Reading Recs

Monday, February 28, 2011

Just finished a wonderful book yesterday, and I have to recommend it to my loyal followers: :)
You've probably seen it out in bookstores, it is a #1 NY Times Bestseller, but now you can take my word for it, too (basically, I like a wide range of books as long as it's not The Canterbury Tales. Don't mean to offend all the Chaucerian followers.):
In The Help Kathryn Stockett takes on the voices of three different women in Jackson, Mississippi during the early 1960's who use their talents to take a stand against the harsh racism/segregation in their town. This is Stockett's first novel, and she tells a compelling story from three unique perspectives. I seriously couldn't put it down! Also, it's been made into a movie that is set to release in August 2011 (starring Emma Stone as a lead). So read it before you see it.

Speaking of great books being turned into films, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen is set to be released April 2011.
This book was a little more "romantic" than The Help but equally intriguing. It's starring Reese and Rob Patz, which make for an interesting real-life couple (considering their age difference, Reese = 34 and Rob = 23!) but I just watched the trailer, and it looked pretty good. As long as the screenwriters stuck to Gruen's entertaining plot, the movie should turn out great!

And, since we're on the subject of love stories, Emily Giffin's Something Borrowed is also being turned into a movie with Ginnifer Goodwin and Kate Hudson. This is Giffin's first of 5 novels (yes, i've read them all) but definitely read it before you see it - only if you're into Chick Flicks though!
Happy Reading, Happy Monday :)

Scaredy Cat

Friday, February 25, 2011

My roommates like the show Law and Order: SVU. This show has a good cast, entertaining screenwriting, and interesting plot lines. Also, the occasional shooting scene, which wouldn't be a problem if I wasn't as jumpy as kangaroo who just chugged 5 Red Bulls.

 I'll be sitting there, half watching the show, half reading some 14th century lit that bores me to tears and suddenly, there's someone on T.V. holding up a gun. Pointing it at someone else. Saying "I'm going to shoot you" and then it's like BOOM BOOM BOOM and I fly out of my chair like I've just been shocked by 40 bolts of lightening simultaneously and I'm all HOLY SHIT I DIDN'T SEE THAT ONE COMING.

This literally happened the other day and all THREE of my roommates are all sitting there, totally unfazed, like we actually just watched Stacy and Clinton show someone how to accentuate their body shape by using a belt. Did they not hear the BOOM BOOM BOOM?!

I'm sorry, but in my opinion this:
Is much different than this:
And my body reacts accordingly. This might not be an embarrassing problem if confined to my own room. But no, I jump at movie theaters too. Like, everyone else in the theater notices me flying out of my seat. (I'm not the smallest person, either.)

Worse came to worse the other day. We were watching a black and white movie IN CLASS. I think the movie was made like 50 years ago... about a freaking knight, and in an unidentifiable FOREIGN LANGUAGE. The fat squire was asking a slouched-over person where the INN was (in subtitles) (BTW, who uses the word "inn" unless you are Joseph accompanied by the Virgin Mary?) and then the squire lifts up the man's head who he's talking to, the music gets loud, and *BAM* a dead skeleton-face is revealed....take a wild guess whose body emphatically spazzed out in fear of scary said face.

I'll give you a hint. It wasn't the person to the right or left of me. Or anyone sitting behind me. Or in front of me.

Yeah, pretty much the highlight of my collegiate career. Having a room full of freshmen look at me like I have turrets, that is. I think its safe to say that if I get jumpy over a black-and-white movie with subtitles, I don't stand a chance against Law & Order: SVU. And actual horror movies? Oh, hell no.

Inspiring Quote / Thankful Thursday

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Well, when I was blog-browsing a couple of weeks ago [which is what I do rather than online shopping, much more affordable :) ], I stumbled upon a catchy quote. Now, of course, when I want to post it on my blog I can't re-find it and don't even know the exact wording! So here is my re-phrasing of a quote, that had such a good meaning it stuck with me for a couple weeks:

When I meet God, I want to ask him, "Why, in this world, do you allow the poor to suffer, people to starve, and injustice to occur? Why don't you do something about it?" 
But I am afraid he will ask me the same thing.

We discussed AIDS in Africa this week in one of my classes. Which has killed 24 million people so far. Or, as our professor put it, as many as two "Holocausts". To me, something even more disturbing I read online was that malnutrition/ no access to clean water kills more people than AIDS and malaria combined, each year.

It's easy to dismiss the AIDS epidemic with the reasoning, "Well, there's no cure for AIDS yet" and look at it as something too big to solve. What disturbs me is, in terms of world hunger, we have the cure (aka food) yet still sometimes take a non-chalant attitude about the whole thing.

I know I usually post lighter content, like my messy desk or terrible cooking skills, but it seems that I have some responsibility to do what I can to help those in need. I think everyone deserves the chance to enjoy the beauties that life has to offer.
Flowers I received on Sr. Night from my boyfriend
Wishing everyone a happy Thursday,  where we can be truly thankful for so much that we have :)

Winter Wonderland

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

After a busy day today - and just finishing up an English assignment late at night, I realize that I have another busy day tomorrow (what with travel and all for an away game) so time to post tomorrow is limited, too.  That being said I'm just going to post a few pictures from yesterday's snow that I snapped with my Blackberry while walking to class.

As one of my friends' statuses said, it reminds me of Narnia :)

I decided to make the pictures x-large to make up for my lack of content this week so far... sorry! :) happy tuesday/wednesday!

President's Day

Monday, February 21, 2011

Just what I was hoping for! Another holiday in January and February where we still have class. (like GH day, MLK day, and V-day.)Here are some messages from to get you in the President's Day spirit:

After it being in the 50's on Friday, we have snow here again today. All the weathermen I'm friends with on facebook seemed to be outraged by this, and I can't blame them, I was hoping to store away my boots til next season...but I guess it's just another reminder that it is, in fact, still February in central PA. Only a week left though. I'm hoping that March is "in like a lamb and out like a lamb" this year...because I could really use some sun! 

Senior Night!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Tomorrow is "Senior Night" for our basketball team, and, since I am now a senior, this is the first year I don't spend painting signs and getting things ready, instead, I just have to get "mentally prepared" ...which is much more difficult!

I really can't believe this game is finally here. My twin sister and her boyfriend actually flew here for the game, and my little sister and dad drove up. Tomorrow, my other little sister and mom are driving up too. And also my boyfriend, his parents, and a neighborhood friend! Not to mention my friends from school :)

So to keep this post basketball-related, here are some awesome quotes from the late John Wooden. (I found these online but my boyfriend got me a book about him for Valentine's Day that I'm looking forward to reading):

"Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out."
 "Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character."

"Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."

"There are many things that are essential to arriving at true peace of mind, and one of the most important is faith, which cannot be acquired without prayer."

"What you are as a person is far more important than what you are as a basketball player."

He has so many good quotes, so it's hard to narrow them down.  I'm pretty excited to go out there and fight for a W! :) Wishing everyone a wonderful (warm) weekend! :)

Wants vs. Needs

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I have to write a paper, so I'm skipping the blog today. The thing is, if I don't post at all then the whole time I'm supposed to be thinking about the feminization of nature in The Canterbury Tales I'll be thinking about what to post on my blog.

So, without further ado, here is the picture of the day from February 14th from

And here's another picture, of a duck riding another duck: (also from TBT)
I couldn't decide which was more awesome. But it was a unanimous decision that both are infinitely times better than The Canterbury Tales. Sorry, Chaucer. Maybe your next one million page poem about a group of annoying people traveling together and rambling off random tales, but never reaching their destination, will be better. 

Pet Peeves

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Today, my homework assignment is to "come to class able to articulate something that annoys you/ pushes your buttons." Yes, I'm in college.

Although I feel like I am bothered/annoyed A LOT, I of course I couldn't think of anything. Maybe it's like the whole favorite-candy dilemma. Last night at Bible study, I had to  say my name, sport, and favorite candy when I introduced myself. I simply said "I don't discriminate, and could never narrow it down" while eating Jelly Beans. (Yes, yesterday was Candy Hearts + Jelly Beans in the same day! Just need some candy corn & candy canes for a holiday candy extravaganza.)

Maybe one day my blog will contain no reference to candy. Don't hold your breath.

I googled "things that annoy me" and turned up some funny results. Yes, actually exists. Just in case you're dying to be reminded of the most annoying occurrences on planet earth. Many of them had to do with driving/bad drivers...which means I am often the one doing the annoying (does that make me the annoyee or annoyer?) Regardless, if Helen Keller drove a Honda Civic, she would drive it better than me.
This sign should warn everyone who drives near me.
With the help of the internet, I narrowed my Pet Peeves down to 2 things:
1.) When People act like experts on Subjects they know little to nothing about. (And correct me when I'm right).
2.) Back-handed compliments

Yeah, I need to work on the whole "articulation" part for #1 before my two o'clock class. Basically, I hate correcting people. So, when someone corrects me when I'm right especially in front of a large group of other people I have two choices:
a.) correct them back, and potentially start an argument.
b.) sit there and look stupid in front of other people.

I think why this particularly annoys me is I don't go around correcting people for fun. Even if someone's like "2+2 is 5" I try to respond with something non-commital like "cool." I'm sure there are times when I do this to others by accident - so I'm definitely trying to never do this again since I've officially proclaimed it as in my top-2 pet peeves.
 #2: Backhanded compliments. Example: In Acting, I had to perform a monologue. I preformed it once, then "made improvements" and re-preformed it. During feedback-time after round 2, a classmate said:
"That was so so so so so so so so much BETTER than the first time."

Which made me think that the first time I sounded like an English-speaking two year-old attempting to recite Hamlet's German. Or perhaps a tone-deaf boy, whose voice is changing, taking a stab at the national anthem. Either way, the so-called compliment screamed "at least you don't absolutely suck anymore."

Being a tall athlete, I've received a plethora of backhanded compliments including, but not limited to:
* "You're faster than you look"
* "You're stronger than you look" (back in the day before my arms looked jacked, thank you lifting 3 times a week for 4 years)
* "Even though you're so tall, you're still pretty" (Which begs the question, has this person ever heard of the modeling industry?)
* "You're cute, even though you're so big." Which brings up another pet peeve, BIG and TALL are not synonyms!

And that, my friends, wraps up my rant on pet peeves - one of my easier posts. There's something to be said about venting via the internet. It also makes me determined to try to not annoy other people... regardless of my inferior driver skillset. Thanks for helping me with my homework :)


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I am kind of in a rush now. It is 8:03 pm, and I have Bible study at 8:30pm. I go to a small group athlete's Bible study every Tuesday night that I can, and I really enjoy it. But I decided to post now so that, after Bible study, maybe - just maybe I'll be motivated to do homework.

Although it's only February, I have quite the case of senioritis. First off, I'm underloading (only taking 3 courses). Two of my classes meet once a week (for three hours at a time). One meets 3 times a week. And I don't have class at all on Thursday. Meaning I physically "go to class" 5 times a week. That is practically nothing!Some semesters I've gone to class 3 times a day!

Oh, not to mention that my earliest class starts at...get this...noon! Still  I feel like I need to give myself constant pep talks to go to class/do my homework/do anything. When I'm in class - it's not much better. In my class that has mostly freshmen and sophomores, I find myself complacently sitting there watching the eager "little kids" raise their hands with answers.

Last time I didn't even have a notebook and just sat there drawing flowers on a post-it note and checking my phone every five minutes for 52 minutes. Literally. I didn't even get one text or e-mail during the eternal hour of English. That's because normal people eat lunch between 12-1, but I am trapped in 13th century Britain going on a pilgrimage to Canterbury and speaking in iambic pentameter.

Anyways, I'm off to Bible study now - sorry about the not so great post. :) I'll leave you with a great verse, instead:

"I have told you these things so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and tribulations. But, take heart! For I have overcome the world."
-John 16:33

Multiple Choice

Monday, February 14, 2011

Feels like I've been blogging about Valentine's Day for weeks now. Which probably means:
a.) my life is boring
b.) nothing else even remotely exciting happens in February
c.) I have an over-the-top obsession with candy 
d.) all of the above 

Considering I've only eaten candy hearts, sweethearts, a reeses heart, skittles and a laffy taffy so far today - C's out of the question. 

We can also eliminate B, as everyone knows, in addition to it being Black History Month and having Abe Lincoln's birthday, GROUNDHOG'S DAY is in also February. Let's face it, if the second day in February is devoted to watching an oversize rodent in the middle-of-nowhere Pennsylvania crawl out of a hole, its a good sign that February is at LEAST in the top 5 of the most-invigorating months on the calendar. 

As for option "A", Would I really start a blog is my life was boring?
a.) Yes, the boring-ness of your life actually increases your chances of starting a blog.
b.) No, you seem to love humankind and would not want to torture them with meaningless rants pertaining to your excessively boring life. 

Regardless, everyone knows the real answer to Q#1 is "D" but the answer to question #2 on this pop quiz is meaningless, as I am not the one willingly reading the boring posts, now am I?

Which brings me to the most important question-of-the-day:
you can buy this on etsy! (although I am lucky enough to already have a Valentine!)

Happy Love Day!

Happy Weekend!

Friday, February 11, 2011

I feel like some guys have been counting down the days until this weekend. First off, no more NFL. Second off, Valentine's Day weekend. (Cue Hannah Montana to sing: "Best of Both Worlds")

No, but for real, not the best weekend for lots of people. However, on Monday FEBRUARY IS HALF WAY OVER! Although it is the shortest month of the year, it always feels like the longest.

Anyway, I just saw on facebook that one of my friends from high school is engaged, I guess it's a popular time for engagements/weddings which reminded me of a funny conversation my teammates had the other day.

I like changing names on this (to protect the innocent from having to be publicly associated with me online). So, let's say that my teammate, has been dating a boy named Bill for about a year now, and they're very serious.

We were talking about Valentine's-Day-proposals, and she proclaims adamantly: "I think when people propose on Valentine's Day it is just so cliche and predictable."

Me: "What if Bill proposed to you on Valentine's day?"

Her (with a total change of demeanor): "That would be fine." :)

It was probably a "you-had-to-be-there" moment but my team got a kick out of it. I'm about to check out for the weekend, but, to one and all: don't forget the REASON for the SEASON,


Stressed Out!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I hate being stressed out! And two away games in a row + missing all my classes on Wednesday usually yields such a result! I couldn't even post yesterday because literally the WHOLE day was dedicated to basketball! And here's another sentence ending in an exclamation mark!

1hr breakfast +1.5 hr shoot around/practice + 1 hr pre-game meal + .5 hr walk through in hotel + 3.5 hrs for warm up/game + 3.5 hrs of travel = 11 hours!

I got back to my room around 1:30am last night, eeek! I am so so so so lucky that I don't have classes today (and feel so so bad for my teammates who do).

So far, I've only had one 15 minute meeting with my professor, and I'm not lying when I say there was a 92% chance I wasn't going to make it through. I even fell up the steps today en route to said meeting. (Indoors, so I couldn't even blame it on the ice!)

Fortunately, my Aunt sent me a little Valentine's Day care package with Lindor Truffles!! (these are now happy exclamation marks :) ) So I am currently drowning my "sorrows" (which, in reality are not that big of a deal) in chocolate.
it honestly is this very bag, except mine is almost empty
 You know what they say, "stressed" spelled backwards in DESSERTS!!

Valentine's Day Spirit

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Here are a few love quotes from my favorite books (and movies) to get you in the mood for Valentine's Day:

"Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same..."
-Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights
"Perhaps it is our imperfections that make us so perfect for one another!"
-Jane Austen, Emma
"So it's not gonna be easy. It's going to be really hard; we're gonna have to work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, everyday. You and me... everyday.
-Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
"I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."
-When Harry Met Sally

All the artwork is from (some pictures are cropped via iPhoto). One of my teammates introduced me to Kurt Halsey my freshman year here. Some of his stuff is a little emo for me, but he definitely has an original, genuine style. And some pictures are so romantic and adorable :) Happy Tuesday!

Super Bowl Blues

Monday, February 7, 2011

Being from Pittsburgh, I was pretty disappointed by the outcome of last night's big game. According to many of my friends' statuses "at least we made it there" but I'm not sure if that's the case. I once heard that people who win Bronze medals in the Olympics are much more happy than people who win Silver medals.

Why? Because those who win Bronze think, "Wow, I was so close to not getting a medal at all," and are satisfied. But those who win silver think, "I was SO close to winning gold, if only I could've done a little better," and are distraught by it. Obviously I don't even know if this is true, but it does make sense to me.

Anyway, I tried to capture some of the brighter moments of the Super Bowl, which will not include any pictures of Ben Roethlisberger. Actually, I went to a small party that was fun with lots of delicious food (guac, pizza, wings, fruit) that I failed to capture on film. Here are a few "positive" snap shots I took on my blackberry:
At my game on Saturday, my mom delivered me these from Pittsburgh :)
Smiley cookies accompanied by my Terrible Towel. Which you can wave when you're happy and cover your face with when you're disappointed. Very versatile. 
Here's a copy of my "Super Bowl Commercial Bingo Card"! I thought this was a really cute idea. You had to write down all the brands/products you thought you'd see on commercials before kick off. As you can see, I won with Budweiser, Pepsi, Free Space, Coke, and Verizon...I finally put my management major to good use! I was waiting for Verizon for a long time. And definitely should've put Audi, BMW, and Doritos! At least there was one winner from Pittsburgh yesterday ;)

Wireless Please!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Traveling makes me realize how spoiled I am in terms of technology. Here I am, tethered to a desk because our hotel doesn't have wireless. It's kinda like the stone age. Only I'm also currently watching "SYTTD" on a huge flat-screen color TV.

So maybe it's not Flinstones-type circumstances, but still. I mean I can't even lie on my pristine white bed with 42 unnecessary pillows while typing this. MY LIFE IS SO HARD.

On a more serious note, I'm hoping no one is wondering what SYTTD stood for .. clearly you don't watch enough TLC if there is any doubt in your mind. Say Yes To The Dress, of course :)

And on that note, let's Say Yes to the Weekend!

Talk to you on Mondayy :)

p.s. of course this is shorter than my regular posts - but the last friday we travelled i didn't post at all...lower your expectations, por favor.

NOW That's What I Call...NO!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I have this problem where I care a lot about what other people think of me. Probably to a fault. No, definitely not about my appearance. (which is obvious to anyone who sees me regularly). But, in other ways. Kinda hard for me to explain. But here's an example:

Today, our options in the weight room while lifting were a.) ridiculously awful radio station or b.) my iPod. (read: rock vs. hard place). Disclaimer: I never pretend to have the coolest new music on my iPod. I don't walk around saying "Have you heard this new song?" the day after it is released. I'm more likely the one screaming "Boots with the fur!" a solid 6 months after the song came out....but it's brand new to me!

However, I had recently put together a DECENT playlist of "cool" weight lifting music so I figured, might as well go for it. I told my weight lifting partner that, every time a new song comes on I get nervous. I imagine every single person dropping their weights, glaring at me, and screaming simultaneously "What the hell is this?!?!"

So, she was making fun of me when new songs came on, jokingly. Some guys on the boys team were giving me a hard time too (their iPods are - obviously - perfect. Unfortunately, the iPod they brought died within the first 5 minutes of the workout. So maybe mine's not up-to-date but at least I'm PREPARED.)

Anyway, I'm lifting as usual and I hear someone switch the song. I'm thinking they just skipped ahead to the next track on the playlist because they didn't like the current song for whatever reason. I'm calm for about 2 and a half seconds until I hear, coming from the speakers a pre-teen boy rapping about throwing "the party of the year."I realized I was living my greatest fear. Mortified, I drop my weight and high tail it to my iPod - as quickly as I could, I switched over to Kanye West, and prayed that everyone in the weight room went temporarily deaf for 30 seconds or so.

Turns out, as a joke, one of the guys' players had tried to find an embarrassing song on my iPod. He didn't have to look very hard. Under "Artists" or "Songs" the top choice is "Aaron's Party" by Aaron Carter, a Justin Beiber of the past. I now regret putting all the "NOW" CD's on my iPod.

Which brings me to the moral of my story: Sometimes, the alphabet just isn't on your side.

No Clean Streak Here

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I got a new iPod for my birthday (October), put songs on it on Christmas (December), and, on Sunday, my kitty ate my new headphones! 
Apparently my cat also shares some undesirable traits with gerbils. Fantastic.

Which leads me to a dilemma: I must find my old iPod for the sake of using its headphones for my road trip on Friday. To the average human being, this may not seem such a daunting task. However, my sophomore year, I lost this same iPod. For 2 weeks. And then found it. On my desk. 

That may be hard for you to believe. You, then, are probably more like my twin sister, the queen of organization, who simply couldn't understand. "How can you lose something that's on your desk?" One word: easily.

A girl at my school actually keeps a fashion and interior design blog. It's legit. She often puts up "Desk Du Jour" posts containing pictures of enviable desks, for inspiration. Here are a couple examples: (from

Although I think these are fun to look at, they don't offer much inspiration for me. In my personal opinion, I think that Interior Design is very nice, in theory; unfortunately, in practice it usually equates to a shit ton of cleaning. Without further ado, behold: my Desk from last night:
Believe it or not, when I took a "Strength-finder" assessment for class yesterday, "Organized" was not in the top 5. I'm thinking it was a close 6. Also, I'm thinking I gotta buy some new headphones. 

First of February

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

According to my W-O-O-T-D calendar, "February" would have been a month of fever for the ancient Roman, since the word februum underlies both words "fever" and "February." Specifically, a februum was a ritual purification held each year on the 15th of the month, involving fasting (appropriate due to the shortage of food during winter).

Of course, now the 14th of the month is the one where lots of girls may or may not be "fasting" for dinner for fear of being seen out without a date. Despite my new "February-styled" blog makeover, I've never been a fan of Valentine's Day, with or without a boyfriend. I don't like what it does to high school girls. In my HS not-so-glory days, carnations would get passed out during home room. White for friends, pink for "crushes" and red for love.
Of course I got one every year!....from my twin sister. (but signed "secret admirer"). However, looking back, I do feel sympathy towards the people who didn't have a twin sister (or boyfriend, or friend) to get them a carnation. The girls with empty desks in homeroom. Someone needs to look out for them!

That's why, in February, I think it's important to go out of our way to look for those who need a little extra kindness in their lives. Not just people without boyfriends, not just on Valentine's Day. But throughout the whole month! Try to make a conscience effort to reach out to others who need a little more support in what is actually the shortest month of the year, but what can feel like the longest!