Quit Typing 2011 Already

Apologies for the December sabbatical that I took from the blog.  I think I needed a break from life over the holidays.  Any grand plans I had to be productive were abandoned for some good old fashioned me time.  Here’s what I did over the past few weeks:

Read
The Hunger Games: all 3 books in the trilogy (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay) in about 7 days, only interrupted by Christmas day itself.  I was obsessed.  The movie looks killer and much better than Twilight, probably.

Then I started Mindy Kaling’s book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?  And Other Concerns.  My Dad gifted it to me for Christmas with a “is this book about insecurities and lack of self-confidence, or…?”

Watched
A shit ton of movies, for me: Winter’s Bone, Pretty Woman, The Kids Are All Right, Heathers
{Fun fact: I convinced hubs to watch Pretty Woman by telling him that there was a surprise twist ending.  Spoiler alert: there wasn’t.}

Rode
In the car for lots of hours between my in-law’s house and my own.  It was Buster’s first road trip, and he did pretty well, aside from the nose prints and the couple of times that he insisted on riding up front with me.

Ran
Hubs and I began a Couch-to-5k running plan that we are constantly trying to catch up with (completed workouts on the “Meh-xercise” page).  I timed it perfectly to coincide with a Valentine’s Day themed 5k in February, and then we almost immediately fell behind for various reasons.  But we’re committed to doing all of the workouts before race day.  And by race, I mean waddle.

Familied
Most importantly, I spent time with my entire family, and loved every second of it.  Especially the moment when I realized that the confetti I had intended my nephew to dig through to find his Christmas presents would become airborne as soon as he opened the box.  My bad.

I hope you also had a restful and me-time-filled holiday break of some sort.  Now back to our regularly scheduled job-hating, sleep-depriving, stress-causing lives.

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Middle Child Birthday: A Memoir

I woke up this morning feeling hungover, which is strange, because I really didn’t drink enough last night to merit feeling like crap when I woke up.  I figured that it was probably a sugar hangover.  Here’s what I ate on my birthday:

Yeah, that explains it.  I think October will be the month of fresh fruit binging.  Starting…tomorrow.

So last night, hubs and I met my family at a local frozen yogurt and cupcake shop to celebrate our birthdays (he was born 4 days before me, thus the combined celebration).  We got some really awesome and thoughtful gifts from everyone, and it was so great to spend some time with my mom and siblings during a hectic work week.  One gift in particular stuck out to me though, and it is too funny not to share it with you:

My younger sister (by 2 years and 355 days) got me Jodie Sweetin’s autobiography, unSweetined.  You may remember Jodie from her (only) role on Full House as Stephanie Tanner, the middle of the three Tanner sisters.  And the one who grew up and had a whole bunch of issues.  Like, batshit crazy stuff happened to this chick, such as meth, and…well I think that’s pretty much it.  Girl, if the Olsen Twins can make it, then you have no excuses!  Still though, I can’t wait to read about all the gory details, now that I’m finally done with the last Dragon Tattoo book.  Even though I’m pretty sure my sister gave it to me as a joke.

I May Start Watching Gossip Girl Again

When I was in high school, I worked at a bookstore, which was pretty much the best job ever.  I came to the interview prepared to discuss my love of the classics, like Grapes of Wrath (true) and Anna Karenina (not even close to true).  But when I saw that the owner of the bookstore was reading The National Enquirer, I figured I just needed to show that I was competent enough to operate the cash register and alphabetize books.  And I was hired.

While employed at said bookstore, I read the Gossip Girl books.  I’m not really sure why, but I used that fact as an excuse to watch the TV show when it first came out a few years ago.  I’ll admit that I stuck through it the first two seasons, and then I gave up, because watching it made me feel really immature.  I haven’t really been into it since.  But then today I saw this:

And now I might have to start watching it again.  If only for the scruffy puppy.  I love me some scruffy puppies.

The Millenium Triology Messes with my Head

A month or so ago I was at the grocery store waiting for a prescription (thanks, bronchitis!), and I impulsively bought The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in paperback, because I needed a new book to read, and the American movie version is coming out in December and is supposed to be a super big deal, so I wanted to be prepared.

I read Dragon Tattoo in a matter of days.  It was suspenseful, cohesive, and kept me entertained for every second (although I would’ve been lost without the family tree in the front of the book).  It ended with some great closure: mystery solved, everyone goes about their day.  I loved it, so I quickly bought the second book in the trilogy, The Girl Who Played with Fire, which I finished last night.

All I have to say is, WTF Stieg Larsson!  (Bless his soul.)

Being a trilogy, I just assumed that the 2nd and 3rd books would follow the format of the 1st, with a mystery throughout that is neatly solved in the final pages.  BUT NO!  The 2nd book ended on a hell of a cliffhanger.  I was PISSED.  When I slammed the book down on my nighstand at 11:00 p.m., hubs was like, what is wrong with you?  After 700 pages of suspense, the book just STOPS.  And yes, I realize that the 3rd book is already published, I just have to go buy it to get the last bit of the story.  But I’m bummed.  I wanted a 3rd mystery.  And now I’m assuming that the 3rd book is just the conclusion of the 2nd one.

I hope I’m wrong.

I love reading fiction because it’s an escape from every day life.  It’s pretty much all I will read in my leisure time.  The last fictional book my husband read was The Da Vinci Code.  Otherwise he’s reading books about the economy, philosophy, business…zzzzzzoh sorry I fell asleep there for a second.  I tried to coax him into reading Dragon Tattoo when I was done with it, but describing it in an appealing way was sort of difficult.  It’s intense, and at times uncomfortable and gory, but it’s just a super cool murder mystery novel.  If you want to read something that makes you feel smart but isn’t difficult to comprehend, read this trilogy.

Be Faithful To Your Own Taste

I read this quote in Real Simple magazine last night as I was plugging away on the elliptical and trying to ignore the fact that the gym owner’s wife put Beastly on full blast on one of the shared TVs that is normally muted.  I guess her husband owns the place so she can do whatever she wants, but, it was super distracting!

Anyway:

“Be faithful to your own taste because nothing you really like is ever out of style.” – Billy Baldwin (no, not the one you’re thinking of)

I’m always afraid to take chances in home decor, because I’m afraid that people will think I’m dumb or lame or have terrible taste in general.  Sometimes I make misguided attempts, and am laughed at by everyone I know, like the time I did this on my living room bookshelves:


*This is not my house, I just didn’t bother to document my own failure.*

I let this sit for about a month before I admitted that it looked silly and turned my books back around…at which point every single person that came over told me how glad they were that I “made it right.”  Thanks for the support, Judgy McJudgersons.

Then I saw a super cool painting at Cost Plus World Market that I refused to pay $129 for and determined that I could recreate it with some nerd tools (a compass, a t-square, some chardonnay and some patience).  I’ll do a more in-depth tutorial on this later, but here are the results:

*Mine is on the left…obviously.*

I used colors that were already incorporated in my decor, so it would flow with things I already owned.  Plus I had a pretty big blank wall that I needed to fill.  I worried that it was too abrasive, too graphic, too paint-by-numbers, but I’ve actually gotten a ton of compliments on it!  Now I wish that I had bought the longer canvas, because painting is fun and the wall still looks pretty empty.

I guess the point is not to be afraid to take chances with your decor, because if you love it, who cares if other people don’t?  You’re the one that has to live with it everyday.  And if you’re cool with it, then that’s all that matters.