33 It Is

Today I am 33.  Do you know who else is 33?  These guys:

     

Can’t say I’d mind a birthday celebration with any or all of them.  Maybe if I keep my fingers AND toes crossed when I make my birthday wish….

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Hangin’ Tough with the Right Stuff

Leave it to New Kids on the Block to bring me out of my blogging funk.  I’ve been thinking of lots of things to update on here but never bothered to get around to it.  Let that be a lesson to you…never underestimate the power of the boy band.

My brother presented me with this little gem today:

He found it in a Goodwill, knew I would love it and bought it.  If this sounds familiar, you might remember he bought me one of their other videos a few years ago.

I absolutely love every single thing about this cover.  First of all, how much more street thug cool can you be than to have your picture taken literally in the street…next to a minimally graffitied wall…next to a sign that reads drug free school zone? Not much let me tell you.

Looking at Joey, aka Little Joey Joe, *sigh and swoon* (it was quite the competition between Joey and Jordan as to who would be my favorite New Kid but in the end Joey won out) I have to wonder if he was expecting there to be a flood or whether he hit puberty in the time between buying those jeans and taking this picture.  My guess is the latter.

I don’t really know what look Danny was going for…Tom Cruise in Risky Business?  More mature? Cool and casual?  Let’s go out for an evening stroll through the back streets of New England while I impress you with the intricacies of freshman community college knowledge. Fail, fail, and fail.  You’re not fooling anyone Danny.  We’ve all seen Community and the only intricacies of knowledge going on there is what to do should you find yourselves locked inside the school during a zombie attack.  Which by the way, was very helpful.  As a side note, I’m very excited for Community to come back this fall.  And very ticked with networks at putting it in the Friday, aka kiss of death, time slot and only greenlighting 13 episodes.  You suck networks *shakes fist*!

Nice pajama pants Jordan.  And what’s with that hat?  And the vest?

Jon, I’m totally loving your tights? long john underwear? under your jeans.  And penny loafers? Seriously.  I guess the jokes on us because you had us totally fooled.  How could we not have known you were gay? It’s so obvious in retrospect.  George Michael you were wrong, the clothes DO make the man.

Donnie, oh Donnie.  I just don’t know what to say about your mess of an outfit.  What. The. Crap?!??

So I turned the video over and this is what graces the back:

How about a closer look?

Looking at this I can’t believe Jon’s the only one who’s gay.

Joey, or excuse me Joseph as it’s labeled, must really like that T-shirt he’s wearing of forgot to bring a change of clothes to the photo shoot.  I’m loving the bowling pin broach on his jacket.  Did you know I like to bowl Joey?  Did you, did you??  Oh the fun we could have had.

Seriously Jordan,What. Is. Up. With. That. Hat??  You look like a creeper with your fingers trying to give a dainty tip of your hat.  You might be about to give a cordial greeting but you’re undressing me with your eyes.  Perv.

Jon your hair is perfectly coiffed and looking closely I think your eyebrows were purposefully brushed that way.  Again I ask, how did we not know you were gay?

Donnie I still don’t know what to say.  Your clothes and style are sending all sorts of mixed messages.  Mostly ones that say you look stupid.

Danny, I forgot you had that nasty rat tail.  I wish it could have stayed that way.

Oh man, I can’t wait to push play!

What to do, What to do…

I recently found this pic of me taken last summer:

Look a little closer above my right shoulder.  Yep, that’s my brother.  With him and that face over my right shoulder and the sun rays coming in over my left, I see some similarities with this photo:

Not that I’m calling my brother the devil or anything.  I’m just saying.

Phew!

Finally, it’s MARCH!!!  My favorite time of year begins in the spring and ends with summer.  Life seems so monotonous and bleak during the winter months especially January and February.  Ever since I was in high school on the track team, I’ve always considered March (which was the start of track season) to be the beginning of spring, even when I lived out in Utah and the ground was still covered in snow and I was wearing a winter coat – it was still spring.

I’ve been incredibly busy and felt overwhelmed the past month with work and school, but especially this past week.  It was one of those times were everything in life converged together simultaneously and all I kept saying to myself was, “If you can just make it through February you’ll be ok…if you can just make it through this weekend you’ll be ok…if you can just make it through this assignment you’ll be ok…if you can just make it through…..”  And I started to realize that I’m guilty of doing this all the time.  If I can just make it…blah blah blah.  What a sad outlook.  I might as well say, “If I can just make it until I finally keel over I’ll get the rest I’m looking for.”

For three weeks I filled in for my boss at work – it was only supposed to be for one.  Her daughter was pregnant with twins and went into labor really early and had some complications.  I’m very happy I could fill in for her so she could go and even more happy that everything turned out ok for mom and babies.  It’s just the timing really sucked.

I would go to work at 7am and get home between 5:30-6:00 and have to be in class or work on papers until I collapsed in bed usually sometime between 11 and midnight, just to get up a few hours later and start over.  I admit I’m one of those people that honestly needs at least 8 hours of sleep so 6 felt grueling and my brain was fried.  The energy required to keep up with preschool kids astounds me sometimes.   And I’ll admit showering started to become a burden and an annoyance because that was time I felt was better spent sleeping.  So consequently there were days I wasn’t so April fresh and shaving practically went right out the window.  So bless the child at the preschool who randomly asked me one day, “Miss Natalie, are you a supermodel or something?”  and with no hesitation on my part and a straight face responded with, “Yes.  Yes I am.”  haha  I have no idea what his idea of a supermodel is but I’ll take it.  He’s learning and will make some girl very happy in about 20 years.

From Friday to Saturday I spent 11 hours in one class and on Sunday spent 14 straight hours working on a paper worth 40%, yes that did read 40%, of my grade for said class.  This didn’t include the other assignments and projects that were due for other classes during this same weekend.  At one point of the weekend I got so mad at the printer for something so completely lame (I even recognized in the moment that it was lame and that I was completely overreacting) I literally punched it with my fist multiple times.  I guess I just needed to relieve some built up stress.  And I have to say I felt momentarily gratified.  And though my mom was mad when I did it (it is her printer after all) we were both able to laugh about it two days later.

Lesson learned:  drop out of grad school.  No, the lesson learned is not to procrastinate (isn’t that always the same damn lesson needed to be learned for everything?) and that I’m freak’n AMAZING b/c I got it all done on time.  Of course that said, I haven’t received any of the grades yet.

But now it’s my blessed month of March.  Looking ahead school doesn’t get overwhelming again (I don’t think) until the end of April and I’m back to working my regular part time shift.  And in fact I have 4 1/2 days off right now.  I got 9 hours of sleep last night and arranged my whole day around one errand.  Sigh.  Did I mention it was sunny and 70 degrees here today?  Thank you March.  Thank you.

A Valentines Love Story

The title may be a tad misleading but it got you here right?  Naturally with Valentines around the corner our lives have all been saturated with (or in my case commercials that contain) cards, flowers, heart shaped candy, pink, red, love, …well you get the point.  I’m not a hater of the holiday but I honestly think it’s sort of ridiculous.

But then I caught a snippit of a morning news show that said something so wonderful I thought I heard it wrong.  So I made a beeline to google and found this article confirming the joyous news!  Chocolate is better for you than fruit!!!

Holy crap –  I am the healthiest person alive!!

And if this wasn’t good enough news, I read that white chocolate isn’t REALLY chocolate.  Thus confirming what I’ve always suspected.  Of course my suspicions were based  on the fact that “white chocolate” is disgusting and vile but now I have scientific confirmation that it’s an impostor to the chocolate family.

This is shaping up to be quite the Valentine’s Day.

Let Them Eat Cake!

Once upon a time I took a cake decorating class with some co-workers.  I went purely for the social aspect of it and had absolutely zero interest in actually learning how to decorate cakes, much to the shagrin of the instructor.  She would get on to me for holding the frosting bag incorrectly and using the wrong techniques.  So I would struggle awkwardly while she stood peering over my shoulder and as soon as her back was turned, I would continue in my heathen decorating ways.

The girls I teach at church wanted to learn to decorate cakes for an activity so last night we gave them some cakes and a vat of frosting and let them have at it.

I don’t know my genealogy that far back, but after last night I have a hunch there’s some daVinci blood in me somewhere.

Mona Lisa, Shmona Lisa.

My instructor was a fool not to recognize my talents.  A fool I tell ya!

Otherwise Known as the “I Don’t Know Parade”

This year my mom and I did something a little different.  We wanted to keep it low key but still go out and do something to celebrate the holiday, so we decided to go to a nearby small town and check out the local scene.  I figured since I live in Arkansas, right in the middle of the I Love America bible belt, there should be something good going on.  I envisioned local shops selling homemade pies and fudge, artwork depicting our American heritage, and who knows, maybe some cool antique collections of American memorabilia on display.  Wishful thinking is what that was.

We saw that a small town about 40 -45 min. away was going to have a parade and though I’m sort of bah humbug when it comes to parades, I sort of thought it might be fun to check out.  We got there about 40 min. before the parade was to start and there were already people lining up on the street (for the record, we were there that early b/c I couldn’t remember how to get there or how long it was going to take).

The parade started at exactly 10:00 and went as follows:

I was there and I still don’t know what the golf cart was for.

As far as I know, Arkansas isn’t known for its pioneer heritage so I’m not sure why those girls in front are dressed like that

I don’t know what those girls and that lady have to do with the fire department or why she’s in a wife beater

I think that first vehicle used to be a part of a tractor.  I don’t know why old men are driving either one of those things.

Random kids riding their bikes.  Yeah, I don’t get why either.

Nascar represented of course

That’s how we do floats up here in these parts

FFA represent!  I thought there would be more kids on this one.

That’s a bulldog mascot in the truck so, maybe something to do with the high school?

Again, not so sure about this pioneer heritage they’ve got going on here

What the hell??

That’s it.  That was the WHOLE parade.  By 10:12 it was over.  There’s only one street that goes through the town and it took three times as long to get out of there than was the actual length of the parade.  I think my favorite part wasn’t the actual parade itself but watching the local people.

I knew I was in for a treat when not even 10 seconds after the road had been blocked, a beat up old car came and swerved around the road block, cut across the parking lot where we were parked.  The lady driving was missing a couple of teeth, wearing a small tank top over her slightly larger frame, her teenage passenger smoking a cigarette, and with her windows rolled down yelled (with her southern accent adding two extra syllables to the last word), “This is g@#damn bullshit!”  Ahh, America.

*Sorry the pics are small and crappy.  Of course, the same can be said about the parade.