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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

list 30: today's to do list

Ooh! To Do lists are my favorite type of list...Way to end this journey on a bang! 

**Not pull my hair out at work
**Tackle the massive piles of paperwork on my desk
**Run
**Enjoy the sunshine on said run
**Tackle the massive piles of laundry at home
**Fold said piles of laundry once it's clean and not let it re-pile
**Prepare our save-the-dates so they can be sent out this week
**Clean out refrigerator (yuck)
**Miscellaneous wedding planning
**Find time to read? 


Check out the 30 Days of Lists blog for more fun list ideas! =)

floating away

Lately, I've been obsessed with hot air balloons.

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I'm not sure what it is, but this past month I have found myself daydreaming about floating away.

Has anyone ever gone hot air ballooning? Is it as wonderful as I'm imagining it to be?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

weekend in review (vol. iii)

This was quite the busy, whirlwind weekend. Friday night after work Kyle and I took off for Lansing for a quick visit with his family.


I spent Saturday with the women in Kyle's family hosting a baby shower. It was a sweet, Mother Goose-themed party with a spring-y vibe.



On Sunday, my parents and sister came to GR and we had lunch at Twisted Rooster. Nothing like an afternoon of good food and even better company.

Although the temperature is still chilly, the sun has been shining more often and the days are noticably longer. Spring might finally be making an appearance here in the Mitten, as evidenced by these little yellow buds peeking out of the cold earth.


Have a lovely evening, friends.

lists 26-29: falling behind much?

What a crazy whirlwind weekend/week! Sorry I've been MIA. Check back later for a weekend in review!

list 26: Books I'd Like to Read
**Alice I Have Been (Melanie Benjamin)
**In Cold Blood (Truman Capote)
**The Shining (Stephen King)
**Thunderstruck (Erik Larson)
**Me Talk Pretty One Day (David Sedaris)
(This is the shortlist, i.e. books I would like to read in the next couple months.)

list 27: Lessons Learned
**Some days you're the pigeon, some days you're the statue.
**A smile and kind words can go a long way. Just be nice.
**Red shoes make any outfit better.
**Procrastination is not the answer.
**Life is a balance between holding on and letting go.
(...I'm still learning.)

list 28: Vacations to Take
**Mt. Zion (honeymoon!)
**New Zealand
**Santorini, Greece
**Disney World
**NYC
(I'd love to go back to D.C., Mackinac Island, and Chicago...but that just goes without saying.)


list 29: Favorite Foods
**spaghetti
**guacamole
**goat cheese
**Nutella
**mangoes
(Not necessarily all together.)

Hope you're having a wonderful Tuesday. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

list 25: things i'd rather be doing

**Reading (anywhere)
**Sitting on the beach
**Thrifting
**Planning a vacation
**Taking a powernap in the sunshine

Thank goodness for Friday...

<3

between you & me (vol. II)

After a week of consideration, I've decided to change the name of the Friday Confessions series to "Between You & Me." I think this gives it the more personal feel I was looking for, and doesn't sound as looming as a confession. (Or maybe I just have a guilty conscience.)

At any rate, the concept is the same, the name has just been changed to protect the innocent. =) Ok, back to your regularly scheduled programming.


Confession #2:

Just between you and me, I played hooky from an afternoon of work to see this author speak at the GRPL.

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Don't recognize him? That's ok. I'm sure you know his most famous creation.

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Yep. I skipped out early from work to see a children's author. Marc Brown, to be exact. Not only that, I stood in line for an hour for him to sign my battered copy of Arthur's Eyes. I was the oldest person there who wasn't a parent. True story.

I loved the Arthur books as a kid. He was kinda awkward and nerdy, I was (am?) kinda awkward and nerdy. We're two peas in a pod, Arthur and I.

I also loved the TV show. My TV time was limited as a kid, but I was a PBS junkie. Seriously. Wishbone, Sesame Street, Arthur, ZOOM, Mr. Roger's Neighborhood...I loved them all. (I'm a huge proponent for educational programming, specifically the kind funded by viewers like you.)

In his talk, Mr. Brown stressed the importance of reading, and its impact on the lives of children, as well as adults. I truly believe being a lifelong reader has opened doors for me that I never could have imagined as a kindergartner clutching a stack of library books to my chest. Reading has not only taught me to think critically; it has given me an imagination.

Marc Brown and Arthur have encouraged children of all ages to put their noses in a book, but they have also taught us to not keep them there. Take what you've read, and use it. Put it into practice. Make dreams reality.

Arthur is teaching generation after generation the value of reading, imagination, and tolerance.

Not bad for a nearsighted aardvark.

Marc Brown & me
Thanks for the life lessons, Arthur, er, Mr. Brown. You have the gratitude of generations of children around the globe, myself included.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

lists 22-24: playing catch up (the continuing saga)

list 22: today (tuesday, oops) i saw
**Rain turn into snow and ice on trees (boo)
**Two former co-workers/bosses who have become very dear friends
**Cherries at the bottom of my glass of Sam Adams Cherry Wheat
**The return of Canadian geese and ducks in the ponds around my office
**A PBR delivery truck in Eastown (oh, hipsters...)

list 23: guilty pleasures
(My entire life is a guilty pleasure, so I'll limit myself to 5!)
**Sci-fi (i.e. The X-Files, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Twilight Zone)
**Nutella on pretzels
**Long, steaming hot showers
**F%$# Yeahs from 76 Coffee (Yesternots)
**Perusing Target clearance racks and the used book section at Schulers

list 24: i make lists for
**Everything

Oh, it's been quite the week. Thank goodness for a good run, coffee with a friend, and the approaching weekend.

<3

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

more frogs and dogs and bears and chickens (but really just frogs & dogs)

This is Henson.
Nov. 2010 (He has since had a haircut.)
Henson is our lovable, albeit slightly neurotic, cairn terrier mix.

Don't you just love his ears?

Kyle and I adopted him from an animal shelter in November. I had literally been begging asking him for a dog for close to a year. Our landlords were (thankfully) on board with the whole dog thing, so it was just a matter of convincing my cat-loving fiance.   


For the better part of six months, I found a way to cleverly sneak my dog-lust into daily conversations. All of my subtle blatant, hints must have worked. For my birthday in October, Kyle gave me a box with a dog collar in it and a card that said "woof." After a few weeks of searching, we found our match. Our Henson.

Oh, and he's named after this guy. Because nothing warms my heart like a Muppet...except maybe a dog.

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I work as an administrative assistant at an assisted living/retirement community. Henson gets to come to work with me every day, which is pretty awesome.
He basically runs the joint.
Pardon the messy desk. Yikes.
When I'm working in the office, he just sleeps at my feet and keeps me company. (And protects me from the "dangerous" Office Depot delivery guy.)He loves to visit with the residents. Loves it. And they love him. He basks in the glow of their undivided attention, and they light up like a firefly whenever he's around.

Old people are Henson's calling. He isn't skitish around wheelchairs, or bulky medical equipment like O2 tanks and Hoyer lifts. He has no concept of illness or disability. Henson just loves these people, who are too often cast aside or forgotten by a society fixated on youth and beauty.

There is a woman who lives in our community who is in the early stages of Alzheimer's. She often has difficulty remembering her name, the day of the week, and that her husband passed away 20 years ago. So many details of her life are in a dementia-induced fog; but she remembers Henson. She knows how old he is and on good days, remembers his name. If that isn't amazing, I don't know what is.

Unconditional love, that's what it's all about, I'm telling you...

Oh, and he can dance, which is also pretty cool.
This weekend, I'm hoping to teach him how to play "Rainbow Connection" on banjo. Stay tuned.

Monday, March 21, 2011

weekend in review (vol. II)

Friday night was quiet and simple.


Kyle and I went to the GRAM to see this exhibit, which was in its final weekend. It was amazing and strangely moving.



Saturday was quite productive and glorious sunny. After the morning spent at the office, we met with our caterer and had coffee downtown. Later in the afternoon we met up with Whitney and I got a tattoo. (!!!) I rarely do anything spontaneous, and this felt great.

life is grand
(In case you were wondering, the idea for the tattoo came before the name of the blog. I just got up the courage to do the blog quicker than I did the tattoo. I swear I'm not that vain.)

Sunday was rainy, chilly, and lazy. We spent the afternoon at the library and eating gyros for dinner.


The rest of the evening was spent with a stack of books and a pile of blankets. All in all, a wonderful weekend.

How was your weekend?

lists 19-21: playing catch up (the wrath of khan)

Yikes! I'm really falling behind on these lists! Ok, without futher ado...

list 19: Recipies to Try
**Nutella brownies (How is it I've never heard of these?)
**Whole wheat pizza crust

**Hummus

list 20: Celebrity Crushes
(men)
**Jon Stewart
**Dan Aykroyd

**Leonardo DiCapprio
(women)
**Amy Sedaris
**Kate Winslet
**Mariska Hargitay

list 21: Things to do This Spring
**Couch to 5k
**Walk to the library
**Walk everywhere else
**Get a tattoo (check!)
**Blow bubbles
**Take Henson to the park
**Dye my hair red?
**Clean my car, inside and out (This is long overdue.)
**Purge the apartment of any and all unneeded stuff
**Be thankful for both the sunny and rainy days

Phew! I promise to be more on top of the lists this week!

Friday, March 18, 2011

list 18: road trip must-haves

**More books than actually necessary (the thought of being stuck somewhere, anywhere without something to read is horrifying)
**iPod
**Sunshine
**Sunglasses
**Caffine

friday confessions (vol. I)

As I mentioned here, one of the many goals for my blog is to create a weekly feature or two. This is my attempt. Let me know what you think. Allow me to introduce Friday Confessions. 

Lighthearted, serious, goofy, or heartfelt—complete and total honesty is the only requirement. Feel free to make your own confessions!

Confession #1:

I love The X-Files way more than any person should. *cue theme*

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Seriously, it's bordering on obsession. I love this show like Mulder loves sunflower seeds and a darkened parking garage.

I know what you're thinking. "Uh, Molly? Wasn't that show popular like, a million years ago? Don't you think you're a little behind?" The answer to these questions is yes. However, I'm pretty well known for being slightly behind what all the cool kids are doing. By the time I get into something, it's usually 10 years after everyone else. Case and point: As my friend Kat once put it, "Molly, by the time you read/watch Harry Potter, it will be the year 2020." True story; but at least no one can ever accuse me of hopping on the bandwagon.

Why start watching The X-Files now, a good ten years after it went off the air? Well, why does anyone start watching a random show of network television past? Netflix Instant. (You know you've done it, too. Is Season 1 of Ugly Betty sitting in your instant que? Yeah, I thought so.)

Now, I'm not a huge TV-watcher. Really, I’m not. (I’m a reader by trade.) We don't have cable, and only get about two and a half stations on our TV, one of which runs The Lawrence Welk Show on a constant loop. (I'm not joking.) Netflix is basically our only form of moving-picture-related entertainment. So this fall, during a rainy and chilly weekend, I discovered The X-Files.

“Ehh, what the heck. I’ll give ‘er a try,” I thought. And oh, what a try it was. I was blown away; instantly sucked into the grainy world of FBI agents and alien abductions.

The mystery! The suspense! The government conspiracies! And the sexual tension between Mulder and Scully...oh dear lord, the sexual tension!

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Why I'm just now discovering this show that is chock full of my very favorite things (see above), I have no idea. I watched Unsolved Mysteries religiously throughout my childhood. I believed in the Loch Ness monster like most children believed in the Easter Bunny. (The only difference is, I still believe in Nessie.) And I'm preeetty sure I opted to study political science in college because government conspiracy wasn't an option. True story.

The X-Files tickles my conspiracy bone in a way that nothing else can. (Well, except for actual conspiracies. And Robert Stack.)

It's quite a step for me to post this on the Internets for all to see. I'm not fully "out of the closet," if you will, with my nerdiness. I always knew that I wasn't exactly the epitome of cool, but I never truly admitted to myself what I nerd I was. I'm working on embracing it. If you could keep this all very hush hush in the meantime, I’d appreciate it.

So, there you have it. My first confession. I love  Fox Mulder  The X-Files.

(And this is just the tip of the nerdy iceberg. Stay tuned.)

Oh, and for my fellow X-Philes, the truth is out there.

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 Happy Friday, friends.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

childhood faves (vol. I)

This movie was waiting for me in my mailbox when I got home today.

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Umm, awesome. This was one of my favorite movies as a kid. John Cleese as a foppish cat? Jon Lovitz as a homocidal spider? Dom DeLuise as a neurotic feline? Jimmy Stewart as a lovable cartoon dog? Everything about this movie screams awesome. Man, I had taste even at 5. =)

Thank you, Netflix!

What were your favorite childhood movies?

lists 16 & 17: playing catch up (once again)

list 16: places to see in my town
**Grand Rapids Public Library

fiction section

**Grand Rapids Public Museum
**Heritage Hill (my neighborhood!)
**Frederick Meijer Gardens

**La Grande Vitesse by Alexander Calder


la grande vitesse
For a list of more fun things to do and see in GR, go here.

list 17: words that are hard to spell
**maintenence maintenance
**alot a lot
**abominable (I once lost the county spelling bee on this word when I was 12 years old. True story.)

Speaking of spelling, I'm pretty excited for this. Oh, how I love the crazy nuances of the English language. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

list 15: on my shopping list

**Bananas
**Spooners (aka off-brand Frosted Mini-Wheats)
**Cherry Coke Zero (bad habit, I know)
**Black beans (I add them to just about everything)
**Salad fixings (spinach, lettuce, tomato, peppers, havarti cheese)

I thought that I would share the items that show up on my grocery list every week without fail, minus the obvious like milk and bread. More often than not, Nutella also makes this list, but don't tell that to my diet. =)

my girl, betty

This lovely lady is going to be performing in GR tonight as part of LaughFest.


Since I still haven't figured out how to get that money tree to grow, I sadly won't be attending. However, simply being in the same city as the great Betty White is almost as good. 

Have a great show, Betty!

Monday, March 14, 2011

weekend in review (vol. I)

Friday night we found ourselves at Billy's, jamming to an ‘80s cover band and having a few drinks. 

Starfarm
We were celebrating the temporary homecoming of our dear friend, the lovely Whitney, who is gracing GR with her presence from Utah.



Saturday, we saw this at Woodland Theatre as a part of Laughfest
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“There is no Dana, only Zuul.” Classic.
Umm, is it wrong that I have a megacrush on Dan Aykroyd? On second thought, don’t answer that.


Spring cleaning took up most of the day on Sunday.



The downside of living in a 120+ year old house? It literally bleeds dirt and dust. Gross. Also, did anyone else forget time changed? Because I may have forgotten to spring ahead.

How was your weekend?

list 14: things i love about michigan

**Sleeping Bear Dunes

Steam Pig
Courtesy: Svetlana

**Mackinac Bridge

GR Skyline
Courtesy: Svetlana

**Mackinac Island

**Countless inland lakes

**Sunsets

**Grand Haven

**Changing leaves

**The consistency of Lake Michigan


I’ve lived in Michigan my entire life, and for nearly as long as I can remember, I wanted nothing more than to escape. It wasn’t until recently that I realized just how madly in love I am with this state. We haven’t had it easy and we can’t seem to catch a break. Industries have died; jobs are few; stresses are many. But it’s the pure and simple beauty of this place that remind me, and my fellow Michiganers, that we will make it through, and we will thrive once again. You’re not on your own, Michigan.

life is (belonging)

list 13: DIYs

**Sewing throw pillows
**Crocheting flowers
**Embroidery

I grew up in a very “artsy” household. My mother is very good with her hands and can craft just about anything. My younger sister is a wonderful artist and photographer. I read. A lot. Unsurprisingly, the artistic gene seemed to skip me. Now, I’m feeling as though I have years of pent-up, untapped creativity bursting at the seams. This blog began as an outlet for that creativity, and I’m hoping that it will give me a bit of direction.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

list 12: weekly rituals

**Date night on Fridays
**Errands on Saturdays
**Sleep in on Sundays and make breakfast at noon

Friday, March 11, 2011

list 11: date night ideas (GR edition)

**Dinner at Twisted Rooster and a Late Night Cult Favorite
**A walk along the Grand River

**Townies and coffee at Wealthy Street Bakery
**Seeing the latest exhibit at the GRAM and tapas at San Chez
**Ice skating in Rosa Parks Circle and hot chocolates from the Amway Grand Starbucks
**Soup from Uncle Cheetah's Soup Shop and the Meanwhile Movie at Wealthy Street Theatre
**Lunch at Marie Catrib's and browsing the used comics and books at Argos Book Shop 
**Local bands and local brews at Billy's (I will be doing this tonight!)
**Yesterdog's. 'Nuff said.
**Or, the old stand-by: Vito's and X-Files on Netflix

life is (grand)

lists 9 & 10: playing catch up (the sequel)

list 9: favorite websites/blogs
(blogs)
**Kind of a Sideshow
**Seabird
**Sunshine Cupcakes
(websites)
**Blogger
**Etsy
**msnbc

list 10: wishlist
**$$$ for our wedding
**More hours in the day
**Pure and simple contentment
**The ability to travel back in time
**This shirt, this print, and this wristlet

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

list 8: in my bag

In college, I was that girl who carried her life with her at all times. Now that I'm a working girl, I made it a point to simplfy what I have with me. This is the result...


**1. My current read--The Kingdom of Ohio by Matthew Flaming
**2. iPod
**3. Work-related items--keys, nametag, pen, notepad
**4. Unexciting cellphone
**5. Gloves
**6. Hmm. Apparently I can't count. Enjoy a chuckle to yourself at my expense. It's been a loooong day. =)
**7. Camera case--with camera, when I'm not using it. Obviously.
**8. Giganto wallet
**9. Keys
**10. Couch to 5k running plan
**11. Thrifted purse

Interestingly enough, this article greeted me on my homepage when I logged in to do this post.

-M.

it's a bird, it's a plane...

This is Clark Kent...

er, Superman...


...umm, Kyle. This is Kyle, my fiancĂ©.

Like any all-American (Er, half-American, half-Canadian, if we’re being technical), blonde-hair-blue-eyed-boy, Kyle loves superheroes, light sabers, and comic books. His favorite Batman is Michael Keaton, and if you ask him, he can tell you the scientific reason why you wouldn’t like Bruce Banner when he’s angry. It should be noted that his boyhood scars were not obtained from a skateboard accident or a run-in with the neighborhood dog, but from an epic light saber battle with his older brother. (It should also be noted that this occurred at a time when he was just a little too old to be having epic light saber battles. But don’t worry, we don’t judge.)

Although his affinity for Gotham and a galaxy far, far, away run deep;  Superman is his first and truest love. The tights, the cape, the hair; you might say that Kyle has a bit of a man-crush on the guy. Really, it’s ok. I’m not at all jealous. The man wore a Superman tee-shirt on our first date. I knew what I was getting myself into. (And trust me, it goes well with my own nerdiness, but that’s another story altogether.)

Throughout our entire relationship, I honestly cannot recall a day in which Kyle has not made a reference to Superman at least once. I’m not exaggerating. Kyle can rattle off Superman’s (Kal-El’s? Clark Kent’s?) Kryptonian linage like your boyfriend can rattle off hockey scores. One time, my grandma, a self-proclaimed pop culture aficionado, decided that she was going to go head-to-head with Kyle in an impromptu game of Superman trivia. Needless to say, Kyle left her head spinning. It was quite the night.

Do I ever wish that my fiancĂ© shared my love of Cubs baseball or knew how to change the oil in my car? Sometimes. However, I wouldn’t trade my own personal Superman for anything. I truly believe his years parked in front of the bluish glow of the television, watching Superman stand up for the underdog and fight for justice, shaped him into the strong, caring man he is today.

All along, it has been the small heroic acts that made me fall in love with him. His willingness to help a stranger push their car out of the snow or to donate money to a local charity make me weak at the knees. He makes me breakfast on Sunday mornings and squeegees the dead bugs off my windshield. He surprises me with X-Files comics (See? I told you I was a nerd too.) and finagles our TV antenna so that we can get ABC on the one night of the year that I want to watch TV: Oscar night.

I hate to be mushy and sentimental, and I don’t want to give the idea that everything about our lives is always peachy. We worry about money and argue about household chores. He gets on my nerves when he turns the TV up too loud, and I drive him nuts when I leave my hair in the shower drain.

I guess what I’m saying is, we have our kryptonite. But at the end of the day, I’m honored to be his Lois Lane.



Now, if only he could be faster than a speeding bullet at doing laundry…

-M.

Monday, March 7, 2011

lists 6 & 7: playing catch up

list 6: least favorite words
**racial/derogatory slurs
**ain’t
**supposably
**crotch
**accompanist (For the life of me, I cannot pronounce this word.)

BONUS list! =)
least favorite phrases
**That was epic.
**We have to talk.
**Aww yeeeah.
**Git ‘er done.
**That’s so gay/retarded/ghetto.

list 7: blog goals
**Be more active in commenting on other blogs.
**Get a few followers.
**Learn the technical aspects of blogging.
**Post at least twice a week—with pictures.
**Create weekly features.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

list 5: weekend goals

**A productive Saturday at the office
**Design and order invitations
**Go to Goodwill
**Try a new recipe
**Read all day on Sunday

Friday, March 4, 2011

list 4: today's playlist

**Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band--Hammersmith Odeon, London '75 On repeat.
Always.

(I'm pretty sure this is the shortest list I've ever made.)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

list 3: i am looking forward to...

**The weekend (date night, cooking up a storm, sleeping in on Sunday)
**Summertime (GH and up north, long walks in the evenings, barefeet)
**This movie (!!!)
**Our wedding (8.6.11)
**Did I mention summer?

Love,
M.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

list 2: things i'm good at

**Being organized.
**The ability to apply sitcoms, namely Seinfeld, to everyday life.
**Caring about the underdog.
**Reciting '80s/'90s cult films verbatim.
**Making lists. (Imagine that!)

-M.

list 1: a few things about yourself

30 Days of Lists...

Ahh, yes. This seems like a perfect way for me to get into a blogging routine. I may not always have post ideas up my sleeve, but you know I can write me some lists! I know I'm a day behind, so I'll just do 2 posts today to catch myself up.

List 1: A Few Things...

**Bookworm
**Closet conspiracy theorist and sci-fi nerd (please don't tell)
**Workaholic
**Thrifter, bargain shopper, local/small business supporter
**Wannabe blogger
**Diehard Cubs fan
**Lover of summertime, tea, and the smell of library books
**Beach bum and tree hugger
**Grammar and spelling stickler
**Sloppy perfectionist
**Fiance, daughter, sister, friend


Oh, I am loving this.

P.S. I would link up, if I knew how. =)