Somehow Chaotic.

Somehow Chaotic. : December 2012

Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Recap.

Wow. What a year.

I had some hard times..
- Moved back home.
- My Buick almost blew up and I had to get a new car.
- Very unlucky with men.
- Friend problems.

But, 2012 also had it's high points...
- Graduated college! This was a huge accomplishment and I'm so happy and relieved that I made it out alive in four years.

- Traveled to Philadelphia and DC.

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 - I bought a new car - expensive? Yes. But, I love my car.

- My nephew was born

As the forever pessimist that I am, I look back and see a terrible year, but I seem to forget that some really amazing things happened too. I am fortunate to have my family and my friends. And, I need to be proud that I graduated college - with no student loans or debt too! 

So, maybe 2012 wasn't the best year for me, but it did have some great moments.
I'm not one for wishful thinking, but I'm hoping that 2013 will be better and I'll be able to finally be a happier person. At least for a little bit. If I keep that bar low, I can't be disappointed. 

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Django Unchained.


Wow.

I'm a huge Tarantino fan and I usually end up seeing all his movies by myself because everyone else doesn't want to go and then they complain I went without them. And right when I got home from the movie, my brother was already jealous I didn't bring him along. Oh well. His loss. 

I went yesterday morning at 11 am and I only paid $5 to sit in an almost empty theatre (Except for the asshat that decided to sit in front of me and then I had to move seats because he leaned back and could touch me). 

I overheard a woman in the bathroom say that she was upset it was not historical accurate and that the rap music was offensive to her. I was so tempted to ask her if she saw Inglorious Bastards. Or any Tarantino films.

Christoph Waltz has to be everyone's favorite actor after Inglorious Bastards and he did not disappoint in this either. And Jamie Fox was amazing too. My only disappointment, acting wise, was actually Leo. He's usually so great at playing deranged men and I just was not impressed. He was blown away by Samuel L. Jackson's character in most of the scenes.

Yes, it was gory, but it was amazing. Worth the 3 hours.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Christmas Recap.


My nephew came over on Sunday and I gave him his gift (which was awesome) early so he could enjoy it for Christmas. And, he obviously loved it.

He even kissed it!

Christmas Eve at my house includes eating, drinking, and we can usually get my Papa to play a game. He really likes playing Apples to Apples, even though he takes it way too literally. And, I won! A first for me.

After games, we open presents so we don't have to wake up early the next morning. Nate's presents this year were Batman themed.

Batman hat, Batman Slanket, and Batman belt. Not pictured: Batman pajamas.

My mom got me a chain for my necklace that my Grandpa gave me for my birthday.

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Nate was happy for his Batman Slanket.
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Family Slanket Portrait.

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Papa was confused when he got a remote. And then we pulled out his new television.

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And a family event wouldn't be complete without a scorecard for drinks. My brother gave my mom 10 points for douchiness when she yelled at him. Very typical.

For everyone that celebrates Christmas, I hope you enjoyed your time with your family. Surprisingly, I did. 


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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Book #10: Dark Places

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn.

Wow. I've read Flynn's other two books - Gone Girl and Sharp Objects. And, I'm glad I saved Dark Places for last. This was the best book - by far.

My biggest problem with her other two books was that the endings came on way too fast and in an attempt to neatly wrap everything up, the endings were sprung on the reader.

Not the case in Dark Places.

Everything just worked in this book and I cannot urge you to read it enough. It was the best.

23 for 23 - Goal #3: 10/50.

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Lincoln.


Wow.

If you hadn't realized from my love of books about the Revolutionary War, I'm a huge history nerd. I read Team of Rivals last summer and I loved it. So, when I heard there was a movie about Lincoln (that didn't include vampires), I was pretty psyched.

When I walked out of the theatre, I looked over at my friend and said, "Let me tell you my three trivial comments before anything else." Those were:
1) I love facial hair. Can we bring back facial hair to politics?
2) I love the shawls. Why don't more men wear shawls? I wear shawls.
3) It took me way too long to realize that Lane Pryce was Ulysses S. Grant.

This is a movie about the importance of the House of Representatives. The movie focuses primarily on the passage of the 13th Amendment, but also Lincoln's reluctance to allow his eldest son - Robert - to join the military.

Lincoln is in my top 5 favorite presidents. He was incredibly politically savvy. The movie really highlights my favorite things about Lincoln - how truly savvy he was and his love of story-telling.

I had heard that the movie was based on Team of Rivals, but that is not the case. The book is concerned with how Lincoln's cabinet came to be and how he handled working with his political foes. His cabinet was primarily comprised of people that he ran against in the primary and there was a lot of jealous. However, this movie only highlights William H. Seward, the Secretary of State. Edwin Stanton, the Secretary of War, has a brief part, but that's about it. 

Daniel Day-Lewis did an amazing job as Lincoln. One of the more distracting parts of the movie was seeing familiar faces and trying to place them. It took me a while to figure out that Adam from Girls was in the movie.

I loved this movie. I cannot wait to watch it again. 

Now, when's the Hamilton movie?

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Weekly Round Up: Holiday Edition.

- The best post on cultural exclusion during the holidays. Seriously - this is a must read.

- I'm trying to convince my family to make these for Christmas Eve - Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed JalapeƱos.

- DMX is the best.

- I can't wait to curl up and watch my favorite holiday movie - A Charlie Brown Christmas.

My mom's belated birthday/Christmas present came a little earlier than expected, so all we've been doing is playing with her new iPad Mini.

Also, I finally saw Lincoln. Amazing.

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Book #9: John Adams


John Adams - David McCullough

Quickly - one of the things I hate the most is when they change book covers to reflect the movie that is based on the book. Huge pet peeve.

Now that that's out of the way...

John Adams gets a lot of flack. A lot of people see him as George Washington's annoying Vice President. The guy that whined and created the Alien and Sedition Acts to protect himself from any criticism. The guy that couldn't get along with Alexander Hamilton despite agreeing with him. The guy that lost to Thomas Jefferson.

But, most people forget that John Adams was instrumental in America's independence.

This book was very long - it took me a month to read it, but it was worth it. I ended up really liking John Adams. Some of my favorite parts was the correspondence between John and Abigail. Their relationship was amazing and very sweet.

I don't like how Hamilton was vilified though.

Now, I'm going to watch the miniseries!

23 for 23 - Goal #3 Book 9/50.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Christmas Present for my Peanut - Recordable Stories.


I'm sure you've seen these. You can record yourself reading the story and then give it as a gift.

When I was out shopping for my nephew's Christmas present and I saw this, I knew I had to get it for him. It's the perfect gift from Aunt Queenie. It's books and it's my favorite Christmas story - Rudolph. 

And, it's not just limited to this holiday. Here is a Halloween book. And, "I Love You So Much."

I love reading out loud to him and since I don't get to see my Peanut all the time, this is the easiest way for me to read to him as often as possible.

I'm beginning to think I might make this a thing. We'll see. 

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Monday, December 17, 2012

My Thoughts are in Connecticut.

It feels kind of trivial to post what I was going to post today.

This weekend was tough. I remember almost 2 years ago, when the shooting in Tucson happened, I started crying at work. It was so close to home. And then, when NPR reported that Gabby had died, I couldn't control my tears anymore and I had to hide out in the bathroom until I calmed down. That was a really rough weekend.

Friday was hard because those were babies. Beautiful, innocent babies that were getting excited for the holidays. There are presents under trees and hidden in closets that will never be delivered. That breaks my heart. Those families....I can't even imagine.

This is something I can't wrap my head around.

I've heard about a blogging day of silence on Tuesday, December 18th. And, I will not be posting anything out of respect.

I have a lot of thoughts about gun control and people that accuse others of "politicizing" the event. And, whatever. I'm just sad for those victims and their families. The kids that survived - their whole worlds are shaken to the core. They will never feel safe in school again.

My heart is broken.

If you want to feel a little better (and cry some tears of happiness), then check out these 26 Moments that Restored Our Faith in Humanity.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Weekly Round-Up.

- This is a great article and helps put money into perspective. Respect your money - and your bobby pins.

- Blogging tips! I definitely need to start tweeting more often about my own posts and posts I like from other bloggers.

- This A Game of Thrones app is definitely worth the $5. Especially with the ability to avoid spoilers.

- A great guide on how to wear graphic tee's like a grown-up.

- I found my new favorite tumblr - Least Helpful.

- I definitely don't need this, but I want it. And all of the other ones too.
- I'm more into this than I should be. I think? If loving facial hair is wrong, then I don't want to be right.
 

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Worst Things To Say to ANYONE.

Sometimes, people say things without realizing how incredibly rude their comments were. It's usually little things that aren't typically regarded as mean, but it leaves the person it's directed toward feeling terrible.
Here's a list of things you probably shouldn't be saying to people...

- I feel like this one is a given, but "When are you due?/How far along are you?" 
WITHOUT KNOWING FOR SURE THAT THE WOMAN YOU HAVE ASKED IS PREGNANT. I know it's tempting to rub the belly, but unless you have all the facts concerning that belly, don't say a word. I've seen it happen to a lot of women and it ruins their entire day to have someone ask about their food baby.
Trust me. It's for the best.

- "Smile."
Oh, shut up. This one usually comes from men, but I've had a few women say it to me too. It usually happens when I'm washing dishes at work (Seriously) or when I'm walking down the street. And, this comment is followed up with a "Oh, it's not that bad." How do you know?
I don't smile on command and I've never met anyone that just smiles when told to. And if anything, it just makes me grimace and pisses me off to no end.
Don't tell people what to do with their bodies.

- "You look tired."
I maintain that this is just a way to tell someone they look terrible. I never tell people they look tired because it's a glorified way of saying, "You look like shit."
I wake up at 4 am every day, so I hear this one a lot and it always grinds my gears. I woke up before the sun came up and if I don't have my entire cup of coffee, of course I'm going to be tired. We both know how I look so just keep it to yourself.

- "Are you going to eat ALL that?"
Unless you're my brother and you plan on stealing the food off my plate (which has been known to happen), my food does not concern you. Anytime you comment on the amount of food someone is eating, you have just ruined their entire meal and/or day.
Other unacceptable variations include, "Man, that's a lot of food" and "Who are you sharing with?"

I admit. These are small things, but they can easily ruin someone's day. Be conscious of your words because you can very easily hurt someone's feelings.
And don't tell me to smile.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

TV Episodes To Watch While You're Down.

Without fail, there are some episodes of shows that make me happy - no matter what terrible things are going on in my life.

5) Come On, God, Season 2 Episode 8 of Louie
The bag of dicks. It gets me everytime. And the end. I feel incredibly awkward when he's in the hotel room with the anti-masturbation girl, but everything else makes up for it. And plus, I love Louie.

4) Slap Bet, Season 2 Episode 9 of How I Met Your Mother.
The beginning of the Slap Bet. And most importantly, Robin Sparkles. How many times a day do I sing "Let's Go to the Mall?" A lot.

3) Good Grief, Season 2 Episode 4 of Arrested Development
Sometimes, it's good to see other people in pain to feel better about yourself. And what's better than seeing George Michael do the Charlie Brown walk of shame?

2) Reincarnation, Season 6 Episode 26 of Futurama 
This episode always makes me cry laughing. The characters of Futurama are reimaged in three different types of cartoon styles: old school, old school video game pixels, and Anime. And, it's hilarious. 
That's what I look like while I'm watching it. 

1) The Fight, Season 3 Episode 14 of Parks and Recreation

Drunk Ron Swanson. Drunk everyone. The introduction of Janet Snakehole and Bert Macklin. Jean Ralphio's raps that don't rhyme.

This is a flawless episode.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Book #8: Under the Banner of Heaven

Under the Banner of Heaven - Jon Krakauer

I can't remember who recommended this book to me, but I'm so glad they did. I haven't been reading nearly as much non-fiction as I usually do and I was excited to read a non-fiction book.

The story begins with the Lafferty brothers, a Fundamentalist Mormon family. Two of the brothers believed that God told them to kill their sister-in-law and niece. And the story follows them.

In addition to following the story of the brothers and the murder, the book explains the history of the Mormon church and how polygamy created all these different schisms within the church - ultimately leading to a different sect of Fundamentalists that have been excommunicated from the church.

I've read other books on Mormon history, such as The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri, so I had an understanding of the hardships they faced and the reasons for moving to the Utah territory. But, this was an interesting look at how the split happened between the mainstream church and the fundamentalists that support polygamy.

It was an incredibly well-written book and the mixing of just straight history along with the story of the murder kept the pace up.

23 for 23 - Goal #3 - Book 8.

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Monday, December 10, 2012

23 for 23: Run a 5K


I did it! I ran my first 5K and I'm so proud of myself. Training was difficult because of my knee, but I managed to do it and I actually finished.

I can't contain my excitement.

This was a great first 5K to run. It was right down the street from my house. And, we had a very chilly morning - so I couldn't even feel if my legs were hurting. 

And, the best part was that after I finished - I got a big thing of chocolate! 


It was a great experience and I feel so accomplished. I thought that the goal of having to run a 5K would motivate me to run, but the 5K has motivated me to run more. 

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Weekly Round-Up.

- 10 Ways to be Happy. Full of great advice.

Six foot tall penguins. Seriously.

- 15 Things to keep doing in your 20's.

- I wish I had a Christmas tree for these ornaments.
- I love Adventure Time and I want this tank top. Really bad.
 
- Two of my favorite things - Obama & Mean Girls.
- I want this. Really bad.
 


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Thursday, December 6, 2012

My Spending Diet.

It's December. And, my bank account is starting to depress me (more than usual). Instead of waiting for the new year, I'm going to suck it up and start a Spending Diet now.

Over at AndThenWeSaved, Anna gives the guidelines and one of the first steps towards a Spending Diet is to determine things that you will actually have to spend money on. The Necessities.

My Necessities Are:
1) Car Payment.
2) Cell Phone bill.
3) Car Insurance
4) Gas
5) Prescriptions
6) Netflix (I know, not a necessity, but I would be lost without it and at the end of the day, the $8 I spend on it goes a long way).
7) Food*
8) Toiletries*

*This is why I'm lucky to live at home - I don't spend a ton of money on either of these usually, but I've included them just to be safe.

Aside from those 8 things I've listed above, my money isn't going anywhere else. (Another caveat, I still have to get my mom her birthday present).

My plan for all that money saved is to first - pay off my credit cards. Or, at least one of them and get the other one down to a reasonable amount.
After that, the rest of the money will go straight into my savings account at the end of every month.

And, I will be doing this until the end of 2013.**
**I totally intend on allowing myself some more leeway, but we'll get to that bridge when we come to it. 

Crazy. I know. But it's definitely worth it and it's necessary to get my finances back on track.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

How To Tell You're Not An Adult When Everyone Says You Are...

Just because you're over 18 doesn't mean you're an adult. And just because you're 23 with a college degree doesn't make you an adult. Here is a list of things that are clear indicators that despite your age, you're still not an "adult" (whatever that means)...

1) It's a Saturday morning/Sunday morning and you're curled up on a couch and the world is spinning around you. Do you want to get up and try to puke or continue to lay on this couch (that definitely isn't your's) and hope that this feeling passes? And while you're laying on that couch, real adults are getting ready for brunch. Or hiking. Or things. I can't even tell you what they're doing because I have no idea. I am on that couch with you.

2) You've seen every episode of every show on Netflix multiple times. I lost track of how many times I've rewatched The Office. But, you're really getting your money's worth of your Netflix subscription. Real adults go see movies. In theaters. You just illegally download movies and watch them curled up in bed, nursing a hangover or crying.

Also, your friends use that Netflix too. There are at least 8 of you using one Netflix account because $8 is a lot of money and if someone else can afford to pay for it, then you need to mooch off them.

3) Crying is a regular thing.
At work. In the car. At the bar. On a boat....you get the idea.

4) You have no idea how your friends have so much money. Are they secretly pimps or something? How do they afford everything? You didn't eat lunch for an entire week just so you could buy a bottle of cheap wine and you're barely able to afford anything else.

5) You don't own anything other than a bed and maybe a desk. Possibly a bookshelf. You're going to be totally lost when you move out of wherever you are. How do you even buy dishes?

6) You hate your job. Everyone tells you to quit because you come home and cry (see #3). Or you just complain about it all the time. You know you should quit. But the money is okay. You guess. (You don't even know how much money you should be making -- what is a salary?). So, you don't quit because you're afraid you'll never really find anything better.

7) Once a week, you have a day where nothing terrible happens, but it leaves you totally shaken and confused. You wonder "Who am I?" "What the fuck am I doing?"

8) People talk about "building a wardrobe." But, you still buy most of your clothes from Forever 21 or Target. You probably own one thing that has to be dry cleaned (or in my case, three! Does that mean I'm moving up in the world?)

9) To you, "making dinner" consists of a cheese crisp. And you're so proud of it, you even posted it to your Instagram. When someone you're dating says he/she can cook, you immediately jump at the opportunity for a meal. And whenever visiting your family, raiding the fridge for left-overs is a must.

10) You're in that weird in-between stage of post-college graduation and "real life" (Whatever that is). Part of you misses school because it was easy, but then who wants to do homework? People ask what you're doing and you have no idea.

11) Relationships are scary. If you're in one, you wonder, "Is this the person I'm going to spend the rest of my life with?" If you're not in one, you wonder, "Will I ever get married?" Facebook is your own personal hell - engagement pictures make you wonder if you'll ever have that. And you constantly compare your life to everyone else's.

None of these things are terrible. Or even bad. Growing up is hard. And just because everyone thinks you're an adult, you don't have to be.
You're allowed to think all these things and still live on a couch. It's okay.
I hope.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Book #7: Sharp Objects

Sharp Objects - Gillian Flynn

After reading Gone Girl, I wanted to read something similar to it, so I immediately downloaded Gillian Flynn's two other books - Sharp Objects and Dark Places.

Sharp Objects is about two murders of young girls in a small town and a reporter, originally from there, returns to write about the murders. But, the story quickly becomes about her own troubled life.

Flynn's novels are easy to get into and go by quickly, but the endings always feel rushed. So much happens towards the ending and I wish it would have been fleshed out more.

I'm looking forward to reading Dark Places.

I'm suddenly on a fiction kick. My main gripe with fiction books was that it always took so long to get involved - whereas in non-fiction, I usually already have some idea what's going on. But, with Flynn's books, they're easy to get into. The main characters, despite their flaws, are easy to like and you end up rooting for them, even though they make mistakes.

7/50 - 23 for 23 - Goal #3.

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Monday, December 3, 2012

November Recap.

It's already December. I can't believe it and I'm also incredibly relieved. 2012 has been such a terrible year and I can't wait for it to be over. I have big hopes for 2013 (KNOCK ON WOOD).

Even though most of the year has been shitty (no, seriously, this year has been terrible), I've done some really cool things in November.

- I went to Washington D.C.
- I went to Philadelphia.
- I went to Zoo Lights - my favorite winter activity here in Phoenix.

December Goals:
- Stick with my spending diet. (More on this later)
- Sell more books.
- Stick to my running schedule.

And November Instagramming...

1&2: I definitely need a haircut. 3; Simba made a nest. 4; PBR Thanksgiving. 5; Migraine. 6; Does Not Compute. 

I hope everyone else had a good November. I can't wait to knock out December and start 2013.


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