Wednesday, September 30, 2009

my new "favorite" song

Every once in a while, a song will grab me. I get überexcited whenever I hear it on the radio. I sing it at the top of my lungs. I download it and play it incessantly. 

During the summer, that song was "Don't Stop Believing" by the Glee cast. I am absolutely positive that Blendy could happily go the rest of her life without hearing it again. I think both my sisters will be thrilled to know that I've now landed on a new favorite (of the moment) song. Val is actually the one who introduced me to it (a fact she may curse herself for later). Check it out, and let me know what you think!

Monday, September 28, 2009

what a weekend!

As I write this post, I'm sitting on my couch, covered by the throw I knitted a couple years ago, sipping Bella coffee, and watching Charade, the next installment in my great movie rewatch. I have the day off, as I used incredible foresight to realize that after last weekend, I'd need a day off to recuperate!

Friday--I rushed home from work at 4:30, packed up, and headed over to my parents' house to pick up Val. After making two trips back to my apartment to get things I'd forgotten, we headed off for Indiana. We didn't take the normal route, though. Earlier in the day, I'd tried to search for Starbucks along the way, but Starbucks' website wasn't working right, so I tried to use Google Maps instead. When I typed in our starting and ending points, I was surprised to see a new shortest route pop up. Supposedly, by taking Highway 30 East until it runs into I-29 and then taking I-29 South to 680 East, we could cut 30 minutes off our drive. I was a bit skeptical, but I decided to give it a try. And it may have worked, if only the Columbus Starbucks would have been where Google Maps said it was. As it was, we drove around Columbus for about ten minutes before deciding to try to find coffee in Fremont. Val called her past and future roommate Jamie to have her google coffee shops in Fremont. She found one downtown that sounded promising ... except it closed at 5:30, and we got there at 7:30! We finally found a Scooters, but by the time it was all said and done, we'd spent over 30 minutes in Fremont, and we lost any time advantage we may have had by taking that route!

The rest of our drive was rather uneventful, though we did have to deal with rain and some intense fog. At 7 a.m. Eastern, we pulled into Grace. I got a kick out of watching Val and her roommates greet each other--lots of squealing, jumping, and hugging!

Saturday--After sleeping about four hours, we woke up to a delicious breakfast--pancakes, potatoes, scrambled eggs, bacon, coffee, and juice!

At one, I headed off for South Bend to see my college roomie Jen. We spent several hours downtown at Art Beat. Neither of us bought anything "artsy," but we enjoyed browsing the booths, listening to music, and admiring the sculptures. We met up with Jen's friend Peter, a photographer, and we served as models for a few shots. Recently, a bunch of sculptures by artist George Rickey were set up downtown; Peter told us to go look at one of the sculptures and talk about it. At first, I wasn't that impressed with the sculpture, but the longer I looked at it, the more entranced I became. I ended up enjoying the various sculptures more than anything else we saw at Art Beat!

After we were finished wandering around at Art Beat, Jen took me to The Chocolate Café, where we each bought a piece of cheesecake. I got the Dulce de Leche, which tasted remarkably similar to the caramel cheesecake I made earlier this year. (Maybe that’s what I should do with my life—make cheesecakes and sell them for ridiculous amounts of money!) Anyway, we took the cheesecake back to Jen’s apartment, where we sat and chatted while sipping delicious jack-o-latte coffee. This portion of the day was definitely the highlight of the trip!

I spent the evening with Val and her friends. I’m getting braver in my old age, and I sampled some of the edamame they made for supper. I wouldn’t call it my favorite food ever …

Sunday--We went to church. At Christ's Covenant. It was wonderful. I'm still processing, so that's all I'm going to say about that for now.

Following Papa John's pizza with the girls and a brief, delightful conversation with Val's friend Sproul about our mutual appreciation for Nathan Fillion, we were on the road again. Val drove all the way to Des Moines, and we got there in close to record time. In fact, some guy we passed on the interstate recognized us at a gas station and commented on how lucky we were to not get pulled over!

We were hoping to stop at a Panera just outside of Des Moines for supper, but they were closed by the time we got there, so we went to Dairy Queen instead. Val observed that the Sunday night crew must have been the B team!

Monday--At 12:15 a.m., we got home. I crashed nearly immediately and slept until 9:30. I have greatly enjoyed my day off ... it has been the perfect way to end a wonderful weekend!

Monday, September 14, 2009

i've had the time of my life

Just saw on imdb that Patrick Swayze died today. Unlike many girls in my generation, I wasn't a Dirty Dancing fan (probably due to the fact that the first and only time I watched it was at a party with my then 11-year-old sister. I spent the majority of the movie with my hands over her eyes!). I did like Swayze, though, and I had a crazy affection for "She's Like The Wind," which he co-wrote and recorded for the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.

One of the things I liked most about Swayze was that he had been married to the same woman since 1975. Thirty-four years--that's practically a millennium in Hollywood time!

Here's a link to the Reuters article.

i'm excited about ...

  • my next book review blogger book: Green by Ted Dekker! I would have bought the book anyway ... but now I get it for free!
  • taking my yearbook staff to the fall yearbook conference in Kearney tomorrow.
  • Homecoming Week, during which I get to wear jeans to work every day. (I usually have to stretch things a bit in order to make jeans fit into each day's theme--for crazy footwear day a couple years ago, I pinned socks to my jean capris--but this year, each day naturally lends itself to jeans!)
  • the start of Singing Christmas Tree practices! (October, I think?)
  • watching more Fringe. I watched the pilot last fall, got bored, and didn't even finish the episode. A couple months ago, a friend who knows I love LOST asked me if I was into Fringe. I told her I wasn't, then she proceeded to tell me why I'd love it. So, I gave it a chance, getting the first disk from Netflix last week. She was right--and I have absolutely no idea why it bored me last fall!
  • hanging with my family tonight, watching Friday's Psych and drinking delicious Sleepy Monk coffee.
  • having my cousin claim my spare bedroom in a couple months.
  • going to Indiana in less than two weeks!!!

lonestar secrets by colleen coble

Shannon Astor, a veterinarian with a young daughter, returns to her small Texas hometown to take over the local veterinary practice. When she arrives, she encounters Jack MacGowan, the man who betrayed her trust in high school … and she discovers he is raising her other daughter, the one she was told died shortly after birth. Shannon and Jack decide to put their differences aside for the sake of the girls, but will Shannon’s secrets and the danger that follows her tear them apart?

If you’ve read even one romance novel in your life, you’ll know that the answer to that question is a resounding “no!” But, as I’ve stated before, no one reads a romance expecting to be surprised by the outcome. Books like this are enjoyable not because of the “will they?” question (we know they will) but because of the journey that gets them there.

The journey in Lonestar Secrets, book two in Coble’s Lonestar series, is a particularly enjoyable one. The plot takes several twists and turns that I wasn’t expecting, and I didn’t figure out the main mystery until it was revealed at the end. I highly recommend this book, and I’ll definitely be reading others by Coble!

(I received this book as part of Thomas Nelson's book review blogger program.)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

wanna buy a movie???

I've gotta say, the great dvd rewatch experiment is going well. Not only am I enjoying watching the movies--for the most part--but I'm also successfully selling the movies I've decided to get rid of. True, I'm only making a fraction of what I initially paid, but any money is better than having the unwanted dvd's take up space on my shelf!

Now if someone would just buy Bailey's Billions ...

can you believe we still use this?

This is my parents' camper. They bought it when I was a preteen, and it was quite old then.
This picture gives you the overall effect.

The hole in the screen was caused by mice. Val & I sleep in the bed on that side, and we couldn't open the window for fear of mosquitoes coming in.

Check out the duct tape!

Seriously, though, I'm thankful that my parents have a camper--despite its unattractive exterior, it's better than sleeping on the ground!

cheap music!

It's been a while since I've plugged Amazon here, but I have to tell you about this. For the past few months, they've been featuring 50 mp3 albums for $5 each. They choose 50 new albums each month. It's always hit and miss, but they've got some really good stuff for September. I just downloaded Aaron Shust's new album. So check it out!

fearless by max lucado

What if I never get married?
What if that lump is cancer?
What if I don't score high enough on the GRE to get into the grad school I want?
What if someone breaks into the house while I'm home alone?
What if, what if, what if???

Imagine Your Life Without Fear

That's the tag line for Max Lucado's new book, Fearless, which releases today. I am well acquainted with fear. When I was young, I worried about practically everything--my mom's pregnancies, spelling tests, getting left behind in the rapture. As I got older, I conquered my fears ... until another friend got married, I found a funky-looking mole, or I stayed alone in my grandma's farmhouse.

Lucado addresses each of my fears, and probably each of yours, in Fearless. He dedicates each chapter to a different type of fear: not mattering, disappointing God, violence, worst case scenarios, etc. Through each chapter, he gives practical advice for removing fear's foothold in your life, backing his words up with Scripture.

My favorite chapter, "Woe, Be Gone," deals with worry. In this chapter, Lucado gives eight practical steps for stopping worry, and I plan to use them. As Lucado says on pg. 45, "Worry accomplishes nothing." (How I wish my nine-year-old self could have understood that!)

What I appreciate most about this book is the wealth of Scripture utilized. It's one thing to say, "This is what Max Lucado thinks about fear," and it's quite another to say, "This is what God says about fear." In this book, Lucado communicates the truth of the Bible in a very compelling and understandable package. I highly recommend it!

(I received a copy of Fearless as part of Thomas Nelson's book review blogger program.)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

seagulls on the radio?

For years ... as in since the 8th grade ... one of my radio presets has been set to 107.7 KSYZ. Back when I started listening, it was called "Sunny 108" and played hits from the 70's, 80's, and 90's (and maybe 60's ... I can't remember anymore). Shortly after I started listening, the "Sunny 108" moniker disappeared, and it just became known as 107.7 KSYZ. Also, at some point--maybe around the turn of the century?--the 70's music disappeared, and the station played music from "the 80's, 90's, and today."

On Monday morning, I flipped over to KSYZ while driving in to work. Instead of Matt & Julia on the morning show, I heard ... waves and seagulls??? I didn't give it too much thought beyond "that's odd ...", and I changed the station. The next day, I heard a voiceover between songs that said "107.7--The Island." I thought it was a stupid name for a radio station in Nebraska, though I get that it's playing off of Grand Island. Then tonight I learned that they fired Matt & Julia! Evidently, the station is changing formats, and it's now going to be geared toward older women. That's fine by me, as I've been enjoying the music, but did they really have to can Matt & Julia??? (And did they have to do it last Friday? That's cold.)