blog has been naughty

In which I am so happy the weekend is upon us

OMG, thank the gods it is Friday. A few people have said that this week has gone by relatively fast; however, I thought Wednesday was Thursday, so I feel like the weekend will never arrive.
I can't wait to NOT wake up to an alarm clock tomorrow morning, laze away in bed, cook up a couple of over-easy eggs with bacon, and tune in to Up With Chris Hayes.

This week's Friday5 is brought to you by "lasts".

1. At a gathering of your usual social group, who’s almost certain to show up last?
Bum (aka Alex). He is sure to be a very successful politician because he rarely ever shows up on time.

2. Of chores that must be done this weekend, which will you probably complete last, and why?
Sweeping the bathroom floor. It's just such a tiny space, and usually, I just forget.

3. Some TV remote controls have a “last” button. If you were to turn your TV on now and hit the “last” button on the remote, which channel would you be taken to?
Without a doubt, the Tennis Channel. I would bet so much money on this, and that is saying a lot because gambling (with real money) makes me nervous.

4. Your task is to try one scoop of ice cream per day until every one of thirty-one flavors is consumed. Which do you save for last?
Probably some brownie-chocolate-cherry-almond blend. Does that exist? If so, I want it.

5. When did you last have an awful meal in a restaurant?
It wasn't a restaurant, but before my St. Patty's party last weekend, I picked up some sushi while at Kroger. I know that store sushi has nothing on prepared-by-a-sushi-chef-who-just-came-from-Japan sushi, but it usually satisfies the craving and isn't all that bad. However, the box I picked up then was awful because the rice was old or over-cooked. I didn't even finish it.
It was a very sad moment in my life.

Remember to love.
ferris wheel

In which I talk about lines a week late because that is how I roll

I am a week late with this particular Friday5, but it has been saved in my Drafts folder, and I wanted to pwn it (aka: just finish it).
It is brought to you by the word "lines".

1. What’s the longest line you’ve ever stood in?
I have been harboring on this question for a week, and I honestly cannot recall a line that I have stood in that was unreasonably long. I'm sure I have, but apparently, it was not incredibly memorable.
When I think of long lines, I think of amusement parks and rollercoasters. However, I don't ride rollercoasters, so I have avoided those kinds of lines. When I go to parks or festivals, I fill my time with playing those rigged booth games (because I *can* out-smart then goddammitt!) and eating all of the you-will-soon-die-of-heart-failure luscious fried food.

2. When did you have the most fun waiting in line?
Waiting for the doors to open for Conan when he was here back in 2010. It was a quick line, but Heidi and I were so excited.

3. What line, no matter how long or short it is, always drives you crazy?
The bank.
Seven teller desks but only two open.
On a Friday.

4. When did you last behave in a manner that was over the line?
Eh, I'm too nice to make a ruckus while in line. Or at the very least, I have no recollection of ever making one.

5. What are some lines of poetry you can recite from memory?
A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed,
Marked the mastodon.

Maya Angelou, Inaugural Poem, January 20, 1993

Remember to love.
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take a smile

In which I "light up" in this week's Friday 5

This week's Friday5 is all about lights.

1. Where’s a good place to check out some pretty lights?
If you mean Christmas (or Holiday) lights, the Atlanta Botanical Gardens has a pretty sweet lights show that happens during December. It's basically thirty acres of awesomeness.

2. How well do you sleep with the lights on?
I can sleep okay with them on, but I definitely sleep better with them off. Unfortunately, during this entire work week, I have fallen asleep with the lights on. The main problem is that my major light source is a double-headed tall lamp that is across the room from where I sleep. So when my eyelids start getting heavy and I am already cuddled up in bed with the television on, the chances of me getting up to hit the switch is almost nil.
I really, really, really want a Clapper.

3. What’s your favorite song with the word “light” or “lights” in the title?
This may or may not count, but the song "Dancin' in the Moonlight" that was covered by the band Toploader is just one of my favorite dance songs. Even if I am having a crappy day, that tune will at the very least make me tap my feet, if not dance like an outright banshee. It was a part of the "Walk to Remember" movie soundtrack and has been a part of my life ever since my freshman-year roommate brought that CD into my life.

4. What “light” version of some food or drink is as good as (or better than) its regular version?
I have found that light Ranch dressing is better on my taste buds than regular Ranch. It seems a bit smoother, less dense, and just tastier all around (although Ranch dressing is bad for you no matter how light it is).

5. Which light in your house seems to need changing the most frequently, and which the least?
I have only lived in my condo for a little over two years, so most of the bulbs still have not been changed.
I have four light sockets in my bathroom, and after a few months of living here, I changed a few of them. My closet light seems to still be going quite strong. However, I do have those environmentally efficient and ever-lasting bulbs that you can buy, so I guess I am kind of a cheater on this question. :)

Remember on love.
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books: butterfly bookmark

In which I Friday5 and brag about my weekends

This week's Friday5 deals with Spinning.

1. What’s had you spinning ’round in circles lately?
Nothing that pops into my head at the moment. However, not so much in the spinning sense, but I have been absolutely dorking out about The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (a modern video blog adaptation of Pride and Prejudice). if you have been following me on Twitter, I do apologize for all of the fan-girling. It is just that the online community is so great. :)

2. When were you last on a bicycle?
I'm guessing the last bicycle I rode was probably a stationary one at a gym or something, but I cannot recall the last time I used an actual bike. I think about getting one all the time, though.

3. Who’s the best storyteller you know?
I am sure there is someone that I have known for quite awhile who tells the best stories, but at the moment, the only person I can conjure up is a lady at work named Tiffany. She always has these dramatic stories to tell that make you laugh, and she creates such awesome visuals. I love it.

4. How well do you handle carnival rides?
Oh, not well at all. I am not really a fan of roller-coasters or much of anything that gives me that sensation of falling.
I can do those ridiculous water rides if I pump myself up.
However, I do love going to carnivals and festivals. Love playing the games, eating the food, and hearing the music of life all around. It's great.

5. What do you think of TV gameshow Wheel of Fortune?
I haven't thought about it in a really long time. Though when it does pop into my head, I think about the host Pat Sajak and how it was exposed that he was high for most of the show tapings back in the day.
It seems like a lot of TV hosts have such tragic stories.

Two weekends ago, my very good friend John Burke had his first piano concert at our alma mater. The place was packed (everyone loves him)! He has self-released two albums now (the purpose of his concert was to debut his second), and I just could not be prouder. I have had nothing to do with his skills or success, but I was a proud mama bear while I was there listening and watching him play such lovely and poignant pieces. He makes my heart lighter, and I shall adore him always.

There was a strong OU contingent there as well, so it was great to see old friends and reconnect. As you know, nothing makes me happier than being in a room filled with friends, laughing, and hugging. It's like salve for the soul.

Last weekend was supposed to be 'stay at home and get tipsy while re-watching The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (TheLBD)'. However, the best laid plans, as you know. I ended up getting two free tickets to the Ringling, Barnum, and Baileys "Dragons" show. They were VIP Suite Box tickets. I mean, top-notch. However, finding someone to attend with me became quite a problem. Either people already had plans or if I would have called them three hours earlier, they would have been free.

I called my friend Charlotte, and she was looking for someone to go with her to this big fundraising event that was to help the LGBTQ organization The Rainbow Center. It was supposed to be this huge costume party that had a Paradise theme, a live band, open bar, and lots of fun. I ended up going to that, and it was ALL OF THOSE THINGS. There was a crazy amount of food, dancing, fabulous drag queens, an aerial artist, a fire dancer - and all of this was in this historic Atlanta mansion that Charlotte works at.
It was where I supposed to go, and I am so glad that I did.

I also got to see one of my loveliest friends Aly (Alybaster if you're me). She sneaked into town for an audition for the weekend, and it was so good to see her for even the briefest of times. I just love her so much. New York is too far away! :)

This weekend will consist of resting, lots of Up W/ Chris Hayes political nerding out, and reading.
Ron Currie Jr.'s new book FLIMSY LITTLE PLASTIC MIRACLES came out recently, and I finally got it.

I think I have mentioned him here previously on the blog, but his first two books were (ARE) so out-of-the-box amazing to me that it is almost scary. It is interesting because his books are normally not the kind of genres that I gravitate toward, and yet, they are now two of my favorite novels.

In the end, I don't think it has much to do with the genres, for me it has more to do with the way Ron writes. I have been trying to explain it to different people all week long, and I am still trying to come up with a sensible explanation. His writing is not overt in any way, and it is not the topics either. It's something about the viewpoint he finds in these topics, and the simplistic and beautiful way he writes them. He explains need and love and devastation in ways I have never heard them spoken about before.

Lately I have been saying that his writing scratches my soul. That may sound weird and kind of awful, but it fits. When I read God is Dead and Everything Matters!, his words stuck so closely with me when I wasn't reading them. In an almost uncomfortable way. His words somehow have a direct link to the bottom of my heart, and they sit there and shake or something.

I don't know. His novels read almost poetic, and they haunt me.

So I am actually kind of afraid to dive into this next book (even though I have been BEYOND excited about its release for six months) because this one particularly focuses on love and loss and hope - all of which will emotionally kill me because his last two books have made me cry from the inadvertent love stories. So I'm guessing this one is going to rip my gut apart.

However, for Ron Currie Jr., who writes beautifully and takes a story into places I have never traveled, I am sure he will make my ravaged gut worth it.
... which is eerily funny because my roommate had to tear apart the box that the book came in to get it out of our mailbox.
I figured that was a sign. :)

Remember to love.
tech overload

In which I Friday 5 and talk about love

This Friday5 post was from last month, and it's all about celebrations!

1. When did you last blow up a balloon?
Phew, probably about five years ago when there was a water balloon fight.

2. Whose house is especially well-designed for parties, and why?
Dusty's! Goodness, if I wasn't a dear friend and his co-host to our parties, I would probably rent his house out for special occasions.
The way the house is laid out is brilliant. It's technically two-stories high, but the first floor is a split-story. He has a glass-encased back patio, a spacious den, a library that stores a nice octagon-shaped table for games, a great kitchen with tons of surface space for food and drinks, a living room with a keyboard, and a couple of roomy bathrooms for guests.
It is just the best.

3. If the party starts at seven, what time are you there?
If I am hosting, I am always there at six. If I am a guest, seven thirty. (Unless it's a dinner or at a restaurant. I'm always on time for those.)

4. Who brought the best thing to your last potluck?
I have never had a potluck (unless you count a BYOB party), but you're giving me ideas though. :)

5. Now that the holidays are over, what (besides a birthday) might be the next thing you celebrate in the company of others?
Speaking of Dusty, we are co-hosting a St. Patty's Day party next month again. If it was anything like last year, we are going to blow the roof off of the house with how good it is going to be. :)

I am neither a person who thinks Valentine's Day is the best holiday ever, nor am I a person that thinks it is evil, nor do I think everyone should just forget about it because of the whole, "What about the single humans and the suicide rate?" etc.

I believe that if you are against the Day in general and you let EVERYONE know about it (or sulk off into Hermitsville), you are falling into the same trap as the lovebirds. Generally, they do something special to celebrate the day. If, as an anti-love day advocate, you do something differently to NOT celebrate the day, I consider that the same thing. Both sides are doing something out of the norm to recognize the holiday.
The Oatmeal explains it wonderfully.

All major holidays throughout the year over-amplify human relations: be kinder to each other, notice and appreciate our armed forces, be grateful for the existence of things in our lives. Like Jesus more.

I personally believe love is eternal and is shown year-round, it's just marketed more this time of year.
Couples aren't any more lovey-dovey than they are in July, September, or May. I notice PDA year-round. One of the reasons is because I desire affection. The other reason is people are genreally hesitant to show it, so it is more noticeable when someone does.

I am partial to love; I guess it's obvious since the word is in my LJ handle. :)
Valentine's Day does have an effect on me, but I think about love all the time. So really, it's just par for the course.
Just as an update, I am still having difficulties pairing up with someone though - in a true dating sense.

Aziz Ansari, the comedian, was interviewed by The AV Club and basically took the thoughts out of my brain and said them through his lips. He talks about how great technology is but states that it has become a hindrance to dating.

GOD YES. Texting, Google, Facebook stalking.
Cellphones with Internet - the deterrent of any and all conversation. It is awful, and we, as a society, do not care.

I guess I am a traditionalist when it comes to relationships.
I want to converse.
In person.
With words being spoken.

Oh well. One can dream. :)

Remember to love.
outside the

In which I give you the Friday 5 - on a Tuesday

I know that Friday has passed us, but I really liked the questions over at Friday5 from the weekend, so here they are!

1. What was your favorite breakfast cereal when you were a kid?
Cookie Crisps!

2. What’s your favorite breakfast cereal now?
Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds.

3. Where does cereal rank on your list of favorite breakfasts?
Number 3 - behind over-easy eggs and a good breakfast skillet.
Actually, cereal rarely counts as a breakfast food for me. I eat it constantly, day or night. Ask any of my current or ex-roommates. :) I think over the past weekend, I consumed five or six bowls. I just love it so much!

4. What serial novels or films have you most recently enjoyed?
Eric Jerome Dickey has a novel series that started with Sleeping with Strangers about an assassin who has the heart of a romantic. I still have not finished the final book (partly because I don't want it to be over, and I'm afraid Gideon [the main character] is going to die).

5. What recently surreal experience have you gone through?
As mentioned in my previous post, I saw Louis CK live at the Fox Theater a couple of weekends ago. I remember sitting 20 yards from him and thinking, "He's not on a screen. He is here in Atlanta, in the same room as I am. This is awesome and weeeeeiiiiiirrrrrd."
Loved it.

Remember to love.
people change lamp

In which I have growing pains

Louis CK was at the Fox Theater last Friday night. I was there to witness his stand up special.
I felt this should be documented because it was incredible, and I love his brain oh-so-much.

I will never forget that night, unless I get Alzheimer's, in which case I will not remember that I forgot it, or I will re-live it over and and over again like it is happening in the present.
I am okay with that. :)

I went to visit my family back at my childhood home a few weeks ago. Heading back to Texas has always been... complicated, but I have realized that after spending four and a half days there as a 27-year old adult, it is even more complicated. I also concluded through this realization that I made the right decision leaving there and moving to Atlanta. It was nice to see family (especially my grandmother since she's getting older), but that environment is emotionally poisonous (still, I guess.)

Lots of drama, lots of financial strain and tension between the people there. It is not good for my Chi.
I am not joking. The negative energy weighed down on me heavily. Everyone is alive and getting on, but I need more than that to live a happy and fulfilled life. And I think at times, some family members forget that you need more than just a roof over your head and a little money coming in to make a good life happen.

There were bright spots though. My brother is always the best, and my sister is doing well in college (she's even got a pretty serious boyfriend). I do love them. The older I get, the more I realize how it must have been an unseen blessing that kept us strong enough to not fall down the pit that some of the family is in. We must have subconsciously latched on to each other, kept each other afloat, and pushed each other up when needed. Pure survival skills.

Speaking of the subconscious, I had a dream the other night that I was getting married off to an old elementary and high school friend of mine - a guy that I basically grew up with. Again, I did not choose to marry him. Apparently, he came out of nowhere, spoke to my grandmother outside, told her I was the one for him (or something); then, twelve hours later, my whole family is at my grandmother's house putting together a wedding that is supposed to take place that night.

I kept asking my mother and my grandmother if this was the right thing to do (it HAD to be a dream because I would never do that). They kept saying, "Well, he obviously cares about you a lot. He came up the driveway after all this time, and I mean for goodness' sake, he was the only one who could find your camera!" (I had lost my digital camera somehow during the whirlwind, and no one saw it, but somehow he found it .... under a lump of uncooked ground beef. Don't ask; I have no idea either.)

Anyhoo, it was weird and uncomfortable, and I was never able to actually talk to the guy myself because everyone else kept us at opposite ends of the room, if not opposite ends of the house itself.
It was like worst case scenario nightmare because I do not want my family to be in charge of anything that important regarding me EVER.

I apologize. I truly did not mean for my first post back to come off as whiny.
You know, when it all comes down to it, I love my family; and with that love, I can clearly see what is best for us to keep that love solid. It is to be not there with them.
To create a life that I cherish, help them out when I can, make a future that is not filled with regret, and one that is worth living life to its fullest.

It is an inverted life lesson, I suppose. I needed grow away from them to see how far I have come.

Remember to love.
take a smile

In which I have gift-receiving baggage

The age of 27 is coming up in a little over a week. I was telling my roommate several days ago that knowing what you wanted for your birthday was much easier when you were younger. You had a list planned months in advance probably. However, once you are older, it's harder (for me anyway) to tell people what I want.

For starters, once you hit a certain age, your tastes typically become more expensive. The lust for a cool plastic toy, fake jewelry, or a fancy doll (even though some of those are expensive - Baby Born was like 85 bucks when I was younger), you start to want video games, computers, then household items, or your motor fixed. (That's what she said.)

Two: even if, as an adult, you do have a moderately-priced list of things you want, to me it is odd to give someone that list. It's as if you're saying, "Yes, I expect you to give me something." Now obviously, if they ask for it, then there is no weird entitlement moment, but other than that, I'm not sure I would feel comfortable doing it. When you are a child living at home, there is an expectation of cake and presents from parents, aunts and uncles, but once you're an adult, doesn't that expectation have to get tapered down?
There is always an exception of course. If you're in a relationship, then obviously you expect something from your significant other; otherwise I'm sure that would be a matter of contention later on. :)

The third reason is from my own personal baggage. I never received many gifts when I was younger, and a major part of that was from us being quite poor. Because of this, my mindset has always been based on "need". As of right now, in basic survival mode, I have everything I need. There is food, water, shelter, a place to lay my head. There is even abundance because I have Internet, cable, and a plethora of reading materials. So, I'm good.

Lavish materials are very nice, and I do have several lists around the Web of things that I want, but in my head, they will be things that I buy for myself at some point.

I do adore experiences, though. I put that in my birthday party invite description. Friends hanging with friends. It is one of my favorite things. I am sure it stems from me not being able to do that when I was a teenage. I was a caregiver for my sister then. A housekeeper. A depressed kid. I was not able to enjoy the things that most people were able to have back then. No parties, no movie-outings. Just a book and I sitting in a chair at midnight after cleaning the kitchen, trying to escape the non-control I had around me.

Good experiences with others are important to me. Meeting a friend or two for dinner after work, a drink at Hudson's, a quick movie meetup, or having a weekend-outing made of delicious sushi equals the best.

So, if I get a gift for getting older, it is icing and extra cherries on an already very awesome dessert because what I truly want is interacting with the people I care about in one place. My parties sometimes seem to take on a life of their own and create big splashes, but to me, they are some of the simplest and most enjoyable things I can do. Laughing, catching up, reliving old memories, but most importantly, creating new ones.

In the end I realize that that was something I wasn't able to have much of when I was younger, but it was definitely something that I needed.

Blessings come in many different forms.
Remember to love.
st. patty's

In which busy and fun times roll

I just got a text from my friend Dusty that stated he is going to "crawl into whiskey soon." I love my friends.
He and I are hosting a St. Patty's Day party tomorrow night at his place. S'goona be kind of fantastic.

This week has been filled with nothing but work during the day and tennis late into the night (and early in the morning). Last week, however, was insanity times seventeen thousand.

Yes. Seventeen thousand.

It was our first full week after announcing the Symphony season, and the subsribers are the pickiest bunch of people that you ever don't want to meet.
I called last week The Perfect Storm. It was the first week of renewals, plus a full moon week, PLUS a huge sale happening down the hall in the box office that started on the day of the full moon, plus PLUS a huge concert over the weekend.
I am surprised no one died from exhaustion.

Then to top the week off, my brother came down to visit for the weekend with his girlfriend. I love my brother, and I love the fact that he came down to see how my world is now after so many years, but boy did he pick the worst weekend! I was exhausted and did not want to do anything but lay comatose in my bed for the entirety of Saturday and Sunday, but one of the last things I am is rude, and when people come down/over/up to The A, I want them to have a great time because I love the city and enjoy their company.

When he left on Monday afternoon, he sent me a text saying that he was proud of me and how well I have done for myself. It was truly a sweet message and definitely cherished because my family does not dole out compliments EVER.

I have to work late tonight, and then I am heading out for some Friday night dinner, which will be followed by more tennis and then blessed sleep.
That sexy mistress - I adore her so.

Remember to love.
from scratch

In which I gladly accept that I shall be a geek forever

Over the course of last week, there were lots of tiny YAY! nerdy things that happened for me.
Kevin Smith (Silent Bob, if you're nasty) has a pseudo-documentary, part-podcast TV show on AMC called Comic Book Men that comes on Sundays before or after The Walking Dead. There have been three or four episodes so far, and they are all silly and fun and a great way to end your weekend.

Well on Sunday night, I mentioned on Twitter how the show is getting funnier every week, and when I went into work the next morning, an email was sent to me that THE Kevin Smith favorited my tweet! I squee-ed at work and bounced around in my chair for like fifteen minutes. I love him and would marry him if he let me (and you know, did not have a wife and child), but oh well.

Also! My favorite author from back in the day, Sandra Brown, was having a book giveaway for some of her classics, and I won! When the package came in, not only did I get the book, but she sent me another one AND a few signed bookmarks and some of her specialty Kleenex that she had made to promote her book RAINWATER.
I love her, too. Obvs!

To end the week on a high-note, I got a monthly email from this online quiz site that I partake in. It's called Brainbashers, and they have a monthly Common Answers quiz that you can fill out. Around 1000-2500 people take the quiz every month, including groups and leagues, and it ranks you on how well you do. Well, I got 1st place from last month! 1st place out of 1400 people! I was stoked and did some more bouncing! I thought, "No one would even understand why the hell I am so happy, but oh man, I am a jolly butterfly right now!"

It was personally a good week for me.

Other random bits:
The next month or so (especially next week) is going to be the busiest time in our office, so I have been stocking up on a few things at home that are some of my favorite de-stressers. I have taught myself how to crochet again. (Thanks, YouTube!) I have a couple of coloring books lying around and have been coloring the hell out of some butterflies. I have also been stocking up on books that interest me (which isn't that hard to do since I'm an information junkie and love all kinds of knowledge - fictional or not).

Basically, I am just trying to do things I love because I feel like as we get older, time flies by faster, and life is just too freakin' short to be unhappy with what you are doing or NOT doing with your free time.

For some reason, this past Friday I started dancing while brushing my teeth, and didn't even realize it until after I was out of mirror range and wondered why. I looked down at my legs and they were in groove-mode. I thought, "Why am I so peppy this morning?"

My brain was like, "Duh, idiot, you are happy. Let it happen."

Okay then. Challenge accepted.
Remember to love.