Thursday, August 23, 2012

My 2 Cents on 50 Shades...

Okay, so here we are, a week and a day after I started the Fifty Shades Trilogy. I read Fifty Shades of Grey in about two nights, Darker in three and Freed in about four…I read it slow because I didn’t want it to be over.

That’s not to say I loved everything about the books. I did not. The writing was an absolute abomination. I’ve never read a book that was so poorly written. What’s more perplexing is that I was addicted to the story while at the same time cringing at the writing style (or lack thereof.)

The first sixty pages or so were a snore fest, as is the case with most books I read. After that the story line improved, greatly. The writing, however, did not.

Here’s what I found so astonishingly wrong with this series:

1.       Over usage of words. Every character in this book “murmured” each time they opened their mouth. Very seldom did someone “giggle”, “yell”, “cry”, or did any other version of sound coming out of their face. The whole book was people murmuring. Now, if they really are going to make a movie from this book (aside from leaving out the best parts), it’s going to be awfully difficult to understand everyone. I had to mentally change each “murmur” to “said” just to keep reading on. The other words the author used far too often included, but were not limited to “crap”, “jeez”, “fifty”, “lip”, “subconscious”, and phrases such as “sharp intake of breath”, “oh my” and “turned on his/her heel”.

2.       The choice of words. Now, each word that was over used in this book was a word that wasn’t too common to begin with, at least in the United States (more on that in a minute.) if you’re going to pick a unique word to use, use it sparingly or else it will lose its power. I caught myself rolling my eyes after reading the same weird words or phrases over and over and over and over and over and…

3.       The descriptions. I’m a very detail oriented person but I found myself skipping over the long, pointless descriptions of every little thing. By the third paragraph, I was so sick of hearing about Christian’s every little detail…he has long fingers, I GET IT. Move on for the love of God.

4.       The writer’s lack of knowledge about where the story takes place. It’s fine that the writer is from England. It’s fine that she wanted to write a story set in the United States. What’s not fine is that she did absolutely no research on how we speak or what we say. I don’t know about you but I know for a fact you won’t catch a “shall” sliding out of my mouth any time soon. We also never use “arse” and we most certainly do not call underwear “knickers” (or “panties” for that matter, gross.) I could move past this this if the characters moved to Seattle from London…but they didn’t. In fact, Christian Grey hails from Detroit (as all babies born to crack-whores), my hometown, so I know a thing or two about the dialect.

The Acknowledgements in the beginning of the book thanking her editors was a joke on us, right? There would be some times that two pages would get stuck together and I wouldn’t even notice until the page was done. The book repeats itself so you can pretty much skip whole pages and still have a good idea of what’s going on.

What infuriates me even more is knowing that EL James is making bank on this book series while far better writers out there don’t even get a chance. I know this whole thing started as Twilight Fan Fiction (gag) and gained popularity, but how on earth could a book company even consider publishing such awful writing? Even if I knew for a fact that a book would make a ton of money as is, I would never allow a book written so poorly to go to press if I were a publisher (or even the girl who gets coffee for the meetings. Seriously, I’d sneak in and edit it the night before it got sent to the Copiers.)

And another thing…am I the only one who thinks it’s weird that Ana was 21 years old; graduating from college and never owned a computer or had an e-mail address? And even more, she was a virgin, slept with one of the richest, most beautiful men on the planet and had no problem walking away? I find that extremely hard to believe. (This may be a moot point since not very much of this story is believable.)

Alright, the thing I have the hardest time accepting about all this is that I actually liked this book. If you can get past (or used) to the repetition, the story line is actually entertaining. I found myself (and still find myself) in love with Christian Grey, even with all his flaws. That is, after all, why women like this book so much, right? We can fix him! We can be the one woman in the world who will save him from himself. He changed for Anastasia, he’s smart, witty, attractive, and makes $100,000 per hour. Coming up for air form this book to a sink full of dishes and a puking puppy is a rude awakening, let me tell you. I was honestly sad when this series was over and I wish there’d be a fourth book…if someone would help EL James write it.

I don’t agree this series gives women a bad name like some people think. Ana clearly loved him (although, doesn’t every girl think they love their first?) and he loved her. She didn’t have to stay if she didn’t want to. The beating and all that was done mostly in the bedroom, it wasn’t like he picked her up kicking and screaming on a busy street because she didn’t listen to him. Oh, wait.

Ana held her own, for the most part. I, personally, wouldn’t deal with my husband being so overprotective to the point of embarrassing me in front of my colleagues and family but to his her own. I also didn’t agree with everything Ana did, like apologizing when Christian was in the wrong, but I don’t think I would ever agree with 100% of any other human’s choices.

And I know this probably has something to do with Twilight (I can’t say, I never read it) but I find it odd that her best friend marries her husband’s brother and her best friend’s brother sort of dates her husband’s sister [exhale]. All of their friend’s last names are either Kavanaugh or Grey. Thank goodness most of them were adopted.

I cannot wait to see the movie, given the directors have more sense than editors and publishers and pick the right actors for the job. I wouldn’t want that duty, having to pick a man that is the most gorgeous, god like (or to use another overused word from this book, “Mercurial”) on Earth according to ALL women. Can we all just agree that Robert Pattinson with a big toe where his head should be is not right for the job?
I know someone who’s getting a thesaurus for Christmas… J

Sunday, July 15, 2012

As Healthy as Cheesy Vegetable Chowder Gets...

Around 3pm today, my stomach started growling. I've been doing well with eating right lately...although yesterday I allowed myself a cheat meal (cheesy potatoes oh em gee) and I was craving a comfort meal. We pondered over Cracker Barrel but it's so far and I don't think I can control myself in there just yet.

I decided to make Broccoli Cheddar soup, but then figured 'why not throw in every vegetable in my fridge?' soup. 

I wanted to keep eating healthy but I also wanted something that was filling and tasty. I chopped up two red skin potatoes, a few carrots, 1/2 of a red onion (I didn't have any other kind), a spear of broccoli and 1/3 of a yellow cauliflower. I then threw all of the veggies in a big pot and filled it up just so the vegetables were covered. I tossed in a tablespoon of butter, a chicken bouillion cube, garlic salt and pepper. Then I let that simmer until the veggies were cooked.

After that, I gave it all a quick mash with a potato masher (I think? It didn't have any holes and it was smooth...but it mashed so...) and here's where I substituted. Every creamy soup has some kind of dairy/fat that makes it so delicious. Instead of cream or half and half, I used 1 cup of 1% milk and 0% Greek yogurt. I whisked those together and dumped them in. It obviously wasn't as creamy as other soups but it did the job.

I then added some extra sharp cheddar cheese, which is the only bad part of this recipe. It thickened up the soup and also gave it some flavor. You could definitely add low fat or no cheese at all though, it's up to you.

And that was that! My whole house smelled like Panera and I got to satisfy my craving for a creamy, cozy soup..without all of the fat and calories! And that dangerous little biscuit up there? Yeah, I had one (er, two) of them, but I figure it all balanced out. Back on the grind tomorrow! Happy Sunday :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

And this time, I'll keep it off.

After about a month of eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, I needed some serious detox. It was like I allowed myself to have an eating vacation. Being busy really does make it hard to eat healthy. Between surprise 50th birthday parties, graduation parties and family reunions, I've been pretty much surrounded with junk food, also known as my favorite food. I ate my body weight in cheesy potatoes and pizza last month. I'm done. Not only do I want to eat healthier, I want to be in better shape. I have a 5K coming in two weeks and if I don't want to be the laughingstock of the whole race...well, I will probably do something embarrassing enough for that to still be true, even in the best shape of my life.

You know you have been eating too much junk when you actually crave carrots. During these past four weeks I've had little to no water each day. It's much easier to grab a pop from the fridge and go. That's where I started, cutting out pop.

I don't need pop and when I don't have it in the house I rarely drink it. I normally choose unsweetened iced tea or water with lemon. The more I drink pop, the more I crave it. So, no more pop.

I don't have the strength or will power to go through another fruit and vegetable cleanses so I just decided to eat right. What a concept, huh? I don't want it to be about "I'm not allowed to have this, I can't eat that." I just want to make better choices in general and improve myself and my diet in time. I don't think that's too much to ask of my brain. My taste buds are a different story.

So here, I'm vowing to myself that I will try my darnedest to drink at least 64oz of water per day. To choose healthier options. To eat more fruits and vegetables. To not have empty calories. And to be more active. Being busy and being active are not the same thing, trust me. I've been on the go all month but I haven't worked out once. That's all about to change. I've pinned a bunch of quick workouts on my Pinterest boards, read every page of Undressed Skeleton and acquired all the motivation I need to start. You really do have to be ready in your mind before you will actually stick to something and believe me, I'm ready.

So here's what I had to eat today. It's not perfect but it's a start. I'm thinking of doing these posts every few days along with some grocery hauls, just to hold myself accountable. What do you think?

Breakfast: coffee, of course, and oatmeal with raspberries, a banana and a teaspoon of honey (it didn't really need it)
Lunch: strawberry Activia yogurt, baby carrots, strawberries, trail mix and sweet potato kettle chips.
I also drank 3 Camelback water bottles

After work I had a Tazo black iced tea, lightly sweetened.

Dinner: we had guests tonight so I didn't have much of an option. I skipped the bun but had a hamburger with a piece of sharp cheddar, mustard and ketchup. I also ate a lot of grilled asparagus. The lighter asparagus is pickled. So good!
Other than this, I might have a bowl of cereal later. I don't go to bed until late and I'm working on not eating right before I sleep. Wish me luck!


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Eyeshadow Dupes!

I know how very rare it is to come across a true "dupe" in the beauty world. I haven't seen many for myself, most I'd file under "extremely similar" or "you don't need both."

I love watching dupe videos and reading the blogs comparing products...before I buy any eyeshadow, lipstick, nail polish, etc., I google the color to see if anyone has taken any comparison pictures with other colors so that i don't end up with two (or more) of the same shade (that's happened to me way too many times to count).

Anyway, I spent about an hour and a half the other day watching Lifetime movies and swatching eyeshadows from my collection. I figured I had about 30 taupes, two of them had to be the same. They weren't. I did come across a few other shades that I'd be willing to say were extremely similar to each other and if you have one, you don't need both. I only picked a few to share because these are the ones I thought were truly the closest in color in real life. Enough we go!

First up, a nice highlight or all over lid shade. Obviously one of my favorites, MAC Shroom is a beige/cream shimmery shade. Here it is next to Urban Decay Virgin from the Naked Palette. In the pan, Virgin looks more pink than Shroom but when swatched, they look incredibly similar.

Left: Urban Decay Virgin, Right: MAC Shroom
Left: Urban Decay Virgin, Right: MAC Shroom
Next we have another gem from the Naked Palette, a nice crease shade called Buck. Here it is next to MAC Cork. I never really thought of how close these shades were but I do use them both for the same thing, darkening up the crease. They're pretty dead on. Buck looks warmer in the pan but on the eye you cannot tell the difference.

Left: Urban Decay Buck, Right: MAC Cork
Left: Urban Decay Buck, Right: MAC Cork
Moving on from the Naked Palette, we have another pretty MAC shade called Twinks. This is my sister's favorite, a nice plumy/brown/burgundy shade. Here it is next to ELF Saddle. I actually find Saddle to be more pigmented than Twinks (and it only costs $3!)

Left: ELF Saddle, Right: MAC Twinks
Left: ELF Saddle, Right: MAC Twinks
Now we've arrived at my favorite "dupe." This little cheap Maybelline trio that I've had for, oh I don't know, forever called Bronze Glitz. I'm pretty sure this is still available for under $5. This palette contains two dupes of two NARS shadows.

NARS & Maybelline Dupes

NARS shadows are so soft and pigmented and these maybelline ones aren't that too shabby either. The first "dupe" is NARS California. I got this color for more than half off when Sephora had it for sale for $9 as they often do. Here it is next to the bronze shade in Bronze Glitz. While they're both shimmering warm copper shades, the main difference is that the Maybelline version has a little more of a gold sheen than the NARS.

Left: NARS California, Right: Maybelline Bronze Glitz 

Left: Maybelline Bronze Glitz, Right: NARS California
The final dupe I have to share with you is probably the closest in color in my opinion. The NARS version is from the Cheyenne duo. Sort of a mustard yellow almost metallic shade. The Maybelline is the top gold color from Bronze Glitz.

Left: Maybelline Bronze Glitz, Right: NARS Cheyenne
Left: Maybelline Bronze Glitz, Right: NARS Cheyenne
Well there you have it. My first dupes post. I hope this helped someone out there save some money (or realize you may have dupes of your own!) Now I'm curious about my lipsticks and blushes!

What are some dupes from your collection?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Twitter is less annoying than Facebook

Hands down, my biggest problem with social networking is having to friend, follow or subscribe to people I don’t care about.  I’m just not one of those people that can follow thousands of folks on Twitter or be friends with thousands of people I’ve only met once, a long time ago and be happy. I only follow people I actually like and/or care about what they have to say. On Twitter I normally give someone about three strikes before punching that “unfollow” button. And no, I’m not too cool to bother to follow anyone back. It’s more of an OCD thing with me; I can’t tolerate certain types of tweets clogging up my feed. This is most likely the reason I don’t have many followers, because I won’t just follow anyone for the hell of it. And I’m okay with that. There have been people I’ve followed, unfollowed, refollowed to see what they’re up to, remembered why I unfollowed in the first place and still continue check their Twitter feed every now and again. It’s a sickness I’m dealing with.

There’s some kind of rush that happens when you unfollow a celebrity as well, it really is like you’ve been freed. Click the button, sit back and let out a sigh of relief, the suffering is over. When I first got Twitter in 2009 (those were the days), I followed every celebrity I’ve ever heard of. That number is at about 6 now and one of them is on thin ice. I follow mostly random people I find entertaining and I’ve “met” some great “friends” that way. I only personally know about 5 of my followers, but that’s my favorite thing about Twitter, it’s a great place to meet people you wouldn’t have otherwise come in contact with if it weren’t for a common interest in being part of/making fun of today’s pop culture.

Facebook is a different story; it’s where you add people you already get enough of on a personal level. I rarely add someone on Facebook that I don’t know in real life, with very few exceptions. Most of my Facebook friends I’ve known since at least high school and I hardly ever read anything any of them post. I’m just over it. Like my friend Melissa (@30plussome) says “Facebook is to Twitter what Myspace was to Facebook.” It’s just too much. That’s why I don’t really understand Facebook going public, it’s already at its peak.  **I wish I could somehow prove to you that I wrote this weeks ago, therefore predicting how poorly Facebook stock would have done.  I’m so smart. Why am I not rich?**

In my opinion (which means nothing) I don’t see it lasting for much longer. I prefer Twitter much more and I’m most definitely more like myself on Twitter. I can’t say anything I want on Facebook because most of my friends on there don’t “get me”. I post a few pictures per week but that’s about it. It’s mainly a tool to keep in contact with family/friends that no longer live around me. You know what the main problem with Facebook is? The character allowance per status update. I’m not sure if there is a limit but if there is, it’s way too long.  That’s also one of Twitter’s greatest qualities. 140 characters and that’s all you get, make it short and sweet and to the point. Some people tell their life story in their Facebook status updates and I simply cannot take it anymore. That’s where “hiding” comes in.

The ability to hide people on Facebook is one of life’s greatest blessings. 60% of the time it works…every time. Yes, you could “unfriend” but what if it’s someone you actually see on a weekly, even daily basis? What if it’s one of your oldest friends? Hiding is a great way to defriend on your end only. (Another one of Twitter’s pluses, it’s mostly one sided.) I’m going to go out on a limb and say hiding those chosen few people on my Facebook was one of the best decisions I’ve made recently. I just clicked “hide all by _____ _________” and never looked back. The best part is, they never have to know. You don’t have to offend anyone or hurt anyone’s feelings; you just simply don’t have to read their posts anymore. I’m sure someone’s hidden me, and I’m okay with it. Do what you gotta do.

Besides the annoying and all too frequent posts (if you want to post statuses on an hourly or even more frequent basis, GET A TWITTER, that’s what it’s for), there’s the never-ending evites, the game requests, and the notifications: “so-and-so commented on so-and-so’s status that you also commented on” Couldn’t care less, wasn’t looking for a debate. Hence the reason I’ve resorted to my new motto: “’Like’ it or Leave it.” Don’t get me started on how badly I want a dislike button to exist, on Facebook and in real life.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I enjoy complaining about these social media sites that I get to use for free. Even though the people of Twitter can get annoying sometimes, I’m dependent. I could probably count on one hand the number of days I’ve stayed off of Twitter. It’s an addiction and to those of you think it’s too complicated: get over yourself. Just admit I’m always right and realize I was the one who told you to move from MySpace to Facebook way back when…you know who you are. Follow the trend, Twitter’s where it’s at…for now. Have fun, just don’t follow me ;)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Beauty Q & A

Seriously, one of my favorite things to do when I'm bored is fill out surveys. I know, what an exciting life I lead. Anyway, I found this beauty questionnaire that I don't believe I've ever filled out before we go!
1. Do you apply your foundation with a brush, sponge, or fingers?
I apply mine with a brush, typically the Sephora Mineral Powder Brush #45 or the Real Techniques Stippling Brush. I've tried to use a sponge similar to the Beauty Blender and it just takes too freakin' long. I haven't used my fingers since High School, it feels weird.
2. Do you apply your eyeshadow from light to dark? or dark to light?
Light to dark, that way, I don't have to worry about the dark shadow on the brush when I dip it into the light. I do my highlight last, though, with a different brush.
3. Do you prime your eyes?
Always. Normally with a Paint Pot.
4. Concealer first, or after foundation?
5. Go for manicures, or manicure yourself?
Do them myself...I just feel like it's a waste of money since I'm so rough on my hands at work. I like to get a pedicure every once in a while though, because they last a lot longer on me.
6. Exfoliate lips, face or both?
Both. For my face I use the Clarisonic once a day and then a physical exfoliator like Exfolikate about once a week. The best thing I've found to exfoliate my lips is a plain old wet wash cloth.
7. On average, how long does it take you to do your makeup?
About 10 or 15 minutes. I failed miserably at the 5 Minute Makeup Challenge.
8. Do you wear makeup everyday and everywhere?
I wear makeup every day that i work, for sure. But on the weekends I typically don't unless I'm going to a family party or dinner or something.
9. What release are you most excited about? (Makeup)
Currently nothing... there's just too many recently. I do hope MAC comes out with a nice warm fall collection, though. I love warm neutrals and anything to do with fall. I get so jealous when I see people use the Spiced Chocolate Quad or even Mulled Cider Eyeshadow because those came out before i was into makeup and they just look right up my alley. The names make me want them even more, anything that has to do with fall I need in my life. A collection like Warm & Cozy might make me fall back in love with MAC.
10. What’s your weakness? Shoes, purses, clothes, jewelry, eyeshadow, lipstick or other?
I'd say my weakness is nail polish, although I'm getting better.
11. Do you whiten your teeth?
I use Crest 3D Vivid White or whatever it's called. Then I have Whitestrips and the 5 Minute White System...I'm too lazy to do them most of the time. Note to self: face mask and Whitestrips tonight.
12. Wax eyebrows, or pluck?
13. What do you use to contour?
I don't really contour. I just sort of bronze around the edges of my face using either Milani Sunset Duos in Sunset City or NYC Sunny.
14. False lashes, or natural?
Natural. But I wore falsies last weekend and they were amazing. They looked so good and I couldn't even feel them. I think they were Ardell 109's. LOVE.
15. Favorite makeup brand?
That is just too hard of a question.
16. Liquid eyeliner, pencil or gel?
Gel if I want a stark line, a really soft almost liquid pencil (i.e. Milani Liquif'eye, MUFE Aqua Eyes, Urban Decay 24/7) when I don't.
17. Lipstick, lipgloss or chapstick?
18. Pigments, pressed or cream eyeshadow?
Depends on what I'm in the mood for/how much time I have. I love BE loose shadows but I'm loving their pressed ones as well and pressed is usually faster. I have a slight obsession with cream shadows, however. 
19. If you had to wear only one thing, excluding foundation; what would it be?
Mascara. But that situation would really suck.
20. Favorite color?
Taupe. LOL, is that even a color? I used to make fun of my mom for being so boring and loving taupe but it is very versatile and can easily lean more brown, purple, silver, whatever. I love taupe.
21. Favorite color combination?
For eyes? I really like mixing cool and warm tones. I like to do taupe with a warm brown crease or light cool brown with a burgundy crease.
22. Natural? or Dramatic? (Eye Makeup)
Lately I've been loving natural eyes and a bright bold lip but when I'm excited to sit and get ready for a night out I love doing a smoky eye.
23. Do you care more for quality or name brand?
24. Do you enjoy using face masks? If so which ones?
I like using them but get annoyed when I have to take them off. I really love the Formula 10.0.6 Deep Down Detox Ultra-Cleansing Mud Mask (what a mouthful) and I want to try more of their products soon. It does everything the Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask does without the weird smell that's left behind.
25. What is your current addiction? (example: lipsticks, eyeshadows, earrings..)
My current addiction is probably bold lipsticks. I really love MUFE #36 and MAC Watch Me Simmer. I need to do a "Summer Lipsticks" video soon :)
Ardell 109 Lashes & MUFE #36 Lipstick
Thanks for reading! Let me know if you fill out this questionnaire, too!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Rendezvous + Comparisons & Possible Dupes

After hearing some buzz about the new Revlon Balm Stains (and slowly figuring out that they weren't the Stain + Balms that I wasn't a fan of) I had to try them. They looked very similar to the Clinique Chubby Sticks that I love and for less than half the price! I only picked up one so far but I have a feeling I'll be getting more very soon.

I found these at Target today...I've read other blogs saying they come in twelve shades and I've seen pictures of a big display but Target only had about six shades to choose from. I pick Rendezvous because I love the orange trend right now.

When I first chose it I thought it would be similar to the Clinique Chubby Stick in Mega Melon that I already own. (Why I didn't just pull that out of my purse and compare in the store, I'll never know.) I was totally off. I do have another lip product that close in color but we'll get to that in a minute.

I've only had these for about 12 hours but I can already tell you that they are closer to the Tarte Lipsurgence Natural Lip Tints than the Clinique Chubby Sticks. I love both brand's versions but here's why I'd group them with Tarte more:

Smell: this is the biggest difference. The Clinique Chubby Sticks don't smell like anything but the Revlon and Tarte ones both smell like mint.
Taste: because they both smell like mint, they kind of have that minty taste/feel on your mouth as well. Not a bad thing but different from Clinique.
Stain: The Tarte and Revlon perform more like a stain where the Clinique are more like a glossy tint. This is good and bad for me, as stains wear off unevenly on my lips but while the glossy stain types last a good amount of time, they don't last as long as a stain, obviously.

Revlon Rendezvous is a coral that leans mostly orange in the tube put pulls a little red on the lips. I wish it would've been a truer orange on my lips but it's still pretty. It has tiny - and I mean tiny - micro shimmers in it that I normally don't like but they are barely noticeable. I think they give it more of a sheen. Believe me, if there was noticeable shimmer, I would've probably returned it.

Enough blabbing...roll pics!
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain - Rendezvous

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain - Rendezvous

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain - Rendezvous

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain - Rendezvous & Clinique Chubby Stick - Mega Melon

Revlon Balm Stain - Rendezvous, Clinique Chubby Stick - Mega Melon, Tarte Lipsurgence - Moody
Revlon Rendezvous, Clinique Mega Melon, Tarte Moody
Revlon Rendezvous, Clinique Mega Melon

Top & Left - Lip Butter in Tutti Frutti, Bottom & Right - Balm Stain in Rendezvous

Left to Right: Revlon Lip Butter in Tutti Frutti, Revlon Balm Stain in Rendezvous, Clinique Chubby Stick in Mega Melon, Tarte Lipsurgence in Moody

Obviously, the Clinique Mega Melon isn't as close as I thought it would be but I did find Revlon Tutti Frutti Lip Butter to be very similar. The main difference is how glossy it is, and how it stays that way. The Balm Stain starts out that way but slowly dries to more of a satin finish - but it never feels dry to me, which is awesome. The Balm Stain is also a little more sheer (but buildable) and the Lip Butter is more like a lipstick to me.

To me, it's all a matter of personal preference. The Balm Stains have more of a "staining" effect on the lip and the Lip Butter is more of a glossy balm or lipstick. Balm Stains have the minty effect, Lip Butters don't. I'm sort of bummed I picked out a color so similar but the formula is different enough for me to keep.

I can't wait to try more of these soon!

Have you tried any? What do you think?


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Pie > Cake

I'm really not one to get into politics or anything like that. I don't like to push my views on other people and I really hate when people do that to me. That being said, I am so friggin' disappointed in North Carolina. I'm not going to lecture but come on! Why do so many people care so much what other people do with their own lives? Who gives a crap if two people of the same sex want to get married? I know a lot of straight people who don't take marriage seriously so what does it even matter? If two people are in love that's all there is to it. It shouldn't matter what gender. I have a few people in my life that are gay, but even if I didn't I would feel the same. Just because other people in the country "don't like it," it shouldn't be allowed? Well I don't like nasty, squeaky Crocs. Can that be outlawed? I'm sure I could rally enough people to get behind that. What about Creed? Mushrooms? Girls who wear a baby pink version of their boyfriend's favorite football jersey? Where does it end?!

I'm going to leave it at that, it's all been talked about to death and it seems that the majority of the country has no problem with gay marriage.  It shouldn't even be called that, it should just be called "marriage." I just wish we'd all come together and start moving in one single direction for once. Life is about change, people! It's the only constant.

Anyway, that off my chest, here's something that makes me a little abnormal to society:

I hate cake. I realize how strange and unnatural this seems to some of you but I always have, always will. I also hate frosting. Not just "Nah, it's not my favorite but I'll eat it if there's no other choices..." No. I refuse to eat cake and sometimes, that means I go without dessert. It's a tough life. There are, however, a few exceptions: angel food cake, pound cake, pineapple upside down cake and cheese cake. I don't know why those are acceptable to me. It's mainly your typical chocolate or yellow birthday party cake that I can't tolerate. For one, the chocolate cake has a weird chemical after taste to me and I don't know why but it's gross.
I don't understand why someone would order "Birthday Cake Remix" at Coldstone on purpose. I mean, without a gun to their head.

I also dislike caramel (pronounced carmel in these parts). I say dislike because as of late, I've been dabbling into a few caramel flavored foods. I would never order a Caramel Macchiato or eat a Werther's for the fun of it, but I'm trying and that's what's important.

Just like with my complete and utter fear of roller coasters, I wish these statements about me weren't true. Nothing makes you feel like a freak show more than a family devouring Grandma's Famous Homemade Red Velvet Cake and you refusing to even try it. The first time people find out I try not to make a big scene. I whisper to whomever I'm with "No, thanks." Their reply is usually "What? Why not?!" After beating around the bush I'm usually forced to come out with it. "I don't like cake."



"What do you mean???" Then comes the voices, round and round like a carousel "Liz doesn't like cake? Liz doesn't like cake! She said she doesn't like cake." It's also not one of those facts that people accept and move on with their lives after hearing. Their day takes an interesting turn and their personal goal is to get you to try and eat cake. Not just eat the cake, but change your whole view on cake, do a 180 and end up loving it. Not gonna happen, cake snobs.

I guess the point of this whole thing is that everyone is different. None of us are the same but we're all living on the same planet at the same time. Everyone should be able to do what makes them happy. (Given what makes them happy is not murdering little old ladies for their Sucrets and handmade afghans or something.)

I'm sure you have a little freak bone in you, too. Let it shine, be different. It's what makes the world go 'round.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

I could commit the perfect crime.

I love any kind of crime show. I love everything about forensics and trying to figure out "who-done-it." In fact, if you're one of the few people reading that don't already know, my biggest aspiration is to find a dead body. Not a whole body, just a part. Preferably a finger or maybe a leg from the knee down. I don't know why, I just do. I was hoping my dreams would come true during one of the four summers I worked for Parks. Nope.

Every now and then, I'll hear about a body that was found in our city or a few cities over. Everyone at work automatically knows to send me their condolences. I think I need to get a better game plan, it seems most corpse sitings happen in the middle of the night. That's my problem right there. I'm going to have to plan some excursions.

Just a few months ago, a contractor came to our work and told us a story of how he went to his building to grab a generator, opened up the gate and found a man's leg. WHAT? Label me jelly. Even worse, he just left it there for a WEEK before calling the cops. I'm not sure what I'd be more excited about, finding it or being the first one to notify authorities. day...

Anyway, back to crime shows. It all started with Are You Afraid of the Dark. when you're a kid, that title sequence is just about the scariest thing there is. Picture it: Sicily, 1922 A row boat that's swaying in the lake filled with blue fog. An empty swing that's still *gasp* swinging. The sound of chains followed by...wait for it...a clown. I know, terrifying.

The next show I remember being obsessed with was Unsolved Mysteries, ya know, before they moved it over to Lifetime (and I'm pretty sure it's since been canceled.) That show scared the crap out of me and I loved it. I can hear the theme song right now...
The best part of that show was obviously the "Unsolved." Knowing that there was a killer just lurking somewhere was totally scary awesome.

Then there was America's Most Wanted. I used to watch this at age 12 at my dad's house when it aired at midnight (okay, think it was 9pm but to a twelve year old, that's late.) Let me tell you, hearing "The suspect is considered very dangerous by the FBI and was last spotted two days ago in Detroit, Michigan." is not the most calming thing to hear as a kid. I just love the unknown.

My mom has always watched Forensic Files so that must be where I picked that up. Seriously, one of my top 5 shows of all time. Probably top 3. The theme song is freaking awesome but the best part about it is the narrator. Peter Thomas. Also heard on the Burger King commercials and, if you live in Michigan, the Beaumont Hospital ads. "Do you have a Beaumont doctor?" Ugh it gives me chills and I love it. If he ever stops narrating that show or HEAVEN FORBID passes on, I will see no point in continuing to live. Which is bad for me considering he's gotta be at least 70 by now. Forensic Files is one the greatest crime shows in history, and I'm not being funny. I'm dead serious. Pun intended. Sadly, I've slowly stopped watching this show for a few reasons. A.) It's only played late at night or really early in the morning. 2.) Since that channel switched from CourtTV to TruTv there's more Ursula looking broads towing fake cars than murder mystery shows and D.) I no longer get TruTV in my bedroom, Comcast clearly has something against me and insists on gives me every other channel but that one.

On to 2012, aka the year I discovered the ID channel. Hands down, the best channel ever invented. My favorite part is that they play crime shows all day and all night. No matter what time I turn it on, there's a 90% there's a good show airing. Just don't get me started on the host of Dark Minds and his frosted pompadour. This channel changed my life. Dramatic, I know. This is the sole reason I'm keeping Comcast. How pathetic is that? Everything else about that company sucks. But right now, I don't think anyone wants to see me going through Investigation Discovery withdrawals. It wouldn't be pretty, that's for sure. I love the variety of shows and the majority of them are good. (I can't score them lower just because I've seen about 60% of the stories on Snapped, Forensic Files, 20/20 or E! Investigates ;))

One annoying thing about these true life crime shows, though, is the interviews with the family. For once I'd like to see an honest interview about a victim. Maybe it's just in hindsight how each person is remembered in a positive light but instead of the old "She was always happy, always smiling! She was the best thing to happen to this town..." Maybe someone tells the truth? Maybe she was kind of a bitch? Or maybe she was just alright and wasn't the straight A student that had big things going for her? I gotta be honest, if something horrible happened to me, I'm not so sure everyone would be talking about how pleasant I was. Maybe that's something that gets you killed in the first place. If all those families are telling the truth, then only the optimistic, cheery, light-of-your-life kind of people get murdered. Hmmm.

Anyway, I've got to catch up on this Scorned marathon, you know, to prepare myself for the new episode tonight. They clearly have me wrapped around their finger.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

No Mail For You

Go back to last year, maybe November..I don't really remember and it's not important. I get a work order to take some mail for the election to the post office in the next city for a bulk mailing. Cool, I thought, I'd get to get out of the building for a while...WRONG.

It was raining and gloomy, I do remember that. It should have been a warning sign for what was about to happen. I loaded up about 20 boxes stuffed with envelopes, grabbed the form from the department that was supposed to have filled it out and took off. *I was warned by 3-4 people before leaving that the guy in the post office was a dick, but i can handle that, I ain't scurred.* When I get there, I pulled around the back of the building, backed in (as I was told to do), and walked into the office. I politely told the Christopher Lloyd look-alike behind the desk that I was there to drop off a mass mailing from the Township. Did I mention it was 2:08pm?

The next thing I hear is "We stop taking bulk mailings at 2."


I drove all the way back to work, told the department and heard "That must be a new rule." Which, in their defense, it was. It was probably changed from 5 to 2 while i was on my way to the post office. Who knows. I was told to "try again tomorrow" but not after unloading all the boxes from the truck.

Cut to "tomorrow", it's still cold and rainy. After loading the boxes for a third time, I made it safely to the post office. I once again, pull around back, step into the office and present my form.

After a long "UGHHH" and a ripping of the paper from my hands, all I hear is "No, no, no. All of this is wrong, put the boxes on the cart and bring them around back." Okay, I'm really not one of those "all men should help women with heavy things" type of person AT ALL, I do that crap for myself everyday, but that day it was cold, wet, he knew I had over 9,000 pieces of mail and I was alone. Not to mention I'm pretty sure I saw a tumbleweed roll through the parking lot.

After bringing the mail in (probably 30+ minutes later, thanks for the help) he asks me something like "Do you know how much each piece weighs?"

It took all my self control to not scream "Are you f-in serious?" So instead i just replied "No, I don't, sorry."

Instead of me telling you, just assume this guy sighs in annoyance after every sentence I complete.

I wont bore you with the 15 minute conversation that took place, all you need to know is that everything I had brought him was wrong, each form was wrong, the mail was packed wrong, etc.
I was told to start filling out the forms again. He placed a clean one in front of me, told me to "fill out these 12 boxes" while vaguely pointing at the sheet. He then watched me like a hawk, secretly hoping I'd pick the wrong box.

PS, I'm pretty sure this is the same warehouse that the SAW movies were filmed at.
The second I put my pen down on the wrong box, he rips it out from under me and crumples it up.
"NOPE, start over." I wouldn't be surprised if the guy hooked me up to something that shocked me each time I got it wrong.

By this point I felt like a victim. I was shaking, probably on the verge of tears and just wanted to get the hell out of there. I had to make a call back to the office to have them fix some of the prices and I eventually got it right.

He really was a Mail Nazi. I didn't ask for bread, I swear!

I made sure to tell the ladies that sent me and my boss what happened an although they were "sorry" they weren't surprised at all.

April 25, 2012

I was asked to make another trip to the post office. After suffering a rough flashback, I agreed. Two people offered to go with me but I was determined to do this alone. I whined that I had to go to this certain post office to a co-worker and fax/pants (if you follow me on Twitter, you'll know who I'm talking about) whipped around and said "Oh, that guy at the _____ post office? Yeah he's a dick." It's almost like an urban legend around here.

I loaded up 14 boxes, drove to the post office, backed in the spot, loaded up the cart, walked into the office with confidence...only to find that a different Nazi was working the counter today. I was slightly disappointed but also relieved. This man was definitely nicer than the previous. He said "OK, looks good, just a few things...sign here, here, date this, print your name and we'll be good to go." DREAM.

I loaded all the boxes onto a cart, brought them through those double doors practically skipping with glee only to be stopped with a "You don't have enough money in the account." I thought, okay, minor hiccup, I'll call work, surely they can fix this.

I call and the only answer I get is "That's wrong."

..............................ohhhhkkkk, I just need something here. Give me something. I can't really argue with this guy. "Can you pay with credit card?" "NO, DEBIT OR CHECK ONLY." (He's starting to get mad.)
"And by the way, this line is wrong, the number here is wrong, they're missing the back page of the form, none of this is right."

What?? Somebody flipped the switch on this guy. I gave up all hope right then and there. I soon heard the words over the phone "Just bring it all back."

Again I was told to "try again tomorrow." I love how everyone tells me to "try" as if they're saying "it probably won't work out but go ahead and give it your all, Liz!"

Silently (and without crying, I want credit for that) I loaded all my boxes back into the truck. (At least the new(er) guy helped me with that part) and started my journey back to work.

I couldn't help but laugh. It was almost unbelievable. Is this real? Am I on Candid Camera? And why do I have to ask myself the very same questions in so many situations in my life?

I had to call my co-worker/friend to tell him what happened. After that, I called my mom because you really just need to talk to someone that personally knows the people involved.

After sitting in the work truck for more than twenty minutes, I decided to go ahead and start unloading the boxes FOR THE FOURTH TIME THAT DAY. No wonder the post office isn't doing so well...

Even though the whole situation was a pain in the ass, and I will probably have to start the whole process over tomorrow, I'm sort of glad it happened to me and not for any deep or meaningful reason other than it gave me inspiration for story telling and blog writing. :)

Stay tuned because I know you're on the edge of your seat...


I "tried again" today at the Post Office and found myself in some kind of alternate universe where the staff was polite and helpful. I am unsure what to make of this occurance but I did practically run out the door so that they didn't change their minds. :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Another Reason I Hate Community College

I guess I should start with my drive to class. It’s all of 6 minutes, but believe me, it’s enough time to become annoyed. Not so much with the drive itself, (although, there is an obnoxious left turn to make) but the steps it takes to actually get into the classroom.

First there’s McDonald’s. I know I shouldn’t but it’s RIGHT THERE. It’s practically in my school. I only go for a sweet (actually ¾ sweet, ¼unsweetened) tea but youd think I was asking the employee for an organ.

“For here or to go?” Ok, first of all, does it matter? Are you really going to give me a tray for one cup if I say it’s “for here.”? Also, I know you recently got wi-fi and all but you’re not a Starbucks, I’m not planning on chilling in a booth with a sweet tea for the afternoon. I somehow feel like they should know I’m on my way to class, like 90% of their customers usually are.

On this particular day, I walked over to the tea carafe (because it’s just too much for them to fill it up behind the counter) and notice two girls, a man, and a baby. The man is eating chicken nuggets ON the tray/drain that catches the pop. ON IT. The girl has about six bags of I don’t even know what sitting all over the counter, other girl is by the ketchup and the baby is running round, but I assume it’s one of theirs.

I very much dislike confrontation and I don’t even like to say “excuse me” if someone’s in my way. I normally squeeze through or go around. There was no way around them. I politely said “excuse me, can I get to the tea?” “UGHHHHHHH” was what I heard, followed by an eye roll. But I deserved it. How dare I ask them to pick up their impromptu picnic and move it to, I don’t know, maybe a table?! I am so rude.

As they were packing up all of their items I heard one of the girls say “Yeah, no, we’re not together like that. He’s her dad and all but I don’t think we’re gonna be together. But he is practicing to become a rapper!”

WHAT. Get me the hell out of here.

Turns out they met up at Mickey D’s with a bunch of other guys that were smoking something by the back wall. Even though I had chosen to avoid said guys by parking on the other side of the restaurant, they were all (including baby and nugget eater) sitting next to my car when I got out. I can handle dirty looks just fine, in case you’re wondering.

Then there’s school. There’s, of course, two full rows of “staff only” parking spaces that I’ve never seen more than 20% full, and NO WHERE ELSE TO PARK. If you don’t get there before 5:45, you might as well just walk from home.

Once I walk through the clouds of smoke from the people that hover by the door to the building, I mentally prepare myself for the freak show that is about to take place. Now, it’s hard to say whether or not Monday’s class is freakier than Tuesday’s. I think it’s more of a “type” or “classification” of freaks. They’re all weird, just in different ways.

In Monday’s class, you’ve got the girl with the scrunchie AND banana clip hairdo, the one with hot pink and rhinestone claws for nails, the one that doesn’t understand ANYTHING, the guy who loves his own voice, the “mean girls” in the back row, the one who loves to talk about her bunion removal…the list goes on and on. I’ll highlight a few for you.

The Guy who Loves to Hear Himself

He has a very high pitched, very whiny voice. I don’t know why exactly he thinks we all need to hear it every 5 minutes, but he does. While he does like to talk about his ballet recital (not kidding) it’s mainly school related. He’ll ask the teacher a question: “Now for numberaah twenty oneaaah I didn’t get the same answer as youaah.” Then proceeds to explain exactly HOW he got the wrong answer. As if he thinks “This will be the time that I’M right and the rest of you are all WRONG (including teacher who does this for an actual job.)” No, honey, just listen and learn and stop speaking, I beg of you.

The Little Lady that Doesn’t Understand

Lord help her, she’s adorable. She just can’t get it. Any time my teacher explains something (and always in great or too much detail) she’ll ask if we have questions. Everyone says “NO.” because, come on, it’s not rocket science. If you can look up a business in a phone book, you can do this. Never fails though, every time she asks that question, that tiny little arm comes flying up. “So, I’m sorry, I just don’t get it.” “Which part?” “The whole thing.”

It takes all my strength to not pull her mini ponytail and ask her “WHY??? WHY DON’T YOU GET IT?!” There’s no reason not to. Good luck to her.

Exhausted Lady in the Front Row

She missed the very first class. I’m no genius, but I think it’s pretty safe to say that’s like the most important class to attend besides the final. She “thought it started the following week” so of course the next week came and she had no books, no syllabus, no homework… and why is she SO tired each time? It looks like she ran 4 miles to get to class…and she’s definitely not the skinniest lady I’ve ever seen. I don’t think the 24oz Pepsi she brings with her is helping her fitness either. She comes in very late, huffing and puffing, throws all her stuff down, breathing extremely heavy, interrupts the class to tell the teacher she has “no books today, can you look for some for me?” are you serious? On the 13th week of a 15 week class? Is this kindergarten? Share with the girl next to you and SHUT THE HELL UP. P.S., that watch you wear is adjustable, it shouldn’t look like your hand is about to fall off.

On to Tuesday night’s class. Like I said different night, different freaks. We have the very abrasive lady, the one who I’m sure is milking a workman’s comp deal, the one I can’t hear no matter what, the chomper…

Again, just to highlight a few, let’s start with...

The Chomper

Now, this didn’t start annoying me until lately. She’s always eating. The whole class, she’s never not eating. I mean, I can kind of understand, it’s a 6pm class, she looks like she just came from work, it’s dinner. But for three hours straight? Isn’t she bored of eating? Last week we went to the lab to work on billing insurance. She had Cheetos. Oh em gee. I couldn’t even concentrate. It honestly sounded like she was chewing on rocks. It was one of the loudest noises I’ve ever heard. I look around in disbelief…does no one else hear that? Oh, they do. They’re just trying to be polite. Luckily when she started up again in last night’s class (almonds), a guy that barely speaks English said to her “Oh, you’re eating again?” Thank you Hakeem! Everything she eats is ear drum-shattering loud. I don’t know why. Even yogurt.

The abrasive lady

I don’t’ believe a word that comes out of her mouth. First she says she’s a FEDEX driver that makes 8 bucks an hour. Then she’s a pharmacy technician who only makes $7. What? She has a very weathered face, only a few teeth left, yet dies her hair raven black. It’s so harsh, just like her personality. She has an opinion (that’s usually wrong) about every body and every thing. To a guest speaker in our class: “Now, I gotta be honest, I ain’t one of those people who does whatcha say just cuz urma boss. Wud ya still hire me?”

Is this a joke? Am I on Candid Camera?

I honestly feel like I am the only “normal” person in the room. Like someone threw me into a circus without warning. I often catch myself with a disgusted look on my face that I have to hurry and adjust before one of them notices, as if it would matter. The lady that sits next to me in Tuesday’s class is actually my friend, she was in my class last semester (which had some of the very same freaks!) and she’s the only one I talk to. I’ve tried to branch out but it’s hard to make a friend when your mouth hangs open in shock when you look at them.

I guess that’s all for now, there’s about (no joke) 12 or 13 other weirdos I could tell you about but I won’t bore you. Only two more weeks of class, thank goodness.