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!

Thanks for reading!

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