Archives for January 2014

Over There

Hey y’all –

Just popping in (did I really just say “popping in”? apparently I am smack-dab in the middle of a 1974 Folgers coffee commercial.) to say that I wrote a recap of last night’s American Idol over at Ree’s blog. If you’re interested in that sort of thing, of course.

Also, I would like to say that if you’re not interested in that sort of thing, you may find that Harry Connick, Jr. has the power to change your mind.

Because if I could, I would insert ALL THE EMOJIS into this post. He is that good – such a welcome addition.

Hope you’re having a great Thursday!

Attempting To Re-enter The Cinematic Loop

I don’t know about y’all, but after watching Sunday night’s Golden Globe Awards, I’m still experiencing a lingering obsession with Reese Witherspoon’s hair.

Let’s just take a quick look and review. (via)

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I love so many things about it. In fact, I think I will create a numbered list.

1. The color. It’s very blonde, but it doesn’t look yellow or brassy. Somehow it looks natural even though you know good and well that nobody’s hair looks like *that* without some foils entering the equation.

2. The bangs. They are fantastic.

3. The asymmetry. I have had an asymmetrical bob for, like, six years, but Reese makes me want to let my hair grow out (and listen. NOTHING makes me want to let my hair grow out.) and see if I can pull off a longer asymmetrical bob. My main reservation is that her hair looks like it requires a flat iron, and NO THANK YOU, I WILL BURN MYSELF. My secondary reservation is that I like a little pouf and body and curl. But my word that is a fine haircut. I would like to live vicariously through someone who tries it.

Oh! I just remembered another Golden Globes observation. Did anyone else think that Tina Fey looked phenomenal? Because I sure did. I don’t know if she’s doing Pilates or Cross Fit or maybe even The Fluidity Bar (I didn’t order it.) (That doesn’t mean I don’t still think about it every day.), but during the opening segment – when she was wearing that burgundy dress – she looked so lean and toned and fit and gorgeous.

I wasn’t really planning to watch the Golden Globes because I’d only seen a grand total of two of the Golden Globe-nominated movies: Gravity, which I didn’t care for very much, and Despicable Me 2, which I loved. In a fit of procrastination, though, I decided to watch, and since I wasn’t really up-to-speed on the nominated films, I figured I’d just enjoy all the pretty dresses. And see if anyone gave a particularly memorable acceptance speech. And also see what Tina Fey and Amy Pohler had to say (I thought they were hilarious, by the way – and the George Clooney joke about Gravity was my favorite).

I’m not exactly sure why I just shared that very specific piece of information. Let’s just all roll with it and pretend that someone cares.

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but way back in our younger days, David and I used to see ALL the movies; we made a point to see almost everything that was nominated for the bigger awards, and I would actually feel competitive when the GG or the Oscars were on TV because I’d picked my favorites and wanted them to win, by diggity. Now, though, I’ve rarely seen anything that’s nominated, and I don’t feel at all invested in who wins.

Anyway, last year after awards season I decided to watch some of the nominated movies – there were even a couple that I really, really liked – and I think I’ll do the same this year. I’m planning to see Frozen this weekend, and while yes, I know it’s animated and probably won’t be up for a Best Picture Oscar, I really want to buy the soundtrack – and I don’t want the music to tell me the story if I haven’t seen the movie first. That’s why Frozen is first-up on the movie-going agenda.

So here’s my question(s) for all you carefree, easy-breezy people who do fun things like “see lots of movies at the theatre” and “feel informed when it comes to awards season.” What’s worth seeing from this past year? Are there two or three films that you’d recommend seeing before the Oscars get here? I really did enjoy playing a little bit of movie catch-up last year, so I want to make sure I pick some good ones this year, too.

(I also want to have Reese’s hair.)

(Unfortunately, that is not a problem we’ll be able to solve in the comments.)

(If we could, though…oh, if we could….)

The Big Boo Cast, Episode 32

Well. I got a new podcasting microphone for Christmas, and apparently I was so excited about using it that I was unsuccessful with recording the first 40 minutes when Melanie and I were talking. NOW ISN’T THAT SOME SWEET IRONY?

Even still, I was delighted to introduce this little treasure to the podcasting festivities.

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(I’m not sure that there’s anything that has ever cemented my FULL-ON NERD status like the fact that I was just as tickled as I could be to get a new podcasting microphone for Christmas.)

(I told Melanie that it makes me feel like I’m Loretta Lynn in the recording studio back in the 1950s.)

(Because sure.)

Anyway, this time around we talk about clothes, homework, TV, desks, and some other riveting topics. At the end of the podcast Melanie gets some very exciting news, and I’m fairly certain that I overreact. But I overreact when Ranch dressing goes on sale, so please know that my SURGE OF ENTHUSIASM is totally true to my character.

You can click here to listen. Or here. Or, as always, you can subscribe on iTunes if you’re feeling particularly fancy.

Enjoy, y’all!

JP And Dumplings

We have been trying to get back in the swing of our normal routine this week, and while I really do know that I am infinitely – INFINITELY – more productive when I am on a schedule, I am here to tell you that waking up at 5:20 in the morning has been a shock to my system. Granted, I could probably sleep an hour later and still get us out the door on time, but I hate to rush more than I hate to wake up early. Took me a long time to figure that out. It’s been a good lesson.

(However, the lesson doesn’t change the fact that SOMETIMES THE MORNINGS ARE VERY EARLY.)

Today, though, I felt like I finally got into the groove of the week. That’s a little bit of a shame, I reckon, considering that the scheduled part of our week ends tomorrow, but it’s always good to feel like things are back to normal. I’ve been working on the new book some at night (that’s a whole ‘nother post), and tonight I finally finished a chapter that I’ve been working on for what feels like forever (truth be told, I think it’s been a month). I tend to write myself into a corner and then have to work my way out – not to mention that I edit almost compulsively and never start writing a new section until I’ve edited what I’ve already written (IT IS A SICKNESS). So tonight, when I typed the last sentence in a chapter that has sometimes felt like a maze, I kind of wanted to celebrate.

I didn’t celebrate, though. Unless you count playing “Let It Go” really loud as a celebration. And if that’s the case, then I went CRAZY.

I have managed to watch The Bachelor over the last couple of nights, but unfortunately I had to fast forward through most of the second half. For one thing I felt like Juan Pablo was EXHAUSTED about midway through the first party. Maybe it was overwhelming, maybe it was too much to try to talk to all those women in one night, maybe he’s secretly an introvert who needed a break. OR MAYBE I WAS PROJECTING. But I started to feel very tired for him. Because that’s not weird or anything.

The second reason I had to fast forward was because of the massage. And that’s all I’ll say about that.

The third reason I had to fast forward was because I thought that JP (that’s my nickname for him) (only not really) (it’s just easier to type) got realllllly close to the women when they talked. Maybe that’s a Venezuelan thing? The good part of that, I guess, is that the women had his undivided attention. The bad part, however, is CLAUSTROPHOBIA.

Regardless, though, I will absolutely watch again, even if I just fast forward and watch a few minutes from each date before I watch the rose ceremony. It looks like there are some good girls, and my initial favorite – just because she seems so genuine and kind – is Renee. This probably means that Renee will be gone by episode 2, but if that’s the case, she will still be genuine and kind. Yay, Renee.

So that is pretty much all that’s going on around here. Except that I made chicken and dumplings tonight for supper, and I decided that while the dumplings tend to steal all the attention, the broth is the most important part. Get that wrong and you’ve just got some watery chicken and biscuits. I’m sure there’s some sort of symbolic life application embedded in the broth / dumpling balance, but I think I’m too tired to look for it. However, if you have a theory, please know that this is a safe place to share.

I’m not entirely sure what that means.

Have a great weekend, y’all!

Returning With The Thoughts

Well, that National Championship game was a humdinger, wasn’t it? We’re disappointed that Auburn didn’t win, but FSU made a great comeback, and it’s always fun when a big game lives up to the billing. However, this will be the first time in four years that stores in Alabama won’t be COVERED UP with National Championship merchandise, and I’m really not sure how I’ll react the next time I walk in Academy or Books A Million and discover that the commemorative National Champs rainwear is no longer available – not to mention the car tags, dry erase boards, window socks, visors, pens, and magnets.

Now I guess we can all turn our full attention to college basketball season. Personally, I’m a little fixated on the upcoming college baseball season (the Bulldogs are ranked #2 in the preseason polls), but there’s also football signing day coming up, so I reckon the good news is that all of us college sports fans should be able to find plenty of diversions to suit us.

And remember back in September when I said that I was going to distance myself from college football season because I needed to work on my book? Well, I did really well with that – until the middle of November when State played Arkansas and won in overtime. Ever since then I’ve pretty much EMBRACED THE CRAZY. It was a pretty good run of sensible, though.

All righty. The aforementioned topics.

Harry Connick, Jr. on American Idol

I am so excited about the fact that Harry Connick, Jr. is going to be on American Idol. Even if he wasn’t a great musician in his own right, I would still want him to be a judge because he’s a south Louisiana boy and south Louisiana boys = STRAIGHT SHOOTERS. Plus, he’s always been a great AI mentor in terms of telling contestants to SIMMER ON DOWN WITH THE OVERSINGING and HEY, FIND THE MELODY. However, you could put all that stuff aside – and the first ten seconds of this promo would totally win me over.

I cannot wait.

the importance of a good black t-shirt

Last week I told Melanie that I know a good pair of jeans and a good pair of boots are key wardrobe items. But I’m not sure that there’s anything I enjoy finding more than a good black t-shirt. I got a great one a couple of months ago (I can’t find it online or I’d link to it), and I’m trying to figure out how to make it last forever because it’s THE BEST ONE. It’s a little shorter than tunic length but longer than a regular t-shirt, and I can layer it under ANYTHING. It is a delight and a joy. As one would expect a t-shirt to be.

The Bachelor

I have recorded it, but I have not yet watched it. I am a wee bit scared because I wanted so much to like Desiree’s season of The Bachelorette – only not even I could withstand that much cheese. Given that, I’m a little afeared of this whole Juan Pablo extravaganza. Don’t get me wrong – I’m going to give it a shot – but I may have to watch with one eye closed. Nonetheless, it is currently my highest TV priority.

That may be the most pitiful sentence I’ve ever written. But alas, it is true.

Downton Abbey (SPOILERS AHEAD)

I was so happy to see everybody. But it STRESSED ME OUT – mainly because after last season’s unfortunate Matthew-related events, I am afraid for the welfare of each character at every turn. When Mr. Carson said good-bye to his old friend at the train, for instance, my first thought was, THAT TRAIN IS ABOUT TO CATCH ON FIRE. So you could say that I’m skittish.

All in all, though, I loved the episode. And I think there are some very interesting developments for Mary and Edith on the horizon. I’m not at all sure about Edith’s latest fella, though – I can’t decide if he really likes her or if he just likes her money. I also don’t like all this conflict between the new lady’s maid (who is trouble), Barrow, and Anna. Furthermore, Anna is good as gold, so it doesn’t make sense to me that Cora would believe Barrow when he tries to paint Anna as a troublemaker.

I just had to remind myself that these people are not in fact real.

Chillow

I do not have a Chillow. In fact, I was not even aware of the Chillow’s existence until I saw a commercial for it over the Christmas holidays. So I mainly wanted to ask and see if any of y’all have tried it, because at first glance it looks like it might be the answer to my temperature-related sleeping issues, especially in the summertime.

And since you chill it with water, I’m guessing you could refrigerate some water and then fill it up with super cold water? Granted, that might result in a mild case of freezer burn on your neck or face, but when I think about how BURNING UP HOT I get in the summers, I think it might be refreshing to have a pillow that’s so cold that it’s mildly uncomfortable.

Bible reading plan

Our church has started a Bible reading plan this year, and it’s actually going to stretch out over two years instead of one. Since the size of each day’s readings is a little smaller than a one-year plan, I feel like I’m retaining more of what I’m reading; I can already tell that I’m going to love the pace of it. Here’s more info (and a PDF of the schedule) if you’re interested.

What the 16 degree weather has taught me

I always think that I might enjoy experiencing a “real” winter, especially since all I’ve ever known are the mild winters that we get in the South. But yesterday morning it was 16 degrees. And this morning it was 8 degrees. And now I think that real winter and I probably wouldn’t get along very well. Mainly because THAT WIND, MY WORD, IT CUTS LIKE A KNIFE. Hats off to all you real winter pros.I am forever an amateur, I’m afraid.

Happy Wednesday, y’all!

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We’re watching the National Championship game tonight, so I’m only here to post a list of the things I want to talk about when I’m not quite so distracted.

I know. It’s terrible. But if I put the list in a draft, I’ll never finish it (current number of posts in my draft folder: ONE HUNDRED SIXTY EIGHT). And if I don’t write down the list, I’ll never remember. So, in no particular order, here you have it:

– Harry Connick, Jr. on American Idol
– the importance of a good black t-shirt
The Bachelor
Downton Abbey (I may not talk about this one if a bunch of people post about it tomorrow because I doubt I will have anything original to add)
– Chillow
– Bible reading plan
– what the 16 degree weather has taught me

All righty. Back to the football. Right now it’s halftime and Auburn is up 21-10 – but clearly the Tigers have no hope of winning the whole shebang if I don’t continue to yell at the TV.

I must do my SEC duty, y’all.

See you tomorrow!