Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What I'm Loving Right Now

M&Ms Sweet and Salty Snack Mix
I mean, milk chocolate m&ms with pretzels and peanuts and tiny chocolate chip cookies? What more could you want- DARK chocolate m&ms with pretzels and almonds and raisins? THEY HAVE THAT ONE TOO. All varieties are amazing, and have been the unofficial sponsors of all recent girly hangout nights. 
"Newsies" on Broadway
I will admit that it took me a while to warm to the show, because there's a GIRL REPORTER, WHAT?! And also: they CHANGED SOME LYRICS?????????? However, once I ordered my junior high self to just GET OVER IT ALREADY, I was surprised at how fast I fell in love with the whole musical. And if you've seen my recent activity on Spotify, you know I've been SLIGHTLY addicted to the soundtrack. This song in particular:
Click play and listen to it while you read the rest of this. And don't miss the section starting at 3:08, MY FAVORITE PART!!!

"The Avengers" 
Last night I saw "The Avengers" for the third time. Aaaaaand tt was just as awesome as it was the first time, CLEARLY. We haven't stopped quoting it or picking favorite characters or referencing the Hulk punch since. Emily did a much better job recapping why this movie is so amazing, so go forth and read!

Pool Time
Remember last summer how all my Saturdays were taken up by copious pool time? Yeah. IT HAS BEGUN.

Kristen Wiig's SNL Farewell Sketch
I know a lot of people don't even watch Saturday Night Live anymore (WHAT IN THE WORLD, Y'ALL), but if you missed this past Saturday night's episode, you missed out on a jewel. The amazing/hilarious/irreplaceable Kristen Wiig is leaving SNL after seven years, and the cast gave her a fantastic sendoff that okay MAYBE I cried during.


Boom. Shaka Laka.
Said just like that! Boom. Shaka laka. It's our new catchphrase, created by the one and only Lori Redfearn, and it has many, many uses. I'm sure you will agree. Look into starting to use this, and possibly making it your own.

Boom shaka laka, y'all.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Not Shy in Chi-Town

I turned 30 in January. My husband threw me a fabulous surprise party and then took fabulous to a whole new level when he whisked me off to Chicago for my present.

When we headed for the airport I had no clue regarding our final destination. For packing purposes he gave me a forecast and some minimal direction as to the type of things I would need to prepare for.  He waited until our bags were checked at the airport and our boarding passes secretly printed before finally sharing the surprises. They came in a wave of envelopes.

1. Chicago!
2. Tickets to Mama Mia!
3. Tickets to WAIT, WAIT, DON'T TELL ME!

The man is an excellent gift giver.

I don't need to convince anyone that I'm mildly obsessed with NPR. I've been listening to public radio in the mornings since I was a sophomore in high school. Garrison Keillor joined us on many family roadtrips during my childhood. I've trained for 5Ks, 10Ks and even the half marathon by tuning into Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me and This American Life.

Chicago has been on my travel list for years... but that's primarily because Wait, Wait is taped there before a live studio audience. My bucket list contains "Attend a live taping of Wait, Wait." For real.

Give me whatever label you like, but I'm not going to deny my love for Peter Sagal.

And the night of the taping, I suppose I sought to prove my dedication to the man. 

To fully understand this event, you have to imagine meeting one of your favorite entertainment personalities. We went out for a yet another great meal before taking a cab to the Chase Bank Downtown Auditorium. Seating is pretty much first come, first serve... so of course we arrived early to get a good spot in line. When the ticketing staff arrived they quickly informed everyone there was in fact, no line to be formed. Our line didn't exist. (What is this, the Matrix?) They would not recognize the line, and instead when the will-call table opened up it was just going to be a giant mad dash from every end of the basement room. I wondered if anyone had ever been trampled before, but then realized this was a public radio audience. So.. probably not? But D and I made a plan anyways. I would wait almost behind the tables while he picked up our tickets and then once I saw them in his hand I would make a mad dash to get us a spot at the "real line." We rushed the table, snagged a spot, picked up a program and proceeded to analyze everything about the night's show. At this point I was as giddy as all get out. I was even shaking a little bit. Not gonna lie.

We end up in the 3rd row and within feet of the small stage. The entire theatre holds about 400 people, so there really isn't a bad seat in the house. I simply wanted to be the closest to Peter Sagal, Carl Kasell, Peter Grosz, Roxanne Roberts, and Brian Bablyon as humanly possible. I wanted to be able to reach out and touch the earphones and microphones. (Not really, but kind of... yes.)

The show was thoroughly entertaining. We laughed all the way through. D even remarked how much he enjoyed the night. As soon as the taping drew to a close we were informed that we could line up and meet EVERYONE.  ("Everyone we know is doing what?? GIVING AWAY CANDY?"  "What do we have to do?) 

I don't usually stand in lines to meet celebrities. I don't purchase VIP tickets to concerts. I just feel awkward and I know I'm going to be an idiot. But this was different. I felt like these people were my friends. I had been listening to their voices for years, and besides... it's just public radio.

So I BOLTED for Peter Sagal's line. D had the camera out and I had my pen and program at the ready. I kept trying to think of something terribly witty and engaging to say. But by the time I reached Peter, I just word vomited. I don't know what happened. I said something to the effect of "OH MY GOODNESS. IT IS SUCH AN HONOR TO MEET YOU!! Blah, blah, blah. Gush, gush, gush." It was like that scene in A Christmas Story. And in spite of my meltdown he smiled professionally and asked my name and was about to send me on my merry way when I finally blurted out:

"If I was a 13 year-old girl, YOU would be my Justin Bieber!!"

This was followed by a brief period of uncomfortable silence as he signed my program. He finally replied with a smile, "Well, that's very interesting. I've never been told that before."

I laughed nervously and said thank you about a million times and let my husband take our photo before running away.

My internal dialogue for the next 3 hours: "GINGER. What did you do?!"

D reassured me that Peter wouldn't remember this story in the next hour, much less the next day. It was going to be ok.

So I wandered over and met Carl Kasell and then had a very nice discussion with Roxanne Roberts, before finishing off the night by telling Peter Grosz that I loved his work in the Sonic commercials. "Oh yeah," I said, "Big fan."

Big dork.
Awesome trip.
Chicago Art Institute.
Frozen Lake Michigan.
Ice Skating in Millenium Park.
Deep Dish Pizza.
Willis Tower.
John Hancock Building.
Wrigley Field.

Amazing husband.
Fabulous memories.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Since U Been Gone

Mom and Dad left for Italy approximately A MILLION YEARS AGO.

...Okay fine, it's been two weeks BUT STILL.

They have clearly missed out on a number of awesome happenings in the life of their middle child.


1. I got a new iPhone case! The silvery sparkle one has been good to me, but it was time for a less glittery one that left fewer jewels everywhere. The solution?

Texas Forever. (Sidenote: I miss you, Coach Taylor!)

2. Good? Tacos from "Fresh." Better? Tacos from "Fresh" with Lori and Emily. Best? Tacos from "Fresh" with Lori and Emily followed by "The Proposal" with Lori and Emily and Lacey and Chili's chips and salsa and ranch and also peanut butter m&m's and cherry coke zeroes. WE? Know how to party.

3. The first two times my air conditioner went out? Hilarious. The third time? NOT SO MUCH. Thankfully two of the nights of heat I got to spend in Lori's guest room, and the final fix resulted in my old-timey thermostat being replaced with this:

The 21st century feels good, y'all.

Good and cool.

4. What's better than celebrating Cinco de Mayo once? Celebrating Cinco de Mayo DOS times! That's right: not only did I get to attend a rockin' party at Andrea's on May 5, complete with fajitas AND piƱatas, I also got to attend the CUTEST little bilingual Cinco de Mayo music performance you have EVER seen on Cinco de Uno thanks to Emily, aka the best music teacher ever, and her adorable first graders. Top THAT performance off with some Tex Mex at Posados? Done and DONE.

5. Remember that time at work when we surprised a camper AT HER HOUSE? Yeah. There's a video of that awesomesauce:

6. Maybe I saw "The Avengers" one times, and MAYBE I saw "The Avengers" two times. All I know is: it was awesome and I couldn't stop laughing or having to fight the urge to high five the screen.

7. Oh, a Rangers game? Yeah, that happened. In honor of sweet Jacey's birthday, we loaded up and headed to Dallas to watch our boys put the hurt on Tampa. And when Jacey asked me what happened because she accidentally missed a play, I replied very knowledgeably, OF COURSE: "Umm, he hit it and then that guy threw it to that guy. And now he's out."

Baseball! I know things!

8. Point of Grace had a... less than stellar album release day, poor gals. I mean, they are FINALLY back with some new music, and they get bumped from the #1 album spot in the Christian/Gospel Music section on iTunes by a CAMP?

Because oh y'all:

Summer Lights Number 1 on iTunes


And I know I can't speak TERRIBLY objectively here, but I must note that the "Summer Lights" album is actually really great, and I think you should probably check it out. No really: go.

9. I saw one of my TOP 5 FAVORITE MOVIES OF ALL THE TIMES on the big screen. It's true: I got to go see "A League of Their Own" at the downtown theater with Emily and Jacey. And it. Was. Awesome.

10. Oh look! I finished my Galveston trip video! Boom shaka laka:

11. John and Lori hosted a "Cutie Cute Dance Party," (my name for the event that John made known he did NOT approve of) that was completely sparkly and delightful and wonderful. I mean, sure there was way less dancing than some of the ladies were hoping for, aka none for those of us not in a couple or related to one of the dudes. (IF WE'RE BEING HONEST HERE, AND I ALWAYS AM MOSTLY.)

But there were also s'mores, sparklers, great music, amazing pulled pork (high five, Lori!), laughter, a rainbow, TWINKLE LIGHTS, and time with fun friends.

So yeah, it was fabulous.

Well, that's all for now. Still on the horizon: a return trip to Dallas for a friend's documentary screening and a certain EPIC Pre-Summer Bash that I basically cannot wait for.

Good night all, and ciao to the world travelers! Miss you and can't wait for you to come back.

Friday, May 4, 2012

You haven't seen WHAT?

At small group this week we were asked the following question:

What's a movie that you've never seen that you "should have seen"?

Meaning- when you mention having not seen a classic or even cult classic film, what causes other people to yell in dismay... "YOU'VE NEVER SEEN....?"

I'm still thinking about my answer. Prior to marriage my list was a lot longer. That's what living with a guy will do for you. Thank you dear for my viewings of Doc Hollywood, The Usual Suspects, Rainman, What About Bob, The Passion of the Christ, Ferris Bueller's Day Off (I had never seen it from start to finish), Once... and I'm sure there are many others that I'm just not remembering at the moment.

I know personal aesthetic and choices come into play with the movies we watch, but I decided to pull up some lists on-line and see if there were any other movies I should add to my "dismay" list. I hunted Collection of the best movies from the 80s, Top Cult Classics, and Movies you should have seen lists and came up with the following...

Duck Soup (According to the Gilmore Girls)
The Thin Man (This in is only here because of my sister. I WILL see this one for sure!)
Basically any Sci-Fi movie from the 70's, 80's and 90's... 2001: A Space Odyssey, Aliens, Terminator, etc.
Lawrence of Arabia
I'm pretty sure I haven't seen all 3 of the original Star Wars. (Maybe not the one with the wookies? I know that statement alone took some one's breath away.)
Blade Runner
Easy Rider
Pretty much any horror movie from any time period. (I don't really plan on pursuing these with much energy. "What Lies Beneath" kept me up for weeks.)
Jaws (any of them)
Pulp Fiction (Not gonna happen. Least favorite things in film: gratuitous blood and repeated use of the "F" word.)
A Streetcar Named Desire
Labyrinth (Not in a hurry. Sorry, David Bowie.)

So - what's on your top 10 list that would make you lament if you heard someone else hadn't seen it?

What haven't you seen that gets everyone else all in a tizzy? (In our small group we heard: The Godfather, The Sound of Music, It's a Wonderful Life, Aliens, and plenty of others.)

And finally, what haven't you seen on my top ten list? (I would really like an opportunity to be more dramatic)

My list:
1. Waiting for Guffman
2. Chariots of Fire
3. The Family Stone

4. Pride & Prejudice

5. Love Actually

6. Amelie
7. Chocolat
8. The Last of the Mohicans

9. Meet Me in St. Louis

10. Galaxy Quest

Alright - comment away. Judgement awaits. ;)