Monday, December 28, 2009

Book Review: The Ex-Files, by Jane Moore

It's that time folks- book review! Because instead of cleaning my house this extended weekend I ate treats and read books. Because I? Am fabulous like that.

This book was a really quick read and kind of fun. Was it fabulous? No. Was it super predictable but mildly entertaining? Yes. Actually- the description on the back of the book is misleading which is kind of weird because it's not what really happened, but that's ok. Luckily- I didn't read the back of the book until I had alerady started the book so that worked out.
For a chick-lit book I really expected more sex. Is that raunchy of me? I don't know- my chick-lit books have to have a little somethin somethin to keep me going. Fortunately, there was NOTHING on tv so that was what kept me going with this book.
The premise is that two people, who are so different and really not compatible at all are getting married. And because they are gluttons for punishment or idiots, they invite their ex's to the wedding. And then all hell breaks lose because it bounces back and forth between the present day and their respective pasts which only makes you realize how badly they should just call the wedding off, yet there they are, the night before having a party. And lots of their friends/family express reservations yet they think they will continue on. But then there's a twist and all kinds of nice things happen that tie the story off nicely. I thought it was super predictable which is always a downer for me, but it is a good book to just read when you get bored.
So if I haven't turned you off completely from the book, the first person to comment on this post to say they would like to read it, I will send it to you! For FREE! :) Yay!! Only losers don't like free stuff.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Book Review: The Sweet By and By by Sara Evans

It's that time for yet another book review. This is another one for Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers and this was like a bonus book I got. :)

First off I have to say I was really skeptical when I saw that Sara Evans (yes..the country singer) wrote it with the help of another author. I automatically think " much of this did she actually write?" I don't know- but I do know it was a good book.

The story is of a woman named Jade, who had a not so ideallic childhood and clearly not coping with her abadonment issues. I have to say I hate characters, and people in general, who aren't able to move past things in their past. OK- so your dad left you. GET OVER IT. So this book really frustrated me because you just want to slap Jade up and let her know she's being an idiot. Get over yourself. But I did like how the book went back and forth from the present day to the past and how the story of her past unraveled as you went through the book. Jade is preparing to get married and her motto (and her fiance's) is "the past is the past" and neither has really talked about each other's pasts and so a lot of things are learned in the weeks/days leading up to the wedding.

I thought the relationship between Jade and her mother, Beryl, was relatable if not frustrating. I can definitely see a "part two" of this book happening because the ending left some loop holes (i.e- the relationship with the dad- what happens? What is it like for Beryl at the end? What happens with Willow? How does Jade and Max handle marriage? Are there more secrets to come out? etc)

Overall? It's a good story. It's a page turning, hard to put down book. It's a fast read and the story progress quickly and doesn't get lost in descriptions and plot set ups.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Book Review: Obstacles Welcome, Ralph de la Vega

Another day, another book review. I swear, book reviews are going to be my weekend thing. I finished TWO books this weekend and started a third. Rockstar...that I am.

This book I received, free, from Thomas Nelson publishing to review. Again, like the last book, I really didn't think I'd like it. I'm very much not into the whole self help, learn something books. But you'll notice me sticking both feet into my mouth when I try to say that this book? Was really good. Not only did I learn that I couldn't be a manager because I'd be all pissy with people, but I also learned I could never work in telecommunications.
But more to the point- the book was great for people who are working towards career advancement and want to someday be big wherever they work. It's a how to guide basically to not be an asshole manager. Because really? I think we've all had one of those. At least one. Throughout the book there was terrific one liners that I thought, "Dammit- I need to write this down for work". My favorite two were:
"Hope is not a strategy" which seems straightforward but it kind of made me chuckle because I remember growing up my mom used to always say when things got tight financially "a check will come- don't worry, it always does". :) Now, nevermind the fact that it really did always come from somewhere. The point being is that you shouldn't just be waiting for something to happen- you have to make it happen.
And one that I kid you not will be used at a meeting at work: "God gave you two ears and one mouth. So listen twice as much as you talk." Really? I think that is priceless.
SO! Is this a book that you think you'd want to read? Then the first person to comment to this post saying you want it and will give it a good home, will have this mailed to you for free. Yay! It's like mother effing Christmas here every day!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Book Review: The Girl From Charnelle by K.L. Cook

OK- looking for a really good gift for someone? You should buy them this book. It is AMAZING. I can't even begin to tell you how incredibly AMAZING it is because folks? It's that good.

The quick and dirty of this book is that it focuses around a family of 5 kids, specifically the middle child, Laura Tate. The mother leaves- which is the catalyst for lots of things in Laura's life specifically her relationship with a married man. One she babysits for no less. But what is amazing about this book is that you really kind of root for Laura and John, even though you know that it's wrong. You sympathize with Laura because at the tender age of 16 she doesn't really understand that every action has a reaction. She believes that if nobody knows then nobody really gets hurt and everything is ok- which hello? I think we all learned in college that life doesn't work that way. :)
The other part of the book that really kind of tugged at me was the mother leaving. Through the whole book you are trying to look for clues because it's like you want to solve that mystery for them. You can assume what some excuses would be but really? Who could do that. There is a part where Laura wonders if maybe the life her mother had, a husband and children, even though it's what she had always wanted- maybe it really felt like a cage to her. Like she was trapped and couldn't leave- that that was her life forever. And really? I can sympathize that. I mean I have always wanted to be married with kids and all Suzie-Homemaker and here I am. But sometimes I feel like this is it. This is my life and I'm not quite satisfied. Like I'm missing a big piece of me or something. Does that make sense?
But this book really hooked me. And even though some things you know are morally wrong are happening (like the affair) you really do kind of root for her. Probably because you know in your own life you can't do that.
This is a FANTASTIC author and highly recommend his book. I look forward to other books in the future of his- great writing that really pulls you in.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Book Review: Northline, by Willy Vlautin

This is actually another lesson on why I really need to stop judging books by covers, because yet again- the cover did nothing for me and I really LOVED this book. Loved it. I am insisting you read it.

This is another book I got mailed to me, for free, from Haper Collins' Publishing. I'm slowly making my way through that stack. But I also received another book of Willy's called The Motel Life which I gave away earlier. I'll talk more about that but let's get on with the review!

Amazing book. This is an incredibly fast read, I literally got it done in one evening sit down consisting of 4 hours. It is basically about our main character, Allison, who is fucked up 7 ways from Sunday in her own right, but she is in an abusive relationship. I found it curious that we didn't read a lot about the actual abuse- you get brief snippits throughout, but yet you knew that it was extremely abusive in every way possible right off the bat. The writing is really superb- maybe that's why you just knew all of this stuff without having to actually read it. Does this make sense? Probably not, but that's my operating thought at 8 a.m. today.

You are totally rooting for Allison through the entire book but everytime she makes a bad choice you are literally smacking your own head because it's like she can't really see what she's doing. I loved the ending of the book as well. It kind of ended it in the middle of nowhere, but I felt hopeful for her in the end. Like maybe she finally made the right decision and her path has changed.

Definitely a good read you should check out. The book also comes with a CD that is essentially the soundtrack to the book, performed by Willy and his band. I have to confess I didn't listen to it. Maybe you should put it in when you read. Dammit- why didn't I think of that before?! Well it's a brand new CD for you to enjoy.

Now, are you really wanting to read this? Like really, really? OK- so here are the rule:

1. You must be a follower of the blog.
2. Leave a comment on this post.
3. Be awesome.
4. Do all of this by Monday, December 7

and I will pick a winner Monday night and post it on my blog then. And then I will mail it to you, you will receive it, read it, love it. Because I said so. :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Book Review: The Arsonist's Guide To Homes in New England- Brock Clarke

The thing about being sick is that you get to do a lot of reading. And for those of you who care for a health update, I am over my H1N1, and now I have moved onto bacterial bronchitis which is, a pain in my ass. Or my chest. Whatever- either way it sucks and if this is even a portion of what death feels like, I hope I can just be trampled by an elephant to really round out the pain factor. Those around me are probably THRILLED with the fact that my voice keeps going in and out especially my kids who have been running wild since my commands of "stop throwing your milk" and "stop coloring on the carpet" are going unheard.
So I finished this book I found in the $5 bin at Barnes and Noble. There literally is an entire website dedicated to this book: I think you'll like this book. It's written as if the main character, Sam Pulsifer, is speaking to you. And really this is kind of a tragic story essentially making fun of memoirs. I loved how the story unraveled and even though it's meant to be a comedy I found it to be kind of sad. I felt bad for Sam and in the end kind of felt like he always got the raw end of the deal except he doesn't think he did. So it was weird, but good.
And if I had more energy I'd go more into this.'ll have to settle for this. But to make up for my lack of energy- the first person to comment and say they want the's yours. I will mail it to you for free. :) But leave your email address so that I can email you and get your mailing address because unfortunately, the illness has knocked out my psychic abilities. ;)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Book Review: The Search for God and Guinness

So this is obviously not the type of book I would normally choose to read since
1. I'm not religious and
2. I don't drink beer. Or any other alcoholic beverage.

(The horrors!)

But I agreed to review the book because it was free and at the time I had nothing else in my "to read immediately" bin.

And I have to say, this was a very hard read for me. It literally was a book that made me want to sleep. It has taken me over a MONTH to finish it, which is huge because I'm not only a very fast reader, but I can pretty much get through anything (except Anna Karenina...I still can't get page 5- my head basically wants to explode).

The first part of the book is a very lengthy, almost way too much detail for my pee brain to absorb about the history of beer. Where it originated (maybe), how it was made (we think), and the wonderful journey it's been on since. It connects beer with God and speaks of how different religions viewed beer.

Then it moves onto (finally) Arthur Guinness and his quest of making an even better brew, something that was better for you. The most interesting part of the entire thing was how Arthur literally built a business by being smart and savvy yet being an absolute gentleman to his workers and the community around him. He provided a great social service to Ireland which continues today in the Guinness world. The things he did and provided for his staff and their families was amazing and is ironic because in America, you are LUCKY if you get sub-prime health care coverage. It really shows that it is possible to provide generous wages and benefits to employees AND make a profit. Consumers are willing to support companies that support their staff- it's just too bad that more companies aren't that way.

So I would recommend this book if you like beer, are interested in companies who changed a social and economical climate of an area and a person who genuinely strived to do more and be better. On the other hand, if you aren't a history person (like me) you may be bored to death. But I assure you- you will survive. And might learn something.

If you want to become a Thomas Nelson book review blogger, go to:

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Moon, I am in love

You all know I had to see New Moon on opening night. Thankfully, I have a kick ass sister in law who got us tickets as soon as they went on sale. Although I was apprehensive of a midnight showing what with my playing chicken with 30 an all, my love for Robert Pattinson took over my common sense. And it was all I thought it could be and more. :)

First off, I have to tell you that seeing the movie at the Duluth 10 theatre in Canal Park was awesome. They had the entire place decked out in Twilight inspired decor. This is only 2 pics I have , but the whole place was decorated. On the walls to the ticket counter they had huge posters with memorable lines from the book which was awesome.

And a cardboard cut out of my love Robert that I seriously debated on stealing. Yummy. And since this is probably the closest I'll ever get to him, I had to get Kate to do the picture. Obviously.
This is after the movie, around 2:40 in the morning, and I am VERY tired. And bloated. YAY period. But at least I got a "Team Edward" shirt. Which apparently makes my boobs look bigger. Which sucks. They need no assistance. They should carry their own I.D.'s for god sakes. But that may also be because in this picture I'm wearing 3 shirts and a sweater. Because you know- I can't think ahead and realize hey- I'm buying a shirt, so maybe we can lose a layer or two.
But before the movie we ate yummy, super greasy food at Old Chicago. Have I ever expressed my love for their Italian Nachos? Fantabulous. Yum. Then we headed over to wait in the line. Amazingly- there was hardly a line. Of course you have your die-hard Twilight freaks with their home-made shirts (which we are totally doing for Eclipse, Kate!!).
And obviously, you have the people with little to no hygeine skills who insist on testing our lung capacity by standing dangerously close to us in a poorly vented area. These two women in particular, in their early 50's or so, who came just as we were getting seated but a husband held their spot in line so they got to cut in line and unfortunately got stuck next to us. And let me tell you- my lungs ain't what they once were which is disconcerting because I don't smoke. I avoid second hand smoke and yet my lungs suck. I thought I was going to vomit. The only way to explain the stench is that it was a combination of smoke, cat, possibly really stale liquor and lack of showering. And there were two of them like this and everytime moviegoers from other movies walked past- a cloud wafted towards us. It was seriously, the longest 30 minutes of my life standing next to them. They were continually referred to as "cat lady 1 and 2" and it was bad. Like I could smell them through the movie but thank god weren't sitting next to them. They ended up being 4 or 5 rows back. But still. Ew.
So before the movie started we got to see the first promo poster for Eclipse. *Exciting* and I almost pissed myself when I realized that it comes out in June. June 2010, lambs!!! The same month True Blood, Season 3 starts. It's going to be a hot month for me. I may turn into a hot mess. Which is fine- I'm totally ok with that. :)
When the movie started, super excited. Basically the movie rocks socks, the ending was GREAT, and now I'm so fucking excited for Eclipse I may not make it. Even more so because Eclipse was my favorite in the series. And Kate- WE ARE MAKING SHIRTS. Or I will make one for you. ;) HA!
But the most annoying thing? College and high school girls screaming everytime Taylor or Robert came on screen. Now don't get me wrong. Seeing Robert makes me all hot and bothered and makes me think crazy thoughts of leaving Matt and the kids to throw myself at the mercy of Robert and beat the living shit out of crazy Kristen Stewart because I fight dirty and would totally win that. But damn. You don't see me losing my shit up in there. Like have some class. Freak out in your car or something afterwards.
And in the bathroom after? There were a couple of chicks crying. Absolute sobbing because they are so in love with the movie and can't wait for Eclipse. Again, control your crazy yall.
So yes. It was awesome. You must see it. And can I just say? Even though I don't like the Jacob character, Taylor Lautner is yummy. And I know he's 17 but damn. He's got to be turning 18 soon. It's fine. And Robert in the almost revealing himself scene? Well, we won't talk about it. Or the beginnign at the school on Bella's birthday? The facial expression? Matt has no chance on a sunny day in hell against Robert. And he totally knows that. :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Book Review: I'm Down, by Mishna Wolff

First off I have to tell you that in case you haven't noticed, I'm on somewhat of a memoir kick. And I prefer funny ones a la Jen Lancaster and David Sedaris but I'm not a complete loser. I'll read other ones too. Just not today.
So I can't even remember where I heard about this book, and it may have been on Jen Lancaster's summer reading list although let's be real- it's not summer now and I can't remember that far back. But I knew I wanted to read it and one day there it was. The lone copy on the wrong shelf looking at me. It was practically destiny. Our Barnes and Noble employees are getting slack on keeping the place tidy and orderly. Whatever.
So the premise of the book is Mishna is white (obviously from the cover) and is from a totally white family. Her dad however, believes he is black and after her parents divorce insists on raising Mishna and her sister, Anora as black people. Which is just dandy for Anora being the younger child, but Mishna is pretty white and the black kids let her know. She tries, throughout her childhood, to become black enough for her Dad who I am sure in his own mind tried to be a good dad. But what becomes an insight into poor America is the realization that Mishna is very much left to raise herself. She doesn't fit into the black neighborhood she lives in and really stands out at her rich white kid school so she never really belongs anywhere. She tries multiple sports and other activities to find the one thing she is really good at but her childhood is a struggle.
And it wasn't until the very end of the book when everything clicked into place for me and I suddenly realized why I felt so connected with Mishna. My childhood was very much like this and I continue to live in that "not sure where I really belong" middle ground. I'm white and grew up in a semi-white neighborhood when in Florida but we were poor but we didn't know any better. It wasn't until I grew up that I realized that we were poor and that wasn't going to change. And I have always struggled with trying to make my parents happy. I never really felt like I did anything that really stood out and made my parents brag about me. Sure, I got good grades and for the most part was a good kid. I had my faults as all kids do, but I wasn't really good at anything. When I went to a technical college and graduated I was proud of myself. But years later in a conversation (and truly, I can't remember what we were even talking about) I remember one of my parents said, "Yeah, but that's not a REAL college" and it really sunk me. I think my parents had higher aspirations for me to be something better. But to be honest, I like being a secretary. It requires me to be organized (check), detail oriented (check), I get to make and follow lists daily (check), and I deal with people (check). PLUS- office supplies are like the most fun thing ever. I can't even tell you how exciting it is to get new supplies. Back to School shopping is my 2nd Christmas.
Anyways. But I related to Mishna because I have often felt the way she felt. I had a great childhood and my parents did do a lot for us and worked very hard to give us what we had. And in truth- I think every kid grows up and later feels badly at something that was lacking in their childhood- it's unavoidable. There is always something.
But it is a great read, and I read it in 2 days so it's a good weekend book. And you root for Mishna the whole way through and then you thank god that your parents weren't racially confused. :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Swellers, Paper Route and Paramore Oh My!

This is going to be a long post with a bunch of pictures. So you know. But I got to go to another concert with my super fun friend, Tammy. She is awesome. I wish I could just parade her on here for you to fully get how cool and fun she is. So on Friday we had our Swellers/PaperRoute/Paramore concert that was not only moved to a new venue but rescheduled because of Hayley of Paramore's voice being a bitch. But FINALLY we got to go.

(As a side note, if you want another review of this concert check out my bloggie buddy Mr.O. His blog rox.)

I had a ton of errands to run Friday morning and then I had to work for a bit in the afternoon on some projects that I pretty much put off all weekend. BUT by late afternoon Tammy and I were hitting the road so we could check into what we were afraid was going to be a super ghetto motel. Like real ghetto. Thankfully, on a scale of 1-10 ghetto-ness (10 being 100% ghetto) I think ours was like a 7. I mean our key was huge- look at it.

And they had the real motel rooms where your doors open into the parking lot. Which I hate. But we got a room on the second floor. Which turned out not to be a ton better because it wasn't sound proof at all. And our neighbors (translation= everybody else in the joint) was having a really good time. If you catch my drift. AND, there was this gem in the parking lot.

The neighborhood wasn't too bad until you got like a block down to what is called "Porky's" which looks like some kind of fast food place. Let's just say I wouldn't want to be hanging out by Porky's after dark. And then the bars near us all had cops arresting people, so I don't know. We stayed in our room after the concert.
But yay! I got us there, without getting lost (translation= I followed the GPS directions perfectly). And can I just say of all the places I've seen concerts, the Roy Wilkins Auditorium kind of sucks. It's like a glorified high school gym. But whatevs. We stood in line FOREVER, like 2+ hours with people (translation=kids under 18). The guy ahead of me had some bowel issues and believe me- the gas clouds around him were horrible. And you are crammed in there, so it's like you have no where to go. And then we had to hear a 19 year old preach to her 13 year old sisters about socially awesome Paramore are and how much human trafficking sucks. For 2+ hours.
So when we finally get in and realize that it's going to be packed on the floor and that we are older than 90% of the people there Tammy and I longingly look at the balcony. After paying $5 for a coke and tyring to understand why you can't get lids or straws in a concert anymore (seriously, weapons??) we decided to fuck it and go to the balcony. Plus, we're both 5'3 so the chances of us seeing anything were slim if we were standing.
Finally- the Swellers started. I can't say that I know the Swellers but let me tell you- I will be buying their music. They are awesome. They played a short set (bummer), but they had a ton of fun up there. It is always really exciting to see a band perform when you can tell that they not only want to be there, but love being there. Love playing, love their bandmates, etc. Plus it does not hurt that all 4 guys were hot. It's like a bonus.
The Swellers

And then after them came Paper Route. I have no pictures of them because they sucked so mother fucking hard core. Tammy and I both hated them. Like hated so much that I debated how far I could throw my ginormous coke. They had literally 11 instruments, and at one point there was an accordian and sleigh bells. I was waiting for cowbell because that may have brought them up a notch but nope- they leave out the cowbell. Bastards. They literally just banged on things, you couldn't hear lyrics, one of the lead singers (there appeared to be 2) was so annoying. He's up there trying to be all bad ass going from one instrument to the other and nothing sounds cohesive. They sucked. THANKFULLY they had a super short set. And it should be some indication when very few people clap for you. Ever.

And then after another round of rearranging the stage Paramore came on. And if there is ever been anyone who should be a singer in a rock band that person is Hayley. She is awesome. I can't even tell you all of the songs they performed but they obviously did the two off of the Twilight soundtrack (both amazing), a lot of new ones of the current album, and a few from their other two albums. And for an encore they did 3 songs one of which was the acoustic "Misguided Ghosts" which is such a terrific song and EVERYBODY in the place sang to it. Great moment.

They interacted with the crowd and in return got a lot of crowd participation.

Tammy and I. Sorry it's super blurry but my camera was being a douchebag. But let me assure you we looked hot. As usual.
I will note that about mid-way through the concert Hayley started coughing in between songs, and throughout the entire thing you could see her drinking tea. A stage helper dude kept bringing warm tea out to her. Tammy and I both thought her voice was going to completely give out towards the end, but somehow she rallied for the encore. But I'd bet my next paycheck she paid for that the next morning. I hope that she is able to make it through the rest of the tour. AND, if you are able to see them- it definitely is worth it.
So on the way home, it's obviously dark but I had my trusty GPS, Maggie. (Thanks, Dad!) And I don't know if it was because I was tired, or that my eyes burned BAD from being in a smoke free, yet really smoky auditorium, or if because I'm truly just an idiot, but when Maggie tells me to take a left and dings- and I do so- I don't expect to be going the WRONG WAY ON A HIGHWAY. Maybe my expectations are too high. And I realize this as soon as my only two options of A)drive into a grassy embankment or B) continue going the wrong way until our real exit because that sucked. And I apologize to the lady getting into the turn lane that I happened to be driving in because I know she probably peed. I almost did. Thankfully, I do Kegels like it's nobody's business and was able to hold the urine that threatened to come out all over the seat. AND, thankfully we only had to drive about a block the wrong way until our exit. And I figured there's no point in waiting for a green arrow since I'm already breaking road laws left and right. But once we got onto I94, we were just dandy. Except our blood pressure was pretty high and I was paranoid this all happened in front of a state trooper or something. But it was Maggie's fault.
Fast forward to the next morning. We decided that on our way home we'd hit up the Tanger Outlet mall in North Branch because that's fun. And we got some GREAT deals. Like cute stuff for the kids. And I got a scarf at the Old Navy outlet for $1. Yippee.
And then we had to stop in Hinckley at Tobies to get baked goods. I picked up Matt two of the lemon poppyseed muffins (his favorite) because I'm a good wife. AND because he did the enema on our daughter (more on that later) because he has his good moments. :) But as we turned out of Tobies- this is what we were stuck behind for 3 minutes at a light.
Welcome to Minnesota- Deer Hunting Season.
You can probably guess that I don't hunt because it's so disgusting. And don't comment about hamburger or chicken because in my head I still believe that these come from a grocery store and I like my meat injected with dyes and water. THIS is not my idea of food. And I don't know if you can tell, but there is another deer inbetween the ATV's with it's legs all sticking up. Disgusting.
Anyhoodle. We finally made it home and on our way back decided that we must get together more often. Of all of my friends, she is the one who understands my "married with kids and don't want to get old" struggle. Have I mentioned how awesome she is??
Stay tuned for my next post tomorrow about enemas, poop and tears. It's riveting.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tampa 2 for 2

I feel as if I have neglected you on my flight home story. Now, I wasn't blogging back in the day and therefore you have no idea that I am apparently I have the face of a terrorist. At least according to the Tampa International Airport. Before I tell you of my flight home experience, let me start by giving you a brief description of what my flight home from my honeymoon was like.
  • I was "flagged" in Duluth because me being a fucking idiot, switched my driver's license the Monday after our wedding not realizing my actual plane ticket had my maiden name on it. We flew out Wednesday after the wedding, so yay! I was flagged immediately.

  • This meant nothing on the way to Florida because I'm assuming Duluth, MN and Detroit, MI don't take the threat of terrorism as seriously as Tampa does. And I get this- Duluth is so tiny that really, the biggest threat you have is the guy running the Avis car rental counter and in Detroit you should be more afraid of the nut jobs who hang out at the airport for fun. (And as a side note, flags should go up with flight attendants give you the "low down" of the Detroit airport. Such as, walk against the wall, don't look or talk to anybody, use the buddy system, and absolutely hold on to whatever you are carrying like your life depended on it)

  • On the way BACK however was a different story. In Tampa I was flagged immediately and was told to get in the line with the red cones. Sure. So being the genius I am, I made Matt carry my purse and carryon. Because there is nothing suspicious of a young 20something male carrying a bright blue and green jelly purse. Totally normal.

  • Keep in mind, I'm in the special line being headed up by a woman who I swear to god looked like Mimi from the Drew Carey show. And ahead of me is a 18 month old child in an umbrella stroller, who like me, has been "flagged".

  • At this time it was 2004 and that was when all the new airport security junk was just coming out and they were REALLY searching you. So I was told to get into "the booth", which fine, no problem. I'm thinking I'll have to get the pat down which you know, is fine.

  • NO. I will not speak of all that was um, searched, but let me tell you- it's a dark booth with a cheapy lamp in the corner and two female searchers. Are they cops? I have no idea. But they weren't gentle. And they give you no time to reassemble yourself.

  • After a 5 minute search, you are literally shoved out of the booth so the next person can go in. I walked out of there and what Matt saw was me standing there, clutching my belt, my shoes, my sweater, hair accessories, jewelry, my pants undone, my shirt all messed up and kind of rolled up in the back and my socks on wrong. I just told Matt I didn't want to talk about it.

So fast forward 5 years. Thankfully I can personally attest to the fact that The Booth has improved. I know this because again, I was flagged in Tampa. I believe it is because I had a sweater on again. I can't be sure because other people with sweaters and jackets were going through just fine. So I get to the guy and he asks me to step into The Booth. Now, I must have had the look of fear because of my last booth encounter, so I'm sure that didn't help me. So I get into this see-through tube thing that kind of looks like one of those time transport tubes. Keep in mind, in my hand is my license and boarding pass. He tells me to put them in my right pocket. Okey-dokey. So you stand there in a bizarre stance, then turn to the other side and hold your arms like an idiot. Then you wait until the mysterious voice through the earpiece says you can go. And the guy goes, "Ma'am- we have to get a female here to search you- you appear to have something in your right front pocket." To which I respond, "And that would be the items you just told me to put in my pocket." And the look in his face was enough to make me almost wet my pants because I again, am thinking of The Booth. So this lady comes over and tells me the procedure of a pat down no less than 3 times. And she's speaking to me so slowly that I can't help but wonder if she thinks I'm deaf, can't understand ebonics, or if I'm a retard. Either way, it's annoying. So she gets mother fucking tongs to get my boarding pass and license out and the guy is like holding his holster thingie. I mean COME ON. Do I look like a terrorist??

Fuck you Tampa.

On a dumb ending note, we bought $30 worth of stuff from the store in there (and for those of you wondering what $30 gets you in Tampa that would be: 3 pens, twizzlers, m&m's, water, 2 coloring books). and my bag is totally degradable. Weird.

I also think this is the most ridiculous list of things to reuse this for. Really? Only one muddy shoe? What do you do with the other one? Judging by the size of the bag (the size of a Target or Walmart bag) you could put like 2 pairs of shoes. Or like 10 diapers. And no, I would never use this as a shower cap. I'm pretty sure every other plastic bag I've had explicitly tells you not to put bags on your head because they can be choking hazards. But maybe I'm just an idiot.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Vacation Pictures: Part Two

So here is part two of the trip photos. If I get more via email or something, I'll post them. The big deal of our trip was taking the kids to Magic Kingdom. I really wanted to do this before I was 30 (it's on the list, yo) and so now I can cross it off. I've never been there around a holiday, so being there at Halloween was very cool. The whole park was decorated to the nines in Halloween decor. AND, the park closed early that day (boo to that) because it was the Not So Scary Halloween Party. We didn't stay for that since it was like $20/per ticket extra.

But it was hot out- and we attempted to stay outside to see the parade. It didn't happen. We were literally burning up and getting sick from heat. But here is Matt and I before my makeup melted off. :)

We did a few rides for the kids, but since we didn't have a lot of time we missed some really fun parts of the park, so that sucked. But that just means we get to go back and spend more time, probably when Jackson is a little older.

Travis and I in Liberty Square.

We were in line orginally for Pooh and Eeyore. Well Eeyore was probably dying inside the costume, so we got Tigger and a different Pooh. Whatevs. Olivia was thrilled, and Jackson really liked Tigger.

And seriously, what kind of parent would I be if I neglected to take the kids on the Dumbo ride? For reals, yall. So we did that. Jackson was in my elephant and LOVED when we went super high up. Olivia and Rhonda did their thing in the pink elephant of course.

Here we are- like the cutest couple ever.

This one is for you, Dina. This is in the "It's A Small World" ride which is my favorite ride ever. It's got cheesy music, slightly creepy figures, but it's great. Olivia really liked it, kept getting excited as we went through each country, and Jackson fell asleep. Poor kid. I have a picture of the sign as you go in that says "The Happiest Little Cruise That Ever Sailed". Say with me people, "awww"

Rhonda and I at the Magic Kingdom entrance before leaving. I actually couldn't get up there- Matt had to hoist me. Poor Matt. I'm like 15 pounds heavier than him. :( And then I was laughing so hard- I almost fell. Thanks for laughing at me Rhonda. :) LOL!

So the next day was our trip to Clearwater Beach. I was pretty excited about it. We (Rhonda and I) spent a good 2 hours trying to convince her parents to let her go parasailing with me. I've already done it, she's always wanted to, so we decided we were doing it together. So we get up early- get to the beach before lunch. Beautiful weather. Warm, but not too warm. Sunny, light breeze. We get there- and find out parasailing is closed for the day because of the wind. I mean, yay for safety but boo for crapping on our day.

Who are those hotties? Just me and my cousin Rhonda. And how much are you LOVING my swimsuit?? I totally loved it. It never got wet, but that's a whole other story. But at least I looked awesome on the beach!

Since we weren't parasailing, Rhonda and her parents had to leave to drive back to Tennessee. So that sucked. But I am hoping she can come up to visit us this spring because my kids ADORE her. Plus I just love her to bits so it'd be fun for me to hang out with her. :) She's like a little sister to me.

Olivia being all adorable and cute.

Jackson LOVED the sand. He ate a lot of it too.

Me and Jackson at lunch

So after having lunch on the beach, which was marginal, we decided to take the kids on a dolphin cruise. Matt and I did that on our honeymoon, and Olivia was really excited to see a real dolphin, as opposed to my tattoo of dolphins. $75 later (no joke- if you live near dolphins, get yourself in the dolphin cruise business- you make good money) and we were on the boat.
Matt and I on the dolphin cruise
We saw a bunch of dolphins, but I actually got a picture of one jumping out of the water. Those bastards are fast and I took almost 60 pictures to get this one.
So after the cruise we ended up walking around Clearwater Beach to get the usual touristy things. I love shopping on the beach. I love the smell of the beach. I love the beach air. OK- already missing the beach. :(
But on our little walk I happened across the gem of a sign. This was kind of disturbing. Because doesn't everyone want to get their flu shot in a bar while listening to a band?
So that's my vacation in 2 posts. I have a ton of pictures, so I just picked a few to highlight the trip. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Vacation Photos: Part One

OK, so I obviously have a ton of pictures and because I have a life I can't post them all on here. I would be here for hours, and I've got roughly 20 minutes. Because I'm tired. Jet lag sucks. And it's been a rough day in general.

Travis and Uncle Danny went to see a Tampa Bay Buccaneer game. That was Sunday. Unfortunately, they lost but it wasn't for lack of spirit I'm sure.
Then later that evening I heard the sound of a childhood favorite of mine. That's right folks- an ice cream truck. Whoever thought of marketing ice cream to small kids in little white trucks pumping out the tell-tale tune is a freaking genius. I haven't run that fast in my life. Olivia was SO excited, and I was thrilled we actually saw one. They don't have anything like that up here. If I become desperate for a job, at least I know driving around with music and ice cream will make me some money.
Jackson and Demi eating their ice cream
Danni and Olivia chowing down
These are from our visit on Monday to Madeira Beach and John's Pass. It's actually where Matt and I honeymooned- so it was fun for us to see it again.
My brother and I on the boardwalk
Jackson checking out the water. Wasn't too thrilled with it chasing him.
Olivia didn't care for the water either, but she really liked looking for shells.
Me, my mom, and Olivia
Olivia carrying shells on the beach.
Jackson just standing here. He looks like such a big boy.
The beach was great. It was nice to be out there as the sun was setting. We ate dinner on the boardwalk at a place called The Hut. Matt and I ate there before on our honeymoon. Of course Matt had seafood. That was his only seafood opportunity, so he totally grabbed it. The place was cool considering there were seagulls at our feet. Well, Travis and Jack's feet. I think they were hoping Jack would throw most of his food down, but thankfully- he was so hungry he ate all of it.
Mom and I also went into a few of the shops and bought some touristy things. She got these cool wind chimes, and I got our Christmas Ornament for the year. The drive home was tiring, but the kids did awesome. Well, the fell asleep shortly after we got going, so that was nice.
Tomorrow I will post pictures of Disney-Magic Kingdom and Clearwater Beach. But for now I'm off to bed. After I clean up the kitchen. Now that vacation is over, my regular life resumes. Yee-haw.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Day Three of Vacation: We Made It!!

Yes we finally made it yo. Our flight actually left at 5, and we actually made our connection in Minneapolis (wonders never cease) and we arrived in Tampa at 11:30 p.m. We were tired but both kids actually fell asleep on the plane. This will be a short post because today we didn't do much, did a family BBQ which was awesome just to see and talk to everyone. Only a few pictures to post from that:

Jackson cleaning my Grandpa's sidewalk

Matt and I at the airport for our first attempt at flight.

Me and my cousin Rhonda

So far the vacation is going really well, and that's mainly because yah- we finally fucking made it after all of that. And I wasn't molested, groped, or had a boob grab at the airport (as opposed to my daily run to the bagel shop) so I consider that a success, but I won't get too cocky about that because who knows what the trip home holds for us. Let's just hope that we get there. HA!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Day Two of Vacation: Still Here, part 2

Yes bitches, I am still here. We were at Duluth International Airport at 4:30 a.m in the hopes to board a 6:30 a.m. to Detroit where we would enjoy Detroit's finest for 3 hours until our flight to Tampa.

Well, it was overbooked. (anyone surprised??) But we boarded. Sat in the seat for approximately 3 minutes before being taken off. The plane was a hoopty and was busted up or something. We proceed to wait....6 the secured gate until the decide they just can't fix it. SO, we can't try for another plane until 5. Which would send us to Minneapolis for approximately an hour, where we'd leave at like 7ish, getting into Tampa at 11:35 p.m. Just like what was supposed to happen yesterday. Is this some sick joke? Am I going to end up on that A&E Show with irrate air travelers?

If you hear of a woman losing her shit in an airport- you'll be able to say you know that person. Because it will be me.

Day One of Vacation: Still Here

Oh yes lambs- I'm still in Superior! We went nowhere!

NO, my vacation isn't in Superior. At this point, 1:19 a.m., I should be arriving at my uncle's house in Springhill (just north of Tampa...where we SHOULD have been flying into). But guess what? I'm not there. I'm here.

Apparently, after our flight being delayed until 5:25 p.m., only a half hour later than scheduled, we got bumped to 6:05. Still doable. We go through security, which most of you know involves practically undressing and scanning everything. (Damn you, terrorists!!) Olivia had to put Glowy-Bear through the scanner. Us, being the super smart parents, bring the only stuffed animal we have with batteries and wires, and for those of you who live with your head up your ass, will know these two things are frequently ingredients for a bomb. SO SMART WE ARE. Thankfully, I think the security people realized that the threat of a 4 year old bomb carrying child was nothing compared to the wrath of a 4 year old screaming toddler. They let us go, with Glowy-Bear, so we could all re-dress ourselves. Jackson, meanwhile, is screaming because Olivia is, and Matt is trying to quit cold-turkey from smoking which isn't going so hot. PROBABLY because I'm forcing him to do this, so the success rate isn't as high, but damn. Those things are expensive. So to pay for those AND future cancer treatments? One or the other, asshole because you aren't getting both. Don't be a selfish bastard, I say.

So we get into the secured fishbowl and are promptly told "Flight to Minneapolis delayed until 8:18 p.m., bus information coming." WTF?? Bus? You think we're getting into a bus? We'd never make the connection. OR...we could spend the night in Minneapolis. In an airport. Eh..not so much fun.

So Matt goes to the counter. 40 minutes and two screaming children later (still, they never stopped. Their lung capacity is amazing= second hand smoke hasn't gotten to them yet, yall!) Matt informs me our flight=cancelled. We'll be going home. So then after explaining to Olivia that we aren't flying today, more screaming happens. I'm losing it. We wait another 40 minutes for my parents to come back to the Duluth airport to get us. Jackson cries virtually the entire way home. He's had it and is letting us know. As if this is just fun city for us.

Our next flight is out of Duluth at like 6:30 a.m. Which means we need to be there at 5ish, leaving Superior at 4:30ish to get there at 5ish. Which means that everyone is getting woken up at 3:30ish (we're all dressed and ready, though----we'll look SO hot all wrinkled and baggy eyed. Sweet.

AND, the topper? We're in Detroit for like a 2 1/2 hour layover. Which has got to be in the top 3 of most dangerous/dirty/most likely to get mugged airports in the U.S. YAY us!! And maybe I'm wrong. But I doubt it. The last time we were in Detroit (on our way to the sex-less honeymoon), the pilots AND flight attendants told us not to go anywhere alone. Have a buddy system. Don't go to the bathroom unless you really can't hold it. Don't talk to anyone. Stay against the wall. And no eye contact.

Yah- totally can't wait for Detroit. If you never hear for me again, check Detroit Airport dumpsters. We *might* be in there. Broke, naked, and hungry. Save us! :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Back to my Jet-Setting ways..

Well not really. I am the furtherst thing from jet-setting but I AM flying out today to Florida. Yes, yes- be jealous. It's ok- I won't judge you.

(maybe a little)

But yes- it's my first vacation in FIVE YEARS and for those of you trying to think back on what I was doing five years ago...honeymoon. That's right- Matt and I were having a virtually sexless honeymoon in Madeira Beach, FL because our room was super nasty and gross. Luckily, I wasn't a virgin so I wasn't disappointed. Because the beach was RIGHT THERE and we were having a ton of fun doing beach stuff. Well, swimming wasn't one of them because it was sting-ray mating season and all, and they were EVERYWHERE in the water. So yeah- no swimming here, but I did get to like...look at the water. And lovely it was.

But this time we are going to be in the water, hurricanes or not, and we're going to Disney for one day, again, hurricanes or not. The kids are pumped. They have really no clue what's going on but they see luggage (well one piece people, because I? Am a mother fucking packing champion. EVERYTHING is in one suitcase. It's ok to bow down now..) and they know luggage=trips. It also means mommy calling daddy stupid because he's gotten us lost again, mommy having a nervous breakdown from all of the screaming and kids getting as much shit fed to them to get them to stop crying. All in all, it's a win-win for them.

Wait? Are you crying? Oh it's ok love- I won't leave you completely for 9 DAYS, I will periodically post pictures of our wacky travels. Because guess what? They are guaranteed to be insane with us arriving in Tampa at midnight and all. (Oh yea, at some point I will detail the retardedness that is our itinerary)

Anywho- let's fill you in on this week. Guess what? I'm 80% sure I have H1N1. Yes! It sucks. I'm on day 3, and can move without my skin hurting. I went to work for two of those days to finish up what I had to do, and went to bed at 7 each night loaded up with NyQuil. Coincidentally, NyQuil no longer makes me sleepy. I've noticed that since having Jackson I've required what amounts to horse tranquilizers to get me to get drowsy. Which is why my oral surgery after Jackson was a nightmare.

Also, I went to the doctor for my annoying wrist pain. Guess what? I have arthrites, tendonitis, AND carpal tunnel. In both wrists. Left is worse than right. Super fucking duper yall! So...I am *supposed* to wear these ridiculous braces on both wrists 24/7 if possible. Yah..not doing that. I'll wear my left one when it really hurts but I can't fucking function like that. You should see me trying to eat, go to the bathroom, or work with these on. Seriously, I become DD and feel like I should have a helper with me. Because god knows what would happen to me. It's terrible. And driving?? I had to get them off with my teeth while driving on the highway back to work from the doctor because I couldn't steer. At all. I had to use elbows, and let me tell you- driving at 90 mph (I know...the limit is 70..shut up.) with your elbows? Kind of makes me a road hazard. But oh well.

So that's it lambs. :) I'm checking out until my next post, with pictures, and you will all get to marvel at my $103.99 swimsuit. It's lovely, I promise. It's all retro and cute. PLUS, I don't look like a fat whale in it, which is always a bonus.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Book Reviews: Burn (by Linda Howard), The Girl She Used To Be (by David Cristofano), If I Stay (Gayle Forman)

I have read so many books lately, but here are three that stand out:

Burn: Linda Howard

You know I love me some romance novel, yo and Linda Howard always delivers for me. She really is one of my favorite romance novelists and not only because the stories are always so hokey, but because the men described are usually what I'd like in a guy. Nevermind my husband is not like any of her characters- which let's be real, is probably why I read these. :) But Burn is a really fun, quick read. Is the story plausible? No- but who gives a damn when you get kidnapped by a hot guy who you end up having great sex with and he falls in love with you? Oh yeah- very cool. Plus, anytime Linda write about Black Ops/Secret Agents- I'm there. Secretly- I'd like to think I'd like that kind of job being all secretive. :)

The Girl She Used To Be: David Cristofano

I have to be honest with you here. I cried on this one. I usually don't read the backs of books to see what they are about, as I've mentioned several times I judge books by covers. I totally do. I don't have a lot of time to read, so if the cover can't catch me it's screwed. So this cover kind of reminded me of myself- staring down at my options, figuring out what to do. Coincidentally- the book really isn't about that, it's about a woman who has lived most of her life in Witness Protection and tries to get out of it, but then the book takes a turn into a love story. A sad, but really endearing love story. I'd like to think there would be a part 2 of this where the characters get together..but I suspect David will keep me waiting. I wish he wouldn't be such a bastard and just write a sequel though! :)

If I Stay: Gayle Forman

Some are asking, "jeez Sara, if you judge books by covers- why did you pick this one?" Because I really like the color blue, bitches. Don't get all technical on me.

This book is a "Young Adult" book which means nothing because it is FANTASTIC and you MUST read this. I don't get all strong willed about a book, ok- that's a lie, I feel the same way about this book (which if you haven't read it yet- I'm disappointed in you). But this book is about a young girl, on the brink of so many great opportunities in her life who's family is taken away from her. She's in an accident and basically has to decide whether to fight for her life and live, or give up and die- in order to be with her family who've already died. Talk about heart wrenching. You are right there with her, weighing the pros/cons and thinking about what would you do. The amazing thing is that I got this book done in THREE HOURS. I could not stop reading. I started at bedtime just to get a few pages in and literally could not stop. Needless to say I looked terrible at work the next day- but it was totally worth it.

My favorite parts of the book are when the nurses are talking to her remaining friends and extended family and keep reiterating that it's up to her. They can only do so much as medical staff- but it's up to her to decide. Most heart wrenching moment that made me burst into tears and wake up my husband? When her Grandfather talks to her (she's not awake, she's in a coma) and basically says he'd like for her to stay, but understands if she needs to go, thus giving her the permission she needs. OH.MY.GOD. Cry like a mother fucking baby. And I agree, I think people do decide when to go. At least I would like to think I have some control over it. :)

These are GREAT reads and I highly recommend them!

Get Sketchy Wit It- You Know You Want It

It's that time of week again- (you'll notice I said 'week', not 'month') it's time for the Get Sketchy Challenge! Yes- I did it again. The threat of winning free stamps is what sent me over the edge. It's like, "Alright already...I'll make something. Put the stamps in an envelope and stop waving them at me."

So drumroll folks...

I found some pearlized cardstock at Michaels...on clearance folks. Yes, clearance. What would have been $19.99 for the pack only cost me...(wait for it...wait for it....) $3. I know- bow down you jealous bitches. I am 99% sure this was a fuck up made by a newbie overly zealous with the sticker gun (and really? I think we've all been there with our label makers so let's know jeer this person too much.) But I also go the cardstock on clearance so yeah- this is like a ghetto fabulous card. And we all know I'm all about ghetto fabulous. ;)
Anyways- so there it is. Let's hope I win. I'm also not above "we feel sorry for her" winnings- I'm all for those. :)
AND, because I know you love the card so very much...I know you want to buy it. Along with it's 5 siblings. That's righty-o folks, I made not one, but TWO sets of 6 of these because I was really on a roll last night. So if you want to purchase these- head over to my Etsy shop to do that. And support my children. They'd like a Christmas this year I'm sure and I'm not sure if saying Santa was affected by the recession will work. :)