Get Behind Me, Santa!

To share with you how I'll be spending my Christmas:

I'll probably eat a lot of food, too. We have breakfast with Mike's parents, lunch with my mom and brother, and dinner with Mike's grandparents/extended family.

Seriously, whatever you do, whatever you celebrate, have an awesome day. Be good to yourself.

I See You

Okay, so I saw Avatar yesterday. Apparently my take on it was a lot different than most of yours. My review is spoiler free, aside from the summary from IMDB and I don't think there's anything in there that wasn't in the trailer.

First, here's a short summary via IMDB:

A paraplegic marine dispatched to the planet Pandora on a unique mission becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the world he feels is his home.

Yes, it was beautiful. Yes, it had amazing, unbelievable special effects. It definitely deserves credit for all that. We saw it in 3D, and I've never seen anything that amazingly beautiful on the big screen before. I definitely recommend seeing it in theaters, especially in 3D, while it's there because I think it will lose a lot at home on DVD.


Avitable wrote in his review "Even with the basic plot and one-dimensional characters, the movie is phenomenal." And not just Avitable's review, pretty much every review I've read has said something like this.

I don't think the beautiful picture should make up for the complete lack of original plot. I mean, really, is that what filmmaking has become? We'll just recycle the same, overused plot but pretty up with groundbreaking special effects? Because I can tell you, I knew what was going to happen 30 minutes into it. I could tell how it was going to end, I could tell how the love story was going to go.

If it took James Cameron this long to make this movie, he should have had time to write an original story to go along with all that CG. I've seen this all a million times before, and at least then it didn't take almost 3 hours to tell the story.

Stay Inside Our Rosy Minded Fuzz

So, I'm finally on winter break. This particular semester was a hard one for me, but I think that had more to do with lack of motivation than actual challenge from the work. We had a semester long project that I did the majority of in the week before it was due. This proved to be a very, very dumb thing to do. (I know, who would have thought?) I was so rushed towards the end that I made stupid mistakes, like forgetting to put my lighting fixtures on the board, and spelling the word porcelain wrong (Hint: there's no "e" at the end). But in the end, I recieved a solid B, so I'm more than comfortable with that. I think it also helped that I was the only one who did my boards on InDesign, so they looked a million times more professional than anyone else's.

I always have a sense of uneasiness when the semester ends. For so long (and especially at finals) I've poured all my extra time, effort, and energy into projects and homework, then suddenly I have nothing but free time.

That, and all my tv shows are on hiatus. That also frees up a lot of time.

I wasn't going to make cookies this year, but I've been awake for about two hours and I'm already bored. It's only the first day of break. So I guess it's cookie time!

Here's a few of my projects from this semester:

My semester long project (the floorplans anyway):

Computer Art Studio:

My first project in Illustrator: (to create a mechanical device)

My second project in Illustrator (Architectural Piece)

Their Words Mostly Noises

I stood up for myself, and the world didn't end.

It makes sense, really. Theoretically, people stand up for themselves all the time. They must, or nothing would get done.

I finally reached my breaking point. With the main boss out of the office for medical reasons, her stand in was on a complete power trip. An inefficient, poorly managed power trip. After repeatedly making mistake after mistake, then making other people clean up her messes, I had had enough.

Granted, all I did was put my foot down, and say No. No, I will not clean up your mess. This set off a chain reaction throughout my workplace (because if, heaven forbid, Amanda stands up for herself, it must really be bad.) which resulted in many people standing up to her, in a much louder and more confident manner. Not that much changed, but at least we all got apologies. We got apologies, then told to finish cleaning up the mess.

But at least I got that tearful apology, and the sense of satisfaction for not caving in for the first time in my life. It's a step.

I've Been Too Long, I'm Glad To Be Back

So, oops. It's been two months since I posted. I am, indeed, alive and well. However, I am overwhelmingly, mind blowingly, headache inducingly busy with work and school. It's all good, though.

Other things I've been busy with:

1. We went to Farm Aid and saw Wilco, Jason Mraz, Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, and Willie Nelson. We went because we both love Wilco, but in all honestly, I was super psyched when John Mellencamp performed. Now you all know my dirty secret. And man oh man did the middle aged ladies go CRAZY when John hit the stage.

2. As much as the middle aged ladies love John, the middle aged dudes love They Might Be Giants. These dudes were rocking out in their accountant outfits. We went to a show where they performed Flood in it's entirety. It's the 20 year anniversary or something like that. We were by far the youngest people there, which surprised me. I guess it makes sense though considering I was in kindergarten when it came out.

3. We went to a ton of festivals. Greek, Irish, Craft, Beer, Art, you name it, we went to it. It's been a beautiful fall here and we've been out enjoying it.

4. Work drama. Lots and lots of work drama.

5. Drinking. Wine.

The Great Frontier

I was trying to think of a way to link together all the different things I want to talk about, but fuck it. Bullet points it is.

  • Last week an extremely drunk driver ran a stop sign, crashed through a tree, and hit four cars in my work parking lot. Mine included, of course. Thankfully my car was the least damaged out of all of them, and the only person injured was the driver. I've never seen anything like this wreck before. The amount of damage one drunk person can do is astounding.
  • I'm finally done with pulling the carpet from my living room. Carpet, rug pad, staples, adhesive, and tack strips are all up. Now, I just need to sand it. Sigh.
  • I go back to school tomorrow and I've never been this uninterested. I always loved school. This year, I've been dreading it all summer. I'm ready to be done. Only two semesters after this one to go.
  • I had a country filled weekend. Saturday we went to the Festival of the Little Hills and ate chicken kabobs, a bloomin onion, and kettle corn. I've never seen that many red necks crammed into one place. Sunday we drove into the country in Illinois to go to one of my boyfriend's favorite places, Fort Du Chartres. You can climb around on a rebuilt French fort, and run away from the hordes of wasps that inhabit it. After that we went to the ruins of another fort, and drove around the area for a while listening to Sufjan Stevens (of course). We know how to have a good time.
  • Go see District 9 if you haven't yet. Seriously, just do it.

I Hurt Myself Today

I've had a rough week. As it turns out, I'm not cut out for physical labor.

We're pulling up the carpet in the living room/hallway. The hardwood floors underneath are actually in great shape, so minimal refinishing is needed. In the last week, however, I've managed to:

-Smash my hand between a crow bar and the floor

-Get blisters on three of my fingers and the area between my thumb and forefinger from the pliers I used to pull up staples.

-Smash my pinkie at work when a shelf fell from a side table while I was carrying it.

- Get a chemical burn on my hand and arm from the adhesive remover

All of these on my right hand. I can't even hold a pen right now, so work's fun. And sadly, I'm only about halfway done. I've done all I can on my own, but now I need someone to help me move the heavy furniture.

Any takers?

Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want

I rarely get excited about movies. Sure, there are some I actively want to see, but mostly my boyfriend pushes for them and I agree. Or it's something I see because everyone else has. Or I'm bored. But it's rare a movie comes along that I get really psyched to see.

The problem is that when I do get excited, I build things up in my head too much. I'm always convinced this is going to be the most amazing movie ever. And let's face it, rarely are movies that good. Entertaining? Sure. Thought provoking? Sometimes.

So when I saw the trailer for 500 Days Of Summer, I tried to stay calm about it. But really, Fox Searchlight (or Focus Features) movies featuring an attractive cast with a seemingly awesome soundtrack are right up my alley. I love Zooey Deschanel, and I really, really love Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

I kind of loved it. I loved that it was a (somewhat) realistic portrait of a relationship. I loved that they had fights and breakups and makeups that actually seemed like they could happen. It was a sweetly told story, with a narrator that actually didn't annoy me. I loved Joseph Gordon-Levitt's sexy karaoke scene.

It was engrossing, and well acted (of course). I recommend it if you like unrequited love stories. Because after all, as the trailer tells us, it's not a love story.

Passing The Time

I haven't done this in awhile, so here it goes: the summer movie edition (there may be a small, tiny spoiler in the Harry Potter review, but not really. It won't ruin anything, I promise)

Moon- For those of you not familiar with this one, it's about a guy (Sam Rockwell) who mans a solo mining operation on the moon, with only a Kevin Spacey voiced robot to keep him company. His three year shift is coming to an end, with only two weeks to go, when he stumbles across a body who appears to be identical to his. It makes you wonder if he's going crazy, if there's really a person who looks like him, etc.

This kind of movie is hard for me, because I'm not really a pure sci fi fan. Sure, I like sci fi if there are fancy space ships blowing up and young hot actors and actresses to watch, but pure, slow, sci fi isn't my thing. However, I think it was a good movie, even if it was very slow moving. Sam Rockwell was impeccable, there was genuine tension, and an interesting plot line. If you're a sci fi fan, I'd definitely check it out.

Harry Potter- This wasn't my favorite of the series, but it was alright. It seemed kind of long and draggy, but then again, it wasn't my favorite book of the series either. It was funny, at least. I'm not usually a purist about book to movie adaptations when the book is as long as The Half Blood Prince. But why did they cut out the battle at the end? It made the movie end in a boring, anti climactic manner. But I love pretty much anything in the HP family, so I liked it.

Bruno- Dirty, raunchy, inappropriate, and absolutely hilarious. There were a few parts that make me squeamish, and very sad for humanity. It wasn't the best movie ever, but it was funny to watch once.

These ones are older, so I'll do one sentence reviews:

Transformers- Way too long and blah.

The Hangover- So very funny and hilarious and awesome.

The Proposal- Nothing new, but I love Ryan Reynolds.

Up- Devastatingly sad, but of course awesome.

They Will See Us Waving From Such Great Heights

I'm going through a weird period of life right now. I'm having huge highs and devastating lows at regular intervals. (And no, not in the bipolar way).

For instance, at work. I had my promotion. Things with that are going well, and I've recieved a lot of postive feedback from my superiors, including fancy pants corporate people. I've made good friends with the two other people in my position, and have been spending a lot of time with them outside of work, with margaritas in hand. I even went with one as a date to a wedding. This sort of thing is hard for me, I'm just not good as socializing and making new friends, especially with girls, but I'm really making an effort here.

But at the same time, people are being fired left and right. It's getting tense. No one's doing anything wrong, per say, just the economy. We used to have 9 sales associates and now there's 3. Every time the phone rings and its work calling, I'm sure I'm being fired. I try to convince myself that I'll be one of the last fired, as I'm in a management position and I bring a little more to the table than the average employee with my background in design, which they utilize often. But that's probably just wishful thinking, there have been many people that were fired that I never saw coming.

Things in my relationship are also up and down. We're going through a lot of stuff that I don't really want to talk about, but it's rough. Basically we want different things out of life, and it's hard to find the right compromise. I honestly think we'll be okay, but again, who knows. There are no guarantees in life, especially with love. And there's so much love there, it should be able to survive this rough patch. Mostly we're okay. 90% of the time, things are perfect. It's that other 10% of the time that breaks my heart.

While we're going through this, we're planning a huge vacation. Bigger than any we've done before. I'm super psyched about it, and Lord knows I love planning things. Anything that gives me a chance to research and organize is great. I'm hoping this isn't just something to distract us from our problems though, like when people don't want to get a divorce so they have a baby instead. And I don't really think that it is, but again, I can only know my intentions, I can't read Mike's mind.

So, basically, I'm at a crossroads. I'm someone who likes to be 100% sure about things, and everything in my life right now is up in the air. It's hard for me to come to terms with the fact that I'm not in control right now.

So Easy To Please

I'm three days in to my new position, and it's going about as well as I had expected. For the most part, people are supportive. Or they don't care, which is equally fine with me. There's only one person who's being an ass about it, but she's the one I most expected to be difficult.

The real irritation about her is she truly believes she should have been offered the position based solely on seniority. During the summer, she doesn't work during the days because her kids are home from school. So she literally cannot do half of the job. They only need me to open the store and do returns. So why on earth would they have offered it to her?

Oh well. The other 12 people who work there are all fine with this, so it's all good. Mostly.

The rest of the job is fine. It's not any harder than the job I've already been doing, it's just slightly more work. I guess people had low expectations for me, or else everyone else is retarded, because they're all so impressed with how quickly I learned everything. Why yes, I can count to 15o, thank you. Yes, I can scan a receipt and press the big button that says 'return item'. I'm just a genius that way, I suppose.

The Vast Ravine, Right In Between

I was supposed to have lunch today with two friends. One I know well, and spend a lot of time with. The other was hosting the lunch at her house. I used to work with her, and we were close at the time, but I haven't talked to her much since she left about 6 months ago.

This morning my close friend called and said she couldn't come because she had to wait for the A/C repair man.

The panic began to set it.

It's not like I don't know K (the hostess). We worked together for six months, and in many ways she was like a mentor to me. She did all the visual displays in the store, and I learned a ton from her. So why was I apprehensive to spend time alone with her?

It was too late for me to cancel, I knew she had already done the shopping and preparing for lunch.

I drove over with butterflies in my stomach. I just knew it was going to be awkward. I'd have nothing to say, she'd think I'm boring, etc.

Of course, the second K opened the door, I knew it was fine. She gave me a tour of her breathtakingly beautiful home, and we sat and talked for two hours over lunch without a gap in the conversation.

It's always fine.

So why do I psych myself out? Why don't I want to have new friends?

Whenever someone wants to do something, I always have an excuse as to why I can't make it. If my boyfriend's going to be there then it's all good. It's the whole being alone with people making conversation thing I just can't seem to handle.

I need to let my fucking guard down.

Happiness is Overrated

So, I received a quasi-promotion today. It's not a big one, just a little more money and a little more responsibility (opening the store, handling returns, etc.) It's like being a half manager. It's that time of year where everyone wants to take their vacation, and they were having trouble with overlapping vacation time. Otherwise, I doubt they'd have me doing this. It's temporary, through probably October.

I just wish it was under better terms. The store manager has breast cancer and will be out of the office at least through October until she finishes chemo, radiation, and (hopefully) a lumpectomy.

I'm also worried about my coworkers. They are a jealous, competitive bunch. For example, I tend to get more hours than most of them. It's not that I'm any better than them at the job, it's mostly based on my rapport with the scheduling manager. Also, I'm 100% flexible, especially during the summer months. I can work anytime, and I'm always up for helping out if the schedule needs to be changed, and I think that's what people don't understand. If they were flexible, and didn't ask off for every weekend, I'm sure they'd get more hours. But when you're only available every third day, it's just not possible for you to get a lot of hours. You should just be glad you have a decent paying job in this economy. And yet, they bitch. They bitch to me, they bitch to each other, they bitch to the managers about how unfair this is. Well, suck it up.

So I'm concerned about how they're going to react to my "promotion." I'm sure they'll be bitching about how they've been there longer than me, and how they are better equipped to do it. It can't always be about seniority, though, right? I mean, sometimes it has to be about flexibility and being a team player. It has to do with showing up on time, and getting your job done without complaining. I'm not claiming to be the best worker ever, but at least I try. And in the end, I guess that's what counted.

The Ballad of Love and Hate

So, it's been a month since I've posted. I don't know why. It's not like I haven't had things to talk about, I just haven't been in the mood. I need to get back into the habit (or at least the weekly- habit) of posting, so I'm going to ease into it with a meme I stole from Hannah.

Also I was woken up this morning by a text super early, so I'm cranky. Here's the things I hate.

1. Most hated food. Oh man, I love most food. That's the problem. I hate sausage, or at least breakfast-type sausage and sausage on pizza. I hate cilantro. I hate Wendy's.

2. Most hated person. I wouldn't say I hate anyone, but I dislike Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney, and Pat Robertson. (Hm, do you sense a theme?)

3. Most hated job. I've only had three jobs and they've all been good. There were many aspects of my last job I ended up hating though.

4. Most hated city. I'm sure it has good parts that I missed, but Chatanooga was a shit hole.

5. Most hated band. Nickelback, My Chemical Romance, Evanesence. Singers would be Natasha Bedingfield, Katy Perry, and Avril Lavigne (sorry Adam)

6. Most hated web site. I don't think I hate any websites. I do hate it when music or sound autoplays, though

7. Most hated TV program. I hate reality tv that follows people around (the Hills, Jon and Kate, etc.) I also hate reality dating shows. I only like shows that have people based on talent, not the ability to wear a short skirt.

8. Most hated British politician. You know, that one guy. With the hair.

9. Most hated artist. I don't like it when they take found objects and just slap it against the wall as "art". I don't mind re-purposing, but something needs to be done to it to make it art. Also the whole Dada movement was weird.

10. Most hated book.I hated The Road by Cormac McCarthy. And I hated the Scarlet Letter, and I got a B in English that semester which devastated me.

11. Most hated shop. I don't like Walmart, but I work literally next door to one and it's convenient. I kind of hate Abercrombie.

12. Most hated organization. NAMBLA

13. Most hated historical event. Umm... Slavery? the Holocaust? Any sort of mass genocide. Oh and the Spanish Inquisition.

14. Most hated sport. Hockey. Good lord.

15. Most hated piece of technology. I don't think I hate technology, that's weird.

16. Most hated annual event. I'm not a fan of summer. Summer comes every year, unfortunately.

17. Most hated daily task. Doing my hair after I shower. It takes fucking forever, and my hair's not that complicated.

18. Most hated comedian. Hands down, Dane Cook. Douche-tastic!

Now here's the love part, because I don't like all the negativity:

1. Most loved food: A really good steak, almost anything with potatoes, pizza

2. Most loved person: My boyfriend, frustrating as he may be

3. Most loved job: I love my job now, but I really loved working at Blockbuster when I was in high school.

4. Most loved city: Kansas City or Santa Monica

5. Most loved band: Death Cab, Snow Patrol, Starsailor, Editors, the National, the Decemberists, the Killers, the Shins

6. Most loved web site: Twitter?

7. Most loved TV program: Gilmore Girls, Veronica Mars, Pushing Daisies, the Mentalist, Lost, Gossip Girl

8. Most loved movie: The Princess Bride... but also The Big Lebowski, Office Space, and any John Hughes movie

9. Most loved artist: Chuck Close, easy.

10. Most loved book: The Catcher in the Rye, The Time Traveller's Wife, The Smoke Jumper, 1984, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Giver, To Kill A Mockingbird

11. Most loved shop: Target. It has everything I could ever want.

12. Most loved organization: Does the Democratic Party count?

13. Most loved historical event: The Emancipation Proclamation? That was a good moment. Also Oct. 23rd 1976, when Ryan Reynolds was born.

14. Most loved sport: To watch? Baseball. To play? None.

15. Most loved piece of technology: My i-pod

16. Most loved annual event: Fall! The sweaters, the chill in the air, holding a warm latte in the cool weather, the leaves changing colors, oh man. Only 4 months to go.

All Your Diction Dripping With Disdain

It's funny the conversations you overhear. You know, when you're eavesdropping.

(at The Killers concert)
Douche: The last time I was here was for the Death Cab for Cutie concert. It was okay.
Girl: I loved it.
Douche: Yeah it was really good. I'm just not that big of a fan of mainstream music. I'm more into Vampire Weekend and Arctic Monkeys.
(Let me interject here: While these aren't the biggest names in the music industry, they are by no means "not mainstream." Vampire Weekend was possibly the biggest hyped band I've ever seen)

*Countdown starts on the screen onstage for the Killer's entrance*

Douche: Oh, they did this at the Coldplay concert. Now that was a good one.

All These Things That I've Done

This is going to be a double concert review, because we saw Howie Day on Friday, and the Killers on Monday.

Howie Day has been a longtime favorite of mine, ever since I bought Stop All The World Now in 2003. You're probably familiar with his song "Collide" as it was played on the radio every other song for quite awhile (You might also know him from this). I've never seen a show quite like this before. Howie was alone on the stage, but you didn't even miss a band. He uses samplers and effects paddles to create a really full sound. It's pretty impressive. You don't see a lot of true musicians like that. His vocals were some of the best I've ever heard live. I can die fairly happily now that I've heard Collide and She Says live. I highly recommend seeing him in concert, because it's a unique experience.

Collide - Howie day

The Killers were awesome, as expected. I wouldn't expect any less. They did an assortment of songs from all three albums (four if you count Sawdust), so I got to hear all my favorite songs. This was a much different crowd and energy than I'm used to, but it's nice to do different things. People were dancing, some were headbanging (for no reason?) and there were pyrotechnics. The whole show was so energetic, I was amazed at how great Brandon was.

Speaking of Brandon, good lord. We were in the 7th row, so I was close enough to really see him.

What a sexy, sexy man. Even with the plumage, he was attractive.

The songs they did:
This Is Your Life
Somebody Told Me
For Reasons Unknown
Joy Ride
I Can't Stay
(Bling) Confessions of a King
Smile Like You Mean IT
Read My Mind
A Dustland Fairytale
Sam's Town
Read My Mind
Mr. Brightside
All These Things That I've Done

Jenny Was A Friend of Mind
When You Were Young

While We're On The Subject, Could We Change The Subject Now?

I'm awesome at avoidance. Or, more precisely, "out of sight, out of mind" is an accurate cliche on my part.

Why do I do it? I wish I knew.

I need to stop, though. It's getting out of hand. I never deal with things. I ignore as much as I can, then quickly forget about it. Or I reason it away, telling myself it's not that big of a deal.

But sometimes? It is a big deal. Sometimes it hurts. At some point, I need to be able to stand up for myself. Let my opinion be known. Deal with issues head on.

Instead, I give myself time to calm down. If I have an disagreement with someone, I try to get out of it as soon as possible, then I sleep on it. The next day, the anger's gone. Which can be a good thing, I understand. I don't hold grudges, I don't often get irrationally angry.

I'm continually surprised and hurt when people don't take their second chances seriously. My guess is that they know I'll give them a third, fourth, and fifth chance. What's the line between not holding grudges and making the same mistakes? I don't know. I'm pretty sure I just let people walk all over me, though, because I'd rather ignore and forget than be confrontational.

How much of yourself do you lose when you let yourself be perpetually ignored?

You Laugh, You Learn

Last night my boyfriend took me to see An Evening With David Sedaris. He first heard about it because NPR was having some sort of listener presale, and he knows how much of a fan I am.

I should point out that although this is an awesome gesture, it wasn't done for fully selfless reasons. Every time I read a David Sedaris book, I go on and on about how much he would like it, and he's not much of a reader. So his getting the tickets was his way of getting out of having to actually *gasp* read a book.

I wasn't sure what to expect, because I'd never been to an event like this before. Sure, I've seen authors speak, but not at such a large scale. It was held at the symphony hall, which seats quite a few people.

The first thing that happened was David was sitting right by the door signing books, so he was the first person I saw. I didn't get a book signed because the line wrapped around the lobby twice, and I was more intrigued by the line at the bar (and the booth that sold cake). But, I was less than ten feet away from one of my favorite authors, so that's cool.

The show was really funny. As I said, I wasn't sure what to expect, but basically he just told stories. It was like seeing a really, really intelligent comedian. If you're familiar with his work, you know how funny he is, but it's even funnier hearing his delivery. It wasn't stuff from the books either, it was new material.

At the end he opened it up for questions, and he was just as humorous and charming in his spontaneous answers as he was in his rehearsed stories.

If you get a chance to see him talk, I highly recommend it. And if you haven't read any of his works, you should really check him out. He's by far my favorite memoirist (you know, from the giant pool of successful memoirists I have to choose from).

Also, how great is it that a giant place like the Powell Symphony Hall sells out for an author? I'm glad people are willing to miss American Idol and Lost for one night (or tivo them) to go experience a great event like this.

I Really See You Upside Down

I don't want to be one of those girls that bitches about their boyfriend publicly, but he really made me angry yesterday.

Long story short(ish), his parents are talking about moving to the country, and they'd sell him their house for a very, very reasonable price. His parents have talked about moving to the country multiple times with nothing happening, so I'm not holding my breath.

He didn't mention anything about me moving in with him, which is okay. Honestly, I don't really want to. He needs some time to live on his own and learn to be independent. I'm worried if we lived together, he'd just depend on me to do everything for him, and I don't have the time or the patience to take care of both of us. I have enough trouble taking care of myself. He needs to figure out how to do his own laundry and clean his own bathroom before we can co-exist peacefully.

But anyway, yesterday we were talking about what his budget would be. He said he's not sure if he would be able to afford it, unless I wanted to move in and pay for part of it.

Excuse me?

Is that the way you approach asking your girlfriend to move in with you? And admit that the only reason you're asking is because you need her money? (Which, let's face it. I work part time retail. What money?)

Then when I got mad, he said he hadn't asked because he didn't think I'd want to move in with him.

When I told him I didn't want to live with him, he got offended. I explained my reasons to him, which he totally understood, because even he knows he's irresponsible.

Maybe we can live together after we've dated for seven or eight years, we're clearly not ready after six.

It's A Strange Condition

We went on our annual (or monthly, depending on how things are going) trek to Kansas City for steak.

It started Friday, and it was lovely. We went to their beautiful Zoo on a pretty day, we had dinner at a restaurant we used to have here that closed, then we went to their new Power and Light district and caught a concert from some dude I've never heard of.

It was a gorgeous night, they had the heat lamps on, so it was great catching a concert outdoors and drinking cheap beer. My boyfriend never wants to do things like that here, so it's nice to get out sometimes.

It all started falling apart Friday night/Saturday morning when I literally got no sleep. And not because I was up late doing something fun (in a hotel) but because I am the world's worst sleeper. The people next to us had their TV on (not loud, I'm just sensitive), the air conditioner was loud, cars were driving by, etc. When the sun came up I got out of bed and just read until my boyfriend woke up.

We drove 45 minutes outside of KC to an old asylum that now houses a psychiatric museum. It was all about psychiatric treatments pre-modern medicine. So, it was kind of creepy anyway.

There was a group of people there that were all a little off. I don't know specifically what was different about them. One I think was autistic, but that's not really the point.

An older lady from the group started following us around, which was a little weird, but whatever. She said hi to us, asked us how we were. We politely answered, then quickly walked away. She kept following us around.

Finally she came up to me and said "I have angels that talk to me and keep me safe"

I said "Oh, that's nice"

Crazy Lady- "They're telling me you need to get an MRI"

Me- "um... okay...."

Crazy Lady- "Or a mammogram"

Me- "I.. Um.. yeah..." (I just went to the gyno, I'm comfortable with my breast health)

Crazy Lady- "Do you have a mole by your left breast?"

Me- "No..."

Crazy Lady- (VERY loudly and angrily) "Oh, well I guess the angels are wrong then, huh?"

Mike starts pushing me out of the room.

She kept yelling after me about how I need to listen to her or I would die.

I made Mike leave then, so we didn't see most of the museum.

It was the goddamn creepiest thing I had ever heard. I'm glad I don't have a mole near my left breast, or I probably would be at the hospital right now undergoing a battery of preventative tests. I'm pretty sure my insurance wouldn't cover those tests, considering my only reason for needing them was because the lady at the asylum told me I need them.

I was pretty shaken up we left, considering the lack of sleep and the already creepy environment. We stopped to get gas before heading back to KC, and a guy in overalls and a Tweety hat (with the bill turned up) was yelling at everyone who walked past about how Barack Obama wasn't really a Christian and he was, in fact, a free mason. We stopped to listen to him for a few minutes.

The moral of the story, is St. Joseph, Missouri is a crazy ass place with crazy ass people in it. Seriously, stay away.

The rest of the day was more pleasant, we went to the Nelson-Atkins Museum and the Kemper Contemporary Art Museum, followed by dinner at Houston's.

This is where we made a logistical error, as it's not super comfortable to drive four hours after eating a steak and loaded baked potato dinner.

You live, you learn, you repeat it again in six months.

Hate Is A Strong Word

So, I don't tend to get controversial here. I'm a fairly neutral person, and I try to let people live the way they want to live without passing judgment.

But people on Twitter are really starting to aggravate me

I know social media is what you make of it. I always have the option to unfollow people on Twitter (and trust me, I have been recently). But some people are totally rad like 80% of the time. I don't want to unfollow them, but more and more I've been tempted.

Maybe I'm just over Twitter.

The Top Five Irritating Things You're Doing On Twitter (yes, you.)

5. Multiple blog post announcements- This one doesn’t really bother me that much, but I’ve seen other people complain. I I follow you on Twitter, I probably already have your blog in my feed reader, so one announcement on Twitter is more than enough. But when you have the feed being announced from four different sources, it’s pretty superfluous. Maybe you could scale back?

4. Hashtags- Okay, they’re not all bad. Some can be helpful; some are downright funny (like Michael Ian Black’s #fuckitlist.) But it’s completely unnecessary to put a hashtag after every tweet you have. And kinda douchey. Not everything you say needs to be indexed.

3. This is the newest irritant. I don’t mind the sporadic “Rocking out to Taco- Putting on the Ritz” tweet, but you can listen to a lot of music during the day. We don’t need to know every song you listen to. In fact, that’s what is for. People can go on their own accord to see what you’ve been listening to, without it being crammed down their throat.

2. Live tweeting television shows- Sure, it’s one thing if there’s something big going on, like a political debate. I’ll even allow for award shows, even though it’s still irritating. But we do not need to know your every thought, feeling, and reaction to what Simon said to that contestant every Tuesday and Wednesday, and then your reaction to the bachelor and to who Donald fires. Its fine to have the occasional “Wow, BSG was frakking amazing tonight” or “Man, Sheldon just doesn’t understand social customs. Poor Leonard, it must be rough being his roommate. ” comment, but seriously. Please stop. If people care that much about American Idol, they’ll watch it and have their own opinions.

1. Twitter parties- This is by far the most obnoxious, irritating thing I’ve seen yet. Good lord. Seriously, get a fucking chat room. It is really galling to completely flood and overwhelm Twitter for your own intents and purposes. Twitter is for everyone, not just for you.

What irritates you on Twitter?

Take A Bow

I thought I was prepared. I knew Watchmen was going to be long. I knew it was going to be dark, and serious, and all that. I knew there was going to be lots of blue penis.

I should point out, I haven't read the graphic novel. Or any graphic novel. And I'm not usually a fan of the superhero movie, unless it's really good. Or Funny. (like The Dark Knight, or Iron Man)

It definitely had it's good parts, it was beautifully shot, well acted, dark and moody, and all that good stuff.

But this movie was ridiculously, unbearably long. I thought it was going to be okay, because I kept reading reviews on how awesome it was. And I think it could have been a really good movie if someone would LEARN HOW TO EDIT.

It was unnecessarily long. I guess the point was to keep it as true to the novel as possible, but the thing is? With a novel? You can put it down and walk away, and unfortunately you cannot do the same in the movie theater. I mean, yeah, you can walk out, but I would have been waiting alone while Mike finished watching it.

I want those three hours of my life back.

Take A Bow - Muse

But For Now We Are Young

Do you ever feel like the world is crashing down on your head? And you try to push through the rubble to find a bit of sunlight and air, but when you do push through you find there's just more rubble and darkness?

I try to be a positive person. I try to look at the bright side. I enjoy lightness and humor. I try to help when I can, and even when I can't.

But goddamn, what a sucktastic few days.

It started early Saturday upon hearing of Lisa's passing. One of the reasons I felt connected to Lisa was because of our shared mantra, it is what it is. I've always tried to live by that standard, as a way of not over reacting, of accepting life and all it's quirks and complexities. I keep it close to me and repeat it as necessary throughout the day.

Then a good friend was in a car accident and is still hospitalized with a punctured lung and lots of broken bones.

Then my boyfriend dropped a bombshell on me on Sunday that I cannot even begin to fathom and absorb, that I'm nowhere near being able to discuss, or even comprehend. I don't know what it's ramifications and implications will be, but my guess is that they will not be positive (and no, he didn't cheat on me)

Soon after that, we found out his grandma has intestinal cancer. It's still early, so we don't know details or the prognosis or anything.

Then I found out a good friend was dumped by her boyfriend when she told him she was pregnant. Upstanding fellow, yes?

So what do I do? I try to push on. I missed class Monday morning, because putting on clothes seemed like an awful lot of work. I spent all day cleaning and moving furniture, because that's better than thinking, and sulking, and processing.

But I don't work again until Thursday (Thank you, economy) so I have a lot of free time to sit around, and only so much furniture to be moved.

So what do I do tomorrow?

In the Aeroplane Over the Sea - Neutral Milk Hotel

May Angels Lead You In

This is going to be shorter than I want, but I have to leave for work in about seven minutes.

As you probably all well know, Lisa from Clusterfook passed away after her brave cancer battle last night. She leaves behind Dude and the girls.

I just wanted to share a super quick memory of Lisa. In the early stages of being diagnosed again, she was feeling awful from chemo but still positive in that Lisa-way. I had tweeted about my headache and she responded with something like "I'm sorry, headaches suck" or something like that.

I was blown away. After all she had been through, the sickness she was feeling, she was still sympathetic to my stupid headache.

That's one tiny example of the kindness Lisa showed every day.

Lisa, you will be missed.

February Stars

First of all, sorry I forgot to update and tell you what my Valentine's present was. I had definitely built it up too much in my head because it wasn't the big huge deal I thought it was going to be, but it was still pretty sweet. I don't even totally know how to explain it, but it was a sort of box/pop up book with different pictures that were personal to us. I don't know how to describe it, so I'm going to leave it at that. It was sweet.

You knew I had to do this one, right?

Think of 20 albums, CDs, LPs (if you’re over 40), that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life. Dug into your soul. Music that brought you to life when you heard it. Royally affected you, kicked you in the wazoo, literally socked you in the gut, is what I mean. Then when you finish, tag 15 others, including me. Make sure you copy and paste this part so they know the drill.

1. Jimmy Eat World- Jimmy Eat World

2. Red Hot Chili Peppers- Blood Sugar Sex Magik

3. Radiohead- Pablo Honey

4. Starsailor- Silence Is Easy

5. The Killers- Hot Fuss

6. Greenday- Dookie

7. Jason Mraz- Waiting For My Rocket To Come

8. Damien Rice- O

9. Death Cab For Cutie- Transatlanticsm

10. Ben Folds Five- Whatever and Ever Amen

11. The Decemberists- The Crane Wife

12. Editors- An End Has A Start

13. Foo Fighters- The Colour and the Shape

14. Dave Matthews Band- Under The Table and Dreaming

15. Jeff Buckley- Grace

16. Bush- Sixteen Stone

17. The National- Boxer

18. Postal Service- Give Up

19. The Shins- Chutes Too Narrow

20. Snow Patrol- Eyes Open

We Both Go Down Together

I hate surprises.

Or, specifically, I hate poorly executed surprises.

My boyfriend spent Sunday working on something that he couldn't talk about that I would find out about sometime in the future. Now, he also spent the day working on a paper. He could have just said that, and not mentioned the mystery project. But now the not knowing is DRIVING ME INSANE.

I finally got out of him that whatever it is, I'll find out about on Saturday. We're not usually big Valentine's Day people, so this is odd.

I think for a really good surprise, the recipient should have no idea something is coming, then it's all Boom! Roasted! It's a little mean to telling someone like me that they have a surprise coming. (It's really hard to be in control when you're being surprise, you know?

He says I'm building it up too much, I'll be disappointed.

I just wish he wouldn't have said anything.

Oh It's Such a Perfect Day

Don't you love it when you have one of those perfect days? Those days that don't end up at all like you think they're going to, but surprise you with their awesomeness?

I had one of those days recently. It started with my mom taking me out to breakfast at one of my favorites, First Watch. Then we went to the hardware store to get the accoutrement for hanging our new curtains.

After we finished hanging them, my boyfriend came to pick me up and we drove about an hour north to Pere Marquette State Park in Grafton, Illinois. It was too cold to hike, but we drove through their scenic drive part, and it was still beautiful, even in winter. We saw several bald eagles while we were there, which is kind of cool, I suppose.

We wanted to eat dinner in Grafton, but it was still kind of early, so we stopped at the Grafton Winery to get a drink. After sampling several varieties, we settled on a bottle of their Harbor Red and settled into a table overlooking a marina and the Mississippi. No, it's not the most beautiful river in the world, but it was a pretty day. There was a dude playing music there, mostly awesome stuff like the Eagles and 90's rock. I realized if I was going to walk out of the winery I was going to need some food, since I skipped lunch, so we had a cheese and sausage platter and some yummy sandwiches.

On the drive home, I insisted we stop at the Alton Belle Casino, because it was the ugliest building I've ever seen on the outside, and I was dying to see what the inside looked like. It was not nearly as hideous inside, just normal generic casino.

Then we came home and snuggled in bed while watching The Sopranos. It's taken me five years, but I've finally convinced him to watch it with me, so that's a win.

So what do you consider a perfect day?