My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

Thoughts on a Thursday

1. I just finished re-re-reading Mocking Jay in anticipation for the movie which opens tomorrow (technically it opens tonight at midnight but I’m old and lame). Why?! Why do I do this to myself?! Who else is pumped to see this movie though?! I’m a little hesitant that they decided to split it up into two parts, but I guess that just means more room (and time) to include ALL of the details.

2. This song has been stuck in my head for 36.777 hours now. I’m going to go ahead and apologize right now to my poor coworkers who have had and will have to put up with my mad karaoke skills for the rest of the day/week.

3. Um, can we talk about how incredibly cute Mr. Adam Lavine is here for a second?  #sigh

4. I just had a really big interview (if you’re counting, it’s number 4,367) for an Adult Graduate Student Librarian position at Bryan College in Dayton, TN!! I’d say I feel really good about it, but I’ve felt “really good” about all 4,367 interviews before this one. Any good ju-ju thoughts, fingers-crossed, and 11:11 wishes directed my way would be mucho appreciated.

5. To celebrate said interview, I got a #facelift. Because how else is one supposed to celebrate other than buying and devouring a cookie the size of a small hippo?

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6. Speaking of hippos…

7. Turkey Day is less than 7 days away!!! That means we’ve only got one week to train. Our stretchy pants, that is.

Have a great rest of your Thursday, guys!! :)

Things I won’t do

Eat a sandwich without a side of chips.

Go commando.

Stop Facebook stalking certain people.

Yoga.

Simple math without using my fingers.

Stop believing.

Think of the term “meat loaf” without gagging.

Dance (without channeling my inner Elaine Benes).

Wear sneakers without socks.

Wear sandals with socks.

Leave a bookstore without at least buying one two all of the books.

Turn down a cookie.

Or ice cream.

Or ice cream sandwiched between two cookies.

Be a Cub’s fan.

Or a Bear’s fan.

Listen to this (or any song really–it’s a bit of a problem) without singing butchering right along with it.

Anything before I change into comfy clothes after work.

Kick-starting a bag of potato chips is pretty much standard–you open with the double-pincer, squeeze-and-pop technique, start fishing out the prime, full-bodied  chips at the top of the heap, and then start working your way down to the half-broken chips in the middle of the bag. A few minutes in, you’ve chomped your way down to the bottom and you might think you’re pretty much done.

But oh no, my friends.

That is just the tip of the salty, barbeque and ruffled chip ice berg.

You have just arrived at the best part.

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This is when you get to that last, crumbly triangle of potato chips wedged right in the corner of the  bag. You know what I’m talking about. Usually at this point, your lips and face are covered in grease-crumbs and your fingers are neon orange, coated in a film of salty saliva.

That delicious patch of potato powder is all yours, but to get it, you have to get a bit dirty.

First of all, you won’t be able to slip your fingers down that crinkly, mirror well so you have to tilt the bag sideways and size up that crumbly triangle for what it’s worth. See what you’re dealing with here. Commit to a game plan.

Next, even though your fingers might already be wet at this point, it’s best to be safe with the ‘ol Thumb Index Finger Pre-Lick. Come on, get a good lather of spit on them, don’t be shy. Remember: the crumbs are in there deep, and your slightly sticky spit-glue will help mine the greasy plunder.

Now, it’s time to ATTACK! wedge your wet thumb and forefinger in there hard and squeeze until you feel like you’ve got most of it. Then, pull out quick and in one swift move, sweep and drop that last crumbly triangle right onto your tongue, making sure to lick the stubborn remains off your fingers while saying “Mmmmmm” a lot.

And you’re done!

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Now, while the Thumb Index Corner Pinch move is grittier and more explosive, there is a backup technique that will still get the job done if you aren’t so much a fan of getting down and dirty. Those in the biz know what I’m talking about: The Dumb-Truck Bag -Tilt Maneuver. this one requires two hands, a gaping mouth, and a forty-five degree angle to turn the trick. ou can use it alone or in tandem.

Either way, almost entirely composed of salt and artificial flavorings, that last crumbly, triangle of goodness packs a full flavor finishing move, unlike the watered down sip at the end of a soft drink cup, the stump at the bottom of a muffin or the tooth breaking kernels hiding in that last handful of popcorn.

AWESOME!

P.S. Speaking of awesome, if you haven’t tried these bad boys out yet, do yourself a flavor and pick up a bad (or five). They come out only during the Holidays so be sure to snatch up this perfect mix of salty and sweet ASAP!

Friday Fav’s

Happy Friday, all! :D

Wow, I kind of thought today would never come. Maybe it was the fact that Mother Nature decided to go all renegade on us, dropping the temps and the snow, full-force. I am definitely not a morning person. Couple that with having to crawl out of my comfy and cozy blanket fort/bed to face the bitter cold to go to work and you’ve got one grouchy McGrouchster. On the plus side of things, all of this winter weather business has definitely gotten me into the Christmas mood.

There. I said it.

Usually I try to ward off all carols, candy canes, gifts and decorating until at least the day after Thanksgiving, but this year, I’m struggling guys. We decorated our office yesterday afternoon and with the tree right outside of my office door and Frosty the snowman looking spying at me through my window, how can I not get all festive?! Plus, Turkey day is so late this year that if I wait until after to get all Christma-fied, there won’t be a heck of a lot of time to soak it all in.

And I’m a gal who needs a lot of Christmas soakage.

That is why, I here by declare it to be fully okay to drink eggnog, put up your tinsel and get on with your bad-gift wrapping self!

Or at least that’s what I’m planning on doing this weekend.

Okay, maybe not so much the decorating part…yet…but I am definitely getting a jumpstart on my Christmas gift making. Yes, I said making. Every year I try to find some funky and cool thing to make all of my friends and this Christmas is no different. I’m kind of anal when it comes to what I make (and don’t even get me started on the whole Christmas Card process!) and it takes me a good while to make sure everything is perfect, right down to the very last bow and ribbon. You can see why I like to get started ASAP! I’ve got something really cool this year that I’m doing (all I can say is that as far as gifts go, it will definitely be my friends’ “cup of tea.” :)

I hope you have a fantabulous (and warm) weekend ahead of you, and in the meantime, feel free to check out my favorite finds from the web and more in this week’s Friday Fav’s!

Favorite truth. Ummm, yeah. Like, every Saturday and Sunday…

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Favorite seasonal treat: Hot Cocoa Cookies. Now that we’ve finally got some snow on the ground, these hot cocoa-inspired sweet treats sound sooo yummy. Pair these babies with a giant cup of whipped cream, I mean hot cocoa, and you’re all set!

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Favorite geek need: Cable Clips. This sounds ridiculous, but nothing annoys me more than when I unplug a cord from my laptop and it falls off the table and onto the floor. Just one of those things!

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Favorite wow: Thorn Crown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. You have to checkout these pictures. What an amazing place!

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Favorite picture: 6-Layer Rich Chocolate Malted & Toasted-Marshmallow Cake. Per-fec-tion!

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Favorite pooch. CAN I HAVE HIM?!

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Favorite view: Streets of Najac, France. I wonder if these people wake up everyday thinking, “I get to LIVE here!”

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Favorite reading nook: Book Nook Tents!! I mean, I’d never want to leave. Like, ever. How cool!!!

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Favorite cookie crave: Chocolate Chip Cookie Mousse Bomb. This recipe makes me sublimely happy. Cookies on top of cookies topped with chocolate. ‘Nuff said. ;)

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Favorite funny: 20 Puns That TOTALLY Nailed it! I am nothing if not a pun-connoisseur and these my friends are ALL of the best! They’re a lot like Cheetos Puffs; so bad, they’re absolutely delicious! ;)

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I haven’t read anything quite like this book before. Part sci-fi, part adventure, and completely humanistic, The Book of Strange New Things by Michael Faber is original and very addicting (I pulled quite the few all-nighters on this one.)

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It begins with Peter, a devoted man of faith, as he is called to the mission of a lifetime, one that takes him galaxies away from his wife, Bea. Peter becomes immersed in the mysteries of an astonishing new environment, overseen by an enigmatic corporation known only as USIC.   His work introduces him to a seemingly friendly native population struggling with a dangerous illness and hungry for Peter’s teachings—his Bible is their “book of strange new things.” But Peter is rattled when Bea’s letters from home become increasingly desperate: typhoons and earthquakes are devastating whole countries, and governments are crumbling.  Bea’s faith, once the guiding light of their lives, begins to falter.   Suddenly, a separation measured by an otherworldly distance, and defined both by one newly discovered world and another in a state of collapse, is threatened by an ever-widening gulf that is much less quantifiable.  While Peter is reconciling the needs of his congregation with the desires of his strange employer, Bea is struggling for survival.  Their trials lay bare a profound meditation on faith, love tested beyond endurance, and our responsibility to those closest to us.

While I was reading this I had a sense of foreboding, which is I partly I guess what kept me reading until the wee hours of the AM, however, that feeling of foreboding was unfounded. I guess I kept looking for some big revelation or some monumental event but it never happened or was too subtle to notice.

The characters here are all well thought out and I got to know them as their lives unfolded and that is what also what kept me reading. Peter becomes so absorbed in his teachings to the Oasans that he doesn’t take care of himself or his wife’s feelings of aloneness. I liked that Peter quotes from the bible and preaches; I took it as lessons I hadn’t had before.

I wish there had been another few pages to finalize what happens in the end and at close to 500 pages, a few more wouldn’t have hurt. In fact, I think it would have lead to a more satisfying ending. As much as I found this different world and their inhabitants intriguing; I wanted to know more of what was going on with home and the world we know and why.

I’m a sucker for great literature but hate untidy endings so after finishing “The Book of Strange New Things” I was a bit conflicted. The prose is beautiful and mundane. It gets inner monologue. Gosh, there is so much!

It’s a book about beginnings and endings. But it’s also a book about faith.

It’s a book about marriage. But it’s also a book about friendship.

It’s a book about redemption. It’s a book about broken people. It’s the beginning and the end.

Does this sound confusing? It isn’t. It flows beautifully. It is all of those things together and more. It’s a gorgeous story. It’s beautiful and not easily defined. And I whole heartedly recommend reading it. More than once. Because it’s one of those readings that unfurls. And those are the very best kind in my opinion :)

*I received an advanced copy of The Book of Strange New Things from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

1. So we’re in day 3 of the Polar Vortex. Here in Denver today when I woke up, the actual temperature was -13 and the wind chill was a balmy -26. Just a couple of things:

  • Apparently toilet water can freeze. Crap. (Pun intended)
  • You know it’s cold when the snow under your tires squeaks like fresh cheese curds.
  • Mmmmm. Cheese curds.
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It sure is pretty; I’ll give you that Polar Vortex.

2. Speaking of the Polar Vortex, my buddy Al Roker over at the Weather Channel is currently in his 12th hour of 36, vying for the record of longest weather report. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I love me some Roker, but setting a record for longest weather report? I think I’d be more excited if he was reporting the weather WHILE setting the record for the most fire batons juggled. Or for eating 30 hotdogs in under a minute. Just saying.

3. Am I the only one who turns into a complete hermit crab during the winter? Once I’m home, whether it’s from work or running errands during the day, and feel the warmth of my apartment, my sweatpants, blanket fort and a good book/Netflix beckon me to call it a day and stay in. And really, who am I to protest? The last thing I want to do is leave the cozy confines of hot chocolate and reruns of The Office to face the blistering cold outside. Wham, bam, no thank you ma’am. #hibernationstation

4. That moment when you have to sneeze but can’t, but then you think you’re about to finally sneeze and don’t, but instead make that “scrunched up, almost half-sneezed-but-not-quite-haha-sucker” face. During a work meeting. Yeah, that’s awesome.

5. I’m bringing the scrunchie back. I’ve just decided.

6. If anyone would like to bring me a grilled cheese and Oreo Concrete shake from Culver’s, say, two minutes ago, I will love you forever.

Just look at all that cheese porn.

Just look at all that cheese porn.

7. Kim K’s backside. Discuss.

Stay warm, guys!

But I’m serious about that grilled cheese.

The GIF that keeps on GIFing

I can’t always get the word-making part of my [gigantic] brain to accurately reflect what it is I’m trying to express.

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I’m the guy on the left. [Photo credit]

But that’s what gifs and memes are for, right?

I love gifs and memes. I do. In fact, I’d be lying to you if I don’t spend at least half of my work day scrolling the interwebs for the most ridiculously hilarious ones I can find.  To be honest, I’m not certain I even want to write anything anymore without resorting to captioned pictures of sloths.

In case you, too, have fallen in love with these silly “moving pictures” (as my mom likes to put it), or simply find your wordy bits failing you, I’ve compiled a pile of internet to help you say what you mean about the book in  your hands. Because what is better than books + a pile of internet?

That’s right.

Cookies.

But other than that, nothing.

Nothing is better than books + a pile of internet.

1. When you suddenly realize you’re reading fantasy, and that there isn’t going to be any plausible reason for the man’s wife to, although a spitting image of his wife, not actually be his wife. Said man with a wife who is not actually his wife also happens to be corresponding with a scientist whom he and his wife/not wife invented who turns out to be real but also dead, but also is still somehow responding to email and living in Buenos Aires. Got all that? Yeah, me either.

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2. Any time a female protagonist starts talking about how she’s ‘not like other girls’ because she likes skateboarding or gaming or never played with dolls or whatever, OR CONTRARIWISE (what my ‘word of the day’ calendar from two weeks ago said–because I’ve been so busy looking at memes/gifs that I forgot to update my calendar) any time a female protagonist is like, “Ugh, my unruly breasts and hideous bee-stung lips and long, coltish legs. How will I ever catch a man like this?”

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3. When someone like Dan Brown or John Grisham has put the fear of god into their editors and no one is brave enough to tell them to trim the fat, and you picture them all like:

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4. Any time anyone is like, He did this totally innocuous-seeming thing and was later all like he very much wished he had not done that thing…CHAPTER BREAK.

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5. When you read anything written by J.K. Rowling. I mean anything. She is genius, my friends. GENIUS!

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6. When the back of the book summary, reviews, and blurbs are completely misleading about how awesome a book really is.

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7. When the set-up and middle of a book are compelling, but the author runs out of ideas and wraps things up in like three  pages.

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8. When fictional countries go to war with other fictional countries so that PAGES UPON PAGES are taken up with ‘And Uncton captured the Island of Marriot, which had been neutral since the Pact of Reddit, so Plaxxor retaliated by seizing the Bay of Comic Sans, which was the only harbor connecting Plaxxor City to the Adobe Strait.’ Um…what?

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9. Anything written in second person.*

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10. Any time anyone kills a dog. I still have nightmares from Marley & Me. I’m talking about crying like a baby, Noah’s Arc flood-water tears, can’t-get-out-of-bed-for-days nightmares.

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11. William Faulkner.

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12. When a legit main character legit dies. The Fault in Our Stars, I’m talking to YOU!

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Obviously and sadly, these really only come in handy in online conversations. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been talking to someone in real life and wanted to be all,  I’m ‘super Shaq shoulder-dancing with cat’ gif about the weekend.

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Actually, that is pretty fantastic. I think I may need to just start carrying around a folder of my favorite gifs to pull out and use on unsuspecting strangers.

*I do realize that parts of this post are technically written in second person.

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