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Icethensnowmaggedon, anyone?

2 Feb

So there is currently the Snowmaggedon (or Icethensnowmaggedon if you live in StL) going on outside my window as I write this post. Schools are closed. Business are closed. People are freaking out, myself included because I really, really want to be on my plane to Florida tomorrow morning with very little delays.

And because I worked from home yesterday, couldn’t really go outside without sliding around and because I’m totally preoccupied with about 100 other things,  I leave you with a most random list of things on my mind this Wednesday…

* I’m super excited that John Corbett is going to be on Parenthood, even if he’s playing a “bad” guy, even if he’s only going to be on for a few episodes. He was one of my first celebrity crushes thanks to Northern Exposure and he’ll always have my  heart, no matter his role. So bring it, Parenthood. I’m ready for some new John Corbett.

* There are still days even six months after I’ve been done with my Masters program that a) I miss it and b)I feel like I’m forgetting to do something.

* I have found the reading bug again. I forgot how addicting it can be, especially when you find new authors and characters to identify with. I may or may not have picked up more than one of Adriana Trigiani’s books at my favorite used book store on Saturday during Lisa’s visit.

* I am really, really sick of hearing about people’s illnesses and the weather. There are bigger issues out there people! Much. Bigger. Issues.

* On that note, if you are sick, don’t come to work, even if it is “just a cold.” You can still spread those! And the rest of us at the office do not want it.

* I can’t quite fathom that for the next five days (well, really four, Monday is mostly a travel day), I’ll be in warm weather. Like 70 degree warm weather. I don’t even know what to pack it’s been so long since I could think about warmth…

* The Crate & Barrel Best Buys Catalogue is danger. I repeat: danger! Do not open it. You’ll want every single thing in the catalogue if you are like me. I’m resisting the urge to buy adorable bowls, various pillows, and other assorted home decor items. But I really want to.

* I will be going to visit my brother in six weeks; I’m super excited to see him! Bonus: Knight is coming too, so I get to show him around my campus, get some much needed brother/sister time and pretend I’m 21 again for a night or two. (Probably just one night knowing me.)

* This might be my new favorite song (thanks to Lisa for introducing it to me this past weekend… I apparently need to listen to more Top 40 hits!)

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Lessons Learned: Soulful Weekend

1 Feb

Bright and early on Saturday morning I picked up Lisa at a very packed airport (I think everyone was trying to flee this ridiculous weather are getting), greeted her with a classic Midwest Bear Hug, and we were off! This trip has been planned for only a month but it seemed like a long time coming; I think this past weekend was something we both needed: lots and lots of girl time.

Here are some of the things that I learned this past weekend:

* Apparently Mother Nature is nice and graces us with her lovely presence (as in 45 degrees and sunny) for special out-of-town guests. This will lead you to shedding your coat in favor of feeling a bit springlike. Don’t be too fooled, though. The weather will change after the sun goes down.

* Getting to the zoo within 30 minutes of them opening? Best idea ever. No lines to see the penguins!

* You know a lot more about the history and culture of your city than you think, but you always forget the Arch is 630 feet tall.

* Sitting on your bed, magazines askew, Generation X music on in the background? Reminds you both of high school, the days you couldn’t drive, and it is SO much fun. Nothing like just relaxing and being girls for a bit, no worries about driving, bills, plans, boys, nothing beats it!

* Celebrity gossip and looking at fashion is fun at any age. You’re also reminded of why you and Lisa are such good friends: your thoughts and tastes are incredibly similar.

* You might get totally giggly and say something like “smokes like a fish,” when you really meant “smokes like a chimney.” This will become a running joke for the rest of the weekend.

* Introducing your boyfriend to one of your best friends is really fun, especially when they like each other and get along really well.

* Mexican and margaritas is more fun when you’re celebrating a friend’s early birthday (and when the margaritas go down very easy).

* There are some bars in St. Louis that would be ideal for numerous episodes of “What Not to Wear.” We found one of those bars. We also think we should have a stack of Vogues to hand out to people who need some fashion advice.

* Chatting over a delicious breakfast with no agenda on a Sunday? Divine.

* Colin Firth is amazing and dashing, even when he’s playing a King with a speech impediment. (In other words, go see “The King’s Speech.”)

* Sex and the City is a lot funnier than you remember it being; so fun to watch it with a true fan!

* Spinach & feta stuffed chicken breasts are really good; maybe it’s the company (your parents + Lisa), the wine, and the fact that you were totally relaxed, but the recipe is definitely a keeper.

* When going to THE custard place of St. Louis, it’s probably a wise idea to call before you go, just in case they are closed for the season. (Lesson learned the hard way.)

* Sometimes the best weekends are the ones where you put down the camera and only have a few photos to share!

* You are incredibly thankful for the blog world and the best friends it has brought you and you will always wish they lived much, much closer to you.

* It is way more fun to drop a friend off at the airport when you know you’ll see them again soon!

* Fact: You need much, much more girl time in your life than you’re currently getting.

Notes to Self

28 Jan

Hi Self,

Just a few friendly reminders…

Don’t get too caught up in the everyday. Silly things like long commutes to work, ice on the windshield, forgetting to put earrings in? Small potatoes compared to the bigger picture.

Continue to embrace those people and things that you love; remember how delighted and engaged you feel during your creative writing class, connecting with other like-minded individuals, sharing books to read, writing prompts, feeling like you belong to a group? Do more of that. Remember how you feel when Knight wraps his arms around you after being apart for a few weeks. Remember how great it is to live with your parents, two people who would do anything for you since it’s all going to change soon; they are amazing forces in your life.

Really push yourself at the gym. It’s totally worth it and you know it. Enjoy the running high, the sweat dripping down your face, pounding it out on the dreadmill, rocking out to really hardcore rap. Sign up for a few races soon, use that Groupon for the Yoga classes and treat yourself right. You deserve it.

Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep… you’ve treated yourself to some much needed quiet time this week (read: Saying NO to social engagements) and it’s done a world of good for you. Do it more often. Your friends who are your true friends will understand and still be there for you.

Be present. I know things are topsy-turvy for you right now to a degree, but you can only do so much planning for the future. You know what John Lennon said (“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans,”) and you know he’s right. Your life is NOW. Enjoy it, you only get one shot at it.

It’s ok to ignore the pile of laundry growing in your closet, the unmade bed, and bathroom that needs to be cleaned every once in awhile. Chances are it means you’re doing something more meaningful and that’s a good thing.

Love hard. I know you’re good at it but just don’t forget to keep doing it. Love your family, your friends, Knight. They are all deserving. Let those walls come tumbling down and just fully embrace love. You know you want to do it. You know you can do it. And you know what will happen when you do.

And above all? This:

 You’ve really been yourself lately (well, ok, for many, many months now) and it shows. Just don’t forget to always be true to you.

What would your notes to self say today?

See It. Read It.

27 Jan

Thanks to the bitter temps, I’ve been spending a lot of time with my Netflix queue and reading so today I’m sharing some of my favorite (and least favorite) movies, shows and books from the last month.

MOVIES!

Law Abiding Citizen. I’d been told by quite a few people that this movie was worth watching with lots of twists and turns… well, there were definitely twists and turns but it was one disturbing movie. Don’t even let it fool you that Gerard Butler is in this movie. He only flashes his abs once and he doesn’t have his sexy accent. Not to mention he’s the one that makes this movie tough to tolerate or as Knight says, “if I was cat, this movie would have taken 6 of my 9 lives.” Seriously, it was that intense. And creepy. And just don’t watch it, unless you want to be paranoid for a few days after it.

Knight and Day. I haven’t really liked Tom Cruise since Jerry Maguire (or maybe Top Gun), but I really liked this movie. Perfect blend of action and adventure + comedy and even a bit of romance (but not the throw up in your mouth kind). Some gorgeous scenery, good acting and overall, I really enjoyed this movie. Definitely worth checking out. Bonus: It’s only 1 hr 45 minutes. (I’m not a fan of movies that drag on and one these days.)

The Kids Are All Right. (Hooray, one movie I’ve seen that involves the Oscars!)I love Mark Ruffalo and Annette Benning. This movie deals with the dynamics behind a lesbian couple, their children and what happens when the children want to find out who their biological dad is. Very well written, definitely interesting and the acting was fantastic. There are some moments of hilarity, tenderness, suspense and of course love. Highly recommend this movie!

Going the Distance. I just loved this music. Yes, I’m a huge fan of romantic comedies, but this one… well maybe it’s cause I’m in an LDR, or maybe it’s because Justin Long rocks, but either way, I loved it. I kind of want to own it. Two thumbs up for sure on this one!

Daniel Tosh: Completely Serious. My brother recommend Daniel Tosh to Knight and me and all I can say is hilarious. Why I haven’t been watching his show (Tosh.O) sooner, I have no idea. I can’t wait for his next stand up comedy show to air on Comedy Central in March. His delivery his awesome, he’s got some great jokes, and in some odd way he’s a little bit cute.

 BOOKS!

Cover of

Cover of Very Valentine: A Novel

Very Valentine, by Adriana Trigiani. There is just so much to say about this book; this is the first in a trilogy about an Italian family, the trials and tribulations of all the siblings, but of Valentine in particular. In her mid-thirties she’s struggling with her career, her family, her love life and finding her place in the world. I loved this book in part because I’ve been where Valentine is in the book, and also very much because there is so much authenticity to the Italian family dynamic. There were times I wanted to jump in the book and just be everyone’s best friends, to eat at their table, to be a part of the book. I’m super stoked to read the next book in the series, Brava Valentine.

The Life You’ve Imagined, by Kristina Riggle. I picked this up at the library solely based on the back of the book, wasn’t sure if I’d like it but wound up devouring it. Part chick lit part social message, it was a quick read, with a fairly unpredictable plot line and loveable characters. Definitely good for a quick read and something different!

One Day, by David Nicholls. This was a long book but I really liked it. I laughed. I cried. I hoped. I found out it’s going to be a movie this year which I’m kind of not pleased with (well, mostly because I don’t like who they cast) but I am curious to see how they portray the characters. Read this book. You won’t be sorry. It’s very beautiful, a great love story, and I didn’t want it to end.

Anything I need to watch or read in February?

Wonder me This

25 Jan

A random list of things I’m wondering today…

* Why does Denny Crane (William Shatner’s character in Boston Legal) wear a wedding ring throughout all five seaons, despite being single in almost every single episode?

* Is it really necessary for the lady on the treadmill next to me to sing really loudly while she is running?

* Could someone please explain why my office feels like an icebox. It’s really frigid and I can’t stand it.

* I’d also like to know why my colleagues who are sick insist on coming into work. Stay home until you are better. Please.

* Is there a reason that I crave Mexican three out of five days a week?

* When will I learn that staying up late reading, while fun, is not going to payoff the next morning?

* How will I possibly see all the movies that have been nominated for the Oscars? So much to do, so little time.

* Will it be possible for me to learn to sleep in again on the weekends? 8 am wake-ups are not my favorite.

* Could we please have a week of sun in StL? This ugly grey sky is really not doing it for me.

* Why don’t we have money trees?

What would you like answers to today?

Did I do That?

19 Jan

I don’t really remember how it happened but over the last few days I’ve been thinking about some of the more embarrassing things that have happened to me (like ha-ha- funny- things) over the last few years and since we can all use a laugh and since I think some of them are rather funny, at least now, here’s a short list of embarrassing Nora Moments:

* First day of my freshman year in high school. I’m wearing then-awesome Calvin Klein pinstripe jeans and a fabulous white shirt (really, it was awesome), and maybe white sneakers (well, that alone is embarrassing). I enter the stairwell to get to the fourth floor of my high school aaaannnd fall. Up the stairs. In front of the senior hang out area. No one even stopped to see if I was ok, just walked around me.  Also, that same day the a/c went out in school and I was so incredibly hot in my then-super-awesome outfit.

* Sophomore year in high school. For whatever reason we had dress up days before our Winter Holiday so I’m looking cute in a black skirt and fun top from the Gap. I go to the restroom , start walking down the totally window-ed hallway, aka where the other classrooms can see you, only to have a very kind girl that I didn’t know tell me that somehow my skirt was caught in my underwear. Why I didn’t feel the breeze, I’ll never know. I was mortified.

* Let’s cut to my sophomore year in college (at least I think that’s what it was). I had 10 minutes to get from Old Campus to New Campus, a walk which taken at a super fast clip would take the normal person about 15-20 minutes. Three days a week I had to do the run/walk across campus  most of the time in flip-flops since it was the Spring Semester. I’m going along my normal route, past the library with all the cobblestone bricks when next thing I know, I’m flying in the air. Stupid flip-flop caught on a brick that was raised up (I think? Still no idea) and there go my books and purse and flip-flops flying in all different directions. I land on my hands and knees miraculously and two very handsome young men rush over to help me collect my things and my books. I was too embarrassed to say anything but thank you, suck up my pride, ignore the blood on my hands and knees and get to class. Which, by the way, I was only 2 minutes late for.

I’m sure there are others that I’m forgetting but these are the ones that will always stand out, perhaps because they happened in front of so many people and had the propensity to be much worse and more embarrassing then they could have been.

What’s one of your most embarrassing moments?

Tidbit Thursday

13 Jan

 

* I haven’t had soda since December 25th; I’ve had no caffeine withdrawal headaches and overall I don’t miss it one single bit. Until I eat pizza. Or Mexican. But I’m staying strong, chugging water instead of carbonation and overall I know it’s better for me. Maybe not as fun, but better.

* Last night I watched “Going the Distance.” I totally loved it. Justin Long is hilarious, Drew Barrymore has an infectious laugh and Justin Long’s sidekicks in the movie are laugh-out-loud funny. I would recommend watching this when you’re not in a long distance relationship, however. That made it a bit tough. I laughed. I cried. I loved it. And I now want to slow dance with Knight in the ocean.

* It was -1F when I woke up today. That’s just insanity. I’m wearing gloves and hats and scarves and tights and I’m *still* cold. I really hope it’s a bit warmer in Florida in a few weeks. My body needs to thaw out.

* Tomorrow evening I get to pick Knight up from the airport. This will be the second time I get to do that (his work is super flexible about where he flies in/out of, so sometimes he can plan work trips so we get back-to-back weekends together) and each time, I think of Hugh Grant at the beginning of Love  Actually. It’s really true: everyone who is there waiting for some greets them with hugs, kisses, flowers, high-fives and smiles. There is no hate at airports. Just love. It’s fun to be a part of that experience; to greet someone who has been traveling all week long, eating meals out and sleeping in strange hotel rooms, to give them a hug and just be together for a moment.

* I’m making progress on my 30 Before 30 List; over the holiday I realized I’d already seen 17 Oscar movies, so I’m upping the challenge to 40 movies instead. That seems much more fun to me! I’m trucking right along in the Harry Potter series and am totally in love with the books, the writing, the plots, the twists and turns. I can’t wait to start book #4 which I will do after I plow through (hopefully?) the stack of library books I just borroed. I’ve started researching trips to Alaska (goal is to go in 2012) and Italy (goal is 2013, if not sooner with the family) and soon I hope to start knitting lessons with my Gram. I know I have plenty of time but now that I’m post grad-school it’s nice to have something to work on.

* I saw True Grit last weekend; I wasn’t thrilled with it. Good acting for sure but I feel like the plot/story left something to be desired. I think we’ll be seeing The Fighter this weekend and I must say I’m rather excited for a dose of Marky-Mark. Along those lines, Backstreet Boys & New Kids on the Block are touring together and coming to STL this summer. I kind of want to go. (I saw Backstreet Boys in high school. Screamed the lyrics so much that I lost my voice. Don’t judge. I’m sure you have best friends who did it too!)

 (And don’t forget to enter my “Greening Giveaway“! You have until Sunday to enter!)

Any tidbits you feel like sharing?