31 December 2011

Out with the old. In with the new!

Every stinking time I have tried to write a "year in review" post, I just end up sounding like a major goober. So, in keeping with my love of lists, here are some of the highlights (although one might consider a few of them lowlights) from the last 365ish days.

2011: Revisited

  • In January we said good-bye to Mum. She was one of the best grandmothers anyone could have asked for. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about her, but I know she is in a better place. It still doesn't making missing her any easier though.
  • I managed to knock off a few items from the bucket list, which is awesome. 
  • FINALLY made the commitment to myself to go vegetarian. I have never felt this good in my lift and can't wait to take the next stop into veganism.
  • Attended some amazing concerts with friends.
  • Met some new, awesome people who have become friends. 
  • Found Dela.
  • Renewed my passion for writing, even if I'm not terribly good at it.
  • Met two of my favorite authors, David Sedaris and Chuck Klosterman.
  • Learned how to be alone. 

Things I pondered this week when I should have been doing other stuff

  • Wearing a turtleneck is like being strangled by a very weak toddler....All. Day. Long.
  • It would be quite foolish of me to attempt another 365 photography project (in 2011, I started and stopped 3 seperate times), especially if I am going to do two 52 weeks projects--one on my food blog and one here. I mean honestly, it really would be biting off more than I could chew for 2012. Right?!
  • This weekend I am going to tackle my backroom a.k.a. home office a.k.a. soon-to-be craft room. I'm going to organize the shit out of that room. I've got a lot of ideas and need space to work!
  • Green living--cliche, but necessary. This kind of goes hand in hand with the whole vegan thing (can you believe that someone actually called me a crazy hippy last week?!), but it really makes sense for me to make the move to using as many natural, homemade products as possible. I've compiled a whole list of things to make, one of which just happens to be for tomorrows blog post!
  • Speaking of veganism, my new cook book arrived this week and is packed full of delicious looking recipes! I'm really excited about the mac & cheeze recipe. I can't wait to try it out this week.

29 December 2011

Bird Nest Necklace

One of my non-New Year Resolution is to be a little more frugal with my money, which means having to cut back on buying all the pretty things that Etsy has to offer.

Over the past few months, I have seen a number of variations of the bird nest necklace pop up on Etsy and thought they were really cute. And then earlier this week a friend posted a pin on Pinterest (I'm sure you're all shocked to read that Pinterest is involved in this project) on how to one of these necklaces. It seemed simple enough, so I decided to give it a try.

I have to admit that I underestimated how annoying working with wire can be (or it could be that I shouldn't attempt to make things at 10 o'clock at night), but for my first time out, I'm pretty happy with my pendant. And I only wounded myself once so that's a major miracle in itself, but I digress. I think with a little practice and possibly some bigger beads, this is going to be a project I am really going to love and can see myself making over and over.

Here is a link to Sara Ortega's website and the tutorial for the necklace: DIY Bird Nest Necklace

Happy crafting!

27 December 2011

Read All About It

Since we are a mere 4 days away from the start of the new year, I thought it would be an appropriate time to start my list of books to read in 2012. It's quite the random collection of subjects and themes, but I like to keep things interesting. The ever growing and changing list can be found here: Reading List 2012. I'll be updating it as the year progresses with new books I've either stumbled upon or that friends have suggested I read, but for now, here is the short list:
  • Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin: Funny thing about this one is that until about 20 minutes ago, I kept calling it Game of Thornes, not Game of Thrones. Whoops. I have actually tried reading this book already, but maybe made it through two chapters. I have friends who have done nothing but rave about this book and the rest of the series so I am willing to give it another try. Worst case scenario is that is puts into a deep slumber (again) for a wonderful night of sleep. 
  • Child Thief by Brom: The description of the book makes it sound like this might be a slightly sadistic version of Peter Pan. Not going to lie, a little freaked out by that notion but intriged enough to want to read it. 
  • Reality Hunger by David Shields: I can't lie. I know absolutely nothing about this book. My pretend author boyfriend suggested it at an event I attend this fall so it's on the list. 
  • Artemis Fowl Series Books 3-7 by Eoin Colfer: I read book 1, aptly named Artemis Fowl on a whim and loved it. I completely agree with one review of the book that says "The author has let his imagination run riot by combining folklore, fantasy, and a fistful of high-tech funk in an outrageously devilish book that could well do for fairies what Harry Potter has done for wizardry." 
  • The Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness: This book keeps popping up in my Goodreads feed from friends who have read it and loved it. It's time to give it a chance myself. This is definitely a book I am looking forward to reading. 
  • Dark World by Zak Bagans and Kelly Crigger: What can I say...I love ghosts, Ghosts Adventures and there is something just dorky enough about him for me to kind of love Zak Bagans. No judging allowed on this one, peanut gallery.

    26 December 2011

    24 December 2011

    A list of suggestions

    I am too much of a commitmentphobe to actually make and stick with any resolutions for the New Year. BUT, last year I made a list of suggested resolutions for myself (which I no longer have because they were posted on a blog that no longer exists---whoops!) and I think it went o.k. so I decided to do the same thing this year in a format which looks dangerously close to an actual list of New Year Resolutions.

    New Year Suggestions for 2012

    • Keep on reading! In 2011, I read 54 books, which was just 6 short of my goal of 60 books read. I'm keeping the goal number the same again this year and am keeping my fingers crossed that I actually hit the magic number!
    • Save! Save! Save! My rainy day fund needs to be kicked up a notch.
    • Embrace my inner-resourcefulness. I am quite thankful I inherited my moms craftiness and plan on putting it to good use this year. I've already started making my own body scrubs, today I made my own air-freshener (I will admit though that as much as I love tea tree oil, I may have overdone it a bit and might need a re-do) and even started to do a little research on a sewing machine purchase. 
    • Get cooking, vegan style. Since giving up most animal products this fall, I have felt AMAZING and am quickly moving towards my goal of getting off all my medication (can I get a whoop! whoop!) but still have some work to do. I really do think it is time to totally go vegan. It's on my bucket list and I really think in the long run it is the best thing for myself. So, the quest begins for new cookbooks and recipes to try out and hopefully share on my cooking blog!
    • Do more yoga.
    • Refocus my meditation practice.
    • Start running (again). Before giving in to McDreamy's recommendation to have surgery (which by the way, up until I slipped on the ice last week had totally worked wonders), I managed to finish three weeks of the nine week Couch to 5k program. This year (once the snow and ice have gone away) I'd really like to finish the whole program and actually run a 5k. 
    • Shoot more film. I absolutely love my Olympus OM-10 camera, I just need to spend more time with it. 

    18 December 2011

    Minty Fresh

    I am completely addicted to Pinterest and Craft Gawker. Seriously. It's a little out of hand. Between the two sites, I spent a RIDICULOUS amount of time yesterday making lists and pins and boards and getting ideas for craft projects and things to do around my house. But what I really loved, was finding a whole slew of ideas for making my own bath salts and scrubs.

    Since I was a kid, I've had really sensitive skin that will turn on me at a moments notice. And as I've gotten older, it's become worse. Over the last few years I've been moving away from my favorite products packed full of scented goodness (oh how I miss my Bath & Body Works Moonlit Path body butter) to simpler, perfume free ones that are kinder to my skin (a.k.a. Johnson's baby wash <---that stuff is brilliant if you don't mind smelling like a newborn).

    Even though I was able to move to the perfume free body washes, there were still some things I missed: body scrubs to be exact, especially in the winter. The really is nothing worse that dry, itchy skin that won't go away. I've found a few that I love (I adore the Dead Sea Scrub from Ritual Bath) but I'm trying to be frugal with my hard earned cash hence turning to the Internet for some homemade help!

    I know it shouldn't have come as a shock (of any kind) but I was stunned at the plethora of recipes and variations I was able to find when it comes to making my own scrubs. The options are endless but the base ingredients are all the same: salt or sugar, oil (vegetable oil, olive oil, almond oil) and a scent of your choosing.

    This afternoon I decided to whip up my first batch, just to see how I liked it. Thankfully, I already had everything I needed in my kitchen so my body scrub was ready in a snap. I opted for a minty sugar scrub and I am in love! Besides being ridiculously easy to make, it left my skin feeling silky smooth.

    Here are the ingredients and directions if you'd like to make your own!

    I used 1 cup of sugar, 1/3 cup of almond oil and a
    couple drops of mint extract (I didn't have peppermint oil, but this worked just as well)

    In a bowl I mixed the sugar, oil and mint together by adding the oil in a little at a time. 

    Once it was all mixed together, I put it into jars and sealed tightly. 

    15 December 2011

    Little bit of randomness

    • My obsession with the show 24 has moved to a whole new level. I think it's a good thing I didn't actually watch it when it was on t.v. I would have been a nervous wreck waiting for the weekly broadcast. AND having to wait for new seasons to come around?! No way. Even though I continue to lose sleep from staying up well past my bedtime and then dreaming about chasing terrorists down with Jack Bauer, I effing love this show. 
    • As much as I hate snow, I'm not terribly thrilled that we don't have any right now. It's weird. We've passed the mid-way point for December yet the white stuff is absent. It's unnatural.
    • I am totally late to the game, but could Pinterest be any more fun and entertaining than it already is?! It is such a great concept to have a virtual bulletin board. LOVE IT!
    • There are days when it takes all my self restraint to not throw my computer out the window. Today is one of those days. 
    • I need to shoot more rolls of film. 
    • I need to learn to develop my own film.
    • I'm really over this whole thing with folks being mad that some of us  say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" (yeah--that's right, I prefer to say HAPPY HOLIDAYS). I mean honestly, they aren't accomplishing anything other than sucking the holiday spirit out of everything. 

    12 December 2011

    Music Monday--Devendra Banhart

    I thought, this week, I would go for a song that I go to when I need a smile. I mean seriously, try listening to this song and not smile. I dare you! = )

    06 December 2011

    Mr. Perfect

    If he exists, he'll be a delightful combination of (in no particular order)....

    Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy because really, who doesn't love an uptight aristocrat in clingy pants? 

    Anderson Cooper as himself--Bad news never sounded so good.

    Chris O'Dowd as Officer Rhodes

    Jason Segel, 'nuff said.

    Jason Statham--there are no words.

    John Mayer--Yes, I went there and all I can say is the grungier the better. 

    Keifer Sutherland--I've instructed my friends that he is first on my "must call" list if I am ever kidnapped by a paramilitary group. 

    Rupert Penry Jones--He is second on my list of "must call" if I am ever kidnapped by a paramilitary group. 

    05 December 2011

    Sittin' On Top of the World

    I was fortunate to see Hubert Sumlin in the summer of 2007 at the Crossroads Guitar Festival in Chicago. Of all the performers I saw that day, Hubert was the most excited to be up on stage performing for all of us. His joy about being there was absolutely infectious. His was one of my favorite performances of the day. His passing is a great loss to the blues community but his legacy will live on in the music.


    03 December 2011

    Things that keep me up at 3a.m.

    • This obsession with 24 is going to kill me.
    • When will the "Leggings are not pants!" campaign end?! Don't like them--don't wear them. Simple as that.
    • I'm not entirely opposed to people playing matchmaker for me, it's just I worry the person they are trying to match me with will be disappointed. 
    • I really hope I'm not biting off more than I can chew with this attempt at the PHR exam.
    • I get it, life isn't fair but just because I accept it doesn't mean I have to like it.
    • Pretty sure my five year plan is not going to end on a high note.
    • It's cool--I don't need everyone to like me.
    • That's fine if Jason Segel wants to chase me around, but he seriously needs to leave the battle ax at home. 

    28 November 2011

    We're Going to be Friends

    Something a little different for this weeks installment of Music Monday.

    Thanks to Erin for posting this on Facebook!

    26 November 2011

    Let's try this....one....more.....time.....

    How quickly time flies!

    I cannot believe December is nearly here. And with it comes the start of my next 365 project. I know. I know. I'm pretty sure I've lost my mind, too. But I miss my cameras. A lot which means it's time to drag them out and getting shooting with them.

    This time around, I'm going with an all subjects theme. People. Places. Things. Myself. Who knows what'll I'll end up with but there will be a catch (isn't there always a catch)---it'll be a project in black and white.

    Personally, it is my favorite "form" of photography and one that I find to be quite challenging to produce. So, that's the plan.

    Now I just need to find a place to host the photos as to ensure they aren't just clogging up my hard drive where no one and see them!

    24 November 2011

    Today I am thankful for.....

    My friends and family who allow me to be a straight line is a world of squiggles.

    21 November 2011

    Music Monday: Shake It Out

    I am in a terrible musical rut.

    Nothing even sounds remotely interesting which is not good. It makes for very long and boring days at my desk when I listen to the same playlist and albums on Spotify over and over and over and over.

    One of those albums that has been on a pretty constant rotation since it's release is Ceremonials from Florence & The Machine. I'm not totally sure how I feel about the album as a whole. But, Florence Welch has one hell of a voice and thank to its lyrics the current single, Shake it Out has found it a permanent spot on my list of favorite songs.

    14 November 2011

    Music Monday: Say

    Last week I sent to see one of my favorite authors speak and during the Q&A session someone asked him the following question:

    "Who is your favorite band and why?"

    His answer to "who" was pretty straight forward--KISS. The answer to "why" was a little more complicated. He gave a pretty elaborate answer about what aspects of the band he thought were interesting (their music, their message, presentation, etc.) but ended with "When it really comes down to it, I just really like them."

    Not surprisingly, there was a collect giggle that came from the audience after what was the most honest answer I think I have ever heard given by someone when asked that question.

    So, for today installment of Music Monday I'm taking his lead and going with a song by a guy that I like for no other reason than I like him and I like this song::

    12 November 2011

    Wrapped Up in my Head Again

    • It is entirely possible to spend a very short amount of time with someone and feel like your whole consciousness has shifted.
    • At times I think the idea of things is better than the actual item itself. 
    • I am finally at peace with my past.
    • I've also come to terms with the idea that the perception people have of me may not be anywhere near the truth and that it's not responsibility to change that.
    • It's a tricky balance between doing what makes you happy and doing what you want to do. They are not mutually exclusive.

    07 November 2011

    31 October 2011

    Bring it November!

    Tomorrow is the big day. The start of NaNoWriMo 2011 and I can't wait!

    Last was my first attempt at the challenge and I fell short. Way short. Approximately 33000 words short of the 50000 word goal. But this year I'm am going to finish.

    Of course finishing the project might be a little easier if I actually had a plan in terms of what I am going to write. I've had a story bouncing around in my head for a few months now that I had originally thought would be used for this project. I feel like it is time to commit it to paper and now would be the perfect time to do just that. It's a fluffy romantic comedy  where undoubtedly the girl ends up with the guy. A real "this'll never happen in real life" fiction piece. But then there is this other story I have in my head--decidedly darker, a little scarier, a little more closer to real life. I'm just not sure I'm sold on the idea of of spending a month of my life forcing myself into some dark places and facing some demons from my past.

    As with most things these days, I'll most likely wing it and it'll end up being a combination of the two stories which will be hashed out when I sit down tomorrow evening to get things started.

    Begin by Todd Carey

    Somehow I missed the release of this song way back in May, but it's a good. In fact, I'm not sure there are any songs on Todd's albums that I skip over when they come on.

    Plus, he has a new Christmas song out as well which might just help get this Grinch into the holiday spirit.

    30 October 2011

    Rule #185 of Being a Lady

    Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.

    The Rule of Ladies

    26 October 2011

    The More You Know

    • I already knew it, but confirmed on Monday that David Sedaris is a bloody genius. He writes the way I wish I could write.
    • Two weeks until Chuck Klosterman!
    • The bigger the thunderstorm the better.
    • T-Minus 5 days until NaNoWriMo.
    • No matter how much you want to, you can never go back. 
    • I've been feeling a little out of sorts lately. There is definitely a shift/metamorphosis coming on and I'm not sure folks are going to like it. 

    17 October 2011

    So In Love

    This is the ultimate love song that I may or may not have dreamed about last night along with a certain baseball player. Yeah. It was awesome.

    16 October 2011

    Rule #180 of Being a Lady

    Fall in love when you are ready, not when you are lonely.

    The Rules of Ladies

    The Week In Review........

    • It was not the way I wanted to celebrate my birthday last night, but I shall be the better person and congratulate the Texas Rangers in their win against the Tigers in Game 6 of the ALCS. With the exception of last nights game, it really was a great series of some well played baseball by both teams.
    • Speaking of my birthday, I was overwhelmed by all the well wishes from friends and family. It was greatly appreciated! 
    • In most of the "So you want to be a vegetarian" books there has been a section devoted to over coming "the wall" that a lot of folks hit somewhere between 45 and 60 days. That wall is currently starting me in the face. I love that I am feeling MUCH better (I'm sleeping like a dream, my stomach problems are nearly non-existent and some of the symptoms from my PCOS are already starting to lessen) but I'm so over the nightly struggle to figure out what to make for dinner and lunches have been a NIGHTMARE (I love me some potatoes but I'm going to turn into one if I'm not careful). I mean, I've been doing a lot of experimenting and trying new things (I made a stew with parsnips and rutabaga this weekend for the first time!) which is fine, but there is always this little nagging voice in the back of my head warning me that it might taste like poo (kind of like the lunch "meat" I purchased last weekend---gnawing on a piece of cardboard should give the same results) and that it would be much easier to run to the store and pick up a package of chicken breasts to have with my salad. But easier isn't always better nor is it healthier, so I'm going to keep plugging away eating my kale and tofu, knowing that what doesn't kill me will make my stronger. I suppose in this case that would literally be true. 
    • Friday at her annual vet check up, it was discovered Sadie has a too-mah which will need to be removed. Surgery/day at the doggy spa in 2 weeks. 
    • That's really all I've got for the week. I just don't like leaving lists with less than five items. It's an OCD thing.

    14 October 2011

    Friday Favorites: The Big D

    I've missed a few weeks, but after losing a whole heck of a lot of sleep this week, I have the perfect favorite thing to share this time around.....my love for the Detroit Tigers.

    Any baseball fan will tell you, few things are better than an exciting game from your favorite team, especially when those games are played in the post season. And the last week of games from the Tigers as they battle the Texas Rangers in the ALCS have been (mostly) exciting.

    I don't remember becoming a Detroit Tigers fan. I've just always been one. The televised games were constantly on at our house and when a television wasn't near by the AM broadcast could be heard in the background of summer afternoons.

    When I was 12, my dad took my brother and me to Tigers Stadium for our first game. I will never forget that afternoon while we sat in our seats and watched the Tigers play a game against the Angles secretly hoping to snag a foul ball. I don't remember who won (I'm sure I have the program with the score tucked away somewhere) but I do remember grinning from ear to ear through the entire game. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget and it was all that it took to cemented my love for the team.

    Over the years, my dad and I have traveled from our sleepy little town in norther Michigan to Detroit to watch the Tigers play. We been to some pretty great moments in Tigers history--the last game played at Tigers Stadium, Alan Trammell's last game as a player and his first game as a manager and some not so great moments, most notably the ridiculously awful 2003 season where they went 43-119. We traveled first to Tiger Stadium and then to Comerica Park and even traveled to other cities to watch them as the visiting team. But through it all, when others were abandoning the team for better players, better teams and better seasons, my dad and I stuck with the Tigers, a team (which for me) exemplifies the meaning of working hard and refusing to buckle under pressure.

    Now, nearly twenty years later, to see the Tigers forcing game 6 in the ALCS, is almost like a dream (no, I have forgotten about their trip to the World Series in 2006). After seeing so many losing seasons it's a place you hoped they'd eventually be and here they are and I couldn't be more excited about it. I can't wait to see how the boys of summer play this weekend and will hopefully be able to celebrate their trip to this years World Series.

    10 October 2011

    Lost Myself In Search of You

    I've found myself relating a little too closely to this song again which makes it the perfect choice for Music Monday.

    09 October 2011

    Advice I Wish I'd Received

    A photographer whom I greatly admire and has been wicked supportive of my photography shared this the other day. It's a quote from Ira Glass that I wish I would have been given a long time ago.

    07 October 2011

    Random Notes of the Week

    • I can no longer party like a rock star.
    • Thank you Detroit Tigers for not breaking my heart. Bring it Rangers!
    • Sometimes all you need is a note from a friend to turn things around and make you smile.
    • NaNoWriMo starts in 24 days. I can't wait!!
    • Yep.....I'm a girl and I've got kinda big boobs. You're just going to have to deal with it.
    • I am officially taking myself off all my meds. It's just not working for me anymore and it's time time try something else.

    03 October 2011


    First things first.....

    This song totally creeps me out, but for whatever reason I've listened to it on near constant repeat the last three or four days because of the line Suddenly I'm in over my head and I can hardly breathe

    27 September 2011

    Tuesday's Tidbits

    • Mat Kearney at Interlochen---TONIGHT---yes, please!!
    • I officially HATE shopping for clothes. Seriously. How hard it is to find a simple black dress?!
    • I am a terrible speller.
    • I LOVE pickles.
    • I would much rather write something out by hand instead of using a computer. This could be why it is taking me so bloody long to finish my novel.
    • I am completely obsessed with Words with Friends.
    • I prefer black and white photography over color photography.
    • I very rarely cook using actual recipes.
    • I've started a new blog to use for my journey into veganism and I'm kind of excited about it. 
    • I will take smart, dry, witty humor over slapstick any day. 

    26 September 2011

    Girl America

    The first time I saw Mat Kearney in concert, was from the parking lot of the New England Dodge Music in Hartford, CT. We caught part of a couple songs while trying to decide what to do after Mayer cancelled his show due to illness. Since then, I have seen him twice (at one of the shoes he proclaimed to love me which is awesome but not as fun as it sounds) and will be seeing him again tomorrow night at Interlochen. Whoop! Whoop!

    So for today's installment of Music Monday, I thought I'd go for with my favorite song, Girl America, which is off his first album, Nothing Left to Lose.

    And from his new album, Young Love,  Hey Mama.

    Happy Monday, ya'll!

    23 September 2011

    Friday Favorites: I Mailed Myself a Love Letter Yesterday

    Keeping with my theme from earlier today, one of my favorite poems from Mike McGee, I Mailed Myself a Love Letter Yesterday.

    L-O,L-O,L-O,L-O-V-E....I'm talkin' bout love.

    I've gone back and forth with myself all week as to whether or not I should tackle the topic at hand again. I kind of feel like it's a "been there, done that" kind of thing but it's been on my mind a lot. And it also seems to be on the minds of quite few of my fellow female bloggers (most of whom are much better than me at this sort of thing).

    What has struck me the most after reading these posts was the common topic or theme, "What is wrong with me?". Believe me, I've been there myself and am constantly battling with myself about how I feel about myself. I find myself constantly comparing my friends who have found "their one" and are falling in love, starting families, doing all that stuff we are told as girls we should aspire to have and then made to feel if we don't have it, we're broken or something is wrong with us or we must be unlovable. But worst of all, if we really feel like we are o.k. with our singleness and try to explain why we're o.k. with it, then that's the worst thing of all because we've either given up on ourselves or we're just over compensating and making excuses for why we don't have any of the above.


    How does not having any of that mean there is something wrong with us? How does not having any of that mean we are broke or damaged goods? Why does not having any of that require that we single ladies change who we are or compromise what we want for this weird societal notion of what will make us "happy"?

    I know I tend to come off as a little extreme in the whole "I don't need a man to......." area of things. But that's because I don't. I don't need a man to make me feel complete or whole or make me happy. That does not mean, however that it isn't a struggle everyday to not get down on myself for being "alone". It's a struggle everyday to not want to kill the part of me that wants to be with someone, to love someone and to have them love me back. It's a struggle everyday to not feel sorry for myself that I am alone and that I'm pretty good at falling for the guys who for whatever reason will never be available to get to know me (don't think I don't recognize that one of J's greatest appeals is that he lives/works in DC). Yes, I would love to meet someone, fall in love, have kids (not, omitting marriage wasn't a typo), live happily ever after. But none of that is going to really make me happy.

    It's a completely cliche thing to say before someone can love you, you need to love yourself. I know. I've heard it time and time again and hearing it makes me want to puke. But the worst part about that is that it's true. But just because it's true doesn't mean that it is any easier. In fact, it almost makes it worse because how on earth are we supposed to "love ourselves" when we are constantly bombarded with books and movies and magazines and rules that tell us otherwise? And seriously Hollywood, could we stop with the over romanticized versions of love and relationships already because I'm not sure I've ever really heard of a guy a girls been pining over for months/years chase her down on a rainy, autumn night professing how he's been a fool and he's really loved her from the moment they first met in college. Shit like that doesn't happen in real life (although if it has happened to you I'm willing to say that am wrong). But we're made to believe that it does and that we should want that for ourselves and it if we don't have that or get that then we're broken.

    But we're not broken. There is nothing wrong with us. We are smart, independent, strong women who are going to be o.k.

    19 September 2011


    Staying on the theme of Mayer, today's installment of Music Monday is the Trio.

    18 September 2011

    Room for Squares-10 Years Later

    Today marked the 10 year anniversary of the release Room for Squares. As cliche as it sounds, it's an album that completely changed my life.

    The first time I had heard any of Mayer's music, it was after his EP, Inside Wants Out was released in 1999. One of the guys I worked with at the time played My Stupid Mouth for me and I will never forget thinking, "Finally......Someone else gets it!". It instantly became one of my favorite songs and that still holds true today.

    When I first listened to Room for Squares I didn't instantly fall in love with it. In fact, it took quite awhile for me to really even like let alone love the album. You see, music had always my escape. When I listen to music, it is my time to forget about the real world and just fade into nothingness. Listening to music was my initial form of meditation. But the songs (most of them at least) on Room for Squares were just too "heavy". I related to them too much and the last thing I wanted to do was listen to a bunch of songs that reminded me of how I was already feeling. There really isn't much of an escape in that. Plus, I found Your Body is a Wonderland to be a bit creepy. And even if you change the words to "Your body is a taco stand" it still gave me the creeps.

    For some reason though I kept going to back to the album, listening to it again and again and finally falling into crazy mad love with it. And as most everyone knows, how I felt about Mayer's music then is how I feel about it today. It's almost as if his music feels like home--like an old friend whose got your back and won't let you down.

    Deeper than all of that, it is because of this album that I have traveled to all parts of the country, experienced and seen things I would have never imagined possible and most importantly met some of the most amazing women I am lucky enough to call friends.

    It is very weird to think that if it wasn't because of this album (I guess technically you could say it was because of Inside Wants Out but I didn't actually buy that cd until after I purchased Room for Squares) that I wouldn't be able to call them friends. Our paths would have never crossed. My friends Heather, Vickie and I have talked about it before.....talked about how much we owe to Mayer and his music and when we do it all seems like a big joke. It's pretty ridiculous to feel like you owe a huge debt of gratitude to a dude you have never met (and for the record never want to meet). But it is so true. Without his music, without his album my life would be drastically different. I would be different. And that is all because of this album of 13 tracks released by a 24 year old dude from Connecticut.

    Even though it's not from Room for Squares, I leave you with one of my absolute favorite songs from Mayer. This song, before all others, sums up why I am such a huge fan of the man and his music.

    Cooking up a storm! Potato & Leek Soup

    I love to cook. I just don't do it very often because when you're flying solo, the thought of eating the same thing for a week straight to make sure food doesn't go to waste isn't a grand idea. BUT I've decided to start channeling my inner math Goddess (to adjust recipes for a single gals lifestyle), pull the dusty cookbooks off the shelves and get cooking (vegetarian and vegan style)!

    One of my favorite foods is soup. I love it in all its various forms and incarnations. Broth based soups. Stews. Chili (it totally deserves its own category). I figured with a Michigan fall and winter right around the corner, today was the perfect day to try out a new recipe which turned out to be super simple and really delicious......Potato & Leek soup.

    After a bit of internet research and flipping through a few of my cookbooks, I came to realize there are loads of different recipes to make this, but they are all essentially the same. For my recipe I used the following:

    1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
    3 Leeks, coarsely chopped
    1 Clove of garlic, minced
    2 Cups Sliced White Mushrooms
    4 Medium russet potatoes chopped (some recipes called for them to be peeled--I did not peel my potatoes)
    2 Cups of vegetable broth
    1/2 Cup of water

    In a stock pot, I warmed the oil over medium heat before adding the leeks, garlic and mushrooms until they released their liquids.
     I then added the potatoes, broth and water and brought the whole thing to a boil. I let the whole thing simmer until the potatoes were tender before using my hand blender to puree the soup.

    To serve, I added a little salt and pepper to taste and enjoyed it along side a piece of crusty French bread.

    I would rate this recipe as a success although next time I think I'll try it without pureeing everything together (the soup is really, really thick). It really will be the perfect soup to have on a blustery winter evening. 

    12 September 2011

    Can't Wait for Perfect by Bob Reynolds

    Bob Reynold & Robby McIntosh  DTE 7.28.2010
    I'm doubling up on todays topic.

    I'm quite late to the party, but I have been listening to Bob Reynold's new album A Live Life ever since I got home from work this afternoon. It's amazing. My favorite song is the third track, Can't Wait for Perfect. Sometimes a song just hits you in the right spot and it's impossible to explain. That is how I feel about Can't Wait for Perfect. It's even better when preceded by Can't Wait for Perfect (Prelude) and then followed by Can't Wait for Perfect (Epilogue).

    Who Did You Think I Was

    It's Monday!!

    I have had this song stuck in my head all day so I figured I share for Music Monday (yet another theme I have stolen from Micah).

    Plus....double bonus....my musical boyfriend is in this one. And no I'm not talkin' about Mayer.

    11 September 2011

    Things I've Learned This Week

    As well as things I already knew but still figured I'd share!

    • I love me some miso soup.
    • I have an amazing core group of friends.
    • I need subtitles for movies that include Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
    • I'm  a pretty good sunflower farmer.
    • Making and sticking with some pretty major lifestyle changes would be easier is people actually supported you instead of made fun of you.
    • The more ridiculous as action movie is (i.e. The Expendables) the more I love it!
    • "Drama" is only present if you allow it to be.
    • It's time for a new tattoo!
    • An amazing, from the soul, guitar solo almost always beats out beautiful lyrics.
    • Almond before rice before soy milk.
    • I need to watch more Jet Li movies. 

    Apparently I'm not busy enough

    I don't know when I began o.k. with having a ridiculously full plate but that is how things are going right now. Don't get me wrong, I'm totally grateful. It's just that sometimes I wonder if I'm built for this kind of "busy".

    To the point.....This past week I received a promotion at work. Can I get a whoop! whoop! With the promotion comes a bit more responsibility (obviously) but also comes with a little more of a confirmation for myself that this is an area of work I find to be fascinating.

    For those who don't know, I work in human resources. I know--but it's true! I actually work in a human resources off and trust me, I am the least "hr" in the office. But it's good. This job feeds my need for things to be relatively unpredictable and life in HR is just that. You just never quite know what is going to come across your desk.

    Like I said, I am preparing to take on a little bit more to my schedule as a direct result of my promotion. I've been pondering it for a while, but after chatting with my boss about it, I have decided to go for my PHR certification. Thankfully there are no classes to attend, but on the flip slide it's just a test. One, really long, multiple choice test. Blech--I don't do well on tests. But that's o.k. I've already ordered the study guide. I've made my list of study supplies that I need to purchase (fresh highlighters, index cards, etc.) and am mentally preparing to tackle the challenge ahead of me!

    10 September 2011

    O Photography, how I have missed thee

    Orchid at 2 Lads Winery
    Having surgery this summer totally threw me off my photography game. I can count on one hand how many times I picked up my camera for fun since 7/1/11. To me, that is absolutely insane considering I completed two 365 projects back to back (including one that I started at the beginning of this year but bailed after 106 days). I mean seriously, that is a LOT of photographs.

    Chateau Grand Traverse
    Today, after debating with myself as to whether or not I should bring my camera with me, I gave in and dragged it along with me to my friends bachelorette party/winery tour. That was by far, one of the best decisions I have made in quite a long time. It felt so good to not only have my camera in my hands again but to also look at the world a little differently. And to be able to capture things I wanted to capture and not what the client wants me to capture. It was also quite nice to not really take a photograph of a single person today.

    2 Lads
    Today also confirmed for me how much I truly love the medium of photography and that I really need, not just want but need to get back in the habit of shooting more for myself. I need to get back into using this as a way to stretch my creative legs and to create something beautiful, even if the subject is more than a little mundane. Trust me. I'm not starting another project (although I have toyed with the idea of doing another 365 when I get my new gear) but I'm definitely going to be shooting more and possible sharing what I've captured. What good is a photograph if it just sits on my hard drives (that's not a typo) taking up space?

    Old Mission Peninsula 

    09 September 2011

    Friday Favorites: Glad to be Unhappy

    It's Friday!

    Which I am very happy about because it means two days off with nothing to do! Except drink wine all day tomorrow but I digress (I am obsessed with that word by the way).

    I'm going to totally catch a lot of flack for this but I adore this song, whether it be Sinatra  or Billie Holiday or the video of Mayer singing it with Chris Botti below. Watch it. Enjoy it. And have a fantastic weekend!

    08 September 2011

    Adieu la Viande

    My first week of being meat free has come and gone and I have to say--it's been quite a success.

    Thankfully I didn't eat much meat to begin with, so the transition hasn't been so terrible. The biggest struggle is figuring out lunches, but like I said, it's not been bad. I've even come to the conclusion that it's time to cut out all dairy from my diet as well. One would think that would have been a given and something I'd done a long time ago considering my allergies, but no such luck there. I love cheese too much. But, it really needs to be done and now is the time to do it.

    So why all of a sudden the decision to make all these changes?

    So many reasons. So little time.

    Just kidding. There is only one reason. I've been reading loads of books and articles and watching documentary after documentary on the subject and they've all essentially lead to the same conclusion which I think we all already knew--it's a healthier way to live.

    Plus, there is the potential to control my depression and PCOS WITHOUT MEDICATION! That's so huge on so many levels. And believe me, I know it's a bit of a long shot for both of them and no matter much people make fun of me for making this decision (seriously--what is up with that? It is so unbelievably annoying), I'm totally willing to give it a shot.

    05 September 2011

    Random Bits: Movie Edition

    • I love Jason Statham movies. He is seriously bad ass.
    • If you could take John Krasinski's character in Something Borrowed and smoosh him into Chris O'Dowd's character from Bridemaids to form one dude, the end result would be my perfect guy.
    • I'm not typically a huge fan of movies that are based on books, but American Psycho is a GREAT movie.
    • Yeah, I'll admit it. I hate Citizen Kane. Spoiler Alert: Two hours of angst and agony over a sled. In case you missed that, a fucking sled. I'm sure to have lost a least a month of my life from having watch it in every film related course I have taken.
    • I have never watched any of the Rocky films or the Godfather films.
    • I do love Indiana Jones.
    • Toby Stephens plays the best Mr. Rochester. 
    • The line "I think I'd miss you even if we never met"' from The Wedding Date gets me every single time I watch that movie.
    • It took me forever to give in and watch it, but Almost Famous is one of my absolute favorite movies.
    • Sometimes, the soundtrack is the most important part of the movie.

    03 September 2011

    18 Day Challenge

    Giving yourself room to bloom.

    I mentioned something about this the other day or at least I think I did. It may have been in a previous draft that didn't really see the light of day. Regardless, I am most definitely going through something (I think it is fascinating that others have seen it in me before I saw it in myself). I don't know what it is or what brought it on, but it is definitely there like an unwanted stranger following me around everywhere I go---you know when you are walking down the street and feel like someone is walking behind you and it kind of freaks you out? That's how this feels--all the time. A little bit creepy but mostly annoying and extremely frustrating.

    In an attempt to figure out what is going on and work through it all, I'm taking on an 18 Day Challenge. The idea from doing the challenge came from LOVEronica and even though I'm starting MONTHS after it was posted, it's better late than never.

    Starting tomorrow, for a minimum of fifteen minutes, first thing in the morning (even before my morning mediation), I'll do a session of free form writing--putting anything and everything that comes to mind down on paper. Letting it all come up. And when my time is up, I'll crinkle the paper up and burn it. No re-reading what I wrote. No sharing what I wrote. But most importantly--no judging what I wrote.

    If nothing else, I am hoping the process will at least help me get out all the toxic thoughts, feelings, emotions, energy, everything I have been unnecessarily carrying around with me. None of is it useful or helping me with anything. It's just extra funk taking up space and it's time to release it.

    01 September 2011

    So long Cow!

    Ahhh.....the first day of a new month! What a perfect time to start working on making some changes.

    This is actually one of the items on my bucket list and I have done it in the past, it's just not stuck. But regardless of the past failed attempts, we're going to give it another go........giving up meat. I hesitate to say that I'm going to go full on vegetarian at this point. Baby steps. It's all about baby steps. And yes I should technically be cutting out all dairy, too, considering I'm allergic to it (but cheese is sooooooo good!) but not so fast.

    So, I'm starting small. No meat for 30 days and then I'll take out the dairy and eggs (ooh.....do eggs really fall under dairy or would that be considered meat since they are really baby chickens?! You'll never look at an egg the same way again, will you.....WILL YOU!) but I flat out refuse to give up honey. That is just not going to happen....period.

    Why am I doing this? The same reason everyone else who is a vegetarian is doing it: a healthier life style, better for the environment, etc. But it is also going to open up an entirely new world of food and cooking for me, which I am quite excited about. I am looking forward to dusting off the cookbooks and doing a little experimentation!

    31 August 2011

    Finding My Center

    Still your mind in me, still yourself in me, and without a doubt you shall be united with me, Lord of Love, dwelling in your heart. -Bhagavad Gita

    I have totally lost track of how many times I have tried to write this post. I think this in version six or seven. It's just that every time I try to put this into words, I fail miserably and I come off sound liking some giant cheese ball. And believe me, if I wasn't the one writing this, I would still think I was a giant cheese ball for even writing it!

    Moving on.....

    The last four or five months have been kind of interesting, but not in a good way. They have not been the "wow--that's really kind of cool" interesting. They've been more of the "huh--really?!" kind of interesting. Needless to say, it's not been great.

    I will admit that part of it was because of my surgery. I wasn't really expecting an almost 6 week hiatus from real life, but honestly---most of it started long before that.

    I have felt completely scattered. I've been totally unable to focus on anything--reading, my photography, my painting, projects around the house. They've all become increasingly difficult because I can't focus long enough to accomplish anything. And sleep has become an elusive bedfellow choosing to show up at inappropriate times, if it even shows up at all (seriously----even when I was on some pretty heavy painkillers post surgery I was unable to sleep). Instead, I am constantly exhausted yet have a hard time sitting still. I've become super cranky and irritable and my sense of frustration goes from zero to sixty in no time at all.

    Worst of all, the last few weeks I have even been struggling to focus while meditating, which has never happened before. I can usually sit in my space with my music (or sometimes in complete silence) and just let everything else go. I can usually sit and focus on my breath and refocus on myself and come out of it with a total sense of peace and tranquility (trying to explain this feeling is like trying to explain why the sky is blue ). Lately, I'm lucky if I can sit still for 10 minutes and half the time I'm thinking about everything else I could/should be doing. It has been extremely frustrating.

    This past weekend, in an attempt to get myself "back on track" I decided to make myself a new set of mala beads. I just didn't feel a connection to the set I had previously been using (sounds a bit odd, I know, but it's true!) and knowing how much they had helped in the past, was really hoping they'd do the same thing again.

    To say I was pleasantly surprised would be a total understatement. First, just the act of making the mala's was enough to help get me to refocus. Pouring positive energy into the project did something, almost like flipping a switch. It almost felt like it was instantaneous--one minute my mind was wandering off in a half dozen different directions and the next I was chanting mantras in my head and my plan to make one mala turned into making four (if anyone would like one, I am more than happy to pass one along to you). And it's been fantastic how quickly I've been able to refocus on my meditation and my breath. It feels almost as though I never had any issue with it to begin with. Like I'm on my way back to where I need to be. Like I'm on my way home to me.

    29 August 2011

    I AM Openness.

    The daily affirmation I have been using while meditating.

    As I breathe deeply into my body and turn my full attention to all that I see, hear, taste, and touch in this moment, I open and relax, allowing the unique intelligence and beauty of my life to flower.

    -Veronica Krestow

    Stick a fork in me, I'm done!!

    Done seeing Dr. K that is.

    Today was my 9 week, post-surgery appointment. I knew going in that this was most likely going to be my last appointment and I was mostly right.

    I am happy to say he said everything looks great and was actually a little surprised that I'm doing so well considering the relatively short time. I still have to be a wee bit careful in terms of being diligent with my stretching. My Achilles tendon is still healing so I need to watch for any additional pain/discomfort. Otherwise, I'm good to go!

    I have a six month follow-up appointment but permission to cancel it if I feel like I don't need to see him again (medically speaking of course).

    What does this all mean?

    For my own peace of mind, I'm giving myself an extra week for healing (even though I went in feeling fantastic, things are a little tender after Dr. K was poking around on the bottom of my foot) and then I'll start working out. I figure the elliptical is a good place to start and will get me through the winter so in the spring I can start running. I realize it is only the end of August and there are a good two and a half months until the snow starts to fly, but I don't want to do anything to jeopardize my recovery. I've waited way too long to be pain free, so I'm going against my natural tendencies and am going to take this nice and slow. Plus, this will give me some time to work out a plan, set some goals and not over do it so I get discouraged and quit.

    28 August 2011

    Things I've Learned This Week

    • I have the patients of a saint.
    • I've confirmed that I really dislike, even hate talking in front of groups of people.
    • The Politics section of a bookstore is an interesting place to be hit on by a cute hipster.
    • When you have a craving for a cheeseburger, it is best not to indulge that craving with a trip to Burger King. You will regret it.
    • It is entirely possible to eat too many peanut butter M&M's.
    • Having a cold enhances my ability to be funny ten fold. Or it could just be the combination of said cold and DayQuil. Regardless, I'm freaking hilarious.
    • My "Things to complete before I am 35" list kind of sucks. It's packed fulled of responsible adult things like "put more money into my 401K" and "Reduce that debt!" Where is the funny in any of that?!
    • It's o.k. that sometimes I actually like my job even if I'm not sure I want to do it where I am at for the rest of my working days.
    • In the grand scheme of things, I don't think I really care how much wood a wood chuck can chuck on any given day.
    • Even though I've stopped keeping an official written journal, I do need to put things down on paper to work through the muck in my head.
    • Sometimes, not matter how much you don't want to or how much it hurts to do so, it's best to cut your losses and let some relationships go.

    26 August 2011

    Friday Favorites: Direct Orders

    Why did I think a theme was a good idea?! I must have thought that it would keep me on track but now that it's time to actually do it, I'm not so sure it was my best move. Whatev.

    Historically, I'm not a huge fan of sharing (I'm getting better though!!). One of my biggest pet peeves is telling someone about Random Item A which they poo-poo without hesitation only to have them turn around weeks or months later and tell me how AWESOME Random Item A is and that I really need to check it out. Even worst yet is when they flat out deny that we've never even spoken about Random Item A in the past. Granted, most of the time when this happens, it is with people who resist anything new until it goes mainstream, but I digress and have a chart to kind of sort of by not really illustrate my point:
    Courtesy of Scott Crowe: Actor, Runner, Maker of Things

    But for the sake of sticking with my plan and being more open, we're gonna do this. Every Friday. And I'm going to be o.k. with it. 

    To start, I was originally going to go with my favorite daily reads a.k.a "What is found in my Google Reader!" but that's already on my blog and seemed a little redundant. And then I thought about the YouTube channel I watch pretty regularly but I feel like that is one of those things you either get or you don't (It's LOVEronica for those who are interested) and I've not the energy to really go there right now. So, that pretty much leaves us with either a whole lot of something or a whole lot of nothing. 

    Because I've really not anything terribly exciting to say and am still battling this ridiculous cold, I'm going with another favorite spoken word performance which I think is quite fitting for this Friday evening while the east coast battles against Mother Nature.

    Direct Orders by Anis Mojgani

    25 August 2011

    Whoopee!! More Books!!!

    'Tis true. I went shopping at Borders today and bought more books.

    The last thing I really needed to do was purchase more books, but I just couldn't resist. The email from Borders this morning announcing additional discounts was too good to pass up. PLUS......there were books that I put back last time and was annoyed with myself for having done so. So, I figured this was the universe telling me I had a second chance at some good reads and that today was the day to do it.

    As I was last week, I am pretty excited about my purchases, including the book I put back last time that I wished I hadn't. AND, they had one copy of a book I have gone back and worth about for months as to whether or not I wanted to read it (and not the local library does not carry a copy, I've already checked). I mean seriously, how is that not a sign that I was supposed to go book shopping today (I may or may not still be trying to justify the purchases--whatever).

    So yeah....I think I have managed to sufficiently purchase enough items to get me through the end of the year (I still have 13 books to go before I hit my goal of 60 books for 2011!) but I'm not ruling out another trip before the store closes its doors for good.

    From top to bottom: Love is a Mix Tape: Life & Loss, One Song at a Time by Rob Sheffield, The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly, Something Borrowed by Emily Griffin, BS of A by Brian Sack, The Big Rewind: A Memoir Brought to You by Pop Culture by Nathan Rabin and Confession of a Buddhist Atheist by Stephen Batchelor

    Oh and rumor has it that a new book store will be moving into the space Borders is leaving which makes this reader a very happy girl!

    22 August 2011

    Rule #93 of Being a Lady

    Be the flame, not the moth. 

    The Rule of Ladies

    Random Notes

    • After a self conducted experiment, I have deduced that there is only so much cold medicine one can take before their body says "No more!" and stops reaping the benefits of the medicine.
    • I don't think we'll ever really know why the chicken crossed the road.
    • It's taken me a ridiculously long time to realize that I'm not crazy, I just feel things differently than everyone else.
    • Even though I think it's a lovely thought, I'm just not sure marriage is in my future.
    • If however, that day does come along (and this is not a joke), I'm going to elope to Iceland and will send out a mass text message to let everyone know.
    • I'd like a signature lawn ornament for my front yard--I'm thinking maybe a peacock.
    • Speaking of peacocks, I think I would like to decorate my bedroom using the colors of a peacock feather (emerald, purple, gold, white, black).
    • I don't understand religion.
    • The previous statement might seem a bit odd considering my renewed commitment to studying Buddhism, which many consider to be a religion.
    • If it wasn't for Twitter, I wouldn't have a clue as to what was going on in the world. Sad, but true. Three cheers for @AndersonCooper and @Maddow!
    • Meditation has become my lifeline.
    • It frustrates me to no end that I have to qualify somethings by saying "This is not a joke".
    • I'd like to turn my backyard into an English garden.
    • I do believe in love at first sight and that love will conquer all.

    20 August 2011

    Rule #150 of Being a Lady

    Forget the risk and take the fall.
    If it's meant to be, then it's worth it all.

    The Rule of Ladies

    Friday Favorites: Borders & Books

    *I started typing this last night, but didn't quite finish (I was too busy saving Los Angeles from some wicked aliens with Jen and Marcus), so since it was started on Friday, I'm keeping the title even though its really Saturday*

    I am still in a little bit of shock that Borders is closing its doors. I love that store. Yes. I may be a little partial because I worked there. And Yes. I do most of my shopping from Amazon (in my own defense, I live nearly an HOUR from the nearest Borders and with most of society have an insatiable need for instant gratification) because of my Kindle which we all know I love.

    Regardless, Borders has always been an almost required stop on my trips to TC. There really is nothing like walking into your favorite section and being surrounded by the stories and words of worlds you've never dreamed of. I would wander the aisles and end caps, usually drawn by the books that have the best covers (yes, I am that person who reads a book for its cover) and walk out with a few new selections to add to my library ranging anywhere from fiction to history to book on Buddhism. I never went in with a plan but never left unhappy.

    Jen and I headed to Borders this evening to take advantages of their "close out prices" and to potentially say "good-bye" to one of my favorite places. I had a plan going in to round out my Austen and Bronte, replace old copies with new. I'd hoped to finish a couple of series that I already own but don't match (don't even get my started on my OCD). I even had a few new titles I was in search of as well as snagging a couple of blank journals.

    Did I stick with my plan? No.

    Did I stick to my budget? No.

    Did I walk out with a large stack of books? Yes.

    Am I super excited about my purchases? Yes.

    Am I still really sad that Borders is going away? Very much so.

    From top to bottom, last nights purchases include Squirrel seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris, Wishin' and Hopin' by Wally Lamb, The Snark Handbook by Lawrence Dorfman, You are Here by Thich Nhat Hanh, The Heart of the Revolution by Noah Levine, Barrel Fever by David Sedaris, Major Works and Poems by Edgar Allen Poe, Life by Keith Richards and a cookbook on making curries. I also purchased a new case for Ichabod, my iPod which is not pictured. 

    17 August 2011

    Cotton in the Air

    I've decided that over the next few weeks, I'm going to share some of my favorite works done by other folks. And by works I mean poems. Writing poetry is my first love (I've even had a few publish---say wha! Awesome) and as I've grown older, I especially come to love spoken word. Hearing someone read their own work breathes a whole new life into it that one doesn't get when you read the words for yourself.

    Tonight, I'm going with Cotton in the Air by Derrick Brown. I adore this poem almost as much as I adore the man himself. He has such an amazing ability to weave together words and imagery, I can't help falling in love every time I listen to this piece.

    I also had the pleasure of meeting Derrick last fall at a poetry reading where he signed my copy of Scandalabra, which contains his poem about Traverse City!

    16 August 2011

    I'm Getting My Read On

    At the beginning of the year, I made some New Year non-Resolutions. I didn't want to officially refer to them as a New year Resolution as it was too much of a commitment for this commitmentphobe to sign up for. One of those non-resolutions was to read my books. Yup....I even qualified it. Books. Not blogs. Not magazines. Not newspapers. Book. Lots and lots of books. I even used Goodreads (I seriously love that website—not only can I stalk my friends reading habits, but sometimes the book reviews are a little more helpful than the ones found on Amazon's website) to track my progress with their 2011 Reading Challenge. At first I started with a goal of 35 books and then bumped it to 40 and then 50 and we are now at a goal of 60 books read by December 31, 2011.

    Why the increase in reading material? One word. Actually, two words. My Kindle.

    When I first decided to take on the challenge, I had hopes of making my way through the crazy, random library of books residing in one of my spare bedrooms. I used to work at Borders (rest in peace, land of my favorite books sellers—I shall miss you) and took advantage of my employee discount, a lot. More so than I really should have been allowed to. My thought was that I'd make my way through my collection, simultaneously checking books off my giant list of “Oooh, I can't wait to read that book!” books.

    But then I bought my Kindle. Klaus V1.0 (I currently own Klaus V2.0 as Klaus V1.0 met his demise when a dog who shall remain nameless *coughcoughsadiecoughcough* knocked him off his perch on the couch, shattering his screen). It was a total game changer.

    I took full advantage of the free classics and a great many of the $0.99 self published books (just because you can put pen to paper and tell a story does not mean you are a writer and should be publishing things. And yes. I am calling myself out on this one—I am not a writer and would do well to remind myself of this a little more often) before making my way into the genres of Steampunk and trashy Romance novels (the more pillaging and plundering the better!). In the mix were some books I ended up really liking (Soulless, The Sherlockian), some I loved (Iron Duke, the entire Brides of the Kindred series, Pride & Prejudice & Zombies) and some I hated (if ya'll want to know what those books are, I'm not so bitchy that I'll post them here).

    Regardless of the quality (or lack of quality in most cases) of the books I have read, the important thing is that I've read them. Believe me, when I started the year I figured there was no way I'd make it to 35 books (passed it—booya bitches!) or that I'd have to up the ante (currently holding strong at 47 books) to 60. But I have. And I love it!

    Tonight I'm starting my next book, which combines two of the three areas of literature I apparently really love: the classics and romance (too bad there isn't a zeppelin or crazy, steam powered robot in this one): Lady Chatterley's Lover. Only one of my friends on Goodreads has read it and didn't give a it a very good review, but considering it's a book that has been the subject of great controversy, it's history begs for it to be read. Hopefully it doesn't disappoint.

    Hurling Crowbirds at Mockingbars (Hope is Not a Course of Action)

    I could quote this poem all day long. It's a beautiful piece by Buddy Wakefield whom (or is it who, I've never been able to figure that rule out) I had the pleasure of meeting last fall.

    Hurling Crowbirds at Mockingbars (Hope is Not a Course of Action)

    15 August 2011

    It's like watching a train wreck....

    .....it's just so hard to look away!

    This is sadly how I feel about Mad Men.

    I have a number of friends who just looooove this show. They love the characters. The storyline. The style of the era. And they especially love Jon Hamm. I just don't get it. Never before have I watched a show that makes me want to burn my bra and join the feminist revolution. And even when you take out the sexist behavior of every man on the show and the passive behavior of the females, the good storyline is so buried you'd miss it if you blinked.

    I know. I know. The show is set in a period much different than today and that I need to set aside my crazy modern views aside, but yeah.......that's not going to happen any time soon.

    14 August 2011

    Arbitrary Observations

    • I own entirely too many notebooks, journal, composition books, sketchbooks, watercolor books, books of blank sheet music and other such items in which one might use to express themselves. 
    • I don't understand what all the fuss is about Mad Men and am preparing a full post to explain why.
    • I'd like to live in world where shoes were not a requirement. I'd go barefoot 24-7 if I could.
    • I do my best work between 7pm and 2am.
    • I hate Sundays. And Sundaes. Nothing has ever come from either of them.
    • I don't know a thing about fashion but love fashion magazines and fashion blogs.
    • Speaking of blogs, my Google Reader is OUT OF CONTROL. I really need to slash some reads from the feeder but they are all so good.

    Pretty Girl - David Ryan Harris

    1. This is an amazing song.
    2. I still can't believe I was at this house party.

    And I have the photo to prove it!
    Kelly, Heather, DRH, Vickie, Moi

    Thanks for reading!

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