If you do not know where you are going, any road will take you there.

~ Lewis Caroll

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Spooky Factor

You can feel it in the air . . . halloween is almost upon us! While many look forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas, I am anxiously awaiting the first holiday of the season, Halloween!When I left the house for work this morning, it was just the right temperature for my jeans and cardigan. The leaves are beginning to change colors, and you can almost smell them burning after being laboriously raked into piles. Scarves are coming out of closets in a multitude of colors and patterns, the perfect accessory on a brisk evening out.

Ahh . . . I'm itching to take my carving knife to a pumpkin and create that seasonal masterpiece!

Luckily, spiders have flocked to my patio like an arachnid Miami, so I have instant spooky ambiance. I've snipped recipes for spooky sweets and cooky cocktails. I'm ready for scary movies and freaking myself out accidentally on purpose. The dilemma for Halloween 2009 is what I'm going to do on actual Halloween night.

For the past two years, my friends and I have hosted a Halloween bash. It's debatable whether or not it's a good time had by all, but it's definitley interesting! Unfortunately this year there will be no annual Hallowfun. I'm unsure of my options. Julie will be celebrating at Degaween (or Hallowdega), and her house is the usual site for the party. I have no idea what any of my other friends are doing. I could host a fa'boo' party (hehe), but my 700 square foot apartment may object. I've tried to look up events via the internet, but nobody seems to be in the spirit! What is wrong with Nashville!? Nevertheless, I'm holding out hope that something spooktacular (hehe again) will develop. My evening will be spent in costume with my friends somewhere doing someting totally ridiculous and immature. I do believe that's what Halloween is all about.

Now for the costume--the pinnacle of Halloween frivolity. I'm debating between two main alter egos: the tooth fairy or Sookie Stackhouse. Sookie is an easy look to put together; I simply need a blonde wig and a Merlotte's tshirt (available at hbo.com). The tooth fairy requires more detail, which I have access to thanks to my mommy (yes I'm 27, but she's still my mommy). I recently decided I could be an evil tooth fairy! But still sexy. I could get several sets of fake halloween teeth and dip them in costume blood (leftover thanks to my very bloody vampire of 2008) and tote them around in my tooth fairy bag. This look also entails some awesome fairy wings (which are a fire hazard--lesson learned from the lady bug of 2007). My sluttiness factor dipped last year (even though my dress was super short and I had on kick ass stilletos). I pulled a Lindsey Lohan in Mean Girls. This year I'm determined to find a costume that fits all of my requirements. A trip to the Halloween store in the near future will undoubtedly prove worthwhile.

I hope you all find time in your busy October to take the time to carve a pumpkin, hang a Frankie (wink, wink Allison), or simply go "boo!" Remember it's the one day of the year where you can pretend to be something you aren't and nobody can give you crap for it. It's a shame to waste that kind of freedom.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Couch Potato Season

Ahh...the fall tv season is upon us. As busy as my life is, it's so nice to have something simple to look forward to each evening. Television is also great for the multitasker like myself; I prepare for class, check email, cook dinner, etc., all while tuning in to my stories (that's what my granny called her soaps, her stories). And they are wonderful stories that keep me mindlessly entertained until bedtime.

I don't just watch anything that's on tv, however. My weekly schedule is quite specific and each show has special place in the hierarchy of dvr series recordings. Tuesdays and Thursdays are my essential show days. NCIS comes in first, and season seven is off to a great start! They've hooked me again after a not-so-hot season six. Tony and Ziva may finally come to grips with their feelings for each other. Gibbs is still kick-ass, and of course the rest of the cast is still awesome. The new NCIS-Los Angeles hasn't gotten my dedication, but I'll give them a couple of weeks to get in the groove before I veto it. Then Thursdays is my Bones night. I heart David Boreanaz (a.k.a. Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and love the rest of the cast as well. Good things are coming, I just know it.

Besides the above mentioned shows, which are cannot miss, I have a few others that I am faithful too as long as I can record them:

Chuck (unfortunately not on again until after the winter olympics, boo that)
Leverage (also on hiatus)
The Mentalist (a serious knock-off of Psych, but still a good show)
True Blood (not as good as the books, but quite entertaining)

There are some other shows I get excited about that are Matthew's dvr picks, and these are worth mentioning:

Fringe (on after Bones and really good)
Lie to Me
How I Met Your Mother
Two and a Half Men

Everyone has their favorite shows and guilty pleasures, but this lineup is about all I can handle. I have to squeeze in all my books as well. If you haven't checked out any of these shows, you should give them a try. A little escape is good for the soul, and good tv (or even crappy reality tv) can provide just such an escape.

*disclaimer: television should be used in moderation. don't forget to read and exercise.

Monday, September 21, 2009


While spending the last few hours with my houseguests (and good friends, of course) yesterday, we drove past what we thought may be an ice cream shop. After some sightseeing we drove back to the shop, ignoring the protests from the backseat. Leaving the boys in the car, Crystal and I went in to explore Nashville's Tasti D-Lite.

It was awesome. I have to admit that I do not generally get excited about ice cream. I'm just not much of a dessert person; I'm really a meat girl. However, this place hooked me. They happily give you a sample of whatever flavors are "regular" this week, and they'll gladly explain all of the custom flavors to you in detail. There are over 100 possible tasty flavors!

It's soft serve and delicious. I ordered the Banana Fudge. Wow. Crystal ordered the Peanut Butter Dream. Double wow.

They should have a club like bars do for beer drinkers. Once you try 100 flavors you get a free cup or your picture on the wall or a t-shirt. Maybe I'll get Crystal to co-write a letter to the Tasti D-Lite president.

Oh, and the best part! Everything is 100 calories or less! It's actually good for you! I was floored when I saw the menu organized in flavors by calorie count.

I believe Tasti D-Lite originated in NYC. Crystal texted me last night to tell me that Charlotte (SATC) had some Tasti D on last night's rerun. If it's good enough for the SATC girls, it's good enough for me. Nashville has some fabulous eateries (which I'll probably blog about) and this is one of them. Find your local franchise and help yourself to the samples until you find that just-right flavor.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Workin' on My Fitness

As Fergie so eliquently put it, "I be up in the gym just workin' on my fitness."

I couln't resist the lure of a cheap gym membership, so I joined today. It really is a good deal. The Urban Active fitness center is in the adjoining parking lot to my office, which happens to be right next door to my apartment complex. It's as though the fitness gods are giving me a sign. Besides, a friend at work just joined, and Matthew joined earlier this week. Between the two I'll always have a gym buddy! Plus my membership fee of a mere $24.95 per month includes unlimited tanning. What's not to love about that?

Now, the problem. How do I make the money worthwhile? How do I keep going after that first week of expoloring all the equipment and checking out all the people you can make fun of (admit it, people do dumb things in gyms). Perhaps I have the answer! I received a free consultation with a trainer as part of my membership. I meet with him this evening at 5pm. His name is Clint, and so far he doesn't seem very intimidating. I've yet to see him in action though. When I signed my contract he gave me an assignment. I'm to come up with a list of three or more goals (it'll probably be an essay!) and a picture of my former too hot self (that's a joke) or a picture of my ideal body type. The first is easy enough and the second not possible since my office blocks the Victoria Secret website (we must have some serious pervs around here). I'll just submit my goals and explain to Clint that I used to have abs and I'd like to find them again. My biggest fear is when he takes those metal pincer things and grabs my arm flab to measure it (ew, gross). I know I have some fat to lose, why is it necessary to measure it like it's about to be sold by the pound? Nevertheless, I hope he'll have some good tips that I can use to make my new fitness routine exciting and fun. Note: working out is always fun when you already look good...why is that? Oh, and have I mentioned that in order to make this fitness fantasy come true, I'll have to work out BEFORE work a few days a week because of my second job!?

I'm hoping for the best. I have a vision of what the future will hold and the things I'll be able to accomplish with more energy, more muscle mass, and smaller pants.

To add some motivation I purchased new running shoes today. My Mizuno's should arrive in 5-7 business days. Perhaps I should refer to my earlier blog about Shopalism?

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I condsider myself to be a "good American." I support the President, the House, and the Senate . . . even when I disagree with their political views and goals. I understand the importance of being a united country even though most Americans would rather complain about things they have no knowledge of. Yet, I am now questioning my loyalty to our military. I support the troops, but what about those who manage the troops. The people "behind the scenes," I suppose.

My boyfriend was set to leave for OCS (Officer Candidacy School) in October. This has been in the works for several months. All the paperwork was filed, his physicals were done, and we've been waiting for the official word. We assumed it was a done deal. I was even looking forward to the excitement and challenges of this new military life. Until today.

Apparently they misfiled some of his paperwork. Remember that this paperwork has been completed for over a month. They didn't get it thru on time. Seriously! The military has people just to deal with paperwork! I'm so outraged and confused . . . if I can't count on the military to file paperwork correctly, how can I depend on them to protect my country and the men (and women) out there depending on them! No wonder people are dissatisfied with government in this country. It makes me want to move to England. I bet the queen doesn't f-up paperwork.

As a closing note: he is now scheduled to leave in January. Officially we're supposed to know something the first of October. Fingers crossed! Hopefully the fax machine won't be down between now and then (sarcasm there).

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

One Year Challenge

As a huge fan of food, I was intrigued when the movie Julie & Julia came out in theaters. I discovered that the film is based on Julie Powell's book of the same name, which was written as a result of her blogging experience. If you don't know, Julie Powell was feeling lost and unfocused in life (as we all have experienced) and took on the project of cooking all of the recipes in a Julia Child's cookbook (a very daunting task) in one year, and she blogged about it. Obviously the blog was a huge hit since fame and fortune ensued.

I chose not to watch the movie, but instead I bought the book. It's wonderfully written. Julie is very candid and opens herself up to her readers. The book is really funny at times, too. Aside from enjoying a good read, I got to thinking about her plan--cooking over five hundred authentic French recipes in 365 days in a walk up in NYC--and what I could challenge myself to do. What could any of us challenge ourselves to do?

It seems silly to come up with something just because it seems like a good idea. I'm waiting for something to inspire me--something like that cookbook. My friend, A.P., thinks I should write a book. This idea is always in the back of my mind, but I'm not sure I have enough motivation to complete this within twelve months. I could become a fitness buff, but I don't think my aforementioned love of food would allow for great success. I could travel to all the exotic and not-so-exotic places on my lifetime travel wishlist within a year, but I do believe that costs money.

For now it's just food for thought. If anyone out there is undergoing a personal adventure I wish you the best of luck!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Life in Higher Ed

Tonight I teach my first college class. It's what I've been trying to do since I received my M.A. last spring. My whole career path hinges on whether or not I even like teaching English. If I don't, then I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. Well, that's not true . . . Vanna White has to retire one day, and she has my dream job. See how it's related--all about letters. My current job is enjoyable, but it's not long-term. There is no advancement, and my butt will get enormous if I spend thirty more years sitting at a desk behind a computer. I think I'm getting carpal tunnel, too.

My class is small tonight, only ten students. This seems like a good way to start off. They should be more comfortable with that size and do more talking. I sure don't want to spend three hours hearing myself talk about critical reading and thinking. Ugh. My plan is to be easy-going but not to let them take over. I've had teachers like that and things just get unorganized and out of control. So I've got rules, but hey, we're grownups, if you have to pee you have to pee--don't raise your hand and ask.

I think I'm so excited about this because I love school! I think it's the greatest. That makes me weird, but we're all weird in some way. I never planned on teaching (which is what everyone always told me I would do). I feel I'm giving in to the negative thoughts of a certain JSU freshman counselor who told me I'd never amount to anything with an English degree. But teaching college composition somehow seems important since everyone has to write something at some point in their job. As for that counselor, I think I'll write her a letter when I'm successful in some aspect of my life and tell her where she can put her advice.

Wish me luck!