Friday, December 31, 2010

The Pressure

Is there any night of the year with more pressure to do something "cool" than New Year's Eve? As far as pressure filled holidays go, I think it goes something like this:

1. New Year's Eve
1. Valentine's Day

(Yeah, I know they're both 1.)

It seems like all anyone is talking about lately is New Year's Eve plans. Several friends of mine are throwing little parties but secretly I am just in the mood to stay at home and watch a movie with a few people. Is that so wrong!?

I'm all hyped up with New Year's pressure today. Someone did something that ticked me off earlier today and I found myself thinking, "I can't believe he did that on New Year's Eve." What? Why!? It's not like it's my birthday. I need to just calm down. This day is clearly making me more sensitive than I need to be.

And I don't even want to talk about the pressure to kiss someone at midnight.

So I won't. Moving on... do you feel pressure to do something awesome tonight? Do you feel like a loser if you don't?

I'm excited about the new year. I just wish we didn't have to pass through New Year's eve (pressure) to get there. That having been said, I hope you all have a fun one - in whatever way is fun for you! No pressure! Do whatever you want to do! It's ok with me if you just stay home! Go to bed at 10:00 for all I care! (Actually, don't do that. Stay up till midnight. It's the one rule I enforce.) 

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wednesday Thoughts

I've written a lot this week so I'll make this post a short one. Besides this opening paragraph, this post will contain just one statement and one question.

I've adjusted to vacation. :)

Where is one place you want to visit in 2011?

Happy Wednesday!


Gripe #1: New Year's Eve
I have almost never been a fan of New Year's Eve (there were a few years there where I sort of enjoyed it). There's so much anticipation for it - it's too much. One night can never live up to that kind of anticipation. And in my experience, no matter how fun the party, people start looking kinda bored around 11:00, and at 12:05 start grabbing their coats. Then you have to drive home with a bunch of drunk drivers on the road through a snow storm (if you live in Michigan).

Here's a nice story so this post doesn't make you all grouchy and punchy and stuff: a couple years ago, I had a great New Year's Eve. Why? Because I went out of town with my sister and we went to a town where we know almost no one and just watched a local band play at a fun restaurant till midnight. No expectations = best New Year's ever.

Gripe #2: New Year's Resolutions
This is the first time in my adult life that I've been pessimistic about making them. I've heard people complain about them and how they don't work for years and I've always thought it was worth it anyway. This year however... this year I have doubts. But I'm still not a total pessimist. I just need some of you to tell me that at least one New Year's Resolution has worked for you. If you have ANY success story in this department, inspire me! Please?

I will almost surely make at least one New Year's Resolution because part of me can't help but be a bit optimistic. Still. I could use some encouragement in this department.

On a positive note, 2011 is gonna be awesome, right!? And on another positive note: I promise my next post is going to be cheerful. Sorry for being all gripey lately. Vacation boredom has taken its toll on me. (What a ridiculous statement!)

Monday, December 27, 2010


Best part of the day today
Why am I not good at vacations? It's day one of my week off and I'm bored. I'm sure some of you are thinking, "I have to work this week and now I have to listen to this spoiled brat complain about having a paid vacation?" To you I say this: skip this post. It'll only make you angry.

Truth is, if given the choice between having the day off or going to work, I would choose having the day off any day. But now, faced with hours and hours of unscheduled time, I find myself at a loss. What were all those things I wished I had more time to do? Without structure, I can no longer remember. It's the same feeling I get when I go into a Blockbuster video store without a goal in mind: "what movie do I want to rent? I have no idea. Everything looks so good. I'm confused... I guess I'll rent Air Bud III." Then I get home and think, "what happened?"

Today I slept in, baby-sat my nieces and nephew, shopped, cleaned, did laundry, showered (yes, in that order), and made dinner. Other things I've been doing to entertain myself:
  • I added the "ShopSavvy" ap, which allows you to scan the barcode of any product using your phone camera, then tells you where you can find that for the cheapest nearby. I scanned the crap out of everything I own to make sure I got the best deal possible, until I eventually got bored with it.
  • I got a Twitter account. Yes, a Twitter account.  I was forced into it, really. Here's a link to my page. If you "follow" me, I will follow you too. As soon as I figure out how to do that.
After all that, I pronounced myself bored at 7:00 pm.

How ungrateful can one get!? I should be glad for the free time. And I am, I really am. I guess I just do better with structure. Today, however, is the only day this week that I have nothing social planned, so hopefully I'll feel more settled when I have somewhere to be. Well, I better wrap this up. It's 8:15 (pm) and I haven't done my hair yet.

What are your favorite things to do on vacation?

And heads up, any comments telling me to stop whining will be deleted. Love you!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Crazy Faces

Since I failed at getting everyone to open the gifts "middle out" again this year (see post below),
I was left to try to entertain my little nephew until it was his turn to open his gifts. This little guy refuses to smile for pictures, so I let him indulge
his picture-ruining abilities with a series of pictures that
make me laugh every time I look at them. I pretended to
want him to be serious, but he knew my heart
wasn't in it. I hope these make you laugh too. And I hope you had a great Christmas!


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Letter 2010

It's the 11th, hour, I know. But it's still Christmas, so I'm not too late! Some of you may remember my Christmas letter from last year (in case you don't, here's a link). I had so much fun doing it last year, I figured I might as well do another one this year! It contains just a few of my 2010 highlights. It's been an awesome year!

Now stop ignoring your family and go back to the room they're all in! I'll do the same.

 Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Middle Out

On Christmas day, my immediate family spends the morning together, exchanging gifts and having a big breakfast together. Then around 1:00 we head over to my aunt and uncle's house where all the extended family (who live near enough) gather together for the rest of the day.

When I was a kid up through my early 20's, we all exchanged gifts at my aunt and uncle's house. It was a fairly large group so most of the gifts were inexpensive. We took turns opening presents, either going youngest to oldest or oldest to youngest. My uncle, who is the youngest "grown up," and I, who am the oldest "kid" of the group were right in the middle so no matter which way we went, the two of us got the shaft.

One year he and I started trying to get everyone to agree to go "middle out," meaning that the gift opening would begin with us, then go older, younger, older, younger. We got our way one year but everyone got really confused with it and had no patience with us every year after that when we'd yell "MIDDLE OUT!" repeatedly as everyone was sitting down to open gifts.

So, in order to make gift opening more interesting for the rest of us, who had to wait forever for our turn, one year I decided it might be fun if everyone had an assigned emotional reaction that they had to act out with every gift they opened. In some weird twist of fate, many family members agreed with me that this would be fun. So on Thanksgiving those who decided to participate drew an emotion assignment out of a hat that they would use on Christmas. I recently found our list and these were the options:

Grossed Out

I don't remember what I gifts I received that year, but I remember there was a lot of laughter as those participating acted out their assigned emotion with each gift they received. I think my favorite was "grossed out," which, unless you're receving the booty bank (see below), is not a usual reaction to opening a gift.

I wish I could say this became a tradition with us, but to be honest I guess it was just too weird. Or rather, unique. It was a moment in time that can't be repeated. It is one of my favorite Christmas memories.

And as long as we're on the subject of favorite Christmas memories, here is a picture of my grandma with some of her great-grandkids (and one of my uncles) at a family party we had today:

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wednesday Thoughts

I accidentally hugged my supervisor yesterday.

It happened so fast I barely realized what was happening. This is not a person I normally hug, and that's an understatement. So, here's what happened.

It was the end of the work day. As I was walking out, I said something like, "see you all tomorrow" to the few people still at their desks. My supervisor, who had just walked back in the room said, "actually, today is my last day before my vacation, so I won't see you until January." When I looked up at her, she looked really sad about something. Surely it wasn't the fact that she wouldn't see me for two weeks, though I'd understand if it was. But anyway, seeing her so sad and saying goodbye, a couple options ran through my head:

a. Say, "have a good break!" and leave. But that seemed heartless since she was obviously upset about something.
b. Hug her and say the same thing.

Before I could actually think through what to do, I hugged her. She accepted my hug like it was the most normal thing, but as I walked out, my head was spinning.

Hugging your boss is like calling your teacher "mom." I'm just glad she has two weeks to forget about the incident.

Please tell me something more embarrassing you've done so I can stop reliving this in my head.

Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Three Gifts I do NOT want for Christmas

Of all the junk mail I get, my favorite by far is the Harriet Carter catalogue. It's chock-full of oddities. Some of them useful, like the dachshund door draft stopper.  But most are just.... weird. Here are three things I beg of you not to get me for Christmas this year.

The fanny bank: this bank actually makes "sounds" when you put money in it. If there is someone in your life who you truly hate, you may purchase it here.

Snowman toilet cover. This is just awkward. Honestly, it wouldn't feel right using this toilet. Think about it.

The knit dickey. Not only does it have a super embarrassing name but can you even imagine wearing this? You'd know you weren't really wearing a shirt under your blazer and unless you have that thing taped in there, I have no idea how it wouldn't ride up, revealing what it was meant to cover. The only person who can pull off a dickey is Cousin Eddie from Christmas Vacation. Am I right?

If there's something you don't want for Christmas, now's the time to put it out there. There's still time!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Weekend Update

Some things I did this weekend:

I adjusted to the cold.

On Friday I was walking outside and I thought to myself, "It's not too cold today." I checked the temperature and it was 22 degrees. I didn't think it was that bad. I don't usually adjust till January. That is so sick and twisted.

the ice on my sunroof

I almost wore leopard print tights to church.

But then decided it might be too inappropriate. I did wear a leopard print scarf though, which is totally different, of course.

Scandalous? You decide.

I watched about 8 hours of karaoke.

The first four hours were at my work Christmas party, the rest were
with friends that night at a place that almost surely doubles as a Korean whorehouse.
(The evidence being the beds in the rented private rooms and the fact
that everything is in Korean.)

I felt guilty for thinking Julian Assange is kinda hot with his hair like this.

I know he's bad - so bad - but... he's kinda.... rebel hot.
Still, he shouldn't have done the things he did. Of course.

Bad boy.
Loved Bill Hader's portrayal of Julian Assange on SNL (links- check these out!)

He's my SNL crush.

Said goodbye to my good friend Jesse, who's selfishly living his

 life and moving back to Utah to finish school.

He looks mad in this picture, but I'm even
more mad at him for leaving.
(I act mad when I'm sad.)

And I baked lots of cookies for Christmas

don't you wish you were my friend or co-worker?

How was your weekend? What'd you do?

Saturday, December 18, 2010


You think you know someone.

Last night I went out with some friends to celebrate my friend Anna's birthday. The party started out at a restaurant, then we moved to a karaoke place where you rent rooms for private parties. We planned on having the cake there. While at the restaurant, however, we realized we didn't have anything to eat the cake with, or cut it, once we got to the karaoke place.

We asked the server for a few napkins and plastic forks which she happily gave us. But then my friend realized we still didn't have a knife to cut the cake. Next thing I knew, she grabbed a knife off the table and put it in her purse! Calm and cool as can be. Huh!?

Needless to say, my eyes bugged out - I was shocked! As you can see in this photo, she was already wearing gloves so as not to leave finger prints (I'm assuming).

Below is a picture of the birthday girl herself, holding the stolen knife to cut the cake:

Have you ever seen such a brazen act of theft? Not to worry though, we go to that restaurant a lot and I'll make sure she returns it next time we're there (lest you were about to call the police on us).

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday Thoughts

Have I mentioned it's cold? Don't worry, I'm not going to spend this whole post talking about it, but I had to share this with you. Yesterday I realized that with the temperatures being as low as they are, I should probably take my cans of diet rootbeer out of the back of my car before they explode. So when I got home from work, I opened the hatch to grab the case and found this:

Guess I was too late. Lesson learned: sub-zero temps = pop can death.

When the weather gets like this, I go into hibernation mode. I start wanting to stay inside, snuggle up under a blanket, eat comfort foods, and watch movies. Here are just a few of the movies I've watched in the past few weeks:

Persuasion (sooo good - makes me believe in love again)
Free Willy (which I *gulp* bought for $5 - don't hate!)
Castaway (breaks my heart every time Wilson drifts away. Why!? Why!?)
Ghostbusters II (not as good as Ghostbusters I, but Bill Murray is hilarious)
The Interpreter (didn't get it)
Christmas Vacation (one of my all time favorites!)
Elf ("not now, arctic puffin!")

All that and I have a Bill Murray double feature in the works for later this week. Winter is in full swing.

I have to admit though, that even though I'm enjoying curling up with some good movies, I'm already getting cabin fever and winter hasn't even officially started yet. To combat it, on Monday night I put on nearly every piece of clothing I own and went for a walk. There's something so nice about a winter night walk. And no, I'm not talking about the way the wind cuts through all the layers of clothing, or the weird way you have to step so as not to slip on the ice. Though my face was frozen by the time I got home, it was invigorating. And I felt like I'd beaten winter this round - or at least, held my ground.

Elizabeth: 1 (went outside for an extended period of time)
Winter: 1 (rootbeer cans)

Usually winter kicks my butt, so I can live with a tie.

What are you being drawn to lately? And more importantly, when was the last time you saw Free Willy? I have it if you want to borrow it.

Happy Wednesday.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow Day

Yesterday it snowed all day. After church I walked out to the parking lot and found myself unable to get into my car. The wet snow and freezing winds had sealed all the doors shut. Luckily I was able to open one of the back doors and get my scraper out. There's nothing like scraping ice and snow off your car with the wind whipping all around you in high heels, lemme tell ya. But eventually I was able to get in my car and start the fun/scary drive home.

Last night I watched the news right up till bed time, hoping to see Ann Arbor public schools canceled, since, as I've mentioned here before, that would mean my place of work was shut for the day as well. But alas, by the time I went to bed, school was still in session. Disheartened, I went to sleep, dreading my drive in the next morning.

When I woke up this morning I could hear the wind whistling outside and the first thing I did was grab my phone to call the school hotline again. There I saw a text waiting for me from my teacher friend, Sarah, saying: "Snow day! Now turn off your alarm and go back to sleep!"

I decided the best thing for me to do would be to take her advice. Two naps and some crazy nap-dreams later (why do naps produce the weirdest dreams!?), I decided it was time to get outside and enjoy the snow. But with the windchill at negative five degrees, I couldn't talk any of my friends into going sledding! So I decided to at least drive to a park and take some pictures. Which I did, until I could no longer feel my fingers, which to be honest, was not that long. I thought I'd share some of them with you.

Now I'm sitting on the couch in a warm sweater, watching Christmas Vacation and contemplating making some Nutella hot chocolate and quiche for dinner. (Cold weather comfort foods, of course.)

What is your favorite thing to do on a snow day? Or, to my friends in warmer climates, what would you do if you had a snow day?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Funny at the Time.

Last night my friend Sarah and I went to the new Warren Miller ski film, Wintervention. If you've never been to one of these Warren Miller films, they're really fun. This was my second time going to one. It's basically a film full of the coolest, most dangerous, and wild ski and snow boarding tricks of the past year. It's a pretty informal movie experience, with lots of yelling and cheering, an MC, a bar, and even an intermission.

Here are a few conversations between Sarah and I last night that made me laugh. If they make you laugh too, yay! If not, boo. But that's ok. Sometimes, you just have to have been there.

MC: How's everyone feeling tonight!?
Me to Sarah: Why do MCs always have to say that? It's so unoriginal.
MC (again): How's everyone feeling tonight!?
Sarah (semi-yelling): I'm a little under the weather, actually!

Sarah to me: Have you ever seen the Mothman Prophesies?
Me: Yes.
Sarah: Really? I'm surprised you'd see it since you hate moths so much.
Me: Yeah, I guess I hate moths, but it's more butterflies, really. What right do they have, flying all around us, up in our space!? And we can't swat at them because they're 'beautiful.' They're the worst. But yeah, moths are bad too.

Sarah then proceeded to tell me about how she'd recently visited some of the sites where the Mothman saga happened and was filmed. She's terrified of scary movies so she never actually saw the movie, so I told her a bit about it including some of my favorite parts.

Me: And you know that movie was based on real events?
Sarah: Yes. (Scared look on face.)
Me: And they never caught the Mothman.
Sarah: (Scared look on face.)
Me: He's still out there, eating giant holes in sweaters.
Sarah: (Laughing look on face.)

Side note: Sarah and I smuggled an entire meal into the theater from Jimmy Johns: subs, sandwiches, and fountain drinks. We covered the fountain drinks with our scarves and somehow got past the guys at the door. Meanwhile some other sucker coming in had to throw away his bottled Mountain Dew before entering. To say we were proud of ourselves would be an understatement.

What'd you do last night?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy happy joy joy

Every morning I wake up feeling neutral. Not in a good mood, not in a bad mood. Just fine. At some point in the morning I tip the scale one way or the other then continue on with the day with either a positive or negative outlook, depending on how things started. But lately something strange has been happening. I've been very aware of the first negative thought or complaint I have for the morning. And I've had an internal debate with myself:

"should I say that so-and-so is annoying or not?"
"should I complain about how bad traffic was on the way in?"
"should I mention how little sleep I got and how tired I am?"

It feels that by complaining, I'm deflating my spirit a little bit. I'm also starting to become more aware that I'm setting a tone for the day. I usually just end up saying whatever's on my mind anyway, whether it's negative or not. But this morning as I was about to make my first complaint of the day, something stopped me. I thought, "do I really want to start down this path?" So I held back. But then I wondered, "how long could I actually go without complaining?" So I hesitantly, but optimistically, made a goal for myself: go the whole day without complaining. Gulp.

I'm not an overly negative person so it's not like I have to go through a complete transformation of character to complain less. But at the same time, I think I make a lot of little complaints throughout the day that cumulatively add up to more negativity than the single complaint they started out with, such as, "I'm tired." Or, "Is it time to go home yet?"

Since setting the goal this morning, I accidentally complained once before I had a chance to think about what I was about to say. I immediately realized I'd complained and remedied it by saying, "but it's not that bad, really! Could have been worse!" Or some variation on that. Saying something positive brought me back in focus. And I do feel  happier already, I really do.

I should clarify that I don't mean that I (or you) shouldn't talk about negative feelings when it's important to work out a serious problem. I'm more referring to the dumb complaints we make throughout the day that don't help any situation at all but only end up dampening our spirits, and the spirits of those around us. I think that by eliminating more of those complaints, I could  be a happier person.

How long do you think you could go without complaining? What impact do you think it could have on your life? Do you want to try it with me?

(Side note: anyone know the title reference?)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Winter Survival Kit

It's so cold outside now. The wind is shockingly cutting and though the temperatures claim to be in the 20's, they're lying. (Whoever "they" are.) It feels much colder.

I've been thinking about my winter survival kit lately, now that it's time to bust it out, and thought I'd share some of it with you. The ideas anyway, not the things themselves. Although I supposed I'd be willing to share with some of you if you insisted on coming over sometime. But I digress.

1. Warm slippers. 'Nuff said. (Yuck, I just wrote "nuff.")

2. Warm, soft blankets. Do you see how soft this blanket looks!? It's even softer than it looks. I'm not even kidding. I wish I were covered up with it right now, snuggled in for the afternoon.

3. Leg warmers. These are not my leg warmers pictured, or my leg for that matter. I'm white but not that white. My leg warmers are in the laundry today and I miss them dearly. Sadly I only have one pair so I can't wear them every day. My calves are freezing on the off days. For the record, I wear mine under my pants because I'm not into 80's revival unlike so many other people out there today, thank you very much.

4. Memories of summer. During the winter I often find myself daydreaming about summer: fireflies, the smell of sunscreen, swimming in Lake Michigan, ice cream, eating outside, kayaking, bbqs, drive-in movies, visits to Utah, bike riding, mosquitoes (only when I get really desperate do I think about mosquitoes).

So there you have it: some of the tools I have in my winter survival kit. What are some of yours? Together we can get through the next four months... right!?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


As a little girl growing up in Sydney, Kidman's fair skin and flaming red hair made her stand out in a land of tan and blonde beauties – but her unique look helped shape her. "It makes you develop your personality. Because you don't conform, you have to find different ways of expressing yourself," she says.

Here's one more link about her as an adult with red hair: (link) with the following quote:

We've been so used to seeing her with blonde and brown hair over the years that we'd almost forgotten just how beautiful her natural colour is.
But Nicole Kidman gave us a stunning reminder yesterday when she arrived at a Hollywood luncheon, her gorgeous red hair tumbling down her shoulders.

And now, I'm done talking about Nicole Kidman on this blog forever. Too bad I'm not getting an ice cream cake out of this wager... because I was so right! And so were the 19 of you who voted for "red." Way to be!
And thanks for humoring me.

Wednesday Thoughts

Kathy, PI (that's her real mustache)
This week is the last week my coworker and friend, Kathy, is going to be working at our company. She's moving on to greener pastures starting next Monday. I've been super bummed about it so I'm pretending it's not going to happen. On Monday, I'll just chat with the card board cut-out I've had made of Kathy and act like nothing has changed. She doesn't know about this plan yet, but I'm pretty sure she'll be ok with it. Especially since she's had card board cut-outs of all of us made to bring with her to her new job. That's normal, right?

Last night I got thinking about the good times we've had with Kathy in our office - some of which I've shared with you here. Adventures such as:

The Kix cereal debate - this was the time Kathy brought a box of Kix cereal in which unexpectedly stirred up a lot of bad memories in Ann. Ann always hated the "Kid-tested, mother-approved" motto Kix cereal uses in its advertisements, claiming that it proves nothing and there is no evidence that the kids like it simply because they tested it. A lot of you weighed in. This was one of the more heated debates this blog has experienced.

Laffy Taffy joke readings - Kathy keeps a jar of candy on her desk which often has Laffy Taffy in it. For awhile there, we were all pretty into reading the jokes and trying to guess the answers, which was always an exercise in frustration. I still laugh when I read that post! Those jokes are the worst. And by the worst, I of course, mean the best.

Craigslists postings - the free table at work provides us with no end of entertainment. Somehow Kathy and I lucked out and ended up the proud owners of a toy version of the bug from A Bug's Life and a nursery clock (which is missing). Kathy tried to sell both of these things on Craiglist and shockingly, failed. Click on the link to read her craigslist posting.

The cheese challenge - this was the time Justin declared that cheese tastes good with everything. I challenged this of course, because I'm like that, and said, "what about in brownies!?" And he said it would still be good. So I made some brownies with cheese, and he ate them. Kathy hated the whole thing and says she's going to go gag whenever we talk about it. Which is why I'm bringing it up now. One last gag for old times sake.

There are so many other funny and good memories too, like the time we all went to town on the crunchy Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, devouring every last one in the vending machine during the peanut butter recall (throwing all caution to the wind). Or the time Justin and Kathy went through painful Volcano Taco withdrawals when Taco Bell stopped serving them for a time. Or the time Kathy became temporarily obsessed with Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers (or was that me?).

It is certainly not going to be the same in the office without Kathy. But every time I think of her, I'll slap on the Hannah Montana slap bracelet she gave me and eat a cheesy brownie in her honor. (That last part will never happen, but the first part will.) 

What are some things you do with your coworkers to pass the time?

Good luck, Kathy! If you come visit, we might let you in the building.

Happy Wednesday, all!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Flight of the Navigator II

Not Fred Savage.
One time years ago, I got into a debate with a friend over who the kid was in Flight of the Navigator. I was sure I was right, he was sure he was right. We went so far as to bet an ice cream cake on it. Needless to say, I ended up in Baskin Robins buying the cake of my friend's choice when it turned out it wasn't Fred Savage in Flight of the Navigator after all, but some impostor Fred Savage-look-alike-wannabe-phony.

Picture hair here and vote in the poll
This time though, I'm sure I'm right.

On Friday night I got into a debate with a different friend over what Nicole Kidman's natural hair color is. I said it was (insert correct color here) and he said it was (insert incorrect color here). We went back and forth on this the whole evening citing various movies to prove our points while simultaneously proving that we know very few Nicole Kidman movies.

I'm not going to try to sway you by telling you what I think. In fact, I will use this picture so there can be no claims of cheating. Anyway, our debate got so heated, I remember little else of The Interpreter (which, by the way, was an incredibly confusing movie).

We don't have any wager on this yet, but once I'm sure you guys are securely on my side, I might suggest one.  So how about you help me out here? Vote in the poll on the side or let me know in the comments what you think!

And while I have you here, I mailed a bunch of postcards off tonight but still have many more! If you want one, let me know.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Wish You Were Here

This post has two parts. Both are related to post cards in a general way, but that's the only thing they have in common. If the first part bores you, go ahead and skip to the second part. Okie dokie?

Part I
As a single person, there are some things you get used to doing by yourself. Luckily I've tricked a few unsuspecting people into being my friends so I don't really have to do too many things alone. Here's a list of things single people occasionally have to do alone, followed by either a yes or no, depending on if I'm willing to do them alone or not:

go out to eat - yes
go to the movies - no
go to parties - yes
go to weddings - yes
go on vacation - I'm not sure. And that's what brings me to my point...

I've never gone on a vacation by myself. Last year, my sister and her kids were over when I was getting ready to go to the airport to fly to Utah for vacation. My then five year old niece asked, "who are you going with?" when I said "no one," she said, "that's sad." I told her not to worry, that I was visiting friends in Utah and wouldn't be alone when I got there.

But what I'm talking about here is going on vacation to a place where you don't know anyone, and going by yourself. Have you done it? Could you do it? How was it?

There's a place I'd really like to visit, but I don't know anyone there and I don't think any of my friends want to go to this destination. I'm almost positive I couldn't go there by myself though because it's more fun to share the experiences with someone, isn't it? So I thought I'd throw that question out there for you all! What do you think?

Part II
This past week I've been doing some deep cleaning of my desk and bookshelves. This has included emptying drawers and bins and throwing some stuff away, shredding other stuff, and reorganizing the rest. Oddly enough, I've found a lot of unsent postcards. Some are from various vacation destinations, and some are Jack Handy "Deep Thoughts" cards.

As I was flipping through them, trying to decide what to do with them, I wondered if any of you would like to get one of them in the mail? I think you'll probably agree with me that non-bill mail is the best. I'm picking up a pack of postcard stamps on Monday. If you want a postcard, either tell me in the comments, or email me at misselizabethsblog (at), and include your address.

I'll send you a postcard of my choosing and I'll write you a little message. It's gonna be fun, trust me. (I'm pretty sure, anyway.)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Would You Rather

I know you're all busy elfing yourselves (a.k.a. making elf videos), but it's time to take a short break and answer this:

Would you rather:

 Be part of a flash mob (dancing or singing),

Things to consider:

No one ever saw it coming.
  • It could be really embarrassing
  • You might have to do the robot dance
  • You could have to sing a solo
  • You'd for sure be on youtube
  • People would be taking videos of you with their phones
  • It could be awesome (check out this link if you want to see a funny flash mob scene from Modern Family)

Be a street performer for an afternoon? You could choose from: singing, playing guitar, spray painting yourself and standing like a statue, or being a mime.

Things to consider:

No way is this good for the pores.
  • It could get cold. Or hot, depending on the season.
  • You might see someone you know. (Oh yeah, did I mention you'd have to do it in the town where you live?)
  • If you choose to be a statue, kids or crazies might poke you to prove you're not really a statue
  • You might make a little extra money if you put out a tip jar
  • Your tip jar might get stolen
  • You could be on youtube depending on how good or bad you are.

 Which do you choose, and why?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wednesday Thoughts

I feel my winter personality trying to creep in. In the winter I go into survival mode. It was dark all day yesterday. I wondered at one point how thick the clouds must be to keep us in semi darkness for a whole day.

Luckily my day wasn't all bad since I got to spend a wonderful evening with two dear friends I've known since high school, Sara and Sarah (that "h" makes their names totally different). We went to one of my favorite restaurants: Sidetrack. It's such a cozy place, with amazing food. Here are a couple pics I took last night:

When we were walking out, the wind whipped around us, chilling us to the bone. Sarah always defends winter to me and pointed out that we weren't dressed as warmly as we could have been, and that in January we'll think 30 degrees is warm. I guess she's right. But I still told them I'd see them in April. (I'm not actually going to hibernate this winter, I promise.)

During dinner we talked about some winter survival tactics. Both of them have better attitudes about winter than I do, and we made plans to go ice skating in Detroit, have snow shoeing lessons, and drink plenty of hot chocolate (though I complained about "hot chocolate belly" - that feeling that you've drunk a brick about five minutes after you're done with a mug of hot chocolate). Their good attitudes almost convinced me I can get through another Michigan winter.

I'm not a total winter pessimist though. As I've said before, there's something very romantic about winter. Those winter nights, when the sky is dark and the snow is coming lightly down. Those are my favorite nights to bundle up and go on walks. Then there's the winter mornings when the sun reflects off the snow and it honestly looks like the snow has been sprinkled with glitter the way it shines. And of course, it's nice to feel cozy inside when it's too nasty to venture out into the snow storms.

This morning I woke up and it was snowing outside. Big, fat, heavy flakes. I put my fleece on under my coat for added warmth, pulled my leg warmers up under my pants, dug my winter hat out of the bin, put my mittens and scarf on and went outside to face it. It's December now and I can no longer be in denial. But I'll try to make the best of it.

Happy Wednesday.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Few Things

1. I tried to bust open my gingerbread house yesterday and literally busted up my knuckles. My injuries were very minor but it was still pretty surprising to see blood on my knuckles from pounding open candy. I never realized how tough Smarties and hardened frosting could be.

2. I feel like I've been fighting a cold (or whatever) for weeks now. To the point where I'm considering taking vitamins, something I rarely do. Do you take vitamins? Which ones? And which brand? I've heard good things about C, D, and B12.

3. I'm going to a cookie exchange/competition this weekend and I need to win. After my gingerbread house non-win, I am feeling doubly competitive. Do you have a winning cookie recipe I could try?

4. You know what I've been eating lately? Maple and brown sugar oatmeal with a splash of eggnog. Try it. You'll love it. Unless you hate eggnog in which case you'll most likely hate it.

5. What do you think an ideal winter date is? Ice skating? Christmas light viewing? Family gathering? (Just kidding about that last one.)

All right, those are my thoughts for tonight. Time for bed. See you Wednesday!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend Update

To tell you about my Thanksgiving weekend, I'll use pictures to illustrate what has been an amazing few days. Here are just a few of the highlights:

From left to right:

Top Row:

1. Thanksgiving! My friends Jesse and Jim joined us since they are far from home. It was so fun to have them with us. And the food, my gosh, the food! I'll be right back, I have to see if I have anymore leftovers in the fridge...
2. This is my entry in our gingerbread house competition. Due to a complete lack of good taste and voter fraud I tied for third.
3. My nephew with his entry. He's the one I tied with.

Middle Row:

4. Brian won first place. I feel the need to mention here that I am sensing a conspiracy since Brian also won our Peep diorama competition this year with his Simpsons diorama. It's the Year of Brian in our family, that's for sure.
5. My sister and I met up at 5:15 in the morning the next day for some Black Friday shopping. We had a system: the moment we got there, I got a cart and went to the back of the line while Katherine shopped. Eventually she took over for me while I shopped. When I was at the very end of the line with a long wait ahead of me, a guy a couple people behind me was looking at a diet pill display near us. He said, "If I started taking these now, I could be a whole new man by the time I get to the front." I wish I could say it was worth it, but several of the things we wanted were already gone (grumble grumble grumble)....
6. We saw Harry Potter later that day but had to kill time getting hot chocolate after the showing we wanted to go to was sold out. Spoiler alert about the Harry Potter movie: It was really really good.

Bottom Row:

7, 8, 9. Had a family party today with the other side of the family. Some quotes from that party:

"My doctor said, 'if you take cold medicine you'll get better in about seven days. If you take nothing you'll be better in about a week.'" - Eric

After another uncle told me he reads my blog, my aunt said:

Kris: "Don't anybody say anything, it'll end up in the blog tonight."
Me: "Hang on, I'm writing this down."

In conclusion, it's been a good few days. I felt post holiday blues set in around 5:00 on Thanksgiving, but I'm trying to remind myself that Christmas is just around the corner. I just love holidays.

And try not to be too jealous of this, but I got a phone call from my boss today telling me that due to the heating system in our office building being broken, we will not have to work on Monday while they're fixing it. FIVE day weekend! It's a Thanksgiving miracle!

But enough about me, how was your weekend?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday Thoughts

The big day is almost upon us! I love Thanksgiving. Expressing gratitude + family time + delicious food = an amazing holiday.

My family has a Thanksgiving tradition that I've mentioned here before: the gingerbread house making competition. This competition grew from the fact that not everyone in the family enjoyed watching other people watch football and slip into food comas after dinner. Thus was born the gingerbread house competition (which should technically be called the graham cracker house competition, I suppose).


Ready for judging

This isn't the only holiday competition we have. On Easter, after church and dinner, we have a peep diorama competition, which some people in the family have jokingly dubbed the "Peep Show." The first year we did it a certain family member who shall remain nameless made a Peep show diorama:


Do you have any holiday traditions? I am way excited for tomorrow. As it stands now, this is my plan:

1. Sleep in.
2. Make vegetable tray (my one assignment)
3. Watch the Thanksgiving Day parades and look for my friend Sara who will be in costume marching in the Detroit parade!
4. Go to my aunt and uncle's house for dinner
5. Eat too much.
7. Go back for seconds
8. Kick some trash in an as yet undetermined game (ie: Monopoly or Apples to Apples)
9. Nap
10. Think of all the many things I have to be thankful for. (I'm not totally shallow.)

What is your plan? What are some holiday traditions you have? Happy Thanksgiving! And just so you know, I'm thankful for you. I really am.

Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Blessed Union

I have been one happy camper this weekend. Why, you ask? Well, since you asked, it has everything to do with the holy matrimony of the Beatles and iTunes. With a union like that, who even cares about Prince William and whats-her-name getting engaged? (I still can't believe my secret fantasy of marrying Prince William has been permanently dashed, but I'm trying to move on...)

When I was in college, I worked as a server in country club restaurant. I remember one night, one of the other servers was doing an informal poll, "who is the best band ever?" Everyone he'd ask would pause and say, "well, it has to the the Beatles, doesn't it?" It was unanimous at the end of the night. No one could come up with a band who could be better than the Beatles. Over the years, I've decided that Led Zeppelin is a close second, but still not quite at the same level as the Beatles.

Anyway, yesterday I got on iTunes and made a little album of my current favorite Beatles songs. I was like a kid in a candy shop so I had to work hard to reign it in and start out with 12. Here are the 12 I chose.

1. Here Comes the Sun
2. Rocky Raccoon
3. Hey Jude
4. Lovely Rita
5. In My Life
6. Strawberry Fields Forever
7. Something
8. Blackbird
9. Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite
10. Helter Skelter
11. I am the Walrus
12. A Day in the Life

There are many others I love that didn't make the list like Yesterday, Here There and Everywhere, and Across the Universe. They will be added in the future though, so don't feel too bad for them.

What are your favorite Beatles songs? Maybe we could "come together" in the comments section now and discuss (I can't believe I made that stupid joke but I'm gonna leave it).

Cutest Ever

Have you guys seen this Traveler's insurance commercial? I'm not in any way trying to promote this company but  the combination of an adorable dog who can't stop worrying and this Ray LaMontagne song make me love this commercial. Enjoy. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy Place

When I was in college, I took a class called "writing, style, and technology." In that class, we had to learn to make websites and use codes and that sort of thing. On the first day of class, the professor told us to think of a happy place. He gave us a few minutes to visualize a place we could retreat to in our minds when times got tough in class. He told us there would be many times that semester when we would need to visualize our happy place. He was right, but that's neither here nor there.

Over the years I have used that technique when times are tough. I visit my happy place, and find peace. My happy place used to be a Christmas scene but over the years morphed into Ludington, the town where I vacation as often as possible every summer. It's an adorable little resort town on Lake Michigan and it's a place I go to escape, relax, spend time with friends and family, read, hike, swim, eat ice cream, daydream, and feel renewed.

As this week comes to an end, I'm feeling a lot more calm. This week was a doozy but things will get better. This morning I am in a peaceful place, picturing Ludington, listening to a chill song (Amber by 311), and thinking about sleep, which I am looking forward to catching up on this weekend.

If you don't have a happy place to retreat to, you can share mine:

What is your happy place? What is your soundtrack this morning?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Warm Fuzzies

This has been "a week" so far. And I'm pretty sure I'm not the only way who's felt that way. On Facebook last night, I saw the following status update from a friend of mine:

"If today had a face, I would punch it."

Not to be a negative nelly, but I could relate. And hers wasn't the only status update I've seen like that this week, not to mention melancholy blog posts from friends, and of course, personal interactions with people who have had it up to here with this week. Is it the weather? The alignment of the stars? Whatever it is, I give the week four more days to redeem itself. If it could do it in less, that would be awesome.

Let's pull it together though - this blog should be a place of refuge (that's weird but go with me), so I'm going to focus on the positive, ie:

I just ate a warm peanut butter cookie with Nutella on it.
I received a nice compliment from a boy today.
I'm watching Psych, and watched Modern Family earlier (t.v. happiness- the cheapest, easiest form of happiness)
Someone showed me how to change the clock in my car today.
My friends are hilarious and wonderful.

Now it's your turn. If you're already here reading this post, it will only take you 30 seconds to click on "comment" and leave a happy thought. I know you have at least one in you. How about you go ahead and share it? I'm not the only one who could use it! Here's to a happy tomorrow.

Wednesday Thoughts

I've been sick this week (and some of last week).  I was so sick, in fact, that I stayed home from work on Monday. I intended to sleep all day but was too sick to rest - catch 22. So I read blogs, read books (I'm now on the second book of the Hunger Games series), and watched the movie "Killers," where for the first time I noticed that Ashton Kutcher is cute. I guess I'm the last one to notice that. Magnum was in it too, so bonus!

Besides illness, I've also been dealing with confusion with guys. I'm going to hope that any guys who this may or may not be about stopped reading after I started gushing about Ashton and Magnum so they can't identify themselves in here. Actually, I'm just going to play it safe and say I don't understand guys in general. I'm just exhausted with games and trying to be a mind reader. Although... if I'm being completely honest.... as much as this pains me to say.... I suppose I could be a bit more forthright too. But I don't want to! (I just stomped my foot in a huff.)

And on that mature note, shall we move on? 

How about if I go back to the safer topic of movies. I actually saw a lot of movies over the weekend. Here are some brief reviews of the movies I saw:

Troll 2: So bad. So, so bad. But I think that's the only reason you see a movie like Troll 2, right? Worst movie ever. There are no trolls in it, and someone gets seduced with corn on the cob. Need I say more?
Nacho Libre: I had never seen it before and I laughed my head off. Loved it. "XxOoxXoxoxOoOXX"
The Burbs: One of my all time favorites. "Do you know what this is Ray? It's a human femur." If you haven't seen this yet, you should. With me.
Annie: One of my favorite musicals ever.
Killers: Two words: eye candy. No wait, one word: Mustache.

Have you seen any good movies lately?

Here's my last Wednesday Thought: Two weeks after daylight savings time, I still haven't figured out how to change the clock in my car. (Although admittedly I've put very little effort into it.)

Happy Wednesday.

Oh, and PS - if you haven't read my interview yet, check out the post below - the one with the picture that looks like I'm a cast member of Kids Incorporated (which a lot of you are probably too young to remember...).