at these things, and trust me. I've tried.

1. Knitting. Or any crafts, really. Try as I might, I cannot draw. I cannot paint. I cannot sculpt. I've made two scrapbooks (if you can call them that) and both times it was a long, drawn out process that made me grumpy. I've made a scarf, but not without lots of help from others when I managed to make 10 stitches into 15. And don't even try to get me to crochet. I'm sorry, but you all are destined to receive store bought cards and gifts from me.

2. Dancing. When I dance, I look like a special needs epileptic person in the middle of a seizure. And no amount of practice will make me any better. I've been going out dancing (hello, Bijou!) since I turned 21 and I haven't figured it out yet.

3. Patience. Anyone who knows me well knows that I'm not really a very patient person. I present a patient and collected exterior, but on the inside, my crazy is hanging out all over the place. This flaw is exacerbated by the unknown. I'm trying very hard to be patient with the moving situation (I start my job on February 14!), but the fact that I don't know what's going on is very frustrating for me.

4. Reading maps. This one surprises me because my dad is a map person. (We call him Map Boy.) Confession time: I have NO sense of direction. I use my GPS to get around Monmouth and the surrounding area. If you were to take me in the middle of a field, spin me around a few times, and leave...I'd be royally screwed. Please don't do this to me. (Note: Lacking this skill has made me incredibly useless in corn mazes.)

5. Parallel Parking. I'm thinking I'll get better at this while I live in Chicago, but for the past six years, I've sucked at parallel parking.

What do you have no natural talent for?

Please note, this is not a cry for help or pity. Merely an observation.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

4 Current Stressors

In an attempt to make this blog less about my thoughts and more about my activities (and my thoughts about said activities), this post is about 4 things that are currently stressing me out (happily and unhappily). (Also, I love parentheses.) So, here we go:

1. Moving. Ladies and gentlemen, I have been hired. I have been hired for a job in Chicago. (Well, Skokie. Close enough for jazz.) However, that means I need to pack up all of my belongings from Monmouth and find an apartment in Chicago. And now I need to decide if I want to risk finding a wacky roommate on Craigslist or if I want to live by myself (in an apartment found on Craigslist). And figure out my finances and start the journey of life as an adult.

2. Work. Now that I know I'm leaving, I need to wrap up all of my projects. I have loved my job in Monmouth and have been given a lot of responsibility and freedom to develop and work on my own projects. However, that means I have a lot of stuff to finish!

3. My skin. I've had a love-hate (mostly hate) relationship with my skin. When it's not sunburned (which is all summer) or breaking out (not so often anymore), I love it. But right now it's breaking out. Probably caused by some of the stress in my life and also by the fact that it is super dry here.

4. The timeline for the next month. By this time next month, I will have moved and started my job. My mom is coming to Monmouth next weekend for a big birthday party with a lot of her friends from high school, and I've volunteered to help with Alpha Xi Delta's Area Wide Training on February 5 (in Monmouth). Also, I need to find time to go to Chicago to look at apartments and still sleep and eat. I don't doubt it will all get done, but I do worry about my temporary sanity throughout!

What is stressing you out? Any advice for getting through my next few weeks?

I'm thinking chocolate and wine...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Top 3 Pet Peeves

Pet peeves. Everyone has them. Some are mildly irritating and some are enough to make me leave the room or the building or the city. I don't think I need to defend myself too much on these because they are all pretty understandable and if you're reading my blog, then you obviously don't hate me too much. Off we go...

1. Bad grammar. Your/You're. There/They're/Their. It's/Its. Really? Is it that hard? I mean sure, I still haven't quite figured out when to use lay, lie, laid, lied, or who and whom, and I can only tell when to use that instead of which (or vice versa...) when I read it out loud. Also, I tend to be comma happy. But seriously? We use your/you're, there/they're/their, and it's/its EVERY day. Every. Single. Day. On another note, I understand using "u" instead of you or "r" instead of are in text messages, but when you have an entire keyboard at your disposal, there is no excuse. (Also, are our. Just saying.) (Another also. Things taste good, you do things well. Therefore, "I did good" is not a grammatically correct sentence.)

2. People who interrupt. Is what you have to say really so important that you have to talk over me? Or make me stop talking? Unless my hair is on fire or the building is about to fall down, I doubt it is. It's called being civil. Wait until I'm done talking, and then talk. Listen to my whole point and then make a comment. Because I bet your comment would be different if you listened to my entire remark.

3. Nails on a chalkboard. That sound is like...well...nails on a chalkboard. Enough said.

Of all of the things that could be pet peeves, I suppose only having three is pretty good.

What are your pet peeves?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

5 Books That Have Impacted My life

I love reading. When I'm asked about my hobbies, I always list reading (along with cooking and baking) at the very top. Books are some of my very favorite things in the whole world.* I've been this way ever since I can remember, and I have memories of staying up very late to read Farmer Boy or Anne of Green Gables in grade school. So here, in no particular order, are 5 books that have impacted my life:

1. The Wheel on the School. Written by Meindert DeJong. This is the book that I have the earliest memories of my mom reading to A** and I before bed. It is a wonderful story set in the small fishing community of Shora, where the children wonder why there are no storks in the village. I won't ruin it for you, but this book is definitely one of the best of the 20th century! (PS-It won the Newberry Medal in 1955.)

2. Little Women. Written by Louisa May Alcott. I can't even count the number of times I read this book. At least four, maybe five. I think I love this book so much because I identified with the trials and tribulations of having sisters. I still remember the one chapter I dislike - chapter 10: The P.C. and the P.O. It's about a secret society the girls form called the Pickwick Club, and it's a total snoozefest.

3. Anne of Green Gables. Written by Lucy Maud Montgomery. By the time I was in fifth grade, I had already read all eight of these books at least once. Thanks to these books, I made it onto Mrs. Kijima's list of people who had read the most pages. I love Anne (with an E) and her auburn hair and I still drive past houses that I think are "Anne of Green Gables" houses. They're the ones with wrap around porches and turret style corners. I refuse to watch the movies or television shows because I have the image so perfect in my head.

4. Little House on the Prairie. Written by Laura Ingalls Wilder. This is another set of books that my mom read to A and I when we were little. We made it through Farmer Boy (the third book, which is about Almanzo) before I started reading them on my own. I loved these books because they transported me to a time unknown, where people had to live in log cabins and worry about bears and cougars, and where hard candy was a treat enjoyed very rarely, usually after a trip by Pa into town.

5. Brave New World. By Aldous Huxley. I can confidently say that this is the only book that has ever given me nightmares. I can't read books about dystopian futures, apparently. (Hey, I never said this list of books impacted my life in a good way!)

Most of the books I buy now are in airports, and some of the most recent books I've read are The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and Secretariat.

What books have impacted your life? What are your favorites?

*Even though I want a Kindle, I'd still buy books. I love the way they smell. And don't look at me like that, you smell books too.
**A is my sister. I'm trying not to use too many first names.

Monday, January 10, 2011

4 Ways I Stay Sane on Car Trips

I just recently returned from a short trip to Chicago, in which I drove there and back (3.5-4 hours each way) in a little more than 24 hours. In the past, I've also driven from Monmouth to Spokane (and back) which consisted of two, 14-hour days in the car (each way). If you're like me, too much time sitting still and too much time alone pushes you to the limits of your sanity. However, I have devised several methods of staying mentally sound on car trips longer than 15 minutes.

1. Sing. Loudly. I'm that person that you see rocking out by herself as you drive past. You can tell that she's doing more than talking into a bluetooth because she's also dancing a little bit (okay, more than a little bit) and drumming on the steering wheel. Some new favorite songs include: "Anything, Anything" by Dramarama, "Another White Dash" by Butterfly Boucher, and "They're On to Me" by Ari Hest.

2. Bug all of your friends. When singing just doesn't do it for me, I put in my bluetooth (I'm a safe driver!) and start bothering all of my friends until I find someone to talk to. I also bug my family until they politely ask me to stop calling or I lose reception.

3. The alphabet game. This is the game you've probably played on family car trips, where you try to find every letter in the alphabet, in order, on road signs. License plates and the sides of trucks don't count. We used to play this on the way back from the lake, and whoever saw the Gonzaga University sign first usually won, as Z was all that was left. It's not as fun to play by yourself, but it keeps you awake and prevents tunnel vision.

4. Try to beat your GPS. My Garmin gives an estimated time of arrival, and I like to try to beat that time. I watch the ETA like a hawk and do a small happy dance every time the time goes down. Of course, when I'm playing this game, I'm usually speeding.

What do you do on car trips?

In other news, I had an interview today and I think it went well! I'll know whether I got the job or not soon...