Friday, September 30, 2011

- Addiction

I have managed to live 28 years without ever forming an addiction to any substance.

Sure, I smoked.  Sometimes more heavily than others.  But mostly it was social and one day after I smoked the last cigarette I had, I never bought another pack.  I've never missed the smoking, only the activities I was doing while smoking like dancing in the grass at a concert or talking all night with bff's.  I have maybe smoked 3 times since "quitting", and that was nearly 7 years ago.  I regret it every time.

Alcohol and I totally great friends and have a pretty awesome together (until the next morning) but we are not dependent on each other.

Sometimes I feel like I'm addicted to things - bands, facebook, rugby, an awesome hoodie sweatshirt, or leggings...but they aren't really addictions...more like obsessions.

But, now I have a legitimate addiction.  About 2 and a half weeks ago I started drinking coffee every day during the work week.  Like pretty much every other person in the world.  That is unusual for me though, since I'm pretty sensitive to caffeine and can get totally jittery, I pretty much avoid it.  But it's fall and Starbucks has some delicious seasonal coffees and I started to like that my morning commute included a cup in hand.  That first week I didn't sleep much, so I downgraded from a grande to a tall.  Then I went to NC and drank coffee every day over the weekend, which is definitely not part of my normal routine.  But, I wanted to.  I enjoyed it.

This past Wednesday I decided to forgo my cup because I was running late and felt like I was awake enough to get through the day.  Then Wednesday night I got a headache that was persistent.  I thought I could be dehydrated, or just tired...I get so headaches so rarely, and for only those reasons, that I decided to just drink a lot of water and go to bed.  That headache woke me up promptly at 6AM.  Still going strong.

Can I just say that I usually consider myself pretty tough, but with a headache I am a complete and utter wuss.  I mean I just cannot handle that kind of pain.  Do I take medicine?  No.  Because in my experience I have found that it doesn't really help, and I don't like to take pills if they aren't going to make me feel better.  So I just usually sit there and wallow in my utter misery.  Granted, usually drinking water or sleeping helps, but this time I had proven to be SOL with those treatment methods.

Even with my head pounding, I was able to realize that this could be the result of caffeine withdrawal.  I didn't want to admit that my body could already have become so dependent on something I'd only been partaking of for a few weeks, so I got all scientist-y on this and did an experiment.  It involved going to Starbucks, purchasing a nonfat grande salted caramel mocha - no whip, and drinking it.  An hour later there was no headache.

I think that's pretty flippin' conclusive evidence.

I haven't skipped any coffee since.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

- One Week

It has been one week since I last opened Mac Daddy.  One week since I last posted.  In that time I traveled home.  Home to Raleigh, and back home to Minneapolis.  As my plane landed here I watched out my window as the city lights came closer and realized that I now feel the same way landing here that I used to feel when I landed in Raleigh.  A switch has been "flipped" and I am now more at home in Minneapolis than in North Carolina.  While NC will always be home and filled with comforts and familiarity which I can never fully describe - I now completely live my life here.  In Minnesota.  It is a weird realization to come to...and yet one that fills me with great relief.  I always wondered if I could make a home for myself somewhere else.  Now I know that I can and have.

My flight back had a layover in Chicago and I was eager to find a bookstore.  It seems that with every flight this year I have bought a new book and most I have finished.  This year I have read more works of literature than most others and I am proud of this accomplishment.  It didn't hurt that I started up this Books and Bars thing.  You know, to get my culture.  Consider it gotten.

Our first book was Room.  I went to the discussion when I was only 100 pages in.  Even though I learned most of the plot points before finishing the book, it didn't ruin it for me.  Instead it only made me more curious to see how the story was woven to get from where I was to the many different places I couldn't imagine the Author had in store for me.  To say that this book affected me, is an understatement.  The story is so captivating, and so unexpected and yet terribly beautiful you just can't forget the imagery formed from the words written on the page.  I finished it in mid-August and yet brought it up in conversation this past weekend.

The next book was the Lonely Polygamist.  I don't know how else to say this, but I hated it.  It was 600 pages that I read hoping somewhere along the way to form a connection with just one character.  Which might have been possible if I could have ever gotten over my severe hate for the protagonist.  The only thing I took from this book was the phrase "What a gyp!" and a profound sadness that there are children and people in the world that know the neglect of never being loved properly, and the long lasting emotional and physical scars this can leave on a person.  I did not attend the discussion.  I hadn't quite finished the book and I was so angry at how it turned out and just utterly exhausted that day that I couldn't face the subject matter.  Maybe if I had something would have been said that changed my mind.  Probably not.

The book for October 11th is the Gargoyle.  I bought the last copy Monday night in terminal H of the Chicago airport - which never fails to remind me of Home Alone, and my trip to Europe.  I started reading it once I boarded the plane and it had me sucked in by page 9.  I finished the 516th page tonight.  Every day I left work this week I was mostly thinking about how long it will take to get home so that I can put on pajamas and get to reading.  I have thoroughly lost myself in the stories of medieval Germany, Iceland, and Italy that are woven into a modern day survival story filled with a love that I cannot quite comprehend because at the base, is completely insane.

Other books read this year include Tina Fey's Bossypants which if you love Liz Lemon like I do, will never ever disappoint you.  Pride and Prejudice has been revisited because it has been too long since I read the words of Darcy: "In vain I have struggled.  It will not do.  My feelings will not be repressed.  You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you."  I even upgraded to a new hardcover edition because my copy was passed down from Aaronus and purchased in the days when he clearly hated english.  He wrote in the back: "$4.95!  I had to buy this one because it wasn't in the library!"  I can nearly feel his highschool rage at not only being forced to read the words of Austen, but also having to pay for them.  I wonder what he would say if he learned I gladly paid $20 for my new copy and consider it one of the best purchases I made this year.

I started Lord of the Flies but did not finish it.  It seems to be headed for a depressing end.  Harry Potter is always in constant rotation, especially after being so disappointed over the last movie, and feeling the need to replace my memories of the movie with the much better ones found in the books.  Animal Farm was purchased and put on the shelf - never opened.  Several iBooks were downloaded, but that is as far as I made it in the process.  The Hunger Games is probably next.  A co-worker suggested the trilogy and it sounds like my kind of jam so that's where I think I'm headed...although I am a bit scared at the possibly of how absorbed I will become with reading those books.  When I fall into a book, there is little else that interferes with my need to consume every word on every page.

Much like my ability to remember what I was wearing on a certain day when a certain event happened - I also remember where I was when I read certain books for the first time.  I almost always read while laying in bed.  So, I remember reading Red Dragon and War and Peace in a small twin bed in the mountains at Roaring Gap.  I read all of the Twilight books in less than a week and was so wrapped up in the story of Edward and Bella that I rarely left my bed, room, or apartment in Inman Park...and I certainly didn't attend much grad school either.  I remember racing out to buy the 6th Harry Potter when I lived in the basement.  I read it very gently because I returned it afterwards, knowing that Mamsie had already purchased a copy.  I remember falling in love with Mr. Rochester just as Jane Eyre did while laying in bed in my last apartment in Raleigh - an apartment that I have been missing a lot lately for it's manageable size and rent.

And now I will remember how Emma curled up next to me as I propped myself up against the headboard I made earlier this year and lost myself in these last few books.  How I constantly left my windows open so that the incoming breeze caused my blinds to rattle in the background.  How my room smelled of leather due to all the new pairs of boots bought in anticipation of the cooler seasons. I will remember how I read these books while appreciating how beautiful my first Fall in Minnesota was, and how much I loved being home for every second of it.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

- My Commute

Most people do not enjoy their commute.  And when it takes me 45 minutes in stand still traffic to get home, I want to take my commute out back and punch it in the stomach.  In fact, I think that the time people spend in their cars commuting is inversely proportional to the level of their personal happiness.

Having said that...I will now surprise you and say that I absolutely love my commute into work when I'm going to my downtown office when the sun is shining and I have the windows down and the music blasting.  This is a very specific set of circumstances and admittedly it doesn't happen too often...but, when the stars align, I never fail to arrive at work in a great mood.  This drive has become one of my favorite things about living and working here - especially once Old Man Winter moved out.  And even with him looming on the horizon again - it was 48 degrees when I drove in today - I still love it, especially with a pumpkin spice latte.  Or a salted caramel mocha.  Or basically anything from Starbucks.

My favorite stretch starts after going around this curve.  The skyline is finally up close and personal.
This is slightly crooked.  Because I might have been taking pictures with my phone as I was driving.  As a side note, the ramp in the above picture is where the HOV lane merges back in with traffic.  I know this because the ONE time I accidentally got in the HOV lane, there was no exit off, and when I got to the end a State Trooper was waiting.  He immediately pulled me and gave me a ticket.  Jerk.
I like this straightaway when you can start to see the line of trees.  I don't know why, I just do.

If this was panoramic to the left you would be able to see the Twins Stadium, which also makes for a great view.  I actually drive underneath that part and then continue downtown then over the Mississippi River to get to my office.  Some day I will take pictures of the Riverfront to show you, because it's one of my favorite views, especially at night when the skyline is all lit up.  But, you should probably just visit and see that for yourself, because it really is best in person.  Just ask Karen and Katie.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

- Weekend Warrior

Yo I've been all kinds of productive this weekend as far as getting a grip on this living room redecoration is considered.  Friday I was staring at a collection of things for the shelves in the dining room because I was really starting to get bothered by how ugly it was all looking.  I'd been at a standstill since I broke that apothecary jar - the loss of which was a hard one to recover from.  But, by Friday, I just couldn't handle it anymore.  And I don't know what happened, but I just was struck with some inspiration and came up with a collection of things that looked pretty darn great together.  The only problem was, NOTHING was the right color.

Saturday morning = spray painting time.  I think I can officially say that I am done with spray paint.  As far as it's concerned, it's been real, it's been fun, and it's been real fun...but I am over that stuff.  I don't want to use it again for a very long time.  I spray painted 4 more frames, 1 for a mirror, and 2 candlesticks.  Again, that sounds simple and yet it took about 3 hours.

Then I had to create some "art" for said frames.  Originally I had picked out some cheeky phrases from Pinterest that had really been speaking to me lately - but once they were up...it was all just a bit meh.  Luckily, this "art" consisted of me writing stuff on scrapbook paper with a metallic sharpie.  Which means it would be easy to change if I could just come up with another idea, or two.  So I got on that whole ideating thing this morning.  I consider Round 2 to be much more of a success:
I am totally in love with the way the NC turned out.  There's even a heart over Wilmington.
The yellow one says: "Hangover: Just Nature's way of saying you kicked ass last night."  Let's just say that last Sunday, Nature was screaming that from the rooftops for me.

After the art re-do snafu I decided it was once and for all time to make some darn pillows.  This was made much easier by watching the Vikings and Panthers win.  When the second half rolled around pillow making took a bit of a turn, as did the games.  How come I never like a good football team?  Anyways, I finally got these lovely pink ones done and I kid you not, within 5 MINUTES of placing them on the couch to step back and admire my work - this happened:
Ho bag fo sho.

I also made a pair of pillows with a graphic yellow fabric.  The Zemster's is laying on one of those now.  There are still two pillows left and I might have purchased 20 yards of silver sequins for the process of making them.  But, I have lost my momentum...so I will leave you with this picture of what is being planned for one.  The second pillow is still just a heap of silk fabric waiting to take shape.

Well crap...it doesn't really look like much in these pictures - but ya'll this decorating thing takes like a ridiculously long time.  I mean for the most part, it's all I've been doing this weekend.  And even after all this progress there is still this To Do list:
  1. Procure some white lamp shades.  Home Goods was a total bust on this one and I even drove way out to my favorite one in Eden Prairie.
  2. Pick a yellow color to paint the table base...then prime and paint it.  Ugh, this sounds terrible.  It is my least favorite item on this stupid list.
  3. Sell old dining room chairs and buy new ones from Ikea.  
  4. Vacuum - the redecoration isn't really hinging on this one, but GEEZ does it need to happen.  But I don't really wanna do it because it's lame.  And Emma hates the vaccuum.
  5. Make these two last darn pillows that require a ton of sequins.  
  6. Paint a gigantic canvas for over the couch
Also, I'm moving in like 2.5 months - so it's really the perfect time to be devoting to all of this crap.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

- My Adjusted Age

I've decided that I will no longer be my actual age.  Yep, I can just do that.

I will instead be the age that people think I am...which tends to be around 24-25.  Sometimes 23.  Is it because I look that young?

Maybe.  I think this anti-aging thing I've been doing for 4 years is kind of working.  It's definitely not hurting, but then again neither is the the SPF 100 that I slather on when I think the sun is going to be ferocious.  I can safely say I made it through summer without any sunburn.  But I do live in Minnesota now...so, there's that.

My next social experiment is to go out with Emily who's asian (and those people never age) and see who people think is older.  Just for fun.  Because we're curious.

I think that people most likely think I'm that young because that's how I act - like a kid that just got done with school - a little grown up and a lot of partying with reckless abandon.  I mean I did just get done with school, but we're not exactly talking about undergrad here.  Maybe I'm making up for lost time?  Regressing because I started so late.  Overcompensating.  Just immature?

But still, if no one else is going to think that I'm the oldest person in the room...I'm certainly not going to tell them otherwise.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

- Falling for Fall

I love the Weather Channel app on my phone.  When it's not highlighted it shows the outside temperature which means I no longer have to open MacDaddy or even my iPad to figure out how I need to dress.  Per usual, I love anything that allows me to reach a deeper level of laziness.

Today the little square was red...which means that there is a severe weather warning, or some kind of advisory.  That seemed odd because the sun was shining and even though it was cooler today, it was pretty much gorge(ous).  When I clicked on it to see what was up, do you know what that mofo said?

FREEZE WARNING.

Y'all it's September 13th...and there is a freeze warning up in here.  Let me get real with you.  I have not been in denial.  I have seen the signs.  The trees have their beginnings of leaves turning and even the Travel section of the Sunday paper was all about heading north to see the colors because it is supposed to be the most vibrant changing of the colors EVER.  Okay, that's a slight exaggeration, perhaps the best in the most recent 20 years.  Regardless the main message is this: everyone get your butt north to Duluth or even farther and look at those glorious leaves, or else!

So, yeah.  I knew fall was coming.

And here's the kicker - I don't care.

I know that it will be the shortest season ever and that soon it will be snowing and then be full on Winter and that will be the longest season ever and I will probably die.  (Minnesotans tend to get all complain-y: I'm practicing.)  But seriously, I think Fall is my favorite season.  It's hard to pick a favorite, because every year, when the seasons first change, that new season is my favorite.  But, I think Fall really does take the cake.

Here are some things I'm looking forward to:
  1. The leaves.  Have we talked about those enough?  Aside from the colors, I love the way they crunch under your feet and cover the ground and the sound they make when they blow across the street.  Plus, Emma likes to chase them and that's just adorableness.
  2. Apples.  Up here the whole apple orchard thing is huge and people go and pick them and so help me Jebus, I am going to make some fantastic apple pies.  Lots of them.  From scratch.  Maybe even apple cider.  We'll see how crazy I get.
  3. While we're talking about food, I am WAY excited about PUMPKINS.  I'm in total Forrest Gump mode thinking about pumpkin gnocchi, pumpkin soup, pumpkin cream cheese truffles, pumpkin spice fudge, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pancakes, and pumpkin spiced lattes! I'm also excited about decorating with pumpkins - I'm thinking white ones - and perhaps some that get the glitter treatment.
  4. Fall fashion.  Oh Em Gee how I love to wear leggings and long cardigans and knee high socks and boots!  And tights!  It's going to just be magical.  Except when I'm broke from buying all of the leggings and boots and tights and socks.
  5. Rugby.  Mams is going to want to take the credit for this one because she was all "Do they have rugby up there?  You should go to a game"...but her suggestion only reminded that I that previously googled this but at the time they were in between seasons and that I should re-check on this because there was a fall season that should be starting up soon.  (That was a WAY long sentence.)  I googled right in time to catch the first game of the "fall" season and so I went because Karen was in town and looked favorably upon this plan.  And then I went again.  And again.  80% of the reason I'm going back is because I really enjoy watching the games (seriously that's one of the most entertaining sports ever, way better than football - even though I am being forced into watching the Vikings)...the other 20% might have something to do with the hot guys that are playing the rugby.  (Side note: Let's just get this out of the way now - yes Mom I have met some of them and yes I went to a rugby party and it was all you can drink High Life, Jameson and rail drinks for the first 3 hours and it deteriorated into ridiculousness as rugby parties often do and it took me DAYS to recover.  So, rugby guys are a "special breed" but they appear to be that same "special breed" everywhere.)  Also you know what you can drink when you watch rugby?  Pumpkin beer!  And you know what you can wear?  Legging and boots!  Yeah, that's kind of my new favorite fall activity...which is perfect since it's a Rugby World Cup year!  If you know me at all, you know that I have no problem whatsoever getting into a huge worldwide sports event, so don't think I'm not keeping up with it and watching the few matches that NBC is going to show.  Because I am.  Rock on Samoa and Scotland and Canada.
Oh Fall...It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Friday, September 9, 2011

- A Day in the Life

I usually sleep in late.  I only sleep on pillows and refuse to get out of bed until the last possible moment.  Like when I am asked if I want to "go outside" or there is talk of me being "hungry" because sometimes I am in the morning and my tummy growls a lot.
Then Mom talks to me.  She is not very interesting so I am easily distracted by what could be going out outside.  Like butterflies.  Or bunnies.  Or toads.  Or birds...sometimes the birds get really loud and and I sit there and watch them and try to figure out why.
Since I've gone outside, eaten, and hung out with Mom for a bit, it's nap time.  Under the dining room chairs has always been one of my favorite places because they're like little tents.  Sometimes I get stepped on a bit at dinner parties or Mom might freak out because she hasn't seen me in a while and thinks I'm lost.
I hang out with Mom again because I'm pretty sure it's dinner time, I mean it's like 4:30!  I humor her with my signature head tilt when she asks me a question about carrots.  Seriously though, are there carrots?  This is no joking matter.  Also, Mom nailed this picture of me.  I just wish that my nose wasn't bothering so much because of my allergies because then I wouldn't have to scratch it raw.
Once 8 rolls around, or it gets dark outside, whichever comes first...then it's officially bed time.  I don't like to go by myself, so I curl up wherever Mom is.  I like these pillows on the couch a lot, which is why they're always smooshed.

I hope you have something this adorable in your life.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

- Ch-ch-ch-ch Changes

Today was a truly awesome day.  And somewhere in my "high on life/can take on the world" mentality I told Jaclyn I was going to upload some living room pics for everyone who is just sitting on the edge of their seats waiting to see what is happening up in here.  I think there are at least 2 of you.

Tonight I went to upload the pics that I took last night because I was trying to be all on top of my blog game.  Which let's talk about my mac...I love it, but this bad boy is getting up there in years.  I bought it in April 2008 right before I went to General Mills for my internship which means...the three year warranty is done-zo.  Recently I got the message that there were software updates and when I tried to install them MacDaddy was all "You do not have enough free space to do that".  So, I did what any responsible computer owner does, I pressed cancel and promptly forgot about any signs of trouble.

Which let's face it: that plan of action is foolproof.  Until you try to upload pics and it will only do 27 of 64 because that's all the space you have left since you insist on uploading at least 103,948,570,289,345 pictures of your dog and can't seem to ever delete anything.  What I'm saying is, you're lucky to get this post.  Because instead of closing MacDaddy and lazing on the couch eating pudding, I actually spent like a whole hour deleting things to make room for this upload.  Plus, I'd already eaten the pudding, so that wasn't a valid excuse.

A long time ago I showed you my new end tables and mentioned that I'd be spray painting them and even showed you the slate blue color I was going to use.  People talk about spray painting like it's this really easy fast way to change something.  That might be true for like a picture frame...but these tables, well they were trouble from the beginning.  I decided against the slate blue because sometimes I change my mind and chose the expensive spray paint in "satin nickel" instead.  But in trying to remove the safety pin I guess I broke the trigger and that can wouldn't spray unless I used both hands and pulled the trigger with all my might.  I was all frustrated about this, so I did thick coats which caused the paint to run and then despite that, I realized that they still weren't covering the brass well enough.  And because I always had to keep the trigger held down, one can barely did one table.  It really was the most disastrous spray painting episode ever.

It took me a long time to work my way up to even wanting to look at a can of spray paint again.  I knew I would need some patience for the second time around and if you ask good ole' Mamsie, that's something I usually have in short supply.  But this past weekend I woke up one morning and the sun was shining and it was nice and cool and it was just like all signs were pointing to spray painting.  Not only was I more patient, but also smarter.  (Don't act so surprised.)  I even used primer and did very thin even coats with lots of turning of the tables because there are only like a million angles.  While this turned out much better...it took SIX hours to complete.  Ridiculousness.
Before and After.  Bear couldn't resist being present.

Those baskets are not staying.  I need some that are bigger, and they have to have lids, because with the glass tops it's kind of a pain to look down and see all of that crap that these baskets barely contain.  I haven't found anything close to what I want yet though...and guess what else you can't find in Minneapolis?  Awesome home decor fabric.  I had no idea I would miss being able to successfully fabric shop so much.  Which is why it was a priority to go fabric shopping the last time I was home.  And after finding some stuff I really loved, I left it in the backseat of my Brotard's car and had to wait for him to ship it to me.  So the pillow's aren't actually made...but here's some staging, to give you an idea.  
The left two pillows will mirror the ones on the right and the middle pillow is going to be covered in some grey geometric fabric that I'm going to have to make myself because I can't find what I want.  Should be interesting.  Also, the lampshades will be switched out for white ones, and that piece of plywood is up because I'm planning on painting a canvas about that size and I'm feeling out how I like the dimensions.  And that yellow travesty on the right end table...that is going to to go far far away.  That color looked way better in the can, but on that candle stick it looks neon and I hate it and I'm mad I wasted time on it because it took like six coats.
Kayla found this silk and I splurged on it because I only needed one yard.  It will do this pillow and then I will leave it plain, or I am considering a sequin applique which could be amazing.  But we'll see. I like how the color of the silk changes depending on how the light hits it so it plays well with the yellows and the oranges.

In the process of trying to stage the shelves by the dining room table this happened:
I still have not recovered from the loss.  It was one of my all time favorite apothecary jars and part of a set of three and now that I have only two it just doesn't feel right.  I have no idea what I'm going to put on those darn shelves now because this ruined my whole plan and I don't want to talk about it anymore.

In my spray painting mania I also managed to finish up my goodwill candlestick finds:
I still need to pick a paint color for the base of the table and get my new dining room chairs.  Which means this was a really long post to basically say that I spray painted some things but haven't really done much else.  But, the ball is rolling...let's hope it continues.

Also, I guess I will be buying an external hard drive soon so that when MacDaddy kicks it, I'll be prepared.  And so that I can actually upload the finished pictures when I take them.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

- Useless Trivia

I now present: A look into how my mind works.  

Last summer a group of us got way into Trivia night at this bar downtown...OMG Why can't I remember the name of this bar?  It was an Irish pub, right there on that street in Moore Square next to the Duck and Dumpling.  Tir Na Nog!  I just G-chatted Kelsey and she confirmed.

I was way into this trivia thing even though I rarely knew the answers.  I used it as an excuse to print out maps from every continent (except Antarctica, because that place is lame) and write in all the capitols.  Aaronus son of Aaroni is superb at memorizing things like this.  I'm good at memorizing things that no one cares about.  Like what I was wearing when I did something.  Anyways...basically what I learned is that the capitol of Luxembourg is Luxembourg.  And that Guyana is in South America.  I also know that the capitol of Portugal is Lisbon, but that is probably cancelled out because of that one time where someone from Portugal asked me where Portugal was and I said South America.  I might have been drinking.  Yay me.

Where was I going with this?  Oh yeah, so there was always this team that beat us and their name was "My couch pulls out, but I don't".  HEYO!  I'm guessing that team was mostly guys.

As a fact, I have a pull out couch.  And sometimes when I am feeling superbly lazy, I pull it out and snuggle up with my down comforter and lots of pillows and I watch movies.  I usually like to do this with someone else because it sounds less sad.  When Katie was in town we did it one night after an extremely long day of being hungover where we only barely dragged ourselves out to eat dinner and see the fireworks, which happened at 10pm.  Karen and I also did this, because let's face it, I'm kind of the best host ever and I really know how to show my guests a good time.  After Karen left I might have left my couch like that for a week and even slept on it one night.  But I probably didn't do that.  Unless it was a Wednesday night.  Whatever, don't judge me - that thing is comfy and I'm considering keeping it just for this unique ability that it has.

I have since folded my couch back up.  Comfortable can be addicting in some circumstances and it might have become necessary to construct a list of rules that identify when it is appropriate to pull out the couch, and for how long.

Anyways, when Katie was here I had It's Kind of a Funny Story from Netflix so we decided to watch it and it was kind of an amazing movie.  So amazing that I watched it again the night after she left.  And y'all - I never watch a Netflix movie twice.  (Side note: I recently realized that I spell y'all wrong.  Probably everywhere on this blog I've spelled it ya'll.  That is wrong.  Pinterest helped me learn this.)  (Side note #2: I am very disappointed in the Netflix price increase and can't decide if I want all movies, or all streaming and I'm considering cancelling it all.  But that sounds crazy...especially when you consider how much of a part of my life Netflix has become.  That last statement is sad.)

I was reminded of this movie this morning as I drove from one tech center to the other just at the right time to catch the 9:30 coffee break on our local radio station.  They were playing Queen songs in honor of what would have been Freddie Mercury's 65th birthday.  The google illustration is also amazing today...so much so that I updated my facebook status, my g-chat status, and wrote this blog all because Queen has totally inspired me today.  Oh right, how does Queen tie into this blog post?  Well this is easily my favorite scene from the movie (and easily one of my all time favorite songs by Queen):
Sparkly beards make everything much more cool and Vanilla Ice totally ripped off the base line and this song is WAY more awesome than Ice Ice Baby.

Also, after watching this movie I started a blog post with just this quote:

"Skip.  Yeah I know it's lame, but skip anyway."
- It's Kind of a Funny Story

That was like a month ago, and I finally found a way to incorporate it into an actual blog post...all because of a morning radio show moment that I connected with a story about my couch and rounded out with some world geography.  This is probably the best thing I've ever written and you're welcome for sharing it...y'all.

Monday, September 5, 2011

- Two Decisions

It is Labor Day Weekend...and regardless of where I am now in my life, I can't help but remember last year and what was happening and where I was.  

A year ago I was somewhere outside of Denver when I got a grown-up job offer.  It was the only job offer I received from the only company I applied to.  Some may say that wasn't a smart decision and I guess I could be sitting here writing this from the world of unemployment - but I'm not.  Here's the thing...I'm one of those people that just knows when it's right.  And I may put all my eggs in one basket, but it's a REALLY great basket.  

I said I would wait for the offer to make my final decision, but I knew it would be a great offer.  That it was all moot because the second I tried to get that offer, I'd pretty much made my decision.  I was in the position to take the offer that I'd worked to get...or not.  It was a decision of great magnitude that I made rather easily.  Much like deciding to go to NC State or continue on into grad school.  

A year ago I decided to move my life to Minnesota.

At the time it didn't seem real.  I knew what was going to happen, but I just couldn't wrap my head around how.  Since then I've spent hours on the phone and computer - emailing and calling and trying to figure out where to live site unseen.  I packed up my life and drove Jeepy 2000 miles from my home to my new home.  I started a job, and met new friends, and tried new things and established myself.  A year ago these were all just thoughts...dreams...hopes.  Now this is my reality.

And here's what I know about my reality.  I. Love. It.  This job far surpassed my expectations pretty much from the get go.  I am rocking at it and in return it is rocking my socks off.  When I started I said I'd give it 3 years.  Now it's no less than 5 years, probably 10...and it very well could be that the General has another lifer.  Career-wise I just can't see a better fit for me anywhere else.  But you should probably check in around January when I'm in the middle of my first full winter trying to keep myself warm with a paycheck.  Although, it might just turn out that this girl from the beach is actually a snow bunny at heart.  Who knows?  For right now I'm just in love with the possibility of it all.    

A year ago somewhere in Nevada I made another decision.  It was the one I agonized over most, and it didn't work out.  

There's probably a lesson in there somewhere...  

Friday, September 2, 2011

- Up the "Crick"

This be a creek.  Or a "crick" depending on where you're from.
I guess it's my favorite creek.  If you can have something like a favorite creek.  Because this creek and I go way back.  We have history.  (Side note: That was redundant.)  It's right down the road from my old babysitter's house and I used to walk down and skip rocks.  And watch the crabs.  But I had forgotten about the crabs until I saw them this past time.  Yo, that's nostalgia. 

While home I managed to talk my brotards into hanging out with me. In the form of a sunset paddle down this creek, the Prince George. 
It eventually meets up with the Cape Fear River, but we didn't go that far this time. For a creek, I feel like it's pretty big and it has legitimate nature with birds, snakes, alligators and some fish that can jump surprisingly high out of the water.
Where the alligators usually hang out.
The ripples in the bottom of this picture are probably from one of the 674 snakes that tried to jump in the boat with me.  I only screamed like a little girl once.
I love the way the spanish moss hangs off the trees.
I love the trees.
I love the reflection of the trees in the still water.
I love the silhouettes of the trees in the sunset.
I love the colors of the sunset.
I love the gooberific company.  I do not love the criticism of my paddling ability, which is pretty much superb.
Kayla splashed our resident red-headed redneck.  Probably because he was going on about how he was glad he wasn't stuck in a canoe with us.

We probably all have parasites from exposure to the water.  But it was a great way to spend a night at home, which is all that really matters.  Or that's what I'll tell myself when the parasites are eating holes in my retinal tissue.