Adventures in Wonderland

Four hours from now my CHILDISH ass will be in route, along with three other people, to Atlantic City to see Jimmy Eat World. *sigh* Jim..

If anyone is deathly worried about my well worries. I just now, right this second, got a hotel room. So I'm not driving back tonight.

Hope everyone has a wonderful New Year celebration and you find yourself happy when the clock strikes midnight and every second after into 2010.

Love, love, love you all <3

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Painfully Honest...

I had to share this with my darling bloggy buds because frankly, I have been mulling it over in my head for days now and blogger is my therapist of sorts. Since Christmas this has been bothering me. Eating a small piece of my heart. Please listen.

I had to endure my in-laws at Christmas. They are not so nice at times and we don't have the best track record. I really feel like I have to be someone completely different around them. I am someone else in their presence...Good thing I was a drama nerd in high school. I have to be something that they like and accept. It's exhausting. But it has become a cycle now..for ten years, this is what I do.

So, something that was said to me during holiday festivities just etched itself onto my brain and has created a nudge into my life. You know how this happens...I bet if you all just stopped and thought about it you could pick several random occasions or a line that someone said to you that you remember as clear as the day it happened...and the feelings associated with that phrase are still fresh..even if it happened in the third grade and you are 43 right now.

Here goes:

Scene: Family room. Me-Seated next to Father in law.

I was asked what I received for Christmas. Easy enough, right?

Well I answered: "A new acoustic guitar"

The response: *Raised eyebrow. Then pointing at my pullover which had written, very tiny in the left hand corner: Jimmy Eat World* "Aren't you getting a little old for that stuff?"

Me: "Guitar playing? Or being a fan of music?"

Response: "Both" *include shitty look here*

Me: "Never sir."

Response: "Are you sure? Maybe you should think about that" *snorted laugh*


Okay, I may be closing out my twenties here but I didn't realize that being creative or artsy was defined as being childish. I was raised in a musical household, music is my life. It is a part of me, now even more so with my guitar playing and writing and most importantly it makes me happy. How can this be childish? Where is the line drawn? I am always reading as well..does this make me childish and irresponsible in some way/shape/form? When did hobbies become childish? Who is anyone to pass judgement on something that makes someone else happy.

I guess the underlying issue with this entire rant is this: This is a huge part of me and that statement clearly speaks volumes. It says: You, as You, are not acceptable. Burn.

I don't feel I need to explain myself to anyone.

I know this shouldn't bother me.

But I carry it now.

Merry effin' Christmas.

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A Reading Resolution

Catching up on my commenting at my bloggy friends sites and I found an awesome idea thought up by The Bumbles HERE. During the year of 2009, The Bumbles darlings kept a list of all of the books they read. This is an awesome motivator for me. I am always reading and looking for something to read and I love book discussions. So my reading resolution is to keep a list of each book I read:

Title, Author, Number of pages and a small review of each. I'm going to get my Ma in on the reading fun. After Christmas I can happily say that I now have a small queue of books again waiting...for me to enjoy :)

I hope everyone has an awesome New Year. Update on my status: Currently I am still working on a Road trip mix with my bud to play on the drive up to Jersey. We are at song number 51. Go figure, song number one: Clarity by Jimmy Eat World. *sigh*

Happy, Happy!

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Holiday Wordless Wednesday

Best Christmas Card Recieved: (thank you Christopher)

Ma actually asked for a cake as one of her Christmas pressies :)

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Holiday Snuffles

Don't know how much I will be able to post with the holiday right around the I am pretty sure I am gettting sick. I keep fighting it but I have a feeling my battle will be lost. I just want to cuddle up in my snuggie (yes, I have one and you know what?? It's amazing..) and read a book. Alas the following few days will be NOTHING like this nice picture I have just painted. Such is the holidays. Just wanted to explain my slack and say this:

I hope everyone gets everything they want from Santa and has a wonderful and Happy Christmas :)

Love, love, love to you all <3

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"Seasons Change But People Don't..."

Random Bits Today:

Number one/a: I am such a procrastinator lately. Next week I am off to Atlantic City to see Jimmy Eat World. I still have no hotel. I am half inclined to just drive back home after, even if this means driving all night. I hate hotels. They sort of creep me out. I just really don't want to pay tons of money to sleep there when I pay tons of money to sleep at my own house :)Everyday I say....yes, today is the day I will look for a hotel...then I don't.

Number two/b: Great finally for the Sing Off, for those who watch. I was really rooting for the Bubs. They are just so freaking cute and talented.

Number three/c: My addiction is on back to back tonight: Paranormal State. I start to have withdrawals without some Ryan Buell.
Number four/d: Saw Amber on Thursday. I miss her much. We exchanged xmas pressies. I got candy smokes and THIS:

My name is engraved on it. It's totally rad. I love thoughtful gifts. Score Amber!
Number five/e: My xmas tree is up. My little cat Anthony has already begun to eat shards off of the bottom layer leaving a mess everywhere and I am already regretting it. Is it over yet people????

(note that we do not put any lights or decoration on the bottom two layers of the tree because Anthony would then promptly begin eating those)

Number six/f: It Might Get Loud is released today. An awesome documentary on song writing and radical guitar playing by The Edge (U2) and Jack White. Excited to rent this.
Number seven/g: Really hoping I get a mini amp for xmas. I could have used that little beast the other night. Plus we could use that at work in the spring when we kick it outside to jam. Jzill and I are teaching one of the young doctors to play now. It's rather comical.
Number eight/h: To Rabbit...all I have to say is ♥
I told you I learned something!!! Yay!

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*blog title randomly taken from the take over, the breaks over by fall out boy

"Don't Worry..Bout a Thing..Cause Every Little Thing Is Gonna Be Alright.."

I'm sitting in my pajamas playing Bob Marley "Three Little Birds" on my guitar. I am about to serenade my husband, who is currently having a fondue (not even joking right now) in our living room while watching some random sporting event, with "Wonderwall" by Oasis. Figured I would give my fingers a rest and tell you a little about my weekend.

This weekend I sat in line for fuel for twenty minutes and ran errands that normally take me an hour tops, for a total of three. Mass panic in Maryland. We had a snow storm. Actually it started snowing Friday evening..right after I was safely tucked in to my house and did not stop snowing until about 2 am this morning. Leaving us with about 14 inches of snow. Last night, while snowing I shoveled a path down our porch and around my vehicle. Today Hubs and I shoveled the whole drive. Is it odd that I love, love, love to shovel snow?? It is such a great work out! I love cold weather and it's great for muscle building and cardio..all in one.
Well, we had a great time goofing off while shoveling. Afterwards we came in to watch some Extras on dvd (Rick Gervais, I heart you) and then I started playing this here guitar.

I have received a few calls about the status of the roads in my county and the surrounding. My Hubs, who teaches high school maths has informed me that his school has already cancelled Monday and Tuesday. Giving him two extra days on to his Christmas holiday. A few friends have called to say that the roads are horrid still in the town I work in and mostly in the middle bit I have to drive through. My own neighborhood roads are still pretty nasty. Although it is just Sunday and I am sure by tomorrow they will have done so much more to make it easier for commuting to work. I am thinking I may just call out. I had a horrid scare the last time this happened. People were driving off the road and sliding into one another everywhere. I live an hour away from work so it's stressful times. We don't get a lot of snow in Md so this makes for idiot drivers and people who don't know how to handle such weather. So I am taking full responsibility of this stereotype. I don't like and probably don't drive well in the snow.

My dilemma..I always feel horrid for calling out. I don't know why. Even when I am sick. I could brave this mess and suck it up but I really don't want to deal with it. Why do I have a conscious??

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*title-three little birds/bob marley

Music Memoirs

Top 5 On Friday: Week 254

Yes, I am late. Typical.

Top 5 musical things that made your 2009!

1. Lady Gaga

2. Muse-The Resistance

3. Three Jimmy Eat World shows, three different states, three different road trips, Good times.

4. Glee, on the telly and on my ipod

5. Mix Tape by Jim. Beauty-ful stuff.

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"He Doesn't Look A Think Like Jesus But He Talks Like A Gentleman.."

So freakin' excited about Paranormal State being back from hiatus.

Elllo Ryan *sigh*

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*blog title-the killers -when you were young

"It's a Love Story Baby Just Say Yes.."

I am still without a book. I need to order something. I had some wonderful suggestions from my bloggy pals it's just finding the right fit. Do you ever read something really intense and then feel you have to find a good follow up book? I just read three novels by Dan Chaon, I can't follow that up with just anything....he's intense.

So in my desperation to find a book I found two things:
Number one/a: The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. It was on Stephen Kings Best Book of 09 list. It was number one and the description sounds really interesting. Anyone familiar??

Number two/b: The BOOK BUDDY. Sweet love of Ray J..
I NEED this in my life.
It's a pillow that holds your book (soft or hard cover) in place. I read all the time. My favourite time to read is right before I turn the light off before bed and it's kind of uncomfortable. Especially if you have a giant hard back book you are trying to maneuver. I was poking about on The Bumbles Blog and I found a link to a link to a link..and seconds later I arrived at Dreadlocked Girl Reads. A blog devoted to mostly reading. I was browsing about and I found THIS. Dreadlocked Girl can sew so she put her own spin on the book buddy. Only hers is way more rad! It has a ribbon bookmark in the center and two for your eyewear and one for pens/pencils. I simply love this.

Bollocks..I should have taken up sewing....

Anyone else have a cool find??
blog title-taylor swift

"You've Got to Give For What You Take.."

Anyone following The Sing Off on telly? It's on all week on NBC. It's a competition similar to American Idol only the competitors are a capella groups. This show was made for me.

Firstly: it's all about singing
Second: Ben Folds is a judge (*sigh*)
Third: The group called the Bubs include like 15 guys that look like they sport pocket protectors. So freaking cute!
Yup...made for me.

Last night the groups had to perform guilty pleasure songs. I don't really believe in the term guilty pleasure when it comes to music. I love what I love and I really don't care what YOU think. No guilty here. Judge away. Yeah, I'm rocking out to Hanson's Mmmbop, so what?
I own New Kids on The Block's greatest hits.....and I like it.

Anyway I of the groups did George Micheal Freedom 90. Is this really considered a guilty pleasure?? I mean I know Georgie got caught in a few tangles with the law but I don't hold it against him. He makes some pretty awesome music. He has a CRAZY vocal range and have you ever seen that man perform??? He gets down to his own music with a passion. It's pretty intense to watch. I love, love, love George Micheal.

George is actually the reason I met my, now, husband. I was working at a Movie shop called Suncoast. The sister store was a music shop called Sam Goody-where my Husband was working at the time. I was reading the upcoming releases for the coming months and I noticed that week George Micheal's Greatest Hits was released. It was a two disc set AND there was a DVD as well. I was freaking out!! Did I mention I love, love, love George Micheal?? Well I do, so I called down to Sam Goody and Rob answered the phone. I explained that I NEEDED that George Micheal cd. After placing me on hold he returned to tell me that they had two copies of the double set. I was frantic!! I could not leave work until my shift was over. I explained this to him and asked if he could hold it behind the counter for me. He laughed and sarcastically asked if I really thought that the double set of George Michael was going to sell out before I arrived..

Smart ass.
From that day on I always got poked fun because of my love for George.

Also, FYI, I still own that double set, I still listen to it often and I also purchased the DVD (which is amazing). I even added that DVD to the Suncoast playlist so while I was working I got to listen/watch to George at work. It remained on our playlist for three years. A few of the other managers got so sick of me playing it that they tried to damage it out and hide it in the damage box so I wouldn't notice it. I always found it and put it back. muwahahaha. I'm sure there was a small celebration when I quit that job.

"Can't Read My Pokerface.."

Okay, as I type this: Deck the Halls by Mannheim Steamroller is playing. What an annoying version of this song. Gah... I need to block that out.

Sorry I digress...tomorrow is my work holiday, in-house party. I am not a regular in this event. Over the past few years my participation has been off and on. At work we do that game where you put all the gifts in the center and everyone gets a number. Number one picks a gift and unwraps it. Number two can either take Number one's gift or unwrap their own...etc. I think this is called "Dirty Christmas". Boy is it dirty.

I had no intentions of playing this year. I have already purchased seven of my employees their own individual gifts. So I think I'm a little tapped out. I told the head of the party planning committee this and you would have thought I just announced that I murdered St. Nick himself.
She pouted about and kept complaining audibly near me that they needed one more person or Christmas would ruined. ( maybe it wasn't that dramatic but if I were going to do this I would totally go there). I explained my's nothing personal...but on and on she went.
So I felt like an A--hole.
I am now participating.
I need to work on being more firm..

To clarify, I went to find the same pouty lady that guilted me and asked what the cap was on price. She told me 10-15 dollars. Then proceeded to pull out a list of employees and explained that we were ALSO having a work buffet and I needed to bring a dish. Okay...
Just so you know, I don't cook. Anything.
I can bake ziti and make-a-da pasta but thats it.
I also bake if you didn't know.

Three folks had signed up for desserts. I was at a loss. I explained this to Pouty Mcpout and offered to bring in soda. We need drinks right??? Who doesn't??
She suggested that I bake a BIG cake for all of the December birthdays instead.
WELL PLAYED Pouty Mcpout...Well played...

So this evening I will be baking a cake and hoping I don't get stuck with USED lotion like I did last year from my Dirty Christmas partner. I hope just get my own's two really cute ornaments and a gift card to Chick-Fil-A. Yummmm.

A Random Mess

Another random mess I present to you:
I have too many thoughts that are all unrelated so I will list some randoms!

Here we go:
Number One/a: I have wrapped almost all of my gifts, mailed out Christmas cards, made ornaments, finished all craft projects relating to Christmas and I still have not found the spirit. It's lost this year.

I still have no desire to put up my tree. Jzill stopped by Saturday to help me wrap pressies, we had Dunkin Donuts and Christmas music going. I was this close to actually putting up the tree. My desires were thwarted when I realized that Jess and I would have to drag it from my shed to my house. Yeah,
A festivus pole is sounding good about now.

Number two/b: Had to partake in Starbucks recently. I am a Dunkin Donuts fan. Hardcore.
I don't mind Starbucks, their coffee isn't bad. My beef is this: Why do they always serve luke warm coffee? It's like barely room temperature. Every single time I go in there. I can't deal with that!
Mama likes her coffee like she likes her menz...HOT.
I will stick with the old DD. That shit gives you 3rd degree burns to the esophagus on the way down. Yummma.
Number three/c: Received my ornament from my Ornament exchange pal hosted by The Mrs. At least I am pretty sure it's from her. It was shipped direct from the shop and her name wasn't on it. I am confident I don't have any random fans that would randomly ship me little presents (Although I would love accepting applications) so this leaves me to believe it was my ornament pal. I must say a big THANK YOU! It is a really radical ornament and fits me perfectly. It's an acoustic guitar-complete with pick guard :) Love, love, love it!

Number four/d: There is one lady at work who is constantly in my way. I think she secretly looks out for me. She waits for me to get up from my seat and stalks out in the hall until I walk by and then she jumps in front of me. Purposely putting herself in my way. There is never a time in the day when she is NOT in my way. She's a really nice lady she just drives me nuts for this reason. She's like my Lex Luther. I see her and I hear Darth Vader theme music and then I shoot her the evil eye. Sometimes I get so frustrated with her. I think she realizes this as well. We have some kind of weird magnetic force field going on that makes her gravitate toward my general area. Gah..

D-Bag of the Day

This was too good not to post!

I just got back from the bank and couldn't find a spot on my side of my building. Finally I decide to venture on the other side of the building. There was a backup. I was a little irritated for the delay but when I moved up a bit I saw this:

This person just parked. Just like that. In the middle of the parking LOT! He was blocking the person behind him and in front of him. Classic.
To top this as I drove by I noticed a white sheet of paper on his windshield. I thought that maybe this person left a note explaining that his car like stalled or died while trying to exit the spot (that's me, looking for the positive in the person). No. It said this:

It's a little blurry but that says:
I'm An Asshole

Cakes for Charity

Made for a charity called Throw Aways. To raise money for stray cats. Hence the paw prints..
So happy to help. :)

"Santa Can You Hear Me? I Have Been So Good This Year"

Found this on this amazing new blog I stumbled upon Redhead Dancing.

"Hey, I think I love you, but what am I so afraid of.." Sorry, David Cassidy moment.

Anywho...I am still trying to find my Holiday spirit so I decided to complete this in hopes..I'll let you know by the end...
What is your favorite Christmas movie? It's a three way tie. *cue Britney...1, 2, 3*
It's a Wonderful Life, Elf and Home Alone. I have to watch all three every year.

What is your LEAST favorite Christmas movie? Sorry folks, National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. I was never into it when I was a young lass so I feel like I missed that train. Same with A Christmas Story.
I hear the gasping all the way in Merryland.
What is your favorite Christmas song? Probably Last Christmas. The cover by Jimmy Eat World. It's so poppy. Also, Santa Bring My Baby Back-Elvis

What Christmas song(s) drives you crazy? Feliz Navidad, Chestnuts Roasting On an Open Fire-I have a bad, bad memory of this song being sang, over and over and over (at the top of his lungs) by this annoying old man when I worked at Suncoast. This among other things made me want to shove my head in the register and bang it shut repeatedly.

What is your favorite Christmas memory? Christmas with my grandparents and whole family.

What is the best toy/gift you've received on Christmas? Crystal Castle complete with almost all of the She-Ra figures. Bad Assery.

What is the worst toy/gift you've received on Christmas? I hate to say worst. It's really the thought that counts. Although I did get a used/dusty/NON working dust buster two holidays ago from Aunt Jan. Thanks Aunt Jan.

What do you LOVE about the holidays? Christmas lights, Cold weather and hot coffee, taking care of things early so I can enjoy it peacefully.

What annoys you about the holidays? This year? Everything. More specifically, Obligations. I wish it were more genuine.

Do you prefer star or angel on top of a Christmas tree? We use a decorative ribbon on our tree. We never bothered to purchase an angel or a star. The ribbon just kind of stuck.

What is your family favorite recipe at Christmas? That would have to be the Airing of Grievances that takes place each year at my In-laws....
-One part-dirty looks
***Wait for Three hours to begin festivities for no reason other than to make loaded jokes and pretend we all like each other.
Pass each gift one hundred and eighteen times around a circle to try and guess what it is..this makes festivity last about four hours.

Add Five rounds of cocktails and drunken stupors
-Six awkward feelings.
-Seven snarky remarks.
- To properly finish this off: Even though you are the last to are still the asshole.

Christmas light displays - Love them or Hate them? LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. I need to schedule this for this year. Each year I like to pick a night and drive around Maryland to look at the lights with friends and Hubs.

Santas at the mall - Fun times or Creepy? Kind of creepy

Christmas cards - do you send them, yes or no? Yes. I usually hand make them but this year I was incredibly lazy. I only made like 5 and quit. I also only send to folks that send. May sound shitty..but lots of folks are not into the whole snail mail thing.

What is the best thing about Christmas, in your opinion? Hanging out with Family

What is the worst thing about Christmas? Obligation

Out of the 12 Days of Christmas, which day and item would you want your true love to give to you? I don't know...8 maids a milking. Then they can proceed to clean my house and grocery shop for me.

Why do you think that Grandma got run over by a reindeer? It's that smart mouth of hers!!

Who is your favorite reindeer? I don't have one. They are all kind of cute.
Do you believe in Santa Claus? No, the cats out of the bag.

What is your favorite smell at Christmastime? Scotch tape. Seriously.

What would make you happy at Christmas this year? No stress. Just hanging out.

A Decade Under The Influence..

My weekly porn, Entertainment Weekly, is a Decade Edition. Basically this means it's full of LISTS!!! List of "The Best of ____ in the Past Decade".
For the most part I agree with these lists so I figured I would share these, gather your thoughts on the matter.
Now remember even if you aren't a fan some of this stuff can still be called awesome and Best of simply because of the impact it made from 2000-2009.
Here we go:
1. Lord of the Rings
2. Brokeback Mountain
3. Gladiator
4. The Dark Knight
5. WALL * E
6. Moulin Rouge!
7. Children of Men
8. The 40 Year Old Virgin
9. Lost in Translation
10. Almost Famous
*My thoughts on this list: Accurate aside for Number Nine. Really? I love an indie film, I'm an artsy type of gal, but I just thought Lost in Translation was shite. It was supposed to be profound. I just found it boring and weird. Even the cinematography was lacking.
I think we left out:
-There Will Be Blood
-Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
-HARRY POTTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1. The Sopranos
2. Lost
3. The Daily Show
4. American Idol
5. Arrested Development
6. The Wire
7. The Office (U.K.)
8. The Shield
9. Gilmore Girls
10. The Comeback
*My thoughts- Lets all give thanks to Ray J that the Office (U.S) didn't make this. I'm just finding that it's getting away from the basic principle that Ricky Gervais started with. I can't watch it anymore. I'm not a huge telly fan but I will say Sopranos deserves to be number one and Arrested Development deserves a spot on that list.
Maybe Project Runway should have made it as well.
1. College Dropout-Kayne West
2. The Blueprint-Jay Z
3. Kid A-Radiohead
4. Skankonia-Outkast
5. Love and Theft-Bob Dylan
6. Home-Dixie Chicks
7. Funeral-Arcade Fire
8. I Am..Sasha Fierce-Beyonce
9. Future/SEx/LoveSounds-Justin T
10. You Are Free-Cat Power
* My thoughts:
Say what you want about grumpy, pushy Kanye..the man deserves number one. He's musically genius. I am liking the JT, Radiohead, Beyonce love but we are forgetting Lady Gaga here.
She's only come out this year, I know it's a little late but she is making some music/entertainment history already. She's pop gold and super talented lyrically and vocally. Don't hate folks...just think about it...
So you know my thoughts, what are yours? Anyone left off the list in your opinion? Anyone deserve to not be on the lists?

Music Memoirs Word Association!

Play it Here:

Let's do a winter word association, music style: I give you some words and you tell me the artist, song etc that you first think of.

snowflake:Honestly?? A Few of My Favourite Things by Julie Andrews. Sound of Music
bitter: Bittersweet Symphony-The Verve
cold: Cold Dark World-Weezer (speaking of Weezer...WTF Rivers?? :( Poor dear-black ice, the jaws of life, broken ribs and internal damages. Get well soon )
snuggle: Screaming Infidelities-Dashboard Confessional
kind: Trouble-Pearl Jam
tree: 12-23-95 - Jimmy Eat World
dark: Dark Shines-Muse
long: Long Way Down-Travis
candy: Candy Girl-New Edition
special: Special-Garbage

Random on Monday

A few items of note on this seventh day of December, 2009:

Firstly: I have finished all of my ornaments this weekend. I am only doing 35 this year. Usually I make about 70 and give them to anyone and everyone. This year...You have to be V.I.P to get one.

-With this I have also mailed all of my Christmas cards and ornaments out to respective parties, officially, as of today. Done. El Fin.
-I had a few painting crafts to complete as well. To be precise I had to paint up five different door hanger decorations for various folks. I completed this on Saturday, while watching The Wrestler (great film ps. by the way).

-My HUGE project for my friends date of birth is almost complete. I have very minor things left to complete. I decided to focus on my Christmas requirements first this weekend since I got so ahead of the game last weekend with this. I still have a week and a half yet to prepare this for her.

-Watched Paper Heart on Sunday. It's a documentary following around the quirky gal Charlene Yi (from Knocked Up) around the U.S. to interview people on "What is Love?".

It was actually really very cute and sweet. I quite liked it. Plus Michael Cera is in it. Michael Cera is seriously "like, the coolest person I've ever known, and he don't even have to try, you know.." (*juno) *sigh* Love him

-Some really good movies are making their way to DVD in the coming weeks. Firstly, Harry Potter 6 is out tomorrow. I asked Santa for this so I have to wait. Damn him!!!!!!
Also coming, Public Enemies, The Hangover, 500 Days of Summer, It Might Get Loud and Taking Woodstock. Super Excited to hear that Inglorious Basterds is coming out next Tuesday.
Anyone left who has not seen this one please rent it/Net Flix it/buy it. It's amazing.

-Anyone familiar with Ricky Gervais??? He's simply decadent. I could just eat him up. You know him..The Office (BBC...100x better than the US version), Extras (brilliant), Ghost Town, the Invention of Lying. Just downloaded two new Audiobooks. He does this hiliarious series with Steve Merchant called Ricky Gervais Guide To... they discuss Science, Politics, English and the newest Law and Oder. Some of the funniest stuff I have ever heard. I also got a few new podcasts of his to listen to this week. It makes work go by so much faster and I'm sure it makes me look like a nutter because I will randomly start laughing out of no where. muwahaha

-Got hotel accommodations situated for NJ on New Years. I also, finally, remembered to request off early on the day so we can get up to Atlantic City early. Should be interesting. Can't wait to see my manz. <3

-I am excited to be asked to help raise money for an organization called Throw Aways who help house, spay and neuter and adopt stray cats. Every year they run a promotion where you can bring your cat or dog to have a picture with Santa. My daddy plays Santa and my Ma is the helper Elf. I was asked to make custom cupcakes to sell at one of their events. I am super excited and prepared to bake four dozen. I love to volunteer and give when I can but sometimes it so hard to find time. This project is perfect. Or Purrrfect. ha ha the puns are coming out so it's time for me to wrap this up.

Hope everyone's Monday is going well. Cheers to check marks on all of your to-do lists!!

"You Say That Love Goes Anywhere..."

Change makes me anxious. Today a big change occurs. People float in and out of your life everyday. Sometimes the smallest encounter can make the biggest impact. Over a year ago at my company we had a "FNG" (effin new guy). She was small and ridiculous and liked to talk. A LOT. I do maths for a living so I had to share an office with her and I tend to block out external noise so I won't be confused when adding large sums. I didn't really pay her mind. She was the FNG. I wasn't accepting applications for friendship at that time. I had the damnedest time remembering her name. I knew it started with an "A"....but what was it??? Amber, Agnes, Angela, Amanda???

A few of my co-workers, who know that I have an issue with remembering names told me, on purpose mind you, that her name was Amber. I started to call her as this. Slowly I find that her name is actually Ashley. (thanks guys). I still, to this day, call her Amber.

Slowly my defenses came down and we began to talk more. I found we had a lot in common and the stuff we didn't have in common just made her more interesting. We talked of going out shopping sometime together, a task we both enjoy if the price is right. We never did. A month later, at our company Holiday party I got to meet her boyfriend, when introduced he said: "So you are the Penny that is taking over my life". Apparently I was just as interesting to her as well :)

From there our friendship grew. I was at an interesting period in my life. I was afraid to be me. The real me, the me that my husband, family and closest friends know. It was a struggle to wear so many hats, exhausting. I was afraid to open up. I held so much bitterness in my heart. I think this was because I wanted so badly to just be me and have people be okay with that. I'm childish, I'm kind of crazy, I like to sing, I wasn't your average late twenty-something with a husband and kids. I felt like I didn't fit in and in other ways I didn't want to fit in. That would open me up for disappointment and judgement.

I think Ashley/Amber and I are so alike in our personalities, only she wasn't afraid to show hers. She's in your face, she doesn't care what people think as long as she is happy with her and she wasn't afraid to voice her opinion on anything (no matter how redic..haha). She impacted my life. I had begun to see a therapist for insomnia and slowly I noticed a change occurring. Things didn't bother me as much. I began to really be me, everywhere. I began to see people and all of the things that used make me so bitter didn't anymore. I began to empathize with folks. I started to think and understand that if I wanted people to accept me in all of my splendor than it really wasn't fair for me to not accept them for what they are. Whatever that may be. I just wanted to be happy. I started to see that if other people were happy with their lot in life and with themselves than thats all that matters and I should be happy for them. I am. I think it's awesome.

Ashley/Amber was a by product of these new beginnings for me. I opened up with her. I let her in. I found some really amazing results in this. She always listened to me if I needed it. Really listened. She cares about me. Genuinely. She has always stuck by me, without a justification, through some interesting times and issues. I know that if I needed her for anything she would jump in her car and be there (and she has). I can tell her/say anything to her and she just accepts this. Without question. It just is. No judgement, no raised eyebrows, no smart ass remarks, just me being me and she's completely cool with that.

Today Ashley/Amber is leaving our company. She is on to other things and her presence/singing/chatter/ridiculousness will be truly missed. I will miss our spur of the moment decisions to grab "din-din" after work, go to Borders to wander or our evening "discuss" after work every day. She even gets coffee with me and doesn't even drink coffee..she just goes to go. I know we will continue to see each other and hang out and grab "din din" but work will definitely not be the same. Our office will feel extra empty without her big presence to fill it.
So to my Amber I say this: Good luck with the new job. You will be missed and thought of every day. Always text me and always know that I think you are amazing and hope that we remain friends for a life time.
blog title by Jimmy EAt World-Polaris

"Pick A Book Up and Turn the Sheets Down.."

I'm starting to panic.

I have once again, come to the end of my queue of books. "My Queue" is a pile of books on my office floor in front of my bookshelves of books that I am working through reading.

Usually this pile grows and remains always present. I noticed as of last eve that the pile is no more. I am currently reading my LAST queued book. This troubles me.

So: "shut your face and go get some more books", I hear you say. It's slightly more complicated than this. I am picky. I am also a little overwhelmed when entering a book store/online or library. I can not just walk into a book store and browse. I can't do it. I need guidance. I need referrals. I need help people!! I usually read books that are referred to me. By a friend or even the little prompt at the bottom of am@zon that shows you recommendations based on prior purchases. When reading my weekly porn (Entertainment Weekly) I usually check out the book section and sometimes, just sometimes I find something that catches my eye. I have to give full credit to EW for pointing me in Dan Chaon's direction. What an amazing author.

Before I ask (and I've probably asked this before) I will say this. I love character novels..novels that really have massive character development. The kind where you know the characters life story and you feel like you could be related to them, love them, or want to marry them.
I don't like serials, mysteries or Dean K. type of stuff(I find he doesn't go as deep into character development). So now that that is on the table: Any suggestions of a good read??

I will list what I have read the past few months, how I found it, and my review, to give you an idea of what it's like in Pennyland. No worries..I won't go back too far, I don't want you to fall asleep now...

Lovely Bones-Alice Sebold- My first book read in a little e-book club I have with B. Both B and I were not super impressed with this novel. It had a lot of hoopla attached and not much to back it up.

Love is A Mix Tape-Rob Sheffield-Found this on BeckEye's blog and had to read this. This book was amazing. Rob had a way with words that really draws you in and makes you feel his feelings of love, loss and drive to go forward.

Await Your Reply-Dan Chaon-Found this in EW. I devoured this book. It has huge character development and follows three sets of people in different walks of life that all tie together in the end. Themes of loss, acceptance, finding ones self and becoming something new/better appeared in this book.

Her Fearful Symmetry-Audrey Niffennegger-EW had a great review, plus I read Time Travelers Wife. Firstly, I was very neutral on Time Travelers Wife. It wasn't as great as everyone was making it seem. I was very skeptic going into Her Fearful Symmetry but I could not put this book down. It seriously was the best book I have read all year. Not since The Story of Edgar Sawtelle have I been so consumed. Character development was marvelous, the story was like nothing I have ever read and I was sad to see this end. I kind of want to read it again, already, even though I have just finished it.

Among the Missing-Dan Chaon-Purchased because I loved Await Your Reply-This is a collection of shorts. I am not a huge fan of shorts unless KING writes them (he deserves the Caps Lock..get over it). I can not say enough good things about this writer. He reminds me of Raymond Carver. He has such an intensity with his words. He describes even the mundane in a way that will leave your soul changed. The short stories have so much character development and heart and a deepness that when you finish you are actually amazed he could pull that off in a short. Loved this book. It touched my heart. Themes were essentially the same as, loss, finding yourself, relationships and their core, reinvention.

You Remind Me of Me-Dan Chaon-Again..I have only just started this but I love it. So far it's about four different people who are all intertwined in some way that even though they are separated they all deal with similar issues of wanting to be loved, accepted, find and be comfortable with their selves and find a better life. thats it..Enlighten me...
pretty please :)

*blog title by Jewel-You were Meant For Me

"Speechless, Without Speech"

Wordless Wednesday
I have nothing to say here, take a gander at these :)

My Theme:
29 More Days.....

(picture number one is not my work..but I found it fitting with this theme)

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