June 22, 2015

The {preliminary} Summer Reading List

You’d think after 3 years I’d finally have the hang of this blogging thing but in typical fashion I’m behind on my posts. Also in typical fashion there are zero f**ks given because life comes first.

I’m a reader by nature and I love lists so naturally I was interested in joining in on the reading challenge. Here’s a look at my list:

A YA book (mandatory!) ~ Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
Non US Author  (mandatory!) ~ Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
A book that was recommended by a blogger  (mandatory!) ~ The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton {I noticed this was on the list of several others, does that count as a recommendation?} OR Hyacinth Girls by Lauren Frankel {recommended by Dani}
A book that has been on your TBR list for a year or more ~ A Good Woman by Danielle Steel
A book with a kickass female character ~  Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold OR Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen {would you believe I've never read this?}
A book that is or will be a movie (or TV show) ~ Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman
A book written by a comedian or celebrity ~ Happy Accidents by Jane Lynch  OR Yes Please by Amy Poehler
A book with a one word title ~ Wild by Cheryl Strayed

A suspenseful book - a mystery, thriller, or a book about revenge ~ Undecided, but something by Stephen King.

A book about Summer, with summer in the title ~ Summerland by Elin Hilderbrand
She's one of my favorite authors. ALL of her books take place in the summer and on Nantucket Island {where she lives}. They're great beach reads.
Full disclosure? A lot of these books have been on my TBR list for quite some time. I get into the habit of reading quick, no-though-required ebooks because of their cost {usually free} and convenience. I'm hoping that this challenge {and this list} will get me back into the habit of reading "real" books more often. I'll be heading to the library tomorrow night to pick up Saint Anything.
Make sure you link up so I can stalk your reading list!

June 12, 2015

What's In a Name

Every day parents try to come up with an original name that won’t traumatize their kid too much. Some go with family names, some choose something that means something to them, others choose things that are off the wall. In 1984 my Mom went with the “off the wall” option.

For the record let me just say that I love my name. It’s different {still}, it’s fun, and it absolutely fits my personality. I’ve heard all the questions and comments about it and for the most part I just ignore everyone’s attempt at thinking they’re funny.

                Did you dad want a boy?
                Were they not sure what to name you?
                Did the doctors make a mistake?

Real effing original people. Seriously, that’s the best you can do?
What actually bothers me the most is when people say “Michael? That’s interesting.” Saying my name is “interesting” is pretty much a euphemism for saying my name is weird. Add to that the people who say “oh, that’s different”. How about I tell you to GFY? Is that interesting?

And now I’m all riled up….   Wooooosah.

The second irritation on the list? Calling me Michelle. If that’s your name, more power to you, but it’s not my name and I find it dismissive. It goes like this.

Person looking at paper: Michael?
Me: That’s me.  
Person: {looking at my strangely, then back to paper} Michelle??
Me: {shooting daggers} N O….

I will give you the Mike Tyson staredown for being stupid

 Look, I understand the mistake. The spellings are similar and given that I AM female, it’s a fair assumption to think you’ve misread your paper. I get it. I’ll correct you and we’re good. But don’t let it happen a second time.

{FYI, I drafted this post Monday morning. 2 hours after it was drafted this happened...} Attorney at work is walking by. He reads my name, I say "yes?" and then he backtracks and says "oh, I thought it was a mistake." I say no. And then starts the momentary awkwardness where he then says "well, nice to meet you". You know what, screw you pal.

Another annoyance, but more so in the ‘what’s wrong with you’ kind of way is when people ask me how to spell my name. C’mon people! Just because I’m a female and have a guys name does NOT mean it’s spelled all crazy. It’s spelled the way it’s supposed to bespelled. The correct way. I do recognize that some in the Caribbean spell it Mykal and I’m actually ok with that, but really, how many other ways have you ever seen Michael spelled? And if you’re doing the ‘ea’ thing just get away.
Glad we got that all cleared up. Happy weekending!

June 10, 2015

English, Why You So Hard

I truly feel bad for any non-native English speakers trying to learn our crazy language because at times it makes NO sense. We have words that sound the same but are spelled differently {homophone}, words that are spelled the same but pronounced differently {homograph}, and then there’s the slang.

But then there are those phrases that you hear tossed around every now and then, or you find yourself using them, but when you stop and think about it, they make absolutely no sense. At least to me.

Dollars to donutsSomeone, anyone please explain this to me. Personally, I’d rather have the dollars.

Greatest thing since sliced bread - Sliced bread is pretty awesome but c'mon... pizza, beer, french fries, cannolis.

Throwing haymakers - How exactly does one make hay? And further, how does one throw that?

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A bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bushI don’t even bother with this one. It makes absolutely NO sense.

Ass over teacup - Granted I know what this means - you took a tumble - but what does that have to do with a teacup?

Johnny on the spot - First of all, who is Johnny? And where is he exactly?

The proof is in the pudding - I don't want anything in my pudding. Unless it's rice. Rice can be in pudding. Little balls of gelatin and pistachios are also acceptable. But if there has to be proof it better be 80.

Smart as a whip - This one I might understand. When a whip cracks, it "smarts". However "smarts" means hurts so then I'm lost again.

Ace in the hole - Again... clueless as to the meaning. What, or who, is the ace, and why is it in a hole?

Cute as a button - I can honesty say that there has only been one time in my life when I looked at a button and called it cute.

Broad Daylight or Pitch black - As if daylight is ever narrow? Who came up with these phrases? 

I'll bet my bottom dollar - what exactly does this mean? Is it your LAST dollar? Because if that's the case maybe you should hang on to it and call 1-800-GAMBLER.

It's the bee's knees - I wasn't even aware bees had knees, so.... I mean sure they have leg joints, but I don't know if I'd be so presumptuous to call them knees.

She thinks he's the cat's meow - Umm. what? So he's an annoying sound that wakes you up at 5:30 every morning demanding to be fed? Girrrl, keep moving.

Tighter than a crab's ass - I don't even know what to say about this one except I love me some crab cakes. Omnomnomnom.

Colder than a witch's tit - This one especially boggles my Mom. Her theory, a witch stands over a hot cauldron therefore her tits shouldn't be cold at all. Makes sense to me.

Seriously, the English language is weird. Did I miss any? Better yet, if you can explain any of them that would be great too.

June 08, 2015

Mind your Mind

I've mentioned it before but I use a great website, Blogging for Books, to get free books to read. It's really simple. Choose your book, read it, write a review, repeat the process. The most recent book I chose was Mallika Chopra's Living with Intent. This book came to me when I needed it most.

I absolutely loved this book. As someone who is in the process of becoming more "tuned in" and working on gratitude and mindfulness, it really resonated with me. I've never been a religious person by any means, but I do believe that there is a higher power. Whether that's God, a "divine buzz", or simply the universe is up to you. I just know that things don't happen by chance and that this book became an option when I was open and receptive to its contents. 
I enjoyed Mallika's steps to INTENT (Incubate, Notice, Trust, Express, Nurture, Take Action) and found them to be both practical and useful for everyday.
For example:
"Intents aren't merely goals. They come from the soul, from somewhere deep inside us where we get clarity on our heartfelt desires for happiness, acceptance, health, and love. By thinking about our intents, cultivating and expressing them, we create the climate in which they're more likely to happen"
You can relate it any way that works for you.... fake it 'til you make it.... positivity breeds positivity... dress for the job you want, not the one you have, etc. The point is that your desires, dreams, and aspirations need to be nurtured into existence. You need to think about what you truly want, take notice of everything around you, and trust that the universe will be there for you. As someone who loves to plan, keep lists, and make sure everything goes the "right way", this is something I struggle with.

Reading this when I did really was an eye-opener. It made me more mindful when I did meditate. It made me slow down and take notice of the synchronicities that happen around me. Example, Helene's post a few weeks ago about signs. Or Nikki's post about why they don't post a lot of photos of BabyBigTruck, or even having a 30 minute Skype conversation with an old friend. I truly believe that these events didn't happen randomly. It helped me to realize that I need to be more gentle with myself.

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a little soul-searching or even someone just looking how to make life more meaningful.

Next Read: Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin

June 01, 2015

Follow Me to DMB

In a little over a week I’ll be partaking in one of my most favorite summer traditions. It makes no difference that I do this every year because it’s always different and it’s always a great time. If you’re a DMB fan you understand the experience that is a live show. If you’ve never been, sit down, read up, and follow me to DMB!

IMG borrowed from VTIM
Warehouse..... {woo!}
I may be a little biased but in my opinion, one of the first things you should do is get a Warehouse membership. See, I’m a little impatient and I also like to know that things are somewhat guaranteed. Warehouse provides that. For $30/year you get exclusive content, sales, merchandise, a renewal gift, and you can buy summer tickets an entire month ahead of public sales. I signed up after my first show and haven’t looked back.

Hit those Trax
Unless you’ve been a DMB fan since somewhere in the 90s {or you’re a freak, and I say that with love}, there’s no possible way for you to be well versed in everything they have to offer. On Spotify alone they have 489 songs. The studio albums are all awesome, but what’s even more amazing – the live trax albums. My favorite thing is that because DMB is essentially a “jam band” no song sounds exactly the same when it’s played live. Not to mention there are some songs that are so rarely played live it’s a treat to get them. 

We Are Family
Dave shows are like no other I’ve ever been to, and I’ve been to a lot. Everyone is chill, everyone gets along, and everyone just gets “it”. The more people you have with you, the more fun it is. Don’t get me wrong, if you want to fly solo, be my guest, but really, who does that? Not to mention that it’s a family atmosphere. You’ll meet some of the nicest people in the parking lot pre-gaming who will share their TP with you as you {true story}. And people are more than happy to take your picture.

Roll out the dough
Of course, bring money. You may not want something from the vendor booths {although you should} but the beer stand is a must. Okay, maybe that’s just me. As for your tickets, they’re reasonably priced in my opinion. W and I bought tickets to 2 shows this year and it came out to $189/pp including the fees. Unfortunately, 2 shows a year might become mandatory now.

Of course, and most important – have fun! You’re going to be listening to one of your favorite bands rock out for the next few hours. Soak it in, drink it up, and be present in the moment.